Recent Posts

Friday 9 August 2013

Happy Feast Day of St. Teresa Benedicta of The Cross

Love makes pain bear fruit and pain deepens love. 
thanks Wikimedia for photo

I discovered her as Edith Stein when I was studying Edmund Husserl many years ago for a doctoral thesis I never finished. She was his best student. For many of us, she is a light in many ways. Pray to her if you want clear thinking.  I love this saint.
A Bride of Christ at Cologne Carmel

Beside being one of the patrons of Europe and other people, she is the patron of those who have lost parents.

Here is a great quotation for my perfection series from her.

The more lofty the degree of loving union to which God destines the soul, so much more profound and persistent must be its purification.  

And, from Bl. John Paul II at her canonization Mass:

“From now on, as we celebrate the memory of this new saint (every August 9), we cannot fail to remember from year to year the ‘Shoah’ (the Holocaust), that savage plan of exterminating a people, which cost the lives of millions of Jewish brothers and sisters.”
“Sr. Teresa Benedicta of the Cross says to us all: Don’t accept anything as truth if it is without love. And don’t accept anything as love if it is without truth! One without the other is a harmful lie.”
“Many of our contemporaries would want the Cross to be silenced. However, nothing is more eloquent than the Cross made silent! The true message of pain is a lesson of love. Love makes pain bear fruit and pain deepens love.”

I think St. Teresa Benedicta would be a good patron for late vocations. She was 42 when she made her final vows. 

Homeschooling Parents-A Nice Thing To Do with The Children

Consecration to the Holy Child of Prague

O Divine Child Jesus, only-begotten Son of the Father, You are the true light that enlightens everyone coming into this world. It is through You that I am, it is through You that all things have been made, and without You nothing would be. It is therefore just that I devote myself to You without reserve.
In gratitude for all the love with which You love me, I devote to you all the love my heart is capable of. I ardently desire to love you still more, to offer You a heart less unworthy of You. Accept this ardent desire, O amiable Child-God, and kindly bless it.
You have suffered for us and have borne Your infirmities, in order that we might one day deserve to be associated with Your eternal happiness. I want to unite my sufferings to Yours, so that You may give them merit and they may be sanctified. As You have been weeping for me, because of my sins, help me by Your grace to weep for them myself.
I also devote to You all my joys. I only have the ambition and the will to seek those pleasing to your service, by the practice of the virtues taught in the mysteries of Your Divine Childhood. I beg You to help me by Your grace to acquire the gentleness, the humility, the childlike simplicity, the filial confidence and the perfect obedience, of which you give me such a splendid example.
May I progress in holiness and one day possess the rewards promised in heaven to those who practice the lessons of your Holy Childhood.

This is superb as usual-Pat Buchanan

One quotation and one fact from the article:

Upon what ground do we Americans, 53 million abortions behind us since Roe v. Wade, stand to lecture other nations on morality?

Did you know that Putin's mum secretly baptised him and that he is practising the Orthodox Faith?

Interesting research on genetics and so-called "gayness"

Thanks to a friend for this link.

"And, Why Do Our Sins So Waste Us?"

The above line is from The Inferno, Canto VII, line 21. I move between St. Paul and Dante in this post.

In the last post, I highlighted some sections from Romans, and in this part of the epistle, St. Paul specifically is referring to homosexuality.

What has struck me is this. The loss of faith came first and then the sin.

We are emphasizing the wrong thing about homosexuality, even some clergymen are doing so. We keep talking and writing about the inclination or tendency as the basis for the sin.

No, the basis for the sin is the lack of faith. The second basis for this sin is the denial of natural law. 

Paul clearly states that the men fall away from God first, and then commit sin.

What does he mean?

In our culture of psychology, we turn to the roots of sin, such as the disordered attraction suffered by homosexuals. Paul omits that step entirely. He was living at a time when this sin was rampant in certain places, (not all, by the way). But, he points to an important factor, which is that the lack of faith and trust in God causes sin. 

We do not have to be slaves to passion. We choose to do so.

Let me compare this with a person who has a tendency to drink too much, which, sadly I see daily here in Dublin. In my block alone, there are two pubs, one at one end of the block and one at the other end, with another one in-between and an off-licence, all in the space of 300 feet. Amazing. Four places to buy drink in this small block.

Now, if a person had a drinking problem, this block would be an occasion of serious sin. If I go to early Mass, I see drunken men on the street in front of some of the pubs. They have been there all night. In a mile and a half walk to Church, I must pass at least ten pubs. I should count them. Too many.

Now, why are these poor souls going into the pubs? Something is missing in their lives which would keep them away.

Faith in Divine Providence, the knowledge of the Love of God, and the resting in this Love are lacking.

First, as St. Paul points out, is the lack of faith, and second, sin.

We all have crosses. Poverty, loneliness, stress at work, broken marriages, loss of children, hatred from those close to us, abandonment, fear, illnesses of all kinds, whatever.

We have the power not to succumb to sin if we recognize that Christ has changed us and wants to heal us completely.

This may take our entire lives. We may have to spend time in purgatory, but we shall experience purification and freedom if we really follow Christ.

Now, of course, we sin while having faith, but less and less seriously as we go along the path to holiness. The more we die to self, the more we pray and do penance, the more God will bless us with grace.

Of course, we have to avoid the near occasion of sin. We must.

Fo one young woman, for example, that means not watching romantic Jane Austen movies. as these make her fantasize about men, instead of living in the singleness which is her cross. She would love to be married, but has come to realize this most likely will not happen as she grows older.  To watch a Jane Austen movie puts her into the occasion of sins-pretending, lying to herself, day-dreaming, and all the wastefulness of fantasizing. 

She will be a saint someday, as she will not let herself be in an occasion of sin. God bless her.

Now, this temptation may seem not as serious as that of same-sex-attraction. But, for her, it is a fight.

We cannot judge crosses. We cannot judge the pain of suffering. But, if we do not allow suffering, we shall suffer in hell. Anything, even reading, can bring us to mortal sin:

Inferno Canto V, lines 70-142 Paolo and Francesca

      After I had heard my teacher name the ancient knights and ladies, pity overcame me, and I was as if dazed. I began: ‘Poet, I would speak, willingly, to those two who go together, and seem so light upon the wind.’ And he to me: ‘You will see, when they are nearer to us, you can beg them, then, by the love that leads them, and they will come.’
      As soon as the wind brought them to us, I raised my voice: ‘O weary souls, come and talk with us, if no one prevents it.’ As doves, claimed by desire, fly steadily, with raised wings, through the air, to their sweet nest, carried by the will, so the spirits flew from the crowd where Dido is, coming towards us through malignant air, such was the power of my affecting call.
      ‘O gracious and benign living creature, that comes to visit us, through the dark air, if the universe’s king were our friend, we, who tainted the earth with blood, would beg him to give you peace, since you take pity on our sad misfortune. While the wind, as now, is silent, we will hear you and speak to you, of what you are pleased to listen to and talk of.
      The place where I was born is by the shore, where the River Po runs down to rest at peace, with his attendant streams. Love, that is quickly caught in the gentle heart, filled him with my fair form, now lost to me, and the nature of that love still afflicts me. Love, that allows no loved one to be excused from loving, seized me so fiercely with desire for him, it still will not leave me, as you can see.  Love led us to one death. Ca├»na, in the ninth circle waits, for him who quenched our life.’
      These words carried to us, from them. After I had heard those troubled spirits, I bowed my head, and kept it bowed, until the poet said: ‘What are you thinking?’ When I replied, I began: ‘O, alas, what sweet thoughts, what longing, brought them to this sorrowful state? Then I turned to them again, and I spoke, and said:‘Francesca, your torment makes me weep with grief and pity. But tell me, in that time of sweet sighs, how did love allow you to know these dubious desires?’
      And she to me: ‘There is no greater pain, than to remember happy times in misery, and this your teacher knows. But if you have so great a yearning to understand the first root of our love, I will be like one who weeps and tells. We read, one day, to our delight, of Lancelot and how love constrained him: we were alone and without suspicion. Often those words urged our eyes to meet, and coloured our cheeks, but it was a single moment that undid us. When we read how that lover kissed the beloved smile, he who will never be separated from me, kissed my mouth all trembling. That book was a Galeotto, a pandar, and he who wrote it: that day we read no more.’
      While the one spirit spoke, the other wept, so that I fainted out of pity, and, as if I were dying, fell, as a dead body falls.

 We have to decide to live with suffering that is redemptive.

To suffer ssa could make one a great saint.

St. Paul, the Church's first theologian, is correct. The lack of faith, the lack of relationship with God comes first. And, then sin. Sin clouds the intellect and weakens the will. Let us remember this when we are with our brothers and sisters who need our help to break away from the gay lifestyle. That lifestyle is their occasion of sin.

Dante refers to Aquinas and Aristotle in lines 106-108,  Canto VI. "as the soul becomes more perfect, so it is more perfect in its several operations." This quotation refers to the line in which Virgil states that after the Final Judgement, those already in hell will be more perfected in their view of the justice of their punishment, but will then feel more pain. I apply this to myself, in never being presumptuous, and praying for final perseverance. This must be part of our discussion-the awareness of grace and justice.

to be continued...

Read This from Romans for The Next Post

Romans 1 DR
17 For the justice of God is revealed therein, from faith unto faith, as it is written: The just man liveth by faith.
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and injustice of those men that detain the truth of God in injustice:
19 Because that which is known of God is manifest in them. For God hath manifested it unto them.
20 For the invisible things of him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made; his eternal power also, and divinity: so that they are inexcusable.
21 Because that, when they knew God, they have not glorified him as God, or given thanks; but became vain in their thoughts, and their foolish heart was darkened.
22 For professing themselves to be wise, they became fools.
23 And they changed the glory of the incorruptible God into the likeness of the image of a corruptible man, and of birds, and of fourfooted beasts, and of creeping things.
24 Wherefore God gave them up to the desires of their heart, unto uncleanness, to dishonour their own bodies among themselves.
25 Who changed the truth of God into a lie; and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
26 For this cause God delivered them up to shameful affections. For their women have changed the natural use into that use which is against nature.
27 And, in like manner, the men also, leaving the natural use of the women, have burned in their lusts one towards another, men with men working that which is filthy, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was due to their error.
28 And as they liked not to have God in their knowledge, God delivered them up to a reprobate sense, to do those things which are not convenient;
29 Being filled with all iniquity, malice, fornication, avarice, wickedness, full of envy, murder, contention, deceit, malignity, whisperers,
30 Detractors, hateful to God, contumelious, proud, haughty, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
31 Foolish, dissolute, without affection, without fidelity, without mercy.
32 Who, having known the justice of God, did not understand that they who do such things, are worthy of death; and not only they that do them, but they also that consent to them that do them.

Romans 2

Wherefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest. For wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself. For thou dost the same things which thou judgest.
For we know that the judgment of God is, according to truth, against them that do such things.
And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them who do such things, and dost the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?
Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness, and patience, and longsuffering? Knowest thou not, that the benignity of God leadeth thee to penance?
But according to thy hardness and impenitent heart, thou treasurest up to thyself wrath, against the day of wrath, and revelation of the just judgment of God.
Who will render to every man according to his works.
To them indeed, who according to patience in good work, seek glory and honour and incorruption, eternal life:
But to them that are contentious, and who obey not the truth, but give credit to iniquity, wrath and indignation.
Tribulation and anguish upon every soul of man that worketh evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Greek.
10 But glory, and honour, and peace to every one that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.
11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
12 For whosoever have sinned without the law, shall perish without the law; and whosoever have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law.
13 For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.
14 For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law; these having not the law are a law to themselves:
15 Who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them, and their thoughts between themselves accusing, or also defending one another,
16 In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according to my gospel.