Monday, November 26, 2012


Disentangling the "New Evangelization" that leads to "Porta Fidei."

The 'New Evangelization' proposed by Pope Benedict as early as 2000 AD which consists in returning to the Apostolic Commission given by Christ and narrated in the last chapters of the Gospel of St. Matthew is very simple and clear. It is easy for any preacher to use in examining himself if he has Faith or not. And it is easy for the preacher to teach it to the lay men and women for them to examine if they, in turn, have Faith of not. He who has Faith is already saved and he who does not have Faith is already condemned, Scriptures remind us. So the Holy Father wants all of us, without exemption, to find out if we have Faith. Our eternal salvation depends on this. But because it is difficult to describe and define Faith everybody thinks they have Faith just because they are baptized, confirmed, ordained or consecrated bishops. There are ways by which we can have Faith. But there are many more ways of losing Faith. The most common reason why souls do not have  Faith is because they never made the Act of Faith.

Pope Benedict had already reminded us last March that we should concentrate on 'conversion.' And the International Theological Commission that had been raised to Pontifical status has made a rejoinder after the Bishop's Synod that 'conversion' should be the central preoccupation of the 'New Evangelization' that leads to 'Porta Fidei.'  Conversion is the preparation that leads to Faith. If someone asks 'how do you acquire Faith?' The answer is 'undergo conversion.' The dynamics of conversion is the dynamics of Faith. Let us once more describe the Act of Faith.

In the Act of Faith, the memory is focused on its learned knowledge about God as learned from Divine Revelation.  Secondly, the intellect should be masticating and judging the knowledge it has in the memory. This is done with the help of the Fathers of the Church who have given the Church explanations of truths in Divine Revelation. And the intellect must assent to the knowledge it got and judged from the memory. Thirdly, the intellect must convince the free will that the knowledge it has judged and assented to which were taken from the memory is good thus convincing the free will to consent.

When the free will consents to the above process then and only then will God grant the soul the theological virtue of Faith. And suddenly the memory, intellect and free will rise up to the level of supernatural operations. Faith raises all our  actions into the supernatural and , therefore, meritorious level.

Now, let us further describe the Act of Faith using the Myself - God schema. So there is the Myself.... and I go inside myself. My mind goes into the functioning and contents of my mind. And my mind goes into the functioning and contents of my free will. When I enter into Myself, particularly into my mind and free will, I encounter the image and likeness of God within myself. Thus in entering myself I become conscious of God whose image within myself I have encountered. Now there is Myself  face to face with God. But as I enter into my mind I see my past, my present and my future.....and I see God face to face. So I am forced to make a judgment of my past, present and future before God.  That is the portion of the mind. Now let us go to the free will.

As my mind is faced with my past, present and future before God,  I have to decide which of my past, present and future I consider good and I can continue,  and I must decide which of my past, present and future I consider as bad and, therefore, I must stop. When I have decided on these my mind must assent to the process and then try to convince the free will to give its consent. When the free will gives its consent, then God gives my soul the gift of Faith. I begin my life in the supernatural level in a manner pleasing to God.

We have described the Act of Faith as it is actually being made, that is the memory filled with the truths about God, the intellect trying to understand the contents of the memory and assenting to its contents which by now is in the intellect. And there is the free will that is consenting to the above processes. But the memory cannot do the above if it is filled with worldly memories. The worldly memories will be preventing the memory in doing its part in the Act of Faith. If this happens the intellect will not be able to judge on the contents of the memory and thus be unable to give its assent to its judgment. If this happens then the free will will not be able to consent to the judgments of the intellect. So the soul continues to be Faithless.

This is exactly what will happen when one is in the world. With all the stimulation that will bombard the senses the three faculties of memory, intellect and free will will not be able to perform its part in the Act of Faith. So what do we do? St. Augustine suggested  the old monastic practice of  'fuga mundo.' It will not completely solve the problem but it will be a very big help in forming the Act of Faith. Pope Benedict, also, gave this suggestion in an address in St. Paul outside the Walls.

It is unfortunate that in all the topics taken during the Bishop's Synod to discuss the 'New Evangelization' that leads to 'Porta Fidei' there is NO description of an Act of Faith when that should be the central point in the 'Year of Faith.'

Thursday, November 15, 2012



The effort to Evangelize for the growth of the Catholic Church has a long history of conflict with evil angelic forces. But let us just look at this conflict from the beginnings of Vatican II. The topic to purify the Church's Evangelization process for the growth of the Church begun around the third session of the council. And Archbishop Frings was vocal in showing the need for a very clear doctrinal description on Evangelization amidst attempts to compose a watered down, unclear and confusing document. A good document came out from his attempts. His periti was Joseph Ratzinger. But after Vatican II the document was not given importance and the proposals of missiologists and other dissident theologians who insisted on merely psychological, sociological, and environmental issues prevailed.  Pope Paul VI and Pope John Paul II tried to patch up the vacuum in the Evangelization process that made it ineffective. The present Pope had given  his  all out effort during his Pontificate to right  the Evangelization which is the very life of the Church. But efforts to derail the process continued up to this very moment. It waned for a moment when Cardinal Ratzinger pin pointed these efforts on derailment as coming from men with no Faith in his 'Ratzinger Report.' But almost rose again in the form of a movement to create a new man- made catholic church. First theorized by a priest pseudo-scientist, it has become a battle cry under the banner of reform and renewal......towards nowhere. Schools of theology had embraced it and bishops are unwittingly preaching this heresy because its undercurrents are in the 58 proposals of the Bishop's synod.

The Holy Father gave us, as Cardinal Prefect of the CDF,  the 'New Evangelization' as early as 2000 AD. He had described the four steps towards Eternal Life, of which Evangelization is only the first step. The Pope put this first step under the title of 'conversion' since Evangelization is the process  of conversion that leads to Faith. This is clearly described in the 'Apostolic Commission' which Christ gave to His disciples.... the instruction to Evangelize, going to all nations etc...The Fathers of the Church like St. Augustine  had described this process so well,  on how to preach. And the Catholic Church had been doing this for the last more than 2000 years.

 Evangelization was going on well until something around the 15th  century happened that caused so much confusion in the Church up to the present. The 'Way of Evangelization' that leads to 'conversion' of souls that disposes them to the Act of Faith became so confused there was fear that hardly anyone was evangelizing properly and hardly anyone was undergoing conversion. The signs of the presence of Faith that was most evident in the Church that made her stand out as the true Church was nowhere to be found. What we see now is the opposite. These opposite signs are found in Bishops, priests, brothers, nuns and lay faithful. It is the sign of vices which cannot exist side by side with the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. Cardinal Ratzinger described what went wrong;"  a defect in the method and contents of Evangelization." That is like saying everything went wrong.

So Pope Benedict called a 'Year of Faifh.' But even now we see signs of confusion exactly what happened during Vatican II.  It is the same malevolent spirit!  The office that sent the Lineamenta, a letter of instruction from the Vatican to all bishops,  issued a defective document dissimilar from the instruction of the Pope. The 'Instrumentum Laboris' which is the response of all the bishops around the world, also, showed, a defective concept of Evangelization. The very Bishop's Synod just concluded and its 58 resolutions show confusion but more importantly noncompliance to the instruction of the Holy Father. The proposals are similar to the proposals made during Vatican II that Archbishop Frings considered 'impossible and unacceptable."

Then we mentioned a light in the midst of the storm. The International Theological Comission, a group of 30 Catholic Theologians gathered to, first, advice the CDF but now officially advising the Magisterium, came up with a document in aid of the Evangelization that leads to Porta Fidei.  They repeated the 4 - pt schema of the Holy Father and, as the Holy Father stressed last March, emphasized the importance of 'conversion' as  CENTRAL to the 'Year of Faith.'

As soon as the only bright light shone amidst the storm, the light was immediately covered with clouds as a Theological school of a famed religious order in Rome came out to use one of their order's author  of doubtful orthodoxy as a model of Evangelization. This author had been corrected several times by Rome for dangerous doctrine, specially of Pantheism and a dangerous 'spirit' in proposing an entirely 'new catholic church'  a heresy so prevalent among Bishops and theologians yet they call it the 'new Evangelization."

The confusion and attempts to derail the Pope's efforts to lead souls to Faith and the salvation of their souls continuous unabatted.  And like the classical story of the Trojan Horse in the siege of Troy the enemy is within the Church in both the Bishops, the clerics, the theological schools, the seminaries and in the big religious order of the Church. With people like these the Pope does not need enemies.
Not all bishops and theologians are tainted by this 'spirit'. But the few who are faithful to the Church are not vocal. Fortunately we have the ITC. The Holy Father and the International Theological Commission had this simple suggestion: for this  'Year of Faith' .... simply teach ourselves and others how the Act of Faith is to be done. All the other topics can be set aside first. And here it is according to St. Augustine.

We must make the Act of Faith in the same way  the Blessed Trinity would do it......if they had to do it. Of course, the Blessed Trinity does not need to do it. 

The Blessed Trinity is three person in one God. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. We have been made to the image and likeness of God. Our memory represents the Father, our intellect represents the Son and our free will represents the Holy Spirit. But because of original and actual sins our memory, our intellect and our free will are not perfect images and likenss of God. Inspite of this defect our memory, intellect and free will are still the closes image and likeness of God we can have. No other religion can have an image of their own man-make gods as Catholics have of our God. In short, we can see the face of our God while others can see only a sculpture or painting of their gods. And  the image of the God of the Catholic Church is within man himself.

The Holy Father had encourage all men to check on their beliefs in God, precisely by checking the image of their gods within them. If God would create man He would make him in a manner that he can recognize his creator. And what better way than for God to leave His image within man, himself. But man cannot know the image and likeness of God within him unless he does something first. And this something is the proper disposition for the Act of Faith.

So we have the three faculties of man that makes him similar to the image and likeness of God: the memory, the intellect and the free will. Now let us describe a soul that has the proper disposition to receive the grace of Faith after which he becomes a Faithful, he is inside the kingdom of God, he is wise, happy and holy and would now gradually learn all the teachings of Christ. Slowly, of course. It will take some time to accomplish this and lead him to the theological virtue of Charity. Let us go back to Faith. This is our interest in this 'Year of Faith' make the Act of Faith.

Let us go to the Memory, the image and likeness of God the Father within man. Man reads and listens to everything he can naturally learn about God, specially Jesus Christ. As he closes the book or stops listening to a lecture he must retain all these information about God or Jesus Christ in his memory. And this he has to do 24 hours (keep in mind we are describing a soul so advanced in his quest for God that he is about to receive the grace of Faith and not a recent convert.) This is the first element in the Act of Faith that must be kept in  mind. This is not yet Faith because two other things are still to be done.

Secondly, while all these Godly thoughts are in the memory and sustained in the memory permanenetly ......let us go to the next faculty, the intellect. The intellect should try to understand in the natural level the contents of the memory.  While Divine Revelation is a help in filling up the memory with truths, the Fathers of the Church will be needed in interpreting the contents of the memory. So now we have the memory and the intellect in place for the Act of Faith. The intellect must not only interpret the contents of the memory correctly but must ALSO assent to both the contents of the memory and the intellect's interpretation or explanation of the contents of the memory. Now the first two steps in the elements of the ACT of Faith are in place. Needless to say there should be absolutely no errors in the memory and in the interpretation or understanding of what is in the memory.

Then comes the third step, the free will or the heart. After the memory had stored all natural truths about God, after the intellect had meditated and thought about those truths and had given its mark of assent to those truths as worthy of belief, then the intellect convinces the blind faculty. the free will to love the truths the mind had judged to be good. The free will considers all these and convinced that it would be a good thing to love those truths pertaining to God and Jesus Christ,  the free will gives its consent and loves God and/or Jesus Christ.

When the soul has his memory, intellect and free will in this state we say that he has the proper disposition to receive the gift of Faith. God, then,  gives him the theological virtue of Faith and he undergoes a complete change and shows all the signs of Faith, namely, wisdom, happiness and holiness. But this Faith is weak at the beginning. It will be God who will directly instruct him on what to do to increase in Faith that would eventually lead to Hope and Charity. This is all we have to learn in this 'Year of Faith.'

Many bishops, priests, brothers, nuns, members of ecclesial communities, converts from other sects and the vast number of converts from Africa and Asia may not realize it. They were INTELLECTUALLY attracted to the beauty of the Catholic Religion but have not really made an act of supernatural Faith.....because they had not been properly Evangelize, i.e. they were not taught how to make the Act of Faith. Even the 58 proposals issued by the Bishop's Synod does not contain even a mention on how to make the Act of Faith. Except for the Pope I have not heard or read in any document on the 'Year of Faith' any description of the Act of Faith. The above is from St. Augustine. So what are we going to talk about in the 'Year of Faith?' Shouldn't it be simply what  the Act of Faith  is ?

The process in which we acquire a memory as described above, an intellect as described above and a free will as described above is the long process called 'conversion.' This is not something we can accomplish overnight. Often not even in twenty or thirty years. Though it all depends on the generosity of the soul.

Faith is when we can keep our memories, intellects and free will as described above every second for all our lifetime.

Friday, November 09, 2012



The Holy Father had announced a 'New Evangelization.' He, not only explained 'Evangelization', but gave the four complete steps that lead to Eternal Life. Evangelization is only the first step  and it leads to the second step which is 'Porta Fidei.' The Pope set aside temporarily the last two steps for this 'Year of Faith' because only the first step is needed and this leads to the second step which is  Faith.

Though the Holy Father gave this talk on 'New Evangelization' as early as in 2000, and though he gave many indications of the great importance of this topic, very few seems to have gotten what he was saying. The word 'New Evangelization' had been quoted by many  bishops in their speeches but it never came close to what the Pope was referring to.  And all the efforts to implement the Popes 'New Evangelization' that leads to 'Porta Fidei' had been total digression from the main goal of the Holy Father.....from the 'Lineamenta,' to the 'Instrumentum Laboris,' to the 58 proposals made during the Bishop's Synod.  A watcher to this scenario could only loose heart at what is happening to the Church. But at last, a tiny voice amidst the confusion.....a clear voice from the International Theological Commission.

The International Theological Commission is a group of Catholic theologians from around the world appointed by the Pope upon suggestion of the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the faith. Each member have a renewable five year term and they meet together in person once every year for a week. Their main job  is to advise the Magisterium of the Church especially the CDF. In support of the 'Year of Faith' proclaimed by Pope Benedict they came out offering their services. And their short declaration of assistance to the Church contained a perfect knowledge of the 'MIND' of Pope Benedict on his 'New Evangelization that leads to 'Porta Fidei.' What a consolation  to hear a perfect echo of Pope Benedict.

The 'Year of Faith' is for all Bishops, priests, brothers, nuns and all lay people to find out if they have Faith. No one is exempted. The inclusion of Bishops and priest was very clear from the 'Ratzinger Report,' from the 'Year of St. Paul,'  from the 'Year of the Priests,' summarized in 'Veritatis Splendor,' and most clearly in the 'New Evangelization' that leads to 'Porta Fidei.'  It is the Bishops and priest who are undergoing a crisis of Faith. The signs are all clear from the fact that no shepherd is sounding the proverbial trumpet  mentioned by St. Paul, to the worldwide problem of priests that seems not to wane down to the very Bishops who caannot pin point where the problem of the Church is. A brief review of 'what are the signs of Faith' shows that there is no Faith in the Church today  (with an exception that can only be described as the work of the grace of God.)

This,  of course, will redound to the crisis of Faith among the lay people who are taught by the bishops and priest. The crisis of Faith among the lay people cannot be blamed anywhere else except on the pastors.

The 'Lineamenta' and 'Instrumentum laboris' and the 58 proposals made by the bishop's synod are all working on the assumption that all the bishops and priest have the theological virtue of Faith and the only work to be done is  to lead the laymen towards the 'door of Faith.' On the contrary, because they intentionally removed 'conversion' from their schema, this shows they have no Faith because conversion is essential to Faith and all who have Faith will emphasize the importance of conversion. Pope Benedict, seeing the trend of mind in the Bishop's Synod, re-emphasized the importance of conversion  last March to priests and deacons. And the International Theological Commission emphasized that too saying: 'the message of conversion is central to the Year of Faith'......and this is what  the Bishop's documents intentionally omitted stating it was not important. Though Proposition 22 of the Bishop's Synod talked about 'conversion' its description does not approach at all the 'conversion' of Pope Benedict.

How in the first place did the laymen happened to have no Faith. Isn't it because of the faithlessness of their pastors and Bishops? A typical example is the speech of a Bishop-theologian, invited to address  the Bishop's Synod, where he begun by encouraging religious pluralism, a long time heresy and recently condemned again by the Pope at the urging of the International theological commission during its sixth term ...and followed by corrections world-side of priests holding such heresy. And the speaker was a Bishop - theologian addressing the Bishop's Synod.  And he is one of those who will evangelize? In fact in his speech he described his  religious pluralism as  Pope Benedict's 'New Evangelization.' Heresy and truth?

The 'Year of Faith' is a command of the Pope for Cardinals, Bishops, priest, brothers, sisters and all laymen.... without exemption, to examine themselves if they have Faith following the guidelines he had already given. It has to begin there. I know it is humiliating. But then we have to begin with humility somehow.

In the 'Year of Faith' all we have to learn is how the Act of Faith is made and what are the proper dispositions of the mind and free will that will help us receive the gift of Faith and response to it properly. Nothing else. Everything that is being learned are in the natural level so everyone can do it.

Returning briefly to the Gospel of the 31th Sunday in Ordinary time we just have to do what the Scribe did to be near the 'Kingdom of God' (the words used by the Pope referring to Faith.) The Scribe had the knowledge that he should love God with all his heart, with all his mind, with all his strength and will all his soul. One proper disposition that every soul should have is to know how the mind works...and then use his entire knowledge to know God. After knowing God his mind should instruct his free will to love God. That's it. That is one of the proper disposition that prepares a soul to receive the gift of Faith. We still have to work on three more.

Who knows  how the mind works?  And one has to go  into one's mind to see what it contains. Does it contain the knowledge of God or does it contain garbage? Considering out present age it is impossible to enter into our minds to find out what it contains because man's minds are continuously  focused outside towards the things of the world. There is no introspection. There is no knowing of oneself. We also have to know God and knowing God consists in going into one's mind and heart...which are the image and likeness of God. No one has time for that. Souls today would rather know the basketball scores than who is God.  In short, analysis shows that conditions are not conducive to making the Act of Faith. So help is needed. And the Holy Father gave us these helps. Like strong medicine few will like it.

Monday, November 05, 2012



The Holy Father had stated that this 'New Evangelization' is not 'new'. It is the old, traditional evangelization used from the time of Christ, through the apostles and by the Magisterium of the Church up to the present. And the Pope said that he only used the word 'new' because today no one seems to know about it.

Then the Holy Father gave us the four steps that lead to Eternal Life, namely, a.) Conversion,  b.) Entrance into the kingdom of God (or Faith),  c.) Union with the created soul of the Church, Jesus Christ and union with the uncreated soul of the Church, the Holy Spirit (or Hope and Charity).  And finally,  d.) Eternal Life. Those are the complete steps that lead to wisdom, happiness and union with God for all eternity.

During this "Year of Faith" the Holy Father is putting emphasis only on the first two steps:  a.) conversion  and   b.) entrance into the kingdom of God  (or entrance into the Catholic Church  OR Faith.) Notice how short and simple and how well summarized the Holy Father had shown us the path that leads to FAITH....two steps,  a.)Conversion    and   b.) Entrance into the kingdom of God. Since entrance in the Kingdom is God's work, the Holy Father wants us to  concentrate on conversion ONLY, as he emphasized last March in a talk to priests and deacons because the rests of the steps are God's work, not men's.

We have seen how the "Lineamenta"  intentionally removed CONVERSION in the process of evangelization.  We have seen, also how in the "Instrumentum Laboris"  the first two steps are missing. And now we see the 58 proposals made as a result of the Bishop's just concluded Synod in Rome.

On the one hand the Pope gave us a short and simple schema. On the other hand we now have the long 58 proposals of the Bishop's Synod in Rome.  To say the least The Synod's proposal  is too long and it is too confusing.  I am more  forced  to focus on imigration  and inculturation problems rather than finding out if I have Faith or not. What matter for me right now is IF I HAVE FAITH  because my very salvation is at stake. At least I must know if I am far or near the kingdom of God,  i.e. if I am near or far from attaining Faith. Better still if I already have the theological virtue of Faith or not. That is the goal of the 'year of faith.'

Then I see the delegates attending the Bishop's Synod coming out from the assembly. I saw Protestants, heretics, schismatics, rebellious theologians and even a woman Methodist bishop. Are these the people who are going to implement the Evangelization that leads to Faith. Are these the people who would advice a Church who had been splendidly evangelizing the world for the last 2000 years? It seems 'yes' because their ideas seem to have be reflected in the 58 proposals.

The Sundays in Ordinary Time are perfect lessons from Holy Mother the Church  on the topic of 'Faith'. From the first up to the 34th Sunday we can practically see how far or near we are from entering the kingdom of God (or from receiving the gift of Faith.)  And the 31th  Sunday in Ordinary Time beautifully shows us the present situation with the Pope and the Bishop's Synod. It shows us a Scribe who was 'not far from the Kingdom of God,' i.e. not far from Faith.  Where do I stand? Am I 'not far' from Faith or am I very far?

The Gospel begun with an argument between the Pharisee and Sadducees on one hand and the Scribes on the other hand. The Pharisees and Sadducees believed that to be saved one must do hundreds of external rituals like the washing of the hands and feet, washing of vessels, etc.  While the Scribes believed that to be saved they only had to make an internal act of Faith and good works. In the heated discussion the Scribes approached Christ and asked Him who was right. When Christ questioned the Scribe, he gave an answer which Christ described as "You are not far from the kingdom of God."  The Scribe was not far from entering the Catholic Church. He was not far from making the Act of Faith that saves. What did the Scribe do that brought him close to the kingdom. And what was it that he did not yet do that prevented him from entering the kingdom where Faith is attained?

Let us look at the workings of  the mind of the Scribe. He said: "The Lord our God is Lord alone." This is an act of the mind and that was the preamble of Faith. But it is in the natural level. It is not yet supernatural Faith.  This was an act of the mind.

The above natural act of Faith as an act of the mind must be accompanied with good works because Faith without good works is useless. The Scribe believed that "God is Lord alone," and his Faith was accompanied with good works.  He said: I must love God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind and will all my strength. That was one good work. And he adds another good work; and I must love my neighbor as myself. Those were two good works that accompanied his faith. At this point he still cannot receive the supernatural gift of Faith from Christ because his assent and consent were still lacking.

By an act of his mind the Scribe knew that God is Lord alone and.... he had knowledge also that he must love God and his neighbor. That is the act preparatory to the act of Faith .... the mind knowing the existence of God and the duty to love God and neighbor. This is why Christ said he was not far from the kingdom of God.

If in my mind I have a natural description on God as Lord alone; if I have a knowledge on how the heart works  and how to love God with my heart; if I have a knowledge on how the free will works and how to love God with all my heart; if I know what is the strength God had given me and know how to love God with all my strength;  if I know what is a soul and the knowledge of how to love God with all my soul........and if I know myself and know how to love myself  and if I know who is my neighbor and know how to love my neighbor ......THEN I am not far from the kingdom of God. I would not be far from Faith and not far from entering the Catholic Church. But I would not still be in IT.

How come the Scribe was not yet inside the Kingdom?   He was just one step away. But the Scribe did not know what was lacking. Evangelizing him was not yet complete. His conversion was not yet total.  His mind had to assent to what he knew and his free will must consent to what he knew. If he did these God would have given him the supernatural and theological virtue of Faith that saves.

Even if the Scribe was able to assent with his mind and consent with his free will to what he knew (that God is Lord alone and that he should love God and neighbor) he would have Faith but not yet Charity. What he had assented with his mind and consented with his free will,  he must now put it into practice. And that is Charity which together with Faith merits a soul Eternal Life.