Scriptural Proof, Irenaeus of Lyons

Today in the liturgical Life of the Catholic Church, St. Irenaeus, Bishop of Lyons, France (AD 177-202) is remembered. A short word from this Bishop who is now one of the “great cloud of witnesses surrounding us (Heb. 12:1)“:

St. Irenaeus: “Since, therefore, the tradition from the apostles exists in the Church, and is permanent among us, let us revert to the Scriptural proof furnished by those apostles who did also write the Gospel, in which they recorded the doctrine regarding God, pointing out that our Lord Jesus Christ is the truth, and that no lie is in Him. As also David says, prophesying His birth from a virgin, and the resurrection from the dead, “Truth has sprung out of the earth (Ps. 85:11).” The apostles, likewise, being disciples of the truth, are above all falsehood; for a lie has no fellowship with the truth, just as darkness has none with light, but the presence of the one shuts out that of the other. Our Lord, therefore, being the truth, did not speak lies…” (Irenaeus, against heresies (182-188 A.D), Book 3, Ch. 5)

Jesustoapostles2“Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them,
Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.'”
Luke 24:45-48 RSVCE

+St. Irenaeus, pray for us+

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Note: There will be no Sacred Library posts during the month of July. God willing, posts will resume in August. God Bless!

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Christ Jesus and His Church

The Archbishops and Bishops of the United States in Conference assembled, to their Clergy and faithful people — Grace unto you and peace from God our Father and from the Lord Jesus Christ.

Venerable Brethren of the Clergy,
Beloved Children of the Laity:

“One true reform the world has known. It was effected, not by force, agitation or theory, but by a Life in which the perfect ideal was visibly realized, becoming the light of men (John 1:4)*. That light has not grown dim with the passing of time. Men have turned their eyes away from it; even His followers have strayed from its pathway; but the truth and the life of Jesus Christ are real and clear today for all who are willing to see. There is no other name under heaven whereby the world can be saved (Acts 4:12).

“Through the Gospel of Jesus and His living example, mankind learned the meaning, and received the blessing of liberty. In His person was shown the excellence and true dignity of human nature, in which human rights have their center. In His dealings with men, justice and mercy, sympathy and courage, pity for weakness and rebuke for hollow pretence, were perfectly blended. Having fulfilled the law, He gave to His followers a new commandment (John 13:34). Having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end (John 13:1). And since He came that they might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10), He gave it to them through His death.

“The Church which Christ established has continued His work, upholding the dignity of man, defending the rights of the people, relieving distress, consecrating sacrifice and binding all classes together in the love of their Savior. The combination of authority and reasonable freedom which is the principal element in the organization of the Church, is also indispensable in our social relations. Without it, there can be neither order nor law nor genuine freedom.

“But the Church itself would have been powerless save for the abiding presence of Christ and His Spirit. “Without Me, you can do nothing (John 15:5)“; and, “Behold, I am with you always (Matt. 28:20).” Both these sayings are as true today as when they were spoken by the Master. There may be philosophies and ideals and schemes of reform; the wise may deliberate and the powerful exert their might; but when the souls of men have to be reached and transformed to a better sense, that justice may reign and charity abound, then more than ever is it true that without Christ our efforts are vain.” (A letter from the U.S. Bishops assembled in conference, September, 1919. )

* Scripture references added from the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE), © 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Church of Christ in the United States of America. Published by Thomas Nelson for Scepter, Princeton, NJ.

Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me: The Way, and the Truth, and the Life

 I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Only Begotten Son of God,
born of the Father before all ages.
God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father…(from the Nicene Creed)

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“Let not your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And you know the way where I am going.”
Thomas said to Him, “Lord, we do not know where You are going, how do we know the way?”
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known My Father also; from now on you know Him, and have seen Him.”
Christ Taking Leave of the ApostlesPhilip said to Him, “Lord, show us the Father, and it is enough for us.”
Jesus said to him, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how do you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves (John 14:1-11).”

The Sacred Heart of Jesus ~ an Inexhaustible Fountain

6/7/13 Solemnity ~ The Most Sacred Heart of Jesus

Sacred Heart of JesusSt. Margaret Mary Alacoque: “The sacred heart of Christ is an inexhaustible fountain and its sole desire is to pour itself out into the hearts of the humble so as to free them and prepare them to lead lives according to His good pleasure. From this divine heart three streams flow endlessly. The first is the stream of mercy for sinners; it pours into their hearts sentiments of contrition and repentance. The second is the stream of charity which helps all in need and especially aids those seeking perfection in order to find the means of surmounting their difficulties. From the third stream flow love and light for the benefit of His friends who have attained perfection; these He wishes to unite to Himself so that they may share His knowledge and commandments and, in their individual ways, devote themselves wholly to advancing His glory. This divine heart is an abyss filled with all blessings, into which the poor should submerge all their needs. It is an abyss of joy in which all of us can immerse our sorrows. It is an abyss of lowliness to counteract our foolishness, an abyss of mercy for the wretched, an abyss of love to meet our every need. Are you making no progress in prayer? Then you need only offer God the prayers which the Savior has poured out for us in the Sacrament of the altar. Offer God His fervent love in reparation for your sluggishness. In the course of every activity pray as follows: “My God, I do this or I endure that in the heart of Your Son and according to His holy counsels. I offer it to You in reparation for anything blameworthy or imperfect in my actions.” Continue to do this in every circumstance of life. But above all preserve peace of heart. This is more valuable than any treasure. In order to preserve it there is nothing more useful than renouncing your own will and substituting for it the will of the Divine Heart. In this way His will can carry out for us whatever contributes to His glory, and we will be happy to be His subjects and to trust entirely in Him.” (From a letter by Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque)

The Love of God Contrasted with the Love of the World

Leo the GreatSt. Leo the Great: “There are two loves from which all wishes proceed, and they are as different in quality as they are different in their sources. For the reasonable soul, which cannot exist without love, is the lover either of God or the world. In the love of God there is no excess, but in the love of the world all is hurtful. Therefore we must cling inseparably to eternal treasures, but things temporal we must use like passers-by, so that as sojourners hastening to return to our own land, all the good things of this world which meet us may be as aids on the way, not snares to detain us….

“As the world attracts us with its appearance and abundance and variety, it is not easy to turn away from it unless in the beauty of things visible the Creator rather than the creature is loved; for, when He says, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind (Matt. 22:37),’ He wishes us in nothing to loosen ourselves from the bonds of His love. And when He links the love of our neighbor also to this command, He enjoins on us the imitation of His own goodness, that we should love what He loves and do what He does. For although ‘we are God’s fellow workers and God’s building (1 Cor. 3:9),’ and ‘neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth (1 Cor. 3:7),’ yet in all things He requires our ministry and service, and wishes us to be the stewards of His gifts, so that he who bears God’s image may do God’s will.

“For this reason, in the Lord’s prayer we say most devoutly, ‘Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, On earth as it is in heaven (Matt. 6:10).’ For what else do we ask for in these words but that God may subdue those whom He has not yet subdued, and that as in heaven He makes the angels ministers of His will, so also on earth He may make men. And in seeking this we love God, and we also love our neighbor; and the love within us has but one Object, since we desire the bond-servant to serve and the Lord to have rule.” (Leo the Great, Sermon XC, ch. 3, Scripture: RSVCE)