Recent Posts

Sunday 11 August 2013

On The Constant, Quiet Yes, And The Constant, Silent Love

Someone was talking to me about little acts of humility. Saying yes to God when things come up. I like this idea. But, my life is a constant Yes to God. I cannot see any other way to find His Love but in the Yes. Now, the Yes is the great No as well, which is hard to parse, unless one reads and understands John of the Cross.

For example, he states one must live in silent love of God. Most people, especially Americans, would not understand a love which is not seen, not doing, not action.

But, silent loving is the goal of all Catholics in the life of perfection. This type of love is loving without seeing, love totally in faith and hope.

Solitary love is the call of the contemplatives, like the nuns at Tyburn and those few of us in the world who are called to a contemplative lifestyle. The Church in the past 40 years has done violence to those who choose this way, the way of Mary at the feet of Christ. But, we are all eventually called to contemplation as part of the Illuminative State of Perfection (see graph again).  In this state, prayer and times outside of prayer merge into one state of being; but one must either be in actual silence, or create silence in the mind and heart.

The saying yes then becomes automatic, as one can hear God above the noise of the world.

The saying no is denial of self. One can give up things and desires as well.

For years I struggled with being a failure. As those around me reminded me, I should have my doctorate and be making tons of money. I should be successful with all the gifts God had given me. But, finally, I heard God instead of people. Here is what John of the Cross writes, "...she failed all that is not God, that is, herself and all other creatures, losing all these for the love of God."

The "she" is the soul, and, sadly, the world does not judge by the things of the spirit, but by the things of the world. Some of us have to let God take all things and people away. He takes us into the desert, even if we do not want to go.

The silent love lies in the failures, which carve out the heart for God alone.

The constant yes becomes a way of life, a focus. Only God and His Will, wherever He leads, matters.

And no one notices, which is the beautiful protection one has. I walk about Dublin completely invisible to all around me. This is good, very good, because in that bubble of quiet, I can be with God everywhere, even in the horrible din which is Grafton Street. Even there, silence can be found but only in the cell of one's mind and the calm trust in one's soul.

What ruins this calm is vanity, the desire to be noticed or praised or loved. What ruins this calm is impatience with self, people, things, which is really pride. The mind must be conformed to Christ constantly, not one small idea can go unnoticed and unchecked. Sin lurks in the psyche until one allows the Holy Spirit to enter in with pain and suffering into every nook  and cranny of the soul, mind, heart.

For some people, this happens quickly, for others, it takes many, many years to come to this type of existence in purity.

One begins to move in darkness, without the use of the imagination. In fact, one may think one is wasting time in interior rest and quiet. The seemingly waste of time is the silent love.

Now, I have never had the gift of human love developing into the quiet love which people experience after years of marriage. They just sit in the same room, without speaking, but living in silent love. They have died to their own selves so many times in sacrificial love, that there is nothing left of the self. Only love remains, love for the other, and through that person, for God.

That must be a wonderful experience. Those who know this type of love will recognize what God wants to do in the soul; being in love without activity.

To be continued.....

Prejudice, Disobedience, Heresy, Culpable Ignorance, Complicity in Persecution

St. Oliver Plunkett, Last Catholic Martyr in England
We live in an age of over-stimulation from the media.  However, despite all the information one has, literally, at one's finger tips on line, there are still Catholics who have never opened either a hard copy of the CCC, or looked at the many on line, free versions.

Many, if not most, Catholics, have not read the major encyclicals. Many, if not most, have not studied the Mass, or basic doctrines of the Church, despite so many excellent blogs and articles, as well as talks on line for free.

The spirit of disobedience involves anti-intellectualism, as we come to God through our intellect as well as the heart. If a Catholic is not studying his faith, he is not obedient to the Church's expectation that he live out his baptismal promises. One cannot share what one does not know.

Heresy is, of course, false dogma or false doctrine. But, how can one discern truth from falsity without knowing the Faith?

All Catholic adults are responsible for learning the Faith. All Catholic adults are culpable for ignorance. I am not talking about those, who through no fault of their own, have never heard of or seen Catholic teaching. But, here in Europe and in America, I would think invincible ignorance is rare.

Which is why, today, I am grieving over my protestant brothers and sisters, as well as Catholics who are for all purposes, protestant. I have come to the conclusion that three things keep them from coming into the fullness of truth about Christianity, which is only found in the Catholic Church.

The first is the simplest reason, and that is learned prejudice. And, even in 2013, prejudice rears its ugly head in conversations with protestants, who have been raised to hate things, even people, which and who are Catholic.

The second is disobedience, which is connected to heresy. One of the biggest problems in the protestant world has been the widespread acceptance of the sin of contraception. Disobedience also lies in not following the very words of Christ regarding the Eucharist.

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath everlasting life: and I will raise him up in the last day. John 6:24. DR

One simple line in John which is denied and not considered by millions of protestants reveals a disobedience which is not only learned, but treasured.

The third problem is culpable ignorance. There cannot be more than a handful of protestants in Europe or America who have not bumped into the truths of the Catholic Church in some way or another.

Recently, the Church has been in the media more than ever.

Heresy, prejudice, disobedience, culpable ignorance are all serious sins. One hopes and prays that our brothers and sisters in Christ will have a moment of epiphany, of real grace, when they see the obstacles keeping them from truth.

In the hard times to come, disobedience, heresy and culpable ignorance will lead many, many people astray, into worse sins, such as complicity in the coming persecution of the Catholic Church.

It has all happened before and it will happen again.

On Father Z, this is so cool..

Changing Malta and Boycott Willow Tree

Speaking with a friend from Malta on the phone, I learned that ssm legislation would be passed by December this year. The push by the lgtb groups for the acceptance of such has created a tension in the country.  The problem is a huge generation gap of voters. Most of the older, Catholic Maltese people are against ssm and abortion, the next fight.

The huge influx of 30-somethings from other EU nations, and the changing views of  the "nones" of the Gen-Xers and Millenials create a wedge in the culture. However, the younger, less religious Maltese will get their way on this vote.

Some references:

Catholics should be concerned about the hate crime legislation which is being put forward as well. Will the country be like Canada, where it is illegal for ministers and priests to use the word "sodomy"? Poor, poor Malta. But, this anti-Catholic agenda is one being pushed throughout the EU. Will their be any safe-havens?

Willow Tree SSM Topper

Interesting article on anti-NSA efforts in Germany

My blog use to be backed-up to a server in Germany, but was moved to one in California. Maybe I should try and get it changed back again.

Interesting article from CNA

I wonder how this went?

On Entertaining

Some Have Entertained Angels Unawares by Edward Clifford

Did you know, dear readers, that I have done catering for parties? I can cook for hundreds and enjoy every minute of it. I love entertaining. I also know a lot about wine.

I do Greek, Indian, Tex-Mex, Mexican, English, American, Czech, Ukrainian, Japanese, Chinese.

I learned from many room-mates from those areas of the world.  I miss entertaining and now, rarely have the opportunity to do so.

I love having everything, as my Grandma said, "just so".

But, sometimes, we have to "make do" instead of doing everything "just so".  The key is detachment.

My Doulton china is in a box 4,000 miles away, with my Great-Grandmá's linen tablecloths and napkins.

My good silverware is packed in storage, but tonight I had a wonderful time with two saints, the new generation of holy young men and women who know the times and choose God daily.

I entertained angels, even though I had ordinary plates from Dunne's, everyday cutlery, and mismatched glassware.

What a treat.

On The Limits of Language

When we listen intently, we think of the words which are being spoken to us. 

A friend of mine today expressed that another friend sends his regards.

How interesting. What does it mean to send regards?

What does it mean to send kind regards, which was not said?

To regard in older days meant to esteem, or to give respect. Now, we use it for everyday greetings.

This phrase reminds me of the famous discussion about Edward Farrars in Sense and Sensibility.  

When I take those on line which character of Jane Austen are you tests, I come out as Elinor Dashwood, and because my other favourite character, Anne Elliot in Persuasion, is rarely a choice. I am convinced both would be INTJs....

Elinor Dashwood: I do not attempt to deny that I think very highly of him, that I... greatly esteem him... I like him. 
Marianne: "Esteem him?" "Like him?" Use those insipid words again and I shall leave the room this instant. 

We have lost so much subtlety in today's extravagant use of language. 

I love the older subtleties of the English language.