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Saturday 21 December 2013

Sins of Christmas Time-Sloth

This is the forgotten deadly sin. There seems to be a mind-set that being lazy is merely a character trait and not a serious sin.

Laziness does not merely mean being a couch potato, but a list of defects which may damn a person to hell.

The list includes:

not doing good when one should-sin of omission
sluggishness regarding the use of gifts
sluggishness regarding the use of time
laziness regarding the growth of virtues
becoming slack about one's companions
not working as one needs to do when one can

The greatest lie in our country is that people "earn" extravagant lifestyles, such as long retirements, which only include fun and rest, and not working on the virtues, or preparing for death.

I want to address intellectual laziness as a serious sin. Those adult Catholics, who do not study their faith and persist in ignorance fall into intellectual sloth, leading to ignorance, for which one is culpable.

In America and in Europe, I do not believe there is such a thing as invincible ignorance.

Here is a bit from the CCC:

1791 This ignorance can often be imputed to personal responsibility. This is the case when a man "takes little trouble to find out what is true and good, or when conscience is by degrees almost blinded through the habit of committing sin."59 In such cases, the person is culpable for the evil he commits.
1792 Ignorance of Christ and his Gospel, bad example given by others, enslavement to one's passions, assertion of a mistaken notion of autonomy of conscience, rejection of the Church's authority and her teaching, lack of conversion and of charity: these can be at the source of errors of judgment in moral conduct.
1793 If - on the contrary - the ignorance is invincible, or the moral subject is not responsible for his erroneous judgment, the evil committed by the person cannot be imputed to him. It remains no less an evil, a privation, a disorder. One must therefore work to correct the errors of moral conscience.
1794 A good and pure conscience is enlightened by true faith, for charity proceeds at the same time "from a pure heart and a good conscience and sincere faith."60

The more a correct conscience prevails, the more do persons and groups turn aside from blind choice and try to be guided by objective standards of moral conduct.61

Review of The Hobbit II

Well, I went to see The Desolation of Smaug with a seminarian and a nice, single, young man who knows his Tolkien.

Positive and negatives:

Positives first-the pace is fast and one does not realize how long the movie is because of all the action. We missed the first 15 minutes owing to ice, but I can make that up later. The pace is ok by me.

Second positive, the characterizations of the dwarves are more serious and less comic, and therefore, in my humble opinion, more believable. Thorin II Oakenshield, as a character, seems more complex and well-portrayed. He is obviously a complicated "person", and as those who know the book, he becomes more complicated before the end of the story.

Third positive, some of the humor of the original book is in the movie, and some has been added. More on this point below. One funny bit is the Elven insult about a young dwarf portrait drawing, which is being taken away from Gimli's dad. Well, Middle-Earth is very, very small.

Fourth positive, the cinematography is great. 

Fifth positive, the entire way the story is presented reminds me of the world in which we live, which is no mistake, but planned, I am sure. Those men in power in the town of Esgaroth are incompetent, proud, stupid, and just out of touch with reality-does that sound familiar? 

Sixth positive, I like the way Beorn is depicted. I am partial to shape-changers in literature, as this creature is as old as Anglo-Saxon literature. 

Negatives--many, sadly and the first is that the charm and humor of the book is almost entirely missing. This is a fault of the director, who wants an action film over a tale by Tolkien. I do not mind the pace, but I do mind the lack of humor and the lighter touch of Tolkien, which could be called-hope.

Second negative-there is WAY too much time on Smaug and not enough on Bilbo. Bilbo is the hero of the original book not the dragon. Too much dragon...

Third, the interspersing of elements from other Tolkien tales to give background seems unnecessary and over-done. Skip the background of evil and stay with the text, please....

Fourth, the stupid introduction of a red-haired warrior Elf-woman is just plan irritating. Can't we have a story without references to romantic love, female Amazon-like creatures and sentimental love scenes?

Fifth, the entire story is too dark and gloomy. I mean, this is supposed to be an adventure, not a story about the growth of Sauron, which it has become. Too many dark and terrible scenes, which the lighter scenes do not balance out. There are too many dark, decaying, scary cities in ruins. Boring...too many ugly orcs....and too many spiders....

Sixth, and I shall end here, the Elven king in Mirkwood seems way too sinister, even though he is not a nice character at first in the book. He is too cruel, too harsh, and not at all sympathetic.

Well, I hope this is not a spoiler, but merely my own opinion.

Go see it, however, as Martin Freeman is brilliant as Bilbo, and the story does move. 

Sins of Christmas Time-Anger

Anger or wrath may not raise its ugly head in violence or suicide, but it may be seen again and again in families at Christmas.

Anger is connected to impatience, a lack of forgiveness, revenge, even alcoholism and drug abuse. Anything which is destructive and malicious, such as hatred which are years, even decades old, falls under the sin of Anger.

Interestingly, sullenness or pouting in children is repressed anger and damaging to the person who holds hatred inside. Such things are not "cute" and must not be allowed to continue in children.

Are there members in your family who go over and over past hurts, who remember every harm done to them, who gossip and are malicious to others concerning possible hurts? These are sins of anger.

Most violence comes from anger and the Americas have long histories of anger towards various peoples.

Self-violence is frequently a sign of anger.

In ancient myth and art, the Furies punished people who had sinned with torments of anger and thoughts of suicide. Medusa, the snake headed woman, once beautiful but vain, hated mankind and was eventually killed. Her face is sometimes a symbol of anger.

Do not encourage wrath and stop hateful conversations, or walk away.

to be continued

A snippet from the Pope's talk today

The Pope is being a pastor.

Two points from a much longer talk from Pope Francis to the Curia. The entire text is found here.

First of all, in this small part which I chose, the Pope warns against gossip. This is a season for gossip, which is a horrible sin involving negativity, slander, calumny and maliciousness.

Walk away from gossip.

Second, St. Joseph was silent as he was a man close to God, most likely in contemplation.

Can we model him? Can men take more time for prayer at this time?

Holiness in the Curia also means conscientious objection to gossip! We rightfully insist on the importance of conscientious objection but perhaps we, too, need to exercise it as a means of defending ourselves from an unwritten law of our surroundings, which unfortunately is that of gossip. So let us all be conscientious objectors; and mind you, I am not simply preaching! Gossip is harmful to people, our work and our surroundings. 

Dear brothers and sisters, let us feel close to one another on this final stretch of the road to Bethlehem. We would do well to meditate on Saint Joseph, who was so silent yet so necessary at the side of Our Lady. Let us think about him and his loving concern for his Spouse and for the Baby Jesus. This can tell us a lot about our own service to the Church! So let us experience this Christmas in spiritual closeness to Saint Joseph. 

New Education Letter

Thanks to a reader, I am looking at this today and will get back to you.

Missing Tyburn

I miss Tyburn today. I went several times a year and was "in" for a short time. I am overdue....

The nuns have a beautiful song with these hopeful words of love...

"Look, he comes.." reads the Songs of Songs 2:8-14 RVC
The voice of my beloved!
    Look, he comes,
leaping upon the mountains,
    bounding over the hills.
My beloved is like a gazelle
    or a young stag.
Look, there he stands
    behind our wall,
gazing in at the windows,
    looking through the lattice.
10 My beloved speaks and says to me:
“Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away;
11 for now the winter is past,
    the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers appear on the earth;
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.
13 The fig tree puts forth its figs,
    and the vines are in blossom;
    they give forth fragrance.
Arise, my love, my fair one,
    and come away.
14 O my dove, in the clefts of the rock,
    in the covert of the cliff,
let me see your face,
    let me hear your voice;
for your voice is sweet,
    and your face is lovely.

Superb Article

Doctors of the Church 2:32

 Perfection and Doctors of the Church: Peter Canisius

In this last post on Canisius, I want to concentrate on the overlap between free will, sin, and perfection.

As all Catholics are called to perfection, one must ask the rather obvious question as to why not all pursue or reach perfection.

Some people think that saints are different than ordinary people. Yes and no. Grace is what make an ordinary person extraordinary.

In a small section from Canisius' A Summary of Christian DoctrineCanisius states that a reason why people not only persist in serious sin, but eventually end up damned, is that they refuse to listen to truth.

This refusal is hardly addressed by priests from the pulpit or in books. Refusal to repent is one of the sins against the Holy Spirit, writes Canisius.

What doe this mean and what does this entail? Refusal to repent or a hard-heartedness simply means that a person has been presented with a truth of the Catholic Church, but either persists in serious sins, or worse, does not even want to listen. We have free will to repent, change, accept grace and move into the purgation or perfection stage. And, if a habit of rebellion and stubborness persists, one loses the ability to discern. Canisius was writing at a time when Protestantism was gaining huge ground in all levels of society.

His efforts to show that justice and righteousness are possible for all include his efforts to show the dangers of persistent sin.

No purgation, no purification, no road to perfection.

Repentance and orthodoxy first. Then the life of virtues can kick in.

Canisius looks carefully at the Cardinal Virtues as great helps in maintaining the journey to perfection. It is all about choices and free will. Make the right choices.

Doctors of The Church 2:31

Perfection and Doctors of the Church: Peter Canisius

One of the things I have tried to stress throughout this series has been the necessity of the mind, body, spirit and will cooperating in the pursuit of perfection. One cannot separate, for example, the will from the intellect, or the heart from the mind.

Peter Canisius is a prime example of a saint who knew that the road to God had to be accompanied by learning. If a Catholic is against "life-long learning", he is endangering his own soul. Here is an entire encyclical on this Doctor of the Church. The purgation, the purification of the mind means that one must learn, study, pray over the teachings of the Church. Hopefully, one comes to love each word of truth. I have put into bold face a few key sentences for my purposes in this series.


To the Archbishops and Bishops of Austria,
Germany, and Switzerland.
The interest as well as the honor of the church militant demands that We celebrate frequently with solemn ceremonies the memory of those whose eminent virtue and piety have elevated them to a glorious rank in the church triumphant. These public honors recall their holiness, and this ever-salutary recollection is particularly beneficial in periods of hostility to virtue and faith. This year, by the favor of divine providence, We are permitted to celebrate the third centenary of the death of the great Saint Peter Canisius. Our only desire is to see good men inspired by the same qualities which this man devoted with so much success to the service of Christian society.
2. There exist, in effect, certain analogies between our age and the period in which Canisius lived: a period when the spirit of revolution and looseness of doctrine resulted in a great loss of faith and decline in morals. To deliver youth especially from this double scourge was the goal of this man who, after Boniface, is the second apostle of Germany. He achieved this purpose principally by establishing schools and publishing good books as well as by effective sermons and penetrating debates.
Modern Knowledge Serves the Faith
3. Following his example, many of you have energetically used these same weapons against your educated enemies by continually studying all the finest sciences and enthusiastically cultivating the liberal arts in order to defend the honor of religion. You were sustained in this by the desire and approval of the popes whose constant preoccupation has always been to preserve the ancient majesty of the arts and to promote the constant progress of culture. You are aware that Our greatest desire has been to see to the proper education of youth. We have everywhere made all possible provisions to ensure it.

4. We now gladly take advantage of this occasion to present the vigorous leader Peter Canisius as a model to all who fight for Christ in the Church's army. By realizing that they must ally the weapons of knowledge with the weapons of justice, they will be able to defend the faith more vigorously and effectively.
Results of the Reformation in Germany
5. We will easily understand how great was the task undertaken by this strong defender of the Catholic faith in the interest of the Church and of society if We consider the situation in Germany at the beginning of the Lutheran revolt. Moral standards had changed and as they continued to worsen, it was easy to fall into error - but this very error hastened the final collapse of morals. The number of those leaving the Catholic faith gradually increased. Soon the poison spread to most of the provinces and infected all classes. Many considered the cause of religion in that realm to be desperate and doubted that any remedy remained to be tried. Indeed it is clear that all would have been lost if God had not intervened with powerful aid.
6. In Germany there still were men of solid faith, remarkable for their knowledge and love of the faith. There were still the leaders of the house of Bavaria and Austria and, at their head, the King of the Romans, Ferdinand I. These men were resolved to preserve and to defend the Catholic faith with all their might. But the greatest new help which God sent to Germany in this period was the Society of Loyola which was formed during this troubled period. Peter Canisius was the first German to enter this society.
Canisius as Teacher
7. This is not the place to recall in detail the life of this man, so eminent in sanctity, the zeal with which he labored to restore harmony and union to his country torn by dissension and revolt, the ardor of his public debates with the teachers of error, his inspiring sermons, the persecutions he suffered, the many countries he travelled through, and the difficult missions he undertook in the interest of the faith. However, to return to the weapons of knowledge which we have mentioned: how constantly, readily, wisely, and fitly he employed them! Upon his return from Messana where he went as a teacher of rhetoric, he committed himself to the teaching of the sacred sciences in the academies of Cologne, Ingolstadt, and Vienna. Here he followed the royal road of the most approved learned men of the Christian school and revealed to the Germans the treasures of scholastic philosophy. As this philosophy was shunned at that time by the enemies of the faith because it was a great support of Catholic truth, he had it taught publicly in the schools and colleges of the Society of Jesus for whose establishment he had worked so hard.

8. He did not hesitate to descend from the heights of wisdom to the basics of writing. He undertook the instruction of children and even composed elementary writing books and grammars for their use. Indeed just as he often came back from preaching to the courts of kings to address the people, so, after learned writings on dogma or morals, he used to compose pamphlets destined either to strengthen the faith of the people or to arouse and nourish their piety. He had wonderful success in preventing the inexperienced from getting caught in the nets of error. The Summa which he published for this purpose is a compact and tightly-knit work, written in beautiful Latin and not unworthy of the Fathers of the Church. This remarkable work was enthusiastically received by learned men in almost all the countries of Europe. Less voluminous but no less useful were the two famous catechisms which this blessed man wrote for less cultivated minds: one for the religious instruction of children, the other for young men already involved in the study of the arts. These two works had such a great success among Catholics immediately upon publication that almost all professors charged with teaching the basics of the faith had them in hand. They were used not only in the schools as a spiritual milk for the children, but they were also explained publicly in the churches to the benefit of all. Thus, during three centuries Canisius has been regarded as the teacher of Catholics in Germany. In popular speech "knowing Canisius" was synonymous with "preserving the Christian faith."
The Relations of Faith and Culture
9. These details from the life of this great saint indicate clearly enough to all good people the way which they must follow. We know that your nation is particularly famous for the wise and fruitful way in which you dedicate your talent and activity to promoting the greatness of your country and ensuring both public and individual prosperity. But, above all, the wise and virtuous among you should make vigorous efforts for the faith, and they should dedicate all their insight and expressive energy to its glory and defense. For the same purpose they should understand and utilize at once every advance made in the arts and sciences.

10. If there ever existed a period which demanded abundant science and knowledge to defend the Catholic faith, it is assuredly ours in which the rapid progress in all branches of study often furnishes the enemies of the Christian faith with an occasion for attacking it. We must therefore commit the same forces to repel their attack. We must occupy the position first and snatch from their hands the weapons with which they are trying to destroy all links between God and man.

11. Catholics, thus fortified and fittingly instructed, will clearly be able to show that the faith, far from being hostile to human culture, constitutes in fact its apex and summit; that even on points where there is seeming opposition or contradiction, it can be so closely harmonized with philosophy that each enlightens the other; that nature is not the enemy but the companion and helper of religion; finally that the inspiration of religion not only enriches all types of knowledge but also gives literature and the other arts new strength and new life. The splendor and dignity which the sacred sciences draw from the profane sciences derive from the fact that human nature is more affected by teaching which is pleasingly presented. For this reason among nations with a more refined civilization, hardly any confidence is placed in a coarse wisdom, and learned men especially leave aside all that is not imprinted with a certain beauty and charm. "We are indebted to the wise men" no less than "the ignorant," so we should stand in the battle line with the wise and if the ignorant falter, we should lift them up and strengthen them.
The Church has a Long Tradition of Learning
12. This area of activity in the Church has indeed been very wide. As soon as the long slaughter ceased and the Church regained its strength, wise men devoted their talent and their learning to glorifying the faith which had been sealed in the blood of its heroes. First the Fathers worked together at this task with their mighty strength. And in general their learned speech was worthy of the attention of the Greeks and the Romans.
13. Aroused by their teaching and their eloquence, many dedicated all their zeal to sacred studies and amassed such a rich patrimony of Christian wisdom that in every age Catholics have been able to draw weapons from it to destroy ancient errors or to annihilate new myths invented by heresy. No age has dissipated these treasures amassed by learned man, not even the age which was exposed to the ravages of the barbarians, when all lovely things were uncared for and forgotten. Consequently if the ancient wonders produced by human mind and hand, if the things which were once held in great esteem by the Greeks and the Romans have not entirely perished, it must be attributed entirely to the zeal and effort of the Church.

The Church of the Most Holy Trinity (University Church), Innsbruck

14. Even though the study of the arts and learning sheds so much glory on religion, those who dedicate themselves to these studies should use all their intellectual power and all their efforts to ensure that their knowledge not be selfish and sterile. Learned men should direct their studies to the profit of the Christian community and dedicate their own free time to common pursuits so that their knowledge may not seem an enterprise undertaken haphazardly but one which has practical application. Now such an obligation is especially clear in the instruction of youth, a work which is so important that it requires the greatest part of one's cares and effort.

The Importance of Catholic Schools
15. That is why We strongly encourage you to keep the schools in the fullness of the faith or to restore this fullness if necessary, and to bestow your cares on old as well as new schools, not only on primary schools but also on secondary schools and on colleges. As for the rest of the Catholics in your country, they should strive to preserve safe and intact the rights of the parents and those of the Church in the teaching of youth.
16. These are the things to ensure on this point. 

First, Catholics should not choose mixed schools but have their own schools especially for children. They should choose excellent and reputable teachers for them. For an education in which religion is altered or non-existent is a very dangerous education. We often see both cases occurring in mixed schools. No one should be ready to believe that instruction and piety can be separated with impunity. In effect, if it is true that We cannot exempt ourselves from the duty of religion at any period of life, in private or public affairs, so much the less should this duty be omitted at any age which is thoughtless, in which the spirit is ardent and exposed to so many inducements to evil.

17. To organize teaching in such a way as to remove it from all contact with religion is therefore to corrupt the very seeds of beauty and honor in the soul. It is to prepare, not defenders of the nation, but a plague and a scourge for the human race. Once God is suppressed, what can keep young people dutiful or recall them when they have strayed from the path of virtue and fall into the abyss of vice?

Piety and Learning
18. Secondly, it is necessary to teach religion to children, but not only at specified times. All their teaching should occur in an atmosphere of Christian piety. If it is otherwise, if this sacred inspiration does not penetrate the spirits of the teachers and of the students, the instruction will produce only little fruit and will often even have seriously harmful consequences. Every discipline has its own dangers and the young people will not know how to avoid them unless certain divine restraints are imposed on their intelligence and their heart. So We must beware that the essential thing, the practice of justice and piety, not be relegated to second place; that youth, restricted to those things alone which are visible, not crush the strength of virtue; that while the teachers carefully spell out the basics and the intricacies of some tiring discipline, they have no concern for the true wisdom whose "beginning is the fear of the Lord" and whose precepts should govern the whole of life. The knowledge of many subjects should always go hand in hand with the care of the spirit. Religion should give shape and direction to all branches of knowledge. Its majesty and sweetness should strike home and inspire the souls of the young.

19. Since the intention of the Church has always been that all types of studies be concerned with the religious formation of youth, it is necessary that this part of teaching not only have its own place-and a principal place at that-but also that nobody should exercise such a serious office without having been judged suitable and authorized to perform it by the Church.
Catholic Higher Education
20. But it is not only in the education of children that religion claims her rights. There was a time when the government of every university (especially the University of Paris) subordinated all branches of study to theology to the extent that nobody was considered to have reached the heights of knowledge unless he had obtained a doctorate in theology. The restorer of the Augustan age, Leo X and after him the other popes, wanted the Roman Athenaeum and the other universities to be like strong fortresses at a period when impious wars raged against the church. Here, under the guidance and the inspiration of Christian wisdom, youth would receive its education. This system of studies which put God and religion in first place produced excellent results. Certainly it ensured that the youth thus educated remained more faithful to their duties. These happy results will be repeated among you if you strive energetically to have the rights of religion respected in your secondary schools, gymnasia, lycaea, and academies.

Avoid Disunity
21. But never forget that disunity of spirit and lack of harmony in action render vain the best intentions and useless all efforts. What can the divided forces of people accomplish against the united attack of our enemies? What good is individual bravery if there is no common tactic?

22. That is why We exhort you to abandon all stubborn controversy, every partisan contention, for these are causes of disunity. Thus everyone should act in harmony to define the Church. They should concentrate their forces and direct them toward the same goal, with the same intention "concerned with preserving unity of spirit in the bond of peace."(1)
Imitate Canisius
23. The memory of a great saint has persuaded Us to give this advice. May his illustrious example remain fixed in your minds and arouse the love of wisdom which he himself possessed. May this same wisdom always work for the salvation of man and for the defense of the Church's authority.
24. We are confident, venerable brothers, since this matter is your special concern, that you will find among learned men many helpers to share in the glory of this work. Those to whom Providence has given the noble duty of educating youth will be of most assistance on account of the nature of their work.
25. If they remember the saying of the ancients, that knowledge merits the name of cleverness rather than wisdom when it is separated from justice, or better yet if they meditate on the words of Scripture: "They are vain, those men in whom there is no knowledge of God,"(2) they will learn to use the weapons of knowledge less for their personal gain than for the general good. They can expect their efforts to produce the same fruits as Peter Canisius long ago obtained in his colleges and institutions: obedient young people who are eager to learn and are vigorous, who detest the example of the impious, and are equally attracted to knowledge and virtue. When their piety has grown deep, there will practically be no need to fear that their souls will be affected by error or turned away from virtue. It is on them that the Church, on them that society base their fondest hope. They will be the eminent citizens of the future on whose wisdom, prudence, and knowledge will depend both the salvation of the social order and the tranquillity of domestic life.
26. In conclusion, let Us offer Our prayers to God who is the Lord of Knowledge and to his Virgin Mother, called the Seat of Wisdom through the intercession of Peter Canisius who served the Church so well by his teaching. May He see fit to answer Our prayers for the growth of the Church and the good of youth. Filled with this hope, We impart to each one of you, venerable brothers, to your clergy and to all your people our apostolic blessing as a pledge of heavenly favors and a testimony of Our paternal good wishes.
Given in Rome at St. Peter's the first day of August, 1897, the twentieth year of Our Pontificate.

1. Eph 4.3.
2. Wis 13.1.

Doctors of the Church Series 2:30

Doctors of the Church and Perfection: St. Peter Canisius


Can you imagine a Dutch Jesuit teaching in the universities of Europe being a Doctor of the Church?

Can you imagine a scholar, diplomat and teacher so influential that by three years after his death, at least 40 colleges and universities had been started by him with the support of European princes and bishops?

Can you imagine a Jesuit who started the Catholic Press, even as we know it today? Father Hardon wrote,  "Peter Canisius was the first publisher, the first author, the first editor of the Society of Jesus."

If Peter Canisius were alive today, he would be king of the theological internet. His influence in writing and spreading the Gospel throughout Europe in the Counter-Reformation is practically unimaginable.

St Peter Canisius, 1521-1597. Doctor of Catechetical Studies was a man of his age. He obtained his MA by nineteen and on the day of his ordination was given a vision of the Sacred Heart. One hardly knows where to begin with his works and like Robert Bellarmine, the works of Peter brought thousands of Protestants back to the Faith.

For our purposes, in this perfection series, I want to concentrate on his dedication to the Truth for this first post, as it will show you the man. I again quote Fr. John Hardon. And, this is why I blog SO much. Without orthodoxy and the dedication to the Truth, one cannot start on the road to perfection.

Peter thought that people don't become heretics out of malice, they become heretics out of ignorance. What was true in the 16th century, is true today. The amount of error, in otherwise nominally Catholic circles today, is enough to make the angels and Peter Canisius weep. That's why how many mornings, one, two in the morning, I was draped, dead tired over the typewriter, typing to get some more truth, one more page, one more article, one more book into print. I cannot tell you the number of times I've invoked Peter Canisius to keep me going. You can see why I chose Peter Canisius for the feast of Our Lady's Assumption. In other words, in order to over-come evil which is always the fruit of error, you must keep proclaiming the truth, proclaim the truth, proclaim the truth by what you say, by what you write and by how you live. The nuns walking the streets without religious garb are not proclaiming the truth. Either they are no longer nuns and then they're proclaiming what they are or they are still nuns under vows and they're not telling the truth, am I clear? You proclaim what you are. That's Peter Canisius. Assume that most people are mislead because of ignorance – what was true then, is sadly true today. I was giving a Lenten lecture in the Newark, N.J. Cathedral a couple of Lents ago and after the Mass some six seminarians came to introduce themselves, they said, "Father, thanks for writing the Catholic Catechism. After our classes in the seminary we go to our rooms and read the Catholic Catechism to find out what the Church really teaches. But it's comforting to know that the Church survived and became stronger than ever in rising over the era of those days and we are confident will rise over the errors of these days." 'But, my friends there must be somebody who has the courage to keep, though it's a thin lasting voice, proclaiming the truth.'


Firmness is a virtue – in fact, it's a cluster of virtues. It is, first of all, the foundation of certitude in faith and Peter Canisius was absolutely certain, never a shadow of doubt, that's firmness of mind. Firmness is constancy of the will and that is firmness which we call courage so that if you read and reread and by the way, the best biography of St. Peter Canisius was written by Father James Broderick. Do you, by any chance, have it? You don't? Get it. Read it, it's great – reads like music, fascinating, interesting and brings out the character of one of the Church's great saints, whose firmness was shown in his unwavering faith and in his fearless courage. St. Peter Canisius, pray for us. In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

To be of a firm disposition and you will find perfection.

The Inner Life Bombarded

I have been tired for a while-like a month- and I could not understand until today why. I am living in temporary housing with noise and sounds surrounding me constantly. After four years of living almost in complete silence, I realized the toll noise takes on my spirit, and therefore, on my body.

I thrive in silence. I am an introvert and find energy in being alone, and being very, very quiet.

God made me this way.

Someday, I shall regain my little bung hole of silence, but until then, please pray for me.

A picture of casks with bung holes, which are not dirty words.....btw

I share this as I am begging for some special prayers. Thank you. STM.

St. Peter Canisius, pray for all of us to have the freedom and leisure to develop that little cell in the mind and heart. There are some posts on the Doctors of the Church blogs. These shall follow this posting.

Praise God Again

Just in case you have no knowledge of the real Margaret Sanger

Sadly, the Wiki article is cleansed the the nasty views of this woman.

Wow, I am a statistic

I just found out that my income is in the lowest 10% in the United States. Amazing...

So, under the circumstances, I am putting up the last few things on my list for Christmas.

Latin Missal

NO Missal for Year A and Cycle II if I am correct about that


I know these things are dear, which is why I do not have them and because I was not allowed to get my things, I could not bring my Monastic Diurnal out of England.

Maybe someone who has a little extra could help me out this Christmas.



The Sins of Christmastime-Lust

Lust is perhaps the deadly sin driving the politics of America and Europe. Lust can take different forms, but with the almost daily passage of laws to protect polygamy, same-sex-marriage and the acceptance of sex outside of marriage, this landscape of families at Christmas has been severely damaged.

Lust is the sin of sexual excess and sex outside of the plan of God, that is, His plan of marriage and child-bearing.

The lustful want us to accept their lifestyle and the recent uproar in the States over the famous reality show hero concerning his comments on gay sex shows how divided the country is.

Europeans have had an acceptance of lust among public figures, even politicians, for a long time. But, at Christmas, this capital sin is thrown into the face of good Catholics by those who are living in sin expecting fair and equal treatment as those who are in good Christian marriages.

The sin of lust must be addressed and not hidden under piles of wrapping paper and bows.

It is up to siblings and parents to address these problems, especially if there are children in the family.

One cannot pretend that children do not understand relationships.

The sins of Lust are adultery,fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, homosexual sin (which could be listed under uncleanness), pornography and so on.

At Christmas, many people watch more television shows and movies depicting lust. Some Christians think that buying sexy clothes is ok for the married. Not so.

Lust is wrong in marriage as well.  Let me quote Tobit.

[1] Then Tobias sighed, and began to pray with tears, [2] Saying: Thou art just, O Lord, and all thy judgments are just, and all thy ways mercy, and truth, and judgment: [3] And now, O Lord, think of me, and take not revenge of my sins, neither remember my offenses, nor those of my parents. [4]For we have not obeyed thy commandments, therefore are we delivered to spoil and to captivity, and death, and are made a fable, and a reproach to all nations, amongst which thou hast scattered us.[5] And now, O Lord, great are thy judgments, because we have not done according to thy precepts, and have not walked sincerely before thee:
[6] And now, O Lord, do with me according to thy will, and command my spirit to be received in peace: for it is better for me to die, than to live. [7] Now it happened on the same day, that Sara daughter of Raguel, in Rages a city of the Medes, received a reproach from one of her father' s servant maids, [8] Because she had been given to seven husbands, and a devil named Asmodeus had killed them, at their first going in unto her. [9] So when she reproved the maid for her fault, she answered her, saying: May we never see son, or daughter of thee upon the earth, thou murderer of thy husbands. [10] Wilt thou kill me also, as thou hast already killed seven husbands? At these words she went into an upper chamber of her house: and for three days and three nights did neither eat nor drink:
[11] But continuing in prayer with tears besought God, that he would deliver her from this reproach.[12] And it came to pass on the third day, when she was making an end of her prayer, blessing the Lord, [13] She said: Blessed is thy name, O God of our fathers: who when thou hast been angry, wilt shew mercy, and in the time of tribulation forgivest the sins of them that call upon thee. [14] To thee, O Lord, I turn my face, to thee I direct my eyes. [15] I beg, O Lord, that thou loose me from the bond of this reproach, or else take me away from the earth.
[16] Thou knowest, O Lord, that I never coveted a husband, and have kept my soul clean from all lust. [17] Never have I joined myself with them that play: neither have I made myself partaker with them that walk in lightness. [18] But a husband I consented to take, with thy fear, not with my lust.[19] And either I was unworthy of them, or they perhaps were not worthy of me: because perhaps thou hast kept me for another man. [20] For thy counsel is not in man' s power.
[21] But this every one is sure of that worshippeth thee, that his life, if it be under trial, shall be crowned: and if it be under tribulation, it shall be delivered: and if it be under correction, it shall be allowed to come to thy mercy. [22] For thou art not delighted in our being lost: because after a storm thou makest a calm, and after tears and weeping thou pourest in joyfulness. [23] Be thy name, O God of Israel, blessed for ever. [24] At that time the prayers of them both were heard in the sight of the glory of the most high God: [25] And the holy angel of the Lord, Raphael was sent to heal them both, whose prayers at one time were rehearsed in the sight of the Lord.

To be continued....