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Aug 112017
 

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

The Catholic Church is aware of the fact that She holds the plenitude of the means of salvation, as John Paul II said: “Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head (Unitatis Redintegratio # 3). In other words, “the Catholic Church has been endowed with all divinely revealed truth and with all means of grace” (Unitatis Redintegratio # 4).

Our brothers who were born in the so-called Evangelical Churches and are thus separated of the totality of Catholic faith cannot be blamed for the separation that happened in the past. On the other hand, they are deprived of many means of salvation and sanctity that Jesus left to the Church as His Legacy: Sacraments, Marian Devotion, devotion to the saints and much more.

It is worth noticing that when the Catholic Church refers to Protestant Churches, She means traditional historical hierarchical movements like Anglican and Lutheran Churches. She does not mean those countless small sects that uncontrollably and independently multiply at each day: it is obvious that Jesus never authorized that.

Vatican Council II Lumen Gentium affirms that:

“This is the one Church of Christ which in the Creed is professed as one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after His Resurrection, commissioned Peter to shepherd, and him and the other apostles to extend and direct with authority, which He erected for all ages as “the pillar and mainstay of the truth”. This Church constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic unity” (Lumen Gentium # 8).

The Decree on Ecumenism of Vatican Council II also affirms that:

“For it is only through Christ’s Catholic Church, which is “the all-embracing means of salvation,” that they can benefit fully from the means of salvation. We believe that Our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, in order to establish the one Body of Christ on earth to which all should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the people of God” (Unitatis Redintegratio # 3).

The unity inside Christ’s Church is manifested in several factors: doctrine, liturgy, governing, Apostolic Succession and so on. The Church has only one doctrine and only one profession of faith received through the Apostles. Those who do not believe is these articles of faith cannot affirm that they are Catholic in the true sense of the word.

The Catechism approved by the Pope in 1992 clearly shows that there is only one doctrine both in terms of dogma and morals.

The liturgical celebration of the Sacraments is an essential factor of unity. The whole world follows the Liturgical Calendar: everywhere you go around the world you will find the same liturgical celebrations and will be able to participate in the same Mass, with minor variations. Another factor of unity in the Church is the Holy Hierarchy that Jesus Himself wanted and enforced. The Apostolic Succession protects and guarantees the fraternal order inside the Church through the Sacrament of the Order. The main factor is the Pope, “the pillar of union” to whom all Clergy and Laity are subject.

The greatest children of the Church have always followed the principle: “Cum Petro et sub Petro” (With Peter and subject to Peter).

The Lord’s Providence has always been with the Church: we have had 264 Popes and the Church has never lacked a Visible Head. The Pope is Christ’s Representative on earth. In the words of Saint Catherine of Siena, the Pope is “sweet Christ on earth”. We have had 50 anti-popes so far, in other words, illegitimate popes who were fruit of human weakness, though we have never lacked a True Pope, Christ’s representative and Peter’s Successor who carries the burden of all sins of mankind.

 

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 022017
 

not based on screaming; but by the power of the Holy Spirit

“Not by might nor by might, but by my Spirit, declares the Lord with all power” (Zech. 4: 6)

Often, we want to sort things out by force, at the base of it all we scream. Thus, moved by emotions, we speak, fight and curse. But our emotions betray us and hurt us. Many things we do because of our emotions, when, in fact, we should never have acted that way. We get carried away by emotion, by feeling. In general, we face the problems of marriage driven by feeling, by emotion. We spoke what we should not have said and spoiled many things.

Photo: Wesley Almeida / cancaonova.com

Let your heart and your head learn this: to forgive your brother or sister, open your heart and live in love. If it is not for the Spirit, we cannot really forgive. How many parents were disappointed with their son, or daughter and put them out of the house! But it is necessary to change and not solve things like that.Many children also live in resentment and sorrow for things their parents did, but it must be said that this revolt does not come from God. People make mistakes, even good parents make mistakes.

It is necessary to live the love, do not continue being puppet of the tempter, that, coward who puts the poison of revolt in your heart. What the tempter most desires, today, is to blow up our families, and he uses us to achieve this. He looks for and places in our heads reasons to disappoint us. He wants to use us as “cannon fodder” to blow up our family.

Disappointment makes us act instinctively and do things we did not even know we could do. If it is not let out, it explodes inside. That is where we become instruments of the tempter, this can not continue. But in this situation where you are alone, God can help you. Sometimes it’s not revolt, just hurt and resentment. Many people do not have peace anymore, because they live in disappointment, they feel betrayed, they live “exploding”.

The reasons why you are resentful and sad can kill you. God wants to put an end to their wrong attitudes. It is He who is there to give you his hand. The Lord is telling you, “Open to receive my Holy Spirit,” He is giving it to you for free.

His brother,

Monsignor Jonas Abib
Founder of the Canção Nova Community

Portuguese version

Aug 012017
 

Photo: Daniel Mafra / cancaonova.com

Try to identify the source of your sufferings. See if it is possible to alleviate or escape from them, then pray

When you suffer, you must keep two things in mind: 1) God does not want suffering, because He is the God of life, love and happiness. 2) Suffering is part of the finite, transient and human situation of our being.

We know that all sorts of suffering entered the world through sin. It is necessary to know how to look at him not with despair, escape, revolt, but with tranquility and inner peace .

 

It is not possible to live without disease, without suffering and conflicts, because they are part of our human reality. We find them present in the lives of all: saints and sinners, even in the life of Jesus, Our Lady and all people loved by God.

We can not escape the “deterioration” of our body that grows old, falls ill and dies. Faced with this, it is necessary to change our focus and contemplate all these as paths that lead us to maturity, enrich us with experiences and prepare us for “new heavens and new lands”, where there will be no more pain or tears.

Today, we no longer know how to be joyful, because we reject the wounds and we despair to the point where, to escape pain, there are those who preach death, euthanasia and suicide as remedy. Of course, these means are contrary to the will of God and against our human nature, which is made to live.Whatever your suffering, you must know how to love and accept it, and undoubtedly seek all means to alleviate it.

It is not necessary to go to find suffering or to ask for suffering, it is only to accept those we meet on our way.

Read more:

The worst service we can render to Jesus is to present Him as the One who goes in search of death, pain and suffering. Through the Gospels, we can see Jesus before the pain of which He teaches us to flee. Remember?

When Jesus is sought to be thrown down from the hill, what does He do? He flees, When the guards seek Him to bind Him in the temple, what does the Lord do? He flees.  When are they trying to kill Him?Jesus runs away too. He always runs away! But when the cross, death, suffering become the only way of fidelity to the Father, to the plan of God in his life, He assumes them.

Here are some Bible passages about

“When they heard this, all who were in the synagogue were furious. They got up, dragged him out of the city and led him to the top of the hill where the city was built, to be rushed down. But passing through them, Jesus went away “(Lk 4: 28-30).

“When he had thus spoken, he departed and hid himself from them” (Jn 12,36).

“Therefore, Jesus no longer walked in public among the Jews. And he went away to the region nearest to the wilderness, to a city called Ephraim, and there he lived with his disciples “(Jn 11:54).

“Again they sought to arrest him, but he withdrew from his hands” (Jn 10:39).

This should be our attitude. When suffering is the only way of fidelity to God and our brothers and sisters, we must accept it with love.

Identify the source of your suffering

Try to identify the source of your sufferings: physical, spiritual, and moral. See if you can alleviate them or escape from them, then pray, ask God for strength to be able to take the cross as a gift of the same love of God. After all, by faith we know that “we complete in our flesh what is lacking in the passion of Jesus Christ”. Listen to these words of Elizabeth of the Trinity:

“O my beloved Christ, crucified for love; I had wanted to be a wife for your Heart, I want to cover you with glory, to love you until I die of love! But I feel my impotence and I ask you to clothe me in yourselves, to identify my soul with all your movements, to submerge me, to invade me, to replace you with me, so that my life is a true irradiation Of yours “ (elevation to the Trinity).

And of John of the Cross:

“Crucified inwardly and outwardly with Christ, she will live in this life in abundance and satisfaction of her soul, possessing it in patience” (Sayings 85).

“Christ’s crucifixion is enough! To suffer and rest with Him; But to do this  all things interior and exterior must be must be annihilated” (Sayings 90).

Learn to resize things

Not all sufferings are the same, we must be able to distinguish them so as not to “make a storm in a glass of water”. Overreaching is never good for our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional health. It is necessary to always resize things. And, faced with the problems of life, know what we can change, because something depends on us; And what we can not change because it does not depend on us.

 

The Christian, however, will never assume a “stoic and deterministic” attitude. He knows that in order not to be attacked by suffering, it is necessary to accept it in the way of love. What can help us is to meditate on the Passion of the Lord Jesus: see chapters 26-27 of the Gospel according to Matthew;Chapters 14-15 of Mark; Chapters 18-19 of the Gospel of John and the beautiful way of Jesus presented by the apostle Paul:

Have among yourselves the same attitude that is also yours in Christ Jesus,Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, coming in human likeness; and found human in appearance, he humbled himself, becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

Because of this, God greatly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil 2: 6-11 NABRE).

My experience

In my life, as in everyone’s life, there has not been a lack of suffering or pain of all kinds, but with the grace of God and the help of the mystics of Carmel, I have come to understand that suffering is a “palace”, a “gift of God”. When I find myself in suffering, I take the crucifix in my hands and carefully, my eyes on Jesus crucified, and I receive all the courage and the strength to not be discouraged. And I see the truth of Jesus’ words:

“Verily I say unto you, Unless the grain of wheat fall into the earth, and die not, it shall be left alone; But if it dies, it will bear much fruit “ (Jn 12,24).

Friar Patrício Sciadini, ocd

Portuguese version

Jul 292017
 

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

After Gnosticism, Aryanism, Apolinarism and Macedonism the Church had to face some other heresies concerning Jesus Christ. These new heresies deeply disturbed the life of the Church but were eventually overcome in Catholic Councils.

Nestorianism. Nestorian (dead on 426) was the Patriarch of Constantinople and he defended the misconception that Jesus was in fact two people (a human and a divine person) with two different natures; therefore Mary was merely the mother of the man Jesus but not the Mother of God (as the protestants also affirm). That implied in the fact that Jesus might have two Selves. Nevertheless, Christians have called Mary as “Theotokos”(Mother of God) since the First Century.

That heresy was condemned in the Council of Ephesus (431 A.D.), mainly due to the efforts of Saint Cyril of Alexandria (dead on 444 A.D.). This Council established that Jesus is One Only Person (a Divine One): Jesus Self is Divine and He has two natures (a human one and a divine one) harmoniously united though distinct in this One Person Who is also the Word of God. The Council also thoroughly confirmed the Christian belief of the first centuries that Mary is Saint and “Theotokos”(Mother of God).

Monophysicism. Eutiches of Constantinople and Dionysus of Alexandria defended this heresy, which was in fact a magnified copy of Nestorianism and fell in the opposite misconception: they affirmed that Jesus had one only Nature and was one only Person. They affirmed that His Divine nature had absorbed his human nature and therefore He had not been a man in the strictest sense. That heresy was condemned in the Council of Calcedonia (451 A.D.) that re-affirmed that Jesus is one only Person (Divine) with two natures (human and Divine). During this Council Pope Leo Magnum sent a letter to Patriarch Flavianus of Constantinople re-affirming the dogma of Jesus’ double nature. The Council approved the Pope’s words and the Bishops said that: “Peter spoke through the mouth of the Lion”.

Monotelitism or Monoenergism. Serge, Patriarch of Constantinople (VIIth Century) defended that Jesus was one only Person with two natures, though one only Will (“theletes” in Greek) and one only Action. That idea also denied that Jesus was a perfect man and put the mysteries of Incarnation and Redemption in great risk. That heresy was condemned in the Constantinople Council III (681 A.D.). That Council established that Jesus is One Only Person, two natures, two wills and two acts. In other words, Jesus is perfectly human and perfectly Divine. During His earthly life He acted as God (in the miracles) when He wanted, though He totally redeemed mankind when He perfectly and totally took upon Him our human nature. The Letter to the Hebrews affirms that Jesus: “has similarly been tested in every way, yet without sin” (The Letter to the Hebrews 4, 15) and that “he had to become like his brothers in every way” (The Letter to the Hebrews 2, 17).

 

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

The Importance of Silence to Hear the Lord

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Jul 272017
 

Silence is important for listening to the Lord’s guidance

Adoração ao Santíssimo Sacramento no #PHN2017

Yesterday, I talked about our inner turmoil and how far it keeps us from God. Today, I want to meditate on the importance of silence. We must have a moment to be with God alone. Even spouses need this moment of solitude, for it is necessary to have their moment to listen to the Lord’s directives.

We should take days of rest, yes, but also retreats.

My brothers, our relationship with God is too important not to keep the flame of faith alive. If we turn away from Him, our faith will cool. That’s the secret!

I always pray for you.

Your brother,

Wellington Garden (Eto)
Co-founder of the Canção Nova Community and administrator of the FJPII

Portuguese version

Jul 112017
 

The feelings of guilt do not come from God

“Brothers, were called for freedom.” (Gl 5.13).

Immerse yourself in the love of God is the secret to getting rid of the guilt, and this feeling does not come from Him. All that enslaves us does not come from the Lord. Many people, for lack of knowledge, think doing the will of God is to become slaves.

On the contrary: the more we give of our will to do the will of God, we become more free, because He made us free and for freedom. Many people carry a terrible sense of guilt and it destroys them. Immerse yourself in the infinite love of the father and, immediately, all this feeling will be eliminated.

Jesus, I trust in you!

Lucia Santiago
Co-founder of the community Canção Nova

Portuguese version

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