Thursday, August 26, 2010

Not Acts of God

"We must make this abundantly clear: evil, suffering, death, and hell (that is, eternal damnation in everlasting torment) are not acts of God. I want to expand on this point. One day Father Candido was expelling a demon. Toward the end of the exorcism, he turned to the evil spirit ans sarcastically told him, "Get out of here. The Lord has already prepared a nice, well-heated house for you!" At this, the demon answered, "You do not know anything! It was not He [God] who made hell. It was us. He had not even thought about it." Similarly, on another occasion, while I was questioning a demon to know whether he had contributed to the creation of hell, I received this answer: "All of us cooperated." ~ Fr. Gabriele Amorth, "An Exorcist Tells His Story"


Fr. Gabriele Amorth is the Chief Exorcist of the Diocese of Rome. Over the course of his 25 year ministry as an exorcist, he has performed over 70,000 exorcisms, averaging 10 exorcisms per day.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Give us God!

"On a more serious note, [Catherine Doherty] was sitting at a table one evening at Madonna House when a young priest stopped in and made it just in time for dinner. Rushed in, he was shown a seat next to Catherine, but he had no idea it was [her]. During supper he began to explain how he was off to study psychology because that is where people really needed help. "Psychology, not theology," was what people today needed. He saw the older woman next to him turn, look him straight in the eye, and rather unceremoniously respond, "Horse shit!" "I beg your pardon?" he stammered. She continued: "You heard me, it's all horse shit. If I want advice about law, I go to a lawyer. If I want help with my health, I go to a doctor. If I want to know about God, I go to a priest." Then she stared him straight in the eye and insisted, "Give us God!" ~ Fr. David Meconi SJ, "Catherine de Hueck Doherty, Essential Writings"

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Assumed Body and Soul into Heavenly Glory

"We rejoice greatly that this solemn event falls, according to the design of God’s providence, during this Holy Year, so that we are able, while the great Jubilee is being observed, to adorn the brow of God’s Virgin Mother with this brilliant gem, and to leave a monument more enduring than bronze of our own most fervent love for the Mother of God. For which reason, after we have poured forth prayers of supplication again and again to God, and have invoked the light of the Spirit of Truth, for the glory of Almighty God who has lavished his special affection upon the Virgin Mary, for the honor of her Son, the immortal King of the Ages and the Victor over sin and death, for the increase of the glory of that same august Mother, and for the joy and exultation of the entire Church; by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own authority, we pronounce, declare, and define it to be a divinely revealed dogma: that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.


"Hence if anyone, which God forbid, should dare willfully to deny or to call into doubt that which we have defined, let him know that he has fallen away completely from the divine and Catholic Faith." ~ His Holiness Pope Venerable Pius XII, "Munificentissimus Deus"


"The Lord hath blessed thee by His power, because by thee He hath brought our enemies to nought. Blessed art thou, O daughter, by the Lord the most high God, above all women upon the earth. Blessed be the Lord who made heaven and earth, who hath directed thee to the cutting off the head of the prince of our enemies. Because he hath so magnified thy name this day, that thy praise shall not depart out of the mouth of men who shall be mindful of the power of the Lord for ever, for that thou hast not spared thy life, by reason of the distress and tribulation of thy people, but hast prevented our ruin in the presence of our God. Thou art the glory of Jerusalem, thou art the joy of Israel, thou art the honor of our people." ~ Book of Judith


"When we have recourse to Mary in prayer, we are having recourse to the Mother of mercy, who is so well disposed toward us that, whatever the necessity that presses upon us especially in attaining eternal life, she is instantly at our side of her own accord, even though she has not been invoked. She dispenses grace with a generous hand from that treasure with which from the beginning she was divinely endowed in fullest abundance that she might be worthy to be the Mother of God. By the fullness of grace which confers on her the most illustrious of her many titles, the Blessed Virgin is infinitely superior to all the hierarchies of men and angels, the one creature who is closest of all to Christ" ~ His Holiness Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris"

Friday, August 6, 2010

Go Ye Therefore, and Teach ALL Nations

"An evident sign of the intention of the Nazarene to gather together the community of the Covenant, to demonstrate in it the fulfilment of the promises made to the Fathers who always speak of convocation, unification, unity, is the institution of the Twelve. We heard about this institution of the Twelve in the Gospel reading. I shall read the central passage again: "And he went up into the hills and called to him those whom he desired; and they came to him. And he appointed twelve to be with him, and to be sent out to preach and have authority to cast out demons. The names of the twelve Apostles are these..." (Mk 3: 13-16; cf. Mt 10: 1-4; Lk 6: 12-16).


"The number 12, which evidently refers to the 12 tribes of Israel, already reveals the meaning of the prophetic-symbolic action implicit in the new initiative to re-establish the holy people. As the system of the 12 tribes had long since faded out, the hope of Israel awaited their restoration as a sign of the eschatological time (as referred to at the end of the Book of Ezekiel: 37: 15-19; 39: 23-29; 40-48).


"In choosing the Twelve, introducing them into a communion of life with himself and involving them in his mission of proclaiming the Kingdom in words and works (cf. Mk 6: 7-13; Mt 10: 5-8; Lk 9: 1-6; 6: 13), Jesus wants to say that the definitive time has arrived in which to constitute the new People of God, the people of the 12 tribes, which now becomes a universal people, his Church." ~ His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, General Audience (March 15, 2006)


"In truth, in Paul's case, some prefer not to use this term [conversion] because, they say, he was already a believer, rather a fervent Hebrew, and therefore he did not pass from no faith to the faith, from the idols to God, nor did he have to abandon the Hebrew faith to adhere to Christ. Actually, the Apostle's experience can be the model of every authentic Christian conversion.


"Paul's conversion matured in his encounter with the Risen Christ; it was this encounter that radically changed his life. What happened to him on the road to Damascus is what Jesus asks in today's Gospel: Saul is converted because, thanks to the divine light, "he has believed in the Gospel". In this consists his and our conversion: in believing in Jesus dead and risen and in opening to the illumination of his divine grace. In that moment Saul understood that his salvation did not depend on good works fulfilled according to the law, but on the fact that Jesus died also for him the persecutor and has risen. This truth by which every Christian life is enlightened thanks to Baptism completely overturns our way of life. To be converted means, also for each one of us, to believe that Jesus "has given himself for me", dying on the Cross (cf. Gal 2: 20) and, risen, lives with me and in me. Entrusting myself to the power of his forgiveness, letting myself be taken by his hand, I can come out of the quicksands of pride and sin, of deceit and sadness, of selfishness and of every false security, to know and live the richness of his love." ~ His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, Angelus (January 25, 2009)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Hatred of Latin is in the Hearts of All Enemies of Rome

"Since the liturgical reform had for one of its principal aims the abolition of actions and formulas of mystical signification, it is a logical consequence that its authors had to vindicate the use of the vernacular in divine worship. This in the eyes of the sectarians is a most important item. Cult is no secret matter. The people, they say, must understand what they sing.


"Hatred for the Latin language is inborn in the heart of all enemies of Rome. They recognize it as the bond of Catholics throughout the universe, as the arsenal of orthodoxy against all the subtleties of the sectarian spirit. They consider it the most efficient weapon of the papacy. The spirit of rebellion which drives them to confide the universal prayer to the idiom of each people, of each province, of each century, has for the rest produced its fruits and the reformed themselves constantly perceive that the Catholic people, in spite of their Latin prayers, relish better and accomplish with more zeal the duties of cult than the Protestant people.


"At every hour of the day divine worship takes place in Catholic churches. (It had been that) The faithful Catholic who assists leaves his mother tongue at the door. Apart from the sermons he hears nothing but mysterious words which, even so, are not heard in the most solemn moment of the Canon of the Mass. Nevertheless, this mystery charms him in such a way that he is not jealous of the lot of the Protestant, even though the latter does not hear a single sound without perceiving its meaning…


"We must admit it is a master blow of Protestantism to have declared war on the sacred language. If it should ever succeed in destroying it, it would be well on its way to victory." ~ Dom Prosper Guéranger

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Vatican II Council and the Holy Mass


"The salient point of this Council is not, therefore, a discussion of one article or another of the fundamental doctrine of the Church which has repeatedly been taught by the Fathers and by ancient and modern theologians, and which is presumed to be well known and familiar to all. For this a Council was not necessary. But from the renewed, serene, and tranquil adherence to all the teaching of the Church in its entirety and preciseness, as it still shines forth in the Acts of the Council of Trent and First Vatican Council, the Christian, Catholic, and apostolic spirit of the whole world expects a step forward toward a doctrinal penetration and a formation of consciousness in faithful and perfect conformity to the authentic doctrine, which, however, should be studied and expounded through the methods of research and through the literary forms of modern thought." ~ His Holiness Pope Blessed John XXIII, "Opening Speech for the Council of Vatican II"


"This sacred Council has several aims in view: it desires to impart an ever increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more suitably to the needs of our own times those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call the whole of mankind into the household of the Church. The Council therefore sees particularly cogent reasons for undertaking the reform and promotion of the liturgy."


"For the liturgy, "through which the work of our redemption is accomplished," most of all in the divine sacrifice of the Eucharist, is the outstanding means whereby the faithful may express in their lives, and manifest to others, the mystery of Christ and the real nature of the true Church."


"It is of the essence of the Church that she be both human and divine, visible and yet invisibly equipped, eager to act and yet intent on contemplation, present in this world and yet not at home in it; and she is all these things in such wise that in her the human is directed and subordinated to the divine, the visible likewise to the invisible, action to contemplation, and this present world to that city yet to come, which we seek. While the liturgy daily builds up those who are within into a holy temple of the Lord, into a dwelling place for God in the Spirit, to the mature measure of the fullness of Christ, at the same time it marvelously strengthens their power to preach Christ, and thus shows forth the Church to those who are outside as a sign lifted up among the nations under which the scattered children of God may be gathered together, until there is one sheepfold and one shepherd." ~ Vatican Council II, "Sancrosanctum Concilium"

Enduring the Church

“I think the Church is the only thing that is going to make the terrible world we are coming to endurable; the only thing that makes the Church endurable is that it is somehow the Body of Christ and that on this we are fed. It seems to be a fact that you suffer as much from the Church as for it, but if you believe in the divinity of Christ, you have to cherish the world at the same time that you struggle to endure it.” ~ Flannery O'Connor