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Sunday 14 April 2013

Reminder, Reiki condemned and just plain stupid

Just read this

and this

I just saw a van labelled "Pet Reiki-wholistic healing for cats and dogs".


Ants anticipate

hmmm, modernism...

We need "heresy detector ants".

Part 117: Doctors of the Church and Perfection: Alphonsus Ligouri

I do not think that Alphonsus needs commentary. In his book, PRAYER : THE GREAT MEANS OF SALVATION AND OF PERFECTION, which is found on line here, he clearly tell us what we must do to become perfect. Here is one section.  I anyone wants commentary on this long section, let me know.

Part III - Chapter II

All the Saints have become Saints by mental prayer. Mental prayer is the blessed furnace in which souls are inflamed with the Divine love. "In my meditation", says David, "a fire shall flame out" - Psalm 38:4. Saint Vincent of Paul used to say that it would be a miracle if a sinner who attends the sermons in the mission, or in the spiritual exercises, were not converted. Now, he who preaches, and speaks in the exercises, is only a man; but it is God Himself that speaks to the soul in meditation. "I will lead her into the wilderness; and I will speak to her heart" - Hosea 2:14. Saint Catherine of Bologna used to say, "He who does not practice mental prayer deprives himself of the bond that unites the soul with God; hence, finding her alone, the devil will easily make her his own". "How", she would say, "can I conceive that the love of God is found in the soul that cares but little to treat with God in prayer"?
Where, but in meditation, have the Saints been inflamed with Divine love? By means of mental prayer, Saint Peter of Alcantara was inflamed to such a degree that in order to cool himself, he ran into a frozen pool, and the frozen water began to boil like water in a caldron placed on the fire. In mental prayer, Saint Philip Neri became inflamed, and trembled so that he shook the entire room. In mental prayer, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga was so inflamed with Divine ardor that his very face appeared to be on fire, and his heart beat as strongly as if it wished to fly from the body.
Saint Laurence Justinian says: "By the efficacy of mental prayer, temptation is banished, sadness is driven away, lost virtue is restored, fervor which has grown cold is excited, and the lovely flame of Divine love is augmented". Hence, Saint Aloysius Gonzaga has justly said that he who does not make much mental prayer will never attain a high degree of perfection.
A man of prayer, says David, is like a tree planted near the current of waters, which brings forth fruit in due time; all his actions prosper before God. "Blessed is the man . . . who shall meditate on His law day and night! And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall bring forth its fruit in due season, and his leaf shall not fall off: and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper" - Psalm 1:1-3. Mark the words "in due season"; that is, at the time when he ought to bear such a pain, such an affront, etc.

Saint John Chrysostom compared mental prayer to a fountain in the middle of a garden. Oh! what an abundance of flowers and verdant plants do we see in the garden which is always refreshed with water from the fountain! Such, precisely is the soul that practices mental prayer; you will see, that it always advances in good desires, and that it always brings forth more abundant fruits of virtue. Whence does the soul receive so many blessings? From meditation, by which it is continually irrigated. "Thy plants are a paradise of pomegranates with the fruits of the orchard . . . The fountain of gardens, the well of living waters, which run with a strong stream from Libanus" - Canticles 4:13,15.  But let the fountain cease to water the garden, and, behold, the flowers, plants, and all instantly wither away; and why? Because the water has failed. You will see that as long as such a person makes mental prayer, he is modest, humble, devout, and mortified in all things. But let him omit meditation, and you will instantly find him wanting in modesty of the eyes, proud, resenting every word, indevout, no longer frequenting the Sacraments and the church; you will find him attached to vanity, to useless conversations, to pastimes, and to earthly pleasures; and why? The water has failed, and, therefore, fervor has ceased. "My soul is as earth without water unto thee.  . . . My spirit hath fainted away" - Psalm 142:6-7. The soul has neglected mental prayer, the garden is therefore dried up, and the miserable soul does from bad to worse. When a soul abandons meditation, Saint Chrysostom regards it not only as sick, but as dead. "He", says the holy Doctor, "who prays not to God, nor desires to enjoy assiduously His Divine conversation, is dead.  . . . The death of a soul is not to be prostrated before God".

The same Father says that mental prayer is the root of the fruitful vine. And Saint John Climacus writes, that prayer is a bulwark against the assault of afflictions, the spring of virtues, the procurer of graces. Rufinus asserts, that all the spiritual progress of the soul flows from mental prayer. And Gerson goes so far as to say that he who neglects meditation cannot, without a miracle, lead the life of a Christian. Speaking of mental prayer, Jeremiah says, "He shall sit solitary, and hold his peace; because he hath taken it up upon himself" - Lamentations 3:28. That is, a soul cannot have a relish for God, unless it withdraws from creatures, and sits, that is, stops to contemplate the goodness, the love, the amiableness of God. But when solitary and recollected in meditation-----that is, when it takes away its thoughts from the world-----it is then raised above itself; and departs from prayer very different from what it was when it began it.
Saint Ignatius of Loyola used to say that mental prayer is the short way to attain perfection. In a word, he who advances most in meditation makes the greatest progress in perfection. In mental prayer the soul is filled with holy thoughts, with holy affections, desires, and holy resolutions, and with love for God. There man sacrifices his passions, his appetites, his earthly attachments, and all the interests of self-love. Moreover, by praying for them, in mental prayer, we can save many sinners, as was done by Saint Teresa, Saint Mary Magdalene de Pazzi, and is done by all souls enamored of God, who never omit, in their meditations, to recommend to Him all infidels, heretics, and all poor sinners, begging Him also to give zeal to priests who work in His vineyard, that they may convert His enemies. In mental prayer we can also by the sole desire of performing them, gain the merit of many good works which we do not perform. For, as the Lord punishes bad desires, so, on the other hand, He rewards all our good desires.

To be continued...

Part 116: Doctors of the Church and Perfection: Alphonsus Ligouri

A short thought on perfection...

"The essence of perfection is to embrace the will of God in all things, prosperous or adverse. In prosperity, even sinners find it easy to unite themselves to the divine will; but it takes saints to unite themselves to God's will when things go wrong and are painful to self-love. Our conduct in such instances is the measure of our love of God."

St Alphonsus de Liguori

Perfection in Hosea

I found,  by accident, this small pericope from Hosea, which I have read and heard many times before, which indicates that he understands the road to perfection in the soul. How nice that Revelation and Tradition form the wonderful teaching of the Catholic Church.

Here is the little gem: 16 On that day, says the Lord, you will call me, “My husband,” and no longer will you call me, “My Baal.”

Now, the word Baal, of course, refers to the false god of the Canaanites. However, it also means "master", and in some translations, (the one above is the Catholic Revised Standard), master is used.

Remember earlier this past week, I referred to Bernard of Clairvaux's easy explanation of the movement from childhood in God, to discipleship, to bride? Here we see Hosea understanding that the most intimate and unifying relationship between Israel and God, between the individual soul and Christ, is that of the Bride and Bridegroom relationship.

How wonderful.  And, there is lots more coming on St. Alphonsus in the Doctors of the Church and perfection series. Stayed turned....

-Heresy in the Home of Mary-the good and the bad in Walsingham-the Snake rears his head again

This is the third time in two years I have been to Walsingham and there are some new developments. Some good, some bad...

The good first-the Norton Cafe Bar in the Anglican Shrine has wifi now, so I do not have to go to the Black Lion and listen to horrible music or racing in the background.

The menu is decent as well-very Norfolk.

The bad news presents itself in a more sinister form and I must write about this.

Firstly, as those of you who have read my blog over the past several years know, I have been highlighting false seers and dangerous gnostic tendencies among some Catholics. One of the most pernicious false seers, and you can look at the list of the errors in this person writings online, is Maria Divine Mercy, who has now published a book, The Book of Truth, (the book of deceit folks) which is being passed around some Catholic prayer groups in Walsingham. When I was here last time, I tried to warn people about the false doctrine, in fact, out and out heresy, found in the writings of this person.

One does not, ironically even have to open the book to see the errors, as four are listed on the back cover of the book. I am only going to repeat a few of these errors now, but if you go to Walsingham, please be careful of those who are passing out the book as well as the notes from the website. I have tags on the bottom of this post regarding this site.

Secondly, I am going to start this re-examination by noting that some of  those who are involved in reading and pushing these false teachings work at the Shrine.  I have warned them.

Here, thirdly, are a few notes showing the evil of these false teachings. These are in the book and the pages are marked here.

"When people reject the message you publish, they are rejecting My Most Holy Word", page 278. Jesus is supposedly saying this. Problem. Private revelations, even if true, are not binding on any Catholic. A private revelation is not binding for the faithful. We are not required to believe in Lourdes, or Fatima, or any other private revelation.  Therefore, Christ would not require us to contradict a teaching of His Own Church by placing belief in this private revelation on a part with the Canon of Sacred Scripture.

On page 178, the seer states, as if Christ is saying this, "I am instructing you, once again, not to engage with those people, believers of mine, who challenge, analyze or pick holes in My Holy Word. For neither you nor those souls has (sic) the authority to do so." St. John the Evangelist, real revelation, writes in John 4:1 that we must "Test the spirits to see whether they come from God, because many false prophets are now in the world."

In the introduction, on page 8, this is written of the so-called seer. "She has been told she is the 7th Messenger, the 7th angel, who will announce to the world the contents of the Seals in the Book of Revelation as they are opened by the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ."

Oh my goodness. There is NO other revelation after the end of the last book of the Bible.  In Revelation 22:18, John writes this: " As for me, I warn everyone who hears the prophetic words of this book: if anyone add anything to them, God will pile on him the plagues described in this book."

The four glaring errors which are on the back cover are ones I have already highlighted on this blog:

Millenialism-the heresy which stated the Second Coming will bring a new paradise on earth. Wrong. The Second Coming in the teaching of the Catholic Church is the end of the world.

Again, false prophecy of the millennial time--the writer states that Satan will be banished for 1,000 years. Nope. At the Second Coming, the goats and sheep will be separated in the Final Judgement and the demons will be sent to hell.

False-"The Catholic Church will collapse and will be taken over by The False Prophet who will also take over all Christian churches." Sorry, but this is an obvious satanic ploy to undermine the Church, which will last until the end of time, although, perhaps, small and weak.

Last falsity, again a repetition here on this blog, is that God the Father is passing out The Seal of the Living God. Nope-we get sealed in Baptism and Confirmation; this is an undermining of the sacraments and there is no such protective seal added. Again, this is a protestant idea, not a Catholic one.

Danger, danger, danger. What can I say? Be careful if you start getting things in Walsingham, the Home of Mary, which are from the one who hates her, her Son, and His Church.

Pray for the Catholic shrine at Walsingham. Satan does not care how you go to hell, just that you go...

Part 115: Doctors of the Church and Perfection: St Alphonsus Ligouri

One of the most loved Doctors of the Church wrote, perhaps, more on love, than any other.

St. Alphonsus  Ligouri gives us plain and simple ways to attain perfection.  Here is a list from this link. I shall expound on the writings of this great saint of the next few days. The emphasis is always on purification of the heart. The work I shall be examining is on line here.  St. Alphonsus knew that prayer is the key to purification of the heart.

Maxims for Attaining Perfection

1. To desire ardently to increase in the love of Jesus Christ.
2. Often to make acts of love towards Jesus Christ. Immediately on waking, and before going to sleep, to make an act of love, seeking always to unite your own will to the will of Jesus Christ.
3. Often to meditate on his Passion.
4. Always to ask Jesus Christ for his love.
5. To communicate often, and many times in the day to make spiritual Communions.
6. Often to visit the Most Holy Sacrament.
7. Every morning to receive from the hands of Jesus Christ himself your own cross.
8. To desire Paradise and death, in order to be able to love Jesus Christ perfectly and for all eternity.
9. Often to speak of the love of Jesus Christ.
10. To accept contradictions for the sake of Jesus Christ.
11. To rejoice in the happiness of God.
12. To do that which is most pleasing to Jesus Christ, and not to refuse him anything that is agreeable to him.
13. To desire and to endeavor that all should love Jesus Christ.
14. To pray always for sinners and for the souls in purgatory.
15. To drive from your heart every affection that does not belong to Jesus Christ.
16. Always to have recourse to the most holy Mary, that she may obtain for us the love of Jesus Christ.
17. To honor Mary in order to please Jesus Christ.
18. To seek to please Jesus Christ in all your actions,
19. To offer yourself to Jesus Christ to suffer any pain for his love.
20 To be always determined to die rather than commit a willful venial sin.
27. To suffer crosses patiently, saying, "Thus it pleases Jesus Christ."
22. To renounce your own pleasures for the love of Jesus Christ.
23. To pray as much as possible.
24. To practice all the mortifications that obedience permits.
25. To do all your spiritual exercises as if it were for the last time.
26. To persevere in good works in the time of aridity.
27. Not to do nor yet to leave undone anything through human respect.
28. Not to complain in sickness.
29. To love solitude, to be able to converse alone with Jesus Christ.
30. To drive away melancholy [i.e. gloom].
37. Often to recommend yourself to those persons who love Jesus Christ.
32. In temptation, to have recourse to Jesus crucified, and to Mary in her sorrows.
33. To trust entirely in the Passion of Jesus Christ.
34. After committing a fault, not to be discouraged, but to repent and resolve to amend.
35. To do good to those who do evil.
36. To speak well of all, and to excuse the intention when you cannot defend the action.
37. To help your neighbor as much as you can.
38. Neither to say nor to do anything that might vex him. And if you have been wanting in charity, to ask his pardon and speak kindly to him.
39. Always to speak with mildness and in a low tone.
40. To offer to Jesus Christ all the contempt and persecution that you meet with.
41. To look upon [religious] Superiors as the representatives of Jesus Christ.
42. To obey without answering and without repugnance, and not to seek your own satisfaction in anything.
43. To like the lowest employment.
44. To like the poorest things.
45. Not to speak either good or evil of yourself.
46. To humble yourself even towards inferiors.
47. Not to excuse yourself when you are reproved.
48. Not to defend yourself when found fault with.
49. To be silent when you are disquieted [i.e. upset].
50. Always to renew your determination of becoming a saint, saying, "My Jesus, I desire to be all Yours, and You must be all mine."

To be continued...

Part 114: Perfection and Doctors of the Church: Peter Canisius

In this last post on Canisius, I want to concentrate on the overlap between free will, sin, and perfection.

As all Catholics are called to perfection, one must ask the rather obvious question as to why not all pursue or reach perfection.

Some people think that saints are different than ordinary people. Yes and no. Grace is what make an ordinary person extraordinary.

In a small section from Canisius' A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Canisius states that a reason why people not only persist in serious sin, but eventually end up damned, is that they refuse to listen to truth.

This refusal is hardly addressed by priests from the pulpit or in books. Refusal to repent is one of the sins against the Holy Spirit, writes Canisius.

What doe this mean and what does this entail? Refusal to repent or a hard-heartedness simply means that a person has been presented with a truth of the Catholic Church, but either persists in serious sins, or worse, does not even want to listen. We have free will to repent, change, accept grace and move into the purgation or perfection stage. And, if a habit of rebellion and stubborness persists, one loses the ability to discern. Canisius was writing at a time when Protestantism was gaining huge ground in all levels of society.

His efforts to show that justice and righteousness are possible for all include his efforts to show the dangers of persistent sin.

No purgation, no purification, no road to perfection.

Repentance and orthodoxy first. Then the life of virtues can kick in.

Canisius looks carefully at the Cardinal Virtues as great helps in maintaining the journey to perfection. It is all about choices and free will. Make the right choices.