Monday, February 6, 2023

 Monday Night at the Movies

.Martin Scorcese, The Age of Innocence, 1982.

Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 1-5

1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have PEACE with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, 4 and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, 5 and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us.

 

Paul is telling us that Christ has brought God’s love for us to the forefront while justification and righteousness recede to the background. We have a new life at peace with God. This peace leads us to confidence and compels us to live a new life. Christ died for us while we were at our worst. As difficult to believe or accept as that might be, we have the proof of it in our hearts where God’s love has placed the Holy Spirit to guide us in the new life. Faith triumphs in trouble.[1]

Who harms not his fellow man, nor takes up a reproach against his neighbor; By whom the reprobate is despised, while he honors those who fear the LORD.

Marriage Week[2] 

Simon Peter and the other fishermen are astonished at the catch that reveals Jesus as Lord. Jesus’ response to Simon Peter is reassuring: “Do not be afraid; from now on you will be catching men”. Once again, the fisherman of Galilee places his trust in the words of Jesus and leaves everything to follow Him. James and John also do the same; from now on, they will be ‘fishers of men’. Jesus invites them to share in His mission, the mission of the Church. As baptized, we all partake in the mission of Jesus Christ, priest, prophet, and king. As married men and women, the calling is lived out in a concrete home and family. How does your life as a couple, as parents, as godparents, or in another way, touch the lives of your family? How are you witnesses and bearers of the Gospel?

 

What Is Marriage?[3]


 

Marriage is a lifelong partnership of the whole of life, of mutual and exclusive fidelity, established by mutual consent between a man and a woman, and ordered towards the good of the spouses and the procreation of offspring. As the Second Vatican Council reminds us, marriage is not a purely human institution: the intimate partnership of life and the love which constitutes the married state has been established by the creator and endowed by him with its own proper laws. . .. For God himself is the author of marriage. Moreover, God has endowed marriage with certain essential attributes, without which marriage cannot exist as he intends.

 

The Church has taught through the ages that marriage is an exclusive relationship between one man and one woman. This union, once validly entered and consummated, gives rise to a bond that cannot be dissolved by the will of the spouses. Marriage thus created is a faithful, privileged sphere of intimacy between the spouses that lasts until death.

 

Marriage is not merely a private institution, however. It is the foundation for the family, where children learn the values and virtues that will make good Christians as well as good citizens. The importance of marriage for children and for the upbringing of the next generation highlights the importance of marriage for all society.

 

Conjugal love, the love proper to marriage, is present in the commitment to the complete and total gift of self between husband and wife. Conjugal love establishes a unique communion of persons through the relationship of mutual self-giving and receiving between husband and wife, a relationship by which ―a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body [flesh]‖(Gn 2:24).The Second Vatican Council speaks about conjugal love in words of great beauty: The Lord, wishing to bestow special gifts of grace and divine love on married love, has restored, perfected, and elevated it. A love like that, bringing together the human and the divine, leads the partners to a free and mutual self-giving, experienced in tenderness and action, and permeating their entire lives; this love is actually developed and increased by its generous exercise in conjugal love one can see something of how Christ loves his Church (Eph 5:25). 

Resources 

·       On marriages in crisis –For Your Marriage list of ministries that help married couples in difficulty or crisis

·       On healthy sexuality within marriage –Paul VI, Encyclical Letter Humanae Vitae,1968.


·       On divorce –USCCB, Divorce and the Church’s Healing Ministry, 2010.

·       On lust and pornography –USCCB: Create in Me a Clean Heart: A Pastoral Response to Pornography, 2015 and Clean Heart series of pamphlets, 2016.

·       USCCB, Pastoral Letter Marriage: Love and Life in the Divine Plan, 2009.

·       USCCB, For Your Marriage website: foryourmarriage.org.

·       USCCB, Por Tu Matrimonio website: portumatrimonio.org.

 Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART THREE: LIFE IN CHRIST

SECTION TWO-THE TEN COMMANDMENTS

Chapter 2 “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Article 5-THE FIFTH COMMANDMENT

II. Respect for the Dignity of Persons

Respect for the souls of others: scandal

2284 Scandal is an attitude or behavior which leads another to do evil. the person who gives scandal becomes his neighbor's tempter. He damages virtue and integrity; he may even draw his brother into spiritual death. Scandal is a grave offense if by deed or omission another is deliberately led into a grave offense.

2285 Scandal takes on a particular gravity by reason of the authority of those who cause it or the weakness of those who are scandalized. It prompted our Lord to utter this curse: "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened round his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea." Scandal is grave when given by those who by nature or office are obliged to teach and educate others. Jesus reproaches the scribes and Pharisees on this account: he likens them to wolves in sheep's clothing.

2286 Scandal can be provoked by laws or institutions, by fashion or opinion.

Therefore, they are guilty of scandal who establish laws or social structures leading to the decline of morals and the corruption of religious practice, or to "social conditions that, intentionally or not, make Christian conduct and obedience to the Commandments difficult and practically impossible." This is also true of business leaders who make rules encouraging fraud, teachers who provoke their children to anger, or manipulators of public opinion who turn it away from moral values.

2287 Anyone who uses the power at his disposal in such a way that it leads others to do wrong becomes guilty of scandal and responsible for the evil that he has directly or indirectly encouraged. "Temptations to sin are sure to come; but woe to him by whom they come!"

Respect for health

2288 Life and physical health are precious gifts entrusted to us by God.
We must take reasonable care of them, taking into account the needs of others and the common good.
Concern for the health of its citizens requires that society help in the attainment of living-conditions that allow them to grow and reach maturity: food and clothing, housing, health care, basic education, employment, and social assistance.

2289 If morality requires respect for the life of the body, it does not make it an absolute value.
It rejects a neo-pagan notion that tends to promote the cult of the body, to sacrifice everything for it's sake, to idolize physical perfection and success at sports.
By its selective preference of the strong over the weak, such a conception can lead to the perversion of human relationships.

2290 The virtue of temperance disposes us to avoid every kind of excess: the abuse of food, alcohol, tobacco, or medicine. Those incur grave guilt who, by drunkenness or a love of speed, endanger their own and others' safety on the road, at sea, or in the air.

2291 The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life. Their use, except on strictly therapeutic grounds, is a grave offense. Clandestine production of and trafficking in drugs are scandalous practices. They constitute direct co-operation in evil, since they encourage people to practices gravely contrary to the moral law.

Respect for the person and scientific research

2292 Scientific, medical, or psychological experiments on human individuals or groups can contribute to healing the sick and the advancement of public health.

2293 Basic scientific research, as well as applied research, is a significant expression of man's dominion over creation. Science and technology are precious resources when placed at the service of man and promote his integral development for the benefit of all. By themselves however they cannot disclose the meaning of existence and of human progress. Science and technology are ordered to man, from whom they take their origin and development; hence they find in the person and in his moral values both evidence of their purpose and awareness of their limits.

2294 It is an illusion to claim moral neutrality in scientific research and its applications. On the other hand, guiding principles cannot be inferred from simple technical efficiency, or from the usefulness accruing to some at the expense of others or, even worse, from prevailing ideologies. Science and technology by their very nature require unconditional respect for fundamental moral criteria. They must be at the service of the human person, of his inalienable rights, of his true and integral good, in conformity with the plan and the will of God.

2295 Research or experimentation on the human being cannot legitimate acts that are in themselves contrary to the dignity of persons and to the moral law. the subjects' potential consent does not justify such acts. Experimentation on human beings is not morally legitimate if it exposes the subject's life or physical and psychological integrity to disproportionate or avoidable risks. Experimentation on human beings does not conform to the dignity of the person if it takes place without the informed consent of the subject or those who legitimately speak for him.

2296 Organ transplants are in conformity with the moral law if the physical and psychological dangers and risks incurred by the donor are proportionate to the good sought for the recipient. Donation of organs after death is a noble and meritorious act and is to be encouraged as a manifestation of generous solidarity. It is not morally acceptable if the donor or those who legitimately speak for him have not given their explicit consent.
It is furthermore morally inadmissible directly to bring about the disabling mutilation or death of a human being, even in order to delay the death of other persons.

Respect for bodily integrity

2297 Kidnapping and hostage taking bring on a reign of terror; by means of threats they subject their victims to intolerable pressures. They are morally wrong. Terrorism threatens, wounds, and kills indiscriminately; it is gravely against justice and charity.
Torture which uses physical or moral violence to extract confessions, punish the guilty, frighten opponents, or satisfy hatred is contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity. Except when performed for strictly therapeutic medical reasons, directly intended amputations, mutilations, and sterilizations performed on innocent persons are against the moral law.

2298 In times past, cruel practices were commonly used by legitimate governments to maintain law and order, often without protest from the Pastors of the Church, who themselves adopted in their own tribunals the prescriptions of Roman law concerning torture. Regrettable as these facts are, the Church always taught the duty of clemency and mercy. She forbade clerics to shed blood. In recent times it has become evident that these cruel practices were neither necessary for public order, nor in conformity with the legitimate rights of the human person. On the contrary, these practices led to ones even more degrading. It is necessary to work for their abolition. We must pray for the victims and their tormentors.

Respect for the dead

2299 The dying should be given attention and care to help them live their last moments in dignity and peace. They will be helped by the prayer of their relatives, who must see to it that the sick receive at the proper time the sacraments that prepare them to meet the living God.

2300 The bodies of the dead must be treated with respect and charity, in faith and hope of the Resurrection. the burial of the dead is a corporal work of mercy; it honors the children of God, who are temples of the Holy Spirit.

2301 Autopsies can be morally permitted for legal inquests or scientific research. the free gift of organs after death is legitimate and can be meritorious.
The Church permits cremation, provided that it does not demonstrate a denial of faith in the resurrection of the body.

 

Party in Quebec City


 

February 1-11

 

For fabulous winter fun, head to the annual Winter Festival in Quebec City. Snow rafting, ice canoe racing, a bartending competition, snow baths (clothing optional), a snow sculpture competition and a masquerade ball are among the many activities. 

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: Today's Fast: Authentic Feminism

                                            

·       Carnival: Part Two, the Final Countdown

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Make reparations to the Holy Face

·       Monday: Litany of Humility

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Rosary



Day 23

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