It is frequently asserted that contraception, if made safe and available to all, is the most effective remedy against abortion. The Catholic Church is then accused of actually promoting abortion, because she obstinately continues to teach the moral unlawfulness of contraception… But despite their differences of nature and moral gravity, contraception and abortion are often closely connected, as fruits of the same tree. It is true that in many cases contraception and even abortion are practiced under the pressure of real-life difficulties, which nonetheless can never exonerate from striving to observe God’s law fully. Still, in very many other instances such practices are rooted in a hedonistic mentality unwilling to accept responsibility in matters of sexuality, and they imply a self-centered concept of freedom, which regards procreation as an obstacle to personal fulfillment. The life which could result from a sexual encounter thus becomes an enemy to be avoided at all costs, and abortion becomes the only possible decisive response to failed contraception.
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And they say Christians don’t face oppression.
Lord, have mercy on us all.
Man himself cannot simply “make’ worship. If God does not reveal himself, man is clutching empty space. Moses says to Pharoah: “[W]e do not know with what we must serve the LORD” (Ex 10:26). These words display a fundamental law of all liturgy. When God does not reveal himself, man can, of course, from the sense of God within him, build altars “to the unknown god” (cf. Acts 17:23). He can reach out toward God in his thinking and try to feel his way toward him. But real liturgy implies that God responds and reveals how we can worship him. In any form, liturgy includes some kind of “institution”. It cannot spring from imagination, our own creativity - then it would remain just a cry in the dark or mere self-affirmation. Liturgy implies a real relationship with Another, who reveals himself to us and gives our existence a new direction.
You hold that your heretics and sceptics have helped the world forward and handed on a lamp of progress. I deny it. Nothing is plainer from real history than that each of your heretics invented a complete cosmos of his own which the next heretic smashed entirely to pieces. Who knows now exactly what Nestorius taught? Who cares? There are only two things that we know for certain about it. The first is that Nestorius, as a heretic, taught something quite opposite to the teaching of Arius, the heretic who came before him, and something quite useless to James Turnbull, the heretic who comes after. I defy you to go back to the Freethinkers of the past and find any habitation for yourself at all. I defy you to read Godwin or Shelley, or the deists of the eighteenth century, or the nature-worshipping humanists of the Renaissance, without discovering that you differ from them twice as much as you differ from the Pope. You are a nineteenth-century sceptic, and you are always telling me that I ignore the cruelty of Nature. If you had been an eighteenth-century sceptic you would have told me that I ignore the kindness and benevolence of Nature. You are an Atheist, and you praise the deists of the eighteenth century. Read them instead of praising them, and you will find that their whole universe stands or falls with the deity. You are a Materialist, and you think Bruno a scientific hero. See what he said, and you will think him an insane mystic. No; the great Freethinker, with his genuine ability and honesty, does not in practice destroy Christianity. What he does destroy is the Freethinker who went before.
Those thinkers who cannot believe in any gods often assert that the love of humanity would be in itself sufficient for them; and so, perhaps, it would, if they had it.
I read the astounding statement that the Catholic Church regards sex as having the nature of sin. How marriage can be a sacrament if sex is a sin, or why it is the Catholics who are in favor of birth and their foes who are in favor of birth control, I will leave the critic to worry out for himself.
There is a law that is not in nature, at least not in raw nature, namely, we who are strong should bear the infirmities of the weak and not please ourselves. It is here that Christianity makes it most unique and distinctive pronouncement, and gives the supreme example of Divinity dying for the weakness and sinfulness of humanity. The Christian law is not the survival of the fittest, but the survival of the unfit.
Dear brothers, it is written in Genesis that the blood of Abel, killed by his brother Cain, cried out to God from the earth (cf. 4:10). And, unfortunately, today as yesterday, this cry does not cease, since human blood continues to run because of violence, injustice and hatred. When will men learn that life is sacred and belongs to God alone? When will men understand that we are all brothers? To the cry of the blood that goes up from many parts of the earth, God answers with the Blood of His Son, who gave His life for us. Christ did not answer evil with evil, but with good, with His infinite love.
This night is truly extraordinary, one in which the blazing light of the Risen Christ definitively defeats the dark power of evil and death, and rekindles hope and joy in the hearts of believers. Dear friends, guided by the liturgy, let us pray to the Lord Jesus so that the world may see and recognize that, thanks to his passion, death and Resurrection, what was destroyed is rebuilt, what was ageing is renewed and completely restored, more beautiful than ever, to its original wholeness.
The truth of Jesus’ word cannot be tested in terms of theory. It is like a technical proposition: it is shown to be correct only by testing it. The truth of what God says here involved the whole person, the experiment of life. It can only become clear for me if I truly give myself up to the will of God, so far as he has made it known to me. This will of the creator is not something foreign to me, something external, but is the basis of my own being. And in this experiment of life it does in fact become clear how life can be put right. It will not be comfortable, but it will be right. It will not be superficial or pleasant, but it will in a profound sense be filled with joy.
That is indeed the real meaning of the saints for us, that they are people who have ventured upon this great experiment of the will of God. To a certain extent they are lights for mankind, signposts who show us what happens, how life can be put right. I believe that is fundamental for the whole question about the truth of Christianity.
We believe that the Mass, celebrated by the priest representing the person of Christ by virtue of the power received through the Sacrament of Orders, and offered by him in the name of Christ and the members of His Mystical Body, is the sacrifice of Calvary rendered sacramentally present on our altars. We believe that as the bread and wine consecrated by the Lord at the Last Supper were changed into His body and His blood which were to be offered for us on the cross, likewise the bread and wine consecrated by the priest are changed into the body and blood of Christ enthroned gloriously in heaven, and we believe that the mysterious presence of the Lord, under what continues to appear to our senses as before, is a true, real and substantial presence.