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Saturday, 20 December 2014

Praying About A Decision


Over the past few days, I have been thinking about discontinuing the blog. I wanted to wait until I had a real community instead of a virtual community, but it is getting more difficult to blog for several reasons.

I am praying about this. I honestly do not feel that my blog is necessary for news, as there are so many Catholic news services, and people like Michael Voris do a fantastic job.

I have said much of what I want to share with people and have realized that there are limitations as to what I can write. The only thing I have not shared, which I think is important, is more commentary on St. Thomas Aquinas.

Also, the danger of blogging has become more and more real to me since August of this year. Governments, and some individuals, hate bloggers, as we are free of the moneyed and other influences with whom large media groups have decided to cooperate.

In addition, my numbers are down, as people want zazzy political Church gossip which I am not going to push on this blog. Religion is not the same as Vatican politics.

So, dear Readers, pray for me in this time of discernment.

I am also called to more prayer and quiet. I have to find the balance here in this type of ministry.

I made a comment on this post

http://wdtprs.com/blog/2014/12/tough-love-about-the-priest-shortage/

Too Many Lonely People


What is wrong with Western Culture? I have met so many people, men and women, who will be spending Christmas alone. One man is having Christmas with friends, his first invitation in years.

I cannot understand this. When I was in graduate school and could not get home for Christmas because of the horrible weather, I would invite all those other students in for a meal so that no one would be alone.

And, when I had my own home, we always invited single people who had no families in for dinner and the day.

I cannot understand why families do not invite those who are alone for the day.

Christianity is not merely to be practiced in the immediate family.

Are you aware of people in your parish who may not have anyone with whom to celebrate Christmas or New Year's? Hospitality is a virtue under the larger category of charity.

As a single person, my heart breaks for those who have no place to go. I shall be eating out, with a special person, as neither of us have a place big enough to cook or convenient for company.

How sad that neither one of us was invited to Christmas dinner.

Catholics under persecution will be worse off than this. It is time to reconsider what it means to love your neighbor as yourself.

The Inns Are Full


Many good priests have been preaching from the pulpit the necessity for preparation for Christmas in matters spiritual and not merely material.

I am afraid that too many events create four weeks of celebration, instead of penance. I am also afraid that some priests deny that Advent is a penitential time, hence, the purple vestments. Most of the sermons I have heard have emphasized this time of penance.

If we do not make room for the Incarnate God, Christ, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, we cannot celebrate His Coming. If we are busy going to concerts, baking, cooking, shopping, and decorating, we end up like the innkeeper who told Mary and Joseph there was no room at the inn.

Inns were built with courtyards, which filled up with noisy animals and people who did not mind sleeping "rough" as long as they were behind the closed door of the inn. Mary and Joseph needed the quiet, silent place in order for Jesus to come into this world.

Are we making a silent place for His coming? I have some friends who are doing this-taking time daily to read daily prayers, going to extra Masses, and so on.

But, too many are doing less spiritual preparation, and they will end up like the innkeeper. Christ wants to come to them, but there is no room in their hearts, minds, souls, imaginations.

The will has decided that other things are more important than preparation.

We all have habits of self-deceit, because humans do not want to face that they are lacking in some thing, or doing something wrong. To say "I wish I could go to daily Mass, but I am too busy" when one can do so, or visit Christ in Adoration, and read the Scriptures, is self-deceit.

We create our own busyness. We can say no.

I have done little but pray. I have met a few friends who are going to other countries for Christmas and I shall not see them as I shall be gone when they return.

If I were here permanently, there would have been no need to meet up for lunch before Christmas.

I know families who do not have Christmas trees but trees which look like Christmas trees. I call them Advent trees. These family members tell me the trees were put up and decorated weeks ago and will come down right after New Year's day.

I asked these people whether they knew about Epiphany or the Twelve Days of Christmas.

The answer was "no". Sad that such riches of our heritage have been lost. The identity of the Catholic way of celebrating Christmas has been washed away by consumerism and parties in Advent. I refuse to go to concerts or parties. I have said no to years, and people who know me now ask me to come over after Christmas. Many weeks exist for celebration after Christmas.

To go back to work right after Christmas is a creation of both the Puritans, who hated celebrations which were based in Catholic identity, or by the secular pagans, who worship another god-Mammon.

To hold on to Catholic identity in the world is difficult, but not impossible.

I sincerely hope that none of us are like the innkeeper who had no private rooms for Mary, Joseph and the coming Jesus in his inn.

Christ will come to those who have made space for Him. He will manifest Himself to those who are paying attention, waiting for him.

Too many inns are full.

Friday, 19 December 2014

Awake and Asleep


Many, many times I have written about people who are ostriches and who are asleep, not seeing the signs of the times, as well as the need for conversion.

What is happening in Europe and the States regarding the erosion of rights, such as the new ruling in GB that senior midwives cannot say no to assisting with abortions, and the recent suppression of discussion on the sin of homosexual actions, cannot but get worse

I ask readers to consider speaking with family members with whom they may "have Christmas" about the signs of the times, the disappearing of protections for those who want to live their religion publicly.

As one who has not succeeded with bringing my own siblings to the truth, I understand the difficulties of spreading the Gospel of repentance to those we love. Sometimes, all we can do is pray. However, we can pray for "openings", for those hints in conversation that maybe someone is ready to hear more about Christ and His Church.

God does not create suffering in families, but He allows it to bring some people back to Him. He allows suffering to strip away the false idols and crutches people cling to desperately in their lives. He also allows it to purify those who suffer for Christ and His Church.

Pray for those openings. Pray for the protection of St. Michael and your guardian angels when visiting or having visitors come to your house for Christmas.

Remember, just as God revealed His Son to the lowly shepherds in the fields around Bethlehem, so too, He wants to reveal His love to all our family members.

Pray, pay attention, be patient, and do not ever pass up an opportunity to spread the truth of the Good News of Jesus Christ. Our Lord, Emmanuel.

American Travelers, Please Be Wise and Prudent

http://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/christmas-travel-snowstorm-wind/39163954

VIP Read This And Act!

http://voiceofthefamily.info/wordpress/?p=624

What Is Dangerous

For years, pundits, priests and teachers have been explaining what things or people or ideas are dangerous to the Church's success in both evangelization and in maintaining Catholics.

Many things and ideas, like materialism, consumerism, and relativism have been pin-pointed as the greatest danger to the Church.

In my opinion, and this is merely opinion, I think the most dangerous single idea or problem for the Church is stupidity. That people refuse to learn the Faith and incorporate it into their daily lives causes the Church to weaken and even die in some areas.

Stupidity is caused mainly by two things. The first is the lack of study, (see post last week on the virtue of studiosity), and the second is sloth.

Sloth must be one of the most common evils among Catholics, both laity and clergy alike.

To not study the Faith, to ignore the overwhelming amount of information on the net and in books, CDs and DVDs cannot be explained away by a lack of time.

It is a lack of interest, or, simply, laziness.

I talk to people who watch hours of television per week, who talk to friends and text or spend time on Facebook, but never read the Scriptures or take time to pray.

This is dangerous and totally "fixable". In this last week before Christmas, examine how much time is wasted on temporal and ephemeral things, instead of on prayer and study.

Your soul may be in danger.


Bisy Bakson



Read some sustaining book today. I am bisy but will be bak son. I see some light in the sky here at 6:30 a.m peeping out behind some clouds.

The Desert Can Also Be Wet And Cold


How odd that I find it much easier to be a hesychast  when it is hot or warm and the sun is shining, and much more difficult when it is cold and wet.

The temperature and climate affect me, especially in counties where there is minimal temperature control.

But, why I should pray more easily when hot or warm is interesting. Perhaps the aches and pains of the cold and damp dampen my purpose as well and make me tired. It is tiring carrying around pain, as those who have such know. My fingers now hurt all the time with chilblains, and my feet most of the time.

I do not mind being in the real desert, but the desert gets very cold when the sun sets.

Yesterday, twice, I had to go out and come back again, Both times it was bucketing down with water, and the major roadway where I wait for the bus flooded both times. Both times, car after car rushed by and I was sprayed with water over and over again. I had never experienced being so wet, soaked through to my skin all over. No exaggeration. Every piece of clothing was very, very wet.

My wooden clogs, which I wear in the rain as I do not have boots, many, many hours later, are still wet-the wood soaked through.

I tried to think of Mary Our Mother, and forgive all those drivers who could have slowed down so as not to splash dirty water over those of use waiting for the bus. A few did.  One young man jumped up on a wall to avoid the sprays and splashes. I could not do that and nor could another lady.

Forgiveness and being humble enough not to be angry takes practice and, yesterday, I had a lot of practice. I try not to waste moments of humiliation. It got easier as the day worn on.

Then, I had to sit on the bus in drenched clothes for over two hours to get to a needed destination.

I tried to imagine whether Mother Mary ever was cold and wet. I think the answer was yes. I mentioned this to someone who told me that (at the age of 55), they had never in their life waited for or taken a bus. Interesting. They looked at me and judged me as being poor for being very wet and a bit dirty. Another humiliation. Someday, when I am perfected, these things will not longer bother me. And, that is God's plan in allowing me to walk around for hours in drenched clothing on a cold day.

It is practice....the practice of the virtues and the dying to comfort and vanity. God knows what He is about.

The desert can also be wet and cold.

Raissa's Journal Footnote Perfection Series VIII Part XXXI

Raissa writes something which pagans simply do not understand. I remember years ago at Notre Dame, one of my professors saying that the Catholic Church was perverse because of the teaching of celibacy and chastity, which encouraged suffering and self-denial.

Yes, it does. Our God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, died on a cross. He showed us the way to self-denial and redemptive suffering. He call us to love without return, to sacrificial love.

Raissa writes something which reminds me of St. Bernadette's comment that although she suffered terribly from tuberculous of the bone, the waters of Lourdes were not for her.

Raissa notes that she knows that God will not give her any happiness in this world. She was not created to be happy on earth, but to suffer. She writes that she will never have but moments of joy with God alone, and not human happiness, not natural happiness except in rare moments.

Some people may find this idea shocking, that God would, from the beginning of a person's life, call them to the via negativa, denying that person any human or Godly consolation while on earth.

The person who is called to live in suffering has a vocation which now is popularly called being a "victim soul". Raissa knew that she was a victim soul but expresses it in different words in her diary.

One cannot decide to be a victim soul, one just is. God decides that a person will live in a darkness and a loneliness. One is called to a complete detachment of normal human joys. One cannot expect human love.

That Raissa was Jewish, and that the Jews gave us the beginning of the Revelation of God, also allows her to understand the mystery of the unknown God, the God of the Burning Bush, the God Who wrestled with Jacob in the night, the God Who disappeared from Jewish history directly for several hundred years before Christ, when prophecy dried up and the world awaited the Messiah, the Revelation of God,  the via negativa was mixed with the via affirmativa. 

One who is centered on Christ may be called to times of both ways. But, one way usually is dominant. Some people are asked to be rooted in the joy of the Incarnation. Some have to rest in the Passion of Christ.

Years ago, I read The Philokalia, which includes some of the writings of Maximus the Confessor, a proponent of the via negativa. What we do not know about God is just as important as what we do know, especially when one is in the Dark Night of the Spirit. God wants to strip us of false images of Him. 

That God is hidden in the darkness of that spiritual time cannot be denied. He is and He is not present. One knows He is present, one senses the Presence of God by faith. This causes a suffering of denial even of desire, which is very hard, but not impossible.

Raissa needed Jacques' love although they were separated on a regular basis because of his work. She still had that basis, but God called her to Himself as the Bridegroom and her suffering was both purgative and redemptive. She did not use the term "victim soul" but she knew she was suffering for Jacques, who was constantly attacked by the liberal Catholics and secular philosophers, and for others.

The couple brought many people into the Church.

To be in the Presence of God which is also an Absence is a mystery which causes the person to live in faith, hope and love, in that order. It is the mystic way and the way of the contemplative.

I shall return to her Journal in a few days. I am taking a break from it for a day or two to read some other books and to ponder on these hard words, Here is Raissa in her own words. 

"Human felicity has not place in my destiny. I know very definitely that god will never allow me to belong to myself and to seek my own happiness. He has never allowed it. I belong to Him, and through Him and with Him to those whom He wishes. It is He who chooses any intimates for me. In the midst of all my sufferings, God has given me a very clear view of my destiny. I have a destiny, and that, in itself, is marvellous. For a destiny make the unity, the usefulness and beauty of life. And my destiny is not to belong to myself. God has granted Jacques and me the same destiny and, as a viaticum, a unique and marvellous mutual affection."

I wish God had given me such a companion in destiny, but it has not been so. She admitted later in life that for her to be celibate and without Jacques was much harder on her than him. Such was her intense love for him, but God did not allow her that consolation. That was all part of their mission in the world. 

I also wish that God would make it clear to many of us the destiny of our lives. In these days of chaos, so much like the times of the Maritains, we need direction to keep us focused. But, not knowing is also humbling and part of the suffering.

to be continued..


Thursday, 18 December 2014

A Saint Day for A Royal Chapel-St. Manirus


I was looking for information of an Apostle to Scotland and found this on a Norwegian site.

I was thrilled, for I like this hardly known saint of this day, or tomorrow, depending on the calendar one has, St. Manirus of Scotland.

Excuse google translate, unless one of my Norwegian readers would like to have a go...


http://www.katolsk.no/biografier/historisk/maniskott
The Holy Manirus (Manira, Monir, mini, Nini) was born sometime on 700 in Scotland. He was one of the apostles of northern Scotland and is said to have been one of the holy Drostan s successors Deer, and he should have had a foundation in the district structured as Aberdour. But his main activity sphere was in upper Deeside, in the district Crathie, where he established his church. His work looks mainly to have been among the converts inhabitants in the Highlands , the mountainous area north of Glasgow and Stirling in Scotland, often associated with Gaelic culture.
Manirus was a strong opponent of the idolatrous or superstitious practices among the barbaric people he preached to, used to introduce into their cultivation of God. It is said that he restrained the many dialects as spoken in the district where he lived, to be able to preach the faith to all.
Manirus' foundation is Rhynabaich, a knoll north of North Deeside Road in the district Crathie. A single standing stone is all that is left of Manirus' settlement, but the local place names that are eaglais , "church creek" Creag eaglais , "church hill" pollmanire , "Manirus' sculptures" - a deep salmon sculpture of the River Dee almost opposite Balmoral Castle - reminiscent of the activities of this almost forgotten saint. The old church site in Crathie, south of the present Crathie Kirk, is under his invocation.
Manirus should have been subjected to persecution, but he did not receive the crown of martyrdom. He therefore occurs in the calendars as a confessor, not a martyr. He died in 824, and it is believed that he was buried in his church in Crathie. His memorial is December 19, but December 18 is also mentioned. He was especially venerated in Crathie and Balvenie. He was the last of the Celtic apostles who brought the gospel to Deeside, some writers let him share this honor with the sacred Devenick , although their foundations were far apart. Most, however, believe Devenick lived several centuries earlier, in the 500's.

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/9/9e/Crathie_QE2_89.jpg/1024px-Crathie_QE2_89.jpg
Now, one really interesting thing about this saint is that his church is where the royal family of Great Britain worship when they are at Balmoral.
Here is a snippet from Wiki on this:
Crathie has been a place of Christian worship since the 9th century when a church was founded on the banks of the River Dee by Saint Manire (Bishop of Aberdeenshire and Banffand a follower of Saint Columba, the pioneer of Christianity in Scotland). It is traditionally held that Manire baptised Pictish converts in a pool of the Dee east of the modern village of Crathie. A single standing stone at Rinabaich is all that remains of Manire's church (where Manire himself is reputedly buried).
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/4a/Crathie_Church_interior.JPG/1024px-Crathie_Church_interior.JPG
Subsequent places of worship were situated further west, near the location of present day Crathie village. The ruins of a 13th-century church, dedicated to Saint Manire, stand on the riverbank south of the current structure.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/bc/CrathieKirk01.jpg
A later church was built at the current site in 1804. Queen Victoria worshipped there from 1848, and every British monarch since has worshipped at Crathie Kirk. Victoria laid the foundation stone for a new, much larger, church in 1893. Queen Victoria's decision to worship at the Crathie Kirk initially caused a scandal, particularly when it was discovered that she had received communion there, because she was head of the Church of England. Victoria asserted that as Queen of Scotland, she was also entitled to worship in a Scottish church, and further, Crathie is the closest church to Balmoral Castle.




Blog Readers

I have a very, very important request for prayer, please pray very hard for me and for my son.

That is all I can say. Do not worry, just pray.

When I can, I shall share more.

This is something exciting, but unsure...

Just read this....and pray like you never have before for Supertradmum

http://news.sky.com/story/1393951/brits-can-bring-foreign-family-to-uk-ruling

St. Iranaeus Against Heresies (Book IV, Chapter 20)

6. Men therefore shall see God, that they may live, being made immortal by that sight, and attaining even unto God; which, as I have already said, was declared figuratively by the prophets, that God should be seen by men who bear His Spirit [in them], and do always wait patiently for His coming. As also Moses says in Deuteronomy,We shall see in that day that God will talk to man, and he shall live. Deuteronomy 5:24 For certain of these menused to see the prophetic Spirit and His active influences poured forth for all kinds of gifts; others, again, [beheld] the advent of the Lord, and that dispensation which obtained from the beginning, by which He accomplished the will of the Father with regard to things both celestial and terrestrial; and others [beheld] paternal glories adapted to the times, and to those who saw and who heard them then, and to all who were subsequently to hear them. Thus, therefore, was God revealed; for God the Father is shown forth through all these [operations], the Spirit indeed working, and the Son ministering, while the Father was approving, andman's salvation being accomplished. As He also declares through Hosea the prophet: I, He says, have multiplied visions, and have used similitudes by the ministry (in manibus) of the prophets. Hosea 12:10 But theapostle expounded this very passage, when he said, Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit; and there are differences of ministrations, but the same Lord; and there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.1 Corinthians 12:4-7 But as He who works all things in all is God, [as to the points] of what nature and how great He is, [God] is invisible and indescribable to all things which have been made by Him, but He is by no means unknown: for all things learn through His Word that there is one God the Father, who contains all things, and who grants existence to all, as is written in the Gospel: No man has seen God at any time, except the only-begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father; He has declared [Him]. John 1:18
7. Therefore the Son of the Father declares [Him] from the beginning, inasmuch as He was with the Father from the beginning, who did also show to the human race prophetic visions, and diversities of gifts, and His own ministrations, and the glory of the Father, in regular order and connection, at the fitting time for the benefit [of mankind]. For where there is a regular succession, there is also fixedness; and where fixedness, there suitability to the period; and where suitability, there also utility. And for this reason did the Word become the dispenser of the paternal grace for the benefit of men, for whom He made such great dispensations, revealing God indeed to men, but presenting man to God, and preserving at the same time the invisibility of the Father, lest man should at any time become a despiser of God, and that he should always possess something towards which he might advance; but, on the other hand, revealing God to men through many dispensations, lest man, falling away from God altogether, should cease to exist. For the glory of God is a living man; and the life of man consists in beholding God. For if the manifestation of God which is made by means of the creation, affords life to all living in the earth, much more does that revelation of the Father which comes through the Word, give life to those who see God.
8. Inasmuch, then, as the Spirit of God pointed out by the prophets things to come, forming and adapting us beforehand for the purpose of our being made subject to God, but it was still a future thing that man, through thegood pleasure of the Holy Spirit, should see [God], it necessarily behooved those through whose instrumentality future things were announced, to see God, whom they intimated as to be seen by men; in order that God, and the Son of God, and the Son, and the Father, should not only be prophetically announced, but that He should also be seen by all His members who are sanctified and instructed in the things of God, that man might be disciplinedbeforehand and previously exercised for a reception into that glory which shall afterwards be revealed in those who love God. For the prophets used not to prophesy in word alone, but in visions also, and in their mode of life, and in the actions which they performed, according to the suggestions of the Spirit. After this invisible manner, therefore, did they see God, as also Esaias says, I have seen with my eyes the King, the Lord of hosts, Isaiah 6:5pointing out that man should behold God with his eyes, and hear His voice. In this manner, therefore, did they also see the Son of God as a man conversant with men, while they prophesied what was to happen, saying that He who was not come as yet was present proclaiming also the impassible as subject to suffering, and declaring that He who was then in heaven had descended into the dust of death. Moreover, [with regard to] the other arrangements concerning the summing up that He should make, some of these they beheld through visions, others they proclaimed by word, while others they indicated typically by means of [outward] action, seeing visibly those things which were to be seen; heralding by word of mouth those which should be heard; and performing by actual operation what should take place by action; but [at the same time] announcing all prophetically. Wherefore also Moses declared that God was indeed a consuming fire Deuteronomy 4:24 (igneum) to the people that transgressed the law, and threatened that God would bring upon them a day of fire; but to those who had the fear of God he said, The Lord God is merciful and gracious, and long-suffering, and of great commiseration, and true, and keeps justice and mercy for thousands, forgiving unrighteousness, and transgressions, and sins.Exodus 34:6-7
9. And the Word spoke to Moses, appearing before him, just as any one might speak to his friend. Numbers 12:8But Moses desired to see Him openly who was speaking with him, and was thus addressed: Stand in the deep place of the rock, and with My hand I will cover you. But when My splendour shall pass by, then you shall see My back parts, but My face you shall not see: for no man sees My face, and shall live. Exodus 33:20-22 Two facts are thus signified: that it is impossible for man to see God; and that, through the wisdom of God, man shall see Him in the last times, in the depth of a rock, that is, in His coming as a man. And for this reason did He [the Lord] confer with him face to face on the top of a mountain, Elias being also present, as the Gospel relates,Matthew 17:3, etc. He thus making good in the end the ancient promise.
10. The prophets, therefore, did not openly behold the actual face of God, but [they saw] the dispensations and the mysteries through which man should afterwards see God. As was also said to Elias: You shall go forth tomorrow, and stand in the presence of the Lord; and, behold, a wind great and strong, which shall rend the mountains, and break the rocks in pieces before the Lord. And the Lord [was] not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord [was] not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord [was] not in the fire; and after the fire a scarcely audible voice (vox auræ tenuis). 1 Kings 19:11-12 For by such means was the prophet— very indignant, because of the transgression of the people and the slaughter of the prophets— both taught to act in a more gentle manner; and the Lord's advent as a man was pointed out, that it should be subsequent to that law which was given by Moses, mild and tranquil, in which He would neither break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. Isaiah 42:3 The mild and peaceful repose of His kingdom was indicated likewise. For, after the wind which rends the mountains, and after the earthquake, and after the fire, come the tranquil and peaceful times of His kingdom, in which the spirit of God does, in the most gentle manner, vivify and increase mankind. This, too, was made still clearer by Ezekiel, that the prophets saw the dispensations of God in part, but not actually God Himself. For when this man had seen the vision Ezekiel 1:1 of God, and the cherubim, and their wheels, and when he had recounted the mystery of the whole of that progression, and had beheld the likeness of a throne above them, and upon the throne a likeness as of the figure of a man, and the things which were upon his loins as the figure of amber, and what was below like the sight of fire, and when he set forth all the rest of the vision of the thrones, lest any one might happen to think that in those [visions] he had actually seen God, he added: This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of God. Ezekiel 2:1
11. If, then, neither Moses, nor Elias, nor Ezekiel, who had all many celestial visions, saw God; but if what they did see were similitudes of the splendour of the Lord, and prophecies of things to come; it is manifest that the Father is indeed invisible, of whom also the Lord said, No man has seen God at any time. John 1:18 But His Word, as He Himself willed it, and for the benefit of those who beheld, did show the Father's brightness, and explained His purposes (as also the Lord said: The only-begotten God, which is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared [Him]; and He does Himself also interpret the Word of the Father as being rich and great); not in one figure, nor in one character, did He appear to those seeing Him, but according to the reasons and effects aimed at in His dispensations, as it is written in Daniel. For at one time He was seen with those who were around Ananias, Azarias, Misaël, as present with them in the furnace of fire, in the burning, and preserving them from [the effects of] fire: And the appearance of the fourth, it is said, was like to the Son of God. Daniel 3:26 At another time [He is represented as] a stone cut out of the mountain without hands, Daniel 7:13-14 and as smiting all temporal kingdoms, and as blowing them away (ventilans ea), and as Himself filling all the earth. Then, too, is this same individual beheld as the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, and drawing near to the Ancient of Days, and receiving from Him all power and glory, and a kingdom. His dominion, it is said, is an everlasting dominion, and His kingdom shall not perish. Daniel 7:4 John also, the Lord's disciple, when beholding thesacerdotal and glorious advent of His kingdom, says in the Apocalypse: I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And, being turned, I saw seven golden candlesticks; and in the midst of the candlesticks One like the Son of man, clothed with a garment reaching to the feet, and girt about the paps with a golden girdle; and His head and His hairs were white, as white as wool, and as snow; and His eyes were as a flame of fire; and His feet like fine brass, as if He burned in a furnace. And His voice [was] as the voice of waters; and He had in His right hand seven stars; and out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword; and His countenance was as the sun shining in his strength. Revelation 1:12 For in these words He sets forth something of the glory [which He has received] from His Father, as [where He makes mention of] the head; something in reference to the priestly office also, as in the case of the long garment reaching to the feet. And this was the reason why Moses vested the high priest after this fashion. Something also alludes to the end [of all things], as [where He speaks of] the fine brass burning in the fire, which denotes the power of faith, and the continuing instant in prayer, because of the consuming fire which is to come at the end of time. But when John could not endure the sight (for he says, I fell at his feet as dead; Revelation 1:17 that what was written might come to pass: No man sees God, and shall live Exodus 33:20), and the Word reviving him, and reminding him that it was He upon whose bosom he had leaned at supper, when he put the question as to who should betray Him, declared: I am the first and the last, and He who lives, and was dead, and behold I am alive for evermore, and have the keys of death and of hell. And after these things, seeing the same Lord in a second vision, he says: For I saw in the midst of the throne, and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, a Lamb standing as it had been slain, having seven horns, and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God, sent forth into all the earth. Revelation 5:6 And again, he says, speaking of this very same Lamb: And behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True; and in righteousness does He judge and make war. And His eyes were as a flame of fire, and on His head were many crowns; having a name written, that no man knows but Himself: and He was girded around with a vesture sprinkled with blood: and His name is called The Word of God. And the armies of heaven followed Him upon white horses, clothed in pure white linen. And out of His mouth goes a sharp sword, that with it He may smite the nations; and He shall rule (pascet) them with a rod of iron: and He treads the wine-press of the fierceness of thewrath of God Almighty. And He has upon His vesture and upon His thigh a name written, King of Kings and Lordof Lords. Revelation 19:11-17 Thus does the Word of God always preserve the outlines, as it were, of things to come, and points out to men the various forms (species), as it were, of the dispensations of the Father, teaching us the things pertaining to God.

http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0103420.htm

more later...to be continued....

Help from Rome on Discernment....


SACRED CONGREGATION FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH

NORMS REGARDING THE MANNER OF PROCEEDING
IN THE DISCERNMENT OF PRESUMED
APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS


PRELIMINARY NOTE

Origin and character of these norms

During the annual Plenary Session in November 1974, the Fathers of this Sacred Congregation examined the problems relative to presumed apparitions and to the revelations often connected with them and reached the following conclusions:
1. Today, more than in the past, news of these apparitions is diffused rapidly among the faithful thanks to the means of information (mass media). Moreover, the ease of going from one place to another fosters frequent pilgrimages, so that Ecclesiastical Authority should discern quickly about the merits of such matters.
2. On the other hand, modern mentality and the requirements of critical scientific investigation render it more difficult, if not almost impossible, to achieve with the required speed the judgments that in the past concluded the investigation of such matters (constat de supernaturalitate, non constat de supernaturalitate) and that offered to the Ordinaries the possibility of authorizing or prohibiting public cult or other forms of devotion among the faithful.
For these reasons, in order that the devotion stirred among the faithful as a result of facts of this sort might manifest itself in full communion with the Church, and bear fruits by which the Church herself might later discern the true nature of the facts, the Fathers judged that in this matter the following procedure should be promoted.
When Ecclesiastical Authority is informed of a presumed apparition or revelation, it will be its responsibility:
a) first, to judge the fact according to positive and negative criteria (cf. infra, no. I);
b) then, if this examination results in a favorable conclusion, to permit some public manifestation of cult or of devotion, overseeing this with great prudence (equivalent to the formula, “for now, nothing stands in the way”) (pro nunc nihil obstare).
c) finally, in light of time passed and of experience, with special regard to the fecundity of spiritual fruit generated from this new devotion, to express a judgment regarding the authenticity and supernatural character if the case so merits.


I. CRITERIA FOR JUDGING, AT LEAST WITH PROBABILITY,
THE CHARACTER
OF THE PRESUMED APPARITIONS OR REVELATIONS


A) Positive Criteria:
a) Moral certitude, or at least great probability of the existence of the fact, acquired by means of a serious investigation;
b) Particular circumstances relative to the existence and to the nature of the fact, that is to say:
1. Personal qualities of the subject or of the subjects (in particular, psychological equilibrium, honesty and rectitude of moral life, sincerity and habitual docility towards Ecclesiastical Authority, the capacity to return to a normal regimen of a life of faith, etc.);
2. As regards revelation: true theological and spiritual doctrine and immune from error;
3. Healthy devotion and abundant and constant spiritual fruit (for example, spirit of prayer, conversion, testimonies of charity, etc.).
B) Negative Criteria:
a) Manifest error concerning the fact.
b) Doctrinal errors attributed to God himself, or to the Blessed Virgin Mary, or to some saint in their manifestations, taking into account however the possibility that the subject might have added, even unconsciously, purely human elements or some error of the natural order to an authentic supernatural revelation (cf. Saint Ignatius, Exercises, no. 336).
c) Evidence of a search for profit or gain strictly connected to the fact.
d) Gravely immoral acts committed by the subject or his or her followers when the fact occurred or in connection with it.
e) Psychological disorder or psychopathic tendencies in the subject, that with certainty influenced on the presumed supernatural fact, or psychosis, collective hysteria or other things of this kind.
It is to be noted that these criteria, be they positive or negative, are not peremptory but rather indicative, and they should be applied cumulatively or with some mutual convergence.


II. INTERVENTION
OF THE COMPETENT ECCLESIASTICAL AUTHORITY


1. If, on the occasion of a presumed supernatural fact, there arises in a spontaneous way among the faithful a certain cult or some devotion, the competent Ecclesiastical Authority has the serious duty of looking into it without delay and of diligently watching over it.
2. If the faithful request it legitimately (that is, in communion with the Pastors, and not prompted by a sectarian spirit), the competent Ecclesiastical Authority can intervene to permit or promote some form of cult or devotion, if, after the application of the above criteria, nothing stands in the way. They must be careful that the faithful not interpret this practice as approval of the supernatural nature of the fact on the part of the Church (cf. Preliminary note c).
3. By reason of its doctrinal and pastoral task, the competent Authority can intervene motu proprio and indeed must do so in grave circumstances, for example in order to correct or prevent abuses in the exercise of cult and devotion, to condemn erroneous doctrine, to avoid the dangers of a false or unseemly mysticism, etc.
4. In doubtful cases that clearly do not put the good of the Church at risk, the competent Ecclesiastical Authority is to refrain from any judgment and from any direct action (because it can also happen that, after a certain period of time, the presumed supernatural fact falls into oblivion); it must not however cease from being vigilant by intervening if necessary, with promptness and prudence.


III. AUTHORITIES COMPETENT TO INTERVENE


1. Above all, the duty of vigilance and intervention falls to the Ordinary of the place.
2. The regional or national Conference of Bishops can intervene:
a) If the Ordinary of the place, having done his part, turns to it to judge the matter with greater certainty;
b) If the matter pertains to the national or regional level; always, however, with the prior consent of the Ordinary of the place.
3. The Apostolic See can intervene if asked either by the Ordinary himself, by a qualified group of the faithful, or even directly by reason of the universal jurisdiction of the Supreme Pontiff (cf. infra, no. IV).


IV. ON THE INTERVENTION
OF THE SACRED CONGREGATION
FOR THE DOCTRINE OF THE FAITH


1. a) The intervention of the Sacred Congregation can be requested either by the Ordinary, after he has done his part, or by a qualified group of the faithful. In this second case, care must be taken that recourse to the Sacred Congregation not be motivated by suspect reasons (for example, in order to compel the Ordinary to modify his own legitimate decisions, to support some sectarian group, etc.).
b) It is up to the Sacred Congregation to intervene motu proprio in graver cases, especially if the matter affects the larger part of the Church, always after having consulted the Ordinary and even, if the situation requires, the Conference of Bishops.
2. It is up to the Sacred Congregation to judge and approve the Ordinary’s way of proceeding or, in so far as it be possible and fitting, to initiate a new examination of the matter, distinct from that undertaken by the Ordinary and carried out either by the Sacred Congregation itself or by a special Commission.
The Present Norms, deliberated in the Plenary Session of this Sacred Congregation, were approved by the Supreme Pontiff, Paul VI on 24 February 1978.
In Rome, from the palace of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 25 February 1978.


Francis Cardinal Šeper
Prefect


Jérôme Hamer, O.P.
http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/congregations/cfaith/documents/rc_con_cfaith_doc_19780225_norme-apparizioni_en.htmlSecretary
  

"Diabolical Influence" Part Three

I have set forth the definitions of discernment by Garrigou-Lagrange earlier this week and followed up those posts with these on false apparitions. The reason for the connection is this: discernment, a gift given to all Catholics in confirmation as part of the gifts of counsel and knowledge. Counsel perfects the virtue of prudence.

Now, the charismatics and other groups have ruined definitions concerning "gifts" teaching people that not all gifts belong to all Catholics. This is an error. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to all Catholics. But, how these gifts are used determines a person's ministry. To deny that all receive the list of gifts below in confirmation would be bordering on heresy. That one needs to cooperate with the development of these gifts in grace is an essential truth. Some extraordinary gifts, as listed by Paul for the up building of the Church, are not given to all in the same way. But, Paul claimed he had all the gifts, and I think his comment was to make us all realize that this is a possibility, even for the extraordinary gifts. These two types of gifts are not to be confused, and some people want to make others think discernment is a special gift, when it is part of the gift of knowledge, which we all get in confirmation, and need.

When St. Paul writes that some people are prophets and some teachers, he is explaining that the roles in the Church use gifts in different ways. As written on this blog in the past on gifts and virtues, the gifts perfect the virtues received in baptism.

Baptism and confirmation are necessary for the life of the Catholic. The list is given below.

What diabolical influence does is twist the virtues and the gifts, taking away the clarity of discernment, knowledge, counsel and wisdom.

For example, in a false apparition or false messages, knowledge of the Church regarding salvation may be and is frequently twisted into heretical statements. One of the most obvious twisting of truths has to do with a famous seer telling people, as if God said this, that it is permissible for Catholics and Orthodoxs to attend regularly each other's liturgies. As this statement is against both the solemn teaching of the Catholic and the Orthodox Churches, one sees immediately a discrepancy in truth.

Those who chose to follow the false teaching of this seer fall into error because of the demonic influences, a serious problem as souls are then led astray into heresy. The gift of knowledge is twisted and the virtue of prudence set aside by those who, instead of following the teachings of the Church, follow the seer.

As I have noted many times here, I found in the early days of the website The Warning many doctrinal errors. I have done what every Catholic adult has done and learned my Faith, which is not exhaustive, as one can study this rich deposit all one's life and not know all, but we must know the basics. That is our responsibility as adults.

Once people are led to leave one truth of Catholic teaching, they open themselves up to following other false teachings. The list of the above errors is on this blog.

We are responsible not to leave the teaching authority of the Church, preferring individuals who claim direct knowledge from God. The first test of authenticity is whether the messages conform to Catholic teaching and in no way contradict this.

The demons involved in the masterly deceit make some believe "truths" which are lies, contrary to God's Revelation to us already.

This demonic influence involves sin if the persons have been instructed as to the deviations from doctrine and still follow the seers, over the long heritage of teaching in the Church.

When one decides on private revelation over Church teaching, one is in serious sin, if one has had that knowledge shown to them by someone, including the CDF. If people ignore local bishops and the CDF, their souls are in danger of losing first wisdom, then counsel, then knowledge and then the Faith entirely.

Another example is a seer from many years ago who had visions of God the Father as a person, in human form. If one knows one's faith, one knows that the Father is a Spirit, that Christ in Incarnate, and that the Holy Spirit is likewise a Spirit. In the lives of the saints and in the visions of approved mystics, the Father comes to the person through Christ, and in Spirit. But, the setting aside of Catholic teaching reveals an ignorance, or worse, the purposeful acceptance of falsehood.

Satan and the demons of the air are smarter than we are. They have the ability to make something seem true which is false. But, we have the virtues, gifts and graces to withstand such deceit. One can see that if one allows diabolical influences into one's life, the danger of damnation becomes a real possibility. This is why knowing the Faith and obeying the Church regarding visionaries is essential.

Our souls are safe resting in the virtue of obedience. St. Teresa herself wrote that anything which was revealed and against the Creed would not be from God. So too, by extension, anything shared which is against Catholic doctrine would be from satan and not God.

Also, if you readers go back into my posts on St. John of the Cross, you will remember that he said clearly that a sign of holiness is the acceptance of suffering and the moving away from seeking consolation. A sign of those who are on the way to perfection is this acceptance of suffering and ignoring of spiritual consolations, seeing these as distractions. Follow the tags.

The popes and bishops determine true apparitions and messages, not individuals. And until Rome approves, one should avoid. This is more than common sense, it is imperative in order to protect one's soul from deceit.

St. John XXIII made a statement which is hardly considered on this subject on February 18th, 1959:

"We urge you to listen to the salutary warnings of the Mother of God
with simplicity of heart and uprightness of spirit. The Roman Pontiffs are constituted the guardians and interpreters of divine Revelation, as contained in Holy Scripture and Tradition; but they also have the duty to recommend to the attention of the faithful - when, following mature examination, they judge it opportune for the general good - those supernatural lights which it pleases God to dispense freely to certain privileged souls, not in order to propose new doctrines, but in order to guide our conduct." (cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, II. 11 , q. 174, art. 6 ad 3m)


All Catholics have the gifts given and here, again, is the list from the CCC:
  1. 1831 The seven gifts of the Holy Spirit are wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. They belong in their fullness to Christ, Son of David. They complete and perfect the virtues of those who receive them. They make the faithful docile in readily obeying divine inspirations.
To be continued....


Is The CCC Infallible?

Someone asked me a question which led to another question and so on. The nature of the Catechism of the Catholic Church is this.

In matters of the re-statement of doctrine and dogma, already clarified by councils, encyclicals and the Doctors of the Church in the past, the CCC is infallible as a secondary source quoting infallible sources.

In matters of commentary on lesser topics, not involving doctrine or dogma, the CCC is one more resource text, like the Roman Catechism, or the Catechism of the Council of Trent, and the Baltimore Catechism, in that these books are compendiums of Catholic teaching. Some things, such as changes in Church practice, like the listing of certain Canons which may have been changed over the years in revisions, would be reflected in the newer catechism. The CCC is a secondary resource using primary material in giving the universal Church a compendium of the teachings of the Church.

When I say it is a secondary resource, I mean that the truths expressed in the CCC regarding doctrine and dogma are all found elsewhere, such as in the Scriptures, encyclicals and council documents.

However, the CCC is part of the ordinary teaching of the Catholic Church and part of the expression of the collegiality of the bishops, as explained by Joseph Ratzinger. It is also a resource book for the entire Church, and for all the bishops of the Church. No one can ignore it.

Here is the statement of St. John Paul II on the CCC. "The Catechism of the Catholic Church, which I approved June 25th last and the publication of which I today order by virtue of my Apostolic Authority, is Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition, and the Church's Magisterium. I declare it to be a sure norm for teaching the faith and thus a valid and legitimate instrument for ecclesial communion." Fidei Depositum


Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Obedience, obedience, obedience..............

One old example of disobedience...and good guidelines, which I have also written on this blog before finding this...
http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2009/11/obedience-to-catholic-church-judging.html

The root cause of the ongoing deception: The necessity of spiritual direction and obedience The important missing element which allowed for the ongoing demonic deceptions in the life of Sr. Magdalena was the absence of a priest spiritual director to guide and discern her alleged mystical gifts and supernatural graces. Obedience is the "litmus test" of the Church, and it seems that Sr. Magdalena was never subjected to obedience to a spiritual director. Had she been, the demonic deceptions would certainly have been detected much sooner. Mystics and visionaries should always be guided by a priest spiritual director, and it should always be the priest who directs the mystic, and NOT the mystic who directs the priest. A priest spiritual director represents Christ and His authority within the Church, and therefore mystical and supernatural graces should be subjected to this authority to help discern their authenticity.

For sure another one of the spiritual lessons is that all that glitters is not necessarily gold, and the devil does not counterfeit tin or copper, or even silver---he seeks to counterfeit gold. So we need to be very careful, with the help of God, not to be misled by his phony deceptions. - See more at: http://www.mysticsofthechurch.com/2011/12/sister-magdalena-of-cross-nun-who-made.html#sthash.DPaahhyo.dpuf

"Diabolic Influence" Part Two

Someone wants to know what the signs of diabolic influence are when connected to visionaries and those who follow them.

Here are a few bullets.
  • Consistent disobedience to the rulings of the CDF and local bishops, with the proud attitude that one does not have to obey liberal bishops concerning seers and visions. Seers also exhibit disobedience to bishops.
  • Pre-occupation with consolations from God and a determination that these consolations mean the seers are true. Consolations can be from the evil one, as these are based on emotion.
  • Carelessness about doctrinal points, not considering the long teaching of the Church concerning the persons of the Trinity, Mary, and the nature of the Church. Often, the ecclesiology and Christology of the false seers are heretical.
  • Insistence that private revelations be considered seriously as part of one's spiritual life, instead of one developing one's own relationship with God. In other words, Satan deflects a person's focus.
  • Willful ignorance concerning sin, absolution, the Petrine authority and apostolic succession as residing in the Catholic Church.
  • Messages which state all religions are the same and there are many ways to God, clearly satanic, as there is only one way to God and that is Christ.
  • Fanatical loyalty to persons instead of to God, idolatry of people and places instead of detachment.
  • False fruits, false prophecies, which undermine the authority and teaching of the Catholic Church.
  • Money-making endeavors which make the seers rich and famous-a clear indication of falsity and demonic influences-at least three popular, unapproved seers or group of seers and their families have become rich on the false visions. Note that this is very different from Blessed Jacinta and Francesco and St. Bernadette and their families.
  • Refusal to repent when errors are pointed out clearly, especially doctrinal errors and false prophecies. A stubborness sets in to the hearts of the followers as well as the seers.
  • The followers place the messages over and above doctrine and dogma, again undermining the authority of the Teaching Magisterium.
  • Judgmental attitudes towards bishops and priests who disagree with the visions and seers. False support of the seers who sometimes adopt a victim attitude.
  • Denial of sin and punishment, such as the denial of hell-universal salvation as accepted
  • Denial of the fact that the way to perfection is already known and has been so there is no need for further knowledge.
  • Absolute error in stating that Revelation continues, when in fact it ended with the last word of the book of Apocalypse.
  • Hatred and despising of authority and those who disagree with the visions on the part of the followers, who create an "us" and "them" attitude. 
  • Refusal to study the encyclicals and the CCC, stating the visions are more important.
All this indicates a rebellious nature and a Gnostic tendency to want to be one of the special few who get to heaven with arcane knowledge, instead of seeing that the simplicity of the Gospel is the way to holiness.

Satan wants to undermine the authority of the Church. He wants to take people away from studying and appropriating an adult faith. He wants to distract them by creating a fanaticism for consolations. 

The way to holiness is the Cross.

to be continued....

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