JBap Blog

22. Mar, 2018

Jesus’s Last Supper

On the first day of the big Feast the disciples came to Jesus, saying to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare for tonight’s celebration of the Passover?”

And He said, “Go into the city to a certain man, and say to him, we will eat the Passover meal at your house."

So, the disciples did what Jesus told them to do; and they prepared the Passover.

The Passover is Celebrated

When evening came, He sat down with his friends – there were twelve!  Now as they were eating, He said, “I say to you, one of you will betray Me.

And they were really sad, telling Jesus that they would never do that!

Jesus answered and said, “He who dipped his hand with Me in the dish will betray Me. I am going to my death tomorrow and woe to the person who betrays me!

Then Judas, who did betray Jesus, answered and said, “I would never do that!”

Jesus said to him, “You have said it.”

The Lord’s Supper is Instituted

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples saying, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.  For this is My blood which will be shed for many because of their sins." 

And after they had sung a song, they went out to the Mount of Olives.

Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be make mistakes tonight, because you don’t understand that I have to die.

But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee."

During the special festival something sad, something bad and something wonderful happened.

  • Would you be sad if someone betrayed you?
  • What bad thing was going to happen to Jesus?
  • What wonderful thing was going to happen?   

Image: 'The Last Supper' by Pascal-Adolphe-Jean Dagnan-Bouveret https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Last_Supper.jpg

21. Mar, 2018

The Divine Will: A Critique

Luisa Piccarreta has been declared a servant of God. But the Holy See has not made a decision on her writings, except the 1938 condemnation (http://luisapiccarreta.co/?page_id=240) which do not pertain to her writings on the Divine Will.

In the first below article by Fr Joseph Bolin questions those writings on the Divine Will. This affirms my objections to the Divine Will movement that makes the following claims (1) this way of holiness is radically new and better than anything before it, that (2) Luisa herself surpasses all the previous saints in holiness, with the exception of the Virgin Mary. To the contrary, Archbishop Carmelo Cassati affirms the faithful can indeed receive the gift of "Living in the Divine Will" even without explicit knowledge of Luisa Piccarreta's doctrines (http://www.transporter.com/Apologia/KDW_Newsletter.htm).  

The second article is on the status of her cause.

Last is a letter from the Archbishop of Trani (Archbishop Carmelo Cassati) confirming that Fr Joseph Iannuzzi has Breached the Moratorium on Luisa Piccarreta. This affirms that unauthorized translations have been promoted and that may be inconsistent with the teaching of the Church

Where do I stand? I am a St John of the Cross guy. Although I love Luisa, some aspects of her writing do not sit well, particularly the claim of new revelation (if this is what she is, in fact, doing). Rather, the Son of God has revealed all. See Hebrews 1:1-2 or The Ascent of Mt Carmel bk2, chapter 22 (John of the Cross). So, perhaps the example of her holy life is what we should be focussing on more so than her writings.   

Please feel free to contribute comments as to where you stand. Secretly, I want to be proved wrong!

Luisa Piccarreta and the Divine Will

By Joseph Bolin, diocesan priest in the Archdiocese of Vienna

Luisa Piccarretta, who supposedly lived for many years on only the Eucharist and the Divine Will, experienced ongoing visions in which Jesus gave her an understanding of holiness that had not previously been granted to any saint, an understanding of holiness as being not only acceptance or submission to the divine will, but "living in the divine will", an identification with the divine will. When she asked Jesus how it is that till her time no saint had ever fully lived in the divine will, had never reached this degree of charity, she was told that it was because they lacked this understanding, that they could not love more than they understood. She was told that with this message of the Divine Will Jesus made her "Herald of the New Era" and had a vision in which the Blessed Virgin Mary was on Jesus' right side in heaven, while she (Luisa) was at his left.

When read charitably, taking into account both the mystical language and the imprecisions that can rightly be expected to arise when someone with very little education writes down 36 volumes of such visions, the essential message of living in the divine will seems to be none other than that contained in, for instance, the writings of St. Francis de Sales and St. John of the Cross on the union of charity. (If read with indifference or with antecedent suspicion as to the truth of the message, however, it might be equally possible to read her writings as affirming an identification of the human being with God that goes beyond, or is rather antithetical to the christian doctrine of deification and friendship with God.)

Nonetheless, some grave problems seem to be present in her writings with regard to the claims surrounding this message of holiness: the claim that  (1) this way of holiness is radically new and better than anything before it, that (2) Luisa herself surpasses all the previous saints in holiness, with the exception of the Virgin Mary, and that (3) this way of holiness depends upon "understanding".

(1) "My beloved daughter, I want you to know the order of my Providence. In every 2000 year period I have renewed the world. In the first period I renewed it with the flood. In the second 2000 years I renewed it with my coming to the earth and manifesting my humanity from which, as so many channels of light, my divinity shone. And in this third period of 2000 years, those who are good and the saints themselves have lived the fruits of my humanity, but have enjoyed my divinity scarcely at all. Now we are at the end of the third period and there will be a third renovation. This is why there is general confusion. It is due to the preparation for the third renovation." (January, 1919)

(1) "These writings cost me more than creation and redemption. They have within them all the value of My Will." (Vol. 23, March 8, 1928)

(1 & 2) "When you call my Will into you, you also do a unique act. Out of respect for my Will which inhabits you, I must pour enough graces and Love into you to make you surpass all other creatures."

(1 & 2) "It is certain that I have called you first over other souls. Because to no other souls, however much I have loved them, have I shown how to live in My Will, the effects, the marvels, the riches that the creature receives who acts in My supreme Will. Search the lives of the saints as much as you wish or in books of doctrine and you will not find the wonders of My Will working in the creature and the creature acting in My Will. The most you will find will be resignation, abandonment, the union of wills, but the Divine Will working in the creature and the creature in My Will, you will not find this in anyone. This signifies that the time had not arrived in which My kindness would call the creature to live in such a sublime state. Moreover, even the way I ask you to pray is not found in any other . . . " (Book of Heaven, Vol. 12, p. xix)

(2) "Now daughter, you, . . are unique in my mind; and you will be unique in history. There will not be—either before or after you—any other creature for whom I will obligate through necessity the work of my ministers. ., . Since I wanted my Mother with me as the first intermediary of my mercy . . . I wanted her on my right. . . . I wanted you [Luisa] as the first intermediary of justice. . . . I wanted you on my left." (Book of Heaven, p. 12)

(3) "It is true that there have been saints who always did my Will, but they have taken of my Will only to the extent that they understood it. They knew that to do my Will was the greatest of acts, the one which gave Me the greatest honour and which brought them their sanctification. They acted with this intention and so this is all that they received."

In fact, precisely these claimed new aspects (a radically new and essentially better way of holiness, a holiness that depends upon understanding, etc.) are not new claims in the history of the Church. The early Church had to resist gnosticism, which in its own way made perfection dependent upon understanding, as Luisa seems to. Joachim of Fiore proposed a third era of the history of God with his people, as Luisa does. If these claims are taken as part of the message itself, they are signs that it is not from God. The rule of faith, the rule of the Church, since the beginning in fact sees this kind of radical novelty as a sign of heresy.

Read more https://www.pathsoflove.com/blog/2011/11/luisa-piccarreta-and-the-divine-will/

Luisa Piccarreta - Status of her Cause

2017 by Colin B. Donovan, STL for Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN)

As of the end of 2017 the status of the Cause remains the same as in recent years. The Communique of the Archbishop of Trani of 1 November 2012 remains his most recent official statement on the status of Luisa's Cause. In order not to prejudice the Cause and scandalize others, he reiterated that all things be done in communion with the local Ordinaries (e.g. prayer groups, reading of the writings etc.), that unauthorized translations not be promoted, and that explanations inconsistent with the teaching of the Church not be promulgated, that the critical edition of the writings with theological explanations be awaited, as well as other requests previously made in prior communications.

At this time there are still NO official English translations of any of the volumes. As previously stated to EWTN by the Postulation, the complexity of translating from the dialect used by the author into Italian, and then from Italian into other languages, and doing so consistent with the doctrine of the faith, makes it absolutely necessary that the prohibition of unauthorized translations be observed. When the critical edition with theological notes is completed, and approved by the Holy See, only then will the Postulation authorize translations, and then only from the critical edition.

In summary:

1. The life and virtues of Luisa Piccarreti are being examined at the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, following approval of the postive result of the documentary process by the Archbishop of Trani in 2005, and then committed to the Congregation at that time.

2. Her writings are being examined on a separate track, in view of producing a critical edition with appropriate commentary in keeping with the teaching of the Magisterium.

3. No change in the norms and guidance provided by the Archbishop of Trani in previous official communications has occurred.

Read more https://www.ewtn.com/expert/answers/luisa_piccarreta.htm

Archbishop of Trani Confirms Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi has Breached the Moratorium on Luisa Piccarreta

Trani, March 30, 2017 Prot. 128/17 / C2 
Dear Mr. Emmett O'Regan, 

Dear Mr. Emmett O'Regan, I received your e-mail of 21 February 2017 which informed me of your study and the response made on the publications of the priest Joseph Iannuzzi. Point out that this priest does not belong to this Archdiocese and did not receive from me any authorization, permission or warrant of any kind and in relation to publications both in reference to the study and diffusion. Right now the Archdiocese and the Association "Luisa Piccarreta - PFDV" are engaged in the typical edition processing and critical writings of the Servant of God on the basis of which it will be possible to complete the necessary translations in other languages ​​and additional theological research to be conducted. In any event, all of the official study activities at this time are agreed and coordinated in harmony with the Congregation for the Causes of Saints through the postulation. I assure you full availability for any further clarification, I greet you cordially and a Happy Easter.

Giovan Battista Pichierri

Read more http://unveilingtheapocalypse.blogspot.com.au/2017/04/archbishop-of-trani-confirms-fr-joseph.html

20. Mar, 2018

When we are in love we say that we give our heart to the person we love.  Jesus gave all his heart. He loves you and wants to share in your life.

The Cross is a doing of love. Amidst the pain and suffering Jesus spells out a love that is unrivalled. The Son of God was brutally crucified, offering himself for our sins. God became man to die so men and women could be set free from sin and death.

Suffering tests our resolve. Can you imagine being humiliated, tortured and hated as Jesus was. As he died God’s Son offered his life for you that you might understand how much you mean to God, how much Jesus was prepared to give for the love of you.

This great act of love embraces all of us. Your God is Love and through the merits of the Holy Cross and Jesus’ death, new life is offered to all. This love God has for you can heal your interior wounds that come about by those times you thought you were not loved.

Love makes everything better.

When we accept God’s love we become open to a profound relationship of interior intimacy with God. This intimate and personal love flowing from the Cross, flowing out of the heart of our God, is very beautiful. There is no greater love that we can experience.

Jesus is the greatest lover of all. Jesus gave everything to share in our life. He didn’t hold back! His love conquers all. Jesus just asks us not to hold our hearts back from him. Rather, he wants us to love him with everything and every fibre of our being.

Jesus loves you. Jesus thirsts for your love. No matter what you have done, Jesus loves you for your own sake. Come to him with your misery and sins, with your troubles and needs, and with all your longing to be loved.

Image: Crucifixion by Jan van Eyck - https://www.scholarsresource.com/browse/artist/420

20. Mar, 2018

Holy Thursday celebrates the Last Supper and Jesus’ service of love by washing his disciple’s feet. On that night on which Jesus was betrayed he gave of himself without reserve.

At Supper, Jesus loving those who were his own even to the end, offered his Body and Blood, under the appearance of bread and wine. This self-giving love was consummated by his Sacrifice on the Cross. And in doing so, God revealed the extent of his love by being completely given-up for us who share in his life. God invites us to share in this mystery of God’s love during the Eucharist. In receiving communion, we are strengthened to give of ourselves to others.

We also remember that, on the night of the Last Supper, after Jesus gave the Eucharist to his Apostles, he then he enjoined on them the priesthood. This meant that Jesus’ self-giving love, ending in his Sacrificial offering of his life on the Cross, may be celebrated throughout time by his Church.

So tonight, we give thanks for the institution of the Eucharist by which under sacramental signs, Jesus brought to perfection the sacrifice of the old Law, making present his sacrifice offered on the Cross once and for all. The New Law is fulfilled every time we celebrate Christ’s Sacrifice and the washing of the feet is a visible sign of that Love.

Hence Pope Benedict XVI called the sacrifice of the Mass the sacrament of charity. Charity is not a feeling; it is an act of goodness intended to give life. Jesus’ offering – his gift of charity that began at table, was signified by the washing of the disciple’s feet, and ended on the Cross, is the supreme act of goodness and the fullest expression of God’s love!  

This love is for each of us. It is a gift that is intimate and personal; inviting and involving. It is also a sign for us, so that we may do the same for each other. Amen.

Image: Jesus with the Eucharist at the Last Supper by Juan de Juanes, mid-late 16th century.

20. Mar, 2018

The Amoris Laetitia debate has been incredibly frustrating. It is my view that proportionalism is at the heart of dispute, allowing for statements such as “it is possible that in an objective situation of sin – which may not be subjectively culpable, or fully such – a person can be living in God’s grace” (Amoris Laetitia, 305).

I believe people have failed to explore and critique the underlying ethical approach adopted by the exhortation. My critique is here: “OPINION: False Ethical Position Adopted by Amoris Laetitia” (http://www.johnthebaptistmoora.com/346443107/4481652/posting/opinion-false-ethical-position-adopted-by-amoris-laetitia).

My opinion is similar to, or the same as, the opinion of Joseph Seifert, who criticises “purely teleological ethics” (http://www.johnthebaptistmoora.com/346443107/5115841/posting/the-church-after-amoris-laetitia-an-interview-with-josef-seifert).

Below is an article by E. Christian Brugger, of the same opinion, and who has penned

“An Open Appeal to the Catholic Bishops of the World”


After serving five years as a Catholic campus minister in the 1980s, I decided to begin graduate studies in moral theology. This was in the heyday of proportionalism when its founding fathers still held some of the world’s most influential chairs of Catholic moral theology: Richard McCormick at the University of Notre Dame, Josef Fuchs at the Gregorian University in Rome, Louis Janssens at the University of Louvain, and Bernard Häring (emeritus) at the Alphonsianum in Rome.

In Veritatis Splendor, John Paul II had sternly warned the Catholic Church against their moral theories. The saintly pope’s overarching concern was that by appealing to complex circumstances, the activity of conscience and the notion that the moral law is merely an ideal, they end by justifying forms of behavior that have long been held to be contrary to the divine and natural laws (VS 56, 76, 103).

Then 25 years later comes what is now being called a “new paradigm” drawn from Amoris Laetitia. It proposes that on the basis of complex circumstances, the activity of conscience and the notion that the moral law is merely an ideal, some Catholics are not required to submit obediently to the objective and concrete demands of the divine and natural laws.

After extensively studying this new form of moral reasoning, and discussing it with philosophers, theologians, canonists, bishops and cardinals, I am concerned that this “new paradigm” is contrary to Catholic fides et moralibus; that its teaching is harmful to souls; and that its further dissemination will greatly undermined Catholic morality.

Therefore, knowing that each member of the faithful must do what he can to preserve and promote the Christian deposit of faith (CIC 212), and believing in conscience that Jesus wants me to take this step, I address this appeal to the Catholic bishops of the world—humbly, directly, truly and resolutely—believing that only the bishops can now prevent more and greater harms to the body of Christ and to her apostolic mission, which the “new paradigm” will surely cause if we continue on the present course.

I entrust this appeal and the response of the world’s bishops to the intercession of our humble father, St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church.

¤ ¤ ¤ ¤ ¤

Dear Archbishops, Bishops and Brothers in Christ,

Some influential voices in the Church are using a “new paradigm” to justify forms of behavior long recognized as contrary to the precepts of the Divine and Natural Laws. As I recently wrote:

The “new paradigm”—although never explicitly saying it—allows priests and bishops simultaneously to affirm that they accept the Church’s moral teaching and yet to liberate “individual consciences” that are not living by that teaching to continue not living by it, while approaching the Table of the Lord.

We see this in places where Catholics living in objectively sinful unions are being freed to return to Holy Communion without a sincere resolution to amend their behavior. The “new paradigm” effectively makes permissible actions rejected by Christ and St. Paul in the New Testament and by the Church for 20 centuries. In Germany, Argentina, Malta, and elsewhere we now have “Catholic divorce and remarriage” and “Catholic adultery.”

Unless you intervene to prevent the “new paradigm” from being brought to bear upon the wider body of Catholic moral teaching, its logic will surely be applied to contraceptive acts (despite the Church’s ancient teaching reaffirmed in Gaudium et Spes and Humanae Vitae), to homosexual behavior (despite the teaching reaffirmed in Persona Humana and the Catechism of the Catholic Church), and to other traditionally rejected behaviors.

And defenders of the “new paradigm” will say: “All we’re doing is applying Church teaching with greater pastoral sensitivity by paying heightened attention to the complexity of concrete ‘circumstances’ and by according greater respect to the dignity of ‘conscience’; the settled moral doctrines themselves are not in question.”

The interventions of laypeople and faithful priests are important, but are unlikely to influence the decisions of the Pope. Only fraternal episcopal interventions can now hope to avert what is sure otherwise to be a spiritual catastrophe for the Catholic Church. For if the “new paradigm” is officially applied to contraceptive acts, all the norms of Catholic sexual morality will fall like dominos. Great evil will occur. And many souls will be lost. God, of course, will bring good out of it. But not without immeasurable loss.

Therefore, to all Catholic bishops—East and West—who believe that the “new paradigm” is and will continue to be used to justify forms of behavior traditionally judged contrary to the divine and natural laws, I respectfully ask that you consider taking action in the following four ways:

  1. To privately write to the apostolic nuncio of your country and ask him respectfully to make known to the Holy Father your concerns about the “new paradigm” and especially to urge him to refrain from applying it to the teaching of Humanae Vitae.
  2. To privately write to Pope Francis himself fraternally expressing these same concerns and respectfully asking him to teach unambiguously the moral truths of the Catholic faith, especially on matters pertaining to the Fifth and Sixth Precepts of the Decalogue, and to correct the pastoral errors to which some of his teachings have given rise.
  3. To officially promulgate for your diocese a set of norms pastorally addressing the sensitive issues raised in Amoris Laetitia (especially Chapter 8), norms consistent with the teachings of John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Catholic moral and pastoral tradition.
  4. To privately liaise with like-minded bishops and consider constructive ways to use your magisterium to carry out the episcopal duties affirmed by the Catechism of the Catholic Church:

It is this Magisterium’s task to preserve God’s people from deviations and defections and to guarantee them the objective possibility of professing the true faith without error. Thus, the pastoral duty of the Magisterium is aimed at seeing to it that the People of God abides in the truth that liberates (890).

When you address the “new paradigm” in your correspondences, you might consider a form similar to what John Paul II used when addressing Proportionalism in Veritatis Splendor:

Such theories [in this case ‘paradigms’] are not faithful to the Church’s teaching, when they believe they can justify, as morally good, deliberate choices of kinds of behavior contrary to the commandments of the divine and natural law. These [paradigms] cannot claim to be grounded in the Catholic moral tradition (76).

It would be easy to say: “I’ve done all I can. It is all in God’s hands. We must be content to leave it there.” Please see that you are Jesus’ hands for addressing this very grave situation.

I am willing to assist you in any way I can—with summaries of concerns, talking points, diocesan guidelines, etc. Please do not hesitate to contact me.

Very respectfully yours in Jesus,

E. Christian Brugger, D.Phil.
Moral Theologian
Jacksonville Beach, Florida


Related, “Fidelity or the Justification of One’s Desires?” (http://www.johnthebaptistmoora.com/346443107/5171809/posting/fidelity-or-the-justification-of-one-s-desires).