By Karen Darantiere

The Door of Faith by Fr Serafino Lanzetta, a timely and timeless remedy to our Church’s woes

Having read Father Serafino Lanzetta’s new book, The Door of Faith, against the backdrop of Pope Francis’s recent words regarding the Communion of Saints, I cannot help penning my praise of this book without making reference to the pope’s troubling teaching. For the two are linked.  One is a sign of the apostasy in which the Church is submerged, the other a diagnosis of our ailing faith as well as a remedy so it may shine anew in all its truth and beauty.

Unbelievably, the Holy Father actually uttered these words: “The communion of saints is precisely the Church… No one can exclude himself from the Church… those who have denied the faith, who are apostates, who are the persecutors of the Church, who have denied their baptism: are these also at home? Yes, even these, even the blasphemers, all of them. We are brothers: this is the communion of saints. The communion of saints holds together the community of believers on earth and in heaven… in Christ no one can ever truly separate us from those we love because the bond is an existential bond, a strong bond that is in our very nature… nothing and no one can break this bond.”

We might merely resort to sarcasm, derisively laughing“Blessed be the blasphemers!” Or, we might pause to ponder over the fathomless falsehood of this catechesis.  Without claiming to judge the heart of the pope, we can, nonetheless, express dismay when hearing words so shocking to pious ears and clearly contradicting Church teaching.   Personally, my greatest dismay was caused by the resounding silence on the part of our shepherds, and, worse still, by favorable reviews published in reputedly reliable French Catholic journals, including one by a monk from a traditional monastery, who speaks in glowing terms while remaining silent on the shocking passage, and another whose title even dares to claim that this catechesis ‘sets the record straight’.  Is not only faith but also reason in total eclipse? 

Where are blasphemy and apostasy “at home” if not in the pits of hell from whence they come?  What is this communion of saints if not the cacophony of the damned, where heaven becomes hell, good evil, and truth falsehood?One cannot help thinking of Bishop Fulton Sheen’s prescient warning in 1947 when, speaking of Satan’s perversely seductive logic, he stated“…if there is no hell, then there is no sin; if there is no sin, then there is no judge, and if there is no judgement then evil is good and good is evil.”  And he foresaw the setting up of a counter-Church “which will be the ape of the Church because, he the devil, is the ape of God. It will have all the notes and characteristics of the Church, but in reverse and emptied of its divine content. It will be a mystical body of the anti-Christ that will in all externals resemble the mystical body of Christ… the anti-Christ “will have one great secret which he will tell to no one: he will not believe in God. Because his religion will be brotherhood without the fatherhood of God…” Far be it from me to suggest that the Pope is the Antichrist or that the gates of hell will prevail against our Holy Mother Church!  Undeniably, however, these words do ring somewhat true and should serve as a wake-up call to faithful Catholics.

Where are our shepherds warding off the wolves? If a well-catechized child can recognize this teaching for what it is, then what of our bishops? Have they utterly renounced their faith?  Have they no care for their flock? Why have they fled, leaving us bereft of pastors? If apostates are part of the communion of saints, why believe?  If nothing we do can separate us from the Church, why belong to it? Why profess our faith? Why receive the sacraments? Why pray? Why lead a moral life? Are apostates really part of the community of believers?  What is believing if disbelief and belief are one and the sameWhat is faith? If the bond uniting us in the communion of saints is an existential bond, one belonging to our very nature, then what of grace? Is grace absorbed into nature, rendering it useless? 

Happily, we find in Fr Serafino Lanzetta a faithful pastor, who has spoken with charity and clarity on this very topicThankfully, the answers to the above questions are found in The Door of Faith, hence its timeliness and timelessness.  

“Faith is the door that opens the mystery of God to us and through which God gives us our raison d’être.” (XIII)

Providentially, The Door of Faith begins with the word ‘Faith’ and ends with the word ‘God’.  Reading this book means embarking on a challenging and rewarding journey, the journey of faith to our final goal, God.  But what is faith?  We are confronted nowadays with diverging notions of faith, between which we must clearly distinguish, so as to choose the right door that will lead us in the right direction.  The door of faith has as its threshold our ability to think rationally, to seek and find the truth: it is essential to set out on a journey well-prepared… On must start at the foundation: reason.” (XIII)

The wrong door will lead us elsewhere, or rather nowhere: “a blind wandering around the streets of the world, believing that you can see something when in reality you only see darkness.” (XIII)  This aimless wandering is caused by a rejection of reason, making of faith nothing more than an embrace of the irrational.  However, faith is real, not a mere ideal” (XIX)not a mere vain pursuit, but the embrace of the whole of reality, grounded in our natural capacity for reason and love, and granted through the supernatural gift of faith and charity.  “Faith and charity work together like reason and love although the two pairs are on different levels… one natural and the other supernatural – in harmony, so that with reason and love, faith and charity, we can truly embrace the whole of reality and give a definitive response to our life.” (XIV)  The problem we are confronted with in the Church, as in society at large, is a pitting of love against reason, charity against faith, whereas “reason and love cannot be set against each other, just as you cannot choose either faith or charity.” (XXIII)

The journey we embark on by reading this book is an ascent to ever-greater heights, starting with nature, elevated by grace, allowing us to see the face of truth and love incarnate in the Good Shepherd and to be nourished by this selfsame Logos-Love in the Holy Eucharist.  Along the way, we perceive the natural to be in harmony with the supernatural, nature with grace, creation with redemption, the indissolubly wedded couple of reason-love in harmony with that of faith-charity.  We understand faith as the divine seed growing into a tree whose roots in reason run deep and whose branches bear the beautiful fruit of charity.  We see faith and charity not as opposing forces but as two wings of our Christian soul allowing us to soar heavenward.  The whole is summed up in the paradigm: a love in truth for a truth of love, which becomes incarnate in the Word made flesh, in whom truth and life are one.  We gaze upon the beautiful face of the Good Shepherd, whose eyes mirror a soul made of Love and Truth, who looks back upon his creatures made in His image, capable of knowing and loving in return He who knew and loved them first.  We understand that his Body given for us in the Holy Eucharist is the truth of his self-giving love for humanity which nourishes us with Truth and Love throughout our journey until we reach our final destination in heaven.  

Fr Lanzetta, while restoring to reason its natural dignity, also sheds light on the need to include the role of love in apologetic discourse.  He firstly highlights the indissoluble knot uniting reason and faith, while warding off the danger to the faith caused by the loss of reason, before examining in depth the circular and harmonious relationship between reason and love, as the natural foundation on which rests supernatural faith and charity, all of this relying on his vast scholarship, particularly on the wisdom of Benedict XVI’s encyclical, Deus Caritas Est.  At the start of the journey, we look through the false door, leading to the oblivion of faith, and peer down the path to a distant darkness, at an irrational landscape where truth is unknowable, where faith is a mere ideal without reality, where God is void of truth, that is, void of Himself.

What is the cause of the present oblivion of faith?

In response to this question we all wish to see answered, we learn that: “this crisis is generated largely by setting aside the question of God … When the thoughts of men and women are no longer capable of understanding God, they become non-thoughts and they head toward decline.  Along with thought goes faith.”(p. 3).  We grapple with nihilism, this logical haven of relativism, in which nothing is explained with God or without Him, where there is no true knowledge, nothing but radical agnosticism, and we see its two prevalent forms, one a nihilist-theist relativism, the other a nihilistic atheism, the former having seeped its poison rather deeply into the lifeblood of the Church, causing a fatal divide between faith and reason. God is no longer perceivable as the foundation of being, so faith is torn between the natural longing for goodness and the thought seeking for truth in vain. This skepticismcommonplace in society, has made its way into the minds of Catholics, who “due to systematic doubt must suspect the very principle of reasoning and therefore of faith,” to the point where many “see in Christ the teacher of a believing atheism and of a faith continually threatened by denial of God”(p. 22-23)However, “a philosophy or even a theology of doubt, which in the final analysis proves the possibility of being atheistic believers or believers continually threatened by atheism, is simply a rejection of thought.” (p. 33)

We have assimilated a weak idea of God, “in the image of a thought that has renounced being to focus on desire and then resigned itself to evil” (p. 84). We desire forgiveness but renounce truth, whereas “if mercy, as is sometimes hoped, cancelled justice, it would destroy itself; it would have no further raison d’être because there would no longer be any sin to pardon.  The actions of men and women would be irrelevant, and God would simply be an empty and useless hope for forgiveness.” (p. 95) Ultimately, however, the cancellation of God’s punishment following sin results sooner or later in ascribing the origin of the wound of human nature not to original sin [but] to God alone,  [so that] if we wanted God not to punish us, we would have paved the road to atheism.” (p. 104)

“Help me to see You with reason, to desire You with love, to believe with faith, to unite myself forever with You in charity.” (p. 36)

What is the solution to the problem?  We must once again: unite reason and love to know God.  He is the fullness.  He Himself is Reason and Love.  The only true religion is the one where God is the fullness of reason and love, to which must correspond faith and charity.” (p. 7)  Fr Lanzetta presents the beautiful teaching of William of Saint Thierry, a disciple of Saint Bernard’s, who identifies charity with the vision possessed by the soul to see Godtruth and charity are linked because one illuminates the other.  They are so linked that charity itself, love in truth and the truth of love, has two eyes: reason and love, which must not work separately, just as two eyes of natural sight: When one of them tries to see without the other it has little success, but when they work together they can achieve great things.” (p. 110-111)  

We are led to see that the God of reason and the God of Revelation are one and the same: “In reality, the uncaused Cause, reason of everything including my own being, is a Person with an intellect and a will, with a heart. The God-cause is Reason and Love.” (p. 114)  This pairing of reason and love is like the fertile ground in which a supernatural seed may be planted:  “The pairing of reason-love… is the foundation on which another pairing rests: the union of faith and charity.” (p. 114) These theological virtues enable us to know and unite with God:  “Faith purifies in order to ‘see’ God, charity is the possession of God, namely, being in Him.  Faith and charity find their unity in the mystery of God believed and loved.” (p. 117)

“Will there be a living Jesus opposed to the faith which He Himself taught? (p. 77)

The divorce between reason and love has engendered an unnatural divide between faith and charity.  What is faith? “To believe is to welcome God’s Revelation, namely the truth introduced by God for my salvation.  To believe is an act of obedience to God, moved by His Grace … There is not, nor should there be, a divide between faith understood as concepts to learn and faith lived in a personal encounter with the Lord… We must recover… the harmonious relationship between the two … Faith, in fact, is an intellectual and loving assent to supernatural truth…” (p. 23-24)   In reality, in Christ we see the unity between the noetic and dynamic aspects of the Word, through Him we can see that assent to revealed truth is not opposed to a loving encounter. (p. 62) 

The false dichotomy between faith as an encounter with Christ and faith as the loving assent to His truth has resulted in such ambiguous proclamations as that of the Synod of Bishops (May 2012) on the transmission of the faith: “…referring to the Gospel, we must not think of it only as a book or a set of teachings…. It is not so much a system of articles of faith and moral precepts… but a person: Jesus Christ…” (p. 77) How tiresome are such semi-negations which, without outright denying that the Gospel contains doctrinehint that what truly counts is a person who apparently has little concern for faith or morals, as if in Christ truth and life were not one!  In reality, “the two aspects are mutually implicit, so the dynamism would be empty without a content to be realized” (p. 77)  There can be “no catechesis which rejects the truths of faith, or the transmission of concepts and dogma which those truths express, to make room solely for a living encounter with Christ, for an experience of the Risen One.” (p. 77)

To set aside doctrine to make room for pastoral care is not only contradictory, but hides an explicit rejection of Christ.” (p. 129)  

The unnatural divide between truth and love, faith and charity, has given rise to a false division between doctrinal teaching and pastoral care:  If pastoral is conceived as opposed to doctrinal, “we would also have eliminated its meaning of love, which begins from truth and bestows truth.” (p. 126) However, doctrinal truth is in harmony with pastoral care, as faith, once assented to, can be acted upon. “ Doctrine is the faith of the Church… understood and believed… while pastoral care is charity which sees and realizes the believed doctrinal principles, transforming them into food for the faithful.  Thus, faith becomes operational.” (p. 124) There is an “intimate relationship between doctrine and life, teaching and salvation.” (p. 124) Ultimately, “to set aside doctrine to make room for pastoral care is not only contradictory, but hides an explicit rejection of Christ.” (p. 129) On the contrary, pastors must base their care of their flock on the familial relationship between the Good Shepherd who knows his flock and whose flock knows Him: “This knowledge is therefore an intimate, intellectual, and affective relationship between the Shepherd and His sheep… At the center of this life-giving relationship… is the eternal Logos become the Good Shepherd in His incarnation, which has its salvific fulfilment in redemption through His death on the Cross… Contained in the Eucharist is the food for the sheep, which is doctrine and life, truth and love, tied together for ever in the unique person of the Savior Word..” (p. 127-128)

Drawing close to Christ, in the beauty of His gaze, we are enchanted by the goodness of truth and by the truth of goodness” (p. 203)

Truth and love unite in one mystery: the Word incarnate, the Good Shepherd, the incarnate Logos-Agape:  “In God reason and love are one. In Christ reason and love become flesh.  In Him, the Good Shepherd, as in a magnificent canvas, the Logos and Agape, reason and charity, harmonize in the perceptibility of the flesh… In Him, man, who was made in His image and likeness, is reborn in the truth of the unity of reason and love, a reason which is the foundation of love and a love which is the fullness of reason.  What is more, in the incarnate God, Logos and Agape are united in a harmony which unifies everything: beauty… The face of the Good Shepherd is the face of beauty… Drawing close to Christ, in the beauty of His gaze, we are enchanted by the goodness of truth and by the truth of goodness…” (p. 202-203)

Gazing at the Good Shepherd can allow us to disentangle ourselves from the post-modern thought incapable not only of truthbut also of beauty, as, deprived of truth, “the aesthetic perception, too, is nihilistic.” (p. 173) Contemplating the beauty of His face, humanity can embrace true love and regain its thought of love (agape) and of its love of thought (logos).” (p. 203)  This same Good Shepherd nourishes us with his truth and love in the Holy Eucharist: “With the Eucharistic mystery, the discourse about a personal circularity of truth and love is brought to completion.” (p. 208) In a word, “the Eucharist is the truth of God who is love, and in the Eucharist is the gift of the truth of love.”” (p. 210-211)

“Why not begin with love to tell men and women, who only want to hear about love, that the truth about themselves, about reality, about God, is realized precisely in love?” (p. 134)

Humanity today is inebriated with a false idea of love: “the word of the day is love, but its true meaning is euphoric and undisciplined eros.” (p. 227)  This love, so often claimed as our unique good, as it is deprived of truth, has become its contrary, to the point of defending abortion and euthanasiaHence the need to engage in the defense of love, the restoration of its true face … [as] to be and to love are one in God” (p. 130).  With this in mind, FLanzetta invites us to renew with apologetic discourse as a proposal of the truth of love, for a love in truth and a love of the Truth.” (p. 131) This harmonious pairing of truth and love necessitates speaking of love in truth:  “It is necessary to denounce error to love the errant, without pretending to love them by keeping silent about the truth and thus choosing falsehood.  Silence is kept in the belief that one is loving, but instead the other person is offended because they are being offered falsehood.  The first and greatest charity is to give the truth.”  (p. 145)  

This renewal of apologetic discourse, based upon the circularity of truth and love, will restore our vision, enabling us to see Christ truly and, in His eyes, to see our true selves, for “truth and love coincide in Christ.… Love without truth would be blind” (p. 152)  In this case, “humanity would believe in a non-living God, and religion would deteriorate into praying to a God it does not know.” (p. 159)   Unveiled before our mind’s eye is a false discord between Christ’s human and divine natures, whereas we must perceive once again his Life as one with his Word: “the eternal Logos… without any division or confusion is Truth and Charity.” (p. 129) We will thus be able to encounter Christ, holding fast to His truth and uniting in his Love, healing thereby the false division posited within our own souls between knowing and loving. The correct perception of the circularity of truth and love will restore full rights to the love of the truth about God and humanity, to “a love of the logos, to finally find the logos of love. (p. 161) This will lead to a sapiential love whereGod and humanity meet in reason and in love… [in] the unity of nature with grace, of reason-love with faith.” (p. 161)  

Moreover, wwill perceive God truthfully in his Trinitarian Being, and ourselves as His mirror image in our capacity for loving and truthful communion“In God there is the inter-twining of truth and love.  Truth, being One, is the foundation of the love of the being Three, and being Three is the perfection of being One.  In God love remains in truth, and His truth is love: the Trinity in Unity and Unity in the Trinity.  Every multiple needs to become one, and every unity is fulfilled in multiplicity. Therefore, you cannot simply get rid of metaphysics without getting rid of God, of His being in love, and in the end getting rid of humanity, or being man.” (p. 151)

Humanity will be capable of looking at reality with real eyes, with the truth of love, with the Logos of Love, through Mary, the handmaid of the Lord.” (p. 194)

Perceiving once again the natural and indissoluble bond between truth and love will restore God to humanity and humanity to itself, for“reason and love either go hand in hand or both failThe paradigm of reason and love becomes personal in Christ.  Truth and love meet definitively in the Person of the Word incarnate, in whom we share by faith and charity, and of whom we are partakers in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist.  Truth and love are one Person, Christ… By correctly coordinating the relationship between reason and love, we can indeed address the whole of reality: all that is thinkable and an object of love.  This is why reason and love together can do great things, especially in restoring to a post-Christian society the possibility of addressing the core of all problems: God.” (p. 239-240)

By way of conclusion, it is appropriate to end with these words of Fr Lanzetta who, true to his Marian Franciscan heartcannot help but present to us the Virgin Mary as the golden standard of the indissoluble harmonious pairing of reason and love, on the one hand, and faith and charity, on the other: “Is it not perhaps because we have got rid of the Madonna – minimizing, redefining, whittling away here and there at her unique presence in the mystery of Christ and the Church – that faith has got rid of an important ally such as reason?  The Virgin is a sign of the truth which opens itself to faith, of the reason which seeks to understand with the Logos of God… The Virgin gives us Christ, the Logos of incarnate love which gives to humanity the true face of God: the face of Being always identical in an infinite love… Humanity will be capable of looking at reality with real eyes, with the truth of love, with the Logos of Love, through Mary, the handmaid of the Lord.” (p. 194)

di Cristina Siccardi

Arguto, lucido e carico di verità si presenta l’ultimo lavoro di Padre Serafino Lanzetta della diocesi di Portsmounth, in Inghilterra, libero docente di teologia dogmatica alla Facoltà teologica di Lugano, in Svizzera, direttore della rivista teologica «Fides Catholica» e molto presente su Youtube con le sue catechesi settimanali.

Il libro Messer Arcibaldo. Lettere di un esperto diavolo a un apprendista tentatore, pubblicato da Fede & Cultura (pp. 40, 15,00 €) oltre ad essere di piacevolissima lettura, presenta l’arte demoniaca, attraverso un genere letterario inaugurato da Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) [1], erede del pensiero religioso inglese introdotto dal santo cardinale John Henry Newman, non a caso frequentò infatti la cerchia  dello scrittore John Ronald Reuel Tolkien (1892 – 1973), ma invece di convertirsi al cattolicesimo come fece quest’ultimo, si fermò alla «Via media» della Chiesa alta d’Inghilterra. (Lewis è riprodotto a destra in un ritratto, dalla cui pipa fuoriesce un leone formatosi con il fumo, esplicito riferimento al suo romanzo fantasy Le cronache di Narnia, un vero e proprio capolavoro che ha prodotto 100 milioni di copie vendute in tutto il mondo. Il ritratto è stato ripreso dal sito:  Fabio Piemonte).

L’autore di Messer Arcibaldo rappresentano, con stile satirico, gli insegnamenti di un diavolo per compiere il male nella Chiesa attraverso l’accondiscendenza alle soggettive debolezze, in modo tale da illudere e sedurre gli uomini in modo tale da sentirsi artefici di un nuovo destino della Chiesa stessa e dell’umanità intera. Dunque Arcibaldo istruisce Polliodoro, un diavoletto apprendista che deve imparare come condurre alla perdizione le anime e lo fa acquisendo la verità diabolica conosciuta dal maestro, sapendo che se acquisirà quelle “verità” potrà avere successo.

L’inganno sta nel circuire le anime, seducendo «gli uomini con le loro stesse seduzioni, convincendoli di essere protagonisti di una storia nuova, di un modo alternativo di essere cristiani». Una storia sempre uguale a se stessa, fin dall’alba dell’umanità, «un modo già sperimentato da altri prima di loro», in quanto «c’è una tentazione originaria che si riaffaccia di tanto in tanto alla finestra di ogni esistenza umana e sussurra “Sarai come Dio se obbedirai alla mia voce, che in fondo è ciò che tu stesso desideri: il tuo ego prima di ogni cosa e al di sopra di tutto, anche di Dio se ci fosse» (p. 7), perché il dubbio dell’esistenza di Dio è forte tanto quanto quello dell’esistenza di Satana e il principe di questo mondo è assai soddisfatto in questo: più c’è ignoranza e incredulità sul mondo soprannaturale e più logicamente può strappare anime a Dio, che non ha mai lesinato – come pure la Madre di Dio – nel rivelarsi manifestamente.

Nella nostra contemporaneità malata di male, orgogliosamente malata, trova nella corruzione spirituale e morale leve di autopromozione nel mondo, così questo epistolario risulta essere di speciale ausilio didattico per metterci di fronte alla realtà del maligno: egli esiste e ha le idee molto chiare, a differenza dell’uomo del nostro tempo, il quale lo nega oppure lo esalta attraverso il mondo dell’occultismo, dell’esoterismo e della magia nera. È evidente che nei nostri tristi giorni Satana pesca più anime che la Chiesa stessa, essendo quest’ultima più attenta al mondo e alle globaliste ideologie occidentali che alle anime in se stesse e alle molteplici tentazioni che la assediano, la minacciano fino ad essere corrotte e divorate da una cultura divenuta demoniaca, devastando in particolare le giovani generazioni (si pensi, per esempio, al rapper Achille Lauro oppure ai Måneskin, un lascivo gruppo musicale lanciato dal Festival di San Remo nel 2021, presente anche al Festival dell’edizione conclusasi da poche ore, contro la quale si è scagliato il Vescovo della stessa diocesi, monsignor Antonio Suetta).

I diavoli hanno per obiettivo indicare la strada dell’Inferno e lo fanno attraverso la menzogna e l’inganno, proprio come scrive Messer Arcibaldo, ironicamente rappresentato di spalle e intento a scrivere al suo discepolo nella bella e catturante copertina del libro:

«Caro Polliodoro, sono orgoglioso di te. Mi dicono i colleghi del tuo girone che non dai spazio a nessun pensiero che possa minimamente turbarti o sviarti dal tuo operare vòlto all’illuminazione dell’umanità e all’indottrinamento di coloro che si dicono credenti. Sai bene che la nostra regola d’oro è operare nel silenzio, dietro le quinte, senza essere visti. Preferiamo che non ci si accorga di noi. Convinceremo i mortali che tutto dipende da loro, mentre in realtà molto dipende anche da noi. E se il gioco non funzionasse, allora gli faremmo credere che tutto dipende da noi, spiriti, spiriti del dubbio e del caos. Ciò che è importante è che dimentichino il Nemico. Infatti, se tutto dipende da noi, il bene e il male, allora niente dipende più né da loro né dal loro Maestro. Questa mi sembra un’ottima idea per sbarazzarci di quella “fede nel diavolo” che purtroppo tiene gli uomini guardinghi e vigilanti» (p. 35).

Non essere di Dio e per Dio comporta appartenere comunque a qualcun altro e quest’altro non è altri che Satana con i suoi giannizzeri, perché il destino dell’uomo ha unicamente due vie da scegliere, stare con Dio o contro Dio, quindi stare con Lui oppure con Satana, anche quando non si crede all’uno – il Padre Creatore – e/o all’altro (perché ci sono anche coloro che credono alle tre Persone della Santissima Trinità, ma non alla persona Lucifero), il principe tentatore, annientatore e distruttore. Due vie soltanto si hanno da scegliere con il libero arbitrio, non molteplici come invece il mondo propone, illudendo di offrire mille “generi” e mille percorsi di appagamento dei propri istinti e delle proprie voglie. Due sono i percorsi che si concludono con l’approdo al Paradiso (anche attraverso la purificazione in Purgatorio) oppure all’Inferno. Due le strade, due gli stendardi innalzati, per utilizzare il linguaggio di sant’Ignazio di Loyola, sotto i quali stare, quello di Cristo, il Redentore e il Salvatore che benedice e beatifica (le anime purganti sono già beate perché destinate al Paradiso), oppure sotto quello di Satana, carnefice, maledicente e dannatore.

Fra i diversi temi trattati dall’autore, anche quello pandemico che, attraverso il virus del Covid 19, miete terrore e divisione, creando un contagio di paura e di allarme perpetuo. «Vorrei dimostrarti», afferma Arcibaldo a Polliodoro, che «in questa situazione di pandemia generale ti farò vedere come gli uomini, soprattutto quelli di Chiesa, saranno distratti da tante cose e si dimenticheranno che sono fatti per l’eternità. […] Quando tocchi la salute tutti saltano in aria». La salute fisica, s’intende, non la salus animarum che pare non avere più valore alcuno neppure per gli uomini di Chiesa, assurdamente accodati alle istanze mondane. Con la pandemia «le regole della Chiesa seguono il corso della malattia, si adattano, e non la malattia le regole della Chiesa e la sua profilassi soprannaturale. Quelle regole intrise di sapienza divina che vedevano la Chiesa sempre in prima fila nel dare conforto e nel sollevare gli animi nel dolore, saranno ora abolite dalla malattia che insegnerà come superare le regole della Chiesa, come cioè rendere la Chiesa superflua in caso di malattia» (pp. 80-87).

Il carteggio di Messer Arcibaldo è un utile strumento per smascherare metodi, strategie e tattiche del nemico per eccellenza dell’uomo, in particolare in  un momento in cui non esiste attualmente nessun vaccino spirituale promosso dalla Santa Sede, perdendo così moltitudini di anime non immunizzate dal Tentatore…

I demoni, nemici dell’uomo e amici dei tempi anticristici e antiecclesiastici, restano comunque sempre all’erta, nel tentativo di rapire anime al Padre Creatore. Intanto, comunque, Cristo ha già vinto il peccato e la morte per molti eletti e la Donna vestita di Sole, Maria Santissima, è pronta ad intervenire trionfante sulla maligna serpe ad un solo cenno di Dio, che permette la presenza malefica (la zizzania seminata dai demoni) fra gli uomini (grano e zizzania dovranno convivere fino alla fine del mondo, come ha insegnato Gesù). Come rivelano Antico e Nuovo Testamento, anche i castighi si abbattono sulla terra , a cominciare dal peccato originale in poi, fino alla Parusia, quando ogni azione tentatrice sarà annullata e le schiere demoniache, grazie anche alla presenza dell’Arcangelo San Michele, saranno per sempre inabissate, senza più nessuna facoltà di azione contro le anime che vivranno nella Gloria.

[1] Le lettere di Berlicche (titolo originale The Screwtape Letters), pubblicato a Londra nel 1942.

Fonte: Europa Cristiana

Il 7 dicembre 2020 ricorreva il 55° anniversario della chiusura del Concilio Vaticano II. Nell’allocuzione finale, Paolo VI mise in risalto il paradigma della spiritualità del Concilio, individuandolo nella storia del Samaritano. Al centro di quel discorso c’era il «nuovo umanesimo» conciliare e la svolta della Chiesa «verso la direzione antropocentrica della cultura moderna». Questo diceva il Papa tenendo a mente Gaudium et spes approvata proprio poco prima, in cui il discorso è rivolto all’uomo, cardine di tutta l’esposizione. Trattazione ahimè più sociologica che teologica, come rimproverato perfino da K. Rahner. Dopo 55 anni, dovremmo chiederci se con questo approccio antropologico/antropocentrico abbiamo davvero scoperto Cristo partendo dall’uomo o se invece siamo rimasti ancorati solo all’uomo, ma poi per perderlo di vista e occuparci di altro.


Per approfondire l’argomento consigliamo anche la lettura di due libri di P. Lanzetta sull’argomento: “Iuxta Modum. Il Vaticano II riletto alla luce della tradizione della Chiesa” (Cantagalli, 2012); “Il Vaticano II, un Concilio pastorale. Ermeneutica delle dottrine conciliari” (Cantagalli, 2014).


La svolta antropologica di Rahner mette l’uomo al centro e non più Dio. La grazia è già presente nella natura anche se solo in modo atematico. Tutti perciò sono cristiani anche se non lo sanno. I sacramenti e in particolare il Battesimo sono svuotati del loro potere salvifico nel produrre la grazia. La missione della Chiesa viene affossata: perché fare proseliti, perché evangelizzare e convertire a Cristo se tutti sono già salvi perché cristiani anonimi? La morale diventa un’opzione fondamentale: l’uomo è trascendentalmente sempre aperto verso Dio anche se commette qualche azione che non è proprio corretta; quindi il peccato scompare. L’uomo deve accettarsi per quello che è. La distinzione tra sacro e profano viene eliminata e la liturgia diventa così sciatta e banale. Dio è nel mondo e il mondo è il vero luogo teologico della fede e della Chiesa. Oggi vediamo come su un grande schermo le conseguenze di questa teoria rivoluzionaria e non cattolica.

Buona visione!

Video-catechesi di P. Serafino M. Lanzetta sull’unità del Mistero Pasquale di Cristo e sulle conseguenze derivanti da un’arbitraria separazione della Passione e Morte dalla Risurrezione.

Il Mistero Pasquale di Gesù – la Passione, Morte e Risurrezione – è un tutt’uno e va considerato sempre nella sua inscindibile unità. La Croce senza la Risurrezione sarebbe la mera esecuzione di una condanna a morte, come la Risurrezione senza la Croce una gloria senza la redenzione, un successo senza la sofferenza. La tentazione più ricorrente e all’ordine del giorno è quella di separare la Risurrezione dalla Croce: una sorta di emancipazione pentecostale della Chiesa. Ciò ha ripercussioni rovinose in teologia e nella vita liturgica della Chiesa. Si pensi alla Messa, il più delle volte intesa come mero convivio e non più sacrificio dell’Agnello divino, da cui scaturisce la Comunione con Lui. La Santa Comunione è data sulla mano al fedele rigidamente in piedi, perché risorto. Giustizia e misericordia sono poste l’una contro l’altra e la penitenza scompare per fare posto alla festa. Una festa e una gioia, però, che senza essere lavate nel Sangue di Cristo risultano vuote. Come vuote sono molte nostre parrocchie.

Buona visione!

Serafino M. Lanzetta, Semper Virgo. La Verginità di Maria come forma, Casa Mariana Editrice, Frigento 2019.

Ascolta l’audio-presentazione del libro:

Siamo preda di un amorfismo contagioso che diluisce i misteri della fede nel flusso del tutt’uguale. Abbiamo perso la forma, cioè quel principio che determina l’essenza di una cosa e che la specifica distinguendola da tutte le altre. L’invito ad essere perfetti è rivolto a tutti, però abbiamo dimenticato che c’è una gerarchia negli stati di vita del cristiano. Così il matrimonio e la vita consacrata, livellati per invitare tutti alla santità, versano entrambi in una crisi profonda. Crisi che non risparmia neppure il celibato, soggetto ormai alle trasformazioni epicuree del tempo. La soluzione è Maria Vergine. La sua perpetua verginità è la forma originaria che ha plasmato Cristo e in Lui ogni cristiano e ogni vocazione cristiana.

In vendita in tutte le librerie e sui negozi on-line.

Serafino M. Lanzetta, Fatima un appello al cuore della Chiesa. Teologia della storia e spiritualità oblativa, Casa Mariana Editrice, Frigento 2017.

Ascolta l’audio-presentazione del libro:

L’evento-Fatima ha segnato l’inizio di un cammino rinnovato per tutta la Chiesa: la Bianca Signora, venuta dal Cielo a parlarci attraverso i tre umili Pastorelli, ha ridetto al XX secolo e all’uomo di oggi la verità del Vangelo di sempre, ma con una particolarità, calandola nella storia. Gli eventi soprannaturali – riconosciuti tali dall’approvazione della Chiesa – hanno confermato i fatti storici e la storia è stata letta dalla Vergine stessa alla luce di Dio.

Nel maggio 2010 il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI si recò a Fatima, allargando ulteriormente gli orizzonti spirituali del Messaggio di Fatima. Si opinava, infatti, che con la rivelazione della terza parte del Segreto – avvenuta nel 2000 – la profezia di Fatima fosse ormai conclusa. Il Santo Padre Benedetto XVI, invece, ha affermato che Fatima è un messaggio ancora aperto, una profezia che deve ancora realizzarsi completamente. La Madonna di Fatima chiede la consacrazione al suo Cuore Immacolato come rifugio per salvare noi e tutte le anime dalla morte eterna.

In vendita in tutte le librerie e sui negozi on-line.

Serafino M. Lanzetta, Secundum Cor Mariae. Esercizi spirituali ai sacerdoti, Cantagalli, Siena 2019.

Ascolta l’audio-presentazione del libro:

Questo libro è il frutto di un corso di Esercizi Spirituali che padre Serafino Lanzetta ha predicato ai sacerdoti, presso la Casa di Esercizi dei PP. Passionisti, a Roma.

Un itinerario spirituale alla riscoperta della grandezza del dono del sacerdozio e delle inestimabili ricchezze che esso riversa su chi compie la scelta di essere sacerdote, non solo in virtù del sacramento ricevuto, ma anche e soprattutto con tutta l’esistenza trasfigurata da questo mistero.

In una parola: desiderare di avere il Cuore di Maria per accogliere il Cuore sacerdotale di Gesù, farlo proprio e così essere pienamente suoi. Desiderare di essere secundum Cor Mariae per essere pienamente secundum Cor Iesu.

In vendita in tutte le librerie e sui negozi on-line.

The Book of a Marian Conference, held at Buckfast Abbey on 12-13 October 2017, during the Centenary of Our Lady of Fatima, has now been published. The book, edited by Fr Serafino Lanzetta, collect the essays of important scholars, such as Fr Manfred Hauke, Roberto de Mattei, Fr Thomas Crean, Dr Caroline Farey, Fr John Hunwicke, and others.

The key-note speech was given by His Eminence Card. Raymond Burke.

What follows is part of the Presentation by Fr S. Lanzetta:
In 2017 the Church was particularly blessed for the celebration of the Centenary of the Fatima apparitions. The ‘White Lady’ came to speak – from May to October 1917 on the thirteenth of each month – to three little shepherds, Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. The last two were canonised last 13th May by Pope Francis, while the process for the canonization of Lucia is progressing. Of all the private revelations approved by the Church, Fatima is one of particular significance give its theological vision of history. Our Lady not only delivered a supernatural message – a call to penance and prayer for rescuing sinners from eternal perdition in hell, but also foretold what would happen if her call were unheeded. As a celestial appeal, Fatima is not something belonging to the past, but a prophecy for the Church today.

It is extremely interesting to revisit what Pope Benedict XVI said at Fatima in his homily during the Mass on 13th May 2010, which sounded to many like a ‘correction’ of what he had previously said as a Prefect of the Congregation for the Faith, when, in giving the official theological explication of the third part of the Secret (revealed in the year 2000), he declared that the vision of a city half in ruins with corpses of bishops, priests, religious and lay people laying on the ground was something referred to the great persecution of the Church in the 20th century. Therefore, something already accomplished. As a pope, Benedict put forth a new scenario stating:

“We would be mistaken to think that Fatima’s prophetic mission is complete. […] In sacred Scripture we often find that God seeks righteous men and women in order to save the city of man and he does the same here, in Fatima, when Our Lady asks: ‘Do you want to offer yourselves to God, to endure all the sufferings which he will send you, in an act of reparation for the sins by which he is offended and of supplication for the conversion of sinners?’ (Memoirs of Sister Lúcia, I, 162)”.

Fatima tells us that it is God who guides the course of history; his Divine Providence leads all events to a salvific end, though the personal judgement is different: eternal happiness for those who accept to do God’s Will, but perdition for those who freely choose to reject God and remain in the state of mortal sin. The history of mankind is not a place where conflicting human interests and powers of all kinds meet and fight each other, but the place of human events guided by God’s love. If He is cast out of society – as it is nowadays – the history can be but a very dark scenario: either the occult strength of a fate will determine the will of men or a pessimistic vision of a collective non-sense will take over and be truly overwhelming. Historical events are not pre-fabricated and unavoidable situations. They can change if man changes in them: if he converts and returns to God with all his heart. This opening of one’s heart to God is the beginning of a change that affects more people and finally the whole society. Penance, conversion and prayer are the means of a true revolution in history and properly what Our Lady asked for…

More in the book that can be purchased on any of the on-line bookstores or by requesting it directly to Casa Mariana Editrice:

Here one can watch all talks recorded by EWTN Great Britain.
And here some photos.