December 12, 2009

A Jew says Pope Pius XII was “borderline fanatical” to save Jews from the Nazis

Click HERE for it.

December 10, 2009

Vatican says Nobel Peace Prize “mired in being politically correct”

The Vatican paper also calls the Nobel Peace Prize for Obama "premature," and calls attention to his stance on abortion.

Read more.
Click HERE for it.

December 09, 2009

The Eucharist is the sacrament of our ONGOING Christian initiation.

Today's Advent Homily.
Click HERE for it.

December 08, 2009

The immaculate creations and the immaculate conceptions

[I originally posted this in 2006.]

The Church acknowledges that the Blessed Virgin Mary is "The Immaculate Conception." Today, December 8, is the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.

The first man and the first woman were created immaculate-- that is, unspotted by sin.

The Church testifies that God created Mary's soul immaculate-- that is, Mary was immaculate from the moment her mother conceived her.

Although we use the title "Immaculate Conception" for the person of Mary, we do not normally use the title to refer to Jesus, even though he also was immaculate from the moment Mary conceived him.

Non-catholic Christians readily agree that Jesus was immaculate. However, it seems to them that calling Mary herself the Immaculate Conception has no foundation in Scripture.

Nonetheless, the reality affirmed by the Marian title "Immaculate Conception" is grounded in Scriptural realities and affirmations.

The Book of Genesis begins with the words, "In the beginning". In that book, the first woman has no name until after sin. She, like the first man, was created Immaculate.

The Gospel of John also begins with the words, "In the beginning"-- thus telling us that a new "Genesis" has come. In the Gospel of John, the personal name of the mother of Jesus never appears. Jesus simply calls her "Woman" pure and simple. The Gospel refers to her as "the mother of Jesus," never as "Mary." No sin, no name.

The first time Jesus calls her "Woman" is "in the beginning" of his public ministry, his first miracle. It happens at a wedding. The mother of Jesus tells those who would serve to do whatever her Son tells them. This reverses what happenen in Eden: the first woman tells the first man, the first servant of God, to do what the Serpent says, rather than what God says.

The other time that Jesus calls his mother "Woman" is at the cross. It is the sixth day of the week, the same day that the first man was created. In Genesis, the first woman meets and obeys the deceiver, the serpent, at the Tree. Her obedience to the serpent brings her death. In the Gospel of John, the Woman meets and obeys the Son of God at his "tree", the Cross. Her obedience to him brings new life-- a renewal of motherhood and of childhood: "Woman, there is your son."

Just as the first man in the first garden was cast into a deep sleep and his side was opened for the birth of the first woman, so the new Man, Christ, falls asleep in death next to a garden, and his side is open, and out comes a flow of blood and water-- a sign of birth. In the Book of Genesis, after the Lord makes the first man, the Lord then makes a garden and puts the living man in the garden. In the Gospel of John, the dead body of Jesus is taken to the garden that is right there by the cross and is laid in a tomb in that garden.

In short (and cutting this short) the Gospel of John presents itself as the New Genesis, Mary as the new and sinless Woman, and Jesus as the New Man. The human race no longer descends from Adam and Eve. Instead, it receives new birth from Jesus by Marian-style obedience-- as the Gospel puts it, Jesus looks at his disciple and tells the disciple to be "born" from being like Mary: "There is your mother." "From that hour, the disciple took her to his own home." Into his life. Into his own way of life. He took into his life that Woman and her holy obedience, that Woman whose only two utterances in the Gospel of John are:
(1) an intercession voiced to her Son at Cana in recognition of the poverty and misery of man and woman "In the Beginning" of their marriage, "They have no wine";

(2) an exhortation voiced to the servants of her Son at Cana so that the wedding of man and woman can have a different, new, joyous, abundant and good "In the Beginning"-- "Do whatever he tells you."

The Gospel of Luke also affirms realities about Mary that point to her already sharing beforehand in the salvation that would come in the eventual death and resurrection of Jesus.

First of all, in the Gospel of Luke (1:28) the messenger ("angel") of God addresses Mary in Nazareth as already kecharitomene, already "filled through with grace" ... already "filled up with grace" ... already "graced thorougly"-- even though Jesus has not yet so much as been conceived and born, not yet died for sin and not yet risen in glory. Only God is actively "Full of Grace"-- he is the one who "thoroughly graced" Mary, making her kecharitomene.

The Gospel of Luke goes on a short while later (1:46-55) to have Mary speak as having ALREADY experienced the FULLNESS and FULFILLMENT of salvation-- decades BEFORE Jesus would die and rise to save humanity from sin and give humanity holiness.

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he HAS REGARDED the low estate of his handmaiden.
For behold, henceforth all generations will call me blessed;
for he who is mighty HAS DONE great things for me,
and holy is his name.
And his mercy is on those who fear him from generation to generation.
He HAS SHOWN strength with his arm,
he HAS SCATTERED the proud in the imagination of their hearts,
he HAS PUT DOWN the mighty from their thrones,
and EXALTED those of low degree;
he HAS FILLED the hungry with good things,
and the rich he HAS SENT empty away.
He HAS HELPED his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy,
as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his posterity for ever.

Notice there the past tense!

Also, there is a good bit more in the comments boxes.

I have posted a homily for the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception.
Click HERE for it.