Today's Wisdom

Those who do not pass from the experience of the cross to the truth of the resurrection condemn themselves to despair! For we cannot encounter God without first crucifying our narrow notions of a god who reflects only our own understanding of omnipotence and power
Pope Francis

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Supreme Festival

Time and again, I tried to hide my admiration for the man whom I first met on December 10, 2008 in his office and last year on July 28, 2015, with Fr, Henri Boulad S.J. in the Caritas-Egypt fund-raising event. Socially outgoing, a Biblical scholar of the first rank in the Catholic renewal and firmly a leader with a vision, Thomas Cardinal Collins, the Archbishop of Toronto has not shied away from exposing the lies of atheism which engulf the world since Friedrich Nietzsche, Karl Marx, and Jean Paul Sartre. On Tuesday August 2, 2016, Cardinal Collins entered the large hall at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Toronto in the opening Mass of the Supreme Convention of the Knights of Columbus, which, with nearly 2 million members, is the largest fraternal order for men in the Catholic world. At the end of a long line in procession starting with some 80 priests followed by 50 bishops, and 30 cardinals welcomed by thousands of Knights and their families and friends from Canada, America, and Europe, the Cardinal Archbishop presided over the thanksgiving Mass to God redeemer of the human race in Jesus Christ.The huge professional choir performed some of the most glorious hymns harmoniously sung with a talented organist and other talented ones with their musical instruments. Seated in the 4th row near the altar I thought I was in heaven. Prayers of the faithful were uttered in multiple languages including English, French, Spanish, Polish, and Tagalog signifying the cultural diversity that the Catholic Church embodies in its rich Tradition. The Gospel reading was selected from that according to St. Matthew chapter 14 in which Jesus went up the mountain and spent the night by himself in prayer to his Father. Early in the morning he came down to rescue the Apostles as they were terrified in a boat far from the land and battered by strong waves of wind. Water, the abode of death for the ancients, could swallow them. But Jesus takes the initiative, walks on water and comes close to them. God wants to be with his people. Unprepared , they shout "It is a ghost!". Feeling their terror, Jesus said "Take heart, it is I, do not be afraid." The homilist, Thomas Cardinal Collins, carries the message forward to today's fear of Christians in a global sea of powerful and aggressive winds,  and reminds us "It is I" echoing the same words that God said to Moses when the later was awed by the presence of God on Mount Sinai. These are also the words of the Lord to his disciples in a world full of atheism here in Canada as elsewhere and global terrorism that was again carried out recently in the brutal throat-slitting by ISIS "lone wolves" of an 85-years old priest Fr. Hamel while saying Mass in Normandy, France. Referring to Fr. Hamel, Cardinal Collins said "He offered the holy sacrifice of his life in martyrdom." Cardinal Collins said "We are sent to sail the stormy sea where we contend with forces that really are too great for our human strength but where we are able to recognize our vulnerability and our need for God"."Peter answered 'Lord if it is you, command me to come to you on the water.' As soon as Jesus told him, Peter started walking on the water getting closer to Jesus - But when he turned his gaze to the strong wind, he became frightened and started to sink crying out 'Lord, save me'. Jesus caught him saying 'You of little faith why did you doubt?'. The surprise comes in the end "When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. And those in the boat worshipped [Jesus] saying 'Truly, you are the Son of God'".
Cardinal Collins turns to the faithful and urges them as a father to witness to the "Truth" - Christ himself - received through the Church. As an example, he reminds us of the decision of the Supreme Court of Canada to end natural life through the implementation of assisted suicide by the Liberal Federal Government. He knows that the victims being targeted are not only "useless" old citizens but also the young ones who are not able to defend themselves against a tyranny of skilled lawmakers.

Such is the result of atheism...Greed and selfishness are at the center of our desires for immediate pleasure and material consumption. Or in Girardian terms, the Government is applying mimetic desire which, left to itself, is contagious. Readers may wish to read my article "Today's Myths" here: The experiment has been legalized in the Netherlands, Luxemburg, California, Oregon, Vermont and Washington States in the United States. Imitating the laws in these states can be contagious in applying it in other states thus destroying social life and threatening humanity in the 'free world.'

Cardinal Collins ended his homily but the scene was particularly moving for his support to the Knights of Columbus declaration to launch major programs and projects from the whole organization in assistance to persecuted Christians in the Middle East. See Supreme Knight here: on initiatives funded and carried out by the Knights of Columbus in support of persecuted Christians in the Middle East, he mentioned a few important ones: Knights of Columbus Christian Refugee Relief Fund distributed $3 million to Christians in need including those in Irbil, Iraq, and Christians besieged in Aleppo, Syria. Funds were also sent to Christian schools in need in the Holy Land, Christian refugees in Lebanon and Jordan as well as campaigns to get Christian Americans and Canadians to give substantially more donations to the above causes.

This was the beginning of the Supreme Festival...
The closing hymn to the Holy Family is here in honor of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Saint John Paul II: Totus Tuus:

Today's Quote

"Behold I make all things new." (Revelation 21:5)


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