Freedom in Communion
1 hour ago
The hands of compassionate women
have boiled their own children;
they became their food
in the destruction of the daughter of my people.
O daughter of Babylon, you devastator!
Happy shall he be who requites you
with what you have done to us!
Happy shall he be who takes your little ones
and dashes them against the rock!
I would say that a Church that seeks to be particularly attractive is already on the wrong path, because the Church does not work for her own ends, she does not work to increase numbers and thus power. The Church is at the service of another: she serves, not for herself, not to be a strong body, rather she serves to make the proclamation of Jesus Christ accessible...
Not only does God love us with a depth and an intensity that we can scarcely begin to comprehend, but he invites us to respond to that love. You all know what it is like when you meet someone interesting and attractive, and you want to be that person’s friend. You always hope they will find you interesting and attractive, and want to be your friend. God wants your friendship. And once you enter into friendship with God, everything in your life begins to change. As you come to know him better, you find you want to reflect something of his infinite goodness in your own life. You are attracted to the practice of virtue. You begin to see greed and selfishness and all the other sins for what they really are, destructive and dangerous tendencies that cause deep suffering and do great damage, and you want to avoid falling into that trap yourselves. You begin to feel compassion for people in difficulties and you are eager to do something to help them. You want to come to the aid of the poor and the hungry, you want to comfort the sorrowful, you want to be kind and generous. And once these things begin to matter to you, you are well on the way to becoming saints.
Proportionalism can imagine that the common good justifies harming innocent human beings, then, only by a misperception, by supposing that the good is found not in sharing but in accumulating. To the contrary, the common good protects the innocent, for the common good is nothing other than sharing the good with these innocents. (Page 158).
Proportionalism imagines that we can act for the common good when we kill one person in order to save many others. In reality, by killing we do not act for the common good of any human community; we merely act for an aggregate of individuals. By subordinating one individual to others, we separate him and his good from the community, thereby rupturing the unity found in sharing the good. At most we create a new community, a community of our own, but we break up the community of shared goods that included the individual we kill. Although killing one person can produce a greater aggregate of individual goods, it inevitably does so by excluding a person from the shared good. Ultimately, by killing an innocent person we must be seeking some other good beside the common good. (Page 164).
All of us who are faithful sons and daughters of the Church can and must be his disciples, at least to some extent!
We so heartily approve the magnificent tribute of praise bestowed upon this most divine genius that We consider that Thomas should be called not only the Angelic, but also the Common or Universal Doctor of the Church; for the Church has adopted his philosophy for her own, as innumerable documents of every kind attest.
Ordinary form: Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes: hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei novi et aeterni testamenti, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem.
Current Translation: Take this, all of you, and drink from it: this is the cup of my blood, the blood of the new and everlasting covenant. It will be shed for you and for all so that sins may be forgiven. Do this in memory of me
New Translation: Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.
1821 We can therefore hope in the glory of heaven promised by God to those who love him and do his will. In every circumstance, each one of us should hope, with the grace of God, to persevere "to the end" and to obtain the joy of heaven, as God's eternal reward for the good works accomplished with the grace of Christ. In hope, the Church prays for "all men to be saved." She longs to be united with Christ, her Bridegroom, in the glory of heaven:
Objection 1 It seems that the will of God is not always fulfilled. For the Apostle says (1 Timothy 2:4): "God will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." But this does not happen. Therefore the will of God is not always fulfilled.
Reply to Objection 1: The words of the Apostle, "God will have all men to be saved," etc. can be understood in three ways.
First, by a restricted application, in which case they would mean, as Augustine says (De praed. sanct. i, 8: Enchiridion 103), "God wills all men to be saved that are saved, not because there is no man whom He does not wish saved, but because there is no man saved whose salvation He does not will."
Secondly, they can be understood as applying to every class of individuals, not to every individual of each class; in which case they mean that God wills some men of every class and condition to be saved, males and females, Jews and Gentiles, great and small, but not all of every condition.
Thirdly, according to Damascene (De Fide Orth. ii, 29), they are understood of the antecedent will of God; not of the consequent will. This distinction must not be taken as applying to the divine will itself, in which there is nothing antecedent nor consequent, but to the things willed.
To understand this we must consider that everything, in so far as it is good, is willed by God. A thing taken in its primary sense, and absolutely considered, may be good or evil, and yet when some additional circumstances are taken into account, by a consequent consideration may be changed into the contrary. Thus that a man should live is good; and that a man should be killed is evil, absolutely considered. But if in a particular case we add that a man is a murderer or dangerous to society, to kill him is a good; that he live is an evil. Hence it may be said of a just judge, that antecedently he wills all men to live; but consequently wills the murderer to be hanged. In the same way God antecedently wills all men to be saved, but consequently wills some to be damned, as His justice exacts. Nor do we will simply, what we will antecedently, but rather we will it in a qualified manner; for the will is directed to things as they are in themselves, and in themselves they exist under particular qualifications. Hence we will a thing simply inasmuch as we will it when all particular circumstances are considered; and this is what is meant by willing consequently. Thus it may be said that a just judge wills simply the hanging of a murderer, but in a qualified manner he would will him to live, to wit, inasmuch as he is a man. Such a qualified will may be called willingness rather than an absolute will. Thus it is clear that whatever God simply wills takes place; although what He wills antecedently may not take place.
Extraordinary Form: Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes: hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei novi et aeterni testamenti: mysterium fidei: qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Haec quotiescumque feceritis in mei memoriam facietis.
Ordinary Form: Accipite et bibite ex eo omnes: hic est enim calix Sanguinis mei novi et aeterni testamenti, qui pro vobis et pro multis effundetur in remissionem peccatorum. Hoc facite in meam commemorationem.
New Translation of the Ordinary Form: Take this, all of you, and drink from it, for this is the chalice of my blood, the blood of the new and eternal covenant, (the mystery of faith) which will be poured out for you and for many for the forgiveness of sins. Do this in memory of me.
Calicem ostendit populo, deponit super patenam, et genuflexus adorat. Deinde dicit:
The Priest shows the chalice to the people, places it on the corporal, and genuflects in adoration. Then the Priest says:
The mystery of faith.
Et populus prosequitur, acclamans:
Quotiescumque manducamus panem hunc et calicem bibimus, mortem tuam annuntiamus, Domine, donec venias.
And the people continue, acclaiming:
When we eat this Bread and drink this Cup, we proclaim your death, O Lord, until you come again.
Let us proclaim the mystery of faith:
Memorial acclamation of the people
When we eat this bread and drink this cup, we proclaim your death, Lord Jesus, until you come in glory.
Mary’s Meals provides a staple, daily meal in schools for children in some of the poorest countries in the world, thus fighting poverty through tackling malnutrition and encouraging education. The Cardinal Winning Pro-Life Initiative provides non-judgemental practical, spiritual and emotional support for mothers in the UK, struggling with crisis pregnancy and the prospect of bringing up a child alone.
The natural desire to see God is something intermediate between the innate natural inclination for our connatural end (contemplation of God through creation), and the supernatural acts and habitual inclinations of hope and charity. A confusion of these tendencies, or a denial of any one of them, leads to grave theological errors. We can thus distinguish four states of the desire for God:
- An innate desire for our connatural end - to know and love God through the mirror of creation - follows from the very nature of our spiritual faculties. This is not an act, but simply the relation of the spiritual faculties to their proportionate end.
- In all his texts on the natural desire to see God, St Thomas demonstrates the existence of a naturally elicited desire for the vision of God's essence. It can be inferred that this desire is conditional without the aid of Revelation and actual grace.
- And elicited and unconditional desire for the vision of God is made possible by knowledge of God’s promise in Revelation, together with the aid of actual grace. Such a desire is an act of theological hope, which presupposes faith.
- There is the supernatural habitual inclination to the vision of God resulting from sanctifying grace, and consisting in the theological virtues of hope and charity. This inclination is present whenever a soul is in a state of grace; it is independent of knowledge and thus unconditional, and is based on the proportionality between grace and glory (for grace is the seed of glory).
Another issue raised by the topic of Catholic heroines is the whole matter of the role of women within the church. None of the heroines whose stories are told here - covering a great range of time from the Anglo-Saxon era to the present day - showed any signs of believing that women should be ordained as priests, nor did they assume that the Church denigrated the female sex or marginalized women and girls. On the contrary, they assumed - correctly - that Mother Church loves her daughters, takes pride in their achievements, and holds them up often as an example to men. There are more churches dedicated to women than to men, female saints have always been at the forefront of popular enthusiasm and devotion - from the early martyrs Agnes, Cecilia and Lucy through to Elizabeth of Hungary and Teresa of Avila and Catherine of Siena and beyond - and the roles of women in public life and in writing, teaching, and in the area of mystical and religious experience has always been central to the Catholic faith. I must take issue with the author of the section on Mary Ward when she writes that “Marginalization of women's experience within the church, based on the conviction that their access to God was of an entirely different order from that of men, led to a high degree of invisibility and inaudibility in spiritual and ecclesial matters. Women seeking to find a voice and a place in the public forum of the Church were not welcome...” This denies the centuries of female work and achievement, and the church’s honouring of this and upholding of it as exemplary. Mary Ward was not treated well, but many men have similarly endured injustices through church bureaucracy - think of John Henry Newman - and it is surely wrong to suggest that women were, or are, singled out for such treatment on the grounds of sex.
Finally, one of the great pastoral problems of our time is that so many people, Catholics and non-Catholics alike, take heaven for granted as something somehow due simply to natural goodness. This view debases heaven by naturalizing it. We have to discover ever again a radical wonder at the inconceivable dimension of the gift of our supernatural vocation, which carries with it a true divinization, enabling man to enter into the divine friendship, into a spousal relation with the Holy Trinity, into the beatitude proper to God Himself. We must continue to repeat with Isaiah and St Paul (1 Corinthians 2:9): “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared to those who love him.”
If sacred persons or things are criticised precisely on account of their human or finite imperfections, real or alleged, the sin of irreverence is committed, when the criticism is prompted by malice or levity. No sin at all is committed, if one is stating facts with due respect for the character of the person or things spoken of. Examples: To call a Doctor of the Church an ignoramus out of anger at a theological opinion defended by him, would be of itself a serious sin of disrespect. To speak of a saint as a dirty tramp or idle visionary, if the intention is to insult, is also a serious sin of disrespect. But, if one were to say in joke that St. Peter was a baldhead, St. Chares Borromeo a big nose, the sin of irreverence would be only slight. No sin would be committed, if one, describing a religious painting from the artistic standpoint, called it an abomination.
McHugh & Callan, Moral Theology: A Complete Course, para 892 (b)
In conclusion, de Lubac is in perfect harmony with St. Thomas and with the Catholic tradition in denying that our nature itself, as it actually exists, has the slightest supernatural element. However, this cannot ultimately be reconciled with his interpretation of the natural desire to see God as the expression of a supernatural finality imprinted on our nature in creation itself, prior to the reception of grace, determining us to an inevitable supernatural end. A choice must be made. Either the supernatural finality imprinted on our being must be recognised to flow from a supernatural element given with our constitution itself, as Karl Rahner seems to affirm with his “supernatural existential,” or one must reject altogether the thesis that a supernatural finality has been imprinted on our nature prior to grace, and maintain instead that an ordination to our supernatural end is impressed on our being first by sanctifying grace itself. Clearly the principles of St. Thomas and the Christian tradition demand the latter option.
(N.B. The emphases are in the text itself.)