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Sunday 3 March 2013

Goodbye to Kent

I have left Kent where I was staying with a good friend. Some of my friends in that area are in the Ordinariate. God bless them. Sadly, the weather was terrible and I have been suffering from a horrible cold and other things, so I did not get to walk on the cliffs.

So, a belated goodbye.

I highly suggest Kent in the summer and not in the winter...

To my Catholic media friends and colleagues...

Many scandals have caused those in the Church to react in various manners.

We have a right to know who is not suitable to carry on an office in the Church, as pastors to people entrusted to them.

We do not have a right to prurient knowledge or judgement as to the state of a person's soul.

We cannot treat high or low Churchmen, that is, the clergy, like politicians.

Politicians run for office and bear the scrutiny of sin and corruption. Rightly so do journalists have the duty to expose such criminal activity.

Not all sin is criminal activity.

Not all sin becomes a habit of sin.

People repent and change and hopefully do not dwell on their past sins.

If a person has been a public sinner and is appointed to a high office in the Church, such as a bishop or cardinal, perhaps the humble and honest thing to do would be not to accept that position.

However, sinners can vote for the new pope. Sinners do vote for the new pope.

Sinners preach to us every Sunday. The question is whether the sins are serious enough to demand removal. Obviously, sin which is child abuse is so egregious that the clergy involved must be removed and are so, now that the Church has faced the problem and hopefully is dealing with it.

A priest who is a habitual fornicator or adulterer or stealing money from the Church must step down .

However, those who have repented of sin are the same as any of us.

We sin and go to Confession. Priests go to Confession.

God calls His clergy to a higher standard of purity of heart, mind, and soul.

This teaching needs to be reinforced in the seminaries of the world.

But, our clergyman are not politicians  They do not run for office. They do not put themselves forward in the public sphere. The cleric is called by God in a vocation which demands great holiness.

As laity, we should pray for holy, perfect priests. And, most importantly, we need to pursue perfection as laity ourselves.

We get the leaders we deserve and we create ourselves by cooperating with the culture of evil.

Enough already on reviewing the sins of others.

Be wise enough to realize that behind many of the allegations and even true episodes of sin is satan who hates the Church and wants to destroy this work of God.

Lest anyone think I am too objective, I have shared before that four people in my family were abused as children for years by a priest. He is long dead.

This should never happen again. But, this is not the same thing as bad behaviour with adults. There are four sins which cry out to Heaven and God is listening. The seminaries must stop accepting men with SSA.

Does the Church need reform and purification? Yes. Start with yourself.

And, timing for the release of information must be seen for what it is-something done at a particular time to do the most harm to the Church.

Pray for a holy clergy

Rather than anger and self-righteousness, we should be in sorrow. We should be in pain for the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church. The Bride of Christ has been soiled. But, Christ has redeemed Her and us.

Unless we begin to see that the standard of perfection is not too high, and necessary, we shall continue to get mediocre leaders.

Be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect is not a request, but a demand.

Mourn, pray, fast. Reflect. Honour the good and help the weak.

Doctors of the Church series resumes tomorrow

Apologies, I have an eye infection and being on the computer is difficult. Pray for me and I shall do more writing tomorrow. Thank you.

From Fr.Z, Arinze on Mortal Sin

"Judas on only betrayed Christ once."

And was condemned.

Prayers, please

For a special intention.....and for
all seminarians.....

A gift to a young woman and to us-the love of God

On discernment and prudential judgement

Some terms need to be defined. I have written about infallibility, which is confusing people. What is missing from most conversations on infallibility is our own, adult understanding of the Faith.

Let me start with prudential judgement.

The CCC states this about prudence:

1806 Prudence is the virtue that disposes practical reason to discern our true good in every circumstance and to choose the right means of achieving it; “the prudent man looks where he is going.” “Keep sane and sober for your prayers.” Prudence is “right reason in action,” writes St. Thomas Aquinas, following Aristotle. It is not to be confused with timidity or fear, nor with duplicity or dissimulation. It is called auriga virtutum (the charioteer of the virtues); it guides the other virtues by setting rule and measure. It is prudence that immediately guides the judgment of conscience. The prudent man determines and directs his conduct in accordance with this judgment. With the help of this virtue we apply moral principles to particular cases without error and overcome doubts about the good to achieve and the evil to avoid.

When we need to apply reason which is right, that is formed by a Catholic conscience and steeped in Catholic teaching, to a certain situation, that is when we use prudential judgement.

One cannot merely decide on any moral issue with feelings or fear, but only with clear reason based on the virtue of prudence.

Most issues, except doctrines, dogmas and sins which are intrinsically evil, allow for some prudential judgement.

I can decide yes or no to go to a restaurant on Sunday with my TLM friends after Mass. I cannot use prudential judgement regarding having or helping an abortion.

I can use prudential judgement as to believing in some private revelations of the saints, but not in believing in the Immaculate Conception, which is a teaching of the Church-a dogma.

Discernment is another gift given to us by the Holy Ghost and is connected to prudence and part of the gift of wisdom.

Discernment helps us understand right from wrong and flows from a well-formed conscience.

I think that discernment comes from self-knowledge.

If one is humble and acknowledges sin in one's self, discernment grows, becomes more keen.

Habitual sinners of serious sin lose discernment.

They lose the ability to judge wisely.

They lost the ability to sense and see right from wrong.

The closer one gets to God, the more clear one sees spiritual realities, like sin, virtue, one's vocation in life.

One must become objective. One cannot be a saint without objectivity. I must be able to look in the mirror and see what is real and true.

A saint must be rational. A saint must be peaceful and reflective.

Discernment helps bring about clarity and clarity creates more discernment.

Discernment includes discerment of spirits and one of the simplest summaries is found in the Catholic Encyclopedia on line.

An excellent lesson is that given by St. Ignatius Loyola in his "Spiritual Exercises". Here we find rules for the discernment of spirits and, being clearly and briefly formulated, these rules indicate a secure course, containing in embryo all that is included in the more extensive treatises of later date. For a complete explanation of them the best commentaries on the "Exercises" of St. Ignatius may be consulted. Of the rules transmitted to us by a saint inspired by Divine light and a learned psychologist taught by personal experience, it will suffice to recall the principal ones. Ignatius gives two kinds and we must call attention to the fact that in the second category, according to some opinions, he sometimes considers a more delicate discernment of spirits adapted to the extraordinary course of mysticism. Be that as it may, he begins by enunciating this clear principle, that both the good and the evil spirit act upon a soul according to the attitude it assumes toward them. If it pose as their friend, they flatter it; if to resist them, they torment it. But the evil spirit speaks only to the imagination and the senses, whereas the good spirit acts upon reason and conscience. The evil labours to excite concupiscence, the good to intensify love for God. Of course it may happen that a perfectly well-disposed soul suffers from the attacks of the devil deprived of the sustaining consolations of the good angel; but this is only a temporary trial the passing of which must be awaited in patience and humility. St. Ignatius also teaches us to distinguish the spirits by their mode of action and by the end they seek. Without any preceding cause, that is to say, suddenly, without previous knowledge or sentiment, God alone, by virtue of His sovereign dominion, can flood the soul with light and joy. But if there has been a preceding cause, either the good or the bad angel may be the author of the consolation; this remains to be judged from the consequences. As the good angel's object is the welfare of the soul and the bad angel's its defects or unhappiness, if, in the progress of our thoughts all is well and tends to good there is no occasion for uneasiness; on the contrary, if we perceive any deviation whatsoever towards evil or even a slight unpleasant agitation, there is reason to fear. Such, then, is the substance of these brief rules which are nevertheless so greatly admired by the masters of the spiritual life. Although requiring an authorized explanation, when well understood, they act as a preservative against many illusions.

To be continued...