Sunday, November 8, 2009
If God is calling one to a life of solitude with Him, in contemplation and intercession then life gets to be very 'real', meaning, one sees it for what it is. Merton writes, "Be content to remain in loneliness and isolation, dryness and anguish, waiting upon God in darkness." He's referring a lot to my Father in Carmel, Juan de la Cruz. I'm trying to follow the path they show, I'm 'in it', but IT AIN'T EASY!!!
Anybody out there reading, do please pray for me. Hermitude is not easy. Love is not easy.
Peace to you in Him, b. John
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 18, 2009
I'm living in a highly 'ecumenical' Christian situation in my city. Additionally I study at a denominational grad school that isn't Catholic so I'm VERY ecumenically challenged there!
What can one say. A major issue today is that Christians don't agree on things pertaining to how people must understand God, so we disrespect eachother. Bad form.
God help us to do better!
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Saint Albert of Jerusalem
Bishop and Lawgiver of Carmel
September 17: Celebrated as a Feast with proper texts.
Albert Avogadro was born in the middle of the twelfth century in Castel Gualteri in Italy. He became a Canon Regular of the Holy Cross at Mortara and was elected their prior in 1180. Named Bishop of Bobbio in 1184 and of Vercelli in 1185, he was made Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem in 1205 where, in word and example, he was the model of a good pastor and peace‑maker. While he was Patriarch (1206‑1214) he united the hermits of Carmel into one community and wrote a Rule for them. He was murdered at Acre on September 14th, 1214.
through St Albert of Jerusalem
you have given us a Rule of life
according to your Gospel
to help us attain perfect love.
Through his prayers
may we always live in allegiance to Jesus Christ
and serve faithfully until death
him who lives and reigns
with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
One God, for ever and ever.
Ephesians 6:11-18; Gospel - Matthew 20:25-28.
Texts taken from the “Carmelite Proper of the Liturgy of the Hours,”
Institutum Carmelitanum, Rome: 1993
And in Light of our hermit heritage and life in Christ on Mt. Carmel
John the Dwarf and the angels
“It was said of Abba John the Dwarf, that one day he said to his elder brother, ‘I should like to be free of all care, like the angels, who do not work, but ceaselessly offer worship to God.’ So he took off his cloak and went away into the desert. After a week he came back to his brother. When he knocked on the door, he heard his brother say, before he opened it ‘Who are you?’ He said, ‘I am John, your brother.’ But he replied, ‘John has become an angel, and henceforth he is no longer among men.’ Then the other begged him saying, ‘It is I.’ However, his brother did not let him in, but left him there in distress until morning. Then, opening the door, he said to him, ‘You are a man and you must once again work in order to eat.’ Then John made a prostration before him, saying, ‘Forgive me.’”
- The Sayings of the Desert Fathers, pg. 86
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
H/T: Central Pennsylvania Orthodox
Posted by Josephus Flavius at 3:59 PM 0 comments Links to this post
Role of Pope of Rome said to be central to dialogue
VATICAN CITY (CNS) - A common understanding of the role the bishop of Rome played in the united Christianity of the first millennium is essential for resolving the question of the primacy of the pope in a united church, Pope Benedict XVI said.
The pope met June 27 with Orthodox Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, Bishop Athenagoras of Sinope, who serves as the assistant metropolitan of Belgium, and Deacon Ioakim Billis of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The three Greek Orthodox represented Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at the evening prayer service closing the year of St. Paul June 28 and at the pope's Mass for the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul June 29.
Meeting the delegation privately before the festivities began, the pope said the year of St. Paul was a year "of prayer, of reflection and of exchanging gestures of communion between Rome and Constantinople."
The pope said the joint activities were the best way to honor St. Paul, who urged Christians "'to preserve the unity of the spirit through the bond of peace,' teaching us that there is 'only one body and one spirit.'"
The participation of the Orthodox delegation in the late-June liturgies "reminds us of our common commitment to the search for full communion," Pope Benedict said.
"You already know this, but I am pleased to confirm today that the Catholic Church intends to contribute in every way to making it possible to re-establish full communion in response to Christ's will for his disciples," he said.
Pope Benedict said the international Catholic-Orthodox dialogue commission would meet in October in Cyprus "to face a theme crucial for relations between the East and West, that is the 'role of the bishop of Rome in the communion of the church in the first millennium.'"
Ecumenical experts believe agreement on how the pope, the bishop of Rome, exercised his ministry before Christianity split into East and West is essential for discovering the way the papacy could be exercised in the church if Catholics and Orthodox successfully reunite.
"I want the participants in the Catholic-Orthodox dialogue to know that my prayers accompany them and that this dialogue has the complete support of the Catholic Church," Pope Benedict told the Orthodox delegation.
"With all my heart, I hope that the misunderstandings and tensions encountered by the Orthodox delegates during the last plenary session of the commission have been overcome in fraternal love so that this dialogue will be more broadly representative of Orthodoxy," the pope said.
At the last plenary gathering, held in Italy in 2007, the Russian Orthodox delegation walked out to protest the presence of a delegation from the Estonian Orthodox Church, recognized as autonomous by the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople but not by the Russian Orthodox Church.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Check them out at:
in Spanish only.
Also at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hieronymite :)
Friday, April 3, 2009
BUILDING A JUST SOCIETY
Contemporary ideas of social justice are centred upon the concept of individual rights and freedoms. While individual rights and freedoms are an excellent ideal to aspire to as a society these ideas also demand personal responsibility. It is at the point of personal responsibility that Western societies are failing to uphold the standard of not only “Freedom”, but also “Justice for all.”[i]
The Western world in the last fifty years has seen significant advances in human rights for women, and for minority groups in particular. Yet, at the same time that rights are being advanced for certain groups the very foundation of human rights is being eroded by the denial of the right to life for unborn members of our society; the most defenceless humans.[ii] The modern concept of human rights is founded upon the Judeo-Christian view that humans have an inherent dignity and value in and of themselves, not because of what they are able to do or what they possess. This view of human life has been held by the Church since its earliest centuries, and came to influence Christian civilisation profoundly in both East and West.[iii] It is the place of the Church and of all believers today, to preach, by action and word, the news of God’s love for humanity in our best friend and saving God, Jesus, the second person of the Trinity.[iv]
Today the Church is the primary voice speaking for the Rights of All on the global stage, and the clearest voice speaking for humanity’s most vulnerable is that of our Holy Father, Benedict XVI. We, as Jesus’ body on earth,[v] are called to preach the Good News, the Gospel of Jesus, “in season and out of season”.[vi] Our Holy Father has been aggressively criticised in recent months and years for uncompromisingly preaching the message of Jesus as expressed in the orthodox teaching of the Catholic faith. Yet again and again Pope Benedict states simply, and concisely, the teaching of the Catholic Church that a just society is built upon the Law of God, the Law of Love that brings True Freedom and Justice for All.[vii]
The Church teaches that each human being is created in God’s image and has inherent dignity, value, and a purpose in creation that only she/he can fulfill.[viii] Every life is therefore important and to be treasured as beyond price, from conception to natural death.
By contrast, if human life has no inherent dignity or value then we as a society leave it to the state and social elites to determine who it is who has the right to live, who must die, and when they should die[ix], ie. in old age, when ill, or showing signs of disability before or after birth.[x] We have already seen the consequences of this world view in the atheistic totalitarian regimes of the twentieth century.[xi]
The Good News of Jesus, and its synthesis in the teaching of the Catholic Church are an absolute affirmation of life and authentic human freedom:
"The protection of human life [at all its stages]
is the "rock solid and inviolable" foundation
upon which all other human rights are based."
- Benedict XVI[xii]
Asking Jesus for the most profound communion with God that is possible, let us pray that our Father would unite us to Himself so that each one of us may be his face, hands, and heart for the world. May we, in union with the entire Body of Christ, contribute to the building of a more just society wherever it is that He calls us. In doing so we will reveal the love God has for all humanity, and we will leave a more beautiful world as an inheritance for our young, and many generations to come. Jesus will bring all our hopes and prayers to bear much fruit for God’s Kingdom.[xiii]
[i] United States of America’s “Pledge of Allegiance”.
[ii] Cooper, Milke, and Navarro-Genie, “Drinking intellectual hemlock at the University of Calgary”. MercatorNet.com: http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/drinking_intellectual_hemlock_at_the_university_of_calgary/ , 4 March 2009.
[iii] Siemens, Jeremy J. The Head, the Heart, and the Hands; Gregory of Nazianzus and the Emperor Julian on the Importance of Piety, Purity and Philanthropy in Shaping the Empire. M.A. Thesis, University of St. Michael’s College – University of Toronto, 2008.
[iv] See Doherty, Catherine. Sobornost, Experiencing Unity of Mind, Heart, and Soul. 2nd. Ed. Madonna House Publications, 2000.
[v] “Christ has no body now but yours
No hands, no feet on earth but yours
Yours are the eyes through which He looks
compassion on this world
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”
– St. Teresa of Avila, Carmelite mystic and reformer. http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/268.html .
[vi] 2 Timothy 4:1-2
[vii] Benedict XVI, “Pope: only the light of God can overcome the great "darkness" cast by war and greed.” PIME AsiaNews.it, http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=14793&size=A .
[viii] As in the case of our Holy Mother, Mary, whose “Yes” to God brought our salvation, Jesus Christ, into the world.
[ix] Thadeus Baklinski, “UK Parents told by Court Their Baby Must be Allowed to Die”. LifeSiteNews.com: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/mar/09032301.html
[x] Deborah Gyapong, “Powerful Words from Cardinal George.” http://deborahgyapong.blogspot.com/2009/03/powerful-words-from-cardinal-george.html
[xi] Benedict XVI, “Faith and reason given to man so as not to yield to the law of the strongest, says Pope”. PIME AsiaNews.it, http://www.asianews.it/index.php?l=en&art=14784&size=A .
[xii] Benedict XVI, “Everyone has right to food, unborn have right to life, says pope.” - VATICAN CITY (CNS) -- Everyone, especially the youngest and poorest of the world, has a right to food, and the unborn have a right to life, Pope Benedict XVI said. The protection of human life is the "rock solid and inviolable" foundation upon which all other human rights are based, the pope said in a May 31 audience with Guatemala's new ambassador to the Vatican. There will always be more work to do in helping guarantee pregnant women, even those who are in "severe difficulty," will be able to raise their children "with dignity, that way avoiding the unjustifiable recourse to abortion," the pope said. The pope made his comments in a ceremony in which Acisclo Valladares Molina presented his credentials. The pope said protecting all human life, especially the life of the unborn, is an ever pressing task. Pope Benedict lamented the ongoing problems of poverty and emigration in Guatemala. He said another challenge the country faces is finding a solution to the malnutrition suffered by "numerous children." Catholic New Service: http://www.catholicnews.com/data/briefs/cns/20080602.htm .
[xiii] Benedict XVI, SPE SALVI: On Christian Hope. http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/encyclicals/documents/hf_ben-xvi_enc_20071130_spe-salvi_en.html .3
What's there to say? My day is praying... hanging out on days off from work. Sending my notes and emails. Eating, sleeping.
Today I walked through the centre of this metropolis and saw many worlds again. I've decided that the best part of the metropolis core is the cinnamon bun seller :)