Lord, I love You, and I want to love You more. I want to love You with my whole being. Help me to realize that following You requires a radical and complete gift of myself to You. May I be ready and willing to let go of any attachment in life that keeps me from following You. Jesus, I trust in You.
Starting on October 19th and until mid-April 2022, Father Andrzej Blazkiewicz wants to discuss the various meanings of human love in the Divine Plan with local Catholics. The Polish priest will promote a series of workshops – one per week – based on the book Male and Female He Created Them, a compendium of Pope John Paul II’s teachings on love and sexuality, in which the Polish pontiff discusses issues such as the human condition or human dignity.
For St Thomas Aquinas, theology and spiritual theology are “one and the same thing.” Similar is the stand of St Bonaventure. For both doctors of the Church and the traditions they represent, theology is one, not yet divided at their time between dogmatic and moral theology. Spiritual theology permeated the different theological treatises such as the Trinity, Creation, Christology, grace and the sacraments, prayer, etc. It was – and is – more closely connected with moral theology or Christian ethics.
“An indulgence is a remission before God of the temporal punishment due to sins whose guilt has already been forgiven, which the faithful Christian who is duly disposed gains under certain prescribed conditions through the action of the Church which, as the minister of redemption, dispenses and applies with authority the treasury of the satisfactions of Christ and the saints.”
“I was brought up with nothing, we were very poor. I had no toys and no Christmas presents. I shared a room with my brother and two sisters and my parents slept in the other.
Dear friend, I am writing to you because I have a question that I cannot resolve by myself. I am a practicing Catholic and I am convinced that Christianity must also pay attention to what happens in the life of men and therefore also make an attempt to improve the material conditions of life. But – I must confess – that it seems very strange to me to see men of the Church pour so much energy to take sides on questionable practical problems, including the issue of waste. Yet in recent times there has been much talk of a Church that should be as “spiritual” as possible.
Of course, we all know that family life is not a bed of roses, but one can suffer in them, one can even fail in one’s attempt to build a family unit that brings stability to those involved. I am not among those who moralize towards those who experience failures, despite being well aware of what Catholic doctrine teaches. I understand that sometimes you have to accept the cross of failure and take responsibility for it before God and those directly involved. But the family cannot be reduced to its failure or to a strategy of deviant behavior. What kind of reasoning is this?
In her Story of a Soul, she narrates an incident in the convent laundry of Lisieux where she worked opposite a Sister who would splash her with dirty water while washing the handkerchiefs. She refrained from her inclination to draw back and wipe her face to show the Sister how much this annoyed her. This may seem very small, but the self-will is as well denied and curbed in small things as in great things.
Reflect, today, upon the many ways that being “male and female” are natural blessings from God. Reflect, also, upon the ways that these natural gifts are challenged and undermined in our world today. Embrace who you are, embrace who God made you to be, and let that natural gift from God flourish in your life.
The Catholic Church celebrates today, the 1st of October, St Thérèse of Lisieux.