Guest Article – Love your enemies

Jesus’ understanding of what kind of God God is and what God expects of us was radically out of harmony with people’s religious and secular consciousness at the time of His birth, as it is two thousand years after His birth. In his seminal work on the subject of the Jewishness of Jesus entitled, Jesus of Nazareth (1921), the famous Hebrew Biblical scholar Joseph Klausner, writes,

“There was yet another element in Jesus’ idea of God, which Judaism could not accept. Jesus tells his disciples to love their enemies, as well as their friends since their Father in heaven makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends his rain upon the righteous and the ungodly…With this Jesus introduces something new into the idea of God…But his teaching has not proved possible. Therefore he left the course of ordinary life untouched, wicked, cruel, pagan and his exalted ethical idea has been relegated to a book, or at most becomes a possession of monastics and recluses who live apart from the paths of ordinary life…As a sole and self-sufficient national code of teaching Judaism could by no means agree with it…and such has been the case with Christianity from the time of Constantine to this present day.

Pharisaic Judaism was too mature; its purpose too fixed to change. Its leaders were fighting for their national existence and grappling with foreign oppressors and with semi-foreigners that sought to crush it, and with a decadent idolatry that sought to absorb it. In such days of stress and affliction they were themselves far removed and would remove also their fellow Jews from the dangerous fantasies [of Jesus], an extremism which most of the race could not endure. They saw at the outset what the end would be of following Jesus. How could Judaism accede to such an ethical ideal?”

John Meier, Professor of Theology at the University of Notre Dame and a Catholic priest has spent more than twenty-five years writing five volumes on the Jesus of the Gospel, titled A Marginal Jew. Each volume carries the Imprimatur of the Catholic Church, meaning it is free from doctrinal error. Harold Bloom, Sterling Professor of Humanities at Yale, and renowned religious and secular literary critic speaks of John Meier as doing “the finest scholarly work on Jesus at this time.”  In Volume IV, Meier spends twenty- three pages of text and ten pages of footnotes on Jesus command, “Love your enemies.”

He writes,

“’Love your enemies” is a brutal, brief direct command. It is a counterintuitive command. But, Jesus is not so foolish as to command emotions. He is rather commanding his disciples to will good and to do good to their enemies no matter how the disciples may feel about them, and no matter whether the enemies remain enemies despite the goodness shown them. [Emphasis in the original] The laconic and disturbing command, ‘Love your enemies,’ finds no exact iteration in the Old Testament or Qumran, or intertestamental literature prior to A.D. 70, or even in literature that is especially relevant to this topic, namely, pagan philosophical works. By ‘exact iteration’ I mean that no parallel, however, close in thought or spirit, uses the terse, stark juxtaposition of the ever-popular direct imperative ‘love’ with the impossible object ‘enemies.’  Nowhere though in the huge amount of material that ancient parallels provide us do we find the terse, direct disturbing command, ‘Love your enemies.’ The troubling content is embodied in a troubling formulation, all the more forceful for its brevity and originality. This command goes back to Jesus.”

As a final and hopefully helpful pastoral thought, concerning which all of us should be very clear, “Love you enemies” as spoken by Jesus in the Gospels is never presented as a suggestion or as an invitation, or as a counsel which the Christian is free to follow unless he or she or their institutional Church can come up with a better idea on how to respond to enemies. It is always a command from the Word of God Incarnate, containing not a hint that there are situations or contexts that can override it and make it for a time an inoperable truth in a Christian’s life or a Church’s life.


RORATE CÆLI: Prayer, the Key to Salvation

Sandro Botticcelli’s The Punishment of Korah and the Stoning of Moses and Aaron from the Sistine Chapel Rome


“The Jews, therefore, murmured at Him, because He had said: I am the living bread which came down from heaven.” (John vi. 41.) “This murmuring at the doctrine of our Lord Jesus Christ is,” says St. Cyrillus, “the inheritance which was bequeathed to the Jews by their forefathers, who lived at the time of Moses.”

Would to God that this inheritance had been transmitted to the Jews only; but, alas! there is no class of men which is free from such murmurers. Our Lord’s doctrine is murmured at by infidels when they hear Him say: “He that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark xvi. 16) …”because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.” (John iii. 18.)

The doctrine of our Lord is murmured at by Protestants, when He declares: “Not every one that saith to Me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doth the will of My Father who is in Heaven, he shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matt. vii. 21.) The will of God has not been taught by Luther, or Calvin, or Henry VIII, or John Wesley, or by another man who invented certain doctrines, and founded a sect according to his own private notions, but it has been taught by Me, the Son of God, Who have charged Peter and his lawful successors to do the same. Upon him I have built My Church; to him and his lawful successors I have said: “He who heareth you heareth Me, and he that despiseth you despiseth Me, and he who despiseth Me despiseth Him that sent Me.” One who does not do this will be condemned. “There is a way [the Protestant religion] that seemeth to a man right, and the ends therefore lead to death.” (Prov. xvi. 25.)

Sinners murmur when our Blessed Saviour preaches: “I say to you that unless you shall do penance, you shall all likewise perish.” (Luke xiii. 3.) The rich also complain, when He threatens “Woe to you that are rich, for you have your consolation.” (Luke vi. 24.) The poor are dissatisfied when He teaches: “Blessed are the poor in spirit.” (Math, v. 3.) The learned reject His doctrine when he warns: “Amen I say to you: unless you be converted and become as little children, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Math. xviii. 3.) The young are displeased when He exclaims, “Woe to you that now laugh, for you shall mourn and weep.” (Luke vi. 25.) Those who are tempted or afflicted, murmur when He exhorts them by His words and example: “Not my will but Thine be done.” (Luke xxii. 42.) The lukewarm are displeased when He tells them: “Because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of My mouth.” (Apoc. iii. 16.) Finally, the greater part of men murmur at our Lord, when He teaches: “The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent bear it away.” (Matt. xi. 12.) They complain with the unfaithful disciples of our Lord, “these are hard sayings who can hear them.” (John vi. 61.)

via RORATE CÆLI: Prayer, the Key to Salvation.

Pilgrimage to Chartres!: Preliminary Information for 2014

Chartres Pilgrims


Welcome to the 32nd Chartres Pilgrimage! Briefly, we walk from Notre-Dame Cathedral, Paris, to Notre-Dame Cathedral, Chartres, involving 70 miles in three days. This involves long hours of walking, early morning starts, arriving at the campsite late in the evenings and requires a reasonable level of fitness.

The British Pilgrimage starts on Friday 6 June 2014 with the Holy Mass in Westminster Cathedral Crypt at 7.00am and the coach leaves for Calais at 7.30am.  Each day on the Pilgrimage the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass will be celebrated and we will also meditate on the Holy Rosary.  Also, confession and spiritual guidance will be available throughout the day. On Tuesday 10 June 2014, there is Mass in the Crypt of Chartres Cathedral before the coach takes us back to England via the Eurotunnel arriving at Westminster Cathedral at 8.00pm.

What is the Chartres Pilgrimage ?

Chartres is at the centre of the religious history of France. Since Roman times, when the “Virgo Paritura” was venerated here, to the present day, the shrine has not ceased to attract pilgrims from the most distinguished (all the kings of France) to the most humble.

The Chartres pilgrimage is a very old tradition in France, and has been given new vigour by the association Notre-Dame de Chrétienté‚ which has organised it for over 30 years. The president of the Association is Jean de Tauriers and the Chaplain is Abbé Coiffet.

The pilgrimage is a walk of prayer and penance, and has both an individual and a social character. Encouraged by several Popes, and numerous bishops, over 8,000 pilgrims take part, with about 750 coming from 20 foreign countries. All are united in prayer to Our Lady during a three-day walk of 70 miles, making this the largest pilgrimage of its kind in Western Europe, both in the distance covered and in the number of pilgrims. Each day, Mass is celebrated in the most beautiful way, according to the Roman Missal of Pope John XXIII. The liturgy is the traditional Latin one: magnificent instrument of prayer, stressing the universal character of the Mass.

The spirit of the Pentecost Pilgrimage

The pilgrimage is organised in a dynamic spirit, as a reaction to the materialism of our times. We place ourselves within the traditional doctrine taught by the Church. Wishing to work for the Social Reign of Our Lord, we want our Faith to overflow into our personal lives, our family lives, our working lives, and into the very life of our country. Following Huysmans, Psichari, Peguy and other illustrious converts, the Chartres pilgrims walk for Christendom, “that sunny side of a civilisation where the Kingship of Christ spreads over the lives and works of men, over the families and over the nations, searching obstinately amidst the cultures and earthly battles, for an uncompromising balance between nature and grace, wishing, by heroism and holiness, to trace already on earth the avenues of the Kingdom.”

A call to conversion, a public act of reparation to the Sacred Heart, this pilgrimage is a homage to Christ the King and to the Blessed Virgin Mary.


The pilgrims walk in ‘chapters’. The Chapter of Our Lady of Walsingham (older adults) is led by Francis Carey and Jamie Bogle. The Chaplains, Fr Edwards and Fr Byrne, will accompany us all along the walk, hearing confessions, providing meditations, prayers and teaching the Catholic Faith. Our Juventutem (Youth) Chapter is under the patronage of Saint Alban. The Juventutem Chaplain is Fr Redman.  There may be a Family Chapter of the Immaculate Heart of Mary if there is demand. The Family Chapter walks a slightly truncated route and can accomodate younger children (6 and above).

THEME FOR THE YEAR 2014 :”In the Beginning, God Created Heaven and Earth…”

The 32nd Chartres Pilgrimage begins a new chapter starting at the beginning of the Bible, the beginning of Creation.  Each day will have its own Patron Saint and subtheme for meditation.


It is highly recommended that pilgrims consecrate (or reconsecrate) themselves totally to Our Lady after the manner of St Louis de Montfort at the campsite at Gas before the Blessed Sacrament exposed on Pentecost.   The preparation for this takes 33 days and, therefore, you should start this on 4 May 2014, Feast of the Holy Martyrs of England and Wales, (to finish on the day we leave England for the Pilgrimage).  Previous pilgrims wishing to renew their Consecration should start on 16 May 2014.  Details can be found on the Website.

via Pilgrimage to Chartres!: Preliminary Information for 2014.