Jesus said to her, ‘Give me to drink’ (Jn 4:7).
Are we also ready to respond as the sons of Zebedee responded when Jesus asked them: “Are you able to drink the cup that I am to drink?” (Mt 20:22)?
We have been duped, manipulated and brainwashed with the greatest sophistication of mental manipulation in the history of the world. Thus many are ignorant and innocent of what they have been led into. But when they are confronted with at least one person who succeeded in pulling himself/herself out of the very strong current, a person who left the stampeding herd, toward the cult of man instead of the cult of God, toward the beautiful but empty lies of “the father of lies” (Jn 8:44), instead of going toward “the way, and the truth, and the life” (Jn 14:6), they are then before a fundamental choice, to seek the Truth outside of their own heads, or to take the much easier way of continuing what they have slid into which is what just about everyone around them is doing, to be “politically correct”, which does not lead to the absolute and saving Truth Who is Jesus Christ. Many also have let their hearts become attached to certain things not of God, including glory before men especially in the Church, and have push aside the inspirations and graces of God with many small compromises which are always accompanied by more and more blindness to the real situation from God’s perfect point of view.
It is interesting that years ago there was a psychological study done in which a high school teacher told everyone to raise their right hand, but in the classroom of 30 students there were 29 who were told beforehand to raise their left hand. The one who did not know about this began to raise his right hand but when they saw the 29 who raised their left hand, decided to raise his left hand. Then one of the 29 put his hand down and raised his right hand. When the one alone saw this, he decided to raise his right hand also. After many similar tests, the results were very conclusive that when just one person has the courage to follow what is right, it gives great courage for others who have been intimidated by the mass mob stampeding away from the uncomfortable, but saving Truth which is accompanied by the cross of Christ.
Somehow I believe that God has given me the grace during my life to seek the inconvenient Truth outside of my head and to be willing to take the risk to stand up even when I was very often totally alone in what I had discovered and what I had to do. I received a lot of this part of my character from my Dad, but when I realized that my Dad had slid down the wrong direction, God gave me the grace to follow the Truth even though I suffered greatly by being rejected by my parents. Visit: http://necedah-cult.blogspot.com; http://spir-food.blogspot.it/2012/12/the-death-of-my-brother.html.
I have been in the Church all my life and thus needless to say I have suffered the most from my spouse, the Church. I have been betrayed and abandoned by priests, loosing my community or parish or friends; twice I suffered a difficult depression after such experiences. These experiences offered me many opportunities to struggle for the Truth which gives true freedom. Visit: “The Great Responsibility Of Religious Leaders” (http://josephdwight.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/great-responsibility/).
Each time we suffer in these difficult situations, and we persevere in praying and not abandoning God after His pruning (Jn 15:2; Prov 3:12; Heb 12:5-6), our hearts are enlarged and we are more and more free of ourselves and of our hidden egoisms so as to have more room in our hearts for God and His graces. This is the experience of all of the saints.
Very recently (a few days ago) I realized that God was asking me to make another painful cut in my life. This is also the reason why this edition of my “Spiritual Food” is a little late this month. To describe this well for you, I will now offer you the email that I sent, only a few days ago, to over 100 members of the Neocatecumenal Way here in Italy.
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The following is the email I sent to over 100 members of the Neocatecumenal Way here in Italy on January 19, 2015:
Dear brothers and sisters of the Neocatecumenal communities,
I have been helping out with the Holy Masses and the Penitential celebrations with you for almost 10 years. I had mentioned to you a few times that I knew that your statutes had been approved a few years ago, but the way in which you celebrated the Holy Mass was not yet approved and that Pope Benedict had formed a commission to examine the Holy Mass celebrated in the small groups Saturday evening among the members of the Neocatecumenal Way. I believed up to only a few days ago that this commission had not finished their work before Pope Benedict had left the papacy. A few days ago I discovered that instead the commission had finished their work and the three founders of the Neocatecumenal Way - Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez and Father Mario Pezzi – had received a letter on December 1, 2005 written by Cardinal Arinze, the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the Liturgy with a list of “decisions of the Holy Father” to which they were to obey.
I discovered that Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez e Father Mario Pezzi did not obey the letter sent by Cardinal Francis Arinze. I was about to offer my decision that I must obey the “decisions of the Holy Father” Saturday evening at the Masses I celebrated for two groups, January 17, 2015, when a catechist, for more than 20 years, told me that after the letter of Arinze, the Neocatecumenal Mass was approved by Pope Benedict. And so I did not offer my decision in my printed letter Saturday evening (attached).
When I tried to find this approbation of the Holy Father on the Internet, I discovered that what had happened was that the pontifical council for the laity headed by Cardinal Stanislaw Rylko had prepared the text for a degree of blanket approval of all the liturgical and extra-liturgical celebrations of the Neocatechumenal Way, to be made public January 20, 2012 on the occasion of a meeting scheduled between the Pope and the Way. The decree was redacted according to the guidelines of the congregation for divine worship, headed by Cardinal Antonio Cañizares Llovera. The founders and leaders of the Way, Francisco "Kiko" Argüello and Carmen Hernández, were told about it and joyfully told their followers about the imminent approval. All unbeknownst to the Pope.
Benedict XVI found out about the text of the decree a few days before the meeting on January 20. He found it illogical and mistaken. He ordered that it be scrapped and rewritten according to his guidelines.
In the “Address of His Holiness Benedict XVI to the Community of the Neocatechumenal Way”, January 20, 2012, Pope Benedict gave a genuine lecture – almost an ultimatum – that the celebrations in the small communities must be “regulated by the liturgical books that must be faithfully followed”, as he had ordered already in the letter of Cardinal Arinze more than 6 years earlier.
Thus, I ask you to read my decision in my letter (attached) which I had intended to give last Saturday, January 17, 2015, but instead I offer now after having discovered that the neocatecumenal Mass had not been approved. Toward the end of this letter I offered “a proposal, my idea”.
Dear brothers and sisters, “The Truth will make you free!” (Jn 8:32), non only in this short life, but for all eternity!
Father Joseph Dwight
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The following is the printed letter that I had planned to give out Saturday evening at two neocatecumenal Masses, January 17, 2015:
January 17, 2015
Dear brothers and sisters of the Neocatecumenal communities,
I have been helping out with the Holy Masses and the Penitential celebrations with you for almost 10 years. I see a lot of good will and good fruits. Precisely for this reason I offered myself even to the point of offering two Holy Masses every Saturday evening with you, and the Penitential celebrations whenever you called me.
I had mentioned to you a few times that I knew that your statutes had been approved a few years ago, but the way in which you celebrated the Holy Mass was not yet approved and that Pope Benedict had formed a commission to examine the Holy Mass celebrated in the small groups Saturday evening among the members of the Neocatecumenal Way. I believed up to only a few days ago that this commission had not yet finished their work before Pope Benedict had left the papacy. A few days ago I discovered that instead the commission had finished their work and the three founders of the Neocatecumenal Way - Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez and Father Mario Pezzi – had received a letter on December 1, 2005 written by Cardinal Arinze, the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for the liturgy with a list of “decisions of the Holy Father” to which they were to obey.
“Of the six points detailing the pope’s directives, only one permits the Neocatechumenals to continue what they are doing. This regards placing the exchange of peace before the offertory, a traditional practice in the Christian liturgy which is still in use today, for example, in the Ambrosian Rite celebrated in the archdiocese of Milan. All the other points require the Neocatechumenal Way to eliminate a large portion of its liturgical innovations.”
Our Holy Mother Church seeks to help and protect the ecclesial movements in order not to loose the gifts that the Holy Spirit has given to each movement. Being part of the Focolare Movement since 1986, many times I heard from the mouth of Chiara Lubich that she followed immediately and totally every small indication from Pope John Paul II, even if she had to change her important programs. Like the saints and good religious, Chiara Lubich trusted totally in God, not in herself, and thus she believed that if she obeyed the Pope, her superior, after she expressed well her thoughts, even if she was not in agreement with the decision of the Pope, she did the holy will of God. If the Pope truly made a mistake, according to God, the Pope will most likely change his idea, precisely because Chiara Lubich obeyed. Humility and obedience cause the graces of God to gush forth! If what Chiara Lubich believed was right was truly right according to God, God will take care of the problem, and to change the idea of her superior, in God’s own time. The first criteria of discernment regarding private revelations is precisely humility and obedience (Visit: “The Catholic Church and Private Revelation”; http://priv-rev.blogspot.com). Certainly, the responsibility of superiors is great! Visit: “The Great Responsibility of Religious Leaders” (http://josephdwight.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/great-responsibility/).
At the beginning of a movement the Church offers a period of observation as well as certain verbal authorizations, as Pope John Paul did with the leaders of the Neocatechumenal Way. Then afterwards Mother Church guides us for our true good and for the true good of the ecclesial movement. It is similar to Jesus Who received all, did many miracles and healings, but slowly led all those, who were willing, with Him toward Jerusalem, toward Calvary, and finally to the crucifixion where there was only the Mother of Jesus, Saint John the apostle and some women. Jesus leads all those of good will toward Calvary with the cross, toward trust in God not in themselves, which is the only way to overcome our egoisms in order to love God and neighbor in an authentic way. “The Truth will make you free!” (Jn 8:32).
The recall of Benedict XVI regards the ways in which the neocatecumenal groups celebrate the Mass. The Pope wants them to conform to what is prescribed in the liturgical norms valid for the whole Church.
I was surprised when I discovered that Kiko Argüello, Carmen Hernandez e Father Mario Pezzi did not obey the letter in which were articulated the directives of the Pope. Their act of partial obedience is in a letter which they wrote to the Pope on January 17, 2006. They limit themselves in fact to thank the Pope for having conceded to them another two years of time. And they return to defend their way of doing the communion. They underline that to do the communion “in this way” is an essential instrument to convert the ones further away from the faith: to abandon this would compromise their mission. On this crucial point of the communion they indicated that they want to follow their way. It is in fact the diffuse opinion among the neocatecumenals that the letter of Arinze was something provisionary, modifiable, a simple “instrumentum laboris”, and that in the end their practice will be substantially approved. This opinion persists even after the recall of Benedict XVI regarding the rite of the Mass, in his talk given to the neocatecumenals on January 12 2006.
In any case, this is not the thought neither of Arinze nor of the Pope. In an interview on February 15, 2006, on Vatican Radio, the cardinal prefect for the congregation for the liturgy reasserted that the letter is “the conclusion to everything”. In this way he explained the process from which the letter originated:
“The letter flowed out of what emerged from the examination of this congregation of how the Neocatecumenal Way celebrates the Holy Mass for many years. … To exam this we had a mixed commission among people nominated from the Neocatecumenal Way and people nominated by our congregation. In the discussions emerged many practices which they do during the Mass, … and many emerged which were not according to the approved books. This is the background. Everything was examined in many sessions by the mixed commission during a period of two years or more. And there was also a discussion among seven cardinals of the Roman curia, desired by the Holy Father, who examined everything. Thus, this letter is the conclusion to everything”.
BEHOLD THE LETTER WRITTEN BY CARDINAL ARINZA:
"I am to inform you of the Holy Father’s decisions..."
Congregatio de Cultu Divino et Disciplina Sacramentorum
From Vatican City, December 1, 2005
To the esteemed Mr. Kiko Argüello, Ms. Carmen Hernandez, and Rev. Father Mario Pezzi,
Following the conversations with this Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments on the celebration of the Most Holy Eucharist in the communities of the Neocatechumenal Way, in keeping with the guidelines issued in the meeting with you on November 11 of this year, I am to inform you of the Holy Father’s decisions.
In the celebration of the Holy Mass, the Neocatechumenal Way shall accept and follow the liturgical books approved by the Church, without omitting or adding anything. Furthermore, in regard to some elements the guidelines and clarifications are emphasized as follows:
1. Sunday is the “Dies Domini” as the Servant of God Pope John Paul II wished to illustrate in the Apostolic Letter on the Lord’s Day. Therefore the Neocatechumenal Way must enter into dialogue with the diocesan bishop in order to make it clear that the community of the Neocatechumenal Way is incorporated into the parish even in the context of the liturgical celebrations. At least one Sunday per month, the communities of the Neocatechumenal Way must participate in the Holy Mass of the parish community.
2. As for any admonitions issued before the readings, these must be brief. Adherence must also be shown to what is set out in the “Institutio Generalis Missalis Romani” (nn. 105 and 128) and to the Praenotanda of the “Ordo Lectionum Missae” (nn. 15, 19, 38, 42).
3. The homily, because of its nature and importance, is reserved to the priest or deacon (cf. Codex Iuris Canonici, can. 767 § 1). As for the occasional contribution of testimonies on the part of the lay faithful, the proper places and methods for these are indicated in the Interdicasterial Instruction “Ecclesiae de Mysterio,” which was approved “in specific form” by Pope John Paul II and published on August 15, 1997. In this document, sections 2 and 3 of article 3 read as follows:
§2 - “It is permitted to have a brief instruction that helps explain better the liturgy that is being celebrated, and even, in exceptional circumstances, a few testimonies, as long as these conform to the liturgical norms, are offered on the occasion of Eucharistic liturgies celebrated on particular days (for seminarians, the sick, etc.), and are thought truly helpful as an illustration of the regular homily delivered by the celebrating priest. These instructions and testimonies must not assume characteristics that might cause them to be confused with the homily.”
§3 - “The possibility of ‘dialogue’ during the homily (cf. Directorium de Missis cum Pueris, no. 48) can be used occasionally and with prudence by the celebrating minister as a means of exposition, which does not transfer to others the duty of preaching.”
Careful attention must also be paid to the Instruction “Redemptionis Sacramentum,” no. 74.
4. On the exchange of peace, permission is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to continue using the indult already granted, pending further instructions.
5. On the manner of receiving Holy Communion, a period of transition (not exceeding two years) is granted to the Neocatechumenal Way to pass from the widespread manner of receiving Holy Communion in its communities (seated, with a cloth-covered table placed at the center of the church instead of the dedicated altar in the sanctuary) to the normal way in which the entire Church receives Holy Communion. This means that the Neocatechumenal Way must begin to adopt the manner of distributing the Body and Blood of Christ that is provided in the liturgical books.
6. The Neocatechumenal Way must also make use of the other Eucharistic Prayers contained in the missal, and not only Eucharistic Prayer II.
In short, the Neocatechumenal Way, in its celebration of the Holy Mass, should follow the approved liturgical books, keeping in mind what is laid out above under the numbers 1,2,3,4,5, and 6.
Acknowledging the favors that the Lord has bestowed upon the Church through the many activities of the Neocatechumenal Way, I take this occasion to extend to you my best regards.
+ Francis Card. Arinze
Mr. ARGÜELLO Kiko, Ms. HERNANDEZ Carmen, Rev. Fr. PEZZI Mario
Via dei Gonzaga, 205
Dear brothers and sisters of the Neocatecumenal communities,
IN CONSCIENCE, BEFORE GOD, I CAN NO LONGER CELEBRATE A MASS NOT APPROVED BY THE CHURCH. In these last several years I have begun to understand more and more, in my meditations each day and before our Eucharistic Lord one hour everyday for the last 14 years, the greatness of the Eucharist, the substantial presence of Jesus, the Son of God, in Person, in every smallest particle of bread. I also began to discover and to understand how much the devil has worked, with great astuteness and subtleness, in the Catholic Church, to cause to diminish the faith, love and reverential humility before the infinite God in the Eucharist, “the source and summit of the Christian life”.” (Vat. II: LG 11; CCC 1324). A year ago I had written an article (in Italian): “Il Dio Infinito Fra Noi” (http://cibo-spir.blogspot.it/2014/01/il-dio-infinito-fra-noi.html).
I am always willing to help out with the penitential celebrations.
I would like to offer a proposal, my idea. Even though I am totally convinced that it is very important to obey this letter from Cardinal Arinze, in the letter of Kiko, Carmen and Father Mario, which they wrote to the Pope on January 17, 2006, they underlined that to do the communion “in this way” is an essential instrument to convert the ones further away from the faith: to abandon this would compromise their mission. The communities which are already on the way for more than 5 or 10 years, it seems to me that they are no longer “the ones further away from the faith”. And thus if a few of the communities are willing to obey the letter of Cardinal Arinze, in agreement with their Pastor (where they are accommodated) and with their catechists, I am very willing to celebrate the Holy Mass in the way approved by Holy Mother Church with you.
In the Beginning of the Year Convivience 2013-2014, Kiko said at the end of the ecclesial catechesis: “It is a very important the point of the catechism on politics, it is a very important point. There are those who think that history is immanent, that we are going toward a better world, with more democracy, more progress, and we can say that this is false! We are going toward the apostasy, toward the antichrist, as the Book of Revelation and the Catechism say.”
I believe in this very difficult period, with less prayer than ever and more sin and more indifference than ever, “Satan disguises himself as an angel of light” (2Cor 11:14) better than ever. And thus, it is very important to remain faithful to the Magisterium of the Church. The Church is the handmaid of the Truth, not the Author of the Truth! “Who Decides The Truth?” (http://spir-food.blogspot.it/2014/06/who-decides-truth.html). “The work of the devil will infiltrate even the Church in such a way that one will see CARDINALS OPPOSING CARDINALS, bishops against other bishops. … the Church will be full of those who accept compromise …” (Our Lady of Akita, Japan; October 13, 1973, the anniversary of the great miracle of the sun at Fatima, October 13, 1917)!
In the “Act of Consecration to the Immaculate Heart of Mary” for the associated priests of the Marian Movement for Priests, one reads: “Above all, we wish to be united with the Holy Father and the hierarchy, firmly adhering to all their directives, so as thus to set up a barrier to the growing confrontation directed against the Magisterium, that threatens the very foundation of the Church.”
Dear brothers and sisters, let us help each other (Heb 3:13) to not gently slide (“full of joy”, Diary of St. Faustina, no. 153) into apostasy, with compromises, before “the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition” (2Thess 2:3-4)!
Father Joseph Dwight
An Experience of Life:
It was night. Suddenly someone opened the door forcefully: "Everybody on the floor", they shouted. They were bandits. They grabbed Marie-Francis, my little sister, they forced her into the closet. They searched all over, they took jackets, the radio, dad’s backpack... They did not find money because we were poor. Then they pulled out of the closet Marie-Francis and one of them with a large knife in his hand, threatened: "Either you give us the money, or ...". I got up. Jesus gave me courage. Precisely that very day we set out to see Jesus and love Him in everyone. I looked at the man straight in the eye and said, "You cannot do this! I know it, in you there is Jesus. I see Jesus in you." The gunman looked at me with his mouth open, then he put down my little sister. He nodded to his partner and they left without taking anything away. They even left the little cash they had taken from the purse of the mother.
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Father Joseph Dwight