Thursday, August 28, 2014

We need the Pope to know how to suffer, A reflection on the Sunday Gospel

22nd Sunday in Ordinary Time
August 31, 2014
Matthew 16:21-27

Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer greatly from the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.

It was not by coincidence, but rather according to the divine will that our Savior gave his apostles the first prediction of his passion only after he had indicated the establishment of Peter as prince and supreme Shepherd of the Church on earth.

Christ knew that the faithful would be unable to bear his bitter passion without the visible sign of unity and peace given us in the Pope. And, if the passion of Christ is too great to bear without the Papacy, it follows necessarily that none can embrace the spiritual meaning of suffering without the guidance, support, and protection of the Holy Father in Rome.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

2 Sermons: What is transverberation?, and The Power of Prayer

Tuesday, August 26 - The Transverberation of St. Teresa of Avila

"Transverberation" - The act of being pierced through

Listen online [here]!

Wednesday, August 27 - St. Monica's prayers

Listen online [here]!

Sunday Sermon, August 24 - Remaining Faithful in the Midst of Scandal

Listen online [here]!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Can I get married after having a vasectomy? (The vasectomy question, Part II)

On vasectomy and impotence

We continue our discussion of various issues related to repentance after the commission of a vasectomy. In our earlier article [here], we discussed why a reversal would sometimes (even oftentimes) be required in order to receive sacrament absolution after a vasectomy – though it is not mandated as relating to the amendment of life, but seems to be closely linked to true contrition and repentance when the reversal procedure can be obtained without excessive cost, pain, or danger and when the couple is of child-bearing age.

To our earlier question, we may add another: Can a man who has had a vasectomy validly contract marriage without getting the vasectomy reversed?

The simple answer to this question – “Is a reversal required for marriage?” – is, “No, a reversal is not required.” However, again, there is much to consider; and, in some cases, a reversal would seem to be required by the conscience of the individual (even if not by the law of the Church).

The whole question will hang on the following point: Is a vasectomy only “sterilization” (as it is commonly assumed to be), or does it cause impotence? While it would seem a silly question, we will see that impotence is defined in a broader way than many assume.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Sermons: Pius X, Queenship of Mary, Philip Benizi

August 21st - Pope St Pius X - There is no pre- or post- Vatican II

August 22nd - Queenship of Mary - In Crowning our Lady, God crowns his own gifts

August 23rd - St Philip Benizi - The slave of Mary will not perish

Friday, August 22, 2014

Can we pray for aborted babies? Did Pope Francis?

“Pope Francis prays at Korean cemetery for aborted babies”

So runs the headline at the Catholic News Agency website [here]. But the article fails to support the headline. Indeed, while it is clear that Pope Francis prayed at a monument for aborted babies, the text of the prayer is not given – it seems that the prayer was offered in silence, and perhaps we won’t ever hear exactly what our Holy Father said.

There is a theological problem when we it comes to praying “for” aborted babies – Are we to suppose that they are in purgatory? If so, What sin did they commit for which they must suffer purification? If not, Why would they need our prayers?

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Why the Pope must be infallible, even if he's not impeccable

21st Sunday in Ordinary Time
Matthew 16:13-20

And I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it.

We do not hesitate to assert the Christ Jesus is the true rock upon which the Catholic Church is built – how could there be any other? And yet, we likewise affirm that Peter is the rock upon which Christ has built his Church; for the Greek is clear: “Peter” is petros while “rock” is petra, and the Aramaic would be clearer yet as the one word used for both was cepha.

It is as though Jesus said, “You are Rock (Petros/Cepha) and upon this rock (petra/cepha) [which is you], I will build my Church.” Christ is the rock and Peter is the rock, Christ is the foundation and Peter is the foundation. A man’s faith is founded upon Christ, only if it is founded upon Peter’s confession. Christ is the rock of the Church, only if the Church is set upon the rock of Peter’s profession of faith.

Let us consider why it is enough for the Pope to be infallible (i.e. unable to err in teaching), even if he is not impeccable (i.e. unable to sin).