See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Monday, August 15, 2011

Cardinal Protector of Courage.



It takes courage to do God's will.
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Courage Apostolate, begun by Fr. Harvey (with the help of Rev. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R.), at the invitation of the Servant of God Cardinal Terence Cooke, has always had a sort of Cardinal protector it seems.  After Cardinal O'Connor's death, the role of Cardinal protector appeared to remain vacant, until now, when it seems the cause has been taken up by the 'good' Cardinal Burke.  I like to refer to him as good Cardinal Burke since he strikes me as being a very pastoral and spiritual Archbishop, concerned first and foremost for the salvation of souls, from which all his other works flow:  Promotion of liturgical cult, Eucharistic and  Marian devotion, solid theology and spirituality, and so on.  Reproduced here is a piece by the Cardinal from the National Catholic Register on Courage Apostolate.
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For Father John Harvey, apostolates were a dynamic reality, a work that the Holy Spirit inspired the Servant of God Cardinal Terence Cooke to establish and that the Holy Spirit alone could sustain.
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Father Harvey saw his own service as cooperation with the work of the Holy Spirit, service of God in his immeasurable and ceaseless love of his children who suffer with same-sex attraction. What direction for the future can we discover in the manner with which Father Harvey gave his life for his brothers and sisters in the Courage and EnCourage apostolates?
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First of all, the future must continue to develop the profoundly spiritual nature of the Courage apostolate, not reducing it to a method for attaining sexual abstinence, but presenting it faithfully as a way of encountering Christ the Chaste One in order to live chastely in him.
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A most fruitful tool for the future development of the apostolate would be, in my judgment, a more systematic development of the spirituality of St. Francis de Sales, the spirituality of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, as the full context in which sexual abstinence is practiced for the sake of a purer and more selfless love of God and neighbor. There is need to develop more fully the implications of the practice of Father Harvey to begin the recovery of the person affected by the homosexual condition by teaching “the art of meditation, or prayer of the heart.”
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In a similar way, it is the spirituality of the union of heart with the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which will bring healing and strength to the family members of EnCourage. Father Harvey wisely observed:
“The real issue in dealing with parents of homosexuals is to help them develop their own relationship with the Lord. They must turn over stewardship of their child to the Lord, allowing him to bring healing to their own hearts and to the hearts of all the family.

“Only in the glorious pierced Heart of Jesus will family members find the gift that their suffering member most needs and, in fact, desires, the gift of love which is purified of all sin and enflamed with divine Love.”
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What I am suggesting here is a steadfast plumbing of the significance of the second goal of Courage, namely “to dedicate our entire lives to Christ through service to others, spiritual reading, prayer, meditation, individual spiritual direction, frequent attendance at Mass, and the frequent reception of penance and of the holy Eucharist.”
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Sadly, for various reasons, including the lack of a strong institutional support, the work of Courage and EnCourage remains unknown to many in the Church and in the community at large. There is a crying need to communicate the truth which Courage and EnCourage serve with clarity and serenity.
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That truth, like all truth, is attractive in itself. Its effective communication will attract many to rebuild the culture of life and chaste love in our society. The communication will not be easy. There are powerful forces which will resist it and even try to prevent it. But the love of Christ, flowing from his glorious pierced heart into our often poor and confused hearts, will give us the wisdom and strength to go forward.

May God grant to our beloved Father John Harvey of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales the reward of the just. May he bless and prosper the work of Courage and EnCourage for the sake of the salvation of many souls and the building up of the civilization of divine love. - Raymond Cardinal Burke
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It also takes courage for a prelate or a priest to lend their support to these apostolates.  Many thanks to Cardinal Burke for his support.
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Many years ago, I was fortunate to meet with the saintly Fr. Harvey at St. Michael's Rectory in Manhattan, as well as Fr. Groeschel at a later date.  Fr. Harvey subsequently wrote a letter to Archbishop Roach requesting a Courage chapter be establish in the archdiocese.   Nothing was done.  Before Archbishop Flynn came on the scene here, there was not a priest in the diocese that would come near Courage - not even from amongst my friends.  To his credit, Archbishop Flynn had the necessary fortitude to establish the first chapter here, and appointed the current Bishop Levoir as the first chaplain.  The apostolate always needs the support and leadership of the local ordinary to meet with any measurable success.
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H/T to dk for the Burke NCR article.

14 comments:

  1. "Being gay is bad but lyin' is worse / So just realize you have a curable curse!"

    -"Turn It Off," Book of Mormon, 2010.

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  2. Here in the DBQ Archdiocese, I have run across priests that say DignityUSA is an approved Catholic organization on a par with Courage, even though it isn't. As for Courage, which goes by valor here, there is nothing on the Archdiocesan website about it at all, which isn't surprizing. It may exist, but it isn't

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  3. "Courage" in the Twin Cities is called "Faith in Action" because of the existence of the "Courage Center" that deals with handicapped children.

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  4. Thanks for including that Ray.

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  5. And thanks to you too Al - I didn't know it went by that name in Dubuque. I'm afraid too many continue to believe Dignity is an approved organization. It is not.

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  6. We were so blessed to have His Eminence at this year's conference. He celebrated the opening Mass as well as gave the opening address. For those of us with SSA who desire to live chaste lives in accordance with Church teaching (vs. working to change Truth to suit our desires), the Courage Apostolate is a great blessing. Bishop Levoir was at the conference, too, along w/some other Bishops (five total, I think). I wish more priests understood the nature of our Apostolate. It's about love. Purity. What stood out for me during Cardinal Burke's address was the question he recommended we ask daily of ourselves: "How stands my heart before God?" To develop that affective desire and love for our Lord and unity of our hearts with the Sacred Heart. The work of a lifetime.

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  7. Card Burke is a true, true Shepard. I have always been struck by how that Church always raises up men and women to fill Her most urgent needs. God bless Fr. Harvey and everyone who struggles.

    To develop that affective desire and love for our Lord and unity of our hearts with the Sacred Heart. The work of a lifetime.

    Doughboy: Isn't it? True for all of us, no matter what our attraction.

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  8. Doughboy - you are blessed to know him and to follow the course you are on.

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  9. Thanks, Terry. He ordained my brother a permanent deacon in St. Louis back in 2006 (my brother was also at the conference this year). His Eminence saw us before his talk and rushed to give us both hugs. (When I raised my hand to ask him a question about his talk, he called on me by name, too :) Sorry, but how COOL is THAT?! LOL Cardinal Burke truly is a father figure for me.

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  10. Wow, Doughboy, you are truly fortunate. It is WAY COOL, lol! If we had more priests like Burke our Chuch would look, sound and function in a very different way.

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  11. I might need to ask this on a blog whose url is a six-letter acronym run by a priest whose name is a letter, but ...

    ... is Cardinal Burke considered "papabile"?

    Though it would almost be worth seeing Cardinal Schönborn becoming pope just to see the fits some people would throw :)

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  12. He is in the minds of some Americans, but few others.

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  13. Ha! It is amazing how American Catholics, left and right, liberal and trad, tend to think it's all about them, isn't it?

    Of course, not as bad as Evangelical Protestants, who'd be surprised to find out that most Christians all over the world for the past 2000 years haven't believed anything remotely close to the "name it claim it" sola scriptura Calvinism so popular here.

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  14. doughboy, I see your Mass and lecture and raise you a speaker's panel after dinner!

    I trust you have Card. Burke's prayer card?

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