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Posts Tagged ‘Salvation’

God Is With Us

In 07 Observations on 2016/05/01 at 12:00 AM

Do you realize that there is someone who loves you so much that He was willing to die for you? Jesus Christ is God Incarnate, who by taking on a human nature, He, the only-begotten Son of God, entered our human condition in order to redeem it. Jesus was not pretending to be God; He is God. To rectify our fallen nature, He endured Gethsemane and Golgotha so that we could understand His love for us, and, that as He rose from the dead, so we can rise with Him.In His Incarnation, Life, Passion and Resurrection, Jesus Christ was love giving Himself to us for us and accepting us for Himself because He first loved us. Commit yourself to Him in gratitude. Seek to imitate Him. He models every virtue for you. Turn your mind, heart, will, and soul over to Him, asking Him to lead you with His promised grace.

In joy as in sorrow, God is always there for us. As we focus on Our Lord, His Incarnation, Life, Passion, Death and Resurrection, we identify with Him upon whom we gaze. Christ gave Himself to man completely. He began to do so not only with His Incarnation and life, but specifically with His passion and death.Whenever you believe you are being sorely tried, look at the face of the suffering Christ and He will give you the grace to cope, the courage to hang on and to endure your ordeal.Look at the Crucified for mercy, salvation, understanding and hope. Christ Crucified loves you and you are looking at the proof. The sufferings Christ endured on the Cross for us provide us with an understanding that by uniting our sufferings to His, we can grow spiritually. Look to Him who is calling you to follow Him.

We sometimes wonder why God sent His Son to die. Jesus took on our human nature so that we could regain the lost divine image. Jesus gave us so much out of love, yet He asks only that we return His love by doing the will of His/our Father. This we can do by bearing our trials and tribulations as well as by loving our neighbor for His sake. In taking upon Himself our human nature, Jesus Christ experienced every possible trial man undergoes. The sinless one, having endured our trials, sympathizes with our struggles, knowing our weaknesses. After having paid our debt, and while no longer on earth, He is in heaven where He mercifully intercede for us.

The irrevocable act of love is the Cross of Christ. Sinless, He willingly died for sinners. He died for us, and we are in His debt.It was on the Cross that Christ sacrificed Himself that you might live in Him.The life you live as a Christian must be a life of faith in the Son of God who loves you as no one else can. Be grateful for His gift of perfect love and demonstrate it by seeking Him with all you heart and living as He wishes you to live.

One of the greatest gifts you can offer God is self-donation. Whatever sacrifices self-donation requires will be compensated by the reality of knowing that what is most important to you is serving God.Self-d0nation to God can be done by anyone, anytime, anywhere in every walk of life. The essence of self-donation is trust in God. We self-donate when we decide to act in a Christlike way by changing our life to conform to His values and teachings.

We long to see God’s face. Look at the Crucified for He and the Father are one.Look at Him with the eyes of your heart and see yourself in them as the apple of His eye. Recognize His love for you and how He has created you in His image and endowed you with the dignity of a human person whom He has adopted as His own at cost of His only begotten Son.Uniting our sufferings with His redemptive ordeal, gives meaning and purpose to our trials. It is God who permits such events in our lives for the sole purpose that we might seek Him with love and become the persons we should be.

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Gospel of the Annunciation

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2016/03/04 at 12:00 AM

The Pope reflected on the Gospel of this solemnity, the Gospel of the Annunciation.

Benedict XVI began by explaining that the encounter between the angel and Mary, the decisive moment in which God became Man, “was enveloped in a great silence. … That which is truly great often goes unnoticed and calm silence is more fruitful than the frenzy that characterises our cities, and which, in due proportion, was also present in the important cities of those times, such as Jerusalem. All this action prevents us from pausing, allowing ourselves to be calm and listening to the silence in which the Lord makes his discreet voice heard.”

On the day of the Annunciation, Mary was “deep in thought and yet ready to listen to God. There was no obstacle within her, no barrier, nothing that would separate her from God. This is the meaning of her being without original sin. Her relationship with God is free from even the slightest rift; there is no separation, no shadow of selfishness, but rather perfect harmony. Her little human heart was perfectly ‘centred’ in the great heart of God. … Coming here, before this monument to Mary, in the centre of Rome, reminds us first that the voice of God is not recognised amid noise and turmoil; his plan for our life as individuals and as a society are not visible on the surface; we need to descend to a deeper level where the forces at work are not economic or political but moral and spiritual. It is at this deeper level that Mary invites us to enter into harmony with God’s action.”

Secondly, Mary Immaculate teaches us that “the salvation of the world is not the work of man – of science, technology or ideology – but of Grace. … Grace means love in its purity and beauty. It is God Himself as revealed in the salvific narrative of the Bible and fulfilled by Jesus Christ. Mary is called the ‘favoured one’ and this identity recalls to us God’s primacy in our life and in the history of the world. She reminds us that the power of God’s love is stronger than evil, and that it fills the void that selfishness creates in the history of people, families, nations and the world. Such emptiness can become a form of hell, where human life is dragged to its lowest depths and towards emptiness, losing meaning and light. The false remedies the world offers to fill the void … in fact widen the abyss. Only love can save us from falling, but not merely any love. It must have the purity of Grace, which God transforms and renews to fill intoxicated lungs with fresh, clean air and new vital energy. Mary tells us that, however far a man may fall, he never falls beyond the reach of God, who has descended even into hell. However far astray our heart may be led, God is always ‘greater than our heart’. The soft breath of Grace can disperse the darkest clouds, and make life beautiful and rich in meaning even in the most inhumane situations.”

Finally, Mary Immaculate speaks to us of joy, “the true joy that emanates from a heart freed from sin. Sin carries a negative sadness that induces us to close up. Grace brings true joy, which does not depend on possessing things, but is rooted in the innermost, deepest part of the self, and which nothing and no one can take away. Even though some believe that Christianity is an obstacle to joy because they see it as an ensemble of prohibitions and rules, it is essentially a ‘Gospel’, a ‘good tiding’. In fact, Christianity is the proclamation of the victory of Grace over sin, of life over death. Even if it entails sacrifice and a discipline of the mind, heart and behaviour, it is because in man we find the poisonous root of selfishness that causes harm to the self and to others. We must therefore learn to say ‘no’ to the voice of selfishness and ‘yes’ to that of real love. Mary’s joy is complete because in her heart sin casts no shadow. This joy coincides with the presence of Jesus in her life”.

“In this time of Advent”, the Pope concluded, “Mary Immaculate teaches us to listen to the voice of God that speaks to us in silence; to welcome His Grace that frees us from sin and selfishness, so that we may experience true joy”.

VIS 121120

“The charity of Christ should compel you”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2016/02/12 at 12:00 AM
You need interior life and doctrinal formation. Be demanding on yourself! As a Christian man or woman, you have to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world, for you are obliged to give good example with holy shamelessness. The charity of Christ should compel you. Feeling and knowing yourself to be another Christ from the moment you told him that you would follow him, you must not separate yourself from your equals – your relatives, friends and colleagues – any more than you would separate salt from the food it is seasoning. Your interior life and your formation include the piety and the principles a child of God must have in order to give flavour to everything by his active presence there. Ask the Lord that you may always be that good seasoning in the lives of others. ( The Forge, 450)

A Christian can’t be caught up in personal problems; he must be concerned about the universal Church and the salvation of all souls.

Concern for one’s own spiritual improvement is not really a personal thing, for sanctification is completely bound up with apostolate. We must, therefore, develop our interior life and the christian virtues with our eyes upon the good of the whole Church. We cannot do good and make Christ known, if we’re not making a sincere effort to live the teachings of the Gospel.

If we are imbued with this spirit, our conversations with God eventually aid other men, even though they may begin on an apparently personal level. And if we take our Lady’s hand, she will make us realize more fully that all men are our brothers — because we are all sons of that God whose daughter, spouse and mother she is.

Our neighbours’ problems must be our problems. Christian fraternity should be something very deep in the soul, so that we are indifferent to no one. Mary, who brought up Jesus and accompanied him through his life and is now beside him in heaven, will help us recognize Jesus as he crosses our path and makes himself present to us in the needs of our fellow men. (Christ is passing by, 145)

St. Catherine of Siena

In 05 Homilies by Fr. Reid on 2014/12/05 at 12:00 AM

St. Catherine  provides us with her single- minded devotion to Christ. From the time she was 6 years old and had her first vision of Jesus, St. Catherine was completely devoted to Him – even bearing His wounds with her stigmata.

Despite the very considerable pressure from her family to marry, despite the persecutions she faced from so many others for her work, St. Catherine never consciously deviated from following God’s will to the best of her abilities. She stayed united to Him throughout her life.

St. Catherine knew that there was no middle ground between serving Christ and serving the devil. She understood well the dangers of vice and the slippery slope of sin it engenders. Her writings reveal that she was ever conscious of avoiding giving our Lord the least offense.

Sadly, so many of us today do not take sin seriously. As St. John Vianney once said, “we play with sin.” This is because we simply don’t realize how terrible and how offensive to our Lord even the smallest venial sin is.
And so many of us carelessly commit sins, excusing ourselves because we think they don’t really matter much. But my brothers and sisters, this is so terribly dangerous, for willfully giving in to sin – even venial ones – makes us playthings of the devil.

In the Gospels [cf. Matt 12:30] Jesus tells us that we are either for Him or against Him. When we sin, even in a venial way, we set ourselves against our Lord. But if we wish to be saved, then we must remain with Him by remaining within the safe pastures of His Body, the Church.

For to be a Christian, to be a follower of Christ, we must be united to His one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church.

Our readings today follow this same line of thought. In the first reading, St. Peter makes it clear we must choose for Christ, who is the stone rejected by the builders, rather than be like the chief priests and elders of the Jewish people who rejected Him, for there is no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved.

Thus we must entrust ourselves to Him, following Him just as sheep follow the voice of their shepherd. For as our Gospel passage for today attests, our Lord is not simply any shepherd; He is the Good Shepherd! And our salvation – not to mention our peace and our joy in this life – is only found in being one of the sheep of His flock.

We become one of the Lord’s sheep through our baptism. But after baptism we must continue choosing to be a member of His flock by humbling obeying Him and the teachings of His Catholic Church, which is the instrument through which God saves mankind.

Unfortunately, there are many wolves in the world today that would lead us sheep astray from the true and fertile pastures of Holy Mother Church.

Not only are there false religions and ideologies that pervert, distort, or obscure the teachings of God’s one true Church, but there is the ever present problem of rampant materialism that tells us that happiness is only found in the consumption of created things.

But perhaps the worst wolf of all is that selfish form of pride that tempts us to believe we can decide for ourselves what is right and wrong, that we can create our own truth by which to live. Ultimately, this wolf in sheep’s clothing leads us to the belief that we don’t need God at all.
This is a terrible lie.

As the Responsorial Psalm tells us today, it is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trustmen. For as St. Peter reminds us, there is no salvation in anyone other than our Lord.

This is a truth that St. Catherine and all of the saints understood so well. Indeed, all of thesaints attest by the way they lived their earthly lives that to live one’s life for anyone or
anything other than our Lord is an utter absurdity and a ticket to hell.

And so it is that our choice for or against Jesus Christ is the most fundamental choice each ofus has to make in this life, and herein lays the mystery of human freedom.

God created us to love Him, but there is no true love without the freedom to choose. Thus it is that our Lord gave us this capacity to choose. What we must understand is that this capacity tochoose for or against God is nothing less than the capacity to determine our eternal destiny.

Simply put, we choose heaven or hell by how well we conform ourselves to Christ in this life. The mystery of human freedom is that anyone would ever choose hell over heaven. But some do!

Our Catholic faith teaches us that hell exists, and I think it’s irrational to believe that hell existsand that no one is in it!

But let us be clear about one very important point: the choice for heaven or hell is not a one-time event in our life. We make this choice so very gradually by every moral decision we
make – even the small ones.

Indeed, Heaven is won or lost not so much in the big decisions of life, but rather in the littleday-to-day decisions we make. Every act of the will by which we seek to follow our Lord and
His Church is a step toward Heaven.

Conversely every sin, no matter how big or small, every act of defiance against our Lord, andevery act of disobedience to the teachings of the Church He founded, is a step away from our
Lord and heaven, and a step toward hell.

Truly, as a priest there is nothing sadder to me than seeing a Catholic defiantly or even casuallyturning away from the Church and her teachings. This is because we Catholics have the extraordinary grace and privilege of knowing the fullness of God’s truth through the teachings of the Church.Truly, there is no salvation outside the Church. To live as if there is, is to risk your soul.

Of course in making our daily decisions to sin or not sin, we must fight our passions, ourprejudices, and our pride. We must fight against the spirit of this world, which constantly encourages us to rebel against the ways of God in order to devote ourselves more fully to the false consolations of mammon. At times we must even fight the devil himself.

But our good Lord does not leave us alone in this fight! He is our good shepherd, and He lays down His life for His sheep. Not only has He given us the teachings of the Church to guide us as make decisions, but He also gives us the grace of the sacraments, which strengthen us and conform us ever more closely to Him.

And when we fail, He gives us His mercy through the Sacrament of Reconciliation – no matter how serious our sins may be. Truly, if you make it a habit to go to confession regularly, you will be saved! But if you don’t use this sacrament, your chances for salvation are iffy.

While our Lord desires us to be perfect, living a perfect life here on earth is not a requirement for salvation. But loving our Lord by being humble obedient is. Being contrite for our sins and confessing our sins is.
Just as the chief priests and elders of the Jewish people rejected him 2000 years ago, our Lord continues to be rejected by our world today. But as Catholics we know that despite the rejection of the world, Jesus is Good Shepherd who alone can lead us to eternal life.

And being one of His sheep is a choice we make every day, most especially in the little decisions to either sin or not sin, to follow His will or turn away from it.

So, brothers and sisters, let us choose to be one of the Lord’s sheep by always choosing to be faithful children of Holy Mother Church. Let us strive to avoid even the smallest of sins so that we may always be pleasing to Him in every way.

May St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church, always intercede for us.
29 April 2012

 

“You will follow Jesus in everything that he asks of you”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/07/18 at 12:00 AM
If you really want your heart to respond in a genuine way, I would recommend you to enter one of the Wounds of Our Lord. In this way you will get to know him closely, you will cleave to him, you will feel his Heart beating… and you will follow him in everything that he asks of you. (The Forge, 755)

When people favour a doubtful theology and an easygoing ‘anything goes’ morality, and engage in dubious liturgical practices following their own whims, with a ‘hippie’ discipline which is answerable to no authority; then it comes as no surprise if they spread envy, suspicion, false allegations, insults, ill‑treatment, humiliations, gossip and all kinds of outrage against those who speak only of Jesus Christ.

When we really come to admire and love the most sacred Humanity of Jesus, we will discover each of his Wounds, one by one. When we undergo periods of passive purgation, that we find painful and hard to bear, periods when we shed sweet and bitter tears, which we do our best to hide, we will feel the need to enter into each one of his most Holy Wounds: to be purified and strengthened, rejoicing in his redeeming Blood. We will go there like the doves which, in the words of Scripture, find shelter from the storm in the crevices in the rocks. We hide in this refuge to find the intimacy of Christ. We find his conversation soothing and his countenance comely, because ‘those who know that his voice is gentle and pleasing are those who have welcomed the grace of the Gospel, which makes them say: You have the words of eternal life.’

Let us not think that because we are on this road of contemplation our passions will have calmed down once and for all. We would be mistaken if we thought that our longing to seek Christ, and the fact that we are meeting him and getting to know him and enjoy the sweetness of his love, makes us incapable of sinning. Though your own experience will tell you, let me nevertheless remind you of this truth. Satan, God’s enemy and man’s, does not give up nor does he rest. He maintains his siege, even when the soul is ardently in love with God. The devil knows that it’s more difficult for the soul to fall then, but he also knows that, if he can manage to get it to offend its Lord even in something small, he will be able to cast over its conscience the serious temptation of despair. (Friends of God, 301-303)

The Three Comings of Christ

In 06 Scripture & Theology on 2014/03/28 at 12:00 AM

An excerpt from a sermon by St. Bernard of Clairvaux

We know that the coming of the Lord is threefold: the third coming is between the other two and it is not visible in the way they are. At his first coming the Lord was seen on earth and lived among men, who saw him and hated him. At his last coming All flesh shall see the salvation of our God, and They shall look on him whom they have pierced. In the middle, the hidden coming, only the chosen see him, and they see him within themselves; and so their souls are saved. The first coming was in flesh and weakness, the middle coming is in spirit and power, and the final coming will be in glory and majesty.

This middle coming is like a road that leads from the first coming to the last. At the first, Christ was our redemption; at the last, he will become manifest as our life; but in this middle way he is our rest and our consolation.  If you think that I am inventing what I am saying about the middle coming, listen to the Lord himself: If anyone loves me, he will keep my words, and the Father will love him, and we shall come to him. Elsewhere I have read: Whoever fears the Lord does good things. – but I think that what was said about whoever loves him was more important: that whoever loves him will keep his words. Where are these words to be kept? In the heart certainly, as the Prophet says I have hidden your sayings in my heart so that I do not sin against you. Keep the word of God in that way: Blessed are those who keep it. Let it penetrate deep into the core of your soul and then flow out again in your feelings and the way you behave; because if you feed your soul well it will grow and rejoice. Do not forget to eat your bread, or your heart will dry up. Remember, and your soul will grow fat and sleek.  If you keep God’s word like this, there is no doubt that it will keep you, for the Son will come to you with the Father… he is the one who makes all things new. For this is what this coming will do: just as we have been shaped in the earthly image, so will we be shaped in the heavenly image….
Liturgy of the Hours

Purgatory:The Dogma Explored

In 15 Audio on 2014/03/07 at 12:00 AM

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

The Church has always offered prayers for souls receiving final purification that they may attain the beatific vision of God. Join Fr. Clement Machado for an exploration of the tradition and doctrine of Purgatory.

Purgatory: The Dogma Explored

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1.

The Dogma Explored 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_01.mp3

2.

Fathers of the Church #1 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_02.mp3

3.

Fathers of the Church #2 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_03.mp3

4.

The Liturgy 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_04.mp3

5.

The Doctrine 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_05.mp3

6.

Consolations & Sufferings 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_06.mp3

7.

Indulgences 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_07.mp3

8.

The Mass 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_08.mp3

9.

Handbook of Indulgences 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_09.mp3

10.

Mary 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_10.mp3

11.

After Vatican II 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_11.mp3

12.

Healing the Family Tree 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_12.mp3

13.

Avoid Purgatory 

Host – Fr. Clement Machado

purg_13.mp3

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Your salvation

In Uncategorized on 2014/03/07 at 12:00 AM

“Strive to enter through the narrow gate.”

The Holy Father noted that Jesus was responding to the question of how many people will be saved. But, the Pope said, “it is not important to know how many are saved. Rather, it is important to know what is the path of salvation.” Jesus Himself is the gate, a gate “that allows us to enter into God’s family, into the warmth of the house of God, of communion with Him. This gate is Jesus Himself.”

Pope Francis emphasised that “the gate that is Jesus is never closed . . . it is always open and open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusions, without privileges.” Jesus, he continued, does not exclude anyone. Some people might feel excluded because they are sinners – but Pope Francis definitively rejected this idea. “No,” he said, “you are not excluded! Precisely for that reason you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him. Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you.”

We are called to enter the gate that is Jesus. “Don’t be afraid to pass through the gate of faith in Jesus,” Pope Francis said. Don’t be afraid “to let Him enter more and more into our lives, to go out of our selfishness, our being closed in, our indifference toward others.”

Jesus speaks about a narrow gate not because it is a “torture chamber,” but “because it asks us to open our hearts to Him, to recognize ourselves as sinners, in need of His salvation, His forgiveness, His love, needing the humility to accept His mercy and to be renewed by Him.”

Finally, the Holy Father emphasised that Christianity is not a “label” – it is a way of life. Christians must not be Christians in name only: “Not Christians, never Christians because of a label!” he said. He called us to be true Christians, Christians at heart. “To be Christian,” said Pope Francis, “is to live and witness to the faith in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, in doing good. For the narrow gate which is Christ must pass into our whole life.”

At the conclusion of his Angelus, the Holy Father greeted the many pilgrims from around the world who had gathered in Saint Peter’s Square, with special greetings for a number of groups from Italy and Brazil, and for priests and seminarians from the Pontifical North American College. Noting that many people are nearing the end of their summer break, he offered best wishes for a peaceful and committed return to normal daily life.

Listen: RealAudioMP3 

 Jesus is going up from Galilee to the city of Jerusalem, and along the way, says St. Luke the Evangelist, someone asked him,
“Lord, will only a few people be saved?” (13:23). Jesus did not answer the question directly: it is not important to know how many are saved, but rather, it is important to know what is the path of salvation. And so Jesus responds to the question by saying, “Strive to enter through the narrow gate, for many, I tell you, will attempt to enter but will not be strong enough” (v. 24). What does Jesus mean? What is the gate by which we enter? And why does Jesus speak about a narrow gate?

The image of the gate recurs several times in the Gospel and is reminiscent of home and hearth, where we find safety, love and warmth. Jesus tells us that there is a gate that allows us to enter into God’s family, into the warmth of the house of God, of communion with Him. This gate is Jesus himself (cf. Jn 10:9). He is the gate. He is the gateway to salvation. He leads us to the Father. And the gate that is Jesus is never closed, this gate is never closed, it is always open and open to everyone, without distinction, without exclusions, without privileges. Because, you know, Jesus does not exclude anyone. Some of you might say to me, “But Father, surely I am excluded, because I am a great sinner. I have done so many things in my life.” No, you are not excluded! Precisely for that reason you are preferred, because Jesus prefers the sinner, always, in order to pardon him, to love him. Jesus is waiting for you, to embrace you, to pardon you. Don’t be afraid: He’s waiting for you. Be lively, have the courage to enter through His gate. All are invited to pass through this gate, to pass through the gate of faith, to enter into His life, and to allow Him to enter into our life, because He transforms it, renews it, the gifts of full and lasting joy.

Nowadays we pass many doors that invite us to enter, that promise a happiness that then we realise lasts but a moment, which is an end in itself and has no future. But I ask you: which gate do we want to enter? And who we want to through the gate of our lives? I want to say emphatically: don’t be afraid to pass through the gate of faith in Jesus, to let Him enter more and more into our lives, to go out of our selfishness, our being closed in, our indifference toward others. Because Jesus illuminates our life with a light that never goes out. It is not a firework, not a “flash”! No, it is a soft light that always endures and that gives us peace. That is the light that we meet if we enter through the gate of Jesus.

Certainly, it is a narrow gate, the gate of Jesus, not because it is a torture chamber. No, not because of that! But because it asks us to open our hearts to Him, to recognize ourselves as sinners, in need of His salvation, His forgiveness, His love, needing the humility to accept His mercy and to be renewed by Him. Jesus in the Gospel tells us that being a Christian is not having a “label”! I ask you, are you Christians because of a label, or in truth? And for each one the answer is within. Not Christians, never Christians because of a label! Christians in truth, in the heart. To be Christian is to live and witness to the faith in prayer, in works of charity, in promoting justice, in doing good. For the narrow gate which is Christ must pass into our whole life.

We ask the Virgin Mary, the Gate of Heaven, to help us to pass through the gate of faith, to allow her Son to transform our existence as He transformed hers, in order to bring everyone the joy of the Gospel.

Text from page http://en.radiovaticana.va/news/2013/08/25/pope_francis:_you_are_not_excluded!/en1-722638
of the Vatican Radio website

Will Many Be Saved?

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2014/01/10 at 12:00 AM

WHAT VATICAN II ACTUALLY TEACHES AND ITS IMPLICATIONS FOR THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
by Ralph Martin – published by Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, 2012

“Will Many Be Saved? What Vatican II Actually Teaches and Its Implications for the New Evangelization,” published by Eerdmans, is an important and intriguing book by Ralph Martin, S.T.D., a lay theologian, professor at Sacred Heart Seminary in Detroit, consultor to the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for the New Evangelization and author of books on the spiritual life. Many readers will recognize him as an early leader of the Charismatic Renewal in the U.S. Today, he serves as president of Renewal Ministries.

Rarely have I seen a book endorsed by so many cardinals, bishops, Vatican officials and outstanding theologians. And for good reason, as the book considers questions that interest all Christians, given our common mortality: Who will be saved, how many and how? And is there any hope for those who die unbaptized Christians or not in a state of grace?

The following extended quote is drawn from the end of Chapter 16 of the dogmatic constitution of the Church, which came out of the Second Vatican Council. This short passage lies at the heart of Martin’s book; however, I encourage the reader to consult the whole document.

Continue reading…
http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/will-many-be-saved.html

“Giving is a vital need for those in love.”

In 01 Daily Meditations on 2014/01/03 at 12:00 AM
Your talents, your personality, your opportunities… are being wasted: you are not allowed to make full use of them. Meditate well these words of a spiritual writer: ‘The incense offered to God is not wasted. Our Lord is more honoured by the immolation of your talents than by the vain use of them.’ (The Way, 684)

Then opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, of gold, frankincense and myrrh. Let us pause here a while to understand this passage of the holy Gospel. How is it possible that we, who are nothing and worth nothing, can make an offering to God? We read in the Scriptures: “Every good endowment and every perfect gift is from above” [1]. Man does not even manage to discover fully the depth and beauty of the Lord’s gifts. “If you knew the gift of God!” [2] Jesus exclaims to the Samaritan woman. Jesus Christ has taught us to expect everything from the Father and to seek first of all the kingdom of God and his justice, and everything else will be given to us in addition, for he knows well what we need.

In the economy of salvation our Father looks after each soul with loving care: Each has his own special gift from God, one of one kind and one of another. It would, therefore, seem useless to be concerned about presenting to the Lord something that he has no need of. As debtors who have nothing with which to pay, our gifts would be like those of the old law that are no longer acceptable to God: Sacrifices and oblations and holocausts for sin you have not desired: neither are they pleasing to you.

But the Lord knows full well that giving is a vital need for those in love, and he himself points out what he desires from us. He does not care for riches, nor for the fruits or the beasts of the earth, nor for the sea or the air, because they all belong to him. He wants something intimate, which we have to give him freely: My son, give me your heart. Do you see? God is not satisfied with sharing. He wants it all. It’s not our things he wants. It is ourselves. It is only when we give ourselves that we can offer other gifts to our Lord. (Christ is passing by, 35)

[1] Jas 1:17
[2] John 4:10