Happy Birthday Humanae Vitae


Pope Paul VI’s encyclical turns forty today!

If you’ve never read it check out the link. It’s an insightful and prohpetical letter.

Here is the opening:

The transmission of human life is a most serious role in which married people collaborate freely and responsibly with God the Creator. It has always been a source of great joy to them, even though it sometimes entails many difficulties and hardships.

The fulfillment of this duty has always posed problems to the conscience of married people, but the recent course of human society and the concomitant changes have provoked new questions. The Church cannot ignore these questions, for they concern matters intimately connected with the life and happiness of human beings.

Enjoy! 

Jesus Appoints a Pope: Part I


When Jesus went into the region of Caesarea Philippi He asked His disciples, ”Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” They replied, “Some say John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter said in reply, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God.” Jesus said to him in reply, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah. For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Heavenly Father. And so 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. I will give you the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven. Then He strictly ordered His disciples to tell no one that He was the Messiah.   Matt. 16:13-20  

  The conception of the Church. Jesus building and constructing the foundation of the apostles by His teaching. They, in turn, pass that teaching on to us through their teaching, preaching and writings.

 With Peter’s response to Jesus’ question, the foundation starts to take shape, as Jesus is the “capstone (cornerstone) of this foundation of the apostles and the prophets” (Eph. 2:20). “You are the Messiah, the Son of the Living God” is a statement of faith by Peter, to which Jesus acknowledges, For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Heavenly Father”. But it is also a statement of faith for the Church, and for us as individuals. For one can not profess what one does not believe (by this I mean professing both in word and deed, Ja. 2:22). 

Then, Jesus does something radical; He changes Simon’s name. Within scripture, when God gives a new name to a person (or a people) it marks a turning point. Something big was happening, a new responsibility, role or identity. Simon’s name meant, ”he is heard,” and he certainly was on this day, wasn’t he? For God heard his heart in his profession, before it was spoken aloud. And Jesus blesses him and changes his name to Peter.

 Petros in Greek and Kepha in Aramaic. I mention both names, because they are both used in scripture, in fact, it is the only name Paul uses for Peter. It also [helps] clarify the misunderstanding Protestants have with this passage. Petros is the masculine form of the Greek word for “rock”; Petra is the feminine form.

That is why there are different words used in the sentence in the Greek text, “And so I say to you, you are Petros and upon this petra I will build my church. Surely Matthew wouldn’t refer to Peter as feminine, would he? Whereas in the Aramaic there is no masculine/feminine form of the word Kepha. It would read, “And so I say to you, you are Kepha and upon this kepha I will build my church.” This also happens to be the language that Jesus and the disciples spoke at the time. So in essence, Jesus is saying, “You are Rock and on you, I will build My church.” This means that Peter would be the leader of the twelve, after Jesus returned to the Father (John 21:15-19) and through Peter, Jesus Himself would build His church. And we see examples of this all through the New Testament; Peter being the spokesman for the twelve, often the central figure relating to Christ. He is always named first. He was also first to proclaim the Gospel, the first to heal others and the first to receive the revelation to take the Gospel to the Gentiles (Mk. 8:29, Matt. 14:28-32, Lk. 6:12-16, Acts 2:14-40, Acts 3:6-7, Acts 10:9-48).

Jesus then promises that the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it [church],  a promise that stands to this day. Jesus’ “one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church” stood through the Roman persecutions, converted that pagan nation and was the sole Christian religion (that wasn’t heresy) for 1550+ years.

A New Forum


Check out an exciting new forum here.

Thanks Amber!

Pope Benedict XVI addresses Baptists


Check out this article: Pope to Baptists.

The Pope On Purgatory


Expressed in his new encyclical, Spe Salvi [Saved in Hope] He explains his view, which happens to be the view of the Church:  

Some theologians are of the opinion that the fire which both burns and saves is Christ himself, the Judge and Saviour.  The encounter with him is the decisive act of judgement [sic].  Before his gaze all falsehood melts away.  This encounter with him, as it burns us, transforms and frees us, allowing us to become truly ourselves.  …His gaze, the touch of his heart heals us through an undeniably painful transformation ‘as through fire.’  But it is a  blessed pain, in which the holy power of his love sears through us like a flame, enabling us to become totally ourselves and thus totally of God.  In this way the inter-relation between justice and grace also becomes clear:  the way we live our lives is not immaterial, but our defilement does not stain us forever if we have at least continued to reach out towards Christ, towards truth and towards love.  …The pain of love becomes our salvation and our joy.  It is clear that we cannot calculate the ‘duration’ of this transforming burning in terms of the chronological measurements of this world.  The transforming ‘moment’ of this encounter eludes earthly time-reckoning—it is the heart’s time, it is the time of ‘passage’ to communion with God in the Body of Christ.  The judgement of God is hope, both because it is justice and because it is grace.  If it were merely grace, making all earthly things cease to matter, God would still owe us an answer to the question about justice—the crucial question that we ask of history and of God.  If it were merely justice, in the end it could bring only fear to us all.  The incarnation of God in Christ has so closely linked the two together—judgement and grace—that justice is firmly established:  we all work out our salvation ‘with fear and trembling’ (Phil. 2:12).  Nevertheless grace allows us all to hope, and to go trustfully to meet the Judge whom we know as our ‘advocate,’ or parakletos (I Jn. 2:1).      [Spe Salvi, n. 47]

Pope Benedict XVI Coming to the U.S.


The Pope’s first pastoral visit to the United States is scheduled for April 15-20 2008.

Fellow Knights can join a Spiritual E-Bouquet.

Please pray for the success and safety of his trip.