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Sunday 26 May 2013


Lost glasses cannot see

Well. sometimes conspiracy theorists are correct!

a snippet and read the entire article and get righteously angry....our rights as Christians will suffer horribly.

An irony of all this was that among the amendments defeated by the Government was one proposing that heterosexuals should be given an equal right to homosexuals to enter into civil partnerships.Originally, in 2010, Theresa May had been all for this, as was Equal Love, which supported a case by eight gay and non-gay couples to be taken to the ECHR. But when the Government checked the financial implications of allowing non-gay couples to enjoy civil partnerships, finding that the resulting tax privileges could cost the Treasury up to £4 billion a year, it ruled that this was a step it couldn’t afford. When it comes to equality, it seems that money takes precedence – and that some people must be considered more equal than others.

On this day of the Trinity, let us remember the home is the center of God's life in the world

Outside the Mass today, where there were beautifully behaved children, including little girls in white mantillas, I thought that the Trinity is replicated in the home over and over in real love among the members of the family.

The Father, the Son. and the Holy Spirit, as the priest reminded us, are in us from baptism, but we do not understand what this means and must grow into a relationship with the Trinity.

Good Catholic families can reflect the Love of the Trinity. We do not understand this great mystery, but a truly holy family can point the way.

Love constantly being shared and moving out to reach out to others reveals a small image of the Trinity.

More on the passive purification: faith, hope and love

The greatest evils for the laity are the constant distractions and movements of modern life which stop the natural growth of the soul. Just as the body grows, so, too, must the soul, or it will die.

Modern society has lost the rhythm of nature. Electric lights keep us up late and get us going early. Commuting is a huge waste of time and cause of stress for millions of people. The constant movement of activities creates families and, therefore, a culture, which can no longer reflect.

Most people waste an incredible amount of time talking senselessly, watching television, seeking daily entertainment.

In the past, and in most monasteries, the rhythm of life, which includes work and prayer, with very little recreation, creates and created a lifestyle which was created for one reason and that was and is the worship of God in the Kingdom of God on earth, His Church.

Until we re-discover the silence outside and within us, we shall not grow spiritually.

One must simplify one's life, or the soul shrivels and dies.

Purgatory is punishment, and suffering on earth can lead to great perfection, and hopefully the union with God which He intends all of us to experience.

Here is a long passage which should help define the path to the last stage of perfection.

Thanks to wiki for a log cabin in Iowa

Lastly, in this state of trial, the soul should, as St. Francis de Sales well shows,(21) be penetrated with Christ's words: "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me." (22) In spiritual tribulations and afflictions, the soul should nourish itself with the will of God so that self-love may die definitively in it, that the soul may be truly stripped of self-love, and that the reign of the divine will may be established in the depths of its will. The soul will obtain this grace if it accepts, for love of God, to do and suffer all that He wishes, as obedience, circumstances, and the interior light of the Holy Ghost may indicate.

Too many people are running around doing what they think is God's Will, which is really nothing else but self-aggrandisement and self-will. Self-love must die, as only then can the heart have room for the Love of God.

We can only love the Other insofar as we are free to love. Having hearts and minds cluttered with the goo of selfishness does not permit the Love of God into one's being. God remains on the outside, calling, knocking, but not in the intimate relationship He so desires.

Consequently the soul should be penetrated with the evangelical beatitudes: blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, those who shed the tears of contrition; those who hunger and thirst after justice and preserve this zeal in spite of all difficulties; blessed, too, are the merciful, the clean of heart, the peacemakers; blessed are they who suffer persecution for justice, when they are insulted and persecuted because of the Savior. Their reward is great in heaven, and even on earth they will receive the hundredfold of all that has been taken from them; they will receive it especially in close union with God and in working for the salvation of their neighbor.

In our times, listening to another may be the greatest love we can give. Stopping and paying attention to our neighbor is of primary importance. But in this stage, one does this for the love of God, and not for the love of self or even the person. Christ is seen in others.

Souls that pass through this denudation and are calumniated ought often to reread what St. Paul says to the Romans: "If God be for us, who is against us? . . . Christ Jesus. . . maketh intercession for us.. Who then shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or persecution, or the sword? . . . But in all these things we overcome, because of Him that hath loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things present nor things to come nor might nor height nor depth nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God," (23) nor be able to make God abandon the just, if they do not abandon Him first.

Judgement comes swift and heavy to one in the state of passive purification. Some people sense a spiritual reality which threatens them. Some hate goodness and want to undermine it. Some are envious, but do not want to go through the suffering necessary to enter into union with God. One adult person made fun of me recently because I was in the chapel praying. She was threatened, for some reas
on, by me being able to pray. I was kind. The next list of items is very important.

In this period of purification, one should ask our Lord for the love of the cross, for the desire to share in His holy humiliations in the measure willed by Providence. 

You will not be understood for loving the cross. Just do it.

The soul should ask Him also to let it find in this desire the strength to bear whatever may come, the peace, and sometimes the joy, to restore its courage and that of souls that come to it.(24) 

Courage is essential in the passive purification. One must endure.

Then this trial, hard as it may be at times, will seem good to it; at least the soul will believe that it is salutary and sanctifying for it.

Thomas a Kempis, rightly so below, reminds us that the cross protects us from enemies. What can anyone or anything do to us if we accept all suffering? Life becomes much more bearable and easier if one stops fighting  suffering, if one takes up the Cross.

Then it will more readily grasp the great meaning of the words of The Imitation on the royal road of the cross: "In the cross is salvation; in the cross is life; in the cross is protection from enemies. In the cross is infusion of heavenly sweetness; in the cross is strength of mind; in the cross is joy of spirit; in the cross is height of virtue; in the cross is perfection of sanctity. . . . No man hath so heartfelt a sense of the Passion of Christ as he whose lot it hath been to suffer like things. . . . If thou carry the cross willingly, it will carry thee. . . . If thou carry it unwillingly, thou makest it a burden to thee, and loadest thyself the more. . . . For the sufferings of this life are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come." (25)

Do we actually believe these words? If one does not want to join with the Beloved, who is Christ, one will not attain heaven, or even the possibilities of becoming the peson God wants you to be.

The painful purification we are speaking of creates a great void in the soul by driving out self-love and pride, and gives it an increasingly eager desire for God. St. Francis de Sales explains this effect, saying:
As man can be perfected only by the divine goodness, so the divine goodness can scarcely so well exercise its perfection outside itself as upon our humanity. The one has great need and capacity to receive good, the other great abundance and inclination to bestow it. Nothing is so suitable to indigence as a liberal abundance; nothing so agreeable to a liberal abundance as extreme indigence. . . . The more needy the indigent man is, the more eager he is to receive, as a vacuum is to be filled. Therefore the meeting of abundance and indigence is sweet and desirable; and if our Lord had not said that it is better to give than to receive, one could hardly say which has greater contentment, abundant good in diffusing and communicating itself or failing and indigent good in receiving. . . . Divine goodness has, therefore, more pleasure in giving its graces than we in receiving them.(28)

Even in human love, one must learn to love selflessly, without hidden motives or great insecurities. If we put ourselves and needs first, the love is not real, and needs to be purified.

Loving others for the sake of God alone and loving God for His Own sake are the highest loves of all.

The void created in the soul that is stripped of self-love and pride causes it to become, therefore, increasingly capable of receiving divine grace, the abundance of charity. In this sense the Apostle says: "God. . . giveth grace to the humble," and He makes them humble in order to fill them to overflowing.

Why the humble? Very simple. If one has self-love, one is still a sinner and motivated by pride and not by the love of God in ministry. Recently, I read a comment by a false seer who claimed that her mistakes was that she was a sinner. St. Bernard and the other Doctors of the Church which I have placed on this blog, state repeatedly that sin and even the tendency towards sin stops discernment and the ability to really work for God in ministries. 

Self-love in all the nooks and crannies of the soul must be routed out and destroyed.

All we have just said shows the profound truth of St. Thomas' words: "The love of God is unitive (congregativus), inasmuch as it draws man's affections from the many to the one; so that the virtues, which flow from the love of God, are connected together. But self-love disunites (disgregat) man's affections among different things, so far as man loves himself, by desiring for himself temporal goods, which are various and of many kinds." (27) The love of God causes the light of reason and that of grace to shine increasingly in us, whereas sin stains the soul, taking away from it the brilliance of the divine light.(28) The purification of the spirit removes these stains, which are in our higher faculties, that they may be resplendent with the true light, which is the prelude of that of eternity.

There are no short-cuts to be continued.

Meet the Yellowhammer and the Song Thrush

A charming bird practically walked with me to church this morning, on my way to a Latin Mass. It is the yellowhammer and absolutely a bird which wants attention.

It accompanied me for more than half a mile before disappearing into fields of rapseed plants, which are blooming at this time of year.

The song is fine and cheerful.

In addition, a Song Thrush has entertained me in the evening hours, before dusk, which is about 9 ish at this point.

The song is amazingly varied and loud. What a treat!

Passive Purification: Where we part company with the Christian Scientists. Plus Benedict Labre....

The Christian Scientists either deny suffering, or avoid it. This is not the way of Christ or the teaching of the Church. Penances, mortifications must be accepted and for some, created, if one has a cushy life. I have a Christian Scientist friend who says he is not into this suffering thing. I used to say that, but no more.

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange on this point.

In the trial of which we are speaking, the soul must, therefore firmly believe in what God has told of the great efficacy of the purifying cross in the life of the Church and in its own personal spiritual life. That this faith may be practical, it must tell itself that the cross is necessary and good for it. St. Louis Bertrand, during this period of his life, used often to repeat the words of St. Augustine: "Lord, burn, cut, do not spare now, that in eternity Thou mayest spare." The soul must believe that it is good for it to be thus painfully purified, that this purification is one of the distinctive signs of the children of God, and that this profound and painful purification glorifies the Lord.

If God has not given you penances, like bad health, or poverty, or lack of love, or loss of status, you must choose penances. Those good nuns with whom I was living take on tremendous penances. No complaining in Tyburn, as all is done for the love of God...

 It must be penetrated with St. Paul's words: "We have this treasure [of divine grace] in earthen vessels, that the excellency [of the Gospel] may be of the power of God, and not of us. In all things we suffer tribulation, but are not distressed; we are straitened, but are not destitute; we suffer persecution, but are not forsaken; we are cast down, but we perish not: always bearing about in our body the mortification of Jesus, that the life also of Jesus may be made manifest in our bodies." (5) "Power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me." (6) "Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and so to enter into His glory?" (7) "We are the sons of God. And if sons, heirs also; heirs indeed of God and joint heirs with Christ: yet so, if we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified with Him." (8)

The power of God only works through those of us who are poor, nobodies, ill, and ignored. Why? Because, obviously, then we know the power, the ideas, the completion is from God and not ourselves. Those who are completely lowly, can reflect God's power.  But, the middle class especially only wants saints from their own class. They cannot deal with difference or someone who is challenging them outside their comfort zones. If a person is homeless or poor, they cannot see God in those people, as their hard hearts are not open to the call of purification. Only those who are open to the Cross in their own lives can see Christ Crucified in the lives of others.

As sanctifying grace is a participation in the divine nature and makes us like to God, habitual grace, as Christian and as coming from Christ crucified, configures us to Him and prepares us to carry our cross in imitation of Him. In this sense it adds a special modality to sanctifying grace as it was on the first day of creation in the angels and in Adam in the state of innocence. St. Thomas points this out in treating of baptismal grace.(9)

The cross is a mystery and God chooses our crosses, we do not. Sanctifying grace is the life of God, which is shared through suffering. Why? Because Christ invites us to join Him, the God-Man in His redemptive suffering.  This can be a joy, if one truly enters into this suffering for the love of God.

Thus we know the mystery of the redemption in a more living, profound, and quasi-experiential manner. We then comprehend how greatly deceived were the Jews who said to our Lord: "If Thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross." (10) They should have said, on the contrary, as did the centurion on witnessing the death of our Savior: "Indeed this man was the Son of God." (11) Christ never appeared greater than during His passion, when He said: "My kingdom is not of this world." (12) "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do." (13) "It is consummated." (14) Christ's victory over sin and the devil on Good Friday is far greater than the victory He won over death by His resurrection. The resurrection of His body is only a sign of the power He has to restore life to souls, to forgive them their sins.

For Westerners, especially the British and the Americans, this acceptance of hardships is an almost impossible ideal to accept. We have had a comfort-seeking lifestyle for over fifty years, and the mindset is always to avoid suffering at all costs. Some of us are too poor and lowly to be able to avoid suffering, so we accept these states as graces from God. But, even the poor and lowly can curse God and die. Those are graces wasted, sadly.

The cross is thus a distinctive sign of the Christian who is configured to his Savior. Therefore, as a rule, among the signs of predestination are named: patience in adversity for the love of God, love of enemies in spite of their insults and calumnies, love of the poor, especially when personal affliction supernaturally inclines us to help them. "Because I am not unacquainted with evil things. I know how to commiserate the wretched."

Forgive, forgive, forgive and love, love, love. I pray daily for some of those is my life who have actually been like Judas and betrayed me. God forgave Judas, even though he did not forgive himself, and in his own rejection of God's love, he separated himself forever from God's eternal love. Let us forgive so that both ourselves and our enemies go to heaven.

The soul that is in the night of the spirit should, therefore, often contemplate the passion of Christ, following the example of the saints, and ask for light to have a more profound understanding of the holy humiliations of our Savior and of their infinite redemptive value.


The soul must also recommend itself to the saints that they may intercede for it, especially those who were particularly tried in this manner, such as St. John of the Cross, St. Paul of the Cross, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, and the holy Cure of Ars.

Asking for light is essential. But, sometimes God has one walk in darkness, in order to increase Faith.

Patience is a key virtue for the passive purification of the Illuminative State. St. Benedict Labre is becoming one of my patron saints, along with St. Joseph Cupertino and St. Bernard of Clairvaux. May they help me on my way and you on your way of purification.

Modern commentaries tend to think Benedict Labre was mentally ill. No, he was radically following the mystic call to purification and union with God, but few understand this. Remember, this good saint was a lay person...

to be continued...

Good news regarding the second conversion and passive purification

Peter was not acting in a holy manner when he was running from Rome and death. He was avoiding his martyrdom, which takes the place of the passive purification. Martyrdom is a shortcut to purification, through intense pain, suffering and obedience to God's Will.

If one cooperates, the process of passive purification, the way most of us must take, states the experts, goes much more quickly, than if one fights suffering. This is why the nuns embrace the penances and poverty of their state. They are on the fast road to union with God.

Here is a helpful paragraph from Garrigou-Lagrange. I have read de Caussade several times and do highly recommend him. Also, of course, like many of you, I have read St. John of the Cross. I have read bits of the book by St. Francis de Sales, which is mentioned. I have not read Boudon.

There is, first of all, a general rule. These afflicted souls should be treated with kindness and helped that they may be led to full conformity to the divine will. The first rule of direction is that these souls should accept this trial generously for as long a time as, according to the good pleasure of God, it may last, and they should live in abandonment to the divine will. Moreover, as a general rule, the more generously they accept this purification, the quicker it will end, since the effect for which God wills it, will be more promptly accomplished. If it is more intense, it will generally be shorter (like the purification of purgatory) unless the soul is to suffer specially for sinners, over and above its personal purification.
Excellent books have been written on abandonment to Providence in this period of the spiritual life. Besides The Dark Night (Bk. II) of St. John of the Cross, there is the Treatise on The Love of God (Bk. IX) of St. Francis de Sales on the love of submission and of holy indifference in spiritual afflictions.(1) In the seventeenth century, Father A. Piny, O.P., wrote Le plus parfait, or the way of abandonment to the will of God, and also L'Etat du pur amour. In the same period we find Les saintes voies de la croix by the Venerable Henry Mary Boudon; in the eighteenth century, Abandonment to Divine Providence by Father de Caussade, S.J.; and recently (1919), Le saint abandon by Dom Vitalis Lehodey, O.C.R.

I have warned people about quietism last year in a blog or two, and here is a reminder from Garrigou-Lagrange.

In this question of abandonment, two dangers must be avoided: quietism and the opposing error. Quietism or semi-quietism denies the necessity of our cooperation and goes so far as to demand in these trials the sacrifice of our hope or desire of salvation.(2) On the contrary, we must in this case, as St. Paul says: "Against hope believe in hope." (3)

A delicate balance is needed between action and inaction. I believe the Holy Spirit can directly help here, and, of course, one must do what is needed in one's daily responsibilities.

The contrary error would consist in exaggerating the necessity of our cooperation while diminishing that of prayer and disregarding the efficacy of our petitions and the conduct of Providence which directs all. It would amount to a sort of practical naturalism. Tried souls should, on the contrary, pray particularly, ask the help of God to persevere in faith, trust, and love. They must be told that, if they continue to pray in this severe trial, it is a sign that, in spite of appearances, their prayer is granted; for no one can continue to pray without a new actual grace. And God who, from all eternity, has foreseen and willed our prayers, excites them in us.

I have had a terrible trial for three years, about which few people know. I am still asking God to help me directly with this. Perseverance is a grace. One lives by Faith, which is hoping and trusting in God for that which is not seen.

To this general rule of the generous acceptance of the trial in conformity with the divine will, must be added three special rules relating to the three theological virtues, by which especially one must live during the night of the spirit. Here more particularly is verified the expression: "The just man liveth by faith." (4) The night of the spirit is that of faith whose object is obscure mysteries which appear so much the more obscure in proportion as they are higher above the senses. St. Thomas often says: "Fides est de non visis," the object of faith is things not seen. One does not believe on testimony what one sees.

I cannot emphasize this boldface section enough. Only by Faith and not anxiety or pushing or impatience, does the passive purification lead to light and finally, union with God.

To be continued....