On Jesus Christ's Descent into Hell

From the Dolorous Passion of Jesus – Visions of Venerable Anne Catherine Emmerich.

Our Lord, by descending into Hell, planted (if I may thus express myself), in the spiritual garden of the Church, a mysterious tree, the fruits of which—namely, his merits—are destined for the constant relief of the poor souls in Purgatory. The Church militant must cultivate the tree, and gather its fruits, in order to present them to that suffering portion of the Church which can do nothing for itself. Thus it is with all the merits of Christ; we must labour with him if we wish to obtain our share of them; we must gain our bread by the sweat of our brow. Everything which our Lord has done for us in time must produce fruit for eternity; but we must gather these fruits in time, without which we cannot possess them in eternity. The Church is the most prudent and thoughtful of mothers; the ecclesiastical year is an immense and magnificent garden, in which all those fruits for eternity are gathered together, that we may make use of them in time. Each year contains sufficient to supply the wants of all; but woe be to that careless or dishonest gardener who allows any of the fruit committed to his care to perish; if he fails to turn to a proper account those graces which would restore health to the sick, strength to the weak, or furnish food to the hungry! When the Day of Judgment arrives, the Master of the garden will demand a strict account, not only of every tree, but also of all the fruit produced in the garden.

A Glorious Dawn and God

H/T the Anchoress:

This is beautiful and celebrates a finite universe, giving us some idea of infinity by the awe it inspires and the Universe’s sheer vastness and complexity.

A Glorious Dawn includes these words:

“But the brain does much more than just recollect
It inter-compares, it synthesizes, it analyzes
it generates abstractions

The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has it’s own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world.”

It is interesting to note that Carl Sagan, while positing, a purely material universe, was in awe of Possibility.  Yet, he won’t admit the possibility of God, and immaterial realities, such as soul.  Sagan trafficked in ideas, and ideas, themselves, simply sing and shout God.

While Carl’s science functions on ideas, his materialistic science must measure, weigh, observe and record.  This purely materialistic observing and recording is insufficient for describing all of Reality, all that is. Materialistic science can come to know just part of Reality, the material part.

F.J. Sheed says, “Ask yourself: ‘How much does this idea weigh?  How long is it?  What color is it? What shape is it? How much space does it take up?’ The answer of course is that your idea has no weight, no length, no color, no shape, and takes up no space.  It simply has no material attributes at all.  something with no material attributes is immaterial, another word for spiritual.

Carl Sagan glorified ideas, dreaming of future manifestations and possibilities. A solely materialistic view must find a way to account for the immaterial Intellect and for that matter, the Will and Conscience, as well. “Immaterial ideas imply an immaterial faculty capable of forming them.  It is impossible for something material to create something immaterial.  Therefore the faculty capable of forming spiritual ideas must itself be spiritual.” observes F.J. Sheed in “Theology for Beginners.”

On Dying Today

crucificionicon

icon by the hand of Joann Nelander

A note from the Anchoress on retreat:

Just found this scrawled, uncharacteristically, in the back of a book –

When we meet God face-to-face, it is always a moment of grace,
but too it is a moment of judgment for us.
Judgment day, then, can be any day, any time, any particular
moment of an hour.
And so our death can happen many times,
a process of conversion, a process of turning to.
We die to ourselves, die to a particular sin or attachment,
and begin again, turning toward.
We no sooner die to one thing that we immediately
attach and live to another,
and judgment will come to that, too.
Sacrament of confession
hastens our dying and our rising,
the dying to the old self,
the rising to the new,
always, always, toward Christ.
Toward oneness, completion.
The Whole.
Life is a process of Incarnation.
Our reality, our wholeness, our completeness
in this world comes
through repeated offerings which we receive or refuse.
The Eucharistic Christ contributes to this formation, this process.
He enters us, we welcome Him.
One flesh.
Incarnation.
My whole woeful life just begun, again.

Articles by Cardinal Ratzinger

Collected articles by Cardinal Ratzinger here

Evangelize Without Yielding to Secularization

"Fish" and the Heart of God

H/T Catholic Exchange for “Fish”

Episcopal Nuns Come Home to Roman Catholicism

H/T to Susan G. in Nebraska who said this article from the Baltimore Sun would make me happy:

Photo by Owen Sweeney III / Catholic Review photo

In a move that religious scholars say is unprecedented, 10 of the 12 nuns at an Episcopal convent in Catonsville left their church Thursday to become Roman Catholics, the latest defectors from a denomination divided over the ordination of gay men and women.

………

The sisters said they converted for the orthodoxy, unity and leadership they said they could no longer find in their own faith.

“We know our beliefs and where we are,” said Mother Christina Christie, superior of the order that came to Baltimore in 1872. “We were drifting farther apart from the more liberal road the Episcopal Church is traveling. We are now more at home in the Roman Catholic Church.”

Also joining the church was the Rev. Warren Tanghe, the sisters’ chaplain. In a statement, Episcopal Bishop Eugene Taylor Sutton wished them God’s blessings.

“Despite the sadness we feel in having to say farewell, our mutual joy is that we remain as one spiritual family of faith, one body in Christ,” he said.