A Purer Kind of Prayer

The Moral Reflections on Job by Pope St Gregory the Great

The mystery of our new life in Christ

Holy Job is a type of the Church. At one time he speaks for the body, at another for the head. As he speaks of its members he is suddenly caught up to speak in the name of their head. So it is here, where he says: I have suffered this without sin on my hands, for my prayer to God was pure.
Christ suffered without sin on his hands, for he committed no sin and deceit was not found on his lips. Yet he suffered the pain of the cross for our redemption. His prayer to God was pure, his alone out of all mankind, for in the midst of his suffering he prayed for his persecutors: Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
Is it possible to offer, or even to imagine, a purer kind of prayer than that which shows mercy to one’s torturers by making intercession for them? It was thanks to this kind of prayer that the frenzied persecutors who shed the blood of our Redeemer drank it afterward in faith and proclaimed him to be the Son of God.
The text goes on fittingly to speak of Christ’s blood: Earth, do not cover over my blood, do not let my cry find a hiding place in you. When man sinned, God had said: Earth you are, and to earth you will return. Earth does not cover over the blood of our Redeemer, for every sinner, as he drinks the blood that is the price of his redemption, offers praise and thanksgiving, and to the best of his power makes that blood known to all around him.
Earth has not hidden away his blood, for holy Church has preached in every corner of the world the mystery of its redemption.
Notice what follows: Do not let my cry find a hiding place in you. The blood that is drunk, the blood of redemption, is itself the cry of our Redeemer. Paul speaks of the sprinkled blood that calls out more eloquently than Abel’s. Of Abel’s blood Scripture had written: The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to me from the earth. The blood of Jesus calls out more eloquently than Abel’s, for the blood of Abel asked for the death of Cain, the fratricide, while the blood of the Lord has asked for, and obtained, life for his persecutors.
If the sacrament of the Lord’s passion is to work its effect in us, we must imitate what we receive and proclaim to mankind what we revere. The cry of the Lord finds a hiding place in us if our lips fail to speak of this, though our hearts believe in it. So that his cry may not lie concealed in us it remains for us all, each in his own measure, to make known to those around us the mystery of our new life in Christ.

A New Age of the Spirit

President Obama seems a man flying in the face of the Holy Spirit and not prone to  be moved the Spirit, especially in areas of life, morality and the Natural Law…unless by “natural law” we  mean survival of the most well-positioned, power-hungry and powerful.

Modern Medieval writes: “It appears that Joachim of Fiore is still around and voting for Obama.”  “From the annals of strange stuff, I ran across this Italian article that has the mayor San Giovanni of Fiore inviting Barack Obama to his town in order to become an honorary citizen. Apparently, according to this article, Obama has invoked the 12th-century mystic and theologian Joachim of Fiore on no fewer than 3 occasions.”

In a Lenten sermon by P. Raniero Cantalamessa, OFMCAP – delivered  in the presence of Benedict XVI 3-29-2009 Joachim of Fiore  comes up again with regard to Obama  and what this Presisent could possibly be doing in Joachim’s corner:

The fact that the recently elected president of the United States referenced Joachim of Fiore three times during his electoral campaign has renewed interest in medieval monk’s teachings. Few of the people who talk about him, especially on the internet, know or care to know just what exactly this author said. Every idea of church or world renewal is offhandedly attributed to him, even the idea of a new Pentecost for the Church, which was invoked by John XXIII.

One thing is certain: whether or not it should be attributed to Joachim of Fiore, the idea of a third era of the Spirit that would follow on the era of the Old Testament Father and the New Testament Christ is false and heretical because it affects the very heart of the Trinitarian dogma. St. Gregory Nazianzen’s statement is entirely different. He makes a distinction between three phases in the revelation of the Trinity: in the Old Testament the Father fully revealed himself and the Son is promised and announced; in the New Testament the Son fully revealed himself and the Holy Spirit is promised and announced; in the time of the Church, the Holy Spirit is finally fully known and we rejoice in his presence.

The Church speaks with the voice of the Holy Spirit teaching and guiding through its Magisterium. In speaking of the Holy Spirit Cantalamessa says:

St. Ignatius suggested practical means to apply these criteria. One is this: when we are faced with two possible choices, it is useful to first consider one of them, as if we must follow it, and to stay in that state for a day or more; then we should evaluate how our heart reacts to that choice: is there peace, harmony with the rest of our own decisions; is there something inside of you that encourages you in that direction, or on the contrary has it left a haze of restlessness… Then repeat the process with the second hypothesis. All this should be done in an atmosphere of prayer, abandonment to God’s will, and openness to the Holy Spirit.

And in closing he says:

When everything is reduced to just the personal, private listening to the Spirit, the path is opened to a unstoppable process of division and subdivision, because everyone believe they are right. And the very division and multiplication of denominations and sects, often contrasting each other in their essential points, demonstrates that the same Spirit of truth in speaking cannot be in all, because otherwise he would be contradicting himself.

It is well known that this is the danger to which the protestant world is most exposed, having built the “interior testimony” of the Holy Spirit as the only criteria of truth, against every exterior, ecclesial testimony, other than that of the written Word.[10] Some extreme fringes will even go as far as to separate the interior guidance of the Spirit even from word of the Scriptures. We then have the various movements of “enthusiasts” or “enlightened” who have punctuated the history of the Church, whether catholic, orthodox or protestant. The most frequent result of this tendency, which concentrates all attention on the internal testimony of the Spirit, is that the Spirit slowly looses the capital letter and comes to coincide with the simple human spirit. That is what happened with rationalism.