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Tuesday 5 February 2013

More Tories Voted Against Than For

By now, the news is around the world that Parliament has approved a redefinition of marriage for Great Britain. More Tories voted against than for, which is a good thing, but not enough to stop this sad bill from going on to the House of Lords.

What a sad day for us here, as Britain moves farther away from Christianity and natural law as the basis of this once great civilization.

I cannot write any more on this tonight. From the above article:

Among the Tories voting against the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill were several ministers, including two Cabinet members: Owen Paterson, the environment secretary, and David Jones, the Welsh secretary.
Other ministers included David Lidington, the Europe minister, Andrew Robathan and Mark Francois from the Ministry of Defence, and Jeremy Wright, a justice minister.

Seventeen posts today, plus this one makes 18

Because of the debate and other concerns.....get a cup of tea and read slowly.

The CCC on Chastity which includes married people

2337 Chastity means the successful integration of sexuality within the person and thus the inner unity of man in his bodily and spiritual being. Sexuality, in which man's belonging to the bodily and biological world is expressed, becomes personal and truly human when it is integrated into the relationship of one person to another, in the complete and lifelong mutual gift of a man and a woman.
The virtue of chastity therefore involves the integrity of the person and the integrality of the gift.
The integrity of the person
2338 The chaste person maintains the integrity of the powers of life and love placed in him. This integrity ensures the unity of the person; it is opposed to any behavior that would impair it. It tolerates neither a double life nor duplicity in speech.125
2339 Chastity includes an apprenticeship in self-mastery which is a training in human freedom. The alternative is clear: either man governs his passions and finds peace, or he lets himself be dominated by them and becomes unhappy.126 "Man's dignity therefore requires him to act out of conscious and free choice, as moved and drawn in a personal way from within, and not by blind impulses in himself or by mere external constraint. Man gains such dignity when, ridding himself of all slavery to the passions, he presses forward to his goal by freely choosing what is good and, by his diligence and skill, effectively secures for himself the means suited to this end."127
2340 Whoever wants to remain faithful to his baptismal promises and resist temptations will want to adopt the means for doing so: self-knowledge, practice of an ascesis adapted to the situations that confront him, obedience to God's commandments, exercise of the moral virtues, and fidelity to prayer. "Indeed it is through chastity that we are gathered together and led back to the unity from which we were fragmented into multiplicity."128
2341 The virtue of chastity comes under the cardinal virtue of temperance, which seeks to permeate the passions and appetites of the senses with reason.
2342 Self-mastery is a long and exacting work. One can never consider it acquired once and for all. It presupposes renewed effort at all stages of life.129 The effort required can be more intense in certain periods, such as when the personality is being formed during childhood and adolescence.
2343 Chastity has laws of growth which progress through stages marked by imperfection and too often by sin. "Man . . . day by day builds himself up through his many free decisions; and so he knows, loves, and accomplishes moral good by stages of growth."130
2344 Chastity represents an eminently personal task; it also involves a cultural effort, for there is "an interdependence between personal betterment and the improvement of society."131 Chastity presupposes respect for the rights of the person, in particular the right to receive information and an education that respect the moral and spiritual dimensions of human life.
2345 Chastity is a moral virtue. It is also a gift from God, a grace, a fruit of spiritual effort.132 The Holy Spirit enables one whom the water of Baptism has regenerated to imitate the purity of Christ.133
The integrality of the gift of self
2346 Charity is the form of all the virtues. Under its influence, chastity appears as a school of the gift of the person. Self-mastery is ordered to the gift of self. Chastity leads him who practices it to become a witness to his neighbor of God's fidelity and loving kindness.
2347 The virtue of chastity blossoms in friendship. It shows the disciple how to follow and imitate him who has chosen us as his friends,134 who has given himself totally to us and allows us to participate in his divine estate. Chastity is a promise of immortality.
Chastity is expressed notably in friendship with one's neighbor. Whether it develops between persons of the same or opposite sex, friendship represents a great good for all. It leads to spiritual communion.
The various forms of chastity
2348 All the baptized are called to chastity. The Christian has "put on Christ,"135 the model for all chastity. All Christ's faithful are called to lead a chaste life in keeping with their particular states of life. At the moment of his Baptism, the Christian is pledged to lead his affective life in chastity.
2349 "People should cultivate [chastity] in the way that is suited to their state of life. Some profess virginity or consecrated celibacy which enables them to give themselves to God alone with an undivided heart in a remarkable manner. Others live in the way prescribed for all by the moral law, whether they are married or single."136 Married people are called to live conjugal chastity; others practice chastity in continence:
There are three forms of the virtue of chastity: the first is that of spouses, the second that of widows, and the third that of virgins. We do not praise any one of them to the exclusion of the others. . . . This is what makes for the richness of the discipline of the Church.137
2350 Those who are engaged to marry are called to live chastity in continence. They should see in this time of testing a discovery of mutual respect, an apprenticeship in fidelity, and the hope of receiving one another from God. They should reserve for marriage the expressions of affection that belong to married love. They will help each other grow in chastity.
Offenses against chastity
2351 Lust is disordered desire for or inordinate enjoyment of sexual pleasure. Sexual pleasure is morally disordered when sought for itself, isolated from its procreative and unitive purposes.
2352 By masturbation is to be understood the deliberate stimulation of the genital organs in order to derive sexual pleasure. "Both the Magisterium of the Church, in the course of a constant tradition, and the moral sense of the faithful have been in no doubt and have firmly maintained that masturbation is an intrinsically and gravely disordered action."138 "The deliberate use of the sexual faculty, for whatever reason, outside of marriage is essentially contrary to its purpose." For here sexual pleasure is sought outside of "the sexual relationship which is demanded by the moral order and in which the total meaning of mutual self-giving and human procreation in the context of true love is achieved."139
To form an equitable judgment about the subjects' moral responsibility and to guide pastoral action, one must take into account the affective immaturity, force of acquired habit, conditions of anxiety or other psychological or social factors that lessen, if not even reduce to a minimum, moral culpability.
2353 Fornication is carnal union between an unmarried man and an unmarried woman. It is gravely contrary to the dignity of persons and of human sexuality which is naturally ordered to the good of spouses and the generation and education of children. Moreover, it is a grave scandal when there is corruption of the young.
2354 Pornography consists in removing real or simulated sexual acts from the intimacy of the partners, in order to display them deliberately to third parties. It offends against chastity because it perverts the conjugal act, the intimate giving of spouses to each other. It does grave injury to the dignity of its participants (actors, vendors, the public), since each one becomes an object of base pleasure and illicit profit for others. It immerses all who are involved in the illusion of a fantasy world. It is a grave offense. Civil authorities should prevent the production and distribution of pornographic materials.
2355 Prostitution does injury to the dignity of the person who engages in it, reducing the person to an instrument of sexual pleasure. The one who pays sins gravely against himself: he violates the chastity to which his Baptism pledged him and defiles his body, the temple of the Holy Spirit.140 Prostitution is a social scourge. It usually involves women, but also men, children, and adolescents (The latter two cases involve the added sin of scandal.). While it is always gravely sinful to engage in prostitution, the imputability of the offense can be attenuated by destitution, blackmail, or social pressure.
2356 Rape is the forcible violation of the sexual intimacy of another person. It does injury to justice and charity. Rape deeply wounds the respect, freedom, and physical and moral integrity to which every person has a right. It causes grave damage that can mark the victim for life. It is always an intrinsically evil act. Graver still is the rape of children committed by parents (incest) or those responsible for the education of the children entrusted to them.

Ongoing debate today

Stephen Timms at this time is talking about the bearing and rearing of children as being part of the definition of marriage.

Excellent, as he points out children will lose out. 

He is being interrupted. He is trying to clarify the traditional definition of marriage. This is good, but he does compromise on the second part. 

Cheryl Gillan is also showing that there is a difference between civil partnerships and the definition of marriage.

Leigh has been the clearest so far.

Gillan refers to the fact that this bill should not have been introduced at all. She is noting that the national church had not been consulted. 

What is the rush, one might ask?

Pray, listen, read, work, pray

Jim Shannon just did a good job. Follow the debate.

Edward Leigh was eloquent in today's debate

He gave the Catholic view, quoting the CCC, and God bless him, his wife and children.


I am listening to the debate and it is clear that the contraceptive mentality has led us to this horrible state.

Nationwide Rosary in about a half hour

All Brits and Americans

Rosary in Defence of Marriage at NOON GMT

The bill goes forward today to re-define marriage in Great Britain

As the priest said at Mass this morning, children will become a commodity.

Please join with me and Maria Kolbe today.

"The restlessness of the external man"....lust in marriage and NFP. fourth part regarding ToB

Many, many years ago when I took an NFP course, (I ended up teaching it as well later), my fiancĂ©e and I, taking this as part of our pre-nuptial prep in our diocese, met a lovely Evangelical couple. I talked with the woman and learned that she and her husband, also a Protestant, had taken the course and were part of the team presenting the classes. I was at first surprised that an Evangelical couple were part of the team teaching the course, but soon learned that their story provided a background for the entire weekend of classes.

Her witness was extremely powerful, as she told us (a very large group at the time in the hundreds, as it was a diocesan course), that her marriage changed dramatically once the couple decided on NFP.

She explained that she and her husband had fallen into a less than Christian relationship in marriage. They had fallen, as a married couple, into the sin of lust and were approaching sex in a way, as they came to understand, not pleasing to the growth of their own spirits and not pleasing to God.

The grace of their married state had slipped away and the pursuit of pleasure became a goal in and of itself.

They forgot about love and sacrifice, procreation and child bearing. IT was all about THEM. God was out of the relationship.

NFP broke the spell and brought a conversion to both the man and the woman. They grew in love with each other and most importantly, with God. God became the centre of their marriage again, not themselves.

This is the number one danger of ToB. It replaces God with gods, little gods, little idols which entrap the soul and keep a couple bound to the material instead of addressing the needs of the soul.

That God gave such a wonderful grace of conversion to this Evangelical couple allowed them to spread the Good News of the Gospel in their own marriage, which had moved from eros, to agape, to caritas.

Only abstinence and the awareness of the needs of the soul can allow this movement of grace.Only the emphasis on the souls of the man and woman in the marriage can bring about this growth in holiness.

And, by the way, this movement of the souls of the couple in marriage, between a man and a woman, is ordained by God, made into the sacrament of marriage, which is for the salvation of the souls of the man and the woman primarily. The inner man and inner woman must be made strong. Too much emphasis on the material body, which is only part of who we are and not entirely our being, leads to a different emphasis.

Let me quote Bl. John Paul II on this point.

In suffocating the voice of conscience, passion carries with itself a restlessness of the body and the senses. It is the restlessness of the external man. When the internal man has been reduced to silence, then passion, once it has been given freedom of action, exhibits itself as an insistent tendency to satisfy the senses and the body.

This gratification, according to the criterion of the man dominated by passion, should put out the fire; but on the contrary, it does not reach the source of internal peace and it only touches the outermost level of the human individual. And here the biblical author rightly observes that man, whose will is committed to satisfying the senses, finds neither peace nor himself, but, on the contrary, "is consumed." Passion aims at satisfaction; therefore it blunts reflective activity and pays no attention to the voice of conscience. Thus, without itself having any principle of indestructibility, it "wears out." The dynamism of usage is natural for its continuity, but it tends to exhaust itself. Where passion enters into the whole of the most profound energies of the spirit, it can also become a creative force. In this case, however, it must undergo a radical transformation. If instead it suppresses the deepest forces of the heart and conscience (as occurs in the text of Sirach 23:17-22), it "wears out" and indirectly, man, who is its prey, is consumed.

This destructive force can happen in marriage, if the couple is contracepting and if the love is stuck in the material goals. Sex education in schools and in religious education leads to sin because the corresponding element of mature, caritas love, is not presented and cannot be as this is for a married couple to discover.  I am convinced that ToB is not the way for youth or adults to learn about real love, sacrificial love. It is severely flawed philosophically.

Only parents should teach youth sex education in the environment of the loving, mature relationship which the young person sees in the marriage. Teachers have no right to usurp this role. And, these types of love real love, sacrificial love, are learned in the relationship in sacramental marriage, which confers sanctifying grace.

 To be continued...

Treasure your freedoms..........

Such conflation of conservatives with racist terrorists has become a staple of Obama administration anti-terrorism reports.

An April 2009 DHS report entitled “Rightwing [sic.] Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment,” identified “groups and individuals that are dedicated to a single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration” and opposition to same-sex “marriage,” as “the most dangerous domestic terrorism threat in the United States.” The DHS laterpulled the report.
Yet DHS and FBI agents subsequently attended a terrorism training seminar on alleged pro-life terrorism hosted by Planned Parenthood, the National Abortion Federation, and the Feminist Majority Foundation. After equating free speech with violence, organizers distributed a resource guide listing three pages of purportedly extremist websites to monitor, including mainstream organizations such as Priests for Life and the Christian Broadcasting Network.
Yet another DHS-funded report, Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States, 1970 to 2008,” written by Gary LaFree and Bianca Bersani, concluded that single issue groups, including abortion opponents, had perpetrated more atrocities over a longer period of time than “extreme left-wing,” “extreme right-wing,” “religious,” or “ethno-nationalist” terrorists.
Constitutional expert John Whitehead of The Rutherford Institute has voiced concerns that the 2012National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) “would allow the military to show up at your door if you’re [deemed] a ‘potential terrorist,’ and put you in military detention” indefinitely, without charges.
Bill Wilson noted acts of left-wing terrorism, from groups like the Earth Liberation Front, far outnumber “right-wing” terrorism. “It’s not tea partiers we need to watch out for,” he wrote, “it’s people like Obama’s terrorist buddy Bill Ayers.”

Marriage re-defined in France; the Eldest Daughter of the Faith dying a slow death

On a weekend, when the world's press is asleep and in a special meeting, the article was approved 249-97.

"France’s marriage equality bill cleared its first and main hurdle on Saturday when lawmakers overwhelmingly approved the most important article of the new law, redefining marriage as an agreement between two people of opposite or same sex."

So politicians vote for things to make people content?

What has happened to personal principals and a sense of ethics?

Another minister Andrew Robathan, who also opposed civil partnerships, said, “I have come round to civil partnerships because it has made a lot of people contented and I am quite keen on people being contented.” The Conservative MP Roger Gale added: “With hindsight it was a reasonable bit of legislation. But as it happening I was right to be concerned that it was the thin end of the wedge.”

No transparency

But concerns are already growing about the lack of transparency in the way the administration is tooling up for war in the digital world. “What concerns us is not the growth of forces but the way it is happening behind the scenes,” said a Washington Post editorial published at the weekend.


The Horse Has Bolted and the Perfection Series

Writing about the socialist take-over of America and the influence of Gramsci on both America and Europe is like writing about the horse which has bolted and one is staring at the empty stable.

To help understand a phenomenon is essential when one is trying to stop the rot from occurring  which I tried to do in 2007-2009, but to write after the process is in full-swing may seem a thankless and useless task.

That is why the perfection series is so important.

The typical lay Roman Christian in the year 302 and hearing reports of the arguments between Diocletian and
and Galerius as to whether the Christians should merely be discriminated against by barring them from public office and the military, or whether they should be killed outright.

I am sure rumours were flying about and some Christian merely responded by saying it would all pass. Or, that a new emperor would change things.

Duh. On February 23, 303, a church was destroyed in Rome, followed the next day by the edict forbidding any new churches and allowing for the destruction of all places of worship belonging to the Christians. Persecutions of torture and death followed quickly and lasted until 311.

The numbers of Christians killed, and the numbers who left Rome are not known. One can only estimate. The top number is 3,500 out of a population of one million Romans. This would be like 3,500 people living in Dallas being murdered systematically by the government.

Small stuff compared to Stalin. I read a long biography of him in 2008 or so and he was a scary man.

The figure comes from the book by Robert Conquest, The Great Terror: Stalin’s Purge of the Thirties(Macmillan 1968). In his appendix on casualty figures, he reviews a number of estimates of those that were killed under Stalin, and calculates that the number of executions 1936 to 1938 was probably about 1,000,000; that from 1936 to 1950 about 12,000,000 died in the camps; and 3,500,000 died in the 1930-1936 collectivization. Overall, he concludes: 
Thus we get a figure of 20 million dead, which is almost certainly too low and might require an increase of 50 percent or so, as the debit balance of the Stalin regime for twenty-three years.

Therefore, in the face of a growing menace, some fight, which is excellent, but all must prepare spiritually. This means becoming holy. Really holy.

To be continued....

Third Post on Theology of the Body

I knew a woman who was married to one of the most wonderful men ever. We all loved him. He was kind, gentle, self-less, a great husband and a great dad.

This woman, and I shall call her Susan, and her husband, and I shall call him Martin, had three beautiful, well-disciplined and loved children. They were about 12, 9, and 6. Then, Susan got cancer. She deteriorated quickly from a rare cancer which caused her to lose the use of her legs. She was confined to a wheel-chair at thirty-five or so. Martin took care of her. He got the best home care. He loved her. He brought her to Mass and prayer meetings. He brought her to her treatments and to healing Masses. He was devoted. He then took time off work and helped with everything, including helping with the children.

But Susan was not happy. She had expectations for her marriage and her relationship with Martin. She became angry and bitter. She could not come to terms with her suffering.

Martin did. For better, for worse, in sickness and in health....

For the last two or so years of her life, Susan was daily unhappy, angry, bitter, sad.

Marriage was a disaster for her. Life was only a trial. She hated everything. She hated Martin's love.

It was clear that her idea of the sacrament of marriage had been based on pleasure and personal enrichment. The idea that the sacrament of marriage would lead from eros to agape to caritas was an ideal she could not accept.

She never got past eros. She died very unhappy, making life very hard for those around her.

Martin understood agape and caritas. He never complained.

Several years after the death of Susan, Martin met Delia. They got married and were very happy.

The only reason I knew Martin had suffered in his first marriage was one comment-"It was hard sometimes." But, we all saw her bitterness.

Martin suffered for his wife Susan's inability to be married, to be grateful for a loving husband who cared for her. She could not accept suffering as part of the relationship. She resented his love.

I hope she found peace. I do not know.

But, if marriage is not taught as a sacrificial act of self-denial, expectations grow larger than life.

None of us know how a marriage will evolve. Physicality is simply not enough. It is not "everything". We are our bodies but so much more.

We are to be like Martin, living saints, putting the other first in all things. Knowing our strengths and weaknesses so that we can cope honestly and courageously is part of maturity, part of love.

Susan did not accept agape. She did not accept caritas. She could have been peaceful at death, instead of bitter. She could have grown to love Martin and to love her own life, as God had chosen it for her.

Marriage is a mystery. ToB destroys the understanding that love is a mystery.

ToB takes away the mystery of our physicality. It destroys intimacy.

We need to be taught intimacy. Susan did not know how to be intimate without sex. She could not love without her body. She was trapped in her own limitations, not seeing how she could transcend those.

Marriage helps us transcend our limitations. Love transcends sex and can flourish without sex.

Love is more sublime than sex.

To be continued....

Valentine's Day Contest Begins Today


Get ready

I am having a reader/commentator contest which will end up on Valentine's Day. You have until 12:00 GMT Valentine's Day to submit.

Here are the rules.

1) You must write about love, but you must be referring to real love, not romance. You may be married or single.

2) You must write about God's love in your life. You may write about the Trinity, or the Father, or Jesus or the Holy Spirit. I want a Christian and preferably, a Catholic perspective on love.

3) You may write about the Blessed Virgin Mary.

4) You may NOT write about ToB.

5) You may write from personal experience or with references, or both.

Comment on this post and I shall choose the best one for a blog posting and maybe ask you to write more on the subject.

Sorry, no movie tickets or champaign for prizes.

Have fun, but be real.

Cave Dwellings and Hobbit Holes

I discovered this place on line years ago when I was looking for property in Arkansas. It was for sale at the time for the price one pays for a country house in Surrey, a small one, about 4.5 million dollars.

There is more history to this than on the website. I know it. I wonder if any of my readers do?

Just for the record, I always wanted to live off-grid. In the Midwest, one can find cave houses and off-grids....just a thought for you all to ponder.

This post above is dated, but gives you an idea of more cave houses. Here is a photo of one from a site from Greece. And here is another site in St. Louis, with links to more...

In addition for the heck of it are underground sod houses built with some of the same age-old principles as sod prairie houses, but with a difference. I love this one below.

And, in case one wants to live like a hobbit..yes, there are hobbit holes. This one, pictured above and below, is in Wales and the website is fantastic in telling one how to build such a place.

Perhaps...on losing friendship

Perhaps, it is because I am an INTJ and we do not make lots of friends, but few and good ones, but when I lose a friend, I feel it for a long time. I let go, but I never stop loving an old friend, or a new one.

Now, by losing a friend, I do not mean in death, but in circumstances. There can be many reasons why friends are lost.

Distance, illness, changes in family status, poverty, or the worst, a change of lifestyle or philosophy of life. Perhaps the friend just does not want to be friends any more for some unknown reason.

Losing a friend because he or she has gone out of one's circle is a hard phenomenon with which to come to terms. Sometimes the reasons are painfully obvious.

A good Catholic decides to move in with his partner and cuts off old friends for new ones.

A person has a husband or wife who dislikes you, the old friend from the past.

A Christian can no longer pretend that his or her anti-Catholicism is not real and deep.

A friend becomes hyper-critical as you are not following his or her plan for your life. They had an agenda.

Perhaps the person cannot be a friend for a long time, but is merely a fair-weather friend.

Whatever the reason, losing friends is most painful when it involves a Catholic leaving the Church and ditching his or her Catholic contacts.

For me, this is so hard. If only that person would talk to me, or want to understand his or her own reticence.

If only that person would reach out of his or her small world into mine or let me enter into his or her world of Faith.

Or lack of Faith....

But, friendship must be free, totally free, and therefore, when the friend leaves and distances his or her self from the group or sphere in which I live, I let go. Sadly, for love of friends is a rare and special gift.

I never stop loving old friends, even though I may never see them again. I love people I have not seen for a year, or five years, or ten years. No matter. Friendship has no boundaries of time or place, if it is real.

And for me, on my part, friendship is always authentic. The friend for a while influenced me and I influenced her or him for the better. For a while, we grew together, yet with great respect and boundaries. We shared parts of our lives. We shared God in our lives.

Love is nothing if not free. Freely given and freely taken, and sometimes, freely withheld. So be it.

Passive Revolution and the "ordinovisti" in Washington.

I am wondering how long it will take to destroy a republic?

Here is Gramsci from The Modern Prince:

...“man can affect his own development and that of his surroundings only so far as he has a clear view of what the possibilities of action open to him are. To do this he has to understand the historical situation in which he finds himself: and once he does this, then he can play an active part in modifying that situation. The man of action is the true philosopher: and the philosopher must of necessity be a man of action.”

His followers were called "ordinovisti"--those who believe in the New Order.

The Pope? How many divisions has he got? 
Joseph Stalin 

I have been wondering how many years it will take to turn America into the Stalinesque Soviet Unions. Five, ten, fifteen years?

Someone asked me how long I thought all this collapse of democracy would take. First, the complete rout of religious freedoms, then, almost contemporary, the taking away of guns, then the undermining of states rights, and the continued controlling of movements of people.

Five years? I give it all four years-before the next election.

By 2016, our nation will no longer be a republic. We may have civil war.

We shall not have religious freedom nor freedom of conscience without fines, and even imprisonment.

Four years until the complete demise of the Republic.

If you are silent, you are part of the problem.

If there is a financial or military crisis, less than five years..........

L'Ordine Nuovo,  "The New Order", was Gramsci's far left communist newspaper started in 1919. Ideas....more powerful that guns.

Ideas are more powerful than guns. We would not let our enemies have guns, why should we let them have ideas. 
Joseph Stalin 

So, infiltrate the Church with communist, Marxist priests and bishops so that what is said is believed by the the Church is the one enemy of Marxism, the Church must be undermined.

Does this sound familiar? Four years....