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Nov 212017
 


“I will make you wise, I will show you the way to go; with eyes on you, I will give you counsel “(Ps 32,8 Portuguese).
Each day that we are born, we must make the firm decision to live with quality the time granted by the Lord God. Sometimes, early on, some unpleasant situations happen, but we can not allow bad temper, irritation, sadness and so many other negative feelings to lead and determine the pace of our day.


Instead, let us make a firm decision to live with joy and overcome our limits in God. Let us ask the Lord, “Give me the grace to live all that the Lord has in store for me this day,” for the Lord always has the best for us.
Jesus I trust in you!
Luzia Santiago
Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community

 Posted by at 01:01
Nov 202017
 

Stay strong my child

The great provision of God for our times is the Holy Spirit. When a soldier is sent on a mission he goes with a supply, that is, his commander gives him weapons, food, medicines and clothes, all that will be needed for that mission. No commander will send a soldier without giving him the necessary supplies.

Even at home, when a child goes for a walk, the mother prepares his lunch, the clothes and all that is necessary for that day. It’s the provision for that trip. Likewise, in order to face these times in which we are living, and also, this time when Jesus is approaching, we need the Holy Spirit.

We need the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, we need the promise of Jesus: “… but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit” (Acts 1: 5b). You ask yourself, “What do I need to do to be baptized in the Holy Spirit?” It’s as simple as drinking a sip of water, on the other hand, no one can do it for you. It is necessary that you want and take the first step. If you do not “open yourself” to receive the water, no one will do it for you.


God, gave me the grace to receive the Holy Spirit, even if I did not understand it, from the bottom of my heart I wanted this, I was thirsty. But I did not know that it was the grace of the Holy Spirit that I lacked, yet I wanted that “something more.”
That’s why I continually asked for I was thirsty!
God came to my aid and granted me grace.
Ask for the grace of being baptized in the Holy Spirit today!
God bless you!
Your brother,
Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the Canção Nova Community

 Posted by at 01:01
Nov 192017
 

Jesus reminds us that we are the light of the world and we are the salt of the Earth. When we forget that or even reject that, then not only are we not doing any good, we are not doing anything worthwhile for our neighbors around us.

In today’s Gospel we can see that Jesus is showing us that he gives us a treasure for which we are responsible to make a return on His investment in us. If we fail to make a return, even if the return on investment is no less than the original principle, then we have failed in the vocation to be salt and light.

Our second reading today comes from St. Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians. We read this passage at this time of year because the focus is on the end times and at the end of the liturgical year, December 2, we also focus on our own ends.

If you look carefully at this passage, it reveals an often forgotten or even lost understanding of the teaching of our faith.

The more we embrace Christ the more we grow in the wisdom of God. This means that as we grow in the wisdom of God, we see things differently than those who reject God’s wisdom. In fact, we have an understanding of the bigger picture of the way the world works around us than those who do not believe have.

This is where St. Paul reminds us that we are not of darkness nor of night. Keep in mind that darkness in St. Paul means minds that are not enlightened by Christ. They are darkened. This means that the most educated and  smartest person in the world, who also rejects Christ, is one whose mind is darkened, despite his or her status and education.They are incapable of seeing the bigger picture that those in the light can see and incapable of understanding the world through the eyes of faith.

He or she may know skills and theories beyond our ability to understand them but the person still does not see the world through the wisdom of God, which is greater than this.

To grow in the wisdom of God, we need to live our faith in Christ in daily prayer and divinely inspired action. We will see the world through the eyes of faith and when we do, we look at the signs of the times and see them in this context.

Let me give you a great example. Pope St. John Paul II warned back in 1993 that one of the greatest dangers facing our society worldwide is where freedom is set up in opposition to truth. So freedom becomes the greatest treasure of a society, but we learn that when freedom is opposite to truth then it becomes a standard of division not unity.

This US Bishops in their semi-annual meeting this week discussed that next year is the fiftieth anniversary of Humanae Vitae which is the document that defined the Church’s  teaching on such things as artificial contraception and marriage. The fruit of rejecting that document and other forms of Catholic teaching is to create a world that separated faith from morality and freedom from truth. This leads to a world that is not rooted in the wisdom of Christ, but in a secular way of thinking. Those families that embrace and live Catholic teaching including Humanae Vitae, according to Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco, have a 2% divorce rate. They embrace the light and produce the fruits of it.

Further, In the wisdom of God what becomes the standard of unity? It is:  charity also known as love.

When this divine oriented love becomes the standard the one fruit is a true freedom which grows in a community, and the community grows in love and peace in Christ. When freedom trumps charity then the community starts to divide because the standard of freedom is defined on an individual basis not a communal basis.

Let me give you an example. One of the greatest freedoms enjoyed in this country is the freedom of speech. I have the freedom to say anything I want, legally, but I, through the wisdom of God, understand that although I have the freedom to say anything, I must in charity only say that which is the best thing to say or I may be in sin for saying which is legal but unholy. As St. Paul commands: “Say only the good things man needs to hear.”

This means that the freedom is there, but does not mean that we should express it outside of charity.

When I obey these words of St. Paul, I grow in my witness to Christ and I am a blessing to the community. When I reject them and live in a community that does the same, I become part of the end of the community through creating factions and divisions.

Those who are not so enlightened will happily express their freedom over charity and they will watch the community in which they live become divided by lack of charity and not understand where the destruction  came from. In fact, any war manual will tell you that the way to defeat a nation is get the people against each other and one of the tactics described is exactly what I just said. Cause division and the nation will weaken and eventually fall. I am sure you realize that there are forces trying to accomplish this in this country as we speak.

A house divided cannot stand and neither can a nation divided.

Those of us who seek to grow in Christ will seek to live in a freedom that is rooted in Christ because we see the bigger picture. We know that a world in division will end, but a kingdom united in Christ will exist forever.  Those who reject Christ are blind to this bigger picture and they will not see the destruction that is coming their way.

This is why we need to understand that we know, what we know and live in that wisdom for the benefit of our loved ones and more. The more we do that, we can easily discern those who are living in light and those who are living in darkness.

This will lead us to live in such a way that we will give the Lord a return on His investment in us which is the salvation of souls. 

God Bless You, 

Fr. Robert J Carr

 Posted by at 18:11
Nov 172017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

All through the History of the Church, Popes seldom felt the necessity of issuing “ex-cathedra” documents. Not all dogmas of Catholic Faith were formally and solemnly proclaimed; for example, in the Creed there are 12 Articles of Faith that did not have to be formally proclaimed because the Apostles themselves passed these articles of faith on to Christianity.

 

Let us formalize the list of Pontiff Definitions in chronological order, according to Dom Estevão Bettencourt in “Pergunte e Responderemos” Magazine (“Ask and we shall Answer You” Magazine, 1994 # 381 pages 67 to 72).

 

  1. Pope Saint Leo Magnus wrote a letter to Flavian, Bishop of Constantinople in the year 444 A.D. In that letter, the Pope formalized the healthy doctrine on the mystery of Incarnation, by affirming that: “Christ is one only Person (the Divine Person) with two natures (Divine and Human natures). The Pope also sent that letter to the Ecumenical Council of Calcedonia in the year 451 A.D. and the Clergy present at the Council considered it a definite and obligatory document of Christianity. That Document represented the Papal reaction to a heretic movement called Monophysicism.

 

  1. Pope Saint Agatho wrote a letter “to the emperors” in 680 A.D., affirming in definite character that Christ had two different wills, human and Divine wills, though his human will was totally subject to the Divine Will. By doing so, the Pope rebuked the heretic movement of Monothelitism, which affirmed that Christ only had one will, His Divine Will. The Pope sent that document to Constantinople Council III (680/681 A.D.) and the Council accepted and welcomed it with applause.

 

  1. Pope Bonifacius VIII wrote the Bull “Unam Sanctam” in the year 1302. In that document, the Pope declares, affirms, defines and proclaims that: “each and every human being is subject to the Supreme Roman Pontiff.” This sentence must be understood in the historical context of its proclamation and it means that the Pope has jurisdiction over each and every human creature “ratione peccati”, i.e. insofar the activities of an individual concern eternal life; it does not apply to administrative activities of civil governments and so on.

 

  1. Pope Benedict XII approved the Constitution “Benedictus Deus” in the year 1336. This Document defined that: pure souls can behold God’s essence face to face immediately after their physical death.

 

  1. Pope Leo X wrote the Bull “Exsurge Domine” in the year 1520, in which he condemned the 41 propositions made by Martin Luther as heretic.

 

  1. Pope Innocent X approved the Apostolic Constitution “Cum Occasione” in the year 1653. In this document, the Pope rebuked the 5 propositions of the book “Augustinus” by Cornelius Jansenius and declared these 5 propositions heretic. Jansenism (from Cornelius Jansenius) was a heresy influenced by Martin Luther’s ideas on the original sin: it supported a pessimistic concept on human nature that, according to their ideas, was enslaved to concupiscence and sin; consequently, they accepted that human beings can only do good deeds under the irresistible influx of God’s Grace. Jansenist pessimism was reinforced by the thesis that Christ did not redeem the whole of mankind but only pre-destined individuals. Pope Innocent X condemned all these heresies.

 

  1. Pope Innocent XI approved the Constitution “Caelestis Pastor” in the year 1687. In this Constitution, the Pope condemned as heretic the 68 propositions made by Miguel de Molinos (died 1696) about the Quietism, a mystical movement that associated spiritual perfection with total passiveness and tranquility of soul. According to this movement, Christians should not even desire eternal bliss or strive to achieve virtues: in that state of total passiveness, any personal trait or desire should be totally extinguished in their souls. Souls in this total state of annihilation should not sin anymore and they would not experience any further necessity of praying, of doing deeds of piety or fighting against temptation.

 

  1. Pope Innocent XII approved the Constitution “Cumm alias” in 1699. In this Constitution, the Pope condemned 23 propositions in the book “Explications des maxims des Saints sur la vie interieure” by François de Salignac Fènelon, who tried to revisit Quietism and present it as the purest love human creatures can have for God.

 

  1. Pope Clement XI approved the Constitution “Unigenitus” in 1713. In this document, the Pope condemned 101 articles of the book “Reflexionis Moralis” by Pascassio Quesnel (died 1719). This author supported Jansenism and their pessimistic ideas about human nature. It is worth noticing that during the Jansenist crisis the world witnessed the Visitation of Jesus, in the Apparitions of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (1673-1675) and the apparition of Saint Marguerite Mary Alocoque: these Apparitions reminded the world, above all, about God’s Mercy and Christ’s Love in opposition to the pessimistic view of the Jansenism.

 

  1. Pope Pius VI approved the Constitution “Auctorem Fidei” in 1794. In this document, the Pope condemned 85 heretic theses approved by the Pistoria Synod in Tuscany, 1786. These theses were an expression of the radical nationalism and despotism of the State that had thrived since the times of Phillip IV the Fair in France. Encouraged by false concepts, many French Catholic Kings pretended they were creating regional Churches but mad these churches totally independent of the Pope and subject to the King. That made the Church subject to the State in these regions. Among other things, the Pistoria Synod advocated the ban of the devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the ban of processions, images, indulgences, priest’s fees of the Mass and other religious services and the abolishment of different religious Orders and Congregations, that should be reduced to just one order, a Jansenist order.

 

  1. Pope Pius XI wrote the Bull “Ineffabilis Deus” in 1854, in which he proclaimed and defined the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary.

 

  1. Pope Pius XII approved the Constitution “Munificientissimus Deus” in 1950, in which he defined and proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of Our Lady to Heaven in body and soul.

 

It is worth noticing that all further Documents issued by the Ministry of the Church, in especial by the Pope, belong to the common Ministry of the Church and all Christians must respect and follow them, even though they are not “ex-cathedra” Documents. Vatican Council II affirmed that:

 

“Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old, making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock. Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking” (Lumen Gentium  25).

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
Nov 162017
 

Be sure: sin is the cause of your sadness, and only Jesus can give you back true joy

In some specific situations, where two people were condemned to death, the Romans used to apply an extremely cruel sentence. They tied the two people together, face with face, arm with arm, hand with hand, leg with leg, and so on. Then they killed only one of them and put them both in the tomb, bound. As the corpse decayed, it released substances that consumed the body of the one with whom it was tied.

In this way, we can better understand what St. Paul alluded to when he said: “Unhappy man that I am! Who shall deliver me from this body, which bringeth me to death? “(Rm 7,24). He did not speak of his physical body, but of the sinful body to which he was bound.

Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

As with the condemned one, we do not have the strength to get rid of this body of sin that consumes us. We are so bound to it that we appear to form one body, and we are not bound from without, but within, in our heart.

We need someone to untie us and free us from this body that kills us and makes us rot in life.

Christians are the soft odor of Christ, but when you have a body of sin locked in your heart, your own heart becomes corrupted and begins to stink, with the foul smell, the air around you. Instead of being a cause of joy and happiness for self and others, it becomes a cause of suffering and unhappiness because it moves away from God and enters into discord with people to defend selfish interests.

The truth is that we are the first victims of this evil; we feel sad, depressed and abandoned, because we are sinners and in our hearts lives a leprosy called sin, which has made us numb to the loving presence of God. And the worst is that we can not run away from sin, as if one runs away from an unpleasant person. We can not escape because sin speaks to us from within our hearts (Ps. 36: 2), we take it with us wherever we go.

Only Jesus can give you back true joy.

Rest assured, sin is the cause of your sorrow, and only Jesus can bring you back true joy. It is necessary for Him to deliver you from this evil, to kill that leprosy and to change your corrupted heart into a new heart. Every person who thinks it is impossible for his sins to be forgiven him, goes into despair, and makes his condition worse than it was before. So trust God!

If you have ever felt lost because of something you did, if you were afraid of falling into hell, you felt desolate and without strength, if, after repeated struggles against one sin, once again you were overcome and felt like giving up, I have great news for you: only those who have felt this can experience what it is to be saved by the Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and this same Jesus can eliminate his sadness at the root.

Article extracted from the book “Vencendo Aflições Alcançando Milagres” [Conquering Afflictions Reaching Miracles]

Márcio Mendes

Born in Brasilia in 1974, Márcio Mendes is married and the father of two children.Former cadet of the Brazilian Area Force Academy, Mendes is a missionary of the Canção Nova Community since 1994, where he works in areas related to communication. Theologian, he is the author of several books.

 Posted by at 01:01
Nov 152017
 

translation: Love folded over so that it cannot be broken

Guilty feelings do not come from God.

“Brothers, you were called to freedom.” (Gal 5:13) Diving into the love of God is the secret to getting rid of guilt, and that feeling does not come from Him. Everything that enslaves us does not come from the Lord. Many people, because of a lack of knowledge, think that by doing the will of God they become slaves. On the contrary: the more we give up our will to do God’s will, the freer we become, because the Lord has made us free and for freedom. Many people carry a terrible sense of guilt and allow themselves to be destroyed by it. Immerse yourself in the infinite love of the Father, and immediately let go of all of these feelings.

Jesus, I trust in You!
Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community

Luzia Santiago

[It is a powerful teaching of the saints, i.e. St. Alphonsus Liguori, that once one has repented, guilty feelings that persist are not from God, just as Luzia teaches above.–Ed. 

 Posted by at 01:01
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