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Archived Online Discussion
Topic: With Jesus Every Day
Date: 5-6 pm (ET)
on Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Carl A. Anderson
Supreme Knight
Father Brunetta
Director of CIS
Carl A. Anderson:
Welcome to our July book club discussion of With Jesus Every Day by Cardinal Schoenborn.

Father Brunetta:
Cardinal Schoenborn posits a principle of St. Thomas, another Dominican, which is accepted almost universally as a fundamental moral principal: “we must follow our last, best judgment of conscience as the proximate norm of action.” Yet for Thomas, and for Cardinal Schoenborn, it is not the conscience in itself that has primacy in action, but Truth. And this is why we must do all we can to ensure that the judgment of conscience is reliable, that we form our consciences well—so that we can judge in accord with the Truth—and avoid confusing our consciences with subjective inclination or personal preference.

Tony Genco, Deputy Grand Knight
Woodbridge, Ontario Canada Council 13630
How do we ensure that Jesus lives with us everyday not only in our thoughts but in our words and actions that not only help us but help others in our daily lives?
Carl A. Anderson:
I think that the key to answering your question is to maintain a strong prayer life, especially participation in the Eucharist, reading the word of God in the Gospel and - as Pope Benedict XVI pointed out in his first encyclical - to participate in charitable activities. I think Christ summed it up best in the Gospel when he wrote: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind and all your strength, and your neighbor as yourself."

Grand Knight Robert Camilleri
Las Vegas, Nevada USA
How would you, as a Roman Catholic and a Knight of Columbus, describe a well formed conscience?
Father Brunetta:
A well-formed conscience is one that accurately grasps and applies the natural law which is “written on men’s hearts” and which participates in the divine law. The well-formed conscience is not an external voice directing one’s decisions, but an integrated and internal thinking that results in good or godly choices. A well-formed Catholic conscience is docile to the moral direction of the magisterium. Not in such a manner which posits the magisterium in opposition or rivalry to the personal conscience, but as the community of faith which provides the very context of moral decision making. The word conscience denotes a “thinking with” a community or tradition. For the Catholic, that community is the Church whose magisterium is not marked by oppressive tyranny, but by the seal of the Holy Spirit. Thus, the faith and morals of the Church are understood to be normative for the individual believer who wishes to belong. To be part of the Church is not only to believe certain things, but to live in accord with a certain tradition. In this way, the magisterium gives form and direction to the conscience from within, providing a pattern of life that challenges the believer to be more reasonable, mature and authentically loving.

Burbank, CA
Cardinal Schoenborn says there is "something missing in the humanity of one who does good without feeling any pleasure thereby" (76). How would you put this in the context of the Order's principle of Charity?
Carl A. Anderson:
Both Pope Benedict's encyclical on Charity, and the Order's first principle each speak to the inherent human need to engage in charitable activities. Anyone who has ever done a good deed know how true it is that it is better to give than to receive. The "good feeling" that comes from Charity is both the approbation of our conscience and the fact that to do good is in reality (making some allowance for original sin) nonetheless according to our nature and therefore should produce a good feeling. Also we should we should be aware that in true charity, that is, where there is a true gift of the person to another that there is really an exchange of gifts where the one who receives the gift in the first instance exchanges a gift in response which is the gift of joy and appreciation and, perhaps, even love. Therefore, often what is exchanged is of equal or greater value, especially where one gift is material and the other spiritual.

Father Brunetta:
This statement and the Order’s principle of charity are in direct accord. Charity in its broad theological meaning is “love of God and love of neighbor for love of God.” To love God and neighbor in this way can be nothing but delightful, joyful. For in love humankind finds its fulfillment. Such a fulfillment cannot be sterile and cold—for this is not love. A cold and sterile “fulfillment” is, instead, only a technical application of a duty or obligation done with steely calculation and in expectation of certain outcomes. But this is not what the Christian means by love. It is certainly not the love that lays its life down for its friends. Certainly not the love that is written of by the Saints: love that joyfully abandons itself—even in extreme hardship—all for God. If we go about applying the Order’s principle of charity without pleasure, we have surely missed the very point of love. And this would be a very sad situation indeed.

Burbank, CA
The book speaks of passions as being able to promote ethical living - if properly directed. This seems to run entirely contrary to what we are often taught about supressing our passions. Could you elaborate a little more on how this might work?
Carl A. Anderson:
The distinction that needs to be made is one of ordering versus supressing our passions. Passion directs us to what we perceive as good. It is up to us to form our consciences to pursue what is truly good rather than what simply seems good. Several years ago the KofC Museum sponsored an exhibit called Pope John Paul II: A Passion for Peace.

Father Brunetta:
Any view that teaches that we must suppress our passions is not authentically Catholic. A suspicious view of the passions is a sort of crypto-Calvinism that sees the results of the Fall as so extreme that mankind is entirely corrupted. It holds that the effects of the Fall are so great that God cannot undo them in Christ, but rather He merely overlooks the effects and counts us as justified—even though we really are not. This has never been the true Catholic view. Yes, passions are disordered because of the Fall. Yes, humankind experiences the frustration of temptation and the weakness. Yes, we are prone to follow our desires rather than our reason. However, we also believe that Christ conquers all of this to the very core of our being. We are truly reborn in the saving waters of Baptism and now Christ works in us. All that we are —intellect, will, body, passions—is reborn in Christ. Because of this, we are able to order disordered passions through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are able to conquer weakness through grace. We do not do this by suppressing our passions. For these too have been redeemed in Christ! To become passionless would be to lose a portion of our humanity, as the cardinal says. Ours is the task of rightly ordering our emotions. The cold-hearted lover of Christ can hardly be said to be a lover at all. For this reason we find the Saints speaking repeatedly of being on fire with love of Christ, even their passions are ordered to love of God.

Tony Genco, Deputy Grand Knight
Woodbridge, Ontario Canada Council 13630
What would be the best way to ensure others can join us in prayer and engage Jesus every day in our actions and our deeds?
Carl A. Anderson:
Certainly in seeking communal prayer, one should look to to go to Mass frequently and to promote family prayer. It is no accident that the word communion has two meanings.

This doesn't have much to do with the book, but I've always wondered when a member of a religious order like the Dominicans becomes a cardinal, does he still owe obedience to his religious order superiors?
Father Brunetta:
I assume you're referring to Cardinal Schoenborn, a Dominican. As a canon lawyer, I cannot help but cite Canon #705, which states in part, when a religious is raised to the episcopacy, he remains a member of his religious order but is subject only to the Roman pontiff by virtue of the vow of obedience and is not bound by obligations which he prudently judges cannot be reconciled with his new state in life.

Thanks for choosing this inspiring awesome book "WITH JESUS EVERYYDAY" by His Grace, Christoph Cardinal Schoenborn. His great Faith in Saviour Jesus, His Holy Virgin Mother Mary, Catholic Apostolic Church, also esteemed for his staunch loyalty to the Church Magisterium, the Pope, Dogmas, Tradition and Scripture. While completing my Licentiate in Dogmatic Mariology, with him as my mentor at Pontifical Fribourg Univ., Switzerland,in 80s, I translated into English the New Church Catechism
Carl A. Anderson:
Thank you very much for your interest in the book club. Like you, I very much enjoyed this book.

christopher mbagwu
I am a Knight of St.Mulumba Nigeria.I find the title of the book interesting i will place order and read it.My reaction will come later.However i will like to join the chat today.Nice day.
Carl A. Anderson:
Thank you!

El Paso, TX
I enjoyed the book. How would you suggest councils might integrate the book club into their council or parish activities?
Carl A. Anderson:
I think that members could run book discussion groups either at their parish or in their council halls. Reading and discussing books like these, can help people come to a better understanding of their faith and of important issues facing us in our lives each day.

Father Brunetta:
I want to encourage anything that might get the members to commit to studying their faith. Our late Holy Father John Paul II called for a new evangelization and included in this call is a renewed catechesis of the Christian faithful. Good luck in your efforts.

Bill Wisniewski - Field Agent
Chicopee, MA USA
I was very excited to read and share this book with others!
Did you both ever find it difficult to do what is good, when others around you are not as understanding?
Carl A. Anderson:
Peer pressure is an enormous factor in everyone's life. It is therefore very important for people to spend time with those who are committed to the same beliefs and goals. St. Francis de Sales in his Introduction to the Devout Life says that friends should be chosen on the basis of their commitment to faith and charity, and the Knights of Columbus certainly gives us a way to do both.

Father Brunetta:
Because of our fallen condition and Original Sin, everyone finds doing what is good difficult at times, even after the regeneration through Baptism. Doing good is especially difficult when others around us set a bad example or do not understand us when we strive to do the good. As St. Thomas Aquinas said, man is very much a social creature, and to some extent we are influenced by the thoughts, words, deeds and expectations of others.

North Haven, CT
The book lists four steps to becoming holy - taking up the cross, compassion, prayer and love of neighbor. How can Knights of Columbus address these four steps in their lives?
Father Brunetta:
With fear of sounding overly simplistic, the virtues develop and strengthen in one’s life through action. “The courageous man is the one who acts courageously,” St. Thomas teaches us. Thus, to achieve the holiness that the Cardinal writes of, we must “do” the elements he provides (from Pope John Paul II) as part of the path of holiness. 1. The Knight of Columbus must “take up his cross” most immediately in his family, shouldering the burdens of being a husband and a father with joy. The Knight must embrace the difficulties that come his way, with full understanding that it is through his self-sacrifice for his wife and children that his and their salvation is promoted. 2. The Knight must also hear this command of the Lord to act with compassion—not only to his family, to his brother Knights, to his friend, and to his co-workers. The Knight must act with compassion “to the world!” A big task; yet nothing less will do. 3. The Knight of Columbus must be a man of prayer. First and foremost because prayer changes the pray-er. In submitting his heart and mind to God, the Knight is transformed into a man of communion and service. 4. The Knight of Columbus must embrace all of humanity in love. The love of neighbor is not an optional exercise for the Knight; nor does he have the luxury of being selective.

Tucson, AZ
The book speaks about conscience - and says that we should always follow our conscience. In addition to the steps the book lays out (follow the golden rule, the ends don't justify the means, and don't take the lives of innocent people), how can we actually form our consciences so that we know what we are doing is right?
Carl A. Anderson:
It is up to each of us to further develop our conscience and it is certainly a life-long process. Key elements in this development include being in union with the teaching of the Church, reading the bible, and putting our faith into action through works of Charity.

Father Brunetta:
As Catholics seeking to form our consciences well, we must be willing to take moral instruction from the Church. In the 1990’s the Holy See taught that the Magisterium (the Church’s teaching authority which reiterates and unfolds the implications of Christ’s own teaching), has the task of “discerning, by means of judgments normative for the consciences of believers those acts which in themselves conform to the demands of faith and foster their expression in life and those acts which, on the contrary, are incompatible with such demands because [they are] intrinsically evil.” Therefore, it is to the Church we must go as we seek to form our consciences. When we seek to conform our moral judgments with the Truth, we cannot rely on our own lights, for we are prone to self-deception and subjective inclination—we need the light of the faith and the seal of the Holy Spirit.

Dave Babbitt
W Springfield
How are the conscience and the Moral Law related?
Father Brunetta:
Conscience is not, as many people think, simply doing what you feel is best in a given situation, it is rather seeking to discern the truth in a given situation, using moral law as a sure guide. Moral law, in fact, is a participation in the Divine Law, as seen most clearly in the Ten Commandments, given by God to inform and form us in the ways of God. Conscience is a way of reasoning about a specific situation in light of the moral/divine law.

Dr. Francis J. Romance
McLean, VA
Does the Cardinal address in his book how one's closeness to Mary helps to ensure that we will be "With Jesus Each Day"? [given their inseparability].
My sincere thanks, Worthy Supreme Knight, for having instituted this book club. Bravo!
Fraternally and gratefully,
[Brother] Francis Romance, St. Luke Council, 11122
Carl A. Anderson:
The book certainly addresses this in the prayer that Cardinal Schoenborn quotes from Pope John Paul II, when he writes: "Give us your own tender love for Mary, the mother of Jesus and our own mother." As our mother, Christ's mother, and the person who lives her life sinlessly, we can certainly see in Mary a great example for all of us.

Father Brunetta:
Mary, of course, is the one who is closest to Jesus, as the one who gave birth to Him and continues to be in His presence body and soul in heaven. She is the model Christian, the first one to profess His name, and our greatest intercessor before Jesus for all our needs.

Tony Genco, Deputy Grand Knight
Woodbridge, Ontario Canada Council 13630
What is the Cardinal's perspective on being with Jesus and being in a society that isn't Jesus centric? In other words, how do we make Jesus a part of our interaction with people so that when they meet us... they meet Jesus too?
Carl A. Anderson:
Certainly Christ himself gave us a mandate when he said that people should know we are his disciples by the way we love one another. Our Order's first principle is Charity, and when one gives of himself freely, that action should reflect Christ's love for us. In addition, as our holy father has pointed out, only someone who has experienced God himself can bring God to someone else. It is therefore of the utmost importance that we maintain our prayer life, and particularly attend Mass regularly.

Loreto Thompson
Wallingford, CT
How would you describe the nature and role of the soul versus that of the conscience? There is a whole chapter dedicated to the conscience in the book, but no mention is made of the immortal soul, the part that is closest to God. Are conscience and soul one and the same? Can we influence our soul the same way we quiet our conscience when it is convenient? Why does it feel as though we can manipulate our conscience but not our soul implying that they are not one?
Father Brunetta:
Since the cardinal's book is a collection of speeches given in his cathedral and not a systematic treatment of moral theology, there are many questions that he leaves unaddressed. Suffice it to say that the soul and the conscience are not the same thing. The soul is the animating or life-giving principle of the human being, while the conscience is the exercise of the judging intellect in evaulating right and wrong in specific situations.

Boston, Mass.
What was your favorite point made by the book?
Carl A. Anderson:
The most interesting part of the book for me was the title: "With Jesus Every Day: How Believing Transforms Living." And how far most of us have to go in allowing Jesus to transform our lives each day.

Dear Supreme Knight Anderson, Sir , How Can we geta copy of that With Jesus everyday? Thanks
Carl A. Anderson:
I would suggest contacting your local book seller. You can reference the book's ISBN# (0824524209) to help them in acquiring the book.

Lake City, MI
Who would you say is a good example of someone who was able to "live with Jesus every day?"
Carl A. Anderson:
I would agree with Cardinal Schoenborn and John Paul II in the example of Padre Pio. Padre Pio, as the Cardinal points out, shared Christ's suffering both in his own body, and in the celebration of Mass. John Paul II said the deepest reason for the apostolic success of Padre Pio was his deep union with God in prayer, and I think each of us can learn from and emulate that prayer life.

Father Brunetta:
Padre Pio was, indeed, an example of a great saint who lived within our own time. Knights of Columbus also have a sure example in the life of Father Michael McGivney, whose canonization we pray for.

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