capa-blog copy
Mar 242017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome

By valyag (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

In His Prayer during the Last Supper and before suffering His Passion, Jesus asked His Father: “Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are” (John 17, 11)… “so that they may all be  one, as you, Father, are in me and I in you, that they also may be in us” (John 17, 21)… “And I have given them the glory you gave me, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may be brought to perfection as one…”(John 17, 22-23).

Nothing can be worse to Christ’s Body than the breaking of that Unity; it is and shall always be the worst scandal in the Church.

It is easy to imagine the misery someone would live in if the members of his or her body fought one another and did not obey the command of the brains. Just imagine what would happen if hands denied feeding the mouth and putting clothes on the body; just imagine what would happen if legs felt jealous or envious of the other members and denied carrying them: how miserable would the body feel…? Just imagine if the heart fought the brains and decided not to beat anymore…

We could give wings to imagination and multiply these examples, though this unfortunate person would in the end suffer a terrible death as a final consequence of this war. The same can happen to the Church if there is no unit and harmony among Her members. Unfortunately there are so many divisions inside the Church, caused by the sins of Her children, that the fact that the Church still exists and survived all kinds of crises is in itself the greatest evidence that She is divine and supported by the Lord Himself.

“So I say to you, you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16, 18).

Inside this most beautiful Body of the Christ, united and vivified by the Holy Spirit, all the members are like cells: each one performs essential tasks to keep the Body alive.

“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of the Spirit” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 12-13).

The Apostle is really inspired when he compares the Church to a body:

“Now the body is not a single part, but many. If a foot should say: ‘Because I am not a hand I do not belong to the body,’ it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. Or if an ear should say, ‘because I am not an eye I do not belong to the body,’ it does not for this reason belong any less to the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the hearing be? If the whole body were hearing, where would the sense of smell be? But as it is, God placed the parts, each one of them, in the body as he intended. If they were all one part, where would the body be? But as it is, there are many parts, yet one body. The eye cannot say to the hand, ‘I do not need you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I do not need you’”(The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 14-21).

At the end of his reasoning, the Apostle concludes: “Indeed, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are all the more necessary” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 22).

 

Prof Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 172017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome

By valyag (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

Through faith and the Sacraments we become members of Our Lord’s Body.

“In that Body the life of Christ is poured into the believers who, through the sacraments, are united in a hidden and real way to Christ who suffered and was glorified” (Lumen Gentium # 7).

That is the reason why each and every Baptized Christian is called to “conforming with” the Christ (NT. From the Latin conformare = com/like, with, according to + formare/to form); that means taking the same shape of, being similar or identical to the Christ in suffering and in glory. Like Saint Paul told Saint Timothy:

“This saying is trustworthy: if we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him” (The Second Letter to Timothy 2, 11-12).

The Popes of the Church have always affirmed: “Christianus alter Christus”, which means that  “a Christian is another Christ”, precisely because he is a member of Christ’s Body and he lives in His Spirit. Saint Paul actually felt he was a member of the Christ and affirmed:

“Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I am filling up what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ on behalf of his body, which is the church” (The Letter to the Colossians 1, 24).

Saint Paul Apostle also reveals his perfect identification with the Christ-Head of the Church in his Letter to the Galatians:

“Yet I live, no longer I, but Christ lives in me; insofar as I now live in the flesh, I live by faith in the Son of God who has loved me and given himself up for me” (The Letter to the Galatians 2, 20).

Saint Paul also reveals his perfect communion with the Christ in his Letter to the Philippians:

“My eager expectation and hope is that I shall not be put to shame in any way, but that with all boldness, now as always, Christ will be magnified in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me life is Christ, and death is gain” (The Letter to the Philippians 1, 20 21).

Paul wanted the Philippians to share the same feeling of belonging to the Body of the Christ:

“Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus”(The Letter to the Philippians 2, 5).

In other words, he wanted the members of the Body to act in accordance with their Head.

“Complete my joy be being of the same mind, with the same love, united in heart, thinking one thing” (The Letter to the Philippians 2, 3).

The ultimate goal of each and every member of the Body is to be in total conformity with the Head:

“He is the head of the body, the church” (The Letter to the Colossians 1, 18).

We have been inserted in the Mystery of His Life to achieve that goal:

“My children, for whom I am in labor until Christ be formed in you” (The Letter to the Galatians 4, 19).

The Church is “just one Body” and therefore its greatest need is unity. Christ and the Apostles have repeatedly pointed at that fact. During the Last Supper Jesus prays His Father before His Passion:

“Holy Father, keep them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one just as we are” (John 17, 11).

Prof Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 102017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome

By valyag (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

When Jesus ascended to Heaven, He did not leave His Church orphan.

“I will not let you orphans; I will come to you” (John 14, 18).

He gave His Disciples the guarantee He would stay with them to the end of times.

“And behold, I am with you always, until the end of age” (Matthew 28, 20).

Not to leave His Church orphan, He sent His Spirit:

“… He breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the holy Spirit’” (John 20, 22).

He gave them the Holy Spirit when He appeared for the first time to His Disciples in the Cenacle. On the day of Pentecost, Saint Peter declared:

“Exalted at the right hand of God, he received the promise of the Holy Spirit from the Father and poured it forth, as you [both] see and hear” (The Acts of the Apostles 2, 33).

The Effusion of the Holy Spirit over the Apostles on Pentecost made the invisible communion between Jesus and His Church even more intense. After His Ascension, instead of being “with” His people, Jesus is “in” His people, in His Church, through the Holy Spirit. Vatican Council II teaches us:

By communicating His Spirit, Christ made His brothers, called together from all nations mystically the components of His own Body” (Lumen Gentium, 7).

“For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 13).

The Sacrament of Baptism joins us to the Death and Resurrection of the Christ; it also makes us in His likeness.

“We were indeed buried with him through baptism into death, so that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might live in newness of life. For if we have grown into union with him through a death like his, we shall also be united with him in the resurrection” (Romans 6, 4-5).

Therefore we become members of Christ’s Body (see The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 17): ‘so we, though many, are one body in Christ and individually parts of one another” (Romans 12, 5).

This is the Church!

Saint Leo the Great (died 461 AD) says:

“O Christian, acknowledge your dignity. You share the divine nature…Always remember the Head you belong to and the Body you are a member of” (Sermons 21, Chapter 3).

The Church is not simply congregated around the Christ; She is unified in Him and in His Body. It is not a mere “club”; it is the Body of Jesus that goes on living all through human history.

 

Prof Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Mar 032017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome

By valyag (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons


Since the beginning of His Mission, Jesus incorporated His Disciples (His Church) to His life.

“Jesus said to them, ‘Come after me, and I will make you fishers of men’” (Mark 1,17); and for three years, He unveiled the Mystery of the Kingdom of God to them.

He said to them in reply, “Because knowledge of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven has been granted to you, but to them it has not been granted” (Matthew 13,11).

He wanted His Disciples to share His Mission of rescuing mankind and also share His joys and pains.

The seventy[-two] returned rejoicing, and said, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us because of your name” (Luke 10, 17).

“It is you who have stood by me in my trials; and I confer a kingdom on you, just as my Father has conferred one on me, that you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom; and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel” (Luke 22, 28-30).

Jesus wanted to be joined in intimate communion with those who followed Him:

“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me and I in him” (John 6, 56).

That real and mysterious union has awesome effects:

“Just as the living Father sent me and I have life because of the Father, so also the one who feeds on me will have life because of me”(John 6, 57). “I am the living bread that came down from heaven; whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh for the life of the world” (John 6,51).

He maintains and supports His Church; the Catechism tells us that: “The Church is communion with Jesus” (CCC # 787).

We enter into communion with the Christ through Eucharist:

“Because the loaf of bread is one, we, through many, are one body, for we partake of the one loaf” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 10, 17).

Pope Paul VI once said that “those who do not love the Church, do not love Jesus Christ” for they are one single reality.

Professor Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Feb 242017
 

More than a human and legal Institution, the Church is a “Mystery”; it is a human-divine complex. The same way Jesus is man and God at the same time, His Church is also human and divine and was created after His likeness. That is the Mystery we shall never be able to perfectly understand during earthly life, though it is a reality.

Chapter I of “Lumen Gentium” (Peoples’ Light) – the Vatican Council II Dogmatic Constitution on the Church – is devoted to that Mystery and starts as follows:

“… The Church is in Christ like a sacrament or as a sign and instrument both of a very closely knit union with God and of the unity of the whole human race…” (LG, 1).

Vatican Council II teaches us that God did not want to save mankind individually; on the contrary, “He planned to assemble in the holy Church all those who would believe in Christ” (LG, 2).

God the Father decreed the salvation of mankind through the Body of Christ, the Church.  Each baptized individual becomes a member of that Body, in which God gathers His human family that sin had dispersed. In his First Letter to the Corinthians, Saint Paul clearly explains that reality:

“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body… Now you are Christ’s body, and individually parts of it” (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 12-27).

That is an awesome reality: we are the Body of Christ. The Father decided to bring back His human family to His Proximity through the creation of this human-divine Mystical Body (mysterious Body), so that we can co-experience His blissful life once again.

“Grafted in Christ” (Romans 11, 17) through Baptism, we participate in His Death and Resurrection; in Him we become God’s adoptive children and heirs of eternal life. That is the redeeming reality of the Church, “the universal sacrament of salvation” (LG, 48) and “mystery of men’s union with God” (CCC # 772).

Prof Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
Feb 172017
 

 Christians of the first centuries did not hesitate in saying that “The world was created for the sake of the Church.” Saint Clemens of Alexandria (died in 215 AD) stated:

“Just as God’s will is creation and is called “the world,” so his intention is the salvation of men, and it is called “the Church” (CCC  760).

Many children of that loving Mother knew how to be faithful to Her up to the end. In 1988, Monsignor Ignatius Ong Pin-Mei, Bishop of Shangai, after being kept in jail for 30 long years in China because of his love for the Christ and faithfulness to the Catholic Church, declared on the following day of his release from prison:

“I stayed faithful to the Roman Catholic Church. Thirty years of prison did not change me. I kept my faith. I am ready to go back to prison tomorrow to defend my faith.”

The Cardinal of Czechoslovakia Frantisek Tomasek, Archbishop of Prague was living hard times of communist persecution in 1985. A reporter asked him: “Your Eminency, are you not tired of combating unsuccessfully?” And he answered:

 

“I always repeat: those who work for the Kingdom of God do a lot; those who pray, do more; those who suffer, do everything. That everything is exactly the little we do here in Czechoslovakia” (IL Sabato 8, 14/06/85, p.11), (PR,  284, Jan 1986).

 

It is opportune to remember here that a few years later, in 1989, communism started to crumble all through the Iron Curtain…

Christians of all times shed their blood because of their faith in the Church; starting with the martyrs of the Roman Empire, followed by the martyrs of Nazism and Communism and also of modern times.

Tertullian, Bishop and Historian of the Church during the III Century, wrote to the Emperor of his time telling him that it was useless to kill Christians because “the blood of the martyrs is the seed of new Christians”. The more Christians were devoured by beasts, burnt at the stake and slain by the sword, the bigger was Christianity in Rome, up to the time when the Roman Emperor Constantine himself converted to Christ, around the year 313 AD, and finally banned the persecution of Christians.

In the year 390 AC the Emperor Theodosius made Christianism the official religion of Roman Empire. Years later, his successor Julian, the Apostate, wanted to revive paganism but it was too late; he died with this exclamation in his lips: “You won, o Galileo!”

Prof Felipe Aquino

Professor Felipe Aquino is a widower, father of five children. On TV Canção Nova he presents the program “Escola da Fé” [School of faith] and “Pergunte e Responderemos” [Ask and respond], on Radio he presents the program “in the heart of the Church”. On weekends he preaches deepening meetings throughout Brazil and abroad. He wrote 73 books of Catholic background by publishers, Loyola and Cleopas and Canção Nova. His teacher’s page:www.cleofas.com.br Twitter: @pfelipeaquino

 Posted by at 01:01
HTML Snippets Powered By : XYZScripts.com