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Tuesday 29 January 2013


 “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” ―Robert A. Heinlein

American Pastor Sentenced to Eight Years on False Charges

Japanese Folk Song from 1975

12th century instruments and influence from the Portugese were part of the Japanese folk song tradition.

You might enjoy this.

Supertradmum, the sinner, with saints

Here I am in Dublin with two saintly men, I feel so fortunate to have met. Of course, you recognize Bishop Athanasius Schneider  auxiliary bishop of AstanaKazakhstan.  As I am writing today and tomorrow on the Mass and the Eucharist, I can appeal to his work and his life of defending the Eucharist. His main work is Dominus est.

I shall refer to this tomorrow. 

The enemy is within the Church....

Yet another Jesuit has written a ridiculous article undermining the ancient, consistent teaching of the Church on the Mass.

I shall write a longish rebuttal on this, which is necessary as this is written in a document which thousands of Catholics read monthly or weekly, and has been wrong in doctrine for at least six years. I know this as it was supposed to be used in some of the RCIA classes I took over in some places, and I threw them out and got permission to use my own material, like the CCC. Amazing.

So, look for this article tomorrow.

Check out this blog....make your own comments

On the contraceptive mentality, three

from today's reading at Mass, from Hebrews

"This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put my laws on their hearts, and write them on their minds

What puzzles me about the contraceptive mentality among Christians, and even Catholics, is that we have by baptism the natural law as well as the indelible mark of a child of God and heir of heaven.

We have the virtues given to us in sanctifying grace.

What happens to all that power, clarity and love of God?

What happens so that by age 14 or so, the vast majority of girls are contracepting? How does this happen?

How does it happen that there are three generations of contracepting Catholics in Great Britain?

How do we evangelize this group?

How do we reach the hard of heart?

The confusion of an adult is the fault of the adult. We can all make decisions. Where do we start? Prayer.

Little known facts from Malta

Pro-life in Malta, and those there, please send more links..........the debate is growing.

and from

Gift of Life
20. Trejqa il-Barrieri
Telephone: +356 79702481


The Malta Unborn Child Movement - MUCM - now made up of 45 Maltese organisations, was set up in 2004 to work for the dignity, rights, protection, development and care of unborn children in Malta and beyond,...In Malta and Gozo there are about 4,000 unborn children every year. Around the world there are about 200 million unborn children every year.

Friendship, love, logic and commitment-the stuff of bloggin

I am just one very small blogger. But, all of us together, and the great names, are working for Christ on line in this new evangelization.

Blogging for Christ and His Church is an act of love.

Kindness and faithfulness have met together,
  justice and peace have kissed.
Faithfulness has sprung from the earth,
  and justice has looked down from heaven.


The exchange of information can become true communication, links ripen into friendships, and connections facilitate communion. If the networks are called to realize this great potential, the people involved in them must make an effort to be authentic since, in these spaces, it is not only ideas and information that are shared, but ultimately our very selves. 

The development of social networks calls for commitment: people are engaged in building relationships and making friends, in looking for answers to their questions and being entertained, but also in finding intellectual stimulation and sharing knowledge and know-how. The networks are increasingly becoming part of the very fabric of society, inasmuch as they bring people together on the basis of these fundamental needs. Social networks are thus nourished by aspirations rooted in the human heart.
The culture of social networks and the changes in the means and styles of communication pose demanding challenges to those who want to speak about truth and values

The development of social networks calls for commitment: people are engaged in building relationships and making friends, in looking for answers to their questions and being entertained, but also in finding intellectual stimulation and sharing knowledge and know-how. The networks are increasingly becoming part of the very fabric of society, inasmuch as they bring people together on the basis of these fundamental needs. Social networks are thus nourished by aspirations rooted in the human heart.
The culture of social networks and the changes in the means and styles of communication pose demanding challenges to those who want to speak about truth and values

Believers are increasingly aware that, unless the Good News is made known also in the digital world, it may be absent in the experience of many people for whom this existential space is important. The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual world, but is part of the daily experience of many people, especially the young. Social networks are the result of human interaction, but for their part they also reshape the dynamics of communication which builds relationships: a considered understanding of this environment is therefore the prerequisite for a significant presence there.

In the digital world there are social networks which offer our contemporaries opportunities for prayer, meditation and sharing the word of God. But these networks can also open the door to other dimensions of faith. Many people are actually discovering, precisely thanks to a contact initially made online, the importance of direct encounters, experiences of community and even pilgrimage, elements which are always important in the journey of faith. In our effort to make the Gospel present in the digital world, we can invite people to come together for prayer or liturgical celebrations in specific places such as churches and chapels. There should be no lack of coherence or unity in the expression of our faith and witness to the Gospel in whatever reality we are called to live, whether physical or digital. When we are present to others, in any way at all, we are called to make known the love of God to the furthest ends of the earth.

 Pope Benedict XVI

Would like comments on this book....

My co-workers in the Church Militant at  have highlighted an interesting book. I have not read it but would like to do so. Have any readers read this so as to make comments here?

How to prepare for martyrdom............

I am continuing with St. Claude de la Columbiere, as he is so good on the surrender of the will, which finally takes place in the Illuminative State.

Here is a snippet and then some commentary. God is asking one at this point to enter into the Passion of His Son on a daily basis. This take heroic courage, fortitude, patience and all the virtues.

It remains to be seen how we can attain to this happy state. One sure way to lead us to it is the frequent practice of the virtue of submission. But as the opportunities for practicing it in a big way come rather seldom, we must take advantage of the small ones which occur daily, and which will soon put us in a position to face the greater trials with equanimity when the time comes. There is no one who does not experience a hundred small annoyances every day, caused either by our own carelessness or inattention, or by the inconsideration or spite of other people, or by pure accident. 

Our whole lives are made up of incidents of this kind, occurring ceaselessly from one minute to another and producing a host of involuntary feelings of dislike and aversion, envy, fear and impatience to trouble the serenity of our minds. We let an incautious word slip out and wish we had not said it; someone says something we find offensive; we have to wait a long time to be served when we are in a hurry; we are irritated by a child's boisterousness; a boring acquaintance buttonholes us in the street; a car splashes us with mud; the weather spoils our outing; our work is not going as well as we would wish; a tool breaks at a critical moment; we get our clothes torn or stained -- these are not occasions for practicing heroic virtue but they can be a means of acquiring it if we wish. If we were careful to offer all these petty annoyances to God and accept them as being ordered by His providence we would soon be in a position to support the greatest misfortunes that can happen to us, besides at the same time insensibly drawing close to intimate union with God.

To this exercise -- so easy and yet so useful for us and pleasing to God -- another may be added. Every morning as soon as you get up think of all the most disagreeable things that could happen to you during the day. Your house might be burnt down, you might lose your job or all your savings, or be run over, or sudden death might come to you or to a person you love. Accept these misfortunes should it please God to allow them; compel your will to agree to the sacrifice and give yourself no rest until you really feel prepared to wish or not to wish all that God may wish or not wish.

Finally, if some great misfortune should actually happen, instead of wasting time in complaint or self-pity, go throw yourself at once at the feet of your Savior and implore His grace to bear your trial with fortitude and patience. A man who has been badly wounded does not, if he is wise, chase after his assailant, but makes straight for a doctor who may save his life. Even if you wanted to confront the person responsible for your misfortune, it would still be to God you would have to go, for there can be no other cause of it than He.

So go to God, but go at once, go there and then. Let this be your first thought. Go and report to Him what He has done to you. Kiss the hands of God crucified for you, the hands that have struck you and caused you to suffer. Repeat over and over again to Him His own words to His Father while He was suffering:  Not my will but thine be done. In all that Thou wishest of me, today and for always, in heaven and on earth, let Thy will be done, but let it be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

I know some very young persons who have mastered the practice of such virtues. Most of this walk to God is given as pure grace. He gives such graces to whom He wills.

But ask, pray, wait and cooperate.

To be continued.....

On perfection, tribulations, and the plan of God: Joseph of Egypt

St.Joseph in the Old Testament prefigures Christ. Like Christ, he was most beloved of his father. Like Christ, he was betrayed by his own people. Like Christ, he was taken into Egypt. Like Christ, he was unfairly accused. Like Christ, he was imprisoned unfairly. Like Christ, he was given supernatural gifts and insight. Like Christ, he was raised up. Like Christ, he saved his people. Like Christ, he forgave those who hated him.

He could be called the patron saint of tribulation. As we shall see in the quotation below, God forestalls granting us the answers to our prayers in order to make us perfect. God knows what we need to do and endure in order to have all the nooks and crannies of our hearts and minds purified.

This happens again in the Illuminative State. It happened to St. Joseph, the Patriarch.

This is the hardest part of the road to heaven-trials. And, the worst are those over which we have no control.

Severe illness, serious financial difficulties, the death of a loved one, even losing years of work in a job left incomplete can cause terrible stress. Stress comes from fear, the fear that God does not love us or will not help us.

Stress is not a sin but it is an imperfection. The more we trust, the less stress we experience and overcome. If we truly have confidence in God, we no longer have doubting stress, but we do have suffering.  It does not matter how we feel, but how we believe. 

If God allows terrible suffering, here are some words from St. Claude de la Columbiere to help us..

There is a mystery of Faith here in suffering.

If you would be convinced that in all He allows and in all that happens to you God has no other end in view but your real advantage and your eternal happiness, reflect a moment on all He has done for you; you are now suffering, but remember that the author of this suffering is He who chose to spend His life suffering to save you from everlasting suffering, whose angel is always at your side guarding your body and soul by His order, who sacrifices Himself daily on the altar to expiate your sins and appease His Father's anger, who comes lovingly to you in the Holy Eucharist and whose greatest pleasure is to be united to you. We must be very ungrateful to mistrust Him after He has shown such proofs of His love and to imagine that He can intend us harm. But, you will say, this blow is a cruel one, He strikes too hard. What have you to fear from a hand that was pierced and nailed to the cross for you? -- The path I have to tread is full of thorns. If there is no other to reach heaven by, do you prefer to perish forever rather than to suffer for a time? Is it not the same path He trod before you out of love for you? Is there a thorn in it that He has not reddened with His own blood? -- The chalice He offers you is a bitter one. But remember that it is your Redeemer who offers it. Loving you as He does, could He bring Himself to treat you so severely if the need were not urgent, the gain not worthwhile? Can we dare to refuse the chalice He has prepared for us Himself?
Reflect well on this. It should be enough to make us accept and love whatever trials He intends we should suffer. Moreover it is the certain means of securing our happiness in this life quite apart from the next.

Joseph was sold into slavery and thrown into prison. If he had felt aggrieved at these apparent misfortunes, he would really have been feeling aggrieved at his happiness for they were the steps to the throne of Egypt. 

Let us imagine our confusion when we appear before God and understand the reasons why He sent us the crosses we accept so unwillingly. The death of a child will then be seen as its rescue from some great evil had it lived, separation from the woman you love the means of saving you from an unhappy marriage, a severe illness the reason for many years of life afterwards, loss of money the means of saving your soul from eternal loss. So what are we worried about? God is looking after us and yet we are full of anxiety!  We trust ourselves to a doctor because we suppose he knows his business. He orders an operation which involves cutting away part of our body and we accept it. We are grateful to him and pay him a large fee because we judge he would not act as he does unless the remedy were necessary, and we must rely on his skill. Yet we are unwilling to treat God in the same way!  It looks as if we do not trust His wisdom and are afraid He cannot do His job properly. We allow ourselves to be operated on by a man who may easily make a mistake -- a mistake which may cost us our life -- and protest when God sets to work on us.

If we could see all He sees we would unhesitatingly wish all He wishes. We would beg Him on bended knees for those afflictions we now ask Him to spare us. To all of us He addresses the words spoken to the Sons of Zebeedee:  You know not what you ask -- O blind of heart, your ignorance saddens me. Let me manage your affairs and look after your interests. I know what you need better than you do yourselves. 

Let us now suppose that by these reflections and the help of God you have freed yourself from all worldly desires and can now say to yourself:  All is vanity and nothing can satisfy my heart. The things that I so earnestly desire may not be at all the things that will bring me happiness. It is difficult for me to distinguish what is good from what is harmful because good and evil are nearly always mixed, and what was good for yesterday may be bad for today. 

My desires are only a source of worry and my efforts to realize them mostly end in failure. After all, the will of God is bound to prevail in the end. Nothing can be done without His command, and He cannot ordain anything that is not for my good.

After this let us suppose that you turn to God with blind trust and surrender yourself unconditionally and unreservedly to Him, entirely resolved to put aside your own hopes and fears; in short, determined to wish nothing except what He wishes and to wish all that He wishes. From this moment you will acquire perfect liberty and will never again be able to feel troubled or uneasy, and there is no power on earth capable of doing you violence or giving you a moment's unrest.

You may object that a person on whom both good and evil make the same impression is a pure fiction. It is nothing of the kind. I know people who are just as happy if they are sick or if they are well, if they are badly off or they are well off. I know some who even prefer illness and poverty to health and riches.

Moreover it is all the more remarkable that the more we submit to God's will, the more He tries to meet our wishes. It would seem that as soon as we make it our sole aim to obey Him, He on His part does His best to try and please us. Not only does He answer our prayers but He even forestalls them by granting the very desires we have endeavored to stifle in our hearts in order to please Him, and granting them in a measure we had never imagined.

Finally, the happiness of the person whose will is entirely submitted to God's is constant, unchangeable and endless. No fear comes to disturb it for no accident can destroy it. He is like a man seated on a rock in the middle of the ocean who looks on the fury of the waves without dismay and can amuse himself watching and counting them as they roar and break at his feet. Whether the sea is calm or rough, whichever way the waves are carried by the wind is a matter of indifference to him, for the place where he is is firm and unshakeable.
That is the reason for the peaceful and untroubled expression we find on the faces of those who have dedicated themselves to God.

This calm and perfect trust comes in the Illuminative State. To be continued....

For January 30th, a saint for our times

On January 30th, tomorrow, there is a feast day for a saint about whom many have not heard.

St. Hyacintha Mariscotti is an interesting saint for modern times. She went into the convent as she was disappointed in love and brought her worldly lifestyle into the convent with her.

Apparently, she wore habits made of fine cloth, bought extra food, entertained visitors, and basically lived like a yuppie in a convent.

This state of being carried on for ten years, when she was finally admonished by a good priest, and she came to her senses.

Then, she had a real conversion and began to live the penitential life of a real nun.

Here is the continuation of her story from the Catholic Encyclopedia

She made a public confession of her faults in the refectory, discarded her costly garments, wore an old habit, went barefoot, frequently fasted on bread and water, chastised her body by vigils and severe scourging, and practised mortifications to such an extent that the decree of canonization considers the preservation of her life a continued miracle. She increased her devotion to the Mother of God, to the Holy Infant Jesus, to the Blessed Eucharist, and to the sufferings of Christ. She worked numerous miracles, had the gifts of prophecy and of discerning the secret thoughts of others. She was also favoured by heavenly ecstasies and raptures. During an epidemic that raged in Viterbo she showed heroic charity in nursing the sick. She established two confraternities, whose members were called Oblates of Mary or Sacconi. One of these, similar to our Society of St. Vincent de Paul, gathered alms for the convalescent, for the poor who were ashamed to beg, and for the care of prisoners; the other procured homes for the aged. Though now leading a life so pure and holy,Hyacintha always conceived the greatest contempt for herself. At her death great sorrow was felt at Viterbo and crowds flocked to her funeral. She was beatified by Pope Benedict XIII in 1726, and canonized 14 May, 1807, by Pius VII.

Her dates are 1585-1640. She seems like a very modern girl to me and a great model for all of us.

Manuscripts from the 13th Century most likely destroyed...

The me-as-god mentality in marriage

Those who have adopted a contracepting mentality have created a me-as-god mentality.

This may sound harsh, but the mark of a real Christian and a real Catholic is obedience despite not understanding. So many who contracept only see the negativity of having to not have sex when they want it, rather than the large picture of God's invitation to the married couple to pro-create life with Him.

What an invitation!

The me-as-god mentality goes like this:

I can decide whether to be open to life or not.

I can decide to have only two or three children because of finances.

I can decide to have only one or two children because of my career.

And, so on.

The first decision is based on a misunderstanding of the marriage act, which must always, in order to be a true expression of love, be open to life. True love has no boundaries, no limitations. When we love someone, we give that person our all. Holding back any part of ourselves is saying, I love you but not all of me. "I am giving you myself, but not all of me."

To me, true love is the sacrifice of one's expectations and dreams for the sake of the other. Hopefully, those expectations and dreams overlap. God is part of the relationship between two married people. God must integral in that relationship or it is not true love, as God is Love. There is no end of love, real love. See the mini-series on the Pope's encyclical, also tagged.

Those people who have the desire and ability to give of themselves, to die to self and enter into a loving relationship based on trust and hope, will find God.

To be continued...

On Mortifications

St. Jerome Writing, Valletta, thanks to Wiki
Mortifications are those penances  either given to us from God or taken upon ourselves freely.

Athletes mortify themselves regularly, if they are honest, by being on strict regimes of diet and exercise, as well as practice.

Artists who are real artists and not merely narcissists or propagandists, mortify themselves by discipline to the rules of their particular art.

Many professional mortify themselves, denying short-term ease for long-term professional goals which require hard work and planning

Christians deny even lawful pleasures and goods for the sake of spreading the Gospel, such as missionaries, who endure hardships and strange surroundings in order to obey the command of Christ to preach to all nations.

Sometimes we must do penances for our sins, penances which include mortifications.

However, it is not the external suffering of mortification which indicates saintliness. Even the pagans denied themselves certain pleasures for a good, such as being fit or being a Stoic.

It is only in the intention and the cooperation with grace which causes mortification to be efficacious.

St. Jerome wrote this:

Be on your guard when you begin to mortify your body by abstinence and fasting, lest you imagine yourself to be perfect and a saint; for perfection does not consist in this virtue. It is only a help; a disposition; a means though a fitting one, for the attainment of true perfection.

Mortification leads us to a different perspective about life now and after.

What causes one to mortify one's self are the moral virtues, which are thereby enhanced.

The moral virtues are the Four Cardinal Virtues of Prudence, Temperance, Justice and Fortitude. Here is the CCC on these virtues:


1803 "Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."62
A virtue is an habitual and firm disposition to do the good. It allows the person not only to perform good acts, but to give the best of himself. The virtuous person tends toward the good with all his sensory and spiritual powers; he pursues the good and chooses it in concrete actions.
The goal of a virtuous life is to become like God.63

1804 Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfections of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith. They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life. The virtuous man is he who freely practices the good.
The moral virtues are acquired by human effort. They are the fruit and seed of morally good acts; they dispose all the powers of the human being for communion with divine love.

The cardinal virtues
1805 Four virtues play a pivotal role and accordingly are called "cardinal"; all the others are grouped around them. They are: prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. "If anyone loves righteousness, [Wisdom's] labors are virtues; for she teaches temperance and prudence, justice, and courage."64 

We cannot grow in these virtues unless we accept and practice some mortifications. And, this hurts. Mortifications are supposed to hurt.

That is the whole point. The world cannot understand this at all. We who do penance seem crazy to a world bent on pleasure.

Without the goal of perfection and the union with God, none of this makes sense.

But, without a sense of penance, we shall never achieve perfection.

For more insight see the Catholic Encyclopedia articles on mortification and asceticism, from which some of these insights were gleaned.

Lessons from a Siamese Cat

I am living in the house belonging to a dark, beautiful Siamese cat.

I am learning some lessons from her.

Here these are:

She only eats when she is hungry and moderately so. Temperance.

She cleans herself regularly and well. Prudence

She sleeps, but in a watchful manner just in case of emergencies. Watchfulness

She purrs when she is content and wants to show her affection. Gratitude

She plays, but not too much, and waits on play. Patience

She is beautiful because she is herself and no fuss about it. Integrity

She is not jealous or put out by not getting attention. Humility

She sometimes allows me to sleep in her room. Charity

She glorifies God in her creatureliness. Goodness

On the Contracepting Mentality

Thanks to Philotheaonfire...........

In discussions with Catholics in England over the past 30 years, I have discovered, to this present day, the wide acceptance among Catholics of contraception. Contraception is held to be a "sacred cow" even among some Catholics who are anti-abortion.

How this happened to become so widespread partly has to do with three things which mark Catholicism in Great Britain since the War.

First, is the acceptance of mixed marriages. The marrying of a Catholic to a non-Catholic has been more widespread here than in America for a variety of reasons. One has been the soft-pedalling by the clergy of the dangers of such marriages and also, the demographics.

Second has been the sad and horribly scandalous acceptance of the clergy of the contraceptive mentality and the rejection of Humanae Vitae. This is still obvious by the position of the clergy towards The Tablet, which is still sold in the back of Catholic Churches and is supported by those priests who allow this to happen. The Tablet immediately broke with the Church over Humanae Vitae so many years ago.

Third, and this may be unique to British Catholics, as I never heard anyone state this opinion in the States, is that birth control is fine in a marriage relationship but not fine for fornication, that is, sex outside of marriage.

This, of course, is a misunderstanding of the purpose of marriage. This error lies at the feet of the clergy. I hate to say this, but too many priests have over-emphasized the primary reason of marriage as companionship and have separated the marriage act from the call of God to pro-create. NFP classes should be offered in all dioceses, so that engaged couples can learn how to use this effective means as soon as they are married. Why the emphasis on children has slipped away is part of the contraceptive mentality and the forgetfulness of one of the most important reasons for marriage, the establishment of the nuclear family, which is not a politically correct term.

Until this mentality is addressed, Catholics have lost the culture war in Britain and people's souls as in danger.

There is no such thing as invincible ignorance in our society, so that cannot be use as an excuse. Sadly, adults in Britain, who have grown up with the contracepting mentality, must be evangelized, which is hard when one of two in the couple are not open to changing.

Only the Holy Spirit can convict, but we must be willing to pray for loving approaches to this serious problem.

To be continued....

These are a few of my favourite things