Recent Posts

Saturday 22 September 2012


My son has offered to continue the blog. He most likely will post once a week. I am so happy about this for the sake of my dear readers. He was a free-lance journalist for four years before going into the seminary. He writes "stuff" of all sorts.

Sign up for updates on the side in your e-mail.

End of Perfection Series for Now

The perfection series was quite popular with readers and you can click on the tag below for the entire set. I am leaving that theme until December.

We are all called to perfection. One of the great lies of the post-Vatican II Church, not in official teaching, but in pastoral mediocrity from the pulpit, has been the Protestantizing of spirituality.

What do I mean?

Protestants, always looking to appease and compromise, lowered the bar for holiness at the Revolt.

Celibacy was not longer valued. The Calvinists changed the view of the Beatitudes in to a prosperity message of those who are saved are blessed with goods in this world.

Feasts and celebrations were ended, and the work-ethic eventually destroyed the day of rest.

The sacraments were declared as unnecessary, especially Confession, which led to the dying of daily examination of conscience.

The Protestants saw man as he was and accepted his imperfections as simply part of life on earth. Salvation was enough, as man was basically evil and God could not expect holiness.

As Christ was no longer present as True God in the Body and Blood of Christ, worship became solely the sermon and scripture with a few hymns, destroying meditation and contemplation.

The Catholic Church was infected by these faults and heresies to the point where the laity have been discouraged from personal holiness and do not even know what that term means.

Some of the reasons I wrote the perfection series form this list.

Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Catholic Church has kept the ideals of Christ. Matthew 5:48 DR.

The Catholic Church holds up an ideal and we are to attempt to cooperate with the sacramental life of  the Church and grace to attain that ideal.

The bar is high.

We, like St. Paul, are the spiritual athletes, who must strive for the prize.

There is no other way to see God. His mercy and the guidance of the Church help us on our way.

There is only one true religion, the Catholic Faith. There is only one True God, the Trinity-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. There is only one way to get to heaven, in and through Christ the Son of God, who became Incarnate to show us the Father and give us the Holy Ghost.

All the truths you need are in the Teaching Magisterium of the Church, the Church instituted by Christ while He was on earth. Therein lies your perfection.

Rectitude of the Will Two

Perfect Rectitude of the Will from the Master, St. Thomas Aquinas. If God allows me to do so, I just want to study St. Thomas for the rest of my life. There is so much in his work to ponder..............

Whether rectitude of the will is necessary for happiness?

Objection 1: It would seem that rectitude of the will is not necessary for Happiness. For Happiness consists essentially in an operation of the intellect, as stated above (Q[3], A[4]). But rectitude of the will, by reason of which men are said to be clean of heart, is not necessary for the perfect operation of the intellect: for Augustine says (Retract. i, 4) "I do not approve of what I said in a prayer: O God, Who didst will none but the clean of heart to know the truth. For it can be answered that many who are not clean of heart, know many truths." Therefore rectitude of the will is not necessary for Happiness.
Objection 2: Further, what precedes does not depend on what follows. But the operation of the intellect precedes the operation of the will. Therefore Happiness, which is the perfect operation of the intellect, does not depend on rectitude of the will.
Objection 3: Further, that which is ordained to another as its end, is not necessary, when the end is already gained; as a ship, for instance, after arrival in port. But rectitude of will, which is by reason of virtue, is ordained to Happiness as to its end. Therefore, Happiness once obtained, rectitude of the will is no longer necessary.
On the contrary, It is written (Mat. 5:8): "Blessed are the clean of heart; for they shall see God": and (Heb. 12:14): "Follow peace with all men, and holiness; without which no man shall see God."
I answer that, Rectitude of will is necessary for Happiness both antecedently and concomitantly. Antecedently, because rectitude of the will consists in being duly ordered to the last end. Now the end in comparison to what is ordained to the end is as form compared to matter. Wherefore, just as matter cannot receive a form, unless it be duly disposed thereto, so nothing gains an end, except it be duly ordained thereto. And therefore none can obtain Happiness, without rectitude of the will. Concomitantly, because as stated above (Q[3], A[8]), final Happiness consists in the vision of the Divine Essence, Which is the very essence of goodness. So that the will of him who sees the Essence of God, of necessity, loves, whatever he loves, in subordination to God; just as the will of him who sees not God's Essence, of necessity, loves whatever he loves, under the common notion of good which he knows. And this is precisely what makes the will right. Wherefore it is evident that Happiness cannot be without a right will.
Reply to Objection 2: Every act of the will is preceded by an act of the intellect: but a certain act of the will precedes a certain act of the intellect. For the will tends to the final act of the intellect which is happiness. And consequently right inclination of the will is required antecedently for happiness, just as the arrow must take a right course in order to strike the target.
Reply to Objection 3: Not everything that is ordained to the end, ceases with the getting of the end: but only that which involves imperfection, such as movement. Hence the instruments of movement are no longer necessary when the end has been gained: but the due order to the end is necessary.

Rectitude of the Will in Thomas Aquinas-One

The entire reason why we are here is to come to know, love and serve God in this world and to praise Him in the next.

That is right out of my childhood catechism.

We need to seek God. If our will is fixed on knowing, loving and serving God, then we are approaching Rectitude of the Will.

Purification leads to Rectitude of the Will. And Rectitude of the Will leads to holiness...............

Part II.1, Question 3, Article 8: Whether man's happiness consists in the vision of the divine essence?
Objection 1: It would seem that man's happiness does not consist in the vision of the Divine Essence. For Dionysius says (Myst. Theol. i) that by that which is highest in his intellect, man is united to God as to something altogether unknown. But that which is seen in its essence is not altogether unknown. Therefore the final perfection of the intellect, namely, happiness, does not consist in God being seen in His Essence.
Objection 2: Further, the higher the perfection belongs to the higher nature. But to see His own Essence is the perfection proper to the Divine intellect. Therefore the final perfection of the human intellect does not reach to this, but consists in something less.
On the contrary: It is written (1 Jn. 3:2): "When He shall appear, we shall be like to Him; and we shall see Him as He is."
I answer that: Final and perfect happiness can consist in nothing else than the vision of the Divine Essence. To make this clear, two points must be observed. First, that man is not perfectly happy, so long as something remains for him to desire and seek: secondly, that the perfection of any power is determined by the nature of its object. Now the object of the intellect is "what a thing is," i.e. the essence of a thing, according to De Anima iii, 6. Wherefore the intellect attains perfection, in so far as it knows the essence of a thing. If therefore an intellect knows the essence of some effect, whereby it is not possible to know the essence of the cause, i.e. to know of the cause "what it is"; that intellect cannot be said to reach that cause simply, although it may be able to gather from the effect the knowledge of that the cause is. Consequently, when man knows an effect, and knows that it has a cause, there naturally remains in the man the desire to know about the cause, "what it is." And this desire is one of wonder, and causes inquiry, as is stated in the beginning of the Metaphysics (i, 2). For instance, if a man, knowing the eclipse of the sun, consider that it must be due to some cause, and know not what that cause is, he wonders about it, and from wondering proceeds to inquire. Nor does this inquiry cease until he arrive at a knowledge of the essence of the cause.
If therefore the human intellect, knowing the essence of some created effect, knows no more of God than "that He is"; the perfection of that intellect does not yet reach simply the First Cause, but there remains in it the natural desire to seek the cause. Wherefore it is not yet perfectly happy. Consequently, for perfect happiness the intellect needs to reach the very Essence of the First Cause. And thus it will have its perfection through union with God as with that object, in which alone man's happiness consists, as stated above (Articles [1],7; Question [2], Article [8]).
Reply to Objection 1: Dionysius speaks of the knowledge of wayfarers journeying towards happiness.
Reply to Objection 2: As stated above (Question [1], Article [8]), the end has a twofold acceptation. First, as to the thing itself which is desired: and in this way, the same thing is the end of the higher and of the lower nature, and indeed of all things, as stated above (Question [1], Article [8]). Secondly, as to the attainment of this thing; and thus the end of the higher nature is different from that of the lower, according to their respective habitudes to that thing. So then in the happiness of God, Who, in understanding his Essence, comprehends It, is higher than that of a man or angel who sees It indeed, but comprehends It no

SS. Bernard, Thomas Aquinas, and Venerable Fulton J. Sheen

I wrote of St. Bernard's reference to Rectitude of Intention, or the Will a while ago. Here is the link.

Aquinas as well as Bernard knew what this meant. We need to come to perfect rectitude of the will, otherwise we shall not go to heaven, and not straight to heaven.

Venerable Fulton J. Sheen also wrote on this

Rectitude of Intention

By Bishop Fulton J. Sheen


I might begin by telling you younger people about the way bishops dress. This [pointing to himself] is what is known as 'choir dress.' It is used formally in churches. Then we have another dress, which is really for social purposes, the black cassock, and a long, long scarlet purple garment called the 'feriola' that reaches all the way to the knees. 

I was once giving a lecture in Cleveland. I arrived just a short time before the lecture, and I had nothing to eat so I asked the members of the committee if they would go with me to the dining room while I had a glass of milk and some graham crackers. I was dressed in this black cassock and long feriola. The waitress in the early 'flirties' took the orders of the men that were with me and then she looked at me and said:

"Well, Cock Robin, what will you have?"

Now, this is not the cock robin dress. But let me tell you about this. This is called a 'rochet.' It is, you see, linen down to the waist and then lace to the knees.

I was in the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles, a short time ago, and I went up to my room at night and I found my pajamas on one bed and the rochet on the other.

I know, it takes a little time to get that, but you do.

Now, a word to you, younger people, it is very hard for you to realize that your parents lived in a day when no bicycle needed to be locked, when doors were left unlocked at night, when anyone could walk the streets of a large city without being mugged or attacked. Those were the days of peace. You have never seen them. It probably is hard for you to realize that that is the way America once was.

Now, how did this change come about in America? Why suddenly have we had so much dishonesty?

Let me tell you this story about dishonesty. I was in one of the big hotels of this country. The manager told me that he found a cashier stealing money. This woman had a very wide pocket in her skirt and she would reach in the drawer, take bills, and stick them in.

They saw her and one day they caught her in the act and discharged her. The union said to the hotel, "You may not discharge her. If you discharge her, we will call a strike on the hotel and call everyone out of the hotel."

The litigation went on for about three months. The union won. They had to take the girl back. Do you know what their argument was? The union said the hotel manager never told the girl it was wrong to steal.

The hotel agreed that they never told the girl it was wrong to steal. Then [laughing], how would she know?

See how much the world has changed. How? What made it change? It changed because we want no one limiting us.

You people have heard the popular song, "I've got to be me?" You have sung it yourselves, most of you. "I gotta be free." You want no restraint, no boundaries, no limits. "I have to do what I want to do."

Let us analyze that for a moment. Is that happiness? "I gotta be me? I got to have my own identity?" Are you on a basketball or football team? You cannot be yourself; you have got to live for the team.

The coach of the Oakland Raiders, Coach John Madden, asked me one day:

"What's happening to our Catholic schools? I have boys from Catholic colleges coming to my football team and they say 'I've got to do my thing.' How am I ever going to have a football team if everybody has got to do his own thing?"

A team means doing the other person's thing. But, we want no limits, no boundaries.

Just suppose, now, to get very practical, just suppose your parents never gave you potty training. Think it out. You gotta do your thing. Two things would happen. Today, you would hate your parents for never having trained you and second, you would hate yourself. So, you are what you are today simply because your parents laid hold of you and said, "We're going to train you to use the potty." They did not allow you to do your own thing.

Now, if I've made myself clear up to this point, you're living in an age where freedom is described as license, the right to do whatever your please. But that's chaos.

If everyone did what he pleased, drove a car as he pleased, we'd have disorder in the streets. Certainly you can do whatever you please, you can stuff your Aunt Maise's mattress with old razor blades. You can turn a machine gun on your neighbor's chickens. The, freedom becomes just a physical power. And the one who is most free is the one who is most strong.

So, the world has changed. We used to have laws. We had obedience. We have disciplines. Today, no boundaries, no limits. And, you're not happy that way.