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Sunday, 5 April 2015

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Negative comments are getting to numerous and I do not have to read personal abuse. I also do not have to read hated of the Church.

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Last Post for Easter

By using Flip Wilson's great sketch of "The Devil Made Me Do It" more than once on this blog, I had hoped to show people that it is too easy to blame Satan for our sins.

Remember the long posts on free will...we all have it and we can all use it.

One thing which I recall from  a movie a long time ago was a scene where a man decided to stop being a "victim" and own up to his sins.

Victimhood has made our men, even men in the Catholic Church, weak.

To play the victim for sins is too, too easy. One can recognize the victim when one hears these phrases even from "grown" men.

  • It is my parents' fault the way I am. I was abandoned, (or abused, or spoiled...)
  • It is this illness I had since childhood which left me isolated...and so on
  • I lost my parents when young and therefore ....
  • I lost my job, my girlfriend, my wife,,,,and so on...
  • I am weak (so, we all are...)
  • I am too strong willed (so, take pride in your sins)
  • My priest is awful 
  • The parish community is full of hypocrites
  • I am too rich, too poor, too busy
  • I cannot do hard things
Victimhood was put to death on the Cross. Christ won the victory over every hurt, sin, sin against us.

Most people have been sinned against, and Christ, Who is all Innocence, died to set us free not only from our own sins but from those of others.

I hear too many lines from men which show me that in their world they are victims and want to be. I have heard men state from a certain generation that because they were in Nam, they cannot  and will not get on with their lives. Some have real damage, but God can heal anything, but many do not want to change, refusing to change, living a life of indecision and boyhood.

Christ ended all types of bondage. The false trust in psychology has ruined the concept of free will and the making of decisions.

Charismatic renewal talks a lot about demonic influence and very little about the hard, daily slog of repentance. The truth is that most demonic influence is willed into one's life. Very few people are true victims.

To break away from sin, one must make a daily firm purpose of amendment and change one's habits accordingly. Like the drug addict who states he wants to be free but does nothing to change his addiction, so too, one can say one wants to be free of sin but never work on the sin, the tendencies, including avoiding the places of temptation.

Too many Catholic men play the victim game. Even some traddies I have met play this game of "poor me, if only I did not have this parent, or this wife, or this job..." and so on.

Adam blamed Eve for sin. He tried to play the victim, but God utterly rejected this stance.

Victimhood is also used as excuse to abuse others. No...we have free will not to fall into the sins of others against us...

God will not let anyone into heaven who decides to keep playing the victim as He IS the Real Victim.

He freed us.

Here is the ancient hymn sung in some parishes today.


Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.

Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.

Mors et vita duello
conflixere mirando:
dux vitae mortuus,
regnat vivus.

Dic nobis Maria,
quid vidisti in via?

Sepulcrum Christi viventis,
et gloriam vidi resurgentis:

Angelicos testes,
sudarium, et vestes.

Surrexit Christus spes mea:
praecedet suos [vos] in Galilaeam.

[Credendum est magis soli
Mariae veraci
Quam Judaeorum Turbae fallaci.]

Scimus Christum surrexisse
a mortuis vere:
tu nobis, victor Rex, miserere.
[Amen.] [Alleluia.]


Let Christians offer sacrificial
praises to the passover victim.

The lamb has redeemed the sheep:
The Innocent Christ has reconciled
the sinners to the Father.

Death and life contended
in a spectacular battle:
the Prince of life, who died,
reigns alive.

Tell us, Mary, what did
you see on the road?

"I saw the tomb of the living Christ
and the glory of his rising,

The angelic witnesses, the
clothes and the shroud."

"Christ my hope is arisen;
into Galilee, he will go before his own."

[Happy they who bear the witness
Mary's word believing
above the tales of Jewry deceiving.]

We know Christ is truly risen from the dead!
To us, victorious King, have mercy!
Amen. [Alleluia.]
Christ is the Pascal Victim. No one else can claim this. Even if we have been abused, abandoned, hated, unloved,,,Christ has taken all this pain onto Himself. We need only forgive and look to Him.
God accepts only one Victim. 

I do as well, totally reject victimhood, in both men and women. 

If we sin long and hard enough, our wills have been given over to Satan. But, one can always beg God for the grace of repentance. Always.

He waits for people to stop playing the victim.

They like to play the passive-aggressive game, and God waits for a sign of real metanoia.

He waits, and tries to show us the Cross, the only way out of victimhood.

All Nations Proclaim That Christ Is Risen

Christos Voskrese!

Pray for our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, and in Africa.

For the young man who does want to hear about persecution...

I am in good company today, as the Pope prayed for the persecuted in so many countries in his Easter message, Urbi et Orbi.

To be a Catholic is to be real. From Pope Francis:

"We ask Jesus, the victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence - and there are many," he said.
The pope spoke as churches in Kenya, where al Shabaab gunmen massacred nearly 150 people, singling out Christians for point-blank executions, turned to armed guards to protect their congregations on the most important day of the Christian liturgical year.
"May constant prayer rise up from all people of goodwill for those who lost their lives – I think in particular of the young people who were killed last Thursday at Garissa University College in Kenya - for all who have been kidnapped, and for those forced to abandon their homes and their dear ones."

UPDATE: A person from another diocese must told me that the Easter sermon at her Mass, which was packed, was on this comment of the Pope. The pastor in her parish said that few people in America are thinking of these persecuted Christians,,,,and, he added, maybe we shall have to go to war over persecuted Christians!

Glad to see there are some men left in the world. The lady's comment was "Well, this Pope is brave speaking out, but that is what Pope's are for..." Could not have said it better myself.

No, I have not forgotten Prudence

...I just wanted more time before I write on this last Cardinal Virtue. By the way, did you know that Prudence is frequently painted with a mirror, indicating reflection, thought, reasoning?  I think there are some medieval cathedral sculptures with Prudence and mirror as well. The mirror also symbolizes the wisdom of self-knowledge.

Prudence may be the lynchpin virtue. Again, looking at the graph as well as the wisdom of experience, one can see the necessity for Prudence in the Catholic Church.

The great sins listed there include at least one found among certain Synod fathers--carnal prudence.

Carnal prudence is what pushes those cardinals who support sin to want to change Church doctrine. Carnal prudence makes leading Churchmen compromise.

Carnal prudence makes a person not think like a Catholic--but to live in fear and only within one's comfort zone. Self-protection and selfishness provide the fuel for carnal prudence. God asks us to use His virtue of prudence in the world to change it. Carnal prudence is worldly prudence.

St. Thomas Aquinas, and I follow his example, puts prudence as the first virtue. It is recta ratio agibilium or right reason in action. The CCC lists prudence as auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues), meaning it leads the other virtues. 

The key word in this definition is "reason".  To think like a Catholic means that one has conformed one's mind to the teachings of Christ and can reason, reflect, decide according to the Mind of Christ, which is the mind of the Church.

One must know things in order to act and prudence informs action with knowledge, the general knowledge of, for example, the Church's teaching on marriage, to the specific, how one "pastors" those in irregular marriages.

Aquinas notes that the use of prudence also indicates that one has affections in order. If the passions and lower faculties are not in order, one cannot employ the virtue of prudence. Like all of the virtues, prudence can be blocked by both mortal and venial sin.

Prudence moves our entire lives, which is why it is not only a moral virtue, but an intellectual virtue.

If you are a regular reader, you may remember my comments on synderesis a while ago. Synderesis sees the end of one's actions and prudence determines how one morally gets to the end, as well as seeing that end..

I have over 203 posts on St. Thomas Aquinas, but here is one which is connected to these thoughts today.

Besides carnal prudence, cunning is a sin against the virtue of prudence. Cunning  involves using deceit to get to one's end, such as lying or hiding the truth. Sadly, cunning runs the lives of too many politicians and businessmen.

Prudence is a virtue given to us freely by God, but we can also learn prudence, or hone it through experience. However, one may fall into carnal prudence and cunning from experience as well, if one does not guard one's mind and soul from anger, deceit, or pride.

A life of sin can destroy all the virtues over time so that a person becomes full of vice instead of virtue. Prudence can be ignored over and over through desire or through the avoidance of suffering until one no longer can exhibit this virtue.

For example, if one never wants to suffer, and acts accordingly to avoid discomfort, one sins against prudence, which demands that one acts in accordance to truth and fortitude (courage).

Selfishness and pride can make an person imprudent, not just negligence. We usually think of negligence, such as a person who is a spendthrift, as the emblem of imprudence. but the so-called clever man or woman, who "covers all the bases" in a worldly manner is also imprudent, preferring his or hers own version of prudence rather than God's.

One thinks of the parable of the Widow's Mite as an example of both the greatness of heart of the woman who is acting out of prudence, as opposed to those who give only out of their excess and not out of need., which is carnal prudence.

A person of prudence takes advice from his or her superiors in the Faith, such a a spiritual director or confessor. A woman of prudence would be obedient to a good, Catholic husband. Children of prudence listen and obey their good Catholic parents, and so on.

Tomorrow, I shall write on the gift of counsel which comes from the virtue of prudence, but is different.

Happy Easter!

Easter 2015

I published a not-so-nice comment for you all to read as it includes someone wishing bad things on me and son, so I need your prayers. One cannot imagine Catholics not supporting each other at this holy time.

This is the sort of thing I get, thankfully not daily, but weekly from some.

Pray for the commentator and me and STS.

God is good in all things.

A Recusant in Training

My son and I, years ago now, attended Orthodox Evening Prayer in this tiniest of chapels in Walsingham. One of the most moving times of prayer we experienced, we sang the praises with the priest and cantor and three other people for the Saturday following the Feast of the Assumption. Having been Byzantines for several years in Canada, with permission, as we could not find a valid Latin Rite Mass for miles and miles, we were versed in Byzantine prayer and the Divine Liturgy. Orthodox chants are similar but not exactly the same.

This very small chapel in the Anglican Shrine to Our Lady of Walsingham has all the needed icons for honoring Mary, The Life-Giving Spring. This feast of Mary is held on the Friday after Easter in the Orthodox Church.

Her icon under this title has pride of place, as fitting for the patron of the chapel. The wall I have to use is slightly longer, but lower than this iconostasis, but I intend to add icons across the table which is acting as an altar, and on the floor, until I can get tables. As the house is not mine, I do not want to make too many holes in the wall!!!!! As you all know, I am in this house under the graciousness of the lady who owns it until she sells it.

Besides the patronal icon, fourteen more grace the screen. The two podia are, one for the icon of the feast day, which Byzantine Catholics and Orthodox lay out for the congregation to kiss when entering and leaving the chapel and the other for the music of the chant and the readings.

I have a most unattractive freebee picture of the Divine Mercy in the place where I would put the Resurrection, if I had one. I may have one in storage, but I think I gave that one away.

It is important for a chapel to have icons of the Evangelists, Archangels, and the specific saints honored under the patronal title. Also, it is common to have one icon of St. John the Baptist, one of my personal patrons.

I hope I find "him" in a box. When my son was still at home, when I had a home, we had an icon corner. See here for an explanation. Public Domain

The point is not to have clutter, but yet enough images to honor Christ and His Mother and the saints.

Because I firmly believe we are heading for penal times, this chapel I envisage will be one can put into one or two trunks to be carried away easily. This is why I want a portable altar. 

I consider myself a recusant in training.

Think Chapel! on this website the explanation of the emblem of Ephesus. a nice synchronicity

This is Raymond Cardinal Burke's private chapel in the Vatican. He will be spoiled for choice if and when His Excellency visits Malta.

Notice how simple yet elegant the decor and statues are.. and I am happy to see that the Cardinal loves the Sacred Heart so much as to put Him in the pride of place.

One has to decide on the rule that "less is more" when doing up a small chapel. I decided on icons for four reasons: one, I have several of my own, which God willing, I shall soon get out of storage; two, in a small space, one can honor Jesus, Mary and many saints with icons, as well as the angels; three: a kind donor jump started the chapel icon collection, which will include a fairly large icon of Mary, Queen of Angels, (below), the primary patron of this little chapel of mine--St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs, in Ephesus; three, icons create an instant atmosphere of calm and prayer; four, they are extremely portable.

This will be one of the main icons in the room, one for which I am waiting, sent to me by a donor.
As "windows to heaven", icons draw one into prayer, imho, in a way statues cannot,imho.

I do not have a camera, and the chapel is just beginning to evolve, but if I meet someone with a camera or phone camera when things are a bit more organized, I shall share the chapel on this blog.

I have one bedroom with no beds, as I am sleeping on a horrid air mattress for my sins. Hopefully, God willing, I want to get three single beds so that two other women could stay overnight for Adoration, if God allows me to get this far. All night vigils in these days seem to be extremely important to me. Something like this house near Little Gidding is what I have in mind for brief and simple accommodation.

God has something in mind and I am being very patient, going day by day.

Watching with Christ at night is an important part of the monastic 24 hours of prayer. God has given me strength to do this and still clean, cook, and do the gardening, etc. This is the way of the hermit.

For example, last night, I slept for two and a half-hours and then was up for five and a half hours in the night praying, going back to bed for another two and a half hours.

I do not nap, usually, unless I am ill, and this "wake" at night is part of the Benedictine mode of work and prayer.

In silence, one can continue prayer while gardening, or cleaning or doing laundry.

God chose the name of this prayer place-it all started with me being called to "Ephesus", away from danger for the time being. John took Mary out of Ephesus shortly after Pentecost, when the great persecution of the Christians in that city began. I wish I had a "John", but I gave mine to the Lord and he is busy doing God's work elsewhere. We can pray for each other.

St. John built Our Lady a house, and there she prayed for the persecuted Church, in the Presence of God most likely totally in union with the Trinity constantly. We cannot model her singular holiness, but we can ask for her help.

The name of the chapel also includes the fact that Mary is in charge of all the angels, and they obey her as Queen. I preferred the old English title, "St. Mary of the Angels" adding "and martyrs". I pray for priests, seminarians and many others, including you, Dear Readers. I pray for future martyrs.

I have great devotion to the martyrs, as those of you who read my blog know. So far, I have a little icon of St. Joan of Arc, and one of the saints and martyr of Alaska, which is still in storage. My son has a great love for SS. Herman of Alaska and Innocent, who we as Catholics may honor as well.

For some reason, it is very hard to find icons of Western martyrs which are affordable. St George is a martyr who is easy to find, of course.

I really like this one I have of St. Joan, although it is very small, it seems more inspired than most icons.

At this point, I have no relics, having given them all away in the past. I had part of St. Therese' habit handed down in our family, and St. Philip Neri's vest, which I gave away long ago, one to a priest. My son has a first class relic of St. Augustine of Hippo, with Vatican papers, which we carried around the States and England.

He also has part of the bandages of St. Padre Pio. But, I have no relics for this little chapel as of yet.

Back into silence....I am still on retreat for another day.

This blog is fantastic...only men on this island, of course

Intemperance and Pride;Temperance and Humility

Jesus, Meek and Humble of Heart, Make My Heart Like Unto Thine
Most people know that pride is the worst of all the capital sins, the seven deadly sins. It is the primal sin of Lucifer.

But, pride is also a sin against the Cardinal Virtue of temperance. Some Catholic believe that only strong people sin against pride, like those who are angry, choleric, controlling or violent. They think only the strong willed fall into pride.

On the contrary, those who are weak fall into pride as well as they are intemperate, sinning against the virtue of temperance.

Temperance may be the most common sin of Americans. Temperance brings sobriety into our lives, balance regarding food, drink, sex, spending money and so on.

Temperance allows one to be chaste, avoid lust and all those horrible sins connected to lust, such as pornography, homosexual sins, irregular marriages and adultery, fornication, lustful thoughts, lust for power, money, sex and avarice, which is greed. Gluttony, so obvious in the States, follows ignoring the virtue of temperance.

But, there are other sins and virtues which are connected to temperance which people may not realize are so.

The sins of the flesh, such as avarice, gluttony and lust seem the most obvious sins against temperance.

But, the sins of curiosity and gossip flow from intemperance. Curiosity, as I noted months ago, is a sin which must be contradicted by studiosity.

Excesses in speech flow from intemperance.

Excesses in emotions which are unjust flow from intemperance, such as the sin of anger, sometimes called wrath.

Sentimentality and self-pity are sins against temperance.

A person with the predominant fault of intemperance will be prideful, even in his sins.

Imagine boasting about happens.

Pride is a sin against temperance, as it is the opposite of humility and meekness. Again, look at Garrigou-Lagrange's graph from the other day.

Weak people sometimes imagine themselves as meek, but meekness has nothing to do with being weak. It has to do with truth, seeing ourselves as we really are before God.

Christ tells us that meekness brings beatitude.

In Matthew 5:5, He states: Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.

How ironic that those who are intemperate with regard to things and people think they are "getting the goods". Those who are grasping and commit avarice can only become holy through true meekness which is humility. Meekness choses to be lowly, unseen, humble. If we are confirmed, meekness is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which flows from being in sanctifying grace.

Those who are intemperate should pray for humility and do much mortification.

Let Our Lady teach us today the great virtues which combat intemperance, and today, on Easter, is the fulfillment of Mary's prayer of faith, hope and love.

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed:
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.

He has mercy on those who fear him
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm,
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.

He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things,
and the rich he has sent away empty.

He has come to the help of his servant Israel
for he remembered his promise of mercy,
the promise he made to our fathers,
to Abraham and his children forever.  

(Lk 1:46-55)

Murals are from one of my favorite styles.

Regina Coeli, Queen of Heaven, Rejoice and Happy Easter, All

Queen of Heaven

V. Queen of Heaven, rejoice, alleluia. 

R. For He whom you did merit to bear, alleluia. 
V. Has risen, as he said, alleluia. 
R. Pray for us to God, alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia. 
R. For the Lord has truly risen, alleluia.

Let us pray. O God, who gave joy to the world through the resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.

Regina caeli

V. Regina caeli, laetare, alleluia. 

R. Quia quem meruisti portare, alleluia. 
V. Resurrexit, sicut dixit, alleluia. 
R. Ora pro nobis Deum, alleluia.

V. Gaude et laetare, Virgo Maria, alleluia. 

R. Quia surrexit Dominus vere, alleluia.
Oremus. Deus, qui per resurrectionem Filii tui, Domini nostri Iesu Christi, mundum laetificare dignatus es: praesta, quaesumus; ut per eius Genetricem Virginem Mariam, 

Disobedience and Injustice

Continuing with the fast review of the Cardinal Virtues, one can see that Justice infuses more virtues, as do all the other Cardinal Virtues.

Out of Justice comes giving God what is His due in worship, piety, devotions, penances and mortifications, piety towards one's parents, truthfulness, faithfulness, generosity towards God and others, giving others their due according to natural law and natural rights, and most importantly, obedience.

The virtue of obedience emanates from justice. Those who are hypocrites in the Church and in society lack obedience, lack justice.

Those who fall into following false seers or superstition sin against the virtue of justice, as they do not give to the Church obedience and they do not give God proper worship, which is His due.

Those who are rebellious against the authority of the Church in matters of contraception and irregular marriages, lack justice, towards God, His Church and others.

Lying is a sin against justice, as well as a running away from suffering. Yes, practicing justice can hurt, as it means "dying to self".

Too many Catholics live unjust lives, towards God and their neighbors. Most of the rebellion in the Church, specifically with regard to the happenings at the Synod. grows out of disobedience, the lack of the practice of justice.

Since all Catholics are given this virtue in baptism and have this virtue strengthened in confirmation, as well as in the receiving of the Eucharist, one must ask why the lack of justice seems to obvious

Mortal sin binds up the virtues and puts them in a virtual prison. Only repentance, confession, grace can operate the virtues, such as justice, again.

I write this on Holy Saturday noting the myriad ways in which priests and bishops have fallen into disobedience regarding liturgical norms. I think of heretical sermons, and false statements concerning Church teaching. But, I also think of the laity who lack piety, do not give due worship to God in Church by being reverent and modest, and who ignore the poor and the lonely.

Such are the sins against justice within the Church...

Such are the sins against the very virtue which has been given to all the baptized...

Practice make perfect with regard to the virtues. Practice justice. Pray in your daily examination of conscience to see how you may be sinning against justice. Reparation for sin and for the punishment due to sin involves the practice of justice.

This method of an examen is a tried and true way of the Jesuits and Dominicans--thinking of the virtues and the sins against these virtues. The graph on this blog which I highlighted yesterday lists all the above sins against justice. Those priests and bishops who follow a daily examen will not be disobedient. If the laity pray and practice justice, they will not follow false seers or ignore getting involved with the poor.

More later....