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Posts Tagged ‘Magesterium’

 

Edward the Confessor (Image: Wikimedia Commons)

 

Month of the Most Holy Rosary

Sunday, October 10 – 20th Sunday after Pentecost (Traditional) / 28th Sunday in Ordinary Time (New)

St. Francis Borgia (1572), Priest, Religious, Patron of Portugal (Traditional)

St. Ghislain (Gislenus) (680), Abbot (Historical)

Monday, October 11

The Divine Maternity of Our Lord (Traditional)

St. Firminus (543), Bishop (Historical)

Tuesday, October 12

St. Wilfrid (709), Bishop of York (Historical)

Our Lady of the Pillar (36) (Historical)

Wednesday, October 13

St. Edward the Confessor (1066), King and Patron of England (Traditional)

St. Gerald of Aurillac (909), Patron of Bachelors and the Handicapped (Historical)

Thursday, October 14

St. Callistus I (222), Pope, Martyr (New, Traditional)

Friday, October 15

(Obligatory Day of Abstinence from Meat or Substitution of Some Other Sacrifice)

St. Teresa of Jesus (Teresa of Avila) (1582), Virgin, Religious, Doctor of the Church, Reformer of Carmel, Patroness of Headache Sufferers (New, Traditional)

Saturday, October 16

St. Hedwig (1243), Widow, Religious (New, Traditional)

St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (1690), Virgin (New)

St. Gerard Majella (1755), Religious, Patron of Expectant Mothers (Historical)

St. Gall (635), Priest, Religious (Historical)

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The Temptation of Christ (Scheffer, 1854. Image: Wikipedia)

One of the fundamental causes of all our problems today, particularly in respect to dissent from the Magisterium of the Church, has to do with asking the wrong question.

When we encounter one of God’s teachings we don’t like or don’t understand, our secularized, self-centered society has taught us to ask:

“What’s wrong with the Church that they don’t get it?”

The “it” in this case being secular society’s philosophy of anything goes as long as it makes you feel good.

The question we should actually ask in these situations is:

“What’s wrong with me that I don’t get it?”

The “it” in this case being God’s plan for the eternal salvation of our souls.

True happiness and true freedom come only when we freely submit our will to the will of God.

“My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt.” (Matt 26:39)

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Monsignor Charles Pope posted an excellent piece on the Archdiocese of Washington blog entitled “The Politician and the ‘Private’ Sin: Christine O’Donnell Runs Afoul of the ‘New Morality.’”  Msgr. Pope uses the “controversy” generated by recent airing of old video showing O’Donnell denouncing masturbation as a springboard for a discussion of the Catholic view of sexuality and masturbation.  Please follow the link above and read his full article.  Msgr. Pope’s teaching is spot-on and delivered with excellent pastoral care and wisdom.

I’m firmly convinced one of the greatest causes for a negative reaction against the Catholic Church today and for producing dissent from Church teaching by many “Catholics” is the very “closeness” of the Church herself.  Because the Church is so “familiar,” many people believe they’re complete experts on what the Church teaches based on nothing more than their own opinions and hearsay, particularly “Catholics” who vaguely recall Sister So-and-so (often a feminist dissenter – such as in my “Catholic” grade school) saying something about something in grade school Catechism class during the 1970s or 1980s.  Yet, what they think the Church teaches has little to no connection to her actual teaching.  Sexuality is a prime example.

Most people, and far too many “Catholics,” believe the Church teaches that anything connected with the body or with sex is “evil” and “dirty” – and that we should feel “guilty” for having any sort of “sinful” thought or feeling about sex.  This is pure rubbish!  Nothing could be further from the truth regarding actual Church teaching on human sexuality and the human body.

The Church has consistently taught that because Jesus was fully divine and fully human (two natures in one person), the human body is not inherently “dirty” or “evil.”  Any teaching to the contrary is heresy – and in fact the Church has fought many heresies founded upon the notion of the human body as “dirty” or “evil” since the days the early Church.  God would not have become fully human if He viewed our bodies and our sexuality as “dirty” and “evil.”  Instead, He gave us our bodies and everything associated with them, including our sexuality, as a gift of His free will.  Therefore, the Church has always held the body, and sexuality by connection, are wonderfully beautiful gifts from God.

The Church teaches that, as a gift from God, we should treat our sexuality with the utmost reverence and respect as we’d treat any other great gift given us by someone who cares deeply about us (and no one cares more about us than God).  As part of caring for and treasuring this gift, we should keep it oriented towards its divine purpose – the physical union of man and woman in marriage to produce children.  We don’t like to hear it today, but orienting our sexuality towards any other purpose goes against its nature and against God’s intention.

Instead of treating our sexuality with such respect, many of us discard it to the dung heap.  In a perverse twist of reality, our secular society claims this dung heap is “good” while Church teaching (which is the message of God and not man) is “bad.”  Secular society completely objectifies sexuality.  We are consistently taught, particularly through pornography, to treat people as nothing more than sexual objects for our self-centered sexual pleasure – including even our own bodies.  We’re taught to not worry about the true purpose of sexuality (little lone its beauty) by using contraceptives, and if those don’t work, “eliminating” the “accidental” “product” of a sexual encounter “gone wrong.”  After all, as Barack Obama believes, we wouldn’t want to “punish” anyone with a baby for a “mistake.”

We’ve truly become blind people wondering around in the dark eating from the trash heap while believing it’s a gourmet meal.  God offers us true light, true vision and a Heavenly banquet, yet we refuse His offer, believing we know better than Him the purpose of our humanity and sexuality.  The Church offers a guiding hand to help lead us blind souls into the light, yet we slap it away.  Why have we allowed Satan and his demons to blind us so?

It’s not a new problem.  It’s actually a very old and very simple problem.  From the time of Adam and Eve, humans have acted like unruly children by “playing God” and thinking they know better what’s best for them than the Father.  The solution is likewise abundantly simple.  We must submit our wills to the will of God.  We must trust that the Father does know what’s best for us.  Only in this decision do we find true freedom and authentic expression of our humanity and sexuality.

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Capharnaum Synagogue

From the Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962:

The Liturgy today alludes to the ordinations of Ember Saturday.  Christ is our Savior, and the Priests of the Church are made rich in Him.  The Church is blessed abundantly in and through our Lord Jesus Christ

Collect

Dirigat corda nostra, quaesumus, Domine, tuae miserationis operatio: quia tibi sine te placer non possumus.  Per Dominum nostrum.

Let the exercise of Thy compassion, we beseech Thee, O Lord, direct our hearts: for without Thee we are not able to please Thee.  Through our Lord.

Epistle (1 Cor. 1:4-8)

The Priests have been “blessed in Christ our Lord with all manner of riches, both of utterance and knowledge.”  Let us give thanks to God.

Brethren, I give thanks to my God always for you, for the grace of God that is given you in Jesus Christ, that in all things you are made rich for Him in all utterance and in all knowledge, as the testimony of Christ was confirmed in you; so that nothing is wanting to you in any grace, waiting for the manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Who also will confirm you unto the end without crime, in the day of the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Gospel (Mt. 9:1-8)

Healing of the man sick of the palsy at Capharnaum.  The Priests have received the power to heal souls, to pardon sinners.

At that time, Jesus entering into a boat, passed over the water and came into His own city.  And behold they brought Him one sick of the palsy lying in a bed; and Jesus seeing their faith, said to the man sick of the palsy: Be of good heart, son, thy sins are forgiven thee.  And behold some of the scribes said within themselves: He blasphemeth.  And Jesus seeing their thoughts, said: Why do you think evil in your hearts?  Whether is easier, to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee, or to say: Arise and walk?  But that you may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins (then said He to the man sick of palsy): Arise, take up thy bed, and go into thy house.  And he arose, and went into his house.  And the multitude seeing it feared, and glorified God Who had given such power to men.

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St. Michael

Month of Our Lady of Sorrows (Sept) / Month of the Most Holy Rosary (Oct)

Sunday, September 26 – 18th Sunday after Pentecost (Traditional) / 26th Sunday in Ordinary Time (New)

Sts. Cosmas & Damian (283), twins, Martyrs, Patrons of Physicians and Pharmacists (New)

Sts. Cyprian & Justina (3rd c.), Martyrs (Traditional)

Sts. Isaac Jogues, John de Brebeuf, Priests and Companions (1642, 1646, 1648, 1649), Martyrs, Secondary Patrons of Canada (Traditional/some places)

Monday, September 27

St. Vincent de Paul (1660), Priest, Founder, Patron of All Charitable Societies (New)

Sts. Cosmas & Damian (283), twins, Martyrs, Patrons of Physicians and Pharmacists (Traditional)

Tuesday, September 28

St.Wenceslaus (929), Duke, Martyr, Patron of Bohemia (New, Traditional)

St. Lawrence Ruiz, Husband, Father and Companion (1633-1637), Martyr (New)

Blessed John of Dukla (1484), Religious (Historical)

Wednesday, September 29

Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels (New)

Dedication of the Basilica of St. Michael the Archangel (530), (Michaelmas Day) (Traditional)

Thursday, September 30

St. Jerome (420), Priest, Doctor of the Church, Translator of the Latin Vulgate Bible (New, Traditional)

Friday, October 1 – First Friday

(Obligatory Day of Abstinence from Meat or Substitution of Some Other Sacrifice)

St. Therese of Lisieux (1897), Virgin, Religious, Doctor of the Church, Patroness of All Foreign Missions (New)

St. Remigius (Remi) (530), Bishop (Traditional)

Saturday, October 2 – First Saturday

The Holy Guardian Angels (New, Traditional)

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From the Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962:

“The September Ember Days are found in the Roman Missal after the seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost.  At the present time, they always fall after September 14 (Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross).  This date nearly coincides with the end of summer, which for ancients was September 12 (pridie Idibus Septembris), and with the opening of autumn on September 13 (Ides of September: Idibus Septembris).  The Ember Days of winter, spring, and summer do not coincide so exactly with the beginning of the respective seasons.”

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From the Roman Catholic Daily Missal, 1962:

The Liturgy reminds us today of the great commandment of charity towards God and our neighbor. ‘The precept is twofold,’ declares St. Augustine, ‘but charity is one.’ We love God above all and our neighbor for His sake.

Collect

As, quaesumus, Domine, populo tuo diabolica vitare contagia: et te solum Deum pura mente sectari.  Per Dominum nostrum.

Grant, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy people may shun all the wiles of the devil: and with pure mind follow Thee, the only God.  Through our Lord.

Epistle (Eph. 4:1-6)

The unity of our faith, like the unity of the Persons of the Most Holy Trinity, imposes on us the duty of being united in the bonds of charity.

Brethren: I, a prisoner in the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation in which you are called.  With all humility and mildness, with patience, supporting one another in charity, careful to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  One body and one Spirit; as you are called in one hope of your calling.  One Lord, one faith, one baptism.  One God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in us all; Who is blessed for ever and ever.  Amen.

Gospel (Mt. 22:34-46)

Precepts of charity towards God and towards our neighbor, given by our Lord Jesus Christ.

At that time, the Pharisees came to Jesus, and one of them, a doctor of the law, asked Him, tempting Him: Master, which is the greatest commandment in the law?  Jesus said to him: Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind.  This is the greatest and the first commandment.  And the second is like to this: Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.  On these two commandments dependeth the whole law and the Prophets.  And the Pharisees being gathered together, Jesus asked them, saying: What think you of Christ?  Whose son is He?  They say to Him: David’s.  He saith to them: How then doth David in spirit call Him Lord, saying: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit on My right hand, until I make Thine enemies Thy footstool?  If David then call Him Lord, how is He his son?  And no man was able to answer Him a word; neither durst any man from that day forth ask Him any more questions.

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Padre Pio

Month of Our Lady of Sorrows

Sunday, September 19 – 17th Sunday after Pentecost (Traditional) / 25th Sunday in Ordinary Time (New)

St. Januarius (Gennaro) (304), Bishop, Martyr, Patron of Naples and Companions (Traditional, New)

Our Lady of La Salette, 1846

Monday, September 20

Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Priest, Paul Chong Hasang, Catechist & Companions (1839-1867), Korean Martyrs (New)

St. Eustace and Companions (118), Martyrs; St. Eustace, Patron Against Fire (Temporal or Eternal) and of Those in Difficult Circumstances (Tradiational)

Tuesday, September 21

St. Matthew (65), Apostle, Evangelist, Martyr, Patron of Bankers and Accountants (Traditional, New)

Wednesday, September 22 – Ember Wednesday in September (Traditional)

(Day on Which Fasting and Partial Abstinence Formerly Required)

St. Thomas of Villanova (1555), Bishop, Religious, Patron of Valencia (Traditional)

St. Maurice and Companions (c. 285), Martyrs (Tradiational)

Thursday, September 23

St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (1968), Priest, Religious, Stigmatist (New)

St. Linus (79), Priest, Martyr (Tradiational)

St. Thecla (1st c.), Virgin, Martyr, Invoked for the Dying (Traditional)

St. Constantius the Sacrisan (1st c.) (Historical)

Friday, September 24 – Ember Friday in September (Traditional)

(Obligatory Day of Abstinence from Meat or Substitution of Some Other Sacrifice)

Our Lady of Ransom (1218) (Traditional)

St. Pacific of San Severino (1707), Priest (Historical)

Saturday, September 25 – Ember Saturday in September (Traditional)

(Day on Which Fasting and Partial Abstinence Formerly Required)

Blessed Herman the Cripple (1054), Religious, Author of the Salve Regina (Historical)

St. Finbar (Barry) (633), Bishop (Historical)

St. Cleophas (1st c.) (Historical)

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Anything but God

by Steven Schultz

The “enlightened” atheist camp recently made the headlines again with Stephen Hawking’s claim in his latest book, The Grand Design, that the universe was not created by an outside force, but instead created itself.  This is an interesting hypothesis considering we have yet to find a single material thing which created itself out of nothingness.  Instead, every material object ever encountered in known human history has something else as the author of its existence.  In fact, according to St. Thomas Aquinas, the changing nature of the created world itself demands an unchanging cause outside of time and the material world for its existence – the “uncaused cause.”  However, according to intellectual atheists, such as Hawking, we’re to buy their nonsense based solely on their word as “academics,” since they can offer us not a single shred of evidence as proof of their claims that the universe somehow created itself from nothing.

Hawking claims the laws of gravity are responsible for the creation of the universe.  As with most atheist theories which claim “anything but God” for the creation of the universe, he fails to tell us what caused the laws of gravity.  We’re to believe they just happened and then poof (or bang), the universe came to be.  Stephen, no matter how you slice it, my friend, you eventually reach a point where you are forced to admit, if you’re intellectually honest, that an immaterial cause caused material existence to come into being.  Even if we go with Richard Dawkins’ explanation that “intelligent alien design” (i.e. extraterrestrials – little green men) are responsible for creating life on earth, a “theory” which he describes to Ben Stein in the documentary Expelled, Dawkins must still eventually account for the existence of the space aliens.  To do anything other than this leaves us with a “poof, there it is” explanation for the creation of the universe.  We’ll come back to this point shortly.

Yet another chink in the armor of the atheist’s “it all just happened by random chance” theory is the fact the universe obeys certain natural laws (including the laws of gravity which Hawking cites).  Not only does the universe obey certain natural laws, man is able to use his reason to discover and explain these laws.  If it’s all random chance, why is there such natural order?  If it’s all random chance, why did man just happen to receive the reasoning ability to discover, understand and explain these natural laws?  Are we honestly to believe the universe not only randomly formed, but randomly formed with ordered laws and human beings who just happen to posses the right kind of minds to discover these laws instead of believing a Creator caused the existence of an ordered universe and created man in His image with the capacity to discover these natural laws and thereby come to know something more about his Creator?  As we consider these facts, we come to see just who is actually making an incredible leap of faith to hold onto his belief system.

The Catholic Church has never held that Genesis is a factual account of creation.  Instead, the Church has always taught that Genesis is an allegorical story and its main point is not to explain the how of creation, but to explain the why of creation: an infinite, all-powerful, all-loving God who created as an act of His own free will; not out of necessity, but because He chose to do so.  Belief in the “Big Bang” theory is not at all inconsistent with Catholic theology.  It becomes inconsistent though when one claims the Big Bang created itself.

Atheists reject creationism (here meaning a fundamentalist interpretation of Genesis as a “blow-by-blow” account of creation – again, this is not the position on Genesis held by the Catholic Church) as nonsense, but then cling to their own version of creationism.  There’s no difference in believing God made everything “magically” appear in the form it’s in now and believing the universe “magically” created itself out of nothing.  Both “theories,” for anyone who takes the time to look at the facts, are nonsense.  The theist position is the only one which accounts for all the facts of the universe’s existence in a consistent manner.

Seeing that the atheist position is such nonsense, we must ask why so many believe in anything but God.  For the vast majority of non-academic, secularized people (including those who nominally claim to be religious, but live their lives as agnostics or practical atheists), I believe they like the idea of there being no God (or at least not one which has any real impact on reality) since it frees them to rationalize every sort of deviant, self-destructive behavior in which they chose to participate.  If there’s no God, there’s no ultimate Truth – and certainly no ultimate judgment; everything’s relative, so let’s party!

What about the academic and intellectual atheists?  For most of these people, I believe it comes down to simply vanity.  They believe they are the most educated, most important people on the face of the planet.  They see themselves as gods on earth – the power holders, the deal makers.  To admit God exists it to admit the existence of a power higher (and more intelligent) than themselves.  Such a notion is anathema to these people.  Such a notion would mean they are not the ultimate judges of right and wrong, life and death.  I honestly believe most of these people are so full of themselves, they simply cannot fathom such an “outlandish” and “quaint” notion as God.

Either way, it doesn’t really matter since the preponderance of evidence, which can be arrived at by the use of natural reason alone (as so superbly demonstrated by St. Thomas Aquinas), overwhelmingly points to the existence of a Creator who stands outside of time as a non-material being and the uncaused cause.  But take heart, atheists, as Antony Flew demonstrated, God continues to offer Himself to you; all you need to do is accept His invitation.

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The Holy Trinity - Hendrik van Balen

God the Father, knowing Himself perfectly, eternally reproduces a perfect likeness of Himself by the intellectual generation of the Word, Who is the only-begotten Son of the Father.  As a result of their mutual contemplation, there is eternally exchanged between these two Persons a current of divine love, which is the Holy Spirit.  The knowledge and love that God has for Himself in the ineffable mystery of His infinite beauty constitute His intrinsic glory, to which nothing is lacking and to which nothing can be added.

– From Spiritual Theology by Fr. Jordan Aumann

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