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Sunday 29 September 2013

I hate to break this to you all, but

one can have more than one predominant fault. A good priest and I were discussing this today. He said that if the faults are close in nature, it is easy to have two. This makes it much harder to cooperate with grace and burn the rotten roots of sin. But, one must. It is not God who is causing the suffering, but God allows the devil to afflict you.

Take this time as a gift. much work to do and so little time. Do not waste time, dear readers. Work with the Holy Trinity, dwelling within you, for that wonderful union with God. Should we desire anything else?

Also, as most know, today is the Feast of St. Michael the Archangel. Ask your guardian angel to help you specifically in prayer to help you become holy.

At Mass this morning, one phrase rang out in the sermon-When Michael said “Who is like God?” V. Rev. Gerard Deighan said that Michael was addressing Satan and the answer was “Not you!”

The Next Levels of Prayer-After the Dark Night

People ask me is God can skip steps. God can, but people cannot. We are made up of body and soul, and our nature is such that we grow in steps spiritually as well as physically. The timing of the steps can vary, of course, with great young saints, such as St. Gemma Galgani reaching great heights through grace quickly.

God decides our time-table, but, we must cooperate. Too often, we choose not to cooperate, as it is too hard to face the purgation which must happen in the Dark Night. Now, some people, especially young saints, do not have much purgation. Obviously, the more sinful we are and the older we are having lived, perhaps, unreflective lives, the more intense, and, therefore, perhaps, the longer the Dark Night. We cannot imagine so wonderful a soul as Blessed Mother Teresa as being in the Dark Night for such a long time, but that was God's Will for her.

After the Dark Night, the infused prayer of the passive recollection occurs, which is the beginning of contemplation. This is a prayer of quiet and these stages are part of Mystical Prayer.

St. Teresa describes initial infused prayer, that of supernatural or passive recollection, which precedes the prayer of quiet, as follows, with Garrigou-Lagrange's comments towards the end:
This is a kind of recollection which, I believe, is supernatural (like the prayer of quiet). There is no occasion to retire nor to shut the eyes, nor does it depend on anything exterior; involuntarily the eyes suddenly close and solitude is found. Without any labor of one's own, the temple of which I spoke is reared for the soul in which to pray; the senses and exterior surroundings appear to lose their hold, while the spirit gradually regains its lost sovereignty. . . . 
But do not fancy you can gain it [this recollection] by thinking of God dwelling within you, or by imagining Him as present in your soul. . . . By the divine assistance everyone can practice it, but what I mean is quite a different thing. Sometimes, before they have begun to think of God, . . . the soul is keenly conscious of a delicious sense of recollection. . . . Here it is not in our power to retire into ourselves, unless God gives us the grace. In my opinion, His Majesty only bestows this favor on those who have renounced the world. . . . He thus specially calls them to devote themselves to spiritual things; if they allow Him power to act freely, He will bestow still greater graces on those whom He thus begins calling to a higher life.(30)
The saint adds: "Unless His Majesty has begun to suspend our faculties, I cannot understand how we are to stop thinking, without doing ourselves more harm than good," (31) for then we would remain in idleness or the somnolence of the quietists.

"The supernatural recollection" which St. Teresa describes in the preceding passages is clearly a mystical prayer, the beginning of infused contemplation, for which simplified affective meditation prepares the soul.(32)

Now, I have written on quietism on this blog before-it can be a dangerous trap. The real infused recollection, leading into infused contemplation and the prayer of quiet are the fifth and sixth states of prayer found only in the Illuminative State. This can happen according to some writers after the complete purification of the senses and before the complete purification of the soul, while some authors state that the purification of the senses and that of the soul happen together before the Illuminative State.

In other words, the Dark Night would, in either case, completely finished before the Unitive State, and before the levels of prayer in that state, the subject of the next two posts on this subject.

To be continued.....

Get The Ways of Mental Prayer which Fr. Ripperger recommends. I have not read this myself, but would love to do so.

Clarifications on Prayer Part One-The First Four Levels

There are some nuns and priests who are confusing people by using the terminology of prayer incorrectly. I have heard many times a nun who is teaching prayer tell people that they are contemplating, when this level of prayer is only achieved after the Dark Night of the Soul. What she means is meditation, which is not the same as contemplation. Sadly, some of the more liberal nuns and those who are not well taught themselves, cause confusion among the laity with regard to the levels of prayer. I shall review these now.

The prayer of meditation precedes the Dark Night. One must move into that stage of prayer before experiencing the Dark Night. Why? Because unless one is somewhat proficient in meditation, one cannot reflect to the point of understanding the purifications, which are between the person and God. Unless one has had spiritual director for years, one who can tell one the predominant fault, one needs to do this on one's own.

A sign of the movement towards the Dark Night is the movement into regular meditation, as meditation disappears in the Dark Night as indicated on the list of the levels of prayer. The first, the Ascetical, is the Purgative Way.  This stage includes: one, vocal prayer; two. meditation; three. affective prayer; four, acquired recollection. These all precede the Dark Night of the Soul. 

The last two may not be familiar to some readers. Affective prayer is in the will. It is the movement of the mind from meditation, which is intelletual rational discourse and the use of the imagination to prayer based on love of God. However, one must not, and I repeat strongly, must not, seek consolations in this type of prayer. One is willing to love God. If there is a feeling of love, fine, but that is not the goal. The goal is to love God for Himself.

Acquired recollection follows, and this is the attempt of the person to recollect in memory, understanding and will on the attributes of God. This is not without danger, as a person can fall into self-adoration too easily. Acquired recollection is exactly as the name states-it is not infused contemplation. 

It is active, not passive recollection.

Garrigou-Lagrange states this quotation from St. Teresa of Avila:

It is called (active) "recollection," because by its means the soul collects together all the faculties and enters within itself (25) to be with God. The divine Master thus comes more speedily than He otherwise would to teach it and to grant the prayer of quiet. For, being retired within itself, the spirit can meditate on the Passion and can there picture in its thoughts the Son, and can offer Him to the Father without tiring the mind by journeying to find Him on Mount Calvary, or in the garden, or at the column.

Those who are able thus to enclose themselves within the little heaven of their soul where dwells the Creator of both heaven and earth, and who can accustom themselves not to look at anything nor to remain in any place which would preoccupy their exterior senses, may feel sure that they are traveling by an excellent way, and that they will certainly attain to drink of the water from the fountain, for they will journey far in a short time. They resemble a man who goes by sea, and who, if the weather is favorable, gets in a few days to the end of a voyage which would have taken far longer by land. These souls may be said to have already put out to sea, and though they have not quite lost sight of land, still they do their best to get away from it by recollecting their faculties.

If this recollection is genuine it is easily discerned, for it produces a certain effect that I cannot describe, but which will be recognized by those who know it from personal experience. The soul seems to rise from play - for it sees that earthly things are but toys - and therefore mounts to higher things. Like one who retires into a strong fortress to be out of danger, it withdraws the senses from outward things, so thoroughly despising them that involuntarily the eyes close so as to veil from the sight what is visible, in order that the eyes of the soul may see more clearly. Those who practice this prayer almost always keep their eyes shut during it. 

This is an excellent custom for many reasons. . . . The soul appears to gather strength and to dominate itself at the expense of the body. . . .By persevering in the habit [of recollecting itself] for several days, and by controlling ourselves, the benefits that result will become clear. We shall find that when we begin to pray the bees (symbol of the different faculties) will return to the hive and enter it to make the honey without any effort on our part, for our Lord is pleased to reward the soul and the will by this empire over the powers in return for the time spent in restraining them. Thus the mind only requires to make them a sign that it wishes to be recollected, and the senses will immediately obey us and retire within themselves. . . . When the will recalls them they return more quickly, until after they have re-entered a number of times, our Lord is pleased that they should settle entirely in perfect contemplation.(28)

It is only after the Dark Night of the Soul that Contemplation occurs. Do not let any liberal nuns or priests confuse you on this point.

In the next post, I shall continue with Mystical Prayer, which follows the Dark Night.

Just to remind people, the rosary can be meditation, but this type of prayer usually employs the active imagination with Scripture, as taught by St. Ignatius so clearly.

Also, the Liturgy of the Hours, is verbal prayer, as is singing.

to be continued.....

If you are still drinking Pepsi, you are cooperating with evil

  • Tue Apr 03, 2012 09:56 ES

I have received a few requests from pro-lifers like Vicki:
Can you provide some clarity to the Pepsi/cells from aborted babies controversy.  I cannot sort out whether this is valid or not.
Yes and No
Bottom line: There are no aborted embryonic or fetal cells in any of PepsiCo’s final products.
But: Aborted cells are used in the development of artificial flavor enhancers by biotech company Senomyx, with which PepsiCo signed a four-year, $30 million agreement in 2010 for research and development. No Pepsi products containing Senonymx flavor enhancers should be expected until 2013.
Senomyx’s disputed cell line is HEK-293, derived from the kidney cells of an aborted baby. We could go into the weeds at this point, but Wikipedia offers an easy explanation:
Senomyx develops patented flavor enhancers by using “proprietary taste receptor-based assay systems.” These receptors are made from HEK293. HEK stands for Human Embryonic Kidney cells. These cells, which were cloned, originally came from healthy, electively aborted human embryos. Using information from the human genome sequence, Senomyx has identified hundreds of taste receptors and currently owns 113 patents on their discoveries.
Ick factor
A little more on those taste receptors from, which originally made the connection between PepsiCo, Senomyx, and aborted cells:
These… taste receptors… produce a chemical signal that lets Senomyx researchers know they have achieved the exact flavor they are trying to develop.
Snopes concurs… sort of
Snopes, in a post last updated on March 18, basically comes to a similar conclusion as the aforementioned, calling the claim that “Pepsi uses material from aborted fetuses in its products” a “mixture” of “false” and “undetermined.”
Snopes states it is “false” to claim Pepsi products contain aborted baby cells, but it is “undetermined” whether Senomyx uses aborted cells in R&D, basically because Senonymx won’t answer the question.
But Snopes goes into great detail, citing articles by CBS NewsForbes, and Miami New Times, to corroborate that Senomyx indeed does. There is actually no question on that point, so Snopes should change “undetermined” to “true.”
Plot thickens with help by Obama administration reported on March 5 that shareholders shall remain in the dark, thanks to the SEC:
In a decision delivered Feb 28th, President Obama’s Security and Exchange Commission ruled that PepsiCo’s use of cells derived from aborted fetal remains in their research and development agreement with Senomyx to produce flavor enhancers falls under “ordinary business operations.”
The letter signed by Attorney Brian Pitko of the SEC Office of Chief Counsel was sent in response to a 36-page document submitted by PepsiCo attorneys in January, 2012.
In that filing, PepsiCo pleaded with the SEC to reject the Shareholder’s Resolution filed in October 2011 that the company “adopt a corporate policy that recognizes human rights and employs ethical standards which do not involve using the remains of aborted human beings in both private and collaborative research and development agreements.”
Boycott PepsiCo
Senomyx has since removed the list of all its partners, but got a screenshot. Those include Kraft and Nestle, future boycott targets according to c4l.
But the boycott starts with Pepsi. From Brad Mattes of Life Issues Institute:
PepsiCo will continue their efforts to keep the controversy quiet, but the pro-life community’s boycott of Pepsi products and exposing the outrage isn’t going to lose its fizz anytime soon.
Here’s what I need you to do.  BOYCOTT Pepsi products.  Click here for the link that will tell you what they are.
Contact PepsiCo directly by clicking here. Tell them why you’re boycotting their products
Let others know by leaving a comment on the company’s Facebook page. Post comments on your own Facebook and Twitter pages.
The only way to stop this atrocity is if you and I make enough noise. Together, we must put PepsiCo under the spotlight and expose their willingness to make money off the bodies of aborted babies.

A Trip to Silverstream Priory at Stramullen, Country Meath, Ireland