Monday, January 31, 2011
The Mum answered, "God made Adam and Eve and they had children,
and so was all mankind made..."
Two days later the girl asked her Dad the same question.
The Dad answered,
"Many years ago there were monkeys from which the human race evolved."
The confused girl returned to her mother and said,
"Mum, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God,
and Dad said they developed from monkeys?"
The mother answered,
"Well, Dear, it's very simple. I told you about my side of the family
and your father told you about his.."
Please post your comments.
Saturday, January 29, 2011
Victorious in Malá Strana, Prague, Czech Republic
Devotion to the Child Jesus under the title "Infant Jesus of Prague" is over three and a half centuries old. The devotion originated in Spain, spread to what is now Czechoslovakia, and from there to all parts of the globe. Replicas of the original statue dressed in royal priestly vestments are to be found in thousands of churches and private homes. In the United States, there is a national shrine in honor of the Christ Child under this title in Prague, Oklahoma.
In 1556, Maria Manriquez de Lara brought a precious family heirloom, a statue of the child Jesus, with her to Bohemia when she married the Czech nobleman Vratislav of Pernstyn. The statue of the child is eighteen inches tall, carved of wood, and thinly coated with wax. The left foot is barely visible under a long white tunic. The statue stands on a broad pedestal, and there is a waist-high silver case which holds it upright. The left hand holds a miniature globe surmounted by a cross, signifying the worldwide kingship of Christ. The right hand is extended in blessing in a form usually used by the Supreme Pontiff; the first two fingers are upraised to symbolize the two natures in Christ, while the folded thumb and last two fingers touch each other to represent the mystery of the Holy Trinity.
Since 1788, there have been two jeweled rings on the fingers of the statue. These were gifts of a noble family in thanks for the miraculous cure of their daughter. The head of the image has a wig of blond human hair. Old carvings and pictures indicate that at one time the wig may have been white. In 1655, the statue was solemnly crowned in a special coronation ceremony. The crown was presented by the supreme burgrave of the Czech kingdom. The original garments worn by the statue when it arrived in Bohemia are still preserved. Since the great cholera epidemic of 1713, however, the garments of the statue have been changed with the liturgical season. The wardrobe of the Infant of Prague resembles liturgical vestments.
There are a number of sets of vestments belonging to the statue which are of artistic and historic importance, including sets presented in thanksgiving by Empress Maria Theresa and Emperor Ferdinand. Today, the nuns from St. Joseph's Church in the Mala Strana quarter of Prague enjoy the privilege of clothing the Infant in keeping with the ancient custom. At the time the change of vestments is made, numerous devotional objects such as medals, pictures and rosaries are touched to the statue to be distributed to all parts of the world.
Princess Polyxena Lobkowitz inherited the statue of the infant from her mother. She had a great devotion to it, honoring it highly in her own home. On the death of her husband in 1623, she determined to spend the rest of her life in works of charity and piety. She was particularly generous to the Discalced Carmelites of Prague. Their monastery had been founded by Emperor Ferdinand II. After the emperor moved to Vienna, the monastery, having lost its wealthy founder and patron, fell on hard times, often not even having enough to eat. (At that time, cloistered monasteries depended heavily on donations for their daily needs.)
In 1628, Princess Polyxena presented her beloved statue to the friars, telling them, prophetically, that as long as they honored the Child Jesus as king, venerating His image, they would not want. Her prediction was verified, and as long as the Divine Infant's image was honored the community prospered, spiritually and temporally. However, when the devotions relaxed, it seemed as if God's blessing departed from the house.
The statue was set up in the oratory of the monastery, and twice daily special devotions were performed before it. The novices were particularly devoted to the Holy Infant. One of them, Cyrillus of the Mother of God, was suffering interior trials. After prayers to the Child Jesus, he found a sudden relief from his worries and became the greatest apostle of the Holy image.
During the Thirty Years' War, the novitiate was moved to Munich, Germany in 1630. In 1631, King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden, an inveterate foe of Catholicism, invaded, and many inhabitants of Prague fled, including all of the Carmelites except two who remained to protect the monastery. The enemy took possession of the monastery in November of 1631, and the house was plundered. The image of the Infant was thrown in a heap of rubbish behind the high altar, where it lay forgotten for seven years.
In 1637, Father Cyrillus returned to Prague. The monastery had suffered many reverses in recent years, and the city was again overrun with hostile troops. The prior of the community called the monks together to offer prayers. Father Cyrillus remembered the favors formerly received through the intercession of the Infant, and he asked permission to search the monastery in hopes that the statue might have been left behind when the monastery was plundered. At last the statue was found, and Father Cyrillus placed the dusty little image on an altar in the oratory, where the long-forgotten devotions were renewed with vigor.
One day, after the other monks had left the oratory, Father Cyrillus remained kneeling in front of the statue for hours, meditating on the divine goodness. In a mystical ecstasy, he heard the statue speak these words: "Have pity on me, and I will have pity on you. Give me my hands, and I will give you peace. The more you honor me, the more I will bless you!" Startled, the priest looked and noticed for the first time that the statues hands had been broken off. He went immediately to the prior to beg him to have the statue restored. The prior, not having the same devotion or understanding as Father Cyrillus, excused himself by saying that the monastery was too poor.
Shortly thereafter, a wealthy and pious man came to Prague and fell ill. Father Cyrillus was called to the dying man, who offered financial help to repair the statue. The prior, however, used the donated money to buy an entirely new statue instead of having the old one repaired. On its very first day, the new statue was shattered by a falling candlestick. To Father Cyrillus, this was an indication that the wishes of the Infant must be fulfilled literally.
The sorrowing priest took the damaged statue to his cell, where he prayed through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin for the money to repair the statue. No sooner had he finished his prayer than he was called to the church, where he found a noble lady waiting for him. She handed him a considerable amount of money and then disappeared.
Happily, Father Cyrillus took the money to the prior and again requested the repair of the statue. At last, the prior agreed, provided the repairs did not exceed a certain amount. Unfortunately, the estimates were too high, so again the statue was not repaired. Interiorly, the priest heard a voice telling him to place the statue at the entrance of the sacristy. He did so, and soon a stranger came and noticed the broken hands of the statue. The stranger offered to have the statue repaired at his own expense, an offer that was joyously accepted.
At last the repaired statue was placed in the church. A pestilence was raging in Prague at the time, and the prior himself nearly died. He vowed to spread the devotion of the Infant if he were cured. Shortly thereafter, he ordered a general devotion to the Infant, in which all the friars took part. At last the Infant had won the hearts of the Carmel of Prague and become a cornerstone of their devotion.
In 1641, a generous benefactress donated money to the monastery for the erection of an altar to the Blessed Trinity with a magnificently gilded tabernacle as the resting place for the miraculous statue, which was then exposed for public veneration In 1642, a baroness financed the erection of a handsome chapel for the Infant which was blessed in 1644 on the feast of the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which has remained the principal feast day of the miraculous Infant ever since. In 1648, the Archbishop of Prague gave the first ecclesiastical approval of the devotion when he consecrated the chapel and gave permission to priests to say Mass at the chapel altar. In 1651 the Carmelite general made a canonical visitation to the monastery to examine matters regarding the devotion. The statue was solemnly crowned in 1655.
In 1741, the statue was moved to its final magnificent shrine on the epistle side off the church of Our Lady of Victory. It became one of the most famous ,and popular shrines in the world. In 1739 the Carmelites of the Austrian Province made the spread of the devotion a part of their apostolate. The popularity of the little King of Prague spread to other countries in the eighteenth century. Pope Leo XIII confirmed the Sodality of the Infant of Prague in 1896 and granted many indulgences to the devotion. Pope St. Pius X unified an organizing membership into a confraternity under the guidance of the Carmelites which increased the spread of the devotion in our own century. Church authorities have canonically established a U.S. national shrine to the Infant Jesus of Prague at Prague, Oklahoma.
There are many reported testimonies of the favours granted by the Infant Jesus of Prague to devotees' in solving particularly their financial difficulties.
Today, in the Church of the Virgin Mary Victorious in Prague, you can find a fairly big money box placed in front of the Infant Jesus. It is always full of money. Some people put the money in to ensure that their wishes spoken out in front of the Infant Jesus will come true, others see it as
In the Philippines, the Infant Jesus of Prague is venerated till today as the Santo Niño. Devotion started hundreds of years ago when the the Santo Nino was given to the Queen of Cebu as a gift by legendary Portuguese explorer, Magellan.
A novena to the Infant Jesus of Prague is to be said at the same time every hour for 9 consecutive hours in just one day:
O Jesus, Who hast said,
ask and you shall receive,
seek and you shall find,
knock and it shall be opened to you,
through the intercession of Mary,
Thy Most Holy Mother,
I knock, I seek,
I ask that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)
O Jesus, Who hast said,
all that you ask of the Father in My Name,
He will grant you.
Through the intercession of Mary,
Thy most Holy Mother,
I humbly and urgently ask Thy Father
in Thy Name that my prayer be granted.
(Make your request)
O Jesus, Who hast said,
"Heaven and earth shall pass away
but My word shall not pass",
through the intercession of Mary,
Thy Most Holy Mother,
I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.
(Make your request)
Read testimonials of prayers answered here, here, here and here. You'd be able to find many more testimonies attributed to the Infant Jesus Of Prague, online.
Please post your comments.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Good old Catholic humour.
Please post your comments.
The Rich get Richer? Now to one who reads such a text from a merely worldly perspective it might seem the Lord is saying in some fatalistic sense that the rich get richer and the poor just get poorer. But such a reading of this text would be incorrect since it fails to understand that the Lord Jesus is speaking of the Kingdom of God and not the kingdom of this world. Indeed, the fuller context of Chapter 4 is the memorable parable about the seed of the word that falls on either on the path, on rocky ground, among the thorns, or into good soil. Not only does the Lord give this parable, but goes on to explain the parable at considerable length. So the context of this saying is not the world but the Kingdom of God.
Thus, when the Lord speaks of those who have “more” he does not mean material possessions and the wealth of this passing world. Rather, those who have more are those who hear the word and accept it and bear fruit, thirtyfold, sixtyfold and a hundredfold (Mk 4:20).
Thus, the one who has more is the one who has the Kingdom of God, who has faith, who, by faith, has the Lord and the justice of the Lord, and who stands to inherit all of heaven. He or she is the one who has more.
Note too how the “more” keeps building. To have faith is to have the Lord, and to have the Lord is have saving grace and mercy. And to have saving grace and mercy is to grow in holiness and experience greater and greater healing. And to experience this transformation and share in God’s holiness is to be made ready for heaven. And to be made ready for heaven is to one day have heaven, and to be with God for ever. Thus to have more and to accept its power is to have more and more and more, until we are spiritually rich in the kingdom. Yes, those who have the Kingdom are the ones who are rich! They may not have the fancy house, with the big car, big salary, big ego and big hair. But they are rich in the only way that really matters or lasts; they are rich in the Kingdom.
So, who are those who have not? They are those who have rejected the Kingdom of God, the Word of God, the grace and mercy of God. They “have not” the Kingdom. And they do not have it not because it hasn’t been offered but because they have rejected it. These are the ones who are truly poor, who are destitute, who “have not.”
But notice that the text does say they do have something, for the text says, even what he has will be taken away. Now this means he or she has something, but it will not be theirs for long. For what they have is the world and its vain, passing riches. It is theirs now, but like sand slipping through their fingers, it ebbs away and will some be gone. It cannot last no matter how large the fortune is that is amassed.
Consider carefully what the Lord says here. The world’s riches cannot last. Further, they are all but nothing compared to the riches of the Kingdom of heaven. The ones who have the kingdom are those who have and will get more. The ones who have this world, by comparison, have nothing at all, and the little they do have will be taken from them.
Think of a multibillionaire, a captain of industry with numerous homes, corporate jets, luxury yachts, even private islands. He may have amassed a fortune on this planet and own more real estate than even certain governments!
But really, what he has is ultimately so little! If you were to go out into space, not even all that far, and look back you couldn’t even see the earth. Our billionaire may have amassed a fortune, but it is only a portion of a speck of space dust, for the earth is but speck of dust compared to immensity of the things God has made.
Do you get the point? We get real impressed about what is really very little in the end. And our billionaire has this wealth for only a very brief nanosecond of cosmic time. When his little moment is up, even the little he has is taken from him.
There is only one way to be truly rich and that is to receive the gift of God and his Kingdom. Only this will last. Only in coming to possess this do we really have something that amounts to anything. Only this will grow until we are rich. Only those who have the kingdom are rich in any sense of the word. All others really have what amounts to only very little, and what little they have, if it is of the world, will be taken from them.
This song says: Only what you do for Christ will last. Some of the verses say,
You may build great cathedrals large or small, you can build skyscrapers grand and tall, but only what you do for Christ will last…. You may seek earthly power and fame, the world might be impressed by your great name, soon the glories of this life will all be past, but only what you do for Christ will last. Remember only what You do for Christ will last. Only what you do for Him will be counted at the end; only what you do for Christ will last.
Source: Archdiocese Of Washington
Please post your comments.
Sunday, January 23, 2011
The mystery of the Holy Trinity is the most fundamental of our faith. On it everything else depends and from it everything else derives. Hence the Church’s constant concern to safeguard the revealed truth that God is One in nature and Three in Persons.
In order to do some justice to this sublime subject, we shall look only briefly at the heretical positions that at various periods of the Church's history challenged the revealed Trinitarian faith. Our principal intention is to see in sequence the development of the doctrine, with emphasis on how the Church's authority has contributed to the progress in understanding the plurality of persons in the one true God.
There is also great value in seeing some of the implications of the doctrine for our personal and social lives, since the mystery was most extensively revealed by Christ during the same discourse at the Last Supper when He taught us the "New Commandment" by which we are to love one another as He has been loving us.
There is a certain logic in the adversative positions assumed by those who called into question one or another aspect of the Trinity. Not surprisingly the human mind has wrestled with what God revealed about Himself in His inner Trinitarian existence. And depending on the willingness to recognize its limitations, the intellect has been enlightened by what God says about His mysterious being.
Thus we have, on the one hand, such extensive treatises as St. Augustine's De Trinitate that show how perfectly compatible is the mystery of the Triune God with the deepest reaches of human intelligence. Indeed, the better the Trinity is understood, the more the human mind expands its horizons and the better it understands the world that the Trinity has created.
At the same time, we have the spectacle of another phenomenon. Minds that are not fully docile to the faith have, in greater or less measure, resisted the unquestioning acceptance of the Trinity. From apostolic times to the present, they have struggled with themselves and in their misguided effort to "explain" the mystery have only rationalized their own ideas of what the mystery should be.
For the sake of convenience, we can capsulize the leading anti-Trinitarian teachings of Christian history. Although given here somewhat chronologically, they are all very current because one or another, or a combination of several, may be found in contemporary writings in nominally Christian sources. There is no such thing as an antiquated doctrinal error, as correspondingly there is no such thing as an entirely new heresy. Error has its own remarkable consistency.
By the end of the first century, certain Judaizing Christians lapsed into a pre-Christian notion of God. According to them God is simply unipersonal. Such were the Corinthians and the Ebionites.
Within the next hundred years these theories were systemized into what has since become known as Monarchianism, i.e., monos = one + archein = to rule, which postulates only one person in God. In practice, however, Monarchianism affected certain positions regarding the nature and person of Christ; and these were the ones that finally had to be countered by the Church's Magisterium.
If there is only one person in God, then the Son of God did not become man except as the embodiment of an adopted son of God. According to the Adoptionists, Christ was a mere man, though miraculously conceived of the Virgin Mary. At Christ's baptism, He was endowed by the Father with extraordinary power and was then specially adopted by God as son. Among others, the best known Adoptionist was Paul of Samosata.
Another group of Monarchians took the view that Christ was divine. But then it was the Father who became incarnate, who suffered and died for the salvation of the world. Those favoring this idea were called Patripassionists, which literally means "Father-sufferers," meaning that Christ was only symbolically the son of God, since it was the Father Himself who became man. On this hypothesis, of course, the Father, too, is only symbolically Father, since He does not have a natural Son.
The best known Patripassionist was Sabellius, who gave his name to a still popular Christological heresy, Sabellianism. According to Sabellius, there is in God only one hypostasis (person) but three prosopa, literally "masks" or "roles" that the unipersonal God assumes. These three roles correspond to the three modes or ways that God manifests Himself to the world. Hence another name for this theory is Modalism.
In the Modalist system, God manifests Himself, in the sense of reveals Himself, as the Father in creation, as the Son in redemption, and as the Holy Spirit in sanctification. There are not really three distinct persons in God but only three ways of considering God from the effects He has produced in the world.
Unlike the foregoing, Subordinationism admits there are three persons in God but denies that the second and third persons are consubstantial with the Father. Therefore it denies their true divinity. There have been different forms of Subordinationism, and they are still very much alive, though not all easily recognizable as Trinitarian errors in which the mind tries to comprehend how one single infinitely perfect divine nature can be three distinct persons, each equally and completely God.
The Arians, named after the Alexandrian priest Arius, held that the Logos or Word of God does not exist from eternity. Consequently there could not have been a generation of the Son from the Father but only by the Father. The Son is a creature of the Father and to that extent a "son of God." He came into existence from nothing, having been willed by the Father, although as "the first born of all creation," the Son came into the world before anything else was created.
The Semi-Arians tried to avoid the extreme of saying that Christ was totally different from the Father by conceding that He was similar to or like the Father, hence the name Homoi-ousians, i.e., homoios = like = ousia = nature, by which they are technically called.
There was lastly the group of Macedonians, named after Bishop Macedonius (deposed in 360 AD), who extended the notion of subordination to the Holy Spirit, who was claimed not to be divine but a creature. They were willing to admit that the Holy Spirit was a ministering angel of God.
At the other extreme to saying there was only one person in God was the heresy that held (and holds) there are really three gods. Certain names stand out.
According to John Philoponus (565 AD), nature and person are to be identified, or, in his language ousia = hypostasis. There are then three persons in God who are three individuals of the Godhead, just as we would speak of three human beings and say there are three individuals of the species man. Thus instead of admitting a numerical unity of the divine nature among the three persons in God, this theory postulates only a specific unity, i.e., one species but not one numerical existence.
In the theory of Roscelin (1120 AD), a Nominalist, only the individual is real. So the three persons in God are actually three separate realities. St. Anselm wrote extensively against this error.
Gilbert of Poitiers (1154 AD) said there is a real difference between God and the Divinity. As a result there would be a quaternity, i.e., three persons and the Godhead.
Abbot Joachim of Fiore (1202 AD) claimed that there is only a collective unity of the three persons in God, to form the kind of community we have among human beings, i.e., a gathering of like-minded persons joined together by their freedom to work together on a common enterprise. Joachim of Fiore is also known in doctrinal history as the one who projected the idea of three stages in Christian history. Stage One was the Age of the Father, through Old Testament times; Stage Two was the Age of the Second Person, the Son, which lasted from the time of the Incarnation to the Middle Ages; Stage Three began about the time of Abbot Joachim and will continue to the end of the world, as the Age of the Holy Spirit.
Anton Guenther (1873) was deeply infected with Hegelian pantheism and proclaimed a new Trinity. Guenther said that the Absolute freely determined Itself three successive times in an evolutionary process of development as thesis, antithesis, and synthesis. So the divine substance is trebled.
The original Reformers affirmed the Trinity without qualification. Thus Luther and Calvin, and the sixteenth century confessions of Protestant faith uniformly attested to the Trinity of Persons in God. But the subjectivism of the Protestant principles paved the way to a gradual attrition of the faith, so that rationalism has made deep inroads into the denominations. The most common form of this rationalism takes the three persons in God as only three personifications of the divine attributes, e.g., divine power is personified by the Father, divine wisdom by the Son, and divine goodness by the Holy Spirit.
In this context, we may define rationalism as that system of thought that claims that the human mind cannot hold with certainty what it cannot understand. Since the Trinity cannot be fully understood, it cannot therefore be held to be certain.
Teaching of the Church
The history of the Church's doctrine on the Trinity reaches back to the earliest days of Christianity. Our purpose here is to see in review some of the leading statements of the Magisterium, while pointing out some features of each document.
Pope St. Dionysius in 259 AD wrote a public letter to Bishop Dionysius of Alexandria in which he condemned the errors of Sabellius and the tritheist Marcion. The significance of this document lies in the fact that it paved the way for the Church's later teaching, notably in the famous councils that dealt with the person of Christ. The popes led the way in defending the revealed mystery of the Trinity and in explaining its meaning, long before ecumenical councils entered the controversy. Even a few sentences from the pope's letter will show the intransigence of the Church and her sureness of mind about the Trinity:
Sabellius' blasphemy is that the Son is the Father, and the Father the Son. These men somehow teach there are three gods since they divine the sacred unity into three different hypostases completely separate from one another.
The teaching of the foolish Marcion who divides and separates the one God into three principles is a teaching from the devil, not the teaching of those who truly follow Christ and who are content with the teachings of the Savior.
At the Council of Nicea (325 AD), the Second Person was declared to be consubstantial with the Father, where the term homo-ousios became the consecrated word for expressing perfect numerical identity of nature between the Father and His Son who became incarnate.
But Nicea did not settle the controversy. Speculators, especially in the Near East, insisted on probing and rationalizing the Trinity so that in 382 AD Pope St. Damasus called a council at Rome in which he summarized the main errors up to his time. Called the Tome of Damasus, this collection of anathemas is a series of definitions on the Trinity that to this day are models of clarity. Twenty-four in number, a sample from the collection again reflects the Church's perennial faith:
If anyone denies that the Father is eternal, that the Son is eternal, and that the Holy Spirit is eternal: he is a heretic.
If anyone says that the Son made flesh was not in heaven with the Father while He was on earth: he is a heretic.
If anyone denies that the Holy Spirit has all power and knows all things, and is everywhere, just as the Father and the Son: he is a heretic.
The most extensive declaration of the Church's teaching on the Trinity was made at the Eleventh Synod of Toledo in Spain (675 AD). It is a mosaic of texts drawn from all the preceding doctrines of the Church. Its purpose was to assemble as complete a list of doctrinal statements as possible, in view of the still prevalent errors in nominally Christian circles, and (providentially) in view of the rise of Islam which struck with particular vehemence against the Iberian peninsula. Since the main target of Moslem opposition to Christianity was the Koranic claim that Christians were idolaters because they adored Christ as God, it is instructive to see how the faithful were prepared to resist the Moslem Unitarianism by a clear declaration of their own belief in the Triune God. The full text of doctrine at Toledo runs to over two thousand words. Only a few lines will be given to illustrate the tone:
We confess and we believe that the holy and indescribable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is one only God in His nature, a single substance, a single nature, a single majesty and power.
We acknowledge Trinity in the distinction of persons; we profess Unity because of the nature or substance. The three are one, as a nature, that is, not as person. Nevertheless, these three persons are not to be considered separable, since we believe that no one of them existed or at any time effected anything before the other, after the other, or without the other.
Two general councils of the Church formulated the faith in the Trinity in specific creeds, namely the Fourth Lateran and the Council of Florence.
The focus of Fourth Lateran was twofold, to reaffirm the faith in the face of the Albigensian heresy and to defend it against the vagaries of Abbot Joachim.
Since the Albigenses were Manichaens, for whom there were two ultimate sources of the universe, one a good principle and the other an evil one, Lateran declared the absolute oneness of God, who is at the same time Triune:
We firmly believe and profess without qualification that there is only one true God, eternal, immense, unchangeable, incomprehensible, omnipotent, and indescribable, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; three persons but one essence and a substance or nature that is wholly simple.
The Father is from no one; the Son is from the Father only; and the Holy Spirit is from both the Father and the Son equally. God has no beginning; He always is, and always will be. The Father is the progenitor, the Son is the begotten, the Holy Spirit is proceeding. They are all one substance, equally great, equally all-powerful, equally eternal. They are the one and only principle of all things – Creator of all things visible and invisible, spiritual and corporeal, who, by His almighty power, from the very beginning of time has created both orders of creatures in the same way out of nothing, the spiritual or angelic worlds and the corporeal or visible universe.
Abbot Joachim had a plurality of gods. In his effort to explain how the persons in the Trinity are distinct, he made them so separate that he ended up making them separate deities. Joachim's problem was transferring what happens in human generation, when something of the parent goes over to the offspring, and is thereby distinct. He pressed the analogy too far and fell into error.
In response to this, the Fourth Lateran Council used the most technical language to insist that there is no division in God just because there is a distinction of persons:
The Father in eternally begetting the Son gave Him His own substance as the Son Himself testifies, "What my Father has given me is greater than all." But it cannot be said that He gave Him part of His substance, and retained part for Himself, because the substance of the Father is indivisible, since it is altogether simple. Neither can one say that the Father transferred His own substance in generation to the Son, as though He gave it to the Son in such a way that He did not retain it for Himself; otherwise He would cease to be a substance.
The situation at the Council of Florence (1442 AD) was different. Here the need was to state the constant teaching of the Church with a view to reuniting the Eastern and Western Churches, separated by the Eastern Schism.
One feature of Florence, however, that needed to be clarified was brought about by the addition to the Nicene Creed of the expression Filioque, i.e. "and from the Son," which Rome had approved. The Roman Creed now read, "the Holy Spirit, who proceeds from the Father and the Son." The Easterners were uncomfortable with the addition, saying that Rome had tampered with a general council. The issue at stake was the true divinity of the Holy Spirit and the true divinity of the Second Person. Consequently, the Council of Florence, in the long Trinitarian Creed that it issued, stated as follows:
The Father is entirely in the Son and entirely in the Holy Spirit; the Son is entirely in the Father and entirely in the Holy Spirit; the Holy Spirit is entirely in the Father and entirely in the Son. None of the persons precedes any of the others in eternity, nor does any have greater immensity or greater power. From eternity, without beginning, the Son is from the Father; and from eternity and without beginning, the Holy Spirit has proceeded from the Father and the Son.
Human language could not be clearer, and there the faith of the Church stands to day and will until the end of time. Since the Council of Florence, popes and councils have simply drawn on the elaborate and absolutely unambiguous teaching of Sacred Tradition to offer the faithful for acceptance what is at once the glory of Catholic Christianity and its greatest revealed mystery.
As we are learning today, faith in the Trinity is the basic test of our Catholic faith as Christians. This is not merely to say that objectively this doctrine is the most fundamental. It is. But subjectively, from our side, it is also the most crucial because it represents the hardest demand on our creedal assent.
All natural knowledge leads us to see only specific unity among human beings. We have one human nature, indeed, but we are only specifically one as distinct persons. We are really distinct as persons but we are also separate realities. Not so with the Trinity. Each of the divine Persons is the infinite God, and no one Person has only a "share" in the divine nature, a part of it so to speak. Yet they are not three infinities, but only one infinite God.
Relative to generation, all natural knowledge tells us that the parenthood and offspring imply a before and after generation, they imply a producer and a produced, a cause and effect. Not so in the eternal generation of the Son of God by the Father.
All natural knowledge tells us that while love is "outgoing" it does not literally give rise to a third person who is at once distinct from the two who love and numerically one with them in nature. Yet this is the case with God, where the Holy Spirit is declared by the Church as "the Love or the Sanctity of both the Father and the Son." He proceeds from them without being another god.
But the Trinity is more than a test of our faith. It is also the perfect model of our selfless love. As revelation tells us, within the Godhead is a plurality of Persons, so that God is defined as Love because He has within His own being, to use our language, the object of love which is an Other with whom each of the Persons can share the totality of their being.
We therefore see from reflection on this Triune Love that love by its essence is not self-centered, that love unites, that love gives, and that love shares perfectly within the Godhead. Love is therefore as perfect in us as it approximates the perfect sharing that constitutes the Trinity.
At the same time, we recall that, while perfectly selfless in their mutual sharing of the divine nature, the Persons in the Trinity do not thereby cease to be themselves. Again, this is a lesson for us. We are to give of ourselves generously and without stinting. Nevertheless we are also to give in such a way that we remain ourselves and not become, as it were, something else in the process of sharing. There is such a thing as calculating charity, when a person gives of himself but "not too much" because he fears that his love may be too costly. This is not the teaching of Christ, who told us to love others not only as much as we love ourselves but as much as He loves us.
Saying this, however, is not to say that charity should not be wise. It would be unwise if it deprived us of that which God wants us to be and made us less than we are expected to be. Charity must, therefore, be enlightened; it must be guided by the standard of the Trinity, where each of the divine Persons gives and shares perfectly, yet without ceasing to be what each Person is to be. The Father does not become less the Father in begetting the Son and thus totally sharing the divine nature; nor do Father and Son cease to be themselves although they completely share their divinity with the Holy Spirit.
We thus have a confluence of two mysteries, of the Trinity in heaven and of liberty on earth. The Trinity is the pattern for our liberty. If we use our freedom to love others as we should, modeled on the Triune God, we shall reach that God in eternity. This is our hope, based on our faith, and conditioned by our love.
Source: Catholic Education Resource Centre
Please post your comments.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
The Venerable Pope John Paul II (Latin: Ioannes Paulus PP. II, Italian: Giovanni Paolo II, Polish: Jan Paweł II), born Karol Józef Wojtyła (18 May 1920 – 2 April 2005), reigned as Supreme Pontiff of the Roman Catholic Church and Sovereign of Vatican City from 16 October 1978 until his death on 2 April 2005.
The funeral of Pope John Paul II was held on 8 April 2005, six days after his death.
John Paul II has been acclaimed as one of the most influential leaders of the 20th century. It is widely held that he was instrumental in ending Communism in his native Poland and eventually all of Europe as well as significantly improving the Catholic Church's relations with Judaism, Islam, the Eastern Orthodox Church, and the Anglican Communion.
Pope John Paul's funeral brought together the single largest gathering in history of heads of state outside the United Nations, surpassing the funerals of Winston Churchill (1965), Princess Diana of Wales in (1997) and Michael Jackson (2009). It is also the largest single gathering of Christianity in history, with numbers estimated in excess of four million mourners gathering in Rome.
In a historical rarity, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox Christian leaders, as well as leaders in Judaism, Islam and Buddhism, offered memorials and prayers of their own for their congregants sharing in the grief of Catholics.
Among the most familiar faces worldwide were the then-current and former Presidents of the United States, the Prime Minister of United Kingdom, the current and former Presidents of Brazil, the President of Poland, the President of France, the King and Queen of Spain, the Chancellor of Germany and the President of Germany, the Prince of Wales (who postponed his wedding to Camilla Parker-Bowles by 24 hours, to attend), the Prime Minister of Canada, the King and Queen of Jordan, the President of Afghanistan, Mohammad Khatami of Iran, Israeli President Moshe Katsav, Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Philippines and Kofi Annan, the Secretary-General of the United Nations.
President George W Bush said in a statement he issued shortly after Vatican officials announced the pontiff's death: "The Catholic Church has lost its shepherd, the world has lost a champion of human freedom, and a good and faithful servant of God has been called home."
Charles, the Prince of Wales postponed his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles so that he, the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Prime Minister Tony Blair could attend Pope John Paul's funeral in Rome.
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, was present at Pope John Paul II's funeral. It is the first time an Archbishop of Canterbury attended a papal funeral since the Church of England broke with the papacy in the 16th century.
At the Pope's funeral, Archbishop Rowan Williams wore a cross given to him by Pope John Paul II and the ring given to former Archbishop Michael Ramsey by Pope Paul VI.
Archbishop Rowan said his presence at the funeral was "a mark of the deep bonds of personal closeness and intimacy that have come to exist between the office of the Archbishop and the Papacy".
Speaking on the April 2 (death of Pope John Paul II) edition of CNN's Larry King Live program Dr. Billy Graham said that that Pope John Paul II was the most influential voice for morality and peace in the world in the last 100 years.
"And tonight, I have a very strange feeling of loss. I almost feel as though one of my family members has gone. I loved him very much and had the opportunity of discussing so many things with him. And we wrote each other several times during the years," Dr. Graham said.
Billy Graham told Larry King that Pope John Paul II is with God:
"I think he's with the Lord, because he believed. He believed in the Cross. That was his focus throughout his ministry, the Cross, no matter if you were talking to him from personal issue or an ethical problem, he felt that there was the answer to all of our problems, the cross and the resurrection. And he was a strong believer."
On why he wasn't attending the Pope funeral:
"I don't have the physical strength to go, and I have been invited. I was invited about six or seven months ago by the Vatican ahead of time. And they've asked that I come. So I asked if I could send my daughter. They wanted a woman to come representing me. So I'm asking my daughter, Anne Lotz, to go. And she's going with an associate of mine. And then my son, Franklin, will be going to the enthronement of the new Pope."
Read the full story here.
Anne Graham Lotz wrote on her website after attending the Pope's funeral: ‘As my Father’s official representative to Pope John Paul II’s funeral, I was seated on the third row. From that honoured position, I looked out on a vast sea of people jammed into St. Peter’s Square… Surrounding me were leaders of almost every major Christian religious group, including my own brother-in-law, Dr. Denton Lotz, the General Secretary for the Baptist World Alliance, as well as the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Patriarch of the Orthodox Church, the General Secretary of the Methodist Church, Egyptian Coptic priests… To my left were row upon row of Catholic bishops, dressed in their raspberry coloured robes and caps. Beyond them and seated on the steps of the Basilica were the 115 Cardinals who would be responsible for electing the next pope… The most impressive aspect of the entire, almost surreal scene was the quiet, peaceful atmosphere of unmistakable, respectful reverence. How could so many people be so still? How could so many warring factions and sects come together in such harmony? …surely God had a message He wanted to convey. What was it? And then I knew… Just as the death of one man, Pope John Paul II, brought together people from virtually every nation and religion in a momentary atmosphere of peace and harmony, so the death of one Man, the Lord Jesus Christ, can bring the world together in permanent peace--peace with each other and peace with God… I stared at the crucifix on that chilly, windswept platform and wondered--was God once again offering “peace on earth, good will to all men?” Was He calling the people of the world to put their focus, and their faith, in the Man on the Cross--Jesus? I believe He was… Sitting that day on a wooden chair in front of St. Peter’s Basilica, as I experienced firsthand a moment of enormous historical and eternal significance, I bowed my head and thanked God over and over for the opportunity to just give them Jesus’.
Graham’s relationship with John Paul II predated his pontificate. When the Pope was still Cardinal Wojtyla of Krakow, he invited Graham to preach in his pulpit, much to the displeasure of the Polish Catholic establishment.
Pastor Billy Graham have also been quoted saying, “He [Pope John Paul II] was truly one of those rare individuals whose legacy will endure long after he has gone ... I will always remember his personal warmth to me and his deep interest in our ministry.”
The Dalai Lama offered special prayers for His Holiness Pope John Paul II who passed on.
"His Holiness Pope John Paul II was a man I held in high regard. He was a determined and deeply spiritual minded person for whom I had great respect and admiration. His experience in Poland, then a communist country, and my own difficulties with communists, gave us an immediate common ground. The first time we met, he struck me as very practical and open, with a broad appreciation of global problems. I have no doubt that he was a great spiritual leader." Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama
Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama pays tribute to Pope John Paul II at Vatican embassy in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, April 6, 2005.
Dalai Lama visited Pope John Paul II eight times, more than any other single dignitary.
Benny Hinn renowned American televangelist / Pentecostal pastor attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II and said in a live CNN interview from Rome that "This is a special day in the history of Christianity...I am here to honor the memory of this great Pope who has really touched my life as well as millions".
“Pope John Paul II pointed millions to Jesus Christ when he was Pope. And I believe we're in for the greatest move of the Spirit of God on this planet." Benny Hinn (The Impact of the Pope's Death, By Chris Mitchell, Middle East Bureau Chief, CBN.com).
Robert Harold Schuller
Robert Harold Schuller, American televangelist, pastor, and author known principally through the weekly Hour of Power television broadcast that he began in 1970. He is also the founder of the Crystal Cathedral in Garden Grove, California.
“I considered it an honor and a privilege to have had several private times with His Holiness.…On each occasion I felt the compassionate spirit of Christ radiating from his soul.” Robert H Schuller (NBC News, April 2, 2005)
Marion Gordon "Pat" Robertson is a media mogul, American televangelist who owns the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) among others.
“I am deeply grieved as a great man passes from this world to his much deserved eternal reward…. It was my great honor to meet with him at the residence of my good friend, Cardinal O’Connor, in New York, and to sit in the Consistory during the mass he conducted in Central Park.” Pat Robertson said about Pope John Paul II's death (Media Spotlight, Volume 28, Number 2, Redmond, Washington).
Jack Van Impe
Jack Van Impe is a televangelist who is known for his half-hour weekly television series Jack Van Impe Presents which he co-hosts with his wife Rexella. His television program is an eschatological commentary on the news of the week through his interpretation of the Bible.
“The pope graduated this life and he went home to heaven.” Rexella said.
“I have read over five hundred sermons that Pope John Paul delivered…. And, oh, what a blessing he’s been to me.” Jack Van Impe added.
In speaking of the assassination attempt on John Paul II, Van Impe made the following statement: “And that was Satan trying to take his life to stop the ministry he was going to have globally.”
John Paul II is to be Beatified on May 1st 2011. The date is significant as it will be the Second Sunday of Easter, which he dedicated to the Divine Mercy. It will also be on the eve of which his earthly life ended.
Watch Pope John Paul II's funeral videos:
Watch Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10 and Part 11 here.
Related post - watch these movies
Please post your comments.
WHY THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS (THE) AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER. There are many people; priests, nuns and lay who teach that meditation disciplines using Buddhist and Hindu yoga and mantras are authentic "Christian Meditation" as taught in the ancient Christian tradition. This claim is highly questionable to say the least and has no historical or Biblical foundation. This article presents the authentic prayer of the Holy Spirit as used by Jesus and the Aposltes. By Catholic Evangelist Eddie Russell FMI
WHY THE GIFT OF TONGUES IS (THE) AUTHENTIC CHRISTIAN CONTEMPLATIVE PRAYER. There are many people; priests, nuns and lay who teach that meditation disciplines using Buddhist and Hindu yoga and mantras are authentic "Christian Meditation" as taught in the ancient Christian tradition. This claim is highly questionable to say the least and has no historical or Biblical foundation. This article presents the authentic prayer of the Holy Spirit as used by Jesus and the Aposltes.
By Catholic Evangelist Eddie Russell FMI
The Baptism of the Holy Spirit and The Outpouring of the Holy Spirit are terms commonly used by those in the Catholic Charismatic Renewal throughout the world. They come from the book of Acts and describe the action of the Holy Spirit on the believer before and after the Pentecost. They are from Jesus’ words when he said in Acts Chapter 1: verse 5, "John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with The Holy Spirit." Another term commonly used to describe this experience is, The Release of the Holy Spirit.
This term is not found in Scripture. It is a term used to avoid confusion regarding the statement of faith relating to "One baptism for the forgiveness of sins" which relates to Baptism in water (in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit on the other hand, has nothing to do with the forgiveness of sin.
Therefore, The Release of the Holy Spirit would be more theologically correct when referring to those who have already received Baptism in water and have been Confirmed. These people have already received the Holy Spirit by the action of these two Sacraments which are administered by the Church.
Unfortunately, so many of these people are like someone who has received a beautiful gift, but have never opened it or used it. Therefore, there is a need for them to be released into the freedom of God and to live a powerful Christian life, no less than did the Apostles and the early Church.
The experience called, The Baptism of the Holy Spirit, is not a Sacrament which is given by the Church; It is the direct and infused action of Jesus imparting this experience himself when a person asks in faith to receive it.
This is borne out by the fact that the Pentecost event was a direct action of God on those who had gathered together as Jesus had requested, and thus he was able to fulfill his promise, that they would receive power when the Holy Spirit came upon them. It is Jesus who does the baptizing and, as the word suggests, those who receive it are "fully immersed" into The Holy Spirit.
The fact that this experience can and, as Scripture shows, often does happen subsequent to Sacramental Baptism and Confirmation, clearly indicates that it is a separate baptism altogether.
With so many terms used to describe one experience, it can in fact become even more confusing so, for the sake of continuity of expression, those involved in Charismatic Spirituality will generally adhere to the Biblical terminology for simple understanding and Scripture references.
The Church and Scripture teach that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is available to everyone who asks for it, and therefore it is available to everyone, including you.
"I will ask the Father and he will give you another advocate to be with you always, the Spirit of truth, which the world cannot accept, because it neither sees nor knows it. But you know it, because it remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." (John 14: 16-17) NAB.
"Then afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit upon all mankind. Your sons and daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions; even the servants and the housemaids, in those days, I will pour out my Spirit." (Joel 3:1-2) NAB
"These signs will accompany those who believe; in my name they will drive out demons, they will speak new languages. They will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not harm them. They will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover." (Mark 16:17-18) NAB
In Luke's Gospel, chapter 4; verse 18, we read that Jesus commanded the Apostles to go out into the whole world and proclaim the Gospel to every creature. He also instructed them to wait in Jerusalem until the Holy Spirit came upon them and endued them with the power needed to do the task set before them. We note that, until that time, they were afraid, weak and ineffective.
WHY DO WE NEED THE BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
1. Because until we are, we remain weak and ineffective too.
2. The Gospel needs to be proclaimed until the whole world has been converted.
3. The Church cannot do the job without the Holy Spirit who is God.
4. The sick still need to be healed.
5. The prisoner still needs to be loosed.
6. The poor still need their abundance.
7. The downhearted still need glad tidings.
8. Those who have sinned need to be forgiven.
9. The world still needs peace.
10. God has not changed the way He works (James 1:17)
This last reason is most important because God cannot contradict himself, he cannot go against his own Word, and he cannot change the way he has operated in any way in the past. The Bible tells us that Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forevermore. He also calls Himself the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Eternal God with no shadow of change. Therefore, he cannot, now will not, enter into an adulterous syncretism with other religions in order to improve on what he has taught clearly as authentic prayer, personal relationship, and divine union.
WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT IN WHOM I AM BEING BAPTISED?
In John 14:16-17, quoted above, Jesus describes him as the Advocate, a word which means, "One who pleads the cause of another in a Court of Law; one who defends; vindicates; or espouses a cause by argument; a pleader in favor of something; intercessor."
Other names used to describe the Holy Spirit as Advocate are, Comforter, Helper, Teacher, Intercessor, Strengthener and Stand-by. In other words, the Holy Spirit was to be ALL that Jesus had been to them whilst he was still with them physically and, because Jesus knew that they could not finish the task when he left them to return to the Father, he promised that he would come back to them in the form of the Holy Spirit and live in them; this fulfilled the promise made by God through the Prophets (Joel 3:1-2)
THE FIRST BAPTISM OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?
When the day of Pentecost came around, we read that 120 men, plus women and children, including Mary, the mother of Jesus, had gathered together in the upper room. They were united and praised God together as Jesus had taught them to do.
The consequence of this united and fervent praise was the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Suddenly there came a noise like a driving wind, the house shook and a fire came down upon them all and they began to speak in other Tongues as the Spirit gave them the utterance, including Mary who also spoke in Tongues on that day. The whole town heard the noise of the praises of God, and the Apostles went out into the street as though they were drunk, speaking in strange languages.
As we read the Acts of the Apostles, we begin to realize that this experience was not the only such occasion in the Church. St. Luke records at least two other events when the Holy Spirit came upon the people, and again these were accompanied with the "signs and wonders" which brought many to conversion.
St. Paul, too, must have seen many similar events. His letters to the Church in Corinth and Rome are full of his instructions for good order in the meetings, and the subsequent effects of experiencing this new life in the Holy Spirit, which is God's promise to ALL who believe.
WHY DO WE NOT SEE THESE SUPERNATURAL MANIFESTATIONS IN THE CHURCH TODAY?
The exciting thing is, we do! Since the beginning of 20th century there has been a miraculous outpouring of the Holy Spirit all around the world, with amazing signs and wonders clearly manifest in a similar manner.
In the Catholic Church alone there are in excess of 120,000,000 who have experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and this is not counting the millions of other Christians who have had the same experience. It is the fastest growing movement upon the Church (the whole body of Christ) at this point in time. And it is gaining momentum all the time.
BUT WHY TONGUES?
Many people wonder why Charismatic Christians seem to over-emphasize the Gift of Tongues. This Gift causes more questions and concern than any other Charismatic Gift. But why would it disturb people so much, even to the point of accusing those, who are so gifted, of speaking demonically? After all, it is not the only Charismatic Gift in manifestation.
A simple answer to this is pure ignorance and fear. People are always afraid of what they do not understand. Another reason could be authors like Morton Kelsey, who align Spiritual Gifts, especially "Glossolalia" with psychic abilities and, of course, nothing could be further from the truth, since it is the Spirit which gives the utterance, not the human psyche.
But perhaps a clearer reason would be that Tongues cannot be translated as with a human language. Tongues can only be interpreted. Therefore, there is the companion Charismatic Gift called, "The Interpretation of Tongues." It cannot be understood with the mind because it is a language of the Spirit; therefore, it cannot be understood by reason or intellect.
St. Paul tells us that Tongues is a "sign" for those who do not believe. Perhaps this is a good reason. It causes them to question and, in one way or another, every question begs an answer and so forms part our apologetics. In addition, it is a sign to unbelievers because only a believer can use this heavenly language; it is the language of the sons of God and only the sons of God can use it; it the language of the Kingdom of God that is within them.
WHAT IS SO IMPORTANT ABOUT TONGUES AND WHAT DOES IT ACHIEVE?
God wants everyone to pray well. The Gift of Tongues used for prayer is the most common and fluent Gift, and does not need "Interpretation." St Paul describes it as, "Uttering mysteries by the Spirit" and explains that the one using this Tongue "builds himself up." This Gift enables the user to express to God that which, in a human language, would be impossible to express. Fr Bob Faricy SJ described this Gift as, "Noisy Contemplation."
The purest form of prayer is said to be Non-conceptual Prayer.
St.Theresa of Avila talks about her "private prayer language" which was Tongues. In her writing on the Interior Castle, she grades Prayer, with the highest being Contemplative Prayer.
This takes two forms: (a) Acquired Contemplation. (b) Infused Contemplation.
The acquired prayer is that which we achieve by our own efforts, whereas the infused prayer is that which is a direct action of God upon the Soul and can only come by his action and in no other way. It is also called, Divine Union or The Prayer of Union, when the individual is so consumed into the mind of God that even thoughts cease. As St John of the Cross says in one of his poems; “A power of thought that thinks no more transcending far all human lore."
"Tongues" is True Non-Conceptuel Prayer.
It does not include the effort of the mind other than intention. It is like a heart-to-heart by-pass - It goes directly from your heart, by-passes the mind, and goes directly to the Heart of God. The mind cannot clutter up the Spirit's intention.
Because our own thoughts and ideas cannot interfere, Tongues is a perfect prayer and can be prayed aloud or silently. When uttering a Tongue, your spirit and God's Spirit understand fully what is meant.
This is a far cry from the false asceticism of Hindu or Buddhist mantras, especially those taught as Christian Meditation, because even one syllable in a Tongue can express immeasurably more than thousands of words and expressions of a known human language.
This is Prayer Power indeed, because when we do not know what to pray for, or how to pray, The Holy Spirit prays in us with groans and uttering, which are incomprehensible to us, but God knows exactly what the Spirit means. (Rom 8:26) This cannot be learned from Hindu or Buddhist masters nor their Christian counterparts.
Tongues is not a requirement for entering Heaven, but it is given an important place in the life of the Christian by St Paul, who wrote nearly 60% of the New Testament.
Listed here are 10 good reasons why a Christian should desire and need the "Gift of Tongues."
1. Tongues is the initial sign of being filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4, 10:44-46 and 19:6)
2. Tongues is for spiritual edification (1 Cor 14: 4)
3. Tongues remind us of the Spirit's indwelling presence.
4. Praying in Tongues is praying in line with God's perfect will (Rom 8:26-27)
5. Praying in Tongues stimulates faith (Jude 20)
6. Praying in Tongues is a means of staying free from worldly contamination (1 Cor 14:28)
7. Praying in Tongues enables us to pray for the unknown (Rom 8:26-27)
8. Praying in Tongues gives spiritual refreshing (Isaiah 28:11-12)
9. By praying in Tongues you give perfect thanks (1 Cor 14: 15-17,)
10. Speaking in Tongues bring the tongue under subjection (James 3: 8). (Kenneth Hagin)
JESUS USED THE GIFT OF TONGUES.
We can draw from Scripture that Jesus also used Tongues, primarily because he instructed his disciples on this Gift in Mark 16:17, when he said, "They will speak in tongues."
At the tomb of Lazarus (Lazarus - Hebrew: Eleazar "God (has) helped"), in John 11: 14, it says that Jesus “groaned” deeply in his spirit. He then says, “Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer. You always hear my prayer. But I pray now for the benefit of the people standing here, that they may believe that you sent me." He then uses their language, calls for the winds, and charges Lazarus to come forth - Lazarus did.
As noted in Romans 8: 26, regarding “groans and uttering” we can concluded that the term “groaned” in John 11: 14, meant the same. If we now consider that St Peter, who questioned everything, did not make any comment on this occasion of the Great Commission (Mark 16:17) and nor did anyone else, nor did Jesus elaborate on what he meant by this, we can also conclude that it came as no surprise to any of them.
Furthermore, on the day of Pentecost, when they all spoke in other Tongues, not one of them had a problem with that experience. In fact, Peter stood up to explain it. If they had not heard Tongues before they would no doubt be just as disturbed as was the crowd who was hearing it for the first time. As it is, they were not.
Later, Saint Paul corrects the Corinthian church in its use of the Charismatic Gifts and speaks at length about the Gift of Tongues; the Corinthians knew them as a normal and every day part of their faith. However, because of their abuse, Saint Paul reminds them that without love, these supernatural endowments can be a cause of scandal to the Church and unbelievers. (1 Corinthians 14)
TONGUES - THE VITAL KEY
Speaking in other Tongues is a vital key which enables us to yield to the Holy Spirit and, thereby, it is the "Key Gift" to all other Charismatic Gifts. Scripture records that after a person had received the Holy Spirit, they began to speak in Tongues and to Prophesy.
We need to yield to the Holy Spirit because God will never force anything against a person's free will. If anyone has asked for the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, they can rest assured that God has indeed given them the Holy Spirit. And even if they do not use Tongues immediately, they can yield to Him any time they wish to, without fear of having received a false Gift. (Luke 11:11-13)
HOW DO I BEGIN TO SPEAK IN TONGUES?
If we consider it this way: Our own tongue is the "key", our own voice is the "engine", the Holy Spirit is the "fuel and the power."
We have to put the key into the ignition and start the engine before the fuel and the power will get the car moving. Only then can the Holy Spirit give the utterance. He can only do that when the engine is switched on and turning over. So, yes, it is WE who speak in other tongues, allowing the Holy Spirit to form the words.
We can still have the Holy Spirit without Tongues, but if Tongues can make us more effective in our Christian life, then we would be wise to come alongside St Paul and "Desire earnestly the Gifts." (1Cor 14:1-2)
IT IS IMPORTANT TO THE CHURCH.
It is important that we, as the Church, recognize the importance of the Holy Spirit and His Gifts because, if the early Church of the book of Acts needed them so much in manifestation and power, how much more do we need this in our day and age!
At this point, we have only just begun to see this Outpouring of the Holy Spirit even though over 120 million Catholics (10% of the Church) since Vatican II use them. As we understand more, and learn more about his anointing, he will remind us all the more of how close God is to us, and the Words of Jesus in John 14:15-18, will become a daily reality to enable us to do the "works" that Jesus did and of which he said we would do greater (John 14:12).
For in depth teaching, look out for the next Set My People on Fire seminars.
For a clear and considered look at false asceticism in Christian spirituality go to What's in a Word.
Source: Blaze Magazine
Praying In Tongues - Faith or Fake ?
News Report On The Science Of Speaking In Tongues
Pentecostals Winning The Believers
Please post your comments.