Friday, June 8, 2018

Pope Benedict's Theology of the Sacred Heart

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus - have mercy on us 



I came across this wonderful article on EWTN  regarding the Sacred Heart in the theology of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI , please take time to read it and meditate on it. 

Wishing you a wonderful feast of the Sacred Heart. Our Saviour's humanity burning with the fire of Love of his Divinity for us. The true Theanthropos

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Jesus, the centre of existential peripheries

Pope Francis often talks of the peripheries and the need to go out to them, outside of our comfort zone to minister to those on the edges, those on the outskirts of society.  We see Jesus himself giving us the example of this when dealing with the unclean, tax collectors and prostitutes. 

Pope St John Paul II our great philosopher Pope, would like to recall the words from Gaudium et Spes where is says that only in Christ can man discover his true identity. Christ reveals man to himself. 

These two images led me to reflect on the title of this post. That Jesus Christ is the source and centre of our being, he recreates us anew, moulding us to his Sacred Humanity. This same Jesus who revealed himself to us in stages through the covenants, still reveals himself in the "poorest of the poor" as St Mother Teresa used to say. This great mysticism of hers to see, touch and feel Jesus in the poor - is how we also need to view Christ in ourselves when going through depression, anxiety, breakdowns, existential crises. For on that existential periphery is also where our Divine Bridegroom, the Lover of Humanity reveals himself today. 






Wednesday, April 18, 2018

The Theologies of God

Often when studying and reading about theology you see in different eras there as different aspects of theology or spiritualities that are focused on. 

Often you will see theologians come up with new categories of theology that they feel we have lost touch with ie.. Margaret Barker has Temple Theology and there was another guy today I read who has Ascension Theology. 

This led me to think if I was to write a book to explain and outline of different aspects of Theology this would be my list : 

Negative Theology
Trinitarian theology
Creation Theology
Covenant Theology
Temple Theology

Then specifics aspects of the Paschal Mystery which is our Salvation in the Christ Event that I would break down as: 

Incarnational theology 
Childhood theology
Hidden years theology 
Passion theology 
Holy Saturday theology 
Resurrection theology 
Pentecost theology
Ascension theology 
Parousia theology 

These are all aspects of different devotional spirituality that different people will individually relate to on a personal level, yet all leading to Union with Christ, our Bridegroom - the Alpha and Omega



Sunday, April 1, 2018

My Redeemer lives!!

Job 19:25
For I know that my Redeemer liveth, and in the last day I shall rise out of the earth. 



Friday, March 30, 2018

Christ died for our holiness

Short Reading1 Peter 2 ©
Christ's passion, freely chosen
Christ suffered for you and left an example for you to follow the way he took. He had not done anything wrong, and there had been no perjury in his mouth. He was insulted and did not retaliate with insults; when he was tortured he made no threats but he put his trust in the righteous judge. He was bearing our faults in his own body on the cross, so that we might die to our faults and live for holiness; through his wounds you have been healed.



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Spiritual Sword of Silence



When I was in noviciate many years ago, we had to read St Faustina's diary for our morning spiritual reading. I learnt a lot from her about intimacy with Jesus, silence, Hell and Our Lady. I recently came across this quote from her diary which I loved: 

"Silence is a sword in the spiritual struggle. A talkative soul will never attain sanctity. The sword of silence will cut off everything that would like to cling to the soul. We are sensitive to words and quickly want to answer back, without taking any regard as to whether it is God’s will that we should speak. A silent soul is strong; no adversities will harm it if it perseveres in silence. The silent soul is capable of attaining the closest union with God. It lives almost always under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. God works in a silent soul without hindrance." (Saint Faustina, Diary 477)



Monday, December 25, 2017

Sealed with Divinity

This Nativity night bestowed peace on the whole world - So let no one threaten;

This is the night of the Most Gentle One – Let no one be cruel;

This is the night of the Humble One – Let no one be proud.

Now is the day of joy – Let us not revenge;

Now is the day of Good Will – Let us not be mean.

In this Day of Peace – Let us not be conquered by anger.

Today the Bountiful impoverished Himself for our sake - So, rich one, invite the poor to your table.

Today we receive a Gift for which we did not ask - So let us give alms to those who implore and beg us.

This present Day cast open the heavenly doors to our prayers - Let us open our door to those who ask our forgiveness.

Today the DIVINE BEING took upon Himself the seal of our humanity, In order for humanity to be decorated by the Seal of DIVINITY. 

+ St. Isaac Syrian, Nativity Sermon



Sunday, December 24, 2017

Christ as Boddhisattva

As mentioned previously, I have been very interested lately in Mahayana Buddhism, especially concepts that I find are compatible with Catholicism. 

Lojong (mind training) are maxims that have a lot in common with Catholicism, especially the Eight Verses for Training the Mind. I have this printed on my wall at work, along with St John of the Cross' way of Nothingness. 

One of the ideas I have been fascinated with recently is Christ as Boddhisattva - or Christ as the ideal Boddhisattva. Not in the sense of denying his divinity or in some sort of Gnosticism, but as a holy person who takes on suffering for others and leads them away from darkness. 

I recent came across this Kadampa blog that I found wonderful in his Buddhist explanation of Jesus. 

May the peace of Christ be born in your hearts this Christmas, so you can bring the love of God to all people 





Saturday, December 9, 2017

Lojong and Catholicism

Recently I have been very interested in the philosophy of Mayahana Buddhism, especially Tibetan Buddhism. There is a practice known as Lojong (mind training) which is a collection of slogans or maxims that can easily be applied by Catholics without needing to abandon their faith. 

Of particular interest to me within Lojong is the practice of Tonglen (giving and receiving). This almost reminds me of how in Catholicism we can take on the sufferings on others, with our own sufferings, unite them in the Passion of Jesus and offer it to God so it is Co redemptive suffering. Anyone reading this blog will know that this concept has a special place in my heart and deep meaning to me. 

In Tonglen you visualise taking in all the suffering and evil around as a black smoke - and inhale it. Then you exhale light, pure blessings and compassion. It's a meditative method to help you develop compassion for other people. In a sense, Catholics could argue that Jesus actualised this by taking on sin and suffering on the Cross, and then turned the curse into the Tree of Life for us. 

I am in no way advocating Buddhism or a non critical approach, however there are some practices and teachings that resonate with our Faith and they may be helpful to some people. This is why I am discussing it as it is helping to deepen my spirituality and outlook - especially as I suffer depression, anxiety and am same sex attracted. 

Peme Chödrön has a very good way of distilling the teachings in a secular psychological way that I recommend checking out. 






Original justice of the Immaculata

I came across this quote from a friend on Facebook, and to be honest it blew my mind as I have never thought of it that way before.

Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz (1695), a Mexican nun and a poet, dramatist, and spiritual writer, wrote this:

The Mystery of the Immaculate Conception

God finished his creations ad extra and perfected them when he formed humans in his likeness as rulers over the entire world.  The creatures created on this day (the animals of the earth and humans) rendered obedience to the one who the Lord predestined and distinguished as Mother of his Son as an act of justice rather than grace.

When Adam was created in original justice and grace, it was his nature to be ruler over all that was created on the earth, and so all the lesser creatures rendered him obedience. When he sinned and transgressed against God he was rejected by his inferiors.  The elements and the rest of the creatures rebelled against him.  Therefore, if Mary most holy was preserved from this original poison, in justice she would be owed all the privileges due her because of being conceived in grace.  Therefore, as a matter of original justice all creatures would be subject to her, because she did not participate in that sin which caused their rebellion against Adam and all of his children.

This benefit is not to be considered as a new gift but a manifestation of the benefit that her Son and our Lord gave to her by preserving her from Original Sin.  And all the homage rendered her by the creatures of the earth resulted from the grace of her conception, like the grace of the original creation of Adam, and is a testimony to her being immaculately conceived.  She alone was the one in whom the image and likeness of God, erased by the sin of our first father, the perfection of all the universe, was restored.  Holy Scripture calls Adam the perfection and ornament of all creation either because the final creature is the crown of the entire work or because the rest of the creatures were created for his sake.  All the other creatures were left imperfect through the sin of Adam.  Divine Omnipotence is to be credited not only with restoring human nature, by redeeming it, but by making use of human nature, by predestining and preserving in his eternal mind a pure creature adorned with sanctifying grace from the first instant of her being.  Through her the image and likeness of God was restored, perfecting the rest of his work and restoring it to its rightful order.

For this reason it is not only human beings who are in Mary's debt but all the other creatures as well because she gives them perfection and nobility.  They all owe her their service for this, if for no other reason.  On this day, therefore, all the brute beasts render her obedience.



Tuesday, December 5, 2017

The Eucharist - sacrament of mysticism

If you want to get into some solid Catholic theology on the Eucharist that will blow your mind and is not sentimental saccharine piety then I highly recommend you check out "The doctrine of spiritual perfection" by Fr Anselm Stolz (has imprimatur) 
He goes through his definition of mysticism of the spiritual life as union with God, that Christ restored and therefore he follows from Garrigou Lagrange that mysticism is based in baptism and open for all, not for spiritual elite - 

"We merely point out that the Eucharist as a sharing in Christ's sacrifice anticipates in a sacramental manner the union with God one day to be realised, and establishes between a Christian and the Heavenly Father that intimacy which the head of the mystical body enjoys uninterruptedly. Thus the Eucharist, as the perfect fulfilment of what is given at baptism is the proper sacrament of mysticism... 
To understand the Eucharist as the sacrament of mysticism, a person can begin with the fact it conveys to the soul Christ in person, and thus effects the highest degree of union with God...
Participation in the Eucharist is not merely one means among others towards mystical union: rising as it does on the foundations of the Grace bestowed on baptism, it is much more the actual achievement of that mystical oneness, to which so far in the believer there can only be a more or less powerful reaction" 

If this does not set your soul on fire after reading I don't know what else would!! 😍



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Pray for Cardinal Muller

Image result for cardinal muller

This is from Rorate Caeli


“There  is a front of traditionalist groups, just as there is with the progressivists, that would like to see me as head of a movement against the Pope. But I will never do this. I have served the Church with love for 40 years as a priest, 16 years as a university professor of dogmatic theology and 10 years as a diocesan bishop. I believe in the unity of the Church and I will not allow anyone to exploit my negative experiences of recent months.  Church authorities, on the other hand, need to listen to those who have serious questions or justified complaints; not ignoring them, or worse, humiliating them. Otherwise, unwittingly, the risk of a slow separation that might lead to a schism may increase, from a disorientated and disillusioned part of the Catholic world.  The history of Martin Luther’s Protestant Schism of 500 years ago, should teach us, above all, what errors to avoid.”


“The Pope confided to me: ‘Some have told me anonymously that you are my enemy’ without explaining in what way” he recounts unhappily. “After 40 years at the service of the Church, I had to hear this: an absurdity set up by prattlers who instead of instilling worry in the Pope they would do better visiting a 'shrink'.  A Catholic bishop and cardinal of the Holy Roman Church is by nature with the Holy Father. But, I believe, as Melchoir Cano, the 16th century theologian said, that the true friends are not those who flatter the Pope, but those who help him with the truth and theological, human competence.” In all the organizations of the world, delatores of this type serve only themselves.” 

“The tensions in the Church arise from the contrast between an extremist traditionalist front on some websites, and an equally exaggerated progressive front which today seeks to credit themselves as super-papists”.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Prayer ravished by the divine light

'Two states of pure prayer are exalted above all others. One is to be found in those who have not advanced beyond the practice of the virtues, the other in those leading the contemplative life. The first is engendered in the soul by fear of God and a firm hope in Him, the second by an intense longing for God and by total purification. The sign of the first is that the intellect, abandoning all conceptual images of the world, concentrates itself and prays without distraction or disturbance as if God Himself were present, as indeed He is. The sign of the second is that at the very onset of prayer the intellect is so ravished by the divine and infinite light that it is aware neither of itself nor of any other created thing, but only of Him who through love has activated such radiance in it. It is then that, being made aware of God's qualities, it receives clear and distinct reflections of Him.'
St. Maximos the Confessor

Image may contain: one or more people

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Catholicism and the Dalai Lama

Recently I have had a growing interest in Buddhism from a philosophic point of view, especially in regards to mindfulness, inner peace etc. 

I came across this very well written article that I highly recommend. He makes very good points that Catholics interested in Tibetan Buddhism are not spiritually fed in the Church. There's a lack of authentic catechesis, sense of mystery and emphasis of our amazing  spiritual wisdom from Mystics and Doctors of the Church