Sunday 29 March 2015

Support the 500 Priests

500 Priests have signed to say that they are in full accord with Jesus Christ our High Priest, the Eternal Word and will defend His Sacred Words, which will never pass away, on marriage.

 I encourage all Guild members and all Catholic bloggers and all readers of this blog to sign.

In support of our priests, our families, and our Church
You may have seen the recent letter from more than 450 priests in support of the Church’s teaching on marriage.
We would like to invite you to sign the letter below, to be sent to the press in support of them, and to encourage others to sign it.
To sign, please leave your name and your diocese in the comments box below, or if you prefer email them to me or to one of the coordinators:
Mark Lambert (
 Andrew Plasom-Scott (
The Letter:
Dear Sir,
We, the undersigned, wish to endorse and support the letter signed by over 450 priests in the recent edition of the Catholic Herald,
As laity, we all know from our own family experiences, or those of our friends and neighbours, the harrowing trauma of divorce and separation, and we sympathise with all those in such situations.
It is precisely for that reason that we believe that the Church must continue to proclaim the truth about marriage, given us by Christ in the Gospels, with clarity and charity in a world that struggles to understand it.
For the sake of those in irregular unions, for the sake of those abandoned and living in accordance with the teachings of the Church, and above all for the sake of the next generation, it is essential that the Church continues to make it quite clear that sacramental marriage is indissoluble until death.
We pray, and expect, that our hierarchy will represent us, and the Church’s unwavering teaching, at the Synod this autumn.
Yours faithfully,

Thursday 26 March 2015

Defend the Clergy, Defend the Church

I draw all Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma readers and members to the letter below signed by nearly 500 Catholic priests in England and Wales.

The letter defends and upholds the teachings of the Catholic Church which simply reiterate Christ's own teaching on marriage, divorce and remarriage.

If the Church's teachings on human sexuality, marriage and the predispositions required in order to receive Holy Communion cannot be proclaimed publicly by priests without some kind of criticism from those set in authority over them, then it is doubtful that anyone, at all, can proclaim them.

I urge, therefore, all readers and Guild members to pray for the clergy, to pray for Cardinal Vincent Nichols and to sign this petition in support of the priests who have publicly made known their adherence to the timeless teachings of Christ's Church. The Laity are not in a position of great influence, but the Laity can pray for the clergy and make publicly known their support of those clergy who are standing up for Jesus Christ to be counted in public. The following is a statement made by Cardinal Nichols.

“Every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion. It is my understanding that this has been taken up in every diocese, and that channels of communication have been established,” the statement said.

“The pastoral experience and concern of all priests in these matters are of great importance and are welcomed by the Bishops. Pope Francis has asked for a period of spiritual discernment. This dialogue, between a priest and his bishop, is not best conducted through the press.”

As many in the sidebar of this Guild blog have pointed out, His Eminence's statement on the letter to the Press is, unfortunately, riddled with inaccuracies. These are as follows.

Firstly, it is true that every priest in England and Wales has been asked to reflect on the Synod discussion. This is a request that has come from the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales. It is also true that the Clergy Reflection from the Bishop's Conference infers in a subtle manner that those who are not open to the 'new vision' proposed by Cardinal Kasper, are similar to the Donatists condemned by St Augustine.

Thus, if this is a 'channel of communication' then it is a channel of communication which, from the outset, unfortunately labels clergy as potential heretics if they do not agree with the Kasper proposal and hold fast to the teachings of Christ and His Church. A respectful and open dialogue, that does not appear to be.

Secondly, Cardinal Vincent Nichols stresses the experience and concerns of priests are welcomed by the Bishops and that this dialogue, between priest and bishop is not best conducted through the press. Yet, nowhere, absolutely nowhere in the letter, is it even indicated that this letter to the Press forms part of the open dialogue between priests and their Bishops. It is a letter, signed by clergy, to the Press, making clear and public their adherence to the Church's Magisterium and the teaches which come from the Lord and His Apostles, guarded and defended by the Church for nearly 2000 years.

Thirdly, having neglected to observe that this letter was not a communication to the Bishops, but to the Press and all who may happen to read it, His Eminence decides to use a statement in the media to publicly rebuke priests who, far from rebuking Bishops or anyone in the Hierarchy, simply made known their support for the teachings and disciplines of the Catholic Church.

Astonishingly, to the Laity, Cardinal Vincent Nichols once suggested that those who objected to the infamous Soho Masses should 'hold their tongues'. Even more astonishingly, to the Clergy, Cardinal Vincent Nichols now suggests that - despite their not addressing their concerns to the Bishops, but instead penning a letter to the Catholic and even non-Catholic public, to the faithful and unfaithful - these clergy should 'hold their pens'.

Priests do not require permission from their Bishop to do what every Bishop should be doing - teaching the Catholic Faith to all who wish to listen to it or read it. Their letter does not form a part of the 'ongoing dialogue' between priests and bishops. It is a letter to the Press and the public supporting Jesus's own teachings, which are the Church's own. This Guild speaks on behalf of no personalities in particular. It does not speak for priests or for bishops who are free and able to speak for themselves, but, more hopefully, for Christ. Like the many clergy who signed the letter to the Press, this blog merely seeks to defend, proclaim and to make known the truths of the Catholic Faith, to bring men and women to adore, serve and proclaim the One True God in His Holy Catholic Church. I urge all readers to pray for the Hierarchy and to pray for the clergy.

The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma is a coalition of Catholic bloggers. It is not our aim to use this blog as a vehicle to make personal those critical issues which within the Church are of general concern to us. However, at a time of grave crisis in the Church, a crisis of Faith eluded to frequently by Pope Benedict XVI, I believe I have support from this Guild when I say that no Catholic can simply look away and pretend not to see when Jesus Christ himself is placed on trial by the Church and His Truth becomes questioned by those who He has appointed as Shepherds over His flock. No lay Catholic can simply look away when those Shepherds attempt to - by either public or private means - smother the voices of those priests who believe in Jesus Christ's words, and repeat them for the Salvation of Souls, in honour of the God they serve and in Whose place they stand at every Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

Pray for priests, pray for good and holy Bishops. Pray for the Pope. Pray for the Universal Church.

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Excellent News from Wonderful Voice of the Family

Almost 500 priests in England and Wales support traditional marriage.

Much needed affirmation for all of us at this time...

Fr John Abberton, Fr Raymond Abuga MSP, Fr Benedict Bullem Abuo, Fr John Adikwu CM, Fr Richard Aladics, Fr Dominic Allain, Fr Hugh Allan OPraem, Monsignor John Allen, Fr Jim L Allen, Fr Blaise Amadi, Fr Moses Amune, Fr Thomas Amungwa, Fr David Annear, Fr Matt Anscombe, Fr Paul Antwi- Boasiako CSSP, Fr Gabriel Arnold OSB, Fr Thevakingsley Arulananthem OAR, Fr James Austin, Fr Francis Austin, Abbot Francis Baird OSB, Fr Gerard Balinnya, Fr John Barnes, Fr Kurt Barragan, Fr Lee Barrett, Fr Bernard Barrett, Fr Andrew Barrett, Fr Christopher Basden, Fr Jeremy Bath, Fr Antoine Baya OFM, Fr Michael Beattie SJ, Fr Miceal Beatty, Fr Lee Bennett, Fr Jerome Bertram CO, Fr Kazimierz Bidzinski, Fr Pawel Bielak, Fr Jonathan Bielawski, Fr Robert Billing, Fr Martin Birrell OSB, Fr Paul Blackburn, Fr Raymond Blake, Fr Terry Boyle, Fr Constant Botter SCJ, Fr Bede Rowe, Fr Bernard Boylan, Fr Cornelius Boyle, Fr Stephen Boyle, Fr James Bradley, Fr Jonathan Brandon, Fr Martin Breen, Fr John Brennan, Fr Neil Brett, Fr Charles Briggs, Fr Marcus Brisley, Abbot Cuthbert Brogan OSB, Fr Andrew Brown, Fr Stephen Brown, Fr Martin Budge, Fr Solomon Gidu Bulus, Fr Alan Burgess, Fr Paschal Burlinson OFMCap, Monsignor Andrew Burnham, Fr David Burns, Fr James Burns, Fr Peter Burns, Fr Gerard P Byrne, Fr John Cahill, Fr John Cairns, Fr Xavier Calduch, Fr Joe Calleja, Fr Victor Camilleri OFM, Fr Darren Carden, Fr Patrick Carroll, Fr Bernard Caszo MSFS, FrJohn Chandler, Abbot David Charlesworth OSB, Fr.William Charlton, Fr Neil Chatfield, Fr Gregory Chillman OSB, Fr David Chinnery, Fr Dominic Chukka, Fr Eddie Clare, Fr Basil Clark, Fr James Clark, Fr Peter Clarke, Fr Jose Claveria, Canon Joseph Clements, Fr Michael Clotheir OSB, Canon Matthew Coakley, Fr Anthony Cogliolo, Fr Christopher Colven, Fr Anthony Conlon, Fr Thomas Connolly, Fr Philip Conner, Fr Francis R Cookson, Fr John Cooper, Fr Robert Copsey SOLT, Fr John Corbyn, Fr Eamon Corduff, Fr Hugh Corrigan OAR, Fr James Cosker, Fr Francis Coveney, Fr Ross SJ Crichton, Fr Finton Crotty SSCC, Fr Edward Crouzet OSB, Fr C Crowther, Fr Michael Crumpton, Fr Anthony Cussen SMA, Fr Justin Daanaah, Fr James Daley MHM, Fr William Damah, Fr Michael D’Arcy-Walsh, Fr Jeremy Davies, Fr Philip de Freitas, Fr Armand de Malleray FSSP, Fr Timothy Dean, Fr Patrick Deegan, Fr Scott Deeley, Fr Richard Diala CM, Fr Paul Diaper, Fr Gary Dickson, Fr Charles Dilk CO, Fr Stephen Dingley, Fr Michael Docherty, Fr Charles Dornan, Fr Kevin Dow, Fr Jeffrey Downie, Fr Francis Doyle, Fr Marcin Drabik, Fr Gerry Drummond, Fr Tom Dubois, Fr John Duckett, Fr Richard Duffield CO, Fr Anthony Dukes, Fr Bruce Dutson, Fr Paul Dynan, Fr Philip Dyson, Fr James Earley, Fr Peter Edwards, Fr Robert Ehileme SMM, Fr Wilfrid Elkin, Fr Mark Elliot-Smith, Fr Joseph Etim, Fr Jude Eze, Fr Josaphat Ezenwa, Fr John Fairhurst SJ, Fr Ian Farrell, Fr Joseph Farrell, Fr Robert Farrell, Fr James Fasakin CSSp, Fr Prassad Fernando, Fr Christopher Findlay – Wilson, Fr Tim Finigan, Fr Kieran Fitzharris SVD, F. Gerald Flood, Fr John Fordham CO, Fr Andrew Forrest, Fr Thomas Forster, Fr Peter Fox, Fr William Fraser, Fr Patrick Gaffney CSSp, Fr Michael John Galbraith, Fr Andrew Gallagher, Fr Francis Gallagher, Fr Michael Gallagher, Fr Piotr Gardon SC, Fr John Gaul SCJ, Fr Guy de Gaynesford, Fr Vincent George CM, Fr Paul Gibbons, Fr Damien Gilhooley, Canon Leo Glancy, Fr Peter Glas, Fr Matthew Goddard FSSP, Fr Gonzalo Gonzales, Fr Maurice Gordon, Canon David Grant, Fr Brian Gray, Fr Andy Graydon, Fr Christopher Greaney, Fr John Greatbatch, Fr Julian Green, Fr Ian Grieves, Fr Nigel Griffin, Fr Philip J Griffin, Fr Tom Grufferty, Fr Jozef Gruszkiewicz, Fr Anton Guziel CO, Fr Bernard Hahesy, Fr Henryk Halman FDP, Fr John Hancock, Fr Neil Hannigan, Fr Francis Capener, Fr Stephen Hardaker, Fr Andrew Harding, Fr Benedict Hardy OSB, Fr David Hartley, Fr Raymond Hayne, Canon Brendan Healy, Fr Ian Hellyer, Fr John Hemer MHM, Fr Simon Henry, Fr Jonathan Hill, Fr Michael Ho-Huu-Nghia, Fr Marcus Holden, Fr Angelus Houle, Fr John Hunwicke, Fr Geoffrey Hurst, Fr David Hutton, Fr Patrick Hutton, Fr Raymond Hynes OFM, Fr Jude Iseorah SMM, Fr.Matthew Jakes, Fr Dylan James, Fr Slawomir Jedrych, Fr John Johnson, Fr Michael Jones, Fr Peter Jones, Fr Darryl Jordan, Fr Kevin Jordan, Fr Nicholas Kavanagh, Fr Brendan Kelly, Fr Daniel M Kelly, Fr John B Kelly, Fr Michael Kelly, Fr Peter Kelly, Fr Joseph Kendall, Fr Vincent Kennedy OFM, Fr John Kennedy, Fr Ian Ker, Fr Brendan Killeen, Fr Peter Kirkham, Monsignor David Kirkwood, Fr Krzysztof Kita, Fr Peter Knott SJ, Fr Vitalis Kondo, Fr Jaroslaw Konopko OFMCap, Fr Saji Matthew Koottakithayil MSFS, Fr Wojciech Kowalski SDS, Fr Douglas Lamb, Fr Michael Lang CO, Fr Julian Large CO, Fr John Laybourn, Fr Brian Leatherland, Fr.Paul Lester, Fr Nicholas Leviseur, Fr Jacob Lewis, Canon Michael Lewis, Fr Joseph Liang AA, Fr Gladstone Liddle, Fr Christopher Lindlar, Fr Denys Lloyd, Fr Laurie Locke, Canon Bernard Lordan, Fr Christopher Loughran, Fr Roy Lovatt, Fr Robbie Low, Fr Alexander Lucie Smith, Fr John Lungley, Canon Brendan MacCarthy, Canon John Angus MacDonald, Fr Stanislaus Maciuszek, Fr Hugh MacKenzie, Canon Peter Magee, Fr Brian O Mahony CSSP, Fr Kieran Mullarkey, Fr John Maloney, Fr Aleksander Marcharski, Fr Geoffrey Marlor, Fr Francis Marsden, Fr Bernard Marsh, Fr Terry Martin, Fr John Masshedar, Fr William Massie, Fr Michael Bateman, Fr Stephen Maughan, Fr Laurence Mayne, Fr Paul McAlinden, Fr James McAuley, Canon Anthony McBride, Monsignor Canon Kenneth McBride, Fr Ian McCarthy, Fr Derrick McCulloch, Fr John McCullough, Fr.David McDonald, Canon John McElroy, Fr John McFadden CSSP, Fr Terry McGarth MSFS, Fr Brian McGilloway, Fr Denis McGillycuddy, Fr Brendan McGuinness SDB, Fr Rupert McHardy CO, Canon Patrick McInally, Fr Bernard McInulty, Fr Michael McLaughlin, Fr William McMahon, Fr Martin McPake SVD, Fr Anthony Meredith SJ, Fr Stuart Meyer, Fr Nazarius Mgungwe, Fr Jan Milcz CSsR, Fr Philip Miller, Canon Paul Mitcheson, Fr Thomas Monaghan, Fr.Augustine Monaghan MHM, Monsignor Vaughan Morgan, Fr Richard Moroney, Fr Mark Morris, Fr Stephen Morrison OPraem, Fr Frederick Moss MHM, Fr Andrew Moss, Fr Deodat Msahala, Fr Clement M Mukuka, Fr Ted Mullen IC, Fr Ghislain B Mulumanzi, Fr John Mundackal, Fr Aidan Murray SDB, Monsignor Provost Cyril Murtagh, Fr Noel Bisibu N’Tungu, Fr Bijoy Chandra Nayak CMF, Fr James Neal, Fr Arthur Nearey, Fr Roger Nesbitt, Fr Peter Newsam, Fr Ponder Paulinus Ngilangwa SDS, Fr Guy Nicholls, Fr Aidan Nichols, Fr Julius Nkafu, Fr Peter Norris, Fr Bernardine Nsom, Canon Kevin O Connor, Fr Dominic O Conor, Fr Liam O Conor, Fr Patrick O Doherty, Fr Kevin O Donnell, Canon Vincent O Hara ODC, Fr Conleth O Hara CP, Fr Dominic O Hara, Fr Andrew O Sullivan, Fr Kevin O Toole, Fr Robert Ogbede CM, Fr Flavin Ohayerenwa CSSp, Fr Tobias Okoro, Fr Addison Opkeoh, Fr.Clement Orango MCCJ, Fr John Osman, Fr Arockia Mariadass Pagyasamy OCD, Fr Binu Palakapally IC, Fr David Palmer, Fr Fortunato Partisano, Fr John Pascoe, Fr Michael Patey, Fr Eoin Patten, Fr Sunny Paul, Fr Maurice Pearce, Fr Anthony Pellegrini, Fr Neil Peoples, Fr Leon Pereira OP, Fr David Phillips, Fr Terry Phipps, Fr.Andrew Pinsent, Fr Dawid Piot, Fr Anthony Plummer, Fr John Lawrence M. Polis FI, Fr Graham Preston, Fr James Preston, Fr Peter Preston SDS, Fr Robert Pytel, Fr Gerard Quinn, Fr Behruz Rafat, Fr N Ratu, Fr John Ravensdale, Fr David Rea, Monsignor Gordon Read, Monsignor Alex Rebello, Fr Charles Reddan SDS, Fr Alexander Redman, Fr Stephen Reynolds, Fr John Rice, Fr Graham Ricketts, Fr Jonathan Rollinson OSB, Fr George M Roth FI, Fr Andrew Rowlands, Canon Luiz Ruscillo, Fr Tadeusz Ruthowski, Fr Paschal Ryan, Fr Mario Sanderson, Fr John Saward, Fr Nicholas Schofield, Fr Alphege Stebbens OSB, Fr Francis Selman, Fr Jean Claude Selvini, Very Rev’d Fr Daniel Seward CO, Fr John Sharp, Fr Alexander Sherbrooke, Fr John Shewring, Fr Chris Silva, Fr William Simpson, Fr Bernard Sixtus, Fr Thomas Skeats OP, Fr Gerard Skinner, Fr John Smethurst, Fr Bernard Snelder MHM, Fr Pryemek Sobczak, Fr Edward Sopala, Fr Michael Spain OCD, Fr Roger Spencer, Fr.Simon Stamp, Fr Andrew Starkie, Fr Pawel Stebel, Fr Jeffrey Steel, Monsignor George Stokes, Fr Brian Storey, Monsignor Richard Stork, Fr Damian Sturdy OSB, Fr Shaun Swales, Fr Martin Sweeney MHM, Fr Mark Swires, Fr Roman Szczypa SDB, Fr Ryssard Taraszka, Fr Brian Taylor, Fr Christopher A Thomas, Fr Sean Thornton, Fr Matthew Thottathimyali, Fr Adrian Tomlinson, Fr Edward Tomlinson, Fr Dennis Touw, Fr Simon Treloar, Canon Harry Turner, Fr Andrew Undsworth, Fr John Vallomprayil SDS, Fr Edward van den Bergh CO, Fr Ian Vane, Fr Peter Vellacott, Fr Gregory Verissimo, Fr Mark Vickers, Fr Neil Vincent, Fr David Waller, Fr Gary Walsh, Fr John Walsh, Fr Joseph Walsh, Fr Patrick Walsh, Fr Victor Walter, Fr Edward Wanat SDS, Fr Peter Wareing CMF, Fr Ged Watkins, Fr Peter Wells, Fr Richard Whinder, Fr Henry Whisenant, Fr Joseph Whisstock, Fr.David J White, Fr Christopher Whitehouse, Fr William Wilby, Fr Bruno Witchalls, Fr Anthony Wood, Fr Jeffrey Woolnough, Fr William Wright OSB, Fr William R Young, Fr Lucjan Zaniewski OFMCap, Fr Richard Mary Zeng SDS, Fr Paul Zielinski, Fr Bartholomew Zubeveil CSSp

Wednesday 18 March 2015

An Old Argument Which Is Needing Clarification

The long teaching of the Church is that the old covenant was abrogated and superseded by the New Testament, embodied in Christ Himself.

Pope Pius XII repeated what was said in the Council of Florence, that the covenant of the Jews had been abolished.

Here is Pope Pius XII in Mystici Corporis, an infallble document, not an apostolic letter.

29. And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area - He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the House of Israel [30] - the Law and the Gospel were together in force; [31] but on the gibbet of His death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees [32] fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross, [33] establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.[34] "To such an extent, then," says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, "was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from the many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as Our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom." [35]
30. On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death, [36] in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers; [37] and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head of His Church. "For it was through His triumph on the Cross," according to the teaching of the Angelic and Common Doctor, "that He won power and dominion over the gentiles";[38] by that same victory He increased the immense treasure of graces, which, as He reigns in glory in heaven, He lavishes continually on His mortal members; it was by His blood shed on the Cross that God's anger was averted and that all the heavenly gifts, especially the spiritual graces of the New and Eternal Testament, could then flow from the fountains of our Savior for the salvation of men, of the faithful above all; it was on the tree of the Cross, finally, that He entered into possession of His Church, that is, of all the members of His Mystical Body; for they would not have been untied to this Mystical Body through the waters of Baptism except by the salutary virtue of the Cross, by which they had been already brought under the complete sway of Christ.

More later...but one more thing.

In the new translation of the Novus Order, the covenant is referred to clearly...the prayer is for the Jews to accept the New Covenant of Christ.  The Pope Emeritus, through the insistence of the new translation, took the onus of condemnation off the people and emphasized the covenant needing to be accepted, the real covenant. Simple truth...

Let us pray also for the Jewish people, to whom the Lord our God spoke first, that he may grant them to advance in love of his name and in faithfulness to his covenant. (Prayer in silence. Then the Priest says:) Almighty ever-living God, who bestowed your promises on Abraham and his descendants, hear graciously the prayers of your Church, that the people you first made your own may attain the fullness of redemption. Through Christ our Lord. Amen

Friday 13 March 2015

Catholic Blogger Joins the Guild

Good news! An Oxford-based Catholic blogger, Once I Was A Clever Boy, has joined The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma.

We welcome Once I Was A Clever Boy to the Guild. May Blessed Titus Brandsma intercede for us all as we endeavour as Catholic bloggers to evangelise using the internet, seeking to draw men and women closer to Christ in His Holy Church.

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Repost as we are on the subject....

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

For Synod Members

I wish a few of those clerics at the Synod would re-read The Book of Tobit. (Tobias) as one of the main themes in this book is the sacredness of marriage.

The entire point of young Tobit having to overcome the demon Asmodeus, also known as Abaddon, the Destroyer, who is also the demon mentioned in Revelation and one of the demons worshiped by the Masons at high levels, as the demon of death, is that marriage is for growing holy and becoming holy together.

See the connections? A demon which is the destroyer, an enemy of the Church, one connected to lust, greed, power, and is also called Apollyon, the prince of hell and minister of death.

This demon, according to Hebrew and Catholic sources creates "havoc" or "chaos" on earth.

I hope you are seeing a pattern here.

Catholic scholars identify this demon in Job, Proverbs, as well as Revelation.

This demon is stalking and stomping about Rome at this very moment.

According to some scholars, Apollyon is called the Exterminans. (St. Jerome may have been the first to use this term--I am not sure; but Exterminans is in the Vulgate. This demon wants to destroy the Church.

If I could talk to one cardinal or bishop at the Synod, I would share this information, which is part of our tradition.

Sarah's first seven "husbands" were killed by Asmodeus because these men were marrying her out of lust and this demon could claim them, as he is lust in some traditions.

Tobit and Sarah had to implore God's grace, leave lust, dedicate themselves to a holy marriage, keeping God first.

Should not the Synod members remember this?

The Archangel Raphael, the Healer, who is Healing, as angels are what they do, delivered, through Tobit, the demon from Sarah's presence, enabling a happy, holy, fruitful marriage.

This must be a lesson for our times, in the face of all the aberrations surrounding marriage as seen in the discussions posted yesterday.

I wish they would all read and meditate on Tobit and the journey to holiness in marriage.

Tuesday 10 March 2015

This Blog is at the Centre of Real Catholic News in the Media

This blog is the center of real Catholic news and commentary, more so than the plethora of media outlets in Britain. None of the so-called Catholic newspapers or magazines or periodicals report what is on this blog. Read the full account of Cardinal Burke's Chester talk on 'Remaining in the Truth in Christ on Marriage' and the article below.

Orate Fratres: Cardinal Raymond Burke Visits the United Kingdom

Catholics who believe, uphold and who strive to live the Church's timeless teachings - followers of Jesus Christ - feel at once undervalued and overwhelmed by the direction the Church appears to be taking at the current time. As members of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, all Catholic bloggers who have joined made known their commitment to the Magisterium of the Church, the Church's infallible teachings. Little did we know when we established this online blogging community devoted to the New Evangelisation, that the Magisterium would come under such grave threats as it does in the current day from within.

Cardinal Burke talks on marriage at the Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Chester

Defender of the Faith at the Synod on the Family

It is no surprise therefore that so many Catholics who feel confused and pained by events in Rome during, for instance, the Synod on the Family last year, look forward with trepidation to the Synod's conclusions this year in October. Public and prominent critics of both the manipulation that took place at the Synod and of the ambiguous language contained within the Synod's chief documents look for members of the Hierarchy to speak clearly of Jesus Christ and His saving truth. There are a number who have spoken out publicly in defence of Christ's own teachings on marriage and the family, but they are not a great many.

Step forward, then, the man who emerged at the Synod as the leader of those voicing utmost concern at the concerning scenes that took place last year, Cardinal Raymond Burke. Cardinal Burke already had numerous enemies on the outside, and has made several enemies in high places in the Church, but to meet Cardinal Raymond Leo Burke you would never know that he was under any kind of strain. If this man has the weight of the crisis in the Church on his shoulders, he does not let that show. His charisma, if we can call it charisma, is quiet, prayerful, reflective but the difference between him and many of his brother bishops and cardinals appears like night and day. It was a great honour, as Chairman of The Guild of Blessed Titus Brandsma, to be present at a wonderful talk given by Cardinal Burke in Chester and to be present at a Low Mass in the Extraordinary Form at the magnificent 'Dome of Home', Sts Peter, Paul and Philomena in New Brighton.

Photograph copyright of Philip Chidell

"These aren't my own thoughts."

Most commentators saw the Cardinal's move from the highest court in the Vatican to a new titular role as Patron of the Order of the Knights of Malta as a 'demotion' at the hands of Pope Francis yet, for now, Cardinal Burke enjoys a certain freedom that makes his ability to travel and to give a trustworthy Shepherd's support to Catholics in a time of great confusion within the Church a source of great joy to those whose spirits feel decidedly crushed. His sidelining from the heart of Vatican life mirrors quite poignantly, quite perfectly the feelings of onlooking Catholics who feel their voice - the voice of fidelity to the Church's teachings - is neither welcomed nor adequately heard.

It is clear that Cardinal Burke, in a time described by Bishop Athansius Schneider as the 'fourth great crisis of the Church', has decided to stand resolutely for Jesus Christ and His Teachings in an age in which so many prelates in the Church are making moves that signal a move away from proclaiming the truth, under the mantra of 'mercy', making that truth harder and harder to hear and to discover afresh as if Catholic truth was a toxic substance harmful to the Church's children. It is clear, likewise, that this Cardinal will say what he believes must be said in defence of the truth about human sexuality, life and marriage, as well as the Sacraments, come what may.

While some prelates win popularity simply by virtue of their personality or their ability to work a crowd, Cardinal Raymond Burke has won a place in the heart of Catholics by radically different means. If you wanted to sum up Cardinal Raymond Burke's approach to the Faith, it could well be found in a response he gave after his talk in Chester in which he told someone who appeared critical of a 'closed-mindedness' about His Eminence's talk. His reply was, "these aren't my own thoughts". Indeed, Cardinal Burke's strength is in his ability to state the truth stated by Popes, Saints and Fathers of the Church without presenting his own personality and personal opinions. In these days, everyone in the Church has an opinion, but not everybody has a deep love for the truth.

Cardinal Burke offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass at the Dome of Home

Shifting Sands

And it is the truth of Jesus Christ that is at the heart of Cardinal Burke's themes. It is the truth that the Cardinal, politely, but firmly, places as a lamp on a lampstand, rather than hidden away as so many prefer it. These are challenging doctrines, 'hard teachings' that place us on the narrow way, on welcoming every human life, being open to life, on the permanence, indissolubility and exclusivity of marriage, on the evils of abortion, artificial contraception, homosexual unions and divorce. These are matters which, when raised, bring certain condemnation from people now within but always without the Church, yet as the Cardinal said, "these are not my own thoughts". This is the truth of Christ our Lord. The Cardinal is refreshing because grace and truth are refreshing and always attractive. At at time when the ground beneath faithful Catholics feels like it is shifting on sand, the rock-like solidity and clarity of Cardinal Burke's doctrinal positions and clear, unambiguous statements, as well as courageous fidelity to the liturgical tradition of the Church have become a great consolation to clergy and laity alike. It is no wonder, then, that so many turned up to hear him speak, to meet him, to pray at Mass celebrated by him and to thank him.

Like the happy scenes that welcomed Bishop Athanasius Schneider during his visit to the United Kingdom, Cardinal Burke received great applause after his talk on 'remaining in the truth of Christ on marriage', a talk given at Double Tree Hilton Hotel in Chester. The talk centred on the essays within the book of the same name which has since become known for its causing such controversy among the Synod's organisers, that it was intercepted as mail when it was delivered to the bishops present at the Extraordinary Synod on the Family in 2014.

And like Bishop Athanasius Schneider, Cardinal Raymond Burke has a fixed place in the heart of English Catholics not because he is a wonder-worker, nor because he promises a new era that helps us to feel more comfortable in our lukewarmness, nor because he promises a revolutionary attitude to doctrines. He isn't preaching a new doctrine. His popularity has grown among Catholics because he is brave, virtuous, polite, courteous, prayerful, exudes a certain warmth and quiet holiness, respects God and man and simply re-states, often in the words of others, that which has been said before. It cannot be said enough, nor too often, how much we Catholics need and appreciate that in these dire times.

Like the beacon of hope that is the Dome of Home that welcomed sea-farers back to the Wirral Peninsula from rough seas, Cardinal Raymond Burke shines the lamp of Catholic truth for those who are seeking the truth, at a time when that light seems to grow dimmer. No grand gestures, no kissing, no hugging, no spin, no PR, just a love for truth and a quiet holiness and great clarity of mind, yet, for these simple qualities, and to the Voice of the Family and the SPUC who made these wonderful talks possible, many Catholics today thank Almighty God. Do as Cardinal Burke asked me to do for him and keep him in your prayers.

More photographs, taken by and copyright of Philip Chidell, of Cardinal Raymond Burke's visit to New Brighton can be seen here.

Photographs of Solemn High Mass at St Augustine's Shrine in Ramsgate are here Read a priest's report of Ramsgate here.

Cardinal Burke's Chester talk can be read in full here.

A report on the SPUC Youth Conference, which was fully booked out can be read here.

A report on the meeting of Cardinal Burke with the Confraternity of Catholic Clergy can be read here

Monday 9 March 2015


Photos of Cardinal Burke's Mass are available four parts in four posts.

Friday 6 March 2015

Willing Blindness Part Five: Grace vs. Magical Thinking

Can I blame Walt Disney and Tinker Bell? Can I try and find a pattern as to why so many men and women in their 70s on down do not understand the theology of the sacraments? Talking with someone who has not been to Church in years and thinks she is saved because of that action clearly indicates a Catholic infected with "magical thinking". 

A person who has apostatized thinks he can "con" God by doing good works outside the life of the sacraments, indulges in magical thinking.

Magical thinking seems to be the most common problem I constantly meet with Catholics regarding Baptism, Confirmation and the Last Rites.

Serious problems exist because many Catholics do not understand that the sacraments bring responsibility and must be met with responsibility. People do not understand grace.

Magical thinking is indicated by people who think that baptism of infants whose parents are either atheists, a priest told me that many priests baptize infants of practicing atheists and a priest in Walsingham a few years ago baptized anyone's children without preparation of any kind), or non-practicing Catholics. This is against the Canons, but indicates a lack of understanding on the part of the priests and the parents. Why would atheists, who have no intention of raising their children Catholic, desire baptism? Why would fallen away Catholics seek baptism for their children, when there is no demand that they come back into the Church or take classes? Grace is given but not "kept" in a bottle. Unless the children are raised in grace, they will quickly fall into mortal sin, or habits of venial sin, which will lead to mortal sin.

Why do priests baptize infants and children of pagans, who will not raise their children in the Faith? I now know several priests in different dioceses who know the Canons and ignore these. Why? Is this taught in the seminaries? Are bishops aware that this goes on in their dioceses?

Baptism takes away Original Sin and gives sanctifying grace. It makes a child an adopted child of God, and a member of the Catholic Church. Grace is not pixie dust. 

Magical thinking states that baptism saves a person once and for all-the fundamental option. Magical thinking ignores the fact that grace is given freely by God, not earned, not kept under the circumstances of serious sin.

Magical thinking supposes the person stays in sanctifying grace without the sacraments or training to be a Catholic.

Magical thinking is protestant. The same magical thinking applies to Confirmation, when priests confirm young people who are not going to Mass on Sunday and are contracepting, clearly in mortal sin and not able to receive grace, which is only "receivable" if one is already in sanctifying grace.

Magical thinking wishes that people are saved without their free will being involved. Grace informs the intellect. Grace is given to us rational creatures so that we can choose the correct way to go spiritually, morally. 

Magical thinking denies free will. We choose God and good. We have a lifetime to do this. We must respond to grace and work for our salvation in fear and trembling, states St. Paul.

Sanctifying grace is not a permanent state, nor is it once and for all, as many Protestants believe. It can be lost and in the case of mortal sin. We are deprived of sanctifying grace by the sin of Adam and Eve, and we must, therefore, be baptized. But we can lose that state of grace and those who no longer go to Sunday Mass, or abort, or contracept, or are in irregular marriages, have not only removed themselves from sanctifying grace, but from the community of God, the Church.

Here is the CCC on this point and I put this in bold type"

1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.

Any idea less is magical thinking. Here is the CCC again.

The Baptism of infants
1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.50 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.51
1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.52
1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.53

Faith and Baptism
1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith.54 But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: "What do you ask of God's Church?" The response is: "Faith!"
1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.
1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents' help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life.55 Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium).56 The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.

As to the Last Rites...

Some people have been led to believe by some religious leaders, lay and priests, that people can be saved by certain prayers of others outside of the indulgences granted by the Vatican. Again, this is magical thinking. Faith allows us to pray for the dead and have Masses said for the dead. But, plenary indulgences are for the souls in purgatory, and may be prayed for those who have died outside the Church, but these indulgences are not prayers outside the merit of the entire Catholic Church. Quite the contrary. The Church passes the merit onto those people. Merit is gained by those Catholics who are in the state of grace.

We are called to evangelize, and to baptize, and no amount of magical thinking can substitute for spreading the Gospel.

Later, the types of graces....

Willing Blindness Part Four

A summary before I continue on grace:

We are all born with Original Sin. Baptism takes away the sin, which has separated us from God and grace.

So, what does baptism do?

One: it makes one a child of God. We are not born as adopted children of God; only once, in our life and with His Life, which is sanctifying grace, are we made children of God.

Two: it makes us co-heirs with Christ in eternal life and in the life of God on earth, with is the life of grace. Without baptism, we do not inherit heaven, nor the life of God, the Kingdom of God within. We receive the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity in baptism, not in any other way. We are heirs of God and heirs of heaven. (These points could be divided into three).

Three: we are given the means to achieve perfection, that is, through sanctifying grace. We are given the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. We are given the gifts to grow and develop the other virtues, not natural virtues, but supernatural ones.

Four: we are given salvation, which means, eternal life, if we cooperate with the graces and virtues given.

Five: we are made pleasing to God and just in His Eyes, through the Death and Resurrection of Christ, through the waters of baptism.

Six: we are given the means to gain merit. Only souls in grace, not those in mortal sin, can gain merit.

Seven: we are united with God in an intimate union.

All these items may be found in the Catechism of the Council of Trent, in the documents of the Church regarding baptism, and in the Scriptures, particularly the Letters of Paul and the Letters of John and in other catechisms, as well as the writings of the saints.

To believe that all people have access to heaven and the above gifts, as well as the state of grace becoming children of God without baptism is to be a heretic. It is too bad, but many Catholics fall into heresy for the following reasons.

One: like myself, there are children in our families, such as nieces, nephews, etc. who are not baptised and some people cannot bear the suffering of facing the truth about their state. I, for example, have a niece who is not baptised. This is a painful situation, but as I am not her parents, I can only pray that God will inspire her to be baptised someday.

Two: many Catholics cannot face the real tragedy of abortion, which is that the souls of these little victims may not be taken up into the Beatific Vision as those who are baptised. Unbaptized babies, as Blessed John Paul II stated, are in the mercy of God. But, we cannot assume that their state is the same as that of a baptised baby. Otherwise, we are denying the efficacy of the sacrament.

Three: many Catholics simply do not believe in Original Sin, hell, or purgatory. In other words, some believe in the heresy of universal salvation, which I think is the most common heresy in the world today.

Four: relativism regarding religions demands that baptism makes no difference as all good people go to heaven--this is a common heresy as well.

Five: the misunderstanding of the baptism of desire, which only applies to those over the age of reason who cannot because of serious circumstances, such as persecution, be baptised. Another person other than one's self cannot desire baptism for a second party.

Six: some Catholics believe all children are in a state of innocence simply because they are children. This is a sentimental idea which used to be common and still lingers on in some circles.

Seven: the misunderstanding of the Nature of God makes some think that God would never punish or damn a child. Now, invincible ignorance is always a possibility, but as I wrote in an earlier posting, children can choose evil and if not baptised, the choosing of good is much harder.

to be continued later and on grace, which is totally gratuitous and cannot be earned....

Thursday 5 March 2015

Willing Blindness Part Three

In the multi-cultural climate which surrounds the island of Great Britain, to speak of differences which are spiritual has become politically incorrect. Yet, from the First Century, the Church has spoken against the prevailing pagans cultures by preaching the Gospel and baptizing all who desired to come into new life.

What is missing from the understanding of so many is the concept of grace. Sacraments effect change. Sacraments give grace, and the graces of baptism have been undervalued among Catholics in the past three generations.

Again, my comments are in blue...


1262 The different effects of Baptism are signified by the perceptible elements of the sacramental rite. Immersion in water symbolizes not only death and purification, but also regeneration and renewal. Thus the two principal effects are purification from sins and new birth in the Holy Spirit.65

All the sacraments are efficacious, which means they actually do something and are not merely symbolic. One actual has a rebirth. One actually is purged of Original Sin, and one is actually made an adopted son or daughter of God in baptism.

For the forgiveness of sins . . .
1263 By Baptism all sins are forgiven, original sin and all personal sins, as well as all punishment for sin.66 In those who have been reborn nothing remains that would impede their entry into the Kingdom of God, neither Adam's sin, nor personal sin, nor the consequences of sin, the gravest of which is separation from God.

A friend of mine's dad came into the Church days before he died. How fortunate for him. To have all his punishment for sin forgiven. He most likely skipped purgatory.

What a sublime grace...his days of suffering were over. But, we who are baptized as babies have a higher calling to build up the Church with the graces given at baptism. This is the call of all Catholics. We are in a battle but not without grace. Too often, Catholics do not claim the great graces of baptism in order to fight concupiscence. Those who do, earn holiness and a place in heaven.

Many of the saints never committed mortal sin, not once, through the special efficacious grace of God. But, all of us are given tremendous strength in baptism to fight the tendency to evil which is within us and to become free of our predominant faults.

1264 Yet certain temporal consequences of sin remain in the baptized, such as suffering, illness, death, and such frailties inherent in life as weaknesses of character, and so on, as well as an inclination to sin that Tradition calls concupiscence, or metaphorically, "the tinder for sin" (fomes peccati); since concupiscence "is left for us to wrestle with, it cannot harm those who do not consent but manfully resist it by the grace of Jesus Christ."67 Indeed, "an athlete is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules."68

God does not ask the impossible from us and always gives us the grace we need to be the saint He created us from all time to be.

I hope to come back and discuss the graces of baptism in more detail and the virtues given.

Wednesday 4 March 2015

Willing Blindness Part Two

Continuing with the teachings of the Church surrounding baptism, one reads these points in the CCC. Again, my comments in blue.


1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

Those of us who are baptized are given the task, not the option, of evangelizing all people and baptizing them in the Trinitarian form. Once a person has heard the Good News of the Gospel, they must decide yay or nay for baptism. To walk away after hearing the Gospel and being given, as all people are, sufficient grace for salvation, and the grace of conversion, is a serious omission.

Of course, we all know of baptism of desire and baptism of blood. Those who wanted baptism but could not get it and die desiring baptism, and those who die for Christ without it, have come into the fullness of the sacrament. These set of circumstances have happened in the Church. 

1258 The Church has always held the firm conviction that those who suffer death for the sake of the faith without having received Baptism are baptized by their death for and with Christ. This Baptism of blood, like the desire for Baptism, brings about the fruits of Baptism without being a sacrament.

1259 For catechumens who die before their Baptism, their explicit desire to receive it, together with repentance for their sins, and charity, assures them the salvation that they were not able to receive through the sacrament.

To believe that all men and women who ever lived since Christ's Passion, Death and Resurrection, since the Harrowing of Hell, have not been given the chance to join Christ, is a heresy.

Those who have never heard the Gospel, and in these days of the Net and global communication, these people in complete ignorance would be rare, are blessed by God if they seek the truth and try to live moral lives according to natural law.

1260 "Since Christ died for all, and since all men are in fact called to one and the same destiny, which is divine, we must hold that the Holy Spirit offers to all the possibility of being made partakers, in a way known to God, of the Paschal mystery."63 Every man who is ignorant of the Gospel of Christ and of his Church, but seeks the truth and does the will of God in accordance with his understanding of it, can be saved. It may be supposed that such persons would have desired Baptism explicitly if they had known its necessity.

Now, here is a sticky wicket for some British Catholics. We give aborted children to God's mercy. We do not know what this means. But, we cannot presume that they experience the Beatific Vision like those children who are baptized.

The mercy of God is boundless. But, we must never deny the efficacious nature of baptism.

1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

In Part Three, I shall return to the discussion of grace and baptism.

Tuesday 3 March 2015

Willing Blindness Part One

Salvation and good works come from grace. No one can do either efficacious good works or be saved without grace.

Natural gifts, which we all have to some degree or another, including some "virtues" which may come from a person's natural personality, do not save us. These natural gifts must be enhanced by grace, which is received in baptism and the other sacraments of the Church.

At this time in history, especially in Great Britain, a battle of the spirit is waging among Catholics who have forgotten the meaning of baptism. Baptism is essential for salvation. Those saved outside baptism are not the norm and, indeed, a rarity. Here is the CCC on this subject but in this post, I shall begin merely with the first items under a long section on baptism. Let me put my comments in blue after each small section.

1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn as sons of God; we become members of Christ, are incorporated into the Church and made sharers in her mission: "Baptism is the sacrament of regeneration through water in the word."5

Note that through baptism we are freed from sin, become sons and daughters of God, members of the Church and given the command to follow Christ's mission for the Church. 

No one can be called a son or daughter of God without baptism, as they are not so. They are creatures, but not adopted into the family of God. 


1214 This sacrament is called Baptism, after the central rite by which it is carried out: to baptize (Greek baptizein) means to "plunge" or "immerse"; the "plunge" into the water symbolizes the catechumen's burial into Christ's death, from which he rises up by resurrection with him, as "a new creature."6

One dies to sin and becomes someone new. One is not the same before baptism and after baptism. Each person is really a new being. This new person lives now in God and has been given not only the grace of salvation, but the virtues of faith, hope and charity, which are lacking in the person not baptized. These supernatural gifts are not natural.

1215 This sacrament is also called "the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit," for it signifies and actually brings about the birth of water and the Spirit without which no one "can enter the kingdom of God."7

One must be baptized to not only come into the Church, but to go into heaven. The enlightenment is not only the training one hopefully enjoys before baptism, but a renewal of the mind, to think like Christ, to put on the Mind of Christ.

I hope to write more on this subject because many Catholics in Great Britain do not understand the ontological difference between an unbaptized and a baptized person. The baptized person, if that person does not commit mortal sin, lives and walks in light. The unbaptized person, as Trent tells us, is "a slave of satan", unable to see the light and live in the life of the virtues.

Baptism cannot be hindered by parents or those in authority. Baptism is the right of every baby born into Catholic families. This heritage of passing the Faith down to the next generation, passing new life down into the lives of our children, is the greatest gift one can bestow on one's offspring.

Our natural gifts become efficacious in the life of the Holy Spirit. To deny the difference between those who now are sons and daughters of God and those who are not is a willing blindness.

1216 "This bath is called enlightenment, because those who receive this [catechetical] instruction are enlightened in their understanding . . . ."8 Having received in Baptism the Word, "the true light that enlightens every man," the person baptized has been "enlightened," he becomes a "son of light," indeed, he becomes "light" himself:9

Baptism is God's most beautiful and magnificent gift. . . .We call it gift, grace, anointing, enlightenment, garment of immortality, bath of rebirth, seal, and most precious gift. It is called gift because it is conferred on those who bring nothing of their own; grace since it is given even to the guilty; Baptism because sin is buried in the water; anointing for it is priestly and royal as are those who are anointed; enlightenment because it radiates light; clothing since it veils our shame; bath because it washes; and seal as it is our guard and the sign of God's Lordship.10

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