Blessed John XXIII and Vatican II

I share three good quotes on the intention of Vatican II.

1.1. “The greatest concern of an ecumenical council is that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine be guarded and taught by more effective understanding.” Blessed Pope John XXIII

Comment: In other words, the intention was not change doctrine, but to guard it and equip the faithful to better understand the deposit of faith.

1.2. “The sacred Council has set out to impart an ever-increasing vigor to the Christian life of the faithful; to adapt more closely to the needs of our age those institutions which are subject to change; to foster whatever can promote union among all who believe in Christ; to strengthen whatever can help to call all mankind into the Church’s fold.” On Liturgy, #1

Comment:  evangelization is the purpose to the Council, first through witness of life; and thus we need to emphasize even re-evangelization; some institutional features do need to change — the liturgy is not mentioned here, it is not an institution; opening up the college of Cardinals to greater international participation is an example; union among Christians is a mandate, done properly of course (See Ut Unum Sint); evangleization is clear in the last item as well.

1.3 “Our council will hand down to posterity an image of the Church: this hall filled with holy pastors who profess the same faith and breathe out the same love; who are joined together in a society of prayer, discipline, and an eager devotion to the task; and who all — what is truly remarkable — have a single wish, namely to offer themselves like Christ, their teacher and Lord, for the life of the Church and the salvation of the world. But our council hands down to posterity not only an image of the Church, but also the patrimony of her doctrine and precepts, the deposit entrusted to her by Christ himself. Her people have constantly reflected on this deposit through the centuries and have turned it into their own flesh and blood, as it were, by giving it expression in their way of life. This deposit of faith is now illuminated in so many of its parts and has come to be established and arranged in its fullness and integrity. This living deposit of faith constituted by the divine power of truth and grace is capable of giving life to everyone who receives it devoutly and by it nourishes his own life.” Pope Paul VI, Closing Homily

Comment: This is a powerful and inspiring statement by Pope Paul VI. It is apparent how great is his love of “the patrimony of her doctrine and precepts, the deposit entrusted to her by Christ himself.” How important is this notion of the deposit of faith — it is our treasure. The liberals did seek to squander it and hide it after the council, but that was not the intent. What a great endorsement of the task of theology: “This deposit of faith is now illuminated in so many of its parts and has come to be established and arranged in its fullness and integrity.” Fullness and integrity are a thing of beauty — and it is efficacious if studied with the love of wisdom and holiness: “This living deposit of faith constituted by the divine power of truth and grace is capable of giving life to everyone who receives it devoutly and by it nourishes his own life.” Last words of the council are a challenge to us. No need to blame the liberals as I just did, or blame the sixties etc. Here it is: do we receive devoutly the truth and grace of God? Period. Do we give thanks every day for how our lives are nourished by it?.

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