St. Robert Bellarmine, Bishop and Doctor of the Church

St. Robert Bellarmine is the Patron Saint of Catechists and has inspired my desire to continually deepen my knowledge of the Faith and to share the Faith with all those who will hear it.  Here is a short reflection on the life of this great saint from ʻSaints and Feasts of the Liturgical Year' (Tylenda, J.N., 2003)

"St. Robert Bellarmine was the greatest theologian of his age and an intrepid defender of the Church. He was born on October 4, 1542, in Montepulciano, in central Italy. On his mother’s side, he was the nephew of Pope Marcellus II (1555). Robert entered the Society of Jesus in 1560 and did his ecclesiastical studies in Rome (1560–63), Padua (1567–69), and Louvain (1569–70). In this last city, though he was not yet a priest, he delivered Latin sermons every Sunday to the university community. After ordination, he was appointed (1570) professor of theology at the Jesuit school in Louvain, and because this was the time when the Reformation doctrines of Luther and Calvin were fast spreading through Europe, he taught his classes with a view to answering the objections the Reformers brought against the Church. In 1577, he was transferred to Rome, where he was given the chair of “controversial theology.” His lectures, which treated the theological disputes that were then dividing the Church, were eventually published under the title Controversies. In 1597, Pope Clement VIII made him his theological adviser; and two years later (1599), a cardinal and appointed him to serve on several congregations. In 1602, he became Archbishop of Capua, but upon the election of Pope Paul V in 1605, he was asked to remain in Rome and again be a papal adviser. He fulfilled the same office under Pope Gregory XV (1621–23). Due to failing health, he received papal permission to retire to the Jesuit novitiate in Rome, and there he died on September 17, 1621. He was canonized by Pope Pius XI in 1930. In recognition of his theological writings, Pope Pius XI also declared (1931) him a doctor of the Church. The prayer in today’s Mass refers to St. Robert’s God-given wisdom, which he used in defending the faith."

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons. St. Robert Bellarmine. 16th Century

The Biblical Basis of the parts of the Holy Mass (7 of 7)

Our Father Who art in Heaven. Mt 6:9
1. Hallowed be Thy Name. Mt 6:9
2. Thy Kingdom come. Mt 6:10
3. Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. Mt 6:10
4. Give us this day our daily bread. Lu 11:3
5. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive others that trespass against us. Mt 6:12
6. And lead us not into temptation. Mt 6:13
7. But deliver us from evil. Amen. Mt 6:13
P. The peace of God be with you.Ro 15:33
R. And with thy spirit. 2 Ti 4:22

While putting the Particle into the Chalice. Jn 6:56

Lamb of God Who taketh away the sins of the world, Jn 1:29
Have mercy on us. Is 33:2
Strike your breast three times Lu 18:13
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give unto you. Jn 15:27.

Mt 8:8; Ps 115:12–13; Ps 17:4

To 12:6
P. The Lord be with you. 2 Ti 3:16
R. And with thy spirit. 2 Ti 4:22.

Jn 1:1–5; Jn 1:6–8; Jn 1:9–13; Jn 1:14
R. Thanks be to God.2 C 9:15.

(Post 7 of 7)

See all 7 posts here: Part 1 Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7

image via wikimedia commons Public Domain. Holy Mass

Is ʻwithholding obedienceʻ ever acceptable?

Being obedient to Authority IS , after all, a VERY Catholic thing! However, there are situations wherein obedience can be and sometimes ʻoughtʻ to be withheld. . .

St. Thomas defines Law as "an ordinance of reason for the common good, made by him who has care of the community, and promulgated" (STh., I-II q.90 a.4 resp) From that definition we can clearly see that a truly BINDING law must be

1) reasonable
2) for the common good
3) come from a legitimate superior
4) must be properly promulgated

He also addresses the question of  "Whether Subjects are Bound to Obey Their Superiors in All Things?" (STh., II-II q.104 a.5) In that article St. Thomas clearly points out that we have the right to withhold obedience if the lawful authority is

1) acting outside his sphere of authority
2) acting contrary to the will of a legitimate higher authority (God included)
3) if his command is unjust

From those two articles we can summarize that we are allowed to withhold obedience in the following circumstances

1) If the command is contrary to the eternal law of God
2) If it is contrary to the will of some higher human authority
3) If the superior is acting outside his sphere of authority
4) If the command is unjust, that is: not conducive to the common good, unreasonable or not properly promulgated

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons. St. Thomas Aquinas. 1476 
(My summary post was masterfully presented by the late Mr. Michael Davies in 1983 in a lecture)
(His lecture and other lectures can be found at

The Biblical Basis of the parts of the Holy Mass (6 of 7)

OFFERTORY. 2 Pt 1:3; Ph 4:18

PRAYER. Ps 140:2–4

THE LAVABO. Ps 25:6–10

Reference made to
1. The Passion of our Lord. Mt 27:1
2. His Resurrection. Mt 28:1
3. His Ascension. Lu 24:51

Is 6:3; Mt 21:9; Mt 21:9.

(Saints invoked.)
1. The Blessed Virgin. Lu 1:27
2. St. Peter. Mt 4:18
3. St. Paul Ro 1:1
4. St. Andrew. Mt 10:2
5. St. James. Mt 10:3
6. St. John. Mt 10:3
7. St. Thomas. Mt 10:3
8. St. James. Mt 10:3
9. St. Philip. Mt 10:3
10. St. Bartholomew. Mt 10:3
11. St. Matthew. Mt 10:3
12. St. Simon. Mt 10:4
13. St. Thaddeus. Mt 10:3
14. St. Linus. 2 Ti 4:21
15. St. Clement. Ph 4:3

CONSECRATION.Mt 26:26; Lu 22:20; Mt 26:27–28. [The Mystery of Faith.—1 Ti 3:9.]

AFTER THE CONSECRATION.Reference made to the Sacrifices of
1. Abel. Ge 4:4
2. Abraham. Ge 22:1
3. Melchisedech. Ge 14:18

In which is mentioned
1. St. John. Ap 1:1
2. St. Stephen. Ac 6:8
3. St. Matthias. Ac 1:26
4. St. Barnabas. Ac 13:2
By reference. Ro 11:36

(Post 6 of 7)

See all 7 posts here: Part 1 Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7
image via Creative Commons License . Consecration at Solemn Pontifical Mass by Jim the Photographer
Source of Scripture references: ʻThe Divine Armory of Holy Scriptureʻ Vaughan, K. (1894)

The Biblical Basis of the parts of the Holy Mass (5 of 7)

1. I believe in One God, He 11:6 The Father 1 C 8:6 Almighty, Ap 1:8 Maker of heaven and earth, Ex 20:11 And of all things visible and invisible. Je 32:17

2. And in One Lord Ac 10:36 Jesus Mt 1:21 Christ, Jn 4:25 Then Only-Begotten Son of God, Jn 1:14 Born of the Father, before all ages; 1 Jn 4:9 God of God, Light of Light Jn 1:4 True God of true God, Jn 5:18 Begotten, not made, Jn 8:58 Consubstantial with the Father, Jn 10:30 By Whom all things were made. Jn 1:3

3. Who for us men and for our salvation Mt 1:21 Came down from Heaven, Jn 3:31 And was incarnate by the Holy Ghost Lu 1:35 Of the Virgin Mary, Lu 2:6–7 And was made man. Jn 1:14

4. He was crucified also for us; Mk 15:25 Suffered under Pontius Pilate, Mt 27:26 And was buried. Mt 27:60

5. The third day He rose again Mt 28:6 According to the Scriptures. 1 C 15:4

6. And ascended into Heaven, Lu 24:51 Sitteth at the right hand of the Father. Mk 16:19

7. And He shall come again with glory Mt 25:31 To judge both the living and the dead; 2 Ti 4:1 Of whose Kingdom there shall be no end. Lu 1:33

8. And I believe in the Holy Ghost, Jn 14:26 The Lord (Compare with Ac 28:25), Is 6:8 Giver of Life, Ro 8:2 Who proceedeth from the Father Jn 15:26 And the Son. Ro 8:9 Who, together with the Father and the Son, is adored and glorified. Ap 4:8 Who spake by the Prophets. 2 Pt 1:21

9. And in One Jn 10:16 Holy Ep 5:26 Catholic Ro 10:18 Apostolic Church. Ep 2:20

10. I Confess one Baptism Ep 4:5 For the remission of sins. Ac 2:38

11. And I look for the Resurrection of the dead. Ro 6:5

12. And the Life of the world to come. Mt 25:34

* The next post in this series will cover the biblical basis of the 'Offertory until the Nobis Quoque Peccatoribus'

(Post 5 of 7)

See all 7 posts here: Part 1 Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5 / Part 6 / Part 7
image via wikipaintings in the Public Domain. Mass of St John of Mathaa
Source of Scripture references: ʻThe Divine Armory of Holy Scriptureʻ Vaughan, K. (1894)