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Monday 19 November 2012

The Supernatural Builds on the Natural

Something came to my attention when in the monastery which I feel is applicable to us lay people.

Two ideas which are as simple as life--one; the supernatural life builds on the natural life; two, the supernatural must be naturalized.

These are not new ideas but I want to share what I mean in terms which we can apply to our lives.

In the first case, that the supernatural must build on the natural, those of us who have been married and have children may be able to understand this. We fall in love and that love changes over the years, if we are fortunate enough to have the time and committed partner to do so. The natural love with all of the joys therein changes, mutates into the sacrificial love of God. As I noted in the series on the Pope's encyclical on Love, which you can search and read on this blog, the types of love change and grow into the sublime connection with God Himself. If one is open to the movement of love, one will find God in the other and in the relationships at home.

This is true in monasteries, but the road is different. The challenge is to learn to love strangers. However, I am with St. Ailred that love in monasteries must build into friendships and then into the great families of communities. This may not be happening in some places.

Friendships and love in a family must include basic human respect, manners, a recognition of dignity and gifts.

Secondly, the supernatural must be naturalized. That is, the daily search and work of religion, the practice of religion being a virtue, must be part of the daily routines of life. Mass, adoration, reading the breviary, saying the rosary, are the supernaturals which lead to the life of virtue, which is then naturalized. One has seen "holy families" wherein these types of relationships of human and divine love exist. If you have not witnessed this, look to Nazareth.

Natural love must proceed the supernatural or we are missing a step. The supernatural must be naturalized or we are not living out our vocations.

Those of us who grew up in nature, instead of in front of a computer all day, understand the natural. We must help those younger to understand and embrace the natural. Without being both body and soul we are not persons. Without nature, we are not fulfilled as humans. We are both, natural and supernatural and part of the argument with atheists is being lost because we have lost sight of who we are.

This is why I want lay people to get married, to be committed. Without natural love, the road to supernatural love is much harder, if not impossible. Christ, the Eternal Word, became Man to show us this. The Law was impossible to do and to save. Only through Love is salvation possible.

What to do after losing a war

Many of us are sitting back and wondering where the world will be moving politically now that America has lost the culture? war. We cannot be in cloud-cuckoo land,  pretending that this week is the same as a week last month. We cannot pretend that a great day of the Church, a new Christendom, will bless the earth with a homogenous vision of God, His rule, good and bad, brotherly and sisterly love.

Sorry, the moment has passed. Those of us who have been praying for a long time or involved in the work of the Church for a long time have seen this day coming. We knew in the 1970s, after Roe v. Wade, that the Christian community would have to fight, or be persecuted. We can fight, but the majority is against us.

Some people do not believe this. I met many guests and religious in the past two months who believe in the resurrection of the dead Western Civilization and a time of Christ's reign on earth which will bring world peace. I do not know which Bible these people read or why they are not hearing the Holy Spirit.

That I try, gently, and maybe not so gently, to speak the truth is that there is not much time.

There are NO safe havens. One may be able to withstand evil in an excellent Catholic community for awhile, but persecution will come. First, the established Church will be more openly attacked, then priests, nuns, sisters and the laity.

The Church Triumphant is in Heaven.

The emphasis on this blog, therefore, will be on the interior person and personal holiness. Why? If we are facing martyrdom, or sacrifices beyond our imagination, we must be prepared spiritually. One cannot exhibit virtue without living in the Presence of God, of Love Himself, in the days to come.

There is no time frame on this coming persecution. Catholics in England saw incremental, increasingly harsh times and some were martyred. It became illegal to leave the country in order to practice Catholicism elsewhere and avoid fines or imprisonment.

Where are the Catholic havens now? Not Ireland, where I am sitting, looking out over the downtown of Dublin, witnessing the fall of the one of the most faithful countries in the world, now racked with gross materialism, hatred for the Church and selfishness. The winter is already more severe than last year, as if the gods of nature, metaphorically, of course, were grieving at the loss of innocence on this once holy isle.

Malta? The socialist agenda, including abortion and civil marriage, is gaining ground. France? The eldest daughter of the Church has wedded herself with a son of Gramsci. Italy, Spain, Portugal are grasping for life, both spiritually and physically.

I merely stated facts. One must learn to accept suffering, love the enemy and serve God in all circumstances. One must beg God to reveal His Love to you in your hearts so that you can carry Him with you wherever you go and preach the Gospel through the life of the virtues. 1 Corinthians 13 is our road map, as well as the Passions narratives.

A God-Man has already experience what you have and will experience. It was His Will to suffer. And, now, for the sake of His Holiness, all will suffer. This is not because He is a vengeful god but because His is Just. The time of Mercy is coming to an end.

Some of you will be betrayed. This has happened to me more than once by those I trusted. Some of you will be isolated. Focus on Christ. Some of you will need to move. Be ready and willing to go wherever. Some of you will merely disappear. Only a few will remember you.

Be strong, be disciplined. Those of us who are physically weakened by circumstances or ill-health appeal to the strong to reach out and take us many, many in, as the weak will be the first to go in the utilitarian world where only those who are useful will be rewarded.

I shall continue to write about this journey to perfection. It is our way to be in and with God and lead others to Him.

These persecutions have all happened before. The scale will be larger and sadly, America, which used to be a Christian nation, is leading the way into darkness now.

Be holy, put on the mind of Christ. He is with us, as He was in Gethsemane. We are a privileged generation.