Thursday, June 30, 2022

Can Mary be called the second-born of the Father?

The Church teaches that Jesus is the only-begotten of the Father, yet Maria Valtorta writes in The Poem of the Man-God, that Mary is the “second-born” of the Father. Is this the smoking-gun heresy that proves that the Poem is a nothing more than a bad novel?


In the very first chapter of The Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta, the Lord asks her to write the following: “Mary can be called the second-born of the Father because, owing to the perfection granted to Her and preserved by Her, and to her dignity of Spouse and Mother of God and Queen of Heaven, She comes second after the Son of the Father and second in His eternal thought, which ab aetorno took delight in her.”


Yet, in the beginning of the Gospel of St. John, the evangelist says of Jesus “And we saw his glory – glory as of the only begotten of the Father – full of grace and truth” [John 1:14.] In three other places in his gospel, John calls Jesus the “only begotten Son.” [John 1:18; 3:16; 3:18.] In the Nicene Creed, recited at Mass, we say that we believe “ One Lord, Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God.” And in the Gloria at Mass, we pray “O Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son.”


If Jesus is the only-begotten of the Father, how can Mary be called the second-born of the Father? Would not this be a heresy? This is in fact what Anselmo de la Cruz affirms in an article available on the Internet Here. “This is a heresy, since Our Lord Jesus Christ is the one and only begotten Son of the Father, consubstantial with Him, as taught in the Credo: “I believe in Jesus Christ His only Son.” […] “There can be no “second-begotten” of the Father, which would make Mary equal to the one and only Son. If Christ is the only Son, it is understood that a second cannot exist.” 


Fr. Mitch Pacwa, of EWTN, also weighs in on this. He writes Here that the Poem “oddly claims, ‘Mary can be called the 'second-born' of the Father...’ Her explanation limits the meaning, avoiding evidence of an authentic heresy; but it does not take away the basic impression that she wants to construct a new mariology, which simply goes beyond the limits of propriety." 


So it may not be an authentic heresy to Fr. Pacwa, but it is definitely “odd” and lacks “propriety” to claim that Mary is the second-born. 


For Valtorta critic Sandra Miesel, almost everything about the Poem is wrong or bad. Thus she mockingly writes Here: “Mary, whom Jesus calls ‘the Second-Born of the Father,’ and ‘second to Peter with regard to ecclesiastical hierarchy’ preens over her unique exemption from ‘the torture of generating.’ ” No explanation is given as to what is erroneous with these quotes. Evidently she feels that none is needed, since her snide mockery [of the Blessed Virgin, no less] should be considered as proof enough that the Poem is guilty of what she terms “blatant and offensive defects.” 


In sum, is the designation of Mary in the Poem as the second-born of the Father, an authentic heresy, an odd claim lacking propriety, or is it offensive? How can it be reconciled with the belief of the Church that Jesus is the only-begotten Son of God? 


If one is reading the Poem as a product of the imagination and thought of the person of Maria Valtorta, one is probably not inclined to explore a possible deeper meaning in what is written. However, if the reader believes that the Poem is the supernatural work of Jesus, with Valtorta only an instrument or spokesperson, than one would be open to thinking further about what is written. 


And thinking further about Mary being the second-born and Jesus as the first-born, one sees that this is in relation to their existence as human beings. Thus, in his humanity Jesus is first-born of all creation in the Thought of the Father, and Mary is God’s second delight, owing to her “perfection” and “dignity.” But Jesus has not only his humanity but also his divinity! And it is in his divinity that he is the only-begotten Son of the Father.


Our Lord is thus the only-begotten in his divinity as “God of God, light of light, true God of true God.” However, in his humanity he is the first-born (Primogenito), and in terms of her humanity, Mary is the second-born (secondogenita). 


This solution to the dilemma may even seem quite obvious and simple, but evidently not for those who are blinded by their resistance, both to Maria Valtorta and the Poem. As made clear in her published Notebooks, Maria suffered exceedingly during most of her life, including while she was writing the Poem; she offered her pains as a victim soul for the salvation of others. 


The three authors cited above are so entrenched in their bias that they are willing to publish articles critical of her and the Poem. They consider the Poem as merely a human work, and not as supernatural, which it is. Therefore what is written in the Poem is viewed one-dimensionally, superficially, and negatively. Even if they mean well, the net result of their articles is to discourage Catholics from reading it.


If they were open to the possibility that the Lord is the actual author of the work, they might think twice before describing it with such labels as “heresy,” “odd,” lacking “propriety,” or “offensive.” Unfortunately their skepticism is a veil covering their perception of the Poem, which impedes them from knowing its supernatural origin. 


But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, a wisdom which is hidden, which God ordained before the world, unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew; for if they had known it, they would never have crucified the Lord of glory. [1 Corinthians 2: 7-8.]


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Saturday, June 25, 2022

Weekly program for offering our prayers and sufferings.

Our Lord explained to the mystic and victim soul Maria Valtorta that He wants each day of the week dedicated to a specific intention, for which our sufferings, pains and prayers should be offered. 


And let us look at the major groups for which suffering is needed. The ones for which I, too, suffered in the Passion. The Priesthood, the despairing, sinners, idolaters, and the souls waiting to return to God – that is, for you, the souls being purged; for Me, at that time, the just in Limbo.”


Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, the first three days of the week, should be dedicated to the Priesthood. “In the Priesthood I include all the consecrated of every kind and category” The Priesthood is necessary for the life of the spirit, for the flock of the faithful. Priests provide the vital elements for souls, just like the four elements needed for life on earth – light, water, air, and fire. But many of these consecrated clerics become weaker and weaker, like stems lacking the vital elements, and unwilling to absorb them to give them to the flock. So what mission do many actually perform? “The one I entrusted to the Priesthood? No. The mission of their gain and of dispersing what I have gathered together. Oh, just a wisp keeps me from striking them […] It is painful for me, the eternal Pontiff, to see that my priestly army is full of sluggards and deserters.”


But the best ones [the good clerics], those who were “...better than you in faith, hope, and charity, sacrifice, chastity, and detachment from all that was not Me…why have you struck and crucified these on one of ‘your’ crosses? They were already on mine and remained there willingly, for your sake as well.” You have not even wanted to suffer “…the salutary humiliation of seeing yourselves surpassed in heroism by these faithful servants of mine, whom I clasp to my heart because through them the Light and the Word have been conserved on earth, stars shining over the centuries during their parabola, so that Heaven will always shine on men and they can find it and say ‘God is there.’” [Although written in the 20th century, this could prophetically refer to the faithful “canceled priests” of the 21st century.]


On Wednesday we should pray and suffer for the despairing. “They are brothers and sisters. No one should be so much of a brother or sister for you as someone who is poor, alone, and sick. And those despairing are poor, with the greatest poverty. They have lost everything in losing hope in God. They are alone. There is no solitude more real than this. […] They are sick. An illness which produces death. Real death. It is necessary to heal them, restore them to God, and make them rich with God.”


On Thursday we should offer our prayers and afflictions for the many idolaters. “For Me, idolatry is the worship of anything which is not the true God.” In addition to the savages, there are “…many of the civilized who, while knowing that there is one Triune God, worship a thousand idols ranging from their self to the self of one of their peers and along this way have many altars and false gods named ‘money,’ ‘power,’ ‘sensuality,’ ‘rationalistic knowledge,’ and so on.”


[…] “I thus include in the intentions for Thursday all those who must know the Most Holy Name of God and my own…and those who are ‘Christians’ but not Catholics. The Church is one: the Church of Rome. […] On a distant Thursday evening, with the wound of betrayal in my heart…I prayed for those who, through the heresy of a wretch, would separate from the living trunk of the Roman Church, that they might once again be one with it and thus with Me and with the Father; finally I prayed for all men because I was dying for them all. […] Pray, then, for these, who are not in Me or who have gone out through the errors of their forebears or through the error of their minds, made proud by the semblance of knowledge they possess.”


Let Friday be dedicated to the souls in Purgatory. Suffer and offer every Friday so that the angels of the Lord can say to many of these spirits, “Come and possess God.”


I know […] the rejoicing which carried off the just in a whirlwind of love when I appeared on a far-off Friday and said ‘The wait is over. Come and possess God.’ […] The blessed are the gems born of the Blood which I shed to the last drop on Good Friday. To open the kingdom for a soul and introduce it into blessedness is to give Me back what is mine. Justice, then, and love for Me.” 


On Saturday, pray and suffer with Mother Mary for the conversion of sinners. “Let every Saturday of yours be a band of thorns surrounding your heart, so that it will be covered with roses to offer Mary.” You place a rose at Her feet for every sinner who returns to God, “…a rose with which She wipes away the tears flowing from her eyes since I made her the Mother of the human race, so hostile to Me.” 


Now for you, the week is over, without an hour of freedom to think of yourself. “I’ll take care of you. The Mother and I. And while you do what you can, with difficulty, in spite of your good will, the Mother and I act for your sake [...] for We love you and see that you love us.”

From The Notebooks, 1944, by Maria Valtorta, pp. 324-329.


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Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Vatican II vs. the Church of the Past.

Courtesy of Pope Francis, we have a new term to describe the movement to protect the Tridentine Mass and the traditional teachings of the Church: “restorationism.” To quote from a June 14, 2022, article from the Catholic News Agency, written by Hannah Brockhaus: “There are many “restorers” in the United States who do not accept the Second Vatican Council, Pope Francis said in an interview published on Tuesday. Speaking to the editors of Jesuit journals, he criticized what he called “restorationism” in the Church, which he defined as the failure to accept Vatican II, the ecumenical council held from 1962 to 1965.” Link Here.


Quite providentially, I recently came across a web page which purports show the differences between the "old" Church and that of the Vatican II Church. Based on a book written in 1966, shortly after the close of the Council, the sixteen documents it issued are summarized according to their consequences, in terms of the Church of the future vs. the Church of the past. 


Of course the True Church can never be a Church of the past, since it endures until the end of the ages, even if at times only in the hearts of the faithful – surviving through good popes and enigmatic popes, true councils and false councils. Always in its essence One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.


At any rate the web site I came across is an apologia for the council, as evidenced by a statement on its home page: “Those participating in or who lived through the time of the Council felt a profound, exhilarating sense of renewal and virtually experienced a new Pentecost.” The particular part of the site of interest in this post is their page entitled “The Sixteen Documents and their Consequences.” Link Here


Some of their accusations against the Church of the “past” border on the sensational. For the Vatican II document entitled Declaration on Non-Christian Religions, they assert this of the Church of the past: “Past : Catholic missions formerly took an almost purely negative stand against the world religions. They were seen only from the viewpoint of conversion. The stand was even stronger in the case of the Moslems, who were considered militant enemies of the Church, and the Jews, who were considered an obdurate people. The Catholic attitude was permeated by an anti-Semitic strain without which there might have been no persecution of the Jews by the Nazis.”


So it was the fault of the pre-Vatican II Church that caused Hitler to invoke the holocaust! Regarding the negative stand regarding Muslims, explain why they are not militants to the families of these newest martyrs: “Nigeria Suspects Islamic State of Killing 40 in Catholic Church.” Link Here


Most of their arguments favoring the great new Church of the future, were rebutted thoroughly in the classic: In the Murky Waters of Vatican II, by Atila S. GuimarĂ£es. See my review of the book Here.


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