(Repost) Athanasian Creed : A Profession of the True Christian Faith

(Originally posted on 2 May 2014)

The Athanasian Creed by St. Athanasius of Alexandria, the courageous and zealous defender of the faith against the heretics who refused to see the truth in Christ, that He is fully divine and man, united in one person of Jesus Christ, who as the Son is equal with the Father and the Holy Spirit as the Most Holy Trinity, One God but Three Divine Persons.

 

Text of the Athanasian Creed:

 

Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem: Quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque servaverit, absque dubio in aeternum peribit.

Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic faith. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled; without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

 

Fides autem catholica haec est: ut unum Deum in Trinitate, et Trinitatem in unitate veneremur. Neque confundentes personas, neque substantiam separantes.

And the Catholic faith is this: That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence.

 

Alia est enim persona Patris alia Filii, alia Spiritus Sancti: Sed Patris, et Filii, et Spiritus Sancti una est divinitas, aequalis gloria, coeterna maiestas. Qualis Pater, talis Filius, talis et Spiritus Sanctus.

For there is one Person of the Father; another of the Son; and another of the Holy Ghost. But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, is all one; the Glory equal, the Majesty coeternal. Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost.

 

Increatus Pater, increatus Filius, increatus et Spiritus Sanctus. Immensus Pater, immensus Filius, immensus et Spiritus Sanctus. Aeternus Pater, aeternus Filius, aeternus et Spiritus Sanctus.

The Father uncreated; the Son uncreated; and the Holy Ghost uncreated. The Father unlimited; the Son unlimited; and the Holy Ghost unlimited. The Father eternal; the Son eternal; and the Holy Ghost eternal.

 

Et tamen non tres aeterni, sed unus aeternus. Sicut non tres increati, nec tres immensi, sed unus increatus, et unus immensus.

And yet they are not three eternals; but one eternal. As also there are not three uncreated; nor three infinites, but one uncreated; and one infinite.

 

Similiter omnipotens Pater, omnipotens Filius, omnipotens et Spiritus Sanctus. Et tamen non tres omnipotentes, sed unus omnipotens.

So likewise the Father is Almighty; the Son Almighty; and the Holy Ghost Almighty. And yet they are not three Almighties; but one Almighty.

 

Ita Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus et Spiritus Sanctus. Et tamen non tres dii, sed unus est Deus. Ita Dominus Pater, Dominus Filius, Dominus et Spiritus Sanctus. Et tamen non tres Domini, sed unus est Dominus.

So the Father is God; the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost is God. And yet they are not three Gods; but one God. So likewise the Father is Lord; the Son Lord; and the Holy Ghost Lord. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord.

 

Quia, sicut singillatim unamquamque personam Deum ac Dominum confiteri christiana veritate compellimur: Ita tres Deos aut tres Dominos dicere catholica religione prohibemur.

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity; to acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord; So are we forbidden by the catholic religion; to say, There are three Gods, or three Lords.

 

Pater a nullo est factus: nec creatus, nec genitus. Filius a Patre solo est: non factus, nec creatus, sed genitus. Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio: non factus, nec creatus, nec genitus, sed procedens.

The Father is made of none; neither created, nor begotten. The Son is of the Father alone; not made, nor created; but begotten. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son; neither made, nor created, nor begotten; but proceeding.

 

Unus ergo Pater, non tres Patres: unus Filius, non tres Filii: unus Spiritus Sanctus, non tres Spiritus Sancti. Et in hac Trinitate nihil prius aut posterius, nihil maius aut minus: Sed totae tres personae coaeternae sibi sunt et coaequales.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers; one Son, not three Sons; one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts. And in this Trinity none is before, or after another; none is greater, or less than another. But the whole three Persons are coeternal, and coequal.

 

Ita, ut per omnia, sicut iam supra dictum est, et unitas in Trinitate, et Trinitas in unitate veneranda sit. Qui vult ergo salvus esse, ita de Trinitate sentiat.

So that in all things, as aforesaid; the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity, is to be worshipped. He therefore that will be saved, let him thus think of the Trinity.

 

Sed necessarium est ad aeternam salutem, ut incarnationem quoque Domini nostri Iesu Christi fideliter credat. Est ergo fides recta ut credamus et confiteamur, quia Dominus noster Iesus Christus, Dei Filius, Deus pariter et homo est.

Furthermore it is necessary to everlasting salvation; that he also believe faithfully the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess; that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God and Man.

 

Deus est ex substantia Patris ante saecula genitus: et homo est ex substantia matris in saeculo natus. Perfectus Deus, perfectus homo: ex anima rationali et humana carne subsistens. Aequalis Patri secundum divinitatem: minor Patre secundum humanitatem.

God, of the Essence of the Father; begotten before the worlds; and Man, of the Essence of his Mother, born in the world. Perfect God; and perfect Man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting. Equal to the Father, as touching his Godhead; and inferior to the Father as touching his Manhood.

 

Qui licet Deus sit et homo, non duo tamen, sed unus est Christus. Unus autem non conversione divinitatis in carnem, sed assumptione humanitatis in Deum. Unus omnino, non confusione substantiae, sed unitate personae.

Who although he is God and Man; yet he is not two, but one Christ. One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh; but by assumption of the Manhood by God. One altogether; not by confusion of Essence; but by unity of Person.

 

Nam sicut anima rationalis et caro unus est homo: ita Deus et homo unus est Christus. Qui passus est pro salute nostra: descendit ad inferos: tertia die resurrexit a mortuis.

For as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man; so God and Man is one Christ; Who suffered for our salvation; descended into hell; rose again the third day from the dead.

 

Ascendit ad in caelos, sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis. Inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos. Ad cujus adventum omnes homines resurgere habent cum corporibus suis; Et reddituri sunt de factis propriis rationem. Et qui bona egerunt, ibunt in vitam aeternam: qui vero mala, in ignem aeternum.

He ascended into heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the God the Father Almighty, from whence he will come to judge the living and the dead. At whose coming all men will rise again with their bodies; And shall give account for their own works. And they that have done good shall go into life everlasting; and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire.

 

Haec est fides catholica, quam nisi quisque fideliter firmiterque crediderit, salvus esse non poterit.

This is the Catholic faith; which except a man believe truly and firmly, he cannot be saved.

(College of Cardinals Update) Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio (Italy), President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts turned 80 and becomes ineligible to participate in a future Papal Conclave

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, Cardinal Deacon of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami, President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts has turned 80 on Tuesday, 6 March 2018. Therefore, in accordance to the Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, he can no longer vote in a future Papal Conclave.

Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio was the Auxiliary Bishop of Milan from 1993 to 2007. In 2007, he was appointed as the President of the Pontifical Council for Legislative Texts, a position he held until the present day.

He was made a Prince of the Church, as the Cardinal Deacon of San Giuseppe dei Falegnami at the Consistory of 18 February 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI, the Vicar of Christ.

We pray for Cardinal Francesco Coccopalmerio, that even in his retirement years, he may continue to inspire the faithful and the Church, and keep strongly the teachings of the Church. May he have a good health and be blessed all the days of his life. Ad multos annos!

Currently, there are 117 Cardinal-electors in the College of Cardinals, which means that there are 3 vacancies for Cardinal-electors available at the moment. The next Cardinal to age out will be Cardinal Manuel Monteiro de Castro, Major Penitentiary Emeritus of the Apostolic Penitentiary (Italy) on 29 March 2018.

Thursday, 5 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the story of the calling of Simon Peter and his companions, the sons of Zebedee, fishermen of Galilee, to become the fishers of mankind. They have been called from their boats, from the Sea of Galilee, to be a part of the grand plan of salvation.

As fishermen at sea, Simon and the other fishermen merely did their daily routine of catching fishes, but then as the fishers of mankind, they broke out of their previous life, and went through trials and tribulations, going to different parts of the world, fishing ‘mankind’ and bring them to God. The world is now their fishing ground, and not just the Lake of Galilee anymore, where they used to work as fishermen.

They had been given greater and nobler purpose in their lives, that is to bring souls they had caught to God. How did they catch them then? No, not by fishing net as they had done to the fishes of Lake Galilee. They did that by being witnesses of Christ, of His death and His glorious resurrection. They preached the Good News to people who had not yet witnessed or heard about Christ before.

In that way they had spread the nets, yes, the nets of the kingdom of God, that all those who are not yet worthy of the kingdom of God, can be brought together in love, and put on the right track towards salvation in God. The Apostles went through much hardships and difficulties as they tried to bring the Lord to mankind, suffering rejection, persecution, and mockery in the process.

Yet the Apostles are not superhuman, brethren, as they are also humans like us. They suffered from doubt, fear, anxiety, and uncertainty especially when Jesus was still among them, and they were indeed scattered when jesus was taken from them by betrayal of Judas, scattered like sheep without a shepherd to guide them.

What is important is that the Apostles did not abandon their calling, the same calling God had called them for when He called Simon Peter and the sons of Zebedee from the Lake, and also for the other disciples. They kept their faith and believed in the Lord when He returned to them after the resurrection. They were empowered with the Holy Spirit, the Advocate on the day of the Pentecost.

They faced oppositions from the Pharisees and the chief priests, as well as the Roman authorities, when they went on to spread the Good News of the Lord. It is indeed as if the Apostles, the fishers of mankind, faced terrible waves and storms in their journey to ‘catch’ mankind to salvation in God. They persevered despite the heavy stormy conditions and saved many in the process.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, how is this then relevant to us who live in this world today, two thousand years after Jesus called His disciples? It is precisely because the work of the Apostles as the fishers of men dis not just stop with them or with their death. The Apostles had appointed their successors to lead the Church of God, and they are truly our priests and bishops of today.

Yes, brethren, they are the successors of the original fishers of men, and their duty is no less heavy as compared to that of the Apostle’s. They also have to work hard to ‘catch’ mankind and bring them into the kingdom of God, just as the Apostles had once done. However, brethren, in fact, we should, in our own small ways, be fishers of men too. Yes, fishers of men, that is to bring the people to God.

How do we do that? It is by showing God to mankind, the living God through our words, deeds, and actions, that the Lord and His everlasting love will be made manifest in this world, through us. The same is also done by our priests and bishops, as the Apostles too had done themselves once. In doing that, we cast out wide the nets of the kingdom, and fish out many men.

Do not be disheartened brothers and sisters, if we think that we cannot do much. Indeed, even one man can make much a difference in our world, and save many. If we start with small things, even eventually this can have large impact, just as we can see in wave ripples, where even small wave can have huge impact on the water, as the waves built upon each other in strength.

The Lord had asked Simon Peter to go and put his net into the deep, and there he found many fish, so many that the ship almost sank. This is also known in Latin as Duc in Altum, ‘to put into the deep’. Again, through this, the Lord challenges all of us, to not just remain in our comfort zone, that is ‘near the shore’, and instead set out to the deep. As fishermen all know, the further out they go into the sea, the more fish they will be able to catch. Thus, we too ought to follow the lead and cast our ‘net’ into the deep, that means giving out of ourselves in ever greater ways, in full and complete dedication and love for our fellow brethren.

Therefore, let us also take the opportunity given to all of us, to be like the Apostles of Christ, to reach out to our fellow brethren who have yet to know Christ, that we can play each of our own parts in the Church of God, with our Pope, the successor of St. Peter the Apostle, chief of the apostles, and the bishops as leaders, together working as the fishers of mankind, for the sake of the salvation of all in Christ. God bless us all. Amen.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Scripture Reflection)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we celebrate today the great feast of one principal saint of Christendom, none other than St. Gregory the Great, also known as Pope St. Gregory the Great who lived and reigned as Pope in the turn of the seventh century after the birth of Christ. He lived during the time of troubles, of the Dark Ages Europe, after the fall of the Roman Empire in Western Europe, with barbarians plundering the former lands of the Empire and settling in them as permanent settlers.

Even Rome and Italy at the time the birth of Pope St. Gregory the Great was under the authority and power of the Ostrogoths, one of the Gothic barbarian peoples who had settled in Italy after the fall of the Empire in the west. The Ostrogoths adopted the Arian heretic belief, and the predecessors of Pope St. Gregory the Great, as the Pope and the Bishop of Rome, worked hard to convert them to the true faith of the Apostles and reject their heretical beliefs.

Pope St. Gregory the Great lived through a time of great difficulties before he became Pope in 590 AD. The Ostrogothic kingdom went through a series of civil wars and internal conflicts, and together with the reconquest campaign by the Eastern Roman Empire, which saw Italy and Rome back at the hand of the Empire, had wrecked much of the local population, ravaged by warfare and deadly disease.

On the backdrop of these events, Pope St. Gregory the Great lived his early life and his adult years, and yet, he grew up to be a pious, zealous, and well educated man, who joined the religious life and became a monk. He was deeply devoted to Christ and immersed himself in his religious devotions as a monk, and prayed fervently and worked hard for the sake of God. Even after his election to the See of Peter, he remained the same, and continued his good works for the sake of God and God’s holy people.

Most importantly, Pope St. Gregory the Great reinvigorated the Church and its missionary efforts, in spreading the faith and the Holy Gospels to the pagan peoples and to the heretics who had walked away from the true path of God, the path of salvation. He sent many missionaries to the far ends of Christendom, to England through St. Augustine of Canterbury, and to other parts of Europe, converting many to the faith in God, and bringing many souls to salvation.

Not only that, Pope St. Gregory the Great was truly irreplaceable for his crucial role in the reform of the Church, particularly in its liturgy and rules of worship in the Mass. Both the Mass we have today, in all its forms, and the Divine Liturgy that our brethren of the Eastern Churches celebrate can trace their origins to the reforms and changes made by Pope St. Gregory the Great, the holy and great reformer Pope.

If you find the name Gregorian Chant familiar, yes, this wonderful music of worship is named after this great Pope, who reformed Church music in such a radical way, that it totally changed the landscape of divine song and songs of worship over the centuries even until today. To Pope St. Gregory the Great, the Lord our God in Jesus Christ is so great and glorious in heaven, and so profound is His might and power, that we ought to honour Him the best way we can with our abilities and senses, and hence, his reforms of the Mass and the Church music in the Gregorian chants.

Pope St. Gregory the Great gave much of his love and care for others, for the poor through charity, and for everyone through his dedicated and loving actions in Christ. He brought the Lord close to everyone through his own deeds and words, and indeed, through his copious writings. Many of Pope St. Gregory the Great’s writing remained and became source of inspiration for our faith, just as it had been during his time as Pope. He worked hard to defend the people against heresies and against the temptations of the devil, doing as much as he could to bring more and more souls towards salvation.

Yes, brethren, this great and saintly Pope truly is worthy of heaven, and he preached with the authority of Jesus Christ the Lord and Saviour of all, who is so mighty and all-powerful, that even the evil spirits obeyed Him, as we heard in the Gospel today. Even the devil would kneel before the Lord crucified, the Almighty Creator of all, for He is the light of the world, and no darkness would be able to stand before Him.

We are the children of light, brothers and sisters in Christ, and as long as we do the will of God, and follow His ways, we will always reflect His brilliant light, and the devil will have no power over us, for he is doomed to destruction and eternal torture, while we who are saved in Christ are fated to be in the eternal light of God and enjoy the fruits of our faith, the fruits of our salvation. Fear not, brethren, for our Lord and God who loves us, desires not our death and destruction, as what He truly wishes for us, is to live, and not just any life, but an eternal life filled with love and true joy in Him.

That was why He sent us many help along the way, all His saints, including Pope St. Gregory the Great, whom we talked about just before. Through their hard work, we have known the Lord our loving God, and through their labours, we have received the teachings of the Lord and grow to understand the extent of His great love and dedication to all of us. However, the work did not just stop there, brethren, as even today, much work awaits us, and we too are called to be the saints and the apostles of our own time.

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, therefore, inspired by the examples of Pope St. Gregory the Great, and by the love and sacrifice of our Lord, through which He showed us His infinite love, let us also be proactive, in all our dealings, all of our words and all of our actions, that we will always reflect the love of God with zeal, and therefore obey His will, that is to love, to love Him with all our hearts and all our strength, and do the same to our fellow brothers and sisters.

May the Lord our God who showed us His mercy and love, and who rebuked evil spirits from the hearts of men that we may be clean and pure and worthy of Him, bless us, strengthen us, and empower us, that we will be reunited with Him when He comes again in glory and bring us to eternal life with Him, forever and ever. Amen.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Gospel Reading)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Luke 4 : 31-37

Jesus went down to Capernaum, a town of Galilee, and began teaching the people at the sabbath meetings. They were astonished at the way He taught them, for His word was spoken with authority.

In the synagogue there was a man possessed by an evil spirit, who shouted in a loud voice, “What do You want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have You come to destroy us? I recognise You : You are the Holy One of God.”

Then Jesus said to him sharply, “Be silent and leave this man!” The evil spirit then threw the man down in front of them, and came out of him without doing him harm.

Amazement seized all these people, and they said to one another, “What does this mean? He commands the evil spirits with authority and power. He orders, and you see how they come out!” And news about Jesus spread throughout the surrounding area.

Tuesday, 3 September 2013 : 22nd Week of Ordinary Time, Memorial of St. Gregory the Great, Pope and Doctor of the Church (Psalm)

Liturgical Colour : Green or White

Psalm 26 : 1, 4, 13-14

The Lord is my light and my salvation – whom shall I fear? The Lord is the rampart of my life; I will not be afraid.

One thing I ask of the Lord, one thing I seek – that I may dwell in His house all the days of my life, to gaze at His jewel and to visit His sanctuary.

I hope, I am sure, that I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Trust in the Lord, be strong and courageous. Yes, put your hope in the Lord!