5. Wherein the history of the helmet of Mambrino is continued, and the odd parable of the hundred rebel sheep is told, with other accompanying trifles that add flavor to the subject.
The Lord said that His Kingdom is not of this World (Jn 18:36); the Devil, however, had the nerve to assume dominion over it himself (Lk 4:6). It is true that the Devil is the Great Liar and the Father of Lies (invectives that Our Lord Himself uttered); but it is fair to acknowledge that, in some respects, the Devil was not far from the truth when he claimed world dominion for himself.
Surely the Devil is the Great Deceiver. But sometimes, when it is to his advantage, he tells the truth: the whole truth, part of it, or a messy mixture of truth and lies. Sometimes he tells the truth in order to fool the born liars, which could seem like a paradox, but really it is not. Liars, like thieves, think that everyone is like them; hence the devil occasionally sees fit to tell them the truth so that they will believe the opposite.
The consequence of this is obvious: an advised person should never believe the Devil or, better yet, he should never, under any circumstances, dialogue with him. And since it seems that in recent History the kingdom of the Lie has expanded in no small measure, it is no exaggeration to affirm that we live under the rule of the Lie.
Por razones de salud, y por prescripción médica, el P. Alfonso se ve obligado a interrumpir sus homilias dominicales por un tiempo indefinido. El Padre agradece cordialmente a seguidores y amigos la atención y cariño recibidos.
The Second Vatican Council, in its Constitution Sacrosanctum Concilium (I, 7), spoke of the diverse ways in which Christ is present in His Church. The importance of this text cannot be sufficiently emphasized:
Christ is always present in His Church, especially in her liturgical celebrations. He is present in the sacrifice of the Mass, not only in the person of His minister, ‘the same now offering, through the ministry of priests, who formerly offered himself on the cross,’ but especially under the Eucharistic species. By His power He is present in the sacraments, so that when a man baptizes it is really Christ Himself who baptizes. He is present in His word, since it is He Himself who speaks when the holy scriptures are read in the Church. He is present, lastly, when the Church prays and sings, for He promised: ‘Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ (Mt. 18:20).
As one can see, the conciliar text clearly expounds the various kinds of Christ’s presence in His Church, grouping them together and as if in parallel. Understandably, the document takes special care to emphasize, through the adverb maxime, His presence under the Eucharistic species, thus making this presence different from the others. This is an important and illuminating precaution that is not without significance.
Nevertheless, there exists the possibility that practical problems may appear precisely because the Document puts the various modes of presence in parallel. In all of them (except for the Real Presence in the Eucharist) the Document speaks of presence by His virtue, which can be also interpreted as moral presence; therefore, the danger of considering the various modes of presence as being equivalent, or as being on the same level, is more than evident. It should be noted that Christian People in general are not well-versed in theology, let alone experts on subtle distinctions; therefore, it is quite difficult to completely eliminate the risk of confusion.
During the many years of the pontificate of Pope John Paul II, elements of show business were developed in Worship, Liturgy, and Pastoral activity, making them almost seem a part of the theatrical world.
The Second Vatican Council wanted a greater participation of Christian People in Liturgy. But, the liberalization of liturgical norms, especially those concerning the Mass, led to the rushing in of inventiveness, improvisations, and arbitrary interpretations which sought, above all, to attract the attention of the faithful. Everyone tried to amaze the people with something new.
Gradually, theater found an open door into Liturgy and a number of theatrical elements crept in.
Colorful processions with gifts during the offertory of the Mass, often accompanied by dances and rituals typical of each region, begun to appear. Sometimes there were showy young girls performing so-called liturgical dances while leading the procession of the offerings. Ostentatious and pompous parades of people carrying the Gospel on high to do the readings of the day became common. We should not forget the flamboyant recitations of the liturgical texts by lay people who performed their duties with a throaty voice and convinced that this activity was the essential part of the Mass.