Monthly Archives: April 2018

Gaudete et Exsultate Impressions – April 30, 2018

http://aquobex.com/sectors/community-groups/ The message of Pope Francis’ Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete et Exsultate (“Rejoice and Be Glad”) is one that deserves to be read.  I very much like the spirit of the message of the universal call to holiness for all Christians regardless of their state in life and vocation.  This is a good teaching reaffirming the statements from the Second Vatican Council “.. all the faithful, whatever their condition or state, are called by the Lord – each in his or her own way – to that perfect holiness by which the Father Himself is perfect.” (LG, 11)  We can unite our whole lives, in our daily thoughts and actions, to the life of Christ. I appreciate his mentioning of St. Josemaria Escriva’s call to become “contemplatives in the midst of the world.”  This is a beautiful call to holiness.

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Buy Yellow Valium On the other hand, as others have critiqued the document, there are a number of unnecessary “distractions” in it.  These are the apparent rhetorical jabs at more conservative, traditional-minded Catholics.  It is beneath the office of the Pope and against the unity of the Body of Christ to segregate the Church into separate political pockets.  The Church is bigger and better than that.  The Church is transcendent, not political.  Nevertheless, she is a diverse, big-tent community.  The idea of scolding certain types of Catholics is ultimately not helpful and only deepens divisions.

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Critics have pointed in the document to his discussion on Gnosticism and Pelagianism.  These were two ancient heresies that he warns have snuck back into the Church.  Gnosticism was an ancient heresy that the body and physical realm  are evil, and it was only through secret spiritual knowledge that one attains salvation.  Pelagianism was a heresy that one can “earn” salvation through good works rather than the gratuitous sanctifying grace from Christ.  Thus, it diminished Christ’s Cross and His gift to us for our salvation.

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Can I Buy Zolpidem In Mexico Pope Francis criticizes a group of Christians as “new Pelagians.”  These new Pelagians have “an obsession with the law, an absorption with social and political advantages, a punctilious concern with the Church’s liturgy . .” He adds, “some groups of Christians give excessive importance to certain rules, customs or ways of acting” that “appears to subject the life of grace to certain human structures,” rendering the Church “fossilized, or corrupt,” a “museum piece.”  This is reminiscent of a similar condemnation of neo-Gnosticism and neo-Pelagianism in the February 2018 letter titled Placuit Deo put forth by The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith.  The letter states: “Both neo-Pelagian individualism and the neo-Gnostic disregard of the body deface the confession of faith in Christ, the one, universal Savior.” And, “The salvation that God offers us is not achieved with our own individual efforts alone, as neo-Pelagianism would contend.”

Jesus did warn us about the pharisaical practice of following the letter of the law while ignoring the spirit of the law.  I think this must have been Pope Francis’ intention.  This is a good point, which we should all fully absorb to avoid too much rigidity and scrupulosity in our faith.

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Buy 5Mg Xanax Online On the other hand, why does the Vatican seem to go out of its way to scold traditional Catholics?  Are traditionalists really the main problem in the Church today?  Certainly, the bigger issue seems to be those Catholics who have fallen away en masse from the doctrines of the Faith, ignore the social teachings, and ignore the sacraments of the Church.  I would posit that, in fact, it is these Christians who fit better with the neo-Gnostic and neo-Pelagian labels.  Liberal Catholics are much more likely to be the ones who want an ambiguous, individualized Christianity free of specific doctrines and dogmas, and free to determined one’s own personalized enlightenment.  This would align much more closely with ancient Gnosticism.  Similarly, a liberal Catholic would be much more willing to say, in a neo-Pelagian way, that they are a “good person,” who doesn’t really need the Church or social doctrines or the sacraments.  In effect, they can do it on their own, earn their own salvation.

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Cheap Phentermine 37.5 Pills The Exhortation spends quite a bit of time highlighting the fact that we cannot earn sanctifying grace, but it is a free gift from God.  We are justified by grace alone.  Obviously, this is true enough. This is the same epithet of Pelagianism, however, that was a common accusation in the Protestant Reformation.  It was a regular critique by Martin Luther and the other Protestant Reformers against the Church’s emphasis on good works.  Pope Francis’ critics would argue he is echoing the critique of Martin Luther against the Church.

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The Exhortation also makes the false equivalence between abortion and the “equally sacred” lives of the poor, destitute, and vulnerable.  It argues that the quality of life of the poor and the migrant has the same moral weightiness as the very life of a human person.  This is a nonsensical untruth.  The quality of life of a poor person, or a migrant, as awful as their circumstances might be, in no way reaches the moral equivalence of exterminating the life of a human being.  This is a misleading liberal trope, usually used by liberal Catholic politicians to hide their unfaithfulness to the Faith. It does not, however, excuse us from the Gospel’s mandate of serving the poor, sick and oppressed, which, as Pope Francis rightly points out, is the measure by which we will be judged.

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The Exhortation also lashes out at Christians “caught up in networks of verbal violence through the internet . .”  It is no secret that the Vatican has had many recent spats with online conservative blogs, outlets and news organizations.  Some have suggested that the swipe in the Exhortation against “silence” was a personal jab at Cardinal Sarah, who the Vatican has publicly rebuked and his book on The Power of Silence.  The difficulty for many traditional Catholics under this Pope is the perception that he idolizes mercy to such a degree as to make doctrines and dogmas seem elastic, or at worst, irrelevant.  I don’t believe that is true. We shall see over the next few years if this comes to a head with various social issues and synods.  Pope Francis is a good Pope.  But, for all of the pontiff’s wonderful gifts and his humble persona that attracts new people to the Faith, the Church must be able to show mercy without sacrificing truth.

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Holy Confidence in God – April 17, 2018

Goodness of God:
Father Benedict Rogacci (1646-1719) in his book Holy Confidence paraphrases the attitude of the great ascetic monk St. Anthony saying, “none should be sad who awaited the salvation of God and His heavenly kingdom.” This is one of the fundamental themes he stresses in the book. Christians should not be sad and gloomy, despairing of past sins and anxiously questioning their salvation. Rather, we should rejoice in the Lord and in the promise of our salvation. Ours should be a deep-seated spiritual joy befitting the children of God. He cites two models of our converted state of mind: in one, the penitent rightfully bewails having fallen into his past sins and misery; the other, the better way, is to rejoice in amazement at the goodness of God in rescuing him.

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http://valliscommodities.com/ar/rwanda-start-of-operations/ The Lord Comes to Us:
God loved us so much that He came down from Heaven to enter the world, and took on a body to suffer for us at Calvary. Now, He remains with us in the hiddenness of the Blessed Sacrament, where He comes to dwell within us in Holy Communion. This intimate love is reminiscent of Solomon’s Song of Songs poetically describing God’s love for His mystical Bride, the Church. In talking with the prophet Elijah at Mount Horeb, God said He would be “passing by.” A strong and heavy wind came by, rending the mountain and crushing rocks, but the “Lord was not in the wind.” Then, there was an earthquake and fire, but the Lord was not in the earthquake and fire. Then, the Lord came to him in a summer breeze with “a tiny whispering sound.” (1 Kgs. 19:12) The Lord comes down in gentleness to meet us.

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Abba / Father:
Father Rogacci reminds us of God’s tender affection for His children, as He “found delight in the sons of men.” (Prov. 8:31) The King of Heaven is not like the kings of the earth who lord over their subjects. God is not anxious to preserve His loftiness before us, but approaches us with tenderness. He seeks love, not fear. He does not call us servants but “friends” and “children of God.” Jesus taught us to call God “Abba,” or to address Him as our very own Father. The letter to the Romans says: “For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the spirit of sonship. When we cry, “Abba! Father!”” (Rom. 8:15)

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Forgiveness:
God’s whole mission is not to condemn the world but to save souls, desiring that none be lost. He does punish sins, but He does so only to satisfy His perfect justice. He punishes without anger or passion. Sin provokes His pity for us, and He stands ready to blot out our transgressions and remember them no more. (Is. 43:25) We are to avoid mortal sin at all costs, and remain in a state of grace. This is why He has mercifully given us Confession, Absolution and Holy Communion.

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How then should we act? Father Rogacci says we should trust in the words of Christ: “Ask, and it will be given you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.” (Mt. 7:7) There is nothing more reassuring than these words of Jesus to dispel all doubts. This requires perseverance in our prayer daily. Jesus taught us to believe in our hearts that God will answer all of our prayers, saying, “All things are possible to him who believes.” (Mk. 9:23) St. Peter also tells us to “Cast all your worries upon Him because He cares for you.” (1 Pt. 5:7) Fr. Rogacci continues this idea of ‘believe and receive’ stating: “We should go to Him in all our needs with confidence that He will help us, like the tenderest father or mother we have ever known. We should never fear a refusal or think we are a trouble to Him, but be certain that He is willing to grant with all His heart what we ask.”

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Perpetual Dependence:
Sometimes what we ask for may require us to pray for a long time. Fr. Rogacci says this is a good thing. It reminds us that without God we can do nothing. He says: “This necessity of perpetual dependence on Him teaches us our utter powerlessness, our absolute inability of doing any good thing without Him. Nothing is better fitted to humble our pride and give glory to God.” As Jesus said we can do nothing on our own. We are utterly dependent upon the mercy of God and the merits of Jesus Christ. We should not dwell in anxious scrupulosity on our sins, but have a holy confidence in God. Fr. Rogacci recommends imploring God each day with prayer, such as from the Liturgy of the Hours: “O God, come to my assistance; O Lord, make haste to help me.”

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http://linenbeauty.com/7-things-to-know-before-purchasing-your-bed-linen Spiritual Joy:
Someone asked Jesus will only a few be saved? “But He answered, ‘Strive to enter in by the narrow gate.'” (Lk 13:24) As Fr. Rogacci points out, this “signifies little to us whether the number of the elect be great or small, but it signifies a good deal that we should do what is necessary to obtain eternal life.” To be saved requires us to persevere in divine grace until our deaths. All of us were like the Prodigal Son who squandered his inheritance from the Father. Yet, with the son’s humble confession before Him, the Father joyously welcomed him back into His house as His son, and as Jesus says, they were “merry.” Fr. Rogacci posits that sadness and depression can be used as weapons of the devil to harm us. Sometimes this is unavoidable, and not always easy. Despite this, as children of God and heirs to the Kingdom, we have an underlying spiritual joy to sustain us. Assured of God’s divine goodness, we can trust in His sanctifying grace. As Jesus told His disciples “rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” This is the foundation for our hope and joy.

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We are to have a simple holy confidence in our Father in Heaven who hears all that we ask and pray. Fr. Rogacci echoes the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians: “Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice! . . . Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:4-7)

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