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Wednesday 6 November 2013

Note and Pray for Malta, Please

This letter is being passed around parishes here in Malta as the 
government wants to press through ssm.
Some of the words have not been translated in text. I picked up this text yesterday 
morning at Mass
Here is a copy of that letter from 

The Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, today the Pope Franġisku, 
when he was still Archbishop of Buenos Aires, publicly condemned 
the draft law to be debated in the Argentine Senate legislation on 
marriage and gay adoptions. Wrote letters and appeals, called walk 
against gay marriage on Sunday 11 July 2010, and ordered to be 
read in all churches during the Mass, this powerful message: -
To the people of God and to all men and women of good will

1. God wants to save all people and come to the full knowledge 
of the truth (cf. 1 Tim 2:4). Therefore man is stopped by a dialogue 
of salvation, culminating to his meeting with Jesus Christ, the Lord 
and partner in our drive. The Church is called to extend this dialogue 
to muster all humanity.But dialogue if we are to bear fruit, it must be clear, 
Serene, simple and reliable. This implies all due respect dwellers, 
feels and thinks differently. All we are called to love God. But to be 
clear dialogue is needed expertise to the discernment leading to the 
statement of truth, which the pastors can not remain silent. This in no way 
implies contempt or discrimination.

2. The man was created in the image of God . This image seems not 
only each individual person but also in complementarity and reciprocity 
of husband and wife, in common dignity, and indissoluble unity between 
them, which has always been called marriage . Marriage is the form of 
life in which an unique communion of persons, which gives full human 
feeling to the exercise of the sexual function. The very nature of marriage 
belong to the qualities already mentioned the difference, complementarity 
and reciprocity between the sexes, and all the riches beauty of their fertility. 
Marriage is a gift of creation. There is no other reality tixbhu or equal. 
Any merger is not between people, but own and inalienable 
characteristics that make marriage the foundation of family and society. 
So they recognized the great cultures of the world. 
So recognizable international treaties recognized by our national 
Constitution (art. 75). So always understood our people.

3. public authority has a duty to protect marriage between a man and 
woman through legislative recognition to ensure and promote its 
irreplaceable function and its contribution to the common good of society. 
If legally recognize the union between people of the same sex, or jiggarantilha 
legal knowledge on the same level as marriage and family, the State 
is acting unlawfully being contradicts its institutional obligations, 
because it is overturning the principles of natural law and of public order 
Argentine society.

4. Bringing people of the same sex is missing from the biological and 
anthropological elements of marriage and having a family. Is missing from 
the conjugal dimension and openness to life. On the contrary, marriage 
and the family built upon, constitutes the core of the new generations of 
humans.Since their conception of the children have an inalienable right 
to grow in the womb of the mother, born in the wild and nurture the marriage. 
In family life and relationship with the father and natural mother, 
the children discover their identity and recognize what is their personal autonomy.

5. Recognition of objective difference does not mean being discriminate. 
Nature does not discriminate when creating men and women. 
All our civil code does not discriminate when requiring the requirement 
to be man or woman can enter marriage, but simply to recognize natural reality. 
The legal situations of mutual interest between persons of the same 
sex can be sufficiently protected by common law. Therefore, it is unfair 
discrimination against marriage and family if one gives the private 
fact of unity between people of the same sex status of public law.

6. awareness We urge our legislators to, they faced such a serious issue, 
keep in mind these fundamental truths, for the good of the country and its 
future generations.

7. Paskwali Climate contained therein , and in the beginning of six years 
of biċentinarju Country's (2010-2016), neżortaw to our faithful to seek 
wholeheartedly to the Lord our God illuminate wasteful leaders and 
especially to our legislators. Furthermore, the faithful pray not afraid to proclaim 
the protection and promotion of the great values ​​that have 
shaped our nation and to the hope of forming the Country.

Translation from Spanish to notching n of Gianfranco Amato ,
brought to Malta by Francesco Pio Attard

Translation from the Official Site of the Diocese of Malta Laity website as above.


Would Mary Appear Like This? Just Wondering.

Signs of Contradiction in the World

I told a friend of mine yesterday that she was a sign of contradiction in the world. Those who were Fools for Christ were such, including St. Francis.

Here is a bit on Xenia of Saint Petersburg. I am intrigued by her for many reasons including the fact that ten years ago some of my students, knowing about my warrior status in the Church Militant, brought a huge poster into the classroom of Zena, Warrior Princess, which was their nickname for me. I honestly do not feel like a warrior, today, as I am very battle weary.

Well, here is a real Xenia Warrior Princess in the Church Militant.

From Wiki; and photo of icon as well:

Saint Blessed Xenia of St. Petersburg (Russian: Святая блаженная Ксения Петербургская [Xenia Grigoryevna Petrova - Ксения Григорьевна Петрова]; c. 1719–1730 – c. 1803, Saint Petersburg) is a patron saint of St. Petersburg, who according to tradition, gave all her possessions to the poor after her husband died.
Her husband had been Colonel Andrey Fyodorovich Petrov, a chanter at the Saint Andrew Cathedral. After his death, Xenia became a "fool-for-Christ" and for 45 years wandered around the streets of St. Petersburg, usually wearing her late husband's military uniform.
St. Xenia's grave is in the Smolensky Cemetery of St. Petersburg. It has been marked by an ornate chapel since 1902. She was canonized by the Russian Orthodox Church on February 6, 1988. Her feast day in the O.S. is January 24, which is February 6 in the New Calendar.
St. Blessed Mother Xenia is noted for her intercessions in helping those with employment, marriage, the homeless, for fires, for missing children, and for a spouse. (from suprtradmum-many of you might want to ask here for help!)
(* She is venerated in several countries, there are about 40 churches and chapels built in her name.[1]

Moving to St. Ignatius of Loyola

St. Ignatius in his writings on the Spiritual Exercises speaks of the three kinds of humility. These definitions prove to be helpful for those in the Dark Night. This is a bit of a repetition from a previous post.

The first definition is that one must be subject and obey the Lord God in all things, not disobeying any of the Ten Commandments. Some Catholics do not realize the gravity of mortal sin, and how this state keeps one from the way of holiness.

The second involves the complete detachment of seeking either riches or poverty, but accepting whatever God decides to give.  One cannot desire fame, status, honor, a long life, (or a short life) but rest in an indifference at to what God brings. At this stage of humility, one avoids all venial sin and is grieved if one does commit a venial sin.

This desire not to commit a venial sin means the person is aware of the great holiness of God.

The third definition shows one the way of true perfection, as one now chooses poverty, chooses insults with Christ, rather than honors, and desires to be, as St. Ignatius says, a Fool for Christ.

So was Christ treated....more on the Fools later.

Persecution Watch And Why Is This News Not in The MSM?

Rain Again Forecasted (and the saint of the day)

Well, in my remaining days in Malta this time, the weather is looking dire. There should be sun tomorrow and Friday, but today it is suppose to rain again.

Thankfully, I brought a coat which is a bit water-proof, although not a slicker.

Summer has ended here and the Maltese autumn has begun.

Can you imagine wearing one of these uniforms and the armor in 77 degrees Fahrenheit and heavy, even torrential rains?

Strong men in those days....(update--no rain, yet...sunny and warm!)

And, today is the Feast of St. Leonard in Malta, who, among being patron of many others, is patron of political prisoners. St. Leonard might be a great saint to remember in days to come, dear Catholics.

Thanks Wiki for the photo

a brief note....repetition

Since this is the proper moment, we ought to point out another 
benefit resulting from this night and dryness of the sensory appetite. So 
that the prophecy -- your light will illumine the darkness [Is. 58:10] -- 
may be verified, God will give illumination by bestowing on the soul not 
only knowledge of its own misery and lowliness but also knowledge of his 
grandeur and majesty. When the sensory appetites, gratifications, and 
supports are quenched, the intellect is left clean and free to understand 
the truth, for even though these appetites and pleasures concern spiritual 
things, they blind and impede the spirit. Similarly, the anguish and 
dryness of the senses illumine and quicken the intellect, as Isaiah 
affirms: Vexation makes one understand [Is. 28:19]. But God also, by means 
of this dark and dry night of contemplation, supernaturally instructs in 
his divine wisdom the soul that is empty and unhindered (which is the 
requirement for his divine inpouring), which he did not do through the 
former satisfactions and pleasures.

On the senses being purified....from St. John of the Cross

Repost on prayer

Sunday, 29 September 2013

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.....