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Old 06-07-2019, 05:06 PM
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Default Sunday Dispatch #878

Acts 1:13-14 "And when they were come in, they went up into an upper room, where abode Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot and Jude the brother of James. All these were persevering with one mind in prayer with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brethren."

According to the Haydock Commentary: "This is the last mention that is made in Scripture of the blessed Virgin Mary. She lived the rest of her time with the Christians (as here she is particularly named and noted amongst them) and especially with St. John, the apostle, to whom our Lord recommended her. She undoubtedly communicated to the evangelists many circumstances relative to the actions, words, and mysteries of her divine Son."

Peter takes charge:

Acts 1:15-26: "In those days Peter rising up in the midst of the brethren, said (now the number of persons together was about an hundred and twenty): Men, brethren, the scripture must needs be fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who was the leader of them that apprehended Jesus: Who was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry. And he indeed hath possessed a field of the reward of iniquity, and being hanged, burst asunder in the midst: and all his bowels gushed out. And it became known to all the inhabitants of Jerusalem: so that the same field was called in their tongue, Haceldama, that is to say, The field of blood. For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take. Wherefore of these men who have accompanied with us, all the time that the Lord Jesus came in and went out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, until the day wherein he was taken up from us, one of these must be made a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph, called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And praying, they said: Thou, Lord, who knows the heart of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, To take the place of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas hath by transgression fallen, that he might go to his own place. And they gave them lot, and the lot fell upon Matthias, and he was numbered with the eleven apostles." Acts 2:1 "And when the days of the Pentecost were accomplished, they were all together in one place."

According to commentary in the Douay-Rheims Bible: "As Christ our Pasche, for correspondence to the figure, was offered at the Jews' great feast of Pasche, so fifty days after (in Greek, Pentecost) for accomplishing the like figure of the Law-giving in Mt. Sinai, He sent down the Holy Ghost just on the day of their Pentecost, which was always on Sunday. Both which days the Church keeps and yearly for memory of Christ's death and Resurrection, and the sending down of the Holy Ghost: as they did the like for record of their delivery out of Egypt, and their Law-giving aforesaid, with us continuing the said Feasts as well as the remembrance of the benefits of the past, great Sacraments which provide the grace for the life to come (Aug. Ep. 119, ch. 16)."

Fifty days after our Lord Jesus Christ conquered death and ten days after He bodily ascended into Heaven, He made good on His promise to send His Spirit. The Holy Spirit descends with a rush of grace and inspiration, transforming the formerly apprehensive Apostles into men of virtuous courage who were now ready to fully take up the command Christ had given them:

Acts 2:2-13 "And suddenly there came a sound from Heaven, as of a mighty wind coming: and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them parted tongues, as it were of fire: and it sat upon every one of them. And they were all filled (replenished) with the Holy Ghost: and they began to speak with divers tongues, according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak. Now there were dwelling at Jerusalem, Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. And when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded in mind, because that every man heard them speak in his own tongue. And they were all amazed, and wondered, saying: Behold, are not all these that speak Galilean? And how have we heard, every man our own tongue wherein we were born? Parthians and Medes and Elamites and inhabitants of Mesopotamia, Judea, and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews also, and proselytes, Cretans, and Arabians: we have heard them speak in our own tongues the wonderful works of God. And they were all astonished, and wondered, saying one to another: What meaneth this? But others mocking, said: These men are full of new wine."

Peter, the head of the rest and now newly replenished with all knowledge and fortitude, makes his first sermon:

Acts 2:14-47: "But Peter standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and spoke to them: Ye men of Judea, and all you that dwell in Jerusalem, be this known to you and with your ears receive my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day: But this is that which was spoken of by the prophet Joel: And it shall come to pass, in the last days, (saith the Lord), I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy: and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. And upon my servants indeed and upon my handmaids will I pour out in those days of my spirit: and they shall prophesy. And I will shew wonders in the Heaven above, and signs on the earth beneath: blood and fire, and vapor of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness and the moon into blood, before the great and manifest day of the Lord to come. And it shalt come to pass, that whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Ye men of Israel, hear these words: Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him, in the midst of you, as you also know: This same being delivered up, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God, you by the hands of wicked men have crucified and slain. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the sorrows of hell, as it was impossible that he should be holden by it. For David saith concerning him: I foresaw the Lord before my face: because he is at my right hand, that I may not be moved. For this my heart hath been glad, and my tongue hath rejoiced: moreover my flesh also shall rest in hope. Because thou wilt not leave my soul in hell nor suffer thy Holy One to see corruption. Thou hast made known to me the ways of life: thou shalt make me full of joy with thy countenance. Ye men, brethren, let me freely speak to you of the patriarch David: that he died and was buried; and his sepulcher is with us to this present say. Whereas therefore he was a prophet and knew that God hath sworn to him with an oath, that of the fruit of his loins one should sit upon his throne. Foreseeing this, he spoke of the resurrection of Christ. For neither was he left in hell: neither did his flesh see corruption. This Jesus hath God raised again, whereof all we are witnesses. Being exalted therefore by the right hand of God and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath poured forth this which you see and hear. For David ascended not into heaven; but he himself said: The Lord said to my Lord: Sit thou on my right hand, Until I make thy enemies thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know most certainly that God hath made both Lord and Christ, this same Jesus, whom you have crucified. Now when they had heard these things, they had compunction in their heart and said to Peter and to the rest of the apostles: What shall we do, men and brethren? But Peter said to them: Do penance: and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ, for the remission of your sins. And you shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call. And with very many other words did he testify and exhort them, saying: Save yourselves from this perverse generation. They therefore that received his word were baptized: and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles and in the communication of the breaking of bread and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul. Many wonders also and signs were done by the apostles in Jerusalem: and there was great fervor in all. And all they that believed were together and had all things common. Their possessions and goods they sold and divided them to all, according as every one had need. And continuing daily with one accord in the temple and breaking bread from house to house, they took their meat with gladness and simplicity of heart: Praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord increased daily together such as should be saved."

The Church, with all its spiritual power, was born that day and the Faith spread rapidly with three thousand baptized on the first day. Jesus' followers, which hitherto were cautious, timid, yes, afraid, were now boldly going out and daring to convert others, confidently spreading the same message Jesus had taught. Truly they were His followers. What then really happened on that Sunday that changed these men? They received the gift of the Holy Spirit! Pentecost also shows the significance of the Third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit, Who is the Soul of the Church. This (from the moment of the Descent until Christ comes again) is the age of the Holy Spirit. This is His time. "Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of the faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy love."

Last edited by masklofumanto; 06-07-2019 at 05:12 PM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:25 PM
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Default Sunday Dispatch #879

“The father of the righteous will greatly rejoice; he who begets a wise son will be glad in him.” (Proverbs 23:24)

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Old 06-21-2019, 02:34 PM
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Default Sunday Dispatch #880

Luke 21:29-36

The Lesson of the Fig Tree

29 And he told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree, and all the trees; 30 as soon as they come out in leaf, you see for yourselves and know that the summer is already near. 31 So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that the kingdom of God is near. 32 Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away till all has taken place. 33 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Exhortation to Watch

34 “But take heed to yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a snare; 35 for it will come upon all who dwell upon the face of the whole earth. 36 But watch at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that will take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.”

The following commentary is excerpted from the website of the Order of the Carmelites:

Luke 21:29-33 presents the final recommendations of the Apocalyptic Discourse. Jesus insists on two points: (a) the attention which should be given to the signs of the times (Lk 21:29-31) and (b) hope founded on the firmness of the word of God which drives away fear and despair (Lk 21:32-33).

• Luke 21: 29-31: Look at the fig tree and indeed every tree. Jesus orders them (and us) to look at nature: “Look at the fig tree and indeed every tree; as soon as you see them bud, you can see for yourselves that summer is now near. So with you, when you see these things happening know that the kingdom of God is near”. Jesus says we can contemplate the phenomena of nature to learn how to read and interpret the things that are happening in nature. The buds or sprouts on the fig tree are a sign that Summer is near. In the same way, when the seven signs appear, they are proof that “the Kingdom of God is close at hand!” Discerning this is not easy. A person who is alone does not become aware of this. By reflecting together in community, the light appears. The light is this: to experience in everything that happens the call to open ourselves to the present, to keep the horizon open, and to perceive everything that happens as an arrow directed toward the future. But, nobody knows the exact hour of the coming of the Kingdom. In Mark’s Gospel, Jesus says: “But as for that day or hour, nobody knows it, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, no one but the Father!” (Mk 13:32).

• Luke 21:32-33: “In truth I tell you, before this generation has passed away all will have taken place. Sky and earth will pass away, but My words will never pass away.” This word of Jesus recalls the prophecy of Isaiah which says: “All humanity is grass and all its beauty like the wild flowers. The grass withers, the flower fades when the breath of the LORD blows on them. The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God remains forever”. (Is 40:7-8). The word of Jesus is the source of our hope. What He says will survive!

• The coming of the Messiah and the end of the world. Today, many people worry about the end of the world. Some, basing themselves on a mistaken reading of the Apocalypse of John, try calculating the exact date of the end of the world. In the past, beginning at “one thousand years” quoted in the Apocalypse (Rv 20:7), it was usually repeated: “The year one thousand has gone by but the year two thousand will not pass!” Because of this, as the year two thousand approached, many were worried. There were some people who, anguished because of the coming of the end of the world, committed suicide! But the year 2000 arrived and nothing happened. The end of the world did not arrive! The Christian communities of the first centuries faced the same problems. They lived in the expectation of the imminent coming of Jesus. Jesus was coming to carry out the Final Judgment so as to finish the unjust history of the world here on earth and to inaugurate a new phase of history, being the New Heavens and of the New Earth. They thought that this would take place between one or two generations. Many people thought they would still be alive when Jesus would appear glorious in Heaven (1 Th 4:16-17; Mk 9:1). There were some people who no longer worked, because they thought that the end would arrive within a few days or weeks (2 Th 2:1-3; 3:11). This is what they thought. But even today, the coming of Jesus has not arrived as yet! How can this delay be interpreted? On the streets of the cities people see writing on walls and billboards which say Jesus will return! Is He coming or not? And how will His coming be? Many times, the affirmation “Jesus will return” is used to frighten people and oblige them to go to a particular church.

In the New Testament, the return of Jesus is always a reason for joy and peace! For those who are exploited and oppressed, the coming of Jesus is Good News! When will this coming take place? Among the Jews, there were various opinions. The Sadducees and the Herodians were aristocratic and incorporated Hellenistic views as an elite class. For this reason they did not accept change and they fought against the preaching of Jesus who invited people to change and convert themselves. The Pharisees said: “The coming of the Kingdom will depend on our effort in observing the law!” These two parties made up the Great Sanhedrin. Among the Christians there were the same variety of opinions. Some of the community of Thessalonica, the Greeks, basing themselves on Paul’s preaching, said: “Jesus will return!” (1 Th 4:13-18; 2 Th 2:2). Paul responds that it was not as simple as they imagined. And to those who did not work he said: “Anyone who does not work has no right to eat!” (2 Th 3:10). It was likely a problem of people who would beg others for food at meal time. Other Christians thought that Jesus would return only after the Gospel had been announced to the whole world (Acts 1:6-11). They thought that the greater their effort to evangelize, the more quickly the end of the world would arrive. Others, tired of waiting, said: “He will never come back!” (2 Pet 3:4). Others basing themselves on the word of Jesus merely said: “He is already among us!” (Mt 25:40).

The same thing happens today. There are people who say: “The way things are in the Church and in society are alright”. They want no change. Others are waiting for the immediate coming of Jesus. Others think that Jesus will return only through our work and announcement. For us, Jesus is already among us (Mt 28:20), in the stranger, the poor, the sick and those who are “the least” (Mt 25:40). He is already at our side in the struggle for justice, for peace and for life. But the fullness has not yet been attained. For this reason, we wait with perseverance for the redemption of humanity and of nature (Rm 8:22-25), and remain watchful (Lk 21:34-36).

Personal questions:

• Jesus says to look at the fig tree to contemplate the phenomena of nature. In my life have I already learned something by contemplating nature?

• Jesus says: “The sky and earth will pass, but my words will not pass”. How do I embody in my life these words of Jesus?

These questions call for our watchfulness, hence the exhortation to watch in Luke 21:34-36. Our answer, in particular, to the question of "how do I embody Jesus' words in my life" calls on us to reflect, and pray, carefully indeed on what our standing before Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, will be when He comes again.

Concluding Reflection:

Lord, how blessed are those who live in Thy house; they shall praise Thee continually. Blessed those who find their strength in Thee, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage. (Ps 84:4-5)

Last edited by masklofumanto; 06-21-2019 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 06-22-2019, 06:08 AM
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Originally Posted by masklofumanto View Post
April 1st will make a year since Michael "the iron horse," the creator of the Sunday Dispatch, has had any activity on, or logged into, the cigreviews forums. I don't know what happened to him.

As Michael explains in the quote below, the Sunday Dispatch was started on the CreedNet forum, then migrated to a few other websites before finding its permanent home here. Clearly, like Jesus, Michael was willing to take the message to anywhere it would get a hearing! If you read through this thread from the start, you'll see it took quite some time before he got any feedback, yet Michael faithfully continued posting a dispatch every week, with the exception of a few Sundays here and there for various reasons. It is, however, a testament to Michael's faithfulness that this thread--in an "off topic" forum at that--has had more views by far than any other thread, in any of the forums, here at cigreviews!



The last time Michael had disappeared for a while, for almost two months, I filled in for him. When he returned, he explained that his absence was due to computer problems. Then, when I returned in Dec. 2018 after a lengthy period of inactivity, I noticed that there hadn't been a Sunday Dispatch in over eight months, since April 1, 2018. So I took up the mantle left by Michael and restarted the Sunday Dispatches, realizing that, unlike last time, it would likely be permanent this time. Though our styles are obviously different--to be expected as we're from different faith traditions within Christianity--Michael was pleased with my having "filled in" for him last time, so I have to believe that he'd be pleased that the Sunday Dispatches continue on.

Michael was truly a gentleman, and I mean that in the literal sense of a "gentle man." I cannot recall his ever speaking harshly in any of his posts; he always responded graciously. He didn't quarrel or judge, but was supportive to those who needed support and informative to all. He was always deeply faithful, and was a man who I think anyone would be proud to call a friend. I miss him. So this week's Sunday Dispatch is offered in his honor.

His lord said to him: Well done, good and faithful servant: because thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will place thee over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord. Matthew 25:23

Creed's "My Sacrifice", a song with a theme of reunion within oneself and believing:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-fyNgHdmLI
I have been away from this forum for some time, been through quite a lot and at the end of it I am even more thankful and dedicated to our Lord than I ever was before.

This thread is brilliant and it is fantastic you have kept it alive, I just hope that Iron Horse is doing well offline or in the worst case scenario he is at peace, I will mention him in my prayers tonight.

God bless.
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Old 06-28-2019, 07:13 PM
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Default Sunday Dispatch #881

Saturday, June 29th is the feast of the Apostles Peter and Paul. His confession of faith in Jesus, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God," is a pivotal moment in the Gospel. Peter's proclamation of Jesus as Christ is fundamental to Christology; the Confession of Peter and Jesus' acceptance of the title "Messiah" form a definitive statement in the New Testament narrative regarding the person of Jesus Christ. In this New Testament narrative, Jesus not only accepts the titles Christ and Son of God, but declares the proclamation a divine revelation by stating that his Father in Heaven had revealed it to Peter, unequivocally declaring himself to be both Christ and the Son of God. In the same passage Jesus also states: "Upon this rock (the rock here refers to Peter, whose name means “rock”) I will build my church". Most Christian denominations agree that the statement applies to Peter, but they diverge on their interpretations of what happens after Peter.

Matthew 16:13-19

Peter’s Declaration about Jesus

13 Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, “Who do men say that the Son of man is?” 14 And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”[a] 15 He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16 Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”[b] 17 And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon, son of Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18 And I tell you, you are Peter,[c] and on this rock[d] I will build my church, and the powers of death[e] shall not prevail against it.[f] 19 I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven,[g] and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

Footnotes

[a] 16:14 The title of prophet had a Messianic significance because the gift of prophecy, which had been extinct since Malachi, was expected to return at the beginning of the Messianic era, especially by an outpouring of the Spirit as foretold by the prophet Joel and as realized in Acts 2:16.
[b] 16:16 The context shows that Peter recognizes the sonship of Jesus as divine and not adoptive like ours. Mark and Luke in the parallel passages mention only the confession of the Messiahship.
[c] Matthew 16:18 Greek Petros
[d] Matthew 16:18 Greek petra
[e] Matthew 16:18 Literally, "the gates of Hades"
[f] 16.18 The name “Peter” comes from the Greek word for “rock.” Jesus makes him the foundation on which the church is to be built. The word “church” means “assembly” or “society” of believers. The Hebrew equivalent is used in the Old Testament to indicate the chosen people. In applying it to the church, Jesus shows it to be the Messianic community foretold by the prophets.
[h] 16:19 the kingdom of heaven: Peter has the key to the gates of the city of God. This power is exercised through the church. “Binding” and “loosing” are rabbinic terms referring to excommunication, then later to forbidding or allowing something. Not only can Peter admit to the kingdom; he also has power to make authoritative decisions in matters of faith or morals. Furthermore, the verbs related to heaven’s binding and loosing are dedemenon and lelumenon. They are future perfect (passive) participles in the middle voice. As such, they indicate something that has already been done in Heaven before Peter does it on Earth. A more literal, though awkward, translation into English is “Whatever you might bind on the earth, having (already) been bound in heaven, and whatever you might loose on the earth, having (already) been loosed in heaven.” The Greek text makes clear that if Peter binds or looses something on Earth, it is because Heaven has inspired this act; in no way is Heaven engaged in a “rearguard action.” Rather, Peter is inspired to carry out what has already been done in Heaven. Heaven is not forced to comply with Peter’s decision. Rather, Heaven binds or looses, and then inspires Peter and his successors to do likewise. The Greek conveys this important subtlety; the conventional English translation does not.


"Ss. Peter and Paul," painting by Domenikos Theotokopoulos (1541-1614), also known as “El Greco”

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Old 07-06-2019, 09:56 AM
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Default Sunday Dispatch #882

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people whom he has chosen as his heritage!”
Psalm 33:12

“America was founded by people who believe that God was their rock of safety. I recognize we must be cautious in claiming that God is on our side, but I think it’s all right to keep asking if we’re on His side. If we ever forget that we are one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.”
President Ronald Reagan (1911-2004)

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Old 07-06-2019, 06:15 PM
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Amen to that.
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Old 07-07-2019, 04:59 AM
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I think his words "without God, there is a coarsening of society," from August 1984, have proven prophetic.
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Old 07-08-2019, 12:48 PM
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Attaching the footnotes for Matthew 16:13-20 from the New Oxford Annotated Bible to supplement what masklofumanto already posted for these passages. Oxford always has an interesting footnote or two about the historical backdrop and terminology from the Greek and Hebrew.

16:13-20: Peter's confession about Jesus (Mk 8.27-30; Lk 9.18-21)
13: Caesarea Philippi, a city 25 mi (40 km) north of the Sea of Galilee, formerly Baneas and renamed by Phillip in honor of Caesar Augustus. It is to be distinguised from Caesarea Maritima, the Hellenistic city redesigned and expanded by Herod the Great on the Mediterranean coast that served as the headquarters of the Roman governor (Acts 8.40, 21.8, 16)
Son of Man, 8.20n.
14: Jeremiah, Matthew's inclusion of Jeremiah among the prophets emphasizes the parallels between Jesus and Jeremiah (also mentioned in 2.17; 27.9).
16: Son of the Living God is found only in Matthew's version of Peter's confession (cf. 26.63; Ps 42.2). The title has strong messianic overtones (4Q174.10-14).
17: Son of Jonah, either a variant of "son of John" (Jn 1.42) or an indication that Peter has a prophetic gift like Jonah's. Flesh and blood, humans.
18: This promise to Peter is found only in Matthew. Peter...rock, Jesus's nickname for Simon (Gk "petros") means "stone" or "rock." The same pun works with its Aramaic equivalent, Kephas (1 Cor 1.12; 15.5; Gal 1.18). Church, the only occurrences of the word "church" (Gk "ekklesia") in the Gospels are here and at 18.17. The gates of Hades may mean "the powers of death."
19: Keys, a symbolic ascription of power (see Isa 22.22), bequeathing Peter the authority to oversee admission to the church (cf. 18.18).
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Old 07-12-2019, 07:34 AM
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Default Sunday Dispatch #883

“We must define flattery and praise; they are distinct. Trajan was encouraged to virtue by the panegyric of Pliny; Tiberius became obstinate in vice from the flattery of his senators.”
King Louis XVI of France (1754-1793)

Louis XVI, the last King of France before the fall of the monarchy during the French Revolution, was described as a martyr by Pope Pius VI in 1793. The Requiem in C Minor for mixed chorus by Luigi Cherubini was written in 1816 in memory of Louis XVI and the city of Louisville, Kentucky is named after him.

Louis' daughter, Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte, Duchess of Angoulême, survived the French Revolution, and she lobbied in Rome energetically for the canonization of her father as a saint of the Catholic Church. In 1820, however, a memorandum of the Congregation of Rites in Rome, declaring the impossibility of proving that Louis had been executed for religious rather than political reasons, put an end to hopes of canonization.

If the Pope can be convinced that Louis XVI died in order to remain a faithful Catholic, then canonization awaits the martyred King. Certainly his complete devotion to Catholicism and to Rome, well illustrated by his dogged resistance to the "Civil Constitution of the Clergy," contributed not a little toward Louis' condemnation. It can even be argued with assurance that religious motives contributed as largely toward his execution as toward the martyrdom of Joan of Arc.

Whatever the historical technicalities of the case may be, however, the best justification of the current claim for sainthood is to be found in the attitude of all French Catholics who have cherished the memory of their unhappy king. For many years after the passing of the terrorist regime the "martyrdom of the sainted Louis" was a stock expression which in one form or another appears in the works of all ardent Catholic writers. Today it appears that devoted Catholics in France still look upon him as a saint. Whether or not the Pope sees fit to stamp this judgment with the seal of official approval can do little to alter the saintly character Louis XVI has acquired in the hearts of many of his countrymen.

The hallmark of a Christian is charity involves the ability to forgive. Whatever faults and flaws Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette may have had, there can be no doubt that they bore wrongs patiently and forgave their enemies in a Christ-like manner. As Louis XVI stated in his Last Will and Testament, written on Christmas Day, 1792, less than a month before he was killed:

"I pardon with all my heart those who made themselves my enemies, without my having given them any cause, and I pray God to pardon them, as well as those who, through false or misunderstood zeal, did me much harm."

The king did not want to be avenged:

"I exhort my son, should he have the misfortune of becoming king, to remember he owes himself wholly to the happiness of his fellow citizens; that he should forget all hates and all grudges, particularly those connected with the misfortunes and sorrows which I am experiencing ..."

Marie-Antoinette's forgiveness has an especially supernatural aura. When the queen wrote her last letter to her sister-in-law, she was hours away from death. She had been put through the ordeal of a humiliating trial, designed to break her will. Her little son had been dragged from her arms and tormented into accusing his own mother of unnatural crimes. That Marie-Antoinette was able to forgive the monsters who had tried to destroy her by corrupting her little boy surely required a special grace from God. Here are her words:

"I beg pardon of all whom I know, and especially of you, my sister, for all the vexations which, without intending it, I may have caused you. I pardon all my enemies the evils that they have done me."

Not only does the queen forgive but she asks forgiveness. Humility and compunction drown any bitterness or recriminations, although certainly in her agony she experienced the full range of emotions. Christian love overcomes hatred; only someone who sincerely believed in and loved Jesus Christ could make that leap from hellish circumstances to the heights of courage, love, and martyrdom.

This link is to an article, by Fr. Theodore R. Smith, O.P., promoting the cause of canonization from an American perspective: https://www.dominicanajournal.org/wp-content/files/old-journal-archive/vol15/no2/dominicanav15n2kinglouisxvibenefactoramericam.pdf

In 2017 the cause may have been given new impetus when the French bishops approved opening of the cause for the canonization of King Louis XVI’s sister, Princess Elisabeth (already declared a "Servant of God" in 1953).


King Louis XVI and Queen Marie-Antoinette

Last edited by masklofumanto; 07-12-2019 at 07:38 AM.
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