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Friday 27 July 2012

More on being female...

There seems to be a misunderstanding regarding male and female traits or activities. Now, I rode bicycles, climbed trees, shot, did archery, fished, camped and played tennis, golf, cross-country skiing etc. However, sports activities at school, when I was a girl were played in skirts with shorts underneath. Then the styles moved to Bermuda shorts, long pants in winter if we skied. We were modest as children. Girls wore sundresses in the summer. And we covered our shoulders in Mass.  By the way, there are several modest clothes websites which make clothes at very reasonable prices. If I had girl children, I would be looking at those. As to climbing trees, I think my mother stopped me from doing that at a certain age, which was correct and good.

Puberty changes things. So does wearing female clothes. I have very few clothes. Ask my friends. I have enough to get through a week summer and a week winter. So what if there are not many clothes, as long as these are feminine. One does not have to be a clothes horse to be feminine. I hate shopping. Ask my son, and my brothers-three out of the four LOVE shopping and I do not.

Being a "tom-boy" may or may not indicate anything. I had 22 dolls, play prams, play dishes, play pots and pans, tea-sets, a doll house, nursing kit, nurses play outfit, play house, play store, doll houses, etc., but I also did all those more daring things. But as adults, we transition into seriously considering who we are and how we act.

This morning at daily Mass, there were about thirty people attending. Ten were men and twenty were women. Out of those twenty women, seven of us had dresses or skirts. The same women daily wear the same types of clothes and those seven always dress in female styles. Two are elderly Irish ladies, one is French, I am the American, and the others are from African countries. The African ladies also always wear a hat or turban. The French woman and I wear mantillas.

The other, and majority of the women, again, daily participants, fall into two groups. One group dresses in rather posh slacks and tops. The others are in jeans. The jeans group is the majority. And, I am afraid, some of the women look like men.

I cannot express how much God wants us to be women and love ourselves as women. I think part of the problem is that some women do not think they are beautiful. We all are in some way.

I remind people that I do not publish anonymous comments, of which there have been many on this subject.

On tags, series, and more posts

Some might not know that there are tags at the bottom of posts. If you want to follow a series, such as the private revelation one or the one on perfection, one can either click on the tag, or put the title in search.

There will be many more posts on both subjects.

Why do not people read and listen before they vote?

I posted in late winter on the fact that Fianna Fáil was pro-abortion. Now, LifeSiteNews has an  excellent artictle showing the deceit of all party members who want it. That the Irish have voted these pro-choice politicians in is their problem and on their consciences. Why do people get upset with those they put in office when we can read and think before they vote?

The same thing happened in the 2008 presidential election in the States. I had POTUS in my state of Illinois and knew his abysmal anti-life record. Some of us read before we vote. Catholics cannot blindly support parties which are anti-life. Our own souls are at stake.

Garrigou-Lagrange continued--sins defined--malice and others

This is the sin we understand. The ones we do on purpose are the most evil. Here is the great Dominican on this type of sin. Malice becomes obvious when one has sinned. Malice aforethought is the definition of murder.

In contradistinction to the sin of ignorance and that of frailty, the sin of malice is that by which one chooses evil knowingly. In Latin it is called a sin de industria, that is, a sin committed with deliberate calculation, design, and express intention, free from ignorance and even from antecedent passion. The sin of malice is often premeditated. This is not equivalent to saying that evil is willed for the sake of evil; since the adequate object of the will is the good, it can will evil only under the aspect of an apparent good.
Now he who sins through malice, acting with full knowledge of the case and through evil will, knowingly wills a spiritual evil (for example, the loss of charity or divine friendship) in order to possess a temporal good. It is clear that this sin thus defined differs in the degree of gravity from the sin of ignorance and that of frailty. But we must not conclude from this that every sin of malice is a sin against the Holy Ghost. This last sin is one of the gravest of the sins of malice. It is produced when a man rejects through contempt the very thing that would save him or deliver him from evil: for example, when he combats recognized religious truth, or when by reason of jealousy, he deliberately grows sad over the graces and spiritual progress of his neighbor.
The sin of malice often proceeds from a vice engendered by multiple faults; but it can exist even in the absence of this vice. It is thus that the first sin of the devil was a sin of malice, not of habitual malice but of actual malice, of evil will, of an intoxication of pride.
It is clear that the sin of malice is graver than the sins of ignorance and frailty, although these last are sometimes mortal. This explains why human laws inflict greater punishment for premeditated murder than for that committed through passion.

Adam and Eve knew what they were doing. The Angels did as well. This type of sin is so serious it is mortal. The other sins can be mortal as well, as noted above. 

I would like to continue with a few more definitions. There are connected serious sins in the list this past week which flow from pride. These are seen here in his book:

According to St. Gregory and St. Thomas,(12) pride or arrogance is more than a capital sin; it is the root from which proceed especially four capital sins: vanity or vainglory, spiritual sloth or wicked sadness which embitters, envy, and anger. Vanity is the inordinate love of praise and honors. Spiritual sloth saddens the soul at the thought of the labor involved in sanctification, and at the thought of the spiritual good of good works because of the effort and abnegation they require. Envy inclines us to grow sad over another's good, in so far as it appears to oppose our own excellence. Anger, when it is not just indignation but a sin, is an inordinate movement of the soul which inclines us to repulse violently what displeases us; from it arise quarrels, insults, and abusive words. These capital vices, especially spiritual sloth, envy, and anger, engender a wicked sadness that weighs down the soul; they are quite the opposite of spiritual peace and joy, which are the fruits of charity

Many good Catholics think they are just fine exhibiting these sins. They are self-deceived. We need to pray and do penance. Sometimes accepting the crosses of our lives is penance for these sins.

to be continued...

On girls, dolls, real men and women

My mother use to sew and sometimes we had matching, but not quite, dresses. I was learning to to her. This was a good thing.

The other day, I saw a little girl about five out with her mum shopping. The little girl (British children are so cute) had two dolls with her, not one, but two. They were well-loved and "rag dolls", not high-end specialty, collector dolls. It was charming to see how she cared for them in her little travels on the street of shops and restaurants. Obviously, she was not going to keep them at home.

I have not seen girls with dolls as much as I did 20 years ago. I remember the time, when we were living in Dorset, when the little girls had miniature "push-chairs" and pushed their dollies and teddies around the town where we were living. Role modeling is part of learning gender based roles.

However, as reported here last week, the EU states that gender is a man-made construct. What? We are so far removed from nature and natural law that if we allow our female-children to play with dolls, they will become enslaved by the old ideas of motherhood and stay-at-home moms.

I am not sure we can change the monster of depravity regarding sex and gender around at this time.
By the way, communists leaders years ago pushed for an androgynous society. It serves the state better and omits nasty things, like Protectors; that is males who would fit for their women.

To state that gender is a human construct is to deny the Creator. Men and women are different and God made us that way. I am happy in my femininity. I do not want nor need to be a man.

God bless the three or four men in Aurora, Colorado for giving their lives for their girlfriends. How fortunate for those women that they experienced, although sadly in the death of their men, Protectors. At least three who died were either in the military or had been and were in the process of re-enlisting.

May God raise up a new generation of Protectors before it is too late for Western civilization.

Generation WE vs. Generation ME

Do you think the Millennials are less selfish? If so, why are the Millennials less selfish? When I am writing about singles, I am mostly thinking of Generation X members, which are now in their thirties and forties. The Millennials are younger and less inclined to think in the same ways as the Gen X. They are different, and they are more focused in some ways. Those who are young and know foreign politics are much more insecure than we were as the Baby Boomers. We had the Soviet Union, a big bloc as our national enemy. Now, the younger generation has the awareness of terrorists, who could be in their local grocery store or backyard.

Great privilege and mortality are part of their view. Something worse is always in their future and that is a good thing. They know they are privileged, but they do not take it for granted. If they look at the Dow Jones and it is down, they know their future will be worse, so they decide to work harder to do better. Also, they have witnessed terrible natural, fragile, vulnerable states, such as the Japanese tsunami. Therefore, they do not have the false vision of youthful immortality we and Gen X had. So, they think "What about this life makes it meaningful and what can I do to make it more meaningful? I think this attitude has led to more vocations.

There was no motivation for Gen X to do something worthwhile for themselves or the community. There was too much material success too easily.

This new generation sees death all around them, and that is a good thing for their generation. They do not take life, money, peace for granted.

However, they are still more individualistic than the Baby Boomers and Gen X.

Maybe they will be able to make decisions. But, they still fear commitment, because they have not seen commitment successfully lived with Gen X as parents. Gen X is still stuck in a juvenile state.

The Gen X members may never get out of that. And, their lives have caused the fear of commitment in the next generation-the Millennials.  If all your friends are single and you have a single parent, it is much harder to commit.

Most Millennials had few people to connect to, even in sport. Now, they want to connect. They have had to laboriously create common ground. The Internet has helped them connect.

And, yet, they want to have love and homes and stability. I call them Generation WE as opposed to Generation ME. They just do not know how to do it. They do not say that they are WE. They love social stuff. Their need is for WE. They just have to learn how to do it. This is why Twitter and Facebook are so popular. Self-promotion is the motivation, but now they are finding each other on these social network. The need takes over from the motivation.

In 2005, Facebook users were mostly male, between 16-21, computer literate. It was a male-tech bubble.  Now, in 2012, most of the users are female, with a much older base, and broader groupings. But, it is a random community. The blogging community is not random, but targeted.

The Internet and especially Facebook, have become real societies- with a view of the Western world. And, China is working on its own, by the way.

The Millennials are ripe for evangelization. They are more open to a spiritual life than Gen X.

Types of sins and culpability mark two--perfection

Readers have asked me to look at Garrigou-Lagrange more directly with his definitions of sins. I did a few this past week and here are some more. He divides sins into classifications. After all this negativity, I shall go back to the virtues, which are much more interesting and fun for me.

These categories are connected to Thursday's response as well. The Dominican writes: The sin of ignorance is that which springs from voluntary and culpable ignorance, called vincible ignorance. The sin of frailty is that which arises from a strong passion which diminishes liberty and impels the will to give its consent. As for the sin of malice, it is committed with full liberty, quasi de industria, intentionally and often with premeditation, even without passion or ignorance. We shall recall what St. Thomas teaches about each of them.

This first demarcation reveals that frailty or weakness is culpable, which is hard for modern men and women to understand. We make psychological excuses for many things.

I am not going into all the categories of ignorance, but I want to highlight one. Here is Garrigou-Lagrange again: Voluntary or vincible ignorance cannot completely excuse sin, for there was negligence; it only diminishes culpability. Absolutely involuntary or invincible ignorance completely exculpates from sin; it does away with culpability. As for concomitant ignorance, it does not excuse from sin, for, even if it did not exist, one would still sin.
Invincible ignorance is called "good faith." That ignorance be truly invincible or involuntary, it is necessary that the person cannot morally free himself from it by a serious effort to know his duties. It is impossible to be invincibly ignorant of the first precepts of the natural law: Do good and avoid evil; do not do to others what you would not wish them to do to you; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; one God alone you shall adore. At least by the order of the world, the starry sky, and the whole creation, man can easily obtain a knowledge of the probability of the existence of God, supreme Ordainer and Legislator. When he has this probability, he must seek to become more enlightened and must ask for light; otherwise he is not in genuine good faith or in absolutely involuntary and invincible ignorance. As much must be said of a Protestant for whom it becomes seriously probable that Catholicism is the true religion. He must clarify his idea by study and ask God for light. Unless he does this, as St. Alphonsus says, he already sins against faith by not wishing to take the means necessary to obtain it.

If one does not desire to be free of sin, that in itself is a problem. As the author states, issues involving the human capacity of knowing natural law never excuse a person. I hope this is not confusing. In other words, as I have stated before, all people must learn what they need to know to be free of a vice and pray for help. Counseling and the sacramental life are necessities, not luxuries.

Fraility also involve choice: A sin of frailty is one which springs from a strong passion, which impels the will to give its consent. With this meaning, the Psalmist says: "Have mercy on me, a Lord, for I am weak." (17) The spiritual soul is weak when its will yields to the violence of the movements of the sensible appetites. It thus loses rectitude of practical judgment and of voluntary election or choice, by reason of fear, anger, or concupiscence. Thus, during the Passion, Peter yielded through fear and denied our Lord three times. When, by reason of a lively emotion or of a passion, we are inclined toward an object, the intellect is induced to judge that it is suitable for us, and the will to give its consent contrary to the divine law.(18)
But we must distinguish here the so-called antecedent passion, which precedes the consent of the will, and that called consequent, which follows it. Antecedent passion diminishes culpability, for it diminishes the liberty of judgment and of voluntary choice; it is particularly apparent in very impressionable people. On the contrary, consequent or voluntary passion does not lessen the gravity of sin, but augments it; or rather it is a sign that the sin is more voluntary, since the will itself arouses this inordinate movement of passion, as happens in a man who wishes to become angry the better to manifest his ill will.(19) Just as a good consequent passion, such as Christ's holy anger when He was driving the merchants from the Temple, increases the merit, so an evil consequent passion augments the demerit.

I repeat that there is always culpability, but sometimes this is lessened. Before I get to sins of malice, which we mostly understand, let us look at this warning from the text. It would be a gross error to think that only the sin of malice can be mortal because it alone implies the sufficient advertence, the full consent, together with the serious matter, necessary for the sin which gives death to the soul and renders it worthy of eternal death. Such an error would result from a badly formed conscience, and would contribute to increase this deformity. Let us remember that we can easily resist the beginning of the inordinate movement of passion, and that it is a duty for us to do so and also to pray for help, according to the words of St. Augustine, quoted by the Council of Trent: "God never commands the impossible, but, in commanding, He warns us to do what we are able and to ask Him for help to do that which we cannot." (22)

This is the rub...we must not cover over our own tendencies and weaknesses. As one of my readers noted remembering Barney in The Andy Griffith Show, "Nip it. Nip it in the bud!"

to be continued...

A Pope on Modesty

One of my readers reminded me of this document this week. I print the entire thing.

12 January 1930
By virtue of his supreme apostolate, whereby the universal Church is 
founded, by divine institution, Our Most Holy Lordship, Pope Pius XI never 
tires of reiterating the words of  St. Paul, to wit: “…women also in decent 
apparel: adorning themselves with modesty and sobriety, … but as it 
becometh women professing godliness, with good works…”  (I Tim II: 9-10)
Frequently, when the occasion has presented itself, the selfsame Holy 
Pontiff has reproved and bitterly condemned immodesty of dress pervasively 
introduced into use these days amongst Catholic women and girls, a thing 
which not only gravely offends feminine beauty and ornament, but leads most 
lamentably to the temporal and worse  still  the  eternal  ruin  of  these  same 
women and unto the ruin of others still.
It is no wonder then, that the bishops and other ordinaries, as befits the 
ministers of Christ, and each in his respective diocese, have opposed, by all 
means and with unanimous  voice,  such  misguided  license  and  brazen 
impudence, and tolerating the while with calm fortitude, on account of this, 
frequent derision and abuse, brought against them by souls of ill will.
So let this sacred consilium of the clergy and of the people, pursue the 
same sort of vigilance and action regarding the propagation of discipline as 
the holy bishops, with deserved approbation and praise and let it earnestly 
exhort these same men that they implement the counsels and the undertakings 
begun in due season, and urge them on generously and to the best of their 
ability, until this pestiferous sickness be completely rooted out from amongst 
the honest affairs of men.
That this aim might be brought the more easily and securely to effect, this 
sacred congregation, by the mandate of Our Most Holy Lord, decrees what 
follows to be enacted:
1.  May parish priests especially, and preachers when the occasion 
presents itself, and according to the words of St. Paul “…demand, reprove, 
beseech and rebuke…”  women to wear clothes that redolent of modesty and 
such other things as are the ornament and vanguard of virtue, and may they 
warn parents not to permit their children to wear unseemly dress.
2.  Parents, being ever mindful of the most awesome obligation which 
binds them  of caring firstly and foremostly for the moral and religious 
education of their children, are to apply particular diligence, that their 
daughters be firmly grounded in Christian doctrine and that those same 
daughters also zealously foster in their souls, by words and example, the love 
of virtues of modesty and chastity; may parents also, in imitation of the Holy 
Family, busy themselves about so ordering and governing their family, that 
each and every individual within the family home has a cause and incentive to 
love and guard modesty.
3.  Let those same parents prohibit their children from public athletic 
events and gymnastics competitions, or at least, if their daughters must be 
involved in them, that they take care to exhibit clothing which is fully in 
keeping with modesty and that their parents never permit them to wear 
immodest clothing.
4.  May the governesses of colleges and instructresses of schools strive so 
to imbue the souls of young women with the love of modesty that these same 
young women are led efficaciously to modesty of dress.
5.  May those same governesses and instructresses, with no exception 
even to their own mothers, forbid admission to colleges and schools, to such 
women as wear unseemly clothing, and once admitted, if they fail to come to 
their senses, that they dismiss them.
6.  Let not religious, according to the letters given by the Sacred 
Congregation concerning Religious on August 13, 1928, admit young women 
into their colleges, schools, oratories, or gymnasia, who do not observe a 
Christian manner of dress, or if they have already been admitted, that they not 
tolerate those who do not observe a Christian manner of dress.  May they 
moreover take special pains in the education of their female students, so that 
the love of Christian modesty and holy reserve take deep root in their hearts.
7.  May pious associations of women be established and fostered, 
organizations which, by their counsel, example and deed, set before 
themselves the goal of checking the abuse of dress, which is not consistent 
with the dictates of Christian modesty, as well as the goal of promoting purity 
of morals and modesty of dress.
8.  Into the pious associations of women, let not those women be admitted 
who put on immodest clothing; and once admitted, if afterwards they commit 
a sin in this regard, and come not to their senses when admonished, may be 
expelled as well.
9.  Women and girls who wear immodest clothes are to be prohibited 
from Holy Communion and from the office of sponsor in the sacraments of 
Baptism and Confirmation, and in certain cases, they are to be prohibited even 
from entry into the church.
10.  When feasts occur throughout the year, which supply a particular 
opportunity to inculcate Christian modesty, and especially feasts of the 
Blessed Virgin Mary, may parish priests and priests of pious associations and 
heads of Catholic societies not fail, by means of a sermon for that occasion, to 
recall and encourage women, to a Christian manner of dress.  Every year year, 
on the Feast of the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary, let 
special prayers in all the cathedrals and parish churches be made, and, where 
possible, may timely exhortation be given to the people in the church.
11.  May diocesan counsels, discussed in a declaration of the Holy Office 
of March 22, 1918, in a spirit of vigilance, and at least once a year, openly deal 
with finding ever more suitable means and methods of effectively giving 
counsel on feminine modesty.
12.  To which point may salutary action, effectively and safely lead.  May 
bishops and other local ordinaries keep this sacred congregation informed, 
every third year, together with a report on religious institution given of our 
own accord in letters in the Catholic World on June 29, 1923, even concerning 
the condition of  things  and  the  state  surrounding  feminine  manner  of  dress, 
and concerning works carried out in accordance with the rule of this instruction.

Perfection Series AND Private Revelations

I cannot seem to write about the dangers of private revelations enough. Rather than picking on a specific one, let me list the dangers of such. I hope this helps.

1.) Garrigou-Lagrange states that seeking after private revelations is a venial sin. Why? As those who read this blog know, I have been unpacking his book The Three Ages of the Interior Life for months and will continue to do so. He quotes both St. John of the Cross and St. Vincent Ferrer as noting that the curiosity which leads some to private revelations is a serious imperfection. Such curiosity, by the way, sometimes leads people into the occult. The author claims that the sins of pride and vanity, as well as curiosity are involved in the pursuit of private revelations.

St. John of the Cross, who often invites interior souls to desire humbly, but confidently and ardently, the infused contemplation of the mysteries of faith and the divine union resulting therefrom, strongly reproves the desire for revelations. On this point he is in complete accord with St. Vincent Ferrer,(13) and shows that the soul desiring revelations is vain; that by this curiosity it gives the devil the opportunity to lead it astray; (14) that this inclination takes away the purity of faith, (15) produces a hindrance for the spirit,(16) denotes a lack of humility,(17) and exposes it to many errors.(18) To ask for revelations shows also a lack of respect toward Christ, because the fullness of revelation has been given in the Gospel.(19) God sometimes grants these extraordinary favors to weak souls,(20) or again to strong souls that have an exceptional mission to accomplish in the midst of great difficulties; but to desire them is at least a venial sin, even when the soul has a good end in view.(21) They are of value only because of the humility and love of God which they awaken in the soul. (22) All this shows clearly the error of imprudent directors who, impelled by curiosity, are concerned with souls favored by visions and revelations.(23) This curiosity is a deformation of the spirit which casts the soul into illusion and trouble, and turns it away from humility through vain complacency in extraordinary ways.

2.) Also, such revelations are open to the deceits of Satan, who counterfeits good in order for us to disobey the Church. In fact, all private revelations which are not approved by the Church can be, potentially, there primarily for us to fall into disobedience, for which ignorance is not an excuse.

Revelations manifesting secrets to us are much more subject to illusion. Without doubt God sometimes reveals to the living the time that remains to them on this earth, the trials that they will undergo, what will happen to a nation, to a certain person. But the devil can easily counterfeit these things and, to gain credence for his lies, he begins by nourishing the spirit with likely things or even with partial truths.(28) St. John of the Cross says: "It is almost impossible to escape his wiles if the soul does not immediately get rid of them, because the spirit of evil knows well how to assume the appearance of truth and give this appearance credit." (29) "In order to be perfect there is, therefore, no reason to desire these extraordinary supernatural things. . . . The soul must prudently guard itself against all these communications if it wishes, in purity and without illusions, to reach divine union by the night of faith." (30) No words could make a clearer distinction between these extraordinary supernatural things and infused contemplation, and more effectively show that infused contemplation is normal in the perfect.

3.)Imaginary visions are subject to the illusions of the imagination and of the devil.(34) We have three signs, however, by which to discern whether they are of divine origin: (I) when they cannot be produced or dismissed at will, but come suddenly and last but a short time; (2) when they leave the soul in great peace; (3) when they produce fruits of virtue, a great humility and perseverance in good.(35)
A divine imaginary vision, granted while a person is awake, is almost always accompanied by at least partial ecstasy (for example, the momentary loss of sight) so that the soul may distinguish the interior apparition from external impressions; (36) there is ecstasy also because a soul enraptured and united to God loses contact with external things.(37) No perfect imaginary vision occurs without an intellectual vision, which makes the soul see and penetrate its meaning: (38) for example, the former may concern the sacred humanity of Christ; the second, His divinity.(39)
Imaginary visions should not be desired or asked of God any more than sensible visions; they are in no way necessary to holiness.(40) The perfect spirit of faith and infused contemplation are of superior order and prepare the soul more immediately for divine union.(41)

We must not seek, we must not ask for such visions. And, we must approach those who claim such with prudence and judgement.

My code is, if the Church has not publicly approved a vision or revelation, I ignore it.

One can go to hell holding a rosary, if one is disobedient to the Church and Her teaching.

Fathers Emmanuel and James Bradley will give talks on Saturday

I can recommend two talks on Saturday sponsored by Youth 2000 which will be part of an all-day prayer and worship day. Father Rev. Emmanuel Sullivan from the Friars of the Atonement will give a talk on Who is Jesus at 11:50 and the youngest priest of the Ordinariate, Father James Bradley will give a talk on Reconciliation at 2:20. These and other activities will take place at St. Margaret's Church, 79 Barking Road, London, E16. I have met and know these two priests to be good priests. These activities are for youth over the age of 18 and the talks are part of the "new evangelization." 

Father James Bradley