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Monday 2 December 2013

Clarity of Mind When Things Fall Apart

Under stress, duress, severe financial difficulties, or any reason for anxieties, the mind retreats or becomes aggressive.

God has given us natural survival instincts.

He has also given us grace.

As the fabric of so many usual organizations in our societies unravel, as we see changes happening quickly in the health systems, educational institutions, even Church organizations, many people, especially the old, may experience a dislocation in their thinking.

The youth of our day have been accommodated to many changes and are more flexible. Youth is always, by definition, more flexible than the older persons in society.

What I have been noticing among peers and those older is a reluctance to understand what is happening around us. There is much confusion is several areas of our lives at this time. Take my friends in small businesses, or in the health fields, like a woman I know who is a finance director for a large clinic.

These good people simply do not know what is happening with all the changes in the national health plan, Obamacare. Even some doctors are confused.

Of course, if the health professionals are confused, the patients will be more confused.

But, the changes in health care are not the only huge changes. Older people have to face the closure of parishes, community centers run by the Church, and so on.

Those people with children are facing the changes brought about by the Core Curriculum, which is simply, a terrible change, which Catholic parents will not be able to accept.

Changes cause confusion. Stability allows for mental clarity.

So, how does one maintain mental clarity in the midst of all these changes?

Like people displaced by war or natural disasters, people may not be coping well.

That brings us to the real need for faith, hope, love.

Without being totally centered on Christ, without accepting His Will in our lives, we shall be easy prey to anxiety and stress.

Only the peace and calm of Christ can transcend the many changes in our society which are happening so fast.

The growing decadence and the institutionalization of sin also cause this confusion among many.

A very good priest in England spoke against the ssm bill over and over again for two weeks before the passage of that bill. He rightly said that the bill would forever change the lives of our children and grandchildren.

And yet, many Catholics had become so confused that they could not understand his courageous pleas to contact the MPs.

Confusion is always from Satan.

Order, clarity, calm are from God.

How does one maintain order, clarity, calm?

Only in God is peace and light.

Only in the one, true religion can there be order and clarity.

Truth wins out over confusion and over stress and anxiety.

But, we must cooperate with grace in all these matters.

When I wrote the other day that we cannot compromise, I could have emphasized more that compromise causes the softening of the clear conscience, which leads to confusion.

Clarity of mind comes with humility, grace, obedience to God's Laws-all of them.

Do you feel anxious and fearful? I had a moment today when I realized that if I had my injured foot attended to, it would have cost me over 3,400 dollars minimum, which I do not have.

I cancelled the appointment, as I abhor debt. I am not afraid of pain. But, I shall not get into debt if I can help it.

The moment passed, and I made yet another obeisance to the Will of God in my life. He is in charge.

Do not be afraid. Learn to be strong so that you can help others who will panic as things fall apart.

Your strength may be the only oasis of clarity of mind for many.

Pray, think, reflect, act. Only God can be the Center of our being and if He is, we shall find His peace, which passes all understanding.

If you do not yet believe in the coming persecution, read this article and the comments.

Romans 8:38-39

38 For I am sure that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor might,
39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

It all started with a marriage once before......

Thomas Cromwell made all this possible:
A list of the acts of Parliament leading up to the Age of Martyrs in England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland can show us how "legal" rulings incrementally persecuted the Church.

Many readers make comments which indicate that they are not preparing for persecution. Daily decisions bring us to the end decision. Such a decision as to stand for Our Beloved Lord, Jesus Christ, does not happen automatically.

We are prepared for such. Those Catholics who support ssm and abortion are no different than those who sided with Henry, Elizabeth, and others against their former brothers and sisters in Christ.

Those Catholics who changed sides, left the Pope of Rome for the religious governance of Henry and Elizabeth, did so for many reasons. The two greatest were status (titles) and money (bribes even from the throne).

The so-called enemy of the realm held on to the Truth of Scripture and Tradition. Those who left the Church, the majority, took their own immortal souls into their own hands.

Thanks to Wiki for the short list. I have left on the links for your perusal.

Statute in Restraint of Appeals of 1533, forbidding all appeals to the Pope.

Act of Supremacy, passed by Parliament in 1534

Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries and Dissolution of Lesser Monasteries Act, 1535
which suppressed all the houses which did not agree to the marriage of Henry and Anne Boleyn.

  1. An act for the Dissolution of the lesser Monasteries at
  2. Act for the Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries, full text at

Act of Supremacy 1558, making Elizabeth head of the church.

Act of Uniformity of 1559 which made it a crime not to attend Anglican services.

January 10, 1581, "recalling Her Majesty's subjects which under pretense of studies do live beyond the seas both contrary to the laws of God and of the realm, and against such as do receive or retain Jesuits and massing priests, sowers of sedition and of other treasonable attempts." 

By this proclamation the relatives of seminarists had to recall them, or lose all civil rights. It was illegal to send them any supplies. Jesuits and priests must be surrendered; anyone knowingly harboring them was guilty of sedition and treason.

From then on, it was illegal for a Catholic priest or seminarian to be in England, Wales, Ireland, Scotland. It was illegal for the family of these men to help them.

All these persecuting laws were legal in the land, according to Parliament or royal decree.

If readers cannot see the parallels coming, I cannot help them more than to point out the historical precedence. Some readers believe this will never happen. It has already started happening.

A couple had to close their bakery business and pay fines...

A young photographer had to pay fines....

A bed and breakfast couple had to pay fines and sell their house/business...

Teachers, who are faithful, are leaving the profession so as not to teach serious error...

An Anglican priest is being taken to court in the Hague for refusing to witness a ssm....

A new curriculum will make students learn ssm is, in England....

It was a false marriage which brought down the one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church in England, and it looks as if false, same-sex so-called marriages will do the same. But, this time, England will not be the only country to persecute the real Church.

Please use the tags and labels

If you use the tags and labels, you can find more on topics relating to today's first posting. Use ones marked "grace" and "doctors of the Church".

Protestant vs. Catholic Thinking

Because either some Protestants have made comments on this blog, or because some Catholics are thinking like Protestants, I am going to outline a few points of confusion. I apologize for the length of this. There will be more later.

Years ago, when I was taking theology and philosophy courses for degrees, I was blessed with some superb teachers, for whom I am eternally grateful.

One teacher in Protestant Theology class made a great point that the Protestant mind-set was basically one of utilitarianism. What he explained was that Protestants in the 20th century, beginning in the 19th century with liberal Scripture criticism, watered down the Gospel message and the call to holiness to the lowest common denominator.

For example, Henry VIII wanted a divorce and so ruined the Church in England.

That is a type of utilitarianism and tyranny.

I never forgot this distinction and have referred to it briefly on this blog.

The Protestant mind-set holds these ideals as listed below, which are contrary to Catholic teaching. I shall place the Protestant and Catholic ideals side by side.

Protestant side first....

Point One: poverty and difficulties in life are a direct result of sin in the person or family. Therefore, poverty or a lack of success means the person is a grave sinner. The Protestant Work Ethic demands that success is a sign of election by God. God's material blessings are a sign of God's spiritual blessings.

A person can, therefore, judge those who are unsuccessful as grave sinners and not help them as they are under the wrath of God.  Those in the middle-class, therefore, are God's elect.

Catholic side second...

We are to love and serve the poor, as Christ commanded, who are "always with us".  We are, as Blessed John Paul II stated, to give preferential treatment to the poor. The poor are Christ in disguise and our business.

To serve the poor is to directly serve the hidden God, who made Himself poor for our sake. Sometimes the poor are hidden in our society, especially if they are old.

Philippians 2

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of charity, if any society of the spirit, if any bowels of commiseration:
Fulfill ye my joy, that you may be of one mind, having the same charity, being of one accord, agreeing in sentiment.
Let nothing be done through contention, neither by vain glory: but in humility, let each esteem others better than themselves:
Each one not considering the things that are his own, but those that are other men's.
For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.
He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names:
10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
11 And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.
12 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.
13 For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will.
Point Two: Protestant thinking looks at what is and compromises. 
Examples, contraception and abortion, divorce and remarriage and, now, ssm are to be accepted as people can only be sinners and not saints. The acceptance of a lower standard of morality is a direct result of the compromising Protestant attitude of finding a middle-ground or lowest ground. Suffering is to be avoided at all costs.
Catholic side: We are called to be saints and become perfect, even as our Heavenly Father is perfect. We are called to suffer in order to be purified of all sin and the tendency to sin. The call to holiness is hard and strenuous. And, the Church Militant must approach this route in a military fashion of discipline and courage.

Matthew 16:24

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
24 Then Jesus said to his disciples: If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Point Three: The Protestant mind-set looks for a utopia on earth, confusing the Kingdom of God within with a material Kingdom. Suffering is to be avoided at all costs.
This ideal is behind the American Dream, which is not a Catholic dream per se. That one can find happiness on earth is a symptom of this millennialist thinking. Think of the fact that the Calvinists and others wanted to establish a society based on Protestant ideals which would have led to a perfect commonwealth. The people could decide how that commonwealth works based not on the long Judeo-Christian philosophy of natural law, but only on the Scriptures-sola Scriptura.
Catholic side: we know that the City of God and the City of Man grow up side by side. We also know that perfection in social and governmental organizations needs the protection and Teaching of the Catholic Church, the long history of Tradition and the Catholic Teaching on the roles of the State and the Church.
The Church does not idolize democracy and has condemned socialism again and again and again. The Catholic Church does not teach that there is a utopia on this side of heaven.
The Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes can bring about some social peace and harmony, but that is not the goal. The goal is holiness and oneness with God for all people, the rich, the middle class, the poor. Read the entire passage and realize that the Catholic position is one of holiness, then harmony.

Matthew 5

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him.
And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
12 Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
13 You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt lose its savour, wherewith shall it be salted? It is good for nothing any more but to be cast out, and to be trodden on by men.
14 You are the light of the world. A city seated on a mountain cannot be hid.
15 Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but upon a candlestick, that it may shine to all that are in the house.
16 So let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.
17 Do not think that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill.
18 For amen I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot, or one tittle shall not pass of the law, till all be fulfilled.
19 He therefore that shall break one of these least commandments, and shall so teach men, shall be called the least in the kingdom of heaven. But he that shall do and teach, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven.
20 For I tell you, that unless your justice abound more than that of the scribes and Pharisees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
21 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not kill. And whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment.
22 But I say to you, that whosoever is angry with his brother, shall be in danger of the judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council. And whosoever shall say, Thou Fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 If therefore thou offer thy gift at the altar, and there thou remember that thy brother hath any thing against thee;
24 Leave there thy offering before the altar, and go first to be reconciled to thy brother: and then coming thou shalt offer thy gift.
25 Be at agreement with thy adversary betimes, whilst thou art in the way with him: lest perhaps the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.
26 Amen I say to thee, thou shalt not go out from thence till thou repay the last farthing.
27 You have heard that it was said to them of old: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
28 But I say to you, that whosoever shall look on a woman to lust after her, hath already committed adultery with her in his heart.
29 And if thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out and cast it from thee. For it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.
30 And if thy right hand scandalize thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is expedient for thee that one of thy members should perish, rather than that thy whole body be cast into hell.
31 And it hath been said, Whosoever shall put away his wife, let him give her a bill of divorce.
32 But I say to you, that whosoever shall put away his wife, excepting for the cause of fornication, maketh her to commit adultery: and he that shall marry her that is put away, committeth adultery.
33 Again you have heard that it was said to them of old, Thou shalt not forswear thyself: but thou shalt perform thy oaths to the Lord.
34 But I say to you not to swear at all, neither by heaven, for it is the throne of God:
35 Nor by the earth, for it is his footstool: nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great king:
36 Neither shalt thou swear by thy head, because thou canst not make one hair white or black.
37 But let your speech be yea, yea: no, no: and that which is over and above these, is of evil.
38 You have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.
39 But I say to you not to resist evil: but if one strike thee on thy right cheek, turn to him also the other:
40 And if a man will contend with thee in judgment, and take away thy coat, let go thy cloak also unto him.
41 And whosoever will force thee one mile, go with him other two,
42 Give to him that asketh of thee and from him that would borrow of thee turn not away.
43 You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thy enemy.
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies: do good to them that hate you: and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you:
45 That you may be the children of your Father who is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise upon the good, and bad, and raineth upon the just and the unjust.
46 For if you love them that love you, what reward shall you have? do not even the publicans this?
47 And if you salute your brethren only, what do you more? do not also the heathens this?
48 Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect.
Point Four: as men and women are saved, there is no need for the sacramental life, especially Confession. 
Catholic view: The Protestant idea that all men and women have their sins forgive without the daily work of conversion has weakened the Protestant communities. Only a commitment to daily prayer, daily repentance, daily adoration and the awareness of sin and the need for sanctifying grace can lead a person to heaven. The acceptance of sin in the world is a huge compromise, which has led to the acceptance of evil, and even to the point of calling evil good and good evil.

Isaiah 5:20

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
20 Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter.
A priest said to me last week that "there is no such thing as an Obama Catholic". 
Those who support him are thinking like Protestants and compromising Truth, Who Is a Person for either money or comfort or status.
For those readers who accept sin and concupiscence, I point them to read what God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity states about holiness. I point them to the series on the Doctors of the Church on this blog. I point them to the long series on perfection, based on the great Dominican, Garrigou-Lagrange.
To accept less than personal holiness, which is a gift of grace and the cooperation with grace, is giving in to a life of sin.
To accept anything less than putting on the Mind of Christ is actually an act of rebellion.
Someone said to me once that human weakness is beautiful. Yes and no. It is beautiful as it is shared in humility with the suffering Christ. It is not beautiful if it is not called out of weakness into strength in God.
We glory in our failures and infirmities in so far as these give glory to God, if He is working in us. Grace and weakness go together, but we must not confuse weakness without grace as a good. When we are truly humbled and in grace, then God works through us. Not all people are in grace. Not all weakness is a good; we do not glory in sin. Some weakness is the giving in to sin and the giving up of the life of Christ within us. And, that is another discussion.

2 Corinthians 12:9-11

And he said to me: My grace is sufficient for thee; for power is made perfect in infirmity. Gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may dwell in me.
10 For which cause I please myself in my infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ. For when I am weak, then am I powerful.
11 I am become foolish: you have compelled me. For I ought to have been commended by you: for I have no way come short of them that are above measure apostles, although I be nothing.

To be continued.....