Recent Posts

Friday, 22 August 2014

Follow up on Dawson earlier

This is my godson. He has Down’s Syndrome.

by The Hermit
The photo above is of one of my godsons. He has Down's Syndrome.
The quote below is from Richard Dawkins.
“Given a free choice of having an early abortion or deliberately bringing a Down child into the world, I think the moral and sensible choice would be to abort. And, indeed, that is what the great majority of women, in America and especially in Europe, actually do.
“I personally would go further and say that, if your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare.”
My prayer is that by God's incredible mercy Dawkins will enter purgatory after death. There, please God, he will spend a million or so years in the company of hundreds and hundreds of men, women and children with Down's Syndrome who will hug and love, laugh and sing, dance and play the darkness from Dawkins' cold black heart.
The Hermit | August 22, 2014 at 5:36 pm


Still ill with virus...will post later.

Here we go again! Sneaky!

Archbishop Kurtz Provides Initial Response to Revised HHS Mandate Regulations

August 22, 2014
Disappointed that regulation will not expand exemption, only modifies ‘accommodation’
Extending ‘accommodation’ to exempted businesses reduces religious freedom
More thorough study and detailed comments to come

WASHINGTON–Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it is issuing an additional set of interim final rules to implement its requirement that health plans, including employer-sponsored plans, provide for sterilization, contraception, and drugs that can cause an abortion. In response, Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, president of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), provided the following statement:

“The Administration is once again revising its regulations on the HHS mandate. We will study the regulations carefully and will provide more detailed comments at a later date. In keeping with our practice, we will evaluate the regulations according to the principles set forth in ‘United for Religious Freedom,’ a March 2012 statement of the USCCB Administrative Committee that was later affirmed unanimously by the body of bishops at the General Assembly of June 2012.

“On initial review of the government’s summary of the regulations, we note with disappointment that the regulations would not broaden the “religious employer” exemption to encompass all employers with sincerely held religious objections to the mandate. Instead, the regulations would only modify the “accommodation,” under which the mandate still applies and still requires provision of the objectionable coverage. Also, by proposing to extend the “accommodation” to the closely held for-profit employers that were wholly exempted by the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Hobby Lobby, the proposed regulations would effectively reduce, rather than expand, the scope of religious freedom.”

From A Friend in Malta

 Here is a 2012 article on this movie. Why it is in the cinemas again, I do not know.

The movie “Corpus Christi “is due to be released this June to August. It is a disgusting film set to appear in America later this year which depicts Jesus and his disciples as homosexuals! As a play, this has already been in theaters for a while. It's called "Corpus Christi" which means "The Body of Christ". It's a revolting mockery of our Lord. But we Christians can make a difference.

That's why I am sending this e-mail to you. If you do send this around, we just might be able to prevent this film from being shown in Australia, Canada and America etc. Let's stand for what we believe and stop the mockery of Jesus Christ our Savior. Where do we stand as Christians? I am forwarding this to all I think will respect and appreciate being informed. Please help us prevent such offenses against our Lord. There is no petition to sign, no time limit, or minimum number of people to send this to…It will take you less than 2 minutes!

If you are not interested and do not have the 2 minutes it will take to do this, please don't complain if God does not seem to have time for you.
Imagine what would happen if this film were depicting Mohammad in the same way...the Islamic world would be in flames!!. Apparently, some regions in Europe have already successfully banned the film. All we need is a lot of prayer and a lot of E-mails.


I shall get word as to who to write to about stopping this.

Dawkins wants to kill Down's Syndrome children


Friday, 22 August 2014

Immoral not to abort unborn children with Down's Syndrome, says Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins
Top stories:

Immoral not to abort unborn children with Down's Syndrome, says Richard Dawkins
Professor Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist scientist, has said that it is "immoral" not to abort unborn children with Down's Syndrome. He made the comments in a discussion on Twitter. The professor argued that foetuses should not be given the same legal rights as older human beings. Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, told the BBC: "All unborn children, whether disabled or not, are equal members of the human family, and therefore have an equal right to life with the rest of humanity. As a scientist, Dawkins should know better than to deny that human life begins at conception. As a former foetus, I am against abortion in all circumstances." [BBC, 21 August]

Book now for SPUC's national conference, 5-7 September
SPUC's national conference takes place once again at the Hayes Conference Centre, Swanwick, Derbyshire, from 5-7 September. This will be a fantastic opportunity to hear international speakers on a range of pro-life topics, and get up to date with all SPUC’s campaigns. It is a must for all SPUC branches. We are delighted that our speakers this year will include Bishop Philip Egan, Roman Catholic bishop of Portsmouth. See the conference programme To book, download the booking form and return it to SPUC with the conference fee. If you have any questions about the conference, please contact Katherine Hampton, the conference organiser, by email to or by telephone on 020 7820 3137. [SPUC]

Other stories:

  • UK citizens are second largest contributors to suicide tourism in Switzerland [IBT via Yahoo, 22 August]
  • The bleak new reality in care homes for the elderly [, 21 August] Anthony Ozimic, SPUC's communications manager, commented: "This is utilitarian tick-box medicine,  in which hospital managers put a selfish desire to evade challenging work above the right to life and their duty of care to their patients. In a society in which human life is regarded as disposable, it is inevitable that bureaucracies will put pressure on ordinary people to agree to terminate lives deemed wasteful. The Mental Capacity Act and the Liverpool Care Pathway have worked to entrench this mentality in the National Health Service."
  • Head of the Church of England speaks out against assisted suicide [NRLC, 8 August]
  • Mother has four babies in 9 months after triplets were conceived weeks after son's birth [Mail, 11 August]
Comments on this blog? Email them to

More on The Pope's Phone Call

Perfection Series IV: Part Twenty; The Star of Love and Simplicity in Unity; II

I want to end this section on the Unitive State by referring to a chapter, (41) from Garrigou-Lagrange. As usual, the priest's insights are extremely clear. In a chapter on the Unitive State and "holy childhood", the Dominican notes this:

 The simplicity, or the absence of duplicity, of a child is wholly spontaneous; in him there is no labored refinement, no affectation. He generally says what he thinks and expresses what he desires without subterfuge, without fear of what people will say. As a rule he does not pose; he shows himself as he is. Conscious of his weakness, for he can do nothing of himself, he depends in everything on his father and mother, from whom he should receive everything. This awareness of his weakness is the seed of humility, which leads him to practice the three theological virtues, often in a profoundly simple manner.

One of the signs of someone in the Unitive State is a childlike dependence on God, a complete trusting in God the Father, a complete realization that without Christ nothing is possible, and that one needs the Holy Ghost in order to live the Christian life.

Most of us love the Little Flower for her great simplicity and love. She was raised by loving and faithful parents, which allowed her to make great strides in perfection at a very young age. 

Garrogue-Lagrange understands the virtues of childhood grow quickly in "good soil."

St. Teresa of the Child Jesus reminds us that the principal virtues of the child of God are those in which are reproduced in an eminent degree the innate qualities of the child, minus his defects. Consequently the way of spiritual childhood will teach us to be supernaturally ourselves minus our defects.
The child of God should, first of all, be simple and upright, without duplicity; he should exclude hypocrisy and falsehood from his life, and not seek to pass for what he is not, as our Lord declares in the Sermon on the Mount: "If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome": (2) that is, if the gaze of your spirit is honest, if your intention is upright, your whole life will be illumined.
The child of God should preserve the consciousness of his weakness and indigence; he should constantly recall that God our Father freely created him from nothing, and that without God's grace he can do absolutely nothing in the order of sanctification and salvation. If the child of God grows in this humility, he will have an ever deeper faith in the divine word, greater even than little children have in the words of their parents. He will have a faith devoid of human respect, he will be proud of his faith; and from time to time it will become in him penetrating and sweet, above all reasoning. He will truly live by the mysteries of salvation and will taste them; he will contemplate them with admiration, as a little child looks into the eyes of his beloved father.

 Why are characteristics of the loving, trusting child indicative of a state of union? A child always loves, without the cost and without strings attached. A child is not jaded and wonders at the beauty of life. This simplicity of love and awe grows out of abandonment to God's Perfect Will. I have highlighted some passages for emphasis.

These characteristics of the child are the same as those of the trusting bride one sees illumined in the sermons of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Those who trust are able to love.

If the child of God does not go astray, he will see his hope grow stronger from day to day and become transformed into trusting abandonment to Providence. In proportion to his fidelity to the duty of the moment, to the signified divine will, will be his abandonment to the divine good pleasure as yet unknown. The arms of the Lord are, says St. Teresa Of the Child Jesus, like a divine elevator that lifts man up to God.
Finally, the child of God grows steadily in the love of his Father. He loves Him for Himself and not simply for His benefits, as a little child loves his mother more than the caresses he receives from her. The child of God loves his Father in trial as in joy; when life is difficult, he remembers that he should love the Lord with all his strength and even with all his mind, and be always united to Him in the higher part of his soul as an adorer "in spirit and in truth."

This last characteristic shows that the way of spiritual childhood often demands courage in trial, the virtue of Christian fortitude united to the gift of fortitude. This is especially evident toward the end of the life of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus (3) when she had to pass through the tunnel, which St. John of the Cross calls the night of the spirit. She passed through this profound darkness with admirable faith, praying for unbelievers, with perfect abandonment and most pure and ardent charity, which led her to the transforming union, the immediate prelude of eternal life.

But, here is the mystery. One becomes childlike while retaining the virtues of strength and even martyrdom.

Garrigou-Lagrange does a good job in showing us that this seemingly contradiction is based on Christ's very words. 

The way of childhood thus understood wonderfully harmonizes several seemingly contradictory virtues: meekness and fortitude, and also simplicity and prudence, to which Jesus referred when He said to His apostles: "Behold I send you as sheep in the midst of wolves. Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves."

We must be prudent with the world, which is often perverse; we must also be strong, at times even to martyrdom, as in Spain and Mexico in recent years. But to have this superior prudence and fortitude, we need the gifts of counsel and fortitude, and to have them we must be increasingly simple and childlike toward God, our Lord, and the Blessed Virgin. The less we should be children in our dealings with men, the more we should become children of God. From Him alone can come the fortitude and prudence we need in the struggles of today: we must hope in God and divine grace more than in the strength of popular movements; and should this force stray farther and farther into the way of atheistic communism, we should continue to resist even to martyrdom, placing our trust in God like a little child in the goodness of his father. Father H. Petitot, O.P., in his book, St. Teresa of Lisieux: a Spiritual Renascence, emphasizes this intimate union of virtues so contrary in appearance in St. Teresa of Lisieux.

After the time of purification, one is again regaining lost innocence. Humility brings trust and self-knowledge. A child knows he cannot do anything without his parents' help. But, he also knows he CAN do things and he begins to understand his own capabilities.

Another point of capital importance is that when well understood the way of spiritual childhood wonderfully harmonizes also true humility with the desire for the loving contemplation of the mysteries of salvation. Thereby we see that this contemplation, which proceeds from living faith illumined by the gifts of understanding and wisdom, is in the normal way of sanctity. This penetrating and at times sweet contemplation of the mysteries of faith is not something extraordinary like visions, revelations, and the stigmata, extrinsic favors, so to speak, which we do not find in the life of St. Teresa of Lisieux; it is, on the contrary, the normal fruit of sanctifying grace, called the grace of the virtues and the gifts and the seed of glory. It is the normal prelude of eternal life. This point of doctrine stands out clearly in the writings of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus. She makes us desire and ask the Lord for this loving contemplation of the mysteries of the Incarnation, the redemption, the Eucharist, the Mass, and the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in our souls.

"Jesus, Your ineffable image is the star which guides my steps."

The saint comes to the threshold of eternal life like a little lamb. 

The virtue of obedience is key at this state, and a sign of a saint, one in the Unitive State is complete obedience to Holy Mother Church. Obedience reveals humility and simplicity.

Maybe someday I can write more about this wonderful state of being one with God. I pray that God in His mercy and love will guide all of us on this blog, both me and readers, to become true children of Light.

I can say no more at this time about the Unitive State, but encourage my readers to read Garrigou-Lagrange's book found here.

We also have the saints, that "cloud of witnesses", the Church Triumphant, which tell us how to move on the road to perfection. What wonderful truths in the lives of the saints may be found in the readings from their feast days, the readings in the Divine Office, and the myriad biographies and autobiographies. There are no reasons, but our own reluctance and sin, in becoming the saint God wants each one of us to be.

I want to end with a song from my youth. St. Therese called Jesus her "Star of Love", echoed here in this song. The words are underneath this video of the Notre Dame Liturgical Alumni Choir.


I want to walk as a child of the light;
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world;
The star of my life is Jesus.


In him there is no darkness at all;
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God;
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.
I want to see the brightness of God;
I want to look at Jesus.
Clear Sun of righteousness, shine on my path,
And show me the way to the Father.

I’m looking for the coming of Christ;
I want to be with Jesus.
When we have run with patience the race,
We shall know the joy of Jesus.


Perfection Series IV: Part Nineteen; Simplicity in Unity; I

Too many people assume or think even after study that the state of Union with God means that one has to have a complicated spiritual life.

On the contrary, simplicity is a mark of unity in and with God I am going to devote the last two parts of this fourth series on simplicity as a mark of unity.

Simplicity actually begins or comes in the Illuminative State, but is seen most clearly in the mature saint.

Little Rose of Lima, whose feast day is tomorrow, was united to God at an early age, shows us the way of simplicity. So, too, do SS. Therese, the Little Flower, and Joseph Cupertino.

Here is the great Dominican again:


Another aspect of veracity, the superior simplicity of the saints, prepares the soul even more for contemplation. Simplicity is opposed not only to duplicity, but to every useless complexity, to all that is pretentious or tainted with affectation, like sentimentality which affects a love that one does not have. What falsity to wish to talk in a glowing style as if one were already in the seventh mansion of the interior castle, when one has not yet entered the fourth! How far superior is the simplicity of the Gospel!

We say that a child's gaze is simple because the child goes straight to the point without any mental reservation. With this meaning Christ says to us: "If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome"; that is, if our intention is upright and simple, our whole life will be one, true, and luminous, instead of being divided like that of those who try to serve two masters, God and money, at the same time. In the presence of the complexities, the pretenses, the more or less untruthful complications of the world, we feel instinctively that the moral virtue of simplicity or of perfect loyalty is a reflection of a divine perfection.

The simplicity of God is that of the pure Spirit who is Truth itself and Goodness itself. In Him are no thoughts that succeed one another; there is but one thought, ever the same, which subsists and embraces every truth. The simplicity of His intellect is that of a most pure gaze which, without any admixture of error or ignorance, has unchangeably as its object every knowable truth. The simplicity of His will or of His love is that of a sovereignly pure intention ordering all things admirably and permitting evil only for a greater good.

The most beautiful characteristic of God's simplicity is that it unites in itself perfections which in appearance are most contradictory: absolute immutability and absolute liberty; infinite wisdom and the freest good pleasure, which at times seems arbitrary to us; or again infinite justice, which is inexorable toward unrepented sin, and infinite mercy. All these perfections are fused and identified without destroying each other in the eminent simplicity of God.
We find a reflection of this lofty simplicity in the smile of a child and in the simplicity of the gaze of the saints, which is far superior to all the more or less untruthful intricacies of worldly wisdom and prudence.

What a false notion of simplicity we sometimes form when we imagine that it consists in telling frankly all that passes through our minds or hearts, at the risk of contradicting ourselves from one day to the next, when circumstances will have changed and the persons whom we see will have ceased to please us! This quasi-simplicity is instability itself and contradiction, and consequently complexity and more or less conscious untruth; whereas the superior simplicity of the saints, the image of that of God, is the simplicity of an unchanging wisdom and of a pure and strong love, superior to our impressionability and successive opinions.

St. Francis de Sales often speaks of simplicity.(11) He reduces it to the upright intention of the love of God, which should prevail over all our sentiments, and which does not tarry over the useless search for a quantity of exercises that would make us lose sight of the unity of the end to be attained. He says also that simplicity is the best of artifices because it goes straight toward its goal. He adds that it is not opposed to prudence, and that it does not interfere with what others do.

The perfect soul is thus a simplified soul, which reaches the point of judging everything, not according to the subjective impression of the moment, but in the divine light, and of willing things only for God. And whereas the complex soul, which judges according to its whims, is disturbed for a trifle, the simplified soul is in a constant state of peace because of its wisdom and its love. This superior simplicity, which is quite different from naivete, or ingenuousness, harmonizes perfectly, therefore, with the most cautious Christian prudence that is attentive to the least details of our acts and to their proximate or remote repercussion.

In my last section on the Unitive State, I shall go back to Garrigou-Lagrange on the childlike soul of the saint.

I know I have not exhausted this topic, but only given some hints, some indications as to the beauty of life in and with God.

We are ALL called to this state. Whether we cooperate with grace or not is our own decisions, made daily, until we die.

to be continued....

Perfection Series IV: Part Eighteen; The Marks of The Unitive State

Love, or charity, is the mark of the Unitive State. Perhaps some of you have met a person who is truly loving, kind, charitable, generous, calm, exhibiting all of the virtues and showing the world the life of the pouring out of the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

I have not met a person in the Unitive State. I did see and touch St. John Paul II, but to my knowledge, he was not yet in the Unitive State.

All Christians in Baptism are given the Indwelling of the Holy Spirit, a state which is altered when one commits mortal sin.

Those in mortal sin no longer walk in love or towards love.

Some people may have met such a person who walks in love. Garrigou-Lagrange sites several signs of a person who is in the Unitive State. Here is the section of his book which deal with these:


The signs of this indwelling are set forth at length by St. Thomas in the Contra Gentes,(14) and more briefly in the Summa theologica (15) where he asks whether a man can know if he is in the state of grace. Without having absolute certitude that he has grace, he has signs which enable him, for example, to approach the Holy Table without fear of making a sacrilegious Communion.
The principal signs of the state of grace, in ascending gradation, are the following.
The first sign is the testimony of a good conscience, in the sense that he is not conscious of any mortal sin. This is the fundamental sign, presupposed by the following signs which confirm it.
A second sign is joy in hearing the word of God preached, not only for the sake of hearing it, but to put it into practice. This may be observed in several countries where there is preserved, together with a simple life, a great Christian faith which leads the faithful to listen willingly to their pastor when he explains the great truths of the Gospel.

A third sign, confirming the preceding ones, is the relish of divine wisdom, which leads a man to read the Gospel privately, to seek in it the spirit under the letter, to nourish his soul with it, even when it deals with the mystery of the cross and with the cross he must bear every day.
A fourth sign is the inclination leading the soul to converse intimately with God, and faithfully to resume this conversation when it has been interrupted. We cannot repeat too often that every man carries on an intimate conversation with himself, which, at times, is not good. True interior life begins, as we have often pointed out, when this intimate conversation is no longer only with self, but with God. St. Thomas says: "Friendship inclines a man to wish to converse with his friend. The conversation of man with God is made through the contemplation of God, according to these words of St. Paul: 'Our conversation is in heaven' (Phil. 3: 20). And as the Holy Ghost gives us the love of God, He also inclines us to contemplate Him. That is why the Apostle also says: 'But we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord'" (II Cor. 3: 18).(16)


A fifth sign is to rejoice in God, fully consenting to His will even in adversity. Sometimes in the midst of dejection there is given us a pure and lofty joy which dissipates all sadness. This is a great sign of the Lord's visit. Moreover, Jesus, in promising the Holy Ghost, called Him the Paraclete, or Comforter. And normally we rejoice so much the more in the Lord as we more perfectly fulfill His precepts, for by so doing we form increasingly one sole heart with Him.
A sixth sign is found in the liberty of the children of God. On this subject, St. Thomas writes: "The children of God are led by the Holy Ghost, not like slaves, but like free creatures. . . . The Holy Ghost, in fact, makes us act by inclining our free will to will, for He gives us to love God and inclines us to act for love of Him and not through fear in a servile manner. That is why St. Paul tells us: 'You have not received the spirit of bondage again in fear; but you have received the spirit of adoption of sons, whereby we cry: Abba (Father). For the Spirit Himself giveth testimony to our spirit, that we are the sons of God.' (19) The Apostle also says: 'Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty' (II Cor. 3: 17, deliverance from the slavery of sin, and 'If by the Spirit you mortify the deeds [and affections] of the flesh, you shall live' (Rom. 8: 13)'" (20) This is truly the deliverance or the holy liberty of the children of God, who reign with Him over inordinate desires, the spirit of the world, and the spirit of evil.

Lastly, a seventh sign of the indwelling of the Blessed Trinity in the soul, according to St. Thomas,(21) is that the person speaks of God out of the abundance of his heart. In this sense is realized what the holy doctor says elsewhere: "Preaching should spring from the plenitude of the contemplation of the mysteries of faith." (22) Thus, from Pentecost on, St. Peter and the apostles preached the mystery of the redemption; so too, St. Stephen, the first martyr, preached before being stoned; and likewise St. Dominic, who knew how to speak only with God or of God. Thus the Holy Ghost appears increasingly as a source of ever new graces, an unexhausted and inexhaustible source, "the source of living water springing up into life eternal," the source of light and love.
He is, as the saints say, our consolation in the sorrows of exile. A great hope is left to us in the present world crisis, for the hand of the Lord is not shortened. The numerous saints recently canonized evidence the fact that God is always rich in mercy. These saints who are His great servants, furnish us with magnificent, and often imitable, examples of faith, hope, and love. Proof of this statement is found in the lives of St. Teresa of the Child Jesus, St. Gemma Galgani, St. John Bosco, St. Joseph Cottolengo, Blessed Anthony Mary Claret, St. Catherine Laboure, St. Louise de Marillac, St. Conrad of Parzham, the humble Capuchin lay brother in whom are so admirably fulfilled our Savior's words: "I confess to Thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones" (Matt. 11:25).

to be continued....

Pope Phoned Journalist's Family

Father Z has update on satanic event and Update indicating Host is being given to the Archbishop

Perfection Series IV: Part Seventeen; The Fifth Mansion of St. Teresa of Avila

Perhaps one of the easiest descriptions of the Unitive State is from St. Teresa of Avila. I shall let her share her experience here without comment. Again, this is all in her definition of the Fifth Mansion.

1. You may imagine that there is no more left to be described of the contents of this mansion, but a great deal remains to be told, for as I said, it contains favours of various degrees. I think there is nothing to add about the prayer of union, but when the soul on which God bestows this grace disposes itself for their reception, I could tell you much about the marvels our Lord works in it. I will describe some of them in my own way, also the state in which they leave the soul, and will use a suitable comparison to elucidate the matter, explaining that though we can take no active part in this work of God within us,173  yet we may do much to prepare ourselves to receive this grace. You have heard how wonderfully silk is made—in a way such as God alone could plan—how it all comes from an egg resembling a tiny pepper-corn. Not having seen it myself, I only know of it by hearsay, so if the facts are inaccurate the fault will not be mine. When, in the warm weather, the mulberry trees 130come into leaf, the little egg which was lifeless before its food was ready, begins to live. The caterpillar nourishes itself upon the mulberry leaves until, when it has grown large, people place near it small twigs upon which, of its own accord, it spins silk from its tiny mouth until it has made a narrow little cocoon in which it buries itself. Then this large and ugly worm leaves the cocoon as a lovely little white butterfly.
2. If we had not seen this but had only heard of it as an old legend, who could believe it? Could we persuade ourselves that insects so utterly without the use of reason as a silkworm or a bee would work with such industry and skill in our service that the poor little silkworm loses its life over the task? This would suffice for a short meditation, sisters, without my adding more, for you may learn from it the wonders and the wisdom of God. How if we knew the properties of all things? It is most profitable to ponder over the grandeurs of creation and to exult in being the brides of such a wise and mighty King.
3. Let us return to our subject. The silkworm symbolizes the soul which begins to live when, kindled by the Holy Spirit, it commences using the ordinary aids given by God to all, and applies the remedies left by Him in His Church, such as regular confession, religious hooks, and sermons; these are the cure for a soul dead in its negligence and sins and liable to fall into temptation. Then it comes to life and continues nourishing itself on this food and on devout meditation until it has attained full vigour, which is the essential point, 131for I attach no importance to the rest. When the silkworm is full-grown as I told you in the first part of this chapter, it begins to spin silk and to build the house wherein it must die. By this house, when speaking of the soul, I mean Christ. I think I read or heard somewhere, either that our life is hid in Christ, or in God (which means the same thing) or that Christ is our life.174  It makes little difference to my meaning which of these quotations is correct.
4. This shows, my daughters, how much, by God’s grace, we can do, by preparing this home for ourselves, towards making Him our dwelling-place as He is in the prayer of union. You will suppose that I mean we can take away from or add something to God when I say that He is our home, and that we can make this home and dwell in it by our own power. Indeed we can: though we can neither deprive God of anything nor add aught to Him, yet we can take away from and add to ourselves, like the silkworms. The little we can do will hardly have been accomplished when this insignificant work of ours, which amounts to nothing at all, will be united by God to His greatness and thus enhanced with such immense value that our Lord Himself will be the reward of our toil. Although He has had the greatest share in it, He will join our trifling pains to the bitter sufferings He endured for us and make them one.
5. Forward then, my daughters! hasten over your work and build the little cocoon. Let us renounce 132self-love and self-will,175  care for nothing earthly, do penance, pray, mortify ourselves, be obedient, and perform all the other good works of which you know. Act up to your light; you have been taught your duties. Die! die as the silkworm does when it has fulfilled the office of its creation, and you will see God and be immersed in His greatness, as the little silkworm is enveloped in its cocoon. Understand that when I say ‘you will see God,’ I mean in the manner described, in which He manifests Himself in this kind of union.
6. Now let us see what becomes of the ‘silkworm,’ for all I have been saying leads to this. As soon as, by means of this prayer, the soul has become entirely dead to the world, it comes forth like a lovely little white butterfly!176  Oh, how great God is! How beautiful is the soul after having been immersed in God’s grandeur and united closely to Him for but a short time! Indeed, I do not think it is ever as long as half an hour.177  Truly, the spirit does not recognize itself, being as different from what it was as is the white butterfly from the repulsive caterpillar. It does not know how it can have merited so great a good, or rather, whence this grace came178  which it well knows it merits not. The soul desires to praise our Lord God and longs to sacrifice itself and die a thousand deaths for Him. It feels an unconquerable desire for great 133crosses and would like to perform the most severe penances; it sighs for solitude and would have all men know God, while it is bitterly grieved at seeing them offend Him. These matters will be described more fully in the next mansion; there they are of the same nature, yet in a more advanced state the effects are far stronger, because, as I told you, if; after the soul has received these favours, it strives to make still farther progress, it will experience great things. Oh, to see the restlessness of this charming little butterfly, although never in its life has it been more tranquil and at peace! May God be praised! It knows not where to stay nor take its rest; everything on earth disgusts it after what it has experienced, particularly when God has often given it this wine which leaves fresh graces behind it at every draught.
7. It despises the work it did while yet a caterpillar—the slow weaving of its cocoon thread by thread—its wings have grown and it can fly; could it be content to crawl? All that it can do for God seems nothing to the soul compared with its desire. It no longer wonders at what the saints bore for Him, knowing by experience how our Lord aids and transforms the soul until it no longer seems the same in character and appearance. Formerly it feared penance, now it is strong: it wanted courage to forsake relations, friends, or possessions: neither its actions, its resolutions, nor separation from those it loved could detach the soul, but rather seemed to increase its fondness. Now it finds even their rightful claims a burden,179  fearing contact with 134them lest it should offend God. It wearies of everything, realizing that no true rest can be found in creatures.
8. I seem to have enlarged on this subject, yet far more might be said about it; those who have received this favour will think I have treated it too briefly. No wonder this pretty butterfly, estranged from earthly things, seeks repose elsewhere. Where can the poor little creature go? It cannot return to whence it came, for as I told you, that is not in the soul’s power, do what it will, but depends upon God’s pleasure. Alas, what fresh trials begin to afflict the mind! Who would expect this after such a sublime grace?180  In fact in one way or another we must carry the cross all our lives. If people told me that ever since attaining to the prayer of union they had enjoyed constant peace and consolation, I should reply that they could never have reached that state, but that, at the most, if they had arrived as far as the last mansion, their emotion must have been some spiritual satisfaction joined to physical debility. It might even have been a false sweetness caused by the devil, who gives peace for a time only to wage far fiercer war later on. I do not mean that those who reach this stage possess no peace; they do so in a very high degree, for their sorrows, though extremely severe, are so beneficial and proceed from so good a source as to procure both peace and happiness.
9. Discontent with this world gives such a painful longing to quit it that, if the heart finds comfort, 135it is solely from the thought that God wishes it to remain here in banishment. Even this is not enough to reconcile it to fate, for after all the gifts received, it is not yet so entirely surrendered to the will of God as it afterwards becomes. Here, although conformed to His will, the soul feels an unconquerable reluctance to submit, for our Lord has not given it higher grace. During prayer this grief breaks forth in floods of tears, probably from the great pain felt at seeing God offended and at thinking how many souls, both heretics and heathens, are lost eternally, and keenest grief of all, Christians also! The soul realizes the greatness of God’s mercy and knows that however wicked men are, they may still repent and be saved; yet it fears that many precipitate themselves into hell.
10. Oh, infinite greatness of God! A few years ago—indeed, perhaps but a few days—this soul thought of nothing but itself. Who has made it feel such tormenting cares? If we tried for many years to obtain such sorrow by means of meditation, we could not succeed.
11. God help me! If for long days and years I considered how great a wrong it is that God should be offended, and that lost souls are His children and my brethren; if I pondered over the dangers of this world and how blessed it would be to leave this wretched life, would not that suffice? No, daughters, the pain would not be the same. for this, by the help of God, we can obtain by such meditation; but it does not seem to penetrate the very depths of our being like the other which 136appears to cut the soul to pieces and grind it to powder through no action—even sometimes with no wish—of its own. What is this sorrow, then? Whence does it come? I will tell you. Have you not heard (I quoted the words to you just now, but did not apply to them this meaning)181  how the Bride says that God ‘brought her into the cellar of wine and set in order charity in her’?182  This is what happens here. The soul has so entirely yielded itself into His hands and is so subdued by love for Him that it knows or cares for nothing but that God should dispose of it according to His will. I believe that He only bestows this grace on those He takes entirely for His own. He desires that, without knowing how, the spirit should come forth stamped with His seal for indeed it does no more than does the wax when impressed with the signet. It does not mould itself but need only be in a fit condition—soft and pliable; even then it does not soften itself but must merely remain still and submit to the impression.
12. How good Thou art, O God! All is done for us by Thee, Who dost but ask us to give our wills to Thee that we may be plastic as wax in Thy hands. You see, sisters, what God does to this soul so that it may know that it is His. He gives it something of His own—that which His Son possessed when living on earth—He could bestow on greater gift on us. Who could ever have longed more eagerly to leave this life than did Christ? 137 As He said at the Last Supper: ‘With desire have I desired’183  this. O Lord! does not that bitter death Thou art to undergo present itself before Thine eyes in all its pain and horror? ’No, for My ardent love and My desire to save souls are immeasurably stronger than the torments. This deeper sorrow I have suffered and still suffer while living here on earth, makes other pain seem as nothing in comparison.’
13. I have often meditated on this and I know that the torture a friend of mine184  has felt, and still feels, at seeing our Lord sinned against is so unbearable that she would far rather die than continue in such anguish. Then I thought that if a soul whose charity is so weak compared to that of Christ—indeed, in comparison with His this charity might be said not to exist—experiences this insufferable grief, what must have been the feelings of our Lord Jesus Christ and what must His life have been? for all things were present before His eyes and He was the constant witness of the great offences committed against His Father. I believe without doubt that this pained Him far more than His most sacred Passion. There, at least, He found the end of all His trials, while His agony was allayed by the consolation of gaining our salvation through His death and of proving how He loved His Father by suffering for Him. Thus, people who, urged by fervent love, perform great penances 138hardly feel them but want to do still more and count even that as little. What, then, must His Majesty have felt at thus publicly manifesting His perfect obedience to His Father and His love for His brethren? What joy to suffer in doing God’s will! Yet I think the constant sight of the many sins committed against God and of the numberless souls on their way to hell must have caused Him such anguish that, had He not been more than man, one day of such torment would have destroyed not only His life but many more lives, had they been His.

Sticker Shock

I wanted to send four used books to supertradson this past week...the US postal service wanted 66.50 USD for three and a half pounds of books to Britain. Of course, I do not have that kind of money.

Does anyone want to send these books to STS? I passed these on to another interested person.


The Sign of Contradiction by John Paul II

The Fulfillment of All Desire by Ralph Martin 

Bernard of Clairvaux: Sermons on the Song of Songs, Vol I


if anyone feels like getting me volumes II, III and IV of the same, I would appreciate it.

Perfection Series IV: Part Sixteen; The Fifth Mansions of Teresa of Avila

St. Teresa of Avila puts the Unitive State at the Fifth, Sixth and Seventh Mansions, the highest being ecstasy and the Spiritual Marriage. I have written about the Spiritual Marriage several times on this blog, and refer you to these posts:

18 Jul 2012
To you, young people, I say: if you hear the Lord's call, do not reject it! Dare to become part of the great movements of holiness which renowned saints have launched in their following of Christ. Cultivate the ideals proper to ...
25 May 2013
There are several saints, and some not yet canonized women, who had experienced the mystical marriage with Christ. Here are some. But, does one have to be named Catherine, I wonder? Seriously, I place an incomplete ...
11 Nov 2013
Moving out of the Dark Night is noted by St. John of the Cross as the time of betrothal of the spiritual marriage. He is clear that the long Dark Night purges one of the smallest imperfections, so that one is emptied of evil. A new ...
25 May 2013
This favour does not of itself produce an alienation of the senses; ecstasies are more rare. Nor does this permanent sense of God's presence suffice to constitute the spiritual marriage, but is only a state somewhat near to it.
Also, under St. Catherine of Siena, there are many, many posts on the Mystical Marriage.
I do not need to concentrate on that aspect of the Unitive State, which is also covered in St. Bernard's sermons on The Songs of Songs.

 However, it is worth looking at the state just before that of the Mystical Marriage in order to understand the Unitive State. Now, Garrigou-Lagrange is the most comprehensive writer on this stage, so I shall return to him later.

But, here is Teresa in her own words on the Fifth Mansion. For me, the key is understanding that God takes the initiative totally at this stage.

St Catherine of Siena and The Christ Child
 Teresa makes it clear Who is now in charge of the person in the Unitive State.

 Concerning my words: ‘We can do nothing on our own part,’ I was struck by the words of the Bride in the Canticles, which you will remember to have heard: ’The King brought me into the cellar of wine,’170  (or ‘placed me’ I think she says): she does not say she went of her own accord, 128although telling us how she wandered up and down seeking her Beloved.171  I think the prayer of union is the ‘cellar’ in which our Lord places us when and how He chooses, but we cannot enter it through any effort of our own. His Majesty alone can bring us there and come into the centre of our souls. In order to declare His wondrous works more clearly, He will leave us no share in them except complete conformity of our wills to His and abandonment of all things: He does not require the faculties or senses to open the door to Him; they are all asleep. He enters the innermost depths of our souls without a door, as He entered the room where the disciples sat, saying ‘Pax vobis,’172  and as He emerged from the sepulchre without removing the stone that closed the entrance. You will see farther on, in the seventh mansion, far better than here, how God makes the soul enjoy His presence in its very centre. O daughters, what wonders shall we see, if we keep ever before our eyes our own baseness and frailty and recognize how unworthy we are to be the handmaids of so great a Lord, Whose marvels are beyond our comprehension! May He be for ever praised! Amen. 

This gift of being taken up into Christ is a foreshadowing of our life in heaven where we shall experience the Beatific Vision. As one can see, Teresa of Avila's description is quite discursive.

To be continued.....

In case you missed this...

Nature Responds to Dumbing-Down