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ANGELUS Message for March 26, 2000 from the Basilica of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
These have been days of intense emotion, a time when our soul has been stirred not only by the memory of what God has done but by His very presence, walking with us once again in the Land of Christ's Birth, Death and Resurrection. And at every step of this Jubilee Pilgrimage Mary has been with us, lighting our pilgrim path and sharing the joys and sorrows of her sons and daughters.
With Mary, Mater dolorosa, we stand in the shadow of the Cross and weep with her over the affliction of Jerusalem and over the sins of the world. We stand with her in the silence of Calvary, and see the blood and water flowing from the wounded side of her Son. Realizing the terrible consequences of sin, we are moved to repentance for our own sins and for the sins of the Church's children in every age. O Mary, conceived without sin, help us on the path to conversion!
With Mary, Stella matutina, we have been touched by the light of the Resurrection. We rejoice with her that the empty Tomb has become the womb of eternal life, where He who rose from the dead now sits at the Father's right hand. With her we give endless thanks for the grace of the Holy Spirit Whom the Risen Lord sent upon the Church at Pentecost and Whom He continually pours into our hearts, for our salvation and for the good of the human family.
Mary, Regina in caelum assumpta. From the Tomb of her Son, we look to the tomb where Mary lay sleeping in peace, awaiting her glorious Assumption. The Divine Liturgy celebrated at her tomb in Jerusalem has Mary say: "Even beyond death, I am not far from you". And in the Liturgy her children reply: "Seeing your tomb, O holy Mother of God, we seem to contemplate you. O Mary, you are the joy of the angels, the comfort of the afflicted. We proclaim you as the stronghold of all Christians and, most of all, as Mother". In contemplating the Theotokos, almost at this journey's end, we look upon the true face of the Church, radiant in all her beauty, shining with "the glory of God which is on the face of Christ" (2 Corinthians 4:6). O Advocate, help the Church to be ever more like you, her exalted model. Help her to grow in faith, hope and love, as she searches out and does the will of God in all things (cf. Lumen Gentium, 65). O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
In his column today, Pat Ludwa takes on the dissenters within the Church who insist on foisting their own pantheistic, relativistic beliefs on other Catholics in an effort to justify their freedom of conscience campaign which, in effect, is binding them to satan for rather than eschewing freedom and a democratic church as is their goal, they are separating themselves from Christ and His One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church for they cry out, through their actions, the clarion of lucifer: "Non serviam." "I will not serve." Pat shows how the Nicene Creed, established by the Church in 325 at the Council of Nicaea, has served the Church and her children well for it has stood as a barometer of all Catholics must believe. Yet many parishes today insist on foregoing the Nicene Creed for a fabricated creed that forges dissenting thoughts into the liturgy. We must realize that any diversion from the Nicene Creed creates heresy and consequently is not in union with Church teaching. The faster all Catholics realize that, especially the blind sheep being so hoodwinked by these "Dr. Dissento" types, the faster the dissenters will fade away simply from non support. For his column today, Some, who call themselves 'Catholic,' believe in anything but... , see VIEW FROM THE PEW
For us men and our salvation He came down from Heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and His kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son He is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen."
...the prayer we say, in most churches, every Sunday. A simple expression of faith. Almost all of Catholic teaching can be derived from this relatively simple prayer. Belief in the teachings of the Church stems from our belief in God. Not that we so much trust the people IN the Church, but we trust God Who guides His Church. But some churches haven't said the Creed in years, and when some theologians were asked to swear by the Creed as a profession of their faith, they balked saying it was an unfair and oppressive hampering of their freedom of thought.
Well, that's fine, but if they can't join us in saying "We Believe..." can they truly say they're still Catholic?
What passes as dissent today is often nothing more than an expression of a loss of faith. And they express themselves often in a hodgepodge of various beliefs whose only commonality is their opposition to the Church. If we could find one person to speak for the dissenters he might sound something like this. For the sake of this we'll call him Dr. Dissento.
"We Believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of Heaven and earth, and of all that is seen and unseen..." Do you accept this phrase of the Creed?
Dr. Dissento: "Of course not! First of all, this is a very narrow minded expression. One God? What of the other faiths? Buddhist, Hindu, even pagan? Surely there is not just one God, one path to God? It's also patriarchal. The arrogance of calling God a father? Whose to say she's a father? What of those who have abusive fathers? Can they come in trust to a male figure of God? And it isn't so clear that God made Heaven and earth. He IS Heaven and earth."
That sounds strangely like the definition of pantheism: "Reality is a unitary being; individual things have no absolute independence-they have existence in the All-One, the ens realissimum et et perfectissimum of which they are the more or less independent members; The All-One manifests itself to us, so far as it has any manifestations, in the two sides of reality-nature and history; The universal interaction that goes on in the physical world is the showing forth of the inner aesthetic theleological necessity with which the All-One unfolds his essential being in a multitude of harmonious modifications, a cosmos of concrete ideas (monads, entelechies). This internal necessity is at the same time absolute freedom or self-realization."
Yet "the First Vatican Council anathematizes those who assert that the substance or essence of God and of all things is one and the same, or that all things evolve from God's essence"?
Dr. Dissento: "That only shows the narrow minded, patriarchal mindset of the Church. I'm god, you're god, the tree is god, etc. How can there therefore be only one god? "to think that the God of one's own religion is the only one is simply fanaticism. "God" is a cosmic reality, vague and omnipresent;" (ref. NOTIFICATION CONCERNING THE WRITINGS OF FR. ANTHONY DE MELLO, SJ; June 24, 1998)
Ok, what about: "We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father. Through Him all things were made?"
Dr. Dissento: "Well, again, Jesus was not the ONLY son of God, rather He was perfectly awakened person."
This echoes Father DeMello, who was condemned by the Vatican in his stance that Jesus is not recognized as the Son of God, but simply as the One Who teaches us that all people are children of God )
But, if we're god, how can we also be His, her(?) child? Never mind, let's move on. What about the next part of the Nicene Creed? "For us men and our salvation He came down from Heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit He was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man. For our sake He was crucified under Pontius Pilate; He suffered, died, and was buried. On the third day He rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures; He ascended into Heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father."
Dr. Dissento: "Oh come now. You don't believe this fantasy do you? Firstly, it's very sexist. Jesus came just for men? Secondly that He was born of a virgin? This is nothing more than a fable passing as history."
So, you don't believe it?
Dr. Dissento: "Of course not!"
There's no sense in going on then is there?
Dr. Dissento: "I don't see any reason to. The entire thing is garbage."
Dr. Dissento, you consider yourself a devout Catholic do you not?
Dr. Dissento: "Of course. I just don't believe this."
Needless to say, Dr. Dissento is only a fictional character. In fact, if one spoke to any number of dissident theologians, one would hear just as many diverse theologies. THIS, they say is true Catholicism, meaning universal. In that all is good and acceptable. Even diverse and contradictory theories and theologies, just as long as they aren't CATHOLIC theologies.
Of course, true Catholic theology stems from the definition of Catholic given us by St. Ignatius of Antioch, that we are one Church, with one belief, and universal in that it's for all mankind, for all time.
But just as they distort the meaning of Catholic to fit their needs, they distort other terms as well. Freedom of Conscience: Freedom of Conscience is a term that dissenters twist from its true meaning as described in Vatican II. They would have you believe that freedom of conscience means that a person can choose to do anything they want. Essentially, freedom of conscience is a means to practice pluralism. Although some dissenters also add the qualifier of "without harm to the other person," that is clearly false. For example, abortionists and women who choose abortion purportedly claim their right as enabled by freedom of conscience but it is obvious that an innocent unborn baby is killed." (From Vocabulary of Terms Commonly Used by Dissenters by Bruce Sabalaskey)
Essentially, when looked at objectively, their 'agenda' has little to do with authentic spirituality, but rather politics. A secular, humanistic politics. The replacing of a 'perceived' authoritarian, patriarchal Church with an actual authoritarian 'matriarchal (used in the same derogatory way as they use patriarchal) church. Coming from a false sense of compassion and fairness.
So, rather than the very spiritual Creed which confirms our belief in God, they recreate it to reflect an image of themselves:
This is a creed of a man centered, politically motivated, 'church'. It totally rejects the 'rock' which is the Church, standing solidly for the truth, and prefers the 'water' of a formless, pliable church. (WATER is the name of one of their dissident organizations)
How can one, who openly and consistently, rejects the Creed and the teachings of the Catholic say they're still Catholic? The fact is, they can't. The Church hasn't 'kicked' them out, or driven them out. No, they left of their own volition.
They're like a spoiled child who, constantly fighting their parents over what they can do (have sex at home, take drugs, shoot the neighbor, whatever), leave home and tell people that they're still members of that family.
The Church, like a loving mother, waits for her wayward children to come to their senses and return home. But she cannot accept lies and distortions for the truth. Their loss of faith in God translates, not into a belief in nothing, but, as G.K. Chesterton pointed out, into a belief in anything.
Pax Christi, Pat
Today we continue with our new series in the search to uncover the wonderful treasures of the Church contained in the great Deposit of Faith. Today we present, appropriately in following up the Holy Father's "Jubilee Journey" last week, the Promise of the Redeemer as explained in My Catholic Faith for it was that promise that kept alive Salvation History through millenniums until the Incarnation, the Crucifixion and Resurrection. For the 139th installment, see APPRECIATING THE PRECIOUS GIFT OF OUR FAITH
God did not abandon man after Adam fell into sin, but promised to send into the world a Savior to free man from his sins and to reopen to him the gates of Heaven. God could have abandoned man as a consequence of Adam's sin; then the human race would have suffered eternal separation from Him.
The promise was first made to Adam before God sent him out of Paradise. God said to the serpent who had tempted Eve: "I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head" (Genesis 3:15). In this passage, the woman spoken of is the Blessed Virgin Mary. Her seed is Our Lord Jesus Christ. He was the Redeemer promised by God. God said that there would be complete enmity between Our Lord with His Mother on one side, and the devil with his followers on the other.
This promise was renewed several times to the Patriarchs of the Old Testament: to Abraham, Issac, Jacob, and David. Because Abraham remained true to the worship of God in the midst of idolatry, God led him to Canaan. As a reward for his obedience, God promised, "I will make of thee a great nation - and in thee shall all the kindred of the earth be blessed" (Genesis 12: 2, 3). This promise was repeated twice. The same promise "in thy seed shall all the nations be blessed" was repeated to Abraham's son Isaac, and to Isaac's son Jacob. Finally, hundreds of years later, God commanded the prophet Nathan to repeat to King David the very same promise, "He shall build a house to My name, and I will establish his kingdom forever" (2 Kings 7:13).
Later, God sent the Prophets. Through them He foretold many things about the Redeemer: about His birth, His Person, His sufferings, His death, and His final glory. God enlightened the Prophets so that they could speak in His name to the Jews or Israelites, the descendants of Abraham. There were about seventy prophets, the last being Malachias, who lived some 450 years before Christ.
God chose the Jews as the people among whom the promised Savior would live; for this reason we call the Jews the "chosen people". God prepared them for the coming of the Savior: by heavy trials, by severe laws, by miracles, by prophecies. The selection of the Jews did not mean rejection by God of the other nations. Every renewal of God's promise recalled blessings in which all were to share. Even among other nations there were just men. In Greece, Socrates spoke against the worship of idols. Holy Job lived in Arabia. The Magi were of the East. Vergil the poet prayed the virgin-born Son to come and reign over His people.
Tomorrow: The Promise of the Redeemer part two
On this day 622 years ago, Pope Gregory XI passed on to his Heavenly reward. It was Gregory who heeded the advice of Saint Catherine of Siena and returned the Holy See to its rightful seat in Rome after 75 years away. This French-born Pontiff added St. Mary Major as a major Basilica in which one could obtain a Jubilee Indulgence which is in effect this year. For other time capsule events that happened in Church history on this date, see MILLENNIUM MILESTONES AND MEMORIES
Alfonso XI, King of Castile, dies as a result of contracting the plague of the Black Death
Death of Pope Gregory XI, the 201st successor of Peter and the last of the Avignon French Popes. Through the insistence of Saint Catherine of Siena Gregory returned the papal headquarters to Rome after a 75 year exile. Born in Maumont, France, he was elected on December 30, 1370. During his eight year pontificate the Roman Senate donated a part of the Vatican Hill to him which would establish the present Vatican City. Gregory XI included St. Mary Major's among the major Basilicas for gaining a jubilee indulgence which will be in effect for Jubilee 2000 as well.
Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida, proclaiming it for Spain and the Church.
Historical Events in Church Annals for March 27:
Pope Saint Gregory VII crowns Rudolf in place of Henry IV as rightful King of Germany
1350 A.D. Alfonso XI, King of Castile, dies as a result of contracting the plague of the Black Death
1378 A.D. Death of Pope Gregory XI, the 201st successor of Peter and the last of the Avignon French Popes. Through the insistence of Saint Catherine of Siena Gregory returned the papal headquarters to Rome after a 75 year exile. Born in Maumont, France, he was elected on December 30, 1370. During his eight year pontificate the Roman Senate donated a part of the Vatican Hill to him which would establish the present Vatican City. Gregory XI included St. Mary Major's among the major Basilicas for gaining a jubilee indulgence which will be in effect for Jubilee 2000 as well.
1513 A.D. Juan Ponce de Leon discovers Florida, proclaiming it for Spain and the Church.
Today's and tomorrow's liturgy are both Lenten Weekdays For the readings, liturgies, and meditations, see DAILY LITURGY.
"Amen I say to your, no prophet is acceptable in his own courntry."
Special Prayer for Monday in the Third Week of Lent
"Dear children! Pray and make good use of this time, because this is a time of grace. I am with you and I intercede for each one of you before God, for your heart to open to God and to God's love. Little children, pray without ceasing, until prayer becomes a joy for you. Thank you for having responded to my call."
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