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Sep 202017
 

God seeks true worshipers

Being a worshiper is something that requires so much fidelity, so much dedication, so much consecration that, sadly, there are few worshipers and even less true worshipers. “The spirit of the Lord rests upon me, because the Lord hath anointed me; he sent me to carry the glad tidings to the humble, to heal the sorrowful hearts, to proclaim redemption to the captives , and to the prisoners to liberty “(Isaiah 61: 1). The Spirit of the Lord rests upon us to do the same thing as the Holy Spirit did there at the beginning of creation, where everything was chaos; and as he landed there, He broughtpeace, and beauty. Where death was, life reigned. Creation emerged from there.

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com
Often, we are in chaos and we live in this chaos, because we are human creatures made of clay. We are not yet the image and likeness of God. We are all being made still in the image and likeness of God, we are coming out of chaos to become God’s image and likeness. Our life is a time of transformation, and this brings suffering. Each of us has a part, and even in God’s design, each one of us is part of it.

You are unique and God is acting just for this, to make you unique, because only He knows how you are. We are so foolish, we want to be what we think we are, and worse, we want to be equal to everyone. God wants to make us the part he needs, it is no use to want to be like the others, we have to be the one that God wants us to be. For this piece to be formed, much suffering is needed.

The great truth is that as the Spirit hovered over that chaos, in the beginning, now also He hovers over us, for our work is not finished. We ask God to walk with us, but we are so ignorant that we do not even know which is the way. God is so merciful that He invites us to walk with Him, because He is the way. Faced with what the Word is telling us, the Lord requires, within us, an unconditional surrender. His will is not like our will, God’s will is the best for us. It was he who created us, it was not us who created us. It was He who loved us, and because He loved us, He chose us, He made us come to life and He made us unique. The Lord knows who we are and where we should go, where we will be placed. So, the smartest thing is to surrender unconditionally to Him. As Mary said, let’s also say, “Let Me be made according to Your word.” So that the Word may become flesh in us and from there, the Word may dwell among us.

God bless you!

Your brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the Canção Nova Community

Sep 152017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=166810

Saint Irenaeus (dead 202 A.D.) has been teaching us where to find God’s Truth since the Second Century of existence of the Church:

 

“Being our trials of such big proportions, it is vain to look for the Truth elsewhere if you can easily find it in the Church, for the Apostles deposited the plenitude of the Truth in the Church, like in a rich big barn, so that everyone who yearns for the Truth can drink from the Source of Life in the Church. In Her you shall find the open door to Life; all other pathways are full of thieves and way layers. That is the reason why it is necessary to avoid these dangerous paths and to love dearly everything that belongs to the Church, thus keeping the sound heritage of the Truth (Against the heresies, book III, 1, 1-2, 1-3; 4-1).

 

Saint Irenaeus fiercely combated the Gnostic heretics. He often talked about the misfortune of those who forsake the Church:

“The preaching of the Church is firm and solid from all standpoints; it never changes and has the benefit of the testimony of Prophets, Apostles and Disciples. Their testimony comprehends beginning, middle and end, in other words, the totality of God’s economy and action, the foundation of our faith, which infallibly targets human salvation. That is the reason why we keep with zeal and care the faith we received from the Church, like a most precious treasure deposited in a most exquisite vessel. Under the influx of the Holy Spirit of God, this faith is incessantly renewed and incessantly renews its containing vessel.  For as the Divine breath was entrusted to the moulded clay, the same way “God’s Gift” (John 4, 10) was entrusted to the Church so that all Her members could share it and be revivified by this Gift. God put the communion with the Christ in the hands of the Church, in other words, God gave the Holy Spirit to the Church, a guarantee of incorruptibility, confirmation of our faith and the stairway of our ascension towards God:  ‘Some people God has designated in the church to be, first, apostles; second, prophets; third, teachers; then, mighty deeds; then, gifts of healing, assistance, administration, and varieties of tongues’ (The First Letter to the Corinthians 12, 28). The Church received from God everything She needs to co-operate with the action of the Holy Spirit. Those who refuse to join the Church are excluding themselves from the Holy Spirit and thus blocking real Life to nourish them through their false doctrines and depraved actions. For where the Church is, the Spirit of God is there as well and where the Spirit of God is, the Church and all the grace are there as well. Indeed, the Spirit is also the Truth. Consequently, those who do not participate in it are not being nourished and vivified by the breast of the Mother; those who cannot drink from the pure Source that springs from the Body of Christ ‘have dug themselves cisterns, broken cisterns, that hold no water’ (Jeremiah 2, 13); they dig holes on the ground and they drink polluted water from the swamps.  They run away from the Church because they fear being unmasked and they reject the Spirit because they do not want to be instructed. They have become strangers to the Truth and therefore they are doomed to thrust themselves into all kinds of mistake: their mistakes will cause their downfall. They make the fatal mistake of having a different idea at each new moment about major issues and they lack a solid unchangeable doctrine. Rather than Disciples of the truth, they are sophists of words. They did not build their foundations on the Rock, but on sand, and sand full of brittle” (Against the Heresies, Book III, 24, 1).

 

Saint Epiphany (dead on 403 A.D.), great combatant against the heresies, follows the same line of Saint Irinaeus:

 

“There is One Real Pathway, the Catholic Church and only one pathway to the Truth. On the other hand, heresies have left the real pathways because they took wrong turns to the left or to the right: therefore they are abandoned to themselves and they gradually drown in their mistakes.

Alas, then, o servants of God and children of God’s Holy Church, who know the safe rules of faith! Do not allow the voices of strangers to lead you astray from the Church and do not allow them to mislead you with  false assumptions of the so-called sciences (Haer. 59, c. 12s).

Also Saint Vincent of Lerins (dead on 450 A.D.) also combated the Pelagian heresy and he affirms that:

“Asking diligently and attentively to numerous eminent authorities on sanctity and doctrine which safe norm I could use, as regular and generic as possible, to tell the truth of Catholic faith from the falsehood of heresy, that is the uniform answer they all gave me: those who want to find out the emerging fraud of the heretic, avoid their traps and stay safe and sound in faith, should shelter their own faith under double Divine protection: first under the authority of the Divine Law and second under the Tradition of the Church” (Commonitorium).

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
Sep 122017
 

Jesus wants us to believe in His love and His mercy

All sins are forgiven, those of yesterday, the small and great, those of tomorrow and those of next week. Jesus has already repaid our debt. The Lord knows our fragility; but we seem to be afraid of it.

When we least expect it, we make mistakes. Out of love, we do not want to sin, since Jesus was so good to us. However, when we falter and commit an infraction, we do not have to receive accusations from the enemy, nor from our own conscience. We need to take Jesus’ forgiveness.

How do you do this? Recognizing, truly, that we have sinned. Not acting like an ostrich, who hides his head under the earth. If necessary, receiving the sacrament of penance, which is wonderful, without fearing the accusations of the enemy. We are afraid to look to God and take our eyes off our sins.

Jesus says, “Look at me, turn your hearts to me.” The Lord wants us to understand that He loves us and that He is merciful. He wants us to believe in His love and His mercy.

God bless you!

His brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the Canção Nova Community

 Posted by at 10:03
Sep 082017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpg
CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=166810

After 1,500 years of existence of the Roman Catholic Church, the protagonists of Protestant Reformation decided to tell the world that the Roman Catholic Church “had taken a wrong pathway of salvation”. Is it possible? Has the Holy Spirit not helped the Church, as promised by Jesus?

It is worth quoting here the words Saint Paul said to Saint Timothy:

“First of all, then, I ask that supplications, prayers, petitions, and thanksgivings be offered for everyone, for kings and for all in authority, that we may lead a quiet and tranquil life in all devotion and dignity. This is good and pleasing to God our savior, who wills everyone to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth. For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time” (The First Letter to Timothy 2, 1-6).

The Apostle shows clearly that salvation is equivalent to having “knowledge of the truth”. The “healthy doctrine” that Jesus entrusted to His Apostles and commanded them to teach to all nations is the pathway that leads to salvation.

Saint Paul also tells his faithful Disciple that:

“I am writing you about these matters, although I hope to visit you soon. But if I should be delayed, you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. Undeniably great is the mystery of devotion, Who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed to the Gentiles, believed in throughout the world, taken up in glory” (The First Letter to Timothy 3, 14-16).

Affirming that the Church is “the pillar and foundation of truth” is equivalent to affirming that without the Church the truth has no basis or foundation on which it can stand upright. It is equivalent to affirming that the Ministry of the Church is infallible. Without the Church, Jesus’ Doctrine would have never been transmitted to us untouched and pure. Teilhard de Chardin affirmed that: “without the Church, the Christ evaporates, crumbles down or melts away and is totally annulled.”

Jesus insisted on the importance of the truth. He said to Pilate that He had come to the world “to testify to the truth” (John 18, 37).  To the Jews who believed in Him, He promised: “If you remain in my word, you will truly be my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8, 32). He affirmed to His Disciples that: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14, 6). In His prayer to His Father, He asked: “Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth” (John 17, 17).

Saint Paul exhorts the Thessalonians not to be misled by all the tribulation the Church will have to face before the Second Come of the Lord. Those who allow false arguments to lead them astray shall perish “because they have not accepted the love of truth so that they may be saved” (The Second Letter to the Thessalonians 2, 10).

“Therefore, God is sending them a deceiving power so that they may believe the lie, that all who have not believed the truth but have approved wrongdoing may be condemned” (The Second Letter to the Thessalonians 2, 11-12).

Saint Paul clearly shows in the passage above that those who choose human teaching and false doctrines in detriment to God’s Truth and the doctrines of the Church shall be lost because they “have not believed the truth”.

Let us repeat once more the words of the Apostle: “you should know how to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of truth” (The First Letter to the Thessalonians 3, 15).

The Catechism of the Catholic Church thoroughly confirms Saint Paul’s statement:

“Missionary motivation. It is from God’s love for all men that the Church in every age receives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, “for the love of Christ urges us on.” Indeed, God “desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth”; that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth. Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth are already on the way to salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, must go out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in God’s universal plan of salvation, the Church must be the missionary” (CCC # 851).

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

Aug 252017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpgIn the Pastoral Letters that Saint Paul wrote to Saint Timothy and Saint Titus, consecrated as Bishops by Saint Paul himself, one can notice the great concern of the Apostle with the Doctrine, so that it would never be corrupted by oral and written retransmission along the centuries. The following excerpts of these letters clearly demonstrate the Apostle’s great concern with the preservation of the purity of the Doctrine.

“I repeat the request I made of you when I was on my way to Macedonia, that you stay in Ephesus to instruct certain people not to teach false doctrines” (The First Letter to Timothy 1, 3).

“If you will give these instructions to the brothers, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound teaching you have followed. Avoid profane and silly myths” (The First Letter to Timothy 4, 6).

“Whoever teaches something different and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the religious teaching is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid disposition for arguments and verbal disputes. From these come envy, rivalry, insults, evil suspicions, and mutual friction among people with corrupted minds, who are deprived of the truth, supposing religion to be a means of gain” (The First Letter to Timothy 6, 3-5).

“O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Avoid profane babbling and the absurdities of so-called knowledge. By professing it, some people have deviated from the faith. Grace be with all of you” (The First Letter to Timothy 6, 20-21).

“Guard this rich trust with the help of the holy Spirit that dwells within us” (The Second Letter to Timothy 1, 14).

“For the time will come when people will not tolerate sound doctrine but, following their own desires and insatiable curiosity, will accumulate teachers and will stop listening to the truth and will be diverted to myths” (The Second Letter to Timothy 4, 3-4).

Saint Paul recommends the same zeal for the Doctrine to Saint Titus. Talking about the qualities a Bishop should have, he affirms that:

“For a bishop as God’s steward must be blameless, not arrogant, not irritable, not a drunkard, not aggressive, not greedy for sordid gain, but hospitable, a lover of goodness, temperate, just, holy, and self-controlled, holding fast to the true message as taught so that he will be able both to exhort with sound doctrine and to refute opponents” (The Letter to Titus 1, 7-9).

“This saying is trustworthy. I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others. Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries, and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and futile. After a first and second warning, break off contact with a heretic, realizing that such a person is perverted and sinful and stands self-condemned” (The Letter to Titus 3, 8-11).

Moved by his great zeal for a healthy Doctrine, Saint Paul seriously and firmly exhorts the Galatians to cling to Jesus’ Gospel:

“I am amazed that you are so quickly forsaking the one who called you by (the) grace (of Christ) for a different gospel (not that there is another). But there are some who are disturbing you and wish to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach (to you) a gospel other than the one that we preached to you, let that one be accursed! As we have said before, and now I say again, if anyone preaches to you a gospel other than the one that you received, let that one be accursed!” (The Letter to the Galatians 1, 6-9).

The Church has held 21 Ecumenical (Universal) Councils all through Her long History. These Councils had one only goal: to preserve the “healthy Doctrine” intact. The Church has faced many difficult moments: many of Her children broke up with Catholic Unity because they did not accept the truth. Nevertheless, those were also moments of enlightenment in the historical evolution of the Church. Pope John Paul II referred to these Councils as blessed moments:

“The great Councils were moments of Grace for the Life of the universal Church…. They represent unmistakable landmarks to the universal Church.”

“These were moments of Grace, through which the Spirit of God poured plenty of Light over the fundamental Mysteries of Christian Faith” (L’ Osservatore Romano # 28, 13/07/96).

 

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

Aug 092017
 

Faith is so important in our lives that Jesus Christ watches over it.

Dear brothers and sisters, faith is so important in our lives that Jesus Christ watches over it. If we abandon our faith, we will lose our reason for and our sense of following Christ.

The evangelist Luke tells us clearly how much Jesus Christ wants us to be filled with faith and adds to it the importance of our faith in our salvation journey.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has called you to sift you as the wheat; But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not; And you, in turn, confirm your brothers “(Luke 22, 31-32).

Jesus Christ does not forbid Satan to sift Simon Peter, but we know that Christ prays for Peter, so that his faith will not fail and that by his conversion Jesus be confirmed.

Peter was sifted by satan, but his faith was not hurt, it was guarded. Thus, on the day of Pentecost, Peter received the Holy Spirit and went ahead of the apostles.

It is necessary that all our steps, in the way of the Lord, be done with faith and with the power of the Holy Spirit.

Let us ask: “Lord, I believe, but increase my faith!”

A big hug, 
Geraldo Garcia

Portuguese version

 Posted by at 01:01
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