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Thursday 6 June 2013

A Good Idea from A Faithful Reader

Psalm 141:5 Let a righteous man strike me--that is a kindness; let him rebuke me--that is oil on my head. My head will not refuse it, for my prayer will still be against the deeds of evildoers.

Matthew 18:15 "If your brother or sister sins, go and point out their fault, just between the two of you. If they listen to you, you have won them over.

Sal in the comment box pointed out an excellent nuance on complaining vs. addressing errors.

Here are some hints. And, be prepared for negative responses. Thankfully, I have moved quite a bit and am an old person, that these situations cannot be pinpointed.

1) If I have a problem with a priest, where I attend Mass regularly, and not just now and then--in other words, if the priest knows me, and if he is, for example, not saying the NO correctly (such are using the older form, which is now illegal), I would go to that priest directly and not talk about this in the community; or, if a priest is allowing a person in an irregular marriage to come to be a lector, or EMHC, or receive Communion, as one has to be a Catholic in good standing for that, I would talk to the person first, and then, the priest. These situations cause scandal in the community, but, believe it or not, some priests do not know what the laity may know about someone. A priest was grateful to know of a situation like this years ago, and asked the person to step down from ministry and apply for an annulment.  It was a huge parish, and the priest knew less about people's lives than we all did. But, always talk to the person, and the priest first. Sadly, one priest had told me this type of thing does not matter, even though the parish was being scandalized, concerning false teaching in the marriage course concerning contraception and re-marriage. I moved out of that parish, as did one other couple who were involved, as I was, in RCIA and marriage prep. The priest was so disobedient to Church teaching and allowing disobedient Catholics to teach, I could no longer work with him.

A few more hints....

2) If a problem of liturgical abuse persists with a priest, I would talk with the priest first, then, if the abuse continues, write to the bishop, and tell the priest that I am writing to the bishop. If this is a one-off problem, I let it drop.

Galatians 6:1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.

3) If a sister or brother in the Lord whom I know well is sinning seriously, I tell that person directly. For example, last summer, I told someone in Walsingham about the dangers of The Warning site and how she  should not be passing out print outs in the National Shrine. She contradicted me, and ignored me. But, I did my duty. I am going to have to talk to some one soon about another false ministry, which is not Catholic, heretical, dangerous,  and which she is about to enter. I pray and fast even before doing so if the situation is serious.

4) If a person is in a Catholic marriage, but divorced, and I know them very well, such as a brother or sister in the Lord dating without an annulment and going to Mass and Communion, I speak to him or her directly. Same is true if someone is contracepting, or using IVF. But, I would only speak to those I knew very well. I had to do this recently, again. Sadly, the person is ignoring me about this situation, but she knows I care about her, but she wants to date without an annulment.

2 Thessalonians 3:15 Yet do not regard them as an enemy, but warn them as you would a fellow believer.

5) In all these things, I would never talk about these situations with other people except those involved. That is gossip.

Complaining is talking about one's suffering instead of bearing it for one's sins or for purification. Complaining is dissing other people behind their back and this is also calumny. Complaining about one's pastor, without speaking to him if there are problems, is a sin. But, be prepared for negative responses, as I got when talking to a priest I know very well about the lack of following the rules for baptismal prep. He basically told me to shut-up, and that he did not care about the guidelines. Another priest was passing out Communion to non-Catholics, and I addressed this. Again, this priest told me he did not consider this a problem. I wrote to the bishop, and the bishop intervened, and wrote letters to every priest in the diocese that there was absolutely no inter-communion with non-Catholics. But, I lost my prepared.

In all these things, souls are in danger of being lost. If I fail speaking out of love, I give the situation and person to God and FORGET ABOUT IT.

Remember, this week, I published the spiritual works of mercy: one is to admonish sinners and another is to instruct the ignorant.

I do these things only if necessary, but years ago, when I was far away from the Church, a good nun told me the truth about my life, and I repented. This is our job as baptized Catholics, to really love one another, and not be sentimental.

Always pray, and love all involved.

The False Road of Complaining vs. Perfection

"A person who rails at God in adversity, suffers without merit; moreover by his lack of resignation he adds to his punishment in the next life and experiences greater disquietude of mind in this life." 
St Alphonsus de Liguori via Garrigou-Lagrange.

In my life, one fifth which has been lived in England, I have noticed that the English and Irish complain much more than Americans about everything. This negativity seems to be a cultural phenomenon and indicates a lack of faith, hope and charity. Complaining is a truly evil sin. It is called "murmuring" in the monastery and destroys communities. It is a habit which must be broken if one wants to enter the road to perfection.

I do not want to be around "whiners" or "wingers". I want to be with joyful, faith-filled and growing Catholics. Women seem to be the worst for this, and when I gently try to steer a conversation away from complaining, I seem to fail in the attempt. Now, I am to the point where I must just remove myself from the company of complainers. I may even have to drop old friends who have persisted in this for years. The atmosphere created by complainers is poisonous to the soul. If one has a habit of complaining, one will not enter heaven on death. Here is a good sermon on it from years ago. St. Benedict saw that it destroyed love and obedience, which are the two virtues which grow in the pursuit of perfection.

Complaining stops grace, unless one repents and begs God to change one. Complaining kills holiness.

Moses had to correct the murmurers, and some died. Here is St. Paul on the point and how he lists murmuring with other great sins.

1 Corinthians 10

10 For I would not have you ignorant, brethren, that our fathers were all under the cloud, and all passed through the sea.
And all in Moses were baptized, in the cloud, and in the sea:
And did all eat the same spiritual food,
And all drank the same spiritual drink; (and they drank of the spiritual rock that followed them, and the rock was Christ.)
But with most of them God was not well pleased: for they were overthrown in the desert.
Now these things were done in a figure of us, that we should not covet evil things as they also coveted.
Neither become ye idolaters, as some of them, as it is written: The people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play.
Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed fornication, and there fell in one day three and twenty thousand.
Neither let us tempt Christ: as some of them tempted, and perished by the serpents.

God sent poisonous snakes to kill the complainers.
10 Neither do you murmur: as some of them murmured, and were destroyed by the destroyer.
11 Now all these things happened to them in figure: and they are written for our correction, upon whom the ends of the world are come.
12 Wherefore he that thinketh himself to stand, let him take heed lest he fall.
13 Let no temptation take hold on you, but such as is human. And God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that which you are able: but will make also with temptation issue, that you may be able to bear it.
14 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, fly from the service of idols.
15 I speak as to wise men: judge ye yourselves what I say.
16 The chalice of benediction, which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ ? And the bread, which we break, is it not the partaking of the body of the Lord ?
17 For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread.
18 Behold Israel according to the flesh: are not they, that eat of the sacrifices, partakers of the altar ?
19 What then ? Do I say, that what is offered in sacrifice to idols, is any thing ? Or, that the idol is any thing ?
20 But the things which the heathens sacrifice, they sacrifice to devils, and not to God. And I would not that you should be made partakers with devils.
21 You cannot drink the chalice of the Lord, and the chalice of devils: you cannot be partakers of the table of the Lord, and of the table of devils.
22 Do we provoke the Lord to jealousy ? Are we stronger than he? All things are lawful for me, but all things are not expedient.
23 All things are lawful for me, but all things do not edify.
24 Let no man seek his own, but that which is another's.
25 Whatsoever is sold in the shambles, eat; asking no question for conscience' sake.
26 The earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof.

27 If any of them that believe not, invite you, and you will be willing to go; eat of any thing that is set before you, asking no question for conscience' sake.
28 But if any man say: This has been sacrificed to idols, do not eat of it for his sake that told it, and for conscience' sake.
29 Conscience, I say, not thy own, but the other's. For why is my liberty judged by another man's conscience ?
30 If I partake with thanksgiving, why am I evil spoken of, for that for which I give thanks ?
31 Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do, do all to the glory of God.
32 Be without offence to the Jews, and to the Gentiles, and to the church of God:
33 As I also in all things please all men, not seeking that which is profitable to myself, but to many, that may be saved.

Complaining was the great sin of the Israelites when they left Egypt, experienced the great miracle of deliverance from slavery and the parting of the Red Sea. These people lacked gratitude.

Gratitude is being thankful for all things and all situations, seeing the Hand of God in all and seeing the plan or destiny which marks our lives. 

The Israelites blew it. The trip would have taken from two weeks to a month, even with goats and children, but it took forty years. Here are some possible routes. Catholic scholars have other routes, marking the sea crossing on the bit higher up. But, the point here is that it does not take forty years to get across Sinai. 

Complaining indicates a lack of trust in Providence. We all talk too much, as I noted in post earlier this week. Silence stops sinning with the tongue. 

Numbers 11

1And the people were as murmurers, speaking evil in the ears of the LORD: and when the LORD heard it, his anger was kindled; and the fire of the LORD burnt among them, and devoured in the uttermost part of the camp. 2And the people cried unto Moses; and Moses prayed unto the LORD, and the fire abated. 3And the name of that place was called Taberah: because the fire of the LORD burnt among them.
4And the mixed multitude that was among them fell a lusting: and the children of Israel also wept again, and said, Who shall give us flesh to eat? 5We remember the fish, which we did eat in Egypt for nought; the cucumbers, and the melons, and the leeks, and the onions, and the garlick: 6but now our soul is dried away; there is nothing at all: we have nought save this manna to look to.
7And the manna was like coriander seed, and the appearance thereof as the appearance of bdellium. 8The people went about, and gathered it, and ground it in mills, or beat it in mortars, and seethed it in pots, and made cakes of it: and the taste of it was as the taste of fresh oil. 9And when the dew fell upon the camp in the night, the manna fell upon it.

10And Moses heard the people weeping throughout their families, every man at the door of his tent: and the anger of the LORD was kindled greatly; and Moses was displeased. 11And Moses said unto the LORD, Wherefore hast thou evil entreated thy servant? and wherefore have I not found favour in thy sight, that thou layest the burden of all this people upon me? 12Have I conceived all this people? have I brought them forth, that thou shouldest say unto me, Carry them in thy bosom, as a nursing-father carrieth the sucking child, unto the land which thou swarest unto their fathers? 13Whence should I have flesh to give unto all this people? for they weep unto me, saying, Give us flesh, that we may eat. 14I am not able to bear all this people alone, because it is too heavy for me. 15And if thou deal thus with me, kill me, I pray thee, out of hand, if I have found favour in thy sight; and let me not see my wretchedness. 

To be continued...

Q and A Time on Perfection Series

Tomorrow, I am wrapping up the perfection series with at least two more posts. However, some of you may have questions about the series, which includes 400 or more postings over the past 18 months.

Please ask questions and I shall answer them over the weekend for sure. For those who follow me, you know that I do not have regular access to the Internet; and my company on my phone has been down plus off and on all week. Sigh...

Ask away in this comment box, if you want to do so. Will not be as fun as Boris' Q and A, but more polite! Also, I shall have my new glasses then and will be able to SEE properly.

For those who love charts...on the way to perfection, start bottom up

(To be read from the bottom up)

Unitive life of the perfect
◊ full◊ extraordinary, e.g., with the vision of the Blessed Trinity
◊ weak
◊  ordinary
• eminent contemplative form
• apostolic form
◊ initial◊ not very continual union, often interrupted
Illuminative life of proficients
◊ full infused contemplation
◊ extraordinary or accompanied by visions, revelations
◊ ordinary
clearly contemplative form
 active form, or form ordained to action, e.g., gift of wisdom under practical form
◊ weak◊ transitory acts of infused contemplation (d. The Dark Night, Bk. I, chap. 9)
◊ initial◊ passive purification of the senses more or less well borne (initial infused contemplation)
Purgative life of beginners
◊ full or generous◊ fervent souls pious and devout souls
◊ weak◊ tepid or retarded souls, not without relapses
◊ initial◊ first conversion or justification

The Double Life vs. The Narrow Way

Mother Adele Garnier, whose life I am beginning to put into a play, entered the Unitive State after many years.  She wrote that the following of the Rule of St. Benedict was a sure way of reaching this state. This phrase is on the wall of the common room in the enclosure to remind all the nuns of the goal of their suffering in and through the Rule-the glory of God through their very beings. How wonderful to be surrounded by women who desire the same thing. Sigh, I wish I could have stayed.

However, on the outside, one sees many nuns, sisters and the clergy leading double lives. The great lie of supposed dialogue with the world, a false statement said over and over for the past fifty years, means that one seemingly does not have to give up the cushy, even middle-class life in order to be holy.

We laity have been deceived on the point, folks. The double life creates a split personality, a split soul.

Either one desires God with all one's soul, mind, heart, or one falls into the cheap lies of the world.

Of course, home, food, family are all goods, gifts from God. But, these can become idols.

The narrow way was spoken of by Christ follows. Pray to Him for His Love.

Enter ye in at the narrow gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way that leadeth to destruction, and many there are who go in thereat. [14] How narrow is the gate, and strait is the way that leadeth to life: and few there are that find it! [15] Beware of false prophets, who come to you in the clothing of sheep, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matthew 7:14-15 DR

To be continued...

On the Beatific Vision and the Unitive State A Bit

Last year, a friend of mine had a remarkable experience of his particular judgement. The man, who is young middle age, told me he cried for days and days over his sins. Being that he spent his life as a good Catholic, was in the seminary for awhile, and was celibate by choice as a single person, the fact that he was faced with sin, even his smallest venial sins were seen as these really were in the presence of Truth, Beauty, Love and all the Attributes which we know are of God struck me as significant. Most of us do not see the horror of even one sin before He Who Is-the I Am Who Am.

In England and in America, there are too many priests who still preach and teach that everyone goes to heaven when they die. These priests forget about two things: punishment due to sin and the need for purification. Almost weekly, I hear Catholics state that their recently deceased relatives are in heaven and these same Catholics do not have Masses said for their dead family members.

The Church Suffering remains a teaching of the Catholic Church. And, only the perfect are with God. We shall be judged by real love, not sloppy, sentimental love, but tough love, sacrificial love.

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange:

We shall sum up here what St. Thomas teaches on this point in the Summa. (2)
If God had created us in a purely natural state with a mortal body and an immortal soul, but without the supernatural life of grace, even then our last end, our beatitude, would have consisted in knowing God and loving Him above all else, for our intellect is made to know the truth, and especially the supreme Truth, and our will is made to love and will good, and especially the sovereign Good.
If we had been created without the supernatural life of grace, the final reward of the just would have been to know God and to love Him, but they would have known Him only from without, so to speak, by the reflection of His perfections in creatures, as the greatest philosophers of antiquity knew Him. 

With reason, we can know God. But reason is inspired by grace and knowledge through the sacraments.

Without a doubt, we would have known Him in a more certain manner without admixture of errors, but by abstract knowledge, through the intermediary of things and of limited concepts in the mirror of creatures. We would have known God as the first cause of spirits and bodies, and we would have enumerated His infinite perfections known analogically by their reflection in the created order. Our ideas of the divine attributes would have remained, we have said, like squares of mosaic incapable of reproducing perfectly the spiritual physiognomy of God without hardening it. This abstract and mediate knowledge would have let many obscurities subsist, in particular in regard to the intimate harmonizing of the divine perfections. We would always have asked ourselves how infinite goodness and the divine permission of evil are able to harmonize, how infinite justice and infinite mercy can accord intimately. The human intellect would not have been able to forbear saying: If I could only see this God, who is the source of all truth and goodness, of the life of creatures, and of intellects and wills! This desire would have remained conditional and inefficacious if we had been created in a purely natural state.

Just as we love someone and want to know all about them, and if in marriage, desire union with that person we love, so too, we desire complete union in God.  I am grateful to Father Marcus for this art and poem he translated found here :

The Canticle of Saint Francis
Love put me
in a furnace.
Love put me
in the furnace.
He put me
in the furnace of Love.
In a furnace of Love He put me
my new Spouse, my very own
when He slipped the ring onto my finger,
this loving little Lamb.
And then, He cast me into prison
and struck me with a blade,
splitting my heart wide open;
Love put me in a furnace.
He split my heart in two,
and my body fell to the ground.
The bolt of Love
ripping from its crossbow,
struck me, as it embraced me.
Out of peace He has made war;
I am dying of the sweetness.
Love put me in a furnace.
I am dying of the sweetness,
be not astonished.
Such a blow was dealt me
by love's lance.
Its point of iron is long and wide
as a hundred arms' lengths. Know this:
it went right through me .
Love put me in a furnace.
And then, the arrows rained down tightly
and the crossbows thrust me down.
So, did I take up a shield,
and the blows came fast and heavy,
until nothing more could defend me.
They broke me into pieces,
so strong was the arm delivering them.
Love put me in a furnace.
He shot them with such force;
I despaired of fending them off.
And to escape death,
I cried out with all my strength:
"You are breaking the laws of combat."
But then, He raises an instrument of warfare
that overwhelms me with fresh blows.
Love put me in a furnace.

The arrows that He aimed at me
were of stone set in lead;
each of them weighed at least a thousand pounds.
He launched them in a hailstorm so thick
that I could not count them.
Not one of them missed me.
Love put me in a furnace.
He could not have missed me, never,
so perfect was His aim.
I was lying on the earth,
unable to move; my members failed me.
My whole being was utterly smashed.
Like a man already dead
I no longer felt anything.
Love put me in a furnace.
Dead, not by mortal death,
but by intoxication with the Beloved.
Then, I awoke so strong,
again taking possession of my heart,
and I was able to follow the guides
who led me on
even to the gate of heaven.
Love put me in a furnace.
After I regained consciousness,
I waged war against Christ.
Straightaway, I took up arms,
and rode my steed into His terrain.
And having come face to face with Him,
without delay, I came to blows,
and avenged myself on Him.
Love put me in a furnace.
When I had sated my vengeance,
I made my peace with Him;
For, from the very beginning
this Love had been true love.
Now, of Christ, the Lover,
I have become capable.
Ever and always does my heart carry Him.
Love put me in a furnace.
Love put me
in a furnace.
Love put me
in the furnace.
He put me
in the furnace of Love.

But, in reality, the infinite mercy of God has raised us to supernatural life, whose full flowering is called not only the future life, but eternal life, because it is measured by the single instant of immobile eternity. Preaching the beatitudes at the very beginning of His ministry, our Lord tells us: "Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven." (3) To the Samaritan woman He says: "He that shall drink of the water that I will give him, shall not thirst forever; but the water that I will give him, shall become in him a fountain of water springing up into life everlasting." (4) In His sacerdotal prayer, Christ says: "Now this is eternal life: that they may know Thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent." (5) St. Paul explains this statement to us by saying: "We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known." (6)And St. John adds: "We shall be like to Him, because we shall see Him as He is." (7)

Have you EVER heard a sermon on this from the pulpit? I never have. Do priests understand themselves the loving union with the Trinity? Do they reveal in their lives that they are seeking perfection? I can count three whom I know personally, and all are under 65 years of age. They are secular priests as well.

The Church has defined that this revealed doctrine means an immediate vision of the divine essence without the intermediary of any creature previously known.(8) In other words, by the gaze of our intellect supernaturally strengthened by the light of glory, we shall see God better than we see with our eyes of flesh the persons with whom we speak, for we shall see Him clearly as an object closer to us than we are to ourselves. Here on earth we know especially what God is not: we know that He is not material, changing, limited; we shall then see Him as He is in His Deity, in His infinite essence, in His intimate life common to the three Persons. Grace is a participation of this essence and life since it will give us to see Him thus immediately as He sees Himself, to love Him as He loves Himself, to live eternally by Him.

I do not understand people wanting to know God through seers and visionaries when we each are capable of finding God in prayer, through the Church and the sacraments. We do not need intermediaries and can be wasting a lot of time running around to this group and that instead of praying. In the end, meeting God is completely personal and not a group experience. 

St. Thomas explains this revealed doctrine by stating (9) that between God and us there will not be even the intermediary of an idea, for no created idea can represent such as it is in itself, the pure, intellectual, eternally subsistent being that is God and His infinite truth, or His limitless love. We shall not be able to express our contemplation by any word, even by any interior word, just as a man is rendered incapable of speech when absorbed by the sight of a sublime and indescribable spectacle.
This immediate vision of the divine essence immensely surpasses all the created concepts of the divine perfections that we can have here on earth. We are called to see all the divine perfections intimately harmonized, identified in the eminence of the Deity, or the inner life of God; to see how the tenderest mercy and the most inflexible justice proceed from one and the same infinitely generous and infinitely holy love, from an eternal love of the supreme Good, which is, to be sure, intimately diffusive of self (the principle of mercy), but which also has a right to be loved above all (the principle of justice). We shall see how mercy and justice are united in all the works of God, how eternal love is identical with the sovereign good always loved, how divine wisdom is identical with the first truth always known, and how all these perfections harmonize and are but one in the very essence of Him who is.

Dear readers, do you desire this union with God above all else? Are you spiritually lazy? Are you distracted? Are you not orthodox?

We shall also see the infinite fecundity of the divine nature in the three divine Persons; the eternal generation of the Word, "splendor of the Father and figure of His substance." We shall gaze upon the ineffable procession of the Holy Ghost, term of the common love of the Father and of the Son, the bond uniting Them eternally in the most absolute diffusion of Themselves. The supreme Being is essentially diffusive of Itself in the intimate life of God, and freely bestows Its riches by means of creation and by our gratuitous elevation to the life of grace. Thus will be verified St. Paul's words: "Whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son; that He might be the first-born amongst many brothers." (10) From all eternity God has an only Son to whom He communicates all His divine nature; He gives Him to be "God of God, light of light." He has willed to have other sons, adopted sons, to whom He communicates a participation in His nature, sanctifying grace in the essence of their souls, and from this grace proceed in their higher faculties the light of glory and in amissible charity. Thus, St. Thomas says, "by the incarnation of the Son we receive adoptive sonship in the likeness of His natural sonship." (11)

This is not poetry, this is reality, our ultimate reality, to be united with God.

We shall also contemplate immediately the intimate and indissoluble union of the person of the Word and of the humanity of the Savior. We shall see thereby all the splendor of the divine maternity of Mary, of her mediation, the price of the salvation of souls, and the unlimited riches of these words so quickly uttered: "The eternal life of the elect."

Very few saints have written about this union, as such a union is beyond words. We can look at those who have given us glimpses of the unitive state, most clearly, St. John of the Cross.

I have met people in the Illuminative State, but not in the Unitive State. 

Personal holiness is hard to find. Concentrate on yourself and God.

No one can tell the joy that will be born in us of this absolutely immediate vision, which will be like a spiritual fusion of our soul, of our intellect, and of the divine essence, an uninterrupted transforming union, an intimate and perfect communion that nothing will ever be able to lessen. The love which will result from this vision will be so pure and strong a love of God that nothing will ever be able to diminish it. 

Again, do you desire this above all else?

This love will be sovereignly spontaneous, but no longer free; it will be superior to liberty, ravished by the sovereign Good. By this love we shall rejoice especially that God is God, infinitely holy, just, and merciful; we shall adore all the decrees of His providence in view of the manifestation of His goodness, and we shall subordinate ourselves completely to Him. We shall enter into His beatitude, according to the words of our Savior in the parable of the talents: "Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord." (12)

We attain this state, but not without suffering, not without the pain of the self-will being uprooted.

We can form some idea of the activity of the saints in heaven by the radiation of their lives on earth, such as it appears, for example, in our day in the numerous graces obtained through the intercession of Mary in the sanctuary at Lourdes, or through the prayer of a St. Teresa of Lisieux.

To be continued..

Hysteria v. Union: or Francis did more than talk to the animals

Signs of the Unitive State:

1) complete obedience to Rome in doctrine and dogma;

2) humility;

3) an increase in knowledge and love;

4) foundations which last; ministries which are true and good;

5) focus on God;

6) lack of sin and the tendencies to even venial sin;

7) life of obvious virtue and gifts; especially obvious is prudence;

8) clear reason; organizational abilities and energy;

9) discernment;

10) mental clarity in all areas of Church teaching, liturgical observance, and prayer;

11) love of poverty;

12) celibacy or chastity;

13) trust in Divine Providence


These differences are more and more marked. In hysterical subjects when the crises increase, the unbalanced mental condition grows and with it dissimulation, lying, brutalization, lascivity, and finally capricious sensuality completely dominates the intellect and will. If mono-ideism is present, it springs from the disorganization and disintegration of the personality, and from mental confusion which leads to madness.
In true mystics and ecstatics, on the other hand, there is a growing development of the understanding of divine things, of those of the interior life, of the life of the Church, of all that touches on the salvation or the loss of souls. There is likewise a steady increase in the love of God and in devotion to their neighbor, as shown by the works they undertake and often bring to success, to such a degree that their foundations last for centuries.
St. Francis of Assisi, the stigmatic of Alvernia, founded in the thirteenth century a religious order that is still one of the most numerous in the Church. St. Thomas Aquinas, during his ecstasies, dictated whole chapters on the mystery of the Blessed Trinity and saw from a superior point of view the entire synthesis of theological science.
St. Catherine of Siena, who died at the age of thirty-two and who for a long time could neither read nor write, played a role of primary importance in the affairs of her day, particularly in the return of the popes to Rome.
In spite of opposition on the part of many, St. Teresa founded before her death sixteen convents for women and fourteen for men.

If in hysterical subjects there is mono-ideism (for lack of other ideas), for example, the fixed idea of suicide, in true mystics there is one great idea which subordinates all others to itself in perfect harmony; in other words, the thought of God, of His immense goodness toward us and the profound and radiating conviction that we must correspond to His love. It is not the disintegration of the elements of a man's personality; rather it is their perfect subordination according to the very order of charity: God loved above all else, then souls to be saved. This is why, even from the human point of view, as a number of unbelieving psychologists have recognized, the saints are great organizers. Although an unbeliever, De Montmorand writes on this subject: "True mystics are people of experience and action, not of reasoning and theory. They have the sense of organization, the gift of commanding, and reveal themselves well endowed for business. The works that they found are capable of surviving and enduring; in the conception and direction of their enterprises, they give proof of prudence, of daring, and of that just appreciation of possibilities which characterizes good sense. And, as a matter of fact, good sense seems to be their fundamental quality; good sense untroubled by an unhealthy exaltation and a disordered imagination, and coupled with the most unusual power of penetration." (6) This we see exemplified in St. Paul, St. Augustine, St. Bernard, St. Dominic, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Bonaventure, St. Teresa, and so many others.(7)

I am personally very familiar with four new orders in the Church which have sprung up in the last fifty years. I can tell that two have fallen away from the charisms of the founders. Most of the members of these two orders are not orthodox. Why this happened could be a problem with seminary training or the lack of discipline in the order. Holiness is lacking.

Look first at the members and see if they are following ALL the teachings of the Church. If not, find other places for spiritual growth and direction. Those founders who exhibited the unitive stage can be found. But, not all founders have been in that state and those orders, thankfully, will fade away, as the roots were too shallow. If an order, for example, hates the Latin Mass, there is a serious problem. 

To be continued...

Real ecstasy

I shall only write on comment: compare this with so many so-called seers today, or in recent years past and judge for yourself what is true and what is false.

In true ecstasy, on the contrary, there are no convulsions, violent agitation, passional attitudes of fright, jealousy, and so on; there is calm, the rapture of a soul profoundly united to God by one of those passive recollections which God alone can give and which considerably surpass the recollection that proceeds from our personal effort of concentration. There is absolutely no relation between so-called hysterical ecstasy and the ecstasy, for example, of Bernadette during the apparitions of Lourdes. In a real ecstasy there is no morbid excitation, no strange agitation, no entirely physical delectation, followed by depression. Ecstasy is the movement of the whole being, both body and soul, toward the divine object present in the imagination or intellect. Ecstasy ends in the calm return to the natural state, with simple regret over the disappearance of the celestial vision and the wholly spiritual joy that it gave. St. Teresa even points out in her Life (5) that this state, which should weaken the body, on the contrary, gives it new strength.