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Saturday 9 November 2013

Pray to St. Martin of Tours

...please, for me. And, thanks. His feast day is coming up on Monday. I am invoking him as one of the patron saints of tailors.

Once Again On The Intellect And Faith

Briefly, Fr. Chad Ripperger, whose book highlighted this past week on this blog readers should get, notes several principles ignored by those who pursue emotional religion.

A sketchy list:

1) Fr. reminds us that one definition of faith from Aquinas in the Summa is this: a habit of mind, by which eternal life is begun in us, making the intellect assent to things unseen. Faith is not a feeling or some sort of gift outside the mind, memory and will.

2) Faith is in the intellect-Summa, II-II, q 4, a 2, and in faith, we give assent to virtue and hope for those truths which are unseen.

3) An act of belief is in the second act of the intellect of judgment, from Aquinas' Quaestiones Disputatae de Veritate

4) Fr. notes that as God is the Rule of Faith, knowledge about Him, which is revelation, is found in Scripture and Tradition. One does not come to know God outside of these.

5) God did not reveal all these truths to each one of us personally, but through the prophet, Apostles and disciples of the Apostles, thereby making God the remote rule of Faith and Scripture and Tradition the immediate rule.

6) "Orthodoxy is the only means to salvation."  And, the footnote from which this phrase is taken refers to the Epistle of James and the Summa.

I have stressed over and over and over in the perfection series that one must be orthodox in order to even begin the way of holiness. The reason is that one must follow the rule of Faith, involving Scripture and Tradition.

This book contains arguments against those movements and even, new orders, in the Church which only stress the emotions or the gifts and not the role of the intellect in following Christ.

Sadly, too many of the newer, non-traditional (as in Latin Mass) orders are stuck in emotional and sensational ways of prayer, liturgy and belief.

Sadly, false ecumenism has kept Catholics from preaching the truth to our Protestant brothers and sisters.
One cannot presume on the mercy of God with regard to those Protestants who reject the sacraments, especially Holy Eucharist, the nature of the Church, the role of the Church in establishing the Canon of Scripture, the role of the Church in passing down the Deposit of Faith, and the form of the Liturgy. What God has revealed cannot be denied.

To be continued...

No more American prestige in Europe

And, in other EU countries, America is increasingly seen as a bully, run by incompetent persons of any party.

The ideal of the Republic, the ideal of the America which saved Europe from tyranny in the 1940s, has rightly been replaced by both derision and suspicion.

As for the UK, there is no such thing as a special relationship any longer.

Such is the fall-out of this administration in the States.

Slave Mentality-Quo Vadis?

In the movie, Ben-Hur, one of my favorites, Judah Ben-Hur is a slave to his hatred until he forgives and is healed at the foot of the Cross through Christ's forgiveness.

His hatred melted into love and in the book, Judah becomes a Christian and a missionary for Christ.

He changes from a slave of Rome to a slave of Christ.

But, what is a slave mentality? Some people treat God as a slave.

Some Catholics treat Jesus and Mary like their own personal slaves.

Their prayers resemble this: "Jesus, I want you to do this for me. Mary, please do this for me." And, so on.

Intercessory prayer is not ordering God and His Mother around as if this were the proper attitude of asking.

To intercede is to enter the Throne Room of God. One should enter on one's knees.

Too many Catholics have a laid-back attitude towards God, emphasizing friendship with Christ instead of discipleship.  When one lacks the proper perspective of prayer, one is not practicing the virtue of religion, which gives due worship to God.

Too many clergymen and ministers of other Christian denominations have stressed Christ as a Friend to the point of forgetting that He is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

We are not gods. We are humans, usually caught in sin and needing the mercy and grace bought for us on the Cross by God Himself.

We should have a slave mentality.

To ask and ask and ask without deferring to the Will of God reveals not only an immature attitude towards the Trinity but a lack of respect for the Godhead.

St. Louis de Montfort refers to himself and those who consecrate themselves to Mary as slaves.

Let me quote 1 Corinthians 7:22:

For he that is called in the Lord, being a bondman, is the freeman of the Lord. Likewise he that is called, being free, is the bondman of Christ. 

We have forgotten what a slave is in our modern days of freedom. A slave is simply a person who no longer has freedom of will or movement, but who is under a bond.

When we die to ourselves completely, when we truly become people of faith, we die to self-will. and are then under the bond of love. This takes courage and generosity. It takes admitting one has been wrong about many things.

We willingly lose our freedom in loving Christ and His Mother.

Those who are closed to love do not understand this type of relationship. They want to remain so free as to have no attachment to God or His Mother.

Another name for such complete freedom is selfishness. Rebellion results.

One becomes one's own god-the real root of all idolatry is self-love based on a rebellious will.

To have a slave mentality towards God takes courage, as one is then placing one's self completely under the Will of God.

But, ironically, in this state of slavery, one finds one's freedom. This is where each one of us should be.

Recently, I had an experience of God taking away my will and giving me His. This is freedom indeed. Not without suffering, however, do we experience this dying to self.  I not only understand the words below, but am living in these words....because my will is no longer operative independent from God's Will. In His Will is peace.

God tells me what to do-what He wants; I do not tell Him what I want. I can ask, politely, but only in the Will of God will my prayers be answered. God has delivered me from myself, which is the greatest prison we can experience.

And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Such is the journey towards perfection-acknowledging one's total dependence of God. And, if we do not put ourselves under the rule of God, we shall be ruled by the world, the flesh, or the devil. There is no middle ground here. One must be open to God's Will totally. Remember, crucifixion was the punishment for slaves. One moves towards the Cross.

St. Paul become a real prisoner because he was already a slave of Christ. He did Christ's bidding daily, constantly, working, living in God's Perfect Will.

Can you choose to do this?

So that my bands are made manifest in Christ, in all the court, and in all other places; Philippians 1:13

To be continued....