Potpourri of Popery, St. Escriva Edition

Yesterday during the weekly Audience, the Holy Father delivered himself of a beautiful reflection on St. Maximus Confessor. In his scholarly way he explains what was at stake in monothelite heresy (the belief Christ had only one will, the divine one) --and defends human dignity in the process.
a humanity without will -- a man without a will -- is not a true man, but rather an amputated man. Therefore, the man Jesus Christ would not have been a true man, would not have experienced the drama of the human being, which consists precisely in the difficulty of conforming our will with the truth of being.

Thus St. Maximus affirmed with great determination: Sacred Scripture does not show us an amputated man, without a will, but a true complete man: God, in Jesus Christ, has truly assumed the totality of the human being -- obviously except for sin -- hence, also, a human will. Stated that way, the question was clear: Christ is either a true man or not.
But if Christ has both a human will and a divine one, doesn't that lead to dualism?
St. Maximus demonstrates that man finds his unity, the integration of himself, his totality not in himself, but in surpassing himself, by coming out of himself. Thus, also in Christ, man, coming out of himself, finds in God, in the Son of God, himself.

Man must not "amputate" the human Christ to explain the Incarnation. One must only understand the dynamism of the human being who is fulfilled only by coming out of himself. Only in God do we find ourselves, our totality and our completeness.
Meditate on this for the next month or so:
Adam -- and Adam is us -- thought that the "no" was the apex of liberty; that only he who can say "no" is truly free; that to truly realize his liberty, man must say "no" to God.

Only in this way, he thinks, he is finally himself; he has arrived at the summit of liberty. This tendency was also present in Christ's human nature, but he overcame it, because Jesus saw that "no" is not the greatest liberty. The greatest liberty is to say "yes," to conform with the will of God. Only in saying "yes" does man really become himself. Only in the great opening of the "yes," in the unification of his will with the divine will, does man become immensely open, he becomes "divine."

To be like God was Adam's desire, namely, to be completely free. However, he is not divine, the man who is closed in on himself is not completely free. He is so by coming out of himself, it is in the "yes" that he becomes free. And this is the drama of Gethsemane: not my will but yours.

Transferring one's will to the divine will, that is how a true man is born. That is how we are redeemed.
Other addresses:
  • To the Catholic Biblical Federation
  • Yay! The homilies from Puglia are up. My favorite is the one given at St. Mary de finibus terrae. Gorgeous.

    In this place, so important historically for devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary, I wanted the liturgy to be dedicated to her, Star of the Sea and Star of Hope. "Ave, maris stella, / Dei Mater alma, / atque semper virgo, / felix caeli porta!". The words of this ancient hymn are a greeting which in some way echoes that of the Angel at Nazareth. All Marian titles, in fact, have as it were budded and blossomed from that first name with which the heavenly messenger addressed the Virgin: "Hail, full of grace" (Lk 1: 28). We heard it in St Luke's Gospel, most appropriately because this Shrine - as the memorial tablet above the central door of the atrium attests - is called after the Most Holy Virgin of the "Annunciation". When God called Mary "full of grace" the hope of salvation for the human race was enkindled: a daughter of our people found grace in the Lord's eyes, he chose her as Mother of the Redeemer. In the simplicity of Mary's home, in a poor village of Galilee, the solemn prophecy of salvation began to be fulfilled: "I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel" (Gn 3: 15). Therefore the Christian people have made their own the canticle of praise that the Jews raised to Judith and that just a little while ago we prayed as a Responsorial Psalm: "O daughter, you are blessed by the Most High God above all women on earth" (Jdt 13: 18). Without violence but with the meek courage of her "yes", the Virgin freed us, not from an earthly enemy but from the ancient adversary, by giving a human body to the One who was to crush his head once and for all.

    This is why Mary shines on the sea of life and history as a Star of Hope. She does not shine with her own light, but reflects the light of Christ, the Sun who appeared on humanity's horizon so that in following the Star of Mary we can steer ourselves on the journey and keep on the route towards Christ, especially in dark and stormy moments.
    Then he weaves in St. Peter...it's marvelous.
  • But there's also the address to young people in which he tells them Christ doesn't accept half-measures, and the homily in Brindisi.
    holiness is always a force that transforms others. In this regard, it is useful to reflect that the Twelve Apostles were not perfect men, chosen for their moral and religious irreproachability. They were indeed believers, full of enthusiasm and zeal but at the same time marked by their human limitations, which were sometimes even serious. Therefore Jesus did not call them because they were already holy, complete, perfect, but so that they might become so, so that they might thereby also transform history, as it is for us, as it is for all Christians. In the Second Reading we heard the Apostle Paul's synthesis: "God shows his love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us" (Rm 5: 8). The Church is the community of sinners who believe in God's love, letting themselves be transformed by him and thus become holy, sanctifying the world.
There are several big papal doings this week as well.

Unity?At the Holy Father's behest, Cardinal Castrillon de Hoyos made an overture to Bishop Fellay of the SSPX (the Lefebvrite group). Very exciting, and Fr. Z. has the best coverage of what's happening. See here. And here. Also an interview he gave to Hugh Hewitt and his plea that we pray, pray, pray for unity.

Reform of the Reform. Remember the Holy Father's homily at the Eucharistic Congress asking everyone to rediscover the liturgy, which is "not our own, but the Church's treasure?" Folks noticed when, at the papal celebration of Corpus Christi, those who received communion from the Pope received kneeling and on the tongue. That's now policy at papal masses.

Pauline Year: Opens June 28th. Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will attend the Holy Father's Mass on the 29th, Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul. The Pope & the Patriarch will give the homily together, jointly recite the Creed, and each give a blessing. 43 Archbishops to receive the pallium. How to obtain Pauline year indulgences.


  • Brazil: Priests --dozens of 'em-- illicitly running for office.
  • Canada: fruits of the Eucharistic Congress. Cardinal Oellet says he feels the Church in Quebec is "raised from the dead." Bishops advise parents not to submit to mandatory HPV vaccinations for their children.
  • Oz: WYDSYD Starts July 15th. Venues, aussie slang dictionary, planned anti-Catholic protests and latest developments at Pope 2008.
  • US: more on the Bishops' conference in Orlando. Bishops' document encouraging more Gregorian chant soon available. More Catholic Charities difficulties --this time in CA.
And finally: Ironic Catholic poetry contests. June 28th deadline.