Can We Read Our Way To Heaven? 


Our blogger, Elizabeth posted the following request a short while ago…

Just wondering if we could perhaps start another topic on what our bloggers are reading at the moment? Spiritual reading that is. I could start off by saying that I am loving Cardinal Sarah’s book on Silence. It is beautifully written, perceptive, and does bring home the need for quiet in this clamorous world of ours.

So… share with us the answer to Elizabeth’s question:  what are you reading at the present time?  Or maybe you think things are so bad in the Church right now, that we must all be busy ‘about our Father’s business?’ Let’s hear it…

November: Month of the Holy Souls…

Launched to mark the Feast of All Souls Day, 2nd November,  this thread is to allow us to share our favourite prayers, novenas and hymns for the benefit of the Holy Souls.  Praying for the dead is a tradition firmly rooted in Sacred Scripture:  “It is therefore a holy and wholesome thought to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from sins.” (2 Machabees 12:46)

Feel free too, to ask questions and offer comments on any related issues – for example, Purgatory. 

Pope Paul VI Enthusiastic About The Spirit of Novelty Within the Church

PopePaulVI3

Reader, Jim Paton from Perth, submitted the following extract from the text of the General Audience of Pope Paul VI on 2nd July, 1969. It is not available in English on the Vatican website, but you can read the original text by clicking on the photo of Paul VI. All emphases have been added by Jim, and all commentary below is from Jim in blue type.
We look forward to reading your thoughts on this rather startling speech from a pontiff due to be beatified in October. 

“Beloved Sons and Daughters!

We want to welcome the great words of the Council, those that define the spirit, and in summary form the dynamic mentality of many, inside and outside the Church, at the Council relate. One of these words is that of novelty. It’s a simple word, much used, very sympathetic to the men of our time. Flow in the religious field is wonderfully fertile, but poorly understood, it can become explosive. But it is the word that was given to us as an order, such as a program. Indeed there has been billed as a hope. It is a word bounced down to us from the pages of Scripture: “Behold, (saith the Lord). I will do new things “; is the Prophet Isaiah that speaks well; he echoed St. Paul (2 Cor. 5, 17), and then the Book of Revelation: “Behold, I am making all things” (21,5). And Jesus, Master, it is not himself an innovator? “Ye have heard that which was said to the ancients. . . But I tell you. .” (Mt. 5), he repeats in the Sermon on the Mount. The baptism, the beginning of the Christian life, it is not itself a regeneration? “We must walk in newness of life” (Rom. 6: 4). And so the whole tradition of Christianity, tending towards its perfection; it continually takes the concept of novelty, when he speaks of conversion, reform of ‘ascetic perfection. Christianity is like a tree, always in the spring, in the process of new flowers, new fruits; is a dynamic concept, it is an inexhaustible vitality, is a beauty.

 [Jim: I have never seen Scripture twisted like this before. This is diabolical]

A NEW SPIRIT

And the Council has presented us so. Two terms have qualified; renewal (cf. Lumen Gentium, n. 8 in the end; OptatamTotius, introd.), and update; this term, which Pope John gave free course, and was now in the current language, and not only in Italy (cf. AAS, 1963,p. 750); two words that speak of novelty; one referring to the field rather than inner spiritual; the other to the outer, canon, institutional. Our concern is very much that this “spirit of renewal”  (that’s how it is expressed by the Council: Optatam Totius, in the end) is to be all inclusive and kept alive. It responds salient aspect of our time, which is all in rapid and massive transformation, that is in the process of producing innovations in every area of ​​modern life. It rises spontaneously in the mind of the comparison: the whole world is changing, and religion is not?   It does not occur between the reality of life and Christianity, especially the Catholic one, a discrepancy, a detachment,mutual misunderstanding, mutual hostility, one runs, the other is still: how can they get along? how can it claim Christianity to influence life today?  And here is the reason of the reforms undertaken by the Church, especially after the Council; here is the Episcopate intent to promote the renewal corresponding to the needs of the present   (cf. Message to the Clergy of the Episcopate Trentino and South Tyrolean, 1967);   here is the Religious Orders ready to reform their statutes; here is the Catholic Laity qualify and articulate to the laws ecclesiastical; here is the liturgical reform, which everyone knows the extent and importance; here is the Christian education to re-examine its methods of pedagogy; behold, all the canonical legislation under review for renewal. And how many more consoling and promising new sprout in the Church in order to certify the new vitality, that even in these years so gory for religion demonstrates the continuous animation of the Holy Spirit! The development of ecumenism, guided by faith and charity alone is enough to score a progress almost unpredictable in the street and in the life of the Church. The hope, which is the Church’s gaze towards the future, fills his heart, and he says even as he throbs in new and loving waiting. The Church is not old, it is old; time is not the fold, and, if it is faithful to the principles of intrinsic and extrinsic his mysterious existence, the rejuvenated. It does not fear new; live by it. As a safe and fruitful tree by the root,it draws to itself every cycle its historic spring.”    Paul VI, General Audience of July 2, 1969. Source: Vatican Website

Comment

Along with the above, it might be worth mentioning, as it names Paul VI, the encyclical Redemptor Hominis (Pope John Paul II);  Article 3 states the following:

“Entrusting myself fully to the Spirit of truth, therefore, I am entering into the rich inheritance of the recent pontificates. This inheritance has struck deep roots in the awareness of the Church in an utterly new way, quite unknown previously, thanks to the Second Vatican Council, which John XXIII convened and opened and which was later successfully concluded and perseveringly put into effect by Paul VI, whose activity I was myself able to watch from close at hand.”

If it was unknown previously, then it it doesn’t belong to the deposit of faith. If it doesn’t belong to the deposit of faith then we can be assured that it isn’t the Spirit of truth that to which Pope John Paul II was entrusting himself. Further, the Popes have no mandate to teach this since it is novelty, which means that the faithful do not need to follow the new teachings of these men.

One other thing: where  Paul VI says “here is the Episcopate intent to promote the renewal corresponding to the needs of the present”  this goes against the perennial teachings of the Church, e.g.

“To use the words of the fathers of Trent, it is certain that the Church “was instructed by Jesus Christ and His Apostles and that all truth was daily taught it by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.”Therefore, it is obviously absurd and injurious to propose a certain “restoration and regeneration” for her as though necessary for her safety and growth, as if she could be considered subject to defect or obscuration or other misfortune. Indeed these authors of novelties consider that a “foundation may be laid of a new human institution,” and what Cyprian detested may come to pass, that what was a divine thing “may become a human church.”   [Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832]