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HOLY WEEK 2014

Today's Martyrology
 

“Teach this to your children”

 

Holy Bible and Authentic Catholic Teaching


"Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22.6)



When Catholics are not Catholic

It has become increasingly “correct” not only to ignore the past, but to repudiate it, even expunge it (except, of course, when the past provides fodder for grievances that may have once existed, were redressed, and are no longer authentic — in this sense it is the sine qua non of the neo-fascist liberal/progressive mindset — which is intolerant of any tolerance of intolerance …). What had informed us as a nation articulated in moral terms inseparable from its Christian origins has not simply become banal but abhorrent. “This is not your daddy’s America”, we may say in the parlance of any nostalgia-tainted discourse on the present state of this country. It is a different America that has become the symbolic and ultimately hollow statuary of Liberal Amerika.

This especially pertains to the role of religion in the public polity … if it is allowed at all in public discourse — and increasingly it is not; and not just religion in general (as we find, say, in China and North Korea), but specific religions: Christian religions in general and Catholicism in particular. Islam — because it is feared by our politicians and policy-makers — is largely exempt and accrues to itself a special protected status much like the “protected-class” of homosexual citizens — against whom alone incivility is actionable, falling under the protection of special “civil-rights” not accorded other citizens.

That the official Catholic Church (as distinct from self-adulating liberal bishops, priests, Religious, and nominal Catholics) is the primary obstacle to many of the pernicious policies of this present administration is unmistakable. The Catholic Church is the sole moral impediment to the perversities (social, moral, and political) that are legislated against the American people. There are brave and uncompromising bishops and Catholics … but relatively speaking they are few.


52%

It is significant that up to 52 % of Catholics voted for Barack Obama and endorsed the platform of the Democratic Party in the last two presidential elections. This platform endorsed abortion, wide-spread contraception, the propagation of the homosexual (LGBT) agenda, the HHS Mandate that violates the most fundamental principle of the rights of conscience, radical feminism, judicial activism and legislation, embryo destructive research, human cloning, and rescinded (refused to enforce) the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) describing it as unconstitutional (in their opinion —I will restate that: in their opinion) … to name a few.

In so many words, half of all Catholics turned their back on their Faith in favor of popular social sentiment. Perhaps this is too broad a statement: let us say, rather, that those who identified themselves as Catholics did so — irrespective of their understanding of their own Catholic Faith. That is to say, many of those who identify themselves as Catholic (those in accord with the authentic teachings of the Catholic Church) … really are not. This statement will infuriate these “Catholics” who bitterly (and illogically) contend that their Faith and their politics are separable; that the authority of the Church and the teachings of Jesus Christ do not extend to the political polls or, for that matter, to their own sexual lives; that there are civic and personal boundaries beyond which neither Christ nor His Church may trespass, and beyond which they possess no competent authority.

Just as there is a separation of Church and State in Amerika, there is a separation of Faith and politics —and most fundamentally (and most illogically) a separation between Faith and the very articles and dogma specific to it and which themselves inform it as a specific, a unique, religion distinct from another! These “Catholics” are, we may say, “partly-Catholic” or “agree with some, or few, but not all” of the Church’s magisterial teachings. They are Catholic in much the way that the new capitalist entrepreneurs in communist China are communist. That capitalism and communism are polar opposite economic and political models does not appear to influence what they think and believe, let alone what they do. In what sense, we are forced to ask, are they communists at all if everything they do is predicated on what is clearly capitalism? A rich communist is the equivalent of a poor capitalist — or an atheist Catholic. It is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.


Catholics, Communists, and Capitalists

It is not that we fail to recognize this contradiction (logically we cannot), but that we deliberately refuse to recognize the incompatibility at all. It is, at best, a thin but resilient veneer much like the meniscus enclosing a bead of water upon a smooth waxed surface: were logic permitted to penetrate the social meniscus that supports this bead of otherwise mutually exclusive ideologies it would collapse under the artificial and unsustainable contradiction. By policy and a presumed social expedience we deny the needle of logic its due, even legislate against it, because it would be inconvenient to and incompatible with the purpose (the policy, really) at hand. There is only one way to reconcile incompatibilities: ignore them. That is 50% of Catholics at the polls. “I am a faithful Catholic, but in the way of social issues I am an atheist.” It is the same logic we see at work in China: “I am a faithful communist, but in the way of monetary issues and real estate appropriation I am a capitalist.” Wang Jianlin, originally of Sechuan, reportedly has $15.1 billion in assets and according to Forbes magazine, "China boasts a record 152 members of the 2014 edition of the annual Forbes Billionaires ..." 3 China is officially a communist country. Indeed, the largest … and wealthiest. The Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR) and the Chinese billionaires appear to have much in common. They are both among “the faithful” of their putative ideologies, however irreconcilable their conduct is with their ostensible professions (one political, “I am a committed communist … billionaire”, and one religious, “I am a professed Catholic Religious … Pro-abortion sister”).
 

Ignorance as the Propaedeutic to Policy

As we had said earlier, the only way to reconcile incompatibilities is to ignore them. Of course, this is not reconciling them at all … it is merely methodologically suspending them. Acknowledged incompatibilities paralyze us. We can only move beyond them by suspending them. This, of course, is the implicit acknowledgment that we recognize them — and therein lays the guilt.

Even according to the scandalously liberal National Catholic Reporter (NCR):

"We found that half of adult Catholics (50 percent) know the church’s teaching regarding the real presence and half do not. We also found that close to two-thirds of adult Catholics (63 percent) believe that “at the consecration during a Catholic Mass, the bread and wine really become the body and blood of Jesus Christ.” 2

Upon reading a thoughtfully written article in Crisis Magazine titled Saving Catholic Culture from Destruction 1 by Michael Tamara, which I encourage you to read, three verses from Holy scripture immediately came to mind — and one from a very early Church Father:

First, the Biblical:

  •  "Lay up these my words in your hearts and minds, and hang them for a sign on your hands, and place them between your eyes. Teach your children that they meditate on them, when thou sittest in thy house, and when thou walkest on the way, and when thou liest down and risest up." (Deut. 11.18-19)
     

  • "The Lord hath sworn truth to David, and he will not make it void: of the fruit of thy womb I will set upon thy throne. If thy children will keep thy covenant, and these my testimonies which I shall teach them: Their children also for evermore shall sit upon thy throne." (Ps. 13.11-12)
     

  • "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22.6)

And from Saint Ephraim the Syrian (306-373 A.D.):

  • "Do nothing at all without the beginning of prayer. With the Sign of the living Cross, seal all your doings, my son. Go not forth from the door of your house till you have signed the Cross. Whether in eating or in drinking, whether in sleeping or in waking, whether in your house or on the road, or again in the season of leisure, neglect not this sign; for there is no guardian like it. It shall be unto you as a wall, in the forefront of all your doings. And teach this to your children, that heedfully they be conformed to it."

The admittedly lengthy preface to this article has been articulated simply as a preface to a much more important issue, a fundamentally deeper issue that Holy Scripture — and Saint Ephraim — brings to relief. It is an issue of failure, specifically the failure to hand on, to deliver (tradere) Sacred Tradition, together with the unequivocal dogma and indisputable teaching authority through which it was articulated.


Resolute Refusal

Let us be absolutely simple: since Vatican II, Catholics have not just failed to hand on, to deliver, their Catholic Faith to their children — they have resolutely refused to. They had lost the Faith, retained a diminishing similitude to it, churned their children through useless and often heretical CCD and Catechetical programs in which they learned nothing of it, and flocked to the polls to support every issue contrary to authentic Catholic teaching. They had pre-marital sex to which their parents turned a blind eye, or simply winked, and then had the abortions that followed. Abortions require abortuaries and necessitated the abattoir, the slaughter-house, of Planned Parenthood — which then took the responsibility which you had abdicated to teach your children, and subsequently taught them everything … including every sexual perversity … from primary school on.

You simply paid the money to psychiatrists and psychologists to help your children sort out a sexual identity crisis that would never have existed had you done your work and kept your Faith instead of leaving it to the government and NGOs. When your children committed suicide you scratched your head and wondered why … when they developed incurable STDs you paid for the prescriptions; when they had abortions, you drove them there … and comforted them with lies that their lives would be the same. And if you lived long enough to be “could-have-been-grandparents”, you may have watched your daughter fall into irrecoverable depression in the prime of her life ... and you may have even waked her. You were “correct” … and she correctly died. You may have grandchildren you know nothing of because you told your son that condoms were the answer to the question you did not have the courage to answer forthrightly. Or perhaps he acquired AIDS from another man, from a women, or both — because sexual promiscuity is “correct” in your culture, or the culture you ruined, and after looking at the mess, dismissed it altogether with all that had once accompanied it and was noble and good and demanding.

You brought ruin to yourself, and now you bring it to your children that all may equally perish. Wasn’t it all about “equality” anyway … “acceptance” and “tolerance?” When you decided that there was nothing that was “right” or “wrong” … only “different” and “acceptable”? Consequences? What are they? Haven’t we genetically engineered them to our liking yet? And there is, after all, no God, you arrogantly proclaim — until you hope that there is when you or your children die.

These are harsh, severe sayings; cruel pronouncements, you say? They are far less cruel and infinitely less harsh than realities that will come to your door — unless you teach your children as Holy Mother the Church once taught you before you despised Her in your arrogance and vanity. Perhaps as cruel as the government and social correctitude that brought you to the sad state you find yourself in today.

When you lost God you lost everything. Everything. Your children, your country, your freedom, and ultimately your soul. This is the cruelest consequence of all.

But you are “enlightened”, “educated”, “progressive” … an “intellectual” — aren’t you? And these are the things of children. Yes? Would that they were only of children ….
 

The Remedy

Oh, yes! The remedy! Teach your own children better than your parents had taught you. Teach them authentic Catholic doctrine, and not the prevailing and perverse social sentiments that will poison their minds, depredate their bodies, and cost them their immortal souls. You may have lost yours already. But give your kids a break. "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it." (Prov. 22.6) … the way that you did.


Editor
Boston Catholic Journal



1 http://www.crisismagazine.com/2014/saving-catholic-culture-from-destruction?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+CrisisMagazine+%28Crisis+Magazine%29
2 http://ncronline.org/news/catholics-america/knowledge-and-belief-about-real-presence 
3 http://www.forbes.com/sites/russellflannery/2014/03/03/2014-forbes-billionaires-list-growing-chinas-10-richest/ 
 

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"What is Holiness?"

Holiness — sanctity — is simply the conformity of the will to the will of God.

 
Archbishop Fulton Sheen on the Law of Love If you listen to no other homily on being a Catholic and your obligation to love God and your neighbor ... listen   to this: The Law of Love by Archbishop Fulton Sheen


Complete Roman Martyrology in English

The Complete Martyrology in

 English

for Daily Reflection

Semen est sanguis Christianorum— The blood of Christians is the seed [of the Church], Tertullian, Apologeticum, 50

 

ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

Saturday April 19th in the Year of Grace 2014

HOLY SATURDAY


This Day, the Nineteenth Day of April


The birthday of St. Timon, one of the first seven deacons, who taught first at Berea. Afterwards while preaching the word of the Lord at Corinth, he was delivered to the flames by the Jews and the Greeks; but remaining uninjured, he ended his martyrdom by crucifixion.

At Melitine, in Armenia, the holy martyrs Hermogenes, Caius, Expeditus, Aristonicus, Rufus and Galatas, crowned on the same day.

At Collioure, in Spain, the holy martyr Vincent.

The same day, the holy martyrs Socrates and Denis, who were transpierced with lances.

At Jerusalem, St. Paphnutius, martyr.

At Canterbury, in England, St. Elphege, bishop and martyr.

At Antioch, in Pisidia, St. George, a bishop, who died in exile for the worship of sacred images.

At Rome, Pope St. Leo IX, illustrious for his virtues and miracles.

In the monastery of Lobbes, St. Ursmar, bishop.

At Florence, St. Crescent, confessor, disciple of the blessed bishop Zenobius.

And elsewhere in divers places, many other holy martyrs, confessors, and holy virgins.


Omnes sancti Mártyres, oráte pro nobis. ("All ye Holy Martyrs, pray for us", from the Litaniae Sanctorum, the Litany of the Saints)

Response: Thanks be to God.

 


Roman Martyrology by Month

 

Why the Martyrs Matter


Each day
we bring you a calendar, a list really, of the holy Martyrs who had suffered and died for Christ, for His Bride the Church, and for our holy Catholic Faith; men and women for whom — and well they knew — their Profession of Faith would cost them their lives.

They could have repudiated all three (Christ, Church, and Catholic Faith) and kept their lives for a short time longer (even the lapsi only postponed their death — and at so great a cost!).1

What would motivate men, women, even children and entire families to willingly undergo the most evil and painfully devised tortures; to suffer death rather than denial?

Why did they not renounce their Catholic Faith when the first flame licked at their feet, after the first eye was plucked out, or after they were “baptized” in mockery by boiling water or molten lead poured over their heads? Why did they not flee to offer incense to the pagan gods since such a ritual concession would be merely perfunctory, having been done, after all, under duress, exacted by the compulsion of the state? What is a little burned incense and a few words uttered without conviction, compared to your own life and the lives of those you love? Surely God knows that you are merely placating the state with empty gestures …

Did they love their wives, husbands, children — their mothers, fathers and friends less than we do? Did they value their own lives less? Were they less sensitive to pain than we are? In a word, what did they possess that we do not?

Nothing. They possessed what we ourselves are given in the Sacrament of Confirmation — but cleaved to it in far greater measure than we do: Faith and faithfulness; fortitude and valor, uncompromising belief in the invincible reality of God, of life eternal in Him for the faithful, of damnation everlasting apart from Him for the unfaithful; of the ephemerality of this passing world and all within it, and lives lived in total accord with that adamant belief.

We are the Martyrs to come. What made them so will make us so. What they suffered we will suffer. What they died for, we will die for. If only we will! For most us, life will be a bloodless martyrdom, a suffering for Christ, for the sake of Christ, for the sake of the Church in a thousand ways outside the arena. The road to Heaven is lined on both sides with Crosses, and upon the Crosses people, people who suffered unknown to the world, but known to God. Loveless marriages. Injustices on all sides. Poverty. Illness. Old age. Dependency. They are the cruciform! Those whose lives became Crosses because they would not flee God, the Church, the call to, the demand for, holiness in the most ordinary things of life made extraordinary through the grace of God. The Martyrology we celebrate each day is just a vignette, a small, immeasurably small sampling of the martyrdom that has been the lives of countless men and women whom Christ and the Angels know, but whom the world does not know.

“Exemplum enim dedi vobis”, Christ said to His Apostles 2. “I have given you an example.” And His Martyrs give one to us — and that is why the Martyrs matter.


Joseph Mary del Campos
Editor, Boston Catholic Journal


Note: We suggest that you explore our newly edited and revised "De SS. Martyrum Cruciatibus — The Torments and Tortures of the Christian Martyrs" for an in-depth historical account of the sufferings of the Martyrs.


 


INTRODUCTION TO THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY

by J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop of Baltimore


THE ROMAN MARTYROLOGY is an official and accredited record, on the pages of which are set forth in simple and brief, but impressive words, the glorious deeds of the Soldiers of Christ in all ages of the Church; of the illustrious Heroes and Heroines of the Cross, whom her solemn verdict has beatified or canonized. In making up this long roll of honor, the Church has been actuated by that instinctive wisdom with which the Spirit of God, who abides in her and teaches her all truth, has endowed her, and which permeates through and guides all her actions. She is the Spouse of Christ, without spot or wrinkle or blemish, wholly glorious and undefiled, whom He loved, for whom He died, and to whom He promised the Spirit of Truth, to comfort her in her dreary pilgrimage through this valley of tears, and to abide with her forever. She is one with Him in Spirit and in love, she is subject to Him in all things; she loves what He loves, she teaches and practices what He commands.

If the world has its "Legions of Honor," why should not also the Church of the Living God, the pillar and the ground of the truth? If men who have been stained with blood, and women who have been tainted with vice, have had their memory consecrated in prose and in verse, and monuments erected to their memory, because they exhibited extraordinary talents, achieved great success, or were, to a greater or less extent, benefactors of their race in the temporal order, which passeth away, why should not the true Heroes and Heroines of Jesus, who, imitating His example, have overcome themselves, risen superior to and trampled upon the world, have aspired, in all their thoughts, words, and actions, to a heavenly crown, and have moreover labored with disinterested zeal and self-forgetting love for the good of their fellow-men, have their memories likewise consecrated and embalmed in the minds and hearts of the people of God? If time have its heroes, why should not eternity; if man, why should not God? "Thy friends, O Lord, are exceedingly honored; their principality is exceedingly exalted." Whom His Father so dearly loved, the world crucified; whom the world neglects, despises, and crucifies, God, through His Church, exceedingly honors and exalts. Their praises are sung forth, with jubilation of heart, in the Church of God for ages on ages.

The wisdom of the Church of God in honoring her Saints is equaled only by the great utility of the practice thus consecrated. The Saints are not merely heroes; they are models. Christ lived in them, and Christ yet speaks through them. They were the living temples of the Holy Ghost, in whose mortal bodies dwelt all the riches of His wisdom and grace. They were in life consecrated human exemplars of divine excellence and perfection. Their example still appeals to our minds and to our hearts, more eloquently even than did their words to the men of their own generation, while they were in the tabernacle of the flesh. Though dead, they still speak. Their relics are instinct with sanctity, and through them they continue to breathe forth the sweet odor of Christ. The immortality into which they have entered still lingers in their bones, and seems to breathe in their mortal remains. As many an ardent, spirit has been induced to rush to the cannon's mouth by reading the exploits of earthly heroes, so many a generous Christian soul has been fired with heavenly ardor, and been impelled to rush to the crown of martyrdom, by reading the lives and heroic achievements of the Saints and Martyrs of Christ. Example, in its silent appeal, is more potent in its influence on the human heart and conduct than are words in their most eloquent utterances.

The Church knows and feels all this, in the Spirit of God with whom she is replenished ; and hence she sets forth, with holy joy and exultant hope, her bright and ever-increasing Calendar of Sanctity of just men and women made perfect and rendered glorious, under her unearthly and sublime teachings. In reading this roll of consecrated holiness, our instinctive conclusion is, precisely that which the great soul of St. Augustine reached at the very crisis of his life, the moment of his conversion "If other men like me have attained to such sanctity, why not I? Shall the poor, the afflicted, the despised of the World, bear away the palm of victory, the crown of immortality, while I lie buried in my sloth and dead in my sins, and thus lose the brilliant and glorious mansion already prepared for me in heaven? Shall all the gifts, which God has lavished upon me, be ingloriously spent and foolishly wasted, in the petty contest for this world's evanescent honors and riches, while the poor and contemned lay up treasures in heaven, and secure the prize of immortal glory? Shall others be the friends of God, whom He delights to honor, while I alone remain His enemy, and an alien from His blessed Kingdom?"

It is a consoling evidence of progress in the spiritual life in this country to find the Martyrology here published, for the first time, in English, and thereby made accessible, in its rich treasures of Sanctity, to all classes of our population. It will prove highly edifying and useful, not only to the members of our numerous religious Communities of both sexes, but also to the laity generally. Every day has here its record of Sanctity; and there is scarcely a Christian, no matter how lowly or how much occupied, who may not be able to daily peruse, with faith and with great profit, the brief page of each day's models of Holiness. These belong to all classes and callings of life; from the throne to the hovel, from the Pontiff to the lowest cleric, from the philosopher to the peasant, from the busy walks of life to the dreary wastes of the desert.

Let all, then, procure and read daily the appropriate portions of this Martyrology. Its daily and pious perusal will console us in affliction, will animate us in despondency, will make our souls glow with the love of God in coldness, and will lift up our minds and hearts from this dull and ever-changing earth to the bright and everlasting mansions prepared for us in Heaven!

Imprimatur,  J. Cardinal Gibbons, Archbishop Baltimore, Maryland 1916

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______________________________

1   The Lapsi were early Catholics who renounced the Faith and either sacrificed to the Roman gods by edict from the emperor, or offered incense to them to escape Imperial persecution and death, and who later returned to the Faith when persecution subsided. However, Christ warns us, “Every one therefore that shall confess me before men, I will also confess him before my Father who is in heaven. But he that shall deny me before men, I will also deny him before my Father who is in heaven.” (St. Matthew 10.3-33)

2 St. John 13.15

 

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 "Scio opera tua ... quia modicum habes virtutem, et servasti verbum Meum, nec non negasti Nomen Meum"  
"I know your works ... that you have but little power, and yet you have kept My word, and have not denied My Name."
(Apocalypse 3.8)
 

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