God the Father

The USCCB and the Vatican: The wrong questions

OpenForum_Eliminate_Chaos

And there was seen another sign in heaven: and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns: and on his head seven diadems. And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son (Rv 12:3-4).

Everyone has become aware by now that the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), presently meeting in Baltimore, has been asked by the Holy See’s Congregation for Bishops to delay voting on their attempted creation of a Code of Conduct in relation to the clergy sex abuse crisis in America. Statements against statements have been made, with protocols against protocols, charters against charters, policies against more policies, and speeches against speeches galore. Take your pick. A hierarchy and a presbyterate that, at times, might seem rather ‘out of touch’ to the general public. An Americanist Catholic laity so entitled that they attempt to usurp the very powers of the Vicar of Christ, because they treasure their Americanism more than they do their Catholicism. And all this is, obviously, being carried out under the guise of ‘saving the Church’ – as if that were possible by mere human means.

In other words, rebellion and disorder. Seemingly ad infinitum.

Two things are missing in the aforementioned scenario and they are the following:

  1. God is not present where there is chaos, rebellion and disorder, because God is Order in Himself; and
  2. The wrong questions are being asked.

In attempting to understand the abuse of power that has occurred (and reportedly seems to continue occurring in some venues) and to seek wholesome remedies for it without scapegoating, one needs to depart from a very basic question and a very basic fact. Everything else will then flow naturally from there.

The basic question is the following and it needs to be answered with a “yes / no” response:

  • Do you believe that sex (of whatever kind) outside of (at a minimum) natural marriage is a mortal sin and that it results in the withdrawal of the indwelling of the Holy Trinity from the soul?

And the basic immutable fact is this:

  • God cannot live where the darkness of mortal sin resides.

Everything else that is happening, in terms of dialog and discussion, is just self-referential fluff.

Why is this happening?

The Fifth and Sixth Commandments are being violated in a ‘setting-of-the-stage’ scenario, in order to then violate the First Commandment (the ultimate aim). That is the underlying plan and it has been long coming.

Start, therefore, from the above question and the above fact if you want effective solutions, and everything falls into place. Start from elsewhere (as has happened) and you get chaos, disorder and rebellion.

The free-will choice is yours to make.

 

 

Where is God? – A call to the Catholic Church in America

We all know about the latest sex abuse scandals at present emerging from the Catholic Church in the United States, especially in relation to senior, most influential clerics in the nation being involved this time not with minors, but with not-fully-consenting adults (ergo non-consenting); in particular, chronologically adult males. Reams upon reams of commentary and judgments have been written over the past couple of weeks in this regard, at every level of the Church in America (and even more). But in all the discourses on the above, one thing remained (and remains) missing, which is notable by its very lack. That one thing is:

Where is God in all this?

Why has there been zero reference by anyone, anywhere, to the causal relationship between impurity* and the fact that God cannot reside where the darkness of serious sin abides? (The sin of the sexual abuse itself and the sin of the abuse of power, to mention just the minimally obvious). Why has no one spoken of the grief that the abusers (a term here comprising both the abusers themselves and their omerta’-enabling peers) have caused not just to their victims, but also to God; the God Who is Immaculate?

Is it possible that no one cares?

In all the discourses set forth to date, every possible ramification of the above abuse has been discussed to death by the Church-at-large from every imaginable standpoint: legal, civil, moral, ethical, and so on. Yet, in a parallel manner to what happened originally with the Dallas Charter, all of these dimensions have been addressed from a purely humanistic context. None of them included even a mere mention – or even just a wink and a nod – about the direct, causal relationship outlined in the previous paragraph.

Why not?

How can you claim to be a voice for the Church – the voice of the Church, hence the voice for God – when you cannot acknowledge in public what you have done to God Himself, the Pure God, for the sake of power; personal and institutional power? Because, make no mistake, this is all about power; not about sexual abuse per se, which is egregious enough in itself, but about the deliberate abuse of power. The sexual abuse is just a first-order symptom, not a second-order cause. How can you perpetrate seemingly without hesitation, in public, one of the first sins of Adam – the deflection of your personal responsibility onto others in order to safeguard your hide/s?

Where is the role of grace in your lives and your cooperation with grace?

Silence is consent by the omission of speech to the contrary. The Church is not yours. It was given to you by God, for God and His people. It was never given to you, to become your personal playground. So, where is your accountability to God – the Father of all those you have abused by both your actions and lack of action? Has it not occurred to you that He is allowing all this to come to public light, because you have remained intransigent in your deliberate noncompliance with His desires for His people?

Do you not care one iota about how you have wounded Him and betrayed His trust?

Do you no longer believe?

*Not taken to mean only homosexual impurity as an ultra-conservative faction in the Church would like to reinterpret all of the above for their own personal-religiopolitical agenda.

NEW: Consecration to the Divine Heart in multiple languages

In ebook (illustrated) edition from the usual outlets.

Consecration to the Divine Heart

For those who fear the Father

There is nothing of which to be afraid. He is, first and foremost, a Father – the loving Father. Approach Him, talk to Him. Ask Him to give you the grace of letting you come to know Him.

He will give you this grace, because the deepest and most intense desire of His Divine Heart is that every individual on earth returns to live in Him, in order to be able to enjoy unparalleled happiness, joy, peace, and love for eternity.

The Father does not wish to lose even a single soul to the father of lies.

The Name of the Father is Mercy

I desire mercy, not sacrifice (Mt 9:13).

It is sad that so many people, Catholics included, only know or perceive the Heavenly Father as Justice. They miss out on one very simple fact: the Name of the Father is Mercy. It is His highest attribute and that is because He is both a Father and Infinite Love.

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First icon of God the Father in the Catholic Church

Related to the above is another simple fact: do not judge and you will not be judged by your own yardstick.

Who is the Father of Jesus Christ? Response to a question

The question was asked, “Who is the Father of Jesus?” The answer is simple. The Father of Our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, is God the Father, the First Person of the Holy Trinity. Christ, the Eternal Word and Second Person of the Trinity, is the only-begotten Son of the Almighty Father and the Incarnate Son of the Virgin Mary. Christ has two natures, one divine, one human.

The Heart of God the Father in Scripture

The Heart of God the Father in Christianity is indicated by 27 specific references in Sacred Scripture (Bartolo-Abela, 2012), with 26 of these references being in the Old Testament whereas one of the references in in the New Testament (Bovenmars, 1991). Many of these references exist in all three major sources of Scripture as shown below: namely, the Septuagint (LXX), the Masoretic text and the Latin Vulgate. A few of the references could be considered doubtful because of their presence in only one of the aforementioned sources. The 27 references in Scripture which speak about the Heart of the Father are: 

  1. Gn 6:6-7 (Vulgate, LXX);
  2. Gn 8:21 (Masoretic);
  3. Jb 7:17 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
  4. Jb 9:4 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
  5. Jb 10:11-13 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
  6. Ps 32:11 (Vulgate) / 33:11 (LXX, Masoretic);
  7. Ps 77:70-72 (Vulgate, Masoretic) / 78:70-72 (LXX);
  8. Is 63:4 (Vulgate, Masoretic);
  9. Jer 3:14-15 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  10. Jer 7:30-31 (Vulgate, LXX);
  11. Jer 19:5 (LXX);
  12. Jer 23:20 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  13. Jer 30:24 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  14. Jer 32:35 (Vulgate);
  15. Jer 32:41 (Vulgate, Masoretic) / 39:41 (LXX);
  16. Jer 44:21 (Vulgate) / 51:21 (LXX);
  17. Lam 3:33 (LXX);
  18. Ez 28:2 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  19. Hos 11:8-9 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  20. 1 Chr 17:19 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  21. 2 Chr 7:16 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  22. 1 Kgs 2:35 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  23. 1 Kgs 13:14 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  24. 2 Kgs 7:21 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  25. 3 Kgs 9:3 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  26. 4 Kgs 10:30 (Vulgate, LXX, Masoretic);
  27. Acts 13:22 (Vulgate).

References

  1. Bartolo-Abela, M. (2012). The Icon of the Divine Heart of God the Father: Apologia and Canon. 
  2. Bovenmars, J. G. (1991). Biblical spirituality of the heart. 

What is a Christian’s divine inheritance? Response to a question

Photo: Alexei Boitsov

The question has been asked, “What is a Christian’s divine inheritance?” The answer in a nutshell is, “To live forever in the bosom of the Most Holy Trinity.” That is what Christ gave us with His Passion, death, and Resurrection. Happiness, peace, joy, and love unparalleled for eternity. Something utterly inconceivable to many human persons and that was intended for us from the beginning.

Did Christ inherit divinity? Response to a question

Christ3The question has been asked, “Did Christ inherit the divinity of God?” The answer is a definitive “no.” Christ did not inherit divinity. He is, was, and will always be divine by origin, by nature, like God the Father Himself and this from before creation and the beginning of time (viz. Jn 1:1).

Christ is both God and Man. He did not become God by inheritance, by progressive deification, by grace as was intended by the Heavenly Father for humankind  – created beings. He is God because He has always been God, begotten not created: in the beginning there was the Holy Trinity – God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit – and silence. No one else; nothing else. To claim, therefore, that Jesus Christ somehow ‘inherited’ His divinity is to proclaim an outright heresy.

Is Islam a religion? – Response to a question

Istanbul,_Hagia_Sophia,_AllahThe question was asked, “According to Catholicism, is Islam a religion or a sect?” The answer is that Islam is a religion. It is by no means a sect – to claim this is to go directly against the mind of the Church. It is a slur that emanates from prejudice and hatred, not from true knowledge which is wisdom or from a genuine Christian spirit.

Islam is one of the three monotheistic religions in which the worship of the One, Indivisible God prevails, together with Christianity and Judaism. The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – the God of Jesus Christ (His only-begotten and divine Son), Mary and Joseph – is also the God of Abraham, Hagar and Ishmael. To claim otherwise is a lie, no matter from where that claim may originate. Yes, God the Creator is Allah and Allah is God the Creator. Nowhere can this be seen more clearly than in the culture of the Maltese people where the God of Christianity – the God of Catholicism, to be precise – is referred to as Alla in the Maltese language.

Muslims worship the same God as Christians and Jews do – even though some, in all three religions, may take intense issue with this fact. Profound misunderstandings and misconceptions abound these days about Islam, especially among more than a few American Catholics, ‘professional’ or otherwise. Thus, for the sake of the truth which must always prevail, let us see what the Church says about Islam.

The teachings of the Catholic Church about Islam

“The plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator, in the first place among whom are the Muslims: these profess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God, mankind’s judge on the last day” – Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964).

“Then [we refer] to the adorers of God according to the conception of monotheism, the Muslim religion especially, deserving of our admiration for all that is true and good in their worship of God” – Ecclesiam Suam (1964).

“The Catholic Church rejects nothing of what is true and holy in these religions. She has a high regard for the manner of life and conduct, the precepts and doctrines which, although differing in many ways from her own teaching, nevertheless often reflect a ray of that truth which enlightens all men. Yet she proclaims and is in duty bound to proclaim without fail, Christ who is ‘the way, the truth and the life’ (Jn 1:6). In Him, in whom God reconciled all things to Himself (cf. 2 Co 5:18-19), men find the fullness of their religious life. The Church, therefore, urges her sons to enter with prudence and charity into discussion and collaboration with members of other religions. Let Christians, while witnessing to their own faith and way of life, acknowledge, preserve and encourage the spiritual and moral truths found among non-Christians, also their social life and culture.

“The Church has also a high regard for the Muslims. They worship God, who is one, living and subsistent, merciful and almighty, the Creator of heaven and earth (Cf. St. Gregory VII, Letter III, 21 to Anazir [Al-Nasir], King of Mauretania PL, 148.451A.), who has spoken to men. They strive to submit themselves without reserve to the hidden decrees of God, just as Abraham submitted himself to God’s plan, to whose faith Muslims eagerly link their own. Although not acknowledging Him as God, they venerate Jesus as a prophet, His Virgin Mother they also honor, and even at times devoutly invoke. Further, they await the day of judgment and the reward of God following the resurrection of the dead. For this reason they highly esteem an upright life and worship God, especially by way of prayer, alms-deeds and fasting.  (more…)

The Mystical Body of Christ – How does one become part of the Church?

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The Mystical Body of Christ – the Church

A lot of questions, contentions and assertions, often contradictory, have arisen lately about the matter of who is, or is not, part of the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ. Some have been correct. However, by far, the larger part of the contentions and assertions have all been either just partially correct or flat-out wrong. Some have been fueled by inadequate knowledge; others have been fueled by partisan denominational agendas. Misunderstandings and misrepresentations abound. Let us look, therefore, at who and what constitutes the Church.

The Church is made up of three parts: the (1) Church Triumphant, which consists of all those persons who are now in Heaven, enjoying the Divine Family in a direct manner. The (2) Church Suffering, which consists of all those souls who are still being purified in Purgatory, but who have now attained the assurance of reaching Heaven once their purification has ended. And (3) the Church Militant, the visible Church that consists of all those people on earth who are part of the Body of Christ.

How does one become part of the Mystical Body of Christ, the Church?

Entrance into the Body of Christ is through baptism of which there are three kinds: (1) the baptism of water, (2) the baptism of blood, and (3) the baptism of desire. Any person who receives any one of the above kinds of baptism is Christian, hence part of the Mystical Body of Christ (Paul VI, 1964. Lumen Gentium, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church). This is the official teaching of the universal Church, the fullness of which resides in the Catholic Church.  (more…)

Was it God’s will for only Satan and demons to be in Hell? – Response to a question

The question was asked, “What it God’s will for only Satan and demons to be in Hell?” The answer is, it was never God’s will that anyone be in Hell (angel or human) or that Hell even be made to exist in the very first instance. Hell resulted from the fall of the most beautiful angel to ever have been created, Lucifer, and the cohort of angels that decided to rebel together with him.