Encyclical review: Lumen Fidei by Pope Francis

It is always refreshing to read encyclicals of popes. And the  encyclical Lumen Fidei is essentially that of Pope Benedict XVI with a few additions by Pope Francis, though we cannot distinguish them anymore, as Elves like Lindir cannot dissect the poem on Earendil made by two mortals Bilbo and Aragorn, and determine who wrote what.  As Pope Francis wrote in the Encyclical:

7. These considerations on faith — in continuity with all that the Church’s magisterium has pronounced on this theological virtue — are meant to supplement what Benedict XVI had written in his encyclical letters on charity and hope. He himself had almost completed a first draft of an encyclical on faith. For this I am deeply grateful to him, and as his brother in Christ I have taken up his fine work and added a few contributions of my own. The Successor of Peter, yesterday, today and tomorrow, is always called to strengthen his brothers and sisters in the priceless treasure of that faith which God has given as a light for humanity’s path.

What I like about the Encyclical is that it is easy to read. It is a retelling of the important points of the Christian Faith understandable in the level of a Freshmen college student: Salvation history, Ten Commandments, Our Father, Christ and the Church, the Sacraments, etc. Indeed, this year is the year of Faith and the Encyclical has affirmed what many of us already take for granted or have not studied really well: why we are Catholic. For the encyclical to go to the level of the basics, it simply means one thing: many have lost the Catholic Faith–even entire countries and continents such as Europe. As Our Lady of Fatima said, “In Portugal the Faith will always be preserved….” And from this we can deduce the most terrifying corollary: “Outside of Portugal, the Faith will not be preserved.”

The encyclical quotes many Philosophers like St. Augustine,  Wittgenstein, and Nietzsche. It seems I can see the hand of Pope Benedict XVI here. If Chesterton uses the statements and histories of heretics and paradoxically turn these on their heads to argue for the truth of the Catholic Faith–the testimony of the heretics technique, Benedict XVI, on the other hand, usually quotes Atheists as a backdrops or launching pads for discussing the Catholic Faith–the testimony of the atheists technique. The technique is akin to Kenshin Himura’s Hiten Mitsurugi Sou-ryu-sen (Paired Dragon Flash): to attack the opponent not by the first stroke of the katana sword, but by the second stroke using the sheath. Indeed, one cannot dialogue with atheists using the Word of God as a sword, even though “the word of God is living and effective, sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating even between soul and spirit, joints and marrow, and able to discern reflections and thoughts of the heart. (Heb 4:12)” So instead, Benedict XVI uses Philosophy–the handmaiden of Theology–as a sheath for the second stroke.

If you are teaching Theology in college, I strongly recommend this encyclical as an assigned reading for the students. There is something for everyone here, especially for lovers:

27. The explanation of the connection between faith and certainty put forward by the philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein is well known. For Wittgenstein, believing can be compared to the experience of falling in love: it is something subjective which cannot be proposed as a truth valid for everyone.[19] Indeed, most people nowadays would not consider love as related in any way to truth. Love is seen as an experience associated with the world of fleeting emotions, no longer with truth.
But is this an adequate description of love? Love cannot be reduced to an ephemeral emotion. True, it engages our affectivity, but in order to open it to the beloved and thus to blaze a trail leading away from self-centredness and towards another person, in order to build a lasting relationship; love aims at union with the beloved. Here we begin to see how love requires truth. Only to the extent that love is grounded in truth can it endure over time, can it transcend the passing moment and be sufficiently solid to sustain a shared journey. If love is not tied to truth, it falls prey to fickle emotions and cannot stand the test of time. True love, on the other hand, unifies all the elements of our person and becomes a new light pointing the way to a great and fulfilled life. Without truth, love is incapable of establishing a firm bond; it cannot liberate our isolated ego or redeem it from the fleeting moment in order to create life and bear fruit.

And also for scientists:

34. Nor is the light of faith, joined to the truth of love, extraneous to the material world, for love is always lived out in body and spirit; the light of faith is an incarnate light radiating from the luminous life of Jesus. It also illumines the material world, trusts its inherent order and knows that it calls us to an ever widening path of harmony and understanding. The gaze of science thus benefits from faith: faith encourages the scientist to remain constantly open to reality in all its inexhaustible richness. Faith awakens the critical sense by preventing research from being satisfied with its own formulae and helps it to realize that nature is always greater. By stimulating wonder before the profound mystery of creation, faith broadens the horizons of reason to shed greater light on the world which discloses itself to scientific investigation.

Read on and enjoy!

Advertisements

An encounter with a New Age believer: the New Testament is the work of Jesuits to put the world in slavery

In my post entitled, Iglesia ni Cristo Logo: Christian or Masonic Symbol?, one commenter asked me to prove that Jesus, the Son of God, is God the Son.  During our conversation, I learned that he is not a member of Iglesia ni Cristo but a believer in New Age.  As a revert from the New Age to Catholicism, I can sympathize with him.  The attraction of esoteric knowledge is too strong for those with intellectual leanings.  Even St. Augustine succumbed to Manichaenism.  I am familiar with New Age writings, like energy and electromagnetic waves in the form of light, electricity, plant, animal, and planets.  I told him that I am a theoretical physicist: I know that he is not a scientist.  But there are some things he said that are really new to me: the Jesuits fabricated the New Testament.  I wonder where he got this idea.  This, of course, can easily be disproved by evidence of history: the Bible already existed long before St. Ignatius founded the Jesuits.

I prayed for him during a mass last Sunday evening.  I also prayed for him when I stayed for an hour in front of the Blessed Sacrament after the mass.  My Baronius missal really helps me to pray.  Who knows this guy might convert someday and become one of the defenders of the Catholic Faith.  Apologetics must really be united with prayer.  It is easy to fall into pride.  Without prayer, apologetics is like planting a rose in a desert.  In prayer, we ask God for rain, for graces.  We can never predict the movements of God’s grace.  Let us pray without ceasing.

Below is what he wrote concerning his beliefs.  Let us pray for him.

On the issue of who Jesus Christ really is, it’s easy to verify that the story of Joseph of Egypt (old testament) is exactly analogous to that of Jesus:

– Joseph had 12 brothers; Jesus had 12 disciples

– Joseph was sold to the Egyptians by Judah; Jesus was sold to the High Priest by Judas

It’s not surprising that Jesus’ birth falls on a Pagan holiday because Christianity is a Pagan Religion. The Cross is actually two sun rays crisscrossing each supported with a halo circle.

Jesus is just a personification of the zodiac sign Pisces. That’s why he is considered the “fisher of men”. The three kings are actually the three stars on the Orion Belt. Science started on Astrology. The problem we have today is caused by the tendency of some to stay that way.

The Old Testament is a hybrid of history and legends or myths. The New Testament is the work of Jesuits to put the world in slavery as it is now.

Marcos was deceived by these con men to send 600,000+ tons of OUR gold bars, not Yamashita’s, to Switzerland (Vatican Treasury) in exchange of Gold Certificates, which are mere papers that have numbers and fancy decorations on it, which the Jesuit by all indications will not honor it.

Now, they are positioning another Jesuit Puppet to become the next president. The Jesuit Council of Trent based in Makati are in full force.

So if you want real change, get rid of the religion that’s not ours to begin with. Let’s all get back to our senses (that state prior to 1521).

If you study and dig deeper into Science, you will find:

Life = Energy

Energy (in the form of Electromagnetic Waves) “broadcast” itself at different frequencies (vibrations per second).

Each frequency may manifests as Light, Heat, Electricity, Magnetism, etc. Other frequencies may manifest as Matter planets, men, plants, etc), Thoughts or Intelligence.

In this case the bible is right when it said that in the beginning there’s nothing but the Thought. But in the final analysis, there’s really no beginning and therefore no end. Everything will just transform from one type of manifestation into another.

We don’t really die. We only have One Body. We all share in the divinity of Nature, the one true God that we all fail to understand.

Bible shun idolatry. And yet the Vatican promotes it.

I understand this:

1. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed. So is God.

2. Energy can only be transformed. So is Nature.

3. It’s easy to understand that Life is Energy.

Ergo,

Life = Energy = Nature = God

Life = God or

do we prefer, “God is Life”?

Simple.

But those with ulterior motives tried to complicate things, so that we won’t see the forest, just the trees.

Again, it’s not a coincidence when:

– Joseph of Egypt have 12 brothers, and Jesus have 12 disciples;

– Joseph was sold to the Egyptians by Judah, and Jesus was sold to the High Priest by Judas

Jesus is just a personification of the Zodiac sign Pisces – “The Fisher of Men”. Christianity is a Pagan Religion.

Virgin birth, resurrection, are common features in almost all past religions.

The New Testament is just a fabrication. Look at the big picture:

Q1: what could happen if you tell the people that even though they’re poor, they need not worry for they shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven?

A1: Submission.

Q2: what could happen if you encourage them to repeat the same lies over and over again thru the “Holy” Rosary?

A1: Mind Control. Hypnotism is done thru repetitions.

That’s the purpose of Religion. Preserve the Body, but Take Away the Mind.

Sometimes, we are compelled to ask if there’s a need for religion.

How Our Lady of Guadalupe Snatched Me from New Age

I.  My New Age Background

II.  My Encounter with with Our Lady

III.  Book Review: The Handbook on Guadalupe

IV.  Biblical Iconography of Guadalupe

V.  Rediscovery of My Catholic Faith

Mama also taught me how to read other Catholic books.  I read her messages in the Marian Movement of Priests.  I read the books of Scott Hahn and learned of his conversion story.  I read Fr. Leo Trese‘s “The Faith Explained.” I read the Catechism.  But my favorite book is on Dogmatic Theology lent to me by a friend.  How simple to state are the Catholic dogmas–Jesus is the Son of Man,  Mary is the Mother of God–yet how many church doctors, how many councils, how many centuries have to pass before these dogmas can be understood and explained. And the mystery of the dogma deepens.

I read books, blogs, magazines, newspapers, pamphlets–anything that I could get my hands on to learn more and more about the Catholic Church.  (I also occasionally read articles against the church and the pope, but I have to pray beforehand and read the Catechism afterwards—shots of vaccine against a virus.)  Now, I am reading the “Confessions” of St. Augustine and the “Summa Theologiae” of St. Aquinas.  But because of my physics background, I only read the physics parts: relativity of time in Augustine and optics in Aquinas. The rest I skipped. But somehow in the process I get a glimpse of their theology.

And Mama led me to her Son.  I learned to value the Holy Eucharist and the Sacrament of Penance.  I learned to pray the rosary as a meditation on the life of Christ.  I learned to pray the chaplet of the Divine Mercy.  I studied a little Latin.  And someday when I have enough money, I’ll buy my first 1962 missal and unearth the treasures of the ancient mass.

I do not know why our Protestant brothers hate Mama very much.  Is it because she is beautiful?  Is it because Christ honored her as his mother by lavishing her with all the graces that the Angel Gabriel addresses her as “Full of Grace”?  Or is it because they haven’t yet felt the love of mother?  They have God as Father.  They have Christ as Brother.  But they have no Mother.  “Do whatever he tells you” (Jn 2:5)– this is the only command from our Mother.  As the moon reflects the light of the sun, so does Mary shines in splendor with the light of Christ. In the darkest night, Mary guides us with the light of Christ and she prepares us for the dawn of His Coming.

Epilogue

A year after my graduation in college, my mother died.  She died due to kidney failure—a complication of diabetes.  But before she died, I visited her in Bacolod.  She cannot anymore recognize me.  My sister took the handbook of Guadalupe and showed it to my mother. My mother said, “Toto, Toto.”  That was my name my mother calls me.  And she only knew my name because of Guadalupe.  Maybe she is saying Christ’s last words on the cross: “Woman, behold your son.”   My mother did not leave me orphan.  She entrusted me to Our Lady, to Our Mother, to Our Mama.

I love you Nanay.  I love you Mama.