We are not just material beings, but spiritual persons with a need for meaning, purpose, and fulfillment that transcends the visible confines of this world. This longing for transcendence is a longing for truth, goodness, and beauty. Truth, goodness, and beauty are called the transcendentals of being, because they are aspects of being. Everything in existence has these transcendentals to some extent. God, of course, as the source of all truth, goodness, and beauty, has these transcendentals to an infinite degree. Oftentimes, he draws us to himself primarily through one of these transcendentals. St. Augustine, who was drawn to beauty in all its creaturely forms, found the ultimate beauty he was seeking in God, his creator, the beauty “ever ancient, ever new.”―Sister Gabriella Yi, O.P.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

A consecrated Host (the Body of Christ) falls to the floor. Does anyone care?

How can you tell if someone believes in the Real Presence, or not? Present them the following scenario and question:
A consecrated host falls on the ground. What is your reaction?
If the respondent expresses a casual or, worse, cavalier attitude toward the mishandling of a consecrated Host, you know that he or she doesn't accept that the Holy Eucharist really is the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Any of the following or similar answers would necessarily confirm that the person responding does not believe that the consecrated bread and wine are in fact the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ.
  • What's the problem? It's just bread, don't worry.
  • Hey, no biggie. It happens. Just grab a broom and dustpan and sweep it up.
A believer in the Real Presence wouldn't hesitate to pick up the Host, inspect the area to determine whether or not any particles of the Host were left behind, then either 1) give the Host (and visible particles) to a priest to place in water to be dissolved and, once fully dissolved, to be returned directly to earth, or 2) immediately consume the Host and pick up any visible particles and also consume them.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dead Letter—Amoris Laetitia and the end of faux-mercy.

"Far from breathing new life into the Kasper proposal, the Buenos Aires guidelines may well be where the proposal definitively died — and the Holy Father finally accepted it."
Fr. Raymond J. De Souza provides much needed clarity and relief to observers of the war of competing narratives.

No matter how convoluted the trial becomes, no matter how confused the actions of the man Francis may appear, we can trust that the Magisterial teaching of the Church has not and can not be sullied by ghostwriters and even a pope whose personal agenda has been, on several occasions, smacked down by the Holy Spirit.

Sure, there are brush fires that need putting out, and they will be extinguished in time by good and faithful men and women who are docile to the holy Spirit and who understand and are entirely capable of communicating that a pope's personal thought or agenda does not rise to the level of ex-cathedra teaching.

Succinctly put, Pope Francis' Amoris Laetitia cannot diminish the Magisterial work of a true giant, Pope Saint John Paul II (the Great). Papa Wojtyła's Familiaris Consortio, for one.

Fr. Raymond parses the current crisis as follows.
What Argentina’s ‘Amoris Laetitia’ Guidelines Really Mean
ANALYSIS: Contrary to widespread media reports, the new guidelines that Pope Francis has endorsed are not a ratification of the Kasper proposal regarding reception of Communion.
The guidelines of the Buenos Aires bishops would not permit the approach of the Holy Father himself in the April 2014 phone call to Argentina. They would not permit the Kasper proposal. They, in fact, may not permit anything new at all, despite the clear desire to frame such things in such a way as not to hand their former archbishop another apparent defeat, this time is his own city.

The real news from Buenos Aires is that, in the very city where one presumes Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio had been privately advising such couples to go to Communion during his years as archbishop, the bishops did not endorse the Kasper proposal and offered guidelines that are far less permissive than reported.

Indeed, it is possible to read the Buenos Aires guidelines as consistent with the Church’s traditional teaching — not without some difficulty, to be sure, but that is true about Amoris Laetitia as a whole.

Far from breathing new life into the Kasper proposal, the Buenos Aires guidelines may well be where the proposal definitively died — and the Holy Father finally accepted it.
Do take the time to read the entire blurb at the link below. You may find, as this blogger did, the necessary insight to provide a measure of peace amidst the intra-Church culture war. 
You may also want to sign a petition, the title of which says enough:
Declaration of fidelity to the Church’s Unchangeable Teaching on Marriage and to Her Uninterrupted Discipline
Please God, may Amoris Laetitia be purged of its ambiguous and therefore problematic content as soon as possible. Amen.

Dear N., how I've missed you.

It's a word we use when we send a greeting card or letter (Dear N...); a word we use to refer to a loved one (my dear wife...); a word we might hear on the lips of a grandparent or elderly person expressing affection or a polite request for assistance (Would you be a dear and bring me my slippers?) ; a word attached to an exclamation (Oh dear!) expressing polite disgust, a groan of sorts at a slightly "off" joke; a word expressing empathy and sympathy (dear, oh dear... I'm so sorry for your loss); a word to describe an expensive and perhaps unaffordable item; a word we use in prayer (Dear Lord, I come to You with a humble heart... .).
dear (adj.) Old English deore "precious, valuable, costly, loved, beloved," from Proto-Germanic deurjaz (source also of Old Saxon diuri, Old Norse dyrr, Old Frisian diore, Middle Dutch dure, Dutch duur, Old High German tiuri, German teuer), further etymology unknown. Used interjectorily since 1690s. As a polite introductory word to letters, it is attested from mid-15c. As a noun, from late 14c., perhaps short for dear one, etc.—Online Etymology Dictionary
Dearly beloved... .

The word or its close relative appears in prayer.
From the Roman Canon (Ordinariate translation)
Vouchsafe, O God, we beseech thee, in all things to make this oblation blessed, approved, and accepted, a perfect and worthy offering; that it may become for us the Body and Blood of thy dearly beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Certain trumpets speak the truth about the reception of Holy Communion.

The true teaching concerning inadmissibility to Holy Communion of persons who are divorced and remarried (i.e., living in adulterous unions) is obscured by a media fog.

Nevertheless, God raises up certain trumpets (1 Corinthians 14:18) that can be heard by all those who have ears with which to hear the word of God.

Those deaf to the word of God may wish to reconsider their promotion of communion for the divorced and remarried given the 1) constant witness of the Church to the teaching given her by Jesus Christ Himself and 2) the grave consequences of substituting false teaching for the Holy Gospel.

All ecclesial communities have abandoned the teaching of Jesus Christ save one, the Catholic Church founded on the Apostle Peter. All protestant communities and even the Eastern national churches have abandoned the teaching on marriage recorded in the Gospel and faithful handed down by the orthodox successors of the Apostles.

Among the faithful teachers,