Sunday 26 April 2009
Friday 24 April 2009
Thursday 23 April 2009
This June Conor Carroll who is 21 and works with The Good Counsel Network is going on the Chartres Pilgrimage, which is a 75 mile walk in just over two days, and is trying to gain as much sponsorship as possible while he is going. Conor will also pray for anyone who sponsors him every day of the Pilgrimage. Please click on the following link and sponsor him a generously as you can.
Wednesday 22 April 2009
Tuesday 21 April 2009
Monday 20 April 2009
Since the family is the hinge of human civilisation - everything about human society depends ultimately upon the family - the Church must come to appreciate the culture which the family inhabits today. This is necessary if the Church is to engage in the evangelisation of the family. More importantly, the Church must listen to the needs, the hopes and fears of families themselves. And again, the Church must come to recognise those prejudicial forces which affect families today. The Church, with her evangelical discernment is able to do this and is able to offer families her own service to the truth. Indeed, the Church understands the family so well that she is able to offer a complete and true vision of marriage and the family.
The discernment which the Church makes is based upon the presence in her of the Holy Spirit, through the different gifts and charisms which the Spirit bestows, especially to the lay faithful who have "the specific role of interpreting the history of the world in the light if Christ".
This however, doesn't mean that the Church's disecernment is based on consensus or power, but upon conscience. It is here that the Church discerns what it is about human life that is an expression of the truth of Christ. Christian spouses are here at the forefront of an authentic evangelical discernment - testing themselves against the rule of faith - because of their specific charism, the sacrament of marriage.
As a sign of this the 1980 Synod of Bishops chose to focus on the family, since the family is the first community which can announce the Gospel to an infant and then lead him or her to full human and Christian maturity. Indeed, it is the family which can form individuals who are socially responsible.
Sunday 19 April 2009
The CCC, Paragraph 33, speaks about man's nature in an objective way, naming his "openness to truth and beauty, his sense of moral goodness, his freedom and the voice of his conscience ... his longings for the infinite and for happiness [realities] which are irreducible to the merely material ... ". Then, in paragraph 357, man is spoken of as "not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons." None of this, which the CCC speaks of, can be refuted or reduced to the level of psychology or sociology, still less to the level of feelings. No, the fact is that man has an openness to the transcendent and that this is a an objective dimension to his being.
When you look at the history of mankind in different cultures, this fact is expressed in many ways. However, most objectively of all - how can one explain the presence in the world of the Gospels, indeed, all Sacred Scripture, the Church, the Eucharist and the witness of countless human lives to these realities - which haven't blown in from Mars - as merely a subjective urge or formulation from within human beings.
No, human beings are transcendent, they have an objective openness to God, and if the secular movement is leading people to say "No" to God - then that is the objective spirituality of many people today. The overriding question is not whether God exists, but rather, have we allowed ourselves to fall under Satan's influence and to believe his lies.
(The photo above was taken in Sydney CBD and shows Cardinal Pell following the Blessed Sacrament in the Corpus Christi Procession.)
Sunday 12 April 2009
Wednesday 8 April 2009
(Holy week in Valladolid.)
On Palm Sunday Benedict XVI affirmed that Christ's kingdom is "universal" and "knows no more borders ... because it is not a political kingdom, but is based solely on the free adhesion of love - a love that, for its part, answers to the love of Jesus Christ that has given itself for all.
Universality includes the mystery of the cross - the overcoming of ourselves, obedience toward the universal word of Jesus Christ in the universal Church.
Universality is always an overcoming of ourselves, a renunciation of something that is ours. Universality and the cross go together. Only in this way can peace be created.
He who wants to have his life for himself, live only for himself, squeeze out everything for himself and exploit all the possibilities - he is the one who loses his life.
It becomes boring and empty. Only in abandoning ourselves, only in the disinterested gift of the 'I' in favor of the 'Thou,' only in the 'Yes' to the greater life, precisely the life of God, our life too becomes full and more spacious.
Love, in fact, means leaving yourself behind, giving yourself, not wanting to hold on to yourself, but becoming free from yourself: not getting preoccupied with yourself - what will become of me - but looking ahead, toward the other - toward God and the people whom he sends to me.
It is this principle of love that defines man's journey, it is once again identical with the mystery of the cross, with the mystery of death and resurrection that we encounter in Christ.
Our "Yes" to the Lord must be repeated every day, especially when we just want to hang on to that 'I.' There is no successful life without sacrifice.
Though it is difficult, we can pray like Jesus, who felt driven to ask that he be spared the terror of the passion.
Before God we must not take refuge in pious phrases, in a world of make-believe. Praying also means struggling with God.
In the end, God's glory, his lordship, his will is always more important and more true than my thoughts and my will.
This is what is essential in our prayer and in our life: understanding this right order of reality, accepting it interiorly; trusting in God and believing that he is doing the right thing; understanding that his will is the truth and is love; understanding that my life will be a good life if I can learn how to conform to this order.
The life, death and resurrection of Jesus are the guarantee that we can truly entrust ourselves to God. It is in this way that his kingdom is realised."
So, don't listen to Tony Blair's totalitarian ideas about grace, or the Tablet's neo-Pelagian notions about Christianity, don't attend to the BBC's mockery of the Gospel; follow the Liturgy of Holy Week - there we will find the love.
Monday 6 April 2009
Please pray for the Congress, 19th - 26th July 2009, that it will help the Church in Sydney come close to the Heart of Christ and be His witness in the city and beyond. Please support Bishop Porteous' organising Team by praying the Congress into existence, by praying for its protection from any evil, and by praying that all those who God wants to bring together for the Congress will be open to His call.
Full details about the Congress, including Registration, can be found on http://www.scene.org.au/