Le blog de la Bergerie                         Sharing the faith . . . in English . . . et en français!   

Fall of 2010 - Sharing the faith… in English:

Newman and Benedict XVI: A Common Approach. While I was in California, I took a class on John Henry Newman and this article focuses on the similar approach to faith and evangelization in these two men of the Church who love (and I mean absolutely "love" and are dedicated to) the truth, the faith, the people. I know that there are so many things going in the world right now that are troublesome that it throws a dark veil of confusion on everything but there are also so many little gems! The bright light of faith is burning strong and here is one article helping us to see it:
We heard in the letter of Pope Benedict to the symposium his appreciation for Newman's care in choosing words, in taking care not to offend people, and to try and find modes of expression that appeal to his listeners or readers. I think this could be said of Pope Benedict as well, and I suspect that Pope Benedict sees in Cardinal Newman something of his own approach to dialogue and encounters with so many different people in the world today". In assessing the Pope's visit to England: " there was a close collaboration between the government, the state and the Church, the way in which the media was able to extend participation so widely. I am told that 1.5 billion people watched the visit around the world. Such is the importance of a Papal visit combined with the role of London in the world today. So without a doubt, for the Catholic community, there is great joy and pride in the best sense of the word. One of the priests in my diocese said: "This visit has given back to us priests our sense of pride". So I think there is a great renewed sense of identity in being a Catholic that we recognize and other people recognize as well. I think also for the country as a whole there are a number of things: one is a more ready recognition of the spiritual dimension of human life. The eloquence of the times of prayer during the Pope's visit I think have touched quite a deep chord and people are a little more at ease speaking about the things of the spirit and of prayer". Read more here on the Zenit news site.

From my old family book (from 1878) on Sacred History:
Question : what is the value of studying Sacred History ?
Answer: the value is so great that the one who will apply himself to it with faith and with humility
will be able to learn everything he needs to know to be a honest man and a good Christian.

First Snow Of The Season - photo by Michele Szekely

The first snow of the season is here!
Amazing the difference that 48 hours can make in the life of a little rose...

Today is the Feast of St Clement, the third Pope, who had known personnally the Apostles Peter and Paul. Clement is also the author of a wonderful Letter to the Corinthians. Read more about his life here here on the EWTN site.
And here are some extracts of his Letter to the Corinthians, from the Vatican site: here .
Repent! "Let us fix our thoughts on the blood of Christ; and reflect how precious that blood is in God's eyes, inasmuch as its outpouring for our salvation has opened the grace of repentance to all mankind... Thus, by his own almighty will, he has confirmed his desire that repentance should be open to every one of his beloved. Let us bow, then, to that sovereign and glorious will. Let us entreat his mercy and goodness, casting ourselves upon his compassion and wasting no more energy in quarrels and a rivalry which only ends in death. My brothers, do let us have a little humility; let us forget our self-assertion and braggadocio and stupid quarrelling, and do what the Bible tells us instead.

See more information on my two books of nature photography here

San Francisco en noir et blanc
My own tribute in photos and short comments
on this most beautiful and amazing corner of the world!
One English version and one bilingual version: English & French.
San Francisco en noir et blanc by Michele Szekely

Pictures For The Journey
In English and in color, photos and commentaries on how to find beauty in nature,
in Samoëns and in San Francisco, and how to find beauty (and happiness) in the little things
surrounding us and finally how to sharpen our beauty-bound antennas.
There is also a bilingual version, English & French.

Pictures For The Journey by Michele Szekely

Prayer to the Most Holy Trinity:

Blessed be God, blessed be his most holy Name!
We praise you, Father, for your creation
And we are grateful to you for our own existence.
We thank you, Father, for sending us Your Son
To show us the way and the truth and the life.
We ask the counseling of the Holy Spirit
To teach us how to love and serve one another.
We beg you, Father, to have mercy on us,
On our divided and arrogant ways.
Help us turn to you and hope for your mercy,
Putting our trust in your love and in your grace.
Blessed be the Most Holy Trinity!

The Last Leaves For The Season - photo by Michele Szekely

The last leaves are barely hanging by their finger nails!

The new book of interviews with Pope Benedict XVI: "Light of the world". I have loved every book by Pope Benedict XVI and every book that he wrote as Cardinal Ratzinger! And it is because I have found them extremely inspiring, informative and formative. They help "me" in my on-going effort to live as a follower of Christ. I welcome them. But that is because I can "see" the Body of Christ at work in the world and it is really all thanks to the grace of God. Isn't it interesting how our own worldview can either facilitate (or obstruct) our ability to grasp the world. All this to say that in the current discussion swirling around the new book of interviews with the Pope, much is revealed about the ones making the comments, in their own articles and posts...
Amy Welborn said about the new book "Light of the World": "As he always has, Pope Benedict articulates a framework for a spiritual life that is, in its simplicity, quite powerful" here.
Ignatius.com has a list of the questions asked and the Table of Content of the book here
What does the Holy Father really say about condoms in the new book? by Janet E. Smith. "Anyone having sex that threatens to transmit HIV needs to grow in moral discernment. This is why Benedict focused on a "first step" in moral growth. The Church is always going to be focused on moving people away from immoral acts towards love of Jesus, virtue, and holiness. We can say that the Holy Father clearly did not want to make a point about condoms, but wants to talk about growth in a moral sense, which should be a growth towards Jesus..." What is needed is conversion, not condoms! And there are many intelligent and informative comments following Janet's piece (I recommend the ones by Mark Brumley, Lauri, David, LJ and jp's). For the negative ones, I can't help wondering whether they were already of such a mindset before they even read the Pope's comments... Read it here on Insights Scoop.

Here is a very good video on this very subject! It's short and to the point and it is made by The Vortex, Real Catholic TV stressing that it is all a question of moral maturity and clearly illustrating it with exemples. In the process, showing how easily the truth of the Pope's comments can be high-jacked by the main stream media, or for that matter, by anyone who refuses to hear the heart of the message...

From the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians: this seems to me the best political, cultural and personal agenda: 25 So from now on, there must be no more lies. Speak the truth to one another, since we are all parts of one another. 26 Even if you are angry, do not sin: never let the sun set on your anger 27 or else you will give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who was a thief must stop stealing; instead he should exert himself at some honest job with his own hands so that he may have something to share with those in need. 29 No foul word should ever cross your lips; let your words be for the improvement of others, as occasion offers, and do good to your listeners; 30 do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God who has marked you with his seal, ready for the day when we shall be set free. 31 Any bitterness or bad temper or anger or shouting or abuse must be far removed from you -- as must every kind of malice. 32 Be generous to one another, sympathetic, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ. (4:25-32) Did you notice the part about"anger" being an open door for the devil?

Autumn Leaves in the mountains - photo by Michele Szekely

I am back in the French Alps! My first photo of Autumn Leaves, November 19, 2010...

Praying and writing letters to the Christians in Iraq. Our brothers and sisters in the Body of Christ are suffering greatly over there in Iraq right now. Besides prayers, here is a terrific idea: we can write to them to assure them of our support in the midst of these great trials they are going through. Here is a link: "To Send Letters to the Christians of Baghdad" here on the Why I am Catholic blogspot.
And here is a very moving and poignant report - and an amazing homily here , with recent pictures too (with the stunning photo of the burning candles, laid out in the shape of the cross, inside the Church), on the site of beliefnet.com:
We are the body of Christ, shattered by bullets in a cathedral in Iraq.
All this we suffer, in ways large and small, because of his name.
Because we are Christians. We are the Body of Christ.

SAINT FRANCES XAVIER CABRINI Today is the Feast of Saint Frances Cabrini, patron saint of Immigrants. A teacher, a missionary, a wonder-worker! Read the fascinating story of her life and adventures here on the EWTN site.

On the Question of Suffering... Suffering: How to Make the Greatest Evil in Our Lives Our Greatest Happiness, by Fr. Paul O’Sullivan,O.P. Suffering is the great problem of human life. We all have to suffer. Sometimes small sorrows, sometimes greater ones fall to our share. Read more of this very interesting (and useful) article here on Oremus.com.

The art of Giotto There is a terrific site with very detailled information and images on various artists. For instance, this page is on the frescoes of Giotto . And here is a page on Fra Angelico Take a look on what I found at the Web Gallery of Art, a virtual museum, a great place.

Meditations Before Mass: Encounter and Feast by Msgr. Romano Guardini THE PARTICIPANT in Holy Mass enters into a community at table. Early in the Mass he receives God's word, which he accompanies with his prayers, glorifying God and placing his personal concerns at the feet of the provident Father. Then, beholding and participating, he helps to prepare the sacred meal, to which he brings his offering. And however impersonal the money-piece, it is the accepted substitute for the more vital form of giving. Now with the priest he turns to the Father and receives through faith the presence of Him who said: "I am the living bread that has come down from heaven" (John 6:52). At Communion he sees in spirit the Father's hand proffering the sacred nourishment, which he reverently accepts, that he may "have life." But this conception of the Lord's Supper or Feast does not stand alone. It is coupled with another: that of Christ's "coming." Read more here on the Catholic Information Network.

Grey Waves photo by Michele Szekely

A gloomy Pacific ocean on a grey day.

How to Pray for the Holy Souls Susan Tassone’s one-woman mission and ministry is to help everyone know the whys and the how-tos of helping those in purgatory. Little wonder she’s affectionately called the “purgatory lady.” That nickname came during her appearances on EWTN’s “The Abundant Life” with co-hosts .... Read more here on the National Catholic Register site.

Psalm 57 Cardinal Mindszenty quoted this psalm in a public speech: "In the shadow of your wings I take refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by". He stood in the eye of a storm that was making increasingly clear that while the war was won, peace was lost. So he became one of the most famous prisoners of the Cold War. Fully applicable to him were the lines of this psalm:"My soul (that is, my entire flesh and blood reality) lies prostrate among lions, who would devour the sons of men." (Praying the Psalms, by Stanley L. Jaki)

Today is the Feast of Saint Jude Thaddeus! And it is at Jude's promptings that Jesus answered with the most beautiful and complete outline of what it is to love him, what we are supposed to do (who we are supposed to be) and how will the world respond... I put the chapters with Saint Jude's question and Jesus' anwer (from the Gospel of John) on one page here .

Praying while driving? Here is a very interesting article on whether or not it is disrespectful to pray the Rosary while driving... Is it right "to pray the rosary in such a lax manner"? Do read the whole article and Fr. Sretenovic's response, which seems very prudent and faithful to me and says: "I am glad to see that both of us agree that the Rosary must be said seriously, with our minds directed toward God and Our Lady". Read it all here here on Catholic Tradition

Holiness and Wholeness. And silence. One of the more serious false beliefs at large in the world in which we live is that wholeness and holiness are somehow opposed. To be a religious person, according to this viewpoint, is to be less that you might be: to end up being limited and diminished. Read more ici on the site "Thinking Faith" The online Journal of the British Jesuits.

I posted this stained-glass of Saint Isaac Jogues on my facebook status when it was his Feast Day a couple of days ago. I love this wonderful French Jesuit Saint, his courage and perseverance, his zeal at evangelization. I discovered this wonderful Saint when I read "A Saint Among The Savages" (which I highly recommend by the way!)but the truth is that Loci Lenar has quite a good Loci Lenar photos collection of photos, a fascinating serie on autumn photos and he has an extremely large and beautiful collection of stained-glass photos. Check his work here Loci Lenar poetry on flickr

Fr. David Anderson's class on John Henry Newman:
click here for notes & tapes.
For more details on the class itself, see here.

The Inner Ear. By Joel Hartse. I need to be listening to music all the time. Not because I want to, necessarily, but because if I don’t, the sound in my ears will drive me bonkers. Fifteen years of playing the drums, usually without earplugs.... Read more here. His last 2 paragraphs are such lovely testimonies to the importance of faith - and so well said - that it brought a smile to my face.

I'm finding out that I am going thru "Chilean withdrawals"! It was such a wonderful experience to follow their rescue and pray for them, it was such a blessed moment, and a global one for that matter, a very "unifying moment". Here are my favorite recent articles on this subject:

"Miracle in Chile" Prose is not adequate to describe what has just happened in Chile. It requires poetry -- like the poetry of the Psalms. 33 miners, caught in a mine cave-in hundreds of meters below the surface of the earth 69 days ago, began to be brought up to the surface today, one by one here
"God won" Aren't we supposed to be unfazed by this sort of thing? Aren't we supposed to shrug it all off, attribute it to science and engineering and the sheer grit of the human psyche? Isn't it supposed to have more to do with willpower than wonder? We live in a post-Christian world now, don't we? To paraphrase Tina Turner: what's God got to do with it? Well, it seems, everything here
Making Things Visible. Faith through the lens of life - In trial and joy, faith is needed. A foretaste of heaven. Experiencing joyful circumstances, especially after having been through great trials is like a mini-resurrection. This mini version can orient us to the Big Resurrection that will come for all of us if we live our lives well. (OK, it's not "really" about the miners in Chile but I found it very relevant…) here
"God was the 34th miner…" by Maureen Fiedler on NCR Today: This successful rescue also highlights the power of peaceful cooperation across boundaries. According to The Washington Post, Chilean engineers worked with Korean cell phones, fiber optic cable from Germany and advisors from NASA as a private mining company with Japanese and British investors paid for the U.S. drilling rig that penetrated the rock in record time... And I wonder: how long has it been since we have been able to join the whole world in sharing such GOOD news? Viva la Resurrection! here
Chilean Miners' Quotes (from The Catholic League). A terrific list, a Must Read!"Mario Gore Messes who at 63 is the eldest of a group of miners. He became the group's spiritual leader requesting a crucifix and Catholic statues of saints to construct an underground shrine." CBS "Many miners wore the same t-shirt. It reads, 'gracias, senor,' or thank you, Lord." here
As they emerged: How each man spent his first moments above ground. By the CNN Wire Staff. Copiapo, Chile - Some gave a thumbs-up, waved Chilean flags, and hugged their loved ones. One dropped to his knees and prayed, while another asked about his dog. One led the crowd in a cheer for Chile. And then they were all wheeled away on stretchers here
CHILE CELEBRATES "EASTER" Nation Thanks God of Life for Rescue of Miners. Zenit News: SANTIAGO, Chile - the nation is celebrating a type of Easter, with the completion Wednesday of a successful rescue of 33 miners trapped underground since Aug. 5 here

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The Work of Mary
Yesterday, I went to a retreat on the Work of Mary, conducted by a Marist priest from New Zealand: Mark Walls. It was about what it is to be a Marist and to do Marist work and it was very inspiring. He told us about the theological approach of Marists: Mary as the disciple; Mary's role in giving flesh to the Word - not only once as a historical event - but constantly, as an on-going process, every day, every minute, here and there and wherever is the "Church". He told us about the insights of their founders, especially Colin, and the charism of this missionary order: Mary who was "there at the beginning of the Church"; about the enculturation, the specific Catholic identity, the story telling, the profoundly social implications of the Church. There was a good group of people attending the retreat and I found the whole day to be very 'fruitful". I must admit that I knew about Mary as the first disciple but I had never thought before of the fact that Mary was a disciple even before she gave birth to our Lord, her discipleship even precedes her motherhood because of her adherence to God's will, because of her discipleship to the Holy Spirit. He told us about the history of the Marists world-wide and their impact especially in Oceania. "Go to where you are needed and not wanted and stay till you are wanted but not needed"…It is a French order which was started in the beginning of the 19th Century, around Lyons, and who specialized in education, service and missionary work. It was a very good retreat, lots of food for thoughts, lots of motivation and incentive to do and "to be" better people of faith in our world today!
Here are a couple of reflections on the Marist Way from their New Zealand sites:
“To be present wherever ‘church’ is happening”, because forming a communion of mind and heart is the work of the Spirit, and not something brought about by human means... Read more here
"The conditions that apply to doing Mary's work are not conditions set by Marist's but by Mary herself." Read more here .
If you can read French, check out their French site: here.

The body and the liturgy.
The human voice. Silence.
This silence is not just a period of waiting, something external. Then something happens inwardly that corresponds to what is going on outwardly - we are disposing ourselves, preparing the way, placing ourselves before the Lord, asking him to make us ready for transformation. Shared silence becomes shared prayer, indeed shared action, a journey out of our everyday life toward the Lord, toward merging our time with his own.
The silence of the Consecration.
It is an invitation to direct our eyes toward Christ, to look at him from within, in a gaze that is at once gratitude, adoration, and petition for our own transformation.
The moment when the Lord comes down and transforms bread and wine to become his Body and Blood cannot fail to stun, to the very core of their being, those who participate in the Eucharist by faith ad prayer. When this happens, we cannot do other than fall to our knees and greet him. The Consecration is the moment of God's great action in the world for us. It draws our eyes and hearts on high. For a moment the world is silent, everything is silent, and in that silence we touch the eternal - for one beat of the heart we step out of time into God's being-with-us.
(excerpts from The Spirit of the Liturgy, by then-Cardinal Ratzinger)

Our Guardian Angels are ministering spirits sent by God to watch over us on the way to salvation. Our responsibility is to be open and attentive to them since they cannot help us if we reject them, if we obscure our own conscience so much that we'll end up ignoring them. And what can shroud our conscience? It's always the same stuff: self-centeredness, obsessive selfishness, uncontrollable anger and envy, unrelenting pride, various addictions…" The angel of the Lord is encamped around those who revere him, to rescue them. Taste and see that the Lord is good. He is happy who takes refuge in him.

Today is Saint Therese de Lisieux Feast! "The power of prayer is really tremendous. It makes one like a queen who can approach the king at any time and get whatever she asks for. For me prayer is an upward leap of the heart, an untroubled glance towards heaven, a cry of gratitude and love which I utter from the depths of sorrow as well as the heights of joy. It has a supernatural grandeur which expands the soul and unites it with God".
(Saint Theresa of Lisieux).

Saint Therese de Lisieux photo collage by Michele Szekely

The picture is from the Chapel of Sainte Therese in Notre Dame des Victoires in San Francisco and most of the flower photos are from the Rose Garden in the Golden Gate Park (with one photo from my parents garden in the Alps). A while back, I made a short flash movie on Saint Therese here
Sainte Therese, pray for us!

"Miracles are everywhere" by Stephen Sparrow For regular readers of the Messenger it must be obvious by now that I am more than somewhat besotted with The Little Flower, aka St Thérèse of the Infant Jesus. Perhaps I should explain why. About fifteen years ago and wanting some ‘light’ holiday reading, I purchased from a used books shop... Read more: here. on the site: The Marist Messenger, a spiritual monthly magazine published by the Society of Mary, New Zealand.

CARDINAL NEWMAN: the `father' of the Catholic by Joseph Pearce. "The beatification of Cardinal John Henry Newman on Sunday during the pope's visit to England is a timely reminder of Newman's monumental importance to the revival of Catholicism in his native England and the United States. His 1845 reception into the Catholic Church heralded a new dawn for Catholicism in the English-speaking world"... "Newman's greatest contribution to philosophy is his seminal work, The Grammar of Assent (1870), the product of 20 years' labor, which highlighted the rational foundations for religious belief and the inadequacy of empiricism"... Read more: here .

Watch the crucial visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Scotland and England!
This is a historical moment with great spiritual consequences for all of us. Let us ask for the grace of God to melt the stumbling blocks keeping unbeleivers (or lukewarm and careless beleivers, or actively and proudly rebelling dissidents) away from the love of God.
Watch it here on EWTN.
Watch it here on KTO, the French Catholic TV channel. Live coverage!
See photos here on La Croix.
Read about it here on Zenit news.

Newman Reader: Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman. His Written Works. His Life.
Belief in the Holy Trinity :
Such is the usage of the Church in its dogmatic statements concerning the Holy Trinity, as if fulfilling the maxim, "Lex orandi, lex credendi." I suppose it is founded on a tradition, because the custom is otherwise as regards catechisms and theological treatises. These belong to particular ages and places, and are addressed to the intellect. In them, certainly, the mysteriousness of the doctrine is almost uniformly insisted on. But, however this contrast of usage is {135} to be explained, the Creeds are enough to show that the dogma may be taught in its fulness for the purposes of popular faith and devotion without directly insisting on that mysteriousness, which is necessarily involved in the combined view of its separate propositions. That systematized whole is the object of notional assent, and its propositions, one by one, are the objects of real.
To show this in fact, I will enumerate the separate propositions of which the dogma consists. They are nine, and stand as follows:—
1. There are Three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word or Son, and the Holy Spirit.
2. From the Father is, and ever has been, the Son.
3. From the Father and Son is, and ever has been, the Spirit.
4. The Father is the One Eternal Personal God.
5. The Son is the One Eternal Personal God.
6. The Spirit is the One Eternal Personal God.
7. The Father is not the Son.
8. The Son is not the Holy Ghost.
9. The Holy Ghost is not the Father
Read it all here (from An Essay in aid of a Grammar of Assent).

Luke 6

Today's Gospel Reading.
Very appropriate, in the light of the news from Florida, New York, the Middle East, the Far East...

Touched By Grace: Rescuing the Miners by Mary Kochan. In Chile they have started drilling operations to rescue thirty-three miners trapped after the August 5th collapse of the main exit tunnel of the San Jose gold and copper mine. Thirty-three, 33. Sometimes the Holy Trinity is very subtle. This is not one of those times. The entire world watches with interest, hoping. Because we know they are there Read more here on the Catholic Exchange site.

Mary Kenagy Mitchell -- Reading Listen to this short audio story, listen to what happens one early morning on the lake, at camp... "Mitchell's short stories have been called "deft" and "compelling." She explores the nooks and crannies of individual faith within family boundaries, shedding light on the different ways we understand God but never stooping to easy caricatures. With a graceful hand, she lets her characters reveal truths about each other and themselves: here on the site ImageJournal.org.

The Left, The Right and ‘Dominus Iesus’. Dominus Iesus... is one of the most important Church documents of modern times. Why? Because it concerns what is absolutely central and primary in Christianity, Christ himself. Because it defends the most unpopular aspect of the Church’s claim today — its “absolutism.” And because it overcomes the dualism of “liberal” vs. “conservative” by which the media classify and evaluate everything. Read this very interesting essay here by Peter Kreeft on The National Catholic Register.

Dominus Iesus. Because I came so late to the faith, I have huge gaps in my education... Thanks to Peter Kreeft, I discovered Dominus Iesus today. It is an amazing document, which was published in 2000, where it is outlined in clear and eloquent language this wonderful paradox: on one hand, salvation is only thru Christ, but, on the other hand, Jesus is the Word of God made man for the salvation of all. Both the uniqueness of Christ' salvific mystery and the universality of the Church established by Him and His Spirit need to be held together in one coherent (and obedient!) embrace... That kind of stuff really stretches me but I love it! It opens so many doors, it sheds so much light on what is going on... Read it all and judge for yourself here on the Vatican site.

Here are some excerpts of Dominus Iesus:

§ 15 "The Word of God, through whom all things were made, was made flesh, so that as perfect man he could save all men and sum up all things in himself. The Lord is the goal of human history, the focal point of the desires of history and civilization, the centre of mankind, the joy of all hearts, and the fulfilment of all aspirations. It is he whom the Father raised from the dead, exalted and placed at his right hand, constituting him judge of the living and the dead".45 "It is precisely this uniqueness of Christ which gives him an absolute and universal significance whereby, while belonging to history, he remains history's centre and goal: 'I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end' (Rev 22:13)".

§ 16 Therefore, in connection with the unicity and universality of the salvific mediation of Jesus Christ, the unicity of the Church founded by him must be firmly believed as a truth of Catholic faith. Just as there is one Christ, so there exists a single body of Christ, a single Bride of Christ: "a single Catholic and apostolic Church". Furthermore, the promises of the Lord that he would not abandon his Church (cf. Mt 16:18; 28:20) and that he would guide her by his Spirit (cf. Jn 16:13) mean, according to Catholic faith, that the unicity and the unity of the Church - like everything that belongs to the Church's integrity - will never be lacking. The Catholic faithful are required to profess that there is an historical continuity - rooted in the apostolic succession - between the Church founded by Christ and the Catholic Church: "This is the single Church of Christ... which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care (cf. Jn 21:17), commissioning him and the other Apostles to extend and rule her (cf. Mt 28:18ff.), erected for all ages as 'the pillar and mainstay of the truth' (1 Tim 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in [subsistit in] the Catholic Church, governed by the Successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him".54 With the expression subsistit in, the Second Vatican Council sought to harmonize two doctrinal statements: on the one hand, that the Church of Christ, despite the divisions which exist among Christians, continues to exist fully only in the Catholic Church, and on the other hand, that "outside of her structure, many elements can be found of sanctification and truth", that is, in those Churches and ecclesial communities which are not yet in full communion with the Catholic Church.56 But with respect to these, it needs to be stated that "they derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Catholic Church".

The Anscombe Society believes in the inherent dignity of every human person. We, furthermore, look to what sociology, psychology, medicine, philosophy, theology, and human experience agree works for the good and health of the person and for the common good and flourishing of society. In this way we have been led to take these stated positions on the family, marriage, sexual ethics, chastity, and sexuality. We believe that these positions protect human dignity, the individual and common good, and the healthy and flourishing society, for which all people must endeavor. Read their beautiful page on Family and Marriage: here

CHRISTIANS UNITE TO STRESS IMPORTANCE OF FATHERS. Here is a terrific interview with Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family. He explains his work with 3 presidents, including the current one, "So it is a bipartisan issue, though some of the solutions tend to be more partisan". He corrects the misunderstanding sometimes promoted by the media, such as the Atlantic Monthly's cover story: "Are Fathers Necessary?" "But all the kids out there that are growing up without dads, Barack Obama included, are not saying, "Fathers don't matter." He stresses the importance of "speaking to the human heart" "Anyone can proclaim truth. It's connecting with people and touching people that is important". And then he speaks very eloquently of the Theology of the Body and the impact of JPII… Read it all here on Zenit news.

Here is my own translation of a very interesting interview with Fabrice HADJADJ: born in 1971, Fabrice Hadjadj, young French intellectual converted from Judaism to Catholicism 12 years ago. A philosopher, a writer, his last book: "The faith of demons" (Salvator, 2009), a brilliant essay on atheism, received the 2010 price of religious literature.

LE FIGARO. - The Catholic Church just went thru a crisis without any precedent, how can you qualify, in this vigil of the 15 August, how Catholics feel?

Fabrice HADJADJ - First of all, this crises is not without precedent. There has been other crises, possibly worse: the Aryan crises of the IV century, the Great Schism with the Occident in the XIV , the scandalous mores of some pope like Alexander VI Borgia, a murderer who lived in common-law marriage and practiced simony, to mention only a few striking examples. So much so that we are obliged to admit that the Church never ceases to go thru crises. It is in her nature, in some ways. If you look at this fact without any bias, the phenomenon appears almost unbelievable: when all other institutions have been swept away by the storms of history, here is, and this from more than 2000 years, the "ship of Peter" following its course, with an uninterrupted apostolic succession and with a teaching which has for the essentials been able to developed without contradicting themselves. This exceptional long life supposed inevitably an exceptional ability to withstand blows.

The Church's image has been gravely affected, how can the gravity be assessed?
The Church is not a cover-girl. She does not thrive from her image in the medias. If such were the case, she would not strive any more to speak from the center of our hearts, but she would try to butter us up. Nevertheless, the crimes committed by priests are infinitively more profound than if they are committed by a gym coach, for instance. And it is this reason that can explain the medias frenzy as we have known it. The paradox is as such: if we attack especially the people of the Church when they act as perverts, it is because we instinctively know of the special purity of their mission.
From that angle, the image of the Church is all the more so affected that we believe in the holiness of the Church, because then the scandal becomes of an unmatchable degree. So Benedict XVI, who knows the mystery of being a priest, finds these crimes even more horrible than the non-Christian media can ever conceive them. This is why he has wanted to shed light on all this.

Of these last turbulent 6 months, what assessment can be done by an intellectual such as you are?
The same assessment that you can draw after 30 centuries of turbulence, or even more, if we understand that the beautiful harmony of the world was broken from its beginnings: we will never be finished with crises. And, in some ways, it is not that bad. You know that the word "crises" comes from the Greek: krinein, which means to sift through or to discern. The crises situation is stopping us from resting on our laurels. It is forcing us to ask the question of meaning, to dig into ourselves and to seek a much larger and more profound good.
(See this interview, in French, here on the French newspaper site: Le Figaro.

Richard Rohr "Job and the mystery of suffering, spiritual reflections"Our most basic theological problem is that God is God and we're not. Most of us in effect are terribly upset that we're not God. It really ticks us off that another is in charge and we're not, and that we're only creatures. We spend much of our life railing and complaining because we are not in charge and we can't call the shots - at least I do. Job, too, is upset that he is not God. Yet he never carries that rebellion all the way. He finally submits, and occasionally even breaks into a kind of revelry, delighting in God being God. At such times, he seems rather glad that he's not in charge, which is a wise response for a human.

I have just read "Secrets of God" about the Writings of Hildegard of Bingen. She is such a fascinating person with so many gifts, a doctor, a writer, a preacher, a musician, a theologian, an abbess. but I was mainly interested in her visions and finding out more details about them. She had them since childhood but she only started writing them down at the age of 42, admonished by the voice in the vision, and she completed the task (of writing them down) in 10 years. She was in the middle of her own life since she died at 81 years old. She understood her position as "mouthpiece of God", she is very careful to say that she did not see her visions in a "dream", or in an "ecstatic state" and that she only wants to be the "listener" who speaks what she has seen and heard, she does not want to interpret the visions or bend them to her likings in any way. In these visions, she describes God and the world, its history, its mysteries.

"It came to pass that in the eleven hundred and forty- first year of the Incarnation of God's Son, Jesus Christ, when I was forty-two years and seven months old, that the heavens were opened and a blinding light of exceptional brilliance flowed through my entire brain. And so it kindled my whole hart and breast like a flame, not burning but warming, as the sun warms anything on which its rays fall. And suddenly I grasped the underlying meanings of the books - of the Psalter, the Gospels and other catholic books of the Old and New Testaments - not, however that I understood how to construe the words of the text or their division into syllables or their cases and tenses".

Did you notice the bright light in her brain, bringing her instant and complete understanding? I picture all the little brain cells and synapses suddenly fired up and flowing smoothly! I have had insights when everything seems to fall into place. Experts tell us that we routinely use only 10% of our brain at the most and I assume that when I had those insights, I must have been using an additional 5% of my brain - which looked phenomenal at the time - but Hildegard's brain seemed to have running on full 100%... Plus she got help from the outside, she got direct help from the source of all light, the Living Light!

Not only she wrote the visions down but she also commented on them, explaining them line by line. And the picture that emerged from them is astonishing and very orthodox at the same time: the creation, the incarnation, the fall of one angel who is ruling this world, the consequences of the fall in the elements of the world. It is absolutely fascinating - and enlightening - and inspiring.

The End of the World as We Know It by Brother André Marie. "Religiously, morally, politically, and even physically (thanks to its increasing obesity) our nation has been slouching towards Gommorah for many years now. We've made ourselves worthy subjects of the great big Nannie State that our own sloth and indifference have brought into being. And it's getting worse. There is an increasingly alarming "fiscal crisis" that even the federal government is beginning to acknowledge might not go away…". Read more here on the site of The Slaves of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is a Nigerian novelist and short-story writer and recipient of a 2008 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship. Her second novel, Half of a Yellow Sun, won the Orange Prize and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. When I go back to Nigeria it strikes me how on Sunday people will say, “Have you been to church?” It’s expected, and they say it matter-of-factly. They’re saying it because they want to make sure...
Read this wonderful interview here on Image Journal.

A few years ago, I remember being at the noon Mass in St Patrick's Church, downtown San Francisco, and having a hard time understanding the homily. I have to tell you that I love going to Church, I love the liturgy, I love the prayers and the responses, the standing up and the kneeling down on clues, I love the chanting and the hearing of scriptures read aloud and I love all the homilies and the exhortations which are always to get us to pray more, to love better, to listen to Christ more attentively and to exercise charity daily. I only learned this late in life but the Mass is an amazing moment to talk to (and listen to) God and the culmination is to receive him personally and in the most real manner in the Eucharist. And if I am distracted as I walk in, then I have learned to open up my ears and my heart slowly, one fold at a time, with humility and patience, and love always blossoms. But not that day at St. Patrick, I think the priest was from the Phillipines and had a thick accent (look who is talking here…) and he was preaching in a rather low voice and I could not understand anything. It sounded like "tadada, tadada, tadada" again and again. So I prayed to Jesus, I told him it was getting confusing not to understand anything and could he please help me here, I'm feeling lost, and as soon as this prayer had formulated itself interiorly, I heard the priest said loud and clear: "Forgiveness!" and then he went back to "tadada, tadada, tadada"… Isn't it something? I was given one word that day but what a word, what a promise. It kept me smiling and beaming with gratitude for the rest of the day.

When I was reading about Saint Peter Chrysologus this morning, I remembered that incident. This is what I read: "Peter's fame and his significant contributions to the church comes from his brief, but powerful homilies. His extraordinary zeal to learn and assist others to learn about Christ are his telling trademarks. His unswerving loyalty and obedience to the church reveal his fascinating faith, holiness, and profound love for God and neighbor.

Jesus Christ being the Word is an all-powerful and effective instrument for all, especially, sinners. We need to be transformed because sinners are imprisoned and attached to selfish ways. The Spirit of God and the Word of God desire to rush in upon us and unite us with our Father in perfect accord and unity. We take on and are clothed with God's attributes. We become divinized when we are prepared, tuned-in, expect and hope. We will expect more from God as our confidence develops. God is just and merciful to those who expect and hope. God will give supernatural light and graces to both parties-the speaker and the listener to penetrate us in homilies. Human ignorance is sad but spiritual ignorance is a pitiful condition and state that we allow ourselves to sink into or become trapped and immersed. It hides or distorts the truth and doesn't motivate us to want to learn or change. Our reluctance to hear God's words in sermons, homilies and religious discussions places us into a state of listlessness, lethargy, and indifference that cripple us spiritually and leads to moral quicksand. This condition sinks our minds into ignorance or misconceptions or blocks the truth".

Saint Peter Chrysologus, teach us again and again forgiveness and gratitude...

Today is the Feast of Saint Peter Chrysologus! May the prayers of Saint Peter Chrysologus help us to cherish the mystery of salvation and make its meaning clear in our love for others (from the Liturgy of the Hours). Peter the Golden Mouth said: “The one who wants to play with the devil will not be able to rejoice with Christ”.
Here is a terrific page on Peter and his homilies: "Peter was a vigorous defender of truth and proponent of Christian morality. What he had to say was so emotional that it may take your breath away. In fact, it often took Peter's own breath away, and at times, he often appeared speechless in trying to formulate the truth he had to convey. His message was bigger than life. How does one describe the indescribable riches and treasures of the gospels except to stutter and stammer? One can't describe God. One only experiences God. The life, action and words of Jesus Christ reveal the infinite mercy and wisdom of God. His life can impress and touch each of us with God's incomparable and incomprehensible perfect example and model. Every gesture, glance, posture, feeling, expression, breath and touch that the Redeemer showed, spoke, or described has the power to transform us instantly if we allow it. God is alive now. Scripture says that God is from everlasting to everlasting. This might sound redundant to the "worldly" person. However, to the reverent and spiritually sensitive, each word of scripture, or a homily based upon the gospel is as a precious mirror to their soul and has profound and personal depth and meaning" here on the site: Our Lady's Warriors.org. See a wonderful listing of the Doctors of the Church here

Exorcism and the Church Militant Fr. Euteneuer, Pro-Life Leader, Is Also an Exorcist. By the end of my interview with Father Euteneuer, I realized my initial question about being frightened of demons had betrayed my misunderstanding of the limits of demonic power. Exorcism and the Church Militant is a book that should provide guidance to many for years to come, especially for parents who need a reminder that the occult is not innocent entertainment. Read the article here on Inside Catholic.

Thanks to a friend, I just discovered a new Saint: Christina The Astonishing! There is a wonderful essay written by Cynthia Large: "she grew sick in body by virtue of the exercise of inward contemplation and she died... she was carried to the church for the funeral Mass, where her first marvel was to occur. Right after the Agnus Dei, she flew up out of her coffin like a bird and perched herself in the rafters of the church (it was said that she desired to escape the stench of human sin).... " Read more here

See Nick Cave's haunting song about Christina The Astonishing:

Christina the Astonishing
Lived a long long time ago
She was stricken with a seizure
At the age of twenty-two
They took her body in a coffin
To a tiny church in Liege
Where she sprang up from the coffin
Just after the Agnus Dei
She soared up to the rafters
Perched on a beam up there
Cried "The stink of human sin
Is more that I can bear"
Christina the Astonishing
Was the most astonishing of all

For a listing of prayers, articles, recipes & nature photos on this site,
see the Site Map

Automne 2010 - Le partage de la foi… en français:

D'apres la Lettre de Saint Paul aux Ephésiens, une tres bonne leçon de conduite, valable pour tous: 4:25- Dès lors, plus de mensonge : que chacun dise la vérité à son prochain ; ne sommes-nous pas membres les uns des autres ? Ep 4:26- Emportez-vous, mais ne commettez pas le péché : que le soleil ne se couche pas sur votre colère ; Ep 4:27- il ne faut pas donner prise au diable. Ep 4:28- Que celui qui volait ne vole plus ; qu'il prenne plutôt la peine de travailler de ses mains, au point de pouvoir faire le bien en secourant les nécessiteux. Ep 4:29- De votre bouche ne doit sortir aucun mauvais propos, mais plutôt toute bonne parole capable d'édifier, quand il le faut, et de faire du bien à ceux qui l'entendent. Ep 4:30- Ne contristez pas l'Esprit Saint de Dieu, qui vous a marqués de son sceau pour le jour de la rédemption. Ep 4:31- Aigreur, emportement, colère, clameurs, outrages, tout cela doit être extirpé de chez vous, avec la malice sous toutes ses formes. Ep 4:32- Montrez-vous au contraire bons et compatissants les uns pour les autres, vous pardonnant mutuellement, comme Dieu vous a pardonné dans le Christ.

Les sapins au bord du lac - photo by Michele Szekely

Je suis de retour au chalet... et voici mes premieres photos du coin.

Psaume 8
Seigneur, notre Dieu, qu'il est grand ton nom par toute la terre !
par la bouche des enfants, des tout-petits :
rempart que tu opposes à l'adversaire, où l'ennemi se brise en sa révolte.
A voir ton ciel, ouvrage de tes doigts, la lune et les étoiles que tu fixas,
qu'est-ce que l'homme pour que tu penses à lui, le fils d'Adam, que tu le veuilles visiter?
Tu l'as voulu un peu moindre qu'un dieu, le couronnant de gloire et d'honneur ;
tu l'établis sur les oeuvres de tes mains, tu mets toute chose à ses pieds :
les troupeaux de boeufs et de brebis, et même les bêtes sauvages,
les oiseaux du ciel et les poissons de la mer, tout ce qui va son chemin dans les eaux
O Seigneur, notre Dieu, qu'il est puissant ton nom par toute la terre !

Les Icônes Byzantines et Orthodoxes Le site de Joséphine Puget, artiste peintre d'icônes religieuses, un site tres interressant sur ce sujet, avec beaucoup d'informations et de references: ici avec la Définition d'une icône; l'Histoire, la Technique, les édifices chrétiens et leur art sacré et beaucoup de photos.

Burning Candles photos - by Michele Szekely

Le véritable problème contemporain n'est pas celui de la libéralisation des mœurs face à la pruderie du XIX siècle; c'est celui de la maitrise que donne sur la condition humaine la connaissance scientifique et technique, et j'inclus ici, avec la biologie, les outils de l'analyse psychologique et sociale, voire de l'ethnologie. … Au vu des pouvoirs formidables acquis sur la vie et la procréation humaines grâce aux progrès de la science, il faut un surcroit de sagesse pour que le coùt humain ne soit pas aussi féroce que celui de l'évolution économique ou industrielle. … Il faut redire les finalités et les valeurs morales qui doivent présider a l'intégration de cette puissance nouvelle que l'homme acquiert sur lui-même, sur son propre corps et sur sa sexualité. (Le Choix de Dieu; Jean-Marie Lustiger)

November Flowers photo by Michele Szekely   November Flowers photo by Michele Szekely

Des fleurs en novembre... Vive la Californie!

Voila un autre livre qui m'a marqué: « Jésus en son temps », de Daniel-Rops, est la présentation à la fois la plus accessible et la plus complète de la vie de Jésus, à la lumière des travaux contemporains des sciences historique et exégétique: en lire plus ici sur le site des Editions du Cerf.

"CHEMINS INTERIEURS" - Les Clarisses de Montbrison Extrait d'un documentaire consacré aux Soeurs Clarisses de Montbrison, près de Saint Etienne, un lieu où Sainte Colette prophétisa qu'un jour naîtrait dans cette ville un monastère qui durerait jusqu'à la fin des temps... Le monastère Sainte-Claire de Montbrison vient de fêter son 500ème anniversaire.

Le sauvetage des mineurs au Chili était un moment merveilleux, non seulement parce qu'ils ont finalement étaient sauvés et sont remontés a la surface mais parce que cette longue épreuve a révélé leur courage et leur endurance, leur esprit d'équipe et leur foi. Le monde entier s'est associé a leur sauvetage par la prière… J'ai mis plusieurs articles dans la colonne d'a coté, en anglais. Et c'est dommage, mais je n'arrive pas a en trouver autant en français. Peut-être que je n'ai pas assez cherché….

Autumn lake in Golden Gate Park - photo by Michele Szekely

Autumn Branch in Water - photo by Michele Szekely

Autumn Leaf Floating - photo by Michele Szekely

Un lac dans le parc du Golden Gate. L'automne arrive...

Le choix de Dieu Je suis en train de lire un livre très intelligent et très instructif "Le choix de Dieu" Entretiens entre Jean-Marie Lustiger et Jean-Louis Missika et Dominique Wolton. L'Archevêque de Paris répond a leurs questions et raconte son enfance, sa conversion, ses études, la guerre… Il explique avec grande clarté (et éloquence) l'impacte et la continuité du judaïsme dans le christianisme, l'antisémitisme, le véritable chrétien, le rôle du peuple juif dans l'économie du salut… Il a même des commentaires absolument remarquable et qui m'ont donné a réfléchir (et je n'en suis qu'au 3ème chapitre!) : sur Voltaire et le siècle des Lumières, sur la confusion morale pendant (et après) la guerre, sur les racines de l'antisémitisme qui se trouvent plus dans l'athéisme que dans le christianisme…
Voici un lien avec un extrait de ce livre ici ou bien ici

L'Institut du Christ Roi Souverain Prêtre est une société de vie apostolique érigée canoniquement depuis le 1er septembre 1990. Son but est la gloire de Dieu et la sanctification des prêtres au service de l'Eglise et des âmes par une formation doctrinale et spirituelle. Sa finalité particulière est missionnaire est la diffusion et la défense du Règne de Notre Seigneur Jésus-Christ dans tous les aspects de la vie humaine. Dédié au Christ Roi Souverain Prêtre, cet Institut est placé sous le patronage principal de l’Immaculée Conception et honore comme patrons secondaires Saint François de Sales, Saint Thomas d’Aquin et Saint Benoît. Présents en Europe, en Afrique, aux Etats-Unis, ses prêtres sont destinés à un ministère paroissial ou éducatif et à la prédication de retraites spirituelles. Ils exercent leur apostolat avec le souci de promouvoir toutes les valeurs surnaturelles et humaines de la Civilisation Chrétienne, dans une optique d’harmonie entre la culture et le christianisme.
Voir le site tres riche d'information de l'Institut et les photos des vendanges de 2010 dans Les vignes de Gricigliano ici

Jésus, Agneau sans tache, sacrifié dès le commencement du monde, ayez pitié de nous
Jésus, qui avez désiré répandre votre Sang pour le salut des hommes, ayez pitié de nous
Jésus, qui, pour racheter les hommes, avez répandu tout votre Sang sur la croix, ayez pitié de nous
Sang précieux, source toujours jaillissante de grâces et de bénédictions, ayez pitié de nous

Saint Michel

Glorieux Archange Saint Michel,
grand zélateur de la gloire de Dieu et protecteur de l'Église universelle, vous à qui le Tout-Puissant a confié la mission de recevoir les âmes à la sortie du corps pour les présenter au très juste Juge; daignez me secourir dans mon dernier combat. Accompagné de mon bon Ange gardien, venez à mon aide et chassez loin de moi tous les esprits infernaux. Ne permettez pas qu'ils m'épouvantent alors. Fortifiez-moi dans la Foi, l'Espérance et la Charité, afin que mon âme, portée par vous à son juge, soit introduite aussitôt au lieu du repos, pour y régner éternellement avec son Rédempteur, dans la société des Esprits bienheureux. Ainsi soit-il. ici

Découvrez Newman par Geffroy Christophe: Deux livres de Newman m’ont plus particulièrement marqué : l’Essai sur le développement de la doctrine chrétienne et, plus encore, l’Apologia pro vita sua qui est un chef-d’œuvre littéraire... Forcé de s’expliquer sur sa conversion et sa bonne foi de catholique, Newman nous conte dans l’Apologia son évolution religieuse et les raisons de sa conversion. Passionnante évocation qui suffit à prouver combien l’auteur est un modèle pour l’époque actuelle, aussi bien par sa vie que par son œuvre immense....à bien des égards, les erreurs combattues par Newman au sein de l’Église anglicane se retrouvent aujourd’hui largement répandues. Croire que l’on peut faire le grand écart entre des convictions contradictoires pour ne blesser personne ne peut conduire qu’au relativisme, qui est le mal propre de notre modernité. En lire plus ici sur le site de La Nef. C'est un tres bon article d'introduction a Newman, sur sa bataille contre le libéralisme, sur l'importance de suivre sa conscience et surtout de former sa conscience, sur l'importance de la doctrine, du dogme et leurs developments et l'infaillibilité du jugement.

Newman : le sens d'une béatification par Solari Gregory: "la conscience, qui était à ses yeux « le Vicaire originel du Christ ». En tant que Parole de Dieu, ou Présence – la définition de la conscience est riche de plusieurs sens chez Newman –, la conscience était par nature « ecclésiale » ; pas plus que la Révélation, l’enseignement du magistère ne violait sa liberté ni ne se surajoutait de l’extérieur à sa propre lumière. Au contraire, celle-ci était rendue plus claire par la réception de l’enseignement de l’Église car il s’agissait de la même Lumière, de la même Parole, du même Dieu. En lire plus ici sur le site de La Nef où il y a plusieurs articles excellents sur Newman.

La visite du Pape en Ecosse et en Angleterre. A son arrivée au Royaume Uni où il effectuera une visite de quatre jours, le pape a souligné le rayonnement international de la Grande Bretagne, qui lui donne un « devoir » de « sagesse en vue du bien commun ». Il a notamment souligné la responsabilité des médias britanniques, dont l'audience est particulièrement large.
Le voyage de Benoît XVI au Royaume-Uni ici sur le site de l'Eglise catholique en France.
Suivez la visite aussi ici sur KTO, la télévision catholique en France. En direct!
Voir les photos ici sur le site de La Croix.
En lire plus ici sur le site de Zenit.
En anglais, regardez cette visite historique ici sur le site de EWTN.

Association Française des Amis de Newman.
John Henry Newman (1801-1890) est l’un des grands penseurs chrétiens et l’un des grands maîtres et guides spirituels des temps modernes. Profondément marqué par une expérience spirituelle vécue à l’âge de 15 ans, il passe presque trente ans de sa vie à l’Université d’Oxford comme étudiant puis comme enseignant et chercheur, mais aussi comme pasteur, devenant le prédicateur le plus écouté et le plus influent de tout le pays : ses Sermons paroissiaux, publiés en huit volumes, restent un des sommets de la prédication chrétienne des deux derniers siècles. En lire plus ici
Et lire aussi: Le Cardinal Newman, prophète de Vatican II ici

Pink Flowers Photo by Michele Szekely

Chapelet pour la conversion des musulmans:
- sur les gros grains, une fois : "Par les plaies de Jésus et les larmes de sa Sainte Mère".
- sur les petits grains, 10 fois : "Doux Père, faites leur connaître votre Fils".

Voyez ici ce chapelet trouvé sur le blog Quo Vadis?

Les mille et une vies du curé de Gaza. Curé enseignant, curé éducateur, curé boulanger… le père Manuel eut plusieurs vies. À 72 ans, il goûte aujourd’hui à un repos mérité dans sa maison familiale de Bir Zeit, son village natal près de Ramallah en Cisjordanie, où il s’est confié à Jean-Claude Petit, ancien directeur de La Vie (1). De son enfance pauvre à sa vocation de prêtre à Zarqa, Jénine, Zababdeh puis Gaza, le père Manuel a passé sa vie au service des chrétiens et de son peuple. Une vie d’aventures rocambolesques que ce personnage hors du commun raconte avec sa faconde et son béret basque sur la tête, mais aussi de douleurs imposées par l’Histoire. Lisez la suite ici sur le blog de Georges Malbrunot.

Dominus Jesu Comme je le raconte dans ma colonne en anglais, je viens juste de découvrir ce document merveilleux sur la mission universelle de l'Église et sur la révélation complète et définitive du mystère salvifique de Dieu réalisée en Jésus-Christ seulement; c'est un paradoxe étonnant, qui est souvent difficile a comprendre (et a suivre!) mais qui apporte pourtant reponse a tout. Voici des extraits de Dominus Jesu:

§ 15 « Le Verbe de Dieu, par qui tout a été fait, s'est lui-même fait chair, afin que, homme parfait, il sauve tous les hommes et récapitule toutes choses en lui. Le Seigneur est le terme de l'histoire humaine, le point vers lequel convergent tous les désirs de l'histoire et de la civilisation, le centre du genre humain, la joie de tous les cœurs et la plénitude de leurs aspirations. C'est lui que le Père a ressuscité d'entre les morts, a exalté et fait siéger à sa droite, le constituant juge des vivants et des morts ».45 « C'est précisément ce caractère unique du Christ qui lui confère une portée absolue et universelle par laquelle, étant dans l'histoire, il est le centre et la fin de l'histoire elle-même: “Je suis l'Alpha et l'Oméga, le Premier et le Dernier, le Principe et la Fin” (Ap 22,13) ».46

IV. UNICITE ET UNITE DE L'ÉGLISE . 16. Par conséquent, compte tenu de l'unicité et de l'universalité de la médiation salvifique de Jésus-Christ, on doit croire fermement comme vérité de foi catholique en l'unicité de l'Église fondée par le Christ. Tout comme il existe un seul Christ, il n'a qu'un seul Corps, une seule Épouse: une « seule et unique Église catholique et apostolique ».51 De plus, les promesses du Seigneur de ne jamais abandonner son Église (cf. Mt 16,18; 28,20) et de la guider par son Esprit (cf. Jn 16,13) impliquent, selon la foi catholique, que l'unicité et l'unité, comme tout ce qui appartient à l'intégrité de l'Église, ne feront jamais défaut.52

Les fidèles sont tenus de professer qu'il existe une continuité historique — fondée sur la succession apostolique53 — entre l'Église instituée par le Christ et l'Église catholique: « C'est là l'unique Église du Christ [...] que notre sauveur, après sa résurrection, remit à Pierre pour qu'il en soit le pasteur (cf. Jn 21,17), qu'il lui confia, à lui et aux autres apôtres, pour la répandre et la diriger (cf. Mt 28,18ss.), et dont il a fait pour toujours la “colonne et le fondement de la vérité” (1 Tm 3,15). Cette Église comme société constituée et organisée en ce monde, c'est dans l'Église catholique qu'elle se trouve [subsistit in], gouvernée par le successeur de Pierre et les Évêques qui sont en communion avec lui ».54 Par l'expression subsistit in, le Concile Vatican II a voulu proclamer deux affirmations doctrinales: d'une part, que malgré les divisions entre chrétiens, l'Église du Christ continue à exister en plénitude dans la seule Église catholique; d'autre part, « que des éléments nombreux de sanctification et de vérité subsistent hors de ses structures »,55 c'est-à-dire dans les Églises et Communautés ecclésiales qui ne sont pas encore en pleine communion avec l'Église catholique.56 Mais il faut affirmer de ces dernières que leur « force dérive de la plénitude de grâce et de vérité qui a été confiée à l'Église catholique ».57

Lire la suite ici sur le site du Vatican.

Idées: René Girard et Ayn Rand : éthique du sacrifice et de l’anti-sacrifice, par Thierry Paulmier. Comme saint Augustin avant eux, Rand et Girard ont bien compris que l’éthique est toujours en dernière analyse, telle la tragédie grecque, une question de vie ou de mort. Pour Girard, l’éthique se résume au choix cornélien entre le sacrifice de soi et le sacrifice de l’autre ; il n’y a, semble-t-il, pas de solution intermédiaire. Soit on se sacrifie, c’est-à-dire qu’on se laisse sacrifier, soit on sacrifie l’autre. On est soit victime soit bourreau Pour en lire plus: ici sur le site de Liberté Politique.

La modernité en philosophie ne se caractérise cependant pas par l'opposition d'une raison athée et d'une foi qui serait seule en charge de penser Dieu. " Il s'est produit un chassé-croisé qui a relégué le Dieu exsangue des philosophes et qui a accueilli l'Homme-Dieu de la théologie. "

Les premiers Pères de l'Eglise avaient déjà identifié la philosophie et le christianisme ; mais c'est bien, entre autres choses, l'incursion de thématiques christologiques dans le discours philosophique qui caractérise la pensée moderne. Erasme…Pascal pose the Christ comme " l'objet de tout, et le centre où tout tend " ; Spinoza…Kierkegaard fait aussi du Christ une figure centrale : par la foi au Dieu mort incognito sur la Croix, le chrétien devient présent à lui-même en devenant présent au Christ. …

Avec Hegel et Schelling… la christologie cesse d'être un simple objet de pensée pour devenir un schème structurant le système philosophique lui-même. Rompant avec ses prédécesseurs, Hegel ne se contente pas d'affirmer l'identité de la philosophie et de la théologique " Dieu est le seul et unique objet de la philosophie.. La philosophie est donc la théologie " ; il fait aussi de la mort de l'Homme-Dieu et donc de la Croix l'emblème du travail du négatif par lequel l'Absolu se réconcilie avec sa propre négation. Pour être lui me, Dieu nie sa propre infinité et, se réalisant dans le fini, revient à lui-même, dans la négation de sa propre négation. La philosophie de Hegel, centrée sur l'hymne de la Lettre aux Philippiens, fait ainsi de la kénose (Dieu se vide de lui-même et se dépouille de sa propre divinité) et de la négation de Dieu un moment de l'affirmation de Dieu : " La mort … est ce qu'il y a de plus terrible … La vie de l'esprit n'est pas la vie qui s'effarouche devant la mort et se préserve pure de la décrépitude, c'est au contraire celle qui la supporte et se conserve en elle. L'esprit n'acquiert sa vérité qu'en se trouvant lui-même dans la déchirure absolue ". le Vendredi saint est inséparablement historique et spéculatif.

(Extraits de " La Théologie " par Thierry Bedouelle, Chapitre IV, §III, 2)

PariSaints Découvrez les hauts lieux de la charité à Paris, suivez les traces des grandes figures de la sainteté parisienne. Retrouver l'empreinte qu'ils ont laissée sur la capitale ! C'est un site tres interressant: Classés par categorie: Au service de l'Eglise, Donner sa vie, Face au nazisme, L'attention aux malades et aux handicapés, Le dévouement envers les plus pauvres, Les missionnaires, etc... La liste entiere est ici

Interview avec Fabrice Hadjadj. LE FIGARO. - L'Église catholique vient de traverser une crise sans précédent, comment qualifier, en cette veille du 15 août, le moral des catholiques ?
Fabrice HADJADJ. - D'abord cette crise n'est pas sans précédent. Il y en eut d'autres, probablement pires : la crise arienne du IVe siècle, le Grand Schisme d'Occident au XIVe, les mœurs scandaleuses de certains papes comme Alexandre VI Borgia, assassin, concubinaire et simoniaque, pour ne prendre que quelques exemples saillants. Si bien que nous sommes obligés de reconnaître que l'Église n'a cessé de traverser des crises. C'est dans sa nature, en quelque sorte. Qu'on regarde ce fait sans préjugé, et le phénomène apparaît presque incroyable : alors que toutes les autres institutions ont été balayées par les tempêtes de l'histoire, voici que, depuis plus de deux mille ans, la "barque de Pierre" poursuit sa route, avec une succession apostolique ininterrompue et un enseignement qui pour l'essentiel s'est développé sans se contredire.
En lire plus ici sur le site du Figaro. J'ai mis la traduction de cet interview dans la partie "in English" de ce site, à gauche sur l'écran.

Hildegarde de Bingen: prophéties. Je viens de lire un livre tres intérressant sur elle. Nonne, abbesse, théologienne, docteur, musicienne et visionnaire, elle a beaucoup prêché et écrit. Voici un extrait de ses propheties sur les manigances "du fils de perdition" a la fin des temps ici . Lisez aussi la section "Lorsque les éléments se déchaînent" sur les conséquences de nos vies désordonnées...

6 août : Fête de la Transfiguration du Seigneur: le sens de la Fête = une tres bonne collection de reflexions sur la Fete de La Transfiguration, sur le site de La Croix.com ici :
- La gloire rendue visible
- Invités au mystère du Christ
- Comme le soleil
- Le nouvel exode du Fils
- Aujourd’hui, le Royaume du Christ

Christine l'Admirable

Christine l'Admirable Christine surnommée l'Admirable est née en 1150 à Saint-Trond, près de Liège en Belgique. Après la mort de ses parents, elle habita avec ses deux soeurs qui lui attribuèrent la fonction de bergère. Au milieu des champs, comme elle ne voyait personne, elle ne tarda pas à être continuellement en commerce avec Dieu et les anges. Mais l'état de contemplation dans lequel elle passait le plus clair de son temps ne tarda pas à miner sa santé et elle mourut très jeune en 1182. Il y avait beaucoup de monde à son enterrement. Au moment de la messe où le prêtre achevait l'Agnus Dei, le corps de Christine commença à bouger. Puis il se dressa, s'éleva avec rapidité et alla se poser sur une des poutres traversières de l'église. Les gens paniquèrent et sortirent précipitamment de l'édifice, sauf le prêtre et la soeur aînée de Christine. Il termina la messe puis ordonna à Christine de redescendre. Elle redescendit illico pour raconter ceci : lire la suite ici

C'est la Fête de Saint Ignace! Saint Ignatius
Le but des Exercices est de renvoyer celui qui les fait à Dieu, son Créateur et Seigneur. Ignace le dit lui-même, lorsqu'en évoquant sa rencontre avec François Xavier et Pierre Favre à Paris, il avoue les avoir " gagnés au service de Dieu par le moyen des exercices ". S'attacher à la personne de Jésus, tout en gardant sa personnalité propre, telle sera l'expérience fondatrice de la Compagnie de Jésus.
En lire plus ici sur le site des Jesuites.

C'est la Fête de Saint Pierre Chrysologue. Homélie de Saint Pierre Chrysologue sur le pardon du Père : " Je me lèverai et j'irai vers mon père. Celui qui dit ces paroles gisait à terre. Il prend conscience de sa chute, il se rend compte de sa ruine, il se voit enlisé dans le péché et il s'écrie : je me lèverai et j'irai vers mon père. D'où lui vient ces espoir, cette assurance. Cette confiance ? "... lire l'article

La Fraternité des Franciscains Séculiers de l'Immaculée, sous le patronage de l'Immaculée (Notre Dame de Lourdes). L'intuition est née au pied de la Grotte de Lourdes de fondation de la Fraternité "Franciscain(e)s Séculiers de l'Immaculée" fut établi à Lourdes le 8 décembre 1992 en la solennité de l'Immaculée Conception. Nous avons pour cloître : les rues et les chemins; pour oratoire : les églises et les chapelles; pour cellule : le logement que nous occupons dans les villes et les villages; pour couvent : le monde entier. Notre Spiritualité est Franciscaine et Mariale, elle s'inspire des écrits de St François et de Ste Claire. En lire plus ici sur leur site: fsi.voila.net

Papillon Californien - photo by Michele Szekely

Carnet de chants scout Tra-son:
Hé garçon prends la barre
Vire au vent et largue les ris
Le vent te raconte l’histoire
Des marins couverts de gloire
Il t’appelle et tu le suis. (bis)

Ecoutez la suite ici ou bien: "Plaine, ma plaine, Ô mon immense plaine…" ici et bien d'autres encore.

Visite virtuelle de la Basilique Notre-Dame à Genève. Une jolie visite! Voir ici.

Les parcours Zachée Un parcours de formation spirituelle et pratique pour mettre en oeuvre la Doctrine sociale de l’Eglise Catholique au quotidien. Un parcours qui permet d’unifier foi et action, de réaliser un art de vivre chrétien. Les parcours Zachée ont été fondés par la Communauté de l’Emmanuel en 2005. En lire plus ici .

Vive le Saint Curé d'Ars! Il y a un peu plus de deux mois, le 8 mai, j'étais en France et je suis allée en pelerinage à Ars et hier, dimanche 18 juillet, je suis allée voir et prier devant la relique du coeur de Saint Jean Vianney, qui etait de passage à Oakland (Californie), à la toute nouvelle Cathedrale de "Christ The Light". Voici une photo de la Cathedrale et, dans la colonne en anglais, j'ai mis une photo de la relique.

Cathedral of Christ The Light - photo by Michele Szekely

J'ai un livre qui date de 1904 et qui vient de ma grand-mère et qui s'appelle : " Heures Catholiques d'Ars ; prières d'un serviteur de Dieu ; Exercices de piété, réflexions spirituelles et prières "
En voici quelques extraits:
"O mon Dieu ! je n'oublierai jamais les réflexions suivantes que j'ai faites :
1) Que je ne suis au monde que pour travailler à mon salut éternel, et que je dois tout sacrifier plutôt que de commettre un seul péché mortel, afin d'éviter l'enfer ;
2) Que, la mort devant bientôt me séparer de ce monde, c'est une folie que de m'y attacher.

C'est dans ces sentiments et avec le secours de votre grâce, O mon Dieu, que je prends pour toute ma vie les résolutions suivantes :
1) J'aurai toujours devant les yeux ces grandes vérités : un Dieu à servir, une âme à sauver, l'enfer à éviter, le ciel à gagner ;
2) J'aurai une souveraine horreur pour les mauvais livres, les jeux et les plaisirs du monde, et généralement pour tout ce qui porte au pèchè ;
3) Je m'approcherai souvent des sacrements ; c'est le plus puissant moyen de persévérer dans la vertu.
4) Je ne passerai aucun jour sans offrir quelque prière à la très sainte Vierge pour lui payer le juste tribut de ma confiance et de mon amour ;
5) Je ne montrerai au monde qu'une vertu simple et facile, évitant la singularité.

Heures Catholiques d'Ars - photo by Michele Szekely

" Le Bon Samaritain " Homélie 15e Dimanche OT, par Nguessan Sess Julien sj. "Aujourd'hui nous vivons dans une période de l'histoire que les philosophes appellent post moderne et que les théologiens appellent postchrétien. Dieu, l'Eglise, la foi Chrétienne sont pour beaucoup des souvenirs d'un passé révolu. L'indifférence religieuse est l'atmosphère dans laquelle beaucoup de gens vivent aujourd'hui. La question du salut...." Lire la suite ici .

Sanctionner la polygamie « Clef de voûte de la civilisation juridique européenne » le mariage monogamique est de plus en plus secoué par l'évolution des moeurs et de la population : polygamie militante ou traditionnelle, concubinages, libertinage... lire l'article ici sur Décryptage, du site Liberté Politique.

Les quatre fondements du mariage religieux: Liberté, indissolubilité, fidélité et ouverture au don de la vie doivent figurer dans la déclaration d'intention des futurs époux. La formule d'échange des consentements n'est pas " M'aimes-tu ? ", mais " Veux-tu me prendre pour époux ? " Il y a échange d'un vouloir libre. Il ne s'agit pas de beaux sentiments mais d'une volonté. Bismark écrivait à sa jeune épouse : " Je ne vous ai pas épousée parce que je vous aimais, mais pour vous aimer. " Lire l'article sur Croire.com

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