Tuesday, November 9, 2010

"every man and woman is a true sanctuary of God, and should be treated with the highest respect and affection, above all when they are in need"

In early November, Pope Benedict XVI made an overnight trip to Spain. Arriving at the International Airport of Santiago de Compostela, he explained that he wished to "encourage Spain and Europe to build their present and to project their future on the basis of the authentic truth about man, on the basis of the freedom which respects this truth and never harms it, and on the basis of justice for all, beginning with the poorest and the most defenceless. A Spain and a Europe concerned not only with people’s material needs but also with their moral and social, spiritual and religious needs, since all these are genuine requirements of our common humanity and only in this way can work be done effectively, integrally and fruitfully for man’s good."

Later that day, the Holy Father spoke at the architecturally magnificent Cathedral Santiago de Compostela, "la Sagrada Familia", the masterpiece of architect Antoni Gaudi: "To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendour and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe." As he continued in that evening's homily, "Tragically, above all in nineteenth century Europe, the conviction grew that God is somehow man’s antagonist and an enemy of his freedom. As a result, there was an attempt to obscure the true biblical faith in the God who sent into the world his Son Jesus Christ, so that no one should perish but that all might have eternal life (cf. Jn 3:16). The author of the Book of Wisdom, faced with a paganism in which God envied or despised humans, puts it clearly: how could God have created all things if he did not love them, he who in his infinite fullness, has need of nothing (cf. Wis 11:24-26)? Why would he have revealed himself to human beings if he did not wish to take care of them? God is the origin of our being and the foundation and apex of our freedom, not its opponent."

As per the following day's homily, "I consider that the dedication of this church of the Sagrada Familia is an event of great importance, at a time in which man claims to be able to build his life without God, as if God had nothing to say to him. In this masterpiece, Gaudí shows us that God is the true measure of man....As we consecrate the altar of this church, which has Christ as its foundation, we are presenting to the world a God who is the friend of man and we invite men and women to become friends of God....Only where love and faithfulness are present can true freedom come to birth and endure. For this reason the Church advocates adequate economic and social means so that women may find in the home and at work their full development, that men and women who contract marriage and form a family receive decisive support from the state, that life of children may be defended as sacred and inviolable from the moment of their conception, that the reality of birth be given due respect and receive juridical, social and legislative support. For this reason the Church resists every form of denial of human life and gives its support to everything that would promote the natural order in the sphere of the institution of the family."

Later that day, the Holy Father described la Sagrada Familia as a catechesis and "a hymn of praise to God carved in stone." While visiting the Obra Benéfico-Social del Nen Déu, he reminded the world that : "every man and woman is a true sanctuary of God, and should be treated with the highest respect and affection, above all when they are in need....it is indispensable that new technological developments in the field of medicine never be to the detriment of respect for human life and dignity." At his departure, he commented: "I return to Rome after visiting only two places in this beautiful country. Nevertheless, in my thoughts and prayers, I have wished to embrace all Spaniards without exception and all those born elsewhere but now living here. I hold all of you in my heart and I pray for you, especially for those who suffer."

And how was this magnificent overnight junket covered by the Courier Times? In November 8th's paper, 120 words were re-printed from an Associated Press piece, which treated as fact women's alleged: "second-class status in the church."

I would like to remind Lower Bucks of what fabulous material the Courier Times provides for picking up after the dog.

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About Me

I am an enormously blessed husband and dad. In regard to my Catholic theological background, I have a certificate in social ministry & a master's degree (moral theology concentration), as well as a catechetical diploma from the Vatican's Sacred Congregation for the Clergy (Nope, I am not now - nor have I have ever been - a seminarian, deacon, or priest.). I feel particularly proud to have a mandatum. I also have a doctorate in Christian counseling psychology.

And yup, that's me!

And yup, that's me!
(from page 1 of the NY Sun, 3/22/04)

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