The Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Archbishop Gerhard L. Müller, addressed the Pontifical Academy of Life on 22 February 2013. It was the annual meeting in Rome. Müller’s talk didn’t shatter too many windows by unearthing new problems, nor did it break new ground in the Church’s teaching. Müller gives a brief assessment of the situation and that we have gone off the tracks in some ways. He does, however, shed light on the fact that we need to take more seriously our moral and faith formation and to put in the time doing the hard work to know the issues and how to respond to them according the parameters of the Catholic Faith. Too often we are afraid to do the hard work. And that’s the ministry of the Prefect: to illumine and offer a corrective. Archbishop Müller did challenge, to a degree, the theological professorial establishment, even if the talk may be seen a bit anemic.
In today’s mail I received my copy of George Weigel’s latest book, Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21-Century Church (Basic Books, 2013).
“The internal dynamics of he Church itself, attentive tot eh promptings of the divine Bridegroom and the unique challenges posed to the Great Commission by late modernity and post-modernity, have, together, impelled a new evolution in the Church’s self-understanding and self-expression. The result of that evolution, Evangelical Catholicism, is an expression of the four enduring marks of Christian ecclesial life –unity, holiness, catholicity, and apostolicity.”
A fantasy [that people have] property takes no account of the fact that, for the great majority of mankind, life is a struggle. On those grounds I would see this idea of choosing one’s own path in life as a selfish attitude and as a waste of one’s vocation. Anyone who thinks he already has it all, so that he can take what he wants and center everything on himself is depriving himself of giving what he otherwise could.
Man is not there to make himself, but to respond to demands made upon him. We all stand in a great arena of history and are dependent upon each other. A man ought not, therefore, just try to figure out what he would like, but to ask what he can do, and how he can help. Then he will see that fulfillment does not lie in comfort, ease and following one’s inclinations, but precisely in allowing demands to be made upon one, in taking the harder path. Everything else turns out somehow boring, anyway. Only the man who “risks the fire”, who recognizes a calling within himself, a vocation, and ideal he must satisfy, who takes on real responsibility, will find fulfillment. It is not in taking, not on the path of comfort that we become rich, but only in giving.
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger
God and the World, p. 258
Yesterday was the great feast of The Solemnity of the
Body and Blood of Christ. At Saint Catherine of Siena Church in New York City
the parish community with the Dominican Friars led by Father Jordan Kelly
celebrated a Solemn Mass for the feast and then took to the streets with the Monstrance containing Our Lord and Savior. For the
first time in years Our Lord in His Eucharistic Presence was carried in
procession in the neighborhood of the church. Imagine the faces of Catholics, Christians, Jews, Muslims and those who do not share our Eucharistic faith seeing such display of faith and devotion!
If we wish to
understand the power of Christ’s blood, we should go back to the ancient
account of its prefiguration in Egypt. ‘Sacrifice a lamb without blemish’,
commanded Moses, ‘and sprinkle its blood on your doors’. If we were to ask him
what he meant, and how the blood of an irrational beast could possibly save
people endowed with reason, his answer would be that the saving power lies not
in the blood itself, but in the fact that it is a sign of the Lord’s blood. In
those days, when the destroying angel saw the blood on the doors he did not
dare to enter, so how much less will the devil approach now when he sees, not
that figurative blood on the doors, but the true blood on the lips of
believers, the doors of the temple of Christ.