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Tuesday, 29 July 2014

The Trenches Two

So, tomorrow is today. The man is unique. He has eyes which see into the soul. He should have been a priest.

He will see me next week, whether I want to see him or not.

In the meantime, he agrees that I should be a rememberer. So, we agree on that point. But how does and why does one remember?

Years ago, a good priest told me that my imagination needed to be purified. I listened. I agreed.

Then, another priest told me that St. Ignatius tells us of purifying the memory. What does that mean, I wonder?

My writings look like the pen was leaking. I splodge ink everywhere. I cross out. I renew. Is this purgation, purgation with a pen? But, I have not written anything for a very long time. Someone has my papers. Maybe H. or D.

To purify the memory means many things, I think, as I sit in this room with the vase of one pink rose, which is drooping a little.

It is raining, and I think of the mud, the Killer Mud. Jameson disappeared.

Never mind, today I want to think of the green hills of the Brecon Beacons and of a woman with a long, lovely neck. But, St. Ignatius wants me to purify the imagination. He wants me to forget Ypres and the girl who could see I was too "celibate". Yes, I am a natural celibate.

Why? I am married already. My mistress is beyond all words. She is mysterious, but demanding.

Like Boethius, I see her in the day and in the night, but only when she wants to come to me.

Like Boethius, I listen to her, and does she like to talk.

How can a bard forget anyone, anything, anytime? I remember my first sketch in France, in March of 1916. I remember the paintings, each one, under my bed, kept because I do not want to forget.

I do not want to forget because He is there in the memory. He is there, bleeding, waiting for release, the release of death.

I found Him and I do not want to lose Him, but the Lady talks to me again and again. Not the Old Lady.

Marry it man! Marry it!
Cherish her, she’s your very own.
Coax it man coax it–it’s delicately and ingeniously made
–it’s an instrument of precision–it costs us tax-payers,
money-I want you men to remember that.
Fondle it like a granny–talk to it–consider it as you would
a friend–and when you ground these arms she’s not a rooky’s
gas-pipe for greenhorns to tarnish.
You’ve known her hot and cold.
You would choose her from among many.
You know her by her bias, and by her exact error at 300, and
by the deep scar at the small, by the fair flaw in the grain,
above the lower sling-swivel–
but leave it under the oak.
Slung so, it swings its full weight. With you going blindly on
all paws, it slews its whole length, to hang at your bowed neck
like the Mariner’s white oblation.
You drag past the four bright stones at the turn of Wood

This old lady was a strumpet, my false lover. 

She was forced upon me, but I accepted her. and yes, she saved me.

But, now, the new lady, My Lady, speaks a less brutal language. Yet, she is just as demanding, like my good angel, who reminds me to pray, but I pray like a child, saying the same things over and over and over. I look for Him through her eyes. I try, so hard, to see with the pure imagination of Ignatius.

I try not to miss the quiet voice. Celibacy is good for the quietness, the simplicity of mind

I am rather simple, but no one understands me, no one but the Lady.

I have been on my guard
not to condemn the unfamiliar.
For it is easy to miss Him
at the turn of a civilisation.

This is what I said to C-M today. I do not want to miss anything, but everything is too painful, to new, too real.

Everything. Why?

Part of me, the artist within me, has never left the trenches.

Sometimes, her voice becomes the bellowing of the bombing officer.

Sometimes, her voice is that of the long necked girl.

She is never Gwenhwyfar, the White Lady. Never. Never Guenever. 

And not one of The Four Queens. No. but today the unpurified memory grappled my senses, like the old bucinator at the Wall-loud and clear. This new lady tells me to be simple. Back and fro, I am simple.

No one believes me when I say that and I wonder if C-M will believe me.

Be simple. Be obedient. But be open, and remember.

 It’s not for the likes of you and me to cogitate high policy or to
guess the inscrutable economy of the pontifex
from the circuit of the agger
from the traverse of the wall.
But you see a thing or two
in our walk of life
walking the compass of the vallum
walking for twenty years of nights
round and round and back & fro
on the walls that contain the world

 Part of me, the artist within me, has never left the trenches.

Those who are not Roman do not get it. We all are always in the trenches.

They do not understand. They do not hear My Lady, nor see the Bloody Hands, the Side, the Feet.

I do, always here and there, in France, in London, in Wales in Rome...

My trade is in abeyance. 

Cloud shielded her bright disc-rising yet her veiled influ-
ence illumined the texture of that place, her glistening on
the saturated fields; bat-night-gloom intersilvered where she
shone on the mist drift,
when they paraded
       at the ending of the day, unrested
             bodies, wearied from the morning,
       troubled in their minds,
             frail bodies loaded over much,
..'prentices bearing this night the full panoply, the complex
..paraphernalia of their trade.

 I shall write of this time later on, after my memory is purified. When I am "better".

When I am not interrupted for tea and biscuits...(How I would love a small glass of scotch-someone brought me some Black and White a bit ago, but the nurses took it away-good thing, too.)

Ezechiel's dream comes back to me at aspectus rotarum et opus earum quasi visio maris et una similitudo ipsarum quattuor et aspectus earum et opera quasi sit rota in medio rotae 

He remembered. He wrote. 

Some say the poet is the prophet. Poor s..s...poor Shelley-no I do not think prophecy is an attribute of poetry. Not that I assert poets to be prophets in the gross sense of the word, or that they can foretell the form as surely as they foreknow the spirit of events: such is the pretence of superstition, which would make poetry an attribute of prophecy, rather than prophecy an attribute of poetry. A poet participates in the eternal, the infinite, and the one; as far as relates to his conceptions, time and place and number are not.

Rubbish. We take part in something much greater. I wrote this from my impure memory. History, memory, my time, My Lady's time...

It is often remarked with a certain amount of perplexity that the modern artist, though he be a Catholic and of sensitivity and ability at his work, seems none the less to be not at his happiest when required to do a job closely connected with the liturgical life of the Church. His preoccupations and enthusiasms seem commonly to be of another sort. The artist himself may find this none too easy to explain. I was once asked: 'Why does Mr. X. paint only chimneypots and pots of flowers when he has the whole Christian mythology, which he talks enough about, to inspire him? This question, so put, is indeed many questions in one, but still it has bearing on our problem, and it asks for elucidation.
It is necessary to have in mind the position of our epoch on what may be called, for convenience, the graph of history. For the relationship between what the Church wants for her use, and the characteristic art of any given epoch, will determine what sort of art is available for the Church's requirements.

It is said that 'the best' of what Mr. Wilfred Childe calls 'Man's own creative power' should be, in any epoch, at the direct service of the sanctuary -- yes -- but in the arts 'the best' can only easily and naturally be available to the hierarchic, corporate, symbolic demands of the Church if the epoch itself is characterized by those qualities. This cannot, by any means, be said of our epoch. The characteristic bents and virtues of modern painting, for instance, are not in fact easily amenable to these demands. This has little or nothing to do with the will or wishes of this or that artist. He cannot by taking thought change himself into an artist of some other culture-sequence.  

I am a Roman.
No, we are the ones who remember the past and hold it in our hands like the altar boys hold the cruets. Softly, carefully, quietly....we are the carriers, mimesis not poesis.....I gag on this one...
A poem is the very image of life expressed in its eternal truth. My Lady laughs and laughs and laughs.

But, I am back to the wheels in my head, in my impure imagination. I need the burning coals on my lips. I think of this world around me. I hear a car horn. I hear voices in the hallway, echoing against the glass, against the steel hidden in the walls, in the souls. My memory is creating something new, something sad....but I have not lost Him. He has not lost me.

I have watched the wheels go round in case I might see the
living creatures like the appearance of lamps, in case I might see
the Living God projected from the Machine. I have said to the
perfected steel, be my sister and for the glassy towers I thought I
felt some beginnings of His creature, but A,a,a Domine Deus,
My hands found the glazed work unrefined and the terrible
crystal a stage-paste …Eia, Domine Deus.

to be continued...

The Trenches

I have been "invalided for three months".  They did not invalid me for long twenty years ago, but now, thirty years after, yes-- now again. No, it is different now. Now, one can take one's time being ill. Today, I am sitting on a porch near Harrow-on-the Hill, staring at a man in a white rocking chair across from me. I do not like rocking chairs, so I am sitting in an iron chair designed by William Kent. Few people know that Kent designed outside furniture. I know because I, too, am an artist.

The man in the white rocking chair is named Timothy. He has a good mind and we can talk about things, anything but the war, of course. No one here talks about the war. I have forgotten some things already. But, then, I have shell-shock, only thirty years late.

Timothy has no face. Where his jaw is there is nothing but white bandages. One of his eyes is gone and half of his nose is gone. But, Timothy is not sad. He is amazingly positive. Why, I do not know yet. Timothy is from another war. He is not from my war. His war was on a ship, which was blown up. He survived the Hood. Ventis Secundis. He has been here for five years. I cannot imagine sitting in a rocker for five years. Timothy is a forgetter, but I am a rememberer. Artists must remember. We are the keepers of the stories.

his mess-mates sleeping like long-barrow sleepers, their
dark arms at reach.
Spell-sleepers, thrown about anyhow under the night.
And this one’s bright brow turned against your boot leather,
tranquil as a fer sidhe sleeper, under fairy tumuli, fair as
Mac Og sleeping.

Timothy remembers nothing, not even the name of the Mighty Hood. He does not remember the cold waters of his baptismal sufferings or the sound of the torpedoes.

I remember sounds, mostly those of the nights in the trenches, the screeching sounds of the shells. The screams of my mates.

Some were never buried. We do not know where some disappeared in the smoke and chaos.

Is the tump by Honddu
                              his lifted bolster?
                              does a gritstone outcrop
incommode him?
                              does a deep syncline
                              sag beneath him?
or does his dinted thorax rest
                              where the contorted heights
                              themselves rest
on a lateral pressured anticline?
Does his russet-hued mattress
                              does his rug of shaly grey
ease at all for his royal dorsals
                              for faulted under-bedding

Maybe I shall know someday where my friend Tom was buried. Somewhere in Wales... Right now, I wish I lived in the times of King Arthur and his lady. I would be dead, not living in this half-life of death and terror. Tom claimed he came from royal blood. He claimed his ancestors scoured the valleys where I lived for awhile. Those green hills above St. Llanthony, the fog coming in so quickly I got lost once or twice, hearing the soft neighing of the horses in order to get back "home".

Home, where is that now? The mess is still growing damp over my painting of the dying Christ.

Do the small black horses
                                        grass on the hunch of his shoulders?
are the hills his couch
                                        or is he the couchant hills?
Are the slumbering valleys
                                        him in slumber
                                        are the still undulations
the still limbs of him sleeping?
Is the configuration of the land
                                        the furrowed body of the lord
are the scarred ridges
                                        his dented greaves
do the trickling gullies
                                        yet drain his hog-wounds?
Does the land wait the sleeping lord
                                        or is the wasted land
that very lord who sleeps?

My doctor is the best there is. And, I am to meet a new type of doctor tomorrow. His name is Crichton-Miller, Hugh Crichton-Miller. I do not want to speak with this man. I do not want to speak to anyone.

Nor, do I want to paint. I am sick of painting as no one cares, why should I care? But, deep down, I want to preserve, transfigure, guide. I am not just a painter, but a teacher, a bard, reminding the younger ones of what is to come, what has been and what will be. But pens bore me and brushed freeze to my hand. I could not finish the poem I was writing.

I was in hell again. But, now, it is different.

It is just the present I cannot face.

to be continued....

Happy Name Day to all the Marthas, Marys named after Mary of Bethany, and Lazarus-named persons. Martha is a great saint, but sadly gets bad press for her unholy time. Imagine being rebuked by the Son of God in person. Oh, dear. Apparently, she changed and started to be a Mary.

She had a moment. or maybe, a habit of anxiety. Many of us have had to be purged of that sin. But, she was a friend of Jesus. The Scriptures tell us that she was loved by Jesus along with her brother and sister.

At the raising of her brother, she is the first sister to run out and meet Christ. She is the one who knows that Christ is the Resurrection and the Life. She is a woman of Faith.e

She also proclaims that Christ is the Son of God. This is no small witness. In the Eastern Church, she is called one of the Myrrh-bearing Women.

John 11:20-27 Douay-Rheims

20 Martha therefore, as soon as she heard that Jesus had come, went to meet him: but Mary sat at home.
21 Martha therefore said to Jesus: Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.
22 But now also I know that whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, God will give it thee.
23 Jesus saith to her: Thy brother shall rise again.
24 Martha saith to him: I know that he shall rise again, in the resurrection at the last day.
25 Jesus said to her: I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, although he be dead, shall live:
26 And every one that liveth, and believeth in me, shall not die for ever. Believest thou this?
27 She saith to him: Yea, Lord, I have believed that thou art Christ the Son of the living God, who art come into this world.

She is called a "Disciple of the Lord." Nice title.

The important part of her life for me is after the Resurrection, she is supposed to have gone to Cyprus, according to the Orthodox, with her brother and sister, where they all eventually died in Larnaca. The Orthodox apparently took their relics, which the French took back to Marseilles. No one knows where these relics are now. But, in the Western Church, all three sailed to Provence and spread the Gospel in France. The great Cathedral of Autun is said to have Lazarus' relics. I watched an EWTN video on these facts earlier this year. The historical evidence for this French trip is both convicing and mysterious, as how could relics be found in Cyprus, if they all went to France.

Being a Western Catholic, I shall go with the French stories, but the Cyprus one must be considered.

Actually, today is technically the Feast of Lazarus, Mary and Martha, but my wall calendar only states Martha. Other calendars have all three.

Monday, 28 July 2014

Beautiful Flowers Are Whispers From Heaven

A sprinkling of God's Love from a TLM on Sunday....

Love, Mercy, Justice

Because of the misunderstanding of justice, many Catholics cannot understand either mercy or love.

We all deserves just sentences for sin. None of us deserve mercy. That is the whole point about mercy. It is freely given. It is completely based on overlooking sin, not on denying sin.

A person who has received the mercy of God does so because of the salvific work of Christ on the Cross, not because of merit or good works.

Mercy is gratuitous. Justice is righteousness.

God is so pure, so good, so innocent, so holy that sin is a great injustice against Him. When He is merciful, it is simply because He loves us.

So, why cannot some people forgive?

We are forgiven.

Teaching People to Read

Notice, words like "all", "none", "never" etc. usually lead to logical fallacies. The problem with so many liberals, is that they have not learned how to read.

I use words like "some", "many", "few"--meaning such.

One of the tragedies of American and British education is that the schools stopped requiring logic, debate, argumentation, Aristotelian modes of writing, and objective criteria for literature or writing.

I do not think we shall ever see a rational public again in the United States.

American and European History, as courses, began to be dropped from requirements in high school as earlier as 1980. It shows.

I would tell some of my commentators, learn to read, please, without knee-jerk reactions and without agendas.

My computer died

I have suspected for months the mother board was I know. Can anyone help me with a new one? Poor thing--it has been to Ireland, Malta, England, Iowa, Illinois, New York, Michigan....I guess it just got tired.

Help would be very appreciated, as I am borrowing one temporarily.

Sigh...there are many kinds of spiritual warfare...

Why I cannot get a job in my own diocese....

An Invitation to Attend the
Award Presentation by Bishop Martin Amos
Sunday, September 21, 2014
3:00 P.M.
St. Ambrose University
Christ the King Chapel
518 W. Locust Street, Davenport, Iowa
Sister Simone Campbell, SSS
Executive Director of NETWORK
Sister Simone Campbell, Executive Director of NETWORK, a nonprofit
Catholic social justice lobby based in Washington, D.C., organized the
“Nuns on the Bus” campaign in 2012 that riveted the nation’s
A member of the Sisters of Social Services, an international Roman
Catholic religious community rooted in the Benedictine tradition, she
has devoted her ministry to advocate for social and economic justice.
She is a driving force for programs and policies that support faith,
families and fairness.
Following the first “Nuns on the Bus“ tour of nine states, Sister Simone
followed up a year later with a tour dedicated to bringing about
immigration reform.

See here for the rest of the scandals...Remember my post from June, 2013? A few good ones only...

For a review, just look at the tags on Marxism in the Catholic Church and the tags Gramsci or Marxism or Marxists.
The Davenport Diocese for years has given what is called the Pacem in Terris Award sometimes with other groups.

Here is the list for your perusal again. I had it on the blog last year. Notice how many of these people are Marxists. This list is from the diocesan website. By clicking on the names, one reads a small blurb on the person. As one can see, the infiltration of Marxism in the Church is as old as some of my readers....

1.  John F. Kennedy 196421. Mairead Corrigan Maguire 1990
2. John Howard Griffin's 196422. Maria Julia Hernandez 1991
3. Dr. Martin Luther King, JR. 196523. Cesar Chavez 1992
4. R.Sargent Shriver 196624. Father Daniel Berrigan 1993
5. A. Philip Rondolph 196725. Jim Wallis 1995
6. Father James Groppi 196826. Bishop Samuel Ruiz 1996
7. Saul David Alinsky 196927 & 28. Jim & Shelley Douglass 1997
8. Dorothy Day 197229. Sister Helen Prejeans 1998
9. Senator. Harold Hughes 197430. Adolfo Perez Esquivel 1999
10Dom Helder Camara  197531. Msgr George G. Higgins 2000
11. Blessed Mother Teresa 197632. Lech Walesa 2001
12. Bishop Thomas Gumbleton 197933 & 34. Gwen & Dorothy Marie Hennessy, OSF 2002
13. Cristal Lee Sutton 198035. Arthur Simon 2004
14. Bishop Ernest Unterkoefler 198036. Don Mosley 2005
15. George F. Kennan 198237. Bishop Salim GhazaL 2007
16. Helen M. Caldicott 198338. Msgr. Marvin Mottet 2008
17. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin 198539. Hildegard Goss-Mayr 2009
18. Bishop Maurice Dingman 198640. Rev. John Dear, SJ 2010
19. Archbishop Desmond Tutu 198741. Bishop Alvaro Ramazzini  2011
20. Eileen Egan 198942. Kim Bobo

All Catholics Must Read This

Men of the West, where are you?

Read this as well:  “Hamas and North Korea in secret arms deal,” by Con Coughlin, the Telegraph, July 26, 2014

The reason there is confusion regarding Israel and Palestine is that people do not know history. They do not know the original accords or treaties, they do not know Christianity.This is what happens when we have weak Western leadership, men and women who do not follow Christ and do not understand spiritual warfare.

Those Catholics who have not voted for Christian or Catholic leaders will only have themselves to blame when chaos comes, and it will.

There is no safe middle ground. Either one is for Christ and His Church or against Christ and His Church.

Who are the anti-Catholics?

The Civilization of Love

In Madrid, in 2011, the Pope Emeritus spoke to all of us when he visited a center for mentally and physically disabled youth.

Now, his answer to suffering of this sort is my answer to the question a reader asked me as to how those who are disabled are to see their suffering. Gpd gives us the disabled to love. The boldface type is my addition.

Here is what then Pope Benedict XVI said in Madrid:

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Your Eminence,
Dear Brother Bishops,
Dear Priests and Religious of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of God,
Distinguished Authorities,
Dear Young People, Family Members and Volunteers,
I thank you most sincerely for your kind greeting and heartfelt welcome.
This evening, just before the Prayer Vigil with the young people from throughout the world gathered in Madrid for this World Youth Day, we have this chance to spend time together as a way of showing the Pope’s closeness and esteem for each of you, for your families and for all those who help and care for you in this Foundation of Saint Joseph’s Institute.
Youth, as I have said more than once, is the age when life discloses itself to us with all its rich possibilities, inspiring us to seek the lofty goals which give it meaning. So when suffering appears on the horizon of a young life, we are shaken; perhaps we ask ourselves: “Can life still be something grand, even when suffering unexpectedly enters it?” In my Encyclical on Christian Hope, I observed that “the true measure of humanity is essentially determined in relationship to suffering and to the sufferer … A society unable to accept its suffering members and incapable of helping to share their suffering and to bear it inwardly through ‘com-passion’ is a cruel and inhuman society” (Spe Salvi, 38). These words reflect a long tradition of humanity which arises from Christ’s own self-offering on the Cross for us and for our redemption. Jesus and, in his footsteps, his Sorrowful Mother and the saints, are witnesses who shows us how to experience the tragedy of suffering for our own good and for the salvation of the world.
These witnesses speak to us, first and foremost, of the dignity of all human life, created in the image of God. No suffering can efface this divine image imprinted in the depths of our humanity. But there is more: because the Son of God wanted freely to embrace suffering and death, we are also capable of seeing God’s image in the face of those who suffer. This preferential love of the Lord for the suffering helps us to see others more clearly and to give them, above and beyond their material demands, the look of love which they need. But this can only happen as the fruit of a personal encounter with Christ. You yourselves – as religious, family members, health care professionals and volunteers who daily live and work with these young people – know this well. Your lives and your committed service proclaim the greatness to which every human being is called: to show compassion and loving concern to the suffering, just as God himself did. In your noble work we hear an echo of the words found in the Gospel: “just as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me” (Mt 25:40).
At the same time, you are also witnesses of the immense goodness which the lives of these young people represent for those who love them, and for humanity as a whole. In a mysterious yet real way, their presence awakens in our often hardened hearts a tenderness which opens us to salvation. The lives of these young people surely touch human hearts and for that reason we are grateful to the Lord for having known them.
Dear friends, our society, which all too often questions the inestimable value of life, of every life, needs you: in a decisive way you help to build the civilization of love. What is more, you play a leading role in that civilization. As sons and daughters of the Church, you offer the Lord your lives, with all their ups and downs, cooperating with him and somehow becoming “part of the treasury of compassion so greatly needed by the human race” (Spe Salvi, 40).
With great affection, and through the intercession of Saint Joseph, Saint John of God and Saint Benito Menni, I commend you to God our Lord: may he be your strength and your reward. As a pledge of his love, I cordially impart to you, and to your families and friends, my Apostolic Blessing. Thank you very much.

© Copyright 2011 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

All The Canonized Saints Died, Well Almost

One of the biggest problems with people in the West is the ignoring of the inevitability of death. When I grew up, children were taken to funeral parlors, to wakes, to funerals. In my mother's childhood days, wakes took place in the home. She remembers her grandfather laid out in his home and people coming to pay their respects.

Fear was not an issue. Now, especially Americans, do not want to think about death at all. The television is full of really intrusive advertisements on every type of medication, some with long testimonies from people who had cancer and so on. This preoccupation with medicine and treatments masks a fear of death.

Death is not to be feared, but our particular judgment is. That is a difference worth considering. Everyone has died, except for Moses and Elijah. Perhaps Enoch did not die either. But, even Adam and Eve died, as did Our Lady, although she did not "see corruption" as she was too pure, the new, real Eve.

Joseph died, David died, Padre Pio died, John Paul II died. Someday, the wonderful and loved Pope Emeritus will die. Someday, I shall die.

These are facts. The fact of death is fearful only is one is not prepared. Yes, satan does tempt people at death, even saints, but praying for a happy, holy death is something we should do daily.

This prayer is part of the Hail Mary.

I am concerned about people who fear death. If one does not face death, one will pretend one is immortal. So many young people think they are immortal. This idea is dangerous.

It is time for priests to begin to preach about death and the four last things again. We all need to hear and be reminded of death.

For those who are holy and die in holiness, death is the beginning of eternal life.

We Do Not Have Much Time

 God led Paul into troubles. But, he was ready. Some theologians state that after his conversion, he was in the desert for ten years. If so, that was his time of purification.

The power of his life came from his pure state, his union with Christ, his life of the virtues.

We need to make time for purification and not waste time.

Too often, and I did this for years and years, we put off walking on the road to perfection. I wasted so much time on trivial things and on worrying. Stop!

We have been given a short time to be made ready for the persecution to come. Look at St. Paul's epistles. These are full of exhortations on being made perfect because of the times of persecution. There is always an urgency in the writings of St. Paul.

A few references:

2 Timothy 3 Douay-Rheims

Know also this, that, in the last days, shall come dangerous times.
Men shall be lovers of themselves, covetous, haughty, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, wicked,
Without affection, without peace, slanderers, incontinent, unmerciful, without kindness,
Traitors, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasures more than of God:
Having an appearance indeed of godliness, but denying the power thereof. Now these avoid.
For of these sort are they who creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, who are led away with divers desires:
Ever learning, and never attaining to the knowledge of the truth.
Now as Jannes and Mambres resisted Moses, so these also resist the truth, men corrupted in mind, reprobate concerning the faith.
But they shall proceed no farther; for their folly shall be manifest to all men, as theirs also was.
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions: such as came upon me at Antioch, at Iconium, and at Lystra: what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 And all that will live godly in Christ Jesus, shall suffer persecution.
13 But evil men and seducers shall grow worse and worse: erring, and driving into error.
14 But continue thou in those things which thou hast learned, and which have been committed to thee: knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
15 And because from thy infancy thou hast known the holy scriptures, which can instruct thee to salvation, by the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
16 All scripture, inspired of God, is profitable to teach, to reprove, to correct, to instruct in justice,
17 That the man of God may be perfect, furnished to every good work.

and from Romans 1 DR:

17 For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice:
19 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.
21 Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
23 And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things.
24 Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.
27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
28 And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,
30 Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.
32 Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

Partial Answer to Another Reader

One reader is asking about prayer intentions.

Here is some insights I have learned over the years, especially from good priests.

First, the reader's questions: I would like to hear more about the mechanics of prayer intentions. Should I write them down in a notebook? Should I make an explicit list? How do I choose an intention for Mass? How do I choose an intention for the Rosary? How often should I explicitly pray for certain intentions, and in what form? This INTJ wants... well, a system. ;-) 

First of all, let me start with serious intentions. For example, I know a family which has Masonry in the past for several generations. This type of bondage is serious and takes much prayer. She was told by priests to have Masses said, especially TLMs. And, she has made the Thirty Day Mass Novena for this intention. However, she must prayer for years against these negative influences, and she must, as she does, do mortifications, penances.

Second, TLMs are more powerful for intentions than the NO. See my post link to Fr. Chad Ripperger on this.

Third, going from serious to less serious, read my posts on "code breakers". Some people are called to great intercessory prayer in their families to break negative codes. This type of prayer may continue throughout one's entire life. Masses, rosaries, novenas and so on are helpful.

Fourth, I pray the same thing on the Rosary daily. For example, I pray for all the fallen away Catholics in my family, I pray for fallen away friends, I pray for specific seminarians, I pray for the Third Order to which I belong and for two people to find their vocations. I also pray every fifth decade for the souls in purgatory, or one special one.

For example, I am praying for those people in purgatory on the fifth decade now in the area where I am currently staying. I pray specifically for those in the ........Catholic Cemetery who may still be in purgatory.

If someone asks me to say a decade for them, that is extra, or if I offer a decade, that could be extra.

Fifth, BE SPECIFIC in all intentions. Again, I have just finished several months of novenas for a specific intention.

Sixth, yes, write things down. If I am praying for someone's healing, for example, I write that down in a list in a little book I use. (I need a new one if someone wants to buy me a new moleskin).

Lists are good. I also make lists for my own intentions.

Seven, one should pray daily for a happy death. One must love one's self enough to pray for final perseverance. Recently, I asked a priest to say a TLM for me for this intention. Why not? My salvation is not assured until I die.

I have more time than most to pray as my day is writing and praying. I believe I am called to this. Sometimes, I have prayed for hours for one person who is in great need.

Eight, one should pray for the removal of one's predominant faults, daily. This can be a small prayer.

Nine,  you have children. Pray for them and over them daily. I use to bless my son and pray over him frequently. I wish I had done it more often. Pray for your children and also dedicate them to Mary. Have them do the Consecration of Mary via St. Louis de Montfort with you. I did this with my son when he was ten.

Ten, ask others to join you in prayer for hard things. For example, I have several friends praying for another friend of mine who is experiencing great difficulties in her life. Again, be specific.

Eleven, some people take intercessions to Adoration. I use to do that. Now, I just sit and look at Jesus. I have learned to do what Blessed Mother Teresa said to do-just look at Him and let Him look at you. But, if you want to bring hard situations to Adoration, I know many people who do this, especially if they go more than once a week.

I have not exhausted this subject, but I hope this helps. By the way, point Twelve is this.

Twelve, THANK GOD for answering your prayers, even if you cannot always see the answers. And, remember, the fact that you are praying for someone is a sign of God wanting you to do that-yes, there is both Providence and Predestination in our continual prayers.

One more point. I am beginning to realize just how powerful Mary is--Pray to her under the name of Virgo Potens, and pray to your patron saints. I have a list of chosen patrons to whom I pray for various things or people.

I guess that is number Thirteen!

The Mass is, of course, the most perfect form of prayer.

Suffering Again

To continue with the answer to the reader, I want to add that if we are invited by Christ to suffer with him, this means voluntary mortifications, prayers, fastings and so on.

Now, God can give physical pain and mental pain to us and if we do not complain, if we joyfully accept these pains as redemptive, we are joining in His invitation to suffering.

But, to know what is a consequence of sin is not that difficult. If I am running down a hill in high hells and break several toes, those injuries are a direct result of a lack of prudence and carelessness about my body. Vainglory may even be part of this accident.

Likewise, is someone has a fender-bender because they are on a cell phone, that accident is a consequence of the sin of irresponsibility and so on.

However, some physical and mental pain is given by God for our purification, for the removal of the predominant fault. Too often I hear people say, "Oh, she is a suffering soul, or a victim soul" when in reality, the person is suffering her own pain of purification.

The purified person who freely accepts extra pain, such as the great saints and mystics who received the stigmata, have been joined to Christ in His suffering. They are true suffering servants, or even victim souls.

Few are so pure as to suffer with Christ like that.

Those martyrs who suffer in the name of Christ and His Church share voluntarily in the Passion. Again, this is redemptive suffering. Therese, the Little Flower, suffered terribly in her last two years of life in pain, both physical and spiritual pain. She was joined to the Cross.

If we fight suffering and complain, if we do not accept it graciously, we are NOT joined with Christ and we merit nothing.

Divine Providence determines our suffering.

I hope this is helpful to the reader who asked.

On Suffering, Continued

A reader asked me about suffering in response to another posting. I want to clarify the types of suffering.

First of all, there is the obvious suffering which is a result of our own sins and failings. Natural and supernatural consequences which are types of suffering follow from sin. For example, a man commits adultery, which may lead to him leaving his family. The wife experiences the suffering of being abandoned, and so on.

The man may repent and come back to his wife, but the forgiveness on her part must be accompanied by a rebuilding of the trust which was destroyed. So, the two suffer from consequences of sin.

 Now, we all have experienced this type of suffering. In Salvifici Doloris, St. John Paul II writes this:

The point of reference in this case is the doctrine expressed in other Old Testament writings which show us suffering as punishment inflicted by God for human sins. The God of Revelation is the Lawgiver and Judge to a degree that no temporal authority can see. For the God of Revelation is first of all the Creator, from whom comes, together with existence, the essential good of creation. Therefore, the conscious and free violation of this good by man is not only a transgression of the law but at the same time an offence against the Creator, who is the first Lawgiver. Such a transgression has the character of sin, according to the exact meaning of this word, namely the biblical and theological one. Corresponding to the moral evil of sin is punishment, which guarantees the moral order in the same transcendent sense in which this order is laid down by the will of the Creator and Supreme Lawgiver. From this there also derives one of the fundamental truths of religious faith, equally based upon Revelation, namely that God is a just judge, who rewards good and punishes evil: "For thou art just in all that thou hast done to us, and all thy works are true and thy ways right, and all thy judgments are truth. Thou hast executed true judgments in all that thou hast brought upon us... for in truth and justice thou hast brought all this upon us because of our sins"(23)

However, there is also redemptive suffering, which can only be experienced after purification. In other words, Christ asks us to complete His Own redemptive suffering on the Cross. This type of suffering is for those who are suffering for the sake of Christ and not for their own sake. 

The martyrs are the obvious ones.

Again, here is St. John Paul:

    In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his sufferings, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.
    Here is a longer passage.
And the Apostle Paul in the Letter to the Galatians will say: "He gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age"(56), and in the First Letter to the Corinthians: "You were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body "(57).
With these and similar words the witnesses of the New Covenant speak of the greatness of the Redemption, accomplished through the suffering of Christ. The Redeemer suffered in place of man and for man. Every man has his own share in the Redemption. Each one is also called to share in that suffering through which the Redemption was accomplished. He is called to share in that suffering through which all human suffering has also been redeemed. In bringing about the Redemption through suffering, Christ has also raised human suffering to the level of the Redemption. Thus each man, in his suffering, can also become a sharer in the redemptive suffering of Christ.
20. The texts of the New Testament express this concept in many places. In the Second Letter to the Corinthians the Apostle writes: "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For while we live we are always being given up to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus may be manifested in our mortal flesh .... knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus"(58).
Saint Paul speaks of various sufferings and, in particular, of those in which the first Christians became sharers "for the sake of Christ ". These sufferings enable the recipients of that Letter to share in the work of the Redemption, accomplished through the suffering and death of the Redeemer. The eloquence of the Cross and death is, however, completed by the eloquence of the Resurrection. Man finds in the Resurrection a completely new light, which helps him to go forward through the thick darkness of humiliations, doubts, hopelessness and persecution. Therefore the Apostle will also write in the Second Letter to the Corinthians: "For as we share abundantly in Christ's sufferings, so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort too"(59). Elsewhere he addresses to his recipients words of encouragement: "May the Lord direct your hearts to the love of God and to the steadfastness of Christ"(60). And in the Letter to the Romans he writes: "I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship"(61).

I highly recommend this document for the beginning of the understanding of suffering. Also, St. Thomas Aquinas is excellent on suffering, but that is for another posting.




2 Corinthians 1 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother: to the church of God that is at Corinth, with all the saints that are in all Achaia:
Grace unto you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort.
Who comforteth us in all our tribulation; that we also may be able to comfort them who are in all distress, by the exhortation wherewith we also are exhorted by God.
For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us: so also by Christ doth our comfort abound.
Now whether we be in tribulation, it is for your exhortation and salvation: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation: or whether we be exhorted, it is for your exhortation and salvation, which worketh the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer.
That our hope for you may be steadfast: knowing that as you are partakers of the sufferings, so shall you be also of the consolation.
For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, of our tribulation, which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure above our strength, so that we were weary even of life.
But we had in ourselves the answer of death, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead.
10 Who hath delivered and doth deliver us out of so great dangers: in whom we trust that he will yet also deliver us.
11 You helping withal in prayer for us: that for this gift obtained for us, by the means of many persons, thanks may be given by many in our behalf.
12 For our glory is this, the testimony of our conscience, that in simplicity of heart and sincerity of God, and not in carnal wisdom, but in the grace of God, we have conversed in this world: and more abundantly towards you.
13 For we write no other things to you than what you have read and known. And I hope that you shall know unto the end:
14 As also you have known us in part, that we are your glory, as you also are ours, in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ.
15 And in this confidence I had a mind to come to you before, that you might have a second grace:
16 And to pass by you into Macedonia, and again from Macedonia to come to you, and by you to be brought on my way towards Judea.
17 Whereas then I was thus minded, did I use lightness? Or, the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh, that there should be with me, It is, and It is not?
18 But God is faithful, for our preaching which was to you, was not, It is, and It is not.
19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ who was preached among you by us, by me, and Sylvanus, and Timothy, was not, It is and It is not, but, It is, was in him.
20 For all the promises of God are in him, It is; therefore also by him, amen to God, unto our glory.
21 Now he that confirmeth us with you in Christ, and that hath anointed us, is God:
22 Who also hath sealed us, and given the pledge of the Spirit in our hearts.
23 But I call God to witness upon my soul, that to spare you, I came not any more to Corinth: not because we exercise dominion over your faith: but we are helpers of your joy: for in faith you stand.