Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Utter Depravity Versus Almost Utter Depravity

Before I begin this post, I would like to make the following comment. I am posting this knowing that this isn't a view held by ALL Protestants. Secondly, it's not an attack, but is simply a bring forth the fullness of the Theology of the Body in a Catholic context and to show the necessity of Almost Utter Depravity. That being said, let us begin.

There are two views about the effects of Original Sin. The Catholic view is that sin has had an amazingly powerful effect on the world. We are almost hopeless. However, there is a trace of goodness in our being, an echo of Original Man.

The other general point of view is a general Protestant one, specifically Calvinist. It states that man is utterly depraved, that he can do nothing good on his own without the help of Christ.

The reasoning behind the Catholic point of view is that we are a creation of God. Since we are a product of God, we are made to be good. However, almost all of us are born with Original Sin (the exception is, of course Jesus and Mary). We are made good, we are, however, distorted by Original Sin. Since we are created by God and are thus good, there must be a stream of that goodness left over.

What does this all have to do with marriage? Glad you asked.

You see, many people in the world today see marriage as their "get out of lust free" card. They think that if they're married that it justifies their lusts. By taking an "utterly depraved" mentality, they think that they can never do anything good. However, this is a distortion of the Gospel. Christ redeemed humanity, giving them the grace to do good deeds and to grow in holiness. It is true that we cannot do anything good without grace, but life itself is a grace, is something that is intrinsicly good because it is a free and unwarranted gift from God. Therefore, we are able to pull away from lust.

Lust is not supposed to be the norm. We all have to deal with it, but we can't just give up because of the fact that we're sinners. Christ redeemed us as sinners so that we may grow in holiness through the overabounding grace thanks to His death on the Cross. The grace that flows from the Cross gives us the ability to pick ourselves up and grow closer to our original calling.

Therefore, we cannot see marriage as a "cop out" for lust. Instead, it is an opportunity for holiness. It is an opportunity to grow in love for one another and to grow in receiving God's grace. It is an opportunity for full co-operation with God's will. Marriage is supposed to give us the grace to overcome lust, not to throw ourselves at its feet and accept defeat to it. No, lust is the distortion that is a result of Original Sin. Christ has conquered sin for us, and is calling us back to that communion of persons, to that total, faithful, fruitful, and self-giving act of love.

This is why marriage is beautiful, but also why it's not something we should run to because of lustful desires. We can't presume that because we have lustful desires that marriage will either affirm those desires or make them better. For some, marriage is indeed the vocation in which we can conquer our lustful desires. For others, it is through a vocation to the priesthood, religious life, or single life that one is able to conquer it. The point is to recognize the problem as soon as one realizes it's a problem (ie NOW!) and to ask Christ to help redeem your thoughts, words, and deeds so that you can grow in a loving relationship with everyone. Our vocations do give us that special grace, but God will give us grace whenever we ask for it, so we must confront our lustful weaknesses now if we hope to grow in holiness.


The Original Conjugal Act

In Genesis 2:24, we hear of the two becoming "one flesh". JP II states that this one flesh union is realized through the conjugal act. It is this act, this loving nuptial embrace, in which the one flesh union is both expressed and realized in. "One flesh" is a phrase infused with profound meaning.

The first thing to notice is that this union between man and woman is one that happens before the fall. This has 2 implications:

1) That the institution of the one flesh union is something endowed to humanity from the beginning by the Creator. This unity is realized through the communion of persons between man and woman in their bodies.

2) That this is in the state of Original Innocence, in the prehistory of humanity. Thus, the Pope is very careful to affirm the fact that this Original Unity between man and woman is shrouded in mystery and that we cannot put forth our common experiences as a result of the fall onto this time of history in which the fall had not yet taken place. Therefore, this "one flesh" union between mand and woman is profoundly different then the one we experience today, and thus JP II does not say what it would have been like, because we can't due to our fallen nature. What he is expressing here is that this Original Unity is one experienced through the body and is not some purely spiritual experience, but is in fact a spiritual reality expressed and experienced through the body.

And so, we approach JP II's definition of what the term "virgin" means. It does not necessarily mean an absence of a bodily union. Instead, it means the integrity of body and soul. He even states that when a husband and a wife come together in the conjugal act, they are "reliving, in a sense, the original virginal value of man". But what does that mean?

Well, it seems there is a dual meaning of virginity. The first one is the proper unity of body and soul. The second is the common one we know nowadays, the absence of a unity of persons. Thus, when sin entered the world, lust entered with it. That perfect loving communion that was a part of man's original experience was torn apart because of sin. That body-soul unity that once lived in perfect harmony was now at rift, and so to was love. Instead of a loving communion, an exterior self-giving relationship, man turned interior, into selfish desires, into a taking relationship. This is why Eve covers up! She knows the value of her body as an expression of the reality of God, but she sees it being threatened to lust. This is why they "were ashamed" after the fall. Before the fall, there was no shame, because they both understood and respected that deep inner value of the body as an expression of God. Thus, that lust of man's heart comes about through sin, that body-soul integration that was once perfectly held together through love is lost, thus man loses that original virginal value.

This is the beauty of marriage. Through the sacrament of marriage, a husband and wife receive the grace to grow back to that original virginal value of man. Through the experience of the conjugal act, through that one flesh union between husband and wife, they are able to experience each time the Original virginal value of Original Man. They grow in holiness in that marriage, they grow closer to Christ. They do so out of being a sincere gift to each other. They cannot grow in holiness if they use that most loving conjugal act as a means for fulfilling lustful desires. The conjugal act is one of giving, not taking, and only when we give do we open ourselves to God's grace more fully. Of course, a minor point, we cannot give ourselves without God's grace in the first place. In other words, through the grace of the Sacrament of Marriage, man and woman re-orientate themselves to that original virginal value, they re-orientate themselves to a closer union of body and soul. Through this loving communion, the love expressed seeks to increase the circle of communion, the bringing about of new life.

This is the reasoning behind the Church's teaching on contraception. Using contraception is a cheapening of the gift of love. When one is loving, they want to give themselves fully to another and the same for the other. By using contraception, the couple are saying "I don't love you enough because I am not willing to give myself fully over to you." Their bodies, which have a language as well, are lying, they are cheapening their value. People are saying that promiscuous sex helps humanity "find the fullness of the meaning of sexuality". This is not the case, in fact, it shows that we as human beings do not see the full value of sex. Sex isn't meaningless, it's meaningful! I will be discussing this more in the future.

The next post will discuss a minor theological differentiation between Catholic and Protestant theology on sin with regards to the purpose of marriage.


House Keeping

Unfortunatey, one of my favourite blogs, Catholic News Agency, has shut itself down. He did a smart thing though, realizing that it was getting in the way of work.

I'm a bit sick today, so I'm using the opportunity to get some homework done, to rest up, and to get some housekeeping done on the blog and get a post or two out there today.

I got my first issue of Communio yesterday. I'm very excited, this is the Fall 2005 issue on "The World". Thankfully it's a quarterly journal, because it's going to be an interesting read, but one that will take a while.

I've also finally decided what to do for lent, something that has been bothering me for a while.

I'm also updating my "Reading List" and my links to other sites and such, so keep your eyes peeled.


Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Few Updates

Sorry there haven't been any updates for the past few days. I thought that Reading Break was going to give me lots of free time to be able to do lots of postings and so on. Not so.

I went home for my parents' 25th Wedding Anniversary. It is very impressive to see 2 people stick it out for 25 years, because it is so uncommon nowadays. They are the first to admit that there are ups and downs, but they know what love is and it was a very special time.

Came back today, long trip back. There were so many people on the 1pm sailing that there wasn't enough room for me on the bus. I had to wait until 3:30 to catch a bus back to downtown.

One thing I did do while at home that I don't normally do is watch a bit of TV. I'm not a huge fan of watching TV, but the Olympics were something to watch. Cindy Klausen was amazing, winning 5 medals for Canada. We walked away with 24 medals, the best total ever, and this is very good news for 2010, where I know the COC is hoping for Canada to come out on top in the medal standings. Speed skating is just a lot of fun to watch. It'll be nice that it'll be in our timezone when it's here in 2010 though.

School starts up again on Tuesday (I don't have classes on Mondays and Thursdays, I work on those days). I've got a take home exam due on Tuesday and 3 essay outlines that I need done by Friday and then it's time to hit the books hard and read lots on some stuff that interests me and some stuff that I'm not entirely excited about.

I'll be doing a post on TOB tonight for all those who are interested. I think I can only guarantee 2 posts a week right now on TOB because of all my other commitments. I am much further ahead in my reading on that then I am in the postings, I just finished the first 3 cycles. It's interesting though, I've realized that TOB deals with the "whys"...but there doesn't seem to be much on the "hows". A lot of people deal with problems of purity, with problems of treating another person as being made in God's image and likeness. TOB does a great job I have found at explaining this and there have been tiny suggestions about how to overcome problems, but it doesn't seem to, at the moment, deal with how to overcome these obstacles in co-operation with the Holy Spirit. It just needs time though, I'm sure someone will come along and tell us how to put these teachings into practice through overcoming the lust of the heart and gain a pure heart.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Man's Definition Depends on Relations

Man is only fully himself when he is in relation, which cannot happen when he is "alone", that is, in Original Solitude without another person to be in communion with. The Pope thus stresses that man can only reach his fullness through relations. To cash that in, he is stating that we are all fully human when we are the subject of relations and when we are the subject of other's relations. It is through others that we find who we are. Remember, we are made in the image and likeness of God. God is three divine Persons yet one nature. He is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. They each are defined in relation to the other Persons of the Trinity. So too is it for man and woman. We come to know who we are through our relations with not only other people, but especially through our relations with those of the opposite sex. This is to build on the fact that, though different, the difference between male and female is a complementary difference, one that brings the fullness of each person through their relations with another person of the opposite sex.

It is through communion that a loving relationship comes about in which they each use what is distinct to them, and thus we come to understand the meaning of our sexual difference and our call to sexual communion.

It is important to note here what one means by communion. One can be called to communion in many different ways, all fulfilled through their vocation. Married people are called to express that sexual communion in a loving and intimate way through the nuptial embrace. Single people, Religious, and Priests can have a loving and intimate friendship with someone of the opposite sex, but one that is not expressed in the nuptial embrace. Sexual communion is something that is relative to the person's state in life, and does not entail having the nuptial embrace to be a part of it. Love can be expressed in many different ways. This all represents a deep inner truth of the Trinity. This is not saying that the Trinity is a sexual communion, it is not, but it is a loving communion, one which is expressed most perfectly through the communion of persons between a male and a female. This is why, no matter what one's vocation is, that it is important to have a friend to love and adore of the opposite sex. Some of the greatest Saints have been in pairs: St Francis and St Claire, St Benedict and St Scholastica, St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross. This shows the importance of that deep and loving friendship, because of the complimentary differences between male and female that help the other grow in holiness.

This communion of persons shows us how to come to know the God too. We come to him in what the Pope would call a subjective and phenomenological way. What that means is that it is a personal way (subjective) that we come to know God, and that knowledge we gain in a personal way is our experiencing of God (phenomenological). We experience God in a personal way, making the faith a personal one through an intimate and personal relationship with Christ as the Catechism states. Through experiencing God, we come to know the truths of the faith in a personal way. This means that those objective truths can be known on a personal level, thus bringing together personal experience and objective truth, something the that is very new in the history of ideas.

We thus come to know ourselves more fully by giving ourselves more fully out of love. This means a humbling of self, a willingness of the Holy Spirit further conforming our hearts to the Divine will of God. Thus by knowing God out of full love, we get to know our real selves even more. This is why we become our real selves in Heaven, when we are enveloped in God's love for all eternity in which we praise and glorify God out of love for Him. This is why God is, for JP II, not the Divine Object, but the Divine Subject. If God is an object, He is something we can use. God is a Subject because He is someone we relate to in a most intimate and personal way. Subjects deserve dignity and respect through their relations with others.

This will all be used later on when being applied to vocations and how all vocations fulfill this communion of persons. Also, the idea of sexual love and communion is only a temporal response to man's yearning for an eternal love and communion with God. This is all important to keep in consideration for later.


Canada Lost

Well, Canada's Men's Hockey team lost to the Russians today. Makes me very sad. This was the first game I actually got to watch. I had heard bad things, and watching this game made me see this.

Unfortunately, they were running around like a bunch of chickens with their heads cut off. It is unfortunate that this was the case. However, most of the teams we were playing against were fast, and that's something Canada didn't have much of this year. This is not to say there are no fast skaters who could play for Canada, but this year they seemed to opt for the big guys, which is why I think it looked like we were chasing all game.

Needless to say, Canada did not play like they deserved gold and they did not get gold as a result, in fact, no medal at all. It is very dissapointing, but I think in 2010 they're going to have to start thinking a bit more about speed for forwards so that they can actually get past the other teams.

In good news though Canada is tied for 3rd in the medal standings. I know we'll be getting at least a silver in men's curling too, so that'll bump up the total. The goal this year was 25, they may be able to surpass the total, we shall see.


New Cardinals

I have much to post about today.

The first thing is the following.

The Pope, just as almost everyone expected, announced 15 new Cardinals today. 3 are over the age of 80 and is a way of showing his gratitude for all the work that they have done in the Church. The other 12 of course brings the total to 120, which Paul VI put in place. I don't expect B16 to surpass that number. There are two from the US and the rest are from all over the world, something that B16 had very much wanted to do.

Instead of giving you guys a list of all the new Cardinals, instead I am just going to link you to American Papist, who has pictures and everything.

Link to New Cardinal Posts

I figure since pretty much EVERY other blog has written about it, I could just link to them, and American Papist is one of the best ones out there.

He also talked about the Chair of St Peter today, that being the feast day of course. I forgot about that the feast was today, so I expect next Wednesday to be a more defining moment.


Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Population in Canada

There are a lot of interesting articles flowing around the blogosphere today. I chose this one, me being Canadian and all, but it also speaks a lot about the diminishing numbers of people in Canada. Of course, it is the result of the harsh individualism of our country. Hopefully people will realize this. If they don't, then by 2015, there will be more 65 and older people in Canada then there will be in the age group of 15 and under. This is the first part, make sure to check up on it, could prove to be very interesting.

Article on Population

Couple of other interesting things out there today:

Russian Orthodox Church starting to see the necessity of re-unifying with the Catholic Church because of the mass heterodoxy out there in many other Churches.

Pope may be naming his new Cardinals in less then 2 hours after this post, not to mention that it will be his first Wednesday audience doing a catechesis of his choice. If both things happen, today will be a major defining day of the direction of his pontificate I think.

*Sidenote*-There is no TOB postings tonight, I need to get to bed tonight, but there should be one tomorrow.


Sunday, February 19, 2006

Communion of Man and Woman: Icon of the Trinity

As we know, the traditional ways of seeing the image and likeness of God in man has been to breakdown one's soul into a tri-partite system, such as "memory, intellect, and will." But there is a distinction one must remember. God is not one Person divided into three, He is three Persons in a deep and eternal communion as one God.

JP II does not necessarily reject that traditional view of man's soul and it's breakdown. However, JP II points to the most important feature of God, that God is Love, and that this love entails a communion of Persons. This is going to bring about a dramatic different view of God's image and likeness which man is created in. JP II proposes that the primary image and likeness of God which man is created is in the communion of persons between male and female and that this is an icon of the Trinitarian life.

We therefore have a two-fold way of being made in the image and likeness of God.

In Original Solitude, man is revealed in the image and likeness of God through the act of reasoning that he is different from the rest of the animals as a unique entity compared to them due to his freedom to act according to free will. It is in this sense, the freedom of will and the act of reason, that man is made in God's image and likeness.

In Original Unity, God's image and likeness is conveyed in man in a unique way. It is through the communion of persons that man is made in God's image and likeness. Just as the communion of Persons in the Trinity is an act of free will, and act of love, and act of freedom, so to is it with man in male and female, where male and female give themselves completely, freely, lovingly to each other. It is this in which man is primarily made in God's image. That is, God's image and likeness in male and female is expressed firstly in the communion of persons of Original Unity, then through the Original Solitude in a secondary way.

If we are to be in the image and likeness of God, we must express God's Trinitarian image. This is done only in the most fullest sense as we can do as human beings through the communion of persons. Man must have a subject to love and share in God's creative act. This is why God says that "it is not good for man to be alone". Thus God creates woman so that male and female can no longer be alone. Man does not realize fully that he is made in God's image and likeness until the Original Unity between male and female comes about. It is through this that man realizes fully his being made in the image and likeness of God.

Through all this, JP II brings into official magisterial teaching the idea that it is through the communion of persons that man is made in God's image and likeness. And it is through this core understanding of how the body reveals the mystery of God that we can discuss a Theology of the Body. We see now how the body reveals God's image and likeness, both on its own and through the communion of persons. The body reveals the communion that man and woman are called to, both with each other as well as a foreshadow of that communion that we are all called to with God.

This idea of the communion of persons as an icon of the Trinity can be expanded a bit further as well. Just as God is one God in three Divine Persons, this can be imaged into the marriage. God the Father and God the Son give and receive to each other in an eternal communion of Love, and this Love is the Holy Spirit. The husband and wife also give themselves to each other as well, that is, through the nuptial embrace, the love that each one has for the other is expressed in the most personal and intimate way. Similarly as God's love is overflowing to the point that He creates all that He does, so too is this imaged through marriage. The love a husband and a wife have for each other also is an overflowing love to the point that a new life is created, to the point that a child comes out of this loving act. Just as the world is the proof of God's love for us, so too is the child a proof of the love a husband and wife have for each other. There is a trace of God in everything He has created.

Furthermore, the incarnate communion, that is, the communion of persons between man and woman, is a foreshadowing between the communion that Christ has with His Church. It is a loving intimate relationship to the point that they become "one flesh". This is why the Church is called "The Bride of Christ" and "Christ's Mystical Body". Both show the one flesh union, both are united to each other. As Christopher West says "This is why God created us as sexual beings-to prepare us as an eternal Bride of Chist". It is important too that this idea of a gift is inharent in both as well, just as a husband gives himself over to his wife as a gift, so too does Christ give Himself over to the Church.


Shout Out

Shout out to Seeker of the Way for adding me to his blog links. Do him a favour and go check him out. He'll be on my sidebar as well.

Secondly, I remember my second point from earlier. There's a new second edition of the Ignatius Bible out. It's got the most beautiful Bible covers I have ever seen! I am looking forward to graduating so I can buy this Bible, when my stopping of book purchasing promise is over. It is apparently a great GREAT translation as well, ie, not attempting to be politically correct but portrays in truth the original meaning. I recommend that everyone get it, because, well, Ignatius Press will never let you down. It's available at their website http://www.ignatius.com or you can get it off of http://www.amazon.ca

It is cheaper on Amazon, but I recommend everyone getting it, Ignatius will never let you down and many in the blogosphere are very enthusiastic and some have had a chance to give it a quick look over and the reviews are great.


Free Time?

It's been very odd lately. I've had...free time! Needless to say, I am one of those people who has much on his plate, Church, School, and Work, those 3 things sum up my life more or less.

However, because my midterms and such were during the week of the 6th. So last week had very little in the way of homework. So, I've actually been getting stuff done! I've been able to read again in a casual manner (aka, not reading for homework, and reading stuff that I want to read), begin to organize my scrapbook from my trip to Europe this past summer, and to actually read the blogs I have linked up in more detail, not to mention that I've had much more in the way of opportunities to pray.

Today, FJ and I found out that there was a huge used book event going on at the old Brick building on Quadra. We're not ones for shopping on Sundays, however, it was all for charity so we figured it would be a good way to support charities. I had made a promise to not buy any books this semester to FJ, who is my spiritual director, but he was very nice and dispensed me from that promise for today.

I got some pretty decent books, got another Jerusalem Bible, one can't have enough of those. Got a book by St Alphonsus Liguori, JP II, Fulton J Sheen, and some other cool stuff.

Secondly...well, I thought I had something else to say, but it seems to have left me at the moment. Anyways, I'm going to get my TOB post all ready to go for you guys.


Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A New Catechesis

Folks, I am very excited to announce that today marked the last Wednesday Audience by Pope Benedict XVI on the Psalms and Canticles found in the Divine Office.

B16 had been doing these as a continuation of what JP II began many years ago. He's done a great job in their reflection. I was able to be present at one when I was in Rome in August and it was perhaps the most powerful moment of my trip in Europe.

Now that it's over, however, well, needless to say, I am very giddy to see what his next series will be. This is something that he gets to choose and, I think, really use to further show us the aim of his Pontificate. Will he continue from the theme of his encyclical, will he discuss the liturgy? Who knows, but needless to say, it will be exciting to see what happens next Wednesday, what his catechesis will be on.

I am excited and I think every one in the Catholic world is also getting quite excited about this. Also, from the buzz on the blogs, Pope Benedict will announce for the first time in his Pontificate who he will be making as Cardinals. The next few weeks will be very exciting to say the least.


The Communion of Male and Female (Part 1)

Let us pray that this does not delete by accident again.

Before this discussion begins, one must have a proper definition of what "sex" means in its primary way. Sex simply means a differentiation between male and female. What does this entail? First and foremost, it has to do with the definition of male and female. Note how sex deems that there is a differentiation between male and female. That means, then, that man is to a certain extent sexless as a result of the fact that he had no woman there to define himself as a male. This means that, in order to fully understand our masculinity or femininity as a human person, we must understand it in the whole concept of man. This entails, then, for each member of a particular sex can only understand themselves when they see themselves in light of the member of the opposite sex. Sexual difference is a good thing, because God said that it is not good for man to be alone. Through the creation of Eve, man is made complete through the complementary differences between Adam and Eve. Differences only become divisive after the fall.

So, what does this all mean in relation to Original Solitude. Well, this unity, which the Pope calls Original Unity. Original Unity both overcomes AND affirms Original Solitude. It overcomes Original Solitude through the one flesh union of male and female. It affirms Original Solitude in that through the one flesh union they realize and affirm that man is still distinct from the rest of the animals. They will their one flesh union, while the animals do it out of instinct. In this sense, man is affirmed as being singled out from the rest of the physical created world. This call to unity is stamped within their bodies. They realize this when they see each other and see how they are complete with the other of the opposite sex.

There must be, for Original Unity, there is a need for a common will to have an act of love. This unity brings about a common help for each other which only a self-conscious, self-determined person can bring for the other.

This Original Unity, and the unity between husband and wife, is, in accordance with Vatican II, what the Pope calls a communio personarum- a communion of persons. It is through this communion of persons that man and woman live together, with, and for each other in a loving relationship. This communion of persons is a relationship that is loving and intimate. It is through this communion of persons that the male and female discover who they are in their fullness and also affirm their uniqueness in the world. This all can be described as being part of the state of the one flesh union in that state of Original Unity.

And this loving communion of persons reflects something deeper, something more profound. It reveals a spiritual reality, it reveals that the communion of persons, at its most intimate level in the nuptial embrace, is an icon of the Trinity. This icon of the Trinity will be discussed tomorrow.


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Christian Experience is a Mystical One

As I was reading some of my book yesterday at work, I came to a very interesting insight of not only the Theology of the Body, but of the entire Catholic experience.

Grace, according to JP II, is defined as experiencing the mysteries of God in the Holy Spirit. In other words, every time we experience grace, we experience God. Our main goal in life is to grow in the various virtues, living a Christ-like life. This entire growth process can be summed up as growing in purity of heart. It is through that purity of heart that we see the world as we are meant to see it, as Christ sees it, and thus are able to act the way we are supposed to act, just as Christ acts.

Now, a mystical experience is simply, and broadly, defined as experiencing God. Thus, the logical conclusion is that everytime we experience grace, we are experiencing God, we are having a mystical experience. This seems to go quite right with any of the great mystics of the Church, as well as the teaching of the Church itself and what the Bible has to teach us. I just realized yesterday, however, just how common it is. How beautiful it is that we are opportuned to have a mystical experience every time we go to Confession, every time we receive the Eucharist, every time a special grace is granted to us from God, every time we grow in virtue thanks to God's help, and so forth.

The great mystics like St Teresa of Avila and St John of the Cross describe the mystical experience in many different ways, because there are many steps to it. The reason we don't see it as the awesome experience that it is is because we are still deeply stained by sin. This explains periods of dryness and so forth. What we see as being almost painful sometimes when praying is actually the Holy Spirit, which dwells within us, purging us of our iniquities, of our faults, of those things which limit our true experience of God. God is meant to be experienced, if He wasn't, then He would never have revealed Himself to us and would remain a distant unknowable object instead of the Divine Subject that He is.

The only way to truly perceive the experience that one is truly having when receiving grace by God is simply put in one word: perseverance. When we persevere in prayer and in following God, it is at those times that we are purged of all that holds us back from God. We are all called to experience God in the most wonderful way, however, most of us seem to be satisfied with a mediocre experience of God. God calls us to love, but we sit back being happy with where we're at, because we don't like those dry periods of prayer. It isn't supposed to be easy, though, remember, Christ said "If you want to be my disciple you must take up your cross and follow me." If we want to be a disciple of Christ, to have that personal and intimate relationship with Him, we must remember that we are going to have to suffer, because it is through suffering, through a trial by fire, that we are able to be purged of all that holds us back, and thus be able to see Him as He is. We are all called to be great saints, we are all called to holiness, we are all called to experiencing God, to have that mystical experience, we must simply remind ourselves that God expects that of us because God wants the best for us.



Well, I had a really awesome post ready on Theology of the Body. It was a really good one too (about how man and woman, through Original Unity in the one flesh union as a communion of persons reveal the inner life of the Trinity). Unfortunately, while moving around quickly I accidently pressed a button and the entire post was gone before I could post it. So it's going to have to wait another day. In the meantime, updates!

I'm updating my blog links, some are gone, some are added, so please check it out. I've also added a site link or two.

I'm back from my midterms, they went alright, my Phil of Truth exam I was rather dissapointed about though.

I'll be posting more often again now that midterms are over. Such is the life of a student.

Also, because I make shameless promotions, if you go to www.standrewscathedral.com/george.html you'll notice that we have the pamphlets online so you can download them and print them off so you can register. Tickets are already selling so don't wait, buy them now. If you live out of town, we will mail your tickets to you.

That's all for now, if I get time, I will post my post on TOB tonight, though I am going to make a general comment about it tonight (as a result of some reading I did yesterday, for my reading is far far ahead of the posts I'm posting).


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Slight Side Distraction

I've been paining away almost all evening at reading the articles necessary for my Philosophy of Truth midterm which is on Friday. Needless to say this class has not been as interesting as I was hoping. I am almost done Frege, and I have 2 more big articles to read which will be done tomorrow along with the 2 short articles. That'll leave me enough time to study Spinoza for my Rationalists midterm, which is also on Friday, the class right before Truth. I'll probably only get a chance to study him for about an hour or 2 tomorrow. Thankfully, for Truth, it's an openbook midterm, so I've been pencilling up my text book like crazy, so I should be well prepared. I am a bit nervous about Spinoza because there is a lot to remember. However, it'll all be fine.

In the meantime...I best get back to my reading, I want to be in bed by 11pm and go to Mass tomorrow morning before school. I just needed a minute away from reading and you have all satisfied my small break. Expect Theology of the Body stuff to come back up come Sunday when life will settle down again.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Still Alive

It's been busy. We've now officially began the promotion the "Discovering the Catholic Way of Life" Conference in Victoria with George Weigel. You can go to the Cathedral's website to obtain more information:


Yesterday was good. Marilyn Grant gave an amazingly awesome talk on prayer for which I am forever grateful for. Got some studying done and did some promoting for the Conference.

This morning I went to Mass, helped with conference promotions agai, and then went to brunch with some friends. It was really good and the company was great.

Afterwards Madeleine and I went to visit a friend in the hospital and then proceeded to her house where I got to eat a very good homemade dinner and I even tried something new! I tried the sweet potato pie and it was very delicious! I had a good time there and I finally got to see her dad's library :).

I won't be on very much this next week as I have 2 midterms that are huge this week. Life will be busy and the discipline will be necessary in order to survive through the studying (some of this stuff ain't exactly the most stimulating).

However, I would like to offer the following note before I get off the blogs for the evening...

A friend and I were discussing with each other on the way to Church about the necessity of experiencing the love of God and to love God in return. We were discussing how we need to understand, experience, and give love in order to understand God. Only when you do this with Him, do you come to understand in a fuller way and come to understand and appreciate all his teachings. You can't say "Do this because the Church says so" immediately. They haven't experience Christ's love in a more profound and intimately personal way. You only come to understand what someone says when you are in love with them. One is willing to listen to the One whom they love. So, we can't feed them with a firehose when they are only ready for a straw.

This made me reflect on the reasoning behind the Pope's first encyclical and the wonderment some people are in when he has not been "cracking down" as much as he did as Head of the CDF. It seems to me that he wants us to understand in a more profound way the meaning of God's love. Only then can we come to embrace the teachings of Christ through his Church. The Pope, to my expectations, will not be as he was in the CDF for obvious reasons of change of role. However, he may very well begin speaking in a more public and direct way about the truths of the faith in the future. This man is very smart and I think he sees the importance that, first and foremost, before we begin discussing various truths of the faith, with regards to theological and moral truths, one has to have that knowledge and experience of the love of God. He needs to set that basis, God's love is the foundation of all other truths in the Church. Love should always be at the root of everything we do, the Pope sees this, and this, to me, seems to be his reasoning behind his first encyclical Deus Caritas Est.


Thursday, February 02, 2006

SSPX Back With Rome?

So it's been buzzing around the blogs lately, and some of them are pretty reputable. There is a meeting in France right now in which they are apparently discussing joining back with the Catholic Communion. This is quite exciting. Further, it seems BXVI is "gathering his forces" and considering in lifting the excommunication. We will see what will happen, but if it does happen it will be great news for both sides I think. I know it's no Orthodox Church coming into communion with us, however, the more the marrier I say.

If you're interested in keeping up with the news on this, I highly recommend:


He'll be added to my "Blogs" on my sidebar when I get time to update it.


Mary and Co-Redemptrix

Hey folks. First off, sorry I've been off for a few days. Life is busy, job-testing, school, midterms, readings for homework, Church activities, and very little sleep all in all. But I have been asked by someone to do a quick post on Mary as Co-Redemptrix, so I will, the Theology of the Body stuff will be coming back again soon, I just need to take the next week to study like crazy and then I will be back to normal hopefully.

So, Mary as Co-Redemptrix.

First off, this was the Papal Theologian during the Pontificate of JP II. You can read a copy of his address here:


Next, the title of what Co-Redemptrix really means. Does it mean? Does it mean that Mary contributed in some way to the redemption of humanity, taking away from Christ's redeeming act? No. From what I have studied, Mary as Co-Redemptrix is as follows. When we say that she is Co-Redeemer, we are stating that she cooperated in the most perfect way with Christ's saving act. She fully and freely cooperated in God's redeeming plan. She said "yes" every step of the way.

John Paul II says the following in 1995.

During the Council sessions, many Fathers wished further to enrich Marian doctrine with other statements on Mary's role in the work of salvation. The particular context in which Vatican II's Mariological debate took place did not allow these wishes, although substantial and widespread, to be accepted, but the Council's entire discussion of Mary remains vigorous and balanced, and the topics themselves, though not fully defined, received significant attention in the overall treatment.

Thus, the hesitation of some Fathers regarding the title of Mediatrix did not prevent the Council from using this title once, and from stating in other terms Mary's mediating role from her consent to the Angel's message to her motherhood in the order of grace (cf. Lumen gentium, n. 62). Furthermore, the Council asserts her co-operation "in a wholly singular way" in the work of restoring supernatural life to souls (ibid., n. 61).

In other words, the council is stating Mary's role as Co-Redemptrix without using the actual term. Furthermore, JP II has used the term itself in many Papal Audiences and such such as the following (there's more, but I'll only put 2).

To Our Lady—the Coredemptrix—St. Charles turned with singularly revealing accents. Commenting on the loss of the twelve-year-old Jesus in the Temple, he reconstructed the interior dialogue that could have run between the Mother and the Son, and he added, "You will endure much greater sorrows, O blessed Mother, and you will continue to live; but life will be for you a thousand times more bitter than death. You will see your innocent Son handed over into the hands of sinners ... You will see him brutally crucified between thieves; you will see his holy side pierced by the cruel thrust of a lance; finally, you will see the blood that you gave him spilling. And nevertheless you will not be able to die!" (From the homily delivered in the Cathedral of Milan the Sunday after the Epiphany, 1584)
Mary goes before us and accompanies us. The silent journey that begins with her Immaculate Conception and passes through the "yes" of Nazareth, which makes her the Mother of God, finds on Calvary a particularly important moment. There also, accepting and assisting at the sacrifice of her son, Mary is the dawn of Redemption; ... Crucified spiritually with her crucified son (cf. Gal. 2:20), she contemplated with heroic love the death of her God, she "lovingly consented to the immolation of this Victim which she herself had brought forth" (Lumen Gentium, 58). ...

In fact, at Calvary she united herself with the sacrifice of her Son that led to the foundation of the Church; her maternal heart shared to the very depths the will of Christ "to gather into one all the dispersed children of God" (Jn. 11:52). Having suffered for the Church, Mary deserved to become the Mother of all the disciples of her Son, the Mother of their unity. ...

The Gospels do not tell us of an appearance of the risen Christ to Mary. Nevertheless, as she was in a special way close to the Cross of her Son, she also had to have a privileged experience of his Resurrection. In fact, Mary's role as Coredemptrix did not cease with the glorification of her Son.

I hope this helps the person who was inquiring. Please leave comments and let me know what you think.