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Wednesday 16 January 2013

Defence is a Duty as Well as a Right

Engagements of the Knights of Malta, when men were brave and understood their duty. From Wiki

The Crusades
Siege of Ascalon (1153)
Battle of Arsuf (1191)
Siege of Acre (1291)
Siege of Rhodes (1480)
Siege of Rhodes (1522)
Battle of Preveza (1538)
Siege of Tripoli (1551)
Siege of Malta (1565)
Battle of Lepanto (1571)
Barbary Pirates (1607)
Other service in European navies.

Changed timetable for abortion bill in Ireland

From Tuesday's Irish Times on line.
Abortion Bill 
It is expected the Bill that will legalise abortion in restricted circumstances will be on the priority list for the summer session.
Minister for Health James Reilly has said he expects the legislation to be enacted before the summer but many of his colleagues in the Dáil and Seanad say that his timetable is too ambitious. Chairman of the Oireachtas health committee Jerry Buttimer is holding a meeting with committee colleagues this week to finalise arrangements for writing its report on last week’s hearing from medical and legal experts as well as churches and advocacy groups.

January 19th pro-life vigil planned in Dublin

Pro-Life Articles • DFW

Dublin, Ireland, Jan 16, 2013 / 02:06 am (CNA/EWTN News).- A Jan. 19 pro-life vigil in Dublin aims to rally against the government's proposal to permit some abortions, warning that abortion advocates are blurring important moral distinctions in the debate.

“Time and again, when the distinction is made between current medical practice which cares for both the mother and baby and direct, intentional abortion, voters give their unambiguous support to pro-life laws,” Caroline Simons, a legal consultant for the Pro Life Campaign, said in a Jan. 14 announcement.

She said the debate over the legalization of some abortions is a “defining moment for Ireland” and Irish people need to “make their voices heard loud and clear.”

The rally will take place in Dublin’s Merrion Square Saturday at 4:30 p.m. local time. A Dec. 4 rally outside of the Dáil Eireann in Dublin drew over 10,000 people.

Simons on Jan. 15 further explained that everyone agrees women must receive life-saving treatments even if it may lead to the unintentional death of the unborn baby.

“Where the disagreement arises is that some are skilfully but unfairly using the occasion to push for an abortion regime in Ireland and are blurring the distinction between necessary medical treatments and abortion,” she said.

More on site

This for That............? !


This, but it is sunny right now BUT freezing

Poll update

Boomers, where are you? The 0-49ners are 64% of the poll at this point. Gens X and Y.

Hey, socialists really, really, do not love the poor

The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests: but the s
Son of man hath not where to lay his head Matthew 8:20 DR

This may surprise some of you. The socialists really do not love the poor. They do not invite them into their houses and feed them from their tables. They do not know their names.

Socialism has nothing to do with being kind or helping the poor, or even understanding the plight of the poor.

It is about social engineering. It is about control. It is not about sanctity.

Power. It is about power.

It is about empowering a government and taking away dignity and personal rights for people to earn money and make money in business, and keep it and use it as they so wish. It is about taking power away from the people

The Catholic Church is not a socialist institution.

When Christ said, "The poor you will always have with you", He was reminding us of our duty to share. This statement is in three Gospels. It is important. Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7; John 12:8. The apostles thought this statement was important enough to include it in their Testaments from, perhaps, thousands of sayings of Christ. Christ is God. He chose poverty.

But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man. Philippians 2:7, DR

He did not prophecy a classless society, or a society where all people have the same things.

I am not rich. I am poor. Now, God chooses to bless the rich. That is God's business. I am not God. I do not judge His wisdom and grace. 

I do not judge myself. That He, is His wisdom and goodness has decided that I am poor, is also God's business. 

So, why do people hate and suspect me of something? This is a mystery of poverty. That the poor are not favoured and the rich are is a truism one sees daily. I would rather be invisible than hated. People think,"She is not my kind of person. She cannot do what I can do. She is not in my social set." So be it.

Neither was Christ in the social set of His day. He was despised, rejected. 

Christ was hated to the point of murder.

Such is life. People are nice to the rich for their own reasons-perhaps for advancement, or status.

Perhaps for the perks. Some people are kind to the poor. I have met kind people. Some are really so, and some are out of guilt or duty, not the heart. Not many. Most judge.

But, for me, this is a learning experience. Do not judge the rich, either.

Do not judge either the rich or the poor. All that happens is God's Will.

St. Thomas More said that. I paraphrase. He was well-to-do and in a very short time, he and his family were impoverished by a viscous king.

St. Philip Howard spent long, long years in the Tower of London, impoverished.

His family had to flee to France.

Empress Zita ended up exiled almost for life from Austria. She was not a wealthy woman at the end of her life and relied on friends for help for herself and her children.

So,why are the poor judged? 

Fear of failure, fear of loss of status, fear of illness-as the poor cannot afford health, fear of getting involved, fear of the unknown, fear of criticism.

My idea is that if I entertain a person poorer than myself, I am serving Christ Himself.

Kindness is the most important gift to the poor, who suffer from harsh criticisms daily.

Where some of the bishops have fallen away from consistent Catholic teaching on individual charity is that they have looked to institutions which are large to do the work we all should be doing.

The greatest pain for the poor is the lack of respect. Why money means respect is a mystery to me. I have never understood this principle of respecting a person less because they had less. The most generous and kind people I have ever met have been the poor-Maria, Denise, Anne, those who never quite made it into the middle class and never will.

Why is it that they have been generous?

They understand the need for love, real love, as the poor are hated and feared.

They are not esteemed. They are given less on their plate than are given to the rich. No one has to impress the poor.

St. Lawrence should be our example.

Ambrose relates (De officiis min. xxviii) that when St. Lawrence was asked for the treasures of the Churchhe brought forward the poor, among whom he had divided the treasure, in place of alms. Catholic Encyclopedia

An American middle class woman asked me why the Church has asked for preferential option for the poor in economics. She was angry. She did not understand that her life and that of the poor were connected. She did not understand her own freedom in choosing not to help the real poor.

The poor remind me of who I am before God. We are all poor in some way. Poverty reminds me of my spiritual state, which is pathetic in the eyes of God, Who is all Holiness. If I am poor in material things, it is a real projection of my spiritual state.

That is a good. If I am poor, that is the reality of my soul. I do not want to pretend. If I am poor inside, I want to be poor outside. 

This is hard, very hard. One is judged by clothes, shoes, and the size of one's house. If one has no house, oh my goodness.

Christ had no where to lay His Head. 

I would rather identify with Him on earth than any other person.

I want to become more and more like the Person I love.

St. Gemma Galgani is the patron saint of the poor and unemployed.

She was very poor. She is a saint.

From a website dedicated to her. These are her words in bold.

'We had nothing. The Court and the creditors took all. In the beginning we depended upon the charity of the good, but afterwards Guido got a position as chemist at the City Hospital.' Gemma, however, was not appalled by the poverty to which she and her family were reduced, because she considered poverty and the sorrows of life as precious gifts from God-as an ignored inheritance reserved by Him for the elect.

And these are her words. 

"I wish, oh Jesus, that my voice could reach to the ends of the world, to call all sinners and tell them to enter into Thy Heart....Oh, if only all sinners would come to Thy Heart!... Come! Come sinners, do not be afraid! The sword of Justice cannot reach you Here!" 

If you had a choice to say those words from the heart, while being poor and not having a clue what these words mean and be wealthy, what would you choose?

And some words to ponder from 

The Compendium of the 
Social Doctrine of the Church

Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, 2005

“Solidarity without subsidiarity, in fact, can easily degenerate into 
a ‘Welfare State’, while subsidiarity without solidarity runs the risk 
of encouraging forms of self-centred localism. In order to respect 
both of these fundamental principles, the State’s intervention in 
the economic environment must be neither invasive nor absent, 
but commensurate with society’s real needs (no. 351).
“...the universal destination of goods requires that the poor, the 
marginalized and in all cases those whose living conditions interfere 
with their proper growth should be the focus of particular concern. 
To this end, the preferential option for the poor should be reaffirmed in all its force.... 
It affects the life of each Christian inasmuch as he or she seeks to imitate the life of Christ, but it 
applies equally to our social responsibilities and hence to our manner of living…” (no. 182).

And what do the poor do for us? They challenge our idols. They show us our weaknesses. They remind us to be grateful. They represent Christ on the Cross.  They demand our attention to not merely do good, but BE good.

No small vocation, that...............................

A contentious subject and many viewpoints

Predestination is not only the extreme teaching of the Calvinists, but a part of our own Teaching in the Catholic Church. Some people may be shocked by this.

I read quite a bit on this subject and recommend Garrigou-Lagrange's book which is on line and found here.

To get you all interested, here is a snippet. I have written on this subject before and need to write more to unpack this great Thomist's theology.

There is a great mystery between grace and effort. Some Protestants believe that one cannot strive for grace at all.

Garrigou-Lagrange helps us with St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas' explanations on predestination. This is merely the beginning of the discussion.

For St. Augustine, predestination presupposes a decisive and definite will on God's part to sanctify and save freely all the elect.(13) God knows them individually and He wills to have them perform meritoriously acts that are required for entering heaven. He wills to give them the grace to persevere until the end, this being what St. Paul means when he says: "For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish according to His good will."(14) The fact that God foresees our salutary and meritorious acts presupposes, according to the teaching of St. Augustine, the decree of the divine will as regards these acts.(15) Father Portalié considers that St. Augustine favors the theory of the scientia media because of the following sentence: "Far be it that man should have the power to frustrate the intention of the omnipotent Being who has foreknowledge of all things."(16) We know, on the contrary, that for St. Augustine the foreknowledge of our salutary acts refers to what God has decreed that created wills should do. The words that immediately follow the text quoted by Father Portalié prove this to be so, for we read: "These have but a faint conception of so great a question, or what they have does not suffice, who think that the omnipotent God wills something and is powerless to effect it because of weak man preventing Him." Father Portalié should have remarked that Molina, on the other hand, reproved St. Augustine for not having known of the scientia media.(17)
To what cause must we assign, according to the great doctor's opinion, the efficacy of grace that is granted to the elect? The principles laid down by him reveal his mind on this point. God's will, he says, is omnipotent and efficacious (most efficacious).(18) We read in one of his treatises as follows: "There is no doubt that human wills cannot resist (in sensu composito) the will of God, who hath done whatsoever He willed in heaven and on earth, in that He does what He wills and when He wills. Undoubtedly He has the power to move the human heart to submit, as it pleases Him, to His omnipotent will."(19) From this we see that, in St. Augustine's view, the decrees of the divine will are infallible not because God foreknows that we will give our consent, but because He is omnipotent. He also says: "The wills of men are more in God's power than in their own."(20) In another of his works he says: "There is no doubt that we will whenever we will, but He is the cause of our willing what is good; . . . there is no doubt that we act whenever we act, but He is the cause of our acting, by most efficaciously strengthening our will."(21) Still more clearly when speaking professedly on this subject of predestination, he says that "no one who is hardened in heart rejects grace, because it is primarily given to remove this hardness of heart.''(22)
Lastly, St. Augustine repeatedly teaches that predestination is gratuitous. And he means predestination as he defined it, which is not only to grace but also to glory; for predestination to grace alone does not lead one effectively to eternal life. It has but the name of predestination, since it belongs equally to those who, after being justified, do not persevere.

In this past week, two people said they could not believe that God did not love all men enough to allow them free will.   They could not understand that God loved us so much as to give us free will to separate from Him.

They could not understand that grace is given, but some say no. 

They could not understand that God does not give the same gifts to all the same--even grace. They wanted all people to go to Heaven. So do I. But, that is not the teaching of the Church.

But, all are given the chance and grace at some point.  The theologians have discussed this question for centuries. I can do a little discussion on this blog.  To be continued.....

A discovered saint and horned helmets

It is fun to find out about a saint of whom one was not aware in the past. Today, I discovered St. Henry of Cocket. As I am into hermits right now, I thought I would share this.

Here is his life in brief from Catholic Online and Wiki. 

 A Danish hermit who had a hermitage on Cocket, an island off the coast of Northumbria, England. He lived under the director of the monks of Tynemouth. He died in 1127
Henry of Coquet (died 1127) was a Dane who lived in a hermitage on the island of Coquet, off the Northumberlandcoast. He died there in 1127. He is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church. There is a stained glass window in the church of St Thomas of Canterbury in Deal, Kent, England, showing an image of 'St Henry the Dane'. He is wearing a horned helmet.[1]    

I like the fact that in the stained glass window he is wearing a helmet. I cannot find a photo of the window, but here is Danish helmet with horns. I am not sure why a hermit would need such armour. 
Maybe the English needed to be reminded that this St. Henry was Danish. Maybe he was an ex-marauder. 

On shoe-string potatoes and socialism

Not the McCafe. I am in a different cafe today, eating a ham and cheese sandwich which could be from a shop in Iowa. Weird how Western culture is all over.

But, Western ideals are not. I have been thinking about these times in Malta and in other parts of Europe. People in America still believe the financial crisis cannot happen there. Malta, which has a better economy than most, is also blind-sided by socialism and the false press, which only shows prosperity and not the crisis across the waters. Italian television is more realistic.

 But, people do not want to face the coming climax of the euro-crisis. Why not? The Europeans think that America will fall first and Americans think Europe will fall first. So? It will all happen together. We have a global economy. Duh. (I am eating, by mistake, prawn shoestring potatoes. I could not read the wrap correctly--eeiiuu--so much for being homesick for Iowa shoe-string potatoes).

 Any person who is following the president who has signed more Executive Orders than all the presidents before him, or who is following the new possible Supreme Court appointees should realize we have lost the culture war.

This means we have lost the political culture war as well. Not merely have we lost the abortion, contraception, health-care, same-sex marriage and other moral issues, but the moral issue of thrift, savings, working for a living, earning one's way and not relying on big bloated government. It it any wonder that this president was re-elected in climate where so many people are on food stamps?

The government bought votes.

 As to the Second Amendment, Europe just does not understand how independent minded some of us still are. Unless one is independent in one's spirit and prizes individual freedoms over material benefits, one is a slave.

Socialism is slavery.

I have written so many times on this blog as to the depraved idea of the individual held by socialists and how every Pope for the past 150 plus years has condemned this type of social engineering. And yet, so many Catholics confuse helping the poor with big government.

The Marxists have won the brain game. People think in terms of socialism and not democracy. They think in terms of the free lunch. Nothing is free.

So be it...and so will both national federation fall-America and Europe.

I forgot I am different....

All of my adult life, I have rarely watched television. I can say that I have never bought a t.v. And, I can say that no one wants to play television trivia games with me as a partner.

I have followed the news on line and in newspapers. If you watch television news, you are getting the owner of the station or the franchise's views only.

I watch movies either by going once a year or playing DVDs on my computer. The sport I did follow was cricket and from 1997 watched it mostly on line. Same with tennis.

I have gone years not watching t.v. and certain series, I have seen on the computer by DVDs. However, I do not follow anything. I have better things to do. When I use to help students with time management problems, t.v.would be the first thing to go.

 We were readers in my family. We did things, like sport, drama, painting, talking about ideas. I simply cannot understand watching hours of television.