Category Archives: The Church

One Mystical Body of Christ – Yet Still Wounded

I am still amazed at the frequency at which I see some Protestant ministers privately preaching against the Catholic Church to their congregations. It amazes me for the following reasons:

  1. Catholic priests don’t preach against Protestant denominations. Though willfully separated, they are considered fellow Christians, dignified by baptism.
  2. All Sacred Scripture and most Protestant faith traditions came down to Protestants from the Catholic Church which was founded by Christ on St. Peter, the first Pope.

We need to strive to learn and accept that there is and can only be one Church of Christ, the entire Body of which subsists in the Catholic Church, against which Christ promised the gates of Hell would not prevail (the “gates” being, among other things, the proud spirits of rivalry, division, schism, and in some cases, even hatred).

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Jesus said, “Know Me”

At the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass today, after receiving Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, I heard “Know Me,” and then I saw the Wound in His hand open.  Light shown through, and it looked warm and incandescent.  When I looked more at the Wound, the Light seemed to come from an infinite depth, and the Wound seemed to broaden.  In Jesus, can you imagine the mystery of infinity inside of a seemingly finite body?  It was infinite Peace in Him.  “Know Me!”  It was infinite Compassion.  He loves us.  He is Love.

Purpose of the Vatican II Ecumenical Council – Unity in the Lord

It can be stated, as I was inspired to write today after opening up the Gospel of Matthew,  that a purpose of Vatican II is as follows:

To prepare the Church for reunification of all of the Baptized in Christ.

Praying for Christian Unity

Praying for Christian Unity [picture from Institute of Middle East Studies]

What Vatican II has done can be summed up here in the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ Himself:

 “And no one puts a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch tears away from the garment, and a worse tear is made.  Neither is new wine put into old wineskins; if it is, the skins burst, and the wine is spilled, and the skins are destroyed; but new wine is put into fresh wineskins, and so both are preserved.” [Gospel of Matthew 9:17 – 18, RSVCE Holy Bible]

With Sacrosanctum Concilium and the Novus Ordo Missae comes the “fresh wineskins” which allow for the Protestant brethren, the “new wine” to return to the Church.  As well, the rewrite of Canon Law in certain areas (more “fresh wineskins”) may pave the way for the return of our Eastern Orthodox brethren (more “new wine”) to the Church in full communion with the Roman Pontiff.

I look forward to the great “day” to come; it is coming soon.

DREAM: LESSON TO STOP TRYING TO STEER THE HOLY SPIRIT

I dreamed last night that I was flying a kite, a kite which also was hoisting me along in the air from place to place.

The kite is changing into a dove!

The kite is changing into a dove!

I was trying to steer the kite when I noticed that it was not a kite at all.  It was a beautiful white dove!

The Dove of the Holy Spirit

The Dove of the Holy Spirit

Was I steering it or was it steering me around power lines and trees?  As we went along, it got lower and lower to the ground and the wind seemed to slow.  Eventually the dove rested on the ground and immediately became a beautiful young human being with golden hair with a white robe and reclining on the ground and smiling at me. And that was my dream.

Upon reflection this morning, I thought of the Holy Spirit.  While I know that the Holy Spirit is literally scripturally masculine, I could not tell whether the Person was male or female except that I can easily associate fairness and beauty with feminine traits.  I suppose that when we see God, the glorified Jesus face to face, we might see both masculine and feminine traits since the Body of Christ consists of all of the Faithful, both male and female, and we all find our wholeness in Jesus Christ.

The dream is important and relevant to my recent tribulations in determining my vocation in life.  Am I following God’s Will or am I subverting His Will through my own efforts to control the direction I am going?  But, truly, I feel directionless now – without passion for anything in particular other than stabilizing my life so that I can spend more time with God, e.g., going to daily Mass, and so on. But I am like a person on the wind which blows where it wills, and I do not know the direction in which it goes, and am I comfortable with such a disposition? 

It is like the Lord’s teaching:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.   That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.   Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born anew.’   The wind blows where it wills, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know whence it comes or whither it goes; so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit.” [Gospel of John 3:5-8, RSVCE]

“…so it is with every one who is born of the Spirit”

That last phrase caught my attention.  I am born of the Spirit in Baptism and my direction in life needs to be aligned with that of the Spirit whose direction it is not mine to grasp by my own will.  I need less me and more Him in my soul.  If I can just hang on in trust and let the Spirit carry me instead of me trying to steer the Spirit, all will be okay, will it not?

Let us listen to a great saint Doctor of the Church on this subject:

“Therefore must the soul be stripped of all things created, and of its own actions and abilities — namely, of its understanding, perception and feelings — so, that when all that is unlike God and unconformed to him is cast out, the soul may receive the likeness of God; and nothing will then remain in it that is not the will of God and it will thus be transformed in God.  Wherefore, although it is true that, as we have said, God is ever in the soul, giving it, its natural being, yet he does not always communicate supernatural being to it.  For this is communicated only by love and grace, which not all souls possess; and all those that possess it have it not in the same degree; for some have attained more degrees of love and others fewer .  Wherefore God communicates himself most to that soul who has progressed farthest in love; namely, that has its will in closest conformity with the will of God.  And the soul that has attained complete conformity and likeness of will is totally united and transformed in God supernaturally.”  [St. John of the Cross, Ascent of Mount Carmel, book 2, chapter 5, from the Navarre Bible Commentaries on John 3:3-8]

St. John of the Cross in contemplation of God.

St. John of the Cross in contemplation of God.

And so I need to humble myself – stop trying to steer God and let God steer me instead.  This requires me to open my heart and say “yes” more to the missions He sends my way, right?  And what are the missions?  You see?  I doubt because I am not sure what are the missions. Lord, open my heart and my mind to be receptive to your love and grace whenever and wherever you will that I may do your will and be joined to You and You to me in that close bond which is meant to be like a marriage according to your own design.  Help me to hear your voice and to follow You wherever you lead me.  Amen.

Return Prodigal Children

Divine Mercy TOR_April 2013

This Divine Mercy statue belongs to the Franciscan Sisters, T.O.R. of Penance of the Sorrowful Mother and was installed on the feast of Bl. John Paul II, October 22, 2011. They have a special devotion to Divine Mercy and St. Faustina.

My dear brethren who have left the Catholic Church: When you were a child, you left the Church with the fullness of pride. Now, please return in the emptiness of your humility that you may be filled once again with the rich Grace of Jesus Christ from His Font of Mercy. For His Divine Mercy endures forever for those who love Him through obedience to Him, Who is All Love for you.

My dear brethren who have not yet entered the Catholic Church: The Father calls you to His humble kingdom of everlasting truth and salvific hope. For His Divine Mercy endures forever for those who seek Him in truth and who yearn to love Him in their obedience to His Divine Will, Which is All Love for you.

A Dream of an Asian Majestic Highness and the Church

Last Saturday night, I had 3 dreams – the last one being the most special dream.Mary and Tower

THE FIRST DREAM – NEWLYWEDS

In the first dream, I was with my wife, and we were being a naturally-loving married couple.

THE SECOND DREAM – CALL TO ARMS

In my second dream, I was a soldier again, and I felt an intense anxiety as I was called to prepare to deploy for an unanticipated war. I actually felt a tearing anxiety in my body – a feeling of intense worry, mostly about being sure to take the right things with me. When I awoke, I calmed down and then I prayed and asked the Lord why I needed to feel such pain in my dream. And then I thought, “Perhaps I am taking on someone else’s burden – for their sake – for love of them.” I accepted this, and then I knew that the dream was good.  I felt I had somehow done a good deed.

THE THIRD DREAM – ASIAN MAJESTY, THE CHURCH

In the third dream, I was relaxed and with a few other men sitting at table in an enclosed room.  There were no walls but everything beyond the table was blackness – nothing. But, there was a square opening in the darkness through which light poured in from a bright blue, clean sky – the vision through the window was more real then the dream in which I was dreaming.  I glanced out through the window and saw a very tall white building – a huge and lofty tower, and behind the building was a white cloud.  I looked down and then up and out again and the cloud had become a beautifully-chiselled, smiling Face, like that of a beautiful Asian woman (because of the eyes and beautiful Face and Asian-styled attire).  But I am not sure if it was a woman or not.  The Face was beautiful – like perfect white marble – and finely detailed.  I called my companions at table to also look.  And they agreed with what I was seeing.  Then, a mist formed before my eyes along the length of that huge, tall white building, and an Enrobed Body began to form – from the Head all the way down to the base where I could see the Feet which were adorned in special shoes.  The Enrobed Majesty stood, a giant beautiful Column, like a Royal Highness in front of the towering Building. This Majestic Highness seemed to be coming from the Building or mysteriously  joined with the building but forming from a gently-appearing mist.

My first thought was that I was seeing this vision in a land like China because of the Face and clothing.  I do not yet know what to make of the dream except that perhaps I was seeing a spiritual vision of the Catholic Church in China or Mongolia.

The Majestic Highness could be like the pure spirit or pure soul of that Building, the Church, and the Church could be the People who are the spiritual building blocks of that great white Building.

The Majestic Highness could be like a Princess or a Daughter.

The Majestic Highness could also be like a companion to that Building.

But I did not know for sure.

But one thing I do know for sure:  the Majestic Highness is greater than the Building.

During Morning Prayer, Psalm 93 began with these words:

“The Lord is king, with majesty enrobed;
the Lord has robed himself with might,
he has girded himself with power.

The world you made firm, not to be moved;
your throne has stood firm from of old.
From all eternity, O Lord, you are.

The waters have lifted up, O Lord,
the waters have lifted up their voice,
the waters have lifted up their thunder.

Greater than the roar of mighty waters,
more glorious than the surgings of the sea,
the Lord is glorious on high.

Truly your decrees are to be trusted.
Holiness is fitting to your house,
O Lord, until the end of time.

This beautiful psalm reminded me of my dream, and confirmed to me that I may have had a dream from God about Himself and His relationship with the Church.  What do you think?