Saturday, April 30, 2011

Beatification Questions John Paul II

Now, before I begin this article let me just say that I have not personally taken a stand one way or the other on this topic other than I am concerned about the rushing of the process.  It is my goal in this article to present both sides of this matter - both pro and con - so that all issues are on the table for discussion and consideration.

On the Pro side:
1) He was the pope who streamlined the process of canonization.
Why should not the pope who streamlined the process benefit from it?
2) He was well loved by millions of Catholics.
It is unquestionable that Pope John Paul II was loved throughout the world by literally millions of Catholics.
3) One of the most popular and traveled popes of all time, reaching out to the world.
Pope John Paul II, who led the Catholic Church for more than a quarter century, also did more traveling throughout the world to reach out to Catholics, and non-Catholics alike, than any other pope in history.
4) A miracle has been attributed to Pope John Paul II and has been confirmed by the Church.
It is necessary that a miracle be confirmed by the Church for beatification to move forward.  A second miracle is needed for canonization.  Confirmation of the first miracle is reported here:
http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/miracle-confirmed-john-paul-ii-to-be-beatified/story-e6frg6so-1225988107487
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-01-14-pope-john-paul-ii-beatification_N.htm
http://www.usatoday.com/news/religion/2011-01-14-pope-john-paul-ii-beatification_N.htm
 5) The Church has the authority to beatify and eventually canonize whomever they please.
See Matthew 16:18-19 and Matthew 18:18.  No time restrictions are applied there.
6) Pope John Paul II was integral to the fall of Communism in the U.S.S.R.

7) Pope John Paul II demonstrated saintly forgiveness in the face of his attempted assassin.

8) It is not without precedence for a papal successor to raise his predecessor for beatification and sainthood.
(Though the last time this happened was over 10 centuries ago).


On the Con side:
1) The process is moving too fast.
For the very reason that Pope John Paul II initiated this expedited process, extra care should be taken to avoid any reason to question the process - especially for his own beatification/canonization.
Addendum:  This is valid argumentation - and we must keep in mind, he has not been canonized yet.

2) Did Pope John Paul II indeed kiss the Koran?
I've heard speculation that this was not a Koran, but an Arabic Catholic missal - I've had no confirmation of this.
Addendum:  This speculation is valid - and the size of the book is the size of an altar missal, so it could indeed be just that.

3) Not only inviting non-Christians to Assisi, but allowing for idols to other gods and/or non-gods to be placed upon Christian altars there.
Statue of Buddha (close up)
Altar in Assisi with statue of Buddha on it and Buddhists praying before it.


Addendum:  The fact is, this was NOT the main altar at the Church of St. Francis of Assisi, and not even the same building.  This was a side-building not typically used for any Catholic worship.

4) It is asserted that Pope John Paul II taught universalism (a heresy) in at least the following documents:
John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis (# 13), March 4, 1979:
“We are dealing with each man, for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united Himself forever through this mystery.”

John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio (# 4), Dec. 7, 1990:
“The Redemption event brings salvation to all, ‘for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united himself forever through this mystery.’”

John Paul II, Centesimus Annus (# 53) May 1, 1991:
“We are not dealing here with man in the ‘abstract,’ but with the real, ‘concrete,’ ‘historical’ man. We are dealing with each individual, since each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and through this mystery Christ has united himself with each one forever.”
John Paul II, Homily, June 6, 1985:
"The Eucharist is the sacrament of the convenant of the Body and Blood of Christ, of the convenant which is eternal.  This is the covenant which embraces all.  This Blood reaches all and saves all."
Published in: L' Osservatore Romano, July 1, 1985, p. 3
Are these teachings in universalism?  Would, or should, such teachings derail the canonization process?
Addendum:  cathmom5 is working on a response to this section, and I appreciate the time she's put into it thus far, especially in light of her other commitments at this time.  Her response will be an article/response and will be linked here.

Those of you who have answers to these - please share!  If you have more and/or better reasons on the "pro" side, please share!  

Thank you in advance,
Scott<<<

Continued Discussion on Wrong Use of St Augustine?

This is a response to “Ken’s” comment in the combox on his question or assertion from his original article that Catholics have somehow taken St. Augustine wrongly.
Paul Hoffer wrote: I think that St. Augustine had a pretty good reason for believing that the earth was God's footstool: Isaiah 66:1: "Thus says the LORD: The heavens are my throne, the earth is my footstool."  
"Ken" replies: Yes, so? I didn't say that "the earth is not God's footstool", per Isaiah 66:1. It is obviously metaphoric language about the awesomeness and greatness and vastness of God - "where is a house you can build for Me?" (Read the rest of Isaiah 66:1-2ff). My point is that the Hebrew of Psalm 99 does not say "worship the footstool", rather it says "worship at His footstool" - worship [the Lord] at His footstool", ie, in the earth, at the holy hill (v. 9) - ie, the temple. Hebrew has a definite article marker for the direct object. אֵ֥ת If the Psalmist here had meant "worship His footstool", he would have used the definite direct object marker. בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית בָּרָ֣א אֱלֹהִ֑ים אֵ֥ת הַשָּׁמַ֖יִם וְאֵ֥ת הָאָֽרֶץ׃ For example, there above is Genesis 1:1 and it has the direct object marker that shows the object of the verb. the heavens and the earth are the direct object of God's creation. Psalm 99:5 and 99:9 do not have the direct object marker, so Augustine was wrong on that. It uses the "L" indirect object preposition "to" or "at". The bible is clearer than the Early Church fathers.

It would appear that “Ken” has missed Paul’s point - AND - misses a nuance of his own research.  First off, Paul’s point - God Himself declares the earth IS His footstool! (Isaiah 66:1)  St. Augustine AGREES and declares that even His footstool deserves adoration.
Secondly, “Ken’s” own research says the “‘L’ indirect object preposition ‘to’ or ‘at’” is to be read in this context so look at this!  Worship is to be given TO God’s footstool, that’s exactly the same as St. Augustine’s interpretation!  Then if we look at the term “at” - this can also mean “in the direction of” - so taken that way, worship in the direction of (or TOWARD or TO) God’s footstool is still contextually in line with what St. Augustine said!

“Ken” continues: Same goes for the Matthew 5 and Acts 7 passages you cited above - there is no contradiction with what I am saying with these passages of Scripture. It does not say "worship the earth" or "worship His footstool"; even Jesus says "do NOT swear by heaven or the earth, for it is His footstool".

“Ken” only furthers the points I made above.

You may fashion an argument over how Real of a Presence he believed was present in the Eucharist here, but what you can't argue about is that he was talking about something else.
We worship the Lord in Spirit and truth - Jesus is 100 % God and 100 % man - Augustine was wrong on the Hebrew, but right on the worship of Jesus Christ.

This is precisely my point from my earlier post!  Even IF St. Augustine was wrong about the “footstool” (which “Ken” above says he does not deny that the earth IS rightly called God’s footstool, by God Himself) it is a non sequitur regarding the worship of Jesus Christ.

He says one who eats must worship first. He never actually says, "worship the bread and wine"; but He means the partaker in the Lord's supper or Eucharist, is worshiping Christ, because Christ was human also; but Augustine does not actually say in this context that they are "worshiping the bread and wine" [which supposedly, in RC believe, became Jesus after the priest uttered the words in Latin].

First off, the language is not the issue.  The words of consecration can be in Greek, Latin, English, Ukrainian, whatever.  It’s not the language, it’s the use of HIS words as HE commanded we use.  Second, “Ken” has it sort of right here - we don’t worship bread or wine - we worship Jesus Christ.  There is no “supposedly” here, that IS what Catholics believe.

On this, Turretinfan was right, it is "hocus pocus" and ridiculous.

Oh ye of little faith!  It is our Lord and Savior’s own words which “Ken” and “Turretinfan” find so ridiculous!  The fact of the matter is “hocus pocus” is likely a variation on “hoc est enum, corpus meum” (Latin for “This is my body”, the words “hoc est” and “corpus” are near homonyms).  “Ken” and “Turretinfan” as well as innumerable others, don’t seem to have faith enough in our Lord to believe Him when He declares the bread and wine to BE His body and blood.  He doesn’t declare, “This represents My body and blood,” no, “This IS My body” and “This IS My blood.”  The Eucharist is not a mere symbol or representation or sign, rather it IS Jesus Christ, as He Himself declares it to be.  
I have no problem with "real presence" as His spiritual presence for believers by faith in communion with Him, as I understand Calvin's view.

The matter “Ken” still seems to have a problem with is that a “spiritual presence” is still REAL!  As I said in my previous post, God the Father and God the Holy Spirit are “spirits” - and I don’t think “Ken” denies THEIR reality!  The issue really boils down to folks like “Ken” not able to accept our Lord’s word that after the consecration the bread IS His body and the wine IS His blood.  I pray that one day he, and those others, are granted the faith necessary to accept this fundamental truth of Christendom.

Keith Matthison has a whole book on it, Given For You -  http://www.ligonier.org/store/given-for-you-paperback/ and an article - http://www.ligonier.org/learn/articles/calvins-doctrine-lords-supper/ they (the bread and wine) are not "mere symbols", but they are at least symbols/representations/signs.

I’ll not get into responding to Matthison at this time, though I can and will at some point.  It should be sufficient for now that “Ken” is simply wrong even when it comes to this semi-compromise of “but they are at least symbols/representations/signs.”  Yes, they are “at least” these things, but they are much, much more - for they ARE His body and blood - and I’m sure “Ken” is not, at this time, willing to accept this fact.  Again, one day I hope and pray he is given the faith to accept this fundamental truth of Christendom.

Ken said...
Augustine is unclear as to if he is saying "it is ok to worship the host of the Eucharist" or "it is ok to worship Christ, who is "from the earth", since He received His human nature from Mary, which is represented/signified/symbolized by the bread and wine.

I beg to differ.  St. Augustine is quite clear in the fact that he is speaking to the adoration of the Eucharist when he says (as “Ken” also quotes and comments on a bit later) “And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped.”  There can be no denying that St. Augustine is referring to the Eucharist here.  “Ken’s” attempts to rationalize his way out of the plain reading of the text is utterly futile.

Next “Ken” quotes a from St. Augustine’s Exposition and I will put St. Augustine’s words in teal to distinguish from “Ken’s” comments, and I will also break and indent to more clearly exhibit who is saying what:

Augustine's pertinent comments on Psalm 99 are in paragraph 8, but it is on verse 5.
8. "O magnify the Lord our God" Psalm 98:5. Magnify Him truly, magnify Him well. Let us praise Him, let us magnify Him who has wrought the very righteousness which we have; who wrought it in us, Himself. For who but He who justified us, wrought righteousness in us? For of Christ it is said, "who justifies the ungodly." Romans 4:5 ..."And fall down before His footstool: for He is holy." What are we to fall down before? His footstool. What is under the feet is called a footstool, in Greek ὑ ποπόδιον, in Latin Scabellum or Suppedaneum. But consider, brethren, what he commands us to fall down before. In another passage of the Scriptures it is said, "The heaven is My throne, and the earth is My footstool." Isaiah 66:1 Does he then bid us worship the earth, since in another passage it is said, that it is God's footstool? How then shall we worship the earth, when the Scripture says openly, "You shall worship the Lord your God"? Deuteronomy 6:13 Yet here it says, "fall down before His footstool:" Psalms 98:5 and, explaining to us what His footstool is, it says, "The earth is My footstool."  Isaiah 66:1  I am in doubt; I fear to worship the earth, lest He who made the heaven and the earth condemn me; again, I fear not to worship the footstool of my Lord, because the Psalm bids me, "fall down before His footstool." I ask, what is His footstool? And the Scripture tells me, "the earth is My footstool." In hesitation I turn unto Christ, since I am herein seeking Himself: and I discover how the earth may be worshipped without impiety, how His footstool may be worshipped without impiety.
[“Ken’s” comment: Here he wrongly thinks that the footstool itself may be worshiped.]

St. Augustine is explaining to his readers the fact that Scripture tells us to “fall down before His footstool” - and such a “falling down” is a sign of worship and/or adoration.  Note, the passage cited from Deuteronomy speaks solely to worshipping God, and in context commands we are to worship no other god.  St. Augustine points out that even though Deuteronomy says this the passage from Psalm 98, upon which he is expounding at this time, it says that we are to “Exalt the Lord our God, and adore his footstool, for it is holy.” Psalm 98:5 (or 99:5, depending on which version of Scripture you’re looking at).  His point is, if we are to fall down before (a sign of worship) even just His footstool, then we should not hesitate to worship that which IS His body and blood when he said, “and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped.”  St. Paul tell us that those who do not discern the Eucharist IS His body and partake of it unworthily eat and drink upon themselves the judgment (see 1 Cor. 11:23-34).

For He took upon Him earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He received flesh from the flesh of Mary.
[this is true, as to His incarnation; and we can worship Christ in spirit and truth and eat the Lord supper's without bowing down in front of it as if it changed into Christ].  

Again, the words of St. Paul speak quite loudly against “Ken” here!  

And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped:
[“Ken’s” comments: He doesn't say "worshiped Christ who is the bread and wine, after it was transformed or changed, etc.]

Well, “Ken,” yes, that’s precisely what St. Augustine is referring to here!  I understand the Calvinist’s need to differ here - but to deny what St. Augustine has clearly stated here - well, you’re denying St. Augustine himself and to try and say St. Augustine is NOT referring to the Eucharist here is a denial of both Sts. Augustine and Paul.

we have found out in what sense such a footstool of our Lord's may be worshipped, and not only that we sin not in worshipping it, but that we sin in not worshipping.

It is important to note here, St. Augustine repeatedly is reinforcing the Scriptures here in demanding that we worship the Eucharist - and not the bread and wine, but what it has become.  St. Augustine does not tell us to worship the elements, he tells us that it IS Jesus Christ and not only that we SHOULD worship it - we sin in NOT worshiping it.

But does the flesh give life? Our Lord Himself, when He was speaking in praise of this same earth, said, "It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing."...But when our Lord praised it, He was speaking of His own flesh, and He had said, "Except a man eat My flesh, he shall have no life in him." John 6:54 Some disciples of His, about seventy, were offended, and said, "This is an hard saying, who can hear it?" And they went back, and walked no more with Him. It seemed unto them hard that He said, "Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you have no life in you:" they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally,
[which is what modern Rome has done from Radbertus in the 8th Century to 1215 Ad to nowadays.]

Well, no, this is exactly what folks like “Ken” are doing!  “Rome” (Catholics) sees the spiritual truth and reality of the Eucharist.  What we perceive in the flesh we understand with the spirit.  The bread and wine, though it APPEARS to still be bread and wine, we KNOW because we have FAITH in the SPIRITUAL TRUTH that it IS the BODY AND BLOOD OF CHRIST.  Therefore, as St. Augustine is teaching in this treatise, not only SHOULD we worship it - we sin if we do NOT worship it!

and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said, "This is a hard saying." It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He says not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein. They would have remained with Him, softened, not hard: and would have learned that from Him which they who remained, when the others departed, learned. For when twelve disciples had remained with Him, on their departure, these remaining followers suggested to Him, as if in grief for the death of the former, that they were offended by His words, and turned back. But He instructed them, and says unto them, "It is the Spirit that quickens, but the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life." John 6:63  Understand spiritually what I have said; you are not to eat this body which you see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken.
[This is what Calvin seems to say in his view - it is a spiritual presence, not a physical presence; and only for believers to commune with Christ by faith.]

As I surmised in my previous article - it would seem that “Ken” does not see a “spiritual truth” as something “real.”  I’m sure he will insist upon the fact (until such time the Holy Spirit softens his heart) that “Holy Communion” is NOT REALLY the body and blood of Christ, but is a symbol or representation of the body and blood of Christ.  

And “Ken” concludes with St. Augustine’s comment from that paragraph:
Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood.

I conclude in reiterating what I have said above, that which IS spiritually understood as a SPIRITUAL REALITY - that the Eucharist REALLY IS the body and blood of Christ (as St. Paul testifies to in 1 Cor. 11:23-34) it is THIS TRUTH which “Ken” (and others) denies and is why they have, like those who could not accept this from Jesus Himself, turned and walk with Him no more.  THIS would be the “Fatal Flaw” of Calvinism (to steal the title from James White’s first book opposing Catholicism - which was written largely, if not wholly, in response to arguments I was making with him at the time).  Again I pray that folks like “Ken” are blessed by the Holy Spirit to be given the faith to see the REAL TRUTH which Calvinism denies, flee from the lies they’ve been taught and come HOME to that TRUTH which Calvin himself left behind and has drawn countless souls away from.

I also invite “Ken,” or anyone else who wishes to defend him, to respond directly to my comments.  

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

PS - Let me add, I mean no disrespect in putting his name in quotes.  I do not know “Ken” nor if that is even his real name.  

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wrong Use of St Augustine?

I am writing this in response to an article by "Ken" at Beggars All (linked below)...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011  Roman Catholic wrong use of Augustine

Augustine is invoked a lot by Roman Catholics in his comments on on Psalm 99
http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/1801099.htm  Augustine's Expositions on Psalm 98 (Actually, Psalm 99)  see here also at the ccel site

Actually, it IS Psalm 98 - in Catholic editions of the Scriptures!

Otherwise known as
"Ennarations (Expositions) on Psalm 98"

There are 2 big problems with this.

לַהֲדֹם
= לַ"L" = "at"; הֲדֹם = "hadom" = footstool. Psalm 99:5 and 9 - both have the "L" preposition. "at the footstool of His feet" and "at His holy hill". לְהַר

"L" = "at"; הַר = "har" = hill

Augustine's sermon on Psalm 98 is Psalm 99 in English.
Again, it's Psalm 98 in English too - Catholic editions, like the Douay-Rheims. 
He didn't know Hebrew (as even Augustine admitted in his disputes with Jerome; and He didn't like Greek, as he also admitted, and he did not know Greek very well either. He and Tertullian before him contributed a lot of good things, but the reliance upon Latin rather than the original languages of the God-breathed Scriptures was a devastating mistake for the Church in history.); it is obvious - God does not say "Worship His footstool for His feet"; rather it says "worship [the Lord] at His footstool for His feet." Worship the Lord at His holy hill. ie "at the temple" or "at or in the earth, on the hill, the temple", etc.

Actually, it says: "Exalt ye the Lord our God, and adore his footstool, for it is holy."  A better argument would be that David (the psalmist) is referring to the Ark of the Covenant, which indeed was holy and worthy of our worship.
If St. Augustine has made a mistake here, it would appear that "Ken" has made a similar one.
Anyway,
1. Augustine was wrong on Psalm 99 - the Hebrew is clearer than his commentary. Hence, again; the great need for the Reformation and the clarity it brought in separating the good of Augustine from his mistakes and extra biblical traditions.
Now IF St. Augustine is "wrong" about this footstool commentary, how is THAT indicative of the need of a reformation?  Methinks "Ken" has slipped into a bit of misdirected hyperbole here.  

Now, switching gears a bit from the "footstool" discussion, "Ken" moves to the discussion of Transubstantiation and the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.  St. Augustine, indeed, does discuss the Real Presence in this treatise, but "Ken's" point on the "footstool" seems off target.
2. Augustine did not mean any transubstantiation type of doctrine or literally bowing before bread and wine as if they had become Christ - nowhere does he say this kind of thing. He just says that since Christ is both God and man (His human nature is "of the earth"), then it is appropriate to worship Him - which Protestants do without the transubstantiation idolatry and genuflecting, etc. - He is in heaven sitting at the right hand of God the Father; He is not in the bread or wine. The bread and wine are symbols/representations of His once for all sacrifice for sin.
Let us examine what St. Augustine actually DID say regarding this (emphasis mine):
I ask, what is His footstool? And the Scripture tells me, the earth is My footstool. In hesitation I turn unto Christ, since I am herein seeking Himself: and I discover how the earth may be worshipped without impiety, how His footstool may be worshipped without impiety. For He took upon Him earth from earth; because flesh is from earth, and He received flesh from the flesh of Mary. And because He walked here in very flesh, and gave that very flesh to us to eat for our salvation; and no one eats that flesh, unless he has first worshipped: we have found out in what sense such a footstool of our Lord's may be worshipped, and not only that we sin not in worshipping it, but that we sin in not worshipping. But does the flesh give life? Our Lord Himself, when He was speaking in praise of this same earth, said, It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profits nothing....But when our Lord praised it, He was speaking of His own flesh, and He had said, Except a man eat My flesh, he shall have no life in him. (John 6:54) Some disciples of His, about seventy, were offended, and said, This is an hard saying, who can hear it? And they went back, and walked no more with Him. It seemed unto them hard that He said, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, you have no life in you: they received it foolishly, they thought of it carnally, and imagined that the Lord would cut off parts from His body, and give unto them; and they said, This is a hard saying. It was they who were hard, not the saying; for unless they had been hard, and not meek, they would have said unto themselves, He says not this without reason, but there must be some latent mystery herein. They would have remained with Him, softened, not hard: and would have learned that from Him which they who remained, when the others departed, learned. For when twelve disciples had remained with Him, on their departure, these remaining followers suggested to Him, as if in grief for the death of the former, that they were offended by His words, and turned back. But He instructed them, and says unto them, It is the Spirit that quickens, but the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. (John 6:63)  Understand spiritually what I have said; you are not to eat this body which you see; nor to drink that blood which they who will crucify Me shall pour forth. I have commended unto you a certain mystery; spiritually understood, it will quicken. Although it is needful that this be visibly celebrated, yet it must be spiritually understood. 
The point "Ken" misses here, as do most Protestants who attempt to address this point, is that something which is "spiritually understood" is still REAL!  Christians do not question the REALITY of God the Father or God the Holy Spirit - and yet they are purely SPIRIT.  Just because something is "spiritually understood" that does not equate to "symbols" or "representations!"  The REALITY of the matter is that Jesus Himself DECLARES the bread IS His body and the wine IS His blood!  What we physically perceive, spiritually we KNOW the TRUTH is that it IS His body and blood.  The REALITY is that it these hosts are no longer bread and wine but ARE His body and blood.  St. Augustine explains those disciples who walked with Him no more were seeing things only carnally - they lacked a spiritual perspective, but mostly what they lacked was FAITH - and I posit the case is the same for Protestants who do not see the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist, they haven't the FAITH to accept what Jesus plainly declares.  These Protestants are no different than those who walk no more with Jesus except that they CLAIM they are still walking with Him while at the same time REJECTING what He so clearly taught and His True Church continues to teach.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<
 

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Generation Which Should Not Have Passed Away

An interesting picture was passed on to me from Dave Brown...   I thought I'd share:

Click to enlarge.

We Interrupt this Blog for a Very Important Message


Ever heard of a BUYcott? Me either, until now. When Chick-fil-A decided to contribute the meal for a marriage seminar (marriage meaning a Sacrament/covenant between a man and a woman) in Pennsylvania, a gay rights group decided to boycott the food chain. The group took issue with not only Chick-fil-A's support of this marriage seminar, calling it and them anti-gay, but also with their Christian principles.


Well, now the American Family Association (AFA) and a bunch of other Christian groups and individuals are doing just the opposite. I would like to ask anyone reading this to try to make it a point to support Chick-fil-A this week by going to their restaurants and eating breakfast, lunch, or dinner there at least once this week. That's a buycott. Let's support those who take a stand for Christian principles and morality. God Bless you all.

For more read here on the buycott by the AFA.

I thank the blog owner, Scott, for his indulgence on this matter.

Disclaimer:  While I support the AFA in their campaign for Chick-fil-A and their Christisan principles, I do not necessarily agree with nor endorse AFA or their policies in general, as I do not know them.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Holy Saturday!

Just taking a moment here to wish everyone a blessed Holy Saturday!  I am going to the Easter Vigil with the Orthodox tonight!  I've never experienced it from the Eastern perspective, so looking forward to it.  Of course they won't let me participate in communion, but I'm told if I bring my homemade bread for Easter dinner, the priest will bless it. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Way of the Cross - Station 14

STATION 14 - Jesus is laid in the Sepulcher

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
The body of Jesus is interred in a stranger's sepulchre. He who in this world had not whereupon to rest His head, would not even have a grave of His own, because He was not from this world. You, who are so attached to the world, henceforth despise it, that you may not perish with it.
Prayer
O Jesus, Thou hast set me apart from the world; what, then, shall I seek therein? Thou hast created me for Heaven; what, then, have I to do with the world? Depart from me, deceitful world, with thy vanities! Henceforth i will follow the Way of the Cross traced out for me by my Redeemer, and journey onward to my heavenly home, there to dwell forever and ever.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Jesus Christ, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
By the cross with thee to stay,
There with thee to weep and pray,
Is all I ask of thee to give.

Concluding Prayer
Almighty and eternal God, merciful Father, who hast given to the human race Thy beloved Son as an example of humility, obedience, and patience, to precede us on the way of life, bearing the cross: Graciously grant us that we, inflamed by His infinite love, may take up the sweet yoke of His Gospel together with the mortification of the cross, following Him as His true disciples, so that we shall one day gloriously rise with Him and joyfully hear the final sentence: "Come, ye blessed of My Father, and possess the kingdom which was prepared for you from the beginning," where Thou reignest with the Son and the Holy Ghost, and where we hope to reign with Thee, world without end. Amen.
-Saint Francis of Assisi

The Way of the Cross - Station 13

STATION 13 - Jesus is taken from the Cross and given to His Mother

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Jesus did not descend from the cross but remained on it until He died. And when taken down from it, He in death as in life, rested on the bosom of His divine Mother. Persevere in your resolutions of reform and do not part from the cross; he who persevereth to the end shall be saved. Consider, moreover, how pure the heart should be that receives the body and blood of Christ in the Adorable Sacrament of the Altar.
Prayer
O Lord Jesus, Thy lifeless body, mangled and lacerated, found a worthy resting-place on the bosom of Thy virgin Mother. Have I not often compelled Thee to dwell in my heart, full of sin and impurity as it was? Create in me a new heart, that I may worthily receive Thy most sacred body in Holy Communion, and that Thou mayest remain in me and I in Thee for all eternity.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Let me mingle tears with thee,
Mourning Him who mourned for me,
All the days that I may live.

The Way of the Cross - Station 12

STATION 12 - Jesus is raised upon the Cross and Dies

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Behold Jesus crucified! Behold His wounds, received for love of you! His whole appearance betokens love: His head is bent to kiss you; His arms are extended to embrace you; His Heart is open to receive you. O superabundance of love, Jesus, the Son of God, dies upon the cross, that man may live and be delivered from everlasting death!
Prayer
O most amiable Jesus! Who will grant me that I may die for Thee! I will at least endeavor to die to the world. How must I regard the world and its vanities, when I behold Thee hanging on the cross, covered with wounds? O Jesus, receive me into Thy wounded Heart: I belong entirely to Thee; for Thee alone do I desire to live and to die.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Let me share with thee His pain,
Who for all our sins was slain,
Who for me in torments died.

The Way of the Cross - Station 11

STATION 11 - Jesus is nailed to the Cross

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Jesus, being stripped of His garments, was violently thrown upon the cross and His hands and feet nailed thereto. In such excruciating pains He remained silent, because it pleased His heavenly Father. He suffered patiently, because He suffered for me. How do I act in sufferings and in troubles? How fretful and impatient, how full of complaints I am!
Prayer
O Jesus, gracious Lamb of God, I renounce forever my impatience. Crucify, O Lord, my flesh and its concupiscences; scourge, scathe, and punish me in this world, do but spare me in the next. I commit my destiny to Thee, resigning myself to Thy holy will: may it be done in all things!
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Holy Mother, pierce me through!
In my heart, each wound renew
Of my Savior crucified.

The Way of the Cross - Station 10

STATION 10 - Jesus is stripped of His Garments

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
When Our Savior had arrived on Calvary, He was cruelly despoiled of His garments. How painful this must have been because they adhered to His wounded and torn body, and with them parts of His bloody skin were removed! All the wounds of Jesus were renewed. Jesus was despoiled of His garments that He might die possessed of nothing; how happy will I also die after laying aside my former self with all evil desires and sinful inclinations!
Prayer
Induce me, O Jesus, to lay aside my former self and to be renewed according to Thy will and desire. i will not spare myself, however painful this should be for me: despoiled of things temporal, of my own will, I desire to die, in order to live for Thee forever.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Make me feel as thou hast felt;
Make my soul to glow and melt
With the love of Christ, my Lord.

The Way of the Cross - Station 9

STATION 9 - Jesus falls the Third Time

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Jesus, arriving exhausted at the foot of Calvary, falls for the third time to the ground. His love for us, however, is not diminished, not extinguished. What a fearfully oppressive burden our sins must be to cause Jesus to fall so often! Had He, however, not taken them upon Himself, they would have plunged us into the abyss of Hell.
Prayer
Most merciful Jesus, I return Thee infinite tanks for not permitting me to continue in sin and to fall, as I have so often deserved, into the depths of Hell. Enkindle in me an earnest desire of amendment; let me never again relapse, but vouchsafe me the grace to persevere in penance to the end of my life.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
O thou Mother! fount of love,
Touch my spirit from above.
Make my heart with thine accord:

The Way of the Cross - Station 8

STATION 8 - The women of Jerusalem weep over Jesus

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
These devoted women, moved by compassion, weep over the suffering Savior. But He turns to them, saying: "Weep not for Me, Who am innocent, but weep for yourselves and for your children." Weep thou also, for there is nothing more pleasing to Our Lord and nothing more profitable for thyself, than tears shed from contrition for thy sins.
Prayer
O Jesus, Who shall give to my eyes a torrent of tears, that day and night I may weep for my sins? I beseech Thee, through Thy bitter and bloody tears, to move my heart by Thy divine grace, so that from my eyes tears may flow abundantly, and that I may weep all my days over Thy sufferings, and still more over their cause, my sins.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
For the sins of His own nation
Saw Him hang in desolation
Till His Spirit forth He sent.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Way of the Cross - Station 7

STATION 7 - Jesus falls the Second Time

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
The suffering Jesus, under the weight of His cross, again falls to the ground; but the cruel executioners do not permit Him to rest a moment. Pushing and striking Him, they urge Him onward. It is the frequent repetition of our sins which oppress Jesus. Witnessing this, how can I continue to sin?
Prayer
O Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me! Offer me Thy helping hand, and aid me, that I may not fall again into my former sins. From this very moment, I will earnestly strive to reform: nevermore will I sin! Thou, O sole support of the weak, by Thy grace, without which I can do nothing, strengthen me to carry out faithfully this my resolution.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Bruised, derided, cursed, defiled,
She beheld her tender child,
All with bloody scourges rent.

The Way of the Cross - Station 6

STATION 6 - Veronica wipes the Face of Jesus

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Veronica, impelled by devotion and compassion, presents her veil to Jesus to wipe His disfigured face. And Jesus imprints on it His holy countenance: a great recompense for so small a service. What return to you make to your Savior for His great and manifold benefits?
Prayer
Most merciful Jesus! What return shall I make for all the benefits Thou hast bestowed upon me? Behold I consecrate myself entirely to Thy service. I offer and consecrate to Thee my heart: imprint on it Thy sacred image, never again to be effaced by sin.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Can the human heart refrain
From partaking in her pain,
In that Mother's pain untold?

The Way of the Cross - Station 5

STATION 5 - Simon of Cyrene helps Jesus to carry His Cross

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Simon of Cyrene was compelled to help Jesus carry His cross, and Jesus accepted his assistance. How willingly would He also permit you to carry the cross: He calls, but you hear Him not; He invites you, but you decline. What a reproach, to bear the cross reluctantly!
Prayer
O Jesus! Whosoever does not take up his cross and follow Thee, is not worthy of Thee. Behold, I join Thee in the Way of Thy Cross; I will be Thy assistant, following Thy bloody footsteps, that I may come to Thee in eternal life. ------ Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Jesus Christ, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Is there one who would not weep
Whelmed in miseries so deep
Christ's dear Mother to Behold?

The Way of the Cross - Station 4

STATION 4 - Jesus meets His Sorrowful Mother

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
How painful and how sad it must have been for Mary, the sorrowful Mother, to behold her beloved Son, laden with the burden of the cross! What unspeakable pangs her most tender heart experienced! How earnestly did she desire to die in place of Jesus, or at least with Him! Implore this sorrowful Mother that she assist you in the hour of your death.
Prayer
O Jesus, O Mary, I am the cause of the great and manifold pains which pierce your loving hearts! Oh, that also my heart would feel and experience at least some of your sufferings! O Mother of Sorrows, let me participate in the sufferings which thou and Thy Son endured for me, and let me experience thy sorrow, that afflicted with thee, I may enjoy thy assistance in the hour of my death.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Christ above in torment hangs,
She beneath beholds the pangs,
Of her dying, glorious Son.

The Way of the Cross - Station 3

STATION 3 - Jesus falls the First Time

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Our dear Savior, carrying the cross, was so weakened by its heavy weight as to fall exhausted to the ground. Our sins and misdeeds were the heavy burden which oppressed Him: the cross was to Him light and sweet, but our sins were galling and insupportable.
Prayer
O my Jesus, Thou didst bear my burden and the heavy weight of my sins. Should I, then, not bear in union with Thee, my easy burden of suffering and accept the sweet yoke of Thy commandments? Thy yoke is sweet and Thy burden is light: I therefore willingly accept it. I will take up my cross and follow Thee.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
O, how sad and sore distressed
Was that Mother highly blessed
Of the sole-begotten One!

The Way of the Cross - Station 2

STATION 2 - Jesus is made to carry His Cross

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
When our divine Savior beheld the cross, He most willingly stretched out His bleeding arms, lovingly embraced it, and tenderly kissed it, and placing it on His bruised shoulders, He, although almost exhausted, joyfully carried it.
Prayer
O my Jesus, I cannot be Thy friend and follower, if I refuse to carry the cross. O dearly beloved cross! I embrace thee, I kiss thee, I joyfully accept thee from the hands of my God. Far be it from me to glory in anything, save in the cross of my Lord and Redeemer. By it the world shall be crucified to me and I to the world, that I may be Thine forever.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
Through her heart, His sorrow sharing
All His bitter anguish bearing,
Now at length the sword has passed.

Where Are You on the Way of the Cross?

Consider this... if you always put yourself at the foot of the Cross and have that in mind in all you do, you will never sin!

I've begun posting the Stations of the Cross, the first 7 will be posted throughout the evening tonight and the next 7 tomorrow.  As you read through them, consider the meditations of each one.  Examine your own life, at which station do you relate to the most?  Have you tripped and fallen under the weight of your cross?  Is someone helping you carry your cross?  Are you a by-stander just watching others carry their crosses?  Meditate on where you are on the Via de la Cruz.  What would it take to move on to the next station?  

Feel free to add you comments to the stations which mean the most to you on your journey.

In JMJ,
Scott<<<

The Way of the Cross - Station 1

The Way of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Preparatory Prayer
O most merciful Jesus, with a contrite heart and penitent spirit, I bow down in profound humility before Thy divine majesty. I adore Thee as my supreme Lord and Master; I believe in Thee, I hope in Thee, I love Thee above all things. I am heartily sorry for having offended Thee, my Supreme and Only Good. I resolve to amend my life, and although I am unworthy to obtain mercy, yet the sight of Thy holy cross, on which Thou didst die, inspires me with hope and consolation. I will, therefore, meditate on Thy sufferings, and visit the stations of Thy Passion in company with Thy sorrowful Mother and my guardian angel, with the intention of promoting Thy honor and saving my soul.

I desire to gain all the indulgences granted for this holy exercise for myself and for the Poor Souls in Purgatory. O merciful Redeemer, who has said, "And I, if I be lifted from earth, will draw all things to Myself," draw my heart and my love to Thee, that I may perform this devotion as perfectly as possible, and that I may live and die in union with Thee. Amen.

STATION 1 - Jesus is condemned to Death

Adoration
We adore Thee, O Christ, and we praise Thee, because by Thy holy cross, Thou hast redeemed the world.
Meditation
Jesus, most innocent, who neither did nor could commit a sin, was condemned to death, and moreover, to the most ignominious death of the cross. To remain a friend of Caesar, Pilate delivered Him into the hands of His enemies. A fearful crime -- to condemn Innocence to death, and to offend God in order not to displease men!
Prayer
O innocent Jesus, having sinned, I am guilty of eternal death, but Thou willingly dost accept the unjust sentence of death, that I might live. For whom, then, shall I henceforth live, if not for Thee, my Lord? Should I desire to please men, I could not be Thy servant. Let me, therefore, rather displease men and all the world, than not please Thee, O Jesus.
Our Father
Hail Mary
Glory Be
Lord Jesus, crucified, have mercy on us!
Sabat Mater
At the cross her station keeping,
Stood the mournful Mother weeping,
Close to Jesus to the last.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's HOLY WEEK!

Palm Sunday is upon us and thus begins Holy Week, the highest season of the liturgical year!  Now EVERY Sunday is like a "Little Easter" just as EVERY Friday is like a "Little Good Friday," but it is THIS WEEK wherein all the other weeks are done in remembrance of.  Remember your lenten penance, this week more than any other.  If you messed up earlier, that's no excuse to just give up on your penance!  THIS WEEK while you're offering up what ever it was you gave up for Lent, bring close to your heart and mind the Passion of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  THAT is what the penance is all about.  It's not so much that we persevered all the way through Lent, but that certainly is a meritorious goal - but moreso that we place our focus on Christ's Passion and death - afterall, it is for OUR SINS that He was hung on that Cross!

For a meditation suggestion, think about which station in the Stations of the Cross you are at in your life.  Are you like the Blessed Mother, meeting Jesus on the path?  Are you like Veronica, wiping His face with your cloth in an attempt to comfort Him through His Passion?  Are you like Simon the Cyrene, taking upon yourself the Cross to share the burden, even if only for a short time?  Or, are you like those gathered at the foot of the Cross, observing as He is giving up His last breaths?  

Now consider this...  when the Jews stood before Pilate and exclaimed, "His blood be upon us and upon our children!"  This is not something you can pass off in anti-Semitism!  No!  If you have EVER sinned, and we ALL HAVE, then it is upon US whom His blood is upon!  It is our sinfulness which stood there yelling, "Crucify Him!  Crucify Him!"  It was US who swung that cat-of-nine-tails 39 times, ripping the flesh from His back!  It was US through OUR SINS who mocked Him, struck Him and placed that crown of thorns upon His head.  His blood is UPON US!   So while we beg His forgiveness, keep in mind what He did for you so that YOUR sins may be forgiven!

Why did Jesus go through this?  Because He loves us!  He didn't HAVE to endure the pain, suffering and humiliation of the crucifixion - no, at ANY GIVEN MOMENT He could have summoned legions of angels to put aside the Roman guards and free Him, and with just a single command!  However, had He done that, the Scriptures concerning Him would not have been fulfilled and our salvation would not have been realized.  Only the PERFECT SACRIFICE of this SPOTLESS LAMB would appease the wrath of Almighty God, which is rightfully OURS TO RECEIVE!  But again, He loves us SO MUCH that He willingly and freely gave Himself up so that we might be counted righteous in the eye of the Father.

So, as Lent draws to a close I urge you to meditate upon Christ's Passion and Death - again, for it was not only FOR YOU - but it was BECAUSE OF YOU!  Go that Way of the Cross with Him; visualize yourself on that path and figure out where, in your life, you are and which station you can relate to the most.  Then after that realization - THEN visit the empty tomb on Easter morning!  

PALM SUNDAY
Today we welcome the King of Kings into the Jerusalem of our hearts!  We sing hosannas to the Lord God Almighty, who makes His entrance in humility (much like His birth) riding on the back of a donkey.  Yet we all come out for Him!  We gather our palm branches and spread them before Him - singing praises to His Holy Name!  We love and adore Him - but in just a few days the meditation on our hosannas will turn to heckles and abuse - and again, it is WE, OURSELVES who put Him through this week of Passion.

Godspeed to all who read this, and feel free to add comments.

HOSANNA TO GOD IN THE HIGHEST!

Scott<<<