Recent Posts

Monday, 20 April 2015

And our bishops say what?

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/e1e6d95aac1b4a3ca24d6ce40b1aec02/ethiopia-3-days-mourning-islamic-state-killings

and the number of people fleeing Libya who drowned in two ship accidents is 720 at least.

http://www.france24.com/en/20150420-mediterranean-migrants-distress-signal-boat-italy-greece/

and

http://www.france24.com/en/20150419-eu-hold-urgent-meeting-after-migrant-boat-disaster-libya-italy/

All along, I have said

Catholic institutions of learning should not accept government money....ever for anything.

http://www.cardinalnewmansociety.org/CatholicEducationDaily/DetailsPage/tabid/102/ArticleID/4136/Wyoming-College%E2%80%99s-Decision-to-Forego-Federal-Aid-Protects-Catholic-Identity.aspx

Another Yeah for the Pope!

http://www.breitbart.com/national-security/2015/04/20/in-historic-meeting-with-rabbis-pope-francis-decries-anti-semitism-in-europe/

Here we go...from LifeSiteNews

Public records show that Rick Estridge, Catholic Relief Services’ Vice President of Overseas Finance, who has worked for the U.S. Bishops’ official international humanitarian agency since as long ago as 2001, “married” his homosexual partner in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 4, 2013.
The Lepanto Institute obtained thepublic marriage record from the City of Baltimore for Estridge and William Goretsas, Jr. The document confirmed the homosexual “marriage,” which took place the same month that Estridge was promoted by CRS to a vice president role, according to Estridge’s LinkedIn profile.

SPUC News

20 April 2015
Top story:
Morning-after pill leads to higher rates of sexually-transmitted infections, study suggests
A recently-published study suggests that access to morning-after pills leads to higher rates of sexually-transmitted infections (STIs). The study was authored by Dr Karen Mulligan, associate professor of economics and finance at Middle Tennessee State University, USA. [Wiley Online Library, accessed 20 April] Dr David Paton, professor of industrial economics at Nottingham University Business School, told SPUC today: "It is very interesting to see further confirmation that access to emergency birth control (EBC) does not seem to reduce abortions but leads to higher rates of STIs. This paper is one of the first to explore the mechanisms whereby EBC affects STIs, finding that both rates of 'unprotected' sex and numbers of partners increase in response to over-the-counter EBC. Although this paper uses US data, it is consistent with evidence from the UK. In the light of the evidence from this paper, local and national governments urgently need to review their current policy of aggressive promotion of EBC to young people in schools, pharmacies and sexual health centres."
Other stories:
Abortion
Euthanasia
  • Senior figures in palliative medicine restate the doctors' case for opposing assisted suicide for their patients [Care Not Killing, 10 April]

Family issues
  • Girls face 'sharp rise in emotional problems' [BBC, 20 April]
  • Transgender father becomes another 'mother' to nine-year-old son [Mail, 19 April]
Fertility
Population

Today's Response from The Office of Readings-Waiting

From the altar of God, I heard the voices of those who had been killed, saying: Why do you not avenge our blood? And they received this answer from the Lord: Wait a little longer, until the total number of your brothers and sisters has been reached, alleluia.

Martyrs of the Dominican Order
They were given a white robe and told: Wait a little longer, until the total number of your brothers and sisters has been reached, alleluia.


If you, Dear Readers, are not taking advantage of the graces of daily Mass, which some of us desire to attend but cannot, you are passing up a higher place in heaven. The same is true for every hour spent before Adoration.


Passing up chances for grace is a sin of omission and time-wasting. Too many Catholics live in the presumption that they will be saved and go to heaven. We can never be sure of our salvation until we die.
Claretian Martyrs
Last week, I noted some passages from Spe Salvi, and this week I return to Garrigou-Lagrange on hope and predestination. Some people caught in pride, fall back and forth between presumption and discouragement. Here is the Dominican on this point.

Since we have spoken of the spirit of faith, it is fitting that we
consider what hope in God, or confidence in Him, should be in proficients, and that we state precisely what must be understood by the certitude of hope, which is based on that of faith and has a character sui generis which it is important to note.

Infused hope, no less than faith, is necessary to salvation and perfection. Moreover, to have a generous interior life, it is not sufficient to hope in God weakly and intermittently, as so many Christians do. His often obscure and occasionally disconcerting good pleasure must be loved, accepted with a spirit of filial submission, and the divine help awaited with a firm, humble, and persevering confidence.


Some of the many Jesuit martyrs below...



DEFECTS TO BE AVOIDED

In connection with this virtue, we should avoid two contrary defects: presumption and discouragement. By noting them at the beginning of our discussion, we may see more clearly the true nature of hope, which rises like a summit between these opposing deviations.

There are two kinds of presumption: either man relies excessively on his own powers, like the Pelagians, not asking as much as he should for the help of God, not recalling sufficiently the necessity of grace for every salutary act; or, on the other hand, he expects from the divine mercy what God cannot grant: for example, pardon without true repentance, or eternal life without any effort to merit it. These two forms of presumption are mutually contradictory, since the first presumes on our strength, whereas the second expects from God what He has in no way promised.

Moreover, when trial and contradiction come, the presumptuous fall into the opposite defect, discouragement, as if the difficult good (bonum arduum), which is the object of hope, becomes inaccessible. Discouragement might lead to spiritual sloth, to acedia, which makes a man judge the work of sanctification too difficult and turns him away from every effort in this direction. He might thus even fall into despair. Many souls oscillate thus between presumption and discouragement, and never succeed in arriving, at least practically, 
at a true notion of Christian hope and in living by it as they should.
THE TRUE NATURE OF CHRISTIAN HOPE

Less is said about the virtue of hope than about faith and charity. Yet hope is of great importance. Most certainly Christian hope, as an infused and theological virtue, is essentially supernatural, and consequently immensely surpasses the natural desire to be happy and also a natural knowledge of the divine goodness.

By infused hope we tend toward eternal life, toward supernatural beatitude, which is nothing less than the possession of God: seeing God immediately as He sees Himself, loving Him as He loves Himself. We tend toward Him, relying on the divine help which He has promised us. The formal motive of hope is not our effort, it is God our Helper (Deus auxiliator et auxilians), according to His mercy, His promises, His omnipotence.(1)

Thus we desire God for ourselves, but first for Himself; for He is the last End of the act of hope, which should, moreover, be vivified by charity: (2) in other words, by hope, we desire God, our last End, not by subordinating Him to ourselves, like the food necessary to our subsistence, but by subordinating ourselves to Him. Thus it is evident, in contradistinction to the teaching of the quietists, that hope, although inferior to charity, contains nothing inordinate. It is a lofty virtue, though not the greatest of all.

Since, in fact, among the moral virtues, acquired magnanimity, and especially infused magnanimity, has a high place, so far as it makes us tend to great things (as we see in the founders of religious orders, in their works and struggles); with even greater reason, infused hope is a lofty virtue that makes us tend not only toward great things, but also toward God Himself to be possessed for eternity. This truth is emphasized by the fact that hope does not make us desire only an inferior degree of supernatural beatitude, but eternal life itself without fixing the degree. Indeed it leads us to advance always more generously toward God by giving us a greater desire for Him. Three Ages of the Interior Life

Generosity is key.


To be continued this week...




Why Are American Catholic Bishops Silent?

http://www.asianews.it/news-en/Bishop-of-Sylhet:-Protection-for-tribal-Catholics,-victims-of-expropriation-and-threats-34004.html

Catholic priest stabbed in Bangladesh.

Christians are becoming refugees in huge numbers.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/11546441/Christians-driven-from-the-ruins-of-Nineveh.html

from the article...

It’s the people that one feels sorry for. A generation ago, there were more than a million Christians living in Iraq, a country of 35 million. A year ago there were 400,000. About two thirds are Chaldean Catholic. Tens of thousands took refuge in the city of Erbil, which is under Kurdish protection.
Cardinal Vincent Nichols, the Archbishop of Westminster, has just visited Erbil. He found hundreds of families living in mobile containers. Archbishop Bashar Warda, the Chaldean Archbishop of Erbil, had turned over his cathedral and land to help them. Cardinal Nichols spoke of “hugely impressive” efforts among the refugees to find work and continue education. “It is mostly down to the efforts of the Catholic churches,” he reported, “both here and abroad.”
Speaking of the refugee centres he said: “To begin with, food was provided communally. Now each family cooks for itself. Now families are expected to pay towards their rent, if at all possible.” He saw this as a way of keeping families together, with a sense of self-worth and responsibility. He said: “These families want to go home. They want to go back to their houses and land.”
The Cardinal told the press on Tuesday that a Christian presence in Iraq is essential “not out of a nostalgic sense that this community is 2,000 years old, but as part of building a stable, balanced society in that region.”
People in Britain, I think, can feel helpless at distant suffering on television news. But there is a point in organising aid and showing the Government that the Christians of Syria and Iraq are not forgotten. At the Holy Name church in Manchester, for example, an all-night vigil begins this evening at eight.
Christians say in the Creed each week that they believe in the “Communion of saints”. The belief is that prayer and (if it comes to that) martyrdom benefit all members of the Church. So what happens in Syria and Iraq is of immediate consequence
And here?  Why doesn't Cardinal Dolan go visit the areas Cardinal Nichols just did?

Join Me on This Rosary Petition

For some time, I have been using the Our Father and three Hail Marys at the beginning of the rosary to pray not for the Pope's intentions, but for him to fall in love with the Latin Mass.

If you want to join me in this petition, use the poll on the right to say "yes".

UPDATE: the poll is not working as the Yes votes are going into the No category. I tried it more than once. I am taking the poll down. Just comment if you would like to do so on the idea.

Any Catholic Groups Doing This?








PRESS RELEASE

Pro-Family Leaders Gather at Supreme Court to "Restrain the Judges"

Hundreds of Thousands of "Restraining Orders" to be Delivered


Contact:

Pastor Corey Shankleton 567-337-9399
Steven Hotze, MD 512-799-2260
Mark Gurley: 616-884-5314


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE--April 20, 2015
Leaders from across the Nation will host a press conference at the steps of the Supreme Court at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, April 27th--the day before the oral arguments on marriage.

"We will be delivering hundreds of thousands of 'Restraining Orders' from Americans who stand united against a Court contemplating the Roe v. Wade of Marriage." said Janet (Folger) Porter, President of Faith2Action, and producer of the new documentary film on marriage entitled "Light Wins: How to Overcome The Criminalization of Christianity."

"We will obey God rather than judges who violate our Christian beliefs, and the First Amendment of the Constitution," added Porter. "We are calling on Congress to remove their jurisdiction to rule on marriage and defund all enforcement and implementation of every federal anti-marriage ruling."

Steven Hotze, M.D., President of Conservative Republicans of Texas said, "Texans will not follow an unjust ruling, so unless the Supreme Court wants to become irrevelant, they better not issue one."

Those in attendance include:

Janet Porter, President, Faith2Action
Dr. Steven Hotze, President, Conservative Republicans of Texas
Andy Schlafly, Attorney, Eagle Forum
Rev. Bill Owens, Coalition of African American Pastors
Peter LaBarbera, Americans for Truth
Bill Johnson, American Decency
Scott Lively, Abiding Truth Ministries
Glyn Wright, Executive Director, Eagle Forum, Washington, D.C.
David Pickup, LMFT/Reparative Therapy Center of Dallas
Greg Quinlan, Ex-Homosexual, New Jersey Family Policy Council
Grace Harley, Ex-transgender, One Solitary Voice International
Pastor Corey Shankleton, Ex-homosexual, Emerging Streams
Mark Gurley, The Oak Initiative
Diane Gramley, American Family Association, PA
Kay Daly, Coalition for a Fair Judiciary

More information about the "Restraining Orders" can be found at RestrainTheJudges.com. See the trailer for the film at: LightWinsTheMovie.com.

LifeSiteNews has the petition for Archbishop Cordileone.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/petitions/i-stand-with-archbishop-cordileone

On Gifts Three, with a bit of humor...

My images for the understanding of gifts are four saints. Bear with me as I examine their lives to show the difference in "gifting".

The first is Blessed Margaret of Castello, probably the ugliest, and most unlikely of women ever to be called blessed.

This woman was born a dwarf, blind, deformed, hunchbacked and lame. Her "noble" parents disowned her to the point of abandoning her in a church when God did not answer their prayers for a healing. Before that, she had been virtually imprisoned and kept out of sight. She was, therefore, psychologically abused.

But, Margaret was given the gifts of heroic charity, forgiving her horrid parents, and remaining cheerful. She was also given a great intellect, plus infused knowledge, and could even tutor children and teach adults, despite her great infirmities. She could discern demons, and healed those who were sick.

She was homeless, and had to be passed from house to house in the community which finally adopted her. She was never bitter. Her beauty was interior, and God gave her the gift of dying at the age Jesus did, plus being an incorruptible, just to prove to us that God's chosen ones are His choice, not ours.


She would have not been able to take a gifting course as she was too poor to pay the fees, blind, and deaf.

The second is one of my personal patrons, St. Joseph Cupertino. Born into poverty with a harsh mother and an alcoholic father, he was "retarded" or what we call today, "mentally challenged". Yet, God gave him extraordinary gifts of knowledge and wisdom, as well as visions. His love for Mary is well-known. His amazing gifts included levitation. His gifts were highly personal, but also for the upbuilding of his own community.

St. Joseph Cupertino would not have been able to take the "gifted and talented" courses, as his intellect was too low.


The third is my favorite saint of all men, St. Bernard of Clairvaux, one of the most talented and charismatically gifted men to ever walk this earth. Not only was he handsome, but he was noble, highly intelligent, a real intellectual with great gifts of meditation, contemplation, counsel, writing, preaching, and leadership. He is rare among saints for the number and quality of his gifts. His love for his monks shines through his works. His love for Mary is found in his prayers and meditations. His great love for Christ, as seen in his sermons on the Song of Songs, cannot be matched among male saints,except for the assumption of the love of SS. John the Baptist and Joseph.

He would have refused the gift courses, exorcised the presenters, then given them all a course on humility.


The fourth is Mary of Egypt, a prostitute and most likely a nymphomaniac from the age of twelve, who underwent a complete conversion at the age of seventeen. She was told by God to cross the Jordan after going to confession and the Eucharist, living a life of complete denial of self in the desert. St. Zosima was led to her and gave her Communion the day of the night she died, coming back to bury her with the help of a lion.


She would have been refused the gifting course, for sure, as she would have smelled bad, been stark naked, and refused to leave the desert.

Gifting and talented classes are part a narcissistic trend in middle-class spirituality. I hope these courses fade away and people return to common sense and humility. Once one is praying and reflecting, living in grace, God reveals His gifts. Hopefully before one is an adult, one has a sense of one's talents as well as one's gifts. One does not have to pay for such knowledge. For those who pray, God gives self-knowledge.


On Gifts Two


So, how to we come to know what our gifts are without paying for weeks of intense self-centeredness?

1. The first route to knowing one's gifts in a Catholic context would be the discernment God gives every parent. Parents know from the moment of a child's birth something of the character and natural gifts of that child. God gives much information about children to praying and reflective parents. Parents who seem estranged from their children or who claim they do not understand a child's gifts are not listening to God in the daily event of domestic life.  The character and gifts of a child blossom early in good, nurturing homes. The sacraments inform the natural gifts and give additional supernatural ones, the next point.

2.Gifts of the theological virtues are given at baptism as well as helps to develop the cardinal virtues. Gifts of the Holy Spirit are given at confirmation and a good parent helps form these gifts into lasting character traits, as well as even strong charisms for a certain vocation.

3.Simplicity teaches us what our gifts actually are. Here is Garrigou-Lagrange, again, as I have posted this before, on simplicity.

The souls of such men as St. Joseph, St. John, St. Francis, St. Dominic, the Cure of Ars give us some idea of this simplicity of God; but still more the soul of Mary, and especially the holy soul of Jesus, who said: "If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome." That is, if your soul is simple in its outlook, it will be in all things enlightened, steadfast, loyal, sincere, and free from all duplicity." Be ye wise as serpents [so as not to be seduced by the world], and simple as doves, " so as to remain always in God's truth." I confess to Thee, O Father,... because Thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to little ones." "Let your speech be yea, yea: no, no" (Matt. 10: 16; 11: 25; 5: 37)


It is a great gift not ever to fall into mortal sin, as simplicity comes to the pure in heart.


In the Old Testament we read: "Seek the Lord in simplicity of heart" (Wis. 1: 1) ; "Better is the poor man that walketh in his simplicity, than a rich man that is perverse in his lips and unwise" (Prov. 19:1). "Let us all die in our innocency," cried the Maccabees amid the injustices that oppressed them (I Mach. 2:37). "Obey... in simplicity of heart," said St. Paul (Col. 3: 22) ; and he admonishes the Corinthians not to lose "the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Cor. 11: 3).


This simplicity, says Bossuet, enables an introverted soul to comprehend even the heights of God, the ways of Providence, the unfathomable mysteries which to a complex soul are a scandal, the mysteries of infinite justice and mercy, and the supreme liberty of the divine good pleasure. All these mysteries, in spite of their transcendence and obscurity, are simple for those of simple vision.
The reason is that, in divine matters, the simplest things, such as the Our Father, are also the most profound. On the other hand, in the things of this world, containing both good and evil closely intermingled and thereby exceedingly complex, anybody who is simple is lacking in penetration and will remain naive, unsuspecting, and shallow. In the things of God simplicity is combined with depth and loftiness; for the sublimest of divine things as also the deepest things of our heart, are simplicity itself.

4. Teachers, working with parents, have a duty to find out the external and even the internal gifts of a child. How many times have I sensed as a Catholic teacher, a vocation, and encouraged the young person to follow this to conclusion?

5. Leadership training is not the same as knowing or acknowledging gifts, as leadership qualities are encouraged after a person is seen as having such gifts. But, natural gifts should impinge on supernatural gifts.

6. Most people who are praying and reflective have a sense of their gifts. The most obvious way is to see what interests a person. Does someone love pencils, papers, computers, words, reading, researching? Most likely that person has a gift of writing and perhaps, teaching. Does someone love baking, being in the kitchen, reading about recipes, sharing baked goods? Most likely that person has the gift of baking and hospitality, even motherhood. Does a little boy want to read about martyrs, and dress up like them on All Saints, and follow the Church calendar of saints? Most likely that child will be a martyr or be involved in a servant-type of vocation.  Does a little girl love her baby brothers and sisters to the point of loving to care for them, even in the hard work? She may be called to motherhood. Or she may have a vocation to be a sister, as she loves to serve.

7. Not everyone has charismatic gifts as some charismatics believe. There are few prophets and fewer interpreters of tongues. The list of gifts in St. Paul mix both charisms and more ordinary, natural gifts which can be supernaturalized by God. Sometimes a person obviously has a charism, such as a woman who has a stutter can sing in the choir without halting, clearly an intervention from God.

1 Corinthians 12:4-11

4 Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit; 5 and there are varieties of services, but the same Lord; 6 and there are varieties of activities, but it is the same God who activates all of them in everyone. 7 To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. 8 To one is given through the Spirit the utterance of wisdom, and to another the utterance of knowledge according to the same Spirit, 9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, 10 to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another the discernment of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. 11 All these are activated by one and the same Spirit, who allots to each one individually just as the Spirit chooses.
8. Notice that St. Paul refers to services as well as gifts. To pretend that a service is a charismatic gift confuses the levels of gifts. Remember, the Church is not a democracy, and people do not have to "feel equal" about gifts or services. One of the greatest deceits of the gifting courses is to level out gifts, instead of teaching humility.



9. The gifts received in confirmation are for all the confirmed, not merely for some. These gifts PERFECT the virtues given at baptism. They are: wisdom, understanding, knowledge, counsel, fortitude, piety and fear of the Lord. We all have these, all who are confirmed in the Catholic Church.

10. Some gifts are for the Church and some are for growing in personal holiness, but there can be overlaps, which I can cover later today. Not all have the same gifts, and some gifts are less obvious than others.





More from Father Rodriguez, et moi, on Gifts


The good Jesuit notes that God does not need our gifts. I have always had a visceral repulsion to those gifting courses some Catholic retreat houses have picked up from the Protestants.

The theology behind these is absolutely wrong.

Why? Maybe numbered points would help.
Just a few...
  1. As the superb spiritual writer. Father Rodriguez indicates, God does not need our gifts, so why concentrate on these?
  2. Society does not need our gifts.
  3. God and society need our holiness, our lack of egotism, our humility and perfection.
  4. All gifts are not ours anyway, but God's. Anything we have in our temperaments or natural talents, or even supernatural gifts come from God and go back to God. These are not ours to claim.
  5. Gifts only are given from Divine Providence, as Providence sees fit to use and nurture. We do not determine our gifts.
  6. Providence not only determines our gifts, but how we use these.
  7. Providence can also deny us the use of our gifts-this is a great suffering which causes death to egotism-I know!
  8. The gifts one may think one has may not be those from God at all.
  9. Charismatic gifts should not be confused with natural or other supernatural gifts, such as vocations.
  10. Only those in sanctifying grace can actually use gifts from God, Those in mortal sin cannot, and may have strong natural gifts which are confused with supernatural ones.
  11. God frequently chooses the less gifted--St. Bernadette is a case in point.
  12. There are internal and external gifts-gifts for one's self and gifts for the Church. Sometimes these overlap.
  13. Some people are more gifted than others. God is not the Great Democrat in the Sky.
  14. Leadership training of the young is not the same as these gift courses.
  15. Some gifts involve duty, some merit.
  16. Ergo, do not waste money on these false gifting programs. Interesting that I never liked these and suspected New Age influences as well as the Protestant confusion about grace. See my many posts on that subject of grace.
Here is the great Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange, again, on Providence and gifts.


There is a great inequality, no doubt, in circumstances, natural and supernatural, among men here on earth. Some are rich, others are poor; some are possessed of great natural gifts, whereas others are of a thankless disposition, weak in health, of a melancholy temperament. But God never commands the impossible; no one is tempted beyond his strength reinforced by the grace offered him. The savage of Central Africa or Central America has received far less than we have; but if he does what he can to follow the dictates of conscience, Providence will lead him on from grace to grace and eventually to a happy death; for him eternal life is possible of attainment. Jesus died for all men, and among those who have the use of reason only those are deprived of the grace necessary for salvation who by their resistance reject it. Since He never commands the impossible, God offers to all the means necessary for salvation.
Moreover, not infrequently providence and justice will make up for the inequality in natural conditions by their distribution of supernatural gifts. Often the poor man in his simplicity will be more pleasing to God than the rich man, and will receive greater graces. Let us recall the parable of the wicked rich man recorded in St. Luke (16: 19-31) :
There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and feasted sumptuously every day. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who lay at his gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that fell from the rich man's table. And no one did give him: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores. And it came to pass that the beggar died and was carried by the angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died.... And lifting up his eyes when he was in torments, he saw Abraham... and he cried and said: Father Abraham, have mercy on me.... And Abraham said to him; Son, remember that thou didst receive good things in thy lifetime, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art tormented.
This is to declare in effect that, where natural conditions are unequal, providence and justice will sometimes make up for it in the distribution of natural gifts. Again, the Gospel beatitudes tell us that one who is bereft of this world's enjoyments will in some cases feel more powerfully drawn to the joys of the interior life. This is what our Lord would have us understand when He says: "Blessed are the poor in spirit.... Blessed are the meek... that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." [138]
The love of Jesus goes out to those servants of His nailed to the cross, because then they are more like Him through the effective oblation they make of their entire being for the salvation of sinners. In them He continues to live; in them He may be said to prolong down to the end of time His own prayers and sufferings, and above all His love, for perfect love consists in the complete surrender of self.


For some there comes a time when every road in life is barred against them; humanly speaking, the future holds out no prospect whatever to them. In some cases this is the moment when the call comes to something higher. Some there are who spend long years confined to a bed of pain; for these henceforth there is no way open but the way of holiness. [139]
And so providence and justice, while giving to each one what is strictly necessary, will often make up for any disparity in natural conditions by the bestowal of grace. They reward us, even in this life, for the merits we have gained, reminding us, too, of our solemn duties by salutary warnings and well-deserved corrections, which are no more than medicinal punishments for the purpose of bringing us back into the right path. In this way will a mother correct her child if she loves it with a really enlightened, ardent love. When these salutary corrections are well received, we make expiation for our sins, and God takes the opportunity of inspiring us with a more sincere humility and a purer, stronger love. There is a sharp distinction between souls according to their willingness or unwillingness to listen to these warnings from God.

More on this later... as it is a pet peeve of mine that people charge for this theologically dubious nonsense..next post, how to know what your real gifts are....and without a fee due.

St. Maruthas, pray for Iran and Old Persia


An Aussie reader suggested we pray to St. Maruthas, the Patron Saint of Iran and Persia.

One learns something new every day.

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

St. Maruthas

Bishop of Tagrit or Maypherkat in Mesopotamia, friend of St. John Chrysostom, d. before 420. Feast, 4 Dec. He is honoured by the Latins, Greeks, Copts, and Syrians. He brought into his episcopal city the relics of so manymartyrs that it received the name Martyropolis. In the interests of the Church of Persia, which had suffered much in the persecution of Sapor II, he came to Constantinople, but found Emperor Arcadius too busily engaged in the affairs of St. John Chrysostom. Later Maruthas was sent by Theodosius II to the Court of Persia, and here, in spite of the jealousy and intrigues of the Magi, he won the esteem of King Yezdigerd by his affability, saintly life, and, as is claimed, by his knowledge of medicine. He was present at the general Council of Constantinople in 381 and at a Council of Antioch in 383 (or 390), at which the Messalians were condemned. For the benefit of the Persian Church he is said to have held two synods at Ctesiphon. He must not be confounded with Maruthas (Maruta), Monophysite Bishop of Tagrit (d. 649).

His writings include: (1) "Acts of the Persian Martyrs", found partly in Assemani, "Acta SS. mart. orient. et occident.", I (Rome, 1748), and more completely in Bedpan, ibid, II (Paris, 1891), 37-396. W. Wright's English translation was printed in "Journal of Sacred Literature" (Oct., 1865-Jan., 1866). Zingerle published it in German(Innsbruck, 1836). A school edition was made by Leitzmann, "Die drei √§ltesten Martyrologien" (Bonn, 1903). See Achelis, "Die Martyrologien" (Berlin, 1900), 30-71. (2) "History of the Council of Nicaea", on which see Braun in "Kirchengeschichtliche Studien", IV, 3, and Harnack's "Ketzerkatalog des Bischofs Maruta" in "Texte u. Untersuchungen", XIX, 1, b. (3) "Acts of the Council of Seleucia-Ctesiphon", edited in Syriac and Latin by Lamy(Louvain, 1869), on which see Hefele, "Conciliengeschichte", II, 102. He also wrote hymns on the Holy Eucharist, on the Cross, and on saints