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vendredi 29 avril 2016

Del Diálogo de santa Catalina de Siena, virgen, sobre la divina providencia (Cap. 167, Acción de gracias a la Santísima Trinidad: edición latina, Ingolstadt 1583, ff. 290v-291) GUSTÉ Y VI


¡Oh Deidad eterna, oh eterna Trinidad, que por la unión de la naturaleza divina diste tanto valor a la sangre de tu Hijo unigénito! Tú, Trinidad eterna, eres como un mar profundo en el que cuanto más busco, más encuentro, y cuanto más encuentro, más te busco. Tú sacias al alma de una manera en cierto modo insaciable, pues en tu insondable profundidad sacias al alma de tal forma que siempre queda hambrienta y sedienta de ti, Trinidad eterna, con el deseo ansioso de verte a ti, la luz, en tu misma luz. Con la luz de la inteligencia gusté y vi en tu luz tu abismo, eterna Trinidad, y la hermosura de tu criatura, pues, revistiéndome yo misma de ti, vi que sería imagen tuya, ya que tú, Padre eterno, me haces partícipe de tu poder y de tu sabiduría, sabiduría que es propia de tu Hijo unigénito. Y el Espíritu Santo, que procede del Padre y del Hijo, me ha dado la voluntad que me hace capaz para el amor. Tú, Trinidad eterna, eres el Hacedor y yo la hechura, por lo que, iluminada por ti, conocí, en la recreación que de mí hiciste por medio de la sangre de tu Hijo unigénito, que estás amoroso de la belleza de tu hechura. ¡Oh abismo, oh Trinidad eterna, oh Deidad, oh mar profundo!: ¿podías darme algo más preciado que tú mismo? Tú eres el fuego que siempre arde sin consumir; tú eres el que consumes con tu calor los amores egoístas del alma. Tú eres también el fuego que disipa toda frialdad; tú iluminas las mentes con tu luz, en la que me has hecho conocer tu verdad. En el espejo de esta luz te conozco a ti, bien sumo, bien sobre todo bien; bien dichoso, bien incomprensible; bien inestimable, belleza sobre toda belleza, sabiduría sobre toda sabiduría; pues tú mismo eres la sabiduría, tú, el pan de los ángeles, que por ardiente amor te has entregado a los hombres.
Tú, el vestido que cubre mi desnudez; tú nos alimentas a nosotros, que estábamos hambrientos, con tu dulzura, tú que eres la dulzura sin amargor, ¡oh Trinidad eterna!'

From the dialogue On Divine Providence by Saint Catherine of Siena, virgin (Cap 167, Gratiarum actio ad Trinitatem) I tasted and I saw



Eternal God, eternal Trinity, you have made the blood of Christ so precious through his sharing in your divine nature. You are a mystery as deep as the sea; the more I search, the more I find, and the more I find the more I search for you. But I can never be satisfied; what I receive will ever leave me desiring more. When you fill my soul I have an even greater hunger, and I grow more famished for your light. I desire above all to see you, the true light, as you really are.

I have tasted and seen the depth of your mystery and the beauty of your creation with the light of my understanding. I have clothed myself with your likeness and have seen what I shall be. Eternal Father, you have given me a share in your power and the wisdom that Christ claims as his own, and your Holy Spirit has given me the desire to love you. You are my Creator, eternal Trinity, and I am your creature. You have made of me a new creation in the blood of your Son, and I know that you are moved with love at the beauty of your creation, for you have enlightened me.

Eternal Trinity, Godhead, mystery deep as the sea, you could give me no greater gift than the gift of yourself. For you are a fire ever burning and never consumed, which itself consumes all the selfish love that fills my being. Yes, you are a fire that takes away the coldness, illuminates the mind with its light and causes me to know your truth. By this light, reflected as it were in a mirror, I recognize that you are the highest good, one we can neither comprehend nor fathom. And I know that you are beauty and wisdom itself. The food of angels, you gave yourself to man in the fire of your love.

You are the garment which covers our nakedness, and in our hunger you are a satisfying food, for you are sweetness and in you there is no taste of bitterness, O triune God!

من حوار القديسة كاترينا السيانية البتول في العناية الإلهية (فصل 167: الطبعة اللاتينية في Ingolstadt 1583، ص 290- 291) رأيت وتذوَّقت


    أيُّها اللاهوتُ السَّرمديُّ، أيُّها الثَّالوثُ الأزليُّ، لقد جعَلْتَ ثمنًا رفيعًا لدمِ ابنِك الوحيدِ، باتَّحادِه بالطَّبيعةِ الإلهيّةِ. أنت، أيُّها الثَّالوثُ الأزليُّ، أنتَ بحرٌ عميقٌ. كلَّما بحَثْتُ فيه وجَدْتُ فيه. وكلَّما وجَدْتُ زِدْتُ بحثًا فيه. أنت تُروِي النَّفسَ فلا ترتوي، لأنَّكَ في عُمقِ لاهوتِك تُروِي النَّفسَ، لتُبقِيَها جائعةً دائمًا وفقيرةً إليك. فإنَّها تبقَى راغبةً مشتاقةً أن ترى النُّورَ في نورِكَ، أيُّها الثالوثُ الأزليُّ.
    تذوَّقْتُ ورأيْتُ بنورِ العقلِ، وفي نورِكَ رأيْتُ اللانهايةَ، أيُّها الثَّالوثُ الأزلي، وفيكَ رأيْتُ بهاءَ خليقتِكَ. ولهذا إذ ملَكْتُ ذاتي فيكَ، رأيْتُ ذاتي أتحوَّلُ إلى صورَتِكَ، إذ وهَبْتَ نفسَك لي، أيُّها الآبُ الأزليُّ، بقدرتِكَ وحكمتِكَ، الحكمةِ التي هي ابنُكَ وحيدُك. وأمّا الرُّوحُ القُدُسُ المنبثقُ منكَ، أيُّها الآبُ، ومن ابنِك، فقد أعطاني الإرادةَ وبها جعلَني قادرةً لأن أُحِبَّ.
    لأنَّك أنتَ، أيُّها الثَّالوثُ الأزليُّ، أنتَ الخالقُ وأنا الخليقة. وبنورِك عرَفْتُ الفداءَ الذي فدَيْتَني به، بدمِ ابنِكَ وحيدِكَ، لأنَّك أحبَبْتَ بهاءَ خليقتِك.
    أيًها الحبُّ العميق، أيُّها الثَّالوثُ الأزلي، أيُّها الإله، أيُّها البحرُ العميق، ماذا كانَ يمكنُكَ أن تُعطِيَني أكثرَ من ذاتِك؟ أنتَ نارٌ مشتعلةٌ دائمًا لا تَذُوب. أنت المذيبُ بحرارتِكَ كلَّ حبِّ أنانِيٍّ في النَّفسِ. أنت النَّارُ المزيلةُ كلَّ برودة، ومنيرُ العقولِ بنورِك. وبهذا النّورِ عرَّفْتَني حقيقتَك.
    في مرآةِ هذا النُّورِ، عرَفْتُك، أيُّها الخيرُ الأسمى، صلاحًا فوقَ كلِّ صلاحٍ، مصدرَ كلِّ سعادةٍ، صلاحًا لا يُدرَكُ، ولا يُقدَّرُ بثمَنٍ، يا بهاءً فوقَ كلِّ بهاء، يا حكمةً فوقَ كلِّ حكمة. أنتَ الحكمةُ بالذَّات، أنت طعامُ الملائكة، وبنارِ حبِّكَ بذَلْتَ نفسَك من أجلِ النَّاس.
    أنتَ الرِّداءُ الذي يُغَطِّي عُرْيِي، وبعذوبَتِكَ تُغذِّينا نحن الجياعَ. أنتَ عذوبةٌ لا مرارةَ فيها، أيُّها الثَّالوثُ الأزليُّ.

DES DIALOGUES DE STE CATHERINE DE SIENNE


O Divinité éternelle, ô éternelle Trinité, par l'union de la divine nature tu as donné un si grand prix au sang de ton Fils unique ! Toi, éternelle Trinité, tu es comme un océan profond : plus j'y cherche et plus je te trouve ; plus je trouve et plus je te cherche. Tu rassasies insatiablement notre âme car, dans ton abîme, tu rassasies l'âme de telle sorte qu'elle demeure indigente et affamée, parce qu'elle continue à souhaiter et à désirer te voir dans ta lumière, ô lumière, éternelle Trinité. ~

J'ai goûté et j'ai vu avec la lumière de mon intelligence et dans ta lumière, éternelle Trinité, et l'immensité de ton abîme et la beauté de ta créature. Alors, j'ai vu qu'en me revêtant de toi, je deviendrais ton image, parce que tu me donnes, Père éternel, quelque chose de ta puissance et de ta sagesse. Cette sagesse est l'attribut de ton Fils unique. Quant au Saint-Esprit, qui procède de toi, Père, et de ton Fils, il m'a donné la volonté qui me rend capable d'aimer. Car toi, éternelle Trinité, tu es le Créateur, et moi la créature ; aussi ai-je connu, éclairée par toi, dans la nouvelle création que tu as faite de moi par le sang de ton Fils unique, que tu as été saisie d'amour pour la beauté de ta créature.

Abîme ! Éternelle Trinité ! Divinité ! Océan profond ! Et que pourrais-tu me donner de plus grand que toi-même ? Tu es le feu qui brûle toujours et ne s'éteint jamais ; tu consumes par ton ardeur tout amour égoïste de l'âme. Tu es le feu qui dissipe toute froideur, et tu éclaires les esprits de ta lumière, cette lumière par laquelle tu m'as fait connaître ta vérité. ~

C'est dans la foi, ce miroir de la lumière, que je te connais : tu es le souverain bien, bien qui surpasse tout bien, bien qui donne le bonheur, bien qui dépasse toute idée et tout jugement ; beauté au-dessus de toute beauté, sagesse au-dessus de toute sagesse : car tu es la sagesse elle-même, tu es l'aliment des anges qui, dans l'ardeur de ton amour, s'est donné aux hommes.

Tu es le vêtement qui couvre ma nudité, tu nourris les affamés de ta douceur, car tu es douce, sans nulle amertume, ô éternelle Trinité.


jeudi 28 avril 2016

De los tratados de san Gaudencio de Brescia, obispo (Tratado 2: CSEL 68, 26. 29-30) LA EUCARISTÍA, PASCUA DEL SEÑOR


Uno solo murió por todos; y este mismo es quien ahora por todas las iglesias, en el misterio del pan y del vino, inmolado, nos alimenta; creído, nos vivifica; consagrado, santifica a los que lo consagran. Ésta es la carne del Cordero, ésta la sangre. El pan mismo que descendió del cielo dice: El pan que yo daré es mi carne para la vida del mundo. También su sangre está bien significada bajo la especie del vino, porque, al declarar él en el Evangelio: Yo soy la verdadera vid, nos da a entender a las claras que el vino que se ofrece en el sacramento de la pasión es su sangre; por eso, ya el patriarca Jacob había profetizado de Cristo, diciendo: Lava su ropa en vino y su túnica en sangre de uvas. Porque habrá de purificar en su propia sangre nuestro cuerpo, que es como la vestidura que ha tomado sobre sí. El mismo Creador y Señor de la naturaleza, que hace que la tierra produzca pan, hace también del pan su propio cuerpo (porque así lo prometió y tiene poder para hacerlo), y el que convirtió el agua en vino hace del vino su sangre. Es la Pascua del Señor, dice la Escritura, es decir, su paso, para que no se te ocurra pensar que continúe siendo terreno aquello por lo que pasó el Señor cuando hizo de ello su cuerpo y su sangre.
Lo que recibes es el cuerpo de aquel pan celestial y la sangre de aquella sagrada vid. Porque, al entregar a sus discípulos el pan y el vino consagrados, les dijo: Esto es mi cuerpo; esto es mi sangre. Creamos, pues, os pido, en quien pusimos nuestra fe. La verdad no sabe mentir. Por eso, cuando habló a las turbas estupefactas sobre la obligación de comer su cuerpo y beber su sangre, y la gente empezó a murmurar, diciendo: Este modo de hablar es duro, ¿quién puede hacerle caso?, para purificar con fuego del cielo aquellos pensamientos que, como dije antes, deben evitarse, añadió: El espíritu es quien da vida; la carne no sirve de nada. Las palabras que os he dicho son espíritu y son vida.


From a Eulogy for Saint Peter, Priest and Martyr The blood of martyrs is the seed of Christians



As soon as Peter embraced religious life in the Society of Mary, he was sent at his own request to the missions of Oceania, and landed on the island of Futuna in the Pacific Ocean, where the name of Christ had never before been preached. A lay-brother who was constantly at his side gave the following account of his life in the missions.

“Because of his labors he was often burned by the heat of the sun, and famished with hunger, and he would return home wet with perspiration and completely exhausted. Yet he always remained in good spirits, courageous and energetic, as if he were returning from a pleasure jaunt, and this would happen almost every day.

“He could never refuse anything to the Futunians, even to those who persecuted him; he always made excuses for them and never rejected them, even though they were often rude and troublesome. He displayed an unparalleled mildness toward everyone on all occasions without exception. It is no wonder then that the natives used to call him the ‘good-hearted man.’ He once told a fellow religious: ‘In such a difficult mission one has to be holy.’”

Quietly he preached Christ and the Gospel, but there was little response. Still with invincible perseverance he pursued his missionary tasks on both the human and religious level, relying on the example and words of Christ: There is one who sows and another who reaps. And he constantly prayed for help from the Mother of God, to whom he was especially devoted.

By his preaching of Christianity he destroyed the cult of the evil spirits, which the chieftains of the Futunians encouraged in order to keep the tribe under their rule. This was the reason they subjected Peter to a most cruel death, hoping that by killing him the seeds of the Christian religion which he had sowed would be annihilated.

On the day before his martyrdom he had said: “It does not matter if I die. Christ’s religion is so deeply rooted on this island that it cannot be destroyed by my death.”

The blood of this martyr benefited, in the first place, the natives of Futuna, for a few years later they were all converted to the faith of Christ. But it benefited as well the other islands of Oceania, where Christian churches, which claim Peter as their first martyr, are now flourishing.

من كتابات القديس جاودنسيوس (Gaudentius) أسقف بريشيا (Brescia إيطاليا) ( الكتاب 2: CSEL 68، 26، 29- 30) الإفخارستيا هي فصح الرب



    ماتَ واحدٌ عن الجميع. وهو نفسُه في جميعِ كنائسِ العالمِ، في سرِّ الخبزِ والخمرِ، يُذبَحُ فيُغَذِّي، ومَن آمنَ به يُحيِيه، ويُقرَّبُ فيقدِّسُ المقرِّبين. 
    هذا هو جسدُ الحملِ، وهذا هو دمُه. هو الخبزُ النَّازلُ من السَّماءِ وهو الذي يقول: "الخُبزُ الَّذِي سَأُعطِيهِ أنَا هُوَ جَسَدِي أَبذِلُهُ لِيَحيَا العَالَمُ" (يوحنا 6: 51). فالخمرُ يعبِّرُ حقًّا عن دمِه، وقد قالَ على لسانِ الإنجيليّ: "أنَا الكَرمَةُ الحَقِيقِيَّةُ" (يوحنا 15: 1). وبهذا يصرِّحُ أنَّ دمَه يمكنُ أن يكونَ في كلِّ خمرٍ يُقرَّبُ صورةً عن آلامِه. وقد تنبَّأَ يعقوب، أبونا الطُّوباويُّ، قال: "غسَلَ بالخمرِ ثوبَه، وبدمِ العِنَبِ رداءَه" (ر. تكوين 49: 11). لقد غسلَ في الواقعِ بدمِه ثوبَ جسدِنا الذي اتَّخذَه فجعلَه مثلَ الثَّوبِ لنفسِه.
    هو خالقُ الأكوانِ وسيِّدُها، يُخرِجُ من الأرضِ خبزًا، ثم يحوِّلُ الخبزَ إلى جسدِه، لأنّه قديرٌ ولأنّه وعدَ بذلك. وهو الذي صيَّرَ الماءَ خمرًا، ثم حوَّلَ الخمرَ إلى دمِه.
    قال: "إنَّه فِصحُ الرَّبِّ" (خروج 12: 11)، أي: يومُ عبورِ الرّبِّ. فلا تنظُرْ نِظرةً أرضيّةً إلى ما هو سماوِيٌّ، وإلى ما "عَبَرَ" إليه الربُّ، حين حوّلَ الخبزَ والخمرَ إلى جسدِه ودمِه. 
    ما تتناولُه هو جسدُه المأخوذُ من ذلك الخبزِ السَّماويّ، والدّمُ هو المأخوذُ من تلك الكرمةِ المقدَّسة. لمَّا قدَّمَ الخبزَ والخمرَ لتلاميذِه بعدَ تقديسِهما قال: "هَذَا هُوَ جَسَدِي، وهَذَا هُوَ دَمِي" (متى 26: 26- 27).  أسألُكم : صدِّقوا مَن آمنَّا به، فإنَّه الحقُّ ولا يَعرِفُ الكَذِبَ.
    لمّا قالَ إنَّ جسدَه هو مأكلٌ حقيقيٌّ ودمَه هو مشرَبٌ حقيقيٌّ، قالتِ الجموعُ المذهولةُ متذمِّرةً: "هَذَا كَلامٌ عَسِيرٌ. مَن يُطِيقُ سَمَاعَهُ؟" (يوحنا 6: 60). ولكي يُطهِّرَ بنارٍ سماويّةٍ تلك الأفكارَ التي يجبُ تجنُّبُّها، أضافَ فقال: "إنَّ الرُّوحَ هُوَ الَّذِي يُحيِي، وَأمَّا الجَسَدُ فَلا يُجدِي نَفعًا. وَالكَلامُ الَّذِي كَلَّمْتُكُم بِهِ رُوحٌ وَحَيَاةٌ" (يوحنا 6: 63).

HOMÉLIE PASCALE DE SAINT GAUDENCE DE BRESCIA L'Eucharistie, Pâque du Seigneur.



Un seul est mort pour tous, et c'est le même qui, à travers toutes les maisons de l'Église, dans le mystère du pain et du vin, réconforte en étant immolé, donne la vie en étant cru, sanctifie ceux qui le consacrent en étant consacré.

C'est la chair, c'est le sang de l'Agneau. Car le pain qui est descendu du ciel a dit : Le pain que je donnerai, c'est ma chair, pour la vie du monde. Et son sang est fort bien signifié par l'apparence du vin, puisqu'en disant lui-même dans l'Évangile : Moi, je suis la vraie vigne, il montre clairement que son sang, c'est n'importe quel vin offert pour représenter sa passion. Aussi le saint patriarche Jacob avait-il fait cette prophétie sur le Christ : Il lave son vêtement dans le vin, son habit dans le sang de la grappe. Effectivement, il devait laver son vêtement, c'est-à-dire notre corps, dans son propre sang.

Lui qui est le Créateur et le Seigneur de la nature, qui fait sortir le pain de la terre, il fait avec du pain (parce qu'il le peut et qu'il l'a promis) son propre corps ; et lui qui a fait du vin avec de l'eau, il a fait son sang avec du vin.

C'est la Pâque du Seigneur, dit-il, c'est-à-dire son passage. Car tu ne dois pas penser que c'est un élément terrestre : en « passant » en lui, il en a fait une réalité céleste, il en a fait son corps et son sang.

Ce que tu reçois, c'est le corps qui provient de ce pain céleste, c'est le sang de cette vigne sainte. Car, lorsqu'il présentait le pain et le vin à ses disciples, il leur a dit : Ceci est mon corps ; ceci est mon sang. Croyons, je vous en prie, celui en qui nous avons mis notre foi; il ignore le mensonge, lui qui est la vérité.

Lorsqu'il parla de manger son corps et de boire son sang, les foules furent stupéfaites, et elles protestaient : Ce qu'il dit là est intolérable, on ne peut pas continuer à l'écouter ! Aussi, pour purifier par le feu du ciel ces pensées, dont je vous ai dit qu'il faut les éviter, il ajouta : C'est l'Esprit qui fait vivre, la chair n'est capable de rien. Les paroles que je vous ai dites sont esprit et elles sont vie.

mercredi 27 avril 2016

De la carta a Diogneto (Caps. 5-6: Funk 1, 397-401) LOS CRISTIANOS EN EL MUNDO


Los cristianos no se distinguen de los demás hombres, ni por el lugar en que viven, ni por su lenguaje, ni por su modo de vida. Ellos, en efecto, no tienen ciudades propias, ni utilizan un hablar insólito, ni llevan un género de vida distinto. Su sistema doctrinal no ha sido inventado gracias al talento y especulación de hombres estudiosos, ni profesan, como otros, una enseñanza basada en autoridad de hombres.
Viven en ciudades griegas y bárbaras, según les cupo en suerte, siguen las costumbres de los habitantes del país, tanto en el vestir como en todo su estilo de vida y, sin embargo, dan muestras de un tenor de vida admirable y, a juicio de todos, increíble. Habitan en su propia patria, pero como forasteros; toman parte en todo como ciudadanos, pero lo soportan todo como extranjeros; toda tierra extraña es patria para ellos, pero están en toda patria como en tierra extraña. Igual que todos, se casan y engendran hijos, pero no se deshacen de los hijos que conciben. Tienen la mesa en común, pero no el lecho. Viven en la carne, pero no según la carne. Viven en la tierra, pero su ciudadanía está en el cielo. Obedecen las leyes establecidas, y con su modo de vivir superan estas leyes. Aman a todos, y todos los persiguen. Se los condena sin conocerlos. Se les da muerte, y con ello reciben la vida. Son pobres, y enriquecen a muchos; carecen de todo, y abundan en todo. Sufren la deshonra, y ello les sirve de gloria; sufren detrimento en su fama, y ello atestigua su justicia. Son maldecidos, y bendicen; son tratados con ignominia, y ellos, a cambio, devuelven honor: Hacen el bien, y son castigados como malhechores; y, al ser castigados a muerte, se alegran como si se les diera la vida. Los judíos los combaten como a extraños, y los gentiles los persiguen, y, sin embargo, los mismos que los aborrecen no saben explicar el motivo de su enemistad.
Para decirlo en pocas palabras: los cristianos son en el mundo lo que el alma es en el cuerpo. El alma, en efecto, se halla esparcida por todos los miembros del cuerpo; así también los cristianos se encuentran dispersos por todas las ciudades del mundo. El alma habita en el cuerpo, pero no procede del cuerpo; los cristianos viven en el mundo, pero no son del mundo. El alma invisible está encerrada en la cárcel del cuerpo visible; los cristianos viven visiblemente en el mundo, pero su religión es invisible. La carne aborrece y combate al alma, sin haber recibido de ella agravio alguno, sólo porque le impide disfrutar de los placeres; también el mundo aborrece a los cristianos, sin haber recibido agravio de ellos, porque se oponen a sus placeres. El alma ama al cuerpo y a sus miembros, a pesar de que éste la aborrece; también los cristianos aman a los que los odian. El alma está encerrada en el cuerpo, pero es ella la que mantiene unido el cuerpo; también los cristianos se hallan retenidos en el mundo como en una cárcel, pero ellos son los que mantienen la trabazón del mundo. El alma inmortal habita en una tienda mortal; también los cristianos viven como peregrinos en moradas corruptibles, mientras esperan la incorrupción celestial. El alma se perfecciona con la mortificación en el comer y beber; también los cristianos, constantemente mortificados, se multiplican más y más. Tan importante es el puesto que Dios les ha asignado, del que no les es lícito desertar.


RORATE CÆLI: Official response of Bishop Athanasius Schneider to Amoris Laetitia

RORATE CÆLI: Official response of Bishop Athanasius Schneider to Amoris Laetitia

The following was written by His Excellency Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of St Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan. 


This is the official response to Amoris Laetitia from the good bishop. He wishes this to be read by all so please repost and forward far and wide. 



"Amoris laetitia": a need for clarification in order to avoid a general confusion


The paradox of the contradictory interpretations of "Amoris laetitia"


The recently published Apostolic Exhortation "Amoris laetitia" (AL), which contains a plethora of spiritual and pastoral riches with regard to life within marriage and the Christian family in our times, has unfortunately, within a very short time, led to very contradictory interpretations even among the episcopate.


There are bishops and priests who publicly and openly declare that AL represents a very clear opening-up to communion for the divorced and remarried, without requiring them to practice continence. In their opinion, it is this aspect of sacramental practice, which, according to them, is now to undergo a significant change that gives AL its truly revolutionary character. Interpreting AL with reference to irregular couples, a president of a Bishops' Conference has stated, in a text published on the website of the same Bishops' Conference: "This is a disposition of mercy, an openness of heart and of spirit that needs no law, awaits no guideline, nor bides on prompting.  It can and should happen immediately".


This opinion was further confirmed by the recent declarations of Father Antonio Spadaro S.J., after the Synod of Bishops in 2015, that the Synod had established the "foundations" for the access of divorced and remarried couples to communion by "opening a door" that had still been closed during the previous Synod in 2014. Now, as Father Spadaro alleges in his commentary on AL, his prediction has been confirmed. There are rumours that Father Spadaro was a member of the editorial group behind AL.


The way to abusive interpretations appears to have been paved by Cardinal Christoph Schönborn himself, who said, during the official presentation of AL in Rome, with regard to irregular unions, that: "My great joy as a result of this document resides in the fact that it coherently overcomes that artificial, superficial, clear division between 'regular' and 'irregular'". Such a statement suggests that there is no clear difference between a valid, sacramental marriage and an irregular union, between venial and mortal sin.   


On the other hand, there are bishops who claim that AL ought to be read in the light of the perennial magisterium of the Church and that AL does not permit access to communion for divorced and remarried couples, not even in exceptional cases. This statement is fundamentally correct and desirable. In fact, the content of every Magisterial text must, as a rule, be in its content consistent with the former teachings of the Magisterium of the Church, without any break.


It is no secret, however, that divorced and remarried couples are admitted to Holy Communion in a number of churches, without their being required to practice continence. It must be admitted that certain statements in AL could be used to justify an abusive practice that has already been going on for some time in various places and circumstances in the life of the Church.  


Certain statements of AL are objectively vulnerable to misinterpretations


Our Holy Father, Pope Francis, has invited us all to make a contribution to reflection and dialogue on the sensitive issues surrounding marriage and the family. "The thinking of pastors and theologians, if faithful to the Church, honest, realistic and creative, will help us to achieve greater clarity" (AL, 2).


If we analyze certain statements of AL with intellectual honesty within their proper context, we find ourselves faced with difficulties when trying to interpret them in accordance with the traditional doctrine of the Church. This is due to the absence of the concrete and explicit affirmation of the doctrine and constant practice of the Church, founded on the Word of God and reiterated by Pope John Paul II, who said, "However the Church reaffirms her practice, which is based upon Sacred Scripture, of not admitting to Eucharistic Communion divorced persons who have remarried. They are unable to be admitted thereto from the fact that their state and condition of life objectively contradict that union of love between Christ and the Church which is signified and effected by the Eucharist. Besides this, there is another special pastoral reason: if these people were admitted to the Eucharist, the faithful would be led into error and confusion regarding the Church's teaching about the indissolubility of marriage. Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who … are sincerely ready to undertake a way of life that is no longer in contradiction to the indissolubility of marriage. This means, in practice, that … they take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples" (Familiaris Consortio, 84).

 

Pope Francis had not established "a new general norm of Canon Law, applicable to all cases" (AL n. 300). He says, however, in note 336: "This is also the case with regard to sacramental discipline, since discernment can recognize that in a particular situation no grave fault exists". Obviously referring to the divorced and remarried, the Pope says in AL, no. 305 that, "because of forms of conditioning and mitigating factors, it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God's grace, can love and can also grow in the life of grace and charity, while receiving the Church's help to this end." In note 351, the Pope clarifies his statement by saying that "in some cases, this may include the help of the sacraments".


In the same chapter VIII of AL, n. 298, the Pope speaks of the divorced involved in "a second union consolidated over time, with new children, proven fidelity, generous self giving, Christian commitment, a consciousness of its irregularity and of the great difficulty of going back without feeling in conscience that one would fall into new sins. The Church acknowledges situations "where, for serious reasons, such as the children's upbringing, a man and woman cannot satisfy the obligation to separate"". In note 329, the Pope cites the document Gaudium et Spes of the Second Vatican Council; unfortunately, he does so in an incorrect fashion, because in the passage in question, the council refers only to valid Christian marriage. The application of this statement to divorced persons may cause the impression that a valid marriage is to be equated to the union of divorced persons, if not in theory, then in practice.


The admission of divorced and remarried persons to Holy Communion and its consequences


Unfortunately, AL contains no verbal quotes of the principles underlying the moral teaching of the Church in the form in which they are formulated in no. 84 of the Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio and in the encyclical Veritatis Splendor of Pope John Paul II, particularly on the following topics of paramount importance: "fundamental choice" (Veritatis splendor, nos. 67-68), "mortal and venial sin" (ibid., n. 69-70), "proportionalism, consequentialism" (ibid., no. 75), "martyrdom and universal and unchanging moral norms" (ibid., no. 91 et seq.). However, a verbal quote from Familiaris Consortio n. 84 and of some of the most significant affirmations in Veritatis splendor would render AL unassailable by heterodox interpretations. General allusions to moral principles and to the doctrine of the Church are certainly insufficient in a controversial matter that is both sensitive and of fundamental importance.


Representatives of the clergy and even of the Episcopate are already affirming that according to the spirit of Chapter VIII of AL, the possibility that in exceptional cases, the divorced and remarried may be admitted to Holy Communion without being required to live in perfect continence cannot be excluded.


If we accept such an interpretation of the wording and spirit of AL, we must, if we want to be intellectually honest and respect the law of non-contradiction, also accept the following logical conclusions:


-          The sixth Divine Commandment, which prohibits any sexual act that does not take place within a valid marriage, would no longer be universally valid, but would admit exceptions. In the present case, this would mean that the divorced could practice the conjugal act and even be encouraged to do so to help them maintain "mutual fidelity", cf. AL, 298. There could therefore be "fidelity" in a lifestyle that directly contradicts the express will of God. However, to encourage and legitimize acts that are and will always be, as such, contrary to the will of God, would mean to contradict Divine Revelation.

-          The words of Christ himself: "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mt 19 :6) would no longer apply always and to all spouses, without exception.


-          It would be possible, in a special case, to receive the sacrament of Penance and Holy Communion while intending to continue one's direct violations of God's commandments: "Thou shalt not commit adultery" (Ex 20, 14) and "What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder" (Mt 19, 6; Gen 2, 24).


-          The observance of these commandments and of the word of God would, in such a case, be a matter of theory rather than of practice, and would, therefore, lead the divorced and remarried into "deceiving themselves" (James 1: 22). It would, therefore, be possible to believe perfectly in the divine nature of the six Commandment and in the indissolubility of marriage without however acting accordingly.

                

-          The divine word of Christ : "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if a wife divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery" (Mark 10, 12) would no longer be universally valid, but would be subject to exceptions.


-          A permanent, deliberate and free violation of God's sixth Commandment and of the sacredness and indissolubility of true and valid marriage (in the case of divorced and remarried couples) would no longer be always a grave sin, that is to say, a direct opposition to the will of God.


-          There could be cases of serious, permanent deliberate and free violation of one of the other commandments of God (e.g. in the case of a lifestyle of financial corruption) in which the person concerned could be granted access to the sacraments due to mitigating circumstances, without such access being made contingent upon a sincere resolution henceforth to abstain from such acts of sin and scandal.


-          The permanent and infallible teaching of the Church would no longer be universally valid, particularly the teaching confirmed by Pope John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio, n. 84 and by Pope Benedict XVI in Sacramentum Caritatis, 29, according to which the precondition for admission to the sacraments of the divorced and remarried is perfect continence.


-          The observance of the sixth commandment of God and of the indissolubility of marriage would become an ideal that is not attainable by all, but only by a kind of elite.


-          The uncompromising words of Christ commanding men to observe the commandments of God always and in all circumstances, and even to take upon themselves considerable suffering in order to do so, in other words, to accept the Cross, would no longer be valid as absolute truth: "And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and throw it away. For it is better that you lose one of your members than that your whole body be cast into hell" (Mt 5, 30).


Admitting couples living in "irregular unions" to Holy Communion and allowing them to practice acts that are reserved for spouses in a valid marriage would be tantamount to the usurpation of a power that does not belong to any human authority, because to do so would be a pretension to correct the Word of God himself.


The danger of the Church's collaboration in spreading the "plague of divorce"


Professing the eternal doctrine of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church teaches: "The Church, since she is faithful to her Lord, cannot recognize the union of people who are civilly divorced and remarried. "Whoever divorces his wife and marries another, commits adultery against her; and if she divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery" (Mark 10:11-12). The Church manifests an attentive solicitude toward such people and encourages them to a life of faith, prayer, works of charity and the Christian education of their children. However, they cannot receive sacramental absolution, take Holy Communion, or exercise certain ecclesial responsibilities as long as their situation, which objectively contravenes God's law, persists" (Compendium of the Catechism of the Catholic Church, 349)


Living in an invalid marital union and constantly contradicting the commandment of God and the sacredness and indissolubility of marriage signifies not to live in the truth. To declare that the deliberate, free and habitual practice of sexual acts in an invalid marital union could, in individual cases, no longer constitute a grave sin is not the truth, but a serious lie, and will therefore never bring genuine joy in love. Consequently, to grant permission to such persons to receive Holy Communion would be a bluffing, a hypocrisy and a lie. The Word of God in Scripture is still valid: "He who says 'I know him', but does not keep his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him"(1 John 2: 4).


The Magisterium of the Church teaches us about the universal validity of the Ten Commandments: "Since they express man's fundamental duties towards God and towards his neighbor, the Ten Commandments reveal, in their primordial content, grave obligations. They are fundamentally immutable, and they oblige always and everywhere. No one can dispense from them" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2072). Those who claimed that God's commandments, including the commandment "Thou shalt not commit adultery" admit of exceptions and that, in some cases, people should not be held accountable for the fault of divorce were the Pharisees and, later, the Christian Gnostics of the second and third centuries.


The following statements of the Magisterium are still valid because they are part of the infallible Magisterium as expressed by the universal and ordinary Magisterium: "
The negative precepts of the natural law are universally valid. They oblige each and every individual, always and in every circumstance. It is a matter of prohibitions which forbid a given action semper et pro semper, without exception. … are kinds of behaviour which can never, in any situation, be a proper response. … The Church has always taught that one may never choose kinds of behaviour prohibited by the moral commandments expressed in negative form in the Old and New Testaments. As we have seen, Jesus himself reaffirms that these prohibitions allow no exceptions: "If you wish to enter into life, keep the commandments... You shall not murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness" (Mt 19:17-18)" (St. John Paul II, Encyclical Letter Veritatis Splendor, 52).


The Magisterium of the Church teaches us even more clearly: "A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time "from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith" (1 Tim 1: 5; cf. 3: 9; 2 Timothy 1: 3; 1 Peter 3 21; Acts 24, 16)" (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1794).


In the event of a person committing objectively sinful moral acts in full awareness of the sinfulness of such acts, freely and deliberately, and with the intention of repeating such acts in the future, it is impossible to apply the principle of imputability for a fault because of mitigating circumstances. The application of the principle of imputability to such divorced and remarried couples would constitute hypocrisy and a Gnostic sophism. If the Church were to admit such people to Holy Communion even in a single case, it would contradict its own doctrine, give public testimony against the indissolubility of marriage and thus contribute to the spreading of the "plague of divorce" (II Vatican Council, Gaudium et spes, 47).


In order to avoid such an intolerable and scandalous contradiction, the Church, in its infallible interpretation of the divine truth of moral law and of the indissolubility of marriage, has, for two thousand years, steadfastly observed the practice of admitting to Holy Communion only those divorced who live in perfect continence and "remoto scandalo", without any exception or exceptional privilege.


The first pastoral task that the Lord entrusted to His Church was to teaching, the doctrine (cf. Mt 28, 20). The observance of the commandments of God is intrinsically linked to doctrine. For this reason the Church has always rejected any contradiction between doctrine and practical life, referring to such contradictions as "gnostic" or as the heretical Lutheran theory of "simul iustus and peccator". There should be no contradictions between the faith and the daily life of the children of the Church.


When dealing with the observance of the express commands of God and the indissolubility of marriage, we cannot speak of opposing theological interpretations. If God says, "thou shalt not commit adultery", no human authority could say "in some exceptional cases or for a good purpose you can commit adultery".


The following assertions of Pope Francis are very important; the Pope speaks about the integration of the divorced and remarried in the life of the Church: "This discernment can never prescind from the Gospel demands of truth and charity, as proposed by the Church. … The following conditions must necessarily be present: humility, discretion and love for the Church and her teaching. … There can be no risk that a specific discernment may lead people to think that the Church maintains a double standard" (AL, 300). These laudable statements in AL, however, remain without concrete specifications on the question of the obligation of the divorced and remarried to separate or at least to live in perfect continence.


When it is a question of the life or death of the body, no physician would express his opinions in an ambiguous manner. The doctor cannot tell the patient: "You have to decide whether or not to take the medicine in accordance with your conscience, while at the same time respecting the laws of medicine". Such behaviour on the part of a doctor would very likely be considered irresponsible. And yet, the life of our immortal soul is more important, since it is on the health of the soul that its fate for eternity depends.


The liberating truth of penance and of the mystery of the Cross


To say that remarried divorcees are not public sinners in the Church is a pretense of wrong facts. The true condition of all members of the Church militant on earth, moreover, is that of sinners. If the divorced and remarried say that their voluntary and deliberate acts against the sixth commandment of God are not always sinful or, at least, do not constitute major sins, they are deceiving themselves and the truth will not be in them, as St. John says: "If we say," We have no sin, "we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say, "We have not sinned," we make him a liar, and his word is not in us "(1 John 1: 8-10).


The acceptance on the part of the divorced and remarried of the truth that they are sinners and even public sinners will not deprive them of their Christian hope. Only the acceptance of reality and truth will enable them to take the path of a fruitful penitence according to the words of Jesus Christ.


It would be very beneficial to restore the spirit of the early Christians and of the time of the Fathers of the Church, when there was a living solidarity with public sinners on the part of the faithful; however, this solidarity was based on the truth. There was nothing discriminatory in such solidarity; on the contrary, the whole Church participated in the penitential progress of public sinners by prayers of intercession, tears, acts of expiation and acts of charity for their benefit.


The Apostolic Exhortation Familiaris Consortio teaches that "even those who have strayed from the Lord's command and are still living in this state (divorced and remarried) may obtain from God the grace of conversion and salvation, if they persevere in prayer, penance and charity "(n. 84).


During the first centuries, public sinners were integrated into the praying community of the faithful and were instructed to kneel, with arms raised, to implore the intercession of their brothers. Tertullian gives us this moving testimony: "The body cannot rejoice when one of its members is suffering. It must suffer and strive for recovery in its entirety. When you stretch out your hands towards the knees of your brothers, it is Christ that you touch, it is Christ that you implore. Similarly, when they weep over you, it is Christ who sympathizes" (De paenitentia, 10, 5-6). St. Ambrose of Milan found similar words: "The whole church took upon herself the burden of the public sinner, suffering with him through tears, prayers and pain" (De paenitentia 1, 81).


It is true, of course, that the forms of the penitential discipline of the Church have changed. However, the spirit of this discipline must remain alive in the Church at all times. Today, priests and bishops relying on certain statements of AL are beginning to imply to the divorced and remarried that their condition does not render them public sinners from an objective point of view. They tranquillize them by stating that their sexual relations are not a grave sin. Such an attitude does not correspond to the truth. They are depriving the divorced and remarried of the possibility of a radical conversion to the obedience of God, letting these souls live in an illusion. Such a pastoral approach is very easy, cheap and costs nothing. There are no tears, prayers and intercessory works inspired by brotherly love to be offered for the benefit of the divorced and remarried.


In admitting the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion, even in exceptional cases, without asking them to stop performing acts contrary to the sixth commandment of God, and also presumptuously declaring that their manner of life is not a serious sin, we take the easy way out by pushing aside the scandal of the cross. Such pastoral care of the divorced and remarried is ephemeral and misleading. To all those who advocate this cheap and easy way out for the divorced and remarried, Jesus is still addressing the words, "Get thee behind me, Satan! Thou art an offence unto me because your thoughts are not those of God, but of men!" What  Jesus said to his disciples was that "If anyone would be my disciple, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt 16: 24-25).


Regarding the pastoral care of divorced and remarried couples, we must rekindle in our day the spirit of following Christ through the truth of the cross and of penance, which alone can bring lasting joy, avoiding ephemeral pleasures that are ultimately misleading. The following words of Pope Gregory the Great are not only truly applicable to our current situation, but also shine a bright light on it: "We must not become too attached to our earthly exile, the conveniences of this life must not make us forget our true homeland lest our spirit become drowsy in the midst of these amenities. For this reason, God combines his gifts with visitations or punishments, to ensure that everything that delights us in this world becomes bitter for us and the soul is filled with the fire that always rekindles in us the desire of heavenly things and enables us to progress. This fire makes us suffer with pleasure, crucifies us gently and fills us with a joyful sadness" (In Hez., 2, 4, 3).


The spirit of the genuine penitential discipline of the early Church always remained alive in the Church at all times, until today. We have a shining example of it in the Blessed Laura Vicuna del Carmen, born in 1891 in Chile. Sister Azocar, who took care of Laura, recalled: "I remember that the first time I explained the sacrament of marriage, Laura fainted, probably because she understood from my words that her mother was living in mortal sin as long as she remained with that gentleman. During that time in Junín, only one family lived in accordance with God's will." Therefore, Laura multiplied her prayers and penances for her mother. She received her first communion on June 2, 1901 with great fervour; she wrote the following resolutions: "1. I want to love and serve you all my life, oh my Jesus; for this, I offer you my soul, my heart and my whole being. - 2. I prefer to die rather than offend you by sin; so I want to distance myself from anything that could separate me from you. - 3. I promise to do my best, even if I have to offer great sacrifices, that you may be ever more known and loved, and to repair the offences inflicted upon you daily by men who do not love you, especially the ones you receive from those who are close to me. - Oh, my God, grant me a life of love, mortification and sacrifice!" But her great joy was clouded by seeing her mother, present at the ceremony, not receiving communion. In 1902, Laura offered her life for her mother who was living with a man in an irregular union in Argentina. Laura multiplied her prayers and sacrifices for the true conversion of her mother. A few hours before she died, she called her mother to her bedside and said to her, "Mother, I am going to die. I have asked Jesus for this and my prayers have been heard. Almost two years ago, I offered my life for the grace of your conversion. Mother, will I not have the joy of seeing you repent before I die?" Her mother, shocked and overwhelmed, made the promise:" Tomorrow morning I will go to the church and I will go to confession." Laura caught the eye of the priest attending her and said: "Father, my mother has just promised to abandon this man; bear witness to her promise!" Then she added: "Now I can die happy!" With these words, she expired on 22 January 1904 in Junin de los Andes (Argentina), at the age of 13, in the arms of her mother, who rediscovered her faith and put an end to the irregular union in which she had been living.


The admirable example of the life of the young girl now known as Blessed Laura is a demonstration of the seriousness with which a true Catholic treats the sixth commandment of God and the sacredness and indissolubility of marriage. Our Lord Jesus Christ commanded us to avoid even the appearance of approving an irregular or adulterous union. The Church has always faithfully preserved and transmitted this divine command in its doctrine and practice, without any ambiguity. With the offering of her young life, Blessed Laura certainly did not intend to represent one of several possible different doctrinal or pastoral interpretations. One does not offer one's life for a possible doctrinal or pastoral interpretation, but for an immutable and universally valid Divine truth. This truth has been demonstrated by a large number of saints who offered their lives, beginning with Saint John the Baptist to the simple faithful today whose name only God knows.


The need for "Veritatis laetitia"


Fortunately, there can be no doubt that AL contains theological affirmations, as well as spiritual and pastoral guidelines of great value. However, realistically speaking, it is insufficient to say that AL should be interpreted according to the traditional doctrine and practice of the Church. If an ecclesiastical document – which, in our case, is neither definitive nor infallible – is found to contain elements likely to give rise to interpretations and applications that could have dangerous spiritual consequences, all members of the Church, and especially the bishops, as the fraternal collaborators of the Supreme Pontiff in effective collegiality, have a duty to report this and respectfully request an authentic interpretation.


In questions concerning Divine Faith, the Divine commandments and the sacredness and indissolubility of marriage, all members of the Church, from the simple faithful to the highest representative of the Magisterium, must join in the effort to keep intact the treasure of faith and practice. In fact, it was the Second Vatican Council that taught: "The entire body of the faithful, anointed as they are by the Holy One (cf. 1 Jn 2: 20.27), cannot err in matters of belief. They manifest this special property by means of the whole peoples' supernatural discernment in matters of faith when "from the Bishops down to the last of the lay faithful" (St. Augustine, De Praed. Sanct. 14 27), they show universal agreement in matters of faith and morals. That discernment in matters of faith is aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth. It is exercised under the guidance of the sacred teaching authority, in faithful and respectful obedience to which the people of God accepts that which is not just the word of men but truly the word of God (cf. 1 Thess 2: 13). Through it, the people of God adheres unwaveringly to the faith given once and for all to the saints (cf. Jude 3) penetrates it more deeply with right thinking, and applies it more fully in its life" (Lumen gentium, 12). The Magisterium, for its part, is "not above the Word of God, but serves it, teaching only what has been transmitted" (II Vatican Council, Dei Verbum, 10).


It was the Second Vatican Council that encouraged all the faithful and especially the bishops to express their concerns and observations without fear, for the good of the Church as a whole. Servility and political correctness have introduced a pernicious evil into the life of the Church. The famous bishop and theologian of the Council of Trent, Melchior Cano O.P., said these memorable words: "Peter does not need our lies or flattery. Those who close their eyes to the facts and indiscriminately defend every decision of the Supreme Pontiff are those who contribute most to undermining the authority of the Holy See. They destroy its foundations instead of strengthening them."


Our Lord has taught us clearly what constitutes true love and the true joy of love: "
He that has my commandments and keeps them, he it is that loves me" (John 14, 21). When he gave man the sixth commandment and ordered him to observe the indissolubility of marriage, God gave it to all men without exception, not just to an elite. Already in the Old Testament, God said: "This commandment which I have given you today is certainly not beyond your strength and reach" (Deuteronomy 30, 11) and "If you want to, you shall keep the commandments to remain faithful to his will" (Ecclesiasticus 15, 15). And Jesus said to all, "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments." Which commandments? And Jesus answered, thou shalt not kill; thou shalt not commit adultery" (Mt 19: 17-18). From the teaching of the apostles, we have received the same doctrine: "For to love God is to keep His commandments. And His commandments do not weigh heavily upon us" (1 John 5: 4).


There is no true, supernatural and eternal life without keeping the commandments of God: "I command you to observe his commandments. I have set before you life and death. Choose life!" (Deuteronomy 30, 16.19). There is therefore no real life and no real, genuine joy of love without truth. "Love consists in living according to his commandments" (2 John 6). The joy of love is the joy of the truth. The authentically Christian life consists in the life and in the joy of truth: "Learning that my children live in the truth, there is nothing that brings me greater joy" (3 John 4).


St. Augustine explains the intimate connection between joy and truth: "I ask them all whether they do not prefer the joy of truth to that obtained by lies. And they do not hesitate over this question any more than over the question of happiness. For the happy life is the joy of the truth, we all want the joy of the truth "(Confessions, X, 23).


The danger of general confusion with regard to the indissolubility of marriage


For some time already, we have seen, in some places and environments of the life of the Church, the tacit abuse of the admission of divorced and remarried couples to Holy Communion without requiring them to live in perfect continence. The unclear statements in Chapter VIII of AL have given a new dynamism to the declared advocates of the admission of divorced and remarried couples to Holy Communion in special cases.


We now observe the phenomenon of the abuse beginning to spread even more in practice, since those in favour of it are now feeling justified to some extent. There is also obviously some confusion with respect to the interpretation of the relevant assertions in Chapter VIII of the AL. This confusion is increased by the fact that everyone, both supporters of the admission of the divorced and remarried to Holy Communion and their opponents, are saying that "The doctrine of the Church concerning this issue has not changed".
 


Taking due account of historical and doctrinal differences, our situation shows some parallels and analogies with the general confusion caused by the Arian crisis in the 4th century. At that time, the apostolic and traditional faith in the true divinity of the Son of God was secured by means of the term "consubstantial" ("homoousios"), dogmatically proclaimed by the universal Magisterium of the Council of Nicaea I. The profound crisis of faith, accompanied by an almost universal confusion, was caused mainly by the refusal or avoidance strategies to use and profess the word "consubstantial" ("homoousios"). Instead, the clergy and mainly the episcopate began to propose alternative expressions that were ambiguous and imprecise, such as, for instance, "similar in substance" ("homoiousios") or simply "similar" ("homoios"). The formula "homoousios" adopted by the universal Magisterium of that time expressed the full and true divinity of the WORD with so much precision that it left no space for equivocal interpretation.

In the years 357-360, almost the entire episcopate had become Arian or Semi-Arian as a result of the following events: in 357, Pope Liberius signed one of the ambiguous formulations of Sirmium, in which the term "homoousios" was eliminated. Furthermore, the pope, in a scandalous move, excommunicated St. Athanasius. St. Hilary of Poitiers was the only bishop who dared to rebuke Pope Liberius severely for these ambiguous acts. In 359, the parallel synods of the Western episcopate in Rimini and that of the Eastern episcopate in Seuleukia had accepted fully Arian formulas that were even worse than the ambiguous formula signed by Pope Liberius. Describing the confusion of those times, St. Jerome said: "Everyone was surprised to realize that they had become Arians" ("Ingemuit totus orbis, et arianum se esse miratus est": Adv Lucif, 19).


Arguably, in our time, confusion is already spreading with regard to the sacramental discipline for divorced and remarried couples. There is therefore a very real basis for the assumption that the confusion may reach truly vast proportions, if one fail to propose and proclaim the following formula of the universal and infallible Magisterium: "Reconciliation in the sacrament of Penance, which would open the way to the Eucharist, can only be granted to those who take on themselves the duty to live in complete continence, that is, by abstinence from the acts proper to married couples" (S. John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio, 84). This formula is unfortunately and incomprehensibly missing in AL. However, the apostolic exhortation inexplicably contains the following statement: "In such situations, many people, knowing and accepting the possibility of living "as brothers and sisters" which the Church offers them, point out that if certain expressions of intimacy are lacking, it often happens that faithfulness is endangered and the good of the children suffers" (AL, 298, n. 329). Such a statement leaves the impression of a contradiction with regard to the perennial teaching of the universal Magisterium, as formulated in the cited passage from Familiaris Consortio 84.


There is an urgent necessity for the Holy See to confirm and re-proclaim the cited formula of Familiaris Consortio 84, perhaps in the form of an authentic interpretation of AL. This formula may be seen, to some extent, the "homoousios" of our days. The lack of such a formal and explicit confirmation of the formula of Familiaris Consortio 84 from the Apostolic See could contribute to major confusion with regard to sacramental discipline, with the subsequent gradual and inevitable repercussions on doctrinal questions. This would lead to a situation to which it would be possible, in the future, to apply the following statement: "Everyone was surprised to find that divorce had been accepted in practice" ("Ingemuit totus orbis, et divortium in praxi se accepisse miratus est").


Confusion in sacramental discipline with regard to divorced and remarried couples, with its inevitable doctrinal implications, would contradict the nature of the Catholic Church, such as it was described by St. Irenaeus in the second century: "The Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered around the world, keeps them carefully as though inhabiting a single house, and she believes in an identical manner, as though she had only one soul and one heart, and she preaches, teaches and transmits in a unanimous voice, as though having only one mouth"(Adversus haereses, I, 10, 2).


The See of Peter, that is, the sovereign Pontiff, is the guarantor of the unity of the faith and of apostolic sacramental discipline. Considering the confusion regarding sacramental practice in respect of the divorced and remarried, and the many differing interpretations of AL amongst priests and bishops, one may consider justified the call on our beloved Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ, the "sweet Christ on earth" (St. Catherine of Siena), to order the publication of an authentic interpretation of AL, which must necessarily contain the explicit proclamation of the disciplinary principle of the universal and infallible Magisterium concerning the admission of divorced and remarried couples to the sacraments, according to the formulation in Familiaris Consortio 84.


In the great Arian confusion of the 4th century, St. Basil the Great made an urgent appeal to the pope of Rome, asking him to give though his word a clear direction, so as finally to ensure unity in the thought of faith and charity (cf.. Ep. 70).


An authentic interpretation of AL by the Apostolic See would bring to the entire Church ("claritatis laetitia") the joy in clarity. Such clarity will ensure the joy in love ("amoris laetitia"), a love and a joy that would not be "according to the minds of men, but to the mind of God" (Mt 16, 23). And this is what counts for the joy, the life and the eternal salvation of the divorced and remarried, and of all men.


+ Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary Bishop

of the Archdiocese of St Mary in Astana, Kazakhstan

http://rorate-caeli.blogspot.fr/2016/04/official-response-of-bishop-athanasius.html?m=1


De la carta a Diogneto (Caps. 5-6: Funk 1, 397-401) LOS CRISTIANOS EN EL MUNDO


Los cristianos no se distinguen de los demás hombres, ni por el lugar en que viven, ni por su lenguaje, ni por su modo de vida. Ellos, en efecto, no tienen ciudades propias, ni utilizan un hablar insólito, ni llevan un género de vida distinto. Su sistema doctrinal no ha sido inventado gracias al talento y especulación de hombres estudiosos, ni profesan, como otros, una enseñanza basada en autoridad de hombres.
Viven en ciudades griegas y bárbaras, según les cupo en suerte, siguen las costumbres de los habitantes del país, tanto en el vestir como en todo su estilo de vida y, sin embargo, dan muestras de un tenor de vida admirable y, a juicio de todos, increíble. Habitan en su propia patria, pero como forasteros; toman parte en todo como ciudadanos, pero lo soportan todo como extranjeros; toda tierra extraña es patria para ellos, pero están en toda patria como en tierra extraña. Igual que todos, se casan y engendran hijos, pero no se deshacen de los hijos que conciben. Tienen la mesa en común, pero no el lecho. Viven en la carne, pero no según la carne. Viven en la tierra, pero su ciudadanía está en el cielo. Obedecen las leyes establecidas, y con su modo de vivir superan estas leyes. Aman a todos, y todos los persiguen. Se los condena sin conocerlos. Se les da muerte, y con ello reciben la vida. Son pobres, y enriquecen a muchos; carecen de todo, y abundan en todo. Sufren la deshonra, y ello les sirve de gloria; sufren detrimento en su fama, y ello atestigua su justicia. Son maldecidos, y bendicen; son tratados con ignominia, y ellos, a cambio, devuelven honor: Hacen el bien, y son castigados como malhechores; y, al ser castigados a muerte, se alegran como si se les diera la vida. Los judíos los combaten como a extraños, y los gentiles los persiguen, y, sin embargo, los mismos que los aborrecen no saben explicar el motivo de su enemistad.
Para decirlo en pocas palabras: los cristianos son en el mundo lo que el alma es en el cuerpo. El alma, en efecto, se halla esparcida por todos los miembros del cuerpo; así también los cristianos se encuentran dispersos por todas las ciudades del mundo. El alma habita en el cuerpo, pero no procede del cuerpo; los cristianos viven en el mundo, pero no son del mundo. El alma invisible está encerrada en la cárcel del cuerpo visible; los cristianos viven visiblemente en el mundo, pero su religión es invisible. La carne aborrece y combate al alma, sin haber recibido de ella agravio alguno, sólo porque le impide disfrutar de los placeres; también el mundo aborrece a los cristianos, sin haber recibido agravio de ellos, porque se oponen a sus placeres. El alma ama al cuerpo y a sus miembros, a pesar de que éste la aborrece; también los cristianos aman a los que los odian. El alma está encerrada en el cuerpo, pero es ella la que mantiene unido el cuerpo; también los cristianos se hallan retenidos en el mundo como en una cárcel, pero ellos son los que mantienen la trabazón del mundo. El alma inmortal habita en una tienda mortal; también los cristianos viven como peregrinos en moradas corruptibles, mientras esperan la incorrupción celestial. El alma se perfecciona con la mortificación en el comer y beber; también los cristianos, constantemente mortificados, se multiplican más y más. Tan importante es el puesto que Dios les ha asignado, del que no les es lícito desertar.


From a letter to Diognetus (Nn. 5-6; Funk, 397-401) The Christian in the world



Christians are indistinguishable from other men either by nationality, language or customs. They do not inhabit separate cities of their own, or speak a strange dialect, or follow some outlandish way of life. Their teaching is not based upon reveries inspired by the curiosity of men. Unlike some other people, they champion no purely human doctrine. With regard to dress, food and manner of life in general, they follow the customs of whatever city they happen to be living in, whether it is Greek or foreign.

And yet there is something extraordinary about their lives. They live in their own countries as though they were only passing through. They play their full role as citizens, but labor under all the disabilities of aliens. Any country can be their homeland, but for them their homeland, wherever it may be, is a foreign country. Like others, they marry and have children, but they do not expose them. They share their meals, but not their wives. They live in the flesh, but they are not governed by the desires of the flesh. They pass their days upon earth, but they are citizens of heaven. Obedient to the laws, they yet live on a level that transcends the law.

Christians love all men, but all men persecute them. Condemned because they are not understood, they are put to death, but raised to life again. They live in poverty, but enrich many; they are totally destitute, but possess an abundance of everything. They suffer dishonor, but that is their glory. They are defamed, but vindicated. A blessing is their answer to abuse, deference their response to insult. For the good they do they receive the punishment of malefactors, but even then they rejoice, as though receiving the gift of life. They are attacked by the Jews as aliens, they are persecuted by the Greeks, yet no one can explain the reason for this hatred.

To speak in general terms, we may say that the Christian is to the world what the soul is to the body. As the soul is present in every part of the body, while remaining distinct from it, so Christians are found in all the cities of the world, but cannot be identified with the world. As the visible body contains the invisible soul, so Christians are seen living in the world, but their religious life remains unseen. The body hates the soul and wars against it, not because of any injury the soul has done it, but because of the restriction the soul places on its pleasures. Similarly, the world hates the Christians, not because they have done it any wrong, but because they are opposed to its enjoyments.

Christians love those who hate them just as the soul loves the body and all its members despite the body’s hatred. It is by the soul, enclosed within the body, that the body is held together, and similarly, it is by the Christians, detained in the world as in a prison, that the world is held together. The soul, though immortal, has a mortal dwelling place; and Christians also live for a time amidst perishable things, while awaiting the freedom from change and decay that will be theirs in heaven. As the soul benefits from the deprivation of food and drink, so Christians flourish under persecution. Such is the Christian’s lofty and divinely appointed function, from which he is not permitted to excuse himself.

من الرّسالة إلى ديوغنيتس (Diognetes) (رقم 5- 6: Funk 397- 401) المسيحيون في العالم



    لا الوطنُ، ولا اللغةُ، ولا نمَطُ الحياةِ يميِّزُ المسيحيِّين عن سائرِ النَّاس. فهُم لا يَقطُنون مدنًا خاصَّةً بهم، ولا يتفرّدون بلهجةٍ غيرِ مألوفةٍ بينَ النَّاس، ولا يسيرون سيرةً خارجةً عن المعتاد. وليسَتْ تعاليمُهم ناجمةً عن أفكارٍ أو عن اهتماماتِ عقولٍ حائرة، ولا يستندون مثلَ البعضِ على فلسفاتٍ بشريَّةٍ. 
    يَسكُنون المدنَ اليونانيَّةَ ومُدُنَ البَربَر، وفقًا لنصيبِ كلٍّ منهم، وعاداتُهم في الملبسِ والمأكلِ، ونَمَطِ الحياة مِثلُ عاداتِ جميعِ النَّاس. ولكنَّهم يقدِّمون مثالَ حياةٍ عجيبةٍ يصعُبُ تصديقُها، والجميعُ يشهدُ بذلك. يقيمُ كلُّ واحدٍ منهم في وطنِه، وكأنّه غريبٌ وضيفٌ. كلُّ شيءٍ لهم مشترَكٌ معَ سائرِ المواطنين، ولكنَّهم يتحمَّلون كلَّ شيءٍ كأنّهم عابرُو سبيل. كلُّ أرضٍ غريبةٍ هي وطنٌ لهم، وكلُّ وطنٍ هو لهم أَرضٌ غريبة. يتزوَّجون كسائرِ الناسِ، ويَلِدُون الأولادَ، ولكنّهم لا يخذِلون مواليدَهم. موائدُهم مشترَكَةٌ، لا مضاجعُهم.
    إنّهم في الجسد، ولكنّهم لا يعيشون بحسبِ الجسد. يقيمون في الأرضِ، ولكنّهم يعتبرون السَّماءَ مدينتَهم الباقية. يمتثلون الشَّرائعَ المسنونة، إلا أنّ نمطَ حياتِهم أسمى من الشَّرائع. يُحَبُّون الجميع، والجميعُ يضطهدُهم. يجهلُهم الجميعُ ولهذا يحكمون عليهم، ويُسْلِمونهم إلى الموتِ فيربحون الحياةَ. إِنّهم فقراء، ولكنّهم يُغْنُون الكثيرِين. يفتقرون إلى كلِّ شيء، وكلُّ شيءٍ فائضٌ لديهم. يحتقرُهم النَّاس، وباحتقارِ النَّاسِ لهم يتمجَّدون. يَثلِبون سُمعتَهم، وفي الوقتِ نفسِه يَشهَدُ النَّاسُ لبِرِّهم. يُشتَمون فيبارِكون. يُهانُون فيقابلون الإهانةَ بالإكرام. يعملون الخيرَ ويعاقَبون كمَن يُسِيئون. يُعاقَبون فيَفرحون وكأنّهم يولَدون للحياة. يُقاتلُهم اليهودُ كأنّهم غرباء، والوثنيون يضطهدونهم. وإنْ سألْتَ مُبغضِيهم عن السَّببِ، فلا يعلمون.
    وبالإيجاز البسيط، المسيحيون في العالمِ هم مِثلُ النَّفسِ في الجسد. النَّفسُ منتشرةٌ في كلِّ أعضاءِ الجسدِ . والمسيحيّون منتشرون في مدُنِ العالم. النَّفسُ تقيمُ في الجسد، ولكنّها ليسَتْ من الجسد. والمسيحيّون يقيمون في العالم، ولكنّهم ليسوا من العالم. النَّفسُ غيرُ المنظورةِ تقيمُ في الجسدِ المنظور. كذلك ترى المسيحيّين مقيمين في العالم، وأمَّا تقواهم فلا تراها. الجسدُ يَكرَهُ النَّفسَ ويعادِيها، وإن لم ينَلْه منها أذى، لأنّها تحولُ دونَ إغراقِه في الملذّات. وكذلك يَكرَهُ العالَمُ المسيحيّين، وإنْ لم ينَلْه منهم أيُّ سوء، لأنّهم يتصدَّوْن لمَا فيه من شهَواتٍ فاسدة.
    النَّفسُ تحبُّ الجسدَ وأعضاءَه، وإنْ كرِهَها هو. كذلك يحبُّ المسيحيّون مُبغضِيهم. النَّفسُ سجينةٌ في الجسد، ولكنّها هي التي تَسَعُ الجسد. كذلك يوجدُ المسيحيّون في العالم وكأنّهم في سجن، ولكنّهم هم الذين يَسَعُون العالم. النَّفسُ الخالدةُ تقيمُ في خِباءٍ فانٍ. كذلك يقيمُ المسيحيّون في هذا العالم الفاني، منتظرين السَّماءَ التي لا تَفنَى. إنْ وَجدَتْ النَّفسُ شدَّةً من حيث الأكلُ والشُّربُ، نمَتْ واشتدَّتْ. كذلك المسيحيّون إذا تعرَّضوا للعذابِ، فإنّهم يَنمُون ويزدادون عددًا. لقد أنزلَهم اللهُ منزلةً رفيعة، فلا يجوزُ لهم أن يتخَلَّوْا عنها.

LETTRE À DIOGNÈTE Les chrétiens dans le monde



Les chrétiens ne se distinguent des autres hommes ni par le pays, ni par le langage, ni par les coutumes. Car ils n'habitent pas de villes qui leur soient propres ; ils n'emploient pas quelque dialecte extraordinaire, leur genre de vie n'a rien de singulier. Leur doctrine n'a pas été découverte par l'imagination ou par les rêveries d'esprits inquiets ; ils ne se font pas, comme tant d'autres, les champions d'une doctrine d'origine humaine.

Ils habitent les cités grecques et les cités barbares suivant le destin de chacun ; ils se conforment aux usages locaux pour les vêtements, la nourriture et le reste de l'existence, tout en manifestant les lois extraordinaires et vraiment paradoxales de leur manière de vivre. Ils résident chacun dans sa propre patrie, mais comme des étrangers domiciliés. Ils s'acquittent de tous leurs devoirs de citoyens, et supportent toutes les charges comme des étrangers. Toute terre étrangère leur est une patrie, et toute patrie leur est une terre étrangère. Ils se marient comme tout le monde, ils ont des enfants, mais ils n'abandonnent pas leurs nouveau-nés. Ils prennent place à une table commune, mais qui n'est pas une table ordinaire.

Ils sont dans la chair, mais ils ne vivent pas selon la chair. Ils passent leur vie sur la terre, mais ils sont citoyens du ciel. Ils obéissent aux lois établies, et leur manière de vivre est plus parfaite que les lois. Ils aiment tout le monde, et tout le monde les persécute. On ne les connaît pas, mais on les condamne ; on les tue et c'est ainsi qu'ils trouvent la vie. Ils sont pauvres et font beaucoup de riches. Ils manquent de tout et ils ont tout en abondance. On les méprise et, dans ce mépris, ils trouvent leur gloire. On les calomnie, et ils y trouvent leur justification. On les insulte, et ils bénissent. On les outrage, et ils honorent. Alors qu'ils font le bien, on les punit comme des malfaiteurs. Tandis qu'on les châtie, ils se réjouissent comme s'ils naissaient à la vie. Les Juifs leur font la guerre comme à des étrangers, et les Grecs les persécutent ; ceux qui les détestent ne peuvent pas dire la cause de leur hostilité.

En un mot, ce que l'âme est dans le corps, les chrétiens le sont dans le monde. L'âme est répandue dans tous les membres du corps comme les chrétiens dans les cités du monde. L'âme habite dans le corps, et pourtant elle n'appartient pas au corps, comme les chrétiens habitent dans le monde, mais n'appartiennent pas au monde. L'âme invisible est retenue prisonnière dans le corps visible ; ainsi les chrétiens : on les voit vivre dans le monde, mais le culte qu'ils rendent à Dieu demeure invisible. La chair déteste l'âme et lui fait la guerre, sans que celle-ci lui ait fait de tort, mais parce qu'elle l'empêche de jouir des plaisirs ; de même le monde déteste les chrétiens, sans que ceux-ci lui aient fait de tort, mais parce qu'ils s'opposent à ses plaisirs.

L'âme aime cette chair qui la déteste, ainsi que ses membres, comme les chrétiens aiment ceux qui les détestent. L'âme est enfermée dans le corps, mais c'est elle qui maintient le corps ; et les chrétiens sont comme détenus dans la prison du monde, mais c'est eux qui maintiennent le monde. L'âme immortelle campe dans une tente mortelle : ainsi les chrétiens campent-ils dans le monde corruptible, en attendant l'incorruptibilité du ciel. L'âme devient meilleure en se mortifiant par la faim et la soif ; et les chrétiens, persécutés, se multiplient de jour en jour. Le poste que Dieu leur a fixé est si beau qu'il ne leur est pas permis de le déserter.

mardi 26 avril 2016

Del comentario de san Cirilo de Alejandría, obispo, sobre el evangelio de san Juan. (Libro 10, cap. 2: PG 74, 331-334) YO SOY LA VID, VOSOTROS LOS SARMIENTOS.


El Señor, para convencernos de que es necesario que nos adhiramos a él por el amor, ponderó cuán grandes bienes se derivan de nuestra unión con él, comparándose a sí mismo con la vid y afirmando que los que están unidos a él e injertados en su persona, vienen a ser como sus sarmientos y, al participar del Espíritu Santo, comparten su misma naturaleza (pues el Espíritu de Cristo nos une con él). La adhesión de quienes se vinculan a la vid consiste en una adhesión de voluntad y de deseo; en cambio, la unión de la vid con nosotros es una unión de amor y de inhabilitación. Nosotros, en efecto, partimos de un buen deseo y nos adherimos a Cristo por la fe; así llegamos a participar de su propia naturaleza y alcanzamos la dignidad de hijos adoptivos, pues, como afirma san Pablo, el que se une al Señor es un espíritu con él.
De la misma forma que en un lugar de la Escritura se dice de Cristo que es cimiento y fundamento (pues nosotros, se afirma, estamos edificados sobre él y, como piedras vivas y espirituales, entramos en la construcción del templo del Espíritu, formando un sacerdocio sagrado, cosa que no sería posible si Cristo no fuera fundamento), así, de manera semejante, Cristo se llama a sí mismo vid, como si fuera la madre y nodriza de los sarmientos que proceden de él. En él y por él hemos sido regenerados en el Espíritu para producir fruto de vida, no de aquella vida caduca y antigua, sino de la vida nueva que se funda en su amor. Y esta vida la conservaremos si perseveramos unidos a él y como injertados en su persona; si seguimos fielmente los mandamientos que nos dio y procuramos conservar los grandes bienes que nos confió, esforzándonos por no contristar, ni en lo más mínimo, al Espíritu que habita en nosotros, pues, por medio de él, Dios mismo tiene su morada en nuestro interior. De qué modo nosotros estamos en Cristo y Cristo en nosotros nos lo pone en claro el evangelista Juan al decir: En esto conocemos que permanecemos en él, y él en nosotros: en que nos ha dado de su Espíritu. Pues, así como la raíz hace llegar su misma manera de ser a los sarmientos, del mismo modo el Verbo unigénito de Dios Padre comunica a los santos una especie de parentesco consigo mismo y con el Padre, al darles parte en su propia naturaleza, y otorga su Espíritu a los que están unidos con él por la fe: así les comunica una santidad inmensa, los nutre en la piedad y los lleva al conocimiento de la verdad y a la práctica de la virtud.

From a commentary on the gospel of John by Saint Cyril of Alexandria, bishop (Lib. 10, 2: PG 74, 331-334) I am the vine, you are the branches



The Lord calls himself the vine and those united to him branches in order to teach us how much we shall benefit from our union with him, and how important it is for us to remain in his love. By receiving the Holy Spirit, who is the bond of union between us and Christ our Savior, those who are joined to him, as branches are to a vine, share in his own nature.

On the part of those who come to the vine, their union with him depends upon a deliberate act of the will; on his part, the union is effected by grace. Because we had good will, we made the act of faith that brought us to Christ, and received from him the dignity of adoptive sonship that made us his own kinsmen, according to the words of Saint Paul: He who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation, because it is upon him that we as living and spiritual stones are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches, and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life founded upon our faith in him and our love for him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ, and we cling to his holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us: The proof that we are living in him and he is living in us is that he has given us a share in his Spirit.Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with himself and with God the Father because they have been united to him by faith and determination to do his will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God, and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.

من كتاب التفسير للقدّيس كيرلس اسقف الإسكندرية في إنجيل القديس يوحنا (الكتاب 10، 2: PG 74، 331- 334) أنا الكرمة وأنتم الأغصان


    يقولُ الربُّ عن نفسِه إنّه الكرمةُ، ليُبيِّنَ لنا أنّه يجبُ علينا أن نتَّحدَ به بالمحبّة، وليبيّنَ لنا الخيرَ الذي نَجنِيه من اتّحادِنا به. ومن كانوا متّحدِين به، منغرسِين وثابتِين فيه، يُسمِّيهم الأغصان. فهم مشاركون في طبيعتِه، بقوّةِ شَرِكةِ الرُّوحِ القُدُس، فهو الذي يوحِّدُنا بالمسيح.
    الذين يَدنُون من الكرمةِ إنّما يتقدَّمون بإرادتهِم وقرارِهم. وأمَّا اتِّحادُ الكرمةِ بنا فناجمٌ عن المحبَّةِ وعن طبيعةِ الكرمةِ نفسِها. تقدَّمْنا نحن من المسيحِ بالإيمانِ بناءً على إرادةٍ صالحةٍ فينا. وصِرْنا شركاءَ في طبيعتِه لأنَّه منحَنا كرامةَ التَّبنّي. قالَ القدِّيسُ بولس: "مَن اتَّحَدَ بِالرَّبِّ فَقَد صَارَ وَإيَّاهُ رُوحًا وَاحِدًا" (1 قورنتس 6: 17).
    قالَ النَّبُّي في مكانٍ آخرَ إنَّ المسيحَ هو الرُّكنُ والأساسُ، وعليه نحن نُبنَى. ولذلك نُسمَّى بالحجارةِ الحيَّةِ الرُّوحيّة، لأنَّنا كهنوتٌ مقدَّسٌ، ومسكنٌ لله بالرُّوحِ. ولا يمكنُ أن نُبنَى بطريقةٍ أخرى، إلا أن يكوُنَ المسيحُ هو الأساس. وبهذا المعنى، يقولُ المسيحُ إنّه الكرمة، وهو مِثلُ الوالدةِ والمربِّيةِ للأغصانِ التي تتفرَّعُ منه.
     وُلِدْنا ولادةً ثانيةً منه وفيه، في الرُّوحِ القُدُس، لِنُثمِرَ ثمارَ الحياةِ، لا تلك الحياةِ القديمةِ البالية، ولكنْ الحياةِ التي تقومُ بنشاطٍ جديدٍ وبالمحبّةِ له. فَلْنُحافِظْ على أنفسِنا، منغرسِين فيه، أُمَنَاءَ للوصيّةِ التي سلَّمَنا إيّاها، ومجتهدين في المحافظةِ على كرامتِنا التي منحَنا إيّاها، فلا نسمحُ لأنفسِنا على الإطلاق بأن نُحزِنَ الرُّوحَ المقيمَ فينا، والذي به نَعلمُ أنَّ اللهَ يُقِيمُ فينا.   
    كيف نَثبُتُ نحن في المسيحِ، وكيف يَثبُتُ هو فينا، هذا ما يبيِّنُه لنا القدّيسُ يوحنا في حكمتِه حيث يقول: "وَنَعرِفُ أنَّنَا فِيهِ نُقِيمُ، وَأنَّهُ يُقِيمُ فِينَا، بِأنَّهُ مِن رُوحِهِ وَهَبَ لَنَا" (1 يوحنا 4: 13).
    كما أنَّ أصلَ الكرمةِ يُمِدُّ الأغصانَ بصفاتِ طبيعتِه، كذلك الكلمةُ الابنُ الوحيدُ للهِ الآبِ، فإنّه يُمِدُّ القدّيسين بشبهِ شراكةٍ مع طبيعتِه الإلهيَّةِ، فيَهَبُ لهم الرُّوحَ بغزارة، ولا سيّما لمن اتّحدوا معه بالإيمانِ وبكمالِ القداسة، ويُغذِّي تقواهم، ويؤهِّلُهم لكلِّ معرفةٍ وفضيلةٍ وصلاح.