Thursday, February 23, 2012
Have you ever heard a nagging wife? Or worst still a nagging mother in law? Yes, this is common. But a nagging Pope !!! Well, one day it was bound to happen. St. Augustine several times excused himself for nagging too much. And the reasons he gave was that he was explaining so important a topic he had to. And the Holy Father has found himself doing the same thing because of the importance of his topic ... Faith, without which no one can enter heaven. For what reason should the world continue to exist when most of its inhabitants have no Faith. It has no reason to continue.
After Pope Benedict declared that the Church is undergoing a crisis of Faith i.e. that most 'Catholics' are not really able to enter the Catholic Church, after co-authoring with Pope John Paul II "Veritatis Splendor" where they enumerated the errors that are preventing Catholics from entering the Church, after authoring the "Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church" a better concise summary of Catholic Doctrine superior to the thick Catechism of Vatican II, after encouraging the whole Church to review their Faith during the Year of St. Paul, after more precisely reminding priests to go back to the seminary and review their Moral theology and study how to make the Act of Faith, after "Porta Fidei"......then the Holy Father Pope Benedict addresses a Plenary Assembly working with the new Pontifical Council for Promoting the New Evangelization. He called on Bishops and priests and religious to make the renewal of Faith as the Priority work of the entire Church. We can do other things but TO MAKE THE ACT OF FAITH AS THE PRIORITY !!! Now, don't tell me that is not nagging.
In his talk the Holy Father said that the flame of Faith in the world is being extinguish like a flame that is no longer fed, a profound crisis of faith, a loss of all sense of the supernatural. Was he speaking about you and me? I haven't had time to check on my Faith as the Pope had instructed us, and probably you, too. And that is the problem and what he is nagging us to do....to check if we have the true Faith. By the mere fact that we still have to check if we have faith means we don't have it, as St. Thomas would say. He who has Faith knows for certain that he has it.
Casting his glance on the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Holy Father hints, "how can you convert the Orthodox and the Jews to the Faith if you yourself do not have it. Your Ecumenical dialogues has borne no fruits. While look at the Anglicans flocking into the Catholic Church and we are not holding any dialogues with them. Then he switches his glance at the Congregation for the Missions and hints, "what will you bring to the mission countries if you yourself do not have Faith." Those mission countries are supposed to form truly Christian communities united with one another but instead Catholic Hutus are killing Catholic Tutsis in Uganda.
There is something seriously wrong in the manner Ecclesiology is being transmitted. This must reflect the priority of Faith, the Holy Father states. But it is as important to have a correct interpretation of that order or hierarchy which exists in Catholic doctrine, by bringing out its internal structure, the organic nature of this unique structure.
The steps that must be followed in instilling the Faith goes this way; first present to the listener the God of nature. This is all in the natural level. And with this present the Golden Rule which is natural Moral Theology. Second, present the truths of Divine Revelation as found in the New Testament. Thirdly, these N.T. truths must be interpreted using the Fathers of the Church or Tradition. Fourthly, the Holy Father, the Pope must proposed the doctrine of Christ as taken from Divine Revelation and the Fathers of the Church. When the listener assents to these teachings with his mind and gives his consent with his free will that is an act of Faith the consequence of which is unity. Only when the community exist because there is unity can the Faith now be proclaimed to others who still do not know the Saviour, the Holy Father ended his address.
A Catechetical seminar was just held here in our diocese. There was a lot of speeches on the need of recruiting new catechists, the need to raise money to finance these volunteers but there was no mention on Faith. The same with a meeting sponsored by the Pontifical Council on Family Life, there was a lot of topics on the state of modern families but there was no mention on the lack of faith in most families. The insistence of the Holy Father that Faith should be prioritized is most opportune. Even in retreats held by priests only a brief referral is given to Faith but there is no explanation on what it is and how to dispose oneself to receive it. And this sight is common in that when a group of priests or seminarian listen to a correct explanation of the theological virtue of Faith the look in their faces seems to say: hey, that's the first time I heard that. Sadly, it is the same thing said by a few bishops. Truly a crisis of Faith. But there is nothing to worry because Christ had taught us how to acquire Faith, "Repent, believe." And St. Paul in his letters had gone into detail on how to dispose ourselves to receive it. And St. Augustine and St. Thomas of Aquinas had described in detail the human act entailed in making the Act of Faith. So what are we waiting for. Why are we delaying so much thus endangering our souls? The world had become so attractive and we have come to love it so much to the exclusion of God. The mind of man is so filled, not with the world that God created but with the world that man invented. And St. Thomas said: he whose mind contains worldly things cannot think of divine things. So the Holy Father talks about 'detachment' from worldly things...ouch...before we can listen to the word of God and attain Faith.
Monday, February 20, 2012
1. If I were the devil what would I do to destroy the Catholic Church and damn the most number of souls in this era, the year 2000 a.d. I would review the external and internal attacks I had done to the Church. In the external attacks I used heads of states like emperors. Today I would still use heads of states of nations, the greater the nation the better. I will not change this strategy. It is good past time for little out- of -work devils. But the internal attacks, i.e. attacks from within the Church, I have greatly improved through the centuries. This will be my work. I Lucifer will initiate a two-prong attack on the Church, first, will consist in keeping seminarians ignorant of the true faith either by blocking a part of Divine Revelation ( by giving them heretical teachings or omitting certain teachings) and by giving them clown Masses which will entertain them rather than inspire them to a life of suffering.
2 I will continue the external attacks .....and I will improve the internal attacks this way. Before, I had to choose several proud individual priests, transform their true knowledge of the truth into heresies and let them spread their errors. They are priests and this will make it easier for the lay to believe them. But this entailed lots of efforts in that I have to deceive several priests before they can deceive many souls.
3. Today, the devil had improved his strategy in that all he had to do is to install a priest as head of the Congregation of Catholic Education where curricula for seminaries and catholic schools are approved. A little modification in a doctrine here and there or the removal of a teaching of Christ from the curriculum and voila!! The innovation or neglect of a doctrine is enough to prevent all Catholics from making the act of Faith.....and prevent them from entering the Church unto the salvation of their souls.
4 Souls can learn the faith from two sources. First from preaching. Secondly from the sacrifice of the Mass. Preaching teaches souls the commandments of Christ and how to obey them. This is the Apostolic commission Christ gave the apostles at the end of St. Matthew's Gospel. The second is Christ's command "to do this in commemoration of Me," which is the Mass which consists of a summary of the life and death of Christ. This also contains all the commands of Christ and how to do them expressed in Liturgical signs. These two sources complement each other. And more often than not the Liturgy helps explain dogmatic truths. Well, the devil will have to control both the curriculum and the Liturgy and prevent them from complementing each other.
5. Through the centuries the devil had already tried to control both branches, the training of priests and the liturgy. Henry VIII tried it but failed. But the devil had learned his lesson well and had worked hard in improving his strategy. And this time his strategy is working well.
6. Let us first look at the destruction of the training of the priests. Heresies, like nominalism, had infiltrated the highest office and these in turn entered into the curriculum of seminaries and catholic schools. Nominalism would later on give birth to Luther, the Reign of terror, period of enlightenment, democracy, communism and modernism. These infiltrated all catholic schools and seminaries that Catholicism was bogged down in the Old Testament in all these places.
7. Then the Liturgy was headed by graduates of these seminaries. It no longer reflected the true dogmas of the Catholic Church. It became the experimental playground of immature souls and became a picnic ground with liturgical video games.
With Nominalism preventing seminarians from learning the spirituality of the New Testament and at the same time distorting the Mass as to be unrecognizable, the products of the seminary which would be future priests and bishops were ignorant of the complete plan of salvation. Many could not even describe the "Life of Repentance" which is Old Testament spirituality which was decried by Our Lady at Fatima. How come the thousands of Bishops, priests and nuns could not answer our Lady's call for repentance? They, themselves did not how to do it. Many do not know that after the life of repentance, we have to live the life of the four Moral virtues as the necessary disposition before we can receive the gift of Faith ...as noted by St. Thomas of Aquinas. Many do not even know how to explain how to make an act of Faith as the Fathers of the Church had described it. In short, because of the two-prong attack of the devil on the Church 200 years ago, most graduates of seminaries do not know how to enter the Catholic Church or how to make an Act of Faith. This is the crisis of Faith Pope Benedict XVI is describing. It could not be caused by anything else but by the ignorance of the clergy.
8. Knowledge of doctrine which is both acquired through studies (like in a seminary) and through the Liturgy of the Mass are the Church's most potent instrument of sanctification and at the same time the most vulnerable areas of attack. And today, they are being attacked both from external sources as from head of governments including former staunch Catholic nations and from internal sources, from bishops and priests who hold important positions in the training of priests and in the Liturgy. One merely has to look at the list of bishops holding positions precisely on the training of seminarians, training of priests and the liturgy and will see that they are of doubtful orthodoxy. They are even well known as contradicting the Holy Father.
9. The Catholic Church is truly like a fort or a camp, St. Thomas comments, but this time besieged from the outside, and experiencing revolts from the inside. We have our backs on the wall!!!
10. It is no wonder that our captain, the Pope had been barking orders. From "Veritatis Splendor," to "Instrumentum laboris," to "Porta Fidei:" from his audiences to lectures, to reminders to Curial offices, he had been calling for Faith. It is one of our defensive gear. Personal Faith acquired within the Church is the only weapon when our backs are on the wall. He repeated it in his address during a plenary session of two congregations "This is your priority," referring to bishops and priest "Faith." It is a lopsided fight with the devil having the upper hand right now. But isn't this the kind of fight wherein God always wins?
11. The Holy Father, Pope Benedict had been encouraging us all to have Faith, to check on our Faith if it is genuine and as of last week reminded Bishops and priests that this is their priority today. He knows that the two ordinary ways by which souls are instructed, preaching and the Mass, are not delivering the Faith souls should have. He blamed the total neglect of God as the reason. Yes, St. Thomas of Aquinas said that neglect of God brings souls to despair and that is what we see today in the world and in our Catholic priests. This is not neglect of God. This is total inability for the soul which is created to think of God to function naturally and think of God. The world had gone unnatural. Thus the need for a new Evangelization!!! Because the devil had become more powerful? No. Because man have become unnatural. He no longer acts like a man. He acts like a beast. St. Thomas states: he who does not progress regresses. Mankind had been regressing for the last two hundred years. It is difficult to find out from where to pick him up.