Blessed Wincenty Matuszewski, 1869 – 1940
VATICAN CITY, 13 SEP 2009 (VIS) – At midday today Benedict XVI appeared on the balcony overlooking the internal courtyard of the Apostolic Palace of Castelgandolfo to pray the Angelus with the faithful gathered below.
Commenting on today’s Gospel text, the Pope noted how it “raises two crucial questions which I would summarise thus: ‘who is Jesus of Nazareth for you?’ and ‘is your faith translated into actions or not?’”. To the first of these questions, “Peter’s response is clear and immediate: ‘You are Christ’, in other words the Messiah. … Peter and the other Apostles, unlike most people, believed that Jesus was not only a great teacher or prophet, but much more. They had faith. They believed that God was present and worked in Him.
“However”, the Holy Father added, “immediately after this profession of faith, when for the first time Jesus openly announced that He would have to suffer and be killed, Peter opposed this prospect of torment and death. Jesus had …. to make him understand that it is not enough to believe that He is God but, impelled by charity, we have to follow Him on His journey, the journey of the cross. Jesus did not come to teach us a philosophy but to show us a path, the path that leads to life”.
Pope Benedict went on: “This path is love, which is an expression of true faith. If someone loves his neighbour with a pure and generous heart, this means he truly knows God. If on the other hand someone claims to have faith but does not love his brothers and sisters, he is not a true believer. God does not dwell in him”.
In this context the Holy Father quoted St. John Chrysostom’s commentary on the Letter of James which was the second reading of today’s Mass: “A man may have an upright faith in the Father, in the Son and in the Holy Spirit, but if he does not lead an upright life, his faith will not serve him for his salvation”.
Finally, recalling that tomorrow and the day after are, respectively, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross and the Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows, the Pope said: “The Virgin Mary, who believed in the Word of the Lord, did not lose her faith in God when she saw her Son rejected, humiliated and placed on the cross. She stayed near Jesus, suffering and praying unto the end. And she saw the radiant dawn of His Resurrection. Let us learn from her to bear witness to our faith through a life of humble service, ready to pay personally so as to remain faithful to the Gospel of charity and truth, in the certainty that nothing of what we do will be lost”.
ANG/FAITH CHARITY/… VIS 090914
Isn’t it funny how, every time there are allegations of Christians desecrating the Koran, it incites violence, Christians are killed and forced to leave the area, their property destroyed and confiscated, police watch and do nothing, but later on, it turns out they didn’t actually desecrate anything. While arrests have been made, I’d be surprised if the perpetrators were held accountable for anything. Like murder.
Blessed Józef Innocenty Guz, 1890 – 1940 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Marta Maria Wiecka, 1874 – 1904 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Louis-Zéphirin Moreau, 1824 – 1901
Blessed Józef Kurzawa, 1910 – 1940
Diocesan Priest Martyr
Contrary to the popular belief that Christmas was set on Dec. 25 simply to rival a pagan feast, there are at least 4 theories explaining the date from a Christian perspective. All of them may be true.
Theory 1: Day of Creation and the Conception of Jesus.
David Bennett at Per Christum has an excellent article beginning with this explanation:
The main reason early Christians chose December 25th for the date of Christmas relates to the date of the creation of the world. Jewish thought had placed the date of creation on March 25th, and it was early Christian writer Sextus Julius Africanus who suggested that Christ became incarnate on that date (it makes great symbolic sense!).
According to Sextus Julius, since Christ became incarnate from the moment of his conception, this means that, after 9 months in the Virgin Mary’s womb, Jesus was born on December 25. While the scope of Julius’ influence is unknown, nonetheless, we encounter a Jewish reason why the date of December 25th was chosen for the birth date of Jesus. Read the rest of this entry »
Episcopalian Bishop “Skip” Adams of the Diocese of Central New York also informs the world that morality is an obstacle to God. With “Bishops” like this, the Episcopal “Church” is showing that it has broken from Christianity in more ways that one…er, six…er, 12:
If this faith of ours is going to be a living one, we have to let go of the idea of Christianity as religion, which I understand to be a system of rules and regulations to get people to behave a certain way that we have deemed acceptable. To say it another way, to make Christian faith primarily about being moral and good. By the way, I believe that this approach has direct import on the struggles we have in being and becoming an Anglican Communion. Stay tuned on that one.
There have been differing moral codes associated with Christianity throughout history. Christian faith, in itself, is not a moral code, however. It is a response in faith to the God revealed in Jesus Christ. It was the theologian Jacque Ellul who said in The Subversion of Christianity, “When I say that the revelation of God in Jesus Christ is against morality, I am not trying to say that it replaces one form of morality with another…Revelation is an attack on all morality, as is wonderfully shown by the parables of the kingdom of heaven, that of the prodigal son, that of the talents, that of the eleventh hour laborers, that of the unfaithful steward, and many others (I would add Zacchaeus in the tree). In all the parables the person who serves as an example has not lived a moral life. The one who is rejected is the one who has lived a moral life. Naturally this does not mean that we are counseled to become robbers, murderers, adulterers, etc. On the contrary, the behavior to which we are summoned surpasses morality, all morality, which is shown to be an obstacle to encounter with God.” Read the rest of this entry »
Assist me by the wings of your prayers,
O you who are called the Mother of the living,
so that on my exit from this valley of tears
I may be able to advance without torment
to the dwelling of life
that has been prepared for us
to lighten the end of a life burdened by my iniquity.
Healer of the sorrows of Eve,
change my day of anguish into a feast of gladness.
Be my Advocate,
ask and supplicate.
For as I believe in your inexpressible purity,
so do I also believe in
the good reception that is given to your word.
O you who are blessed among women,
help me with your tears
for I am in danger.
Bend the knee to obtain my reconciliation,
O Mother of God.
Be solicitous for me for I am miserable, Read the rest of this entry »
Soon to retire Bishop of Lancaster Patrick O’Donoghue issues landmark document on the English Church, the Catholic Herald reported today.
The Church in England and Wales is losing its Catholic identity, a senior bishop said this week.
Bishop Patrick O’Donoghue of Lancaster made the claim in a 92-page document highly critical of the direction of the Church in the past 40 years The document, described by several parish priests as “dynamite”, addresses declining vocations, falling Mass attendance and the future of the Church. Read the rest of this entry »
It’s not all surprising, but some of this is shocking. This map from Adherents.com, shows us the largest denominations in each state after the Catholic Church is excluded. Catholicism which comprises about 25% of the US population is the largest single church in the country, that is, the Catholic Church has the largest plurality. Read the rest of this entry »
Guess what this distortion of the globe represents before you look below the break.
What do you think this is? Read the rest of this entry »
Evangelicals have been going through a major change of heart in their view of Catholicism over the past 15 years or so. In the 80′s when I was in college I lived in the Biblebelt and had plenty of experience with Evangelicals–much of it bad experience. The 80′s was the height of the “Are you saved?” question. In Virginia, the question often popped up in the first 10 minutes of getting to know someone. As I look back, Isurmise that this was coached from the pulpit or Sunday school as it was so well coordinated and almost universally applied. It was a good tactic for putting Catholics on the defensive even before it was known that they were Catholic—”ummmm, uhhh, well no, I’m not sure, I’m Catholic.” Then a conversation about works righteousness or saint statues would ensue. Yeah, nice to meet you, too.
Thankfully, those days are pretty much over. We now have formerly rabid anti-Catholics apologizing and even praising the pope. Catholics and Evangelicals have both learned that we have much in common and need each other to face the secular culture with a solid front. But, where did this detente come from? I think there is a real history to be told here and a book should be written. Let me give my perceptions of 7 major developments since 1993, which I regard as the the watershed year for the renewal of the Catholic Church in the United States.
1. The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1993. When this document came out, it was uncertain that even Catholics would read it. We should have known that something was up when the French version hit the top of the bestsellers charts in France and stayed there for months. The English version did the same in the US. Catholics were reading the Catechism, forming study groups and challenging errant professors in the classroom. Read the rest of this entry »
Defiant faith: Bishop John Han was imprisoned on 11 occasions
I know the music is contemporary and many traditionalists will not like it. Still, it captures the Spirit of modern youth and fits with the Holy Father’s them of the Holy Spirit for WYD 2008. When I saw these images I was truly moved.
Having been to two WYD’s (Toronto and Cologne) I can attest that they are supremely powerful experiences. To have the gospel sifted for its specific message for today’s youth by the greatest spiritual authorities on earth is just impossible to express. It is overwhelming.
But, it can be hard to convey that experience to those who were not there.
However, Benedict’s words in themselves, even without all the experiencial props to heighten the experience, have a power to clear ones thinking and set ones heart aright. He seamlessly weaves together concerns for the environment, sexual exploitation, materialism and secularism all in light of the universal spiritual hunger for the Gospel. Powerful!
Here are some of his words at Sydney Harbor on Thursday:
“…Dear friends, life is not governed by chance; it is not random. Your very existence has been willed by God, blessed and given a purpose (cf. Gen 1:28)! Life is not just a succession of events or experiences, helpful though many of them are. It is a search for the true, the good and the beautiful. It is to this end that we make our choices; it is for this that we exercise our freedom; it is in this – in truth, in goodness, and in beauty – that we find happiness and joy. Do not be fooled by those who see you as just another consumer in a market of undifferentiated possibilities, where choice itself becomes the good, novelty usurps beauty, and subjective experience displaces truth. Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Marianna Biernacka, 1888 – 1943 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Choukrallah Maloyan, 1869 – 1915 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Luigi Boccardo, 1861 – 1936 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Nicola da Gesturi, 1882 -1958 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Ann of Saint Bartholomew, 1549 – 1626 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Pope John XXIII, 1881 – 1963 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Giovanni Battista Scalabrini, 1839 -1905 Read the rest of this entry »
Blessed Nicolas Barrè, 1621 – 1686 Read the rest of this entry »
Saint Rita of Cascia, 1386 – 1456 Read the rest of this entry »
A vein of theology infecting the Church today makes an attempt to discern who the “real” authors of the Gospels were and when they wrote. One of the claims is that the Gospel of Matthew, long considered to be the first Gospel (by Matthew, hence the name), was actually written after 70 AD by an author who was not a disciple of Jesus. This claim is based on the facts that Matthew and Mark are so similar to each other that one must have been copied from the other and the inclusion of the predicted destruction of the Jerusalem Temple in the Gospel of Matthew which did occur in 70 AD.
Papias, bishop of Heirapolis, who was a student of the Apostle John and a companion of Polycarp (also a student of John), wrote that Matthew was the first to record a Gospel in writing, which he did for the Israelites in the Hebrew language. Irenaeus, bishop of Lyon, wrote “Against Heresies” at the end of the Second Century. To the best of my knowledge that has never been disputed. In it he said:
Matthew published his gospel among the Hebrews in their own tongue, when Peter and Paul were preaching the Gospel in Rome and founding the church there. After their departure Mark, the disciple and interpreter of Peter, himself handed down to us in writing the substance of Peter’s preaching. Luke, the follower of Paul, set down in a book the gospel preached by his teacher. Then John, the disciple of the Lord, who also leaned on his breast, himself produced his gospel, while he was living at Ephesus in Asia.