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Monday 30 April 2012

On the Doctrine of Laundry

One thing I cannot do in Europe is hang out clothes. I have helped my sisters in Christ hang out clothes in England, Ireland, France and London, which is not exactly England, and there are at least six ways of hanging out the same towels, shirts, sheets, and so on.

I do not offer anymore, and I decline, as the dear ones take everything down which I have hung up and start over, with many directions as to wind speed, direction of the wind, hours of sunlight, various levels of mist and even rain, and creasing. I give up. My mother and I hung out clothes together for over fifteen years and I can assure you that the Iowa way is just not done in the above countries. Of course, as it is 98 degree Fahrenheit in the shade most of the summer, the stuff dries in an hour without wind directions or speed taken into consideration.

Nuns doing laundry in the ocean?

The biggest contentions happen over shirts-does one put the pegs on the shoulder or on the bottom hem? Notice the two ways in the photos provided here by scientists studying laundry hanging habits, supported by a grant from PG, Proctor and Gamble, which is looking for "new innovations", a redundancy from the website.

Some of my friends live in neighborhoods where they are not allowed to hang out laundry. We lived in one like that for awhile and bought a phenomenal German washer-dryer, which I could time to go on the laundry cycle and then into the drying cycle while I slept. Cool.

In parts of Scotland, some friends of mine told me that the laundry froze on the line and the trousers were brought in and left by the fire to thaw out.

I do not mind lesson on wind and sunlight, but why do people feel so strongly about such things? I do not have strong opinions on hanging out laundry. If I were in the process and someone offered, I would just say "Great, thanks" and let them get on with it.

The Irish can be divided into two groups of laundry hanger-outers. The first is those who want to save on clothes pegs and want everything connected. The other group wants everything spread out and not touching. The first group places the open shirts to the outside of the line, and the second group places the opening of the shirts to the inside of the line. There are permutations on these themes. In addition, there are those Irish, a third category, like my friend Kathleen, who could care less and are just glad to get it out before the rain starts up again. She is a woman after my own heart.

In England, there are those who put out knickers and other items of underwear and those who do not. The do nots should take a walk in the neighborhoods of Rome to see centuries of underwear hanging techniques--all perfected in a Catholic environment. It is interesting, and be it far from me to criticize someone's sensibilities. In America, in the Midwest, we are not so squeamish, as our men do not notice anything on a line and prefer to ignore female chores in general, especially on Saturday, when hours of football, baseball, basketball, etc. take up all their attention. "Laundry, what laundry? Oh, you mean those six baskets on the steps. Sorry, it is tied in the ninth inning, it is the fourth down, it is the Final Four of the women's Iowa basketball championship, it is a tiebreak and ...."

Living in London, in West Kensington, I had the choice between an airing cupboard, or the dryer. Simple. Sigh. I give up and will just stick to writing, which can be done in as many ways as there are people. I wonder how the nuns in the Vatican hang up laundry. Maybe the Catholic community needs guidelines on washing lines. Does the Pope care if his cassocks are up, or down on the lines in the Vatican?

I have purposefully avoided the topic of hanging out laundry in the winter, another contentious subject.

On the life of the virtues-more in the series on perfection

I want to apologize to the blogging friends who wanted me to organize all the past postings on perfection. As I am fighting an old computer and off and on Internet, I hope you can wait until I have more peaceful access to both.

The old fashioned teaching which I grew up with and which was taught in the pre-Vatican II Church included the emphasis on the practice of the virtues, which I have mentioned here and do so again today. One of the great misunderstandings of Catholics in the pew is that the avoidance of mortal and venial sins are enough to gain heaven, with a few meritorious acts attached. Not so. The great teaching of the Church includes the idea that the life of the virtues and the manifestation of the gifts of the Holy Spirit must be part of the life of a Catholic in order to gain heaven. Purgatory is exactly that, purgation, and the end of the time in which to develop, practice the virtues. The gifts of the Spirit help us perfect the virtues. When was the last time you heard any teaching from the pulpit on the necessity of the virtuous life? Throughout the ages, many, many spiritual guides have helped us with these ideas, which are not new.

If I can oversimplify the process, it would be like this: first, the introduction of the soul into the life of sanctifying grace, which informs actual grace and gives us,  (happens at baptism), the theological virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity; second; the intellect and soul must cooperate with grace in the development of the virtues-the soul needs the intellect and the will to live in the life of sanctifying grace. Third, the virtues must become habits, not merely something we think of doing now and then. Without this practice of the virtues, there is a chance of losing our salvation. We develop a disposition to and in developing the virtues. A person who is in the natural order, without grace, may seem to be practicing natural virtues, but without grace, a person is not actually an heir of God, a co-heir of Christ, and therefore, going to heaven. This is one of the great heresies of our day, the idea that just being good gets one to heaven. Being good may be natural for some people, and the supernatural order of grace, that is directed to our final end, can be ignored. We are united to God by grace.

The development of the life of the virtues is the necessary step. The Indwelling of the Holy Trinity occurs in baptism and confirmation, and some theologians equate the phrase "the Kingdom of God is within" with that mystery the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity. The Holy Spirit gives us gifts, which help us develop the virtues, and then exhibit the gifts of the Spirit. Grace introduces us into the life of the Trinity.

to be continued....

Abuses continue in the Church--update: including TODAY

In my travels in England, and I am writing a book, I can share that I have witnessed either liturgical abuses or abuses by the laity in every Ordinary Form Mass since I have returned. When in France, I only attended the EF, therefore I was not bombarded by these problems. If anyone in power in any parish, such as a PP or a Bishop, please correct these problems, which I see daily. I may have to write letters on some of these. And, I have only been back in England four weeks.

1) The continued use of elements of the now illegal NO translation, including the persistence of the old acclamations, old opening and closing prayers, old Gloria, and other such aberrations.

2) Repeated problems with Eucharistic Ministers giving blessings to the faithful at Communion time.

3) Priests not announcing at marriages or funerals that only Catholics can receive Holy Communion. This is a huge problem. Everyone, even those who have been away from the Church, and Protestants, go up for Communion.

4) Lack of following guidelines on catechesis in Confirmation preparation, as young people who are not practicing Catholics and do not attend Sunday Mass are put forward for the sacrament.

5) Laity abuses include immodesty, mostly in middle-age women, which is shocking. Women also wear blue jeans on the altar on Sundays, as well as during the week.

6) Laity abuses include talking loudly and consistently before and after Mass.

7) Lack of Confessions offered. In most places, one has to ask for the sacrament.

8) Now, I must state that these things seem to be worse in some dioceses and missing in others. That the bishop sets the tone is obvious.

I am to the point where I cannot go to a NO without wondering or worrying if it will be legal and reverent. I really need to move and find a place which has the regular Latin Mass, which is hard. Most places in England which have a Sunday Mass, do not necessarily have a daily TLM. Pray for me as I am now avoiding daily Mass in at least one local parish, as the problems are grating and not being addressed by the PPs.

By the way, there is a EF in Malta today, where there has not been a TLM since the first week of November. The Summorum Pontificum is still not followed in that nation.

PS The TLM scheduled for three weeks in Malta was cancelled today, or rather, changed to a NO in Latin because someone in the curia changed his mind and stopped it. I am not making this up. Abuse and the taking back of a permission which was granted and a firm stand against the Summorum Pontificum is the unofficial, but real, stand of the curia in Malta.