More on Faith and Unbelief

08-27-2023Weekly Reflection

To believe in or unto God, Who can neither deceive nor be deceived, is essential to the dynamism of faith. By adhering with personal faith to the Word of God, the believer consents to the supreme attraction exerted by the full and absolute Good that is the Blessed Trinity. In this sense, faith – and theology as the science of faith and wisdom – offers to all “lovers of spiritual beauty” a full-flavored foretaste of eternal joy. While assent is the principal act of faith, faith is from God moving us interiorly by grace"—though this is a movement of our will and so it is consonant with free choice. Here we broach the mystery of grace and human freedom, about which much ink has been spilled in the history of Christian theology.


Belief and Unbelief

08-20-2023Weekly Reflection

Blaise Pascal, in his famous wager, summarized in the illustration above, points out the stakes regarding belief and unbelief. St Thomas Aquinas reminds us that Faith is the perfection of human understanding. What follows are thoughts from his teachings about Faith. Sanctifying grace gives a person a share in the very life of God, Who dwells within his humanity through the power of the Holy Spirit. Life and action go together and hence God’s life becomes active in the human person through the virtues. The life of God in the Christian is meant to grow to maturity and bear fruit just as a child is meant to grow to maturity as an adult. This growth takes place through the virtues and reaches its full maturity in Heaven where the person sees God face to face. The theological virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity directly tie us to God and the first of these is Faith. Faith is the perfection of our understanding. It gives knowledge of God as He is in Himself and His activity in the world for our good. Human reason can learn some things of God on its own but it is limited. It can never, on its own, know God’s inner life.


The Fighting Church, the Attacks of Satan, and the Laity

07-30-2023Weekly Reflection

The pivotal meditation in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola is called “The Two Standards.” Fr. Ambruzzi1 comments: Satan summons together innumerable devils and spurs them to go, someone to city, some to another, throughout the world, omitting no province, place or state of life, nor any person in particular. His attack is universal. St. Ignatius is the last man to attribute all temptations to the devil. Still the fact remains, and the Saint strongly emphasizes it, that Satan is constantly at our side, as the embodiment of evil, bent on organizing the attacks of the world and the flesh against us, and on undoing God’s work in our souls. …(T)he Son of Man is manifested, that He might undo the works of the devil. 1 John iii, 8. See Ephesians 6: 11-171 Fr Aloysius Ambruzzi S.J., Companion to the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius


Real Life, Its Enemy, and the Mass

07-23-2023Weekly Reflection

Real life is the interior life of the Christian whereby an adopted son/daughter, lives in intimacy with God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. This is called being in the state of grace. I have come that they may have life and have it to the full. John 10:10

1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an "adopted son" he can henceforth call God "Father," in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.


Amusing the Self to Death…..

07-16-2023Weekly Reflection

... long ago, we sold our vote to no man, now the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, sheds its cares, and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses * —Juvenal, Satire 10.77–81

God created man and woman to praise, reverence, and serve God, and by doing this, to save their souls. God created all other things on the face of the earth to help fulfill this purpose. From this it follows that we are to use the things of this world only to the extent that they help us to this end, and we ought to rid ourselves of the things of this world to the extent that they get in the way of this end. St. Ignatius Loyola, The Spiritual Exercises


The Alien Presence

07-09-2023Weekly Reflection

The drama of the Faith has exorcisms against Satan a reminder of the Lord’s battle with the Evil One culminating in the Lord’s victory over Satan through His Passion, Death, and Resurrection. To this end was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 1John 3:8 The Church in each age shares in the Passion of the Lord particularly in her struggle with the Evil One. A particular manifestation of Satan is infidelity. St. John refers to those who go from the Church and deny Christ as antichrists. St. Paul refers to his struggles with “false brethren.”


Old hatreds of the Church alive and well in Paris

07-02-2023Weekly Reflection

We don't live in a carefree society. Our lives are really part of a merciless struggle against infernal powers, all the more dangerous because they are invisible and all the more powerful because they effectively influence a certain number of people. The Word of God teaches us this through the mouth of Saint Paul: "We do not have to fight (only) against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of this dark world, against the evil spirits that are in the air" (Eph. 6:12).

NOTE: One of the signs of this is where Christ’s Name is attacked with conscious rebellious hatred. The recent beatification of five martyrs of the Commune is a timely reminder of this reality. On Holy Thursday 6 April 1871, Henri Planchat was the first to be imprisoned. Many other faithful Catholics followed. For some, it was the beginning of a real ordeal. One of the revolutionaries' hostages, Archbishop Darboy, summed up the situation for one of his companions in these words: "They don't want to kill us because I'm Archbishop Darboy and you're Mgr Soand-so, but because I'm the Archbishop of Paris and you're one of my priests".


The Sacred Heart and the Political Order

06-25-2023Weekly Reflection

Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, to which the entire month of June is consecrated, carries with it undoubtedly socio-political meanings which, although everything possible has been done in the last half century to condemn them to oblivion, are indelibly part of the history of this worship and are rooted in it. The worship of the Sacred Heart is a worship of adoration of the Lord Jesus with particular emphasis on his holy and true humanity, hence the hostility with which the Jansenists opposed it in the eighteenth century, considering it not very "spiritual" and even idolatrous.


The Deadly Sin of Pride and Its Healing

06-18-2023Weekly Reflection

The nature of pride

Pride is a sin of the spirit, which in itself is less shameful and less degrading than sins of the flesh, but is much more serious than they (though they are also "mortal sins"[1]), since it distances us much more and diametrically from God (S. Th., I-II, q. 73, a. 5). Carnal sins are not found in the devil, who is a pure spirit and was damned by his pride, which prompted him to cry out "non serviam!" (“I will not serve!”) Divine Revelation very often repeats that pride is the principle of every other sin (Eccli., X, 15), since it excludes any true and healthy relationship with God, that is, the submission of the person created to the Creator. Therefore, it interrupts all our relationship with God and irreparably separates us from Him. Even original sin was a sin of pride (S. Th., I-II, q. 84, a. 2), that is, wanting to “be like God” (Gen., III, 5) and claiming for oneself the "knowledge of good and evil" (Gen., III, 6), in order to be able to rule himself without being submissive to anyone, not even to God.


The Sacred Heart: the Warmth of God

06-11-2023Weekly ReflectionBlessed Rupert Mayer S.J., Apostle of Munich

And they looked on Him Whom they have pierced. John 19:37 Warmth must come from us, which puts people at ease in our presence, and they must sense that the reason for this lies in our union with God.
Christ the center of our lives, there can be no half-measures.

Blessed Rupert Mayer S.J., Apostle of Munich


Why Communism/Socialism is harmful to the human person, and society

06-04-2023Weekly Reflection

Every question under discussion, every revolutionary idea and every conservative reaction—all boil down to the question, How should man be treated? … (W)e can only answer this in the light of our view of what man is. No society can be united, if it is not united about this fundamental question Society and Sanity (p. 9).

Catholics who wish to understand the Church’s teaching warning about the evil of communism ought to read the landmark encyclical of Pope Pius XI On Atheistic Communism. What is the attraction of communism today, not to mention socialism?