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Saturday 22 March 2014


Russian friend has not sent the article promised....will post it if I get it.

From a reader. Comments?,cntnt01,detail,0&cntnt01articleid=1062&cntnt01origid=15&cntnt01returnid=29

God Bless The Pope;_ylt=AwrBEiT2hCxTG10AR8zQtDMD

I know two people whose lives were ruined in Sicily from the Mafia. They have suffered for years owing to bad, past business deals. Pray for them and pray for all who have been the target of such hatred and greed.

A Difficult Post

One wonders about the state of the Church in America not merely because of the large political movements supported by so-called Catholics, such as socialism, abortion and same-sex marriage, but because of the lack of holiness among the laity.

Before I begin to describe a terrible indictment of the Catholic laity, I refer to the Rule of St. Benedict. And, before I refer to the Rule, I want to quote two people who told me that it is the duty of monasteries to take in indigents. No, it is not. We are in the age of the laity, and it is our duty.

First, here is St. Benedict:

Let all guests who arrive be received like Christ,
for He is going to say,
"I came as a guest, and you received Me" (Matt. 25:35).
And to all let due honor be shown,
especially to the domestics of the faith and to pilgrims.

As soon as a guest is announced, therefore,
let the Superior or the brethren meet him
with all charitable service.
And first of all let them pray together,
and then exchange the kiss of peace.
For the kiss of peace should not be offered
until after the prayers have been said,
on account of the devil's deceptions.

In the salutation of all guests, whether arriving or departing,
let all humility be shown.
Let the head be bowed
or the whole body prostrated on the ground
in adoration of Christ, who indeed is received in their persons.

After the guests have been received and taken to prayer,
let the Superior or someone appointed by him sit with them.
Let the divine law be read before the guest for his edification,
and then let all kindness be shown him.
The Superior shall break his fast for the sake of a guest,
unless it happens to be a principal fast day
which may not be violated.
The brethren, however, shall observe the customary fasts.
Let the Abbot give the guests water for their hands;
and let both Abbot and community wash the feet of all guests.
After the washing of the feet let them say this verse:
"We have received Your mercy, O God,
in the midst of Your temple" (Ps.47[48]:10).

In the reception of the poor and of pilgrims
the greatest care and solicitude should be shown,
because it is especially in them that Christ is received;
for as far as the rich are concerned,
the very fear which they inspire
wins respect for them.

Moving on from here to my main point proves a painful journey, not in the telling of a tale, but in the condemnation of a lifestyle which has marginalized the poor and suffering. The lifestyle has a name-the American Dream-and it has showed itself to be a nightmare.

A while ago, I was temporarily staying in a house and I was ill. The Catholic woman who was talking to me about staying there said to me that I was "an intruder". Now, I did not take this personally, as I realized that there must be something in her philosophy which saw people needing help, even for a week, as not the norm for her way of living. She saw anyone coming into her house for any length of time (a week, for example) as an intruder.

Now, I found this curious, as when I had my own house, I had an open door policy. Frequently, my son was chucked out of his bed to sleep upstairs in the attic, so that a guest could use his bed. Son loved being upstairs, and all guests just became part of the family.  My favorite guests were two people who just put their toothbrush in the family holder, which indicated that they felt right at home-which is the point of hospitality.

Now, being called an intruder made me ponder why this person, otherwise an upstanding and popular Catholic woman in her church, who is known for charitable works, would use this term.

Being of a completely different mindset, and having experienced love and care from others in my consistent indigent life elsewhere, I was, honestly, baffled. I even talked to a dear friend of mine who said she has met other people in the Midwest who consider guests or those in need as intruders.


So, I formulated some reasons why an American Catholic would believe that firstly, she had no duty to help a homeless person, and two, why that person would be deemed an intruder.

By the way, I am related to this person.

First of all, coming from my perspective, I never considered my home as "mine". My house was God's house, as He had given me the means to have a house. I never took a house for granted, and I was happy to have one.

Second, "mi casa es su casa" was my motto. Now, in America, extended families simply do not live together outside the Latino cultures. All my cousins live miles away and have never had extended family live with them. Even though some still live in houses with five bedrooms and the kids are long gone, this idea of having an family member join them in their house is foreign. How did this mindset become the norm?
I think this mindset was purposefully pushed by the American government even as early as the First World War, to break up extended families. Perhaps Americans can no longer love the other.

Third, I have heard mothers and fathers of a certain age state that they would not want their children moving close to them. The Amish in my area build houses for the newly married across the street or as close as possible, maintaining relationships with their grown children and grandchildren. How did Americans outside these communities move away from wanting to be close to family members? How did parents come not to want their children close by?

Fourth, an "intruder" is an outsider. one who comes in without permission and without welcome, like a thief. An intruder is one who is unpleasant and rude. Long ago, I had an intruder come into a townhouse where I was living. I had to deal with this man. He had evil intentions. He was a true intruder.

But, a person in need, who is related can hardly be a real intruder. So, what did my Catholic relative think about opening her house to a temporary guest?

First of all, she obviously thinks her house is hers and not God's . She has no idea of "my house being your house". She must feel threatened by anyone coming in. 

Second, to enlarge on that last sentence, if a person feels threatened by someone coming into their house for any length of time, that threat must be connected to either some sort of insecurity or hurt, or is simply a revelation of a long life of selfishness. Could it be that one is hiding sin from the world and to open one's house simply causes fear of disclosure?  I merely reflect.

Third, now I am a real introvert. As an INTJ, I clock far on the side of introverts, and love my solitude and scheduling. I love long hours of silence. I never use a radio or have music or TV in the background. However, people who came into my house did not threaten my space. Curious. Perhaps because my space is internalized and not externalized, this space "walks around with me".  Is it possible that many American Catholics have not internalized "space"-that little cell where we find God? Do they need ten or twelve rooms for "space"?

Now, the American Dream holds that one can be anything one wants to be and that one will have a house, a yard and chickens. One of the common things women tell me when I talk to them about community building is that they are for it, but their husbands do not want the reach out to others and do not want to deal with others outside the family, or even extended family members.

Again, does the American Dream either cause judgement or fear-a fear that "if one somewhat talented and intelligent person can end up on my sofa, I may be in position one day" and that would mean that the American Dream simply does not work? Not all people have a house, a yard and chickens.

Musing on this, I find that the Catholic rule of hospitality, which should be picked up by the laity in the Age of the Laity, is sadly missing in the Church.  The evil of socialism has caused some to say, "Is there no government plan for this" or that? No. Many people live in areas where the government has no housing, and has run out of emergency aid. There are few monasteries and most, if not all, charge for guests.

The time for being open to those who have not will come upon us, and I am merely a forerunner.

Treat all guests as Christ....

Thoughts on Mary This Saturday Morning

The Blessed Virgin Mary experienced the love of the Trinity from the moment of her conception. Her life was on of union with God. She is the true Bride of the Bridegroom. Her entire life on earth was one lived in the complete Presence of God, as she was created without sin, with no faults and no proclivity to sin.

Her complete innocence made her the perfect Mother of the Incarnate Christ. She exuded on earth every virtue, every gift from God.

That she experienced the horror of the Passion and Death of Christ was part of that life of love.

We suffer with those we love. Love binds us to the Beloved in peace, in suffering, in joy.

This Lent, meditate on Our Mother, experiencing through love, the pains of Christ.

Sorrowful Mother, pray for us.

Novena Prayer in Honor of the Sorrows of The Blessed Virgin Mary

The Novena finds it's origin in ancient Church tradition. A Novena is simply any prayer said faithfully for a period of dedicated time. Generally it is said for nine consecutive days, nine Sundays, Fridays or Saturdays, or even nine hours in a row. Novenas have traditionally been known to be very powerful ~ used since the time of the Apostles when most notably, they and the other disciples prayed and fasted for nine days prior to receiving the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentacost. 

Most holy and afflicted Virgin, Queen of Martyrs, you stood beneath the cross, witnessing the agony of your dying Son. Look with a mother's tenderness and pity on me, who kneel before you. I venerate your sorrows and I place my requests with filial confidence in the sanctuary of your wounded heart. Present them, I beseech you, on my behalf to Jesus Christ, through the merits of His own most sacred passion and death, together with your sufferings at the foot of the cross. Through the united efficacy of both, obtain the granting of my petition. To whom shall I have recourse in my wants and miseries if not to you, Mother of Mercy? You have drunk so deeply of the chalice of your Son, you can compassionate our sorrows. Holy Mary, your soul was pierced by a sword of sorrow at the sight of the passion of your Divine Son. Intercede for me and obtain for me from Jesus (mention request) if it be for His honor and glory and for my good. Amen.

Perfection Series II: lxiii--Signs of the Illumination State Three

The most obvious sign, besides peace and love, of the person in the Illuminative State, is orthodoxy. If a person seems to be living the life of the virtues, but objects to any item held by Rome, that person is most likely not even through the Dark Night. Purgation allows for humility and prudence to shine forth in the soul.

One cannot be unorthodox and a saint. Some liberals think that saints can be anyone who is "good" and "happy", for example. Some iconographers make icons of those who were never orthodox and, even, outside the Church.

A great person in the eyes of the world who positively rejects Catholic teaching is not a saint. Even the depictions of such people show a confusion, as in this one below. I note, again, this Vatican document on the dangers of New Age religions and Eastern Religions.

This trap of believing that good people who seem to do good in the world may be saints causes confusion in the Church, and outside the Church.

No one is canonized without being straight down the wicket orthodox. In the wisdom of the Church, those canonized reveal obedience and dutiful humility towards Church teaching. No wiggle room for those cooperating with grace....

to be continued...

Part Two-Signs of The Illuminative State: Perfection Series II: llxii

Continuing with some signs of the person in the Illuminative State, at the highest stage, here are a few more characteristics.

Eleven: the person is no longer living in a subjective reality, but in objectivity, taking nothing "personally" and being immune to the slurs and slanders, as well as the carelessness of others.

Twelve: the person has no fears of sufferings, but welcomes sufferings as raw material for growth in holiness.

Thirteen: the Scriptures open up in new depths as infused knowledge enters the mind, soul, and imagination.

Fourteen: the person has been found by God and has found God. These words apply to the person in the Illuminative State:

Song of Solomon 2

I am the flower of the field, and the lily of the valleys.
As the lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters.
As the apple tree among the trees of the woods, so is my beloved among the sons. I sat down under his shadow, whom I desired: and his fruit was sweet to my palate.
He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me.
Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples: because I languish with love.
His left hand is under my head, and his right hand shall embrace me.
I adjure you, O ye daughters of Jerusalem, by the roes, and the harts of the, fields, that you stir not up, nor make the beloved to awake, till she please.
The voice of my beloved, behold he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping over the hills.
My beloved is like a roe, or a young hart. Behold he standeth behind our wall, looking through the windows, looking through the lattices.
10 Behold my beloved speaketh to me: Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one, and come.
11 For winter is now past, the rain is over and gone.
12 The flowers have appeared in our land, the time of pruning is come: the voice of the turtle is heard in our land:
13 The fig tree hath put forth her green figs: the vines in flower yield their sweet smell. Arise, my love, my beautiful one, and come:
14 My dove in the clefts of the rock, in the hollow places of the wall, shew me thy face, let thy voice sound in my ears: for thy voice is sweet, and thy face comely.
Fifteen, people sense this person is different than others and want to be in this person's presence, as the man generates a deep peace. What people are sensing in the Presence of the Holy Trinity.
To be continued....

Signs of The Illuminative State: Perfection Series II: lxi

Here are a few signs of someone who is in the Illuminative State. These are taken from Garrigou-Lagrange, St. Catherine, and from observation.

One, the person easily lives a life of virtue, without constraints and with joy, as well as a complete self-forgetfulness.

Two, the person is not sinning even with venial sins, or rarely.

Three, the person is separated from pride and acts of self-aggrandizement. Humility marks the person in the Illuminative State.

Four, this person makes an impression on others with the least effort; for example, one or two words spoken by this person creates changes in others.

Five, the person does not care for mercenary or other rewards, but is complete without expectations for consolations either from humans or from God.

Six, the person walks with God daily, and is given infused knowledge about things and people. Even though this walk may not include consolations, the person knows by a deep conviction that the Bridegroom is with her.

Seven, the conscience is keen and one sees imperfections immediately if the purgation is not complete. However, for those truly in the last stage of the Illuminative State, there are no imperfections left.

Eight, the predominant fault has been utterly destroyed.

Nine, the person walks in light, and is no longer affected by the dark, but transcends the darkness with the awareness that God is always with him.

Ten, good works, great deeds, the real building of the Kingdom of God form the work of the person in the Illuminative state, the last stage.

To be continued.....

International Recipe Contest

I have been looking for a deep fat friend plum dumpling recipe with sweet plum sauce. My ancestors made plum dumplings in boiling water.

Contest time.

See whose plum dumplings may be the best.