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In the spirit of the Gospel we have just read from St. Matthew and in the context of so much that our Savior has been teaching us we should reflect on the virtue of gentleness. As Isaiah foretold of the Savior, He will not break the bruised reed He will not condemn, He will not cry out. Gentleness is written on almost every page of the Gospels describing the Savior. Yet there are certain virtues that are as we might expect popular in certain times. No doubt because they conform with the spirit of those times.

Gift of Counsel
"And our Lord had the Gift of the Holy Spirit. From His graces, that's what St. John tells us, we have all received. We said that wisdom is the highest of the gifts and Fear of the Lord is the lowest, but the most basic. Unless we're talking, we're talking about the Fear of the Lord, but if you have Fear of the Lord, you will not have or practice the other gifts. Now, what is the Gift of Counsel? I keep using the verb, perfects." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Gift of Discernment (Alt)
"…there are three classical places in the writings of three of the Apostles where we have the preamble for the foundation in faith for the elaborate spirituality of discernment [of spirits] on which the Church has since built." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Gift of Fortitude
So the "Gift of Fortitude", first of all, implies, that doing the will of God is not easy. We need help from the God who tells us what His will is, to do His will. Again, the Gift of Fortitude implies that there are obstacles to doing God’s will. I’ve got six obstacles, this is my way of preparation. - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Introduction
"There are two ways of studying the relationship between God and the world. One is to begin with the world and rise to God, the other is to begin with God and descend to the world. The first method is proper to philosophy, which investigates the visible universe with its variety and grades of being, reflects on the created perfections in man and outside of man, and thus comes to a knowledge of God the Creator, who alone can explain the world and rationally account for its existence. This method is not only valid, but has been solemnly defined by the Vatican Council, that "God, the origin and end of all things, can be known with certainty by the natural light of human reason from the things that He created, 'for since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood through the things that are made' (Romans 1:20)." The second method, which is theological rather than philosophical, admits the foregoing but prescinds from it. Granting the need for proving the existence of God to give faith a solid foundation, the treatise on God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural does not ask what the world may teach us about God, but what God, the Maker of the world, has revealed about all that He created. Immediately we see how the present treatise differs from the study of the Trinity, where we inquire what God says about Himself, His nature and personality. It also differs from the treatise on grace, which examines the means we use to attain our supernatural destiny. Finally it differs from both courses in prescinding from the supernatural end as such, which is the beatific vision, and concentrates on the world itself, as created by God, preserved by Him and directed by His providence to the supernatural end for which it is destined." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part One: Creation as a Divine Act: Thesis I
THESIS I: God Alone Created the World, In Time and with Perfect Freedom
"Just as deity describes the intimate nature of God, so the whole cosmos or everything which is not God depends entirely on Him as its first and ultimate cause. The world, therefore, otherwise than God is not self-sufficient but contingent on God. Its dependence comprehends all things, from the dawn of creation to the consummation of the present order, and for spiritual beings - along with such bodily things as God will sustain - continues for eternity. Although expressed in a single proposition, the present thesis makes three assertions: that the world is not self-existent but was created by God alone, that creation has not gone on forever but took place in time, and that God was not constrained to create but made the world out of nothing by His own sovereignly free will." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part One: Creation as a Divine Act: Thesis II
THESIS II: God Keeps the World in Existence Positively, Directly and Immediately
"The present thesis is the next logical step after seeing that God created the world out of nothing. By itself, creation implies only that the world was brought into being by divine omnipotence, without further saying how the once created world is kept in existence. Hence the question and our answer, that except for God's sustaining hand, the world would lapse into the nothingness from which it came." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part One: Creation as a Divine Act: Thesis III
THESIS III: God's Ultimate Purpose in Creating is His Own Goodness
"When the Vatican Council in the first chapter of its Dogmatic constitution on the Catholic Faith defined the purpose that God had in creating the world, and in its fifth canon on the subject further declared that the world was made for the glory of its Creator, it merely confirmed by solemn decree what the Church had always believed. There was a special need for the Vatican declaration, however, which is no less urgent now than it was in the last century. Philosophers in the rationalist tradition scoffed at the Catholic teaching that the glory of God was the purpose of creation, as though God made the world out of vanity or pride to have creatures give Him praise. Even some Catholic theologians, notably Hermes and Gunther, favored the critics and claimed that if we suppose the first reason for creation was the divine glory, we present God as ambitious and proud. To avoid this conclusion, they said, we must subordinate God's glory to the welfare and happiness of rational beings, so that beatitude in creatures and not the divine praise is the last end of creation." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact: Thesis IV
THESIS IV: There Exists Angels, Who Are Pure Spirits
"In the present thesis we seek to establish and explain six distinct propositions of faith: that God created an angelic world, composed of beings that are pure spirits; that among these some remained faithful to God and reached their supernatural destiny in the beatific vision, while others, though gifted with grace, lost it and were thereby condemned to eternal punishments in hell; that it is part of God’s ordinary providence to have the heavenly spirits minister to man’s needs and assist him to reach heaven; and correspondingly it is part of divine permissive providence to allow demons, or the spirits of evil, to try and tempt mankind into sin in order to keep us from our eternal destiny." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact: Thesis V
THESIS V: In Man There is One Rational Soul, Which is Immortal and Imediately Created by God Alone
"We shall examine three principal aspects of man's soul in the present thesis: how many souls are there in a human being, prove there is only one, and show that this soul is not material but spiritual and rational; see whether this soul is destined to pass away, by death if that were possible or otherwise by annihilation; and finally deal with the origin of the soul, as soul, while proving that it must always be immediately created by God, and by Him alone, for infusion into a predisposed human body. As an extension of the thesis we shall briefly review the dogmatic position on the nature of man as composite of body and soul, with special reference to the soul as essentially the form of the human body." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact: Thesis VI
THESIS VI: The Body of Adam was Made by an Immediate Operation of God
"The object of inquiry in this thesis is the origin of the body of the first man. In view of the preceding analysis, we can easily conclude that the soul of Adam must have been immediately created by God. For if the souls of men in general must be created by divine power, the soul of the first man could have been no exception. Otherwise we should have to postulate an origin either by emanation from the divine essence or by transformism from pure matter, neither of which is theologically or philosophically tenable. Even St. Augustine who had doubts about creationism, assumed it was certain that God directly created the soul of Adam. Consequently our study is concerned only with the body of Adam. Unquestionably God might have immediately created not only the soul but also the body of the first man. But relying on the biblical narrative, theologians commonly hold that God utilized pre-existing matter to form Adam's body. And according to St. Thomas this was more consonant than immediate creation because man was thus seen to be the bond of union between the world of pure spirits and the cosmos of pure matter." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact: Thesis VII
THESIS VII: Adam was an Individual Man, From Whom the Whole Human Race Derives Its Origin
"The present thesis is a bridge which spans our investigation of the first human being and the rest of mankind. Its importance, however, is more than to state a historical fact, that the human race descended from one man by natural generation. In fact we are not directly concerned with proving monogenism from palaeontology or other scientific data, but rather to establish the unitary origins of humanity on dogmatic grounds - and with dogmatic ends in view. Derivation of all existing men from Adam has manifold implications in the social order. If we are commonly descended from our first parents, we are natural brothers and sisters in the flesh, with consequences that affect human relations on every level of society." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact: Thesis VIII
THESIS VIII: Before the Fall, Adam Possessed Sanctifying Grace and the Preternatural Gifts of Integrity, Immortality and Infused Knowledge
"Having studied the nature of man according to his nature, his origin in soul by an immediate creation of God and in body by some special agency directed by God, we are now in a position to examine into the moral and religious phase of human kind. Our immediate concern will be with the first man, Adam, as the father of his race; and our scope of inquiry will be twofold: to establish the fact that he was possessed of original justice or sanctity, covered by the term "sanctifying grace," and of certain additional gifts that followed on this supernatural orientation, namely, in his mind, and body and relation to the external world." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact: Thesis IX
THESIS IX: Adam Lost Original Justice by Sinning Gravely
"There are two principal parts to the present thesis: the fact of Adam's sin, and the existence of original sin, derived from Adam by natural propagation. And although the Pelagian errors in the Patristic period evoked several major condemnations about original sin, the locus classicus for this thesis (as for the whole subject of original sin) is the Council of Trent. The Reformation concepts of sin and man’s fallen nature were so at variance with traditional Christianity that every aspect of this doctrine had to be explored and, if necessary, defined to settle once and for all what the Church wants her faithful to believe." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Author of Nature and the Supernatural - Part Two: Creation as a Divine Fact: Thesis X
THESIS X: Original Sin Essentially Consists in the Privation of Sanctifying Grace
"The scope of our thesis is twofold: to show that privation of grace constitutes the essence of original sin, and that through its causal relation to the sin of Adam, it involves guilt on the part of all who are affected by it. Corollary to the aspect of original sin as voluntary in us, we give a theory to explain how this is possible. Two elements, therefore, constitute the essence of original sin: privatio gratiae and ratio voluntarii - or as theologians prefer, these elements are necessarily included in the concept of original sin. The explanation of how our original sin can be voluntary is a speculative question tied in with the second element." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Creator
"This article on "God the Creator" will be unusual. It will consist of nearly twenty paragraphs. Each paragraph will be introduced by a one-sentence statement. These statements will summarize the content of each paragraph. Taken together, they will form a synthesis of the Catholic Church’s teaching on the basic truth about God as the Creator of the universe. No successive statements will be related. But they are all statements of the Church’s infallible teaching about God as the One who created the universe." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

God the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and Earth
"My purpose is to discuss how we are to put our faith in God's love as the One who created us and continues to create. This is the first article of faith of the Apostles' Creed: I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. My plan, therefore, is to briefly explain this profession of faith, and then share with you what I consider the single most important spiritual implication of this first article of the Apostles' Creed." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Good Angels Glorify God and Serve as His Messengers to the Human Race, The
God created the angels for one main purpose: to glorify the Holy Trinity. What needs to be stressed, however, is that the angels' glorifying God includes serving His divine majesty. Our title for the present conference could be re-worded to say that: "The angels in heaven glorify God and serve Him as messengers to the human race." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Gospel Morality
"Briefly stated, Gospel morality is the study of what the New Testament teaches about Christ's expectation of His followers in the moral order. It might also be called the study of Christian revelation about human conduct." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Grace of God, The
"Among the mysteries of Catholicism, none is more practically important for our personal lives than the doctrine of grace. It is the very heart of Christianity on its human side, since it describes the panorama of God’s dealing with each one of us in the depths of our souls." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Greatest Need in the World Today - Forming the Eucharistic Faith and Love of Children (Alt)
"My plan for this conference…is very simple: Briefly summarize the Church's pedagogy of the Holy Eucharist over the centuries; Explain why parents and teachers should develop the Eucharistic faith and love of children from infancy to adulthood; Provide some guidelines to children on how to grow in their faith and love of Jesus in the Holy Eucharist." - Fr. John A. Hardon, S.J.

Growth of Catholic Doctrine, The
The Church, we believe, is the living Body of Christ. We therefore believe she grows, not only in numbers or in influence, but also in her own being. Objectivity, therefore, what God revealed to the human race is an unchangeable constant. The mystery of the Holy Trinity, the Incarnation of the Son of God, the seven sacraments He instituted, the Real Presence of Christ on earth in the Holy Eucharist, the moral obligations of the Sermon on the Mount—all of these are irreversible truths. Saying this, however, does not mean that the Church's understanding of Christian revelation does not grow. Nor does it mean that her grasp of the deposit of faith does not become more clear, more precise, more certain and more intelligible with the passage of time.

Guidelines for Church Architecture - Tabernacle Placement
"At a time when we witness a loss of faith in the Holy Eucharist and a corollary loss of love of the Blessed Sacrament, it is especially important, I believe, to express clearly our faith by the place given to the tabernacle." - Bishop Raymond Burke (La Crosse, Wisconsin).

Guidelines for the Eucharistic Formation of the Young
Our closing reflections in this conference concentrate on how we — parents and teachers, priests and religious — are to become apostles of the Eucharist in our day. What is an apostle of the Eucharist? An apostle of the Eucharist is one who has certain Eucharistic qualities, eight to be exact.


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