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PLEASE PRAY FREQUENTLY FOR THE SAFTEY OF OUR HOLY FATHER by Nic Haros, FBA, Administrator

Pope Frances ISISPLEASE PRAY FREQUENTLY FOR THE SAFTEY OF OUR HOLY FATHER

Just days before his scheduled visit to the Muslim-majority nation of Albania, Pope Francis is told he may be in the crosshairs of assassins from the Islamic State. Iraq’s ambassador to the Vatican warns of “credible threats” against the life of the 77-year-old pontiff.

Sadly, His Holiness is as obvious a target of ISIS Ideology as much as the World Trade Center and Pentagon have been.

nic haros,
Admin, FacebookApostles.org

THE THEOLOGY OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION by Fr. Frederick W. Faber, D.D.

THE THEOLOGY OF TRANSUBSTANTIATION

By Fr. Frederick W. Faber, D.D.
with Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur, 1958 

transubstantiation-slide

The contemplation of these four chief works of God, Creation, Incarnation, Justification and Glorification, has now prepared us to examine the fifth great work with which we are at present concerned, the mystery of Transubstantiation. It may be described as the true change and substantial conversion of the whole substance of the Bread and Wine into the Body and Blood of Christ, produced under the species by a real productive act, proximately subject to the accidents of Bread and Wine, but without any adhesion to them, the substances of Bread and Wine perishing, altogether in the act. But these are hard words. Let me explain; and at length; as we are now concerned with getting a clear idea of that which is the subject of the whole treatise. Continue reading

October 2: Memorial of the Guardian Angels

Memorial of the Guardian Angels

Guardian Angels

Perhaps no aspect of Catholic piety is as comforting to parents as the belief that an angel protects their little ones from dangers real and imagined. Yet guardian angels are not just for children. Their role is to represent individuals before God, to watch over them always, to aid their prayer and to present their souls to God at death.

The concept of an angel assigned to guide and nurture each human being is a development of Catholic doctrine and piety based on Scripture but not directly drawn from it. Jesus’ words in Matthew 18:10 best support the belief: “See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven always look upon the face of my heavenly Father.”

Devotion to the angels began to develop with the birth of the monastic tradition. St. Benedict gave it impetus and Bernard of Clairvaux, the great 12th-century reformer, was such an eloquent spokesman for the guardian angels that angelic devotion assumed its current form in his day.

A feast in honor of the guardian angels was first observed in the 16th century. In 1615, Pope Paul V added it to the Roman calendar.

Catholics believe in the existence of angels and in the participation of angels in God’s plan of salvation. Throughout the Scriptures, angels have played an important role in God’s revelation to humanity.  An angel is a pure spirit created by God who constantly praises and glorifies God. Unlike saints, angels were never human and living on earth. The word angel means “messenger” and as messengers of God, angels can be seen as spiritual beings who communicate God’s love and presence to us on earth. They make known God’s plan and can challenge people to grow in holiness. Angels also guard and protect us – these angels are known as “guardian angels.”

Types of Angels
Angels, Archangels, Principalities, Powers, Virtues, Dominations, Thrones, Cherubim, Seraphim

The Choir of Angels is divided into three groupings, each with specific concerns:

The 1st triad:
Angels, Archangels, and Principalities:
Concern themselves with the minute ordering of the universe and specific causes, including the welfare of people. Each human being, each church, and each country has a Guardian Angel. The Feast of the Guardian Angels is October 2.

The 2nd triad:
Powers, Virtues and Dominations:
Known as the “angels of creation” because they concern themselves with the ordering of the universe and a plurality of causes.

The 3rd triad:
Thrones, Cherubim, and Seraphim:
Concern themselves with contemplating the glory of God. It is the 6-winged Seraphim who sing the Sanctus, “Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts”

ENCYCLICAL LETTER HUMANAE VITAE by Pope Paul VI

Infant

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
HUMANAE VITAE

OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
PAUL VI
TO HIS VENERABLE BROTHERS
THE PATRIARCHS, ARCHBISHOPS, BISHOPS
AND OTHER LOCAL ORDINARIES
IN PEACE AND COMMUNION WITH THE APOSTOLIC SEE,
TO THE CLERGY AND FAITHFUL OF THE WHOLE CATHOLIC WORLD, AND TO ALL MEN OF GOOD WILL,
ON
 THE REGULATION OF BIRTH

 

Honored Brothers and Dear Sons,
Health and Apostolic Benediction.

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

I.
PROBLEM AND COMPETENCY
OF THE MAGISTERIUM

2. The changes that have taken place are of considerable importance and varied in nature. In the first place there is the rapid increase in population which has made many fear that world population is going to grow faster than available resources, with the consequence that many families and developing countries would be faced with greater hardships. This can easily induce public authorities to be tempted to take even harsher measures to avert this danger. There is also the fact that not only working and housing conditions but the greater demands made both in the economic and educational field pose a living situation in which it is frequently difficult these days to provide properly for a large family.

Also noteworthy is a new understanding of the dignity of woman and her place in society, of the value of conjugal love in marriage and the relationship of conjugal acts to this love.

But the most remarkable development of all is to be seen in man’s stupendous progress in the domination and rational organization of the forces of nature to the point that he is endeavoring to extend this control over every aspect of his own life—over his body, over his mind and emotions, over his social life, and even over the laws that regulate the transmission of life.

 

New Questions

3. This new state of things gives rise to new questions. Granted the conditions of life today and taking into account the relevance of married love to the harmony and mutual fidelity of husband and wife, would it not be right to review the moral norms in force till now, especially when it is felt that these can be observed only with the gravest difficulty, sometimes only by heroic effort?

Moreover, if one were to apply here the so called principle of totality, could it not be accepted that the intention to have a less prolific but more rationally planned family might transform an action which renders natural processes infertile into a licit and provident control of birth? Could it not be admitted, in other words, that procreative finality applies to the totality of married life rather than to each single act? A further question is whether, because people are more conscious today of their responsibilities, the time has not come when the transmission of life should be regulated by their intelligence and will rather than through the specific rhythms of their own bodies. Continue reading

Assumption of Mary, Where Science and Theology are Met by Elizabeth Scalia

Assumption of Mary, Where Science and Theology are Met

August 15, 2013 By 

I’ve never understood why people who have no problem with Elijah and Enoch being assumed into paradise have a problem with Mary — the greatest, and most blessed of all created creatures — being assumed into heaven. “It’s not in scripture” doesn’t cut it, (as Msgr. Charles Pope demonstrates here) because what did the early Christians reference before the bible as we know it finally came into being in the fifth century? Teachings and traditions, as Saint Paul writes to the Thessalonians, “…stand firm and hold fast to the traditions that you were taught, either by an oral statement or by a letter of ours.” (2 Thessalonians 2:15)

While the dogma was only made definitive by Pope Pius XII in 1950 (Munificentissimus Deus), the tradition of Mary’s assumption after her death at Ephesus is an old, old one that, as demonstrated by early-fourth century Ethiopian apocrypha (Liber Requiei Mariae(The Book of Mary’s Repose), pre-dates the Bible.

But I’m not interested in apologetics or in re-arguing sola scriptura, an idea which, ironically enough, is also not found in scripture. I believe in the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary not because my church tells me to, or because I am particularly pious. I believe it because of scripture and science, and frankly, for me science has the edge in the argument, because of microchemerism. I’ve written about this these past four years; learning that every child leaves within his mother a microscopic bit of himself — and that it remains within her forever — made the dogma of the Assumption a no-brainer for me.

In Psalm 16 we read a curious reference to body and soul:

And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your Holy One know decay.

Christ’s divine body did not undergo corruption. It follows that his mother’s body, which forever contained a cellular component of the Divinity — and a particle of God is God, entire — would not be allowed to corrupt as well, but would be taken into heaven and reunited with Christ. Mary was a created creature and moral. But she was no mere mortal; she could not be, once the particles of God had entered her chemistry.

In receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, we share a small portion of Mary’s larger reality, but it is a temporary portion — the Christ-food goes into our digestive system and is fed into our blood and our cells, but our blood and cells live and die and are ultimately sloughed off as new ones are created: this Eucharistic unity cannot last, and this is why we seek repeated reception of this Divine Meal — if we’re not lazy, we seek it every day, so this supernatural Sustenance and Presence can remain with us. But for us it will never be as it was for Mary, who lived every day of her life, from the moment of the Incarnation until her death (or, as our Eastern brothers and sisters say, her Dormition) with the very cells of the Living God dwelling within her own flesh. Do we bury God, even on the cellular level? Christ’s own resurrection says no. The Holy One will not undergo corruption. Continue reading

Facebook Apostles – 2013: Catechesis & Apostolate in the Digital Age

_____________________________________________________________________________________

August 15, 2013

Dear Friends in Christ,

I have eagerly awaited this day, August 15th and the Feast of the Assumption of Mary to share with you our new music video, Facebook Apostles – 2013.

Work on this new video began this past Mother’s Day, the third successful Anniversary in operating and expanding all our Facebook Apostles Social Networks.  This short promotional video has been created to provide you with an update of our many works and as an informative overview about FBA for sharing with others.

Our new video focuses on how all Clergy can integrate FBA’s content into their own Parish or Diocesan Web and Facebook Pages, and through their own use of the various Social Media platforms.  Facebook Apostles asks all its members to particularly share our video widely with your Deacons, Priests, Pastors, Catechetical and RCIA Leaders, and your Bishops.

On a personal note, I would like to share with you that I am both very proud and very humbled by the final result achieved by Facebook Apostles – 2013   My time has been a real, three -month labor of love.

After many late-night hours, I feel that our new film highlights the best of what FBA has to offer to all serious inquirers of the Catholic Faith.  I am happy (finally) and proud with the technical aspects this project and how Facebook Apostles – 2013 turned out.

After watching the final edit something strange happened to me.  In stepping back from the film I suddenly and uncontrollably started to cry.  I saw God’s hand in all my work and in the new film I tried to create for Him.  I saw His many gifts and talents at work in me, his poor and unworthy instrument.  I saw God’s beneficence and wisdom in preparing me for His task evangelization–, and most of all the Spirit’s holy inspirations over the last three years.  I bow down to the Holy Spirit in all Humility to Him, who is responsible for this work.

I hope you will enjoy and learn a bit more about us by this new film, I also hope and ask Mary, Queen of Apostles that you will become more involved in the Catechesis and Personal Apostolic opportunities to learn more about the Faith and by sharing what we offer to others.

Thank you all for sticking with FBA and for helping to make our sites the successes they have become!  I offer this work in honor of my parents, Nicholas & Frances Haros in Heaven, in thanksgiving to them for their gift of life to me.

Pax,

nic

LUMEN FIDEI (The Light of Faith) New Encylical by Pope Francis

ENCYCLICAL LETTER
LUMEN FIDEI
OF THE SUPREME PONTIFF
FRANCIS
TO THE BISHOPS PRIESTS AND DEACONS
CONSECRATED PERSONS
AND THE LAY FAITHFUL
ON FAITH

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1. The light of Faith: this is how the Church’s tradition speaks of the great gift brought by Jesus. In John’s Gospel, Christ says of himself: “I have come as light into the world, that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness” (Jn 12:46). Saint Paul uses the same image: “God who said ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ has shone in our hearts” (2 Cor 4:6). The pagan world, which hungered for light, had seen the growth of the cult of the sun god, Sol Invictus, invoked each day at sunrise. Yet though the sun was born anew each morning, it was clearly incapable of casting its light on all of human existence. The sun does not illumine all reality; its rays cannot penetrate to the shadow of death, the place where men’s eyes are closed to its light. “No one — Saint Justin Martyr writes — has ever been ready to die for his faith in the sun”.[1] Conscious of the immense horizon which their faith opened before them, Christians invoked Jesus as the true sun “whose rays bestow life”.[2] To Martha, weeping for the death of her brother Lazarus, Jesus said: “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” (Jn 11:40). Those who believe, see; they see with a light that illumines their entire journey, for it comes from the risen Christ, the morning star which never sets.

An illusory light?

2. Yet in speaking of the light of faith, we can almost hear the objections of many of our contemporaries. In modernity, that light might have been considered sufficient for societies of old, but was felt to be of no use for new times, for a humanity come of age, proud of its rationality and anxious to explore the future in novel ways. Faith thus appeared to some as an illusory light, preventing mankind from boldly setting out in quest of knowledge. The young Nietzsche encouraged his sister Elisabeth to take risks, to tread “new paths… with all the uncertainty of one who must find his own way”, adding that “this is where humanity’s paths part: if you want peace of soul and happiness, then believe, but if you want to be a follower of truth, then seek”.[3] Belief would be incompatible with seeking. From this starting point Nietzsche was to develop his critique of Christianity for diminishing the full meaning of human existence and stripping life of novelty and adventure. Faith would thus be the illusion of light, an illusion which blocks the path of a liberated humanity to its future. Continue reading

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