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Monday, 4 March 2013

Live Blog on the Conclave from Vatican Insider

Good, I do not have to follow every detail...

Here is the link. Use it.

A thought from Vespers

Jesus slipped through the crowd and walked away.

He was in control of the time of His Passion.

So, too, He is in control of all time and all events.

He allows us our free will.

But, we move and work, and have our being within the Will of God

And it is not even April Fool's Day

The irony of it all....

Excellent Warning Against Maria Divine Mercy

I hope those people I know who follow her will STOP. I have tried....

Vatican Insider States Conclave Starts March 11th

I do not know what his source is...

Here is his comment.....


As the Church strides towards the Conclave which is due to start on 11 March, the complete picture of Benedict XVI’s resignation is gradually forming. Ratzinger showed no less courage in resigning because “of the limits of old age and (…) the discernment on the exercise of responsibility that God had entrusted to him, than John Paul II who stuck it out until the end, despite his illness. Ratzinger’s decision is above all a reminder of one’s responsibilities, especially for cardinals who have the task of electing the Pope’s successor.

From Fr. Roderick's Blog

Of course, they are all silenced now for awhile...

number of Cardinals are active on Twitter. Even though they will not be allowed to tweet during the Conclave, you can follow them during the current pre-conclave. Here is a list of the Twitter accounts I was able to find. Know any other twittering Cardinals? Let me know in the comments and I will add them to the list of Cardinals on Twitter!
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone: @CardinalBertone (in Italian)
Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi: @CardRavasi (in Italian) and @CardRavasi_en (in English)
The Netherlands
Cardinal Eijk: @Eijk
Cardinal Philippe Barbarin via his communications director: @ComCardBarbarin (in French)
Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran: @CardTauran
Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach: @sistachcardenal
United States
Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan: @CardinalDolan
Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley: @CardinalSean
Cardinal Roger M. Mahony: @CardinalMahony
Cardinal Odilo Scherer: @DomOdiloScherer
Cardinal Ruben Salazar Gomez: @cardenalruben
South Africa
Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban: @CardinalNapier

An old joke from grade school may come true...

oh no, if Scola is made Pope, he would be Pope Scola (Pepsi Cola,,duh)

Anything is possible this week....Part 67: DoC: St. Ambrose and Perfection

All on one week, the next Doctor of the Church to be considered, St. Ambrose,  was baptised  ordained and consecrated bishop of Milan. In the next section of this series, I shall look at the rest of  Latin Doctors of the Church, from the classical period.

SS. Ambrose, Jerome, and Gregory the Great, will finish this section, which began with Augustine of Hippo.

I shall begin with two small sections from Ambrose'  On the Duties of the Clergy, found here: (and my comments are in red):

Chapter 11.

It is proved by the witness of Scripture that all duty is either ordinary or perfect. To which is added a word in praise of mercy, and an exhortation to practise it.

36. Every duty is either ordinary or perfect, a fact which we can also confirm by the authority of the Scriptures. For we read in the Gospel that the Lord said: If you will enter into life, keep the commandments. He says: Which? Jesus said to him: You shall do no murder, You shall not commit adultery, You shall not steal, You shall not bear false witness, Honour your father and your mother, You shall love your neighbour as yourself. These are ordinary duties, to which something is wanting.

Well, the first thing, repeated many times here for all of us, is to break away from sin by allowing God to take us through purgation of sins and to move into the life of the virtues...One sees Christ using the word "perfect" in this passage below. I have left the links on the Scripture references.

37. Upon this the young man says to Him: All these things have I kept from my youth up, what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him: If you will be perfect, go and sell all your goods and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come and follow Me. Matthew 19:20-21 And earlier the same is written, where the Lord says that we must love our enemies, and pray for those that falsely accuse and persecute us, and bless those that curse us. Matthew 5:44 This we are bound to do, if we would be perfect as our Father Who is in heaven; Who bids the sun to shed his rays over the evil and the good, and makes the lands of the whole universe fertile with rain and dew without any distinction. Matthew 5:45 This, then, is a perfect duty (the Greeks call itκατόρθωμα), whereby all things are put right which could have any failings in them.

Ambrose writes here, that the clergy are especially called to perfection. But, all of us are....

38. Mercy, also, is a good thing, for it makes men perfect, in that it imitates the perfect Father. Nothing graces the Christian soul so much as mercy; mercy as shown chiefly towards the poor, that you may treat them as sharers in common with you in the produce of nature, which brings forth the fruits of the earth for use to all. Thus you may freely give to a poor man what you have, and in this way help him who is your brother and companion. Thou bestowest silver; he receives life. You give money; he considers it his fortune. Your coin makes up all his property.

39. Further, he bestows more on you than thou on him, since he is your debtor in regard to your salvation. If you clothe the naked, you clothe yourself with righteousness; if you bring the stranger under your roof, if you support the needy, he procures for you the friendship of the saints and eternal habitations. That is no small recompense. You sow earthly things and receive heavenly. Do you wonder at the judgment of God in the case of holy Job? Wonder rather at his virtue, in that he could say: I was an eye to the blind, and a foot to the lame. I was a father to the poor. Their shoulders were made warm with the skins of my lambs. The stranger dwelt not at my gates, but my door was open to every one that came. Job 29:15-16 Clearly blessed is he from whose house a poor man has never gone with empty hand. Nor again is any one more blessed than he who is sensible of the needs of the poor, and the hardships of the weak and helpless. In the day of judgment he will receive salvation from the Lord, Whom he will have as his debtor for the mercy he has shown.

This is the duty to live out the corporal works of mercy and the spiritual works of mercy, mentioned on this blog in the past. These ARE NOT OPTIONS.

And, for youth, who have duties which are both those which are ordinary and those which are towards perfection, Ambrose states this....

Chapter 17.

The duties of youth, and examples suitable to that age, are next put forth.

65. Since it has been made sufficiently plain that there will be punishment for wickedness and reward for virtue, let us proceed to speak of the duties which have to be borne in mind from our youth up, that they may grow with our years. A good youth ought to have a fear of God, to be subject to his parents, to give honour to his elders, to preserve his purity; he ought not to despise humility, but should love forbearance and modesty. All these are an ornament to youthful years. For as seriousness is the true grace of an old man, and ardour of a young man, so also is modesty, as though by some gift of nature, well set off in a youth.

66. Isaac feared the Lord, as was indeed but natural in the son of Abraham; being subject also to his father to such an extent that he would not avoid death in opposition to his father's will. Genesis 22:9 Joseph also, though he dreamed that sun and moon and stars made obeisance to him, yet was subject to his father's will with ready obedienceGenesis 37:9 So chaste was he, he would not hear even a word unless it were pure; humble was he even to doing the work of a slave, modest, even to taking flight, enduring, even to bearing imprisonment, so forgiving of wrong as even to repay it with good. Whose modesty was such, that, when seized by a woman, he preferred to leave his garment in her hands in flight, rather than to lay aside his modesty.Genesis 39:12 MosesExodus 4:10 also, and Jeremiah, Jeremiah 1:6 chosen by the Lord to declare the words of God to the people, were for avoiding, through modesty, that which through grace they could do.

To be continued........And, by the way, the Four Latin Fathers, or Latin Doctors, are Ambrose, Augustine of Hippo, Jerome and Gregory the Great.

If you think your Monday is rough, follow the Iditarod Trail Status

Recent update

Today is Sunday March 3 restart of the Iditarod sled dog race in Willow.
The ITI race is going on 7 days. 32 racers have finished in McGrath.
The last 3 that had gotten off trail are in and out of Rohn this morning Shawn Tony and Cookie.
Anchorage runner Anne Ver Hoef sets a new foot record shaving over 11 hours off the previous record: 6 days 12 hours 20 minutes. Congratulations Anne!
We will continue to update the leader board and you can follow the racers to Nome here also on XCtrails

Part 66: DoC: St. Augustine of Hippo

This is the last entry on Augustine of Hippo. I have barely scratched the surface of his writings. I have never met anyone who has read all of Augustine. Maybe Benedict, Pope Emeritus, has.

Today, looking at perfection and Augustine, I want to sum up some of his points from A TREATISE CONCERNING MAN'S PERFECTION IN RIGHTEOUSNESS, which has been examined a bit here.

1. We are called to righteousness, which is justice.

2. We have concupiscence as long as we are in the body.

3. God calls us to perfection.

4. Christ has redeemed us, and He is the only one without sin.

5. Through this forgiveness of sin, we live in grace, moving towards the call to perfection.

6. Only Christ and the Church can give us this grace.

7. Only God is truly good perfect, but through suffering and grace, we are made good, then, perfect.

8. We are saved by grace, just at the saints of the Old Testament were saved by grace. The Commandments must be obeyed, but with grace.

9. Perfection is not only possible but necessary.

10. All happens in and through Christ.

(There is more, but this is a partial summary).

Two passages impressed me this morning. The first is self-explanatory, and reveals a connection to what Benedict, Pope Emeritus said last week about his need to ascend the hill.

I suppose, too, that there is a difference between one who is upright in heart and one who is clean in heart. A man is upright in heart when he "reaches forward to those things which are before, forgetting those things which are behind" so as to arrive in a right course, that is, with right faith and purpose, at the perfection where he may dwell clean and pure in heart. Thus, in the psalm, the conditions ought to be severally bestowed on each separate character, where it is said, "Who shall ascend into the hill of the Lord? or who shall stand in His holy place? He that is innocent in his hands, and clean in his heart." He shall ascend, innocent in his hands, and stand, clean in his heart,--the one state in present operation, the other in its consummation

We are all called to be upright and we move towards cleanness of heart.

And of them should rather be understood that which is written: "Riches are good unto him that hath no sin on his conscience." Then indeed shall accrue the good, or true riches, when all poverty shall have passed away; in other words, when all infirmity shall have been removed. A man may now indeed "leave off from sin," when in his onward course he departs from it, and is renewed day by day; and he may "order his hands," and direct them to works of mercy, and "cleanse his heart from all wickedness," -- he may be so merciful that what remains may be forgiven him by free pardon. 

This is possible.........through the sacraments, especially Confession and Eucharist. But, we must pray.

This indeed is the sound and suitable meaning, without any vain and empty boasting, of that which St. John said: "If our heart condemn us not, then have we confidence toward God. And whatsoever we ask, we shall receive of Him." The warning which he clearly has addressed to us in this passage, is to beware lest our heart should reproach us in our very prayers and petitions; that is to say, lest, when we happen to resort to this prayer, and say, "Forgive us, even as we ourselves forgive, we should have to feel compunction for not doing what we say, or should even lose boldness to utter what we fail to do, and thereby forfeit the confidence of faithful and earnest prayer.

And, the last part I want to emphasize in Augustine (ah, there is so much!) follows:

 Let us therefore "so run that we may obtain." For all who run rightly will obtain,--not as in the contest of the theatre, where all indeed run, but only one wins the prize. Let us run, believing, hoping, longing; let us run, subjugating the body, cheerfully and heartily doing alms,--in giving kindnesses and forgiving injuries, praying that our strength may be helped as we run; and let us so listen to the commandments which urge us to perfection, as not to neglect running towards the fulness of love.

Sigh, life is too short. On to St. Ambrose, the great teacher of St. be continued. There are other postings on Augustine on this blog as well. And, I recommend the older Peter Brown biography. One should always start, of course, with The Confessions.