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Tuesday 19 February 2013

From Afternoon Prayer Today

Armed with the justice which is the power of God, let us prove ourselves with great patience.

Doctors of the Church Series

This series on perfection and the Doctors of the Church will continue on Wednesday. There is so much on the blog in this series, I think you can relish what is there before I go on.

God bless. Here is how I feel today....

Schism coming? It is already the hearts of many

You must read these three sites.

But, there is already a silent schism and I see and hear it daily.

Those disobedient Catholics who practice birth control have removed themselves from the Church.

Those disobedient bishops who hate the TLM and suppress it have separated themselves from the Church.

Those priests, nuns, sisters and laity who support same-sex marriage have left the Church by their disobedience.

And, there is more...modernism has seeped into their hearts and replaced love.

Pray, fast, learn, reflect....

Learn to live in the desert

On Sunday, we saw Christ in the desert facing temptations. He is God and Man and the temptations were real. But, this was not the first time God was in the desert.
We remember the Hebrews, God's Chosen People being freed from Egypt by God's Mighty Hand and then rebelling over and over again in the desert. Their punishment was 40 years. But, God was with them.
For God had a right to purify His Own; and one of the biggest sins was complaining.
The person or person's with a complaining heart lacks several virtues, and is ignoring a truism
God deserves praise daily. Pride causes complaining. The moaner wants to be a god, to play god.
The moaning one lacks humility and wants to be in control.
Only God is in control and He is in control.
Why did the entire generation of Jews have to die out in the desert for their sins of rebellion?

Why did they not get to see the promised land? Even Moses was punished for striking the rock three times instead of obeying God and striking it once. No big deal, one might think. Why such a harsh punishment? Was it merely that Moses was impatient, or angry? Was it that he was not trusting in God to make water flow in the desert with just one small gesture?

Moses forgot who he was. As a great friend of God, one who walked with God and heard His Voice daily, Moses forgot one small truth. Obedience in the smallest thing which God asks is real Love. Moses died on Mt. Nebo within sight of the Holy Land, God's home for him. This was a terrible punishment for Moses. He was purified in this suffering, as we know that he, Moses, was seen in the Transfiguration with Christ and Elijah
The obedience of the heart is learned in silence. In the desert, there is much silence. In silence, we learn to listen and hear God.
Even Moses had to be punished for not listening. And, yet, we have more than what Moses had. We have Christ in the Eucharist, we have the Church and the sacraments to help us.St Paul writes, "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth" Rom. 10: 4
Doing things out of Love is what Paul means. We act out of love and not fear. We act out of love and not merely obedience without love. Moses forgot to act out of love.
Obedience is Love. If one is not obedient in the smallest thing, one is lacking in love.

The desert carves out our hearts so that we have room to love God.
The desert is hard. It is very hot in the day and very cold at night. Sand gets into one's skin, eyes, hair. It is full of dangerous animals. Water is scarce. One has to rely on God totally in the desert. He is our Guide, as we cannot get out of the desert without Him. He is our sustenance, as we are not fed in the desert, without Him.

The world is fast turning into the desert. There will soon be no Catholic nations to go to in order to avoid evils such as abortion, contraception, euthanasia, same-sex marriage. There will be no place to hide.
Among rocks and sand, there are few places to hide. We must create that place in our souls or we shall die.
Learn to live in the desert. 
from today's Morning Psalm, 94
If only, today, you would listen to his voice:
  “Do not harden your hearts
  as you did at Meribah,
on the day of Massah in the desert,
  when your fathers tested me –
they put me to the test,
  although they had seen my works.”
“For forty years they wearied me,
  that generation.
I said: their hearts are wandering,
  they do not know my paths.
I swore in my anger:
 they will never enter my place of rest.” But God is merciful and He sent His Only Son to help us while we are in the desert.

Dear Lord, help us to learn to live in the desert. Help us now to be so full of love for you, that being in the desert is merely one more way to find You and love you.

To be continued..............

On Compromising, Two

"If you could just see facts flat on, without that horrible moral squint…" 

Cardinal Wolsey to Sir Thomas More, 

A Man for All Seasons, 1966

But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil. Matthew 5:37 DR

Some people can compromise and some cannot.       Why? 

On Compromising

It is interesting to me that some people live by principles and some do not. Some people can adapt to any or most situations because there are few things which they would never give up.

For some of us, there are many things we would never give up. For Catholics, the list is long.

Like going to Church on Sunday. I know a Catholic person who willingly and, indeed, sought out a job for better pay in a country which has no Catholic Masses legally. He cannot go to Mass except rarely.

I could never do that for a higher salary or for any salary. I would be putting money before a commandment.

Another person I know does not mind passing out abortifacients as a pharmacist. I could never do that. 
I would be helping to kill babies.

Yet, someone else I know teaches a government curriculum in a school where she has to show Margaret Sanger as a great heroine in the history of women's rights. I could not do that. For me, that would not only be lying, but setting aside discernment, a gift of the Holy Spirit given to all of us.

Another person I know left a college as a whistle blower because the owner was acting in deceit with the staff and teachers ad lying to the press. She was brave and had many friends support her decision. I have lost track of her, but I admire her for her honesty and bravery.

Why is it that some people can compromise and some cannot? Why is it that Thomas More could not take the Oath and his daughter could? Margaret Roper was the person closest to her father. She died at 39 and is not a canonized saint. And, yet, her father is. What is the difference is such people?

Here is the act and the oath:



....And at the day of the last prorogation of this present Parliament, as well the nobles spiritual and temporal as other the Commons of this present Parliament, most lovingly accepted and took such oath as then was devised in writing for maintenance and defence of the said Act, and meant and intended at that time that every other the king's subjects should be bound to accept and take the same, upon the pains contained in the said Act, the tenor of which oath hereafter ensueth:

Ye shall swear to bear faith, truth, and obedience alonely to the king's majesty, 
and to his heirs of his body of his most dear and entirely beloved lawful wife 
Queen Anne, begotten and to be begotten, and further to the heirs of our said 
sovereign lord according to the limitation in the statute made for surety of his 
succession in the crown of this realm, mentioned and contained, and not to any 
other within this realm, for foreign authority or potentate: and in case any oath be 
made, or has been made, by you, to any person or persons, that then ye [are] 
to repute the same as vain and annihilate; and that, to your cunning, wit,
 and uttermost of your power, without guile, fraud, or other undue means, 
you shall observe, keep, maintain, and defend the said Act of Accession, 
and all the whole effects and contents thereof, and all other Acts and statutes 
made in confirmation, or for the execution of the same, or of anything therein contained; 
and this ye shall do against all manner of persons, of what estate, dignity, degree, 
or condition soever they be, and in no wise do or attempt, nor to your power 
suffer to be done or attempted, directly or indirectly, any thing or things privily 
or apartly to the let, hindrance, damage, or derogation thereof, or of any part 
of the same, by any manner of means, or for any manner of pretence; 
so help you God, all saints, and the holy Evangelists.'

And forasmuch as it is convenient for the sure maintenance and defence of the same Act that the said oath should not only be authorized by authority of Parliament, but also be interpreted and expounded by the whole assent of this present Parliament, that is was meant and intended by the king's majesty, the Lords and Commons of the Parliament, at the said day of the said last prorogation, that every subject should be bounden to take the same oath, according to the tenor and effect thereof, upon the pains and penalties contained in the said Act....


Be it therefore enacted by the assent and consent of our sovereign lord the king, and the Lords spiritual and temporal, and Commons in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, that if any person or persons, after the first day of February next coming, do maliciously wish, will or desire, by words or writing, or by craft imagine, invent, practise, or attempt any bodily harm to be done or committed to the king's most royal person, the queen's, or their heirs apparent, or to deprive them or any of them of their dignity, title, or name of their royal estates, or slanderously and maliciously publish and pronounce, by express writing or words, that the king our sovereign lord should be heretic, schismatic, tyrant, infidel or usurper of the crown, or rebelliously do detain, keep, or withhold from our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, any of his or their castles, fortresses, fortalices, or holds within this realm, or in any other the king's dominions or marches, or rebelliously detain, keep, or withhold from the king's said highness, his heirs or successors, any of his or their ships, ordnances, artillery, or other munitions or fortifications of war, and do not humbly render and give up to our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, or to such persons as shall be deputed by them, such castles, fortresses, fortalices, holds, ships, ordnances, artillery, and other munitions and fortifications of war, rebelliously kept or detained, within six days next after they shall be commanded by our said sovereign lord, his heirs or successors, by open proclamation under the great seal:

That then every such person and persons so offending in any the premises, after the said first day of February, their aiders, counsellors, consenters, and abettors, being thereof lawfully convicted according to the laws and customs of this realm, shall be adjudged traitors, and that every such offence in any the premises, that shall be committed or done after the said first day of February, shall be reputed, accepted, and adjudged high treason, and the offenders therein and their aiders, consenters, counsellors, and abettors, being lawfully convicted of any such offence as is aforesaid, shall have and suffer such pains of death and other penalties, as is limited and accustomed in cases of high treason.

Many people were in the concentration camp with St. Maximilian Kolbe and yet, he was the one who gave his life for another man. Why?
thanks to wiki for the armorial  bearings of  John Fisher

Why is it that St. John Fisher was the ONLY bishop not to compromise his faith under Henry VIII?

One out of how many bishops was this saintly man?

Why can some compromise and some cannot?

What are you willing to give up for money, power or status?

The question is fascinating...

I watched the Parliament questioning Archbishop Peter Smith. He did not compromise. He was clear in his answers concerning the Faith and moral teachings of the Church. He was laughed at more than one by some members of the hearing. 

History is repeating itself and some Catholics just do not see what is happening.

Be ready not to compromise. 

A review of the marriage debate from February 12th on BBC Parliament

I was watching Archbishop Peter Smith speaking to the Parliament Committee on the Same Sex Couples Bill,  dated February 12th, 2013. Several members of the committee were rude to the Archbishop. Some laughed at him. I was thinking the entire time of the Parliament of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I.

On member from Bristol asked about teachers in school and what would be the effect on the schools be on teachers.

Clause Eleven of the bill changes the nature of the guidance with regard to teaching homosexual marriage. 

Christopher McCrudden, legal advisor for the Catholic Church said that the the law changes the definition of marriage and therefore the teachers are in danger of prosecution.

The Roman Catholic Church was being attacked by Ben Bradshaw and Archbishop brought him back to the question and said that the issue is the marriage issue.

The church 's teaching is clear, noted the Archbishop, that they must be respected and that sexual relationships outside marriage of any kind is against what Christ taught. The Archbishop was clear on this matter.

"It is not for us as bishops to change the teaching of Christ."

"I do not accept that we can change someone's gender."

Peter Smith referred to the problems in Canada of freedom of speech being ignored because of this issue.

The common issue is that all those countries have tried to respect the different traditions of the churches, said McCrudden.

He doubted that the protection of those religions which do not want to admit 

Jim Shannon gave a nice respectful introduction to thoughtful question. He is a Protestant against the bill.

The vast majority of Catholics accept this teaching, that marriage is only between a man and a woman, said Peter Smith.

Jim Shannon brought up the problem of sexual education in the schools-Christopher McCrudden stated that the Secretary of State had a duty to give guidance to ALL schools. on marriage according to the new law.

Section 403 and the redefintion of marriage follows  that section, amending it to clause 1102, which means that the if the guidance simply said if the schools merely have to say  this legistlation exists.

However, if the importance of marriage and the morality of marriage are not clear, then the Catholic Church asks for amendment that the teaching respects the ethos of those schools and also that the Secretary of State would not be able to force schools to teach same sex marriage.

McCrudden said with regard to marriages happening in the Catholic churches, clause 2001, states there is no opt-out or refrain from taking an opt-out activity. This is key. 

The question is whether the Catholic Church can or cannot opt in.  He asked for protection from the threat of litigation. This protection is not clear.

Stephen Doughty said the bill is not mandatory. He stressed that, but he is also gay and wants this issue to go through without the protection of the Church being put into place. He became rude, by the way.

 "The way the bill is worded it is open to legal challenge," stated McCrudden.

Domestic courts were brought up by McCrudden as a real concern for the Church. 

European courts are separate questions, he noted.

Under the Human Rights Act article 14, 12, and 8 which protect the Catholic church from discrimination on sexual orientation are in contradiction with the new law. 

Clause 21, and article 22, were referred to as whether the church not opting in is protected and the answer is no.
The idea of the Catholic team is that the Government has decided that the assumptions are not clear. Therefore, the position of teachers and clergy is not clear.

Siobhain McDonagh said she was a practicing Catholic  she did not agree with Peter Smith's idea that there was a problem. She was stating that Catholics who go to Mass disagree with the Archbishop.

McCrudden kept going back to real bill on the guidance on marriage. 

Jane Ellison, a Conservative, asked whether Catholic should and could accept the new norms--section 149 of the equality act notwithstanding,  and the problem is that there could be penalties for the church and public authorities regarding contracts and grants.

Also the church wants protection against hatred stated McCrudden.

Peter Smith said the church was concerned about freedom of expression.

The idea of a Catholic public registrar refusing a same sex marriage was brought up and existing registrars now should be exempted.

However, new registrars coming in  the Church wants amendments to be introduced on this question.

There are anomalies in the bill. 

The Church believes that one cannot change gender. From the churches point of view we would say that a gender changed person cannot get married. The Archbishop had to repeat this at least twice.

Peter Smith said patiently that the traditional home with a husband and wife, and mother and father is the best environment for the bringing up children. 

The Church needs to get ready for persecution.

This parliament acts and thinks like the Reformation Parliament

Thanks to wiki