WHY do our souls become tepid and weak, cold and sleepy?The answer in part is because we often do not stay near the “Sun” of God, most especially, near to where He is: the Eucharist.
The Church of the Good Shepherd – A Sodality of the Anglican Use: God of Mercy and Compassion Coat of Arms of the Personal Ordinariate of the Chair of St. Peter God of Mercy and Compassion Posted by franciscanusanglicanus at 9:57 AM Email ThisBlogThis!Share to Facebook Older Post Home Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
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“Remember this, my brother; see in this some higher planYou must use this precious silver to become an honest manBy the witness of the martyrs, by the Passion and the BloodGod has raised you out of darkness, I have bought your soul for God!
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Q: Dear Father John, I have had this question regarding forgiveness ever since my husband filed for divorce and treated me terribly during the process. He never acknowledged his treatment of me nor repented and asked for forgiveness, yet, in confession I was always told that I still must forgive him. Fortunately, eventually God gave me the grace to forgive him, as He made me see that, sinner that I am, in God’s eyes who am I to feel so self-righteous over the hurt my ex inflicted, when I myself am guilty of many hurts also.
Yet, when I read the first part of Luke Chapter 17, Our Lord says that if our brother sins against us 7 times, and repents and asks our forgiveness 7 times, we must forgive him. I understand that. So, why are we expected to forgive someone when they do not ask for our forgiveness? Also, it is my understanding that, while God still loves us, when we sin against Him, we must turn back to him and repent before we receive His forgiveness. If that is correct, then why are we told by so many priests that regardless of how much someone hurt us, if they do not ask for our forgiveness we still must forgive them?
A: Forgiveness is central to Christianity. So central, that Jesus made it part of the prayer he taught us: “Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.” And that is the first answer to your question. The passage from Luke 17 is not the only passage in the New Testament on forgiveness. We need to read it in context of the whole New Testament, and of all the Gospels. When we do that, we see that Jesus never meant for us to hold a grudge until someone asks us for forgiveness.
Forgiving without Limits
The core of Our Lord’s teaching in this area is that God’s mercy is unconditional and unlimited, and so our mercy must be the same. This is clear from the parable Jesus uses to explain the passage in Matthew that is parallel to the Luke 17 passage you refer to. This is the parable of the unforgiving servant (Matthew 18). The King calls him in to pay a huge debt, but the servant can’t pay it. So the King orders him and his family to be sold into slavery. Then the servant begs for clemency and the king mercifully forgives the debt. Then that same servant runs across someone who owes him a much, much smaller debt, and treats him without any mercy at all. The King, infuriated , calls the servant back, reinstates his original debt, and sentences him to be tortured until he pays it back in full. Jesus then explains the moral of the story: “So will my heavenly Father do to you, unless each of you forgives his brother from his heart” (Matthew 18:35).
When Jesus explains the Our Father, he makes the same point: “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions” (Matthew 6:14-15). Dying on the Cross, Jesus didn’t wait for his enemies to ask for forgiveness before forgiving them; while they crucified him he prayed for them: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). If he hadn’t forgiven them himself, he could not have pleaded so mercifully on their behalf with the Father. And this unconditional forgiveness, which we receive from Jesus, is the model for how we are to forgive others: “…be kind to one another, compassionate, forgiving one another as God has forgiven you in Christ” (Ephesians 4:32).
Forgiving and Being Forgiven
We still have to face two related questions. The first has to do with what you mention about the difference between forgiving someone and that same someone receiving the forgiveness. We can never force someone to receive our forgiveness, but we can still forgive them. If we forgive them, they are forgiven – from our perspective. But if they refuse to repent and take responsibility for their offenses, it is impossible for them to receive that forgiveness. In that case, they are not forgiven – from their perspective.
This helps us understand how God’s mercy can be unlimited, but some people don’t experience it. It’s not that God is holding it back; it’s just that they are not open to receive it. I can offer you a glass of water, but if you don’t take the offer, you won’t quench your thirst. Forgiveness is like that. God doesn’t wait for us to repent before he forgives us – his mercy is constant, overflowing, and limitless. But unless we repent, we will not receive that mercy, and we will remain unforgiven – just as someone who refuses to open their eyes remains in the dark.
In our next post on this topic, we will talk about that in order to grow in our spiritual life we need to know the importance of forgiveness and that forgiveness is more than just feelings.
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|Solemn High Mass on the Feast of the Sacred Heart. St.
Paul’s Basilica, 83 Power St., Toronto. 7:00 p.m. A Solemn High
Mass according to the Extraordinary Form of the Roman Rite will be
celebrated at St. Paul’s Basilica. This Mass is sponsored by the St.
Patrick’s Gregorian Choir. All are welcome
For information, please contact Surinder S. Mundra at 416-731-4485
July 1st- Divine Mercy Pilgrimage at Regina Mundi. July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29, August 5, 12, 19, 26, 2012.
Regina Mundi Retreat Centre, 19309 Warden Ave., Queensville.
Magnificat invites individuals, groups and families to a
pilgrimage at the Divine Mercy Oratory. All are welcome to participate
in a prayer program on Sunday afternoons in July and August.
Program of Activities:
1:00 p.m. Welcome, Worship and Praise, Holy Rosary (opportunity for the sacrament of reconciliation)
2:00 p.m. Invocation to Mary Queen of the World (Vanier Hall); Way of the Cross (outdoor)
3:00 p.m. At the Oratory (weather permitting): Solemn
Chaplet of the Divine Mercy, Holy Eucharist, Benediction and healing
5:00 p.m. Picnic per group or join the potluck (Vanier Hall and overflow buildings)
For more information, please call 905-478-4264 or visit http://www.magnificatcommunity.com/MagnificatCommunity/Home.html
July 7th- Kolbe Eucharistic Mini-Retreats. St. Brigid’s Church, Toronto.
Kolbe Eucharistic Mini-Retreat at St. Brigid’s Church, 300
Wolverleigh Blvd. from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Join us for Adoration.
Father Eugene D’Avella will speak on “Be it done unto me according to
See http://www.kolbeapostolate.com/ for more information
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One of the reasons I have always liked Katrina Fernandez is that she has the soul of an artist and the sharp-elbowed honesty of one who has spent some time sketching among the longshoremen: she is both elevated and earthy in her perspective. In this, she reminds me a little of Heather King, whom I have referred to as “a mystic with a bit of a mouth”
Some of that, I’ve always thought, suggested the self-bandaging of a person who had survived serious wounding and found a way to cope. I know a little about that. Today, Katrina peels back some of the gauze, in the brave hopes that she can help heal someone else’s deep wound or — better yet — prevent some wounds from every happening.
There is no consolation to be had for the mother that loses a child. She will grieve in her heart for the rest of her life. Abortion; however, not only robs a child of it’s life and a mother of it’s child, it also robs the mother of her grieving. She is not allowed to grieve because she cannot publicly claim the title Mother.
Abortion advocates will never admit a post-abortive woman is a Mother because to admit that would acknowledge the existence that there was once a child. Not a clump of cells, but a very real living child. When girls begin menstruating they are not called mothers to a clump of cells, yet so many people really believe an abortion is just like having a heavy period or passing a large menstrual clot. This was how it was described to me when I found myself in their clinic fifteen years ago. Two years later when I returned to have a second abortion the lie had not changed.
Read the whole piece. Bravo, Katrina! You have, make no doubt, helped many women today!
There is such a wideness in God’s mercy; praise Him.
Recently I bought a new (used) car. Mercy is a bit fancier than her predecessor, Gracie, and has a loud seatbelt beep.
April 30, 2012 (Bound4Life.com) – Recently I bought a new (used) car. On Friday I went to the courthouse to register Mercy (the car). Mercy is a bit fancier than her predecessor, Gracie, and has a loud seatbelt beep. Unlike my previous car, it doesn’t just flash a light if the seatbelt isn’t on, but beeps louder. If I dare put her in gear without the seatbelt on, she doesn’t stop beeping for a bit. She gets louder as if yelling at me. I hate beeping a lot, but it’s not too much of an issue because I always wear a seatbelt. I like seatbelts. I believe in them. I think everyone should wear them. That’s my disclaimer, because on Friday I just got annoyed.
You see, seatbelts laws are a big deal in our nation. The law says I have to wear my seat belt, and if I were to be caught without one, I’d be fined. “Click it or Ticket” campaigns exist across the nation. I’ve lived in towns where police officers even did pull-over campaigns to enforce it. And even though I wear seatbelts, the principle of the whole thing has bothered me deeply. These laws are referred to as vehicle “Occupant Protection” laws. The law, therefore, sees it as its duty to protect me, and fine me if I refuse, but the same nation which heralds these laws gives me license to take the life of the occupant in my womb if I’m pregnant.
Wearing a seatbelt should be my choice. It’s a matter of my personal right to privacy. It’s my business what I do. If I don’t wear my seatbelt and get hurt in an accident, that is my decision about my body. Mine. Mine. Mine.
The point here isn’t to argue about seatbelts. It’s pretty dumb not to wear one, but I think the laws about seat belts being mandatory in a nation that lets a woman kill her baby because it’s her body display the absurd deception of the abortion industry.
As my car beeped at me, when I was barely moving and still in a closed-off parking lot going about 2 mph, I had one of those moments.
“Oh, honestly! Make me wear a seatbelt but I can KILL my baby!” I yelled to no one in particular, or maybe to the courthouse where I was, because I carry a keen awareness that the courts are where these laws are upheld.
Click ‘like’ if you are PRO-LIFE!
It suddenly just made me angry. What a double standard. That I don’t have to right to choose if I will protect my own body when I drive when no one else’s life is in danger if I personally act irresponsibly and don’t wear a seat belt, but I have every right in the world to choose to take a life growing inside me, up until full term in some states, is unreal to me.
Of course the National Transportation Safety Administration lays it out not only as a safety issue but a financial one. It saves money if I wear my seatbelt and have an accident because of medical cost savings. And that’s always the bottom line. Certainly a nation that condones the killing of its unborn at close to 4,000 a day doesn’t care about a few people dying as much as it does the medical costs.
Hear me: I agree with the idea that people should wear set belts (and if I catch you without a car seat for your baby, you will see my bad side), but the point here is choice. I do not have the choice to strap a seatbelt on me but I do have a choice whether to kill my child as long as she hasn’t breathed outside the womb.
I wonder what the high court would say if I tried to challenge the seatbelt laws as my right to choose. Chances are they’d say the government has a right to protect its citizens.
Let the reader understand.
Reprinted with permission from Bound4Life.com
Sorry there hasn’t been much up for the past week, like most priests Holy Week really is tiring, most of my confreres tend to take a holiday around now, I just love celebrating the the whole octave of Easter. I can certainly understand understand why some commentators are suggesting that the Holy Father is “looking tired and drawn” but then I am not celebrating my 85th birthday, nor have I preceded Holy Week by a trip to Mexico and Cuba.
The Triduum here was incredibly beautiful, bit simpler than most years, we just followed the Missal and did our best to let it speak for itself – the choir are getting better and better.
Easter week ended rather beautifully too, we kept Divine Mercy Sunday, really for the first time, as Divine Mercy Sunday, I was bullied by the charismatics in the congregation to have the Divine Mercy chaplet and Benediction at three o’clock; one of our Polish parishioners had given us a large picture of the Divine Mercy which was venerated, then later on there was Mass at a 5pm followed by the Traditional Mass at 6.30pm.
There was a largish congregation for the Traditional Mass which was very good as Lilly made her First Holy Communion. the first I have done in the Traditional Rite. She was beautiful, quite excited by the idea of receiving her Divine Lord for the first time but quite recollected and serene. We put a kneeling desk covered with an old cope between the kneelers and her parents Birgit and Achim knelt either side of her throughout the Canon of the Mass. One of our older parishioners said he wept at her recollection and and obvious joy. Pray for her!
After Mass I went out to dinner with two of our parishioner, one a student at the university here in Brighton who in the summer is going off join one of the new religious movements who celebrate the old Mass exclusively, his younger brother is going with him, and the other a young professional who is joining a community here in England which is progressively celebrating the Traditional Mass more and more – pray for them!
The trouble is that when these two go there will be no-one to MC a High Mass – so pray for us!
Deus providebit – I hope, he generally does.
Around this time, university students are in desperate need of prayers. Many of them have probably taken up residence in the corner of a library they had seldom visited. Yes, it’s that time of year: the dreadful exam season. If anyone would dare enter the campus grounds, they wouldn’t have a hard time sensing the tension and worry in the air. The exam season signifies the end for most students, so it is a mix of worry and joy. It is odd that both are felt so immediately after the other just by switching one’s point of view.
Christianity has its similarities. We have the end times which can be seen as the exam season. It is the time when we are to be tested; a time when we can show exactly what we are made of. For some, the end time is a season of joy because they are ready and live out what they believe in everyday. To them, the end times signify the reward of heaven and the coming of their Lord. However, for most, the end times is worrisome and brings the heavy load of judgement.
There is a simple solution to both of these. Study hard throughout the year, and practice what you learn everyday; similarly, live out what you believe and express what you believe in some loving way. In doing this simple thing, we will hope for the end to come sooner and our days will be spent well in love and joy over the simplicity of our life.
Pray for all students, please.
Uncategorized, by Catholic Chapter House.
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Henryk Gorecki “…offered Szeroka woda, Op. 39, in 1979. This last-named work, which translates as “Broad Waters,” is actually a set of five pieces, and is a departure for the composer in that it consists of arrangements of existing folk melodies. Górecki had long been interested in the traditional folk and religious music of his native Poland, but he did not begin integrating these materials into his own music until Old Polish Music, Op. 24, from 1969.
Szeroka woda takes its melodies and texts from a pair of illustrated story books for children. All the texts have some connection, more or less direct, to water — particularly the first, second, and fifth songs, which evoke the Narew and Vistula rivers. The settings are simple and unaffected. The harmonies flow naturally without being traditional. Górecki creates textures that match the texts and are gratifying to sing. In short, these are wonderful little pieces, and they launched a whole series of choral settings that Górecki composed over the next several years, many of which have yet to be published.” –James Harley
Henryk Gorecki, Pope John Paul II and St. Faustina form a sort of trio of Divine Mercy. The connection between the two latter is obvious enough, since Pope John Paul himself considered the main mission of his pontificate that of the Divine Mercy. The connection with Gorecki – other than that he was also Polish and was commissioned by Pope John Paul to compose the Beatus Vir Opus 38. – has to do with the span of his musical development: his transition from complex dissonance to the kind of simplified harmony and rhythmn later on is like the sinner being incorporated into God’s infinite mercy.
The dissonance was not simply dropped and another form of music taken up; not like the harmony and tranquility of Raphael where tensions are absent and you begin to sniff the artist at his own game. Rather it is of tensions brought into resolve, as it is with icons; as it is with with those drowned in Christ’s inexhaustible Divine Mercy.
People want their own devices to go on as though they were the symphony, rather than their devices being ended in Christ’s mercy. People today do not see sin; they see progress. This is why the opened floodgate of Divine Mercy is reserved for our days.
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Just getting back from a lovely Divine Mercy retreat weekend that I assisted with at a nearby retreat center…
No time or energy for original blogging today, but two of my favorite commentors left poems on the previous post
and I was so taken with both of them I thought I would do something I haven’t done before: front page the comments to share the poems with all the blog readers.
Fr. John Flynn shares this one from William Davies:
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
And Catherine shares this one from Rilke:
You, darkness, that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires that fence in the world,
for the fire makes a circle of light for everyone
and then no one on the outside learns of you.
But the darkness pulls in everything-
shapes and figures, animals and even myself.
How easily it gathers them powers and people,
and it is possible a Great Presence is moving near me.
I have faith in night.
So, there – you never know what’s going to show up on this blog next. Nothing (much) to do with Pope Benedict, but they’re lovely poems, and beauty is its own justification.
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1. Begin with the Sign of the Cross, 1 Our Father, 1 Hail Mary and The Apostles Creed.
2. Then on the Our Father Beads say the following:Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.
3. On the 10 Hail Mary Beads say the following:For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
(Repeat step 2 and 3 for all five decades).
4. Conclude with (three times): Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world.
In 1933, God gave Sister Faustina a striking vision of His Mercy, Sister tells us:
“I saw a great light, with God the Father in the midst of it. Between this light and the earth I saw Jesus nailed to the Cross and in such a way that God, wanting to look upon the earth, had to look through Our Lord’s wounds and I understood that God blessed the earth for the sake of Jesus.”
Of another vision on Sept. 13, 1935, she writes:
“I saw an Angel, the executor of God’s wrath… about to strike the earth…I began to beg God earnestly for the world with words which I heard interiorly. As I prayed in this way, I saw the Angel’s helplessness, and he could not carry out the just punishment….”
The following day an inner voice taught her to say this prayer on ordinary rosary beads:
“First say one ‘Our Father’, ‘Hail Mary’, and ‘I believe’. Then on the large beads say the following words:
‘Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.’
On the smaller beads you are to say the following words:
‘For the sake of His sorrowful Passion have mercy on us and on the whole world.’
In conclusion you are to say these words three times:
‘Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and on the whole world’.
Jesus said later to Sister Faustina:
“Say unceasingly this chaplet that I have taught you. Anyone who says it will receive great Mercy at the hour of death. Priests will recommend it to sinners as the last hope. Even the most hardened sinner, if he recites this Chaplet even once, will receive grace from My Infinite Mercy. I want the whole world to know My Infinite Mercy. I want to give unimaginable graces to those who trust in My Mercy….”
“….When they say this Chaplet in the presence of the dying, I will stand between My Father and the dying person not as the just judge but as the Merciful Savior”.
Taken from EWTN http://www.ewtn.com/devotionals/mercy/dmmap.htm#ixzz1rpiB6UAe
Hello Everyone. Thanks to the Vatican’s new online news site, news.va, I bring to you the Good Friday Homily of the Vatican. Here’s the Link:
. I comment in certain parts in puruple like Fr. Z does and only had one comment that was a slightly speckled filled nutty.
Father Raniero Cantalamessa, ofmcap“I DIED, AND BEHOLD I AM ALIVE FOR EVERMORE” (Revelation 1:18)Homily of Good Friday 2012 in Saint Peter’s Basilica
Some ancient Fathers of the Church enclosed in an image the whole mystery of the redemption. Imagine, they said, that an epic fight took place in the stadium. A courageous man confronted a cruel tyrant who had the city enslaved and, with enormous effort and suffering, defeated him. You were on the terraces; you did not fight, or make an effort or get wounded. However, if you admire the courageous man, if you rejoice with him over his victory, if you intertwine crowns, arouse and stir the assembly for him, if you kneel joyfully before the triumphant one, kiss his head and shake his right hand; in a word, if you rave so much as to consider his victory yours, I tell you that you will certainly have part of the victor’s prize. However, there is more: imagine that the victor had himself no need of the prize he had won, but wished more than anything to see his supporter honored and considers as the prize of his combat the crowning of his friend, in that case, perhaps, will that man not obtain the crown also though he has not toiled on been wounded? He certainly will obtain it! [What a fitting analogy]
It happens thus, say the Fathers, between Christ and us. On the cross, he defeated the ancient enemy. “Our swords – exclaims Saint John Chrysostom – were not bloodied, we were not in agony, we were not wounded, we did not even see the battle and yet we obtain the victory. His was the fight, ours the crown. And because we are also the conquerors, let us imitate what soldiers do in such cases: with joyful voices let us exalt the victory, let us intone hymns of praise to the Lord!” It is not possible to explain better the meaning of the liturgy we are celebrating. * * *
However, is what we are doing itself an image, a representation of a reality of the past, or is it the reality itself? It is both things! “We – said Saint Augustine to the people – know and believe with very certain faith that Christ died only once for us […]. You know perfectly that all that happened only once, and yet the solemnity renews it periodically […]. Historical truth and liturgical solemnity are not opposed to one another, as if the second is fallacious and the first alone corresponds to the truth. In fact, of what history says occurred only once in reality, the solemnity repeatedly renews the celebration in the hearts of the faithful. [This is exactly what happens every single Mass. We are renewed sacramentally in the Eucharist and re-immerse ourselves in His passion, death, and resurecction, via the unbloddy re-presentation of his Sacrifice on Calvary.] ”The liturgy “renews” the event: how many discussions have taken place for the past five centuries on the meaning of this word, especially when it is applied to the sacrifice of the cross and to the Mass! Paul VI used a verb that could smooth the way to an ecumenical agreement [holding my feelings in on this one .... grrrr....] on such an argument: the verb “to represent,” understood in the strong sense of re-presenting, namely to render what happened again present and operative.
There is an essential difference between the representation of Christ’s death and that, for example, of the death of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s tragedy of the same name. No one celebrates as a living person the anniversary of his own death; Christ does because he is risen. Only he can say, as he does in Revelation: “I died, and behold I am alive ever more” (Revelation 1:18). We must be careful on this day, visiting the so-called sepulchers or taking part in processions of the dead Christ, not to merit the reproach that the Risen One addressed to the pious women on Easter morning: “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” (Luke 24:5). The affirmation of certain Orthodox authors is bold but true. The anamnesis, namely the liturgical memorial, “renders the event truer than when it happened historically the first time.” In other words, it is more true and real for us who relive it “according to the Spirit,” than it was for those who lived it “according to the flesh,” before the Holy Spirit revealed the full meaning to the Church.
We are not only celebrating an anniversary but a mystery [YES!]. Again, it is Saint Augustine who explains the difference between the two things. In the celebration “by way of anniversary,” nothing else is required – he says – than to “indicate with a religious solemnity the day of the year in which the recollection of the event itself takes place;” in the celebration by way of mystery (“in sacrament”), “not only is an event commemorated but it is also done in a way in which its meaning is understood and it is received devoutly.”This changes everything. It is not just a question of attending a representation, but of “accepting” the significance, of passing from spectators to actors. [The context is not the way we know actors, like those on our movie screens or Hollywood, nor it is people in their various lay ministries or bringing up the wooden cross. He means as in the person participating in mind, body, and soul, uniting their prayers with that of the priest acting in persona Christi, every time we go to Mass. Often the "active participation quote" from Vatican II is misunderstood in this context.] It is up to us therefore to choose what part we want to play in the drama, who we wish to be: Peter, Judas, Pilate, the crowd, the Cyrenean, John, Mary … No one can remain neutral; not take a position, means to take a very precise one: Pilate’s who washes his hands or the crowd “standing by, watching” (Luke 23:35) [Whoa! This is key everyone. You cannot remain lukewarm when it comes to one's Catholic Faith, be it through standing on the sidelines with regard to critical faith issues like Pontius Pilate, just being "nice," taking the side of the world or dissenting from the Church like Judas when he betrayed our Lord, or denying your Catholic Faith in various ways as did Peter directly. Even Jesus commented that those lukewarm would be spit out of God's mouth come their judgement. You either truly belive in the Magisterium and the teachings of the Church and seek to apply that in all areas of our lives, espeically in upholding our Catholic beliefs in the public square, or you don't really care/believe in the Faith and are no different than those who attack our Faith. Isn't the expression 'for evil to triumph, it is only for good men [and women] to do nothing?’ or something like that? I suspect it’s possible Benedict is trying to stir up in our hearts via this homily, delivered by his mouthpiece priest, a more devout faith and to either do it or forever hold your peace.]
If when going home this evening, someone asks us “Where are you coming from? Where have you been?” We must also answer, at least in our heart: “on Calvary!”* * *
However, all this does not happen automatically, just because we have taken part in this liturgy. It is a question of “accepting” the meaning of the mystery. This happens with faith. [Yes! Just going to Church alone does not make you a good Catholic or practicing one. You could go every Sunday and sin the other 6 days. Are you truly being nourished by the Mass and carryiong out the mission of the Church when the priest dismisses you from Mass when he says "Go in peace" or "ite, missa est" (The Mass is finished)? Faith without works is dead. Vice versa also applies too, as actions without faith are just actions that any person can do for some collective benefit of the world, with no true, final end goal is sight. Furthermore, this could be Benedict taking aim at the many Catholics around the world who are "C & E" or Christmas and Easter Catholics.] There is no music where there is no ear to hear it, no matter how loud the orchestra sounds; there is no grace where there is no faith to receive it. In an Easter homily of the 4th century, the bishop pronounced these extraordinarily modern, and one could say existentialist, words: “For every man, the beginning of life is when Christ was immolated for him. However, Christ is immolated for him at the moment he recognizes the grace and becomes conscious of the life procured for him by that immolation.”
However, let us stay on the safe side; let us listen to a doctor of the Church. “What I cannot obtain by myself – writes Saint Bernard –, I appropriate (literally, I usurp!) with confidence from the pierced side of the Lord., because he is full of mercy. Hence my merit is the mercy of God. I am certainly not poor in merits, as long as he is rich in mercy. If the mercies of the Lord are many (Psalm 119:156), I will also abound in merits. And what about my own righteousness? O Lord, I will remember only your righteousness. In fact, it is also mine, because you are righteousness for me on behalf of God” (cf. 1 Corinthians 1:30). [An appropriate insert about the Divine Mercy of the Lord, considering in the Latin Rite that next Sunday is Divine Mercy Sunday. If you haven't started, please look up the Novena to Divine Mercy and obtaining the indulgences with this feast day.] Did this way of conceiving holiness make Saint Bernard, perhaps, less zealous in good works, less committed to the acquisition of virtues? Did perhaps the apostle Paul neglect to mortify his body and reduce it to slavery (cf. 1 Corinthians 9:27), he who, before all and more than all, had made of this appropriation of Christ’s righteousness the purpose of his life and of his preaching (cf. Philippians 3:7-9)?
In Rome, as unfortunately in all big cities, there are so many homeless people, human persons who only have a few rags upon their body and some poor belongings that they carry along in a plastic bag. Let us imagine that one day this voice spreads: on Via Condotti (everyone knows what Via Condotti represents in Rome!) there is the owner of a fashion boutique who, for some unknown reason, whether out of interest or generosity, invites all the homeless of Termini rail way station to come to her shop; she invites them to take off their soiled rags, to have a good shower and then choose the garment they want among those displayed and take it away free of charge.All say in their heart: “This is a fairy-tale, it never happens!” Very true, but what never happens among men is what can happen every day between men and God, because, before Him, we are those homeless people! This is what happens in a good confession: you take off your dirty rags, your sins, receive the bath of mercy and rise “clothed in the garments of salvation, covered with the robe of righteousness” (Isaiah 61:10).¸[CONFESSION! He is promoting the Sacrament of Confession!!!]
The tax collector of the parable went up into the temple to pray; he said simply but from the depth of his heart: “God, be merciful to me a sinner!”, and “he went down to his house justified” (Luke 18:14), reconciled, made new, innocent. The same could be said of us, if we have his same faith and repentance, when we go home after this liturgy. * * *
Among the personages of the Passion with whom we can identify, I realize that I have neglected to name one that more than all awaits those who will follow his example: the good thief. [St. Dismas]. The good thief made a complete confession of sin; he says to his companion who insults Jesus: “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:40f.). Here the good thief shows himself an excellent theologian. Only God in fact, if he suffers, suffers absolutely as innocent; every other being who suffers should say: “I suffer justly,” because even if he is not responsible for the action imputed to him, he is never altogether without fault. Only the pain of innocent children is similar to God’s and because of this it is so mysterious and so sacred.
How many atrocious crimes in recent times remained anonymous, how many unresolved cases exist! The good thief launches an appeal to those responsible: do like me, come out into the open, confess your fault; you also will experience the joy I had when I heard Jesus’ word: “”today you will be with me in Paradise!” (Luke 23:43). How many confessed offenders can confirm that it was also like this for them: that they passed from hell to heaven the day that they had the courage to repent and confess their fault. I have known some myself. The paradise promised is peace of conscience, the possibility of looking at oneself in the mirror or of looking at one’s children without having to have contempt for oneself. Do not take your secret to your grave; it would procure for you a far more fearful condemnation than the human. [This isn't just an opinion to ignore. Obstinancy in sin is one of the six major offenses against the Holy Spirit. And considering big crimes like murder (exception is legitimate self-defense) and adultery are "grave offenses" which would undoubtedly fulfill the conditions of mortal sin, the condemnation without repentance before death would be Hell. No sanctifying grace, no way to even remotely unite with our Lord in Heaven.] Our people are not merciless with one who has made a mistake but recognizes the evil done, sincerely, not just for some calculation. On the contrary! They are ready to be merciful and to accompany the repentant one on his journey of redemption (which in every case becomes shorter). “God forgives many things, for a good work,” says Lucia to the Unnamed in Manzoni’s novel “The Betrothed”; with greater truth we can say, he forgives many things by one act of repentance. He promised it solemnly: “though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool” (Isaiah 1:18).
Let us take up now and do what we heard at the beginning, it is our task this day: with joyful voices let us exalt the victory of the cross, intone hymns of praise to the Lord. “O Redemptor, sume carmen temet concinentium”: And you, O our Redeemer, receive the song we raise to you. [YEAH!!! LATIN!!! WOOT WOOT WOOT!!!]
1. Nicholas Cabasilas, Vita in Christo, I. 9 (PG 150, 517)
2. Saint John Chrysostom, De coemeterio et de cruce (PG, 49, 596).
3. Saint Augustine, Sermon 220 (PL 38, 1089).
4. Cf. Paul VI, Mysterium fidei (AAS 57, 1965, p. 753 ff).
5. Augustine, Epistle 55, 1, 2 (CSEL 34, 1, p. 170).
6. Paschal Homily of the year 387 (SCh 36, p. 59 f.).
7. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons on the Canticle, 61, 4-5 (PL 183, 1072).
8. Hymn of Palm Sunday and of the Chrism Mass of Maundy Thursday
March 30, 2012 For Immediate Release
The Council of Canadians with Disabilities (CCD), a national human rights organization of people with disabilities, challenges Global, to offset the harm it has done to people with disabilities, by running a follow-up to its “Taking Mercy” media blog. The follow-up would counter the negative portrayal of people with disabilities presented in “Taking Mercy”, by featuring persons with disabilities who want to live and who see a danger in opening up the debate on euthanasia. “Only good can come from providing an opportunity for a broader, fairer public discourse,” states Rhonda Wiebe, Co-chair CCD Ending of Life Ethics Committee. CCD will also be launching a formal complaint about Global’s coverage.
Global’s media blog “Taking Mercy” (March 16, 2012) left many Canadians in a state of shock. The entire program was filled with misinformation, fear, and stigma. “Those of us who live with disabilities could easily have shared hospital rooms, support services, classrooms or neighborhoods with Tracy Latimer and other children like her who have been murdered by their parents. When we hear ourselves categorized as suffering and having lives that are only worthy of death, we are reminded how segments of our society – represented by the panelists on the Global blog – don’t think we belong,“ states Wiebe. “Global’s guests, including “parent” Robert Latimer and “ethicist” Arthur Schafer only feed into the existential nightmare many Canadians with disabilities face because they perpetuate the idea that it is better to be dead than disabled. Some of us may not be able to speak or walk or hear or see, but that doesn’t mean we don’t belong. Even if we experience pain or need help going to the bathroom, we are still Canadians, we are protected under the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, and no one has the right to kill us,” continues Wiebe.
Global’s blog refused to acknowledge that people with disabilities are so much more than the sum of our disabilities. Murdering us is not a compassionate or reasonable choice. Some of us with disabilities, who are now adults, vividly recollect the nightmare we had as children when another child like us, Tracy Latimer, was killed by her father. That nightmare was only intensified when we watched so many Canadians express sympathy for the killer rather than the victim.
CCD does not understand how Global could frame the justification for murdering persons with disabilities using a term like “mercy.” The existence of people with disabilities should not be dependent on someone else’s subjective measurement of worthiness. When you reduce the powerful and purposeful lives of persons with disabilities by using trite comments likening our existence to that of pets, plants, mere burdens or simplified stereotypes, you portray us as subhuman and suffering.
CCD asks where were the voices of citizens living with significant disabilities? Where were the voices of family members and advocates who see accommodation and inclusion as appropriate responses to supporting persons with disabilities? Global’s blog shut us out. “In what other instance where issues of marginalized groups are discussed, be they First Nations persons, women, newcomers or whomever, do you go forward with a panel discussion that doesn’t include anyone from that group?” asks Dean Richert, Co-chair CCD Ending of Life Ethics Committee.
For More Information Contact:
Rhonda Wiebe, Co-chair
Ending of Life Ethics Committee
Tel: 204-779-4493 (h) or 204-952-1514 (c)
Dean Richert, Co-chair
Ending of Life Ethics Committee
Tel: 204-989-2760 or 204-951-6273 (c)
Laurie Beachell, CCD National Coordinator
April D’Aubin, CCD Research Analyst
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“Let us quieten our hearts again; let them be peaceful. This is a great week that we are entering. It is a week of total kenosis, which means emptying oneself, in Greek. It is said that when Christ came down from heaven at Christmas he emptied himself and became a servant. So this theme of servant comes to us again. This is our week of kenosis. What he has done, we should do.”
-Servant of God Catherine Doherty, Season of Mercy
As a parent of two children under six, I have become very aware of their innate sense of justice and mercy. On a daily basis, they demand fair treatment when it comes to taking turns or sharing their favorite toys, as well as equitable consequences when they’ve behaved badly. They also want to be treated with mercy because they’ve forgotten that they aren’t supposed to do something (that we might have explained to them a hundred times.)
Most of us as adults have simply developed this same tendency: wanting people to get what they deserve when they choose badly, but not wanting to be treated in the same way. Driving is the simplest example of this. Although the law is clear, many of us speed or text & drive… but if we see someone else doing it (or hear about it), we shake our heads in disgust that these people would dare put our lives in danger.
It’s almost as though there’s an innate desire that others would receive justice, but a hope that we ourselves might get mercy. This is why a story like that of the Rev. Dale Lang of Taber, AB seems so notable. As you may remember, Rev. Lang’s family experienced tragedy in April of 1999, when a fourteen year old boy shot his son, Jason, dead. As an Anglican priest – and, in his own words, a Christian for 22 years – his response was clear. I don’t expect it was easy, but it was clear: he was to forgive the boy who took his son’s life. He did what many others – Pope John Paul II (to his would be assassin), St. Maria Goretti (to the boy who tried to rape and eventually did kill her), St. Stephen, and even Christ Himself did: he showed mercy. One of the best definitions for mercy I’ve ever heard is that mercy is our experience of getting what we don’t deserve (whereas justice means we get what we do.) And God pours His mercy upon us, offering up Christ’s life instead of ours in atonement for our sins, since St. Paul writes that “the wages of sin is death.” (Romans 6:23) And the measure in which we share mercy is the condition by which God shares His mercy with us (forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive…) One could say that every Christian is expected to act with mercy in relation to others and not maintaining the view of justice my five-year-old has in relation to her toys.
While that may sound unduly harsh, it is an invitation to us to release those who’ve injured us by their words or actions, and to trust that God will dole out mercy and justice where appropriate – in the same way as He gives those to us. Unforgiveness binds us to this person, to the hurt we’ve experienced at their hands, while our own acts of mercy leave them where they belong: in God’s hands. Since this is the place we would most want to be, let us “put aside childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11), and pray for the grace of mercy both for and in ourselves.
(This was the first part of a talk I gave on the weekend, explaining the Catholic position on the dealth penalty. This need for mercy, as well as the integral dignity of every human life from conception until natural death means that we do not support the death penalty in any circumstance where there is another option. And in North America, where we have solitary confinement and maximum security prisons, there is always another option to keep society safe.)
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