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Monday 30 September 2013

Goodbye to Dublin

I walked down this street almost daily for a few days short of three months. This was my neighborhood. Most of the people I met were not Irish. My neighborhood looked like a meeting of the UN.

I can only say that I am glad that the Churches have so many Masses and Confession available so often.

I must say that the Church is full of old people, like my parents' ages, mostly. There is a nice pub near here called Bruxelles on 7-8 Harry Street, but I only went once, as I do not go to pubs on my own, of course.

God bless Dublin. And, Good-bye.

Where do you think persecution will be the least severe?

New Poll.

Immediate Prayers Please

Please stop a minute and pray for an intention of a situation which must be resolved among friends tonight or tomorrow morning. Thank you so much.

St. Jerome, Pray for Us

Some saints are particularly well-suited to intercede for us in these increasingly unsettled times. Jerome is one of those. Pray to him today for help in your own struggles with sin and prayer. Pray to him for Catholic priests who are orthodox, obedient, peaceful, holy. The Co-Cathedral of St. John's in Valletta has the famous Caravaggio of St. Jerome Writing. It must have been a very hot day in the desert. Jerome's supposed cardinal's robe is off his body and his hat on the wall. He was not a cardinal, nor would this dress been the norm in his day. However, the point is that Jerome did not seek after greatness, but served God in study.

A great little article may be found here.

And, wiki has a fascinating article of the painting.,_Valletta)

Here is a snippet from the first article. He once described the heretic Pelagius as the most stupid of persons whose wits were dulled by too much Scottish porridge.

Goodbye to Ireland; Praying for The Remnant

After slightly less than three months, I am leaving Ireland for the third time. This visit has been the best of the three. If there is a next time, I would love to visit the Galway area. Ireland changed while I was here, and formally became a pagan country. The sadness of my Irish friends grips my heart. I am leaving disheartened and leaderless pro-life Catholics, who have no bishops to help them out of the evil fog which has enveloped this land.

The faithful go to Mass and pray. They hear cold, hard, but necessary sermons on the coming of more persecution, and the need to talk hold of one's own spiritual life.

I have heard many priests speak of the hard times to come and the necessity for Irish Catholics to become saints, without leadership or even input.

These good priests have shared from the pulpit the signs of the times. Brave and true men...

The first time I flew into Ireland, the plane flew over a clear Atlantic until we came over the island. The clouds were churning black and eerie green, as is an evil miasma was covering this place. It has.

There is a growth of the occult whose members want abortion. There is a growth of cynicism and despair from those who only love money. There is a carelessness and relativism in the young, which leads to a mad pursuit of pleasure.

I am sad to leave the TLM and the beautiful Carmelite churches which I have attended. There are still many excellent priests in Ireland. Pray for them and pray for the remnant.

If I ever return, it will not be to this exact place. But, Ireland is changing so fast, I would not be coming back to the same nation.

St. Patrick and St. Oliver Plunkett, pray for Ireland.

Interesting Statistic

Moving Through the Six Levels of Prayer

The Dark Night of the Senses comes first and then the Dark Night of the Spirit. I prefer John of the Cross on this stage, one following the other, with some consolations in between to encourage the person in love. These moments of consolation are not sought, and, as I have written on this blog many times, those people who seek consolations will not grow spiritually and can most easily be waylaid by the evil one and taken off the correct path.

The purgation of the senses can be very painful, and long. And, one can slide back from all of these stages, which I know from experience. If we stop praying in the levels we have attained, we slide back.

Not good.

Remembering that God wants all of us Catholics to persevere on the road to perfection, we must keep up a level of energy and attentiveness.

The levels of prayer I have covered so far are mostly active states of prayer, not passive. These first four levels are initiated, through grace, by the person. The last two higher levels are passive, and initiated by God.

Hard work, in other words, to get to the passive stage and one becomes more aware of one's sinful be continued....

Sunday 29 September 2013

I hate to break this to you all, but

one can have more than one predominant fault. A good priest and I were discussing this today. He said that if the faults are close in nature, it is easy to have two. This makes it much harder to cooperate with grace and burn the rotten roots of sin. But, one must. It is not God who is causing the suffering, but God allows the devil to afflict you.

Take this time as a gift. much work to do and so little time. Do not waste time, dear readers. Work with the Holy Trinity, dwelling within you, for that wonderful union with God. Should we desire anything else?

Also, as most know, today is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. Ask your guardian angel to help you specifically in prayer to help you become holy.

At Mass this morning, one phrase rang out in the sermon-When Michael said “Who is like God?” V. Rev. Gerard Deighan said that Michael was addressing Satan and the answer was “Not you!”

The Next Levels of Prayer-After the Dark Night

People ask me is God can skip steps. God can, but people cannot. We are made up of body and soul, and our nature is such that we grow in steps spiritually as well as physically. The timing of the steps can vary, of course, with great young saints, such as St. Gemma Galgani reaching great heights through grace quickly.

God decides our time-table, but, we must cooperate. Too often, we choose not to cooperate, as it is too hard to face the purgation which must happen in the Dark Night. Now, some people, especially young saints, do not have much purgation. Obviously, the more sinful we are and the older we are having lived, perhaps, unreflective lives, the more intense, and, therefore, perhaps, the longer the Dark Night. We cannot imagine so wonderful a soul as Blessed Mother Teresa as being in the Dark Night for such a long time, but that was God's Will for her.

After the Dark Night, the infused prayer of the passive recollection occurs, which is the beginning of contemplation. This is a prayer of quiet and these stages are part of Mystical Prayer.

St. Teresa describes initial infused prayer, that of supernatural or passive recollection, which precedes the prayer of quiet, as follows, with Garrigou-Lagrange's comments towards the end:
This is a kind of recollection which, I believe, is supernatural (like the prayer of quiet). There is no occasion to retire nor to shut the eyes, nor does it depend on anything exterior; involuntarily the eyes suddenly close and solitude is found. Without any labor of one's own, the temple of which I spoke is reared for the soul in which to pray; the senses and exterior surroundings appear to lose their hold, while the spirit gradually regains its lost sovereignty. . . . 
But do not fancy you can gain it [this recollection] by thinking of God dwelling within you, or by imagining Him as present in your soul. . . . By the divine assistance everyone can practice it, but what I mean is quite a different thing. Sometimes, before they have begun to think of God, . . . the soul is keenly conscious of a delicious sense of recollection. . . . Here it is not in our power to retire into ourselves, unless God gives us the grace. In my opinion, His Majesty only bestows this favor on those who have renounced the world. . . . He thus specially calls them to devote themselves to spiritual things; if they allow Him power to act freely, He will bestow still greater graces on those whom He thus begins calling to a higher life.(30)
The saint adds: "Unless His Majesty has begun to suspend our faculties, I cannot understand how we are to stop thinking, without doing ourselves more harm than good," (31) for then we would remain in idleness or the somnolence of the quietists.

"The supernatural recollection" which St. Teresa describes in the preceding passages is clearly a mystical prayer, the beginning of infused contemplation, for which simplified affective meditation prepares the soul.(32)

Now, I have written on quietism on this blog before-it can be a dangerous trap. The real infused recollection, leading into infused contemplation and the prayer of quiet are the fifth and sixth states of prayer found only in the Illuminative State. This can happen according to some writers after the complete purification of the senses and before the complete purification of the soul, while some authors state that the purification of the senses and that of the soul happen together before the Illuminative State.

In other words, the Dark Night would, in either case, completely finished before the Unitive State, and before the levels of prayer in that state, the subject of the next two posts on this subject.

To be continued.....

Get The Ways of Mental Prayer which Fr. Ripperger recommends. I have not read this myself, but would love to do so.

Clarifications on Prayer Part One-The First Four Levels

There are some nuns and priests who are confusing people by using the terminology of prayer incorrectly. I have heard many times a nun who is teaching prayer tell people that they are contemplating, when this level of prayer is only achieved after the Dark Night of the Soul. What she means is meditation, which is not the same as contemplation. Sadly, some of the more liberal nuns and those who are not well taught themselves, cause confusion among the laity with regard to the levels of prayer. I shall review these now.

The prayer of meditation precedes the Dark Night. One must move into that stage of prayer before experiencing the Dark Night. Why? Because unless one is somewhat proficient in meditation, one cannot reflect to the point of understanding the purifications, which are between the person and God. Unless one has had spiritual director for years, one who can tell one the predominant fault, one needs to do this on one's own.

A sign of the movement towards the Dark Night is the movement into regular meditation, as meditation disappears in the Dark Night as indicated on the list of the levels of prayer. The first, the Ascetical, is the Purgative Way.  This stage includes: one, vocal prayer; two. meditation; three. affective prayer; four, acquired recollection. These all precede the Dark Night of the Soul. 

The last two may not be familiar to some readers. Affective prayer is in the will. It is the movement of the mind from meditation, which is intelletual rational discourse and the use of the imagination to prayer based on love of God. However, one must not, and I repeat strongly, must not, seek consolations in this type of prayer. One is willing to love God. If there is a feeling of love, fine, but that is not the goal. The goal is to love God for Himself.

Acquired recollection follows, and this is the attempt of the person to recollect in memory, understanding and will on the attributes of God. This is not without danger, as a person can fall into self-adoration too easily. Acquired recollection is exactly as the name states-it is not infused contemplation. 

It is active, not passive recollection.

Garrigou-Lagrange states this quotation from St. Teresa of Avila:

It is called (active) "recollection," because by its means the soul collects together all the faculties and enters within itself (25) to be with God. The divine Master thus comes more speedily than He otherwise would to teach it and to grant the prayer of quiet. For, being retired within itself, the spirit can meditate on the Passion and can there picture in its thoughts the Son, and can offer Him to the Father without tiring the mind by journeying to find Him on Mount Calvary, or in the garden, or at the column.

Those who are able thus to enclose themselves within the little heaven of their soul where dwells the Creator of both heaven and earth, and who can accustom themselves not to look at anything nor to remain in any place which would preoccupy their exterior senses, may feel sure that they are traveling by an excellent way, and that they will certainly attain to drink of the water from the fountain, for they will journey far in a short time. They resemble a man who goes by sea, and who, if the weather is favorable, gets in a few days to the end of a voyage which would have taken far longer by land. These souls may be said to have already put out to sea, and though they have not quite lost sight of land, still they do their best to get away from it by recollecting their faculties.

If this recollection is genuine it is easily discerned, for it produces a certain effect that I cannot describe, but which will be recognized by those who know it from personal experience. The soul seems to rise from play - for it sees that earthly things are but toys - and therefore mounts to higher things. Like one who retires into a strong fortress to be out of danger, it withdraws the senses from outward things, so thoroughly despising them that involuntarily the eyes close so as to veil from the sight what is visible, in order that the eyes of the soul may see more clearly. Those who practice this prayer almost always keep their eyes shut during it. 

This is an excellent custom for many reasons. . . . The soul appears to gather strength and to dominate itself at the expense of the body. . . .By persevering in the habit [of recollecting itself] for several days, and by controlling ourselves, the benefits that result will become clear. We shall find that when we begin to pray the bees (symbol of the different faculties) will return to the hive and enter it to make the honey without any effort on our part, for our Lord is pleased to reward the soul and the will by this empire over the powers in return for the time spent in restraining them. Thus the mind only requires to make them a sign that it wishes to be recollected, and the senses will immediately obey us and retire within themselves. . . . When the will recalls them they return more quickly, until after they have re-entered a number of times, our Lord is pleased that they should settle entirely in perfect contemplation.(28)

It is only after the Dark Night of the Soul that Contemplation occurs. Do not let any liberal nuns or priests confuse you on this point.

In the next post, I shall continue with Mystical Prayer, which follows the Dark Night.

Just to remind people, the rosary can be meditation, but this type of prayer usually employs the active imagination with Scripture, as taught by St. Ignatius so clearly.

Also, the Liturgy of the Hours, is verbal prayer, as is singing.

to be continued.....

If you are still drinking Pepsi, you are cooperating with evil

  • Tue Apr 03, 2012 09:56 ES

I have received a few requests from pro-lifers like Vicki:
Can you provide some clarity to the Pepsi/cells from aborted babies controversy.  I cannot sort out whether this is valid or not.
Yes and No
Bottom line: There are no aborted embryonic or fetal cells in any of PepsiCo’s final products.
But: Aborted cells are used in the development of artificial flavor enhancers by biotech company Senomyx, with which PepsiCo signed a four-year, $30 million agreement in 2010 for research and development. No Pepsi products containing Senonymx flavor enhancers should be expected until 2013.
Senomyx’s disputed cell line is HEK-293, derived from the kidney cells of an aborted baby. We could go into the weeds at this point, but Wikipedia offers an easy explanation:
Senomyx develops patented flavor enhancers by using “proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems.” These receptors are made from HEK293. HEK stands for Human Embryonic Kidney cells. These cells, which were cloned, originally came from healthy, electively aborted human embryos. Using information from the human genome sequence, Senomyx has identified hundreds of taste receptors and currently owns 113 patents on their discoveries.
Ick factor
A little more on those taste receptors from, which originally made the connection between PepsiCo, Senomyx, and aborted cells:
These… taste receptors… produce a chemical signal that lets Senomyx researchers know they have achieved the exact flavor they are trying to develop.
Snopes concurs… sort of
Snopes, in a post last updated on March 18, basically comes to a similar conclusion as the aforementioned, calling the claim that “Pepsi uses material from aborted fetuses in its products” a “mixture” of “false” and “undetermined.”
Snopes states it is “false” to claim Pepsi products contain aborted baby cells, but it is “undetermined” whether Senomyx uses aborted cells in R&D, basically because Senonymx won’t answer the question.
But Snopes goes into great detail, citing articles by CBS NewsForbes, and Miami New Times, to corroborate that Senomyx indeed does. There is actually no question on that point, so Snopes should change “undetermined” to “true.”
Plot thickens with help by Obama administration reported on March 5 that shareholders shall remain in the dark, thanks to the SEC:
In a decision delivered Feb 28th, President Obama’s Security and Exchange Commission ruled that PepsiCo’s use of cells derived from aborted fetal remains in their research and development agreement with Senomyx to produce flavor enhancers falls under “ordinary business operations.”
The letter signed by Attorney Brian Pitko of the SEC Office of Chief Counsel was sent in response to a 36-page document submitted by PepsiCo attorneys in January, 2012.
In that filing, PepsiCo pleaded with the SEC to reject the Shareholder’s Resolution filed in October 2011 that the company “adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.”
Boycott PepsiCo
Senomyx has since removed the list of all its partners, but got a screenshot. Those include Kraft and Nestle, future boycott targets according to c4l.
But the boycott starts with Pepsi. From Brad Mattes of Life Issues Institute:
PepsiCo will continue their efforts to keep the controversy quiet, but the pro-life community’s boycott of Pepsi products and exposing the outrage isn’t going to lose its fizz anytime soon.
Here’s what I need you to do.  BOYCOTT Pepsi products.  Click here for the link that will tell you what they are.
Contact PepsiCo directly by clicking here. Tell them why you’re boycotting their products
Let others know by leaving a comment on the company’s Facebook page. Post comments on your own Facebook and Twitter pages.
The only way to stop this atrocity is if you and I make enough noise. Together, we must put PepsiCo under the spotlight and expose their willingness to make money off the bodies of aborted babies.

A Trip to Silverstream Priory at Stramullen, Country Meath, Ireland

Saturday 28 September 2013

Second statement from STM

There is a difference between a false pope and a not-so-good pope. I am sick of the false seers and their followers around the globe declaring Pope Francis as a false pope, which he is not.

If we expect every pope to be a scholar or to be holy, we are mistaken.

I abhor the cult of personality, about which I have written before.

I am not going to put out all the bush fires started by remarks which are based on faulty translations, faulty ideas of tradition, or just plain emotional as opposed to rational thought.

The pope is man trained in the modern seminaries. He is not European but South American. What do people expect? We have a pope who has not fallen into the heresy of liberation theology, thank God, but one who has not the appreciation of the long tradition of the Church.

I do not need to defend him or criticize every statement. If people need clarification as to Church teaching, that I can give.

If people are confused on infallibility, they only have to read the posts I have here on this blog under the labels infallibility.

We are in for a rough ride in the Church. God has allowed this. If the Church needs to suffer persecution and has a good man who does not understand the times at the helm, so be it.

The laity have to take care of their own salvation and not hang on to the words of a man who needs to learn the evil ways of the world. God bless him. He is lacking in many of the perspectives of so many adult Catholics.

I am not worried about the future of the Church. We have had bad, very bad men as popes, which I have written about before on this blog. If we have a pope now who is not sensitive now to the real issues of the day, pray for him.

Find the remnant groups who understand the long teaching heritage, and who will not lose faith because of magazine interviews, or too many media sound bites.

The Church is bigger than one man, even a pope.

I wrote this recently on a famous blog.

We have got the pope we deserve and who was formed in the rot of the seminary training which caused Vatican II, and set in between the wars, and in the 1950s, when he would have been in seminary. He is not a pope who is a scholar. He is not one trained in good Thomistic philosophy. He is not speaking to priests, as did Benedict , over and over.
He does not have the Germanic bent for logic, not the Polish instinctual love of democratic freedom.
The Church is going into a time of deep and widespread persecution. We have a leadership crisis. He is not evil, he is not bad, but neither is he “the man of the hour”. I believe the Holy Spirit is in charge of the Church and that God allowed this man to be elected. But, perhaps his persecution, when it comes, like ours, will be part of his salvation.
My faith, thank God, is stronger than one man, and I am not into the cult of personality. I pray daily for Pope Francis. When he moves back into the Vatican apartments, I shall know he has come to accept his real role, which he has not, in my mind and that is the leader of a Church under siege, which he just does not see.

St. Wenceslaus

Today is the Feast of St. Wenceslaus. Now, he is important in my family. My maternal grandmother's name was Ludmila, as she was named after the saintly grandmother of Wenceslaus. One of her brothers was named Vaclav, which is another translation of Wenceslaus. (My mother's middle name is Ludmila as well.) As some of you know, my ancestors came from what is now the Czech Republic and the first to come on the maternal side was a missionary priest. He wrote to his brother to come help set up a school, and the rest, as we say, is history. The oldest Czech school in America is in northern Iowa, where my ancestors first settled and which my ancestors helped build, as well as being married in the Church, and building the Church in Little Turkey, Iowa. I miss these beautiful places.

Oldest Czech School in America

St. Wenceslaus is loved as the patron of Bohemia, and some of my ancestors were from there, others from Moravia.  That he was a lay person and a martyr also endears him to the family.

Pray to St. Wenceslaus today for Catholic men to be protectors and leaders. We need his intercession more than ever. His body was translated on the day my only sister died when she was a baby, on March 4th. There are no accidents, only God-incidences.

St. Wenceslaus Church in Spillville, Iowa

From the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Duke, martyr, and patron of Bohemia, born probably 903; died at Alt-Bunzlau, 28 September, 935.
His parents were Duke Wratislaw, a Christian, and Dragomir, a heathen. He received a good Christian education from his grandmother (St. Ludmilla) and at Budweis. After the death of Wratislaw, Dragomir, acting as regent, opposed Christianity, and Wenceslaus, being urged by the people, took the reins of government. He placed his duchy under the protection of Germany, introduced German priests, and favoured the Latin rite instead of the old Slavic, which had gone into disuse in many places for want of priests. Wenceslaus had taken the vow of virginity and was known for hisvirtues. The Emperor Otto I conferred on him the regal dignity and title. For religious and national motives, and at the instigation of Dragomir, Wenceslaus was murdered by his brother Boleslaw. The body, hacked to pieces, was buried at the place of murder, but three years later Boleslaw, having repented of his deed, ordered its translation to the Church of St. Vitus in Prague. The gathering of his relics is noted in the calendars on 27 June, their translation on 4 March; his feast is celebrated on 28 September.

Here is a beautiful painting of his grandmother, St. Ludmila, giving out bread to the poor. She is also a martyr.

Understanding the Four Cardinal Virtues in the Hidden Years.

Many good Catholics do not understand the cardinal virtues in daily life. Many can see how these operate in extreme circumstances, such as in martyrdom or the life of holiness. To understand how these virtues operate in the ordinary life of the Catholic, one can look to the Hidden Years of Christ in Nazareth.

God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, existed before time in Eternal Union in the Trinity lived in total worldly darkness, that is, in the unknown, for thirty years.

The Scriptures state, in Luke 2:51-52, that Christ, the Messiah, the Lord, the Son of God lived in subjection to Mary and Joseph, advancing in grace and wisdom before God and man.

Now, as God, Christ had all grace and all wisdom from before time, but as man, this was not manifested but slowly, and finally, in the epiphanies of the Baptism and the Transfiguration, culminating in the showing of His Godhead in the Resurrection.

Christ knew Who He Is from His Conception. In fact, it is a condemned heresy to state that He did not know He was God until His Baptism. One of the points of the narration of Christ being lost in Jerusalem and found explaining the Scriptures to the elders, was to show to all that He knew Who He Is.

But, we can meditate on the four cardinal virtues as lived out by Christ in those hidden years. In the next few posts, I shall go over these virtues, but before I do, I want to revisit St. Ignatius' clear definitions on the differences between sacrifice, penance and temperance, as temperance is the first virtue I want to examine in this context.  Temperance, Ignatius reminds us, is doing away with the superfluous. As in eating, one would not take seconds, for example. This is not the same as penance, which is denying something which we actually need.

Suffering and sacrifice involve penance, but temperance is a daily virtue. It is not extraordinary.

Penance actually causes some pain. Temperance does not. Penance would be feeling and being hungry or sleep deprived in order to pray more, which causes some discomfort.

Temperance is the denial of extras. Our example, of course, is Christ. He gave up all the extras. All the glory due to Him was given up in the Incarnation. Becoming a baby, a child, a man, He experienced the denial of the worship due to Him while He was on earth. He also denied Himself certain power.

Temperance in living the daily life of a carpenter and a poor one at that, would have entailed not having seconds, or large portions of food and working long hours, incurring fatigue, in order to meet His duties as the adopted son of a carpenter.

This is hard for us moderns, who rarely deny ourselves anything, to imagine.

That Christ endured more for us, that merely what was His to restrain or moderate, is obvious in the Passion and Death.

One can hardly imagine the Son of God in the humble home of Nazareth....

to be continued....

Delineating Personalism

The editor of the Wanderer and another gentleman scholar in an interview were using the term "personalism" which I have criticized on this blog as a form of subjectivism. However, the term when referring to political systems means something a bit different and perhaps some clarifications are necessary. There are, in other words, good and bad personalism, as the term is vague and too encompassing.

I would have used a different term in the debate, but I think those involved were pointing to the latest developments of the use of the term.

Augustine and Aquinas taught the uniqueness of human creatures over all over creatures and the personal relationship each human has, because of the soul and the intellect, with God.  Also, because there are Three Persons in One God, the Personhood of each may be stressed as separate and true.

So far, so good. The personalism of Aquinas and Augustine would have been the basis for Maritain's idea of the sanctity of the person in various systems of governance, as against communism and socialism, both which deny the sanctity and hierarchy of personhood.

Now, the isms, such as communism and socialism, deny the importance of personalism. Most people understand this.

However, the long and excellent philosophical aspect of personalism in the Catholic Church has been changed in recent times.

The problem is the locus of understanding the importance of self in reference to God. That we all have a character which is unique and a unique soul and the fact that the person is never a means to an end, that is, cannot be used or manipulated for either a government or another person, is clear to most of us.

But, the problem is the almost universal misunderstanding of self-fulfillment. The idea that a person can be fulfilled outside of God is simply false. Without a personal understanding that each one gets an identity from God, first as creature, then as adopted daughters and sons, and then as friends, and finally as lovers, we self-fulfilled. Period.

When Blessed John Paul II and the Pope Emeritus spoke of self-fulfillment, they did not mean the understanding of the world and many liberal theologians, who claim that there is a natural fulfillment without grace.

No. Personalism must be based on the definitions given by the Catholic Church of what a person is, both pre-baptism and post-baptism. And, to add to the confusion of a lack of the traditional definitions of person coming from the great Church Fathers, is the denial of the need for grace.

On top of this, is the belief that men and women are the center of their individual lives, instead of God.

So, the bad personalism rests on a total separation of men and women from God. I suggest a keen reading of Benedict's Deus Caritas Est ,and my commentaries on it here and here and here.....

Prayers Please

For a little girl who died tragically and her family and for B., who is having surgery for a tumor. Thank you.

Excellent Article by Ralph Martin

Jesus knew what was in the hearts of human beings and knew that the fear of hell, while not the end point of the Christian life, is a very good beginning if it motivates repentance.
And while “perfect love casts out fear” of punishment and of the Day of Judgment (1 John 4:17-18), the spiritual wisdom of the Church makes clear that we can’t jump to the end of the journey without a good beginning, patiently working through each step of purification and cleansing.
St. Catherine of Siena notes how the initial stage of the journey is characterized by a very useful fear of hell, a “slavish fear,” as she puts it, which later moves on to what she calls “mercenary love” and, finally, on to “perfect love.” You don’t jump to perfect love without a good beginning.
St. John of the Cross presupposes that before people are really ready to undertake the spiritual journey they have been deeply struck by the shortness of life, the narrowness of the road leading to life (Matthew 7:14), the strictness of the judgment, how “the just one is scarcely saved” (1 Peter 4:18), how “perdition is very easy and salvation very difficult” and the need for profound repentance from sin and wholehearted surrender to God (The Spiritual Canticle, Stanza 1;1).
St. Ignatius of Loyola, in his Spiritual Exercises, acknowledges that the most important motivation for serving God is pure love, but he also cites the useful role of “servile fear” in the spiritual journey (as also does St. Francis de Sales)

This is just a snippet. 

Read more:

Read more:

Friday 27 September 2013

Senator Cruz' Dad--Silent No More

Sorry about the deltas; cannot get them out of the text. 

Note sent to me from a friend........

Obama has no liking for Cruz, the least reason of which is because Cruz is
> Republican.  Here are a few other factors: Cruz is academically superior.
> Cruz graduated cum laude from Princeton. Not the case for Obama. Cruz
> graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School. Not so for Obama. Cruz's
> mental prowess has been recognized by Allan Dershowitz (who by all accounts
> is a bigger liberal than Obama) who said that Cruz is one of the most
> brilliant legal minds that he has ever seen. His actual quote was that "Cruz
> was off-the-charts brilliant."  Not so Obama. Cruz clerked for the Chief
> Justice of the U. S. Supreme Court, Justice William Rehnquist, one of the
> most coveted positions for any young lawyer right out of law school. Not so
> Obama. The liberal tin horns in Washington along with the liberal media try
> to tout Cruz as some kind of nut.
> Perhaps Obama and the other libs don't like him because he worked on the
> Florida lawsuit for George W. Bush against Gore. Perhaps it is because Cruz
> is a Baptist. Perhaps it is because Cruz's wife worked for Condoleezza Rice
> in the White House and also as one of those horrible investment bankers in
> New York. Perhaps it's because Cruz ran his Senate campaign as a Republican
> and still garnered 40% of the Hispanic vote in Texas. Perhaps it’s because
> Cruz is against same-sex "marriage." For whatever reason, Obama seems
> jealous of Cruz's legal successes. What has Obama done in the legal
> profession? Ans.: community organization in one of the most God forsaken
> cities in the world. Obama was not a professor at the University of Chicago
> as many of his supporters dishonestly tout, but was a "guest lecturer," an
> enormous difference.

> This brief video of Cruz's father is amazing-- it is a must watch. Indeed,
> every true American should have an opportunity to watch this.
> Ted Cruz is a Texas Senator AND NOW A US SENATOR. His Dad may have just
> established himself as one more reason for Obama to dislike Texas.

All People in America Will Pay for Abortions-All

"[U]nder the secrecy clause, plans that cover abortion are only allowed to disclose the abortion surcharge 'as a part of the summary of benefits and coverage explanation, at the time of enrollment.' Many families may choose a plan that covers abortion without realizing it or because the plan is the only one that covers the critical care that their family needs."
An abortion "slush fund" bankrolled by a separate "abortion fee" charged to enrollees should also be struck from Obamacare, the letter says:
"Anyone who enrolls in a federally-subsidized health care plan that covers elective abortions will pay a separate 'abortion fee' of at least $1 per month into an abortion slush fund to pay for abortion on demand."
- See more at:

Parents Giving in to Peer Pressure: Forming the Mind of A Girl Against Vanity

Recommend Girl Books Age 6-8

This post is specifically on girls and the formation of the virtues to destroy the predominant fault.

Starting with vanity, one knows that the opposing virtue is humility. Charity is also a virtue which can overcome vanity.

But, the parent is the main formator of the child. This excuse that the peers form the child is ridiculous, as it is the parents who give in to the peer pressure not the child.

I see very young girls daily in clothes which can only be described as slutty or prostitute clothes. Even in churches, many mothers allow their young girls, ages six to ten, for example, to dress with midriffs showing, underwear showing, and wearing nothing but tights-no skirts.

Now, the child did not go out and buy these clothes, the mothers did. The mothers are creating a monster girl, a princess who thinks she can have anything she wants and who is being taught to be a slave to fashion.

Vanity is being encouraged.  To be vain, all a girl needs is to be taught that the exterior is more important than the interior life. Vanity is encouraged by giving the girl the right to think about her clothes, her hair, her nails, her shoes, etc. as more important than developing the virtues given to her at baptism.

Also, too many mothers are not honest with their girls about their outward appearance. A child does not have to think she is the most beautiful person in the world. In fact, saying that over and over creates a false view of the self and also creates false expectations.

The entire Walt Disney princess preoccupation, as I have noted before on this blog, is dangerous.

Not all girls are princesses, and the models for holiness are not those who hung on to worldly power, including the power of sexual attraction, money and status, but those saints who gave those up for higher goods.Young girls do not need to be spending allowances on clothes, make-up and jewelry. This type of laxity is dangerous to the formation of virtue.

An excellent book can help a girl move away from princess preoccupation which destroys the real beauty of the virtues.

St. Etheldreda, the patroness of this blog, and many in her family, gave up being princesses and even queens in order to pursue holiness. This is a movement completely in antithesis to the Disney brainwashing. A girl may be a princess of a day on her birthday, but the rest of the year, mom should be teaching her to be a servant.

One of the best stories for a girl is the life of Blessed Humbeline, the sister of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. Now, the book I am recommending is a children's book, but parents can benefit from it as well. It is charming. And I have written about Humbeline on this blog under the label saints and martyrs. And, here and here...

I wish the publishers had used a different cover, as this depiction is not necessarily a true picture of what is inside the book. The one I had read, published in the 1950s, had child-friendly illustrations.

Humbeline was vain and gave it all up. She is only one example. But, her brothers challenged her to become holy. And, she did.

Obviously, a mother may have the same predominant fault as her girls or girls. When the Bible states that a woman is saved by child-bearing, one of the meanings of that pregnant (pun intended) phrase is that one sees one's one sins and flaws when one is raising children and one can respond in grace and gratitude for changing and converting in the second conversion, when one is working with the character building of one's children.

To be continued...

Virtues in Children Continued on The Predominant Fault

As the regular readers know, I did a long posting theme in the Summer on forming virtues in children. This is in the home schooling, home education series and quite detailed. The labels are on the side. Also, one can find many posts on the predominant fault in the perfection and perfection again series.

However, mothers and fathers are responsible, as I wrote in that series, on helping the child crush the predominant fault. I did not go into detail on how mothers can help their daughters not be proud, but be humble, and not be vain, but be humble, and shall do so now.

To start with, vainglory, or vanity, like pride, is one of the seven deadly sins. These sins form the roots of others sins and as predominant faults must be faced and uprooted, like briars. I am reminding the readers of Garrigou-Lagrange's definition of the predominant fault.

May I add, before quoting this, that to start young in determining what the fault is and dealing with it saves one from life of both mortal and venial sin.

The predominant fault is the defect in us that tends to prevail over the others, and thereby over our manner of feeling, judging, sympathizing, willing, and acting. It is a defect that has in each of us an intimate relation to our individual temperament.(1) There are temperaments inclined to effeminacy, indolence, sloth, gluttony, and sensuality. Others are inclined especially to anger and pride. We do not all climb the same slope toward the summit of perfection: those who are effeminate by temperament must by prayer, grace, and virtue become strong; and those who are naturally strong, to the point of easily becoming severe, must, by working at themselves and by grace, become gentle.
Before this progressive transformation of our temperament, the predominant defect in the soul often makes itself felt. It is our domestic enemy, dwelling in our interior; for, if it develops, it may succeed in completely ruining the work of grace or the interior life. At times it is like a crack in a wall that seems to be solid but is not so; like a crevice, imperceptible at times but deep, in the beautiful facade of a building, which a vigorous jolt may shake to the foundations. For example, an antipathy, an instinctive aversion to someone, may, if it is not watched over and corrected by right reason, the spirit of faith, and charity, produce disasters in the soul and lead it to grave injustice. By yielding to such an antipathy, it does itself far more harm than it does its neighbor, for it is much more harmful to commit injustice than to be the object of it.

Giving in is not a good
The predominant fault is so much the more dangerous as it often compromises our principal good point, which is a happy inclination of our nature that ought to develop and to be increased by grace. For example, a man is naturally inclined to gentleness; but if by reason of his predominant fault, which may be effeminacy, his gentleness degenerates into weakness, into excessive indulgence, he may even reach the complete loss of energy. Another, on the contrary, is naturally inclined to fortitude, but if he gives free rein to his irascible temperament, fortitude in him degenerates into unreasonable violence, the cause of every type of disorder.

Now, the predominant fault is what makes each one of us a slave to sin. Also, it is the evil which sometimes is confused with our character. We do not and should not identify with our predominant fault.

Habits of sin are formed early in the child. We have all met children who lie, for example, at an early age. This child is giving in to her predominant fault of deceitfulness. The parent has a duty to turn the child away form encouraging the predominant fault and moving that child into the virtues received at baptism.

I shall go through the seven deadly sins, each one which could be a predominant fault even though on is not in mortal sin, but has the tendency to commit sins from that basis.

A good parent sees these, and parents must be very careful not to identify the child with the predominant fault. 

For example, one does not preach the gospel of negativity, saying over and over, "You are so lazy. You are a lazy person" and so on. That is actually encouraging the predominant fault thinking so that the youth, the child would identify with sin rather than with virtue.

The predominant fault is sometimes the dark side of one's strength of character which must be developed in the child. Again, a good parent has discernment for their children to help them find their strengths and cultivate those.

Below is a repetition of what I have quoted in other posts, but read it from the viewpoint of a parent. 

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange again:

But how can we discern it? For beginners who are sincere, this is quite easy. But later the predominant fault is less apparent, for it tries to hide itself and to put on the appearances of a virtue: pride clothes itself in the outward appearances of magnanimity, and pusillanimity seeks to cover itself with those of humility. Yet we must succeed in discerning the predominant fault, for if we do not know it, we cannot fight it; and if we do not fight it, we have no true interior life.
That we may discern it, we must first of all ask God for light: "Lord, make me know the obstacles I more or less consciously place in the way of the working of Thy grace in me. Then give me the strength to rid myself of them, and, if I am negligent in doing so, do Thou deign to free me from them, though I should suffer greatly."
After thus asking sincerely for light, we must make a serious examination. How? By asking ourselves: "Toward what do my most ordinary preoccupations tend, in the morning when I awake, or when I am alone? Where do my thoughts and desires go spontaneously?" We should keep in mind that the predominant fault, which easily commands all our passions, takes on the appearance of a virtue and, if it is not opposed, it may lead to impenitence. Judas fell into impenitence through avarice, which he did not will to dominate; it led him to impenitence like a violent wind that hurls a ship on the rocks.

A second step in discerning the predominant fault, is to ask ourselves: "What is generally the cause or source of my sadness and joy? What is the general motive of my actions, the ordinary origin of my sins, especially when it is not a question of an accidental sin, but rather a succession of sins or a state of resistance to grace, notably when this resistance persists for several days and leads me to omit my exercises of piety?" Then we must seek sincerely to know the motive of the soul's refusal to return to the good.
In addition, we must ask ourselves: "What does my director think of this? In his opinion, what is my predominant fault? He is a better judge than I am." No one, in fact, is a good judge in his own case; here self-love deceives us. Often our director has discovered this fault before we have; perhaps he has tried more than once to talk to us about it. Have we not sought to excuse ourselves? Excuses come promptly, for the predominant fault easily excites all our passions: it commands them as a master, and they obey instantly. Thus, wounded self-love immediately excites irony, anger, impatience. Moreover, when the predominant fault has taken root in us, it experiences a particular repugnance to being unmasked and fought, because it wishes to reign in us. This condition sometimes reaches such a point that, when our neighbor accuses us of this fault, we reply that we have many bad habits, but truly not the one mentioned".(4)
The predominant fault may also be recognized by the temptations that our enemy arouses most frequently in us, for he attacks us especially through this weak point in our soul.
Lastly, in moments of true fervor the inspirations of the Holy Ghost ask us for the sacrifice of this particular fault.

To be the next post on the choice of books, models and the destruction of vanity and pride.