Concluding that there is a slippery slope doesn't get much easier than this. In this day and age of available information at one's fingertips, what possible excuse can there be to miss it?
Wednesday, July 11, 2018
Pope St. Leo the Great, writing about St. Peter healing the lame (Acts 3:6), notes how, healing the man's legs, he also, by the power of God, and only by the power of God, healed the hearts of the multitude who then received the gift of Faith. Earlier I pondered at the idea what this gift of supernatural Faith was for. Why do I pray for an increase in Faith? For many months I prayed for the power to move the mountains in my life. But it occurred to me today to dig deeper. What do the Scriptures say? We live by Faith.
To be broken-hearted is like dying slowly. There is in it a keen feeling of asphyxiation, suffocating in anguish and despair. Faith in God lifts that up and off because there is Someone who saves, Someone who cares enough to journey with us through our sorrows and consoles us with a better tomorrow. This is also why the compassion of Christians, walking beside the downtrodden, is crucial, because it delivers the compassion of God with that human dimension in space and time. Yes, Jesus is the Son of Man, and that indeed is who we Christians are.
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
I once heard a magnificent talk given by Bishop Robert Baron where he points out the irresistible power of the Church, promised by Jesus at Caesarea Philippi: "and the gates of Hades will not prevail against it." And Bishop Baron points out that gates do not attack, so this is not about the Church being impregnable, but rather it is the Church that marches onward, and the gates of Hades must give way.
How much marching have we been doing, each of us, in or families, in our parishes and schools, in society? For me, not much.
From Haggai 1:1-2:9
The Lord of Hosts says this: Reflect carefully how things have gone for you. The abundance you expected proved to be little. When you brought the harvest in, my breath spoilt it. And why? – it is the Lord of Hosts who speaks. Because while my House lies in ruins you are busy with your own, each one of you.
Tuesday, June 19, 2018
Keeping in mind that love does not refer here to an emotion, but an active will to the good of the other, Christian charity (caritas, love, aggape) becomes they most potent form of destroying one's enemies by making them enemies no more. This is in keeping with how Christ exceedingly fulfills the old Law in every way, and God's way is not our way.
Saint Hilary (c.315-367), Bishop of Poitiers, Doctor of the Church
On Matthew, IV, 27
“Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect”
“You have learnt what is said: Love your neighbor and hate your enemy…” In fact the Law required love of neighbor but allowed freedom to hate one’s enemy. Faith demands that we love our enemies. By means of a universal feeling of charity it breaks the movements of violence in man’s spirit, not just by restraining its vengeful anger but even more by pacifying it to the point of making us love those in the wrong. To love those who love you belongs to the pagan and we all have an affection for those who show it to us themselves. So Christ is calling us to live as children of God and imitate Him who, through the coming of his Christ, gives sun and rain to the good and the guilty alike in the sacraments of baptism and the Spirit. In this way he forms us according to the perfect life by means of this bond of kindness to all by calling us to imitate a heavenly Father who is perfect.
Thursday, May 31, 2018
After the disastrous but salt unsurprising results from the Irish referendum on protecting the unborn (the answer was apparently "No."), my mind keeps turning to the question of where we go from here. Wiser heads than mine have answers, if not matching orders, e.g., evangelize like hobbits would. Or by domestic church. The practical reality though cannot exclude other means: in schools and in parishes.
Monday, May 28, 2018
Friday, May 18, 2018
Wednesday, May 02, 2018
I thought this beautifully written excerpt would be thought-provoking reading for Christians who wonder at Catholics who pray to Mary. This was written by Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, who was a true Marian devotee and advocate of the same. It was the gospel commentary from dailygospel.org from today's Mass. The Gospel reading is from John 15:1-8.
[Jesus] is our only master, who must teach us; our only Lord, on whom we must depend; our only head, to whom alone we should belong; our only model, whom we should imitate; our only physician, who must heal us; our only shepherd, who must feed us; our only Way, who must lead us; our only Truth, whom we must believe; our only Life, who must be our life; and our sole sufficiency in all things, that in him we may have all in All. Except the Name of Jesus, there is no other name given under Heaven whereby we must be saved; and apart from Jesus Christ, God has given us no other foundation of our salvation, our perfection and our glory: "for other foundation no man can lay, but that which is laid; which is Christ Jesus" (1Cor 3:11). Every house which is not built upon this firm rock, is founded on the shifting sands, and will inevitably fall sooner or later. Every soul who is not united with Christ as a branch to the stem of the vine, will fall off, wither and become fit only for the fire. If we are in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ in us, we need not fear damnation; neither angels in heaven nor men on earth, neither demons in hell nor any other creature can harm us because they cannot separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus (cf. Rm 8:38-39).
Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716), preacher, founder of religious communities
Treatise on the true devotion to the Blessed Virgin, (Article one; First Truth)