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Posts Tagged ‘Creed’

Re-oriented World

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/12/27 at 12:00 AM

From Pope Emeritus Benedict before retiring:  Christ’s birth, “something so radically new that it was capable of changing the course of history”.

The Lord’s nativity, the Holy Father commented, “once again illuminates the darkness that often surrounds our world and our hearts with its light, and brings hope and joy. Where does this light come from? From the grotto in Bethlehem where the shepherds found ‘Mary and Joseph and the Child lying in the manger’. Before this Holy Family another, deeper question arises: How can this small and weak Child bring a newness so radical into the world that it is capable of changing the course of history? Isn’t there something mysterious in his origin that goes beyond that cavern?”

“In the four Gospels, the answer to the question ‘where does Jesus come from?’ emerges clearly: his true origin is the Father, God. He comes entirely from Him, but in a different way than any other prophet or messenger of God who preceded Him. This origin of the mystery of God, ‘whom nobody knows’, is already contained in the stories of His childhood in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke, which we are reading during Christmastime. The angel Gabriel announces: ‘The Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God’. We repeat these words every time that we recite the Creed, the profession of faith: ‘et incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine’, ‘and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary’. At this phrase we kneel because the veil that hid God is, so to say, opened and His unfathomable and inaccessible mystery touches us. God becomes Emmanuel, ‘God with us’. When we listen to the Masses composed by the great masters of sacred music?I’m thinking, for example, of Mozart’s Coronation Mass? we immediately notice how they linger over this phrase in a particular way, almost wanting to try to express with the universal language of music that which words cannot make manifest: the great mystery of God made flesh, of God made man”.

“This affirmation of the Creed does not concern God’s eternal being but rather speaks to us of an action that the three divine Persons take part in and that is realized ‘ex Maria Virgine’. Without her, God’s entrance into human history would not have been achieved and that which is central to our Profession of Faith would not have taken place: God is God with us. Mary thus undeniably pertains to our faith in the God who acts, who enters into history. She puts her entire being at His disposition, she ‘accepts’ becoming the place of God’s indwelling.”

“Some times, even along the path and in the life of faith, we can sense our poverty, our inadequacy in front of the witness to be given to the world. But God chose precisely a humble woman, in an unknown village, in one of the furthest provinces of the great Roman Empire. Always, even amidst the most arduous difficulties to be faced, we must have faith in God, renewing our faith in His presence and in His action in our story as in that of Mary. Nothing is impossible to God! With Him our existence always walks upon a safe path and is open to a future of steadfast hope.”…

“What happens in Mary, through the action of the Holy Spirit himself, is a new creation. God, who has called being from nothingness with the Incarnation, gives life to a new beginning of humanity. The Fathers of the Church repeatedly speak of Christ as the new Adam in order to emphasize the beginning of the new creation with the birth of the Son of God in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This brings us to reflect upon how faith also supposes in us a newness so strong as to produce a second birth. In fact, at the beginning of being Christians is the Baptism that makes us reborn as children of God, that makes us to participate in the filial relationship that Jesus has with the Father. And I would like to note that Baptism is received, “we are baptised”?it is a passive verb?because nobody is capable of converting themselves into a child of God by themselves. It is a gift that is freely conferred… Only if we are open to God’s action, as Mary was, only if we entrust our life to the Lord as to a friend in who we trust completely, does everything change. Our lives acquire new meaning and a new face: that of the children of a Father who loves us and never abandons us”. …

“There is another element in the words of the Annunciation. The angel says to Mary: ‘the power of the Most High will overshadow you’. This is a reminder of the holy cloud that, during the Exodus, covered the tent of meeting over the ark of the Covenant, which the people of Israel carried with them, indicating the presence of God. Mary, therefore, is the new holy tent, the new ark of the Covenant. With her ‘yes’ to the archangel’s words, God receive a dwelling place in this world. What the universe cannot contain dwells in the womb of a virgin”.

“Let us return to the question with which we began, that of Jesus’ origin, summed up in Pilate’s question: ‘Where are you from?’. From our reflection it appears clear, from the beginning of the Gospels, what Jesus’ true origin is: He is the only begotten Son of the Father. He comes from God. We are facing the great and disconcerting mystery that we celebrate in this time of Christmas: the Son of God, by the power of the Holy Spirit, became man in the womb of the Virgin Mary. This is an announcement that resounds ever new and which carries with it hope and joy to our hearts because each time it gives us the certainty that, even if we often feel weak, poor, incapable of facing the difficulties and the evil of the world, the power of God is always acting and works wonders precisely in our weakness. His grace is our strength”.

VIS 130102

Becoming Catholic

In 15 Audio on 2013/10/24 at 12:00 AM
Becoming a Catholic
Host – Fr. Ed Krause
Fr. Ed Krause instructs, encourages, and inspires listeners with the wisdom and strength of the Catholic creed, moral tradition, and sacramental life. He demonstrates that becoming a Catholic is a lifelong struggle, beginning with Baptism and ending in Heaven.
Becoming Catholic Back to Series List
Program Name Audio File Name – Click to download
1. Preambles of the Faith Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc01.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the basics of the Faith including proofs for the existence of God and the first article of the Creed.
2. The Second Commandment Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc02.mp3
Fr. Krause discusses the ways that the Lord’s name is taken in vain today in phony religions, and how the Catholic Faith, the true faith has shown herself to be true since its foundation 2000 years ago.
3. On Christ, Christology, and the Incarnation Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc03.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the teaching of Jesus Christ on the Kingdom of God, the beatitudes, and how the Incarnation was God’s answer to suffering and death.
4. The Church and its Mission Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc04.mp3
Fr. Krause concentrates on the mission and task that Jesus gave us: to break beyond selfish isolation and share a richer life in communion with God and all the Saints.
5. Baptism, Confirmation and Penance Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc05.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the sacraments of initiation, their scriptural sources, and what the Catechism teaches on them.
6. The Sacrament of the Eucharist Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc06.mp3
Fr. Krause concentrates on the Sacrament of the Eucharist and the scriptural references to it.
7. Marriage and Orders: Vocational Sacraments Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc07.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about how Love is perfected within Marriage or Holy Orders.
8. The Anointing of the Sick Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc08.mp3
Fr. Krause discusses the issue of suffering and illness, and how God uses evil to produce a greater good, but also how, without God, suffering would lead to anguish, self-absorbtion or despair. He also talks about how the Sacrament of the anointing of the sick gives people the grace to carry their crosses and healing.
9. The Moral Imperatives of any Faith Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc09.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about how Morality is objective, and perceived by the Conscience through Natural Law
10. The Fifth Commandment: You Shall not Kill The Fifth Commandment: You Shall not Kill Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc10.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the sacredness of human life, the heinousness of abortion, and how even hatred against your brother is a sin.
11. The Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Commandments Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc11.mp3
Fr. Krauses ties together the sins of adultery, lust, and dishonor to parents into one theme of preserving the sacredness of family life.
12. The Eighth Commandment and the Media Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc12.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about how bearing false witness has affected society today, on a small scale and a larger scale with the media.
13. The Paschal Mystery and the Last Things Host – Fr. Ed Krause bc13.mp3
Fr. Krause talks about the culmination of Christ’s life in His death and resurrection, the culmination in our lives through our death to self and our rising in Christ, and the culmination of the Church’s mission at the end times.

Saying “I believe in God the Father Almighty’ Is Saying “I believe in the power of God’s love”

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2013/02/28 at 11:11 AM

The first and most fundamental definition that the Creed teaches us about God is that He is the Almighty Father. This was the theme of Benedict XVI’s Wednesday catechesis during today’s general audience that was held in the Paul VI Audience Hall.

“It isn’t always easy today to speak about fatherhood,” the Pope began, “…and, not having adequate role models, it even becomes problematic to imagine God as a father. For those who have had the experience of an overly authoritarian and inflexible father, or an indifferent, uncaring, or even absent one, it is not easy to calmly think of God as Father or to confidently surrender themselves to Him. But Biblical revelation helps us to overcome these difficulties by telling us about a God who shows us what it truly means to be a ‘father’. Above all it is the Gospel that reveals to us this face of God as Father, who loves us even to the point of giving us the gift of His Son for the salvation of humanity.”

In the light of the Scriptures and the writings of the evangelists, the Holy Father explained that God is our Father because “He has blessed us and chosen us before the foundation of the world. He has truly made us His children in Jesus. And, as Father, God accompanies our existence with love, giving us His Word, His teaching, His grace, His Spirit. …If He is so good as to ‘make His sun rise on the bad and the good and … rain to fall on the just and the unjust’, then we can always, without fear and in complete faith, entrust ourselves to His forgiveness as Father when we choose the wrong path.”

Tracing the history of salvation, Psalm 136 repeats “for his mercy endures forever”, and the pontiff emphasized, “The love of God the Father never fails, never tires of us. … Faith gives us this certainty that becomes the sure rock upon which to build our lives. We can face every difficulty and every danger, the experience of the darkness of times of crisis and pain, sustained by the confidence that God does not abandon us and is always near to save us and bring us to everlasting life.”

The kind face of the Father who is in heaven is fully shown in the Lord Jesus. “Knowing Him we know the Father and seeing Him we can see the Father. … Faith in God the Father requires that we believe in the Son, through the action of the Spirit, recognizing the Cross that saves as the definitive revelation of divine love. God is our Father, forgiving our sins and bringing us to the joy of the risen life.”

“We can ask ourselves, how is it possible to imagine an all-powerful God by looking at the Cross of Christ? … We would certainly like a divine omnipotence that corresponded to our thoughts and our desires; an ‘almighty’ God … who vanquishes our adversaries, who changes the course of events, and who takes away our pain. … Faced with evil and suffering, … it is difficult for many of us to believe in God the Father and to believe that He is all-powerful.”

“Faith in God the Almighty, however, leads us to follow very different paths: learning to understand that God’s thoughts and God’s paths are different from ours and that even His omnipotence is different?it isn’t expressed with mechanical or arbitrary force… Actually, God, in creating free creatures, in giving us freedom, gave up a part of His power, allowing us the power of our freedom. Thus He loves and respects love’s free response to His call. His omnipotence isn’t expressed in violence or destruction but rather through love, mercy, and forgiveness; through His tireless call to a change of heart, through an attitude that is only weak in appearance, and which is made of patience, clemency, and love.”

“Only the truly powerful can endure evil and show compassion. Only the truly powerful can fully exercise the power of love. And God, to whom all things belong because He made them all, reveals His strength by loving everything and everyone, patiently awaiting our conversion because He wants us as His children. …The omnipotence of love isn’t a worldly power, but is that of total gift and Jesus, the Son of God, reveals to the world the Father’s true omnipotence by giving His life for us sinners. This is the true … divine power: responding to evil not with evil but with good, responding to murderous hatred with a love that gives life. Evil is thus truly vanquished, because it is washed by God’s love. Death is thus definitively defeated, because it is transformed into the gift of life. God the Father resurrects His Son. Death, the great enemy, is swallowed up and deprived of its sting and we are freed from sin; we can grasp our reality as children of God.”

“So, when we say ‘I believe in God, the Father Almighty’, we express our faith in the power of God’s love who in His Son who died and rose again conquers hate, evil, and sin and gives us eternal life, a life as children who desire to remain forever in the ‘Father’s House’.”

VIS 130130

Rubrics by Fr. Brandon Jones

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/11/25 at 9:11 AM

“Rubrics” are directions given by the Church to the celebrant and the assembly for the proper celebration of the Liturgy. The word “rubric” derives from the Latin word, “ruber,” or “red” because in any liturgical book the rubrics are printed in red, while the actual liturgical texts are printed in black. Hence the wise maxim that, in the celebration of the Sacred Liturgy, we are to “say the black and do the red.”

One of the most often ignored rubrics occurs during the Creed:

All bow during these two lines:

by the power of the Holy Spirit

he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.

Why are we to bow at this point in the Creed? The answers comes into clearer focus when we look at the new English translation:

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

The Lord Jesus was not simply born but incarnatus est, he “was incarnate” of the Virgin Mary. Nowadays many people understand what it means when speaking of “reincarnation,” but how many of those people could speak of the Incarnation?

The beautiful Prologue of St. John’s Gospel proclaims: “And the Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us, and we saw his glory…” (John 1:14). “Incarnate” means taking on flesh: “Belief in the true Incarnation of the Son of God is the distinctive sign of Christian faith.” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 463). The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that the Word became flesh in order to save us by reconciling us with God, so that thus we might know God’s love, to be our model of holiness, and to make us partakers of the divine nature. (Cf. CCC 457-460). Indeed, “The unique and altogether singular event of the Incarnation of the Son of God does not mean that Jesus Christ is part God and part man, nor does it imply that he is the result of a confused mixture of the divine and the human. He became truly man while remaining truly God. Jesus Christ is true God and true man.” (CCC 464).

Each time we sing or recite the Creed we call to mind the event in which, to quote Father Robert Barron, “the Word of God — the mind by which the whole universe came to be — did not remain sequestered in heaven but rather entered into this ordinary world of bodies, this grubby arena of history, this compromised and tear-stained human condition of ours.” Such love, such mercy on God’s part deserves our gratitude, indeed, our adoration expressed bodily. This is why the General Instruction of the Roman Missal directs that “At the words…and by the Holy Spirit…all make a profound bow; but on the Solemnities of the Annunciation and of the Nativity of the Lord, all genuflect.” (GIRM, 137). “No one, whether shepherd or wise man, can approach God here below except by kneeling before the manger at Bethlehem and adoring him hidden in the weakness of a new-born child.” (CCC 563).

I’m Father Brandon Jones and this has been a Missal Moment.

Most Blessed Trinity by Fr. Reid

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2011/06/18 at 7:00 AM

• One of the great creedal documents of our Faith is the Athanasian Creed, which provides a rather terse but clear exposition of our Catholic beliefs regarding the Trinity as well as the Incarnation.

• While whether or not St. Athanasius is actually the author of this creed is subject to debate, the theological content of this creed is not. Indeed, this beautiful document – which was originally intended for liturgical use – is a wonderfully concise treatise on what is often considered one of the most difficult to understand dogmas of our faith.

• I mention the Athanasian Creed because today, my friends, the Church celebrates the Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity. In doing so we are celebrating the central tenet of our Christian heritage: that not only does God exists, but that He exists as a Trinity of persons.

• Belief in the Holy Trinity is the central tenet of our faith because it is the mystery of God in Himself, and as such it is the source of all the other mysteries of our faith.

• To be Christian means to express faith in not just a god, but in a triune God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and to enter into relationship with Him.

• When we are baptized, we are baptized in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Through our baptism we are called to actually share in the life of the Blessed Trinity, both here on earth and eternally in Heaven.

• Making the sign of the cross is our constant reminder of the Trinitarian reality of our God and our call to share in the life of the Trinity.

• As we celebrate this central tenet of our faith, there are two fundamental points for us to consider. First, the mystery of the Trinity is a dogmatic mystery of the Faith that we will never fully comprehend in this life.

• God is infinite, but our minds and our capacity to intellectually grasp things are quite finite. Therefore, when we come to study our Lord and the mysteries of our faith, naturally there are going to be certain things that we cannot fully understand.

• When we run across these mysteries that we cannot fully grasp, we must simply accept them obediently with faith. And while obedience is not always valued in our American society, it is vitally important for the practice of our faith.

• One of the secrets of the spiritual life is that obedience is often a precursor to understanding. When we choose to be obedient to the Lord and accept difficult teachings with faith and love, we are often graced with a deeper understanding of the mystery.

• The humility and docility that obedience requires of us has a way of opening our minds and hearts more fully to mysteries of our Faith, and thus we should learn to be obedient to all the teachings of the Church – even if at first blush we may not understand or agree with them.

• The second point for us to consider today is that the Trinity shows us that we are all called to the vocation to love. Our Lord exists not simply as a trinity of person, but as a communion of love. As St. John tells us in the Scriptures, God is love.

• So as we meditate on the Trinity today, we are called to meditate on God’s love, on His goodness. Our first reading today from the Book of Deuteronomy speaks of God’s love.

• Deuteronomy speaks of the abiding love God has for His people, which has been shown by the tremendous ways God has manifested His power in human history.

• Certainly it makes perfect sense that God would reveal Himself in ways that manifest His love for us because God is Love. Love is God’s very nature, His essence. And as we are created in His image and likeness, it is our nature, too, to love. Indeed, it is our vocation as Christians to love.

• Recently, I spoke about vocations to priesthood and religious life as well as the vocation to married life in homilies during the Easter season.

• As Christians, regardless of whether or not we are called to those particular vocations, all of us are called to the vocation of love. All of us are called to love one another and to be joined in the loving union of the Trinity. It is what our Lord has created us for.

• St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans reminds us today that we are children of God and heirs of God with Christ. Therefore, we are called to be and act like Christ if we wish to be glorified with Him. We must learn to love as God loves, if we wish to join in that communion of love in Heaven.

• The Holy Trinity teaches us exactly what love is, and the true love we learn about from God is much different from the false forms of love we see portrayed on TV or in the movies. It is much different than the love our society propounds today.

• The world tells us that love is a warm feeling that is primarily expressed through intimate physical contact. The world tells us that love is fragile, that it is easily lost, that it doesn’t require commitment or even fidelity to the one we love.

• And the world also tells us that we can stop loving someone if it’s inconvenient, costs us too much or causes us too much pain.

• In contrast, if we look at the actions of the Blessed Trinity, Who Is Love, we get a different picture of what love really is. Consider the actions of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity for a moment:

• God the Father, Who Is Love, chose to create the world and gave man every material thing he needed to survive and be happy.

• The Father also gave us His laws to live by and entered into an eternal covenant with us, helping us to understand what is truly right and good so that we could live in complete freedom as His children. And when man transgressed that law, the Father punished man so that he could learn from his mistakes.

• God the Father, Who Is Love, loves us so much that He gave us His only Son. And this Son, Jesus Christ, Who Is also Love, loves us so much that He suffered a very cruel and agonizingdeath so that we might not perish, but might have eternal life.

• And this Son, Who Is Love, loves us so much that He sent us the Holy Spirit. And this Holy Spirit, the Comforter and Advocate, Who Is also Love, and Who proceeds from the Father and the Son, loves us so much that He comes to us to guide us and bring us peace.

• As long as we remain in a state of grace, the Holy Spirit remains in our soul!

• From the Blessed Trinity we learn that true love is a choice, it’s an act of the will. From the Trinity we learn that love is creative, generous, faithful and helps to correct the faults of the lover and the beloved.

• From the Blessed Trinity we learn that true love is sacrificial and often demands suffering for the sake of the beloved. From the Blessed Trinity we learn that true love gives comfort, direction, and peace to the beloved.

• This is the love our Lord gives to us, and it’s the love we are called to give to Him and to one another.

• My dear friends in Christ, know now and fix in your hearts that the Lord is God in the heavens above and on earth below, and that there is no other.

• And most importantly, know that this Lord whom we worship is Himself a communion of love in whose life we are called to share.

• Moreover, He makes the promise to be with us always, even until the end of the world.

• Therefore, let us learn to love God and one another well here on earth so that we will be properly prepared to be united with our Lord and one another in Heaven.

Copyright 2009 by Reverend Timothy S. Reid

Reverend Reid is pastor of St. Ann’s Catholic  Church in Charlotte, NC

Apostolate of Faith

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2011/05/16 at 7:42 AM

“Our faith in the risen Christ impels us to go out to other and announce to them that Christ is alive, that we unite ourselves to Him by faith and love every day, that He guides us and gives meaning to our lives.

It is essential that our faith in Jesus Christ increases every day, that we learn to look upon happenings and persons as He looks on them, that our activity in the middle of the world be animated by Jesus’ doctrine.

St. Gregory the Great says ‘for we have not seen Him in the flesh but know Him in the mind.’  (St. Gregory, Homilies on the Gospel, 26, 7)

The Resurrection of Our Lord is a call to us to show with our lives that He lives. The deed of a Christian should be the fruit and the manifestation of his love for Christ.

St. Augustine also comments that: ‘Let the Creed be for you as a reminder of your faith and a mirror….Look at yourself, then, in it; check to see if you continue believing all the truths that you say in words that you believe, and rejoice daily in your faith.’

Show with you behavior and your words that Christ is alive.”

(Fernandez, Francis IN CONVERSATION WITH GOD, Vol.II, 54.1, 2,3.)