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Wednesday 29 May 2013

This is excellent; read it

Thanks to Damian Thompson on twitter for link.

Why is the Catholic Church Weak?

I believe there are two reasons why the Catholic Church is weak today.

First, the apostasy and sins of the clergy weaken the Church from within. One cannot list all the problems, but this blog has highlighted some. The spirit of disobedience has corrupted so many priests, monks, deacons...

Second, and perhaps the most significant reason is the fact that the laity has refused to allow God to purify them.

If egosim remains in the soul, the entire Church is weakened.

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange on the need for purgation at the later stages of growth, wherein most people back off and fail to produce real fruit. My comments are in blue.

Before St. John of the Cross, Tauler greatly insisted on the depths of our will, which need to be purified from the often unconscious egoism that has for long subsisted in it, leading us to disturbing and fruitless conversation with ourselves and not to tranquilizing and vivifying conversation with God.

Most of the time, we are talking to ourselves. We are talking, talking, talking and not listening.

Tauler (19) often speaks of the unconscious egoism that still inclines us to seek ourselves in everything and at times to judge our neighbor with severity while treating ourselves with great indulgence. This same egoism which makes us seek ourselves in many things is especially evident when trial strikes us; we are then completely upset and seek help, consolation, and counsel from without, where God is not to be found. We have not built our house sufficiently on Christ the rock, with the result that it lacks solidity. We have built on self, on self-will, which is equivalent to building on sand; thus at times there is great weakness underlying harshness of judgment.

The seeking of consolations is a mark of the very immature Catholic. Once one gets into this state of passive purgation, suffering brings REAL JOY.

Tauler declares: "There is only one way to triumph over these obstacles: God would have to take complete possession of the interior of the soul and occupy it, which happens only to His true friends. He sent us His only Son in order that the holy life of the God-Man, His great and perfect virtue, examples, teachings, and multiple sufferings might lift us above ourselves, make us leave ourselves completely (draw us from this depth of egoism), and that we might let our own pallid light disappear in the true and essential light." (20)

This does not happen all at once. One must beg, in most circumstances, the Divinity to take complete control one's life. It is much easier if one has left all to follow Jesus, much easier.

Let Christ invite you to take up HIS Cross, not the ones you may choose. Give the entire life of your body, soul, mind, heart to God.

"This light [of the Word made flesh] shines in the darkness, but the darkness did not comprehend it (John 1:5). None but the poor in spirit and those who are completely stripped of self, of self-love, and of their individual wills, receive this light. There are many who have been materially poor for forty years and who have never received the slightest [interior] ray of it. Through their senses and reason, they know thoroughly what is said of this light, but, in its essence, they have never tasted it; it is foreign to them and remains far from them." (21)

Merely to be poor does not bring holiness and this stage of purgation. No. One must will the poverty and live it fully, not living in deceit. And, there are many types of poverty, such as loneliness or misunderstanding. These, too, can lead one to the altar of the soul where self-love is finally sacrificed.

Again Tauler says: "It is thus that, whereas simple common folk followed our Lord, the Pharisees, the princes of the priests and the scribes, every class that had the appearance of sanctity, harshly opposed Him and ended by putting Him to death." (22) God is the grandeur of humble souls, and His very lofty ways remain hidden to our pride.

How many times have I myself judged others, and have been judged unfairly.

When one is walking with God in the land of the letting go of self, one no longer cares about criticisms from those who judge unfairly.

We see, consequently, to what extremities we may be led by this depth of egoism and pride which blinds us and hinders us from recognizing our sins. Therefore it is important that the light of life of living faith and of the gifts of the Holy Ghost should penetrate the depths of our intellect and, as it were, the root of our will.

This is NOT an emotional process, but a rational one. The root of the will is in the intellect and not the emotions. It is in the soul, and not the passions.

The passions must have been purified at the earlier stage.

That we may receive this light and these gifts, it is not sufficient to know the letter of the Gospel and adhere to it; we must assimilate its spirit profoundly. Otherwise, appearing as Christians and using the language of Christians, we would preserve in the depths of our being something which is not Christian and which resists the light of life. 

That is a good description of the Pharisees.

There would be in the depths of our intellect and will as it were a citadel which would serve as a refuge for self-love, which is unwilling to surrender and to allow the reign of God to be profoundly and eternally established in us. Thereby certain souls, that think themselves quite advanced but that do not recognize their defects, are in greater peril than the common run of men who admit that they are sinners and who preserve the fear of God.

I cannot stress enough that to whom more is given, more is expected. Many lay people back off, into mediocrity, at this stage. They do not want to leave their comfort zones. One must. This backing off from this purification of the will is what has weakened the Church of the laity. The laity are not living the life of the virtues and the fruits of the Spirit because they have run away from process of purification. When they mentally settle for purgatory and not heaven, the Church's ministry is undermined.

Fear of God defeats both self-will and presumption. This little citadel, wherein lies the self-will, must be stormed by God. If one keeps running back into the castle of the self, God cannot speak to the heart and mind and will. And, as John Donne states, our soul must capitulate. 

Batter my heart, three-person'd God, for you,

As yet but knock, breathe, shine, and seek to mend;

That I may rise and stand, o'erthrow me, and bend
Your force to break, blow, burn, and make me new.
I, like an usurp'd town to another due,
Labor to admit you, but oh, to no end;
Reason, your viceroy in me, me should defend,
But is captiv'd, and proves weak or untrue,
Yet dearly I love you, and would be lov'd fain,
But am betroth'd unto your enemy;
Divorce me, untie or break that knot again,
Take me to you, imprison me, for I,
Except you enthrall me, never shall be free,
Nor ever chaste, except you ravish me.

Thanks to wiki for photo

At this stage, we may not even recognize who we are. We are so different, so new, so other than what we have been before, that we need direction.

Consequently we should meditate on Tauler's conclusion: "Therefore, well-beloved children, employ all your activity, both of soul and body, to obtain that this true light may shine in you in such a way that you may taste it. In this way you will be able to return to your origin, where the true light shines. Desire, ask, with nature and without nature,(23) that this grace may be granted to you. Employ all your energy to this end, pray to the friends of God that they may help you in this work; attach yourself to those who are attached to God in order that they may lead you to God with them. 

and further down in this section, one of the most important ideas-the necessity of accepting suffering:

This passive purification will certainly not be without suffering, and, as St. John of the Cross teaches, it will even be a mystical death, the death to self, the disintegration of self-love, which until then has resisted grace, at times with great obstinacy. Here pride must receive the deathblow that it may give place to genuine humility, a virtue which has been compared to the deepest root of a tree, a root which buries itself so much the more deeply in the soil as the loftiest branch, the symbol of charity, rises higher toward the sky.

For some of us, this is illness, or infirmity, or failure in the world, or even serious sin repented of and confessed...for some this is the death of loved ones, poverty, displacement, loss...Pride must go!

This center of the soul, the refuge of personal judgment and self-­love that is often very subtle, must be illumined by the divine light and filled by God, rendered completely healthy, and vivified. On the feast of the Purification, at Mass and in the procession each person carries a lighted candle, the symbol of the light of life that each should bear in the innermost depths of his soul. This light of life was given to man on the first day of creation; extinguished by sin, it was rekindled by the grace of conversion and by the hope of the promised Redeemer. This light grew in the souls of the patriarchs and the prophets until the coming of Christ, "a light to the revelation of the Gentiles, and the glory of . . . Israel," as the aged Simeon said in his beautiful canticle, Nunc dimittis, on the occasion of the presentation of Jesus in the Temple.

There is NO LIGHT without purification first. All who think there is are looking at a false light, a light which seems good but is not. Only the light of Christ, in fact, Christ Himself, Who is the Light of the World, can lead us through purification to new life and the living out of the fruit of the Holy Ghost, especially charity.

This same light of life, which grew in humanity until the advent of the Messias, should also grow in each of our souls from baptism until our entrance into heaven. It should gradually illumine and vivify the very center of our intellect and our heart that this depth may be not an obscure depth of egoism, personal judgment, and resistance to grace, but a depth of light and goodness where the Holy Ghost, the source of living water springing up into eternal life, may reign increasingly.

Suffering is the only way, the only. The acceptance of suffering is key.

From what we have just said it is evident that the passive purification of the spirit, made necessary by the defects of proficients, is the decisive struggle between two spirits: the spirit of pride, which may grow even to blasphemy, to hatred of God, and despair, and that of humility and charity, which is eternal life begun in us. These two conflicting spirits may be symbolized by two trees, one of which illustrates the teaching of St. Gregory the Great and St. Thomas on the roots and results of the seven capital sins, while the other explains their doctrine on humility and charity, and the connection of these virtues with the other virtues and the seven gifts.

To be continued.....tomorrow, more on the Dark Night of the Soul, which I visited the other day.

A bit of confusion on the meaning of love here

A few hints from someone I know who is very poor

When you give to the poor:

1) do not give them the oldest clothes you have; give them something very nice--if you would not wear it, why should they?; remember they need good shoes, warm clothes;

2) if you give them food, do not give them left overs or tons of cheap Ramen noodles--give them what you would eat for supper;

3) if you give, do not keep reminding them how fortunate they are to have you as a benefactor--humility goes both ways, and the poor have already been humbled by circumstances; you have not been so humiliated;

4) if you give, do not assume you will get anything back from them or others--your reward is in heaven;

5) when you have known them for awhile, invite them to your house for dinner--the poor are marginalized and cast out of polite society;

6) when you have known them for awhile, drive them to Church and Adoration--they would love to go but have no bus money and most likely do not live in the parishes you do; do not push, but invite;

7) never judge--some very poor people have illustrious parentage and heritage, but have fallen on bad times or have been very ill and suffered poverty from illness-this could happen to anyone; many people in England are extremely judgmental of the poor; this is a great evil; do not criticize them if they smell bad; they may not have the means to wash themselves daily or wash their clothes;

8) offer to help them with prescription bills or doctor's bills--socialism does not cover everything, of course;

9) offer to help find them work; most of the poor want to work but cannot find positions and as the poor, they have no contacts, no networking;

10) if they have children, you have a double duty to care for the children in many ways;

11) remember, many passed by Mary, Joseph and Jesus on the way to Egypt and legend has it that only the future good thief helped them;

12) if you think you have never met a poor person, look again; you are not seeing properly;

13) do not merely given to organizations, get involved with people; that is real love;

If you see a poor man or woman or child, you are looking at the Crucified One. Would you help Him?

Ah, the Vatican media; playing catch-up

Well, I hope the Vatican does not have to explain everything the Pope says. Here is a partial list of the true teaching of the Catholic Church. I hate bullets, but these evaded my delete button.

  • Saint Irenaeus (died A.D. 202): “[The Church] is the entrance to life; all others are thieves and robbers. On this account we are bound to avoid them… We hear it declared of the unbelieving and the blinded of this world that they shall not inherit the world of life which is to come… Resist them in defense of the only true and life giving faith, which the Church has received from the Apostles and imparted to her sons.” (Against Heresies , Book III)
    Origen (died A.D. 254): “Let no man deceive himself. Outside this house, that is, outside the Church no one is saved.” (In Iesu Nave homiliae )
    Saint Cyprian (died A.D. 258): “He who has turned his back on the Church of Christ shall not come to the rewards of Christ; he is an alien, a worldling, an enemy. You cannot have God for your Father if you have not the Church for your mother. Our Lord warns us when He says: `he that is not with Me is against Me, and he that gathereth not with Me scattereth.’ Whosoever breaks the peace and harmony of Christ acts against Christ; whoever gathers elsewhere than in the Church scatters the Church of Christ.” (Unity of the Catholic Church )
    “He who does not hold this unity, does not hold the law of God, does not hold the faith of the Father and the Son, does not hold life and salvation.” (Patrologiae Cursus Completus: Latina , Father Migne)
    “Nay, though they should suffer death for the confession of the Name, the guilt of such men is not removed even by their blood…No martyr can he be who is not in the Church.” (Ancient Christian Writers )
    Bishop Firmilean (died A.D. 269): “What is the greatness of his error, and what the depth of his blindness, who says that remission of sins can be granted in the synagogues of heretics, and does not abide on the foundation of the one Church.” (Anti-Nicene Fathers )
    Lactantius (died A.D. 310): “It is the Catholic Church alone which retains true worship. This is the fountain of truth, this is the abode of the Faith, this is the temple of God; into which if anyone shall not enter, or from which if anyone shall go out, he is a stranger to the hope of life and eternal salvation.” (The Divine Institutes )
    Saint Cyril of Jerusalem (died A.D. 386): “Abhor all heretics…heed not their fair speaking or their mock humility; for they are serpents, a `brood of vipers.’ Remember that, when Judas said `Hail Rabbi,’ the salutation was an act of betrayal. Do not be deceived by the kiss but beware of the venom. Abhor such men, therefore, and shun the blasphemers of the Holy Spirit, for whom there is no pardon. For what fellowship have you with men without hope. Let us confidently say to God regarding all heretics, `Did I not hate, O Lord, those who hated Thee, and did I not pine away because of Your enemies?’ For there is an enmity that is laudable, as it is written, `I will put enmity between you and the woman, between your seed and her seed.’ Friendship with the serpent produces enmity with God, and death. Let us shun those from whom God turns away.” (The Fathers of the Church )
    Saint Ambrose (died A.D. 397): “Where Peter is therefore, there is the Church. Where the Church is there is not death but life eternal. …Although many call themselves Christians, they usurp the name and do not have the reward.” (The Fathers of the Church )
    Bishop Niceta of Remesiana (died A.D. 415): “He is the Way along which we journey to our salvation; the Truth, because He rejects what is false; the Life, because He destroys death. …All who from the beginning of the world were, or are, or will be justified – whether Patriarchs, like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, or Prophets, whether Apostles or martyrs, or any others – make up one Church, because they are made holy by one faith and way of life, stamped with one Spirit, made into one Body whose Head, as we are told, is Christ. I go further. The angels and virtues and powers in heaven are co-members in this one Church, for, as the Apostle teaches us, in Christ `all things whether on the earth or in the heavens have been reconciled.’ You must believe, therefore, that in this one Church you are gathered into the Communion of Saints. You must know that this is the one Catholic Church established throughout the world, and with it you must remain in unshaken communion. There are, indeed, other so called `churches’ with which you can have no communion. …These `churches’ cease to be holy, because they were deceived by the doctrines of the devil to believe and behave differently from what Christ commanded and from the tradition of the Apostles.” (The Fathers of the Church )
    Saint Jerome (died A.D. 420): “As I follow no leader save Christ, so I communicate with none but your blessedness, that is, with the Chair of Peter. For this, I know, is the rock on which the Church is built. …This is the ark of Noah, and he who is not found in it shall perish when the flood prevails. …And as for heretics, I have never spared them; on the contrary, I have seen to it in every possible way that the Church’s enemies are also my enemies.” (Manual of Patrology and History of Theology )
    Saint Augustine (died A.D. 430): “No man can find salvation except in the Catholic Church. Outside the Catholic Church one can have everything except salvation. One can have honor, one can have the sacraments, one can sing alleluia, one can answer amen, one can have faith in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and preach it too, but never can one find salvation except in the Catholic Church.” (Sermo ad Caesariensis Ecclesia plebem )
    Saint Fulgentius (died A.D. 533): “Most firmly hold and never doubt that not only pagans, but also all Jews, all heretics, and all schismatics who finish this life outside of the Catholic Church, will go into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” (Enchiridion Patristicum )
    St. Bede the Venerable (died A.D. 735): “Just as all within the ark were saved and all outside of it were carried away when the flood came, so when all who are pre-ordained to eternal life have entered the Church, the end of the world will come and all will perish who are found outside.” (Hexaemeron )
    Saint Thomas Aquinas (died A.D. 1274): “There is no entering into salvation outside the Church, just as in the time of the deluge there was none outside the ark, which denotes the Church.” (Summa Theologiae )
    Saint Peter Canisius (died A.D. 1597): “Outside of this communion – as outside of the ark of Noah – there is absolutely no salvation for mortals: not for Jews or pagans who never received the faith of the Church, nor for heretics who, having received it, corrupted it; neither for the excommunicated or those who for any other serious cause deserve to be put away and separated from the body of the Church like pernicious members…for the rule of Cyprian and Augustine is certain: he will not have God for his Father who would not have the Church for his mother.” (Catechismi Latini et Germanici )
    Saint Robert Bellarmine (died A.D. 1621): “Outside the Church there is no salvation…therefore in the symbol [Apostles Creed] we join together the Church with the remission of sins: `I believe in the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins’…For this reason the Church is compared with the ark of Noah, because just as during the deluge, everyone perished who was not in the ark, so now those perish who are not in the Church.” (De Sacramento Baptismi )
    “There is but one universal Church of the faithful, outside which no one at all is saved.” (Pope Innocent III, Fourth Lateran Council, 1215.)
  • "We declare, say, define, and pronounce that it is absolutely necessary for the salvation of every human creature to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.” (Pope Boniface VIII, the Bull Unam Sanctam, 1302.)
  • “The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church.” (Pope Eugene IV, the Bull Cantate Domino, 1441.)
And more good stuff from here. Thanks to that site for the above quotations.

Just read the Dominus Iesus linked above. 

Maybe the Pope should not be SO spontaneous, or at least, sack the liberals in the media office

From the New Liturgical Movement-Pope Francis and the TLM

A saint for home schoolers, perhaps.

St. Madeline Sophie Barat, whose feast it is today, had a great love of Classical Education, as I do. I suggest home schooling mums and dads pray to her for all their needs and the needs of their children. She loved the Sacred Heart of Jesus.  Read more here.

Really slanted views....

The world is crooked. Still cannot find my glasses.

Christian Persecution Watch Updates from the Main Media (new categories for dhimmis will affect Christians)

Thanks to the great Christian Spencer for these links. Also, I am being watched by several Islamic addresses. Pray, as this happens every time I post things like this-a clear pattern. And, people insist there is no difference in religions.

Pray to the Wonderful St. Cuthman for the King Post

One of the patron's of Sussex

One of the saints of Sussex is St. Cuthman. Recently, I was introduced to his prayer, which struck a chord in my soul. I share it with you. Perhaps, St. Cuthman will help God bring the holy house of prayer to a
Walsingham.  There is a GREAT history with many of the things noted here about him at this website. Click here for another version of the Burton interpretation discussed below.

He was very poor, a simple shepherd, who pushed his mum miles in a wheelbarrow, when they had to leave their home to beg for food.

His simple faith inspired others to help him build a Church, and one is on the site today in Steyning, where he ended his journey.

May God bless my building, which would obviously not be of my doing, but God's alone.

"Father Almighty, you have brought my wanderings to an end; now enable me to begin this work. For who am I, Lord, that I should build a house to name? If I rely on myself, it will be of no avail, but it is you who will assist me. You have given me the desire to be a builder; make up for my lack of skill, and bring the work of building this holy house to its completion."

There is another connection, as I just finished a play on the history of Walsingham and am approaching groups to produce it. Christopher Fry wrote a play on St. Cuthman in which Richard Burton played the saint. Here is a quotation from the play, thanks to Wiki, from which I found the above prayer as well here.

It is there in the story of Cuthman, the working together
Of man and God like root and sky; the son
Of a Cornish shepherd, Cuthman, the boy with a cart,
The boy we saw trudging the sheep-tracks with his mother 
Mile upon mile over five counties; one

Fixed purpose biting his heels and lifting his heart.
We saw him; we saw him with a grass in his mouth, chewing
And travelling. We saw him building at last
A church among whortleberries

Here is Richard Burton with the scene from the play,  but a better one, which I could not copy is from the amazing website above under website. This reading is good but the other one is superb.

St. Cuthman and his mum in the wheelbarrow are found in a misericord in Ripon Cathedral.

 I, of course, love the area around Fountains Abbey more than any place in the world. But, he and mum are also depicted in the Horsham Heritage Sundial, found at this site. The above sculpture is also from the sundial.

Pray to St. Cuthman for me, and the holy house project. By the way, the name of the house now is King's Lodge, but I would change it to King's Post if St. Cuthman helps me. You can listen to Richard Burton to find out why. The holy house with stamp duty would cost 432,000 pound sterling.