Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Reflection on the Catholic Church

The barque of Peter is constructed from the wood of Christ's Cross.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Reflection on "Divine Mercy Sunday"

In the Wounds of Christ are the roots of justice submerged, and from which mercy sprouts forth. 

Reflection on the Jubilee of Mercy 2

When ignores the reality of sin, one passes over the excellence of sanctity to which all are called. If man is only in need of "education" to be a worthy citizen, what is left of grace and the divine action? 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

A Synod on Grace

''If anyone says that the grace of God can be conferred because of human prayer, and not rather that it is grace itself that prompts us to pray, one contradicts the prophet Isaiah or the apostle who says the same thing: ''I have been found by those who did not seek me: I have shown Myself to those who did not ask for Me.''

''If anyone contends that God awaits our will before cleansing us from sin, but does not confess that even the desire to be cleansed is aroused in us by the infusion and action of the Holy Spirit, he opposes the Holy Spirit Himself speaking through Solomon: ''The will is prepared by the Lord'' (Prov 8:35) and the apostle's salutary message: ''God is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.''

''If anyone says that mercy is divinely conferred upon us, without God's grace, we believe, will, desire, strive, labour, pray, keep watch, endeavour, request, seek, knock, but does not confess that it is through the infusion and inspiration of the Holy Spirit that we believe, will, or are able to do all these things as is required; or if anyone subordinate the help of grace to humility or human obedience and does not admit that it is the very gift of grace that makes us obedient and humble, one contradicts the apostle, who says, ''What have you that you did not receive?'' (1 Cor 4:7); and also: ''By the grace of God I am what I am''

(Second Council of Orange, approved by Pope Boniface II)

Comment: So many of the errors of the post-Conciliar era have stemmed from the failure to distinguish between the orders of nature (or reason) grace (or the supernatural). It is utterly damning for a cleric charged with defending the Apostolic Doctrine to confound the two orders which results in the nullification of our Redemption and the demands of purity and mortification.When one is incapable of contrasting (not as opposed, but as distinct) the two orders, what is offered by Christian morality other than apparent good manners? This would not be beyond the reach of the Stoic or Epicurean. After all, the requirements of Christian sanctification would appear entirely absurd is we were to omit the supernatural end to which we are called, particularly in light of our fall from original integrity and justice in Adam. If man has a purely natural end, to which his faculties are adequately proportioned and to which is nature lends a claim, what is left for Christ to accomplish?

 Since the substance of a act is determined by its object, it follows that if our object is supernatural, our acts of faith, hope and charity must exceed the province of nature and reason. As man has fallen from his supernatural integrity in Adam, it is necessary for man to be elevated and directed to this end solely by God's vital assistance. Man's natural capacities have been vitiated which make his adherence to the natural law and with more reason, he is completely unable to raise himself by his own powers to the supernatural. It is for reason that we state that the beginning of faith proceeds from divine operating grace. It is not as a result of our faith (supernatural in substance due to its supernatural end) that God confers grace as though we are to be rewarded for our efforts. Accordingly it is due to His conferring of grace that we are able to exert any effort in the supernatural sphere. From his grace, we will, desire, strive, seek and ultimately accomplish due to His good pleasure.

 If we fail to acknowledge this truth, it would follow that there is no necessity of belonging to the Catholic Church for our salvation. What would the Church provide other than ''moral guidance'', which man can profit from without entering her formally? We can see the disaster in this when we witness the canonization of someone at their funeral, by a well meaning but evidently oblivious priest. Regardless of someone's striving for Christian perfection (that is, in the supernatural order), independently of their adherence to the basis demands of purity, we are told that their ''good heart' suffices for salvation. Are we to hold that God owes it to us to allow us entry to the Beatific Vision (if this is even admitted)? Is God under obligation to us? What is the use of baptism, of the Eucharist, of Penance? The Crucifixion is therefore superfluous and unfitting.

 Let us not fail to admit our utter dependence on God in the natural sphere (Who moves our intellects and wills according to a natural concurrence), and even more in the supernatural realm.What do we have that we have not received? What could we desire that God has not moved us to desire? Who will bring us to that end unfailingly, other than the Author of Grace?

Friday, 3 April 2015

The Pope Speaks

Pope Leo XIII on the New Church, ''Testem Benevolentiae''

''The basis of the new opinions that We have mentioned is established is essentially this: In order that those who dissent may more easily be brought over to Catholic wisdom, the Church should come closer to the humanity of a more mature age and, relaxing her old severity, manifest indulgence towards the beliefs and the opinions of the people that have recently been introduced. Moreover, many think that this should be understood not only with regard to the standard of living, but even with regard to the doctrines in which the deposit of faith is contained. For, they contend that it is opportune, to win over those who are in agreement, if certain topics of doctrine are passed over as of lesser importance or are so softened that they do not retain the same sense as the Church has always held.
 Now the history of all past ages is witness that this Apostolic See, to which not only the office of teaching but also the supreme government of the whole Church were assigned, has indeed continually adhered ''to the same doctrine, in the same sense, and in the same mind'', but, on the other hand, that it always been accustomed to regulate the rule of life so as to never overlook the manners and customs of the various peoples it embraces, while keeping the divine law unimpaired. If the safety of souls demands this, who will doubt that it will do so now?

Comment: The glory of the Apostolic See is the Apostolic Doctrine. The net of Peter has been cast over the whole world to bind all lands in the one faith of the one Lord. The zealous guarding of the Deposit of Faith, wherein is contained fidelity to the revelation of Our Lord and the Holy Ghost, is the chief duty of Eternal Rome. May the current occupant of the Throne of Peter not be ashamed before his predecessors! What benefit may a soul accrue by coming to possess the name of Catholic if not the faith and grace of one?