RANDOM THOUGHTS THAT PASSED THROUGH MY MIND THIS MORNING DURING MEDITATION

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WHAT IS LOVE?  HOW IS IT POSSIBLE TO LOVE GOD WHO IS PURE SPIRIT WHILE OUR SPIRIT IS DOMINATED AT TIMES BY OUR CARNAL NATURE?

This is not an essay.

This is not an organized investigation of a subject.

Then what is it?

It is a disorganized recollection of random thoughts that occurred during my meditation in chapel his morning.

It resembles the “stream of consciousness” notes that a psychiatrist might have written.

It all started when I began to meditate on the reasons why the Father would want the Son to undergo the terrible passion and death that occupies so much of our attention this week.

God is love.  St. John clearly reveals this in his Gospel and Epistle.

But then I remembered that Cardinal Kasper wrote in his book that God is mercy.  That is heresy.  Mercy can only exist where sin exists and sin does not exist in the Trinity of Persons in God.  Kasper’s heresy has infected Amoris Latitia and much that is causing the present crisis in the Church.

But that is not what I must think about.  I must reflect on the question why, if God so loves his Son he would want him to suffer his passion and death.

Which raises the question, what is love?

That is the $64,000 question.

St. Thomas Aquinas defines love as seeking the good of another.

That is good, but it is not enough; it is a partial definition.

Then I remembered reading one of the most important books I ever read.  It was the recently published book by the GOOD JESUIT philosopher-priest, Father Martin Cyril D’Arcy, The Heart and Mind of Love, that had just been published in 1945.

D’Arcy showed that love has two ‘polarities’ much like positive and negative polarities in quantum physics:  the intellect or mind and the appetite to enjoy, or in D’Arcy’s words:  agape and eros.

In God, surely these two ‘polarities’ are united in the relationship that the Father has with the Son and that relationship of perfect love has a name and is personified:  the Holy Spirit.

But in man, created in the ‘image’ and ‘likeness’ of God these two polarities are never perfectly united since the sin of our first parents and so we humans are constantly torn between the good which we perceive intellectually and the good which attracts us physically.

So why did God require his Son to become a human being and experience the passion and death we celebrate liturgically this week?

Perhaps the answer is that while Jesus cannot undo (because of the logical law of non-contradiction) what was tragically done to human nature by our first parents, he can and did offer us a means of repairing the damage we do to our relation to God through sin and that is what we mean by referring to his passion and death as an act of reparation.

There is a certain logical proportionality in this.  Jesus as man undid what man did to himself.  Or, as the Liturgy puts it:  Jesus on the wood of the cross undid what Adam and Eve did on the wood of the tree of knowlege of good and evil in the Garden of Eden.

But then I thought, there still remains the problem of love, a problem for you and me and for every human being individually.

How do we know that we love God, how do we experience love of God, how can we express our love for God?

Truly, in the light of the thoughts I have just had, it is love that makes the world go round.  Love of God, not of money and power.

That thought brought me back down to earth and I thought of how the apparent of love of money in the case of the $130,000,000 bequest by a Frenchman, much of it destined for the Order of the Knights of Malta, was responsible for the recent scandal of the destruction of the sovereign independence of that Order and the further demotion of Cardinal Burke.

Such is the problem of wandering thought and so I resisted thinking about that mess and refocused on how we are to love God.

It seemed clear to me that love is perfectly realized now between humans and God by the means Jesus Christ gave us through his passion and death.  Intellectually and spiritually we apprehend the goodness of God and we are drawn to physically experience contact with that goodness in the precious gift of Christ’s body and blood which he gave us, and continually gives us, in the Eucharistic banquet.  Eros and agape and perfectly satisfied if we have prepared ourselves spiritually through prayer, especially liturgical prayer to participate in that love feast.

It was at that point in my meditation that God spoke a word to me.  He did not speak it audibly.  But he impressed it so forcefully in my mind that I was startled.  It was a Latin word I was not familiar with and whose meaning was not clear to me.

The word was:  MAGNOPERE.

Later this morning I looked up the word on Google and this is what I found.

magnopere in English

translation and definition “magnopere”, Latin-English Dictionary  online

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magnopere

Type: adverb;

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

greatly    { adverb }
to a great extent

<img src=”//media.glosbe.com/a/_source__93107@glosbe.com-64.png“/>pastedGraphic_1.pdfenwiki-01-2017-defs

earnestly, vehemently
greatly, exceedingly

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_2.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

earnestly    { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_3.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

exceedingly    { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_4.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

particularly    { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_5.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

vehemently  { adverb } 

<img src=”//media.glosbe.com/a/_source__70202@glosbe.com-64.png“/>pastedGraphic_6.pdfla.wiktionary.org_2014

very      { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_7.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

very much { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”126294″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/Xn126294_www.png“/>pastedGraphic_8.pdfPiotr Szelma

especially    { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_9.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

heartily   { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_10.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

urgently  { adverb } 

<img data-fbimgid=”126294″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/Xn126294_www.png“/>pastedGraphic_11.pdfPiotr Szelma

with great effort

<img data-fbimgid=”258802″ src=”/fb_img/hover-small/0a258802_lewis-and-shorts-latin-dictionary.jpg”/>pastedGraphic_12.pdfCharlton T. Lewis

zealously { adverb } 

Show declension of magnopere

Automatic translation:

great

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Example sentences with “magnopere”, translation memory.

{In each of the english translations of these Latin quotations I have highlighted the word(s) which are a translation of the Latin word “magnopere.”}

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Communionis eucharisticae invitatio, ut liquet, Missa diei dominici aliorumque dierum festivorum contingente magnopere acuitur.

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Obviously, the invitation to Eucharistic communion is more insistent in the case of Mass on Sundays and holy days.

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Sed tamen res est una reliqua, unde Indiarum salus magnopere pendet, ad quam rem vos, Venerabiles Fratres, et quotquot humanitatem diligunt nomenque christianum, volumus maiorem in modum attendere.

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4. The preservation of the Christian faith among the Hindus will be precarious and its propagation uncertain as long as there is not a native clergy properly trained for priestly duties, not only to be of assistance to foreign priests, but also to be in rightful charge of the administration of the Christian Church in their cities.

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Itaque in nonnullis quaestionibus libet immorari, quae ad necessitudinem inter sacram Liturgiam et cultum Dei Genetricis spectant (I); considerationes et normas directorias proponere aptas ad legitimum eiusdem cultus progressum fovendum (II); quaedam denique cogitata subicere pertinentia ad recitationem Sacratissimi Rosarii alacriter et magis conscie instaurandam, de cuius usu Decessores Nostri instanter monuerunt, quodque apud populum christianum magnopere invaluit.

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We therefore wish to dwell upon a number of questions concerning the relationship between the sacred liturgy and devotion to the Blessed Virgin (I), to offer considerations and directives suitable for favoring the development of that devotion (II) and finally to put forward a number of reflections intended to encourage the restoration, in a dynamic and more informed manner, of the recitation of the Rosary, the practice of which was so strongly recommended by our predecessors and is so widely diffused among the Christian people (III).

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Sed est etiam agnoscenda vis testimonii coniugum illorum, qui, quamvis essent ab altero conubii comparticipe derelicti, christianae fidei et spei virtute novam convivendi societatem non inierunt: hi quoque coniuges sincerum perhibent testimonium fidelitatis, quo mundus hodie magnopere indiget.

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But it is also proper to recognize the value of the witness of those spouses who, even when abandoned by their partner, with the strength of faith and of Christian hope have not entered a new union: these spouses too give an authentic witness to fidelity, of which the world today has a great need.

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Quem ad modum christianae religionis sub initia magistratus ille Candacis Reginae Aethiopiae, laetatus magnopere quod per baptismum receperat fidem, iter suum persecutus est Christi testis effectus (Cfr.

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Just as at Christianity’s beginning the minister of Candace, Queen of Ethiopia, rejoiced greatly at having received the faith through Baptism and went on his way bearing witness to Christ (cf.

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Caesar cum ab hoste non amplius passuum XII milibus abesset, ut erat constitutum, ad eum legati revertuntur; qui in itinere congressi magnopere ne longius progrederetur orabant.

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latin-ancient

When Caesar was not more than twelve miles distant from the enemy, the embassadors return to him, as had been arranged; who meeting him on the march, earnestly entreated him not to advance any further.

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Ad cuius incolumitatem virtutis illud etiam perutile, et magnopere consentaneum temporibus iudicamus, studium diligens, ut est facultas et captus singulorum, in christiana doctrina ponere, earumque rerum, quae religionem continent, quasque assequi ratione licet, maiore qua potest notitia mentem imbuere.

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In order to safeguard this virtue of faith in its integrity, We declare it to be very profitable and consistent with the requirements of the time, that each one, according to the measure of his capacity and intelligence, should make a deep study of Christian doctrine, and imbue his mind with as perfect a knowledge as may be of those matters that are interwoven with religion and lie within the range of reason.

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Omnibus vero fidelibus magnopere commendatur, ut christiano paenitentiali sensu animum suum sincere imbuant, quo aptius ad paenitentiae et caritatis opera incitentur.

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It is strongly recommended to all the faithful that they keep deeply rooted in their hearts a genuine Christian spirit of penitence to spur them to accomplish works of charity and penitence.

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Qua de re, Conferentiae episcopales ulterius in plena sua capacitate existimandae sunt.263 Illae etenim « magnopere adoleverunt officiumque sustinuerunt praeoptati instrumenti alicuius nationis vel territorii, ut sententiae mutuaeque consultationes communicarentur ac cooperatio pro bono Ecclesiae communi ageretur: “ipsae his annis factae sunt solidum quoddam, vivum et efficax ubique terrarum institutum”.

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Episcopal Conferences should therefore be used to their full potential.263 Indeed, ”they have developed significantly and have become the preferred means for the Bishops of a country or a specific territory to exchange views, consult with one another and cooperate in promoting the common good of the Church; ‘in recent years they have become a concrete, living and efficient reality throughout the world.’

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Quisque homo in quadam cultura illigatur, ex ea pendet, eandemque magnopere afficit.

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All people are part of a culture, depend upon it and greatly shape it.

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Deinde vero in his privatis publicisque tantis necessitatibus, cum tota opes salutis utique in patrocinio tutelaque Patris caelestis consistat, magnopere vellemus, studium precandi constans et cum fiducia coniunctum reviviscere. — In omni magno christianae reipublicae tempore, quoties Ecclesiae usuvenit, ut vel externis periculis, vel intestinis premeretur incommodis, praeclare maiores nostri, sublatis in caelum suppliciter oculis, docuerunt, qua ratione et unde lumen animi, unde vim virtutis et apta temporibus adiumenta petere oporteret.

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In the second place, as every hope of safety lies in the protection and succour of our Heavenly Father in the midst of so great private and public necessities, We would earnestly desire to see confidence united with the revival of an assiduous zeal in prayer.

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Verum ad negotia publica accessuris duo sunt magnopere vitia fugienda, quorum alterum prudentiae nomen usurpat, alterum in temeritate versatur.

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33. As to those who mean to take part in public affairs, they should avoid with the very utmost care two criminal excesses: so-called prudence and false courage.

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Aliud dein ius Leo XIII iuribus istius modi adiungit quod aequabiliter operariorum respicit condicionem. Cuius ob momentum Nobis memorare magnopere placet : ius id est libere religionis obligationes complendi.

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To these rights Pope Leo XIII adds another right regarding the condition of the working class, one which I wish to mention because of its importance: namely, the right to discharge freely one’s religious duties.

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Magnopere etiam suademus, ut, qui auditoriis hisce catholicis sunt praefecti, in collegia coeant — quemadmodum nonnullis in regionibus non sine assensu et probatione Nostra factum est — quo efficacius, praecepta et invitamenta Officiorum singulis in Nationibus constitutorum ad usum deducentes, communia commoda rationesque tueantur.

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We especially advise those who control these Catholic halls, to group themselves together – as, with Our full approval and consent, has been done in a number of places – the more effectively to put into practice the recommendations of the respective National Offices, and support common advantages and policies.

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Cum enim superiore tempore catholica ab asseclis aliaram confessionum christianarum atque a non christianis loco quoque et finibus essent seiuncti, recentioribus tamen his temporibus non solum eiusmodi separatio est valde imminuta, sed etiam commercium inter hommes variarum regionum religionumque magnopere increbruit; quo factum est, ut mixta coniugia valde multiplicarentur.

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In the past Catholics were separated from members of other Christian confessions and from non-Christians by their situation in their community or even by physical boundaries. In more recent times, however, not only has this separation been reduced, but communication between men of different regions and religions has greatly developed and, as a result, there has been a great increase in the number of mixed marriages.

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Novae videlicet Catholicorum aetatis iecit suo decreto solidissima fundamenta, unde est illa paulatim matura enata fidei et actionis catholicae soliditas quam iuvit magnopere Nos et praesentes coram experiri pastoralibus Nostris in salutationibus et absentes procul semper contueri iuvabit.

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By his decision he laid the solid foundations of a new Catholic era, from which gradually grew that mature firmness of Catholic faith and action which I was delighted to experience firsthand during my Pastoral Visit and will always be pleased to observe from afar.

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The impression on my consciousness of the word “MAGNOPERE” was no Sibylline prophecy.  God has given me words before that had profound significance for me.

I am sure that God was telling me that what I the thought that I had just arrived at in my meditation that the passion and death of his Son, Jesus Christ, was the means he gave to us in our humanity to love him most perfectly in our celebration and reception of the Eucharist.

The Church has always put he emphasis on the forgiveness and reparation for our sin by the passion and death of Jesus but now I see more clearly that in addition to that great truth, God has given us a way to love him that is in perfect conformity to our human nature.

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 “I worry some of you still have not really met Jesus—one to one—you and Jesus alone. We may spend time in the chapel—but have you seen with the eyes of your soul how He looks at you with love? Do you really know the living Jesus—not from books but from being with Him in your heart? Have you heard the loving words He speaks to you? Ask for the grace; He is longing to give it. Until you can hear Jesus in the silence of your own heart, you will not be able to hear Him saying ‘I Thirst’ in the hearts of the poor. Never give up this daily intimate contact with Jesus as the real living person—not just the idea.”
— St Teresa of Calcutta
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About abyssum

I am a retired Roman Catholic Bishop, Bishop Emeritus of Corpus Christi, Texas
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2 Responses to RANDOM THOUGHTS THAT PASSED THROUGH MY MIND THIS MORNING DURING MEDITATION

  1. When I first saw the word “Magnopere” , my first thought was “Great Father” (pere in Fr.=father) As you said, why would the Father want His son to experience the Passion?
    How do we know HOW to love God? How do we know IF we love God? Often I have pondered these questions too.
    So much to meditate on….so much to write….so I will write tomorrow.
    Only this I say, as I stay before the Blessed Sacrament;
    God is Love;
    Love is Giving;
    God is Giving-Love.

  2. Jane Griffin says:

    Thank you for sharing this meditation.

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