Living in the Two Hearts

My Spiritual Insights and Musings

Posts Tagged ‘women’

Introduction

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on November 28, 2008

Greetings and Salutations to one and all!

In the next few weeks I will share with each of you excerpts from a beautiful book entitled, “The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics”.  It is compiled by Raphael Brown (no relation to the known heretic that shares the same last name…), and contains the visions as written/reported by St Elizabeth of Schoenau, St Bridget of Sweden, Ven Mother Mary of Agreda, and Sister Anna Catherine Emmerich.

These holy women all received private revelation from our Blessed Mother, and their revelations are approved by the Holy See.  I have used this book both in the classroom and during my own Advent and Lent meditations.  I have also recommended it to countless others as the material contained within does not contradict the teachings of the Catholic Church either in faith or morals.  Also, the revelation contained within is nothing “new”, but rather a further conformation of previous tradition.

As many know (or should know), the Catholic Church is not just scripture or just tradition, it is BOTH Scripture AND Tradition (Good Theology).  On that note, I refer to the forward, written by Rev. Edward A Ryan, S.J., for further information regarding private revelation and the Church’s position on the topic.  The Life of Mary as Seen by the Mystics, can be purchased online either new or used, first copy written ©1951, again by Raphael Brown.

The Forward (excerpts):

Mysticism, especially of the visionary type, has always been a subject of discussion in the Church.  Among its manifestations, some few have merited the approval of the prudent, others are looked upon as doubtful, while many have been rejected as false.  In certain cases the Church has intervened with a condemnation.

…in the case of holy people and when the supernatural character of the phenomena seems sufficiently guaranteed, caution is necessary…

Despite difficulties which are obvious to all who have had some experience in this thorny field, the Church has never been adverse to the prudent exploitation of the mystical writings of her saintly children.  Catholic doctrine on revelation is clear enough to supply the required safeguards (emphasis added).

First:

The Church teaches as a revealed dogma (set in stone and cannot be re-interpreted by anyone!), that public revelation ceased with the death of the last Apostle (John), over eighteen hundred years ago.  The deposit of faith is complete.  No further revelation binding all will be forthcoming to the end of time:

“But even if we, or an angel from heaven, should preach to you a gospel
contrary to that which we preached to you, let him be accursed.” ~Gal 1:8

God’s revelation in and through His Son is FINAL.  The Church which possesses the fullness of this revelation can alone impose beliefs on the faithful at large and the Church imposes only such as are contained in the Holy Scripture AND in divine and Apostolic Tradition (emphasis ADDED).

Therefore:

The first law of new revelation is…that they cannot be really new.  They must agree with Holy Scripture AND Tradition, with morality AND the decisions of the Church.

St. Thomas Aquinas remarks that Catholic Faith “rests upon the revelation
made to the Apostles and the Prophets who wrote the canonical Scriptures
But not on a revelation, if any, made to others
.”

The Church, in approving the mystical phenomena, affirms that there is nothing against faith or morals in the content of the revelations but does not guarantee their truth.  The possibility of error in the facts is not excluded (emphasis added).

In other words (Anne Elizabeth’s understanding):

That which is contained within this series, the private revelations of the aforementioned holy women, are approved by the Church in that they do not contradict Sacred Scripture or Apostolic Tradition.  They are also in line with the moral teaching of the Church founded by Jesus Christ, left to the care of Peter and his successors.  The writings contained within are worthy of reading and veneration by the faithful, but the faithful are not required to believe in them.  The faithful may read them as nice little stories, or they can choose to accept them as accurate facts, or they can even dismiss and ignore the writings all together.  I choose to accept them, hence why I am bringing them to my readers.

Throughout the ages, there have been so-called “private” revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church.  They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help us to live more fully in our faith in our certain period of history.

Guided by the magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or [His] saints to the Church. Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment, as is the case in certain non-Christian religions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations.”~CCC§67

(i.e. Mormons, 7th Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc…)

Conclusion (from the forward):

We have scriptural testimony that Mary and Joseph had visions (Lk 1:26-37; 2:33-35; Mt1:20-24; 2:13-15, 19-23).  Their many years at Nazareth with Jesus were, in a sense, a long vision of surpassing grandeur which included much intimate revelation.  If we were to accept as true all the visions of the saints, we should still be obliged to judge that their favors, taken together, are not worthy to be compared with those of the Incomparable Virgin.

As St. Bernard of Clairvaux, the Doctor of the Church who was
pre-eminent in Mariology, declared, “What wonder is there if God,
Who is wonderful in His Saints, has shown Himself still more
wonderful in His Mother?”

It is true, of course, that our Blessed Lady, unlike her divine Son, did not have in this life the beatific visionShe lived, as we her children live, by faith.  Indeed she is the model and mistress of faith and of the faithful.  We must, however, admit that her faith was aided in many marvelous ways (preserved from the stain of original sin, the Mother of God)…we can readily believe that our loving Mother in heaven approves of devout writings long in use in the Church and rightly considered helpful in the spiritual struggle in which (we) all are engaged (emphasis added).

This work is to be read as a religious novel AND NOT as a fifth Gospel. Nevertheless, many Catholics and non-Catholics too will be very thankful for this pleasing compilation of vivid narratives of the Blessed Virgin’s life “as seen by” four great mystics of the [Catholic] Church (emphasis added).

Rev. Edward A. Ryan, S.J., 1951

Additional information and emphasis: Anne Elizabeth, B.A.Ed., M.A.The., 2008.

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Why Humanae Vitae?

Posted by Anne Elizabeth on October 28, 2008

With the result of advances in medicine and science, the culture that was emerging from the 60’s had begun to grapple with its own humanity.  The Free Love, and Make Love Not War, mentality began to give way to other mentalities that demanded equal rights.  The Civil Rights movement had made a definite impact on the state of affairs concerning Negros (now African Americans), so why not also take that influence and apply it to women’s rights?

Mind you, I’m not saying that there was no call for the movements that moved to equalize the pay-scale for women to be “on-par” with men.  Because of that Free Love society mentality from earlier in the century, there were a lot of women finding themselves mothers without husbands. A pay increase was certainly needed.

But we have to be honest here.  Contraception made it possible, or so it seemed possible, to have many sexual partners without the worry about conceiving… that is until one moment of use, the contraception device fails.  Unfortunately for the women involved, the multiple partners thing lead to more and more sexual practice, which will always increase the statistic of contraception failure, thus the rate of birth to unwed mothers also increases.

So no matter how much the pay scale is equalized, until women are told the truth – contraception does not guarantee not conceiving (just ask my parents) – and until we teach our children that sexual activity is reserved for marriage alone – we shall continue in this downward spiral of misconception about contraception.

Which leads us nicely into the next section of the document:

I. New Aspects of the Problem and Competency of the Magisterium

New Formulation of the Problem cont…

(These were the types of questions asked by the commission…)

3. This new state of things gives rise to new questions. Granted the conditions of life today, and granted the meaning which conjugal relations have with respect to the harmony between husband and wife and to their mutual fidelity, would not a revision of the ethical norms, in force up to now, seem to be advisable, especially when it is considered that they cannot be observed without sacrifices, sometimes heroic sacrifices?

(Would it not seem prudent to adapt with the needs of society rather than enforce something “old” and “outdated”? Has society become perfect and less violent as a result of our “progression” ? I don’t think so…)

And again: by extending to this field the application of the so-called “principle of totality,” could it not be admitted that the intention of a less abundant but more rationalized fecundity might transform a materially sterilizing intervention into a licit and wise control of birth?

(Would not the use of condemns and sponges and other means of contraception be advisable to avoid the need for killing the unwanted child? Ya think?…that’s why over 50.5 million babies have lost their lives since 1973, the year abortion was made legal and contraception had been legal since 1960.)

Could it not be admitted, that is, that the finality of procreation pertains to the ensemble of conjugal life, rather than to its single acts? It is also asked whether, in view of the increased sense of responsibility of modern man, the moment has not come for him to entrust to his reason and his will, rather than to the biological rhythms of his organism, the task of regulating birth.

(Modern man would have better “self-control” if he was allowed to use contraception. Okay, so in our contraception-practicing society, rape and incest no longer exist because we are now a society of “self-control” ? )

Competency of the Magisterium

4. Such questions required from the teaching authority of the Church a new and deeper reflection upon the principles of the moral teaching on marriage: a teaching founded on the natural law, illuminated and enriched by divine revelation. Gen 2:21-24

No believer will wish to deny that the teaching authority of the Church is competent to interpret even the natural moral law. It is, in fact, indisputable, as our predecessors have many times declared, that Jesus Christ, when communicating to Peter and to the apostles His divine authority and sending them to teach all nations His commandments, (Mt 28:18-19) constituted them as guardians and authentic interpreters of all the moral law, not only, that is, of the law of the Gospel, but also of the natural law, which is also an expression of the will of God, the faithful fulfillment of which is equally necessary for salvation. (Mt 7:21)

(Those of you who claim Catholicism as your faith, if you do not believe that Jesus established His Church on Peter and the Apostles, you might as well stop right here.  All that follows will reflect this very Pillar of Truth. This very intransigent TRUTH.)

Conformably to this mission of hers, the Church has always provided-and even more amply in recent times-a coherent teaching concerning both the nature of marriage and the correct use of conjugal rights and the duties of husband and wife. (GS§41-52)

(So, here is what the Vatican did to address these questions thoroughly, as I have already alluded to above…)

Special Studies

The consciousness of that same mission induced us to confirm and enlarge the study commission which our predecessor Pope John XXIII of happy memory had instituted in March, 1963. That commission which included, besides several experts in the various pertinent disciplines, also married couples, had as its scope the gathering of opinions on the new questions regarding conjugal life, and in particular on the regulation of births, and of furnishing opportune elements of information so that the magisterium could give an adequate reply to the expectation not only of the faithful, but also of world opinion.

The work of these experts, as well as the successive judgments and counsels spontaneously forwarded by or expressly requested from a good number of our brothers in the episcopate, have permitted us to measure more exactly all the aspects of this complex matter. Hence with all our heart we express to each of them our lively gratitude.

(Many people contributed to the gathering of the information on the questions above.  This was not, by any stretch of the imagination, a biased and “agenda fixed” commission.  Far too many people, from every walk of life, were asked and did participate in this endeavor.)

Reply of the Magisterium

6. The conclusions at which the commission arrived could not, nevertheless, be considered by us as definitive, nor dispense us from a personal examination of this serious question; and this also because, within the commission itself, no full concordance of judgments concerning the moral norms to be proposed had been reached, and above all because certain criteria of solutions had emerged which departed from the moral teaching on marriage proposed with constant firmness by the teaching authority of the Church.

(A friendly reminder : We are a Church of both Scripture AND Tradition: BOTH/AND = Good  Theology!)

Therefore, having attentively sifted the documentation laid before us, after mature reflection and assiduous prayers, we now intend, by virtue of the mandate entrusted to us by Christ, to give our reply to these grave questions.

(These conclusion was not reached in one day.  The commission began in March of ’63, and Paul VI did not publish this encyclical until July of ’65.  It was carefully and thoroughly conducted and reviewed.  If more proof is needed of the validity of this document, just wait and see!  Our very society as it currently exists, is reflected perfectly within the following pages.  Get ready folks, and get comfortable.  Any formed conscious individual will feel a little “slimy” while sitting comfortably in your chair, for all of us are culpable, we have allowed death to reign in our society; and unfortunately, many have even participated in that death.)


Tomorrow: The Meat of Humanae Vitae

Previous Posts:

All Life is Sacred : Part I

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