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Saturday 24 May 2014

Manning and Others on Revelation

The Cardinal writes this: "...Revelation signifies the unfolding to the intelligence of man truths which are contained in the intelligence of God, the knowledge of which without such revelation would be impossible. Men may be subjects of revelation, and not of inspiration; and they might be the subjects of inspiration, and not of revelation."
Some theologians have said that Revelation is knowledge of God beyond that which comes through Reason and Nature; Nature would include natural law.

Some note that after the Fall, God promised Revelation, beginning to give it immediately in the Garden of Eden with the promise of Mary and Christ, the first prophecy. So, as soon as Adam and Eve fell away from the daily encounter with God in the Garden, they had to be given Revelation in order to come back to God.

Revelation is divided, therefore, into two categories-natural revelation and divine revelation. Aquinas writes thus:

Natural or general revelation means that humans can come to some truths by the fact that we are human.

Divine or special revelation is that given by God directly. Here is the long CCC introduction to Revelation.

In the beginning God makes himself known
54 "God, who creates and conserves all things by his Word, provides men with constant evidence of himself in created realities. And furthermore, wishing to open up the way to heavenly salvation - he manifested himself to our first parents from the very beginning."6 He invited them to intimate communion with himself and clothed them with resplendent grace and justice.
55 This revelation was not broken off by our first parents' sin. "After the fall, [God] buoyed them up with the hope of salvation, by promising redemption; and he has never ceased to show his solicitude for the human race. For he wishes to give eternal life to all those who seek salvation by patience in well-doing."7

Even when he disobeyed you and lost your friendship you did not abandon him to the power of death. . . Again and again you offered a covenant to man.8
The Covenant with Noah
56 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to save humanity part by part. The covenant with Noah after the flood gives expression to the principle of the divine economy toward the "nations", in other words, towards men grouped "in their lands, each with [its] own language, by their families, in their nations".9
57 This state of division into many nations is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the pride of fallen humanity10 united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel.11 But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantly threaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.12
58 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until the universal proclamation of the Gospel.13 The Bible venerates several great figures among the Gentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright "Noah, Daniel, and Job".14 Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reached by those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to "gather into one the children of God who are scattered abroad".15

God chooses Abraham
59 In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, his kindred and his father's house,16 and makes him Abraham, that is, "the father of a multitude of nations". "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."17
60 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to the patriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all his children into the unity of the Church.18 They would be the root on to which the Gentiles would be grafted, once they came to believe.19
61 The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and always will be honored as saints in all the Church's liturgical traditions.
God forms his people Israel
62 After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery in Egypt. He established with them the covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave them his law so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, the provident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Savior.20
63 Israel is the priestly people of God, "called by the name of the LORD", and "the first to hear the word of God",21 the people of "elder brethren" in the faith of Abraham.
64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation of a new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts.22 The prophets proclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, a salvation which will include all the nations.23 Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord will bear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah, Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israel's salvation. The purest figure among them is Mary.24

God has said everything in his Word
65 "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son."26 Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Father's one, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no other word than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews 1:1-2:

In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everything to us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spoke before to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the All Who is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelation would be guilty not only of foolish behavior but also of offending him, by not fixing his eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.27
There will be no further Revelation
66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ."28 Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.
67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ's definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.
Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations".

68 By love, God has revealed himself and given himself to man. He has thus provided the definitive, superabundant answer to the questions that man asks himself about the meaning and purpose of his life.
69 God has revealed himself to man by gradually communicating his own mystery in deeds and in words.
70 Beyond the witness to himself that God gives in created things, he manifested himself to our first parents, spoke to them and, after the fall, promised them salvation (cf. Gen 3:15) and offered them his covenant.
71 God made an everlasting covenant with Noah and with all living beings (cf. Gen 9:16). It will remain in force as long as the world lasts.
72 God chose Abraham and made a covenant with him and his descendants. By the covenant God formed his people and revealed his law to them through Moses. Through the prophets, he prepared them to accept the salvation destined for all humanity.
73 God has revealed himself fully by sending his own Son, in whom he has established his covenant for ever. The Son is his Father's definitive Word; so there will be no further Revelation after him.

The promise that God would help mankind even after the disaster of the Fall is a comfort to us, culminating in the Person of Jesus Christ, Who is the Fullness of Revelation and this Revelation resides in fullness in the Catholic Church.

Genesis 3:15

15 I will put enmities between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed: she shall crush thy head, and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel.

Judge Yourselves.

I have a friend who is 64 and he still blames his dad for his sad life.

I have a friend who is 36 who is unhappy and still blames his parents for his own sins.

I have a friend who is 50 and she blames her mother for her own faults.

Now, we know they are wrong to do so, as God gives us grace to be healed and not to repeat the sins of parents. All people are given the grace to be saved. All.

Many pagan Gentiles converted to Christ in the early Church and became saints.

They moved on from sin to perfection.

So, why is it that Catholic adults blame over and over and over the priests for their own lack of holiness?

Priests are not to be blamed for the sins of others, or for the lack of vocations.

Laity, look to yourselves first.

When people get together and start complaining about the lack of priests or nuns, one of my priest friends, an excellent priest, now says, "Where are your children? Where are your grandchildren?" And, I have been saying the same. Vocations come out of holy families mostly.

Where Are The Butterflies?

Living in the American countryside for this first time in a long time, I have noticed the dearth of butterflies.

Part of the problem surrounds the use of pesticides and fertilizers made up of chemicals in these parts of Iowa. Some of the problem is the mass destruction of weeds and wild flowers which attract butterflies, and which butterflies need to reproduce.

Two plants which form the ecological balance for butterfly populations are milkweed and Queen Anne's Lace, which provide nutrient for the Monarch and the Swallowtail butterflies.

Since I have lived in "these parts', I have not seen either plants in the ditches or along the edges of fields. Nor, have I seen those groups of butterflies.

Even some birds need so-called weeds, like coneflower, coreopsis, globe thistle, goldenrod, Joe pye weed, rudbeckia and many others.

We are killing wildlife by being too fussy and too efficient. BTW, there are several websites which give away free milkweed seeds.

When I had my own house in England, we planted a wildlife friendly garden on purpose. This was in 1989. We had plants which attracted butterflies, bees, and birds plus a hedgehog log pile in the 
back of the garden.

More thought must be given to God's creatures and not just the greed of agribusiness.

Losing Friends to Sin

No one writes or talks about this subject-when friends reel off into sin and cut off relationships by not talking. 

This phenomenon happens when close friends decide to leave the Church or the path of righteousness and live in sin. Of course, irregular marriages make up the most common way people choose to leave the Church. Contraception is another way.

But, there are other paths to perdition. Recently, a close friend of mine told me two of her best friends are now into the occult via goofy alien ancestor websites. These Catholics now believe we are descended from aliens. They have completely thrown over Catholic teaching regarding Genesis and the unique dignity of human creation. She asked me for advice on how to speak with the couple.

These two middle-aged people are upper class, comfortable and now, confused, but choosing to be so.

They are not open to discussion, and are, in fact, proselytizing their own absurd New Age notions.

Another two ladies have left the TLM to follow Bayside. Another person has become involved in the occult.

All of these people are highly intelligent and have been Catholics for a long time. Some go to Mass and Communion.

But, they have chosen to cut themselves off from mainstream Catholic teaching. All have been told by their close friends that their souls are in danger, but they carry on moving farther and farther from the Truth. Then, they stopped listening and being with practicing Catholic friends, who are trying to cooperate with grace and truth.

I wish priests in the pulpit would address the congregations on how to re-evangelize adults who have veered off the path of salvation. We need talks on the dangers of the occult. When was the last time you heard a sermon on this subject, or on the subject of being absolutely obedient to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church? When was the last time you heard a sermon on all the temptations in the world which can take us away from God? There are many ways to darkness besides sexual relationships, and intellectual dishonesty is one big way.

Those of us who are faced with broken friendships can only pray for miracles of enlightenment when those friends no longer listen to reason.

Hello to Readers in Ireland

You are up early, I must say! St. Oliver Plunkett, pray for us.

Prayers Please

STM needs prayers. Two housing situations and a job possibility just fell through. Sigh....

Suffering in the Wood between the Worlds.

The Modern Errors on Inspiration

Even today, there are Catholics and Anglicans who do not believe in the inerrancy of Scripture. Cardinal Manning places the confusion on the table of Spinoza. The "sceptical criticism" of Holland and Germany spread to England and America rapidly, undermining the authority of the Church and the authority of Scripture.

Manning clarifies the fact that the Anglicans fell into the heresy of denying the inspiration of the Holy Spirit in such areas as denying the exact words of Jesus Christ and the Apostles as being as these were written. Another error which crept into the universities was that inspiration was only to be found in the Scriptures themselves and not in Tradition.

Inspiration is the enlightenment of the intellect and reason by the Holy Spirit. Of course, God did not "dictate", like grand orator in the sky to a secretary evangelist, but used the gifts of the Holy Spirit within those men to write the truths revealed to them through the Old Testament, Christ while on earth and the Holy Spirit after the Ascension.

Simply put, revelation and inspiration work together within the writers of the Scriptures, books whose Author is the Holy Spirit, the Third Person in the Blessed Trinity.

The Anglicans moved from sola Scriptura to chaos.

The Catholic Church has been very clear on the Scriptures and Manning summarizes these teachings for his readers. I have put these in my own order and words for simplicity.

One, God is the Author of the sacred books.

Two, the writings of the Prophets and the Apostles are Holy Scripture.

Three, that the Canon of Tent is the same as that of the Council of Florence, Carthage and the papal declarations of SS. Innocent and Gelasius.

Four, that all the books in all the parts are sacred and canonical and, therefore, none of the books contain any material of human authorship. In other words, no extraneous or "creative writing"...

Five, the Vulgate is the authentic translation.

Well, many a Scripture instructor in many Catholic universities would not abide by these truths and, therefore, be heretical.

Manning reminds us that both the Eastern and Western Fathers wrote that in substance and in form the Old Testament and the New Testament were revealed and inspired by God.

Here are a few quotations from Manning's choice of Fathers:

"S. Irenaeus says, 'The Scriptures are perfect, being dictated by the Word of God and by His Spirit.'"

"S. Macarius says, "God the King sent the Holy Scriptures as His epistles to men.'"

"S. John Chrysostom says, 'What things the Scriptures promulgate, the Lord pr0mulgated.'"

"S. Basil says, 'Let therefore the Scriptures which are inspired by God decide for us.'"

"S. Gregory Nyssen says, 'Whatever the Sacred Scriptures declare are the utterances of the Holy Ghost.'"

"S. Augustine says of the Scriptures,'In it God Himself speaks.'"

"S. Gregory the Great says, 'The author of the book is the Holy Ghost.'"

Manning notes that until the age of the controversy of the nature of inspiration, these ideas were held by all Christians.

How sad that now the Catholic Church even holds false teachers in Her midst.

to be continued...

More Manning of The Illumination of The Holy Spirit

One cannot help but see how far some Catholics have departed from the idea that the Holy Spirit has resided and still resides in the Church. Even the teaching on infallibility points to the truth that the Holy Spirit illuminates the Church daily in teaching and in preaching.

Revelation, of course, came to an end with the last book of the Bible. Tradition is the interpretation, again inspired by the Holy Spirit, of the Scriptures, which cannot be done by an individual, but only by the Church.

Today's moral chaos partly has derived from the Protestant liberal interpretation of Scripture.

One such amazingly irrational interpretation has been one I have actually heard from a Catholic pulpit, that Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed not because of sodomy, but because of inhospitality.

Every word of Scripture, quotes Manning from an old statement from the once orthodox men at the Louvain and Douai, is like a mystery like the sacraments.

Recently, I heard a priest from Chicago state, that the evangelists listed in the Canon are not the real authors of the Gospels. Sadly, this cleric is seriously leading his students astray.

One must be careful in referring to form and matter, an idea first discussed by Luther.

All Scripture is inspired, all. But, the Scriptures are not "dictation" like "automatic writing" which is of the occult only.

As rational creatures, God inspires our intellects, and especially the saints who wrote the Bible, all in the Illuminative and most in the Unitive State, one can trust that their words are from God. The truth that all the words are inspired cannot be changed simply to those which deal with morals or doctrine.

One thing which both science and archaeology have discovered are the more mundane truths of Scripture-like the existence of Jericho and the order of creation in Genesis.

Manning defines his terms so that his readers are clear on the point of inspiration.

"Inspiration, in its first intention, signifies the action of the Divine Spirit upon the human, that is upon the intelligence and upon the will. It is an intelligent and vital action of God upon the soul of man' and 'inspired' is to be predicated, not of books or truths, but of living agents."

"In its second intention, it signifies the action of the Spirit of Go upon the intelligence and will of man, whereby any one is impelled and enabled to act, or to speak, or to write, in some special way designed by the Spirit of God."

"In its still more special and technical intention, it signifies an action of the Spirit upon men, impelling them to write what God reveals, suggests, or wills that they should write. But, inspiration does not necessarily signify revelation, or suggestion of the matter to be written."

Do not, therefore, confuse inspiration with Revelation, which I shall cover in a later post today.

To be continued....

The Culture Wars Start At Home

Yesterday, I had a lovely conversation with one of my best friends, a woman of 50 something. We were discussing how we were raised with rules, schedules, discipline, clear morals, and little TV. We had dads who asked us about our homework and even helped us if we were stuck, but only is we were stuck.

We had stay-at-home moms, who cooked at least one hot meal daily, two if breakfast was hot, and were there when we came home from school.

We had many siblings and learned to share, not even having our own rooms.

We had clothes made by hand and we did not snack on fast food or junk food.

In fact, we had a secure life, surrounded by appropriate boundaries and we were definitely not spoiled.

What happened?

Contraception first of all caused too small families and working moms caused chaos and anarchy.

Fr. Chad Ripperger states clearly in one of his talks that unless absolutely necessary for whatever reason, for a woman to go to work is a mortal sin.

I had to make the decision to work at jobs which enabled me to home school, as I was the wage earner.

God bless me and my son. How I did it all I cannot explain except for grace.

Grace is all we need, plus hard work.

My friend and I decided that what we learned just by growing up in the Midwest with simplicity and a Catholic environment is worth all the gold in the world.

She went on to have six children. God gave me one only that lived.

But, the heritage continues.

May God open the eyes and minds of Catholic women who do not have to work to see that it is child abuse to do so if not necessary. And, vacations or two cars, or five phones, or three computers, or lots of stuff are not necessities.

The culture wars start at home.