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Thursday 5 December 2013

From A Reader...Thanks, James

Fr. Hardon, SJ once said; 

"We will be judged by how we used our time here. How much time we have wasted."

The Decay of Ireland Continues

“The Vice-President for the Student Experience initiated a process of enquiry to review the actions of the Society in question in the context of the University code of conduct, the University policy on harassment and Irish and European equality law.”

So, some Catholics still think there is no persecution of the Church in Ireland and the EU?

Repeat on the Three Pickled Boys

Thursday, 6 December 2012

The Three Pickled Boys

Someone referred to The Pickled Boys miracle of St. Nicholas today on Fr. Z. May I add that I grew up on this story, as did my son. We had the books, Six O'Clock Saints and More SOS at home and this story is in the first one. Icons and stained glass of very early centuries refer to this miracle. I was six when I read these. Kids love St. Nicholas.

There is video with no good sound quality of Britten's interpretation on youtube.

St. Nicholas, as you know, is patron of children.

And, oh, the story. A horrible inn-keeper in a famine scarred country kidnapped three boys, killed them and cut them up and put them in pickle vats, as it was before refrigeration  Well, St. Nicholas promised the mother he would find them. So, he travelled to the inn, and when the innkeeper offered him meat for dinner, he asked to go down to the cellar and bless the vats of meat. And, out popped the three boys restored to life, although needing baths.

St. Nicholas Day

Thursday, 6 December 2012 Repeat for Friday, 6 December 2013

Feast of St. Nicholas

This feast is a major one on both sides of my family. Being from ancestors who are both Moravian, Bohemian, and Luxembourgians, my family and I celebrated this in grand style.

It was so wonderful. As we all sat down for dinner on December 6th, there would be a knock at the front door. Mom and Dad and all the children were with us, so who could it be but St. Nicholas.

We would rush to the door and there, on the front porch, in the snow, usually, were sacks of fruit, chocolates, other candies, and some toys. Of course, we always received gold coins, the symbol of St. Nicholas, who provided dowries for three poor girls.

No footprints, no disturbance in the snow.

It was not until years late that my mom told me that the Lutheran gentleman next door would wear his snowshoes, which barely leave a mark in snow. and deliver what mom had given him earlier in the day.

I think that counts as ecumenism.

St. Nicholas also visited my son as well with legos and chocolate coins. 
It is a family name. My dad and my son have this name as his Confirmation name and I have cousins and second cousins and third cousins who are Nick, Nicky and Nicholas. Really, but we do not cook lamb in the front yard. But, we do have Panettone on St. Nicholas Day.

I love St. Nicholas and the two main readings in the EF struck me particularly this year.

From the Epistle to the Hebrews 13: 7-17 is this section verses 13 and 14:

Let us go forth therefore to him without the camp, bearing his reproach. For we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come 

Two important points: one, we are on the outside and we should be. We should be a mark of distinction in the world, not conforming to it, but changing it by our example; and two, this is not our permanent home. 

If the world hates us, that most likely means we are living out our baptismal vows.

St. Nicholas is our example.

The other reading which impressed me today is the Gospel, Matthew 25: 14-23. The talents are not necessarily our gifts, as some of the great writers of mediation state, but graces.

We may be given only two graces; use them. We may be given only four graces; use those.

We cannot measure grace, of course, but use the grace of the sacraments daily. Do not squander the gifts. And a selection from my favourite musical tribute to St. Nicholas. 

Benjamin Britten, "Saint Nicholas": Nicholas comes to Myra and is chosen as Bishop. (I miss my CDs). Please listen to it, as even as a selection from the entire Cantata, it is sublime.

Thank you, dear St. Nicholas, for being my family's and my son's patron. Intercede for us in these hard times to be as courageous as we possibly can be. Thank you, St. Nicholas, for your example and grace. Help us to be counter-cultural as you were in the face of Arianism.

Who Is The Elite? Who Is Transforming Your Children?

Why did Italy put this man on one of the national stamps? This happened in 1987. The world was very asleep then. Now, more Catholics are waking-up to the tyranny which is and has been forming the minds, the souls of your children.

I do hope, as I noted on this blog a few weeks ago, that Antonio Gramsci converted on his deathbed. I use to keep two lists on my dorm door at college. One was the list of home-schooled greats-like Dorothy Sayers. The other was a list of deathbed conversions. These lists were reminders to me and to my hall-mates that an alternative lifestyle was better than conformity to the world, the flesh, and the devil.

Many posts on this blog are about the cleansing of the imagination. Many posts on this blog are about the necessity of moving out of the world in one's mind and spirit, even though one has to work in the world.

As laity, we are in the world, but not of the world.

The culture has moved beyond saving in the areas of morals. It is highly unlikely, unless there is a huge catastrophe, that people will change.

Let me go back to Gramsci again.

He wanted education to be taken out of the hands of the "elite". Now, what we see as the elite are the atheists and agnostics who have taken over the universities, colleges, high schools and elementary schools. In Gramsci's time, the elite were Catholic intellectuals, not Marxists. They were men, mostly, who were educated in the classical tradition and who were conservative.

His kulturkampf succeeded in removing the traditional elite and supplanting that group with those we see now in charge of all levels of education-ie. Core Curriculum.

Gramsci's vision is now American's vision, replacing the philosophies of Western Civilization, such as natural law philosophy, the Rule of Law, Catholicism, and so on.

Gramsci and his followers wrote that the elite would form the child. Of course, this is the duty of parents, not schools, who should be working with parents and not against parents in the formation of the child.

I have studied and shared on this blog the various Catholic educational methods of formation-see the links below. That the Marxists have succeeded in taking over what parents declined to do is obvious now.

However, Catholics are still not responding to this situation of the brain-washing of children by the State. The fact that all those dioceses have accepted the Core Curriculum, again noted on this blog earlier, demonstrates both the level of deceit and the level of complicity with the State in undermining both the authority of the parent over the formation of the child and the creation of a morally bankrupt generation, again.

Commentaries on Gramsci use the term "transformer" with regard to schools.

I hope readers are getting really scared. Your children are being transformed into persons who will not share your beliefs on natural law, the Rule of Law,

By the way, these ideas of Gramsci were disseminated around the world-not just in Europe. Marxists active in both North and South America, Central America, and, of course, parts of Asia and Africa have founded the new elite. To see who members of this new elite actually are, just look at the MPs in Great Britain, Ireland, the Hague.

Tyranny does not take over in a day. Two idols have been worshiped by some Catholics to bring us to this crisis in the culture. The first, the biggest idol, is money.

The second is conformity-the false American ideal of Americanism.

And back to my entertainment theme this month-look here for the source this phrase.

Certainly, nearly all major writers, artists and film-makers of post-Second World War Italy were to a greater or lesser extent influenced by his mighty presence in the recent past. 

And for those who tell me Marxism is a dead and spent ideology in Europe (rofl), check this out for one indication of new life. 

to be continued...

Be watchful, but do not watch Hollywood...

Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. 1 Peter 5:8

Many social commentators, including Christians, see the 1960s as the turning point in American morals.

I disagree. Looking at some of the cultural icons in fashion and entertainment from thirty years earlier, I have discovered several trends which were already forming the minds of youth as early as the mid-thirties. My mini-thesis is that what happened in the sixties was already in the culture, already becoming main-stream.

In the past few weeks, I have been doing a little reflection on this blog on entertainment. I have been introduced to a short history of entertainment in America, and I have been truly shocked at what I have been discovering. 

If one actually listens to the words of songs and follows stories, one sees the unraveling of morals much earlier than most people want to admit.

We have an idea of an America which was morally homogeneous before WWII. This is not true.

As earlier as the mid-1930s, loose sexual morality was more than hinted at in famous movies, such as the famous ones of Fred Astaire. I want to list some of the serious anti-Christian points made in movies which were supposed to be entertainment, and not serious drama since about 1935.

The reason why such a reflection is important is that the movies were aimed at taking people out of the sadness of the financial depression and also to prepare them for war, as the war effort in manufacturing began years before America actually came into WWII.

This is happening now, as people are still using movies and television to escape from the reality of the spiritual life and the reality of hardships.

Here are some of the points I have gleaned by examining some of the most popular movies of the 1930s and 1940s.

One, men were already being depicted as weak in sexual matters, and sex before marriage was strongly hinted at, if not portrayed. 

Two, men did not want to get married and were frequently tricked into it by the scheming women.

Three, women and men did not reveal respectful relationships, speaking rudely with each other and being sarcastic.

Four, entertainment was being pushed within entertainment, in obvious self-promotion. How many movies actually involved stories about plays, shows, dances, etc., revealing this obsession with promoting Hollywood?

Five, marriage was based on sex and not on homemaking or children.

Six, lies in relationships were common and accepted as either cute or necessary. Lying was used to get the girl or get the man and so on.

Seven, selfishness were rewarded in men especially. 

Eight, women were portrayed as having to pretend to be stupid in order to "get the guy".

Nine, yelling in movies and even arguing was considered normal in couples who were supposed to be in love.

Ten, rarely were children discussed as part of the future marriages and, in fact, many of the couples just went into show-business; see point four.

Eleven, women had to manipulate "to get the guy", either in lying, or in changing their looks or even compromising their ideals.

Twelve, romance never, never included God or a spiritual dimension.

All of these American characteristics show a contempt of most of the virtues. They relationships between the couples depended on exterior beauty and sex.

Now, some readers would say these early movies were harmless. I disagree. 

The formation of conscience is a delicate and steady process. The conscience needs to be cultivated with a long perspective of truth and prayer.

Sadly, in the States, billions of dollars has been spent over the last century on entertainment. Gone by the 1930s were the ideals of family, brought back briefly after the War, when people were settling down again.

I challenge readers to really listen to the words of the songs that were sung, the attitudes in the relationships, and the general atmosphere of the stories.

A culture does not suddenly decay. The process is long and complicated. I would state that several generations, before the wild sixties, engaged in watching stories which were just as damaging as those thirty years later.

to be continued....

Doctors of the Church 2:7

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Part Nine Doctors of the Church: Hildegard of Bingen

The lofty words of Catherine introduce us to the more mysterious, yet colorful words of Hildegard. Here we have her describing the Illuminative and Unitive States. Her books are Scivias ."Know the Way" 1151. Liber vitae meritorum "Book of Life's Merits" or "Book of the Rewards of Life", and Liber divinorum operum ,"Book of Divine Works", also known as De operatione Dei, "On God's Activity" both composed around 1173 according to some historians.

I like it that she lived to write at the age of 75 or so. This is encouraging. She lived to be 81.

Here she describes the Illuminative State and specifically, infused knowledge:

And it came to pass ... when I was 42 years and 7 months old, that the heavens were opened and a blinding light of exceptional brilliance flowed through my entire brain. And so it kindled my whole heart and breast like a flame, not burning but warming... and suddenly I understood of the meaning of expositions of the books...

Her infused knowledge included a vision of Wisdom and Love similar to those of the Old Testament. Boethius as well wrote of Lady Philosophy which some see as Wisdom. Wisdom has been called Sophia in the Greek and has the attributes of a woman. However, we are not to be confused about the "gender" of the Holy Spirit as male or female. The vision given to Hildegard stresses the female aspect of Wisdom.

The aspect of Love here is touching and poetic, but based on a unity with God.

I heard a voice saying to me, "This Lady whom you see is Love, who has Her dwelling place in eternity. When God wished to create the world, He leaned down, and with tender Love, provided all that was needed, as a parent prepares an inheritance for a child. And thus, in a mighty blaze the Lord ordained all His works.
Then creation recognized its Creator in its own forms and appearances. For in the beginning, when God said, "Let it be!" and it came to pass, the means and the Matrix of creation was Love, because all creation was formed through Her as in the twinkling of an eye.

And, on the unity of Love, she wrote from the vision of the Holy Spirit:

May the Holy Spirit cleanse you from all faults of malice, and win you the friendship of Love, most sweet, most tender; who captured the mighty Stag and poured forth song above all heavens; who entered the bridal chamber of all the King's mysteries; and who revealed Herself in all Her beauty in the mirror of the Cherubim.

She is Divine Wisdom. She watches over all people and all things in heaven and on earth, being of such radiance and brightness that, for the measureless splendor that shines in Her, you cannot gaze on Her face or on the garments She wears. For She is awesome in terror as the Thunderer's lightening, and gentle in goodness as the sunshine. Hence, in Her terror and Her gentleness, She is incomprehensible to mortals, because of the dread radiance of divinity in Her face and the brightness that dwells in Her as the robe of Her beauty. She is like the Sun, which none can contemplate in its blazing face or in the glorious garment of its rays. For She is with all and in all, and of beauty so great in Her mystery that no one could know how sweetly She bears with people, and with what unfathomable mercy She spares them.

Pope Benedict XVI wrote this of her:

During the years when she was superior of the Monastery of St Disibodenberg, Hildegard began to dictate the mystical visions that she had been receiving for some time to the monk Volmar, her spiritual director, and to Richardis di Strade, her secretary, a sister of whom she was very fond. As always happens in the life of true mystics, Hildegard too wanted to put herself under the authority of wise people to discern the origin of her visions, fearing that they were the product of illusions and did not come from God. She thus turned to a person who was most highly esteemed in the Church in those times: St Bernard of Clairvaux, of whom I have already spoken in several Catecheses. He calmed and encouraged Hildegard. However, in 1147 she received a further, very important approval. Pope Eugene III, who was presiding at a Synod in Trier, read a text dictated by Hildegard presented to him by Archbishop Henry of Mainz. The Pope authorized the mystic to write down her visions and to speak in public. From that moment Hildegard's spiritual prestige continued to grow so that her contemporaries called her the "Teutonic prophetess". This, dear friends, is the seal of an authentic experience of the Holy Spirit, the source of every charism: the person endowed with supernatural gifts never boasts of them, never flaunts them and, above all, shows complete obedience to the ecclesial authority. Every gift bestowed by the Holy Spirit, is in fact intended for the edification of the Church and the Church, through her Pastors, recognizes its authenticity.

More to come in a third posting.....

Important Article-Shocking

An Example of Two Families in Persecution

Many know the beautiful story of the Little Flower, St. Therese of Lisieux. Some know the tender and sad story of her beloved parents, Blessed Zelie and Louis Martin, whose relics I had the great joy of seeing several times this past summer.

But, few know that in the holy family of Zelie's parents, a family endured terrible persecution.

Think about this--family strong in persecution for two generations, engendering two Blesseds and then, a Doctor of the Church.

No accidents here.

The family under persecution was Zelie's father's family, the Guerins. Isidore Guerin, born on July 6th, 1789, lived through the great terrible times of the Republic of France. He was Zelie's father.

Here is one story. All the churches were closed. Priest were in hiding in lay families. Mass was said only in secret.

Isidore's uncle, Father Guerin, Blessed Zelie's great-uncle, was running away from the soldiers. When he was visiting the house, the French soldiers arrived to arrest him.

Little Isidore was a young child. Here is what he did. The priest hid in a kneading trough. Little Isidore put the lid on the top, placed some of his toys on it and sat down on it, with the toys.  When the soldiers came into the room, they only saw a happy young  boy playing with his toys.

Isidore Guerin

Sadly, Father Guerin was finally captured, exiled to Re and tortured. He did manage to be set free many yeas later

On the other side of the family, the Martins, during the wars against the Church, Francois Bohard,  St. Therese's grandfather Pierre Martin's maternal uncle, took down the precious bells of the village and hid them so that these would not be melted down for ammunition by the military.

Isidore, Zelie, Therese; Francois, (uncle), Louis, Therese.

And, more of those great daughters of the Martins will be canonized as well.

I am and have been convinced that families pass on holiness. A habit of prayer, of courage, of making God and His Church priorites created an atmosphere of saintliness.

Can we do this in our families? Can we cooperate with grace and prove strong in the face of trials?

There is one copyrighted photos here.

Information is from Rev. Paulinus Redmond's book, Louis and Zelie Martin: The See And The Root Of The Little Flower, Quiller Press: London. 1995.

Doctors of the Church 2:6

Saturday, 9 February 2013

Part Eight Doctors of the Church: Hildegard of Bingen

I shall post three articles on this amazing saint. She has been very popular for years with, sadly, the new age set, who want her to be something she is not-a seer outside the tradition of the Church. She was a Benedictine, and obedient to Rome.

She was a holy woman who had many talents and gifts from God. She is fully based in the Catholic Church in doctrine. Like Julian of Norwich, Hildegard was given mystical experiences which she shared in her writings and songs. All these paintings and icons show Hildegard as a nun and teacher, which she was.  Her dates are 1098 to 1179 and you can see she lived to be quite old.

She shows us the way to perfection, as do the other female Doctors of the Church. I discovered her a long time ago and was happy to see her songs put on CDs many years ago. Wiki has an exhaustive list of her music made in modern times up to 2011 here.

But, Hildegard must be understood in the context of Catholic teaching, which she provides in her unique way. What I am interested in here is her life of perfection on earth. She will show us, in her writings, her understanding of love from the Unitive State.

If we had to categorize our lady doctors, we could put them all in the category of LOVE. Like Catherine, Teresa, and Therese, Hildegard cooperated with grace to come into unity with Christ. All these saints entered into the Unitive State.

Catherine describes this, as does Teresa of Avila very clearly. Hildegard as well shares characteristics of the Unitive State, as does Therese of Lisieux.

Let me backtrack one minute to Catherine of Siena, then move to Hildegard, so that these characteristics are clarified. Both selections are long, so bear with me.

Catherine describes the Unitive State here: we see the characteristics of the enlightened mind and soul, purified in the Love of God and exhibiting a fullness of caritas.

Humility and love, peace and tranquility of mind and purity of heart mark the saint in this state.

What applies to Catherine, Teresa and Therese, applies to Hildegard. What Catherine describes in rational terms, Hildegard gives us in a more personal manner. You will be able to compare the two ways of communication of love.

Catherine's words first.... Hildegard's words, next post.....

A TREATISE OF PRAYER from Catherine of Siena
20. Of the third and most perfect state, and of reason, and of the works done by the soul who has arrived at this light. And of a beautiful vision which this devout soul once received, in which the method of arriving at perfect purity is fully treated, and the means to avoid judging our neighbor is spoken of.

"Those who belong to the third state, which immediately follows the last, having arrived at this glorious light, are perfect in every condition in which they may be, and receive every event which I permit to happen to them with due reverence, as I have mentioned to you when speaking of the third and unitive state of the soul.
"These deem themselves worthy of the troubles and stumbling-blocks caused them by the world, and of the privation of their own consolation, and indeed of whatever circumstance happens to them. And inasmuch as they deem themselves worthy of trouble, so also do they deem themselves unworthy of the fruit which they receive after their trouble.

"They have known and tasted in the light My Eternal Will, which wishes naught else but your good, and gives and permits these troubles in order that you should be sanctified in Me. Wherefore the soul having known My Will, clothes herself with it, and fixes her attention on nothing else except seeing in what way she can preserve and increase her perfection to the glory and praise of My Name, opening the eye of her intellect and fixing it in the light of faith upon Christ crucified, My only-begotten Son, loving and following His doctrine, which is the rule of the road for perfect and imperfect alike.
"And see, how My Truth, the Lamb, who became enamored of her when He saw her, gives the soul the doctrine of perfection. She knows what this perfection is, having seen it practiced by the sweet and amorous Word, My only-begotten Son, who was fed at the table of holy desire, seeking the honor of Me, the Eternal Father, and your salvation.
"And, inflamed with this desire, He ran, with great eagerness, to the shameful death of the Cross, and accomplished the obedience which was imposed on Him by Me, His Father, not shunning labors or insults or withdrawing on account of your ingratitude or ignorance..... 

"It was as if the sweet and amorous Word, My Son, should have said to you: 'Behold, I have made the road, and opened the door with My Blood.' Do not you then be negligent to follow, laying yourselves down to rest in self-love and ignorance of the road, presuming to choose to serve Me in your own way, instead of in the way which I have made straight for you by means of My Truth, the Incarnate Word, and built up with His BloodRise up then, promptly, and follow Him, for no one can reach Me, the Father, if not by Him; He is the Way and the Door by which you must enter into Me, the Sea Pacific.
"When therefore the soul has arrived at seeing, knowing, and tasting, in its full sweetness, this light, she runs, as one enamored and inflamed with love, to the table of holy desire; she does not see herself in herself, seeking her own consolation either spiritual or temporal, but, like one who has placed his all in this light and knowledge, and has destroyed his own will, she shuns no labor from whatever source it comes, but rather enduring the troubles, the insults, the temptations of the Devil, and the murmurings of men, eats at the table of the most holy Cross, the food of the honor of Me, the Eternal God, and of the salvation of souls; seeking no reward, either from Me or from creatures, because she is stripped of mercenary love, that is of love for Me based on interested motives, and is clothed in perfect light, loving Me in perfect purity, with no other regard than for the praise and glory of My Name, serving neither Me for her own delight, nor her neighbor for her own profit, but purely through love alone.
"Such as these have lost themselves, and have stripped themselves of the Old Man, that is of their own sensuality, and, having clothed themselves with the New Man, the sweet Christ Jesus, My Truth, follow Him manfully. These are they who sit at the table of holy desire, having been more anxious to slay their own will than to slay and mortify their own body.
"They have indeed mortified their body, though not as an end in itself, but as a means which helps them to stay their own will, as I said to you when explaining that sentence that I wished few words and many deeds, and so ought you to do. Their principal desire should be to slay their own will, so that it may not seek or wish anything else than to follow My sweet Truth, Christ crucified, seeking the honor and glory of My Name and the salvation of souls.
"Those who are in this sweet light know it, and remain constantly in peace and quiet, and no one scandalizes them, for they have cut away that thing by which stumbling-blocks are caused, namely their own will. And all the persecutions, with which the world and the Devil can attack them, slide under their feet, standing, as they do, in the waters of many tribulations and temptations, and do not hurt them, for they remain attached to Me by the umbilical cord of fiery desire.
"Such a man rejoices in everything, nor does he make himself judge of My servants, or of any rational creature, but rejoices in every condition and in every manner of holiness which he sees, saying: 'Thanks be to You, Eternal Father, who have in Your House many mansions.' And he rejoices more in the different ways of holiness which he sees, than if he were to see all traveling by one road, because, in this way, he perceives the greatness of My Goodness become more manifest, and thus, rejoicing, draws from all the fragrance of the rose.
"And not only in the case of good, but even when he sees something evidently sinful, he does not fall into judgment, but rather into true and holy compassion, interceding with Me for sinners and saying, with perfect humility: 'To-day it is your turn, and tomorrow it will be mine unless the Divine Grace preserve me.'
"Enamor yourself, dearest daughter, of this sweet and excellent state, and gaze at those who run in this glorious light and holiness, for they have holy minds, and eat at the table of holy desire, and, with the light, have arrived at feeding on the food of souls, that is, the honor of Me, the Eternal Father, being clothed with burning love in the sweet garment of My Lamb, My only-begotten Son, namely His doctrine.
"These do not lose their time in passing false judgments, either on My servants or the servants of the world, and they are never scandalized by any murmurings of men, either for their own sake or that of others. That is to say, in their own case they are content to endure anything for My Name's sake; and when an injury is done to some one else, they endure it with compassion of this injured neighbor, and without murmuring against him who caused the injury, or him who received it, because their love is not disordinate, but has been ordered in Me, the Eternal God.
"And, since their love is so ordered, these souls, my dearest daughter, never take offense from those they love, nor from any rational creature, their will being dead and not alive, wherefore they never assume the right to judge the will of men, but only the will of My Clemency.

"These observe the doctrine which, as you know, was given you by My Truth at the beginning of your life, when you were thinking in what way you could arrive at perfect purity, and were praying to Me with a great desire of doing so. You know what was replied to you, while you were asleep, concerning this holy desire, and that the words resounded not only in your mind, but also in your ear. So much so, that, if you remember truly, you returned to your waking body, when My Truth said, 'Will you arrive at perfect purity, and be freed from stumbling-blocks, so that your mind may not be scandalized by anything?' Unite yourself always to Me by the affection of love, for I am the Supreme and Eternal Purity. I am that Fire which purifies the soul, and the closer the soul is to Me, the purer she becomes, and the further she is from Me, the more does her purity leave her; which is the reason why men of the world fall into such iniquities, for they are separated from Me, while the soul, who, without any medium, unites herself directly to Me, participates in My Purity.

"Another thing is necessary for you to arrive at this union and purity, namely, that you should never judge the will of man in anything that you may see done or said by any creature whatsoever, either to yourself or to others. My will alone should you consider, both in them and in yourself. And, if you should see evident sins or defects, draw out of those thorns the rose, that is to say, offer them to Me, with holy compassion.
"In the case of injuries done to yourself, judge that My will permits this in order to prove virtue in yourself, and in My other servants, esteeming that he who acts thus does so as the instrument of My will; perceiving, moreover, that such apparent sinners may frequently have a good intention, for no one can judge the secrets of the heart of man. That which you do not see you should not judge in your mind, even though it may externally be open mortal sin, seeing nothing in others, but My will, not in order to judge, but, as has been said, with holy compassion.

Repeat, as history begins to run away from us quickly

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

The Necessity for Perfection in Tribulation: Or, How Would You Respond in A Shipwreck?

I see around me, including in myself, how people respond to terrible things in their lives.

Here are some reactions and then, the Catholic answer to how we must learn to respond to hard times.

One, people shut down. This can mean that they totally stop communicating and withdraw into themselves, or that they go into tight family circles which are inward looking and do not reach out to anyone else.

Two, people panic and turn into emotional whirlwinds, trying this and that, not being focused, causing chaos in themselves and in their families. Sometimes this chaotic response causes odd behavior, like projection.

Three, some fall into a depression and gloom, and make very bad decisions, such as leaving families, quitting jobs, or even turning to drink and drugs.

Four, some become impatient, angry and aggressive. This seems to be the most common response among men, but women can also resort to such.

Five, gross negativity and just plain meanness are other types of reactions. These types of reaction spreads like a cancer and results in murmuring, the great sin of the Israelites in the desert. Complaining creates a miasma of unfaithfulness and turns people to evil by doubting God's Divine Providence.

What should be the real Catholic response?

One, the cooperation with God and grace to go through the stages of purification so that the virtues and gifts of the spirit can be released.

Two, the release of the virtues begins in the Dark Night but becomes full in the Illuminative State. Do not procrastinate.

Three, the virtues, as I have written many times here, are given at baptism and the gifts at confirmation, but are blocked by sin and the tendency to sin. Therefore, those virtues, which one can read about from the tags, must be nurtured through suffering, purification, prayer.

Four, now is the time to develop these virtues, gifts, which lead to the fruits: faith, hope, charity, prudence, justice, charity, temperance, wisdomunderstandingcounselknowledgefortitudepiety, and fear of the Lord.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Galatians 5:22-23
St. Paul was shipwrecked, scourged, imprisoned and so on. Do you think he was anxious, crabby, rude, impatient, angry? No.

Are you letting God purify you so that those virtues and gifts can flow? 

If you are not working on being virtuous in your daily life, how will you respond in very hard times?

More below on this theme....

19 Jul 2013
Two, she could not understand why the army of St. Joshua had to kill Canaanites. (Also connected to this, would be the slaughter of the Philistines by St. David.) Good questions. Yes, God did punish many of those who built ...
26 Jul 2013
Caleb and Joshua are two of my favourite Old Testament heroes. But, I tend to like the John Wayne men, such as David and the Maccabees. It is interesting that some of the most numinous and direct revelations of God and ...

27 Jul 2013
Joshua and Caleb had pure hearts, as did those who were the children of the slaves of Egypt. A new standard was necessary to enter, and conquer the Promised Land. That standard was purity of heart. Even though Moses is ...
26 Jul 2013
But, the GPS kicks in at one time and there is a narrow escape which needs angelic intervention-angels on horses may not work....studying Joshua and Maccabees for backup and see some very handsome, well-armoured ...
08 Dec 2012
Moses, Joshua, David, Daniel, and many others asked God for great things, including the revelation of the Glory of God. We do not ask because we are afraid to lose our own judgement. When we ask for God to do great things ...

09 Sep 2013
We call these men and women saints-Judith, Esther, Ruth, Joshua, Jacob, Abraham, Isaac, Moses, David, the prophets, the Maccabees, etc. They believed in the promise without the fullness of revelation. These were the ...