The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary - another example of "not-so-ordinary" days! These are COUNTING days - and by the extraordinary lectionary we refer to them as ORDINAL (counting) days and we remember back to Pentecost - the birthday of the Catholic Church!
Our priest today, who happens to be French, taught us today that this is kind of a French Feast Day. It started in France in the 9th century, there-abouts, and was not approved by Rome until the 14th century, stating "every Sunday is a celebration of the Trinity." Our priest chuckled, then in the 14th century they elected a French pope - and he declared it to be a feast day for the whole Church.
Today we celebrate one of the foundations of Christianity - Three Divine Persons in One God. It is an extraordinary feast which we celebrate in Ordinal Time, the First Sunday After Pentecost.
Ten more days of Eastertide! Don't forget your "Easter Duty!"
What, Exactly, Is the Easter Duty for Catholics?
The "duty" is to receive Holy Communion at least once during Eastertide. This is a precept of the Catholic Church, meaning every Catholic is obliged to fulfill this Easter duty. Some believe part of the precept includes the Sacrament of Penance (Confession), and while that is not precisely true - reception of the Holy Eucharist must be done in the State of Grace, therefore while not part of the requirement for the precept, it IS a requirement if one is not in the State of Grace (has one or more unconfessed mortal sin on their soul). Frequent confession is always a good idea though! One does not have to be in mortal sin to go to confession as ANY sin can be confessed, even venial sins.
On the 40th day of Eastertide Jesus ascended into Heaven, just as the Catholic creeds (accepted and recited by most of Christendom) proclaim. "He ascended into Heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father, Almighty; from thence He shall come again to judge the living and the dead."
It was important for Jesus to ascend to the Father, for, as He said, if He did not do so, He could not send the Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, to be with His first bishops - to guide them to all truth.
The First Novena!
The Apostles and Mary stayed in Jerusalem, awaiting the Feast of Days, aka, Pentecost. A Jewish holiday. For the next 9 days the Apostles and Mary prayed for the coming of the Holy Ghost - and on the 50th day after the Resurrection, He came upon them! The Catholic Church is born! Our first bishops who had locked themselves in the Upper Room had the Holy Ghost descend upon them, and rested upon them as tongues of fire. As they came out of the Upper Room, they began to preach to the crowd gathered in Jerusalem from all around the region. To the crowd's astonishment, each of them heard the preaching in their own language!
Holy Ghost Novena – Day 1
Come Holy Ghost, and send forth from heaven the ray of Thy light.
Veni, Sancte Spíritus Et emítte cœlitus Lucis tuæ rádium.
Almighty and eternal God, Who hast vouchsafed to regenerate us by water and the Holy Ghost, and hast given us forgiveness of all sins, vouchsafe to send forth from heaven upon us Thy sevenfold Spirit, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Fortitude, the Spirit of Knowledge and Piety, and fill us with the Spirit of Holy Fear. Amen.
Our Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be (seven times)
Act of Consecration to the Holy Ghost
On my knees before the great multitude of heavenly witnesses, I offer myself, soul and body, to Thee, Eternal Spirit of God. I adore the brightness of Thy purity, the unerring keenness of Thy justice, and the might of Thy love. Thou art the Strength and Light of my soul. In Thee I live and move and am. I desire never to grieve Thee by unfaithfulness to grace, and I pray with all my heart to be kept from the smallest sin against Thee. Mercifully guard my every thought and grant that I may always watch for Thy light, and listen to Thy voice, and follow Thy gracious inspirations. I cling to Thee and give myself to Thee and ask Thee, by Thy compassion, to watch over me in my weakness. Holding the pierced feet of Jesus, and looking at His five wounds, and trusting in His precious Blood, and adoring His opened side and stricken Heart, I implore Thee, Adorable Spirit, Helper of my infirmity, so to keep me in Thy grace that I may never sin against Thee. Give me grace, O Holy Ghost, Spirit of the Father and the Son, to say to Thee always and everywhere, “Speak Lord, for Thy servant heareth.” Amen.
Prayer for the Seven Gifts of the Holy Ghost
O Lord Jesus Christ Who, before ascending into heaven, didst promise to send the Holy Ghost to finish Thy work in the souls of Thy Apostles and Disciples, deign to grant the same Holy Spirit to me that He may perfect in my soul the work of Thy grace and Thy love. Grant me the Spirit of Wisdom that I may despise the perishable things of this world and aspire only after the things that are eternal; the Spirit of Understanding to enlighten my mind with the light of Thy divine truth; the Spirit of Counsel that I may ever choose the surest way of pleasing God and gaining heaven; the Spirit of Fortitude that I may bear my cross with Thee and that I may overcome with courage all the obstacles that oppose my salvation; the Spirit of Knowledge that I may know God and know myself and grow perfect in the science of the Saints; the Spirit of Piety that I may find the service of God sweet and amiable; the Spirit of Fear that I may be filled with a loving reverence towards God and may dread in any way to displease Him. Mark me with the sign of Thy true disciples and animate me in all things with Thy Spirit. Amen.
For the full novena: https://angeluspress.org/pages/copy-of-novena-to-the-holy-ghost-9-day-novena
Pope Francis has gifted two shards from the True Cross to HRH King Charles III which have been incorporated into the Cross of Wales, which will be part of the procession at the coronation of King Charles. An interesting act of ecumenism for a pope to gift something to the monarch of England (whom has been the self-proclaimed "Head of the Church of England" since King Henry VIII).
|The Cross of Wales|
Al Maseeh qam!
Qristos haryal ý y merelotz!
Haverzh ordnyal ý harutiune Qristosy!
Khen o methni aftonf!
Kristus vstal zmrtvy'ch!
Kristus er opstanden!
Ja, sandelig opstanden!
Christus is opgestaan!
Hij is waarlijk opgestaan!
Christ is Risen!
Indeed, He is Risen!
Chaucerean Middle English
Crist is arisen!
Arisen he sothe!
Kristus on surnuist ülestőusnud!
Christos T'ensah Em' Muhtan!
Exai' Ab-her Eokala!
Kristus nousi kuolleista!
Christ est ressuscite !
En verite il est ressuscite !
Taw Creest Ereen!
Taw Shay Ereen Guhdyne!
Erid Krist! G'deya! n erid she!
Tá Críosd ar éirigh!
Go deimhin, tá e ar éirigh!
Tha Crěosd air čiridh!
Gu dearbh, tha e air čiridh!
Christus ist Auferstanden!!!
Christ ist Erstanden!
Kristur reis upp!
Sannlega reis han upp!
Cristo č risorto!
Č veramente risorto!
Krestos a uprisin!
Seen, him a uprisin fe tru!
Jitsu Ni Fukkatsu!
Buhar ha sho Nay!
Christus er Oppstanden!
Sandelig Han er Oppstanden!
Em Verdade Ressuscitou!
Christos a Inviat!
Adeverat a Inviat!
Hear it! (Serbian chant)
Kristus vstal zmr'tvych!
Cristo esta resucitado!
En verdad, esta resucitado!
Kristos Ame Fu Fuka!
Kweli Ame Fu Fuka!
Kristus ar Upstanden!
Atgyfododd in wir!
And by request from my long-time friend, Verga:
H = German ch as in Bach,
apostrophe is a glottal stop
One of my sons asked me this question and I said I would get back to him on it. I remember hearing about this, vaguely, in the past. This is what I found...
So, regarding what Pope Francis said about the Lord's Prayer (the Our Father)... that was back in 2019, and he proposed the change, it never really happened.
Per Fox News:
The Pope (proposed to) change the phrase "lead us not into temptation" to "do not let us fall into temptation," as mentioned in the gospel of Matthew 6:13, because the original translation implies that God induces temptation. The change, officials said, is closer to the original intent of the prayer.
"I am the one who falls; it’s not Him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen," Francis explained to Italian broadcasters about the phrase change. "A father doesn't do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It's Satan who leads us into temptation, that's his department."
Published June 5, 2019 (the statement was actually made in May sometime).
I'm not overly concerned with the proposed change if were ever to be put in place. The Greek, written out literally, is not what we're used to seeing.
ἀφίεμεν τοῖς ὀφειλέταις ἡμῶν καί μή εἰσενέγκης ἡμᾶς εἰς πειρασμόν, ἀλλά ῥῦσαι ἡμᾶς ἀπό το ῦ π o νηρο ῦ .
Here's that translated by Translate.com:
Thou shalt forsake us and thou shalt not be tempted by us,
[that's the "Lead us not into temptation" part]
but thou art us out of wretchedness.
[that's the ""but deliver us from evil" part]
Google Translate translates it this way:
"lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." (same as we're used to)
Same copy/paste in a different translator. Funny how the first one (Translate.com) translated it into "King James English" with the "thou shalt..." and "thou art us..." Why use old English?
The "DeepL" translation site goes with:
"and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."
translate.yandex.com, using the exact same Greek copy/paste:
"let us not be tempted by temptation, but let us be tempted by temptation."
Bing translation is the same as Translate.com.
Anyway, it has not changed since he said that nearly 4 years ago, that I am aware of. Could it be changed? Sure! Jesus didn't speak English and clearly, there are variances in the translation just based on the few I looked into. The way you're used to hearing it has been used for close to 500 years, so any change "to Jesus' words" (again, He didn't speak English!) will be met with a lot of resistance.
I hope this helps!
After more than three months, I finally got the help I needed to get the ACTS website fully back online!
The site will soon have a complete overhaul, but the way it was back in December is back online now!
Palm Sunday, the start of Passion Week. Jesus rides into Jerusalem to the praise and adoration of the crowds, who laid palm branches on the road before Him as He passed by, singing Hosanna in the highest! Four days later He would be arrested and five days later, put to death on in a Roman crucifixion.
This is the holiest week of the liturgical year as we end the week, actually begin the next week with Easter Sunday, our redemption is made complete in the Resurrection of our Lord and Savior!
The Passion really begins with Holy Thursday with the "Lord's Supper," which is the first celebration of the Catholic Eucharist. Even before He dies upon the Cross, He is offering Himself in the Eucharist - "This IS My body..." and "This IS My blood..." He declares precisely - no symbolism, "IS" is not symbolic language. The same holds true for John 6, where He declares/commands that we MUST eat His flesh or we have "no life" in us - and not just once, but REPEATEDLY in just a few verses! Then when even many of His disciples said this was a hard saying - and left Him - He did not back down! He challenged The Twelve, "will you also leave?" To which Peter said, "To whom should we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
The Passion continues on Holy Thursday when Jesus goes to pray in the Garden of Gethsemene - the Agony in the Garden. It is here where Judas completes his betrayal and hands Jesus over to the guards who arrested Him.
The Passion continues into Friday (Good Friday) morning, where Jesus faces Caiaphas and Pilate, is cruelly scourged and then handed over to the Roman guard to carry His Cross to Calvary, where He is crucified and died.
The culmination of Holy Week ends with the Easter Vigil, the First Mass of Easter (traditionally the Vigil starts around 10pm on Holy Saturday, then at midnight the purple veils are removed from the holy artwork and statues as Mass begins - and we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus!
Have a blessed Holy Week!
The Fifth Sunday of Lent!
On this day we hear in the Introit (Extraordinary Rite) -
Remember too - the vestments for today are NOT PINK! They are "rose." One way I use to help remember this is "Jesus didn't pink from the dead, He ROSE from the dead!"
Jesus casts out a demon from a dumb (cannot speak) person. He is accused of casting out demons in the name of Beelzebub, "the Prince of Devils." He asks, "If Satan is divided against himself, how shall his kingdom stand?" Well, of course, we know it WON'T stand - we've read the book and Jesus wins!
Jesus also cautions that once the unclean spirit is cast out of a person, that spirit wanders around looking for a new place to rest - and not finding any, it sees the soul it once inhabited, and it is all cleaned and swept, so the unclean spirit returns and brings with it seven other spirits even more wicked and thus the last state of the person is worse than the first! Be on your guard! When you have just gone to Confession and have had your "house cleaned" - you are vulnerable to being re-inhabited and potentially be in a worse state than before! Remain strong in your prayers! When you sense temptation returning, pray even harder that you not be turned! Again, so much for the Protestant notion of Once Saved, Always Saved...
This response was started literally YEARS ago (well over a decade), I lost track of it and found it in my "drafts" for this blog so I have reviewed it again, and though sadly the links that James Swan asked me to review no longer exist. That said there is enough here and some primary source links where we can see where White truly did lose the debate and the "bait and switch" or "shell game" he attempts is exposed and clearly shows how and why he lost and loses this debate - hands down.
Back in 2010, I told James Swan I'd be looking deeper into the White/Madrid debate, and to be honest - I lost track of that and am getting back to that now. In the earlier post, Swan left links for me to look at, but those are no longer valid so I have found these in which to continue:
Transcript of the debate: http://vintage.aomin.org/SANTRAN.html (this link no longer exists)
Audio of debate (on YouTube): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2IJYWqFjKb0 (this link is also no longer valid).
I found the vlog from Sept. 2, 2008 here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yx-FsKV-GEU (this link still works as of the date of this posting).
November 1, 1995, James wrote: https://www.aomin.org/aoblog/roman-catholicism/catholic-answers-myth-or-reality-a-refutation-of-patrick-madrids-article-the-white-mans-burden-and-a-defense-of-sola-scriptura/
The actual debate can be heard here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LR7_Cge-p6o
White's 2012 - well, 1995 - summary response:http://www.aomin.org/aoblog/index.php/2012/11/15/catholic-answers-myth-or-reality-a-refutation-of-patrick-madrids-article-the-white-mans-burden-and-a-defense-of-sola-scriptura-vintage/ This link now takes you to White's 1995 article (cited above).
I started this article using the 2008 response, I will leave what I've entered previously, but keep in mind, that was in response to the video blog (vlog).
September 2, 2008 - White defends himself first by attacking the response of Patrick Madrid to the 1993 debate between Patrick Madrid and James White on "Does the Bible Teach Sola Scriptura?". White points out that Madrid uses the terminology of "anti-Catholic" twice in three sentences. Well, I'm not sure what White's objection is here, he IS an anti-Catholic! He opposes Catholicism! I would not say White is anti-Catholic-persons, as he and I have long been on friendly, though sometimes on tenuous, terms. I think he appreciates the person of Patrick Madrid but still, White is anti-Catholic! If you're counting, I used the term 3 times in 6 sentences.
Next, White pretends he has the insight into some secret meeting at Catholic Answers headquarters where allegedly it was decided that they (the Catholic apologists) in a debate would wait until there was no time left in the debate for their non-Catholic challengers to respond and then slip in the matter of the Canon (of Sacred Scripture). Then, with no real time to respond, keep hammering home the fact that the non-Catholic apologist cannot and/or has not responded. He claims this is exactly what Madrid did in the debate, he waited until the second rebuttal period to introduce this topic - and since White went first, he had no chance to respond. Whether or not this "secret meeting" ever took place is immaterial. That said, White
In actuality, it is White who brings up the Canon of Sacred Scripture first, and he does so in his Opening Statement! White, who brought up Cardinal Newman builds a strawman and then knocks it down stating,
"Paul is not speaking about the extent of the canon but the nature of Scripture itself as originating in God."
I'm surprised that Madrid did not pounce upon this sooner! Yes, Madrid does not come back to this topic until just before the Cross-Examination Round, but I don't know how much more White could have said. In White's 2012 response (to this same debate) he said "That
is what I was inviting Mr. Madrid to do: show us another “infallible
rule of faith.” He came up with exactly one example in response: the
canon of the NT. We will discuss later why this effort failed." There were no time constraints upon him in this 2012 response, and yet even though he stated he would "get back to this later," the only mentioning of the canon after that point was this: "It
would be profitable to examine Madrid’s statements on the canon of
Scripture, and note how he had to move away from the Old Testament and
use only the New (since the historical reality of the formation of the
OT canon refutes his position). But such will have to be left for
another time." So, even when he has all the time in the world to respond - White has not "lifted the burden."
White then proceeds to tout that in the last 15 years (he recorded this vlog in 2008) that he has learned so much about sola scriptura, he's written books on the subject, defended the subject in debates, etc. In short, he's setting himself up as the final word on sola scriptura - or at least A final word.
White brings out the allegation that Patrick Madrid claims he will resist from bringing out the 52 pages of Early Church Fathers so that he does not bury White in the quotes. White scoffs and anachronistically mentions that he has the third volume of the King/Webster series on sola scriptura with over 300 pages of quotes allegedly supporting sola scriptura. Even if the King/Webster volume was as authoritative as White insinuates it is, and he doesn't cite from it, is he not guilty of the same "bluster" he accuses Catholic Answers of?
After all the "bluster" he claims that Madrid touts that we know who wrote the book of Matthew, and the only way we know this is through our tradition. Then White brings up unnamed modern Catholic theologians who claim "we don't know who wrote Matthew." Without facts here to look up, I will not speculate upon who these Catholic scholars are - but I have a pretty good idea to whom White refers. Modernist revisionism aside, we do know who wrote Matthew - and it was St. Matthew the Apostle.
The next part of this vlog is White's 20 minute opening statement from 1993. He begins by accusing that there are always some who refuse to give Scripture its proper position. He quotes St. Basil stating that in matters of dispute we should allow Scripture to decide between us and on which ever side we find doctrines in harmony with the Word of God, in favor of that side will be cast the favor of truth. Then White asks the question, "Is the Bible the sole infallible rule of faith for the Church, or must we have other revelations from God? Do we need the Book of Mormon the writings of the Watchtower... or the so-called unwritten apostolic traditions of Rome?" Now that is NOT what the subject of this debate was! THE subject of the debate was "Does the Bible Teach Sola Scriptura?" Next White cleverly manipulates the title of the debate, stating, "Does the Bible teach its own sufficiency to act as the sole rule of faith for the Church?" Let us note, loud and clear, this is NOT a debate about "sufficiency" but rather "sola." The bait and switch is in place.
Following the bait and switch above, White begins his actual debate by defining what sola scriptura is NOT.
"First of all, it is not a claim that the Bible contains all knowledge. The Bible is not exhaustive in every detail... but the Bible does not have to be exhaustive to act as the sole rule of faith for the Church."After this he goes on to define:
"Secondly it is not a denial of the Church's authority to teach God's truth."
"Thirdly, it is not a denial that at times God's Word is spoken. Apostolic teaching was authoritative in and of itself. Yet the Apostles (anecdotally) prove their teaching through God's Word."
"And finally, sola scriptura is not a denial of the role of the Holy Spirit in guiding and enlightening the Church."
"What then is sola scriptura?" The doctrine of sola scriptura simply stated is that the Scriptures, and the Scriptures alone, are sufficient to function as the regula fide, the rule of faith of the Church. All that one must believe to be a Christian is found in Scripture and in no other source. That which is not found in Scripture is not binding upon the Christian conscience.Note again, the change in topic! White continues to try to make sufficiency the matter of the debate, and not "sola." He continues bringing up concepts of sufficiency and has abandoned sola, and then states, "The Scriptures are self-consistent, self-interpreting, and self-authenticating." Well, so he claims, but he doesn't state where Scripture itself, or shall we say Scripture alone, teaches these doctrines. So, since these are "not found in Scripture" - then they are "not binding upon the Christian conscience." White defeats himself in his opening argument! If the subject of this debate were "satis scriptura"- well, let us not fall for the bait and switch!
White interrupts the opening statement here to interject more on what he means by "self-authenticating" - and again it is noted, this is NOT the subject of the debate! White clarifies that the matter of self-authenticating is not about "canon" (as in the Canon of Sacred Scripture, noting again, it is White who brought up the Canon of Sacred Scripture). He's essentially conceding that one cannot find the Canon of Sacred Scripture by means of sola scriptura. He projects that later Madrid will be accusing him of claiming that just "feeling" a book is scriptural and just "feel" that it is inspired. The fact of the matter is, nowhere within the Canon of Sacred Scripture is the Canon of Sacred Scripture defined! In fact, books were added and subtracted from the Canon for the first four hundred years of the Catholic Church and the Canon would be finalized by St. Jerome - and Jerome's Canon was dogmatically declared at the ecumenical Council of Trent in the sixteenth century!
Now, given this, I would like to explain how I plan on winning my debate this evening with Mr. Madrid. Sola scriptura is both a positive and a negative statement. Positively, the doctrine teaches that the Bible is sufficient to function as the sole, infallible rule of faith for the Church. Negatively, it denies the existence of any other rule of faith as being necessary for the man of God. Hence, logically, I must do the following things:Well, again, the topic of the debate is NOT to show the Bible is sufficient, period. All discussion of sufficiency is nothing more than a red herring argument intended to draw the audience off the scent of the REAL subject - which, again, is "Does the Bible Teach Sola Scriptura?" Whether or not Scripture refers to "another rule of faith" is irrelevant! If the Bible does not teach "sola" then the teaching falls under its own weight.
- First, I must demonstrate that the Bible teaches that it is A rule of faith for the Church.
- Secondly, I must demonstrate that the Bible is sufficient to function as the sole rule of faith for the Church, that is, I must demonstrate its sufficiency, or in the language used in the New Testament itself, that the Bible is artios.
- And, thirdly, I must demonstrate that the Bible as a sufficient rule of faith does not refer us to any other rule of faith.
That being said, White continues in stating many who oppose sola scriptura use "cheap debating tricks" of trying to get the proponents of sola scriptura to prove a universal negative. That is, to prove the non-existence of another rule of faith. Well no, and if some non-sola scriptura debaters use such a "trick," well, they are just missing the obvious - and that is the challenge of THIS debate! The Catholic position of Madrid is simple - NOWHERE does the Bible teach SOLA scriptura! That which White is REALLY representing is not sola scriptura, but satis scriptura - or the sufficiency of Scripture. If THAT were the real topic of this debate, then Madrid (myself and others who have engaged White on the topic of sola scriptura) would have an entirely different approach and argument. We would have to discuss the difference of materially sufficient v. formally sufficient to begin with; the former can have a valid (Catholic) understanding while the latter would be a false teaching. However, I digress, THIS debate is about whether or not Scripture teaches sola scriptura and on THAT point, White clearly loses the debate when he does the "cheap debating trick" of the "bait and switch." By changing the subject he has essentially conceded the entire debate.
Next, White goes with his infamous pen analogy - which is, in reality, just another attempt to shift the burden of proof from himself to his opponent. He prefaces (and I paraphrase a bit here),
IF this debate were about me having to prove there is no other authority that would be like me holding up my pen, yes, my pen, and declaring there is no other pen like this in the universe. How would I go about proving it? To prove there is no other pen like this in the universe I would have to go through all your purses, all your shirt pockets, all the stores in the world which carry pens, go through all the houses on the earth, go to the moon, all the planets in the solar system and the entire universe, looking for another pen like this. Well, of course, I could not do that. But you see it would be very easy for Mr. Madrid to win this debate. All he would have to do is go out and get a Cross Medalist pen, walk up here, hold it next to mine and say, "See, another pen just like yours." And he has won the debate. In light of this, I would assert that Mr. Madrid must either recognize this reality and not attempt to win this debate by doing nothing more than relying upon an illogical demand, or he must demonstrate the existence of "the other pen."Actually, White has merely set the terms of this debate in black and white terms (another common fallacy in debate) and has insisted upon either the absurd or that Madrid present something which is not the topic of the debate! Remember, the topic of the debate is "Does the Bible Teach Sola Scriptura?" In short, White is attempting to set an impossible premise for Madrid to fulfill. That being said, as we have already seen, that "other pen" DOES exist IN SCRIPTURE, (Matthew 16:18 and 18:18), so White - even in his own fallacious terms - has clearly lost the debate.
I will stop here for now. The links which James Swan challenged me to review are no longer valid, if he has another source for those links - I would be more than happy to pick up where I am leaving off here.
On this the Second Sunday of Lent, the Gospel lesson is on the Transfiguration of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Some might call this a miracle, but in reality, it is the natural state of Jesus as hypostatically both human and divine, as revealed to Sts. Peter, James, and John. Appearing with Jesus are Moses and Elijah. St. Peter states this is a good thing for them to be here and offers to build three tents, or tabernacles, one for Jesus, Moses, and Elijah. He no sooner said this and the voice of God the Father rings out, "This is My Beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased! Hear Him!" And upon hearing this voice, the three Apostles hid their faces in fear. Jesus came to them and said, "Fear not!" As the Apostles lifted their heads, they were again alone with Jesus. Jesus commanded them not to reveal what they had seen until after the Son of Man has risen from the dead. (Matthew 17:1-9).
So, what have YOU given up for Lent? If you have not yet given up something, consider ADDING something - like a regular prayer routine. First, that's a great thing to get in the habit of doing and even continuing after Lent - and second, it gives you an opportunity not only for more prayer but also to reflect on the Passion of our Lord - celebrated just 6 weeks from now.
On this, the First Sunday of Lent, let us call into mind the supernatural power of how to get to Heaven. Without this power, we cannot get to Heaven - without this power, we fall - and will fall into the depths of Hell. So ask yourself, what IS this power? And next ask, if you HAVE this power within you?
That power is Sanctifying Grace - the FREE GIFT from God to SAVE YOUR SOUL! Without Sanctifying Grace you CANNOT get to Heaven... it is THE MEANS which God provided for us to get to Heaven. If you have fallen out of the State of Sanctifying Grace and were to die - you will NOT go to Heaven, your soul will be LOST for ALL ETERNITY. What must YOU do? Accept this FREE GIFT!
This is why it is so important to remain diligent in our Faith through the means of Sanctifying Grace which Jesus Christ provided for His Church. Through any other means or rationalizations outside the Church, you are only fooling yourself. There are NO OTHER MEANS other than that which Jesus Christ provided through His Church. Those means are the Seven Sacraments of the Catholic Church.
A Sacrament is, as we learn from catechism, "an outward sign, instituted by Christ, to bestow Sanctifying Grace. The primary Sacrament to restore Sanctifying Grace is the Sacrament of Confession (aka, Penance and Reconciliation). From this Sacrament we are open to receiving the other Sacraments, most notably the Sacrament of Holy Eucharist. Regular reception of these two Sacraments can keep our souls in that state of Sanctifying Grace.
Let us make a conscious effort this Lent to make a habit out of going to Confession and Holy Eucharist.
Quadragesima, more commonly known as "Lent" has begun with Ash Wednesday.
This is a season of penance. One's lenten penance does not need to be draconian, but it should be something one would normally do, and then when you would have done this thing, ate or drank this consumable, it is time to reflect on the 40 days Jesus spent in the wilderness before entering his Passion, death and resurrection. It is also a time to reflect upon His Passion, especially the suffering and death He endured to redeem us from our sins. He did all that, endured all that, FOR YOU!
For your lenten penance, you do not want to make it so difficult that you cannot complete the 40 days successfully. Sometimes even simple things get very difficult toward the end of Lent. One year I gave up "dark sodas." I could drink Sprite, 7Up, Mountain Dew, etc., but no colas or Dr. Pepper, or the like. At first it was, I admit, rather easy, but by the end of Lent - I wanted a "dark soda" so badly, that it did become a bit tough - but an even greater opportunity to reflect and meditate on Christ's sufferings that He wen through for me.
If you wish to share, please do! What are you giving up for Lent this year, or perhaps share a previous lenten penance you have gone through.
Quinquagesima Sunday - meaning it is approximately 50 days until Easter. It is also the last Sunday of the Season of Septuagesima and the last Sunday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
In the Gospel for today, again in the Extraoridnary Rite, Jesus heals the blind man on the side of the road who pleads for Jesus, Son of David to have mercy on him. Jesus hears him and tells him that his faith has healed him, and restores his sight.For today's Epistle, we have the teaching on charity or love:
(1 Corinthians 13. 1-13) Brethren, If I speak with the tongues of men and of Angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. And if I should have prophecy, and should know all mysteries and all knowledge: and if I should have all faith so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. And if I should distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I should deliver my body to be burned and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity is patient, is kind: Charity envieth not, dealing not perversely, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil, rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth: beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. We see now through a glass in a dark manner: but then face to face. Now I know in part: but then I shall know even as I am known. And now there remain faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.
Of note, this is yet another scriptural teaching against sola fide (faith alone). For faith, if it is alone, is nothing - and faith without charity is nothing. For a true saving faith, it will be accompanied by good works, of which love, or charity, is one. If one does not have charity in their heart, which is part of saving grace, then faith or believing accomplishes nothing - for even the devils believe in Jesus Christ, but that belief does not save them.
Today is Sexagesima Sunday! Sexagesima means "60 days" which is roughly what we have until Easter. This is part of the Season of Septuagesima - which is not officially celebrated in the "Ordinary Rite" - however is still observed in the "Extraordinary Rite" as a preparation for Lent.
Today's Gospel reading (Extraordinary Rite) is the Parable of the Sower, Luke 8:4-15 -
At that time, when a very great
multitude was gathered together and
hastened out of the cities unto Jesus,
He spoke by a similitude: The sower
went out to sow his seed: and as he
sowed, some fell by the wayside, and
it was trodden down, and the fowls of
the air devoured it. And other some fell
upon a rock: and as soon as it was
sprung up, it withered away, because
it had no moisture. And other some fell
among thorns, and the thorns growing
up with it choked it. And other some
fell upon good ground: and being
sprung up yielded fruit a hundredfold.
Saying these things, He cried out: He
that hath ears to hear, let him hear.
And His disciples asked Him what this
parable might be. To whom He said:
To you it is given to know the mystery
of the kingdom of God, but to the rest
in parables: that seeing they may not
see, and hearing may not understand.
Now the parable is this. The seed is
the word of God. And they by the
wayside are they that hear: then the
devil cometh and taketh the word out
of their heart, lest believing they
should be saved. Now they upon the
rock are they who, when they hear,
receive the word with joy; and these
have no roots: for they believe for a
while, and in time of temptation they
fall away. And that which fell away
among thorns are they who have
heard and, going their way, are
choked with the cares and riches and
pleasures of this life, and yield no fruit.
But on the good ground are they who
in a good and perfect heart, hearing
the word, keep it, and bring forth fruit
And again, we have the denial of OSAS! Those who represent the seed which fell upon the rocks, they "hear, receive the Word with joy... and in time of temptation fall away." You cannot "fall away" from something you were not part of! OSAS is DENIED! The same holds true for those who represent the seed which fell among the thorns - distracted by the "cares, riches and pleasures of this life... yield no fruit."
BE THE GOOD GROUND!
The Season of Septuagesima starts with Septuagesima Sunday and lasts through Shrove Tuesday, the day before Ash Wednesday - and the beginning of the Season of Lent. Of note, the icon in the picture above is an Eastern icon. The Season of Great Lent for Orthodox Christians this year began on February 6th and lasts through Easter Sunday - which again, is a different date than Latin Rite Catholics. Orthodox Easter this year is on April 16th, and for Latin Rite Catholics (and most all other Christian sects) Easter is celebrated on April 9th (more on the date(s) of Easter in a later post during the Lenten season).
For Latin Rite Catholics the pre-Lent season of Septuagesima includes Sexigesima Sunday and Quinquagesima Sunday (60 and 50 days, respectively, and not precisely, before Easter). Of note, in 1969 Pope Paul VI removed the Season of Septuagesima from the liturgical calendar, however in the Extraordinary Rite - this season is still recognized and celebrated.
Septuagesima includes the denial of Once Saved, Always Saved (OSAS), and this declaration, being an Epistle and scriptural reading, makes it very difficult for one to adhere to this anti-scriptural teaching! Of course, I am referring to St. Paul's lesson on "running to win the race..." from 1 Cor. 9:24-27 - and in verse 27 where he points out that even he, the Apostle, St. Paul, after preaching the Gospel, could be disqualified from the prize (eternal life with God and the Saints)! If you have a valid and respectful argument for OSAS, I encourage you to post it in the comments below, and we can discuss this further. Even in the game of Monopoly ®Parker Brothers, the card can be "sold!"
Wow!, I let this one sneak up on me! It is now Septuagesima Season!
Septuagesima - 70 days - (not precisely) before Easter. The Septuagesima Season takes us to Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent. However, especially in the Extraordinary Rite, the vestments have already changed back to purple - as this is a season of penance in preparation for Lent.
This season includes Sexagesima (60 days) and Quinquagesima, (50 days) before Easter.
More to follow!
In a commentary on the National Catholic Register by Fr. Raymond J. de Souza he presents that Cardinal McElroy has been arguing to overturn core Catholic teachings and that the synod is the correct place to do this.
What is the purpose behind overturning "core Catholic teachings?" That asked, let me also ask, is the synod also the place to destroy the arguments for overturning "core Catholic teachings?" Are there any grassroots efforts going on prior to these proposed synodal meetings (one this fall, 2023, and another in October 2024) to stand UP for "core Catholic teachings?" What can WE do, as Catholic faithful, to support "core Catholic teachings" and influence these synods to "stand fast; and hold the traditions you have learned" (2 Thes. 2:25)?
Your comments greatly appreciated...
de Souza, R.J. (2023). The cat's out of the bag now, with the Synod on Synodality. National Catholic Register. https://www.ncregister.com/commentaries/the-cat-s-out-of-the-bag-now-with-the-synod-on-synodality
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Christmastide has ended... Epiphany continues until Ash Wednesday, when we start the Season of Lent.
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