‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; even as I have loved you, that you also love one another’ (Jn 13:34).
THE WORDS “LOVE” AND “MERCY” ARE USED BY THE CULTURE OF LIFE AS WELL AS THE CULTURE OF DEATH. “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2Cor 11:14). We as Catholics are very fortunate to have the guidance of the One True Church that Jesus Christ founded, the Catholic Church, with “the means of sanctification” in the Sacraments and the fullness of the Truth from Divine Revelation through the guidance of the magisterium of the Church (VCII: LG 8) by which the faithful may be configured to Christ.
THOMAS AQUINAS TELLS US: “RARELY AFFIRM, SELDOM DENY, ALWAYS DISTINGUISH.” Few Catholics today distinguish the difference between changing Church discipline and changing Church doctrines which come from God Who is the immutable and absolute Truth, and thus can never be changed. And still more, a great number of so-called Catholics today do not distinguish between deepening and expressing better in human language the Absolute Truth which cannot changed, with changing the Absolute Truth (Modernism, etc.)! The Church is like the waiter but God is the Cook; the waiter must not change the meal prepared by the divine Cook but must deliver the Truth, as God has revealed it, to the clients, to the faithful.
WE ARE LIVING IN ONE OF THE MOST CONFUSING TIMES IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD AND OF THE CHURCH; this confusion has been well orchestrated by the puppets of the father of lies (Jn 8:44) especially in recent times, due to the great lack of prayer and almost total disregard for sin. But notwithstanding this grave danger, very few Catholics even have a copy of the Catechism of the Catholic Church in their homes; even worse is the fact that a great number of catechists in the parishes do not have a copy of this precious gift of our catechism first published in 1992. Do we believe that God gave us the 10 Commandments and all of Divine Revelation only to torture us or for our true good?!? Do we trust ourselves or do we trust our Creator Who loves each of us immensely?!?
SOME OF THE HOTTEST ISSUES BEING DISCUSSED TODAY are about the sanctity of life as well as the pastoral care for homosexuals and divorced and remarried Catholics. Contrast the following quotes from Church documents with the confusion being disseminated outside and inside the Catholic Church today (read these documents in their entirety!):
“A new cultural climate is developing and taking hold, which gives crimes against life a new and-if possible-even more sinister character, giving rise to further grave concern.” (No. 4). “There is an even more profound aspect which needs to be emphasized: freedom negates and destroys itself, and becomes a factor leading to the destruction of others, when it no longer recognizes and respects its ESSENTIAL LINK WITH THE TRUTH. When freedom, out of a desire to emancipate itself from all forms of tradition and authority, shuts out even the most obvious evidence of an objective and universal truth, which is the foundation of personal and social life, then the person ends up by no longer taking as the sole and indisputable point of reference for his own choices the truth about good and evil, but only his subjective and changeable opinion or, indeed, his selfish interest and whims.” (No. 19; EVANGELIUM VITAE; To the Bishops, Priests and Deacons, Men and Women religious, lay Faithful, and all People of Good Will, on the Value and Inviolability of Human Life; http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/john_paul_ii/encyclicals/documents/hf_jp-ii_enc_25031995_evangelium-vitae_en.html).
POPE JOHN PAUL II (AMONG MANY OTHER OCCASIONS) SPOKE FIRMLY TO THE US BISHOPS AGAINST THIS "PICK AND CHOOSE SMORGASBORD TYPE CATHOLICISM" in LA in his September 1987 visit: "It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the Church's clear position on abortion. It has also been noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church's moral teachings. It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a “good Catholic” and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. THIS IS A GRAVE ERROR that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States and elsewhere. I wish to encourage you in the love of Christ to address this situation courageously in your pastoral ministry, relying on the power of God's truth to attract assent and on the grace of the Holy Spirit which is given both to those who proclaim the message and to those to whom it is addressed."
“The Church's teaching on marriage and on the complementarity of the sexes reiterates a truth that is evident to right reason and recognized as such by all the major cultures of the world. Marriage is not just any relationship between human beings. It was established by the Creator with its own nature, essential properties and purpose. No ideology can erase from the human spirit the certainty that marriage exists solely between a man and a woman, who by mutual personal gift, proper and exclusive to themselves, tend toward the communion of their persons. In this way, they mutually perfect each other, in order to cooperate with God in the procreation and upbringing of new human lives.” (No. 2; Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith; Considerations Regarding Proposals To Give Legal Recognition To UNIONS BETWEEN HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS; June 3, 2003; http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_20030731_homosexual-unions_en.html).
Chastity and homosexuality; CCC 2357-2359.
“But we wish to make it clear that DEPARTURE FROM THE CHURCH'S TEACHING, OR SILENCE ABOUT IT, in an effort to provide pastoral care is neither caring nor pastoral. ONLY WHAT IS TRUE CAN ULTIMATELY BE PASTORAL. The neglect of the Church's position prevents homosexual men and women from receiving the care they need and deserve.” (No. 15; Congregation For The Doctrine Of The Faith; Letter To the Bishops of the Catholic Church: On the Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons; 1 October 1986; Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect; http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19861001_homosexual-persons_en.html).
After a leading German bishop questioned the Church’s teaching on DIVORCE AND REMARRIAGE, the Vatican’s newspaper today published AN ESSAY BY POPE BENEDICT XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, that called the teaching compassionate and pastoral because it is true to the teaching of Christ:
“Assuredly, the word of truth can be painful and uncomfortable. But it is the way to holiness, to peace, and to inner freedom,” said Pope Benedict in 1998. “A PASTORAL APPROACH WHICH TRULY WANTS TO HELP THE PEOPLE CONCERNED MUST ALWAYS BE GROUNDED IN THE TRUTH,” because “in the end, only the truth can be pastoral,” he wrote, quoting the Gospel promise of Christ that “you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
Throughout his 1998 work, Pope Benedict—who was Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the time—explained that the recent documents of the Church on such matters “bring together the demands of truth with those of love in a very balanced way.” So while at times in the past “love shone forth too little in the explanation of the truth,” so today, there is a great danger that “in the name of love, truth is either to be silenced or compromised.” (http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/vatican-paper-refutes-critics-of-divorce-and-remarriage-teaching/).
This essay by Pope Benedict XVI, then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, can be found in Italian at the Web Site of the Osservatore Romano (http://www.osservatoreromano.va/it/news/la-pastorale-del-matrimonio-deve-fondarsi-sulla-ve#.UzU6atfqUxA), but when one clicks on the English version at this site, one receives the following message: Error 404 - Page not found.
“Regarding the wild proposals of Cardinal Kasper made before the last Consistory of Cardinals regarding legitimizing by way of Eucharistic communion the "remarriage" of divorced couples (we could call the Kasper Doctrine of "mariages sauvages"), Cardinal Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop of Bologna, had the firmest possible words in an interview to Matteo Matzuzzi published this Saturday in Il Foglio: …”
Our Lady of Akita, Japan (1973): “The work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church in such a way that one will see CARDINALS OPPOSING CARDINALS, bishops against other bishops. The priests who venerate Me will be scorned and opposed by their conferees… churches and altars sacked, the Church will be full of those who accept compromise …” (http://www.miraclerosarymission.org/akita.htm).
Jesus told us: “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mt 19:6)! These words of Christ are thoroughly explained by the teachings of the Church (CCC 2331-2336).
More and more there is a great rebellion against the Absolute Truth Who is Jesus Christ (Jn 14:6)! The Truth (big “T”) here on earth, in this “dour combat” (CCC 409) is always accompanied by the cross of Christ in the present moment, but leads to true joy, peace and freedom. The truth (small “t”) of relativism, rejects suffering in the present moment, but leads to sorrow, unrest and slavery. “We do not need a Church that is moved by the world, but a Church that moves the world” – G.K. Chesterton. I do not think it was by chance that when Pope John Paul II was asked toward the end of his life to offer one verse from the entire Bible for the people of God, he responded without hesitation: “THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE” (Jn 8:32; Jer 6:16)!
In order to arrive to heaven one must seek the Truth outside of ones head and live the Truth with the help of God by way of prayer and the Sacraments. The great majority of people today do not even take the first step in seeking the uncomfortable Truth, with effort and perseverance. How can one pretend to pass eternity with the Truth, Who is Jesus Christ (Jn 14;6)?!?
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, dead bodies float downstream; TO GET TO HEAVEN WE MUST SWIM UPSTREAM AGAINST A VERY STRONG SECULAR CURRENT TODAY IN STRUGGLING IN THIS “DOUR COMBAT” (CCC 409) of life! We must struggle to seek, find and live the Truth Who is Jesus Christ, even if we must suffer and even die as Jesus did for each of us. “THE TRUTH SHALL SET YOU FREE” (Jn 8:32; Jer 6:16)!
“THE DREAM OF ST. JOHN BOSCO” of the two pillars indicates to us the great importance of staying very close to Jesus in the Eucharist (while it is still possible) with our Rosary in hand.
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To continue this development of thought, go to the next “Spiritual Food”:
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An Experience of Life:
At about 20 years of age, Luca Del Vecchio, now twenty-seven, a very bright and communicative boy, in his environment was a "successful" PR (Public Relations) at the discotheque, good looking, many girls around, a wealthy family that never left him wanting in anything.
Luke, however, tells how, the heart of his twenty years, was beset by a deep inner restlessness. "One night, returning from yet another disco party - he says - I found myself in bed in tears, I was aware of feeling fundamentally alone and I was terrified by the loneliness."
For Luke, the first escape route was drugs - ecstasy and cocaine in particular - that "helped me to strengthen my mask, the image of a person who is always cheerful and successful", which was a palliative to the constant threat of loneliness.
It was precisely at the moment of maximum contradiction and despair that Luke began to change his attitude and clothing, taking on the image of "dark".
One day, an aunt, having an intuition of the state of inner prostration of Luke, invited her nephew to a prayer vigil and then a pilgrimage to Medjugorje. "As I normally do, I took that proposal as a challenge and I went, involving a large group of friends," says the young man.
Once at Medjugorje, Luke began to fast and asked God for a sign of His presence which soon arrived: at the end of a long line for the confession, he came to a young priest. It was Father David Banzato who introduced him to New Horizons, the movement founded by Chiara Amirante.
Thus began the summer of 2007, the second life of Luke, now in charge of the New Evangelization for New Horizons in Lazio, Italy.