“The reason I was born, the reason I came into the world, was to bear witness to the Truth. All who are on the side of Truth listen to My voice.”
“I Am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one reaches the Heavenly Father except through Me.”
Jesus of Nazareth, the historic figure who walked the face of this earth some 2000 years ago, and who spent the first 30 of his 33 years of life working as a carpenter, carried out, in three short years, the most astonishing feat that any human person or group of human persons has ever carried out. As the “Way,” Christ answered humanity’s question, “How ought the human person live his/her life, in a manner that is upright, moral, and even perfect;” as the “Truth,” Christ answered humanity’s question, “What ought I believe and know, with certitude, regarding the existence and essence of my Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, and what can I know, with certitude, about the purpose of my own existence and my own ultimate vocation, as a human person, created in God’s image and likeness;” finally, as the “Life,” Christ, in laying down His own life for us, becomes the edible means by which we become “partakers of the divine nature” of the Triune God, Himself. For, “unless you eat of the flesh of the son of man and drink of His blood, you have no life within you. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood lives in me and I in him; and I will raise him up on the last day.
Truth is irresistible to the human mind and spirit. If we are honest with ourselves and are earnestly open to the Truth, we will find ourselves irresistibly attracted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ; for, Christ is, indeed, the “Way, the Truth and the Life.”
Few persons alive today are as intellectually gifted as Dr. Peter J. Kreeft, Professor of Philosophy at Boston College. We can count on one hand the number of individuals who have had the courage to debate Dr. Kreeft on the topic of God’s existence, the divinity of Christ and the authority of the Church. It is my sincere hope that in posting these marvelous and incredibly thought-provoking videos of Dr. Kreeft doing that which he does so very well, you, the viewer, might be spurred on to seek out more of the myriad video and audio recordings of Dr. Kreeft, available entirely free of charge courtesy of the many generous YouTube users who have recorded Dr. Kreeft’s lectures, and have uploaded them to YouTube for all to enjoy. May you be open to the stirring of the Spirit of Truth Who, through the razor-sharp logic of Dr. Kreeft, will hopefully leave you surprised by Truth.
The Catholic World Loses a Hero, Gains a Saint
by Jayson M. Brunelle
Fr. Benedict Joseph Groeschel, C.F.R., priest, friar, psychologist, retreat master, talk-show host and founder of countless charitable organizations, including his own Catholic order of Franciscans – the Capuchin Friars of the Renewal – providentially passed into his eternal reward on October 3rd at 11:00 PM, the vigil of the Feast of St. Francis. He was 81.
Having taken his name from St. Benedict Joseph Labre – patron of the mentally ill and the homeless – Fr. Benedict spent his life giving to and caring for this same cohort – “the true treasures of the Church” – the little, the marginalized, the impoverished, the abandoned, the voiceless, the weak, the vulnerable. In order to most effectively carry out this life of ceaseless prayer for and service to the poor, in a radical imitation of Christ, he was inspired to renew the Capuchin Franciscan Order, of which he had been a member, thereby founding the Capuchin Franciscans of the Renewal (CFR’s). He preached the perennial truths of the Gospel of Christ Jesus with all the eloquence of a poet, the wisdom of a sage, the knowledge of a scholar, the faith of a child and the love of a saint. We may have lost a dear friend and Spiritual Father, but we have undoubtedly gained a powerful intercessor. Fr. Benedict, may your soul be irradiated with the divine light, life and love of God for all eternity.
May his soul, and those of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
How tremendous and unspeakable a blessing we have received in Christ Jesus, Who is, in His Person, words and deeds, the fulfillment and completion of the Heavenly Father’s Divine Revelation of Himself to humanity, and, as Pope St. John Paul II would so often remind us, is additionally God’s revelation of man to man; that is, the stupendous dignity and vocation of each human person, called by God to become a “partaker of the divine nature.” Indeed, the great St. Athanasius, an early Church Father, clearly taught that “God became man so that men might become gods.” This, of course, is not to be confused with a more Eastern form of pantheism; rather, it is an extremely orthodox, fundamental tenet of our Christian faith. Indeed, Sacred Scripture abounds with evidence for this truly exalted and, quite frankly, rather stunning status that God wishes to bestow upon humanity in Christ Jesus. Thus, the “Good News” of the Gospel of Christ Jesus is nothing less than the stupendous news that, in Christ, we have all been made adopted sons and daughters of the Father, true brothers and sisters of Christ! Or, in other words, He Who Is the Only Begotten Son of God, the Father, wishes to share with us, mere mortals, the exalted status of His Own Divine Sonship of God the Father. This reality is truly incomprehensible, surpassing anything the human mind could ever dream of; hence, the very apt words of St. Paul: “Eye has not seen, ear has not heard, nor has it so much as entered into the mind of man what God has in store for those who love Him.”
This concept of Theosis, or Deification, is largely foreign to many who self-identify as “Christian,” who might well decry this theological reality to be some pantheistic heresy. Yet, nothing could be further from the truth. Far from being heretical, it is precisely this reality of the exalted vocation of every human person that illumines not only the dignity of each human person, thereby underscoring the sacred gift of every human life (from the moment of conception until natural death), but additionally, the radical nature and purpose of the Seven Sacraments instituted by Christ and imparted by His Church. For, it is precisely through our full, active participation in the Sacramental life of Christ’s Church on earth, with primacy of place being given to the two Sacraments of the Holy Eucharist and Baptism, that theosis, or divinization, can and does occur. Let us, then, take a moment to explore these two exalted sacraments; namely, the Holy Eucharist and Baptism, by which God freely shares with us His two-fold Divine Essence as Life and Love.
In the “Eucharistic” or “Bread of Life” discourse in John’s Gospel, Christ states, “I am the living bread which has come down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever…. I tell you most solemnly, if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in you” (Jn 6:51, 53). Additionally, it is a well established, accepted, agreed upon and understood doctrine of Christianity, in general, and of Roman Catholicism, in particular, that the Holy Spirit of God, the Third Divine Person of the Holy Trinity, is, indeed, the very “Love” of God, Himself, and that His existence as a Divine Person, from all eternity, is a necessary consequence of the reciprocity of Divine Love that exists between God the Father, the First Person of the Holy Trinity, and God the Son – the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. Indeed, it can be evidenced from the earliest of Christian writings and from among the most influential of the early Church Fathers that such is indeed the case. Regarding this issue, the great St. Augustine has this to say: “Love, therefore, which is of God and is God, is specially the Holy Spirit, by whom the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts, by which love the whole Trinity dwells in us. And therefore most rightly is the Holy Spirit, although He is God, called also the gift of God. And by that gift what else can properly be understood except love, which brings to God, and without which any other gift of God whatsoever does not bring to God? . . .” (The Holy Spirit, Gift of God’s Love, St. Augustine).
It becomes most evident, then, that while the Holy Eucharist is the chief sacramental means by which our Lord wishes to effect our participation in His own Divine Life, in like fashion, Baptism is the chief sacramental means by which our Lord wishes to effect our participation in His own Divine Love.
It is interesting to point out that when speaking of God, in His very Divine Essence, two terms are always invariably associated, as though these two dimensions are two sides of one coin. I am speaking here of Life and Love. With regard to the former, God the Father, in revealing His own most holy name to Moses in the Burning Bush, reveals Himself as “I AM HE WHO IS.” This self-revelation of God to Moses is the most philosophically accurate name for God, for, as St. Thomas points out, God is the sole being whose essence it is to exist. Simply put, God cannot not be; He MUST exist. Indeed, His existence is the only existence that is Necessary. Thus, St. Thomas goes on to state that God is the only being whose essence and existence are one and the same.
Moreover, we read in Sacred Scripture, very plainly, that, “God is Love.”
Thus, these two dimensions of God’s essence – Life and Love – are, without question, the most salient aspects of God’s own essence. Further, it has pleased the Almighty God to call human persons to participate in these glorious dimensions of His being through the Sacraments of Baptism, which is the Sacrament of His Mercy, and the Holy Eucharist, which is the Sacrament of His Own Divine Life.
The radical significance of the devotion to, and the image of, the Divine Mercy, as revealed to St. Faustina, is here underscored. The Red Ray which emanates from the Sacred and Eucharistic Heart of Our Lord is symbolic of His Most Precious Blood – the Life-Blood of the New and Eternal Covenant, by which we share in the very Divine Life of Christ, is the gift of God’s Grace. The pale or White Ray is symbolic of the Waters of our Baptism, by which we are forgiven and cleansed of the Original Sin.
Thus, Baptism serves as the “Bridal Chamber,” as it were, where the bride-to-be (that is, the Mystical Body of Christ) prepares for her union with the beloved of her soul. This union, begun in Baptism, is brought to its highest expression (at least while on earth) in our reception of the Holy Eucharist, where we are transformed by God’s Grace, which is nothing other than God’s free and unmerited gift of our participation in His own, supernatural Divine Life, and this through, with, and in the Divine Person of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ.
Indeed, Theosis, or deification, is – or ought to be – the goal of every Christian. As we read in 2 Peter 1:3-4: “as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature” (cf. 2 Peter 1:3-4).
With the above sentiments in mind, let us together offer the following prayer:
Dearest Jesus, beloved of my soul, through the intercession of Mary, grant me the grace to imitate Thee, Who laid down thy life for love of me, that I might live again in Thee; may I lay down my life for the love of Thee, that Thou may livest again in me. Amen.
Is there a formula that we can use to determine the morality or immorality of human acts? As a matter of fact, there is! To determine the moral goodness of a human act, three components are essential: (1) the object of the act; (2) the intention of the person performing the act; and (3) the circumstance surrounding it. It should be noted that all three of these conditions – or qualities – must be “good,” in order for the act, as a whole, to be objectively “good” and “morally praiseworthy.” For example, a politician who decides to devote a portion of his time to a worthy cause is certainly performing what, at least on the surface, appears to be a commendable, laudable human act. With the above axioms in mind, we may state that, thus far, the act itself is objectively good. Yet, if we learn that his sole intention in performing this action is to win over the voters, and the circumstance is such that one or more major local news affiliates will be broadcasting from that very spot, thereby providing the budding politician with ample opportunities for free exposure, it’s not difficult to see that this act, as a whole, isn’t “good.” The act itself may be good, yet the selfish intention and self-serving circumstance render the entire act immoral.
Moreover, another fundamental and often misunderstood truth regarding Christian morality is the distinction between mortal sin and venial sin. Most know that mortal sin is a grave extremely serious violation of God’s divine law of love, whether it is a sin against love of God, neighbor or self. Yet, in order for any sin to be mortal, three conditions must be met: (1) the “object,” or the “act” itself must be gravely, or very seriously evil, such as acts of murder, rape and/or adultery – all of which are intrinsically, or inherently evil; (2) the person must possess a full knowledge of the grave sinfulness and evil of the action; finally, (3) the person must act with full consent of the will, in full freedom; which is to say, s/he must not be acting out of habit, fear, any extreme emotion or psychological duress, external coercion, or the threat of ongoing and/or future hardship and/or suffering. Each of these latter psychological conditions or frames of mind are addressed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church as serious impediments to the full exercise of freedom of will; and, for that reason, can significantly, if not completely, mitigate the guilt. The sole impediment to knowledge is ignorance. Yet, to exonerate one’s self on the grounds of ignorance, particularly when one has had ample opportunity to become informed and has intentionally avoided doing so, only serves to compound the sin as one of double malice.
Thus, for a human act to be mortally sinful unto spiritual death (so serious that it would cause the Spirit of God in our soul, or sanctifying grace, to flee and depart from our souls, leaving us spiritually lifeless and utterly vulnerable to the prompt action of Satan), the three conditions that must be met are (1) Grave matter; (2) Full knowledge and (3) Full consent of the will.
That said, it is still a requirement of every Christian to participate in the life-long process of informing and enhancing one’s conscience. By remaining faithful to the marvelous practices of daily Eucharist, the praying of the Holy Rosary and the patient acceptance of the sufferings that God chooses for us, we participate with Our Lord, through Our Lady in the ongoing work of Redemption, which is carried out and renewed at every Holy Mass.
by Jay Brunelle
IN CONGRESS, JULY 4, 1776
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long-established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
New Hampshire: Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton Massachusetts: John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry Rhode Island: Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery Connecticut: Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott New York: William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris New Jersey: Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark Pennsylvania: Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross Delaware: Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean Maryland: Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton Virginia: George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton North Carolina: William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn South Carolina: Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton Georgia: Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton
by Jayson M. Brunelle
In what follows, this author shall attempt to provide a deeper analysis of just how and why Mary, the Mother of Christ, is indeed the Mediatrix of every grace, and that nothing of the vast treasury of God’s Grace – which may be defined as the unmerited gift of participation in God’s own divine, Trinitarian and Family Life, through, with and in Jesus Christ – reaches humanity except through the willed intercession and consent of the Blessed Virgin Mary.
More specifically, it shall be the task of this author to explain this unique Maternal role of the Blessed Virgin in light of her spousal union with the Holy Spirit. For Mary, not unlike most women in most cultures, assumes the “family name” and “mission” of her spouse. In the case of the Blessed Virgin Mary, she too assumes the titles and mission of her Divine Spouse, the Holy Spirit of God, Who is chiefly the “Advocate” and the “Unifying and Binding Principle” as the very “Love of God,” Who, as explained by St. Maximilian Kolbe, must be understood to be the “Un-created Immaculate Conception,” Who is the divine fruit of that perfect reciprocity of love between the Father and the Son.
I Divine Revelation and Mariology
Before delving into the theology of the Holy Spirit and His Spousal relationship with Mary, however, I would be doing the reader a great disservice were I not to proceed according to the traditional theological exposition of some truth (or rather, a series of truths) to which both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition, the twin-fold source of God’s Divine Revelation, attest. Moreover, considering the logical, philosophical reality that an effect cannot be greater than it’s cause, and furthermore, considering that the most holy and divine Word of God, that is, the Sacred Canon of individual books, letters, and other writings that comprise the Two Testaments of Holy Scripture could not possibly be what Christians the world over believe and adamantly claim them to be – namely, both “Inspired and Inerrant” – had not their sources – the Biblical authors and the Churchmen who identified and “canonized” the texts, themselves been “Inspired” and prevented from teaching any error regarding anything and everything which pertains to faith and morality.
The faith that all Christians have in the “Inspired and Inerrant” nature and essence of Sacred Scripture makes absolutely no sense whatever without additionally believing in and attesting to the truth and reality of the existence of an equally inspired “Sacred, Living, Oral Tradition,” which made it possible for the Roman Catholic Bishops to be guided by that Same Spirit of Divine Authorship, in determining which of the multiple texts, letters, books and sundry other writings would, indeed, be incorporated into the Sacred Canon of Inspired and Inerrant Scriptural texts “Inspired.” Would it not take Inspiration to know, discern and identify Inspiration?
A proper understanding of the twin-fold source of Divine Revelation as being equally comprised of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition is of paramount importance in the study and comprehension of Mariology, for, many of the sacred “Truths, Dogmas and Doctrines” regarding the Blessed Virgin Mary, while present in a seminal form in Sacred Scripture, are not nearly as fleshed out as, say, the parables of Christ, or other essential elements of the faith. Now, I’m fully aware that the statement I have just made will be read and filtered with great suspicion and skepticism by numerous of my beloved Protestant Brethren, and I can appreciate that. My only response is what I’ve already stated above regarding the equality of dignity possessed by Sacred Tradition, pointing out that an effect (such as an “Inspired” Scripture) cannot be greater than its cause (an uninspired Church).
II Sacred Tradition
Dr. Mark Miravalle, Full Professor of Theology and Mariology at Franciscan University, recognized the world over as one of the leading authorities within the field of Mariology, has made tremendous contributions to the literature in this, his field of expertise. Additionally, as a scholar working in academia, he represents those exceedingly rare theologians who, in truth, “does Theology on his knees.”
Having been so blessed by Our Lord and Our Lady as to have studied under Miravalle, during my tenure at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH, I have witnessed his genuine piety and deep humility, the latter being a character trait that is almost never seen amongst college professors. It is evident that Miravalle is living the life of a saint through his earnest efforts at living his Total Consecration to Jesus, through Mary.
Alas, I digress… The reason for my musings on Dr. Miravalle have to do with the fact that he has done the Church and the world a great service in writing, with such lucidity and depth of comprehension, on this very topic of Mary’s Maternal Mediation, specifically, to save the rest of us the time and effort of having to pour over pages of papal encyclicals, mottus propios, Wednesday Audiences, Papal Anguleses, and so on and so forth. In a small booklet of no more than 42 pages that he wrote for the Marian Movement of Priests, he lists all of the instances when Popes of the 20th Century have referred to Mary as “Mediatrix.” This list is no small feat, and speaks to the consistency and repetition necessary to raise a certain teaching of the faith to the level of official Catholic “doctrine,” to which all the faithful must give full assent of intellect and will, as a divinely revealed truth, contained in the “Deposit of the Faith.” Let us take a look at this impressive display of repetition and consistency in Ordinary Magisterial teaching::
- Benedict XIV: “Our Lady is like a celestial stream through which the flow of all graces and gifts reach the soul of all wretched mortals” (Pope Benedict XVI, Op Omnia, v. 16, ed., Prati, 1846, p. 428.
- Pius VII: “Dispensatrix of all graces (Pope Pius VII, Ampliatio privilegiorum ecclesiae B. M. Virginis ab angelo salutatae in coenobio Fratrum Ordinis Servorum B.V.M. Floretiae, AD., 1806; in J. Bourasse, Summa aurea…, V. 7. Paris, 1862, col. 546).
- Pius IX: “For God has committed to Mary the treasury of all good things, in order that everyone may know that through her [are] obtained every hope, every grace, and all salvation” (Pope Pius IX, Encyclical Letter, Ubi Primum, 1849).
- Pius IX: “With her only-begotton Son, [Mary is] the most powerful Mediatrix and Reconciler of the world (Pope Pius IX, Ineffabilis Deus, 1854).
- Leo XIII: “…through whom [Christ] has chosen to be the dispenser of all heavenly graces (Pope Leo XIII, Jucunda semper, 1883).
- Leo XIII: “It is right to say that nothing at all of the immense treasury of every grace which the Lord accumulated – for “grace and truth come from Jesus Christ” (Jn 1:17) – nothing is imparted to us except through Mary… (Pope Leo XIII, Octobri Mense, 1891).
- St. Pius X: “[Mary is the] dispensatrix of all the gifts aquired by the death of the Redeemer” (Pope St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, AAS 36, 1904, p. 453).
- St. Pius X: “…she became most worthily the reparatrix of the lost world’ and dispensatrix of all the gifts that our Savior purchased for us by his death and his blood” (Pope St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, 1904;cf., Eadmer, De Eccellentia Virginis Mariae, c.9).
- St. Pius X: “For she is the neck of our Head by which He communicates to His Mystical Body all spiritual gifts” (Pope St. Pius X, Pope St. Pius X, Ad diem illum, 1904).
- Benedict XV: “For with her suffering and dying Son, Mary endured suffering and almost death…. One can truly affirm that together with Christ she has redeemed the human race…For this reason, every kind of grace we receive from the treasury of the redemption is ministered as it were through the hands of the same sorrowful Virgin…” (Pope Benedict XV, Apostolic Letter, Inter Sodalicia, AAS 10, 1918, p. 182; Mass and Office of Mediatrix of All Graces approved 1921).
- Pius XI: “…the Virgin who is treasurer of all graces with God….” (Pope Pius XI, Apostolic Letter, Cognitum sane, AAS 18, p. 213.
- Pius XI: “…We know that all things are imparted to us from God, the greatest and best, through the hands of the Mother of God.” (Pope Pius XI, Encyclical Letter, Ingravescentibus malis, AAS 29, 1937, p. 380).
- Pius XII: “…it is the will of God that we obtain all favors through Mary; let everyone hasten to have recourse to Mary.” (Pope Pius XII, Superiore anno, AAS 32 1940, p. 145).
- Pius XII: “She teaches us all virtues; she gives us Her Son and with Him all the help we need, for God wished for us to have everything through Mary.” (Pope Pius XII, Mediator Dei, 1947).
- Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 62: “Taken up to heaven, she did not lay aside this saving office but by her manifold intercession continues to bring us the gifts of eternal salvation. By her maternal charity, she cares for the brethren of her Son, who still journey on earth, surrounded by dangers and difficulties, until they are led into their blessed home. Therefore, the Blessed Virgin is invoked in the Church under the titles of Advocate, Helper, Benefactress, and Mediatrix.” (Lumen Gentium, Para. 62).
- St. John Paul II: “Thus there is mediation: Mary places herself between her Son and mankind in the reality of its wants, needs and sufferings. She puts herself “in the middle”, that is to say, she acts as a mediatrix not as an outsider, but in her position as Mother. She knows that, as such, she can point out to her Son the needs of mankind and in fact, she “has the right” to do so.” (Pope St. John Paul II, Redemptoris Mater, 1987, no. 21).
This impressive display of consistency and repetition in the Papal teachings of the past 150 years leads Miravalle to make the following statement in the aforementioned booklet: “We must thereby keep in mind that the role of Our Lady as Mediatrix of Grace is anything but a new doctrine, but rather constitutes the consistent doctrinal teaching of the Papal Magisterium.”
III Sacred Scripture
(To Be Cont’d…)
IV Two, In Becoming One, Become Three
Divine Revelation, via it’s twin-fold source of Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition (with the latter being a “living” Tradition that is guided by the Spirit Himself) makes known to us that the Spirit is both the “Advocate” and the “Love of God.” As the “Love of God,” the Holy Spirit is, as it were, the “divine fruit” of the love that exists, from all eternity, between the First Two Persons of the Holy Trinity; namely, the Father and the Son. Thus, while the Father eternally begets the Son, and as the Son inherits the fullness of everything that the Father is and has, including the absolute fullness of His divinity, the Son experiences the most perfect, profound and metaphysically intense love for His Father – a Divine love that is perfectly reciprocated by the Father for the Son. It may be stated that the divine love between the Father and the Son is so ontologically perfect and fecund, that it gives rise to a new, Third Divine Person, Who can be said to be the divine personification of the love between the two aforementioned Divine Persons. Continue Reading