Recent Posts

Wednesday 5 June 2013

From Cardinal Dolan--wake up time

The last three days on perfection

Wednesday, Thursday and Friday will be the last days on the perfection series, except for the odd reminder now and then.

Today, I want to emphasize the crucial idea that the intellect must grow with spiritual life. When I hear a Catholic say that he or she does not have to study the CCC or read the encyclicals because his or her faith is from the heart,  cringe. This idea creates a false dichotomy in a person. The heart and head grow together.

Again, one of the huge problems with so many Catholics, especially in England, is belief that one cannot be intellectual about the spiritual life. This concept is in contradiction to thousands of years of teaching in the Catholic Church and in the Jewish Old Testament preparation for Christ. 

Learning brings one closer to God. Learning and the love of God must grow together. To get stuck in an anti-intellectual mode is to stop growing. Infused knowledge is given at the last stage of unity, after sin and the tendencies of sin have been purged from one.

We are given the gift of wisdom, but it must be cultivated. If a person has been a Catholic for twenty or thirty years and is still reading books on spiritual phenomenon, witnessing or protestant spirituality, a problem exists in the intellect. One must move on to the understanding of the Catholic Faith.

Faith and Reason, as I told my students for years, form the pillars of our religion. Revelation, that is, the Old and New Testament, form the Faith and Reason helps one grow in holiness and discernment.

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to grow intellectually. Here is Garrigou-Lagrange on the subject.

In true mystics and ecstatics, on the contrary, it has been established that their intellect grows through their knowledge of God, the divine perfections, the dogmas of faith, and also through their profound knowledge of themselves. They declare that in a few moments of contemplation they learn more than by reading all books on the interior life. In these moments they receive a higher light which makes them glimpse, as it were, a superior synthesis of all they already knew, a living, luminous synthesis which, arousing the impulse of the will, makes them undertake and carry out great things with admirable, persevering courage in spite of almost unbelievable difficulties. The lives of St. Catherine of Siena and of St. Teresa illustrate this fact.

Heroic courage is a sign of real holiness. No complaining, but acceptance of suffering provides a clue to those who are holy. Obedience to Church teaching and love are two other signs. Remember, if a Catholic is unorthodox in any way and seems holy, sin and deceit are to be found. 

Love of the Truth is another sign of holiness. 

Indeed, any one who is contradicting Church teaching in any way is not on the road to perfection and the gifts which that person seems to exhibit are false.

In addition, true mystics are humble, charitable, submissive to the divine will amid even the greatest trials. In them is patent the connection and the harmony of the most dissimilar virtues, and, dominating all, a love of God and of neighbor and a wisdom that give them peace and wonderful serenity. Properly speaking, they represent the inverse of the passionate agitation and inconstancy of hysterical subjects. This fact is evident in their labors for the successful prosecution of a difficult undertaking; likewise their perseverance in good, their constant love of the truth, united to reserve and humility, give proof of it.

Reason not hysteria marks the saint.

To be continued...

Busy Supertradmum

As some of you know, I have recently finished a drama on Walsingham and am trying to get it produced. Please keep that in your prayers. I am now working on one about the Foundress of Tyburn, as I got permission from Mother General to do this.

I am honored to be able to do this.

By the way, critics say this Darcy is closest to the book. Comments?  I love this 1980 series.

By the way two, I have done a really un-nunny thing this week and watched TWO Jane Austen movies at home.

One is the Sense and Sensibility by Emma Thompson, which is great.

The second is the Northanger Abbey from 2007, which is good. Some people like the 1986 version better, including me. Hate the musical score, however.


Confusion between two groups named Magnificat

A faithful reader has alerted me to the group Magnificat Meals. There is great confusion here, and obviously, New Age and occult influence. But, just to complicate matters, there are two groups with almost identical name and not the same at all.

There is another group which uses the same name and that is here. Do not confuse these groups.

Here is the first one.

The Maltese group is part of this worldwide group, and I had warned them myself about reiki and enneagrams, which a Jesuit was telling them were ok. Not ok! They belong to the American group.

Two groups, same name.... Here is the second website and it is obviously NOT orthodox.

In the States, the first group allows the Magnificat monthly booklet to use the name and get funds for the copyright. I read the entire book of rules of the American group and it is charismatic, but I found no written New Age influence, which is clearly seen here in the other group highlighted immediately above.

The group from Australia is cultic and in deep error.

Satan is alive and well and his minions, "roaming the world seeking the ruin of souls." St. Michael, pray for us.

Father Hayden in Malta  is the spiritual director of Magnificat Malta. I have good friends in that group, which is connected to the America group of the first link above.

I have met Fr. Hayden.

Of course, I am in disagreement with him about some Marian apparitions, not approved by Rome. He is also too charismatic for me. But, he gave solid direction to a talk I attended.

What a mess....two groups, two different founders, two different bases.

Here we go again....

More Saints from the Spanish Civil War

On Monday Pope Francis recognized a total of 95 new Spanish martyrs who were killed because of their faith, during Spain's Civil War. He also gave the title of 'venerable' to four founders of religious congregations.

The group of martyrs include 66 Marist Brothers and two laymen, as well as 17 Benedictines, led by Abel Angel Palazuelos;  a group of five Discalced Carmelites and a diocesan priest. A group of nuns and three Servants of Mary, who served as Ministers to the Sick were also named.

The Bishops Conference of Spain will hold a beatification celebration on 27 October.
In addition, the Pope has recognized the heroic virtues  (one of the first steps twards being declared a saint) of four founders of religious congregations. They include Italian priest, Nicola Mazza, who founded the Institute for Education; Portuguese Bishop João de Oliveira Matos, founder of the 'Liga dos servos de Jesus'; Giulia Crostarosa, the Italian founder of the Sisters of the Holy Redeemer, and the Spanish Teresa of St Joseph, founder of the Congregation of Teresian Carmelite Sisters of St Joseph.

A great website on these and other saints is found here

Support the Good Counsel Network, Please

and more news will be coming on the House of Adoration in Walsingham soon. Pray for funds there are well, please.

Sharia Law Coming to a State Near You-Missouri

Re-post Brave New World in Scotland

THE ANSWER TO GRAMSCI-The Cult of Social Justice and the Idolatry in SSM: the one thing necessary: 2

Garrigou-Lagrange was ahead in his prophetic teachings. Remember his dates, 1877-1964. Too bad more clergy did not pay attention to his teaching.

His explanation of the cult of social justice has led to the false acceptance of sin in Europe and in some states in America. When one loses sight of the goal of perfection and the intimate relationship with the Trinity, to which we are all called, one falls into movements which are human centered and relativistic. As man becomes more and more his own idol, he relates all society and culture back to his own needs and desires, instead of concentrating on the one thing necessary-the pursuit of God.

 As usual, his words are in black italics, as are other quotations and my comments are in blue.


What we have just said is true at all times; but the question of the interior life is being more sharply raised today than in several periods less troubled than ours. The explanation of this interest lies in the fact that many men have separated themselves from God and tried to organize intellectual and social life without Him. The great problems that have always preoccupied humanity have taken on a new and sometimes tragic aspect. To wish to get along without God, first Cause and last End, leads to an abyss; not only to nothingness, but also to physical and moral wretchedness that is worse than noth­ingness. Likewise, great problems grow exasperatingly serious, and man must finally perceive that all these problems ultimately lead to the fundamental religious problem; in other words, he will finally have to declare himself entirely for God or against Him. This is in its essence the problem of the interior life. Christ Himself says: "He that is not with Me is against Me." (5)

 I learned in the 1970s that one could no longer be mediocre, a wishy-washy Catholic. One had to be totally dedicated or one would be swept away with the crowd of lukewarm Catholics into hell. Christ said, 

Christ the Son of God said this: But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. Revelation 3:16 DR

The great modern scientific and social tendencies, in the midst of the conflicts that arise among them and in spite of the opposition of those who represent them, converge in this way, whether one wills it or not, toward the fundamental question of the intimate rela­tions of man with God. This point is reached' after many deviations. When man will no longer fulfill his great religious duties toward God who created him and who is his last End, he makes a religion for himself since he absolutely cannot get along without religion. 

Even the ancients knew that man had a duty to worship the gods, but man worships himself, which, in my opinion, is the symbol of so-called gay marriage. SSM creates an idol out of one's own gender. One worships one's self.

What could be more of a symbol of our day than the worship of self as we witness the pursuit of unnatural sex now accepted in most of Western Europe.  The icon of idolatry--

To replace the superior ideal which he has abandoned, man may, for example, place his religion in science or in the cult of social justice or in some human ideal, which finally he considers in a religious manner and even in a mystical manner. Thus he turns away from supreme reality, and there arises a vast number of problems that will be solved only if he returns to the fundamental problem of the intimate relations of the soul with God.

The culture-wars are a direct result of this attitude of moving away from the pursuit of the Love of God.

It has often been remarked that today science pretends to be a religion. Likewise socialism and communism claim to be a code of ethics and present themselves under the guise of a feverish cult of justice, thereby trying to captivate hearts and minds. As a matter of fact, the modern scholar seems to have a scrupulous devotion to the scientific method. He cultivates it to such a degree that he often seems to prefer the method of research to the truth. If he bestowed equally serious care on his interior life, he would quickly reach sanctity. Often, however, this religion of science is directed toward the apotheosis of man rather than toward the love of God. As much must be said of social activity, particularly under the form it assumes in socialism and communism. It is inspired by a mysticism which purposes a transfiguration of man, while at times it denies in the most absolute manner the rights of God.

Garrigou-Lagrange answers the ideology of Gramsci neatly.

This is simply a reiteration of the statement that the religious problem of the relations of man with God is at the basis of every great problem. We must declare ourselves for or against Him; indifference is no longer possible, as our times show in a striking manner. The present world-wide economic crisis demonstrates what men can do when they seek to get along without God.
Without God, the seriousness of life gets out of focus. If religion is no longer a grave matter but something to smile at, then the serious element in life must be sought elsewhere. Some place it, or pretend to place it, in science or in social activity; they devote the selves religiously to the search for scientific truth or to the establishment of justice between classes or peoples. After a while they are forced to perceive that they have ended in fearful disorder and that the relations between individuals and nations become more and more difficult, if not impossible. As St. Augustine and St. Thomas (6) have said, it is evident that the same material goods, as opposed to those of the spirit, cannot at one and the same time belong integrally to several persons. The same house, the same land, cannot simultaneously belong wholly to several men, nor the same territory to several nations. As a result, interests conflict when man feverishly makes these lesser goods his last end.

Since the early 19th century, the Popes, the Church, have been involved in spiritual warfare against communism and socialism. Sadly, in Europe and increasingly in America, the battle has been lost on the larger stage. Garrigou-Lagrange shows us the errors, just as did Pope Pius IX and X and all after.

St. Augustine, on the other hand, insists on the fact that the same spiritual goods can belong simultaneously and integrally to all and to each individual in particular. Without doing harm to another, we can fully possess the same truth, the same virtue, the same God. This is why our Lord says to us: "Seek ye therefore first the kingdom of God and His justice; and all these things shall be added unto you." (7) Failure to hearken to this lesson, is to work at one's destruction and to verify once more the words of the Psalmist: "Unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. Unless the Lord keep the city, he watcheth in vain that keepeth it." (8)

Has your life been in vain, pursuing comfort, status, acceptance? Take it from one who has lost all these things and resides in the Eucharistic Heart of Jesus. All else is vanity, and in the humility of nothingness and littleness, one experiences the God of Augustine, Abraham, John the Baptist..

If the serious element in life is out of focus, if it no longer is concerned with our duties toward God, but with the scientific and social activities of man; if man continually seeks himself instead of God, his last End, then events are not slow in showing him that he has taken an impossible way, which leads not only to nothingness, but to unbearable disorder and misery. We must again and again revert to Christ's words: "He that is not with Me, is against Me: and he that gathereth not with Me, scattereth." (9) The facts confirm this declaration.

I have lived in England for a total of more than 12 years and I have never heard a sermon on our duties as Catholics to God. Those duties begin with the carrying out of our baptismal vows and continue with our life in and with the Church. I suppose most clergy have not realized that the worship of God, that is, religion, is our first duty. In the section following, Garrigou-Lagrange reminds me of Bonhoeffer's distinction between cheap and costly grace. 

We conclude logically that religion can give an efficacious and truly realistic answer to the great modern problems only if it is a religion that is profoundly lived, not simply a superficial and cheap religion made up of some vocal prayers and some ceremonies in which religious art has more place than true piety. As a matter of fact, no religion that is profoundly lived is without an interior life, without that intimate and frequent conversation which we have not only with ourselves but with God.

Without an interior life, nothing is good or true. 

All the issues of the day...and here is a link to the encyclicals mentioned here.What a great teacher Pius XI was on modern issues, like his predecessors.......

The last encyclicals of Pope Pius XI make this clear. To respond to what is good in the general aspirations of nations, aspirations to justice and charity among individuals, classes, and peoples, the Holy Father wrote the encyclicals on Christ the King, on His sanctifying influence in all His mystical body, on the family, on the sanctity of Christian marriage, on social questions, on the necessity of reparation, and on the missions. In all these encyclicals he deals with the reign of Christ over all humanity. The logical conclusion to be drawn is that religion, the interior life, must be profound, must be a true life of union with God if it is to keep the pre-eminence it should have over scientific and social activities. This is a manifest necessity.

To be continued....

In my beginning is my end...the one thing necessary: 1

For those who have been following my perfection series, I am coming to the end of this 18 month interpretation and sharing of ideas this week. Next week, I shall move on to a series on Thomas Aquinas for the laity in the pew. That may take me the rest of my life! I hope I can wrap up Garrigou-Lagrange to your satisfaction. I have, of course, skipped pages of the book in order to highlight some passages for our Church and our personal walk with Christ today.

Here is the beginning of his book again, as a reminder of why we do this long and ardous, but beautiful seeking for perfection.

No comment is necessary on this section.  St. Peter writes to us and himself when he warns all to pay attention to the spiritual life: 

You therefore, brethren, knowing these things before, take heed, lest being led aside by the error of the unwise, you fall from your own steadfastness. 2  Peter 3:17 DR

Do not get involved in anything which is not orthodox. 

Pray, think, reflect, act...and acting may be begging God for perfection, daily.

To be continued..

I. THE ONE THING NECESSARY As everyone can easily understand, the interior life is an elevated form of intimate conversation which everyone has with himself as soon as he is alone, even in the tumult of a great city. From the moment he ceases to converse with his fellow men, man converses interiorly with himself about what preoccupies him most. This conversation varies greatly according to the different ages of life; that of an old man is not that of a youth. It also varies greatly according as a man is good or bad. As soon as a man seriously seeks truth and goodness, this intimate conversation with himself tends to become conversation with God. Little by little, instead of seeking himself in everything, instead of tending more or less consciously to make himself a center, man tends to seek God in everything, and to substitute for egoism love of God and of souls in Him. This constitutes the interior life. No sincere man will have any difficulty in recognizing it. The one thing necessary which Jesus spoke of to Martha and Mary (1) consists in hearing the word of God and living by it. The interior life thus conceived is something far more profound and more necessary in us than intellectual life or the cultivation of the sciences, than artistic or literary life, than social or political life. Unfortunately, some great scholars, mathematicians, physicists, and astronomers have no interior life, so to speak, but devote themselves to the study of their science as if God did not exist. In their mo­ments of solitude they have no intimate conversation with Him. Their life appears to be in certain respects the search for the true and the good in a more or less definite and restricted domain, but it is so tainted with self-love and intellectual pride that we may legitimately question whether it will bear fruit for eternity. Many artists, literary men, and statesmen never rise above this level of purely human activity which is, in short, quite exterior. Do the depths of their souls live by God? It would seem not. This shows that the interior life, or the life of the soul with God, well deserves to be called the one thing necessary, since by it we tend to our last end and assure our salvation. This last must not be too widely separated from progressive sanctification, for it is the very way of salvation. There are those who seem to think that it is sufficient to be saved and that it is not necessary to be a saint. It is clearly not necessary to be a saint who performs miracles and whose sanctity is officially recognized by the Church. To be saved, we must take the way of salvation, which is identical with that of sanctity. There will be only saints in heaven, whether they enter there immediately after death or after purification in purgatory. No one enters heaven unless he has that sanctity which consists in perfect purity of soul. Every sin though it should be venial, must be effaced, and the punishment due to sin must be borne or remitted, in order that a soul may enjoy forever the vision of God, see Him as He sees Himself, and love Him as He loves Himself. Should a soul enter heaven before the total remission of its sins, it could not remain there and it would cast itself into purgatory to be purified. The interior life of a just man who tends toward God and who already lives by Him is indeed the one thing necessary. To be a saint, neither intellectual culture nor great exterior activity is a requisite; it suffices that we live profoundly by God. This truth is evident in the saints of the early Church; several of those saints were poor people, even slaves.

As the Great Father Benedict did not call me to be one of his intitmate followers, I move to Benedict Labre, who I can easily claim as a patron saint, seeking the one thing necessary. If this young saint were living in socialist, communist Europe today, he would be put in an insane asylum. The world does not know what to do with those who seek the one thing necessary and the worldlings in the Church do not know either.

The Catholic Church has become too middle-class in sensibilities.

It is evident also in St. Francis, St. Benedict Joseph Labre, in the Cure of Ars, and many others. They all had a deep understanding of these words of our Savior: "For what doth it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his own soul?" (2) If people sacrifice so many things to save the life of the body, which must ultimately die, what should we not sacrifice to save the life of our soul, which is to last forever? Ought not man to love his soul more than his body? "Or what exchange shall a man give for his soul?" our Lord adds. (3) "One thing is necessary," He tells us.(4) To save our soul, one thing alone is necessary: to hear the word of God and to live by it. Therein lies the best part, which will not be taken away from a faithful soul even though it should lose everything else.

Hissy Fit

A very wealthy Irish woman asked me if I wanted to visit a woman in southern Ireland who claims she is seeing Mary. I was so stunned. I said no and she could not believe I would pass up the chance.

Another woman and her husband visited a faith healer in Ireland and paid him 80 euros for the healing-which did not happen.

The woman who wanted to see a seer was caught up in visionary sites. The couple are caught up in superstition.

Apparently, this woman, and many woman like her, literally runs around Europe, spending tons of money visiting apparition sites, some which have already been condemned by the Church ages ago.

Waste of money. I honestly do not know how to deal with this phenomenon. People think they are going to be holy if they visit holy sites, as if picking up holiness by osmosis was possible.

I find this a horrible hypocrisy and sign of spiritual gluttony.

If anyone has any idea as to how I can break through such sentimentality, let me know.

I do not know why people waste so much money on these types of pilgrimages.

The traditional enumeration of the corporal works of mercy is as follows:
  • To feed the hungry;
  • To give drink to the thirsty;
  • To clothe the naked;
  • To harbour the harbourless;
  • To visit the sick;
  • To ransom the captive;
  • To bury the dead.
The spiritual works of mercy are:
  • To instruct the ignorant;
  • To counsel the doubtful;
  • To admonish sinners;
  • To bear wrongs patiently;
  • To forgive offences willingly;
  • To comfort the afflicted;
  • To pray for the living and the dead.

Confusion as to Purgatory and Sin--More Magical Thinking

Purgatory is not nice, but necessary.

I have written about this many times, but one more time will not fact, this post  is another contradiction of more magical thinking

Only the perfect see God. Confession and the Last Anointing, according to the CCC,  takes away sin, as Christ forgives us of our sins. But, these do not take away the punishment due to sin, or the time of purification necessary for those who die with imperfections and even venial sins. There are many references in the CCC, so look under sections 1499 on and 1020 on.

Remember, that the souls in purgatory are fixed in their sanctifying grace and cannot gain merit for themselves or others. Here is a statement from the Second Council of Lyons:

If those who are truly repentant die in charity before they have done sufficient penance for their sins of omission and commission, their souls are cleansed after death in purgatorial or cleansing punishments . . . The suffrages of the faithful on earth can be of great help in relieving these punishments, as, for instance, the Sacrifice of the Mass, prayers, almsgiving, and other religious deeds which, in the manner of the Church, the faithful are accustomed to offer for others of the faithful.

And from Trent:
If anyone says that, after receiving the grace of justification the guilt of any repentant sinner is remitted and the debt of eternal punishment is blotted out in such a way that no debt of temporal punishment remains to be paid, either in this life or in purgatory, before the gate to the kingdom of heaven can be opened: let him be anathema (DB 840).
The Catholic Church, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, in accordance with Sacred Scripture and the ancient tradition of the Fathers, has taught in the holy councils, and most recently in this ecumenical council, that there is a purgatory, and that the souls detained there are helped by the prayers of the faithful, and especially by the acceptable Sacrifice of the Altar.
Therefore, this holy council commands the bishops to be diligently on guard that the true doctrine about purgatory, the doctrine handed down from the holy Fathers and the sacred councils, be preached everywhere, and that Christians be instructed in it, believe it, and adhere to it.
But let the more difficult and subtle controversies, which neither edify nor generally cause any increase of piety, be omitted from the ordinary sermons to the poorly instructed. Likewise, they should not permit anything that is uncertain or anything that appears to be false to be treated in popular or learned publications. And should forbid as scandalous and injurious to the faithful whatever is characterized by a kind of curiosity and superstition, or is prompted by motives of dishonorable gain (DB 983). more here

Some priests do not teach the Church's teaching on purgatory and assume all people go to heaven after the Last Rites. Such a thing was said today.

The apostolic blessing is plenary indulgence. A plenary indulgence takes away the temporal punishment due to sin, but not the sin, and therefore follows the Last Rites.

Here is the section from The Enchiridion of Indulgences:

The Moment of Death (In articulo mortis).  PLENARY INDULGENCE. EXCEPTION TO THE THREE CONSTANTS. (Verbatim recitation of the grant follows:) "To the faithful in danger of death, who cannot be assisted by a priest to bring them the sacraments and impart the Apostolic Blessing with its plenary indulgence (see can. 468, Sec.2 of Code of Canon Law), Holy Mother Church nevertheless grants a plenary indulgence to be acquired at the point of death, provided they are properly disposed and have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime.  The use of a crucifix or a cross to gain this indulgence is praiseworthy." The condition: 'provided they have been in the habit of reciting some prayers during their lifetime' supplies in such cases for the three usual conditions required for the gaining of a plenary indulgence." The plenary indulgence at the point of death can be acquired by the faithful, even if they have already obtained another plenary indulgence on the same day."