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Thursday, 26 February 2015

Praying in The Will of God And in Your Vocation

Over the past several months, for about a year to be more exact, I have been learning about efficacious and non-efficacious prayer.

For each person, there is what I would call an "authority" for certain prayers.  This authority has to do with two things: one's vocation and the Will of God.

One's vocation leads to an intimacy with God which means that the prayers said in connection with that vocation are most likely to be answered.

The obvious example would be a mother or father's prayers for their children; or, a husband or wife's prayers for their mate.

This authority in prayer mirrors the authority one has in life in one's vocation. For example, when I was teaching and had authority over students, my prayers were more efficacious than I realized.

As a mother, my prayers for my son bear fruit, and so on.

When nuns and monks are called by virtue of their vocation to pray for others' intentions in intercessory prayer, especially for priests and leaders of the Church, their prayers are efficacious.

And, these prayers are made in sanctifying grace, of course, and even more efficacious if made without egotism, after one is purified in the Dark Night.

I have discovered which prayers of mine are more efficacious than others.

Secondly, God manifests His Will in the answering of prayers. So, if I pray for healing for someone,,especially emotional and psychological healing, and it happens, it means that this was His Will for that person. If I pray for souls in purgatory, which I have been doing for years as part of my vocation of prayer, I find I get signs of these persons' release.This is part of my vocation of prayer and God's Will.

Such is the Will of God and the authority given according to my vocation.

If we are praying in the Will of God, things happen almost instantaneously.  But, as in the case of St. Monica's long years of praying for her son, Augustine, God sometimes tests us to see if we are persevering. Also, we are purified through years of prayer for other people. We are purged of selfishness through these long prayers.

Look at the prayers God has answered in your life. There may be a pattern which indicates both your vocation and God's Will in your life and the lives of those for whom you pray.

Very Good

Note the responsibility of all Catholics to learn their Faith...a point made on this blog frequently and even, today.

And, a discussion on Lumen Gentium, with this part quoted...

14. This Sacred Council wishes to turn its attention firstly to the Catholic faithful. Basing itself upon Sacred Scripture and Tradition, it teaches that the Church, now sojourning on earth as an exile, is necessary for salvation. Christ, present to us in His Body, which is the Church, is the one Mediator and the unique way of salvation. In explicit terms He Himself affirmed the necessity of faith and baptism(124) and thereby affirmed also the necessity of the Church, for through baptism as through a door men enter the Church. Whosoever, therefore, knowing that the Catholic Church was made necessary by Christ, would refuse to enter or to remain in it, could not be saved.
They are fully incorporated in the society of the Church who, possessing the Spirit of Christ accept her entire system and all the means of salvation given to her, and are united with her as part of her visible bodily structure and through her with Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. The bonds which bind men to the Church in a visible way are profession of faith, the sacraments, and ecclesiastical government and communion. He is not saved, however, who, though part of the body of the Church, does not persevere in charity. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but, as it were, only in a "bodily" manner and not "in his heart."(12*) All the Church's children should remember that their exalted status is to be attributed not to their own merits but to the special grace of Christ. If they fail moreover to respond to that grace in thought, word and deed, not only shall they not be saved but they will be the more severely judged.(13*)

Thanks to Mr. O'Reilly for This Link

A reader told me of this news item sad.

Timely Argument

An Early History and A Lesson

President Johnson began Head Start, as part of the war on poverty, in 1965. In the beginning, this organization was made up of volunteers and very few paid personnel. The program at that time, and until much later, was only an eight-week catch-up program to prepare pre-schoolers for school.

Several years later, I volunteered in the summer to teach very young children how to use pencil and paper, how to color, how to learn the alphabet, and basic numbers and so on. It was a pre-school catch-up program.

Another volunteer and I would go early in the morning to the ghetto, and pick up the children on the list so that we could teach them for a half-day.

We quickly discovered, in 1972, that the children we were picking up to take to the learning center were, day after day, in the same filthy clothes, sometimes soiled with excrement, and they had not eaten any breakfast.

My co-worker and I began to wash these children and help them get dressed in new clothes, which we bought out of our own money, and feed them food, again, out of our own money.

These children could not receive what the "program" wanted to give them as they lived in such destitution. Most of them were sons and daughters of people who had migrated to the north to get jobs, but there were no jobs. One or two had alcoholic parents, parents who were drinking by eight in the morning.

That summer, for a short time, we did what we could to meet some of the basic needs of these children. Needless to say, few learned anything, but we helped them live, and gave them lots of positive feedback, as love was called in those days.

The program I had volunteered for that summer did not continue, and I went on to other things, like studying the Montessori Method.

I still remember one little boy, the dirtiest and most patient of all. After all these years, I can see his pained and suffering face. He never complained. In fact, all these children were extremely well-behaved, and grateful in their own little ways. Again, in 2006, for a short while, I worked with Head Start, now controlled by social workers and government agents. Some of the children were not much better off than those two generations earlier. And, the personal touch was gone. We were, for example, no longer allowed to hug and touch the children. There was a huge difference in structure regarding teachers, assistants, and volunteers. We were not supposed to give out charity at all, but only work within the structure. I think the system had fallen away from its usefulness for many reasons, including "Head Start Fade." Governments cannot do what individuals can do--love.

In 1964, 21% of Americans lived in poverty. The percentage is now 14.5%. Not much change...

Educational agendas had taken over from real love and care,  and although some of the workers did have good hearts, some did not. For some, the program was merely a stepping stone to a bigger career.

I share this little part of my life because of a comment earlier today. What we thought the children needed, and they did need, pre-school teaching, was not the real need they had. They needed basic necessities, very basic, like cleanliness and food, as well as positive attention.

I moved from that city and went into a community shortly after this experience. Working, even for a short time, with these children gave me a perspective I have had all my life.

One must be flexible in dealing with the poor, and one must be humble enough to change one's ideas of need. The little bit we can do personally is much more important than the good we can do institutionally.

My fellow volunteer and I never judged the parents. That was not our job. We would try to meet each person with respect and give them the dignity they deserved as human beings. I wish I could have done more, but as a very young person, on a very low salary, I could only do so much.

That is Christ's message for us.

Memories of The Blue Rose

As those who have been following my blog know well, I have a "thing" about roses, red, white, and blue.

I have posted an ancient Chinese story on the blue rose and referred to the symbolism of this rose many times here. I repeat the story below.

Today, a person I have never met, and not a blog reader, sent me a beautiful scarf with blue roses on it. I take this a little, personal encouragement from Our Father.

The Asians, Chinese and Japanese, have stories involving the blue rose. One of the meanings emphasizes the continued questing of an individual who is working against many odds to accomplish a dream.

The blue rose represents mysticism, mystery, seeking the highest goals, even striving for what is unattainable.

Wearing my new scarf today, a mysterious choice indeed to the person who sent it to me, I am overwhelmed by the goodness of God. This person does not know my preference for the blue rose.

Over the last two days, again, I have given God all my dreams and desires, praying, as I have been for months, but with new vigor that only His Perfect Will be done in my life.

And I get a new scarf....

God is showing me that all my prayers, which seem impossible, like living in Europe in the same country as my son, like having a house of prayer, will be answered despite the impossibility of such prayers--in His own way. I was about to give up, as I am so tired, but this scarf came from far away, and from an unlikely source, to encourage me to trust totally in God..

I reprint the old story from China here...and like the gardener's son in the story, God is patient and true with us, showing us what is in our own hearts, showing us ourselves. When we have eyes to see the wonder of what God is doing in our lives, we accept the blue rose. At the end of the story, one sees that the blue rose is the white one, a symbol of purity, held out in love and simplicity, yet changed to blue in the sun through the stained glass window. Perception is all. And, perfection allows one to see.

The Blue Rose

A folktale from China
Retold by Rose Owens

            There was once an Emperor who had but one child—a daughter.  She was his pride and joy, his treasure.  He cherished her above all else.   As he became old and his health began to fail, he realized that he might not always be there to care for and protect this precious daughter.  He determined that it would be best if he were to find a husband for his daughter. 

        When it became known that the Emperor was seeking a husband for the Princess, many men found their way to the palace to request his daughter’s hand in marriage.  The Princess pleaded with her father.  “Father, let me remain with you to care for you.  I have no wish to marry and leave you.”  But her father was adamant. 

 Finally he said he would allow her to name one qualification that her chosen husband must meet—be it wealth or looks or special ability or whatever.  The Princess said she would name that qualification on the morrow.
            That evening the Princess went to the garden to talk with the gardener’s son—her childhood playmate.  “If I say my husband must be handsome, he might be handsome but have a cruel heart.  If I say my husband must be kind, he might also be terribly old.  Oh what qualification should I specify?”
            As they discussed the problem, the Princess and the gardener’s son determined that it should take the form of a test—difficult but not so difficult as to be impossible.  “And it must be ambiguous,” said the gardener’s son, “ so that it is up to you to determine if the man qualifies.”  Late that night they finally determined what that qualification must be.
            The next morning the Princess told her father, “I will marry the man who can bring me a blue rose.”
            The neverending stream of suitors ended for none could find a blue rose. 
            A wealthy merchant, not wanting to waste time looking for the blue rose, went to a flower vendor.  “I will give you a bag of gold if you can find me a blue rose,” he said.  After a long, fruitless search, the flower vendor gave up.  He bought a strong dye and dipped the stem into it. The petals of the rose turned a pale blue. “Keep the rose in the vase with the dye,” he told the merchant, “until just before you give it to the Princess.”

            The merchant brought the rose to the Princess.  The Princess reached out and took the rose from his hand.   As she looked at the rose, a drop of blue dye fell from the stem and puddled in her hand. She looked at the bluish-green leaves and then looked into the merchant’s eyes.  He could not meet her gaze.  “I cannot marry you,” she said.  You have tried to deceive me.  I would have a husband who is true.”
            There was a handsome young warrior who would marry the Princess.  He was strong and powerful.  None dared to stand against him.  The young warrior went to the king of a neighboring kingdom. “Bring me the blue rose,” he said, “or I will kill you and half the people in your kingdom.”  The king, who valued peace and did not wish to fight, presented the warrior with a blue sapphire that was carved in the shape of a rose.
            The young warrior presented the sapphire rose to the Princess.  She looked into his cold eyes—eyes that were as hard as the rose of stone.  She said, “I cannot marry you.  I must have a blue rose that is real—not one that is cold and hard.”
            The youngest of the king’s advisors also sought the Princess’ hand.  He conceived a clever plan.  He commissioned an artist to make a blue bowl.  On the side of the bowl was painted a blue rose.  The rim of the bowl was edged in gold.  It was fragile and delicate—a thing of rare beauty.  The young advisor presented it to the Princess on bended knee.  The Princess looked at the bowl and looked into the eyes of the young man.  “Marry me, Princess,” he said, “I will help you rule your kingdom.”

            The Princess shook her head, “I must have a rose that is real.” 
            That evening the Princess sat in the garden talking to the gardener’s son.  “None of them could bring me the blue rose.  I must marry someone who will be honest and true with me—as you have always been. 
He cannot be hard and cruel.  I need someone who is kind and patient—as you have been. 
I do not want a husband who seeks only for power and riches.  I want one who will value me for myself—as you have. . . . .”  
            “Princess,” said the gardener’s son.  “Tomorrow I will bring you the blue rose.  Wait for me in the blue room just before sundown.” 
            The next day when the sun was almost gone, the Princess sat in the blue room.  The gardener’s son approached bearing a plain white rose in his hands. 
            “But it is a common white rose,” said one.
            “He is the gardener’s son,” said another.
            “Surely the Princess will send him away,” said a third.

            The gardener’s son knelt before the Princess.  Through the blue stain glass windows, the rays of the setting sun shone touched the petals of the white rose.  
            As the Princess reached out to take the rose, a murmur arose.  “He is only the gardener’s son.”
“The rose is not truly blue.”
The Princess stood.  “My people, let me tell you what I see.  I see a young man who has always been honest and true.  I see a young man who has had the courage to be patient and kind enough to wait until I knew what was in my heart.  I see a young man who values me for myself.  In his hands he hold a gift of love.  And it is blue.  And if you cannot see that the rose is blue, I say that you are colorblind.
The old Emperor took his daughter’s hand and he took the hand of the gardener’s son and joined them.  And the Princess married the gardener’s son and they lived happily ever after—not because this storyteller said so—not because that’s the way that love stories should end.  But because the Princess and the gardener’s son knew that their happiness was in their own hands and that each was responsible for making sure that the other was happy. 

Retold by Rose Owens
Copyright 2000

Wow! Heresy in The Back of Church

Several weeks ago, I picked up three free booklets in the back of a church I was visiting. All three have out and out heresy and other errors in them. One is published by a diocese, one by an religious order, and one by a famous Catholic press.

Do not use these meditation books for Lent. They are corrupted by Modernist heresies and errors of judgement..

Lay people, please give up secondary texts and go straight to the Divine Office, for the sake of your souls. Blessed Paul VI told us to use the Breviary. Do it!

Some of the errors are so outrageous, they indicate a really worldly, and not God-given approach to Scripture. Some of the writings show a lack of knowledge of God and His saints.

A list of some errors:

Christ did not have the love of God but had to learn this. False. He is the Perfect Man, and God, never imperfect. This idea reflects the heresy of Arianism.

Christ "healed" Pilate's relationship with Herod. False, Pilate used Christ to make political points only.

Dorothy Day is an example of a saint. No, she was a Marxist, sadly,believing in what she called "Christian communism" which is a fallacy. She was confused as to distributism.

The confusion, maybe purposeful, of liberation theology (condemned by the Church) and the theology of liberation.

Huge emphasis on me, me, me, me and my gifts. This is all false theology, as all  spiritual gifts come through the sacraments, and from God, not nature. Natural gifts do not gain us heaven.

Outright denial of Christ's call to all of us for perfection and the misquoting of Christ....He did not say, "Be perfect, as I am", but "Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect." And, perfection is demanded of all of us.

Perfection is NOT maturity or wholeness. This is a modern, psychological interpretation which is wrong. Maturity has to do with natural growth, NOT supernatural perfection.

The denial that there is a call to perfection, to holiness, is a sign of the weakening Church and the lack of holiness among the priests. Most of the homilies and sermons on holiness I have heard in the last five years have been at St. Kevin's Harrington Street, in Dublin, where there are at least three priests who understand the road to perfection, because they have done or are walking on this road. What a difference of perspective!

Wholeness is not a measure of sanctity and never has been. This term is "New Age" and has nothing to do with perfection.....see my over 700 posts on perfection and the Doctors of the Church series I have done on perfection.

Following the letter of the law is "meaningless" wrote one priest. Absolutely not...we are formed in obedience and following the law is the first step to holiness.

References to tv shows. WHY? To be trendy and encourage modern entertainment show a lack of holiness on the part of the priest. Why is he watching tv anyway? He should be using the time for contemplative prayer.

Stop calling Mary a teenager! That word did not exist until the 20th century as there was no such category in Western or Eastern society. Mary was a child but by adolescence was being trained to be married and do all the chores and duties of a married person. To call Mary a teen is ridiculously anti-historical and implies all the problems and errors of the modern teen.

Misunderstandings of the time and people in the Bible--to many to mention any.

And so on,,,,

All these books which are on "gifting" are false and from the Protestant denominations.

All our gifts come in Confirmation. Any natural talents must be perfected in the Dark Night when egotism is destroyed before they can be used and bear fruit. To concentrate on the self is to deny the author of all gifts, God.

Too much me will not get anyone to heaven...Do not rely on other people's interpretations, but learn to read Scripture yourself through the guidance of the Church-St. Augustine, and the other saintly Doctors of the Church are better than these so-called modern expert priests.

Not Options
It surprises me that I cannot find anyone to take me shopping for food. I am miles and miles away from grocery stores, in an area with no sidewalks and lots of snow.

My choices are to pay a fee for delivery,which is too expensive, or buy what I can at the local drug store, which has nothing fresh, of course, or eat at McDonald's, which has nothing real.

Corporal works of mercy reminder time, and spiritual works of mercy,which are not options, but part of the rules of the Church, like abstinence and fasting. Why do so many Catholics think they will not be judged on these points at death?

Why do they think these do not apply to people even living in your middle-class or lower-class neighborhoods? Why do parishes not supply weekly shopping trips for the poor. There is no St. Vincent de Paul in this town. I also find it interesting that one needs a car to get to some of the food banks in other cities. Many of the poor do not have cars.

I still cannot get to Mass on Sunday, yet. Why don't parishes have buses, like so many of the Evangelical churches here? I see min-buses on Sunday with the name of Protestant churches on the side. Why are there not lists of people in parish offices with names of helpers? I have now called two offices for aid and both secretaries said they do not know anyone who can help and these are huge parishes.

This beautiful panel below was created in 1504, in the Netherlands. I have been a Catholic all my life, and I have never seen a Catholic Church with artwork depicting the corporal or spiritual works of mercy.

If you have, please comment.,_Meester_van_Alkmaar_(1504).jpg

The poor are invisible to most Catholics. This fact may be the reason why Christ reminded the Jew of the works of mercy as well. These are individual responsibilities, not corporate or governmental ones.

  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To harbour the harbourless; (home the homeless)
  • To visit the sick;
  • To ransom the captive;
  • To bury the dead.
Those who criticize me for teaching and admonishing sinners forget that we all have to fulfill the spiritual works of mercy as well. Not options...

  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;
  • To pray for the living and the dead.

Weep,cry, gnash teeth

My favorite place in England and I cannot be there this weekend...w, c, g.t.

Water bird sightings start on February 28th!

Silent Epidemic Continued...

 50.2 percent, 124.6 million American adults, are single. This does not count nuns, sisters, brothers, priests, who, technically, belong to God and are not in the world singles.

This data, from last year, 2014, will introduce a demographic winter in America, just like Russia is experiencing. Russia is dying because of abortion, contraception, and singleness.

America is beginning to die, literally, physically. I have argued long and hard on this blog that singleness is not a "vocation" but some sort of de-fault.

One can look at my other articles on this point, but the problem is getting more and more serious.

Women, as well as men, just do not want to commit to anything-marriage, the religious life, the priesthood.

Sadly, liberals in the Church have allowed the lie of the single vocation to continue. Few are called to singleness, and for very good reasons, either physical, psychological, or out of a call to serve in some particular manner, like taking care of aged parents, or a sick sibling.

Until the Church addresses the problem, it will get worse.

I have heard one great sermon on this subject way back in 2010 at a TLM.

In my neighborhood, my temporary one, there are several couples with dogs, no kids, and several single people with cats. Animals are the new families for many.

Some people who have been abused do not want to commit to marriage, and some people who just want to never have to sacrifice do not want to get married. One lady told me recently that she does not want to bring children into this world. I heard that from a single librarian at Notre Dame in 1980. Peter Pans and Peter Pams do not want to get married. Some predators do not want to get married.

God loves children and the world needs children and families, especially in hard times.

I pray today for those Catholic adults who are single who just cannot bring themselves to be committed to any order or any person. They are missing out on real life.

Some people, like Mr. Voris, have consecrated their lives to God and are working full-time for the Kingdom. That is a vocation, but rare.

This year is dedicated, in the Church, to the consecrated life. Please pray about this, singles, and pursue this way, a real vocation.

More on this later. Here are some older posts...

13 Jul 2012
I simply do not believe this. I have never believed this. I think that the single state is a horrible product of the dysfunctional societies in which we live. There are many reasons for this phenomenon and some cures. I am going to ...
13 Jul 2012
However, after living in the US, and being attached to one of the more privileged higher education institutions, I can honestly say that there are tons of class divisions in the US, just not as formally delineated as they are in the UK (where I'm from btw). I don't also believe that we are in a situation where Catholicism vs the rest of the world! I think Christian principles are deeply embedded in more than just Christian cultures. When legal systems were transplanted to ...
12 Aug 2014
However, I do believe there is an opportunity to grow in grace in a non-sacramental grace. ... If anyone thinks that being single, like consecrating yourself, if anyone thinks that working in the Church will be lonely or disconnected, they are wrong. ... I was in the local parish one day, after my mom died, a pause in my life as the old life had gone away, the new life had begun, but the form was not there yet. What should I do, I thought? I knelt down and prayed that prayer at ...
26 Nov 2013
But, lately, I am concerned at the number of young converts who are not being challenged in RCIA or in personal catechesis to think rationally. The problem becomes compounded by the .... I do not believe that being single is a vocation. 12 Jul 2012. Here are my reasons why liberal Catholics, especially and some trads have fallen into the trap of the "single vocation", which I do not think exists, except for the above calls. One, selfishness. Our individualistic, selfish and.

19 Jul 2012
I have discussed many concerns about annulled people, being one myself. Here are a few points. 1) Consecrated life usually means virginity. The Consecration of ... If one feels like going into the religious life, as a monk or nun, or even a priest, as most dioceses do not have age limits for men and orders are more open to older men than women's orders are, I think that if fine. But one must have a spiritual director or confessor to help discern such. God knows your heart ...

09 Sep 2013
What do I mean? Getting drunk makes one stupid. Sinning, which some people do not even seem to understand, makes one stupid. In fact, the lack of the use of reason seems to be the main impetus for clubbing. And, do Catholic youth know that getting drunk is a mortal sin? NO? .... I think that it is the sin of presumption to go into a place where there are drugs, nasty music, women and men dressed extremely immodestly and where people get drunk. We are not ...

01 Aug 2014
The 2014 Convocation of United States Consecrated Virgins, July 28 - Aug. 1 is ending today. The national conference for information for single women interested in becoming a consecrated virgin starts in a few days: 2014 ...
18 Jul 2012
Hey, I wanted to add to your post on consecrated virgins, as I am currently discerning this vocation with my spiritual director and part of EF Mass community. I know whenever Father Z posted on his blog about CV's the topic of ...

28 Nov 2013
Many women with whom I speak have discussed with me the number of men who are not acting like men, but like boys. Many reasons have created this huge group of Peter Pans. Sadly, I know that many women are not able ...
17 May 2012
There are three categories of men: Protectors, Predators and Peter Pans. Now, young boys learn to be one of these types. I want to write about this from my own experience in teaching, observing and being in Confirmation ...
26 Feb 2014
Supertradmum said... stoney, you have it backwards. Feminism grew out of a society where men were already weak and chose to be weak. If men really loved their wives as themselves, as God commanded, we would have no ...
14 Sep 2014
Many women with whom I speak have discussed with me the number of men who are not acting like men, but like boys. Many reasons have created this huge group of Peter Pans. Sadly, I know that many women are not able .

31 May 2014
I have written about Peter Pan-see all the links. But, I have forgotten, until today, Peter Pams. The same syndrome that can affect men who become Peter Pans has affected women. Now, the women in my generation tend to be ...

Prayers I shall be moving again soon, but do not know to where, yet.

This place, albeit temporary, has been a little oasis in chaos.

1 Corinthians 4:10New Revised Standard Version

We are fools for the sake of Christ, but you are wise in Christ. We are weak, but you are strong. You are held in honour, but we in disrepute.