The Building of a Civilization of Love

The third area of commitment that comes with love is that of daily life with its multiple relationships. I am particularly referring to family, studies, work and free time. Dear young friends, cultivate your talents, not only to obtain a social position, but also to help others to “grow”. Develop your capacities, not only in order to become more “competitive” and “productive”, but to be “witnesses of charity”. In addition to your professional training, also make an effort to acquire religious knowledge that will help you to carry out your mission in a responsible way. In particular, I invite you to carefully study the social doctrine of the Church so that its principles may inspire and guide your action in the world. May the Holy Spirit make you creative in charity, persevering in your commitments, and brave in your initiatives, so that you will be able to offer your contribution to the building up of the “civilisation of love”. The horizon of love is truly boundless: it is the whole world!

- Pope Benedict XVI, WYD 2007 MESSAGE, Growing in love each day

3:12. Not as though I had already attained, or were already perfect: but I follow after, if I may by any means apprehend, wherein I am also apprehended by Christ Jesus.
3:13. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended. But one thing I do: Forgetting the things that are behind and stretching forth myself to those that are before,
3:14. I press towards the mark, to the prize of the supernal vocation of God in Christ Jesus.

-St. Paul to Philippians

Sunday, July 27, 2008

God is Love

God is Love
218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason to reveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as his special possession: his sheer gratuitous love.38 And thanks to the prophets Israel understood that it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning their unfaithfulness and sins.39
219 God's love for Israel is compared to a father's love for his son. His love for his people is stronger than a mother's for her children. God loves his people more than a bridegroom his beloved; his love will be victorious over even the worst infidelities and will extend to his most precious gift: "God so loved the world that he gave his only Son."40
220 God's love is "everlasting":41 "For the mountains may depart and the hills be removed, but my steadfast love shall not depart from you."42 Through Jeremiah, God declares to his people, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you."43
221 But St. John goes even further when he affirms that "God is love":44 God's very being is love. By sending his only Son and the Spirit of Love in the fullness of time, God has revealed his innermost secret:45 God himself is an eternal exchange of love, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and he has destined us to share in that exchange.

God is Truth

God is Truth
215 "The sum of your word is truth; and every one of your righteous ordinances endures forever."30 "And now, O LORD God, you are God, and your words are true";31 this is why God's promises always come true.32 God is Truth itself, whose words cannot deceive. This is why one can abandon oneself in full trust to the truth and faithfulness of his word in all things. The beginning of sin and of man's fall was due to a lie of the tempter who induced doubt of God's word, kindness and faithfulness.
216 God's truth is his wisdom, which commands the whole created order and governs the world.33 God, who alone made heaven and earth, can alone impart true knowledge of every created thing in relation to himself.34
217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God is "true instruction".35 When he sends his Son into the world it will be "to bear witness to the truth":36 "We know that the Son of God has come and has given us understanding, to know him who is true."37


214 God, "HE WHO IS", revealed himself to Israel as the one "abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness".27 These two terms express summarily the riches of the divine name. In all his works God displays, not only his kindness, goodness, grace and steadfast love, but also his trustworthiness, constancy, faithfulness and truth. "I give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness."28 He is the Truth, for "God is light and in him there is no darkness"; "God is love", as the apostle John teaches.29

Friday, July 25, 2008

Creatures in the image of God

108. The fundamental message of Sacred Scripture proclaims that the human person is a creature of God (cf. Ps 139:14-18), and sees in his being in the image of God the element that characterizes and distinguishes him: “God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them” (Gen 1:27). God places the human creature at the centre and summit of the created order. Man (in Hebrew, “adam”) is formed from the earth (“adamah”) and God blows into his nostrils the breath of life (cf. Gen 2:7). Therefore, “being in the image of God the human individual possesses the dignity of a person, who is not just something, but someone. He is capable of self-knowledge, of self-possession and of freely giving himself and entering into communion with other persons. Further, he is called by grace to a covenant with his Creator, to offer him a response of faith and love that no other creature can give in his stead”[204].

-Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church

Creation: A Work of Love

God is such a superabundance of love that he wanted to share his love with others, so he chose to create the visible world. All of creation reflects imperfectly the infinite perfections of God. But man in particular, God chose to give a special participation in his being, a special likeness to himself.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. (Gen 1:27) As an individual, man is like God in the rationality of his soul, including his will and his intelligence. God also inscribed on man's heart a participation in his divine Wisdom, known as the natural law, so that he would have a knowledge of the proper ordering of all creation, including himself, to its ultimate End. Communally man bears the image of God in his ability to love another-- not only the love of the male for the female and of the female for the male, but also to love others in general. Perhaps the greatest of all of God's gifts to man was a share of his own divine life so that man would have the ability to do what only God is capable of doing: loving God with the infinite love of God.

God set man over the world over it to rule it and to participate, though in a limited way, in God's own creativity by ordering the world through his work:
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it (Gen 2:15)
God made the world good (cf. Gen 1:31). Unfortunately, man freely chose to disobey the commandment of God. Man chose himself over God and thus sin entered the world (cf. Gen 3). Sin, which is a rupture of man's relationship with God, takes from man the filial image of God that enabled him to love God and to share in God's eternal happiness. Sin separated man from God. It also brought with it disunity within man himself: man's body rebelled against his soul, so that he was now subject to death, and his soul could no longer exercise perfect dominion over his passions.

The most dominant of his passions was now the desire for sexual union. In the beginning there was no shame: Adam and Eve felt no need to cover themselves (cf. Gen 2:25). After sin, however, the image of God within man, male and female, was obscured, so that he could no longer sense the expression of personal communion of which the body was meant to be the substratum. Sexual differences, instead of expressing the nuptial meaning of the body-- to male and female as gift for each other-- became a source of confrontation and distrust because of the inability of the soul to govern the body (cf. John Paul II. Blessed Are the Pure of Heart, Boston: St. Paul Books and Media, 1983.)

Even now after the fall, spousal love guarded against lust retains the interior freedom of the gift. Spousal love contributes much to man's fulfillment, but it is only a poem of the overwhelming majesty of the love that God has for man, and that God enables man to have for God:
You have made our hearts for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you. (Augustine, Confessions, I, 1)

We are not made merely for human love, but to love God himself! Only the infinite love of God can fully satisfy man's heart.
God wishes good for his creatures, who can only be happy by loving him. So when the fullness of time had come, the Author of all creation showed the depth of his love by entering into the story.

-Augustine Club

The Most Holy Trinity: a Union of Love

It is said that a people's values can be seen in the god they worship. For Christians, ``God is love'' (1 Jn 4:8). But a God who is love seems like a philosophical impossibility. How can one God, who is perfect, lacking nothing in himself and possessed of no dependence on creatures, be love when love necessitates a relation to another?
The resolution of this paradox God himself has revealed to us: God is perfect unity, but a unity of three Divine Persons-- Father, Son, and Holy Spirit-- who are each equally divine. The Father, Son, and Spirit exist from all eternity. None precedes the other in time, but each are related to the others by a relationship that orders them with respect to the others.
The ever-living, all-knowing, almighty God the Father exists from all eternity and is the source of all perfection created and uncreated. The self-conception and self-expression of the perfect Being is so complete that it is another person: God the Son, the image of the invisible Father, ``the only-begotten Son of God, begotten from the Father before all the ages, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made, consubstantial with the Father, through whom all things came to be'' (Nicene-Constantipolitan Creed). The love between the Father and the Son is so perfect that it too is another person: the Holy Spirit ``the holy, the lordly and life-giving one, proceeding forth from the Father [and the Son], co-worshipped and co-glorified with Father and Son'' (ibid.).
But if the Holy Spirit is the love between the Father and the Son, how can God as a whole be called Love? Each person shares equally in the divine nature, so that each person shares equally in the perfections of the others. The only distinction between the persons of the Trinity is their mutual relations. None of the persons exists in respect to himself alone, but each exists relatively to the other two:
...the ``three persons'' who exist in God are the reality of word and love in their attachment to each other. They are not substances, personalities in the modern sense, but the relatedness whose pure actuality... does not impair unity of the highest being but fills it out. St Augustine once enshrined this idea in the following formula: ``He is not called Father with reference to himself but only in relation to the Son; seen by himself he is simply God.'' Here the decisive point comes beautifully to light. ``Father'' is purely a concept of relationship. Only in being-for the other is he Father; in his own being-in-himself he is simply God. Person is the pure relation of being related, nothing else. Relationship is not something extra added to the person, as it is with us; it only exists at all as relatedness.
....the First Person [the Father] does not beget the Son in the sense of the act of begetting coming on top of the finished Person; it is the act of begetting, of giving oneself, of streaming forth. It is identical with the act of giving. (Joseph Ratzinger Introduction to Christianity, pp. 131-132; cf. Augustine, Enarationes in Psalmos 68; De Trinitate VII, 1, 2.) Each of the persons of the Trinity lives completely for the others; each is a complete gift of self to the others. The complete self-giving not only constitutes the individual persons of the Trinity, but also their inseparable oneness.
Thus, for Christians the very basis of all reality is the loving communion of persons that is the Holy Trinity.

- Augustine

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Adam the priest-king, the sanctuary, and the sacrifice

Gen 2:16 And he commanded him, saying: Of every tree of paradise thou shalt eat:
Gen 2:17 But of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, thou shalt not eat. For in what day soever thou shalt eat of it, thou shalt die the death.

Adam the Priest and Eden the Sanctuary

Gen 2:10 And a river went out of the place of pleasure to water paradise, which from thence is divided into four heads.
Gen 2:11 The name of the one is Phison: that is it which compasseth all the land of Hevilath, where gold groweth.
Gen 2:12 And the gold of that land is very good: there is found bdellium, and the onyx stone.
Gen 2:13 And the name of the second river is Gehon: the same is it that compasseth all the land of Ethiopia.
Gen 2:14 And the name of the third river is Tigris: the same passeth along by the Assyrians. And the fourth river is Euphrates.
Gen 2:15 And the Lord God took man, and put him into the paradise of pleasure, to dress it, and to keep it.

The Universe, a Temple: Holy of Holies, the Sanctuary and Adam the Priest

Gen 2:8 And the Lord God had planted a paradise of pleasure from the beginning: wherein he placed man whom he had formed.
Gen 2:9 And the Lord God brought forth of the ground all manner of trees, fair to behold, and pleasant to eat of: the tree of life also in the midst of paradise: and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

The Universe: a Temple - Worshippers

Gen 2:4 These are the generations of the heaven and the earth, when they were created, in the day that the Lord God made the heaven and the earth:
Gen 2:5 And every plant of the field before it sprung up in the earth, and every herb of the ground before it grew: for the Lord God had not rained upon the earth; and there was not a man to till the earth.
Gen 2:6 But a spring rose out of the earth, watering all the surface of the earth.
Gen 2:7 And the Lord God formed man of the slime of the earth: and breathed into his face the breath of life, and man became a living soul.

7th day Covenant making complete: The Universe: A Temple

Gen 2:1 So the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the furniture of them.
Gen 2:2 And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made: and he rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done.
Gen 2:3 And he blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because in it he had rested from all his work which God created and made.

Creation ordered by the word of God -6 : crowning of man: King, Family communion in the image of God

Gen 1:27 And God created man to his own image: to the image of God he created him: male and female he created them.
Gen 1:28 And God blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and all living creatures that move upon the earth.
Gen 1:29 And God said: Behold I have given you every herb bearing seed upon the earth, and all trees that have in themselves seed of their own kind, to be your meat:
Gen 1:30 And to all beasts of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to all that move upon the earth, and wherein there is life, that they may have to feed upon. And it was so done.
Gen 1:31 And God saw all the things that he had made, and they were very good. And the evening and morning were the sixth day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God -6 : rulers of rulers: man

Gen 1:26 And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every creeping creature that moveth upon the earth.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 6 : rulers of land

Gen 1:24 And God said: Let the earth bring forth the living creature in its kind, cattle and creeping things, and beasts of the earth, according to their kinds. And it was so done.
Gen 1:25 And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds, and cattle, and every thing that creepeth on the earth after its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 5 : rulers of Space

Gen 1:20 God also said: let the waters bring forth the creeping creature having life, and the fowl that may fly over the earth under the firmament of heaven.
Gen 1:21 And God created the great whales, and every living and moving creature, which the waaters brought forth, according to their kinds, and every winged fowl according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:22 And he blessed them, saying: Increase and multiply, and fill the waters of the sea: and let the birds be multiplied upon the earth.
Gen 1:23 And the evening and morning were the fifth day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 4 : rulers of Time

Gen 1:14 And God said: Let there be lights made in the firmament of heaven, to divide the day and the night, and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days and years:
Gen 1:15 To shine in the firmament of heaven, and to give light upon the earth, and it was so done.
Gen 1:16 And God made two great lights: a greater light to rule the day; and a lesser light to rule the night: and The stars.
Gen 1:17 And he set them in the firmament of heaven to shine upon the earth.
Gen 1:18 And to rule the day and the night, and to divide the light and the darkness. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:19 And the evening and morning were the fourth day.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Creation ordered by the Word - 3 : Solid land and plants lifeforms

Gen 1:10 And God called the dry land, Earth; and the gathering together of the waters, he called Seas. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:11 And he said: let the earth bring forth green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done.
Gen 1:12 And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.
Gen 1:13 And the evening and the morning were the third day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 2: Space

Gen 1:6 And God said: Let there be a firmament made amidst the waters: and let it divide the waters from the waters.
Gen 1:7 And god made a firmament, and divided the waters that were under the firmament, from those that were above the firmament, and it was so.
Gen 1:8 And God called the firmament, Heaven; and the evening and morning were the second day.

Creation ordered by the Word of God - 1: Time

Gen 1:3 And God said: Be light made. And light was made.
Gen 1:4 And God saw the light that it was good; and he divided the light from the darkness.
Gen 1:5 And he called the light Day, and the darkness Night; and there was evening and morning one day.

Creation Ordered by the Word of God

Joh 1:1 In the beginning was the Word: and the Word was with God: and the Word was God.
Joh 1:2 The same was in the beginning with God.
Joh 1:3 All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.


Gen 1:1 In the beginning God created heaven, and earth.
Gen 1:2 And the earth was void and empty, and darkness was upon the face of the deep; and the spirit of God moved over the waters.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Going small and quiet

I am readjusting my blog. The new designation is inspired by the great work of Dr. Scott Hahn on covenant theology. Thanks to his recordings I have a new perspective on the world and on life. I have a better understanding of God, Man, Salvation, Life, Love, etc. And recently I think I found a way I can deepen this understanding. I am going to use this blog to organize my thoughts on this subject. There is no better way to illustrate the building of a civilization of love than to live it personally. With this blog I will now be sharing quotes which I am going to label systematically with covenant related words. It is a way of organizing thoughts in an ordered way. I will be quoting from Holy Scriptures, the CCC, the CSDC, and some great works of saints.
I will also be quoting some secular source once in a while whenever the particular quote fits into the covenant picture.

Actually everything should be able to fit in because the world as we see it is governed by a covenant relationship. For example, the whole book of Revelation shows how everything in the world is in relation to the New Covenant (the Lamb of the New Covenant). So anything whether good or bad fit somewhere in the picture. This is going to be very exciting and enriching to me as I try to organize and match quotes with proper labels. I hope that it will help me grow in Faith. I also hope that any visitor will get a better idea of why the Church teaches what it teaches, a better organic understanding of life.

So I will be writing less if not nothing. I will only be quoting and labelling. This is good for me because I am a quiet type of person. It will also get me to read more and more which is something I really need to do:)

Last, I would like to make a small comment on closing of the WYD. It was great, the next one is in Madrid, Spain. I should be able to attend this one for so many reason that I can't begin to enumerate. For now, I pray that the fruits from Sydney endure in all of us forever.

God bless

Thursday, July 17, 2008

"WYD pilgrims most well-behaved young people ever seen" is apparently an Australian popular and secular news web site. Generally all media of the concerned country do some extensive coverage of the WYD, it is doing a great job covering this one in Sydney. Here is one of the interesting articles about the remarkable well behaved catholic youth in the street of Sydney:

CATHOLIC World Youth Day pilgrims are one of the most well-behaved groups of young people police have seen.
"I've never seen a crowd like this, it's even better than an Olympic crowd," New South Wales police Commissioner Andrew Scipione said today.
"Hundreds of thousands of young people moving through the city not affected by drugs and alcohol has been such a wonderful experience.
"It just shows what can happen when you have people who aren't affected by alcohol."
Mr Scipione said he hoped local young people would follow the example set by the "joyous" Catholic pilgrims.
"There are many lessons to come out of World Youth Day, and if that's one of them then we'll be very pleased."

-Click the link for more.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Virtually in Sydney

Having failed to make it in Sydney for the WYD 2008, it looks that all arrangements were made for people like me to be there virtually.

I can watch events live on Salt+Light or EWTN, or watch recorded events on video on a site specifically created for this purpose:

To those who are joining...enjoy and God bless


Thursday, July 10, 2008

Power of lies and gift of the Church

In the Bible we read that the reward of sin is death. In fact from the beginning of that book, we see that every sin goes with a curse. This is a fact that if we pay attention we can see in every aspect of life. I remember reading these sermons about Jesus healing people. I noticed that even when he healed people from physical illness, often he will tell them to go and to 'sin no more'. Which means that their physical condition had something to do with sins they committed. But it is not only about our physical conditions, our spiritual ones as well. In some of those sermons it is well explained how the stories of blind men healed by Jesus and the Pharisees were not just about physical blindness but spiritual as well. It is a awful experience to realise how I used to be blind in a particular aspect and what a blessing that 'now I see'...

We see problem in the world, in the Church, in our lives and sometimes we wonder why??? The fact is we can almost trace the reason of some problems to some original sins, either ours, or our fathers,...our societies...

I was reading this testimony about a woman turning from pro-choice atheist to pro-life catholic. She does a good description of our society's world-view and how her conversion was when she slowly discovered truth. She says: "I realized in that moment that perfectly good, well-meaning people—people like me—can support gravely evil things because of the power of lies. "

This woman gives an idea of how current issues about life and sexuality are taken at a terribly wrong angle, how the Church is so unfortunately wrongly understood. She does a good job of describing the structure of those lies. I am sad about what is happening in the Anglican Communion. I feel like, how can the Church teachings on all these issues be explained clearly? What a grace to be in the Church, and not just to follow authority but to understand the logic of the teachings. It makes me wonder where we are as the Church. How can people be in so much darkness while in the same world we have the splendor of truth! How am I helping out? what should I do? This is really serious business, we are holding the truth to ourselves while so many people believe lies right in our faces and are seriously hurting.

I think we should be as creative as possible in sharing and living the truth we have been given. I myself feel many times that I have converted, they are so many things I had wrong that I came to see clearly as I dig deeper in the Church teachings. We must do something. We shouldn't really stay calm as people consider the Church their enemies while she is their doctor. Can you imagine how it feels when you discover that the one you thought to be your enemies turned out to be your hope of salvation. Saul was persecuting the Church, when Jesus arrested him, he did not say why are you persecuting my Church, he said why are you persecuting me?

Soul turned Paul look at the Church with such a great awe and fear. We can measure how seriously Paul took this by looking at his works in the Church after his conversion. The Church that Jesus identifies with himself has his power. He gave her all his powers to lead, free, and heal man. The Lord Jesus is in the Church as he was in his physical body, the same power of the same Holy Spirit.

We have many problems because of curses that are upon us because of our sins. We need the Catholic Church for our healing and recovery.

God bless

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rebroadcast of the 49th International Eucharistic Congress

If you missed parts of the Congress last month it is being rebroadcasted daily for few days on Salt+Light TV. I just watched the beautiful Byzantine liturgy, and got an idea to share this reminder here in case someone might be interested. Great opportunity to learn more about our Faith.

God bless