Thursday, June 29, 2023

PETER & PAUL This is a holyday of obligation in some countries.

Judges, Chapter 6, Verse 23

The LORD answered him: You are safe. Do not FEAR. You shall not die.

 

Unlike Gideon, whom this verse is about, most of us do not have an angel appear from heaven to tell us that we will not die and to not be afraid. Yet, we have something greater than an angel here; we have the Lord Jesus Christ telling us-Do not fear.

 

We are blessed because we are the receivers of the apex of God’s graces through Jesus Christ, His mother and the action of Divine Mercy. If you are afraid to start again or are discouraged by failure it is because you do not understand you can do nothing without Christ. Therefore, if you have sinned go to confession and receive His Body and Blood: being renewed. I remember in 2006 when I and my wife Mary were blessed with being able to make a trip to Israel. I was reflecting upon the grace I had received. I was thanking the Lord for I had touched the spot on the earth where He was born, and I had touched the spot where He had died, and I had touched the spot where He had ascended into heaven. I was prideful and thought how lucky I am. Then my Lord reminded me that a greater grace still awaits me and everyone in the Holy Eucharist. Be honest, humble yourself and make a sincere effort. Leave all else in His hands-saying: Jesus I Trust in You!

 

Pride wants immediate success. Be brave as Gideon and renew your intentions, make a resolution daily to do the will of God and seek to please Him.

 

Feast of Saint Peter and Paul[1]


 

Today is the grand rejoicing in the two Princes of the Apostles and founders of the Church in Rome.

 

PETER, formerly called Simon, was a son of Jonas, of Bethsaida, in Galilee, and a brother of Andrew, by whom he was brought to Christ, Who at once changed his name and called him Peter. When, soon after, Jesus said to both of them on the Sea of Tiberias, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men” they both left their nets and followed Him. From this time forward Jesus was constantly giving him particular proofs of His love. From the ship of Peter, He taught the thronging multitude, and to him He promised that on him, as upon a rock, He would build His Church, against which the gates of hell should not prevail. Our Lord took Peter with Him at the raising of Jairus daughter from the dead; at His own transfiguration on Mount Tabor; at the beginning of His passion in the Garden of Gethsemane. To him He promised the keys of the kingdom of heaven; for him He specially prayed that his faith might not fail; and him He commanded to strengthen his brethren. After His resurrection He appeared particularly to Peter, and three times commanded him to feed His flock. But Peter had, above all the other apostles, made himself worthy of this preeminence by his living faith, his humility, his love, and his zeal for the honor of Jesus; for he it was who, before the other apostles, made the confession, “Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God.” He showed his humility when, at the miraculous draught of fishes, he said, “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Out of love he desired to remain always with Christ on Mount Tabor to prevent Him from suffering; and out of love he declared himself ready with Christ to live or die; nay, he even declared most confidently that, though all should be scandalized in Christ, yet he would not be. When Jesus was taken prisoner, Peter showed himself to be most courageous by cutting off the ear of one of his master’s enemies, and by following Him to the house of Caiaphas. Three times, indeed, did he, as no one else did, deny his Lord out of fear; but the look of forgiving love which Jesus cast upon him forced from him tears of the deepest contrition, and three times afterwards, accordingly, he made that confession, “Lord, Thou knowest that I love Thee.” After he had received the Holy Ghost, full of courage, he confessed Christ crucified, and preached Him in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Ionia, and Bithynia. At Jerusalem he was once already condemned to death, but was set free by an angel. In the year 54 he went to Rome, whence, after a nine years residence, he was banished, with many other Christians. Upon returning thither again he was confined in the Mamertine prison, and finally, on June 29, in the year A.D. 67, under the Emperor Nero, he was crucified; his head, by his own desire, hung downwards, because he thought himself unworthy to die like Christ.

 

Paul, before his conversion called Saul, was of the tribe of Benjamin, a native of Tarsus, in Cilicia, and a pupil of Gamaliel. Full of zeal for the law, he bitterly opposed the Christians. As he was travelling to Damascus to persecute them, he was, on the way, converted by Christ. How indefatigably he thenceforward worked in the vineyard of the Lord, and what dangers and persecutions he underwent, no pen can describe. It is almost incredible with what zeal and perseverance he preached Christ, in chains and fetters, under blows and scourges, in hunger and thirst, and untold times at the peril of his life. And yet he was so humble that he counted himself the least of the apostles, and always praised God that He had thought him worthy to suffer for His name. After he had at last fought a good fight, and finished his course having everywhere zealously preached the Gospel, and still more zealously practiced it he received the crown of justice (n. Tim. iv. 6). The Emperor Nero caused him to be beheaded on the same day that Peter was crucified.

The Introit of the Mass is in the words spoken by St. Peter after his delivery from the prison at Jerusalem: Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel and hath delivered me out of the hands of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews (Acts xii. 11). “Lord, Thou hast proved me and known me; Thou hast known my sitting down and my rising up” (Ps. cxxxviii. 1, 2).

Prayer. O God, Who hast consecrated this day by the martyrdom of Thy apostles SS. Peter and Paul, grant to Thy Church, in all things, to follow their doctrines, through whom the true faith was first proclaimed.

EPISTLE. Acts xii. 1-11.

In those days: Herod the king stretched forth his hands, to afflict some of the Church. And he killed James the brother of John with the sword. And seeing that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to take up Peter also. Now it was in the days of the Azymes. And when he had apprehended him, he cast him into prison, delivering him to four files of soldiers to be kept, intending after the Pasch to bring him forth to the people. Peter therefore was kept in prison. But prayer was made without ceasing by the Church unto God for him. And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. And behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him: and a light shined in the room: and he striking Peter on the side raised him up, saying: Arise quickly. And the chains fell off from his hands. And the angel said to him: Gird thyself, and put on thy sandals. And he did so. And he said to him: Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. And going out he followed him, and he knew not that it was true which was done by the angel: but thought he saw a vision. And passing through the first and the second ward, they came to the iron gate that leadeth to the city, which of itself opened to them. And going out, they passed on through one street: and immediately the angel departed from him. And Peter coming to himself, said: Now I know in very deed that the Lord hath sent His angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.

GOSPEL. Matt. xvi. 13-19.

At that time Jesus came into the quarters of Caesarea Philippi: and He asked His disciples, saying: Who do men say that the Son of man is? But they said: Some John the Baptist, and other some Elias, and others Jeremias, or one of the prophets. Jesus saith to them: But who do you say that I am? Simon Peter answered and said: Thou art Christ the Son of the living God. And Jesus answering, said to him: Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-Jona: because flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but My Father Who is in heaven. And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

Why did Christ ask His disciples, Who do men say that the Son of man is?

To give them an opportunity to confess their belief in Him as the true Son of God, and upon that open confession to ground a promise of the highest importance.

Why does Christ call Himself the Son of man?

In order that, His Godhead being veiled under the form of man, He might thus test the faith of His disciples, and teach us that He was both true God and true man.

What did Peter mean to say by those words,Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God?”

He thereby confesses that Christ is the Son of God, begotten from all eternity, and therefore of the same substance with the Father; that by Him all things were made, and that from Him comes our life in soul and body.

What reward did Peter receive for his confession?

Christ pronounced him blessed that God had given him such grace, conveyed to him the highest authority in His Church, and gave him the pre-eminence above all the apostles.

What is the meaning of the expression “to bind and to Loose”?

According to Isaias, it signifies to open and to shut heaven, and here consequently denotes the power, as representative of Jesus Christ, to receive persons into the Church, and to excommunicate them from it; to forgive sins, or to retain them; to impose or to remit punishments for them; to establish laws and prohibitions, to abolish them, to change them, and, in general, to govern and direct in everything, as shall be necessary for the preservation of unity and order in the Church, and for the good of the faithful.

Was the power to bind and to loose given to Peter only?

 

No, but to the rest of the apostles also; the power of the keys, however, Jesus gave only to Peter. Peter, therefore, and his successors, possess this supreme power, while the other apostles and their successors, the bishops, possess the authority entrusted to them by Christ, to be exercised by them in unity with the rock, that is, with Peter and his successors.

 

Of the Pope

 

What is the Pope to the Catholic?

 

The representative of Jesus Christ, and the visible head, appointed by Him, for the government of His Church.

 

Did Christ actually appoint such a supreme head?

 

Yes, and that in the person of St. Peter. He gave him the significant name Peter the rock, distinguished him always above the other apostles, and laid upon him the charge to feed His lambs, that is, the faithful, and His sheep, that is, the bishops themselves; and this power Peter uniformly exercised.

 

Why did Christ appoint a visible head for the Church?

 

Because the Church is an outward, visible society, united together not only by inward faith in Christ, but also by outward, visible signs. Such a visible head is as necessary for the Church as for a body, a family, a society, a state, to prevent disunion, confusion, and the consequent destruction of the whole; this supreme head is the center of the whole, the final judge, the authoritative teacher.

 

Who is now this supreme head?

 

The Bishop of Rome, or the Pope. It is undeniable that Peter occupied the bishop’s see at Rome, and that he died there. Equally indisputable is it that the successor of St. Peter entered upon possession of his rights, and, together with the episcopal see of Rome, inherited also the office possessed by him. From the first centuries this has ever been acknowledged by the faithful, who have accordingly called the Bishop of Rome Pope that is, the father of the faithful. And how clearly does history show that Peter and his successors are the rock upon which the Lord has immovably founded His Church! What storms have not broken upon the Church!

 

Persecutions from without and within, heresies and schisms without number, and infidelity in its most hideous form, have raged against the Church, and what has been the consequence?

 

Nations have often fallen away from the Church, single bishops have proved betrayers of their flocks, the sees of the apostles themselves have been subject to the vicissitudes of time. And amid all these storms Rome alone has, for over eighteen hundred years, stood firm. She has come out of every contest victorious, has remained the center of faith and discipline, and has preserved the unbroken succession of bishops from Peter. Who does not see herein the assistance of Him Who forever fulfills that promise of His, “Upon this rock I will build My Church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” The Pope is, therefore, the visible supreme head of the Church, appointed by Christ for all time; the invisible, all-governing head is Christ Himself.

 

Things to do[2]

·        Take a pilgrimage to Rome to visit the burial places of St. Peter and Paul.

·        Go fishing in honor of St. Peter.  He was a fisherman before he became Jesus' disciple and is the patron saint of fisherman and net makers.

·        Go camping in honor of St. Paul.  Before his conversion to Christianity, Paul was a tent maker.  He is the patron saint of tent makers as well as writers. In addition to being an accomplished preacher, Paul wrote epistles that are included in the Bible's New Testament.

·        Attend Mass and learn how both Peter and Paul, two men with very different visions, formed the early church and how Christianity rapidly spread.

St. Peter's Fish with Herbs


Insalata Di Tarocci[3] 

INGREDIENTS

  • 4 blood oranges or other small, sweet oranges
  • 1 small red onion, cut into very thin slices*
  • 4 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. freshly chopped Italian parsley; stems discarded
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Details

Serves: 4

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Combine a dozen or so men with large sackes draped over their shoulders; ox-drawn carts bearing the image of San Paolo (himself holding a snake and a book in one hand, a sword pointing to the heavens in the other); squads of flagbearers and swordsmen; a cotillion of old men with black berets playing an indescribable array of instruments (many homemade); a piazza packed with local residents dressed in Sunday finery; and long tables filled with all manner of food and beverage, and you have a beginner's idea of what to expect if you find yourself in Aragona in southern Sicily on June 29, the feast of St. Paul. (If you decide to visit the church however, you no longer have to fear the ritual called La benedizione deglie serpe, whereby residents presented snakes to the priest for benediction. The ritual was done away with a few years ago. If you do venture to Aragona for this festival, the blood orange and red onion salad presented here is one of the many foods you're likely to sample. Although any type of orange can be substituted to following is made with tarocci or blood oranges, which are one of Sicily's most famous products. Exceptionally high in vitamin C, strongly fragrant, and with brilliant red peel and pulp, the tarocci is widely used in salads, frozen ice cream desserts, and sorbets. 

DIRECTIONS

Italians have become very fond of cipolle de tropea a type of sweet red onion that comes from Calabria and is not yet available in the US. To achieve the same sweetness, soak the sliced red onion in water for thirty minutes before using.

1. Peel the oranges and remove the pith. Cut horizontally into thin slices. Put in a bowl and set aside.

2. Separate the onion slices into individual layers and put in the bowl with the oranges. Add the oil and half the parsley to the bowl, season with salt and pepper, and toss until all ingredients are well coated.

3. Arrange the orange and onion slices in a circular pattern on a round platter. Drizzle with the oil left in the bowl, sprinkle with the remaining parsley, and serve.

Make Ahead: The oranges can be tossed with the marinade earlier in the day.

How to Serve: On its own as a midsummer appetizer, followed by a light pasta, or as a salad course accompanying an especially piquant entree.

Waffle Iron Day[4] is the perfect time to celebrate this delicious breakfast staple!

Waffle Irons were first found in that area of Northwestern Europe known as the Low Countries, which includes Belgium and the Netherlands as well as other places. Originally, they were made to be used over an open flame and were thus constructed on the end of two long, typically wooden, handles with a clamshell system at one end, which would be held over a fire to bake.

The origin of the waffle iron can be traced back to the Middle Ages, where they were developed from a device known as the ‘wafer iron’.  These were commonly used in the creation of the communion wafer, but larger varieties existed, consisting of nothing more than two flat irons often engraved with elaborate scenes.  For the communion wafer, it was depictions of the crucifixion of Christ. While the larger secular designs varied widely, often engraved with artistic floral designs, illumination, or just about any other form of design you could imagine.

·       The Belgians celebrate the feast of St. Michael by eating waffles; perhaps we could start celebrating Mondays with waffles in honor of the angels; remembering we too like Michael must be as strong as iron against the enemy and we must not waffle. Sorry I couldn’t resist.

 

Catechism of the Catholic Church

PART ONE: THE PROFESSION OF FAITH

SECTION TWO-I. THE CREEDS

CHAPTER ONE-I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER

Article 1-"I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, CREATOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH"


Paragraph 7. THE FALL

385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experience of suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper to creatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine, and his own painful quest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery of lawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion". The revelation of divine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance of grace. We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes of our faith on him who alone is its conqueror.

I. WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE

The reality of sin

386 Sin is present in human history; any attempt to ignore it or to give this dark reality other names would be futile. To try to understand what sin is, one must first recognize the profound relation of man to God, for only in this relationship is the evil of sin unmasked in its true identity as humanity's rejection of God and opposition to him, even as it continues to weigh heavy on human life and history.

387 Only the light of divine Revelation clarifies the reality of sin and particularly of the sin committed at mankind's origins. Without the knowledge Revelation gives of God we cannot recognize sin clearly and are tempted to explain it as merely a developmental flaw, a psychological weakness, a mistake, or the necessary consequence of an inadequate social structure, etc. Only in the knowledge of God's plan for man can we grasp that sin is an abuse of the freedom that God gives to created persons so that they are capable of loving him and loving one another.

Original sin - an essential truth of the faith

388 With the progress of Revelation, the reality of sin is also illuminated. Although to some extent the People of God in the Old Testament had tried to understand the pathos of the human condition in the light of the history of the fall narrated in Genesis, they could not grasp this story's ultimate meaning, which is revealed only in the light of the death and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We must know Christ as the source of grace in order to know Adam as the source of sin. the Spirit-Paraclete, sent by the risen Christ, came to "convict the world concerning sin", by revealing him who is its Redeemer.

389 The doctrine of original sin is, so to speak, the "reverse side" of the Good News that Jesus is the Saviour of all men, that all need salvation and that salvation is offered to all through Christ. the Church, which has the mind of Christ, knows very well that we cannot tamper with the revelation of original sin without undermining the mystery of Christ.

How to read the account of the fall

390 The account of the fall in Genesis 3 uses figurative language, but affirms a primeval event, a deed that took place at the beginning of the history of man. Revelation gives us the certainty of faith that the whole of human history is marked by the original fault freely committed by our first parents.

II. THE FALL OF THE ANGELS

391 Behind the disobedient choice of our first parents lurks a seductive voice, opposed to God, which makes them fall into death out of envy. Scripture and the Church's Tradition see in this being a fallen angel, called "Satan" or the "devil". The Church teaches that Satan was at first a good angel, made by God: "The devil and the other demons were indeed created naturally good by God, but they became evil by their own doing."

392 Scripture speaks of a sin of these angels. This "fall" consists in the free choice of these created spirits, who radically and irrevocably rejected God and his reign. We find a reflection of that rebellion in the tempter's words to our first parents: "You will be like God." The devil "has sinned from the beginning"; he is "a liar and the father of lies".

393 It is the irrevocable character of their choice, and not a defect in the infinite divine mercy, that makes the angels' sin unforgivable. "There is no repentance for the angels after their fall, just as there is no repentance for men after death."

394 Scripture witnesses to the disastrous influence of the one Jesus calls "a murderer from the beginning", who would even try to divert Jesus from the mission received from his Father. "The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil." In its consequences the gravest of these works was the mendacious seduction that led man to disobey God.

395 The power of Satan is, nonetheless, not infinite. He is only a creature, powerful from the fact that he is pure spirit, but still a creature. He cannot prevent the building up of God's reign. Although Satan may act in the world out of hatred for God and his kingdom in Christ Jesus, and although his action may cause grave injuries - of a spiritual nature and, indirectly, even of a physical nature - to each man and to society, the action is permitted by divine providence which with strength and gentleness guides human and cosmic history. It is a great mystery that providence should permit diabolical activity, but "we know that in everything God works for good with those who love him."

III. ORIGINAL SIN

Freedom put to the test

396 God created man in his image and established him in his friendship. A spiritual creature, man can live this friendship only in free submission to God. the prohibition against eating "of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" spells this out: "for in the day that you eat of it, you shall die." The "tree of the knowledge of good and evil" symbolically evokes the insurmountable limits that man, being a creature, must freely recognize and respect with trust. Man is dependent on his Creator, and subject to the laws of creation and to the moral norms that govern the use of freedom.

Man's first sin

397 Man, tempted by the devil, let his trust in his Creator die in his heart and, abusing his freedom, disobeyed God's command. This is what man's first sin consisted of. All subsequent sin would be disobedience toward God and lack of trust in his goodness.

398 In that sin man preferred himself to God and by that very act scorned him. He chose himself over and against God, against the requirements of his creaturely status and therefore against his own good. Created in a state of holiness, man was destined to be fully "divinized" by God in glory. Seduced by the devil, he wanted to "be like God", but "without God, before God, and not in accordance with God".

399 Scripture portrays the tragic consequences of this first disobedience. Adam and Eve immediately lose the grace of original holiness. They become afraid of the God of whom they have conceived a distorted image - that of a God jealous of his prerogatives.

400 The harmony in which they had found themselves, thanks to original justice, is now destroyed: the control of the soul's spiritual faculties over the body is shattered; the union of man and woman becomes subject to tensions, their relations henceforth marked by lust and domination. Harmony with creation is broken: visible creation has become alien and hostile to man. Because of man, creation is now subject "to its bondage to decay". Finally, the consequence explicitly foretold for this disobedience will come true: man will "return to the ground", for out of it he was taken. Death makes its entrance into human history.

401 After that first sin, the world is virtually inundated by sin There is Cain's murder of his brother Abel and the universal corruption which follows in the wake of sin. Likewise, sin frequently manifests itself in the history of Israel, especially as infidelity to the God of the Covenant and as transgression of the Law of Moses. and even after Christ's atonement, sin raises its head in countless ways among Christians. Scripture and the Church's Tradition continually recall the presence and universality of sin in man's history:

What Revelation makes known to us is confirmed by our own experience. For when man looks into his own heart he finds that he is drawn towards what is wrong and sunk in many evils which cannot come from his good creator. Often refusing to acknowledge God as his source, man has also upset the relationship which should link him to his last end, and at the same time he has broken the right order that should reign within himself as well as between himself and other men and all creatures.

The consequences of Adam's sin for humanity

402 All men are implicated in Adam's sin, as St. Paul affirms: "By one man's disobedience many (that is, all men) were made sinners": "sin came into the world through one man and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all men sinned." The Apostle contrasts the universality of sin and death with the universality of salvation in Christ. "Then as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all men, so one man's act of righteousness leads to acquittal and life for all men."

403 Following St. Paul, the Church has always taught that the overwhelming misery which oppresses men and their inclination towards evil and death cannot be understood apart from their connection with Adam's sin and the fact that he has transmitted to us a sin with which we are all born afflicted, a sin which is the "death of the soul". Because of this certainty of faith, the Church baptizes for the remission of sins even tiny infants who have not committed personal sin.

404 How did the sin of Adam become the sin of all his descendants? the whole human race is in Adam "as one body of one man". By this "unity of the human race" all men are implicated in Adam's sin, as all are implicated in Christ's justice. Still, the transmission of original sin is a mystery that we cannot fully understand. But we do know by Revelation that Adam had received original holiness and justice not for himself alone, but for all human nature. By yielding to the tempter, Adam and Eve committed a personal sin, but this sin affected the human nature that they would then transmit in a fallen state. It is a sin which will be transmitted by propagation to all mankind, that is, by the transmission of a human nature deprived of original holiness and justice. and that is why original sin is called "sin" only in an analogical sense: it is a sin "contracted" and not "committed" - a state and not an act.

405 Although it is proper to each individual, original sin does not have the character of a personal fault in any of Adam's descendants. It is a deprivation of original holiness and justice, but human nature has not been totally corrupted: it is wounded in the natural powers proper to it, subject to ignorance, suffering and the dominion of death, and inclined to sin - an inclination to evil that is called concupiscence". Baptism, by imparting the life of Christ's grace, erases original sin and turns a man back towards God, but the consequences for nature, weakened and inclined to evil, persist in man and summon him to spiritual battle.

406 The Church's teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more precisely in the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustine's reflections against Pelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation. Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary help of God's grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adam's fault to bad example. the first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radically perverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man with the tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. the Church pronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the second Council of Orange (529) and at the Council of Trent (1546).

A hard battle. . .

407 The doctrine of original sin, closely connected with that of redemption by Christ, provides lucid discernment of man's situation and activity in the world. By our first parents' sin, the devil has acquired a certain domination over man, even though man remains free. Original sin entails "captivity under the power of him who thenceforth had the power of death, that is, the devil". Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals.

408 The consequences of original sin and of all men's personal sins put the world as a whole in the sinful condition aptly described in St. John's expression, "the sin of the world". This expression can also refer to the negative influence exerted on people by communal situations and social structures that are the fruit of men's sins.

409 This dramatic situation of "the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one" makes man's life a battle:

The whole of man's history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil, stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day. Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right, and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by God's grace, that he succeeds in achieving his own inner integrity.

IV. "YOU DID NOT ABANDON HIM TO THE POWER OF DEATH"

410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in a mysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall. This passage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium ("first gospel"): the first announcement of the Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the final victory of a descendant of hers.

411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the "New Adam" who, because he "became obedient unto death, even death on a cross", makes amends superabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam. Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors of the Church have seen the woman announced in the "Proto-evangelium" as Mary, the mother of Christ, the "new Eve". Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christ's victory over sin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committed no sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.

412 But why did God not prevent the first man from sinning? St. Leo the Great responds, "Christ's inexpressible grace gave us blessings better than those the demon's envy had taken away." and St. Thomas Aquinas wrote, "There is nothing to prevent human nature's being raised up to something greater, even after sin; God permits evil in order to draw forth some greater good. Thus St. Paul says, 'Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more'; and the Exsultet sings, 'O happy fault,. . . which gained for us so great a Redeemer!'"

IN BRIEF

413 "God did not make death, and he does not delight in the death of the living. . . It was through the devil's envy that death entered the world" (Wis 1:13; 2:24).

414 Satan or the devil and the other demons are fallen angels who have freely refused to serve God and his plan. Their choice against God is definitive. They try to associate man in their revolt against God.

415 "Although set by God in a state of rectitude man, enticed by the evil one, abused his freedom at the very start of history. He lifted himself up against God, and sought to attain his goal apart from him" (GS 13 # 1).

416 By his sin Adam, as the first man, lost the original holiness and justice he had received from God, not only for himself but for all human beings.

417 Adam and Eve transmitted to their descendants human nature wounded by their own first sin and hence deprived of original holiness and justice; this deprivation is called "original sin".

418 As a result of original sin, human nature is weakened in its powers, subject to ignorance, suffering and the domination of death, and inclined to sin (this inclination is called "concupiscence").

419 "We therefore hold, with the Council of Trent, that original sin is transmitted with human nature, "by propagation, not by imitation" and that it is. . . 'proper to each'" (Paul VI, CPG # 16).

420 The victory that Christ won over sin has given us greater blessings than those which sin had taken from us: "where sin increased, grace abounded all the more" (Rom 5:20).

421 Christians believe that "the world has been established and kept in being by the Creator's love; has fallen into slavery to sin but has been set free by Christ, crucified and risen to break the power of the evil one. . ." (GS 2 # 2).

Daily Devotions

·       Unite in the work of the Porters of St. Joseph by joining them in fasting: The Sick, afflicted, and infirmed

·       do a personal eucharistic stations of the cross.

·       Litany of the Most Precious Blood of Jesus

·       Offering to the sacred heart of Jesus

·       Drops of Christ’s Blood

·       Universal Man Plan

·       Rosary




[1] Goffine’s Devout Instructions, 1896.

[4] https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/waffle-iron-day/



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