"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Friday, June 24, 2022

Roe vs. Wade Is Over!

Today, June 24, 2022, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus no less, the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the 1973 ruling that took abortion laws out of the hands of the people and essentially made it permissive to kill unborn children at will.  This is a historic day!  From the Catholic News Agency:


The Supreme Court has overturned Roe v. Wade in a historic 6—3 decision released Friday that brings a sudden and dramatic end to nearly a half-century of nationwide legalized abortion in the U.S.

 

The opinion, in the Mississippi abortion case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, is widely seen as the Supreme Court’s most highly anticipated and consequential ruling since Roe. It not only overturns Roe, the landmark 1973 abortion case, but also Casey v. Planned Parenthood, a 1992 decision that affirmed Roe.

 

"Abortion presents a profound moral question. The Constitution does not prohibit the citizens of each State from regulating or prohibiting abortion. Roe and Casey arrogated that authority," the opinion states. "We now overrule these decisions and return that authority to the people and their elected representatives."

I thought this might have been anti climatic given the leak of this decision a few weeks ago but frankly when I heard I started sobbing in tears of joy.  So much of my politics, heart, and prayers have gone into this.  And for it to come on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is too much of a coincidence.  It is providential!

In response Archbishop José H. Gomez of Los Angeles, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) and Archbishop William E. Lori of Baltimore, chairman of the USCCB’s Committee on Pro-Life Activities issued a statement:


“This is a historic day in the life of our country, one that stirs our thoughts, emotions and prayers. For nearly fifty years, America has enforced an unjust law that has permitted some to decide whether others can live or die; this policy has resulted in the deaths of tens of millions of preborn children, generations that were denied the right to even be born.

 

“America was founded on the truth that all men and women are created equal, with God-given rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This truth was grievously denied by the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, which legalized and normalized the taking of innocent human life. We thank God today that the Court has now overturned this decision. We pray that our elected officials will now enact laws and policies that promote and protect the most vulnerable among us.

 

“Our first thoughts are with the little ones whose lives have been taken since 1973. We mourn their loss, and we entrust their souls to God, who loved them from before all ages and who will love them for all eternity. Our hearts are also with every woman and man who has suffered grievously from abortion; we pray for their healing, and we pledge our continued compassion and support. As a Church, we need to serve those who face difficult pregnancies and surround them with love.   

 

“Today’s decision is also the fruit of the prayers, sacrifices, and advocacy of countless ordinary Americans from every walk of life. Over these long years, millions of our fellow citizens have worked together peacefully to educate and persuade their neighbors about the injustice of abortion, to offer care and counseling to women, and to work for alternatives to abortion, including adoption, foster care, and public policies that truly support families. We share their joy today and we are grateful to them. Their work for the cause of life reflects all that is good in our democracy, and the pro-life movement deserves to be numbered among the great movements for social change and civil rights in our nation’s history.

 

“Now is the time to begin the work of building a post-Roe America. It is a time for healing wounds and repairing social divisions; it is a time for reasoned reflection and civil dialogue, and for coming together to build a society and economy that supports marriages and families, and where every woman has the support and resources she needs to bring her child into this world in love.

 

“As religious leaders, we pledge ourselves to continue our service to God’s great plan of love for the human person, and to work with our fellow citizens to fulfill America’s promise to guarantee the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for all people.”

I wasn’t going to quote the entire response, but every sentence in there is worth reading.  I take humble pride in being one of the millions whose prayers affected this outcome.  Don’t ever think that prayers have no effect.  They do.

The other thing is that now that we have accomplished this milestone, we must prepare for the battle on the state level.  Each state becomes a battle ground, and living in New York, I am at the epicenter of Satan’s reign.  May God give us fortitude.

But for now, for today: Rejoice!




Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Poetry: “Goshawk” by Peter Kane Dufault

A friend of mine sent me an email the other day with an urging to check out a particular poem.  Here is her note:

 

When you have time, Manny, please look at this poem: 

       “Goshawk”   By poet Peter Kane Dufault

I happened upon it and was struck by its excellence yet violence. If you read it, tell me if it reminds you of a dark, shadowy likeness of Hopkins’ “The Windhover.’’ It really seems that way to me, a world without God.

I love it when friends ask me questions on literature.  It pricks something in me to investigate. 

First, you can find the poem at Poetry Nook,  but here’s the poem.

 

Goshawk

by Peter Kane Dufault

 

That harbinger of God's hardness, North

American Goshawk — storm-

grey above, ice-grey beneath — segment

of a winter azimuth — de-

tached herself from this morning and

seized a black hen and caromed

thirty yards through the soft snow, wrenching

feathers and flesh out, too

blood-crazy to kill clean. . . .

 

Tell me

if it's not hard how a haggard

hasn't even the hangman's mercy

but tears the heart out alive — that she

should have been made so;

 

and so, too, that when the dog

ran yapping and drove her off,

the grey crucifer levitated

in such a cold pride of windblown

lightness over the tines of the trees

 

you'd have forgiven her, even

if she could have torn

in that worse way there is:

with a word, never breaking the skin.


I had never heard of Peter Kane Dufault before.  He’s got a Wikpedia entry and a listing in Poetry Foundation, so he’s a poet of some merit.  He lived through most of the 20th century (1923-2013), fought in WWII, and even ran for Congress on an Anti-Vietnam War platform.  The Poetry Foundation bio note says he was highly thought of by some more well-known poets: “Poets such as Marianne Moore and Ted Hughes championed Dufault, as did New Yorker editor Howard Moss, who published the poet 44 times.”  Poetry Foundation lists six poems attributed to him, but none are as good as “Goshawk.”  Searching the internet you can find some two dozen poems of his.  Again, nothing I found as good as “Goshawk,” but of note you might want to read “After Boxing and “Paramath.”   

Perhaps the best of the obituaries is by Brad Leithauser in the New Yorker, published on June 7, 2013, several weeks after Dufault’s passing.  Here’s his opening:

 

A marvellous poet whom you’ve probably never heard of died some weeks ago. His name was Peter Kane Dufault, and at the time of his death he was a couple of days short of ninety. On the face of it, his lack of renown is surprising, for he had some prominent supporters, including Marianne Moore and Richard Wilbur and Ted Hughes and Amy Clampitt. He was also embraced by Howard Moss, the poetry editor of The New Yorker from 1948 until 1987. Dufault published forty-four poems in the magazine, nearly all of them during Moss’s tenure.

Leithauser characterizes Dufault as that poet we’d all wished we had known, a “pure poet” who lived his life in obscurity and simplicity.


It’s tempting to overstate the virtues of the recently dead, so I’ll resist declaring that, at the time of his death, Dufault was my favorite living American poet. But he was certainly among the five or six whose work counted most for me. In one way, he was preëminent: I came to think of him as the Pure Poet. If this was a romantic image, it was a romanticism he encouraged.

Perhaps if one had to reach for what Dufault’s themes centered around, I think this little characterization captures it.

 

He was constantly posing new theological questions, in an era often hostile to poetry of devotion. He looked hard at the natural world, then looked hard at its spiritual implications.

Here Leithauser captures Dufault’s style.

 

I first came upon him in the seventies, in “The New Yorker Book of Poems.” I fell hard for “In an Old Orchard,” with its abandoned farm “still pitifully gathering all / windfalls onto its damp lap of graves,” and looked up his two out-of-print collections, “Angel of Accidence” (1954) and “For Some Stringed Instrument” (1957). I didn’t know then that Marianne Moore had been a fan, but affinities between them were easy to spot: Dufault, too, had an eerily sharp eye for the more idiosyncratic dwellers of the animal kingdom. Manx cats and tarsiers and mud-dauber wasps and mastodons inhabited his stanzas. He was like her, too, in being quite fanciful in his imagery (an old turkey with a head “like a loading-hook from a drowned galleon,” a hefty starling seen as a “sampler-shape whose bid / to be a bird / suffers from thickness of the thread”) while always respecting his creatures’ fierce and inalienable reality: you never had the feeling that his was a denatured zoo, a menagerie of mere symbols. A reader was in danger of getting stung if he mistook one of Dufault’s wasps for an emblem.

It sounds like Dufault’s work is similar to Marranne Moore’s, who had a sharp eye for observation, a precise word or metaphor to capture it, and loved to write about animals for their wondrous nature.  Leithauser continues.

 

In 1993, a book of selected poems, “New Things Come Into the World,” appeared, published by a small press, Lindisfarne, which normally didn’t publish poetry. At that time, I’d never met Dufault, though we’d exchanged some letters. I reviewed “New Things Come Into the World” in the New York Review of Books, writing with that special charged eagerness that comes of introducing a little-known treasure to a potentially wide audience. I called him a “poet of vivid landscapes.” I called him “as fine an ‘animal poet’ as any American now going.” I compared him to Moore and Elizabeth Bishop and Clampitt and May Swenson.

Finally Leithauser felt a certain pride in knowing a poet of distinction that lived in obscurity.

 

Though he slowed down, creatively, in his last decade, he continued to write beautiful poems, and did so, nobly, in an undeserved obscurity. Now and then I’d come upon someone, in person or in print, who shared my enthusiasm, and I’d feel that clandestine bond which comes with membership in a small high-minded club. I felt this keenly when I read Ted Hughes’s blurb for a later Dufault collection, “Looking in All Directions” (2000): “So fresh and new and itself… wonderful stuff. Snatches those uncatchable moments—like snatching a butterfly out of the air—then letting it go undamaged. So nimble and delicate.”

 

###

Now to the poem. It’s an interesting poem.  It's not Gerard Manly Hopkins.  It's very visual, so it captures the reader.  Are there similarities to Hopkins?  This is a very different poem that “The Windhover.”  (I provided a detailedanalysis of Gerard Manly Hopkins’, “The Windhover.”)   It is quite possible Dufault is alluding to “The Windhover” but I just don’t see the interdependence.  Perhaps Dufault’s image of the goshawk “detaching herself from the “winter azimuth” is an allusion to the Hopkin’s image of  a “dapple-dawn-drawn Falcon,”  Or it’s coincidental imagery or Dufault just liked the image so much he reinvented it for his purpose.  An allusion is more than just reference; it requires significance, and I’m not getting the significance. 

Other than Dufault's use of alliteration I do not see other similarities.  Dufault does not use any real rhythm, sprung or conventional.  He's very prosaic, modernist, free verse, though his diction is terse, which gives it power, especially for a violent poem.  I'm baffled by Dufault's use of breaking words and phrases at the end of a line.  Hopkins does it to keep meter.  Not sure why Dufault does it.  Perhaps as an aesthetic capturing of the theme of ripping things apart?  That would be skillful on his part. 

Dufault's theme has been done many times: one finds in nature a certain viciousness, (he calls it a "hardness") and one points to God for it, either to condemn God, to "prove" God doesn't exist, or to point to some great spiritual meaning in the act of animals killing animals. 

Can you tell which of the three Dufault is expressing?  I think it's the latter but I'm not sure, and if it is the latter then what is this great spiritual meaning in the act of a hawk killing a chicken?  I've pondered it for a while.  He sees in the hawk gliding above a cross (“the grey crucifer levitated”), which is a nice metaphor, but what does it suggest?  Isn't Christ the one who gets killed and not the killer?

Why is the hawk the "harbinger" of God's hardness?  Is this an allegory?  A harbinger is one who comes ahead of another.  So is God going to come and destroy us?  Perhaps.  Or is the allegory a representation of the Calvinist interpretation of the crucifixion, where God's wrath is redirected on the Son and thereby satisfied?  I don't know.  And is that a reference to God at the end, imagining the hawk killing with a word instead of with violence (“if she could have torn/in that worse way there is:/with a word”)?  God creates with a word; Christ is the Word made flesh.  And why is killing through a word "the worse way"?  You got me. 

This may all hold together and be a great poem, but given that I have all these questions and still can't get beyond the surface events I wouldn't call this a great poem.  I do love how it reads.  Alliteration can be showy and stilted, but when done well as here it really drives the point as in the second stanza:

 

Tell me

if it's not hard how a haggard

hasn't even the hangman's mercy

but tears the heart out alive — that she

should have been made so

 And one marvels at the absolute power of the central violence in that opening:

 

          …de-

tached herself from this morning and

seized a black hen and caromed

thirty yards through the soft snow, wrenching

feathers and flesh out, too

blood-crazy to kill clean. . . .

The alliteration of “feathers and flesh” along with the hard C’s of “caromed,” “crazy,” “kill,” and “clean” adds to the very visual moment of struggle and brutality.  I am glad to have been introduce to Peter Kane Dufault.  I will have to remember him if I run across his work again.


 ###

In my search I found a couple of videos of Mr. Dufault.

First an extemporaneously composed poem criticizing America:



Second, here is a trailer to a documentary movie of his views” What I Meant to Tell You: An American Poet's State of the Union.”



He was definitely anti American, or of a different America to give him his due.  In his obituary Leithauser did say he would have edited out Dufault’s political poems.  They are not that good.  We would have disagreed vehemently, but still in my engagement on his life and this poem I grew to like Peter Kane Dufault.  Yes I can see how he was a “pure poet.”

 ###

Postscript:

I received a reply from my friend who had originally sent me the email on the poem. 

Her Comment:

I looked Peter Kane Dufault’s work up a little more and found that he wrote a poem called ‘’Peregrines,’’ and in that poem he quotes directly from ‘’The Windhover.’’ He had a rich imagination and an exceptional way with words but ‘’Peregrines‘ is not his best work. Unfortunately, this reader found it empty and meaningless. You mentioned that he was anti-American. Do you mean ‘’progressive left,’’ ‘’woke’’ anti-American?

My reply:

I really enjoyed "Peregrines"!  It's a poetic ramble, a jazzy improvisational piece that streams language around an emotion and theme.  It reminds me of the Beat poets, Lawrence Ferlinghetti in particular.  I have a secret crush for that poetry.  It's lesser poetry than more structured and sculpted but I find it fun.  My trash food addiction!  ;)


Dufault is an old time Liberal, someone of the Beat Generation.  I think that's a good analogy.  He’s definitely progressive and definitely "woke" but aren't they all?  In music he would be like the folk music types.  In fact he reminds me of Pete Seeger.  And amazingly they lived almost the exact same years (1919-2014).

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Sunday Meditation: When the Lord Established the Heavens

Today’s most interesting reading I find is the first reading.

 

 Thus says the wisdom of God:
            "The LORD possessed me, the beginning of his ways,
                        the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
            from of old I was poured forth,
                        at the first, before the earth.
            When there were no depths I was brought forth,
                    when there were no fountains or springs of water;
            before the mountains were settled into place,
                        Thus says the wisdom of God:
            "The LORD possessed me, the beginning of his ways,
                        the forerunner of his prodigies of long ago;
            from of old I was poured forth,
                        at the first, before the earth.
            When there were no depths I was brought forth,
                    when there were no fountains or springs of water;
            before the mountains were settled into place,
                        before the hills, I was brought forth;
            while as yet the earth and fields were not made,
                        nor the first clods of the world.

            "When the Lord established the heavens I was there,
          when he marked out the vault over the face of the deep;
            when he made firm the skies above,
                        when he fixed fast the foundations of the earth;
            when he set for the sea its limit,
            so that the waters should not transgress his command;
            then was I beside him as his craftsman,
                        and I was his delight day by day,
            playing before him all the while,
                        playing on the surface of his earth;
                        and I found delight in the human race."      

-Prv 8:22:31

So the passage is spoken from a first person perspective.  Who is this person speaking?

 


Happy Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity!

Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Notable Quote: What the Church Needs by John Henry Newman

Here is another distinctive quote by this wonderful prose writer.

 

“What we need at present for our Church's well-being, is not invention, nor originality, nor sagacity, nor even learning in our divines, at least in the first place, though all gifts of God are in a measure needed, and never can be unseasonable when used religiously, but we need peculiarly a sound judgment, patient thought, discrimination, a comprehensive mind, an abstinence from all private fancies and caprices and personal tastes,—in a word, Divine Wisdom."

 

In the first main clause he provides a list of negatives (“not, nor, etc.) of what the Church doesn’t need.  Then he pauses with a subordinate clause qualifying those negatives before he gives a second main clause providing a list of what it does need, including an “abstinence” which is another form of negation.  Then he tops it off with a summation, “Divine Wisdom.”  That is just so beautiful. 



Sunday, June 5, 2022

Sunday Meditation: Speaking in Tongues and the Tower of Babel

Today’s most important reading I believe is the first reading.

 

When the time for Pentecost was fulfilled,

they were all in one place together.

And suddenly there came from the sky

a noise like a strong driving wind,

and it filled the entire house in which they were.

Then there appeared to them tongues as of fire,

which parted and came to rest on each one of them.

And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit

and began to speak in different tongues,

as the Spirit enabled them to proclaim.

 

Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven

staying in Jerusalem.

At this sound, they gathered in a large crowd,

but they were confused

because each one heard them speaking in his own language.

They were astounded, and in amazement they asked,

“Are not all these people who are speaking Galileans?

Then how does each of us hear them in his native language?

We are Parthians, Medes, and Elamites,

inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia,

Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia,

Egypt and the districts of Libya near Cyrene,

as well as travelers from Rome,

both Jews and converts to Judaism, Cretans and Arabs,

yet we hear them speaking in our own tongues

of the mighty acts of God.”

        -Acts 2:1:11 

What is interesting is that the Vigil reading to Pentecost Sunday is different, and it’s Genesis 11:1-11, the passage pertaining to the Tower of Babel.   Let me post that side by side for your comparison and meditation. 

The whole world spoke the same language, using the same words.

While the people were migrating in the east,

they came upon a valley in the land of Shinar and settled there.

They said to one another,

"Come, let us mold bricks and harden them with fire."

They used bricks for stone, and bitumen for mortar.

Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city

and a tower with its top in the sky,

and so make a name for ourselves;

otherwise we shall be scattered all over the earth."

 

The LORD came down to see the city and the tower

that the people had built.

Then the LORD said: ""If now, while they are one people,

all speaking the same language,

they have started to do this,

nothing will later stop them from doing whatever they presume to do.

Let us then go down there and confuse their language,

so that one will not understand what another says.""

Thus the LORD scattered them from there all over the earth,

and they stopped building the city.

That is why it was called Babel,

because there the LORD confused the speech of all the world.

It was from that place that he scattered them all over the earth.

        -Gen 11:1:11

So in what way is the diversity of language central to both passages?

Happy Pentecost Sunday, the birthday of the Church.




Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Notable Quote: Sacred Texts and Doctrine by St. John Henry Newman

At Catholic Thought Book Club at Goodreads, we’re reading St. John Henry Newman’s Apologia Pro Vita Sua, his great autobiography on his evolution to Roman Catholicism.  If Apologia were a work of fiction, it would be considered a Bildungsroman, that is a story about the development of a young man to who he became in maturity.  Perhaps after St. Augustine’s Confessions, Apologia is the greatest autobiographical conversion story in history.  Of course I will be posting on it once our read is over, but for now I want to post what I think is a great observation and a memorable quote.  This quote comes from the very first chapter, which details his beliefs and works up to the age of thirty-two.  The context of the quote is while speaking of a particular mentor of his at Oxford, a Dr. Hawkins.  Most certainly an Anglican, Dr. Hawkins had a very High Church theology.  He impressed this understanding upon the young Newman.

 

 “The sacred text was never intended to teach doctrine, but only to prove it, and that, if we would learn doctrine, we must have recourse to the formularies of the Church.”

 

Now you can see how this understanding of scripture would be an undermining of Protestant rudiments.  Certainly with this understanding, the Bible could not stand alone, and obviously you would need a “Church” to instruct you on the doctrine. 

Newman places himself under Dr. Hawkins between the years 1822 to 1825, which would span his twenty-first to twenty-fourth years.  He would convert to Roman Catholicism in 1845 at the age of forty-four, some twenty years later.




Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Dei Verbum: Dogmatic Constitution on Divine Revelation, Post 3

This is the third and final post in a series on the Vatican II document, Dei Verbum.  You can find Post #1 here.   

Post #2 here.  

You can also find the online document here.  

† † †

Chapter 5: “The New Testament,” Paragraphs 17 thru 20:

The fifth chapter delineates the importance of the New Testament.  It begins with the manifestation of the incarnation “when the fullness of time arrived (see Gal. 4:4), the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us in His fullness of graces and truth (see John 1:14).”  This was a significant and climatic moment in salvation history.

 

This mystery had not been manifested to other generations as it was now revealed to His holy Apostles and prophets in the Holy Spirit (see Eph. 3:4-6, Greek text), so that they might preach the Gospel, stir up faith in Jesus, Christ and Lord, and gather together the Church. Now the writings of the New Testament stand as a perpetual and divine witness to these realities. (17)

Through the writing of the Gospels we arrive at the full knowledge of Jesus Christ, so the Word made flesh is revealed in the words of the scriptures.

 

It is common knowledge that among all the Scriptures, even those of the New Testament, the Gospels have a special preeminence, and rightly so, for they are the principal witness for the life and teaching of the incarnate Word, our savior. (18)

 

The sacred authors wrote the four Gospels, selecting some things from the many which had been handed on by word of mouth or in writing, reducing some of them to a synthesis, explaining some things in view of the situation of their churches and preserving the form of proclamation but always in such fashion that they told us the honest truth about Jesus. For their intention in writing was that either from their own memory and recollections, or from the witness of those who "themselves from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the Word" we might know "the truth" concerning those matters about which we have been instructed (see Luke 1:2-4). (19)

 

For the Lord Jesus was with His apostles as He had promised (see Matt. 28:20) and sent them the advocate Spirit who would lead them into the fullness of truth (see John 16:13).  (20)

So we obtain the “fullness of truth” through the written word and through the spoken word of tradition guided by the Holy Spirit.

† † †

Christine BoMass Commented:

Manny wrote: " The other takeaway from that passage you quote that should be noted is "we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ." That is important. Revelation has stopped with the apostles. Stuff like the Book of Mormon or the Koran can never be seen as revelation because revelation has ended. Any revelation by saints or mystics is private revelation and while it may be useful for devotional purposes cannot add to inspired revelation."

What about the experiences of the Saints? I am thinking of St Faustina in particular here, though there are more.

Manny Replied:

Christine, are you referring to private revelation? St. Faustina's diary is considered private revelation. Revelation given to saints and people alike is not considered official revelation. Official revelation ended with the New Testament. Whatever private revelations have come to people is not considered full or clear or complete. It may not be suspect, but the person who received the revelation, even if he/she be a saint, may be filtering it through the prism of their understanding or consciousness. Ultimately these private revelations come from fallible sources. Not only that, if you really started looking at the private revelations of many saints, you will probably find distinctions and contradictions. We Catholics may find useful material in private revelations but we are free to choose to believe or not private revelations.

For instance from what I understand St. Faustina has a vision of an angel of the Lord ready to strike the earth and destroy it. I personally find that hard to believe. It doesn't even seem like Divine Mercy. Perhaps I'm picking a bad example because I haven't read the details. I'll eventually get to reading her diary, but for me that sort of private revelation is something I am free to not believe.

Anyway, here are two articles that explain public versus private revelation by Jimmy Akin from Catholic Answers.
First

Second

If there is something in either article that contradicts what I just explained, let me know. I wish to learn further myself.

Manny Replied:

No! You have not been wasting your time. The saints provide great example and learning but their private visions are for instructive purposes, not doctrine. That angel ready to strike the world from St. Faustina's diary can be seen as showing God's displeasure toward the sin in the world. It has instructive value. But whether it actually happened is for us to choose.

 

For instance, St. Catherine of Siena had a vision that Christ had exchanged her heart with His. On this I believe. It did change her. But I can understand someone saying, "come on, how could that happen?" He would be free not to believe that.

 

Here I found the excerpt from St. Faustina that describes this:

 

As written in the Diary of St. Faustina:

 

"[The angel] was clothed in a dazzling robe, his face gloriously bright, a cloud beneath his feet. From the cloud, bolts of thunder and flashes of lightning were springing into his hands; and from his hand they were going forth, and only then were they striking the earth.

 

When I saw this sign of divine wrath which was about to strike the earth, and in particular a certain place, which for good reasons I cannot name, I began to implore the angel to hold off for a few moments, and the world would do penance. But my plea was a mere nothing in the face of the divine anger.

 

Just then I saw the Most Holy Trinity. The greatness of Its majesty pierced me deeply, and I did not dare to repeat my entreaties. At that very moment I felt in my soul the power of Jesus' grace, which dwells in my soul. When I became conscious of this grace, I was instantly snatched up before the Throne of God. Oh, how great is our Lord and God and how incomprehensible His holiness! I will make no attempt to describe this greatness, because before long we shall all see Him as He is.

 

I found myself pleading with God for the world with words heard interiorly. As I was praying in this manner, I saw the Angel’s helplessness: he could not carry out the just punishment which was rightly due for sins. Never before had I prayed with such inner power as I did then. The words with which I entreated God are these:

 

Eternal Father, I offer You the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world; for the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us.

 

The next morning, when I entered chapel, I heard these words interiorly:

 

Every time you enter the chapel, immediately recite the prayer which I taught you yesterday.' When I had said the prayer, in my soul I heard these words: 'This prayer will serve to appease My wrath . . ."..

 

It's part of a large article


For God to have that kind of "wrath" strikes me as attributing to God an extremely anthropomorphic personality. It just doesn't feel correct to me. But those who have a very Old Testament view of God's personality may find that natural.

Christine BoMass Replied:

Thank you Manny. I will look into this. I do read a lot on the Saints as they are great examples. I was taken aback a bit there, concerned that I have been wasting my time.

 

I read St Faustina's diary. Stream of consciousness...very difficult to read. I don't recall the striking bit, however I could have easily missed it.

 

Yes we are all still learning. It is a blessed thing. :)

† † †

Chapter 6: “Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church.” Paragraphs 21 thru 26:

The sixth chapter brings all this context into a culminating point.  We see here why the Word of God is so important.

 

The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's word and of Christ's body….Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture. (21)

 

… Since the word of God should be accessible at all times, the Church by her authority and with maternal concern sees to it that suitable and correct translations are made into different languages, especially from the original texts of the sacred books. And should the opportunity arise and the Church authorities approve, if these translations are produced in cooperation with the separated brethren as well, all Christians will be able to use them. (22)

And so we come to what I think is the completion of thought of Dei Verbum.

 

The bride of the incarnate Word, the Church taught by the Holy Spirit, is concerned to move ahead toward a deeper understanding of the Sacred Scriptures so that she may increasingly feed her sons with the divine words. Therefore, she also encourages the study of the holy Fathers of both East and West and of sacred liturgies. Catholic exegetes then and other students of sacred theology, working diligently together and using appropriate means, should devote their energies, under the watchful care of the sacred teaching office of the Church, to an exploration and exposition of the divine writings. This should be so done that as many ministers of the divine word as possible will be able effectively to provide the nourishment of the Scriptures for the people of God, to enlighten their minds, strengthen their wills, and set men's hearts on fire with the love of God. The sacred synod encourages the sons of the Church and Biblical scholars to continue energetically, following the mind of the Church, with the work they have so well begun, with a constant renewal of vigor.  (23)

The Word of God is God, and one of the key ways to know God and to love God.  The religious and the laity need to understand it, through the teaching of the Church, for it builds our foundation as Christians.

 

For the Sacred Scriptures contain the word of God and since they are inspired, really are the word of God; and so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology. By the same word of Scripture the ministry of the word also, that is, pastoral preaching, catechetics and all Christian instruction, in which the liturgical homily must hold the foremost place, is nourished in a healthy way and flourishes in a holy way.  (24)

The document lays down the gauntlet: we Catholics are Bible Christians.  We use the Bible as much as Protestants, and we should all do so with frequency.

 

The sacred synod also earnestly and especially urges all the Christian faithful, especially Religious, to learn by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures the "excellent knowledge of Jesus Christ" (Phil. 3:8). "For ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ." Therefore, they should gladly put themselves in touch with the sacred text itself, whether it be through the liturgy, rich in the divine word, or through devotional reading, or through instructions suitable for the purpose and other aids which, in our time, with approval and active support of the shepherds of the Church, are commendably spread everywhere. And let them remember that prayer should accompany the reading of Sacred Scripture, so that God and man may talk together; for "we speak to Him when we pray; we hear Him when we read the divine saying."  (25)

And why must we do so, that is, read scripture more frequently?  To evangelize! 


In this way, therefore, through the reading and study of the sacred books "the word of God may spread rapidly and be glorified" (2 Thess. 3:1) and the treasure of revelation, entrusted to the Church, may more and more fill the hearts of men. (26)

I know we Catholics have a lot of devotionals and non-scriptural means of building a relationship with all three persons of the Trinity and with the Body of Christ, and that is a good thing.  But one should not exclude the frequent reading of scripture.  Indeed, one needs to integrate scripture to fully nurture those devotionals.  I found Dei Verbum a wonderful and clearly argued document. 

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Here is a fine exegesis of Dei Verbum by Bishop Robert Barron. 

 


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My Goodreads Review:

What an important Church document.  And for a Papal document, how easy to read.  This document from Vatican II is on the nature of divine revelation, that is, how God made Himself known in the world, how that manifestation was written in inspired texts we call scripture, how that those scriptures are understood by the Church through the eyes of tradition, how the Church preserves that understanding, and how she promulgates it to the world.  All in about nine or ten pages.  Two quotes which sum up the document, from paragraphs 21 and 24:

 

The Church has always venerated the divine Scriptures just as she venerates the body of the Lord, since, especially in the sacred liturgy, she unceasingly receives and offers to the faithful the bread of life from the table both of God's word and of Christ's body….Therefore, like the Christian religion itself, all the preaching of the Church must be nourished and regulated by Sacred Scripture. (21)

 

For the Sacred Scriptures contain the word of God and since they are inspired, really are the word of God; and so the study of the sacred page is, as it were, the soul of sacred theology. By the same word of Scripture the ministry of the word also, that is, pastoral preaching, catechetics and all Christian instruction, in which the liturgical homily must hold the foremost place, is nourished in a healthy way and flourishes in a holy way.  (24)

If you are only going to read one papal document, read this one.  All thoughtful Catholics should read Dei Verbum because the Bible is a Catholic book, and you should understand why it exists and how the Catholic Church preserves the Apostolic teaching from sacred scripture.