"Our Lady of Lepanto", Ora Pro Nobis!

"Our Lady of Victory", Ora Pro Nobis!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Octave of Creation

Sorry I have been gone for so long. I am exhausted but no excuse and game on!

God created in an orchestrated symphony! what the heck am I talking about? Leonardo DaVinci was trying to to tell us in "Vitruvian Man". All creation is an octave, the same as a piano keyboard. From the Embylical cord of man to the top of his head, divided by the Embylical to the heel of Man is known as the "Divine Proportion" the same proportion in all creation and the same as the proportion of "C" note to "C" note on a piano keyboard. It appears that all creation is a musical canotation of harmonious notes throughout all creation. Palm Sunday to Resurrection is an octave of eight days, notes C,D,E,F,G,A,B,C . Palm Sunday thru Holy Thursday= 5 days x 24 hours = 120 hours. This corresponds to the notes C,D,E,F,G, and Holy Friday thru Resurrection Sunday is A,B,C, notes of the octave; 3 days x 24 hours = 72 hours, the same as the octave of a human body the Risen Christ. This is "Gregorian Chant", the music of the "Paschal Mystery" and the manifestation of creation according to Pope Benedict XVI in "The Spirit of the Liturgy". This proportional ratio is 1.6... exists in all creation from the bottom of the ocean to the top of the Galaxies! When we chant the sacred scriptures, we sing the creation of God in his mystical body of the Eucharist! This is the same proportion as sacred scripture; i.e. 46 books of the Old testament and 27 books of the New testament, the same proprtional ratio of 1.6...Sacred scripture is the exact same proportional ratio as the risen body of Jesus Christ! 66 books of the Protestant bible miss this important ratio of the risen body of Jesus, why? because the written Word of God is not a book restricted in sacred scripture but a person living and breathing in all of those baptized in the Holy Trinity and his name is Jesus Christ, the author of all creation. The Bible is the sacred proportion to the living body of Jesus, the Church who by Sacred Tradition gave the world the Bible.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Virgin Mary, The Ark of the Covenant

My patron, Saint Augustine wrote in his book,"The City of God" in the 4th century; "Jesus Christ is veiled in the Old and unveiled in the New" and Jesus himself stated in the Gospel of St Luke;
"These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the psalms must be fulfilled." ( St Luke 24:44 )
Jesus makes a point in his gospel that is crystal clear; the entire Old Testament points to Him and they are not simply allegorical stories about men and women of old, they are all signs pointing directly to His complete divine and human nature. So what does the Blessed Virgin Mary have to do with Jesus? Let's put away our senses of the flesh and robe ourselves with the senses of the Spirit.

In the book of Revelation we read from chapter 11:19 through chapter 12 as follows:
"Then God's temple in heaven was opened and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple;...And a great sign appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars;...."

Protestant scholars during the 20th and now 21st century have debated this scripture passage and continue to ask the Magisterium of the Roman Catholic Church how this scripture passage has anything to do with the Virgin Mary and the Ark of the Covenant? so once again we will attempt to use the sacred scriptures to unravel this misunderstanding and to recognize the relevance of the Blessed Mother in the lives of all disciples of the risen Lord in the City of God.

In the book of Hebrews 9:3-5 it states; "Behind the second curtain stood a tabernacle called the Holy of Holies, having the golden altar of incense and the ark of the covenant covered on all sides with gold, which contained a golden urn holding manna, and Aaron's rod that budded, and the tables of the covenant; above it were the cherubim of glory overshadowing the mercy seat...."

These three items existed in the ark that was used in the temple for the worship of the Lord God, sacrifices, prayers, and even used in battle to fight all those against the chosen people of Israel ( "The Battle of Jericho",Joshua 6 ). If we are correct, these are the same exact items that are signs pointing to Jesus Christ and the sacred womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary. We can see without any confusion that Jesus is the Word that became flesh and dwells among us, the True manna that comes down from heaven, and the high priest of Aaron in the order of Melchizedek, the same items in the previous ark.

Let us move forward to the Gospel of St Luke 1:32-35 when the angel Gabriel states to the virgin Mary at the Annunciation:
"He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Most High; and the Lord God will give to him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there will be no end." And Mary said to the angel, "How can this be, since I have no husband?" And the angel said to her, "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God."
As we clearly see the same spirit that overshadowed the ark of the covenant in the Old Testament now overshadows the Ark of the Covenant of the New Covenant. And one may ask, what does King David have to do with Jesus and the Ark? Let us travel back to the Old Testament in the book of II Samuel chapter 6:
"And David arose and went with all the people who were with him from the hills of Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the Lord of hosts who sits enthroned on the cherubim...."How can the ark of the Lord come to me?....And the ark of the Lord remained in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months;...And it was told King David, "The Lord has blessed the household of Obededom and all that belongs to him, because of the ark of God."...As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal the daughter of Saul looked out of the window, and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord..."

The reason King David leaped for joy was the presence of the Lord in the ark of the covenant and now leads us to the climax of the fulfilled King David in Jesus Christ at the Annunciation of the virgin Mary and her visitation to her kinsmen Elizabeth in the gospel of St Luke 1:39-56:

"In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a city of Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the child leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit and exclaimed with a loud cry, "Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is it granted me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the voice of your greeting came to my ears, the child in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord...Then Mary stayed with her about three months..."

Blessed is who leaps for joy when entering the womb of Mother Church in the presence of the sacred tabernacle of the Lord Jesus Christ throughout the hills of the four corners of the world and blessed are those who replicate St Elizabeth by taking the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Ark of the New Covenant into their homes as members and inhabitants of The City of God through the prayers and mysteries of the most Holy Rosary in their spiritual battles of the world, the city of men!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Chapel and Crucifix of Christ of Lepanto

I want to share with all of you this incredible image I captured recently on my trip to Barcelona, Spain. This is the Crucifix, "Christ of Lepanto" along with "Our Lady of Sorrows". This crucifix is located in "The Cathedral of San Eulalia" of Barcelona. This was my 3rd pilgrimage to this famous cathedral but for the first time and by God's grace I was drawn to this magnificent crucifix. I could not help but notice all of the people venerating this crucifix, I mean after all it is only a crucifix every Catholic Church has so what was the reason for the significant veneration? As I started to lift my camera and click away, the policeman immediately cried out, "No fotographia!" so I stopped. I did not understand why I was able to take photos throughout this cathedral but hands off this one and I respected it and went on with my visit.

Early the next morning I could not sleep so I quietly left my hotel room and allowed my wife Kim the opportunity to sleep in so I got dressed and went back to the Cathedral to pray the Rosary and recognized I was the only one present in the cathedral all alone with our Lord in the adoration Chapel and there it was again this magnificent crucifix everyone had been venerating in such awe. As I knelt down to pray I spoke to our Lord and said "Lord, I am not sure why so many of your faithful are spending so much time venerating this crucifix but I will also and for whatever reason". I noticed that no one was around so when I completed my prayers, I took this photo and I truly did not feel ashamed and demonstrated complete reverence, and truly felt the Lord wanted me to have this photo. What I finally realized from this moment, this crucifix was the actual crucifix used on the ship of Don Juan of Austria in the "Battle of Lepanto" in October of 1571! This is the crucifix the Moslem Turks had seen coming straight toward them in one of the greatest battles in the history of the world! The reason why it is curved to the right is because it was constructed perfectly vertical but the Turks fired a canon ball towards it and by a miracle it curved to the right to avoid being hit! I can not believe I am actually kneeling in front of it. So now I want to share this magnificent gift with you all. Please feel free to copy, distribute, share with all, and display in your homes and office. I know the Lord wants us to have it to share and venerate.

Thanks be to God!

Monday, March 29, 2010

The Crown of Thorns

I am back from my pilgrimage to Catalonia, Spain and had the opportunity to pray the Holy Rosary at the physical location where Jesus was tempted by Satan, an experience I will have to share with you at a later time because it is Holy Week and time to move forward into the Pascal Mystery of salvation.

This weeks blog is the meanings and mysteries behind the "Crown of Thorns". The picture above is the actual relic of two of the thorns worn by Jesus in his Passion. There are many of the actual thorns preserved for veneration throughout the world but these are kept in the Rome at the church "Basilica de Santa Croce Gerusalame" or the Church of St Helen. You will notice the long and thick pointed thorns and I will explain their significance but first read the scriptures for a better understanding:

"He was wounded for our transgressions, crushed for our iniquities; by his wounds we are healed" ( Isaiah 53 )

focus on the word "Crushed" as we move forward to the Gospel of St Matthew:

"and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on his head, and put a reed in his right hand... they offered him wine to drink, mingled with gall; but when he tasted it, he would not drink it." ( Gospel of St Matthew 27 )

In the Old Testament, in the sacrifice offered by Abraham he lays his only begotten son Isaac on the altar for sacrifice but before he carries out the instructions from the Lord the angel from heaven stops him and offers the male sheep/ram caught in the thicket of thorns as most early Church Fathers agree this was a pre-figured "Type" of the crown of thorns worn by the male lamb of God in Jesus Christ, to the first plague of Moses when he changed the waters of the Nile River into blood driving his staff into the waters just as the soldiers use the reed to drive and crush the crown of thorns into the skull of the true innocent Lamb.

The Nile River was surrounded by two natural items; reeds and acacia trees. Acacia wood is a thorny bush used for the construction of the Ark of the Covenant and the altar of sacrifice at "Yam Kippur", due to its strong and indestructible properties. The acascia around the Nile was called "Acacia Nilotica" which means "The Thorns of the Nile". These thorns produce high dosages of tannins used in the fermentation of red wine to remove the sour and bitterness in wine; in other words, the tannins give wine their great flavors and without them wine is undrinkable and you would have to spit out and unable to consume. This points us forward to the first miracle of Jesus at "The Wedding Feast of Cana" exposing his divinity for the first time by changing the water into wine, six full vessels.
By now we are beginning to notice the unveiling of the Crown of Thorns undergoing their complete meaning. The outer layer of the skull is called the "Dura Mater" which means "Tough Mother". It requires a strong thorn such as the acacia thorn to penetrate the dura mater of the skull and crush the skull in order to release the tannins into the blood stream of the wine-blood of Christ therefore fermenting his wine-blood for the "Seven Last Words" from the cross that was left incomplete in the six vessels of wine at the Wedding Feast of Cana. When the soldiers offered Jesus the unfermented sour wine of the Old Covenant, the Navarre Bible states;
"And no one puts new wine into old wine skins; if he does , the wine bursts the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but new wine is for fresh skins." ( Gospel Of St Mark commentary 2:22 )
Jesus could have drank the sour wine mixed with gall but he would have been unable to cry out the "Seven Last Words" that were necessary for the fulfillment of the Old Testament prophesies.
We have concluded the sour wine of the Old Testament was unable to free mankind from the slavery of sin and now we have the new wine present in the wine-blood of Jesus Christ that all began from Abraham to Moses and now manifested in the Gospel of Jesus Christ manifesting itself in the Crown of Thorns of the "Pascal Mystery"! Drink the cup of salvation with great joy and hope understanding it was poured out for you when the side of Christ was pierced releasing the fermented waters of baptism and fermented wine -blood of the Eucharist unveiled for us in the consummation of Christ's wedding vows with his One, Holy, and Apostolic Church.

Have a wonderful Pascal Mystery in Easter

Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Samaritan Woman and Jacob's Well

We have entered into the third Sunday of Lent and entered one of my favorite readings of Jesus' Gospels; "The Woman at the Jacob's Well", Why? because of the theological and compassionate love that exist in this story. Before we enter into the mysteries behind this story, please stop immediately and read the entire fourth chapter of the Gospel of St John before we continue so all may understand this gospel lesson.

We have read this mysterious story over and over in our lives but do we completely understand what is actually happening? Let us first address the woman. Who is she? She is a woman from the city Samaria and historically the capitol city of the lost tribes of Northern Israel in the time of Jesus, and a non Jew. She has become the representation of the lost tribes of Israel that Jesus calls and converts in order to restore the Davidic Kingdom of Israel and Judah that had become divided from the time after the reign of king Soloman. She is considered by the Jews as a Gentile Dog and unclean but the Lord of love shows no impartiality and demonstrates his unconditional love regardless of gender and race, a trait we should all begin to practice.

Listen how she begins and ends her address to this so-called stranger; "a Jew", "Sir", "Sir", "Sir", "a prophet", "Messiah", "man", "Christ", and finally she calls him exactly who he is; "The Savior of the World"! Is this how we all truly proclaim our Lord, as humble as this gentile dog?

Now listen to the words of Jesus; "Give me a drink", "If you knew the gift of God, and who it is saying to you, Give me a drink,' you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
Now, let us begin to swim deeper into the words of our Savior; "Go, call your husband, and come here." The woman answered him, "I have no husband." Jesus says to her, "You are right in saying, 'I have no husband'; for you have five husbands, and he whom you now have is not your husband; this you said truly."
What is going on in this dialogue? This woman represents all of the lost children of Israel. The five husbands represent the five books of the Torah or the five books of the law of Moses and the husband she is not married to is Jesus Christ the true bridegroom of all the children of Israel. She begins her dialogue with our Savior in the flesh and eventually ends up completely excepting the fullness of Christ in the Spirit. Have we taken Jesus in as our Lord in the flesh or received him as our Bridegroom in the Spirit as humbly as the woman representing all of the children of Israel, the Church?

This Gospel narrative truly allows mankind the appreciation of the senses in the scriptures from St. John's Gospel. Let us all continue to grow and swim deeper and deeper into the mysteries of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Jacob's Dream; Has it Come True?

"Taking one of the stones of the place, he put it under his head and lay down in that place to sleep. And he dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold , the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!...And he was afraid , and said, "How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, and this is the gate to heaven...." ( Genesis 28:10-22 )

This is the dream of Jacob, whose name by God has been changed to Israel, and the promise of eternal salvation has been offered to all of the children of Israel. The questions to be asked and answered are; has this dream and the promise been fulfilled or is it awaiting? This is the question for all Jews, Christians, and Muslims throughout salvation history to ponder and proclaim. This dream and promise has caused more confusion and misunderstanding than any other incident in history so we may want to make sure we have the correct answer. After all, if you ask a Jew they believe their promise is truth. If we ask a Muslim they will also proclaim the they have the truth. And if you ask a Christian they also will profess they have the faith of truth. So, which faith has the Fullness of Truth, what and where is Jacob's Ladder?

Truth, what is it? Pontius Pilate asked Jesus the same question; "What is Truth?" (Gospel of St John 18:38 ) The Truth is a person and his name is Jesus Christ! Pontius Pilate had the answer to the entire world's confusion right before his eyes and he allowed Truth to pass him by. In Jesus' own words he gave the world the answer to Jacob's Dream. He tells us in the Gospel of St John 1:51;
"Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man."
Jesus and his Church are the fulfillment of the dream and therefore the gateway to heaven. All of those who are baptized in the Holy Trinity become the children of Israel. It is not a piece of land that so many confused Christians, Jews, and Muslims tend to believe because the Kingdom of heaven dwells in the heart and souls of the baptized into Jesus Christ and his Church is our Mother. Listen to the Spirit in the words of St Paul;
"Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not hear the law? For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave and one by a free woman. But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, the son of the free woman through promise. Now this is an allegory: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar.
Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to present day Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother.....
Now we, brethren, like Isaac, are children of promise. But as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so it is now. But what does the Scripture say? "Cast out the slave and her son; for the son of the slave shall not inherit with the son of the free women." So, brethren, we are not children of the slave but of the free women."
( Galatians 4:21-31 )
This is a challenging piece of scripture from St Paul but he can not be any more clear to what he is saying; we who have been baptized are the children of the promise and the fulfillment of Jacob's Dream, the Ladder of Christ, his Church, and the New Israel!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

"The Battle of Lepanto", the battle that saved Western Civilation

If you took a Gallup Poll in any large city in the United States and asked the question, "Name the most important and significant battle in the history humanity?" you might receive a variety of responses. However, the one battle you may not have ever be told is "The Battle of Lepanto " on October 7th, 1571. You will most likely get the look ,what the heck are you talking about? I ask this question because I was reviewing a common high school history book just the other day titled, "The History of Western Civilization" and guess what? the Battle of Lepanto was not mentioned.

The Battle of Lepanto can be described as the third most significant battle in the history of Christendom behind the battle and defeat of death by Jesus Christ on the cross and the Battle of the Milvian Bridge in 312 AD by the Roman Emporer Constantine I in his defeat of the Dioclesian armies of the Roman Empire and legalizing Christianity. The Battle of Lepanto was the war of wars for the spread of Christianity in Western civilization. The Turks of the Ottoman Empire had overtaken all of Eastern Christendom in the Byzantine Empire and only remaining was Western Europe and now have their sites on Western Europe and the expansion of Christendom in the Americas.

Under the orders of Pope St Pius V, the Holy League was formed ( Spain, The Republic of Venice, Papal States, Republic of Genoa, Duchy of Savoy, and the Knights of Malta ) under the leadership of Don Juan of Austria. This battle was fought in the Bay of Lepanto off the coast of Western Greece. The Turks were headed straight to Western Europe primarily Spain, Rome, and Vatican City the eternal city and capitol of all Christendom. The Catholic Church had other battles going on as well, The Protestant Reformation and the spreading of Christendom and the creation of the Spanish Missions in the New World Americas. Pope Pius V continued the warnings to the reformers but they withdrew any support for the Church in the battle that with a defeat would wipe away Christianity throughout the entire world, not only to Catholics but any Protestants communities. The Moslems would have overtaken all of Europe and the elimination of the spread of Christendom in the New World Americas! Therefore, I would not be writing this blog and you would not be reading it.

The Church was all alone in this conflict except with the greatest battle artillery directly from heaven above; The Ark of the Covenant - the intersessional prayers of the Queen of Heaven, the Blessed Virgin Mary and the prayers of the Holy Rosary. Against an over sized and out numbered opponent and a 30 mph wind hitting the Holy League directly in the face, it would require a heavenly miracle to overcome the substantial odds. St Pope Pius V called upon all Christians to gather together throughout the world and begin praying the gospel mysteries of the Holy Rosary. Pope Pius V gathered all of the local Cardinals and Bishops to the basilica dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary; "Basilica de Santa Maria Maggiore" in Rome and began to pray the sacred mysteries of Christ in the Holy Rosary. When the battle began the miracle occurred, the 30 mph winds instantly shifted 180 degrees into the faces of the Moslem Turkish army as they underwent an overwhelming defeat from the Holy League army of the Church. This victory meant the protection of the Church and the continued spread of Christendom. This devastating defeat of the Turks has been credited to the intercessional prayers of the Blessed virgin Mary of the most Holy Rosary.

It is documented that later returning to the Vatican, St Pope Pius V whom had no information given to him about the outcome saw a vision of the Virgin Mary as he went across to the window and cried out, "The Christian Fleet is victorious", and shed tears of thanksgiving to God. From this victory, the expansion of Christendom in the New world Americas resumed and Western Civilization as we have it today would maintain the "Great Commission" from our Lord;

"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you; and behold, I am with you always, to the close of age." ( Gospel of St Matthew 28:18-20 )

Pope Pius V would later be buried in the Basilica de Santa Maria Maggiore due to the location of the prayers of the Holy Rosary in the great battle for all Christendom throughout the world. We owe the Catholic Church great honor for standing up for Christ Jesus and his Church, The Kingdom of Heaven on earth as it is in heaven! Amen

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Senses of Sacred Scripture ( Part 2 of the History of the Bible )

Here we are in the first week of Lent. A time of year to say "Let's get it on, all joking aside, and let's get down to business!" The beginning of the 40 day period when we begin the participation of the "Temptations of Christ" and prepare for the "Octave" of Holy Week. This blog is part 2 on the history of Sacred Scripture and the Senses needed for correct interpretation. The misinterpretation of scripture is the delimna of Christianity and why it has divided into over 33,000 so called christian denominations. Everyone believes they have the correct meaning behind the words of the Holy Trinity. I have news for all, there is only ONE with the correct interpretation! So which one has it right?

What was so wrong with Satan's temptations to Jesus Christ? on paper they do not have the appearance of a serious crime. In my own ignorance I could have chosen worse. Satan's error was this; he attempted to "Proof Text" the Word and Logos Jesus Christ, the author of sacred scripture and attempt to confuse Jesus due to his own intellect determining if he is the Messiah. This is how Satan continues the same temptation throughout Christendom. He has convinced the Christian world to proof text the Body of Christ in order to confuse the Church and true disciples of Jesus Christ.
What is a proof text? a proof text is taking a passage of scripture and interpreting it "literally". In other words, this is what the lines say on the page so this is what they mean . This is not how the early Church Fathers and Councils read sacred scripture when deciding which books are inspired and the ones not inspired. So what gives us the privilege to read and interpret the sacred Words of our Lord the way we want in proof text? we don't have that privilege. There is only one Holy Spirit and not 33,000. We are held accountable to read sacred scripture in the same senses of the Holy Spirit who exists in Holy Mother Church. So what are the Senses of Sacred Scripture that lay in the soul of the Holy Spirit? the senses of Literal and Spiritual ( Allegorical, Moral, and Anagogical ). Any attempt outside these senses have the potential of misinterpretation, entrapment, and snares of the evil one. Allow me the opportunity to share the senses of scripture the same as the Holy Spirit.

Taken from the Catechism of the Catholic Church #115-119 the Literal Sense is defined as what is the meaning the author is trying to convey? and quoting St Thomas Aquinas, "All other senses of Sacred Scripture are based on the literal" not to be literally.

The Spiritual Sense - God's plan speaking to us as signs through the following senses:

*Allegorical- We can acquire a more profound understanding of the the events by recognizing their significance in Christ and thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type of
Christ's victory and also Christian Baptism.
Another example taken from the Gospel of St John 3:14;

"And Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,...

this is the fulfilment from the book of numbers 21:8-9;

"And the Lord said to Moses, "Make a fiery serpent, and set it up as a sign; and every one who is bitten, when he sees it, shall live." So Moses made a bronze serpent, and set it up as a sign; and if a serpent bit any man, he would look at the bronze serpent and live."

I thought the Lord commanded us not to make graven images and he turns around and instructs Moses to make one. Is God confused? no, man is and his misinterpretation. Now we can appreciate a corpus of Jesus on a Crucifix in our churches so we can continue to look upon it as Moses and the Israelites perpetually looked upon the brazen serpent. The brazen serpent was a sign pointing to the "Crucifixion" for all mankind to look upon. Put Jesus back on the cross not to be continually crucified but as a sign of his love to mankind. Read forward in St John's Gospel chapter 5: 45-47;

"Do not think that I shall accuse you to the Father; it is Moses who accuses you, on whom you set your hope. If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote of me. But if you do not believe his writings, how will you believe my words?"

*Moral Sense- The events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act
justly. As St Paul says, they were written "For our instruction."

*Anagogical Sense - We can view realities and events in terms of their
eternal significance, leading us toward our true
homeland: thus the Church on earth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem."

Now some examples of "Proof Texts" and their harmful nature. Taking from St Paul's letter to the Church in Romans 3:10-12;

"None is righteous, no, not one;...no one does good, not even one..."

When we read this passage literally with a proof text, it appears no one is holy but here is the proof text error; St Paul is quoting Psalm 14 and referring to the fallen Israelites of the Mosaic Law and not referring to the righteous people of the Christian era. This is the passage used by evangelicals to dispute the perpetual sinless nature of the Blessed Virgin Mary, a hazardous doctrinal error.
In the Gospel of Matthew 23:9, Jesus states;
"Call no man your father on earth...."
and then in St Paul's letter to the Corinthians 4:4-15 Paul states;
"For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the Gospel"
in the book of Exodus 20:12 the 4th commandment says;
"Honor your father and mother"
Jesus and St Paul must be confused because they both appear to be contradicting sacred scripture. However, they are not confused, it is my proof text that is confused. When we read the letters of St Paul and Jesus in his Gospels, all of Old Testament and New Testament quotations are to be read in their entirety. When we read the Passion narrative in the synoptic Gospels and Jesus cries out; "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?" if you proof text this quotation you interpret it as saying, "God the Father has turned his back on his Son in shame". This is not the meaning of this scriptural text and what happens when we proof text our Lord. Our heavenly Father could not be more proud and joyous to witness the obedience of his Son. When we read it in the Literal sense you will realize Jesus is quoting and referring the entire Psalm 22 and fulfilling his messianic prophecy in the act of thanksgiving and praise to our heavenly Father. Read the entire Psalm and you will clearly see the beauty and truth in the crucifixion and the perpetual power and dominion it has on the entire world. Embrace the Crucifixion and Psalm 22 as a sign of Faith, Hope, and Love. It is the sign of evil defeated!

This blog represents a small example present throughout the entire bible and I hope you understand the explanation. We have clearly discussed the Senses of Scripture in the bible and how the Holy Spirit teaches mankind the fullness of Truth in the Word of God. Do we continue to tempt Christ and his Church through "Proof Texts" in the Incarnate Word that became flesh and continues to dwell among us? Let's continue to experience the beauty of Truth that flows through the teachings of Christ Apostolic Church and to continue to grow deeper through the mysteries of Christ's Gospel and the entirety of all scriptures read together as one book in harmony with our Creator and not only a few selected, given to us through the soul of The Church as we close with two great quotes from two great saints and doctors of the Church founded by Christ, St Augustine and St Jerome;

"The New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled in the New"
"Ignorance in the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ"!


Monday, February 8, 2010

The Holy Bible and where it came from

My oldest son Kendall brought to my attention," the most stolen book in the world is the Holy Bible." This leads to the new movie, "The Book of Eli." I have not seen but I understand the plot. It is 30 years post apocalyptic times in America and Eli is walking his way to Los Angeles holding the book everyone wants their hands on, The Holy Bible -King James Version, believing its possession will change the world and Eli's mission is to protect the sacred book at whatever cost. The book of Eli, is it worth his life?
Someone asked Pastor Billy Graham one time,"What is the best bible translation to read?" and he stated, "The one you read." On the surface this statement sounds good but wait a second and let's look into the history behind the sacred scriptures. After all, Jesus never wrote anything down and did not tell his apostles to write anything down except when St John was taken into heaven and was instructed to write what he witnessed. So the question is "where did we get the inspired scriptures we have today"? Did our Lord come back to earth and say, "Oh by the way, I forgot to give you this book on what to teach all people?" No, so where did it come from and which is the inspired translation? there are too many unauthorized and uninspired translations to count, so which one?
What is the Bible? The Bible is a written collection of some of the inspired teachings of Jesus Christ handed down to his apostles. It is important to understand not everything Jesus taught was written down. There were 13 apostles including St Paul but only 6 wrote down what is considered Inspired. Does this mean the other apostles teachings were not inspired? No, they taught the unwritten inspired teachings of Jesus Christ, so let's move forward to the history of the Bible and which is the inspired interpretation and how did we get it, and how do we interpret.

To begin, the first book of the New Testament was written by St Paul before the gospels were written. Paul's first letter to the Thessalonians is traditionally excepted as the earliest writing dating around 51 AD. If Jesus ascended into heaven around 30 AD , we have around 20 years without any inspired scriptures of the gospel of Jesus Christ. How did the apostles teach the people of God without a bible? how were they saved? by the Oral teachings of the apostles. The unwritten and inspired teachings of Jesus Christ is known as " Sacred Tradition" and equal to but not greater than "Sacred Scripture". This sacred teaching is important to understand and makes moral sense. For mankind to begin to comprehend where the bible came from and how it should be read and interpreted can be traced to the apostles and Church established by Jesus. From Sacred Tradition we received Sacred Scripture. Listen to the Spirit in the writings from St Paul and his command in Sacred Scripture;

"And so, brothers, stand firm, and hold to the traditions that you have learned, whether by word or by our epistle" ( II Thessalonians 2:14 )

The above images of the bible are considered the oldest surviving collections of the ancient Greek manuscripts considered inspired. The first is called "The Codex Vaticanus" written in the early 4th century located in the Vatican Library. The second image is "The Codex Sinaiticus" also written in the early 4th century and located at St Catherine's Monastery Mount Sinai where Moses received The "Ten Commandments" and not the ten suggestions. The third image is called "The Gutenberg Bible" and it is the first bible printed dating around 1450 AD. Research reveals there were around 180 printed and located across the world. All three contain 46 books of the "Septuagint" and 27 books of the New Testament. The Septuagint is the Greek interpretation of the Hebrew scriptures. The Greek interpretations of Old Testament was cannoned around 250BC. This is the Old Testament used by Jesus and his apostles. So one may ask "why the Greek Septuagint and not the Hebrew scriptures?" because the Palestinian Jews were divided on which books were inspired and had not closed their canon but the Greek speaking Alexandrian Jews chose the closed cannoned Septuagint. We have to remember not all Jews in the time of Christ were Hebrew speaking and from the Palestine area. The question now is how important is having a complete collection of the Old Testament to followers of Jesus? some will say "the New Testament is all I need to read." Is this what Jesus taught? Let's go to sacred scripture for the answer from the gospel of St Luke on "The Road to Emmaus."

Jesus states, "These are my words which I spoke to you, while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled". ( Luke 24:44 )

Jesus clearly states the entire Old Testament is about him, they are "Christological". Jesus is not referring to the New Testament because they had not been written, So how many books of the Old Testament is inspired? This was the issue at hand for the first 4oo years of Christianity. Most people do not recognize the bible was not completely put together until the late 4th century. In the the year 382 AD, the Bishop of Rome Pope St Damasus I ended the debate using his Papal authority at the Council of Rome and clarified the 46 books of the Greek Septuagint and 27 books of the New Testament are the official and inspired words of sacred scripture and confirmed in the "Council of Hippo in 393 AD , Council of Carthage in 397 AD and confirmed at the Council of Trent in 1545 AD." Pope St Damasus I required his secretary St Jerome to translate the inspired Greek and Hebrew scriptures into the common language of the inhabited world known as "The Latin Vulgate", the official and inspired Bible of Mother Church and all Christendom. The Sacred Tradition of the Holy Roman Catholic Church gave the world the Sacred Bible. Also, the Gutenberg Bible is the first printed bible in Christendom and happens to be St Jerome's Latin Vulgate written and printed before Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation. Gutenberg Bibles today are said to be valued at around 9 million dollars. Placed together with the most stolen book in the world, one can now appreciate why during the middle ages and medieval times all bibles were locked and chained so no one could steal them.

Now the dilemma is how do we read and interpret the sacred scriptures written in Greek and Latin when St Peter states;

"First of all you must understand this, that no prophecy of Scripture is a matter of one's own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the impulse of man, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God." ( II Peter 1:20-21 )

The question again; which version of the Holy Bible should we read? The same one read in the same spiritual senses as the Church. After all, it is she who gave it to the world. The same Spirit that inspired the writers Must Be the same Spirit to interpret i.e., Holy Mother Church! Oh, let us not forget "reading alone" is not the commission given by Christ Jesus. We still need to follow all the commandments of The Lord and Love one another. Amen!

The Peace of Jesus Christ be with you all!

Monday, February 1, 2010

St Thomas Aquinas; "Faith, Reason and Science"

Reflecting back from last weeks feast celebrations in the Holy mass, I was confused on what to discuss. I mean after all, on Monday we celebrated the feast of the Conversion of Saul to Saint Paul. However, all Christian denominations are fairly familiar with his sacred encounter with the Crucified,Risen and Ascended Lord Jesus in the Book of The Acts of the Apostles Chapter 9, but how familiar are we with Thomas Aquinas' encounter with the same Crucified, Resurrected and Ascended Lord? We know he wrote the unfinished work "Summa Theologica" but do we all know why it was left unfinished? One day during Holy mass a few of Aquinas Dominican Brothers enter into the church and witness Aquinas elevating in ecstasy 1 cubit from the ground and the vision of Jesus coming forth from a crucifix stating to Thomas Aquinas; "Thomas you have written well of me....." This had an everlasting affect on Aquinas . He was a somewhat young and vibrant man in his forties when this event occurred but never recovered from the emotional and spiritual encounter with our Lord, he could write no further because he felt after seeing the vision of the Lord, his writings were reduced to a mere "Straw" and obviously nothing compared to the full glory of our God. So lets back up and investigate some of the things he did for mankind most people in the West have no idea, especially most people in the United States. After listening to Fr Mitch Pacwa this past Friday night on EWTN, I feel he gave me more in site I want to share.

The image above comes from the Vatican and is a work from the famous Renaissance painter of the 16th century, Raphael. The two men are images of Plato on the left holding his Timaeus and Aristotle on the right holding his Ethics taken from the famous painting ;"The School of Athens". One may ask, "What does Aristotle and Plato have to do with Christianity"? St Thomas Aquinas can assist us with the question. Both of these great Greek philosophers laid the foundation of Western philosophy to our Western theology. In the 4th Century AD, The great Theologian St Augustine brought to the Christian world the philosophical influence of Plato and Aquinas brought the West the philosophy of Aristotle. Aristotle philosophy had not entered into Western theology before Aquinas but what is the significance? Before this introduction, "Reason" into our "Faith" had not fully developed until Aquinas filled in the missing length that brought the complete understanding and relationship existing between "Faith and Reason" i.e., Jesus Christ the Logos and Word Incarnate as the fulfilment of our faith and the manifestation of our reason. Unfortunately, some of us have not captured the need for reason and satisfied with "Faith Alone". This has limitations and when an individual will apply "Reason" to their Christian belief, one may experience the fullness and Beauty of Truth in Christ Jesus. Faith alone veils the mind, soul, and heart by reducing the harmony existing with Reason. Internal faith, hope, love, and peace begin to fertilize the seed of the soil in mans soul when we allow the Spirit of Harmony and Unity to unveil the fullness of Truth.

In the 13th century, the 7 liberal arts taught by Plato and Aristotle were brought into Christianity. Created from the Liberal Arts was the creation of the Universities in the West. St Thomas Aquinas is responsible for the growth of the Universities into Western Civilization. What are the 7 Liberal Arts? The Quadrivium ( mathematics, astronomy, music, geometry ) and the Trivium ( rhetoric, logic, grammar). To Aquinas and the medieval minds of the universities of Paris, Bologna, Oxford, and the Cathedral school of Chartres, the 7 liberal Arts bring us to the Wisdom of God combined with the 7 sacraments of the Church, bring us to the fullness of our faith together, to return mankind to "The image and Likeness" of the Trinity (Genesis 1:26).

This is what St Thomas Aquinas did for mankind and Western Civilization. A return to the 7 sacraments and the 7 Liberal Arts are the answer to our moral confusion in the 21st Century. The medieval mind was brighter and more holy than 21st century secular culture. We have left the Wisdom of God! do we understand from sacred scripture what the first thing God created? Wisdom! so listen to the Spirit of the Lord in the following passages;
"The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first before the beginning of the earth....before he made the earth with its fields, or the first of the dust of the world. When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep.... (Proverbs 8:22-31)

We owe so much to St Thomas Aquinas and what he did for mankind in his teachings in Philosophy and Theology in the creation of the Universities by the Roman Catholic Church. Shortly after his encounter with Jesus in the 13th century at the age of 49, Aquinas past on to our Lord after receiving the sacraments, but at bedside, his final words of Wisdom in Beauty and Truth needs to be shared:
"If in this world there may be any knowledge of this Sacrament (Eucharist) stronger than that of faith, I wish now to use it affirming that I firmly believe and know for certain that Jesus Christ, True God and True Man, Son of God and Son of the Virgin Mary, is in this Sacrament (Eucharist).....I receive Thee, the price of my redemption, for Whose love I have watched, studied, and laboured. Thee have I preached; Thee have I taught. Never have I said anything against Thee: if anything was not well said, that is to be attributed to my ignorance. Neither do I wish to be obstinate in my opinions, but if I have written anything erroneous concerning this Sacrament (Eucharist) or any other matters, I submit all to the judgement and correction of the Holy Roman Church, in whose obedience I now pass from this life."

Peace of Christ be with you!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Noah's Ark, The Ressurection, and Baptism

Welcome to my first official Blog,

A few weeks ago, my long time friend and professional mentor Lynn and I were having an in depth conversation about the death of Christ and what happened to him before the Resurrection. The conversation was so good I feel this is how I am to start my blog by sharing our conversation with you.
Carefully read the following passage of scripture: "For Christ also suffered for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, in order to bring you to God. He was put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit, in which also he went and made a proclamation to the spirits in prison, who in former times did not obey, when God waited patiently in the days of Noah, during the building of the ark, in which a few, that is, eight persons, were saved through water.
And baptism, which this prefigured, now saves you-not as a removal of dirt from the body, but as an appeal to God for a good conscience, through the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers made subject to him." ( I Peter 3:18-21 RSV-CE )
Are you serious and catch all of that! Our prince of the apostles St Peter is stating that Jesus went into the depths of the earth, or the abode of the dead, for 3 days and preached the Gospel to those who died in the flood and to go as far as clarifying that our baptism is its fulfillment in Christ's Resurrection? Our baptism is the first resurrection! All three events are in a mystical way interwoven together to make a singular event similar to the Pascal Mystery i.e., crucifixion, death, and resurrection, as one mystical event. Jesus had spent 3 years proclaiming his gospel and condensed time to 3 days in the belly of the earth comparing it to the 3 days Jonah spent in the belly of the whale.

On the sacrament and reality of Baptism, I will recommend reading the homily of the 4th century Bishop of Turin, Italy - St Maximus of Turin;
"The savior plunged into the waters....so that...it is not so much the waters of this world that cover the one baptized in the name of the Lord but the waters of Christ that purify him" He goes further to say that Christ had no reason or need of Baptism due to his divine and unblemished nature but it is Christ that sanctifies the waters in order for it to cleanse those who touch it!

"The Lord was Baptized, not to be cleansed Himself, but to cleanse the waters, so that the waters, cleansed by the flesh of Christ which knew no sin, might have the power of Baptism"
St Ambrose of Milan-4th Century
Great Doctor of Western Christendom

In closing, let's refer to the document of the II Vatican Council, SacroSanctum Concilium;
"Thus by baptism men are plunged into the paschal mystery of Christ: they die with Him, are buried with Him, and rise with Him; they recieve the spirit of adoption as sons "in which we cry: Abba, Father" (Romans 8:15 )
This is not the language to be seen only as metaphors or symbols but the language of heavenly and spiritual realities displaying the Beauty and Truths of our Lord God.

Peace of Christ be with you all!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Swimming the Tiber

Welcome Brothers and Sisters,

I am a convert from the rafts of The Baptist and Methodist churches. At the age of 7, I experienced a short time with death. I drowned in our swimming pool in Miami, Florida and saved by the grace of God. I married the first Catholic girl I met and thank and praise God for using her as the life preserver for my swim and crossing of the Tiber River of the Roman Catholic Church. I am truly amazed how big the ship is, the great bathrooms for cleaning up, and the over abundance of incredible tasting food! I welcome all who come to read my blogs and hope all learn something from the information. Beware to all readers, I bring an abundance of swimming instructions to those who are seeking to cross the Tiber!