This blog is based on references in the Bible to fear. God wills that we “BE NOT AFRAID”. Many theologians state that the eighth deadly sin is fear. It is fear and its natural animal reaction to fight or flight that is the root cause of our failings to create a Kingdom of God on earth. By “the power of the Holy Spirit” we can be witnesses and “communicators” of a new and redeemed humanity “even to the ends of the earth” (Acts 1:7 8). This blog is dedicated to Mary the Mother of God.
Tuesday, January 9, 2018
Sirach, Chapter 16, Verse 1-2
1 Do not yearn for
worthless children, or rejoice in wicked offspring. 2 Even if they be many, do not rejoice in
them if they do not have fear of the
Life at times can be
hard. God does not promise us perfect happiness in this life; nor perfect
children; for we are made for heaven and eternal happiness with Him. We are to
do our best, but when our best is not sufficient; surrender it to Him. We must be humble; trusting with great
confidence in Him that we may do His will in good seasons and bad. Pray that we
may not forget this truth and complain as the Israelites did in the desert to
such an extent that Moses cried out to God, “Where can I get
meat to give to all these people? For they are crying to me, ‘Give us meat for
our food.’ I cannot carry this entire people by myself,
for they are too heavy for me. If this is the way you will
deal with me, then please do me the favor of killing me at once, so that I need
no longer face my distress.” (Nm 11:13-15)
Moses was despondent
here yet he did not give up; he gave it up. When things get tough; trust in Him.
Knowing that, “One does not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes
forth from the mouth of God.” (Mt. 4:4)
In retrospect when we are
despondent let us remember to go to the great Mother of God, Mary for truly on
the day of Christ’s death in some respects she died too-yet she did not fear for “now she had another son”
reflecting her spiritual adoption of all of mankind.
of the Catholic Church
III. THE LOVE OF HUSBAND AND WIFE
fecundity of marriage
2366Fecundity is a gift, an
end of marriage, for conjugal love naturally tends to be fruitful. A child
does not come from outside as something added on to the mutual love of the
spouses, but springs from the very heart of that mutual giving, as its fruit
and fulfillment. So the Church, which is "on the side of life,"
teaches that "it is necessary that each and every marriage act remain
ordered per se to the procreation of human life." "This particular
doctrine, expounded on numerous occasions by the Magisterium, is based on the
inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may
not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance
which are both inherent to the marriage act."
2367Called to give life,
spouses share in the creative power and fatherhood of God. "Married
couples should regard it as their proper mission to transmit human life and to
educate their children; they should realize that they are thereby cooperating
with the love of God the Creator and are, in a certain sense, its interpreters.
They will fulfill this duty with a sense of human and Christian
2368A particular aspect of
this responsibility concerns the regulation of procreation. For just
reasons, spouses may wish to space the births of their children. It is their
duty to make certain that their desire is not motivated by selfishness but is
in conformity with the generosity appropriate to responsible parenthood.
Moreover, they should conform their behavior to the objective criteria of
morality: When it is a question of harmonizing married love with the
responsible transmission of life, the morality of the behavior does not depend
on sincere intention and evaluation of motives alone; but it must be determined
by objective criteria, criteria drawn from the nature of the person and his
acts criteria that respect the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human
procreation in the context of true love; this is possible only if the virtue of
married chastity is practiced with sincerity of heart.
both these essential aspects, the unitive and the procreative, the conjugal act
preserves in its fullness the sense of true mutual love and its orientation
toward man's exalted vocation to parenthood."
that is, the methods of birth regulation based on self-observation and the use
of infertile periods, is in conformity with the objective criteria of morality.
These methods respect the bodies of the spouses, encourage tenderness
between them, and favor the education of an authentic freedom. In contrast,
"every action which, whether in anticipation of the conjugal act, or in
its accomplishment, or in the development of its natural consequences,
proposes, whether as an end or as a means, to render procreation
impossible" is intrinsically evil: Thus the innate language that expresses
the total reciprocal self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through
contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, that of not
giving oneself totally to the other. This leads not only to a positive refusal
to be open to life but also to a falsification of the inner truth of conjugal
love, which is called upon to give itself in personal totality. . . . The
difference, both anthropological and moral, between contraception and recourse
to the rhythm of the cycle . . . involves in the final analysis two
irreconcilable concepts of the human person and of human sexuality.
2371"Let all be
convinced that human life and the duty of transmitting it are not limited by
the horizons of this life only: their true evaluation and full significance can
be understood only in reference to man's eternal destiny."
2372The state has a responsibility
for its citizens' well-being. In this capacity it is legitimate for it to
intervene to orient the demography of the population. This can be done by means
of objective and respectful information, but certainly not by authoritarian,
coercive measures. The state may not
legitimately usurp the initiative of spouses, who have the primary
responsibility for the procreation and education of their children. In this area, it is not authorized to employ
means contrary to the moral law.
The central theme of Advent and Christmastide, the manifestation, or epiphany, of Jesus Christ,
also dominates the Weeks after Epiphany. That manifestation began selectively,
first to Mary (Ember Wednesday, Annunciation), then to Elizabeth and John the
Baptist (Ember Friday, Visitation), and then to Joseph (Vigil of Christmas).
Next it grew stronger with the adoration of the Shepherds (Christmas), the Magi
at the Manger (Epiphany), Simeon, Anna, and the Doctors in the Temple (Sunday
after Christmas, and Holy Family), and even to John the Baptist's disciples
(Octave of Epiphany). But the epiphanies of Jesus Christ did not end with these
events. On the contrary, everything that our Lord did and said during His
public ministry was designed to manifest His divine nature. It is the Time after Epiphany that corresponds
to this period of our Lord's life. The Epistle selections, mostly from Paul's
letter to the Romans, stress the calling of both Jew and Gentile to the new
revelations, while the Gospel selections narrate the words and deeds of our
Lord during His adult ministry in Galilee,
the northern region of Israel that was the scene of most of His public life.
All of these readings give witness to the astonishing fact that this itinerant
preacher was the coeternal Word of God, the Word who spoke as only God can
speak and who worked miracles that only the God of heaven and earth can work.
Thus, even though these weeks, with their green vestments and moderate mode of
celebration, are part of the calendar's tempus ad annum (what is called
"Ordinary Time" in the new rite), they are more properly seen as
continuing the Christmas cycle's focus on "theophany" -- the
manifestation of God in Christ. By helping us to heed the words of Christ and
understand the significance of His miracles, the Time after Epiphany deepens
our meditation on the mystery of the Incarnation.
this New Year let us take up the nature of God by reflecting on these traits that
make us a model for our children and our sisters and brothers in Christ. Today
Eagerness to do what is right with transparent motives (I Peter 1:22)
today claim a "right to a trial marriage" where there is an intention of getting married later. However firm
the purpose of those who engage in premature sexual relations may be, "the
fact is that such liaisons can scarcely ensure mutual sincerity and fidelity in
a relationship between a man and a woman, nor, especially, can they protect it
from inconstancy of desires or whim." Carnal union is morally legitimate
only when a definitive community of life between a man and woman has been
established. Human love does not tolerate "trial marriages." It
demands a total and definitive gift of persons to one another.
as uprightness in human action and speech is called truthfulness, sincerity, or candor. Truth or truthfulness is the virtue which
consists in showing oneself true in deeds and truthful in words, and in
guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and hypocrisy.
or truthfulness is the virtue which consists in showing oneself true in deeds
and truthful in words, and guarding against duplicity, dissimulation, and