Thursday, May 21, 2015

Ut Unum Sint: "that they may all be one"

“I pray not only for these,
but also for those who will believe in me through their word,
so that they may all be one"

"Christ bestowed unity on his Church from the beginning. This unity, we believe, subsists in the Catholic Church as something she can never lose, and we hope that it will continue to increase until the end of time." Christ always gives his Church the gift of unity, but the Church must always pray and work to maintain, reinforce, and perfect the unity that Christ wills for her. This is why Jesus himself prayed at the hour of his Passion, and does not cease praying to his Father, for the unity of his disciples: "That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be one in us, . . . so that the world may know that you have sent me." The desire to recover the unity of all Christians is a gift of Christ and a call of the Holy Spirit.

CCC 820

Monday, May 11, 2015

Monday, Sixth week of Easter: "the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, he will testify to me.

"I have told you this so that you may not fall away.
They will expel you from the synagogues;
in fact, the hour is coming when everyone who kills you
will think he is offering worship to God.
They will do this because they have not known either the Father or me."

- John 15




"Before his Passover, Jesus announced the sending of "another Paraclete" (Advocate), the Holy Spirit. At work since creation, having previously "spoken through the prophets", the Spirit will now be with and in the disciples, to teach them and guide them "into all the truth". The Holy Spirit is thus revealed as another divine person with Jesus and the Father"
CCC 243

Friday, May 8, 2015

Friday, Fifth week of Easter: "I have called you friends"

"You are my friends if you do what I command you.I no longer call you slaves, because a slave does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends ,because I have told you everything I have heard from my Father."

Jn 15:12-17

"By his Revelation,'the invisible God, from the fullness of his love, addresses men as his friends, and moves among them, in order to invite and receive them into his own company.' The adequate response to this invitation is faith."

CCC 142

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thursday in Fifth Week of Easter: Remain in my love "if you keep my commandments"

“As the Father loves me, so I also love you.
Remain in my love.
If you keep my commandments, you will remain in my love,
just as I have kept my Father’s commandments
and remain in his love."

"The Ten Commandments state what is required in the love of God and love of neighbor. The first three concern love of God, and the other seven love of neighbor.
"As charity comprises the two commandments to which the Lord related the whole Law and the prophets . . . so the Ten Commandments were themselves given on two tablets. Three were written on one tablet and seven on the other."
 
CCC 2067

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Fifth Sunday of Easter: "I am the vine."

Acts 9, 26-31; Psalm 22; 1 John 3, 18-24; John 15, 1-8


Alleluia! Christ is risen!

"Jesus says, 'I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in me, and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing." (Jn 15:5)

"The fruit referred to in this saying is the holiness of a life made fruitful by union with Christ. When we believe in Jesus Christ, partake of his mysteries, and keep his commandments, the Savior himself comes to love, in us, his Father and his brethren, our Father and our brethren. His person becomes, through the Spirit, the living and interior rule of our activity. 'This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.' (Jn 15:12)" (CCC 2074)

The branches exist to draw life from the vine so as to bear fruit. Failing to do so they are useless: cut down, thrown out, good only for fueling the flames of a fire. "If a man does not abide in me, he is cast forth as a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire and burned." (Jn 15: 6)

So that we may live as fruitful branches in intimate union with Christ, the true vine, he has given us the Church, his true body in the world. 

"The mission of Christ and the Holy Spirit is brought to completion in the Church, which is the Body of Christ and the temple of the Holy Spirit. This joint mission henceforth brings Christ's faithful to share in his communion with the Father in the Holy Spirit. The Spirit prepares men and goes out to them with his grace, in order to draw them to Christ. The Spirit manifests the risen Lord to them, recalls his word to them and opens their minds to the understanding of his Death and Resurrection. He makes present the mystery of Christ, supremely in the Eucharist, in order to reconcile them, to bring them into communion with God, that they may 'bear much fruit.' (Jn 15: 8,16)" (CCC 737)

The Church is not a way to Christ, as simply one choice among others, but the way to Christ. "Thus the Church's mission is not an addition to that of Christ and the Holy Spirit, but is its sacrament: in her whole being and in all her members, the Church is sent to announce, bear witness, make present, and spread the mystery of the communion of the Holy Trinity." (CCC 738)

St. Cyril, patriarch of Alexandria (d. 444), teaches why our communion with the Triune God happens in the fullest and most perfect way in this life in the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church:

"All of us who have received one and the same Spirit, that is, the Holy Spirit, are in a sense blended together with one another and with God. For if Christ, together with the Father's and his own Spirit, comes to dwell in each of us, though we are many, still the Spirit is one and undivided. He binds together the spirits of each and every one of us,...and makes all appear as one in him. For just as the power of Christ's sacred flesh unites those in whom it dwells into one body, I think that in the same way the one and undivided Spirit of God, who dwells in all, leads all into spiritual unity." (CCC 738)

Seek the opportunity for daily participation in the liturgy; draw from the Eucharistic sacrifice the life-blood of Christ the vine that you may bear fruit that will last: heart, mind, soul and strength aflame with God's love unto life eternal!

Let us pray: God our Father, look upon us with love. You redeem us and make us your children in Christ. Give us true freedom and bring us to the inheritance you promised. (From opening prayer for today's liturgy.)

I look forward to meeting you here again next week as, together, we "meet Christ in the liturgy" -Father Cusick

Meeting Christ in the Liturgy (Publish with permission.)

(Photo: Vineyard, Toscana.)

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Saint Athanasius: "Cum persequenter vos in civitate ista, fugite in aliam."

"And when they shall persecute you in this city, flee into another. Amen I say to you, you shall not finish all the cities of Israel, till the Son of man come.

The disciple is not above the master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the goodman of the house Beelzebub, how much more them of his household? Therefore fear them not. For nothing is covered that shall not be revealed: nor hid, that shall not be known. That which I tell you in the dark, speak ye in the light: and that which you hear in the ear, preach ye upon the housetops. And fear ye not them that kill the body, and are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him that can destroy both soul and body in hell."

(Matthew 10:23-28Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)

"Before Christ's second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the "mystery of iniquity" in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh."

- CCC 675

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Pope St Pius V "whoever receives the one I send receives me"

"When Jesus had washed the disciples’ feet, he said to them:
“Amen, amen, I say to you, no slave is greater than his master
nor any messenger greater than the one who sent him.
If you understand this, blessed are you if you do it.
I am not speaking of all of you.
I know those whom I have chosen.
But so that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
The one who ate my food has raised his heel against me.
From now on I am telling you before it happens,
so that when it happens you may believe that I AM.
Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send
receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me."

- Jn 13:16-20


"Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate.
 
"(On the institution and mission of the apostolic ministry by Christ, see above, no. 874 ff. Here only the sacramental means by which this ministry is handed on will be treated.)

- CCC 1536