The Law of Love is the Source of Spiritual Life

“…God’s love has been poured into our hearts through
the Holy Spirit who has been given to us
(Rom. 5:5)
.”

St. Thomas Aquinas, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Thomas AquinasSt. Thomas Aquinas: “The principle of every good is in this: the law of love is the source of spiritual life. It is a natural and manifest fact that the loving heart is inhabited by what it loves. Whoever loves God possesses Him within. ‘He who dwells in charity* dwells in God and God in him (1 John 4:16).’ The nature of love transforms whoever loves into the beloved being. If we love God we will be completely divine. ‘Whoever is united with the Lord becomes one spirit with Him(1 Cor. 6:17).

“Without charity, the soul no longer acts: ‘Whoever does not love abides in death(1 John 3:14). If a person possesses all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but lacks charity, that person has no life. For it matters not whether one has the grace of tongues, or the gift of faith, or any other gift such as prophecy; these do not bring life without charity. Even if a dead body should be adorned with gold and precious jewels, it nevertheless remains dead. Charity leads to the observance of the divine commandments. …We see a lover do great and difficult things because of the One loved, and that is why the Lord says, ‘If anyone loves Me he will keep My word(John 14:23). Whoever keeps this command and the law of divine love fulfills the whole law. Charity provides protection against adversity. Misfortune cannot harm one who has charity; rather it becomes useful to that person. Misfortune and difficulties seem pleasant to the lover. Charity truly leads to happiness, since eternal blessedness is promised only to those who have charity. For all other things are insufficient without charity. You must note that it is only the different degrees of charity, and not those of any other virtues, which constitute the different degrees of blessedness. Many of the saints were more austere than the apostles, but the apostles excel all the other saints in blessedness because of their higher degree of charity.”  (Text reposted from Secret Harbour, by Jeffrey Allen)

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*CHARITY:
  The word “charity” is from the latin root ‘caritas’. It embraces the fullness of love; from the, “supreme love to God,” that bears the fruit of the Holy Spirit and the beloved personal qualities of 1 Cor 13.”

Ecumenism is NOT, by John Paul II

John Paul II“…the Decree on Ecumenism mentions the way of formulating doctrine as one of the elements of a continuing reform. Here it is not…

✝ altering the deposit of faith,
✝ changing the meaning of dogmas,
✝ eliminating essential words from them,
✝ accommodating truth to the preferences of a particular age,
✝ or suppressing certain articles of the Creed under the false pretext that they are no longer understood today.

The unity willed by God can be attained only by the adherence of all to the content of revealed faith in its entirety.

✝ In matters of faith, compromise is in contradiction with God who is Truth.
✝ In the Body of Christ, “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), who could consider legitimate a reconciliation brought about at the expense of the truth?”

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On Commitment to Ecumenism
Blessed John Paul II, May 24, 1995
READ THE FULL CHAPTER

“A “being together” which betrayed the truth would thus be opposed both to the nature of God who offers His communion and to the need for truth found in the depths of every human heart.” John Paul II

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Sacred Scripture is Sacred Tradition

…If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31, 32).”

Pantocrator, Ruler of All

Sacred Scripture, the written Word of God, is in itself Sacred Tradition:

“It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to be included in the list of the sacred books. This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament and 27 for the New.” (CCC* #120)

The Catholic and Apostolic Church has always taught and continues to teach:

“God is the author of Sacred Scripture. The divinely revealed realities, which are contained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

“For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred and canonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts, on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as their Author, and have been handed on as such to the Church Herself.

“God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. To compose the sacred books, God chose certain men who, all the while He employed them in this task, made full use of their own faculties and powers so that, though He acted in them and by them, it was as true authors that they consigned to writing whatever He wanted written, and no more.

“The inspired books teach the truth. Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacred writers affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge that the books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for the sake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures.

“Still, the Christian faith is not a “religion of the book.” Christianity is the religion of the “Word” of God, a word which is “not a written and mute word, but the Word which is Incarnate and Living.” If the Scriptures are not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through the Holy Spirit, “open [our] minds to understand the Scriptures (Lk 24:45).” (CCC #105-108)
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* CCC: Catechism of the Catholic Church, #= paragraph numbers.

Intimate Knowledge of Scripture

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:

Scripture, Bible, Written Word of GodTo the Church which is taught all truth by the Holy Spirit, Christ entrusted the whole deposit of divine revelation. To the watchful care of the Church we owe the preservation of that Book from which Christians in every age have derived instruction and strength. How needful was the warning of the Apostle that “no prophecy of Scripture is made by private interpretation” (2 Peter 1:20), can be seen in the history of those movements which began by leaving each individual to take his own meaning from the sacred text, and now, after four centuries, have ended in rejecting its Divine authority. The Church, on the contrary, with true reverence for the Bible and solicitude for the spiritual welfare of its readers, has guarded both it and them against the dangers of false interpretation.

In the same spirit, dear brethren, we exhort you to acquire a loving familiarity with the written word: “for what things soever were written, were written for our learning; that through patience and the comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Rom. 15:4). This intimate knowledge of Holy Writ will bring you close to the Person and Life of our Savior and to the labors of His Apostles. It will renew in your hearts the joy with which the first Christians received the tidings of salvation. And it will deepen in you the conviction that the Scriptures are indeed the word of God, “which can instruct you unto salvation by the faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Tim. 3:15) — a conviction which cannot be shaken either by the disputes of the learned who “stumble at the word,” or by the errors of the unlearned and unstable who distort the Scriptures “to their own destruction” (2 Peter 3:16). (Pastoral letter of the archbishops and bishops of the United States assembled in conference at the Catholic University of America, September, 1919. Scripture references are in the text.)

Holy Thursday: Lord Jesus, Wash Not Only My Feet…

Holy Thursday

“Come, then, Lord Jesus, put off Your garments, which You put on for my sake; be stripped that You may clothe us with Your mercy. Gird Yourself for our sakes with a towel, that You may gird us with Your gift of immortality. Pour water into the basin, wash not only our feet but also the head, and not only of the body, but also the footsteps of the soul. I wish to put off all the filth of our frailty, so that I also may say: “By night I have put off my coat, how shall I put it on? I have washed my feet, how shall I defile them (Song 5:3)?”  How great is that excellence! As a servant, You wash the feet of Your disciples; as God, You send Dew from heaven.”  (St. Ambrose, On the Holy Spirit)

Evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper. The washing of the disciples feet:

Jesus Washing the Feet of Apostle Peter

Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come forth from God, and was going back to God, rose from supper, and laid aside His garments; and taking a towel, He girded Himself about. Then He poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. And so He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, “Lord, do You wash my feet?” Jesus answered and said to him, “What I do you do not realize now, but you shall understand hereafter.” Peter said to Him, “Never shall You wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.” Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head.” (John 13:3-9)