Friday, October 22, 2010

Pius XI on The 'Weapon' of Penance, the Other Side of Lay Activism

"Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ's afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church"---Col 1:24

"Penance then is, as it were, a salutary weapon placed in the hands of the valiant soldiers of Christ, who wish to fight for the defense and restoration of the moral order in the universe. It is a weapon that strikes right at the root of all evil, that is at the lust of material wealth and the wanton pleasures of life. By means of voluntary sacrifices, by means of practical and even painful acts of self-denial, by means of various works of penance, the noble-hearted Christian subdues the base passions that tend to make him violate the moral order. But if zeal for the divine law and brotherly love are as great in him as they should be, then not only does he practice penance for himself and his own sins, but he takes upon himself the expiation of the sins of others, imitating the Saints who often heroically made themselves victims of reparation for the sins of whole generations, imitating even the divine Redeemer, who became the Lamb of God "who taketh away the sins of the world" (lo. i. 29). ---Pius XI, Caritate Christi Compulsi, 1932, emphasis mine.

What a beautiful Pope (=PaPa / father) this Pius XI was for us. Another word for this beautiful Catholic penance is self-sacrificing Love. All Love is a dying to self-ishness and the purest prayer in Hope for the good of the 'other'.

"The present state of affairs, Venerable Brethren, clearly indicates the way in which We ought to proceed. For We are now confronted, as more than once before in the history of the Church, with a world that in large part has almost fallen back into paganism. That these whole classes of men may be brought back to Christ Whom they have denied, we must recruit and train from among them, themselves, auxiliary soldiers of the Church who know them well and their minds and wishes, and can reach their hearts with a tender brotherly love. The first and immediate apostles to the workers ought to be workers; the apostles to those who follow industry and trade ought to be from among them themselves...Read it all...

Penance: "Even now, declares the LORD, return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning. Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity. Who knows but that He may turn and have pity and leave behind a blessing"---Joel 2:12-14

--->Opinion: First, I know next to nothing about Christopher West and his "theology of the body". I have not read the man but am aware that there has been quite a controversy of some kind about his work. Having said that, I saw at Phillip Blosser's site that another important writer, Dr. Janet E. Smith, has made a response to the much respected Alice von Hildebrand on the controversy, and so I present Dr. Smith's critique here, FYI only. Again, I have no dog in this debate, judge the merits for yourself.

--->A Traditionalist priest, Fr. Chad Ripperger, FSSP, PhD, member of The Priestly Fraternity of St. Peter (FSSP) charitably and wisely admonishes traditionalists in this audio presentation... In sum: any "traditionalist" who breaks communion has gone by way of excess and / or defect off the rails. The Lord, who "works all things together for the good" (Rom 8:28) will see things right. We must trust that certainty, that promise. "Trust in the LORD with all thy heart and lean not on thine own understanding"---Prov 3: 5-6
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--->WikiLeaks: At Least 100,000 Iraqis Reportedly Killed During War... God have mercy on us. What we have done to so many. The heart breaks...

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