Mary Most Holy: 'Potuit, decuit, ergo fecit!' (Repost)

This audio lecture was recorded at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ewa Beach as part of the 'Ongoing Formation' program from the Diocese of Honolulu. The lecture was titled 'Mary Most Holy'.

The depth of this Tradition teaches us not only about the wondrous role that Mary plays in salvation history but also reveals to us the amazing love that Jesus had for his mother. This undoubtedly teaches powerful truths about Jesus and gives us insight into the mystery of his Divinity, the Incarnation, and the Trinity. To learn about His mother is to learn about Him.

Blessed Johannes Duns Scotus, O.F.M, most known for his beautiful defense of Mary's Immaculate Conception, quoted St. Anselm when he exclaimed "Potuit, decuit, ergo fecit" Which means that Mary was preserved from the stain of original sin because God "Could do it, it was appropriate, therefore He did it!" In this class we covered the 4 defined Marian Dogma and see that Mary, as the Mother of God, was preserved from original sin, was perpetually virgin, and was assumed body and soul into heaven where she sits as the Queen of Heaven.

Click Here for the Printed Class Material

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons. L' Annonciation, 1644, peinture de Philippe de Champaigne

Who will defend our Queen's legacy?

In 1890 Queen Kapiʻolani founded the Kapiʻolani Maternity Home because of her love of the Hawaiian people and her desire to continue the ancient tradition of caring for those in need, especially young children and mothers during child birth. This was truly one of her greatest works and continues to be a symbol of her legacy throughout the islands.

At this very moment there is an outrageous attack on the queen's legacy and the young women and children she worked so hard to help. In his recent article "Tuskegee on the Pacific," Jason Scott Jones, prominent movie producer and author, revealed some of the atrocities going on at the Kapiʻolani Medical Center by researchers from the Universities of Hawaii and Washington:

"a group of researchers are conducting the same kind of reckless, dehumanizing research in Hawaii. The subject? Late term abortion, itself a grotesque practice that butchers unborn children who are edging close to viability, who if they were simply born would qualify as neo-natal patients. The object? As Kristan Hawkins, of Students for Life of America, has reported:
Researchers in Hawaii are recruiting girls as young as 14 to participate in second trimester abortions, where the preborn baby is 18-24 weeks gestation, in order to test whether or not oxytocin can reduce bleeding in mothers during and after abortion. The study is being conducted by the University of Hawaii and the University of Washington in Seattle.
Some of the mothers will be given anti-bleeding medication; others will not. And none of the women subjected to this gruesome procedure will get any follow-up doctor visits. They will be discarded, along with their babies, like so much medical waste. As Troy Newman told
This study is reminiscent of Nazi concentration camp experiments. I pity the poor women who are being treated like lab rats, especially those who are denied the drug to reduce hemorrhaging." 
Please see the entirety of Jason's article HERE . These atrocities should be an outrage not only to those who value human life but also to all of those who take pride in the traditions of our Hawaiian ancestors - our kūpuna - and the monarchs of old. These 'experiments' attack not only the completely defenseless pre-born babies (close to, if not already at, viability), but also the exploited young women who will be used as arbitrary experimental subjects by a death-hungry culture.

We, as a Hawaiian people, fought proudly in defense of Mauna Kea and the exploitation others desired to impose on it for the sake of science. We stood up in defense of the great sacred traditions of Mauna Kea knowing the outrage of our kūpuna to this exploitation.

What about now? Queen Kapiʻolani would certainly be outraged at what is going on at the place she worked so hard to establish to help babies and their vulnerable mothers. Where are the protestors? Where are the kānaka maoli warriors rushing to the aid of the queen? Who will defend our queen, her legacy, and the women and children she cherished? 

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons.  Queen Kapiolani, by A. A. Montano

The Phoenix, an Emblem of our Resurrection

The story of the Phoenix, the bird that dies and then rises it from its ashes, is legendary. Its made its way from the stories of ancient eastern lands all the way to modern fantasy tales. What some Catholics don't realize is that the Phoenix is much more than a cool story. The Phoenix actually played a role in early formation of some essential Catholic Dogma. One of these dogma is that of the ʻResurrection of the bodyʻ.

St. Clement of Rome (Pope) famously used the Phoenix as sign of our bodily resurrection. It was best encapsulated in his Epistle to the Corinthians :

"Let us consider that wonderful sign [of the resurrection] which takes place in eastern lands, that is, in Arabia and the countries round about. There is a certain bird which is called a phœnix. This is the only one of its kind, and lives five hundred years. And when the time of its dissolution draws near that it must die, it builds itself a nest of frankincense, and myrrh, and other spices, into which, when the time is fulfilled, it enters and dies. But as the flesh decays a certain kind of worm is produced, which, being nourished by the juices of the dead bird, brings forth feathers. Then, when it has acquired strength, it takes up that nest in which are the bones of its parent, and bearing these it passes1 from the land of Arabia into Egypt, to the city called Heliopolis. And, in open day, flying in the sight of all men, it places them on the altar of the sun, and having done this, hastens back to its former abode. The priests then inspect the registers of the dates, and find that it has returned exactly as the five hundredth year was completed." (The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians J. Keith, Trans.). Clement of Rome. (1897). In A. Menzies (Ed.), The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume IX)

Other Church Fathers such as St. Ambrose and early ecclesiastical writers, such as Rufinus of Aquileia and Tertullian, also used the Phoenix illustration to defend Catholic Doctrine. Here Tertullian, as St. Clement did, defends the ʻResurrection of the bodyʻ:

"What can be more express and more significant for our subject; or to what other thing can such a phenomenon bear witness? God even in His own Scripture says: “The righteous shall flourish like the phœnix;” that is, shall flourish or revive, from death, from the grave—to teach you to believe that a bodily substance may be recovered even from the fire."(Tertullian. "On the Resurrection of the Flesh". Trans. Peter Holmes. The Ante-Nicene Fathers, Volume III, 1885. 554.)

Church historians and Patristic commentators are not certain whether or not each of these writers ACTUALLY believed that the Phoenix existed or if they were just using the analogy as a teaching tool. However St. Augustine, in his commentary of the Psalms (A.D 400), as well as the great apologist Cardinal Newman (1877) both remark that the Early Fatherʻs actual belief/non-belief in the existence of Phoenix means very little since their use of the ʻillustrationʻ of the Phoenix ITSELF is proof of their belief in the bodily Resurrection. 

In fact Ludwig Ottʻs explanation of the De fide teaching that ʻAll the dead will rise again on the last day with their bodiesʻ mentions St. Clement and the Phoenix:

"St. Clement of Rome bases it by analogy on nature, the tale of the wonder bird, the Phoenix, and on the writers of the Old Testament (Cor. 24–26). In defence of the Christian faith in the resurrection" (Ott, Ludwig. Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma. 1957. 490)

Whether Phoenix birds exist or not is perhaps a topic for another blogpost :) Catholics can, however, undoubtedly embrace the Phoenix as a Catholic Symbol, an Emblem of our Resurrection,  as it most definitely played an important role in helping the Early Church articulate this important Dogma.

image from the 'Public domain' via wikimedia commons.  Friedrich Justin Bertuch, Bilderbuch für Kinder

Lenten Journey: Be converted to God with all of your heart! (Repost)

As we continue through our Lenten Journey the words from Joel 2:12 - 19 (from Ash Wednesday) are a powerful reminder of our call to conversion during this penitential time! 

"Now, therefore, saith the Lord. Be converted to me with all your heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and mourning. And rend your hearts, and not your garments and turn to the Lord your God: for he is gracious and merciful, patient and rich in mercy, and ready to repent of the evil. Who knoweth but he will return, and forgive, and leave a blessing behind him, sacrifice and libation to the Lord your God? Blow the trumpet in Sion, sanctify a fast, call a solemn assembly, Gather together the people, sanctify the church, assemble the ancients, gather together the little ones, and them that suck at the breasts: let the bridegroom go forth from his bed, and the bride out of her bridal chamber. Between the porch and the altar the priests, the Lord’s ministers, shall weep, and shall say: Spare, O Lord, spare thy people: and give not thy inheritance to reproach, that the heathens should rule over them. Why should they say among the nations: Where is their God? The Lord hath been zealous for his land, and hath spared his people. And the Lord answered, and said to his people: Behold I will send you corn, and wine, and oil, and you shall be filled with them: and I will no more make you a reproach among the nations." 

image via Public Domain. Horne, C. & Bewer, J., 1909. The Bible and its Story

Dale Ahlquist, renowned Chesterton scholar, visiting Hawaii

The Chesterton Society of the Sandwich Islands presents...


He is a renowned G. K. Chesterton scholar and narrator of the popular EWTN TV show, ‘The Apostle of Common Sense’

Mr. Ahlquist is visiting Hawaii, speaking twice on G. K. Chesterton:

1) Tuesday, February 10th,7:00 PM, “The Philosophy of Islands,” at Pauline Books and Media, bookstore, on Bishop Street, underground Century Plaza parking validated by diocese

2) Wednesday, February 11th, 7:00 PM, “Puritans and
Pagans,” at Sacred Heart Parish, on Wilder Ave, parking behind church

Contact Tom Cook for more info: (239) 595-5441