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Sunday, 30 June 2013

A Quick Note of Thanks

to benefactors, especially for my son. He was not at his computer, or even with regular internet, and not in his dorm room for about five weeks.  He was in a parish placement and on a long silent retreat. Thanks to those who sent socks and financial help for his very real needs.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Solitude...from John of the Cross

Bridegroom The small white dove has returned to the ark with an olive branch; and now the turtledove has found its longed-for mate by the green river banks.
She lived in solitude, and now in solitude has built her nest; and in solitude he guides her, he alone, who also bears in solitude the wound of love.

From John of the Cross

 from The Dark Night by John of the Cross

One dark night, fired with love's urgent longings - ah, the sheer grace! - I went out unseen, my house being now all stilled. In darkness, and secure, by the secret ladder, disguised, - ah, the sheer grace! - in darkness and concealment, my house being now all stilled. On that glad night in secret, for no one saw me, nor did I look at anything with no other light or guide than the One that burned in my heart. This guided me more surely than the light of noon to where he was awaiting me - him I knew so well - there in a place where no one appeared. O guiding night! O night more lovely than the dawn! O night that has united the Lover with his beloved, transforming the Beloved into his Lover. Upon my flowering breast, which I kept wholly for him alone, there he lay sleeping, and I caressing him there in a breeze from the fanning cedars. When the breeze blew from the turret, as I parted his hair, it wounded my neck with its gentle hand, suspending all my senses. I abandoned and forgot myself, laying my face on my Beloved; all things ceased; I went out from myself, leaving my cares forgotten among the lilies.

From John of the Cross-one

Now I occupy my soul and all my energy in his service; I no longer tend the herd, nor have I any other work now that my every act is love.
If, then, I am no longer seen or found on the common, you will say that I am lost; that, stricken by love, I lost myself, and was found.

From Cyril of Alexandria on His Feast Day

This is part of Cyril's commentary on the Last Supper discourse in John. Appropriate for a last posting, I think...

 from the Commentary on the Gospel of John (Lib. 10, 2: PG 74, 331-334) 

The prophet Isaiah calls Christ the foundation, because it is upon him that we as living and spiritual stones are built into a holy priesthood to be a dwelling place for God in the Spirit. Upon no other foundation than Christ can this temple be built. Here Christ is teaching the same truth by calling himself the vine, since the vine is the parent of its branches, and provides their nourishment.

From Christ and in Christ, we have been reborn through the Spirit in order to bear the fruit of life; not the fruit of our old, sinful life but the fruit of a new life founded upon our faith in him and our love for him. Like branches growing from a vine, we now draw our life from Christ, and we cling to his holy commandment in order to preserve this life. Eager to safeguard the blessing of our noble birth, we are careful not to grieve the Holy Spirit who dwells in us, and who makes us aware of God’s presence in us.

Let the wisdom of John teach us how we live in Christ and Christ lives in us: The proof that we are living in him and he is living in us is that he has given us a share in his Spirit. Just as the trunk of the vine gives its own natural properties to each of its branches, so, by bestowing on them the Holy Spirit, the Word of God, the only-begotten Son of the Father, gives Christians a certain kinship with himself and with God the Father because they have been united to him by faith and determination to do his will in all things. He helps them to grow in love and reverence for God, and teaches them to discern right from wrong and to act with integrity.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

USCCB Response to today's SCOTUS decision:
Today is a tragic day for marriage and our nation. The Supreme Court has dealt a profound injustice to the American people by striking down in part the federal Defense of Marriage Act. The Court got it wrong. The federal government ought to respect the truth that marriage is the union of one man and one woman, even where states fail to do so. The preservation of liberty and justice requires that all laws, federal and state, respect the truth, including the truth about marriage. It is also unfortunate that the Court did not take the opportunity to uphold California’s Proposition 8 but instead decided not to rule on the matter. The common good of all, especially our children, depends upon a society that strives to uphold the truth of marriage. Now is the time to redouble our efforts in witness to this truth. These decisions are part of a public debate of great consequence. The future of marriage and the well-being of our society hang in the balance.
Marriage is the only institution that brings together a man and a woman for life, providing any child who comes from their union with the secure foundation of a mother and a father.
Our culture has taken for granted for far too long what human nature, experience, common sense, and God’s wise design all confirm: the difference between a man and a woman matters, and the difference between a mom and a dad matters. While the culture has failed in many ways to be marriage-strengthening, this is no reason to give up. Now is the time to strengthen marriage, not redefine it.
When Jesus taught about the meaning of marriage – the lifelong, exclusive union of husband and wife – he pointed back to “the beginning” of God’s creation of the human person as male and female (see Matthew 19). In the face of the customs and laws of his time, Jesus taught an unpopular truth that everyone could understand. The truth of marriage endures, and we will continue to boldly proclaim it with confidence and charity.
Now that the Supreme Court has issued its decisions, with renewed purpose we call upon all of our leaders and the people of this good nation to stand steadfastly together in promoting and defending the unique meaning of marriage: one man, one woman, for life. We also ask for prayers as the Court’s decisions are reviewed and their implications further clarified.

A re-post of one I did for another blog on June 6th, 2013.

In 1899, Pope Leo XIII, (who should be canonized), dedicated the entire world to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. The wonderful nuns at Tyburn say this prayer daily at the end of Vespers. If you would like to join them, the prayer is below. The order drops the Islamic bit, but I share the original prayer of the Pope here as it is still published.  Many families in America, when I grew up, had the priest come to the house and enthrone the picture of the Sacred Heart with special prayers. I hope this is still done somewhere today.

Consecration of the Human Race to the Sacred Heart of Jesus

Most sweet Jesus, Redeemer of the human race, look down upon us humbly prostrate before Your altar. We are Yours, and Yours we wish to be; but, to be more surely united with You, behold each one of us freely consecrates himself today to Your Most Sacred Heart. Many indeed have never known You; many too, despising Your precepts, have rejected You. Have mercy on them all, most merciful Jesus, and draw them to Your Sacred Heart.

You are King, O Lord, not only of the faithful who have never forsaken You, but also of the prodigal children who have abandoned You; grant that they may quickly return to their Father's house lest they die of wretchedness and hunger.

You are King of those who are deceived by erroneous opinions, or whom discord keeps aloof; call them back to the harbor of truth and unity of faith, so that soon there may be but one flock and one Shepherd.

You are King of all those who are still involved in the darkness of idolatry or of Islamism; refuse not to draw them all into the light and kingdom of God. Turn Your eyes of mercy toward the children of that race, once Your chosen people. Of old they called down upon themselves the Blood of the Savior; may it now descend upon them a laver of redemption and of life.

Grant, O Lord, to Your Church assurance of freedom and immunity from harm; give peace and order to all nations, and make the earth resound from pole to pole with one cry: Praise to the Divine Heart that wrought our salvation; to It be glory and Honor forever. Amen.

Out, Bizy, Bakson

Interesting on Wall Street

Watch this blogger case...

Rand Paul: Immigration Bill Gives Too Much Power to President

Real Love

I taught for years and was known as a tough teacher. However, students signed up for my classes as word got around that one actually learned something in these. and that the classes, though hard and demanding, were interesting.

Challenging students made them realize their own potential and raised their own expectations. If one expects a certain standard, one will get it.

Most teachers asked for five papers per semester. I asked a minimum of seven up to twelve, depending on the group.

Most teachers did not demand original source material. I did. And I taught students to discriminate between good and bad sources, honorable and dishonorable sources, realizable and unreliable sources, scholarly and popular sources, and so on.

No matter what subject I taught, be it Composition, Argumentation and Debate, Logic, Religion, Comparative Religions, Humanities, Philosophy and so on, I had one main goal besides teaching the subject-teaching my students how to think.

In all my classes, I taught critical thinking. I led students to learn how to discover Truth.

Those who just wanted an easy A for their transcripts did not stay in my class. Those who were interested and finally, enamored at learning to learn and learning to think, stayed in my classes.

Tough love is real love. If one cannot be honest, with one's self and others, the soul dies.

A few, very few, comments, which do not get published as they are not helpful, have attacked me for being critical of  priests. A few, very few, people do not understand that I love those very people I have criticized. And, have spoken to directly. Real love is Truth, not merely being nice. One can be respectful and be truthful, as my students had to learn in formal debate. No ad hominems, no ad populums, etc., but facts. The Church has everything one needs and most information is on line. There is no excuse for ignorance, either among the laity or in the clergy.

But, the relativist mind cannot abide Truth and does not want to explore Truth. The relativist is actually terrified that there may be an objective Truth.

There is, and He has a Name, the most holy of names. God is Truth.

If one is truly sincere about loving God and desiring His Love, one must be open to Truth.

One's particular judgement can start now. Live in Truth. The Church needs truthful, honest people. The Bride of Christ is not wooed or loved without truth.

Know thyself and know God.

Bernard of Clairvuax, my favorite saint among the blessed, after Mary, Our Mother, writes a commentary on this passage from the Song of Songs, Chapter One. I cannot give the entire set of sermons on these pericopes, but can share that one of his points is that one must know one's self. The Bridegroom addresses the Bride on this point. She must leave him and follow the shepherds to find Truth before she is worthy to be the Bride. Such is one's duty and one's quest--one must be holy and one must pursue self-knowledge in order for the Bridegroom to come. One may have to go out into the desert to find Truth. This is called purification. God is Just and Love is connected to Justice as well as Mercy.

If thou know not thyself, O fairest among women, go forth, and follow after the steps of the flocks, and feed thy kids beside the tents of the shepherds.
To my company of horsemen, in Pharao's chariots, have I likened thee, O my love.

Concern over the emergency meeting

I am concerned over the Curial emergency meeting called last night. I am concerned that Cardinals had to leave the Sacra Liturgia Conference to go to this meeting.

Emergency meetings are rare. I sincerely hope this is not a question of schism. And, I sincerely hope the Conference was not "targeted" to be interrupted.

We are living in interesting times. Pay attention, pray, reflect, act.

And, to all young people, read and follow good news sources. Too many of you are disengaged in the world in an unhealthy manner.

If you are Catholic, and a lay person, you have responsibilities by your baptismal promises.

If you do not feel called or want to be in the world, consider the monastic life.

Just do not hide.


Puerilis institutio est mundi renovatio.

We have several "lost generations". I try to reach out to some of the members of those generations. I try to get some of those to examine their lives, as I do mine, daily. I have been given much to share, and without teaching the Truth, the world is not renewed. We can renew our own worlds.

Socrates examined life. He reflected according to his student, Plato. Catholics daily examine their lives, according, perhaps, to St. Ignatius Loyola. The Ratio Studiorum I have mentioned on my previous blog, which was much more into education, as I was still teaching. This Jesuit method goes well with the Socratic method. If you want to look at the Ratio, here it is. I suggest home schooling parents consider it.

Both methods stress thinking skills. Both explore. So does Montessori, my method of home schooling with the Socratic.

Blogging is an exercise in exploration.

I write with people in mind-some who ask me questions. I write to people, not to the air.

Do other bloggers do this?

My posts are mostly like answering questions in my Socratic classrooms I used to moderate.

Teaching is a two-way art-questions and answers. Illumination by asking exploring, through critical thinking, rational discourse.

You open the questions with me. You and I guide the questions. The questions end by you and I seeing the applications to our personal lives.

Neat. Like good Ignatian spirituality, learning, like holiness, is pragmatic as well as ethereal.

One gets involved objectively in the Truth. But, one cannot be a relativist and enter into the pursuit of Truth seriously. One must want objective Truth.

I am so glad I have the Catholic Church to help me discover the Truth, Who is a Person, daily in reflection, prayer, study.

More, More Aquinas on Temperance

I have another friend who is even more wealthy than the one mentioned in the previous post. But, this one is temperate  One would never know she is a multl-millionaire. She is not into status, or clothes, or jewelry, and her interior life is rich. 

Why the difference in the two women? Grace, the mystery of God's discernment; cooperation with grace; practice of simplifying one's life; not identifying with wealth; a sense of self which is not based on the material, but on the spiritual.

This woman has the virtue of temperance. The other was blind to this virtue. A mystery of grace...

As stated above (123, 11; 61, 3), a principal or cardinal virtue is so called because it has a foremost claim to praise on account of one of those things that are requisite for the notion of virtue in general. Now moderation, which is requisite in every virtue, deserves praise principally in pleasures of touch, with which temperance is concerned, both because these pleasures are most natural to us, so that it is more difficult to abstain from them, and to control the desire for them, and because their objects are more necessary to the present life, as stated above (Article 4). For this reason temperance is reckoned a principal or cardinal virtue.
Reply to Objection 1. The longer the range of its operation, the greater is the agent's power [virtus] shown to be: wherefore the very fact that the reason is able to moderate desires and pleasures that are furthest removed from it, proves the greatness of reason's power. This is how temperance comes to be a principal virtue.
Reply to Objection 2. The impetuousness of anger is caused by an accident, for instance, a painful hurt; wherefore it soon passes, although its impetus be great. On the other hand, the impetuousness of the desire for pleasures of touch proceeds from a natural cause, wherefore it is more lasting and more general, and consequently its control regards a more principal virtue.
Reply to Objection 3. The object of hope is higher than the object of desire, wherefore hope is accounted the principal passion in the irascible. But the objects of desires and pleasures of touch move the appetite with greater force, since they are more natural. Therefore temperance, which appoints the mean in such things, is a principal virtue.

More Aquinas on Temperance; The Entitlement Culture Does Not Get This...

I have written here on the Cardinal Virtues before, but I want to highlight Aquinas. We need to be absolutely clear as to the importance of these virtues, given in baptism, but needing the cooperation of our will and the grace of the sacraments. 2:2;141 is the reference for the next two postings.

Temperance is connected to humility and reason. We remember our end, which is eternal life with God. All things on earth need to be seen in the light of our end.

As stated above (1; 109, 2; 123, 12), the good of moral virtue consists chiefly in the order of reason: because "man's good is to be in accord with reason," as Dionysius asserts (Div. Nom. iv). Now the principal order of reason is that by which it directs certain things towards their end, and the good of reason consists chiefly in this order; since good has the aspect of end, and the end is the rule of whatever is directed to the end. Now all the pleasurable objects that are at man's disposal, are directed to some necessity of this life as to their end. Wherefore temperance takes the need of this life, as the rule of the pleasurable objects of which it makes use, and uses them only for as much as the need of this life requires.

What do we really need? Why do we think we have so many needs? Entertainment is a need which is over-blown in our society. If we are following the road to perfection, we embrace suffering and do not run away from it into attitudes of entitlement.

Reply to Objection 1. As stated above, the need of this life is regarded as a rule in so far as it is an end. Now it must be observed that sometimes the end of the worker differs from the end of the work, thus it is clear that the end of building is a house, whereas sometimes the end of the builder is profit. Accordingly the end and rule of temperance itself is happiness; while the end and rule of the thing it makes use of is the need of human life, to which whatever is useful for life is subordinate.

Beauty is a need, but not in excess, as in the pursuit of pleasure. We have been conditioned in the past fifty years to think that we need things we do not need.

Rest is a need, but not in excess. I note that the Tyburn nuns have 45 minutes or so of recreation a day. And, no vacations. Why is their need so different from most of the world's needs?

They exhibit temperance and balance. They live moderately, or even less than moderately. In this order, there is a happiness, a contentment which flows out of self-denial.

Reply to Objection 2. The need of human life may be taken in two ways. First, it may be taken in the sense in which we apply the term "necessary" to that without which a thing cannot be at all; thus food is necessary to an animal. Secondly, it may be taken for something without which a thing cannot be becomingly. Now temperance regards not only the former of these needs, but also the latter. Wherefore the Philosopher says (Ethic. iii, 11) that "the temperate man desires pleasant things for the sake of health, or for the sake of a sound condition of body." Other things that are not necessary for this purpose may be divided into two classes. For some are a hindrance to health and a sound condition of body; and these temperance makes not use of whatever, for this would be a sin against temperance. But others are not a hindrance to those things, and these temperance uses moderately, according to the demands of place and time, and in keeping with those among whom one dwells. Hence the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 11) says that the "temperate man also desires other pleasant things," those namely that are not necessary for health or a sound condition of body, "so long as they are not prejudicial to these things."

One time, long ago, a rich woman said to me that she needed more holidays than the poor because being rich was so stressful! She felt she had duties to the common good, which she did, but could not see the irony that her activities caused her a stress she did not need to endure. She could not see that she was denying a spiritual reality to sink into her life by so much doing.

She was caught up in DOING rather than being. She was a heiress of a large fortune and her doing things was her way of sharing. Some of this was good, but mostly, she could not see that she was causing her own stress and that her spiritual life was atrophying. She had many talents and gifts. Sometimes, those so gifted need to simplify the use of their gifts and let God take control.

Simplicity of life was something she simply could not understand.

Reply to Objection 3. As stated (ad 2), temperance regards need according to the requirements of life, and this depends not only on the requirements of the body, but also on the requirements of external things, such as riches and station, and more still on the requirements of good conduct. Hence the Philosopher adds (Ethic. iii, 11) that "the temperate man makes use of pleasant things provided that not only they be not prejudicial to health and a sound bodily condition, but also that they be not inconsistent with good," i.e. good conduct, nor "beyond his substance," i.e. his means. And Augustine says (De Morib. Eccl. xxi) that the "temperate man considers the need" not only "of this life" but also "of his station."

We have too many living in the West like they are rich when they are not. This is the cult of status. The new rich lack culture and manners in the pursuit of doing things the rich do without any concept of noblese oblige. Thomas understood this all very well, coming from a powerful and noble family. He gave it all up. Thank God for his personal sacrifice-for his temperance.

To be continued..

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

This is interesting

and I think that The Atlantic has changed since the older days...

Blogger alert.

Aquinas Series on Greed and the Virtues of Temperance and Justice

The Last Judgement in the Albi STtCecile Cathedral in France

To us, it should be obvious that Justice is the virtue which counteracts Greed. But, Greed is not just about money or property. The most common sort of Greediness is the desire for power. 

Here is Thomas on Greed, just a bit, as there is so much more, of course: 2:2:118. This is the section dealing with greediness for money and acquisitions.

Greed have another name and that is Avarice and it is one of the Deadly Sins. Here are people depicted in hell as being boiled in oil for Greed.

Detail of Above

Covetousness denotes immoderation with regard to riches in two ways. First, immediately in respect of the acquisition and keeping of riches. On this way a man obtains money beyond his due, by stealing or retaining another's property. This is opposed to justice, and in this sense covetousness is mentioned (Ezekiel 22:27): "Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves ravening the prey to shed blood . . . and to run after gains through covetousness." Secondly, it denotes immoderation in the interior affections for riches; for instance, when a man loves or desires riches too much, or takes too much pleasure in them, even if he be unwilling to steal. On this way covetousness is opposed to liberality, which moderates these affections, as stated above (117, 2, ad 3, 3, ad 3, 6). On this sense covetousness is spoken of (2 Corinthians 9:5): "That they would . . . prepare this blessing before promised, to be ready, so as a blessing, not as covetousness," where a gloss observes: "Lest they should regret what they had given, and give but little."
Reply to Objection 1. Chrysostom and the Philosopher are speaking of covetousness in the first sense: covetousness in the second sense is called illiberality [aneleutheria] by the Philosopher.
Reply to Objection 2. It belongs properly to justice to appoint the measure in the acquisition and keeping of riches from the point of view of legal due, so that a man should neither take nor retain another's property. But liberality appoints the measure ofreason, principally in the interior affections, and consequently in the exterior taking and keeping of money, and in the spending of the same, in so far as these proceed from the interior affection, looking at the matter from the point of view not of the legal but of the moral debt, which latter depends on the rule of reason.
Reply to Objection 3. Covetousness as opposed to justice has no opposite vice: since it consists in having more than one ought according to justice, the contrary of which is to have less than one ought, and this is not a sin but a punishment. But covetousness as opposed to liberality has the vice of prodigality opposed to it.

Although Thomas notes that Greed is connected to Lust, he puts this sin in the category of a SPIRITUAL MORTAL SIN  rather than a corporal or fleshy sin. It is the desire and the mental pleasure associated with Greed which is the greatest sin. Sadly, for centuries, Greed has hidden in the idea that those who are blessed by God and heaven bound are signed by wealth. Greed can hide as piety and even as a virtue. 

But, it is a spiritual vice. It shrivels the heart and clouds the mind. Temperance, as well as Justice, can counteract Greed. But, to me, the greatest antidote to Greed is voluntary poverty.

The denial of one's self to be attached to goods for the sake of Christ allows one to become objective and breaks the stranglehold of Greed. Such is the modern world, that Greed is glorified by those on the political left and those on the right. 

Greed is self-centeredness gone wild.

Gregory (Moral. xxxi) numbers covetousness among spiritual vices.
I answer that, Sins are seated chiefly in the affections: and all the affections or passions of the soul have their term in pleasure and sorrow, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 5). Now some pleasures are carnal and some spiritual. Carnal pleasures are those which are consummated in the carnal senses--for instance, the pleasures of the table and sexual pleasures: while spiritualpleasures are those which are consummated in the mere apprehension of the soul. Accordingly, sins of the flesh are those which are consummated in carnal pleasures, while spiritual sins are consummated in pleasures of the spirit without pleasure of the flesh. Such is covetousness: for the covetous man takes pleasure in the consideration of himself as a possessor of riches. Therefore covetousness is a spiritual sin.
Reply to Objection 1. Covetousness with regard to a bodily object seeks the pleasure, not of the body but only of the soul, forasmuch as a man takes pleasure in the fact that he possesses riches: wherefore it is not a sin of the flesh. Nevertheless by reason of its object it is a mean between purely spiritual sins, which seek spiritual pleasure in respect of spiritual objects (thus pride is about excellence), and purely carnal sins, which seek a purely bodily pleasure in respect of a bodily object.
Reply to Objection 2. Movement takes its species from the term "whereto" and not from the term "wherefrom." Hence a vice of the flesh is so called from its tending to a pleasure of the flesh, and not from its originating in some defect of the flesh.
Reply to Objection 3. Chrysostom compares a covetous man to the man who was possessed by the devil, not that the former is troubled in the flesh in the same way as the latter, but by way of contrast, since while the possessed man, of whom we read in Mark 5, stripped himself, the covetous man loads himself with an excess of riches.

Here is a bit of Thomas on Temperance and remember that the Cardinal Virtues lie not only in the heart, but in the head. Thomas reminds us of this below. If we are reasonable, we shall fear the Lord.

The Cardinal Virtues, Strasbourg Cathedral
As stated above (I-II, 55, 3), it is essential to virtue to incline man to good. Now the good of man is to be in accordance with reason, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Hence human virtue is that which inclines man to something in accordance with reason. Now temperance evidently inclines man to this, since its very name implies moderation or temperateness, which reason causes. Therefore temperance is a virtue.
Reply to Objection 1. Nature inclines everything to whatever is becoming to it. Wherefore man naturally desires pleasures that are becoming to him. Since, however, man as such is a rational being, it follows that those pleasures are becoming to man which are in accordance with reason. From such pleasures temperance does not withdraw him, but from those which are contrary to reason. Wherefore it is clear that temperance is not contrary to the inclination of human nature, but is in accord with it. It is, however, contrary to the inclination of the animal nature that is not subject to reason.
Reply to Objection 2. The temperance which fulfils the conditions of perfect virtue is not without prudence, while this is lacking to all who are in sin. Hence those who lack other virtues, through being subject to the opposite vices, have not the temperance which is a virtue, though they do acts of temperance from a certain natural disposition, in so far as certain imperfect virtues are either natural to man, as stated above (I-II, 63, 1), or acquired by habituation, which virtues, through lack of prudence, are not perfected by reason, as stated above (I-II, 65, 1).
Reply to Objection 3. Temperance also has a corresponding gift, namely, fear, whereby man is withheld from the pleasures of the flesh, according to Psalm 118:120: "Pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear." The gift of fear has for its principal object God, Whom it avoids offending, and in this respect it corresponds to the virtue of hope, as stated above (19, 09, ad 1). But it may have for its secondary object whatever a man shuns in order to avoid offending God. Now man stands in the greatest need of the fear of God in order to shun those things which are most seductive, and these are the matter of temperance: wherefore the gift of fear corresponds to temperance also.

Power back to the States-a good sign

Very interesting on false information coming from NSA

a snippet from the article

this same fact sheet states that under Section 702, "Any inadvertently acquired communication of or concerning a US person must be promptly destroyed if it is neither relevant to the authorized purpose nor evidence of a crime." We believe that this statement is somewhat misleading, in that it implies that the NSA has the ability to determine how many American communications it has collected under section 702, or that the law does not allow the NSA to deliberately search for the records of particular Americans. In fact, the intelligence community has told us repeatedly that it is "not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed under the authority" of the FISA Amendments Act. 

When one cannot get to daily Mass

I sprained my ankle a week ago and it still hurts. Missing daily Mass is hard for me. I want to live next to Jesus in the Eucharist. Please pray for my house of Adoration. Please pray for two more women to love Christ enough to want to worship Him daily in the lay life. Pray for a benefactor for the house and community, please.

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.  Never permit me to be separated from You.


Read more:

Persecutions Postings Revisited

06 Apr 2013
A sign of the stages of persecution. Posted by Supertradmum. Last year I said we were at the end of the fourth out of five steps of persecution. Here is another indication, just in case some readers do not believe this.
01 Feb 2013
I have written this post before...and it was accidentally deleted with many others. Stages four and five of persecution are clear. We are in stage four in the States and entering into it is Great Britain. Stage Four is criminalization.
01 Feb 2013 And from a great site, from talks in 1998 on the stages of persecution of the Jews. This would be the ...
01 Feb 2013
As I am the one who has to rewrite my own ideas, I am trying to be patient with myself. Stages one, two and three in the United States and Europe are long gone. The beginnings of stage one are in the educational systems of ...

22 Feb 2013
The last stage of persecution witnesses laws directly aimed at the target group, making their activities unlawful and forcing them into poverty and fines if they do not cooperate. This happened here 500 years ago and the ...
01 Feb 2013
Long gone is stage two of persecution. Posted by Supertradmum. Stage Two is the vilification of Catholics. Again, this happened years ago in America, with the Ku klux Klan and Masons printing anti-Catholic material, as well ...
05 Dec 2012
Since last January, I have highlighted the five stages of persecution now and then. You can ... We as Catholics were in the fourth stage of persecution before the election in America, which is a turning point for the entire world.
20 Jan 2012
There have been since World War II, psychologists and sociologists who have defined stages of persecution for religions. The first is stigmatizing the targeted group. This has already happened in the United States under the ...

01 Feb 2013
(5) Persecuting the targeted group outright. I think we are in stage four. Catholics who refuse to face the reality of new laws in GB and the USA should be directed to the myriad posts I have on persecution. Just type in that tag ...

12 Jan 2013
And, as laymen, we only have ourselves to blame if we find ourselves marginalize, persecuted, imprisoned, martyred. See my post below on the stages of persecution and the ideologies which push these heresies. The one I ...

One of my top ten favorite movies...

Watch it with someone you love.

Placet-A Manifesto on Love

Be love. Be in love, all the time. Love is not a feeling, it is a decision. Ask Christ for His Heart.

I have been "in love" and also "willed love" in my life. Love is an amazing experience. My own experience is that of mostly unrequited love, but that makes no difference in the long run. Love is a gift. It is a gift for the giver as much, if not more, than the receiver. So, unrequited love, although a suffering, is a good. One learns about one's self in love, whether answered or not. In fact, unanswered love is the love from the Cross.

One can be single and love. But, more than others, this takes creativity and persistence. One must look for opportunities to love. A single person must be pro-active in prayer and in serving others.

As God has not given me the physical strength to join the great nuns at Tyburn, this is my call. 

I went to Tyburn to find Love, and He found me and sent me out. This is my cross and His, as He chose this for me. When Christ chooses our cross, He is offering His own to us. For many in this modern age of dysfunctional families and isolation, loneliness or at least, alone-ness, can be for many the Cross.

I do not think we have "many crosses" but one. And, for all of us, it is the same-suffering. I am reminded of St. Therese' "unfelt joy". There is a mystery to this awareness of God's Love but not feeling this consolation. It is deeper, it is the Love found in Faith.

Love means that one is not thinking of one's self, but others. Love means that the needs and even desires of others, as long as these are moral and good, can be met. Love is getting out of one's self.

Sometimes, all one can do is pray for another. That, too, is love. Persistent prayer is committed love.

Love is liberating and life changing. 

Love is gratefulness and humility at the very thought of being love. Humility is the awareness that one does not deserve to be loved but is. And, with humility comes purity of heart.

For those of us who are more like Joan of Arc than Zelie Martin, love is an adventure which God directs and we follow like good soldiers. We cannot choose our personalities and talents, but God perfects these in His Own way and time.

But, I have loved and do love, and wish all who have not been fortunate enough to do so to experience love at least once and that once is the Love of God. I am concerned that too many young people are afraid to love or to be loved, really, and therefore, shield themselves from God.

Do not be afraid.  

Love is in the will and the will controls the heart.

Willing is the key. One must be open to love. If one is open, love comes. If one is closed, it does not.

One must be willing to be hurt. That is not masochistic, that is reality. One forgives and loves even more in the forgiveness. Sometimes, love must begin in forgiveness, which is fertile soil for love. When one forgives, one dies to one's self, but one is, therefore, transformed and changed.

Love, which comes to us, is a Person, Who is God and He wants to come into the hearts, minds, souls of each man and woman.

He waits for us to be open.  He will not force His Love upon us. Just as we cannot force someone to love us or even to accept our love,  so too, God waits for us. He holds out His Heart to us every day, every hour, every minute, every second. What wondrous Love is this, states the His Love suffers for us. The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus suffers in humility and vulnerability. Can we do anything less?

I call Christ the Vulnerable God.

In the Song of Songs, Love waits. From Chapter 2, DR:

I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the harts of the, fields, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please.

Say "placet" to God. He will do the rest.

Monday, 24 June 2013

Nadal Is Out!

Waiting for God and Waiting on God vs. the Self-Hug of Indulgence: Weil and Jones

As a very young person, I discovered Simone Weil. Remember, last year, I had a photo of her grave on this blog.

I also attended, over thirty years ago, a superb conference on her at Notre Dame. I had already read her books but the conference presenters were top-drawer. Sadly, it was not well attended.

Already, the need to listen to spirituality of love and suffering was becoming too tedious for most young people.

Suffering is part of the journey to God and cannot and should not be avoided. Weil has a few points I would like to highlight today.

The first is that she says that Christianity is the religion of slaves. What she means is that only those who are humbled in this world can appreciate this religion. She couples this with the extreme poverty of St. Francis. Her desire to be a vagabond was born of the ideal of purity, separating herself out from the world, and being totally dependent on God.

A slave is totally dependent on his or her master. Louis de Montfort uses this imagery in his consecration to Mary. We are repealed by the idea of slavery, as we identify ourselves as sons and daughters of God.

However, those of us who have had the good fortune of being in love understand the ideal of waiting on a person's every need or desire. Indeed, in the Scriptures, we have this phrase from Psalm 132:2 DR:

Behold as the eyes of the servants are on the hands of their masters, As the eyes of the handmaid are on the hands of her mistress: so are our eyes unto the Lord our God, until he have mercy on us.

The second idea I want to note is that Weil experienced a personal love relationship with God, which even in the midst of great suffering, sustained her. The mystery of His Presence was given to her, and she notes that His Presence of Love was there even in suffering. I understand this. One can be suffering intensely and know all the time that Christ is with one. This Presence is Love, but He is not the Comforter at this point.

The third point is key. Weil notes that Christ wants us to prefer Truth to Him. What she means it that if we seek Truth, and Christ is Truth, we shall find Him. But, if we stray from Truth, we lose Him.

Those who seek consolations are not seeking Truth. These people kid themselves that they are seeking God, but in reality, they are seeking only themselves, in a self-hug of indulgence.

Another point to highlight for today, and I shall come back to her another day, is that one can meditate and contemplate using the Our Father alone. For years, Weil contemplated the Our Father daily, and from that prayer came great graces for her. We do not have to be complicated in our prayers. Christ Himself gave us the Our Father, and in that prayer is all we need for Love to blossom.

I read Weil over and over as a young woman, and her love for and in Christ is ever new. The greatest sadness to me is that she could not bring herself to be baptized, although Christ met her again and again. She decided for the sake of her Jewish brothers and sisters, to stay outside in the vestibule of the Church.

One more last point is key. Weil states that God uses rejects, castaways, wastes. I can identify with that for many reasons. God shines forth most clearly in those who are low and lowly. But, the world does not see this. Neither do some Catholics, who are so bent on middle-class spirituality, that they miss God, who is waiting for them. They miss Him, as David Jones writes, "For it is easy to miss him, at the turn of a civilisation."

(If and when I eventually get to heaven, after seeing Christ, Mary and Bernard of Clairvaux, I want to see David Jones. I am sad I never met him, but he died in 1974, six years before I came to England.)

Thanks to Wiki for Photo


I said, Ah! what shall I write?
I enquired up and down.
(He’s tricked me before
with his manifold lurking-places.)
I looked for His symbol at the door.
I have looked for a long while
at the textures and contours.
I have run a hand over the trivial intersections.
I have journeyed among the dead forms
causation projects from pillar to pylon.
I have tired the eyes of the mind
regarding the colours and lights.
I have felt for His wounds
in nozzles and containers.
I have wondered for the automatic devices.
I have tested the inane patterns
without prejudice.
I have been on my guard
not to condemn the unfamiliar.
For it is easy to miss Him
at the turn of a civilisation.
I have watched the wheels go round in case I might see the
living creatures like the appearance of lamps, in case I might see
the Living God projected from the Machine. I have said to the
perfected steel, be my sister and for the glassy towers I thought I
felt some beginnings of His creature, but A,a,a, Domine Deus,
my hands found the glazed work unrefined and the terrible
crystal a stage-paste . . . Eia, Domine Deus.
David Jones, in The Sleeping Lord and Other Fragments (1974)
The 70th anniversary of Simone Weil's death is on August 24th. 
to be continued....