The decree of the Commissioner…

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“The decree of the Commissioner, dated 11 July, 2013 indicates the purpose of the measure taken which is: ‘the goal of preserving and promoting the internal unity of the Institute as well as the fraternal communion, adequate formation to religious and consecrated life, the organization of apostolic activities, and the correct management of temporal goods.’ Five brothers who in the past had occupied positions of high responsibility in the Institute, at the beginning of 2012 sought out dialogue with the Founder and his Council in order to express what in their view were irregularities, beginning with liturgical choices that did not however, exhaust the list of their concerns. Unsatisfied, they then approached the Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and the Doctrine of the Faith. Those who manifest their conscience to an authority, which in this case is the Church headed by the Pope, by this very action itself, prove that they recognize this authority as such, and which therefore excludes any attitude of ‘rebellion’ on their part towards those in power. The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life recognized extremes and therefore an apostolic visitation began in the second half of that year. Each friar in perpetual vows, as agreed by the General Council then in office, was provided with a questionnaire protected under the secret of one’s conscience.”

Fr. Alfonso Bruno, General Secretary, FI

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But in recent years…

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But in recent years I have found my relationship to many (not all or even most) traditional Catholics tested and strained. I say “tested” because I have found that if I do not adhere to a rather strict, and I would say “narrow” line, I am relegated to be thrown out of the feast, and there in the “outer darkness” to wail and grind my teeth.

It would seem that for some, I am required to bash bishops, lament that the Church has “never been in worse shape,” and that every single solitary problem in the Church today is “due to Vatican II” and the “Novus Ordo” Mass. Stray too far from this, either by omission or commission, and I am in the hurt locker, the penalty box, and relegated to being no better than one of “them.”

Msgr. Charles Pope

A lovely priest…

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A lovely priest in Paris had incurred the enmity of the sectarians by his liberality. One day a bigot, who was also a bully, met him on the street and dealt him a rousing blow on the cheek. Quietly the lovely priest turned, saying: “My Master teaches me when thus struck to turn the other cheek also.” Delivering a still heavier blow on that cheek, the bully said: “And what does your master tell you now?” To this the lovely priest replied, as he laid aside his cloak, “The authorities are divided, but the weight of authority is in favor of the view which I now adopt as I proceed to give you the worst thrashing of your life.” It is not likely that at the final reckoning, the lovely priest will find much against him for that day’s work.

Interesting take on Matthew 5:39.

H/T New Advent

The hour of the law’s fulfillment…

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“The hour of the law’s fulfillment, is when the law reaches its maturity when it becomes the law of the Spirit. Moving forward on this road is somewhat risky, but it is the only road to maturity, to leave behind the times in which we are not mature. Part of the law’s journey to maturity, which comes with preaching Jesus, always involves fear; fear of the freedom that the Spirit gives us. The law of the Spirit makes us free! This freedom frightens us a little, because we are afraid we will confuse the freedom of the Spirit with human freedom. ”

Pope Francis continued, the law of the Spirit, “takes us on a path of continuous discernment to do the will of God” and this can frighten us. The Pope warned that this fear “brings two temptations with it.” The first, is to “go backwards” to say that “it’s possible up to this point, but impossible beyond this point” which ends up becoming “let’s stay here”. This, he warned, “is the temptation of fear of freedom, fear of the Holy Spirit.” A fear that “it is better to play it safe.” Pope Francis then told a story about a superior general who, in the 1930’s, went around compiling a list of regulations for his religious, “a work that took years.” Then he travelled to Rome to meet a Benedictine abbot, who, upon hearing all he had done, replied that in doing so he “had killed his Congregation’s charism”, “he had killed its freedom” since “this charism bears fruit in freedom and he had stopped the charism”.

“This is the temptation to go backwards, because we are ‘safer’ going back: but total security is in the Holy Spirit that brings you forward, which gives us this trust – as Paul says – which is more demanding because Jesus tells us: “Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law”. It is more demanding! But it does not give us that human security. We cannot control the Holy Spirit: that is the problem! This is a temptation. ”

Pope Francis noted that there is another temptation: that of “adolescent progressivism”, that de-rails us. This temptation lies in seeing a culture and “not detaching ourselves from it”.

“We take the values of this culture a little bit from here, a little bit from there , … They want to make this law? Alright let’s go ahead and make this law. Let’s broaden the boundaries here a little. In the end, let me tell you, this is not true progress. It is adolescent progressivism: just like teenagers who in their enthusiasm want to have everything and in the end? You slip up … It’s like when the road is covered in ice and the car slips and go off track… This is the other temptation at the moment! We, at this moment in the history of the Church, we cannot go backwards or go off the track! “

Pope Francis, June 12, 2013

According to what was mentioned…

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According to what was mentioned by Bishop Padovano, Francis exhorted him to be careful with the extremisms of certain Traditionalist groups, but also to treasure tradition and allow it to live in the Church along with innovation.

In order to better explain this last point, the Pope would have brought up his own example:

“See? They say that my Master of papal ceremonies [Guido Marini] is of a Traditionalist mold; and many, after my election, have asked me to remove him from his position and replace him. I have answered no, precisely because I myself may treasure his traditional formation, and at the same time he might take advantage of my more emancipated formation.”

Sandro Magister, quoting Pope Francis

No, no, not more than one child…

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“No, no, not more than one child, because otherwise we will not be able to go on holiday, we will not be able to go out, we will not be able to buy a house. It’s all very well to follow the Lord, but only up to a certain point. This is what economic wellbeing does to us: we all know what wellbeing is, but it deprives us of courage, of the courage we need to get close to Jesus. This is the first richness of the culture of today, the culture of economic wellbeing”.

There is also, he added, “another richness in our culture”, another richness that prevents us from getting close to Jesus: it’s our fascination for the temporary”. We, he observed, are “in love with the provisional”. We don’t like Jesus’s “definitive proposals”. Instead we like what is temporary because “we are afraid of God’s time” which is definitive.

Pope Francis, Homily, May 27, 2013

Before finishing his homily…

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Before finishing his homily, Pope Francis painted one final scenario, that of a single mother who wants to have her child baptized.

“Think about a single mother who goes to church, in the parish and to the secretary she says: ‘I want my child baptized.’

“And then this Christian, this Christian says: ‘No, you cannot because you’re not married!’

“But look, this girl who had the courage to carry her pregnancy and not to return her son to the sender, what is it? A closed door! This is not zeal! It is far from the Lord! It does not open doors!

“And so when we are on this street, we have this attitude, we do not do good to people, the people, the People of God. But Jesus instituted the seven sacraments, (and) with this attitude and we are establishing the eighth: the sacrament of pastoral customs!” he warned.

The Pope noted, “Jesus is indignant when he sees these things” because those who suffer are “his faithful people, the people that he loves so much.”

He concluded his homily by asking everyone to think about “the Holy People of God, a simple people, who want to get closer to Jesus and we think of so many Christians of goodwill who are wrong and that instead of opening a door they close the door of goodwill … So we ask the Lord that all those who come to the Church find the doors open, find the doors open, open to meet this love of Jesus. We ask this grace.”

Pope Francis, Homily, May 25, 2013

Yes, some small restorationist factions…

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Yes, some small restorationist factions have continued to multiply; I call them fundamentalists. As you said, before this heap of uncertainties they tell young people: “Do this, do that.” So a seventeen- or eighteen-year-old boy or girl gets excited and they push them forward with rigid directives. And to be honest, they mortgage their lives at thirty, they burst because they were not properly prepared to overcome the thousand and one crises in life, or the thousand and one shortcomings that everyone has, or the thousand and one wrongs that they are going to commit. They do not have the proper criteria to know and understand the mercy of God, for example. This type of rigid religiosity is disguised with doctrines that claim to give justifications, but in reality deprive people of their freedom and do not allow them to grow as persons. A large number end up living a double life.

—Pope Francis, On Heaven and Earth

First, Mary uniquely shared . . .

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First, Mary uniquely shared in the work of Jesus to redeem the human family, both by giving Jesus his body, the very instrument of Redemption (cf. Lk. 1:38; Heb. 10:10), and by suffering with Him at Calvary in a way unparalleled by another other creature (cf. Jn. 19:25-27). For this extraordinary role with Jesus in saving souls, Mary has been called the “Co-redemptrix” in the Church since the 14th century. Fear not—“co” means “with” not “equal.” Mary’s not a goddess on a level or equality with Jesus. She is the unique immaculate human co-redeemer with Jesus, just as every Christian is called to be a “co-redeemer in Christ,” to use the expression of Bl. John Paul II.

Secondly, Mary nurtures us in the order of grace by distributing the graces obtained at Calvary to the human family through her role as the Mediatrix of all graces. The papal Magisterium of the last two centuries has consistently taught this Marian role, and Pope Benedict XVI Emeritus published this same title on the day he announced his resignation (Feb. 11, 2013). The Wedding of Cana (Jn. 2:5) reveals to us what the Second Vatican Council teaches us: that the Mother of Jesus “intercedes for the gifts of eternal life” (LG 62).

Thirdly, Mary, as Spiritual Mother, pleads for us before the throne of Christ the King as our Advocate. Her most ancient title (from the second century), Our Lady’s role as Advocate simply confirms that this Mother intercedes for our wants and needs with a maternal perseverance and power beyond that of any of the other saints.

Dr. Mark Miravalle