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Tuesday, 26 May 2015

MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI--Three

Sometimes, a particular encyclical seems prophetic. Humanae Vitae is of that category, as is Humanum Genus. The encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ resonates with me this week, as we Catholics face a new awareness of the fragility of the Faith in many countries.

My comments are in blue here.

6. There is a special reason too, and one most dear to Us, which recalls this doctrine to Our mind and with it a deep sense of joy. During the year that has passed since the twenty-fifth anniversary of Our Episcopal consecration, We have had the great consolation of witnessing something that has made the image of the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ stand out most clearly before the whole world. Though a long and deadly war has pitilessly broken the bond of brotherly union between nations, We have seen Our children in Christ, in whatever part of the world they happened to be, one in will and affection, lift up their hearts to the common Father, who, carrying in his own heart the cares and anxieties of all, is guiding the barque of the Catholic Church in the teeth of a raging tempest. This is a testimony to the wonderful union existing among Christians; but it also proves that, as Our paternal love embraces all peoples, whatever their nationality and race, so Catholics the world over, though their countries may have drawn the sword against each other, look to the Vicar of Jesus Christ as to the loving Father of them all, who, with absolute impartiality and incorruptible judgment, rising above the conflicting gales of human passions, takes upon himself with all his strength the defense of truth, justice and charity.

The real experience of Christians standing against the Nazi destruction of the Jews, and the new totalitarianism which included hatred of Christ's Gospel message and which prefered a neo-paganism, made many Christians, including leaders, come together in Germany and other places, decide to be strong together. Much was at stake, like today.

7. We have been no less consoled to know that with spontaneous generosity a fund has been created for the erection of a church in Rome to be dedicated to Our saintly predecessor and patron Eugene I. As this temple, to be built by the wish and through the liberality of all the faithful, will be a lasting memorial of this happy event, so We desire to offer this Encyclical Letter in testimony of Our gratitude. It tells of those living stones which rest upon the living corner-stone, which is Christ, and are built together into a holy temple, hr surpassing any temple built by hands, into a habitation of God in the Spirit.[4]

This good Pope aided the Jews himself, and the cooperation of many brave people revealed a love of God embracing all humans in distress. The period of warfare and the time after the war witnessed great growth in the Catholic Faith, not only in numbers, but in the consolidation of study and the pursuing of truth. Sadly, communist and socialist infiltration also grew, and the corruption we see today in the curia must be seen as entrenched positions of anti-Catholicism near the heart of the Church, like a disease ready to spread. Modernism also became part of the thinking of many leaders in the Church, especially in the seminaries, which churned out liberal, even disobedient priests. As an old priest told me years ago, he and his friends joined the seminary in the 1950s to make the Church more Protestant, in order to create a Pan-Christianity which could stand up against both communism and socialism. Of course, this belief did not work.

8. But the chief reason for Our present exposition of this sublime doctrine is Our solicitude for the souls entrusted to Us. Much indeed has been written on this subject; and we know that many today are turning with greater zest to a study which delights and nourishes Christian piety. This, it would seem, is chiefly because a revived interest in the sacred liturgy, the more widely spread custom of frequent Communion, and the more fervent devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus practiced today, have brought many souls to a deeper consideration of the unsearchable riches of Christ which are preserved in the Church. Moreover recent pronouncements on Catholic Action, by drawing closer the bonds of union between Christians and between them and the ecclesiastical hierarchy and especially the Roman Pontiff, have undoubtedly helped not a little to place this truth in its proper light. Nevertheless, while We can derive legitimate joy from these considerations, We must confess that grave errors with regard to this doctrine are being spread among those outside the true Church, and that among the faithful, also, inaccurate or thoroughly false ideas are being disseminated which turn minds aside from the straight path of truth.

9. For while there still survives a false rationalism, which ridicules anything that transcends and defies the power of human genius, and which is accompanied by a cognate error, the so-called popular naturalism, which sees and wills to see in the Church nothing but a juridical and social union, there is on the other hand a false mysticism creeping in, which, in its attempt to eliminate the immovable frontier that separates creatures from their Creator, falsifies the Sacred Scriptures.

10. As a result of these conflicting and mutually antagonistic schools of thought, some through vain fear, look upon so profound a doctrine as something dangerous, and so they shrink from it as from the beautiful but forbidden fruit of paradise. But this is not so. Mysteries revealed by God cannot be harmful to men, nor should they remain as treasures hidden in a field, useless. They have been given from on high precisely to help the spiritual progress of those who study them in a spirit of piety. For, as the Vatican Council teaches, "reason illumined by faith, if it seeks earnestly, piously and wisely, does attain under God, to a certain and most helpful knowledge of mysteries, by considering their analogy with what it knows naturally, and their mutual relations, and their common relations with man's last end," although, as the same holy Synod observes, reason, even thus illumined, "is never capable of understanding those mysteries as it does those truths which form its proper object."[5]

Naturalism and false rationalism created the atmosphere for the Irish vote on Friday. False mysticism created an environment of false love and false tolerance of sin. The framework of morality disappeared in Ireland, and, indeed, in Europe and America over the past forty years.

What was set aside was exactly "reason illumined by faith" which leads to study, prayer and the understanding of the true goal of all humans, union with God in heaven forever. 

Of course, I love this following paragraph with the reference to perfection, which would include, moral perfection as well as mystical and rational assent to the Church's teaching on all subjects.

11. After pondering all this long and seriously before God We consider it part of Our pastoral duty to explain to the entire flock of Christ through this Encyclical Letter the doctrine of the Mystical Body of Christ and of the union in this Body of the faithful with the divine Redeemer; and then, from this consoling doctrine, to draw certain lessons that will make a deeper study of this mystery bear yet richer fruits of perfection and holiness. Our purpose is to throw an added ray of glory on the supreme beauty of the Church; to bring out into fuller light the exalted supernatural nobility of the faithful who in the Body of Christ are united with their Head; and finally, to exclude definitively the many errors current with regard to this matter.

To read a clear document on what the Mystical Body of Christ actually is will give us all hope.

12. When one reflects on the origin of this doctrine, there come to mind at once the words of the Apostle: "Where sin abounded, grace did more abound."[6] All know that the father of the whole human race was constituted by God in so exalted a state that he was to hand on to his posterity, together with earthly existence, the heavenly life of divine grace. But after the unhappy fall of Adam, the whole human race, infected by the hereditary stain, lost their participation in the divine nature,[7] and we were all "children of wrath."[8] But the all-merciful God "so loved the world as to give his only-begotten Son";[9] and the Word of the Eternal Father with the same divine love assumed human nature from the race of Adam—but an innocent and spotless nature—so that He, as the new Adam, might be the source whence the grace of the Holy Spirit should flow unto all the children of the first parent. Through the sin of the first man they had been excluded from adoption as children of God; through the Word incarnate, made brothers according to the flesh of the only-begotten Son of God, they receive also the power to become the sons of God.[10] As He hung upon the Cross, Christ Jesus not only appeased the justice of the Eternal Father which had been violated, but He also won for us, His brethren, an ineffable flow of graces. it was possible for Him of Himself to impart these graces to mankind directly; but He willed to do so only through a visible Church made up of men, so that through her all might cooperate with Him in dispensing the graces of Redemption. As the Word of God willed to make use of our nature, when in excruciating agony He would redeem mankind, so in the same way throughout the centuries He makes use of the Church that the work begun might endure.[11]

The pope refers almost immediately to grace, a theme on this blog. The truth of the Fall of Man and his need for redemption led to the Incarnation and the great act of mercy, Christ's Sacrifice on the Cross, which draws all people of good will to a life of freedom and justice. Grace comes through the merits of the Church, the visible Church, and we choose to cooperate or not cooperate with these graces of that Act of Mercy, Redemption. Through the Cross and through the Church, we have access to new life as brothers and sisters in Christ.

13. If we would define and describe this true Church of Jesus Christ—which is the One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic Roman Church[12]—we shall find nothing more noble, more sublime, or more divine than the expression "the Mystical Body of Jesus Christ"—an expression which springs from and is, as it were, the fair flowering of the repeated teaching of the Sacred Scriptures and the holy Fathers.

The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, a great mystery of love. He is the Head and we are the Body. The visible Church on earth is this body, as noted below and explained by Leo XIII. The heresy of the "invisible church" was clearly rejected over a hundred years ago.

To be a member of the Mystical Body means that we are one with Christ on earth in and through His Church.

14. That the Church is a body is frequently asserted in the Sacred Scriptures. "Christ," says the Apostle, "is the Head of the Body of the Church."[13] If the Church is a body, it must be an unbroken unity, according to those words of Paul: "Though many we are one body in Christ."[14] But it is not enough that the body of the Church should be an unbroken unity; it must also be something definite and perceptible to the senses as Our predecessor of happy memory, Leo XIII, in his Encyclical Satis Cognitum asserts: "the Church is visible because she is a body."[15] Hence they err in a matter of divine truth, who imagine the Church to be invisible, intangible, a something merely "pneumatological" as they say, by which many Christian communities, though they differ from each other in their profession of faith, are united by an invisible bond.



to be continued....

Monday, 25 May 2015

MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI for Today--part two as an introduction

Starting tomorrow in earnest, I shall unpack the great encyclical on the Mystical Body of Christ by Pope Pius XII. I believe he is speaking to our times, as he did in to Catholics in 1943. Here is a tidbit to get you interested in this mini-series.

2. For We intend to speak of the riches stored up in this Church which Christ purchased with His own Blood,[2] and whose members glory in a thorn crowned Head. The fact that they thus glory is a striking proof that the greatest joy and exaltation are born only of suffering, and hence that we should rejoice if we partake of the sufferings of Christ, that when His glory shall be revealed we may also be glad with exceeding joy.[3]

4. And it is to be hoped that Our instructions and exhortations will bring forth abundant fruit in the souls of the faithful in the present circumstances. For We know that if all the sorrows and calamities of these stormy times, by which countless multitudes are being sorely tried, are accepted from God's hands with calm submission, they naturally lift souls above the passing things of earth to those of heaven that abide forever, and arouse a certain secret thirst and intense desire for spiritual things. Thus, urged by the Holy Spirit, men are moved, and, as it were, impelled to seek the Kingdom of God with greater diligence; for the more they are detached from the vanities of this world and from inordinate love of temporal things, the more apt they will be to perceive the light of heavenly mysteries. But the vanity and emptiness of earthly things are more manifest today than perhaps at any other period, when Kingdoms and States are crumbling, when enormous quantities of goods and all kinds of wealth are being sunk in the depths of the sea, and cities, towns and fertile fields are strewn with massive ruins and defiled with the blood of brothers.

Can we not see that this encyclical gives us hope in these darkening times? The phrase "calm submission" with regard to lifting souls "above the passing things of earth to those of heaven that abide forever, and arouse a certain secret thirst and intense desire for spiritual things."

Unless we are totally focussed on Christ and His Church, and the Mystical Body of Christ, we shall be overwhelmed by the same-old, same-old and refuse to move out of the idea that what we see is normal. This encyclical will help us all get our minds in a place to accept the new times.

"...when Kingdoms and States are crumbling, when enormous quantities of goods and all kinds of wealth are being sunk in the depths of the sea, and cities, towns and fertile fields are strewn with massive ruins and defiled with the blood of brothers."

This is not poetry or exaggeration. The Pope was noticing that people in the middle of the war were turning towards Christ the King and His Kingdom, as the "vanities" of the world were disappearing from their lives. Should we not take heart from Pius XII and this document to see where the focus of our lives needs to be today?

More later....

Starting later this week, a review of MYSTICI CORPORIS CHRISTI

Time to discuss the Mystical Body of Christ....starting later. From the text:

3. From the outset it should be noted that the society established by the Redeemer of the human race resembles its divine Founder who was persecuted, calumniated and tortured by those very men whom He had undertaken to save. We do not deny, rather from a heart filled with gratitude to God We admit, that even in our turbulent times there are many who, though outside the fold of Jesus Christ, look to the Church as the only haven of salvation; but We are also aware that the Church of God not only is despised and hated maliciously by those who shut their eyes to the light of Christian wisdom and miserably return to the teachings, customs and practices of ancient paganism, but is ignored, neglected, and even at times looked upon as irksome by many Christians who are allured by specious error or caught in the meshes of the world's corruption. In obedience, therefore, Venerable Brethren, to the voice of Our conscience and in compliance with the wishes of many, We will set forth before the eyes of all and extol the beauty, the praises, and the glory of Mother Church to whom, after God, we owe everything.

Understanding Parish or Community Life

What I call community is not the same as what is known in America as parish life. It seems that the word "community" is misused constantly is parish when the mission statements. Mission statements did not exist in pre-Vatican II "communities".  Why mission statements became popular had to do parishes accepting business models for worship and relationships instead of family models. Yes, many mission statements use the word "family" but one cannot create a family atmosphere with a business model.

Community comes from people getting involved in each other's lives. When I was home schooling, the little group of home schooling moms created a little community. We saw each other weekly outside of Mass time, did things together with the children and shared talents and resources.

Community means men meeting in Bible studies, joining Men of St. Joseph or other fathers' groups, and even having men's Adoration groups. Sierra club is another community building group, which I know of personally, as my dad was president for years.


But, unless the members of families actually meet during the week outside of Church, socializing and praying with each other, there will be no community.

Community needs to start small and grow because people are becoming friends in the Lord, each one having a personal relationship with Christ and working on personal holiness at home.

Why there are so few real communities has to do with the fact that meeting together does not seem to be a priority in some areas.

As I have written so many times, imagine a diocese with only a handful of churches, few opportunities for receiving the sacraments, and almost complete marginalization of Catholics in the marketplace. This is coming.

For years on this blog, I have written about podding and creating small groups close by in your neighbourhoods for support when things get tough. Many Catholics will be, and already are, not accepted by their own families regarding Catholic doctrine. Communities are necessary to sustain such "lone wolves" who have been kicked out of the family circle for being really Catholic.

Being involved personally, knowing your Catholic neighbors, having dinners, having barbeques with these Catholic remnant people, praying together as families as well as individuals, create community. Home schooling moms seem to be very good at creating Catholic mini-communities.

Parish life usually does not create real community, as this model did years ago, as too many Catholics may be understood as living lives of heterodoxy.

Some people with whom I have spoken think community will "just happen" when things get tough. I do not think so.

Some communities are being built, as in those people who have moved to the Clear Creek Abbey area in order to have the TLM as the center of a communal life. There is some community is Idaho and in Tennessee in TLM communities which have worked on relationships. There are a few charismatic communities in Michigan and in Indiana.

The great blockage to community life is the stubbornness which insists that communal life must be seen as the same as parish life. The old paradigm no longer works, as, in my last parish, the heterodox Catholics simply cannot live the same life as those who are obedient.

The model of community can no longer be the divisive families of many shades of belief, or the old parish model. One cannot have intimate relationships with those who are living in disobedient and refuse to repent. Doctrinal divisions in families or in parishes stop community building.



Jesus Christ, Lord and Savior, had many things to say about division. Just look in Mark, Luke and Matthew, in the passages on the separation of the sheep and goats, and the turning of family members against other family members.

Mark, 13:12

And the brother shall betray his brother unto death, and the father his son; and children shall rise up against the parents, and shall work their death.

Luke 12:53

The father shall be divided against the son, and the son against his father, the mother against the daughter, and the daughter against the mother, the mother in law against her daughter in law, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.

Matthew 25:31-46

31 And when the Son of man shall come in his majesty, and all the angels with him, then shall he sit upon the seat of his majesty.

32 And all nations shall be gathered together before him, and he shall separate them one from another, as the shepherd separateth the sheep from the goats:

33 And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on his left.

34 Then shall the king say to them that shall be on his right hand: Come, ye blessed of my Father, possess you the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

When I returned from Europe to the States, one thing which struck me, which I had not noticed before, was the fact that so many Catholics were idolizing their families.

Their families were more important that the Catholic communities, than Catholic teaching, than Catholic culture and practice. Their families took them away from activities or socializing with Catholics who could help them be stronger and holier.

Finally, I saw wives giving in to the pagan practices of their families and husbands to theirs instead of listening to the holy spouse God had given them.

Why has this happened? Why the deceit that one can bring one's family to God? Why the compromising on such a large scale?


The Kingdom of God is the Church. And the Church Militant is made up of those who fight for the truth of the Catholic Faith.

We may not share this vision, this grace with our siblings, or even parents.

In fact, I see husbands giving in to wives who want to spend too much on luxury items, going out, and so on, when these men know God is calling the family to more prayer and simplicity.

I see wives giving in to husbands on the issue of contraception.

I see husbands not wanting to confront the occult or new age practices they see their wives are doing.

I see wives not speaking to their husbands about pornography.

Husbands and wives are to bring each other to heaven. That is the main reason God brought them together.

If a family gets in the way of that process on purpose, by the strength of old sins, such as involvement in the occult, Freemasonry, lax Catholicism, the wife or husband must step in and help the other one break away from lives of sin.

How this is done takes prayer, patience, tact, but always the truth.

I have written about podding and building community before the really hard times hit. Some people have written or phoned me to say that they want to do this, for their own sake, the sake of the children and the spouse, but the other half of the couple does not.

If it is the man who wants to do so, the Catholic woman owes him obedience. If it is the woman who wants to grow deeper in holiness, she must pray, but never sin.

Family idolatry is rife. Our families do not save us, God does. Many saints had holy parents, but some did not.

The day St. Damien of Molokai told his father he wanted to be a priest, his father grew angry and said "no". The next morning, the father told him to get into the farm cart, said nothing else, drove the young man to the seminary, and dropped him off. The father never spoke with the saint again.

In my own family, one member, a father, never spoke to his daughter after she entered the convent. Never.

We need to make choices daily. Some need to break away from consumerist, materialistic families. Some need to break away from negative families. Some need to break away from families involved in the occult, or power, or abuse.

I cannot save those in my family who have fallen away. Only God can. I love them and pray for them daily. But, no family member will take me away from the path of holiness.

Can you say the same? Are you caught up in family idolatry? Would you die for Christ when your family may decide not to do so?

Some times the sin of the family is pride. 

We make choices daily, little choices, which lead to bigger ones.

May I add that persecution will come soon, and that we are going to have to choose between REAL communities or false ones.

from Maccabees....
Now I urge those who read this book not to be depressed by such calamities, but to recognize that these punishments were designed not to destroy but to discipline our people 2 Maccabees 6

Many younger Catholics understand we are headed for real persecution. Those who do not can read my previous posts on the stages of such persecution. We are in the beginning of the last stage.

But, many Catholics think that persecution is for punishing the wicked. Not so. Look at the quotation above from Maccabees. Persecution is for the good of the Church. For our good, individually and collectively.

No one who is honest can deny that evils entered the Church in the past sixty years or so. People, including leaders, became complacent, and worse, seriously full of sin. The case of contraception is merely one part of the evil-even today. There are many priests, and even bishops in England, who do not teach that Humanae Vitae is an infallible document.

And, in America, some seminaries are still, in 2013, accepting homosexuals as future priests and have homosexuals on the staff.  Also, the laity do not correct one another and ignore sin, which is not only hypocritical, as not abiding by one's baptismal promises, but encouraging evil. Many Catholics are not obedient, and get involve in New Age practices and false private revelations, all which are disobedient actions and are sinful. Many Catholics are not orthodox. This is unfaithfulness. This is sin.

So, the Church must be purified. The lavender mafia is only one aspect. The sins against children are only one aspect. The tacit agreement and support of abortion by Catholics who vote for pro-abortion politicians is only one aspect. Now, we have priests and bishops accepting ssm. The blasphemies against God and the sacrilegious reception of Holy Communion as well as abuses in the Liturgy add to the list.

As seen in Maccabees, God is faithful and will not let His People go to hell. He wants the salvation of those in His Church as well as outside the Church.

Persecution is for us, folks. If you cannot see this, you are ignoring the evil which is in the Church. The Maccabees started with themselves, fasting, praying, fighting and witnessed great miracles.

We shall need community to live and to worship freely.

We cannot expect miracles unless we pursue purity of heart. Pray, fast, reflect, think, act. Form real communities, not false ones which will NOT support you in times of persecution. Some of the enemies of the Faith sit next to you in your parish on Sunday.






On Becoming New Women Saints

I have never been to a baby shower. I only went to wedding showers when I was in the wedding as a bridesmaid.

I had presents sent to the houses.

Why?

In this consumerist society, a woman is expected to talk about things. I never talk about things. Yes, I am practical and highly organizational. But, things do not have to be discussed with other females over coffee. I could never understand two hours of discussions on wallpaper for baby's room, or the paint needed for the crib, the color of booties to match daddy's eyes, or the need for endless talk about past labor pains.

Some females have not responded to the real call of freedom which is the freedom to think and the freedom to become holy.

Liberal arts education teaches one how to think. Liberal does not mean wild and wooly, but free to think. Thinking does not mean being obsessed with things, but discussing ideas, politics, Church teaching.

I remember the first meeting of some dear friends of mine in Malta. They asked me to help set up a day of prayer. For two hours, the menu was discussed and who was bringing what. This happened every time a day of renewal occurred and the same wonderful ladies basically made the same things. One of them, who had travelled extensively apologized as I look puzzled over this re-hashing of various buns, cookies, cakes, casseroles and salads. She knew that the Maltese loved to discuss food for a long time and made group decisions rather than having one person delegate needs.

Maybe it is because I was a working mum. Maybe my time was too valuable to waste on trivial discussions with people I would not see for two more years when another baby came along. Maybe it is because back home, women just say--"You bring this and this and you bring this for the food." Period.

One does not have to think out loud and one does not have to talk trivia. But, why do we?

It is safe. If one is talking trivia, one avoids serious issues, such as pro-life issues, or ssm, or the Synod, which several ladies I have spoken with in the last few weeks had no idea was happening. Oh no, we cannot hurt anyone's feelings by not accepting someone's lifestyle or the arrogance of sin, or suggesting people read the Catechism.

Until female Catholics stop talking trivia, they will not grow up and be the Catholic women we need in the world, like our Lynda, or Ann, or Diane,or Kathy, or Sarah, who read this blog and pray as well as work for the Church Militant. Could the Irish vote possibly be owing to women who do not know their Faith and have encircled their lives with trivia, including consumer objects? Holy women have led many to the radical Gospel for centuries.

Females, also, need to avoid places of gossip. Sadly, where I come from, showers are gossip groups.

Females in the Church Militant need to resemble the great lay saints, like Blessed Zelie Martin or a woman who will be canonized eventually, Empress Zita.

These are women who loved and worked, but grew in the holiness of saints in a lay context. We women need to let things which seemed important in 1999, or 2005, like re-decorating or having the latest recipes on the table, and start thinking like real soldiers in the spiritual field of battle.

A new woman in the Church Militant needs to emerge from within the remnant of Catholic culture.

What do we need? Contemporary Joan of Arcs, contemporary Catherine of Sienas, contemporary Margaret Clitherows, contemporary Gianna Mollas, contemporary Blessed Maria Corsinis--decide to become one and not just another person discussing the price of Pampers or the recipe for biscuits with sesame seeds. 


The Sin of Presumption

One of my favourite theologians to read is Suarez. His points on the sin of presumption may be seen in the Catholic Encyclopedia article of the same title. My comments in blue....One can be presumptuous about even dangerous situations which demand prudence and not foolhardiness. This sin is mortal. Many trad Catholics think they are saved by just going to the TLM. Presumption is actually a vice-a habitual sin.

Suarez ("De spe", disp. 2a, sect. 3, n. 2) enumerates five ways in which one may be guilty of presumption, as follows:


by hoping to obtain by one's natural powers, unaided, what is definitely supernatural, viz. eternal bliss or the recovery of God's friendship after grievous sin (this would involve a Pelagian frame of mind); Pelagianism may be the most prevalent heresy found in the people at Sunday Mass. We do not get to heaven by good works and we do not get to heaven through our own power or efforts--the great fallacy of Masonry.

a person might look to have his sins forgiven without adequate penance (this, likewise, if it were based on a seriously entertained conviction, would seem to carry with it the taint of heresy); many Catholics do not understand the seriousness of even venial sin. Penance is demanded by the God Who is Just.

a man might expect some special assistance from Almighty God for the perpetration of crime (this would be blasphemous as well as presumptuous); asking God for vengeance or retaliation-from a heart of malice-for supposed hurts. There is a major religion which works on this premise.

one might aspire to certain extraordinary supernatural excellencies, but without any conformity to the determinations of God's providence. Thus one might aspire to equal in blessedness the Mother of God;  seriously, many people think they are holy and saints without going through purgation and think they are like some of the saints.

finally, there is the transgression of those who, whilst they continue to lead a life of sin, are as confident of a happy issue as if they had not lost their baptismal innocence. head in the sand Catholics who actually deny the seriousness of sin....

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Defending The Wicket


Recently, a certain seminarian shared with me his stand at the wicket, creating a needed draw for his team. To protect the wicket for thirty overs and getting not our for naught demands patience and focus.

One does not try for flashy shots when one's captain has asked one to go for a draw. One is not concerned with one's personal score, but the good of the team.

One bats "cautiously" in order to make it impossible for the other side to get the team out.

With a fast bowler at one end and a left-handed around the wicket bowler at the other, defense becomes an intellectual game, as well as one of patience and stamina.

The batsman does not slash out or go for the big runs, but plays calmly and with great assurance that he can meet the demand of his captain.

Too often, some batsmen fall into egotism, wanting to add to their own personal scores instead of thinking of the team. A team player goes for the good of the whole.

Sport can teach and also reveal, virtue. To be a good team player not only means doing one's best, but sometimes, not trying to score, unless one is absolutely sure of not getting out. This attitude is an humility.

What does this mean for the Catholic team player in the Church? Sometimes, one does not have to
"be seen" doing things, but work quietly, steadily. Praying for others either alone or with a prayer team may seem like a hidden job, but prayer is actually more important than activity. Prayer not only sustains, but guides and underpins action.

Like the batsman who stays in for thirty overs to obtain the draw for the team, those who pray defend with wicket with patience and perseverance. Now is the time for defending the wicket, but not merely for a draw. The match has already been won, but the innings must be played out.


Getting Behind The Lines

One of my military friends told me today that sometimes one soldier has to pull another one out of the line of fire. "Get down, you....." or similar words would be expressed to get a soldier out of range for enemy bullets.


Some of us are sensing the time for pulling friends, or being pulled, out of bullet range may be coming soon, if that time is not here already.

Since I have been given access to private wifi in the past few days, I am back in the trenches, but wondering if I am a bolo rather than a crack shot.

When one is on line, one is in Indian country, and one may be called to be a snake eater. However, there are times when one's buddies pull one down below the bullets of Those People.

I admit I am a trench monkey. But, I am sure glad of those who have pulled me back recently and have told me to hat up.

If I am blogging less, even with wifi access, I am hatting up and I may become a Jawa.

Thanks to Major....for the retrenching.....as I have just come out of a serious ruck up situ.

To ruck up comes from to get your rucksack and move out.....

The New Evangelization from Rome

Out of all the things which have been discussed abut the Synod, one issue which seems to be ignored is the fact that there has been for centuries, a division between what the local churches in Europe, and in America, have preached and "accepted" at the local level, and what Rome has taught. The old fight of the Modernists and Ultramontanists must date back to the Avignon Papacy.  I do not want to give a history lesson here, but refer to the general problem which has existed between so-called pastoral applications and doctrine.

Out of the great tensions of the 14th century came the consolidation of Trent and, finally, the inspired writings of the greatest popes to bring Rome to the center of policies and practices again, Popes Pius IX and X. But, in Europe and in certain areas of America, the desire to make decisions outside the rules and guidelines of Rome created the isms which have infiltrated the Church today.

Marriage is not the only issue of the Synod. The need for bishops and cardinals, perhaps at a time when the curia of Rome has fallen into the worst corruption since the Renaissance, to come to some agreement about following Rome's guidance, could lead to a real new evangelization.

Conciliarism was a response to the Avignon Papacy scandal. Although the extreme version of this was condemned, the better angels of the movement created the climate for Trent to be not only successful, but a powerful source for the new evangelization of the colonial period.

The common problem of priests and bishops departing from Catholic orthodox teaching on marriage, Communion, grace and authority may be solved in the real effort to allow the Holy Spirit to inspire those good bishops and cardinals to lead the Church away from both Modernism and Ultramontanism. More than ever, the Church must be united.

With the powers of evil rising to a pitch which resembles the beginning of the marshalling of evil for the Last Battle, the Pope has called together the good, the bad and the ugly to come to clarity on doctrine so that there is no contradiction between the pastoral and the doctrinal.

Pray for the Pope, who I believe has good intentions concerning a new energy which could come out of the Synod for a new evangelization, as happened after Trent.


Saturday, 23 May 2015

Prayers, please, for all the persecuted.....

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/05/22/superior-of-mar-elian-monastery-in-syria-kidnapped-by-isis/

Maybe there are no catechisms in Ireland

1846 The Gospel is the revelation in Jesus Christ of God's mercy to sinners.113 The angel announced to Joseph: "You shall call his name Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins."114 The same is true of the Eucharist, the sacrament of redemption: "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins."115
1847 "God created us without us: but he did not will to save us without us."116 To receive his mercy, we must admit our faults. "If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just, and will forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness."117
1848 As St. Paul affirms, "Where sin increased, grace abounded all the more."118 But to do its work grace must uncover sin so as to convert our hearts and bestow on us "righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord."119 Like a physician who probes the wound before treating it, God, by his Word and by his Spirit, casts a living light on sin:
Conversion requires convincing of sin; it includes the interior judgment of conscience, and this, being a proof of the action of the Spirit of truth in man's inmost being, becomes at the same time the start of a new grant of grace and love: "Receive the Holy Spirit." Thus in this "convincing concerning sin" we discover a double gift: the gift of the truth of conscience and the gift of the certainty of redemption. The Spirit of truth is the Consoler.120
II. THE DEFINITION OF SIN
1849 Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as "an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law."121
1850 Sin is an offense against God: "Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight."122 Sin sets itself against God's love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become "like gods,"123 knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus "love of oneself even to contempt of God."124 In this proud self- exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.125
1851 It is precisely in the Passion, when the mercy of Christ is about to vanquish it, that sin most clearly manifests its violence and its many forms: unbelief, murderous hatred, shunning and mockery by the leaders and the people, Pilate's cowardice and the cruelty of the soldiers, Judas' betrayal - so bitter to Jesus, Peter's denial and the disciples' flight. However, at the very hour of darkness, the hour of the prince of this world,126 the sacrifice of Christ secretly becomes the source from which the forgiveness of our sins will pour forth inexhaustibly.
III. THE DIFFERENT KINDS OF SINS
1852 There are a great many kinds of sins. Scripture provides several lists of them. The Letter to the Galatians contrasts the works of the flesh with the fruit of the Spirit: "Now the works of the flesh are plain: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, anger, selfishness, dissension, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and the like. I warn you, as I warned you before, that those who do such things shall not inherit the Kingdom of God."127
1853 Sins can be distinguished according to their objects, as can every human act; or according to the virtues they oppose, by excess or defect; or according to the commandments they violate. They can also be classed according to whether they concern God, neighbor, or oneself; they can be divided into spiritual and carnal sins, or again as sins in thought, word, deed, or omission. The root of sin is in the heart of man, in his free will, according to the teaching of the Lord: "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a man."128 But in the heart also resides charity, the source of the good and pure works, which sin wounds.
IV. THE GRAVITY OF SIN: MORTAL AND VENIAL SIN
1854 Sins are rightly evaluated according to their gravity. The distinction between mortal and venial sin, already evident in Scripture,129 became part of the tradition of the Church. It is corroborated by human experience.
1855 Mortal sin destroys charity in the heart of man by a grave violation of God's law; it turns man away from God, who is his ultimate end and his beatitude, by preferring an inferior good to him.
Venial sin allows charity to subsist, even though it offends and wounds it.
1856 Mortal sin, by attacking the vital principle within us - that is, charity - necessitates a new initiative of God's mercy and a conversion of heart which is normally accomplished within the setting of the sacrament of reconciliation:
When the will sets itself upon something that is of its nature incompatible with the charity that orients man toward his ultimate end, then the sin is mortal by its very object . . . whether it contradicts the love of God, such as blasphemy or perjury, or the love of neighbor, such as homicide or adultery. . . . But when the sinner's will is set upon something that of its nature involves a disorder, but is not opposed to the love of God and neighbor, such as thoughtless chatter or immoderate laughter and the like, such sins are venial.130
1857 For a sin to be mortal, three conditions must together be met: "Mortal sin is sin whose object is grave matter and which is also committed with full knowledge and deliberate consent."131
1858 Grave matter is specified by the Ten Commandments, corresponding to the answer of Jesus to the rich young man: "Do not kill, Do not commit adultery, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Do not defraud, Honor your father and your mother."132 The gravity of sins is more or less great: murder is graver than theft. One must also take into account who is wronged: violence against parents is in itself graver than violence against a stranger.
1859 Mortal sin requires full knowledge and complete consent. It presupposes knowledge of the sinful character of the act, of its opposition to God's law. It also implies a consent sufficiently deliberate to be a personal choice. Feigned ignorance and hardness of heart133 do not diminish, but rather increase, the voluntary character of a sin.
1860 Unintentional ignorance can diminish or even remove the imputability of a grave offense. But no one is deemed to be ignorant of the principles of the moral law, which are written in the conscience of every man. The promptings of feelings and passions can also diminish the voluntary and free character of the offense, as can external pressures or pathological disorders. Sin committed through malice, by deliberate choice of evil, is the gravest.
1861 Mortal sin is a radical possibility of human freedom, as is love itself. It results in the loss of charity and the privation of sanctifying grace, that is, of the state of grace. If it is not redeemed by repentance and God's forgiveness, it causes exclusion from Christ's kingdom and the eternal death of hell, for our freedom has the power to make choices for ever, with no turning back. However, although we can judge that an act is in itself a grave offense, we must entrust judgment of persons to the justice and mercy of God.
1862 One commits venial sin when, in a less serious matter, he does not observe the standard prescribed by the moral law, or when he disobeys the moral law in a grave matter, but without full knowledge or without complete consent.
1863 Venial sin weakens charity; it manifests a disordered affection for created goods; it impedes the soul's progress in the exercise of the virtues and the practice of the moral good; it merits temporal punishment. Deliberate and unrepented venial sin disposes us little by little to commit mortal sin. However venial sin does not break the covenant with God. With God's grace it is humanly reparable. "Venial sin does not deprive the sinner of sanctifying grace, friendship with God, charity, and consequently eternal happiness."134
While he is in the flesh, man cannot help but have at least some light sins. But do not despise these sins which we call "light": if you take them for light when you weigh them, tremble when you count them. A number of light objects makes a great mass; a number of drops fills a river; a number of grains makes a heap. What then is our hope? Above all, confession.135
1864 "Therefore I tell you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven."136 There are no limits to the mercy of God, but anyone who deliberately refuses to accept his mercy by repenting, rejects the forgiveness of his sins and the salvation offered by the Holy Spirit.137 Such hardness of heart can lead to final impenitence and eternal loss.
V. THE PROLIFERATION OF SIN
1865 Sin creates a proclivity to sin; it engenders vice by repetition of the same acts. This results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil. Thus sin tends to reproduce itself and reinforce itself, but it cannot destroy the moral sense at its root.
1866 Vices can be classified according to the virtues they oppose, or also be linked to the capital sins which Christian experience has distinguished, following St. John Cassian and St. Gregory the Great. They are called "capital" because they engender other sins, other vices.138 They are pride, avarice, envy, wrath, lust, gluttony, and sloth or acedia.
1867 The catechetical tradition also recalls that there are "sins that cry to heaven": the blood of Abel,139 the sin of the Sodomites,140 the cry of the people oppressed in Egypt,141 the cry of the foreigner, the widow, and the orphan,142 injustice to the wage earner.143
1868 Sin is a personal act. Moreover, we have a responsibility for the sins committed by others when we cooperate in them:
- by participating directly and voluntarily in them;
- by ordering, advising, praising, or approving them;
- by not disclosing or not hindering them when we have an obligation to do so;
- by protecting evil-doers.
1869 Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. "Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sin."144
IN BRIEF
1870 "God has consigned all men to disobedience, that he may have mercy upon all" (Rom 11:32).
1871 Sin is an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law (St. Augustine, Faust 22:PL 42, 418). It is an offense against God. It rises up against God in a disobedience contrary to the obedience of Christ.
1872 Sin is an act contrary to reason. It wounds man's nature and injures human solidarity.
1873 The root of all sins lies in man's heart. The kinds and the gravity of sins are determined principally by their objects.
1874 To choose deliberately - that is, both knowing it and willing it - something gravely contrary to the divine law and to the ultimate end of man is to commit a mortal sin. This destroys in us the charity without which eternal beatitude is impossible. Unrepented, it brings eternal death.
1875 Venial sin constitutes a moral disorder that is reparable by charity, which it allows to subsist in us.
1876 The repetition of sins - even venial ones - engenders vices, among which are the capital sins.

The Mystery of Evil


Some people are asking today why there are people who seem to know the Truth and follow Christ, and why there are some who do not know the Truth, and not only leave the path of Christianity, or spurn it, but choose unnatural ways of life, lifestyles contrary to the essence of being human.

Grace answers the question of the mystery of evil. Thomas Aquinas notes, "Grace, properly speaking, is required that the wounded intellect may be healed."

The intellect moves the will either to good or to evil. Perhaps the subject of grace has been written about on this blog so many times that many people seem weary of the discussion. But, God does give grace for all men, women and children to follow Him, obey His commandments, and make their way, in grace, to heaven,

Yet, the vast majority of people seem to be refusing grace. Yes, refusing that illumination of the intellect, that healing of the intellect which leads to living the life of Christ as much as possible while on earth.

The illumined intellect responds to more and more grace, not passing up opportunities for growth, intimacy with God. Grace builds on grace, just as sin builds on sin.

We reading these words are adults. We need to act like Catholic adults and realize that many of the leaders will leave the Church. We cannot follow the false shepherds into oblivion, into hell.

To appropriate the Catholic Faith as an adult means studying and praying, contemplating and living in as much silence as possible so that God can be heard.

These are not times to pretend that the same old, same old way of living will suffice.

It will not.

The mystery of evil involves free choice on the part of many who choose lust, or greed, or power over the humility of Christ's words, Christ's life.

How sad that so many Catholics are and will even more in the future choose the world's view of sin and death over the Church's teaching of life and light.

I am reminded of the great words of Joshua to the Chosen People of God.

Deuteronomy 30:19Douay-Rheims 

19 I call heaven and earth to witness this day, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing. Choose therefore life, that both thou and thy seed may live:



People, Another Reminder

This vote in Ireland is not about equality, but about the acceptance of sin. It is not a referendum about freedom, but about destroying Catholic culture, and the Catholic Church.

Period.

Look at my posts for the last six years. I have been saying for years that the homosexual agenda would bring in persecution. Just wait.

Friday, 22 May 2015

Reminder just because

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.com/2015/01/on-demon-of-false-seer.html

For the remnant.....

In this post, I want to reveal some of the lessons I have more than learned in two weeks of daily intense suffering and abandonment by some who I love. These lessons have been carved into my heart.



Let me put these in bullet points, in order to show you that these characteristics which God wants His remnant to develop--NOW!
  • Complete dependence on Divine Providence, not society, government, family or church membership.  This dependence does lead to a new view on God's Will in this world. 
  • Daily interior dialogue with the God Within. Talking with Him while at work, play, rest, prayer at all times of the day or night bring us closer to Him in order to be sustained in these dark times.
  • Willingness to be isolated, marginalized, separated from the ordinary, lukewarm Catholics in the pew, or worse, the disobedient priests and faithful. Finding joy and peace in realizing Christ joins one in this suffering becomes real.
  • Intense prayer and reflection, plus frequent reception of the sacraments must be part of the remnant Catholic members.
  • Strict honesty with one's self with regard to sin. No pass going to jail-be honest about asking God for your purgatory on earth.
  • Forgiveness is essential towards those who hate one, ignore one's real needs, and hate the truth.
  • Preserving joy by concentrating on Christ, and not one's self or others.

Why all the evil which we see proliferating in the West...

Nothing positive and good can exist outside God without causal dependence on God. If this be denied, all proofs for the existence of God are compromised. God is, without any exception, the author of all that is good. Garrigou-Lagrange



St. Rita Cascia

St. Rita is not only the saint of the impossible, but she is the patron of those who have experienced domestic abuse. I find more and more women who have been abused either physically, emotionally, or psychologically. Some men have been abused by parents or siblings as well.

But, we are now witnessing the abuse of nations, of civilizations, of cultures. Evil abuses. Demons take delight in abusing. People, who are warped, take a perverse joy in celebrating sin and abusing others. Sin moves people farther and farther away from God.

Remember, there is no middle ground, no neutral territories anymore.

Fear is one reason why people abuse others. The lack of courage causes some to use and manipulate others.

Abuse also arises from gross sin, when the needs of a person or people leave the realm of rationality and become bestial. Perhaps St. Rita provides us with a good example for these horrible times.

Patience, prayer, perseverance in the growing darkness, which will become almost unbearable--but for the graces of God-can be seen in her life.

To be reasonable is to be holy. To be unreasonable is to sin. Sin removes us from both rational discourse and common sense. Sin makes one more and more stupid. Sin makes a people more and more ignorant.

St. Rita, pray for us.

"He chose us in Him [Jesus Christ] before the foundation of the world that we should be holy and unspotted in His sight. He hath predestinated us to be His adopted children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of His will, to make shine forth the glory of His grace, by which He has made us pleasing in His eyes, in His beloved son." Eph 1: 4-6

Thursday, 21 May 2015

OK.....need more fish

I am temporarily in a place with private wifi--Woo-Hoo!

I intend to blog a bit, but I am looking for permanent housing. Why I am where I am is a great mystery to me, but one does not question God, only waits.

Today, on the eve of the possible collapse of Western Civilization in Ireland, I want to write a meditation on a passage from St. Paul, with the help of the great Garrigou-Lagrange.

"We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good: to such as according to His purpose are called to be saints. For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn amongst many brethren. And whom He predestinated, them He also called. And whom He called, them He also justified. And whom He justified, them He also glorified."  Romans 8: 28-30

Garrigou-Lagrange breaks down the passage and highlights God's foreknowledge, His call of the predestined, their justification, and, finally, their glorification.

Too many Catholics judged people as predestined by good works. As noted by Garrigou-Lagrange, this is the heresy of Pelagius.  God gives grace to all and all have access to sufficient grace. It is God's perfect will that all are saved. But, His preknowledge sees those who are open to His call of love and grace. Therefore, those who turn to Him, are justified through grace and finally merit glory.

From all these passages of Scripture, St. Augustine formulated this classical definition: "Predestination is the foreknowledge and preparedness on God's part to bestow the favors by which all those are saved who are to be saved."(25) St. Augustine is still more explicit on this point when he writes: "God already knew, when He predestined, what He must do to bring His elect infallibly to eternal life."(26)

These thoughts give me courage during these darkening times. Those of elect who persevere in grace and love will see God.

But, as I want to explain as a stream which flows out from the spirit within us, the God Within sustains us and brings to us the additional graces necessary for perseverance.

Perseverance in keeping the Commandments, and being purified so that one can live the life of the virtues is THE grace of this day.

Persevere, as I try to do even under the most trying of circumstances.


How?

It is not us who join our sufferings with Christ, but Christ Who suffers with us, in us. Our sufferings are His. He has adopted all of our trials-financial collapse, family divisions, even the lack of stability in life, which only He can give.

The joy of relying totally on the God Within cannot be explained.

Imagine a key ring with three keys.

One is total reliance on God and His Providence.

A second is total reliance on His graces, and the knowledge that one cannot do anything without grace.

The third key is love-coming from daily recollection of God's Presence throughout the day.

Peter Kreeft notes that the only way to be a saint is to practice the daily Presence of God.

All one needs to do is find the God Within. He is there, waiting to be found.

I have found Him within. I do not know if all people have to go through intense suffering, including abandonment and the complete loss of things to find this God Within.

All I know is that God lets His Bride be led into the desert so that He can be found without distraction.

There is a homecoming when we each find that God Within, that Friend Who listens and wants us to speak with Him constantly, daily.

More later, God willing....

Friday, 15 May 2015

Thanks for all the fish....

This blog is being suspended indefinitely owing to my St. Benedict Labre lifestyle. Sadly, no one has wanted to open a door to me in the area where I am having to go who could have. Most of my acquaintances cannot for financial reasons, or the most common reason, adult children having to move back home...a hidden epidemic of our times.

However, I would not trade all the tremendous suffering I have experienced this past several days for the peace and realization of the God Within, which has come to me through intense suffering.

I am nothing, God is everything.

God is within each one of us, as St Teresa of Avila and Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity have told us, as well as many other saints.

One must be willing to be purged, totally, of all talents, plans, even natural desires and needs, until the chains which bind the heart are broken into bits, and the Light of Love, Who has been waiting to be seen, is recognized..

I now have to face a St. Benedict Labre existence.


So long, and thanks for all the fish...

UPDATE: Thanks for all the well-wishers, and prayers for those who took the opportunity of my difficulties to trash me. God forgive you. And, God bless all my readers.






Monday, 11 May 2015

"To draw souls to interior recollection."

The above quotation is from Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity.

A reader sent me the autobiography of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity last week, but it is late in the post. When I get it, I shall share some bits with you.

A website dedicated to her has a mini-life found here....
http://www.elisabeth-dijon.org/v_en/Life.html

Some of the photos of her online are copyrighted, but one can buy postcards, from this page. I do not know much about her except what I have read online, but she is obviously a person to help us understand the Indwelling of the Trinity.

Another interesting site on her may be found here...
http://www.catholictradition.org/Tradition/silence15a.htm


I think this quotation of hers below will touch many who read this today.

"Before I die, I long to be transformed into Jesus Crucified and this gives me great strength in suffering ... Love your misery, for upon it God exercises His mercy."