Saturday, January 6, 2018

Epiphany House Blessing: Christus Mansionem Benedicat

Mark the lintel with blessed chalk thus: 20 + C + M + B + 18 while saying:
The three Wise Men, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar followed the star of God’s Son who became human two thousand and fifteen years ago. May Christ bless our home and remain with us throughout the new year. Amen.
Then offer the following prayer: "Visit, O blessed Lord, this home with the gladness of your presence. Bless all who live or visit here with the gift of your love; and grant that we may manifest your love to each other and to all whose lives we touch. May we grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of you; guide, comfort, and strengthen us in peace, O Jesus Christ, now and forever. Amen"

Monday, December 25, 2017

A Christmas prayer by Saint Bernard of Clairvaux

Let Your goodness Lord appear to us, that we,
made in your image, conform ourselves to it.
In our own strength
we cannot imitate Your majesty, power, and wonder
nor is it fitting for us to try.
But Your mercy reaches from the heavens
through the clouds to the earth below.
You have come to us as a small child,
but you have brought us the greatest of all gifts,
the gift of eternal love
Caress us with Your tiny hands,
embrace us with Your tiny arms
and pierce our hearts with Your soft, sweet cries.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

The Account of the Apparition of Our Lady of Guadalupe from the Breviarium Romanum





"In Mexico, on the hill of Tepeyac, in the year 1531, the God-bearing Virgin Mary, as is piously handed down, appeared to the neophyte Juan Diego, and gave him a command for Bishop Juan de Zumarraga, which she urgently repeated, that a church was to be constructed in her name at that location. The bishop, however, requested a sign. Then, while he was seeking the sacraments for his dying uncle far from the place of the apparition, his loving Mother favored the neophyte with a third vision, assured him of his uncle's health, and after he had gathered roses into his cloak that had blossomed out of season, she ordered him to take them to the bishop. The roses having spilled out in the sight of the bishop, an image of Mary, impressed upon the cloak itself, according to the tradition, appeared to those present in a wondrous manner. At first kept in the bishop's chapel, then transferred to a shrine constructed on the hill of Tepeyac, it was finally moved to a magnificent temple, to which Mexicans increasingly began to gather in droves, for reasons of veneration and frequency of miracles. And therefore as an ever-present defense, the Mexican bishops, to the applause of the whole people, chose the blessed Virgin Mary of Guadalupe as the first Patroness of the Mexican people, which was duly confirmed by the apostolic authority of Benedict XIV. Leo XIII adorned the sacred image with a golden crown on Columbus Day, 1895, by the agency of the archbishop of Mexico. And St. Pius X declared the blessed Guadalupan Virgin as the Patroness of all Latin America."

- Breviarium Romanum

A Christmas Carol by GK Chesterton


A Christmas Carol
The Christ-child lay on Mary’s lap,
His hair was like a light.
(O weary, weary were the world,
But here is all aright.)
The Christ-child lay on Mary’s breast,
His hair was like a star.
(O stern and cunning are the kings,
But here the true hearts are.)
The Christ-child lay on Mary’s heart,
His hair was like a fire.
(O weary, weary is the world,
But here the world’s desire.)
The Christ-child stood on Mary’s knee,
His hair was like a crown,
And all the flowers looked up at Him,
And all the stars looked down.
G.K. Chesterton



Pope speaks out on question of Communion for divorced and civilly remarried

"Dear friends, thank you for your very important work as family psychotherapists. Thank you for all that you do to help these suffering people. Indeed the problem of divorced and remarried persons is one of the great sufferings of today’s Church. And we do not have simple solutions. Their suffering is great and yet we can only help parishes and individuals to assist these people to bear the pain of divorce. I would say, obviously, that prevention is very important, so that those who fall in love are helped from the very beginning to make a deep and mature commitment. Then during married life is needed, so that families are never left on their own but are truly accompanied on their journey. As regards these people – as you have said – the Church loves them, but it is important they should see and feel this love. I see here a great task for a parish, a Catholic community, to do whatever is possible to help them to feel loved and accepted, to feel that they are not “excluded” even though they cannot receive absolution or the Eucharist; they should see that, in this state too, they are fully a part of the Church. Perhaps, even if it is not possible to receive absolution in Confession, they can nevertheless have ongoing contact with a priest, with a spiritual guide. This is very important, so that they see that they are accompanied and guided. Then it is also very important that they truly realize they are participating in the Eucharist if they enter into a real communion with the Body of Christ. Even without “corporal” reception of the sacrament, they can be spiritually united to Christ in his Body. Bringing them to understand this is important: so that they find a way to live the life of faith based upon the Word of God and the communion of the Church, and that they come to see their suffering as a gift to the Church, because it helps others by defending the stability of love and marriage. They need to realize that this suffering is not just a physical or psychological pain, but something that is experienced within the Church community for the sake of the great values of our faith. I am convinced that their suffering, if truly accepted from within, is a gift to the Church. They need to know this, to realize that this is their way of serving the Church, that they are in the heart of the Church. Thank you for your commitment."

Pope Benedict XVI in 2012.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

A Catholic Thanksgiving Prayer

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

Father in Heaven, Creator of all and source of all goodness and love, please look kindly upon us and receive our heartfelt gratitude in this time of giving thanks. 

Thank you for all the graces and blessings you have bestowed upon us, spiritual and temporal: our faith and religious heritage, our food and shelter, our health, the love we have for one another, our family and friends. 

Dear Father, in Your infinite generosity, please grant us continued graces and blessing throughout the coming year. 

This we ask through Jesus Christ, Your Son, Our Lord Who Lives and reigns with You in unity of the the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.

Friday, October 6, 2017

Roberto de Mattei: "'Correctio Filialis': A First Apraisal"




Roberto de Mattei
Corrispondenza Romana
October 4, 2017

Correctio Filialis: a first appraisal

On September 25th, the day after the publication of the Correctio filialis to Pope Francis, Greg Burke, the spokesman for the Vatican Pressroom, with condescending irony, denied the news diffused by Ansa, which had reported that access to the site of the Correctiohad been blocked by the Holy See: "Do you really think we would do this for a letter with 60 names?" The director of the Pressroom, who judges initiatives on the basis of the number of "followers" , might be interested to know that www.correctiofilialis.org, eight days after being put online, had more than 180 thousand individual visitors and 330 thousand page visits. 


The visits come from 200 different countries of the five continents.  Italy and the United States lead the number of accesses. Further, the letter of correction addressed to Pope Francis by 62 scholars, was shared on October 3rd, by 216 theologians, priests, professors and scholars of all nationalities, whose signatures are visible on the site. Added to these, there are thousands of adherents, who put their signature on the official site or on other Catholic sites which actively support the initiative: onepeterfive.com,lifesitenews.com, katholisches.Info. Guido Mocellin, in Avvenire of September 27th, had to admit that in "the ecclesial blogsphere" , thanks to a" modern website in six languages", "the posts on the Correctio filiale directed to Pope Francis "as a result of the propagation of heresies" have been the most present over the past few days: they constituted 30% of all those that I was able to consult between Saturday 24th and Monday 26th of September.

If we want to stay with the numbers, the number of cardinals, bishops and theologians who have risen up against theCorrectio, in defence of Amoris laetitia, is irrelevant. Even the Cardinal closest to Pope Francis, the Secretary of State, Pietro Parolin, took a position of equidistance, declaring that  "people who are not in agreement voice their dissent but these things have to be discussed, in an attempt to understand".

What is missing most of all, beyond the number, is substance in the argumentation of the efforts to reply to theCorrectio. The greatest effort done, which nearly arrives at the acrobatics of the sophists, we owe to the Member of Parliament and philosopher Rocco Buttiglione on Vaticaninsider of October 3rd. The central passage of Amoris laetitiacriticized by the signatories of the Correctio, according to Buttiglione, is "something absolutely traditional, which we all studied as children at Catechism in the Catholic Church, not only in the new one by St John Paul II, but also in the old one by Pius X". It's true – Buttiglione admits that there is "an absolute impossibility of giving Communion to those in a state of mortal sin (and this rule is of the Divine law and thus unbreakable) but if, as a result of  lack of instruction or deliberate consent, there is no mortal sin and Communion may be given, from the point of view of moral theology, even to a divorced and remarried [person]."

For Buttiglione, like Pope Bergoglio's trusted theologian, Monsignor Victor Manuel Fernàndez, the basic problem would be that of  the "imputability " of the acts. An imputabilty which would be absent in the great majority of more uxoriocohabitants, since the concrete situations they are living in, mitigate there awareness and, above all, for them, render it practically impossible to observe the law of the Lord. With this the Council of Trent is, without any qualms, contradicted;  [the very Council] which anathematizes those who say "that the commandments of God are even for a man who is justified and confirmed in grace impossible" [Denz-H. n.1568). "God, in fact, does not command the impossible; but when He commands He admonishes us to do what is possible, ask what is not possible and He helps you to make it possible." (Denz-H, n. 1356).

On the other hand, the bishops who apply Pope Francis' teaching, are not inspired by Pius X's catechism, nor John Paul II's new one. In their dioceses, the divorced-remarried, perfectly aware of their situation, insist on Communion and according to Amoris laetitia, Communion is permitted to them, as a legitimate right. 

To justify this immoral practice, we have arrived at the falsification of St Thomas Aquinas' thought. However, a valiant Italian moralist who signed the Correctio, Don Alfredo Morselli, demonstrated, on Messainlatino blogspot, October 3rd, the impossibility of harmonizing Pope Francis' Exhortation with the doctrine of St. Thomas. Don Morselli refers to some unequivocal passages by the Angelic Doctor, which affirm the contrary of § 301 in Amoris laetitia:   "A good intention is not sufficient to determine the goodness of an act: since an act can be in itself bad, and in no way can it become good" (Super Sent., lib. 2 d. 40 q. 1 a. 2 co.). "There are some, (human actions) that have a a deformity inseparably belonging to them, like fornication, adultery and other things of this kind, which cannot be considered morally good in any way whatsoever." (Quodlibet IX, q. 7 a. 2 co.).

In coherence with authentic Thomism, Monsignor Fernando Ocáriz,  presently an Opus Dei prelate, at a convention promoted to celebrate the 20 years of Humanae Vitae, recalled that "the existence of particular norms of natural morals, having universal and unconditional value belong to Catholic doctrine, and actually is a truth of the faith" (Humanae Vitae, 20 years later, Edizioni Ares, Milan 1989, p. 129). Among these, the prohibition of contraception and the prohibition of adultery.  Has the teaching of the University of Santa Croce and Navarra (promoter of that convention along with the John Paul Institute) changed or will it change?   One wonders, after the interview of September 30th at Infovaticana.com, in which the present Vicar of Opus Dei, Mariano Fazio, censures other members of the prelature who signed the Correctio, accusing them of "scandalizing the entire Church".

The interview is strange: neither the Argentine Bishops nor the Maltese Bishops, who authorize adultery in their dioceses are guilty of scandalizing the Church, but those who protest against these scandals are. The Pope, according to Fazio, can be criticized, but in private circles, never publically. In the avalanche of contrary comments, which submerged the blog Infovaticana, there is one which hits the nail on the head: "What about St. Paul?" Wasn't it precisely St. Paul who corrected St. Peter publically?  (Gal. 2, 7-14) The apostolic candour of St. Paul and the humility of the Prince of the Apostles have remained, since then, the model of the correct relationship between those who exercise authority and those who obey them with filial respect but not without discernment.

One of the most influential signatories of the Correctio, the theologian and philosopher of Science, Don Alberto Strumia, prefers discernment. In an interview on September 30th to the daily, Il Giornale, he explained: "The doctrine of the Church was not invented by theologians and not even by Popes, but is founded in the Scriptures and rooted in the tradition of the Church. The Pope is at its service, as guardian and guarantor of this continuity and cannot break it not even covertly, implying, with ambiguous formulations, that today one might think of doing the opposite of what has been taught until now by the Magisterium, regarding essential questions such as the doctrine of the Sacraments and family morality, with the motivation that times have changed and the world demands some adjustment.  For this [reason] it is a duty of charity, which has the aim of "saving souls" as it was said in the past, the  defense of the very dignity of the throne of Peter, and of the one who sits there, to highlight these ambiguities with the greatest respect." […] " To dare address a doctrinal correction to the Pope can be done and must be done only when the truth of the Faith is in danger and thus the salvation of the members of the people of God."

At a time when consciences are darkened, the Correctio filialis expresses the sensus fidei of tens of thousands of Catholics who remind their Supreme Pontiff with filial respect, that the salvation of souls is the greatest good and for no reason in the world can one do evil or make compromises with it. (by Roberto de Mattei)

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