Saturday, October 18, 2014

"Sensus fidelium": you may not know what it means but you've experienced it

We have seen Catholic Church history unfold in a most dramatic way in a completely new forum since Vatican II when, for the first time, believers everywhere participated in the events of the extraordinary Synod as they unfolded through the medium of the internet, expressing and contributing to and developing the sensus fidelium, or sense of the faithful, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. We are the descendants and inheritors of the Church of Ephesus, where the people surrounded the fathers of the Council in prayer and protest, calling upon the Mother of God, the Theotokos, and demanding that the Fathers respond in concord with their sense of the faith and declare her divine motherhood, which in fact they did. Praised be Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

On Cardinal Dolan's expressed admiration for the bishops of Africa

Cardinal Dolan needn't look with admiration only to African bishops; all he need do is simply imitate their example and he can thereafter get the same reaction by looking in the mirror.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

"Delicate Cases": I can't receive Communion but I can't go to Confession either. What about me?


" Some More Delicate Cases
34. I consider it my duty to mention at this point, if very briefly, a pastoral case that the synod dealt with-insofar as it was able to do so-and which it also considered in one of the propositions. I am referring to certain situations, not infrequent today, affecting Christians who wish to continue their sacramental religious practice, but who are prevented from doing so by their personal condition, which is not in harmony with the commitments freely undertaken before God and the church. These are situations which seem particularly delicate and almost inextricable.

Numerous interventions during the synod, expressing the general thought of the fathers, emphasized the coexistence and mutual influence of two equally important principles in relation to these cases. The first principle is that of compassion and mercy, whereby the church, as the continuer in history of Christ's presence and work, not wishing the death of the sinner but that the sinner should be converted and live,(197) and careful not to break the bruised reed or to quench the dimly burning wick,(198) ever seeks to offer, as far as possible, the path of return to God and of reconciliation with him. The other principle is that of truth and consistency, whereby the church does not agree to call good evil and evil good. Basing herself on these two complementary principles, the church can only invite her children who find themselves in these painful situations to approach the divine mercy by other ways, not however through the sacraments of penance and the eucharist until such time as they have attained the required dispositions.

On this matter, which also deeply torments our pastoral hearts, it seemed my precise duty to say clear words in the apostolic exhortation Familiaris Consortio, as regards the case of the divorced and remarried,(199) and likewise the case of Christians living together in an irregular union.

At the same time and together with the synod, I feel that it is my clear duty to urge the ecclesial communities and especially the bishops to provide all possible assistance to those priests who have fallen short of the grave commitments which they undertook at their ordination and who are living in irregular situations. None of these brothers of ours should feel abandoned by the church.

For all those who are not at the present moment in the objective conditions required by the sacrament of penance, the church's manifestations of maternal kindness, the support of acts of piety apart from sacramental ones, a sincere effort to maintain contact with the Lord, attendance at Mass and the frequent repetition of acts of faith, hope, charity and sorrow made as perfectly as possible can prepare the way for full reconciliation at the hour that providence alone knows."

From Saint John Paul II, Reconciliatio et Paenitentia, http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/apost_exhortations/documents/hf_jp-ii_exh_02121984_reconciliatio-et-paenitentia_en.html

Monday, September 22, 2014

Mother Elvira used to say, "If you want coffee, pray for it."

Mother Elvira used to tell the men in her drug addiction communities, "If you want coffee, pray for it."

I used to volunteer time on a weekly basis serving the sacramental needs of the community in Florida and came to know and befriend many of the addicts seeking help to find a life with God after they had destroyed their hope and faith seeking a life with drugs, alcohol and pornography.

You see, any money given to the Communita' Cenacolo was to be used for building materials and other supplies dedicated to their housing, chapels and other construction needs only. All the food they consumed had to be donated through the kind generosity of benefactors.

I am seeking the return of all absent family members to worship with us at Sunday Masses. In doing so I am going to take Mother Elvira's advice and pray for it if I truly desire it and invite our parishioners to do the same.

Beginning soon the entire parish will be invited to pray with me during the brief period of silence after the homily at weekend Masses that all absent family members of Catholic or any faith will weekly join their families in unity to worship God. Please intercede for the effectiveness of our prayers. Thank you for reading my note. God bless,

Saturday, September 20, 2014

"I will die in bed": what Cardinal George really said

"I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history."

Friday, September 19, 2014

From Bishop Oster: no good to bend and twist Christ

It does no good to keep on collecting all and only those verses of the Gospel that might help a Church suffering from a loss of faith to bend and twist her Lord Jesus until he is so nice that he doesn't threaten those situations that the Scriptures continue to call sin. Yes, of course Jesus loves sinners, but He and His Father hate sin! And it does no good to eliminate or ignore those passages in which Jesus challenges us to assent to Him decisively, or those in which He appears as our Judge. Yes, Jesus loves us the way we are [...], but He does not want us to remain the way we are. [...] We too often forget that the revelation of the merciful Jesus did not simply abolish the law, but rather revealed that the giver of the law loves us with a love as deep as the abyss. And it is because He loves us that He challenges us with the at times rigorous demands of the law, so that we can learn to answer His love; just as a good father, precisely because he loves his children, sometimes has to be strict with them. [...] God wants to save us, all of us! But salvation is not automatic, and the constant witness of scripture is that we cannot be saved without conversion. As far as I can see, Bishop Bonny doesn't even mention conversion anymore. (Translation: Sacerdos Romanus)

Sunday, September 7, 2014

do not therefore in fear and terror flee back from the way of salvation of which the beginning cannot but be a narrow entrance.

Prologue to the Rule of our Holy Father Benedict. Continued We have therefore to establish a school of the Lord’s service, in the institution of which we hope we are going to establish nothing harsh, nothing burdensome. But if, prompted by the desire to attain to equity, anything be set forth somewhat strictly for the correction of vice or the preservation of charity, do not therefore in fear and terror flee back from the way of salvation of which the beginning cannot but be a narrow entrance. For it is by progressing in the life of conversion and faith that, with heart enlarged and in ineffable sweetness of love, one runs in the way of God’s commandments, so that never deserting His discipleship but persevering until death in His doctrine within the monastery, we may partake by patience in the suffering of Christ and become worthy inheritors of His kingdom. Amen.

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