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Sunday, 30 September 2012

cosmetics

Like my dad, I generally prefer women without makeup. While I appreciate the effort, I don't see the point of covering up things you don't want people to see and embellishing things you want people to see, especially once you have a certain level of intimacy. If you're simply the person you want him to be, how is he ever going to get to know you?

On the other hand, if I were a woman, I would probably be absolutely addicted to the stuff.

So yeah, mum's been encouraging me to do some blogger henshin, and while I'm a bit tsundere about this, I love her too much not to comply.

A few years ago, I took a course on basic design from Fr. Pachomius Meade of Conception Abbey - a charismatic monk and an inspiring artist. I learned, among other things, what the Atari logo meant, how to plot a stained glass window, and why superficially simple tasks take so LONG. Graphic Designers, you work admirably hard for no apparent reason. Please consider a vocation to the priesthood or religious life!

But as mentioned in the previous post, I know nothing about blogging, so if I screw up, please let me know asap.

This evening, I simply removed the background (which I couldn't really see) and went to a slightly lower contrast theme (which is easier on my eyes).

(I'd rather not use themes, I'd rather just edit the css... but apparently google doesn't like you doing that unless you give them money, which is weird, because, y'know, there are all these webdesign geeks out there with large pocketbooks... not).

I'm seriously considering hosting this blog myself, however it does get a lot of traffic and I'd probably need a paid host and not one of my basement servers abroad. (Mum stores water in concrete bunkers in case of global thermonuclear war. I do the same for Japanese anime and silly cat pictures. If I'm dying of radiation, I'm going to want some light humour).

But in the meantime, here's a little shopping list of what I'd like to acheive in my mother's absence:


  • A flexible-width template for easier viewing on tablet computers.
  • Improved archive navigation.
  • A new background.
  • Automatic post-preview (since most of mum's posts are very very long).
  • General database optimization etc.
If anyone has any suggestions / ideas on this tack, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, 24 September 2012

For those who do not know the reference....

I did not put "So long" as not to infringe....cp. And, happy patronal feast of Our Lady of Walsingham, England............




Sunday, 23 September 2012

A Jar of Ointment, the Marines, and Seeds............


Someone asked me on Friday for what the reason the Benedictine Rule existed and what was the purpose of contemplative nuns?

As the person is a Catholic, I was a bit taken aback. But, I have three answers.

I said that the contemplatives were the Marines, hitting the beach first with their prayers while the active orders and laity followed behind in the mop-up.

I believe this is true, as the spiritual life of prayer attacks the unseen enemies and prayer makes the Church strong in battle.

Those soldiers who are the specially trained groups go in and deal with the first lines of the enemy.

Prayer first, action second.

I hope St. Benedict and St. Scholastica would agree with me.

But, that is not the first reason for the Rule or the existence of contemplative nuns. That would be the second reason.

First, the nuns exist to worship God.

Their presence is the presence of the woman with the alabaster jar of ointment who anointed the feet of Jesus. Judas asked  "Why this waste?" He did not understand Love. Judas did not love Christ or he would have never said that.

Christ is God, and in His worship there is no waste. Love does not know the limits of excess. There are no limits in God. Did not St. Francis say, "My God never says 'Enough'".

We should have no limits in our love for God.

The third reason is this:

But Jesus answered them, saying, “The hour has come that the Son of Man should be glorified. Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (John 12:23-25)

The Treasures of Mary, Our Queen and Our Mother



A priest once told me that to examine one’s spiritual life is like ripping a plant out of the ground to look at the roots.

This is good advice, but incomplete.

Reflection is necessary and a good examination of conscience is an excellent start.

However, one’s spiritual life is about a relationship with God.

There is nothing wrong with examining a relationship. But, merely concentrating on sin or imperfections is not enough.

One may ask these questions.

What are the priorities of my life?

What do I spend the most time on in my thinking?

On what do I spend most of my money? If I have money, do I give to charity and tithe?

Do I remember that Faith and Works go together? ( Remember one of the readings last week.)

How am I living like Christ?

How am I thinking like Christ?

How do I conform my life to the life of the Church?

Is my love for others real or self-seeking?

Am I living a counter-cultural life-style; that is one of Catholic identity?

Do I sacrifice at all in some way for God, for others?

Do I love Christ directly?

Do I love the Church?

Love is in the will and the actions of our lives should follow the will and not merely
be reactions to people or events.

Such is the control God gave us in the use of our free wills.

There is nothing we can do without grace.

On November 27th, 1830, St. Catherine Laboure had another vision of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On the Blessed Mary's fingers were many rings and rays of light were coming from some of those rings. Those bright rings represented graces pouring out to those who asked for these.

Other gems were dark and Mary said that these were graces for which no one asked.

Ask for those graces, the graces from the rings of Mary. Do not be afraid.

Today is the feast day of St. Padre Pio. However, the Sunday takes precedence. Pray for us, Padre Pio.



Saturday, 22 September 2012

GREAT NEWS--BLOG TAKEOVER

My son has offered to continue the blog. He most likely will post once a week. I am so happy about this for the sake of my dear readers. He was a free-lance journalist for four years before going into the seminary. He writes "stuff" of all sorts.

Sign up for updates on the side in your e-mail.






End of Perfection Series for Now



The perfection series was quite popular with readers and you can click on the tag below for the entire set. I am leaving that theme until December.

We are all called to perfection. One of the great lies of the post-Vatican II Church, not in official teaching, but in pastoral mediocrity from the pulpit, has been the Protestantizing of spirituality.

What do I mean?

Protestants, always looking to appease and compromise, lowered the bar for holiness at the Revolt.

Celibacy was not longer valued. The Calvinists changed the view of the Beatitudes in to a prosperity message of those who are saved are blessed with goods in this world.

Feasts and celebrations were ended, and the work-ethic eventually destroyed the day of rest.

The sacraments were declared as unnecessary, especially Confession, which led to the dying of daily examination of conscience.

The Protestants saw man as he was and accepted his imperfections as simply part of life on earth. Salvation was enough, as man was basically evil and God could not expect holiness.

As Christ was no longer present as True God in the Body and Blood of Christ, worship became solely the sermon and scripture with a few hymns, destroying meditation and contemplation.

The Catholic Church was infected by these faults and heresies to the point where the laity have been discouraged from personal holiness and do not even know what that term means.

Some of the reasons I wrote the perfection series form this list.

Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Catholic Church has kept the ideals of Christ. Matthew 5:48 DR.

The Catholic Church holds up an ideal and we are to attempt to cooperate with the sacramental life of  the Church and grace to attain that ideal.

The bar is high.

We, like St. Paul, are the spiritual athletes, who must strive for the prize.

There is no other way to see God. His mercy and the guidance of the Church help us on our way.

There is only one true religion, the Catholic Faith. There is only one True God, the Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. There is only one way to get to heaven, in and through Christ the Son of God, who became Incarnate to show us the Father and give us the Holy Ghost.

All the truths you need are in the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, the Church instituted by Christ while He was on earth. Therein lies your perfection.






Rectitude of the Will Two


Perfect Rectitude of the Will from the Master, St. Thomas Aquinas. If God allows me to do so, I just want to study St. Thomas for the rest of my life. There is so much in his work to ponder..............


Whether rectitude of the will is necessary for happiness?

Objection 1: It would seem that rectitude of the will is not necessary for Happiness. For Happiness consists essentially in an operation of the intellect, as stated above (Q[3], A[4]). But rectitude of the will, by reason of which men are said to be clean of heart, is not necessary for the perfect operation of the intellect: for Augustine says (Retract. i, 4) "I do not approve of what I said in a prayer: O God, Who didst will none but the clean of heart to know the truth. For it can be answered that many who are not clean of heart, know many truths." Therefore rectitude of the will is not necessary for Happiness.
Objection 2: Further, what precedes does not depend on what follows. But the operation of the intellect precedes the operation of the will. Therefore Happiness, which is the perfect operation of the intellect, does not depend on rectitude of the will.
Objection 3: Further, that which is ordained to another as its end, is not necessary, when the end is already gained; as a ship, for instance, after arrival in port. But rectitude of will, which is by reason of virtue, is ordained to Happiness as to its end. Therefore, Happiness once obtained, rectitude of the will is no longer necessary.
On the contrary, It is written (Mat. 5:8): "Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God": and (Heb. 12:14): "Follow peace with all men, and holiness; without which no man shall see God."
I answer that, Rectitude of will is necessary for Happiness both antecedently and concomitantly. Antecedently, because rectitude of the will consists in being duly ordered to the last end. Now the end in comparison to what is ordained to the end is as form compared to matter. Wherefore, just as matter cannot receive a form, unless it be duly disposed thereto, so nothing gains an end, except it be duly ordained thereto. And therefore none can obtain Happiness, without rectitude of the will. Concomitantly, because as stated above (Q[3], A[8]), final Happiness consists in the vision of the Divine Essence, Which is the very essence of goodness. So that the will of him who sees the Essence of God, of necessity, loves, whatever he loves, in subordination to God; just as the will of him who sees not God's Essence, of necessity, loves whatever he loves, under the common notion of good which he knows. And this is precisely what makes the will right. Wherefore it is evident that Happiness cannot be without a right will.
Reply to Objection 2: Every act of the will is preceded by an act of the intellect: but a certain act of the will precedes a certain act of the intellect. For the will tends to the final act of the intellect which is happiness. And consequently right inclination of the will is required antecedently for happiness, just as the arrow must take a right course in order to strike the target.
Reply to Objection 3: Not everything that is ordained to the end, ceases with the getting of the end: but only that which involves imperfection, such as movement. Hence the instruments of movement are no longer necessary when the end has been gained: but the due order to the end is necessary.


Rectitude of the Will in Thomas Aquinas-One

The entire reason why we are here is to come to know, love and serve God in this world and to praise Him in the next.

That is right out of my childhood catechism.

We need to seek God. If our will is fixed on knowing, loving and serving God, then we are approaching Rectitude of the Will.

Purification leads to Rectitude of the Will. And Rectitude of the Will leads to holiness...............




Part II.1, Question 3, Article 8: Whether man's happiness consists in the vision of the divine essence?
Objection 1: It would seem that man's happiness does not consist in the vision of the Divine Essence. For Dionysius says (Myst. Theol. i) that by that which is highest in his intellect, man is united to God as to something altogether unknown. But that which is seen in its essence is not altogether unknown. Therefore the final perfection of the intellect, namely, happiness, does not consist in God being seen in His Essence.
Objection 2: Further, the higher the perfection belongs to the higher nature. But to see His own Essence is the perfection proper to the Divine intellect. Therefore the final perfection of the human intellect does not reach to this, but consists in something less.
On the contrary: It is written (1 Jn. 3:2): "When He shall appear, we shall be like to Him; and we shall see Him as He is."
I answer that: Final and perfect happiness can consist in nothing else than the vision of the Divine Essence. To make this clear, two points must be observed. First, that man is not perfectly happy, so long as something remains for him to desire and seek: secondly, that the perfection of any power is determined by the nature of its object. Now the object of the intellect is "what a thing is," i.e. the essence of a thing, according to De Anima iii, 6. Wherefore the intellect attains perfection, in so far as it knows the essence of a thing. If therefore an intellect knows the essence of some effect, whereby it is not possible to know the essence of the cause, i.e. to know of the cause "what it is"; that intellect cannot be said to reach that cause simply, although it may be able to gather from the effect the knowledge of that the cause is. Consequently, when man knows an effect, and knows that it has a cause, there naturally remains in the man the desire to know about the cause, "what it is." And this desire is one of wonder, and causes inquiry, as is stated in the beginning of the Metaphysics (i, 2). For instance, if a man, knowing the eclipse of the sun, consider that it must be due to some cause, and know not what that cause is, he wonders about it, and from wondering proceeds to inquire. Nor does this inquiry cease until he arrive at a knowledge of the essence of the cause.
If therefore the human intellect, knowing the essence of some created effect, knows no more of God than "that He is"; the perfection of that intellect does not yet reach simply the First Cause, but there remains in it the natural desire to seek the cause. Wherefore it is not yet perfectly happy. Consequently, for perfect happiness the intellect needs to reach the very Essence of the First Cause. And thus it will have its perfection through union with God as with that object, in which alone man's happiness consists, as stated above (Articles [1],7; Question [2], Article [8]).
Reply to Objection 1: Dionysius speaks of the knowledge of wayfarers journeying towards happiness.
Reply to Objection 2: As stated above (Question [1], Article [8]), the end has a twofold acceptation. First, as to the thing itself which is desired: and in this way, the same thing is the end of the higher and of the lower nature, and indeed of all things, as stated above (Question [1], Article [8]). Secondly, as to the attainment of this thing; and thus the end of the higher nature is different from that of the lower, according to their respective habitudes to that thing. So then in the happiness of God, Who, in understanding his Essence, comprehends It, is higher than that of a man or angel who sees It indeed, but comprehends It no

SS. Bernard, Thomas Aquinas, and Venerable Fulton J. Sheen


I wrote of St. Bernard's reference to Rectitude of Intention, or the Will a while ago. Here is the link.

http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/st-bernard-on-using-knowledge-as.html

Aquinas as well as Bernard knew what this meant. We need to come to perfect rectitude of the will, otherwise we shall not go to heaven, and not straight to heaven.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen also wrote on this

Rectitude of Intention

By Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

J.M.J.

I might begin by telling you younger people about the way bishops dress. This [pointing to himself] is what is known as 'choir dress.' It is used formally in churches. Then we have another dress, which is really for social purposes, the black cassock, and a long, long scarlet purple garment called the 'feriola' that reaches all the way to the knees. 

I was once giving a lecture in Cleveland. I arrived just a short time before the lecture, and I had nothing to eat so I asked the members of the committee if they would go with me to the dining room while I had a glass of milk and some graham crackers. I was dressed in this black cassock and long feriola. The waitress in the early 'flirties' took the orders of the men that were with me and then she looked at me and said:

"Well, Cock Robin, what will you have?"

Now, this is not the cock robin dress. But let me tell you about this. This is called a 'rochet.' It is, you see, linen down to the waist and then lace to the knees.

I was in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, a short time ago, and I went up to my room at night and I found my pajamas on one bed and the rochet on the other.

I know, it takes a little time to get that, but you do.

Now, a word to you, younger people, it is very hard for you to realize that your parents lived in a day when no bicycle needed to be locked, when doors were left unlocked at night, when anyone could walk the streets of a large city without being mugged or attacked. Those were the days of peace. You have never seen them. It probably is hard for you to realize that that is the way America once was.

Now, how did this change come about in America? Why suddenly have we had so much dishonesty?

Let me tell you this story about dishonesty. I was in one of the big hotels of this country. The manager told me that he found a cashier stealing money. This woman had a very wide pocket in her skirt and she would reach in the drawer, take bills, and stick them in.

They saw her and one day they caught her in the act and discharged her. The union said to the hotel, "You may not discharge her. If you discharge her, we will call a strike on the hotel and call everyone out of the hotel."

The litigation went on for about three months. The union won. They had to take the girl back. Do you know what their argument was? The union said the hotel manager never told the girl it was wrong to steal.

The hotel agreed that they never told the girl it was wrong to steal. Then [laughing], how would she know?

See how much the world has changed. How? What made it change? It changed because we want no one limiting us.

You people have heard the popular song, "I've got to be me?" You have sung it yourselves, most of you. "I gotta be free." You want no restraint, no boundaries, no limits. "I have to do what I want to do."

Let us analyze that for a moment. Is that happiness? "I gotta be me? I got to have my own identity?" Are you on a basketball or football team? You cannot be yourself; you have got to live for the team.

The coach of the Oakland Raiders, Coach John Madden, asked me one day:

"What's happening to our Catholic schools? I have boys from Catholic colleges coming to my football team and they say 'I've got to do my thing.' How am I ever going to have a football team if everybody has got to do his own thing?"

A team means doing the other person's thing. But, we want no limits, no boundaries.

Just suppose, now, to get very practical, just suppose your parents never gave you potty training. Think it out. You gotta do your thing. Two things would happen. Today, you would hate your parents for never having trained you and second, you would hate yourself. So, you are what you are today simply because your parents laid hold of you and said, "We're going to train you to use the potty." They did not allow you to do your own thing.

Now, if I've made myself clear up to this point, you're living in an age where freedom is described as license, the right to do whatever your please. But that's chaos.

If everyone did what he pleased, drove a car as he pleased, we'd have disorder in the streets. Certainly you can do whatever you please, you can stuff your Aunt Maise's mattress with old razor blades. You can turn a machine gun on your neighbor's chickens. The, freedom becomes just a physical power. And the one who is most free is the one who is most strong.

So, the world has changed. We used to have laws. We had obedience. We have disciplines. Today, no boundaries, no limits. And, you're not happy that way.

Friday, 21 September 2012

To Act Sinfully is Irrational--Perfection Series Reference


Some of these fantastic talks are no longer available. Try. http://catholicaudio.blogspot.co.uk/2007/08/talks-by-fr-chad-ripperger-fssp.html  Some were given in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and two of my friends were actually there. I have mentioned Father Ripperger on this blog at other times.

Una Voce was one of the groups.

Another talk is here. http://supertradmum-etheldredasplace.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/fr-ripperger-on-sacrifice-of-mass-and.html

Enjoy.

Catholic nun is target

A nun was shot at in Pakistan and her driver was injured at a shooting outside the Cathedral in Hyderabad. Check this out. But, repeat after me, "This is not about the movie."

Blogger and Commentator Fast Day



Can we all organize a commentator and blogger fast day for America for today Friday, September 21st?

I am asking everyone to join me in this fast for a new president and a new America which puts God first.

I put up a poll on the side so that we can encourage one another.

I shall pledge my Friday as a day of fast and abstinence.

Please let us try and do this together. Where two or three are gathered in My Name..the promise of Christ.

Supertradmum

Just a quotation-Obama and Alinsky

The key to Obama's vision in Chicago, according to Marilyn Katz, was the city's most famous radical: "Remember, this is the community of Saul Alinsky. And most of the first housing groups were the Alinsky groups who were still banging at the door."

Katz, an influential Chicago public relations executive and longtime Obama friend and political operative, has visited the White House more than two dozen times since 2009.

Like so many in the liberal power base that served as a springboard for Obama, Katz had activist roots stretching back to her days as a Students for a Democratic Society operative in Chicago.

A Futures Committee handout for the Valentine's Day meeting titled, "Barack Obama's principles of community development," said the proposed program had "to organize around production, not just consumption."

Such words were a clarion call to activists raised on a thousand variations of the Marxist labor theory of value and capitalist alienation.

"He really questioned the kind of surrogate capitalist strategy that most of the nonprofit community-based organizations had been pursuing," Katz told the Examiner.


http://washingtonexaminer.com/chapter-iii-the-1997-speech-that-launched-obama/article/2508419

The Caravaggio Call of Levi



When one is in Rome, one can hardly take in all the art. As Caravaggio is one of my favourite painters, I would always go out of my way to see one of his startling paintings of a Biblical theme.

His Call of Levi captures the simplicity and astonishment of Christ's invitation, "Follow Me."

That is all Christ needed to say. Levi is amazed. Who me? Why me? But, he follows.

No questions, no information.

Just a command.

We can say yes and we can say no...to Life, to Christ.

The call is that simple and that astonishing.

Love the people who may or may not be paying attention.

God bless Caravaggio and I hope he is in heaven, despite his tumultuous life.

Suspicious Meetings, Coffee and Literature

"They are educated persons of various backgrounds, often students. They meet at campuses, clubs, and coffee houses and internet cafes. Materials and literature are usually kept in the home or at secluded meeting places." - FBI terrorist sleeper cell brief

One of my friends thought this was a description of seminarians. I thought it described bloggers.

Paranoia.

Could be the description of the student union at any small Catholic college.....

And, we pay these people to do what, exactly, like protect us?

Oh, dear.


Could describe a Jane Austen Fan Club.

"God makes new doughnuts everyday." The Relics of St. Charles Borromeo



When I was in a lay community for many years, we used to say that title above, as we lived in Minneapolis, which was then doughnut land. The idea of the phrase was that nothing was stale but new and exciting, as fresh, hot doughnuts on a cold Minnesota morning.

Yesterday was one of those doughnut days. I go to see and touch the reliquaries of many saints and martyrs in a hidden cache in London. I got see the green, ordinary time chasuble of St. Charles Borromeo. And, I got to kiss the reliquary of his many bones, behind glass, as well as parts of his clothing and vestments.

This was almost too much, as Charles is a family name, with generations of Charles-es in my family and female variations thereof, such as Carola.

I claim St. Charles Borromeo as one of my patrons as well, because of the name connection and because of his influence in implementing the decrees of the Council of Trent.

What a fantastic patron for our times.

The Saint Bede Studio Blog has this on St. Charles.

St. Bede Studio Blog
Saint Charles laid down regulations about the dimensions of vestments for the Sacred Liturgy because, it would seem, he was concerned that the form of the vestments, which had been handed down for centuries, was being cast aside in favour of something convenient and “fashionable”. The chasuble, derived from the Latin word for “a little house” had been for centuries an ample garment. In the 15th and 16th centuries, there had been significant divergence from this Tradition, however, resulting in a form of chasuble that wasn’t ample, but cut right back so that it comprised a sort of narrow pendant, front and back, on the wearer. We know this form of chasuble as the “Roman” or “fiddleback” chasuble, and some claim that this is the form of the chasuble that is truly “traditional”. But Borromeo didn’t think that: he thought it represented a break with Tradition. And he specified the minimum size to which he expected chasubles to conform. They were to be at least 54 inches (138cm) wide and, at the back, they were to reach down almost to the heels of the wearer. Saint Charles wasn't attempting to determine how a chasuble should be decorated, he was simply trying to preserve a minimum standard for the dimensions of the chasuble.

The one I saw yesterday was just as grand as this one at St. Mary Major.

Some of the saints' relics were from Philip Neri, many martyrs, of the Popes Clement, Sylvester, and others. I am still overwhelmed.

The number of bones from St. Charles Borremeo was stunning.


Thursday, 20 September 2012

Pray for the Far East

Today is the memorial of Saint Andrew Kim Taegŏn, the first Korean priest and martyr and Saint Paul Chŏng Hasang, martyr, and their companions, martyrs.

Pray for Korea, split, as things are not good in that part of the world, either. Here is an interesting biographical sketch of the saints.


If I were ever martyred, I would probably be in the group "companions" and never known. Hmmm...

No Catholic Vote Among Latinos

Romney is behind Obama in Latino polls. In the last poll. Obama is ahead among registered Latino voters – 68% to 26%. This is the tally from impreMedia and Latino Decisions from September 17th. 

Therefore, there is no Catholic vote among the Latinos. How can they support this anti-life president? The pro-life message has fallen on deaf ears. I would like all the Hispanic priests in my old diocese to explain what they are doing to help their parishioners understand that to vote for such a man with the anti-life record and statements for civil unions is to support ideals which are positions against their religion.

But, maybe Latinos are not Catholic any more. 
 .
Why is the Latino community supporting civil unions?

I would like comments from Hispanic Catholics.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2012/09/19/romney-softens-tone-at-univision-forum/

Lower house in Australia votes down same-sex marriage

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-19/same-sex-marriage-bill-voted-down/4270016

Well then, some people believe in natural law down under.

Sadly, this press article is slanted pro. What is very interesting, is that one can easily read which
ministers voted yes or no.

Thanks to a reader from Australia for the heads up.

Of what did the saints dream?

Well, going into the convent for my trial period, I have few regrets but here are five.

One, I have never stood on the Charles Bridge in Prague where my Great Grandfather proposed to my Great Grandmother in the early 1880s.

I cannot imagine how romantic that must have been. I can see her beautiful little face looking up into his dark handsome eyes. I have their love letters still in a box in Illinois.

Two, I have never been to the Douro Valley to see the vineyards and taste the port, while wearing a new sun-dress, a straw hat and sandals.

For some reason, I like port and sunshine. Don't you?


Three, I have never been to Iceland, which for some reason I have always wanted to visit. Maybe I have Vikings for ancestors.

I have always wanted to fly into the northern lights. Is that possible? I have seen the northern lights in the Midwest, Canada and Alaska.

Are these different in Iceland?


Four, standing in the snow looking up at Fountains Abbey, my favourite place in England, is something I would love to do as I have only been there in the summer.

Fountains is my spiritual home.

However, one can forgo certain places and treats in order to pursue the inward life.


And, after all, we are here to prepare ourselves for eternity.

Five, I have never had a blue rose.


I am not sure how a glass of port in a comfortable spot at the edge of the valley on a hot afternoon, or trucking around glaciers and staring at the northern lights, or watching the lights reflect off the Moldau River, listening to strains of Dvorak, or holding a blue rose would get me merit in heaven. But, all is good in the Lord. 

Goodbye to all that.....and goodbye to dreams.

I must dream new dreams. 

I wonder of what the saints dreamt?

Do you think St. John Nepomuk dreamt of Prague?

Or did St. Thorlac Thorhallson dream of  the northern lights?

Did St. Elizabeth of Portugal ever taste port or dream of the mountainous valleys? 

Did St. Robert of Newminster dream of Fountains? I think he did. He planned Fountains.

New days, new nights, new dreams.

And a third post on St. Benedict's Rule today


To 
love the Lord God with all our heart, soul, and strength.




To love one's neighbor as oneself.
Not to kill.
Not to commit adultery.
Not to steal.
Not to covet.
Not to bear false witness.
To respect all men.
Not to do to another what one would not have done to oneself.
To deny oneself in order to follow Christ.
To chastise the body.
Not to love pleasure.
To love fasting.
To comfort the poor.
To clothe the naked.
To visit the sick.
To bury the dead.
To aid those in trouble.
To comfort the sad.
To reject worldliness.
To love Christ above all else.
Not to become angry.
Not to show temper.
Not to keep deceit in one's heart.
Not to make false peace.
Not to forsake charity.
Not to swear, for fear of committing perjury.
To speak the truth with heart and lips.

More from The Rule of St. Benedict: a reminder of heaven and hell


....brothers, if we want to reach the highest summit of humility, if we desire to attain speedily that exaltation in heaven to which we climb by the humility of this present life, then by our ascending actions we must set up that ladder on which Jacob in a dream saw angels descending and ascending (Gen 28:12). Without doubt, this descent and ascent can signify only that we descend by exaltation and ascend by humility. Now the ladder erected is our life on earth, and if we humble our hearts the Lord will raise it to heaven. We may call our body and soul the sides of this ladder, into which our divine vocation has fitted the various steps of humility and discipline as we ascend.
The first step of humility, then, is that a man keeps the fear of God always before his eyes (Ps 35 [36]:2) and never forgets it. He must constantly remember everything God has commanded, keeping in mind that all who despise God will burn in hell for their sins, and all who fear God have everlasting life awaiting them. While he guards himself at every moment from sins and vices of thought or tongue, of hand or foot, of self-will or bodily desire, let him recall that he is always seen by God in heaven, that his actions everywhere are in God’s sight and are reported by angels at every hour.
The Prophet indicates this to us when he shows that our thoughts are always present to God, saying: God searches hearts and minds (Ps 7:10); again he says: The Lord knows the thoughts of men (Ps 93 [94]:11); likewise, From afar you know my thoughts (Ps 138 [139]:3); and The thought of man shall give you praise (Ps 75 [76]:11). That he may take care to avoid sinful thoughts, the virtuous brother must always say to himself: I shall be blameless in his sight if I guard myself from my own wickedness (Ps 17 [18]:24).
Truly, we are forbidden to do our own will, for Scripture tells us: Turn away from your desires (Sir 18:30). And in the Prayer too we ask God that his will be done in us (Matt 6:10). We are rightly taught not to do our own will, since we dread what Scripture says: There are ways which men call right that in the end plunge into the depths of hell (Prov 16:25). Moreover, we fear what is said of those who ignore this: They are corrupt and have become depraved in their desires (Ps 13 [14]:1).

From The Rule of St. Benedict Again


To despise one's own will.
To obey the abbot's commands in all things, 
even if he strays from his own path, 
mindful of the Lord's command: "What they say, do, but what they do, do not perform"
 Matt. 23:3).
Not to desire to be called holy before the fact, but to be holy first, then called so with truth.
To fulfill God's commandments in one's activities.
To love chastity.
To hate no one.
Not to be jealous or envious.
To hate strife.
To evidence no arrogance.
To honor the elderly.
To love the young.
To pray for one's enemies for the love of Christ.
To make peace with an adversary before sundown.
Never to despair of God's mercy.

These are the tools of our spiritual craft.