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Thursday 16 February 2012

Perfection Part Five in a Series: Children, Grace and Parental Duty

The great Spencer has a chilling video on his site today. The entire episode reminded me of the Jesuit saying, "Give us a child in education before the age of five, and he is a Catholic for life." Or, paraphrases thereof.

Two concepts totally ignored in the liberal Catholic Church follow: firstly, the age of reason is still age seven in the formation of conscience. This indicates that a child by that age knows, by natural law, right from wrong. Of course, if the child has had good catechesis and good parenting, that child will have the advantage of grace building on nature-that is, the life-changing gifts of Baptism imprinted on the soul, aiding nature to move towards perfection. The subject of Baptism is found below in more than one posting, but we become children of God, heirs to heaven, freed from Original Sin, and given sanctifying grace, which means, the Indwelling of the Trinity.

If a child, who as a human has a proclivity towards natural law, then a child can choose sin and hatred over obedience and love.

This leads to a second teaching, which is that, sadly, children can go to Purgatory, and even Hell.
The liberals in the Church deny this idea, creating a false feeling of safety for bad parents, who have not catechized their own children. I know many. Excuses rain down like showers in Ireland--daily excuses from parents who hold these ideas, which are all wrong and even, damning, for themselves and their children. "We are letting her choose whether she wants to be a Christian when she gets older." She may die tomorrow. "He is too young to be scared of Hell." Look at his computer games-scarier than most things I would watch. "He cannot understand good and evil." Parents, that is your fault.

I write fairy tales. I have written stories for children for over forty years. I taught children before going back to university and college teaching (there are similarities). In my stories, people die, choose evil or good, are happy or sad. Art is not real, even fantasy, unless a similitude of the truth of life weaves through these stories.

Children choose good and evil daily. Children can go to Heaven, Hell, Purgatory. Adults must stop being in denial about their own responsibilities.

I have "heard" the voice of God clearly, startlingly, rarely in my life, except as the still, small voice, but I can put my hand on my heart and tell you all one event. The second day after my son's birth, and he was born late the night before, almost twenty-four years ago, I was holding him in the old Cuckfield Hospital in Hampshire, sitting on the side of the bed. It was a gloriously sunny April day. The lilacs and other flowers bloomed outside the window by my bed in the dormitory like wing. I was holding my tiny boy.

Suddenly, I could not hear anyone, not even the birds. My baby and I were wrapped in a deep silence. I heard God the Father say, "When you die, I shall ask you one thing. Did you pass your Faith on to your son?" I was stunned, humbled. I said, "Yes, Lord. I shall. I will." I did.

For all parents, please say "yes" and do your duty. And, pray for the lost child in the video above. Perfection consists in this, from Garrigou-Lagrange:

There are those who seem to think that it is sufficient to be saved and that it is not necessary to be a saint. It is clearly not necessary to be a saint who performs miracles and whose sanctity is officially recognized by the Church. To be saved, we must take the way of salvation, which is identical with that of sanctity. There will be only saints in heaven, whether they enter there immediately after death or after purification in purgatory. No one enters heaven unless he has that sanctity which consists in perfect purity of soul. Every sin though it should be venial, must be effaced, and the punishment due to sin must be borne or remitted, in order that a soul may enjoy forever the vision of God, see Him as He sees Himself, and love Him as He loves Himself. Should a soul enter heaven before the total remission of its sins, it could not remain there and it would cast itself into purgatory to be purified.
The interior life of a just man who tends toward God and who already lives by Him is indeed the one thing necessary. To be a saint, neither intellectual culture nor great exterior activity is a requisite; it suffices that we live profoundly by God. This truth is evident in the saints of the early Church; several of those saints were poor people, even slaves. It is evident also in St. Francis, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, in the Cure of Ars, and many others. They all had a deep understanding of these words of our Savior: "For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?" (2) If people sacrifice so many things to save the life of the body, which must ultimately die, what should we not sacrifice to save the life of our soul, which is to last forever? Ought not man to love his soul more than his body? "Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?" our Lord adds. (3) "One thing is necessary," He tells us.(4) To save our soul, one thing alone is necessary: to hear the word of God and to live by it. Therein lies the best part, which will not be taken away from a faithful soul even though it should lose everything else.

By the way, the word in Hebrew for "thing", dabar, also means word, work, matter, cause, act, judgment...In Revelation, a thing is not merely a concept, but a deed. And, the Word of God is efficacious, Christ Himself in the Flesh. When God asks us about a "thing", He does not merely mean intellectual assent, or triviality, but that which is and always will be.

Prayer for Priests, Four

Prayer for Priests of St. Catherine of Siena

I beseech You, direct the hearts and wills of the servants of Your Bride, the Holy Church, unto yourself so that they may follow the poor, bleeding, humble, and gentle Lamb of God on the way of the Cross. Make them angels in the shape of men; for after all, they have to administer and distribute the Body and Blood of Your Only Begotten Son!  Amen    

Prayer for Priests, Three

Prayer to the Virgin Mary for Priests by Blessed John Paul II
O Mary, 
Mother of Jesus Christ and Mother of priests, 
accept this title which we bestow on you 
to celebrate your motherhood 
and to contemplate with you the priesthood 
of, your Son and of your sons, 
O holy Mother of God.

O Mother of Christ, 
to the Messiah-priest you gave a body of flesh 
through the anointing of the Holy Spirit 
for the salvation of the poor and the contrite of heart; 
guard priests in your heart and in the Church, 
O Mother of the Savior. 

O Mother of Faith, 
you accompanied to the Temple the Son of Man, 
the fulfillment of the promises given to the fathers; 
give to the Father for his glory 
the priests of your Son, 
O Ark of the Covenant. 

O Mother of the Church, 
in the midst of the disciples in the upper room 
you prayed to the Spirit 
for the new people and their shepherds; 
obtain for the Order of Presbyters 
a full measure of gifts, 
O Queen of the Apostles. 

O Mother of Jesus Christ, 
you were with him at the beginning 
of his life and mission, 
you sought the Master among the crowd, 
you stood beside him when he was lifted up from the earth
consumed as the one eternal sacrifice, 
and you had John, your son, near at hand; 
accept from the beginning those who have been called, 
protect their growth, 
in their life ministry accompany your sons, 
O Mother of Priests. 

From the conclusion of the Post-synodal Apostolic Exhortation "Pastores dabo vobis" on the formation of priests in the circumstances of the present day, March 25, 1992: