Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Incarnation

Christ saving Adam and Eve
The Incarnation is the mystery and Word of God (Christ) made flesh while remaining fully divine.  Christ is true God and true Man.  The purpose of His first coming was to redeem mankind so we can have eternal life in God's kingdom.  For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, so that whomever believes in Him will have eternal life (John 3:16).

Arianism is the rejection of Christ's divinity.  The NCW never rejected Christ's divinity nor his humanity.  There is a false and malicious rumor going around saying that the NCW do not believe that Jesus is God.  These rumors are spread by those who are against the Way. 

The truth is....the NCW recognized that Christ is true Man and true God.  We acknowledge the true purpose of His life, death, suffering, and resurrection on earth.  After the Fall of Adam and Eve, the gates of Heaven were closed to man.  Abraham, David, Isaac, Jacob, and all those who had faith in God were in the underworld waiting for a Redeemer.  All the sacrifices of the Old Testament could not open the gates of Heaven.  Only Christ was able to do that in his suffering, death, and resurrection. 

The Good News that Christ told His Apostles to spread to the ends of the earth is His resurrection.  Death has been conquered.  The gates of Heaven are now open to mankind for Christ has paid the price for our sins.  When Christ died, his human body was dead, but His Spirit went to the underworld to liberate the souls who were held prisoner by Death.  Adam through sin brought death to mankind, and Christ through obedience brought life (Romans 5:12-19).  This was the Good News to be pronounced to the ends of the earth.  CHRIST HAS RISEN!!  Christianity is an event that has happened in history.  Now is the time to spread the Good News for Christ is risen on Easter morning.  Many communities will be out spreading this news in the Great Mission and as they go out in two by twos. 

21 comments:

  1. Fight for my SoulApril 12, 2015 at 1:40 AM

    (part 1)

    I found this letter by a person called Lester Gonzales published by Tim Rohr. Although Tim is obviously biased in his treatment of the letter, I see here a person who used to be a responsible in the Way and honestly struggled with many things. Perhaps, it would be useful to look into his claims and give an insider's view of responses. I left out the part of the letter related to the paperwork of a newly baptized baby because I do not think it is relevant. Here is the letter:

    * * * * * start * * * * *

    January 5, 2015

    Your Excellency Archbishop Martin Krebs,

    My name is Lester Gonzales. I am a parishioner of the Dulce Nombre de Maria Cathedral-Basilica. For the past 12 years, under the leadership of Monsignor James Benavente, I served as an Altar Server Mass Coordinator and Master Of Ceremonies for Liturgical Events.

    My wife and I were part of the Neocatechumenal Way. We have heard stories previously to when we became members. We were told that it had created a division in the Church. We were told that Archbishop Apuron favored the Neo. We also heard stories of families separating and marriages failing because they are not in agreement with the Neo ways.

    Unfortunately for us, we endured a traumatic experience in our life, the loss of our first born son. Because of that we became a target as a newcomer to the Neo. We were told that the Neo can be a tool to help enhance our faith and give us a better understanding of why God chose to recruit our baby as one of his angels.

    However, after overcoming our having been momentarily blinded by what we were taught, we came to the realization that there were several things about the Neo that were not being handled properly. Therefore, after two years, we decided to leave our community.

    There were several reasons why we left.

    1. First, the NCW Catechists are not in line with church liturgy. We were manipulated to believe that it was okay to consume the body of Christ together as one. We had to wait until every person received the Body of Christ before we could consume it. At the time, it did not dawn on me how liturgically inappropriate it was to do so in that fashion. The NCW Catechists told us that the Pope approved of this.

    2. Second, instead of increasing my Catholic faith, it felt more like I was made to be a member of a cult. In year two, I was delegated to become the acting responsible for my community. The Catechist informed me that I had to be very involved, which included the preparations of the celebrations as well as the additional meetings and gatherings that I had to make time for.

    The required amount of time that we had to commit really hurt my marriage. The commitment my wife and I had to give took a huge toll on us and we were arguing and fighting almost every day due to the fact of my involvement with the group.

    Being a NCW Responsible meant we had to keep our community as a whole and make certain that our numbers do not diminish. We were fifty members when we were born as a community. Some brothers would eventually leave the community little at a time and that would mean more work to fulfill.

    My wife and I had just had our second son and we were tasked to be in attendance for all of the celebrations of the Word and Eucharist because some members were not available. When we had our convivence (retreat) if the trash bag (collection) does not collect enough for the bill, we were left to find ways to pay for it.

    With our already existing financial struggles, another is added. The only advice provided by the Catechists is that God will provide for us. For two years, I have lived with that phrase as if I expect God to throw money at me miraculously. This was another burden we had to add to our lives that just made it worse.

    (to be continued)

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  2. Fight for my SoulApril 12, 2015 at 1:41 AM

    (part 2)

    3. Third, they led us to believe that whatever life throws at you, it is your cross to carry. Therefore, whatever situation we may encounter such as the fighting between my spouse and I, the catechists says simply to have courage and to accept it because that is what God has blessed you to have or that it is God's plan for us.

    Currently, Archbishop Apuron has created many angry Catholics on this island but he will not see that it is his fault. To him, it is what God has placed in his life to face- to carry that cross.

    4. Fourth, the catechists instill in you that you are in the NCW for your salvation. The catechist preached to us that Salvation is found only in the Neocatechumenal Way. No one is important in your life but God. To put it short, if you want to go to heaven, save yourself by being obedient in the Way. If your other family members don’t walk the Way, they may or will not be saved.

    The term "family" is not as important as what you need to be for God. Being in the NCW is an easy ticket to heaven. Your purpose in life is to be involved in the NCW. Throw away all your luxuries and just be obedient. Actually, we never got further along because if we did, what we hear is that you give all your luxuries and what they do with it is a question.

    5. Fifth, there are a huge amount of hypocrites that roam about and are very much involved in the NCW. They seem to have the mentality that they can commit sin anytime because there will always be the celebrations of the Word and Eucharist to be forgiven. They assume that attending these celebrations are given to allow you to cleanse your soul.

    We know people who have been walking in the NCW and still manage to do, think and speak judgments of others. If you have been walking for more than 10 years, one should be able to refrain from making too many judgments. As for committing sins, some of them still do harm and then echo it during the celebrations to be forgiven. It has become a safe net for them.

    6. Sixth, they expect you to be loyal. Since we left, we have been ignored and shunned by most members. We attend mass every Sunday. Actually, even while walking in the NCW, we made it a point to attend both Saturday evening Neo Eucharist and Sunday mass. But because we are no longer involved, despite the fact that we do attend Sunday regular mass, to them, we have been taken by the devil. And so, our brothers pray for our return because we are apparently lost and confused.

    * * * * * snip * * * * *

    To sum it all up, the NCW is just an organization that will manipulate quite the weak minded. We started with a mission to increase our faith and just left worse than we started and possibly made it difficult for our son as he gets older.

    Your Excellency, my wife and I are grateful that you returned. I speak for many of us Catholics here in this diocese. We are frustrated how Archbishop Apuron is not leading us but rather misleading us. Please help us, we have suffered way too long and all we want is a Shepherd to guide and lead us.

    God’s Blessings,

    Lester Gonzales

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    Replies
    1. As I see Lester and his wife joined the Way after the loss of their first baby. They needed comfort, support and spiritual nourishing environment. This would absolutely make sense. Many people join the Way for similar reason. They left their community after two years. It does not look like the teaching was the real cause as Lester claims. Then what was it?

      1. The liturgical reason is irrelevant. No people has ever left the Way because everyone consumes the Sacred Host together. It is a powerful feature and the beauty of the Way, not a weakness by any means.

      2. This looks more serious. They were chosen to be responsibles and this required a lot of their time. Being responsible for a community is a serious business. Not everyone can hold on. You have to take care of preparations and cleaning, providing the host and the wine, arranging the decorations, etc. On top of this, you have to handle the financial dealings of community affairs. Well, if someone thinks it is too much, there is always a chance to resign. Lester and his wife could have resigned from their post of responsibles before they decided to leave the community altogether.

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    2. 3. It is true that everyone is to carry their own cross. The catechists said the right thing. I do not see any trouble with this part. If Lester thought his cross was too much to carry then leaving the Way could not have made it easier. Running away is not a sign of great courage. What is your cross, be in the Way or not, is yours.

      4. Family is truly important. If you walk in the Way, the best thing if you have your family with you. What you believe about being saved is your business. Nobody in the Way says "you are saved" because being saved is not a state of position but a process with a possible result at the end only. Never sooner!

      5. Overcoming our impulses to judge others is not something from one day to the other. We need to work hard for many years to get close to it. Even then we may forget about the Lord and judge others. Human nature is fallible, no question about it. But calling other hypocrites, it this not a judgment already? Also, it is quite deep an ignorance of the Way's businesses to say that people each about their sins in the communities in order to be forgiven. I have never heard anything like that in the Way. In order to be forgiven you need to participate in reconciliation/ penance. Echo won't do it. I wonder if Lester is truly part of the Way or just an invention of dirty imagination.

      6. When anyone leaves the Way, we pray for this person to return. It is just a community feature. We never say the person was taken by the devil. Everyone may have several reasons to stay or leave. It is their free choice, just as it the free choice of those who remain to pray for them.

      To sum it up, Lester seems to leave the Way because of the heavy load he had there. People tend to escape from heavy loads and we should be the last to judge them for this. However, Lester is by no means a role model for those who walk in the Way. He is one who failed, but one day he and his wife may return. The gates of heaven are open, because our Lord opened them up by dying and being risen.

      Delete
    3. Fight for my Soul @ 10:05AM, you state "The liturgical reason is irrelevant. No people has ever left the Way because everyone consumes the Sacred Host together. It is a powerful feature and the beauty of the Way, not a weakness by any means."

      The fact Lester Gonzales states in his letter "First, the NCW Catechists are not in line with church liturgy. We were manipulated to believe that it was okay to consume the body of Christ together as one. We had to wait until every person received the Body of Christ before we could consume it. At the time, it did not dawn on me how liturgically inappropriate it was to do so in that fashion. The NCW Catechists told us that the Pope approved of this" is an indication that the liturgical reason WAS VERY RELEVANT to Mr. Gonzales.

      Just because you and the other members are told that the Pope approved your movement's method of receiving your Sacred Host and you think it is "a powerful feature … of the Way" does not minimize the fact that it was the FIRST REASON Mr. Gonzales mentioned.

      The fact is that, although your movement was directed to follow the GIRM in receiving Holy Communion, your leaders decided to reinvent the concept of receiving as Mr. Gonzales revealed in his letter. For the rest of the Church, RECEIVING Holy Communion is the act of accepting and immediately consuming the Host. However you and your fellow members separate the act into steps: FIRST you stand to "receive" [accept] the bread and SECOND you sit and wait to consume. By doing so you and the other members are NOT in line with Church liturgy as Mr. Gonzales pointed out.

      Delete
    4. Fight for my SoulApril 13, 2015 at 3:37 PM

      Thanks Tim for coming here to lecture. You reveal who you are when you try to blow out of proportion something insignificant. Who really cares? If this would be so important, Rome would fix it. So be patient and wait for Rome. Meantime why don't you just leave us alone?

      No real person has ever left the Way because we consume the Body of Christ together. This act is the most beautiful part of the Neocatechumenal Way. Whoever had our Eucharist once wants to return and have it again for its intimate beauty, because it gives us a sense of the real presence of the resurrected Jesus among us.

      Only those who do not have true faith in Jesus have questioned us on liturgy. They try to shield and hide their inadequate faith of resurrection by jumping on us by exaggerated reason. How much I pity you Tim Rohr. Try to find Jesus while He is near. The opportunity won't last for you forever. You have to make a choice. For the sake of your own salvation and of those around you, be a man for once and choose Jesus.

      Delete
    5. So very sorry to disappoint, Fight for my Soul @ 3:37 PM, but I'm certainly not Tim Rohr (wrong age category). Besides, from what I have heard and seen of that man, he would not post anonymously like cowardly me. He says what he has to say and puts his name behind his statement. I guess I should take it as a compliment that you thought I was Tim Rohr. ;)

      I'm just one of those people (among many) who happened to read the letter by Lester Gonzales and found it amusing that the one thing you said was irrelevant was actually VERY RELEVANT for Mr. Gonzales. You may claim that "No real person has ever left the Way because we consume the Body of Christ together" but clearly Lester Gonzales is a VERY REAL person who LEFT your movement BECAUSE YOU CONSUME TOGETHER.

      BTW: I'll be sure to tell my friends that according to you we "do not have true faith in Jesus" just because we happen to have a deep reverence for the Real Presence of Our Lord in Holy Communion.

      Peace!

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    6. Dear Anonymous at 11L42 am,

      If the liturgy really bother Mr. Gonzales, it should not have taken him two years to leave the Way. I believe it was the burden of being the Responsible that broke Mr. Gonzales' back. The liturgy was only an excuse and his rationalization of leaving the Way. The REAL reason he left is found in what he said LAST rather than what he said first. According to Mr. Gonzales:

      "The required amount of time that we had to commit really hurt my marriage. The commitment my wife and I had to give took a huge toll on us and we were arguing and fighting almost every day due to the fact of my involvement with the group.

      Being a NCW Responsible meant we had to keep our community as a whole and make certain that our numbers do not diminish. We were fifty members when we were born as a community. Some brothers would eventually leave the community little at a time and that would mean more work to fulfill."


      Delete
  3. Hafa Adai Diana,
    I continue to be saddened of the continued attacks on our Mother Church, cloaked under the sake of "Uniting the Church". In this current situation, I always refer to Saint Padre Pio and how he handled the mistreatment he received and endured. I have copied a section of an article entitled, "St. Padre Pio's response to persecution from within the Church". I believe it is especially relevant for what is happening today within our Church. I am sending in several parts.
    ---------
    But what about defending one's good name? St. Francis de Sales in his Introduction to the Devout Life in the chapter, "Of Patience" (6) looks at this question more deeply. He also explains how we should respond to various forms of persecution. He emphasizes earlier in the chapter that it is easier to suffer persecution from the wicked, and much more difficult to suffer it at the hands of relatives, friends and others with whom we are close. He goes so far as to say that the devout soul should desire it more than the former. He then explains what one should do, if innocent, and accusations persist. This is taken from a Google Book version written in 1891 by Longman's, Green & Co., London:
    "The following advice of St. Gregory is useful: whenever you are 'justly accused' of a fault, humble yourself, and candidly confess that you deserve more than the accusation which is brought against you; but, if the charge be false, excuse yourself meekly, denying your guilt, for you owe this respect to truth, and to the edification of your neighbor. But if, after your true and lawful excuse, they should continue to accuse you, trouble not yourself nor strive to have your excuse admitted; for, having discharged your duty to truth, you must also do the same to humility, by which means you neither offend against the care you ought to have of your reputation, nor the love you owe to peace, meekness of heart, and humility."

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  4. Part 2 of the article

    I would like to quote more, but the section really should be read in it's entirety.
    We should reflect, given this information, had the Internet been available back in those days, would Padre Pio have sent out messages to supporters via multimedia and interviews giving his side of the story? Would he have bothered to point to past support in a public way? Would he create judgment on suspicion among his followers for Church authorities in subtle, or not so subtle, ways?
    There is something to learn from the great saint in the way he handled a particular situation involving supporters. St. Pio learned that some men were going so far as to expose scandalous information about high-ranking members of the hierarchy in a book. The effort was aimed at freeing him from his "imprisonment". Ruffin explains Pio's response:
    When Padre Pio, however, learned of the forthcoming book, he seized Morcaldi by the throat. "You devil, you!" he roared. "Go, throw yourself at the foot of the Church instead of writing this garbage! Don't you set yourself up against your Mother!"
    Even after he learned later from Bevilacqua during that visitation that the allegations were true, St. Pio continued trying to dissuade efforts to end his "imprisonment" through the use of what amounted to blackmail. He did not want scandals exposed, even if they were true, because of the harm that would come to Holy Mother Church, and how it would affect unity. Pio knew that even bishops are not immune to the effects of Original Sin, but that the gates of Hell would not prevail against the Church (Matt 16:18). He accepted what befell him through imperfect men (Matt 23:3), by imperfect means, and he made the best of the situation. In fact, those misguided efforts to free him backfired at one point, bringing even greater trials for St. Pio. He was a man whose virtues were refined like a pencil put into a sharpener, and like steel which is hardened in fire.
    ---------

    Despite what is happening in the Church, I can always lean on the fact that God knows what he is doing. The great master catechist, theologian, and Servant of God, John A. Hardon, SJ, speaking on docility in an article on "Childlikeness", wrote (4):

    It means therefore to be willing to learn from God and here’s the hard one: the willingness to learn from God not of course as though God will, though of course He might, send us His own divine angelic messenger, normally not. Normally God teaches us through the circumstances of our daily lives. Especially those most painful circumstances called other people. That’s where we tend to be less than docile. Openness then to God’s teaching us especially through all whom He places into our lives. It is great, great wisdom to be so disposed as to be ready to learn from and I mean it, everyone from the youngest child to the oldest speaking to religious golden or diamond jubilarian .

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  5. But didn't Padre Pio reportedly call Kiko and Carmen "the new false prophets"?

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    Replies
    1. Dear Anonymous at 1:42 pm,

      Where did you get this information?

      Delete
    2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:X!/Mediation/sandbox/Neocatechumenal_Way

      http://krzyz.nazwa.pl/forum/index.php?topic=147.1425;wap

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    3. Dear Anonymous at 11:01 am,

      Wikipedia is not a reliable source and neither is an anti-Neo website. Do you have a letter written or document written by Padre Pio where he wrote it?

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    4. Gosh, Diana @12:00 PM, I recall that in the past you have used both Wikipedia and Pintrest to validate your claims regarding Kiko Arguello and the NeoCatechumenal Way.

      Why does Wikipedia work for you but not for Anonymous @ 11:01 am?

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    5. Dear Anonymous at 1:33 pm,

      I do not use Wikipedia to reference something the Pope said or what Kiko said. I would use the Vatican website or a news report. I rarely use Wikipedia, and the time I used it was to reference something in history.

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    6. There is evidence that Fr Zoffoli claimed that Padre Pio had made that comment. No one seems to have argued against Fr Zoffoli's claims. Seems reasonable to think it true.

      Besides, Padre Pio was staunchly traditional and had made clear his concerns about the novelties introduced into the Church around the time of the second Vatican Council. And we know that Kiko and Carmen are the king and queen of novelty, and that they deny the continuity of the Church and its legitimate teaching. Ask yourself, for example, whether the NCW encourage the reading of pre-Vat II papal encyclicals, the observation of devotions or popular piety, and the lives of the pre-Vat II saints. I'm sure Padre Pio would have been regarded by the NCW as one of those that "need to be catechized too".

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    7. By the way, the comment of Padre Pio is actually "something in history".

      Delete
    8. Dear Anonymous at 1:33 pm,

      If Padre Pio was quoted in saying that, provide the letter or document.

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    9. Dear Anonymous at 1:33 pm,

      If Padre Pio was quoted in saying that, provide the letter or document.

      Delete
    10. 04.....FOUR Popes have endorsed the NCW.......have seen....witness the Holy Spirit working in the NCW......What else do these people want?

      40 plus years of scrutiny; thousands being called and answering the call to Jesus Christ......What else....what prove do they need?

      Wipe the sandals off their doors and move on......

      JSB

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