Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Could Mary be getting a new title this year?

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By Mary Rezac

Detroit, Mich., Jan 29, 2017 / 03:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Earlier this month, the International Marian Association submitted a request to Pope Francis, asking for the public recognition of the title of Mary as “Co-Redemptrix with Jesus the Redeemer.”
The 10 page document was submitted by the Theological Commission of the International Marian Association, a group of more than 100 theologians, bishops, priests, religious, and lay leaders from over 20 countries dedicated to the “full truth and love of Mary, Mother of Jesus.” It comes during the 100th year anniversary of the Marian apparitions at Fatima, Portugal.
The significance of the request, if it were to receive approval, is that the faithful would be given further clarity on Mary’s unique role in cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption, Dr. Robert Fastiggi, Professor of Mariology at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, told EWTN News.
“I think many people sense the spread of evil in the world and see the importance of highlighting Mary’s role as spiritual Mother,” Dr. Fastiggi said in e-mail comments.
“A papal statement on Marian coredemption would deepen our understanding of Mary’s role as the New Eve who collaborates with her Son, the New Adam, ‘in giving back supernatural life to souls,’” he added, referring to the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium.
The title can be traced back to the 10th century, when some Marian litanies included the title of Mary as Redemptrix, along with her son. It was a development of the idea of Mary as the “New Eve,” a Marian title that has been used since the 2nd century. The prefix of “co-” was added by the 15th century, to clarify that Mary was not the Redeemer, but rather someone who uniquely cooperated in the work of redemption.
“The Co-Redemptrix title never places Mary on a level of equality with Jesus Christ, the only divine Redeemer, as to do so would constitute both heresy and blasphemy,” the Association stated in a press release announcing the request.
“The Co-Redemptrix title is meaningless without Jesus the Redeemer, and in itself focuses upon the Cross of Jesus Christ. Mary Co-Redemptrix proclaims to the world that suffering is redemptive when united to the sufferings of Christ.”
After the prefix was added, title continued to catch on, so much so that the 17th century considered the “golden age” of the title of Mary as Co-Redemptrix. Still, it didn’t receive magisterial recognition until 1908, when the Sacred Congregation for Rites used it in a decree elevating the rank of the Feast of the Seven Sorrows of Mary.
Since then, it has been referenced multiple times by the Magisterium, including during the second Vatican council, which ultimately decided against any formal recognition of the title in the document Lumen Gentium.
“The term, however was not rejected because it was false. In the praenotanda or explanatory note that accompanied the first Marian schema of 1962, we are told that, ‘Certain terms and expressions used by Roman Pontiffs have been omitted, which, although most true in themselves (in se verissima), may be difficult for the separated brethren (as in the case of the Protestants) to understand,’” Dr. Fastiggi explained.
“The Council, therefore, recognized the importance of further development and clarification on certain points of Marian doctrine. A papal statement on Marian co-redemption would provide greater clarity on Mary’s unique cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption and the mediation of grace.  It would also open the way for many graces in the life of the Church.”
Popes often grant formal papal recognition to help deepen the theological understanding of the faithful, such as when Bl. Pope Paul VI proclaimed Mary as “Mother of the Church” in 1964.
“The invocation of Mary under various titles like ‘Mother of God’ and ‘Help of Christians’ reinforces Mary’s role in the mystery of salvation,” Dr. Fastiggi noted.
Unfortunately, Dr. Fastiggi said, many Catholics are unaware of the recognition that the title “Co-Redemptrix” has already received so much informal recognition from the magisterium.
“Some are even under the impression that we are not allowed to call Mary ‘Co-Redemptrix’—even though two popes, namely Pius XI (3 times) and St. John Paul II (at least 6 times), have publicly referred to Mary as ‘Co-Redemptrix,’” he said.
And while there are concerns that the title could further confuse Protestants and others who disagree with Catholic teaching on Mary, Dr. Fastiggi believes a formal recognition of the title would actually help with further clarification.
“A formal papal statement would also serve the cause of ecumenism because it would help other Christians know that the Catholic Church clearly distinguishes between the saving work of Christ as the one Savior and Mediator (1 Tim 2: 5–6) and the Blessed Mother’s secondary, dependent but utterly unique cooperation with Christ in the work of redemption and the mediation of grace,” he said.
In a press release announcing the request, the International Marian Association said: “We believe that a public acknowledgement of Mary’s true and continuous role with Jesus in the saving work of Redemption would justly celebrate the role of humanity in God's saving plan; foster greater devotion to the Mother of God; and lead to the release of historic graces through an even more powerful exercise of Our Lady’s maternal roles of intercession for the Church and for all humanity today.”
While the request could lead to a new Marian dogma, Dr. Fastiggi said the Association would likely be happy with any form of formal papal recognition of the title.
“The members of Association realize that it’s up to the Holy Spirit to guide the Holy Father with regard to this petition. In this regard, prayer and trust are essential,” he said.
“We trust in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Father, and the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is our spiritual Mother. May God’s will be done.”

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Taken from: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/could-mary-be-getting-a-new-title-this-year-44675/

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Pope Francis at Angelus: Church called to proclaim Christ

Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017 - AP
Pope Francis waves to faithful during the Angelus noon prayer he delivered from his studio window overlooking St.Peter's Square at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan.15, 2017 - AP
15/01/2017 14:38

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis prayed the Angelus with pilgrims and tourists gathered in St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. In remarks ahead of the traditional prayer of Marian devotion, the Holy Father focused on the witness borne by John the Baptist to Jesus Christ.
“The Church,” said Pope Francis, “is in every age called to do that, which John the Baptist did: to show Jesus to the people, saying, “Behold the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”

Click below to hear our report

 
Departing from his prepared text, Pope Francis added, “There’s always trouble when the Church proclaims herself: she loses her way, and knows not where she goes.” Rather, “The Church proclaims Christ – she does not carry herself, she carries Christ, for He and He alone is the one who saves His people from sin: he frees them and leads them to the land of true liberty.”
 
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Taken from: http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2017/01/15/pope_francis_at_angelus_church_called_to_proclaim_christ/1285892

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Magi embody all those who long for God, says Pope Francis

The magi and the Star of Bethlehem (Dreamstime)
Pope Francis leaves in procession after celebrating Mass marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter's Basilica (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
On the feast of the Epiphany Francis said the Wise Men were 'guided by an inner restlessness'
The Magi had the courage to set out on a journey in the hope of finding something new, unlike Herod who was full of himself and unwilling to change his ways, Pope Francis has said.
The Wise Men who set out from the East in search of Jesus personify all those who long for God and reflect “all those who in their lives have let their hearts be anaesthetised”, the Pope said on January 6, the feast of the Epiphany.
“The Magi experienced longing; they were tired of the usual fare. They were all too familiar with, and weary of, the Herods of their own day. But there, in Bethlehem, was a promise of newness, of gratuity,” he said.
Thousands of people were gathered in St Peter’s Basilica as the Pope entered to the sounds of the choir singing “Angels we have heard on high” in Latin. Before taking his place in front of the altar, the Pope stood in front of a statue of baby Jesus, spending several minutes in veneration before kissing it.
The Pope said that the Magi adoring the newborn king highlight two specific actions: seeing and worshipping.
Seeing the star of Bethlehem did not prompt them to embark on their journey but rather, “they saw the star because they had already set out,” he said.
“Their hearts were open to the horizon and they could see what the heavens were showing them, for they were guided by an inner restlessness. They were open to something new,” the Pope said.
This restlessness, he continued, awakens a longing for God that exists in the hearts of all believers who know “that the Gospel is not an event of the past but of the present.”
It is holy longing for God “that helps us keep alert in the face of every attempt to reduce and impoverish our life. A holy longing for God is the memory of faith, which rebels before all prophets of doom,” the Pope said.
Recalling the biblical figures of Simeon, the prodigal son, and Mary Magdalene, the Pope said this longing for God “draws us out of our iron-clad isolation, which makes us think that nothing can change”, and helps us seek Christ.
However, the figure of King Herod presents a different attitude of bewilderment and fear that, when confronted with something new, “closes in on itself and its own achievements, its knowledge, its successes”.
The quest of the Magi led them first to Herod’s palace that, although it befits the birth of king, is only a sign of “power, outward appearances and superiority. Idols that promise only sorrow and enslavement,” he said.
“There, in the palace, they did not see the star guiding them to discover a God who wants to be loved. For only under the banner of freedom, not tyranny, is it possible to realise that the gaze of this unknown but desired king does not abase, enslave, or imprison us,” the Pope said.

People in traditional attire endure cold weather during the annual parade marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter's Square (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
People in traditional attire endure cold weather during the annual parade marking the feast of the Epiphany in St Peter’s Square (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Unlike the Magi, the Pope added, Herod is unable to worship the newborn king because he was unwilling to change his way of thinking and “did not want to stop worshipping himself, believing that everything revolved around him”.
Christians are called to imitate the wise men who, “weary of the Herods of their own day,” set out in search of the promise of something new.
“The Magi were able to worship, because they had the courage to set out. And as they fell to their knees before the small, poor and vulnerable infant, the unexpected and unknown child of Bethlehem, they discovered the glory of God,” the Pope said.
After the Mass, Pope Francis greeted tens of thousands of people gathered in St Peter’s Square to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany.
A colourful parade led by the sounds of trumpets and drums, people dressed in traditional and festive clothing contributed to the cheerful atmosphere despite the chilly weather.
Explaining the significance of the Wise Men who presented their gifts to Christ after adoring him, the Pope gave the crowds a gift: a small booklet of reflections on mercy.
The book, entitled “Icons of Mercy”, presents “six Gospel episodes that recall the experience of people transformed by Jesus’s love: the sinful woman, Zacchaeus, Matthew, the publican, the Samaritan, the good thief and the apostle Peter. Six icons of mercy,” the papal almoner’s office said.
Together with the homeless, poor men and women and refugees, religious men and women distributed the books to the crowd. As a thank you, Pope also offered more than 300 homeless men and women sandwiches and drinks.

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Taken from: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2017/01/06/the-magi-embody-all-those-who-long-for-god-says-pope-francis/

Friday, January 6, 2017

Join the Prayer Crusade of Reparation!

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... people praying worldwide ! Goal: 1 million

Come, My Mother, Come!

  • Wars, Islamic terrorism, civil unrest, economic crises, unemployment...
  • Violent persecution of Christians in the Middle East, Africa, Pakistan, Vietnam, and in China...
  • “Legal” persecution of Christians in the West and Christianophobia in the name of secularism and “human rights” contrary to the Law of God…
  • Blasphemies, profanations, ridicule of the Catholic Faith in films, stage performances, art, radio and TV programmes...
  • Gradual destruction of the traditional family and indissoluble marriage between one man and one woman, promotion of homosexuality and abortion…
  • Corruption of children by means of the infamous “gender ideology”, as well as corruption of youth through fashions, pornography and drugs…
  • Grave crisis of the Faith within the bosom of Holy Mother Church where prelates in high offices promote the auto-demolition of the Church, doctrinal confusion, and the desacralisation of the Eucharist and of Matrimony...
In light of these calamities, a cry of anguish arises from the depths of many hearts:
Will God not have pity on our world?
Is it doomed to be punished and to disappear?
100 years ago Our Lady came to the Earth to warn mankind that it was bordering the abyss, but also came to say that She brought the solution.
To the three shepherd children of Fatima, She presented a simple, threefold solution full of hope:
Prayer, penance and amendment of life!
Nonetheless, one century later, after two world wars, and after the most atrocious terrorist attacks in the history of mankind, where is the conversion, penance and prayer?
Will we present ourselves empty-handed to Our Lady on the occasion of the centenary of the apparitions in which She asked for conversion, penance and prayer as the means to avoid God punishing the world?
1,000,000 people praying the Rosary by the 13th October 2017
This is the bold goal of the Prayer Crusade of Reparation: by the 13th October 2017, 1,000,000 people praying for the conversion of mankind, thus bringing about the promised triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary!
Join thousands of people on 5 continents who are already part of our
Prayer Crusade of Reparation!
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Intentions of the Prayer Crusade of Reparation

  1. Increase in devotion to Our Lady;
  2. The establishment of the Reign of the Immaculate Heart of Mary in both the spiritual and temporal spheres;
  3. The restoration of good customs both in the family and society as an indispensable condition to bring peace to the world (2nd part of the Secret of Fatima);
  4. To obtain the special protection of the Immaculate Heart of Mary for all those who are being persecuted, expelled from their homes, abused and martyred for their Catholic Faith in many parts of the world;
  5. The conversion of sinners for the salvation of their souls.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Pope Francis: Don't Over-Intellectualize Your Faith

 

Pope Francis Homilies
Dec 13 2016 - 4:57pm | Pope Francis
 
In his homily today, Pope Francis warned pastors of the dangers of becoming “intellectuals of religion.”
The poor and humble people who have faith in the Lord are the victims of the “intellectuals of religion,” and those who are “seduced by clericalism.”
The pope directed his attention to Jesus, who in the day’s Gospel turns to the chief priests and the elders of the people, and focuses precisely on their role. “They had juridical, moral, religious authority,” he said. “They decided everything.” Annas and Caiaphas, for example, “judged Jesus.” They arrived at this state of “arrogance and tyranny towards the people,” the pope said, by instrumentalizing the law.
“But a law that they have remade many times: so many times, to the point that they had arrived at 500 commandments. Everything was regulated, everything! A law scientifically constructed, because this people was wise, they understood well. They made all these nuances, no? But it was a law without memory: they had forgotten the First Commandment, which God had given to our father Abraham: “Walk in my presence and be blameless.” They did not walk: they always stopped in their own convictions. They were not blameless!”
“Judas was a traitor….He sinned forcefully. But then the Gospel says, ‘He repented, and went to them to return the money.’ And what did they do? ‘But you were our associate. Be calm.… We have the power to forgive you for everything!’ No! ‘Make whatever arrangement you can!’ [they said.] ‘It’s your problem!’ And they left him alone, discarded! The poor Judas, a traitor and repentant, was not welcomed by the pastors. Because these people had forgotten what it was to be a pastor. They were the intellectuals of religion, those who had the power, who advanced the catechesis of the people with a morality composed by their own intelligence and not by the revelation.”
Even today, the pope observed, this sometimes happens in the church. “There is that spirit of clericalism,” he explained. “Clerics feel they are superior, they are far from the people....They have no time to hear the poor, the suffering, prisoners, the sick.”
“The evil of clericalism is a very ugly thing! It is a new edition of these people. And the victim is the same: the poor and humble people who await the Lord.... Today, too, Jesus says to all of us, and even to those who are seduced by clericalism: ‘The sinners and the prostitutes will go before you into the Kingdom of Heaven.’”


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Orthodox patriarch says Amoris Laetitia is about God’s mercy

Pope Francis with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople (CNS)

'First and foremost the apostolic exhortation recalls the mercy and compassion of God,' the patriarch wrote.
Knowing the debate surrounding Pope Francis’s apostolic exhortation on the family, Orthodox Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople said the document “first and foremost recalls the mercy and compassion of God and not just moral norms and canonical rules.”
“In the past few months, numerous comments and evaluations of this important document have been made,” the patriarch wrote on December 2 in L’Osservatore Romano, the Vatican newspaper.
“People have asked how specific doctrine has been developed or defended or if pastoral questions have been modified or resolved and if particular norms have been strengthened or mitigated,” he said.
“Whether it regards the challenges of marriage and divorce or sexuality or raising children,” he said, the matters treated in the document “are all delicate and precious fragments of that sacred mystery we call life.”
For too long, he said, people were “suffocated and blocked” from reaching out to God for forgiveness and strength by the notion of a “heavenly Father who in some way dictated human conduct.”
“Religious leaders are called to remind themselves and then others that God is life and love and light,” he wrote. “In fact, these are the words repeatedly underlined by Pope Francis in his document, which discerns the experience and challenges of contemporary society with a view toward describing a spirituality of marriage and the family for today’s world.”
The patriarch said it was no accident that the Pope’s letter, “Amoris Laetitia” (“The Joy of Love”), was released in April, about the time he and the Pope went to the Greek island of Lesbos to meet with refugees.
“In fact, what was immediately clear to both of us while we looked at the sad faces of the victims wounded by war was that all of these people were members of families, families split and torn apart by the hostilities and violence,” the patriarch wrote.
The Pope’s document, he said, touches the experience of those families and of all families because it speaks of God and “when we speak of God, the descriptive language we use is that of love.”
Patriarch Bartholomew said Pope Francis, like the early fathers of the Church, did not shy away from sensitive questions, but “their point of departure always is the loving and saving grace of God, which shines on every person without discrimination or disgust.”

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Taken from: http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2016/12/05/orthodox-patriarch-says-amoris-laetitia-is-about-gods-mercy/

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Immaculate Mary Ark of the Covenant


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by

Damien F. Mackey

 

“In our modern Bibles, there is a chapter division between the appearance of the Ark of the Covenant and the description of the “woman clothed with the sun.” But chapter divisions were added in the Middle Ages to make the books of the Bible easier to refer to. John did not make any divisions: he wrote straight through from Revelation 11:19 to Revelation 12:1 without a break”.




The human activity discussed in Part Three (i), of ‘cleaving across the real structure’ of things, for some legitimate utilitarian purpose, rather than patiently studying ‘the thing as it is in itself’ (Immanuel Kant’s das Ding an sich), is apparent from the artificial re-arranging of the Book of Genesis into 50 chapters each consisting of multiple verses - whereas the book in-itself naturally falls into those eleven toledot (‘family history) divisions as discussed in my:


Structure of the Book of Genesis




Today we would be hard put to live without those familiar chapters and verses, artificial though they be, which can serve as a handy mnemonic device and points of reference. However they, because they are artificial, can also have the unfortunate effect of hindering one from properly grasping the original intention and meaning of the author(s) of the text.

This is well exemplified when we turn from the first book of the Bible, Genesis, to the last, Revelation. Dr. Scott Hahn, writing of what he calls “The Ark of the New Covenant”, explains how St. John the Evangelist’s intended meaning gets completely lost due to the thematic discontinuity caused by the artificial division of Revelation’s Chapters 11-12 (https://stpaulcenter.com/studies/lesson/lesson-three-the-ark-of-the-new-covenant):


A. The Ark Reappears in Heaven



Luke uses parallel language and images to make his point. But John, the author of Revelation, tells us directly that he saw the Ark of the Covenant - the holy object that had been lost since Jeremiah’s time - in a vision.

“Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant could be seen in the temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm. A great sign appeared in the sky, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth” (see Revelation 11:19 and Revelation 12:1-2).

This is a strange string of images, almost overwhelming - like much of the book of Revelation. But certainly the statement that the Ark of the Covenant was visible must have caught the attention of the first people who heard the vision.

If the Ark had been seen, then the time Jeremiah spoke of must have come: the time when “God gathers his people together again and shows them mercy,” the time when “the glory of the Lord will be seen in the cloud, just as it appeared in the time of Moses” (see 2 Maccabees 7-8)

And indeed the sights and sounds are the same as in the time of Moses - storm and earthquake:

“There were flashes of lightning, rumblings, and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and a violent hailstorm” (see Revelation 11:19).

“On the morning of the third day there were peals of thunder and lightning, and a heavy cloud over the mountain, and a very loud trumpet blast, so that all the people in the camp trembled . . . Mount Sinai was all wrapped in smoke, for the LORD came down upon it in fire. The smoke rose from it as though from a furnace, and the whole mountain trembled violently” (see Exodus 19:16, 18)

Naturally, we want to hear more about the rediscovered Ark of the Covenant. And John goes on to describe what he sees: “a woman clothed with the sun” (see Revelation 12:1).

In our modern Bibles, there is a chapter division between the appearance of the Ark of the Covenant and the description of the “woman clothed with the sun.” But chapter divisions were added in the Middle Ages to make the books of the Bible easier to refer to. John did not make any divisions: he wrote straight through from Revelation 11:19 to Revelation 12:1 without a break.

In the dream-like but deeply significant logic of John’s vision, the Ark of the Covenant is “a woman clothed with the sun.”

 


B. The Woman Clothed With the Sun



And who is this woman?

“She was with child and wailed aloud in pain as she labored to give birth ” (see Revelation 12:2).

“She gave birth to a son, a male child, destined to rule all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was caught up to God and his throne” (see Revelation 12:5).

The one destined to rule the nations with an iron rod (a shepherd’s rod) is the Lord’s Anointed, the Messiah or Christ (see Psalm 2). The “woman clothed with the sun,” whom John sees when he looks at the Ark of the Covenant, is the Mother of the Christ.

 


C. What Makes Mary the Ark of the New Covenant?



The Ark of the Covenant was the sign of God’s real presence among His people. In Jesus Christ, born of Mary, God was really present among his people in an even more direct way.

The Ark held the Word of God written in stone. Mary bore the Word of God in flesh.

The Ark held the bread from heaven, a foreshadowing of the Eucharist (see 1 Corinthians 10:1-4). Mary bore the Bread of Life, Jesus Christ (see John 6:48-50).

The Ark contained the rod of Aaron, symbol of his priesthood. Mary bore Jesus Christ, our High Priest (see Hebrews 3:1).

If the Ark of the Covenant was holy, then by the same standards Mary is even holier. As Mother of God, she is the Ark of the New Covenant, bearing Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the Bread of Life, our great High Priest. That is not a re-interpretation of the Gospel: it is a truth made clear by the New Testament writers themselves.

[End of quote]


For more on this fascinating subject, see the following article:


'The Marian Dimension'. Part Three: Mary as New Ark of Covenant





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