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Midday Angelus, Sept 30,  Castel Gandolfo.

Dear brothers and sisters!

The Gospel of this Sunday presents one of those episodes of the life of Christ that, although, reported “in passing,” so to speak, contain a profound meaning (cf. Mark 9:38-41). It tells that someone, who was not one of Jesus’ followers, cast out demons in Jesus’ name. The Apostle John, young and zealous as he was, wanted to stop him but Jesus did not permit it; on the contrary, he takes the occasion to teach his disciples that God can do good and even wondrous things outside of their circle, and that it is possible to work together in the cause of the Kingdom of God in different ways, even offering a simple glass of water to a missionary (9:41).

St. Augustine writes in this regard: “Just as in the ‘Catholica,'” that is in the Church, “we can find that which is not Catholic, so also outside of the ‘Catholica’ there can be something Catholic” (“On Baptism Against the Donatists,” PL 43, VII, 39, 77). For this reason the members of the Church must not be jealous but rejoice if someone outside the community does something good in Christ’s name, as long as he does it with the right intention and with respect. It can also occur that in the Church herself sometimes there is a failure to value and to appreciate, in a spirit of profound communion, the good things done by various ecclesial groups. We must all, however, be always able to appreciate and esteem each other, praising the Lord for the infinite “imagination” with which he works in the Church and in the world.

In today’s liturgy there also echoes the Apostle James’ invective against the dishonest rich, who place their trust in the security of wealth gained unjustly (cf. James 5:1-6). In this connection Caesarius of Arles states: “While riches cannot harm a good man because they make him merciful, they cannot help a bad man inasmuch as he holds on to them greedily or wastes them in dissipation” (Sermons 35, 4). The Apostle James’ words, while they warn against the vain pursuit of material goods, constitute a powerful call to use them with a view to solidarity and the common good, acting always with equity and morality at all levels.

Dear friends, through the intercession of Mary Most Holy, let us pray that we might know how to rejoice in every good deed and initiative, without envy and jealousy, and to use earthly goods wisely in the continuous pursuit of eternal goods.

Source: http://www.zenit.org/article-35628?l=english
Holy words, from a holy man.
Here are the words of some of the Fathers concerning this passage, as found in St. Thomas' Catena Aurea:

http://www.veritasbible.com/commentary/c...rk_9:38-42

Quote:Bede: John, loving the Lord with eminent devotion, thought that He who performed an office to which He had no right was to be excluded from the benefit of it.
Wherefore it is said, “And John answered Him, saying, Master, we saw one casting out devils in Thy name, and he followeth not us: and we forbad him, because he followeth not us.”

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: For many believers received gifts, and yet were not with Christ, such was this man who cast out devils; for there were many of them deficient in some way; some were pure in life, but were not so perfect in faith; others again, contrariwise.

Theophylact: Or again, some unbelievers, seeing that the name of Jesus was full of virtue, themselves used it, and performed signs, though they were unworthy of Divine grace; for the Lord wished to extend His name even by the unworthy.

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: It was not from jealousy or envy, however, that John wished to forbid him who cast out devils, but because he wished that all who called on the name of the Lord should follow Christ and be one body with His disciples. But the Lord, however unworthy they who perform the miracles may be, incites others by their means to believe on Him, and induces themselves by this unspeakable grace to become better.
Wherefore there follows: “But Jesus said, Forbid him not.”

Bede: By which He shews that no one is to be driven away from that partial goodness which he possesses already, but rather to be stirred up to that which he has not as yet obtained.

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: In conformity to this, He shews that he is not to be forbidden, adding immediately after, “For there is no man which shall do a miracle in My name, that can lightly speak evil of Me.” He says “lightly” to meet the case of those who fell into heresy, such as were Simon and Menander, and Cerinthus [ed. note: Irenaeus, cont. Haer. 2, 31, seems to imply that the early heretics actually worked wonders, but that these differed from Christian miracles in that they were done by magic through the aid of the devil, and were not works of mercy; he contrasts with these the ecclesiastical miracles of his day.]; not that they did miracles in the name of Christ, but by their deceptions had the appearance of doing them.
But these others, though they do not follow us, cannot however set themselves to say any thing against us, because they honour My name by working miracles.

Theophylact: For how can he speak evil of Me, who draws glory from My name, and works miracles by the invocation of this very name.
There follows, “For he that is not against you is on your part.”

Augustine, de Con. Evan., 4, 5: We must take care that this saying of the Lord appear not to be contrary to that where He says, “He who is not with Me is against Me.” [Luke 11:23] Or will any one say that the difference lies in that here He says to His disciples, “For he that is not against you is on your part,” but in the other He speaks of Himself, “He who is not with Me is against Me?” As if indeed it were possible [ed. note: St. Augustine has here quasi vero, instead of quasi non, which hardly makes sense; the latter reading has also been found in an old edition of the Catena Aurea, A.D. 1417.] that he who is joined to Christ’s disciples, who are as His members, should not be with Him.
How if it were so, could it be true that “he that receiveth you receiveth Me?” [Matt. 10:40] Or how is he not against Him who is against His disciples? Where then will be that saying, “He who despiseth you, despiseth Me? [Luke 10:16] But surely what is implied is that a man is not with Him in as far as he is against Him, and is not against Him in as far as he is with Him.
For instance, he who worked miracles in the name of Christ, and yet did not join himself to the body of His disciples, in as far as he worked the miracles in His name, was with them, and was not against them; again, in that he did not join their society, he was not with them, and was against them.
Be because they forbade his doing that in which he was with them, the Lord said unto them, “Forbid him not:” for they ought to have forbidden his being without their society, and thus to have persuaded him of the unity of the Church, but they should not have forbidden that in which he was with them, that is, his commendation of the name of their Lord and Master by the expulsion of devils.
Thus the Church Catholic does not disapprove in heretics the sacraments, which are common, but she blames their division, or some opinion of theirs adverse to peace and to truth; for in this they are against us.

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: Or else, this is said of those who believe on Him, but nevertheless do not follow Him from the looseness of their lives. Again, it is said of devils, who try to separate all from God, and to disperse His congregation.
There follows, “For whosoever shall give you a cup of cold water to drink in My name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward.”

Theophylact: Not only will I not forbid him who works miracles in My name, but also whosoever shall give you the smallest thing for My name’s sake, and shall receive you, not on account of human and worldly favour, but from love to Me, shall not lose his reward.

Augustine, de Con. Evan., 4, 6: By which He shews, that he of whom John had spoken was not so far separated from the fellowship of the disciples, as to reject it, as a heretic, but as men are wont to hang back from receiving the Sacraments of Christ, and yet favour the Christian name, so as even to succour Christians, and do them service only because they are Christians. Of these He says they shall not lose their reward; not that they ought already to think themselves secure on account of this good will which they have towards Christians, without being washed with His baptism, and incorporated in His unity, but that they are already so guided by the mercy of God, as also to attain to these, and thus to go away from this life in security.

Pseudo-Chrys., Vict. Ant. e Cat. in Marc.: And that no man may allege poverty, He mentions that of which none can be destitute, that is, a cup of cold water, for which also he will obtain a reward; for it is not the value of the gift, but the dignity of those who receive it, and the feelings of the giver, which makes a work worthy of reward.
His words shew that His disciples are to be received, not only on account of the reward, which he who receives them obtains, but also, because he thus saves himself from punishment.
There follows: “And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in Me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea:” as though He would say [ed. note: see Chrys., Hom. in Matt. 58], All who honour you for My sake have their reward, so also those who dishonour you, that is, offend you, shall receive the worst of vengeance.
Further, from things which are palpable to us, He describes an intolerable torment, making mention of a millstone, and of being drowned; and He says not, let a millstone be hanged about his neck, but, it is better for him to suffer this, shewing by this that some more heavy evil awaits him. But He means by “little ones that believe on Me,” not only those who follow Him, but those who call upon His name, those also who offer a cup of cold water, though they do not any greater works. Now He will have none of these offended or plucked away; for this is what is meant by forbidding them to call upon His name.

Bede: And fitly the man who if offended is called a little one, for he who is great, whatever he may suffer, departs not from the faith; but he who is little and weak in mind looks out for occasions of stumbling. For this reason we must most of all look to those who are little ones in the faith, lest by our fault they should be offended, and go back from the faith, and fall away from salvation.

Greg., in Faeceh., 1, Hom. 7: We must observe, however, that in our good works we must sometimes avoid the offence of our neighbour, sometimes look down upon it as of no moment. For in as far as we can do it without sin, we ought to avoid the offence of our neighbour; but if a stumblingblock is laid before men in what concerns the truth, it is better to allow the offence to arise, than that the truth should be abandoned.

Greg, de eura, past. p.i.v.2: Mystically by a millstone is expressed the tedious round and toil of a secular life, and by the depths of the sea, the worst damnation is pointed out. He who therefore, after having been brought to a profession of sanctity, destroys others, either by word or example, it had been indeed better for him that his worldly deeds should render him liable to death, under a secular garb, than that his holy office should hole him out as an example for others in his faults, because doubtless if he had fallen alone, his pain in hell would have been of a more endurable kind.
So, what is someone supposed to glean from the Holy Father's message? 

I've never had any sense of envy or jealousy concerning Protestantism or other non-Catholics.  Even as a Novus  Ordo raised Catholic, I never felt that a rousing sermon of dubious orthodoxy was worth not being in Christ's Church. 

For most cultural Catholics, it comes down to being Catholic, nominally Catholic as a C & E or nothing, it's a small percentage that actually becomes Protestant or Orthodox.

Are we supposed to take it that the Holy Father does have experience with being envious or jealous of people outside the Church?  His penchant for reading and quoting Protestant theologians and praising them makes me suspect that he might have this problem. 

Is this another one of those non-problems like Catholics who think Christ is  ONLY locally present in the tabernacle and not present in any other place in a non-sacramental way? 
(10-01-2012, 11:12 PM)Gerard Wrote: [ -> ]Are we supposed to take it that the Holy Father does have experience with being envious or jealous of people outside the Church?  His penchant for reading and quoting Protestant theologians and praising them makes me suspect that he might have this problem. 

Is this another one of those non-problems like Catholics who think Christ is  ONLY locally present in the tabernacle and not present in any other place in a non-sacramental way? 

I echo these thoughts.
"The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you,
Not in a mansion of wood and stone.
Split a piece of wood and God is there,
Lift a stone and you will find God."
Thanks, Southpaw. I really think I understand the passages better for reading those writings of the Fathers.
(10-02-2012, 01:52 PM)Richard C Wrote: [ -> ]Thanks, Southpaw. I really think I understand the passages better for reading those writings of the Fathers.

No problem, Richard!  I figured posting that would be more constructive than criticizing the Holy Father's message.
Ecumenism will be the death of many souls and the Church too fortunately its protected supernaturally from being completely consumed.
(10-02-2012, 04:10 AM)ByrnePerfection Wrote: [ -> ]"The Kingdom of God is inside you and all around you,
Not in a mansion of wood and stone.
Split a piece of wood and God is there,
Lift a stone and you will find God."

Well this is a stupid quote.  Thanks for sharing!
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