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From the shores of England!

                                           

Cardinal Rafael Merry de Val

He was accustomed to recite this prayer daily after the celebration of Holy Mass. I came to know of this litany a few months back and it’s a hard one to pray initially. It pushes the boundaries against all secular sentiment, and made me realise how just much my thinking and expectations have been formed by the thinking of the day.

Litany of Humility

O Jesus meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, Deliver, me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, Deliver me Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, Deliver, me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, Deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, Deliver me, Jesus.

That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase, and I may decrease,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

NO HUMAN RESPECT

“Never act with a view to pleasing the world. Let us have the strength to bear criticisms and the disapproval of the world. Let us have no human respect. Provided that God is pleased, what does the rest matter?” Card. R. Merry del Val
Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val was an exceptional and extraordinary man, of noble birth. From the first years of his life he had one unique and most noble goal: to be a Priest of God.
He was a dynamic figure at the Vatican in the early 20th century.

Rafael Merry del Val was educated at Ushaw College in the north of England. He commenced his studies at Ushaw College in 1883 before he went to Rome in 1885.

Ushaw Seminary ,Durham,Summer 2009

Ushaw College was the major seminary for the north of England and was formed in 1808 by students who had fled some years earlier from Douai College in northern France during the French Revolution. It expanded over the decades and by 1962, at the opening of the Second Vatican Council it housed 400 students, although some were secular students. It was ordaining about 22 priests per year. Following the introduction of the changes in the 1960’s the numbers dropped quite dramatically and by 2010 there were less than 30 students. Sadly, it was closed by the English hierarchy in June 2010.

A bit of reading to do during the Year of Faith.

Papa Bene has asked that the faithful read the Catechism of the Catholic Church.

 

  • Everything that the Church believes is  contained in this impressive publication. If you’d prefer to receive bite-size chunks at a time, click on the link on the left of this block and sign up for daily mails from flocknote. Not an easy read, but amazing just the same.
  • YOUCAT is a new publication aimed at teenagers. Both available at any reputable bookshop. Click on the link and take a look at the resources available on-line.  Hip, happening and user-friendly! Irresistible ..This is how our Pope introduced this publication to the youth: (my emphasis)

Today I recommend for your reading an unusual book. It is unusual both because of its content and because of the way it came to be. I would like to tell you a little about how it was written, because then it will be clear why it is so unusual.

You could say that it came to be from another work, whose origins go back to the 1980’s. It was a difficult time for the Church and for society worldwide. New guidance was needed to find the path to the future. After the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) and in a changed cultural situation, many people were confused about what Christians actually believe, what the Church teaches, whether in fact she can teach anything at all, and how everything can find its place in a culture that had changed from its very foundations. Is it still reasonable today to be a believer? These were the questions that even good Christians were asking.

At that time Pope John Paul II made a bold decision. He decided that bishops from all over the world should together write a book in which they would answer these questions. He gave me the task of coordinating the work of the bishops and seeing to it that from the contributions of the bishops a book would result—a real book, not just a haphazard collection of all sorts of documents. This book would have the old-fashioned title Catechism of the Catholic Church but would be something entirely new and exciting. It would show what the Catholic Church believes today and how one can with good reason believe.

I was alarmed by this task. I must admit that I doubted whether something like this could succeed. For how was it possible that authors scattered all over the world could together produce a readable book? How could men who not only geographically but also intellectually and spiritually lived on different continents create a text with an inner unity, one that would also be understandable throughout all those continents? And there was the further difficulty that these bishops would not be writing as individual authors but would be in contact with their brother bishops and with the people in their dioceses.

I must admit that even today it still seems to me to be a miracle that this project finally succeeded.’
Furthermore…he expounds after discussing the process by which he and Pope John Paul worked on the Catechism : (my emphasis)

So I invite you: Study this Catechism! That is my heartfelt desire.

This Catechism was not written to please you. It will not make life easy for you, because it demands of you a new life. It places before you the Gospel message as the “pearl of great value” (Mt 13:46) for which you must give everything. So I beg you: Study this Catechism with passion and perseverance. Make a sacrifice of your time for it! Study it in the quiet of your room; read it with a friend; form study groups and networks; share with each other on the Internet. By all means continue to talk with each other about your faith.

You need to know what you believe. You need to know your faith with that same precision with which an IT specialist knows the inner workings of a computer. You need to understand it like a good musician knows the piece he is playing. Yes, you need to be more deeply rooted in the faith than the generation of your parents so that you can engage the challenges and temptations of this time with strength and determination. You need God’s help if your faith is not going to dry up like a dewdrop in the sun, if you want to resist the blandishments of consumerism, if your love is not to drown in pornography, if you are not going to betray the weak and leave the vulnerable helpless.
If you are now going to apply yourselves zealously to the study of the Catechism, I want to give you one last thing to accompany you: You all know how deeply the community of faith has been wounded recently through the attacks of the evil one, through the penetration of sin itself into the interior, yes, into the heart of the Church. Do not make that an excuse to flee from the face of God! You yourselves are the Body of Christ, the Church! Bring the undiminished fire of your love into this Church whose countenance has so often been disfigured by man. “Never flag in zeal, be aglow with the Spirit, serve the Lord!” (Rom 12:11). When Israel was at the lowest point in her history, God called for help, not from the great and honored ones of Israel, but from a young man by the name of Jeremiah. Jeremiah felt overwhelmed: “Ah, Lord God! Behold, I do not know how to speak, for I am only a youth” (Jer 1:6). But God was not to be deterred : “Do not say, ‘I am only a youth’; for to all to whom I send you you shall go, and whatever I command you you shall speak” (Jer 1:7).
I bless you and pray each day for all of you.

Benedictus P.P. XVI

 Youcat website

 

THIS IS AN EXCERPT OF THE INTRODUCTION TO THE COMPENDIUM ON THE VATICAN WEBSITE:

”The Compendium is not a work that stands alone, nor is it intended in any way to replace the Catechism of the Catholic Church: instead, it refers constantly to theCatechism by means of reference numbers printed in the margins, as well as by consistent reliance on its structure, development and contents. In fact, theCompendium is meant to reawaken interest in and enthusiasm for the Catechism,which, in the wisdom of its presentation and the depth of its spirituality, always remains the basic text for catechesis in the Church today.

Like the Catechism, the Compendium has four parts, corresponding to the fundamental laws of life in Christ.

The first part, entitled “The Profession of Faith”, contains a synthesis of the lex credendi, the faith professed by the Catholic Church, as expressed in the Apostles’ Creed which is further elaborated by the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed. In the liturgical profession of the Creed, the Christian assembly keeps the principal truths of the faith alive in memory.

The second part, entitled “The Celebration of the Christian Mystery”, presents the essential elements of the lex celebrandi. The proclamation of the Gospel finds its authentic response in the sacramental life, through which Christians experience and witness, in every moment of their existence, the saving power of the paschal mystery by which Christ has accomplished our redemption.

The third part, entitled “Life in Christ”, recalls the lex vivendi, through which the baptized manifest their commitment to the faith they have professed and celebrated, through their actions and ethical choices. The Christian faithful are called by the Lord Jesus to act in a way which befits their dignity as children of the Father in the charity of the Holy Spirit.

The fourth part, entitled “Christian Prayer”, summarizes the lex orandi, the life of prayer. Following the example of Jesus, the perfect model of one who prays, the Christian too is called to the dialogue with God in prayer. A privileged expression of prayer is the Our Father, the prayer that Jesus has taught us.”

Benedict XVI: ‘Being tepid is the greatest danger for Christians’

Pope Benedict XVI has said that to evangelise means to help people understand that God himself has responded to their questions, and that his response – the gift of salvation in Jesus Christ – is available to them as well.

“Our role in the new evangelisation is to cooperate with God,” the Pope told more than 260 cardinals, bishops and priests who are members of the world Synod of Bishops on the new evangelisation. “We can only let people know what God has done.”

In a 21-minute, off-the-cuff reflection during morning prayer at the synod’s opening session today, Pope Benedict spoke of the importance of prayer in the Church’s push for a new evangelisation, the meaning of evangelisation, and sharing the Gospel through both proclamation and charity.

The Pope examined the use of the word “evangelion”, the Greek term that is the root of the English word “evangelisation”, and which is itself translated as “Gospel”.

In the Book of Isaiah, he noted, the Hebrew equivalent of the word describes “the voice that announces a victory, that announces goodness, joy and happiness”, transmitting the message that “God has not forgotten his people”, and that he intervenes with power in history to save them.

In the New Testament, the Pope said, “evangelion” is the good news of the incarnation of Christ, the coming of God’s son into the world to save humanity.

For the people of Israel suffering under Roman rule, it was truly good news that God spoke to his people and came to live among them, the Pope said. News of Jesus’s birth was the answer to those who questioned whether there really was a God; whether he knew his people and the circumstances of their lives; and whether he had any power to change their situation.

People today have the same questions, the Pope said: “Is God a reality or not? Why is he silent?”

When Christians evangelise, they must remember that their “faith has content”, and that what they believe and seek to share with others is outlined in the Creed, he said. They must use their intelligence to reflect on the tenets of their faith and use their mouths to proclaim it.

Because faith isn’t an abstract notion, Christians also must live their faith and share it with the world through acts of charity and love, the Pope said.

“Being tepid is the greatest danger for Christians,” he said. “We pray that faith becomes like a fire in us and that it will set alight others.”

The synod formally opened on yesterday with a Mass in St Peter’s Square.

During his homily, Pope Benedict said that the “Church exists to evangelise” by sharing the Gospel with people who have never heard of Christ, strengthening the faith of those who already have been baptised and reaching out to those who “have drifted away from the Church”.

“At various times in history,” he said, “divine providence has given birth to a renewed dynamism in the church’s evangelising activity”, as happened, for example, with the evangelisation of the Americas beginning late in the 15th century.

“Even in our own times, the Holy Spirit has nurtured in the Church a new effort to announce the good news,” the Pope said.

The modern effort to proclaim salvation in Christ to the modern world found “a more universal expression and its most authoritative impulse in the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council”, which opened 50 years ago on Thursday, October 11.

The Pope said the synod was dedicated to helping people strengthen their faith and to helping those who have drifted away “encounter the Lord, who alone who fills existence with deep meaning and peace; and to favour the rediscovery of the faith, that source of grace which brings joy and hope to personal, family and social life”.  ( Catholic Herald)

On the cusp of a special year ahead.

 

I can’t help but feel excited (tinged with a little trepidation)  about the coming year of Faith which begins this week. It feels to me like a year that’s going to surpass any other in its importance and significance at this time on earth for devout as well as resting Catholics  in a Western culture steeped in secularism. The Church in Her wisdom, decides on ventures  over a period of years after much planning, debating and prayer. I think the decision about the Year of Faith could not have been better timed.

This evening at Mass, we heard a powerful message from our Archbishop Peter of Southwark, that ignited within an even more fervent desire to make a difference (however small) in this coming year.

Herewith an excerpt that made an impression on me: (emphasis is mine)

And quite recently Pope Benedict drew on that image of the Church, speaking of that participation of all the baptised in terms of the “co-responsibility” of all the baptised in proclaiming the Gospel. This is what he said: “Co-responsibility requires a change of mentality, particularly with regard to the laity in the Church, who should be considered not as ‘collaborators’ with the clergy, but as persons truly ‘co-responsible’ for the being and activity of the Church. It is important, therefore, that a mature and committed laity be united, who are able to make their own specific contribution to the Church’s mission, in accordance with the ministries and tasks each one has in the life of the Church, and always in cordial communion with the bishops. Your particular vocation as lay faithful, who are called to be courageous witnesses in every sphere of society, is that the Gospel might be the light that brings hope in difficult situations, in troubles and in the darkness that we today so often find along the path.” 

He goes on to say:

I also want to encourage every parish, either through the parish council or a specially commissioned group within the parish, to get together and determine what you can do as a parish community in co-operation with your parish priest, to participate fully in the Year of Faith. I think that will be a good way to foster Pope Benedict’s understanding of the exercise of ‘co-responsibility’ and build up our parishes as communities of prayer, of vibrant and confident faith and good works, open to welcome those who come in search of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ. And to discover too what gifts the Holy Spirit has given each of us to be committed and steadfast ‘proclaimers of the Gospel’ in our neighbourhoods, at work and wherever we take our leisure. May God bless you all in your endeavours, and let’s pray for each other and support each other in this great opportunity the Holy Father has given us.

How can his requests possibly be ignored? It feels so good to hear these directives from  the leader of the Flock here in Southwark. I feel motivated and rearing to go. I do like the idea of being a in a responsible partnership with our parish priest and I do hope that the other parishioners feel the same way.

Follow this link to read the Bishop’s entire letter.

 

Cardinal Wuerl: Synod strives to turn back ‘tsunami of secularism’

Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl of Washington is pictured at the Pontifical North American College in Rome Oct. 2 after arriving for the Synod of Bishops on the new evangelization, which begins at the Vatican Oct. 7 2012

As the synod’s relator, Cardinal Wuerl has reviewed preliminary suggestions from bishops’ conferences around the world and synthesized them in a speech he will deliver in Latin at the first working session Oct. 8. The cardinal will address the assembly again 10 days later, once more in Latin, to summarize hundreds of speeches by his fellow bishops.

Initiated by Blessed John Paul II and eagerly embraced by his successor, the new evangelization is a project aimed at reviving Catholic faith in increasingly secular societies, especially the wealthiest Western nations.

For Cardinal Wuerl, it is also an opportunity to fulfill the goal for which Blessed John XXIII called the Second Vatican Council: a faithful presentation of Catholic teachings in a way “attractive to a very rapidly changing culture.”

It’s no mere coincidence, the cardinal said, that the synod overlaps with the 50th anniversary of the opening of the council, Oct. 11, which Pope Benedict has designated as the beginning of a special Year of Faith. Like Vatican II, the cardinal said, the synod will emphasize continuity with the church’s ancient traditions.

“There is a continuum of Catholic faith going all the way back to the creed, going all the way back to the apostles,” Cardinal Wuerl said. “That continuum is where we find the articulation of our faith.”

Although Vatican II was faithful to the church’s traditional doctrines, the cardinal said, implementation of the council’s teachings in the 1960s and 1970s coincided with a “current of secularism sweeping the Western world,” especially Europe.

“It’s almost as if a tsunami of secularism washed across Western Europe and, when it receded, it took with it all of those foundational concepts: family, marriage, right and wrong, common good, objective order,” he said.

In Europe and beyond, the cardinal said, that secular wave accompanied a loosening of standards in Catholic religious education.

“Somehow we were to be catechizing without content,” the cardinal said, describing what he called a widespread attitude at the time. “Somehow there was supposed to be communicated some experience, some idea that God loves us, we love God, but it wasn’t rooted in the creed.

“As our Holy Father has pointed out so many times,” the cardinal said, “if you are not proclaiming the Christ that the church knows and lives, then you could be proclaiming a Christ that you’ve created.”

The cost of poor catechesis, Cardinal Wuerl said, was a “diminished allegiance from two generations” of Catholics.

A key part of the church’s response to that development was the Catechism of the Catholic Church, whose compilation was overseen by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger when the future pope was prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. In another non-coincidence, the 20th anniversary of the catechism’s publication will also be celebrated Oct. 11.

The cardinal said the catechism has been the basis for dramatic improvement in religious education over the last two decades, especially in the United States. When he and other U.S. bishops met with Pope Benedict earlier this year during their “ad limina” visits, Cardinal Wuerl said he was happy to report the sound state of Catholic education at the elementary and secondary school levels.

“And at the level of the colleges?” the pope replied, with a smile and what the cardinal describes as a “twinkle in his eye.”

The church in America has a “long way to go” to bring Catholic higher education back into harmony with church teaching, the cardinal said, and an essential part of that effort is restoring the “institutional identity” of Catholic colleges and universities.

Effective evangelization, he explained, requires that “we speak out of our own identity as members of the church, as Catholics, as people who hold dear the creed, who worship at the table of the Eucharist, and who simply know Christ is with us.”

Despite the setbacks of earlier decades, he said he draws hope from the growing interest among youth in the teachings of the church.

“We have a whole new group of young people coming along,” the cardinal said, “and they’re saying, ‘this secular world isn’t answering my questions.’

“There is a lot of good happening,” he added. “We just have to find ways of tapping into it and inviting those young people to look to Christ for an answer.”

Quote from CNS

Herewith the vidoe link: The tsunami of secularism

Sharing the riches of our Catholic Faith.

 

This week welcomed the two introductory programmes to be used in the coming Year of Faith: Evangelium and Catholicism.

Image@evangelium.co.uk

Evangelium : Jesus said,“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to the whole creation.” If we are to fulfil Christ’s command to preach the gospel to the people of own time, we must first attain a comprehensive and authentic knowledge of the Catholic Faith. For this reason, the Second Vatican Council encouraged lay people to “devotedly strive to acquire a more profound grasp of revealed truth.”2 Furthermore, this striving for deeper knowledge benefits our own salvation as well as that of others. Jesus tells us, “Eternal life is this: to know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”

To attain deeper knowledge, however, requires good teaching. Such teaching needs to communicate authentic Catholic truth in effective and inspiring ways. Yet the provision of such resources is a challenge. Our society is suffering from an ‘educational emergency’ 4 and “the failure of catechesis, over the past three decades, to provide a sufficiently solid and integral presentation of the doctrine and practice of the Catholic faith.” 5 Yet there are also many opportunities today. New technologies, for example, have greatly facilitated communications, especially of beautiful images that illuminate the eternal truths of the gospel.

The Evangelium project has been established to provide resources to address these challenges and benefit from these opportunities. ‘Evangelium’ is the Latin word for ‘gospel’, a word expressing both proclamation of the faith and fidelity to the Catholic tradition. In partnership with the Catholic Truth Society, the project published the EVANGELIUM catechetical course in 2006, principally to assist parish catechesis. In 2007, the CREDO pocket catechismwas published as a tool for mission and ready reference. In 2008, a firstsummer conference for young people was held to assist in explaining the faith in the modern world. In 2009, the APOLOGIA pocket apologetics booklet was published as a tool for answering difficult questions about the faith. Future plans include the development of a DVD version of the EVANGELIUM course, a post-RCIA course on Church history and a course for teenagers preparing for Confirmation. (Quoted from the website)

Last night we watched the 6th of the 10 episodes contained in the Catholicism series. Everything about the presentation is engrossing from the content to the visual depictions and the glorious music. We spent about 2 minutes at the end of episode listening to the beautiful music. This series includes notes and questions for discussion. These questions  and our responses were discussed afterwards. It starts at 8pm and finishes at 9:30.  An informative evening with lively banter and a great feeling of purpose and invigoration as a Catholic Christian: WE MUST SHARE THE RICHES OF OUR CATHOLIC FAITH!

Here is a taster of Fr. Robert’s teaching style.

How-do-we-know-we-are-encountering-God-.aspx

 

“…They called the church together and reported what God had done with them and how he had opened the door of faith…”(Acts 14:27).

With his Apostolic Letter of October 11, 2011,Porta Fidei. . . , Pope Benedict XVI declared that a “Year of Faith” will begin on October 11, 2012 and conclude on November 24, 2013. October 11, 2012, the first day of the Year of Faith, is the fiftieth anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council. . . (Vatican II) and also the twentieth anniversary of the Catechism of the Catholic Church. During the Year of Faith, Catholics are asked to study and reflect on the documents of Vatican II and the catechism so that they may deepen their knowledge of the faith.

The upcoming Year of Faith is a “summons to an authentic and renewed conversion to the Lord, the One Savior of the world” (Porta Fidei 6). In other words, the Year of Faith is an opportunity for Catholics to experience a conversion – to turn back to Jesus and enter into a deeper relationship with him. The “door of faith” is opened at one’s baptism, but during this year Catholics are called to open it again, walk through it and rediscover and renew their relationship with Christ and his Church.

Image @catholicmessenger.net

 

What will you consider doing as a practising Catholic for the upcoming Year of Faith, that may make a difference for those on the outskirts of the Church in their understanding of the Faith, and their relationship with Jesus?

 

Humanae Vitae: Day 9

Married Love

9. In the light of these facts the characteristic features and exigencies of married love are clearly indicated, and it is of the highest importance to evaluate them exactly.

This love is above all fully human, a compound of sense and spirit. It is not, then, merely a question of natural instinct or emotional drive. It is also, and above all, an act of the free will, whose trust is such that it is meant not only to survive the joys and sorrows of daily life, but also to grow, so that husband and wife become in a way one heart and one soul, and together attain their human fulfillment.

It is a love which is total—that very special form of personal friendship in which husband and wife generously share everything, allowing no unreasonable exceptions and not thinking solely of their own convenience. Whoever really loves his partner loves not only for what he receives, but loves that partner for the partner’s own sake, content to be able to enrich the other with the gift of himself.

Married love is also faithful and exclusive of all other, and this until death. This is how husband and wife understood it on the day on which, fully aware of what they were doing, they freely vowed themselves to one another in marriage. Though this fidelity of husband and wife sometimes presents difficulties, no one has the right to assert that it is impossible; it is, on the contrary, always honorable and meritorious. The example of countless married couples proves not only that fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage, but also that it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.

Finally, this love is fecund. It is not confined wholly to the loving interchange of husband and wife; it also contrives to go beyond this to bring new life into being. “Marriage and conjugal love are by their nature ordained toward the procreation and education of children. Children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in the highest degree to their parents’ welfare.” (Vatican II, Gaudium et Spes, n. 50)

Married love is human, total, faithful and exclusive, and fecund.

Human: Married love is for the good of the whole person and it involves the complete giving of one’s self to another. Love is not merely emotional; it involves the whole self.

Total: Married love is the complete giving of one’s self.  When a couple contracepts, at least one party is holding something back.  A barrier is placed between spouses

Faithful and exclusive: “fidelity is in accord with the nature of marriage…it is the source of profound and enduring happiness.”

Fecund: Marriage is ordered by its nature toward procreation and education of children.  The vocation of husband and wife is to cooperate with God in bringing new life into the world and to help that new life to know God his Creator.

Many forces in the world today want to redefine marriage.  But marriage is not ours to redefine.  God instituted marriage and is Himself the image of married love.  Its nature is to be human, total, faithful and exclusive, and fecund.  To try to make marriage anything other than what it truly is to destroy marriage itself, and when marriage is destoryed so is humanity.

Contraception is not human, it turns married love into something that is not total and therefore not faithful according to the vows that they made to each other, and it renders married love barren.

 (Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

Humanae Vitae: Day 7

7. The question of human procreation, like every other question which touches human life, involves more than the limited aspects specific to such disciplines as biology, psychology, demography or sociology. It is the whole man and the whole mission to which he is called that must be considered: both its natural, earthly aspects and its supernatural, eternal aspects. And since in the attempt to justify artificial methods of birth control many appeal to the demands of married love or of responsible parenthood, these two important realities of married life must be accurately defined and analyzed. This is what We mean to do, with special reference to what the Second Vatican Council taught with the highest authority in its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the World of Today.

Paragraphs 7-18 fall under the section of the Encyclical titled “Doctrinal Principles”.

In order for us to understand the Church’s teaching on the transmission of life, we must consider the question of who is man?  Man is not just flesh and blood; He possesses an eternal soul.  And this body and soul together are one in man.

The Catechism says, “The human person, created in the image of God, is a being at once corporeal and spiritual. The biblical account expresses this reality in symbolic language when it affirms that ‘then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being’ (Gen 2:7).   Man, whole and entire, is therefore willed by God” (no. 362).

As such, the transmission of life is not just a physical concern that can only be addressed scientifically.  Souls are involved.  It’s not just a blob of tissue.

The issues that man has to deal with regarding the transmission of life are not all worldly issues.  This concerns the eternal as well because life does not end at the end of one’s earthly life.  What effect does the transmission of life have on man’s eternal destiny?

Our answer to the question of who is man will have an effect on how we understand the definition of married love and responsible parenthood.

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

Humanae Vitae: Day 5

5. The consciousness of the same responsibility induced us to confirm and expand the commission set up by Our predecessor Pope John XXIII, of happy memory, in March, 1963. This commission included married couples as well as many experts in the various fields pertinent to these questions. Its task was to examine views and opinions concerning married life, and especially on the correct regulation of births; and it was also to provide the teaching authority of the Church with such evidence as would enable it to give an apt reply in this matter, which not only the faithful but also the rest of the world were waiting for. (5)

When the evidence of the experts had been received, as well as the opinions and advice of a considerable number of Our brethren in the episcopate—some of whom sent their views spontaneously, while others were requested by Us to do so—We were in a position to weigh with more precision all the aspects of this complex subject. Hence We are deeply grateful to all those concerned.

Paragraph 5 simply speaks of a study commission that was begun by Pope John XXIII that Pope Paul VI has asked to be expanded.

(Posted with permission from Fr. Lee Acervo at http://fatheracervo.wordpress.com)

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