Category Archives: Church Teaching

Pope: Love our Enemies

JUNE 19, 2018 14:06 POPE’S MORNING HOMILY

Pope’s Morning Homily: Bless and Love Your Enemies

During Morning Mass, Francis Admits It Is ‘Difficult Logic’ to Practice

JUNE 19, 2018 14:06DEBORAH CASTELLANO LUBOVPOPE’S MORNING HOMILY

We are called to bless and love our enemies and those who persecute us.
According to Vatican News, the Pope gave this tough challenge during his daily morning Mass at Casa Santa Marta today, June 19, 2018. He was reflecting on today’s Gospel according to St. Matthew (Mt 5:43-48), in which Jesus invites his followers to a higher standard of human relations, so as to be “perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

To be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect, Christians, the Pontiff underscored, should forgive, love, and bless our enemies. The mystery of Christian life, he said, is loving our enemies and praying for our persecutors.

To be forgiven, the Pope reminded, we too must forgive. A major challenge for Christians is to overcome our feelings and resistances to bless and love those who have wronged us.

“To pray for those who want to destroy me, my enemies, so that God may bless them: This is truly difficult to understand,” the Pope admitted, adding: “We can recall events of the last century, like the poor Russian Christians who, simply for being Christians, were sent to Siberia to die of cold. And they should pray for the executing government that sent them there? How can that be? Yet many did so: they prayed.

“We think of Auschwitz and other concentration camps,” the Pope said. “Should they pray for the dictator who sought a ‘pure race’ and killed without scruple, even to pray that God should bless him? And yet many did so.”

We must learn from Jesus and martyrs, the Pope said, who practiced this “difficult logic.” We see this in Jesus’ prayer for those who put Him to death on the Cross. Jesus, Francis noted, asks God to forgive them.

“There is an infinite distance between us – we who frequently refuse to forgive even small things – and what the Lord asks of us, which he has exemplified for us: To forgive those who seek to destroy us.

It is often very difficult within families, for example, when spouses need to forgive one another after an argument, or when one needs to forgive their mother-in-law.

The Pope said this is not easy.

“Rather,” he said, “we are invited to forgive those who are killing us, who want us out of the way… Not only forgive, but even pray that God may watch over them! Even more, to love them. Only Jesus’ word can explain this.”

It is a grace, the Holy Father noted, “to understand this Christian mystery and be perfect like the Father, who gives good things to the good and the bad.”

Pope Francis concluded, calling on faithful to think today of their enemy and pray for the grace to love them.

“I think all of us have one – someone who has hurt us or wants to hurt us. The Mafia’s prayer is: ‘You’ll pay me back.’ The Christian prayer is: ‘Lord, give them your blessing, and teach me to love them.’ Let us think of one enemy, and pray for them. May the Lord to give us the grace to love them.”

Pray for your Enemies

“Silence implies consent.” St. Thomas More, OFS

“A Christian can never remain silent in the face of violence, poverty, hunger, corruption or abuse of power.”
Pope Benedict XVI


The Lord said, “Pray for your enemies”
I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,

The Catholic Church and its faithful followers have many enemies who are hostile to the Church.

 

      • Hollywood: The amount of filth and immorality publicly promoted is baffling. The show, SMILF, on SHOWTIME is outright blaspheming Mary, the Mother of God and mocking the the Lord’s prayer.
        Also the blasphemy exhibited by the Met Gala, Hollywood’s elite, who came to New York City to show off the most opulent fashion of the 2018 season. The stars pushed the envelope to be in tune with the event’s “Heavenly Bodies, blaspheming the sacred vestments and sacred imagies of the Catholic Church.
        Please pray for the writers, promoters and Hollywood’s elite who attack the Church.
      • Prime Time News: There are some prime time news outlets that are underreporting important Church news or by innuendo distorting the news.
        Pray for those enemies who distort the news or promote fake news.
      • Educational Institutions: Some institutions who educate the younger generation have an anti-Christian agenda or turn away anyone who wishes to express their christian values.
        Pray for educational administrators.
      • Democratic Party’s Pro Abortion support: An example of abortion support is what congressional minority speaker, Nancy Pelosi, said, “being a practicing Catholic” she believed “abortion is sacred.” Her statement implies she is speaking for the Catholic Church. This is heresy.
        Pray for her. Pray for our bishops to report strongly and often that killing children in the womb is an evil offense against God.
      • Enemies of Marriage: According to the Institute for Family Studies, only about half of the children in the United States are living in a household headed by married parents, The steady increases in divorce, out-of-wedlock births, and cohabitation threatens what God intended. Pray for those who believe that Marriage is passé.
      • Enemies within the Catholic Church We live in a time when Church teaching is under attack by members of the clergy, i.e., “Rev. James Martin, S.J. said, “Catholics should “reverence” homosexual “marriage,” he favors homosexual kissing during Mass and supports transgenderism for children. Pray for the enemies of Church teaching.

        Rescue me, Lord, from my enemies. Psalm 143

      • Read the “Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Succcess–her Prophecies are happening now.

      Speaking of prophecies: “The Greatest Poverty”
      Since the Supreme Court ruled in “Roe vs. Wade” that a woman can kill the child in her womb, we see now, in the news, how abundantly human beings are being killed in our country for whatever reason. Remember what Mother Teresa said, “The greatest poverty is the spiritual emptiness that causes people to discard other human beings as useless objects—abortion. If a mother can kill her own child—what is left but for me to kill you and you kill me.”

      Pray for the families who have lost school children, teachers, those who bring use the news and the men and women who protect us and keep us safe.


Church’s teaching on women’s ordination

November 02, 2016, Pope, in press conference, says John Paul’s teaching on women’s ordination is definitive.

Pope Francis fielded questions from reporters during his return flight from Sweden to the Vatican on November 1.

Asked about refugees, the Pope praised Sweden’s tradition of offering a haven to those fleeing violence. He called for generosity in welcoming refugees, spoke of the importance of integrating them into society, and distinguished them from migrants, who “must be treated with certain rules, because to emigrate is a right, but it is a very regulated right.”

When asked about women’s ordination, Pope Francis said, “On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the final word is clear, it was said by St. John Paul II and this remains.” When asked whether the ban on ordination of women is “forever,” the Holy Father replied that the statement by St. John Paul “leads in that direction.”

Pope Francis went on to explain that the Church is not discriminating against women by adhering to the male-only priesthood, but recognizing that women have a different role—and in many ways a superior role. He remarked that “women can do so many things better than men.” He remined reporters that the Church has a Marian as well as a Petrine dimension, and that the role of the Virgin Mary is more important than that of St. Peter. “Much more,” he emphasized.

Pope Francis also discussed his ecumenical initiatives, his relations with the charismatic movement, his recent meeting with the president of Venezuela, secularization, and human trafficking.

As he reflected on secularization, he spoke about the experience of France, citing the worldliness of clerics in the French court, a “Tower of Babel” mentality with respect to culture, the legacy of the Enlightenment, and “spiritual worldliness” in the Church.

“Aggressive gender ideology

Cardinal Wuerl decries ‘aggressive gender ideology’
The Nature of the Human Being, Male or FemaleJune 02, 2016

Lamenting “aggressive gender ideology” and criticizing the Obama administration’s recent letter on the use of bathrooms and locker rooms by public school students who state they are transgendered, Cardinal Donald Wuerl of Washington emphasized in a recent blog post that the human body “is not extraneous, but goes to our very essence.”

“Before all else in this world, before we are able to form a single thought or make any decisions, from the very moment of our origin and conception, we have a body that is intrinsically sexually differentiated and constituted male or female in a way that cannot really be changed,” he said. “Furthermore, the body reveals that man and woman are made to complement one another – they are made for love, the reality that forms the basis of family.”

“This is the objective, intrinsic, self-evident truth of who and what we are,” he continued. “Revealed in the body and discernable by right reason, this truth thus applies to all regardless of religious beliefs. Also, one’s subjective choices or beliefs cannot alter this reality – what is revealed in the body as one sex cannot be changed to the other.”

Stating that the Church must be “a beacon of truth in the darkness,” Cardinal Wuerl added:
One of the enervating forces of our culture is the assertion that everything is up for grabs. What was once grasped as objective truth is now dismissed as mere construct, and there is a growing relativism that seeks to reconstruct the most fundamental realities.

Last year we saw a societal redefinition of marriage and family. Today, the concept of humanity itself is called into question with an aggressive “gender” ideology which holds that whether a person is male or female is not an objective reality, but is subjectively determined. Increasingly, those who do not go along with this new order are denounced and ostracized as bigoted. It is as if we all must now affirm that the world is flat lest we be condemned of discrimination.

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Throughout history, but more acutely in our day, people have pondered the mystery of their life. The details on resumes – occupations, education, residence – really do not answer the fundamental question of our very essence. We want to know the objective and enduring truth about ourselves, “Who am I? What am I? What does it mean to be human?”

To understand this question of our nature, we must begin with the observation that we each have a body – a body that we did not personally make. We are bodily creatures and not simply spiritual beings, and we did not and cannot subjectively create ourselves.

This body is not extraneous, but goes to our very essence. The body is the outward visible sign of the reality of the person.   It is in the body that we obtain our being and existence, our primary nature and identity. It is in and through the body that we think, believe and feel, and how we experience and know things and the world around us.

We see in the body also that we are human. We are different from the birds and fish and animals. Moreover, we are persons and not mere things or mechanical objects.

In a particular way, the body also reveals to us the innate truth of our human nature that we are from the beginning made male or female. Before all else in this world, before we are able to form a single thought or make any decisions, from the very moment of our origin and conception, we have a body that is intrinsically sexually differentiated and constituted male or female in a way that cannot really be changed. Furthermore, the body reveals that man and woman are made to complement one another – they are made for love, the reality that forms the basis of family.

This is the objective, intrinsic, self-evident truth of who and what we are. Revealed in the body and discernable by right reason, this truth thus applies to all regardless of religious beliefs. Also, one’s subjective choices or beliefs cannot alter this reality – what is revealed in the body as one sex cannot be changed to the other.

For its part, religious faith confirms and expands upon this truth of human nature. Scripture teaches that “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Genesis 1:27). Humanity is explicitly made male and female and inherently in relationship, made in the image and likeness of God the Trinity who is Love and Truth. Thus every human is to be cherished and respected precisely as he or she is made from the moment of conception.

Jesus said that he came into the world to testify to the truth (John 18:37) and so must we who are his disciples. It is the Church’s duty “to serve humanity in different ways, but one way in particular imposes a responsibility of a quite special kind: the diakonia of the truth” (Fides et Ratio, 2). Central to this mission is proclaiming the truth of the human person. It is only in this truth that one can be free.

This service in the truth is particularly needed today. One of the enervating forces of our culture is the assertion that everything is up for grabs. What was once grasped as objective truth is now dismissed as mere construct, and there is a growing relativism that seeks to reconstruct the most fundamental realities.

Last year we saw a societal redefinition of marriage and family. Today, the concept of humanity itself is called into question with an aggressive “gender” ideology which holds that whether a person is male or female is not an objective reality, but is subjectively determined. Increasingly, those who do not go along with this new order are denounced and ostracized as bigoted. It is as if we all must now affirm that the world is flat lest we be condemned of discrimination.

Now the federal government has issued a “guidance” for “transgender students,” which says that school bathrooms and locker rooms should effectively be open to persons of the opposite sex. This development is deeply disturbing, as noted in a letter from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops objecting to this decree.

“It is one thing to be understanding of human weakness and the complexities of life, and another to accept ideologies that attempt to sunder what are inseparable aspects of reality,” says Pope Francis on this very issue (Amoris Laetitia, 56). It is not an act of discrimination to assert, “We cannot say that what is false is true.” By saying this, we are not advancing an alternate ideology, but proposing and defending reality and genuine human dignity.

In the face of this cultural divide, the Church will do what we have always done – what we can only do – and that is to be a beacon of truth in the darkness, lovingly giving voice to what it means to be authentically human and helping people to appreciate themselves as they were created (cf. Amoris Laetitia, 285). This means standing firm in the truth that sexual differentiation is not a construct of the mind, much less a social construct, but is a permanent reality revealed in the body, male or female, whether or not one chooses to acknowledge or accept this reality (Id.). To do otherwise, to not testify to the truth, would be to deny our own identity as Catholics and as a Church.

– See more at: http://cardinalsblog.adw.org/2016/05/nature-human-male-female/#sthash.zukjqcE7.dpuf

Gift of Peace at Mass

Circular Letter on the Ritual Expression of the Gift of Peace at Mass
by Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments

CDW Letter Regarding the Sign of Peace 2014 Description:
In a circular letter to the world’s bishops approved by Pope Francis on June 7, 2014, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments (CDW) issued the protocol for the ritual expression of the exchange of peace at Mass. The circular letter was sent to conference presidents on July 12, 2014. The circular letter makes explicit the meaning of this sign, and that the exchange of this sign of peace will remain between the Lord’s Prayer and the Lamb of God, and will not be moved to an earlier part of the Mass. Vatican, July 12, 2014
Some practical guidelines are offered below to better explain the content of the exchange of peace and to moderate excessive expressions that give rise to disarray in the liturgical assembly before Communion.

6. Consideration of this theme is important. If the faithful through their ritual gestures do not appreciate and do not show themselves to be living the authentic meaning of the rite of peace, the Christian concept of peace is weakened and their fruitful participation at the Eucharist is impaired. Therefore, along with the previous reflections that could form the basis for a suitable catechesis by providing some guidelines, some practical suggestions are offered to the Conferences of Bishops for their prudent consideration:
a) It should be made clear once and for all that the rite of peace already has its own profound meaning of prayer and offering of peace in the context of the Eucharist. An exchange of peace appropriately carried out among the participants at Mass enriches the meaning of the rite itself and gives fuller expression to it. It is entirely correct, therefore, to say that this does not involve inviting the faithful to exchange the sign of peace “mechanically”. If it is foreseen that it will not take place properly due to specific circumstances or if it is not considered pedagogically wise to carry it out on certain occasions, it can be omitted, and sometimes ought to be omitted. It is worth recalling that the rubric from the Missal states: “Then, if appropriate, the Deacon or the Priest, adds: “Let us offer each other the sign of peace” (emphasis added).
8 b) On the basis of these observations, it may be advisable that, on the occasion of the publication of the translation of the third typical edition of the Roman Missal in their own country, or when new editions of the same Missal are undertaken in the future, Conferences of Bishops should consider whether it might not be fitting to change the manner of giving peace which had been established earlier. For example, following these years of experience, in those places where familiar and profane gestures of greeting were previously chosen, they could be replaced with other more appropriate gestures.
c) In any case, it will be necessary, at the time of the exchange of peace, to definitively avoid abuses such as:
• the introduction of a “song for peace”, which is non-existent in the Roman Rite.9
• the movement of the faithful from their places to exchange the sign of peace amongst themselves.
• the departure of the priest from the altar in order to give the sign of peace to some of the faithful.

• that in certain circumstances, such as at the Solemnity of Easter or of Christmas, or during ritual celebrations such as Baptism, First Communion, Confirmation, Matrimony, Sacred Ordinations, Religious Professions, and Funerals, the exchange of peace being the occasion for expressing congratulations, best wishes or condolences among those present.10
d) Conferences of Bishops are likewise invited to prepare liturgical catecheses on the meaning of the rite of peace in the Roman liturgy and its proper realization in the celebration of the Holy Mass. In this regard, the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments attaches to this Circular Letter, some helpful guidelines.