Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pope Benedict Address to the German Parliament 22 September 2011

Here is the unedited historic discourse (with a little glitch in the middle) on the need for true justice in politicians and in politics and the indispensable role of Christianity in ensuring the integrity of our claims of truth and justice by promoting the right relationship between faith and reason. The origin of our culture comes from the relationship between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome: the harmony between faith in the one true God, the highest achievements of human reason and philosophy and the proper ordering of society with civil law. We need God to regain our bearings and certainty regarding our nature and dignity, and our consequent responsibility to respect that same nature. The "is" and the "ought" need to be brought together again and they can be authoritatively joined only by the living God: that man is made in the image and likeness of the Truth Himself. We have the capacity to know the truth about ourselves and have duties consequent upon that reasonable knowledge because God is true. Because the Absolute exists and we exist in relationship to him. Without God everything is relative and government becomes the rule of the most clever crooks. "Man is mind and will but he is also nature!" God alone guarantee's it.

Above is the video in German. Below is the complete English translation text.

We could say that this discourse is a particular application of what was called for in the Regensburg Address: a cultural re-birth established upon our necessary Christian-Hellenic cradle!

22-25 SEPTEMBER 2011



Reichstag Building, Berlin
Thursday, 22 September 2011

The Listening Heart
Reflections on the Foundations of Law

Mr President of the Federal Republic,
Mr President of the Bundestag,
Madam Chancellor,
Madam President of the Bundesrat,
Ladies and Gentlemen Members of the House,

It is an honour and a joy for me to speak before this distinguished house, before the Parliament of my native Germany, that meets here as a democratically elected representation of the people, in order to work for the good of the Federal Republic of Germany. I should like to thank the President of the Bundestag both for his invitation to deliver this address and for the kind words of greeting and appreciation with which he has welcomed me. At this moment I turn to you, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, not least as your fellow-countryman who for all his life has been conscious of close links to his origins, and has followed the affairs of his native Germany with keen interest. But the invitation to give this address was extended to me as Pope, as the Bishop of Rome, who bears the highest responsibility for Catholic Christianity. In issuing this invitation you are acknowledging the role that the Holy See plays as a partner within the community of peoples and states. Setting out from this international responsibility that I hold, I should like to propose to you some thoughts on the foundations of a free state of law.

Allow me to begin my reflections on the foundations of law [Recht] with a brief story from sacred Scripture. In the First Book of the Kings, it is recounted that God invited the young King Solomon, on his accession to the throne, to make a request. What will the young ruler ask for at this important moment? Success – wealth – long life – destruction of his enemies? He chooses none of these things. Instead, he asks for a listening heart so that he may govern God’s people, and discern between good and evil (cf. 1 Kg 3:9). Through this story, the Bible wants to tell us what should ultimately matter for a politician. His fundamental criterion and the motivation for his work as a politician must not be success, and certainly not material gain. Politics must be a striving for justice, and hence it has to establish the fundamental preconditions for peace. Naturally a politician will seek success, without which he would have no opportunity for effective political action at all. Yet success is subordinated to the criterion of justice, to the will to do what is right, and to the understanding of what is right. Success can also be seductive and thus can open up the path towards the falsification of what is right, towards the destruction of justice. “Without justice – what else is the State but a great band of robbers?”, as Saint Augustine once said. We Germans know from our own experience that these words are no empty spectre. We have seen how power became divorced from right, how power opposed right and crushed it, so that the State became an instrument for destroying right – a highly organized band of robbers, capable of threatening the whole world and driving it to the edge of the abyss. To serve right and to fight against the dominion of wrong is and remains the fundamental task of the politician. At a moment in history when man has acquired previously inconceivable power, this task takes on a particular urgency. Man can destroy the world. He can manipulate himself. He can, so to speak, make human beings and he can deny them their humanity. How do we recognize what is right? How can we discern between good and evil, between what is truly right and what may appear right? Even now, Solomon’s request remains the decisive issue facing politicians and politics today.

For most of the matters that need to be regulated by law, the support of the majority can serve as a sufficient criterion. Yet it is evident that for the fundamental issues of law, in which the dignity of man and of humanity is at stake, the majority principle is not enough: everyone in a position of responsibility must personally seek out the criteria to be followed when framing laws. In the third century, the great theologian Origen provided the following explanation for the resistance of Christians to certain legal systems: “Suppose that a man were living among the Scythians, whose laws are contrary to the divine law, and was compelled to live among them ... such a man for the sake of the true law, though illegal among the Scythians, would rightly form associations with like-minded people contrary to the laws of the Scythians.”[1]

This conviction was what motivated resistance movements to act against the Nazi regime and other totalitarian regimes, thereby doing a great service to justice and to humanity as a whole. For these people, it was indisputably evident that the law in force was actually unlawful. Yet when it comes to the decisions of a democratic politician, the question of what now corresponds to the law of truth, what is actually right and may be enacted as law, is less obvious. In terms of the underlying anthropological issues, what is right and may be given the force of law is in no way simply self-evident today. The question of how to recognize what is truly right and thus to serve justice when framing laws has never been simple, and today in view of the vast extent of our knowledge and our capacity, it has become still harder.

How do we recognize what is right? In history, systems of law have almost always been based on religion: decisions regarding what was to be lawful among men were taken with reference to the divinity. Unlike other great religions, Christianity has never proposed a revealed law to the State and to society, that is to say a juridical order derived from revelation. Instead, it has pointed to nature and reason as the true sources of law – and to the harmony of objective and subjective reason, which naturally presupposes that both spheres are rooted in the creative reason of God. Christian theologians thereby aligned themselves with a philosophical and juridical movement that began to take shape in the second century B.C. In the first half of that century, the social natural law developed by the Stoic philosophers came into contact with leading teachers of Roman Law.[2] Through this encounter, the juridical culture of the West was born, which was and is of key significance for the juridical culture of mankind. This pre-Christian marriage between law and philosophy opened up the path that led via the Christian Middle Ages and the juridical developments of the Age of Enlightenment all the way to the Declaration of Human Rights and to our German Basic Law of 1949, with which our nation committed itself to “inviolable and inalienable human rights as the foundation of every human community, and of peace and justice in the world”.

For the development of law and for the development of humanity, it was highly significant that Christian theologians aligned themselves against the religious law associated with polytheism and on the side of philosophy, and that they acknowledged reason and nature in their interrelation as the universally valid source of law. This step had already been taken by Saint Paul in the Letter to the Romans, when he said: “When Gentiles who have not the Law [the Torah of Israel] do by nature what the law requires, they are a law to themselves ... they show that what the law requires is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness ...” (Rom 2:14f.). Here we see the two fundamental concepts of nature and conscience, where conscience is nothing other than Solomon’s listening heart, reason that is open to the language of being. If this seemed to offer a clear explanation of the foundations of legislation up to the time of the Enlightenment, up to the time of the Declaration on Human Rights after the Second World War and the framing of our Basic Law, there has been a dramatic shift in the situation in the last half-century. The idea of natural law is today viewed as a specifically Catholic doctrine, not worth bringing into the discussion in a non-Catholic environment, so that one feels almost ashamed even to mention the term. Let me outline briefly how this situation arose. Fundamentally it is because of the idea that an unbridgeable gulf exists between “is” and “ought”. An “ought” can never follow from an “is”, because the two are situated on completely different planes. The reason for this is that in the meantime, the positivist understanding of nature has come to be almost universally accepted. If nature – in the words of Hans Kelsen – is viewed as “an aggregate of objective data linked together in terms of cause and effect”, then indeed no ethical indication of any kind can be derived from it.[3] A positivist conception of nature as purely functional, as the natural sciences consider it to be, is incapable of producing any bridge to ethics and law, but once again yields only functional answers. The same also applies to reason, according to the positivist understanding that is widely held to be the only genuinely scientific one. Anything that is not verifiable or falsifiable, according to this understanding, does not belong to the realm of reason strictly understood. Hence ethics and religion must be assigned to the subjective field, and they remain extraneous to the realm of reason in the strict sense of the word. Where positivist reason dominates the field to the exclusion of all else – and that is broadly the case in our public mindset – then the classical sources of knowledge for ethics and law are excluded. This is a dramatic situation which affects everyone, and on which a public debate is necessary. Indeed, an essential goal of this address is to issue an urgent invitation to launch one.

The positivist approach to nature and reason, the positivist world view in general, is a most important dimension of human knowledge and capacity that we may in no way dispense with. But in and of itself it is not a sufficient culture corresponding to the full breadth of the human condition. Where positivist reason considers itself the only sufficient culture and banishes all other cultural realities to the status of subcultures, it diminishes man, indeed it threatens his humanity. I say this with Europe specifically in mind, where there are concerted efforts to recognize only positivism as a common culture and a common basis for law-making, reducing all the other insights and values of our culture to the level of subculture, with the result that Europe vis-à-vis other world cultures is left in a state of culturelessness and at the same time extremist and radical movements emerge to fill the vacuum. In its self-proclaimed exclusivity, the positivist reason which recognizes nothing beyond mere functionality resembles a concrete bunker with no windows, in which we ourselves provide lighting and atmospheric conditions, being no longer willing to obtain either from God’s wide world. And yet we cannot hide from ourselves the fact that even in this artificial world, we are still covertly drawing upon God’s raw materials, which we refashion into our own products. The windows must be flung open again, we must see the wide world, the sky and the earth once more and learn to make proper use of all this.

But how are we to do this? How do we find our way out into the wide world, into the big picture? How can reason rediscover its true greatness, without being sidetracked into irrationality? How can nature reassert itself in its true depth, with all its demands, with all its directives? I would like to recall one of the developments in recent political history, hoping that I will neither be misunderstood, nor provoke too many one-sided polemics. I would say that the emergence of the ecological movement in German politics since the 1970s, while it has not exactly flung open the windows, nevertheless was and continues to be a cry for fresh air which must not be ignored or pushed aside, just because too much of it is seen to be irrational. Young people had come to realize that something is wrong in our relationship with nature, that matter is not just raw material for us to shape at will, but that the earth has a dignity of its own and that we must follow its directives. In saying this, I am clearly not promoting any particular political party – nothing could be further from my mind. If something is wrong in our relationship with reality, then we must all reflect seriously on the whole situation and we are all prompted to question the very foundations of our culture. Allow me to dwell a little longer on this point. The importance of ecology is no longer disputed. We must listen to the language of nature and we must answer accordingly. Yet I would like to underline a point that seems to me to be neglected, today as in the past: there is also an ecology of man. Man too has a nature that he must respect and that he cannot manipulate at will. Man is not merely self-creating freedom. Man does not create himself. He is intellect and will, but he is also nature, and his will is rightly ordered if he respects his nature, listens to it and accepts himself for who he is, as one who did not create himself. In this way, and in no other, is true human freedom fulfilled.

Let us come back to the fundamental concepts of nature and reason, from which we set out. The great proponent of legal positivism, Kelsen, at the age of 84 – in 1965 – abandoned the dualism of “is” and “ought”. (I find it comforting that rational thought is evidently still possible at the age of 84!) Previously he had said that norms can only come from the will. Nature therefore could only contain norms, he adds, if a will had put them there. But this, he says, would presuppose a Creator God, whose will had entered into nature. “Any attempt to discuss the truth of this belief is utterly futile”, he observed.[4] Is it really? – I find myself asking. Is it really pointless to wonder whether the objective reason that manifests itself in nature does not presuppose a creative reason, a Creator Spiritus?

At this point Europe’s cultural heritage ought to come to our assistance. The conviction that there is a Creator God is what gave rise to the idea of human rights, the idea of the equality of all people before the law, the recognition of the inviolability of human dignity in every single person and the awareness of people’s responsibility for their actions. Our cultural memory is shaped by these rational insights. To ignore it or dismiss it as a thing of the past would be to dismember our culture totally and to rob it of its completeness. The culture of Europe arose from the encounter between Jerusalem, Athens and Rome – from the encounter between Israel’s monotheism, the philosophical reason of the Greeks and Roman law. This three-way encounter has shaped the inner identity of Europe. In the awareness of man’s responsibility before God and in the acknowledgment of the inviolable dignity of every single human person, it has established criteria of law: it is these criteria that we are called to defend at this moment in our history.

As he assumed the mantle of office, the young King Solomon was invited to make a request. How would it be if we, the law-makers of today, were invited to make a request? What would we ask for? I think that, even today, there is ultimately nothing else we could wish for but a listening heart – the capacity to discern between good and evil, and thus to establish true law, to serve justice and peace. I thank you for your attention!


[1] Contra Celsum, Book 1, Chapter 1. Cf. A. Fürst, “Monotheismus und Monarchie. Zum Zusammenhang von Heil und Herrschaft in der Antike”, Theol.Phil. 81 (2006), pp. 321-338, quoted on p. 336; cf. also J. Ratzinger, Die Einheit der Nationen. Eine Vision der Kirchenväter (Salzburg and Munich, 1971), p. 60.

[2] Cf. W. Waldstein, Ins Herz geschrieben. Das Naturrecht als Fundament einer menschlichen Gesellschaft (Augsburg, 2010), pp. 11ff., 31-61.

[3] Cf. Waldstein, op. cit., pp. 15-21.

[4] Cf. Waldstein, op. cit., p. 19.

© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

Monday, September 19, 2011

Canon 230 (par.1) of the 1983 Code of Canon Law: A Dead Letter

The Vatican II Code of Canon Law has the provision for laymen to be permanently instituted as lectors and acolytes. Canonically speaking those are the only "lay ministries" in the Church. It seems that there are no bishops in the world who promote or confer these ministries on our lay men. Perhaps it is because the ministries are to be conferred exclusively upon males (viri laici) and not females, and many of our bishops, being swayed by the current fashions and political pressures prefer to neglect our illustrious millennial traditions by feminizing our sanctuaries. I propose that it is precisely why they should promote these ministries: because they are exclusively male!

The lay ministries of acolyte and lector would be a very dignified way to give a boost to our Catholic religion and to the men and women of our parishes by enabling our male parishioners to take ownership of our liturgical lives, under the priest, with the blessing of the bishop.

In a world in which true femininity and true masculinity are increasingly distorted and conflated, whatever we can do to accent the difference and complementarity of the sexes will prove to be a great service to the building of a Christian civilization. Note, for instance, the recent heroic decision of CUA to re-institute single sex dormitories, with the ensuing litigation.

Most priests could greatly benefit from one such close circle of men to support their ministry as a man. For, one of the things that is greatly lacking in homes and in parishes is true Christian manhood. That is one of the reasons there is so much abuse, which is mainly perpetrated by men, even in the Church. We need virtuous Christian men associating with one another and with the priests, exemplifying Jesus Christ without fear. The strength of our Christian men is the greatest buttress for the dignity and virtue of our wives and daughters and of all the women of the world who want to be truly feminine. We need to form and support strong men if we want to support and strengthen the women of the world. In other words, convert the abusers and you eliminate the abuse! In fact, that is the only sure way to eliminate it.

And our bishops should boldly take the lead in this duty to sanctify the sanctuary availing themselves of all of the resources provided by our Catholic tradition and the canonical norms. May the bishops finally begin to promote and install worthy men to the lay ministries of the Church to further what Pope Benedict has called "the reform of the reform"!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Communists Spied on Ratzinger and Included Clergy!

The news story below reminds me of the small book AA-1025 by Marie Carre. Very interesting! Some of the disorder in the Church is organized disorder, organized by people hired to enter her hierarchical ranks and destroy her from within! It makes you wonder about some of our "self-hating Catholics" in the Church hierarchy! Perhaps they hate the Church and the Catholic faith because they are communists. In any case, men like Albany's homosexualist Hubbard, are certainly hired by Satan, to do and promote the work of the devil in the Church!

East German Stasi Considered Ratzinger a Fierce Foe
Report Reveals How Secret Police Spied on Future Pope

By Edward Pentin

ROME, SEPT. 15, 2011 ( In 1974, a Trabant -- an old East German car -- was chugging through the Thuringian countryside, a province in the communist German Democratic Republic.

In its passenger seat sat Professor Joseph Ratzinger and at the wheel was Father Joachim Wanke, then an assistant at a local seminary -- the only one in the GDR.

The two priests, writes Rainer Erice, a journalist for the German radio station Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk Thüringen (MDR), were on a harmless sightseeing tour, taking in the historic cities of Jena and Weimar. It was a moment of relaxation during Father Ratzinger's short visit to East Germany, the purpose of which was to give several lectures to students and theologians in Erfurt, Thuringia's capital.

What gave this visit added significance, however, was that it marked the beginning of covert surveillance of Father Ratzinger by the East German "Stasi", or secret police.

That Professor Ratzinger was spied upon by Stasi informants is already known. In 2005, it was revealed that the East German agents had had files on the newly elected Pope. But now new files, uncovered this week by MDR, add more light on how the secret police viewed the future Pontiff, and who was employed to inform on him.

The documents reveal that in 1974, the Stasi were well aware that Father Ratzinger was a rising star in the Church, but they lacked suitable spooks to track him. All they knew at that stage (from an unofficial informant called Birke, an employee of the bishop of Meissen) was that Professor Ratzinger had given lectures on modern theology to students and academics during his visit.

Intensified efforts

As the theology professor's role in the Church grew, however, so the East German secret police began to take more of an interest in his activities and stepped up their efforts, according Erice's report. By the time Archbishop Joseph Ratzinger of Munich visited Berlin in 1978 for a meeting with Cardinal Alfred Bengsch, chairman of the Berlin Bishops' Conference, the foreign section of East Germany's homeland security had taken over the task of spying on him and had assigned numerous unofficial informants in both East and West Germany.

The GDR secret service viewed Professor Ratzinger as "conservative, reactionary and authoritarian," Erice writes, and contended that John Paul II had appointed the then-Cardinal Ratzinger as organizer for "counter-revolutionary development in Poland." More Stasi notes reveal they considered him as "one of the fiercest opponents of communism"; they believed he supported nuclear deterrence between the East and West military blocs, and that he considered pacifism "unrealistic."

But Erice adds that despite "several hundred pages" of information on Joseph Ratzinger, there was "little that was meaningful," and individual reports of foreign espionage had been "almost completely deleted." The discovered documents related only to "basic information about the author and the occasion of when the information was gathered."

Yet the documents reveal some interesting facts, namely details about the Stasi agents employed to inform on Joseph Ratzinger. Erice writes that "at least a dozen unofficial employees" were assigned to the task. These included two East German university professors known to the Stasi as "reliable": Agent "Aurora" was a professor of scientific atheism in Jena and Warnemünde, while Agent "Lorac" worked undercover as a theology professor in Leipzig. Agent "Georg" was in the executive committee of the Berlin Bishops' Conference and was apparently well versed on the internal workings of the Church.

In West Germany, the Stasi's network included a Benedictine monk in Trier known by the codename "Lichtblick" (Ray of Hope). Lichtblick spied for the Stasi for decades and, according to Erice, "shared very extensive and reliable reports about Vatican events." Another unofficial agent, known as "Antonius" was a journalist with the German Catholic news agency KNA and provided "masses" of information about the Pope, Cardinal Ratzinger and the Vatican.

Another journalist was hired in Munich under the alias "Chamois", while a particularly prominent spy was a politician belonging to the Christian Social Union party and a former confidant of Franz Josef Strauss, once a leader of the party. The agent was known by the codenames "Lion" and "Trustworthy". Their network also went beyond the borders of Germany. In Italy, the Stasi employed Agent "Bernd" who provided information on the Holy See's foreign policy.

Shy, but charming

With all these informants in place, Erice writes that the Stasi were well prepared when Joseph Ratzinger travelled to Dresden in 1987 to meet a group of Catholics. "The Stasi mounted a huge effort in monitoring the meeting," Erice says, and they strove to avoid drawing attention to any surveillance that was taking place, especially when passing through the border. "The security forces were instructed to give him preferential and polite treatment at the border crossing," say the reports, and that "worldly evils such as customs inspections" usually applied to Western visitors "had to be omitted."

But despite their great efforts, Erice says the Stasi made some basic mistakes. They incorrectly spelled Cardinal Ratzinger's native town Merkl instead of Marktl. And although they wanted to portray him negatively, they couldn't help but make the occasional positive observation. In addition to praising his high intelligence, they noted: "Although he would be shy at first with an interlocutor, he possesses a winning charm."

Benedict XVI is, of course, not the first Pontiff to have had much of his life closely monitored by secret agents. Blessed Pope John Paul II was heavily spied upon by the KGB and the SB (Poland's secret police). According to research revealed by George Weigel in his recent book "The End and the Beginning," the agencies began taking a keen interest in Karol Wojtyla's activities after he was made auxiliary bishop of Krakow in 1958.

Weigel recalls that between 1973 and 1974, Polish authorities considered arresting Karol Wojtyla and charging him with sedition. Secret police stalked him on kayaking trips and tried to compromise his closest associates, occasionally bungling their operations. And it wasn't just the Pope who was in their sights; the Vatican was, too.

"What most surprised me was the sheer magnitude of the effort, which involved millions of man-hours and billions of dollars," Weigel said in an interview with the National Catholic Register last year. "I was also unaware of the degree to which Soviet-bloc intelligence agencies attempted to manipulate the Second Vatican Council for their purposes -- and how unaware of this assault the Vatican seemed to be (and continued to be until 1978)."

This week's disclosures come just days before Benedict XVI makes a Sept. 22-25 state visit to Germany, which will include a stop in Erfurt.

He will be welcomed to the city by the current bishop of the diocese, his driver on that 1974 visit, Joachim Wanke.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Planned Parenthood's New Name

How should we more correctly name that organization which militates so effectively against the good health and well-being of women, fecundity, spousal love and the family?

Planned Sterility


In a recent interview Mayor Bloomberg said that he should like his legacy as mayor to be public health and education. Well, the first thing he needs to do is learn that public health and education begin in the home under the watchful eye of mom and dad.

New York needs a "Say No To Fornication" campaign followed by a "Say No To Adultery" and a "Say No To Sodomy" campaign.

Could the city institute a ban on public displays of homosexual affection? That would be a very effective way to improve public health and education especially among the young.

We need to get serious about promoting decency and forcefully opposing immorality.

Immorality is dirty, by definition, bad for your health. Much worse than cigarette smoke! Mr. Mayor, you can't be pro-immorality and pro-public health and education!

Also, immorality is often coupled with ignorance of morality. We need Jesus Christ to enlighten our cities on right and wrong and mayors can do a great deal to help foster the city environment to be friendly to the Messiah, without being sectarian! Families like that.

Families prefer not having their children taught sex-ed in school. Families prefer not to see lewd conduct (e.g. homosexual displays of affection). Families prefer not to have condoms pushed into their face on our city streets. And families begin male and female, with the two becoming one flesh.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Christ at the US Open Continued

Please note that the top woman player and the top man player in the world, who will be playing in the US Open final Sunday and Monday successively both wear a cross! Jesus Christ is alive and well on planet earth, even among the youth of the world. God bless their witness, and their games!!

In light of the prevalence of the cross among the players, I would have to say that the cross seems to be the most popular logo on the court! More players advertise the Cross of Jesus Christ than they do for Nike or Adidas. And what is certain is that none of the players are paid anything for advertising for our blessed Lord and his way! They do it for free. Many of the best athletes in the world wear the logo of the Church without charge! That is remarkable. Who said that economics rules the world. No, my friends, Jesus Christ is forever Lord over all. Praised be Jesus Christ.

However I have one question. Why is Novak Djokovic's cross so cheap and so distracting his game? In the match today against Federer he had to continually tuck the plain wooden cross on a string back in under his shirt. Is he under the common misunderstanding that everything dedicated to God should be rustic, bare and of low material quality and value? Get the best for God, man, and drive a crummy car if you want! Your cross should cost at least as much as your sneakers!!!

When young men start giving their fiancees a bag of cement instead of the best diamond rings, only then will I accept that we should not use the best we have for God! Throughout scripture God demands that the best be given for his worship: e.g. the first born and the first fruits, without defect. Christ defends Mary Magdalene when she anoints his with the ointment worth a year's salary! Judas alone objected to the great expense as unnecessary.

Caroline Wozniacki wears a fashionable cross at the Open, as seen in the picture.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Saint Pambo (+385)

Distrust You Self!

As a youngster Saint Pambo asked Saint Antony of Egypt (his mentor) "Teach me, my Father, to live well." To which the elder Saint replied "My son, to live well, one must have a great distrust of oneself, with every effort watch over one's heart and mind, do penance, and seek God alone in all things."

In Butler's and a German devotional I am using he is the saint for 6th of September.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Birthday of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

This Thursday, 8th of September, is the very happy birthday of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary. Just one more way in which the Catholic Church has continually honored the Mother of our Blessed Lord in every age, fulfilling her prophesy recorded in the Gospels:

"...For behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed." Luke 1:48

These words are a prediction of that honour which the church in all ages should pay to the Blessed Virgin. Let Protestants examine whether they are any way concerned in this prophecy. (Lk. 1:48 footnote, Douay-Rheims Bible)

Pope Benedict XVI on Whether it is Proper to Celbrate Mary's Birthday

"The celebration of Mary's birth forms an exception to the way in which the Church usually celebrates the feast days of her saints. In contrast to the ancient world, in which the birthdays of important personages--a Caesar or an Augustus--were celebrated with great pomp as days of good tidings, as days of redemption, the Church ordinarily does not celebrate the birthdays of saints. The Church reasons quite simply that it is premature to celebrate birthdays because there is too much ambiguity in human life. At the time of birth no one knows whether this life is a cause for celebration or not, whether this person will some day have reason to be glad he was born; whether the world can be glad that this person existed or whether it will curse the day he was born. For twelve years Germans had to celebrate a birthday that marked the advent of the Fuhrer who was to save their nation but whom the world has since come to curse as one of the bloodiest tyrants of all times. By comparison, the Church celebrates only the day of death. The only one whose life is worthy of celebration is one who can give thanks for his life in the face of death and the severity of judgment; one whose life is acceptable also on the other side of the grave. The Church has made only three exceptions to this basic rule--or more exactly one exception to which the other two are so inextricably linked that they can be counted together as one. The exception is Christ. There is no ambiguity about his birth, only praise: Glory to God in the highest! He who became man though he was God; he whose birth was based on pure love; his birth can be celebrated. What is more: his birth is the real reason why we humans 'have anything at all to be happy about', that we have anything at all to celebrate and need no longer fear that life as a whole is only a plaything of death and is, consequently, even in its finest moments, only a mockery of joy. Through him who was born in Bethlehem, and through him alone, human life was become rich in promise and meaning. The birthday of John the Baptizer is also celebrated because he was so closely associated with Jesus [and himself sanctified in the womb cf. Lk 1:15b, 41]. He was born for no other reason than to light the way for him; the birth of Jesus is the fundamental reason and purpose of his birth. The other exception is Mary, the Mother of Jesus, without whom Jesus' own birth could not have taken place. She is the portal through which he came into the world--and not just the external portal. As Augustine once said, she received Jesus in her heart before she became his Mother according to the flesh. Mary's soul was the place from which God was able to enter our humanity. In contrast to the great and mighty ones of earth, she who believed, who bore the light of the world in her heart, changed the world from its foundation. Only by the powers of the soul can the world be truly changed and saved." Co-Workers of the Truth (entry for 8 September), p. 287-288

Friday, September 2, 2011

US Open and Christ

Have you noticed how many of this year's players are wearing crosses? They are especially prevalent among the female players. 18 year old American Jack Sock is wearing a manly cross in his match against Roddick! God bless the young man from Lincoln, Nebraska!

Another note. Notice the modesty of the traditional female tennis skirt. The young tennis stars are true models of real culture, at least on court.

A third note. I have yet to see a tattoo!!! or eccentric piercings with either gender, except for Donald Young's earrings.

Young should really get rid of the earrings, it is a confusing message for the young fans. What does it mean for a man to don earrings? After his impressive win against Wawrinka he admitted that he is maturing, referring to his more disciplined game "I've grown a lot the last few years. I've learned from all those mistakes. Everybody's light comes on at a different time, and I feel like mine's coming on." Would that his light should come on about the pendants, especially if he progresses. Maybe he can wear a cross around his neck instead. It is certainly more helpful and less ambiguous.

It is nevertheless most refreshing to see that there are many young people worldwide who publicly witness to Jesus Christ and portray an wholesome and innocent image, as it should be. Those players are representative of a new generation in great wide world, as were the 2 million participants in World Youth Day 2011 in Madrid. There is hope for the world yet in the Christianity and the integrity of the young. May they be better than their parents as Christ Himself was (e.g. the "son of David"), and as the Most Blessed Virgin Mary was, the perfect daughter of Israel!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Saints for the 31st

Yesterday I learned of three remarkable medieval saints celebrated on the 31st of August. All three happen to be Spanish (Isabella being a daughter of Blanche of Castille).

Saint Raymond (Raymundus) Nonnatus (+1240) Whose mother died before he was born! Hence, he is the patron saint of midwives.

Saint Dominguito del Val (+1250) An altar boy who was ritually crucified by Jews in Zaragossa!

Saint Isabella of France (+1270) Princess and virgin, the sister of Saint King Louis IX.

The 13th Century is known as the greatest Catholic century. Here are three more reasons why. And all made in Spain! Vale!

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