- Tuesday, 22 May 2012 10:16
At Monday’s lunch with many of the cardinals –not all–Pope Benedict XVI spoke of the struggle he and they are engaged together: for good against evil. Not exactly a lite topic for discussion for a lunch celebrating one’s 85th birthday and 7th anniversary of election to the Chair of Saint Peter, but a point that is true and needs to be addressed.
In reading his text (below) you will notice the Pope’s use of the concept ecclesia militans – the Church Militant – which he admits is “old fashion” but still fitting today. When we say “the Church Militant” it means all living Christians who struggle against sin, the devil, or as the Apostle Paul says “..the rulers of the darkness of this world” and “spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).
“Church Militant” has two other sisters, “Church Triumphant” and “Church Suffering” that give context to Christian life in light of the doctrine of the Communion of Saints and of what we know the Church to be.
The quick definition of the “Church Triumphant” (Ecclesia Triumphans), indicates those who live in the beatific vision, they see and are seen by God; we say these people are in heaven. The feast day for those in heaven is November 1, All Saints Day. When we speak of the “Church Suffering” (also called the Church Penitent, Ecclesia Penitens; or Church Expectant, Ecclesia Expectans), we believe that this group of believers are the souls in purgatory. The feast day is All Souls, November 2.
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- Monday, 16 January 2012 15:40
New Year greetings are exchanged between the Holy
Father and the authorities of the City of Rome, the Region of Lazio, and the
Province of Rome. On one level this meeting is a formality, because it is. But
there is a deeper issue at hand: collaborate with others to build up the
Kingdom even when your partner is perhaps secular. As Saint John Bosco did, as
well as countless other good educators, if you want to influence others, then
get to know the other person. Rome’s ecclesial leaders aren’t always on the
same page as the civil leaders, but absenting oneself from the other is no way
to advance the good life. And the Pope realizes this fact.
“The challenges we are currently facing are numerous and complex, and can
be overcome only if we reinforce our awareness that the destiny of each of us
is linked to that of everyone else. For this reason … acceptance, solidarity
and legality are fundamental values. The present crisis can, then, be an
opportunity for the entire community to verify whether the values upon which
social life is founded have generated a society that is just, fair and united,
or whether it is necessary to undertake a profound rethink in order to
rediscover values which … not only favor economic recovery, but which are
also attentive to promoting the integral good of human beings.”
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- Monday, 16 January 2012 14:49
The other day the Pope’s Secretary of State Cardinal Tarcisio
Bertone SDB celebrated Mass for the Vatican’s jurists where he noted “with the
beginning of a new judicial year … we are again invited to reflect upon the
relationship between divine and human justice, so that our consciences may be
illuminated and our actions may, as far as possible, correspond to the divine
will and its plan of love for each individual and for the community of man.” Moreover,
Bertone picked up a current theme of Benedict’s these days, that is, that of
justice, in which he called attention to the specific vocation of the Church to
be “a sign and instrument of God’s love [charity], and of His justice which is always an
expression of His merciful love.”
- Friday, 23 December 2011 08:15
Father Steve Rossetti, a priest of the Diocese of Syracuse (NY) and a professor of Theology at the Catholic University of America, is spending the Christmas holiday at the South Pole.
How many people do you know who would opt for a holiday at the South Pole where on a good day it is 24 degrees? On a bad day, you could just be stuck there…. Honestly, I dot know many people who would go on this type of adventure. Father Rossetti’s at the South Pole because of friendship, first with God, then with the workers and with himself. Friendship that says I am a part of something greater than myself.
To me, Father Rossetti is giving us an example of what it means to be self-giving, a gesture of true charity which shows Christ’s concern for others. Going to the South Pole is more than a charitable work. It is a way of being, a way of standing in awe at the Divine Majesty. Why is this important to me? Because it reminds me (the act educates me) to the fact of the Incarnation as a given to human history: we are given.
- Tuesday, 29 November 2011 20:45
In today’s editorial piece, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski personally addressed the US President Barack Obama on matters pertaining to conscience and religious freedom. Conscience is more than a policy; conscience is a basic human right given by God Himself. It is good piece for all to read –especially Catholics– as it outlines recent history lest we forget. Wenski is right to bring to light the transgressions on conscience by this Administration. Our thanks to the Archbishop for teaching the faith. Thoughts?
In May 2009, President Obama gave the commencement address at Notre Dame University and received an honorary degree. That Notre Dame would confer an honorary degree on an elected official who advances abortion rights in contradiction to Catholic teaching caused no small controversy among many Catholics throughout the United States.
Those who supported Notre Dame felt vindicated, however, when in his speech the President promised to “honor the conscience of those who disagree with abortion,” stating that his Administration would provide “sensible” protections for those who wanted no involvement in the procedure. This would presumably include health-care providers, social-service providers, and consumers who might otherwise have to pay through their health-care plans for other people’s abortions. Obama later reiterated this position to Catholic newspaper editors, stating that he would make such protections “robust.”
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