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Friday, 29 May 2015

Time for A Review on Providence in These Darkening Times

From Julian of Norwich:

God, of thy goodness, give me Thyself;
for Thou art enough for me,
and I can ask for nothing less
that can be full honor to Thee.
And if I ask anything that is less,
ever Shall I be in want,
for only in Thee have I all.” 
“...deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, 'You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well', as if he said, 'Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy.” 
 Revelations of Divine Love

In February of 2012, the Pope Emeritus, then the active pope, stated this:

“In prayer we must be able to bring before God our fatigue, the suffering of certain situations and of certain days, our daily struggle to follow him and to be Christians, and even the weight of evil we see within us and around us, because he gives us hope, makes us aware of his nearness and gives us a little light on the path of life,” he said.

He also said that Christ in Gethsemane had to face the horror of accepting the punishment of all the sins of the world in order to overcome sin. We, too, get power to overcome sin and even death by accepting great suffering. By overcoming suffering and the anxiety suffering brings, we overcome  the limitations of our own will and become perfected through trials.

“Jesus tells us that only by conforming their will to the divine will can human beings achieve their true stature and become ‘divine.’”

Because of some serious problems in my own life, I have to return to contemplating Divine Providence. One must turn against one's feelings of stress and constriction in the face of troubles and turn to God in humility.

God allows trials and sufferings which are out of our control. Sometimes we cannot understand why such a trial has happened. This is my state at this moment. An odd thing which I did not expect has occurred which is very serious. In order not to succumb to stress or anxiety, I must turn to God in His perfect will and ignore my feelings and fears.

Such is the daily choice I make in trusting in Divine Providence.

Here is a bit of Garrigou-Lagrange on this, from his famous book, which is online. My comments are in blue.


19. Why And In What Matters We Should Abandon Ourselves To Providence

The doctrine of self-abandonment to divine providence is a doctrine obviously founded on the Gospel, but it has been falsely construed by the Quietists, who gave themselves up to a spiritual sloth, more or less renounced the struggle necessary for the attainment of perfection, and seriously depreciated the value and necessity of hope or confidence in God, of which true self-abandonment is a higher form.
But it is possible also to depart from the Gospel teaching on this point in a sense entirely opposite to that of the Quietists with their idle repose, by going to the other extreme of a useless disquiet and agitation.

Many priests in the confessional do not realize that anxiety is actually a sin. It is a lack of trust in God. Agitation cannot be in the soul at peace with God's Holy Will. This practice of the presence of God demands attention.

Now, some anxiety can be a physical, chemical imbalance in the body, but the common anxiety brought on by trials and suffering mostly reveals a giving in to fear and emotional responses to things.

Today, when I was anxious about a situation I do not want to share at this time, I remembered the Scriptures wherein Christ assured us that He was with us always, and would give us the right words to deal with those who hate Him. I, as well as you, Dear Readers, are up against those who hate God.

Here as elsewhere the truth is the culminating point lying between and transcending these two extreme conflicting errors. It behooves us therefore to determine exactly the meaning and import of the true doctrine of self-abandonment to the will of God if we are to be saved from these sophistries, which have no more than a false appearance of Christian perfection.

We shall first see why it is we should practice this self-abandonment to Providence, and then in what matters. After that we shall see what form it should take and what is the attitude of Providence toward those who abandon themselves completely to it.

We shall get our inspiration from the teaching of St. Francis de Sales, [50] Bossuet, [51] Pere Piny, O.P., [52] and Pere de Caussade, S.J. [53]

Why we should abandon ourselves to divine providence

The answer of every Christian will be that the reason lies in the wisdom and goodness of Providence. This is very true; nevertheless, if we are to have a proper understanding of the subject, if we are to avoid the error of the Quietists in renouncing more or less the virtue of hope and the struggle necessary for salvation, if we are to avoid also the other extreme of disquiet, precipitation, and a feverish, fruitless agitation, it is expedient for us to lay down four principles already somewhat accessible to natural reason and clearly set forth in revelation as found in Scripture. These principles underlying the true doctrine of self-abandonment, also bring out the motive inspiring it.
The first of these principles is that everything which comes to pass has been foreseen by God from all eternity, and has been willed or at least permitted by Him.

We have a hard time understanding that God allows, permits suffering. A famous interview of a British actor who reveals hatred of God because He allows children to get diseases reminds us that the atheist does not see God's glory in overcoming suffering. When one is "in suffering", yes, it it difficult to see beyond the edge of the trench and trust in God, but we are called to this trust.

God has permitted me to suffer several set-backs lately, one after another. These sufferings do require attention, but as those who have suffered know, one becomes physically exhausted with intense suffering. But, God has seen this moment of trial in which I find myself, with something completely out of my control from all time. Yes, He has also seen past decisions which may have led to this trial such as moving or even experiencing the sins of others against me. Some of our suffering we cause and some is caused by those who sin in our lives. But, God foresaw all these happenings. He has willed everything which happens for His Glory.

Nothing comes to pass either in the material or in the spiritual world, but God has foreseen it from all eternity; because with Him there ii no passing from ignorance to knowledge as with us, and He has nothing to learn from events as they occur. Not only has God foreseen everything that is happening now or will happen in the future, but whatever reality and goodness there is in these things He has willed; and whatever evil or moral disorder is in them, He has merely permitted. Holy Scripture is explicit on this point, and, as the councils have declared, no room is left for doubt in the matter.

This next point reminds us that God is in charge daily of all small, medium, and large events in our lives. Even if incongruous or mysterious evils occur, God has allowed these for His purposes. This is our faith

The second principle is that nothing can be willed or permitted by God that does not contribute to the end He purposed in creating, which is the manifestation of His goodness and infinite perfections, and the glory of the God-man Jesus Christ, His only Son. As St. Paul says (I Cor. 2: 23), "All are yours. And you are Christ's. And Christ is God's."

In addition to these two principles, there is a third, which St. Paul states thus (Rom. 8:28) : "We know that to them that love God all things work together unto good: to such as, according to His purpose, are called to be saints" and persevere in His love. God sees to it that everything contributes to their spiritual welfare, not only the grace He bestows on them, not only those natural qualities He endows them with, but sickness too, and contradictions and reverses; as St. Augustine tells us, even their very sins, which God only permits in order to lead them on to a truer humility and thereby to a purer love. It was thus He permitted the threefold denial of St. Peter, to make the great Apostle more humble, more mistrustful of self, and by this very means become stronger and trust more in the divine mercy.

The situation which is causing me suffering, a contradiction, a reversal, has been permitted by God to lead me to more humility, (yes, this is a great humiliation), and will, if I cooperate, lead me to trust in God much more than I have. Sometimes, when we have discernment and see the bigger picture of our little suffering, this pain increases our doubts, anxieties and all we can do is make a prayer of trust to God. I have placed one at the bottom of this post.

Frequently, Americans, who are "doers" and not contemplative, think they can fix everything with effort. This is simply not true. Sometimes one must accept keen trials inflicted not by sin, but by the "stuff of life" as one seminarian called this. "Things happen". 

But, Providence demands that we do become like little children trusting Our Father, and this may involve stages of trust. Three weeks ago, I encountered one stage, then, the following week a second, then, the third week brought another, and this week brings another test. Why?

So that I can practice trusting in God in many different types of situations, especially with those who no longer love Him or serve Him. Julian of Norwich wrote:

“He said not 'Thou shalt not be tempested, thou shalt not be travailed, thou shalt not be dis-eased'; but he said, 'Thou shalt not be overcome.” 

Garrigou-Lagrange continues.....

These first three principles may therefore be summed up in this way: Nothing comes to pass but God has foreseen it, willed it or at least permitted it. He wills nothing, permits nothing, unless for the manifestation of His goodness and infinite perfections, for the glory of His Son, and the welfare of those that love Him. In view of these three principles, it is evident that our trust in Providence cannot be too childlike, too steadfast. Indeed, we may go further and say that this trust in Providence should be blind as is our faith, the object of which is those mysteries that are non-evident and unseen (fides est de non visis) for we are certain beforehand that Providence is directing all things infallibly to a good purpose, and we are more convinced of the rectitude of His designs than we are of the best of our own intentions. Therefore, in abandoning ourselves to God, all we have to fear is that our submission will not be wholehearted enough. [54]

Fides est de non visis--living by faith and not by sight may be a challenge for many others than myself. I cannot see the end or even the middle of the trial in which I find myself. I cannot do anything but try and cooperate with the humility this trial brings. To be childlike, I must ask for grace, the grace of complete trust in God.

All I have to fear is what Garrigou-Lagrange states in the last sentence of the last paragraph here. I must fear displeasing God but not trusting Him, a sin which St. Teresa of Avila notes insults God.

God has allowed me to endure, at the end of three weeks, intense suffering which reminds me of the Desert Fathers in their search for humility. They sought the desert to find humility. I have been plunged into the desert.

Like St. Mary of Egypt, I have no protector on this earth but God Himself. He must be my help and my shield.

A prayer of trust:

Psalm 30 Douay-Rheims

30 Unto the end, a psalm for David, in an ecstasy.
In thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me never be confounded: deliver me in thy justice.
3 Bow down thy ear to me: make haste to deliver me. Be thou unto me a God, a protector, and a house of refuge, to save me.
For thou art my strength and my refuge; and for thy name's sake thou wilt lead me, and nourish me.
Thou wilt bring me out of this snare, which they have hidden for me: for thou art my protector.
6 Into thy hands I commend my spirit: thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, the God of truth.
Thou hast hated them that regard vanities, to no purpose. But I have hoped in the Lord:
I will be glad and rejoice in thy mercy. For thou hast regarded my humility, thou hast saved my soul out of distresses.
9 And thou hast not shut me up in the hands of the enemy: thou hast set my feet in a spacious place.
10 Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I am afflicted: my eye is troubled with wrath, my soul, and my belly:
11 For my life is wasted with grief: and my years in sighs. My strength is weakened through poverty and my bones are disturbed.
1I am become a reproach among all my enemies, and very much to my neighbours; and a fear to my acquaintance. They that saw me without fled from me.
13 I am forgotten as one dead from the heart. I am become as a vessel that is destroyed.
14 For I have heard the blame of many that dwell round about. While they assembled together against me, they consulted to take away my life.
15 But I have put my trust in thee, O Lord: I said: Thou art my God.
16 My lots are in thy hands. Deliver me out of the hands of my enemies; and from them that persecute me.
17 Make thy face to shine upon thy servant; save me in thy mercy.
18 Let me not be confounded, O Lord, for I have called upon thee. Let the wicked be ashamed, and be brought down to hell.

19 Let deceitful lips be made dumb. Which speak iniquity against the just, with pride and abuse.
20 O how great is the multitude of thy sweetness, O Lord, which thou hast hidden for them that fear thee! Which thou hast wrought for them that hope in thee, in the sight of the sons of men.
21 Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy face, from the disturbance of men. Thou shalt protect them in thy tabernacle from the contradiction of tongues.
22 Blessed be the Lord, for he hath shewn his wonderful mercy to me in a fortified city.
23 But I said in the excess of my mind: I am cast away from before thy eyes. Therefore thou hast heard the voice of my prayer, when I cried to thee.
24 O love the Lord, all ye his saints: for the Lord will require truth, and will repay them abundantly that act proudly.
25 Do ye manfully, and let your heart be strengthened, all ye that hope in the Lord.

Ten Years Ago

Ten years ago tomorrow, a beautiful young girl disappeared in Aruba. As a mother of a teen at the time, I was riveted by the story for several reasons. Mothers "mother" and allow their children independence in steps. We try and balance safety and common sense with allowing a young person to grow up and make some independent decisions.

Sadly, there are too many predators ready to take advantage of naivete.

Looking back at my upbringing, in a world which has long gone, I remember the amount of freedom we had as kids and teens to learn to judge situations. Prudence is a virtue which can be learned through practice. But, now, most young people are treated like "hot-house" plants because too many parents fall into fear. No doubt, the world is a more dangerous place than 1965, or 1975.

Tragically, there is a long list of missing children, and the horror stories, all true, of pedophilia in England by gangs which groom girls for sex. do mean that a parent has to train children and teens to be careful, avoid "bad places" and no out with people one does not know.

The main suspect is now in prison for twenty-eight years for a murder in Peru. That young woman was killed five years ago today, and exactly five years after the first one disappeared.

I have believed that the lack of male protector-types has led to the increased level of violent crimes against women. I pray that more boys are raised to be protectors rather than predators. Predators must be gross narcissists. They have no moral framework or ethical reference outside their own desires and passions.

Two young women, one dead and one most likely dead, needed protectors on May 30th, 2005 and 2010.

Serious Thoughts

I have written about this before, but a reader today from Down Under wrote with the hope that when the sacraments disappear from the lack of priests, he hopes he is found "on the right side".

Me, too.

I have been pondering for almost four months life without sacraments, as I could not get to daily Mass or weekly confession until recently. This lack of the sacraments could only be endured because I was praying so much during the day, trying to keep at least three monastic hours, doing my three sets of third order prayers, as well as contemplation, rosaries, and Divine Mercy chaplet.

Without the sacraments, almost constant prayer is absolutely needed. Therefore, the Benedictine way of working in the Presence of God becomes essential in a barren land without the usual means of sanctifying grace.

Think on this. How would you react without the sacraments in your area? I pray for perseverance and for courage, for long-suffering, for deep, deep patience, and for peace.

Imagine no daily Mass, no Sunday Mass, no regular must learn to repent immediately of venial sins and break habits now in order to remain in grace, as venial sins weaken the will and lead to mortal sins too often.

Think of no priests in your area, no Adoration, no sermons or meetings of parishioners who may encourage and help you.

One reason for persecution is the purification of the faithful. Many saints came out of the English suppression of the Catholic Faith, but the price to become and to stay holy could be high.

Are you ready for this scenario? Are you willing not to follow the majority who will go after the easy way out and the comfort of compromise?

Please consider these serious thoughts. One must become grounded in the daily discipline of love in order to keep the faith and hope through hard times.

I pray for fortitude and courage. I pray for perseverance and strength. Let us all pray for each other.

The Meaning of the Fig Tree

Many Catholics seem perplexed by today's Gospel reading. The message is relatively simple. We need to be cooperating with grace when things are good and smooth, and when things are difficult and rough.

It is easy to be holy when everything is going "my way". But, when one's will is being crossed and when one is not in a physically comfortable place, the real depth of a person's grace-filled life can be revealed.

Three weeks into chaos, movement, "mess", as the Pope would state, I find that God wants me and others who are truly Christian to be able to respond in love and calmness to any situation.

Turning to God immediately in the mind, making a rational act to cooperate with grace makes one "faithful in little things".  Daily, we are in these situations and one is shown the limitations of holiness in certain situations.

Pettiness seems to be a common sin we can all fall into daily--getting upset about the small things, the very small things, instead of letting go and seeing the big picture. In good times and in stressful times, one must be ready to be loving and always take the humble position.

Mark 11:11-26

11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple; and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.
12 On the next day, when they had left Bethany, He became hungry. 13 Seeing at a distance a fig tree in leaf, He went to see if perhaps He would find anything on it; and when He came to it, He found nothing but leaves, for it was not the season for figs. 14 He said to it, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again!” And His disciples were listening.

Jesus Drives Money Changers from the Temple

15 Then they *came to Jerusalem. And He entered the temple and began to drive out those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling [a]doves;16 and He would not permit anyone to carry [b]merchandise through the temple.17 And He began to teach and say to them, “Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations’? But you have made it a robbers’ [c]den.”18 The chief priests and the scribes heard this, and began seeking how to destroy Him; for they were afraid of Him, for the whole crowd was astonished at His teaching.
19 When evening came, [d]they would go out of the city.
20 As they were passing by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered from the roots up. 21 Being reminded, Peter *said to Him, “Rabbi, look, the fig tree which You cursed has withered.” 22 And Jesus *answered saying to them, Have faith in God. 23 Truly I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says is going to happen, it will be granted him. 24 Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. 25 Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions. 26 [[e]But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father who is in heaven forgive your transgressions.”]

Some people ask why this particular fig tree was cursed by Christ and died, especially used by Christ as an example for all of us Catholics to see what would happen to us if we are not producing fruit when God expects us to do so.
Why must we pay attention to this image from the Scriptures? 
Christ demonstrates the justice of God by cursing the fig tree-if it has no fruit, it is already dead. God gives all people sufficient grace for salvation, but He gives efficacious grace freely to those who He has deemed will use this grace.

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange on efficacious grace, which is a bit of a repeat on this blog, but a necessary reminder and timely today.

In the New Testament, too, we find: “Without Me you can do nothing” (John 15:5). Therefore grace is not rendered efficacious through our consent; rather, on the contrary, without the grace of Christ we do not consent to the good conducive to salvation. “My sheep hear My voice . . . and I give them life everlasting and they shall not perish forever, and no man shall pluck them out of My hand. That which My Father hath given Me, is greater than all; and no one can snatch them out of the hand of My Father” (ibid., 10:27-29). That is to say, the souls of the just are in the hand of God, nor can the world with all its temptations nor the demon snatch the elect from the hand of God. Cf. St. Thomas’ commentary on this passage.  It reiterates the words of St. Paul: “Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation or distress or famine . . . or the sword?. . . But in all these things we overcome, because of [or through] Him that hath loved us. . . . For I am sure that neither death nor life . . . nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35-39). St. Thomas comments here that either St. Paul is speaking in the person of the predestinate or, if of himself personally, then it was thanks to a special revelation. Elsewhere St. Paul writes: “Not that we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves, as of ourselves: but our sufficiency is from God” (II Cor. 3:5). If we are not sufficient to think anything conducive to salvation of ourselves, with still greater reason is this true of giving our consent, which is primary in the role of salvation. Again, “For the word of God is living and effectual, and more piercing than any two-edged sword; and reaching unto the division of the soul and the spirit, of the joints also and the marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. . . . All things are naked and open to His eyes” (Heb. 4:12 f.). Cf. St. Thomas’ commentary: “The word of God is said to be effectual on account of the very great power and infinite effective force which it possesses. For by it are all things made: ‘By the word of the Lord the heavens were established’ (Ps. 32:6). . . . It effects in the innermost being of things . . . all our works . . . In the order of causes it is to be observed that a prior cause always acts more intimately than a subsequent cause.”

Be grateful daily for the graces which God has given you, even the grace to study and follow blogs. 
God does not ask the impossible. All are given sufficient graces to convert, to accept Him as Saviour. But, God also expects us to use the graces He generously gives to those to whom He has chosen to join Him in heaven.

In Rom. 9:14-16 we read: “What shall we say then? Is there injustice in God? God forbid. For He saith to Moses: I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy; and I will show mercy to whom I will show mercy. So then it is not of him that willeth nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth mercy” (cf. Exod. 33:19)1 To the Philippians, St. Paul writes: “With fear and trembling work out your salvation. For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to His good will” (2:13); hence the soul should fear sin or separation from God, the author of salvation; cf. St. Thomas’ commentary.

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Book Review

I have read the Demons, Deliverance and Discernment one and it is balanced. This priest worked with Fr. Ripperger for awhile. I know him personally and he is a great TLM priest.

I highly suggest reading this book.


For those who did not take my word on this topic...

Great website!

If anyone wants to order any of the books on this website for me to discuss on the blog, feel free to do so.

The Freedom to Pray and Act Is Now...Now!

Please join me in prayer for that place where I can set up the chapel again and pray as I was doing for years. The call to prayer is not an easy out of the lay life, but the heart of the Church and all the actions which come out of the virtues of those doing good works.

A few days ago, I discovered that more people than I have thought, including those who are wealthy, have been refused entry into certain countries in order to see their children who are citizens of those countries.

I have also discovered that in some ways the United States government is treating some of its own citizens as second-class, demanding new restrictions in various areas of residency in a particular state, in business, in banking.

The movements of many are being circumscribed on purpose. In the past, when people could travel, they met and encouraged other Catholics who were the remnant. This may not ever happen again.

If you are not in an area where you are being fed by the liturgy, or with other real Catholics, now is the time to move.

One makes sacrifices. There is a growing community building up around Clear Creek Monastery. If you have a home-based business, or can easily re-locate financially, (unlike me), move there asap.

My calls for Catholics to pod have been ignored by many who simply have fallen into spiritual sloth, cannot extricate themselves from where they are for good reasons, or who are fearful.

I must say that many people I have met in the States are either too fearful, and therefore, not open to community, or just cannot see the handwriting on the wall.

Please pray for me today, as I sort out things here, to find that place where I can have the hidden life of prayer, blog, if God desires that, and have a stable lifestyle.

It very well may be not where I am now, or it could be. There are obstacles.

I pray for you all to find that place of support. We shall need it in the days to come of persecution, which are looming, believe me, as I have been saying for years on this blog.

Do not hesitate or procrastinate doing something within your power to do....act now.

Behind Schedule

All my worldly goods, almost, bar a few things in Malta and a few things in England, as of now are under one roof. This is the first time I have been able to go through things in five years, and I must attack the last vestiges of books. STS has just taken his last philosophy course, ever, and he and I discussed which of the 1,400 books to pass on. We started with about 6,000, and I pared down to 4,000, then 2,000 and now this amount. Yesterday, I gave many books to a homeschooling family of three children for a start.

I am waiting here for a response from a monastery close by to see if the abbot wants some of these and if so, there these shall go.

Sadly, it is too expensive to send books to England, but I shall try and get some to STS. Of course, he has some of mine and I have some of his, and so on.

Such is life, as he states, as some things have "gone missing", and I am afraid some of my icons have "gone missing". And, I ask my self, "Why"?

I shall not be able to post much for the next few days and the encyclical on the Body of Christ discussion will be delayed. However, I am reading several other books which I shall share with you including The True Spouse of Jesus by St. Alphonsus Liguori.

Watch this space....many, many thanks to F, J, and C for the help moving. I honestly could not have done it without your help.

I am glad this basement does not flood.....

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

A Reminder...from St. John Bosco

“Very grave trials await the Church. What we have suffered so far is almost nothing compared to what is going to happen. The enemies of the Church are symbolized by the ships which strive their utmost to sink the flagship. Only two things can save us in such a grave hour: devotion to Mary and frequent Communion. Let us do our very best to use these two means and have others use them everywhere.”  St. John Bosco 

Report from a friend re: Walsingham

I knew when I went to Walsingham this year it would be different.  The reason being that the new shrine director is Mgr John Armitage. He is from the east end of London. Similar to the Bronx in New York.  He was used to every day being challenge.  He has set himself a challenge in Walsingham.  When I went to the first mass of the retreat our group was one of many groups who had come that day.  One of the groups was one of the largest which had come for quite a while because it was the Brentwood Diocesan pilgrimage, Mgr Armitage's last Diocese.  They not only came out to see him,but it was lead by Bishop Alan Williams, who in his previous role, was the shrine director of Our Lady of Walsingham.

It was the wonderful feast of Pentecost.  After the mass, Mgr Armitage introduced everyone to the 'blue bucket'.  Plans are afoot to make huge improvements to the shrine (not before time) to the amount of £10 million.  He has a bit to go, but with his enthusiasm the goal will become closer by the day.  I know that I went home with a totally empty purse.  Not a bean was left in it.  Well I did have a couple of medals in it so I held on to them in the hope that it wouldn't be empty for long............and it wasn't.  God is good. 

After a short service in the Annunciation church in Little Walsingham, candles were lit and the procession wound its way through the village, stopping for a history lesson outside the Abbey grounds to remind all of us how much suffering went on during the reformation. Behind the coach park is what is called the 'Martyrs Field'.  The long procession continued towards the Anglican shrine where there is a replica of the 'holy house of Nazareth'.  The Lourdes hymn was sung and the rosary prayers interjected in between.  The music echoed round the streets and as we entered into the shrine gardens our group joined up with an Anglican group.  Such a poignant moment.
The Anglicans separated and continued into the shrine church.  We then processed round the grounds and out again praying and singing back to the Friday Market where the Catholic church is situated.  Joy and hope filled my heart.  I am sure many more were affected by this unusual event --which will be not so unusual by the end of the summer.

My comment on another blog....

This overturn of religion did not happen overnight. I visited and stayed in Ireland for quite some time in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, and this past January, 2015. An excellent priest told me that the Irish Catholics did not appropriate their adult faith even in the 1950s,refusing to read or study their own religion. My take was that socialism and radical politics, as well as money, were more important than religion. Ireland is not a poor country. Dublin is a rich, international metropolis. Google International is located in Ireland, which has become a tax haven for American companies. The American, Hollywood idea of Ireland has been long gone. I was there when the abortion bill was pushed through the Dail. There was relatively little resistance.
What commentators are forgetting is that Ireland has cooperated more than most countries with the Big Brother of Brussels, giving up sovereignty in many areas, which are hidden to most Americans. Ireland has also pandered to American interests, many businesses, and American liberal groups which push international far left politics.
In addition, in 2012, when I was there, the banks accepted sharia law banking. Look that up, giving preference to loans given to Muslims in exchange for money deals with Saudi Arabia. This is not arcane knowledge, but was touted on the television and radio when I was there.
Also, many of the clergy, specifically the bishops, have given Communion to pro-abort politicians and have not stood up against ssm, and two came out and said vote “yes”. at least two. Again, this sea-change did not happen quickly, but in an atmosphere of growing hatred of the Catholic Church,. Of course, the sex scandals did not help clergy-laity relationships.
Catholic Ireland is officially dead, but it was dying a slow, long death, imho. There has been a disjoint between Catholic practice and politics since Catholic Ireland made a hero out of Charles Parnell, the “uncrowned king of Ireland”, despite his infamous adultery. Even then, Catholics turned against the Catholic Church, which, of course, condemned the man’s actions, and many so-called good Catholics sided with Parnell, making him some sort of martyr. This split between politics and religion is not new in the land of Patrick.
One more thing–neo-paganism, since another “hero”, William Butler Yeats, has made a huge comeback in Ireland, (and many have never left the Isle) in the form of satanism and witchcraft, which are both highly popular. One cannot ignore the fact that the slow fog of compromise grew into the storm we saw on Friday and that this fog was a long time growing in the hearts of many Irish people.

Sophronius Burying St. Mary of Egypt

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Living Among The Unbaptized

Over thirty "Protestant" denominations do not baptize or do not baptize in the only true form, that of the Trinity-"I baptize you in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit."

Baptism in the Name of Jesus is not valid, nor accepted in the Catholic Church as baptism.

Some denominations merely "dedicate" their children, babies to Christ and expect the adult to decide whether to be baptized or not.

Now, there is a generation (or two) of adults who have never been baptized. Recently, in southern Illinois, this was brought to my attention by a few discussions with three people, one who calls himself a "Bible Christian" and one who was baptized in a New Age Christian "church". The other person did not say whether she was baptized or not.

To live among people who are not baptized presents a new dimension of spiritual warfare to the Catholic. If people are baptized, they are adopted sons and daughters of God, heirs of heaven, and given the theological graces of faith, hope and charity.

If a person is not baptized, according to the teaching of the Church, that person is a "slave to sin". Trent is clear on baptism.

CANON I.-If any one saith, that the baptism of John had the same force as the baptism of Christ; let him be anathema.CANON II.-If any one saith, that true and natural water is not of necessity for baptism, and, on that account, wrests, to some sort of metaphor, those words of our Lord Jesus Christ; Unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost; let him be anathema.
CANON III.-If any one saith, that in the Roman church, which is the mother and mistress of all churches, there is not the true doctrine concerning the sacrament of baptism; let him be anathema.
CANON IV.-If any one saith, that the baptism which is even given by heretics in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, with the intention of doing what the Church doth, is not true baptism; let him be anathema.
CANON V.-If any one saith, that baptism is free, that is, not necessary unto salvation; let him be anathema.
CANON VI.-If any one saith, that one who has been baptized cannot, even if he would, lose grace, let him sin ever so much, unless he will not believe; let him be anathema.
CANON VII.-If any one saith, that the baptized are, by baptism itself, made debtors but to faith alone, and not to the observance of the whole law of Christ; let him be anathema.
CANON VIII.-If any one saith, that the baptized are freed from all the precepts, whether written or transmitted, of holy Church, in such wise that they are not bound to observe them, unless they have chosen of their own accord to submit themselves thereunto; let him be anathema.
CANON IX.-If any one saith, that the resemblance of the baptism which they have received is so to be recalled unto men, as that they are to understand, that all vows made after baptism are void, in virtue of the promise already made in that baptism; as if, by those vows, they both derogated from that faith which they have professed, and from that baptism itself; let him be anathema.
CANON X.-If any one saith, that by the sole remembrance and the faith of the baptism which has been received, all sins committed after baptism are either remitted, or made venial; let him be anathema.
CANON XI.-If any one saith, that baptism, which was true and rightly conferred, is to be repeated, for him who has denied the faith of Christ amongst Infidels, when he is converted unto penitence; let him be anathema.
CANON XII.-If any one saith, that no one is to be baptized save at that age at which Christ was baptized, or in the very article of death; let him be anathema.
CANON XIII.-If any one saith, that little children, for that they have not actual faith, are not, after having received baptism, to be reckoned amongst the faithful; and that, for this cause, they are to be rebaptized when they have attained to years of discretion; or, that it is better that the baptism of such be omitted, than that, while not believing by their own act, they should be bapized in the faith alone of the Church; let him be anathema.
CANON XIV.-If any one saith, that those who have been thus baptized when children, are, when they have grown up, to be asked whether they will ratify what their sponsors promised in their names when they were baptized; and that, in case they answer that they will not, they are to be left to their own will; and are not to be compelled meanwhile to a Christian life by any other penalty, save that they be excluded from the participation of the Eucharist, and of the other sacraments, until they repent; let him be anathema.
There is a demonic twitter trending today, in which teens are calling up a demon. Those who do this and are Catholic fall into mortal sin. Those who are not baptized have no way to defend themselves from either possession, obsession, or oppression. They have no "armour".

Sadly, we are now living among the unbaptized, who do not have, usually, sanctifying grace, and who cannot defend themselves against the powers of the devil. These people have no illumination of the mind, no virtues to strengthen the will, no grace to help them choose good over evil. We can do nothing without grace, and natural virtues do not get us to heaven.

If you have children, find out those in their play groups or school groups who are not baptized and speak with the children about this new problem in our culture. One cannot expect an unbaptized person to act, think, respond the same way as someone who is baptized.

Can God give sanctifying grace to anyone without baptism? Yes, of course. But, the ordinary way into the life of God's own life, which is what grace is, still remains the sacrament of baptism.

We must evangelize the neo-pagans. Their salvation and the salvation of those around them demand this. Our own baptismal promises demand this.

Matthew 28:19New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (

19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,


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

My comments are in blue here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

to be continued....