Recent Posts

Friday 24 January 2014

Several Posts on St. Francis Today--look at earlier posts

Happy Feast of St. Francis de Sales.

Doctors of The Church 2:51

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Meditation on Death by St. Francis de Sales

FIFTH MEDITATION from The Devout Life by St. Francis de Sales.
Of Death. Preparation.
1. PLACE yourself in the Presence of God. 2. Ask His Grace. 3. Suppose yourself to be
on your deathbed, in the last extremity, without the smallest hope of recovery.
1. Consider the uncertainty as to the day of your death. One day your soul will quit this
body—will it be in summer or winter? in town or country? by day or by night? will it be
suddenly or with warning? will it be owing to sickness or an accident? will you have time
to make your last confession or not? will your confessor or spiritual father be at hand or
will he not? Alas, of all these things we know absolutely nothing: all that we do know is that
die we shall, and for the most part sooner than we expect.
2. Consider that then the world is at end as far as you are concerned, there will be no
more of it for you, it will be altogether overthrown for you, since all pleasures, vanities,
worldly joys, empty delights will be as a mere fantastic vision to you. Woe is me, for what
mere trifles and unrealities I have ventured to offend my God? Then you will see that what
we preferred to Him was nought. But, on the other hand, all devotion and good works will
then seem so precious and so sweet:—Why did I not tread that pleasant path? Then what
you thought to be little sins will look like huge mountains, and your devotion will seem but
a very little thing.
3. Consider the universal farewell which your soul will take of this world. It will say
farewell to riches, pleasures, and idle companions; to amusements and pastimes, to friends
and neighbours, to husband, wife and child, in short to all creation. And lastly it will say
farewell to its own body, which it will leave pale and cold, to become repulsive in decay.
4. Consider how the survivors will hasten to put that body away, and hide it beneath
the earth—and then the world will scarce give you another thought, or remember you, any
more than you have done to those already gone. “God rest his soul!” men will say, and that
is all. O death, how pitiless, how hard thou art!
5. Consider that when it quits the body the soul must go at once to the right hand or
the left. To which will your soul go? what side will it take? none other, be sure, than that to
which it had voluntarily drawn while yet in this world.
Affections and Resolutions.
1. Pray to God, and throw yourself into His Arms. O Lord, be Thou my stay in that day
of anguish! May that hour be blessed and favourable to me, if all the rest of my life be full
of sadness and trial.
2. Despise the world. Forasmuch as I know not the hour in which I must quit the world,
I will not grow fond of it. O dear friends, beloved ones of my heart, be content that I cleave
.to you only with a holy friendship which may last for ever; why should I cling to you with
a tie which must needs be broken?
I will prepare for the hour of death and take every precaution for its peaceful arrival; I
will thoroughly examine into the state of my conscience, and put in order whatever is
Thank God for inspiring you with these resolutions: offer them to His Majesty: intreat
Him anew to grant you a happy death by the Merits of His Dear Son’s Death. Ask the
prayers of the Blessed Virgin and the Saints. OUR FATHER, etc.
Gather a bouquet of myrrh

Doctors of The Church 2:50

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

St. Francis de Sales, the Fourth Franciscan out of Three!!!!!! Doctors of the Church Series continued

I made a terrible mistake and apologize to the Franciscans. St. Francis de Sales, Doctor of the Church, was a Third Order Franciscan

Naughty me. Mea culpa....

So, before tackling the great Dominicans, I need to cover this great man's writings on spirituality. This is Part 17 of the series.

He was only 56 when he died in 1622, but left behind wonderful writings for us. Here is a bit of his great insights into the holy life.

I concentrate today on the second purification on the way to perfection. This Doctor is a great saint for teaching us the way to perfection.

Notice how the saint refers to the mind as an attribute of the soul. Without going into that study, his ideas are close to those of St. Bernard of Clairvaux (my favourite DoC) who also saw the mind as part of the soul. This idea is not so common in modern theologians.

His clarity about breaking away from the habits of venial sin can be traced here in these selections from Introduction to the Devout Life.  The pages can be found before, one and after this link.

Be sure, my child, that if you seek to lead a devout life, 
you must not merely forsake sin; but you must further 
cleanse your heart from all affections pertaining to sin; for, to say nothing of the danger of a relapse, these wretched affections will perpetually 
enfeeble your mind, and clog it, so that you will be unable to be diligent, 
ready and frequent in good works, wherein nevertheless lies the very essence of all true devotion. 

Souls which, in spite of having forsaken sin, 
yet retain such likings and longings, remind us of those persons who, without being actually ill, are pale and sickly, languid in all they do, eating without appetite, 
sleeping without refreshment, laughing without mirth, 
dragging themselves about rather than walking briskly. 

Such souls as I have described lose all the grace of their good deeds, which are probably few and feeble, through their spiritual languor.

This last point has been made by Garrigou-Lagrange and other writers; that we get no merit unless we are in the state of illumination. I know this is hard, but it is true.

The work we do in the Illumination State comes from the Holy Spirit, and not from ourselves. 
Here is the great saint on this purification of tendencies.

We must make up our minds not to commit even one venial sin in order to avoid these tendencies to sin. I finally found one good priest in London, and a younger one at that, who understands this and can give absolution accordingly, instead of denying that this is possible. We need more priests who understand that we must fight against the tendencies to venial sin.

You will find then, my child, that besides the mortal sins and their affections from which your soul has already been purged, you are beset by sundry inclinations and tendencies to venial sin; mind, I do not say you will find venial sins, but the inclination and tendency to them. Now, one is quite different from the other. We can never be altogether free from venial sin,--at least not until after a very long persistence in this purity; but we can be without any affection for venial sin.
It is altogether one thing to have said something unimportant not strictly true, out of carelessness or liveliness, and quite a different matter to take pleasure in lying, and in the habitual practice thereof. But I tell you that you must purify your soul from all inclination to venial sin;--that is to say, you must not voluntarily retain any deliberate intention of permitting yourself to commit any venial sin whatever. It would be most unworthy consciously to admit anything so displeasing to God, as the will to offend Him in anywise. Venial sin, however small, is displeasing to God, although it be not so displeasing as the greater sins which involve eternal condemnation; and if venial sin is displeasing to Him, any clinging which we tolerate to mortal sin is nothing less than a resolution to offend His Divine Majesty. Is it really possible that a rightly disposed soul can not only offend God, but take pleasure therein?
These inclinations, my child, are in direct opposition to devotion, as inclinations to mortal sin are to love:--they weaken the mental power, hinder Divine consolations, and open the door to temptations;--and although they may not destroy the soul, at least they bring on very serious disease. 

"Dead flies cause the ointment to send forth a stinking savour," says the Wise Man.He means that the flies which settle upon and taste of the ointment only damage it temporarily, leaving the mass intact, but if they fall into it, and die there, they spoil and corrupt it. Even so venial sins which pass over a devout soul without being harboured, do not permanently injure it, but if such sins are fostered and cherished, they destroy the sweet savour of that soul--that is to say, its devotion. The spider cannot kill bees, but it can spoil their honey, and so encumber their combs with its webs in course of time, as to hinder the bees materially. Just so, though venial sins may not lose the soul, they will spoil its devotion, and so cumber its faculties with bad habits and evil inclinations, as to deprive it of all that cheerful readiness which is the very essence of true devotion; that is to say, if they are harboured in the conscience by delight taken therein. 
A trifling inaccuracy, a little hastiness in word or action, some small excess in mirth, in dress, in gaiety, may not be very important, if these are forthwith heeded and swept out as spiritual cobwebs;--but if they are permitted to linger in the heart, or, worse still, if we take pleasure in them and indulge them, our honey will soon be spoilt, and the hive of our conscience will be cumbered and damaged. But I ask again, how can a generous heart take delight in anything it knows to be displeasing to its God, or wish to do what offends Him?

So this saint backs up St. Benedict on frivolity and unnecessary mirth, as in the other posts today and previously on laughter and silliness.

The Weakness of The Pro-Life Movement in Great Britain and Some Suggestions

I have noticed a great weakness in the Pro-Life Movement in Great Britain, which is in danger of falling apart for several reasons.

May I outline these problems so that the bishops may be listening, which I doubt, but I hope one is reading this post.

One, the Catholic Church must be orthodox about having leaders who are in keeping with the total teaching of Pro-Life, which means anti-abortion in all cases, against all euthenasia, against IVF and so on. All life issues carefully clarified by the Teaching Magisterium must be held sacred.

Two, those who are into "informed dissent" and not orthodox should not be in any leadership positions in the Pro-Life movement in GB, as that person, intentionally or not, allows the proverbial "smoke of Satan" into the organizations with compromise and deceit.

Three, priests who are Pro-Life must also be straight-down-the wicket orthodox and not fudging on such things as the excommunication and necessary faculties for releasing Catholic women from such penalities. Some diocesan bishops in America have given all their priests these faculties which were, if one remembers, given to all priests by the Pope Emeritus at WYD at Barcelona. These faculties are specifically given.

Four, such good work as done by professional groups with professional counselors trained in psychology and counseling with degrees, not merely with certificates from dubouis new age healing groups, should be hired by Pro-Life groups and work in the political field as well.

Five, professionals belong at the top, those with degrees in communications, media, political science, theology, philosophy and other related issues to help raise the tone of Pro-Life communication and organization must be sought out. This issue is too important for just nice moms who have some slight background to take over. We need professionals and even single people or people with time, talent, and expertise to take over the movement.

Six, as in the States, there has to be an acceptance of the different roles of the different groups in Pro-Life work. Some are political, some for private counseling and so on. All can work in their separate fields but work together at the large, media and political gatherings and stop arguing over the different perspectives.
All have something to do. If the groups are alienated and this must stop. All have something to do.

Seven, the teaching of contraception must be part of the Pro-Life message with an emphasis on NFP. Satan works through the contraceptive mentality and weakens the Church from within. There can be no strong Pro-Life, anti-abortion message without dealing with contraception.

Eight, Humanae Vitae must be studied and used regularly as well as the other life encyclicals. We have great teaching which is ignored.

Nine, the time for semi-professionalism is OVER and it is time for real professionalism must start.

Ten, the time for setting aside egos and "patches of power" is OVER. A spirituality of Pro-Life is absolutely the path to personal holiness and the knowledge of real Catholic teaching. Without deep humility and personal holiness, the movement will fail.

I hope one bishop reads this.


from The Tablet

Secular clergy numbers fall by a sixth in two years
23 January 2014 13:04 by James Macintyre

The number of diocesan priests in England and Wales fell by more than 15 per cent from 2010 to 2012, according to the latest figures compiled by the Catholic Directory.
The total figure of priests across all dioceses dropped from 3,200 in 2010, to 2,708 in 2012, a decline of 15.4 per cent, or almost a sixth.
Over the same period, there was an increase in the number of retired priests, from 776 to 805, a rise of 3.7 per cent.
The decline in secular clergy is revealed in the new 2014 edition of the directory. The directory did not include statistics last year due to concerns about their reliability but the new editor, Sr Catherine Wybourne, says she has received up to date information from all the dioceses.
While recent years have seen an increase in the number of seminarians in England and Wales the decline in the number of priests continues to pose a problem for dioceses.
Earlier this month, The Tablet reported that at least four churches had been closed in the Archdiocese of Birmingham, in cases where the Archdiocese said the “future is not sustainable”. Parishes are also being merged and the Archbishop of Birmingham, Bernard Longley, has said he cannot guarantee to provide a resident priest for each parish.
The Bishop of Northampton, Peter Doyle, last month disclosed that he is struggling to provide a priest for every parish. In his diocese there are just 39 priests serving 69 parishes and 27 Mass centres.
Above: Chrism Mass in Westminster Cathedral 2013 Photo: © Mazur/

Ruining the next generation with new laws

Too much talk, not enough action

Lyrics to Too Much Talk :
Read the news in the Times today,
It seems the world is going 'round,
I don't care what somebody says,
Somebody always puts 'em down.

Red or yellow, black or white,
Are you left-handed or are you right?
When you open your eyes can you see the light?
Do you wake up screaming in the middle of the night?

Too much talk and not enough action,
Do you know anybody getting satisfaction?
Everybody wonders 'bout the crowds' reaction,
And the world gets better by a very small fraction.

Turn around 'til you see a face,
And it won't be very long,
Someone soon will be in your place,
And it won't be very wrong.

Now's our chance to change the world,
Change the world with love, with love…

Too much talk and not enough action,
Do you know anybody getting satisfaction?
Everybody wonders 'bout the crowds' reaction,
And the world gets better by a very small fraction…

For many, many years, ask my closest friends in TWO continents, I have been trying to encourage those who could to form Catholic communities. My blog from 2007 until now has been spotted with articles on this topic.

And yet, all the people who have the land, money, time, large families, resources to do so have not acted at all. From 2008, after days of prayer, I tried to give people specific ideas on how to organize TLM groups or home schooling groups into cohesive groups which knew how to sustain and cope with severe conditions of any kind. I was a community organizer on a small scale for Y2K under some great people who were teaching us about how to quickly care for the elderly in our neighborhoods and adopt those who were older and feebler than ourselves. My son helped me with this organization in the home and with an old woman we adopted.

That was in 1999. And, what we are facing will be much worse than the feared computer or grid shut-down which never happened, of course.

This is 2014, literally 15 years later and nothing has been done.

We have had time. I first heard from the Holy Spirit of the coming horrible times of purging as early as 1974. Forty years ago. For awhile, seven years, I was in a community, but was called out in order to learn more, move to Europe for ten years in the eighties and nineties, travel to Canada, and back again and go to Europe for three more years.

I have tried to explain that we shall witness not only a huge change in our physical well-being, our lifestyles, our travel, our church communities, but even our day to day personal freedoms of movement and news input.

Catholic bloggers will be shut down under so-called hate speech crimes, which is why I am a manic blogger.

But, the vast majority of Catholics and even my good friends have not listened to the fact that personal dedication to holiness and to helping those weaker than ourselves must be priorities.

Facts to come and this is repetition:

1) No or little access to the sacraments, including Mass. That means no confession which is why the cooperation with the Dark Night and purgation is so important. No marriages, no confirmations and so on.

2) As in the tale of the Pied Piper, a disappearance of our youth, who will be drafted into work camps and the army because of emergency powers and in order to pay huge college loans off under new government regulations which will pass.

3) Mass numbers of suicides and the killing off of so-called undesirables who are not useful to an increasing utilitarian government across the Western world.

4) Totalitarianism in America but chaos and anarchy in Europe, as Broken Big Brother EU falls apart.

5) Anarchy in the Middle East and in Africa as the West will not be able to help in those areas.

5) Huge conglomerations of territory under Marxists in South America, which will be isolated as a result of increasing civil war and protectionists policies, as well as anarchy.

6) Out and out persecution of the Catholic Church in all Western countries, fines, imprisonments, appropriation of land, property, churches because of the SCOTUS passing of complete civil rights for lgtbs.

7) Out and out persecution and blockage of news regarding Church activities and news-no EWTN, no Relevant Radio. Local communication will be interrupted as well.

8) Jobs in America will be severely limited to those who support the government, and Catholics will be left out of key positions in universities, government, health care, lower levels of education. In many places, this is happening already.

9) Shutting down of seminaries, except for those "official" government ones which will support the new regimes. Seminaries will try and go underground, but there will be few places to hide.

10) Mass schisms in all Catholic countries of laity and clergy to the new, accepted national Catholic churches and the persecution of the underground, real Church.

I am running out of energy, as I have talked about this for over 40 years. I know how to organize, but I am poor and always have been, so, therefore, not in a position to do anything on the ground. Those Catholics in financial positions to start organizing must now as time is very short. I am not a prophet or a seer, but only a Catholic who pays attention to the signs of the time. Yes, the Holy Spirit has given me in the past and even now the Benedictiine urgency of alternative lifestyles in the world.

Once before, in the Great Father Benedict, a man saw the signs of the times and left the crumbling edges of the already fallen Roman Empire and started alternative, spiritual communities.

I have tried. Too much talk and not enough action.

Please help me get back to Europe

After the Collapse: Six Likely Events That Will Follow an Economic Crash

As noted by International Man Jeff Thomas of Casey Research, it’s not that difficult of an exercise to predict what’s coming next:
The number of people whose eyes have been opened seems to be growing, and many of them are asking what the collapse will look like as it unfolds. What will the symptoms be?
Well, the primary events are fairly predictable: they would include major collapses in the bond and stock markets and possible sudden deflation (primarily of assets), followed by dramatic inflation, if not hyperinflation (primarily of commodities), followed by a crash of several major currencies, particularly the euro and the US dollar.

The secondary events will be less certain, but likely: increased unemployment, currency controls, protective tariffs, severe depression, etc.
But, along the way, there will be numerous surprises—actions taken by governments that may be as unprecedented as they would be unlawful. Why? Because, again, such actions are the norm when a government finds itself losing its grip over the people it perceives as its minions. Here are a few:
  • Travel Restrictions. This will begin with restrictions on foreign travel, including suspension/removal of passports. (This has begun in a small way in both the EU and US.) Later, travel restrictions will be extended within the boundaries of countries (highway checkpoints, etc.)
  • Confiscation of wealth. The EU has instituted the confiscation of bank accounts, which can be expected to become an international form of governmental theft. This does not automatically mean that other assets, such as precious metals and real estate will also be confiscated, but it does mean that the barrier for confiscation has been eliminated. There is therefore no reason to assume that any asset is safe from any government that approves theft through bail-ins.
  • Food Shortages. The food industry operates on very small profit margins and survives only as a result of quick payment of invoices. With dramatic inflation, marginal businesses (suppliers, wholesalers, and retailers) will fall by the wayside. The percentage of failing businesses will be dependent upon the duration and severity of the inflationary trend.
  • Squatters Rebellions. A dramatic increase in the number of home and business foreclosures will result in homelessness for anyone whose debt exceeds his ability to pay—even those who presently appear to be well-offAs numbers rise significantly, a new homeless class will be created amongst the former middle class. As they become more numerous, large scale ownership of property may give way to large scale “possession” of property.
  • Riots. These will likely happen spontaneously due to the above conditions, but if not, governments will create them to justify their desire for greater control of the masses.
  • Martial Law. The US has already prepared for this, with the passing of the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which many interpret as declaring the US to be a “battlefield.” The NDAA allows the suspension of habeas corpus, indefinite detention, and the assumption that any resident may be considered an enemy combatant. Similar legislation may be expected in other countries that perceive martial law as a solution to civil unrest.
The above list is purposely brief—a sampling of eventualities that, should they occur, will almost definitely come unannounced. As the decline unfolds, they will surely happen with greater frequency.
Full article at Casey Research via The Daily Crux

Some ideas to review from Mater et Magistra today

This was the first encyclical I ever read. It was the first one taught in my high school religion class. 

We also studied Pacem in Terris, Rerum Novarum and parts of Casti Connubii in marriage and family class.

Do high schools teach any encyclicals today? Just wondering....

104. It is well-known that in recent years in the larger industrial concerns distinction has been growing between the ownership of productive goods and the responsibility of company managers. This has created considerable problems for public authorities, whose duty it is to see that the aims pursued by the leaders of the principal organizations -- especially those which have an important part to play in the national economy -- do not conflict in any way with the interests of the common good. Experience shows that these problems arise whether the capital which makes possible these vast undertakings belongs to private citizens or to public corporations.
105. It is also true that more and more people today, through belonging to insurance groups and systems of social security, find that they can face the future with confidence -- the sort of confidence which formerly resulted from their possession of a certain amount of property.
106. And another thing happening today is that people are aiming at proficiency in their trade or profession rather than the acquisition of private property. They think more highly of an income which derives from capital and the rights of capital.
107. And this is as it should be. Work, which is the immediate expression of a human personality, must always be rated higher than the possession of external goods which of their very nature are merely instrumental. This view of work is certainly an indication of an advance that has been made in our civilization.
108. What, then, of that social and economic principle so vigorously asserted and defended by Our predecessors: man's natural right to own private property, including productive goods? Is this no longer operative today, or has it lost some of its validity in view of the economic conditions We have described above? This is the doubt that has arisen in many minds.
109. There is no reason for such a doubt to persist. The right of private ownership of goods, including productive goods, has permanent validity. It is part of the natural order, which teaches that the individual is prior to society and society must be ordered to the good of the individual.
Moreover, it would be quite useless to insist on free and personal initiative in the economic field, while at the same time withdrawing man's right to dispose freely of the means indispensable to the achievement of such initiative.
Further, history and experience testify that in those political regimes which do not recognize the rights of private ownership of goods, productive included, the exercise of freedom in almost every other direction is suppressed or stifled. This suggests, surely, that the exercise of freedom finds its guarantee and incentive in the right of ownership.
110. This explains why social and political movements for the harmonizing of justice and freedom in society, though until recently opposed to the private ownership of productive goods, are today reconsidering their position in the light of a clearer understanding of social history, and are in fact now declaring themselves in favor of this right.
111. Accordingly, We make Our own the directive of Our Predecessor Pius XII: "In defending the principle of private ownership the Church is striving after an important ethico-social end. She does not intend merely to uphold the present condition of things as if it were an expression of the divine Will, or to protect on principle the rich and plutocrats against the poor and indigent. . . The Church aims rather at securing that the institution of private property be such as it should be according to the plan of the divine Wisdom and the dispositions of Nature."[32] Hence private ownership must be considered as a guarantee of the essential freedom of the individual, and at the same time an indispensable element in a true social order.
112. Moreover, in recent years, as we have seen, the productive efficiency of many national economies has been increasing rapidly. justice and fairness demand, therefore, that, within the limits of the common good, wages too shall increase. This means that workers are able to save more and thus acquire a certain amount of property of their own. In view of this it is strange that the innate character of a right which derives its force and validity from the fruitfulness of work should ever be called in question -- a right which constitutes so efficacious a means of asserting one's personality and exercising responsibility in every field, and an element of solidity and security for family life and of greater peace and prosperity in the State.
113. But it is not enough to assert that the right to own private property and the means of production is inherent in human nature. We must also insist on the extension of this right in practice to all classes of citizens.
114. As Our Predecessor Pius XII so rightly affirmed: The dignity of the human person "normally demands the right to the use of the goods of the earth, to which corresponds the fundamental obligation of granting an opportunity to possess property to all if possible."[33] This demand arises from the moral dignity of work. It also guarantees "the conservation and perfection of a social order which makes possible a secure, even if modest, property to all classes of people."[34]
115. Now, if ever, is the time to insist on a more widespread distribution of property, in view of the rapid economic development of an increasing number of States. It will not be difficult for the body politic, by the adoption of various techniques of proved efficiency, to pursue an economic and social policy which facilitates the widest possible distribution of private property in terms of durable consumer goods, houses, land, tools and equipment (in the case of craftsmen and owners of family farms), and shares in medium and large business concerns. This policy is in fact being pursued with considerable success by several of the socially and economically advanced nations.
116. This, of course, is not to deny the lawfulness of State and public ownership of productive goods, especially those which "carry with them a power too great to be left to private individuals without injury to the community at large."[35]
117. State and public ownership of property is very much on the increase today. This is explained by the exigencies of the common good, which demand that public authority broaden its sphere of activity. But here, too, the "principle of subsidiary function" must be observed. The State and other agencies of public law must not extend their ownership beyond what is clearly required by considerations of the common good properly understood, and even then there must be safeguards. Otherwise private ownership could be reduced beyond measure, or, even worse, completely destroyed.
118. It is important, too, not to overlook the fact that the economic enterprises of the State and other agencies of public law must be entrusted to men of good reputation who have the necessary experience and ability and a keen sense of responsibility towards their country. Furthermore, a strict check should constantly be kept upon their activity, so as to avoid any possibility of the concentration of undue economic power in the hands of a few State officials, to the detriment of the best interests of the community.
119. Our predecessors have insisted rime and again on the social function inherent in the right of private ownership, for it cannot be denied that in the plan of the Creator all of this world's goods are primarily intended for the worthy support of the entire human race.
Hence, as Leo XIII so wisely taught in Rerum Novarum: "whoever has received from the divine bounty a large share of temporal blessings, whether they be external and corporeal, or gifts of the mind, has received them for the purpose of using them for the perfecting of his own nature, and, at the same time, that he may employ them, as the steward of God's Providence, for the benefit of others. 'He that hath a talent,' says St. Gregory the Great, 'let him see that he hide it not; he that hath abundance, let him quicken himself to mercy and generosity; he that hath art and skill, let him do his best to share the use and the utility thereof with his neighbor."[36]
120. In recent years the State and other agencies of public law have extended, and are continuing to extend, the sphere of their activity and initiative. But this does not mean that the doctrine of the social function of private ownership is out of date, as some would maintain. It is inherent in the very right of private ownership.
Then, too, a further consideration arises. Tragic situations and urgent problems of an intimate and personal nature are continually arising which the State with all its machinery is unable to remedy or assist. There will always remain, therefore, a vast field for the exercise of human sympathy and the Christian charity of individuals. We would observe, finally, that the efforts of individuals, or of groups of private citizens, are definitely more effective in promoting spiritual values than is the activity of public authority.
121. We should notice at this point that the right of private ownership is clearly sanctioned by the Gospel. Yet at the same time, the divine Master frequently extends to the rich the insistent invitation to convert their material goods into spiritual ones by conferring them on the poor. "Lay not up to yourselves treasures on earth; where the rust and moth consume and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up to yourselves treasures in heaven; where neither the rust nor moth doth consume, and where thieves do not break through nor steal."[37] And the Lord will look upon the charity given to the poor as given to Himself. "Amen, I say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it to me."[38]

A Commentary on Voris

The last two videos done by Voris, which I have put on this blog in the past two days, need a reflection.

I was both surprised and not surprised, in other words, full of contradictions and contraries regarding the responses of the mini-polls taken by Michael at the March for Life. Contrary to so many commentators, who see the future of the pro-life movement, resting in the youth of the march, as a sure thing, Michael pointed to the high number of those young people who were blatantly not holding, not believing two serious moral issues as already defined by the Church.

The first was the poll on whether the youth thought contraception was a moral evil. Almost 33% of those interviewed stated that contraception was not evil. Now, I know why this unbelief, this acceptance of a position contrary to the Teaching Magisterium of the Church has occurred. Three clear reasons.

1. Humanae Vitae, which is an infallible document, is simply not accepted by too many clerics.

2. Parents of these youth are most likely contracepting and people learn by example.

3. Teachers is so-called Catholic schools teach that contraception is acceptable.

We have lost the battle in linking contraception and the contraceptive mentality with abortion. This is simply bad or no catechesis.

To have faith in a generation of Catholic youth wherein one-third do not follow the teachings of the Church regarding contraception is being both overly optimistic about the future of the Church, and a self-deception.

The second video was the mini-poll on same-sex relationships. About 20% of those polled saw nothing wrong with homosexual relationships and some even used the term "love".

That almost one-fifth of the youth at the march do not believe or assent to the Church's teaching on the disordered actions of homosexuality is a serious breach of consent. This is "informed dissent" regarding the sacredness of heterosexual marriage sex.

Again, the reasons for these heretical ideas are the same as listed above. False tolerance has led these youth astray into accepting a serious, serious sin in society.

In my humble opinion, we need to get back to the basics of catechetical teaching on sexual morals and natural law philosophy.

Souls are at stake here. People will go to hell holding on to these ideas contrary to the Faith.

From Humanae Vitae:

Consequences of Artificial Methods
17. Responsible men can become more deeply convinced of the truth of the doctrine laid down by the Church on this issue if they reflect on the consequences of methods and plans for artificial birth control. Let them first consider how easily this course of action could open wide the way for marital infidelity and a general lowering of moral standards. Not much experience is needed to be fully aware of human weakness and to understand that human beings—and especially the young, who are so exposed to temptation—need incentives to keep the moral law, and it is an evil thing to make it easy for them to break that law. Another effect that gives cause for alarm is that a man who grows accustomed to the use of contraceptive methods may forget the reverence due to a woman, and, disregarding her physical and emotional equilibrium, reduce her to being a mere instrument for the satisfaction of his own desires, no longer considering her as his partner whom he should surround with care and affection.
Finally, careful consideration should be given to the danger of this power passing into the hands of those public authorities who care little for the precepts of the moral law. Who will blame a government which in its attempt to resolve the problems affecting an entire country resorts to the same measures as are regarded as lawful by married people in the solution of a particular family difficulty? Who will prevent public authorities from favoring those contraceptive methods which they consider more effective? Should they regard this as necessary, they may even impose their use on everyone. It could well happen, therefore, that when people, either individually or in family or social life, experience the inherent difficulties of the divine law and are determined to avoid them, they may give into the hands of public authorities the power to intervene in the most personal and intimate responsibility of husband and wife.

Limits to Man's Power
Consequently, unless we are willing that the responsibility of procreating life should be left to the arbitrary decision of men, we must accept that there are certain limits, beyond which it is wrong to go, to the power of man over his own body and its natural functions—limits, let it be said, which no one, whether as a private individual or as a public authority, can lawfully exceed. These limits are expressly imposed because of the reverence due to the whole human organism and its natural functions, in the light of the principles We stated earlier, and in accordance with a correct understanding of the "principle of totality" enunciated by Our predecessor Pope Pius XII. (21)

Concern of the Church
18. It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a "sign of contradiction." (22) She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.
Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.

In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization. She urges man not to betray his personal responsibilities by putting all his faith in technical expedients. In this way she defends the dignity of husband and wife. This course of action shows that the Church, loyal to the example and teaching of the divine Savior, is sincere and unselfish in her regard for men whom she strives to help even now during this earthly pilgrimage "to share God's life as sons of the living God, the Father of all men." (23)

to be continued....

If you have not read these, please do

Doctors of the Church 2:49

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Thoughts on encouragement from The Devout Life

David continually asks the Lord to strengthen his heart against cowardice and discouragement; and it is our privilege in this war that we are certain to vanquish so long as we are willing to fight.


Be sure, my daughter, that if you seek to lead a devout life, you must not merely forsake
sin; but you must further cleanse your heart from all affections pertaining to sin; for, to say
nothing of the danger of a relapse, these wretched affections will perpetually enfeeble your
mind, and clog it, so that you will be unable to be diligent, ready and frequent in good works,
wherein nevertheless lies the very essence of all true devotion. Souls which, in spite of having
forsaken sin, yet retain such likings and longings, remind us of those persons who, without
being actually ill, are pale and sickly, languid in all they do, eating without appetite, sleeping
without refreshment, laughing without mirth, dragging themselves about rather than
walking briskly. Such souls as I have described lose all the grace of their good deeds, which

are probably few and feeble, through their spiritual languor. St. Francis de Sales

Doctors of The Church 2:48

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Part Eighteen on Doctors of the Church and Perfection: St. Francis de Sales

Here is a section on imperfection from St. Francis de Sales. Tomorrow, the Dominicans, but this great saint of love is worth reading. 

Thus Saint Jerome says that Saint Paula had so strong a tendency to excessive sorrow, that when she lost her husband and children she nearly died of grief: that was not a sin, but an imperfection, since it did not depend upon her wish and will. Some people are naturally easy, some oppositions; some are indisposed to accept other men's opinions, some naturally disposed to be cross, some to be affectionate--in short, there is hardly any one in whom some such imperfections do not exist. Now, although they be natural and instinctive in each person, they may be remedied and corrected, or even eradicated, by cultivating the reverse disposition.

The reverse dispositions are the key.

For example, if one is talkative, be more silent. If one is prone to negativity, be more positive; if one is prone to be overly-affectionate and clinging, be more objective; if one is disposed to be judgemental, be more accepting and kind

Not rocket science...but we need graces and God is only too happy to give us such if we ask. 

Here is more on perfection from the great saint.

1. Prayer opens the understanding to the brightness of Divine Light, and the will to the warmth of Heavenly Love--nothing can so effectually purify the mind from its many ignorances, or the will from its perverse affections. It is as a healing water which causes the roots of our good desires to send forth fresh shoots, which washes away the soul's imperfections, and allays the thirst of passion.

2. But especially I commend earnest mental prayer to you, more particularly such as bears upon the Life and Passion of our Lord. If you contemplate Him frequently in meditation, your whole soul will be filled with Him, you will grow in His Likeness, and your actions will be moulded on His. He is the Light of the world; therefore in Him, by Him, and for Him we shall be enlightened and illuminated; He is the Tree of Life, beneath the shadow of which we must find rest;--He is the Living Fountain of Jacob's well, wherein we may wash away every stain. Children learn to speak by hearing their mother talk, and stammering forth their childish sounds in imitation; and so if we cleave to the Savior in meditation, listening to His words, watching His actions and intentions, we shall learn in time, through His Grace, to speak, act and will like Himself. Believe me, my child, there is no way to God save through this door. Just as the glass of a mirror would give no reflection save for the metal behind it, so neither could we here below contemplate the Godhead, were it not united to the Sacred Humanity of our Saviour, Whose Life and Death are the best, sweetest and most profitable subjects that we can possibly select for meditation. It is not without meaning that the Saviour calls Himself the Bread come down from Heaven;--just as we eat bread with all manner of other food, so we need to meditate and feed upon our Dear Lord in every prayer and action. His Life has been meditated and written about by various authors. I should specially commend to you the writings of Saint Bonaventura, Bellintani, Bruno, Capilla, Grenada and Da Ponte.
3. Give an hour every day to meditation before dinner;--if you can, let it be early in the morning, when your mind will be less cumbered, and fresh after the night's rest. Do not spend more than an hour thus, unless specially advised to do so by your spiritual father.
4. If you can make your meditation quietly in church, it will be well, and no one, father or mother, husband or wife, can object to an hour spent there, and very probably you could not secure a time so free from interruption at home.
5. Begin all prayer, whether mental or vocal, by an act of the Presence of God. If you observe this rule strictly, you will soon see how useful it is.
6. It may help you to say the Creed, Lord's Prayer, etc., in Latin, but you should also study them diligently in your own language, so as thoroughly to gather up the meaning of these holy words, which must be used fixing your thoughts steadily on their purport, not striving to say many words so much as seeking to say a few with your whole heart. One Our Father said devoutly is worth more than many prayers hurried over.
7. The Rosary is a useful devotion when rightly used, and there are various little books to teach this. It is well, too, to say pious Litanies, and the other vocal prayers appointed for the Hours and found in Manuals of devotion,--but if you have a gift for mental prayer, let that always take the chief place, so that if, having made that, you are hindered by business or any other cause from saying your wonted vocal prayers, do not be disturbed, but rest satisfied with saying the Lord's Prayer, the Angelic Salutation, and the Creed after your meditation.
8. If, while saying vocal prayers, your heart feels drawn to mental prayer, do not resist it, but calmly let your mind fall into that channel, without troubling because you have not finished your appointed vocal prayers. The mental prayer you have substituted for them is more acceptable to God, and more profitable to your soul. I should make an exception of the Church's Offices, if you are bound to say those by your vocation--in such a case these are your duty.
9. If it should happen that your morning goes by without the usual meditation, either owing to a pressure of business, or from any other cause, (which interruptions you should try to prevent as far as possible,) try to repair the loss in the afternoon, but not immediately after a meal, or you will perhaps be drowsy, which is bad both for your meditation and your health. But if you are unable all day to make up for the omission, you must remedy it as far as may be by ejaculatory prayer, and by reading some spiritual book, together with an act of penitence for the neglect, together with a stedfast resolution to do better the next day.