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Archive for April, 2021

Growing up in Kentucky, we spent most of our time outdoors. When we got hungry, we just grabbed an apple off our apple tree that we grew in our field. We also had several tart cherry trees, peach trees, and pear trees, but perhaps the neatest thing we had were beehives. My father is a beekeeper and every year we get to eat delicious clover honey. What an awesome treat! Little did I know just how important the honeybee truly is for our lives and our holy Catholic Faith.

The honeybee may be the most important animal on earth. Pollination is vitally important for life on earth and the bees are the number one pollinators. Honey is a superfood. Bacteria can’t live in it. It’s used for ailments such as the common cold. It will help clean your teeth by killing the bacteria buildup. Bee venom is also used for healing. The honeybee is truly a gift from God.

In the early Church, the honeybee was considered a sacred creature and is a uniquely Catholic symbol.

The bee is found six times in the Bible: Deut. 1:44, Judges 14:8, Psalm 117:12, Sirach 11:3, Isaiah 7:18, and it’s also found in an addition to the Septuagint version of Proverbs of chapter 6, “Go to the ant, O sluggard, and consider her ways, and learn wisdom …. Or go to the bee, and learn how industrious she is, and how her industry deserves our respect, for kings and the sick make use of the product of her labor for their health. Indeed, she is glorious and desired by all, and though she be frail, she is honored, because she treasures wisdom.” Deborah is also the Hebrew word for bee.

Honey is mentioned 61 times in the Old Testament and 5 times in the New Testament and honeycomb is mentioned 11 times in the Bible. Samson and John the Baptist ate honey.

Christians have looked to the honeybee as a model for the Christian life. They symbolize hard work, chastity, and sacrifice. St. John Chrysostom wrote in his 12th Homily, “The bee is more honored than other animals, not because it labors, but because it labors for others.” 

The traditional tabernacle and the triple tiara are shaped like a beehive and the altar candles are made from 100% beeswax, which is a symbol of purity. Honey represents sweetness, which the Word of God in Scripture, Tradition, and the Eucharist certainly is.

Honeybees also stay with the Queen. They guard, protect, and follow her. Wherever she goes, they go. When bees sting an intruder in their hive, they will ultimately die. In other words, they will give up their own lives to save the others, especially the queen. Let us stay with Our Lady and guard and protect her honor and follow her as she followed Our Lord.

The patron saint of beekeepers and candle-makers is St. Ambrose. Legend has it that when he was an infant in his cradle, bees swarmed his mouth leaving no sting but only honey. It came to pass that he would be called the “Honey Tongued Doctor.” The beekeeper term Ambrosia (from the name of the saint) is a mixture of pollen and nectar used to feed bee larvae by worker bees.

Cardinal Maffeo Barberini changed his coat of arms from 3 horseflies to 3 honeybees to gain status. He would later became Pope Urban VIII in 1623 and he spread the imagery of honeybees throughout Rome. You can see his bees in the huge columns of the Altar of the Confession in St. Peter’s Basilica.   

Monument to Pope Urban VIII-St Peter’s Basilica – Walks in Rome (Est. 2001)

Pope Pius XI tells us that the Christian teacher imitates the bee “which takes the choicest part of the flower and leaves the rest” (Divini illius Magistri, n. 87).

Lastly, Pope Pius XII gave an address on honeybees on Nov. 27, 1948. He declared, “Bees are models of social life and activity, in which each class has its duty to perform and performs it exactly…Ah, if men could and would listen to the lesson of the bees…how much better the world would be! Working like bees with order and peace, men would learn to enjoy and have others enjoy the fruit of their labors…” [See footnote for full papal address. ]

The next time you see a honeybee, be reminded of the words of our popes and let it be. It has a lot of important work to do and so do we.

 

 

Footnote

On Bees | EWTN

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“When one loves the pope, one does not stop to debate about what he advises or demands, to ask how far the rigorous duty of obedience extends and to mark the limit to this obligation. When one loves the pope, one does not object that he has not spoken clearly enough, as if he were obliged to repeat into the ear of each individual his will, so often clearly expressed, not only viva voce, but also by letters and other public documents; one does not call his orders into doubt on the pretext- easily advanced by whoever does not wish to obey-that they emanate not directly from him, but from his entourage; one does not limit the field in which he can and should exercise his will; one does not oppose to the authority of the pope that of other persons, however learned, who differ in opinion from the pope. Besides however great their knowledge, their holiness is wanting, FOR THERE CAN BE NO HOLINESS WHERE THERE IS DISAGREEMENT WITH THE POPE.” Address to the priest of the Apostolic Union, Nov. 18, 1912 In Acta Apostolicae Sedis 4 [1912] p. 695 

Now apply this teaching of Pope St. Pius X to the following… 

Pope names homosexual to Vatican commission (traditioninaction.org)

Francis holds hands with pro-homo priest (traditioninaction.org)

Pro ‘Gay’ Finnish Lutheran bishop received by Francis (traditioninaction.org)

Homosexual couple welcomed at the Vatican (traditioninaction.org)

Homosexual invited to be lector at papal Mass (traditioninaction.org)

Pope Bergoglio Kisses the Hand of a Pro-homosexcual Priest (traditioninaction.org)

Pope Benedict praises homosexual Archbishop Juliusz Paetz; L’Osservatore Romano praises Oscar Wilde (traditioninaction.org)

Benedict XVI blessed by a rabbi in Sao Paulo, Brazil @ TraditionInAction.org

Benedict XVI visiting a mosque in Constantinople @ TraditionInAction.org

Benedict XVI promotes women on the Altar; pictures of a Mass at the St. Peter’s Basilica @ TraditionInAction.org

 

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Paul VI presiding over the introductory ingress of the Council, flanked by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani (left), Cardinal Camerlengo Benedetto Aloisi Masella and Monsignor Enrico Dante (future Cardinal), Papal Master of Ceremonies (right), and two Papal gentlemen.

 

The Second Vatican Council declared in Lumen Gentium ch2, “15. For several reasons the Church recognizes that it is joined to those who, though baptized and so honored with the Christian name, do not profess the faith in its entirety or do not preserve communion under the successor of St. Peter.”

The council continued in Unitatis Redintegratio: 3. Even in the beginnings of this one and only Church of God there arose certain rifts, (19) which the Apostle strongly condemned. (20) But in subsequent centuries much more serious dissensions made their appearance and quite large communities came to be separated from full communion with the Catholic Church – for which, often enough, men of both sides were to blame. The children who are born into these Communities and who grow up believing in Christ cannot be accused of the sin involved in the separation, and the Catholic Church embraces upon them as brothers, with respect and affection. For men who believe in Christ and have been truly baptized are in communion with the Catholic Church even though this communion is imperfect. The differences that exist in varying degrees between them and the Catholic Church – whether in doctrine and sometimes in discipline, or concerning the structure of the Church – do indeed create many obstacles, sometimes serious ones, to full ecclesiastical communion. The ecumenical movement is striving to overcome these obstacles. But even in spite of them it remains true that all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, (21) and have a right to be called Christian, and so are correctly accepted as brothers by the children of the Catholic Church. (22)”

This last sentence is false on several levels and sounds much like the fundamental heresy of the Protestant Revolt of the 16th century, once saved, always saved.

Being justified in baptism does not mean one automatically remains justified, nor does it mean one will always remain a member of Christ’s body. Even Scripture tells us so.

“If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth  (John 15: 6).”

To be cast off as a branch, one must first be a member of the tree. This verse implies that a member of Christ can be cut off from Christ. 

“See then the goodness and the severity of God: towards them indeed that are fallen, the severity; but towards thee, the goodness of God, if thou abide in goodness, otherwise thou also shalt be cut off. 23 And they also, if they abide not still in unbelief, shall be grafted in: for God is able to graft them in again (Rom 11: 22).”

The context is in believing. Has every baptized individual remained believing in our day?  None has fallen away and been cut off? That’s the implication of Vatican 2.

The next problem with Vatican 2’s declaration that “all who have been justified by faith in Baptism are members of Christ’s body, and have a right to be called Christian” is the fact that if it were true, then no one, not even the Church, would have a right to call such persons heretics, schismatics, or apostates. They could only be called Christians in error or separated brethren.

The Vatican 2 religion is quite aware of this, because you might find the word heresy, schism, or apostasy in their language, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find them officially calling someone a heretic, schismatic, or apostate. If you did, it would only show their hypocrisy and/or ignorance of their own teaching.

Even the Vatican 2 saint Faustina claimed that Jesus identified Protestants as heretics and Eastern Orthodox as Schismatics. In St. Faustina’s Diary, she records Our Lord’s words in 1937, long before Vatican II, for the fifth day of the Divine Mercy Novena: “Today, bring to Me the souls of heretics and schismatics and immerse them in the ocean of My mercy.”

However, the Vatican 2 religion’s Official Novena for Congregational use declared:

It was decided to adopt the designation “separated brethren” in place of heretics and schismatics because of Vatican II’s unambiguous designation concerning the relationship of Christians not in communion with the Apostolic See of Rome in the Body of Christ. The continuous and consistent use of that designation by every Pope since the Council reaffirms that decision.

However, one cannot charge with the sin of the separation, those who at present are born into these communities, and in them are brought up in the faith of Christ, and the Catholic Church accepts them with respect and affection as brothers.For men who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in some, though imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church.,span>

Apparently, the Vatican 2 religion didn’t think Our Lord knew how improper it was to call baptized non-Catholics heretics and schismatics, since they have a right to be called Christian.

True popes have been abundantly clear that only Catholics are Christians.

Pope Pius XII declared: “To be Christian one must be Roman. One must recognize the oneness of Christ’s Church that is governed by one successor of the Prince of the Apostles who is the Bishop of Rome, Christ’s Vicar on earth” (Allocution to the Irish pilgrims of October 8, 1957).

Pope Leo XIII declared in Satis Cognitum, “5 So the Christian is a Catholic as long as he lives in the body: cut off from it he becomes a hereticthe life of the spirit follows not the amputated member.”

The implication of the Vatican 2 teaching is that the Church was guilty of prohibiting a God-given right of certain individuals to be called Christian, which necessarily means the Church was evil. It also means the Church has been wrong for years.

Vatican 2 is good at accusing the Catholic Church of being evil for prohibiting God-given rights to individuals. It also taught in Dignitatis Humanae that men have a God-given civil right to give witness to their faith publicly in speech and writing without hindrance. [1]

Again, the implication is that the Church was guilty of prohibiting this right to Muslims at the Council of Vienne in 1312. [2] It also means that Martin Luther was right “That heretics be burned is against the will of the Spirit” which was condemned by in Bull Exsurge Domine, June 15, 1520 by Pope Leo X. Not only would it be against the will of the Spirit to burn them, but to call them heretics to begin with. All have a right to be called Christian.

To follow Vatican 2 is to reject the Catholic Faith as it was believed before the council. In other words, Vatican 2 is taking its queues from the Protestant Revolt with its own revolution. The Church was wrong and we’re going to set it right.

So the next time a pseudo-Catholic calls you a heretic, tell them their magisterium tells you we have a right to be called Christian. Get with your program or get out of your religion.

Footnotes

[1] Dignitatis Humanae # 4: “In addition, religious communities are entitled to teach and give witness to their faith publicly in speech and writing without hindrance.”

[2] Pope Clement V, Council of Vienne, 1311-1312: “It is an insult to the holy nameand a disgrace to the Christian faith that in certain parts of the world subject to Christian princes where Saracens (i.e., The followers of Islam, also called Muslims) live, sometimes apart, sometimes intermingled with Christians, the Saracen priests, commonly called Zabazala, in their temples or mosques, in which the Saracens meet to adore the infidel Mahomet, loudly invoke and extol his name each day at certain hours from a high place… This brings disrepute on our faith and gives great scandal to the faithful.      These practices cannot be tolerated without displeasing the divine maje sty.  We therefore, with the sacred council’s approval, strictly forbid such practices henceforth in Christian lands.  We enjoin on Catholic princes, one and all. They are to forbid expressly the public invocation of the sacrilegious name of Mahomet… Those who presume to act otherwise are to be so chastised by the princes for their irreverence, that others may be deterred from such boldness.”

 

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