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Sunday, 20 October 2013

A good tweet for thought today

Politeness is a way of showing externally the internal regard we have for others. Good manners are the shadows cast by virtues. Fulton Sheen

Practicing the Virtues in the Dark Night

Temperance, Prudence, Fortitude, Justice
When the hidden faults and tendencies towards sins are subdued, finally the life of virtues comes to the fore. The interior person is calmed, because the waves of desires have been calmed. There is no disturbance, and anxiety fades away.

A new trust in God, which is a trust in the unknown overwhelms the soul.  God's peace grows. One must, of course, grow into a new trust and a new reliance on Divine Providence.  Constantly, one thinks on God and if one's thoughts go away from God, one's thoughts come back to God quickly.

Then, and only then, is one finally living in the life of the virtues. As one is no longer motivated, as St. John of Cross writes, by the seeking of consolations or "satisfaction", one begins to work in and for God alone and not for the ego.

This is the largest weakness of Catholics working in and for the Church. So many do not work through the Dark Night to the point of being free enough to allow the virtues to come to the fore.

One feels and sees one's weaknesses, states St. John and, therefore, one practices fortitude.

One does not see the path clearly, so one lives in faith and hope purely.

One does not need things and no longer pursues the material, so one practices temperance.

One no longer judges others, but only actions, realizing that one is inferior to all other people. This is the virtue of justice.

One in humility sees the world and people more and more as God does and, therefore, lives in the virtue of prudence.

But, to get to this point of actually living the virtues, one must, must, must allow God to purify one's self.

And, one chooses to love freely in the will, willing to love God.

Thus, the cardinal and theological virtues come into being really for the first time in one's life in and through the Dark Night.

If one can think that a person can live in the virtues without this purification, one is lying to one's self. So many activities in the Church come from those who are acting out of egotism and not the virtues. And, so the Church is weakened from within.

to be continued.....

The Dryness of the Dark Night Two

Sometimes, in the Dark Night, God brings one to a taste of His Great Love. We do not will this or even ask for it. This just happens.  This good is not continuous in the Dark Night.  And, one does not even perceive the Love of God in the beginning.  One merely becomes more aware of the desire to please God above all things and above all people.

The detachment and objectivity which comes are graces of this purification of the senses.   One sees one's smallness and misery more and more.  The purpose of all this is the emptying of self so that God can fill one's heart and mind and soul.

When one is empty, one is unhindered...without attachments. This is also called holiness. One also sees that most people are better than one is....a good sign of the benefits of the Dark Night. To get to this stage, one must face a great deal of humiliation. There is no holiness without humility.

The Psalms of David provide all of us with the great journey of the Dark Night into complete Union.

Psalm 41


Unto the end, understanding for the sons of Core.
As the hart panteth after the fountains of water; so my soul panteth after thee, O God.
My soul hath thirsted after the strong living God; when shall I come and appear before the face of God?
My tears have been my bread day and night, whilst it is said to me daily: Where is thy God?
These things I remembered, and poured out my soul in me: for I shall go over into the place of the wonderful tabernacle, even to the house of God: With the voice of joy and praise; the noise of one feasting.
Why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou trouble me? Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance,
And my God. My soul is troubled within myself: therefore will I remember thee from the land of Jordan and Hermoniim, from the little hill.
Deep calleth on deep, at the noise of thy flood-gates. All thy heights and thy billows have passed over me.
In the daytime the Lord hath commanded his mercy; and a canticle to him in the night. With me is prayer to the God of my life.
10 I will say to God: Thou art my support. Why hast thou forgotten me? and why go I mourning, whilst my enemy afflicteth me?
11 Whilst my bones are broken, my enemies who trouble me have reproached me; Whilst they say to me day be day: Where is thy God?
12 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me? Hope thou in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

The Dryness of the Dark Night

The dryness in prayer and even in actions provide a clear clue to the purification of the senses of the Dark Night.  One must move beyond being absorbed by the senses and be beyond concerned with discursive meditation and allow God to work passively in us.

This attitude takes great faith.

That is the whole point.

One does not find sweetness and delight in anything. Here I sit in one of the most beautiful countries in the world and it does not matter to my soul.

I have not created this detachment, but God has. Why?  Because all distractions, even beauty and inclinations towards beauty must be destroyed. While the outward "man" dies, the inward "man" becomes stronger and more solicitous to the things of God.

I desire to be more alone and to use a phrase from St. John of the Cross, "in quietude".  Simple contemplation requires solitude. Do not let liberal teachers, either nuns or priests, tell you that you are contemplating until you go through these stages of purification. Do not let those who have not made the journey themselves lead you on into dead ends.

One must move from active contemplation to passive contemplation.  One can no longer will meditation or contemplation. This is key to understanding this phase.

All one's efforts are useless. All.

And, one moves beyond the use of the imagination as well.

One moves, as I have written before, from memory to understanding to will.

However, in this desert of thought and imagination, God sometimes comes through to give one consolations.

He does this to encourage one.

Also, there is a mystery of this call.  Some people get more consolations than others, but this does not matter.

One cannot compare one's self with another on this road.

To be continued....

Yet one more sign of the decadence in Europe

Malta is about to pass a ssm bill, which I explained a few days ago, which gives gay and lesbians the same rights as heterosexual couples.

I am still reeling from an article this morning in the Times of Malta wherein Fr. Borg, who writes a regular column for that paper, came out for civil unions.

Why such a liberal priest, who is out of touch with the excellent teaching of the Catholic Church is allowed to write such a deceitful stand is beyond me.

And, why the rush in Europe on ssm? Why is this being pushed?

The same with shariah law banking, which is also being pushed through the banking back-door of almost all countries of Europe.

If people want real news, they have to search for it.

Sad, sad days...