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Thursday 21 June 2012

Oh my goodness, Cherie Blair again against Catholic culture....

Five post day because a very silly comment has come from the supposed Catholic Cherie Blair in today's Telegraph. Now, I do not get angry very easily, but his lady's comments are "just plain experatin'" and the girl from the Midwest shall take on the lady from London, but then I have many saints, the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, and experience on my side as well as the writings of the last 100 years of popes. Good company, this.

Ms. Blair  has basically undermined Catholic Culture, and the teaching of the Catholic Church, regarding the role of motherhood and the role of the wife in the home with modernistic and narrow-minded comments.  She obviously doesn't see statistics on stay-at-home mom kids, especially home schooled kids, who are MORE independent and secure than others.

Here are my comments on her points.

1. Women have a right to expect a husband to support them and their children at home. This is the traditional role of man, to be a decent bread-winner, and support a family. Current ideas have seen and pushed for the emasculation of men, many of whom no longer think they need or should support a family. The socialist agenda aids and abets this lie.  Also, the poor can marry, not only the rich, but a lower life-style must then be expected by all. There is nothing shameful in that. There is nothing wrong or immoral about being poor.

2. Home schooled children are more independent, get higher test scores, and succeed more than other children, and many statistics show this. At my son's college 25% of the students were from home schooled families in his year. All had scholarships.

3. The lady does not think that being a full-mom is a career. Wow. A stay-at -home mom, even if not the main educator, is the cook, cleaner, laundry-maid, house manager, chauffeur, social secretary, prayer leader, sometimes business clerk, counselor, disciplinarian, spiritual adviser, as well as friend and love of her husband. If there are pets, she is the animal manager as well. I, of course, refer to most moms in the middle-class and even poorer classes, and not those who have help at home.

4. We are supposed to raise our children in the Faith of the Holy Catholic Church and most schools in England which call themselves Catholic are not so. Mothers have more of a responsibility for passing on the Faith, with the dad, then ever before. This takes time and energy. I worked in a seminary, and most of the students there had not only stay-at-home moms, but came from large families. There is a connection.

5. We have an example in the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was not a victim of her time or a patriarchal-anti-feminist, regime of suppression, but the woman called by God from all eternity to have His Son and live under the protection of St. Joseph, and later St. John. These times still see a need, perhaps even more than in any other time, for men to protect women in the home. 

6. Society has caused, and her own political perference of socialism has caused the demise of the honoring of the stay-at-home mom by under-cutting the importance of the role of the family as the primary unit of society-a position not held by socialists, who see the material state as all. Her own party has caused more damage in history to the building up of the family, outside the communists, than any other ideology.

7. So, is her work as a lawyer and social commentator more important than that of a mum? No. (She doesn't seem like a happy, peaceful woman).

8. Should girls be educated for back-up careers in case of tragedy and the need to work? Yes, but not at the expense of the house, the children, the husband. This is what selfless love is all about-dying to self is part of motherhood and being a wife. I guess she missed that part of the message of Christ somewhere along the line. Girls should learn vocations and careers and many are called to do such.

"For all her smarts", as we say in the States, I have never been impressed with Ms. Blair's comments in the press all these years. She should just be quiet and maybe, stay at home awhile, learning some wisdom and gentility, two lost gifts of true womanhood.

Here is the article linked above.

Cherie Blair attacks 'yummy mummies' who choose children over careers

Cherie Blair has attacked “yummy mummies” who focus on raising their children at the expense of their careers, suggesting their children lack a sense of independence.

The wife of the former Prime Minister also accused some young women of seeking to “marry a rich husband and retire” instead of working.
Mrs Blair, a QC and mother of four, criticised women who “put all their effort into their children” instead of working. Mothers who go out to work are setting a better example for their children, she said.
Addressing a gathering of “powerful” women at one of London’s most expensive hotels, Mrs Blair said she was worried that today’s young women are turning their backs on the feminism of their mothers’ generation.
Some women know regard motherhood as an acceptable alternative to a career, Mrs Blair said. Instead, women should strive for both.
“Every woman needs to be self-sufficient and in that way you really don’t have a choice - for your own satisfaction; you hear these yummy mummies talk about being the best possible mother and they put all their effort into their children. I also want to be the best possible mother, but I know that my job as a mother includes bringing my children up so actually they can live without me.”
In fact, despite Mrs Blair’s worries about non-working mothers, official statistics show that the proportion of mothers who work has actually risen steadily in recent years.
According to the Office for National Statistics, 66 per cent of mothers are now in some form of paid work. In 1996, the figure was 61 per cent. The number of working mothers is now around 5.3 million, up from 4.5 million in 1996.
Speaking to Fortune magazine’s Most Powerful Women event in Claridge’s, Mrs Blair appeared to accuse some young women of lacking professional ambition, focussing on their prospective partner’s career instead of their own.
She said: “One of the things that worries me now is you see young women who say: 'I look at the sacrifices that women have made and I think why do I need to bother, why can’t I just marry a rich husband and retire?' and you think how can they even imagine that is the way to fulfil yourself, how dangerous it is.”
Mrs Blair said her view was informed by her own experience of her father abandoning her mother when she was a child. But she insisted that all women should make sure they can provide for themselves: “Even good men could have an accident or die and you’re left holding the baby.”
Often in the headlines during her husband’s premiership, Mrs Blair has taken a more active public role since he left office in 2007, setting up a charitable foundation to support women setting up their own firms in developing countries.
Mr Blair earlier this month told the Leveson Inquiry that his wife had been subjected to a “vendetta” by parts of the media, partly because she had attempted to maintain her career during his time in No 10.
Despite urging women to combine motherhood and work, Mrs Blair conceded that her advice can be taken too far.
“I did many foolish things that I wouldn’t encourage any young woman to do today, and I made no concessions to the fact that I was pregnant,” she said, “One way I got into trouble was ten days before my son was due to be born I was still working and they compulsorily hospitalised me as they said the baby wasn’t growing. It was rubbish – he was fine.”

Ms. Blair sounds like a member of the Gang of Four. I shall pray to St. Olga for her. 
And, she obviously does not know how to think like a Catholic, poor thing.

Unless you become like a little will never be a real adult

Not deciding is deciding. How many times have we heard this. But, we need not to be afraid to decide on something, someone.

"I am going to get rid of any other option and decide on this." The thing which makes us decide is courage.

If you have never made a decision, maybe you lack courage.

This is why going to college, entering a seminary, getting married and being open to life, are major decisions.

If we decide on one thing, if we decide on one thing or one place, or one person for life, we close other doors. But the open door is life.

And, once we make a decision, we must be committed. Commitment is the lost art of our time. Why do people cry at weddings? Because two people have decided on each other, but have closed the door to other alternatives -- people and things and even events are now decided one way and not another.

We want it all, sadly. We do not want to close doors. We are afraid. But, we are smart, we have reason. We can figure things out.

We want to get married, have children, have a career, and be holy. Wait a minute.

We cannot do it all. We cannot have it all successfully,  but we must decide.

How do we decide? We must have courage and we need to trust ourselves. Wow. We need to have confidence in ourselves in making (we do it-we "make") the decision.

Bonhoeffer wrote about this. He called it Costly Grace, as opposed to Cheap Grace.

Costly Grace means that we choose Christ and His Gospel and we choose the life-style which follows. Radical Christianity means we are counter-culture, people of the light in darkness, individuals who are signs of contradiction in the world.

If you make a right decision, if you choose peace as opposed to chaos, you will be that light in the darkness.

OK, love is blind, they say. Why do we not follow the signs of loving the right person. Sociologists call the ability to choose "adaptive intelligence". We go back and review how and why we decided on something. If we have a flaw, or an blockage, we can change, we can grow, we can be healed, in most cases, if not all.

Those of us who are older and have made mistakes in our long lives, either with jobs, careers, colleges, even with spouses, have to have more courage, as we have witnessed failure and need to go on and face other similar decisions.

One does not roll up into a ball and hibernate if one has failed in an area of life. No. We forgive ourselves and move on. We forgive others. We review how and why we erred. As a Catholic, I can state that grace and selflessness indicate a good decision. Peace follows a good decision

As a teacher of at-risk-students, I had to help students succeed who had failed, perhaps even many times. How did I help them get over the fear of failure, a real fear?

Here are some steps, which I employed.

One, I imparted confidence and helped them to have confidence in themselves. I emphasized their gifts, their strengths and not their weaknesses.

Two, I taught them discipline. This meant time management or good study habits. In other words, I gave them the tools for success. Simple tools are the best, and these tools led to discipline.

Three, I encouraged them when they succeeded, but pointed out how they failed, why they failed. Criticism helps people change, but not merely negative thinking, but constructive analysis, and most importantly, how to avoid failure again. Replacing good habits with bad habits could be part of this.

Four, I helped them choose for themselves. A teacher is a leader, a guide, a person who directs, but does not decide for the student. Choices are individual, and a teacher must help people make their own decisions, within the framework of courage, confidence and discipline.

Five, I never, never praised without due reason. Many children have been ruined by parents who say "You are the best girl in the world" without any requirements for praise. Praise is earned and for specific accomplishments. This is how children learn confidence-by doing something well, and the thing itself should give the confidence in and or itself.

I have Montessori training. As a Montessori directress, I barely praised anyone. The children learned confidence by doing. I showed them what and how to do something, they did it well and learned peace, confidence, trust, discipline. Confidence created motivation. Confidence creates independence.

Motivation, that is, self-motivatIon, is the key to learning to become a person. Maria Montessori said that it was the role, the duty of the child as created by God to become, to make, with God, the person that child was going to be. I know this is true.

This creates courage. If we have courage, we can make decisions. But, not to decide is the real failure of life. Decide, live, be not afraid.

Life and love follow. And, if one has failed, pray for God's healing graces. Go to daily Mass, go to Adoration. Learn to have confidence in God Alone, like a little child on her Father's knee.

This is my wish for all, including myself. "Verily I say unto you, Except ye turn, and become as little children, ye shall in no wise enter into the kingdom of heaven." DR Matthew 18:3

I pray to the Child Jesus and to Little Therese, the Greatest Saint of our time to help me and to help you. 

Choose life, always, and you will be saved. You may even be more happy and joyful than you have ever believed true in your life. I challenge you to have courage.

A four-post day....

Father Jordan Aumann, again, and others.....

A reminder regarding the sacraments...Again, something not-so-small to think about regarding the sacraments...

Ex operato applies not only to the priest or bishop who is giving the sacraments, but to those receiving the sacraments. Remember, "from the act done", that the merits of the person receiving these sacraments is also part of this teaching from the Council of Trent. For a grace to be efficacious, that is, to work, the recipient must be in the right disposition.

A person either "in" mortal sin or "living in" mortal sin cannot receive sanctifying grace, period.

A "disposition" is not merely an attitude of mind, but a state of the soul. See all the posts I wrote below on baptism, confirmation, and marriage. This post is another attempt to contradict the never-ending story of false and poor catechesis among the laity. For more on this, see Summa theologiae, III, q. 69, a. 8.

We cannot wish a thing to be true. That is relativism. With regard to the sacraments, these are not merely signs, but "signum sacro sanctum efficax gratiae"--showing forth that which is hidden, and doing that which is signed. "Ex opere operato"  does not mean that either the minister or the recipient must be entirely worthy, as that is impossible for all of us. Here is Leo XIII on the matter--"the Sacraments of the New Law, as sensible and efficient signs of invisible grace, ought both to signify the grace which they effect, and effect the grace which they signify" in  Apostolicae Curae.

By the way, several months ago, I wrote about the author, Father Jordan Aumann, O.P.  He is really good on these points. And, I just found his work online, a book which I have at home in a box! Here is the link. Please look him up when you have time.

Know Thyself--γνῶθι σεαυτόν--continuing the series on perfection

The Delphic Oracle and St. Catherine of Siena have something in common, which is not unusual, being that God works through many means to bring us all to perfection. Garrigou-Lagrange in the post yesterday, was examined as to the virtue of prudence. Leading from that infused virtue, the great author notes that St. Catherine of Siena, in The Dialogue, which I have not read in its entirety since 2009, relates what Christ says to all through her:

"Discretion...render to each one his due. Chiefly to Me in rendering praise and glory to My name, and in referring to Me the grace and the gifts which she sees and knows she has received from Me; and rendering to herself that which she sees herself to have merited, knowing that she does not even exist of herself....this founds the virtue of discretion on knowledge of self, that is, on true humility, for , were this humility not in the soul, the soul would be indiscreet; indiscretion being founded on pride, as discretion is on humility."

When the Greeks and others in the ancient world approached the Oracle and saw the words imprinted on the forecourt of the Temple of Apollo, they would have stopped and pondered how wisdom, prudence, even sophia would lead them to self-knowledge. To the Greeks, humility, a particularly Christian virtue, may or may not have been part of the path to self-knowledge, except for the philosophers. But, wisdom, like prudence, lies in humility.

Humilitas is the motto of the Borromeo family, and therefore, of St. Charles Borromeo, whose chapel here in England in the Church next door to where I am today, stands as a witness to real humility. Here is a great saint, one of the greatest of the Counter-Reformation, who died at such an early age, 47, and gave up rank and status for the Kingdom of God. His humility lay in the fact of his personal holiness and his dedication to the Church he loved so much.

St. Catherine of Siena, although not of such a great house, did the same, that is, followed the way of obedience to the Church and to Christ. The humility of these two saints reminds us that prayer, fasting, self-denial, and truth guide one to Eternal Life, through self-knowledge.

Discretion, from humility, leads to mercy, kindness, forgiveness and charity. Without discretion, prudence would devolve into a self-seeking cleverness, a selfishness based on worldly concerns. Discretion allows us to relate to others with the Mind of Christ.

That the Oracle would give knowledge, either from a trance induced by vapors, or from a source less than godly, may be questioned. That God, through the infused virtues gives self-knowledge, to those who cooperate with grace, is the path of real wisdom and a such self-knowledge is a gift to those who want it. To be continued...