Welcome to Barque of Peter's third Open Forum.
As usual, if you want to address something I've written in the last five posts, fire away. If you want to wrangle over doctrine unrelated to anything ever discussed here before, fire away! Whatever's on your mind, state it. And if you just want to use the comments section as a place to discuss things with each other, and leave me out of it altogether--that's great too!
I'll just give three disclaimers:
1st--If this goes well, I'll do them a lot more often!
2nd--I reserve the right to use anything in the comments as fodder for future posts.
3rd--Let everything you say be said in a spirit of charity.
I will say that, sadly, the last two Open Fora haven't been shining examples of the third disclaimer, which really is the only rule. Granted, I'm partly if not mostly to blame. Sometimes my personal friendships with the people who comment most frequently cause some of our discussions to nosedive into the realm of the personal rather than the objective topics being discussed. Let's try to keep that from happening this time around--and I'm saying that to myself as much as to anyone else.
Finally, just a note about Barque's new look. The background image is a painting of one of St. John Bosco's visions. In his vision he saw a boat (the Barque of Peter) helmed by the pope, with bishops and cardinals round about. The sea is stormy and enemy ships are attacking the boat with traditional weapons, obviously, but also with books and pamphlets and other propaganda. The pope begins to steer the boat towards two columns rising out of the sea--the tallest one is surmounted by the Eucharistic Host, with the inscription Salus Credentium, or "Salvation of the Faithful"; while the smaller one has Mary on top, and the inscription Auxilium Christianorum, or "Help of Christians", below her.
Before the pope can reach the columns, he is mortally wounded, and many fear he is dead, but immediately he gets back up and continues toward the columns. A little while later, he again falls, this time certainly dead. The whole world around the Boat cheers at his death, but almost before they can even bury him, a new pope has been elected. This pope guides the ship the rest of the way to the columns, anchoring the bow to the Eucharistic Pillar and the stern to the Marian one. Immediately, the stormy sea becomes calm, and the enemy vessels break off their attack, and peace settles on the Church.
St. John Bosco had this dream in 1862. There are many, including myself, who see that it is being fulfilled in our own time, beginning with the reign of John Paul the Great, who, as Pope, had an assassination attempt on his life, from which he recovered (much like the pope in the dream). Later, when he did die, his successor, Pope Benedict XVI, our current Holy Father, was elected within 8 days of John Paul II's death, which is a remarkably short period of time for a papal election--again, as indicated in the vision. Further it seems that Pope John Paul II made great strides in steering the Barque of Peter, the Church, toward the two columns of the Eucharist and Mary, dedicating the year from October 2002-2003 as the Year of the Rosary, and October 2004-2005 as the Year of the Eucharist. Pope Benedict continues to lead us there, especially with his allowance of Latin Mass on request, rather than by special permission of the bishop, and the healing of the schism between the Church and the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX) which had split over this issue. Meanwhile, the world about us continues to persecute Christianity in general, and the Catholic Church in particular--many times with physical force, but seemingly in the past few years, with books and pamphlets, such as The Da Vinci Code, The God Delusion, and other militantly atheistic, gnostic, new age, or otherwise anti-Catholic and anti-religious propaganda.
It was based on this dream of St. John Bosco that I originally named this blog Barque of Peter. Up until now I didn't have the computer-savviness to trick it out as I have now, but hey, I'm learning. Hence the motif of the painting, with the two Columns in the outer margins. Read the entire text of the vision here. For more thoughts on St. John Bosco's vision, see here and here.
Anyway, the blog image works best on a screen resolution of 1024x768. If you have any suggestions for aesthetics, here's a good place to let me know as well.
God bless and Happy Easter.
He Is Risen Indeed!
(Category: Miscellaneous: Open Fora)
Sunday, April 12, 2009
Posted by Gregory at 12:00 am