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Wednesday 20 June 2012

An Open Letter to My Readers...

Dear Readers,

I have been so humbled by comments on this blog, and in my e-mail, as there are so many great "supertradmums"  and supertrad-dads out there, as well as supertradsingles. I have heard from married women with tons of kids, home schooling and living the virtuous life at home; single women, some of whom are professionals, or struggling to find work, and some who are in third orders. I have heard from traditional dads and retired men, who are so fantastically Catholic, that I know there is a strong remnant out there, carrying on the Faith to the next generation.

I have heard from students, in law, in medicine, in the seminary, who want to follow Christ in perfect obedience to the Gospel and the Teaching Magisterium of the Church. That we all belong to the one, true, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church is too wonderful to even contemplate without joy.

Thank you, all my readers, as you keep me humble and in my place...You are the shock troops. I am merely the correspondent behind the lines.


Female war correspondents in France during World War II. (Left to right): Ruth Cowan, Associated Press; Sonia Tomara, New York Herald Tribune; Rosette Hargrove, Newspaper Enterprise Association; Betty Knox, London Evening Standard; Iris Carpenter, Boston Globe and Erika Mann, Liberty magazine. Public Domain

Perfection Series Continued: "Such as a man is, such does the end seem to him"

I have lost track of how many posts I have written in my series on Perfection, and I apologize to those who wanted me to put them in one, neat section. I have not had time to do this, however excellent the idea is.

I am adding to this series today, working again in Garrigou-Lagrange's magnificent work The Three Ages of the Interior Life, from where the quotation in title is taken, as he quotes the ancient Greeks.

Today, I have been thinking about the virtue of Prudence and politics. a combination of thoughts which goes back to Aristotle and Aquinas. A footnote in Garrigou-Lagrange caught my attention. He states that "the politics of states rarely rise above the economic or material interests of the people, above the tangible, useful good; they give little consideration to the rules of true morality or the honest good, the object of virtue. Then morality disappears in the relations of nations; states sometimes permit enormous collective crimes which they could and should hinder by defending the oppressed and the persecuted. Thereafter, the nation must bear the punishment tor the terrible results of these unpardonable impudences and cowardly acts, which negate the moral law and right in order to maintain the primacy of power or of gold. To compensate for these faults there must be an intense interior life in certain souls who may the "the ten just" of whom the Scriptures speak and because of whom God show mercy."

To unpack this little footnote, one can see that all the nations of the world have fallen under the idolatry of gold, the preoccupation with money and finances to the point where there is little active prudence with regard to morality.

The "honest good", the object of virtue, which Garrigou-Lagrange notes here, and which is discussed in both Aristotle and Aquinas, has been set aside, or ignored, or worse, undermined by the powers that be, mainly because they themselves do not belong to the small group of "ten just men".

What has happened is the complete marginalization of morality in the political sphere. Those who are ambitious, who desire power and glory on earth, have exchanged their end, that is, eternal life, for material goods, such as wealth, popularity, power, influence, etc.

We have seen a lack of temperance in temperament in leaders in the last two centuries, as most have moved away from following the moral, natural law and merely followed what seems best to them. The list is long-Napoleon, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and even some in our own day. 

Infused prudence, more than acquired prudence, given to us, as we all know and reiterated by Garrigou-Lagrange, in baptism, "grows with charity, through merit, the sacraments, Communion".

There are NO other ways to grow in infused prudence. Right reason follows grace. This movement of the Spirit of God is connected to one of my favorite themes on this blog, thinking like a Catholic. Just start in January and keep reading...

Infused prudence should be manifested somehow-it must be seen, observed, followed. Garrigou-Lagrange has an excellent small section on mediocrity as the following of negative prudence. Have we not seen that in our leaderships crises is both the Church and in nations?

Infused prudence is am impossible virtue without humility, chastity, patience, as the great priest tells us. One learns to be inclined, to follow a life of virtue, but with training...Parents, pay attention, please.

Prudence, according to the theologian, as one of the Cardinal Virtues, lies just beneath the Theological Virtues necessary for salvation. Quoting both Aquinas and Augustine, Garrigou-Lagrange notes that "The lower reason judges everything from the temporal point of view; the higher reason from the point of view of eternity."

What I find really interesting is what the author does with the explanation of false prudence, a communal prudence, merely gained by living in certain communities, merely conforming.

He states, "At certain times, for instance, during persecutions, the inadequacy of such a way of acting becomes evident." Garrigoug-Lagrange here infers  that only those who remember "the one thing necessary", like Mary at the feet of Christ, can managed to live a life of virtue under persecution.

I want to add a personal note to this meditation. Again, a footnote of Garrigou-Lagrange reminded me of Luke 16:10--"He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater."

I have been accused of even "good Catholics" of being to scrupulous regarding certain, so-called "little" things, things such as tithing, being absolutely strict on fasting, abstinence, taxes, "little" white lies, and so on. I am taught by the Holy Spirit that Luke 16:10 is the only way to Eternal Life-we can cooperate with grace, or not do so. We can choose the harder, narrower road to perfection, or not do so. Infused prudence helps us make these good decisions, which seem daft to those who have not conformed their minds to that of Christ. May I add that there are many Ordinariate families of priests, who are suffering from a loss of life-style, pensions, and other perks, because they chose to come into the Church rather than wait with a worldly prudence. For such people is Eternal Life.

To be continued....

Feast of St. Alban

In England, today is the feast of St. Alban, the first martyr of these isles. May he pray for us to be strong in persecution, loving and open to whatever God allows.

St. Alban, pray for us.  Excerpt follows from the Catholic Encyclopedia online:

First martyr of Britain, suffered c. 304. The commonly received account of the martyrdom of St. Alban meets us as early as the pages of Bede's "Ecclesiastical History" (Bk. I, chs. vii and xviii). According to this, St. Alban was a pagan living at Verulamium (now the town of St. Albans in Hertfordshire), when a persecution of the Christians broke out, and a certain cleric flying for his life took refuge in Alban's house. Alban sheltered him, and after some days, moved by his example, himself received baptism. Later on, when the governor's emissaries came to search the house, Alban disguised himself in the cloak of his guest and gave himself up in his place. He was dragged before the judge, scourged, and, when he would not deny his faith, condemned to death. On the way to the place of execution Alban arrested the waters of a river so that they crossed dry-shod, and he further caused a fountain of water to flow on the summit of the hill on which he was beheaded. His executioner was converted, and the man who replaced him, after striking the fatal blow, was punished with blindness. A later development in the legend informs us that the cleric's name was Amphibalus, and that he, with some companions, was stoned to death a few days afterwards at Redbourn, four miles from St. Albans. What germ of truth may underlie these legends it is difficult to decide. The first authority to mention St. Alban is Constantius, in his Life of St. Germanus of Auxerre, written about 480. But the further details there given about the opening of St. Alban's tomb and the taking out of relics are later interpolations, as has recently been discovered (see Livison in the "Neues Archiv", 1903, p. 148). Still the whole legend as known to Bedewas probably in existence in the first half of the sixth century (W. Meyer, "Legende des h. Albanus", p. 21), and was used by Gildas before 547. It is also probable that the name Amphibalus is derived from some version of the legend in which the cleric's cloak is called an amphibalus; for Geoffrey of Monmouth, the earliestwitness to the name Amphibalus, makes precisely the same mistake in another passage, converting the garment called amphibalus into the name of a saint. (See Ussher, Works, V, p. 181, and VI, pg. 58; and RevueCeltique, 1890, p. 349.) From what has been said, it is certain that St. Alban has been continuously veneratedin England since the fifth century. Moreover, his name was known about the year 580 to Venantius Fortunatus, in Southern Gaul, who commemorates him in the line:
Albanum egregium fecunda Britannia profert.
("Lo! fruitful Britain vaunts great Alban's name.")
("Carmina", VII, iii, 155).
His feast is still kept as of old, on 22 June, and it is celebrated throughout England as a greater double. That of St. Amphibalus is not now observed, but it seems formerly to have been attached to 25 June. In some later developments of the legend St. Alban appears as a soldier who had visited Rome, and his story was also confused with that of another St. Alban, or Albinus, martyred at Mainz.

Please take part in the poll

I have a poll for a post today, so please take part in it.

I am interested in the demographics of my readers, if you do not mind.

The poll is on the right side-bar.

God bless.

Live in the Present Moment

Tell someone you love them today. If you love, show it, even in a little way.

Never regret passing up an opportunity for loving in Christ, through His Mother Mary.

Show respect, listen, do something small, love. Never let your heart grow so old that you cannot love freely.

From St. John's First Epistle: "I write unto you, little children, because your sins are forgiven you for his name's sake. I write unto you, fathers, because you have known him from the beginning. I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write to you, babes, because you have known the Father. I write to you, young men, because you are strong and the word of God abideth in you...."