I love opinionated non-PC people. This blog is to vent my opinions on life, the universe and everything. Which is 42 which in gematria is "My Heart" (LBY) according to Rabbi Abulafia. The Divine Heart is the centre of everything.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Mortal Sin, Divorced and Remarried and Pope Francis: A Hebrew Catholic Opinion

 Father Michel-Marie Zanotti-Sorkine
It is rather worrying when Bishops, Cardinals and others are throwing around the term mortal sin in regards to giving the divorced and remarried communion or in regards to pornography etc. It would seem that there is a mania to create straw men and not really listen to what the others are saying. And what is most shocking is they are even challenging and questioning the Pope and his discernment like some neo-Protestants.

Of course all orthodox Catholics believe that one should not receive communion if one is in a state of mortal sin. However for one to be in a state of mortal sin one needs to have done something that is considered gravely or serious wrong or evil and to know that it is gravely serious and to have full freedom in the choice to do it. To say someone is in mortal sin because they were involved in pornography or divorced and remarried is highly presumptuous. The most one can say is that one may be in mortal sin if they are involved in pornography or prostitution or divorced and remarried or many other serious or grave issues. 

Each case has to be looked at individually and often general and simplex answers and regulations are destructive to souls and lacking in love, compassion and mercy as well as justice. It is said that Pope Francis once said that he believed over half of Catholic marriages today were probably invalid according to the standards of a valid sacramental marriage. This is probably a conservative estimate. No one is suggesting that these people are committing a mortal sin as they have no knowledge that their marriages are probably sacramentally invalid.

Most of those people who divorce and remarry get caught up in events and do not have full freedom or knowledge or even understanding that what they did was wrong. I do not believe many of these people are in mortal sin either and nor do I believe they should be refused communion. It should be left up to their conscience and/or discernment with a pastor who knows all about their situation. Then, if possible, help them to regularise their situation according to canon law. The same goes with those who are in the pornography industry or prostitution. Father Michel Marie Zanotti-Sorkine states that he never refused communion to the prostitutes that attended his masses in Marseilles as he would not like to confront Jesus with that on his conscience. Let us listen to what the Spirit is saying today to the churches through such holy men as Pope Francis and Father Michel Marie.

Pope Francis has said that the Eucharist should not be seen as a reward for the good and pious but as healing for the wounded sinners. It is those who like the extreme Pharisees and Scribes shut up heaven for the wounded, broken and hurting that may be in danger of being in mortal sin. Many of the Pharisees were sincere in their rigidness just as many orthodox Catholics today are in their rigid adherence to certain pastoral applications that they consider a necessary fence around the infallible doctrines of the Church. Pope Francis, just like Jesus 2000 years ago, sees it differently and believes that love, mercy, compassion and forgiveness is the true pastoral approach that protects the infallible teachings and releases their full power and glory to save souls and lead them into a deeper sanctification. 

Unfortunately many orthodox Catholics are too proud or puffed up in their own convictions or politics to even question whether they are wrong and listen to the Pope and others who sees things differently to them. I understand those who are in this position because in the past I also thought the same way. I pray for my fellow orthodox Catholics hoping that their rigidity will not lead the Church into a schism similar to that with the Donatists of the early Church who also opposed a merciful Vicar of Christ and Bishop of Rome.

Friday, October 02, 2015

Rebbe Nachman, Consecrated Flesh and the Divine Will: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

The great Eucharistic discourse of John 6 is a hard saying for many as it was for the first disciples of Yeshua ha Mashiach. It is obvious that the difficult thing (which was difficult not just for those disciples who left him but also for those who stayed) was the concept of eating his flesh and drinking his blood. These were not the Pharisees who opposed him but people who actually were his disciples. 

This whole Johannine discourse is connected to the mystery of Yeshua as the Messiah and Manna from Heaven who is the Living Torah in which Jewish tradition speaks about eating and drinking or feeding on Torah. The sages said: “The Torah could be given only to eaters of manna.” (Midrash Tankhuma, Parshat Beshallakh). Many observant Jews read the passage of the Manna everyday as a Jewish version of eating or receiving their daily manna or spiritual food which blesses them physically as well as spiritually. The Greek New Testament refers to this daily bread as supersubstantial bread (in Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11:3). This can be linked to the daily or perpetual (tamid) offering of the Lambs. The daily korban (offering/ sacrifice) that draws us near to God in devouring intimacy. Jewish tradition also links the incorrupt manna (kept hidden in a golden vessel in the Ark) with the afikoman of the Pesach. 

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov in Likutey Moharan 36 links the concept of "devouring me" (the Davidic King Messiah) of Psalm 27:2 with the consecrated flesh of Haggai 2:12 and the "Eat lovers" of Song of Song 5:1. He teaches: "to devour my flesh-This alludes that their eating- as it is said "Eat lovers"(Song of Songs 5:1)- namely their strengthening is "Consecrated flesh"(Haggai 2:12). This is to devour my flesh, the aspect of "The ascent of Yesod until Abba and Imma" ...".  Strictly speaking "Eat Lovers" should be translated as "Eat companions or friend (rei'im or rei'in)" whereas lovers (dodim) are those that drink to get drunk. Rebbe Nachman does not interpret mrei'im of Psalm 27:2 as evildoers but in accord with Song of Songs 5:1 and other passages in Tenakh (such as Job 17:5; Proverbs 18:24 and 19:4; Jeremiah 3:1)  as friends or lovers (rei'im).

The concept of devouring or eating the Messiah (or devouring the years (shnei) of the Messiah) is also found in Sanhedrin 99a. Rav Cardoza sees this discussion in Sanhedrin 99a being about the coming of two (shnei) Messiahs. Rav Hillel talks of the Messiah already having come and R Joseph of the Messiah to still come. Rav Joseph's discussion is in the context of the great Messianic passage of Zechariah about the Daughter of Zion and the Messiah coming as a humble Tzadik, riding on a donkey and in the context of Deuteronomy 8:3  "And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live."   

Just as the consecrated flesh of Haggai 2:12 is real flesh as well as having a spiritual (allegorical/ metaphorical), mystical and moral meanings so Yeshua's statement about eating his flesh and drinking his blood have these multi-faceted dimensions. It is real and literal but not literalistic. Yeshua (in John 6:63) went on to say that the flesh (human will) alone without the Spirit (Ruach) will not bring life or sanctification. If we just receive the Eucharistic host (flesh and blood of the Messiah) without discerning that it is the real flesh or body of the Lord by the power of the Spirit, then one eats to their own judgement (see 1 Corinthians 11: 28-29). The Hebrew term basar ve-dam (flesh and blood) refers to the whole person in Hebrew thought. Thus if we view the Eucharist as just a piece of Yeshua and not his entire resurrected and glorified body, soul, blood and divinity (the whole Messiah) we are not truly discerning the mystery of his flesh and blood.The whole language of the Eucharist is one of deep and mystical intimacy of the Lover for his Beloved in which they consume and devour one another with great passion and love. This is a true Jewish and Catholic 'theology of the body'. 

Haggai 2 reveals that the consecrated flesh reveals the mystery of the Divine Will whereas the other foods represent the wayward human will.  Yeshua said that it was his food was to do the Will of God in John 4:34. The Messianic manna or food (which is like a white round full moon) is doing the Divine Will and the Messiah himself is the Sun of the Divine Will. One who lives in Divine Will is another Yeshua or Living Eucharistic Host or Sun. In Judaism the full moon is also an icon of the Shekhinah. In Jewish mysticism the concepts of the Sun is associated with the concept of the Tzadik (Righteous one) based partly on the verse "the Sun of righteousness will arise with healing in His wings" (Malachi 4:2).

Haggai 2:11-14 "...Thus says the LORD of hosts, 'Ask now the priests for a ruling: 12If a man carries consecrated flesh in the fold of his garment, and touches bread with this fold, or cooked food, wine, oil, or any other food, will it become holy?'" And the priests answered, "No." 13Then Haggai said, "If one who is unclean from a corpse touches any of these, will the latter become unclean?" And the priests answered, "It will become unclean." 14Then Haggai said, "'So is this people. And so is this nation before Me,' declares the LORD, 'and so is every work of their hands; and what they offer there is unclean. ..."

Consecrated flesh is also sacrificial flesh and it is holy and the garments of the priest (representing the outward sacrificial rituals and system) who carries it  is also holy in a lesser sense. This whole concept is at a deeper level about living or dwelling in the Divine Will and then doing acts in the Divine Will. However doing one's own will and expecting God to bless it and make it holy does not work as a method of sanctification. They are the works of a dead corpse and pollute all our actions. It is the consecrated flesh (the Divine Will of the Messiah which is the deepest penetration of the Eucharistic mystery) that makes the garments (our actions) holy not the other way round. Yeshua states in Matthew 23:19: "Ye blind: for whether is greater, the gift, or the altar that sanctifieth the gift?" A Catholic may ask: Which is greater- the Eucharist or the priesthood that consecrates the Eucharist? Both are needed but we must get our priorities in the right order. 

In Psalm 27:2 it alludes to the concept of devouring the flesh of the Davidic king in the context of others falling and stumbling. Rebbe Nachman reads psalm 27:2 as "When two lovers come close to eat my flesh, my foes and enemies they stumble and fall."John obviously has this in mind when he alludes to those disciples of Yeshua that ceased to follow him and to the Jewish enemies of Yeshua in John 6:66. It is in regards to Yeshua being God in the flesh (the mystery of the Incarnation) and giving us his flesh to eat (Mystery of the Eucharist) that they fall and stumble. The acceptance of this Mystery by all Israel and their devouring the consecrated flesh of the Messiah will cause the rise or spiritual resurrection from the dead promised by Simeon (Luke 2:34) and by Shaul (St Paul) in Romans 11 and Philippians 3.

In John 6 Yeshua emphasises the importance of the Spirit (Ruach) and life (chaiyim). Jeremiah states in Lamentations that the Messiah is the breath (ruach) of our nostrils (Lamentations 4:20). Rebbe Nachman and the Breslov Rabbis associates this with the two missions of the Messiah as Messiah son of Joseph (humble suffering Tzadik) and Messiah son of David (the glorious reigning King). Just as there is a nose with two nostrils so the Messiah has two missions. Thus both R. Hillel and R Joseph in Sanhedrin 99a are right that the Messiah has already come (the position of Rav Hillel based on Isaiah) and he is still to come or coming (the position of Rav Joseph based on Zechariah) and these are reconciled by Rebbe Nachman of Breslov (by the means of Jeremiah). 

...Rabbi Chiyya opened: "I have come into my garden, my sister, my bride; I have plucked my myrrh with my spices, I have eaten my honeycomb with my honey, I have drunk my wine with my milk. Eat, companions! Drink, and be drunk, Lovers." (Song of Songs 5:1)... Zohar 3:3b

The Zohar (in Parshat Va-Yikra) discusses the whole concept of eating and drinking as the intimate consummation of the love between the bride and the bridegroom of the Song of Songs is discussed. This section of Zohar teaches that the companions who eat are higher than those who are lovers who drink. Companions or chaverim (or rei'im) are those that are permanently with the Beloved living in His Will whereas lovers (dodim) are those who are yearning and seeking after His Will and only occasionally and temporarily consummating that love with wild passion and abandon. At the Last Supper Yeshua referred to his disciples as Chaverim (friends).

This section of Zohar is also linked with the concepts of the Kneset Yisrael, Shekhinah and Matronita in the mystery of the tabernacle as the dwelling place. The bridegroom is associated with Tiferet (beauty) as the Blessed Holy One of Israel as the Divine Son. This also is linked to the Bridegroom described as the Sun and the mystery of the ends of the Ark of the Covenant. In the Jewish concept of the Divine Face Tiferet (beauty) is represented by the nose. 

Some scholars (such as Leonora Leet) believe the whole secret rituals of the Temple priesthood revolved about the intimate mysteries of the Kissing of the Divine Son of Psalm 2:12. The Temple itself is built in the image of this Divine Son (represented by Jacob / Israel reclining on Jacob's pillow). Some even propose in accord with the Epistle of Barnabas that there was a priestly ritual that commanded them to eat of the slightly bloody flesh of the goat sacrifice on the Day of Atonement, without the washing of vinegar to remove any last traces of blood, in the Holy Place. Some link this to Leviticus 10:16-17. It seemed to be some kind of ritual that sought to take on the Jewish priests the curse of the people due to their sins and through this act as a Tzadik or victim soul take on the sins of the people. 

We do know that the rituals of the Temple service take precedence over the laws of the Sabbath and most likely over the laws of kashrut. A Jewish woman is permitted to eat non-kosher food if she is pregnant or in danger of death or starvation if no kosher food is available. Thus it would be appropriate that in the case of the greater danger of spiritual death the priest may be commanded to perform a ritual of sanctification for the people that breaks with the lower laws of kashrut and fasting. This may explain how the Sabbateans (many from very Torah observant backgrounds) seemed to be able to justify the breaking of Jewish laws as part of a perverted Sabbatean programme of redemption.

The haroset of Passover may have been the origin of the blood libel against Jews as the red wine mixed in with the other ingredients (representing the mortar) was said to represent the blood of the  boy children murdered by Pharoah. This haroset is put in a matzah sandwich (Hillel's sandwich). Anti-semites looking to accuse Jews of the blood libel used this innocent ritual as evidence for the Jews killing Gentile children for their blood to mix with matzah on Passover. Did this custom also reflect a lay participation in the ritual and tikkun (reparation) of the priests? 

The Tzadik is also associated with the Brit (meaning both covenant and phallus) and the Jewish mohel (circumciser) sucks the blood from the newly circumcised baby's tip of the phallus to help in its healing. The Tzadik as Yesod (foundation or Pillar) is also associated with the concept of Joseph and Messiah son of Joseph who guards his loins. In the Sefirotic array Yesod represents the sexual organ of the male while Hod (majesty) and Netzach (endurance) represent both the legs/ feet and the scrotum of the Divine Man (Adam Kadmon). Yeshua naked on the Cross is an icon of the suffering Messiah son of Joseph whereas the naked David dancing is an icon of the Messiah son of David who will arise with healing in His wings and frolic like a bull calf released from his stall (see Malachi 4:2). 

The word egel (bull calf) means rolling or circling around which reminds us of the Luisan rounds in the Divine Will. The bull calf is also a symbol of the Tribe of Joseph. Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich states that the Egyptians associated Joseph with Osiris and his wife Asenath (Osnat) with Isis. The bull calf represents Osiris, Moses and Joseph and the cow with milk or the blood-coloured heifer represents Isis, Miriam and Asenath. The Israelites when Moses went up the mountain sinned not for making an image but for making one and worshiping it with a phallus worshiping male same-sex orgy. They made a bull calf which represents the male principle without the corresponding female principle represented by the heifer. This is why the remedy for their cleansing from sin was with the ashes of the red heifer (cow) to correct the imbalance or to make tikkun (reparation). The Sabbateans also perverted the Jewish mystical tradition by misinterpreting the marital and sexual imagery of the spiritual intimacy with God. In this life it is only in the context of traditional marriage that this nuptial intimacy is expressed genitally as a sign or foreshadowing of the virginal nuptial intimacy and unions in the kingdom of the Divine Will.  

Messianic Kosher Food, Circumcision and Rebbe Nachman: A Hebrew Catholic Teaching

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Garabandal, 2017, Rav Kaduri and Pope Francis: The coming Tsunami

Three years ago (August 18 2012) I wrote about my speculations about the Warning and Miracle of Garabandal in 2016-2017 and the prophecies of Rav Kaduri that there would be some kind of Messianic manifestation to the Jews some time soon after the death of Ariel Sharon.

"...Rav Kaduri also spoke of a manifestation or revelation of the Messiah after the death of Ariel Sharon (who is still in a Coma). It is said that Rav Kaduri whispered to some before he died the date of Av 5772 in regards to the Messiah which many believed meant that there would be some kind of public manifestation of the Messiah. However I believe he meant that after Av 5772 and after the death of Ariel Sharon there will be some kind of apparition or spiritual manifestation of the Messiah to many Jewish people in Israel. Rav Kaduri seemed to be saying that these Manifestations of the Messiah will be more readily accepted by the secular Israelis and that the more religious Jews will have great difficulty in accepting them at first. Besides the spiritual manifestation of the Heavenly Messiah Yehoshua to the Jewish people an earthly Davidic Messiah or Anointed King (Mashiach Ephraim) will also arise to leadership in the world guided by the heavenly Messiah. Rav Kaduri seems to confuse the two or at least those who report his words have confused what he said.

We already see the suffering of the Messiah in the poor people of Syria. Both Jewish and Christian websites are quoting Isaiah 17 in regards to the present situation in Syria. One might also refer to Zechariah 9 and Jeremiah 49..."
The Jewish year 5772 (2012) and Ariel Sharon's death on January 11, 2014 is now past and since then events in the world have sped up. Israel has realised how vulnerable it now is in the world since the US has under Obama virtually abandoned them. We have seen the terrible plight of the Syrian and Iraqi people and refugees and the rise of ISIS almost out of nowhere. My comments back in 2012 about Syria are even more apt now. These events are happening in a dizzying speed as the world rolls from one crisis to another. 

In 2013 we also saw the incredible events of the rise to the papacy of Pope Francis as a prophetic voice crying out in the wilderness of our times (which is the period known as the end of times before the great Era of Peace) challenging the entrenched powers in Church and State.  He has just begun his visit to the US as I type this. Many Catholics and other Christians are watching these events. One anonymous Catholic prophet or locutionist has predicted a major economic collapse to begin as a warning during the Pope's visit to the US. 

Prophecies can be rather tricky things. Does this mean his present visit or a future visit to the US? Is the great French or Frankish Pope of many older Catholic prophecies actually referring to a Francis Pope rather than a French Pope as the name Francis or Francisco means Frenchman? Or does this refer to a future Francis II as Pope or is it indeed actually a French born Pope or a Frankist (Jewish Catholic) Pope that will rise to power alongside the Great Monarch of Catholic prophecy? Is that Great Monarch Prince Harry (Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales) or King Phillipe of Spain or some other as yet unknown member of the European Royal families?

The locutionist states that this economic collapse will be the final warning given before the consecration of Russia to the Immaculate Heart by the Pope after Francis. He (or She) also mentions a Pope who will die for and in Israel. Is this Pope Francis or a future Pope?  There is also the older Catholic prophecies of a Pope who flees Rome who many believe will be called Pius XIII? Some believe the times of special mercy to the Gentiles ended with Pope John Paul II and that Pope Benedict XVI was the first of the Popes of the period called the ''end of times'' (but not the end of the world) which will culminate in a Pope who will be the last Roman based Pope as the true papacy will be transferred back to Jerusalem. As prophecy is usually conditional on our response, the timing of events and personalities involved can be changed. A warning is meant as a wake up call and if the whole world woke up tomorrow and turned back to goodness and truth then we could enter the period of peace and the kingdom without going through all these chastisements. 

It seems significant to many that Pope Francis has called for a special Year of Mercy beginning on the feast of the Immaculate Conception (December 8) in 2015 and ending on the feast of Christ the King (November 20 2016). This will prepare us for the hundred year anniversary in 2017 of the Fatima apparitions. Our Lady at Fatima gave a message about Russia on July 13 1917. Many think that the consecration of Russia will also occur on a July 13. Could this occur in 2016 or 2017? It will occur when Russia is of great threat to Western Europe and recent events in Russia in regard to Putin makes this seem more likely than it seemed to many a few years ago when it seemed that Russia and the West were allied after the fall of communism. The Garabandal messages spoke of communism returning in a new form and that France would be in the midst of a communist inspired civil war at the time of the events prophesied for Garabandal according to some commentators. These events are also connected to the visit by a Pope to Russia.

The older Catholic prophecies make it clear that the threat of the Muslims especially those of North Africa, Turkey and Iran (Persia); civil wars in France, England and Italy; Russia and Prussia as a threat to Europe; are all part of the scenario which will lead to the rise of the Great Pope and Great Monarch who will lead the world into an era of peace.  These prophecies also speak of sad events from England and of the assassination of the English king. Many Catholics have also taken note of Father Amorth's message to Father Gruner ( written about in his last letter before he died) that if the consecration of Russia had not happened by October 2015 then great events connected with the predictions of Fatima would begin soon after.

Many Australians are now worried that now that our third sitting Prime Minister in their first term has been treacherously been removed by their party colleagues in the last five years, has now made Australia weaker. There is a strong push for homosexual marriages and to open the floodgates to refugees which many Australians fear are hidden ISIS and other fundamentalist Muslims who wish to disrupt Australia like they have in many other places around the world. Australians are happy to take genuine refugees from the Christian and other persecuted minorities such as the Yezidis in Syria and the middle east but they are worried about Muslim ones, especially the single young men. Two nights ago I had a dream of two Tsunami waves hitting Sydney. Is this a prophetic warning? Are the Tsunamis literal or are they more symbolic for something else of a spiritual nature? As Padre Pio said, "Pray, Hope and Don't Worry", pray your Rosary and try to discern the sign of the times as advocated by Pope Paul VI.

The Three 7's and the Great Tribulation: A Hebrew Catholic Speculation

Added on 25 September 2015: I today saw this article published yesterday.

Nobody Likes a Stock Market Crash, but This Is Why We Need One

 Added 26 September 2015: No obvious crash of the New York stockmarket on Friday and the Pope leaves America on Sunday evening so it would seem at this stage that the locutions mentioned above may turn out to be mistaken.
Added on 29 September: It would seem the locutions mentioned above (Locutions to the World) are indeed not true locutions. The locutionist and the spiritual director while probably sincere have mistaken prayer thoughts, imaginings and meditations for authentic locutions. The website seems to have been removed. God can speak through charismatic words of knowledge and wisdom and prophecy but these are more open to human and demonic input and twists. Locutions are a higher level in which an interior voice speaks in the heart and genuine ones are without error. Apparitions is an even higher form in which Heaven in some form appears to the visionary and the visionary hears and sees them with their exterior senses as well as perceiving them interiorly.  However no matter how true the message the visionary and others often misinterpret the meaning of such messages. Time and the fulfillment of them is often different to people's expectations.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mark Kinzer, Kedushah and Our Lady: A Hebrew Catholic Reflection

Messianic Rabbi Mark Kinzer in his new book "Searching her own Mystery: Nostra Aetate, the Jewish People and the Identity of the Church" in his eighth chapter entitled "Jewish Life as Sacrament" writes of what he calls Judaism's Five Fundamental Sacramental Signs. He associates the Catholic term sacramental with the Jewish "kedushah"(holiness or sanctity). Here I will use his categories in a Marian interpretation.

This whole concept  of kedushah has a Marian dimension as Our Lady is known to Hebrew Catholics as Miriam ha Kedoshah (Holy Mary). This feminine word kedushah is associated with the feminine terms Shekhinah (Dwelling Presence) and kavodah (glory) in Jewish mystical thought. Catholic faith teaches us that the Church herself is the Universal Sacrament of Salvation which contains the seven sacraments. Pope Paul VI declared during Vatican II that Our Lady was the Mother of the Church. In the "Our Father" the Church longs for the Kingdom of the Divine Will which Judaism also calls the Kingdom of Holiness (Malchut Kedushah). Kinzer lists these five "kedushot" or sacramental signs as 1)Israel the holy people or gathering 2) Sabbath as holy time 3) Israel and Jerusalem as holy place 4) Torah as holy word and 5) the mitzvot (commandments) as holy deeds. And I would add two more 6) Tabernacle and Temple as holy sign 7) Priesthood as holy service. 

Thus these seven "kedushot" can be linked to the seven "Razin" or "Sodot" (mysteries/ sacraments) of the New Covenant. They could be listed as 1) Baptism as holy people or gathering 2) Confession as holy time 3) Eucharist as holy place 4) Confirmation as holy deeds 5) Anointing of the sick or Healing as holy word 6) Marriage as holy sign and 7) priesthood as holy service. 

The first mention of kedushah in the Bible is in Genesis 2 in regards to the Sabbath. This alludes to the Sabbath Queen and Shekhinah who is Our Lady in Eternity manifesting in time. As the Lecha Dodi song that greets the Sabbath Bride and Queen proclaims: "She is last in act, first in thought". Our Lady can also been seen as Kneset Yisrael (Gathering of Israel) which is mystically linked to the gathering of waters on Day 3 in Genesis 1. She is the Mother of the Church or people of God.  She is also the Holy Daughter of Zion, Israel and Jerusalem linking her to the concept of holy place as the dwelling place of God in the flesh in her womb. She is also the concept of the oral Torah or voice (Bat Kol) which is linked to the concept of the hands and heart actions of the mother which is linked to the concept of keeping or doing the commandments. The arm tefillin that points to the heart represents this female heart/action dimension. 

As Holy Temple and Holy Ark she is a sign as the Great Sign in Heaven as the heavenly Ark of the Covenant (Aron ha Brit) and the Woman in labour in Revelations 11 and 12. Judaism links the priesthood to being servants of the Shekhinah and her mysteries of the heart who is the Son. If the priest is not united in mystical nuptial union with Shekhinah when he offers he will be destroyed like the sons of Aaron who kindled strange fire. Our Lady is also called Mother of the Priests in Catholic devotion who are called Our Lady's beloved sons. 

Through the power of her Son's resurrection (which is the mystery of "on the third day") Our Lady the human Ark of the covenant, Sovereign of the whole world, was assumed into Heaven and it was from Eternity united in synergy with the Holy Spirit that she manifested as the Shekhinah and Matronita throughout salvation history. She is the Bat Reshit (the First Daughter or Daughter of the Beginning). Her synergy with the Spirit proclaimed in Genesis 1 as the  Spirit of God hovering over the "face upon the Waters" on the first day. These divinised, fruitful and creative waters are the tears she shed throughout her life and at the foot of the Cross as the Mother of Sorrows-Miriam (Bitter Sea) united to the waters that flowed from the pierced side of her Son- the "face upon the deep" enveloped. These waters are mystical, metaphorical and conceptual and are also the sanctified waters of her womb. These are her seas of mercy, love, purity, wisdom, understanding etc. this is the Well of Miriam that is hidden in the text between the twilight of the first and second day.

On the third day of the "gathering of waters" (kneset maya in Aramaic) there is a burst of fruitfulness as a type of the first springtime. This alludes to the third Messianic millennium as a new spiritual springtime and resurrection for the Church with its new and divine holiness (kedushah) as taught by St. Pope John Paul II. This spiritual resurrection will lead to the gathering or ingrafting of the Jewish people or Kneset Yisrael. This is also called by Catholics the Triumph of Our Lady's Immaculate Heart and the Eucharistic Reign of Jesus when the Glories of Joseph will be fully revealed (the mystical "rakia"). This new and divine holiness (kedushah) is the Marian grace and gift of living or dwelling in Divine Will. This ushers in the Kingdom of Divine Will (Malchut Ratzon) and the Kingdom of Holiness (Malchut Kedushah) that is the "World that is Coming" (Olam haba) within time. A world in which the fulfillment of the "Our Father" (Avinu) has come with the Divine Will reigning on earth as it is in Heaven.

This third day of the Messianic era is the seventh Day of Creation. This is a day of Sabbath Rest and the Sabbath Bride and Queen. The third Messianic millennium is the seventh Millennium of  mankind. The three days of the Messianic Resurrection is linked to the seven days of Creation. The  creative light of Genesis is the light of the Resurrection of the Messiah-who fresh from the exile (galut) enters Eternity and creates the universe as part of the blast or big bang of his Resurrection power. This resurrection blast is the blast of the mystical shofar (trumpet). This sound or music of the shofar accompanies the Song of Creation of  primordial Rosh haShanah that echoes forth in resurrection power "on the third day" of Exodus 19 with the giving of the Torah on Sinai and culminates in intensity with the spiritual resurrection and gathering of the Jewish people in the third Messianic millennium. "He will revive us after two days: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. We shall know, and we shall follow on, that we may know the Lord. His going forth is prepared as the morning light, and he will come to us as the early and the latter rain to the earth." (Hosea 6:3 in the Douai Rheims Bible)

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Mark Kinzer and Nostra Aetate: A Hebrew Catholic Viewpoint

I am presently reading Mark Kinzer's new book on Nostra Aetate 4. Kinzer is a leading American Messianic Jewish Rabbi and theologian. I think the book is important for all those interested in the Hebrew Catholic and Messianic Jewish movements. His analysis of Lumen Gentium and Nostra Aetate 4 is very insightful and how they connect and don't connect is an important area of further theological exploration and speculation. We have only started on the theological journey of understanding the role of Jewish believers in the Body of Christ, which is the Church, in the light of the development of doctrine on the role of the Jews in  recent magisterial teaching. 

I think Kinzer makes a very important and valid point about Jewish identity and Torah observance of Jewish believers in Jesus. Lumen Gentium 9 speaks about  the Church being the people make up of Jews and Gentiles, united in one in the Spirit through the blood of the Messiah. Kinzer then draws our attention that this renewed messianic people of God are to be made up of Jews and Gentiles.  Kinzer then refers us to the writings and teachings of Cardinal Lustiger who speaks of the full Catholicity of the original Church containing both Jews as the church from the circumcision and Gentiles as the church from the nations, as two corporate environments in the one Body of the Messiah. Kinzer states: 

"If the Body of Christ is an eschatogically renewed and expanded form of genealogical-Israel, rather than a separate entity created by God ex nihilo and only prefigured by the Israel of the old covenant, then one would expect that the presence of Jews in her midst would be an essential component of her identity. Along with Mary the daughter of Zion, and the apostles, these Jews would serve as an extension of the Jewish identity of the risen Jesus in the heart of the Church...The Jewish members of the Church are a prophetic sign of the church's historical continuity with " the people of the Old Covenant, never revoked by God"....The "people of God" will not reach their destined fullness till the Jewish people- as a corporate reality- and the ecclesia come together as one flock with one shepherd...The presence of the gentiles in this people is essential to its universal vocation: however, the presence of Jews is just as essential..."

Rabbi Mark Kinzer then challenges us with these questions:

"...Is it sufficient for these Jewish members of the Church to be hidden like leaven in her universally expanding dough? Should their identity as Jews not be treasured, celebrated, and visibly expressed? And is it sufficient for these Jewish members of the Church to live dispersed among their gentile brothers and sisters, isolated from one another and without any distinctive corporate identity among themselves? Is the ecclesia ex circumcisione an invisible community of unrelated individuals, or is it called to be a manifest social reality, like the universal ecclesia of which it is part?..."

These concerns of Rabbi Kinzer is one of the main reasons it would seem that he has not formally entered the Catholic Church. Father Elias Friedman the founder of the Association of Hebrew Catholics was also concerned with this idea of the Jews in the Church having a judicially approved corporate identity in the Church. This was why Friedman opposed any forms of active evangelisation that targeted Jewish people at this stage of salvation history. It is a point of great frustration for many Catholic Jews that it is very difficult at present to live out fully their Jewish vocation or election in the Church. The best we can manage is to, in a limited way, become more observant of some of our Jewish traditions and customs as a form of private devotion. This is a great first step but the communal aspect of our election and calling as Israelites can never be fully satisfied in a gentile dominated environment of faith.

I look forward to reading the rest of Rabbi Kinzer's insightful book "Searching Her Own Mystery: Nostra Aetate, the Jewish people, and the identity of the Church". This is a book every Catholic theologian should read and contemplate. Cardinal Schonborn of Austria writes the foreword to this book and also asks the Catholic reader: "Will we hear the essential question he [Kinzer] raises, he and the movement of Messianic Jews in whose name he speaks?" 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Signs of the Times: Jews, Joseph and Our Lady

 According to the private revelations given to the great Italian mystic and servant of God Luisa Piccarreta we entered a new era in September 1889 when for the first time since the Assumption of Our Lady the grace or gift of Living in the Divine Will was restored to earth. Through Luisa as the new born of the Kingdom of the Divine Will the grace became available for all which 2,000 years ago had only been given to the inhabitants of the Holy House of Nazareth. Jesus told Luisa that the Roman Church will give this gift of Living in the Kingdom of the Divine Will to the Jewish people.

According to Blessed Pope Paul VI we should be surveying the signs of the times. "By carefully surveying the signs of the times, we are making every effort to adapt ways and methods to the growing needs of our time and the changing conditions of society..." The promise of a new and divine holiness (as articulated by Pope St John Paul II) given to mankind is part of the signs of our times. "God himself had provided to bring about that “new and divine” holiness with which the Holy Spirit wishes to enrich Christians at the dawn of the third millennium, in order to “make Christ the heart of the world.” Pope Francis following the example of his predecessors stated. "God is not afraid of new things! That is why he is continually surprising us, opening our hearts and guiding us in unexpected ways."

Another sign of our times according to Father Elias Friedman, the founder of the Association of Hebrew Catholics, is the return to Israel in 1948 and Jerusalem in 1967 of Jewish rule, another sign that he saw was the rise in America of the Messianic Jewish movement. Another was the second Vatican Council and Nostra Aetate 4 with a new understanding of Jews and Judaism.  Today there is a ongoing dialogue between Catholics and the Jewish communities as well as dialogue with the Messianic Jewish communities as well as the Helsinki Consultations between the Messianic Jews and the Church Jews. These are all signs of the times.

Another sign of the times is the Charismatic, Eucharistic Adoration, Marian and Josephine movements which are enriching our understanding of the Holy Spirit, the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. Alongside this is a movement of understanding the Jewish roots of the faith. Yeshua, Miriam and Yosef were devout practicing Jews and today there is a move among many Messianic Jews and even Church Jews to a return to Jewish observance in the life of the Jewish believer in Yeshua. A new move towards the believer having a mystical and intimate union with Yeshua is also part of these signs of the times.

The private revelations to Sister Neuzil in regards to the devotion of Our Lady of America unite the longing for intimate union with obedience to the Torah and its connection to Living or Dwelling in Divine Will.   Our Lady Miriam a devout Jewess told Sister Mary Ephrem Neuzil 

“My poor child, you have suffered much, but do not fear. Take courage, for soon a haven of rest will be given you — not a refuge from suffering and pain, but a nest of solitude for the little white dove, so dear to me and the Heart of my Son. Patience, sweet child! The Will of the Father must be dearer to you than all else. This is the lesson every soul desiring intimate union with my Son must strive to learn.” 
 St Joseph himself a devout Jewish Tzadik (Righteous One) also told her:
It is true, my daughter, that immediately after my conception I was, through the future merits of Jesus and because of my exceptional role of future Virgin-Father, cleansed from the stain of original sin.

I was from that moment confirmed in grace and never had the slightest stain on my soul. This is my unique privilege among men.

My Pure Heart also was from the first moment of existence inflamed with love for God. Immediately, at the moment when my soul was cleansed from original sin, grace was infused into it in such abundance that, excluding my holy spouse, I surpassed the holiness of the highest angel in the angelic choir. My heart suffered with the Hearts of Jesus and Mary. Mine was a silent suffering, for it was my special vocation to hide and shield, as long as God willed, the Virgin Mother and Son from the malice and hatred of men.

The most painful of my sorrows was that I knew beforehand of their passion, yet would not be there to console them. Their future suffering was ever present to me and became my daily cross, so I became, in union with my holy spouse, co-redemptor of the human race. Through compassion for the sufferings of Jesus and Mary I co-operated, as no other, in the salvation of the world.
St Joseph also said:
" ...Mine was perfect obedience to the Divine Will and it was shown and made known to me by the Jewish law and religion. To be careless in this is most displeasing to God and will be severely punished in the next world...".
 Our Lady told Sister Neuzil that: "My holy spouse has an important part to play in bringing peace to the world." This role of St Joseph is very connected according to the renewal of fatherhood and the family and Pope Francis' calling of a special Synod on the family is part of these signs of the times. St Joseph also reveals to Sister Neuzil his role in teaching about Divine Will:

 "The cross, my little one, upon which my heart rests is the cross of the Passion, which was ever present before me, causing me intense suffering. I desire souls to come to my Heart that they may learn true union with the Divine Will. It is enough, my child; I will come again tomorrow. Then I will make known to you how God wishes me to be honored in union with Jesus and Mary to obtain peace among men and nations. Good night, my little one."
Rebbe Nachman of Breslov a devout Hasidic Jewish Tzadik, who died in 1810, proclaims Joseph as the Hidden Tzadik who is the Master of the House (Home) in Likutey Moharan 67. 

"And all this is an aspect of "The Concealment", when the beauty and splendour of the whole world becomes concealed. However there is a Tzaddik who is beauty, splendour and grace of the entire world, and who is symbolised by Joseph, who was "beautiful in form and handsome" (Genesis 39:6), "a beautiful sight, the joy of the entire land" (Psalm 48:3). When the beauty and splendour of this genuine Tzaddik, who is symbolised by Joseph, is revealed in the world by becoming renowned and esteemed, then the eyes of mankind will be opened. And whoever is included in the genuine grace of this Tzaddik, the world's grace and beauty, by following him and surrending his self to become part of this Tzaddik's soul, will have his eyes opened, and he will be able to see... And with this we return to BeREShYT, the beginning, the RoeSh BaYiT, the head and master of the house of the world, namely, the genuine Tzaddik, who is beauty and glory of the world, represented by Joseph, alluded to in the verse, "Joseph is the ruler...he supplies food..." (Genesis 42:6), because he is the RoeSh BaYiT, the master of the house of the world. For he is the one who maintains the Temple and every Jewish house and home...And when the name of this Tzadik, who represents the head of the house, becomes esteemed, the eyes of the Jewish people are opened, as above. So this is the connection of "bereshit' to "l'einei kol Yisrael". Bereshit- this is the master of the house, the Tzaddik, who is the glory of the world, through whom are opened "einei kol Yisael", the eyes of all the Jewish people."

see St Joseph in the Divine Will

Friday, August 07, 2015

Father Antoine Levy and Jews in the Church: A Hebrew Catholic Insight

Father Antoine Levy a  French Jew , a Dominican priest and a Theological Professor in Finland writes: 

"Although some Christians like to tell Jews who became their fellow believers that they are “doubly chosen”, they have no idea what this dual election means in theory as well as in practice. As far as I know, the embryo of a Catholic – let alone a Christian Orthodox – reflection on the purpose and role of Jews in the Body of the Church has yet to see the light of day."

Father Levy is part of a team of  Jews in the Church involved in the Helsinki Consultations. In his recent paper titled "Christophoric Flesh" presented in Moscow he also said: 

" In some way, I think the role of Jews in the Church is essentially negative. In virtue of their own flesh or through their mere presence, Jews are called to exorcize the pagan spirit that still haunts the minds of so many Gentile Christians. There is – this belief is the fruit of my private experience as well as the experience of the Helsinki Consultation- an instinctive knowledge about God, a familiarity with Him that is equally shared by Jewish disciples of Christ and is neither communicated nor communicable to Gentile Christians. As I said before drawing on Paul´s teaching, it does not confer any status of superiority to Jewish disciples over Gentile disciples, just as being a man does not confer any privilege over being a woman when it comes to the reality of Christ´s Salvation. "
Father Antoine also speaks of the insights of Soloviev the great Russian thinker. Soloviev said that it would be the Jews in the Western and Eastern churches that would bring about the reunion of Eastern and Western churches. Father Antoine uses the Slavic idea of a Christophoric (Christ bearer) nation or people but instead of applying it to Poland or Russia he applies this to the Jewish people in connection with the Pauline passage in Romans which is quoted in Nostra Aetate about the Jewish people belonging to the Messiah in a unique manner according to the flesh.

Of course this emphasis on the flesh is a deeply mystical concept intrinsically linked to the Incarnational mystery of the Word becoming flesh in the Messiah Yeshua and the Eucharistic mystery of the flesh and blood of Yeshua which is Jewish flesh and blood. Many have linked the passion and via dolorosa of the Messiah in time with the passion and via dolorosa of the Jewish people throughout history. Jews are connected to the Messiah as a passion people before their baptism whereas Gentiles (as individuals or even as peoples) enter through embracing that passion through baptism. Of course this opens us up to the Marian mysteries of Our Lady as the unique Jewish God bearer and Jewish passion embracer (at the foot of the Cross- the Co-redemptrix) as Jewish Mother of God. This then using the concept of "like wife, like husband" (used by Father Francis L. Filas) opens us to a deeper penetration of the mystery of St Joseph as Jewish Hidden Tzadik and Jewish virgin father of the Messiah. 

From what I am reading from some of the discussion from the Helsinki Consultation on Jews in the Church- that there is some kind of unique "feeling" (not sure that is the right word) as Jews in Mashiach that bonds the Jews participating whether they are in the Messianic movements or in the Catholic, Orthodox or Protestant churches. Father Levy speaks of his difficulties with his Gentile Catholic Domincan brothers:

"I imperturbably continued my path in the same state of mind within the Dominican Order. However, through the years of study and ministry, some sort of new awareness arose and started growing deep inside. I could clearly see that not all the divergences and sometimes clashes between me and my Dominican brothers could be put to the account of my difficulties, as an exotic new-comer, adjusting to the objective standards of Christian charity. I was under the impression that increasingly often the fact that I did not see eye to eye with them stemmed from my being a Jew and them not being such, so that it had hardly anything to do with the norms of Christian charity. Rather it had to do with what I would call an ontological difference, something that derived from the creative will of God. In other words, what surfaced was the inability of these brethren to acknowledge and value a feature which, at its core, could not have been intended to destroy the bonds of charity within the Body of Christ but on the contrary, to bolster and strengthen them.  Of course, these good men were not personally to blame..." 

Father Levy then discusses the relevance of the Jews in the different churches and the Messianic movements coming together. 

"This being said, nothing would have come out of this new awareness, had I not had two simultaneous encounters several years ago. The first was with a group of Finnish Orthodox believers who viewed Jews and Judaism in a favourable light. The second was the discovery of Messianic Judaism as a religious phenomenon. If there is such a thing as a Jewish way of being disciples of Christ and if this way has a value in itself, as Messianic Judaism claims, should this reality not prompt historic Christian denominations to re-assess the status they currently grant, or refuse to grant, their Jewish members?  Jewish disciples of Christ have something to say to the whole Body of Christ by dint of merely being who they are. Accordingly, I was led into thinking that the commonality of their human and spiritual experience would be sufficient to give Jews affiliated with different Church bodies not only the duty, but the desire and the ability to speak with one voice. ... We, Jewish followers of Christ, experience a human and spiritual commonality the depth and the power of which are definitely superior to that of the division between our denominations...".

I think that the reflections of Father Antoine Levy are very relevant to many of us who are Jews in the Church even if one doesn't see it in the same way as he does on every detail. We are at the beginning of a great project and we need prophetic voices and more importantly we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit who leads us into deeper and deeper dimensions of our Faith. However I don't think the unique place of the Jewish people as a Christophoric people "in the flesh" means that Poland or Russia or the Slavic peoples in general are not also Christophoric peoples "in the spirit" with a unique mission of their own. In fact I think the Slavic people have embraced this concept of being Christophoric or passion bearing nations due to interaction with the large Jewish presence in their midst during the centuries. One day the envy or jealousy will depart from between Judah and Ephraim and they will embrace one another and all Israel will be saved. 

We are not Gnostics and thus flesh and spirit, body and soul, must always go together. Unfortunately in much Gentile Catholic spirituality there is a Gnostic tendency that needs this Jewish "enfleshment" that renews our spirituality in the Scriptures and Tradition as received from the Jewish apostles of the Mother Church of the Circumcision. Unfortunately due to Gentile pressure and also the Jewish converts own misunderstanding, the Jews in the Church for too long tried to metaphorically hide or remove the cut of the flesh, which is circumcision (symbolising the brit (covenant) and their Jewishness), contrary to the advice of St Paul. Many of us Jews in the church became like the Hellenizers of Maccabee times rather than like the mother of the seven Maccabean sons. Many a Gentile Catholic has been like the Torturer of the Maccabean sons saying "Go on - a little taste of pork won't matter, fit in, don't make waves, don't be different". The Torturer of the Maccabees starts to look very like the Inquisitor of the Spanish Inquisition. 

Father Antoine Levy asks some very important questions:

"...is it the will of God, as manifested in Jesus Christ, that the Jews should retain their identity as they form one Body with other disciples? If it is the will of God, then the existence of Messianic Jews must have a precise purpose in God's providential plan. But what could it be?

This is the heart of all the discussion - the Divine Will and its coming on earth as it is in Heaven and how that Kingdom of the Divine Will shall come in its fullness through the ingrafting and ingathering of the Jewish people as laid out in Romans 11 and confirmed in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Father Elias Friedman the Carmelite founder of the Association of Hebrew Catholics saw that the restoration of  Israel and Jerusalem to Jewish control and the rise of the Messianic Jewish movement as part of the signs of the times that would reverse the regime of assimilation and create a space for a Jewish community in the Catholic Church that would eventually lead to the ingrafting.