Every person must walk unhesitatingly according to his own personal gifts and duties in the path of living faith, which arouses hope and works through charity. In the first place, the shepherds of Christ's flock must holily and eagerly, humbly and courageously carry out their ministry, in imitation of the eternal high Priest, the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. They ought to fulfill this duty in such a way that it will be the principal means also of their own sanctification.
Those chosen for the fullness of the priesthood are granted the ability of exercising the perfect duty of pastoral charity by the grace of the sacrament of Orders. By this same sacramental grace, they are given the courage necessary to lay down their lives for their sheep, and the ability of promoting greater holiness in the Church by their daily example, having become a pattern for their flock.
Priests, who resemble bishops to a certain degree in their participation of the sacrament of Orders, form the spiritual crown of the bishops. They should preserve the bond of priestly communion, and they should abound in every spiritual good and thus present to all men a living witness to God. Their praise lives on in the Church of God. By their very office of praying and offering sacrifice for their own people and the entire people of God, they should rise to greater holiness.
They should ever nourish and strengthen their action from an abundance of contemplation, doing all this for the comfort of the entire Church of God. All priests, and especially those who are called "diocesan priests," due to the special title of their ordination, should keep continually before their minds the fact that their faithful loyalty toward and their generous cooperation with their bishop is of the greatest value in their growth in holiness. Ministers of lesser rank are also sharers in the mission and grace of the Supreme Priest. They will accomplish this by their constancy in prayer, by their burning love, and by their unremitting recollection of whatever is true, just and of good repute.
They will accomplish all this for the glory and honor of God. Besides these already named, there are also laymen, chosen of God and called by the bishop. These laymen spend themselves completely in apostolic labors, working the Lord's field with much success. Furthermore, married couples and Christian parents should follow their own proper path to holiness by faithful love.
They should sustain one another in grace throughout the entire length of their lives. They should embue their offspring, lovingly welcomed as God's gift, with Christian doctrine and the evangelical virtues. In this manner, they offer all men the example of unwearying and generous love; in this way they build up the brotherhood of charity; in so doing, they stand as the witnesses and cooperators in the fruitfulness of Holy Mother Church; by such lives, they are a sign and a participation in that very love, with which Christ loved His Bride and for which He delivered Himself up for her.
Finally, those who engage in labor—and frequently it is of a heavy nature—should better themselves by their human labors. They should be of aid to their fellow citizens. They should raise all of society, and even creation itself, to a better mode of existence. Indeed, they should imitate by their lively charity, in their joyous hope and by their voluntary sharing of each others' burdens, the very Christ who plied His hands with carpenter's tools and Who in union with His Father, is continually working for the salvation of all men.
In this, then, their daily work they should climb to the heights of holiness and apostolic activity. May all those who are weighed down with poverty, infirmity and sickness, as well as those who must bear various hardships or who suffer persecution for justice sake—may they all know they are united with the suffering Christ in a special way for the salvation of the world. The Lord called them blessed in His Gospel and they are those whom "the God of all graces, who has called us unto His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself, after we have suffered a little while, perfect, strengthen and establish".
Finally all Christ's faithful, whatever be the conditions, duties and circumstances of their lives—and indeed through all these, will daily increase in holiness, if they receive all things with faith from the hand of their heavenly Father and if they cooperate with the divine will. In this temporal service, they will manifest to all men the love with which God loved the world. Indeed, in order that love, as good seed may grow and bring forth fruit in the soul, each one of the faithful must willingly hear the Word of God and accept His Will, and must complete what God has begun by their own actions with the help of God's grace.
These actions consist in the use of the sacraments and in a special way the Eucharist, frequent participation in the sacred action of the Liturgy, application of oneself to prayer, self-abnegation, lively fraternal service and the constant exercise of all the virtues. For charity, as the bond of perfection and the fullness of the law, rules over all the means of attaining holiness and gives life to these same means. It is the love of God and the love of one's neighbor which points out the true disciple of Christ.
Since Jesus, the Son of God, manifested His charity by laying down His life for us, so too no one has greater love than he who lays down his life for Christ and His brothers. The Church, then, considers martyrdom as an exceptional gift and as the fullest proof of love.
By martyrdom a disciple is transformed into an image of his Master by freely accepting death for the salvation of the world—as well as his conformity to Christ in the shedding of his blood. Though few are presented such an opportunity, nevertheless all must be prepared to confess Christ before men. They must be prepared to make this profession of faith even in the midst of persecutions, which will never be lacking to the Church, in following the way of the cross.
Likewise, the holiness of the Church is fostered in a special way by the observance of the counsels proposed in the Gospel by Our Lord to His disciples. The reason for this was and is that perfect continency for the love of God is an incentive to charity, and is certainly a particular source of spiritual fecundity in the world. The Church continually keeps before it the warning of the Apostle which moved the faithful to charity, exhorting them to experience personally what Christ Jesus had known within Himself. This was the same Christ Jesus, who "emptied Himself, taking the nature of a slave.
There are some who, in their freedom as sons of God, renounce their own wills and take upon themselves the state of poverty. Still further, some become subject of their own accord to another man, in the matter of perfection for love of God. This is beyond the measure of the commandments, but is done in order to become more fully like the obedient Christ.
Therefore, all the faithful of Christ are invited to strive for the holiness and perfection of their own proper state. Indeed they have an obligation to so strive. Let all then have care that they guide aright their own deepest sentiments of soul. Let neither the use of the things of this world nor attachment to riches, which is against the spirit of evangelical poverty, hinder them in their quest for perfect love.
Let them heed the admonition of the Apostle to those who use this world; let them not come to terms with this world; for this world, as we see it, is passing away. The evangelical counsels of chastity dedicated to God, poverty and obedience are based upon the words and examples of the Lord. They were further commanded by the apostles and Fathers of the Church, as well as by the doctors and pastors of souls.
The counsels are a divine gift, which the Church received from its Lord and which it always safeguards with the help of His grace. Church authority has the duty, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of interpreting these evangelical counsels, of regulating their practice and finally to build on them stable forms of living. Thus it has come about, that, as if on a tree which has grown in the field of the Lord, various forms of solidarity and community life, as well as various religious families have branched out in a marvelous and multiple way from this divinely given seed.
Such a multiple and miraculous growth augments both the progress of the members of these various religious families themselves and the welfare of the entire Body of Christ. They further offer their members the support of fraternal association in the militia of Christ and of liberty strengthened by obedience. Thus these religious are able to tranquilly fulfill and faithfully observe their religious profession and so spiritually rejoicing make progress on the road of charity.
From the point of view of the divine and hierarchical structure of the Church, the religious state of life is not an intermediate state between the clerical and lay states. But, rather, the faithful of Christ are called by God from both these states of life so that they might enjoy this particular gift in the life of the Church and thus each in one's own way, may be of some advantage to the salvific mission of the Church. The faithful of Christ bind themselves to the three aforesaid counsels either by vows, or by other sacred bonds, which are like vows in their purpose.
By such a bond, a person is totally dedicated to God, loved beyond all things. In this way, that person is ordained to the honor and service of God under a new and special title. Indeed through Baptism a person dies to sin and is consecrated to God. However, in order that he may be capable of deriving more abundant fruit from this baptismal grace, he intends, by the profession of the evangelical counsels in the Church, to free himself from those obstacles, which might draw him away from the fervor of charity and the perfection of divine worship.
By his profession of the evangelical counsels, then, he is more intimately consecrated to divine service. Since this is so, the spiritual life of these people should then be devoted to the welfare of the whole Church. From this arises their duty of working to implant and strengthen the Kingdom of Christ in souls and to extend that Kingdom to every clime. This duty is to be undertaken to the extent of their capacities and in keeping with the proper type of their own vocation.
This can be realized through prayer or active works of the apostolate. It is for this reason that the Church preserves and fosters the special character of her various religious institutes. The profession of the evangelical counsels, then, appears as a sign which can and ought to attract all the members of the Church to an effective and prompt fulfillment of the duties of their Christian vocation. The people of God have no lasting city here below, but look forward to one that is to come. Since this is so, the religious state, whose purpose is to free its members from earthly cares, more fully manifests to all believers the presence of heavenly goods already possessed here below.
Furthermore, it not only witnesses to the fact of a new and eternal life acquired by the redemption of Christ, but it foretells the future resurrection and the glory of the heavenly kingdom. Christ proposed to His disciples this form of life, which He, as the Son of God, accepted in entering this world to do the will of the Father. This same state of life is accurately exemplified and perpetually made present in the Church. The religious state clearly manifests that the Kingdom of God and its needs, in a very special way, are raised above all earthly considerations.
Finally it clearly shows all men both the unsurpassed breadth of the strength of Christ the King and the infinite power of the Holy Spirit marvelously working in the Church.
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Thus, the state which is constituted by the profession of the evangelical counsels, though it is not the hierarchical structure of the Church, nevertheless, undeniably belongs to its life and holiness. It is the duty of the ecclesiastical hierarchy to regulate the practice of the evangelical counsels by law, since it is the duty of the same hierarchy to care for the People of God and to lead them to most fruitful pastures. It also aids by its vigilant and safeguarding authority those institutes variously established for the building up of Christ's Body in order that these same institutes may grow and flourish according to the spirit of the founders.
Any institute of perfection and its individual members may be removed from the jurisdiction of the local Ordinaries by the Supreme Pontiff and subjected to himself alone. This is done in virtue of his primacy over the entire Church in order to more fully provide for the necessities of the entire flock of the Lord and in consideration of the common good. The members of these institutes, in fulfilling their obligation to the Church due to their particular form of life, ought to show reverence and obedience to bishops according to the sacred canons.
The bishops are owed this respect because of their pastoral authority in their own churches and because of the need of unity and harmony in the apostolate. The Church not only raises the religious profession to the dignity of a canonical state by her approval, but even manifests that this profession is a state consecrated to God by the liturgical setting of that profession. The Church itself, by the authority given to it by God, accepts the vows of the newly professed.
It begs aid and grace from God for them by its public prayer. It commends them to God, imparts a spiritual blessing on them and accompanies their self-offering by the Eucharistic sacrifice. Religious should carefully keep before their minds the fact that the Church presents Christ to believers and non-believers alike in a striking manner daily through them. The Church thus portrays Christ in contemplation on the mountain, in His proclamation of the kingdom of God to the multitudes, in His healing of the sick and maimed, in His work of converting sinners to a better life, in His solicitude for youth and His goodness to all men, always obedient to the will of the Father who sent Him.
All men should take note that the profession of the evangelical counsels, though entailing the renunciation of certain values which are to be undoubtedly esteemed, does not detract from a genuine development of the human persons, but rather by its very nature is most beneficial to that development. Indeed the counsels, voluntarily undertaken according to each one's personal vocation, contribute a great deal to the purification of heart and spiritual liberty.
They continually stir up the fervor of charity.
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But especially they are able to more fully mold the Christian man to that type of chaste and detached life, which Christ the Lord chose for Himself and which His Mother also embraced. This is clearly proven by the example of so many holy founders. Let no one think that religious have become strangers to their fellowmen or useless citizens of this earthly city by their consecration. For even though it sometimes happens that religious do not directly mingle with their contemporaries, yet in a more profound sense these same religious are united with them in the heart of Christ and spiritually cooperate with them.
In this way the building up of the earthly city may have its foundation in the Lord and may tend toward Him, lest perhaps those who build this city shall have labored in vain. Therefore, this Sacred Synod encourages and praises the men and women, Brothers and Sisters, who in monasteries, or in schools and hospitals, or in the missions, adorn the Bride of Christ by their unswerving and humble faithfulness in their chosen consecration and render generous services of all kinds to mankind.
Let each of the faithful called to the profession of the evangelical counsels, therefore, carefully see to it that he persevere and ever grow in that vocation God has given him. Let him do this for the increased holiness of the Church, for the greater glory of the one and undivided Trinity, which in and through Christ is the fount and the source of all holiness. The Church, to which we are all called in Christ Jesus, and in which we acquire sanctity through the grace of God, will attain its full perfection only in the glory of heaven, when there will come the time of the restoration of all things.
Christ, having been lifted up from the earth has drawn all to Himself. Sitting at the right hand of the Father, He is continually active in the world that He might lead men to the Church and through it join them to Himself and that He might make them partakers of His glorious life by nourishing them with His own Body and Blood.
Therefore the promised restoration which we are awaiting has already begun in Christ, is carried forward in the mission of the Holy Spirit and through Him continues in the Church in which we learn the meaning of our terrestrial life through our faith, while we perform with hope in the future the work committed to us in this world by the Father, and thus work out our salvation. Already the final age of the world has come upon us and the renovation of the world is irrevocably decreed and is already anticipated in some kind of a real way; for the Church already on this earth is signed with a sanctity which is real although imperfect.
However, until there shall be new heavens and a new earth in which justice dwells, the pilgrim Church in her sacraments and institutions, which pertain to this present time, has the appearance of this world which is passing and she herself dwells among creatures who groan and travail in pain until now and await the revelation of the sons of God. Joined with Christ in the Church and signed with the Holy Spirit "who is the pledge of our inheritance", truly we are called and we are sons of God but we have not yet appeared with Christ in glory, in which we shall be like to God, since we shall see Him as He is.
The Church has always believed that the apostles and Christ's martyrs who had given the supreme witness of faith and charity by the shedding of their blood, are closely joined with us in Christ, and she has always venerated them with special devotion, together with the Blessed Virgin Mary and the holy angels. When we look at the lives of those who have faithfully followed Christ, we are inspired with a new reason for seeking the City that is to come and at the same time we are shown a most safe path by which among the vicissitudes of this world, in keeping with the state in life and condition proper to each of us, we will be able to arrive at perfect union with Christ, that is, perfect holiness.
Nor is it by the title of example only that we cherish the memory of those in heaven, but still more in order that the union of the whole Church may be strengthened in the Spirit by the practice of fraternal charity. Our union with the Church in heaven is put into effect in its noblest manner especially in the sacred Liturgy, wherein the power of the Holy Spirit acts upon us through sacramental signs. Celebrating the Eucharistic sacrifice therefore, we are most closely united to the Church in heaven in communion with and venerating the memory first of all of the glorious ever-Virgin Mary, of Blessed Joseph and the blessed apostles and martyrs and of all the saints.
Let them therefore teach the faithful that the authentic cult of the saints consists not so much in the multiplying of external acts, but rather in the greater intensity of our love, whereby, for our own greater good and that of the whole Church, we seek from the saints "example in their way of life, fellowship in their communion, and aid by their intercession.
For all of us, who are sons of God and constitute one family in Christ, as long as we remain in communion with one another in mutual charity and in one praise of the most holy Trinity, are corresponding with the intimate vocation of the Church and partaking in foretaste the liturgy of consummate glory. Wishing in His supreme goodness and wisdom to effect the redemption of the world, "when the fullness of time came, God sent His Son, born of a woman Joined to Christ the Head and in the unity of fellowship with all His saints, the faithful must in the first place reverence the memory "of the glorious ever Virgin Mary, Mother of our God and Lord Jesus Christ".
The Virgin Mary, who at the message of the angel received the Word of God in her heart and in her body and gave Life to the world, is acknowledged and honored as being truly the Mother of God and Mother of the Redeemer. Redeemed by reason of the merits of her Son and united to Him by a close and indissoluble tie, she is endowed with the high office and dignity of being the Mother of the Son of God, by which account she is also the beloved daughter of the Father and the temple of the Holy Spirit. Because of this gift of sublime grace she far surpasses all creatures, both in heaven and on earth.
At the same time, however, because she belongs to the offspring of Adam she is one with all those who are to be saved. She is "the mother of the members of Christ. The Catholic Church, taught by the Holy Spirit, honors her with filial affection and piety as a most beloved mother. Wherefore this Holy Synod, in expounding the doctrine on the Church, in which the divine Redeemer works salvation, intends to describe with diligence both the role of the Blessed Virgin in the mystery of the Incarnate Word and the Mystical Body, and the duties of redeemed mankind toward the Mother of God, who is mother of Christ and mother of men, particularly of the faithful.
It does not, however, have it in mind to give a complete doctrine on Mary, nor does it wish to decide those questions which the work of theologians has not yet fully clarified. Those opinions therefore may be lawfully retained which are propounded in Catholic schools concerning her, who occupies a place in the Church which is the highest after Christ and yet very close to us. The Sacred Scriptures of both the Old and the New Testament, as well as ancient Tradition show the role of the Mother of the Saviour in the economy of salvation in an ever clearer light and draw attention to it.
The books of the Old Testament describe the history of salvation, by which the coming of Christ into the world was slowly prepared. These earliest documents, as they are read in the Church and are understood in the light of a further and full revelation, bring the figure of the woman, Mother of the Redeemer, into a gradually clearer light. When it is looked at in this way, she is already prophetically foreshadowed in the promise of victory over the serpent which was given to our first parents after their fall into sin.
With her the exalted Daughter of Sion, and after a long expectation of the promise, the times are fulfilled and the new Economy established, when the Son of God took a human nature from her, that He might in the mysteries of His flesh free man from sin. The Father of mercies willed that the incarnation should be preceded by the acceptance of her who was predestined to be the mother of His Son, so that just as a woman contributed to death, so also a woman should contribute to life.
That is true in outstanding fashion of the mother of Jesus, who gave to the world Him who is Life itself and who renews all things, and who was enriched by God with the gifts which befit such a role. It is no wonder therefore that the usage prevailed among the Fathers whereby they called the mother of God entirely holy and free from all stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and formed as a new creature. Embracing God's salvific will with a full heart and impeded by no sin, she devoted herself totally as a handmaid of the Lord to the person and work of her Son, under Him and with Him, by the grace of almighty God, serving the mystery of redemption.
Rightly therefore the holy Fathers see her as used by God not merely in a passive way, but as freely cooperating in the work of human salvation through faith and obedience. For, as St. Irenaeus says, she "being obedient, became the cause of salvation for herself and for the whole human race. This union of the Mother with the Son in the work of salvation is made manifest from the time of Christ's virginal conception up to His death it is shown first of all when Mary, arising in haste to go to visit Elizabeth, is greeted by her as blessed because of her belief in the promise of salvation and the precursor leaped with joy in the womb of his mother.
When she presented Him to the Lord in the temple, making the offering of the poor, she heard Simeon foretelling at the same time that her Son would be a sign of contradiction and that a sword would pierce the mother's soul, that out of many hearts thoughts might be revealed. His Mother indeed kept these things to be pondered over in her heart. In the public life of Jesus, Mary makes significant appearances.
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This is so even at the very beginning, when at the marriage feast of Cana, moved with pity, she brought about by her intercession the beginning of miracles of Jesus the Messiah. Finally, she was given by the same Christ Jesus dying on the cross as a mother to His disciple with these words: "Woman, behold thy son". But since it has pleased God not to manifest solemnly the mystery of the salvation of the human race before He would pour forth the Spirit promised by Christ, we see the apostles before the day of Pentecost "persevering with one mind in prayer with the women and Mary the Mother of Jesus, and with His brethren", and Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.
There is but one Mediator as we know from the words of the apostle, "for there is one God and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a redemption for all". For all the salvific influence of the Blessed Virgin on men originates, not from some inner necessity, but from the divine pleasure. It flows forth from the superabundance of the merits of Christ, rests on His mediation, depends entirely on it and draws all its power from it. In no way does it impede, but rather does it foster the immediate union of the faithful with Christ.
Predestined from eternity by that decree of divine providence which determined the incarnation of the Word to be the Mother of God, the Blessed Virgin was on this earth the virgin Mother of the Redeemer, and above all others and in a singular way the generous associate and humble handmaid of the Lord. She conceived, brought forth and nourished Christ. She presented Him to the Father in the temple, and was united with Him by compassion as He died on the Cross. In this singular way she cooperated by her obedience, faith, hope and burning charity in the work of the Saviour in giving back supernatural life to souls.
Wherefore she is our mother in the order of grace. This maternity of Mary in the order of grace began with the consent which she gave in faith at the Annunciation and which she sustained without wavering beneath the cross, and lasts until the eternal fulfillment of all the elect. Taken up to heaven she did not lay aside this salvific duty, but by her constant intercession continued to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation.
For no creature could ever be counted as equal with the Incarnate Word and Redeemer. Just as the priesthood of Christ is shared in various ways both by the ministers and by the faithful, and as the one goodness of God is really communicated in different ways to His creatures, so also the unique mediation of the Redeemer does not exclude but rather gives rise to a manifold cooperation which is but a sharing in this one source.
The Church does not hesitate to profess this subordinate role of Mary. It knows it through unfailing experience of it and commends it to the hearts of the faithful, so that encouraged by this maternal help they may the more intimately adhere to the Mediator and Redeemer. By reason of the gift and role of divine maternity, by which she is united with her Son, the Redeemer, and with His singular graces and functions, the Blessed Virgin is also intimately united with the Church.
As St. Ambrose taught, the Mother of God is a type of the Church in the order of faith, charity and perfect union with Christ. The Son whom she brought forth is He whom God placed as the first-born among many brethren, namely the faithful, in whose birth and education she cooperates with a maternal love. The Church indeed, contemplating her hidden sanctity, imitating her charity and faithfully fulfilling the Father's will, by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself a mother.
By her preaching she brings forth to a new and immortal life the sons who are born to her in baptism, conceived of the Holy Spirit and born of God.
She herself is a virgin, who keeps the faith given to her by her Spouse whole and entire. Imitating the mother of her Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, she keeps with virginal purity an entire faith, a firm hope and a sincere charity. But while in the most holy Virgin the Church has already reached that perfection whereby she is without spot or wrinkle, the followers of Christ still strive to increase in holiness by conquering sin. Piously meditating on her and contemplating her in the light of the Word made man, the Church with reverence enters more intimately into the great mystery of the Incarnation and becomes more and more like her Spouse.
For Mary, who since her entry into salvation history unites in herself and re-echoes the greatest teachings of the faith as she is proclaimed and venerated, calls the faithful to her Son and His sacrifice and to the love of the Father. Seeking after the glory of Christ, the Church becomes more like her exalted Type, and continually progresses in faith, hope and charity, seeking and doing the will of God in all things. Hence the Church, in her apostolic work also, justly looks to her, who, conceived of the Holy Spirit, brought forth Christ, who was born of the Virgin that through the Church He may be born and may increase in the hearts of the faithful also.
The Virgin in her own life lived an example of that maternal love, by which it behooves that all should be animated who cooperate in the apostolic mission of the Church for the regeneration of men. Placed by the grace of God, as God's Mother, next to her Son, and exalted above all angels and men, Mary intervened in the mysteries of Christ and is justly honored by a special cult in the Church.
Clearly from earliest times the Blessed Virgin is honored under the title of Mother of God, under whose protection the faithful took refuge in all their dangers and necessities. The various forms of piety toward the Mother of God, which the Church within the limits of sound and orthodox doctrine, according to the conditions of time and place, and the nature and ingenuity of the faithful has approved, bring it about that while the Mother is honored, the Son, through whom all things have their being and in whom it has pleased the Father that all fullness should dwell, is rightly known, loved and glorified and that all His commands are observed.
This most Holy Synod deliberately teaches this Catholic doctrine and at the same time admonishes all the sons of the Church that the cult, especially the liturgical cult, of the Blessed Virgin, be generously fostered, and the practices and exercises of piety, recommended by the magisterium of the Church toward her in the course of centuries be made of great moment, and those decrees, which have been given in the early days regarding the cult of images of Christ, the Blessed Virgin and the saints, be religiously observed.
Let them assiduously keep away from whatever, either by word or deed, could lead separated brethren or any other into error regarding the true doctrine of the Church. Let the faithful remember moreover that true devotion consists neither in sterile or transitory affection, nor in a certain vain credulity, but proceeds from true faith, by which we are led to know the excellence of the Mother of God, and we are moved to a filial love toward our mother and to the imitation of her virtues.
In the interim just as the Mother of Jesus, glorified in body and soul in heaven, is the image and beginning of the Church as it is to be perfected is the world to come, so too does she shine forth on earth, until the day of the Lord shall come, as a sign of sure hope and solace to the people of God during its sojourn on earth. It gives great joy and comfort to this holy and general Synod that even among the separated brethren there are some who give due honor to the Mother of our Lord and Saviour, especially among the Orientals, who with devout mind and fervent impulse give honor to the Mother of God, ever virgin.
Each and all these items which are set forth in this dogmatic Constitution have met with the approval of the Council Fathers. And We by the apostolic power given Us by Christ together with the Venerable Fathers in the Holy Spirit, approve, decree and establish it and command that what has thus been decided in the Council be promulgated for the glory of God.
A question has arisen regarding the precise theological note which should be attached to the doctrine that is set forth in the Schema de Ecclesia and is being put to a vote. The Theological Commission has given the following response regarding the Modi that have to do with Chapter III of the de Ecclesia Schema: "As is self-evident, the Council's text must always be interpreted in accordance with the general rules that are known to all.
On this occasion the Theological Commission makes reference to its Declaration of March 6, , the text of which we transcribe here:. The rest of the things which the sacred Council sets forth, inasmuch as they are the teaching of the Church's supreme magisterium, ought to be accepted and embraced by each and every one of Christ's faithful according to the mind of the sacred Council. The mind of the Council becomes known either from the matter treated or from its manner of speaking, in accordance with the norms of theological interpretation.
A preliminary note of explanation is being given to the Council Fathers from higher-authority, regarding the Modi bearing on Chapter III of the Schema de Ecclesia; the doctrine set forth in Chapter III ought to be explained and understood in accordance with the meaning and intent of this explanatory note. The Commission has decided to preface the assessment of the Modi with the following general observations. For this reason, in reply to Modus 12 it is expressly said of the Twelve that the Lord set them up "as a college or stable group.
For the same reason, the words "Ordo" or "Corpus" are used throughout with reference to the College of bishops. The parallel between Peter and the rest of the Apostles on the one hand, and between the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops on the other hand, does not imply the transmission of the Apostles' extraordinary power to their successors; nor does it imply, as is obvious, equality between the head of the College and its members, but only a proportionality between the first relationship Peter-Apostles and the second Pope-bishops.
Thus the Commission decided to write "pari ratione, " not "eadem ratione," in n. Modus A person becomes a member of the College by virtue of Episcopal consecration and by hierarchical communion with the head of the College and with its members. In his consecration a person is given an ontological participation in the sacred functions [munera]; this is absolutely clear from Tradition, liturgical tradition included.
The word "functions [munera]" is used deliberately instead of the word "powers [potestates]," because the latter word could be understood as a power fully ready to act.
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But for this power to be fully ready to act, there must be a further canonical or juridical determination through the hierarchical authority. This determination of power can consist in the granting of a particular office or in the allotment of subjects, and it is done according to the norms approved by the supreme authority. An additional norm of this sort is required by the very nature of the case, because it involves functions [munera] which must be exercised by many subjects cooperating in a hierarchical manner in accordance with Christ's will.
It is evident that this "communion" was applied in the Church's life according to the circumstances of the time, before it was codified as law. For this reason it is clearly stated that hierarchical communion with the head and members of the church is required. Communion is a notion which is held in high honor in the ancient Church and also today, especially in the East. However, it is not understood as some kind of vague disposition, but as an organic reality which requires a juridical form and is animated by charity.
Hence the Commission, almost unanimously, decided that this wording should be used: "in hierarchical communion. Modus 40 and the statements on canonical mission n. The documents of recent Pontiffs regarding the jurisdiction of bishops must be interpreted in terms of this necessary determination of powers. The College, which does not exist without the head, is said "to exist also as the subject of supreme and full power in the universal Church.
For the College, always and of necessity, includes its head, because in the college he preserves unhindered his function as Christ's Vicar and as Pastor of the universal Church. In other words, it is not a distinction between the Roman Pontiff and the bishops taken collectively, but a distinction between the Roman Pontiff taken separately and the Roman Pontiff together with the bishops.
Since the Supreme Pontiff is head of the College, he alone is able to perform certain actions which are not at all within the competence of the bishops, e. It is up to the judgment of the Supreme Pontiff, to whose care Christ's whole flock has been entrusted, to determine, according to the needs of the Church as they change over the course of centuries, the way in which this care may best be exercised—whether in a personal or a collegial way. The Roman Pontiff, taking account of the Church's welfare, proceeds according to his own discretion in arranging, promoting and approving the exercise of collegial activity.
As Supreme Pastor of the Church, the Supreme Pontiff can always exercise his power at will, as his very office demands. Though it is always in existence, the College is not as a result permanently engaged in strictly collegial activity; the Church's Tradition makes this clear. In other words, the College is not always "fully active [in actu pleno]"; rather, it acts as a college in the strict sense only from time to time and only with the consent of its head.
The phrase "with the consent of its head" is used to avoid the idea of dependence on some kind of outsider; the term "consent" suggests rather communion between the head and the members, and implies the need for an act which belongs properly to the competence of the head. This is explicitly affirmed in n. The word "only" takes in all cases. It is evident from this that the norms approved by the supreme authority must always be observed.
It is clear throughout that it is a question of the bishops acting in conjunction with their head, never of the bishops acting independently of the Pope. In the latter instance, without the action of the head, the bishops are not able to act as a College: this is clear from the concept of "College.
Without hierarchical communion the ontologico-sacramental function [munus], which is to be distinguished from the juridico-canonical aspect, cannot be exercised. However, the Commission has decided that it should not enter into question of liceity and validity. These questions are left to theologians to discuss—specifically the question of the power exercised de facto among the separated Eastern Churches, about which there are various explanations.
Cyprianus, Epist. Hilarius Pict. Augustinus, passim. A good example of this practice of "alternative" fact and "alternative" truth is what happen in countries with military dictatorship and totalitarian states like Russia under another "great" tribal leader Vladimir Putin. So, though commentators on articles in the AmericaMagazine belong to different political parties-Democratic party, Republican party, Independents, Socialist party, Tea party etc, and commentators tend to comment from the standpoint of their parties, tribes and base, it may be more helpful to speak with reference to accessible, refutable, verifiable fact on one hand and faith, Christianity and Catholicism on the other hand.
Based on this my questions are : i what is factually wrong in the claims of the Catholics who the writer of the article quoted? This way we focus on fact and faith in the article rather than walled base and tribal opinions. What Bishop Seitz should really be concerned about is the humanitarian issues of what these hordes of immigrants do that harm the people in his diocese who are here legally. As well, why are the bishops so vitriolic about and to the President? This President has done more for Life than most of his predecessors.
Yet he was openly contemptuous of the bishops and Catholics in general. Recall the phone call with Cardinal Dolan who seems to be one of the few bishops who has courage and is not afraid to address difficult problems in a meaningful way that His Eminence described as less than courteous. The boys in the pointy hats can't have it both ways. Birth control education should be a condition of entry for all asylum seekers whose only job skill seems to be breeding.
That is the real humanitarian crisis--poor families having more children than they can afford or care for--how else to explain very young children being sent to the border on their own? I am totally astounded by the lack of Christian charity and compassion -- and even basic civility -- in many of these comments. Why is there such hatred for people who are so much less fortunate than we are, hatred for the Catholic Church and for the Jesuit world view?
I just don't get it.
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I believe there is a passage from Luke that applies. I am astonished and saddened that fellow Catholics would resort to the types of incivility on display here. However, I am not astonished by Mr. Gaglione's suggestion below that "there seems to me to be a large number of ideologues who probably have been recruited to attack every article that America publishes that contradicts current Republican orthodoxy, that is Trumpian rhetoric, about the border and immigrants.
I have been commenting here since before I am a graduate of a Jesuit university and started reading this site only when some of my classmates started talking about the incredibly specious articles that appeared on the America site. They are mainly emotionally based and few use evidence and logic. The opinions here are far from what I knew during my Jesuit education.
My suspicion about organized efforts are consistent with what is going on in certain Catholic circles today. The lack in most of these posted comments to address the issue of a Christian response to the immigration and border situations disturbs me to no end. Are these people all subscribers to America magazine and media?
I have my doubts because there seems to me to be a large number of ideologues who probably have been recruited to attack every article that America publishes that contradicts current Republican orthodoxy, that is Trumpian rhetoric, about the border and immigrants. Rather, we need a broad-based effort for immigration reform that includes border security, appropriate recognition of international asylum standards, better tracking of those who come to the USA and overstay visas, etc. Vincent Gaglione, Thanks for your post.
Your observation that some comments on this platform lack the depth and rigor of Christianity and Catholicism is correct. You can almost predict the thrust of the comments of certain "names"-I will not call them commentators because sometime you wonder if these "names" are real. Given the intersection of faith with our lived experiences, one will expect those who disagree with the editorial positions of AmericaMagazine and the views of AmericaMagazine writers to back up their position with i the deposit of our faith -which we all know is independent of anybody's tribal and base "alternative" "fact" and "alternative" "truth" and on the other hand empirically verifiable and accessible fact.
But Mr. Vincent Gaglione, you are right, one does not see that in the comments of these tribe women and men. Rather "names" come here under the guise of being real commentators to abuse and take advantage of the open nature of online platform-such as AmericaMagazine and the open and democratic nature of the American polity to line up tribal and base alternative "fact" , alternative "truth" and spew them at us.
The agenda of these tribe women and men is to intimidate AmericaMagazine and turn it into another tribal media megaphone in the image of their own tribal media outlets. But with comments and positions of people like you who ask the tribe men and women to appeal to faith and fact , the agenda of these tribe women and men will fail week in and week out of the publication of AmericaMagazine. Thanks for your post. God Bless you and your family. Ademoyo, You have it backwards. The tribalism is coming from the liberals and Democrats, not the president.
Their whole political agenda is based on identity politics or identifying any group they can and claiming they are oppressed. Where is things like racism, ethnic background, sex, gender identification, sexual orientation, religion only certain ones , disability, language use, etc. All from the liberals and the left. So it is not Trump who is the tribalist but the Democrats. J Cosgrove. I will stay with the facts in my response to you. What do you think of the birther movement which claimed that President Barak Obama is not a native born American citizen-a position which is also parroted by the Klu Klux Klan.
The "great" tribal leader categorically stated that President Barak Obama is not a native born American citizen. The "great" tribal leader built his entrance into the electoral politics on the birther movement-which claimed that President Obama is not a native born American. What do you think Mr. If you do not know I will inform briefly.
Sometime in , a female jogger, Ms. Trisha Meili was brutally and sadistically raped, beaten and left dead in Central park, New York. Bring Back Our Police. Now listen, Mr. J Cosgrove, the law is the law. My position is that if these boys were guilty after court trial, then they MUST face the full wrath of the law. But the "great" tribal leader DID NOT wait for court trial before he condemned the boys to death with his own mouth and through newspaper campaigns on the issue.
The "great" tribal leader campaigned for death penalty for these African American teenagers and young men before trial. To him they are guilty. It is obvious. The Central Park Five were tried and wrongly sent to jail. But they knew that they were innocent and they kept fighting in the court. Now in , the actual perpetrator, Mr. Matias Reyes, who raped, beat and sent Ms. Trisha Meili to her un-acceptable death confessed to the crime. DNA testing revealed that Mr. Matias Reyes committed the crime alone.
The court exonerated Raymond and the rest of the Central Park Five. Two questions for you Mr. Cosgrove i If you Mr. Cosgrove were the tribal leader who condemned and convicted in and with his mind and with his mouth the Central Park Five before trial and who later found that the court freed the Central park Five, what will you do?
The "great" tribal leader continued to believe in the guilt of the Central Park Five-who are African Americans and Hispanic. Characteristic of the childish, childlike, egoistic narcissistic so-called "fighting" spirit of the "great" tribal leader-who some alleged "Christian" members of the "great' tribal leader's base and tribe dubiously associate with and sacrilegiously compare to some prophets in the Holy Book-the Old Testament of our common deposit-the Bible thereby desecrating the Holy Bible refused to apologize to the Central Park Five because they are African Americans.
I guess the "great" tribal leader must be thinking that it is an abomination for him a "great" tribal leader to apologize to "some" African American and Hispanic youths! J Cosgrove, you are free not to see this link. But I have another question for you. Can you see the link between the "great" tribal leader's position that the Central Park Five who are African Americans must be executed before trial, and who the "great" tribal leader claimed are still guilty even after the court exonerated and acquitted them and the "great" tribal leader's who himself is a European American, whose ancestors came from Germany and Scotland, and whose latest wife is a recent Slovenia former Yugoslavia immigrant who initially came into the US on a visitor's visa called B1 Visa claim that President Barak Obama - who is an African American is not a native born American citizen?
Can you see this link Mr. I will stop here. Given the history and political pedigree of the "great" tribal leader and his desperation to use fear, anger, resentment, as tactics to rally his base and members of his tribe he has turned the hallowed chambers of the presidency to the seat and cave of tribalism. I leave the facts to you to deal with. Please to verify my factual claims , kindly do the following- google "The Central Park Five".
You can even consult the tribe and cave media outlets of the base and tribe of the "great" tribal leader for information on the Central Park Five. Thanks and God Bless you and your family Mr. You have written a long comment on the birther movement and the Central Park V. I would suggest you keep your comments shorter. Your comments do not indicate what you assert. J Cosgrove, Did you read your own post after you wrote it before posting it? Your post is similar to when the "great" tribal leader declared a self created state of emergency on a fiction while claiming at the same time he was declaring the state of emergency that he did not need to declare a state of emergency!
If as the "great" tribal leader said with his own mouth, that he did not need to to declare a state of emergency then the reason he declared a state of emergency is a self, base , and tribe serving fiction designed for re-election campaign! With your post, I can see, and I am sure that everybody can see how and why the "great" tribal leader who is the commander in brief tweet is able to use ignorant and illiterate brief tweets to keep members of his base and tribe in check-muddle the reality, manufacture a dummy, throw it in a series of short, illogical, tweets to the tribe women and men!
Cosgrove, that will not work here-in AmericaMagazine- among people who are not ethically and information challenged like the tribe men and women of the "great" tribal leader. Gaglione, Nonsense.
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You typically degrade other commenters while elevating yourself while never addressing the actual problem. I am a graduate of a Jesuit university and came to this site over 11 years ago when fellow graduates were discussing the one sided nearly all specious opinions on this site. Incredibly unlike the Jesuits I knew. Nothing has changed in these 11 years in that one sided tendency. Just the topics that are hyped. Gaglione: I totally appreciate your comment that "there seems to be a large number of ideologues who have probably been recruited to attack every article that America publishes that contradicts current Republican orthodoxy.
And we already know how Bannon feels about liberalism in American politics. I have continually wondered how the first comment in any online America article about the border and immigration invariably comes from the same person. This comment is already in place the second the article hits my inbox and therefore sets the tone for the discussion, which from there becomes divisive, rancorous and often uncivil as others who share the negative point-of-view chime in.
This article also appeared in print, under the headline "Contra Trump, church leaders describe a humanitarian emergency at the border," in the March 4, issue. Your source for jobs, books, retreats, and much more. Kevin Clarke February 15, Trump insists he needs to add miles to the miles of physical barriers along the 1,mile border with Mexico. How can we transform the U. Opportunity zones. Edward F. Cullen , Derrick H. Show Comments Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Mike Macrie. Jay Zamberlin. Barry Sullivan. This will work both ways, folks. Remember this! Douglas Fang. The first practice is to ask what needs to be done. Failure to ask this question will render even the ablest executive ineffectual. Asking what has to be done, and taking the question seriously, is crucial for managerial success.
As soon as he asked what needed to be done, though, Truman realized that foreign affairs had absolute priority. He organized his working day so that it began with tutorials on foreign policy by the secretaries of state and defense. As a result, he became the most effective president in foreign affairs the United States has ever known.
He contained Communism in both Europe and Asia and, with the Marshall Plan, triggered 50 years of worldwide economic growth. Similarly, Jack Welch realized that what needed to be done at General Electric when he took over as chief executive was not the overseas expansion he wanted to launch. It was getting rid of GE businesses that, no matter how profitable, could not be number one or number two in their industries.
But effective executives do not splinter themselves. They concentrate on one task if at all possible.
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If they are among those people—a sizable minority—who work best with a change of pace in their working day, they pick two tasks. I have never encountered an executive who remains effective while tackling more than two tasks at a time. Hence, after asking what needs to be done, the effective executive sets priorities and sticks to them.
Other tasks, no matter how important or appealing, are postponed. However, after completing the original top-priority task, the executive resets priorities rather than moving on to number two from the original list. But Welch also thought through another issue before deciding where to concentrate his efforts for the next five years.
He asked himself which of the two or three tasks at the top of the list he himself was best suited to undertake. Then he concentrated on that task; the others he delegated. Of course they know that shareholders, employees, and executives are important constituencies who have to support a decision, or at least acquiesce in it, if the choice is to be effective. In the successful family company, a relative is promoted only if he or she is measurably superior to all nonrelatives on the same level. At DuPont, for instance, all top managers except the controller and lawyer were family members in the early years when the firm was run as a family business.
All male descendants of the founders were entitled to entry-level jobs at the company. Beyond the entrance level, a family member got a promotion only if a panel composed primarily of nonfamily managers judged the person to be superior in ability and performance to all other employees at the same level.
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The same rule was observed for a century in the highly successful British family business J. Even the most brilliant executive is human and thus prone to mistakes and prejudices. But failure to ask the question virtually guarantees the wrong decision. Executives are doers; they execute. Knowledge is useless to executives until it has been translated into deeds.
But before springing into action, the executive needs to plan his course. What results will I commit to? With what deadlines? Is it acceptable within the organization? Is it legal? Is it compatible with the mission, values, and policies of the organization? But violating these restraints is certain to make it both wrong and ineffectual. The action plan is a statement of intentions rather than a commitment. It must not become a straitjacket. It should be revised often, because every success creates new opportunities. So does every failure.
The same is true for changes in the business environment, in the market, and especially in people within the enterprise—all these changes demand that the plan be revised. A written plan should anticipate the need for flexibility. In addition, the action plan needs to create a system for checking the results against the expectations. Effective executives usually build two such checks into their action plans.
The second occurs at the end, before the next action plan is drawn up. And organizations—whether government agencies, businesses, or nonprofits—are inherently time wasters. Napoleon allegedly said that no successful battle ever followed its plan. Yet Napoleon also planned every one of his battles, far more meticulously than any earlier general had done.
Without an action plan, the executive becomes a prisoner of events. And without check-ins to reexamine the plan as events unfold, the executive has no way of knowing which events really matter and which are only noise. When they translate plans into action, executives need to pay particular attention to decision making, communication, opportunities as opposed to problems , and meetings.
One of my clients, 30 years ago, lost its leadership position in the fast-growing Japanese market because the company, after deciding to enter into a joint venture with a new Japanese partner, never made clear who was to inform the purchasing agents that the partner defined its specifications in meters and kilograms rather than feet and pounds—and nobody ever did relay that information. That way, a poor decision can be corrected before it does real damage.
These reviews can cover anything from the results to the assumptions underlying the decision. Such a review is especially important for the most crucial and most difficult of all decisions, the ones about hiring or promoting people. Studies of decisions about people show that only one-third of such choices turn out to be truly successful. One-third are likely to be draws—neither successes nor outright failures. And one-third are failures, pure and simple. Effective executives know this and check up six to nine months later on the results of their people decisions.
They conclude, instead, that they themselves made a mistake. In a well-managed enterprise, it is understood that people who fail in a new job, especially after a promotion, may not be the ones to blame. Executives also owe it to the organization and to their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming individuals in important jobs. People who have failed in a new job should be given the choice to go back to a job at their former level and salary.
This option is rarely exercised; such people, as a rule, leave voluntarily, at least when their employers are U. But the very existence of the option can have a powerful effect, encouraging people to leave safe, comfortable jobs and take risky new assignments. Executives owe it to the organization and their fellow workers not to tolerate nonperforming people in important jobs. A systematic decision review can be a powerful tool for self-development, too. Checking the results of a decision against its expectations shows executives what their strengths are, where they need to improve, and where they lack knowledge or information.
It shows them their biases. Allocating the best people to the right positions is a crucial, tough job that many executives slight, in part because the best people are already too busy. Systematic decision review also shows executives their own weaknesses, particularly the areas in which they are simply incompetent. They delegate. Everyone has such areas.