SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY # 340

Posted: October 20, 2014 in Uncategorized

“So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.” (Matt. 18:35)

THE DIVINITY OF OUR LORD: His words: “My heavenly Father” contain a direct testimony to His own Divinity.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]

(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

Paul VI and how he suffered.

Back in 1965, I stood close by to Pope Paul VI, as he stood on the steps of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in New York City. That’s Cardinal Spellman next to the Pope. I was a young man then and worked for United Press Internationl (UPI) as a motorcycle news courier. My job was to stay close to the cameramen and rush the film to the studio, where it was developed, printed and sent around the world to the different news outlets. It was an exciting job because I was always in the middle of some big news story and got to see everything firsthand. I also went to the Mass at Yankee Stadium that Pope Paul VI celebrated. I even have a prayer card from that Mass with the Holy Father’s signature stamped on it! I truly believe he was instrumental for my desire to become a faithful Catholic a few years later. Below is a short story on his papacy and a video showing some scenes of his visit to New York.

June 28, 1963

The following comes from an Oct. 16 story by Russell Shaw on Aleteia.com. Shaw is a former spokesmen for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

When Pope Francis today (October 19) formally declares Pope Paul VI “Blessed,” the event will recall one of the most painful periods in the history of the Church together with the long-suffering servant pope who stood at the helm when the storm was at its worst.

Pope Paul came to the papacy in 1963 in many ways superbly qualified for his daunting new role. When death took him 15 years later, he left Peter’s chair bearing an almost visible burden of disappointment and grief, having absorbed the shock of a hectic and deeply disturbing decade and a half.

His credentials for the papacy were peerless. As a close collaborator of Pope Pius XII from 1937 to 1954 Monsignor Montini had acquired rare insight into the structures and personalities of the Church. As Archbishop of Milan from 1954 until his election as pope, he’d gained hands-on experience in governing one of the world’s premier sees.

After initial skepticism about Vatican II, he emerged as one of the council’s leaders in the crucial first session, playing a central role in shaping its agenda. When Pope John XXIII died between sessions, the conclave of June 1963 chose him as pope on the firth ballot. Now he appeared poised for a pontificate of historic significance.

And so it was. But not in the way anyone expected.

His tenure had its high points—the historic meeting in Jerusalem in January 1964 with Orthodoxy’s Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras I, the triumphant close in December 1965 of Vatican II, the council he’d guided through three tumultuous sessions to a conclusion that seemed to promise bright hopes for the future, his trip soon after that to the United Nations in New York where he electrified the world with a moving address in which he cried out, “No more war!”

But something else, little noted at that moment, was soon to emerge that would change everything—for the Pope and the entire Church.

At the time Paul came to office, a commission established by Pope John to study the population question had been weighing the Church’s teaching on birth control for several years. Would the Church accept the Pill? Could it allow other methods of contraception? Questions abounded, together with leaks from what by now was being called the “birth control commission.”

Fed by people with agendas, speculation that change was coming soon emerged. And Pope Paul studied the arguments and prayed. Too long, some people said. With the passing of time, the speculation became a widely shared certainty that change was a done deal.   Then, on July 25, 1968, Humanae Vitae appeared, and the angry advocates of change confronted an uncompromising condemnation of contraception in any and all forms.

The exodus from the priesthood and religious life had begun several years earlier, but now it was blamed on the Pope. Defenders of Paul VI and his encyclical were either ignored or vilified. The virus of dissent—not only about contraception but much else besides—spread rapidly and, with media support, soon became entrenched. The “smoke of Satan,” Paul famously said, had seeped into the Church.

After Humanae Vitae Paul’s pontificate continued another decade–10 years that continued to witness innovative papal actions and important new documents. But the man at the center of it appeared increasingly weary and sad.

Was his sanctity forged and tested during that last, difficult decade? Pope Francis calls Humanae Vitae prophetic. As his beatification nears, those of us who admired Paul VI say: At last he’s getting his due.

 

 

 

 

Whispers in the Loggia: “I Am the Pope, And I’m Here” – In the Aula, Francis Brings Down the Curtain… And Lowers the Boom.

And here, via Vatican Radio‘s English desk, a full translation of Francis’ closing speech….

Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,

With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.

From the heart I thank Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, under-secretary, and with them I thank the Relators, Cardinal Peter Erdo, who has worked so much in these days of family mourning, and the Special Secretary Bishop Bruno Forte, the three President delegates, the transcribers, the consultors, the translators and the unknown workers, all those who have worked with true fidelity and total dedication behind the scenes and without rest. Thank you so much from the heart.

I thank all of you as well, dear Synod fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors, and Assessors, for your active and fruitful participation. I will keep you in prayer asking the Lord to reward you with the abundance of His gifts of grace!

I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”

And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:

- One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility [trans: rigidity], that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.
- The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”
- The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).
- The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.
- The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things…

Dear brothers and sisters, the temptations must not frighten or disconcert us, or even discourage us, because no disciple is greater than his master; so if Jesus Himself was tempted – and even called Beelzebul (cf. Mt 12:24) – His disciples should not expect better treatment.

Personally I would be very worried and saddened if it were not for these temptations and these animated discussions; this movement of the spirits, as St Ignatius called it (Spiritual Exercises, 6), if all were in a state of agreement, or silent in a false and quietist peace. Instead, I have seen and I have heard – with joy and appreciation – speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom, of frankness and of courage: and of parresia. And I have felt that what was set before our eyes was the good of the Church, of families, and the “supreme law,” the “good of souls” (cf. Can. 1752). And this always – we have said it here, in the Hall – without ever putting into question the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of marriage: the indissolubility, the unity, the faithfulness, the fruitfulness, that openness to life (cf. Cann. 1055, 1056; and Gaudium et spes, 48).

And this is the Church, the vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother and the caring Teacher, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wound; who doesn’t see humanity as a house of glass to judge or categorize people. This is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners, needful of God’s mercy. This is the Church, the true bride of Christ, who seeks to be faithful to her spouse and to her doctrine. It is the Church that is not afraid to eat and drink with prostitutes and publicans. The Church that has the doors wide open to receive the needy, the penitent, and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect! The Church that is not ashamed of the fallen brother and pretends not to see him, but on the contrary feels involved and almost obliged to lift him up and to encourage him to take up the journey again and accompany him toward a definitive encounter with her Spouse, in the heavenly Jerusalem.

The is the Church, our Mother! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the sensus fidei, of that supernatural sense of the faith which is bestowed by the Holy Spirit so that, together, we can all enter into the heart of the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus in our life. And this should never be seen as a source of confusion and discord.

Many commentators, or people who talk, have imagined that they see a disputatious Church where one part is against the other, doubting even the Holy Spirit, the true promoter and guarantor of the unity and harmony of the Church – the Holy Spirit who throughout history has always guided the barque, through her Ministers, even when the sea was rough and choppy, and the ministers unfaithful and sinners.

And, as I have dared to tell you, [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take place cum Petro and sub Petro (with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.

We will speak a little bit about the Pope, now, in relation to the Bishops [laughing]. So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock – to nourish the flock – that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome – with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears – the lost sheep. I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.

His duty is to remind everyone that authority in the Church is a service, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly explained, with words I cite verbatim: “The Church is called and commits herself to exercise this kind of authority which is service and exercises it not in her own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ… through the Pastors of the Church, in fact: it is he who guides, protects and corrects them, because he loves them deeply. But the Lord Jesus, the supreme Shepherd of our souls, has willed that the Apostolic College, today the Bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter… to participate in his mission of taking care of God’s People, of educating them in the faith and of guiding, inspiring and sustaining the Christian community, or, as the Council puts it, ‘to see to it… that each member of the faithful shall be led in the Holy Spirit to the full development of his own vocation in accordance with Gospel preaching, and to sincere and active charity’ and to exercise that liberty with which Christ has set us free (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6)… and it is through us,” Pope Benedict continues, “that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: ‘let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord’ (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1).”

So, the Church is Christ’s – she is His bride – and all the bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter, have the task and the duty of guarding her and serving her, not as masters but as servants. The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” (Can. 749) and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church” (cf. Cann. 331-334).

Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.

One year to work on the “Synodal Relatio” which is the faithful and clear summary of everything that has been said and discussed in this hall and in the small groups. It is presented to the Episcopal Conferences as “lineamenta” [guidelines].

May the Lord accompany us, and guide us in this journey for the glory of His Name, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph. And please, do not forget to pray for me! Thank you!

Thank you, and rest well, eh?

Brooklyn Diocese raises record $2.2 million for scholarship fund at annual dinner   – NY Daily News.

 

The Diocese of Brooklyn raised more than $2.2 million at its annual Scholarship Fund Dinner last week. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello with 2014 honorees: (From left to right) Richard J. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer at Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.; Lester J. Owens, Global Head of Wholesale Banking Operations at JP Morgan Chase & Co; Domenick A. Cama, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Investors Bank; and Joseph M. Mattone, SR., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at The Mattone Group. BROOKLYN DIOCESE The Diocese of Brooklyn raised more than $2.2 million at its annual Scholarship Fund Dinner last week. Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio and Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello with 2014 honorees: (From left to right) Richard J. Daly, President and Chief Executive Officer at Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.; Lester J. Owens, Global Head of Wholesale Banking Operations at JP Morgan Chase & Co; Domenick A. Cama, Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer at Investors Bank; and Joseph M. Mattone, SR., Chairman and Chief Executive Officer at The Mattone Group.

SCRIPTURE COMMENTARY # 339

Posted: October 18, 2014 in Uncategorized

” Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would make a reckoning with his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not wherewith to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down and worshipped him, saying, ‘Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.’ And the lord of that servant, being moved with compassion, released him, and forgave him the debt. But that servant went out, and found one of his fellow–servants, which owed him a hundred pence: and he laid hold on him, and took him by the throat, saying, ‘Pay what thou owest.’ So his fellow–servant fell down and besought him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay thee.’ And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay that which was due. So when his fellow–servants saw what was done, they were exceeding sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done. Then his lord called him unto him, and saith to him, ‘Thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou besoughtest me: shouldest not thou also have had mercy on thy fellow–servant, even as I had mercy on thee?’ And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due. So shall also my heavenly Father do unto you, if ye forgive not every one his brother from your hearts.” (Matt. 18:23-35)

GOOD RESOLUTIONS: The debtor in the parable made a resolution to pay off his debt if he could. So also we who are sinners should make firm resolutions to offer satisfaction for our sins.

[From 'A Practical Commentary on Holy Scripture' by Bishop Knecht, D.D.]

(1899 Douay-Rheims Bible)

 

Depiction of the Parable of the Unmerciful Ser...

Depiction of the Parable of the Unmerciful Servant. Photograph of stained glass window at Scots’ Church, Melbourne (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Miraculous Medal to house homeless? – Queens Chronicle: Central/Mid Queens News.

Ridgewood church may open its convent to domestic abuse victims

The proposed 125-family homeless residence in Glendale might not be the only place a mother down on her luck can go to seek shelter in west-central Queens in the coming months.

There are plans to turn the Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal Church’s convent at 62-81 60 Place in Ridgewood into a shelter for mothers with children running from an abusive relationship or who have been recently incarcerated.

According to a source, it is believed that Providence House, a Brooklyn nonprofit human services agency, has privately partnered with the church to provide housing, and the Department of Homeless Services is not involved.

 

A timeline for when families may start to move into the convent and how many available beds the space holds is unclear.

I’m very familiar with this area, having lived in Middle Village, Queens for a number of years. I hope this works out for everyone involved. It’s a lot of work  looking after the homeless, especially if there are children involved.and they will need lots of volunteers. God bless them+

How to Have Fun by Yourself: 16 Steps (with Pictures) – wikiHow.

It’s tough living alone and sometimes being out of ideas on keeping myself busy and joyful, even though I’m still grieving the loss of my spouse, Marianne. I ran across this article about having some fun by oneself and I thought I would share it with all of you. Some of the steps I have already done, like making a collage and volunteering my time, but some steps I would rather not do, such as Dancing and singing a cappella! Anyway, it’s all fun! Enjoy!

Deacon John