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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

The Pope’s Theology of Sin by William Doino Jr.

Garden of Eden

August 19, 2013  By now, the Pope’s impromptu press conference, on his flight back from Brazil, has been analyzed the world over. But in all the discussion over Francis’ comments, very little has been said about the key line in his now famous exchange on homosexuality. “This is what is important,” declared Francis to reporters, “a theology of sin.”

William Doino Jr.That is what should have made headlines after the papal press conference—not that Francis used the word “gay,” or expressed a merciful (and thus deeply Christian) attitude toward those seeking reconciliation with God.

“This is what is important: a theology of sin.”

The words are striking, especially to a world often in denial of sin; but it is typical that many secular commentators blew right past them, instead focusing on Francis’ now-famous “Who am I to judge?” comment. (Never mind that Francis was speaking about individuals who humbly confess their sins before the Lord—not those who adamantly persist in them.)

Since his elevation to the episcopacy, and especially since becoming pope, Francis has promulgated a “theology of sin” with force and clarity. He often returns to the theme that we are all sinners who offend God, need to examine our consciences daily, and amend our lives accordingly. He has referred to himself as a sinner, publicly asked forgiveness for his sins, and requested that people pray for him. And when he was asked during the press conference why he “so insistently” invites prayer, he answered as a true shepherd would:

I have always asked this. When I was a priest, I asked it. . . . I began to ask with greater frequency while I was working as a bishop, because I sense that if the Lord does not help in this work of assisting the People of God to go forward, it can’t be done. I am truly conscious of my many limitations, with so many problems, and I a sinner—as you know!—and I have to ask for this. . . . It comes from within. I ask Our Lady too to pray to the Lord for me. It is a habit, but a habit that comes from my heart and also a real need in terms of my work.

Last April, Francis described his theology of sin as a three-part process. The first part is to recognize the darkness of contemporary life, and how it leads so many astray:

Walking in darkness means being overly pleased with ourselves, believing that we do not need salvation. That is darkness! When we continue on this road of darkness, it is not easy to turn back. Therefore, John continues, because this way of thinking made him reflect: “If we say we are without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.” Look to your sins, to our sins, we are all sinners, all of us. . . . This is the starting point. Continue reading

Egypt’s Christians are Facing a Jihad by Nina Shea

Reuters-Egypt-Coptic-Christians-candlelight-protest-photog-Stringer-Egypt Christians are Facing a Jihad by Nina Shea

Aug 19, 2013

 

Violent aggression by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamists, including those sympathetic to al-Qaeda, continues to be directed at one of the world’s oldest Christian communities, following the military’s break up last week of Brotherhood sit-ins. The Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party has been inciting the anti-Christian pogroms on its web and Facebook pages. One suchpage, posted on August 14, lists a bill of particulars against the Christian Coptic minority, blaming it, and only it, for the military’s crackdown against the Brotherhood, alleging that the Church has declared a “war against Islam and Muslims.” It concludes with the threat, “For every action there is a reaction.” This builds on statements in the article “The Military Republic of [Coptic Pope] Tawadros,” carried on the MB website in July, about the Coptic Church wanting to “humiliate” Muslims and eradicate Islam.

The litany of attacks is long: St. George Church, St. Mary’s Church, Good Shepherd’s Church, the Pentecostal Church, in Minya; St. Therese Church, Church of the Reformation, Church of the Apostle, Holy Revival Church, St. John’s Church, in Assiut; Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo, St. Damiana Church, the Evangelical Church, and Joseph’s Church, in Fayoum; Church of the Archangel Michael, St. Saviors Anglican Church, the Greek Orthodox and Franciscan churches, in Suez; Fr. Maximus Church and St. George’s Church, in Alexandria. . .

As of Sunday night, some 58 churches, as well as several convents, monasteries, and schools, dozens of Christian homes and businesses, even the YMCA, havebeen documented as looted and burned or subject to other destruction by Islamist rioters. The Coptic Pope remains in hiding and many Sunday services did not take place as Christian worshipers stayed home, fearing for their lives. A dozen or so Christians have been attacked and killed for being Christian so far.

For the first time in 1,600 years, Sunday prayers were canceled at the Orthodox Monastery of the Virgin Mary and Priest Ibram in Degla, south of Minya, because the three churches there were destroyed by the mob. In Cairo, Franciscan nuns watched as the cross over the gate to their school was torn down and replaced by an al-Qaeda flag and the school itself torched; Sister Manal, the principal, reported that three nuns were then marched through the streets as prisoners of war, as neighborhood mobs “hurled abuse” at them along the way. Continue reading

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

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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

Books That Make Us Human by Carl Olson

Books That Make Us Human: Carl Olson

Carl Olson

by Carl Olson

1. The Bible, It is one of the first books I read (not cover-to-cover, at first, of course), and the first book I memorized passages from as a child. I cannot imagine trying to think about or comprehend the human condition without it. A few specific books within The Good Book that merit note: Genesis and Exodus, the Psalms and The Book of Wisdom, the Gospel of John, and Apostle Paul’s Epistle to the Romans.

2. Confessions, by St. Augustine of Hippo. I’ve read it several times now, and I am always amazed by the depth of Augustine’s thinking and emotions, as well as by the clarity and profundity of his expression.

3. Summa Theologica, by St. Thomas Aquinas. It would be a mistake to assume this seminal work of theology/philosophy is dry or merely didactic, because a careful and reflective reading reveals an understanding of man’s origin, nature, and end that has rarely been rivaled.

4. The Sonnets, by William Shakespeare. I’ve enjoyed and profited from many of Shakespeare’s plays, but am drawn again and again back to the sonnets, which express not only the depths of human love, but what it means to be human in the simple and small ways.

5. David Copperfield or Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens. I first read them as a young boy and they brought to life a range of characters and aspects of humanity—the good, the bad, and the ugly—I had never seen or experienced before.

6. Four Quartets, by T. S. Eliot. The Wasteland got (and gets?) more attention, but this mature, post-conversion poem is, I think, the greatest poem of the twentieth-century, and one of the most moving descriptions of life, death, and spiritual awakening ever written.

7. My Name Is Asher Lev, by Chaim Potok. Certainly my most personal pick, a book I first read as a ten-year-old boy, and then several more times thereafter. An aching portrayal of a Jewish boy and his struggles with faith, family, and personal aspirations.

8. The Abolition of Man, by C. S. Lewis. My favorite book by Lewis, a short but penetrating work about the nature of man. If you want to read it in fictional form, check out Lewis’ “Space Trilogy”: Out of the Silent Planet, Perelandra, and That Hideous Strength.

9. Lost in the Cosmos, by Walker Percy. A bit quirky, but more than a bit brilliant, full of wit, wisdom, caustic charm, and some very challenging questions about what it means to be human in a post-Christian, post-modern culture.

10. Redemptor Hominis, by Blessed John Paul II. The late Holy Father’s first encyclical (March 1979) is essential for anyone who wishes to understand his thought and his Christ-centric understanding of humanity: “The Redeemer of Man, Jesus Christ, is the centre of the universe and of history.” Amen.

Carl Olson is an incredibly cool human.  He’s also editor of Ignatius Insight, a husband, a father, an author, an artist, and a collector of good music.  His website is: http://www.carl-olson.com/Site/Welcome.html

Radical Christianity vs. Radical Islam By Trevor Thomas

Battle Knight 28, 2013

Radical Christianity vs. Radical Islam

By Trevor Thomas

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Finally, Bill Maher got something right.  Following the Boston bombings, Maher responded to Brian Levy, the director of the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino (a great example of needed reforms in public higher education), “[T]here’s only one faith, for example, that kills you or wants to kill you if you draw a bad cartoon of the prophet.  There’s only one faith that kills you or wants to kill you if you renounce the faith.”

There you have it.  Even a flaming atheist can recognize the difference between a religion of peace and one full of bloodlust.  The Tsarnaevs are just the most recent example of the tragic bitter fruit produced by radical Islamists.  To further Maher’s point, consider and contrast the efforts of radical Islamists with those of radical Christians.

Just what is a “radical Christian”?  Some might call them (with apologies to DC Talk) “Jesus Freaks.”  Examples are all around us, and most are virtually unknown outside their home towns (mainly because they don’t make the news by killing people).  They plant churches, feed the poor, heal the sick; they open orphanages and pregnancy resource centers; they visit prisoners and deliver the oppressed; in other words, they have sold themselves out to be the hands and feet of the One they worship. Continue reading

The First American Pope by George Weigel

Pope Francis I

Pope Francis I

National Review Online

March 14, 2013

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Rome — The swift election of Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio, S.J., as bishop of Rome is replete with good news — and not a little irony. To reverse the postmodern batting order, let’s begin with the good news.

A true man of God. The wheelchair-bound beggar at the corner of Via della Conciliazione and Via dell’Erba this morning had a keen insight into his new bishop: “Sono molto contento; e un profeta” (“I’m very happy; he’s a prophet”). That was certainly the overwhelming impression I took away from the hour I spent with the archbishop of Buenos Aires and future pope last May — here was a genuine man of God, who lives “out” from the richness and depth of his interior life; a bishop who approaches his responsibilities as a churchman and his decisions as the leader of a complex organization from a Gospel-centered perspective, in a spirit of discernment and prayer. The intensity with which Cardinal Bergoglio asked me to pray for him, at the end of an hour of conversation about a broad range of local and global Catholic issues, was mirrored last night in his unprecedented request to the vast crowd spilling out of St. Peter’s Square and down toward the Tiber to pray for him before he blessed them. Gregory the Great, in the sixth century, was the first bishop of Rome to adopt the title Servus servorum Dei (Servant of the servants of God). That ancient description of the supreme pontiff of the Catholic Church will be embodied in a particularly winsome way in Pope Francis, who named himself for the Poverello of Assisi, the most popular saint in history.

 A pope for the New Evangelization. The election of Pope Francis completes the Church’s turn from the Counter-Reformation Catholicism that brought the Gospel to America — and eventually produced Catholicism’s first American pope — to the Evangelical Catholicism that must replant the Gospel in those parts of the world that have grown spiritually bored, while planting it afresh in new fields of mission around the globe. In our May 2012 conversation, the man who would become pope discussed at some length the importance of the Latin American bishops’ 2007 “Aparecida Document,” the fruit of the Fifth General Conference of the Bishops of Latin America and the Caribbean. The essential message of that revolutionary statement (in which there was not the least bit of whining about Protestant “sheep-stealing” but rather a clear acknowledgment of Catholicism’s own evangelical deficiencies in Latin America) can be gleaned from this brief passage, which I adopted as one of the epigraphs for my book, Evangelical Catholicism: Deep Reform in the 21st-Century Church: Continue reading

Our Departing Pope: Like a Meteor He Lit Up the Sky to Guide and Strengthen Us All by Fr. George W. Rutler

 

Our Departing Pope:  Like a Meteor He Lit Up the Sky to Guide and Strengthen Us All by Fr. George W. Rutler

 
February 24, 2013

The meteorite that exploded over Russia’s Ural Mountains with the force of thirty atomic bombs had the biggest impact since the one that exploded over Tunguska in 1908 with a force more powerful than all the bombs, including the atomic ones dropped in the Second World War. But such a force of nature, when observed passing safely by with breathtaking speed, can also be a sign of the beauty and brevity of all things. So it was in “The Year of Three Popes” when the death of Paul VI was followed by the death of John Paul I just four weeks after his election, and then the election of John Paul II. Cardinal Confaloniere said of John Paul I, in the exquisite Latin for which he was famous: “He passed as a meteor which unexpectedly lights up the heavens and then disappears, leaving us amazed and astonished.”

The impact of that pope’s sudden death seemed at the time to be immeasurably hurtful, and yet he made the way for many providential events. Now the gracious abdication of Pope Benedict XVI also amazes and astonishes. When he assumed the papacy, he knew the work would not be easy: “Pray for me, that I may not flee for fear of the wolves.” Without histrionics or self-pity, he quietly took up his burden in the succession of St. Peter to whom the Lord said, “Simon, Simon, Satan has desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, that your faith fail not; and that when you are converted, you will strengthen your brethren” (Luke 22:31-32).

In many glorious ways, Benedict XVI has done just that. With unerring fidelity he has explained the sacred deposit of the Faith to its opponents, both cultured and uncultured, with patient eloquence and stunning insight. Many reforms in the Church’s structure and the purification of abuses were his intense initiatives. Rather like St. Francis of Assisi going to meet with the caliph of Egypt clad only in simplicity, Benedict XVI refused to wear a bullet-proof vest when he went to Turkey, turning the anger of many to respect. A new reverence and beauty in worship has been his gift to the Church through his renewal of the sacred rites, and the provision of an ordinariate for whole groups seeking full communion with the Church “amazed and astonished” many. Now, his renunciation of the Keys entrusted to him, teaches the essence of the papacy as a stewardship that transcends the charisms of any individual. Officially, a pope is Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the State of Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God. But to the world, this Pope has also been a very good Father.

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The Feast of St. Valentine, Priest and Martyr

The 2004 edition of the Roman Martyrology includes the following simple entry for February 14th:

At Rome, on the Via Flaminia, near the Milvian Bridge, Saint Valentine, martyr.

How is it that a simple entry on the death of a martyr could inspire the holiday we celebrate today in the United States with flowers, candy, and romance?  

This is what we know from tradition about St. Valentine, Priest and Martyr: 

The emperor, Claudius II, after questioning him, “turned Valentine over to the prefect to be held in custody.  When Valentine came into this man’s house, he said: ‘Lord Jesus Christ, true Light, enlighten this house and let all here know you as true God!’  The prefect said: ‘I wonder at hearing you say that Christ is light.  Indeed, if he gives light to my daughter who has been blind for a long time, I will do whatever you tell me to do!’  Valentine prayed over the daughter, her sight was restored, and the whole household was converted to the faith.  Then the emperor ordered Valentine to be beheaded, about AD 280” (Voragine. The Golden Legend. Vol I. p. 160). 

His grave is in the basilica dedicated to his honor in Rome.  “The church in which he is buried existed already in the fourth century and was the first sanctuary Roman pilgrims visited upon entering the Eternal City” (Parsch. The Church’s Year of Grace. Vol 2. pg. 369). 

There are actually three St. Valentines listed in early martyrologies for the date of February 14th.  How these martyrs came to be associated with “a celebration in honor of lovers seems to have been more an accident than a design, though there are interesting complications that conspired to make this so” (Newland, The Year and Our Children. Image, 1956; p. 109). 

“Long ago the Romans celebrated the eve of their Lupercalia on February 14.  This being a time of great festivity it is thought by some that the martyrdom of the saints on this day was merely an added attraction to the pagan celebration.  Still another possibility connects the Roman celebration in honor of Juno with this feast.  The drawing of partners for the festival by maidens and youths oftentimes degenerated into extreme improprieties, and it is thought the desire to redeem the day suggested to the Christians that they fix it as the date of the martyrs’ feasts.  Pope Gelasius appointed it an official feast in the fifth century and named St. Valentine the patron saint of lovers” (109-110). Continue reading

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS POPE BENEDICT XVI FOR THE 47th WORLD COMMUNICATIONS DAY

Pope Benedict XVI

 

MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS
POPE BENEDICT XVI
FOR THE 47th WORLD COMMUNICTIONS DAY

 

 

 

“Social Networks: portals of truth and faith; new spaces for evangelization.”

[Sunday, 12 May 2013] 

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

As the 2013 World Communications Day draws near, I would like to offer you some reflections on an increasingly important reality regarding the way in which people today communicate among themselves. I wish to consider the development of digital social networks which are helping to create a new “agora”, an open public square in which people share ideas, information and opinions, and in which new relationships and forms of community can come into being.

These spaces, when engaged in a wise and balanced way, help to foster forms of dialogue and debate which, if conducted respectfully and with concern for privacy, responsibility and truthfulness, can reinforce the bonds of unity between individuals and effectively promote the harmony of the human family. The exchange of information can become true communication, links ripen into friendships, and connections facilitate communion. If the networks are called to realize this great potential, the people involved in them must make an effort to be authentic since, in these spaces, it is not only ideas and information that are shared, but ultimately our very selves.

The development of social networks calls for commitment: people are engaged in building relationships and making friends, in looking for answers to their questions and being entertained, but also in finding intellectual stimulation and sharing knowledge and know-how. The networks are increasingly becoming part of the very fabric of society, inasmuch as they bring people together on the basis of these fundamental needs. Social networks are thus nourished by aspirations rooted in the human heart.

The culture of social networks and the changes in the means and styles of communication pose demanding challenges to those who want to speak about truth and values. Often, as is also the case with other means of social communication, the significance and effectiveness of the various forms of expression appear to be determined more by their popularity than by their intrinsic importance and value. Popularity, for its part, is often linked to celebrity or to strategies of persuasion rather than to the logic of argumentation. At times the gentle voice of reason can be overwhelmed by the din of excessive information and it fails to attract attention which is given instead to those who express themselves in a more persuasive manner. The social media thus need the commitment of all who are conscious of the value of dialogue, reasoned debate and logical argumentation; of people who strive to cultivate forms of discourse and expression which appeal to the noblest aspirations of those engaged in the communication process. Dialogue and debate can also flourish and grow when we converse with and take seriously people whose ideas are different from our own. “Given the reality of cultural diversity, people need not only to accept the existence of the culture of others, but also to aspire to be enriched by it and to offer to it whatever they possess that is good, true and beautiful” (Address at the Meeting with the World of Culture, Bélem, Lisbon, 12 May 2010).

The challenge facing social networks is how to be truly inclusive: thus they will benefit from the full participation of believers who desire to share the message of Jesus and the values of human dignity which his teaching promotes. Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important. The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual world, but is part of the daily experience of many people, especially the young. Social networks are the result of human interaction, but for their part they also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships: a considered understanding of this environment is therefore the prerequisite for a significant presence there.

The ability to employ the new languages is required, not just to keep up with the times, but precisely in order to enable the infinite richness of the Gospel to find forms of expression capable of reaching the minds and hearts of all. In the digital environment the written word is often accompanied by images and sounds. Effective communication, as in the parables of Jesus, must involve the imagination and the affectivity of those we wish to invite to an encounter with the mystery of God’s love. Besides, we know that Christian tradition has always been rich in signs and symbols: I think for example of the Cross, icons, images of the Virgin Mary, Christmas cribs, stained-glass windows and pictures in our churches. A significant part of mankind’s artistic heritage has been created by artists and musicians who sought to express the truths of the faith. Continue reading

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