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Sermon 602 : A New Shepherd; A New Kingdom : 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Sermon 602 : A New Shepherd; A New Kingdom : 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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We should never seek our final security in the things that worldly rulers and kings can provide. It is only through the shepherding of Christ that we find our way to good pasture.
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While listening to your Sermon, it was difficult to not notice the similarities in the New Israel. I found myself asking "If I ever see clericalism or kingship being declared or played out again, what is my responsibility, other than prayer, to fight against it?
7/18/2012 3:45:29 PM
I'm struck with thoughts concerning the profound similarities of wayward ways of bad kings, rulers and presidents down through the ages (in the annuls of human history)...and with the current state of government here in the United States.
7/18/2012 3:57:02 PM
Thanks fr. Barron for the very spiritual reflection. It has really helped me to understand the word better.
7/18/2012 10:48:47 PM
Thank you Father Barron. I look forward to your weekly posting. I'm truly grateful
7/19/2012 2:32:29 PM
"Be still and know" were this morning’s waking words - that’s where the battle is fought. He is the cohesion. We become of one mind, you see? It’s so good, so true, so beautiful... no wonder He said, "Don’t be afraid."
This homily shows the peace within the chaos. It’s all there. How shallow the ways of this world, how just plain unfulfilling. We are to our own obliteration. We’ve made a mess. I keep wanting to go home and I’m supposed to already be there.
If only we could trust God enough to want to please Him first and foremost, I think, trusting the other would (super) naturally fall into place... less pride, power, prestige, etc. to get in His way, the way of love. Can we take another step, you know, leave that thing up to God to control. And yea it will most likely be that counter-intuitive thing that is not comfortable, but wherein lays a treasure of God’s provisions of security, peace, and comfort for us and His purpose.
Who or where are we within God’s body? To claim one belongs to Him and is cowardly in one’s life as a Catholic Christian is death. It’s he who does His will. Where does one turn in one’s emptiness, hurt, etc.? It’s Him we turn to. Could we turn to Him for and in the good stuff too? Could we seek Him first through a rightly ordered life. Do we trust Him enough to do this? He is always there, He never waivers, He never changes, He is the One we trust.
I think when we’re truly with Him, when we really trust Him, He becomes known through our love for each other, our trust in one another, that life that becomes one in Him. Love includes complete trust. Could this be a way to measure our love for Him?
7/19/2012 3:13:52 PM
I thank you for this insightful sermon.Whether we refer to secular or biblical history, one fact stands out so clearly; and that is.......poor people are the only ones who know how to trust in God! Until we hit rock bottom like the prodigal son,or like St. Francis, strip our selves into poverty,we never seem to learn how to trust God for our daily bread.
When we are healthy and strong and all the bills are being paid on time, etc, we tend to bask in our ego, security and accomplishments until the "birth pangs" begin to come and our world is turned upside down; then we become like those disciples sent out two by two...we find ourselves on the journey of life with nothing to distract us except our hope and trust on God's promise.His word! In the end, that is all we have, no guarantees, no certitudes, just his word!!
this mistake of trusting in pur own ego and re*****tion and accomplishments and possessions has repeated itself throughout history on an individual basis with kings and those in authority and at the national level with nations of the world, Greeks, Romans, Great Britain , United States.
Someday, we will come to the realization while we still have much that everything we have , we are or we hope to be, comes from God and God alone. then we will stop fooling ourselves and began to realy traust and obey his every Word.
7/19/2012 4:39:08 PM
Shalom Father Barron and thank you for this sermon.I often think about our LORD JESUS in his passion.After our LORD was arrested the Apostles were scattered.He who does not gather with me scatters.I find it interesting that especially our culture find security in the material things.We are in this world such a short time but will be in eternity forever.Rather than focus on what gov and other rulers say we should look to our BLESSED MOTHER.When our LORD JESUS performed his first miracle at CANA,the IMMACULATA says DO WHATEVER HE TELLS YOU.Our BLESSED MOTHER always leads us to her DIVINE SON JESUS CHRIST.Father when you said happy or blessed our the pure in heart,for the shall see GOD.How truly happy we can be in the BEATITUDES.MI IMMACULATA
7/19/2012 10:38:13 PM
It seems to me the 'old kingdoms do not have to go', they have to be recognized for their relevance to the entire Kingdom of God.
7/20/2012 3:14:38 AM
It is challenging to keep our eyes on Our trusting in God's Will to lead us to the 'meadow and good pasture' while remembering that we are 'our brothers' keeper.' This clearing to make a 'new spiritual space' does not mean it will create a vacuum to be filled. Evil shepherds run to control vacuums through out history because it is their easy attempt to control, scatter, and mislead the sheep.
7/20/2012 7:31:00 AM
Your comment tugs at my heart. I agree with you and want to tell you (God help me, please). It’s not easy to simultaneously recognize the evil and the temptation to not become discouraged (evil within evil). We’re weak and yet He still gives us the free will choice - the choice to love more. That is the Love one falls to rest in at the end of the day.
If it’s not love, it’s a distraction from God. We must never give up on seeking the love therein – it’s always there – He is everywhere, yes? Distractions like anger, jealousy, envy, etc., the daughters of pride, keep us from seeing the other as a child of God, just like our own selves. It’s at that moment of distraction that, I think, we’re called to trust and He will help us out with the lack thereof. That’s the suffering we give back to Him knowing He is God.
Our intimacy with Jesus is meant to be shared with the other, always for the betterment of the other, (whether we know that for how or what it is or not) and always according to His specific call. I think there is exchange of holiness in human intimacy and the extent of this sharing in the divine life is to the capacity that we allow for cooperation with the Divine. Sharing unites, we carry the other, we become one through, in, and with our King and it’s His Kingdom multiplying and increasing. He is the vine, we are the branches. God is so beyond our comprehension. Placing limitations on God’s love... well, that’s a really difficult temptation to not become discouraged by.
Our God is a jealous God.
7/21/2012 11:13:32 AM
I am thinking I would like to hear from Fr. Barron on the idea that "out God is a jealous God". I am thinking that is the Jewish God. The Christian God is not a jealous God.
7/21/2012 11:45:44 AM
Hi James,"Our God is a Jealous God" definately means something i sense with my heart, not my brain. i do believe it's not the same jealousy we know of or experience as humans. i surely don't have the words. sometimes i go back and read some of the stuff i write and i don't understand my own self. :) But, it does help my contemplation.
How confused am i Father? Can you put it into words for us? please.
7/21/2012 12:44:34 PM
This sermon reminds me of why the American democracy is so great, it establishes no King. American democracy allows freedom for the People - or in other words - American democracy emraces the notion that all People should be have the privilege/freedom to trust in God's providence. American democracy demystifies the King, and does appreciate the elected officials who co-opt the powers of a King (President Obama??). American democracy represents a practical understanding of this sermon. Indeed, it could be said that American democracy is the implementation of the ideas contained in this sermon.
7/21/2012 7:05:45 PM
An Anonymous Fool
In Mark 10:3, Christ, in talking about divorce asks, "What did Moses command you"?
The Pharisees replied, “Moses permitted him to write a bill of divorce and dismiss her.”
Jesus then explains, "“Because of the hardness of your hearts he wrote you this commandment. ..."
Maybe this is naivete - But I wonder if the reality we live in; many of the realities and pragmatic ways of our lives aren't more of the same - ideas we have come to accept because of the hardness of our hearts.
If we were to think about this carefully ... As Fr. B has put it in sermons past, if Jesus is the vine and we are the branches; if Jesus is the King and we are co-inherent in him; if we are the ones for whom his death wrought our inheritance in the Kingdom of God then our loyalty and fealty ought to first and foremost be to Him. Our "patriotism" ought not to be subject to the constraints of human boundaries. If we are truly co-inherent in his Body; if we believe in what we sing, "we are one body, one body in Christ" then I wonder about the "truths" we live by, namely:
What does it mean to be a Citizen? What does it mean to live in a county, a city, a state, a country? What do these geographical boundaries mean really? What does it mean to belong to a country? Should I feel guilty if I am more proud that I am a Christian than if I am an American? If I am a Christian - is that a separate identity than being American. I can imagine that. But, I wonder if one supersedes the other. I wonder if, ultimately, only one matters.
Yes, Christ did say, "Then repay to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God". Is it possible in this day and age, that our loyalty is being tested, that we are in a position where we are rendering unto Caesar what belongs to God. Can we tell the difference anymore?
We live in a great nation. It is this great experiment in democracy. But, we seem today to be run more by the will of the people, and we have forgotten the part that said, "one nation under God". Yes, those words were added only in 1954. They may have been a creation of the McCarthy age. But, I contend that they have been in the ethos of our nation from the very beginning, maybe even before Bellamy created the Pledge.
I did say "Our country" - didn't I? We live in a global age. Geographic boundaries don't exist except in our minds. In reality they are pure fiction. We may be entering a new age or at least we ought to. An age where the Light leads us to recognize that we are all brothers and sisters in Christ with no boundaries between us.
Yes, our God is a jealous God. If I were jealous of someone, it would be because of a resentment I bear arising out a desire for something I don't have. God doesn't need anything. His jealousy is thus merely an outlook for our own good. He seeks our Love, not because He lacks in something when he doesn't get it, but because we certainly will lack in everything when we don't give Him all of our Love.
I find it difficult to believe that a jealous God would tolerate the separations we place on ourselves. But, He is a patient God. Maybe we aren't ready for it.
An Anonymous Fool.
7/21/2012 11:37:12 PM
Thank you anonymous fool! You have wonderful insight! Should this sentence be changed? "His jealousy is thus merely an outlook for our own good." ...to... "His jealousy / goal is thus a love for our lives / desires to partake in His love and goodness in order to achieve eternal life with Him and spread this love and goodness while on earth." After all our purpose is to know, love, and serve Him. He is Love. I believe he does love us even though he doesn't need us.
7/22/2012 6:20:20 AM
I was privileged, just yesterday, to meet a wonderful South Korean grandma at the playground in the mall. (She didn't look like a grandma but a mother to her grandson). She was so so sweet. When I found out she was from South Korea, I told her all I know about South Korea is from history (which we both held our hands over our hearts at that moment). Upon my departure from her, we grasped each others arms tightly. I was grateful that I was able to spend time getting to know her! She taught me how to say hello in Korean language. Just an example of how barriers can be eliminated. I was so blessed to be with her - even though it was just a moment in time!
7/22/2012 6:46:31 AM
I was watching the interview with supreme court justice scalia yesterday.Justice Scalia was asked why he does not want to tamper with the writings of the constitution.His response was all one has to do is read the federalist papers of these brilliant men.Holy Mother Church founded by our LORD JESUS himself still stands unchanged over 2000yrs.One has to only read the writings of the early church fathers. The heart of Holy Mother Church is not in America but in Rome where the pillars Saints Peter and Paul were executed then by the roman gov.MI IMMACULATA
7/22/2012 10:06:19 AM
Hello Tyler! I take a contrarian approach to your view: "American democracy represents a practical understanding of this sermon." It does not, and here's why. America, among many others in today's "post-Christian" world, is a People's Republic. America is not the People of God, never was, and never was intended to be. America as a nation does not invite the Good Shepherd to shepherd His people, to rule His flock. In fact, with its religious freedom, America guarantees not the rule of Our Lord Jesus Christ, but rather the rule of the majority. Can you see the difference? According to Christ's own pronouncement, the rule of God is not effected by the rule of the majority but rather by the rule of Peter's Holy See, which the United States Government does not accept. When John Kennedy, a Roman Catholic, ran for president of the U.S.A. he was persistently hounded by journalists and opponents alike to promise political independence from the Holy See. Only when he publicly did so was he considered "electable." I would even suggest that it is precisely the democratic republican form of nation-state building -- as opposed to a true, heart-felt begging of "THY Kingdom Come" -- that is the underlying cause that has brought the world's republics to the brink of final disaster, an apocalypse envisioned by Our Lady of Fatima in an apparition approved by the Holy See.
7/22/2012 11:36:38 AM
I recall a stellar sermon of yours on the Our Father and asked if you would put it in pamphlet form for indepth reflection we might use as Lectio, during Eucharistic Adoration . . . well, this is a pertinent and lovely nuance to add to your Our Father message; and, I think I see more than a pamphlet here . . . incorporating the passages of Our Lord's prayer with the pertinent Scriptural passages we read in the lectionary during the year, really produces both an enhanced appreciation of prayer and understanding of the Old and New Testament. For me, that is great synergy and a significant help with not only an enhanced prayer life, but also evangelization.
7/22/2012 12:11:07 PM
This sermon reminds me of why the American democracy is so great, it establishes no King. American democracy allows freedom for the People - or in other words - American democracy embraces the notion that all People should have the privilege/freedom to trust in God's providence. American democracy demystifies the King, and does not appreciate the elected officials who co-opt the powers of a King (President Obama??). American democracy represents a practical understanding of this sermon. Indeed, it could be said that American democracy is the implementation of the ideas contained in this sermon.
7/22/2012 2:11:55 PM
Interesting view Rob. I don't equate the rule of majority to the rule of Jesus Christ. To me, the Kingdom of God comes about by individual people having a religious experience and converting to Christ. These individual converts then in a formal, but necessary, fashion are baptised within the Church. Either formally or informally, the individual must consent, with his/her free will, to God's Grace if God’s Kingdom is to grow here on earth. The Church teaches that man can reject, through his free will, the Grace of God.
It is my argument that other political systems, as well as the current secularism within Western society, denies individuals the free will to assent to the Lord's Grace. Without the necessary conversion of sinners the expansion of the Kingdom of God is impossible. By allowing individuals religious freedom, America's political system helps to make religious conversion possible. The temporal administration of the Republic through the rule of the majority is only one way, albeit a fallible way, of ensuring that as many individuals as possible have this freedom to convert. The rule of majority, in my opinion, has no direct impact on bringing about conversion. Thank-you for allowing me to clarify. Am I still way off?
My prayer is that Fatima has not destroyed anyone's hope and faith in Jesus' promises of the beatific vision (which transcends these earthly kingdoms) for those he judges worthy - hopefully, we will be on the Right side - and counted among the sheep.
7/22/2012 4:55:07 PM
"And He began to teach them many things." This is what Christ the King gives rather than worldly riches and securities.
This is key to our faith. And speaking of "keys", in this day and age especially, we must, very importantly, remember where Jesus Christ the King left those "keys".
We had the gospel reading not too long ago from Matthew 16. "Thou art Peter... and I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven."
I had just finished listening to Fr. Barron's commentary on Ross Douthat's book, "Bad Religion: How We Became a Nation of Heretics", when I began listening to this week's sermon. We have so many other teachers today, preaching other gospel interpretations. Fr. Barron mentioned a few in his commentary on Douthat's book, such as those who teach a "prosperity gospel" like Joel Ostein, and many others who promote their own variously peculiar Christian heresies of today.
There is only one sure place we can go to be taught these "many things" — and to be certain that what we are learning, and believing, and obeying, are truly the words of the Word Made Flesh. And He himself gave those "keys" to Peter and the Magisterium, the teaching authority of His Church, the unbroken line of papal authority since St. Peter was chosen to be the first Bishop of Rome! On whose authority? Jesus Christ, the King of Kings!
We are not to be fooled by false teachers, false authorities, false doctrines and heresies, wherever we may find their origins.
We can learn these "many things" today, and be certain that the New King, Christ Jesus, is teaching us, and that we are receiving them rightly and with proper interpretation, only in so much as these "many things" we learn are being taught to us in union with the teachings of the Magisterium, of His Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
Viva il Papa!
7/22/2012 6:41:39 PM
Tyler stresses democracy which today is being used to discriminate against Christians (HHS mandate) by governing against our founding documents (2nd amendment).
Rob Argento stresses a people's Republic where they did not govern by the rule of law (founding documents) by forcing Kennedy, in this example, to deny the Holy See.
Neither of these facts is true freedom which our founding documents promote for all people no matter their faith.
A democracy is rule by the majority which Rob states a Republic is. A Republic is suppose to be governing according to law (founding documents) which the Kennedy example defies.
It appears to me that knowing and living out God's goal for creating us and our founding documents can both help fulfill our purpose in life. The sad part is that nobody really knows what their true purpose in life is nor if they live in a democracy or Republic or whatever? and which does what.
I think a Republic is a safer bet than democracy because officers and representatives are said to be RESPONSIBLE to citizens and govern them according to law. Democracy is more of a rule by a majority and states nothing about the law.
7/22/2012 8:55:30 PM
Rob: We, as mere humans, cannot and should not force the belief in God, or any particular religion, onto the unfaithful by implementing the rule of the Holy See into our government. Our country was not founded by Catholics and it simply would not work. The Church does its best, but it is far from perfect and the world does not look favorably right now on the Vatican, in light of all the scandals, historical and recent. HOWEVER, we as faithful Catholics, should lead by example, as disciples of Christ, and pray, unceasingly, that the Holy Spirit will bring grace to those who are lacking, in order to bring them to God. Democracy is very messy and rarely reflects a true "majority" rule, with so many not voting, the electoral college scheme, and the false god (AKA money) that is now running politics. But its the best we have at this point.
7/23/2012 7:06:47 AM
(. . . in relation to last weeks sermon 601)
A few days back the local paper carried a saying, which roughly translates as
'With one bull you cannot work the plough.'
Age old wisdom, working in partnership makes the load lighter. Also we need the 'shepherd' to guide the plough.
7/23/2012 7:58:41 AM
This rule by the majority can be a bit of a scary thing. Nevertheless, I believe God's hand may be at work in this area - just by my intuition. I see and feel a sense of returning to Christian ideals around me. The message of Fatima is real and it is our wake up call to pursue the Kingdom of God - possibly more actively, eloquently, and openly.
In order for conversion, one must have freedom of conscience which is being denied through HHS mandate efforts to devalue and limit the Church's influence on society. Our votes matter in this election.
We need all elected officials (and citizens) to honor and obey our founding documents. I really don't understand most of this judicial activism. It should have no place in our Republic unless it saves lives outright on an emergency basis.
Ignoring market realities is also a disaster because this punishes and eventually destroys the engine which provides our tax base (the powerhouse of our economy) and traditional family life. Whatever the regulations the government puts onto the private sector, they should always strengthen the tax base and traditional family life.
In order for this to work effectively, our government must be smaller in size than our private sector. The governments power is established through putting people first, not through its size to suppress the effectiveness of the market but to foster its effectiveness and promote justice (fairness).
Our founding documents are our countries 'guidelines' that help ensure this happens. Everyone ignores them - even our leaders. This, I believe, needs to be a requirement for anyone who holds office - to respect and honor our founding documents.
Just like our Church respects and honors biblical principles and Church doctrine. They can not stray from this. Our American leaders are straying from these sources of virtue left and right.
7/23/2012 9:36:24 AM
Our Blessed Mother has appeared to the Saints through out time.This is not a myth but an actual fact.The America of today murders openly the unborn without any due process what soever. We want to kill the old or those who we do not call perfect.We have a president that tells us that marriage between two men or woman is exceptable.My question is by what authority does this president speak?I KNOW that the HOLY FATHER in Rome speaks on the very authority of JESUS CHRIST!For you are petros and upon this Rock I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH AND THE GATES OF HELL WILL NOT PREVAIL.THese apparitions of our LADY out of love for us the Body of CHRIST.OUR LADY comes to warn us that we must seek to do the will of her SON OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST.OUR LADY said at fatima that our LORD is already gravely offended.:FORM and make prayer groups through which you will pray for your healing and the healing of this nation to draw closer to God and to me.Marija said that our LADY then prayed over us for our healing of this country.St.Bridget pray for us!
7/23/2012 9:51:00 AM
Prayer is a must - we say rosary every week. We dedicated our marriage to the Blessed Mother 25 years ago! I'm attending a prayer circle this Friday!
7/23/2012 11:37:25 AM
Hello Tyler: When you say "American democracy demystifies the King, and does not appreciate the elected officials who co-opt the powers of a King," this raises some difficult questions, one of them being "Is any people's violent revolution against the King ever justified?" If the answer is yes, that still raises the question of whether the American Revolution was justified, keeping in mind that Holy Scripture and papal tradition prior to the American Revolution strongly urged submission to the Emperor. Saint Paul urged submission to the Roman Emperor, even though he officially purloined the same titles of Our Lord Jesus Christ: Lord of Lords, Light of the World, and Son of God; and even when he declared Christians to be enemies of the Empire.
As for religious freedom, sure our human nature appreciates that -- but the baptized Christian receives the Divine Spirit and a new nature, that of Christ, which is supernatural ("the new man," as St. Paul says). Would the apostles have justified a violent revolution against the Emperor in the name of religious freedom? The answer, I would think, is No. Also, see if you can find any papal decree for religious liberty prior to Vatican II. I'm not aware of any. The Apostles did not declare "God raised Jesus Christ whom you crucified so that Jews and Gentiles everywhere might have religious liberty." In fact, the Apostle declared "That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth." The doctrine of religious liberty is not really an American or traditional Catholic doctrine at all; it originated with the freemasons, who were roundly condemned by the papacy. Also, see if you can find any pope prior to Vatican II who urged a violent people's revolution on ANY basis.
In conclusion, I don't see the American Revolution or any constitutional democratic republic as having anything to do with the Kingdom of Heaven. If anything, the overthrow of extant monarchies and their replacement by the "Novus ordo seclorum" (A New Order of the Ages) is setting the table for the Beast of the Apocalypse and leading the world to its final denouement.
7/23/2012 3:38:05 PM
Some people commenting here seem awfully narrow-minded and don't seem to recognize the 2nd edition of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is what we presently adhere to, the part that talks about religious freedom being an inalienable right and also about man having free will to come to God on his own. We are never going to convert people by forcing it on them or threatening them with hell if they don't accept Christ. We are part of the Catholic Church who puts the biblical interpretation into appropriate context--not like the biblical fundamentalists who often quote things out of context. This can be divisive rather than unifying. We are all God's children.
7/23/2012 4:13:45 PM
There are many Saints that were involved politically and times in which religious freedom became apparent.
Constantine (even tho he messed up later) published the Edict of Milan and attended the Council of Nicea in 325 where the double-dealing of the Arian bishop and his party was revealed.
St. Athanasius spoke up here saying, "Who has deceived you, O senseless, to call the Creator a creature?" Aren't we to speak up TODAY too?
If one sees the destruction taking place that is so detrimental and they do not even speak up, they may have much to suffer. Or if they want certain things carried out for purely selfish reasons, they may have much to suffer. Or if they try to gloss over the topic, they may have much to suffer.
Michigan Congressman John Dingell, Jr. had been introducing his national health insurance system every session of Congress since he took over his father's seat in 1955. His father introduced his New Deal health care idea in 1943 and did so every year until he died. Why hasn't anyone spoken out about this grevious error. Where was our St. Athanasius then? Now look what we have to deal with after O took office and rammed it through.
Later, St. Athanasius had to fight his whole life to hold up Church doctrine because the Arians were influencing confused Constantine and had him sent into exile many times. He never gave up - even writing to his flock while in exile.
Also, St. Catherine of Sienna tried influencing political leaders and St. Thomas Moore died for not caving into the Kings wishes.
I don't believe we need a violent revolution against the president in the name of religious freedom. We do need to speak out against injustice to be our brothers keepers though.
7/23/2012 5:50:32 PM
Rob Argento - The freemasons on the Supreme Court were the ones who removed prayer from the public schools. This is freedom from religion not freedom of religion.
7/23/2012 8:15:11 PM
Rob, I agree that my point regarding the supremacy of American democracy to other forms of political organizations raises serious questions about the legitimacy of earthly authority – but this is the very point, and I believe that is the point, if I may so, that Christ and St. Paul and the Church is trying to make - our proper response to such authority is obedience so the authority itself must not be in violent opposition to Divine law.
The question of whether violent revolt is ever justified has a long history in the Church. Certainly, Jesus himself, many of the apostles, and quite a few early Christians chose non-violent opposition to cruel and often unjust secular authority. Indeed, they chose the way of the martyr, to overcome evil by doing good, and by so doing they heap coals of fire upon his head. The victims of Nero were not failures, they speak to the success of the martyrs.
However, if you read paragraphs 2242 and 2243 of the Catechism you can see that the Church does recognize times when violent revolt might be warranted. Obviously the preferred way is non-violence, but sometimes, in order to be our brother’s keeper, we are required to take up arms. This is always a last resort, lest we accept that the idea that only way to deal with violence is more violence.
Furthermore, the entire of existence of Christians martyrs and Jesus’ own death on the Cross presupposes the Church’s appreciation of desire for Religious liberty. You are correct that Jesus did not die for religious liberty, but Jesus was crucified because the State at his time did not recognize and value religious liberty! It is wrong therefore, to look at Jesus’ death from only the perspective of the citizen and not from the perspective of those who are endowed with secular/temporal authority. If one doesn’t examine the morality of the temporal authority, many of Jesus’ teachings will have been in vain. One needs to remember that Jesus’ teachings applied to everyone including those individuals with temporal authority, as you noted in your previous post. Furthermore, since many self-professed Christians will hold positions of authority they will have to know what Jesus and the Church expects of them.
So to be clear – religious liberty is secular notion that has nothing at all to do with salvation and the true liberty promised by Jesus; however, quite poetically, those temporal authorities that do not support religious liberty for their fellow man will not be able to achieve salvation.
How do you reconcile the Church’s teaching on non-violence and its support of the Just war theory?
Finally, although the world may be approaching it is always useful to remember that we were made for this world.
7/24/2012 12:39:46 PM
Rob, I believe it was St. Augustine who first articulated the Just War theory, the same Saint who opposed the Donatists.
7/24/2012 12:48:06 PM
Opps...many writing errors (as usual) in my post of 12:39. Sorry. I think most of the errors can be deciphered, but I would like to clarify the last sentence. I meant to write:
"Finally, although the end of the world may be approaching it is always useful to remember that we were not made for this world."
PS. Rob, you should also note that the Church teaches that once a violent revolt has taken place Christian should be obedient to the new authority.
7/24/2012 6:39:12 PM
Hello Eileen: Freemason dogma is most definitely in favor of freedom of religion BECAUSE they believe in the fundamental underlying unity of all faiths (which the Catholic Church has never taught, in fact Augustine taught that pagans sacrifice to demons). Prior to Vatican II popes taught that, against modernity, Catholics should not participate in public religion. Also, all true popes have always declared that God raised from the dead the same Jesus Christ whom Jewish officials led to Pilate for crucifixion. This is a non-negotiable declaration; even so, yes, the apostles reasoned with the Jewish officials from the Scriptures to try and persuade them that Jesus is their Christ. It was not the apostles, however, who kicked the Jewish officials out of the temple and synagogues; it was the other away around. In other words, the officials could not tolerate the Christians within Jewish officialdom. But, if you had asked the apostles "Do the Jews have the liberty to reject Jesus as their Christ?" the apostles would most definitely reply that those who reject Jesus as God's Christ will be condemned on Judgment Day. This is not "fundamentalism;" this is the Gospel that was unconditionally proclaimed by Our Lord Himself and his apostles until Vatican II ambiguated the whole faith by trying to make it more palatable to modernists who categorically deny absolute truth.
Hello Tyler: You write "...but Jesus was crucified because the State at his time did not recognize and value religious liberty!" Huh? The Romans at that time tolerated every faith imaginable, with one exception: the Christian faith, precisely because the apostles declared UNCONDITIONALLY that the absolute God and Creator raised Jesus Christ (whom the Jewish officials handed over to Roman authority for execution as a criminal) from the dead and made him Lord of Lords and King of Kings -- imperial titles which the Roman Emperor claimed for himself alone. The Emperor even declared "Son of God" as his own title, that which belongs to Jesus Christ alone. There is a fight to the death here; there is no negotiation or resignation.
The apostles, though they recognized the conditional legitimacy of the temporal authorities, ALSO insisted that all temporal authorities must subordinate themselves to the supreme authority of the ascended Jesus Christ in the person of His Vicar on earth. The bishops in the U.S.A. have not unequivocally done this, neither the Novus Ordo popes. Why not? Because the U.S.A. (and others) is constituted as a people's republic with "...no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." If the bishops made such a public declaration they would be invited to leave the U.S.A. This is logical: you either declare Our Lord Jesus Christ to whom aall authority has been given in heaven and on earth, or you declare religious liberty. An example of the failure to do this was when the pope said that the U.S. strike against Iraq in 2003 was a "crime against peace," but the U.S. bishops permitted Catholics to participate in the strike. Thus, in America, the Church finds herself in a loyalty predicament.
7/25/2012 11:45:17 AM
Just a question to ponder here for the protection of souls: If a leader mandates us to jump of a bridge to our death, must we do it?
If a leader asks us to deny our Faith or ask us to deny our Catholic consciences, must we do it?
Which is worse or are they the same: jumping off a bridge to our death or denying our Catholic Faith?
7/27/2012 9:00:33 AM
Can you tell me the definition of 'public religion?' Also, any of this 'reasoning' or evangelizing from the apostles with 'officials' took place after the Passion and Resurrection of Jesus...after Pentecost. Therefore, within the Church herself. This may be an important point in your reasoning.
But what exactly does this have to do with freemasons desiring a unity of all Faiths? Or does it? Maybe your definition of 'public religion' will help.
And as to a predicament - war is always difficult, perplexing, and trying. Loyalty though, for Christian Americans, is always toward the Savior - Jesus Christ. This in non-negotiable!
7/28/2012 7:46:16 AM
Rob, I will only leave you with this to ponder:
If God gave everyone free will, how can any State take away religious liberty?
My answer: The State can try, through force, and they would be wrong. The State will never succeed in eliminating religious liberty, the State will only end up killing people who remind them that they can't prevent or take away religious liberty.
God's authority is never, I repeat never, in jeopardy by any temporal authority or temporal condition as religious liberty. In my humble opinion, God's authority reigns despite religious liberty. It is merely a nicety when the State recognizes the same thing that God does.
7/28/2012 1:04:57 PM
Rob, it is a balancing act. The Church must both declare that the State should submit to divine authority, but then the exercise of that authority means the State needs to merciful and allow religious liberty - because our God is merciful and just. When the Church had secular power it allowed for religious liberty. If a religion decided to use religious liberty to deny others religious liberty the Christian State and Catholic religion would have to say that subversive religion is not being just. Similarily when a secular State denies religious liberty it also needs to be held to account for its aggression and denial of liberty. I don't think there is an easy answer to these questions.
7/28/2012 1:21:06 PM
Rob, I made one error in my post at 1:04 pm.
In my opinion, when the State recognizes religious liberty, as the US does, it is more than a mere nicety, it is one of those rare moments when we see God's Grace being actualized, something we should all be very thankful for.
7/28/2012 1:42:05 PM
If a Bishop or Priest commands you to do something contrary to the Magisterium you ask to meet with them and basically ask "Isn't this contrary to the Magisterium?" You try to resolve it that way. If you cannot resolve it you might have to respectfully decline in good faith.
Obviously if a civic authority commands you to deny the Faith you must decline. Millions of Catholics have done this, many suffering imprisonment, exile, or execution because of it. Our Lord prepared all disciples for this very thing, assuring that those who would follow Him would suffer persecution. In America today good Catholics suffer a form of persecution -- ridicule -- whenever we publicly practice our faith. In some cases it could even cost you your career.
An example -- not a complete definition -- of an exercise of public religion might be public school prayer together with Protestants and Jews and others. Or interfaith prayer in the military. When I was catechized (pre-Vatican II) we were warned not to participate in such exercises of public, or civic, religion and not to participate in Protestant or Jewish funeral services. Sure, this is a hard line to draw, but the Church must draw the line somewhere, otherwise we end up diluting the Faith and dissolving Jesus Christ into some foggy universalism that practices nothing greater than "Love your neighbor as yourself" while relegating "Love the Lord Your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength" to some lesser distinction.
See Acts 17:1-5: "Now when they had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they came to Thessalonica, where was a synagogue of the Jews. And Paul, as his manner was, went in unto them, and three sabbath days reasoned with them out of the scriptures..." In this case the Apostles were evangelizing and reasoning with the Jews inside the synagogue, not the Church. They continued this practice until they were kicked out and persecuted.
As for freemasonry, I was responding to what Eileen wrote: "The freemasons on the Supreme Court were the ones who removed prayer from the public schools. This is freedom from religion not freedom of religion." I countered with: "Freemason dogma is most definitely in favor of freedom of religion BECAUSE they believe in the fundamental underlying unity of all faiths."
The Church must always hold loyalty to the state and national defense concerns subordinate to loyalty to Our Lord Jesus Christ and His Church. This is completely obvious to any traditional Roman Catholic. So, as a test case, when the pope said that the U.S. strike against Iraq in 2003 was a "crime against peace," what should the U.S. Bishops have said to American Catholics in the military? Tough question.
Hello Tyler: I agree, it is a balancing act; that's a good way to phrase it. To quote, however, Pope Pius IX: "From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an 'insanity,' viz., that 'liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way.'" Note that he writes "erroneous opinion."
7/28/2012 2:44:33 PM
"Paul joined the people there and conducted discussions with them about the Scriptures for three Sabbaths." The apostles were acting on behalf of the Church in an 'open forum' type of discussion in the synogogue where old testament scriptures are held in commonality between Jews and Catholics. It looks like all were welcomed initially. Is this public religion? They did convert some here. It was the "Jews that formed a mob and started a riot in town." "When the town's magistrates (state) heard the whole story, they released the" innocent "and the others on bail." This is my intake on this - I'm not a Theologian.
I was catechized after Vatican II and never remember any of the recollections you have regarding praying with other faith communities or attending funerals of other faiths.
I do know that the great state of Maryland had a great Catholic bishop stressing religious freedom so that Catholics can worship. I think the name was Calvert. This was before Vatican II. I can try to find out more later.
I don't think religion is public but religion can permeate into the public square. We have a Catholic religion and this is clear. But a public religion is not clear. You can say ecumenicity. What term did the popes use when they said, (your words)"Catholics should not participate in public religion."
7/28/2012 5:20:52 PM
Rob, you seem concerned about how the US government exercises its authority and less concerned about religious liberty per se. I would agree the US government has not been exercising its authority according to Catholic teaching or the Divine law. This is a problem. However, the fact that religious liberty is protected by the US Constitution is not, in itself, a bad thing; indeed, quite the contrary, it is a good thing.
To reiterate the above: all governments have many duties to their citizens. Two of these duties include:
1) allowing religious liberty, and
2) simultaneously, promoting the Divine law and a good moral order.
The US government has failed on No. 2. Many other governments have failed try to achieve No. 2.
7/28/2012 5:22:41 PM
Quanta Cura is interesting reading.
7/28/2012 5:37:07 PM
Hello Eileen: No, that's not what public or civic religion is. Have a look here to see a traditional catholic critique of civic religion: "America’s Godless Civic Religion," by Christopher A. Ferrara:
The issue is not the public proclamation of the Holy Gospel, which we are commanded to do whether it's legal or not. The issue is the public mingling of the Catholic faith with some other faith, which we must not do. This tends to happen when, for example, we participate in an interfaith prayer gathering for global peace. The Apostles were not mingling their faith in Jesus with the Jews who had Him crucified; on the contrary they were testifying to and arguing for the fact that the risen Jesus had appeared to them after crucifixion and death. Their choosing to do this in the Temple and synagogues was not a mingling of the Gospel with Judaism -- it was rather the completion of Judaism to those who believed the Gospel and the end of Judaism to those who did not.
Hello Tyler: Whether religious liberty in the U.S.A. is good or not depends, of course on what you do with it. When the pope declared the invasion of Iraq a "crime against peace" in 2003 the U.S. bishops had the liberty to confront Catholics in the Pentagon with this fact and to suggest a course of action, perhaps to publicly confront the President with this fact. I don't believe they did so, but authentic religious liberty would have presented them with this option. Most religious liberty, however, is used to justify all kinds of sin, such as fornication, substance abuse, sexual liberation. women's liberation (from submission to their husbands), regular commerce on the Lord's Day, adultery, divorce and remarriage, usury, telling half truths, calumny, detraction, and even Satan worship. All of this is found in super abundance throughout the people's republics that have religious liberty. What's more, it's getting worse, even to the extent that now "religious" people including many Roman Catholics are quite complacent about torture ("enhanced interrogation"), cluster bombing urban areas, pre-emptive invasions, and assassinations.
Perhaps you did not notice my previous quote, but Gregory XVI termed "liberty of conscience and worship" to be "insanity."
7/30/2012 10:20:22 PM
I want to express my sincere gratitude for this beautiful messages introducing me to catholicism and the great love of we can find in Jesus Christ our Lord,father Barron you have a wonderful gift thank you!
10/8/2012 7:58:28 AM
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