Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Practical Advice From A Saint

"I would like to urge you to forsake everything, but that I do not presume to do. Yet, if you cannot give up everything of this world, at least keep what belongs to the world in such a way that you yourself are not kept prisoner by the world. Whatever you possesss must not possess you; whatever you own must be under the power of your soul; for if your soul is overpowered by the love of this world's goods, it will be totally at the mercy of its possessions.

In other words, we make use of temporal things, but our hearts are set on what is eternal. Temporal goods help us on our way, but our desire must be for those eternal realities which are our goal. we should give no more than a side glance at all that happens in the world, but the eyes of our soul are to be focused right ahead; for our whole attention must be fixed on those realities which constitute our goal.

Whatever is vicious must be utterly eradicated, wrenched away not merely from being put into act but even from being so much as thought of. No carnal pleasure, no worldly curiosity. no surge of ambition must keep us from the Lord's Supper. But further, our minds should merely skirt even the good deeds we perform in this life; in this way, the physical things which give us pleasure will serve our bodily needs without hindering the soul's progress. You see, my brothers, I dare not say to you, give up everything. Yet, if you will, you can give everything up even while keeping it, provided you handle temporal things in such a way that your whole mind is directed toward what is eternal. A man can use the world as if he were not using it, if he makes all external needs minister to the support of his life without allowing them to dominate his soul. They remain external to him and under his control, serving him without halting the soul's drive to higher things. For such men, everything in this world is there for their use, not to be desired. Nothing should interfere with your soul's longing; no created pleasure in the world should ensnare you.

If the object of love is what is good, then the soul should take its delight in the higher good, the things of heaven. If the object of fear is what is evil, then we should keep before ourselves the things that are eternally evil. In this way, if the soul sees that we should have a greater love and a greater fear about what concerns the next life, it will never cling to this life.

To help us to achieve all this we have the help of the mediator between God and man. Through him we shall obtain all this more quickly, the more we burn with a great love for him, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit, for ever and ever. Amen."

-St. Gregory the Great

Brownback Reintroduces Public Expressions Of Religion Act

U.S. Senator Sam Brownback reintroduced the Public Expressions of Religion Act on Jan. 29. The bill would prevent activist groups from using a 1976 civil rights law to recover attorney’s fees when they sue local cities and towns in cases related to public displays of religion and faith.

Read the whole story.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Guided By God

I recently heard a story told by Peter Kreeft that he said was partly responsible for his conversion to the Catholic Church. It goes like this:

Back in the time of the middle ages, when there were really nasty popes and bishops, a Jewish businessman had decided to convert to Christianity. However, before he did so he had to go to Rome and do some business with the Vatican. The bishop who was to bring him into the Church, feared that once he saw how they acted at the Vatican, the Jew would not want to convert. Thus he proposed that the Jew be baptized before going to Rome. The Jew replied, "Nonsense. I am a practical businessman. I am going to Rome and when I return I shall be baptized."

The bishop was sure that he had lost him forever. A couple of months went by and the Jew returned to the bishop. "Okay, I'm ready to be baptized now," he said. The bishop asked, "You mean you didn't go to Rome." "No, I went," said the Jew. The bishop replied, "Oh, so you didn't do business with the Vatican?" "Yes, I did business with the Vatican," responded the Jew. The bishop shockingly asked, "And you still want to be baptized?" To which the Jew replied, "Listen, I told you that I'm a practical businessman. Now a Church as stupid and corrupt as yours wouldn't last fourteen days, yet yours has lasted fourteen hundred years. It has to be guided by God. I am ready to be baptized now."

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Aquinas Is Model For Combining Faith And Reason

Pope Benedict XVI used this week's Angelus to return to one of his favorite topics: the relation of Faith and Reason. Citing the example of St. Thomas Aquinas, whose feast day was Sunday, Benedict urged the faithful to remember that faith and reason are not exclusionary principles.

"When man limits his thoughts to only material objects . . . he closes himself to the great questions about life, himself and God," the Holy Father said. While modern science has granted mankind numerous benefits, he explained, it has also led many to believe that the only real things are those which can be experimented with.”

According to Benedict, man must "rediscover human rationality in a new way, open to the light of the divine Logos and His perfect revelation that is Jesus Christ, the Son of God made man."

Authentic Christian faith does not limit human liberty and reason, he said. Instead, "faith supports reason and perfection; and reason, illuminated by faith, finds strength to raise itself to the knowledge of God."

Calling to mind the Saint of the day the Holy Father remarked at St. Thomas Aquinas’s success in offering a valid model of the harmony between faith and reason, “dimensions of the human spirit, which can be fully realized in the encounter and dialogue between them.”

St. Thomas Aquinas was able to bring Arab and Jewish thought together in a very fruitful way, the Pope continued, and he presents us with a synthesis of faith and reason that serves as a model of inter-cultural dialogue between the East and the West.

The Pope concluded the Angelus with a prayer for all Christians, especially those "working in academic and cultural spheres," so that they may express the reasonableness of their faith and give witness to it in dialogue inspired by love.


The Feast Of St. Thomas Aquinas

Today is the feast day of one of the greatest theologians in the history of the Church!

St. Thomas Aquinas, the Angelic Doctor, is responsible for reintroducing and Christianizing the philosophy of Aristotle. He defended the Faith brilliantly against the Jews and Arabs of his time, composing such works as his Summa Contra Gentiles and The Summa Theologiae.

Aquinas' way of doing theology masterfully combined both faith and reason. For this reason, John Paul II proclaimed in his encyclical Fides et Ratio that "the Church has been justified in consistently proposing St. Thomas as a master of thought and a model of the right way to do theology."

Paul VI in his Apostolic Letter Lumen Ecclesiae, said about St. Thomas:
"Without doubt, Thomas possessed supremely the courage of the truth, a freedom of spirit in confronting new problems, the intellectual honesty of those who allow Christianity to be contaminated neither by secular philosophy nor by a prejudiced rejection of it. He passed, therefore, into the history of Christian thought as a pioneer of the new path of philosophy and universal culture. The key point and almost the kernel of the solution which, with all the brilliance of his prophetic intuition, he gave to the new encounter of faith and reason was a reconciliation between the secularity of the world and the radicality of the Gospel, thus avoiding the unnatural tendency to negate the world and its values while at the same time keeping faith with the supreme and inexorable demands of the supernatural order."

If anyone ever says to you that being loyal to the Magisterium makes you a mindless drone, tell them to go read some Aquinas! Only by doing theology within the Body of Christ, the Church, as Thomas did, will you be able to explore the depths of the Truth, which is Christ Himself!

St. Thomas Aquinas was canonized in 1323 and declared Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius V.

Happy Feast Day everyone!

St. Thomas Aquinas, Ora Pro Nobis!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Choose Life

Have you seen any license plates in your state with the words "Choose Life" on them?

If you have, do you have one?

If not, you should!

This is a great way to help support the pro life cause. When you buy one of the plates, the money goes to support adoption efforts of Crisis Pregnancy Centers, Maternity Homes and not-for-profit adoption agencies.

About 17 states currently allow the plate. If your state doesn't, please consider getting involved with making it available.

Merry Nordeen is starting the campaign in Massachusetts, but she needs help! She has to get 3,000 plates pre-ordered before they will allow them in the state. At present, she has pre-sold a little under a thousand. So, if you live in Massachusetts, go here and reserve a plate.

Who, Except The Lord?

His power and miracles proclaim him God.
I see the wild winds suddenly grow calm
When Christ commands; I see the storm-
tossed sea
Grow smooth, with tranquil surface bright,
At Christ's behest; I see the waves grow firm
As the raging flood sustains his treading
He walks dry-shod upon the flowing tide
And bears upon the flood with footsteps
He chides the winds and bids the tempest
Who could command the stormy gales:
"Be still,
Your strongholds keep and leave the bound-
less sea,"
Except the Lord and maker of the winds?....
Who on the sea could walk, who with firm
Upon the flood could without sinking tread
That path with soles upborne and feet
Except the author of the deep, the
Poured from the Father's lips, that moved across
The waves, not yet hemmed in by solid

-Prudentius, A Hymn on the Trinity.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Consider This

"Consider for a moment which is better: that, after mature reflection, the church, following an established procedure, remove a theologian's authorization to teach because of false doctrine, or that the individual take it into his own hands to denounce this or that theologian as a false teacher and warn against him. After all, one must not believe that condemnation ceases when everyone is allowed to judge as he thinks fit. This is merely a logical application of the liberal view that there is no such thing as a decision about the truth of a doctrine, so that every doctrine is true to a certain extent and every doctrine is to be tolerated in the church. We, however, do not share this notion, for it denies that God has really decided among us."

-Heinrich Schlier.


"The freedom for the truth and the freedom of the truth cannot exist without the acknowledgment and worship of the divine."

-The former Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger in The Nature And Mission of Theology.

There Is Such A Thing As Absolutes

George Weigel's March 2002 article in First Things, A Better Concept of Freedom, is a must read.

While reading, keep in mind that Martin Luther described himself as "nothing, if not an Ockhamist."

It's no wonder abortion is so prevalent in this country. Our way of thinking must change, and it must do so fast. For, we will never be a truly free country while millions of innocent babies are unprotected from murder!

Simple Mathematics

Luther + Machiavelli = Henry VIII.

-From Dr. Hahn. Who knew I would be learning math in a theology class!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Conversion Of St. Paul

"The Blessed Paul who gathers us on this day has illuminated the earth. At the time he received his call, he was made blind; but his blindness made of him a torch for the world. He used to see to do evil; in his wisdom God made him blind so as to enlighten him for doing good. Not only did God reveal his power; he also revealed him the heart of the faith he was going to preach. He had to chase far away from him all the prejudices, close the eyes and lose the fake lights of reason to perceive the true doctrine, “become crazy to be wise” as he will say later on...Though one shouldn't believe that his call was imposed upon him; Paul was free to choose...

Fiery-natured, impetuous, Paul needed to be stopped abrubtly, to not be taken away by his ardor and despise the voice of God. Therefore God first repressed this fit of anger; by blinding him he calmed his anger; then he talked to him. He revealed him his ineffable wisdom, so that he could recognize the one who he used to fight and understand that he could not oppose himself anymore to his grace. It was not the lack of light that made him blind, but the overabundance of light.

God chose the right moment. Paul is the first to recognize it: “when (God), who from my mother's womb had set me apart and called me through his grace, was pleased he revealed his Son to me”...Let us then learn from the words of Paul himself, that neither he nor any other person have ever found Christ by their own personal spirit. It is Christ who reveals himself and who allows others to get to know him. As the Savior says: “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you.”"

-Saint John Chrysostom

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

March For Life 2007

Laura and I spent our 2nd wedding anniversary in Washington, D.C. on Monday marching for the sanctity of life. It was a great event!

A sample of some of the signs:

This picture below is looking down as we walked up the hill. We were in about the middle of the march and as you can see there were many many people behind us. The same goes for in front.

The above picture is the back of Fr. Benedict Groeschel's head as he is being interviewed by Marcus Grodi.
Of course Franciscan University was there! I heard they took 10 bus loads of people. That's not even counting all the people who drove down on their own!

We finished the day up with Mass at the National Basilica.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Ask A Father

Q: Hey John, How Does The Bread And Wine Become The Body And Blood Of Christ?
A: "You ask how the bread becomes the Body of Christ, and the wine...the Blood of Christ. I shall tell you: the Holy Spirit comes upon them and accomplishes what surpasses every word and thought...Let it be enough for you to understand that it is by the Holy Spirit, just as it was of the Holy Virgin and by the Holy Spirit of the Lord, through and in himself, took flesh."

Whether Determinate Words Are Required In The Sacraments?

Objection 1: It seems that determinate words are not required in the sacraments. For as the Philosopher says (Peri Herm. i), "words are not the same for all." But salvation, which is sought through the sacraments, is the same for all. Therefore determinate words are not required in the sacraments.

Objection 2: Further, words are required in the sacraments forasmuch as they are the principal means of signification, as stated above (Article [6]). But it happens that various words mean the same. Therefore determinate words are not required in the sacraments.

Objection 3: Further, corruption of anything changes its species. But some corrupt the pronunciation of words, and yet it is not credible that the sacramental effect is hindered thereby; else unlettered men and stammerers, in conferring sacraments, would frequently do so invalidly. Therefore it seems that determinate words are not required in the sacraments.

On the contrary, our Lord used determinate words in consecrating the sacrament of the Eucharist, when He said (Mt. 26:26): "This is My Body." Likewise He commanded His disciples to baptize under a form of determinate words, saying (Mt. 28:19): "Go ye and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost."

I answer that, As stated above (Article [6], ad 2), in the sacraments the words are as the form, and sensible things are as the matter. Now in all things composed of matter and form, the determining principle is on the part of the form, which is as it were the end and terminus of the matter. Consequently for the being of a thing the need of a determinate form is prior to the need of determinate matter: for determinate matter is needed that it may be adapted to the determinate form. Since, therefore, in the sacraments determinate sensible things are required, which are as the sacramental matter, much more is there need in them of a determinate form of words.

Reply to Objection 1: As Augustine says (Tract. lxxx super Joan.), the word operates in the sacraments "not because it is spoken," i.e. not by the outward sound of the voice, "but because it is believed" in accordance with the sense of the words which is held by faith. And this sense is indeed the same for all, though the same words as to their sound be not used by all. Consequently no matter in what language this sense is expressed, the sacrament is complete.

Reply to Objection 2: Although it happens in every language that various words signify the same thing, yet one of those words is that which those who speak that language use principally and more commonly to signify that particular thing: and this is the word which should be used for the sacramental signification. So also among sensible things, that one is used for the sacramental signification which is most commonly employed for the action by which the sacramental effect is signified: thus water is most commonly used by men for bodily cleansing, by which the spiritual cleansing is signified: and therefore water is employed as the matter of baptism.

Reply to Objection 3: If he who corrupts the pronunciation of the sacramental words---does so on purpose, he does not seem to intend to do what the Church intends: and thus the sacrament seems to be defective. But if he do this through error or a slip of the tongue, and if he so far mispronounce the words as to deprive them of sense, the sacrament seems to be defective. This would be the case especially if the mispronunciation be in the beginning of a word, for instance, if one were to say "in nomine matris" instead of "in nomine Patris." If, however, the sense of the words be not entirely lost by this mispronunciation, the sacrament is complete. This would be the case principally if the end of a word be mispronounced; for instance, if one were to say "patrias et filias." For although the words thus mispronounced have no appointed meaning, yet we allow them an accommodated meaning corresponding to the usual forms of speech. And so, although the sensible sound is changed, yet the sense remains the same.

What has been said about the various mispronunciations of words, either at the beginning or at the end, holds forasmuch as with us a change at the beginning of a word changes the meaning, whereas a change at the end generally speaking does not effect such a change: whereas with the Greeks the sense is changed also in the beginning of words in the conjugation of verbs.

Nevertheless the principle point to observe is the extent of the corruption entailed by mispronunciation: for in either case it may be so little that it does not alter the sense of the words; or so great that it destroys it. But it is easier for the one to happen on the part of the beginning of the words, and the other at the end.

-St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa, III, Q. 60, a. 7

Professor Quote

"It would be better if priests weren’t creative with the Liturgy, and were more creative with their homily!"

–Fr. Giles Dimock, OP

Cardinal Arinze Address to Institut Supérieur de Liturgie

"Priests on their part should show themselves transparently happy in their vocation with a clear identity of their liturgical role. If they celebrate the sacred mysteries with faith and devotion and according to the approved books, they will unconsciously be preaching priestly vocations. On the other hand, young people will not desire to join a band of clerics who seem uncertain of their mission, who criticize and disobey their Church and who celebrate their own "liturgies" according to their personal choices and theories."

Continue reading.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Why I Love Reading Fr. Richard John Neuhaus

Because of commentaries like this:

"Hurrying to catch up with an early phase of the radical feminism of the 1970s, the Archbishop's Council, a kind of cabinet of the Church of England, has issued guidelines cautioning against the use of 'Lord,' 'He,' and 'Father' when referring to God. Such usage, we are informed, can encourage men to be violent toward women. The guidelines carry the endorsement of Dr. Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury. Particularly piquant is the quoting of the aforementioned theologian Mary Daly: 'If God is male, then the male is God.' Ah yes, Mary Daly. You may remember her. Now seventy-eight years old, she taught for thirty-three years at Boston College. She is a champion of the 'biophilic life,' a position that most who still call themselves feminists reject as misandrist and leading to reverse discrimination and the perpetuation of sexism. Daly has advocated research about parthenogenesis, which might make it possible to create and develop an embryo without male seed, thus creating an ideal male-free world. In her book Pure Lust: Elemental Feminist Philosophy, she advocates 'nothing less than the process of a woman creating her Self.' In short, Mary Daly is what psychiatrists call an interesting case. Things came to a head at Boston College when the administration pointed out that her policy of not admitting male students to her class violated her contract. She sued and there was a financial settlement that enables her to spend her time talking to audiences, wherever she can find them, interested in strolling down the memory lane of madnesses past. Who knew she would find such a ready audience in the high councils of the Church of England? All right, so you would have told her to go there first, but you probably have a problem with Anglicans, which is not nice. In any event, we are put on notice against the dangers of speaking about the Father of Our Lord Jesus Christ who orders our unruly passions (male and female) by the love that counts every sparrow that falls, protects the little children, provides our daily bread, and sent his Son to bear our sorrows and work our salvation. (Who knows how many men will beat their wives tonight under the pernicious influence of that last sentence?)"

-Fr. Neuhaus in the "While We're At It" section of "The Public Square" from the December 2006 issue of First Things.

Tradition And Scripture

Here is a refresher on Dei Verbum's teaching about Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture:

Through the living witness of Tradition "the Church’s full Canon of Sacred Books is known, the meaning of the sacred writings is more profoundly understood, and their power is constantly realized." (DV 8)

"Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are linked closely together and communicate with each other." "Sacred Scripture is the utterance of God inasmuch as it is consigned to writing under the inspiration of the divine Spirit. In turn, the Word of God, which was entrusted to the apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit, Sacred Tradition hands on fully and completely to the successors of the apostles, so that they, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, may faithfully preserve, explain, and spread it abroad by their preaching." (DV 9)

"It is not from Sacred Scripture alone that the Church draws her certainty about all revealed truths....both Scripture and Tradition are to be accepted and honored with an equal sense of devotion and reverence." (DV 9) "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture together form a single deposit of the Word of God, which is entrusted to the Church." (DV 10).

"But the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether in its written form or in the form of tradition, has been entrusted to the Teaching Office of the Church, whose authority is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ." (DV 10). "At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, the Teaching Office listens to the Word of God devoutly, guards it with dedication, and faithfully explains it." (DV 10)

"Therefore it is clear that, in accord with God’s most wise arrangement, Sacred Tradition, Sacred Scripture, and the Teaching Office of the Church are so linked and joined together that one cannot stand without the others, but all together, and each in its own way, under the action of the one Holy Spirit, contribute effectively to the salvation of souls." (DV 10)

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

I'm Published!

Read my paper on the Queenship of Mary.

This Holy Devotion

"The holy rosary: the joys, the sorrows, the glories of the life of our Lady weave a crown of praises, repeated ceaselessly by the angels and the saints in heaven and by those who love our Mother here on earth. Practice this holy devotion every day, and spread it."

-St. Josemaria Escriva.

Let us pray the rosary especially for the March for Life coming up on Jan. 22 in Washington, DC and for an end to abortion and the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Patristics, Patristics, Patristics

Mike over at The Way of the Fathers has a great post on St. Hilary of Poitiers with the saints reflection on the Real Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

Also, Phil from Hyperekperissou has another installment of the Patristic Roundup. Check it out and be blown away by the wisdom of the Fathers!

The Doctor Is In

"There are some strong men...who place their confidence in their own justice. They claim to be just by their own means, and since they considered themselves healthy people, they refused the remedy and killed the doctor himself. This is why, in fact, the Lord came to call not these strong men, but the weak...

Oh! You the strong, who do not need the doctor! Your strength does not come from health but from insanity...The Master of humility, who shared our weakness and who made us take part in his divinity, came down from heaven to show us the way and to be himself our way. Most of all, he wanted to leave us the example of his humility...to teach us to confess our sins, to humble ourselves and become strong, and to make ours the words of the apostle: “Therefore I am content with weakness...for when I am powerless, it is then that I am strong”...

As for those who pride themselves on being strong, who, in other words, claim being just by their own virtue, “stumbled over the stumbling stone”...It is these strong men who attacked Christ, as they boasted themselves on their justice...They had placed themselves above the crowd of weak people who hurried to the doctor. Why? Simply because they thought they were strong...They killed the doctor of all men. But he, by dying, prepared through his blood a remedy for all the sick."

-St. Augustine

Friday, January 12, 2007

The Symbol Of The Holy Spirit

"The dove is the loveliest and most striking symbol of the Holy Spirit. Its form and color put us in mind of the grace and purity of the Holy Spirit, its rapid but unagitated flight represents His lively yet controlled motion, its low murmur is like the expression of love which we have come to associate with the Holy Spirit. Following the baptism in the Jordan, the dove hovered between the Father and His incarnate Son, descending from the former to the latter. Thus in eternity, in virtue of His relation to the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit hovers above and between them; He shelters them, as it were, under His wings, and brings them together in Himself in blissful embrace, crowning and perfecting their love."

-Matthias Scheeben in The Mysteries of Christianity.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

On The Procession Of The Holy Spirit

"It is characteristic of a spirit, whether corporeal or incorporeal, always to proceed. Wherefore, even according to philosophers, an incorporeal spirit, when it proceeds from an intellect that acts through the will, conveys to its effects the forms of the active intelligence; for example, the spirit of an artificer which proceeds from his mind conveys, while it proceeds, the forms of art to the artificer’s hands, to his axe and hatchet, and to the stones and beams he is working with. This is the bearing of the statement in Wisdom 1:7: ‘The Spirit of the Lord hath filled the whole world, and that which containeth all things’; and in Job 26:13 we read: ‘His Spirit hath adorned the heavens’; and Psalm 32:6: ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were established; and all the power of them by the Spirit of His mouth.’ Similarly it is characteristic of love, whether spiritual or carnal, always to proceed and flow and never to remain still. For this reason Chrysostom says that when the Holy Spirit has entered into the heart of a man, He flows more copiously than any fountain and does not stand still, but progresses. And John 7:38f.: ‘He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith: Out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.’ And the Evangelist adds: ‘Now this He said of the Spirit.’

And so Dionysius says that divine love causes ecstasy, that is, transports: for it transports the lover into the beloved and does not allow him to remain in himself. Hence even grammarians say that the verb amo [I love] is a word indicating impetuous transition. Therefore, since the Holy Spirit is a Spirit and is spirated love, it is proper for Him simply to proceed; while it is not proper for one who is generated to proceed, but to exist in the nature received.

Hence the solution of the first objection is obvious: Procession signifies diffusion and, as it were, movement to another place, which is not implied in generation, and so generation is not simply procession, but a certain kind of procession. On the other hand, spiration, although it is a specific procession like generation, is nevertheless simply procession: for the proper act of a spirit and of love is to proceed. We willingly concede that procession from one or from two does not affect the notion of procession. As for the alleged similarity to generation, which is a transit from a male to a female, the example proves nothing and is very much out of place in a question where all is purity,....and surely it seems rash to think or believe that the spirating power of the Son related to the spirating power of the Father like the female and male faculties of generation. Hence the objection proves nothing.

Let us turn to our question: Is procession predicated equivocally or univocally? If the term is unqualified, it indicates local motion and voluntary motion. Wherefore even animals, when moved by appetite, are said, in De anima, III, to move with a processive motion. To proceed simply by such motion befits the Holy Spirit, because love and spirit proceed voluntarily, and, so to speak, processively. Thus understood, procession is not attributed to the Son except in a qualified sense. But if procession is taken in a sense similar to the process of an effect from a cause, as Dionysius says in the Liber de divinis nominibus, chap. 4, namely, that things which are multiple in their processes are one in their principle, then the term procession is employed in an extended sense, and befits both the generation of the Son and the spiration of the Holy Spirit; and so there is no reason why it should not befit the Son in one sense and the Holy Spirit in another, and why the sense in which it is said of a son in created nature, in which priority and posterity are possible, should not prevail over the sense in which it is said of the Holy Spirit; for procession by generation looks toward being, whereas procession by love in created nature looks only toward well-being. But all this is meaningless in God, in whom nothing is principal or secondary: just as the Son has His being from the Father by generation, so the Holy Spirit has His being from the Father and the Son by spiration. Therefore procession thus understood equally befits the Son and the Holy Spirit, but in different manners."

-St. Albert the Great

The Mystery Of The Holy Trinity

"The revelation of this mystery in its character of extraordinary proof of the divine love for us, calls for a boundless gratitude and return of love; but the mystery itself must be much more effective in enkindling in us a supernatural, childlike love of God. The natural creature knows God rather as the absolute Being on whom every other being depends; and the Old Testament reveals God as He who is, without whom nothing is, and who therefore is enthroned above us as the absolute Lord of all beings. As such, of course, God deserves our love, too, because He makes His goodness known also by giving existence to other beings. But the wealth of the divine goodness comes into prominence only in the divine Trinity. Here God appears to us in eternal, necessary, absolute surrender and communication of His entire essence; here we perceive that He is good not only because He possesses infinite goods, but that He is good, infinitely good, in the complete communication of His goods. Does He not appear immeasurably more lovable now than before? Must not our love for Him become incomparably more ardent and tender, when we see how the Father gives His entire essence to the Son, and then remains united with His Son in so stupendous a love that a third person proceeds from that love, a person in whom they embrace each other? No wonder that with Christianity, which first ushered a clear knowledge of the Trinity into the world, a new source of divine love, such as had never been know before, burst forth in the world, that in place of the reverential awe in presence of the Supreme Being which had ruled in the Old Testament, the law of servitude, an enchanting and joyous wonderment at the divine goodness made its appearance. Undoubtedly the consideration that God the Father had given His only-begotten Son to the world out of love for it contributed to this. But this mission of the Son to men, this supernatural love of God for His creatures, has so powerful an effect upon minds and hearts primarily because that mission was a revelation and continuation of the Trinitarian productions, and made men acquainted with the eternal relations existing among Father, Son, and Holy Spirit."

-Matthias Scheeben in The Mysteries of Christianity.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

He's Catholic, Too!

Turns out that there is even more reason to like Cary Elwes (besides his role in Robin Hood Men in Tights and The Princess Bride).....he's Catholic as well!

Here's the interview from NCR.

Pray Constantly

"The Lord did not content himself to teach us to pray only with his words, but he also gave us his example. We often see him in prayer; he gives us the example we must follow. It is written: “he went off to a lonely place, in the desert to pray”. And elsewhere: “he departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God”. If already the one who was without sin prayed in this way, all the more reason for us sinners to pray like this. If he spent the night in prayer, all the more reason for us to pray constantly and to be, us as well, always on watch.

The Lord prayed and interceded not for himself – for which sin would he, the innocent, need to ask to be forgiven? – but he prayed for our sins. This is proved to be true when he tells Peter: “Remember that Satan has demanded to sift all of you like wheat, but I have prayed that your own faith may not fail”. Later on he prayed the Father for all of us, when he says: “I pray not only for them, but also for those who will believe in me through their word, so that they may all be one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you”.

Oh, how great are the mercy and goodness of God, in favor of our salvation! He did not content himself to redeem us through his blood, but he also beforehand wished to pray for us. But take notice of the desire of the one who prays: as the Father and the Son are one, that we too may live in unity."

-St. Cyprian of Carthage

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

"How Can That Be Repeated, Which Never Comes To An End?"

The quote in the title comes from George Milligan.

If a Protestant ever objects to the phrase "sacrifice of the Mass" and makes the claim to you that in the Mass we "re-crucify" Christ, simply say this to them. For Christ's sacrifice is a perpetual sacrifice. It is once-for-all, eternally sacrificed to the Father. We see in the Book of Revelation that Christ appears as a Lamb standing as if slain. When John looked over, he expected to see the Lion of the tribe of Judah standing in His glory. Instead, he saw the standing slain Lamb, which is Christ in His glory. This is how Christ appeared to John in Heaven. Also, when Christ showed Himself to the Apostles after the resurrection, He still had the wounds of His crucifixion. They are the marks of His glorious death and resurrection!

In the Mass, we do not "re-crucify" Christ. Rather, Christ's eternal sacrifice is re-presented in the Eucharist. And that re-presented sacrifice of the Mass is the same sacrifice that took place on Calvary!

"How Can That Be Repeated, Which Never Comes To An End?"

Monday, January 08, 2007

The Peace of the Lord

"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you..."

I was talking with a friend about this verse from John 14:27 and we were wondering what exactly is the "peace" that Christ was talking about.

Today, during Mass, I had an epiphany (this would have been a better story had I had the epiphany two days ago!).

The "peace" is the Holy Spirit!

If you look at John 14:25-26, the immediate verses before John 14:27, Christ says, "These things I have spoken to you, while I am still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you."

Also, in John 2o:21, Christ says to the disciples after his Resurrection, "Peace be with you" and then He breathes on them and says, "Receive the Holy Spirit."

And what is the Holy Spirit represented as in the Bible? A dove. And a dove is also symbolic of peace!

Another thing to consider is the words of the Liturgy, which might not be noticeable to those who only attend the Novus Ordo with its poor translations. At the Peace, the priest says, "Peace be with you" to which (correctly translated) the congregations response is "and with thy Spirit." We are wishing the peace which is the Holy Spirit to come upon each other.

Anyways, that's what I've got. I'm open to corrections. What do you think?

Prayer Request

Please pray for my grandmother, who is having surgery tomorrow.

The Feast Of The Baptism Of Our Lord

"The Christ is illuminated; let us take part in his splendor. The Christ is baptized; let us go down with him into the water so that we may come out of it with him...John baptizes, Jesus comes to him; he comes to sanctify the one by whom he himself is baptized. He comes to drown in the water of the old Adam, entirely, and for this reason, and before doing so, he consecrates the water of the Jordan. He, who is spirit and flesh, wants to perfect man through water and spirit. The Baptist refuses and Jesus insists. “I am the one who needs to be baptized by you” says the lamp to the Sun, the best man to the groom, the greatest man born of a woman to the first-born of all creatures. Jesus comes out of the water, carrying along with him in this elevation the whole universe. He sees the skies open up, the same skies that in the past Adam had closed to himself and to his people, this paradise that had been locked up and guarded like by a fiery revolving sword. The Spirit bears witness to the divinity of Christ; he comes to rejoin his equal. And a voice comes down from the sky, for it is from the sky that the one to whom he testifies comes from. And a dove makes itself visible to the eyes of the flesh in order to honor our flesh became divine."

-St. Gregory Nazianzen.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Catholic Devotions Meme

I have been tagged by St. Peter's Helpers!

1. Favorite devotion or prayer to Jesus.
Eucharistic Adoration. Also, Sacred Heart. Total consecration to Jesus through Mary.

2. Favorite Marian devotion or prayer.
The Holy Rosary! Consecration to Jesus through Mary works in this category as well.

3. Do you wear a scapular or medal?
I wear the brown scapular and the medal of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception made for the reconsecration of the U.S. to the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary.

4. Do you have holy water in your home?

5. Do you "offer up" your sufferings?
I try to as much as possible.

6. Do you observe First Fridays and First Saturdays?
At the moment, no. But I intend to start.

7. Do you go to Eucharistic Adoration? How Frequently?
Yes. As much as I can, but at the very least once a week for an hour.

8. Are you a Saturday evening Mass person or a Sunday morning Mass person?
Sunday morning.

9. Do you say prayers at mealtime?

10. Favorite saints:
All the Irish saints, but especially Sts. Patrick, Brendan, Brigid, Ida. St. Joseph. St. Therese of Lisieux. St. Benedict. St. Padre Pio. St. Nicholas. St. Jerome. St. Thomas Aquinas.
(and also soon to be saints: Ven. John Henry Newman. Ven. Pius XII. Servant of God Fulton J. Sheen. Servant of God John Paul the Great.)

11. Can you recite the Apostles' Creed by heart?
Yes. I learned this by heart last year when I started praying the rosary daily.

12. Do you usually say short prayers (aspirations) during the course of the day?
Most of the time, yes.

13. Bonus Question: When you pass by an automobile accident or other serious mishap, do you say a quick prayer for the folks involved?
I have recently started to.

Added bonus question: Have you named your Guardian Angel?
No, but I've always thought that it would be really cool to have St. Michael as my Guardian Angel! However, if he is not and my guardian angel is reading this: I still love you and thank you for putting up with me!

I hereby tag Frank and Dilexitprior and anyone else who hasn't been tagged yet and would like to be.

Why The Ten Commandments Remain Valid, While The Deuteronomic And Levitical Proscriptions Do Not

"[A]n interesting distinction is made between the two codifications of the covenant. In the former case the code consists of the law, i.e., the decalogue, whose content is primarily moral, and of those precepts which were promulgated before the worship of the calf. This code is simple and easy to fulfil. Insofar as it takes any account of ritual observances, of oblations or sacrifices, these are presented as discretionary observances and as prefigurations of things to come. The second code, however, the deuterosis....is the primarily ritual code that Moses received during his second sojourn on the mountain. It is this code which the rest of the Old Testament, and especially the Deuteronomic and Levitical codes, is concerned to develop and fill out, and which was imposed on the Jews because of their idolatry. It was meant for the Jews alone and was the instrument of divine punishment....It has been forever annulled by the redeeming death of Christ, because he put an end to the divine curse, even for the Jews. Nevertheless, the law, the first law, continues to exist as the way of salvation that is open to all men. This law was confirmed and made definite by Christ."

-Marcel Simon in Verus Israel, quoted in Scott Hahn's dissertation, Kinship By Covenant: A Biblical Theological Study of Covenant Types and Texts in the Old and New Testaments.

Let Us Follow The Magi

"Brothers, let us follow the magi, let us leave our pagan customs. Let us depart! Let us make a long journey so as to see Christ. If the magi had not left and gone a long way from their country, they would not have seen Christ. Let us also leave earth’s interests. So long as they remained in their country, the magi saw only the star; but when they left their homeland, they saw the Sun of justice. Or rather, let us say: if they had not generously set out on their journey, they would not even have seen the star. Thus, let us also rise up, and even if everyone in Jerusalem is troubled, let us run to where the Child is…

'On entering the house, they found the child with Mary his mother. They prostrated themselves and did him homage. Then they opened their coffers and presented him with gifts.' What motivated them to prostrate themselves before this child? There was nothing remarkable in the Virgin or in the house, no object that could have struck their eye and attracted them. And yet, not content with prostrating themselves, they opened their treasure, gifts that are not given to a human being but only to God – frankincense and myrrh symbolize divinity. What was their reason for acting in this way? The same as that which made them decide to leave their homeland, to depart on this long journey. It was the star, that is to say, the light with which God had filled their heart and which led them little by little to a more perfect knowledge. If there hadn’t been that light, how could they have given such homage when what they saw was so poor and humble? If there is not material grandeur but only a crib, a stable, a mother who is lacking in everything, it is so that you might see the magi’s wisdom more clearly, so that you understand that they came not to a human being but to a God, to their benefactor."

-Saint John Chrysostom

Friday, January 05, 2007

On The Twelfth Day Of Christmas

Today is the Feast of Saint John Neumann, the first American man to be canonized!

If you live near Philadelphia, stop by his shrine today!

Then later on, watch Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Miracle Of The Rosary

A great song recorded by Elvis in 1971. I've never heard this song before. I knew there was a reason why I liked Elvis so much! Click here to hear it!

Hat tip to Thomas at American Papist.

Newman On The Fathers Of The Church

"For myself, hopeless as you consider it, I am not ashamed still to take my stand upon the Fathers, and do not mean to budge. The history of their times is not yet an old almanac to me. Of course I maintain the value and authority of the 'Schola,' as one of the loci theologici; nevertheless I sympathize with Petavius in preferring to the 'contentious and subtle theology' of the middle age, that 'more elegant and fruitful teaching which is moulded after the image of erudite Antiquity."

The Fathers made me a Catholic, and I am not going to kick down the ladder by which I ascended into the Church. It is a ladder quite as serviceable for that purpose now, as it was twenty years ago. Though I hold, as you know, a process of development in Apostolic truth as time goes on, such development does not supersede the Fathers, but explains and completes them. And, in particular, as regards our teaching concerning the Blessed Virgin, with the Fathers I am content; -and to the subject of that teaching I mean to address myself at once. I do so, because you say, as I myself have said in former years, that 'That vast system as to the Blessed Virgin....to all of us has been the special crux of the Roman system.'

Here, let me say, as on other points, the Fathers are enough for me."

-in A Letter Addressed to the Rev. E. B. Pusey, D.D., on His Recent Eirenicon.

Saint Jerome On Abortion

"I cannot bring myself to speak of the many virgins who daily fall and are lost to the bosom of the Church, their mother...Some go so far as to take potions, that they may insure barrenness, and thus murder human beings almost before their conception. Some, when they find themselves with child through their sin, use drugs to procure abortion, and when, as often happens, they die with their offspring, they enter the lower world laden with the guilt not only of adultery against Christ but also of suicide and child murder."

On The Eleventh Day Of Christmas

Today is the Feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Elizabeth Ann Seton was a grew up as an Episcopalian and converted to Catholicism when her husband died. She was declared a saint by Pope Paul VI on September 14, 1975.

Quote Of The Day

"I would rather be a Catholic road sweeper than an Anglican Bishop."

-David Palmer

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

National Catholic Register Interviews Sam Brownback

The Next Catholic President?.....I sure hope so!

St. John Chrysostom On Abortion

"Why sow where the ground makes it its care to destroy the fruit? -where there are many efforts at abortion?- where there is murder before the birth? For even the harlot you do not let continue a mere harlot, but make her a murderess also. You see how drunkenness leads to prostitution, prostitution to adultery, adultery to murder; or rather to a something even worse than murder. For I have no name to give it, since it does not take off the thing born, but prevents its being born. Why then do thou abuse the gift of God, and fight with his laws, and follow after what is a curse as if a blessing, and make the chamber of procreation a chamber for murder, and arm the woman that was given for childbearing unto slaughter? For with a view to drawing more money by being agreeable and an object of longing to her lovers, even this she is not backward to do, so heaping upon thy head a great pile of fire. For even if the daring deed be hers, yet the causing of it is thine."

-Homilies on Romans 24.

On The Tenth Day Of Christmas

Today is the Feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus!

Jesus Christ's is the Name at which every knee shall bow. His is the Name above all names. There is no other upon Heaven and Earth by which we are to be saved! Blessed be the Most Holy Name of Jesus!

Heaven Speaks to Those Who Do Not Know Jesus

We here present "Heaven Speaks to Those Who Do Not Know Jesus" as a special Christmas gift from Jesus to anyone you may know among family members, friends, fellow workers, or acquaintances who does not know the Lord, and to whom you could peacefully perform the salvific role of introducing them to their Savior.

The "Heaven Speaks" series constitutes locutions of Jesus which are transmitted through "Anne," a lay apostle who presently lives in Ireland, and who spreads these messages with the approval of her local Bishop, the Most Rev. Leo O'Reilly of the diocese of Kilmore, as well as in complete obedience to the Vatican Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, to whom all messages have been submitted.

It is my personal conviction that the locutions received by Anne are of supernatural origin and are in complete conformity with the norms for authentic private revelation as used by the Church and ecclesiastical commissions of investigation (see article, "Discernment of Lay Apostolate of Jesus Christ the Returning King" in the Marian Private Revelation section).

During this Christmas season, please prayerfully consider passing on this message of Jesus to anyone whom you believe may have an open heart. What better Christmas present could be offered a friend or loved one than the inestimable gift of the God that so loves them that He became a baby for them, died on a cross for them, opened the gates of heaven for them, and now calls them personally to His Heart of Love and Mercy.

May each of you and your families experience an exceptionally grace-filled and joy-filled season of the Baby Jesus, our Incarnate Love.

Mark MiravalleEditor, Mother of All Peoples E-Magazine

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The Day I Have Been Waiting For The Entire Break...

....the books for my Spring classes were posted today! Yes, I know I am a nerd and I am proud of it.

So without further ado, the books I GET to read this semester are:

Mariology II:
All Generations Shall Call Me Blessed- Manelli
Calls From The Message of Fatima- Sr. Lucia
For the Love of Mary- Morrissey
Mary Coredemptrix: Doctrinal Issues Today- ed. by Miravalle
Messages of the Lady of All Nations- Peerdeman
Primer On the Absolute Primacy of Christ- Fr. Dean
St. Maximillian Kolbe: Pneumatologist- Fr. Fehlner
Totus Tuus- Calkins
True Devotion to Mary- Monfort
"With Jesus" The Story of Mary Coredemptrix- Miravalle

Theological Foundations:
Dei Verbum- Vatican II
Fides Et Ratio- JP II
Letter & Spirit Vol. 1- ed. by Hahn
Letter & Spirit Vol. 2- ed. by Hahn
Letter and Spirit- Hahn
Nature and Mission of Theology- Ratzinger

101 Questions on the Eucharist- Fr. Dimock
Dogma 5: Church as Sacrament- Herr Dr. Schmaus

Theology of Christ:
God's Human Face- Schonborn

The great thing is, I've already read most of these books.

On The Ninth Day Of Christmas

Today is the Feasts of two great Cappadocians, Basil the Great and Gregory Nazianzen!
Here are great quotes about God the Son from each of them.

"Worshipping as we do God of God, we both confess the distinction of the Persons, and at the same time abide by the Monarchy. We do not fritter away the theology in a divided plurality, because one Form, so to say, united in the invariableness of the Godhead, is beheld in God the Father, and in God the Only begotten. For the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son; since such as is the latter, such is the former, and such as is the former, such is the latter; and herein is the Unity. So that according to the distinction of Persons, both are one and one, and according to the community of Nature, one. How, then, if one and one, are there not two Gods? Because we speak of a king, and of the king's image, and not of two kings. The majesty is not cloven in two, nor the glory divided. The sovereignty and authority over us is one, and so the doxology ascribed by us is not plural but one; because the honor paid to the image passes on to the prototype. Now what in the one case the image is by reason of imitation, that in the other case the Son is by nature."

-St. Basil the Great

"In my opinion He is called Son because He is identical with the Father in Essence; and not only for this reason, but also because He is of Him. And He is called Only-begotten, not because He is the only Son and of the Father alone, and only a Son; but also because the manner of His Sonship is peculiar to Himself and not shared by bodies. And He is called the Word, because He is related to the Father as Word to Mind; not only on account of His passionless Generation, but also because of the Union, and of His declaratory function."

-St. Gregory Nazianzen

Monday, January 01, 2007

The Anglican Church

"I have been bringing out my mind in this Volume on every subject which has come before me; and therefore I am bound to state plainly what I feel and have felt, since I was a Catholic, about the Anglican Church. I said, in a former page, that, on my conversion, I was not conscious of any change in me of thought or feeling, as regards matters of doctrine; this, however, was not the case as regards some matters of fact, and, unwilling as I am to give offence to religious Anglicans, I am bound to confess that I felt a great change in my view of the Church of England. I cannot tell how soon there came on me,—but very soon,—an extreme astonishment that I had ever imagined it to be a portion of the Catholic Church. For the first time, I looked at it from without, and (as I should myself say) saw it as it was. Forthwith I could not get myself to see in it any thing else, than what I had so long fearfully suspected, from as far back as 1836,—a mere national institution. As if my eyes were suddenly opened, so I saw it—spontaneously, apart from any definite act of reason or any argument; and so I have seen it ever since. I suppose, the main cause of this lay in the contrast which was presented to me by the Catholic Church. Then I recognized at once a reality which was quite a new thing with me. Then I was sensible that I was not making for myself a Church by an effort of thought; I needed not to make an act of faith in her; I had not painfully to force myself into a position, but my mind fell back upon itself in relaxation and in peace, and I gazed at her almost passively as a great objective fact. I looked at her;—at her rites, her ceremonial, and her precepts; and I said, "This is a religion;" and then, when I looked back upon the poor Anglican Church, for which I had laboured so hard, and upon all that appertained to it, and thought of our various attempts to dress it up doctrinally and esthetically, it seemed to me to be the veriest of nonentities.

Vanity of vanities, all is vanity! How can I make a record of what passed within me, without seeming to be satirical? But I speak plain, serious words. As people call me credulous for acknowledging Catholic claims, so they call me satirical for disowning Anglican pretensions; to them it is credulity, to them it is satire; but it is not so in me. What they think exaggeration, I think truth. I am not speaking of the Anglican Church in any disdain, though to them I seem contemptuous. To them of course it is "Aut Cæsar aut nullus," but not to me. It may be a great creation, though it be not divine, and this is how I judge of it. Men, who abjure the divine right of kings, would be very indignant, if on that account they were considered disloyal. And so I recognize in the Anglican Church a time-honoured institution, of noble historical memories, a monument of ancient wisdom, a momentous arm of political strength, a great national organ, a source of vast popular advantage, and, to a certain point, a witness and teacher of religious truth. I do not think that, if what I have written about it since I have been a Catholic, be equitably considered as a whole, I shall be found to have taken any other view than this; but that it is something sacred, that it is an oracle of revealed doctrine, that it can claim a share in St. Ignatius or St. Cyprian, that it can take the rank, contest the teaching, and stop the path of the Church of St. Peter, that it can call itself "the Bride of the Lamb," this is the view of it which simply disappeared from my mind on my conversion, and which it would be almost a miracle to reproduce. "I went by, and lo! it was gone; I sought it, but its place could no where be found;" and nothing can bring it back to me. And, as to its possession of an episcopal succession from the time of the Apostles, well, it may have it, and, if the Holy See ever so decide, I will believe it, as being the decision of a higher judgment than my own; but, for myself, I must have St. Philip's gift, who saw the sacerdotal character on the forehead of a gaily-attired youngster, before I can by my own wit acquiesce in it, for antiquarian arguments are altogether unequal to the urgency of visible facts. Why is it that I must pain dear friends by saying so, and kindle a sort of resentment against me in the kindest of hearts? but I must, though to do it be not only a grief to me, but most impolitic at the moment. Any how, this is my mind; and, if to have it, if to have betrayed it, before now, involuntarily by my words or my deeds, if on a fitting occasion, as now, to have avowed it, if all this be a proof of the justice of the charge brought against me by my accuser of having "turned round upon my Mother-Church with contumely and slander," in this sense, but in no other sense, do I plead guilty to it without a word in extenuation.

In no other sense surely; the Church of England has been the instrument of Providence in conferring great benefits on me; –had I been born in Dissent, perhaps I should never have been baptized; had I been born an English Presbyterian, perhaps I should never have known our Lord's divinity; had I not come to Oxford, perhaps I never should have heard of the visible Church, or of Tradition, or other Catholic doctrines. And as I have received so much good from the Anglican Establishment itself, can I have the heart, or rather the want of charity, considering that it does for so many others, what it has done for me, to wish to see it overthrown? I have no such wish while it is what it is, and while we are so small a body. Not for its own sake, but for the sake of the many congregations to which it ministers, I will do nothing against it. While Catholics are so weak in England, it is doing our work; and, though it does us harm in a measure, at present the balance is in our favour. What our duty would be at another time and in other circumstances, supposing, for instance, the Establishment lost its dogmatic faith, or at least did not preach it, is another matter altogether. In secular history we read of hostile nations having long truces, and renewing them from time to time, and that seems to be the position which the Catholic Church may fairly take up at present in relation to the Anglican Establishment.

Doubtless the National Church has hitherto been a serviceable breakwater against doctrinal errors, more fundamental than its own. How long this will last in the years now before us, it is impossible to say, for the Nation drags down its Church to its own level; but still the National Church has the same sort of influence over the Nation that a periodical has upon the party which it represents, and my own idea of a Catholic's fitting attitude towards the National Church in this its supreme hour, is that of assisting and sustaining it, if it be in our power, in the interest of dogmatic truth. I should wish to avoid every thing, (except indeed under the direct call of duty, and this is a material exception,) which went to weaken its hold upon the public mind, or to unsettle its establishment, or to embarrass and lessen its maintenance of those great Christian and Catholic principles and doctrines which it has up to this time successfully preached."

-Ven. John Henry Newman in Apologia Pro Vita Sua.

The Twelve Anathemas Of St. Cyril Of Alexandria

1) If anyone does not confess that the Emmanuel is in truth God, and that the Holy Virgin is Mother of God, because she bore according to the flesh the Word of God when He became flesh: let him be anathema.

2) If anyone does not confess that the Word of God the Father is united hypostatically to the flesh, and that Christ with His own flesh is one, that is to say, the same one is God and Man at the same time: let him be anathema.

3) If anyone makes in the one Christ a division of hypostases after the union, connecting them only in a conjunction which is according to dignity or even authority and power, and not rather by a coming together which is according to a union of natures: let him be anathema.

4) If anyone apportions between two Persons or even personalities those words contained in the Gospels and Apostolic writings, either those things said about Him by the saints, or by Him about Himself, and applies some of them to the Man understood as if He were on His own apart from the Word of God, and some, as if they were befittting the divinity, to the Word alone of God the Father: let him be anathema.

5) If anyone dare to say that Christ is a God-bearing Man, and not rather that He is God in truth, as Son who is one and by nature, in that the Word became flesh and shared like us flesh and blood: let him be anathema.

6) If anyone says that the Word of God the Father is the God or Master of Christ, and does not rather confess that He is God and Man at the same time, in that the Word was made flesh according to Scripture: let him be anathema.

7) If anyone says that Jesus was energized as a Man by the Word of God, and that He attached the glory of the Only-begotten to Himself as if to another existing apart from the Only-begotten: let him be anathema.

8) If anyone dare to say that it is needful that the Man who was assumed be co-adored with the Word of God, and is to be co-glorified and is to be co-titled God, as if He were one in another -for it is necessary to understand that this is always what is proposed by the syllable c0- and does not rather worship the Emmanuel in one reverence and attach to Him one glorification, insofar as the Word became flesh: let him be anathema.

9) If anyone says that the one Lord Jesus Christ has been glorified by the Spirit, as if through the Spirit He had made use of a power foreign to Himself, and from the Spirit received the ability to work against unclean spirits, and to perform divine signs among men, and does not rather say that the Spirit, through whom He did indeed work His divine signs, is His own: let him be anathema.

10) Divine Scripture says that Christ has been made our High Priest and the Apostle of our confession, and that He offered Himself as an odor of sweetness to the God and Father. If, therefore, anyone says that the Word Himself of God was not made our High Priest and Apostle when He became flesh and Man like us, but that it was another, apart from Him, who was man born of woman; or if anyone says He offered Himself in sacrifice on His own behalf and not rather for us alone, for He had no need of a sacrifice who knew no sin: let him be anathema.

11) If anyone does not confess that the body of the Lord is life-giving and belongs peculiarly to Him that is Word of God the Father, but that it belongs to someone other than Him and is conjoined to Him according to dignity, or that it had only the divine indwelling; and that it was not as we have said, life-giving, because it became the peculiar possession of the Word, who is strong to give life to all: let him be anathema.

12) If anyone does not confess that the Word of God suffered in the flesh, and was crucified in the flesh, and tasted death in the flesh, and was made firstborn from the dead, insofar as He is also, as God, life and bestower of life: let him be anathema.

On The Eigth Day Of Christmas

Happy New Year!!

Today is also the Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God!

Mary is the Theotokos, which means "Mother of God" or "God-bearer."

This Dogma was defined at the one-day Ecumenical Council of Ephesus in 431 AD.
It was called to combat claims made my Nestorius, the founder of Nestorianism and also the Patriarch of Constantinople. He preached a duel personhood of Jesus Christ and said that Christ was two separate persons: one divine and one human. According to Nestorius, the Son of God was distinct from the Son of David.

No one would have known about Nestorius’ heretical views, except that he was unwilling to call Mary the Theotokos. He called her rather the Christotokos, meaning "human bearer of Christ" and not bearer of God.

St. Cyril of Alexandria, who presided at Ephesus, defended orthodox Christology and orthodox Mariology.

Nestorius came to the Council first with an army of men (for protection). He tried to ex-communicate St. Cyril in his absence. However, when St. Cyril arrived (with an army of naval men) he pronounced an ex-communication on Nestorius which actually had authority behind it.
St. Cyril was the champion, not only of Mary’s proper place in salvation history, but also of defending the Hypostatic Union of Christ which proclaims that Christ is one divine person with a fully human nature and a fully divine nature.

Jesus Christ is God, Mary is Mother of Jesus Christ, thus Mary is the Mother of God!