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Pope Leo XIII

Pope Leo XIII was born Vincenzo Gioacchino Raffaele Luigi Pecci in Carpineto Romano, near Rome in 1810 and was ordained a catholic priest in 1837. He always lived in the real world, as a young priest he had the courage to confront the power of the local mafia in the city of Benevento; and he had the human sentiment to care for the poor and the ill in Perugia. More »

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael

O glorious Archangel Saint Michael, Prince of the heavenly host, be our defense in the terrible warfare which we carry on against principalities and powers, against the rulers of this world of darkness, spirits of evil. Come to the aid of man, whom God created immortal, made in His own image and likeness, and redeemed at a great price from the tyranny of the devil. More »

His Vision

One day (October 13), after celebrating Mass, the aged Pope Leo XIII was in conference with the Cardinals when suddenly he sank to the floor in a deep swoon. Physicians who hastened to his side could find no trace of his pulse and feared that he had expired. However, after a short interval the Holy Father regained consciousness and exclaimed with great emotion:\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\"Oh, what a horrible picture I have been permitted to see!\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\" More »

Prayers

Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee; blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen. More »

 

Category Archive: Message Board

Exhortation:

COME LORD JESUS!

Once again, we feel compelled to reiterate to you the need to stay away from the so-called “saints”, that have been canonized in the last 3 decades – of a greatly watered-down beatification and canonization process.

We are not casting doubts on all those who have been canonized during this period. What we are saying is that the process is flawed and therefore unreliable.

Consequently, all faithful Catholics must, as a matter of necessity, be very wary of the canonizations and beatifications done in the last 3 decades.

Therefore when the dubious road-shows – like the one currently making the rounds in Thailand – arrive in your diocese and/or parish, we urge you to stay away. Keep your distance from what is not holy.

May the Lord our God grant us endurance and fortitude in the trying times that we are in. Amen.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us

The Spirit says come!

COME LORD JESUS!

27th May 2015

[P.S. Tomorrow we continue our reflections on - What is man? ]

Category Archive: Message Board

Exhortation:

COME LORD JESUS!

WHAT IS MAN?  – 2

In our first post we considered how a new human entity comes into being. At the biologic level two gametes (i.e. the male spermatozoon and the female oocyte or egg) unite to form a new biologic entity the zygote.

The zygote – the fertilized ovum (a single biologic cell) – becomes in nine months a human newborn baby (made-up of many millions of biologic cells).

Now, the question we want to address is: when is this new human entity ensouled?

When does the human soul become part of this new being which transits from a single biologic cell to a new-born (made up of multiple millions of cells) organized into a single functioning body?

The concept of the soul is to be found in all cultures and all traditions from ancient times. It is the corollary of the concept of the existence of the human being even after physical death.

No doubt there have been philosophies and cultures which have put forward the idea of man ending his existence totally at physical death. But these philosophic ideas constitute a very small minority of ancient opinions. The vast majority of human opinion down the ages is that the human being exists after his physical death by means of a non-physical soul.

What then is the soul?

The soul can be defined as the essence of a man. The consciousness and self-consciousness and sub-consciousness of a man are bound-up in the concept of his soul. The soul is non-corporeal even though it acts through the body. The soul separated from the body maintains its consciousness and self-consciousness.

The body is physical and corporeal; the soul is non-corporeal, non-material. The soul is not the body. The soul exists even outside of the body. The soul exists even separated from the body.

So the question: When does the human soul become part of this new being which transits from a single biologic cell (the zygote) to a crying new-born (made up of many millions of cells) organized into a single functioning body?

We know that the human soul is not in a single cell of the body. That is why a man can have a double amputation but he still has one soul. And a man can have a quadruple amputation of the limbs and he still has one soul.

Is the soul transmitted by the spermatozoon or the oocyte or both? When is the developing human organism ensouled?

This debate has never been fully settled in the history of Humankind. Some ancient Greek philosophers have pondered ensoulment at conception, but Aristotle taught that ensoulment of the developing male embryo happened at 40 weeks gestation, while the ensoulment of the developing female embryo happened at 80 weeks of gestation.

Indeed some philosophers have postulated that ensoulment happens at delivery of the fetus at nine months.

St. Thomas Aquinas says (de Potentia q 3 a 9):

“in times past this question has been answered in various ways by different people. Some said that the soul of the child is procreated from the soul of the parent, even as its body is from the body of the parent. Others said that all souls were created apart from bodies: but they held that they were all created together without bodies, and afterwards each one was united to a body when this was begotten, either by an act of its will according to some, or by God’s command and operation according to others. Others held that souls are created and at the same time infused into bodies. Although formerly these opinions were held and it was doubtful which of them came nearest to the truth, as may be gathered from Augustine (Gen. ad lit. x, 21, 22; De Anima et ejus orig.), afterwards, however, the first two were condemned by the Church and the third approved [Pope VigiliusCan. i, contra Originem; Council of Braga, Anathem. vi, Contra haeret.; Pope Anastasius IIEpist. ad episc. Galliae]. Hence we read in De Eccles. Dogm. (xiv): “We do not believe in the fiction of Origen that human souls were created at the beginning with other intellectual natures, nor that they are Procreated together with their bodies by coition, as the Luciferians with Cyril, and certain Latin writers have Presumed to maintain. But we affirm that the body alone is begotten by sexual Procreation, and that after the formation of the body the soul is created and infused.

Further,

“We must therefore say differently that from the moment of its severance the semen contains not a soul but a soul power: and this power is based on the spirit contained in the semen which by nature is spumy and consequently contains corporeal spirit. Now this [corporeal] spirit acts by disposing matter and forming it for the reception of the soul.”

“Thus, then, by the formative force that is in the semen from the beginning, the form of the semen is set aside and another form induced, and when this has been set aside yet another comes on the scene, and thus the vegetal form makes its first appearance: and this being set aside, a soul both vegetal and sensitive is induced; and this being set aside a soul at once vegetal, sensitive and rational is induced, not by the aforesaid force but by the Creator.

According to this opinion the embryo before having a rational soul is a living being having a soul, which being set aside, a rational soul is induced: so that it does not follow that two souls are together in the same body, nor that the rational soul is transmitted together with the body.”

Therefore it is heresy to say that the non-material intellectual soul is transmitted with the semen.

St. Augustine of Hippo basing himself on the Old Testament writings considered that ensoulment happened when the developing fetus is in a formed state. In otherwords while the developing embryo is not yet in a formed state there is no ensoulment.

The Church has never formally declared the exact time of ensoulment; but still the Catholic Church has always taught that deliberate termination of a pregnancy at any age of the development of the fetus is a grave evil to be deplored and condemned.

This teaching remains valid and is further confirmed, if confirmation were needed, by recent findings of human biological science which recognize that in the zygote resulting from fertilization the biological identity of a new human individual is already constituted. Certainly no experimental datum can be in itself sufficient to bring us to the recognition of a spiritual soul; nevertheless, the conclusions of science regarding the human embryo provide a valuable indication for discerning by the use of reason a personal presence at the moment of this first appearance of a human life: how could a human individual not be a human person? The Magisterium has not expressly committed itself to an affirmation of a philosophical nature, but it constantly reaffirms the moral condemnation of any kind of procured abortion. This teaching has not been changed and is unchangeable” (cf I. Respect for the human embryo)

Still at what stage in the development of the fetus does ensulment occur?

We have heard from the Greeks and the Church Doctors before the present scientific age. Yet the question remains open.

What then is our own opinion?

Let us consider the first and the most important of all the commandments:

“You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart,
and your whole soul,
and your whole mind,
and your whole strength”
(cf Mark 12 v 30; cf Matthew 22 v 37; cf Luke 10 v 27; cf Deuteronomy 6 v 5)

Can this most important of commandments be the simple but profound key to the discovery of the time of ensoulment?

For the first part of the first commandment says: “You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart”.

Presumably then for any organism that is human to be able to fulfill this clause of the first commandment – in the very least – the organism must have a human heart. Because if there is no human heart, how can the specific biologic entity love God with the whole heart?

In otherwords the first step on the road for the developing human embryo to fulfill the divine command is to have a heart.

Now, at what stage in the development – i.e. from single cell zygote to a 9 month fully mature fetus – is the heart formed? And at what stage does the heart begin to function?

A simple library or internet search shows that from embryologic studies, after the formation of the zygote (at conception), at about 18 days later, the embryonic heart begins to develop from a group of specialized cells.

And at about 22nd day after conception, a single primitive heart tube, which is formed by the fusion of two separate primitive heart tubes, can be recognized.

And at about 37th day a well-formed heart is recognizable, which by the 42nd day is virtually the same as the heart at 9 months (with the 4 chambers of the human heart fully formed; and the four sets of heart valves) except for the physiologic changes that occur at delivery with closure of  a couple of fetal heart passages.

In short by the 42nd day after the formation of the zygote (at conception) the 4 chambered heart (with the four sets of heart valves) – just like the adult heart – in the developing human embryo is formed, is beating, is functioning, and is pumping blood.

At this point it is safe to assume that the developing human embryo now has the ability to fulfill first clause of the first commandment:

“You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart”

The heart of the developing human fetus at about 42nd day after conception is fully formed is beating and is pumping blood.

Now, the Sacred Scriptures tells us in many places – the blood is the life. And that was why the ancient Israelites were prohibited from eating blood. And that is why the Council of Jerusalem insisted on this law as a condition for Greek converts to Christianity.
[cf Genesis 9 v 4; cf Deuteronomy 12 v 16; cf Deuteronomy 12 v 23; cf Deuteronomy 15 v 23; cf Leviticus 7 v 26; cf Leviticus 17 v 10; cf Leviticus 19 v 26; cf 1 Samuel 14 v 33; cf Ezekiel 33 v 25; cf Acts of the Apostles 15 v 19-29]

“The Blood is the life.”

Can a human being have life except he has a soul? Is the soul not the essence of the human being as St. Thomas Aquinas says (Summa 1st part, Q 75 art 1)?

“To seek the nature of the soul, we must premise that the soul is defined as the first principle of life of those things which live: for we call living things “animate,” [i.e. having a soul], and those things which have no life, “inanimate.” Now life is shown principally by two actions, knowledge and movement.”

nothing corporeal can be the first principle of life. For it is clear that to be a principle of life, or to be a living thing, does not belong to a body as such; since, if that were the case, every body would be a living thing, or a principle of life.”

In otherwords, St. Thomas Aquinas is saying if a merely corporeal body can be a “first principle of life” it follows that every object, every “body”, (e.g. stone, soil, water, moon) will be a living thing

Therefore we can re-formulate that maxim of Sacred Scripture and say: The Blood is the life, which in essence is the Soul. The life and hence the Soul – essentially – is in the Blood.

This is not to say that the Soul is equivalent to the Blood. For the Soul is non-corporal and non-material; the Soul is pure spirit.

St. Augustine of Hippo says (De Trin. vi, 6) that the soul ”is simple in comparison with the body, inasmuch as it does not occupy space by its bulk.”

On the other hand the Blood is corporeal and material and therefore is purely physical.

And that is why a man can lose a quarter of his Blood, yet he has all of his Soul. A man can lose a half of his Blood, yet he has all of his Soul. A man can lose all of his Blood, yet he has all of his Soul.

St. Augustine says (De Trin. vi, 6) the soul ”does not occupy space by its bulk.”

Because the Soul is the essence of the man; it is his sub-consciousness; his consciousness and his self-consciousness.

The Soul can exist with the Body, and the Soul can exist without the Body.

Aristotle says in De causa motus animalium (De mot. animal. x): “It is not necessary for the soul to be in each part of the body; it suffices that it be in some principle of the body causing the other parts to live, for each part has a natural movement of its own.”

To which St Thomas Aquinas (1st part, Q 76, art 8) adds:

“An animal is that which is composed of a soul and a whole body, which is the soul’s primary and proportionate perfectible. Thus the soul is not in a part. Whence it does not follow that a part of an animal is an animal.”

Hence a part of a man is not a man. The soul is not in a part; but the soul acts in a part as contiguous with the whole.

The Soul is not equivalent to the Blood. But the Blood represents, and epitomizes the Soul in a tangible and material way.

Because as Sacred Scriptures say “the Blood is the life.” And the Soul is the essence of that human life.

Nevertheless, we see in man three functions – the intellectual function, the animal function, and the vegetative (or nutritive) function.

Does that mean Man has three souls? Intellectual soul, animal soul and vegetative (nutritive) soul?

St. Thomas Aquinas answers (Summa 1st part, Q 76, art 3):

in man the sensitive soul, the intellectual soul, and the nutritive soul are numerically one soul. This can easily be explained, if we consider the differences of species and forms. For we observe that the species and forms of things differ from one another, as the perfect and imperfect; as in the order of things, the animate are more perfect than the inanimate, and animals more perfect than plants, and man than brute animals; and in each of these genera there are various degrees.

For this reason Aristotle, Metaph. viii (Did. vii, 3), compares the species of things to numbers, which differ in species by the addition or subtraction of unity. And (De Anima ii, 3) he compares the various souls to the species of figures, one of which contains another; as a pentagon contains and exceeds a tetragon.

Thus the intellectual soul contains virtually whatever belongs to the sensitive soul of brute animals, and to the nutritive souls of plants.

Therefore, as a surface which is of a pentagonal shape, is not tetragonal by one shape, and pentagonal by another — since a tetragonal shape would be superfluous as contained in the pentagonal — so neither is Socrates a man by one soul, and animal by another; but by one and the same soul he is both animal and man.”

Still here in year 2015 A.D. we ask, again, at what point in time is the developing human organism ensouled?

With the help of Sacred Scriptures and modern embryology we can build on the work of St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Thomas Aquinas and say that the developing human fetus is ensouled at the instance in which the embryonic Heart is fully formed (as a 4-chambered heart with the four sets of heart valves) and is beating and is pumping Blood.

That is at about the 42nd day after formation of the zygote (at fertilization)

“The Blood is the life.” The life is the Soul.

The life is in the Blood. The spiritual Soul is represented and indicated by the material Blood. But, again, the Soul is not equivalent with the Blood, neither is it equivalent with the material (perishable) Heart.

We therefore contend:

At the point in time when the embryonic Heart is fully formed (as a 4-chambered heart with the four sets of heart valves) and is beating and is pumping Blood, then is the developing human embryo ensouled with a spiritual immaterial Soul; because only by this can the human organism fulfill the very first commandment of the Divine Creator.

The commandment which says:

“You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole heart,
with your whole soul”

This follows immediately from the fact of having a functioning Heart. This is precisely why this first of all commandments is put in this order: the Heart, the Soul, the Mind and the Strength.

“You shall love the Lord your God
with your whole Heart,
and your whole Soul,
and your whole mind,
and your whole strength”
(cf Mark 12 v 30; cf Matthew 22 v 37; cf Luke 10 v 27; cf Deuteronomy 6 v 5)

Furthermore, is this not alluded to by what happened at Golgotha, when the enemies of Christ Jesus in their bid to make sure he was actually and totally dead, thrust a spear into his right side ripping apart the heart – which brought forth water and blood.

We remember that Jesus had already prophesied numerous times to his Apostles that he would be killed, and then resurrect from the dead on the third day.

No doubt the ultimate enemies of Man – i.e. the Ancient Serpent and his cohorts – were aware of this prophesy.

Specifically keep in mind that just as a human being is ensouled at the formation of the heart, and the beginning of the functioning of the fully formed heart in pumping blood; so also a human being is desouled at the time of irreversible damage (microscopic or macroscopic) to the heart and failure to function in pumping blood.

What then are we saying?

That the piercing of the right side of the Lord Jesus Christ at Golgotha means more. It was an attempt to ensure the complete desoulment of the body of Christ – in the light of his prophesy that he will resurrect from the dead. (cf John 19 v 31-35)

By damaging the heart of Jesus, the enemies of Man sought to put up one more obstacle to the resurrection of Jesus.

In otherwords the ripping open of the heart of Jesus was a way to de-soul him; to return him to the dust. It was an act of total and unrestrained hatred by the forces of evil whose hatred of mankind is difficult to fully appreciate, or measure, or realize.

But Jesus is God. Who can we compare to God? Who can thwart the plans of God?

And so with the spear tearing into the side and heart of the man called Jesus; there was no doubt in anybody’s mind (whether human or angel) that Jesus of Nazareth was as dead as any man could be dead.

But even as the spear pierced his heart and water and blood poured out, so did the Holy Mother the Church, the bride of Christ come forth.

For, just as from the side of Adam came forth his bride, Eve; so also from the side of Christ came forth the Church, his bride. (cf Genesis 2 v 21-22)

Thus flowed out the water and the blood – a representation of the birth of the Holy Church of Jesus, of which he said, the gates of Hell will never overcome her.

Here then we see Christ Crucified: the Power of God; and the Wisdom of God.
(cf 1 Corinthians 1 v 24)

The question may be asked: what about organ transplants? What about heart transplants?

As we said earlier, the Soul is not equivalent to the Heart; the Soul is not equivalent to the Blood.

In otherwords a Soul cannot be transplanted into another person by heart transplant; a Soul cannot be transfused into another person by blood transfusion. The Soul is immaterial; it is the essence of the person; it is the essence of the personality expressed through a material and physical Body. Separated from the Body, it is that the Soul still exists.

Therefore organ transplants (and blood transfusion) have no effect on the Soul and no effect on the properties of the Soul.

Another question: what about conjoined (Siamese) twins?

Very simply if there is one heart, then there is one soul; and if there are two hearts, then there are two souls, etc, etc. That is, irrespective of the number of the other separate or shared organs.

In otherwords if there is one functioning heart then there is one person; if there are two functioning hearts then there are two persons; if there are three functioning hearts then there are three persons; etc, etc.

Even in the very rare case of conjoined twins sharing – in essence – one heart; in as much as that one heart is, effectively, acting as two hearts then there are two souls.

Yet another question: could a human being theoretically live for centuries if a scientific way could be found to keep the heart functioning in a healthy way for centuries?

Not at all.

Because the life span of man is more or less already fixed within a range. As Scripture tell us that the span of man’s life is now essentially limited to between seven decades and eight decades. That is the life expectancy one can safely hope for. (cf Psalm 90 v 10).

The previous life expectancy of 120 years at the time of the Patriarch Noah no longer applies (cf Genesis 6 v 3).

In otherwords the time comes when the Soul which has faithfully served God is called back to his Creator.

And the time comes when those who refuse to repent and turn to the Lord Jesus have a demand made on their souls to depart this present material world. (cf Luke 12 v 20)

It follows, therefore, that Man cannot live, physically, forever. No matter the scientific progress; there will, inevitably, come a time when the organizing principles of the physical body break down, and the soul has to separate from the body.

The only thing that can make Man to live with his physical body forever – in a joyful and glorious manner – is to eat of the fruit of the Tree of Life. (cf Genesis 3 v 22)

And that will be determined at the Last Judgment.

For we know that the faithful – those who endure till the end – will rise to possess bodies like the glorious body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

As St. John the Evangelist says:

“Beloved, we are God’s children now;
it does not yet appear what we shall be,
but we know that when he appears we shall be like him,
for we shall see him as he is.”
(1 John 3 v 2)

However the way to the Tree of Life is guarded by the Cherubim wielding a fiery sword. Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life of the Lamb can approach there. (cf Genesis 3 v 24; Revelation 22 v 2).

Now to go back to the very first question: when is the human fetus ensouled?

The answer: when the heart of the fetus is formed (as a four-chamber structure with four sets of heart valves), functioning and beating and pumping blood.

Namely, at about 42 days after conception.

However, notwithstanding the exact time of ensoulment the Church has always taught as a matter of general principle – throughout her history – that the deliberate termination of a pregnancy (i.e. induced abortion) – at anytime during the pregnancy – is a grave evil to be condemned.

This is one way the Church states it:

“The Magisterium has not expressly committed itself to an affirmation of a philosophical nature, but it constantly reaffirms the moral condemnation of any kind of procured abortion. This teaching has not been changed and is unchangeable” (cf I. Respect for the human embryo)

In our next post on the topic – What is Man – we shall go into the details of control of human fertility and contraception.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us

The Spirit says come!

COME LORD JESUS!

26th May 2015

Category Archive: Message Board

Exhortation:

COME LORD JESUS!

WHAT IS MAN?  -1

What is man? What is a human being? What makes him different from other living things? What makes him unique? What is the specie called Homo sapiens?

As rational thinking beings we are repeatedly confronted by these fundamental questions and many others of the like.

What is the life of man all about? What is the true origin of man? What is the ultimate destiny of man? What are we on this planet Earth for? What are the consequences of the actions we take? When a man dies what actually happens to his person? Is that the end? Or does he continue to exist in another form and in another place?

These are questions that assail the mind of every human being in whatever place and at whatever time he may find himself. These are questions that man can not shy away from; and can certainly not afford to shy away from. Indeed the great Socrates tells us that the unexamined life is not worth living.

Different philosophers, sages, and wise men have sought to answer these fundamental questions throughout the history of man. Similarly, different religions and schools of thought have sought to provide answers to these questions to varying degrees of success.

Christianity based on the traditions of the faith of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – as seen in the records of Moses and other leaders of this ancient religion – has put forward compelling answers.

These answers have been deepened – in the fullness of time – by the revelation of Jesus of Nazareth; and reflections on this revelation by his followers (first the early Apostles and then different Churchmen from one generation to another).

Notable among these philosopher-Churchmen are Paul of Tarsus, Irenaeus of Lyons, Anthony of the Desert, Athanasius of Alexandria, Augustine of Hippo, Anselm of Canterbury and Thomas of Aquino

Yet in the light of modern science and new factual discoveries about the world we live in; as well as new insights into the physiology of man – down to microscopic and submicroscopic levels – it follows that further reflections on these time-tested answers will be useful.

Useful in the sense of being shown to be up-to-date. And useful in the sense of reassuring the Christian – at different levels – that the fundamentals of his religion have it right, even in the midst of rapidly advancing human knowledge in the scientific study of man.

And useful in the sense of continuing to answer questions about ethics, the control of fertility, and the essentials of sexuality, among other pressing-questions of present human experience.

How then does man come to be?

As a clarification, we will not be considering at this point (or in this post) the issue of whether man evolved gradually over millions of years from lesser and more simple biologic organisms; or if man was created ‘at a go’ as the literal interpretation of the Book of Genesis warrants.

Rather we want to consider how a particular human person comes about. And hence how the new biology squares with the writings and thoughts of Christian philosophers like St. Augustine of Hippo.

Let us walk in the footsteps of a particular human being:

The journey of a particular human being begins when a man copulates with a woman, and thereby the male spermatozoon come in contact with the female oocyte  (ovum or egg):

1)This copulation may be driven principally by human passions – as when a man and/or a woman cannot control their bodily feelings and movements – thereby ending up having sex even when they have neither the intention for a long-term relationship, nor the desire to marry. Perhaps they never even gave thought to the possible consequences of the sex act they are engaging in.

A notorious example is the so-called one night stand. Another notorious example is what is called hookup culture. In short casual sexual relationships.

A child born of such copulation is born primarily by “the will of the Flesh;” and “the lust of the Flesh.”

2) In other instances this copulation is NOT simply the result of uncontrollable passions, but rather it is the result of deliberate decision on the part of the couple to come together as partners. The sex act being a part of this coming together, but not driven principally by it.

In this instance the coming together in copulation is preceded by a conscious decision on the part of the couple to come together to form a partnership and a family.

This we see in many cultures and tribes from ancient times. This conscious decision to come together being manifested by customs such as the exchange of dowries; payment of bride-price; presentation of gifts including rings, etc.

All these ceremonies – predating the coming together in sexual copulation – expresses the volition or will for the sex act as prior and controlling of the human passions, by which the sex act occurs and is consummated.

A child born of such copulation is born primarily by “the will of Man”, secondarily by “the will of the Flesh.”

3)The third category of this copulation is slightly but significantly different from the second category.

Again, this copulation is NOT simply the result of uncontrollable passions, but rather it is the result of deliberate decision on the part of the couple to come together as partners. The sex act being a part of this coming together, but not driven principally by it.

Again, in this instance the coming together in copulation is preceded by a conscious decision on the part of the couple to come together to form a partnership and a family.

However in this category the decision is taken only after prayerful supplications to the Divine. And the Divine in the case of Christians is the Almighty God, creator of Heaven and Earth, creator of all things – visible and invisible.

This category is where every Catholic couple should be.

Their coming together being the result of deliberate, thoughtful and prayerful decision to become partners for life.

In this way every Catholic child (male or female) born of human stock (genetic make-up), is not born by mere uncontrollable human passions but rather by the deliberate decision of a father and a mother aided by the most important factor of all – prayers.

A child born of such copulation is born primarily by “the will of God”, secondarily by “the will of Man”, and lastly by “the will of the Flesh.” (cf John 1 v 12-13)

In which case “the lust of the Flesh” finds little or no place to stand. (cf 1 John 2 v 16)

How wonderful is a copulation done in this way and manner! How blessed is a child (the children) of such Christian copulation!

 That now is the ideal situation.

But in today’s world we often see less that the ideal situation. We see people having non-formalized relationships, which are often denominated as boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. And these relationships more often than not include the practice of sex acts. Significantly, many of these so-called boyfriend-girlfriend relationships (or dating that includes having sex acts) are often flimsy, and short-lived. These relationships frequently end up neither in long-term partnerships nor in marriage. In these instances having children becomes an unwanted inconvenience, or nuisance, or disaster. Consequently the ugly specter of abortion (and contraception) raises its head.

To make matters worse many of the artificial contraceptives have significant abortifacient effects and abortifacient modes of action.

What then do we say to the people in these boyfriend-girlfriend relationships or who are co-habiting without any plans to formally get married?

In the past the Church has often been seen as simply pointing the accusing finger at these relationships and at the people involved in them.

Often all what the people in these relationships can hear from faithful Catholics is – “sinners!

Certainly to fornicate is a grave sin, and sinners must be admonished. But perhaps there are other options that can be explored, which may be more persuasive, in conveying the Christian message to a significant number of people in these illicit relationships.

One way of approach – especially when the people concerned are Catholics or Christians – is to make them see that engaging in sex acts with their opposite sex partner, and then later ending the relationship, is infact equivalent to getting married and then divorcing.

In otherwords if a Catholic has, for example, ten such serial boyfriend-girlfriend relationships, it can be said to be equivalent – in a way – to his having been married ten times and divorced ten times.

In otherwords if a person boasts of having over twenty of such relationships, it is equivalent to the person boasting about marrying twenty times and divorcing twenty times.

What are we then saying to such Catholics (or Christians)?

We are saying to them that if they follow the secular way of the world, they will eventually have to repent not only of the fornication and do penance for this; but also they will have to do the penance for what has amounted to serial multiple marriages and divorces. And these penances will have to be done either in this world, or in the next in Purgatory.

In otherwords, when we are counseling Christians in these relationships (including those in cohabitation) not only should we simple say – “sinner!”

But we must consider whether it would not go a long way if we make the person think about the fact that he or she is effectively married to that partner – he or she is living with and having sex with – albeit in an informal marriage.

In otherwords the people who are cohabiting have, before God, all the obligations to one another that a validly and properly married couple has.

What then are we saying?

Couples living in cohabitation (and this includes those in boyfriend-girlfriend relationships that include engagement in sex acts) have the duty before God to pray for one another, sacrifice for one another, and seek the salvation of one another; just like a properly married couple.

In otherwords couples living in cohabitation can be likened to the concubinage (or pseudo-concubinage) depicted in many Old Testament examples.

So when a couple of our Christian friends move in and begin to live together (or begin to have a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship that includes engagement in sex acts), one way of getting their minds concentrated is not to merely to say “sinners!”, but to say, “congratulations you just got married, so when are you formalizing it in the presence of a Catholic Priest – as witness?”

For the avoidance of doubt, until the relationship is formalized and regularized in a valid sacramental marriage, the cohabiting couple cannot be admitted to the reception of the consecrated bread and wine (the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ).

In otherwords cohabitation excludes the couple in question from receiving the Holy Communion; except where they accept to live as brother and sister.

It is as simple as that: nothing to be negotiated or debated.

Spiritual communion is, ofcourse, available freely to all of us whether in regular family situations, or irregular family situations.

And we keep counseling on this track until such a time as they actually regularize their relationship in the proper way.

All these provided, ofcourse, that there are no impediments to matrimonial relationship between the two individuals concerned.

And in this way we are able to dissuade people from the idea that it is okay to have as many casual relationships as possible.

There are no casual relationships.

Sex between a man and a woman is divinely ordained and specifically meant for procreation in a life-long relationship.

Consequently to start a sexual relationship – engaging in sex acts – is to start that life-long relationship either formally or informally.

Better, formally, in a valid sacramental marriage for many reasons (we will talk about later).

Now we have a couple in a relationship e.g. in a valid sacramental marriage (which should be praised); or in an informal marriage called in modern time cohabitation (that is problematic) and called in ancient times concubinage  (that was then more acceptable by society).

It is worth emphasizing that all means – by which these relationships can be formalized, and regularized, in the context of the Catholic Church – must be employed.

These means will include stream-lining procedures and processes for marriage in the Church; and well as discouraging the so-called “expensive and extravagant Church weddings” that are prohibitive to many indigent and struggling families. These “expensive and extravagant Church weddings” indeed border many times on the pagan. The Church must distance herself from such ceremonies if she wishes help more Catholics and their partners to live in sacramental marriages.

Now we have a man and a woman come together to procreate.

Thus the male sperm and the female egg come together to form a new organism. And in nine months time a new human is born to the world.

At this biologic level the two gametes (i.e. the male spermatozoon and the female oocyte or egg) unite to form a new biologic entity the zygote. This is fertilization of the oocyte by the spermatozoon. Only one human spermatozoon can fertilize one human oocyte (egg); forming one zygote.

The zygote – the fertilized ovum (a single biologic cell) – will in nine months be born to the world, crying and taking his first breath as a human new-born (made-up of millions of biologic cells).

So we move from a single biologic cell (the fertilized ovum or zygote), to a mature baby crying – a human being with a body and a soul.

Now, the question that has been argued back and forth by philosophers and theologians through the ages is: when is this new human entity ensouled? When does the human soul become part of this new being which transits from a single biologic cell to a crying new-born (made up of multiple millions of cells) organized into a single functioning body?

Ensoulment is the question we will examine in our next post.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us

The Spirit says come!

COME LORD JESUS!

25th May 2015

Category Archive: Message Board

Exhortation:

COME LORD JESUS!

Feast of the Holy Spirit: Pentecost Sunday

HAPPY FEAST DAY TO YOU ALL!

“And it shall come to pass afterward,

that I will pour out my spirit on all flesh;
your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
your old men shall dream dreams,
and your young men shall see visions.
29 Even upon the menservants and maidservants

in those days, I will pour out my spirit
.

30 “And I will give portents in the heavens and on the earth,
blood and fire and columns of smoke.
31 The sun shall be turned to darkness,
and the moon to blood,
before the great and terrible day of the Lord comes.
32 And it shall come to pass
that all who call upon the name of the Lord shall be delivered”
(Joel 2 v 28-32)

Brothers and sisters the final manifestations of the days Prophet Joel is talking have now come.


Sequence
:

“Come, Holy Spirit, come!
And from your celestial home
Shed a ray of light divine!

Come, Father of the poor!
Come, source of all our store!
Come, within our bosoms shine.

You, of comforters the best;
You, the soul’s most welcome guest;
Sweet refreshment here below;

In our labor, rest most sweet;
Grateful coolness in the heat;
Solace in the midst of woe.

O most blessed Light divine,
Shine within these hearts of yours,
And our inmost being fill!

Where you are not, we have naught,
Nothing good in deed or thought,
Nothing free from taint of ill.

Heal our wounds, our strength renew;
On our dryness pour your dew;
Wash the stains of guilt away:

Bend the stubborn heart and will;
Melt the frozen, warm the chill;
Guide the steps that go astray.”

May the Lord our God have mercy on us, forgive us all our sins, and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.

The Spirit says come!

COME LORD JESUS!

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Please find below is the concluding part of the papal encyclical Divinum Ilud Munus.

7. The manner and extent of the action of the Holy Ghost in individual souls is no less wonderful, although somewhat more difficult to understand, inasmuch as it is entirely invisible. This outpouring of the Spirit is so abundant, that Christ Himself, from whose gift it proceeds, compares it to an overflowing river, according to those words of St. John: “He that believeth in Me, as the Scripture saith, out of his midst shall flow rivers of living water”; to which testimony the Evangelist adds the explanation: “Now this He said of the Spirit which they should receive who believed in Him” John vii., 38, 39).

It is indeed true that in those of the just who lived before Christ, the Holy Ghost resided by grace, as we read in the Scriptures concerning the prophets, Zachary, John the Baptist, Simeon, and Anna; so that on Pentecost the Holy Ghost did not communicate Himself in such a way “as then for the first time to begin to dwell in the saints, but by pouring Himself forth more abundantly; crowning, not beginning His gifts; not commencing a new work, but giving more abundantly” (St. Leo the Great, Hom. iii., de Pentec.).

But if they also were numbered among the children of God, they were in a state like that of servants, for “as long as the heir is a child he differeth nothing from a servant, but is under tutors and governors” (Gal. iv., 1, 2). Moreover, not only was their justice derived from the merits of Christ who was to come, but the communication of the Holy Ghost after Christ was much more abundant, just as the price surpasses in value the earnest and the reality excels the image. Wherefore St. John declares: “As yet the Spirit was not given, because Jesus was not yet glorified” John vii., 39).

So soon, therefore, as Christ, “ascending on high,” entered into possession of the glory of His Kingdom which He had won with so much la our, He munificently opened out the treasures of the Holy Ghost: “He gave gifts to men” (Eph. iv., 8). For “that giving or sending forth of the Holy Ghost after Christ’s glorification was to be such as had never been before; not that there had been none before, but it had not been of the same kind” (St. Aug., De Trin., 1. iv. c. 20).

8. Human nature is by necessity the servant of God: “The creature is a servant; we are the servants of God by nature” (St. Cyr. Alex., Thesaur. 1. v., c. 5).

On account, however, of original sin, our whole nature had fallen into such guilt and dishonour that we had become enemies to God. “We were by nature the children of wrath” (Eph. ii., 3). There was no power which could raise us and deliver us from this ruin and eternal destruction. But God, the Creator of mankind and infinitely merciful, did this through His only begotten Son, by whose benefit it was brought about that man was restored ?so that rank and dignity whence he had fallen, and was adorned with still more abundant graces.

No one can express the greatness of this work of divine grace in the souls of men. Wherefore, both in Holy Scripture and in the writings of the fathers, men are styled regenerated, new creatures, partakers of the Divine Nature, children of God, god-like, and similar epithets.

Now these great blessings are justly attributed as especially belonging to the Holy Ghost. He is “the Spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba, Father.” He fills our hearts with the sweetness of paternal love: “The Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit that we are the sons of God” (Rom. viii., 15-16).

This truth accords with the similitude observed by the Angelic Doctor between both operations of the Holy Ghost; for through Him “Christ was conceived in holiness to be by nature the Son of God,” and “others are sanctified to be the sons of God by adoption” (St. Th. 3a, q. xx ii., a. 1).

This spiritual generation proceeds from love in a much more noble manner than the natural: namely, from the uncreated Love.

9. The beginnings of this regeneration and renovation of man are by Baptism. In this sacrament, when the unclean spirit has been expelled from the soul, the Holy Ghost enters in and makes it like to Himself. “That which is born of the Spirit, is spirit” (john iii., 6).

The same Spirit gives Himself more abundantly in Confirmation, strengthening and confirming Christian life; from which proceeded the victory of the martyrs and the triumph of the virgins over temptations and corruptions. We have said that the Holy Ghost gives Himself: “the charity of God is poured out into our hearts by the Holy Ghost who is given to us” (Rom. v., 5). For He not only brings to us His divine gifts, but is the Author of them and is Himself the supreme Gift, who, proceeding from the mutual love of the Father and the Son, is justly believed to be and is called “Gift of God most High.”

To show the nature and efficacy of this gift it is well to recall the explanation given by the doctors of the Church of the words of Holy Scripture. They say that God is present and exists in all things, “by His power, in so far as all things are subject to His power; by His presence, inasmuch as all things are naked and open to His eyes; by His essence, inasmuch as he is present to all as the cause of their being.” (St. Th. Ia, q. viii., a. 3).

But God is in man, not only as in inanimate things, but because he is more fully known and loved by him, since even by nature we spontaneously love, desire, and seek after the good. Moreover, God by grace resides in the just soul as in a temple, in a most intimate and peculiar manner. From this proceeds that union of affection by which the soul adheres most closely to God, more so than the friend is united to his most loving and beloved friend, and enjoys God in all fullness and sweetness. Now this wonderful union, which is properly called “indwelling,” differing only in degree or state from that with which God beatifies the saints in heaven, although it is most certainly produced by the presence of the whole Blessed Trinity – “We will come to Him and make our abode with Him,” John xiv. 23.) – nevertheless is attributed in a peculiar manner to the Holy Ghost.

For, whilst traces of divine power and wisdom appear even in the wicked man, charity, which, as it were, is the special mark of the Holy Ghost, is shared in only by the just. In harmony with this, the same Spirit is called Holy, for He, the first and supreme Love, moves souls and leads them to sanctity, which ultimately consists in the love of God.

Wherefore the apostle when calling us to the temple of God, does not expressly mention the Father or the Son, or the Holy Ghost: “Know ye not that your members are the temple of the Holy Ghost, who is in you, whom you have from God?” (1 Cor. vi. 19). The fullness of divine gifts is in many ways a consequence of the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the souls of the just. For, as St. Thomas teaches, “when the Holy Ghost proceedeth as love, He proceedeth in the character of the first gift; whence Augustine saith that, through the gift which is the Holy Ghost, many other special gifts are distributed among the members of Christ.” (Summ. Th., la. q. xxxviii., a. 2. St. Aug. De Trin., xv., c. 19). Among these gifts are those secret warnings and invitations, which from time to time are excited in our minds and hearts by the inspiration of the Holy Ghost. Without these there is no beginning of a good life, no progress, no arriving at eternal salvation.

And since these words and admonitions are uttered in the soul in an exceedingly secret manner, they are sometimes aptly compared in Holy Writ to the breathing of a coming breeze, and the Angelic Doctor likens them to the movements of the heart which are wholly hidden in the living body. “Thy heart has a certain hidden power, and therefore the Holy Ghost, who invisibly vivifies and unites the Church, is compared to the heart.”(Summ. Th. 3a, q. vii., a. 1, ad 3).

More than this, the just man, that is to say he who lives the life of divine grace, and acts by the fitting virtues as by means of faculties, has need of those seven gifts which are properly attributed to the Holy Ghost. By means of them the soul is furnished and strengthened so as to obey more easily and promptly His voice and impulse. Wherefore these gifts are of such efficacy that they lead the just man to the highest degree of sanctity; and of such excellence that they continue to exist even in heaven, though in a more perfect way.

By means of these gifts the soul is excited and encouraged to seek after and attain the evangelical beatitudes, which, like the flowers that come forth in the spring time, are the signs and harbingers of eternal beatitude.

Lastly there are those blessed fruits, enumerated by the Apostle (Gal. v, 22), which the Spirit, even in this mortal life, produces and shows forth in the just; fruits filled with all sweetness and joy, inasmuch as they proceed from the Spirit, “who is in the Trinity the sweetness of both Father and Son, filling all creatures with infinite fullness and profusion.” (St. Aug. De Trin. 1. vi., c. 9).

The Divine Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Word in the eternal light of sanctity, Himself both Love and Gift, after having manifested Himself through the veils of figures in the Old Testament, poured forth all his fullness upon Christ and upon His mystic Body, the Church; and called back by his presence and grace men who were going away in wickedness and corruption with such salutary effect that, being no longer of the earth earthy, they relished and desired quite other things, becoming of heaven heavenly.

10. These sublime truths, which so clearly show forth the infinite goodness of the Holy Ghost towards us, certainly demand that we should direct towards Him the highest homage of our love and devotion. Christians may do this most effectually if they will daily strive to know Him, to love Him, and to implore Him more earnestly; for which reason may this Our exhortation, flowing spontaneously from a paternal heart, reach their ears. Perchance there are still to be found among them, even nowadays, some, who if asked, as were those of old by St. Paul the Apostle, whether they have received the Holy Ghost, might answer in like manner: “We have not so much as heard whether there be a Holy Ghost” (Acts xix., 2).

At least there are certainly many who are very deficient in their religious practices, but their faith is involved in much darkness. Wherefore all preachers and those having care of souls should remember that it is their duty to instruct their people more diligently and more fully about the Holy Ghost – avoiding, however, difficult and subtle controversies, and eschewing the dangerous folly of those who rashly endeavour to pry into divine mysteries.

What should be chiefly dwelt upon and clearly explained is the multitude and greatness of the benefits which have been bestowed, and are constantly bestowed, upon us by this Divine Giver, so that errors and ignorance concerning matters of such moment may be entirely dispelled, as unworthy of “the children of light.”

We urge this, not only because it affects a mystery by which we are directly guided to eternal life, and which must therefore be firmly believed; but also because the more clearly and fully the good is known the more earnestly it is loved. Now we owe to the Holy Ghost, as we mentioned in the second place, love, because He is God: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole strength” (Deut. vi., 5).

He is also to be loved because He is the substantial, eternal, primal Love, and nothing is more lovable than love.

And this all the more because He has overwhelmed us with the greatest benefits, which both testify to the benevolence of the Giver and claim the gratitude of the receiver. This love has a twofold and most conspicuous utility. In the first place it will excite us to acquire daily a clearer knowledge about the Holy Ghost; for, as the Angelic Doctor says, “the lover is not content with the superficial knowledge of the beloved, but striveth to inquire intimately into all that appertains to the beloved, and thus to penetrate into the interior; as is said of the Holy Ghost, Who is the Love of God, that He searcheth even the profound things of God” (1 Cor. ii., 10; Summ. Theol., la. 2ae., q. 28, a. 2).

In the second place it will obtain for us a still more abundant supply of heavenly gifts; for whilst a narrow heart contracteth the hand of the giver, a grateful and mindful heart causeth it to expand. Yet we must strive that this love should be of such a nature as not to consist merely in dry speculations or external observances, but rather to run forward towards action, and especially to fly from sin, which is in a more special manner offensive to the Holy Spirit.

For whatever we are, that we are by the divine goodness; and this goodness is specially attributed to the Holy Ghost. The sinner offends this his Benefactor, abusing His gifts; and taking advantage of His goodness becomes more hardened in sin day by day. Again, since He is the Spirit of Truth, whosoever faileth by weakness or ignorance may perhaps have some excuse before Almighty God; but he who resists the truth through malice and turns away from it, sins most grievously against the Holy Ghost.

In our days this sin has become so frequent that those dark times seem to have come which were foretold by St. Paul, in which men, blinded by the just judgment of God, should take falsehood for truth, and should believe in “the prince of this world,” who is a liar and the father thereof, as a teacher of truth: “God shall send them the operation of error, to believe Iying (2 Thess. ii., 10). In the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error and the doctrines of devils” (1 Tim. iv., 1).

But since the Holy Ghost, as We have said, dwells in us as in His temple, We must repeat the warning of the Apostle: “Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby you are sealed” (Eph. iv., 30). Nor is it enough to fly from sin; every Christian ought to shine with the splendour of virtue so as to be pleasing to so great and so beneficent a guest; and first of all with chastity and holiness, for chaste and holy things befit the temple.

Hence the words of the Apostle: “Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? But if any man violate the temple of God, him shall God destroy. For the temple of God is holy, which you are” (1 Cor. iii., 16-17): a terrible, in deed, but a just warning.

11. Lastly, we ought to pray to and invoke the Holy Spirit, for each one of us greatly needs His protection and His help. The more a man is deficient in wisdom, weak in strength, borne down with trouble, prone to sin, so ought he the more to fly to Him who is the never-ceasing fount of light, strength, consolation, and holiness.

And chiefly that first requisite of man, the forgiveness of sins, must be sought for from Him: “It is the special character of the Holy Ghost that He is the Gift of the Father and the Son. Now the remission of all sins is given by the Holy Ghost as by the Gift of God” (Summ. Th. 3a, q. iii., a. 8, ad 3m). Concerning this Spirit the words of the Liturgy are very explicit: “For He is the remission of all sins” (Roman Missal, Tuesday after Pentecost).

How He should be invoked is clearly taught by the Church, who addresses Him in humble supplication, calling upon Him by the sweetest of names:

“Come, Father of the poor!
Come, Giver of gifts!
Come, Light of our hearts!
O best of Consolers,
Sweet Guest of the soul,
our refreshment!”
(Hymn, Veni Sancte Spiritus).

She earnestly implores Him to wash, heal, water our minds and hearts, and to give to us who trust in Him “the merit of virtue, the acquirement of salvation, and joy everlasting.”

Nor can it be in any way doubted that He will listen to such prayer, since we read the words written by His own inspiration: “The Spirit Himself asketh for us with unspeakable groanings” (Rom. viii., 26).

Lastly, we ought confidently and continually to beg of Him to illuminate us daily more and more with His light and inflame us with His charity: for, thus inspired with faith and love, we may press onward earnestly towards our eternal reward, since He “is the pledge of our inheritance” (Eph. i. 14).

12. Such, Venerable Brethren, are the teachings and exhortations which We have seen good to utter, in order to stimulate devotion to the Holy Ghost. We have no doubt that, chiefly by means of your zeal and earnestness, they will bear abundant fruit among Christian peoples. We Ourselves shall never in the future fail to labour towards so important an end; and it is even Our intention, in whatever ways may appear suitable, to further cultivate and extend this admirable work of piety. Meanwhile, as two years ago, in Our Letter Provida Matris, We recommended to Catholics special prayers at the Feast of Pentecost, for the Re-union of Christendom, so now We desire to make certain further decrees on the same subject.

13. Wherefore, We decree and command that throughout the whole Catholic Church, this year and in every subsequent year, a Novena shall take place before Whit-Sunday, in all parish churches, and also, if the local Ordinaries think fit, in other churches and oratories. To all who take part in this Novena and duly pray for Our intention, We grant for each day an Indulgence of seven years and seven quarantines; moreover, a Plenary Indulgence on any one of the days of the Novena, or on Whit-Sunday itself, or on any day during the Octave; provided they shall have received the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, and devoutly prayed for Our intention. We will that those who are legitimately prevented from attending the Novena, or who are in places where the devotions cannot, in the judgment of the Ordinary, be conveniently carried out in church, shall equally enjoy the same benefits, provided they make the Novena privately and observe the other conditions. Moreover We are pleased to grant, in perpetuity, from the Treasury of the Church, that whosoever, daily during the Octave of Pentecost up to Trinity Sunday inclusive, offer again publicly or privately any prayers, according to their devotion, to the Holy Ghost, and satisfy the above conditions, shall a second time gain each of the same Indulgences. All these Indulgences We also permit to be applied to the suffrage of the souls in Purgatory.

14. And now Our mind and heart turn back to those hopes with which We began, and for the accomplishment of which We earnestly pray, and will continue to pray, to the Holy Ghost. Unite, then, Venerable Brethren, your prayers with Ours, and at your exhortation let all Christian peoples add their prayers also, invoking the powerful and ever-acceptable intercession of the Blessed Virgin. You know well the intimate and wonderful relations existing between her and the Holy Ghost, so that she is justly called His Spouse. The intercession of the Blessed Virgin was of great avail both in the mystery of the Incarnation and in the coming of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles. May she continue to strengthen our prayers with her suffrages, that, in the midst of all the stress and trouble of the nations, those divine prodigies may be happily revived by the Holy Ghost, which were foretold in the words of David: “Send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth” (Ps. ciii., 30).

15. As a pledge of Divine favour and a testimony of Our affection, Venerable Brethren, to you, to your Clergy, and people, We gladly impart in the Lord the Apostolic Benediction.

Given at St. Peter’s in Rome, on the 9th day of May, 1897, in the 20th year of Our Pontificate.

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Come HOLY SPIRIT, fill the hearts of Your faithful,
and enkindle in them the fire of Your Love.

Holy! Holy! Holy!
Lord God of Hosts,
Heaven and Earth are full of your Glory,
Hassana in the highest Heaven!

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us
Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us

COME LORD JESUS!

24th May 2015