Saturday, October 09, 2004

Cardinal Arinze's Presentation of Apostolic Letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine"

Here is a translation of the address that Cardinal Francis Arinze gave today when presenting John Paul II's apostolic letter "Mane Nobiscum Domine." The text of the letter, published in Italian, has not yet been translated into other languages. The cardinal is the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments.

The Letter has an Introduction, four chapters, and a Conclusion.
Cardinal Arinze provides some good insights into the Letter. The four chapters are:

Chapter 1: In the Wake of Vatican Council II and the Jubilee
Chapter 2: The Eucharist, Mystery of Light
Chapter 3: Eucharist, Source and Manifestation of Communion
Chapter 4: Eucharist, Principle and Plan of Mission

You can read the address here.

"The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian" reports on the Kerry Rally

There is an excellent report of a group of seminarians and laity gathered to offer a pro-life witness at the Kerry/Edwards Debate Watch Party and Rally held at the America's Center downtown St. Louis last night.

The party of tolerance and diversity rejected them because of their pro-life witness and, probably, clerical garb.

The report is well worth the time to read and the pictures are great!

Kerry's Answer to Debate Abortion Question

Kerry confirms, in a certain sense, that he supports taxpayer funded abortions:
GIBSON: Going to go to the final two questions now, and the first one will be for Senator Kerry. And this comes from Sarah Degenhart.

DEGENHART: Senator Kerry, suppose you are speaking with a voter who believed abortion is murder and the voter asked for reassurance that his or her tax dollars would not go to support abortion, what would you say to that person?

KERRY: I would say to that person exactly what I will say to you right now.

First of all, I cannot tell you how deeply I respect the belief about life and when it begins. I'm a Catholic, raised a Catholic. I was an altar boy. Religion has been a huge part of my life. It helped lead me through a war, leads me today.

But I can't take what is an article of faith for me and legislate it for someone who doesn't share that article of faith, whether they be agnostic, atheist, Jew, Protestant, whatever. I can't do that.

But I can counsel people. I can talk reasonably about life and about responsibility. I can talk to people, as my wife Teresa does, about making other choices, and about abstinence, and about all these other things that we ought to do as a responsible society.

But as a president, I have to represent all the people in the nation. And I have to make that judgment.

Now, I believe that you can take that position and not be pro- abortion, but you have to afford people their constitutional rights. And that means being smart about allowing people to be fully educated, to know what their options are in life, and making certain that you don't deny a poor person the right to be able to have whatever the constitution affords them if they can't afford it otherwise. (this seems to be a confirmation to me)

That's why I think it's important. That's why I think it's important for the United States, for instance, not to have this rigid ideological restriction on helping families around the world to be able to make a smart decision about family planning.

You'll help prevent AIDS.

You'll help prevent unwanted children, unwanted pregnancies.

You'll actually do a better job, I think, of passing on the moral responsibility that is expressed in your question. And I truly respect it.
He respects nothing...what a utterly pathetic example of a "Catholic"...and his defense of his opposition of the Partial Birth Abortion Ban is reprehensible - What did the Archdiocese of Boston do with Mark Balestrieri's heresy charge against Kerry? His own words convict him...

I wonder if he has a plan to return to the Church, his faith being so important to him? He says he has a "plan" for everything else.

And I forgot this response about appointing Supreme Court justices which occurred prior to the abortion question:
KERRY: What I want to find, if I am privileged to have the opportunity to do it -- and the Supreme Court of the United States is at stake in this race, ladies and gentlemen.

The future of things that matter to you -- in terms of civil rights, what kind of Justice Department you'll have, whether we'll enforce the law. Will we have equal opportunity? Will women's rights be protected? Will we have equal pay for women, which is going backwards? Will a woman's right to choose be protected?

These are constitutional rights, and I want to make sure we have judges who interpret the Constitution of the United States according to the law.

Judges who interpret the Constitution of the United States according to the law?

Isn't this BACKWARDS? Aren't judges to interpret laws according to the Constitution? And he is a lawyer? And where in the Constitution can one find a woman's right to choose to murder an unborn child? What an intellectually and morally bankrupt man he is...

Charity demands that we pray for his conversion.

Pope urges Christians to display faith symbols

Pope John Paul II exhorted Christians on Friday to display signs of their faith more forcefully, contending the practice neither infringes on separation of church and state nor breeds intolerance.

His comments appeared to be a clear reference to raging debates over laws such as France's recent ban on wearing Islamic headscarves, Jewish skull caps or large Christian crosses in schools.

In Italy, a Muslim activist's efforts last year to remove crucifixes from public school classrooms stirred widespread resentment in the overwhelmingly Roman Catholic country.

Post Dispatch Letters and Editor's Note

Readers respond to archbishop's letter on voting and sin
We received 124 letters this week in response to Archbishop Raymond L. Burke's letter on Catholics' voting obligations. A total of 82 letters were critical of him; 34 supported him; 8 could not be classified.
An interesting bit of information is provided by the Post Dispatch. This means that about 27% of the letters were supportive of the Archbishbishop, a statistic which closely corresponds to that provided by Margaret Sullivan in her letter here stating that only about 25% of Catholics attend Mass regularly on Sunday.

In today's Letters section, five of the seven letters show support for, or agreement with, the Archbishop.

Saturday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel: Luke 11:27-28

Responding to the Word of God
[27] As He (Jesus) said this, a woman in the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, "Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts that You sucked!" [28] But He said, "Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and keep it!"

27-28. These words proclaim and praise the Blessed Virgin's basic attitude of soul. As the Second Vatican Council explains: "In the course of her Son's preaching she [Mary] received the words whereby, in extolling a Kingdom beyond the concerns and ties of flesh and blood, He declared blessed those who heard and kept the word of God (cf. Mark 3:35; Luke 11:27-28) as she was faithfully doing (cf. Luke 2:19_51)" ("Lumen Gentium", 58). Therefore, by replying in this way Jesus is not rejecting the warm praise this good lady renders His Mother; He accepts it and goes further, explaining that Mary is blessed particularly because she has been good and faithful in putting the word of God into practice. "It was a complement to His Mother on her "fiat", `be it done' (Luke 1:38). She lived it sincerely, unstintingly, fulfilling its every consequence, but never amid fanfare, rather in the hidden and silent sacrifice of each day" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 177). See the note on Luke 1:34-38.

[Note on Luke 1:34-38 states:

34-38. Commenting on this passage John Paul II said: "`Virgo fidelis', the faithful Virgin. What does this faithfulness of Mary mean? What are the dimensions of this faithfulness? The first dimension is called search. Mary was faithful first of all when she began, lovingly, to seek the deep sense of God's plan in her and for the world. `Quomodo fiet?' How shall this be?, she asked the Angel of the Annunciation [...]."

"The second dimension of faithfulness is called reception, acceptance. The `quomodo fiet?' is changed, on Mary's lips, to a `fiat': Let it be done, I am ready, I accept. This is the crucial moment of faithfulness, the moment in which man perceives that he will never completely understand the `how': that there are in God's plan more areas of mystery than of clarity; that is, however he may try, he will never succeed in understanding it completely [...]."

"The third dimension of faithfulness is consistency to live in accordance with what one believes; to adapt one's own life to the object of one's adherence. To accept misunderstanding, persecutions, rather than a break between what one practises and what one believes: this is consistency [...]."

"But all faithfulness must pass the most exacting test, that of duration. Therefore, the fourth dimension of faithfulness is constancy. It is easy to be consistent for a day or two. It is difficult and important to be consistent for one's whole life. It is easy to be consistent in the hour of enthusiasm, it is difficult to be so in the hour of tribulation. And only a consistency that lasts throughout the whole life can be called faithfulness. Mary's `fiat' in the Annunciation finds its fullness in the silent `fiat' that she repeats at the foot of the Cross" ("Homily in Mexico City Cathedral", 26 January 1979).]
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Friday, October 08, 2004

The Latin Catholic Mass is returning to Covington.

Covington Bishop Roger Foys announced Friday that he will begin celebrating what is known as Tridentine Mass at the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption starting Nov. 21.

He will celebrate the first Mass at 2 p.m. On subsequent Sundays, the Latin Mass will be celebrated in the cathedral at 12:15 p.m.

Foys announced the Latin service Friday and said it was being reinstituted in response to requests from members of the diocese.

Oct-14, Stem cell research lecture

Catholic ethicist, Father Edward Richard, MS, will lecture on stem cell research at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14, at the Cardinal Rigali Center, 20 Archbishop May Drive in Shrewsbury.

Father Richard is vice rector and dean of students at Kenrick-Glennon Seminary.

Refreshments will be served at 7 p.m. Call K. Diane Daly at (314) 997-7576.

Committee seeks voters' pro-life support

An organization called the Committee of Faithful Catholics has been formed in the archdiocese "to put candidates on notice and assist citizens to vote responsibly on election day."

The committee’s members include a number of St. Louis Catholics who publicly have pledged that they "will not knowingly vote for or support any candidate for public office who supports legalized abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, human cloning or homosexual marriage," said Linus Pottebaum, a committee member and parishioner at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica Parish.

"We are pleased to invite thousands upon thousands of our fellow Catholics to sign our pledge," Pottebaum said. "We intend to publish a statement including all the names of the signers in the St. Louis Review before election day, Nov. 2," he added.

Pledge forms are being circulated throughout the archdiocese.
I received one of these forms at the Cathedral last weekend and later distibuted copies. I have been unable to located an online source for the forms which would make it easier to distribute. If noting can be found online, then I hope to be able to reproduce the form here by this weekend.

St. Louis Review Article

Every letter of support deserves a letter of opposition

Or so it seems when reading the editorial pages of the Post. As a followup to Fr. Brennan's letter correctly exposing the contempt for the Archbishop that the Post exhibits, it seems that it has to reaffirm its position by printing letters opposing and ridiculing Archbishop Burke.
Church and state
As a lifelong 67-year-old Catholic, I think that you had the wrong headline on your Oct. 3 article, "When does a vote become a sin?" I would suggest instead, "When does an archbishop become ridiculous?"
Certainly, this is someone who has not read the Pastoral Letter. One would rightly be suspect of her claim to "Catholic" as well.
I clearly remember the 1960 election during which I assured non-Catholics that the Catholic Church would never tell politicians how to think or "the faithful" how to vote. If I knew where all of those people are, I guess I'd have to call them to apologize for my error.
Who would be so naive to listen to a 23 year old about what the Church might or might not do? Bishops must proclaim the truth and this should have been understood. Perhaps, she can call and apologize for presuming to have the authority to speak for the Church.
There may be 550,000 Catholics in the archdiocese but, according to recent surveys, something less than 25 percent attend Mass on a regular basis. Maybe Archbishop Burke ought to ponder why he has become irrelevant to most of us, rather than concerning himself with how we vote.

Margaret Sullivan
Creve Coeur
Does she include herself in that 75% who no longer attend Mass regularly? Did 75% of "Catholics" quit going to Mass when Archbishop Burke came to St. Louis? This is the only the only conclusion that one can draw for the assertion of irrelevancy.

It's always a sad commentary when professed Catholics reject any attempts by the Church to bring the light of Christ to them. Christ admonished the disciples about this very thing, and all Christians, but Catholics especially, should heed His words: "Whoever hears you hears me. Whoever rejects you rejects me. And whoever rejects me rejects the One who sent me." (Lk 10:16)

Our Lady asks us to pray for the conversion of souls so that they may not be lost to eternal damnation. We should continue to pray those who have been misguided or who have failed to respond to the graces God has bestowed on them.

Letter can be found here.

Kudos to Fr. Lawrence Brennan

...Vice Rector and Academic Dean, Kenrick-Glennon Seminary, whose letter to the Post takes the editors to task for their elitist views and denigration of Archbishop Burke. He voices many of the same objections a number of people have made regarding the innuendos of the Post writers. Here is his letter:
Archbishop gets our attention
An Oct. 6 editorial asks, "Will the flock pay any attention to the shepherd?" Hello? What city does this editorial writer live in? The flock has read the pastoral letter.

Some of the flock are consoled by its courage and clarity, some are confused by the change of values that it urges, some are outraged that it confronts their equivocation on the paramount social issue of our time - but most of them are talking about it.

The results of the "referendum" on Archbishop Raymond Burke's influence are in already. He has posed the question of voting responsibilities in a way that has compelled attention, and even if electoral numbers remain unchanged, the fact that the conversation is taking place at all is to his credit. It should have started decades ago, when the "personally opposed but can't impose" political subterfuge was first made to seem statesmanlike.

"Burke's Law," the Post-Dispatch sneers - his attempt to "settle" the question, his "absolutist position" - amount to nothing more than "his interpretation" or "his own conscience and opinion." What's more, he keeps iterating it. How could he not know, for instance, that only the media settle questions and render absolute verdicts, and that they did so to him some time ago?

In the Post-Dispatch summary of Catholic theology, bishops interpret God's will for man, and conscience simply complies. This is a caricature, of course, meant to alarm anyone concerned about autonomy. But why bother with nuance when the intention is to get liberal voters to the polls? To arms, citizens! Those priest-ridden Catholics are at it again.

The Rev. Lawrence C. Brennan
Vice Rector and Academic Dean,
Kenrick-Glennon Seminary

Holy Father Releases Apostolic Letter to Open the Year of the Eucharist

The Apostolic Letter, Mane Nobiscum Domine, is addressed to the Bishops, Priests and Faithful.

An English translation was not available when I looked but I suspect there will be one shortly. Those, however, who can read Italian, can review it now.

The link is here.

Archbishop Burke discusses "The Year of the Eucharist"

Through the observance of the Year of the Eucharist, we will recover the wonder of the first disciples at the gift of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, the wonder which was ours on the day of our First Holy Communion.

The Year of the Eucharist provides us with a time of grace to purify our celebrations of the Sacred Liturgy, so that they express more fully the mind of Christ. I urge parish priests, catechists in the Catholic schools and parish schools of religion, and all Catholics to draw upon the grace of this special year to grow in knowledge and love of the eucharistic mystery and to give witness, through teaching and example, to the truth of the holy Eucharist, which is at the heart of our Catholic faith.
Archbishop Burke also notes that at next year's Gateway Liturgical Conference, Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation of Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, will give the keynote address. This is an event which you won't want to miss.

Archbishop Burke commends those who participate in Eucharistic Adoration and reminds us that "an excellent form of eucharistic devotion in the home is the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Consecration to the Sacred Heart." For those who have not yet done this, information is available at the archdiocese.

Full text of the Archbishop's column is here.

Two historic Catholic churches may close

Two historic Catholic churches south of downtown are among those recommended for closing in the archdiocesan plan to reduce the number of parishes on St. Louis' south side.

St. John Nepomuk, at 1631 South 11th Street, and St. Mary of Victories, at 1417 South Ninth Street, would be merged into a new regional parish.
Here's some news about St. Francis de Sales which I had not seen in the paper before:
Under the plan, St. John Nepomuk and St. Mary of Victories would be merged into a new regional parish under a new name at St. Wenceslaus, 3014 Oregon Avenue. St. Francis de Sales, a towering church four blocks from St. Wenceslaus, would become the new St. Louis-area home for Masses in Latin, which now are celebrated at St. Agatha's, next to the Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. brewery.
Still no mention of the Institute of Christ the King, Sovereign Priest...

More details here.

McBrien Implies Cardinal Ratzinger is a "Proportionalist"

And this is in a diocesan newspaper (in the Los Angeles archdiocese, of course). Why anyone would give this man a platform to espouse is views is beyond me - unless of course, one happens to agree with.

How this "theologian" can come up with these preposterous ideas is also beyond me. Rather than speak truthfully (perhaps he cannot), he confuses two separate issues entirely - that of proportionalism and that of "proportionate reasons".

Perhaps McBrien is part of our punishment - for failing to abide in Him and keep His commandments?


Friday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time

Gospel: Luke 11:15-26:

The Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Satan
(Now Jesus was casting out a demon that was dumb; when the demon had gone out, the man spoke, and the people marvelled.) [15] But some of them said, "He casts out demons by Beelzebul, the prince of demons"; [16] while others, to test Him, sought from Him a sign from Heaven. [17] But He, knowing their thoughts, said to them, "Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and house falls upon house. [18] And if Satan also is divided against himself, how will his kingdom stand? For you say that I cast out demons by Beelzebul. [19] And if I cast out demons by Beelzebul, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges. [20] But if it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you. [21] When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own palace, his goods are in peace; [22] but when one stronger than he assails him and overcomes him, he takes away his armor in which he trusted, and divides his spoil. [23] He who is not with Me is against Me, and He who does not gather with Me scatters."

[24] "When an unclean spirit has gone out of a man, he passes through waterless places seeking rest; and finding none he says, `I will return to my house from which I came.' [25] And when he comes he finds it swept and put in order. [26] Then he goes and brings seven other spirits more evil than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man becomes worse than the first."

14-23. Jesus' enemies remain obstinate despite the evidence of the miracle. Since they cannot deny that He has done something quite extraordinary, they attribute it to the power of the devil, rather than admit that Jesus is the Messiah. Our Lord answers them with a clinching argument: the fact that He expels demons is proof that He has brought the Kingdom of God. The Second Vatican Council reminds us of this truth: The Lord Jesus inaugurated His Church by preaching the Good News, that is, the coming of the Kingdom of God, promised over the ages in the Scriptures [...]. The miracles of Jesus also demonstrate that the Kingdom has already come on earth: "If it is by the finger of God that I cast out demons, then the Kingdom of God has come upon you (Luke 11:20); cf. Matthew 12:28). But principally the Kingdom is revealed in the person of Christ Himself, Son of God and Son of Man, who came `to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many' (Mark 10:45)" (Vatican II, "Lumen Gentium", 5).

The strong man well armed is the devil, who has enslaved man; but Jesus Christ, one stronger than he, has come and conquered him and is despoiling him. St. Paul will say that Christ "disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public example of them, triumphing over them" (Colossians 2:15).

After the victory of Christ the "stronger one", the words of verse 23 are addressed to mankind at large; even if people do not want to recognize it, Jesus Christ has conquered and from now on no one can adopt an attitude of neutrality towards Him: he who is not with Him is against Him.

18. Christ's argument is very clear. One of the worst evils that can overtake the Church is disunity among Christians, disunity among believers. We must make Jesus' prayer our own: "That they may be one; even as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they may also be one in us, so that the world may believe that Thou hast sent Me" (John 17:21).

24-26. Our Lord shows us that the devil is relentless in his struggle against man; despite man rejecting him with the help of grace, he still lays his traps, still tries to overpower him. Knowing all this, St. Peter advises us to be sober and vigilant, because "your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking some one to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith" (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Jesus also forewarns us about the danger of being once more defeated by Satan--which would leave us worse off than were before. The Latin proverb puts it very well: "corruptio optimi, pessima" (the corruption of the best is the worst.) And St. Peter, in his inspired text, inveighs against corrupt Christians, whom he compares in a graphic and frightening way to "the dog turning back to his own vomit and the sow being washed and then wallowing in the mire" (cf. 2 Peter 2:22).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.
I cannot recommend enough the Navarre Bible for reading and for study.
If at all possible, the 12 volume set of the New Testament, would be better (in my opinion) as it has more in depth commentary.

A very useful addition would be the 7 volume set "In Conversation with God" also by Scepter Publishers. It has mediations for each day of the year and follows the liturgical calendar.

BTW, the Daughters of St. Paul bookstore usually has these in stock.

House urges committee to include 'sexual orientation' in federal law

The House of Representatives has voted to urge a conference committee to add "sexual orientation, gender and disability" to federal hate-crimes law, a development some observers say would muzzle Christians who speak out against homosexuality.

On Sept. 28, the House voted 213-186 to pass a procedural motion encouraging a conference committee to include the hate-crimes legislation in the final version of the Defense Authorization Act (H.R. 4200).
Time to call and write your representatives.


Diocese of Davenport considers bankruptcy filing

Davenport Bishop William E. Franklin has raised the possibility of the diocese filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy under the U.S. Bankruptcy Code and discussed other potential financial fallout from the clergy sex abuse crisis.

One of the reasons is Davenport diocesan priest, Father James Janssen, who is a co-defendant in 10 clergy sex abuse lawsuits filed against the diocese, and who was recently laicized.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Bishop Olmsted: Catholics must vote as ‘faithful followers of Christ

“Lay people have a particular calling to engage in the political process as a means of promoting the common good,” said the bishop, however adding that this should always be done in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Church.
Remember to keep our good bishops and priests in your prayers. But let us not forget those others who are in need of our prayers as well. We must do all we can to support and encourage our bishops and priests, with prayer, penance and sacrifice. Send a card or letter of thanks when they are courageous in proclaiming the Gospel.

Article is here.

***** Pro-Life Event in St. Louis *****

Some of you may have seen the cover story of the Sept. 19-25 issue of the National Catholic Register. It describes how a group of 500 students from Franciscan University of Steubenville showed up as a peaceful, prayerful pro-life witness at a campaign event held in Steubenville for Sen. John Kerry.

As you may know, the senator will be having a similar event here in Forest Park after this Friday night's debate. A number of us felt that it would not be right to let this go by without offering a similar witness to the sanctity of life and the incongruity of the position which Senator Kerry represents. The archbishop was informed of our idea this evening, and gave us his blessing on the undertaking.
See The Meandering Mind of a Seminarian blog for details.

Exclusive: Bishop Raymond Burke on His New Pastoral

The archbishop of St. Louis, Raymond Burke, answers Inside The Vatican's questions on his landmark October 1 pastoral letter on politicians and abortion, and discusses the upcoming US presidential election

ITV: Some in your flock are claiming that you are interfering in the voting process, telling them how to vote. How do you respond?

Archbishop Burke: I’m not telling anybody how to vote in this sense: I’m not telling them for whom they should vote. But I am telling them how to vote in the sense of what are the moral requirements for the right exercise of the right to vote. In other words, I’m setting forth for them the moral considerations of which they have to take note in voting. But I’m not telling them for whom they should vote.

People have to read the pastoral letter – there isn’t anything in the pastoral letter which is new; it’s all what the Church has taught perennially. Then it’s a matter of their conscience. In that sense, I suppose to put it simply, I’m telling them how to vote in the sense that I’m telling to vote according to their conscience and helping them to form that conscience correctly.

Archbishop Burke on Voting Responsibly and his Relationship with the USCCB

Says bishops not subordinate to Conference of Bishops and have right to act independently
Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis has given an exclusive interview to Inside the Vatican reporter Tom Szyszkiewicz concerning his latest pastoral letter on voting and abortion. His letter, (covered on at
00405.html) is a clear articulation of Church teaching on voting, which notes that voting for unequivocally pro-abortion candidates is a sin.

The Archbishop says that while he was able to have his opinion heard at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), that "it's clear that Cardinal [Theodore] McCarrick and his (USCCB) committee did not accept at all what I had done."
See the full interview from Inside the Vatican:

Is anyone free next Saturday?

Catholic Action Network is hosting a conference called "The Spirit is Set Free". I think I know about which spirit they are referring - and I don't think it is "Holy".

Anyway it is claimed that this is " An Important Conference for All Catholics..." and that it is a means of "Thinking Outside the Box".

Well, what is about, you ask? This conference is here, just in time to capitalize on the feelings of sadness many may be experiencing:
Frustrated With Your Church?
In a time of parish and school closings and the clergy-abuse scandal many Catholics feel alienated from their Church. Come to this groundbreaking conference to talk about alternative Catholic models, see a woman priest preside over liturgy, and share discussion in large and small groups.

Denise Donato was ordained a priest in the Spiritus Christi Community by a bishop of the Old Catholic Church in 2003. This 1,000+ member community describes itself as “a Christ-centered Catholic community reaching beyond the institutional church to be inclusive of all.” Come hear their story, and explore what it means here in St. Louis.

I recall reading somewhere recently that this thriving community of 1,000+ has dwindled to perhaps 300...The "Spirit" must still be moving people in different directions!

For those who are looking for real close, first-hand knowledge of this "movement", here are the details:
Saturday, October 16th, 2004 8:30am-2pm
Evangelical United Church of Christ (204 E. Lockwood, Webster Groves)
On Lockwood, right next to the YMCA

$15/pre-registered by Oct. 8th $20/at door
(includes lunch, call for low-income rate)
I'm not sure that I really want to part with $20...or the time...but I bet it would be "educational" and both fun & sad at the same time. Who knows, it's a great opportunity to evangelize and maybe bring someone back to the Church.

Both Bush and Kerry fall behind in Catholic support

Sen. John Kerry is having trouble wooing fellow Roman Catholics in Iowa and Wisconsin and President George W. Bush is short of his expected Catholic count in Michigan and Minnesota, polling shows.

Four years ago, Democrat Al Gore edged Bush among Catholics, 50-47, according to exit polls.
What could possibly explain this aberration?
Catholics who don't worship regularly tend to back Kerry, according to the AP-Ipsos poll.
Of course, this explains it. Baptised individuals who have objectively, abandoned the faith tend to back those who support the murder of the unborn. But let us be reminded that:
Kerry offers himself as a practicing and believing Catholic who nonetheless holds positions contrary to the church's on abortion rights and embryonic stem cell research.

Some Democrats have urged him to highlight those differences. Others simply want him to keep attending Sunday Mass. "If Kerry has a problem with Catholics, it's that too few Catholics know he's one of them," said Jim Jordan, his former campaign manager.
And those of us who are Catholic, pray for him that he might have his eyes opened to the truth and repent before it is too late.
AP Article here

Campion College closes...

In late July Campion College, San Francisco's upstart Catholic college, announced that it was shutting its doors after two years of operations.

Bishop Sheridan:No leeway in abortion-rights voting

[Bishop] Sheridan writes that not even the elimination of poverty justifies "the direct murder of just one human being," and that the narrow criteria for supporting an abortion-rights candidate are basically unattainable.

Sheridan writes that a voter could presumably vote for an abortion-rights candidate if a greater evil was being avoided or if the good accomplished by that candidate would "outweigh the holocaust of abortion." But he argues that is unobtainable for a reasonable person, saying it is "virtually inconceivable" to find a greater evil than abortion and that no good could outweigh abortion.
The faithful of Colorado Springs are blessed to have a man such as Bishop Sheridan as their shepherd.

Article here.

Thur, 10/7, Memorial: Our Lady of the Rosary

The Gospel, Luke 11:5-13

Effective Prayer
[5] And He (Jesus) said to them (the disciples), "Which of you who has a friend will go to him at midnight and say to him, 'Friend, lend me three loaves; [6] for a friend of mine has arrived on a journey, and I have nothing to set before him'; [7] and he will answer from within, 'Do not bother me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot get up and give you anything'? [8] I tell you, though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him whatever he needs. [9] And I tell you, Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. [10] For every one who asks receives, and he who seeks find, and to him who knocks it will be opened. [11] What father among you, if his son asks for a fish, will instead of a fish give him a serpent; [12] or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? [13] If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the Heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!"

5-10. One of the essential features of prayer is trusting perseverance. By this simple example and others like it (cf. Luke 18:1-7) our Lord encourages us not to desist in asking God to hear us. "Persevere in prayer. Persevere even when your efforts seem barren. Prayer is always fruitful" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 101).

9-10. Do you see the effectiveness of prayer when it is done properly? Are you not convinced like me that, if we do not obtain what we ask God for, it is because we are not praying with faith, with a heart pure enough, with enough confidence, or that we are not persevering in prayer the way we should? God has never refused nor will ever refuse anything to those who ask for His graces in the way they should. Prayer is the great recourse available to us to get out of sin, to persevere in grace, to move God's heart and to draw upon us all kinds of blessing from Heaven, whether for the soul or to meet our temporal needs" (St. John Mary Vianney, "Selected Sermons", Fifth Sunday after Easter).

11-13. Our Lord uses the example of human parenthood as a comparison to stress again the wonderful fact that God is our Father, for God's fatherhood is the source of parenthood in Heaven and on earth (cf. Ephesians 3:15). "The God of our faith is not a distant Being who contemplates indifferently the fate of men--their desires, their struggles, their sufferings. He is a Father who loves His children so much that He sends the Word, the Second Person of the Most Blessed Trinity, so that by taking on the nature of man He may die to redeem us. He is the loving Father who now leads us gently to Himself, through the action of the Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", p. 84).

13. The Holy Spirit is God's best gift to us, the great promise Christ gives His disciples (cf. John 5:26), the divine fire which descends on the Apostles at Pentecost, filling them with fortitude and freedom to proclaim Christ's message (Acts 2). "The profound reality which we see in the texts of Holy Scripture is not a remembrance from the past, from some golden age of the Church which has since been buried in history. Despite the weaknesses and the sins of every one of us, it is thereality of today's Church and the Church in all times. 'I will pray to
the Father,' our Lord told His disciples, 'and He will give you another Counsellor to be with you for ever.' Jesus has kept His promise. He has risen from the dead and, in union with the eternal Father, He sends us the Holy Spirit to sanctify us and to give us life" ([St] J. Escriva, "Christ Is Passing By", 12).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

On EWTN tonight at 9:00PM CDT


On May 31st, 2003, this Solemn Consecration was performed by the Most Rev. Bishop of La Cross, Raymond L. Burke. This ceremony is shown in all its parts:
(1) The purification & dedication of the Church;
(2) The translocation of the relics;
(3) Consecration of the Church; and,
(4) Celebration of the first Pontifical High Mass, using the traditional Latin rite of the Liturgy

Wednesday October 6, 2004 10:00 PM eastern
Saturday October 9, 2004 1:00 PM eastern
Sunday October 10, 2004 10:00 AM eastern

The Post Dispatch continues its "analysis"...

However, in its editorial, the Post cares little for the truth and unpretentiously criticizes Archbishop Burke's position as "absolutist". It further suggests that the Archbishop's position of the moral law is based on his own "interpretation".

In order to support this position of the Post, they call on Ronald E. Modras, a professor of theology at St. Louis University, who confirms their assertions by saying:
"Even some conservative Catholics find [his] message to be extreme...He's giving us Catholic moral tradition, but interpreting it according to his own conscience and opinion."
Mr. Modras was also quoted by the La Crosse Tribune back in January, when referring to Archbishop Burke, he said:
"He's identified with the radical right of the Catholic Church, not going with the rest of the bishops."
A question which immediately comes to mind is whether Mr. Modras has signed the mandatum and received approval from the bishop to teach theology. Based on his comments, I certainly would not want my children being taught theology by someone who espouse views such as his.

Every reputable reference book or article on Moral Theology that I can find and that I have read is in complete agreement with and supports the position and "interpretation" of Archbishop Burke.

The Post sems to lament the fact that if area Catholics voted according to Catholic moral principles, George Bush would be re-elected:
If all the registered voters among the archdiocese's 550,000 Catholics were to be guided by the archbishop's position, it probably would insure a GOP sweep in Missouri.
But Mr. Modras says, in error, that:
"You can have an informed Catholic conscience and come to a different conclusion [regarding for whom to vote]."
It is impossible to have an truly informed Catholic conscience and vote for a candidate such as John Kerry who supports so many intrinsic evils and is on record as saying he would perpetuate the murder of unborn children by selecting on "pro-choice" individuals to be judges.

The Post concludes:
By staking out his position so boldly, Archbishop Burke has added a new question to the November ballot: an informal referendum on his own influence.
What a gross distortion! What we will see in November is the extent of professed Catholics who have an informed Catholic conscience. Archbishop Burke has put before all Catholics the fundamental principles by which we are to vote and work for the common good. We must always remember that there will be many among us who will betray Christ and deny the truth which He revealed to us and which has been handed on to us by the Church. Archbishop Burke continues this Apostolic work by helping us to understand exactly what it means to be a Catholic in today's world. Pray for him!

The Post editorial is here.

New Austrian Bishop Appointed after Scandal

The Vatican chose a new bishop on Monday to take over an Austrian diocese from Kurt Krenn, who resigned after a child pornography scandal rocked the Roman Catholic Church in the Alpine state, Austrian TV reported.

Austrian television ORF cited unnamed Vatican sources for the report, which said Pope John Paul would name Bishop Klaus Kueng to take over Krenn's former diocese of St Poelten.

Liturgical Dance: Is it permitted at Mass?

Although not specifically mentioned in the instruction "Redemptionis Sacramentum," dance can be included in the overall prohibition on introducing elements not contemplated by the liturgical books.
This was the position I held and about which I asked a few months ago to some in the Archdiocese if that position was correct. The answer I received: It's unclear at the present time.
On recent occasions Cardinal Francis Arinze, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Sacraments, has publicly criticized certain forms of introducing dance into Western liturgy especially in forms which reduce the sacred rite to a spectacle.
Spectacle is a rather nice way to put it...I have a few other choice words which I will not use. I have a report and some pictures of one of these "spectacles" here.

Zenit article here.

Islamist Terrorism: What the Vatican Really Thinks

The terrorists of today seek to create fear and anxiety in the world, and thus weaken their adversaries, forcing them to spend enormous sums to defend themselves from attack, to restrict the space for the freedom and movement of their citizens, to keep them constantly in anxiety and alarm, knowing that terrorism is now international and can strike in any place and at any time.

This is why they make use of the means of communication. Unfortunately, the Western media, granting ample space to terrorist exploits – a space, it should be noted, that is all the greater as the ferocity of the act is more disturbing – perform a great service for terrorism, which it could never have hoped to obtain with its own means.
Article here.

A decent letter of support for Archbishop Burke

Church doctrine

I applaud Archbishop Raymond Burke for having the courage to not be politically correct by speaking out against gay marriage and abortion and encouraging all Catholics to remember this when they go to the polls on Nov. 2.

I am angered by those who have written to this newspaper calling themselves Catholic but feel that they must vote for the pro-choice candidate, John Kerry. They want to be Catholics, yet they do not agree with the church's stance on key moral issues.

You cannot pick and choose what you believe in. If you are a Catholic, you should be willing to follow the church's teaching. Archbishop Burke is merely echoing what the Bible teaches us on these subjects.

Some try to dismiss the archbishop's views as only his personal stance. But that is not true. This is an opinion that is held by the church and goes all the way up to the pope.

The archbishop is doing his job, being a moral leader and taking a stance against those things that, not just he, but the Bible calls intrinsically evil. If those pro-choice, pro-gay Catholics aren't willing to follow the church's teachings, maybe they should find a church that is more in agreement with their liberal ideologies.

Debbie Werner
South County

Wed, Oct 6, 27th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Galatians 2:1-2, 7-14

Visit to Jerusalem
[1] Then after fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus along with me. [2] I went up by revelation; and I laid before them (but privately before those who were of repute) the gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, lest somehow I should be running or had run in vain. [7] But on the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the gospel to the uncircumcised, just as Peter had been entrusted with the gospel to the circumcised [8] (for he who worked through Peter for the mission to the circumcised worked through me also for the Gentiles), [9] and when they perceived the grace that was given to me, James and Cephas and John, who were reputed to be pillars, gave to me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, that we should go to the Gentiles and they to the circumcised; [10] only they would have us remember the poor, which very thing I was eager to do.

Peter and Paul at Antioch
[11] But when Cephas came to Antioch I opposed him to his face, because he stood condemned. [12] For before certain men came from James, he ate with the Gentiles; but when they came he drew back and separated himself, fearing the circumcision party. [13] And with him the rest of the Jews acted insincerely, so that even Barnabas was carried away by their insincerity. [14] But when I saw that they were not straightforward about the truth of the gospel, I said to Cephas before them all, "If you, though a Jew, live like a Gentile and not like a Jew, how can you compel the Gentiles to live like Jews?"

1-10. St Paul had ended his first apostolic journey by returning to Antioch in Syria, from where he had set out. We know that the Christian community in that city, which was an important crossroads of race and culture, had developed as a providential result of the dispersal of Jerusalem Christians following on Stephen's martyrdom (cf. Acts 11:19-26). Some of these refugees had brought the new faith to Antioch but had confined themselves to preaching and converting Jews. Later, through the activity of other Christians, Jews of the Diaspora, that is, domiciled outside Palestine, and pagans also began to adopt the new religion. Barnabas had been commissioned by the Jerusalem church to organize the young Christian community in Antioch (cf. Acts 11:19-24). He later chose Paul, who had been living quietly in Tarsus, to act as his assistant (cf. Acts 11:25-26).

The disciples in Antioch, where the name "Christians" was first used to describe them, belonged to the whole gamut of social and ethnic backgrounds, as we can see from the short list of "prophets and teachers" of the church at Antioch (cf. Acts 13:1-3): some were of African origin, like Symeon "who was called Niger"; others came from the western Mediterranean, like Lucius of Cyrene; Manaen was from the household of Herod the tetrarch; and there were Jews from communities outside Palestine--for example, Barnabas and Saul themselves.

Among these different types, we find some Christians of Jewish background who felt that pagan converts to Christianity should observe the prescriptions of the Mosaic Law (including the detailed precepts which Jewish tradition kept adding to that Law); these guardians of the gate of entry into the chosen people were requiring that pagan converts be circumcised, as all Jews were.

When these "Judaizers" from Jerusalem (cf. Acts 15:1) asserted that circumcision was necessary for salvation, they were raising an issue which went much deeper than simply conforming to the Law of Moses: was the Redemption wrought by Christ enough, of itself, for attaining salvation, or was it still necessary for people to become part of the people of Israel, conforming to all its ritual requirements?

Clearly, this question was a source of considerable division. Acts 15:2 refers to its causing "no small dissension". The present passage of Galatians shows that Paul, receiving a revelation from God, decided to grasp the nettle by stating unequivocally that Christ's redemption--on its own, and alone--brings salvation. In other words, circumcision was not necessary, nor did the elaborate ritual regulations of Judaism apply to Christians. In Jerusalem Paul expounded "the Gospel" he had been proclaiming to the Gentiles. He was accompanied by Barnabas, and by a young disciple, Titus, the son of pagan parents, quite possibly baptized by Paul himself (cf. Tit 1:4, where he calls him his "true child"), who would later became one of his most faithful co-workers.

1. Between his conversion and the date of his letter, St Paul had visited Jerusalem three times (cf. Acts 9:26; 11:29-30; 15:1-6). Of these three journeys he here mentions only two, omitting the time he and Barnabas went there (cf. Acts 11:29-30), because that visit was not particularly significant.

The Judaizers' demands were inadmissible and clearly dangerous. That was why Paul and Barnabas had opposed them openly at Antioch, and in fact it was their failure to achieve unity and peace on this point that had led them to go up to the Holy City to obtain a decision from the Apostles themselves and the priests living in Jerusalem.

10. The Acts of the Apostles show us how concerned the early Church was about looking after the material needs of its members. We can see this, for example, when it tells us about "serving tables", which refers to the work of giving help to the needy: this began to take up more and more time, with the result that the seven deacons were appointed to allow the Apostles to concentrate on their own specific work--prayer and the ministry of the word or preaching (cf. Acts 6:1-6).

St Paul was faithful to this charge about not forgetting the poor, as we can see from many references in his letters to collections for the poor (cf. 1 Cor 16:1-3; 2 Cor 8:1-l5; 9:l5; etc.). Indeed, one of the reasons for his last visit to Jerusalem was to hand over the monies collected in the Christian communities of Greece and Asia Minor.

11-14. In his dealing with Jews, St Paul sometimes gave way in secondary matters, provided that this did not take from the essence of the Gospel: he had Timothy, whose mother was Jewish, circumcised "because of the Jews that were in those places" (Acts 16:3), and he himself kept to Jewish practices in order to allay suspicion and jealousy (cf. Acts 21:22-26). Similarly, he recommends patience and certain understanding towards those "weak" in the faith, that is, Christians of Jewish origin who held on to some Jewish observances connected with fast days, clean and unclean food and abstinence from the flesh of animals sacrificed to idols (cf. Rom 14:2-6; 1 Cor 10:23-30). But on the key issue of Christians' freedom from the Mosaic Law, the Apostle was always firm and unambiguous, relying on the decisions of the Council of Jerusalem.

Paul's correction of Peter did not go against the latter's authority. On the contrary, if it had been just anyone, the Teacher of the Gentiles might have let the matter pass; but because it was Cephas, that is, the "rock" of the Church, he had to take action in order to avoid the impression being given that Christians of Gentile origin were obliged to adopt a Jewish lifestyle.

Far from undermining the holiness and unity of the Church, this episode demonstrated the great spiritual solidarity among the Apostles, St Paul's regard for the visible head of the Church, and Peter's humility in correcting his behavior. St Augustine comments: "He who was rebuked was worthier of admiration and more difficult to imitate than he who made the rebuke [...]. This episode serves as a fine example of humility, the greatest of Christian teachings, because it is through humility that charity is maintained" ("Exp. in Gal.", 15).

12. When he speaks of these Judaizers as coming "from James", this does not mean that they had been sent by that Apostle. It is, rather, a reference to their coming from Jerusalem, where, after the persecution organized by Herod Agrippa and the forced flight of St Peter (cf. Acts 12-17), St James the Less remained as bishop. But what is probable is that these Christians, who had not given up the Mosaic Law and Jewish observances, made use of that Apostle's name: as "the brother of the Lord", he enjoyed universal veneration and respect.
From: Luke 11:1-4

The Our Father
[1] He (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, and when He ceased, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught His disciples." [2] And He said to them, "When you pray, say: `Our Father, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come. [3] Give us each day our daily bread; [4] and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive every one who is indebted to us; and lead us not into temptation.'"

1-4. St. Luke gives us a shorter form of the Lord's Prayer, or Our Father, than St. Matthew (6:9-13). In Matthew there are seven petitions, in Luke only four. Moreover, St. Matthew's version is given in the context of the Sermon on the Mount and specifically as part of Jesus' teaching on how to pray; St. Luke's is set in one of those occasions just after our Lord has been at prayer--two different contexts. There is nothing surprising about our Lord teaching the same thing on different occasions, not always using exactly the same words, not always at the same length, but always stressing the same basic points. Naturally, the Church uses the longer form of the Lord's Prayer, that of St. Matthew.

"When the disciples asked the Lord Jesus, `Teach us to pray', He replied by saying the words of the `Our Father', thereby giving a concrete model which is also a universal model. In fact, everything that can and must be said to the Father is contained in those seven requests which we all know by heart. There is such simplicity in them that even a child can learn them, but at the same time such depth that a whole life can be spent meditating on their meaning. Isn't that so? Does not each of those petitions deal with something essential to our life, directing it totally towards God the Father? Doesn't this prayer speak to us about `our daily bread', `forgiveness of our sins, since we forgive others' and about protecting us from `temptation' and `delivering us from evil?'" ([Pope] John Paul II, "General Audience", 14 March 1979).

The first thing our Lord teaches us to ask for is the glorification of God and the coming of His Kingdom. That is what is really important--the Kingdom of God and His justice (cf. Matthew 6:33). Our Lord also wants us to pray confident that our Father will look after our material needs, for "your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all" (Matthew 6:32). However, the Our Father makes us aspire especially to possess the goods of the Holy Spirit, and invites us to seek forgiveness (and to forgive others) and to avoid the danger of sinning. Finally the Our Father emphasizes the importance of vocal prayer. "`Domine, doce nos orare. Lord teach us to pray!' And our Lord replied: `When you pray say: "Pater noster, qui es in coelis"...Our Father, who art in Heaven...'. What importance we must attach to vocal prayer!" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 84).

1. Jesus often went away to pray (cf. Luke 6:12; 22:39ff). This practice of the Master causes His disciples to want to learn how to pray. Jesus teaches them to do what He Himself does. Thus, when our Lord prays, He begins with the Word "Father!": "Father, into Thy hands I commit My spirit" (Luke 23:46); see also Matthew 11:25; 26:42, 53; Luke 23:34; John 11:41; etc.). His prayer on the Cross, "My God, My God,..." (Matthew 27:46), is not really an exception to this rule, because there He is quoting Psalm 22, the desperate prayer of the persecuted just man.

Therefore, we can say that the first characteristic prayer should have is the simplicity of a son speaking to his Father. "You write: `To pray is to talk with God. But about what?' About what? About Him, about yourself: joys, sorrows, successes, failures, noble ambitions, daily worries, weaknesses! And acts of thanksgiving and petition: and love and reparation. In a word: to get to know Him and to get to know yourself: `to get acquainted!'" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 91).

2. "Hallowed be Thy name": in this first petition of the Our Father "we pray that God may be known, loved, honored and served by everyone and by ourselves in particular." This means that we want "unbelievers to come to a knowledge of the true God, heretics to recognize their errors, schismatics to return to the unity of the Church, sinners to be converted and the righteous to persevere in doing good." By this first petition, our Lord is teaching us that `we must desire God's glory more than our own interest and advantage." This hallowing of God's name is attained "by prayer and good example and by directing all our thoughts, affections and actions towards Him" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 290-293).

"Thy Kingdom come": "By the Kingdom of God we understand a triple spiritual kingdom--the Kingdom of God in us, which is grace; the Kingdom of God on earth, which is the Catholic Church; and the Kingdom of God in Heaven, which is eternal bliss [...]. As regards grace, we pray that God reign in us with His sanctifying grace, by which He is pleased to dwell in us as a king in his throne-room, and that He keeps us united to Him by the virtues of faith, hope and charity, by which He reigns in our intellect, in our heart and in our will [...]. As regards the Church, we pray that it extend and spread all over the world for the salvation of men [...]. As regards Heaven, we pray that one day we be admitted to that eternal bliss for which we have been created, where we will be totally happy" ("ibid.", 294-297).

3. The Tradition of the Church usually interprets the "bread" as not only material bread, since "man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:4; Deuteronomy 8:3). Here Jesus wants us to ask God for "what we need each day for soul and body [...]. For our soul we ask God to sustain our spiritual life, that is, we beg Him to give us His grace, of which we are continually in need [...]. The life of our soul is sustained mainly by the divine word and by the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar [...]. For our bodies we pray for what is needed to maintain us" ("St. Pius X Catechism", 302-305).

Christian doctrine stresses two ideas in this petition of the Our Father: the first is trust in Divine Providence, which frees us from excessive desire to accumulate possessions to insure us against the future (cf. Luke 12:16-21); the other idea is that we should take a brotherly interest in other people's needs, thereby moderating our selfish tendencies.

4. "So rigorously does God exact from us forgetfulness of injuries and mutual affection and love, that He rejects and despises the gifts and sacrifices of those who are not reconciled to one another" ("St. Pius V Catechism", IV, 14, 16).

"This sisters, is something which we should consider carefully; it is such a serious and important matter that God should pardon us our sins, which have merited eternal fire, that we must pardon all trifling things which have been done to us. As I have so few, Lord, even of these trifling things, to offer Thee, Thy pardoning of me must be a free gift: there is abundant scope here for Thy mercy. Blessed be Thou, who endurest one that is so poor" (St. Teresa of Avila, "Way of Perfection", Chapter 36).

"And lead us not into temptation": it is not a sin to "feel" temptation but to "consent" to temptation. It is also a sin to put oneself voluntarily into a situation which can easily lead one to sin. God allows us to be tempted, in order to test our fidelity, to exercise us in virtue and to increase our merits with the help of grace. In this petition we ask the Lord to give us His grace not to be overcome when put to the test, or to free us from temptation if we cannot cope with it.
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

A Letter to the Post Dispatch

This was graciously forwarded to me to post. I am grateful for the opportunity to share this letter.
Dear Editor,

Professor Flinn claims that Archbishop Burke has added to the confusion many have regarding the Catholic Church¹s teaching on abortion. This claim is surprising. His Grace has been quite clear: Abortion is profoundly evil, and we have a duty to do what we as Christians and responsible citizens can do to stop it. If anyone has added to the confusion over this matter, it is not his Grace but Professor Flinn.

It is false to claim, as Flinn does claim, that ³Catholic teaching on abortion has never been unanimous.² His support for this is the debate over when the soul enters the fetus, but this is a red herring. Augustine and all the schoolmen of the Middles Ages who asserted that ensoulment took place weeks after conception never denied the very grave evil of abortion even in the very first stages of pregnancy. It should also be noted that this theory of delayed ensoulment was based, as Flinn notes, on Aristotelian science which modern embryology and genetics have long since rendered
obsolete. This theory, it should also be noted, had no basis in the Bible or the Catholic liturgical tradition which celebrates the conception of Christ on the Feast of the Annunciation. Catholics have never celebrated the day of Christ¹s ³ensoulment².

Flinn tries to cite the changes in ecclesiastical penalties attached to abortion as evidence against a constant teaching against abortion, but this, too, is a distraction. Ecclesiastical penalties are part of the Church¹s positive law and as such can be changed, but changes in the positive law do not change moral teaching. If the Church decided to attach an ecclesiastical penalty to, say, shoplifting, that would not mean that the Church thought shoplifting was fine and dandy before she imposed the penalty. It is simply deceit to suggest, as Flinn does, that the Church did not condemn all abortion until Sixtus V attached the ecclesiastical penalty of excommunication to abortions in every stage of pregnancy.

Finally, Flinn argues that a Catholic may be obliged to vote for a pro-choice candidate who promises to follow employment policies that will radically reduce the slaughter of the unborn. One wonders what Flinn means by a radical reduction. During the '90s when we had a greatly expanding economy and record lows of umemployment, there were more than a million abortions each and every year. But, more importantly, while, of course, economic justice is important to the Catholic tradition, it can only be a handmaid to the sacredness of human life. Catholics do not obey Bertolt Brecht¹s notorious dictum, ³First comes the feed, then comes morality.² Human life is a given and must be defended in good times and in bad times, during both booms and busts.

Joe Griesemer
We shall see if the Post Dispatch allows this letter to be printed. After all, it isn't from a "Professor of Religious Studies" who claims to know what Church history is and what the Church teaches, but from a Catholic layman, who notes with clarity, the errors and obfuscations in Flinn's article.

Apostolic Letter on the Holy Eucharist to be released Friday

An apostolic letter by Pope John Paul II, welcoming the Year of the Eucharist, will be released on Friday, October 8.

Cardinal Francis Arinze, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, will introduce the apostolic letter at a press conference in Rome. He will be accompanied at that conference by Archbishop Domenico Sorrentino, the secretary of the same Congregation; Msgr. Piero Marini, the director of pontifical liturgies; and Msgr. Mauro Parmeggiani of the vicariate of Rome.
Article here.

Oct 5, Tuesday, 27th Week in Ordinary Time

From: Luke 10:38-42

Martha and Mary Welcome Our Lord
[38] Now as they went on their way, He (Jesus) entered a village; and a woman named Martha received Him into her house. [39] And she had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord's feet and listened to His teaching. [40] But Martha was distracted with much serving; and she went to Him and said, "Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Tell her then to help me." [41] But the Lord answered her, "Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; [42] one thing is needful. Mary has chosen the good position, which shall not be taken away from her."

38-42. Our Lord was heading for Jerusalem (Luke 9:51) and His journey took Him through Bethany, the village where Lazarus, Martha and Mary lived--a family for whom He had a special affection, as we see in other passages of the Gospel (cf. John 11:1-14; 12:1-9).

St. Augustine comments on this scene as follows: "Martha, who was arranging and preparing the Lord's meal, was busy doing many things, whereas Mary preferred to find her meal in what the Lord was saying. In a way she deserted her sister, who was very busy, and sat herself down at Jesus' feet and just listened to His words. She was faithfully obeying what the Psalm said: `Be still and know that I am God' (Psalm 46:10). Martha was getting annoyed, Mary was feasting; the former coping with many things, the latter concentrating on one. Both occupations were good" ("Sermon", 103).

Martha has come to be, as it were, the symbol of the active life, and Mary that of the contemplative life. However, for most Christians, called as they are to sanctify themselves in the middle of the world, action and contemplation cannot be regarded as two opposite ways of practising the Christian faith: an active life forgetful of union withGod is useless and barren; but an apparent life of prayer which shows no concern for apostolate and the sanctification of ordinary things also fails to please God. The key lies in being able to combine these two lives, without either harming the other. Close union between action and contemplation can be achieved in very different ways, depending on the specific vocation each person is given by God.

Far from being an obstacle, work should be a means and an occasion for a close relationship with our Lord, which is the most important thing in our life.

Following this teaching of the Lord, the ordinary Christian should strive to attain an integrated life--an intense life of piety and external activity, orientated towards God, practised out of love for Him and with an upright intention, which expresses itself in apostolate, in everyday work, in doing the duties of one's state in life. "You must understand now more clearly that God is calling you to serve Him IN AND FROM the ordinary, material and secular activities of human life. He waits for us every day, in the laboratory, in the operating room, in the army barracks, in the university chair, in the factory, in the workshop, in the fields, in the home and in all the immense panorama of work. Understand this well: there is something holy, something divine, hidden in the most ordinary situations, and it is up to each of you to discover it [...]. There is no other way. Either we learn to find our Lord in ordinary, everyday life, or else we shall never find Him. That is why I can tell you that our age needs to give back to matter and to the most trivial occurrences and situations their noble and original meaning. It needs to restore them to the service of the Kingdom of God, to spiritualize them, turning them into a means and an occasion for a continuous meeting with Jesus Christ" ([St] J. Escriva, "Conversations", 114).
Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.

Examples of Catholics who don't know their faith

A friend of mine who is a deacon related a story to me the other night. He has a prayer group of about twelve people. A discussion ensued during one of the meetings one night during which he suggested that the group review what the Church says about the subject in the Catechism. Only three of the twelve knew what the Catechism is.

His next objective was to work the Catechism into one of his Sunday homilies, which, I understand, he did quite successfully. Several people after Mass were moved in such a way as to go to the parish office and purchase a Catechism. I suggested that a table be manned in the vestibule of the Church where we could offer Catechism for sale. That may yet be a possibility. It would require, however, more than just one homily in order to direct those who are yearning for answers and the Truth. The priests of the parish must be more supportive of promoting the Catechism as a means to truly learn what the Church teaches. This would be a necessary prerequisite.

And this brings me to the focus of this post. It is an embarrassment when one who professes to be Catholic and attempts to prove his Catholicity by stating all of the organizations he belongs to and all of the activities he does as proof of his faith. These are merely externals which may demonstrate a desire of Faith but do not, by themselves, prove that a man possesses the Faith.

Faith, as the Catechism tells us, is:
the theological virtue by which we believe in God and believe all that He has said and revealed to us, and [all] that Holy Church proposes for our belief, because He is truth itself.
A necessary element of faith is that we must believe in all that Holy Mother Church proposes for our belief. If one denies some truth which the Church proposes for our belief, one does not really possess the fullness of that virtue. One sins, objectively, by refusing to assent to that which must be believed.

And this brings me to the point of the post. A Letter to the Editor today reveals:
What it means to be Catholic

I am 40 years old and have been Catholic all of my life. I attended Catholic schools. I belong to the Secular Order of the Servants of Mary. I belong to the Knights of Columbus. I teach Rite of Christian Initiation and Baptism classes at my parish. My children have attended Catholic school. I coach and referee CYC sports.

The experiences I've had and the relationships I've built are an integral part of who I am. Archbishop Raymond Burke has stated that war and the death penalty "are not intrinsically evil," but abortion and same-sex marriage are. That appears to me a very human judgment from someone people look to for spiritual leadership.

I do not support abortion and I am not gay, but I do know that God creates all life. Is it up to humans to judge and grade the innocence of that life? I voted for George W. Bush in the last presidential election. I am not happy about how he has handled our relationship with the rest of the world and would not consider his actions "pro-life." I will vote for Sen. John Kerry, hoping that he'll do a much better job.

Does the act of voting make it a sin, or should I repent now for my intention? I believe that Bush and Burke are good men doing their best to lead their people, but I must disagree with their methods. They throw around words like "evil" to devalue the humanness of those who are different from them. They then use fear and blind patriotism to justify the destruction of humans both physically and emotionally and then discredit those who disagree with them. I want this to end.

The stand that my church's leadership is taking makes me question what it means to be Catholic. Am I Catholic because I was born into the faith and attend services in a Catholic church? Am I Catholic because I toe the party line?

God's presence does not end or begin at the doors to the church. It does not end or begin in the womb or on the battlefield or in the bedroom or in prison.

How we live our lives illustrates our respect for life. It does not boil down to where we stand on a couple of issues. My decision to vote for Kerry is based on my faith. I am who I am, and if my beliefs make me "not Catholic," then so be it.

Bob Kozlowski
South County
The teaching of the Church as expressed so eloquently in Archbishop Burke's Pastoral Letter will not be heard by those whose ears will not listen nor seen by those whose eyes are closed. Some have hardened their hearts and closed their minds to God, to His Church and to those whom He has appointed to lead us on our journey to the heavenly kingdom.

Next we see another letter from one who professes to be Catholic. These people talk of experiences which make them "Catholic". Being Catholic is more than 'experiences' - like true love, it is an act of the will - a conscious effort that the believer makes to know and do God's will. What we are witnessing seems to be the result of decades of failed doctrinal and spiritual formation which apparently was replaced by the "feel good" fuzzies of experiential modernism which leads to the rejection of the authority of Church and to a denial of fundamental doctrines required for true Faith.

The Catechism further states about faith:
Service of and witness to the faith are necessary for salvation: "So every one who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven; but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven."
Burke's priorities

After reading Archbishop Burke's letter, I must think otherwise when it states he is not endorsing a particular candidate. My inferential reading skills are quite good after 12 years of Catholic school education. This education and my faithful Mass attendance embolden me to vote for Sen. John Kerry.

The archbishop's plea for President George W. Bush using this relatively new prioritization of Catholic-values rhetoric does nothing to influence me. Shaped by 35 years of Catholic experiences, I will not let Burke guilt me into a confessional for my Catholic beliefs.

In the spirit of Christ's love, I am for the poor. I am for health care for all. I am for economic justice for blue-collar workers here and for workers abroad who are paid a pittance by big U.S. businesses. I am pro-public schools and believe it is our government's responsibility to give each of Christ's little ones, rich and poor, a quality education. I am for energizing the government's efforts to protect Social Security benefits.

I am pro-life, and that means I am against capital punishment, too. I am antiwar, and I will not apologize for believing Bush deceived us about Iraq, subsequently killing thousands of innocent people.

I respect Burke's prioritization for himself, but I will not let him nullify the Catholic person I have become with the help of his own Church's schools, teachings, clergy and lay faithful.

Tracy Fisher
St. Louis
Those who wish to reject the teaching of the Church should recall this:
Mindful of Christ's words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me",[49] the faithful receive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in different forms. (Catechism #87)

Source for the various letters.

A Twelve Step Program for Bishops to Deal with Pro-Abortion Catholic Politicians

Bishop Rene Henry Gracida, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi Texas, has submitted to his twelve step program for bishops to deal effectively and charitably with the problem of pro-abortion Catholic politicians.

Bishop Gracida describes his Twelve-Step Program as "clear, coherent with the Faith, and in accordance with the requirements of canonical equity." He notes that if church penalties "are now to be dusted off and brought out of the cupboard within which they have lain dormant for almost half-a-century, it is because the balm of mercy and discretion of measure have failed to heal the growing infection of error and scandal inside the Church and the genocide increasing daily in the world around us." He concludes, "The time for half-measures and fear of reprisal, loss of position, temporal advantage, or career opportunity is over - the time for action is now."
Kudos to Bishop Gracida! This looks to be an excellent guide to for bishops (perhaps some Canon lawyers could comment? Ed Peters?

In his first step, he states, in part:
Any public and obstinate support, by word or by vote, of either abortion, or absent that, “only” the civil “right-to-choose abortion” qualifies as heresy.
This statement can be confirmed in the the Doctrinal Commentary of the Professio Fidei of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

The Twelve Step Program for Bishops

Monday, October 04, 2004

Eucharist as an Answer for Mankind

The Catholic Church is about to begin a year of reflection and deeper awareness of the Eucharist, "mystery of the faith."

The Year of the Eucharist, convoked by John Paul II, will begin next Sunday with the International Eucharistic Congress, in Guadalajara, Mexico. The Year will close in October 2005 with a Synod of Bishops.

For a perspective on these initiatives, ZENIT interviewed Cardinal Josef Tomko, retired prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples and president of the Pontifical Committee for International Eucharistic Congresses.

Is there a link here?

I accidently discovered a coincidence that I had not seen before as I was reviewing my post regarding Frank Flinn's article, "Balance on abortion has basis in history".

While doing some research, I came across another article which echoed much of what was in Mr. Flinn's article. The source of this other article is none other than the infamous anti-Catholic, pro-abortion group, "Catholics for a Free Choice".

The similarities were striking (FF=Frank Flinn, CFFC=Catholics for a Free Choice):
FF: Catholic teaching on abortion has never been unanimous.

CFFC: There has been no unanimous opinion [by the Church] on abortion at any time.
FF: There are early second-century documents,like the Didache...against abortion.

CFFC: One of the earliest church documents, the Didache , condemns abortion...
FF: ...none of the papal or Vatican teachings issue from the explicit infallible authority of the church.

CFFC: pope has proclaimed the prohibition of abortion an "infallible" teaching.
FF: St. Thomas Aquinas...subscribed to Aristotle's teaching...that the rational or specifically human faculty of the soul is infused not immediately at conception.

CFFC: St. Thomas Aquinas agreed [with Aristotle and St. Augustine], saying abortion was not homicide unless the fetus was "ensouled..."
There are more similarities between the two documents. Does it suggest similar beliefs and attitudes toward the Church?

Catholic Answers Voter's Guide Video...

Dear Friend of Catholic Answers,

A friend of our apostolate has made an online video out of our "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics."

The last few weeks we have been working on the scripting, professional voice-overs, and matching the visuals to the voice.

And now it is done. We have uploaded the video to our web site at:

We are sending this link to you and to thousands more via e-mail.

The short video--about eight minutes long--is available in several file formats and will be viewable by those with either high-speed or dial-up connections.

Also available is another short video by popular Catholic apologist, Patrick Madrid. He covers the biblical basis behind the pro-life position in this 9-minute video:

Please forward the URL links for these pages to your friends and family members, and ask them to review it and share with others. The more people who vote in accord with basic moral principles, the better off our country will be.

And please remember to vote according to Catholic principles on Election Day.

Pax Christi,
Karl Keating

Catholics react pro and con to letter by Burke

Catholic parishioners leaving church Sunday morning gave mixed reviews on Archbishop Raymond Burke's letter defining his tough stance against voting for political candidates who support abortion and same-sex marriage.
Of course, this was to be expected. Can we guess who may have been disappointed or upset with Archbishop Burke's letter?
Burke's earlier declarations that it is a sin to vote for candidates who support abortion rights had already upset several area Democratic officeholders. Those officeholders say that by taking his stance, Burke is backing solely Republican candidates, who generally support his views.
It upset area politicians because no one was supposed to call upon them to account for their support of abortion and other evils.

And the implication that the Arcbishop is backing Republicans because of his views is a lie. First, the Archbishop is giving the teaching of the Church, not his personal views. Second, if it seems as if the Archbishop is giving support to the Republican party, it may have everything to do with the Democratic party's abandonment of morality.
On North Grand Boulevard stands St. Alphonsus "Rock" Catholic Church. Six parishioners there on Sunday who were willing to talk about Burke's letter were split on whether to follow his wishes.

Barbara Harris, who has attended the Catholic church since she was 8, said it was none of Burke's business how she votes.

"He's out of line," she said. "He doesn't have the right to tell people who to vote for. That's each person's personal right and freedom."
It is the Archbishop's duty to teach - even obstinate people such as this whose pride blinds thems and keeps them in darkness. Some people have been in the darkness so long, that even the dimmest ray of light causes them severe pain. Thay have made themselves slaves to darkness.
Lifelong Catholic Kevin McKinney says he is torn over Burke's letter. He said that in some instances - such as pregnancies of rape victims and young teenagers - abortions should be acceptable.

"But the Catholic church doesn't believe in it," said McKinney, adding that Burke's remarks would have no effect on how he would vote.
The priest of the parish needs to have a talk with people like this who fail to grasp the consequences of what they are saying - Why should it be permissible to execute the innocent children who have been conceived in an act of violence? Although we must show compassion and help those who are victimized by rape or incest, we must not forsake the innocent child. The unborn child who is conceived by this act of violence is no less of a child merely because he or she came into existence by a deplorable act. It is inexcusable to assume that unborn children are deserving of the death penalty for crimes of their fathers.
Off-duty St. Louis police Lt. Luther Black was securing the parking lot at St. Alphonsus. A lifelong Catholic, Black said Burke's letter violated federal law and showed Burke was too controlling.

"Burke has come in like a storm trooper," Black said. "The Catholic Church should not be involved in politics because they are getting everything tax-free. I think it's up to the individual. His vote is his privilege in a free society."
The officer who professes to be Catholic has no understanding what it means to be Catholic. What a shameful spectacle this is!

I doubt that very many of those who are so opposed to the truth have read the Pastoral Letter. It is far more likely that many of them are picking up little morsels here and there, many of probably have very little to do with what Archbishop Burke stated. The truth is also a casuality of this spiritual battle.


Population shift forces parishes to weigh future

The Post-Dispatch provides an update on a meeting Wednesday night to hear Monsignor Dennis E. Doerhoff and others present ideas and invite comments on the future of the parishes in the South City Deanery. The South City Deanery has 35 churches and 18 schools.

Some statistics of which I was unaware were these:
Studies show that the number of Catholics in the northeast part of the county dropped to 54,000 from 107,000 in 1970. The Catholic population on the South Side dropped in that time to 44,800 from 96,800.

Article here.

Oct 4, Memorial: St. Francis of Assisi, Religious

From: Galatians 1:6-12

A Warning
[6] I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and turning to a different gospel--[7] not that there is another gospel, but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. [8] But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed. [9] As we have said before, so now I say again, If any one is preaching to you a gospel contrary to that which you received, let him be accursed.

[10] Am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were still pleasing men, I should not be a servant of Christ.

God's Call
[11] For I would have you know, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not man's gospel. [12] For I did not receive it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through a revelation of Jesus Christ.


6-9. The Galatians had suddenly begun to go off course, for no sooner had St Paul preached to them during his second visit, than enemies of his appeared on the scene seeking to undermine his authority and had won over the Galatians, especially on the matter of circumcision.

In view of this, the Apostle clearly and forcefully spells out to the Galatians that there is only one Gospel, only one way to attain salvation. "These people", St Jerome explains, "wanted to change the Gospel, to twist it; but that is something they cannot succeed in doing, for this Gospel is such that it cannot be true if it is
tampered with" ("Comm. in Gal", 1, 7).

The content of Revelation--the deposit of faith--cannot be interfered with. The Apostles, as their very title implies, were sent to pass on, in all its integrity, what had been entrusted to them (cf. 1 Cor 11:23). That is why St Paul tells his assistants in the government of the Church, Titus and Timothy, to guard very carefully the truths he has taught them (cf. 1 Tim 6:20; 2 Tim 1:14; Tit 1:9; 2:1; etc.).

St Paul is extremely insistent on the need to protect the deposit of faith, and he reacts very forcefully against those who seek to adulterate it, as we can see in this present text. Any attempt to replace the true Gospel of Jesus Christ with a different teaching does indeed warrant the severe judgment which the Apostle here delivers in God's name. In the same way, "the Church which received the office of safeguarding the deposit of faith along with the apostolic duty of teaching, likewise possesses the right and duty of proscribing [...] opinions that are known to be opposed to the doctrine of the faith" (Vatican I, "Dei Filius", chap. 4).

There is, then, no "new Christianity" waiting to be discovered. "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Vatican II, "Dei Verbum", 5).

10. One of the accusations directed against St Paul was that, in order to make it easier for people to become Christians, he tried to win them over by not requiring Gentiles to undergo circumcision. In fact the Apostle's only aim was to serve Christ; for him, as St John Chrysostom put it, "to love Christ was life, the world, heaven, present well-being, the kingdom, the promise, immeasurable good; outside of this he did not concern himself with classifying things as sorrowful or joyful, nor did he regard anything that one might have in this world as disagreeable or pleasant" ("Second Hom. in Praise of St Paul").

St Paul can assert that he did not mind if there were people who did not understand him or even rejected his teaching. He had plenty of experience of opposition to the demands of the Gospel; and this never led him to play down the reality of the Cross in order to make more acceptable the truth he was proclaiming. In addition to lack of response from Gentiles, his faithfulness to Christ had also earned him enmity and persecution from Jews (cf. Acts 13:50).

We can learn a great deal from Paul to help us not to be cowed by "what people may think". Although Christian living does sometimes clash with the environment around us, we should not desist from trying to be faithful to the demands of the Gospel. "Therefore, when in our own life or in that of others we notice something that is not going well, something that requires the spiritual and human help which, as children of God, we can and ought to provide, then a clear sign of prudence is to apply the appropriate remedy by going to the root of the trouble, resolutely, lovingly and sincerely. There is no room here for inhibitions, for it is a great mistake to think that problems can be solved by inaction or procrastination" ([St] J. Escriva, "Friends of God",157).

St Teresa, for her part, writes: "We are trying to attain union with God. We want to follow the counsels of Christ, on whom were showered insults and false witness. Are we, then, really so anxious to keep intact our own reputation and credit? We cannot do so and yet attain to union, for the two ways diverge" ("Life", chap. 31). If we are truly to serve God we must be ready to face indifference and misunderstanding whenever it may arise. "You must indeed have purified your intention well when you said: From this moment on I renounce all human gratitude and reward" ([St] J. Escriva, "The Way", 789).

11-12. "What shall I do, Lord?" (Acts 22:10), Paul asked at the moment of his conversion. Jesus replied, 'Rise, and go into Damascus, and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do" (ibid.). The former persecutor, now under the influence of grace, will receive instruction and Baptism through the ordinary course of divine Providence--from a man, Ananias. Thereby Jesus led him to humility, obedience and abandonment. The Gospel which St Paul preached was identical with that preached by the other Apostles, and already had the character of "tradition" in the nascent Church (cf. 1 Cor 15:3; Gal 2:2). This is compatible with Paul's claim--made in this passage--that his Gospel does not come from any man but through a revelation from Jesus Christ. Firstly, because on seeing the risen Christ he was given supernatural light to understand that Jesus was not only the Messiah but also the Son of God; and also because this first revelation was followed by many others to which he refers in his epistles (cf. 1 Cor 11:23; 13:3-8 and especially 2 Cor 12:1-4).

Source: "The Navarre Bible: Text and Commentaries". Biblical text taken from the Revised Standard Version and New Vulgate. Commentaries made by members of the Faculty of Theology of the University of Navarre, Spain. Published by Four Courts Press, Kill Lane, Blackrock, Co. Dublin, Ireland.

Reprinted with permission from Four Courts Press and Scepter Publishers, the U.S. publisher.