Fr Stephen Smuts

Archive for September 2012

Pope Benedict XVI: There May Be Something Catholic, Even Outside the Catholic Church

with 4 comments

Amen! 

Castel Gandolfo (AsiaNews) – “Just as one can find that which is not Catholic in the Catholic Church – that is, in the Church -, one can also find something that may be Catholic outside of the Catholic Church “: this quote from St. Augustine (On Baptism, Against the Donatists: PL 43 , VII, 39, 77) was at the center of reflection that Benedict XVI offered to pilgrims gathered today in the Apostolic Palace of Castel Gandolfo during the Angelus. The Pope – as he often does – was referring to the episode narrated in the Gospel of the Sunday Mass (Mark 9: 39-41): “a man, who was not the followers of Jesus had cast out demons in his name. The Apostle John, young and zealous, wants to stop him, but Jesus will not allow him. “

“Jesus – continues the pope – is inspired by the opportunity to teach his disciples that God can bring about good and even miraculous things, even outside of their circle, and that one can cooperate with the Kingdom of God in several ways, even by offering a simple glass of water to a missionary (v. 41). “

Thus Benedict XVI underlined the “ecumenical” teaching of Jesus in our time: “Church members should not feel jealous, but rejoice if someone from outside the community do good in the name of Christ, provided this is done with right intention and with respect “. At the same time, he insisted that often jealousy and the desire to block the action of someone also exist within the Church: “Even within the Church itself – he added – it can sometimes happen that one can have difficulty in appreciating and recognizing, in a spirit of profound communion, the good things done by the various ecclesial realities. Instead we should all be able to always appreciate and respect each other, praising the Lord for the infinite ‘fantasy’ with which he acts in the Church and in the world”.

The pope also commented on the second reading of today’s Mass, taken from the Letter of St. James, which concerns “the invective… against the dishonest rich, who put their trust in the riches accumulated by dint of abuse” (cf. Jas 5.1 to 6).
“The words of the Apostle James – said the pope – while they warn against the vain desire for material goods, are also a powerful call to use them in the perspective of solidarity and the common good, always acting with fairness and morality, at all levels “…

The pope also bid farewell to the faithful at Castel Gandolfo, because tomorrow he returns to take up residency in the Vatican.

This may of course come as a great shock to those within the Church who believe differently!

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 30, 2012 at 18:38

Sukkot 2012

leave a comment »

Lulav And Etrog

The Jewish Feast of the Tabernacle, Sukkot, begins at sundown on Sept. 30, 2012, and ends at nightfall on Oct. 7. The Festival of Booths, as Sukkot is also known, is observed from the 15th to the 21st of the Tishrei in the Jewish year of 5773.

For the eight days and seven nights of Sukkot, Jews traditionally eat and sleep in a sukkah, a temporary dwelling with a thatched roof, from which the holiday gets its name. Two other components of the holiday are inviting guests, or ushpizin, and waving the four species, known as the lulav and etrog.

Sukkot is one of three biblically mandated holidays for which the ancient tribes made a pilgrimage to the Temple in Jerusalem. The holiday is based on the verse: “Every resident among the Israelites shall live in booths, in order that your [ensuing] generations should know that I had the children of Israel live in booths when I took them out of the land of Egypt” (Leviticus 23:42-43). The sukkah is a physical remembrance of the “clouds of glory” that surrounded and protected the Israelites as they wandered the desert after escaping from Egypt.

The commandment regarding the “four species” — the lulav (palm, willow and myrtle) and etrog (citron) — also comes from chapter 23 of Leviticus: “And you shall take for yourselves on the first day [of Sukkot], the fruit of the hadar tree [myrtle], date palm fronds, a branch of a braided tree, and willows of the brook, and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God for a seven day period” (23:40). The lulav and etrog are held together and, after reciting a blessing, waved in six directions — forward, backward, left, right, up and down — in acknowledgment of God’s dominion over all creation.

Another important aspect of Sukkot is welcoming of guests (ushpizin in Aramaic) into the sukkah. While people actually invite friends, family and strangers into their hand-built temporary homes, on each night of Sukkot a different ancestral guest, leading the entire group of “holy shepherds,” is said to enter the sukkah, and Jewish teachings are invoked in their names. The ushpizin — Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Joseph and David — embody seven different spiritual paths that, together, bring humanity and all of creation to a more perfected state: Abraham is lovingkindness, Isaac is strength, Jacob represents harmony, Moses is eternality through Torah, Aaron is divine splendor, Joseph is spiritual foundation and David embodies sovereignty.

Source

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 30, 2012 at 16:40

Posted in Church

Tagged with , , , , ,

Coptic Orthodox Church Declares Three Days of Fasting and Prayers

with 7 comments

OBL News:

Cairo: The Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria has announced fasting and prayer 3 days in order to select the New Pope of Alexandria & Patriarch the Holy see of St. Mark

Divine Liturgy at all Churches on Sunday 30 September  will prepare the faithful for  the three day fasting and prayers.  It will begin on Monday 1st October, continue on Tuesday 2nd October and will end on Wednesday 3rd of October 2012. The Church has requested one all to pray and fast for the complete success of the Papal elections.

God Bless you all.

I certainly hope it goes better for them than it has with the deadlocked Canterbury Anglicans.

A Church of England panel meeting in secret to choose the next Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to reach agreement on who should be the new leader of the world’s 80 million Anglicans, a newspaper reported on Sunday.

After three days of talks behind closed doors in an undisclosed location, officials narrowed the field to three candidates, but will need to meet again to finish the job, the Sunday Times said, citing an unnamed senior cleric.

The choice of a replacement for Rowan Williams, who steps down in December, is critical for a church in danger of splitting over divisive issues such as gay marriage and senior women clergy, and facing a rising threat from secularism.

The Crown Nominations Commission (CNC), a church panel with 16 members whose chairman is appointed by the prime minister, had been expected to pick a preferred candidate and a second choice on Friday, a church source said last week.

The names were then due to be passed to Prime Minister David Cameron and Queen Elizabeth, supreme governor of the Church of England, before an official announcement within days, possibly on Wednesday.

Strange, all these different election traditions. How the Holy Spirit works. How He exercise His will. And of course, the spiritual discernment of man. ‘Deadlocked’. Come to think of it, I read of no such call to fasting from the Anglicans. Instead, we have things like: Critics attack secrecy of Archbishop selection.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 30, 2012 at 14:29

Salt

leave a comment »

You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.

St Matthew 5:13

So stay salty!

Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can you make it salty again? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with each other.

- St Mark 9:50

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 30, 2012 at 07:13

Lady Gaga: The Pope Doesn’t ‘Matter,’ ‘Gay Marriage Is Going To Happen’

with 3 comments

And to think that this wicked woman is soon coming to South Africa.

Long-time gay icon Lady Gaga spoke out last week after the Pope told a group of bishops in France that the traditional definition of marriage, between a man and a woman, must be “promoted and defended.” On French radio, Lady Gaga said she believed “gay marriage is going to happen,” and added that “what the Pope thinks of being gay does not matter to the world.”

Over the past couple of years, the “Born this way” singer has become known as an advocate of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. She has consistently spoken out in favor of marriage equality, and last year she was honored with the Trevor Project’s Trevor Hero Award for her LGBT advocacy work.

This is not the first time that Lady Gaga has sparked controversy in connection with the Catholic church. Last year, her song “Judas” angered religious leaders, and Bill Donohue, the leader of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, said in an interview that she was “trying to rip off Christian idolatry to shore up her talentless, mundane and boring performances.”

Lady Gaga’s controversial songs and statements go beyond just gay rights or Catholicism. Recently, she made headlines for lighting up a joint on stage at a performance in Amsterdam, and for telling critics of her recent weight gain to back off.

 

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 29, 2012 at 19:05

Horror Movie

with 4 comments

Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 29, 2012 at 17:40

Posted in Culture

Tagged with , , , , ,

Vatileaks Trial Begins

leave a comment »


Written by Fr Stephen Smuts

September 29, 2012 at 15:32

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 907 other followers