Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Mary TV: November 7, 2012 Reflection



Blessed John Paul II  
  Blessed John Paul II

A Champion of God's Truth! 




November 7, 2012


Dear Family of Mary!


"Dear children, as a mother I implore you to persevere as my apostles. I am praying to my Son to give you Divine wisdom and strength. I am praying that you may discern everything around you according to God's truth and to strongly resist everything that wants to distance you from my Son. I am praying that you may witness the love of the Heavenly Father according to my Son. My children, great grace has been given to you to be witnesses of God's love. Do not take the given responsibility lightly. Do not sadden my motherly heart. As a mother I desire to rely on my children, on my apostles. Through fasting and prayer you are opening the way for me to pray to my Son for Him to be beside you and for His name to be holy through you. Pray for the shepherds because none of this would be possible without them. Thank you." (November 2, 2012)


"I am praying that you may discern everything around you according to God's truth..."  

Discernment is a precious gift. It is a gift given to each person. The Holy Spirit is the giver of this gift. He instills it in our hearts. But He delivers it through Mother Church. The Holy Spirit speaks to us through our Catholic Church, through the Holy Bible (which the Church compiled in the early years), through the living Tradition (which has been passed down from the Apostles) in which the Christian life is described and nurtured, and in the Moral Teaching of the Church which has developed and continues to develop as new challenges to the good arise in the world. We are given the tools for discernment through the Teachings of the Church. Then the Holy Spirit helps us to use those tools to apply the truth to our situations. It is a marvelous gift we have been given.


Our Lady prays that we will discern everything around us according to God's Truth. She is praying that the Light of Divine Truth will shine in our hearts through the guidance of Holy Mother Church. The Teachings of the Church are that Light. But it seems that for many years there was a darkening of that Light in many dioceses in the world. After Vatican II, confusion was sewn in our seminaries, our universities, our parishes. Many of us did not know the teachings of the Church in their fullness. And so, we could not discern according to God's Truth very well.


Blessed Pope John Paul II honestly faced up to this situation in 1993, when he published Veritatis Splendour, his Encyclical on the Moral Teachings of the Church. He wrote at that time:


Today, however, it seems necessary to reflect on the whole of the Church's moral teaching, with the precise goal of recalling certain fundamental truths of Catholic doctrine which, in the present circumstances, risk being distorted or denied. In fact, a new situation has come about within the Christian community itself, which has experienced the spread of numerous doubts and objections of a human and psychological, social and cultural, religious and even properly theological nature, with regard to the Church's moral teachings. It is no longer a matter of limited and occasional dissent, but of an overall and systematic calling into question of traditional moral doctrine, on the basis of certain anthropological and ethical presuppositions. At the root of these presuppositions is the more or less obvious influence of currents of thought which end by detaching human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship to truth. Thus the traditional doctrine regarding the natural law, and the universality and the permanent validity of its precepts, is rejected; certain of the Church's moral teachings are found simply unacceptable; and the Magisterium itself is considered capable of intervening in matters of morality only in order to "exhort consciences" and to "propose values", in the light of which each individual will independently make his or her decisions and life choices.


In particular, note should be taken of the lack of harmony between the traditional response of the Church and certain theological positions, encountered even in Seminaries and in Faculties of Theology, with regard to questions of the greatest importance for the Church and for the life of faith of Christians, as well as for the life of society itself. In particular, the question is asked: do the commandments of God, which are written on the human heart and are part of the Covenant, really have the capacity to clarify the daily decisions of individuals and entire societies? Is it possible to obey God and thus love God and neighbour, without respecting these commandments in all circumstances? Also, an opinion is frequently heard which questions the intrinsic and unbreakable bond between faith and morality, as if membership in the Church and her internal unity were to be decided on the basis of faith alone, while in the sphere of morality a pluralism of opinions and of kinds of behaviour could be tolerated, these being left to the judgment of the individual subjective conscience or to the diversity of social and cultural contexts.


5. Given these circumstances, which still exist, I came to the decision - as I announced in my Apostolic Letter Spiritus Domini, issued on 1 August 1987 on the second centenary of the death of Saint Alphonsus Maria de' Liguori - to write an Encyclical with the aim of treating "more fully and more deeply the issues regarding the very foundations of moral theology",9 foundations which are being undermined by certain present day tendencies. (Encyclical Letter, Veritatis Splendour. N.4-5)


Blessed John Paul II was not afraid to speak openly about the confusion in the Church. He wanted all of us to know that there is a Truth, it is God's Truth, and it can be found in the teachings of the Church. This Encyclical is very deep but well worth reading. Maybe if Our Lady is asking us to discern everything by God's Truth, it would be good to fill our minds with the truth given to us in this encyclical. Here is the link to the full text:



The Holy Father spoke very much like Our Lady in her message when he said, "At the root of these presuppositions is the more or less obvious influence of currents of thought which end by detaching human freedom from its essential and constitutive relationship to truth." We can discern because we are free beings. God has given us a mind to think with, so we can choose our own way. But our freedom is best expressed when we have the truth to work with. And that is what Our Lady wants us to have, the Truth to work with. May we all seek the Truth, given to us by God through the Church, so that we can discern well!


In Jesus, Mary and Joseph!

Cathy Nolan

©Mary TV 2012