Guardini: The Dissolution of the Modern World

05-28-2023Weekly ReflectionFr. Romano Guardini & Fr. John Lankeit

One of the thinkers who had great influence on Pope Benedict XVI was Fr. Romano Guardini. Below is an excerpt about the challenges we face as Christians in this postmodern world.

From Fr. Romano Guardini’s The End of the Modern World: “The Dissolution of the Modern World”:

The Faith of Christian men will need to take on a new decisiveness. It must strip itself of all secularism, all analogies with the secular world, all flabbiness and eclectic mixtures. Here, it seems to me, we have solid reasons for confidence. The Christian has always found it difficult to come to an understanding of modern attitudes, but we touch an issue here which needs more exact consideration. We do not mean that the Middle Ages was an historic epoch fully Christian in nature, nor do we mean that the modern world was an age fully un-Christian.


The four hundred years of the Vatican Secret Archive – Lux in arcana The propensity of the Church for memory

05-21-2023Weekly ReflectionInterview with Cardinal Raffaele Farina by Roberto Rotondo

Eminence, the Secret Archive is four hundred years old, but has collected documents that are much more ancient. Why has the Church always felt the need to preserve the acts and documents of its business in a systematic way? From the earliest days of the Church of Rome, as the Liber Pontificalis recalls, the popes used to preserve in their own ‘scrinium’ (archive) the gesta martyrum, the liturgical codices, the memoirs of the episcopal consecrations, donations made to the Bishop of Rome and to the Christians in the early centuries. The need arose from the necessity to pass on the memory of the early Church after the persecutions and the ‘administrative’ need of the Roman Church itself, which of course wanted to know the witnesses of the faith who died for Christ (its best treasure of faith) and the action of the pastors and the faithful in Rome. From the fourth century onwards the Archive of the Church of Rome was enriched with documents, codes, provincial books, formulas of oaths, certificates of consecration of churches or foundations of abbeys, papyri relating to the correspondence sent to the popes from the emperors of the East, first, and then the West, pastoral and administrative and other writings, as is well demonstrated by the Liber diurnus Romanorum Pontificum, an ancient chancellary code form, owned by the Vatican secret archive which dates from the late eighth or early ninth century.


Rectitude of Intention

05-14-2023Weekly Reflection

The life of the first Christians and their witness to the world makes known to us their quality and their character. Their norm of conduct was not to take the easy way out, or opt for the more comfortable line or the more popular decision but rather did they seek to fulfill completely the will of God. They ignored the danger of death… they forgot how few they were, they never noticed how many were against them or the power or strength or wisdom of their enemies. Their power was greater than all of that: theirs was the power of him who had died on the Cross and risen again. [ii] They had their gaze riveted on Christ, who gave his life for all men. They were not seeking their own personal glory, nor the applause of their fellow citizens. They always acted with a right intention, because they had their eyes fixed on the Lord. That is what allows St. Stephen to say at the moment of his martyrdom: Lord do not take their sin into account…[iii]


The False Religion of Biosecurity

05-07-2023Weekly Reflection

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church (CCC) we find the following: under the First Commandment it teaches Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God. Man commits idolatry whenever he honors and reveres a creature in place of God. (2113)

Under the Fifth Commandment it teaches: Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God. We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good. (2288) Also: If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value. It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for its sake, (emphasis added) to idolize physical perfection and success at sports….(2289)


That Sin? Again??

04-30-2023Weekly ReflectionBr. Luke VanBerkum O.P. (edited for the bulletin)

Have you ever confessed a sin and then, no matter how earnestly you intended to amend your life, had the desire to commit that sin again? Why aren’t we simply fixed after Confession?

Jesus instituted the sacrament of Confession that our sins may be forgiven and that we may return to friendship with him. He renews our souls, again filling them through the Holy Spirit with the many spiritual gifts first given to us at Baptism. Yet a certain inclination to sin—not the sin itself—remains.


Christ is risen, death is now conquered….and dystopia too!

04-23-2023Weekly Reflection

Dystopia(from the Greek meaning a “bad place): an imagined world or society which makes war on reality in which people lead wretched, dehumanized, fearful lives.

Man was created to know, love, and worship God. Here he finds his true self, the order of God’s love. …whoever loses their life for my sake will find it. Matthew 10:39


“There is no peace to be compared with that of the souls in purgatory, save that of the saints in paradise”

04-16-2023Weekly Reflection

As far as I can see, the souls in purgatory can have no choice but to be there; this God has most justly ordained by his divine decree. ...They retain no memory of either good or evil respecting themselves or others which would increase their pain. They are so contented with the divine dispositions in their regard; and with doing all that is pleasing to God in that way which he chooses, that they cannot think of themselves, though they may strive to do so.


On the Third Day He Rose from the Dead

04-09-2023Weekly Reflection

The Resurrection of Jesus is the crowning truth of our faith in Christ, a faith believed and lived as the central truth by the first Christian community; handed on as fundamental by Tradition; established by the documents of the New Testament; and preached as an essential part of the Paschal mystery along with the cross: Tradition means the faithful handing down of the truths of Jesus Christ, His words and deeds by the Apostles and their successors.


Attempts to Re-Define Marriage, Change Gender, Transhumanism

04-02-2023Weekly Reflection

….“(I)n the attempt to create a new type of human being one can recognize an ideological element in which man tries to take the place of his Creator”
— Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith

"'Man,'" I cried, "'how ignorant art thou in thy pride of wisdom!'"
— Frankenstein, The Modern Prometheus


What Does Damnation Mean?

03-26-2023Weekly Reflection

Therefore, Lord, we pray: graciously accept this oblation of our service, that of your whole family; order our days in your peace, and command that we be delivered from eternal damnation and counted among the flock of those you have chosen

— The Roman Canon/Eucharistic Prayer I


Station Days/Station Churches

03-19-2023Weekly Reflection

Station days were days of fasting in the early Christian Church, associated with a procession to certain prescribed churches in Rome, where the Mass and Vespers would be celebrated to mark important days of the liturgical year. Although other cities also had similar practices, and the fasting is no longer prescribed, the Roman churches associated with the various station days are still the object of pilgrimage and ritual, especially in the season of Lent.


The Help of the Guardian Angels

03-12-2023Weekly Reflection

From its beginning until death, human life is surrounded by their watchful care and intercession. “Beside each believer stands an angel as protector and shepherd leading him to life.” Already here on earth the Christian life shares by faith in the blessed company of angels and men united in God.
—Catechism of the Catholic Church #336


The Existence of the Devil and his Activity

03-05-2023Weekly Reflection

The devil exists and acts in people and society…Some people are inclined towards a superficial optimism and think evil is merely an incidental imperfection in a world which is continually evolving towards better days. Nevertheless the history of mankind has been adversely affected by the devil’s influence. We find in our day all the features of an intense evil which cannot be explained in terms of human behavior alone.