Monday, 21 December

22:44

Will the New Star Wars Trilogy Fall to Feminism? [Taylor Marshall]

Dr. Taylor Marshall Reviews JJ Abrams Star Wars

I LOVED the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I shed tears when I saw Han Solo back on the screen. I was so delighted. But after I left the theatre, I became a little concerned that the new JJ Abrams script might become Hunger Games: Star Wars Edition with the vindication of a “strong independent female character” at the expense of an amazing story arc.

Watch Taylor’s Movie Review of the New Star Wars: The Force Awakens by clicking here.

The genius of the original Trilogy was the fellowship of Han Solo, Princess Leia, Chewbacca, Lando, C3P0, R2D2, et al. Lord of the Rings also rolls out well because of the amazing team upon which the narrative depends.

In this new film, however, I get the feeling that there isn’t a team – but only a “Katniss Everdeen, Divergent, Disney Princess Elsa Strong and Independent Female Character.” I really hope that this does not morph into Feminism meets the Force.

Hopefully I’m over reacting and Finn, Leia, Poe Dameron, and some other strong characters meld into the galactic team that we expect. Watch my video commentary and tell me if you share similar concerns?

Question: Did you like the new Star Wars? Share your thoughts in our comments section. You can leave a comment by clicking here.

The post Will the New Star Wars Trilogy Fall to Feminism? appeared first on Taylor Marshall.

20:44

15 Diseases, but only 12 cures.... [That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill]



I love the way that the Holy Father waits a year to tell the Curia what the cures are for the ailments diagnosed last year. Now, that's what I call professionalism. 

But seriously, I think in his modest gentleness, the Holy Father has kindly overlooked the shortcomings of his Curia as diagnosed last year (for this is the Year of Mercy) and gone for a different approach this year simply guiding his team towards virtue.

Hmm...nothing quite says "Happy Christmas" like pointing out 'cures' for workplace failings, does it?

20:33

The Cassock: vocations magnet. [Catholic Sacristan]

Few in the hierarchy appreciate that clerical attire can be an effective sign which provides men the opportunity to expand their imaginations into the realm of considering service in the priesthood.

The uniform.

The cassock, for example, sets priests apart in daily life. Now, some priests of our diocese, who are certainly not alone in the worldwide Church, hold that even wearing clerical blacks and the collar removes them from "smelling more like their sheep". They have a point, even if their point is not very well thought out.

Priests who have become too closely identified with their flock have been responsible for serious abuse. They have not heeded common sense which acknowledges the need for a distinction between relationships in order to preserve a priest's spiritual well being and to help protect him from giving in to temptations which result in disastrous and devastating outcomes.

Priests are not our buddies. Priests are set apart. Yes, they are sinners like the rest of us. They are, however, our spiritual fathers (1st Thess. 2:10-11; Philip. 2:22) who need our prayers and counsel which helps them live out their vocation as stewards of the Sacraments and servants of the Gospel.
Priests should not feel comfortable in this life. By the power of the Holy Spirit, ordination has changed them ontologically. They are configured to Christ. Baptism changes all Christians by freeing us from Original Sin. Holy Orders changes the being of a priest so that Christ acts through him. For example, Jesus transforms the bread and wine into His Body and Blood at or through the hands of the priest. Christ forgives sins in and through the ministry of the priest in the Sacrament of Penance. And so forth. The priest, especially during the celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, is the icon of Christ. He, the priest, acts in persona Christi.

A priest is holy because he is ordained. He is set apart. Our eastern brethren proclaim 'Axios!' at the ordination of a priest: Greek ἄξιος, "worthy of", "deserving of", "suitable"! Surely, then, one who is set apart should be a visible sign of that 'other worldly' orientation in which he is immersed for the sake of his bride, the Church—yes?

Father Jay Finelli says what needs to be said.
The alienating cassock!

When we were seminarians, we guarded our love for traditional clerical attire, lest we were ridiculed at rigid traditionalist nutcases and expelled from formation. Wearing the cassock or expressing any solid Catholic devotional life was considered a very serious sin, mortal in the sense that it would separate you for your vocation.
After ordination to the diaconate, I began cautiously wearing my cassock. However, even then, I was ridiculed. I will never forget the day my pastor sat me down for the talk. “You think you are better than the people.” he said. “A clericalist and I’m worried about your future.” “You will alienate the people.” “We are not to be different. We need to be at their level.”
Even after ordination to the priesthood, I was cautious. Since I had been mentally and emotionally abused for so many years. Those people who were the so called liberals, were themselves the rigid, condescending control freaks. In all my years of seminary and priesthood, I have never demanded or ridiculed someone for not wearing their clerical attire (which is required by Canon Law). So, who has done the most damage to the Church in the last 50+ years? I’ll leave that to your own prayerful and thoughtful consideration. 
In the last few years, I have been wearing my cassock every more frequently. The Congregation for the Clergy has made it clear the the cassock is the norm for the priest and transitory deacon. In the Directory For The Ministry And The Life Of Priests, 2013, #61 (pg. 82, 83)

“In a secularised and basically materialistic society where the external signs of sacred and supernatural realities tend to disappear, deeply felt is the need for the priest – man of God, dispenser of his mysteries – to be recognisable in the eyes of the community by his attire as well, and this as an un- equivocal sign of his dedication and identity as holder of a public ministry (247). The priest must be recognisable above all through his conduct, but also by his attire, which renders visi- ble to all the faithful, and to each person (248), his identity and his belonging to God and to the Church.” 
For this reason the priest, like the transitory deacon, must:

a) wear either the cassock “or suitable ecclesiastical dress, in accordance with the norms established by the Episcopal Conference and legitimate local customs” (251); when other than the cassock, attire must be different from the way laypersons dress and consonant with the dignity and sanctity of the minister;”
The norms for the USCCB state:

“In liturgical rites, clerics shall wear the vesture prescribed in the proper liturgical books. Outside liturgical functions, a black suit and Roman collar are the usual attire for priests. The use of the cassock is at the discretion of the cleric.“
What I find is that those who have an aversion to clerics in cassock are the ones who raise themselves above the laity the most. They are the ones with what once could call a bad clericalism. I know of those who have not time to bring the dying the Sacrament of the Sick. Or are annoyed when the telephone or door bell rings. There is no time to talk with someone at the door of the church, but don’t interfere with Tee Time at the golf corse.
My experience with the cassock has been very affirming of my vocation and a source of consolation to people. From my grocery shopping at the local Stop & Shop to the supply run to BJ’s Wholesale Warehouse to multiple restaurants and other places, I cannot count the prayer requests, desires for a blessing or just a big smile with “Hello Father.” I have blessed adults and children, heard sad stories of woe and given words of consolation. And even been treated to dinner to which I had not desired, but have accepted so as not to cause offense.
Although the liberals are repulsed by the cassock, it is a strong sign of God’s presence in a broken world. It shouts out “God is alive and the Catholic Church is here for you.” I love the Church and I love the fact that my cassock is a sign of God’s love in this world. All I can say to you my brother priests is let the world know we are here. And if you have any hesitation, follow the advise of St. John Paul II “Do not be afraid.”—http://www.ipadre.net/2015/11/the-alienating-cassock/#sthash.mLfpQFi7.dpuf
Sources linked to in this essay:

19:52

One more thought on universalism [Καθολικός διάκονος]

At least for Catholics the question of universalism is resolved through both dogma and the witness of the saints, which confirms dogma. Despite this a tension remains that can never be satisfactorily resolved this side of eternity. Given that universalism has been condemned as a heresy and the witness of saints, like St Faustina, whose visions are at least de facto approved by virtue of her canonization, which came only after a very thorough review of her claimed personal revelations, the writing down of which caused her to be under suspicion for decades, I am not even sure any hope that hell will be empty is a well-founded hope. It goes without saying that nobody should desire the damnation of another, which desire itself is damnable. At a minimum, whether or not one accepts the private revelations of St Faustina or not (no Catholic is obliged to accept them as being of divine origin), they at least enjoy an imprimatur and a nihil obstat, which means that there is nothing in her writings that is contrary to the faith.

In the 741st entry in her Diary, St Faustina recorded a visit she made to Hell:

I, Sister Faustina Kowalska, by the order of God, have visited the Abysses of Hell so that I might tell souls about it and testify to its existence...the devils were full of hatred for me, but they had to obey me at the command of God, What I have written is but a pale shadow of the things I saw. But I noticed one thing: That most of the souls there are those who disbelieved that there is a hell
Later, in the same diary entry, Faustina wrote:
Let the sinner know that he will be tortured throughout all eternity, in those senses which he made use of to sin. I am writing this at the command of God, so that no soul may find an excuse by saying there is no hell, or that nobody has ever been there, and so no one can say what it is like...how terribly souls suffer there! Consequently, I pray even more fervently for the conversion of sinners. I incessantly plead God's mercy upon them. O My Jesus, I would rather be in agony until the end of the world, amidst the greatest sufferings, than offend you by the least sin


My point? I think the tension between universalism and all way too narrow conceptions of salvation is unresolvable. In others words, the question, "Who will be saved in the end?" is unanswerable. In my view, the take away for Catholics is that we should not act presumptuously one way or the other. Not being presumptuous about ultimate things lets God be God. Was not the desire to be gods the original sin?

Hence, we should not presume the someone has either gone immediately to heaven or is damned to hell. The best certitude we can attain is that the saints are in heaven. With the exception of the Roman Pontiff, who possesses the power to loose and bind, which power is exercised in communion, no person or group of people can canonize another person. Of course, in a human sense, we're all entitled our opinion, but the Church's clergy should not be throwing about heretical opinions when preaching during the Church's funeral rites, or when addressing this subject when preaching on other occasions or instructing the faithful. It also bears noting that the veneration of a holy woman or man after her/his death by the faithful is a legitimate exercise of the sensus fidelium, but this is communal. not individual, something that arises from communion and not presumption.

It's here that I cut to the chase: as Catholics, praying for the dead and obtaining indulgences for souls in Purgatory are indispensable to the practice of our faith. It is by doing these things that we express our hope. As St Paul asked, "who hopes for what one sees?" (Rom 8:24) In light of this, why would you let your presumption trump your spiritual obligation to pray for the dead?
We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere 'to the end' and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God’s eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for 'all men to be saved'" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, par 1821)

18:58

Nur Eins ist notwendig [Scholastiker]


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Der dritte thomistische Gottesbeweis geht, wie alle „fünf Wege“, von einer alltäglichen Erfahrung aus. Wir sehen, dass bestimmte Dinge in unserer Welt kontingent sind, d.h. dass sie nicht notwendigerweise existieren müssen. Dies zeigt sich schon daran, dass sie irgendwann einmal nicht existiert haben und dass sie auch irgendwann aufhören zu existieren. Niemand wird diese Tatsache ernsthaft in Frage stellen.






Damit sich etwas verändert oder entsteht und vergeht, muss es aus Akt und Potenz zusammengesetzt sein. Veränderung wird nämlich von Thomas von Aquin als Übergang von Potenz zu Akt, von Möglichkeit zu Wirklichkeit analysiert. Wenn etwas, dass bisher noch nicht wirklich ist, das aber möglich ist, wie z.B., dass aus einem Samen eine Blume wird – der Samen selbst ist wirklich, enthält aber auch zugleich die Möglichkeit, eine Rose zu werden – dann wird diese im Samen liegende Möglichkeit verwirklicht, aktualisiert. Alle materiellen Dinge sind aus Wirklichkeit und Möglichkeit zusammengesetzt. Darauf beruht die Veränderbarkeit der Dinge. Diese Zusammensetzung in materiellen Dingen ist die Zusammensetzung durch Materie und Form. Die Form ist das wirkliche und bestimmende Prinzip, während die Materie das potenzielle oder bestimmbare Prinzip im Aufbau einer Substanz ist.



Die Formen selbst vergehen und entstehen nicht. Das Gleiche gilt auch von der Materie als Materie, d.h. die materia prima, die völlig unbestimmte aber bestimmbare Materie. Materie und Form entstehen nicht und sie vergehen nicht. Veränderung, Bewegung oder Werden betrifft nur die Dinge, die aus Materie und Form zusammengesetzt sind.



Dies wird auf folgende Weise verständlich. Die Materie ist reine Potenz, die nicht unabhängig von der Form, die sie bestimmt existiert. Die Formen als solche existieren aber auch nicht unabhängig von den materiellen Gegenständen, deren Formen sie sind. Als Formen sind sie Abstraktionen des Verstandes. Darum können Materie und Formen als solche nicht entstehen oder vergehen.



Da sowohl die Materie nicht ohne die Form, als auch die Form nicht ohne Materie existieren kann, haben sie ihre Notwendigkeit nicht in sich selbst. Daher kann ihre Notwendigkeit nur eine abgeleitete sein, sie existieren nicht in sich selbst notwendigerweise. Dies bedeutet aber, dass es etwas geben muss, wodurch sie zusammengesetzt werden, denn jede materielle Substanz ist aus Akt und Potenz, bzw. aus Form und Materie zusammengesetzt.



Sollte es eine Entität geben, die notwendigerweise existiert, dann ist diese Notwendigkeit entweder abgeleitet von einer anderen notwendigen Entität oder diese Entität existiert aus sich selbst notwendigerweise. Sofern die Notwendigkeit abgeleitet ist, ergibt sich dasselbe: diese Notwendigkeit ist wieder entweder abgeleitet oder in sich selbst notwendig.



Nun ist aber ein Regress notwendiger Entitäten nicht bis ins Unendliche möglich, denn bei einer solchen Reihe handelt es sich um eine per segeordnete Kausalreihe und nicht um eine Kausalreihe per accidens.



Daraus aber folgt, dass es etwas geben muss, das in einer absoluten Weise notwendig ist, das in sich selbst und durch sich selbst notwendig existiert und seine Notwendigkeit nicht in einem anderen hat und daher auch nicht aus Form und Materie, bzw. aus Akt und Potenz zusammengesetzt sein kann. Ein solches absolut notwendiges Seiendes ist aber weder entstanden, noch kann es vergehen. Es kann sich auch nicht ändern, denn es ist die Fülle der Wirklichkeit. Ein solches Seiendes kann nur Gott sein.


16:33

Old Earl's Christmas [CatholicCulture.org - In Depth Analysis of Catholic Issues]

I had known Earl for as long as I can remember, though he was my senior by thirty-seven years. He was a hard-working, reliable man, an excellent provider for his family, always responsible and deeply trustworthy. Born in 1911, he had already lived through the Great Depression and two world wars before he came into my life. He and his wife had three children before I met him, and with that plus his doctorate in chemical engineering, he was kept hard at work through the 1940’s rather than becoming a soldier.

15:14

Praising the Little Way of Pratchett’s Heroes [Unequally Yoked]

As the year comes to an end, I’ve written an appreciation of Terry Pratchett, author of the Discworld series, who passed away this year, for Aleteia.  He wrote fiercely moral characters, several of whom were icons of ethics for me. But the kind of sin that Granny talks about isn’t an indulgence in something harmless, [Read More...]

14:20

Benedetto XVI visita il "Bambino Gesù di Praga" (2009): ci fa percepire la vicinanza di Dio (YouTube) [Il Blog di Raffaella. Riflessioni e commenti fra gli Amici di Benedetto XVI]

LINK DIRETTO SU YOUTUBE Il 26 settembre 2009, in occasione del suo Viaggio Apostolico nella Repubblica Ceca, Benedetto XVI si recò in visita Chiesa di Santa Maria della Vittoria di Praga dove è venerata l’effigie del Bambino Gesù, conosciuta dappertutto come il “Bambino di Praga”. Il discorso integrale del Santo Padre è consultabile qui. In particolare: "L’immagine del Bambino Gesù fa subito

12:54

Veneration of St. Thomas Becket among Cistercians [EUCist News]


The archbishop murdered in his own cathedral on 29 December, 1170 is perhaps the most dramatic martyr for ecclesial rights in the struggle between worldly power and the church's theoretical exemption from it. The Church commemorates him on 29 December. 

Because of his role in the Investiture Controversy and his exemplary way of life as a bishop, Thomas Becket enjoyed special veneration among Cistercians. These two episcopal virtues appear often in Cistercian hagiography, e.g. in Bernard's life of Malachy and his well-known defense of the papacy.
Thomas was a canon lawyer but first and foremost a priest. He may have even thought of himself as a monk. When he was informed that a papal envoy had come to bring the soon-to-be martyr his pallium as Archbishop of Canterbury, Becket went out to meet the diplomat in his bare feet, as a sign of humility. His service in Canterbury was to become deeply troubled only two years later, mainly through the Constitutions of Clarendon, King Henry's attempt to gain jurisdiction over matters usually reserved to ecclesiastical courts.
Special veneration for Thomas among Cistercians dates back to Becket's exile in Pontigny, one of our French abbeys. Roger, a monk there, documented this long visit in his vita of Saint Thomas. While there during 1164 and 1165, Thomas clearly enjoyed the Cistercians' favor, ordaining several several of them (including Roger) to the priesthood during his stay. It was in Pontigny that he befriended Isaac of Stella, who may have lost the abbacy of Stella as a result of this alliance; Isaac soon fled to the Isle of Ré, perhaps because King Henry had threatened the entire Order with severe sanctions if it continued to protect Becket.
Becket's assassination in the cathedral led to an unusually rapid canonization and widespread veneration across Europe, remarkable in its own right because of the slightly arcane nature of the dispute. Western dramatists from the Romantic and Modernist eras took to the subject matter again; literary treatments by Tennyson (1884), Anouilh (1959) and most of all T.S. Eliot (1935, filmed in 1951) reached wide audiences.

11:01

"We Are Servants, Not Messiahs" – At Curial Christmas, Pope's Call To Action... and the "Pharmacy" [Whispers in the Loggia]

Always one of the most anticipated speeches of the Vatican calendar – at least, over the last two pontificates – after delivering a searing diagnosis of "15 diseases" to the superiors of the Roman Curia at last year's traditional Christmas "greeting," this time around the Pope (while battling a flu that kept him seated) chose to focus on "antibiotics" to fight the illnesses which, he said, remained "evident" in the ranks through 2015.

Amid the ongoing specter of "Vatileaks II" – and, indeed, a course of remaking the church's central government which has proceeded much more slowly than expected – Francis pledged to his principal collaborators that "the reform will move forward with determination, clarity, and firm resolve." The heart of the address, however, was – in an return of the format he employed in closing October's Synod – an acrostic "catalogue" of 24 necessary virtues for effective service in the church, a slate shaped from the word "Misericordia": in English, "mercy," a nod to the Extraordinary Jubilee Year now underway across the global church.

Yet perhaps most conspicuously of all, Papa Bergoglio closed his reflection with a prayer often attributed to the newly-Blessed Oscar Romero, but which (as he noted) was instead "pronounced for the first time by Cardinal John Dearden" – Detroit's titan of the Vatican II era who, as the founding president of the modern-day USCCB, was the de facto "godfather" of Stateside Catholicism's progressive apogee of the 1960s and 70s before passing the torch to his protege (and lead deputy in building the conference), the future Cardinal Joseph Bernardin.

That said, it likewise bears mention that the prayer Francis cited wasn't actually written by Dearden, but one of his top Motor City aides, then-Fr Ken Untener, who famously ingrained the Conciliar-pastoral mentality into the diocese of Saginaw over 24 years as its head until his death at 67 in 2004. And not to put too fine a point on it, but the notion of the Sovereign Pontiff using a prayer penned by Untener (and to school his Curia, no less) will be enough to knock some folks over with a feather today.

Back to Rome, given per usual with the almost dire drivenness of tone Francis reserves for his "marching orders" to ecclesiastical officialdom – and just before he again asked the forgiveness of the Holy See's rank-and-file employees for "the scandals in the Vatican" – below is the Vatican's English translation of the Pope's talk this morning:
Dear brothers and sisters,

I am pleased to offer heartfelt good wishes for a blessed Christmas and a happy New Year to you and your co-workers, to the Papal Representatives, and in particular to those who in the past year have completed their service and retired. Let us also remember all those who have gone home to God. My thoughts and my gratitude go to you and to the members of your families.

In our meeting in 2013, I wanted to stress two important and inseparable aspects of the work of the Curia: professionalism and service, and I offered Saint Joseph as a model to be imitated. Then, last year, as a preparation for the sacrament of Reconciliation, we spoke of certain temptations or "maladies" – the "catalogue of curial diseases" – which could affect any Christian, curia, community, congregation, parish or ecclesial movement. Diseases which call for prevention, vigilance, care and, sadly, in some cases, painful and prolonged interventions.

Some of these diseases became evident in the course of the past year, causing no small pain to the entire body and harming many souls.

It seems necessary to state what has been – and ever shall be – the object of sincere reflection and decisive provisions. The reform will move forward with determination, clarity and firm resolve, since Ecclesia semper reformanda [the church ever renews herself].

Nonetheless, diseases and even scandals cannot obscure the efficiency of the services rendered to the Pope and to the entire Church by the Roman Curia, with great effort, responsibility, commitment and dedication, and this is a real source of consolation. Saint Ignatius taught that “it is typical of the evil spirit to instil remorse, sadness and difficulties, and to cause needless worry so as to prevent us from going forward; instead, it is typical of the good spirit to instil courage and energy, consolations and tears, inspirations and serenity, and to lessen and remove every difficulty so as to make us advance on the path of goodness.”

It would be a grave injustice not to express heartfelt gratitude and needed encouragement to all those good and honest men and women in the Curia who work with dedication, devotion, fidelity and professionalism, offering to the Church and the Successor of Peter the assurance of their solidarity and obedience, as well as their constant prayers.

Moreover, cases of resistance, difficulties and failures on the part of individuals and ministers are so many lessons and opportunities for growth, and never for discouragement. They are opportunities for returning to the essentials, which means being ever more conscious of ourselves, of God and our neighbours, of the sensus Ecclesiae and the sensus fidei.

It is about this return to essentials that I wish to speak today, just a few days after the Church’s inauguration of the pilgrimage of the Holy Year of Mercy, a Year which represents for her and for all of us a pressing summons to gratitude, conversion, renewal, penance and reconciliation.

Christmas is truly the feast of God’s infinite mercy, as Saint Augustine of Hippo tells us: “Could there have been any greater mercy shown to us unhappy men than that which led the Creator of the heavens to come down among us, and the Creator of the earth to take on our mortal body? That same mercy led the Lord of the world to assume the nature of a servant, so that, being himself bread, he would suffer hunger; being himself satiety, he would thirst; being himself power, he would know weakness; being himself salvation, he would experience our woundedness, and being himself life, he would die. All this he did to assuage our hunger, alleviate our longing, strengthen our weaknesses, wipe out our sins and enkindle our charity”.

Consequently, in the context of this Year of Mercy and our own preparation for the coming celebration of Christmas, I would like to present a practical aid for fruitfully experiencing this season of grace. It is by no means an exhaustive catalogue of needed virtues for those who serve in the Curia and for all those who would like to make their consecration or service to the Church more fruitful.

I would ask the Heads of Dicasteries and other superiors to ponder this, to add to it and to complete it. It is a list based on an acrostic analysis of the word Misericordia, with the aim of having it serve as our guide and beacon:

1. Missionary and pastoral spirit: missionary spirit is what makes the Curia evidently fertile and fruitful; it is proof of the effectiveness, efficiency and authenticity of our activity. Faith is a gift, yet the measure of our faith is also seen by the extent to which we communicate it. All baptized persons are missionaries of the Good News, above all by their lives, their work and their witness of joy and conviction. A sound pastoral spirit is an indispensable virtue for the priest in particular. It is shown in his daily effort to follow the Good Shepherd who cares for the flock and gives his life to save the lives of others. It is the yardstick for our curial and priestly work. Without these two wings we could never take flight, or even enjoy the happiness of the “faithful servant” (Mt 25:14-30).

2. Idoneity and sagacity: idoneity, or suitability, entails personal effort aimed at acquiring the necessary requisites for exercising as best we can our tasks and duties with intelligence and insight. It does not countenance “recommendations” and payoffs. Sagacity is the readiness to grasp and confront situations with shrewdness and creativity. Idoneity and sagacity also represent our human response to divine grace, when we let ourselves follow the famous dictum: “Do everything as if God did not exist and then put it all in God’s hands as if you did not exist”. It is the approach of the disciple who prays to the Lord every day in the words of the beautiful Universal Prayer attributed to Pope Clement XI: “Vouchsafe to conduct me by your wisdom, to restrain me by your justice, to comfort me by your mercy, to defend me by your power. To thee I desire to consecrate all my thoughts, words, actions and sufferings; that hencefore I may think only of you, speak of you, refer all my actions to your greater glory, and suffer willingly whatever you appoint”.

3. Spirituality and humanity: spirituality is the backbone of all service in the Church and in the Christian life. It is what nourishes all our activity, sustaining and protecting it from human frailty and daily temptation. Humanity is what embodies the truthfulness of our faith; those who renounce their humanity renounce everything. Humanity is what makes us different from machines and robots which feel nothing and are never moved. Once we find it hard to weep seriously or to laugh heartily, we have begun our decline and the process of turning from “humans” into something else. Humanity is knowing how to show tenderness and fidelity and courtesy to all (cf. Phil 4:5). Spirituality and humanity, while innate qualities, are a potential needing to be activated fully, attained completely and demonstrated daily.

4. Example and fidelity: Blessed Paul VI reminded the Curia of “its calling to set an example”. An example of avoiding scandals which harm souls and impair the credibility of our witness. Fidelity to our consecration, to our vocation, always mindful of the words of Christ, “Whoever is faithful in a very little is faithful also in much; and whoever is dishonest in a very little is dishonest also in much” (Lk 16:10) and “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. Woe to the world for stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes” (Mt 18:6-7).

5. Rationality and gentleness: rationality helps avoid emotional excesses, while gentleness helps avoid an excess of bureaucracy, programmes and planning. These qualities are necessary for a balanced personality: “The enemy pays careful heed to whether a soul is coarse or delicate; if it is delicate, he finds a way to make it overly delicate, in order to cause it greater distress and confusion”. Every excess is a symptom of some imbalance.

6. Innocuousness and determination: innocuousness makes us cautious in our judgments and capable of refraining from impulsive and hasty actions. It is the ability to bring out the best in ourselves, in others and in all kinds of situations by acting carefully and attentively. It consists of doing unto others what we would have them do to us (cf. Mt 7:12 and Lk 6:31). Determination is acting with a resolute will, clear vision, obedience to God and solely for the supreme law of the salus animarum (cf. CIC can. 1725).

7. Charity and truth: two inseparable virtues of the Christian life, “speaking the truth in charity and practising charity in truth” (cf. Eph 4:15). To the point where charity without truth becomes a destructive ideology of complaisance and truth without charity becomes myopic legalism.

8. Honesty and maturity: honesty is rectitude, consistency and absolute sincerity with regard both to ourselves and to God. An honest person does not act virtuously only when he or she is being watched; honest persons have no fear of being caught, since they never betray the trust of others. An honest person is never domineering like the “wicked servant” (cf. Mt 24:48-51), with regard to the persons or matters entrusted to his or her care. Honesty is the foundation on which all other qualities rest. Maturity is the quest to achieve balance and harmony in our physical, mental and spiritual gifts. It is the goal and outcome of a never-ending process of development which has nothing to do with age.

9. Respectfulness and humility: respectfulness is an endowment of those noble and tactful souls who always try to show genuine respect for others, for their own work, for their superiors and subordinates, for dossiers and papers, for confidentiality and privacy, who can listen carefully and speak politely. Humility is the virtue of the saints and those godly persons who become all the more important as they come to realize that they are nothing, and can do nothing, apart from God’s grace (cf. Jn 15:8).

10. Diligence and attentiveness: the more we trust in God and his providence, the more we grow in diligence and readiness to give of ourselves, in the knowledge that the more we give the more we receive. What good would it do to open all the Holy Doors of all the basilicas in the world if the doors of our own heart are closed to love, if our hands are closed to giving, if our homes are closed to hospitality and our churches to welcome and acceptance. Attentiveness is concern for the little things, for doing our best and never yielding to our vices and failings. Saint Vincent de Paul used to pray: “Lord, help me to be always aware of those around me, those who are worried or dismayed, those suffering in silence, and those who feel alone and abandoned”.

11. Intrepidness and alertness: being intrepid means fearlessness in the face of troubles, like Daniel in the den of lions, or David before Goliath. It means acting with boldness, determination and resolve, “as a good soldier” (2 Tim 2:3-4). It means being immediately ready to take the first step, like Abraham, or Mary. Alertness, on the other hand, is the ability to act freely and easily, without being attached to fleeting material things. The Psalm says: “if riches increase, set not your heart on them” (Ps 61:10). To be alert means to be always on the go, and never being burdened by the accumulation of needless things, caught up in our own concerns and driven by ambition.

12. Trustworthyness and sobriety: trustworthy persons are those who honour their commitments with seriousness and responsibility when they are being observed, but above all when they are alone; they radiate a sense of tranquillity because they never betray a trust. Sobriety – the last virtue on this list, but not because it is least important – is the ability to renounce what is superfluous and to resist the dominant consumerist mentality. Sobriety is prudence, simplicity, straightforwardness, balance and temperance. Sobriety is seeing the world through God’s eyes and from the side of the poor. Sobriety is a style of life which points to the primacy of others as a hierarchical principle and is shown in a life of concern and service towards others. The sober person is consistent and straightforward in all things, because he or she can reduce, recover, recycle, repair, and live a life of moderation.

Dear brothers and sisters,

Mercy is no fleeting sentiment, but rather the synthesis of the joyful Good News, a choice and decision on the part of all who desire to put on the “Heart of Jesus” and to be serious followers of the Lord who has asked us to “be merciful even as your heavenly Father is merciful” (Mt 5:48; Lk 6:36). In the words of Father Ermes Ronchi, “Mercy is a scandal for justice, a folly for intelligence, a consolation for us who are debtors. The debt for being alive, the debt for being loved is only repayable by mercy”.

And so may mercy guide our steps, inspire our reforms and enlighten our decisions. May it be the basis of all our efforts. May it teach us when to move forward and when to step back. May it also enable us to understand the littleness of all that we do in God’s greater plan of salvation and his majestic and mysterious working.

To help us better grasp this, let us savour the magnificent prayer, commonly attributed to Blessed Oscar Arnulfo Romero, but pronounced for the first time by Cardinal John Dearden:

Every now and then it helps us to take a step back
and to see things from a distance.
The Kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is also beyond our visions.
In our lives, we manage to achieve only a small part
of the marvellous plan that is God’s work.
Nothing that we do is complete,
which is to say that the Kingdom is greater than ourselves.
No statement says everything that can be said.
No prayer completely expresses the faith.
No Creed brings perfection.
No pastoral visit solves every problem.
No programme fully accomplishes the mission of the Church.
No goal or purpose ever reaches completion.
This is what it is about:
We plant seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted,
knowing that others will watch over them.
We lay the foundations of something that will develop.
We add the yeast which will multiply our possibilities.
We cannot do everything,
yet it is liberating to begin.
This gives us the strength to do something and to do it well.
It may remain incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way.
It is an opportunity for the grace of God to enter
and to do the rest.
It may be that we will never see its completion,
but that is the difference between the master and the labourer.
We are labourers, not master builders,
servants, not the Messiah.
We are prophets of a future that does not belong to us.
-30-

10:00

Rorate Mass [Transalpine Redemptorists at home]

 The Rorate Mass, is an Advent tradition.  It is the Mass of "Our Lady on Saturday" for Advent, and is celebrated by candle-light.  We have blogged about it before here.

We celebrated a lovely sung Rorate Mass on Papa Stronsay this year.  Here are some photos:





08:32

Another Seamless Grinch [One Mad Mom]

As you’ve probably figured out, I’ve been too busy preparing for Christmas to be mad.  I did see this ridiculous statement from Argentinean Bishop Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo a few days back.  Fr. Fessio took care of it with a good, clear explanation.  No need for me to waste time on it.  Just wanted to make sure you saw it!   https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/vatican-bishop-popes-view-on-global-warming-is-as-authoritative-as-the-cond

Happy Advent and Merry Christmas from our family to  yours!  See you next week!


06:01

Pop Quiz: Who Wrote This? [The Rad Trad]

(No web searching before you guess.)

In accord with the command of your devout piety, we declare our faith, and in writing profess before God that we and our adherents believe as follows: 
We believe in one God the Father Almighty, and in the Lord Jesus Christ his Son, who was begotten of him before all ages, God the Word through whom all things were made, both things in heaven and on earth; who descended, and became human, and suffered, and rose again, ascended into heaven, and will again come to judge the living and the dead. We believe also in the Holy Spirit, and in the resurrection of the flesh, and in the life of the coming age, and in the kingdom of the heavens, and in one catholic church of God, extending from one end of the earth to the other. This faith we have received from the holy gospels, in which the Lord says to his disciples: “Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.” If we do not so believe and do not truly receive the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, as the whole catholic church and the holy Scriptures teach (in which we believe in every respect), may God judge us both now, and in the coming judgment.
Good luck!

06:00

O Oriens [The Rad Trad]


O Oriens, splendor lucis aeterne, et sol justitiae; veni et illumina sedentes in tenebris, et umbra mortis.O Orient! splendour of eternal light, and Sun of Justice! come and enlighten them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death.
O Jesus, divine Sun! thou art coming to snatch us from eternal night: blessed for ever be thy infinite goodness! But thou puttest our faith to the test, before showing thyself in all thy brightness. Thou hidest thy rays, until the time decreed by thy heavenly Father comes, in which all thy beauty will break upon the world. Thou art traversing Judea; thou art near Jerusalem; the journey of Mary and Joseph is nigh its term. Crowds of men pass or meet thee on the road, each one hurrying to his native town, there to be enrolled, as the Edict commands. Not one of all these suspects that thou, O divine Orient! art so near him. They see thy Mother Mary, and they see nothing in her above the rest of women; or if they are impressed by the majesty and incomparable modesty of this august Queen, it is but a vague feeling of surprise at there being such dignity in one so poor as she is; and they soon forget her again. If the Mother is thus an object of indifference to them, it is not to be expected that they will give even so much as a thought to her Child, that is not yet born. And yet this Child is thyself, O Sun of Justice! Oh! increase our Faith, but increase, too, our Love. If these men loved thee, O Redeemer of mankind, thou wouldst give them the grace to feel thy presence; their eyes, indeed, would not yet see thee, but their hearts, at least, would burn within them, they would long for thy coming, and would hasten it by their prayers and sighs. Dearest Jesus! who thus traversest the world thou hast created, and who forcest not the homage of thy creatures, we wish to keep near thee during the rest of this thy journey: we kiss the footsteps of Her that carries thee in her womb; we will not leave thee, until we arrive together with thee at Bethlehem, that House of Bread, where, at last, our eyes will see thee, O splendour of eternal light, our Lord and our God!
From The Liturgical Year by Dom Gueranger 

05:40

Marxists in the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences [The Lepanto Institute]

PASS 01

“With disdain I will throw my gauntlet
Full in the face of the world,
And see the collapse of this pygmy giant
Whose fall will not stifle my ardor.

Then will I wander godlike and victorious
Through the ruins of the world
And, giving my words an active force,
I will feel equal to the Creator.”

-Karl Marx, “Human Pride,” 1837

There can be no doubt in the mind of even the most casual observer that Karl Marx’s influence had the single-greatest impact on the devastation seen throughout the of the 20th Century. Marx’s ideologies fueled the rise of the bloodiest regimes known to human history. The Soviet Union, Communist China, Communist Korea, Communist Vietnam, Communist Cuba … the brutality of the governments ascribing to the teachings of Karl Marx is beyond human reckoning. In addition to the tens of millions of people murdered in Stalin’s purges, Pol Pot’s exterminations, and the other slaughters that have taken place under Marxist dictatorships are the countless others destroyed by abortion. Lenin, the first Marxist dictator, was the first to legalize abortion. Later Stalin reversed this, when he saw its demographic consequences for Russia amidst the purges and wars, however, he maintained and even forced it on satellite countries like Hungary. The idea has always been to implement regulations on population growth in order to gain control of weaker countries. It used to be more covert, but it became “scientific” with the advent of the eugenics movement (which was fostered by committed Marxists).

charity 06Prophetically, the Church recognized the destructive nature of Karl Marx’s ideologies and quickly condemned them. Pope Paul VI reminds us of this fact in his Apostolic Letter On the Eightieth Anniversary of the Encyclical “Rerum Novarum.” In this letter, Pope Paul VI said:

“Therefore the Christian who wishes to live his faith in a political activity … cannot adhere to the Marxist ideology, to its atheistic materialism, to its dialectic of violence and to the way it absorbs individual freedom in the collectivity, at the same time denying all transcendence to man and his personal and collective history; nor can be adhere to the liberal ideology which believes it exalts individual freedom by withdrawing it from every limitation, by stimulating it through exclusive seeking of interest and power, and by considering social solidarities as more or less automatic consequences of individual initiatives, not as an aim and a major criterion of the value of the social organization.”

Later on in the letter, Pope Paul VI pointed out that some try to differentiate the various iterations of Marxist thought, erroneously believing that they can somehow be brought into conformity with Catholic thinking. To this, he said:

“While, through the concrete existing form of Marxism, one can distinguish these various aspects and the questions they pose for the reflection and activity of Christians, it would be illusory and dangerous to reach a point of forgetting the intimate link which radically binds them together, to accept the elements of Marxist analysis without recognizing their relationships with ideology, and to enter into the practice of class struggle and its Marxist interpretations, while failing to note the kind of totalitarian and violent society to which this process leads.”

Karl MarxKarl Marx’s hatred for humanity was rivaled only by the devil itself. His writings all had only one end; the complete and total destruction of mankind. In a play he wrote under the title, “Oulanem” (which is an anagram for Emanuel), he said:

“If there is something which devours,
I’ll leap within it, though I bring the world to ruins-
The world which bulks between me and the abyss
I will smash to pieces with my enduring curses.

I’ll throw my arms around its harsh reality:
Embracing me, the world will dumbly pass away,
And then sink down to utter nothingness,
Perished, with no existence-that would be really living.”

Given the satanic nature of Marx’s ideologies and writings, and the Church’s thorough condemnations of them, one would naturally believe that anyone adhering to such ideologies would never find themselves in a place of influence in the Church. While it certainly stands to reason, it is sadly not the case.

PASS 07

PASS 02In April of 2014, Pope Francis appointed Margaret Archer as the next president of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences (PASS). Since that time, Ms. Archer has used her position to invite population-control architects Jeffrey Sachs and Ban-Ki Moon to speak at a Vatican event and attack pro-lifers who were concerned about it. Just last month, Ms. Archer participated in an event sponsored by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences that was intended to explore ways to indoctrinate children into the Sustainable Development agenda of the United Nations (goals which have already been demonstrated to be Marxist in character and practice). These alarming trends from an individual under two years in her position are shocking, but after investigating Ms. Archer’s background, it’s clear that the philosophy of Karl Marx is driving her agenda.

Ms. Archer is one of the leading developers and proponents of a sociological theory called “Critical Realism.” The theory of Critical Realism was initially developed by the sociologist Roy Bhaskar, a deeply devoted Marxist, and is the bedrock for current streams of Marxist political and economic theory. On the Critical Realism website is a 1998 article by Hans G. Ehrbar titled, “Marxism and Critical Realism.” The very first paragraph of the article says:

“We will discuss here the connection between Roy Bhaskar’s critical realism and Marxism.   Bhaskar is a Marxist, who did not write another exegesis of Grundrisse, but rederives Marx’s philosophical foundations based on today’s philosophical debates, by, as he says, “carrying the modern critiques of positivism to their logical conclusion”

In 1998, Ms. Archer co-authored a book with Bhaskar and three others titled “Critical Realism: Essential Readings.” Throughout the book, Karl Marx and Marxist ideologies are mentioned over 400 times … all as a means of explaining Marxist thought and integrating it into this idea of Critical Realism.

In 2004, Archer co-authored a book titled, “Transcendence: Critical Realism and God.” In the introduction of the book, the Archer and her co-authors say of themselves:

“The three of us are all academics.  One of us is a philosopher, and two are sociologists.  Similarly, we are all associated with the political left, the economic or Marxian left particularly.”

This book is also filled with Marxist ideologies and praise for socialism and Marxist economics.

Critical Realist Sean Creavan wrote a book in 2000 titled, “Marxism and Realism: A Materialist Application of Realism in the Social Sciences,” crediting Margaret Archer as the individual who suggest he write about the connection between Marxism and the theory of Critical Realism. In his acknowledgements, Creavan said:

“Special thanks are due to Professor Margaret Archer, who has allowed me to draw on her work with impunity, and whose advice on theoretical matters and on editing the final manuscript has been much appreciated. It was Professor Archer who made the suggestion that I investigate the relationship between realism, Marxism and explanatory theory, which forms the core of this book.

In May of 2015 interview a journal of Social Theory at the University of Kentucky, Margaret Archer explained the strong influence and impact Karl Marx had in influencing her work. She said:

PASS 03“We did a thing in England called the Coast to Coast March, which isn’t as terrifying as if you tried to do it here. It’s not a big walk there, the only trouble is you actually meet more sheep than you do people. So, we had long conversations with these academics and that’s where I first heard the words Max Weber (who at that age I thought was spelled with a ‘V’) and that fuelled the interest a lot more. Many of these Profs were Marxists of one kind or another, so they were theorizing, not just in an abstract way, but theorizing, as they saw it, for a better society. I don’t think that theme has ever gone away from my work, but it’s never been distinctively Marxist. I thought that far too formulaic and times had changed. Some of the concepts needed changing. We have no proletariat now, the poor are a heterogeneous category, the main thing they have in common is their poverty, not being members of the proletariat, and so on. No, I would never describe myself as a Marxist, but never deny that it was a powerful formative influence.”

Given her work in Critical Realism, the influence of Karl Marx is abundantly clear.

While Archer is currently the most influential member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences as its president, she is not the only problem. Another Marxist member of the PASS is Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz has been a member of PASS since 2003.

PASS 04The most important thing to know about Stiglitz is that he is the Chairman of the Socialist International Commission on Global Finance Issues. The architect of the First Socialist International was Karl Marx, so the fact of Stiglitz’s chairmanship is enough to identify him as a Marxist who should have nothing to do with Vatican-sponsored activities. But there’s more. Stiglitz is on the Scientific Committee for an organization called the IDEAS Foundation for Progress. IDEAS is a think-tank for the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party. In the year 2000, with funding from notorious socialist George Soros’ Open Society, Stiglitz founded the Initiative for Policy Dialogue.

PASS 05Here’s another member of the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences who has no business being anywhere near the Vatican. Partha Sarathi Dasgupta, a major proponent of contraception and population control, has been a member of the PASS since 1997. In 2013, Dasgupta wrote an article for Science Magazine titled, “Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption, and Environment Nexus.” In the article, Dasgupta argues that population growth is placing an undue burden on available resources, decrying the lack of availability and use of contraception. He says:

“Family planning is not subject to the play of “free markets”; it is biased by restrictive laws, widespread misinformation, and rules not based on evidence (13–16). The unmet need for family planning is substantial. For example, the proportion of women in Malawi who either want to delay their next baby or stop having children altogether, but who are not using contraception, is ~25%. Women who have greater autonomy are better equipped to surmount the many barriers that often prevent easy access to family planning. When the barriers are few, as in Indonesia, the use of contraception and the TFRs (Total Fertility Rates) among the highest- and lowest-income quintiles are similar (15). When the barriers [to acquiring contraception] are numerous, as in the Philippines, the poor both have more children and a greater unmet need for family planning. Access to family planning can be increased relatively quickly compared with other approaches to lowering TFRs, such as improving women’s education (although the alternatives may be synergistic). Forty percent of the world’s population (including countries with TFRs as high as 6 as recently as 50 years ago) now has TFRs that are at or below replacement level. The aggregate demand for environmental resources is, in part, a function of humanity’s population size. Whether world population reaches 8 billion or 10 billion in 2050 and whether it reaches 15 billion or 17 billion in 2100 will depend on small differences in average family size, which could be highly influenced by rebuilding the focus on family planning.”

The call for a reduction in population growth and increased access to contraception is a concept he has held for a long time. In 1995, Dasgupta wrote an article titled, “The Population Problem: Theory and Evidence.” In this article, he actually looks for ways to lower the desire of couples to even have children at all.

“The analysis presented here suggests that the way to reduce fertility would be to break the destructive spiral where such a spiral is in operation. Because parental demand for children, rather than an unmet need for contraceptives, in great measure explains reproductive behavior in poor countries, we should try to identify policies that would so change the options men and women face that their reasoned choice would be to lower their fertility.”

PASS 06A little later in the article, he takes this concept a bit further, even to the point of shifting economic policies so as to give the impression that children are a financial burden to be avoided.

“The most potent solution in semi-arid regions of sub-Saharan Africa and the Indian subcontinent is to deploy a number of policies simultaneously. Family planning services, especially when allied with health services, and measures that empower women are certainly desirable. As social norms break down and traditional support systems falter, those women who choose to change their behavior become financially and socially more vulnerable. So a literacy and employment drive for women is essential to smooth the transition to lower fertility. But improving social coordination and directly increasing the economic security of the poor are also essential. Providing infrastructural goods, such as cheap fuel and potable water, will reduce the usefulness of extra hands. When a child becomes perceived as expensive, we may finally have a hope of dislodging the rapacious hold of high fertility rates.

Dasgupta’s involvement in population control is even more disgusting than this. Dasgupta is a “patron” and “endorser” of a population-control organization called “Population Matters for a sustainable future.” As a patron, his name appeared on a powerpoint presentation titled, “Why Population Matters: An Introduction.” Following slides indicating a push for increased access to contraception, decriminalized abortion, and even a requirement for pharmacists to stock abortifacient morning-after pills, Slide 28 of this presentation states the following as “Key Goals” for the organization:

  • Universal access to reproductive health
  • Reducing the incidence of undesired conceptions
  • Asking people to have one or two children rather than three or four for environmental/ sustainability reasons

Partha Dasgupta has been a member of the PASS for nearly 20 years, and his clearly stated hatred for children should have disqualified him at the outset.

In April of 2015, Archer, Dasgupta, and the Chancellor of PASS, Msgr. Sanchez Sorondo joined leading population-control advocate Jeffrey Sachs in creating a document calling for adoption of the contraception-pushing Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), called “Climate Change and the Common Good: A Statement on the Problem and Demand for Transformative Changes.”  It is interesting to note that while the SDGs demonstrably called for the spread of abortion and contraception, those measures were carefully omitted from the document’s summary of the SDGs themselves.

Conclusion

This brief look into the works of highly influential individuals in the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences is hardly exhaustive. What Catholics need to take away from this is that there is no doubt that the enemies of the Christ have found their ways into highly influential positions in the Church. We need to be watchful and aware that the current push within the Vatican to endorse the latest power-grab by Marxists at the United Nations is being driven by individuals such as these in the PASS.

The Lepanto Institute will continue to investigate and identify the infiltrators raiding Our Beloved Church, but the only victory to be had will be achieved by the Immaculate Heart of the Blessed Virgin. Pray the Rosary every day for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.

Our Lady of Victory, Ora pro nobis!OLoV

The post Marxists in the Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences appeared first on The Lepanto Institute.

05:30

Pushing Back Against Roman Catholic Iconoclasm [Eastern Christian Books]

I

have too often had recourse to quoting Joseph Ratzinger's observation in The Spirit of the Liturgy that there is a pronounced spirit of iconoclasm in the Western Church going back to its lack of adequate reception of Nicaea II's teaching on icons. (On the problematic non-reception of Nicaea II in the West, see T.F.X. Noble's invaluable study, Images, Iconoclasm, and the Carolingians.)

That iconoclasm emerged with renewed vengeance after Vatican II as Ratzinger noted (and many others have also). If anyone doubts that such a spirit of destructiveness is still at work in the Latin Church today, then one need look no further than to the literal and utterly infuriating iconoclasm at the Roman Catholic Church of Our Saviour in New York only this year--in 2015! That "pastor" should have been run out of town or hauled up for ecclesiastical trial in any self-respecting church but has not been. Shame on him and shame on his bishop.

As an antidote to this Western iconoclasm, at least in part, a book published this year promises to be healing medicine: Jeana Visel, Icons in the Western Church: Toward a More Sacramental Encounter (Liturgical Press, June 2015), 144pp.


About this wholly welcome, long overdue, and sadly all-to-necessary book the publisher tells us:

Within the Eastern tradition of Christianity, the eikon, or religious image, has long held a place of honor. In the greater part of Western Christianity, however, discomfort with images in worship, both statues and panel icons, has been a relatively common current, particularly since the Reformation. In the Roman Catholic Church, after years of using religious statues, the Second Vatican Council’s call for “noble simplicity” in many cases led to a stripping of images that in some ways helped refocus attention on the eucharistic celebration itself but also led to a starkness that has left many Roman Catholics unsure of how to interact with the saints or with religious images at all.
Today, Western interest in panel icons has been rising, yet we lack standards of quality or catechesis on what to do with them. This book makes the case that icons should have a role to play in the Western Church that goes beyond mere decoration. Citing theological and ecumenical reasons, Visel argues that, in regard to use of icons, the post–Vatican II Roman Catholic Church needs to give greater respect to the Eastern tradition. While Roman Catholics may never interact with icons in quite the same way that Eastern Christians do, we do need to come to terms with what icons are and how we should encounter them.

01:00

Die Kartause von La Valsainte. - Es ist der 23. Dezember. (3/3) [BRUNONIS]

Normal 0 21 false false false DE X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4 Nach dem Abendessen gehen wir wieder durch die weißen Klostergänge und die unendliche Stille, in der überall das Rauschen des fließenden Wassers wie von verborgenen Quellen singt.

Jetzt bin ich allein. Ich kehrte soeben in mein Gastzimmer zurück, wo nichts anderes sich vorfindet als zwei Stühle, ein Waschtisch, ein Betstuhl, das Bett, ein Vorrat an Holz, der Tisch mit einer Lampe und ein kleiner Ofen.

Unwillkürlich gehe ich ans Fenster. Es ist Nacht. Windstiller Raum weitet sich über die grauweißen Dächer (oder sind es beschneite Gipfel?) der Gebäude, welche den Innenhof umgeben. Darüber steht ein veilchenblauer Nachthimmel mit all seinen glitzernden Lichtsternen und dem Diamantenstaub der Milchstraße.

Die Stille, die tiefe, tiefe Stille: die Sicherheit des Geistes in der geformten Stille Gottes und des Weltalls.

Und da drinnen im Herzen der Kartause -dieser Kristallstadt in den Bergen - wohnen in ihren Zellenhäuschen die Patres.

Ich kenne diese so randvolle Stille. Ich denke an die Tage im Kloster Oosterhout zurück, wo auch diese gleiche Stille eine so unsagbar lebendige Gegenwart ist, in der das so wunderbare Werden und Sein des Geistes aufblüht und lebt - lebt im Atmen der Ewigkeit.

Wie unendlich weit von dieser lebensvollen Stille bewegt sich doch das, was wir ein tatenreiches Leben nennen! Neuerdings und eindrucksvoller denn je zuvor wird es mir klar, daß hier und noch an einigen andern Orten - Gottesstätten der Welt - der Mensch vollkommen seinem Ziele und dem Ziel der Schöpfung lebt.

Man kann Gott vollkommen auch in der Welt dienen. Diese Männer der Einsamkeit aber, die alles hintansetzen, um die Seele ganz dem Schöpfer hinzugeben, schreiben mit Flammenschrift an den Horizont der Welt jenes "Eins ist not!" Es erschreckt uns - und das ist gut.

Ein klein wenig vom Leben der Kartäuser - wie wenig es auch sein mag - und wäre es nur das nie verglimmende Sehnen nach dem Allerhöchsten und Allerschönsten, nach dem Allertiefsten und Allerreinsten, von hier in die Welt hineintragen, würde schon ein Schatz für das ganze Leben sein: die eine verlorene Drachme, um die zurückzufinden ich das ganze Haus meines Lebens umkehren will. Und ich werde nicht rasten, bis ich sie gefunden habe.

(Pieter Van der Meer de Walcheren. Das weisse Paradies.)



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CNA - Saint of the Day XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
CNA Daily News XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
CNA Daily News - Vatican XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
CNS Movie Reviews XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
CNS Top Stories XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
CNS Vatican News XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Commentary - thomistica XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Community in Mission XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Comunión Tradicionalista XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Corpus Christi Watershed news XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Creative Minority Report XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
CRISTIANDAD XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Cum Lazaro XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
David Scott Writings XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Denzinger-Katholik XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Diligite iustitiam XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Dom Donald's Blog XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Dominicana XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Dominus mihi adjutor XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Dyspeptic Mutterings XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Eastern Christian Books XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Edinburgh Housewife XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Edward Feser XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
et nunc XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Ethika Politika XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
EUCist News XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Faithful Answers XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
For the Queen XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Fr Hunwicke's Mutual Enrichment XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Fr Ray Blake's Blog XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Fr. Z's Blog XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Galileo Was Wrong XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Gratia Super Naturam XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
History of Interpretation XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
https://creamcitycatholic.com/feed/ XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
I Have to Sit Down XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
iBenedictines XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
IDLE SPECULATIONS XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
ignatius his conclave XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Il Blog di Raffaella. Riflessioni e commenti fra gli Amici di Benedetto XVI XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
In Campo Aperto XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
In the Light of the Law XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Incarnation and Modernity XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Infallible Catholic XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Instaurare Omnia in Christo - The Blog XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Jimmy Akin XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
John G. Brungardt, Ph.L. XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
John V. Gerardi XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Just Thomism XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
katholon XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Korrektiv XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Laodicea XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Laudator Temporis Acti XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Le blog d'Yves Daoudal XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Lectio Divina Notes XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
LES FEMMES - THE TRUTH XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Lex Christianorum XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Ley Natural XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Little Flower Farm XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
LMS Chairman XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Loved As If XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
marcpuck XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Mary Victrix XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Mathias von Gersdorff XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Musings of a Pertinacious Papist XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
New Liturgical Movement XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
New Sherwood XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
New Song XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
News - thomistica XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
NICK'S CATHOLIC BLOG XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
One Mad Mom XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
OnePeterFive XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Opus Publicum XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Over the Rhine and Into the Tiber XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Oz Conservative XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Paths of Love XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Psallam Domino XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
RORATE CÆLI XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
RSS XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Sancrucensis XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Scholastiker XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Semiduplex XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Siris XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Spirit of Teuchtar II XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
St. Conleth's Catholic Heritage Association XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
St. Peter's List XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Steeple and State XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Symposium XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Tęsknota XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Taylor Marshall XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Tea at Trianon XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
That The Bones You Have Crushed May Thrill XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The American Catholic XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Badger Catholic XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Catholic Dormitory XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Catholic Thing XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The City and the World XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Daily Register XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Deacon's Bench XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Divine Lamp XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Eponymous Flower XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The hermeneutic of continuity XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Jesuit Post XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Josias XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Lepanto Institute XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Low Churchman's Guide to the Solemn High Mass XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Paraphasic XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Prosblogion XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Rad Trad XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Remnant Newspaper - The Remnant Newspaper - Remnant Articles XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Sacred Page XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The Sensible Bond XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
The TOF Spot XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Theological Flint XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
totaliter aliter XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Traditional Catholic Priest XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Transalpine Redemptorists at home XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Unam Sanctam Catholicam XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Unequally Yoked XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Voice of the Family XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Vox Cantoris XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Vultus Christi XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Whispers in the Loggia XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
ZENIT - The World Seen From Rome XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
Zippy Catholic XML 22:00, Thursday, 21 January 23:00, Thursday, 21 January
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