Index : D
"After his death, Eva Payne had a Day of Recollection "with Father Hardon". Father Hardon was the "spiritual director." The event was extraordinarily successful.
"Deacon, from the Greek διάκονος; diakonos (servant), is a member of a lower branch of the Christian ministry, below the priest (or presbyter) and bishop. The institution of the diaconate is traced to the laying on of hands described in the Acts of the Apostles (6:1-6). Answering to complaints about partiality in the care of the poor, the Apostles ordained seven men, including Stephen, the first martyr, to serve under the presbyter-bishops. In St. Paul's pastoral letters, deacons are a separate class of officers who were mainly charged with the material cares of the apostolate." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Our meditations for today will be understandably sobering ones. Our present reflection is on death, judgment and hell. Over the years our modern Jesuit Generals have warned us never to give the spiritual exercises without speaking on death, judgment and hell. As an obedient son of St. Ignatius, I am sharing these three important reflections with you this evening." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
The Decalogue and holiness are very closely related. In fact, Christian sanctity cannot really be understood except in relation to the Ten Commandments. Our plan for this opening meditation is to briefly explain the following areas of an ocean of revealed truth. First, the Ten Commandments are an integral part of the New Testament. Second, Christ lived the Ten Commandments in the highest possible degree. Third, sanctity means the following of Christ, which therefore means living out the Ten Commandments as perfectly as we can after the example and teaching of Jesus Christ.
We are not accustomed to defending the faith in an age of ecumenism and of the promotion of Christian unity. When everybody seems to be talking about unity, why should anyone bring up the embarrassing subject of divisions in Christianity? But true ecumenism does not exclude the defense of truth, nor does it forbid - in the norm of charity - standing up for the only sound basis for true unity, which is sound Catholic orthodoxy.
Somewhere near the center of the crisis in the Catholic Church today is confusion about the meaning of the Real Presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist. Pope Paul VI recognized this crisis before the close of the Second Vatican Council. He identified the two principal errors about the Real Presence that were already current in his day. The errors were capsulized in two words, "transfinalization" and "transignification."
"Among the religions of the world, the concept of the deity differs considerably. One of the main objects of the study of comparative religion has been to clarify the different ideas of God or the deity professed by the major religious cultures of mankind." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"Our faith tells us that God created the invisible world of angels at the beginning of time. We further believe that none of these angelic spirits was estranged from God." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
A class or society of individuals called by the same name; in the U.S. the term is used to describe the variety of religious bodies, mainly in the Protestant tradition.
The deposit of faith is not as we might speak of a deposit of dust on the furniture. It is not like a deposit of money in the bank. The deposit of faith is the Churchs possession of unchangeable truth: What God has revealed through His prophets in the Old Law, and through His Divine Son in the New Law. It is the ocean of divine wisdom that God has manifested to His people over the centuries, but especially revealed to us in the words and actions of Jesus Christ the Incarnate Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.
"Our Lord teaches the Apostles, His first bishops, what it means to
love; this love is manifest especially in the institution of the Holy
Eucharist. Man encounters the enormous love of God by frequent reception
of Christ in Holy Communion
By now we should all be developing, consciously or instinctively, a personal spirituality. This personal spirituality will
in large measure direct how we pray and how we relate to God in our daily lives. Our own personal spirituality is a determinant
of how we approach, and therefore how we love, Christ. One who sees Christ primarily as a healer might seek to follow in His
footsteps by being a good and God-filled doctor. Christ has so many aspects, that there is some aspect to which anyone can
relate as a primary focus. Naturally, we will recognize the other aspects of Christ, but the one which is dominant for us is how
the Holy Spirit inspires us to direct our lives.
Let us be clear about two things. The existence and activity of the devil are part of divine revelation. It is an article of irreversible faith that the devil exists as a legion of evil spirits who fell from Gods friendship by their disobedience to His will. It is further part of our faith that God allows the devil to exercise His malevolent will. From Gods perspective, this is to enable us to be more generous in loving and serving the divine majesty.>
The prince of this world is the devil. When Christ speaks of this world, He means the world of sin. He means the world for which, as He mysteriously declared, "I pray not for the world." The world of which the devil is prince or king is the world of unrepentant sinners.
A new stage is developing in the devotion of the faithful to St. Thérèse of Lisieux. In 1947, the fiftieth anniversary of her death, a congress of theologians was held in Paris with the object of studying the theological implications of St. Thérèses spiritual doctrine and of tracing her relationship to the other ascetical writers of the Church. Among the phases of Thérèses spirituality, her devotion to the Mother of God deserves special attention. For if, according to sound theology, all graces are given to us through Mary, the extraordinary graces which made Thérèse, in the words of Pius XI, "a miracle of virtue" should be no exception, as even a summary analysis of her life will fully confirm.
There is no subject in Catholic devotion more extensive than the Blessed Virgin Mary. This is only to be expected, since the Mother of God is so basic to a correct understanding of her Divine Son. With the break in Catholic unity which took place in the sixteenth century, the Western world was deeply affected by those who considered themselves Christians, but had reservations about the Mother of Christ. It is not commonly known that faith in her Divine Son is logically dependent on faith in His mother as the Mother of God.
Devotion to the Blessed Virgin is one of the cardinal features of not only professing to be, but being a Catholic. You might say a Catholic is one who is devoted to Mary. What I will suggest for our reflections is that we look at and check our devotion to Mary on six norms. The one who is devoted to Mary thinks of her, reads about her, talks about her, speaks to her, invokes her and tries to imitate her.
I do not hesitate to say that devotion to the angels is one of the hallmarks of being a true Christian. It was an angel who first appeared to our Lady to announce her conception of Jesus Christ at Nazareth. It was an angel who appeared to the shepherds at Bethlehem to tell them that the Messiah had been born. It was an angel who consoled our Lord in His agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was an angel who told the women who visited the tomb in which Christ had been buried, that the Savior was risen from the dead. It was angels who told the disciples staring into the sky at Christs ascension that He would return from heaven to earth even as He had ascended from earth to heaven. It was an angel who delivered Peter from prison where he was chained for his proclaiming Jesus as the Messiah. It will be angels who will announce the coming of Christ on the last day of time and the first day of eternity to judge the living and the dead.
"When we speak of the Holy Eucharist, we can mean the Eucharistic Liturgy or the Mass; we can mean Holy Communion as the sacrament of the`Lord; or we can mean the Real Presence of Christ
we concentrate on the third of these aspects, namely, the Eucharist as the abiding presence of`Jesus Christ on our altars after the Sacrifice of the Mass is over and between receptions of Holy Communion." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"During this homily, I would like to ask three questions and share with you a short answer on what our Catholic faith teaches about devotion to the Poor Souls in purgatory. Who are the Poor Souls? Why are the Poor Souls in purgatory? How are we to practice our devotion to the souls in purgatory?" - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
St. Peter gives us the revealed foundation for our devotion to the Precious Blood. "You were redeemed," says the Apostle, "not with perishable things like silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ as the Lamb without blemish or stain" (1 Peter 1:18-19). Given this foundation of faith, we ask ourselves what exactly do we mean when we say we were redeemed by the Blood of Christ? We mean that unless Christ had shed his blood for us, we would not be redeemed.
"The Real Presence, because it is a sacrament, confers the grace that is proper to this sacrament. What is the grace? The grace to love. So why is devotion to the Real Presence so important? Because it is especially through faith in the Eucharist that we obtain an increase of the virtue of charity, both towards God and towards our fellow man." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus is as old as Christianity. When the side of Christ was pierced on Calvary, there immediately flowed out blood and water. The Church has interpreted this to mean the outpouring of grace through the Church, which began the moment that Christ expired on the Cross.
"My plan for this paper is to do three things: first, to identify some of the prevalent errors in modern Christology which threaten to undermine the Sacred Heart Devotion; then to point out some of the legitimate developments of doctrine on the person and work of Christ, and again show how they bear on this Devotion; and finally to draw some practical conclusions." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"We may say that devotion to the Sacred Heart began on Calvary. When the Heart of Christ was pierced on the Cross, it opened the door to realizing how deeply Jesus loves us. In return, He wants nothing more than for us to love Him with all our hearts. There is nothing that God wants more than for us to love Him without reserve." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"True devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus can strengthen Christian
communities against the onslaughts of unbelief, just as it did in
17th-century France. It can also counter the spreading of forms of
meditation that 'only mask a tragic spiritual emptiness,' said Pope John
Paul II at the canonization of St. Claude La Colombiere, S.J."
"In a feature article published in Education Digest in 1950, we read: "It is conceded on all hands that John Dewey is our outstanding educational philosopher; his influence on American education has been immense." This, in one sentence, is a summary of the Dewey legend. For, although it is true that Deweys influence on American education has been immense, it is only in a very qualified sense that we can call him an outstanding philosopher. Certainly a philosophers real greatness is not to be estimated by the mere extent of his influence, but also and especially by the effects, good or bad, which his philosophy has had on contemporary civilization and will have on subsequent civilization. Measured by this standard, Deweys title to fame must be balanced by the extent of the evil which his principles of social naturalism and pragmatic experimentalism have produced in the United States." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Dictionary of terms associated with Eucharistic Adoration.
"Mysterium Fidei is Pope Paul VI's battle cry to all faithful Catholics, calling us to gather around Christ's Real Presence in the
Most Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist. Have you the spiritual conviction to respond?"
Online directory of thousands of Eucharistic Adoration locations throughout the United States and Canada, with maps, addresses, phone numbers, and hours of adoration.
"I might begin by observing that the full rendering of this statement is, "Discernment of Spirits" implying a plurality and especially implying a distinction between one kind of spirit and another. We know from both the teaching of the Church and by now our own experience that serving God and following Christ is not all just a straight, easy, smooth path." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Seeking to achieve unity among believers through what he called a restoration of primitive Christianity, Thomas Campbell and his son Alexander founded the Christian Association of Washington, Pa., in 1810. In 1830, the Campbells followers came to be known as Disciples of Christ.
During the election campaign of 2004 in the United States of America, some Bishops found themselves under question by other Bishops regarding the application of can. 915 of the Code of Canon Law in the case of Catholic politicians who publicly, after admonition, continue to support legislation favoring procured abortion and other legislation contrary to the natural moral law, for example, legislation permitting the cloning of human life for the purpose of harvesting stem cells by the destruction of the artificially-generated human embryo, and legislation redefining marriage to include a relationship between persons of the same sex. The gravity of the sin of procured abortion and of the sins involved in the commission of other intrinsically-evil acts seemed to place the Catholic politicians among those who obstinately persevere in manifest grave sin, about whom can. 915 treats. - Archbishop Raymond L. Burke
By way of introduction, I wish to say that the retreat we are beginning, I call a theological retreat - no less - and the retreat will be on the Divine Attributes. First, only God can make us happy. Second, why should we concentrate on knowing who is God? Third, where can we learn - where should we learn more about God? Fourth, what do we mean by the Attributes of God? And finally, what is our planned procedure for all the conferences in the retreat?
In the Nicene Creed, we begin our profession of faith with the words "We believe in One God." Most of us I think do not realize that behind that simple faith affirmation are four thousand years of struggle, conflict - the deepest conflict in the world between those who believe there is only one true God and those who do not believe. Everything (and the word is Everything) in Christianity depends on the Truth of there being only one God -- not many gods, not several gods, not even two gods -- only One.
What the Church however means by simplicity is that there are no parts. Something or someone is simple when they are not divisible. In other words, (and I am presuming on a lot of theology), in other words, because God is absolutely Simple, He is a Pure Spirit because whatever else a spirit has, it has no divisions or parts.
We begin first by asking ourselves, "Isn't there a contradiction? Is God One, or is God Three." And more pointedly, "How can God Who is Absolutely Unique, be also (what we are affirming), He is also a Plurality. Indeed, how can God who is Absolutely One be also a Community."
We have seen something of the meaning of the Holy Trinity as the basic mystery of Christianity. All other mysteries derive from the Trinity or lead to the Trinity. Our purpose (and I wish to see) how this mystery is INDISPENSABLE (that's the word - indispensable), for our spiritual life. There are numerous lessons that this Divine Mystery is meant to teach Us. But I believe especially three; we'll first identify then elaborate.
Our purpose in this meditation, we're going to see, what the Church infallibly teaches about Creation. Then, examine more closely what we may call the "When," "How," and "Why" of Creation. And in the following conference, look specifically and practically on how our Faith in the mystery (it is a mystery), of Creation is to be lived out in our own daily spiritual lives.
Before we go into examining the spiritual implications of our Faith in God's creating the world and us out of nothing, it will be useful to remind ourselves that God not only CREATED, He is CREATING. Each of us when we came to the world, was conceived and born, with a body and a soul. The body we received from our parents. The soul for each one of us was individually, distinctly, separately and immediately created by God.
The achievement of the mind is to realize that God is beyond anything we can conceive. We might paraphrase that by saying that the greatest achievement of the human mind, the deepest and the highest thing we can know is to realize that God is beyond anything that we can conceive. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of realizing the greatness of God compared with the littleness, the smallness, the insignificance of everything which God has made. We tend to appreciate only what we can comprehend.
God as Creator is closely related to God as Provider; in other words, creation and providence are closely interrelated. Creation answers the question where do we come from; providence tells us where we are going. Needless to say, we had better know both. What then is divine providence as the Catholic Church understands it?
However, there are two sides to divine providence. The one we have seen. Providence is the foundation of our virtue of hope. We are confident that because God loves us he will provide whatever we need to do his will, provided we honestly want to do it. Providence on that first level is trustful confidence on our part that the Lord will provide all the means we need on earth to reach heaven in the life to come. However providence is not only the foundation of our hope. It is also the foundation of our faith, our faith as lived out in this world.
The bedrock of human civilization is faith in an unchangeable God. And the main reason for the cosmic instability in the world today is its widespread loss of faith in an unchangeable God.
Our focus in this meditation is first of all on the knowledge of God: what God knows in his intellect or mind but also on the wisdom of God. And between the two is this difference. The knowledge of God is what the mind of God, in our terrible human language, contains, what the intellect of God comprehends. The wisdom of God is how God, using his mind, puts his knowledge into practice.
We are, therefore, doing now in our reflections on the will of God what we have so far done in meditating on the mind of God. We may say to shore up the introduction that the love of God is what belongs to God as God; the goodness of God is how he shows his love toward the creatures he has made. In each case as we have been doing, we will first reflect on the love of God, and then see its implications in our own moral and spiritual lives, and then repeat the process for the goodness of God.
However, before going into our prayerful reflection on God's 'everywhereness', I think we had better distinguish among the three different ways in which God is now in the world. The first way: God is present everywhere and his presence we call natural. It is called his omnipresence. It is also a universal presence in all creatures, rational and irrational, in heaven, on earth, in the stiller regions, and even in hell. In the second way God is present and we call that his supernatural presence. It is more properly and technically called the divine indwelling. It is the way that God is present in the souls of those who on earth are in the state of sanctifying grace: the divine indwelling of the Holy Trinity in the just. The third way God is present in the world and we call it the Real Presence. It is his presence as the God-Man, it is his corporeal or bodily presence in the Holy Eucharist.
Our purpose in this meditation will be to see four things. First, what do we mean by glory, 'doxa' in the Greek of the revealed text of St. Luke's gospel? Second, how is God glorified? Thirdly, how can we increase the glory of God? And finally, how does our peace on earth depend on our glorifying God?
The Church commonly teaches distinguishing between God's presence and his indwelling. The indwelling, unlike the omnipresence, is not natural but super - beyond natural. The indwelling is not universal but particular, very particular. The indwelling is not merely the presence of God in the world but it is the special way in which the Holy Trinity dwells in the souls of those who are in sanctifying grace.
My purpose in this meditation is first to look at the revealed foundations for our faith in the Real Presence; next, what do we mean by what we believe; and then, somewhat summarily, applications.
My purpose in this meditation is first to look at the revealed foundations for our faith in the Real Presence; next, what do we mean by what we believe; and then, somewhat summarily, applications.
We begin with what must seem like an unlikely attribute of the Creator of heaven and earth: the humility of God. I plan to cover the following aspects of this oceanic subject: first, the Incarnation as the humiliation of God; then, the humility of Christ himself as he practiced during his stay on earth; third, Christ's teaching on the virtue and practice of humility; finally with all this breathtaking panorama about the humility of God, what is our responsibility?
Our scope in this meditation will be first of all to look at the meaning of patience, especially as this has been developed through centuries of reflection by the Church on the patience practiced by Christ who is the Son of God.
Our plan is to reflect on four areas of our subject. First, what is justice? Then, how was the justice of God revealed under the Old Law? Then, how has God's justice been revealed since the coming of Christ as found in the New Testament? And finally, what are some very painfully practical implications for our spiritual life?
Our scope in this conference is to cover three areas of a subject which is as vast as our faith. First, what does the Church understand by mercy? Then, how is Christ really incarnate divine mercy? And then very pertinently, how do we not only have the option but the obligation of responding to the profound mystery of the mercy of God who became Man out of love for us?
Our main focus in this meditation is to go behind our holiness, and ask ourselves the harder question: not what is our holiness, but how is God holy? Why is this important? Because if our holiness consists in God-likeness, we then become more holy as we strive with his grace to become more and more like him. On the practical, down-to-earth, day by day level, we can become holy, theologically expressed, by following in the footsteps of Jesus Christ. As little as thirty years ago it didn't quite occur to me that I would even give a meditation on this subject to my theological students and entitle it "De Sanctitate Dei". But much has happened in thirty years. You see, it is not just Christianity that is now on trial, it is God.
In order to better understand what we mean by the faithfulness or fidelity of God, we should look at the profound mystery of God's fidelity both on God's side toward us and on our side toward him. Let's first look at the Old Testament, because there are so many passages, so many occasions of God having first chosen those who became his chosen people: he promised them. And then in the New Testament God made a covenant or an agreement with the new Israel, which of course is ourselves.
To worship God means to honor God; it means to adore God; it means to pay God the homage that he deserves and the veneration he demands as a condition for our possession of God in the life to come. We believe in God now, we hope to see God in heaven. The bridge between believing in God now and seeing him in eternity is our worshiping God here on earth.
How do we worship God with our wills? We shall examine how the fact that we must worship God is of the very essence of our faith, better, it is of the very essence of our reason; that's why God made us: to worship him. How are we to give God the great gift of honoring him not only with our minds but also with our wills? There are many ways but the following are the most prominent in divine revelation.
Our scope in this meditation will be to see two things: what Sacred Scripture tells us about honoring God with our bodies and, second, how we are to worship God with our bodies by the right use of our bodily senses especially by the right use of our eyes and ears, of our touch and our tongue.
"One of the most providential developments in the Catholic Church, through the Second Vatican Council, has been the extraordinary emphasis on the Liturgy in the life of the faithful: priests, religious and the laity. Unfortunately this liturgical renewal has not always been wisely interpreted. Not the least problem affecting the Church today is the misreading of what the Council taught and, in some instances, a positive indifference to, by now, the extensive teaching of the Holy See on how the Sacred Liturgy is to be celebrated and what norms are to be followed if the inspired directives of the Church's latest and most comprehensive ecumenical gathering are to bear the fruit desired by the Holy Spirit." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"But we return to our original postulate: that there is special need to see how the Divine Office is indeed a form of the Divine Liturgy. So concerned is the Church to have us know this that she has now consciously given us two equally valid names for the same spiritual exercise, namely, the Divine Office and the Liturgy of the Hours." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
"There is more than passing value in reflecting on the Divine Office as a form of sacrifice. For one thing, we know that for anything to be pleasing to God it must be sacrificial; it must cost us something. A self-satisfying gift is a cheap gift. And the Divine Office should not be a cheap gift to God." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.
Recitation of the Divine Mercy Chaplet during Eucharistic Adoration for the Intentions of the Sick and Dying.
The Divine Mercy Chaplet for the Sick and Dying
booklet explains Jesus' magnificent promise that one could obtain mercy for the dying by means of praying the Divine Mercy Chaplet. All adorers should have one, as well as those involved in parish work as an Eucharistic Minister, and nursing home or hospital visitation.
In speaking with several folks lately, an interestingly common pattern in their spiritual lives seems to have emerged over time. It begins with having no truly meaningful relationship with God, sort of a Sunday-only kind of Catholic. Following a period of spiritual awakening there is a swing almost to the opposite extreme. Finally, if the person survives the swing, there seems to be a leveling of the seesaw, but with some strong spiritual underpinning. We can look at each of these phases separately, and see how they come together.
Most of us know that Devotion to the Sacred Heart is part of our Catholic religion. We have known from childhood about the nine first Fridays. We often recite the Litany of the Sacred Heart. Annually we celebrate the solemn feast of the Sacred Heart. I am sure that we know several aspirations, like: "Sacred Heart of Jesus, I place my trust in thee." Over the years, every time I pick up the telephone, before I talk to whoever called, I make an aspiration to the Sacred Heart. It helps; you never know who is on the other side.
To understand the basic doctrinal message of Fatima, we confine ourselves to the six Marian apparitions formally approved by the Church.
What are the principle doctrines of faith contained in these communications? It is necessary to identify them as revealed truths before we can intelligently speak of the mission of Fatima.
Why, then, have such revelations as those recorded in the lives of the great mystics, or as reported at Fatima? Their purpose is to recall what had already been revealed up to apostolic times and to reaffirm what needs to be believed and put into practice in times like ours. Surely ours is a period of trial, and some would say it is the most critical age in the history of Christianity.
My intention is to look in sequence at the five principal doctrines of the Catholic Church about Mary and to review them in the approximate order in which they rose to prominence in the Churchs history, either because of the opposition of heretics or because of the needs of the faithful. These five doctrines are: 1) Marys perpetual virginity; 2) Her rights to being called the Mother of God; 3)Her mediation of grace from Christ to the human family; 4) Her Immaculate Conception; 5)Her bodily Assumption into heaven.
When we speak of the souls of the just in purgatory we are referring to those that leave the body in the state of sanctifying grace and are therefore destined by right to enter heaven. Their particular judgment was favorable, although conditional: provided they are first cleansed to appear before God. The condition is always fulfilled. The poor souls in purgatory still have the stains of sin within them. This means two things. First, it means that the souls have not yet paid the temporal penalty due, either for venial sins, or for mortal sins whose guilt was forgiven before death. It may also mean the venial sins themselves, which were not forgiven either as to guilt or punishment before death.
We have been accused of mariolatry, of exaggerating our devotion to Mother Mary, detracting from our worship to her Son. For this reason let us look at the true doctrine about Mary which was a strong and clear provision of the Second Vatican Council. There are five principal doctrines in the Catholic Church about Mary. Let us study them as they arose in the Churchs history in answer to the needs of the faithful in their opposition to heresy.
Shortly before his elevation to the Pontificate, Cardinal Pacelli was commissioned by Pius XI to preside at the International Eucharistic Congress in Budapest in 1938. In the opening address on May 25, he exhorted the assembled multitude to cultivate their faith in the Blessed Sacrament with as much devotion as they would give to the study of Christ Himself, because the Eucharist, he told them, is Christ. "It is that unsearchable mystery by which we believe that the earthly life of Christ our Redeemer, though apparently closed at His Ascension into heaven, still goes on and will go on until the end of time. It is nothing less than the invisible continuation now of His visible presence in times past."
Donatism, at first a schism and later a heresy which profoundly disturbed the Church in Africa from the reign of the Roman emperor Diocletian (r. 284-305) to the Muslim conquest. The name is commonly derived from Donatus, successor in the see of Carthage to Majorinus who had been elected in 312 by a group of purists as rival to the legitimate bishop, Cecilian. These purists maintained that Cecilian's consecration as bishop was invalid, on the ground that he had been consecrated by a prelate who had weakened under Diocletian's persecution.
At the crucifixion, a young soldier, Longinus, thrust a spear into the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Water spilled forth, washing Longinus, and Blood followed, giving Longinus the grace of conversion. Having been touched by the healing contents of Our Lord's Sacred Heart, Longinus became a martyr, giving up his own life for the One he helped crucify.