Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Grace is a gift from God

It's stated in CCC  grace is a habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love

There are two kinds of grace: sanctifying and actual.  Sanctifying grace stays in our soul and what make the soul holy and supernatural life.   

Actual grace is like a supernatural push or encouragement and does not live in the soul.  

Both of these helps us to elevate you above your regular nature, otherwise our souls are in its natural state which isn't by default not fit for heaven. Grace elevates nature , our intellects are given new power of faith.

This is why  supernatural life is also referenced sanctifying grace because we need it to get to heaven, and if our soul have sanctifying grace we will go to heaven unless we need to purify ourselves  in purgatory first.  

If it does not dwell in our soul due to mortal sin, then we are dead spiritually. Mortal means death and mortal sins kill of our supernatural life, so sin is like saying "No" to God and sanctifying grace is saying "Yes" to God. If we physically die from earth with no grace, we are forever separated from God which is hell, which is only caused by us to be that way.

God keeps giving you divine pulses or pushes along the way in our life, such as using the sacrament of penance ore reconciliation while venial sins weaken us to eventually fall to mortal sin, however venial sin does nto destroy our supernatural life itself.

To regain supernatural life, you have to receive actual graces from God, think of them as helping graces, actual graces enable the soul to perform a supernatural act.

Our protestant brothers deny this because since sanctifying grace implies a real transformation of the soul, they deny real transformation takes place.  They believe God doesn't actually  wipe away our sins or our souls become spotless and holy in themselves, but instead remain corrupted, sinful and that God throws a cloak over them and then treat it spotless, while knowing all the while they're not.

As Catholics we believe our souls really are cleansed by infusion of supernatural life.  St. Paul speaks of thsi from 2 Cor 5:17 about "a new creation, then noted in Eph 4:24 "created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness"

Protestants also have a misunderstanding of Justification as it is only a forensic or legal declaration by God that the sinner is now justified, meaning your soul is in the same state as it was before but eligible for heaven. This is legal fiction because how can God say you are justified knowing you a sinner in not really justified but only under the cloak of Christ righteousness. 

So when God declares you justified , he make you justified. Any justification that is not woven together with sanctification is no justification at all.

The Bible teaches on justification when Paul indicates that there is real transformation that occurs in justification and that is not just a change in legal status, this is defined in Romans 6:7.  There is confusion in this passage "For a dead person has been absolved from sin.", in other revisions it say's "free from sin", The term in Greek "dikaioo" is the word for being justified, yet the context indicates sanctification, which is why every standard revision renders the word free instead of justified. So this shows in Paul's mind justification involves real transformation, in other words really being free from sin and not just a change of status.

Also sanctification and justification is not a one time even, but an ongoing process according to scripture, so it can be lost but recovered again as noted above through grace, however Fundamentalists go on to say that losing ground on sanctification will not effect your justification. Calvin taught that absolute impossibility of losing justification, Luther said it could but only lost only through sin of unbelief., in other words if you reject Jesus Christ your savior.  However we believe it can be lost in mortal sin. So we must continually seek God's grace, continually respond to the actual graces God is working within us and remember its a gift from God.

From the "Essential Catholic Survival Guide" Catholic Answers



Wednesday, October 17, 2018

When to speak

We need to look the silence of Jesus, for thirty years Jesus lived a life of silence.  He was known locally solely from his work he did with his step father Joseph.  During his three years of public life we see how at times he retreats in prayer, to be alone with his Father, or when he performed his miracles without fanfare.

Then their is the silence before his enemies, that is those who were against him but he still loves them during his passion.  Saint Jerome comments: our Savior, because of his mercy had redeemed the world, allows himself to be led to his death like a lamb without a word of complaint or self-defiance.

We also see him silent when people yelled for Barabas or when Pilate asked "Do you not hear how many things testify against you? But Jesus gave him no answer and Pilate wondered greatly.

The silence of God in the face of human passions before the sins which are committed every day by humanity, is not a silence of anger but a silence of full patience. Christ silence during his earthly life represents interior strength and sense of purpose.

Those who complain continually about their misfortunes or bad luck should look to Lord's example or when we feel compelled to explain or excuse our actions and waiting anxiously for approval, should take not of Christ. Vanity will  have us say things which should have been kept locked in the soul. Exclaimed from the prophet of Isiah, the Holy Spirit advises us that our fortitude is grounded in silence and in hope

To speak when its necessary , is with charity and fortitude , that is when we don't remain silent.  There can be silence that collaborates with lying ,cowardice or of keeping comfort and fear of complicating ones life.  The word of Jesus is full of authority as he faced injustice and abuse from the scribes and pharisees

"you hypocrites, For you devour widows houses and for pretense you make long prayers" Matt 23:14

Saint John the Baptist teaches us to say everything that must be said so we too may cry in the wilderness, and not worry of the consequences. If each Christian were to speak with conformity with Faith, we could change the world.  We can't be silent in the face of crimes like abortion , degradation of marriage, or when someone attacks the Pope or Blessed Mother, if we are silent in these things, we could be collaborating with evil because  others may see our silence with consent.

Through our Baptism we have the grace to give us courage to be silent, but when to be not silent to defend our faith, we must pray for this grace

Based From Fr, Francis Fernandez Book Chapter 45

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Silence leads us Closer to God


Today, life is constant communication and noise, from media, social media, smart phones, email, texts, work oncall we constantly are being distracted and not for only our well being and time with those we love but more importantly it can take us away from God.

What is the importance of silence and taking breaking from distractions when we can, and find a way to put effort into it.

Fr. Francis Fernandez notes: "We have to learn to come closer to Our Lord through mental prayer,recollection and contemplation.  Look at Mary , she always recollected and that is how we should learn to be. The Virgin ponders and meditates, she understood that interior spirit of recollection which enables her to evaluate and keep her heart all the happenings of her life, big or small Prayer always enriches us - even in that silent dialogue before the tabernacle in which we do not use any words. It is enough to watch and feel ourselves watched.

Dietrich Von Hildebrand states the importance of contemplation and recollection, and how to work on it

"For man in his fallen state, the process sanctification - of transformation in Christ - is dependent on a systematic effort towards a moral formation of self and is thus inseperable from s set of ends and means"

God presence the "vacare et videre" to rest and see that effects a regeneration of our souls, enabling us to realize the further elements of contemplation. Not unless we again and again pause to take breath, abounding ourselves to contemplation, can we escape the danger of losing oursleves in the peripheral and of allowing deeper meaning of our life be swamped.

The act of recollecting oneself requires a rudiment of contemplation, in this respect recollection is a preamble to contemplation, contemplation  is the restful immersion of self as apposed to purposeful tension (example day to day work). Recollection is not limited to moments of contemplation, it may continue to be present while we are active. We live in uninterrupted tension, never ceasing to be concerned about what is next to be settled and many of us no longer know any alternative to work except recreation and amusement.

First we should consecrate every day a certain space of time to inward prayer., we must guard from performing the inner prayer as though we are dispatching a business among others, assimilating it to the  rhythm of current tasks.  - loose the spasm of activity and dominate your conscious toward superior realm of ultimate being. Inward prayer is the out most antithesis to all tense activity., we cannot practice fruitfully our faith unless we succeed in extracting ourselves from the rythem of affairs

Silence is of great help to recollecting ourselves, it is why is plays a powerful role in monastic life.. Silence fulfills an important function in mental regeneration.  Silence alone evokes that inward calm which is a prerequisite of recollection.  by silence we do not mean have a mere outward abstaining from speech, coupled with its mental continuance. We must also cultivate an inward stillness. Not only silence but solitude is requisite for concentration.  Moments of solitude that the intensity of this spiritual contact will build itself up and bud in the depths of our soul.

Once we accomplish the mode of silence and solitude., the we can recollect and contemplate ; by virtue of recollection alone we can reduce everything to the common denominator to Christ and make it possible for us to keep awake in ourselves the basic attitude of charity, ignite melting fire of Jesus love and nourishes simplicity.

Unless we cultivate a recollected mode of life and recognize the primacy of contemplation, we remain essentially unfit for receiving the holy imprint of Chirst
Contemplative rhythm of of life is a process of transformation in Christ.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

What is the Trinity

Trinity reflection from book "Faith Explained" Chapter 3 from  Leo J. Trese

There is a limit to what the human mind can reason for God in revealing to us the truth about himself.  Be content with simply telling us what the truth is. There are three divine Persons - Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit . there is only one divine nature but there are three divine persons

When we try to think of God as three Persons possessing one and the same nature, we find ourselves battling our heads

Is is why we call such truths that the blessed trinity a mystery of faith.  We believe it is so because God say it is so

Theologians do of course cast some light upon the mystery for us. They explain that the distinction between the three Persons in God is based upon the relationship that exists between three Persons  There is a difference between our knowledge and God’s knowledge of himself. It is of the very nature of God to exist. The only real definition we can give God is to “ he is who is” like to Moses “ I am who am”

God sees of himself.  God the Father is God knowing himself 

God the Son is the expression of God knowledge of himself. Son is the expression of God knowledge of himself thus the second Person of the blessed trinity,  the son of God precisely because from all eternity he is generated he is begotten in the divine mind of the father. Also the silent word he perfectly express himself, whom we call God the Son. He is also called the word of God because he is the mental word in which the divine mind gives utterance to the thought of himself

Nature of God must be a living love and infinitely intense living love which flows externally from father and Son is he whom we call the Holy Spirit.

In Summary
 

  • God  the father God knowing himself 
  • God the Son is the expression of Gods knowledge of himself
  • God the Holy Spirit is the result of Gods love for himself 

Example of Trinity in best possible human reasoning:

Lets use a full length mirror. You see there an image of yourself, a living image but it is just an reflection in the glass.  There would no be two of you, there would be just one you, one human nature.  There would be two persons but only one mind and one will, sharing the same knowledge and same thoughts. The self-love is natural to an intelligent being, there would flow between you and your image an ardeen love. This love would be a third person standing between you and your image.


Even if these remarks or example don't help, we should not get frustrated when dealing this mystery of faith. However one error must guard, must not think God the Father came first, God the Son  or Holy Spirit later. All three equally eternal, equally timeless with God's nature and also God the Son and Holy Spirit are not in anyway subordinate to God the Father.

We can attribute individual divine Persons certain works such as God the Father for work of creation or the generator, the Son of God's work to make know the truth on earth for all of us and heal. and finally Holy Spirit works of sanctification of souls

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Who is God


Who is god - Nobody

The philosophers express it by saying, “Every efect must have a cause”. There must be someone who always existed, someone who never had a beginning. There is such a someone whom we call God

No one made God. He always was and he will always be. He is the supreme being. The very word “supreme” means above all others. If there were two equally powerful gods side by side, then neither can be supreme.

There is but one God and he is spirit. Philosophers distinguish two kinds of substances: spiritual subtances and physical substances.

Physical subtances has different parts (example air with nitrogen, which then made of molecules, contain atoms, , then neutrons and so forth)

Spiritual substance has no parts and can never be broken up, corrupted or divided. Its a simple substance. And that is why spiritual substance is immortal. There is three classes of the spiritual substance, they are

God
Angels
Human Souls

For human souls when they get dis-united from the body at death will still function and we will love more freely and contain all the memories and knowledge we have gained on earth, we will still be “me” but with the body gone. That is until the end of time we will be re-united with our body.

With God there is no limits of an kind, no limit in direction.We usually say God is good but should really say God is goodnes. God is wisdom. Mene and angels may be said be enternal in so far as they never die, but they had a beginning and are subject to change, not God because he is absolute.

So why does God allow evil and sufering in the world. Both came in the consiquence of mans sin in both physical and morally. God does not keep stepping to snatch back the gift of freedom and free will he gave us. Evil is mans idea.

However God is all mercifull, as long as we repent

The perfections of God

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Blessed Mother's Grace and title "Mother of God"

Review from Bishop Gibbon - Early Church Teachings Book Chapter for Blessed Mother's Grace

If the land of Judea is considered hallow ground because Jesus dwelt there or the apostles were considered model of holiness because he chose them, then how peerless must have been the sanctity of Mary who have him birth

Review Luke 11:27

Why is it that our fellow Christians that are not Catholic struggle with Mary's grace of being sinless, when they seem to accept the grace God gave to Moses to speak with authority or the prophet Jeremiah was to herald God's word or John the Baptist filled with the Holy Spirit, apostles received graces by tongues and other privileges yet the Blessed Mother is exempt even the though once again bear the Lord. How can she ever be profaned in sin like the rest of us?

Howe is it inconceivable to call Mary Mother of God.

  1. her son Jesus Christ is  true man; else she is not a mother
  2. he, Jesus is true God else she is were not the Mother of God
To further expand on first point, Jesus came from her maternal womb thus same substance as her., in other words we affirm the Second Person of the blessed Trinity

However the Blessed Mother is not the mother of divinity, did our Mother have any production of our soul, no but we couldn't say she is the Mother of our body and we simply say she is my Mother just as a child is adopted calls their adopted parents Mom and Dad.  The general Counsel of Ephesus in 431 vindicated the title "Mother of God", so this concludes that the title Mother of God has been around very early part of the Church, nearly right after the Canon of Scriptures were decided and introduced , so in no way can be proclaimed by any Protestant that this is something that was made up by the Church recently.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Rest is needed to refresh our ourselves and faith


Jesus also got tired which is part his sacred humanity. We know this from scriptures from Mark 6:30-31. Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while. "And they away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while" And they went away in a boat to a lonely place by themselves.  There are other area's in scripture noting how Jesus & Apostles are tired through their apostate  An example is a time Jesus was sleeping in the boat during the storm, it shows how tired he was.

There are times when real bodily weariness can effect us and Jesus who is redeeming mankind show his weakness of being tired that should help us to bear our own weakness and co-redeeming with him.  We must learn to recover our strengths close to him we can use regular leisure activity be sanctified.  Love does not take holidays.  An example from Jesus is when he rests near Jacob's well and with that time converts the sinful woman so we should try not to fail offer up times when exhaustion  makes us feel useless or stop helping other people, tiredness teaches us to be humble and to live in charity , weariness helps us to live in detachment from things.

A Christian should consider his life beneficial gift because it doesn't belong to that person and which has responsibility to look after and live the years God wants .Among the norms of leisure be properly employed to refresh the spirit and strengthen the health of mind and body subjecting oneself to a timetable, dedicating sufficient time to sleep , going occasionally for a walk or simple outing. 

We have a duty to rest, in order to serve God and other people better.  We should learn to rest and avoid becoming totally exhausted, God wants us to look after our health and know how to recover, its part of the Fifth commandment.

However rest doesn't mean to do nothing at all, it is to relax in activities which demand less.  We should not confuse rest with laziness.  It should be leisure that provides an opportunity for interior enrichment and this is where a retreat is good where it not only rests or body and mind from hectic or daily busy lives with work or chores, but also enrich our relationship and spirituality with God.

We also can get burn out serving with the church or any other charity activities, this is when we really need a retreat. Keep in mind Jesus rested out of obedience to the law of Moses, he rested as a result of demands made on him and his family or just because of weariness, he would have been tired of serving others but never isolated himself and he did make himself available to others no matter what, so we make sure we are close to God and don't make your leisure time a total pagan time, all the time.which means keeping being distinct and separated from interior life.

Reflection from Fr. Fernandez