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Friday 16 November 2012

On the way of perfection....again

One cannot explain spiritual growth for the lay person as easily as one can for the religious simply because the Rule of Benedict, or any rule is objective. Therefore, if one is obeying a simple command, or following carefully the duties of the day in a reflective and humble manner, a religious can somewhat judge by conscience the inner workings of the Holy Spirit. The layperson does not have a rule as such, except, perhaps the Beatitudes and the guidelines in the epistles on love. The point is rather complicated by the fact that the active life has to be lived in an life where things are out of our control-there is no rule.

One thing I noticed was that unless there is contemplation and reflection behind action, the action is useless in and of itself. In other words, caritas, that is love, must inform everything we do. I am to do a series on some of the things I learned about the ability, the skill to pray and work, moving towards contemplation and meditation in the lay life.

If my readers remember the series on the Pope's encyclical on love, I tried to highlight the need to move naturally from one stage to the next. In the monastery, the focus allows one to move quickly in a shorthand manner to accomplish the stages of the purgative, illuminative, and finally, unitive stage. As lay people, you and I can move as well into these stages by allowing the sufferings in our lives to be real and effective. We do not avoid suffering, but accept it as a mortification in order to become humble and pliable to God's Will. In the next few weeks, I shall try and make some progress in showing the connections between the monastic spirituality I experienced and our way of life.

Why do I want to do this? Because we are all called to perfection in order to see God. Only the perfect are allowed into the presence of God.

In the next post, I shall try and explain how the purgative state, which is obvious in the monastic life, happens more organically in the lay life, but cannot be ignored if the benefits of sufferings are to lead us to the next levels.

The Death of Catholic Ireland

Irish citizens last week passed a law which takes away parental authority over children and gives it to the State.

Only 33 percent of those who are eligible for voting did vote. This socialistic law will determine the lives of generations of children. If I were a parent in Ireland, I would leave NOW with kids in tow, before that becomes illegal.

One cannot imagine the fall from grace which has led to this law being passed.  And, now there is a Marie Stopes abortion mill in Belfast as well. I am so affected by the godlessness and anti-Catholicism which is spewed out on the radio and television daily, that I can hardly believe it. This hatred is based on a hatred of religion and unforgiven events.  The Irish live in the past in their emotions, and this is killing the country's soul, causing an emotional blindness to rule over reason.

I beg St. Oliver Plunkett to intercede. I am sick of hearing that Ireland is the island of saints. We need saints here now, living, standing up for the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. Christ is being crucified by those who once died for His Church. Holiness is consider the job of the old. The country is committing spiritual suicide. For what? Money? Comfort? To be part of the EU?

Part of the problem is the attitude of entitlement. Part of the problem is the old flirtation of socialism and communism by the labour parties here. Most of the problem is ennui.

Sad, sad days....

The Souls in Purgatory

The theologians and mystics writing on purgatorial suffering state it is the same as that of hell, only temporal, and with a certain joy underlying the pain, as the soul, which is being made perfect, knows he or she is saved. Such a comfort would be great.

St. Gertrude has much to say on these souls and we can join her in praying for them. Years ago, I made the great offering of my merit to go to them, as I loved these souls even as a child. My merits would fill a small tea-cup, but the Crucified Saviour merited heaven for these just.

Today, on the Feast of St. Gertrude, pray for a specific soul and have Masses said for those who have died. I pray for specific people who have died, rather than a general prayer.

Perhaps you could choose someone who has no family to pray for them. Or, a person who seemed not to have died in the Faith. God is merciful.

Hello from the city

Supertradmum is not supertradnun. I could not join the Marines at my age. Up at 4:30, breakfast is tea and toast, period; prayer, work, prayer, work, one hour of solitude; one hour of Adoration; one meal a day-no fresh vegetables but fresh fruit; mostly veggie diet; toast and soup for supper, except for Friday, which is a fast day, on which one only has bread and cheese.

I was ok with the food, believe it or not, as they gave cereal to me and eggs as needed, but not with the hours. No coffee breaks but one, and at the time set only; but the hours were simply too exhausting. If I got up and sang Nocturnes, by four in the afternoon, I was a zombie.

To get one's body into habits at a young age is the only way to do this.

However, God is merciful and has indicated that the lay life can lead to the same states of grace if one cooperates.

Our baptismal graces give us the tremendous gift of the Indwelling of the Trinity. We do not recognize the call or the graces which are there for all of us, no matter what our state in life.

This is the call of the laity-to be perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. And, only through humility and mortifications, chosen and sent by Him. Each one of us has an individual way. He chooses these, we do not. Having cancer has been one way for me. Being called to be a contemplative in the world is another cross. Being a failure in the eyes of those closest to me is another. No matter. None of this matters.

The other amazingly simple point, which I should have known, is that I am used to being alone and not with people all day. I actually felt claustrophobic, not because of the enclosure, but because of being with people most of the day.

However, I have seven books of notes for plenty of posts on perfection. But, I am simply, exhausted physically. I shall get back to you all soon.

In the meantime, get and read two books--Robert Hugh Benson's None Other Gods, and Lord of the World.

And a special note to Therese and Anita; everyday time we sang the blessings for our absence sisters, I prayed for you especially. God has a plan....