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Monday 21 October 2013

A little note from STM

Many posts today...keeping readers busy for a day or two. God bless. 

Interesting discussion

I and others have commented on the Times of Malta article on ssm. Do you want to jump in? We are living in increasingly godless times.

For any Catholic out there who still likes Obamacare...

The 2013 Deloitte Survey of U.S. Physicians, a survey of more than 600 physicians from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, found that “six in 10 physicians (62 percent) said it is likely many of their colleagues will retire earlier than planned in the next one to three years.”
Based on the survey results, Deloitte found that most U.S. physicians believe that, among other worries, under Obamacare: “The future of the medical profession may be in jeopardy as it loses clinical autonomy and compensation,” and “Medicaid and Medicare reimbursements may be problematic, prompting many physicians to limit or close their practices to these enrollees.”
Instead of the established doctor-patient relationship of old, “eight in 10 physicians agree that the wave of the future in medicine … involves interdisciplinary teams and care coordinators.”

Prism Slides from Greenwald

and update

The End of the Beginning of the Dark Night And The Beginning of the End of the Dark Night

For those in the Dark Night, the beginning of the second stage is the end of the purification of the senses.

The next stage, the purification of the spirit, is the first stage for those who are called the proficients.

The early stages of the proficients only come after the completion of the purification of the senses. Here are the elements which would indicate that one is in the start of the purification of the spirit.

Why does the spirit need purifying. by the way?  Because all the evils of one's characters lie in the spirit. But, it is only after the purification of the senses that this purification can begin.

One cannot skip stages, and those who teach that this is possible are ignoring the wisdom of centuries of holy men and women who have shared their experiences with the Church.

One learns fortitude in the Dark Night of the Senses, which is absolutely necessary for the enduring of the Dark Night of the Spirit.

Here are some elements of this second part of the Dark Night taken from St. John of the Cross.

1) The time of darkness means that the intellect, memory, understanding and will are all in a shadow. One does not see the way and must rely on Divine Providence entirely.

2) One begins to finally do great works for God Alone and not for one's ego. In this darkness, one can and should work for God, with a new power which comes from the lack of reliance on the senses.

3) One is inspired by Divine Wisdom and not by one's own studies or knowledge. God places ideas in the intellect, as inspirations.

4) A person's will is inspired by God as well.  This means that God is directing the will, which has been entirely turned over to God.

5) Few people persist in this state, as it is painful. Although all men and woman are called to this state, few persist in the darkness which is demanded of pure trust in God.

8) A new purification of the spirit happens, which is not understood by those who experience this. God is allowing one to experience His Love in a new manner, which leads to infused contemplation.

9) If persons do not experience this state or the one previous to this, one must endure purgatory. And, part of the pain of purgatory is understanding that one could have followed this path on earth for the good of one's soul and the good of the Church, but refused to do so.

10) Therefore, a generosity of spirit must accompany this state. The intellect, memory, understanding, will are all directed by God directly and not by the person.

11) This is still not the Unitive State, but is the last stage before the Illuminative State. The Illuminative State only occurs after the spirit has been purified.

Common Core

I have been following the evil of the Common Core Curriculum,  which half the dioceses in the States have adopted. Michael Voris is doing such a good job revealing the horribleness of this curriculum, I do not need to follow this.

As you know, I was a curriculum adviser for five years in classical education and have always been convinced that the federal government should stay out of education. Also, I do not believe that Catholic schools in any country should accept money from any governments. Catholic education should be funded by Catholics who are orthodox, period.

If you want to learn more about the evils of the core curriculum, watch Voris.

Readers Remember, Please

No Anonymous Comments are posted....see side of blog.

Prayers like "swift javelins"

from today's readings The Liturgy of the Hours

A letter to Proba by St Augustine
Let us turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours
Let us always desire the happy life from the Lord God and always pray for it. But for this very reason we turn our mind to the task of prayer at appointed hours, since that desire grows lukewarm, so to speak, from our involvement in other concerns and occupations. We remind ourselves through the words of prayer to focus our attention on the object of our desire; otherwise, the desire that began to grow lukewarm may grow chill altogether and may be totally extinguished unless it is repeatedly stirred into flame.
  Therefore, when the Apostle says: Let your petitions become known before God, this should not be taken in the sense that they are in fact becoming known to God who certainly knew them even before they were made, but that they are becoming known to us before God through submission and not before men through boasting.
  Since this is the case, it is not wrong or useless to pray even for a long time when there is the opportunity. I mean when it does not keep us from performing the other good and necessary actions we are obliged to do. But even in these actions, as I have said, we must always pray with that desire. To pray for a longer time is not the same as to pray by multiplying words, as some people suppose. Lengthy talk is one thing, a prayerful disposition which lasts a long time is another. For it is even written in reference to the Lord himself that he spent the night in prayer and that he prayed at great length. Was he not giving us an example by this? In time, he prays when it is appropriate, and in eternity, he hears our prayers with the Father.
  The monks in Egypt are said to offer frequent prayers, but these are very short and hurled like swift javelins. Otherwise their watchful attention, a very necessary quality for anyone at prayer, could be dulled and could disappear through protracted delays. They also clearly demonstrate through this practice that a person must not quickly divert such attention if it lasts, just as one must not allow it to be blunted if it cannot last.
  Excessive talking should be kept out of prayer but that does not mean that one should not spend much time in prayer so long as a fervent attitude continues to accompany his prayer. To talk at length in prayer is to perform a necessary action with an excess of words. To spend much time in prayer is to knock with a persistent and holy fervour at the door of the one whom we beseech. This task is generally accomplished more through sighs than words, more through weeping than speech. He places our tears in his sight, and our sighs are not hidden from him, for he has established all things through his Word and does not seek human words.

One of my favourite passages was yesterday

Luke 18:1-8

18 And he spoke also a parable to them, that we ought always to pray, and not to faint,
Saying: There was a judge in a certain city, who feared not God, nor regarded man.
And there was a certain widow in that city, and she came to him, saying: Avenge me of my adversary.
And he would not for a long time. But afterwards he said within himself: Although I fear not God, nor regard man,
Yet because this widow is troublesome to me, I will avenge her, lest continually coming she weary me.
And the Lord said: Hear what the unjust judge saith.
And will not God revenge his elect who cry to him day and night: and will he have patience in their regard?
I say to you, that he will quickly revenge them. But yet the Son of man, when he cometh, shall he find, think you, faith on earth?

Finally, the fruition of the gifts of the Holy Spirit

Psalm 22

22 A psalm for David. The Lord ruleth me: and I shall want nothing.
He hath set me in a place of pasture. He hath brought me up, on the water of refreshment:
He hath converted my soul. He hath led me on the paths of justice, for his own name's sake.
For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me.

Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly is it!

And thy mercy will follow me all the days of my life. And that I may dwell in the house of the Lord unto length of days.

Do not think that the fruits of the Holy Spirit will come into being without all the blocks of the soul, mind, and body being removed.

Here is a reminder of these fruits: charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity (another name for kindness), goodness, long suffering, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, and chastity.

Why is it that the fruits of the Holy Spirit do not come into fullness without the Dark Night of the Senses/

The answer is simple. We all have huge blocks in our souls to the growth of these fruits. 

Blocks can be seen as one-to-one correspondences with the fruits.

Selfishness block love or charity.

Anxiety and internal chaos blocks peace.

Impatience, of course, blocks patience, as does anger.

Kindness is also blocked by impatience, anger, greed, and judgement.

Goodness is blocked by concupiscence and tendencies towards sin. Greed also blocks goodness.

Long suffering is blocked by impatience, anger and pride.

Mildness is blocked by pride.

Faith is blocked by greed, selfishness, and anxiety.

Modesty is blocked by pride and selfishness, lust and greed.

Continency is blocked by lust.

Chastity is also blocked by lust and selfishness.

And, so on. One could look at one's own main faults and do a one-to-one check list.

One's particular faults block all these fruits.

To be continued.....

King David Again

I write a lot about King David. He, like the other saints, reached the heights of union with God and reveals so much of this love through his psalms.

David, as tradition tells us, had a heart like God's. This means that he loved God.

St. John of the Cross writes that David "affirms that a person obtains in this night these four benefits: the delight of peace; a habitual remembrance of God, and solicitude concerning Him; cleanness and purity of soul; and the practice of virtue."

Psalm 77 reveals this movement of the soul for us.

"My soul refused consolations, I remembered God and found consolation, and exercised my self, and my soul swooned away...I meditated at night in my heart, and I exercised myself, and swept and purified my spirit..."

What a correct description of the Dark Night of the passive purification this is.

St. John notes that anger and impatience leave one at this stage of the passive purification.  One becomes accepting of one's slow progress towards union and one accepts one's sinful nature with patience, realizing that God wills for one to become perfect.

The clearest sign of King David's holiness is his freedom of spirit.  This liberty comes through the passive purgation.

And, just as the theological and cardinal virtues come out in the Dark Night, so, too, the twelve fruits of the Holy Spirit are free to flourish. I shall write more about this later today.

Again, we all have these fruits, but none of these are operative without the experience of purgation.....

to be continued...