Before the Crucifixion

On the night of Jesus’ betrayal, a small army of soldiers appeared in a disproportional display of force against the King of Kings, Himself unarmed and ready to offer the Eternal life-giving sacrifice for mankind.

John 3 : Judas therefore having received a band of soldiers and servants from the chief priests and the Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns and torches and weapons. [Douay-Rheims]

Why would Providence allow this disproportionate display of force right before His sacrifice for mankind? Could this be to articulate the only means to end the warring ways of nations, against the innocent and defenseless. Indeed His response to Peter’s not unreasonable reaction to the situation of attempting to defend Him speaks across time:

10 Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and struck the servant of the high priest, and cut off his right ear.

 11 Jesus therefore said to Peter: Put up thy sword into the scabbard. The chalice which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it?

Hereby Jesus tells the true and only way for wars to be avoided so that the innocent need not even take up their sword to defend themselves. Namely it is His offering from the cross, His flesh and blood from the cross in the Mass and Divine Liturgy, the Sacraments, that is the remedy for avoiding war.

This is why the Virgin Mother’s apparitions of Fatima occurred to remind the faithful of the means to avoid World War I and then World War II. This is why the principalities of the world had to attack the priesthood before forcing the Iraq war on nations. This why the orchestrated pandemic had to limit the offering of the Divine Sacrifice in preparation for the war looming on our doorstep in current times, even to the point of canceling the Easter celebrations all over the word in 2020.

The remedy is so simple.

And lest anyone think that Jesus’ declaration to Peter to put away his sword was in anyway a message to deny the right to self defense, as the cowardly media and propagators of wars would have you believe. Think again. Because that would mean that Jesus, God in the flesh, must have “forgotten” to tell Peter or anyone of His disciples to put away his open carry during the three years they might have carried it during His public ministry.

Judith 16

“Begin a song to my God with tambourines;
    sing to my Lord with cymbals.
Raise to him a new psalm;
    exalt him and call upon his name.
For the Lord is a God who crushes wars;
    he sets up his camp among his people;
    he delivered me from the hands of my pursuers.

Creation in Suspense

Genesis 1: 1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.

This is the beginning sentence of scripture, announcing the creation of the world, “formless and empty” with the Spirit of God hovering above it. The sentence portrays creation, including mankind, incomplete and in suspense anticipating the descent of the God to complete His work. The travails of the nation of God before this descent witness to an anticipation.

And when did He finally descend?

At Your baptism in the Jordan, O Lord, the worship of the Trinity was revealed. For the Father’s voice bore witness to You by calling You His Beloved Son; and the Spirit in the from of a dove confirmed the truth of these words. O Christ God who have appeared to us and enlightened the world. Glory to You! (Troparion of the Theophany)

And when did the nation of God receive formal completion? When would more nations of God be propagated to counter the divisions of Babel?

At Pentecost of course.

Pentacost Troparion
BLESSED ARE YOU, O Christ our God, who have filled the fishermen with wisdom by sending down the Holy Spirit upon them; and who through them have caught in Your net the whole world. O Lover of Mankind, glory to You!


Pentacost Kontakion
WHEN THE MOST HIGH came down and confused the tongues, He divided the nations, but when He distributed the tongues of fire, He called all men to unity. Wherefore, we glorify the Holy Spirit with one accord!

Have You Heard of the Fire Within?

Have you heard of the fire within?  The fire within first started outside. It was in the command on the Israelites to sacrifice animals as burnt offerings to the Living God. In reparation for sins. This practice is similar to the innate practices of other cultures especially before Christianity. For example in the pagan Roman empire or, since humans are animals, in the Mayan culture of central America. The sacrifice of animals is ongoing in the religious practices of Islam today.

Have you heard that in trying to fulfill this command, man is compromised by insincerity and an imperfect nature? So that the offerings were never enough to appease the living God. But God foretold the final way that this will be offered, a way that would  perfect those that present and consume the offering as well:

Genesis 22:8. Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the  burnt offering, my son.”
Have you thought about the zeal the young Jesus felt when He visited the temple of the sacrifice with His parents? He recognized His eternal home, His eternal function, to replace the offerings forever.

The fire without
The fire without

[from nourstat.com‘s rosary series on the 5th joyful mystery. Caption in Arabic: Luke 2: 41 Every year Jesus’ parents went to Jerusalem for the Festival of the Passover.  42 When he was twelve years old, they went up to the festival, according to the custom. 43 After the festival was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it.]

Have you contemplated that so drawn to the fire of the sacrifice, He disappeared into the temple to try to perfect the elders in the temple with His teachings?

The Teaching with the Fire
The Teaching with the Fire

[from nourstat.com‘s rosary series on the 5th joyful mystery. Caption in Arabic: Luke 2: 47 Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers. ]

But the plan was to internalize and immortalize this fire and action, in both spirit and flesh, and the guidance of His life and death was with His mother.  Have you heard that the fire offering has to be in spirit and flesh for consumption by people (Exodus 12:1-11) and so He had to sacrifice His Body and Soul for that consumption?

O You Who graciously gave Your Flesh to me as food, who are a fire consuming the unworthy: consume me not, O my Creator, but rather pass through all the parts of my body, into all my joints, my heart, my soul; burn, O good Lord, the thorns of my transgressions…

From the Byzantine Third Prayer of Thanksgiving after Holy Communion at the Divine Liturgy

Given all this can we understand how evil can only grow when the general consumption of this offering is limited or denied? A spiritual connection to the Divine Liturgy is fine but that is what protestants have [1]. With the physical presence of Mercy so denied, can we understand that without this consumption peoples can only resort to animal sacrifices or even worse, the sacrifice of humans?  Can we now know why the Virgin of Guadalupe felt so compelled to personally visit the Mayan race to end their human sacrifices?

[1] The selection of the Books of the Bible, which are used to defend Bible-alone Christian philosophies, was based on the collection of documents used in the Divine Liturgy at the time of the Church Fathers.

The fire within
The fire within

The Kingship of Christ (and about that Consecration of Russia)

This post is not about whether the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart has been sufficiently done as instructed by the Virgin Mother of God in the early 20th Century. I believe the declarations and suggestions of the Latin Church leadership that it has. I could be wrong. I would think that there would be nothing wrong with a repeated or more formalized consecration now. Maybe to be more sure? It can’t hurt.

Instead this post is about a more encompassing historical perspective for the consecration, its meaning for the reign of Christ the King and with perhaps an unexpected conclusion. Asking for the reader’s patience through what could be perceived as a disjointed and even superficial discourse, we will suggest at the end that a solution of our times may be a practical agreed upon footnote from the Council of Nicaea, in the 4th Century.

Certainly we know that the evils of communism began with and were spread by the Soviet Union. Our Lady of Fatima spoke of this danger for the whole world. However there is a meaning that has its roots in ancient times and echoes throughout history. It has all to do with the tug of war between secular man’s power, represented by an expanding government, even to take captive the soul, and God’s Kingdom of Love.

The Request for an Earthly King

A beginning point is when the ancient Israelites complained to God for a worldly kingdom. The passages speak for themselves:

1 Samuel 8: 7 And the Lord told him [Samuel]: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected Me as their king. …9 Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.”…11 He [Samuel] said, “…17 … and you yourselves will become his slaves. 18 When that day comes, you will cry out for relief from the king you have chosen, but the Lord will not answer you in that day.”

The Kingdom of Heaven Established

Christ the King Icon Maaloula Syria
Christ the King Icon Maaloula Syria

Now fast forward to after the Resurrection of Christ, the Acts of the Apostles and the early centuries that followed. Christianity was rapidly expanding east and west. A peculiar event however recorded in the Acts of the Apostles gives one pause:

Acts 16: 6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”

St. Paul
St. Paul

With repeated emphasis and with outward geographical meaning [look up the locations of those regions], God directly intervenes in shifting the emphasis of the evangelization from east to west, directing Paul’s zeal. Although ultimately a mystery, a logical reason for this is the destined location for Primacy of Peter in Rome, the capital of the Roman empire. Also, within the organizational backdrop of the Roman Empire, a council can convene to create statements of doctrinal orthodoxy for the whole of Christendom, for all the churches in the orbit of the empire. Here we see the benevolence of God who does not put His Kingdom at odds with government. Rather He proposes a marriage with government through conversion of the hearts of peoples who understand His Kingship present among them.

The First Ecumenical Council

Council of Nicaea
Council of Nicaea

The first such ecumenical council occurred in Nicaea in AD 325. The primary focus of this council was the defense against Arianism, which denied the full Divinity and full humanity of Christ. God’s Kingship has been established and in harmony with cultures, nationhood, and sovereignty. This dual nature of Christ, is also directly stated with the title of Mother of God, since God, taking the nature of man, must have a mother. In fact this title would have to be defended a few years later at the Council of Ephesus (431 AD).

The Parable of the Weeds

Our next point has to do with workers of deception that latch on the blessings that God gives man in constructing a just civilization, trying to replace it with a purely worldly governance that dominates rather than frees. Everyone benefits from the presence of Christianity, but there are those, among whom are Christians, who with time forget the grace of God. And there are those outside Christianity that build empires on the backs of the workers of God’s Kingdom. The betrayal of the doctrine of the dual nature of Christ defined at the Council of Nicaea has been presented here in a prior post. Although our Lord may have been referring to a different specific point in time, His parable of the weeds, reminds one of this kind of betrayal:

Matthew 13:24 Jesus told them another parable: “The kingdom of heaven is like a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while everyone was sleeping, his enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat, and went away. 26 When the wheat sprouted and formed heads, then the weeds also appeared. 27 “The owner’s servants came to him and said, ‘Sir, didn’t you sow good seed in your field? Where then did the weeds come from?’ 28 “‘An enemy did this,’ he replied. “The servants asked him, ‘Do you want us to go and pull them up?’
29 “‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Let both grow together until the harvest. At that time I will tell the harvesters: First collect the weeds and tie them in bundles to be burned; then gather the wheat and bring it into my barn.’”

Readers can familiarize themselves with history between the time of the First Ecumenical Council with Emperor Constantine, who was at the Council, and the rise and fall of his nephew Emperor Julian the Apostate. Julian represented the return to paganism for the empire as the Arian heresy spread and became the dominant theology amongst the bishops. From the fall of Julian, the fragmentation of the empire began, bloated from corruption, top heavy, heterodox, and mired by foreign entanglements. The fall of the empire is a type of a “time of harvest” from Jesus’ parable. The building of a worldly government always entails moral decay on a personal level, breakdown of families, loss of sovereignty, and foreign wars. This should remind us of our present time.

The Mother of All Heresies and the Mother of All Councils

Pantocrator Icon
Pantocrator Icon

In denying the Divinity and humanity of Jesus, Arianism opens up the historical figure of Jesus to all sorts of interpretations, such as that of Islam who describes Him as only a human prophet. Heterodox (errant) teachings also explode. This is touched on in our prior post. One can think of the First Council then as where Christ’s Kingship was defined for all of history just as the heresy that it countered was one from which all errors emanated. Future councils can then be thought of addressing corollaries of orthodoxy just as the heresies they fought are variants  of Arianism. This is the implicit or stated position of the present day Orthodox Churches not in communion with the Roman Church, who were, nonetheless present at the Council of Nicaea via Apostolic succession. These were the eastern Churches in the orbit of the empire at that time. The future councils that followed then were increasingly concerning the Roman Church, eventually to counter the more specific and western cultural errors of the second millennium, such as those from which emerged with protestantism, moral relativism, modernism, and the like. For the smaller and more regional Orthodox Churches, these councils seem unimportant. The Latin Church, or See of Peter, headed by the Pope, is in this interpretation the spearhead of Christianity. Where the devil concentrates his attacks in history. Without this perspective, we find ourselves arguing over the differences in titles like of the Immaculate Conception and the title All-Pure which pervades the eastern liturgy.

A Timeline Overview of a Slow Schism and Isolation Starting after the Council of Nicaea

Russian Mary Icon
Russian Mary Icon

Most scholars put the final break between the Roman Catholic Church and Eastern Orthodox Churches at the formal schism of 1054. Until that time, theological and political differences between Eastern and Western Christianity slowly accrued for centuries. Details of these differences include issues of the procession of the Holy Spirit, using leavened or unleavened bread in the liturgy, the role of other patriarchies. But these are better presented by scholars. Rather, we would like to point out a perspective by stepping back for an overview of this history, from the directing of the Apostle Paul’s zeal westward leading to the Council of Nicaea and to the present time. At Nicaea Christendom is defined for the faithful and for all time to follow. What follows is a slow isolation of the Apostolic Churches, Orthodox and Roman Catholic, while keeping the Sacraments available for those who chose to be faithful to them. At the latter part of the timeline, in the 9th Century, the Byzantine monks Saint Cyril and Saint Methodius translated the Gospel to the Slavonic language setting up the Christianization of the Slavs, including Russia, in the 10th Century. Suddenly, a very large chunk of the East became Christian, reaching the Pacific Ocean, and curiously just before the schism was formalized.

Our Lady of Kazan
Our Lady of Kazan

Becoming the last major Apostolic Church before the formal schism and one that did not exist in the orbit of the Roman Empire before its breakup, can we see perhaps why it was in Russia that the evils of communism began as a major political movement in the 20th Century? The western (Roman Catholic) church in the millennium after the schism and leading up to Communism, defended western attacks on the physical Kingship of Christ such as protestantism, moral relativism, modernism, secularism, etc. Being the Holder of the Keys of the Kingdom, the Latin Church was still able to effect vast eastern evangelizations in her fight against these errors and her internal corruptions. The evangelizations of Saint Francis Xavier comes to mind.

But if we are to take the warning of our Lady of Fatima seriously, the widest threat from a secular world government came from the country wherein is the last Apostolic Church before the schism, the Soviet Union. A Church that was not in the orbit of Christendom at the time of Council of Nicaea. We can see now more meaning behind the consecration of Russia.

Interestingly, the formation of the College of Cardinals, the body used to elect the Pope, was approximately coincident with the final Schism and isolation of the Churches, certainly by 1099.

There is much meaning to learn from timelines.

The Isolation of the Churches May Have Run its Course and a Footnote from the Council of Nicaea

SS Peter & Paul
SS Peter & Paul

Combining this timeline overview and the times we live in, particularly the compromise of the See of Rome with secular and shallow world government movements suggests that the isolation of the Apostolic Churches may have run its course. God exists independent of time however and promises that no trouble can befall His faithful without a way out, a grace for all trouble and temptation we undergo.

1 Corinthians 10:13…fidelis autem Deus qui non patietur vos temptari super id quod potestis sed faciet cum temptatione etiam proventum ut possitis sustinere.

Pentecost icon
Pentecost icon

Christ promises that He will return, not during trouble, but AFTER the Gospel is preached to all the earth (Matthew 14:14)[1]. So all available graces have to used first. All graces come from Christ’s supreme act of salvation on the cross and these graces became available for all time at Pentecost. The Council of Nicaea defined the true natures of Christ and addressed other matters as the empire’s first ecumenical council after Pentecost. It is the ecumenical council most proximal to Pentecost and is the last such council before the subsequent slow fractioning and isolation of Apostolic Churches.

So was there a grace defined at the Council of Nicaea as contingency for what was to follow? We point out an agreement somewhat obscure and certainly dwarfed by the definition of Christ’s dual nature:

Canon 6

Let the ancient customs in Egypt, Libya and Pentapolis prevail, that the Bishop of Alexandria have jurisdiction in all these, since the like is customary for the Bishop of Rome also. Likewise in Antioch and the other provinces, let the Churches retain their privileges. And this is to be universally understood, that if any one be made bishop without the consent of the Metropolitan, the great Synod has declared that such a man ought not to be a bishop.

While this Canon has been debated over the centuries, it should be clear that it includes the appointment of bishops by each Apostolic jurisdiction (how these patriarchies are defined I would leave for those more qualified than me). That the granularity of the Church is preserved by the patriarchies appointing their own bishops is made explicit by the last sentence. It also states that the patriarchy’s authority is the same as that for the Bishop of Rome. By using here the term Bishop of Rome, the Canon is not stating that the Patriarchies have independence from the See of Peter as the Holder of the Keys of the Kingdom. That is a different jurisdiction, instituted by Christ Himself, and not by the Council.

Peter with the Keys
Peter with the Keys

Recall that it is Christ that appoints the Apostles, not the Apostle Peter. It is Christ who admonishes the seven bishops in Asia Minor. The Vicar of Christ can admonish an eastern bishop but he does not appoint him. A bishop appointed by Rome is no guarantee of orthodoxy, as is so clearly evident in our time. Rome cannot even guarantee her own orthodoxy especially with the present College of Cardinals, let alone the orthodoxy of an eastern bishop. Is the neglect of this canon a source of pride for both sides that amplifies schisms and breeds heresies and their innumerable flavors.  Providence has defined this canon at the same time when Christ’s Nature was defined for all times to follow. Could the canon be a faint reminder of Christ’s advice in the parable of the weeds, a remedy for the ubiquity of evil? Preserve the granularity for the final harvest?

One Heart

St. Cyprian Icon in Maad Lebanon
St. Cyprian Icon in Maad Lebanon

“There is, in fact, among the bishops only one Church, only one soul, only one heart… There is, through the institution of Christ, one and only one Church, spread out over the whole world, one and only one episcopacy represented by a multiplicity of bishops united among themselves… The Church forms a single whole, whose bond is the union of bishops” (St. Cyprian of Carthage, 3rd Century).

Icon at the Home of St. Alphonsus Liguori
Icon at the Home of St. Alphonsus Liguori

This heart is the Immaculate Heart or heart of the Theotokos, present at Pentecost.

St. Joan of Arch with visions
St. Joan of Arch with visions

There is a quote from the story of Saint Joan of Arch who’s martyrdom had everything to with the loss of her county’s sovereignty, a corrupt bishop, AND THE DENIAL OF ACCESS TO THE SACRAMENTS .  “Act. And God will act.” So was Russia sufficiently consecrated to the Immaculate heart by the various Popes in the 20th Century? Maybe. Is a return to the norm of Canon 6 from the Council of Nicaea needed? With the present state of affairs, it sure can’t hurt. After all, all sides signed it.

Mother of Perpetual Help, Pray for Us
Mother of Perpetual Help, Pray for Us

 

 

 

[1] This is why I believe that we are not at the time of Christ’s second coming. But this is just my opinion.

 

The Pandemic and the Intellect Don’t Mix (Science 201)

This post is a follow-up to a prior, Science 101, and is written on Easter Sunday April 12, 2020. The marketed nightmare for the Corona virus COVID-19 rages on, promoting the cancellation of public Easter Liturgies all over the world. Bishop after bishop cancels Masses based on the reaction of “authorities” without any attempt of a creative solution or compromise to extend the Eternal to mankind, something armies and tyrants could never do to this extent. To understand the degree of this deception, try imagining every news post or article about the Corona virus, substitute the word “Common cold” instead and you will know. At worst this is a virulent strain of the common cold, engineered in a lab or not, while the statistics have still not broken from prior morbidities of Corona viruses and still not reached the levels of morbidity of the flu (Influenza A – H1N1). What is most virulent is the marketing campaign and the contagion of reaction, symptoms of sick society without any grounding. Coronaviruses have been around 100’s years, with known treatment. Are we to expect a maintained PR campaign for the same?  Can we at least use the knowledge we already have about Coronavirus? With all the afflictions of society ignored, including the mass slaughter of thousands of the unborn a day, the time was ripe I suppose.

And what of the intellect? With an ounce of intellect and a measure of time, anyone can realize that the mass media will lie about what you know to be true at some point, if it has enough funding and is in the interest of some “authority”. This is simply the age we live in. This is the nature of “uncountries”. Remember the relentless media campaign to invade the wrong country after 9/11?  Now the media will admit their mistake but say it is too late to do anything about  it. Too late to withdraw the troops. So it will be  with the new measures coming to handle the “pandemic”.

Here is a reminder to “authorities”. The scientific method was not born yesterday. It was not born with Descartes. The method to recognize the natural world has always been around with humans. It is the background needed to recognize a miracle. And almost 2000 years ago a collection of manuscripts were compiled by peer review. They are called the Gospels and Christ was risen from dead.

He is indeed risen, Hallelujah.

Addendum:  Please watch and pass on this video. Send the video link to your Bishop. While we can hope that they will use their intellect to understand what is going on, they would a least know that there are those out there who are.

dogv2

Please sign the petition.

Oh Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke thy powerful name (and image), which is the protection of the living and the salvation of the dying.

Coronaviruses and Science 101

The following is information from a textbook of medicine from the 1980’s, referenced at the end.  This can be used to supplement the information from the Centers for Disease Control (of your life). The CDC is a not any official branch of the government, but a member of the sandbox of tax-exempt cult-like organizations open to the highest bidder.

Coronaviruses are the second most common class of viruses that cause the common cold after the rhinoviruses. They typically have peaks of activity every 2-4 years. Most cases are mild. Severe cases typically occur in 3-8% of people.   Treatment has been available years. These statistics are consistent with worst current data on COVID-19. Current data of most hit regions, such as in Italy, show deaths only occur with co-morbid conditions.

This new strain could have a predilection for lung involvement when severe, but this predilection has not increased the chance of severe cases so far compared to the 1980’s data. The statistics for COVID-19 still have not hit the levels for Influenza (the flu) according to the CDC.

Coincidently, when the flu is severe and involves the lungs, the presentation is bilateral with peripheral infiltrates.  This is how the presumed COVID-19 pneumonias are being described.

Cecil Textbook of Medicine, Part XIX, Section 3, 325/326 “The Common Cold”. 17th Edition, WB Saunders Company, Philadelphia, PA 1985.

The Church of Italy?

The Church of Rome is the second and last place the first bishop Peter reigned after Antioch. From here the Latin Catholic Church began her proliferation across the world, crossing national boundaries while preserving national identity for peoples. How can this happen? What religion could accomplish this? We explain in two other posts (The Evangelization of Celibacy, The Fulcrum of the Kingdom of God) that this has everything to do with celibacy.  The other Churches that came out of Antioch did not so emphasize celibacy for priests, religious, and laity and evolved into Churches of national associations but with intact Sacraments. Sources of sacramental graces for millions of peoples and families but with a limited international reach compared to the Latin Church, except when those families migrated.

The premise in western cultures that sexuality is some sort of necessary evil with only marginal potential for something of beauty has many origins but one can point out the writings of Sigmund Freud, a drug addict and pervert, as one source. The foundation of every psychology department all over the world. We have no control over these urges. Some sort of compromise has to be worked out with our sexuality. But this is not so.  This has been permanently changed with the eternal work of Jesus, God and man, and His mother, the Mother of God. The Hearts of the new nature of mankind has been established. The particulars of this eternal event are wholly dependent on you and I.

So worked out for us here, celibacy not only becomes an attainable option, but the practical means for the evangelization of peoples. Without it, the Church of Rome will be reduced to the Church of Italy, or some other geographic boundary.

“Whoever denigrates marriage also diminishes the glory of virginity. Whoever praises it makes virginity more admirable and resplendent. What appears good only in comparison with evil would not be truly good. The most excellent good is something even better that what is admitted to be good.”

Saint John Chrysostom, De virginitatae

The Dual Nature of Christ and What It Means To Us. Guadalupe Revisited.

Jesus Christ is God and and Man, the staple teaching about God in His Church. This has been true since the birth of Christ, actually since the Annunciation, when Christ was conceived by God the Holy Spirit in the womb of Mary. Perfectly God. Perfectly Man. Two natures. One Person. This dual nature (hypostasis) has been expressed in the Oral Apostolic tradition and in iconography, long before the printing press and the more widespread literacy that occurred in the second millennium. In ancient iconography, this is written in the extension of the second and third digit of the right hand of Christ as in the ancient icon of Christ Pantocrator from Mount Sinai monastery:

(The opposing two remaining fingers with the thumb represent the Triune God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in one Divine Person, but that is not the subject of this essay.)

The dual nature is also written in the asymmetry of the eyes and facial expression. The asymmetric eyes indicate Christ’s (God’s) new (since the Incarnation) will to see with both Heavenly and human eyes.

A Heavenly and earthly perspective. This is for us, as He intercedes for us humans before God the Father. It is also representative of His life when He walked on earth, Perfectly God, and perfectly human. Two planes of existence. (Here are two examples of Christ being perfectly human in humility while being God: John 11:33-35, Matthew 24:35-37.)

Now what this means to us in the Vine of Christ is exactly the same. It is our life on two planes of existence, the human plane and Divine plane, where the Divine is through the Sacraments, the perspective of the eastern churches. How we live in the Divine plane is by living our ordinary human lives while partaking in the Sacraments. (Willful rejection of the Divine plane of existence is remedied through the Sacrament of Confession). We cannot fathom the full significance of our Divine plane of existence at this time (we can barely appreciate the significance of our human existence) but one way we can remind ourselves of this mystery is to think of ourselves as a chamber or temple where God and His angels, patriarchs, faithful, saints and the Queen of saints meet, confer, inspire, and act exactly in our moment in history, without us necessarily knowing of any plan or action, nor necessarily while receiving any inspiration, although He may let us, His vessels, know some things according to His Holy will or even give us a supernatural power to execute His will. Sometimes this occurs in the humiliations and sufferings of our human lives and these states may be when His power is most manifest (2 Corinthians 12:9). Here in the human plane, we work out God’s justice in penance. The Sacraments are the exquisite methods used by God whereby He imparts His Nature to us in doses while implementing His will on earth, even before we are fully converted. Thy kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.

“For as the bread, which is produced from the earth, when it receives the invocation of God, is no longer common bread, but the Eucharist, consisting of two realities, earthly and heavenly; so also our bodies, when they receive the Eucharist, are no longer corruptible, having the the hope of the resurrection to eternity.”

Saint Irenaios of Lyon, Against Heresies, Book 4, Chapter 18, 2nd Century

How encouraging it should be to seek the Sacraments in this, God’s plan of salvation. How encouraging it should be to know that Christ’s dual nature becomes manifest in us this way. But how ineffable is our understanding a mystery so great. So let’s look at another icon for inspiration. This time of the Mother of God and from a different era and civilization, also without widespread literacy.

The asymmetry of the face of the Virgin of Guadalupe has been brought up recently with insight.

This link exposes the two sides of the Virgin’s face. We can extend this further, noting that the “brighter” or blissful side of the face is on the heavenly side, represented by the mantle of stars and the “sad”, or we can say more human/suffering side, with the tear drop in the eye, is on the side of the earth colored tapestry.  The pattern on the earthly tapestry is a direct reminder of the Mayan calendar for the peoples of that culture and represents our human existence at any moment in history. This is the sojourning (or revealing/manifesting?) side with the knee bent forward. (Click on image for detail.)

The Virgin’s forearm lifts the heavenly garment out of the way to expose the earthly tapestry for us on that side of her face. The winged creature reinforces this point by having one hand on the heavenly and the other on the earthly vestment, bringing each forward to parallel the facial expressions. And if you look closely at his face, you can wonder of another creature with human and heavenly perspective.

How ineffable is our understanding a mystery so great, but how full of grace is the Theotokos, assumed into heaven body and soul, to give us insight into the mystery in such a beautiful way.

Holy Virgin in my heart
every day before I start.
And when the daily heartbeats stop,
catch me Virgin when I drop.

Archbishop Elias Zoghby’s Vision of Christian Unity


by Father James K. Graham

Reprinted with permission from the Winter 2008 edition of Sophia, the magazine for the Melkite Eparchy of Newton.

The works of recently-reposed Archbishop Elias Zoghby, former Patriarchal Vicar in Egypt and Sudan, and retired Metropolitan of Baalbek, especially the essays collected in A Voice from the Byzantine East [1] and the monograph Tous Schismatiques [2], provide a vision of Melkite ecclesiology solidly based in the Eastern Tradition, representative of the thinking of the Melkite Fathers of Vatican II, and consistent with contemporary Orthodox ecclesiological thought.

Archbishop Elias bases his ecclesiology in the first millennium of undivided, but diverse, Christianity. During that period, he says, the Churches founded by the Apostles grew and evangelized the known world, developing liturgically, theologically, and ecclesiologically according to the particular needs of each geographical location and also according to their unique historical-cultural-political situations. A basic agreement on the essential content of the Christian faith, derived from the Scriptures and the teaching of Jesus and the disciples and their successors, and articulated for the universal Church at the seven Ecumenical Councils, united all Christians, despite their wide geographic dispersal and their many divergent local practices.

The Great Schism of 1054 between Rome and Constantinople came as the culmination of intensifying conflict between the two Churches, two cultures, and two political systems. The Councils of Lyons (1274) and of Florence (1439) aimed at reuniting the separated Churches, and despite the increasingly institutionalized condition of schism, both councils bear witness to a consciousness of some kind of continuing communion, for the bishops of both East and West convened and voted.[3] This sense of communion without administrative uniformity, at least tolerant of each other’s differences, but still agreeing on the essentials of the Christian faith, forms the foundation of Archbishop Elias’ proposal for reunion of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches in our time.

Even in Tous Schismatiques, which advances his notorious plan for immediate intercommunion between the Greek Orthodox Church of Antioch and its separated sister the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, Archbishop Elias does not provide more than an outline of how the Catholic and Orthodox Churches should realize their reunion. Let us sketch that outline.

1) “The rapprochement between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches requires a new formulation of the doctrine of Roman primacy. This formulation must be grounded in the common tradition of the first thousand years of Christianity.”[4]

2) “Only the union of Latins and Orthodox on the level of equality can bring together the apostolic tradition in its fullness and make Catholic unity complete. [Orthodoxy] must, therefore, share equally in the government of the reunited Church, just as must the Latin Church, under the primacy of Peter, of course.” [5]

3) The “East-West Christian dialogue should be accompanied by an even greater effort at the decentralization that was begun at the Second Vatican Council, and in the Orthodox Churches it should accompany an effort of extremely qualified centralization around Peter’s successor and in the framework of traditional collegiality.” [6]

4) “All of the Churches ought to be governed by their own bishops; Eastern Christians have never conceived of Church government in any other way… The pope and his coleagues must not be entrusted habitually and normally with the government of all the Churches.” [7]

5) The Pope cannot “exercise, normally and habitually, in the Eastern Patriarchates, the role he exercises in the Latin Church in his capacity as Patriarch of the West.[8]

6) “In recalling, with theologians and ecumenists, that the faith is essentially the same in the Roman Church and in Orthodoxy, we understand that doctrine elaborated after the schism by one of the two unilaterally, that is, in the absence of the other, cannot be part of what is essential in this faith.” [9]

7) Thus, doctrine and discipline defined at the General Councils of the West after the Schism oblige only the Latin Church, and definitions made at Orthodox synods after the Schism oblige only the Orthodox Church. [10]

8) “It is our understanding of Church history and Tradition that the Church is to be governed by the bishops who are in communion with the Pope, but not exclusively by the Pope to the exclusion of the Episcopate.” [11]

9) There can be no practical progress toward resolution of the problem of primacy and reconciliation of the Churches “as long as the actual government of the Catholic Church has not been wholly and uncompromisingly transferred from the hands of this minority [the Roman Curia] to those of the pastoral Episcopate, the only agent truly responsible for the Church of Jesus Christ. [12]

10) In ruling his diocese of Rome and the dioceses of Italy whose metropolitan he is, the Pope “ought to be assisted by his local clergy.[13]

11) “The responsibilities of ruling the Latin Patriarchate of the West ought to be assumed by the Latin episcopate or their delegates near the Holy Roman See, assembled in Patriarchal Synod around the pope in the exercise of his powers as Patriarch of the West.[14]

12) “Where the whole Church is concerned, the responsibility for its administration ought to fall upon the universal Catholic episcopate (or the representatives commissioned by them) to coordinate, under the worldwide primacy of the Pope, the life and activities of the entire Church.[15]

13) In order to make reunion with Orthodoxy possible, as well as to adapt to the free and democratic conditions of the modern world, the Roman Church must return to the synodal type of Church government that even it lived under in the first Christian millennium. This means national or local church “government by genuine Bishops’ Conferences with real power,” not merely consultative or advisory bodies. [16]

14) Episcopal authority must be reaffirmed and restored because it comes directly from Jesus Christ Himself, who founded the Apostolic College in accord with Divine will. “Christ gave the ‘presidency’ of the Apostolic College to Peter only after having entrusted all the Apostles with a clear cut, well-defined mission. The leader of the Apostles was designated, then, to be head of a College which had already been constituted, a College already enjoying authentic and inalienable powers.” The Pope is the first bishop in the Church because he succeeds Peter, who was “a member of this College when he received the mission of strengthening his brethren. [17]

15) The rights and privileges of the Patriarchs must be recognized, respected, and revitalized, for “the Patriarchate is the only genuine guardian of each Church’s patrimony and one of the only checks on the spread of heterodoxy”.[18] In the Christian East, the Patriarchs are the agents of the episcopate, members of it and chosen by it. Archbishop Elias quotes Archbishop Peter Medawar as saying that the patriarch is “the most eminent guardian of the deposit of the faith, “having “major responsibility for its true and integral diffusion… He is the official spokesman of his Church and of its peoples in all circumstances… In conformity with the ancient law, the patriarchs have the right and even the obligation to carry the burden of governing the Universal Church together with the Holy Father and to do so in a more outstanding and formal manner than the other bishops.[19]

16) The reinterpretation of the primacy of the Bishop of Rome should be based on the Eastern understanding of his position as primus inter pares, which is sacramental rather than juridical. That is, the pope is first among equals because he, the patriarchs, and all the bishops are equal by virtue of sharing the fullness of priesthood, which is episcopacy. This understanding does not exclude the possibility that the pope, like the patriarchs, may have certain powers that other bishops do not have, [20] but these powers come from the rank of his see among the dioceses of Christendom, not from his personal succession to Peter,[21] and they originate in canonical custom and legislation, not in divine institution or essential doctrine of the faith.[22]

17) Referring to the Third Canon of the Second Ecumenical Council, Archbishop Elias writes that “if the role of the Church of New Rome entails a veritable responsibility, witness, and diakonia in the service of the unity of Orthodoxy, one cannot be dealing simply with primacy of honor or precedence when one speaks of the Bishop of Rome, recognized by Orthodoxy as the first among all bishops.” [23]

18) In the reunited Church, the primacy of the Bishop of Rome, so extensively elaborated by the Latin Church, would complement local autonomous episcopal collegiality, so zealously safeguarded by the Orthodox Churches. Excessive decentralization, the strength that has considerably weakened the Orthodox, would counteract excessive centralization, the weakness that has inordinately strengthened Rome.[24]

19)”Thus we would say that these rights reserved to the Bishop of Rome must be defined by mutual agreement of the Roman and Orthodox Churches. Since this matter must not in any way become a part of the essential deposit of faith required for canonical communion, it must be settled by the reunited Churches.” [25] This statement, of course, reflects Archbishop Elias’ conviction that the shared faith of the first millennium suffices for restoration of communion.

20) In fact, he says, “it is easier to agree on what concerns God than on what concerns men, knowing churchmen and their powers and privileges? Reaching accord on doctrine will be easy once we reach accord on the division of powers.” [26]

21) In matters of doctrine, the shared faith of the first millennium suffices; everything else is different non-essential formulations and elaborations of the same essential truths. And, since doctrinal formulations can never fully express the truth of what we believe, much less the truth of the Mystery of God, it is wiser to avoid dogmatic definitions as far as possible. “If one is obliged to do so‹which should be very infrequently after the stabilization of the depositum fidei‹one should do so with Christian modesty, and without a priori exclusion of other formulations that could be equally legitimate and maybe even more adequate… Revealed truth can be formulated in different ways and in different contexts. Factors such as cultural, historical, and other situations can influence these formulations without changing the Truth, which always remains the same.” [27]

22) Just as differences in doctrinal expression need not stand in the way of communion, so also differences in ecclesiology can be accommodated. “Until the 11th century, Rome and Orthodoxy each had its unique ecclesiology, at least germinally, and unity was not broken. One can conceive of these two different ecclesiologies in the Church without questioning the Faith and without altering communion.” [28]

23) We can even regard these differences as necessary for the wholeness of the Church, because “the Catholic Church, that is the Universal Church, can only consist of the Roman Church and the Orthodox Church reunited, since neither of them can claim to possess the whole Christian patrimony, spiritual, ascetical, liturgical, patristic, or doctrinal.” [29] The wholeness of the Church is legitimate diversity in essential unity.

24) Archbishop Elias conceives of Church unity in terms of East and West, and favors preservation and developement of the legitimate diversity of worship forms, theological expression, and church governance suited to peoples and countries. Jesus Christ is incarnated in each race, and each race shows forth in its own way the image and likeness of God. Thus, its expression of Christianity must be locally developed, not imported. [30] In this context, he seems to regard the re-entrance into Catholic communion by the churches of the Reformation and their descendants as a matter for the Western Church to deal with. [31] However, as expressions of legitimate diversity they figure in his larger vision of Christian unity: “no Church or group of believers however humble it may be, should be compelled to accept union by assimilation or disappearance… Indeed, we envision the true unity of the distant future to include several different rites in which almost everyone can find a home: an Anglican Catholic rite, a Presbyterian Catholic rite, perhaps even a Jewish Catholic rite, and many, many more; with some of them containing even smaller subdivisions.” [32]

25) Therefore, achieving the reunion of the Christian Church requires dedicated, humble, sacrificial effort on the part of all Christians, who should feel the pain of separation and who suffer from, as well as sometimes contribute to, its sinfulness.[33] However, the Church of Rome, since it is the head of the Churches, bears special responsibility for healing schism and restoring unity. This is its God-given mandate; this is the proper exercise of its primacy. [34] Fulfilling this role will require major changes in Roman self-understanding, a process begun at Vatican II, accompanied by fundamental changes in Roman dealings with other Christians, for “every attempt at unity centered in a pyramidal Church, built around an absolute juridical authority, and founded on submission to the Pope, instead of on co-responsibility with the older brother who is in Rome, would be doomed to failure.” [35]

However we may respond to this vision of Church unity – and as an ideal it has great appeal – our task here is to discover in it resources for fulfilling the ecumenical vocation of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, if we can. Let us begin, as we must, by flatly calling it a fantasy that ignores most of the secular and ecclesiastical history of the Christian age. Yes, the Churches should re-unite on the basis of the common faith of the first millennium, should accept legitimate diversity in worship and doctrine and discipline, and should govern themselves synodally under the benign primacy of the Bishop of Rome, first among equals, presiding in the service of charity. But at this time, and for the foreseeable future, such reunion seems at best highly improbable.

Nationalism, pluralism, colonialism,imperialism,and dogmatization of local customs and theological opinions contribute to the unlikelihood of reunion on these terms, as do centuries of carefully nurtured misunderstandings and even enmities. If the Churches truly hope one day to achieve reunion, they must strive diligently to resolve these misunderstandings and to heal these enmities, not simply at the level of international theological dialogue, not even at the level of the hierarchy or of clerical formation, but at every level of church life.

Agreement on theology by theologians has no meaning until the parishioners in church on Sunday can affirm it and apply it in their daily dealings with other Christians. As long as Catholics define themselves essentially as being “under the Pope,” and as long as Orthodox define themselves essentially as not being “under the Pope,” both sides ignorant not only of others’ faith but of their own, theological dialogue will remain so much wasted breath and reunion will remain a beautiful fantasy.

What, then, can Melkites learn from Archbishop Elias’vision? They can, and should, recognize its basic validity – it expresses our authentic understanding of the Church. It should be taught and nurtured in church schools, in homilies, in adult education classes, in regional and national clergy-laity conventions, in deacon training programs, in seminary curricula, in continuing education of clergy, in the Patriarchal Synod. It should become intimately and integrally part of the meaning of “Melkite.”

As this happens, we must also share our conviction that this vision authentically points the way to human achievement of God’s will that His people should be one with Him. Such sharing will involve more than words – though words, written in church bulletins, pastoral letters, episcopal statements, ecumenical documents, educational materials, popular magazines, and scholarly journals, will carry great weight.

Such sharing will involve acting according to our belief – individuals, families, parishes, dioceses, the entire patriarchate must seek cooperation with fellow Christians, repudiate inauthentic forms of worship and teaching and governance, and do whatever expresses our authentic vision: ordain married men, expunge latinizations, elect our own bishops, restore true monasticism, and adapt our heritage of Holy Tradition to the demands of life in the secular, pluralistic, technological, God-hungry world of the 21st century.

Often people contribute to making themselves invalids. They completely accept limitations placed upon them by circumstances or accidents, even further handicapping themselves by not daring to try actions that will challenge them but will not defeat them. Such people make themselves victims. They call themselves realistic. In effect, they deny God’s will and power. They defy God to heal them, without making any attempt to cooperate in their own healing.

Other people make every effort to overcome their handicaps or limitations. They constantly strive to reach farther or to walk longer or to stand longer by themselves. Such people make themselves victors. Others call them idealistic, but they too call themselves realistic. Consciously or not, they acknowledge God’s healing power and His willingness to cooperate with us when we try to cooperate with Him.

Melkites (and, indeed, all Christians) must stop acting like invalids, victims of circumstances and dependent on what others do to or for us. We cannot be like the paralytic, lying by the pool for 38 years waiting for someone to put him in the water. We must be like Zacchaeus, willing to climb up a tree – perhaps even to go out on a limb – to overcome our limitations. The Lord will recognize us, reward our efforts, and bring salvation to our house.

 

Father James K. Graham is the pastor of St. Elias the Prophet Melkite Church, San Jose, CA.

 

1. Archbishop Elias Zoghby, A Voice from the Byzantine East, trans. R. Bernard (West Newton, MA: Diocese of Newton Office of Educational Services, 1992; original French edition, 1970).

2. Archbishop Elias Zoghby, Tous Schismatiques? (Beirut: Heidelberg Press-Lebanon, 1981). An English translation is available from the Diocese of Newton Office of Educational Services. Citations in this essay are based on that translation, revised by James K. Graham. Page numbers refer to the French edition.

3. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.39.

4. Zoghby, Voice, p.71.

5. Zoghby, Voice, p.56.

6. Zoghby, Voice, p.57.

7. Zoghby, Voice, p.69.

8. Zoghby, Voice, p.70.

9. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.51.

10. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.51.

11. Zoghby, Voice, p. 75.

12. Zoghby, Voice, p.74.

13. Zoghby, Voice, p.110.

14. Zoghby, Voice, pp.110-111.

15. Zoghby, Voice, p.111.

16. Zoghby, Voice, pp.144-145.

17. Zoghby, Voice, p.83.

18. Zoghby, Voice, p. 104.

19. Zoghby, Voice, p. 118.

20. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.47.

21. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.59.

22. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.47.

23. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.48.

24. Zoghby, Voice, pp.56-57.

25. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.47.

26. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.109.

27. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.17.

28. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p.29.

29. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p. 14.

30. Zoghby, Schismatiques, p. 63.

31. Zoghby, Voice, p. 86.

32. Zoghby, Voice, p. 104.

The Real Presence of our Lord in the Psalms

All Bible references are from the Douay-Rheims Bible unless indicated

As Catholics we can often find ourselves living out Scriptural prophecy, even while not yet recognizing our actions with the same. A perfect example is the Rosary, as Mary prophesized this devotion in Luke 1:48: Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid: for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.

We live in a time of confusion regarding the meaning of God’s kingdom on earth and whether our Lord’s physical reign is due. What Christian would deny that the Old Testament has prophecies about this reign in the flesh. Where is Jesus now? What about the Psalms? Are there any prophecies here that we as Catholics are or at least should believe and be living out now? The following passages are helpful in meditating on as prophecies of the Real Presence of our Lord in the tabernacle. There are probably others. Keep in mind David often talks about an inheritance from God for future generations. Italics are for emphasis. Comments are in brackets [].

Psalm 5

1 Unto the end, for her that obtaineth the inheritance. A psalm of David. 2 Give ear, O Lord, to my words, understand my cry. 3 Hearken to the voice of my prayer, O my King and my God. 4 For to thee will I pray: O Lord, in the morning thou shalt hear my voice. 5 In the morning I will stand before thee, and will see: because thou art not a God that willest iniquity…

8 But as for me in the multitude of thy mercy, I will come into thy house; I will worship towards thy holy temple, in thy fear. 9 Conduct me, O Lord, in thy justice: because of my enemies, direct my way in thy sight. 10 For there is no truth in their mouth; their heart is vain.

Psalm 15

…5 The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and of my cup: it is thou that wilt restore my inheritance to me…

11 Thou hast made known to me the ways of life, thou shalt fill me with joy with thy countenance: at thy right hand are delights even to the end.

“Come to you all of you who are weary and find life burdensome and I will refresh you” (Mt 11:28)

Psalm 16

…15 But as for me, I will appear before thy sight in justice: I shall be satisfied when thy glory shall appear.
Jerusalem Bible translation:
… 15 For me the reward of virtue is to see your face, and, on walking, to gaze my fill on your likeness.

“When you look at the crucifix, you understand how much Jesus loved you. When you look at the Sacred Host you understand how much Jesus loves your now.” Blessed Mother Theresa.

Psalm 17

…7 In my affliction I called upon the Lord, and I cried to my God: And he heard my voice from his holy temple: and my cry before him came into his ears.

[CCC:1378 Worship of the Eucharist. In the liturgy of the Mass we express our faith in the real presence of Christ under the species of bread and wine by, among other ways, genuflecting or bowing deeply as a sign of adoration of the Lord. “The Catholic Church has always offered and still offers to the sacrament of the Eucharist the cult of adoration, not only during Mass, but also outside of it, reserving the consecrated hosts with the utmost care, exposing them to the solemn veneration of the faithful, and carrying them in procession.”]

Psalm 19

…May the Lord hear thee in the day of tribulation: may the name of the God of Jacob protect thee. 3 May he send thee help from the sanctuary: and defend thee out of Sion.

Psalm 25

…6 I will wash my hands among the innocent; and will compass thy altar, O Lord: 7 That I may hear the voice of thy praise: and tell of all thy wondrous works. 8 I have loved, O Lord, the beauty of thy house; and the place where thy glory dwelleth.

Psalm 26

…4 One thing I have asked of the Lord, this will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life. That I may see the delight of the Lord, and may visit his temple. 5 For he hath hidden me in his tabernacle; in the day of evils, he hath protected me in the secret place of his tabernacle.

6 He hath exalted me upon a rock: and now he hath lifted up my head above my enemies. I have gone round, and have offered up in his tabernacle a sacrifice of jubilation: I will sing, and recite a psalm to the Lord.

[Note that Jesus was sacrificed on the rock of Calvary, suggesting that this prophecy is of His sacrifice to the Father to reside in the tabernacles of the world]

Psalm 59

…4 Thou hast moved the earth, and hast troubled it (Jerusalem Bible: You have made the earth tremble, torn it apart. [A reference to the earthquake at the end of Jesus’ sacrifice?]: heal thou the breaches thereof, for it has been moved. 5 Thou hast shewn thy people hard things; thou hast made us drink wine of sorrow.

Psalm 60

…3 To thee have I cried from the ends of the earth: when my heart was in anguish, thou hast exalted me on a rock. Thou hast conducted me; 4 For thou hast been my hope; a tower of strength against the face of the enemy. 5 In thy tabernacle I shall dwell for ever: I shall be protected under the covert of thy wings.

[Note here again we have a clear reference: a time of tremendous trial which at its culmination, Jesus is transformed to reside in the tabernacle forever!]

Psalm 62

…2 O God, my God, to thee do I watch at break of day. For thee my soul hath thirsted; for thee my flesh, O how many ways! 3 In a desert land, and where there is no way, and no water: so in the sanctuary have I come before thee, to see thy power and thy glory..

CCC 1418 Because Christ himself is present in the sacrament of the altar, he is to be honored with the worship of adoration. “To visit the Blessed Sacrament is . . . a proof of gratitude, an expression of love, and a duty of adoration toward Christ our Lord” (Paul VI, MF 66).

Psalm 64

…5 Blessed is he whom thou hast chosen and taken to thee: he shall dwell in thy courts. We shall be filled with the good things of thy house; holy is thy temple.

Psalm 71

…15 And he shall live, and to him shall be given of the gold of Arabia, for him they shall always adore: they shall bless him all the day. Jerusalem Bible translation: Prayer will be offered for him constantly, blessings invoked on him all day long.

“Let us be generous with our time in going to meet him in adoration and in contemplation… May our adoration never cease.” Pope John Paul II.

Psalm 77

…69 And he built his sanctuary as of unicorns, in the land which he founded for ever.

[The reference to unicorns is generally meant to signify firmness].

Psalm 83

1 Unto the end, for the winepresses, a psalm for the sons of Core. 2 How lovely are thy tabernacles, O Lord of host! 3 My soul longeth and fainteth for the courts of the Lord. My heart and my flesh have rejoiced in the living God. 4 For the sparrow hath found herself a house, and the turtle a nest for herself where she may lay her young ones: Thy altars, O Lord of hosts, my king and my God. 5 Blessed are they that dwell in thy house, O Lord: they shall praise thee for ever and ever.

[Be convinced that this is not what nature has formed, but what the blessing has consecrated. The power of the blessing prevails over that of nature, because by the blessing nature itself is changed. . . . Could not Christ’s word, which can make from nothing what did not exist, change existing things into what they were not before? It is no less a feat to give things their original nature than to change their nature. St Ambrose].

Psalm 94

1 Come let us praise the Lord with joy: let us joyfully sing to God our saviour. 2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving; and make a joyful noise to him with psalms

[Relatively few people had access to the Presence of the Lord in the old Testament. Could this be a prophecy for our time?]

6 Come let us adore and fall down: and weep before the Lord that made us. 7 For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture and the sheep of his hand.

Psalm 133

1 Behold now bless ye the Lord, all ye servants of the Lord: Who stand in the house of the Lord, in the courts of the house of our God. 2 In the nights lift up your hands to the holy places, and bless ye the Lord.

Psalm 137

1 I will praise thee, O lord, with my whole heart: for thou hast heard the words of my mouth. I will sing praise to thee in the sight of his angels: 2 I will worship towards thy holy temple, and I will give glory to thy name.

Psalm 150

1 Praise ye the Lord in his holy places: praise ye him in the firmament of his power.

“I have a burning thirst to be honored by men in the Blessed Sacrament”  St. Margaret Mary Alocoque.

Our Lady of Dier Al-Mukhalis, Pray for Us