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This divine and human reality of the Church is organically joined to the divine and human reality of Christ Himself. The Church is in a certain sense the continuation of the mystery of the Incarnation. The Apostle Paul actually spoke of the Church as the Body of Christ, (Cor 12:27; Eph 1:23; Col 1:24), just as Jesus compared the Christic-ecclesial "whole" to the unity of a vine with its branches (John 15: 1-5).
From this premise it follows that believing in the Church, stating in regard to her the "yes" of acceptance in faith, is a logical consequence of the entire Creed, and particularly of our profession of faith in Christ, the God-man. It is a demand resulting from the internal logic of the Creed and should be kept in mind, especially in our time, when we feel that many are separating, and even opposing the Church and Christ, when they say, for example, "Christ - yes, the Church- no!" This opposition is not entirely new, but has been proposed again in certain parts of the contemporary world. And so it is good to devote today's catechesis to a calm and accurate examination of the meaning of our yes to the Church even in reference to the opposition just mentioned.
We can admit that this opposition to the Church originates within the particular complexity belonging to our act of faith, by which we say: "I believe in the Church." One could ask whether it is legitimate to include among the divine truths to be believed a human, historical, visible reality such as the Church; a reality which like any human thing, has limitations, imperfections, sinfulness on the part of the persons who belong to every level of her institutional structure: lay people as well as ecclesiastics, even among us Pastors of the Church, without anyone being excluded from this sad inheritance of Adam.
We must note, however, that Jesus Christ Himself wanted our faith in the Church to face and overcome this difficulty, when he chose Peter as "the rock upon which I will build My Church" (Mt. 16:18). We know from the Gospel, which reports the very words of Jesus, how humanly imperfect and weak the chosen rock was, as Peter demonstrated at the time of his great test. The Gospel itself, nevertheless, testifies that Peter's triple denial, shortly after he had assured the Master of his fidelity, did not cancel his selection by Christ (Luke 22:23; John 21: 15-17). Rather, one notices that peter acquires a new maturity through contrition for his sin, so that after Christ's resurrection he can balance his triple denial with a triple confession: "Yes, Lord, you know that I love You" (John 21: 15), and he is able to receive from the risen Christ the triple confirmation of his mandate as pastor of the Church: "Feed my lambs" (John 21: 15-17). Peter then proved that he loved Christ "more than these" (John 21: 15), by serving in the Church, according to his mandate of apostleship and governance, until his death by martyrdom, his definitive witness for building the Church.
Next installment: part two.
The material in this article is based especially on many years that I have personally spent in seeking the shortest way to the heart. What I have found through prayer, hard work, failures, setbacks and sprints ahead, I take courage in sharing with you in the very best of my findings.
Before we begin, it should be understood that we of today, are a damaged generation, damaged enough, perhaps that we find ourselves a crippled people. So many of us have bee taught that if we would ever hope to achieve success in this, the only life we have, we must cultivate the mind and make the best use of it every inch of the way as we pass through the years from achieving the age of reason till we arrive at death'' gate.
I have no doubt that Satan has had a great part in convincing those who seem to be in charge of this generation that, that is the only way to go, i.e. live in such a way that the mind, its powers and what it contains, are the chief tools at our disposal as we make our way on our own private journey. He had tricked our First Parents into believing this and down through the centuries, he has made and to this day, makes every effort to trick every human being in the same way. It seems that in our present day, he has won one of the greatest victories. We are indeed a mentally orientated generation, we are a people imprisoned ion our minds.
It is always a bit dangerous to make things simple. On the one hand, presenting something in its simplest way, may cause many to turn away in favor of that which may be more challenging to the mind. On the other hand, presenting material which is absolutely helpful, presenting it in a way which is not tedious to the mind already drowning in complexities, may be the better way to go. Nonetheless, here it is, here is a formula, simple and sweet, which when made use of, will bring one to a richer and more rewarding life, a life lived in the heart:
GAIN CONTROL OVER THE INTAKE OF THE MIND
...AND REV UP THE ACTIVITIES OF THE HEART.
It is just that simple!
In the next installment I will continue to impart valuable tips on "Shortcuts to the Heart."
Interior Minister Rodolfo Mendoza said Carlos Enrique Vielman, 24, is the prime suspect in the murder of Bishop Gerardi by crushing his head with a cement block. The bishop was killed just two days after releasing a report critical of the Guatemalan army, saying it had committed numerous human rights atrocities during the country's 36-year civil war. His death was followed by four days of protest by outraged Guatemalans.
Mendoza carefully avoided speculating on whether the murder was part of a conspiracy to silence the bishop, but noted Vielman's criminal record which includes arrests for rape, battery, and public drunkenness. Two witnesses picked Vielman's photograph out of police archives, Mendoza said. One witness was a church worker from the downtown Guatemala City parish where Bishop Gerardi lived, and where he was killed as he got out of his car in his garage. The other witness was a man who slept in the park across the street from the parish.<
China expresses regret over the Vatican's unauthorized appointment of two people as members of the Asian bishops' conference," Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao told a news briefing. He would not confirm that the government had refused to allow Bishop Matthias Duan Yinming and Bishop Joseph Xu Zhixuan permission to attend. The Italian news agency ANSA on Monday quoted Bishop Duan as saying the two bishops had been denied passports to attend the meeting because the Vatican had no diplomatic ties with China and had not discussed the issue with the state-run church.
The two bishops are part of the Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association which eschews any relationship with the universal Catholic Church, including such doctrines as papal authority and the collegiality of bishops. The association, which appoints its own bishops without approval from the Holy Father, claims four million members, but the underground Church which remains loyal to Rome has as many as eight million members.
The Holy Father stressed the importance of pastoral work among university students, pointing out that when there are no spiritual principles to guide the work of the affluent and educated-- in "a culture which exalts the individual to an absolute degree, and does not encourage solidarity"-- there is a risk that authority and power will be abused, so that they lead to "domination of the weak by the strong."
"The university chapel is called to be the vital center of the promotion of a renewal in Christian culture," the Pope said. He urged the chaplains to redouble their efforts to instill a sense of Christian purpose in the midst of academic training.
Issa, a self-made millionaire, responded last month to a question about how he's fighting drug abuse by saying: "I've been very active at St. Vincent de Paul." However, Father Joe Carroll, who heads the San Diego chapter of the group, said Issa has only given small amounts of money and time. Issa's spokesman Lisa Gimbel said the controversy over her boss's remark, made after a speech in Sacramento on April 7, was one of semantics and dirty politics. "I think it's not what you meant, it's what you said that everybody puts under the magnifying glass," Gimbel said. "He's not a liar, he's honest and he's sincere."
Gimbel said Issa meant that he makes small gifts to St. Vincent de Paul and is a close friend of Father Carroll. But Father Carroll denies even that claim, saying he's only met with Issa a few times. "He is a small donor, but has not really given time to us," Carroll said. "It would not be considered active with us." Issa is leading his only close rival for the Republican nomination in the June primary to oppose Democrat Senator Barbara Boxer in November.
Death of Saint Gothard, also known as Godehard. Born in 962, he became a Benedictine monk and then bishop of Bavaria. St. Gothard Pass in the Swiss Alps derives its name from the chapel built there to honor this saint who was canonized in 1131 by Pope Innocent II.
Death of Prince Edward of England when Queen Margaret, also of England, is defeated at Tewkesbury Edward IV in the War of Roses. Twelve years later on the same date Edward's son Edward V would march into London and a new regime would begin in the British Isles. Both sides were loyal to the Church so Rome showed no favorites.
In honor of his great discovery, Christopher Columbus is granted an official Spanish Coat of Arms by Queen Isabella and King Ferdinand. On this same day Pope Alexander VI, a Spanish native, sets a line of demarcation 100 leagues west of the Azores between Spanish and Portuguese interests of exploration. Since it naturally favored Spain, it would be altered at the Treaty of Tordesillas a year later.