Rorate Caeli

Sweet Christ on Earth


On the feast of the maiden of Siena, let us pray for the Holy Father.

And do not look at the ignorance and pride of your little children; but with the enticement of your love and of your benignity, granting them that sweet discipline and benign reprehension which may please your Holiness, render peace to us, your miserable children who have offended you.
I tell you, o sweet Christ on earth, from Christ in heaven, that, doing thus, that is, without quarrel and uproar, they will all see with pain the offense they have done, and will place their heads in their hands.


Saint Catherine of Siena
Letter CXCVI to Gregory XI

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its the feast of Benedict Joseph Labre, a saint of patience..and of St. Catherine of Siena, patron of theologians...

Mrs Jackie Parkes MJ said...

Lovely post

Anonymous said...

Why did you headline the article
"Sweet Christ on Earth" ? Certainly it cannot refer to the Roman Pontiff - he is 'servant of the servants of God" and nothing more.

Jamie

Jordanes said...

Because that's what St. Catherine of Siena called him, obviously.

Your claim that the Vicar of Christ and Successor of the Prince of the Apostles is nothing more than "servant of the servants of God" is not Catholic, is contrary to Holy Scripture, flies in the face of heaps of evidence from the Fathers and Doctors of the Church.

Anonymous said...

What would any of you say has been the worst crisis in the Church? Our present time? Or some other?

I ask this because I have been thinking a lot about it, and I thought this feast day would be a good time to ask.

Delphina

Anonymous said...

The figure of a Pope that is so high, so elevated among the rest, and so celestial as many like to present him it is not exactly the traditional but a very limited cultural view. The Pope is a bishop among the rest of the bishops of the western church to preside over them, and be a servant of all. There is nothing that diminishes his mission to call him a servant of servants, and to regard him as such. The big pomp of patriarchs and popes is not really a good imitation of Jesus actually but a big mock and parody of Him.
M.M.

Jordanes said...

Sorry, M.M., but yours isn’t the Catholic view either. The Pope is servant of the servants of God, but he’s not “a bishop among the rest of the bishops of the western church to preside over them.” His presidency extends to all the Church, East and West. Consult Vatican I’s dogmatic constitution Pastor Aeternus.

Anonymous said...

Here's a quote from her from Johannes Jorgensen's bio:

"He who rebels against our Father, Christ on earth, is condemned to death, for that which we do to him, we do to Christ in heaven-we honour Christ if we honour the Pope, we dishonour Christ if we dishonour the Pope....Well do I know that there are many who do not think they are offending God by so doing, but rather that they are doing Him a service by persecuting the Church and her servants, for they defend themselves by saying: 'They are so corrupt and work all manner of evil.' But I tell you that God wills and has so commanded that even if the priests and the pastors of the Church and Christ on earth were incarnate devils, it is seemly that we are obedient and subject to them, not for their sake, but for the sake of God, out of obedience to Him, for He wills that we should act thus. . .".

Anonymous said...

The Pope is a 'primus inter pares',in other words a 'first amongst equals'.

Remember the disagreement between the third Century St.Cyprian Bishop of Carthage and Pope Stephen I over the validity of hereicial baptism ? Certainly St. Cyprian did not treat Pope Stephen as "Sweet Christ on Earth " !

Jamie

Pablo said...

M.M. stated the big pomp of patriarchs and popes is not really a good imitation of Jesus actually but a big mock and parody of Him.

The Holy See is charged with keeping the best of what we have for God. As representatives of Christ and His Church, they dress appropriately. The garb of Popes in procession and such comes directly from Christ's last dissertation to the Jews. You should read it, then Google some artwork of what his clothing might have looked like while he preached it. The Popes did not just go out and hire a couple of dress makers, they followed Tradition.

Sweet Christ on Earth is a appropriate name for an Alter-Christus.

The breath of the Lord was upon Catherine; His indelible mark was stamped upon her. The Church affixed an St. to her name. God bless her.

I am well pleased that a blog uses such Roman Catholic sayings, and one taken from the mouth of a Saint, no less. Next, I guess you would want her called Sister Katie, or Kat, in the vulgar mondernist's lingo?

What appears to be crisis in the Church is just our sinfulness coming to view. The more we have sinned, the more desperate things seem. When we are in a state of grace, our souls are calm and all is well. Prayer and penance, and confession, with true contrition, are what will bring God's blessing back to us.

Pray for the Pope.

Anonymous said...

I don't see any contradiction between the titles "Sweet Christ on Earth" and "Servant of the Servants of God". The Pope is both. Our Lord said that, in order to rule, one must serve all. People after 1965 tend to hear the latter part of this statement, just as some in earlier times might have concentrated on the first part. Let's respect both: Christ Himself is both a ruler (Christ the King) and an abject Slave to all, for God is all in all, and so can be his Vicar.

By the way, I love the picture. Benedict XVI must be the best dressed Pope since colour photography was invented. He has a real sense of both propriety and style: the two don't often go together.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

Dear Pablo,
If the "best for God" refers to material objects, garments, ornaments, and other things in such a way is today seen in Patriarchs and Popes, Jesus and his life as a poor rabbi is a parody.
Now, Jesus life is NOT a parody. His is the model for the church. And I don't recall any indication of Saint Peter or the Apostles in a resemblance of what patriarchs and popes use in their palaces... plus, it is well known in Rome how cardinals live as well.
So, maybe the Pope could initiate a true reform, not based on fatima tales or tridentine lace, but in a return to Jesus model.
M.M.

Jordanes said...

The Pope is a 'primus inter pares',in other words a 'first amongst equals'.Not exactly. That's what the Orthodox Patriarch of Constantinople is supposed to be, but "primus inter pares" doesn't capture all that Jesus made St. Peter's Successor to be.

Remember the disagreement between the third Century St.Cyprian Bishop of Carthage and Pope Stephen I over the validity of hereicial baptism ? Certainly St. Cyprian did not treat Pope Stephen as "Sweet Christ on Earth " !Yes, and St. Cyprian was wrong about baptism, and St. Stephen excommunicated him for his error. Certainly St. Stephen did not act as if he were merely a servant and nothing more than that.

Nevertheless, St. Cyprian still understood Petrine Primacy, even if he was not able at all times to bring himself to live with all the implications of Rome's primacy.

Jordanes said...

So you think that because Jesus put aside His glory and assumed our humble flesh, we humble flesh should not be glorified?

Your harking back to Jesus' example of poverty reminds me of the restorationist strand of Protestant heresy, which attempts to revive or recapture an imagined version of the purity of the Church at her foundation. Catholicism is not restorationist.

Anonymous said...

M.M.'s comments remind me of the false argument so often encapsulated by a button worn by one of my students. It features this misquotation:

"If money is the root of all evil, why are so many Christians rich?"

As I explained to the subliterate twerp in question, Holy Writ does not say that money is the root of all evil but that the *love* of money is its root. There's an enormous difference there.

Popes do not live in splendour at all. They live modestly in private and are only surrounded by splendour. Real material wealth means that one can savour it privately and not share it. Real materialism is all about the *exclusive* use of fine things, not the display of them. It is all about excluding others from the show. The Pope and the Queen (for example) are, by way of contrast, slaves to their positions. They do not have the liberty which wealth affords. They cannnot simply head out on their yachts and have wild parties. Only people like Bill Gates can do that sort of thing.

Nobody who sees the Pope in his robes admires him for them, for they are given to him from above. What maketh a man 'admired' by the prince of this world is the implication that he earned his wealth. The worst materialist and the worst snob are puffed up by pride. They say to the world: Look at me. I earned all this because I am better than other men.

But the Pope is the very opposite. Even when he can achieve something great, it is obscured by his office. Some will not even notice his brilliance (for example) because they will assume that it is the work of others. He is elected by the Holy Ghost, just as an aristocrat is born to a wealth he didn't earn. It is the self-made man who runs the risk of ruination through his wealth. Such people are called upon to give to the poor in secret and to avoid pomp and honours.

I am always struck upon reading one of the traditional litanies (I've forgotten which one) in which we are asked to pray that God will not allow us to be honoured by men. That one cuts to the soul. And so it should.

P.K.T.P.

Anonymous said...

St. Catherine of Siena, Letter to Pope Gregory XI: “Alas, Most Holy Father! At times, obedience to you leads to eternal damnation.”

Anonymous said...

The Pope is constrained.

First Vatican Council, Pastor Aeternus §4: “For the Holy Ghost was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by His revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by His assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or Deposit of Faith transmitted by the Apostles.”

Anonymous said...

Just as it is licit to resist the Pontiff that aggresses the body, it is also licit to resist the one who aggresses souls or who disturbs civil order, or, above all, who attempts to destroy the Church. I say that it is licit to resist him by not doing what he orders and to prevent his will form being executed; it is not licit however, to judge [canonically or temporal court], punish or depose him, since these are acts proper to a superior. —St. Robert Bellarmine, De Romano Pontifice, Book II, Chap. 29.

Anonymous said...

And in this…way the Pope could be schismatic, if he were unwilling to be in normal union with the whole body of the Church, as would occur of he attempted to excommunicate the whole Church, or, as both Cajetan and Torquemada observe, if he wished to overturn the rites of the Church based on Apostolic Tradition… if [the Pope]… gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defense.” —Francisco Suarez, 16th century theologian, never rebujed in times when rebuke was certain and swift, in De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16.

Anonymous said...

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 33, A. 4: “There being an imminent danger for the Faith, prelates must be questioned, even publicly, by their subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was a subject of St. Peter, questioned him publicly on account of an imminent danger of scandal in a matter of Faith. And, as the Glossa of St. Augustine puts it (Ad Galatas 2.14), ‘St. Peter himself gave the example to those who govern so that if sometimes they stray from the right way, they will not reject a correction as unworthy even if it comes from their subjects.”

Anonymous said...

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, IIa IIae, Q. 104, A. 5: “It is written: ‘We ought to obey God rather than men.’ Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore, superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.”

Anonymous said...

Galatians 2:11 “But when Cephas [Peter] was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.”

Acts 5:29 “But Peter and the apostles answering, said: We ought to obey God, rather than men.”

Jordanes said...

St. Catherine of Siena, Letter to Pope Gregory XI: “Alas, Most Holy Father! At times, obedience to you leads to eternal damnation.”I have encountered this alleged statement of St. Catherine of Siena before, but then as now I do not know if the quote is genuine. I've gone through a published collection of her letters, including a few that she wrote to Gregory XI translated into English, but the alleged quote wasn't in any of them. If anyone knows which letter to Gregory XI this quote comes from, published in which source, I'd appreciate it if he would let me know.

Thanks.

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Snow said...

Why the skepticism about the quote? St. Catherine's quote is consistent with Ordinary Magisterium. Besides the other quotes supporting St. Catherine consider these:

"And in this…way the Pope could be schismatic, if he were unwilling to be in normal union with the whole body of the Church, as would occur of he attempted to excommunicate the whole Church, or, as both Cajetan and Torquemada observe, if he wished to overturn the rites of the Church based on Apostolic Tradition… if [the Pope]… gives an order contrary to right customs, he should not be obeyed; if he attempts to do something manifestly opposed to justice and the common good, it will be lawful to resist him; if he attacks by force, by force he can be repelled, with a moderation appropriate to a just defense.”

Francisco Suarez, 16th century theologian, De Fide, Disp. X, Sec. VI, N. 16.

The last time Jordanes expressed skepticism about a quote from a saint, he was skeptical of a quote from St. Francis of Assisi, a quote that was published in 1882 (long before modernism ruled the Church) by R. Washbourne, 18 Paternoster Row, London.

http://www.novusordowatch.org/francis-title.jpg

"The devils will have unusual power, the immaculate purity of our Order, and of others, will be so much obscured that there will be very few Christians who will obey the true Sovereign Pontiff and the Roman Church with loyal hearts and perfect charity. At the time of this tribulation a man, not canonically elected, will be raised to the Pontificate, who, by his cunning, will endeavour to draw many into error and death....scandals will be multiplied, our Order will be divided...Those who preserve their fervour and adhere to virtue with love and zeal for the truth, will suffer injuries and, persecutions as rebels and schismatics; for their persecutors, urged on by the evil spirits, will say they are rendering a great service to God by destroying such pestilent men from the face of the earth. ...Some preachers will keep silence about the truth, and others will trample it under foot and deny it. Sanctity of life will be held in derision even by those who outwardly profess it, for in those days Jesus Christ will send them not a true Pastor, but a destroyer."

St. Francis of Assisi, quoted i Works of the Seraphic Father St. Francis Of Assisi, Washbourne, 1882, pp. 248-250

Jordanes said...

Why the skepticism about the quote?As I said, because I still am not able to find out what published source it came from, and so I can't affirm that St. Catherine ever wrote it -- and it wouldn't be the first spurious quote attributed to a saint that has been cited as an authority in a traditionalist's argument.

St. Catherine's [alleged] quote is consistent with Ordinary Magisterium.Of course it is, but that doesn't prove she really said it.

Besides the other quotes supporting St. Catherine consider theseNo, none of those quote demonstrate that St. Castherine actually wrote what she is said to have written.

As for the prophecy attributed to St. Francis, the source whence it was quoted was previously supplied, and I'm grateful for that, though at this time I still can't unhesitatingly affirm that he said those words. It's not that there's anything wrong with what he and St. Catherine allegedly said -- it's that I want to know if they really said it and where and when they said it.

Anonymous said...

You say : "Sweet Christ on Earth is a appropriate name for an Alter-Christus."

Then why not call all bishops and all priests who share to a degree in this priesthood "Alter Christus?" -"Sweet Christs on Earth " too ? ? ?

Jamie

Jordanes said...

Then why not call all bishops and all priests who share to a degree in this priesthood "Alter Christus?" -"Sweet Christs on Earth" too ? ? ? *** Because we Catholics understand that the Bishop of Rome isn’t just any priest or bishop. If you believed in and understood God’s precious gift of the Petrine Primacy, as well as Catholic incarnational and sacramental doctrine, you wouldn’t be choking on what St. Catherine called the Holy Father. St. Ignatius of Antioch compared bishops with God the Father, so it shouldn’t trouble you that St. Catherine called the Pope “Sweet Christ on Earth.”