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Sunday 10 March 2013

The New Gnostics

Moragan la Fey by Anthony Sandys

 Inmates Demand Wiccan Chaplain; from Newsmax (Modern Gnosticism-STM)

Two female inmates in California have filed a lawsuit against the state, claiming the lack of a full-time Wiccan chaplain results in “infringements, violations, and burdens.”
The suit was filed by Caren Hill, an inmate at the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, and another convict who has been released since the suit was filed. They assert that the prison pays full-time and part-time chaplains for Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, and Protestant inmates, but not Wiccans, who practice modern pagan witchcraft.
They contend that there are more Wiccan inmates at the prison than Jewish or Muslim inmates.
The lack of a Wiccan chaplain deprives the Wiccans, the suit claims, of “access to clergy, religious services, religious rights, chapel, communal activities with other Wiccans, religious literature and artifacts, available funds for religious activities, time off work for religious holidays and services, and counseling in times of personal crisis.”
The suit was dismissed in 2011 by a district court. But now the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has remanded the decision, forcing the lower court to re-examine the case.
The appeals court ruled that the “prison administration failed to employ any neutral criteria in evaluating whether a growing membership in minority religions warranted a reallocation of resources used in accommodating inmates’ religious exercise needs.”
Patrick McCallum, a Wiccan practitioner, said he feels the prison system does not want to hire Wiccan chaplains because of its perception of the religion, Christian News Network reported.
“People have a lot of misconception about Wiccans,” he stated. “It has nothing to do with Satan.” (Umm, someone is going to be surprised.)
California Deputy Attorney General Kenneth Roost argued on behalf of the prison system that the “Constitution permits prisons to employ chaplains to accommodate inmates’ religions needs, and does not require prisons to hire chaplains representative of all inmates’ religions.”
The Ninth Circuit has the highest percentage of sitting judges appointed by Democratic presidents. Of the 28 sitting judges currently on the court, 19 were appointed by Presidents Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama.

On Tuesday from La Stampa Tweet

Smoke signals 10.30-11am. If white. Or 12 noon. Approx. 5.30 pm if white or 7pm

OK--repeat of two out three of the most adorable cats in the world...

Happy Mother's Day, Two

Evangelizing the Baptized: Six--the Holiness of the Church

This is the hard part for Protestants. They think that they grow in holiness through obedience to the Commandments and works. They do not teach, for the most part, the growth of personal holiness. And, the place to work out this holiness is the Catholic Church.

One must be orthodox to even begin the road to holiness. This has been repeated in many of the saints in the perfection series.

How we judge holiness? Through the fruits of the Spirit and good works is holiness seen.

If someone is contracepting, they are not yet on the road to holiness. If someone is committing fornication, they are not on the road to holiness. If someone is in an irregular marriage, one is not on the road of holiness. One is stuck in suffering, waiting and relying on the mercy of God. But, we all do this to some extent. If someone is greedy, purification is necessary. Hence, the idea of purgatory, which underscores the point that only the perfect see God. We must all be sanctified, not merely justified.

Only the Church can sanctify through the sacraments. Can and does God give graces to individuals? Of course, but they cannot be perfect without the Church.

If a Protestant is honest with one's self, that person will see areas in one's life not in keeping with the Scriptures.

Do people make money in cash and not report it as taxes? Do people gossip? Does someone not tithe? Does someone not attend Sunday services? The same examination of conscience which applied to Catholics applies to all Christians.

I know that God gives graces where He will, but to merit heaven, a Protestant is reliant on the merits of the Catholic Church and not his own merits. He cannot merit anything being in heresy.

This is what is meant by the phrase that all men and woman are saved through the merits of the Catholic Church, if they are baptized Christians.

This is the mercy of God, but it is very hard, or it must be, for a Protestant to remain outside of mortal sin without the grace. of the sacraments. Also, one of the main points, is that the CCC reminds all of us that our duty is to have a personal relationship with Christ, which is absolutely necessary for all Christians-the adult appropriation of our baptismal faith.

2558 "Great is the mystery of the faith!" The Church professes this mystery in the Apostles' Creed (Part One) and celebrates it in the sacramental liturgy (Part Two), so that the life of the faithful may be conformed to Christ in the Holy Spirit to the glory of God the Father (Part Three). This mystery, then, requires that the faithful believe in it, that they celebrate it, and that they live from it in a vital and personal relationship with the living and true God. This relationship is prayer.

One of the saddest parts of some Protestant denominations is the belief that the Church is the anti-Christ; that it is evil. Here is the CCC on the nature of the Church as holy.


823 "The Church . . . is held, as a matter of faith, to be unfailingly holy. This is because Christ, the Son of God, who with the Father and the Spirit is hailed as 'alone holy,' loved the Church as his Bride, giving himself up for her so as to sanctify her; he joined her to himself as his body and endowed her with the gift of the Holy Spirit for the glory of God."289 The Church, then, is "the holy People of God,"290 and her members are called "saints."291

824 United with Christ, the Church is sanctified by him; through him and with him she becomes sanctifying. "All the activities of the Church are directed, as toward their end, to the sanctification of men in Christ and the glorification of God."292 It is in the Church that "the fullness of the means of salvation"293 has been deposited. It is in her that "by the grace of God we acquire holiness."294
825 "The Church on earth is endowed already with a sanctity that is real though imperfect."295 In her members perfect holiness is something yet to be acquired: "Strengthened by so many and such great means of salvation, all the faithful, whatever their condition or state - though each in his own way - are called by the Lord to that perfection of sanctity by which the Father himself is perfect."296

826 Charity is the soul of the holiness to which all are called: it "governs, shapes, and perfects all the means of sanctification."297
If the Church was a body composed of different members, it couldn't lack the noblest of all; it must have a Heart, and a Heart BURNING WITH LOVE. And I realized that this love alone was the true motive force which enabled the other members of the Church to act; if it ceased to function, the Apostles would forget to preach the gospel, the Martyrs would refuse to shed their blood. LOVE, IN FACT, IS THE VOCATION WHICH INCLUDES ALL OTHERS; IT'S A UNIVERSE OF ITS OWN, COMPRISING ALL TIME AND SPACE - IT'S ETERNAL! 298
827 "Christ, 'holy, innocent, and undefiled,' knew nothing of sin, but came only to expiate the sins of the people. The Church, however, clasping sinners to her bosom, at once holy and always in need of purification, follows constantly the path of penance and renewal."299 All members of the Church, including her ministers, must acknowledge that they are sinners.300 In everyone, the weeds of sin will still be mixed with the good wheat of the Gospel until the end of time.301 Hence the Church gathers sinners already caught up in Christ's salvation but still on the way to holiness:
The Church is therefore holy, though having sinners in her midst, because she herself has no other life but the life of grace. If they live her life, her members are sanctified; if they move away from her life, they fall into sins and disorders that prevent the radiation of her sanctity. This is why she suffers and does penance for those offenses, of which she has the power to free her children through the blood of Christ and the gift of the Holy Spirit.30


"Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'"321

838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

DoC held off until Monday--but then!

Thanks to Wiki
I shall begin Gregory the Great and perfection on Monday. Catholic Encyclopedia on line has a great biography of him here. After him, I shall examine perfection from Leo I, the Great. These two men will lead us into the others of the early period.

I shall look at Basil, Peter Chrysologus, Gregory Nazianzus, Hilary of Poitiers  Athanasius, the two Cyrils,  and John Damascene, John Chrysostom, and Isidore of Seville before moving on to others closer to our own time. I have written about John of the Cross before, but I shall look at him again in the context of this series.

As a summary, these are the Doctors highlighted to date: the Dominicans, Franciscans, Benedictines, Women, and the beginning of the Latin or Classical Doctors, and one Eastern. The earliest are sometimes divided into Western and Eastern Doctors. The first eleven out of seventy-seven posts on the Doctors so far are found linked here.

Out of the seventy-seven posts to date, these are the Doctors examined with regard to perfection.

Thanks to Wiki

Catherine of Siena
Therese of Lisieux
Teresa of Avila
Hildegard of Bingen
Augustine of Hippo
Albert the Great
Bede the Venerable
Ephraim the Syrian
Bernard of Clairvaux
Peter Damian
Anselm of Canterbury
Anthony of Padua
John of Avila
Lawrence of Brindisi
Thomas Aquinas
Francis de Sales

Thanks to Wiki

To be continued...I am over half way finished with this series on the Doctors of the Church! I shall also return to Garrigou-Lagrange at the end, to continue his examination of perfection, which began this series. Make sure you take time to look at the posts on Jerome. His writings are so pertinent for today.

Happy Mother's Day to All British Mothers

Alma Redemptoris Mater, quae pervia caeli
Porta manes, et stella maris, succurre cadenti,
Surgere qui curat, populo: tu quae genuisti,
Natura mirante, tuum sanctum Genitorem
Virgo prius ac posterius, Gabrielis ab ore
Sumens illud Ave, peccatorum miserere.

Loving Mother of the Redeemer,
gate of heaven, star of the sea,
assist your people who have fallen yet strive to rise again.
To the wonderment of nature you bore your Creator,
yet remained a virgin after as before.
You who received Gabriel's joyful greeting,
have pity on us poor sinners.

Evangelizing the Baptized. Five

From the CCC:
1227 According to the Apostle Paul, the believer enters through Baptism into communion with Christ's death, is buried with him, and rises with him:

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.29
The baptized have "put on Christ."30 Through the Holy Spirit, Baptism is a bath that purifies, justifies, and sanctifies.31

As to the necessity for growing in grace, that is, sanctifying grace, the sacrament of Baptism opens the door to such a journey. 

Christian Initiation
1229 From the time of the apostles, becoming a Christian has been accomplished by a journey and initiation in several stages. This journey can be covered rapidly or slowly, but certain essential elements will always have to be present: proclamation of the Word, acceptance of the Gospel entailing conversion, profession of faith, Baptism itself, the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and admission to Eucharistic communion.

And, I skip to here...

The Baptism of infants
1250 Born with a fallen human nature and tainted by original sin, children also have need of the new birth in Baptism to be freed from the power of darkness and brought into the realm of the freedom of the children of God, to which all men are called.50 The sheer gratuitousness of the grace of salvation is particularly manifest in infant Baptism. The Church and the parents would deny a child the priceless grace of becoming a child of God were they not to confer Baptism shortly after birth.51
1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.52
1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.53

1251 Christian parents will recognize that this practice also accords with their role as nurturers of the life that God has entrusted to them.52
1252 The practice of infant Baptism is an immemorial tradition of the Church. There is explicit testimony to this practice from the second century on, and it is quite possible that, from the beginning of the apostolic preaching, when whole "households" received baptism, infants may also have been baptized.53
Faith and Baptism
1253 Baptism is the sacrament of faith.54 But faith needs the community of believers. It is only within the faith of the Church that each of the faithful can believe. The faith required for Baptism is not a perfect and mature faith, but a beginning that is called to develop. The catechumen or the godparent is asked: "What do you ask of God's Church?" The response is: "Faith!"
1254 For all the baptized, children or adults, faith must grow after Baptism. For this reason the Church celebrates each year at the Easter Vigil the renewal of baptismal promises. Preparation for Baptism leads only to the threshold of new life. Baptism is the source of that new life in Christ from which the entire Christian life springs forth.
1255 For the grace of Baptism to unfold, the parents' help is important. So too is the role of the godfather and godmother, who must be firm believers, able and ready to help the newly baptized - child or adult on the road of Christian life.55 Their task is a truly ecclesial function (officium).56 The whole ecclesial community bears some responsibility for the development and safeguarding of the grace given at Baptism.

Remember, that whenever the CCC uses the term "divine life", the teachers mean sanctifying grace, the Life of God in us. And, here is more clarification: and there is more here:

1266 The Most Holy Trinity gives the baptized sanctifying grace, the grace of justification:
- enabling them to believe in God, to hope in him, and to love him through the theological virtues;
- giving them the power to live and act under the prompting of the Holy Spirit through the gifts of the Holy Spirit;
- allowing them to grow in goodness through the moral virtues.
Thus the whole organism of the Christian's supernatural life has its roots in Baptism.

To be continued.....