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Nov 102017
 

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When a Pope solemnly proclaims a dogma, which is a very rare event, the infallibility exclusively applies to the final sentence: it does not apply to pro and con arguments and conclusions that may be inferred from the dogma. There is no uniform rule to the final written composition of a Dogmatic Document: Popes have been using terms like “We proclaim”, “We define”, “We decree”, “We declare” and so on.

Pope Pius IX proclaimed the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of Mary in his Dogmatic Bull “Ineffabilis Deus” of December 8, 1854 with these words:

“We declare, decree and define that the doctrine according to which the most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of Jesus Christ, Savior of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin, was revealed by God and therefore all Christians must constantly and firmly believe in it.”

It is worth noticing that the Pope affirmed that this piece of truth was “revealed by God”, in other words, it has always existed in the Depositary of Faith although it is not explicitly worded in the Bible.

Pope Pius XII proclaimed the dogma of the Assumption of Mary to Heaven in the Apostolic Constitution “Munificientissimus Deus” of January 11, 1950. Before 36 Cardinals, 555 Patriarchs, Bishops, Archbishops and around a million faithful, Pius XII solemnly declared that:

After having once more lifted Our beseeches to God and invoked the lights of the Holy Spirit…We proclaim, declare and define as dogma of faith revealed by God that: the Immaculate Mother of God, Forever Virgin Mary, after having finished Her earthly days, was raised to Heavenly Glory in body and soul.”

In the text above the Pope repeats the expression “revealed by God”. How can God reveal an article of faith if it is not explicitly written in the Bible? Although it is not written in the Revelation of the Gospel, it belongs to the Oral Tradition of the Church. Those who reject this Oral Tradition miss an important part of God’s Revelation to mankind and consequently will have great difficulty in understanding this process.

Some of the Papal documents do not make it clear whether or not they contain a definition “ex-cathedra”: in cases like that, theologians admit that these documents are not compulsory sentences to Christian Faith, though Christians have the serious duty of believing in these statements because of their Shepherd’s authority.

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 092017
 

Pregação com Astromar MirandaThe Word is the leaven of the Kingdom of God, which comes to give quality and consistency, to transform

“He is like the mustard seed, which a man takes and shoots in his garden. The seed grows, it becomes a great tree, and the birds of the sky make nests in its branches “(Luke 13, 19).

 
We can think of a grain of mustard seed as insignificant, small, almost invisible to the eyes, worthless. We only value it when it is planted, when it grows and bears fruit.

The Kingdom of Heaven is insignificant for many, because sometimes one has other things in life, such as his goods and longings, his work, his search and vanity, but then these things disappear. And what flourishes, abides and creates a whole new life is that despised seed that seems insignificant.

I am a witness of lives transformed, renewed and changed thanks to the seed of the Gospel.

When we look at our lives, it may seem that the Gospel means nothing, it’s more of a book or something, but it’s not. The Gospel is not a book, but a life, a person, is God himself, it is Jesus by His Word that transforms us, renews us, that renews our whole life needs.

Let us accept the Word of God in the heart as a small word like so many others, but it will become the most significant, the most important, transforming and renewing of our life. It is like the leaven of the Kingdom of God, which comes to give quality, consistency and transform when it allows itself to be transformed, renewed, healed and liberated by this Word.

May our whole heart be taken and taken care of by all the force that the Word of God has to transform and renew us.

God bless you!

 

Father Roger Araújo
Priest of the Community Canção Nova, journalist and collaborator of the Portal Canção Nova.

Contact us: padrerogercn@gmail.com

 Posted by at 01:01
Nov 082017
 

Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

Prayer demands of us effort and constancy, faithfulness and perseverance

It is fantastic, fascinating and seductive to walk the path, the adventure of prayer through the centuries, the Word of God, the saints, mystics and men and women who, without any theological pretension, are authentic masters of dialogue with the Lord of life. There is no faculty that gives the title of pray-ers, mystics and mystagogues, although many people can present themselves with these titles.

Only constant humility and learning make us capable of making mistakes. Only those who err seem to feel that they are far from being able to say that they pray well and therefore they seek for light and strength in those who have been consecrated by the Church as authentic pray-ers. Meditating on the life and doctrine of prayers from various eras can undoubtedly stimulate us in our journey of personal encounter with the Lord.

Prayer is a way of intimacy with the Lord

Each one tells us something interesting, others travel different paths, but the starting point and the arrival are always the same. What changes are the means, the methods.

The starting point

Our finite, poor, limited human reality, when it is drawn to a violent force, seeks serenity, the unlimited, the complete, and knows that this can only exist within itself, but at the same time comes from someone who is bigger and in and out of it. It is totally different, the different one that in Jesus of Nazareth becomes one of us, takes on our flesh, lives with us to teach us how we should pray, live, assume life, share and manifest love to the last No one has greater love than one who lays down his life for his friends (Jn 15:13).

The point of arrival

Always the point of arrival of the prayer will be the loving encounter with God, the dialogue with Him about love, is to become an intimate friend of the Lord. Prayer has this purpose and nothing more. It is not, therefore, quantitative, but qualitative. God sees our heart and expects to find love in us. To stand face to face with Him, we need faith, silence, and love, a strong hope that will not allow us to be discouraged by the manifold silences of God.

We have seen that dialogue with God demands effort and determination on our part. It is not easy, it requires constant exercise. As in all things, without perseverance one arrives at nothing. Also, in prayer, the key words are faithfulness and perseverance to the project assumed. Never stop praying, even if nothing is perceived and or felt. Prayer must always be at the center of our activities.

 

Frei Patrício Sciadini

Excerpt from the book “Como Rezar?” [How to Pray?)

 Posted by at 01:01
Nov 072017
 

Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

Does some painful experience of the past still have an influence on the way I love?

It is late at night and outside there is a rural silence, interrupted only by the wind, and today is stronger, announcing a new season. The impression I have is that everything is quiet outside and here inside my soul. But would not it just be an impression?

The fact is that I have, in my hands, a book that has become my friend and counselor in these last days. Authored by researcher and writer Roberto Shinyashiki and Eliana Dumêt, he deals with various subjects related to human relationships, including the fear of loving. I stop on the page that I have just read and start writing as if to make sure of what I have learned, but also to share with you, reader, something that, I imagine, will do you the same good that it did to me. Have you ever been afraid to love? To relate to depth? Do you know where the fear comes from?

 

The example of the mouse

The writer narrates an experiment carried out by Psychology, which responds, figuratively, to this and other questions related to this subject: love. A scientist placed a mouse in a cage to evaluate his behavior. He says that, at first, the animal had been pacing back and forth, driven by curiosity. When he felt hunger, he went to the food deposited there. However, when he touched the dish, in which the researcher had installed an electric circuit, the little animal had a great shock, so strong that if it did not give up touching it, it could die.

After that, the mouse ran in the opposite direction of the dish. If we could ask him if he was hungry, he would certainly say no, because the pain of the shock would certainly make him despise his food at that moment. After a while, however, the mouse came into contact with the double possibility of death: shock or hunger. However, when the hunger became unbearable, the animal, slowly, went back to the food. In the meantime, however, the researcher shut down the circuit. The plate was no longer electrified. But when he was about to touch it, the mouse felt as if it had taken a second shock. There was tachycardia, the hairs bristled and he ran, again, in the opposite direction to the plate. If we asked him what had happened, the answer would be: “I took another shock.” Although the electric power was off, and he did not know it.

From that moment, the mouse is entering a great tension and its goal is to find an intermediate position between the limit of hunger and that of obtaining food, so that it has a certain tranquility. This state is called a point of equilibrium, because it represents a position between doing something, in the event of feeding, and, at the same time, avoiding a new shock.

The shock of feeling rejected

You are probably wondering: what does this have to do with fear of loving? I would say: Everything !. Often we see people or even see ourselves “shocked” without even touching the “plate”. Just look at how many times we feel like inviting someone to go out, talk, go to the beach or to the movies, but we did not do any of this fearing the ‘no’ shock! Or, how often do we fail to tell people how good they do us and how much we love them, for fear that the feeling is not reciprocal and thus feel rejected?

According to the researcher, this is to take a “shock without touching the plate”.

The fact is that painful experiences of the past can provoke a terrible fear of new sufferings. Worst of all is that we almost always forget that not all “dishes” are electrified, that is, not all people have the same insecurities or other weaknesses that someday gave us a shock.

According to scientific studies, understanding what we feel is the best stimulus we need to start over.

Go beyond the fear of new sufferings

Perhaps today is the right day to pause and think: Does some painful experience of the past continue to have an influence on the way I love and the depth of my relationships?

To love is the first condition to be in constant communion with God. We have no right to deprive ourselves of this wonderful vocation that the Lord imprinted on our hearts in the act of creation.

“Let us love one another, for love comes from God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not come to know God, for God is love “(1 John 4,7-8).

May the Master of Love encourage us to go beyond fear and to love, in depth, those whom He, in His infinite goodness, draws near to us.

 

Dijanira Silva
Missionary of the Canção Nova Community, since 1997, Djanira lives in the São Paulo mission, where she works in the media. Daily, she presents  programs on Rádio América CN. On Tuesdays, she is at the head of the program “De manos unidas”, which offers at 9.30 pm on TV Canção Nova. She has been a columnist since 2000. Recently She launched the book “Por onde andam seus sonhos? Descubra e volte a sonhar” [Where are your dreams? Discover and dream again] by Editora Canção Nova.

 Posted by at 01:01
Nov 062017
 

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

It takes discipline to revise and organize the inner life
It is important to return to discipline and organization, from the minimums to the great things that surround our life.

The Canção Nova, in its path of permanent formation, follows this theme: “Discipline breeds saints, but without discipline there is no holiness” (Dom Gambino). To celebrate this grace is to celebrate life, to make each hour meaningful, to fill the months and minutes with senses that go beyond routine and sameness.

We want to make a way back to our origins, to regain the ardor, to rekindle the encounter with Jesus, Lord of our history. To return to life with God, principle of our whole life; to return to community life and return to the origins of the path of discipline.

 

Organization and discipline

For discipline to take place, there must be organization. Thus, we begin by defining what comes to be discipline: “Regime of order imposed or even consented. Order that is appropriate for the proper functioning of an organization. Subordination relationships of the student to the teacher. Submission to a regulation “(Aurélio Dictionary).

We need to review our life, organize it in every way: in God, in our work, our interior and our home. In short, it is necessary to begin with this resumption of organization, from the minimums to the great things that surround our life.

Monsignor Jonas Abib teaches us that in our life nothing should be stuck. We can not end our day without being reconciled to God, to ourselves and our brothers. He also tells us that the week has a special day, which helps us to review ourselves, the Lord’s Day, the Sunday.

We can not carry rubble from week to week. God gives us the grace to revise our lives, to review that which, in our walk, was not good during the week. Let us review our difficulties, our growth and relationship with God and with others. Review where we are in our spiritual life.

 

Review of life, intimacy with the Lord

The review of life leads us to a greater intimacy with the Lord and calms our agitated interior. It makes us realize the action of Divine Providence in our lives and constitutes orientation for our apostolate. The Second Vatican Council points out that the Church is in the world, neither outside nor separated from it, she urges Christians not to withdraw from the struggle of everyday life, but to discern the signs of the times, to collaborate with all in the construction of a world more human and to look at the world with the eyes of God.

Finally, the revision of life is the Christian reflection carried out with the purpose of acquiring the daily vision in tune with the look that the Father contemplates the world, with a view to the realization of His project of salvation. It is a look of living faith that reaffirms the value of our lives in the eyes of God and reveals the divine call within everyday events. God is in everything and has control of all things in His hands.

Do you want to do your life review?

Canção Nova

 Posted by at 01:01
Nov 032017
 

Saint Peter's Square from the dome v2.jpg
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Vatican Council I in 1870 formally defined the infallibility of the Pope, although the Church has firmly trusted in that fact since the beginning:

“‘Faithful to the tradition passed on since the beginning of Christian faith, We declare and define as dogma of faith of Divine Revelation that, when speaking “ex-cathedra”, i.e. when performing His munus of Shepherd and Doctor of all Christians, the Roman Pontiff defines, with his supreme Apostolic authority, the doctrine on faith and morals in which the Universal Church must believe, because due to Divine Assistance promised to Him in the person of the blessed Peter, the Pope has received the infallibility that the Divine Redeemer granted to His Church, that enables the Roman Pontiff to define articles of faith and morals concerning the doctrine; and that therefore the definitions of the Supreme Roman Pontiff are irrevocable in themselves and not due to the consensus of the Church” (De Ecclesia Christi, Chapter IV).

Vatican Council II, almost a hundred years later. Re-affirmed that same dogma, by declaring that:

“And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals. And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charisma of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith” (Lumen Gentium # 25).

It is important to have in mind that no Papal definition is made on a hasty decision: it takes many years of study, analysis and prayer. Papal definitions are the outcome of a very slow process, during which a piece of truth inside the depositary of Revelation becomes gradually “visible” to the hierarchy of the Church and to God’s people. Papal definitions are just explicit proclamations of a truth that had not yet been clearly realized or defined before but that have belonged to the Depositary of Faith since the beginning of times.

Sometimes the Ministry of the Church proclaims an article of faith due to new heresies that contradict some piece of truth generally accepted by the Church since the beginning, which that had not been explicitly worded before. Therefore, definitions “ex-cathedra” proclaimed by the Pope are rare. The common Ministry of the Church is responsibility of the Bishops, when they teach the people in communion with the Pope: that is the normal way the Church uses to teach God’s people. In order to belong to the Depositary of Faith, a piece of truth does not necessarily have to be formally defined by Peter’s Successor: an article of truth is something that has always been generally accepted and followed by Christians since the beginning of the Church. It is a millennial piece of wisdom that belongs to the Tradition of the Church and it is not always formally expressed in documents, but generally adopted by God’s People. Saint Vincent of Lerins (died on 450 A.D.), affirmed that:

“Articles of faith believed by everybody everywhere are truly Catholic per se” (Communitorium).

Papal definitions must meet three pre-requisites to be considered a dogma, i.e. “an infallible decision”:

  1. The Pope must speak “ex-cathedra”, i.e. “in a decisive final way”, in the quality of Shepherd and Doctor of all Christians, and not only in private individual character. The Supreme Pontiff is not obliged to listen to any Council or anyone, though he can do it and actually does it most of the times.
  2. The Pope must define exclusively articles of faith and morals, i.e. it must be a matter of Christian behavior or faith.
  3. The Supreme Pontiff must be willing to proclaim a definite irrevocable immutable sentence about the matter.

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
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