Recent Posts

Thursday 6 March 2014

The Naivete of Catholics about The Footprints of Satan

I have been watching and listening to people in the Church who are completely naive about the real evil out there, which hates the Catholic Church with a passion.

This evil has a name. This name is satan. Do not kid yourselves that there is not a great, brilliant intellect behind the legislation which is being passed to control the religious liberty of Catholics.

If you do not believe this is already happening, just look at some legislation regarding so-called "hate speech" in Europe.

If you do not understand that satan hates God, hates humanity, hates the Church, hates you and wants to bring you to hell for his own glory in order to spite God, then think again.

The naivete of Catholics prevents many from working hard in the Church Militant.

One of the Achilles' heels is contraception. Folks, you cannot be a Catholic and contracept. You cannot hold hands with Evangelicals in the pro-life movement who contracept. You cannot pretend that contraception does not kill human beings, and that couples who are Catholic and contracept are not living in sin.

To live in sin is to be in darkness, and to be open to more sin. Do Catholics think they have a pass to go to heaven just because they are Catholic?

Satan does not care how one gets to hell. One can go to hell for one mortal sin not confessed, not repented of in one's life.

My parish priest in England told us a year ago that if the ssm bill in Great Britain passed, the lives of children, parents, and grandparents would never be the same.

His words are prophetic. His words are true.

Our lives will be impacted by the footprints of satan in most Western governments today.

Do not be naive that there will be a huge turning around of people to the truth in the near future.

I work with those people who are open, you my Dear Readers. Too many are closed. Only the Holy Spirit can move souls to be open.  We can plant plow fields, plant seeds, and some harvest.

But, do not be naive about the evil which steals the seeds, or prevents the growth of such seeds.

A reminder from Humanae Vitae

Observing the Natural Law
11. The sexual activity, in which husband and wife are intimately and chastely united with one another, through which human life is transmitted, is, as the recent Council recalled, "noble and worthy.'' (11) It does not, moreover, cease to be legitimate even when, for reasons independent of their will, it is foreseen to be infertile. For its natural adaptation to the expression and strengthening of the union of husband and wife is not thereby suppressed. The fact is, as experience shows, that new life is not the result of each and every act of sexual intercourse. God has wisely ordered laws of nature and the incidence of fertility in such a way that successive births are already naturally spaced through the inherent operation of these laws. The Church, nevertheless, in urging men to the observance of the precepts of the natural law, which it interprets by its constant doctrine, teaches that each and every marital act must of necessity retain its intrinsic relationship to the procreation of human life. (12)
Union and Procreation
12. This particular doctrine, often expounded by the magisterium of the Church, is based on the inseparable connection, established by God, which man on his own initiative may not break, between the unitive significance and the procreative significance which are both inherent to the marriage act.
The reason is that the fundamental nature of the marriage act, while uniting husband and wife in the closest intimacy, also renders them capable of generating new life—and this as a result of laws written into the actual nature of man and of woman. And if each of these essential qualities, the unitive and the procreative, is preserved, the use of marriage fully retains its sense of true mutual love and its ordination to the supreme responsibility of parenthood to which man is called. We believe that our contemporaries are particularly capable of seeing that this teaching is in harmony with human reason.
Faithfulness to God's Design
13. Men rightly observe that a conjugal act imposed on one's partner without regard to his or her condition or personal and reasonable wishes in the matter, is no true act of love, and therefore offends the moral order in its particular application to the intimate relationship of husband and wife. If they further reflect, they must also recognize that an act of mutual love which impairs the capacity to transmit life which God the Creator, through specific laws, has built into it, frustrates His design which constitutes the norm of marriage, and contradicts the will of the Author of life. Hence to use this divine gift while depriving it, even if only partially, of its meaning and purpose, is equally repugnant to the nature of man and of woman, and is consequently in opposition to the plan of God and His holy will. But to experience the gift of married love while respecting the laws of conception is to acknowledge that one is not the master of the sources of life but rather the minister of the design established by the Creator. Just as man does not have unlimited dominion over his body in general, so also, and with more particular reason, he has no such dominion over his specifically sexual faculties, for these are concerned by their very nature with the generation of life, of which God is the source. "Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact," Our predecessor Pope John XXIII recalled. "From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God." (13)
Unlawful Birth Control Methods
14. Therefore We base Our words on the first principles of a human and Christian doctrine of marriage when We are obliged once more to declare that the direct interruption of the generative process already begun and, above all, all direct abortion, even for therapeutic reasons, are to be absolutely excluded as lawful means of regulating the number of children. (14) Equally to be condemned, as the magisterium of the Church has affirmed on many occasions, is direct sterilization, whether of the man or of the woman, whether permanent or temporary. (15)
Similarly excluded is any action which either before, at the moment of, or after sexual intercourse, is specifically intended to prevent procreation—whether as an end or as a means. (16)

Neither is it valid to argue, as a justification for sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive, that a lesser evil is to be preferred to a greater one, or that such intercourse would merge with procreative acts of past and future to form a single entity, and so be qualified by exactly the same moral goodness as these. Though it is true that sometimes it is lawful to tolerate a lesser moral evil in order to avoid a greater evil or in order to promote a greater good," it is never lawful, even for the gravest reasons, to do evil that good may come of it (18)—in other words, to intend directly something which of its very nature contradicts the moral order, and which must therefore be judged unworthy of man, even though the intention is to protect or promote the welfare of an individual, of a family or of society in general. Consequently, it is a serious error to think that a whole married life of otherwise normal relations can justify sexual intercourse which is deliberately contraceptive and so intrinsically wrong.

Crimea votes to be with Russia

Re-post on Grace

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Repost on Mini-Series on Grace....follow the tags

There is much confusion among Catholics less than 55 years old on the nature of grace. This is owing to bad catechesis and the Protestant mindset which crept into the Church in the 1970s. I am reposting this and one can go back and read the first four posts in this mini-series.
There will be some new posts in-between. (Notice the interesting footnote #5).

Christian Perfection and Contemplation According to St. Thomas Aquinas 
and St. John of the Cross

by Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. (What would I do without this great man?)

Copyright 1937, Herder Book Co., 1937
Imprimatur and Nihil Obstat, 1937

The Practical Consequences of the
Doctrine of St. Thomas on Grace

Page 1 

St. Thomas, following St. Augustine and opposing Pelagian or semi-Pelagian naturalism, grasped the depth and 
the height of our Lord's words: "Without Me you can do nothing," [1] and of St. Paul's words: "For it is God Who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to His good will." [2] "For who distinguisheth thee? Or 
what hast thou that thou hast not received?" [3] In the work of salvation we cannot distinguish any part that is exclusively ours; all comes from God, even our free co-operation, which efficacious grace gently and mightily stirs 
up in us and confirms.

This grace, which is always followed by its effect, is refused to us, as we said, only if we resist the Divine, 
auxilium praeveniens, sufficient grace, in which the efficacious help is already offered us, as fruit is in the flower. 
If we destroy the flower, we shall never see the fruit, which the influence of the sun and of the nourishment of the 
earth would have produced. Now man is sufficient to himself to fall; drawn from nothingness, he is by nature 
defectible. He is sufficiently assisted by God so that he falls only through his own fault, which thus deprives him 
of a new help. This is the great mystery of grace. We have elsewhere explained what St. Thomas and his best disciples teach about this mystery. [4]

With him and St. Augustine we must submit our intelligence before this Divine obscurity, and as Bossuet says, "confess these two graces (sufficient and efficacious), one of which leaves the will without excuse before 
God, and the other does not permit the will to glory in itself." [5] Is this not in conformity with what our 
conscience tells us? According to this doctrine, all that is good in us, naturally or supernaturally, has its origin 
in the Author of all good. Sin alone cannot come from Him, and the Lord allows it to happen only because He is sufficiently powerful and good to draw from it a greater good, the manifestation of His mercy or justice.

All grace is from God, all....and our free will either hinders or encourages holiness.

This teaching of the great doctors of grace lifts our mind to a lofty contemplation of God's action in the innermost depths of our heart. To prove this, we have only to demonstrate that this doctrine should lead those who understand it well to profound humility, to almost continual interior prayer, to the perfection of the theological virtues and of the corresponding gifts of the Holy Ghost. Besides, we find it in the writings of all the great masters of the spiritual life. Considering the importance and the difficulty of the problem, we shall affirm nothing in this article except 
according to the very words of Scripture, as the greatest doctors explain them.

This doctrine leads first of all to profound humility. According to this doctri
ne man has as his own, as 
something coming exclusively from himself, only his sin, as the Council of Orange declared.[6] He never performs any natural good act without the natural aid of Godor any supernatural good act without a grace which solicits or attracts him, and also efficaciously moves him to the salutary act. As St. Paul says: "Not that 
we are sufficient to think anything of ourselves as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is from God." [7] Even holy 
souls that have reached a high degree of charity are always in need of an actual grace in order to merit, to advance, to avoid sin, and to persevere in goodness. 

At every state, we need grace.

[8] They should say: "For the thoughts of mortal man are fearful, and our counsels uncertain," [9] "Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven . . . and lead us not into temptation." After striving greatly, they should admit: "We are unprofitable servants," [10] for the Lord might have chosen others who would have served Him much better. 
In all truth we should say, according to the teaching of St. Thomas, that there is no sin committed by another man which I might not commit in the same circumstances by reason of the infirmity of my free will, and of my own weakness (the Apostle Peter denied his Master three times). And if actually I have not fallen, if I have persevered, this is doubtless because I worked and struggled, but without Divine grace I should have done nothing. [ll
"Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to Thy name give glory"; [12] "as the potter's clay is in his hand, to fashion and 
order it . . . so man is in the hand of Him that made him." [13] "Thy hands have made me and formed me"; [l4
"Thou hast redeemed us to God, in Thy blood." [15] "If I have not perished, it is because of Thy mercy." [16
"Into Thy hands I commend my spirit." [17] "This," says St. Augustine, "is what must be believed and said in all 
piety and truth, so that our confession may be humble and suppliant, and that all may be attributed to God." [18
Such is true humility. "Or what hast thou that thou hast not received? And if thou hast received, why dost thou 
glory, as if thou hadst not received it?" [19]

Efficacious grace 

The Saints, considering their own failures, say to themselves that if such and such a criminal had received all the graces the Lord bestowed on them, he would perhaps have been less unfaithful than they. The sight of the gratuity of the Divine predilections confirms them in humility. They recall our Lord's words: "You have not chosen Me: but I have chosen you."
This doctrine leads also to continual intimate prayer, to profound thanksgiving, to the prayer of contemplation.
It leads to intimate prayer; for this is a very secret grace that must be asked. We must ask not only the grace which solicits and excites the soul to good but also that grace which makes us will it, which makes us persevere, which reaches the depths of our heart and of our free will; that grace which moves us in these depths, so that we may be delivered 
from the concupiscence of the flesh and the eyes, and from the pride of life. God alone saves and snatches us 
rom these enemies of our salvation. At the same time He does not wound our liberty, but establishes it by 
delivering us from the captivity of these things of earth.

Thus Scripture teaches us to pray: "Have pity on me, O Lord, according to Thine infinite mercy. Be propitious 
to a sinner. Help my unbelief. Create a clean heart in me, and renew a right spirit within me. Convert me, O Lord, make me return to Thee, and I shall return. [20] Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven." Give me Thy 
sweet and mighty grace in order that I may truly accomplish Thy holy will. As St. Augustine says: "Lord, give 
what Thou dost command, and command what Thou pleasest."

Thus again the Church prays in the Missal: "Lord, direct toward Thyself our rebellious wills; grant that unbelievers, 
who are unwilling to believe, may have a will to believe. Apply our hearts to good works. Give us good will. 
Convert us and draw us strongly to Thyself. Take from us our heart of stone and give us a heart of flesh, a docile and pure heart. Change our wills and incline them toward what is good." [21]

Such is the holy confidence of the prayer of the Church because she is sure that God is not powerless to convert the most hardened sinners. What should a priest do who cannot succeed in converting a dying 
sinner? Persuaded that God can convert this guilty will, above all the priest will pray. If, on the contrary, he imagines that God holds this will only from without, by circumstances, good thoughts, good inspirations, which remain external to the consent to salutary goodness, will not the priest himself delay too long in the 
use of superficial means? Will his prayer possess that holy boldness which we admire in the Saints, and 
which rests on their faith in the potent efficacy of grace?

I love the term here, "holy boldness" which is missing in most Catholics, who only want to be nice.

Likewise prayer should be, in a sense, continual, since our soul needs a new, actual, efficacious grace for every salutary act, for each new merit. With this in mind, we clearly see the profound meaning of our Lord's words: 
"We ought always to pray, and not to faint." [22] This truth is fully realized only in the mystical life, in which prayer 
truly becomes, as the fathers say, "the breath of the soul," which hardly ceases any more than that of the body. 
The soul constantly desires grace, which is like a vivifying breath renewing it and making it produce constantly 
new acts of love of God. Such ought to be the prayer of petition. And we ought also to thank God for all our good actions, since without Him we could have done nothing. This is what makes St. Paul say: "Pray without ceasing. 
In all things give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you all." [23] "Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual canticles, singing and making melody in your hearts to the Lord; giving thanks 
always for all things, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, to God and the Father." [24]

This doctrine of the intrinsic efficacy of grace leads also directly to the prayer of contemplation, which considers 
chiefly the profound action of God in us to mortify and to vivify, and which is expressed by the fiat of perfect abandonment. In contemplation we see realized in the intimate depths of souls the words of Scripture: "Thou are 
great, O Lord, forever. . . . For Thou scourgest, and Thou savest: Thou leadest down to hell, and bringest up again." [25] "Thy word, O Lord, which healeth all things." [26To utter a perfect fiat to this intense and hidden work of grace in us, even when it crucifies and seems to destroy all, is the most secret but also the most fruitful co-operation in God's greatest work. It is the prayer of Jesus in Gethsemane and that of the Blessed Virgin 
at the foot of the Cross.

If we are not crucified with Christ we shall not be perfected. Sometimes, it does seem like God is destroying all. A spouse dies, a child walks away from God and the Church, one loses a job, one gets cancer. Yet, these are the 
raw material for holiness.

Lastly, this doctrine reminds us that even for prayer efficacious grace is necessary. "Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmity. For we know not what we should pray for as we ought; but the Spirit Himself 
asketh for us with unspeakable groanings. And He that searcheth the hearts, knoweth what the Spirit 
desireth; because He asketh for the Saints according to God." [27

I know this is true. I cannot pray, meditate, or read Scripture without the grace of God. Now, we begin to 
understand those in the Unitive State, that last level of perfection on earth.

This mystery is verified especially in the mystical union, often obscure and painful, in which the soul 
learns by experience what great need we have of grace in order to pray, as also to do good. But, says 
St. John of the Cross, [28] souls that have reached a certain degree of union "obtain from God all that 
they feel inspired to ask of Him, according to the words of David, 'Delight in the Lord, and He will give 
thee the request of thy heart' " (Ps. 36:4). Moreover, every humble, confident, persevering prayer by 
which we ask what is necessary or useful for our salvation is infallibly efficacious, because our Lord uttered such a promise and because God Himself caused this petition to well up in our hearts. Resolved from all eternity to grant us His benefactions, He leads us to ask them of Him. [29]

The life of the virtues follows a life of grace, the sharing of divine life.

This doctrine of the powerful efficacy of grace leads finally to great heights in the practice of the theological virtues. This it does because it is intimately bound up with the sublime mystery of predestination, the grandeur of which it fully preserves. St. Paul, in the Epistle to the Romans, tells us: "And we know that to them that love God, 
all things work together unto good, to such as, according to His purpose, are called to be Saints. For whom He foreknew, He also predestinated to be made conformable to the image of His Son; that He might be the first-born amongst many brethren. And whom He predestinated, them He also called. And whom He called, them He also justified. And whom He justified, them He also glorified. What shall we then say to these things? If God be 
for us, who is against us?" [30] St. Paul teaches the same doctrine in the Epistle to the Ephesians. [31]

St. Augustine [32] and St. Thomas [33] have explained these words of St. Paul without lessening their real 
meaning. Bossuet, their disciple, sums them up with his usual mastery by saying: "I do not deny the goodness 
of God toward all men, or the means which in His general providence He offers them for their eternal salvation. 
The Lord does not will that any should perish, but that all should return to penance. [34] But however great His 
designs may be on everyone, He fixes a certain particular gaze of preference on a number that is known to 
Him. All those on whom He gazes in this way, weep for their sins and are converted in their time. That is 
why Peter burst into tears when our Lord looked at him benignly. Peter's repentance was the result of the prayer which Christ had offered for the stability of his faith; for it was necessary, first of all, to rekindle his 
aith, and then to strengthen it that it might endure to the end. The same is true of all those whom His Father has given Him in a special manner. Of these He said: 'All that the Father giveth to Me shall come to Me.  . . . Now this is the will of the Father Who sent Me: that of all that He hath given Me, I should lose nothing; but should raise it up again in the last day' (John 6:37, 39).

  1. John 15:5.
2. Phil. 2:13.
3. See 1 Cor. 4:7.
4. God, His Existence and His Nature, II, 365 ff. It is not necessary that our failure precede the refusal of efficacious grace, 
in priority of time; priority of nature is sufficient, in the order of material causality, according to the principle of the mutual 
relations of causes explained by St. Thomas (Ia IIae, q.113, a.8 ad ium; cf. Ia IIae, q. l09, a. l, a. 8, 9, 10). It is God Who 
anticipates us by His grace when He justifies us, and it is we who are the first to abandon Him when we lose Divine grace: "
God will not desert the justified, unless He is first deserted by them." Council of Trent, Sess. VI, chap. 2.
5. Bossuet, (Euvres compl
รจtes, 1845, I, 643. Cf. the general index of Bossuet's works for references to "grace" 
(resistance to grace). See particularly Defense de la tradition, Bk. XI, chaps. 19-27: Demonstration of the 
efficacy of grace by the permission of sins into which God allows the just to fall in order to humble them. 
Permission of the triple denial of St. Peter: "Peter was justly punished for his presumption by the withdrawal of an efficacious help which would have effectively hindered his denial." Bossuet shows that such is the doctrine not only
of St. Augustine but of St. John Chrysostom, of Origen, of St. Gregory the Great, and of St. John Damascene, 
since they say that Peter was deprived of help, a statement which cannot apply to sufficient grace, for without this grace he would have been utterly powerless to avoid the sin. The statement applies to an efficacious help which 
would have made him effectively avoid this fall. From all of which we see that sufficient grace indeed leaves our will without excuse before God, and that the efficacious grace which St. Peter received later does not permit us to glory in ourselves.
6. Canon 22: "No one has anything of his own except his deceitfulness and his sin." Denzinger. no. 195.
7. See 2 Cor. 3:5.
8. Cf. Ia IIae. q. 109. a. 2. 8, 9, 10.
9. Wis. 9:14.
10. Luke 17:10.
11. Cf. Del Prado. O.P., De gratia, III, 151.
12. Ps. 113:1.
13. Eccles. 33:18; Jer. 18:6.
14. Ps. 118:73.
15. Apoc. 5:9.
16. Lam. 3:22.
17. Ps. 30:6; Luke 23:46.
18. De dono perseverantiae, chap. 13.
19. See 1 Cor. 4:7.
20. Lam. 5:21.
21. On these prayers of the Church, cf. St. Augustine, Epist. ad Vital., 217 (al. 107), and Bossuet, Defense de la tradition, Bk. X, chap. 10.
22. Luke 18:1.
23. See 1 Thess. 5:17-18.
24. Ephes. 5:19-20.
25. Tob. 13:2.
26. Wis. 16:12.
27. Rom. 8:25-27.
28. The Dark Night of the Soul, Bk. II, chap. 20.
29. Cf. IIa IIae. q. 83, a. 2; St. Augustine. Enchirid., chap. 32; Bossuet. Defense de la tradition, Bk. XII, chap. 38.
30. Rom. 8:28-31.
31. St. Paul also says in the Epistle to the Ephesians. 1:3-6. 11-12: "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with spiritual blessings, in heavenly places, in Christ: as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and unspotted in His sight in charity. Who hath predestinated us unto the adoption of children through Jesus Christ unto Himself: according to the purpose of 
His will: unto the praise of the glory of His grace, in which He hath graced us in His beloved Son.  . . . In whom 
we also are called by lot, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him Who worketh all things according 
to the counsel of His will. That we may be unto the praise of His glory, we who before hoped in Christ."
32. De praedestinatione sanctorum, chaps. 3, 6-11, 14, 15, 17; De dona perseverantiae, chaps. 1, 6, 7, 12, 16-20, 23; De correptione et gratia, chaps. 9, 12, 13, 14. See also on these texts, Del Prado, De gratia et Libero arbitrio, 
III, 555-564; II, 67-81, 259; and Bossuet, Defense de la tradition, Bk. XII, chaps. 13-20.
33. In Ep. ad Rom. 8:28; In Ep. ad Ephes., I, no. 5; Ia, q.23.
34. Cf 
2 Pet. 3:9.

Re-post on the Dark Night

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

The Fear of Being Loved and the Dark Night of the Spirit

Pysche and Eros

I have written on this subject before on this blog. In ourselves, as one approachs God in the Dark Night, 
one begins to realize that for a long time, fear has blocked one's openness to the love of God and the love of other people.

When I wrote about this phenomenon before, I was thinking of particular people I knew in the past who never 
became intimate with another person. I thought of one beautiful young woman who was hurt several times in
 love affairs and finally decided never to love or be loved again.

She decided to live in the shadows of what it means to be human.

Like a grey ghost, her life was circumscribed to choosing death rather than life, because the soul curls up
 and dies without love. She decided that the suffering of love was not worth the joy of love. She decided that it 
was too painful to both love a person who was imperfect and to love herself as imperfect.

Thanks to Wiki for Teresa in Ecstasy 

I thought of three men I knew who closed their lives to the adventure of love for three completely different reasons. The first only wanted to give and not take. He was too afraid to take, which meant that his emotional life was stunted by pain from his past.

The second could only take and not give. He was incapable of breaking through defensiveness and pain, moving into a forgiveness, and letting go of his past so that he could love those in his present life. Again, his life remained ghostly and on the edges of human potential. Although he wanted love, he did not learn how to give and get out of himself.

The third person was too afraid to engage at all in either giving or taking love. The traumas of his life caused to live in a safe world, not taking any chances to love or be loved. Of all these three men, this one remained the most haunted and circumscribed, again, like a familiar ghost, stuck in his small surroundings and highly organized world, not letting anyone break down the walls of fear and self-hatred.

How sad.

In the Dark Night, one faces the real fear of both losing God's love through sin and self-will, and gaining God's 
love in humility and truth.

Real love demands that one see one's gross failings and yet remains open to love, not hiding, not saying no out
 of a false pride or false self-loathing.

The balance is all.

In the Dark Night, God comes again and again into the shadow world of the loss of memory, understanding and 
will to meet one in a completely new way.

A wise priest who understands the way of perfection told me three things today I would like to share with you. 
I have added ideals from the myth of Psyche and Eros, one of my favorite myths, to help clarify these words.

The first is not to give up on the slow process of perfection, paying attention as one goes along and even finding 
joy in the painful stages. But, one must pray for all blocks to God to be removed. One of these blocks can be the 
fear of being loved by a God...remember the myth of Psyche. She did not know she was being loved by God and 
was tricked into trying to see who it was who was loving her. She should have waited and trusted in the darkness
of the night and not lit the candle to see Love. She was rushing illumination and infused knowledge, which the god would have given her if she would have waited. She thought that the most beautiful god in the heavens was a beast
 who was deceiving her. So, too, one must learn to trust God in the Dark Night.

This joy is part of the knowledge that one is truly following God to the best of one's ability and that God is faithful 
in His pursuit of His beloved. One must wait for God but also wait for one's self and not do damage to the natural process of the growth to perfection, which leads to the second point.

The second is that the process is faster for some and slower for others totally depending on God's Will and plan for that person. One cannot push the process to go faster, or to slow it down without doing great harm to the soul. Psyche had to perform tasks in order for her to be reunited with Eros. She could not rush these, and several things aided her in these tasks because she was open and humble. So too, one must do the work, but in humility, not always knowing the way. One is afraid that if the other person who loves really knows one, that the love would end. The tasks given to each one of us strengthen one's trust in God. The tasks demand that one learns to be humble enough to accept love even though one is imperfect and still sinning those little venial sins.

The third wise thing the priest said was that God wants to give each one of us more than one can imagine. He desire to reveal Himself to us and to be one with us. So, too, with Pysche, who not only ended up marrying her beloved god, Eros, but having 
a child with him, named Joy. Sometimes people are afraid of what God will ask of them if they accept God's Love. 
This fear of responsibility fades away in the Face of Divine Providence.

What the ancients tell us is also what the mystics tell us in that joy only comes through trials and trust and loving God. Joy comes eventually, after fear and false pride die. One must not be afraid. One must trust.

Such are hints for those in the Dark Night of the Spirit....

Day of First Eye Operation

Prayers, please.

Thanks so much.


From Yesterday's Vespers

Colossians 1

Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ, by the will of God, and Timothy, a brother,
To the saints and faithful brethren in Christ Jesus, who are at Colossa.
Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. We give thanks to God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you.
Hearing your faith in Christ Jesus, and the love which you have towards all the saints.
For the hope that is laid up for you in heaven, which you have heard in the word of the truth of the gospel,
Which is come unto you, as also it is in the whole world, and bringeth forth fruit and groweth, even as it doth in you, since the day you heard and knew the grace of God in truth.
As you learned of Epaphras, our most beloved fellow servant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ Jesus;
Who also hath manifested to us your love in the spirit.
Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding:
10 That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God:
11 Strengthened with all might, according to the power of his glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy,
12 Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins;
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:
16 For in him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones, or dominations, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him and in him.
17 And he is before all, and by him all things consist.
18 And he is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he may hold the primacy:
19 Because in him, it hath well pleased the Father, that all fullness should dwell;
20 And through him to reconcile all things unto himself, making peace through the blood of his cross, both as to the things that are on earth, and the things that are in heaven.
21 And you, whereas you were some time alienated and enemies in mind in evil works:
22 Yet now he hath reconciled in the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unspotted, and blameless before him:
23 If so ye continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and immoveable from the hope of the gospel which you have heard, which is preached in all the creation that is under heaven, whereof I Paul am made a minister.
24 Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church:
25 Whereof I am made a minister according to the dispensation of God, which is given me towards you, that I may fulfill the word of God:
26 The mystery which hath been hidden from ages and generations, but now is manifested to his saints,
27 To whom God would make known the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ, in you the hope of glory.
28 Whom we preach, admonishing every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
29 Wherein also I labour, striving according to his working which he worketh in me in power.