Recent Posts

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Fr. Z. scores on a sticky wicket

Many Posts Post

The past two weeks I have posted many things on prayer, temptation, heart and head knowledge, the way of perfection regarding faults, saints and martyrs, and more. Take time today to go back and look at these posts. Have a great Saturday.

His Excellency, Vladimir

Heritage Watch

The Kakure Kirishitan And The One Thing Necessary

Thanks to wikipedia for Japanese Blessed Virgin
With all the chaos and sharp decline of democracy in Great Britain, Ireland and America, I have pondered on the one thing necessary at this time. But, I have come up with two. The first is obvious in St. Alphonsus Ligouri's prayer. We all must be dedicated to becoming saints . But, I add a second thing which is also of primary importance. We, you and I, not priests, or bishops, or cardinals, or nuns, we the laity must pass on the Faith to the next generations. This is our duty, stemming from our baptismal promises. We have no choice. To pass on the heritage and all the cultural trappings of Catholicism, the doctrines, the dogmas, the liturgical rites as far as we can, such as the Liturgy of the Hours, is our duty. We shall have no one to blame but ourselves if the faith continues to dwindle and disappear from some areas here, and in other countries.  This is our Faith. Pass it on.

Pius IX  declared it a miracle when the missionaries came back to Japan and found the  隠れキリシタンthe hidden Christians,Kakure Kirishitan laity who had kept the Faith without a priest for about 250 years. Bishop Bernard Thadee Petitjean,  the first missionary priest back to Japan after 1853, and the first Vicar Apostolic of Japan, discovered these hidden Christians. They had passed on the Faith through  a 100 generations. Are we strong enough and intelligent enough about our Faith to do this?

Here are two pages from one of the first modern Catholic Catechisms in Japan, 1865. The very first came out in 1860.  From 1614 until 1860, the laity had to be responsible for their own faith and Catholicity. I assume they baptised their children and converts, prayed, honoured Mary (there were statues of Mary found), and keeping customs. Could we do this? In 2010, there were almost seven billion people in the world and 118,990 major seminarians. Who do you think is going to keep the Faith in the not-so-distant future? You, I.....

A Prayer of Saint Alphonsus Liguori

O my God, help me to remember - 
That time is short, eternity is long.
What good is all the greatness of this world at the hour of death?
To love You, my God, and save my soul is the one thing necessary.
Without You, there is no peace, no joy.
My God, I need fear nothing but sin.
For to lose You, my God, is to lose all.
O my God, help me to remember - 
That to gain all I must leave all,
That in loving You I have all good things: the infinite riches of Christ
and His Church, the motherly protection of Mary,
peace beyond understanding, joy unspeakable!

Eternal Father, your Son has promised that whatever we ask in His Name will be given to us. In His Name I pray: give me a burning faith, a joyful hope, a holy love for Jesus Christ. Give me the grace of perseverance in doing Your will in all things. Do with me what You will. I repent of having offended You. Grant, O Lord, that I may love You always and never let me be separated from You.
O my God and my All, make me a saint!

THE Other Encyclical Against Kulturkampf

Quod Nunquam 

The Church has gone though terrible times in the past 100 plus years. Please take time to read this encyclical.

It will give you perspective.

A snippet:

What We never expected to happen has come about. Thus, We look back on those things which this Apostolic See established for the welfare of Catholics in agreement with the supreme ruler of Prussia in the twentyfirst year of this century and We observe that it has turned out otherwise. A wild and unexpected storm now reigns in your land, where the Church of God once enjoyed peace and tranquillity. Other new laws have been added to those laws against the rights of the Church which were proposed recently and which struck down and removed from their positions many clerics and laymen. These new laws thoroughly overturn the divine establishment of the Church and totally destroy the holy rights of the bishops.
2. These laws gave power to lay judges to cast bishops and others in charge of caring for souls from their dignity and from the exercise of their duty. They placed many serious impediments before those who were appointed to exercise legitimate jurisdiction in the absence of the pastors. The cathedral chapters were told that they could elect vicars according to the canons when the episcopal see is not yet vacant. Finally, passing over many other things, they entrusted the prefects of the provinces with the power to appoint even non Catholic men who, as substitutes for the bishops, preside over the administration of the temporal goods in the dioceses, even if those temporal goods were intended for holy people or the use of the Church. You know well, venerable brothers, what harm and abuses followed from these laws and from their harsh execution.

THE Encyclical Against Kulturkampf

Etsi Multa 

If you have not read this encyclical against the horrors of kulturkampf, take time to read it now, please.

This is what we are facing now. 

A section.

Harassing of the Church
20. What We have recounted so far is common knowledge. Monks and virgins devoted to God are deprived of the common liberty of ordinary citizens and ejected with enormous cruelty, Catholic schools are daily being taken away from the care of the Church, and sodalities for pious works and even seminaries are dissolved. Additionally, the liberty of evangelical preaching is interfered with, hindered, teaching religion in the native language is forbidden in certain parts of the kingdom. Curates are withdrawn from their parishes, and prelates themselves are deprived of revenues coerced in many ways, and frightened with threat of imprisonment. While Catholics are vexed with all kinds of harassment such as these, how can We possibly acquiesce to what is suggested and not invoke the religion of Jesus Christ and the truth?
Government Support for Heretics
21. Nor is this the limit of the injuries which are committed against the Catholic Church. In addition the Prussian and other governments of the German Empire openly support those recent heretics who call themselves Old Catholics. Their abuse of such a name would be plainly ridiculous if it were not for the fact that so many monstrous errors of this sect against the principal teachings of the Catholic faith, so many sacrileges in divine service and the administration of the sacraments, so many grave scandals, and so much ruin of souls redeemed by the blood of Christ did not force tears from Our eyes.
Further Heresies
22. And surely what these sons of perdition intend is quite clear from their other writings, especially that impious and most imprudent one which has only recently been published by the person whom they recently constituted as a pseudo-bishop. For these writings attack and pervert the true power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff and the bishops, who are the successors of blessed Peter and the apostles; they transfer it instead to the people, or, as they say, to the community. They obstinately reject and oppose the infallible magisterium both of the Roman Pontiff and of the whole Church in teaching matters. Incredibly, they boldly affirm that the Roman Pontiff and all the bishops, the priests and the people conjoined with him in the unity of faith and communion fell into heresy when they approved and professed the definitions of the Ecumenical Vatican Council. Therefore they deny also the indefectibility of the Church and blasphemously declare that it has perished throughout the world and that its visible Head and the bishops have erred. They assert the necessity of restoring a legitimate episcopacy in the person of their pseudo-bishop, who has entered not by the gate but from elsewhere like a thief or robber and calls the damnation of Christ upon his head.

Look how long this took after years of martyrs--have Faith

Pius Bishop, servant of the servants of God, in lasting memory of the matter.
He that reigneth on high, to whom is given all power in heaven and earth, has committed one holy Catholic and apostolic Church, outside of which there is no salvation, to one alone upon earth, namely to Peter, the first of the apostles, and to Peter's successor, the pope of Rome, to be by him governed in fullness of power. Him alone He has made ruler over all peoples and kingdoms, to pull up, destroy, scatter, disperse, plant and build, so that he may preserve His faithful people (knit together with the girdle of charity) in the unity of the Spirit and present them safe and spotless to their Saviour.
1. In obedience to which duty, we (who by God's goodness are called to the aforesaid government of the Church) spare no pains and labour with all our might that unity and the Catholic religion (which their Author, for the trial of His children's faith and our correction, has suffered to be afflicted with such great troubles) may be preserved entire. But the number of the ungodly has so much grown in power that there is no place left in the world which they have not tried to corrupt with their most wicked doctrines; and among others, Elizabeth, the pretended queen of England and the servant of crime, has assisted in this, with whom as in a sanctuary the most pernicious of all have found refuge. This very woman, having seized the crown and monstrously usurped the place of supreme head of the Church in all England to gether with the chief authority and jurisdiction belonging to it, has once again reduced this same kingdom- which had already been restored to the Catholic faith and to good fruits- to a miserable ruin.
2. Prohibiting with a strong hand the use of the true religion, which after its earlier overthrow by Henry VIII (a deserter therefrom) Mary, the lawful queen of famous memory, had with the help of this See restored, she has followed and embraced the errors of the heretics. She has removed the royal Council, composed of the nobility of England, and has filled it with obscure men, being heretics; oppressed the followers of the Catholic faith; instituted false preachers and ministers of impiety; abolished the sacrifice of the mass, prayers, fasts, choice of meats, celibacy, and Catholic ceremonies; and has ordered that books of manifestly heretical content be propounded to the whole realm and that impious rites and institutions after the rule of Calvin, entertained and observed by herself, be also observed by her subjects. She has dared to eject bishops, rectors of churches and other Catholic priests from their churches and benefices, to bestow these and other things ecclesiastical upon heretics, and to determine spiritual causes; has forbidden the prelates, clergy and people to acknowledge the Church of Rome or obey its precepts and canonical sanctions; has forced most of them to come to terms with her wicked laws, to abjure the authority and obedience of the pope of Rome, and to accept her, on oath, as their only lady in matters temporal and spiritual; has imposed penalties and punishments on those who would not agree to this and has exacted then of those who perserved in the unity of the faith and the aforesaid obedience; has thrown the Catholic prelates and parsons into prison where many, worn out by long languishing and sorrow, have miserably ended their lives. All these matter and manifest and notorius among all the nations; they are so well proven by the weighty witness of many men that there remains no place for excuse, defence or evasion.
3. We, seeing impieties and crimes multiplied one upon another the persecution of the faithful and afflictions of religion daily growing more severe under the guidance and by the activity of the said Elizabeth -and recognising that her mind is so fixed and set that she has not only despised the pious prayers and admonitions with which Catholic princes have tried to cure and convert her but has not even permitted the nuncios sent to her in this matter by this See to cross into England, are compelled by necessity to take up against her the weapons of juctice, though we cannot forbear to regret that we should be forced to turn, upon one whose ancestors have so well deserved of the Christian community. Therefore, resting upon the authority of Him whose pleasure it was to place us (though unequal to such a burden) upon this supreme justice-seat, we do out of the fullness of our apostolic power declare the foresaid Elizabeth to be a heretic and favourer of heretics, and her adherents in the matters aforesaid to have incurred the sentence of excommunication and to be cut off from the unity of the body of Christ.
4. And moreover (we declare) her to be deprived of her pretended title to the aforesaid crown and of all lordship, dignity and privilege whatsoever.
5. And also (declare) the nobles, subjects and people of the said realm and all others who have in any way sworn oaths to her, to be forever absolved from such an oath and from any duty arising from lordshop. fealty and obedience; and we do, by authority of these presents , so absolve them and so deprive the same Elizabeth of her pretended title to the crown and all other the abovesaid matters. We charge and command all and singular the nobles, subjects, peoples and others afore said that they do not dare obey her orders, mandates and laws. Those who shall act to the contrary we include in the like sentence of excommunication.
6. Because in truth it may prove too difficult to take these presents wheresoever it shall be necessary, we will that copies made under the hand of a notary public and sealed with the seal of a prelate of the Church or of his court shall have such force and trust in and out of judicial proceedings, in all places among the nations, as these presents would themselves have if they were exhibted or shown.
Given at St. Peter's at Rome, on 27 April 1570 of the Incarnation; in the fifth year of our pontificate.

Heresy Watch; The Heresy of Sincerity and Intentionality

Well, it is not often that I come across a heresy that I have not heard of before, but this week and in a visit last June at a friend's house, a new wrinkle of the teaching of the Particular Judgement came up among Catholics and various Christians.

The heresy sounds like this: because we do not have the fullness of truth on earth (lie one), because we are seeing things like St. Paul through a mirror darkly (not want Paul meant in this context), because there is no natural law (lie three), then we are not judged to go to heaven, hell, or purgatory, but are given chances to make new decisions after seeing God (lie 4). It is actually a heresy of intentionality and sincerity, in which a person believes that if they meant to do good and if his or her intentions were good, then there would be no objective sin. Also, if one's intentions were good, God will not judge on objective good or evil. Therefore, once a person sees this at death, then they can start making the right choices.

OK, where do I start? First of all, we are body and soul and we work out our salvation with our bodies and our souls intact. In other words, we are living beings while we pursue holiness. So, when we die, all the merit our souls through our bodies, mind, will, etc. would have merited come to an abrupt end.

Secondly, the experience of meeting God is not about new knowledge which is impossible to obtain on earth, but a fullness of that knowledge. Through the Revelation and Tradition of the Church and the grace of the sacraments, we are given what we need for salvation. In fact, all men and women are given chances for grace, and a grace to convert over and over and over again by the merciful God. What we see at death is God and our relationship with Him.

Thirdly, the choices we make on earth create a pattern of either moving towards God or away from God. When we meet God in the particular judgement, we are merely affirming those decisions and in effect, judging ourselves.

Fourthly, as Christ told the Pharisees and Sadducees through the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, Christ's has given, by the fact of His Resurrection, proof of eternal life through Him Alone.

From Luke 16: 27-31. DR
Then, father, I beseech thee, that thou wouldst send him to my father's house, for I have five brethren,
28 That he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torments.
29 And Abraham said to him: They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.
30 But he said: No, father Abraham: but if one went to them from the dead, they will do penance.
31 And he said to him: If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, if one rise again from the dead.
Revelation and Tradition.
Fifthly, intention is only part of good or evil. A sin or good action is objectively evil or good in and of itself. One cannot separate intention from the matter or form which follows. For example, there are some people who state that yoga is fine, even after it is noted as not so in this document
because their intentions are not to worship Hindu gods but to get exercise or stretch.
With a entire system based on positions of false gods, of energy theories not based on science but on Eastern mythology, and on movements of false paradigms of prayer, intentions cannot change objective disorder. We are humans of body and soul and such movements and positions mean something more, even if one intends them not to do so. Intentions do not make something right. 
Those who deny the finality of the particular judgement think they will get a pass on intentions.
Last point, purgatory is for purification of the imperfections and sins from which we were not freed while on earth. It is not a time for choices. 
The problem is, of course, that those who think subjectively cannot imagine objective good and evil and that their intentions are good enough for moral decisions. 
This heresy of intentionality and sincerity plagues those who fear death. They have not faced the utter reality and finality of death. Either that, or they do not believe in hell. But, that is another posting.