St. Catherine of Siena On Trusting In God
Wednesday, June 19, 2019
Sunday, June 16, 2019
The Grace of Revelation
God, who through the Word creates all things (see John 1:3) and keeps them in existence, gives men an enduring witness to Himself in created realities (see Rom. 1:19–20). Planning to make known the way of heavenly salvation, He went further and from the start manifested Himself to our first parents. Then after their fall His promise of redemption aroused in them the hope of being saved (see Gen. 3:15) and from that time on He ceaselessly kept the human race in His care, to give eternal life to those who perseveringly do good in search of salvation (see Rom. 2:6–7). Then, at the time He had appointed He called Abraham in order to make of him a great nation (see Gen. 12:2). Through the patriarchs, and after them through Moses and the prophets, He taught this people to acknowledge Himself the one living and true God, provident father and just judge, and to wait for the Savior promised by Him, and in this manner prepared the way for the Gospel down through the centuries.
Then, after speaking in many and varied ways through the prophets, “now at last in these days God has spoken to us in His Son” (Heb. 1:1–2). For He sent His Son, the eternal Word, who enlightens all men, so that He might dwell among men and tell them of the innermost being of God (see John 1:1–18). Jesus Christ, therefore, the Word made flesh, was sent as “a man to men.” He “speaks the words of God” (John 3:34), and completes the work of salvation which His Father gave Him to do (see John 5:36; John 17:4). To see Jesus is to see His Father (John 14:9). For this reason Jesus perfected revelation by fulfilling it through his whole work of making Himself present and manifesting Himself: through His words and deeds, His signs and wonders, but especially through His death and glorious resurrection from the dead and final sending of the Spirit of truth. Moreover He confirmed with divine testimony what revelation proclaimed, that God is with us to free us from the darkness of sin and death, and to raise us up to life eternal.
The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Tim. 6:14 and Tit. 2:13).
“The obedience of faith” (Rom. 16:26; see 1:5; 2 Cor 10:5–6) “is to be given to God who reveals, an obedience by which man commits his whole self freely to God, offering the full submission of intellect and will to God who reveals,” and freely assenting to the truth revealed by Him. To make this act of faith, the grace of God and the interior help of the Holy Spirit must precede and assist, moving the heart and turning it to God, opening the eyes of the mind and giving “joy and ease to everyone in assenting to the truth and believing it.” To bring about an ever deeper understanding of revelation the same Holy Spirit constantly brings faith to completion by His gifts.
Through divine revelation, God chose to show forth and communicate Himself and the eternal decisions of His will regarding the salvation of men. That is to say, He chose to share with them those divine treasures which totally transcend the understanding of the human mind.
As a sacred synod has affirmed, God, the beginning and end of all things, can be known with certainty from created reality by the light of human reason (see Rom. 1:20); but teaches that it is through His revelation that those religious truths which are by their nature accessible to human reason can be known by all men with ease, with solid certitude and with no trace of error, even in this present state of the human race.
(Vatican II Dei Verbum #2-6)
Wednesday, June 12, 2019
But the uncertainty of my future sometimes clouds all hope.
Padre Pio's assurance: "A soul who trusts in the Lord and places all its hope in him has nothing to fear. The enemy of our salvation is always around us to snatch from our hearts the anchor that is to lead us to salvation, by which I mean trust in God our Father. Let us keep a firm hold on this anchor and not relinquish it for a single moment."
"Hope in God and expect everything that is good from him. Don't dwell on what the enemy presents to you ... stop thinking of it and turn to God. Bend your knee before him and with the greatest humility say this short prayer, 'Have mercy on me a poor weakling.”
"I am oppressed by the uncertainty of my future, but I cherish the lively hope of seeing my dreams fulfilled because the Lord cannot place thoughts and desires in a person's soul if he does not really intend to fulfill them, to gratify these longings which he alone has caused."
Lord, I place all my hope in you, trusting you to lead me every step of the way in fulfilling the dreams and desires you have planted in my soul! Amen.
from Padre Pio's Words of Hope edited by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti p.65
Tuesday, June 11, 2019
Jesus Most Compassionate & Tender
James 5:11: "You have heard of the endurance of Job, and you have seen the purpose of the Lord, how the Lord is compassionate and merciful."
But weakness and fatigue threaten to keep me from enduring like Job.
Padre Pio's assurance: "I feel very weak, it is true, but I am not afraid on this account, for will Jesus not see my anguish and the weight that oppresses me? He has told us by the mouth of the royal prophet that, 'As a father has compassion for his children, so the Lord has compassion for those who fear him. For he knows how we were made; he remembers that we are dust.' The Lord then consoles me and causes me to 'boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses.'
"I am glad to have to manifest all the gratuitous favors which Jesus has bestowed on my soul.
"I fully recognize that there is nothing in me capable of attracting the gaze of this most tender Jesus of ours. His goodness alone has filled my soul with many good things .... He follows me everywhere, revives my life poisoned by sin, disperses the dense clouds which had enveloped my soul after I had sinned."
Lord, thank you that your compassionate and tender presence will always empower me to endure, no matter what enters my life. Amen.
from Padre Pio's Words of Hope edited by Eileen Dunn Bertanzetti p.96
Saturday, June 8, 2019
St. Augustine's Prayer To The Holy Spirit
That my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me, O Holy Spirit,
That my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart, O Holy Spirit,
That I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me, O Holy Spirit,
To defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit,
That I always may be holy.
Thursday, June 6, 2019
Wednesday, June 5, 2019
How The Holy Spirit Helps Us Focus
This light totally changed my way of thinking. When the Communists put me in the hold of the boat, the Hai-Phong, along with 1500 other prisoners and moved us to the North, I said to myself, "Here is my cathedral, here are the people God has given me to care for, here is my mission: to ensure the presence of God among these, my despairing, miserable brothers. It is God's will that I am here. I accept his will". And from that minute onwards, a new peace filled my heart and stayed with me for thirteen years.
Cardinal Francis Xavier Nguyên Van Thuân
Tuesday, June 4, 2019
Great Words of Encouragement For Some Graduates
One last piece of advice. Be open to human greatness in all its forms: remember the great saints, not just St. Francis or Mother Teresa but also the holy and spirited Joan of Arc, the wise and learned Thomas Aquinas, and the prudent, principled, and courageous Thomas More. (“In my Father’s house are many mansions,” as the Gospel of St. John tells us.) Learn to admire great statesman such as Cicero, Washington, Lincoln, and Churchill, men who fought for free government against Caesarism, chattel slavery, and the evils of Nazism and Communism. Each, in his own way, embodied the full range of moral and intellectual virtues.
Our contemporary world increasingly embraces a self-satisfied “culture of repudiation”, a negative (even nihilistic) ethos and ethic that aims to tear down everything great, noble, and enduring. This culture of ingratitude teaches us to hate our country and to have contempt for classical and Christian, that is Western, civilization. As you move into the world, don’t do anything to contribute to this bitter rejection of greatness, holiness, and nobility. Don’t succumb to sophistic arguments that tear away at your soul. Stay ‘naïve’ and continue to admire all those who deserve our admiration. Fortify yourself in the charity that lies at the heart of the Gospel.
At the same time, never forget that prudence, moderation, justice, and fortitude must continue to inform human thought and action (as they have from the times of King David, Pericles, and Saint Paul). Look up to virtue in all is amplitude, in the person of the hero, the true statesman, and the saint. In the modern world, heroes and saints stand or fall together against powerful currents that want to level everything in the name of a dehumanizing idea of equality and openness. Never be satisfied with mediocrity or a resentment at anything that is truly fine, noble, truthful, or genuinely beautiful. Mirror the true, the good, and the beautiful in your own souls while having a healthy respect for human frailty and sin, that of ourselves and others. Stand adamantly for the right but have mercy and compassion on those who falter.
You will learn to get that balance right. True or complete happiness, unsullied by evil and imperfection, St. Thomas reminds us, can only be found in the most direct communion with our Creator God. That ‘beatific vision,’ awaits us in eternal life. In the meantime, remember that there is no heaven on earth. I think you may have learned that at Trivium, too.
On a joyous note, today is a day for festivity and celebration. Celebrate with classmates, and family and friends. Go forth in the world with full confidence in the powers of faith and reason that have been revealed to you here at Trivium. Be of good cheer and always be grateful for the gifts bestowed on us by a gracious God and by our forebears who never forgot that great Triunity which is the True, the Good, and the Beautiful. Congratulations, graduates! The adventure will surely continue. You have been well prepared to move forward with that mix of confidence and humility that is the hallmark of our Catholic faith.
excerpt from Commencement Speech At Trivium School (June 1, 2019) by Daniel J. Mahoney
Saturday, June 1, 2019
An Important Reminder In An Age of Toxic Social Media
Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:
— of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
— of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
— of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.
To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:
Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.
Detraction and calumny destroy the reputation and honor of one’s neighbor. Honor is the social witness given to human dignity, and everyone enjoys a natural right to the honor of his name and reputation and to respect. Thus, detraction and calumny offend against the virtues of justice and charity.
Catechism of the Catholic Church (2nd Ed., pp. 594–595). Washington, DC: United States Catholic Conference. #2477-2479