Sunday, July 25, 2010

Worship of God vs. Worship of Self


"The worship of the golden calf is a self-generated cult. When Moses stays away for too long, and God himself become inaccessible, the people just fetch him. Worship becomes a feast that the community gives itself, a festival of self-affirmation. Instead of being worship of God, it becomes a circle closed in on itself; eating, drinking, and making merry. The dance around the golden calf is an image of this self-seeking worship. It is a kind of banal self-gratification.




"The narrative of the golden calf is a warning about any kind of self-initiated and self-seeking worship. Ultimately, it is no longer concerned with God but with giving oneself a nice little alternative world, manufactured from one’s own resources. Then liturgy really does become pointless, just fooling around. Or still worse it becomes an apostasy from the living God, an apostasy in sacral disguise. All that is left in the end is frustration, a feeling of emptiness." ~ His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, "Spirit of the Liturgy"



Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Nothing Without the Bishop


"See that you all follow the bishop, even as Jesus Christ does the Father, and the presbytery as you would the apostles; and reverence the deacons, as being the institution of God. Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church."


"Let no man do anything connected with the Church without the bishop. Let that be deemed a proper Eucharist, which is [administered] either by the bishop, or by one to whom he has entrusted it. Wherever the bishop shall appear, there let the multitude [of the people] also be; even as, wherever Jesus Christ is, there is the Catholic Church. It is not lawful without the bishop either to baptize or to celebrate a love-feast; but whatsoever he shall approve of, that is also pleasing to God, so that everything that is done may be secure and valid.~ St. Ignatius of Antioch, "Epistle to the Smyrnaeans"


"During the first three centuries, the entire religious life of the diocese centered around the person of the bishop. The priests and deacons were his auxiliaries but they worked under the immediate direction of the bishop. In large cities, however, like Rome, it was soon found necessary to hand over permanently to the priests and deacons certain definite functions. Moreover, as a result of the spread of Christianity outside the great centres of population, the bishop gradually left to other ecclesiastics the administration of a fixed portion of the diocesan territory. In the East, at first bishoprics were created in all districts where there was a considerable number of Christians." ~ New Advent Article, "Bishop"

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Veiling of Women

"And this is why the female body should be veiled because everything which is sacred calls for veiling. When Moses came down from Mount Sinai, he veiled his face. Why did he veil his face? Because he had spoken to God and at that very moment there was a sacredness that called for veiling. Now... feminists after Vatican II suddenly ‘discovered’ that when women go to Church veiled, it is a sign of their inferiority. The man takes off his hat and the woman puts on a veil. My goodness, how they have lost the sense of the supernatural. Veiling indicates sacredness and it is a special privilege of the woman that she enters church veiled.” ~ Dr. Alice Von Hildebrand





Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Feminine Genius

"The Church desires to give thanks to the Most Holy Trinity for the "mystery of woman" and for every woman - for that which constitutes the eternal measure of her feminine dignity, for the "great works of God", which throughout human history have been accomplished in and through her. After all, was it not in and through her that the greatest event in human history - the incarnation of God himself - was accomplished?


"Therefore the Church gives thanks for each and every woman: for mothers, for sisters, for wives; for women consecrated to God in virginity; for women dedicated to the many human beings who await the gratuitous love of another person; for women who watch over the human persons in the family, which is the fundamental sign of the human community; for women who work professionally, and who at times are burdened by a great social responsibility; for "perfect" women and for "weak" women - for all women as they have come forth from the heart of God in all the beauty and richness of their femininity; as they have been embraced by his eternal love; as, together with men, they are pilgrims on this earth, which is the temporal "homeland" of all people and is transformed sometimes into a "valley of tears"; as they assume, together with men, a common responsibility for the destiny of humanity according to daily necessities and according to that definitive destiny which the human family has in God himself, in the bosom of the ineffable Trinity.


"The Church gives thanks for all the manifestations of the feminine "genius" which have appeared in the course of history, in the midst of all peoples and nations; she gives thanks for all the charisms which the Holy Spirit distributes to women in the history of the People of God, for all the victories which she owes to their faith, hope and charity: she gives thanks for all the fruits of feminine holiness." ~ His Holiness Pope Venerable John Paul II, "Mulieris Dignitatem"

Monday, July 12, 2010

Prayer for the Preservation of the Faith

"O My Redeemer, will that dreadful time ever come, when but few Christians shall be left who are inspired by the Spirit of Faith, that time when Thine anger shall be provoked and Thy protection shall be take away from us? Have our vices and our evil lives irrevocably moved Thy justice to take vengeance, perhaps this very day, upon Thy children? O Thou, the beginning and End of our Faith, we conjure Thee, in the bitterness of our contrite and humbled hearts, not to suffer the fair Light of Faith to be extinguished in us.
"Remember Thy mercies of old, turn Thine eyes in mercy upon the vineyard planted by Thine Own Right Hand, and watered by the sweat of the Apostles, by the precious blood of countless Martyrs and by the tears of so many sincere penitents, and made fruitful by the prayers of so many Confessors and innocent Virgins.
"O Divine Mediator, look upon those zealous souls who raise their hearts to Thee and pray ceaselessly for the maintenance of that most precious gift of Thine, the True Faith. We beseech Thee, O God of justice, to hold back the decree of our rejection, and to turn away Thine eyes from our vices and regard instead the adorable Blood shed upon the Cross, which purchased our salvation and daily intercedes for us upon our altars.
"Ah, keep us safe in the True Catholic and Roman Faith. Let sickness afflict us, vexations waste us, misfortunes overwhelm us! But preserve in us Thy holy Faith; for if we are rich with this precious gift, we shall gladly endure every sorrow, and nothing shall ever be able to change our happiness. On the other hand, without this great treasure of Faith, our unhappiness would be unspeakable and without limit!
"O Good Jesus, Author of our Faith, preserve it untainted within us; keep us safe in the Barque of Peter, faithful and obedient to his successor and Thy Vicar here on earth, that so the unity of Holy Church may be maintained, holiness fostered, the Holy See protected in freedom, and the Church Universal extended to the benefit of souls.
"O Jesus, Author of our Faith, humble and convert the enemies of Thy Church; grant true peace and concord to all Christian kings and princes and to all believers; strengthen and preserve us in Thy holy service, so that we may live in Thee and die in Thee.
"O Jesus, author of our faith, let me live for Thee and die for Thee. Amen."

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Desertion from Christ and the Civilization of the World

"Let all remember that the flood of evil and disaster that has over-taken the world in past years was due chiefly to the fact that the divine religion of Jesus Christ, that provider of mutual charity among citizens, peoples and nations, did not govern, as it should, private, domestic and public life. If things have gone wrong on account of the desertion from Christ, public and private life must return to Him as soon as possible: if error has clouded the minds of men, they must return to that truth which, revealed from on high, indicates the right way to heaven: if hatred has brought them fatal results, they must return to Christian love which alone can heal their many wounds, and carry them over the crisis so filled with danger." ~ His Holiness Pope Venerable Pius XII, "Optatissima Pax"


"The civilization of the world is Christian. The more completely Christian it is, the more true, more lasting and more productive of genuine fruit it is. On the other hand, the further it draws away from the Christian ideal, the more seriously the social order is endangered. By the very nature of things, the Church has consequently become the guardian and protector of Christian society. That fact was universally recognized and admitted in other periods of history. In truth, it formed a solid foundation for civil legislation. On that very fact rested the relations between Church and State; the public recognition of the authority of the Church in those matters which touched upon conscience in any manner, the subordination of all the laws of the State to the Divine laws of the Gospel; the harmony of the two powers in securing the temporal welfare of the people in such a way that their eternal welfare did not suffer." ~ His Holiness Pope St. Pius X, "Il Fermo Proposito"

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Church Born of Sacrifice

"But it is particularly as the ministers of Jesus Christ in the great sacrifice which is constantly renewed with abiding power for the salvation of the world, that we have the duty of conforming our minds to that spirit in which he offered himself as an unspotted victim to God on the altar of the Cross. In the Old Law, though victims were only shadowy figures and symbols, sanctity of a high degree was demanded of the priest; what then of us, now that the victim is Christ himself? “How pure should not he be who shares in this sacrifice! More resplendent than the sun must be the hand that divides this Flesh, the mouth that is filled with spiritual fire, the tongue that is reddened by this Blood!” ~ His Holines Pope St. Pius X, "Haerent Animo"


"The divine Redeemer has so willed it that the priestly life begun with the supplication and sacrifice of His mortal body should continue without intermission down the ages in His Mystical Body which is the Church. That is why He established a visible priesthood to offer everywhere the clean oblation which would enable men from East to West, freed from the shackles of sin, to offer God that unconstrained and voluntary homage which their conscience dictates. In obedience, therefore, to her Founder’s behest, the Church prolongs the priestly mission of Jesus Christ mainly by means of the sacred liturgy. She does this in the first place at the altar, where constantly the sacrifice of the cross is represented and with a single difference in the manner of its offering, renewed." ~ His Holiness Pope Ven. Pius XII, "Mediator Dei"


"And in the frail and perishable body that divine Host, which is the immortal Body of Christ, implants a principle of resurrection, a seed of immortality, which one day must germinate. That to this source man’s soul and body will be indebted for both these boons has been the constant teaching of the Church, which has dutifully reaffirmed the affirmation of Christ: “He that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood hath everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day”." ~ His Holiness Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis"


"The Church was born of the paschal mystery. For this very reason the Eucharist, which is in an outstanding way the sacrament of the paschal mystery, stands at the centre of the Church’s life. This is already clear from the earliest images of the Church found in the Acts of the Apostles: “They devoted themselves to the Apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers” (2:42). The “breaking of the bread” refers to the Eucharist. Two thousand years later, we continue to relive that primordial image of the Church. At every celebration of the Eucharist, we are spiritually brought back to the paschal Triduum: to the events of the evening of Holy Thursday, to the Last Supper and to what followed it. The institution of the Eucharist sacramentally anticipated the events which were about to take place, beginning with the agony in Gethsemane. Once again we see Jesus as he leaves the Upper Room, descends with his disciples to the Kidron valley and goes to the Garden of Olives." ~ His Holiness Pope Ven. John Paul II, "Ecclesia de Eucharistia"


"If any one saith, that the sacrifice of the mass is only a sacrifice of praise and of thanksgiving; or, that it is a bare commemoration of the sacrifice consummated on the cross, but not a propitiatory sacrifice; or, that it profits him only who receives; and that it ought not to be offered for the living and the dead for sins, pains, satisfactions, and other necessities; let him be anathema." ~ The Council of Trent, Session XXII


"But every Lord’s day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations." ~ Didache

Monday, July 5, 2010

We Preach Christ Crucified

"For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness." (The First Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians 1:22, DRB)


"The people that sat in darkness, hath seen great light: and to them that sat in the region of the shadow of death, light is sprung up." Gospel According to St. Matthew 4:16, DRB)


"On my bridal day, kneeling before the altar of God, I was handed a crucifix, kissing it with all the love and gratitude of my heart I said,

'God forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of Jesus Christ my Lord, by whom I am crucified to the world and the world to me.'

"I was then clothed in “the garments of salvation”, the cross-form of my religious habit … rejoicing that the bill of my divorce from this world had been sealed." ~ The Joy of a Nun

Friday, July 2, 2010

All Their Hope in Its Corruption

"By which impious opinions and machinations these most deceitful men chiefly aim at this result, viz., that the salutary teaching and influence of the Catholic Church may be entirely banished from the instruction and education of youth, and that the tender and flexible minds of young men may be infected and depraved by every most pernicious error and vice. For all who have endeavored to throw into confusion things both sacred and secular, and to subvert the right order of society, and to abolish all rights, human and divine, have always (as we above hinted) devoted all their nefarious schemes, devices and efforts, to deceiving and depraving incautious youth and have placed all their hope in its corruption." ~ His Holiness Pope Blessed Pius XI, "Quanta Cura"