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Archive for the ‘Documents of Benedict XVI’ Category

This Weeks Posts: Sunday, Feb 20-Saturday, Feb 26

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 26, 2011

Some posts are scheduled in advance and will not become available until the time indicated. Posts without time indicators (e.g., Readings) are available regardless of the day they are listed. UPDATES may occur in the afternoon/evening of any day.


Last Weeks Posts. In case you missed something.

Today’s Readings.

Resources For Sunday Mass, Feb 20. A weekly feature of this blog. The resources for next Sunday, Feb 27, will be posted on Wednesday. Individual posts relating to next Sunday’s Mass will appear throughout the week(e.g., see the next couple of links).

Bernardin de Piconio on 1 Cor 4:1-5 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.

Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Cor 4:1-5 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.

Bishop MacEvily on 1 Cor 4:1-5 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.



Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 9:14-29). 12:05 AM EST.

Cornelius a Lapide on 2 Cor 11:19-33, 12:1-9 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27 (Extraordinary Form). 12:10 AM EST. A very, very lengthy post.

UPDATE: St John Fisher on the Fourth Penitential Psalm (51), Part 1.

UPDATE: Pope John Paul II on Psalm 62 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.

UPDATE: Juan de Maldonado on Matt 6:24-34 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.




Bishop MacEvily on Today’s First Reading (1 Peter 5:1-4). 12:05 AM EST.

Juan de Maldonado on Today’s Gospel (Matt 16:13-19). Actually, this post includes verses 20-23.

Catholic Encyclopedia on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter.

Catholic News Service Article on the Chair of St Peter.

Photos Relating to the Chair of St Peter.

Office of Readings for the Feast of the Chair of St Peter. An excerpt from a homily by Pope St Leo the Great.

Pope Benedict XVI on the Feast of the Chair of St Peter. 12:05 AM EST.

Jesus and the Mystery of the Kingdom. Podcast on the relationship between the Church and the Kingdom. Focuses especially on the theme of the Church (Greek, ἐκκλησία = ekklēsia; Heb, עדה = ‛êdâh), in the OT and its relation to the Kingdom of David. Then examines Isaiah 22:15-24 in relation to Matt 16:13-19). The podcast is by Dr Brant Pitre.



Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 9:38-40). 12:05 AM EST.

Catholic Encyclopedia on St Polycarp.

The Epistle of St Ignatius of Antioch to St Polycarp.

The Martyrdom of St Polycarp.

St Polycarps Epistle to the Philippians. 12:10 AM EST.

Some Notes on Today’s Psalm Verses.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Matt 6:24-34 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Matt 6:24-34 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 8:4-15 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27 (Extraordinary Form).

Bishop Knecht’s Practical Commentary on Luke 8:4-15 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27 (Extraordinary Form).

The Catechism of the Council of Trent on Prayer and Fasting.

Resources For Sunday Mass, Feb 27 (Ordinary and Extraordinary Forms). Available 12:00 AM EST.



My Notes on Today’s Psalm (1).

St Thomas Aquinas on today’s Psalm (1). Latin and English text side by side.

Father Patrick Boylan on Today’s Psalm (1).

A Lectio Divina Reading of Today’s Psalm (1).

A Medieval Jewish Commentary on Today’s Psalm (1).

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 9:41-40). 12:05 AM EST.

St John Chrysostom on 1 Cor 4:1-5 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.



Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Mark 10:1-12). 12:05 AM EST.

UPDATE: Bishop MacEvily on Matt 6:24-34 for Sunday Mass, Feb 27.

Posted in BENEDICT XVI CATECHESIS, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Documents of Benedict XVI, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on 1 Peter, Notes on 2 Corinthians, Notes on Mark, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Some Notes Relating to Sirach 15:15-20

Posted by Dim Bulb on February 12, 2011

Verse 14, which is not part of the Sunday reading, can serve as an introduction to it, for it introduces the major theme of the passage, man’s free will and consequent responsibility: “God made man from the beginning, and left him in the hand of his own counsel”. This gift to man, his being in the hand of his own counsel, is one way in which man is the image of God:

Pope St John Paul II~Veritatis Splendour~Taking up the words of Sirach, the Second Vatican Council explains the meaning of that “genuine freedom” which is “an outstanding manifestation of the divine image” in man: “God willed to leave man in the power of his own counsel, so that he would seek his Creator of his own accord and would freely arrive at full and blessed perfection by cleaving to God”.64 These words indicate the wonderful depth of the sharing in God’s dominion to which man has been called: they indicate that man’s dominion extends in a certain sense over man himself. This has been a constantly recurring theme in theological reflection on human freedom, which is described as a form of kingship. For example, Saint Gregory of Nyssa writes: “The soul shows its royal and exalted character… in that it is free and self-governed, swayed autonomously by its own will. Of whom else can this be said, save a king?… Thus human nature, created to rule other creatures, was by its likeness to the King of the universe made as it were a living image, partaking with the Archetype both in dignity and in name”.65

The exercise of dominion over the world represents a great and responsible task for man, one which involves his freedom in obedience to the Creator’s command: “Fill the earth and subdue it” (GN 1,28). In view of this, a rightful autonomy is due to every man, as well as to the human community, a fact to which the Council’s Constitution Gaudium et spes calls special attention. This is the autonomy of earthly realities, which means that “created things have their own laws and values which are to be gradually discovered, utilized and ordered by man”.66

Not only the world, however, but also man himself has been entrusted to his own care and responsibility. God left man “in the power of his own counsel” (SI 15,14), that he might seek his Creator and freely attain perfection. Attaining such perfection means personally building up that perfection in himself. Indeed, just as man in exercising his dominion over the world shapes it in accordance with his own intelligence and will, so too in performing morally good acts, man strengthens, develops and consolidates within himself his likeness to God (Pope John Paul II, Splendor of the Truth, #’s 38-39).

The fact that God placed man in the hand of his own counsel means that man has no excuse for his sins, only responsibility. He cannot blame God: Do not say, “Because of the Lord I left the right way”; for he will not do what he hates. Do not say, “It was he who led me astray”; for he had no need of a sinful man. The Lord hates all abominations, and they are not loved by those who fear him (Sir 15:11-13, RSVCE).  Let no man, when he is tempted, say that he is tempted by God. For God is not a tempter of evils: and he tempteth no man (James 1:13, DR).

Sir 15:15.  If you will, you can keep the commandments, and to act faithfully is a matter of your own choice (RSVCE).

These (commandments) would never be imposed, if man were not free.  (Calmet).  The idea here and in what follows is similar to that of Deuteronomy 30:15-20~ “See, I have set before you this day life and good, death and evil.  If you obey the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you this day, by loving the LORD your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live and multiply, and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you are entering to take possession of it.  But if your heart turns away, and you will not hear, but are drawn away to worship other gods and serve them, I declare to you this day, that you shall perish; you shall not live long in the land which you are going over the Jordan to enter and possess.  I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice, and cleaving to him; for that means life to you and length of days, that you may dwell in the land which the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.” (RSVCE).

Thus, the New and Old Testaments go together. In the First Reading from Deuteronomy God’s response is: “I command you this day, by loving the Lord your God, by walking in his ways, and by keeping his commandments and his statutes and his ordinances, then you shall live” (Deut 30:16). At first sight we may not like this, but it is the way: the option for life and the option for God are identical. The Lord says so in St John’s Gospel: “This is eternal life, that they know you” (Jhn 17:3).

Human life is a relationship. It is only in a relationship, and not closed in on ourselves, that we can have life. And the fundamental relationship is the relationship with the Creator, or else other relations are fragile. Hence, it is essential to choose God. A world empty of God, a world that has forgotten God, loses life and relapses into a culture of death (Pope Benedict XVI, Meeting with Roman clergy, March 2, 2006).

Sir 15:16. He has placed before you fire and water: stretch out your hand for whichever you wish. (RSVCE)

A Catholic Commentary on Holy Scripture: As further helps God added sanctions to his moral law, rewards for observing it, punishments for breaking it. ‘Water and fire are set before thee, stretch forth thy hand to which thou wilt.’ Water and fire are figures of reward and punishment. Possibly Deut 28-30 was in mind. Cf. Deut 28:11, 12, 21, 24.

See Matt, 7:13-14~ “Enter by the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the way is easy, that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many.  For the gate is narrow and the way is hard, that leads to life, and those who find it are few (RSVCE).

Sir 15:17.  Before a man are life and death, and whichever he chooses will be given to him (RSVCE).

See Ezek 33:10-20~“And you, son of man, say to the house of Israel, Thus have you said: `Our transgressions and our sins are upon us, and we waste away because of them; how then can we live?’ Say to them, As I live, says the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; turn back, turn back from your evil ways; for why will you die, O house of Israel?  And you, son of man, say to your people, The righteousness of the righteous shall not deliver him when he transgresses; and as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall by it when he turns from his wickedness; and the righteous shall not be able to live by his righteousness when he sins.  Though I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, yet if he trusts in his righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous deeds shall be remembered; but in the iniquity that he has committed he shall die. Again, though I say to the wicked, `You shall surely die,’ yet if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has taken by robbery, and walks in the statutes of life, committing no iniquity; he shall surely live, he shall not die.  None of the sins that he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right, he shall surely live.  “Yet your people say, `The way of the Lord is not just’; when it is their own way that is not just.  When the righteous turns from his righteousness, and commits iniquity, he shall die for it.  And when the wicked turns from his wickedness, and does what is lawful and right, he shall live by it.  Yet you say, `The way of the Lord is not just.’ O house of Israel, I will judge each of you according to his ways.” (RSVCE)

Sir 15:18 For great is the wisdom of the Lord; he is mighty in power and sees everything;
Sir 15:19 his eyes are on those who fear him, and he knows every deed of man (RSVCE).

See Sirach 16:17-23~Do not say, “I shall be hidden from the Lord, and who from on high will remember me? Among so many people I shall not be known, for what is my soul in the boundless creation?  Behold, heaven and the highest heaven, the abyss and the earth, will tremble at his visitation.  The mountains also and the foundations of the earth shake with trembling when he looks upon them.  And no mind will reflect on this. Who will ponder his ways?  Like a tempest which no man can see, so most of his works are concealed.  Who will announce his acts of justice? Or who will await them? For the covenant is far off.”  This is what one devoid of understanding thinks; a senseless and misguided man thinks foolishly (RSVCE).

Sir 15:20 He has not commanded any one to be ungodly, and he has not given any one permission to sin (RSVCE).

Recapitulates the beginning of the passage, verses 11-13 quoted above.

Posted in Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Documents of Benedict XVI, liturgy, Notes on the Lectionary, Quotes, Scripture | Tagged: , , , | 2 Comments »

This Weeks Posts: Sunday August 1-Saturday August 7

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 7, 2010

Some posts are prepared in advance and will become available only at the time indicated.  All time references are to Eastern Standard Time.

Sunday August 1:

Last weeks posts. In case you missed anything.

Resources for Sunday Mass, August 1. Some posts listed here are also found in the above link.

Catholic Scripture Forum.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Evening Prayer 1). Sets the major theme(s) of the Psalms, Canticle, and Scripture reading. Provides commentary.

Bishop MacEvily on Colossians 1:2b-6aThese notes are linked to in the above post on the Divine Office.  The numbering of the Douay-Rheims translation is a bit different from that of the NAB.  In the former translation the reference is 1:3-6a.

My 2,000 Post! WOO HOO!!!Save your accolades, send cash.  Oh, wait, accolades are probably worth more these days.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Morning Prayer). With some commentary.

The Divine Office, Midmorning Reading with Commentary.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Evening Prayer). With some commentary.

The Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (office of readings). With some commentary.

Monday August 2:

Bishop MacEvily on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:10 AM.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Luke 12: 32-48 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:20 AM.

Office of Readings for Monday, 18th Week in Ordinary Time. 1:25 AM.

Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 14:13-21). 5:05 AM.

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Matt 14:13-21). 5:45 AM.

Juan de Maldonado on Today’s Gospel (Matt 14:13-21) 10:30 AM.

Tuesday August 3: More updates coming (mostly political).

Post 1. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:1-2 for Sunday Mass (August 8) 1:15 AM. This is the first of four homilies encompassing the second reading, Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-19.  See next link for today and the first two links under Wednesday.

Post 2. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:8-12 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:20 AM.  I’ve included the Saint’s comments on verse 7.

Cornelius a Lpaide on Luke 12:32-48 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 1:30 AM.

Commentary on the Office of Readings for the Day. 5:00 AM.

Father Callan on Hebrews 11:1-2, 8-11 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 5:10 AM.

The Obama/Democrat Policy of Blame Bush Has Run It Course.

Busting Media Myth: The Bush Tax Cuts Did Work.

Wednesday August 4: More updates coming.

Post 3. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:13-17 for Sunday Mass (August 8) 1:45 AM.

Post 4. St John Chrysostom on Hebrews 11:18-19 for Sunday Mass (August 8). 2:00 AM.

Aquinas Catena Aurea for Today’s Gospel (Matt 15:21-28).

Cornelius a Lapide on Today’s Gospel (Matt 15:21-28).

Latin Mass: Cornelius a Lapide on 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 for Sunday Mass, August 8. 12:05 AM.

Latin Mass: Aquinas’ Catena Aurea on Mark 7:31-37 for Sunday Mass, August 8. 12:20 AM.

Latin Mass: Bernardin de Piconio on 1 Corinthians 15:1-10 for Sunday Mass, August 8. 2:30 AM.

Thursday August 5:


Aquinas Catena Aurea on Today’s Gospel (Matt 16:13-23). 1:10 AM.

Juan de Maldonado on Today’s Gospel (Matt 16:13-23). 1:20 AM.

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 8:18-27. 5:30 AM.

Feast of the Transfiguration: Bishop MacEvily on 2 Peter 1:16-19. I’ve posted Friday’s readings for the transfiguration early for those who may wish to prepare for the Feast early, or who are attending the vigil.

Juan de Maldonado on the Transfiguration. See previous note.

Divine Office: The Office of Readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration . Contains links to the Psalms used, commentary on the Psalms by Pope John Paul II, a commentary on the first reading (2 Cor 3:7-4:6) and the text of the second reading by St Anastasius.

Rosary Saves Soldier’s Life, Just As It Did His Great Grandfather’s Life In WW II.

Friday August 6: If you’re looking for commentary on the readings for the Feast of the Transfiguration please see under Thursday.

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 8:28-39.

Saturday August 7:

Bernardin de Piconio on Romans 9:1-13.




Posted in BENEDICT XVI CATECHESIS, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Divine Office, Documents of Benedict XVI, Eucharist, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, Notes on 1 Corinthians, Notes on Luke's Gospel, Notes on Mark, Notes on Matthew, Notes on Romans, Notes on the Gospel of Matthew, Notes on the Lectionary, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes, Scripture, St Cyril's catechesis, St Thomas Aquinas | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Divine Office for the 18th Sunday in Ordinary Time (Morning Prayer)

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 1, 2010

Invitatory Psalm 95 (94 in the Douay-Rheims).  Commentary.

Morning Prayer Themes: The Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Christ Ps 118 [117]) is a celebration of  the victory of God over that which opposes him and his people.  By his act Christ has opened the doors to a greater Temple, so that we may offer a new and profound worship in union with him.  This praise and worship involves all of creation (Dan 3:52-57; Ps 150).

Psalm 118 (117 in the Douay Rheims).  Commentary by Pope John Paul II.

Daniel 3:52-57~

(3:52) Blessed art thou, O Lord, the God of our fathers; and worthy to be praised, and glorified, and exalted above all for ever: and blessed is the holy name of thy glory: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all, in all ages.
(3:53) Blessed art thou in the holy temple of thy glory: and exceedingly to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
(3:55) Blessed art thou that beholdest the depths, and sittest upon the cherubims: and worthy to be praised and exalted above all for ever.
(3:56) Blessed art thou in the firmament of heaven: and worthy of praise, and glorious for ever.
(3:57) All ye works of the Lord, bless the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever.  Commentary Pope John Paul II.

Psalm 150.   Commentary by Pope John Paul II.

Canticle of ZechariahCommentary by Pope John Paul II.

Reading~ Ezekiel 36:25-27

Eze 36:25  And I will pour upon you clean water, and you shall be cleansed from all your filthiness, and I will cleanse you from all your idols.
Eze 36:26  And I will give you a new heart, and put a new spirit within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you a heart of flesh.
Eze 36:27  And I will put my spirit in the midst of you: and I will cause you to walk in my commandments, and to keep my judgments, and do them.

Haydock Commentary:

Eze 36:25  Water.  R. David and the Chaldean explain this of the remission of sin; and all Christians understand it of baptism in water, remitting all offences, Ephesians v. 26., and Titus iii. 5.  (Worthington) — He alludes to the purification of the Jews, which prefigured baptism and penance, in which the blood of Christ is applied to our souls.  This of course was only fulfilled in his church.

Eze 36:26  Flesh.  The Jews at their return fell not so often into the sins of idolatry, &c., of which the prophets complained.  But yet they were far from answering this character.  Great irregularities prevailed under Nehemias, and in the days of the Machabees the priests publicly worshipped idols, 1 Esdras ix., and 2 Esdras v., and viii., and 2 Machabees iv., and v.  Christ enables his servants to act with purity unto the end, by the influence of his all-powerful grace.  (Calmet)

Eze 36:27  Do them.  Hence the efficacy of grace appears, (St. Augustine; Haydock) and hereby some keep the commandments.  (Worthington) — God assists our free-will.  (Theodoret)  (Cornelius a Lapide)  (Calmet)

St Cyril of Jerusalem:

Be of good courage, O Jerusalem; the Lord will take away all thine iniquities67 ). The Lord will wash away the filth of His sons and of His daughters by the Spirit of judgment, and by the Spirit of burning68 . He will sprinkle clean water upon you, and ye shall be cleansed from all your sin69 . Angels shall dance around you, and say, Who is this that cometh up in white array, leaning upon her beloved70 ? For the soul that was formerly a slave has now adopted her Master Himself as her kinsman: and He accepting the unfeigned purpose will answer: Behold, thou art fair, my love; behold, thou art fair: thy teeth are like flocks of sheep new shorn, (because of the confession of a good conscience: and further) which have all of them twins71; because of the twofold grace, I mean that which is perfected of water and of the Spirit72 , or that which is announced by the Old and by the New Testament. And God grant that all of you when you have finished the course of the fast, may remember what I say, and bringing forth fruit in good works, may stand blameless beside the Spiritual Bridegroom, and obtain the remission of your sins from God; to whom with the Son and Holy Spirit be the glory for ever. Amen).

67 (So 3,14-15.
68 (Is 4,4,
69 Ez 36,25.
70 (Ct 8,4, Gr). a Jdelfidovn, “brother,” ”kinsman.”
71 Ct 4,1-2.
72 The Fathers sometimes speak as if Baptism was primarily the Sacrament of remission of sins, and upon that came the gift of the Spirit, which notwithstanding was but begun in Baptism and completed in Confirmation. Vid. Tertullian). de Bapt. 7, 8, supr. 1,5 fin. Hence, as in the text, Baptism may be said to be made up of two gifts, Water, which is Christ’s blood, and the Spirit. There is no real difference between this and the ordinary way of speaking on the subject; — Water, which converys both gifts, is considered as a type of one especially, — conveys both remission of sins through Christ’s blood and the grace of the Spirit, but is the type of one, viz. the blood of Christ, as the Oil in Confirmation is of the other. And again, remission of sins is a complete gift given at once, sanctification an increasing one. (R. W. C.) See Index, “Baptism.”

Catechism references to Ezek 36.

64. Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts.(22) The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations.(23) Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel’s salvation. The purest figure among them is Mary.(24)

22 Is 2,2-4 Jr 31,31-34 He 10,16
23 Cf. Ez 36; Is 49,5-6; 53,11.
24 Cf. Ez 2,3 Lc 1,38

368. The spiritual tradition of the Church also emphasizes the heart, in the biblical sense of the depths of one’s being, where the person decides for or against God.(Ezek 36:26)

715. The prophetic texts that directly concern the sending of the Holy Spirit are oracles by which God speaks to the heart of his people in the language of the promise, with the accents of “love and fidelity.”( Cf. Ez 11,19; 36,25-28; 37,1-14 Jr 31,31-34 Jl 3,1-5) St. Peter will proclaim their fulfillment on the morning of Pentecost.(Acts 2:17-21) According to these promises, at the “end time” the Lord’s Spirit will renew the hearts of men, engraving a new law in them. He will gather and reconcile the scattered and divided peoples; he will transform the first creation, and God will dwell there with men in peace.

1288. This fullness of the Spirit was not to remain uniquely the Messiah’s, but was to be communicated to the whole messianic people.(93) On several occasions Christ promised this outpouring of the Spirit,(94) a promise which he fulfilled first on Easter Sunday and then more strikingly at Pentecost.(95) Filled with the Holy Spirit the apostles began to proclaim “the mighty works of God,” and Peter declared this outpouring of the Spirit to be the sign of the messianic age.(96) Those who believed in the apostolic preaching and were baptized received the gift of the Holy Spirit in their turn.(97)

93 Cf. Ez 36,25-27 Jl 3,1-2.
94 Lc 12,12 Jn 3,5-8; 7,37-39; 16,7-15 Ac 1,8
95 Jn 20,22 Ac 2,1-14
96 Ac 2,11; 2,17-18.
97 Ac 2,38

1432. The human heart is heavy and hardened. God must give man a new heart.(25) Conversion is first of all a work of the grace of God who makes our hearts return to him: “Restore us to thyself, O LORD, that we may be restored!”(26) God gives us the strength to begin anew. It is in discovering the greatness of God’s love that our heart is shaken by the horror and weight of sin and begins to fear offending God by sin and being separated from him. The human heart is converted by looking upon him whom our sins have pierced:(27)Let us fix our eyes on Christ’s blood and understand how precious it is to his Father, for, poured out for our salvation it has brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.

25 Cf. Ez 36,26-27.
26 Lm 5,21
27 Jn 19,37 Za 12,10

Pope John Paul II:

Only God can answer the question about the good, because he is the Good. But God has already given an answer to this question: he did so by creating man and ordering him with wisdom and love to his final end, through the law which is inscribed in his heart (cf.  Rom RM 2,15), the “natural law”. The latter “is nothing other than the light of understanding infused in us by God, whereby we understand what must be done and what must be avoided. God gave this light and this law to man at creation”.19 He also did so in the history of Israel, particularly in the “ten words”, the commandments of Sinai, whereby he brought into existence the people of the Covenant (cf.  Ex EX 24) and called them to be his “own possession among all peoples”, “a holy nation” (EX 19,5-6), which would radiate his holiness to all peoples (cf.  Wis SG 18,4 EZ 20,41). The gift of the Decalogue was a promise and sign of the New Covenant, in which the law would be written in a new and definitive way upon the human heart (cf.  Jer JR 31,31-34), replacing the law of sin which had disfigured that heart (cf.  Jer  JR 17,1). In those days, “a new heart” would be given, for in it would dwell “a new spirit”, the Spirit of God (cf.  Ez EZ 36,24-28).20 (Splendor of Truth)

Pope Benedict XVI:

In truth, Israel showed immediately by making the golden calf that it was incapable of staying faithful to this promise and thus to the divine Covenant, which indeed it subsequently violated all too often, adapting to its heart of stone the Law that should have taught it the way of life. However, the Lord did not fail to keep his promise and, through the prophets, sought to recall the inner dimension of the Covenant and announced that he would write a new law upon the hearts of his faithful (cf.  Jer  JR 31,33), transforming them with the gift of the Spirit (cf.  Ez  EZ 36,25-27). And it was during the Last Supper that he made this new Covenant with his disciples and humanity, confirming it not with animal sacrifices as had happened in the past, but indeed with his own Blood, which became the “Blood of the New Covenant”. Thus he based it on his own obedience, stronger, as I said, than all our sins. (Corpus Christi Homily, 2009)

Development needs Christians with their arms raised towards God in prayer, Christians moved by the knowledge that truth-filled love, caritas in veritate, from which authentic development proceeds, is not produced by us, but given to us. For this reason, even in the most difficult and complex times, besides recognizing what is happening, we must above all else turn to God’s love. Development requires attention to the spiritual life, a serious consideration of the experiences of trust in God, spiritual fellowship in Christ, reliance upon God’s providence and mercy, love and forgiveness, self-denial, acceptance of others, justice and peace. All this is essential if “hearts of stone” are to be transformed into “hearts of flesh” (EZ 36,26), rendering life on earth “divine” and thus more worthy of humanity. All this is of man, because man is the subject of his own existence; and at the same time it is of God, because God is at the beginning and end of all that is good, all that leads to salvation: “the world or life or death or the present or the future, all are yours; and you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s” (1CO 3,22-23). Christians long for the entire human family to call upon God as “Our Father!” In union with the only-begotten Son, may all people learn to pray to the Father and to ask him, in the words that Jesus himself taught us, for the grace to glorify him by living according to his will, to receive the daily bread that we need, to be understanding and generous towards our debtors, not to be tempted beyond our limits, and to be delivered from evil (cf. MT 6,9-13). (Caritatis in Veritate)

By following Jesus on the way of his Passion we not only see the Passion of Jesus, but we also see all the suffering in the world, and this is the profound intention of the prayer of the Way of the Cross: to open our hearts and to help us to see with our heart.

The Fathers of the Church considered insensitivity and hardness of heart the greatest sin of the pagan world and were fond of the Prophet Ezekiel’s prophecy:  “I will take out of your flesh the heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh” (cf.  Ez EZ 36,26).

Being converted to Christ, becoming Christian, meant receiving a heart of flesh, a heart sensitive to the passion and suffering of others.

Our God is not a remote God, intangible in his blessedness. Our God has a heart.

Indeed, he has a heart of flesh; he was made flesh precisely to be able to suffer with us and to be with us in our suffering.

He was made man to give us a heart of flesh and to reawaken within us love for the suffering, for the destitute.

Let us pray to the Lord at this time for all the suffering people of the world.

Let us pray to the Lord that he will truly give us a heart of flesh, that he will make us messengers of his love not only with words, but with our entire life. Amen. (Way of the Cross at the Coliseum, Good Friday, 2007)

Posted in BENEDICT XVI CATECHESIS, Bible, Catholic, Christ, Devotional Resources, Divine Office, Documents of Benedict XVI, fathers of the church, John Paul II Catechesis, NOTES ON THE PSALMS, PAPAL COMMENTARY ON THE PSALMS, Quotes | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

John, The Seer Of The Apocalypse

Posted by Dim Bulb on April 20, 2010

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

In the last Catechesis we had reached the meditation on the figure of the Apostle John. We had first sought to look at all that can be known of his life. Then, in a second Catechesis, we meditated on the central content of his Gospel and his Letters: charity, love. And today we are still concerned with the figure of John, this time to examine the Seer of the Book of Revelation. And let us immediately note that while neither the Fourth Gospel nor the Letters attributed to the Apostle ever bear his name, the Book of Revelation makes at least four references to it (cf. 1: 1, 4, 9; 22: 8).

It is obvious, on the one hand, that the author had no reason not to mention his own name, and on the other, that he knew his first readers would be able to precisely identify him. We know, moreover, that in the third century, scholars were already disputing the true factual identity of John of the “Apocalypse”.

For the sake of convenience we could also call him “the Seer of Patmos” because he is linked to the name of this island in the Aegean See where, according to his own autobiographical account, he was, as it were, deported “on account of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus” (Rv 1: 9).

It was on Patmos itself, “on the Lord’s Day… caught up in ecstasy” (Rv 1: 10), that John had a grandiose vision and heard extraordinary messages that were to have a strong influence on the history of the Church and of entire Western culture.

For example, from the title of his book – Apocalypse, Revelation – the words “apocalypse, apocalyptic” were introduced into our language and, although inaccurately, they call to mind the idea of an incumbent catastrophe.

The Book should be understood against the backdrop of the dramatic experiences of the seven Churches of Asia (Ephesus, Smyrna, Pergamum, Thyatira, Sardis, Philadelphia, Laodicea) which had to face serious difficulties at the end of the first century – persecutions and also inner tensions – in their witness to Christ.

John addresses them, showing acute pastoral sensitivity to the persecuted Christians, whom he exhorts to be steadfast in the faith and not to identify with the pagan world. His purpose is constituted once and for all by the revelation, starting with the death and Resurrection of Christ, of the meaning of human history.

The first and fundamental vision of John, in fact, concerns the figure of the Lamb who is slain yet standing (cf. Rv 5: 6), and is placed before the throne on which God himself is already seated.

By saying this, John wants first of all to tell us two things: the first is that although Jesus was killed with an act of violence, instead of falling heavily to the ground, he paradoxically stands very firmly on his own feet because, with the Resurrection, he overcame death once and for all.

The other thing is that Jesus himself, precisely because he died and was raised, henceforth fully shares in the kingship and saving power of the Father. This is the fundamental vision.

On this earth, Jesus, the Son of God, is a defenceless, wounded and dead Lamb. Yet he stands up straight, on his feet, before God’s throne and shares in the divine power. He has the history of the world in his hands.

Thus, the Seer wants to tell us: trust in Jesus, do not be afraid of the opposing powers, of persecution! The wounded and dead Lamb is victorious! Follow the Lamb Jesus, entrust yourselves to Jesus, take his path! Even if in this world he is only a Lamb who appears weak, it is he who triumphs!

The subject of one of the most important visions of the Book of Revelation is this Lamb in the act of opening a scroll, previously closed with seven seals that no one had been able to break open. John is even shown in tears, for he finds no one worthy of opening the scroll or reading it (cf. Rv 5: 4).

History remains indecipherable, incomprehensible. No one can read it. Perhaps John’s weeping before the mystery of a history so obscure expresses the Asian Churches’ dismay at God’s silence in the face of the persecutions to which they were exposed at that time.

It is a dismay that can clearly mirror our consternation in the face of the serious difficulties, misunderstandings and hostility that the Church also suffers today in various parts of the world.

These are trials that the Church does not of course deserve, just as Jesus himself did not deserve his torture. However, they reveal both the wickedness of man, when he abandons himself to the promptings of evil, and also the superior ordering of events on God’s part.

Well then, only the sacrificed Lamb can open the sealed scroll and reveal its content, give meaning to this history that so often seems senseless. He alone can draw from it instructions and teachings for the life of Christians, to whom his victory over death brings the message and guarantee of victory that they too will undoubtedly obtain. The whole of the vividly imaginative language that John uses aims to offer this consolation.

Also at the heart of the visions that the Book of Revelation unfolds, are the deeply significant vision of the Woman bringing forth a male child and the complementary one of the dragon, already thrown down from Heaven but still very powerful.

This Woman represents Mary, the Mother of the Redeemer, but at the same time she also represents the whole Church, the People of God of all times, the Church which in all ages, with great suffering, brings forth Christ ever anew. And she is always threatened by the dragon’s power. She appears defenceless and weak.

But while she is threatened, persecuted by the dragon, she is also protected by God’s comfort. And in the end this Woman wins. The dragon does not win.

This is the great prophecy of this Book that inspires confidence in us! The Woman who suffers in history, the Church which is persecuted, appears in the end as the radiant Bride, the figure of the new Jerusalem where there will be no more mourning or weeping, an image of the world transformed, of the new world whose light is God himself, whose lamp is the Lamb.

For this reason, although John’s Book of Revelation is pervaded by continuous references to suffering, tribulation and tears – the dark face of history -, it is likewise permeated by frequent songs of praise that symbolize, as it were, the luminous face of history.

So it is, for example, that we read in it of a great multitude that is singing, almost shouting: “Alleluia! For the Lord our God the Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready” (Rv 19: 6-7).

Here we face the typical Christian paradox, according to which suffering is never seen as the last word but rather, as a transition towards happiness; indeed, suffering itself is already mysteriously mingled with the joy that flows from hope.

For this very reason John, the Seer of Patmos, can close his Book with a final aspiration, trembling with fearful expectation. He invokes the definitive coming of the Lord: “Come, Lord Jesus!” (Rv 22: 20).

This was one of the central prayers of the nascent Christianity, also translated by St Paul into its Aramaic form: “Marana tha”. And this prayer, “Our Lord, come!” (I Cor 16: 22) has many dimensions.

It is, naturally, first and foremost an expectation of the definitive victory of the Lord, of the new Jerusalem, of the Lord who comes and transforms the world. But at the same time, it is also a Eucharistic prayer: “Come Jesus, now!”. And Jesus comes; he anticipates his definitive coming.

So it is that we say joyfully at the same time: “Come now and come for ever!”.

This prayer also has a third meaning: “You have already come, Lord! We are sure of your presence among us. It is our joyous experience. But come definitively!”.

And thus, let us too pray with St Paul, with the Seer of Patmos, with the newborn Christianity: “Come, Jesus! Come and transform the world! Come today already and may peace triumph!”. Amen!~Pope Benedict XVI.

More Catechesis on the Apostles and the Early Church here.

Posted in Bible, Catechetical Resources, Catholic, Christ, Documents of Benedict XVI, liturgy, Notes On Revelation, Quotes | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Resources For The Assumption

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 15, 2009

Okay, so I said that I’d be taking a blogging break until Monday, but I decided to take a few minutes and do this.

Sermon Text: The Destiny Of The Christian Substantially The Same As That Of  Mary.

Sermon Text: The Lesson Of Our Blessed Lady’s Death And Assumption.

Sermon Text (PDF. Please note: Homilies begin on page 3): Four Homilies On The Assumption By Pope Benedict XVI

Apologetics Text: How To Argue For Mary’s Assumption.

Apologetics Text: Assumptions About Mary.

Apologetics Audio: The Assumption Of Mary.

Audio: Assumption of Mary-Mother of All Peoples.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Catechetical Resources, Devotional Resources, Documents of Benedict XVI, liturgy, Our Lady, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Faith, Reason, And The Pope’s Regensburg Speech

Posted by Dim Bulb on August 3, 2009

Very good.   (though I think some of what he says in the Q & A is off the beam)  From the Intercollegiate Studies Institute, part of their online lectures.

Faith and Reason: Islam and the Regensburg AddressNEW
Daniel J. Mahoney, Professor of Politics, Assumption College
San Francisco, CA
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Resources for Sunday Mass For Both Forms Of The Rite (July 19, 2009)

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 18, 2009

The links below contain links to online video, audio, and text resources for this Sunday’s Mass according to both forms of the Rite.

Novo Ordo:

John Paul II UniversityVideo Reflections, 4 minutes.  This comes via SINGING IN THE REIGN Blog.

Sunday Gospel Scripture StudyVideo. An excellent resource.  Most presentations take 50-60 minutes.

Daily Word.  Text and commentary on the readings taken from the Navarre Bible.

Daily Gospel.  Another great daily resource.  Contains the Gospel reading of the day, a link to a brief reflection, usually by a Church Father or Saint.  The If you are viewing the page on a day other than Sunday, July 19 you must click the blue arrow and select the date.

Word On Fire Audio by Father Robert Barron.  Be sure to check out his main page.

Father Philip Neri PowellAs I write this post his Sunday sermon is not up yet.

Word SundayContains a podcast, the Scripture readings with brief commentary, children’s readings, and suggested family activities.

Extraordinary FormPlease note that the lectionary readings for the older form are not the same as the Novo Ordo.

Instructions For The 7th Sunday After Pentecost.

Homily by St Hilary.

A Homily on Capital PunishmentNote that although this was published in 1902 it still describes the subject of capital punishment and its abolition as “an open question among Catholics.”

Homily by St Alphonsus Ligouri: On The Education Of Children.  The text is somewhat faded; you may have to click on the “+” sign to increase the text size for easier reading.

Homily: On The Death Of A Sinner.

Posted in Audio/Video Lectures, Bible, Catechetical Resources, Christ, Devotional Resources, Documents of Benedict XVI, fathers of the church, Latin Mass Notes, liturgy, SERMONS | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Post #3 Pope Benedict XVI On the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Posted by Dim Bulb on June 3, 2009


To the Most Reverend Father Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, S.J.
Superior General of the Society of Jesus

Today, 50 years later, the Prophet Isaiah’s words, which Pius XII placed at the beginning of the Encyclical with which he commemorated the first centenary of the extension of the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus to the entire Church, have lost none of their meaning:  “With joy you will draw water from the wells of salvation” (Is 12: 3).

By encouraging devotion to the Heart of Jesus, the Encyclical Haurietis Aquas exhorted believers to open themselves to the mystery of God and of his love and to allow themselves to be transformed by it. After 50 years, it is still a fitting task for Christians to continue to deepen their relationship with the Heart of Jesus, in such a way as to revive their faith in the saving love of God and to welcome him ever better into their lives.

The Redeemer’s pierced side is the source to which the Encyclical Haurietis Aquas refers us:  we must draw from this source to attain true knowledge of Jesus Christ and a deeper experience of his love.
Thus, we will be able to understand better what it means to know God’s love in Jesus Christ, to experience him, keeping our gaze fixed on him to the point that we live entirely on the experience of his love, so that we can subsequently witness to it to others.

Indeed, to take up a saying of my venerable Predecessor John Paul II, “In the Heart of Christ, man’s heart learns to know the genuine and unique meaning of his life and of his destiny, to understand the value of an authentically Christian life, to keep himself from certain perversions of the human heart, and to unite the filial love for God and the love of neighbour”.

Thus:  “The true reparation asked by the Heart of the Saviour will come when the civilization of the Heart of Christ can be built upon the ruins heaped up by hatred and violence” (Letter to Fr Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, Superior General of the Society of Jesus for the Beatification of Bl. Claude de la Colombière, 5 October 1986; L’Osservatore Romano English edition, 27 October 1986, p. 7).

In the Encyclical Deus Caritas Est, I cited the affirmation in the First Letter of St John:  “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”, in order to emphasize that being Christian begins with the encounter with a Person (cf. n. 1).

Since God revealed himself most profoundly in the Incarnation of his Son in whom he made himself “visible”, it is in our relationship with Christ that we can recognize who God really is (cf. Haurietis Aquas, nn. 29-41; Deus Caritas Est, nn. 12-15).

And again:  since the deepest expression of God’s love is found in the gift Christ made of his life for us on the Cross, the deepest expression of God’s love, it is above all by looking at his suffering and his death that we can see God’s infinite love for us more and more clearly:  “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life” (Jn 3: 16).

Moreover, not only does this mystery of God’s love for us constitute the content of the worship of and devotion to the Heart of Jesus, but in the same way it is likewise the content of all true spirituality and Christian devotion. It is consequently important to stress that the basis of the devotion is as old as Christianity itself.

Indeed, it is only possible to be Christian by fixing our gaze on the Cross of our Redeemer, “on him whom they have pierced” (Jn 19: 37; cf. Zc 12: 10).

The Encyclical Haurietis Aquas rightly recalls that for countless souls the wound in Christ’s side and the marks left by the nails have been “the chief sign and symbol of that love” that ever more incisively shaped their life from within (cf. n. 52).

Recognizing God’s love in the Crucified One became an inner experience that prompted them to confess, together with Thomas:  “My Lord and my God!” (Jn 20: 28), and enabled them to acquire a deeper faith by welcoming God’s love unreservedly (cf. Haurietis Aquas, n. 49).

The deepest meaning of this devotion to God’s love is revealed solely through a more attentive consideration of its contribution not only to the knowledge, but also and especially to the personal experience of this love in trusting dedication to its service (cf. ibid., n. 62).

It is obvious that experience and knowledge cannot be separated:  the one refers to the other. Moreover, it is essential to emphasize that true knowledge of God’s love is only possible in the context of an attitude of humble prayer and generous availability.

Starting with this interior attitude, one sees that the gaze fixed upon his side, pierced by the spear, is transformed into silent adoration. Gazing at the Lord’s pierced side, from which “blood and water” flowed (cf. Jn 19: 34), helps us to recognize the manifold gifts of grace that derive from it (cf. Haurietis Aquas, nn. 34-41) and opens us to all other forms of Christian worship embraced by the devotion to the Heart of Jesus.

Faith, understood as a fruit of the experience of God’s love, is a grace, a gift of God. Yet human beings will only be able to experience faith as a grace to the extent that they accept it within themselves as a gift on which they seek to live. Devotion to the love of God, to which the Encyclical Haurietis Aquas invited the faithful (cf. n. 72), must help us never to forget that he willingly took this suffering upon himself “for us”, “for me”.

When we practise this devotion, not only do we recognize God’s love with gratitude but we continue to open ourselves to this love so that our lives are ever more closely patterned upon it. God, who poured out his love “into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us” (cf. Rom 5: 5), invites us tirelessly to accept his love. The main aim of the invitation to give ourselves entirely to the saving love of Christ and to consecrate ourselves to it (cf. Haurietis Aquas, n. 4) is, consequently, to bring about our relationship with God.

This explains why the devotion, which is totally oriented to the love of God who sacrificed himself for us, has an irreplaceable importance for our faith and for our life in love.

Whoever inwardly accepts God is moulded by him. The experience of God’s love should be lived by men and women as a “calling” to which they must respond. Fixing our gaze on the Lord, who “took our infirmities and bore our diseases” (Mt 8: 17), helps us to become more attentive to the suffering and need of others.

Adoring contemplation of the side pierced by the spear makes us sensitive to God’s salvific will. It enables us to entrust ourselves to his saving and merciful love, and at the same time strengthens us in the desire to take part in his work of salvation, becoming his instruments.

The gifts received from the open side, from which “blood and water” flowed (cf. Jn 19: 34), ensure that our lives will also become for others a source from which “rivers of living water” flow (Jn 7: 38; cf. Deus Caritas Est, n. 7).

The experience of love, brought by the devotion to the pierced side of the Redeemer, protects us from the risk of withdrawing into ourselves and makes us readier to live for others. “By this we know love, that he laid down his life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren” (I Jn 3: 16; cf. Haurietis Aquas, n. 38).

It was only the experience that God first gave us his love that has enabled us to respond to his commandment of love (cf. Deus Caritas Est, n. 17).

So it is that the cult of love, which becomes visible in the mystery of the Cross presented anew in every celebration of the Eucharist, lays the foundations of our capacity to love and to make a gift of ourselves (cf. Haurietis Aquas, n. 69), becoming instruments in Christ’s hands:  only in this way can we be credible proclaimers of his love.

However, this opening of ourselves to God’s will must be renewed in every moment:  “Love is never “finished’ and complete” (cf. Deus Caritas Est, n. 17).

Thus, looking at the “side pierced by the spear” from which shines forth God’s boundless desire for our salvation cannot be considered a transitory form of worship or devotion:  the adoration of God’s love, whose historical and devotional expression is found in the symbol of the “pierced heart”, remains indispensable for a living relationship with God (cf. Haurietis Aquas, n. 62).

As I express the wish that the 50th anniversary will give rise to an ever more fervent response to love of the Heart of Christ in numerous hearts, I impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you, Most Reverend Father, and to all the Religious of the Society of Jesus, who are still very active in promoting this fundamental devotion.
From the Vatican, 15 May 2006


Posted in Christ, Devotional Resources, Documents of Benedict XVI, Sacred Heart | Leave a Comment »

New Podcast Series On Pope’s Jesus Of Nazareth

Posted by Dim Bulb on July 2, 2008

Dane from alerted me to the podcast their site is hosting.  The first talk can be heard:  HERE.  Don’t let the musical introduction or the introductory banter turn you off.  In this podcast they look at the Pope’s forward to the book, along with his introduction.

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