The rule for opus in fides

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Poverty Chastity and Obedience are the 3 big counsels that lead to holiness and freedom comes from the truth and to discover what is really true we use reason and grace with faith, the knowledge of …

Poverty Chastity and Obedience are the 3 big counsels that lead to holiness and freedom comes from the truth and to discover what is really true we use reason and grace with faith, the knowledge of understanding that there is more to life than we can see or understand

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  • 1. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 1 of 68The complete ‗Opus of Fr Norris spiritual works is 258 pages long and contains, a series ofCatechumenal formation for the students and the diaries of Fr Jim Norris which is adaptedfrom the Columban 30 day St Ignatius retreat he did in the 1940‘s at Essedon, Australia.OPUS IN FIDES RULEThe ‘RULE’ encompasses specially selected Cannon Laws and Catechism citations and our‘RULE’ cannot be read independently and the primacy of our ‘RULE’ is Scripture incooperation with the Canon Law, Catechism, Encyclicals and the teaching of theMagisterium. It is the history of the early Mill Hill Fathers in Rotorua, this charisma has aspirit of mission and this spirit of ‘no frills,’ do it yourself, humble missionary work is partof the spirit of the Catholic faith in Rotorua. Fr Holierhook (1858) built the Presbytery atSt Michaels Church, Ohinemutu, Lake Road, Rotorua, it was built at the cost of ₤260. Thefundraising didn’t quite reach the target and the Maori chiefs did a quick whip around toraise the extra money. St Michael’s Church was Blessed on 27 July 1893 by Bishop Liston.1Fr Charels Kreijmborg built the 2nd story of the Presbytery in 1902 and the Sisters of StJoseph moved in. Soon after the 2nd story was finished Blessed Mary MacKillop started the‘Lake School’ with the Sister of St Joseph. A great history of Fathers and Sisters served theSt Michael’s Church in Rotorua and the spirit of mission is a living Spirit.IntroductionThe aim of every Christian is to love God with all their heart, mind, body and soul and theneighbor also. This has been the goal of every human being since the beginning; happiness isthe object we all strive for the question is how do we achieve this state continuously?The objective of this work is to disseminate the information from the Fr Norris ‗work‘, whichare his notes on spiritual, and doctrinal theories based on the Spiritual Exercise as defined bySt Ignatius, to be truly happy continuously a person needs ―to conquer oneself and regulateone‘s life without determining oneself through any tendency that is disordered.‖ The originalsin that started chaos is the cause of all the unhappiness in the world and returning to thisstate requires ‗work‘ to resist temptation. We pray ‗and lead us not into temptation,‘ and byour free will we can work to ‗conquer and regulate‘ the disorder and with the grace of Godlive life in the spirit of Jesus Christ. To use the word ‗profit‘ in the exercises is a truemeaning, virtue is what we need to increase, growth and benefits in virtue bring ‗profit,‘ weare meant to work and strive for this reward. The parable of the Sower (Luke 8:4-19) is allabout ‗profit‘ of good works and bearing fruit, this mystery is an allegory about faith and notnecessarily ‗converts‘ but growth in virtue, individuality and in the community.All the virtues lead to a happy life with the good of man being the highest state of pleasureand thus being continual and not a fleeting emotion. Whatever the part of the world, the1Sister of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart. New Zealand Story 1183-1983. Sister Anne Marie Power R.S.J. ©1983 Sisters of St Joseph of the Sacred Heart 56 Selwyn Avenue. Mission bay. Auckland. NZ.
  • 2. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 2 of 68leading spiritual masters have found that happiness is goal of everyone. Aristotle in 347BC,taught that happiness is being in a state that is achieved by virtue, since humans receive thehighest form of fulfillment from good works. The state of happiness cannot be achieved bythe purchase of objects or is it a possession, it is not a feeling, because this is temporary andhappiness is fulfillment, a continuous state where even in moments of trail our heart is in astate of love and peace. A spiritual journey is something that is often unseen and the smallestripples in the pond can create a spiritual change in your life and those of your family.The grace that Jesus Christ gives us in return for loving him is unquestionable great, oftenunseen yet powerful and our lives are to learn to hear His voice the Holy Spirit and live likehe teaches, ―to love one another as I have loved you.‖I have inserted Biblical text and corresponding references from St Ignatius Exercises to helpthe reader in their meditations. The work is written for anyone, of any denomination butespecially aimed at those who are willing to develop their Catholic faith. The reader needs tonote the 18thAnnotation of the Spiritual Exercises and also to follow the instructionsregarding the ‗Examen‘ at the end of the book. Every day keep notes in a diary, prayconstantly, and follow the instructions. The bold headings, ―thoughts‖ are Fr Norris‘sspiritual thoughts on the past contemplations and are a key to a deeper understanding. Theheading ―aspirations‖ is for you to think about your own aspirations I have left the aspirationsof Fr Norris for you to contemplate.2Never say that your lives are irrelevant and useless. «Who is weak», says Saint Paul, «and Iam not weak?» (Cor. 11: 29). If you have this sensitivity to the physical, moral and socialdeficiencies of mankind, you will also find in yourselves another sensitivity, that to thepotential good which is always to be found in every human being; for a priest, every life isworthy of love. This twofold sensitivity, to evil and to good in man, is the beating of Christ‘sheart in that of the faithful priest. It is not without something of the miraculous, a miracle thatis psychological, moral and, if you like, mystical, while at the same time being very much asocial one. It is a miracle of charity in the heart of a priest.2APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE OF HIS HOLINESS OF PAUL VI TO WEST ASIA, OCEANIA AND AUSTRALIA.PRIESTLYORDINATION.HOMILY OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI«Luneta Park», Manila.Saturday, 28 November 1970
  • 3. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 3 of 68The mirror of justiceSo, the revealed truth of God both requires and stimulates the believer‘s reason. Onthe one hand, the truth of the Word of God must be considered and probed by thebeliever – thus begins the intellectus fidei, the form taken here below by thebeliever‘s desire to see God.[114] Its aim is not at all to replace faith,[115] rather itunfolds naturally from the believer‘s act of faith, and it can indeed assist thosewhose faith may be wavering in the face of hostility.[116] The fruit of thebeliever‘s rational reflection is an understanding of the truths offaith. By the use of reason, the believer grasps the profoundconnections between the different stages in the history ofsalvation and also between the various mysteries of faithwhich illuminate one another. On the other hand, faithstimulates reason itself and stretches its limits. Reason isstirred to explore paths which of itself it would not even havesuspected it could take. This encounter with the Word of Godleaves reason enriched, because it discovers new andunsuspected horizons.[117]1. A Trail period of 6 months work under the guidance of the Paraclete. Discernment prayerand contemplation are our primary work.2. Bring only luggage you can carry yourself!3. 3Our work is God‘s will for us and it is the means He has given us to sanctify our souls.The work of the House is primarily to sanctify our own souls, secondly to prepare ourminds for the work of ‗The Church‘ Body of Christ.4. ―I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercy of God, that you present your bodies aliving sacrifice, holy, pleasing unto God, your reasonable service. And be not conformedto this world: but be reformed in the newness of your mind, that you may prove what isthe good and the acceptable and the perfect will of God.‖ (Romans 12:1-2)5. 4What is our purpose in life? To praise reverence and serve God and to attain salvation.6. 5We are in sin or about to sin the devil will bring along consolation or attractiveness forthe sin, making the sin a pleasure which it is not as you know after you commit the sin.The good spirit plucks your conscience and gives you remorse and severe pangs ofconscience after the sin is committed.7. 6The Holy Spirit on the other hand brings consolation, incites in a person a real love ofGod. We feel this real happiness, humble ourselves and remember this consolation isfrom God. We must prepare for desolation which will come, nor should we build toomuch on consolation.8. 7Never miss an opportunity of seeing a death bed a wonderful grace. Imagine yourself onyour death bed. You are completely abandoned now by all. Nobody can do anything foryou. Death is hard.3Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 854Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 145Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 316Ibid7Fr Jim Norris personal diary pg 33
  • 4. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 4 of 689. The face of your life should come from the tabernacle. If you want to do something big,make a noise before the tabernacle, not before the public in the daily paper. Look intoyourself and see whether or not you like your spiritual duties; meditation, exam etc…10. Try to obtain great love for prayer, do not pray because a bell rings or everybody elseprays.11. We are not a counseling service. We recommend pray.12. No Violence or Drugs or Alcohol in though these doors of St Joseph‘s House and onChurch property.13. 8Be not hasty to judge one another. 9Then I say with St Paul. ―To me it is a small thing tobe judged by you, or by man‘s day, but neither do I judge myself. He that judges me isTHE LORD! (1 Cor 4:3-4) ―Judge not, and you shall not be judged.‖ (Luke 6:37.)Romans 14:7-1214. Avoid idle curiosity curb eyesight, newspapers, magazines, T.V. looking at other peoplewith curiosity or lust, even from things lawful so that when something sinful comes aloneyou may not gaze at it. Watch carefully against this.15. No answering back to cause arguments.10―It is better to leaveeach one in their ownopinion than to enter into argument.‖16. Criticizing or losing temper even interiorly in not good. To acquire humility it is essentialto die to self. And you can die to self by being as charitable as possible with others. Thinkof their happiness and pleasure all the time. Leave yourself out together. Accept allhumiliations in the right spirit, no resentment. By becoming charitable and forgetful ofyour own interests, humility will come. After all too we have not much to be proud andvain about. Nothing of us belongs to us and as it is we are only dust. Vain glory is settingforth our own excellence as though we were responsible for it.17. Brethren: Learn to live and move in the spirit then there is no danger of giving way toimpulses of corrupt nature….. those who belong to Christ have crucified nature with allit‘s passions, all it‘s impulses. (Gal 5:16-24)18. 11I resolve to spend ¼ hour a day reading the Psalms,and reading a commentary uponthem.19. 6:1. 12Whosoever are servants under the yoke, let them count their masters worthy of allhonour; lest the name of the Lord and his doctrine be blasphemed.6:2. But they that have believing masters, let them not despise them, because they arebrethren; but serve them the rather, because they are faithful and beloved, who arepartakers of the benefit. These things teach and exhort.6:3. If any man teach otherwise and consent not to the sound words of our Lord JesusChrist and to that doctrine which is according to godliness,6:4. He is proud, knowing nothing, but sick about questions and strifes of words; fromwhich arise envies, contentions, blasphemies, evil suspicions,6:5. Conflicts of men corrupted in mind and who are destitute of the truth, supposinggain to be godliness. 6:6. But godliness with contentment is great gain.6:7. For we brought nothing into this world: and certainly we can carry nothing out.6:8. But having food and wherewith to be covered, with these we are content.8St Mary Mackillop (St Mary of the Cross card)9St Therese of Lisieux. Story of a Soul. Autobiography. © ICS Publications Washington DC 197210The Imitation of Christ III 44:111Fr Norris diary12New Advent Copyright © 2007 by Kevin Knight. New Advent is dedicated to the Error! Hyperlink referencenot valid..
  • 5. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 5 of 686:9. For they that will become rich fall into temptation and into the snare of the deviland into many unprofitable and hurtful desires, which drown men into destruction andperdition.6:10. For the desire of money is the root of all evils; which some coveting have erredfrom the faith and have entangled themselves in many sorrows.6:11. But thou, O man of God, fly these things: and pursue justice, godliness, faith,charity, patience, mildness.6:12. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art calledand be it confessed a good confession before many witnesses.20. Sin.If we are in sin or about to sin the devil will bring along consolation or attractivenessfor the sin, making the sin a pleasure which it is not as you know after you commit thesin. The good spirit plucks your conscience and gives you remorse and severe pangsof conscience after the sin is committed. When a person is seriously trying to do betterin the spiritual life the devil is all the time causing anxiety and scrupulosity ofconscience, is always putting forward causes and reasons why you can‘t and shouldn‘tdo this or that. He is always placing obstacles in a person‘s way and trying to hinderhim, trying to make him cut short his spiritual exercises for example.The Holy Spirit on the other hand brings consolation, incites in a person a real love ofGod. We feel this real happiness, humble ourselves and remember this consolation isfrom God. We must prepare for desolation which will come, nor should we build toomuch on consolation. When you feel your spiritual exercises a pleasure don‘t consideryourself a saint. God however often sends us desolation and not without good reason.Desolation is a feeling of complete objectiveness; loneliness and seeming disgust foreverything even our spiritual duties. Desolation makes us angry with ourselves andgenerally irritable with everything. You feel absolutely miserable, tepid in prayer andno attraction whatsoever for the spiritual life. In time of desolation never make achange in our spiritual duties, mortification, penances or anything. In fact if you aretempted to shorten prayer, give up mortifications or penances increase every one ofthem by so doing defeating the devil and showing God you mean to be faithful toHim. When desolation comes it is time to look carefully into yourself. Have youbroken the rule of the house, neglected prayer or have your thoughts been dark and onsome creature other than God. e.g. the coming free day or holidays. You‘re not doingGod‘s will in something. Be patience with yourself however.21. A confessor or Spiritual director is to be an ordained Priest or Sister.22.Make a sacrificial act every morning after communion. ―Take and receive,O‘ Lord, my memory, my understanding and my will. What have I that Ihave not received from thee?‖ Mean what you say.23. Confession.Be open. Conceal nothing. Once you reeled off all the sins, infidelities, faults,mistakes and inclinations to Father. Forget them. In all your confessions from now ontake them as from the last confession. You begin afresh. A clean slate. As the oldsailor said after a good confession. ―The pilot is aboard now Father, no chance ofbeing bashed on the rocks‖.
  • 6. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 6 of 6824. 13Mortifications: Breaking of the will, always so ready to impose itself on others, inholding back a reply, in rendering little services with any recognition, in not leaning theback against a support when seated etc25. 14Lukes Gospel presents to us the parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus. The rich manpersonifies the wicked use of riches by those who spend them on uncontrolled and selfishluxuries, thinking soley of satisfying themselves without caring at all for the begger attheir door. The poor man, on the contrary, represents the person whom God alone caresfor… God does not forget those who are forgotten by all; those who are worthless inhuman eyes are precious in the Lords.26. 15Vocations. St Therese of Lisieux. ―Then in excess of my delirous joy, I cried out: OJesus, my love, my vocation, at last I have found it..MY VOCATION IS LOVE!27. Peace is to be virtue that we cultivate in ourselves and others with the grace of Jesus andthe Pentecost Spirit that sheds the light on our common humanity.16The theme of themeeting for peace, ―Bound to Live Together‖ reminds us that we human beings are boundto each other. This social dimension is basically a simple aptitude that derives directlyfrom our human condition. It is therefore our task to give it a positive slant. Livingtogether can turn into living in antagonism, it can become hell if we do not learn to accepteach other and if no one wants to be anything other than himself. 17The world will neverbe the dwelling place of peace, till peace has found a home in the heart of each and everyman, till every man preserves in himself the order ordained by God to be preserved. Thatis why St. Augustine asks the question: "Does your mind desire the strength to gain themastery over your passions? Let it submit to a greater power, and it will conquer allbeneath it. And peace will be in you—true, sure, most ordered peace. What is that order?God as ruler of the mind; the mind as ruler of the body. Nothing could be more orderly."(69)28. We must have a desire to preserve the true image of Jesus Christ.18We know that inChristianity too there have been real distortions of the image of God that have led to thedisruption of peace which is all the more reason to allow the divine God to purify us, tobecome people of peace. We must never fail in our joint effort for peace. This is why themany initiatives across the world, such as Sant‘Egidio‘s annual prayer meeting for peace,and other similar projects are so valuable. The field in which the fruit of peace shouldflourish must always be cultivated We are often unable to do anything more thanceaselessly prepare the ground for peace, within us and around us, taking many smallsteps, mindful of the great challenges that humanity as a whole — not the individual —13St Therse. ‗Story of Soul‘. Translation John Clark O.C.D. ICS Publications Institute of Carmelite studiesWashington DC Pg 14314Pope Benedict XVI Angelus 30 Sept 2007. ‗On a level playing field‘ Caritas. Aotearoa. New Zealand. No 16Social Justice series 11-17 Sept. 201115St Therse. ‗Story of Soul‘. Translation John Clark O.C.D. ICS Publications Institute of Carmelite studiesWashington DC Pg 19416MESSAGE OF HIS HOLINESS BENEDICT XVI TO CARDINAL REINHARD MARX ARCHBISHOP OF MUNICH ANDFREISING ON THE OCCASION OF THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF PRAYER FOR PEACE "BOUND TO LIVETOGETHER": RELIGIONS AND CULTURES IN DIALOGUEORGANIZED BY THE COMMUNITY OF SANTEGIDIO[MUNICH, 11 - 13 SEPTEMBER 2011] © Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana17PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE, CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11.18Ibid
  • 7. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 7 of 68must reckon with, such as migration, globalization, economic crises and the safeguard ofcreation.29. Religious freedom is respected in all people no matter what belief and no coercion is to beused to convert to the Catholic faith. 19A sense of the dignity of the human person hasbeen impressing itself more and more deeply on the consciousness of contemporaryman,(1) and the demand is increasingly made that men should act on their own judgment,enjoying and making use of a responsible freedom, not driven by coercion but motivatedby a sense of duty.30. 20We believe that this one true religion subsists in the Catholic and Apostolic Church, towhich the Lord Jesus committed the duty of spreading it abroad among all men. Thus Hespoke to the Apostles: "Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them inthe name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe allthings whatsoever I have enjoined upon you" (Matt. 28: 19-20). On their part, all men arebound to seek the truth, especially in what concerns God and His Church, and to embracethe truth they come to know, and to hold fast to it.31. 21Human beings have also the right to choose for themselves the kind of life whichappeals to them: whether it is to found a family—in the founding of which both the manand the woman enjoy equal rights and duties—or to embrace the priesthood or thereligious life.32. 22It is therefore Our earnest wish that the United Nations Organization may be ableprogressively to adapt its structure and methods of operation to the magnitude andnobility of its tasks. May the day be not long delayed when every human being can find inthis organization an effective safeguard of his personal rights; those rights, that is, whichderive directly from his dignity as a human person, and which are therefore universal,inviolable and inalienable. This is all the more desirable in that men today are taking anever more active part in the public life of their own nations, and in doing so they areshowing an increased interest in the affairs of all peoples. They are becoming more andmore conscious of being living members of the universal family of mankind. 103. 23Thispeace, which the world cannot give, has been left as a heritage to His disciples by theDivine Redeemer Himself: "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you" (SaintJohn xiv. 27); and thus following the sublime teaching of Christ, summed up by Himselfin the twofold precept of love of God and of the neighbor, millions of souls have reached,are reaching and shall reach peace. History, wisely called by a great Roman "The Teacherof Life," has proved for close on two thousand years how true is the word of Scripturethat he will not have peace who resists God (cf. Job ix. 4). For Christ alone is the "CornerStone" (Ephesians ii. 20) on which man and society can find stability and salvation.19DECLARATION ON RELIGIOUS FREEDOM DIGNITATIS HUMANAE ON THE RIGHT OF THE PERSON AND OFCOMMUNITIES TO SOCIAL AND CIVIL FREEDOM IN MATTERS RELIGIOUS PROMULGATED BY HIS HOLINESSPOPE PAUL VI ON DECEMBER 7, 1965 © Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana20Ibid21PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE,CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11, 196322PACEM IN TERRIS ENCYCLICAL OF POPE JOHN XXIII ON ESTABLISHING UNIVERSAL PEACE IN TRUTH,JUSTICE,CHARITY, AND LIBERTY APRIL 11, 196323PIUS XII Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the year of Our Lord, 1939, the first of OurPontificate. SUMMI PONTIFICATUS
  • 8. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 8 of 6833. 24In our time, when day by day mankind is being drawn closer together, and the tiesbetween different peoples are becoming stronger, the Church examines more closely herrelationship to non-Christian religions. In her task of promoting unity and love amongmen, indeed among nations, she considers above all in this declaration what men have incommon and what draws them to fellowship.One is the community of all peoples, one their origin, for God made the whole humanrace to live over the face of the earth.(1) One also is their final goal, God. Hisprovidence, His manifestations of goodness, His saving design extend to all men,(2)until that time when the elect will be united in the Holy City, the city ablaze with theglory of God, where the nations will walk in His light34. 25"Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it ismanifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason itis called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence."(Thomas Aquinas, Summa theologiae, Ia-Ilae, q. xciii, art. 3, ad 2m.)35. (5.) 26From the widening and deepening of devotion to the Divine Heart of the Redeemer,which had its splendid culmination in the consecration of humanity at the end of the lastcentury, and further in the introduction, by Our immediate predecessor of happy memory,of the Feast of Christ the King, there have sprung up benefits beyond description fornumberless souls - as the stream of the river which maketh the City of God joyful (Psalmxlv. 5). What age had greater need than ours of these benefits? What age has been, for allits technical and purely civic progress, more tormented than ours by spiritual emptinessand deep-felt interior poverty? May we not, perhaps, apply to it the prophetic words ofthe Apocalypse: "Thou sayest: I am rich, and made wealthy, and have need of nothing:and knowest not, that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked."(Apocalypse iii. 17.)36. 27(3.) It is not difficult to determine what would be the form and character of the Statewere it governed according to the principles of Christian philosophy. Mans naturalinstinct moves him to live in civil society, for he cannot, if dwelling apart, providehimself with the necessary requirements of life, nor procure the means of developing hismental and moral faculties. Hence, it is divinely ordained that he should lead his life-be itfamily, or civil-with his fellow men, amongst whom alone his several wants can beadequately supplied. But, as no society can hold together unless some one be over all,directing all to strive earnestly for the common good, every body politic must have aruling authority, and this authority, no less than society itself, has its source in nature, andhas, consequently, God for its Author. Hence, it follows that all public power must24DECLARATION ON THE RELATION OF THE CHURCH TO NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS NOSTRA AETATE PROCLAIMEDBY HIS HOLINESS POPE PAUL VI ON OCTOBER 28, 196525RERUM NOVARUM ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON CAPITAL AND LABOR Leo XIIIs encyclical letter Givenat St. Peters in Rome, the fifteenth day of May, 1891, the fourteenth year of Our pontificate.26PIUS XII SUMMI PONTIFICATUS Given at Castel Gandolfo, near Rome, on the twentieth day of October, in the year of Our Lord,1939, the first of Our Pontificate.27IMMORTALE DEI ENCYCLICAL OF POPE LEO XIII ON THE CHRISTIAN CONSTITUTION OF STATES. Given at St. Peters inRome, the first day of November, 1885, the seventh year of Our pontificate. LEO XIII
  • 9. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 9 of 68proceed from God. For God alone is the true and supreme Lord of the world. Everything,without exception, must be subject to Him, and must serve him, so that whosoever holdsthe right to govern holds it from one sole and single source, namely, God, the sovereignRuler of all. "There is no power but from God."(1)37. 28(8.) For the only-begotten Son of God established on earth a society which is called theChurch, and to it He handed over the exalted and divine office which He had receivedfrom His Father, to be continued through the ages to come. "As the Father hath sent Me, Ialso send you." "Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of theworld."(6) Consequently, as Jesus Christ came into the world that men "might have lifeand have it more abundantly,"(7) so also has the Church for its aim and end the eternalsalvation of souls, and hence it is so constituted as to open wide its arms to all mankind,unhampered by any limit of either time or place. "Preach ye the Gospel to everycreature."(8)38. Staying faithful in times of doubt and aridity. 29Holy Father: Let us perhaps begin byidentifying what it is that specifically motivates those who feel scandalized by thesecrimes that have come to light in recent times. In the light of this information, I can wellunderstand, especially if it involves people who are close, that someone might say: ―Thisis no longer my Church. For me the Church was a humanizing and moralizing force. Ifrepresentatives of the Church do the opposite, I can no longer live with this Church.‖This is a specific situation. There is generally a variety of motives in the context ofthe secularization of our society. And such departures are usually the final step in along process of moving away from the Church. In this context, I think it important toask oneself; ―Why am I in the Church? Do I belong to the Church as I would to asports club, a cultural association, etc., where I have my interests, such that I canleave if those interests are no longer satisfied? Or is being in the Church somethingdeeper?‖I would say it is important to know that being in the Church is not like being in someassociation, but it is being in the net of the Lord, with which he draws good fish andbad fish from the waters of death to the land of life. It is possible that I might bealongside bad fish in this net and I sense this, but it remains true that I am in it neitherfor the former nor for the latter but because it is the Lords net; it is somethingdifferent from all human associations, a reality that touches the very heart of mybeing. In speaking to these people I think we must go to the heart of the question:what is the Church? In what does her diversity consist? Why am I in the Church even28Ibid29INTERVIEW OF THE HOLY FATHER BENEDICT XVI WITH THE JOURNALISTS DURING THE FLIGHT TO BERLINPapal Flight Thursday, 22 September 2011
  • 10. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 10 of 68though there are terrible scandals and terrible forms of human poverty? Therefore, weshould renew our awareness of the special nature of ―being Church‖, of being thepeople made up of all peoples, which is the People of God, and thereby learn totolerate even scandals and work against these scandals from within, precisely bybeing present within the Lords great net.39. 30Firmly anchored in faith to the cornerstone which is Christ, let us abide in him, like thebranch that can bear no fruit unless it remains attached to the vine. The Church, thePeople of the New Covenant, is built only in him, for him and with him. On this theServant of God Paul VI wrote: ―The first benefit which We trust the Church will reapfrom a deepened self-awareness, is a renewed discovery of its vital bond of union withChrist. This is something which is perfectly well known, but it is supremely importantand absolutely essential. It can never be sufficiently understood, meditated upon andpreached‖ (Encyclical Ecclesiam Suam, 6 August 1964: AAS 56 [1964], 622).40. 31The Venerable Servant of God John Paul II made this urgent task a central point of hisfar-reaching Magisterial teaching, referring to it as the ―new evangelization,‖ which hesystematically explored in depth on numerous occasions—a task that still bears upon theChurch today, particularly in regions Christianized long ago. Although this task directlyconcerns the Church‘s way of relating ad extra, it nevertheless presupposes first of all aconstant interior renewal, a continuous passing, so to speak, from evangelized toevangelizing. It is enough to recall what was affirmed in the Post-Synodal ApostolicExhortation Christifideles Laici: ―Whole countries and nations where religion and theChristian life were formerly flourishing and capable of fostering a viable and workingcommunity of faith, are now put to a hard test, and in some cases, are even undergoing aradical transformation, as a result of a constant spreading of an indifference to religion, ofsecularism and atheism. This particularly concerns countries and nations of the so-calledFirst World, in which economic well-being and consumerism, even if coexistent with atragic situation of poverty and misery, inspires and sustains a life lived ‗as if God did notexist‘. This indifference to religion and the practice of religion devoid of true meaning inthe face of lifes very serious problems, are not less worrying and upsetting whencompared with declared atheism. Sometimes the Christian faith as well, whilemaintaining some of the externals of its tradition and rituals, tends to be separated fromthose moments of human existence which have the most significance, such as, birth,suffering and death.41. Novices have a period of 2 years training before entry into St Josephs House.Accommodation may be on the grounds of St Michael‘s Church in the huts.30BENEDICT XVI ANGELUS Saint Peters SquareSunday, 2 October 201131UBICUMQUE ET SEMPEROF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVI ESTABLISHING THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL FORPROMOTING THE NEW EVANGELIZATION
  • 11. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 11 of 6842. 32―As you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me‖ (Mt 25:40).These words are a warning that must not be forgotten and a perennial invitation to returnthe love by which he takes care of us. It is faith that enables us to recognize Christ and itis his love that impels us to assist him whenever he becomes our neighbour along thejourney of life. Supported by faith, let us look with hope at our commitment in the world,as we await ―new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells‖ (2 Pet 3:13; cf.Rev 21:1).Rule of Canon Laws33Listening to the word of God leads us first and foremost to value the need to live inaccordance with this law ―written on human hearts‖ (cf. Rom 2:15; 7:23).34Jesus Christ then gives mankind the new law, the law of the Gospel, which takes up andeminently fulfils the natural law, setting us free from the law of sin, as a result of which, asSaint Paul says, ―I can will what is right, but I cannot do it‖ (Rom 7:18). It likewise enablesmen and women, through grace, to share in the divine life and to overcome their selfishness.Can. 224 In addition to those obligations and rights which are common to all the Christianfaithful and those which are established in other canons, the lay Christian faithful are boundby the obligations and possess the rights which are enumerated in the canons of this title.Can. 225 §1. Since, like all the Christian faithful, lay persons are designated by God for theapostolate through baptism and confirmation, they are bound by the general obligation andpossess the right as individuals, or joined in associations, to work so that the divine messageof salvation is made known and accepted by all persons everywhere in the world. Thisobligation is even more compelling in those circumstances in which only through them canpeople hear the gospel and know Christ.§2. According to each one‘s own condition, they are also bound by a particular duty to imbueand perfect the order of temporal affairs with the spirit of the gospel and thus to give witnessto Christ, especially in carrying out these same affairs and in exercising secular functions.Can. 226 §1. According to their own vocation, those who live in the marital state are boundby a special duty to work through marriage and the family to build up the people of God.Can. 229 §1. Lay persons are bound by the obligation and possess the right to acquireknowledge of Christian doctrine appropriate to the capacity and condition of each in order forthem to be able to live according to this doctrine, announce it themselves, defend it ifnecessary, and take their part in exercising the apostolate.32APOSTOLIC LETTER ―MOTU PROPRIO DATA‖PORTA FIDEIOF THE SUPREME PONTIFF BENEDICT XVIFOR THEINDICTION OF THE YEAR OF FAITH33Cf. Pontifical Biblical Commission, The Bible and Morality, Biblical Roots of Christian Conduct (11 May2008), Vatican City, 2008, Nos. 13, 32, 10934Cf. International Theological Commission, In Search of a Universal Ethics: A New Look at the Natural Law,Vatican City, 2009, No. 102.
  • 12. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 12 of 68§2. They also possess the right to acquire that fuller knowledge of the sacred sciences whichare taught in ecclesiastical universities and faculties or in institutes of religious sciences, byattending classes there and pursuing academic degrees.§3. If the prescripts regarding the requisite suitability have been observed, they are alsoqualified to receive from legitimate ecclesiastical authority a mandate to teach the sacredsciences.Can. 230 §1. Lay men who possess the age and qualifications established by decree of theconference of bishops can be admitted on a stable basis through the prescribed liturgical riteto the ministries of lector and acolyte.Nevertheless, the conferral of these ministries does not grant them the right to obtain supportor remuneration from the Church.§2. Lay persons can fulfill the function of lector in liturgical actions by temporarydesignation. All lay persons can also perform the functions of commentator or cantor, orother functions, according to the norm of law.§3. When the need of the Church warrants it and ministers are lacking, lay persons, even ifthey are not lectors or acolytes, can also supply certain of their duties, namely, to exercise theministry of the word, to preside offer liturgical prayers, to confer baptism, and to distributeHoly Communion, according to the prescripts of the law.Can. 231 §1. Lay persons who permanently or temporarily devote themselves to specialservice of the Church are obliged to acquire the appropriate formation required to fulfill theirfunction properly and to carry out this function conscientiously, eagerly, and diligently.§2. Without prejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 230, §1 and with the prescripts of civil lawhaving been observed, lay persons have the right to decent remuneration appropriate to theircondition so that they are able to provide decently for their own needs and those of theirfamily. They also have a right for their social provision, social security, and health benefits tobe duly provided.Can. 234 §1. Minor seminaries and other similar institutions are to be preserved, where theyexist, and fostered; for the sake of fostering vocations, these institutions provide specialreligious formation together with instruction in the humanities and science. Where thediocesan bishop judges it expedient, he is to erect a minor seminary or similar institution.Can. 244 The spiritual formation and doctrinal instruction of the students in a seminary are tobe arranged harmoniously and so organized that each student, according to his character,acquires the spirit of the gospel and a close relationship with Christ along with appropriatehuman maturity.Can. 245 §1. Through their spiritual formation, students are to become equipped to exercisethe pastoral ministry fruitfully and are to be formed in a missionary spirit; they are to learnthat ministry always carried out in living faith and charity fosters their own sanctification.They also are to learn to cultivate those virtues which are valued highly in human relations sothat they are able to achieve an appropriate integration between human and supernaturalgoods.
  • 13. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 13 of 68§2. Students are so to be formed that, imbued with love of the Church of Christ, they arebound by humble and filial charity to the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter, are attachedto their own bishop as faithful coworkers, and work together with their brothers. Throughcommon life in the seminary and through relationships of friendship and of associationcultivated with others, they are to be prepared for fraternal union with the diocesanpresbyterium whose partners they will be in the service of the Church.Can. 246 §1. The eucharistic celebration is to be the center of the entire life of a seminary insuch a way that, sharing in the very love of Christ, the students daily draw strength of spiritfor apostolic work and for their spiritual life especially from this richest of sources.§2. They are to be formed in the celebration of the liturgy of the hours by which the ministersof God pray to God in the name of the Church for all the people entrusted to them, andindeed, for the whole world.§3. The veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary, including the marian rosary, mental prayer,and other exercises of piety are to be fostered; through these, students are to acquire a spiritof prayer and gain strength in their vocation.§4. Students are to become accustomed to approach the sacrament of penance frequently; it isalso recommended that each have a director of his spiritual life whom he has freely chosenand to whom he can confidently open his conscience.§5. Each year students are to make a spiritual retreatCan. 248 The doctrinal instruction given is to be directed so that students acquire anextensive and solid learning in the sacred disciplines along with a general culture appropriateto the necessities of place and time, in such way that, grounded in their own faith andnourished thereby, they are able to announce in a suitable way the teaching of the gospel tothe people of their own time in a manner adapted to their understanding.Can. 256 §1. Students are to be instructed diligently in those things which in a particularmanner pertain to the sacred ministry, especially in catechetical and homiletic skills, in divineworship and particularly the celebration of the sacraments, in relationships with people, evennon-Catholics or non-believers, in the administration of a parish, and in the fulfillment ofother functions.§2. Students are to be instructed about the needs of the universal Church in such a way thatthey have solicitude for the promotion of vocations and for missionary, ecumenical, and othermore urgent questions, including social ones.Can. 260 In carrying out their proper functions, all must obey the rector, to whom it belongsto care for the daily supervision of the seminary according to the norm of the program ofpriestly formation and of the rule of the seminary.Can. 294 After the conferences of bishops involved have been heard, the Apostolic See canerect personal prelatures, which consist of presbyters and deacons of the secular clergy, topromote a suitable distribution of presbyters or to accomplish particular pastoral ormissionary works for various regions or for different social groups.
  • 14. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 14 of 68Can. 296 Lay persons can dedicate themselves to the apostolic works of a personal prelatureby agreements entered into with the prelature. The statutes, however, are to determinesuitably the manner of this organic cooperation and the principal duties and rights connectedto it.Can. 298 §1. In the Church there are associations distinct from institutes of consecrated lifeand societies of apostolic life; in these associations the Christian faithful, whether clerics, laypersons, or clerics and lay persons together, strive in a common endeavor to foster a moreperfect life, to promote public worship or Christian doctrine, or to exercise other works of theapostolate such as initiatives of evangelization, works of piety or charity, and those whichanimate the temporal order with a Christian spirit.§2. The Christian faithful are to join especially those associations which competentecclesiastical authority has erected, praised, or commended.Can. 299 §1. By means of a private agreement made among themselves, the Christian faithfulare free to establish associations to pursue the purposes mentioned in ⇒ can. 298, §1, withoutprejudice to the prescript of ⇒ can. 301, §1.§2. Even if ecclesiastical authority praises or commends them, associations of this type arecalled private associations.§3. No private association of the Christian faithful is recognized in the Church unlesscompetent authority reviews its statutes.Can. 303 Associations whose members share in the spirit of some religious institute while insecular life, lead an apostolic life, and strive for Christian perfection under the higherdirection of the same institute are called third orders or some other appropriate name.Can. 305 §1. All associations of the Christian faithful are subject to the vigilance ofcompetent ecclesiastical authority which is to take care that the integrity of faith and moralsis preserved in them and is to watch so that abuse does not creep into ecclesiasticaldiscipline. This authority therefore has the duty and right to inspect them according to thenorm of law and the statutes. These associations are also subject to the governance of thissame authority according to the prescripts of the canons which follow.Can. 307 §1. The reception of members is to be done according to the norm of law and thestatutes of each association.§2. The same person can be enrolled in several associations.§3. Members of religious institutes can join associations according to the norm of their properlaw with the consent of their superior.Can. 308 No one legitimately enrolled is to be dismissed from an association except for a justcause according to the norm of law and the statutes.Can. 309 According to the norm of law and the statutes, legitimately established associationshave the right to issue particular norms respecting the association itself, to hold meetings, andto designate moderators, officials, other officers, and administrators of goods.
  • 15. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 15 of 68Can. 312 §1. The authority competent to erect public associations is:1/ the Holy See for universal and international associations;2/ the conference of bishops in its own territory for national associations, that is, those whichfrom their founding are directed toward activity throughout the whole nation;3/ the diocesan bishop in his own territory, but not a diocesan administrator, for diocesanassociations, except, however, for those associations whose right of erection has beenreserved to others by apostolic privilege.§2. Written consent of the diocesan bishop is required for the valid erection of an associationor section of an association in a diocese even if it is done by virtue of apostolic privilege.Nevertheless, the consent given by a diocesan bishop for the erection of a house of a religiousinstitute is also valid for the erection in the same house or church attached to it of anassociation which is proper to that institute.Can. 313 Through the same decree by which the competent ecclesiastical authority accordingto the norm of ⇒ can. 312 erects it, a public association and even a confederation of publicassociations is constituted a juridic person and, to the extent it is required, receives a missionfor the purposes which it proposes to pursue in the name of the Church.Can. 314 The statutes of each public association and their revision or change need theapproval of the ecclesiastical authority competent to erect the association according to thenorm of ⇒ can. 312, §1.Can. 315 Public associations are able on their own initiative to undertake endeavors inkeeping with their own character. These endeavors are governed according to the norm of thestatutes, though under the higher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in ⇒ can.312, §1.Can. 316 §1. A person who has publicly rejected the Catholic faith, has defected fromecclesiastical communion, or has been punished by an imposed or declared excommunicationcannot be received validly into public associations.§2. Those enrolled legitimately who fall into the situation mentioned in §1, after beingwarned, are to be dismissed from the association, with due regard for its statutes and withoutprejudice to the right of recourse to the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in ⇒ can. 312, §1.Can. 317 §1. Unless the statutes provide otherwise, it is for the ecclesiastical authoritymentioned in ⇒ can. 312, §1 to confirm the moderator of a public association elected by thepublic association itself, install the one presented, or appoint the moderator in his own right.The same ecclesiastical authority also appoints the chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant, afterhaving heard the major officials of the association, when it is expedient.§2. The norm stated in §1 is also valid for associations which members of religious instituteserect outside their own churches or houses in virtue of apostolic privilege. In associationswhich members of religious institutes erect in their own church or house, however, thenomination or confirmation of the moderator and chaplain pertains to the superior of theinstitute, according to the norm of the statutes.§3. In associations which are not clerical, lay persons are able to exercise the function of
  • 16. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 16 of 68moderator. A chaplain or ecclesiastical assistant is not to assume that function unless thestatutes provide otherwise.Can. 319 §1. Unless other provision has been made, a legitimately erected public associationadministers the goods which it possesses according to the norm of the statutes under thehigher direction of the ecclesiastical authority mentioned in ⇒ can. 312, §1, to which it mustrender an account of administration each year.§2. It must also render to the same authority a faithful account of the expenditure of theofferings and alms which it has collected.Can. 713 §1. Members of these institutes express and exercise their own consecration inapostolic activity, and like leaven they strive to imbue all things with the spirit of the gospelfor the strengthening and growth of the Body of ChristCan. 713§2. In the world and from the world, lay members participate in the evangelizingfunction of the Church whether through the witness of a Christian life and of fidelity towardtheir own consecration, or through the assistance they offer to order temporal thingsaccording to God and to inform the world by the power of the gospel.They also cooperate in the service of the ecclesial community according to their own secularway of lifeCan. 715§2. Those who are incardinated in an institute according to the norm of ⇒ can. 266,§3, however, are subject to the bishop like religious if they are appointed to the proper worksof the institute or to the governance of the institute.Can. 718 The administration of the goods of an institute, which must express and fosterevangelical poverty, is governed by the norms of Book V, The Temporal Goods of theChurch, and by the proper law of the institute.Likewise, proper law is to define the obligations of the institute, especially Financial ones,towards members who carry on work for it.Can. 719 §1. For members to respond faithfully to their vocation and for their apostolicaction to proceed from their union with Christ, they are to devote themselves diligently toprayer, to give themselves in a Fitting way to the reading of sacred scripture, to observe anannual period of spiritual retreat, and to perform other spiritual exercises according to properlaw.§2. The celebration of the Eucharist, daily if possible, is to be the source and strength of theirwhole consecrated life.§3. They are to approach freely the sacrament of penance which they are to receivefrequently.§4. They are to obtain freely necessary direction of conscience and to seek counsel of thiskind even from the moderators, if they wish.Can. 720 The right of admission into the institute, either for probation or for the assumptionof sacred bonds, whether temporary or perpetual or definitive, belongs to the major
  • 17. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 17 of 68moderators with their council, according to the norm of the constitutions.Can. 722 §1. Initial probation is to be ordered in a way that the candidates understand morefittingly their own divine vocation, and indeed, the one proper to the institute, and that theyare trained in the spirit and way of life of the institute.§2. Candidates are properly to be formed to lead a life according to the evangelical counselsand are to be taught to transform their whole life into the apostolate, employing those formsof evangelization which better respond to the purpose, spirit, and character of the institute.Can. 729 A member is dismissed from an institute according to the norm of cann. ⇒ 694 and⇒ 695; moreover, the constitutions are to determine other causes for dismissal provided thatthey are proportionately grave, external, imputable, and juridically proven, and the method ofproceeding established in cann. 697-700 is to be observed. The prescript of ⇒ can. 701applies to one dismissed.Can. 731 §1. Societies of apostolic life resemble institutes of consecrated life; their members,without religious vows, pursue the apostolic purpose proper to the society and, leading a lifein common as brothers or sisters according to their proper manner of life, strive for theperfection of charity through the observance of the constitutions.§2. Among these are societies in which members assume the evangelical counsels by somebond defined in the constitutions.Can. 735 §1. The proper law of each society determines the admission, probation,incorporation, and formation of members.Can. 741 §1. Societies and, unless the constitutions determine otherwise, their parts andhouses are juridic persons and, as such, capable of acquiring, possessing, administering, andalienating temporal goods according to the norm of the prescripts of Book V, The TemporalGoods of the Church, of cann. ⇒ 636, ⇒ 638, and ⇒ 639, and of proper law.Can. 744 §1. It is equally reserved to the supreme moderator with the consent of the councilto grant permission for a definitively incorporated member to transfer to another society ofapostolic life; the rights and obligations proper to the society are suspended in the meantime,without prejudice to the right of returning before definitive incorporation in the new society.§2. Transfer to an institute of consecrated life or from one to a society of apostolic liferequires the permission of the Holy See, whose mandates must be observed.Can. 746 For the dismissal of a definitively incorporated member, ⇒ cann. 694-704 are to beobserved with appropriate adaptations.Can. 747 §1. The Church, to which Christ the Lord has entrusted the deposit of faith so thatwith the assistance of the Holy Spirit it might protect the revealed truth reverently, examine itmore closely, and proclaim and expound it faithfully, has the duty and innate right,independent of any human power whatsoever, to preach the gospel to all peoples, also usingthe means of social communication proper to it.
  • 18. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 18 of 68§2. It belongs to the Church always and everywhere to announce moral principles, even aboutthe social order, and to render judgment concerning any human affairs insofar as thefundamental rights of the human person or the salvation of souls requires it.Can. 748 §1. All persons are bound to seek the truth in those things which regard God and hisChurch and by virtue of divine law are bound by the obligation and possess the right ofembracing and observing the truth which they have come to know.§2. No one is ever permitted to coerce persons to embrace the Catholic faith against theirconscience.Can. 749 §1. By virtue of his office, the Supreme Pontiff possesses infallibility in teachingwhen as the supreme pastor and teacher of all the Christian faithful, who strengthens hisbrothers and sisters in the faith, he proclaims by definitive act that a doctrine of faith ormorals is to be held.§2. The college of bishops also possesses infallibility in teaching when the bishops gatheredtogether in an ecumenical council exercise the magisterium as teachers and judges of faithand morals who declare for the universal Church that a doctrine of faith or morals is to beheld definitively; or when dispersed throughout the world but preserving the bond ofcommunion among themselves and with the successor of Peter and teaching authenticallytogether with the Roman Pontiff matters of faith or morals, they agree that a particularproposition is to be held definitively.Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism ofsome truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the totalrepudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiffor of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.Can. 754 All the Christian faithful are obliged to observe the constitutions and decrees whichthe legitimate authority of the Church issues in order to propose doctrine and to proscribeerroneous opinions, particularly those which the Roman Pontiff or the college of bishops putsforth.Can. 758 By virtue of their consecration to God, members of institutes of consecrated lifegive witness to the gospel in a special way and the bishop appropriately calls upon them as ahelp in proclaiming the gospel.Can. 759 By virtue of baptism and confirmation, lay members of the Christian faithful arewitnesses of the gospel message by word and the example of a Christian life; they can also becalled upon to cooperate with the bishop and presbyters in the exercise of the ministry of theword.Can. 760 The mystery of Christ is to be set forth completely and faithfully in the ministry ofthe word, which must be based upon sacred scripture, tradition, liturgy, the magisterium, andthe life of the Church.Can. 766 Lay persons can be permitted to preach in a church or oratory, if necessity requiresit in certain circumstances or it seems advantageous in particular cases, according to theprescripts of the conference of bishops and without prejudice to ⇒ can. 767, §1
  • 19. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 19 of 68Can. 768 §1. Those who proclaim the divine word are to propose first of all to the Christianfaithful those things which one must believe and do for the glory of God and the salvation ofhumanity.Can. 772 §1. In the exercise of preaching, moreover, all are to observe the norms issued bythe diocesan bishop.§2. In giving a radio or television talk on Christian doctrine, the prescripts established by theconference of bishops are to be observed.Can. 774 §1. Under the direction of legitimate ecclesiastical authority, solicitude forcatechesis belongs to all members of the Church according to each one‘s role.§2. Parents above others are obliged to form their children by word and example in faith andin the practice of Christian life; sponsors and those who take the place of parents are boundby an equal obligation.Can. 777 Attentive to the norms established by the diocesan bishop, a pastor is to take care ina special way:1/ that suitable catechesis is imparted for the celebration of the sacraments;2/ that through catechetical instruction imparted for an appropriate period of time children areprepared properly for the first reception of the sacraments of penance and the Most HolyEucharist and for the sacrament of confirmation;3/ that having received first communion, these children are enriched more fully and deeplythrough catechetical formation;4/ that catechetical instruction is given also to those who are physically or mentally impeded,insofar as their condition permits;5/ that the faith of youth and adults is strengthened, enlightened, and developed throughvarious means and endeavors.Can. 778 Religious superiors and superiors of societies of apostolic life are to take care thatcatechetical instruction is imparted diligently in their churches, schools, and other worksentrusted to them in any way.Can. 779 Catechetical instruction is to be given by using all helps, teaching aids, andinstruments of social communication which seem more effective so that the faithful, in amanner adapted to their character, capabilities and age, and conditions of life, are able tolearn Catholic doctrine more fully and put it into practice more suitably.Can. 780 Local ordinaries are to take care that catechists are duly prepared to fulfill theirfunction properly, namely, that continuing formation is made available to them, that theyunderstand the doctrine of the Church appropriately, and that they learn in theory and inpractice the methods proper to the teaching disciplines.Can. 781 Since the whole Church is by its nature missionary and the work of evangelization
  • 20. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 20 of 68must be held as a fundamental duty of the people of God, all the Christian faithful, consciousof their responsibility, are to assume their part in missionary workCan. 782 §1. The Roman Pontiff and the college of bishops have the supreme direction andcoordination of endeavors and actions which belong to missionary work and missionarycooperation.§2. As sponsors of the universal Church and of all the churches, individual bishops are tohave special solicitude for missionary work, especially by initiating, fostering, and sustainingmissionary endeavors in their own particular churches.Can. 783 Since by virtue of their consecration members of institutes of consecrated lifededicate themselves to the service of the Church, they are obliged to engage in missionaryaction in a special way and in a manner proper to their institute.Can. 784 Missionaries, that is, those whom competent ecclesiastical authority sends to carryout missionary work, can be chosen from among natives or non-natives, whether secularclerics, members of institutes of consecrated life or of societies of apostolic life, or other laymembers of the Christian faithful.Can. 785 §1. Catechists are to be used in carrying out missionary work; catechists are laymembers of the Christian faithful, duly instructed and outstanding in Christian life, whodevote themselves to setting forth the teaching of the gospel and to organizing liturgies andworks of charity under the direction of a missionary.§2. Catechists are to be formed in schools designated for this purpose or, where such schoolsare lacking, under the direction of missionaries.Can. 786 The Church accomplishes the specifically missionary action which implants theChurch among peoples or groups where it has not yet taken root especially by sendingheralds of the gospel until the young churches are established fully, that is, when they areprovided with the proper resources and sufficient means to be able to carry out the work ofevangelization themselves.Can. 787 §1. By the witness of their life and word, missionaries are to establish a sinceredialogue with those who do not believe in Christ so that, in a manner adapted to their owntemperament and culture, avenues are opened enabling them to understand the message of thegospel.§2. Missionaries are to take care that they teach the truths of faith to those whom theyconsider prepared to receive the gospel message so that they can be admitted to receivebaptism when they freely request it.Can. 788 §1. When the period of the precatechumenate has been completed, those who havemade known their intention to embrace faith in Christ are to be admitted to thecatechumenate in liturgical ceremonies and their names are to be inscribed in the bookdesignated for this purpose.§2. Through instruction and the first experience of Christian life, catechumens are to beinitiated suitably into the mystery of salvation and introduced into the life of the faith, the
  • 21. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 21 of 68liturgy, the charity of the people of God, and the apostolate.§3. It is for the conference of bishops to issue statutes which regulate the catechumenate bydetermining what things must be expected of the catechumens and by defining whatprerogatives are to be recognized as theirs.Can. 789 Neophytes are to be formed through suitable instruction to understand the gospeltruth more deeply and to fulfill the duties assumed through baptism; they are to be imbuedwith a sincere love for Christ and his Church.Can. 790 §1. It is for the diocesan bishop in the territories of a mission:1/ to promote, direct, and coordinate endeavors and works which pertain to missionaryaction;2/ to take care that appropriate agreements are entered into with moderators of instituteswhich dedicate themselves to missionary work and that relations with them result in the goodof the mission.§2. All missionaries, even religious and their assistants living in his jurisdiction, are subjectto the prescripts issued by the diocesan bishop mentioned in §1, n. 1.Can. 791. To foster missionary cooperation in individual dioceses:1/ missionary vocations are to be promoted;2/ a priest is to be designated to promote effectively endeavors for the missions, especiallythe Pontifical Missionary Works;3/ an annual day for the missions is to be celebrated;4/ a suitable offering for the missions is to be contributed each year and sent to the Holy See.Can. 792 Conferences of bishops are to establish and promote works by which those whocome to their territory from mission lands for the sake of work or study are received asbrothers and sisters and assisted with adequate pastoral care.Catechism citationsCopyright © Libreria Editrice VaticanaLearning the Catechism is a life long study, just like the Bible, a daily time should be set forreading and discussion. It is important that the Spirit of God‘s love/ grace be implanted in theperson by the Sacraments or the Word is only interpreted as Law and not read as a livingtruth.Only selected citations have been used as key points are meant to be a vademecum but it isrecommended that the complete Catechism is studied and a reference copy is available if any
  • 22. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 22 of 68questions arise in the students mind.CCC. 50 By natural reason man can know God with certainty, on the basis of his works. Butthere is another order of knowledge, which man cannot possibly arrive at by his own powers:the order of divine Revelation.1Through an utterly free decision, God has revealed himselfand given himself to man. This he does by revealing the mystery, his plan of lovinggoodness, formed from all eternity in Christ, for the benefit of all men. God has fullyrevealed this plan by sending us his beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit.The covenant with NoahCCC. 56 After the unity of the human race was shattered by sin God at once sought to savehumanity part by part. The covenant with Noah after the flood gives expression to theprinciple of the divine economy toward the "nations", in other words, towards men grouped"in their lands, each with (its) own language, by their families, in their nations".957 This state of division into many nations, each entrusted by divine providence to theguardianship of angels, is at once cosmic, social and religious. It is intended to limit the prideof fallen humanity10united only in its perverse ambition to forge its own unity as at Babel.11But, because of sin, both polytheism and the idolatry of the nation and of its rulers constantlythreaten this provisional economy with the perversion of paganism.1258 The covenant with Noah remains in force during the times of the Gentiles, until theuniversal proclamation of the Gospel.13The Bible venerates several great figures among theGentiles: Abel the just, the king-priest Melchisedek - a figure of Christ - and the upright"Noah, Daniel, and Job".14Scripture thus expresses the heights of sanctity that can be reachedby those who live according to the covenant of Noah, waiting for Christ to "gather into onethe children of God who are scattered abroad".15God chooses Abraham59 In order to gather together scattered humanity God calls Abram from his country, hiskindred and his fathers house,16and makes him Abraham, that is, "the father of a multitude ofnations". "In you all the nations of the earth shall be blessed."1760 The people descended from Abraham would be the trustee of the promise made to thepatriarchs, the chosen people, called to prepare for that day when God would gather all hischildren into the unity of the Church.18They would be the root on to which the Gentileswould be grafted, once they came to believe.1961 The patriarchs, prophets and certain other Old Testament figures have been and alwayswill be honoured as saints in all the Churchs liturgical traditions.God forms his people Israel62 After the patriarchs, God formed Israel as his people by freeing them from slavery inEgypt. He established with them the covenant of Mount Sinai and, through Moses, gave themhis law so that they would recognize him and serve him as the one living and true God, theprovident Father and just judge, and so that they would look for the promised Saviour.20
  • 23. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 23 of 6863 Israel is the priestly people of God, "called by the name of the LORD", and "the first tohear the word of God",21The people of "elder brethren" in the faith of Abraham.64 Through the prophets, God forms his people in the hope of salvation, in the expectation ofa new and everlasting Covenant intended for all, to be written on their hearts.22The prophetsproclaim a radical redemption of the People of God, purification from all their infidelities, asalvation which will include all the nations.23Above all, the poor and humble of the Lord willbear this hope. Such holy women as Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, Miriam, Deborah, Hannah,Judith and Esther kept alive the hope of Israels salvation. The purest figure among them isMary.24CCC. III. Christ Jesus -- "Mediator and Fullness of All Revelation"25God has said everything in his Word65 "In many and various ways God spoke of old to our fathers by the prophets, but in theselast days he has spoken to us by a Son."26Christ, the Son of God made man, is the Fathersone, perfect and unsurpassable Word. In him he has said everything; there will be no otherword than this one. St. John of the Cross, among others, commented strikingly on Hebrews1:1-2:In giving us his Son, his only Word (for he possesses no other), he spoke everythingto us at once in this sole Word - and he has no more to say. . . because what he spokebefore to the prophets in parts, he has now spoken all at once by giving us the AllWho is His Son. Any person questioning God or desiring some vision or revelationwould be guilty not only of foolish behaviour but also of offending him, by not fixinghis eyes entirely upon Christ and by living with the desire for some other novelty.27There will be no further Revelation66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will neverpass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestationof our Lord Jesus Christ."28Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been madecompletely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance overthe course of the centuries.67 Throughout the ages, there have been so-called "private" revelations, some of which havebeen recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the depositof faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christs definitive Revelation, but to helplive more fully by it in a certain period of history. Guided by the Magisterium of the Church,the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whateverconstitutes an authentic call of Christ or his saints to the Church.Christian faith cannot accept "revelations" that claim to surpass or correct theRevelation of which Christ is the fulfilment, as is the case in certain nonChristianreligions and also in certain recent sects which base themselves on such "revelations".I. The Apostolic Tradition
  • 24. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 24 of 6875 "Christ the Lord, in whom the entire Revelation of the most high God is summed up,commanded the apostles to preach the Gospel, which had been promised beforehand by theprophets, and which he fulfilled in his own person and promulgated with his own lips. Inpreaching the Gospel, they were to communicate the gifts of God to all men. This Gospel wasto be the source of all saving truth and moral discipline."32In the apostolic preaching. . .76 In keeping with the Lords command, the Gospel was handed on in two ways:- orally "by the apostles who handed on, by the spoken word of their preaching, by theexample they gave, by the institutions they established, what they themselves had received -whether from the lips of Christ, from his way of life and his works, or whether they hadlearned it at the prompting of the Holy Spirit";33- in writing "by those apostles and other men associated with the apostles who, under theinspiration of the same Holy Spirit, committed the message of salvation to writing".34. . . continued in apostolic succession77 "In order that the full and living Gospel might always be preserved in the Church theapostles left bishops as their successors. They gave them their own position of teachingauthority."35Indeed, "the apostolic preaching, which is expressed in a special way in theinspired books, was to be preserved in a continuous line of succession until the end of time."3678 This living transmission, accomplished in the Holy Spirit, is called Tradition, since it isdistinct from Sacred Scripture, though closely connected to it. Through Tradition, "theChurch, in her doctrine, life and worship, perpetuates and transmits to every generation allthat she herself is, all that she believes."37"The sayings of the holy Fathers are a witness tothe life-giving presence of this Tradition, showing how its riches are poured out in thepractice and life of the Church, in her belief and her prayer."38CCC. 79 The Fathers self-communication made through his Word in the Holy Spirit, remainspresent and active in the Church: "God, who spoke in the past, continues to converse with theSpouse of his beloved Son. and the Holy Spirit, through whom the living voice of the Gospelrings out in the Church - and through her in the world - leads believers to the full truth, andmakes the Word of Christ dwell in them in all its richness."39II. The Relationship Between Tradition and Sacred ScriptureOne common source. . .80 "Sacred Tradition and Sacred Scripture, then, are bound closely together, andcommunicate one with the other. For both of them, flowing out from the same divine well-spring, come together in some fashion to form one thing, and move towards the same goal."40Each of them makes present and fruitful in the Church the mystery of Christ, who promisedto remain with his own "always, to the close of the age".41. . . two distinct modes of transmission81 "Sacred Scripture is the speech of God as it is put down in writing under the breath of theHoly Spirit."42
  • 25. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 25 of 68"and [Holy] Tradition transmits in its entirety the Word of God which has been entrusted tothe apostles by Christ the Lord and the Holy Spirit. It transmits it to the successors of theapostles so that, enlightened by the Spirit of truth, they may faithfully preserve, expound andspread it abroad by their preaching."4382 As a result the Church, to whom the transmission and interpretation of Revelation isentrusted, "does not derive her certainty about all revealed truths from the holy Scripturesalone. Both Scripture and Tradition must be accepted and honoured with equal sentiments ofdevotion and reverence."44Apostolic Tradition and ecclesial traditions83 The Tradition here in question comes from the apostles and hands on what they receivedfrom Jesus teaching and example and what they learned from the Holy Spirit. the firstgeneration of Christians did not yet have a written New Testament, and the New Testamentitself demonstrates the process of living Tradition.Tradition is to be distinguished from the various theological, disciplinary, liturgical ordevotional traditions, born in the local churches over time. These are the particular forms,adapted to different places and times, in which the great Tradition is expressed. In the light ofTradition, these traditions can be retained, modified or even abandoned under the guidance ofthe Churchs Magisterium.III. The Interpretation of the Heritage of FaithThe heritage of faith entrusted to the whole of the Church84 The apostles entrusted the "Sacred deposit" of the faith (the depositum fidei),45containedin Sacred Scripture and Tradition, to the whole of the Church. "By adhering to [this heritage]the entire holy people, united to its pastors, remains always faithful to the teaching of theapostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. So, in maintaining,practising and professing the faith that has been handed on, there should be a remarkableharmony between the bishops and the faithful."46The Magisterium of the Church85 "The task of giving an authentic interpretation of the Word of God, whether in its writtenform or in the form of Tradition, has been entrusted to the living teaching office of theChurch alone. Its authority in this matter is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ."47Thismeans that the task of interpretation has been entrusted to the bishops in communion with thesuccessor of Peter, the Bishop of Rome.86 "Yet this Magisterium is not superior to the Word of God, but is its servant. It teaches onlywhat has been handed on to it. At the divine command and with the help of the Holy Spirit, itlistens to this devotedly, guards it with dedication and expounds it faithfully. All that itproposes for belief as being divinely revealed is drawn from this single deposit of faith."4887 Mindful of Christs words to his apostles: "He who hears you, hears me",49The faithfulreceive with docility the teachings and directives that their pastors give them in differentforms.
  • 26. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 26 of 68The dogmas of the faith88 The Churchs Magisterium exercises the authority it holds from Christ to the fullest extentwhen it defines dogmas, that is, when it proposes truths contained in divine Revelation oralso when it proposes in a definitive way truths having a necessary connection with them.89 There is an organic connection between our spiritual life and the dogmas. Dogmas arelights along the path of faith; they illuminate it and make it secure. Conversely, if our life isupright, our intellect and heart will be open to welcome the light shed by the dogmas offaith.5090 The mutual connections between dogmas, and their coherence, can be found in the wholeof the Revelation of the mystery of Christ.51"In Catholic doctrine there exists an order orhierarchy 234 of truths, since they vary in their relation to the foundation of the Christianfaith."52The supernatural sense of faith91 All the faithful share in understanding and handing on revealed truth. They have receivedthe anointing of the Holy Spirit, who instructs them53and guides them into all truth.5492 "The whole body of the faithful. . . cannot err in matters of belief. This characteristic isshown in the supernatural appreciation of faith (sensus fidei) on the part of the whole people,when, from the bishops to the last of the faithful, they manifest a universal consent in mattersof faith and morals."5593 "By this appreciation of the faith, aroused and sustained by the Spirit of truth, the Peopleof God, guided by the sacred teaching authority (Magisterium),. . . receives. . . the faith, oncefor all delivered to the saints. . . the People unfailingly adheres to this faith, penetrates it moredeeply with right judgment, and applies it more fully in daily life."56Growth in understanding the faith94 Thanks to the assistance of the Holy Spirit, the understanding of both the realities and thewords of the heritage of faith is able to grow in the life of the Church:- "through the contemplation and study of believers who ponder these things in their hearts";57it is in particular "theological research [which] deepens knowledge of revealed truth".58- "from the intimate sense of spiritual realities which [believers] experience",59The sacredScriptures "grow with the one who reads them."60- "from the preaching of those who have received, along with their right of succession in theepiscopate, the sure charism of truth".6195 "It is clear therefore that, in the supremely wise arrangement of God, sacred Tradition,Sacred Scripture and the Magisterium of the Church are so connected and associated that oneof them cannot stand without the others. Working together, each in its own way, under theaction of the one Holy Spirit, they all contribute effectively to the salvation of souls."62104 In Sacred Scripture, the Church constantly finds her nourishment and her strength, forshe welcomes it not as a human word, "but as what it really is, the word of God".67"In thesacred books, the Father who is in heaven comes lovingly to meet his children, and talks with
  • 27. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 27 of 68them."68105 God is the author of Sacred Scripture. "The divinely revealed realities, which arecontained and presented in the text of Sacred Scripture, have been written down under theinspiration of the Holy Spirit."69"For Holy Mother Church, relying on the faith of the apostolic age, accepts as sacred andcanonical the books of the Old and the New Testaments, whole and entire, with all their parts,on the grounds that, written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, they have God as theirauthor, and have been handed on as such to the Church herself."70106 God inspired the human authors of the sacred books. "To compose the sacred books, Godchose certain men who, all the while he employed them in this task, made full use of theirown faculties and powers so that, though he acted in them and by them, it was as true authorsthat they consigned to writing whatever he wanted written, and no more."71107 The inspired books teach the truth. "Since therefore all that the inspired authors or sacredwriters affirm should be regarded as affirmed by the Holy Spirit, we must acknowledge thatthe books of Scripture firmly, faithfully, and without error teach that truth which God, for thesake of our salvation, wished to see confided to the Sacred Scriptures."72108 Still, the Christian faith is not a "religion of the book". Christianity is the religion of the"Word" of God, "not a written and mute word, but incarnate and living".73If the Scripturesare not to remain a dead letter, Christ, the eternal Word of the living God, must, through theHoly Spirit, "open (our) minds to understand the Scriptures."74III. The Holy Spirit, Interpreter of Scripture109 In Sacred Scripture, God speaks to man in a human way. To interpret Scripture correctly,the reader must be attentive to what the human authors truly wanted to affirm, and to whatGod wanted to reveal to us by their words.75110 In order to discover the sacred authors intention, the reader must take into account theconditions of their time and culture, the literary genres in use at that time, and the modes offeeling, speaking and narrating then current. "For the fact is that truth is differently presentedand expressed in the various types of historical writing, in prophetical and poetical texts, andin other forms of literary expression."76111 But since Sacred Scripture is inspired, there is another and no less important principle ofcorrect interpretation, without which Scripture would remain a dead letter. "Sacred Scripturemust be read and interpreted in the light of the same Spirit by whom it was written."77The Second Vatican Council indicates three criteria for interpreting Scripture in accordancewith the Spirit who inspired it.78112 Be especially attentive "to the content and unity of the whole Scripture". Different as thebooks which compose it may be, Scripture is a unity by reason of the unity of Gods plan, ofwhich Christ Jesus is the center and heart, open since his Passover.79
  • 28. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 28 of 68The phrase "heart of Christ" can refer to Sacred Scripture, which makes known hisheart, closed before the Passion, as the Scripture was obscure. But the Scripture hasbeen opened since the Passion; since those who from then on have understood it,consider and discern in what way the prophecies must be interpreted.80113 2. Read the Scripture within "the living Tradition of the whole Church". According to asaying of the Fathers, Sacred Scripture is written principally in the Churchs heart rather thanin documents and records, for the Church carries in her Tradition the living memorial ofGods Word, and it is the Holy Spirit who gives her the spiritual interpretation of theScripture (". . . according to the spiritual meaning which the Spirit grants to the Church"81).114 3. Be attentive to the analogy of faith.82By "analogy of faith" we mean the coherence ofthe truths of faith among themselves and within the whole plan of Revelation.The senses of Scripture115 According to an ancient tradition, one can distinguish between two senses of Scripture:the literal and the spiritual, the latter being subdivided into the allegorical, moral andanagogical senses. the profound concordance of the four senses guarantees all its richness tothe living reading of Scripture in the Church.116 The literal sense is the meaning conveyed by the words of Scripture and discovered byexegesis, following the rules of sound interpretation: "All other senses of Sacred Scripture arebased on the literal."83117 The spiritual sense. Thanks to the unity of Gods plan, not only the text of Scripture butalso the realities and events about which it speaks can be signs.1. the allegorical sense. We can acquire a more profound understanding of events byrecognizing their significance in Christ; thus the crossing of the Red Sea is a sign or type ofChrists victory and also of Christian Baptism.842. the moral sense. the events reported in Scripture ought to lead us to act justly. As St. Paulsays, they were written "for our instruction".853. the anagogical sense (Greek: anagoge, "leading"). We can view realities and events interms of their eternal significance, leading us toward our true homeland: thus the Church onearth is a sign of the heavenly Jerusalem.86118 A medieval couplet summarizes the significance of the four senses:The Letter speaks of deeds; Allegory to faith;The Moral how to act; Anagogy our destiny.87119 "It is the task of exegetes to work, according to these rules, towards a betterunderstanding and explanation of the meaning of Sacred Scripture in order that their researchmay help the Church to form a firmer judgement. For, of course, all that has been said aboutthe manner of interpreting Scripture is ultimately subject to the judgement of the Churchwhich exercises the divinely conferred commission and ministry of watching over andinterpreting the Word of God."88But I would not believe in the Gospel, had not the authority of the Catholic Churchalready moved me.89
  • 29. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 29 of 68IV. The Canon of Scripture120 It was by the apostolic Tradition that the Church discerned which writings are to beincluded in the list of the sacred books.90This complete list is called the canon of Scripture. It includes 46 books for the Old Testament(45 if we count Jeremiah and Lamentations as one) and 27 for the New.91The Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua,Judges, Ruth, 1 and 2 Samuel, 1 and 2 Kings, 1 and 2 Chronicles, Ezra and Nehemiah,Tobit, Judith, Esther, 1 and 2 Maccabees, Job, Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, theSong of Songs, the Wisdom of Solomon, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Isaiah, Jeremiah,Lamentations, Baruch, Ezekiel, Daniel, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah,Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zachariah and Malachi.The New Testament: the Gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, theActs of the Apostles, the Letters of St. Paul to the Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians,Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Colossians, 1 and 2 Thessalonians, 1 and 2Timothy, Titus, Philemon, the Letter to the Hebrews, the Letters of James, 1 and 2Peter, 1, 2 and 3 John, and Jude, and Revelation (the Apocalypse).The Old Testament121 The Old Testament is an indispensable part of Sacred Scripture. Its books are divinelyinspired and retain a permanent value,92for the Old Covenant has never been revoked.122 Indeed, "the economy of the Old Testament was deliberately SO oriented that it shouldprepare for and declare in prophecy the coming of Christ, redeemer of all men."93"Eventhough they contain matters imperfect and provisional,94The books of the OldTestament bearwitness to the whole divine pedagogy of Gods saving love: these writings "are a storehouseof sublime teaching on God and of sound wisdom on human life, as well as a wonderfultreasury of prayers; in them, too, the mystery of our salvation is present in a hidden way."95123 Christians venerate the Old Testament as true Word of God. the Church has alwaysvigorously opposed the idea of rejecting the Old Testament under the pretext that the Newhas rendered it void (Marcionism).The New Testament124 "The Word of God, which is the power of God for salvation to everyone who has faith, isset forth and displays its power in a most wonderful way in the writings of the NewTestament"96which hand on the ultimate truth of Gods Revelation. Their central object isJesus Christ, Gods incarnate Son: his acts, teachings, Passion and glorification, and hisChurchs beginnings under the Spirits guidance.97125 The Gospels are the heart of all the Scriptures "because they are our principal source forthe life and teaching of the Incarnate Word, our Saviour".98
  • 30. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 30 of 68126 We can distinguish three stages in the formation of the Gospels:1. the life and teaching of Jesus. the Church holds firmly that the four Gospels, "whosehistoricity she unhesitatingly affirms, faithfully hand on what Jesus, the Son of God, while helived among men, really did and taught for their eternal salvation, until the day when he wastaken up."992. the oral tradition. "For, after the ascension of the Lord, the apostles handed on to theirhearers what he had said and done, but with that fuller understanding which they, instructedby the glorious events of Christ and enlightened by the Spirit of truth, now enjoyed."1003. the written Gospels. "The sacred authors, in writing the four Gospels, selected certain ofthe many elements which had been handed on, either orally or already in written form; othersthey synthesized or explained with an eye to the situation of the churches, the whilesustaining the form of preaching, but always in such a fashion that they have told us thehonest truth about Jesus."101127 The fourfold Gospel holds a unique place in the Church, as is evident both in theveneration which the liturgy accords it and in the surpassing attraction it has exercised on thesaints at all times:There is no doctrine which could be better, more precious and more splendid than thetext of the Gospel. Behold and retain what our Lord and Master, Christ, has taught byhis words and accomplished by his deeds.102But above all its the gospels that occupy my mind when Im at prayer; my poor soulhas so many needs, and yet this is the one thing needful. Im always finding freshlights there; hidden meanings which had meant nothing to me hitherto.103The unity of the Old and New Testaments128 The Church, as early as apostolic times,104and then constantly in her Tradition, hasilluminated the unity of the divine plan in the two Testaments through typology, whichdiscerns in Gods works of the Old Covenant prefigurations of what he accomplished in thefullness of time in the person of his incarnate Son.129 Christians therefore read the Old Testament in the light of Christ crucified and risen.Such typological reading discloses the inexhaustible content of the Old Testament; but itmust not make us forget that the Old Testament retains its own intrinsic value as Revelationreaffirmed by our Lord himself.105Besides, the New Testament has to be read in the light ofthe Old. Early Christian catechesis made constant use of the Old Testament.106As an oldsaying put it, the New Testament lies hidden in the Old and the Old Testament is unveiled inthe New.107130 Typology indicates the dynamic movement toward the fulfilment of the divine plan when"God [will] be everything to everyone."108Nor do the calling of the patriarchs and the exodusfrom Egypt, for example, lose their own value in Gods plan, from the mere fact that theywere intermediate stages.V. Sacred Scripture in the Life of the Church131 "and such is the force and power of the Word of God that it can serve the Church as hersupport and vigour, and the children of the Church as strength for their faith, food for the
  • 31. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 31 of 68soul, and a pure and lasting fount of spiritual life."109Hence "access to Sacred Scripture oughtto be open wide to the Christian faithful."110132 "Therefore, the study of the sacred page should be the very soul of sacred theology. theministry of the Word, too - pastoral preaching, catechetics and all forms of Christianinstruction, among which the liturgical homily should hold pride of place - is healthilynourished and thrives in holiness through the Word of Scripture."111133 The Church "forcefully and specifically exhorts all the Christian faithful... to learn thesurpassing knowledge of Jesus Christ, by frequent reading of the divine Scriptures. Ignoranceof the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ.112I. The Obedience of Faith144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to "hear or listen to") in faith is to submit freely to theword that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself.Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. the Virgin Mary isits most perfect embodiment.Abraham - "father of all who believe"145 The Letter to the Hebrews, in its great eulogy of the faith of Israels ancestors, laysspecial emphasis on Abrahams faith: "By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to goout to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing wherehe was to go."4By faith, he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the promised land.5By faith,Sarah was given to conceive the son of the promise. and by faith Abraham offered his onlyson in sacrifice.6146 Abraham thus fulfils the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the assurance ofthings hoped for, the conviction of things not seen":7"Abraham believed God, and it wasreckoned to him as righteousness."8Because he was "strong in his faith", Abraham becamethe "father of all who believe".9147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. the Letter to the Hebrews proclaimsits eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who "received divine approval".10Yet "Godhad foreseen something better for us": the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, "the pioneerand perfecter of our faith".11Mary - "Blessed is she who believed"148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Marywelcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that "with Godnothing will be impossible" and so giving her assent: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord;let it be [done] to me according to your word."12Elizabeth greeted her: "Blessed is she whobelieved that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."13It is forthis faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.14149 Throughout her life and until her last ordeal15when Jesus her son died on the cross,Marys faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfilment of Gods word. andso the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.
  • 32. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 32 of 68To believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God151 For a Christian, believing in God cannot be separated from believing in the One he sent,his "beloved Son", in whom the Father is "well pleased"; God tells us to listen to him.18TheLord himself said to his disciples: "Believe in God, believe also in me."19We can believe inJesus Christ because he is himself God, the Word made flesh: "No one has ever seen God; theonly Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known."20Because he "hasseen the Father", Jesus Christ is the only one who knows him and can reveal him.21To believe in the Holy Spirit152 One cannot believe in Jesus Christ without sharing in his Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit whoreveals to men who Jesus is. For "no one can say "Jesus is Lord", except by the Holy Spirit",22who "searches everything, even the depths of God. . No one comprehends the thoughts ofGod, except the Spirit of God."23Only God knows God completely: we believe in the HolySpirit because he is God.The Church never ceases to proclaim her faith in one only God: Father, Son and HolySpirit.III. The Characteristics of FaithFaith is a grace153 When St. Peter confessed that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the living God, Jesusdeclared to him that this revelation did not come "from flesh and blood", but from "my Fatherwho is in heaven".24Faith is a gift of God, a supernatural virtue infused by him. "Before thisfaith can be exercised, man must have the grace of God to move and assist him; he must havethe interior helps of the Holy Spirit, who moves the heart and converts it to God, who opensthe eyes of the mind and makes it easy for all to accept and believe the truth."25Faith is a human act154 Believing is possible only by grace and the interior helps of the Holy Spirit. But it is noless true that believing is an authentically human act. Trusting in God and cleaving to thetruths he has revealed is contrary neither to human freedom nor to human reason. Even inhuman relations it is not contrary to our dignity to believe what other persons tell us aboutthemselves and their intentions, or to trust their promises (for example, when a man and awoman marry) to share a communion of life with one another. If this is so, still less is itcontrary to our dignity to "yield by faith the full submission of... intellect and will to Godwho reveals",26and to share in an interior communion with him.155 In faith, the human intellect and will co-operate with divine grace: "Believing is an act ofthe intellect assenting to the divine truth by command of the will moved by God throughgrace."27Faith and understanding
  • 33. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 33 of 68156 What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true andintelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe "because of the authority of Godhimself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived".28So "that thesubmission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed thatexternal proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit."29Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Churchs growth and holiness, andher fruitfulness and stability "are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to theintelligence of all"; they are "motives of credibility" (motiva credibilitatis), which show thatthe assent of faith is "by no means a blind impulse of the mind".30157 Faith is certain. It is more certain than all human knowledge because it is founded on thevery word of God who cannot lie. To be sure, revealed truths can seem obscure to humanreason and experience, but "the certainty that the divine light gives is greater than that whichthe light of natural reason gives."31"Ten thousand difficulties do not make one doubt."32158 "Faith seeks understanding":33it is intrinsic to faith that a believer desires to know betterthe One in whom he has put his faith, and to understand better what He has revealed; a morepenetrating knowledge will in turn call forth a greater faith, increasingly set afire by love. thegrace of faith opens "the eyes of your hearts"34to a lively understanding of the contents ofRevelation: that is, of the totality of Gods plan and the mysteries of faith, of their connectionwith each other and with Christ, the centre of the revealed mystery. "The same Holy Spiritconstantly perfects faith by his gifts, so that Revelation may be more and more profoundlyunderstood."35In the words of St. Augustine, "I believe, in order to understand; and Iunderstand, the better to believe."36159 Faith and science: "Though faith is above reason, there can never be any real discrepancybetween faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and infuses faith hasbestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth evercontradict truth."37"Consequently, methodical research in all branches of knowledge,provided it is carried out in a truly scientific manner and does not override moral laws, cannever conflict with the faith, because the things of the world and the things of faith derivefrom the same God. the humble and persevering investigator of the secrets of nature is beingled, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of allthings, who made them what they are."38The freedom of faith160 To be human, "mans response to God by faith must be free, and... therefore nobody is tobe forced to embrace the faith against his will. the act of faith is of its very nature a freeact."39"God calls men to serve him in spirit and in truth. Consequently they are bound to himin conscience, but not coerced. . . This fact received its fullest manifestation in ChristJesus."40Indeed, Christ invited people to faith and conversion, but never coerced them. "Forhe bore witness to the truth but refused to use force to impose it on those who spoke againstit. His kingdom... grows by the love with which Christ, lifted up on the cross, draws men tohimself."41The necessity of faith161 Believing in Jesus Christ and in the One who sent him for our salvation is necessary forobtaining that salvation.42"Since "without faith it is impossible to please (God) " and to attain
  • 34. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 34 of 68to the fellowship of his sons, therefore without faith no one has ever attained justification, norwill anyone obtain eternal life But he who endures to the end."]Perseverance in faith162 Faith is an entirely free gift that God makes to man. We can lose this priceless gift, as St.Paul indicated to St. Timothy: "Wage the good warfare, holding faith and a good conscience.By rejecting conscience, certain persons have made shipwreck of their faith."44To live, growand persevere in the faith until the end we must nourish it with the word of God; we must begthe Lord to increase our faith;45it must be "working through charity," abounding in hope, androoted in the faith of the Church.46Faith - the beginning of eternal life163 Faith makes us taste in advance the light of the beatific vision, the goal of ourjourney here below. Then we shall see God "face to face", "as he is".47So faith isalready the beginning of eternal life:When we contemplate the blessings of faith even now, as if gazing at a reflection in amirror, it is as if we already possessed the wonderful things which our faith assures uswe shall one day enjoy.48164 Now, however, "we walk by faith, not by sight";49we perceive God as "in a mirror,dimly" and only "in part".50Even though enlightened by him in whom it believes, faith isoften lived in darkness and can be put to the test. the world we live in often seems very farfrom the one promised us by faith. Our experiences of evil and suffering, injustice and death,seem to contradict the Good News; they can shake our faith and become a temptation againstit.165 It is then we must turn to the witnesses of faith: to Abraham, who "in hope... believedagainst hope";51to the Virgin Mary, who, in "her pilgrimage of faith", walked into the "nightof faith"52in sharing the darkness of her sons suffering and death; and to so many others:"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay asideevery weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that isset before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith."53I. "Lord, Look Upon the Faith of Your Church"168 It is the Church that believes first, and so bears, nourishes and sustains my faith.Everywhere, it is the Church that first confesses the Lord: "Throughout the world the holyChurch acclaims you", as we sing in the hymn Te Deum; with her and in her, we are wonover and brought to confess: "I believe", "We believe". It is through the Church that wereceive faith and new life in Christ by Baptism. In the Rituale Romanum, the minister ofBaptism asks the catechumen: "What do you ask of Gods Church?" and the answer is:"Faith." "What does faith offer you?" "Eternal life."54169 Salvation comes from God alone; but because we receive the life of faith through theChurch, she is our mother: "We believe the Church as the mother of our new birth, and not inthe Church as if she were the author of our salvation."55Because she is our mother, she is alsoour teacher in the faith.
  • 35. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 35 of 68II. The Language of Faith170 We do not believe in formulae, but in those realities they express, which faith allows usto touch. "The believers act [of faith] does not terminate in the propositions, but in therealities [which they express]."56All the same, we do approach these realities with the help offormulations of the faith which permit us to express the faith and to hand it on, to celebrate itin community, to assimilate and live on it more and more.171 The Church, "the pillar and bulwark of the truth", faithfully guards "the faith which wasonce for all delivered to the saints". She guards the memory of Christs words; it is she whofrom generation to generation hands on the apostles confession of faith.57As a mother whoteaches her children to speak and so to understand and communicate, the Church our Motherteaches us the language of faith in order to introduce us to the understanding and the life offaith.III. Only One Faith172 Through the centuries, in so many languages, cultures, peoples and nations, the Churchhas constantly confessed this one faith, received from the one Lord, transmitted by oneBaptism, and grounded in the conviction that all people have only one God and Father.58St.Irenaeus of Lyons, a witness of this faith, declared:173 "Indeed, the Church, though scattered throughout the whole world, even to the ends ofthe earth, having received the faith from the apostles and their disciples. . . guards [thispreaching and faith] with care, as dwelling in but a single house, and similarly believes as ifhaving but one soul and a single heart, and preaches, teaches and hands on this faith with aunanimous voice, as if possessing only one mouth."59174 "For though languages differ throughout the world, the content of the Tradition is oneand the same. the Churches established in Germany have no other faith or Tradition, nor dothose of the Iberians, nor those of the Celts, nor those of the East, of Egypt, of Libya, northose established at the centre of the world. . ."60The Churchs message "is true and solid, inwhich one and the same way of salvation appears throughout the whole world."61175 "We guard with care the faith that we have received from the Church, for withoutceasing, under the action of Gods Spirit, this deposit of great price, as if in an excellentvessel, is constantly being renewed and causes the very vessel that contains it to berenewed."62The CredoThe Apostles CreedI believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit and born of the Virgin Mary
  • 36. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 36 of 68Under Pontius Pilate He was crucified, died, and was buried.He descended to the dead.On the third day he rose again.He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.He will come again to judge the living and the dead.I believe in the Holy Spirit,the holy catholic Church,the communion of saints,the forgiveness of sins,the resurrection of the body,and the life everlasting.Amen.The Nicene CreedWe believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,maker of heaven and earth,of all that is, seen and unseen.We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God,begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father.Through him all things were made.For us men and for our salvation, he came down from heaven:by the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary, and became man.For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered died and was buried.On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,and his kingdom will have no end.We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,who proceeds from the Father and the Son.With the Father and the Son he is worshipped and glorified.He has spoken through the Prophets.We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.We look for the resurrection of the dead,and the life of the world to come.Amen.201 To Israel, his chosen, God revealed himself as the only One: "Hear, O Israel: the LORDour God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and withall your soul, and with all your might."4Through the prophets, God calls Israel and all nationsto turn to him, the one and only God: "Turn to me and be saved, all the ends of the earth! ForI am God, and there is no other.. . To me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.Only in the LORD, it shall be said of me, are righteousness and strength."5
  • 37. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 37 of 68202 Jesus himself affirms that God is "the one Lord" whom you must love "with all yourheart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength".6At the sametime Jesus gives us to understand that he himself is "the Lord".7To confess that Jesus is Lordis distinctive of Christian faith. This is not contrary to belief in the One God. Nor doesbelieving in the Holy Spirit as "Lord and giver of life" introduce any division into the OneGod:The living God205 God calls Moses from the midst of a bush that bums without being consumed: "I am theGod of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob."9God is theGod of the fathers, the One who had called and guided the patriarchs in their wanderings. Heis the faithful and compassionate God who remembers them and his promises; he comes tofree their descendants from slavery. He is the God who, from beyond space and time, can dothis and wills to do it, the God who will put his almighty power to work for this plan."I Am who I Am"Moses said to God, "If I come to the people of Israel and say to them, The God ofyour fathers has sent me to you, and they ask me, What is his name? what shall I sayto them?" God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." and he said, "Say this to thepeople of Israel, I AM has sent me to you. . . this is my name for ever, and thus I amto be remembered throughout all generations."10206 In revealing his mysterious name, YHWH ("I AM HE WHO IS", "I AM WHO AM" or"I AM WHO I AM"), God says who he is and by what name he is to be called. This divinename is mysterious just as God is mystery. It is at once a name revealed and something likethe refusal of a name, and hence it better expresses God as what he is - infinitely aboveeverything that we can understand or say: he is the "hidden God", his name is ineffable, andhe is the God who makes himself close to men.11217 God is also truthful when he reveals himself - the teaching that comes from God is "trueinstruction".35When 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 istrue."37God is Love218 In the course of its history, Israel was able to discover that God had only one reason toreveal himself to them, a single motive for choosing them from among all peoples as hisspecial possession: his sheer gratuitous love.38and thanks to the prophets Israel understoodthat it was again out of love that God never stopped saving them and pardoning theirunfaithfulness and sins.39236 The Fathers of the Church distinguish between theology (theologia) and economy(oikonomia). "Theology" refers to the mystery of Gods inmost life within the Blessed Trinityand "economy" to all the works by which God reveals himself and communicates his life.Through the oikonomia the theologia is revealed to us; but conversely, the theologiailluminates the whole oikonomia. Gods works reveal who he is in himself; the mystery of hisinmost being enlightens our understanding of all his works. So it is, analogously, among
  • 38. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 38 of 68human persons. A person discloses himself in his actions, and the better we know a person,the better we understand his actions.237 The Trinity is a mystery of faith in the strict sense, one of the "mysteries that are hiddenin God, which can never be known unless they are revealed by God".58To be sure, God hasleft traces of his Trinitarian being in his work of creation and in his Revelation throughout theOld Testament. But his inmost Being as Holy Trinity is a mystery that is inaccessible toreason alone or even to Israels faith before the Incarnation of Gods Son and the sending ofthe Holy Spirit.241 For this reason the apostles confess Jesus to be the Word: "In the beginning was theWord, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God"; as "the image of the invisibleGod"; as the "radiance of the glory of God and the very stamp of his nature".65242 Following this apostolic tradition, the Church confessed at the first ecumenical council atNicaea (325) that the Son is "consubstantial" with the Father, that is, one only God withhim.66The second ecumenical council, held at Constantinople in 381, kept this expression inits formulation of the Nicene Creed and confessed "the only-begotten Son of God, eternallybegotten of the Father, light from light, true God from true God, begotten not made,consubstantial with the Father".67The Father and the son revealed by the spirit(381): "We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord and giver of life, who proceeds from theFather."71By this confession, the Church recognizes the Father as "the source and origin ofthe whole divinity".72But the eternal origin of the Spirit is not unconnected with the Sonsorigin: "The Holy Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is God, one and equal with the Fatherand the Son, of the same substance and also of the same nature. . . Yet he is not called theSpirit of the Father alone,. . . but the Spirit of both the Father and the Son."73The Creed of theChurch from the Council of Constantinople confesses: "With the Father and the Son, he isworshipped and glorified."74246 The Latin tradition of the Creed confesses that the Spirit "proceeds from the Father andthe Son (filioque)". the Council of Florence in 1438 explains: "The Holy Spirit is eternallyfrom Father and Son; He has his nature and subsistence at once (simul) from the Father andthe Son. He proceeds eternally from both as from one principle and through one spiration...And, since the Father has through generation given to the only-begotten Son everything thatbelongs to the Father, except being Father, the Son has also eternally from the Father, fromwhom he is eternally born, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son."75278 If we do not believe that Gods love is almighty, how can we believe that the Father couldcreate us, the Son redeem us and the Holy Spirit sanctify us?305 Jesus asks for childlike abandonment to the providence of our heavenly Father who takescare of his childrens smallest needs: "Therefore do not be anxious, saying, "What shall weeat?" or "What shall we drink?". . . Your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Butseek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things shall be yours as well."167329 St. Augustine says: "Angel is the name of their office, not of their nature. If you seek thename of their nature, it is spirit; if you seek the name of their office, it is angel: from what
  • 39. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 39 of 68they are, spirit, from what they do, angel."188With their whole beings the angels areservants and messengers of God. Because they "always behold the face of my Father who isin heaven" they are the "mighty ones who do his word, hearkening to the voice of hisword".189342 The hierarchy of creatures is expressed by the order of the "six days", from the lessperfect to the more perfect. God loves all his creatures209and takes care of each one, even thesparrow. Nevertheless, Jesus said: "You are of more value than many sparrows", or again: "ofhow much more value is a man than a sheep!"210359 "In reality it is only in the mystery of the Word made flesh that the mystery of man trulybecomes clear."224St. Paul tells us that the human race takes its origin from two men: Adam and Christ.The first man, Adam, he says, became a living soul, the last Adam a life-giving spirit.the first Adam was made by the last Adam, from whom he also received his soul, togive him life... the second Adam stamped his image on the first Adam when hecreated him. That is why he took on himself the role and the name of the first Adam,in order that he might not lose what he had made in his own image. The first Adam,the last Adam: the first had a beginning, the last knows no end. the last Adam isindeed the first; as he himself says: "I am the first and the last."225III. "MALE AND FEMALE HE CREATED THEM"Equality and difference willed by God369 Man and woman have been created, which is to say, willed by God: on the one hand, inperfect equality as human persons; on the other, in their respective beings as man andwoman. "Being man" or "being woman" is a reality which is good and willed by God: manand woman possess an inalienable dignity which comes to them immediately from God theirCreator.240Man and woman are both with one and the same dignity "in the image of God". Intheir "being-man" and "being-woman", they reflect the Creators wisdom and goodness.370 In no way is God in mans image. He is neither man nor woman. God is pure spirit inwhich there is no place for the difference between the sexes. But the respective "perfections"of man and woman reflect something of the infinite perfection of God: those of a mother andthose of a father and husband.241"Each for the other" - "A unity in two"THE FALL385 God is infinitely good and all his works are good. Yet no one can escape the experienceof suffering or the evils in nature which seem to be linked to the limitations proper tocreatures: and above all to the question of moral evil. Where does evil come from? "I sought
  • 40. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 40 of 68whence evil comes and there was no solution", said St. Augustine,257and his own painfulquest would only be resolved by his conversion to the living God. For "the mystery oflawlessness" is clarified only in the light of the "mystery of our religion".258The revelation ofdivine love in Christ manifested at the same time the extent of evil and the superabundance ofgrace.259We must therefore approach the question of the origin of evil by fixing the eyes ofour faith on him who alone is its conqueror.260I. WHERE SIN ABOUNDED, GRACE ABOUNDED ALL THE MORE406 The Churchs teaching on the transmission of original sin was articulated more preciselyin the fifth century, especially under the impulse of St. Augustines reflections againstPelagianism, and in the sixteenth century, in opposition to the Protestant Reformation.Pelagius held that man could, by the natural power of free will and without the necessary helpof Gods grace, lead a morally good life; he thus reduced the influence of Adams fault to badexample. the first Protestant reformers, on the contrary, taught that original sin has radicallyperverted man and destroyed his freedom; they identified the sin inherited by each man withthe tendency to evil (concupiscentia), which would be insurmountable. the Churchpronounced on the meaning of the data of Revelation on original sin especially at the secondCouncil of Orange (529)296and at the Council of Trent (1546).297A hard battle. . .409 This dramatic situation of "the whole world [which] is in the power of the evil one"302makes mans life a battle:The whole of mans history has been the story of dour combat with the powers of evil,stretching, so our Lord tells us, from the very dawn of history until the last day.Finding himself in the midst of the battlefield man has to struggle to do what is right,and it is at great cost to himself, and aided by Gods grace, that he succeeds inachieving his own inner integrity.303410 After his fall, man was not abandoned by God. On the contrary, God calls him and in amysterious way heralds the coming victory over evil and his restoration from his fall.304Thispassage in Genesis is called the Protoevangelium ("first gospel"): the first announcement ofthe Messiah and Redeemer, of a battle between the serpent and the Woman, and of the finalvictory of a descendant of hers.411 The Christian tradition sees in this passage an announcement of the "New Adam" who,because he "became obedient unto death, even death on a cross", makes amendssuperabundantly for the disobedience, of Adam.305Furthermore many Fathers and Doctors ofthe Church have seen the woman announced in the "Proto-evangelium" as Mary, the motherof Christ, the "new Eve". Mary benefited first of all and uniquely from Christs victory oversin: she was preserved from all stain of original sin and by a special grace of God committedno sin of any kind during her whole earthly life.306423 We believe and confess that Jesus of Nazareth, born a Jew of a daughter of Israel atBethlehem at the time of King Herod the Great and the emperor Caesar Augustus, a carpenterby trade, who died crucified in Jerusalem under the procurator Pontius Pilate during the reignof the emperor Tiberius, is the eternal Son of God made man. He came from God,4descended from heaven,5and came in the flesh.6For the Word became flesh and dwelt
  • 41. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 41 of 68among us, full of grace and truth; we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only Son from theFather. . . and from his fullness have we all received, grace upon grace.7424 Moved by the grace of the Holy Spirit and drawn by the Father, we believe in Jesus andconfess: You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.8On the rock of this faith confessedby St. Peter, Christ built his Church.9"To preach. . . the unsearchable riches of Christ"10425 The transmission of the Christian faith consists primarily in proclaiming Jesus Christ inorder to lead others to faith in him. From the beginning, the first disciples burned with thedesire to proclaim Christ: "We cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."11It andthey invite people of every era to enter into the joy of their communion with Christ:427 In catechesis "Christ, the Incarnate Word and Son of God,. . . is taught - everything elseis taught with reference to him - and it is Christ alone who teaches - anyone else teaches tothe extent that he is Christs spokesman, enabling Christ to teach with his lips. . . Everycatechist should be able to apply to himself the mysterious words of Jesus: My teaching isnot mine, but his who sent me."16428 Whoever is called "to teach Christ" must first seek "the surpassing worth of knowingChrist Jesus"; he must suffer "the loss of all things. . ." in order to "gain Christ and be foundin him", and "to know him and the power of his resurrection, and (to) share his sufferings,becoming like him in his death, that if possible (he) may attain the resurrection from thedead".17435 The name of Jesus is at the heart of Christian prayer. All liturgical prayers conclude withthe words "through our Lord Jesus Christ". The Hail Mary reaches its high point in the words"blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus." the Eastern prayer of the heart, the Jesus Prayer,says: "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner." Many Christians, such asSt. Joan of Arc, have died with the one word "Jesus" on their lips.437 To the shepherds, the angel announced the birth of Jesus as the Messiah promised toIsrael: "To you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord."32Fromthe beginning he was "the one whom the Father consecrated and sent into the world",conceived as "holy" in Marys virginal womb.33God called Joseph to "take Mary as yourwife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit", so that Jesus, "who is calledChrist", should be born of Josephs spouse into the messianic lineage of David.34438 Jesus messianic consecration reveals his divine mission, "for the name Christ implieshe who anointed, he who was anointed and the very anointing with which he was anointed.the one who anointed is the Father, the one who was anointed is the Son, and he was anointedwith the Spirit who is the anointing."35His eternal messianic consecration was revealedduring the time of his earthly life at the moment of his baptism by John, when "God anointedJesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power", "that he might be revealed toIsrael"36as its Messiah. His works and words will manifest him as "the Holy One of God".37440 Jesus accepted Peters profession of faith, which acknowledged him to be the Messiah,by announcing the imminent Passion of the Son of Man.40He unveiled the authentic contentof his messianic kingship both in the transcendent identity of the Son of Man "who camedown from heaven", and in his redemptive mission as the suffering Servant: "The Son of Man
  • 42. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 42 of 68came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."41Hence thetrue meaning of his kingship is revealed only when he is raised high on the cross.42Only afterhis Resurrection will Peter be able to proclaim Jesus messianic kingship to the People ofGod: "Let all the house of Israel therefore know assuredly that God has made him both Lordand Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."43443 Peter could recognize the transcendent character of the Messiahs divine sonship becauseJesus had clearly allowed it to be so understood. To his accusers question before theSanhedrin, "Are you the Son of God, then?" Jesus answered, "You say that I am."50Wellbefore this, Jesus referred to himself as "the Son" who knows the Father, as distinct from the"servants" God had earlier sent to his people; he is superior even to the angels.51Hedistinguished his sonship from that of his disciples by never saying "our Father", except tocommand them: "You, then, pray like this: Our Father", and he emphasized this distinction,saying "my Father and your Father".52459 The Word became flesh to be our model of holiness: "Take my yoke upon you, and learnfrom me." "I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father, but by me."74On the mountain of the Transfiguration, the Father commands: "Listen to him!"75Jesus is themodel for the Beatitudes and the norm of the new law: "Love one another as I have lovedyou."76This love implies an effective offering of oneself, after his example.77465 The first heresies denied not so much Christs divinity as his true humanity (GnosticDocetism). From apostolic times the Christian faith has insisted on the true incarnation ofGods Son "come in the flesh".87But already in the third century, the Church in a council atAntioch had to affirm against Paul of Samosata that Jesus Christ is Son of God by nature andnot by adoption. the first ecumenical council of Nicaea in 325 confessed in its Creed that theSon of God is "begotten, not made, of the same substance (homoousios) as the Father", andcondemned Arius, who had affirmed that the Son of God "came to be from things that werenot" and that he was "from another substance" than that of the Father.88466 The Nestorian heresy regarded Christ as a human person joined to the divine person ofGods Son. Opposing this heresy, St. Cyril of Alexandria and the third ecumenical council, atEphesus in 431, confessed "that the Word, uniting to himself in his person the flesh animatedby a rational soul, became man."89Christs humanity has no other subject than the divineperson of the Son of God, who assumed it and made it his own, from his conception. For thisreason the Council of Ephesus proclaimed in 431 that Mary truly became the Mother of Godby the human conception of the Son of God in her womb: "Mother of God, not that the natureof the Word or his divinity received the beginning of its existence from the holy Virgin, butthat, since the holy body, animated by a rational soul, which the Word of God united tohimself according to the hypostasis, was born from her, the Word is said to be born accordingto the flesh."90467 The Monophysites affirmed that the human nature had ceased to exist as such inChrist when the divine person of Gods Son assumed it. Faced with this heresy, thefourth ecumenical council, at Chalcedon in 451, confessed:Following the holy Fathers, we unanimously teach and confess one and the same Son,our Lord Jesus Christ: the same perfect in divinity and perfect in humanity, the sametruly God and truly man, composed of rational soul and body; consubstantial with theFather as to his divinity and consubstantial with us as to his humanity; "like us in allthings but sin". He was begotten from the Father before all ages as to his divinity and
  • 43. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 43 of 68in these last days, for us and for our salvation, was born as to his humanity of thevirgin Mary, the Mother of God.91We confess that one and the same Christ, Lord, and only-begotten Son, is to beacknowledged in two natures without confusion, change, division or separation. thedistinction between the natures was never abolished by their union, but rather thecharacter proper to each of the two natures was preserved as they came together inone person (prosopon) and one hypostasis.92468 After the Council of Chalcedon, some made of Christs human nature a kind of personalsubject. Against them, the fifth ecumenical council, at Constantinople in 553, confessed that"there is but one hypostasis [or person], which is our Lord Jesus Christ, one of the Trinity."93Thus everything in Christs human nature is to be attributed to his divine person as its propersubject, not only his miracles but also his sufferings and even his death: "He who wascrucified in the flesh, our Lord Jesus Christ, is true God, Lord of glory, and one of the HolyTrinity."94469 The Church thus confesses that Jesus is inseparably true God and true man. He is trulythe Son of God who, without ceasing to be God and Lord, became a man and our brother:"What he was, he remained and what he was not, he assumed", sings the Roman Liturgy.95and the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom proclaims and sings: "O only-begotten Son and Wordof God, immortal being, you who deigned for our salvation to become incarnate of the holyMother of God and ever-virgin Mary, you who without change became man and werecrucified, O Christ our God, you who by your death have crushed death, you who are one ofthe Holy Trinity, glorified with the Father and the Holy Spirit, save us!"96Christs true body476 Since the Word became flesh in assuming a true humanity, Christs body was finite.112Therefore the human face of Jesus can be portrayed; at the seventh ecumenical council(Nicaea II in 787) the Church recognized its representation in holy images to be legitimate.113477 At the same time the Church has always acknowledged that in the body of Jesus "we seeour God made visible and so are caught up in love of the God we cannot see."114Theindividual characteristics of Christs body express the divine person of Gods Son. He hasmade the features of his human body his own, to the point that they can be venerated whenportrayed in a holy image, for the believer "who venerates the icon is venerating in it theperson of the one depicted".115The heart of the Incarnate Word478 Jesus knew and loved us each and all during his life, his agony and his Passion, and gavehimself up for each one of us: "The Son of God. . . loved me and gave himself for me."116Hehas loved us all with a human heart. For this reason, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pierced by oursins and for our salvation,117"is quite rightly considered the chief sign and symbol of that. . .love with which the divine Redeemer continually loves the eternal Father and all humanbeings" without exception.118
  • 44. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 44 of 68II.... BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY487 What the Catholic faith believes about Mary is based on what it believes about Christ,and what it teaches about Mary illumines in turn its faith in Christ.Marys predestination488 "God sent forth his Son", but to prepare a body for him,125he wanted the free co-operation of a creature. For this, from all eternity God chose for the mother of his Son adaughter of Israel, a young Jewish woman of Nazareth in Galilee, "a virgin betrothed to aman whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgins name was Mary":126The Father of mercies willed that the Incarnation should be preceded by assent on thepart of the predestined mother, so that just as a woman had a share in the coming ofdeath, so also should a woman contribute to the coming of life.127489 Throughout the Old Covenant the mission of many holy women prepared for that ofMary. At the very beginning there was Eve; despite her disobedience, she receives thepromise of a posterity that will be victorious over the evil one, as well as the promise that shewill be the mother of all the living.128By virtue of this promise, Sarah conceives a son in spiteof her old age.129Against all human expectation God chooses those who were consideredpowerless and weak to show forth his faithfulness to his promises: Hannah, the mother ofSamuel; Deborah; Ruth; Judith and Esther; and many other women.130Mary "stands outamong the poor and humble of the Lord, who confidently hope for and receive salvation fromhim. After a long period of waiting the times are fulfilled in her, the exalted Daughter ofSion, and the new plan of salvation is established."131The Immaculate Conception490 To become the mother of the Saviour, Mary "was enriched by God with gifts appropriateto such a role."132The angel Gabriel at the moment of the annunciation salutes her as "full ofgrace".133In fact, in order for Mary to be able to give the free assent of her faith to theannouncement of her vocation, it was necessary that she be wholly borne by Gods grace.491 Through the centuries the Church has become ever more aware that Mary, "full of grace"through God,134was redeemed from the moment of her conception. That is what the dogma ofthe Immaculate Conception confesses, as Pope Pius IX proclaimed in 1854:The most Blessed Virgin Mary was, from the first moment of her conception, by asingular grace and privilege of almighty God and by virtue of the merits of JesusChrist, Saviour of the human race, preserved immune from all stain of original sin.135492 The "splendour of an entirely unique holiness" by which Mary is "enriched from the firstinstant of her conception" comes wholly from Christ: she is "redeemed, in a more exaltedfashion, by reason of the merits of her Son".136The Father blessed Mary more than any othercreated person "in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places" and chose her"in Christ before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before him in love".137493 The Fathers of the Eastern tradition call the Mother of God "the All-Holy" (Panagia), andcelebrate her as "free from any stain of sin, as though fashioned by the Holy Spirit and
  • 45. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 45 of 68formed as a new creature".138By the grace of God Mary remained free of every personal sinher whole life long."Let it be done to me according to your word. . ."494 At the announcement that she would give birth to "the Son of the Most High" withoutknowing man, by the power of the Holy Spirit, Mary responded with the obedience of faith,certain that "with God nothing will be impossible": "Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord;let it be [done] to me according to your word."139Thus, giving her consent to Gods word,Mary becomes the mother of Jesus. Espousing the divine will for salvation wholeheartedly,without a single sin to restrain her, she gave herself entirely to the person and to the work ofher Son; she did so in order to serve the mystery of redemption with him and dependent onhim, by Gods grace:140As St. Irenaeus says, "Being obedient she became the cause of salvation for herselfand for the whole human race."141Hence not a few of the early Fathers gladly assert. ..: "The knot of Eves disobedience was untied by Marys obedience: what the virginEve bound through her disbelief, Mary loosened by her faith."142Comparing her withEve, they call Mary "the Mother of the living" and frequently claim: "Death throughEve, life through Mary."143Marys divine motherhood495 Called in the Gospels "the mother of Jesus", Mary is acclaimed by Elizabeth, at theprompting of the Spirit and even before the birth of her son, as "the mother of my Lord".144Infact, the One whom she conceived as man by the Holy Spirit, who truly became her Sonaccording to the flesh, was none other than the Fathers eternal Son, the second person of theHoly Trinity. Hence the Church confesses that Mary is truly "Mother of God" (Theotokos).145Marys virginity496 From the first formulations of her faith, the Church has confessed that Jesus wasconceived solely by the power of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Virgin Mary, affirmingalso the corporeal aspect of this event: Jesus was conceived "by the Holy Spirit withouthuman seed".146The Fathers see in the virginal conception the sign that it truly was the Son ofGod who came in a humanity like our own. Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch at the beginning ofthe second century says:You are firmly convinced about our Lord, who is truly of the race of David according to theflesh, Son of God according to the will and power of God, truly born of a virgin,. . . he wastruly nailed to a tree for us in his flesh under Pontius Pilate. . . he truly suffered, as he is alsotruly risen.147497 The Gospel accounts understand the virginal conception of Jesus as a divine work thatsurpasses all human understanding and possibility:148"That which is conceived in her is of theHoly Spirit", said the angel to Joseph about Mary his fiancee.149The Church sees here thefulfilment of the divine promise given through the prophet Isaiah: "Behold, a virgin shallconceive and bear a son."150498 People are sometimes troubled by the silence of St. Marks Gospel and the NewTestament Epistles about Jesus virginal conception. Some might wonder if we were merelydealing with legends or theological constructs not claiming to be history. To this we must
  • 46. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 46 of 68respond: Faith in the virginal conception of Jesus met with the lively opposition, mockery orincomprehension of non-believers, Jews and pagans alike;151so it could hardly have beenmotivated by pagan mythology or by some adaptation to the ideas of the age. the meaning ofthis event is accessible only to faith, which understands in it the "connection of thesemysteries with one another"152in the totality of Christs mysteries, from his Incarnation to hisPassover. St. Ignatius of Antioch already bears witness to this connection: "Marys virginityand giving birth, and even the Lords death escaped the notice of the prince of this world:these three mysteries worthy of proclamation were accomplished in Gods silence."153Mary - "ever-virgin"499 The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Marys realand perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man.154In fact,Christs birth "did not diminish his mothers virginal integrity but sanctified it."155and so theliturgy of the Church celebrates Mary as Aeiparthenos, the "Ever-virgin".156500 Against this doctrine the objection is sometimes raised that the Bible mentions brothersand sisters of Jesus.157The Church has always understood these passages as not referring toother children of the Virgin Mary. In fact James and Joseph, "brothers of Jesus", are the sonsof another Mary, a disciple of Christ, whom St. Matthew significantly calls "the otherMary".158They are close relations of Jesus, according to an Old Testament expression.159501 Jesus is Marys only son, but her spiritual motherhood extends to all men whom indeedhe came to save: "The Son whom she brought forth is he whom God placed as the first-bornamong many brethren, that is, the faithful in whose generation and formation she co-operateswith a mothers love."160Marys virginal motherhood in Gods plan502 The eyes of faith can discover in the context of the whole of Revelation the mysteriousreasons why God in his saving plan wanted his Son to be born of a virgin. These reasonstouch both on the person of Christ and his redemptive mission, and on the welcome Marygave that mission on behalf of all men.503 Marys virginity manifests Gods absolute initiative in the Incarnation. Jesus has onlyGod as Father. "He was never estranged from the Father because of the human nature whichhe assumed. . . He is naturally Son of the Father as to his divinity and naturally son of hismother as to his humanity, but properly Son of the Father in both natures."161504 Jesus is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin Marys womb because he is the NewAdam, who inaugurates the new creation: "The first man was from the earth, a man of dust;the second man is from heaven."162From his conception, Christs humanity is filled with theHoly Spirit, for God "gives him the Spirit without measure."163From "his fullness" as thehead of redeemed humanity "we have all received, grace upon grace."164505 By his virginal conception, Jesus, the New Adam, ushers in the new birth of childrenadopted in the Holy Spirit through faith. "How can this be?"165Participation in the divine lifearises "not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God".166Theacceptance of this life is virginal because it is entirely the Spirits gift to man. the spousal
  • 47. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 47 of 68character of the human vocation in relation to God167is fulfilled perfectly in Marys virginalmotherhood.506 Mary is a virgin because her virginity is the sign of her faith "unadulterated by anydoubt", and of her undivided gift of herself to Gods will.168It is her faith that enables her tobecome the mother of the Saviour: "Mary is more blessed because she embraces faith inChrist than because she conceives the flesh of Christ."169507 At once virgin and mother, Mary is the symbol and the most perfect realization of theChurch: "the Church indeed. . . by receiving the word of God in faith becomes herself amother. By preaching and Baptism she brings forth sons, who are conceived by the HolySpirit and born of God, to a new and immortal life. She herself is a virgin, who keeps in itsentirety and purity the faith she pledged to her spouse."170Characteristics common to Jesus mysteries516 Christs whole earthly life - his words and deeds, his silences and sufferings, indeed hismanner of being and speaking - is Revelation of the Father. Jesus can say: "Whoever has seenme has seen the Father", and the Father can say: "This is my Son, my Chosen; listen tohim!"177Because our Lord became man in order to do his Fathers will, even the leastcharacteristics of his mysteries manifest "Gods love. . . among us".178517 Christs whole life is a mystery of redemption. Redemption comes to us above allthrough the blood of his cross,179but this mystery is at work throughout Christs entire life: -already in his Incarnation through which by becoming poor he enriches us with his poverty;180- in his hidden life which by his submission atones for our disobedience;181- in his wordwhich purifies its hearers;182- in his healings and exorcisms by which "he took our infirmitiesand bore our diseases";183- and in his Resurrection by which he justifies us.184The Christmas mystery525 Jesus was born in a humble stable, into a poor family.202Simple shepherds were the firstwitnesses to this event. In this poverty heavens glory was made manifest.203The Churchnever tires of singing the glory of this night:The Virgin today brings into the world the Eternaland the earth offers a cave to the Inaccessible.The angels and shepherds praise himand the magi advance with the star,For you are born for us,Little Child, God eternal!204526 To become a child in relation to God is the condition for entering the kingdom.205Forthis, we must humble ourselves and become little. Even more: to become "children of God"we must be "born from above" or "born of God".206Only when Christ is formed in us will the
  • 48. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 48 of 68mystery of Christmas be fulfilled in us.207Christmas is the mystery of this "marvellousexchange":O marvellous exchange! Mans Creator has become man, born of the Virgin. We havebeen made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share ourhumanity.208The mysteries of Jesus infancy527 Jesus circumcision, on the eighth day after his birth,209is the sign of his incorporationinto Abrahams descendants, into the people of the covenant. It is the sign of his submissionto the Law210and his deputation to Israels worship, in which he will participate throughouthis life. This sign prefigures that "circumcision of Christ" which is Baptism.211528 The Epiphany is the manifestation of Jesus as Messiah of Israel, Son of God and Saviourof the world. the great feast of Epiphany celebrates the adoration of Jesus by the wise men(magi) from the East, together with his baptism in the Jordan and the wedding feast at Canain Galilee.212In the magi, representatives of the neighbouring pagan religions, the Gospel seesthe first-fruits of the nations, who welcome the good news of salvation through theIncarnation. the magis coming to Jerusalem in order to pay homage to the king of the Jewsshows that they seek in Israel, in the messianic light of the star of David, the one who will beking of the nations.213Their coming means that pagans can discover Jesus and worship him asSon of God and Saviour of the world only by turning towards the Jews and receiving fromthem the messianic promise as contained in the Old Testament.214The Epiphany shows that"the full number of the nations" now takes its "place in the family of the patriarchs", andacquires Israelitica dignitas215(is made "worthy of the heritage of Israel").529 The presentation of Jesus in the temple shows him to be the firstborn Son who belongs tothe Lord.216With Simeon and Anna, all Israel awaits its encounter with the Saviour - thename given to this event in the Byzantine tradition. Jesus is recognized as the long-expectedMessiah, the "light to the nations" and the "glory of Israel", but also "a sign that is spokenagainst". the sword of sorrow predicted for Mary announces Christs perfect and uniqueoblation on the cross that will impart the salvation God had "prepared in the presence of allpeoples".530 The flight into Egypt and the massacre of the innocents217make manifest the oppositionof darkness to the light: "He came to his own home, and his own people received him not."218Christs whole life was lived under the sign of persecution. His own share it with him.219Jesus departure from Egypt recalls the exodus and presents him as the definitive liberator ofGods people.220The mysteries of Jesus hidden life531 During the greater part of his life Jesus shared the condition of the vast majority ofhuman beings: a daily life spent without evident greatness, a life of manual labour. Hisreligious life was that of a Jew obedient to the law of God,221a life in the community. Fromthis whole period it is revealed to us that Jesus was "obedient" to his parents and that he"increased in wisdom and in stature, and in favour with God and man."222
  • 49. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 49 of 68532 Jesus obedience to his mother and legal father fulfils the fourth commandment perfectlyand was the temporal image of his filial obedience to his Father in heaven. the everydayobedience of Jesus to Joseph and Mary both announced and anticipated the obedience ofHoly Thursday: "Not my will. . ."223The obedience of Christ in the daily routine of his hiddenlife was already inaugurating his work of restoring what the disobedience of Adam haddestroyed.224533 The hidden life at Nazareth allows everyone to enter into fellowship with Jesus by themost ordinary events of daily life:The home of Nazareth is the school where we begin to understand the life of Jesus -the school of the Gospel. First, then, a lesson of silence. May esteem for silence, thatadmirable and indispensable condition of mind, revive in us. . . A lesson on familylife. May Nazareth teach us what family life is, its communion of love, its austere andsimple beauty, and its sacred and inviolable character... A lesson of work. Nazareth,home of the "Carpenters Son", in you I would choose to understand and proclaim thesevere and redeeming law of human work. . . To conclude, I want to greet all theworkers of the world, holding up to them their great pattern their brother who isGod.225534 The finding of Jesus in the temple is the only event that breaks the silence of the Gospelsabout the hidden years of Jesus.226Here Jesus lets us catch a glimpse of the mystery of histotal consecration to a mission that flows from his divine sonship: "Did you not know that Imust be about my Fathers work?"227Mary and Joseph did not understand these words, butthey accepted them in faith. Mary "kept all these things in her heart" during the years Jesusremained hidden in the silence of an ordinary life.III. THE MYSTERIES OF JESUS PUBLIC LIFEThe baptism of Jesus535 Jesus public life begins with his baptism by John in the Jordan.228John preaches "abaptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins".229A crowd of sinners230- tax collectors andsoldiers, Pharisees and Sadducees, and prostitutes - come to be baptized by him. "Then Jesusappears." the Baptist hesitates, but Jesus insists and receives baptism. Then the Holy Spirit, inthe form of a dove, comes upon Jesus and a voice from heaven proclaims, "This is mybeloved Son."231This is the manifestation ("Epiphany") of Jesus as Messiah of Israel and Sonof God.536 The baptism of Jesus is on his part the acceptance and inauguration of his mission asGods suffering Servant. He allows himself to be numbered among sinners; he is already "theLamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world".232Already he is anticipating the"baptism" of his bloody death.233Already he is coming to "fulfil all righteousness", that is, heis submitting himself entirely to his Fathers will: out of love he consents to this baptism ofdeath for the remission of our sins.234The Fathers voice responds to the Sons acceptance,proclaiming his entire delight in his Son.235The Spirit whom Jesus possessed in fullness fromhis conception comes to "rest on him".236Jesus will be the source of the Spirit for allmankind. At his baptism "the heavens were opened"237- the heavens that Adams sin hadclosed - and the waters were sanctified by the descent of Jesus and the Spirit, a prelude to thenew creation.
  • 50. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 50 of 68537 Through Baptism the Christian is sacramentally assimilated to Jesus, who in his ownbaptism anticipates his death and resurrection. the Christian must enter into this mystery ofhumble self-abasement and repentance, go down into the water with Jesus in order to risewith him, be reborn of water and the Spirit so as to become the Fathers beloved son in theSon and "walk in newness of life":238Let us be buried with Christ by Baptism to rise with him; let us go down with him tobe raised with him; and let us rise with him to be glorified with him.239Everything that happened to Christ lets us know that, after the bath of water, the HolySpirit swoops down upon us from high heaven and that, adopted by the Fathers voice,we become sons of God.240Jesus temptations538 The Gospels speak of a time of solitude for Jesus in the desert immediately after hisbaptism by John. Driven by the Spirit into the desert, Jesus remains there for forty dayswithout eating; he lives among wild beasts, and angels minister to him.241At the end of thistime Satan tempts him three times, seeking to compromise his filial attitude toward God.Jesus rebuffs these attacks, which recapitulate the temptations of Adam in Paradise and ofIsrael in the desert, and the devil leaves him "until an opportune time".242539 The evangelists indicate the salvific meaning of this mysterious event: Jesus is the newAdam who remained faithful just where the first Adam had given in to temptation. Jesusfulfils Israels vocation perfectly: in contrast to those who had once provoked God duringforty years in the desert, Christ reveals himself as Gods Servant, totally obedient to thedivine will. In this, Jesus is the devils conqueror: he "binds the strong man" to take back hisplunder.243Jesus victory over the tempter in the desert anticipates victory at the Passion, thesupreme act of obedience of his filial love for the Father.540 Jesus temptation reveals the way in which the Son of God is Messiah, contrary to theway Satan proposes to him and the way men wish to attribute to him.244This is why Christvanquished the Tempter for us: "For we have not a high priest who is unable to sympathizewith our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tested as we are, yet withoutsinning."245By the solemn forty days of Lent the Church unites herself each year to themystery of Jesus in the desert."The kingdom of God is at hand"541 "Now after John was arrested, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, andsaying: The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent, and believe in thegospel."246"To carry out the will of the Father Christ inaugurated the kingdom of heaven onearth."247Now the Fathers will is "to raise up men to share in his own divine life".248He doesthis by gathering men around his Son Jesus Christ. This gathering is the Church, "on earth theseed and beginning of that kingdoms".249542 Christ stands at the heart of this gathering of men into the "family of God". By his word,through signs that manifest the reign of God, and by sending out his disciples, Jesus calls all
  • 51. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 51 of 68people to come together around him. But above all in the great Paschal mystery - his death onthe cross and his Resurrection - he would accomplish the coming of his kingdom. "and I,when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to myself." Into this union with Christall men are called.250The proclamation of the kingdom of God543 Everyone is called to enter the kingdom. First announced to the children of Israel, thismessianic kingdom is intended to accept men of all nations.251To enter it, one must firstaccept Jesus word:The word of the Lord is compared to a seed which is sown in a field; those who hear itwith faith and are numbered among the little flock of Christ have truly received thekingdom. Then, by its own power, the seed sprouts and grows until the harvest.252544 The kingdom belongs to the poor and lowly, which means those who have accepted itwith humble hearts. Jesus is sent to "preach good news to the poor";253he declares themblessed, for "theirs is the kingdom of heaven."254To them - the "little ones" the Father ispleased to reveal what remains hidden from the wise and the learned.255Jesus shares the lifeof the poor, from the cradle to the cross; he experiences hunger, thirst and privation.256Jesusidentifies himself with the poor of every kind and makes active love toward them thecondition for entering his kingdom.257545 Jesus invites sinners to the table of the kingdom: "I came not to call the righteous, butsinners."258He invites them to that conversion without which one cannot enter the kingdom,but shows them in word and deed his Fathers boundless mercy for them and the vast "joy inheaven over one sinner who repents".259The supreme proof of his love will be the sacrifice ofhis own life "for the forgiveness of sins".260546 Jesus invitation to enter his kingdom comes in the form of parables, a characteristicfeature of his teaching.261Through his parables he invites people to the feast of the kingdom,but he also asks for a radical choice: to gain the kingdom, one must give everything.262Wordsare not enough, deeds are required.263The parables are like mirrors for man: will he be hardsoil or good earth for the word?264What use has he made of the talents he has received?265Jesus and the presence of the kingdom in this world are secretly at the heart of the parables.One must enter the kingdom, that is, become a disciple of Christ, in order to "know thesecrets of the kingdom of heaven".266For those who stay "outside", everything remainsenigmatic.267571 The Paschal mystery of Christs cross and Resurrection stands at the centre of the GoodNews that the apostles, and the Church following them, are to proclaim to the world. Godssaving plan was accomplished "once for all"313by the redemptive death of his Son JesusChrist.575 Many of Jesus deeds and words constituted a "sign of contradiction",321but more so forthe religious authorities in Jerusalem, whom the Gospel according to John often calls simply"the Jews",322than for the ordinary People of God.323To be sure, Christs relations with thePharisees were not exclusively polemical. Some Pharisees warn him of the danger he wascourting;324Jesus praises some of them, like the scribe of Mark 12:34, and dines several timesat their homes.325Jesus endorses some of the teachings imparted by this religious elite of
  • 52. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 52 of 68Gods people: the resurrection of the dead,326certain forms of piety (almsgiving, fasting andprayer),327The custom of addressing God as Father, and the centrality of the commandment tolove God and neighbour.328I. JESUS AND THE LAW577 At the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount Jesus issued a solemn warning in which hepresented Gods law, given on Sinai during the first covenant, in light of the grace of the NewCovenant:Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets: I have come not to abolishbut to fulfil. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth pass away, not one letter, not onestroke of a letter, will pass from the law, until all is accomplished. Therefore, whoever breaksone of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, will be calledleast in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does them and teaches them will be called greatin the kingdom of heaven.329588 Jesus scandalized the Pharisees by eating with tax collectors and sinners as familiarly aswith themselves.364Against those among them "who trusted in themselves that they wererighteous and despised others", Jesus affirmed: "I have not come to call the righteous, butsinners to repentance."365He went further by proclaiming before the Pharisees that, since sinis universal, those who pretend not to need salvation are blind to themselves.366589 Jesus gave scandal above all when he identified his merciful conduct toward sinners withGods own attitude toward them.367He went so far as to hint that by sharing the table ofsinners he was admitting them to the messianic banquet.368But it was most especially byforgiving sins that Jesus placed the religious authorities of Israel on the horns of a dilemma.Were they not entitled to demand in consternation, "Who can forgive sins but God alone?"369By forgiving sins Jesus either is blaspheming as a man who made himself Gods equal, or isspeaking the truth and his person really does make present and reveal Gods name.370Jews are not collectively responsible for Jesus death597 The historical complexity of Jesus trial is apparent in the Gospel accounts. the personalsin of the participants (Judas, the Sanhedrin, Pilate) is known to God alone. Hence we cannotlay responsibility for the trial on the Jews in Jerusalem as a whole, despite the outcry of amanipulated crowd and the global reproaches contained in the apostles calls to conversionafter Pentecost.385Jesus himself, in forgiving them on the cross, and Peter in following suit,both accept "the ignorance" of the Jews of Jerusalem and even of their leaders.386Still less canwe extend responsibility to other Jews of different times and places, based merely on thecrowds cry: "His blood be on us and on our children!", a formula for ratifying a judicialsentence.387As the Church declared at the Second Vatican Council: . . .Neither all Jews indiscriminately at that time, nor Jews today, can be charged with thecrimes committed during his Passion. . . the Jews should not be spoken of as rejectedor accursed as if this followed from holy Scripture.388603 Jesus did not experience reprobation as if he himself had sinned.405But in the redeeminglove that always united him to the Father, he assumed us in the state of our waywardness ofsin, to the point that he could say in our name from the cross: "My God, my God, why have
  • 53. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 53 of 68you forsaken me?"406Having thus established him in solidarity with us sinners, God "did notspare his own Son but gave him up for us all", so that we might be "reconciled to God by thedeath of his Son".407God takes the initiative of universal redeeming love607 The desire to embrace his Fathers plan of redeeming love inspired Jesus whole life,418for his redemptive passion was the very reason for his Incarnation. and so he asked, "andwhat shall I say? Father, save me from this hour? No, for this purpose I have come to thishour."419and again, "Shall I not drink the cup which the Father has given me?"420From thecross, just before "It is finished", he said, "I thirst."421"The Lamb who takes away the sin of the world"At the Last Supper Jesus anticipated the free offering of his life610 Jesus gave the supreme expression of his free offering of himself at the meal shared withthe twelve Apostles "on the night he was betrayed".429On the eve of his Passion, while stillfree, Jesus transformed this Last Supper with the apostles into the memorial of his voluntaryoffering to the Father for the salvation of men: "This is my body which is given for you.""This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness ofsins."430611 The Eucharist that Christ institutes at that moment will be the memorial of hissacrifice.431Jesus includes the apostles in his own offering and bids them perpetuate it.432Bydoing so, the Lord institutes his apostles as priests of the New Covenant: "For their sakes Isanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth."433The agony at Gethsemani612 The cup of the New Covenant, which Jesus anticipated when he offered himself at theLast Supper, is afterwards accepted by him from his Fathers hands in his agony in the gardenat Gethsemani,434making himself "obedient unto death". Jesus prays: "My Father, if it bepossible, let this cup pass from me. . ."435Thus he expresses the horror that death representedfor his human nature. Like ours, his human nature is destined for eternal life; but unlike ours,it is perfectly exempt from sin, the cause of death.436Above all, his human nature has beenassumed by the divine person of the "Author of life", the "Living One".437By accepting in hishuman will that the Fathers will be done, he accepts his death as redemptive, for "he himselfbore our sins in his body on the tree."438Christs death is the unique and definitive sacrifice613 Christs death is both the Paschal sacrifice that accomplishes the definitive redemption ofmen, through "the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world",439and the sacrifice ofthe New Covenant, which restores man to communion with God by reconciling him to Godthrough the "blood of the covenant, which was poured out for many for the forgiveness ofsins".440614 This sacrifice of Christ is unique; it completes and surpasses all other sacrifices.441First,it is a gift from God the Father himself, for the Father handed his Son over to sinners in order
  • 54. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 54 of 68to reconcile us with himself. At the same time it is the offering of the Son of God made man,who in freedom and love offered his life to his Father through the Holy Spirit in reparationfor our disobedience.442Jesus substitutes his obedience for our disobedience615 "For as by one mans disobedience many were made sinners, so by one mans obediencemany will be made righteous."443By his obedience unto death, Jesus accomplished thesubstitution of the suffering Servant, who "makes himself an offering for sin", when "he borethe sin of many", and who "shall make many to be accounted righteous", for "he shall beartheir iniquities".444Jesus atoned for our faults and made satisfaction for our sins to theFather.445Jesus consummates his sacrifice on the cross616 It is love "to the end"446that confers on Christs sacrifice its value as redemption andreparation, as atonement and satisfaction. He knew and loved us all when he offered hislife.447Now "the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died forall; therefore all have died."448No man, not even the holiest, was ever able to take on himselfthe sins of all men and offer himself as a sacrifice for all. the existence in Christ of the divineperson of the Son, who at once surpasses and embraces all human persons, and constituteshimself as the Head of all mankind, makes possible his redemptive sacrifice for all.617 The Council of Trent emphasizes the unique character of Christs sacrifice as "the sourceof eternal salvation"449and teaches that "his most holy Passion on the wood of the crossmerited justification for us."450and the Church venerates his cross as she sings: "Hail, OCross, our only hope."451Our participation in Christs sacrifice618 The cross is the unique sacrifice of Christ, the "one mediator between God and men".452But because in his incarnate divine person he has in some way united himself to every man,"the possibility of being made partners, in a way known to God, in the paschal mystery" isoffered to all men.453He calls his disciples to "take up [their] cross and follow (him)",454for"Christ also suffered for (us), leaving (us) an example so that (we) should follow in hissteps."455In fact Jesus desires to associate with his redeeming sacrifice those who were to beits first beneficiaries.456This is achieved supremely in the case of his mother, who wasassociated more intimately than any other person in the mystery of his redemptivesuffering.457Apart from the cross there is no other ladder by which we may get to heaven.458624 "By the grace of God" Jesus tasted death "for every one".459In his plan of salvation, Godordained that his Son should not only "die for our sins"460but should also "taste death",experience the condition of death, the separation of his soul from his body, between the timehe expired on the cross and the time he was raised from the dead. the state of the dead Christis the mystery of the tomb and the descent into hell. It is the mystery of Holy Saturday, whenChrist, lying in the tomb,461reveals Gods great sabbath rest462after the fulfilment463of manssalvation, which brings peace to the whole universe.464Christ in the tomb in his body
  • 55. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 55 of 68625 Christs stay in the tomb constitutes the real link between his passible state before Easterand his glorious and risen state today. the same person of the "Living One" can say, "I died,and behold I am alive for evermore":465627 Christs death was a real death in that it put an end to his earthly human existence. Butbecause of the union his body retained with the person of the Son, his was not a mortal corpselike others, for "divine power preserved Christs body from corruption."470Both of thesestatements can be said of Christ: "He was cut off out of the land of the living",471and "Myflesh will dwell in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, nor let your Holy Onesee corruption."472Jesus Resurrection "on the third day" was the proof of this, for bodilydecay was held to begin on the fourth day after death.473"Buried with Christ. . ."628 Baptism, the original and full sign of which is immersion, efficaciously signifies thedescent into the tomb by the Christian who dies to sin with Christ in order to live a new life."We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised fromthe dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life."474632 The frequent New Testament affirmations that Jesus was "raised from the dead"presuppose that the crucified one sojourned in the realm of the dead prior to hisresurrection.477This was the first meaning given in the apostolic preaching to Christs descentinto hell: that Jesus, like all men, experienced death and in his soul joined the others in therealm of the dead. But he descended there as Saviour, proclaiming the Good News to thespirits imprisoned there.478633 Scripture calls the abode of the dead, to which the dead Christ went down, "hell" - Sheolin Hebrew or Hades in Greek - because those who are there are deprived of the vision ofGod.479Such is the case for all the dead, whether evil or righteous, while they await theRedeemer: which does not mean that their lot is identical, as Jesus shows through the parableof the poor man Lazarus who was received into "Abrahams bosom":480"It is precisely theseholy souls, who awaited their Saviour in Abrahams bosom, whom Christ the Lord deliveredwhen he descended into hell."481Jesus did not descend into hell to deliver the damned, nor todestroy the hell of damnation, but to free the just who had gone before him.482634 "The gospel was preached even to the dead."483The descent into hell brings the Gospelmessage of salvation to complete fulfilment. This is the last phase of Jesus messianicmission, a phase which is condensed in time but vast in its real significance: the spread ofChrists redemptive work to all men of all times and all places, for all who are saved havebeen made sharers in the redemption.635 Christ went down into the depths of death so that "the dead will hear the voice of the Sonof God, and those who hear will live."484Jesus, "the Author of life", by dying destroyed "himwho has the power of death, that is, the devil, and [delivered] all those who through fear ofdeath were subject to lifelong bondage."485Henceforth the risen Christ holds "the keys ofDeath and Hades", so that "at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and onearth and under the earth."486Today a great silence reigns on earth, a great silence and a great stillness. A great silencebecause the King is asleep. the earth trembled and is still because God has fallen asleep in the
  • 56. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 56 of 68flesh and he has raised up all who have slept ever since the world began. . . He has gone tosearch for Adam, our first father, as for a lost sheep. Greatly desiring to visit those who livein darkness and in the shadow of death, he has gone to free from sorrow Adam in his bondsand Eve, captive with him - He who is both their God and the son of Eve. . . "I am your God,who for your sake have become your son. . . I order you, O sleeper, to awake. I did not createyou to be a prisoner in hell. Rise from the dead, for I am the life of the dead."487The empty tomb640 "Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen."492The firstelement we encounter in the framework of the Easter events is the empty tomb. In itself it isnot a direct proof of Resurrection; the absence of Christs body from the tomb could beexplained otherwise.493Nonetheless the empty tomb was still an essential sign for all. Itsdiscovery by the disciples was the first step toward recognizing the very fact of theResurrection. This was the case, first with the holy women, and then with Peter.494Thedisciple "whom Jesus loved" affirmed that when he entered the empty tomb and discovered"the linen cloths lying there", "he saw and believed".495This suggests that he realized fromthe empty tombs condition that the absence of Jesus body could not have been of humandoing and that Jesus had not simply returned to earthly life as had been the case withLazarus.496The appearances of the Risen One641 Mary Magdalene and the holy women who came to finish anointing the body of Jesus,which had been buried in haste because the Sabbath began on the evening of Good Friday,were the first to encounter the Risen One.497Thus the women were the first messengers ofChrists Resurrection for the apostles themselves.498They were the next to whom Jesusappears: first Peter, then the Twelve. Peter had been called to strengthen the faith of hisbrothers,499and so sees the Risen One before them; it is on the basis of his testimony that thecommunity exclaims: "The Lord has risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!"500642 Everything that happened during those Paschal days involves each of the apostles - andPeter in particular - in the building of the new era begun on Easter morning. As witnesses ofthe Risen One, they remain the foundation stones of his Church. the faith of the firstcommunity of believers is based on the witness of concrete men known to the Christians andfor the most part still living among them. Peter and the Twelve are the primary "witnesses tohis Resurrection", but they are not the only ones - Paul speaks clearly of more than fivehundred persons to whom Jesus appeared on a single occasion and also of James and of allthe apostles.501643 Given all these testimonies, Christs Resurrection cannot be interpreted as somethingoutside the physical order, and it is impossible not to acknowledge it as an historical fact. It isclear from the facts that the disciples faith was drastically put to the test by their mastersPassion and death on the cross, which he had foretold.502The shock provoked by the Passionwas so great that at least some of the disciples did not at once believe in the news of theResurrection. Far from showing us a community seized by a mystical exaltation, the Gospelspresent us with disciples demoralized ("looking sad"503) and frightened. For they had notbelieved the holy women returning from the tomb and had regarded their words as an "idletale".504When Jesus reveals himself to the Eleven on Easter evening, "he upbraided them for
  • 57. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 57 of 68their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who saw him afterhe had risen."505644 Even when faced with the reality of the risen Jesus the disciples are still doubtful, soimpossible did the thing seem: they thought they were seeing a ghost. "In their joy they werestill disbelieving and still wondering."506Thomas will also experience the test of doubt and St.Matthew relates that during the risen Lords last appearance in Galilee "some doubted."507Therefore the hypothesis that the Resurrection was produced by the apostles faith (orcredulity) will not hold up. On the contrary their faith in the Resurrection was born, under theaction of divine grace, from their direct experience of the reality of the risen Jesus.The condition of Christs risen humanity645 By means of touch and the sharing of a meal, the risen Jesus establishes direct contactwith his disciples. He invites them in this way to recognize that he is not a ghost and aboveall to verify that the risen body in which he appears to them is the same body that had beentortured and crucified, for it still bears the traces of his Passion.508Yet at the same time thisauthentic, real body possesses the new properties of a glorious body: not limited by space andtime but able to be present how and when he wills; for Christs humanity can no longer beconfined to earth, and belongs henceforth only to the Fathers divine realm.509For this reasontoo the risen Jesus enjoys the sovereign freedom of appearing as he wishes: in the guise of agardener or in other forms familiar to his disciples, precisely to awaken their faith.510646 Christs Resurrection was not a return to earthly life, as was the case with the raisingsfrom the dead that he had performed before Easter: Jairus daughter, the young man of Naim,Lazarus. These actions were miraculous events, but the persons miraculously raised returnedby Jesus power to ordinary earthly life. At some particular moment they would die again.Christs Resurrection is essentially different. In his risen body he passes from the state ofdeath to another life beyond time and space. At Jesus Resurrection his body is filled with thepower of the Holy Spirit: he shares the divine life in his glorious state, so that St. Paul can saythat Christ is "the man of heaven".511The Resurrection as transcendent event647 O truly blessed Night, sings the Exsultet of the Easter Vigil, which alone deserved toknow the time and the hour when Christ rose from the realm of the dead!512But no one wasan eyewitness to Christs Resurrection and no evangelist describes it. No one can say how itcame about physically. Still less was its innermost essence, his passing over to another life,perceptible to the senses. Although the Resurrection was an historical event that could beverified by the sign of the empty tomb and by the reality of the apostles encounters with therisen Christ, still it remains at the very heart of the mystery of faith as something thattranscends and surpasses history. This is why the risen Christ does not reveal himself to theworld, but to his disciples, "to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, whoare now his witnesses to the people."513II. THE RESURRECTION - A WORK OF THE HOLY TRINITY648 Christs Resurrection is an object of faith in that it is a transcendent intervention of Godhimself in creation and history. In it the three divine persons act together as one, and manifesttheir own proper characteristics. the Fathers power "raised up" Christ his Son and by doing
  • 58. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 58 of 68so perfectly introduced his Sons humanity, including his body, into the Trinity. Jesus isconclusively revealed as "Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness by hisResurrection from the dead".514St. Paul insists on the manifestation of Gods power515throughthe working of the Spirit who gave life to Jesus dead humanity and called it to the gloriousstate of Lordship.649 As for the Son, he effects his own Resurrection by virtue of his divine power. Jesusannounces that the Son of man will have to suffer much, die, and then rise.516Elsewhere heaffirms explicitly: "I lay down my life, that I may take it again. . . I have power to lay itdown, and I have power to take it again."517"We believe that Jesus died and rose again."518650 The Fathers contemplate the Resurrection from the perspective of the divine person ofChrist who remained united to his soul and body, even when these were separated from eachother by death: "By the unity of the divine nature, which remains present in each of the twocomponents of man, these are reunited. For as death is produced by the separation of thehuman components, so Resurrection is achieved by the union of the two."519III. THE MEANING AND SAVING SIGNIFICANCE OF THE RESURRECTION651 "If Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain."520The Resurrection above all constitutes the confirmation of all Christs works and teachings.All truths, even those most inaccessible to human reason, find their justification if Christ byhis Resurrection has given the definitive proof of his divine authority, which he hadpromised.652 Christs Resurrection is the fulfilment of the promises both of the Old Testament and ofJesus himself during his earthly life.521The phrase "in accordance with the Scriptures"522indicates that Christs Resurrection fulfilled these predictions.653 The truth of Jesus divinity is confirmed by his Resurrection. He had said: "When youhave lifted up the Son of man, then you will know that I am he."523The Resurrection of thecrucified one shows that he was truly "I AM", the Son of God and God himself. So St. Paulcould declare to the Jews: "What God promised to the fathers, this he has fulfilled to us theirchildren by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, You are my Son, today Ihave begotten you."524Christs Resurrection is closely linked to the Incarnation of Gods Son,and is its fulfilment in accordance with Gods eternal plan.654 The Paschal mystery has two aspects: by his death, Christ liberates us from sin; by hisResurrection, he opens for us the way to a new life. This new life is above all justificationthat reinstates us in Gods grace, "so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory ofthe Father, we too might walk in newness of life." Justification consists in both victory overthe death caused by sin and a new participation in grace.526It brings about filial adoption sothat men become Christs brethren, as Jesus himself called his disciples after his Resurrection:"Go and tell my brethren."527We are brethren not by nature, but by the gift of grace, becausethat adoptive filiation gains us a real share in the life of the only Son, which was fullyrevealed in his Resurrection.655 Finally, Christs Resurrection - and the risen Christ himself is the principle and source ofour future resurrection: "Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those whohave fallen asleep. . . For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive."528The
  • 59. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 59 of 68risen Christ lives in the hearts of his faithful while they await that fulfilment. In Christ,Christians "have tasted. . . the powers of the age to come"529and their lives are swept up byChrist into the heart of divine life, so that they may "live no longer for themselves but for himwho for their sake died and was raised."530663 Henceforth Christ is seated at the right hand of the Father: "By the Fathers right hand664 Being seated at the Fathers right hand signifies the inauguration of the Messiahskingdom, the fulfillment of the prophet Daniels vision concerning the Son of man: "To himwas given dominion and glory and kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages shouldserve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and hiskingdom one that shall not be destroyed."546After this event the apostles became witnesses ofthe "kingdom [that] will have no end".547669 As Lord, Christ is also head of the Church, which is his Body.551Taken up to heaven andglorified after he had thus fully accomplished his mission, Christ dwells on earth in hisChurch. the redemption is the source of the authority that Christ, by virtue of the Holy Spirit,exercises over the Church. "The kingdom of Christ (is) already present in mystery", "onearth, the seed and the beginning of the kingdom".552670 Since the Ascension Gods plan has entered into its fulfilment. We are already at "the lasthour".553"Already the final age of the world is with us, and the renewal of the world isirrevocably under way; it is even now anticipated in a certain real way, for the Church onearth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real but imperfect."554Christs kingdomalready manifests its presence through the miraculous signs that attend its proclamation bythe Church.555. . . until all things are subjected to him677 The Church will enter the glory of the kingdom only through this final Passover, whenshe will follow her Lord in his death and Resurrection.578The kingdom will be fulfilled, then,not by a historic triumph of the Church through a progressive ascendancy, but only by Godsvictory over the final unleashing of evil, which will cause his Bride to come down fromheaven.579Gods triumph over the revolt of evil will take the form of the Last Judgement afterthe final cosmic upheaval of this passing world.580678 Following in the steps of the prophets and John the Baptist, Jesus announced thejudgement of the Last Day in his preaching.581Then will the conduct of each one and thesecrets of hearts be brought to light.582Then will the culpable unbelief that counted the offerof Gods grace as nothing be condemned.583Our attitude to our neighbour will discloseacceptance or refusal of grace and divine love.584On the Last Day Jesus will say: "Truly I sayto you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me."585679 Christ is Lord of eternal life. Full right to pass definitive judgement on the works andhearts of men belongs to him as redeemer of the world. He "acquired" this right by his cross.The Father has given "all judgement to the Son".586Yet the Son did not come to judge, but tosave and to give the life he has in himself.587By rejecting grace in this life, one already judgesoneself, receives according to ones works, and can even condemn oneself for all eternity byrejecting the Spirit of love.588
  • 60. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 60 of 68683 "No one can say Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit."1"God has sent the Spirit ofhis Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father!"2This knowledge of faith is possible only inthe Holy Spirit: to be in touch with Christ, we must first have been touched by the HolySpirit. He comes to meet us and kindles faith in us. By virtue of our Baptism, the firstsacrament of the faith, the Holy Spirit in the Church communicates to us, intimately andpersonally, the life that originates in the Father and is offered to us in the Son.687 "No one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God."7Now Gods Spirit,who reveals God, makes known to us Christ, his Word, his living Utterance, but the Spiritdoes not speak of himself. the Spirit who "has spoken through the prophets" makes us hearthe Fathers Word, but we do not hear the Spirit himself. We know him only in the movementby which he reveals the Word to us and disposes us to welcome him in faith. the Spirit oftruth who "unveils" Christ to us "will not speak on his own."8Such properly divine self-effacement explains why "the world cannot receive (him), because it neither sees him norknows him," while those who believe in Christ know the Spirit because he dwells with them.9688 The Church, a communion living in the faith of the apostles which she transmits, is theplace where we know the Holy Spirit:- in the Scriptures he inspired;- in the Tradition, to which the Church Fathers are always timely witnesses;- in the Churchs Magisterium, which he assists;- in the sacramental liturgy, through its words and symbols, in which the Holy Spirit puts usinto communion with Christ;- in prayer, wherein he intercedes for us;- in the charisms and ministries by which the Church is built up;- in the signs of apostolic and missionary life;- in the witness of saints through whom he manifests his holiness and continues the work ofsalvation.692 When he proclaims and promises the coming of the Holy Spirit, Jesus calls him the"Paraclete," literally, "he who is called to ones side," advocatus.18"Paraclete" is commonlytranslated by "consoler," and Jesus is the first consoler.19The Lord also called the Holy Spirit"the Spirit of truth."20693 Besides the proper name of "Holy Spirit," which is most frequently used in the Acts ofthe Apostles and in the Epistles, we also find in St. Paul the titles: the Spirit of the promise,21The Spirit of adoption,22The Spirit of Christ,23The Spirit of the Lord,24and the Spirit of God25- and, in St. Peter, the Spirit of glory.26Symbols of the Holy Spirit694 Water. the symbolism of water signifies the Holy Spirits action in Baptism, since afterthe invocation of the Holy Spirit it becomes the efficacious sacramental sign of new birth:just as the gestation of our first birth took place in water, so the water of Baptism trulysignifies that our birth into the divine life is given to us in the Holy Spirit. As "by one Spiritwe were all baptized," so we are also "made to drink of one Spirit."27Thus the Spirit is alsopersonally the living water welling up from Christ crucified28as its source and welling up inus to eternal life.29
  • 61. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 61 of 68695 Anointing. the symbolism of anointing with oil also signifies the Holy Spirit,30to thepoint of becoming a synonym for the Holy Spirit. In Christian initiation, anointing is thesacramental sign of Confirmation, called "chrismation" in the Churches of the East. Its fullforce can be grasped only in relation to the primary anointing accomplished by the HolySpirit, that of Jesus. Christ (in Hebrew "messiah") means the one "anointed" by Gods Spirit.There were several anointed ones of the Lord in the Old Covenant, pre-eminently KingDavid.31But Jesus is Gods Anointed in a unique way: the humanity the Son assumed wasentirely anointed by the Holy Spirit. the Holy Spirit established him as "Christ."32The VirginMary conceived Christ by the Holy Spirit who, through the angel, proclaimed him the Christat his birth, and prompted Simeon to come to the temple to see the Christ of the Lord.33TheSpirit filled Christ and the power of the Spirit went out from him in his acts of healing and ofsaving.34Finally, it was the Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.35Now, fully established as"Christ" in his humanity victorious over death, Jesus pours out the Holy Spirit abundantlyuntil "the saints" constitute - in their union with the humanity of the Son of God - that perfectman "to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ":36"the whole Christ," in St.Augustines expression.696 Fire. While water signifies birth and the fruitfulness of life given in the Holy Spirit, firesymbolizes the transforming energy of the Holy Spirits actions. the prayer of the prophetElijah, who "arose like fire" and whose "word burned like a torch," brought down fire fromheaven on the sacrifice on Mount Carmel.37This event was a "figure" of the fire of the HolySpirit, who transforms what he touches. John the Baptist, who goes "before [the Lord] in thespirit and power of Elijah," proclaims Christ as the one who "will baptize you with the HolySpirit and with fire."38Jesus will say of the Spirit: "I came to cast fire upon the earth; andwould that it were already kindled!"39In the form of tongues "as of fire," the Holy Spirit restson the disciples on the morning of Pentecost and fills them with himself40The spiritualtradition has retained this symbolism of fire as one of the most expressive images of the HolySpirits actions.41"Do not quench the Spirit."42697 Cloud and light. These two images occur together in the manifestations of the HolySpirit. In the theophanies of the Old Testament, the cloud, now obscure, now luminous,reveals the living and saving God, while veiling the transcendence of his glory - with Moseson Mount Sinai,43at the tent of meeting,44and during the wandering in the desert,45and withSolomon at the dedication of the Temple.46In the Holy Spirit, Christ fulfills these figures. theSpirit comes upon the Virgin Mary and "overshadows" her, so that she might conceive andgive birth to Jesus.47On the mountain of Transfiguration, the Spirit in the "cloud came andovershadowed" Jesus, Moses and Elijah, Peter, James and John, and "a voice came out of thecloud, saying, This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him!"48Finally, the cloud took Jesus outof the sight of the disciples on the day of his ascension and will reveal him as Son of man inglory on the day of his final coming.49698 The seal is a symbol close to that of anointing. "The Father has set his seal" on Christ andalso seals us in him.50Because this seal indicates the indelible effect of the anointing with theHoly Spirit in the sacraments of Baptism, Confirmation, and Holy Orders, the image of theseal (sphragis) has been used in some theological traditions to express the indelible"character" imprinted by these three unrepeatable sacraments.699 The hand. Jesus heals the sick and blesses little children by laying hands on them.51In hisname the apostles will do the same.52Even more pointedly, it is by the Apostles imposition ofhands that the Holy Spirit is given.53The Letter to the Hebrews lists the imposition of hands
  • 62. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 62 of 68among the "fundamental elements" of its teaching.54The Church has kept this sign of the all-powerful outpouring of the Holy Spirit in its sacramental epicleses.700 The finger. "It is by the finger of God that [Jesus] cast out demons."55If Gods law waswritten on tablets of stone "by the finger of God," then the "letter from Christ" entrusted tothe care of the apostles, is written "with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone,but on tablets of human hearts."56The hymn Veni Creator Spiritus invokes the Holy Spirit asthe "finger of the Fathers right hand."57701 The dove. At the end of the flood, whose symbolism refers to Baptism, a dove releasedby Noah returns with a fresh olive-tree branch in its beak as a sign that the earth was againhabitable.58When Christ comes up from the water of his baptism, the Holy Spirit, in the formof a dove, comes down upon him and remains with him.59The Spirit comes down andremains in the purified hearts of the baptized. In certain churches, the Eucharist is reserved ina metal receptacle in the form of a dove (columbarium) suspended above the altar. Christianiconography traditionally uses a dove to suggest the Spirit.716 The People of the "poor"87- those who, humble and meek, rely solely on their Godsmysterious plans, who await the justice, not of men but of the Messiah - are in the end thegreat achievement of the Holy Spirits hidden mission during the time of the promises thatprepare for Christs coming. It is this quality of heart, purified and enlightened by the Spirit,which is expressed in the Psalms. In these poor, the Spirit is making ready "a people preparedfor the Lord."88722 The Holy Spirit prepared Mary by his grace. It was fitting that the mother of him inwhom "the whole fullness of deity dwells bodily"102should herself be "full of grace." Shewas, by sheer grace, conceived without sin as the most humble of creatures, the most capableof welcoming the inexpressible gift of the Almighty. It was quite correct for the angel Gabrielto greet her as the "Daughter of Zion": "Rejoice."103It is the thanksgiving of the whole Peopleof God, and thus of the Church, which Mary in her canticle104lifts up to the Father in theHoly Spirit while carrying within her the eternal Son.723 In Mary, the Holy Spirit fulfills the plan of the Fathers loving goodness. With andthrough the Holy Spirit, the Virgin conceives and gives birth to the Son of God. By the HolySpirits power and her faith, her virginity became uniquely fruitful.105V. The Spirit and the Church In the Last DaysPentecost731 On the day of Pentecost when the seven weeks of Easter had come to an end, ChristsPassover is fulfilled in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, manifested, given, andcommunicated as a divine person: of his fullness, Christ, the Lord, pours out the Spirit inabundance.122732 On that day, the Holy Trinity is fully revealed. Since that day, the Kingdom announcedby Christ has been open to those who believe in him: in the humility of the flesh and in faith,they already share in the communion of the Holy Trinity. By his coming, which never ceases,the Holy Spirit causes the world to enter into the "last days," the time of the Church, theKingdom already inherited though not yet consummated.
  • 63. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 63 of 68We have seen the true Light, we have received the heavenly Spirit, we have found thetrue faith: we adore the indivisible Trinity, who has saved us.123The Holy Spirit - Gods gift733 "God is Love"124and love is his first gift, containing all others. "Gods love has beenpoured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us."125748 "Christ is the light of humanity; and it is, accordingly, the heart-felt desire of this sacredCouncil, being gathered together in the Holy Spirit, that, by proclaiming his Gospel to everycreature, it may bring to all men that light of Christ which shines out visibly from theChurch."135These words open the Second Vatican Councils Dogmatic Constitution on theChurch. By choosing this starting point, the Council demonstrates that the article of faithabout the Church depends entirely on the articles concerning Christ Jesus. the Church has noother light than Christs; according to a favorite image of the Church Fathers, the Church islike the moon, all its light reflected from the sun.749 The article concerning the Church also depends entirely on the article about the HolySpirit, which immediately precedes it. "Indeed, having shown that the Spirit is the source andgiver of all holiness, we now confess that it is he who has endowed the Church withholiness."136The Church is, in a phrase used by the Fathers, the place "where the Spiritflourishes."137750 To believe that the Church is "holy" and "catholic," and that she is "one" and "apostolic"(as the Nicene Creed adds), is inseparable from belief in God, the Father, the Son, and theHoly Spirit. In the Apostles Creed we profess "one Holy Church" (Credo . . . Ecclesiam), andnot to believe in the Church, so as not to confuse God with his works and to attribute clearlyto Gods goodness all the gifts he has bestowed on his Church.138775 "The Church, in Christ, is like a sacrament - a sign and instrument, that is, of communionwith God and of unity among all men."197The Churchs first purpose is to be the sacrament ofthe inner union of men with God. Because mens communion with one another is rooted inthat union with God, the Church is also the sacrament of the unity of the human race. In her,this unity is already begun, since she gathers men "from every nation, from all tribes andpeoples and tongues";198at the same time, the Church is the "sign and instrument" of the fullrealization of the unity yet to come.776 As sacrament, the Church is Christs instrument. "She is taken up by him also as theinstrument for the salvation of all," "the universal sacrament of salvation," by which Christ is"at once manifesting and actualizing the mystery of Gods love for men."199The Church "isthe visible plan of Gods love for humanity," because God desires "that the whole human racemay become one People of God, form one Body of Christ, and be built up into one temple ofthe Holy Spirit."200I. THE CHURCH IS ONE"The sacred mystery of the Churchs unity" (UR 2)813 The Church is one because of her source: "the highest exemplar and source of thismystery is the unity, in the Trinity of Persons, of one God, the Father and the Son in the Holy
  • 64. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 64 of 68Spirit."259The Church is one because of her founder: for "the Word made flesh, the prince ofpeace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, . . . restoring the unity of all in one people andone body."260The Church is one because of her "soul": "It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in thosewho believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about thatwonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he isthe principle of the Churchs unity."261Unity is of the essence of the Church:826 Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it "governs, shapes, andperfects all the means of sanctification."297If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldnt lack the noblestof all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart BURNING WITH LOVE.and I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the othermembers of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget topreach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood.LOVE, IN FACT, IS THE VOCATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL OTHERS; ITS AUNIVERSE OF ITS OWN, COMPRISING ALL TIME AND SPACE - ITSETERNAL!298841 The Churchs relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes thosewho acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; theseprofess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God,mankinds judge on the last day."330842 The Churchs bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common originand end of the human race:All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock whichGod created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namelyGod. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the daywhen the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows andimages, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things andwants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in thesereligions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that theymay at length have life."332841 The Churchs relationship with the Muslims. "The plan of salvation also includes thosewho acknowledge the Creator, in the first place amongst whom are the Muslims; theseprofess to hold the faith of Abraham, and together with us they adore the one, merciful God,mankinds judge on the last day."330842 The Churchs bond with non-Christian religions is in the first place the common originand end of the human race:All nations form but one community. This is so because all stem from the one stock whichGod created to people the entire earth, and also because all share a common destiny, namelyGod. His providence, evident goodness, and saving designs extend to all against the daywhen the elect are gathered together in the holy city. . .331
  • 65. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 65 of 68843 The Catholic Church recognizes in other religions that search, among shadows andimages, for the God who is unknown yet near since he gives life and breath and all things andwants all men to be saved. Thus, the Church considers all goodness and truth found in thesereligions as "a preparation for the Gospel and given by him who enlightens all men that theymay at length have life."332844 In their religious behavior, however, men also display the limits and errors that disfigurethe image of God in them:Very often, deceived by the Evil One, men have become vain in their reasonings, andhave exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and served the creature rather than theCreator. Or else, living and dying in this world without God, they are exposed toultimate despair.333845 To reunite all his children, scattered and led astray by sin, the Father willed to call thewhole of humanity together into his Sons Church. the Church is the place where humanitymust rediscover its unity and salvation. the Church is "the world reconciled." She is that barkwhich "in the full sail of the Lords cross, by the breath of the Holy Spirit, navigates safely inthis world." According to another image dear to the Church Fathers, she is prefigured byNoahs ark, which alone saves from the flood.334"Outside the Church there is no salvation"846 How are we to understand this affirmation, often repeated by the Church Fathers?335Re-formulated positively, it means that all salvation comes from Christ the Head through theChurch which is his Body:Basing itself on Scripture and Tradition, the Council teaches that the Church, apilgrim now on earth, is necessary for salvation: the one Christ is the mediator and theway of salvation; he is present to us in his body which is the Church. He himselfexplicitly asserted the necessity of faith and Baptism, and thereby affirmed at thesame time the necessity of the Church which men enter through Baptism as through adoor. Hence they could not be saved who, knowing that the Catholic Church wasfounded as necessary by God through Christ, would refuse either to enter it or toremain in it.336847 This affirmation is not aimed at those who, through no fault of their own, do not knowChrist and his Church:Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or hisChurch, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, tryin their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience -those too may achieve eternal salvation.337848 "Although in ways known to himself God can lead those who, through no fault of theirown, are ignorant of the Gospel, to that faith without which it is impossible to please him, theChurch still has the obligation and also the sacred right to evangelize all men."338Mission - a requirement of the Churchs catholicity
  • 66. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 66 of 68849 The missionary mandate. "Having been divinely sent to the nations that she might be theuniversal sacrament of salvation, the Church, in obedience to the command of her founderand because it is demanded by her own essential universality, strives to preach the Gospel toall men":339"Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of theFather and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I havecommanded you; and Lo, I am with you always, until the close of the age."340850 The origin and purpose of mission. the Lords missionary mandate is ultimately groundedin the eternal love of the Most Holy Trinity: "The Church on earth is by her nature missionarysince, according to the plan of the Father, she has as her origin the mission of the Son and theHoly Spirit."341The ultimate purpose of mission is none other than to make men share in thecommunion between the Father and the Son in their Spirit of love.342851 Missionary motivation. It is from Gods love for all men that the Church in every agereceives both the obligation and the vigor of her missionary dynamism, "for the love of Christurges us on."343Indeed, God "desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of thetruth";344that is, God wills the salvation of everyone through the knowledge of the truth.Salvation is found in the truth. Those who obey the prompting of the Spirit of truth arealready on the way of salvation. But the Church, to whom this truth has been entrusted, mustgo out to meet their desire, so as to bring them the truth. Because she believes in Godsuniversal plan of salvation, the Church must be missionary.852 Missionary paths. the Holy Spirit is the protagonist, "the principal agent of the whole ofthe Churchs mission."345It is he who leads the Church on her missionary paths. "This missioncontinues and, in the course of history, unfolds the mission of Christ, who was sent toevangelize the poor; so the Church, urged on by the Spirit of Christ, must walk the roadChrist himself walked, a way of poverty and obedience, of service and self-sacrifice even todeath, a death from which he emerged victorious by his resurrection."346So it is that "theblood of martyrs is the seed of Christians."347853 On her pilgrimage, the Church has also experienced the "discrepancy existing betweenthe message she proclaims and the human weakness of those to whom the Gospel has beenentrusted."348Only by taking the "way of penance and renewal," the "narrow way of thecross," can the People of God extend Christs reign.349For "just as Christ carried out the workof redemption in poverty and oppression, so the Church is called to follow the same path ifshe is to communicate the fruits of salvation to men."350854 By her very mission, "the Church . . . travels the same journey as all humanity and sharesthe same earthly lot with the world: she is to be a leaven and, as it were, the soul of humansociety in its renewal by Christ and transformation into the family of God."351Missionaryendeavor requires patience. It begins with the proclamation of the Gospel to peoples andgroups who do not yet believe in Christ,352continues with the establishment of Christiancommunities that are "a sign of Gods presence in the world,"353and leads to the foundation oflocal churches.354It must involve a process of inculturation if the Gospel is to take flesh ineach peoples culture.355There will be times of defeat. "With regard to individuals, groups,and peoples it is only by degrees that [the Church] touches and penetrates them and soreceives them into a fullness which is Catholic."356
  • 67. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 67 of 68
  • 68. The ‗rule‘ for the Fr Norris spiritual Opus in fidesPage 68 of 68