Today the subject of this article is the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, particularly the guarding of the sanctity and beauty of the marital act by being open to the third essential good of Marriage, the openness to the generation of human life. This good belongs to the nature of a true Marriage. In Church teaching, God calls the married man and woman to guard this third essential good of Marriage by being open to the generation of human life in the marital act. This is a call to be open to the sovereign God Himself. For this reason, in Genesis, after instituting Marriage through His creation of the first man and woman in His image as the first couple, “God blessed them and said to them: ‘Be fertile and multiply’” human life (Genesis 1:8). In this sense, by being open to generate human life in faithfulness to God’s call, couples use their bodies in intercourse to be fruitful and multiply as God wills. In doing so, they subject their Marriage, including their marital act, to the sovereignty of God, their Creator and Redeemer. As a result, by being open to the generation of life interiorly in their hearts, couples guard the sanctity and beauty of the inseparable relationship of the unitive and procreative meanings of the marital act. In this sense, they say yes to God, first in their hearts, but also in the language of their bodies. In doing so, they welcome God to create the gift of human life through them, through their marital intercourse if He wills. Accordingly, this faithful yes to God in their hearts prepares them to say yes to God’s gift of human life in their marital act. This means that guarding the sanctity and beauty of this third essential good of marriage begins interiorly in their hearts and terminates in natural marital intercourse.
The Catholic Church believes and professes that marital intercourse is a sacred and beautiful act of complete self-giving which involves the love-giving and life-giving communion of married spouses. Yes, beautiful and sacred, for the act, informed by God’s Truth and Goodness, is reasonable, natural and chaste. Marital intercourse is a sacred and beautiful gift from God for those couples who have entered the Marriage covenant. This covenant of husband and wife in Marriage represents the sacred and beautiful love-giving and life-giving nuptial union involving the Bridegroom, Jesus Christ, and His Bride, the Church. Indeed, in their nuptial union, God calls husband and wife to image the sanctity and beauty of the nuptial union of Christ and His Church through a faithful and loving marital complementarity. In this complementarity in Marriage, the husband faithfully loves his wife as himself, just as Christ, the Head, faithfully loved His Body, the Church, by fully offering Himself for her to sanctify her that she would conceive and bear holy children for God in Baptism. In this sense, by faithfully imaging Christ’s love for the Church in Marriage, the husband, in his love for his wife, faithfully offers himself fully for her that she may be sanctified in conceiving and bearing children in holiness. Moreover, the wife, as image of the Church, faithfully images the Church’s love for Christ by faithfully loving her husband in Marriage. In this faithful love for her husband, she opens her heart to his love by faithfully offering herself fully to him, as his helpmate, that she may conceive and bear holy children for God through the marital act. In this complementarity of faithful love for one another in Marriage, husband and wife become one. Indeed, as Genesis says, a man leaves his mother and father to marry his wife and they both become one, particularly in marital intercourse. According to Church teaching, in this marital act, God calls them to faithfully participate in the sacredness and beauty of His divine plan. In doing so, they not only open their hearts for God to perfect their love for one another as married spouses, but also open their hearts to receive from God the great gift of human life.
On the other hand, spouses using artificial contraception would be acting contrary to the third essential good of Marriage, the openness to the generation of human life. This would involve separating the unitive meaning from the procreative meaning in their marital act. Their intention here would be to prevent the conception of human life. This would be against God’s command in Genesis for spouses to be fertile and multiply through intercourse. After all, such fertility and multiplication of children requires that they have an openness to life. Consequently, they would neither be acting reasonably nor naturally nor chastely by separating the unitive and procreative meanings of the marital act from each other. In doing so, they would not be open to God’s divine action at all in their marital intercourse. On the contrary, they would be completely closed to the sovereignty of God, the Creator and Redeemer, interiorly in their hearts and in the language of their bodies by contracepting artificially. Indeed, they would be saying “no” to God’s desire to act in and through their Marriage, first and foremost for their sanctification as a married couple, but also for their participation in God’s creation and redemption of human beings. For this reason, when spouses separate these unitive and procreative meanings from one another in the marital act, namely the language of love and life, through artificial contraception, they act as false gods or judges of the divine plan who claim to have the sovereign authority to manipulate the sacred and beautiful gift of the marital act. As a result, the act becomes “profane” and “ugly” in a spiritual and moral sense, even physically. For they give themselves to one another not fully and virtuously according to God’s divine will, but only partially and sinfully according to their inordinate desires, which is neither natural nor holy. As such, their contracepted marital intercourse is not an act of total self-giving to one another. They do not offer this gift fully to each other through a perfect or complete love-giving and life-giving union in the marital act. On the contrary, according to St. John Paul II, by this unnatural act, the natural meaning of marital intercourse as the total self-giving of husband and wife is overlaid, through contraception, by an objectively contradictory language, namely, a language that says that they are not giving themselves totally to each other in the marital act, but only in a fragmented and deformed manner.
In Catholic moral teaching, couples who artificially contracept in marital intercourse commit an intrinsically grave moral evil. This means that the object of their evil act is gravely immoral by nature. In this sense, such an act is grave materially from the evil object. According to St. Thomas, the object of the material act itself is the first and primary criterion for judging the morality of the act. In the case of contracepted intercourse, the object of the material act is judged by the Church as a grave moral evil objectively. For this reason, for St. Thomas, this act would neither be reasonable for the couple nor ordainable to their Last End, God Himself, nor perfectible of their love for each other. As a consequence, there could never be a good or acceptable reason that would morally justify artificial contraception. Every reason to artificially contracept is a bad reason. At the same time, not every grave evil act of contraception in marital intercourse is a mortal sin. On the contrary, the gravity or grave matter of the evil object alone does not fully define the nature of a mortal sin. For a couple to sin mortally by using artificial contraception in the marital act, they require in their intellect a full and true understanding of their immoral action, the act of contracepting in intercourse. Finally, they also have to be fully free in their will as moral agents in contracepting. This is called full deliberate consent. On this basis, if they have full understanding and full freedom in contracepting, they would certainly be guilty of a mortal sin. This is called the spiritual death of the soul, because such an act destroys the grace of justification in the soul, including charity.
At the same time, the Church teaches that there are seven factors or conditions that could diminish either their full understanding in their intellect, or their full freedom in their will. On the one hand, one such condition in their intellect would be invincible ignorance. This is a form of ignorance that the couple cannot remove or overcome either because they are unable to acquire all the information they need, even after a reasonable effort, or because they just do not know that there is any problem. In this sense, the couple contracepting under invincible ignorance would not have a full and true understanding of their act. On the other hand, spouses suffering from an intrinsic grave fear of becoming pregnant because of poor health would not be fully free in their will in contracepting. In both cases, the artificial contraception of these couples in the marital act remains morally evil, and they remain spiritually and morally malformed, but their moral guilt or culpability would be diminished or removed altogether because of their deficient understanding and freedom. This means that because they would not be culpable or fully culpable for their action, they would neither be guilty of a mortal sin.
On this basis, by contracepting for any reason or circumstance, married couples falsify and mutilate the true nature and meaning of marital intercourse. They essentially redefine their Marriage, first in their hearts, but also in the language of their bodies in the marital act. Their bodily contraception in martial intercourse is merely a consequence of this interior spiritual contraception. Sin, including artificial contraception, does not begin in their bodies, but in their hearts.
Pray that all couples will be faithful in imaging the faithful love of Christ and His Church by fully and faithfully guarding their love for each other in the marital act through their openness to God’s gift of life. God calls them to be open to the generation of children that they may form and educate them to be a holy people, to be saints in Heaven, someday. God help them. They have a great calling in the Church, especially in the domestic church, the family.
The subject for today is the perfection of the spiritual life. In this brief article I do not intend to say everything that could be said about spiritual perfection. I will only consider the primary means to this perfection of the spiritual life. This primary means to this perfection is certainly love, but the human being can only love what he first knows. For this reason, for the human being, knowing prepares him to love in the perfection of the spiritual life. According to Scripture and Tradition, the Shema from Deuteronomy is a call to know and love both God and neighbor that informs Jesus’ teaching on the perfection of the spiritual life in the Gospel.
Do you have a desire for such perfection? Do you desire to be holy son or daughter of God? The saints certainly did. This is the greatest mission you have in this life in preparation for perfect happiness in Heaven. God Himself desires your spiritual perfection. Yes, He desires your sainthood. In fact, you can only be the holy person God created and redeemed you to be by reaching spiritual perfection someday in heavenly beatitude. In this life, the spiritual perfection of the human being is only imperfect, but in Heaven such perfection for the saint is perfectly fulfilled. This is the perfection, the perfect happiness, that God desires for you, for everyone.
At the same time, the perfection of the spiritual life requires maturation. The human being can only mature to spiritual perfection gradually. The more he moves from potency to act, as he matures spiritually, through the grace of God, the more he becomes the holy man God created and redeemed him to be. This involves the perfection of his intellect and will, including his passions, through holy virtue, throughout his life. The human being, in this life, remains unfinished. Only through the beatific vision of God in heaven and his glorious resurrection can he reach full or final perfection in the afterlife. On this basis, you may have imperfections, vices and sins, as I myself do, but do not be discouraged or despair. Be patient in this maturation process to perfection.
In the Gospel, Jesus calls His disciple to be perfect just as His heavenly Father is perfect. This is a call to be spiritually perfect by imaging the charity of Jesus, the love He has for His Father and for His neighbor, the human being. Accordingly, St. Thomas says that the perfection of the spiritual life primarily involves the perfection of charity in the disciple. In his teaching, he says that the disciple can only be perfected spiritually by loving the Lord and his neighbor, as Jesus Himself does, according to the order of charity. Consequently, the disciple could never reach spiritual perfection by loving the Lord alone or by merely loving his neighbor. Nor could he ever be perfected spiritually by loving the Lord as he loves his neighbor or by loving his neighbor as he loves the Lord. For the Lord and his neighbor are not the same. The Lord is God, the Creator and Redeemer; and his neighbor, the human being, is a creature. Nor could the disciple reach spiritual perfection through a natural love proportionate to his human nature. On the contrary, he is perfected spiritually in his humanity by the divine grace of God to love both God and neighbor supernaturally according to the order of charity. This means loving God first and the human person second. In fact, as St. Thomas says, Jesus Himself establishes this order of charity in the Gospel.
First of all, He calls His disciple to love God as his First and Greatest Good. In doing so, he says, “You shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind” (MT 22:37). In this sense, there is no greater commandment or precept of charity for the disciple than loving God above all. Indeed, “This is the greatest and the first commandment” (MT 22:38). In loving God in this manner, as his First and Greatest Good, the disciple images the love that Jesus has for God the Father. This prepares him for true and lasting happiness in Heaven someday.
Secondly, in the Gospel, Jesus also calls His disciple to spiritual perfection by loving his neighbor, not as he loves God, but as he loves himself. “You shall love your neighbor as yourelf” (MT 22:39). In doing so, he images the love that Jesus has for His neighbor. After all, he is united to his neighbor in a fraternal relationship, either in anticipation of perfect happiness or in the enjoyment of such happiness in heaven. This involves loving not just his family members and friends, but also the poor, the ill, the imprisoned, and even his enemies. As such, Jesus calls His disciple to love his neighbor as himself that he may reach perfect happiness with him in heaven someday. This means that loving his neighbor as himself is the second greatest commandment or precept of charity that perfects him spiritually after the image of Jesus (MT 22:39).
For this reason, for the disciple, the perfection of his spiritual life primarily involves loving God; and secondarily, loving his neighbor. According to Jesus, the “whole law and the prophets depend on these commandments” to love God and neighbor (MT 22:40). In other words, this double commandment to love is the source of the Word that God revealed to Moses and the prophets. Indeed, in God’s love for the people of Israel, He illumined and inspired Moses and the prophets to proclaim His Word to them, including His commandments of love. For God Himself desired that they would learn to love Him and their neighbors according to the order of charity. On this basis, the disciple can only be perfected spiritually after the image of Jesus by loving God and neighbor faithfully.
At the same time, St. Thomas says that the disciple cannot love what he does not know. On the contrary, as a human being, he can only love what he knows, for knowing is the antecedent or precondition that opens and prepares him to love. In this sense, his spiritual perfection as a disciple involves both knowing and loving. Yes, knowing that he may love. For this reason, in calling His disciple to be perfect spiritually by loving the Lord as His First and Greatest Good in the Gospel, Jesus is also calling him to know the Lord as His First and Greatest Truth. Indeed, He calls His disciple to know the Lord that he may love the Lord faithfully. In doing so, the disciple remains faithful not only to the order of charity, but also to the order of truth. As such, by knowing that the Lord really is God, and not something else, the disciple learns to love Him as God. He learns to love Him as His First and Greatest Good. Thus, Jesus’ first and greatest commandment to love the Lord includes the call to know the Lord, for the disciple can only love what he knows. Similarly, this is also true of Jesus’ second greatest commandment. In commanding His disciple to love his neighbor as himself, Jesus is calling him to know his neighbor as himself. Yes, Jesus is calling him to know his neighbor that he may love his neighbor, not as he knows and loves the Lord, but as he knows and loves himself. Here, once again, the order of truth informs the order of charity. This means that in the Gospel Jesus’ double commandment to love God and neighbor presupposes or implies a double commandment to know God and neighbor.
In calling His disciple to know and love God and neighbor faithfully in the Gospel, Jesus is basing this teaching on the Shema passage from Deuteronomy in the Old Testament. In the first verse of this passage (DT 6:4), the Lord proclaims to His people, through Moses, the Truth that He is the One True God. “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, is Lord alone!” This is the first Truth that the Lord calls His people to know in their intellect by faith. He is their One True God who created them and redeemed them. For this reason, there is no God besides Him. All other gods are idols or false gods. Consequently, these false gods can neither know the people of God nor love them. Only the Lord can know them and love them. For He alone is their One True God. As a result, the Lord calls them to know Him by faith as the One True God. Indeed, He calls them to believe in Him alone intellectually. This is the greatest act of their intellect in this life as a people of faith, for God Himself is their Highest Truth. He alone is their God. This is the first Truth proclaimed by God, through Moses, in the Shema passage. In calling His disciple to be faithful to the Shema by loving the Lord as his First and Greatest Good, Jesus is also calling him indirectly or implicitly to know the Lord, as His First and Greatest Truth, as a man of faith. In this sense, He is calling him to believe that the Lord alone is his God.
Moreover, in the second verse of the Shema (DT 6:5), Moses also teaches the people of God to use their will to love the Lord, their God, as their First and Greatest Good. Jesus has this verse from the Shema in mind in commanding His disciple to love the Lord in the same manner. This is the greatest act of his will in this life. In this sense, in the Gospel Jesus calls His disciple to be faithful to the Shema as Moses does for Israel in Deuteronomy. According to Moses, for the people of Israel, this act of loving the Lord, through their full human nature, in the Shema involves loving Him with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their strength. Indeed, using all these human capacities to love the Lord, their God, through an act of their will is their greatest act of love. In St. Thomas’s reading of the Shema, he says that loving the Lord with all their heart means intentionally directing everything to Him, all that they are and all that they have, as to their Last End. In other words, for Thomas, the people of God can only love the Lord with all their heart by ordering their life completely to the loving service of God through the right intention. Here their heart represents their intention to love the Lord, their First Love and Greatest Good, as their Last End. As for loving the Lord with all their soul, St. Thomas teaches that the people of God can only love the Lord as such by loving everyone and everything in the act of loving the Lord Himself, which involves referring all their affections or passions for them to the love of God. In this sense, for God’s people, loving the First Cause, God Himself, involves loving His effects in creation for love of Him. Lastly, St. Thomas says that the people of God can only love the Lord with all their strength by establishing all their words and actions in divine charity. That is to say, they can only use all their strength to love the Lord as their Greatest Good by speaking and acting with charity in loving Him. This is their greatest act of love as free moral persons: loving the Lord, as their God, with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their strength, because He is their First Love and Greatest Good. As such, this is a love they may only offer to God. In the Shema passage from Deuteronomy, God is calling His people, through Moses, to image His Truth and Goodness by knowing Him and loving Him as their Highest Truth and Greatest Good, through their intellect and will.
Furthermore, in the third and fourth verses of the Shema (DT 6:6-7), Moses calls the people of God to teach their children to know and love their neighbors as themselves. In doing so, he does not use these particular words in teaching the second greatest commandment to them. On the contrary, he pronounces this message to them only indirectly by telling them in the third and fourth verses of the Shema to teach their children what he proclaims to them in the first and second verses. As you recall, in the first and second verses of the Shema, Moses teaches the people of God to know the Lord as their Highest Truth, their One True God, and to love Him as their Greatest Good with all their heart, with all their soul and with all their strength. For this reason, in the third and fourth verses of the Shema, Moses tells the people to teach their children these words. Indeed, he says, “These words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them to your children, and you shall talk of them when you are at home.” For the people of Israel, God’s people, this act of teaching their children to know the Lord, as their One True God, and to love Him as such is really an act of knowing and loving their neighbors as themselves in the highest or greatest manner. After all, what greater act of knowing and loving their children as themselves could parents ever offer their children than teaching them to know and love the Lord according to the order of truth and charity? In other words, what greater gift could they offer them than forming them to know the Lord, as their One True God, their Highest Truth, and to love Him as their Greatest Good? There is nothing greater they could ever do for them. Nothing. Accordingly, for the people of God, this formation of their children is the greatest act of knowing and loving their neighbors as themselves because here they teach their children to image the Truth and Goodness of God, above all, by knowing Him and loving Him, through their rational, free human nature. In the Gospel, Jesus calls His disciples to do the same for their children by teaching them to know and love the Lord according to the order of truth and charity. As such, here Jesus bases His teaching on the Shema in Deuteronomy. As a result, through the formation that children receive from their parents, they learn to image the Truth and Love of Jesus by knowing and loving their neighbors as themselves in the highest manner. This involves teaching them, first and foremost, to know and love God. This is the greatest act of knowing and loving that will lead their neighbors to Heaven. On this basis, the perfection of the spiritual life for the disciple involves God’s grace perfecting human nature that he may know and love God and neighbor faithfully according to the order of truth and charity.
Saludos, querido amigo! Bienvenido a la página de la Confraternidad del Santisimo Rosario de la Orden de Predicadores en la Provincia Dominica de San Martín de Porres. Nuestra provincia está ubicada geográficamente en el sur de los Estados Unidos. Esta área provincial incluye Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Carolina del Sur y Carolina del Norte. Si vive en cualquier de estos estados del sur, puede considerar convertirse en miembro de la Confraternidad del Rosario a través de esta página. La Confraternidad es un antiguo apostolado de la Orden de Predicadores que ha llevado a innumerables personas al arrepentimiento y a la maduración en Cristo durante siglos por medio de la intercesión materna de Su Santísima Madre, Nuestra Señora del Rosario.
La membresía en la Confraternidad del Rosario requiere registro. Se convierte en miembro registrándose en la Confraternidad en línea. Luego se inscribirá oficialmente en el registro de la Confraternidad del Rosario. No hay reuniones ni cuotas de membresía.
Como un miembro de la Confraternidad, tiene la obligación de ofrecer por lo menos Quince Misterios del Rosario cada semana. Puede ofrecer estos Quince Misterios del Rosario todos juntos o por separado en tres grupos de Cinco Misterios. También es libre de ofrecer más misterios a diario a medida que el Espíritu Santo lo mueve por la intercesión materna de la Bendita Virgen María, Nuestra Señora del Rosario. Al hacerlo, promete rezar por todos los miembros de la Confraternidad cada vez que ofrezca un Rosario a Nuestra Señora. Este es su único requisito como miembro de la Confraternidad, pero la esperanza y la oración es que cumpla con este requisito debido a su fiel amor por la Santísima Madre que dirige a todos sus hijos a su Hijo, Jesucristo, a través del Rosario. En este acto de amor por ella en el Rosario, la honra fielmente como su Madre que se convirtió en la Madre de Dios para que ella se convirtiera en su Madre, la Madre del pueblo de Dios. Al mismo tiempo, esta comisión de rezar al menos 15 Misterios del Rosario por todos los miembros de la Confraternidad no nos une bajo la pena del pecado.
Según la tradición, después de que la Bendita María, Nuestra Señora del Rosario, comisionó a Santo Domingo para propagar su Salterio, su Santo Rosario, a principios del siglo XIII, ella le reveló 15 promesas y más tarde al beato Alan de la Roche en el siglo XV. En esta revelación ella les dijo que se cumpliría estas promesas para ellos, y para todos los demás católicos, que practicaron fielmente el Rosario.
1. Cualquiera que me sirva fielmente al recitar el Rosario recibirá gracias de señal.
2. Prometo mi protección especial y las mayores gracias a todas las personas que rezan el Rosario.
3. El Rosario será una poderosa armadura contra el infierno, destruirá el vicio, disminuirá el pecado y derrotará las herejías.
4. Hará florecer las buenas obras; obtendrá para las almas la abundante misericordia de Dios; retirará los corazones de los hombres del amor del mundo y sus vanidades, y los elevará al deseo de las cosas eternas. ¡Oh, que las almas se santifiquen por este medio!
5. El alma que me recomendó recitando el Rosario no perecerá.
6. Quien recite el Rosario devotamente, aplicándose a la consideración de sus Sagrados Misterios, nunca será vencido por la desgracia. Dios no lo castigará en su justicia, no perecerá por una muerte no provista; si él es justo, permanecerá en la gracia de Dios y será digno de la Vida Eterna.
7. Quien tenga una verdadera devoción por el Rosario no morirá sin los sacramentos de la Iglesia.
8. Aquellos que sean fieles para rezar el Rosario tendrán durante su vida y a su muerte la Luz de Dios y la plenitud de Sus Gracias; en el momento de la muerte, participarán en los méritos de los santos en el paraíso.
9. Liberaré del purgatorio a los que se han dedicado al Rosario.
10. Los fieles hijos del Rosario merecerán un alto grado de Gloria en el Cielo.
11. Obtendrá todo lo que me pida recitando el Rosario.
12. Todos los que propaguen el Santo Rosario serán ayudados por mí en sus necesidades.
13. He obtenido de mi Divino Hijo que todos los defensores del Rosario tendrán para los intercesores toda la Corte Celestial durante su vida y en la hora de la muerte.
14. Todos los que rezan el Rosario son mis hijos y hermanos y hermanas de mi Hijo Jesucristo.
15. La devoción a mi rosario es una gran señal de predestinación.
1. Como miembro, usted es el beneficiario de las oraciones de todos los miembros de la Confraternidad del Rosario, incluso después de la muerte.
2. También recibe los frutos de las oraciones, misas y ministerios apostólicos de la Orden de Predicadores.
3. Además, se le ofrecen diversas indulgencias plenarias y parciales. Por un lado, recibe una indulgencia plenaria en las condiciones habituales el día de su inscripción (como se indica en el registro y el certificado), en los días festivos de Navidad, Pascua, la Anunciación, la Asunción, Nuestra Señora del Rosario, la Inmaculada Concepción, y la Presentación de Nuestro Señor en el Templo. Por otro lado, también recibe una indulgencia plenaria bajo las condiciones habituales al rezar el Rosario en una Iglesia u oratorio, en una familia, comunidad religiosa o en una asociación piadosa de fieles. Si no, la indulgencia es solo parcial.
Con respecto a las indulgencias: Una indulgencia es la remisión del castigo temporal debido al pecado cuya culpa ya ha sido perdonada. Es una indulgencia parcial si lo libera parcialmente del castigo temporal debido a su pecado, y plenario si lo libera por completo. Las indulgencias parciales y plenarias se pueden aplicar a los muertos, pero solo mediante el sufragio. Además, solo puede obtener una indulgencia plenaria una vez al día, a menos que esté cerca de la muerte. Finalmente, estas son las condiciones que debe cumplir para recibir una indulgencia: sacramento de la confesión, la sagrada comunión, la oración por la intención del Papa y la libertad de todo pecado, incluso venial. Si no está separado de tal pecado, o si no ha cumplido ninguna de las otras condiciones, su indulgencia es parcial.
Si usted es católico en el sur de los Estados Unidos y está completamente preparado y listo para inscribirse en la Confraternidad del Rosario después de leer esta página sobre los requisitos, las promesas y los beneficios de la membresía de la Confraternidad, visite la página de registro aquí: http://www.jotform.us/form Solo puede inscribirse usted mismo, no los miembros de su familia o amigos, o el fallecido. Después de procesar su formulario de inscripción y de inscribir su nombre en el registro, se le enviará por correo una copia impresa del certificado de su membresía en la Confraternidad.
Greetings, dear friends! Welcome to the page of the Confraternity of the Rosary of the Order of Preachers in the Dominican Province of St. Martin de Porres. Our Province is geographically located in the Southern United States. This provincial area includes Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and North Carolina. If you live in any of these southern states, you are welcome to consider becoming a member of the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary through this page. The Confraternity is an ancient apostolate of the Order of Preachers that has led countless people to repentance and maturation in Christ for centuries through the maternal intercession of His Blessed Mother, Our Lady of the Rosary.
Membership in the Confraternity of the Rosary requires registration. You become a member by registering in the Confraternity online. You will then be officially enrolled in the register of the Rosary Confraternity. There are no meetings or membership dues.
As a member of the Confraternity, you are commissioned to offer at least Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary every week. You may offer these Fifteen Mysteries of the Rosary all together or separately in three groups of Five Mysteries. You are also free to offer more Mysteries daily as the Holy Spirit moves you through the maternal intercession of Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary. In doing so, you promise to pray for all the members of the Confraternity every time you offer a Rosary to Our Lady. This is your only requirement as a member of the Confraternity, but the hope and prayer is that you will fulfill this requirement because of your faithful love for the Blessed Mother who directs all her children to her Son, Jesus Christ, through the Rosary. In this act of love for her in the Rosary, you faithfully honor her as your Mother who became the Mother of God that she would become your Mother, the Mother of God’s people. At the same time, this commission to pray at least 15 Mysteries of the Rosary for all the members of the Confraternity does not bind under sin.
According to Tradition, after Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary, commissioned St. Dominic to propagate her Psalter, her Holy Rosary, in the early 13th Century, she revealed 15 Promises to him and later to Blessed Alan de la Roche in the 15th Century that would be fulfilled for them, and all other Catholics, who faithfully practiced the Rosary.
Whosoever shall faithfully serve me by the recitation of the Rosary shall receive signal graces.
I promise my special protection and the greatest graces to all people who recite the Rosary.
The Rosary shall be a powerful armor against hell, it will destroy vice, decrease sin and defeat heresies.
It will cause good works to flourish; it will obtain for souls the abundant mercy of God; it will withdraw the hearts of men from the love of the world and its vanities, and will lift them to the desire for Eternal things. Oh, that souls would sanctify themselves by this means!
The soul which recommends itself to me by the recitation of the Rosary shall not perish.
Whosoever shall recite the Rosary devoutly, applying himself to the consideration of its Sacred Mysteries, shall never be conquered by misfortune. God will not chastise him in His justice, he shall not perish by an unprovided death; if he be just he shall remain in the grace of God, and become worthy of Eternal Life.
Whoever shall have a true devotion for the Rosary shall not die without the Sacraments of the Church.
Those who are faithful to recite the Rosary shall have during their life and at their death the Light of God and the plenitude of His Graces; at the moment of death they shall participate in the Merits of the Saints in Paradise.
I shall deliver from purgatory those who have been devoted to the Rosary.
The faithful children of the Rosary shall merit a high degree of Glory in Heaven.
You shall obtain all you ask of me by recitation of the Rosary.
All those who propagate the Holy Rosary shall be aided by me in their necessities.
I have obtained from my Divine Son that all the advocates of the Rosary shall have for intercessors the entire Celestial Court during their life and at the hour of death.
All who recite the Rosary are my children, and brothers and sisters of my Son Jesus Christ.
Devotion to my Rosary is a great sign of predestination.
As a member, you are the beneficiary of the prayers of all the members of the Confraternity of the Rosary, even after death.
You also receive the fruits of the prayers, Masses and apostolic ministries of the Order of Preachers.
Moreover, various plenary and partial indulgences are made available to you. On the one hand, you receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions on the day of your enrollment (as indicated in the register and certificate), on the Feast Days of Christmas, Easter, the Annunciation, the Assumption, Our Lady of the Rosary, the Immaculate Conception, and Our Lord’s Presentation in the Temple. On the other hand, you also receive a plenary indulgence under the usual conditions by praying the Rosary in a Church or oratory, in a family, religious community, or in a pious association of the faithful. If not, the indulgence is only partial.
Concerning Indulgences: An indulgence is the remission of the temporal punishment due for sin whose guilt has already been forgiven. It is a partial indulgence if it frees you partially from the temporal punishment due for your sin, and plenary if it frees you completely. Both partial and plenary indulgences can be applied to the dead, but only by means of suffrage. Furthermore, you can only gain a plenary indulgence once a day, unless your are near death. Finally, these are the conditions that you are required to fulfill for receiving an indulgence: Sacrament of Confession, Holy Communion, prayer for the intention of the Pope, and freedom from all sin, even venial. If you are not detached from such sin, or if you have not fulfilled any of the other conditions, your indulgence is partial.
If you are a Catholic living in any of the Southern United States, such as Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia or Florida, I hope you consider enrolling in the Confraternity of the Holy Rosary after reading this article about the requirements, promises and benefits of the Confraternity membership. You can enroll here: http://www.jotform.us/form. Further, please only enroll yourself, not your family members or friends, or the deceased. After your enrollment form is processed and your name is enrolled in the register, you will be mailed a hard copy of the certificate of your Confraternity membership.
In Christ with Our Lady of the Rosary
Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P., Promoter of the Rosary
The article for today is about the origins of the orans posture used in ancient Israel and in the Church. “Orans” is a Latin word for praying. You may be asking yourself what this orans posture is, because you may not know it by this name, but you certainly would know it by seeing it. It is a posture for praying that involves a person extending his hands by raising them to God in prayer. More specifically, the person raises his hands in prayer to God while bending his elbows at his sides with the palms of his hands facing each other or facing outward. From ancient times, the person of faith, hope and love has used this posture in offering prayer to the Living and True God. The question is this: Who may use this posture? Is this posture for the laity or only for the priest? Let me begin by saying that my answer to this question is both “yes” and “no” based on the authority of the received tradition. This means that both the priest and the laity have faithfully used this traditional orans posture, through the centuries, to pray to God, either in personal prayer or in communal prayer. Indeed, they have both raised their hands to God in prayer in the Tradition. On the one hand, the lay people of God have traditionally used the orans posture in offering personal prayer to God, especially during difficult times. On the other hand, the priest, for his part, has traditionally offered communal prayer to God using the orans posture. In fact, in the tradition, he has also used the orans for personal prayer, but he did not receive his consecration as a priest primarily to offer personal prayer to God. On the contrary, he, first and foremost, received his priestly consecration to offer communal prayer to God using this posture. Accordingly, the orans was certainly used by both the laity and the priest from ancient times. Indeed, there is a basis for them using this posture for praying in Scripture and Tradition.
DOMESTIC ORANS POSTURE
First of all, as for the laity in ancient Israel, they used the “domestic orans posture” in their homes for praying to God. This would be the personal prayer they offered to God, whether praying alone or with their family, at home. In doing so, they extended their hands in prayer to God by raising them as they recited the Old Testament aloud from memory to recall God’s divine actions for them throughout their history. This involved blessing, praising and thanking God for His faithfulness in offering them justice and mercy, especially in saving them from sin, from death and from their enemies. Moreover, they also used this posture to offer their pleas and supplications to God. In fact, there are various phrases in the Old Testament that refer to the orans posture that the laity used in praying to God. They include the lifting or raising up of their hands in prayer to God, or the extending or stretching forth of their hands in prayer to Him. For this reason, in Israel, parents certainly taught their children, by their words and actions, to use this orans posture in offering prayer to God at home. After all, God Himself had instructed them to teach their children to be faithful to Him by raising their hands to Him in prayer. In this sense, their formation of their children as a faithful people of prayer began in their home. Indeed, at home, they learned from their parents that faithfully raising their hands to God in prayer meant, above all, raising their hearts to Him by an interior act of faith, hope and love in praying to Him. As such, the orans was, first and foremost, an interior posture of their hearts. The people of God, including their children, could only raise their hands in prayer to God because they had first raised their hearts to Him in prayer. They certainly used this orans posture for praying to God in their homes during normal circumstances, but their leaders also instructed them to raise their hands to God in prayer from their homes during famine, plague and war. As a result, a normal posture for praying in their homes became a manner of praying from their homes during trials and tribulations. For instance, in the First Book of Kings, King Solomon instructs the people of Israel, particularly the laity, or non-priests, who sin against God during famine, plague or war, to raise their hands in prayer to God in the direction of the Temple to receive God’s forgiveness (1 Kgs 8:37-39). This certainly would include praying from their homes, but would also include praying wherever they may be during these trials and tribulations. Furthermore, after the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem, including the Temple, the Prophet Jeremiah instructs the poor people remaining in Jerusalem to cry out to God by pouring out their hearts to Him as they raise their hands in prayer to Him for the lives of their children. In their poverty, their children are suffering from hunger and thirst there (Lm 2: 19). Additionally, Jeremiah also instructs them to raise their hearts and hands to God in prayer as they repent for their sins (Lm 3:41-42). For he says that they have suffered this destruction in Jerusalem, including their poverty and hunger, as a punishment from God for their sinfulness. On this basis, the laity in ancient Israel certainly used the orans posture for personal prayer in their homes, or wherever they happened to be, by raising their hands to God in prayer, especially during trials and tribulations.
LITURGICAL ORANS POSTURE
In the second place, the priests of ancient Israel, particularly Aaron and his descendants, used a “liturgical orans posture” in offering prayers and sacrifices to God on the altar of God. This would be communal prayer in liturgy. Here the priests would lead the people in praying liturgically. In doing so, they raised their hearts to God, just as the laity raised their hearts to God in the domestic orans posture. For in the liturgy the raising of their hands to God was also a raising of their hearts to God, as they acted on behalf of the people as mediators in praying to God liturgically. On the one hand, they first used this orans posture by raising their hands to God in offering liturgical prayers and sacrifices to God on the altar of the Tabernacle in the desert before they ever built the Temple in Jerusalem. For this reason, in Leviticus, after Aaron finishes offering sacrifice for sin, the burnt offering and the peace offering on the altar of the Tabernacle, he raises his hands in prayer calling for God’s blessing upon the people (Lv 9:22). On the other hand, after they built the Temple in Jerusalem, the priests used this orans posture as they offered prayers and sacrifices on the altar of God in the Temple liturgy. Thus, in Second Maccabees, after the priests finish offering sacrifice to purify the Temple, they raise their hands to God praying that God may preserve and guard the Temple, including the people, from the threats of defilement and destruction by the pagan general, Nicanor (2 Maccabees 15:34-36). Accordingly, in offering such prayer and sacrifice to God on behalf of the people, first on the altar of the Tabernacle and later on the altar of the Temple, the priests would receive the offerings from the people to sacrifice them to God liturgically on their behalf. In this sense, the priests alone raised their hands to God in communal prayer as they led the people during liturgy. For as consecrated priests, they alone could act on behalf of the people as mediators to God in offering liturgical prayers and sacrifices to God for them through the orans.
ISRAEL’S USE OF THE ORANS POSTURE INFORMS THE CHURCH’S USE OF THE ORANS
As you can see, this orans posture that both the laity and the priests used in ancient Israel, domestically and liturgically, is the original antecedent and model for the Church, the New Israel, using the orans posture in the same manner. This, of course, does not mean that other people in Palestine, such as the Arabs, or the Gentiles in Greco-Roman society did not use the orans posture in praying. They certainly did, but the first members of the Church, all Israelites, did not first learn the orans from either of these people. On the contrary, these first Israelite members of the Church, including the Head Himself, Jesus Christ, Blessed Mary, St. Joseph and the Apostles, first learned the orans posture from their Israelite people, especially from their parents. As such, the orans posture was originally introduced to them at home, during childhood and adolescence, through their parents, before they ever became members of the Church. In this sense, Jesus, Mary, St. Joseph and the Apostles first learned to use the domestic orans posture from their Israelite parents in offering prayer to God as they recited or recalled the Old Testament Scriptures at home, especially during trials and tribulations. For this reason, in the providence of God, they first received this domestic posture for praying to God from the Tradition of Israel. As a result, this received Tradition certainly formed and prepared the laity in the Church to pray to God in the same manner at home, beginning in the first century. Accordingly, the laity in the early Church, including men, woman, children and adolescents, learned that they could use this domestic orans posture in their homes by raising their hands to God in prayer. At the same time, they also learned by Tradition that the orans posture in liturgy could only be used by the priests of the Church, including the High Priest Himself, Jesus Christ, and His Apostles, as they acted as mediators on behalf of the lay people in offering prayer and sacrifice to God liturgically. This was, first and foremost, the raising of their hands in prayer to God in the Liturgy of the Eucharist, the Sacrifice of the Body and Blood of Christ, in Holy Mass instituted by Christ during the Last Supper. On this basis, in the received Tradition of the Church, priests alone could raise their hands in offering prayer to God in Liturgy.
Thus, through the centuries, the Church has traditionally reserved this liturgical orans posture for the priest alone in the rubrics of the Roman Missal for offering Holy Mass. The word, rubrics, means the rules or laws in the Missal that refer to the instructions in red that regulate the recitation of the prayer formulae in black. In this sense, they guide or instruct the priest to recite the prayers in the Rite of Holy Mass, using the assigned postures that he alone may use, as intended by the Church. For this reason, the priest does the red and says the black in offering Mass according to the rubrics. These rubrics proceed from the highest authority in the Church, from the sovereign pontiff himself, for maintaining good or proper order in the Liturgy of Holy Mass. As indicated by the rubrics, this means that the priest alone may use the orans posture in reciting the prayers in the Eucharist as he intercedes to God on behalf of the people. As such, he alone may extend his hands in Holy Mass by raising them to God in prayer. In fact, he is instructed, by the rubrics, to use this posture about fourteen times from the Introductory Rites of the Mass to the Concluding Rites. This would include the prayer he says after the Universal Prayer. Accordingly, the rubrics assign the orans posture to the priest alone because he alone acts in the person of Christ, the Head, in offering Holy Mass as mediator to God on behalf of the Body of Christ, the Church.
Conversely, there is not a single rubric in the Roman Missal that instructs the deacon or the laity to use the orans posture in the Liturgy of Holy Mass. On the contrary, none of the rubrics there instruct the laity or deacon to extend their hands in prayer to God by raising them during Mass. Nevertheless, people claim that because the rubrics are silent on this question, this would suggest an implicit permission or tolerance, by the Church, for the laity and deacon to use the orans posture. However, arguing for the use of the orans by lay people and the deacon on the basis of such rubrical silence is contrary to the Liturgical Tradition of the Church, and harmful to the uniformity of the Liturgy of Holy Mass. Indeed, using this argument from silence has already introduced other harmful practices into Holy Mass that the rubrics are silent about, such as holding hands during the Our Father.
Furthermore, in addressing the assigned postures of the priest, the deacon and the laity in Holy Mass, the Church’s General Instruction of the Roman Missal says that they are all required to be faithful to the received liturgical Tradition as determined by the General Instruction and by the Traditional practice of the Roman Rite. In doing so, they act, not according to their private inclination or subjective choice, but in the service of the common spiritual good of the people of God (GIRM 42). For this reason, the Church calls the priest, deacon and the laity to follow the instructions in the rubrics of the Missal that they may be uniform in the postures assigned to them during Holy Mass (GIRM 43).
Consequently, in Sacrosanctum Concilium, the Council Fathers of Vatican II teach that no person, not even a priest, nor a lay person, may add, remove, or change the objective norms of the Liturgy on his authority. This prohibition would certainly apply to the lay person who uses a posture in Mass not assigned to him in the rubrics of the Rite, particularly the orans posture. In doing so, he would be acting contrary to the received Liturgical Tradition (SS 22.3). On this basis, here the Council Fathers remind the priest, deacon and laity that they are called to do nothing else, but only those actions or postures in Holy Mass assigned to them by the nature of the Roman Rite and the principles of Liturgy (SS 28).
Moreover, in the Church’s Instruction on Certain Questions Regarding the Collaboration of the Non-Ordained Faithful in the Ministry of the Priest, the Church reminds the people of God that Canon 907 says that neither deacons nor lay persons may use actions or postures in Holy Mass that are proper to the priest celebrant alone, such as the orans posture. As a consequence, in this Instruction, She warns that any deacon or lay person intending to quasi-preside at Mass would be guilty of a grave Liturgical abuse (Instruction, Article 6).
Finally, in Redemptionis Sacramentum, the Church’s Sacred Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, instructs the laity to avoid clericalizing their actions in Holy Mass by imitating the clerical actions that are reserved to the priest alone, particularly the orans posture (RS Chapter 2, Paragraph 45). This means that the laity may only do those actions in Mass that are assigned to them. As a result, here again, the Church forbids the use of the orans posture by the deacon and laity in Holy Mass.
BEGGING ORANS POSTURE, THE POSTURE OF THE POOR
At the same time, I will argue that the hand posture that many lay persons use in Holy Mass is, in fact, not the Traditional orans posture used by the priest, neither materially nor formally. As you recall, the orans posture by the priest involves extending his hands by raising them up to God in prayer. More specifically, he raises his hands in prayer to God while bending his elbows at his sides with the palms of his hands facing each other or facing outward. This is the posture he uses materially. In doing so, he formally intends to act in the person of Christ, the Head, liturgically as mediator to God on behalf of the people of God. In this sense, as mediator, he raises his hands in prayer to God that he may receive gifts from God to dispense them to the people. This means, above all, raising his heart to God in faith, hope and love to mediate the gifts of God to them. As such, the terminus or end of him using the orans posture in Liturgy, as mediator, is to act as dispenser of such gifts. Conversely, the hand posture that many lay people use in Holy Mass does not meet this criteria that defines the orans posture materially and formally. They neither use the orans posture materially, as in the same material act that the priest uses in extending their hands, nor do they formally intend the same end of the act as the priest in extending their hands. On the contrary, materially, their hand posture involves extending their hands, not by raising them up, but by lowering them down while bending their elbows at their side with the palms of their hands facing upward as they pray. This is, formally, the hand posture of poor people, beggars, intending or hoping to receive gifts from God Himself through the priest. For this reason, here they are certainly not using the liturgical orans posture as mediators who dispense gifts. They are merely lowering their hands with the palms of their hands facing upward trusting that God in His providence will provide for all their needs. On this basis, this form of the orans that many lay people use in liturgy, the lowing of their hands with their hands facing upward, is not the liturgical orans posture used by the priest, neither materially nor formally, but a begging orans posture. This may be an ancient posture used by the people of God in liturgy. In fact, having their hands in this posture describes accurately the Church’s understanding of the laity’s action in the liturgy as “receivers” of God’s gifts through the ministry of the mediator, the priest. For this reason, I believe there would be a theological and liturgical basis for the Pope approving of this posture for the laity in liturgy. I repeat, this posture in question is not, by any means, the same posture that the priest uses in offering Holy Mass. Still, until the people of God receive official approval from the Pope to use this form of the orans posture, the begging posture, in Holy Mass, they should not use it. They would certainly be guilty of a liturgical abuse, at least materially, if not formally also, if they did use it Holy Mass.
In conclusion, the use of the domestic and liturgical orans postures by the lay people and the priest in ancient Israel for personal and communal forms of prayer is the tradition that informs the traditional practice of the Church. On the one hand, this means that the priest alone may use the liturgical orans posture as he acts in the person of Christ, the Head, in praying to God on behalf of the people in liturgy. On the other hand, the people of God can certainly use the domestic orans posture for praying at home, but not during the liturgy. For the Church’s liturgical documents, as already mentioned, teach that nothing may be added to the liturgy. I believe the only form of the orans that the laity could someday use in liturgy, if the Pope ever approved it, would be the begging orans posture, inasmuch as it accurately describes their action in the liturgy, or at least this particular action, as receivers of the gifts of God through the priest. Finally, as Scripture reveals, the people of Israel especially used the domestic orans posture during trials and tribulations. In doing so, they raised their hearts to God in prayer, hoping for His justice and mercy in their sufferings. On this basis, I pray that you, as sons and daughters of God, will do the same in the trials and tribulations that you have suffered during this pandemic. Indeed, raise your hands in prayer to God that He may bless you. May He help you bear your crucibles virtuously.
This article is about the controversial video clip of Pope Francis. The clip itself was part of a documentary of Pope Francis in 2019 in Mexico. The documentary is called “Francesco”. I am hoping and praying I can help you understand what Pope Francis said in the clip, but this requires context. Indeed, his message cannot be properly understood without the proper context in which he offers his message. This context is revealed in the full video of the documentary. For this reason, in my desire to understand what Pope Francis said in the video clip, I had hoped to see the full video on Thursday, after receiving it from a friend, but shortly thereafter it was removed. It will apparently be made available to the public, but I do not know when. I have already seen the video clip in which the Pope recommends the establishment of a “ley de convivencia civil” for certain persons. This clip was either removed from the original footage of the video or was a clip from another video for the documentary. Various authors have suggested that Pope Francis may not have approved for this video clip to be included in the final product. Whatever the case may be, this much is true: in the video clip he uses the term, “ley de convivencia civil”, as he is discussing, not heterosexual persons, but homosexual persons. This clip began to circulate online this past Wednesday. Fortunately, I was able to read the transcript of the documentary on Thursday evening. This was more than just the video clip, but here the Pope’s call for a “ley de convivencia civil” for homosexual persons was, once again, removed from the original transcript of the documentary. Nevertheless, after reading the transcript, I can say that I have a fuller and proper understanding of the meaning of the Pope’s message in the video clip, including his reason for saying what he said. I believe he offers a good message for people if they open their hearts to hear him. At the same time, his message in the video clip can only be correctly understood in its proper context. Herein lies the problem. Many people are not hearing or understanding his message in its proper context. In fact, it appears that they have no interest in hearing his message in its proper context. As a consequence, they are forming incorrect or false judgments about his message.
Moreover, there are people in society and in the Church who claim that homosexual persons should have a right to be in a homosexual marriage or civil union where they could licitly or morally practice their homosexuality. These people are using the video clip of Pope Francis to argue that he is advocating for the practice of homosexuality. Consequently, they claim that the Pope’s message is a basis for them living a homosexual life. This is completely false. These people are completely misunderstanding the Pope’s message outside its proper context. If they really had an interest in the truth, they would hear his message in its proper context to acquire a true understanding of what he said. I have this message for these people: There is nothing, nada, nil in Scripture, Tradition or Magisterium, and certainly nothing in the video clip of Pope Francis, that could serve as a basis for their claim. I invite them to humbly open their hearts to the message in this article. Here I will offer them the proper context from the transcript of the documentary to help them correctly understand what Pope Francis really meant in the video clip. He was certainly not approving or advocating, in the least, for a sinful homosexual marriage, a sinful homosexual civil union or the right for homosexual people to practice sinful homosexual acts. He could never advocate for such moral evils. That would be irrational and immoral on his part, not to mention scandalous.
In my original statements I never accused Pope Francis of advocating for any of these sinful homosexual forms of life. I never believed that he would advocate for them. Nevertheless, as a Roman Catholic, as a Dominican friar and as a priest, I was certainly concerned about what he meant by the law of “convivencia civil”. I was even more concerned that people could possibly misunderstand him, become discouraged and fall from the belief and practice of Catholic faith and morals. Did I have a right to be concerned? Certainly! After all, I am in the business of shepherding people to Christ. Having said that, I hereby retract my former statement that Pope Francis was responsible for causing the scandal in the Church. I repent for that statement. May God have mercy upon me. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. At the same time, I believe that there are people in secular society, in the Church and in the media searching for occasions to create scandal. I offer you this article as a means to help shepherd you, the people of God, beyond the misunderstanding, beyond the discouragement and beyond the failure to trust in the Successor of St. Peter, the Sovereign Pontiff and Vicar of Christ, Pope Francis.
II. TRANSCRIPT OF VIDEO CLIP IN SPANISH
“Las personas homosexuales tienen el derecho estar en una familia. Son hijos de Dios. Tienen derecho a una familia. No se puede echar de la familia a nadie, ni hacerle la vida imposible por eso. Lo que tenemos que hacer es una ley de convivencia civil. Tienen derecho a estar cubiertos legalmente.” – Pope Francis
III. ENGLISH TRANSLATION
“Homosexual persons have a right to be in a family. They are sons and daughters of God. They have a right to a family. Nobody can throw anyone out of the family nor make his life impossible because of that. What we have to do is make a law of convivencia civil. They have a right to be covered legally.”
IV. SUMMARY OF THE CONTEXT
Here I offer you a summary of the transcript of the documentary. This will help you understand the proper context of the video clip of Pope Francis. The documentary itself covers various subjects in a question-answer format. In this summary, I will limit myself to the relevant parts of the documentary that hopefully will help everyone understand the circumstances in which Pope Francis said what he said in the video clip. In the documentary, the woman reporter asks Pope Francis questions about homosexual persons and the subject of homosexual marriage. He begins by saying that homosexual people, people who have a homosexual orientation, have a right to be members of a family. Indeed, they have a right to be in a family and their parents have a right to see them for who they really are as human beings. They are children of God. The implication here is that Pope Francis knows that there are parents and families in society who do not see their homosexual sons and daughters as children of God. On the contrary, they see them merely as garbage. As a result, they oftentimes discard them from their life, just because they are homosexual. They may or may not be living a homosexual life. The problem may be their homosexual orientation. This alone may be the reason their parents and families discard them. Nevertheless, they should never discard them. That would not only be sinful and harmful to their children and relatives, but also scandalous. Consequently, Pope Francis suggests that homosexual persons are especially subject to unjust discrimination and suffering in society, including in their families. For this reason, he recommends the establishment of a “ley de convivencia civil” that would legally cover homosexual persons by protecting them under civil law from such injustices in their family and society. This would give them legal status to live together civilly, not as married couples, not as lovers, not as boyfriends or girlfriends, but as brothers or sisters living together in chaste friendship under the protection of civil law. In this sense, such a “ley de convivencia civil” would be a civil union that would help them safeguard and support each other financially and medically as brothers or sisters. At the same time, the Pope also says that their right to form such a family, by civil union, a union of friendship or brotherhood, does not mean that they would have a right to practice homosexual acts. On the contrary, he proclaims that this right is not an approval for such acts. The many people in society, including in the Church, who are advocating for a sinful homosexual marriage, a sinful homosexual civil union or sinful homosexual acts, fail to understand or accept this message from the Pope in the documentary: he is against all sinful forms of practicing homosexuality. Finally, he says that he has defended the Church’s traditional teaching on Marriage in which a man and a woman alone have a right to marry one another, whether civilly or sacramentally. As such, Pope Francis is certainly against marriage for homosexual persons, including a civil union for homosexuals that would involve homosexual acts. On this basis, the relevant parts of the documentary that relate to homosexual persons reveal that the message of Pope Francis in the video clip is, first and foremost, concerned not about offering them an option for a sinful homosexual marriage or civil union in which they could practice their homosexuality, but is concerned, above all, about protecting them civilly from unjust discrimination from their family members and from society who have oftentimes discarded them as garbage. In my understanding, these are the difficult circumstances that moved Pope Francis to recommend a convivencia civil for homosexual persons in the video clip.
V. UNDERSTANDING THE “LEY DE CONVIVENCIA CIVIL”
Indeed, in this context, he calls for a ley de convivencia civil as a legal protection for homosexual persons. The problem here is that people are claiming that the Pope’s use of this term was incorrectly translated as civil union. I speak Spanish fluently, have researched the term and have spoken to Latin American friends about this term. As a result, the consensus is that translating convivencia civil as civil union is a correct translation. It is not a literal translation, but it is a translation which is faithful to the meaning of the word. This term, convivencia civil, means “legal cohabitation” or “legally living together” which would certainly include civil union, but none of this suggests homosexual relations. Accordingly, convivencia civil refers to a legal or civil union. For this reason, I believe that civil union, as the Pope uses it, is not an incorrect translation. It is a legal concept and status that would offer homosexual persons, including heterosexuals, legal protection against the dangers and injustices already mentioned. That is what the Pope is concerned about. He wants to protect them as sons and daughters of God from being discarded as garbage by others. On this basis, this convivencia civil, or civil union, for homosexual persons neither involves marriage nor homosexual relations, but merely a legal status for protection against unjust discrimination.
In these last days, after I learned about the documentary, Francesco, I read articles in which some archbishops from the United States and Latin America offer their guidance in helping the people of God, including myself, to understand the meaning of the Pope’s use of convivencia civil. What they said, confirmed that he, in fact, does understand this term to mean civil union. Here I will briefly offer you their thoughts on the subject.
In an article published by the Archbishop of San Francisco, Salvatore J. Cordileone, he says that last January during his ad limina visit in Rome with Pope Francis and the Bishops of his region, they discussed the subject of the “ley de convivencia civil”. In the discussion, they referred to this ley de convivencia civil as a civil union. In doing so, they distinguished it from marriage. In fact, Archbishop Victor Manuel Fernandez from Argentina, a theological advisor to Pope Francis for many years, agrees that the Pope understands the phrase, convivencia civil, to substantially mean civil union. According to him, this is not a mistranslation. The Pope, as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, used the term in this manner. Similarly, Archbishop Gregory Aymond of New Orleans concurs that Pope Francis, both during his papacy and as Archbishop of Buenos Aires, has used the term, civil union, many times in referring to this legal relationship granted to people by the government. According to Aymond, Pope Francis understands the idea of a civil union as a civil rights question. In this sense, he understands that these people should receive certain benefits and protections legally in a civil union on the basis of these rights. Accordingly, the persons living together legally, as brothers or sisters, in such a union of chaste friendship would receive mutual financial and medical benefits under civil law, but under no circumstances would they be considered a married couple or lovers or have the right to practice intercourse. Furthermore, Archbishop Cordileone says that this form of civil union should be made available to both heterosexual and homosexual persons, including a biological brother and sister, and other family members, such as an aunt and a niece, if the circumstances call for this. They would all have access to receive mutual benefits under civil law. As such, for Cordileone, this civil union would not just be for homosexual persons, but for all human beings, including family members and friends, who are not married. On this basis, Cordileone suggests that there would be no reason to call or define this ley de convivencia civil a civil union only for homosexuals, but a union for all people, including heterosexuals.
From what I have said in this article thus far, I hope and pray you understand that Pope Francis was certainly not advocating for a sinful homosexual civil union where sinful homosexual acts could be practiced by homosexual persons. That is not what he was saying. He never said that. That would be contrary to Catholic faith and morals.
In conclusion, I offer you these thoughts as reminders to help you form and maintain a true judgment about the message from Pope Francis in the documentary. First of all, in the documentary, Francesco, Pope Francis is not changing nor can he change the received Catholic Teaching on the nature and meaning of the sacrament of holy matrimony. Nor can he change the nature and meaning of civil marriage. This is unchangeable. For in the beginning, after God Himself established Marriage as a natural sacrament, a sacrament of nature, involving the complementarity of man and a woman, He later raised this marriage to a sacrament of grace for them. In doing so, He revealed the three goods of marriage: the indissolubility of the marriage bond, the faithful or chaste love and the openness to the generation of human life. In Catholic Teaching, these goods can only be pursued and fulfilled virtuously through the complementarity of a man and a woman in marriage.
Secondly, the Pope’s recommendation of a particular form of civil union, a chaste union of friendship or brotherhood, involving homosexual persons, and others, is neither an endorsement of a civil marriage nor an endorsement of a sacramental marriage for them. For Francis, such a union is not the same as a marriage whatsoever, neither legally nor sacramentally. He is saying that homosexuals, including heterosexuals, and relatives, are members of the human family who have a right to form this civil union to safeguard and support each other legally, financially and medically under civil law. In calling for these homosexual persons to be covered as such, through a civil union, the Pope is defending them civilly against unjust discrimination or harm. In this sense, this is a legal defense for their health and safety as members of the human family and citizens of the state. For Francis, this is a question of legal justice. On this basis, he is saying that such a civil union is good insofar as it legally protects these people as human persons. This is the natural desire or inclination of human beings to self-preservation. All people, according to St. Thomas, are naturally inclined to preserve themselves, their lives, from all danger or harm. On this basis, the desire or inclination for a civil union as a legal protection for their health and safety against danger and injustice proceeds from the natural law.
Furthermore, Pope Francis is not arguing theologically for this form of civil union from the chair of St. Peter on the basis of the revealed Catholic deposit of faith and morals, as mediated in Scripture and Tradition and as safeguarded by the Magisterium. As such, he is certainly not formally defining or offering any doctrine here for Catholics to believe theologically or morally. In fact, I would argue that he is mainly addressing the civil authorities, not the Church. In doing so, I believe he is acting more as a citizen of the state, a citizen of good will, than as the Sovereign Pontiff of the Roman Church. The manner in which he offers his thoughts on this subject in a secular documentary indicate that he is not acting officially and formally as the Roman Pontiff. He is not formally pronouncing a doctrine or dogma on faith or morals for Catholics to believe and profess. He is merely calling for the legal protections of peoples through a procedure in civil law. There will be people who will claim that he is departing from the Tradition, or at least moving the Tradition in a manner unhelpful to these people and the Church. My response to this is that he is doing nothing more, nothing less, than helping to protect them personally and socially, including economically and medically, by advocating for a form of the convivencia civil for them that conforms to the truth of Catholic faith and morals. This would certainly be a means to lead them to salvation in Christ. Once again, in the Pope’s understanding, this form of civil union, or chaste friendship under civil law, neither involves marriage nor sexual relations.
Finally, in this documentary, the Pope is not redefining the morality or moral nature of homosexual acts as morally good. He cannot. This would be contrary to Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium, including right reason and nature. On this basis, homosexual acts remain intrinsically evil. Indeed, they remain evil by nature. This means that there is no teaching, no Sacrament, no authority in heaven or on earth that could ever morally rehabilitate, redeem or change the morality of these acts from being intrinsically evil to intrinsically good. This would be a contradiction in terms. Consequently, they are neither perfective of human beings spiritually and morally nor are they ordainable to God as to their Last End. For this reason, please do not presume that the Pope’s support of a particular form of civil union means that he is redefining Catholic teaching here. I repeat, he cannot. That is not his intention. Is there a danger of scandal that people may claim that Pope Francis is redefining doctrine? Yes! The scandal is already happening, not because of him, but because people are not understanding him properly in the proper context. As I have already said, I, myself, developed and humbly corrected my understanding of his message in the video clip, after reading the transcript. Thanks be to God. I hope and pray you open your heart to understand the true meaning of this message.
VII. MESSAGE TO PARENTS OF HOMOSEXUAL PERSONS
If you have a son who has a homosexual orientation, you are certainly called by God to love him virtuously as God wills. As all human beings, this person, your child, is the beneficiary of God’s love. For God created him in His image for Himself that he would know Him, love Him and serve Him. As such, God loves your child perfectly. Indeed, He loves him as His child. After all, God is, by nature, the full or perfect actuality of infinite Love. As a result, His love for your homosexual son can neither increase nor decrease nor cease. He remains Himself forever as perfect Love. Accordingly, God is not a changeable creature in potency to full perfection nor is He subject to corruption. In this sense, He does not mature in His love for your child nor can He fail to love your child. On the contrary, He is the uncreated unchangeable God who is Love. On this basis, do not yield to the fallacy or temptation that God either does not love your son at all or loves him only imperfectly, because of his homosexual orientation. God certainly loves him. Moreover, he does not have to earn God’s love either. God loves him freely. He loves him as His beloved child. On this basis, the homosexual orientation of your son can neither change nor nullify this truth about God’s love for him.
At the same time, in Catholic Teaching, the homosexual orientation is not natural in the human being. On the contrary, it is an interior disordered movement or inclination of the concupiscible appetite that conditions and inclines a person intellectually and emotionolly to an immoral object through his rational appetite. This inner movement precedes the act of the rational appetite, the will. Consequently, the Church does not call this orientation a moral evil or sin per se, but a disordered orientation, inasmuch as it inclines a person to an evil moral object, an object contrary to right reason, nature and revelation. According to Scripture, Tradition and Magisterium, under no circumstances may a human being act on such an orientation through his will. For he would be sinning against God, possibly mortally, under certain conditions. In this sense, a person was not created by God to be a homosexual. He did not receive this interior homosexual orientation from God in creation. On the contrary, as the Church teaches, he incurred this orientation as a consequence of the original sin of his first parents, Adam and Eve.
Moreover, for the Church, the nature of man, the nature of your son, his full sacred dignity as a human person, cannot be reduced merely or primarily to his homosexual orientation. He himself is not an orientation. He is much more than an orientation. He is a person created in God’s divine image as a rational, free person called to holiness through good moral choices. In doing so, he opens himself for the grace of God to perfect his human nature. In this sense, he is not perfected as a moral agent through his orientation, but through the grace that informs his moral agency as a full person. This life of grace would involve practicing the theological and moral virtues and gifts of the Holy Spirit, including chastity, as a faithful son of God. This alone will lead him to full healing in God interiorly and morally.
Additionally, this will involve the homosexual person, your child, learning to love God as his First or Greatest Love. For this reason, he is called to mature in his love for God until he reaches full perfection in heaven. In this sense, he will neither reach heaven merely because God loves him perfectly nor will he reach heaven as an unrepentant sinner guilty of mortal sin. On the contrary, he will only reach heaven by remaining in the love of God. As Jesus says in the Gospel, “Remain in my love. If you remain in my love, you will bear much fruit.” Only in the love of God will your homosexual child prepare himself to die fruitfully. This preparation would also involve opening his heart to receive the mercy of God through repentance if he falls by acting on his orientation. As such, God’s mercy will be available to him throughout his life, but this is not a license for him to act immorally. Loving God First will move him to prepare himself for heavenly beatitude through repentance and a holy life of virtue. This is true freedom, a freedom for happiness.
Finally, in preparing himself for heaven, God calls your son to love his neighbor virtuously as himself in this life. Is he willing to do this? Is he willing to learn to love sacrificially as Jesus Himself through holy chastity. I pray he is prepared to do this, but he will need the help of God to be chaste in his love of neighbor, just as everyone does.
Dear friends, please join me in offering a Rosary for the novices of the class of 2020-2021. Pray also for the Novice Master, fr. Ian Bordenave, O.P., as he teaches, shepherds and forms them in Dominican life. God bless them all. May God inspire more young men to this holy vocation.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, in September I will begin offering to God the Traditional Dominican Penance, called the “Long Lent” or “Great Monastic Fast” for the repentance of priests and bishops guilty of child abuse, for the reparation of their sins against God and His children, including their immoral handling of such cases, and for the healing of all people who have suffered from this abuse, including their family and friends, and all people. God desires faithful bishops and priests in His Church. He desires all shepherds to be faithful in preaching, teaching and living the Truth and Love of Christ for the salvation of all people. I hope and pray that others will join me in offering this penance that God’s Church may be fully purified, healed and sanctified through God’s grace. Would you please consider joining me? This penance will be offered daily (except Sundays and Solemnities) from the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross (Friday, September 14th) until the Easter Vigil (Saturday, April 20th), including all Fridays throughout the year. May all Catholics, all people, open their hearts to enter the Passion of Christ sacrificially through penance for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church.
For myself, this penance during the “Long Lent” will first involve fasting by eating only 1 full meal per day, normally dinner, and 1 small meal either in the morning or the afternoon, and bread and water for the other meal. This also includes abstinence from all meat on Fridays during the “Long Lent” and throughout the year. This is a choice I have made for myself.
As for yourself, before you decide to do this penance, remember that your age, health or dietary needs may prevent you from participating. For this reason, please be prudent in determining this for yourself. This penance is not for everyone.
On the other hand, if you decide that you can participate, please use these canonical norms for Lent in the Latin Church (including any norms that your ordinary may establish in your diocese) as guidance for fasting during the “Great Monastic Fast” or “Long Lent.” First of all, on Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, and Good Friday, the Roman Church requires Catholics to fast and abstain from meat. Moreover, all Fridays during Lent are days of fasting and abstinence from meat. All members of the Latin Catholic Church, ages 18 to 59, are required to fast. This means only eating 1 full meal per day, and 2 smaller meals that together do not equal a full meal. The norms concerning abstinence from meat are required of all members of the Latin Church from age 14. Finally, all Fridays throughout the year are days of penance for Catholics (see Canons 1249-1253).
Futhermore, prayer cannot be separated from fasting, as Jesus teaches in the Gospel. On the contrary, fasting prepares a person to offer a greater act of faith, hope and love to God in prayer. As such, I have decided to offer a fourth Rosary daily for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church. I will also be offering a Mass every Friday for this intention.
I hope and pray that many people will consider joining me in offering this penance by practicing the “Long Lent” through fasting and prayer. This will be an annual penance for repentance, reparation and healing in the Church. I have never abused a child in my life or in my vocation as a priest nor will I ever, but inasmuch as I am a sinner, I certainly have abused Christ and His Church spiritually and morally at times through my thoughts, words, actions and omissions. Consequently, I accuse myself in God’s presence, in the presence of Blessed Mary, St. Dominic and all God’s people of having sinned or failed at times in my life and vocation as a shepherd of the Church. On this basis, in offering to God this Long Lent of fasting and prayer, I also include myself as someone in need of repentance, reparation and healing. May God help me and all priests become holy shepherds of God’s people. If you are interested in joining me in this ministry, please email or message me.
In Christ with Blessed Mary, Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P., Promoter of the Rosary
In the name of the Father, † and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. ℣. Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.
℟. Blessed art thou amongst women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Tracing a cross over the lips with the right thumb:
℣.O Lord, † open my lips.
℟. Any my mouth shall declare Thy praise. Making the Sign o the Cross:
℣. O God, † come to my assistance.
℟. O Lord, make haste to help me. Bowing deeply for the versicle:
℣. Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.
℟. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. Alleluia. (From Ash Wednesday to Holy Saturday the ‘Alleluia’ is replaced with ‘Praise to Thee, O Lord, King of eternal Glory!) B. THE MYSTERIES (FOR EACH ROSARY, YOU PRAY A GROUP OF FIVE MYSTERIES, ONE MYSTERY PER DECADE)
1. Joyful Mysteries (Monday, Saturday)
e. Finding in the Temple
2. Sorrowful Mysteries (Tuesday, Friday)
a. Agony in the Garden
b. Scourging at the Pillar
c. Crowning with Thorns
d. Carrying of the Cross
3. Glorious Mysteries (Sunday, Wednesday)
c. Descent of the Holy Spirit
4. Luminous Mysteries (Thursday)
a. Baptism in the Jordan
b. Wedding at Cana
c. Preaching of the Kingdom
e. Institution of the Eucharist C. THE DECADES (FOR EACH DECADE, YOU PRAY ONE OUR FATHER, TEN HAIL MARYS AND ONE GLORY)
1. One ‘Our Father’
℣. Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, they will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
℟. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Amen.
2. Ten ‘Hail Marys’
℣.Hail Mary, full of grace. The Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.
℟. Holy Mary, mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.
3. One ‘Glory’
℣. Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.
℟. As it was in the beginning, is now, and will be forever. Amen.
D. THE ENDING
Hail Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy, our life, our sweetness, and our hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve. To thee do we send up our sighs, mourning, and weeping in this valley of tears. Turn, then, most gracious Advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us, and, after this our exile, show unto us thy blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary!
℣. Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, pray for us.
℟. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. ℣. Let us pray:
℟. O God, whose only-begotten Son, by His life, death and resurrection has purchased for us the rewards of eternal life, grant, we beseech thee, that meditating upon these mysteries of the Most Holy Rosary of the Blessed Virgin Mary, we may imitate what they contain and obtain what they promise. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. ℣. May the divine assistance remain always with us.
℟. Amen. ℣. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
℟. Amen. ℣. May the blessing † of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, descend upon us and remain with us always. ℟. Amen.
Greetings, dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, children of Our Lady of the Rosary!
I am posting this message to invite you to participate in the Dominican Rosary Apostolate, Preach My Psalter. Please consider joining me in offering at least one Rosary daily to build up the Body of Christ, the Church, through the maternal intercession of Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary. Here is my daily Rosary schedule. I pray these Rosaries in New Orleans, LA @ 6:00 AM, 3;00 PM and 10:00 PM CST. I have also listed the times for other geographic areas of the United States. This will help people join together in prayer. I have a General Intention for each Rosary, but you may email me your Particular Intentions for each Rosary. In fact, I have already been receiving many emails from people. I anticipate that the number of these emails will only increase. For this reason, I have some instructions for you that will help me manage this Dominican Rosary Apostolate efficiently. First of all, when you email your intentions to me, please put in the SUBJECT field of your email message the Particular Rosary (Morning, Afternoon, or Night), the DAY and DATE. For instance, for each Rosary the Subject field would read as follows: “Morning Rosary for Wednesday, July 4th”; or “Afternoon Rosary for Thursday, July 5th”; or “Night Rosary for Friday, July 6th”. Secondly, be certain your Particular Intentions for each Rosary conform to the General Intentions. This is what I mean. MORNING ROSARY: The General Intention of the Morning Rosary is for the Healing of all People. As such, your Particular Intentions for this Rosary should be for the healing of someone who is ill. AFTERNOON ROSARY: The General Intention for the Afternoon Rosary is for the Sanctification of all Vocations. For this reason, your Particular Intentions for this Rosary should be for the sanctification of particular people in their vocations. NIGHT ROSARY: The General Intention for the Night Rosary is for the Repose of all the Deceased. Accordingly, your Particular Intentions for this Rosary should be for particular people who have died, such as your parents or grandparents. Finally, please send your Particular Intentions to me at least 2 or 3 hours beforehand via email, so I have sufficient time to read them. I certainly cannot respond to them all, but I will respond to some. I appreciate you understanding. Please share this flyer via social media and email. Thanks!
In Christ with Blessed Mary, Our Lady of the Rosary
Friar Mariano D. Veliz, O.P., Promoter of the Rosary