Recent Posts

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Misunderstandings on Foundations-Something Out of Nothing

Over the centuries, women and men who have founded communities or orders, had a place. St. Francis was allowed to take San. Damiano, when he was still a lay person, which he was for many long years until his order was established. He was alone for a long time as well.

Marie Adele Garnier, the foundress of Tyburn, was given a house by a benefactor when she only had herself and one other young person adoring Christ in the nearby church in Paris. Again, she was a lay person for a relatively long while before she was allowed to make vows. Many years passed before she applied for Benedictine recognition, under the guidance of Dom Marmion. The Church has an established, conservative order of this process. One does the work of God first, before having an order blossom out of that work.

A friend of mine in Europe set up an Association of the Faithful, approved by Rome, for men to pray, work, and study. His wealthy parents bought him the extensive property. He is, individually, poor. He lives a simple lifestyle within his new order.  I know three religious hermits who were given places to live. They are individuals, not a community. Without the benefactors, they could not have become hermits. The three live according to God's call and the fruit of their work is obvious to those who go to them for spiritual direction. I have not shared this on this blog, but I do spiritual direction and never charge. So, it should be. Without two benefactors, I would not have seen my son at Christmas, a son I had not seen in 15 months.

Some foundresses were wealthy and used their own money. Some were poor and were given places by generous benefactors who only wanted daily prayers said for their souls.

St. Etheldreda, being a princess with her own land, was abbess over a double monastery of men and women, the land of which included parts of Ely and Ely Place in London. Not too many wealthy people start orders or houses of prayer in the 21st Century. Not too many princesses follow Christ in the radical Gospel.

Several modern stigmatists lived in small cabins, and their local communities helped them survive, washing their clothes, taking turns sitting with them, and so on. Some were very poor and individuals, not in communities. Only one 20th century stigmatist actually has an lay order started after her--Marthe Robin. These extraordinarily holy people were not left alone. But, one does not have to earn such support. God is in charge.

People do not understand Divine Providence. I suggest they read the series I did on this subject. Just use tags or the search bar.

Communities or gatherings of people need a place. We are not disembodied spirits. Mary was given a house by Joseph and later, by John. The only saint I know who did not have a permanent home, outside of the Fools for Christ of Russia, is St. Benedict Labre. He did not want to set up a house of Adoration, a place for Jesus to be in the neighborhood.

The idea that members of a community or a future order can exist without benefactors seems to be a new idea. Even Father Z, a lone priest on line, has hundreds of benefactors. If I did not have someone paying for this Internet connection, I would not be blogging. God bless this benefactor, and those who sent me bedding and towels, so that I can be warm, pray and blog. God bless the person who is sending me a gift cert so I can buy food. This is the way of Catholics supporting those in need. It has always been so until the lies of socialism and the middle-class Calvinism crept into the minds of some Catholics. The idea of the "worthy poor" did not come out of Catholicism, but out of Victorian England. None of us are worthy of anything, and those who have are not more worthy than those who do not have.

Such members of the Church, sadly, have fallen into middle-class ideas of religion which do not take into account giving without return. These are new days, and the coming tribulation means secret places for God to rest and even priests to hide. The Catholics will be marginalized, fined, and those enemies of God will try, as in England years ago, to destroy the Church in America. We need places "under the radar" as one of my dear friends told me last night.

The old days are very quickly passing away, as most of the young people I speak with and write to know. They can see the sea-change. Things will get worse very quickly and the days of setting up anything for God will be ended. We need to act now.

I suggest people read the foundations of orders and shrines, as I have for a long time. Benefactors helped almost all the new foundations, begun mostly by lay people, who then moved to new orders created by them. Most of the old orders have become corrupted. I know Carmelites and their third order members who believe in women priests and even contraception. New ideas and new disciplines are necessary. Adoration chapels should dot the entire landscape of America and Europe. These are needed in these times.

Lay communities morph into orders, if that is God's Will.

God does not follow business plans, but has His Own Way of creating something out of nothing, so that no one can take credit for His Plans. Such is the way of humility. Without humility, people think it is their work and not God's and sometimes, He uses the poorest of the poor in order to show forth His Glory. Marie Adele Garnier had bad health, and was a governess before she was called to adore Christ in the Eucharist. She was poor. Now, her order has ten houses across the globe. This all took time, and benefactors.

I am living in a diocese now where the bishop most likely would be open to such a project. He has done this before. Not all bishops would be open, but I am open to this happening elsewhere, as long as the local bishop approves. That is another consideration. One sets up a discipline for Adoration and presents it to a bishop. Only he can approve private Adoration in a house.

30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.
32 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Luke 6:30-35