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viernes, 24 de febrero de 2017

San Matías Apóstol (24 de febrero) - St. Matthias Apostle (February 24th)



ESPAÑOL: 

Tomado de vaticanocatolico.com

San Matías Apóstol (24 de febrero)

San Matías, que fue elegido en lugar del traidor Judas, fue de la tribu de Judá, y nació en Belén, de familia ilustre, no menos dis­tinguida por su calidad y por su riqueza que por el celo que profe­saba a la religión de Moisés.
Lo criaron sus padres con gran cuidado, instruyéndole en las bue­nas costumbres y en la ciencia de las Escrituras y de la religión. La inocencia de vida con que pasó la juventud fue una bella disposición para que se aplicase a oír la doctrina de Cristo, luego que se comenzó a manifestar después de su sagrado bautismo. Tuvo la dicha de se­guirle en compañía de los Apóstoles desde el principio de su predi­cación hasta su gloriosa ascensión a los Cielos, y fue uno de los se­tenta y dos discípulos.

Judas Iscariote, uno de los doce apóstoles que Jesucristo con particular amor había escogido para favorecidos y confidentes suyos, hizo traición a su Maestro, y con torpísima ingratitud le vendió a sus enemigos. De apóstol pasó a ser apóstata; y añadiendo la desesperación a la perfi­dia, él mismo vengó su delito, y acabó su desdichada vida con muerte horrible y vergonzosa.
Habiendo resucitado Cristo, quiso dar pruebas sensibles de la ver­dad de su resurrección por espacio de cuarenta días, y también ins­truir todavía más particularmente a sus Apóstoles y a sus amados discípulos. Se les aparecía de cuando en cuando; conversaba familiar­mente con ellos, y con maravillosa bondad les explicaba los miste­rios más secretos de la religión, descubriéndoles todo el plan y toda la economía de la Santa Iglesia.
Hacía siempre delante de ellos algún milagro, para que advirtie­sen que no se había disminuido con la muerte su poder. No eran con­tinuas ni muy frecuentes sus apariciones, y aun algunas veces de­jaba pasar muchos días sin manifestarse, para irlos poco a poco desacostumbrando y que se hiciesen a vivir sin el consuelo de su pre­sencia corporal.
En todas estas visitas los instruía en lo que debían hacer para cum­plir con las obligaciones de los cargos y empleos a que los destinaba en su Iglesia. En particular les enseñaba el modo de administrar los Sacramentos, de gobernar a los pueblos y de portarse entre sí unos con otros. Les declaraba una multitud de cosas, que en otras ocasio­nes no había hecho más que apuntar, reservando su individual y clara explicación para aquel tiempo.
En fin, estando ya para volverse a su Eterno Padre, entre otras muchas instrucciones les mandó que, después de su Ascensión a los Cielos, ellos se retirasen juntos a Jerusalén, sin salir de allí hasta nueva orden, y que esperasen el cumplimiento de la promesa que el mismo Padre Eterno les había hecho por su boca de que les comunicaría el mayor don de todos los dones, enviándoles al Espíritu Santo.
Luego que el Salvador subió a los Cielos desde el monte de las Olivas en presencia de todos ellos, los Apóstoles se volvieron a Jerusalén con la Santísima Virgen, y se encerraron todos en la casa que habían escogi­do para su retiro. Quedó santifica­da la casa con las continuas oraciones que hacían todos con un mismo espí­ritu, estando al fren­te de aquella apos­tólica congregación María Madre de Je­sús, con algunos parientes cercanos su­yos, que, según la costumbre de los ju­díos, se llamaban hermanos; aña­diéndose también algunas devotas mujeres que ordi­nariamente acompañaban a la Vir­gen. La pieza más respetable y aún más santa de aque­lla dichosa casa era el cenáculo, que fue la primera Iglesia de la Religión cristiana. Vueltos, pues, del monte Olívete, subieron todos al Cenáculo, por ser el lugar donde celebraban sus juntas, y en una de ellas resolvieron llenar la plaza vacante en el Colegio Apostólico por la apostasía y funesta muerte del infelicísimo Judas Iscariote.
Aún no habían recibido visiblemente al Espíritu Santo; pero Pedro, como Príncipe de los Apóstoles, Vicario de Jesucristo y visible Cabeza de su Iglesia, obraba ya inspirado del mismo Espíritu Divino; y cómo a quien tocaba regir todas las cosas, y dar providencia en todo, se levantó en medio de los discípulos, en número de casi ciento y veinte, que ya tenían la costumbre de llamarse hermanos entre sí, por la es­trechísima y santísima unión de la caridad fraternal que los enla­zaba , y les habló de esta manera:
Venerables varones y hermanos míos: ya llegó el tiempo de cum­plirse el oráculo que el Espíritu Santo pronunció en la Escritura por boca del Profeta Rey, tocante a Judas, que vendió a su Maestro y nuestro, y no tuvo vergüenza de servir de guía a los que le prendie­ron, y le quitaron la vida como a un malhechor. Bien sabéis que era apóstol como nosotros, llamado a las mismas funciones que nosotros; pero, con todo eso, pereció miserable y desgraciadamente. No ignoráis que después de los hurtos y de los sacrilegios que cometió en la admi­nistración de su oficio, y después de su infame traición, se ahorcó desesperado; que, cayendo en tierra boca abajo el infeliz cadáver, re­ventó por medio, arrojando las entrañas; que de esta manera entre­gó su alma al demonio, abandonando el campo que se había compra­do con el dinero que se dio por precio de su delito, después que él mismo había restituido desesperadamente este dinero. Toda Jerusalén fue testigo de este suceso, habiéndose hecho tan público que, para conservar la memoria, se dio al campo el nombre de Haceldama, que en hebreo significa tierra de homicidio y campo de sangre. Esta es aquella tierra maldita, aquella heredad de los malos que desea Da­vid se convierta en triste destierro, de manera que ninguno habite ni la cultive, y que su poseedor, maldito de Dios y de los hombres, pier­da el obispado y deje su lugar a otro. Lo perdió Judas, y es menester no tardar en colocar en él un sucesor de conocido mérito, que sea tan capaz de esta dignidad como Judas era indigno; porque el Señor quiere que esté completo el número de sus Apóstoles, y que haya en la Iglesia doce príncipes del pueblo, como ha habido hasta aquí doce cabezas en las doce tribus de Israel.
Para ejecutar, pues, cuanto antes la voluntad del Señor, es nece­sario elegir, entre los que estamos presentes, uno que, juntamente con nosotros, pueda dar testimonio cierto de la resurrección de Jesús, y que, para ser mejor creído, sea uno de los que siempre le acompañaron en sus viajes, desde que fue bautizado por Juan hasta el día en que nos dejó para subir al Cielo, que hubiese oído sus instruccio­nes, y que hubiese sido testigo de sus milagros.
Se deliberó en la junta sobre quién había de ser el elegido; y, ha­biendo hecho oración a Dios, pasaron todos a votar. Se repartieron los votos entre dos, ambos sujetos muy recomendables entre los dis­cípulos: el primero era José, llamado Bársabas, que por su particu­lar virtud había merecido el nombre de Justo; el segundo era Matías ; pero no habiendo más que una silla vacante, y no sabiendo a cuál de los dos habían de preferir, porque ambos eran muy dignos y muy beneméritos, volvieron a orar con nuevo fervor, haciendo a Dios esta oración: Vos, Señor, que conocéis, los corazones de los hom­bres, dadnos a entender a cuál de estos dos habéis elegido para que entre en lugar del traidor Judas, sucediéndole en el ministerio y en el apostolado, de que él abusó para irse al infierno que merecía.
Oyó el Señor benignamente la oración de los fieles y, según la cos­tumbre de los judíos, se echaron suertes entre los dos concurrentes, poniéndoles delante una caja o un vaso cubierto con su tapa, donde estaban las cédulas, y la mano invisible de Dios condujo la suerte de manera que cayó sobre Matías y, agregado a los otros once após­toles, completó con ellos el número de doce.
Llevado ya a la dignidad del apóstol, recibió con ellos la plenitud del Espíritu Santo en el día de Pentecostés; y como era ya tan esti­mado de toda la nación, así por la integridad de sus costumbres como por la nobleza de su sangre, hizo maravilloso fruto con los celestiales dones que había recibido, convirtiendo a la fe gran número de judíos, y haciendo muchos milagros.
En el repartimiento del mundo, que hicieron los Apóstoles para conducir la luz de la fe y del Evangelio a todas las naciones, tocó a San Matías el reino de Judea. El abrasado celo que desde luego mostró por la conversión de sus mismos nacionales le obligó a padecer muchos trabajos, y a exponerse a grandes peligros y sufrir gran­des persecuciones y, finalmente, a coronar su santa vida con un glo­rioso martirio.
Corrió casi todas las provincias de Judea anunciando a Jesucristo, confundiendo a los enemigos de la fe y haciendo en todas partes con­versiones y conquistas. Dice San Clemente Alejandrino ser constante tradición que San Matías fue con particularidad gran predicador de la penitencia, la que enseñaba no menos con el ejemplo de su pe­nitentísima vida que con los discursos que había aprendido de su divino Maestro. Decía que era menester mortificarse incesantemente, combatir contra la carne, tratarse con rigor, hacerse eterna violen­cia, reprimiendo los desordenados deseos de la sensualidad, llevan­do a cuestas la cruz y arreglando la vida por las máximas del Evan­gelio. Añadía que esta mortificación exterior, aunque tan necesaria, no basta si no está acompañada de una fe viva, de una esperanza superior a toda duda y de una caridad ardiente. Concluía qué nin­guna persona, de cualquier edad o condición que fuese, estaba dis­pensada de esta ley, y que no había otra teología moral. Hizo San Matías gran fruto en toda Judea, teatro de sus trabajos, espacioso campo de su glorioso apostolado.
Muchos años había que este gran apóstol no respiraba más que la gloria de Jesucristo y la salvación de su nación, corriendo por toda ella, predicando con valor y con asombroso celo, confundiendo a los judíos y demostrándoles con testimonios irrefragables de la Sagrada Escritura que Jesucristo, a quien ellos habían crucificado y había resucitado al tercero día, era el Mesías prometido, Hijo de Dios, y en todo igual a su Padre.
No pudiendo sufrir los jefes del pueblo judaico verse tantas veces confundidos, irritados también, por otra parte, de la multitud de conversiones que hacía y de los milagros que obraba, resolvieron acabar con él. Refiere el Libro de los condenados, esto es, el libro donde se tomaba la razón de todos los que habían sido ajusticiados en Judea desde la resurrección del Señor, por haber violado la ley de Moisés, como San Esteban, los dos Santiagos y San Matías; re­fiere dicho libro que nuestro Santo fue preso por orden del pontífice Ananías y que habiendo confesado a Jesucristo en concilio pleno, demostrando su divinidad, y convenciendo que había sido Redentor del género humano con lugares claros de la Escritura y con hechos innegables a que no tuvieron qué responder, fue declarado enemigo de la Ley, y como tal sentenciado a ser apedreado. Llegado el Santo al lugar del suplicio, se hincó de rodillas y, levantando los ojos y las manos al Cielo, dio gracias al Señor por la merced que le hacía en morir por defender su santa religión; hizo oración por todos los presentes y por toda su nación, la que, concluida, fue cubierto de una espesa lluvia de piedras. Añade el mismo libro que no pudiendo sufrir este género de suplicio los romanos que gobernaban la pro­vincia contuvieron el furor de los que le apedreaban, y hallando al Santo medio muerto, por despenarle, acabándole de matar le cor­taron la cabeza. Sucedió el martirio de San Matías el día 24 de fe­brero, aunque no se sabe precisamente en qué año.
San Matías Apóstol mártir
Su sagrado cuerpo, según la más constante tradición, de la que no tenemos motivo sólido, o por lo menos convincente, para separar­nos, fue traído a Roma por Santa Elena, madre de Constantino, y hasta hoy se venera en la iglesia de Santa María la Mayor, la más considerable parte de sus preciosas reliquias. Se asegura que la otra parte de ellas se la dio la misma santa emperatriz a San Agricio, arzobispo de Tréveris, quien las colocó en la iglesia que hasta hoy tiene la advocación de San Matías.

Propósitos
 El Papa San Gregorio Magno y San Matías Apóstol

Parece cierto que serán pocos los que se salven, respecto de la espantosa multitud de los cristianos que se condenan. Pero aunque el número de los primeros fuese mucho más pequeño de lo que es, es menester –cueste lo que costare– hacer todo lo posible para ser de este número. Para este fin, toma una fuerte resolución de aplicar todos tus talentos, toda tu industria, y de no perdonar medio alguno para salir con un negocio de tan gran consecuencia. El camino que guía a la vida es estrecho. Clame, grite lo que quisiere el amor pro­pio y las pasiones; ello no hay dos caminos para la vida. Desde este punto has de resolverte a hacer todos los esfuerzos imaginables para entrar por la puerta estrecha. El camino es estrecho, es áspero, es dificultoso, y más cuando se ha de trepar por él cargado con una pesada cruz; pero es único, no hay otro en que escoger. Ni Cristo nos enseñó otro, ni fue por otro santo alguno, alma alguna de las que se salvaron. ¿Has tenido tú la dicha de encontrar acaso otro camino? Este camino es poco frecuentado; no vayas por donde va la muchedumbre; porque el ruido que hay y el polvo que se levanta impiden ver los precipicios.


ENGLISH:
 St. Matthias Apostle (February 24th)

St. Matthias, who was chosen in place of the traitor Judas, was of the tribe of Judah, and was born in Bethlehem, of illustrious family, no less distinguished by his quality and wealth than by the zeal he professed to the religion of Moses. His parents raised him with great care, instructing him in the good customs and the science of the Scriptures and of religion. The innocence of life with which the youth passed was a beautiful disposition to be applied to hear the doctrine of Christ, after it began to manifest after his sacred baptism. He had the joy of following him in the company of the Apostles from the beginning of his preaching to his glorious ascension to the Heavens, and was one of the seventy-two disciples. Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles whom Jesus Christ, with particular love, had chosen for his benefactors and confidants, betrayed his Master, and sold him with foolish ingratitude to his enemies. From an apostle he became apostate; And adding despair to perfidy, he himself avenged his crime, and ended his unhappy life with horrible and shameful death. Having risen Christ, he wanted to give sensible proof of the truth of his resurrection for forty days, and also to instruct even more particularly his Apostles and his beloved disciples. It appeared to them from time to time; Conversed familiarly with them, and with wonderful kindness explained to them the most secret mysteries of religion, discovering to them the whole plan and all the economy of the Holy Church.
He would always perform some miracle before them, so that they would realize that his power had not diminished with death. His apparitions were not continuous or very frequent, and even sometimes they allowed many days without manifesting himself, to make them little by little unaccustomed and to live without the consolation of their bodily presence. In all these visits he instructed them in what they should do to fulfill the obligations of the offices and jobs to which he was assigned in his Church. In particular he taught them how to administer the sacraments, to govern the peoples and to behave with one another. He told them a multitude of things, which on other occasions he had done nothing more than point, reserving his individual and clear explanation for that time.
Finally, when he was about to return to his Eternal Father, among many other instructions, he commanded them, after their Ascension to the Heavens, to withdraw together to Jerusalem, without leaving there until further notice, and to wait for the fulfillment of the A promise that the Eternal Father Himself had made through their mouths that He would communicate to them the greatest gift of all gifts by sending them to the Holy Spirit. After the Savior ascended to the Heavens from the Mount of Olives in the presence of all of them, the Apostles returned to Jerusalem with the Blessed Virgin, and they all locked themselves in the house which they had chosen for their retreat. The house was sanctified with the continuous prayers that all of them did with one spirit, being at the head of that apostolic congregation Mary Mother of Jesus, with some near relatives of his, that, according to the custom of the Jews, they were called brothers; Also adding some devout women who ordinarily accompanied the Virgin. The most respectable and even holier of this happy house was the Cenacle, which was the first Church of the Christian Religion. Then, returning from Mount Olivet, they all went up to the Upper Room, where they held their meetings, and in one of them they resolved to fill the vacant post in the Apostolic College for the apostasy and death of the most unfortunate Judas Iscariot. They had not yet visibly received the Holy Spirit; But Peter, as Prince of the Apostles, Vicar of Jesus Christ and visible Head of his Church, was already inspired by the same Divine Spirit; And how to whom it was to govern all things, and to give providence in everything, he arose among the disciples, in the number of almost a hundred and twenty, who already had the habit of being called brothers to one another, by the most holy and most holy union of The brotherly love that bound them, and spoke to them in this way:

Venerable men and my brothers: the time has come to fulfill the oracle that the Holy Spirit pronounced in the Scripture through the mouth of the Prophet King, concerning Judas, who sold his Master and ours, and was not ashamed to serve as a guide to the Who took him, and took his life as an evildoer. You know that he was an apostle like us, called to the same functions as we; But, with all that, he perished miserably and unhappily. You are aware that after the thefts and sacrileges he committed in the administration of his office, and after his infamous betrayal, he hung in despair; That, falling on the ground, the unfortunate corpse, burst through, throwing the entrails; Who thus gave his soul to the devil, leaving the field that he had bought with the money that was given for the price of his crime, after he himself had desperately returned this money. All Jerusalem witnessed this event, and it became so public that in order to preserve its memory, the name of Haceldama was given in the field, which in Hebrew means a homicide and a field of blood. This is that damned land, that inheritance of the wicked that David desires to become a sad exile, so that no one inhabits or cultivates it, and that its possessor, cursed of God and of men, loses the bishopric and leaves its place to other. Judas lost it, and it is necessary not long to place in him a successor of known merit, who is as capable of this dignity as Judas was unworthy; For the Lord wants the number of his Apostles to be complete, and that there be in the Church twelve princes of the people, as there have been twelve heads in the twelve tribes of Israel. In order to carry out the will of the Lord as soon as possible, it is necessary to choose among those present one who, together with us, can give a certain testimony of the resurrection of Jesus, and who, to be better believed, may be one of Those who always accompanied him on his travels, from the time he was baptized by John to the day he left us to ascend to Heaven, to have heard his instructions, and to have witnessed his miracles.

The meeting was deliberated on who should be chosen; And, having prayed to God, they all went to vote. The vows were divided between two, both subjects highly recommended among the disciples: the first was Joseph, called Bársabas, that by its particular virtue had deserved the name of Justo; The second was Matthias; But there being but one vacant chair, and not knowing which of the two they should prefer, for they were both very worthy and very merciful, they prayed again with renewed fervor, praying to God: "You, Lord, The hearts of men, let us understand which of these two you have chosen to enter into the place of the traitor Judas, succeeding him in the ministry and in the apostolate, that he abused to go to the hell he deserved. The Lord kindly heard the prayers of the faithful, and according to the custom of the Jews, lots were cast between the two attendants, putting before them a box or a glass covered with its lid, where were the cedulas, and the invisible hand of God drove The fate so that it fell on Matías and, added to the other eleven apostles, completed with them the number of twelve. Carried to the dignity of the apostle, he received with them the fullness of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost; And as he was already so dear to the whole nation, so by the integrity of his customs as by the nobility of his blood, he wrought marvelous fruit with the heavenly gifts which he had received, turning a great number of Jews to the faith, and doing many miracles .
In the repartimiento of the world, which the Apostles did to bring the light of faith and the Gospel to all nations, St. Matthias touched the kingdom of Judea. The burning zeal that he showed for the conversion of his own nationals forced him to suffer many labors, and to expose himself to great dangers and suffer great persecutions, and finally to crown his holy life with a glorious martyrdom. He ran almost all the provinces of Judea announcing Jesus Christ, confusing the enemies of faith and making conversions and conquests everywhere. St. Clement of Alexandria is a constant tradition that Saint Matthias was a great preacher of penance, who taught no less with the example of his penitent life than with the speeches he had learned from his divine Master. He said that it was necessary to mortify oneself unceasingly, to fight against the flesh, to treat oneself with rigor, to become eternal violence, to repress the disorderly desires of sensuality, to carry the cross and to arrange life for the maxims of the Gospel. He added that this external mortification, although so necessary, is not enough if it is not accompanied by a living faith, a hope superior to all doubt and a burning charity. It concluded that no person of any age or condition was exempt from this law, and that there was no other moral theology. St. Matthias made great fruit in all Judea, the theater of his labors, the spacious field of his glorious apostolate. For many years this great apostle breathed only the glory of Jesus Christ and the salvation of his nation, running all over it, preaching courageously and with amazing zeal, confusing the Jews and showing them with irrefutable testimonies of the Sacred Scripture that Jesus Christ , Whom they had crucified and resurrected on the third day, was the promised Messiah, Son of God, and in all likeness to his Father.
The chiefs of the Jewish people could not suffer to see themselves so often confused and irritated, on the other hand, from the multitude of conversions he made and from the miracles he worked, they resolved to end him. It refers to the Book of the Damned, that is, the book where all those who had been executed in Judea since the resurrection of the Lord were raped, for having violated the law of Moses, like St. Stephen, the two Santiagos and St. Matthias ; Refers to this book that our Saint was imprisoned by order of the Pontiff Ananias and that having confessed Jesus Christ in full council, demonstrating his divinity, and convincing that he had been Redeemer of the human race with clear places of the Scripture and with undeniable facts that they did not have How to respond, was declared an enemy of the Law, and as such sentenced to be stoned. When the Holy One arrived at the place of his torment, he fell on his knees and, raising his eyes and hands to Heaven, thanked the Lord for the mercy he gave him in dying to defend his holy religion; He prayed for all present and for all his nation, which, when concluded, was covered with a heavy rain of stones. The Romans, who ruled the province, contained the same book, that the Romans who ruled the province could not endure the stench of those who stoned him, and finding the Saint half dead to plunder him and kill him, cut off his head. The martyrdom of Saint Matthias happened on February 24, although it is not known precisely in what year.
San Matías Apóstol mártir
His sacred body, according to the most constant tradition, of which we have no solid, or at least convincing, motive to separate us, was brought to Rome by St. Helena, the mother of Constantine, and to this day is venerated in the church of Santa Maria The greater, the most considerable part of its precious relics. It is assured that the other part of them was given by the same holy Empress to San Agricio, archbishop of Trier, who placed them in the church that until today has the invocation of St. Matthias.

Purposes 
 Pope St. Gregory the Great and St. Matthias the Apostle 

It seems certain that few will be spared, in regard to the dreadful multitude of Christians who are condemned. But even though the number of the former was much smaller than it is, it is necessary, whatever it may be, to do everything possible to be of this number. To this end, take a strong resolution to apply all your talents, all your industry, and not to forgive any means to go out with a business of such great consequence. The road leading to life is narrow. Cry, scream what self-love and passions want; There are no two paths to life. From this point you have to resolve yourself to make every effort imaginable to enter through the narrow door. The road is narrow, it is rough, it is difficult, and more when it is to climb by him loaded with a heavy cross; But it is unique, there is no other to choose. Neither did Christ teach us another, nor was he any other saint, any soul that was saved. Have you had the pleasure of finding another way? This road is little frequented; Do not go where the crowd goes; Because the noise there and the dust that rises prevent to see the precipices.

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domingo, 19 de febrero de 2017

New Age Or Old Occult?




The New Age Movement or NAM is both a religious and a social movement. In fact, Western culture is currently experiencing a phenomenal, spiritual, ideological, and sociological shift. It is a religious world view that is alien and hostile to Christianity. It’s a multi-focused, multi-faceted synthesis, in varying degrees, of the Far Eastern mystical religions, mainly Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Western Occultism, adapted to and influenced by Western, materialistic culture. It sometimes appears in secularized forms.

Prominent expressions of the NAM were carried on into more modern times in Europe and America by Emanuel Swedenborg (1688-1772). Transcendentalists like Thoreau, Emerson, and Wordsworth (early 1800s), and Theosophy introduced by Madame Helena Blavatsky (1831-1891). The decade of the sixties witnessed a revival of Eastern mysticism as traditional values were being challenged. Zen, Carlos Castañada, the Beatles, the hippie movement, Transcendental Meditation, and yoga all became popular.

The New Age Movement consists of an incredibly huge and well organized network consisting of thousands of groups, trusts, foundations, clubs, lodges, and religious groups whose goal and purpose is to prepare the world to enter the coming “Age Of Aquarius.” A small sampling of only a few of the organizations involved would include: Amnesty International, Zero Population Growth, California New Age Caucus, New World Alliance, World Goodwill, The Church Universal and Triumphant, The Theosophical Society, the Forum, Planetary Initiative for the World We Choose, the Club of Rome, the Charismatic Movement, Christian Science, and the Unity School of Christianity. This list, by no means all inclusive, demonstrates the diversity of organizations operating in economic, political, and religious spheres of influence.

The New Age movement is not a unified traditional cult system of beliefs and practices, even though its roots derive from Eastern religions and the occult. It has no official leader, headquarters, nor membership list, but instead is a network of groups working toward specific goals. One of its main goals is to bring to the forefront a one-world leader who is called “The Christ” or “Maitreya.” Nevertheless, it is estimated that there are millions of worldwide followers of various New Age practices and or holders of one or more of the major beliefs of the New Age.

The NAM has gained significant influence, affecting almost every area of the culture — sociology, psychology, medicine, the government, ecology, science, arts, education, the business community, the media, entertainment, sports, and even the protestant sects and the Vatican 2 counterfeit church. The movement expresses itself in widely divergent and various mutated forms, from the blatantly obvious to the subtle. It is expressed in organized religious forms such as Christian Science (a protestant sect), Unity, and even forms of Witchcraft. Yet, it shows up in secular forms as well, in various human potential seminars, and much in between: transcendental meditation, some alternative holistic health practices, and certain curriculum in public (and private) schools.

The book Networking lists over 1,200 organizations, centers, cooperatives, groups, communities, and networks in fields ranging from health care and spiritual growth, through politics, economics, and ecology, to education, communications, personal growth, and intercultural relations. There is hardly any area of human interest that does not have some people somewhere exploring it from a New Age point of view. Due to the lack of a central organization and the diversity of emphasis adhered to by the various New Age groups, there are literally hundreds of publications. Some popular publications and journals are New Age Journal, Body Mind Spirit, Yoga Journal, Gnosis, East West, Noetic Sciences, and Omega.

The major goal of the New Age Movement is to bring peace to the world upon entering the Age of Aquarius. This will be accomplished primarily through the leadership of “the, quote, Christ” (also known as “Lord Maitreya”), who will supposedly come to teach us to live at peace with each other. Some of the other stated goals of the movement are to establish a World Food Authority, World Water Authority, World Economic Order, and an entirely New World Order. It should be noted here that one of the requirements for a person to enter the New Age is that he or she will have to take what is known as a “Luciferic Initiation,” a kind of pledge of allegiance to the Christ of the New Age and to the New World Order. The primary goals of the movement then, are to prepare the world to receive the false Christ and to enter the Age of Aquarius, thus establishing the New World Order.

The New Age Movement professes a broad-minded openness to all religions, but its basic underlying philosophy represents a carefully calculated undermining of Christian beliefs with various combinations of gnosticism and occultism. [Gnosticism is an ancient world-view stating that Divine essence is the only true or highest reality, and that the unconscious Self of man is actually this essence. It is through intuitional discovery, "visionary experience or initiation into secret doctrine" (not the plenary revelation of propositional truth in the Bible and Catholic tradition), that man becomes conscious of this true Self.
It bears a remarkable resemblance to the apostate world religion that H.G. Wells claimed as his own and predicted would one day take over the world. It also fits the description of “The Plan” for establishing the new world government that is described in various psychic communications from alleged aliens and ascended masters. There is one more connection: the New Age Movement fits the description of the Antichrist’s religion — a rejection of the Catholic God, and the declaration that Self is God.

Six distinctives of New Age thinking are: (1) all is one; (2) all is God; (3) humanity is God; (4) a change in consciousness; (5) all religions are one; and (6) cosmic evolutionary optimism. 14 primary “doctrines” of New Age religions: (1) an impersonal god (force); (2) an eternal universe; (3) an illusory nature of matter; (4) a cyclical nature of life; (5) the necessity of reincarnations; (6) the evolution of man into Godhood; (7) continuing revelations from beings beyond the world; (8) the identity of man with God; (9) the need for meditation (or other consciousness-changing techniques); (10) occult practices (astrology, mediums, etc.); (11) vegetarianism and holistic health; (12) pacifism (or anti-war activities); (13) one world (global) order; and (14) syncretism (unity of all religions).

The New Age also encompasses a wide array of notions: spiritualism, astrology, bioenergy, Chi energy, chakras, nirvana, Christ-consciousness, Native American Spirituality, Prajna, out-of-body near-death experiences, reincarnation, and the occult disciplines, as well as unorthodox psychotherapeutic techniques and pseudoscientific applications of the quote “healing powers” of crystals and pyramids. Some commonly used New Age terms are: guided imagery, reincarnation; positive thinking; human potential; holistic; holographic; synergistic; unity; oneness; transformation; awakening; networking; communal sharing; one-world globalism new world order (one language, one government, one currency, one religion); cosmic consciousness; etc.

It is important for Catholics to recognize even the most disguised forms of the New Age Movement. Some New Age practices are: rebirthing; inner healing; biofeedback; yoga; I Ching; reflexology; black and white magic; fire-walking; trance-channeling; therapeutic touch; transpersonal psychology; witchcraft; parapsychology; Magick; Tai Chi; Shamanism; hypnotherapy; acupuncture acupressure; reiki; martial arts; Zen; Relaxation; Erhard Seminar Training; Silva Method (formerly Silva Mind Control); visualization; etc. Some prominent New Age gurus are: Alice Bailey, Alvin Toffler, Dr. Barbara Ray, Benjamin Creme, Levi Dowling, George Trevelyan, Fritjof Capra, Abraham Maslow, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Ruth Montgomery, Shirley MacLaine, J.Z. Knight, Marilyn Ferguson, David Spangler, Jeremy Rifkin, Norman Cousins, Elizabeth Clare Prophet, John Denver, George Lucas, Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra, Norman Lear and Bernardo Stamateas.

Many New Age followers attach great importance to artifacts, and quote sacred objects, all of which can be profitably offered for sale: Tibetan bells, exotic herbal teas, Viking runes, solar energizers, colored candles for “chromotherapy,” and a plethora of occult books, pamphlets, instructions, and tape recordings. Crystals are the favorite New Age object. These are not only thought to have mysterious healing powers, but are considered programmable, like a computer, if one just concentrates hard enough. Other New Age objects would include the rainbow; butterfly; pyramid; triangle; eye in triangle or pyramid; unicorn; Pegasus; swastika; yin-yang; goathead on pentagram; concentric circles; the peace sign; crescent moon; etc.

New Age music is a term applied to the works of various composers and musicians who strive to create soothing audio environments rather than follow song structures. Born of an interest in spirituality and healing in the late 1970s, it is often used as an aid in meditation. The defining features of New Age music are harmonic consonance, contemplative melodies, nonlinear song forms, and uplifting themes. New Age performers may use traditional ethnic, acoustic, electric, or electronic instruments, or even sounds from nature. New Age music is meditative, almost invariably instrumental style with roots in Oriental, and jazz; often derivative, New Age compositions can sound like minimalist music or like lush evocations of the natural environment. Prominent New Age musicians include electronic-music pioneer Brian Eno, multi-instrumentalist Kitaro; solo-piano artist George Winston, vocalist Liz Story; harpist Andreas Vollenweider, and electric violinist Jean-Luc Ponty.

Athletes are using guided imagery. Graduate schools of business are invoking Zen, yoga, and tarot cards in teaching courses on creativity in business (for example: Stanford Graduate School of Business). Stock market gurus employ Fibonacci numbers and “wave theory” in their forecasting, both based upon astrology. Even some protestant sects teach that the best way to get to know God is to visualize Christ, ignoring that visualization is a powerful occult device. (Visualizing an entity, even God or Christ, ultimately puts one in touch with a masquerading demon.)

In summary, the term “New Age” is an informal term derived from astrology, which indicates that this earth, if not the cosmos, is on the verge of an evolutionary transition from the Piscean Age (rationality) to the Aquarian Age of spirituality, bliss, and harmony of all things. Even though it is undergoing a significant revival, the “New Age” is hardly new. In fact, it is very old. A better term would be the “Old Occult.”

Keeping in mind that the myriads of New Age groups are quite eclectic, drawing from several religious traditions mentioned earlier, the following is a general description of the more prominent unifying themes of the NAM, the highlights of what New Age followers believe concerning their source of authority, God, Christ, sin and salvation, good and evil, Satan, and future life:

1. Source of Authority. New Agers claim no external source of authority — only an internal one (“the god within”). They believe the individual is the standard of truth, saying that “truth as an objective reality simply does not exist” (Shirley MacLaine, It’s All in the Playing) (2 Timothy 3:16; 2 Peter. 1:21; Matthew 5:18).

2. God. New Age followers confuse the Creator with His creation and think that God is part of creation, not separate from it. They borrow from Eastern religions the belief in monism — that “all is One” — only one essence in the universe, everyone and everything being a part of that essence. Everything is a different form of that essence (energy, consciousness, power, love, force). But the belief in monism is really Hinduistic pantheism (all is God). New Agers view God as an impersonal life force, consciousness, or energy (M. Ferguson, Aquarian Conspiracy, p. 382; S. Gawain, Living In the Light, pp. 7-8) (for example the “Star Wars Force”), rather than a Person. They believe that every person and thing is “intertwined” with God (evolving spiritually to the state of , quote, “the Christ” being), and use Luke 17:21 (“the kingdom of God is within you”) to support this idea (despite the fact that “within you” in this passage means “in your midst”). They claim every human has a divine spark within him because of being part of the divine essence. The state of God is called by various terms among different New Age groups, God-consciousness, Universal Love, Self-Realization, the I AM, Higher Self, Brahman, Nirvana, etc. New Agers are obviously part of a religion of idolatry and self-worship.

3. Jesus Christ. A major idea in New Age thinking is that of the “Christ Consciousness.” In other words, Christ is an office rather than an individual, such as Jesus, whom Christians know to be THE CHRIST. This idea of “Christ Consciousness” asserts that Jesus was not the only Christ, but that He equipped Himself to receive the “Christ Consciousness” ( that is to say: He was a great “spiritual master” who attained Christ Consciousness), as supposedly also did Buddha, Krishna, and Mohammed. [This is an old occult Gnostic teaching which stems from the ancient Babylonian mystery religions. New Age sickos also reinvent the historical Jesus by claiming that he spent 18 years in India (during His, quote, silent years) absorbing Hinduism and the teachings of Buddha.] New Agers believe that Jesus received the Christ Consciousness at His baptism, and that it left Him at His crucifixion.

4. Sin and Salvation. There is no place for the concept of sin in the New Age. There can be no sin because there is no transcendent God to rebel against. There are no rules or absolute moral imperatives. New Agers have a “New Thought” view of sin, which knows nothing of a representative man (Adam) by whose sin all men sinned. Nor does New Thought teach that there is any original sin, but that man’s true essence is divine and perfect. Indeed, it finds nothing which is of the nature of sin. Instead, it speaks of “troublesome desires” which appear to be natural human impulses which direct men from consciousness to their identity with God, and, therefore, are troublesome but hardly sinful. Since New Agers believe that each person is god, thereby having endless potential for self-improvement, sin is denied as the Bible defines it (man being inherently sinful and utterly depraved — Romans 5:12). Sin is merely ignorance of one’s “inner divinity.” Because sin does not exist, there is no need for repentance or forgiveness, and Jesus did not die for our sins. They think that any perceived lack that man might have is merely a lack of enlightenment, thereby eliminating the need of salvation or a Savior. [In fact, salvation is not even an issue for New Age heretics. The soul is part of the universe and never dies. It is reborn or reincarnated in different physical bodies in a succession of future lives. The good or bad "karma" earned in the present lifetime determines one's subsequent incarnation. Humans should seek to progress to higher states of consciousness and higher planes of existence. There are many different paths to the goal of spiritual perfection. No one path is the only correct path.

5. Man’s Destiny. The salvation of the world depends upon human beings. When enough people harmonize their positive energy and turn their thoughts to peace, the world will be cleansed or negative elements and New Age ideals will be realized in an era of spiritual enlightenment. Since man is intrinsically divine and perfect, his only real problem is ignorance of that fact. Man has a perception of finiteness which is, in reality, an illusion. Salvation in the New Age is for man to become enlightened through experiential knowledge (gnosis). New Age groups offer various occultic techniques to enable individuals, and ultimately the world, to evolve into this oneness (unitive) consciousness. These techniques may include altered states of consciousness (often transcendental meditation), yoga, crystals, channeling (spirit guides), psychics, past-life therapy, acupuncture, etc.

6. Good and Evil. Mimicking the Eastern religions, New Ager followers distort the distinction between good and evil. They believe that because “all is One,” ultimately there is neither good nor evil. They think that a person can transcend his consciousness and go beyond the bounds of moral distinctions, so that even murder sometimes becomes an acceptable way of serving one’s gods (for example, Charles Manson).

7. Satan. The traditional view of Lucifer as the devil or Satan is clearly absent in New Age literature. Rather, he is described as a mighty being of light and the “Ruler of Humanity,” as Alice Bailey, foundational apostle and leading writer of the New Age Movement, puts it. As to the history and achievements of Lucifer, Benjamin Creme, a leading lecturer and proponent of the New Age, says, “Lucifer came from the planet Venus 18.5 million years ago; he’s the director of our planetary evolution, he is the sacrificial lamb, and the prodigal son. Lucifer made an incredible sacrifice, a supreme sacrifice for our planet.”

8. Future Life (Reincarnation). New Age followers believe in the ancient [Hindu] Eastern religious concept of reincarnation — that through a long process of rebirths, man can eventually reach spiritual perfection (Hebrews. 9:27). New Age fans often place animal rights above human rights, because many New Agers believe animals are reincarnated souls. They also teach the Hindu principle of “karma” — that what a person sows in this life, he will reap in the next life in his reincarnated state. This belief in reincarnation has led to believing in the power of “spirit guides” or “channels” — those who allow spirits from another dimension to speak through their bodies. These entities always seem to repeat the three-fold error: (1) There is no death, (2) man is god, (3) knowledge of self is salvation and power. New Agers misrepresent church history, the doctrines of Christianity, and often twist Scripture to support the idea that original Christianity taught reincarnation. They wrongly argue that the early church suppressed the doctrine and censored its teaching.

“Old Occult” — The New Age Movement is a modern revival of very ancient, divergent, religious traditions and practices. The actual original root is squarely centered in Genesis 3:1-5, and reverberates throughout the movement’s continued historical expressions. In the original lie, Satan questions God’s word, His authority and benevolent rule, disputes that death results from disobedience, and claims that through the acquisition of secret or Gnostic wisdom man can be enlightened and can be, quote, “like God."

Many of the occult practices and beliefs revived by the modern NAM were a part of very early pagan cultures. Many practices common to the NAM, such as witchcraft sorcery, spiritism, divination, (clairvoyance; seeing the future), necromancy (consulting the dead), and astrology, are clearly and strongly condemned in Scripture (Deuteronomy 18: 9-17; Isaiah 47: 9-15). These and other occultic practices were spread through the ancient magic and mystery religions of the Chaldeans, Egyptians, and most notably, the Assyrian-Babylonian culture. Noting the scope of its continuing presence, the Bible informs Christians of Babylon’s eschatological implications. The lie of Genesis 3 is significantly developed in Babylon (Isaiah 47) and continues to its ultimate state of development, revealed as Satan’s one-world system at the end of the age. (Revelation 17-18).

Three major world religions whose beliefs and practices are entwined with the NAM are Hinduism, a product of 5,000 years of development, Buddhism, circa 560 B.C., and Taoism, circa 500 B.C. (Eerdman’s Handbook to the World’s Religions, pp. 170, 221, 252). Another prominent occultic influence in Europe was Druidism, the religion of the Celts, which extended from 300 B.C. into the middle ages.

Reincarnation — Catholics should be able to demonstrate that the Bible does not teach reincarnation. When Jesus calls Saint John the Baptist “Elijah,” He is clearly speaking metaphorically. Luke 1:17 demonstrates that John was filling the office of Elijah, fulfilling the prophecy of Malachi 4:5-6. In fact, Elijah was seen with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-3. The meaning of the resurrection is the opposite of reincarnation (Hebrews 9:27; 1 Corinthians 15:12-28). Point out that if God is an impersonal force, then love and forgiveness are not possible. These are personal attributes as opposed to impersonal karmic law. Fundamentally, intercessory prayer is absolutely necessary. The battle for the souls of men is won through God’s grace, intervening and drawing them to Himself. 



martes, 14 de febrero de 2017

San Valentín, presbítero y mártir (14 de febrero) - St. Valentine, priest and martyr (February 14th)



 

ESPAÑOL: San Valentín, presbítero y mártir (14 de febrero)
                       
Tomado de vaticanocatolico.com

San Valentín bautizando a Santa Lucilla
                        San Valentín bautizando a Santa Lucilla
San Valentín, presbítero, se hallaba en Roma en el reinado del Emperador Claudio II hacía el año de 270. El universal elevado crédito de su virtud y de su sabiduría le había granjeado la veneración no solo de los cristianos, sino aún de los mismos gentiles. Mereció el renombre de padre de pobres por su grande caridad; y su celo por la religión era tanto más eficaz, cuanto se mostraba más puro y más desinteresado. La humildad, la dulzura, la solidez de su conversación y cierto aire de santidad que se derramaba en todos sus modales, [fascinaba] a cuántos le trataban; ganaba primero los corazones para sí, y después los ganaba para Jesucristo.
No podía ser desconocido en la corte un hombre como Valentín, tan venerado del pueblo y tan estimado de los grandes. Hablaron de él al Emperador, informándole ser un hombre de un mérito superior, y de una sabiduría extraordinaria. Quiso verle, y el distinguido modo con que le recibió, acreditó bien la grande estimación que hacía de su persona. Le preguntó desde luego, “por qué no quería ser su amigo, puesto que el mismo Emperador deseaba serlo suyo”. Le dijo, “que por lo mismo que le estimaba tanto no podía llevar en paciencia que profesase una religión enemiga de los dioses del imperio, y consiguientemente de los Emperadores”.
Valentín, que por su compostura, por su grato semblante y por su modestia había ya cautivado al Emperador, le respondió poco más o menos en estos términos: “Si conocierais, Señor, al don de Dios, y quién es aquel a quien yo adoro y a quién sirvo, os tendríais por feliz en reconocer a tan Soberano dueño, y detestando el culto que ciegamente rendís a los demonios, adoraríais como yo al solo Dios verdadero, criador del cielo y de la tierra, y de todo cuanto se contiene en este vasto universo, juntamente con su único hijo Jesucristo. Redentor de todos los mortales, igual en todo a su padre. Gran Señor, a la benignidad de este único supremo Numen debéis  el ser que tenéis, y el imperio que gozáis; él solo os puede hacer feliz a vos, y a todos vuestros vasallos”.
Al oír esto cierto doctor idólatra que tenía oficio en palacio, y se hallaba a la sazón en el cuarto del Emperador, le preguntó: “¿Pues y qué juicio haces de nuestros grandes dioses Júpiter y Mercurio? El juicio que yo hago”, respondió el Santo, “es el mismo que tú propio debes hacer; quiero decir, que no hubo en el mundo hombres más malvados que esos a quienes vosotros dais el título de dioses. Hasta vuestros mismos poetas tuvieron gran cuidado de instruiros de sus infamias y de sus disoluciones. A mano tenéis sus historias; mostradme únicamente su genealogía, con una breve noticia de su vida, y os haré confesar que acaso no ha habido jamás hombres más perversos”.
Aturdió a todos una respuesta tan animosa como verdadera; y mirándose atónitos los unos a los otros, quedaron por algún tiempo como embargados y mudos; pero volviendo en sí, se dejó oír una confusa gritería de los que clamaban en tono descompuesto: “Blasfemia, blasfemia”; mas el Emperador, o porque estuviese interiormente convencido de lo que acaba de escuchar, o porque a lo menos le hubiese hecho alguna fuerza, sin hacer aprecio del desentono de los cortesanos, quiso oír a Valentín más en particular. Le hizo varias preguntas con mucha bondad acerca de diferentes artículos de nuestra religión. “Si Jesucristo es Dios, le preguntó, ¿por qué no se deja ver? ¿y por qué tú mismo no me haces evidencia de una verdad en que voy a interesar tanto?”.
“Señor”, le respondió el Santo, “por lo que toca a mí, no dejareis de lograr esta dicha”; y después de haberle explicado con la mayor viveza y claridad los puntos más esenciales de nuestra santa fe, concluyó diciendo: “¿Queréis, Señor ser feliz? ¿Queréis que vuestro imperio florezca, que vuestros enemigos sean destruidos? ¿Queréis hacer felices a vuestros pueblos, y aseguraros a vos mismo una eterna felicidad? Pues creed en Jesucristo, y sujetad vuestro imperio a sus leyes, y recibid el bautismo. Así como no hay otro Dios que el Dios de los cristianos, así tampoco hay que esperar salvación fuera de la religión que los cristianos profesan. No, Señor, fuera de la religión cristiana no hay salvación”.
Habló el Santo con tanta energía y con tanto peso, que el Emperador pareció verdaderamente movido; y aun es fama, que vuelto a sus cortesanos, les dijo: “Es preciso confesar que este hombre nos dice muy bellas cosas, y que la doctrina que enseña tiene un aire de verdad que no es fácil resistirse a ella”. Al oír estas palabras el prefecto de la ciudad, llamado Calpurnio, comenzó a gritar: “¿No veis como este encantador ha engañado a nuestro Príncipe? Y qué, ¿abandonaremos la religión de nuestros padres, y la que mamamos con la leche, y en la que nos criamos desde la cuna, por abrazar una secta oscura, incomprensible y desconocida?”.
Al oír esta sediciosa exclamación del prefecto temió el Emperador algún tumulto; pudo más este desdichado miedo, que la gracia interior que le solicitaba fuertemente a convertirse; y sacrificando su eterna salvación a un vil humano respeto, ahogó las saludables movimientos de su corazón, y remitió la cusa del santo Presbítero al prefecto Calpurnio, para que la sustanciase y sentenciase según las leyes.
Mandó Calpurnio que le metiesen en la cárcel, y encargó al juez Asterio que le hiciese la causa como a cristiano, y como uno de los mayores enemigos de los dioses del imperio.
Asterio había sido testigo de la grande impresión que habían hecho en el Emperador las palabras de Valentín, y celebró mucho que se le ofreciese esta ocasión de hablarle despacio, resuelto a emplear cuantos artificios pudiese para derribarle de la fe, no dudando que haría bien la corte al prefecto, si lograba persuadir a Valentín que renunciase el cristianismo.
Con esta idea le llevó a su casa. Apenas entró en ella nuestro Santo, cuando levantando las manos y los ojos al cielo, rogó fervorosamente al Señor, que pues había dado su sangre y su vida por la salvación de todos los hombres, se dignase alumbrar con las luces de la fe a todos los habitadores de aquella casa, que estaban sepultados en las tinieblas de la idolatría, haciéndoles la gracia de conocer a Jesucristo, verdadera luz del mundo.
Oyó Asterio esta oración, y le dijo: “Me admira que un hombre de tan noble, de tan claro entendimiento tenga a Jesucristo por verdadera luz; gran lástima me da verte encaprichado en esos errores”. “Sábete, Asterio”, respondió el Santo, “que no es error el que me supones; no hay verdad más innegable que el que Jesucristo mi Salvador y mi Dios, que se dignó hacerse hombre por nosotros, es verdadera luz que alumbra a todos los que vienen al mundo”. “Si eso es cierto”, replicó Asterio en tono de burla, “quiero hacer la prueba: Ahí tengo una hija, a quien amo tiernamente, que está ciega muchos años ya; si Jesucristo la restituye la vista, te empeño mi palabra de hacerme cristiano con toda mi familia”.
Animado Valentín de una viva fe, hizo traer a la doncella; y haciendo sobre sus ojos la señal de la cruz, dirigió al cielo esta oración fervorosa: “Señor mío Jesucristo, verdadero Dios y verdadero hombre, que disteis vista a un ciego desde su nacimiento, y que queréis la salvación de todos los hombres, dignaos oír la oración de este pobre pecador, y de curar a esta pobre doncellita”. A estas palabras recobró su vista la niña. Asterio y su mujer se arrojaron a los pies de Valentín, pidiéndole el bautismo; los catequizó el Santo por algunos días, y los bautizó con toda su familia en número de cuarenta y cuatro personas, cuya mayor parte tuvo la dicha de recibir pocos días después la corona del martirio.
San Valentín rogando a Dios por la curación de la ciega hija de Asterio
San Valentín rogando a Dios por la curación de la ciega hija de Asterio
Habiendo llegado a noticia del Emperador todo lo que había pasado, admiró la virtud divina tan visiblemente ostentada en todas estas maravillas. Gran deseo tenía este Príncipe de librar a San Valentín; pero temiendo alguna sedición del pueblo, que ya le sospechaba cristiano, no se atrevió a embarazar que los jueces le juzgasen, y le condenasen según las leyes. Estuvo algunos días en la cárcel cargado de cadenas, y apaleado muchas veces, hasta que al fin fue degollado fuera de la ciudad en la vía Flaminia, que va a Umbria, el año del Señor de 270. Los cristianos tomaron su sagrado cuerpo y le enterraron cerca de la misma puerta Flaminia, que después se llamó la puerta de San Valentín, hoy se llama la de Pópulo, hacia Ponte-Mole. Se dice que el Papa Julio mandó edificar una iglesia sobre la sepultura de nuestro Santo, la que reparó el año de 645 el Papa Teodoro, y fue después muy célebre por la mucha devoción que siempre ha tenido el pueblo a este gran siervo de Dios. La mayor parte de sus reliquias están en Roma, aunque se veneran algunas en muchas ciudades de Italia y de Francia, especialmente en Melun sobre el Sena, y en la abadía de San Pedro.
Propósitos
Pocos hay que no digan, y menos son los que no tienen mil razones para decir que son grandes pecadores; ¿pero dónde está la penitencia? Esta confesión estéril sólo sirve para aumentar más el cargo. ¿De qué sirve confesarse uno pecador, si no se hace penitente? No hay que disculparse con la poca edad, con la delicadeza de la complexión, ni mucho menos con los empleos, con el estado, con la calidad. ¿Pecaste? Pues sin penitencia no hay para ti salvación; fuera de la penitencia interior, que se pasa en la amargura del corazón, es necesaria otra penitencia exterior que mortifique el cuerpo, y que le humille. Comienza por las penitencias que son de precepto; abstinencias de obligación, ayunos de la Iglesia, son leyes de que no te puedes dispensar con vanos pretextos.



ENGLISH: 
St. Valentine, priest and martyr (February 14th)


San Valentín bautizando a Santa Lucilla
St. Valentine baptizing St. Lucilla

Saint Valentine, priest, was in Rome during the reign of the Emperor Claudius II in the year 270. The universal credit of his virtue and wisdom had earned him the veneration not only of Christians but also of the same gentiles . He deserved the reputation of the father of the poor for his great charity; And his zeal for religion was all the more effective, the more pure and disinterested. The humility, the sweetness, the solidity of their conversation, and a certain air of sanctity that spilled over in all their manners, [he fascinated] anyone who treated him; he won hearts first for himself, and then he earned them for Jesus Christ.
A man like Valentine, so revered of the people and so dear to the grandees, could not be unknown in court. They spoke about him to the Emperor, informing him that he was a man of superior merit, and of extraordinary wisdom. He wanted to see him, and the distinguished manner in which he received him, proved well the great esteem he made of his person. He asked, of course, "why he did not want to be his friend, since the Emperor himself wanted to be his friend." He told him, "that by the very things he esteemed him so much he could not carry in patience that he professed a religion inimical to the gods of the empire, and consequently of the Emperors."

Valentine, who by his composure, his pleasing countenance and his modesty had already captivated the Emperor, answered him in more or less these terms: "If you knew, Lord, the gift of God, and who is he whom I adore And to whom I serve, you would be happy to recognize such a Sovereign master, and detesting the cult that you blindly surrender to the demons, you would worship like me to the only true God, creator of heaven and earth, and all that is contained in this vast universe, together with His only son Jesus Christ. Redeemer of all mortals, equal in everything to his father. Great Lord, to the kindness of this one supreme Numen you owe the being that you have, and the empire that you enjoy; He alone can make you happy, and all your vassals. "
Hearing this, a certain idolatrous doctor who had a trade in the palace, and was now in the Emperor's room, asked: "And what judgment do you make of our great gods Jupiter and Mercury? The judgment I make, "replied the Saint," is the same as you should do; I mean, that there were no more evil men in the world than those whom you give the title of gods. Even your own poets took great care of instructors of their infamies and dissolutions. Their stories are available; show me only their genealogy, with a brief news of their lives, and I will make you confess that there have never been more evil men. "
He stunned everyone with an answer as lively as it was true; And looking at each other in amazement, they remained for some time as if they were shut up and dumb; But returning to themselves, there were confused people crying out in disarray: "Blasphemy, blasphemy"; But the Emperor, or because he was inwardly convinced of what he had just heard, or because at least he had made some force, without appreciating the racket of the courtiers, he wanted to hear Valentine more in particular. He asked several questions with much kindness about different articles of our religion. "If Jesus Christ is God, he asked, why doesn't He show himself? And why don't you show me any evidence of a truth that I should be interested so much? "
"Lord," replied the Saint, "as far as I am concerned, you will not fail to achieve this happiness"; And after explaining with the most vividness and clarity the most essential points of our holy faith, he concluded by saying: "Do you want, Lord to be happy? Do you want your empire to flourish, your enemies to be destroyed? Do you want to make your people happy, and assure yourself of eternal happiness? Believe in Jesus Christ, and subject your empire to His laws, and receive baptism. Just as there is no other God than the God of the Christians, so neither should we expect salvation outside of the religion that Christians profess. No, Lord, outside of the Christian religion there is no salvation."

The Saint spoke with such energy and weight that the Emperor seemed truly moved; And it is well known, that he, turning to his courtiers, said: "We must confess that this man tells us very beautiful things, and that the doctrine he teaches has an air of truth that it is not easy to resist." Hearing these words the prefect of the city, called Calpurnio, began to shout: "Do not you see how this charming man has deceived our Prince? And what, shall we forsake the religion of our fathers, and that which we suck with milk, and where we are nursed from the cradle, by embracing a dark, incomprehensible and unknown sect? "
Hearing this seditious exclamation of the prefect, the Emperor feared some tumult; was more powerful  this unhappy fear to him than the interior grace which was urging him to convert; and sacrificing his eternal salvation to a vile human respect, drowned the salutary movements of his heart, and sent the citation of the holy Presbyter to the prefect Calpurnius, to substantiate and sentence him according to the laws.
He ordered Calpurnio to be put him in jail, and ordered Judge Asterius to make his case as a Christian, and as one of the greatest enemies of the gods of the empire.
Asterius had witnessed the great impression of the words of Valentine in the Emperor, and he greatly rejoiced that this occasion was offered to speak slowly, determined to use whatever artifice he could to overthrow him of the faith, not doubting that he would do well cut to the prefect, if he succeeded in persuading Valentine to renounce Christianity.
With this idea he took him to his house. As soon as our Saint entered it, when he raised his hands and his eyes to heaven, he prayed fervently to the Lord, who had given His blood and His life for the salvation of all men, deigned to shine with the lights of the faith to all The inhabitants of that house, who were buried in the darkness of idolatry, making them the grace to know Jesus Christ, the true light of the world.
Asterius heard this prayer, and said to him: "I marvel that a man of so noble, of such a clear understanding has Jesus Christ by true light; it surprises me greatly to see you infatuated in those mistakes ". "Know , Asterius," replied the Saint, "that there are no mistake in the undeniable truth than that Jesus Christ my Savior and my God, who deigned to become man for us, is a true light that enlightens all who come into the world. " "If that is true," Asterius replied mockingly, "I want to test: There I have a daughter, whom I love tenderly, who has been blind for many years now; If Jesus Christ restores her sight, I will make my word to become a Christian with all my family. "
Encouraged Valentine of a living faith, he asked them to bring the maid; And making the sign of the cross upon her eyes, addressed to heaven this fervent prayer: "My Lord Jesus Christ, true God and true man, You who have given sight to a blind man since his birth, and  you who want the salvation of all men, hear the prayer of this poor sinner, and heal this poor little maid. " At these words the girl recovered her sight. Asterius and his wife threw themselves at Valentines' feet, asking for his baptism; The Saint catechized them for a few days, and baptized them with all his family in the number of forty-four persons, most of whom were fortunate enough to receive the crown of martyrdom a few days later.
San Valentín rogando a Dios por la curación de la ciega hija de Asterio
St. Valentine praying to god for the healing of Asterius' blind daughter


Having heard the Emperor everything that had happened, he admired the divine virtue so visibly displayed in all these wonders. Great desire had this Prince to free Valentine; But fearing some sedition of the people, who already suspected him Christian, did not dare to embarrass that the judges judged to him, and condemn him according to the laws. He spent a few days in prison, loaded with chains, and beaten many times, until at last he was thrown out of the city on the Via Flaminia, which goes to Umbria, the year of the Lord of 270. The Christians took his sacred body and buried him near the same door Flaminia, that later was called the door of Valentine, today is called the one of Populo, towards Ponte-Mole. It is said that Pope Julius had a church built on the tomb of our saint, which was repaired in 645 by Pope Theodore, and was later celebrated for the great devotion that the people have always had to this great servant of God. Most of its relics are in Rome, although some are venerated in many cities of Italy and France, especially in Melun on the Seine, and in the abbey of St. Peter.

Purposes

 There are few who do not say, and fewer are those who do not have a thousand reasons to say that they are great sinners; But where is the penance? This sterile confession serves only to increase the charge. What good is it to confess onself as a sinner, if he does not become a penitent? the young age is not excuse, nor the weak complexion, much less with the jobs, with the state, with the quality. Did you sin ? For without penance there is no salvation for you; outside of interior penitence, which is in the bitterness of the heart, there is a need for another external penitence that mortifies the body and humiliates it. It begins with penances which are of precept; Abstinence from obligation, fasts of the Church, are laws that you can not dispense with vain pretexts.





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