Atheism: Disproved by Science? – The Imaginative Conservative

Augustine in a lengthy work entitled The Literal Meaning of Genesis (don’t let the title fool you) argued that in the beginning God created all living things not immediately as actual individuals, but “invisibly, potentially, in their causes, as things that will be in the future;” that is, the fullness of nature would unfold in time, a fifth-century, theological statement of evolution.

Source: Atheism: Disproved by Science? – The Imaginative Conservative

This is a superb article! Please read it. It also makes so much sense in the light of Fr Holloway’s thesis.

Exulting in the Holy Cross

The meditation of Fr Holloway on Gethsemanie in his book Catholicism a New Synthesis seems appropriate for this Feast:

Gethsemane

So much of the heart-core of the redemptive relationship of Christ to the Father is contained in the 14th to the 17th Chapters of the gospel of St. John. It is well worth reading the discourse of Christ at the Last Supper and the sacerdotal prayer, as a whole. The anguish of Christ for the storms to come upon those whom he must leave in the world, whose crucifixion is going to be so very much like his own in its loneliness and its desolation stands out : ‘Father keep them in thy name, whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we also are’. . . but observe the context a few verses earlier. It is the context of a work achieved, and a homecoming, a kingdom given in justice for a work which has been achieved: ‘I have glorified thee on earth, I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do: and now glorify thou me, O Father, with the glory which I had, before the world was with thee . . .’ This is not the language or the relationship of the Son to the Father, which could make sense in a ‘punitive’ theology of Redemption. Christ himself lists the attributes of the work: manifesting thy name, witnessing, forming the mind and heart, confirming and restoring in the image of the Father, through forming and restoring in the likeness of himself by the direct labour of the Son . . . the end is to come home, and to receive the glory that I had with thee, before the world was. It is as Christ, God and Man this is said, and it is very doubtful that we can, in the context of Christ’s humanity, restrict this glory before the world was, to the nature of the Logos alone. Much more properly do we understand it of the Person of God the Son and the Son of Man in one, of the decree of creation itself, in which the glory of the Word Incarnate is the meaning of the material creation, the meaning of man, and the principle of the beatific vision for the spirit that is enfleshed.

Yet all is not yet finished, the cup is not drunk to the dregs, the prayer is said on the eve of the Passion, and it must needs include the totality of the work of Christ to the ‘consummatum est’ upon the Cross, to be true of ‘I have finished the work thou gavest me to do’. It is in the contemplation of Gethsemane that we can see the plenitude of the inner amends, and the total reconciliation of mankind with God, through Jesus Christ, who was God. We read in Luke of his entering into a prayer upon which there supervenes a sudden, awful shock and horror: almost a despair, ‘and his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground’ (c.22.v.44). At this some exegetes, the shallower sort, will murmur ‘midrash’ no doubt, as they always do at anything plainly divine and supernatural in the works or surrounding events of the life of Jesus Christ. They will be wrong, as usual, but they need not have worried, for the sweat of blood is known to medical science. It is a human phenomenon. Indeed said of the Son of Man in the moment of his supreme clash with evil, it is the Human Phenomenon, it is the committal of the Son of Man.

The sweat of blood is rare, and occurs when appalling tragedy occurs with awful shock. It is usually linked with horror. The horror in one incident recorded, is that of a mother whose infant wriggled from her arms at a bus stop, and fell, fell just as the vehicle swept in, so that she saw, and heard, the passing of the wheel over the infant’s head. When they picked up the unconscious mother, her skin was moist with a sweat of blood. . .

What was the shock, the grief, the horror, the pain of Jesus Christ which could wring from him in gasps ‘Father, if it be possible, let this chalice pass from me . . . nevertheless, not my will but thine be done . . .?‘ There was first the agony of the total, world vision and experience of the reality of sin. It is the common teaching of theologians that at all times the Christ of God enjoyed the beatific vision of the Father, in his human soul. It seems the reasonable truth, for he was, in his one Person, the beatific vision in himself. He was God. It seems inconceivable that the being of God which communicated being and existence in the real order to his human individuality, should not communicate to his human spirit the joy and the possession of what and whom he was. He and the Father are one: always. To many there is here an insuperable difficulty: —the beatific possession of God is joy, sheer joy, without principle of pain or possibility of pain, how then could Christ in the Garden and on the Cross still enjoy the beatific vision, and truly suffer? So they presume the kenotic theory, that of this too, ‘he emptied himself out.’

It does not seem thus to the writer. In the case of the creature the beatific vision is a principle of joy unalloyed, because it is the end of the journey, and the completion of an order of being. It is the fulfilment in God which puts beyond the reach of created evil. It was quite otherwise for Jesus Christ, because he was God in essential being, also because in the Incarnation he was the Son of Man. Christ then, in the quite unique function of his human nature in the Person of God, was not ‘under the law’ by which the beatific vision is the end and the term of nature’s pilgrimage to its appointed fulfilment. Alone and uniquely the Son of God and Son of Man was at one and the same time both ‘viator’ and ‘comprehensor’ both ‘pilgrim’ and ‘possessor’ in the things of God.

His unique vocation as the Son of Man meant that he belonged to the scene of Nature, and fulfilled a vocation that while supernatural indeed, was of the order of Nature and of the very laws of Nature, because he was from the beginning the Heir of the Ages, for whom the very stones would have cried out, if men had not cried ‘Hosannah’ . . . He belonged by intrinsic right to the decree of creation, for through him it was framed and called. His then it is to love and to suffer as a man among men, for men, his the committal to the act of Salvation, now made the act of Redemption: he was engaged then in the fullness of his powers, divine and human, the work is a work of being and becoming, a work ontological in kind within the natural and the supernatural orders.

It was an appalling struggle, manifold in kind and aspect. Because he belonged to the world of men, was the principle of their root and being, the desire of the Father for them at all, because he was, as the Son of Man at the root of Nature itself, his work though supernatural in the very Person of God the Word, was also of creation, and of man. He had this through his human nature, mediated by the creature unto God in the womb of Mary, and through the fruit of that womb ‘all things do hold together . . .’ Therefore he could love and experience as ‘viator’ in the human way, in all things. He could toil, hunger, be weary in the human way, —though never know the sting of inordinate physical desire, —he could above all suffer in the spirit and the mind in the human way, despite the possession always of the beatific vision of the Father in the fullness of the Holy Spirit of them both. There was no contradiction, for to be the Son of Man was the vocation of his flesh.

We can say more: the possession of the beatific vision of the Father in the Holy Ghost would increase the pain of Christ the Son of Man, beyond all human telling and all human understanding. If a man, say a priest, because of his weak and imperfect knowing and loving of God can experience an untellable pain at the experience of a sweet and deep hearted child, full of promise and of generous goodness, being slowly corrupted and degraded before his eyes by subtle pressures of temptation and by the flattery of companions or by the general pressure of the devil, the world, and the flesh, . . . and this is human experience for a good parent sometimes, for a priest often, how much more so the Son of Man, whose knowledge and love of God as Man flowed from his substantial union with the Person of God! His soul was flooded with the possession of the Father by which he lived both as God and as Man, and can any man dare to imagine the reality of this to the human soul and heart of Jesus Christ? Better to note the observation, ‘and his sweat became as drops of blood, trickling down upon the ground. . .’

Holloway on Sexual Control and Birth Control

Taken from his book ‘Catholicism a new synthesis’

From the whole doctrine of the nature of man, and the place of sex in natures below mankind, it will be clear that the traditional doctrine of the Catholic Church has been in no way wrong. The perspective it has taught and held concerning the place of sex in married life, and the use of sex in married life, is the only correct one. …….

The morality of sex, whether in or out of marriage, has been very much a theological problem of mankind for ages of time before the modern sciences were thought of. If we are going to be serious at all about the claims of revealed Religion, it must be very much the province of God, before and since the Incarnation in Christ, to see to it that the initial authoritative doctrine of the Church was true, and that the lines upon which that doctrine have developed through history are also coherent truth. Sex is very much the concern of morals and of religion, it pertains to the essence of the theological competence of the Church, and we could not possibly wait until the age of science and psychology to have true guidance from God and from reason concerning the basic moral law of sexual intercourse, and the perfection of married love between men and women.

The way of perfection must lie open to men at all times through the Church, especially since the Incarnation of God, it must be available without necessary recourse to the theories, partly true, partly quite false of the modern and very inexact science of psychology. The primitive, natural, and only fully adequate way for a man to govern his nature and himself lies in the means provided by God from the first moment of Man, which is now a long way back in history, and a long time before the age of clever chemicals. The natural means of self-control to ordinary goodness, or beyond that to the highest perfection, lies in the co-operation of the soul within a man with the grace of God. Through this union with God he finds both the light and the strength to be able to control his body, and to be very much in control even when the spirit lusts against the flesh, and the flesh against the spirit, because what is commanded is a matter of difficulty.

The gist of all that has been said already concerning the sexual faculty in man reduces to the teaching of the Church Catholic that the primary purpose of sexual intercourse is the procreation of men, and that the so-called secondary purposes of the sexual coming together are not independent of this purpose, nor are they equal or parallel ends in themselves without reference to that primary end. From its physically procreative nature the act itself, and its seminal constitution cannot be physically separated, as is most obvious, and what God has joined together, no man has the right to put asunder. It is very Nature here that declares the intention of God embodied in the properties of organs and organisms. The evidence of the intention of God from physical nature coincides with the historic doctrine of orthodox Christianity.

It is besides the inevitable deduction of reason from the fact that sex is a function in a state of love, not the expression of human love itself. Once the secondary purposes of the use of sexual intercourse are elevated to purposes in themselves, then, as argued already there is no moral law left in marriage or out of it. It is not possible to judge rightly of the place and meaning of sex in human life, —sex in the narrower meaning of the word, —without recourse to the original state of man’s nature and personality as God intended and endowed it. If this essential reference back of Christian moral law and doctrine is ignored, then the orthodox doctrine of the Fall has been denatured, and the only remaining criterion of what is natural, good, and permissible in man’s nature is what physical desire does in fact prompt unto, and what any man judges to be right for him in his case. This is just a lengthy way of saying anarchy.

There is not the slightest doubt that the perspective the Church has always entertained towards the morality of sexual intercourse in human love, namely that as a function in only the one state of love, it is absolutely wrong in any other relationship, and that the only primary reason for the existence of sex in human nature in the intention of God is for children, is completely true to the facts of life and the facts of the Religion of Christ. ……….

The teaching of the Church is clear, it has always been that procreation in the context of deep family love is the primary meaning for sexual intercourse in the intention of God, and that to this end all other ends and reasons are both secondary and also intrinsically subordinated. This is to say that the secondary ends, however we name them, ‘the expression and fostering of mutual love’ etc., are not ends and purposes of the sexual act independent of the primary end, and parallel to it in nature and valid right. From this teaching it follows that the exercise of the sexual act for these secondary ends, whilst directly frustrating the procreative possibilities of the act, is not ever lawful.,

It is precisely this authoritative position of the Church’s teaching which has been abandoned completely by Christian communions in the Protestant tradition, and which is fiercely challenged to the point now of schism or heresy by many members of the Catholic Church, lay and clerical, at the present time. From the perspective of this synthesis of natural philosophy and of theology it will be clear that the position taken up by the Catholic Church is perfectly correct, whether from the natural law, from the nature of human love, or from the authority of the Magisterium of the Church, which last is nothing more than the voice of Christ himself everliving and teaching within her.

To this frank and unpopular assertion something else must be added from which a number of theologians flinch even among those who are willing to accept the traditional doctrine of the Church, no matter what may be the ecclesiastical or social consequences. It follows with an inevitable logic that in the original intention of God, apart from the Fall, and the many, many stresses brought by the effects of sin into human nature, sexual intercourse was intended to be used only for the procreation of men, and was an expression of marital love in that sense and in that context only. ………

 

ISIS suicide bomber stabs Indonesian priest before explosives fail | Daily Mail Online

Terror in Indonesia: Axe-wielding ISIS jihadi, 18, stabs Catholic priest, 60, before trying to blow up hundreds of worshippers during Sunday Mass

Source: ISIS suicide bomber stabs Indonesian priest before explosives fail | Daily Mail Online

Although one cannot help feeling compassion for this poor misguided young man, it does bring home the very real possibility of our own martyrdom by simply attending Mass! -We should seek the courage to go to confession, attend Mass as often as we can and pray for our Priests!

Children Do Not Need Condoms: Tell NICE to Stop Sexualising Our Children | CitizenGO

The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) have recently released new guidelines – Sexually Transmitted Infections: condom distribution scheme. As part of this scheme, NICE are recommending increased availability of condoms to children as young as 13.

Source: Children Do Not Need Condoms: Tell NICE to Stop Sexualising Our Children | CitizenGO

The Mass is a compendium of the whole life of Christ

From the Catechism of Saint Robert Bellarmine:

The introit of the Mass signifies the desire which the Holy Fathers had for the coming of Christ.

The Kyrie eleison signifies the words of these Patriarchs and Prophets who sought from God the desired coming of the Messiah at such a time.

The Gloria in excelsis means the Lord’s Birth.

The subsequent Oratio or Collect signifies His presentation and offering in the Temple. The Epistle, customarily said at the left side of the altar (right to us) signifies the preaching of St. John the Baptist, inviting men to Christ.

The Graduel, or response to the Epistle, signifies the Life arising from the preaching of St. John. The Gospel, customarily read at the right side of the altar (our left), signifies the preaching of Our Lord whereby we move from the left to the right, ie. from temporal things to eternal ones, and from sin to grace, where the Lights are carried and the incense is enkindled and the Holy Gospel illumines the whole world, and it was filled with the sweet odour of Divine glory.

The Creed signifies the conversion of the Holy Apostles and of the other disciples of Christ.

The Secret, which immediately follows the Creed, signifies the secret plots of the Jews against Christ.

The Preface, sung in a high voice, customarily ends with the Hosanna in excelsis, and it signifies the solemn entry of Christ into Jerusalem which He made on Palm Sunday. The Canon which comes after the Preface, represents the Passion of our Lord.

The Elevation of the host teaches that Christ was Lifted up on the Cross.

The Paternoster, the prayer of Christ hanging on the cross.

The fraction of the Host shows the wound that was made upon Him by the lance.

The Angus Dei signifies the weeping of Mary when Christ was taken down from the cross.

The Communion of the priest signifies the burial of Christ.

The chant which follows with great joy shows the Lord’s Resurrection.

The Ite Missa est, signifies the Ascension.

The Final Blessing of the priest relates the coming of the Holy Spirit.

The Last Gospel that is read at the end of Mass, signifies the preaching of the Holy Apostles when, filled with the Holy Spirit, they began to preach the Gospel through the whole world, and began the conversion of the nations.