Acts 1, 12-14
So from the Mount of Olives, as it is called, they went back to Jerusalem, a short distance away, no more than a Sabbath walk; and when they reached the city they went to the upper room where they were staying; there were Peter and John, James and Andrew, Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew, James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Jude son of James. With one heart all these joined constantly in prayer, together with some women, including Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
The look on Mary at the end of today’s reading leads us to the important feast of our Lady of the Rosary. Especially in these days and age, the rosary is a precious prayer that connects us to the heart of Mary and lets the secrets of salvation enter our hearts.
The feast of then holy rosary was introduced by Pope Pius V 1572 in memory of the victory over the Turks. It was the naval battle at Lepanto (7 October 1571), which was successfully carried out by the Christian troops against the Ottoman fighters. It was said that this surprising victory was due to the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, as it was seen on other occasions, again and again as an intervention of the Virgin Mary.
Today there are also numerous threats that attack or question our Christian existence and witness. As long as hostility is brought to us from the outside, we can assess the situation relatively easily, as painful as it may be. However, it is more difficult when the enemy disguises himself as an angel of light, invades the church and tries to deceive the faithful.
In my meditations, I have repeatedly pointed to erroneous developments and negative influences that violate and threaten our church. At the same time, this connects with the call for spiritual struggle. In this fight the rosary prayer may become a very important task. In his simplicity, the rosary is to be prayed everywhere and experiences a special power through the connection with the Mother of the Lord.
Two vigilant shepherds of the church – Cardinal Burke and Auxiliary Bishop Schneider – have called for prayer and fasting for the now begun Amazon Synod. Every day they ask that a part of the Rosary will be prayed and, if possible, to fast once a week. The usual fasting is with water and bread. The two shepherds also mention the possibility to make fasting as it is the case on Ash Wednesday, namely to have only one good meal and otherwise be content with two lighter meals.
What makes them so worried that they call for fasting and prayer?
There are certain passages of the working paper already mentioned yesterday, which causes such reactions. Parallel to the quenstions if there should be married priests or even women in ordination ministrations, other passages in the working paper seek to integrate disturbing pagan ideas into our faith. Cardinal Brandmüller writes in his criticism:
“There is another factor that pervades the instrumentum laboris as a whole: the overwhelmingly positive evaluation of natural religions, including indigenous healing practices, etc., and even mythical-religious practices and cult forms, for example. in connection with the demand for harmony with nature it is also talked about the dialogue with the spirits (No. 75), No. 44 speaks of “Mother Earth” and then also of the “Scream of the earth and the peoples” (No.101)
The territority – the Amazonian forests – is called even as a “locus theologicus”, a special source of Divine Revelation. Here are places of the epiphany where the reserves of life and wisdom of the planet that speak of God are revealed (No. 19).
„Instrumentum laboris” is based on a purely immanentist concept of religion and is seen as the result and expression of the spiritual self-experience of man.The use of Christian words must not hide the fact that, regardless of their original content, they serve as mere words … “
To put it simply, but no less worriedly, the working paper of the Amazon Synod contains passages that go so far as to introduce so-called indigenous theology into the thinking and liturgical practice of the Church, leading to distortions of our Catholic faith. It takes over here completely uncritical and romanticizing pagan ideas and presented in a frightening lack of dicernement of the spirits as vitalizing elements for the church.
Obviously, it is no longer remembered that behind many pagan practices, demons are hiding, leaving people in ignorance. It can not be the task of the church to weaken and become less and less recognizable through the integration of pagan and naïve religious beliefs.
A welcome environmental awareness and a sense of the value of creation that the Lord has entrusted to us must be kept free of ideological and religiously alienating elements if they are to be spiritually healthy and genuinely Catholic.
It is therefore necessary to be vigilant, so that this synod remains free of errors which, however, already exist in their working paper. Otherwise, this Synod will open up further ditches between those who wish to remain faithful to Catholic doctrine and practice and those who believe that in these new ways they recognize the guidance of God, but in reality are going astray.