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Sunday 9 March 2014

I missed this on Friday

Did not Benedict, Pope Emeritus, tell us that the enemy is within the Church?

I cannot believe this. Does the Cardinal understand what he is saying? Does he understand the position of the the Church on these tendencies being unnatural?  This inclination, which is objectively disordered...CCC 2358.

Pray for our Church.

Update on Irish Memorare Count

Keep them coming--up to 83,635.

sincerely hope not....this would cause a war

Cardinal Newman on The Virgo Potens


from a friend

THIS great universe, which we see by day and by night, or what is called the natural world, is ruled by fixed laws, which the Creator has imposed upon it, and by those wonderful laws is made secure against any substantial injury or loss. One portion of it may conflict with another, and there may be changes in it internally; but, viewed as a whole, it is adapted to stand for ever. Hence the Psalmist says, "He has established the world, which shall not be moved."

Such is the world of nature; but there is another and still more wonderful world. There is a power which avails to alter and subdue this visible world, and to suspend and counteract its laws; that is, the world of Angels and Saints, of Holy Church and her children; and the weapon by which they master its laws is the power of prayer.

By prayer all this may be done, which naturally is impossible. Noe prayed, and God said that there never again should be a flood to drown the race of man. Moses prayed, and ten grievous plagues fell upon the land of Egypt. Josue prayed, and the sun stood still. Samuel prayed, and thunder and rain came in wheat-harvest. Elias prayed, and brought down fire from heaven. Eliseus prayed, and the dead came to life. Ezechias prayed and the vast army of the Assyrians was smitten and perished.

This is why the Blessed Virgin is called Powerful — nay, sometimes, All-powerful, because she has, more than anyone else, more than all Angels and Saints, this great, prevailing gift of prayer. No one has access to the Almighty as His Mother has; none has merit such as hers. Her Son will deny her nothing that she asks; and herein lies her power. While she defends the Church, neither height nor depth, neither men nor evil spirits, neither great monarchs, nor craft of man, nor popular violence, can avail to harm us; for human life is short, but Mary reigns above, a Queen for ever.

Poll Alert

I am trying not to duplicate on this blog things which my readers may be following.

Please note the poll on the right.


On Disobedience Two

I am quoting Father Z., on the following, as again, I was talking to some parents who are confused about the role of the SSPX.

Please read this carefully.

Here’s the deal.
The priests of the SSPX are validly ordained.  They celebrate Mass illicitly but validly.  In normal situations they do not validly absolve, because they lack faculties to absolve (because faculties are necessary – in addition to valid ordination – to absolve validly).  They cannot act as proper witnesses to marriages, because they are not recognized as such by the Church.  A proper witness is require by the Church for the form of marriage.
How to sort this out?  Let’s try it this way.

Not all sacraments are juridic acts, and not all juridic acts are sacraments but, as in the classic Venn Diagram, some sacraments are juridic acts.
A juridic act (canons 124-128) is a human act by which a person, capable in law, observing the requisite formalities, manifests his intention to bring about a certain juridic effect.
For example, baptism is both a juridic act, and a sacrament. A juridic effect is intended (incorporation into the Church).  Formalities are observed. The person, capable in law, manifests his intention to baptize (he uses the proper matter and form). The Church, in her clemency and her desire that no one be denied baptism, extends jurisdiction to confer baptism to “any person who has the requisite intention” (can. 861§2). So, while bishops, priests, and deacons are the ordinary ministers of baptism, anyone – even an unbaptized person – is capable in law of baptizing validly.
Confirmation, Marriage, Penance, and Holy Orders are the other sacraments which are simultaneously juridic acts. Reception of these sacraments changes a person’s juridic status in the Church.  The Church is more restrictive about who can administer these four sacraments. Anointing of the Sick and Holy Communion/Eucharist are not juridic acts. Reception of these sacraments does not change a person’s juridic status in the Church.
Absolution of sins after Confession is a juridic act. The priest, the confessor, acts in persona Christi and judges the penitent.  Remember that the confessional has the aspect of a tribunal.  The confessor/judge absolves and lifts the sin from the penitent.  Confessors also at times lift censures.  As a juridic act, it can only be done by someone capable in law. The Church has restricted this, not because the Church wants to make penance less available to people, but rather in order to ensure that the faithful are getting the best possible pastoral care and that they remain within the fold of the Church. Thus, the Church gives faculties, permission, jurisdiction, to act in this way, to use his priestly abilities in a performing a sacramental act which is also a juridical act.
With marriage, there’s an added wrinkle. The ministers of the sacrament of marriage are the parties who get married. The spouses are the ministers of the sacrament of matrimony. Therefore, for a valid marriage to be effected, they are required to be “capable in law”. For example, a couple of thirteen year-olds are not capable of marriage. Someone already married is not capable of marriage. Other capabilities are more relational.  For example, Sempronius may be capable of marriage, but he is not capable of marrying his sister, Caia.  Neither is Sempronius capable of marrying Titus). For Catholics, an additional burden must be met. For a Catholic to marry validly, he or she must marry before an authorized witness, usually a bishop, priest, or deacon.
The priest or deacon or bishop who officiates at a Catholic wedding is there, necessarily, as the Church’s official witness to ensure that the proper form is followed, etc.  The Church tightly restricts the ability of clergy to officiate at weddings. Priests who have the ordinary faculty, the jurisdiction, the permission from the Church, to witness marriages, are limited to doing so within the territory of the parish where they are the pastor, the parish priest. If they go outside their territory, they need the express permission of the pastor in whose territory they are witnessing a marriage. If they don’t have that permission, the marriage would be invalid because it would lack one of the essential requirements for marriage. The pastor of the parish (or the bishop, the vicar general, or an episcopal vicar with jurisdiction in the area) can delegate to another priest the jurisdiction, the faculty, to witness the marriage. He should do so in writing. If the delegation cannot be proven, the marriage might well be invalid!
Let’s track back to the question.
The priests of the Society of Pius X, may be holy, generous, stalwart, good men and priests.  I have met some. I have been favorably impressed.  However, they lack the jurisdiction to hear confessions or officiate at weddings.  No proper authority has given them the faculties to act for the Church.  When it comes to certain sacraments that are also juridic acts, that makes all the difference.
Celebration of Mass, recall, is a sacramental act but not also simultaneously a juridic act.  That is one reason why when a priest without faculties says Mass, the Mass is illicit – illegal – but it is still sacramentally valid.
Although some separated or independent priests may have cobbled together a way, in the depths of their own conscience, to justify their continued practice of hearing invalid confessions and officiating invalidly at weddings, nevertheless – objectively – they lack the necessary faculties to do so for validity.
How important it is that we continue to pray for and work for unity in our Church.

A Concern about Disobedience in Small Matters

I have met some people in the past week who do not understand that the Pope and the Vatican are in charge of indulgences. Indulgences are in the hands of the Church and can be and have been changed frequently.

There is a complete misunderstanding of what continuity in the Church means regarding such things as fasting, abstinence, indulgences connected to prayers and practices and so on.

One can become "more Catholic than Rome", as some of the Irish say, and actually not be getting any indulgences or blessings as some have been changed in the past 50 years.

On the Vatican website, one can find the information one needs for indulgences. Anything with an older date than the last individual changes are no longer indulgences. In other words, one must be in obedience to the Church on these details. Here is one link. There are others.

This warning also holds true for the use of older catechisms. Some excellent home schoolers are actually teaching error by using books which are out of date. Now, some of these errors are small, but the main point is that we all need to be obedient to changes which, of course, are not doctrinal, but areas of practice.

Simply put, if one is using holy cards or old books regarding indulgences or the calendar year, one is not necessarily getting those indulgences or blessings, which are in the hands of the Pope to change. And, recent popes have changed some. In fact, Blessed John Paul II made it more difficult to gain a plenary indulgence for souls in purgatory. He rightly saw that it was too easy.

In addition, when teaching children, one must not make one's child a Catholic who is living in the Catholic world of practices long ago. I do not mean, of course, the Tridentine Mass. But some Catholics err concerning older practices abrogated by Rome.  For example, one parent I talked to did not know that there were no longer any ember days or rogation days as his priest taught that one had to follow the old calendar. No. When the Summorum Pontificum was promulgated, this did not change the calendar rules for fasting and abstinence, only the use of the Mass. Can one voluntarily fast and abstain? Absolutely, but one cannot expect others who are faithful to the Church to do so.

Such days have been abrogated and fasting or abstinence on those days may be done, but do not have to be done. One is not under the same laws of fasting if one chooses to follow older laws no longer enforced by either the Vatican or one's national bishops' conference.

A priest who is preaching such is simply wrong and in disobedience to Rome if he insists that his congregation follows older, obsolete rules. If he offers these as voluntary possibilities, fine.

Volunteer fasting and abstinence are goods, but one must be humble and realize that Rome alone has the power to set these rules, not old books.

In addition, many people are adding prayers to the rosary. Again, the Vatican alone has the right to add or subtract prayers connected with the rosary. A group of people cannot do this.

I have warned some followers of Medjugorje on this point, as they add songs not approved by the Vatican. But, some people who have attended SSPX parishes are just as guilty of adding prayers not approved by Rome for the rosary.

If one is disobedient on the liberal side, one can be disobedient on the conservative side of things. Both are errors of disobedience. One does not get indulgences for added prayers not approved by Rome.

Simply put, if we are not obedient in small things, we shall not be obedient in large ones.

The Church in Her wisdom does not want to create a group of people who think they are holier than others simply because they follow old, abrogated rules. If one has this attitude, one can be subtly moving outside the Church. Satan may appeal to one's spiritual pride in these matters.

The life of the Church depends on priests. And, if home schoolers especially are teaching that the Church can be overruled by one priest, this is teaching an attitude of disobedience which will interfere with true vocations.

A real vocation is found within the Church. Many Catholics cry out that the liberals have destroyed vocations, and yes, they have. But, there are also hot-house conservatives who have done the same by encouraging dissent in the home. 

People asked me why my son did not go into the SSPX. I was shocked. To this day, there is a rupture between those good people and the Church and until that is healed, one must not encourage a vocation to a dissident group-even one which holds many truths of the Church. Either one is Catholic or not....and to be Catholic is to be with Rome.

If one decides not to follow the current laws and even minor rules of the Church, one will begin to decide not to follow the Church on larger issues. Like the liberals, a uber-conservative can start to interpret their own guidelines outside of the protection of Rome.

And, if someone answers with a phrase, "Well, God knows the heart", that person has put themselves in a protesting state of mind-Protestant, that is.

Either one is with Rome or not....

Teach your children well....

Another victim of sharia law

The Oyo State Police command has arrested a suspect in connection with the killing of his daughter, Miss Kausara Isiaka for allegedly converting to Christianity.
The suspect was alleged by Reverend Daniel Oladimeji, one of the four persons he attacked with machete that he suspected him to be the brain behind the attack.
According to the Police Public Relations Officer, DSP Olabisi Ilobanafor, one Mary Oladimeji, of Calvary Church, Ayekale, Ibadan reported the incident at the station at about 02:00 hours of February 26th 2014.
Though, the police are yet to determine his culpability or otherwise, the suspect allegedly sneaked into the church premises and inflicted machete cuts on the four persons.
The victims’ names, according to the police, are Mary, Kausara Isiaka, Aanu and the pastor of the church.
It was further gathered that the father of the deceased who is a Muslim, allegedly pleaded severally with his daughter and threatened her to review her decision.
The police stated that the girl had to take refuge in the church.
But, on that fateful day, a yet-to-be identified attacker broke in and inflicted machete injuries on the victims while they were sleeping.
Out of the four victims, the police confirmed that her injuries were more severe than others.
Mary, the daughter of the suspect and other victims were rushed to Mobolaji Hospital, Oremeji, Ibadan where she later died…

Virgo Potens, Pray for Us

Perfection Series II: xxxviii Collective Purification Two

Continuing with this theme of purification both individually and collectively, one can see that Garrigou-Lagrange understands intimately the lives of the saints.

In no period, however calm it may be, can anyone become a saint without carrying his cross, without being configured to Christ crucified. In troubled times, however, man often faces the urgent necessity of sanctifying himself completely in order not to lose his soul; he must then be heroically faithful in order not to fall back. In other calmer periods, this urgent necessity does not make itself thus felt, but even then, carrying his cross he must follow our Lord. Nothing unclean can enter heaven; one must be purified either before death, like the martyrs, or after it, like the souls in purgatory.

I actually consider myself fortunate to live in hard times, as I must make correct decisions. If I had been born in calmer times, I could have stayed mediocre, proud, and possibly damned.

Lastly, there are other collective trials which demand great uprightness of will: for example, when in the society in which we live some exceptional event occurs that obliges us, though at the cost of great sacrifices, to declare ourselves for God. Such events are visits from the Lord; in them are distinguished His true servants, who, instead of being merely good, must become excellent. 

Be grateful that we are called to excellence and not merely to just goodness.

With this meaning, the aged Simeon said of the coming of the Child Jesus into the world: "Behold this Child is set for the fall and for the resurrection of many in Israel, and for a sign which shall be contradicted; . . . that out of many hearts thoughts may be revealed." (3) In other words, Christ, who had come for the salvation of all, was to be an occasion of fall for many. Refusing to recognize the Savior in Him, they have fallen into infidelity. Thus the secret thoughts of the Pharisees were revealed, whereas they would have remained partly hidden had the Pharisees lived two centuries earlier. Something similar occurs when there is a great supernatural event, like the apparitions of the Blessed Virgin at Lourdes, an event about which the good and the bad are divided. There is, as Pascal says, sufficient light for those who wish to see and sufficient obscurity for those who do not wish to see. 

Pray that you can and will see. Pray that you "look towards the light". Again, we are all fortunate to be living in hard times, as we can make a clear choice for Jesus Christ and His Church.

These great events, persecutions, or exceptional visits of the Lord, on the occasion of which the good and the tepid are profoundly divided, throw light on what we are saying here of the passive purification of the soul. In periods when the life of society is not marked by anything exceptionally bad or good, no less a purification is needed to reach sanctity than in periods of social upheaval.

To be continued....

Perfection Series II: xxxix

Look at the progress of purgation here in Garrigou-Lagrange for the community. First, consolation, then chastisement, then condemnation.

We are rapidly approaching the time of chastisement. Some of us are experiencing this already individually through harsh trials.

Yet, all of these trials provide us with the opportunity to overcome selfishness and the ego.

We cannot move on into illumination and unity with God without this purgation. 

In regard to the visits of the Lord, we must also remember that they often differ appreciably. There are visits of consolation, like the apparitions of Lourdes; but if people do not profit by them, the Lord comes to chastise; and if they do not profit by this divine correction, He may come to condemn.(4)

All that we have said shows what profit we should reap from the trials which the Lord sends us, particularly in this prolonged period of spiritual aridity of which we are speaking. 

One of the most trying things about passive purgation is the realization of one's deeply rooted faults. To be freed of these and move on into the Light, one needs grace. God decides on the timing of this grace. But, it is not His Will that we go to purgatory.

It is His Will that we cooperate with grace now, on earth, for His Glory and the Glory of His Church.

If we bear it generously, many defects, which arrest the growth of the divine life in us, will be uprooted forever. Conquered self-love will then give place to the true love of God, to zeal for His glory and the salvation of souls.

To be continued.....

Habitual Sin and Habitual Virtue Plus Collective Purification Perfection Series II: xxxvii

I apologize for weird postings today. The Net is off and on and sometimes I have no idea of things that are saved until I go back when the Net is on again.

If readers follow the perfection series, they will see much on the breaking of venial sin.

Venial sin can be habitual sin. If  "automatic", it is most likely something learned in childhood and needs great care to root it out.

If it is sin learned as an adult, through habit, one can unlearn sin. Remember, only the perfect see God and venial sin must be purged from the soul as well as the tendencies to sin.

Venial sin interferes with the work of the building of the Kingdom of God. Why?

Looking at Garrigou-Lagrange, one reads this:

This purification removes many other defects in our relations with our neighbor or in respect to our duties of state: a certain natural rudeness, which leads to impatience; an a most unconscious secret ambition, the cause of many disorders and divisions among people; and also a lack of interest in the occasionally great needs of our afflicted neighbor who turns to us for help. It is in this state that those who have the duty of caring devotedly for others, possess a deeper understanding of Christ's words: "The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. But the hireling, and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth; and the wolf catcheth and scattereth the sheep." (2) To profit by these words, we should ask the Lord to give us an increase of true zeal, the patient, gentle, disinterested zeal which draws life from God to give it in greater measure to our neighbor.

Even small faults can cause divisions among peoples. Dying to self and giving up the ego kills sin and the tendencies to sin. 

Garrigou-Lagrange also writes of the purification of groups-in persecutions. For us readers, we have to pay attention to this fact.

In connection with this subject, it should be noted that there are also at times collective purifications, like persecutions, from which the soul must know how to draw profit. On such occasions the heroic degree of the virtues becomes necessary; one is in the happy necessity of becoming a saint in order not to be lost. Those who seem fairly good in prosperity are often weak and cowardly in these great difficulties; others, on the contrary, reveal their true character on these occasions. These grave moments should lead us to make the following salutary reflection: true sanctity does not require a lesser purification in outwardly calm periods than in periods troubled by persecution. The saints who lived in the calmest periods of the life of the Church had their interior trials, without which their souls would not have attained to the perfect purity which God willed to see in them.

Well, I have to say this

After being back in the States for four months, I have to say that three institutions work much better in Europe than in the States. Banks, telephone companies and Internet companies seem more efficient in Europe. One cannot even find hotspots to buy into in some places here in the States.

Americans believe they have the most advanced technology for customers in the world. Not so.

Banks and transactions, phones, and the Internet are WAY more efficient in Great Britain, Ireland and Malta.

Amazing, huh?

And, phone service and phones are less expensive in Europe, as is Internet service.

Amazing. It seems to me that service has become worse. Is this possible?

I have never been in a built up area in any country with upper middle class residences where the Internet has been as bad as here. Nor, have I ever paid so much for basic phone service. And, I have never had to wait hours before transactions from pharmacies or shops cleared my banking account.


And, my reflections have been backed up by a businessman I know here who lived in Germany for the past two years and has just returned.

He and I had a nice "grouse" about the so-called superior nation of America. Sorry, technologically and service-wise, this area is horrible.

Sigh....and skype is so bad connecting here I cannot talk with my son----another reason for you all to pray I can get back to Europe a.s.a.p.

And, while I am complaining, I have noticed living in three neighborhoods, that neighbors either do not know each other and/or never get together.

Sad...very sad.

Gratias. Ah, and do not forget about Daylight Savings Time change tonight.