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Tuesday 25 June 2013

This is interesting

and I think that The Atlantic has changed since the older days...

Blogger alert.

Aquinas Series on Greed and the Virtues of Temperance and Justice

The Last Judgement in the Albi STtCecile Cathedral in France

To us, it should be obvious that Justice is the virtue which counteracts Greed. But, Greed is not just about money or property. The most common sort of Greediness is the desire for power. 

Here is Thomas on Greed, just a bit, as there is so much more, of course: 2:2:118. This is the section dealing with greediness for money and acquisitions.

Greed have another name and that is Avarice and it is one of the Deadly Sins. Here are people depicted in hell as being boiled in oil for Greed.

Detail of Above

Covetousness denotes immoderation with regard to riches in two ways. First, immediately in respect of the acquisition and keeping of riches. On this way a man obtains money beyond his due, by stealing or retaining another's property. This is opposed to justice, and in this sense covetousness is mentioned (Ezekiel 22:27): "Her princes in the midst of her are like wolves ravening the prey to shed blood . . . and to run after gains through covetousness." Secondly, it denotes immoderation in the interior affections for riches; for instance, when a man loves or desires riches too much, or takes too much pleasure in them, even if he be unwilling to steal. On this way covetousness is opposed to liberality, which moderates these affections, as stated above (117, 2, ad 3, 3, ad 3, 6). On this sense covetousness is spoken of (2 Corinthians 9:5): "That they would . . . prepare this blessing before promised, to be ready, so as a blessing, not as covetousness," where a gloss observes: "Lest they should regret what they had given, and give but little."
Reply to Objection 1. Chrysostom and the Philosopher are speaking of covetousness in the first sense: covetousness in the second sense is called illiberality [aneleutheria] by the Philosopher.
Reply to Objection 2. It belongs properly to justice to appoint the measure in the acquisition and keeping of riches from the point of view of legal due, so that a man should neither take nor retain another's property. But liberality appoints the measure ofreason, principally in the interior affections, and consequently in the exterior taking and keeping of money, and in the spending of the same, in so far as these proceed from the interior affection, looking at the matter from the point of view not of the legal but of the moral debt, which latter depends on the rule of reason.
Reply to Objection 3. Covetousness as opposed to justice has no opposite vice: since it consists in having more than one ought according to justice, the contrary of which is to have less than one ought, and this is not a sin but a punishment. But covetousness as opposed to liberality has the vice of prodigality opposed to it.

Although Thomas notes that Greed is connected to Lust, he puts this sin in the category of a SPIRITUAL MORTAL SIN  rather than a corporal or fleshy sin. It is the desire and the mental pleasure associated with Greed which is the greatest sin. Sadly, for centuries, Greed has hidden in the idea that those who are blessed by God and heaven bound are signed by wealth. Greed can hide as piety and even as a virtue. 

But, it is a spiritual vice. It shrivels the heart and clouds the mind. Temperance, as well as Justice, can counteract Greed. But, to me, the greatest antidote to Greed is voluntary poverty.

The denial of one's self to be attached to goods for the sake of Christ allows one to become objective and breaks the stranglehold of Greed. Such is the modern world, that Greed is glorified by those on the political left and those on the right. 

Greed is self-centeredness gone wild.

Gregory (Moral. xxxi) numbers covetousness among spiritual vices.
I answer that, Sins are seated chiefly in the affections: and all the affections or passions of the soul have their term in pleasure and sorrow, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. ii, 5). Now some pleasures are carnal and some spiritual. Carnal pleasures are those which are consummated in the carnal senses--for instance, the pleasures of the table and sexual pleasures: while spiritualpleasures are those which are consummated in the mere apprehension of the soul. Accordingly, sins of the flesh are those which are consummated in carnal pleasures, while spiritual sins are consummated in pleasures of the spirit without pleasure of the flesh. Such is covetousness: for the covetous man takes pleasure in the consideration of himself as a possessor of riches. Therefore covetousness is a spiritual sin.
Reply to Objection 1. Covetousness with regard to a bodily object seeks the pleasure, not of the body but only of the soul, forasmuch as a man takes pleasure in the fact that he possesses riches: wherefore it is not a sin of the flesh. Nevertheless by reason of its object it is a mean between purely spiritual sins, which seek spiritual pleasure in respect of spiritual objects (thus pride is about excellence), and purely carnal sins, which seek a purely bodily pleasure in respect of a bodily object.
Reply to Objection 2. Movement takes its species from the term "whereto" and not from the term "wherefrom." Hence a vice of the flesh is so called from its tending to a pleasure of the flesh, and not from its originating in some defect of the flesh.
Reply to Objection 3. Chrysostom compares a covetous man to the man who was possessed by the devil, not that the former is troubled in the flesh in the same way as the latter, but by way of contrast, since while the possessed man, of whom we read in Mark 5, stripped himself, the covetous man loads himself with an excess of riches.

Here is a bit of Thomas on Temperance and remember that the Cardinal Virtues lie not only in the heart, but in the head. Thomas reminds us of this below. If we are reasonable, we shall fear the Lord.

The Cardinal Virtues, Strasbourg Cathedral
As stated above (I-II, 55, 3), it is essential to virtue to incline man to good. Now the good of man is to be in accordance with reason, as Dionysius states (Div. Nom. iv). Hence human virtue is that which inclines man to something in accordance with reason. Now temperance evidently inclines man to this, since its very name implies moderation or temperateness, which reason causes. Therefore temperance is a virtue.
Reply to Objection 1. Nature inclines everything to whatever is becoming to it. Wherefore man naturally desires pleasures that are becoming to him. Since, however, man as such is a rational being, it follows that those pleasures are becoming to man which are in accordance with reason. From such pleasures temperance does not withdraw him, but from those which are contrary to reason. Wherefore it is clear that temperance is not contrary to the inclination of human nature, but is in accord with it. It is, however, contrary to the inclination of the animal nature that is not subject to reason.
Reply to Objection 2. The temperance which fulfils the conditions of perfect virtue is not without prudence, while this is lacking to all who are in sin. Hence those who lack other virtues, through being subject to the opposite vices, have not the temperance which is a virtue, though they do acts of temperance from a certain natural disposition, in so far as certain imperfect virtues are either natural to man, as stated above (I-II, 63, 1), or acquired by habituation, which virtues, through lack of prudence, are not perfected by reason, as stated above (I-II, 65, 1).
Reply to Objection 3. Temperance also has a corresponding gift, namely, fear, whereby man is withheld from the pleasures of the flesh, according to Psalm 118:120: "Pierce Thou my flesh with Thy fear." The gift of fear has for its principal object God, Whom it avoids offending, and in this respect it corresponds to the virtue of hope, as stated above (19, 09, ad 1). But it may have for its secondary object whatever a man shuns in order to avoid offending God. Now man stands in the greatest need of the fear of God in order to shun those things which are most seductive, and these are the matter of temperance: wherefore the gift of fear corresponds to temperance also.

Power back to the States-a good sign

Very interesting on false information coming from NSA

a snippet from the article

this same fact sheet states that under Section 702, "Any inadvertently acquired communication of or concerning a US person must be promptly destroyed if it is neither relevant to the authorized purpose nor evidence of a crime." We believe that this statement is somewhat misleading, in that it implies that the NSA has the ability to determine how many American communications it has collected under section 702, or that the law does not allow the NSA to deliberately search for the records of particular Americans. In fact, the intelligence community has told us repeatedly that it is "not reasonably possible to identify the number of people located in the United States whose communications may have been reviewed under the authority" of the FISA Amendments Act. 

When one cannot get to daily Mass

I sprained my ankle a week ago and it still hurts. Missing daily Mass is hard for me. I want to live next to Jesus in the Eucharist. Please pray for my house of Adoration. Please pray for two more women to love Christ enough to want to worship Him daily in the lay life. Pray for a benefactor for the house and community, please.

My Jesus,
I believe that You
are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment
receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.  I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You.  Never permit me to be separated from You.


Read more:

Persecutions Postings Revisited

06 Apr 2013
A sign of the stages of persecution. Posted by Supertradmum. Last year I said we were at the end of the fourth out of five steps of persecution. Here is another indication, just in case some readers do not believe this.
01 Feb 2013
I have written this post before...and it was accidentally deleted with many others. Stages four and five of persecution are clear. We are in stage four in the States and entering into it is Great Britain. Stage Four is criminalization.
01 Feb 2013 And from a great site, from talks in 1998 on the stages of persecution of the Jews. This would be the ...
01 Feb 2013
As I am the one who has to rewrite my own ideas, I am trying to be patient with myself. Stages one, two and three in the United States and Europe are long gone. The beginnings of stage one are in the educational systems of ...

22 Feb 2013
The last stage of persecution witnesses laws directly aimed at the target group, making their activities unlawful and forcing them into poverty and fines if they do not cooperate. This happened here 500 years ago and the ...
01 Feb 2013
Long gone is stage two of persecution. Posted by Supertradmum. Stage Two is the vilification of Catholics. Again, this happened years ago in America, with the Ku klux Klan and Masons printing anti-Catholic material, as well ...
05 Dec 2012
Since last January, I have highlighted the five stages of persecution now and then. You can ... We as Catholics were in the fourth stage of persecution before the election in America, which is a turning point for the entire world.
20 Jan 2012
There have been since World War II, psychologists and sociologists who have defined stages of persecution for religions. The first is stigmatizing the targeted group. This has already happened in the United States under the ...

01 Feb 2013
(5) Persecuting the targeted group outright. I think we are in stage four. Catholics who refuse to face the reality of new laws in GB and the USA should be directed to the myriad posts I have on persecution. Just type in that tag ...

12 Jan 2013
And, as laymen, we only have ourselves to blame if we find ourselves marginalize, persecuted, imprisoned, martyred. See my post below on the stages of persecution and the ideologies which push these heresies. The one I ...

One of my top ten favorite movies...

Watch it with someone you love.

Placet-A Manifesto on Love

Be love. Be in love, all the time. Love is not a feeling, it is a decision. Ask Christ for His Heart.

I have been "in love" and also "willed love" in my life. Love is an amazing experience. My own experience is that of mostly unrequited love, but that makes no difference in the long run. Love is a gift. It is a gift for the giver as much, if not more, than the receiver. So, unrequited love, although a suffering, is a good. One learns about one's self in love, whether answered or not. In fact, unanswered love is the love from the Cross.

One can be single and love. But, more than others, this takes creativity and persistence. One must look for opportunities to love. A single person must be pro-active in prayer and in serving others.

As God has not given me the physical strength to join the great nuns at Tyburn, this is my call. 

I went to Tyburn to find Love, and He found me and sent me out. This is my cross and His, as He chose this for me. When Christ chooses our cross, He is offering His own to us. For many in this modern age of dysfunctional families and isolation, loneliness or at least, alone-ness, can be for many the Cross.

I do not think we have "many crosses" but one. And, for all of us, it is the same-suffering. I am reminded of St. Therese' "unfelt joy". There is a mystery to this awareness of God's Love but not feeling this consolation. It is deeper, it is the Love found in Faith.

Love means that one is not thinking of one's self, but others. Love means that the needs and even desires of others, as long as these are moral and good, can be met. Love is getting out of one's self.

Sometimes, all one can do is pray for another. That, too, is love. Persistent prayer is committed love.

Love is liberating and life changing. 

Love is gratefulness and humility at the very thought of being love. Humility is the awareness that one does not deserve to be loved but is. And, with humility comes purity of heart.

For those of us who are more like Joan of Arc than Zelie Martin, love is an adventure which God directs and we follow like good soldiers. We cannot choose our personalities and talents, but God perfects these in His Own way and time.

But, I have loved and do love, and wish all who have not been fortunate enough to do so to experience love at least once and that once is the Love of God. I am concerned that too many young people are afraid to love or to be loved, really, and therefore, shield themselves from God.

Do not be afraid.  

Love is in the will and the will controls the heart.

Willing is the key. One must be open to love. If one is open, love comes. If one is closed, it does not.

One must be willing to be hurt. That is not masochistic, that is reality. One forgives and loves even more in the forgiveness. Sometimes, love must begin in forgiveness, which is fertile soil for love. When one forgives, one dies to one's self, but one is, therefore, transformed and changed.

Love, which comes to us, is a Person, Who is God and He wants to come into the hearts, minds, souls of each man and woman.

He waits for us to be open.  He will not force His Love upon us. Just as we cannot force someone to love us or even to accept our love,  so too, God waits for us. He holds out His Heart to us every day, every hour, every minute, every second. What wondrous Love is this, states the His Love suffers for us. The Eucharistic Heart of Jesus suffers in humility and vulnerability. Can we do anything less?

I call Christ the Vulnerable God.

In the Song of Songs, Love waits. From Chapter 2, DR:

I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the harts of the, fields, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please.

Say "placet" to God. He will do the rest.