Wednesday, June 29, 2011
By transferring Corpus Christi to Sunday, its immediate association with Holy Thursday is lost. I am glad that I am not alone in this ranting. Guess who rants in the same way?
follow the link: ZENIT - Liturgy Official Backs Return of Corpus Christi to Thursday
Monday, June 27, 2011
Marahil, madali para sa atin ang ipagwalang bahala ang kalagayan ng Simbahan sa Europa sapagkat tila malayo ito mangyari sa Pilipinas. Sa pag-aakala ng marami, Katoliko sarado pa rin ang ating bansa: punung puno pa rin ang maraming simbahan at iginagalang pa rin ng marami ang mga pari. Subalit ganito rin ang Europa noong dekada singkwenta: punung puno rin ang mga simbahan, iginagalang ang mga kaparian, ang kulturang Europeo ay malinaw na kulturang Kristiyano. Subalit, sa loob lamang ng napakaiksing panahon, ay baliktad na ang kalagayan: wala nang nagsisimba, hindi na pinakikinggan ang turo ng mga Obispo, napakarami nang nagtatwa sa kanilang pananampalataya.
Kung tutuusin, nakikita na natin dito sa ating bansa ang mga palatandaan ng sekularismo: ang lumalaking hayagang pagsang-ayon ng maraming mga katoliko sa RH at sa diborsyo. At totoo na ang edukasyon ay ang instrumento ng mabilis na pagguho sa pananampalatayang kristiyano. Hindi ba ang mga pangunahing mga tagapagsulong ng mga makabagong pananaw na salungat sa mga turong Kristiyano ay ang mga “edukado” – silang mga may mataas na pinag-aralan? Saan tayo nagkulang? Ano ang nangyari sa mga pamantasan at paaralang Katoliko? Naging tanyag ang ating mga pamantrasa’t paaralan sa paghubog ng mga graduates na bihasa sa kani-kanilang larangan ng pag-aaral. Subalit nagkulang sa paghuhubog sa kanila sa larangan ng pananampalataya. Ang katekismo ay naging malabnaw at nauwi na lang sa “values formation” lamang. Oo nga’t natuturuan natin ang mga kabataan ng kabutihang asal, ngunit higit pa riyan ang dapat nilang matutunan. Kailangan nilang matutunan ang mga aral ng pananampalatayang kristiyano.
Magandang halimbawa ni Manny Pacquiao na minamaliit ng marami dahil sa kanyang hamak na pinanggalingan. Pinaninindigan niya ang turo ng ating pananampalataya hinggil sa RH. Kinukuwento niya na naging bahagi ng buhay ng kanilang pamilya ang panalangin. Tuwing alaskwatro ng madaling araw, tinipon ni nanay Dionisia ang kanyang mga anak para sa sama-samang pagdarasal ng Rosaryo. Ano pa mang hirap ang kanilang pinagdaanan, napagtagumpayan nila ito dahil sa pagtuturo ng kanilang ina. Mula sa kanya natutunan niyang pagpahalagahan ang Simbahang Katolika at ang kanyang mga katuruan.
Mula sa kuwento ng pambansang kamao, natututunan natin ang halaga ng tunay na katekesis. Religion must once again be the core of the curriculum of our Catholic schools. Yes, we want to produce competent graduates but we must never forget that the purpose of Catholic education is “education in the faith.” Ang siryosong at tapat na katekesis sa ating mga paaralan at pamantasan ang magpapaampat sa mabilis na paglaganap ng sekularismo. Sabi ng ating Santo Papa: “Concern for young people calls for courage and clarity in the message we proclaim; we need to help young people to gain confidence and familiarity with sacred Scripture so it can become a compass pointing out the path to follow. Young people need witnesses and teachers who can walk with them, teaching them to love the Gospel and to share it, especially with their peers, and thus to become authentic and credible messengers.” (Benedict XVI, Verbum Domini, 104.)
Napakasimple ng mga palatandaan ng matagumpay na katekesis. Narinig ko ito kay Msgr. Gerry Santos: Alam natin na nakapagbigay tayo ng epektibong katekesis kapag nakita natin ang mga kabataan na nagsisimba at marami sa kanila ang mahikayat na magpari at mag madre. Reality check lang mga kapatid: ilan sa mga estudyante ninyo ang nag pari at nag madre?
Sa Misang ito sa karangalan ng Espiritu Santo, muli nating italaga ang ating sarili sa tunay na paghuhubog sa pananampalataya. Maging masigasig tayo sa katekesis at hingin natin ang tulong ng Espiritu ng katotohanan upang gabayan niya tayo sa lahat ng katotohanan at ang mga kabataan ay maakit na sumunod sa yapak ni Kristo.
Sabi nga ng Santo Papa: “Study centres supported by Catholic groups offer a distinct contribution to the promotion of culture and education – and this ought to be recognized. Nor must religious education be neglected, and religion teachers should be given careful training. Religious education is often the sole opportunity available for students to encounter the message of faith.” (Verbum Domini, 111.)
Saturday, June 25, 2011
The feast of Corpus Domini is inseparable from the Holy Thursday Mass of Caena Domini, in which the institution of the Eucharist is also celebrated. While on the evening of Holy Thursday we relive the mystery of Christ who offers himself to us in the bread broken and wine poured out, today, in celebration of Corpus Domini, this same mystery is proposed for the adoration and meditation of God's people, and the Blessed Sacrament is carried in procession through the streets of towns and villages, to show that the risen Christ walks among us and guides us toward the kingdom of heaven. Today we openly manifest what Jesus has given us in the intimacy of the Last Supper, because the love of Christ is not confined to the few, but is intended for all. This year during the Mass of Our Lord's Last Supper on Holy Thursday, I pointed out that the Eucharist is the transformation of the gifts of this land -- the bread and wine -- intended to transform our lives and usher in the transformation of the world. Tonight I would like to return to this point of view.
Everything starts, you might say, from the heart of Christ, who at the Last Supper on the eve of his passion, thanked and praised God and, in doing so, with the power of his love transformed the meaning of death, which he was about to encounter. The fact that the sacrament of the altar has taken on the name "Eucharist," "thanksgiving," expresses this: that the change in the substance of the bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ is the fruit of the gift that Christ made of himself, a gift of a love stronger than death, divine love that brought him to rise from the dead. That is why the Eucharist is the food of eternal life, the Bread of life. From the heart of Christ, from his "Eucharistic Prayer" on the eve of his passion, flows the dynamism that transforms reality in its cosmic, human and historical dimensions. All proceeds from God, from the omnipotence of his love One and Triune, incarnate in Jesus. The heart of Christ is immersed in this love; because of this he knows how to thank and praise God even in the face of betrayal and violence, and thus changes things, people and the world.
This transformation is possible thanks to a communion stronger than division, the communion of God himself. The word "communion," which we use to designate the Eucharist, sums up the vertical and horizontal dimension of the gift of Christ. The beautiful and eloquent expression "receive communion" refers to the act of eating the bread of the Eucharist. In fact, when we carry out this act, we enter into communion with the very life of Jesus, in the dynamism of this life that is given to us and for us. From God, through Jesus, to us: a unique communion is transmitted in the Holy Eucharist. We have heard as much, in the second reading, from the words of the Apostle Paul to the Christians of Corinth: "The cup of blessing that we bless, is it not a participation in the blood of Christ? The bread that we break, is it not a participation in the body of Christ"(1 Corinthians 10:16-17).
St. Augustine helps us to understand the dynamics of holy Communion when referring to a kind of vision he had, in which Jesus said to him: "I am the food of the mature: grow, then, and you shall eat me. You will not change me into yourself like bodily food; but you will be changed into me"(Confessions, VII, 10, 18). Therefore, while the bodily food is assimilated by the body and contributes to sustain it, the Eucharist is a different bread: We do not assimilate it, but it assimilates us to itself, so that we become conformed to Jesus Christ and members of his body, one with him. This is a decisive passage. Indeed, precisely because it is Christ who, in Eucharistic communion, transforms us into him, our individuality, in this encounter, is opened up, freed from its self-centeredness and placed in the Person of Jesus, who in turn is immersed in the Trinitarian communion. Thus, while the Eucharist unites us to Christ, we open ourselves to others making us members one of another: We are no longer divided, but one thing in him. Eucharistic communion unites me to the person next to me, and to the one with whom perhaps I might not even have a good relationship, but also to my brothers and sisters who are far away, in every corner of the world. Thus the deep sense of social presence of the Church is derived from the Eucharist, as evidenced by the great social saints, who have always been great Eucharistic souls. Those who recognize Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, recognize their brother who suffers, who is hungry and thirsty, who is a stranger, naked, sick, imprisoned, and they are attentive to every person, committing themselves, in a concrete way, to those who are in need.
So from the gift of Christ's love comes our special responsibility as Christians in building a cohesive, just and fraternal society. Especially in our time when globalization makes us increasingly dependent upon each other, Christianity can and must ensure that this unity will not be built without God, without true Love. This would give way to confusion and individualism, the oppression of some against others. The Gospel has always aimed at the unity of the human family, a unity not imposed from above, or by ideological or economic interests, but from a sense of responsibility toward each other, because we identify ourselves as members of the same body, the body of Christ, because we have learned and continually learn from the Sacrament of the Altar that communion, love is the path of true justice.
Let us return to Jesus' act in the Last Supper. What happened at that moment? When he said: This is my body which is given to you, this is my blood shed for you and for the multitude, what happened? Jesus in that gesture anticipates the event of Calvary. He accepts his passion out of love, with its trial and its violence, even to death on the cross; by accepting it in this way he transforms it into an act of giving. This is the transformation that the world needs most, because he redeems it from within, he opens it up to the kingdom of heaven. But God always wants to accomplish this renewal of the world through the same path followed by Christ, indeed, the path that is himself. There is nothing magic in Christianity. There are no shortcuts, but everything passes through the patient and humble logic of the grain of wheat that is broken to give life, the logic of faith that moves mountains with the gentle power of God. This is why God wants to continue to renew humanity, history and the cosmos through this chain of transformations, of which the Eucharist is the sacrament. Through the consecrated bread and wine, in which his Body and Blood is truly present, Christ transforms us, assimilating us in him: He involves us in his redeeming work, enabling us, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, to live according to his same logic of gift, like grains of wheat united with him and in him. Thus unity and peace, which are the goal for which we strive, are sown and mature in the furrows of history, according to God's plan.
Without illusions, without ideological utopias, we walk the streets of the world, bringing within us the Body of the Lord, like the Virgin Mary in the mystery of the Visitation. With the humble awareness that we are simple grains of wheat, we cherish the firm conviction that the love of God, incarnate in Christ, is stronger than evil, violence and death. We know that God is preparing for all people new heavens and new earth where peace and justice prevail -- and by faith we glimpse the new world, that is our true home. Also this evening as the sun sets on our beloved city of Rome, we set out again on this path: With us is Jesus in the Eucharist, the Risen One, who said, "I am with you always, until the end of world "(Mt 28:20). Thank you, Lord Jesus! Thank you for your fidelity, which sustains our hope. Stay with us, because the evening comes. "Jesus, good shepherd and true bread, have mercy on us; feed us and guard us. Grant that we find happiness in the land of the living." Amen.
ZENIT - Benedict XVI's Corpus Christi Homily
Thursday, June 23, 2011
"Concretely, this means that the Masses offered by the priests of the Society of St. Pius X are valid, but illicit, i.e., contrary to Canon Law. The Sacraments of Penance and Matrimony, however, require that the priest enjoys the faculties of the diocese or has proper delegation. Since that is not the case with these priests, these sacraments are invalid. It remains true, however, that, if the faithful are genuinely ignorant that the priests of the Society of St. Pius X do not have proper faculty to absolve, the Church supplies these faculties so that the sacrament is valid (cf. Code of Canon Law, canon 144).
"While it is true that participation in the Mass at chapels of the Society of St. Pius X does not of itself constitute 'formal adherence to the schism' (cf. Ecclesia Dei 5, c), such adherence can come about over a period of time as one slowly imbibes a schismatic mentality which separates itself from the teaching of the Supreme Pontiff and the entire Catholic Church. While we hope and pray for a reconciliation with the Society of St. Pius X, the Pontifical Commission "Ecclesia Dei" cannot recommend that members of the faithful frequent their chapels for the reasons which we have outlined above. We deeply regret this situation and pray that soon a reconciliation of the Society of St. Pius X with the Church may come about, but until such time the explanations which we have given remain in force."
Thus I think it is fairly clear. The mere fact of assisting at a Mass of this society is not a sin. It would only become so if a person attended this Mass with the deliberate intention of separating himself from communion with the Roman Pontiff and those in communion with him.
follow the link ZENIT - Mass With the Society of St. Pius X
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
He looks with love upon every human being. The Gospel confirms this at every step. One can also say that this "loving look" of Christ contains, as it were, a summary and synthesis of the entire Good News. If we would seek the beginning of this look, we must turn back to the Book of Genesis, to that instant when, after the creation of man "male and female", God saw that "it was very good".(Gen. 1:31) That very first look of the Creator is reflected in the look of Christ which accompanies his conversation with the young man in the Gospel.
We know that Christ will confirm and seal this look with the redemptive Sacrifice of the Cross, because precisely by means of this Sacrifice that "look' reached a particular depth of love. In it is contained an affirmation of man and of humanity such as only he is capable of-Christ the Redeemer and Bridegroom. Only he "knows what is in every man":(cf. John 2:25) he knows man's weakness, but he also and above all knows his dignity.
My wish for each of you is that you may discover this look of Christ, and experience it in all its depth. I do not know at what moment in your life. I think that it will happen when you need it most: perhaps in suffering, perhaps together with the witness of a pure conscience, as in the case of that young man in the Gospel, or perhaps precisely in an opposite situation: together with the sense of guilt, with remorse of conscience. For Christ looked at Peter too in the hour of his fall: when he had three times denied his Master.(cf. Luke 22:61)
Man needs this loving look. He needs to know that he is loved, loved eternally and chosen from eternity.(cf. Eph. 1:4) At the same time, this eternal love of divine election accompanies man during life as Christ's look of love. And perhaps most powerfully at the moment of trial, humiliation, persecution, defeat, when our humanity is as it were blotted out in the eyes of other people, insulted and trampled upon. At that moment the awareness that the Father has always loved us in his Son, that Christ always loves each of us, becomes a solid support for our whole human existence. When everything would make us doubt ourselves and the meaning of our life, then this look of Christ, the awareness of the love that in him has shown itself more powerful than any evil and destruction, this awareness enables us to survive.
My wish for you then is that you may experience what the young man in the Gospel experienced: "Jesus, looking upon him, loved him".
follow this link: Deacons should preach less at Mass, Michigan bishop says :: Catholic News Agency (CNA)
The Supernatural origin of the Rosary was affirmed by Leo XIII. I find it difficult to accept Modernists' attempts to demythologize the Rosary. I figure that if the Blessed Virgin did not give the Rosary to St. Dominic, how could we explain the numerous graces that this wonderful devotion brings not only upon the devotees but the whole Church as well. A number of times, the Blessed Virgin herself tells us to have recourse to the Rosary.
follow the link Canterbury Tales by Taylor Marshall: Criticism: Did Mary Really Give the Rosary to Sain...:
Sunday, June 19, 2011
The existence of God is a truth that is accessible to human reason. The 5 ways of St. Thomas Aquinas prove the point that by observing the world around us, we can prove that there is a God. But the identity of the true God cannot be accessed by human reason except by way of Divine Revelation. The Catechism of the Catholic Church says: “‘The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the ‘mysteries that are hidden in God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God.’ To be sure, God has left traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout the Old Testament. But the inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible to reason alone or even to Israel’s faith before the Incarnation of God’s Son and the sending of the Holy Spirit.” (CCC, 237.)
It is necessary to know the True God because it is so easy for us to be deceived by posers and pretenders and be led to idolatry. The Holy Father warns us of the danger of “yielding to the seduction of idolatry -- a continual temptation for the believer -- by fooling (ourselves) itself into thinking (we) it could ‘serve two masters’ (cf. Matthew 6:24; Luke 16:13) and ease the impenetrable ways of faith in the Almighty by also placing (our) its trust in a powerless god fashioned by man.” (Benedict XVI, Wednesday Audience, 15 June 2011.) And many of us prefer to worship idols than the true God. Why? It is because idols can be manipulated. Like the priests of Baal, idol worshippers “turn to themselves in order to approach their god, relying on their own abilities to bring about a response.” (ibid.) Idol worshippers think that if they chanted the right words, or concentrated hard enough, or did drastic things, they could manipulate the forces of the universe to their advantage.
But the true God is not some dead idol whose will we can bend to ours. He is a God who has his own will, one who loves in a very personal way: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son.” This very famous verse shows us the Trinity: the Father who sends, the Son who is given, and the Holy Spirit who is Love. This true God wills nothing but our salvation: “so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life.” He wants to save us from the slavery of idolatry. Idols do not have the same good will because they are lifeless and powerless fabrications of the human imagination. Lifeless gods cannot save. Only the Trinity, the true God, can give eternal life.
When we adore the true God, we do not manipulate him. Because he is a living God, he has his own will. We do not and cannot make him bend his will. Rather, “the primary end of prayer is conversion: the fire of God transforms our hearts and makes us capable of seeing God, of living according to God and of living for the other.” (Ibid.) St. Paul said to the Corinthians: “Mend your ways, encourage one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.” We are the ones who should mend our ways. We must turn away from our idolatries and allow the fire of God’s love to burn, purify and transform us into authentic worshippers – worshippers in Spirit and in truth.
Friday, June 17, 2011
"What is in question here first and foremost is the priority of the first commandment: to adore God alone. Where God disappears, man falls into the slavery of idolatry, as the totalitarian regimes of our own time have demonstrated, along with the various forms of nihilism that make man dependent upon idols, upon idolatry -- they enslave him. Second: the primary end of prayer is conversion: the fire of God transforms our hearts and makes us capable of seeing God, of living according to God and of living for the other. And the third point: The Fathers tell us that this history of a prophet is also prophetic, if -- they say -- it foreshadows the future, the future Christ, it is a step on the path to Christ. And they tell us that here we see the true fire of God: the love that leads the Lord all the way to the Cross, to the total gift of Himself. True adoration of God, then, is to give oneself to God and to men -- true adoration is love. And true adoration of God does not destroy, but renews. Certainly, the fire of God, the fire of love burns, transforms, purifies, but it is precisely in this way that it does not destroy but rather creates the truth of our being, recreates our hearts. And thus, truly alive by the grace of the fire of the Holy Spirit, of God's love, may we be adorers in spirit and in truth."
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Blessed Columba Marmion said that the sending of the Holy Spirit, “like every other grace, was merited for us by Jesus. It is the fruit of His Passion; Christ purchased it by the sufferings endured in his sacred humanity.” (Marmion, Christ in His Mysteries, 377.) Before he suffered, the Lord assured his disciples of the necessity of his departure so that he could send them the Holy Spirit: “If I do not leave you, the Paraclete will never come. But if I go, I will send Him to you.” (John 16:7) By suffering and by dying on the Cross, Christ merited for us the grace of the Holy Spirit. The generous outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon the Church is the very fruit of Christ’s labor.
The Holy Spirit in the Blessed Trinity “is the completion, the ending of path, the consummation of life in God; He closes the interior cycle of the wonderful operations of the divine life.” (Marmion, 380.) What does this mean? In the interior life of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit is the mutual love of the Father and the Son. Thus, the Holy Spirit completes the cycle of love in the Trinity. Because of what He is in the Trinity, the Holy Spirit completes, crowns, consummates everything in the work of grace and sanctification. “He is the Divine Artist who, by his finishing touches, brings the work to its sovereign perfection; He is the ‘Finger of God’s right hand’. The work that is attributed to the Holy Spirit – in the Church, as in souls – is that of leading to its end, to its completion, to its ultimate perfection, the unceasing labor of holiness.” (Marmion, 380-381.)
How does the Holy Spirit bring the unceasing labor of holiness to its ultimate perfection? First, he does this by leading us to all truth: He is the Spirit of Truth who will lead us to all truth and remind us of everything Jesus taught us. He gives us the interior witness to the Lordship of Christ. Thus St. Paul said to the Corinthians: “No one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit.” He is the One who convinces us interiorly that this Jesus of Nazareth is the One truly sent by God and made Lord of all. Because the tongue is the organ of speech by which witness is given and preaching of the name of Jesus is spread throughout the world, therefore on Pentecost day, the Holy Spirit descended visibly in the form of tongues.
But he also descended in fire. Tongues as of fire appeared and rested on the disciples. This is so “because the Holy Spirit comes to fill with love the hearts of the disciples. He is Love in person, subsistent Love, in the life of God. He is also like the breath, the breathing-forth of the Infinite Love from which we draw life. It is recounted in Genesis that God ‘breathed the breath of life’ into the matter formed from the mud of the ground. This vital breath was the symbol of the Spirit to whom we owe our supernatural life. On the day of Pentecost, the Divine Spirit brought such an abundance of life to the whole Church….By descending upon them, the Holy Spirit infused into them that Love which is Himself. It was necessary that the apostles be filled with love, so that in preaching the name of Jesus they might make the love of their Master arise in the souls of their hearers. It was necessary that their testimony, dictated by the Holy Spirit, be so full of life as to attach the world to Jesus Christ.” (Marmion, 382.)
It is by Truth and Love that the Holy Spirit perfects us in holiness. It is by guiding us to Truth that the Holy Spirit delivers us from the deceptions of this world and brings us to Jesus, the One and the only one who can truly give us life. It is by increasing us in Charity that the Holy Spirit brings us to a greater share in the life of God who is Love. Therefore, let us always listen and submit ourselves to him who is both the Spirit of Truth and the Love of God poured into our hearts. “Be faithful to this Spirit who comes within us, with the Father and the Son, to take his abode there. ‘Do you not know that you are the Temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells within you?’ (Eph 4:30) Every increase of grace is like new a reception of this divine Guest, a new taking of the possession of our soul by Him, a new embrace of love.” (Marmion, 390.) To him, we say: “Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of thy faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love.”
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Monday, June 13, 2011
The offspring of Manes, whom under the name of Albigenses you so successfully combatted, would now, under the new appellation of Freemasonry, have all France at its beck. Your native Portugal beholds the same monster stalking in broad daylight almost to the very altar itself, and the whole world is being intoxicated by its poison.
O St. Anthony of Padua, you who fly daily to the aid of your devotees in their private necessities, you whose power is the same in Heaven as heretofore upon earth, succour the Church, we implore you: Come to the aid of God's people, have pity upon society, now more universally and deeply menaced than ever. O you, Ark of the Covenant, return our generation, so terribly devoid of love and faith, to the serious study of the sacred letters, in which lies so energizing a power. O you, Hammer of Heretics, strike once more such blows as will make Hell tremble and the heavenly powers thrill with joy."
Tuesday, June 7, 2011
Dear young friends! Do not allow this treasure to be taken away from you! Do not inscribe in the plan of your life a deformed, impoverished and falsified content: love "rejoices in the truth". Seek out this truth where it is really to be found! If necessary, be resolved to go against the current of popular opinion and propaganda slogans! Do not be afraid of the love that places clear demands on people. These demands-as you find them in the constant teaching of the Church-are precisely capable of making your love a true love.
If anywhere, it is especially here that I wish to repeat the hope which I expressed at the beginning, namely, that you will be "always prepared to make a defence to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you!". The Church and humanity entrust to you the great reality of that love which is the basis of marriage, the family and the future. The Church and humanity firmly believe that you will bring about its rebirth; they firmly believe that you will make it beautiful: beautiful in a human and Christian way. In a human and Christian way great, mature and responsible. "
Sunday, June 5, 2011
Pro-RH lawmakers insist they are Catholics but in the same breath disagree with the Catholic hierarchy’s rejection of the RH bill. This constitutes contradiction of the first degree.
Oneness in doctrine is one of the conditions defining Catholicism. The second is holiness of origin, and the third is apostolic succession. Holiness means that the Church is holy because it has been established by Jesus Christ who is Himself holy and that it is guided by the Holy Spirit in the proclamation of the truth and the administration of sacraments. Apostolic means that the Church traces its authenticity and heritage to the apostles who were instructed by Jesus Christ to evangelize the world headed by the apostle Peter: “Thou art Peter and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. To thee I will give the keys to the kingdom of Heaven and whatsoever thou shall bind on earth shall also be bound in Heaven. And whatever thou shall loose on earth shall also be loosed in Heaven.”
From this awesome passage in the Holy Scripture declaring the wisdom, love and trust of God, the Church grew and prospered organizationally and doctrinally under the guidance of the Holy Spirit beginning right after Pentecost.
The Catholic Church is firm in its stand that the killing of the unborn is intrinsically evil, a morality issue. And that the right to life and its preservation are guaranteed by the Constitution and that Catholics are free to practice their religious beliefs. If enacted into law the RH bill will be coercive for Catholics because they will be legislated to act against their faith and their will.
In the legislature, we have politicians who push for the enactment of the RH bill while proudly proclaiming that they are Catholics. They become evasive and rhetorical in confronting the Catholic objection to the bill’s birth control objectives which prescribe abortion-inducing abortifacients, contraceptives and invasive means such as ligation and sterilization.
The occurrence in contemporary times of Catholics who do not share the official teachings of the Church’s magisterium is widespread in the United States, the melting pot of rights and freedom for individual thinking and judgment.
Catholics who choose what or what not to believe in the composite teachings of the Church are popularly called “cafeteria Catholics.” Just like in a turo-turo restaurant, they choose to eat only what they like and skip those that don’t appeal to their taste.
Relativism, the “ism” that spawned cafeteria Catholics, was influenced by several philosophical, economic and scientific developments that took place during the last two centuries. In Central Europe, these developments caused the shift of societies’ dependence on the Christian religion as a way of life. The change was labeled as a shift from belief to unbelief. The late Russian Nobel prize-novelist Alexander Solzhenitsyn called it anthropocentricity, with makes man the center of everything that exists. One religious philosopher even redefined God as a “progressive providence,” almost modifying the axiom that truth is permanent and unchangeable.
The last century featured decades of more scientific breakthroughs in medicine, food production, engineering, transportation and communication technologies. The advances in marketing and distribution gave birth to globalization of business and consumer habits, further upgrading lifestyles and multiple-choice consumerism in a pluralistic society. The politics of democracy began to manifest its righteousness in the name of freedom, emphasizing human rights as the end-all and be-all in entertaining all possible human needs in pursuit of individualistic pleasures and conveniences, dimming and deadening Christian morality in human awareness and consequent acts.
Relativism has long encroached on the modern urban societies of the Western World, causing changes in both the political, social and religious tradition of politics and culture of the country.
Cafeteria Catholics exemplify this change from belief to unbelief in this age of modernism, affecting not only the legislation of our politics but also the behavior of our constituency.
To preserve the integrity of their faith, Catholics must re-study and re-learn their religion in order to gain depth in and perspective on their faith. They must discern not only the role of faith and reason in enhancing their adherence to the Gospel but also the doctrinal beauty and power of their catechism.
Minyong Ordoñez is a freelance journalist and a member of the Manila Overseas Press Club. Email: email@example.com
follow this link: From belief to unbelief
Both are farthest from the truth.
Many people certainly do not know that Manny’s stand on contraceptive use, in fact, outdates all the current debates on the Reproductive Health bill. Early this year, a prolife advocate visited Pacquiao in Congress. There he told the story of his family to the advocate, an obstetrician-gynecologist from Davao City.
Prayer had always been a tradition in his family, he narrated. His mother Dionisia would never fail to gather the entire brood together and pray the rosary on their knees at four in the morning. That he, said, taught them to hurdle the many difficulties they had gone through in the past. It was this that not only solidified their family, but brought them to love the Catholic Church and its tenets.
He also said that he had long made up his mind on his stand against the RH bill. It was a stand that his family culture had shaped and molded long before.
For people to speculate now that he was only being used as a tool of the bishops and as a puppet by the anti-RH representatives in Congress is not only getting the facts wrong. It is precisely belittling Manny’s own ability to make judgments on an important social issue festering in the country. For those who believe that they are intellectually gifted, it is certainly a conceited way of saying that those who they perceive to have nothing between their ears have nothing to say on the issue. That is the height of egotism.
A family that prays and loves the Church and its tenets—these are in fact simple virtues but profound principles that are now staring us in the face in the midst of all this anti-Church bashing over the RH bill. And the lesson comes from Manny Pacquiao. His foray into the debates, I understand, has angered the pro-RH camp who would have loved to have had him as their poster boy. In fact, it is they who need enlightenment and change allegiances at this time to join him and those who are pro-life, many of whom are lay people and not bishops and priests.
For the RH debate is a debate about faith. It is not about the license to formulate one’s theological tenets. Commentary writer Minyong Ordoñez said it very plainly in his opinion piece last Friday. Those who openly bash the Church and think they are still Catholics are in fact living lives of inconsistency. “Why be a Catholic if one thinks his religion is erroneous?”
Those who profess for the side of contraception are in fact teaching a very erroneous type of faith. What they are saying now is for us to leave our faith at our doorsteps each time we venture outside the home. A fellow columnist once seethed with rage when I said that the bedroom is part of the Church, something that was not understood from the perspective of faith praxis. But it is correct, our faith is present everywhere we are, whether in the private or public forum.
When we leave the house, we cannot command our faith, “Stay!” as though it were a lapdog. Legislators who profess they are Catholics are in fact showing us the way to schizophrenia.
Faith cannot be legislated. Faith is a matter of personal preference. To legislate something that mandates people to act against their faith is abominable to one’s human rights. To use contraceptives is a personal question of preference. If one does not prefer to practice it because it is deemed against one’s faith, we cannot question that. Hence, to prosecute people for not allowing contraceptive use is the greatest coercion. The best way to end this division is not to have a Reproductive Health bill at all.
But these are times we live in when it is common for many Catholics not to agree with the official teachings of the Church. That is why surveys and polls are not the solution. Church teachings are not taught according to popularity. The so-called “sense of the faithful” becomes a sense only if those who avow it are truly faithful to Church teaching. Fidelity to the Church requires holiness. These are old truths that cannot be changed just because many do not agree with it.
If the Church were to cave in to pressure in the style of a cafeteria mob demanding that their individual choices be served pronto, what would become of it in the future, for the cafeteria fare also changes? Surely the Church would crumble. A Church it would be no more. That is precisely why the Church has survived all these centuries. This is certainly not the first mass issue it faces. It has faced more perverse issues in the past. But why has it survived? There is something there to be asked.
The RH bill can only be understood if we practice what we preach and preserve the integrity of our faith. It is in that faith where we find the answers. Even Manny Pacquiao may not have the answers. But he shows us the way.
follow the link: Belittling Pacquiao
“He ascended into heaven and seated at the right hand of the Father Almighty.” I have serious doubts as to whether we mean what we say or at least understand what we profess whenever we recite these words of the Creed. We acknowledge that our Lord now is enthroned at the right hand of the Father but apparently, we do not see how his exaltation and enthronement is related to our daily lives. As far as many of us are concerned, the ascension of Christ into heaven may have exalted him but also it sort of isolated him. Now that he is up there in heaven, the Lord Jesus no longer has anything to do with our society and our individual lives as well. By ascending into heaven, the Lord has secluded himself in some sort of tower of ivory. Because he is way up there, we conduct our affairs here on earth the way we want them to be. Amidst the controversy about the RH bill, the legalization of divorce in very Catholic Malta gives the enemies of the Church an occasion to pursue now the cause of divorce in the Philippines. Many consider this as a test of the influence of the Catholic Church in society.
But are these issues simply tests on the social influence of the Church? I see something sinister here because what is at issue is not simply the social impact of the Catholic religion. Rather, what is at stake here is the recognition of the Lordship of Jesus Christ. This is what the ascension is about. It is about the exaltation of Jesus Christ as Lord of heaven and earth. Jesus ascended into heaven to be seated at the right hand of the Father “far above every principality, authority, power, and dominion, and every name that is named not only in this age but also in the age to come.” This means that the Father bestows upon Jesus all authority in the heavens, on the earth, and under the earth: “All power in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” He has power to rule and he reigns as king. He has the right to our obedience and humble submission: “(The Father) put all things beneath his feet and gave him as head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fullness of the one who fills all things in every way.” What is happening throughout the world is really a whole scale rebellion against the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Just think of it: the rejection of the sanctity and the creative powers of the Marital Act, the rejection of the lifelong bond of Sacred Matrimony – are these not outright rejections of Divinely revealed commandments and precepts? It does not need much effort to recognize the diabolic hand behind all these. An infernal enemy is preventing the spread of the Kingdom of God on earth. A diabolic enemy is turning the flock against the Shepherd by undermining the divinity of the Church as the Mystical Body of Christ. It is true that our struggle today is not merely against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers in higher places.
The Ascension did not isolate Jesus into some ivory tower up there. The Ascension is the enthronement of Jesus as King and Lord of heaven and earth. Being Lord, his laws and teachings apply here on earth as it is in heaven. This is why those who oppose the teachings of the Church ought to clarify in categorical terms: Do you profess allegiance to Jesus Christ? Is he your Lord and King? Because if he is, then obey his commandments. Because no one can serve two masters, no one can call for the use of artificial contraception and for Divorce and at the same time say that they belong to Christ. Catholics for a free choice are not Catholics at all! Either you are for him or you are against him. If you are not for Jesus, then you belong to the evil one. There is no grey area. “He who does not gather with me scatters,” says the Lord. Either you are a subject of Christ or his enemy. Let us call a spade a spade.
On our part, it is our mandate to “make disciples of all nations…teaching them to observe all that (Christ) has commanded (us).” While Christ’s enemies are bent on hindering the spread of his kingdom, let us never tire of teaching all to observe his commandments. All nations are his. He redeemed us at the price of his Blood. He deserves to receive the obedience of all nations.
Saturday, June 4, 2011
Friday, June 3, 2011
Wednesday, June 1, 2011
On the Promotion of the Study of Latin
The wisdom of the ancient world, enshrined in Greek and Roman literature, and the truly memorable teaching of ancient peoples, served, surely, to herald the dawn of the Gospel which Gods Son, "the judge and teacher of grace and truth, the light and guide of the human race,"1 proclaimed on earth.
Such was the view of the Church Fathers and Doctors. In these outstanding literary monuments of antiquity, they recognized man's spiritual preparation for the supernatural riches which Jesus Christ communicated to mankind "to give history its fulfillment."2
Thus the inauguration of Christianity did not mean the obliteration of man's past achievements. Nothing was lost that was in any way true, just, noble and beautiful.
The Church has ever held the literary evidences of this wisdom in the highest esteem. She values especially the Greek and Latin languages in which wisdom itself is cloaked, as it were, in a vesture of gold. She has likewise welcomed the use of other venerable languages, which flourished in the East. For these too have had no little influence on the progress of humanity and civilization. By their use in sacred liturgies and in versions of Holy Scripture, they have remained in force in certain regions even to the present day, bearing constant witness to the living voice of antiquity.
A primary place
But amid this variety of languages a primary place must surely be given to that language which had its origins in Latium, and later proved so admirable a means for the spreading of Christianity throughout the West.
And since in God's special Providence this language united so many nations together under the authority of the Roman Empire -- and that for so many centuries -- it also became the rightful language of the Apostolic See.3 Preserved for posterity, it proved to be a bond of unity for the Christian peoples of Europe.
The nature of Latin
Of its very nature Latin is most suitable for promoting every form of culture among peoples. It gives rise to no jealousies. It does not favor any one nation, but presents itself with equal impartiality to all and is equally acceptable to all.
Nor must we overlook the characteristic nobility of Latin for mal structure. Its "concise, varied and harmonious style, full of majesty and dignity"4 makes for singular clarity and impressiveness of expression.
Preservation of Latin by the Holy See
For these reasons the Apostolic See has always been at pains to preserve Latin, deeming it worthy of being used in the exercise of her teaching authority "as the splendid vesture of her heavenly doctrine and sacred laws."5 She further requires her sacred ministers to use it, for by so doing they are the better able, wherever they may be, to acquaint themselves with the mind of the Holy See on any matter, and communicate the more easily with Rome and with one another.
Thus the "knowledge and use of this language," so intimately bound up with the Church's life, "is important not so much on cultural or literary grounds, as for religious reasons."6 These are the words of Our Predecessor Pius XI, who conducted a scientific inquiry into this whole subject, and indicated three qualities of the Latin language which harmonize to a remarkable degree with the Church's nature. "For the Church, precisely because it embraces all nations and is destined to endure to the end of time ... of its very nature requires a language which is universal, immutable, and non-vernacular."7
Since "every Church must assemble round the Roman Church,"8 and since the Supreme Pontiffs have "true episcopal power, ordinary and immediate, over each and every Church and each and every Pastor, as well as over the faithful"9 of every rite and language, it seems particularly desirable that the instrument of mutual communication be uniform and universal, especially between the Apostolic See and the Churches which use the same Latin rite.
When, therefore, the Roman Pontiffs wish to instruct the Catholic world, or when the Congregations of the Roman Curia handle matters or draw up decrees which concern the whole body of the faithful, they invariably make use of Latin, for this is a maternal voice acceptable to countless nations.
Furthermore, the Church's language must be not only universal but also immutable. Modern languages are liable to change, and no single one of them is superior to the others in authority. Thus if the truths of the Catholic Church were entrusted to an unspecified number of them, the meaning of these truths, varied as they are, would not be manifested to everyone with sufficient clarity and precision. There would, moreover, be no language which could serve as a common and constant norm by which to gauge the exact meaning of other renderings.
But Latin is indeed such a language. It is set and unchanging. it has long since ceased to be affected by those alterations in the meaning of words which are the normal result of daily, popular use. Certain Latin words, it is true, acquired new meanings as Christian teaching developed and needed to be explained and defended, but these new meanings have long since become accepted and firmly established.
Finally, the Catholic Church has a dignity far surpassing that of every merely human society, for it was founded by Christ the Lord. It is altogether fitting, therefore, that the language it uses should be noble, majestic, and non-vernacular.
In addition, the Latin language "can be called truly catholic."10 It has been consecrated through constant use by the Apostolic See, the mother and teacher of all Churches, and must be esteemed "a treasure ... of incomparable worth."11. It is a general passport to the proper understanding of the Christian writers of antiquity and the documents of the Church's teaching.12 It is also a most effective bond, binding the Church of today with that of the past and of the future in wonderful continuity.
Educational value of Latin
There can be no doubt as to the formative and educational value either of the language of the Romans or of great literature generally. It is a most effective training for the pliant minds of youth. It exercises, matures and perfects the principal faculties of mind and spirit. It sharpens the wits and gives keenness of judgment. It helps the young mind to grasp things accurately and develop a true sense of values. It is also a means for teaching highly intelligent thought and speech.
A natural result
It will be quite clear from these considerations why the Roman Pontiffs have so often extolled the excellence and importance of Latin, and why they have prescribed its study and use by the secular and regular clergy, forecasting the dangers that would result from its neglect.
A resolve to uphold Latin
And We also, impelled by the weightiest of reasons -- the same as those which prompted Our Predecessors and provincial synods 13 -- are fully determined to restore this language to its position of honor, and to do all We can to promote its study and use. The employment of Latin has recently been contested in many quarters, and many are asking what the mind of the Apostolic See is in this matter. We have therefore decided to issue the timely directives contained in this document, so as to ensure that the ancient and uninterrupted use of Latin be maintained and, where necessary, restored.
We believe that We made Our own views on this subject sufficiently clear when We said to a number of eminent Latin scholars:
"It is a matter of regret that so many people, unaccountably dazzled by the marvelous progress of science, are taking it upon themselves to oust or restrict the study of Latin and other kindred subjects.... Yet, in spite of the urgent need for science, Our own view is that the very contrary policy should be followed. The greatest impression is made on the mind by those things which correspond more closely to man's nature and dignity. And therefore the greatest zeal should be shown in the acquisition of whatever educates and ennobles the mind. Otherwise poor mortal creatures may well become like the machines they build -- cold, hard, and devoid of love."14
Provisions for the Promotion of Latin Studies
With the foregoing considerations in mind, to which We have given careful thought, We now, in the full consciousness of Our Office and in virtue of Our authority, decree and command the following:
Responsibility for enforcement
1. Bishops and superiors-general of religious orders shall take pains to ensure that in their seminaries and in their schools where adolescents are trained for the priesthood, all shall studiously observe the Apostolic See's decision in this matter and obey these Our prescriptions most carefully.
2. In the exercise of their paternal care they shall be on their guard lest anyone under their jurisdiction, eager for revolutionary changes, writes against the use of Latin in the teaching of the higher sacred studies or in the Liturgy, or through prejudice makes light of the Holy See's will in this regard or interprets it falsely.
Study of Latin as a prerequisite
3. As is laid down in Canon Law (can. 1364) or commanded by Our Predecessors, before Church students begin their ecclesiastical studies proper they shall be given a sufficiently lengthy course of instruction in Latin by highly competent masters, following a method designed to teach them the language with the utmost accuracy. "And that too for this reason: lest later on, when they begin their major studies . . . they are unable by reason of their ignorance of the language to gain a full understanding of the doctrines or take part in those scholastic disputations which constitute so excellent an intellectual training for young men in the defense of the faith." 15
We wish the same rule to apply to those whom God calls to the priesthood at a more advanced age, and whose classical studies have either been neglected or conducted too superficially. No one is to be admitted to the study of philosophy or theology except he be thoroughly grounded in this language and capable of using it.
Traditional curriculum to be restored
4. Wherever the study of Latin has suffered partial eclipse through the assimilation of the academic program to that which obtains in State public schools, with the result that the instruction given is no longer so thorough and well-grounded as formerly, there the traditional method of teaching this language shall be completely restored. Such is Our will, and there should be no doubt in anyone's mind about the necessity of keeping a strict watch over the course of studies followed by Church students; and that not only as regards the number and kinds of subjects they study, but also as regards the length of time devoted to the teaching of these subjects.
Should circumstances of time and place demand the addition of other subjects to the curriculum besides the usual ones, then either the course of studies must be lengthened, or these additional subjects must be condensed or their study relegated to another time.
Sacred sciences to be taught in Latin
5. In accordance with numerous previous instructions, the major sacred sciences shall be taught in Latin, which, as we know from many centuries of use, "must be considered most suitable for explaining with the utmost facility and clarity the most difficult and profound ideas and concepts."16 For apart from the fact that it has long since been enriched with a vocabulary of appropriate and unequivocal terms, best calculated to safeguard the integrity of the Catholic faith, it also serves in no slight measure to prune away useless verbiage.
Hence professors of these sciences in universities or seminaries are required to speak Latin and to make use of textbooks written in Latin. If ignorance of Latin makes it difficult for some to obey these instructions, they shall gradually be replaced by professors who are suited to this task. Any difficulties that may be advanced by students or professors must be overcome by the patient insistence of the bishops or religious superiors, and the good will of the professors.
A Latin Academy
6. Since Latin is the Church's living language, it must be adequate to daily increasing linguistic requirements. It must be furnished with new words that are apt and suitable for expressing modern things, words that will be uniform and universal in their application. and constructed in conformity with the genius of the ancient Latin tongue. Such was the method followed by the sacred Fathers and the best writers among the scholastics.
To this end, therefore, We commission the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities to set up a Latin Academy staffed by an international body of Latin and Greek professors. The principal aim of this Academy -- like the national academies founded to promote their respective languages -- will be to superintend the proper development of Latin, augmenting the Latin lexicon where necessary with words which conform to the particular character and color of the language.
It will also conduct schools for the study of Latin of every era, particularly the Christian one. The aim of these schools will be to impart a fuller understanding of Latin and the ability to use it and to write it with proper elegance. They will exist for those who are destined to teach Latin in seminaries and ecclesiastical colleges, or to write decrees and judgments or conduct correspondence in the ministries of the Holy See, diocesan curias, and the offices of religious orders.
The teaching of Greek
7. Latin is closely allied to Greek both in formal structure and in the importance of its extant writings. Hence -- as Our Predecessors have frequently ordained -- future ministers of the altar must be instructed in Greek in the lower and middle schools. Thus when they come to study the higher sciences -- and especially if they are aiming for a degree in Sacred Scripture or theology -- they will be enabled to follow the Greek sources of scholastic philosophy and understand them correctly; and not only these, but also the original texts of Sacred Scripture, the Liturgy, and the sacred Fathers.17
A syllabus for the teaching of Latin
8. We further commission the Sacred Congregation of Seminaries and Universities to prepare a syllabus for the teaching of Latin which all shall faithfully observe. The syllabus will be designed to give those who follow it an adequate understanding of the language and its use. Episcopal boards may indeed rearrange this syllabus if circumstances warrant, but they must never curtail it or alter its nature. Ordinaries may not take it upon themselves to put their own proposals into effect until these have been examined and approved by the Sacred Congregation.
Finally, in virtue of Our apostolic authority, We will and command that all the decisions, decrees, proclamations and recommendations of this Our Constitution remain firmly established and ratified, notwithstanding anything to the contrary, however worthy of special note.
Given at Rome, at Saint Peter's, on the feast of Saint Peter's Throne on the 22nd day of February in the year 1962, the fourth of Our pontificate.
1. Tertullian, Apol. 21: Migne, FL 1, 294.
2. Ephesians 1, 10.
3. Epist. S. Cong. Stud. Vehementer sane, ad Ep. universos, July 1, 1908: Ench. Cler., N. 820. Cf. also Epist. Ap. Pius XI, Unigenitus Dei Filius, Mar. 19, 1924: AAS 16 (1924), 141.
4. Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 452-453.
5. Pius XI, Motu proprio Litterarum latinarum, Oct. 20, 1924: AAS 16 (1924), 417.
6. Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 452.
8. Saint Iren., Adv. Haer. 3, 3, 2: Migne PG 7, 848.
9. Cf. CIC, can. 218, pars. 2.
10. Cf. Pius XI, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 453.
11. Pius XII, Al. Magis quam, Nov. 23, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), 737.
12. Leo XIII, Epist. Encycl. Depuis le jour, Sept. 8, 1899: Acta Leonis XIII, 19 (1899), 166.
13. Cf. Collectio Lacensis, espec. vol. III, 1018s. ( Cone. Prov. Westmonasteriense, a (1859); Vol. IV, 29 (Conc. Prov. Parisiense, a 1849); Vol. IV, 149, 153 (Cone. Prov. Rhemense, a 1849); Vol. IV, 359, 861 (Conc. Prov. Avenionense, a 1849); Vol. IV, 394, 396 (Cone. Prov. Burdigalense, a 1850); Vol. V, 61 (Cone. Strigoniense, a 1858); Vol. V. 664 (Conc. Prov. Colocense, a 1863); Vol. VI, 619 (Synod. Vicariatus Suchnensis, a 1803).
14. International Convention for the Promotion of Ciceronian Studies, Sept. 7, 1959, in Discorsi Messaggi Colloqui del Santo Padre Giovanni XXIII, I, pp. 234-235. [English translation in TPS, V, 421.] Cf. also Address to Roman Pilgrims of the Diocese of Piacenza, April 15, 1959, in L'Osservatore Romano April 16, 1959; Epist. Pater misericordiarum, Aug. 22, 1961, in A.4S 53 (1961), 677; Address given on the occasion of the solemn inauguration of the College of the Philippine Islands at Rome, Oct. 7, 1961, in L'Osservatore Romano, Oct. 9-10, 1961; Epist. lucunda laudatio, Dec. 8, 1961: AAS 53 (1961), 812 [English summary in TPS, VII, 367-8.]
15. Pius XII, Epist. Ap. Officiorum omnium, Aug. 1, 1922: AAS 14 (1922), 453.
16. Epist. S. C. Stud., Vehementer sane, July 1, 1908: Ench. Cler., N. 821.
17. Leo XIII. Lit. Encyci. Providentissimus Deus, Nov. 18, 1893: Acta Leonis XIII 13 (1893), 342; Epist. Plane quidem intelligis, May 20, 1885, Acta, 5, 63-64; Pius XII, Alloc. Magis quam, Sept. 23, 1951: AAS 43 (1951), 737