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Sunday 6 April 2014

Making choices and staying young repost from 2012

A "brother in the Lord" as the Protestants say, sent me this quotation. 

That in which we have faith is a firm system directed to the salvation of men; and, since it has
been received by the Church, we guard it. Constantly it has its youth renewed by the Spirit of
God, as if it were some precious deposit in and excellent vessel; and it causes the vessel
containing it also to be rejuvenated. St. Irenaeus, d. 202 AD

It is part of a theme here of renewal, youth and choices.

He also reminded me of the Morning Offering we say, in many different versions, in which we ask God to make our lives knew.

Oh, Lord, I offer you this day, all that I do or think or pray, uniting it with what was done, on earth by Jesus Christ Thy Son.

We make choices daily. 

I was unfairly fired and chose not to sue the company as it was Catholic.

That was a choice.

I decided to give away most of my things to the poor and to families who could use things for home schooling and live in great simplicity.

That was a choice.

I chose to not take illegal positions offered to me.
That was a choice

I chose to leave a place rather than cause someone pain and unease, therefore, causing me pain and suffering on his account.

That was a choice.

I decided not to marry good men when asked as I did not love them. A Christian does not marry merely for comfort or money. Both are millionaires and nice, but that was not God's Will.

Those were choices.

I chose to try the monastery and realized that was not my call.

That was God's choice, but I had to decide and will His Will.

That was a choice.

I chose to follow a radical path to try to become a saint by conforming my mind to the mind of Christ and His Church.

That was a choice, and I remake it daily.

I found out that nothing was important but loving God every minute of the day and letting Him love me.

That realization ended in a choice. Nothing matters but God. Nothing. 

Many people cannot make choices. They only respond to stimuli and react. Animals without immortal souls do that. But, such responses have consequences as well. All my choices were made freely and with thought. I am an INTJ.  I am not impulsive. I think. I do nothing without much work of the mind and objectivity. I make mistakes, but I own up to those mistakes. I sin, but I admit and beg God to show me these daily, and never want to live in any type of deceit.

Would you not rather choose life than merely respond?

God takes us at our word when we say yes to follow Him.

That is our choice.

A seminarian friend of mine told me today that young people like me. I know this. They like me better than most adults I meet. Why? Because I believe in the ideal of the radical Gospel, I see things always new. Young people are idealists, mostly. They want to be challenged. If one conforms to the world too much. one cannot inspire or teach youth. They can see through the duplicity. To be a saint is to remain youthful in spirit. This does not mean immaturity, but a liveliness of heart and mind which responds to the Love Who is a Person. These are my aspirations. Does not the Pope seem young at heart? The heart of Christ is ever-young. I have a friend who is a catechetist. The youth love him as well. He is genuine and excited by God and in the love of God. They can recognize the real deal.

Young people want to love and be loved. They are searching for Love. What better thing can we do than to bring them to God Who is Love. That is evangelization. And, it is not new.

In the Catholic Church, which is the cohort of the message, there are still those headlong acts of holiness that speak of something rapid and recent; a self-sacrifice that startles the world like a suicide. But it is not a suicide; it is not pessimistic; it is still as optimistic as St. Francis of the flowers and birds. It is newer in spirit than the newest schools of thought; and it is almost certainly on the eve of new triumphs. For these men serve a mother who seems to grow more beautiful as new generations rise up and call her blessed. 

We might sometimes fancy that the Church grows younger as the world grows old.  G.K. ChestertonThe Everlasting Man

I also remember in a post earlier this year my phrase from Minneapolis in the 1970s."God make new dough-nuts everyday." We who love God are renewed daily. This is a thought so sublime, I can hardly think it. 

This is why heaven will be full of young ones-that is, the youth of eternity, in the glorified bodies that will be.

PP Boycott List Expanded

You might find this useful

A Big Thanks

52,052 readers last month-not a record, but good.

Thanks to all who keep me writing by reading.

Please help in this excellent cause to send rosaries to the military

and also support a factory in Haiti...

I met Fr. Bill Kneemiller today and he told me about this excellent cause. Please order some of these rosaries and get your parishes involved. See the above website for more details, but here are a few snippets to read.

The Holy Land Rosary is made with an olive wood crucifix from the Holy Land, simple brown pony beads and military-grade parachute cord. It is a wonderful prayer aid, connecting us with Christ’s passion in the Garden and the Holy Land where Christ lived and taught. It also helps fulfill the prophesy in Isaiah 2:4: “ You will turn your swords into plowshares, …and your parachute cords into rosary cords.” (The last sentence is my ‘living translation’.) For more info on how to order materials and make these Rosaries, email Fr Bill Kneemiller at 

In the last couple of years our Iowa parishes have made over a thousand Holy Land Ranger Rosaries. The olive wood crucifix for these Rosaries is purchased from the Catholic families living in Bethlehem, this being their sole means of livelihood. These rosaries continue to be a great source of blessing as a prayer aid for parishioners of all ages, patients in hospitals and hospice wards, and military personnel. I believe that the Holy Land Crucifix is a connection to Christ in the Garden of Olive and a reminder to us of the land where Jesus walked. For anyone praying the Rosary, I encourage you to ask the grace to ‘pray with the heart’—which involves the special grace of praying the Rosary while contemplating the Scriptures, with devotion and divine love. Also I believe that the Scripture from Isaiah 2:2 applies, which states that ‘Swords will be turned into plowshares…”, so my loose translation of this is, “Parachute cords will be turned into Rosary cords…”.
With our parishes having a sister parish in Haiti, we are building a ‘Rosary Factory in Haiti. An opportunity to begin this project came recently when Liz McDermott, the rep from ServeHaiti, recently visited Haiti. Here is her report after I gave her rosary supplies to take with her on her Haiti trip: Liz said she worked with the local chapter of the Vincent DePaul Society in Haiti to train workers there to assemble the Holy Land Military Rosary. The workers are paid a living wage for each Rosary made, and the Haitian workers were delighted to have some work in a country where the unemployment rate is about 70%.  Then the ServeHaiti volunteers brought back hundreds of finished Rosaries. The Rosaries and cases are then donated to  Catholic Chaplains in Afghanistan and to Rosary groups in parishes to promote the praying of the family Rosary.
P.S. An accomplished seamstress has recently designed a cloth Rosary Case that goes with the Rosary. Any donations for the Rosary Factory should be addressed to “SS Philip & James, 606 Fulton St, PO Box 7, Grand Mound, IA 52751”, with a notation: ‘Special Haiti Project’

See the website listed above on instructions on how to make the rosaries and how to make the pouches. Also, consider how you can help support the factory in Haiti.

Denigration of Western Civilization I: Catholicism Nil

The undermining of the great value and heritage of Western civilization began decades ago. The American and British school systems purposefully changed the definitions of both civilization and culture, so that the two were presented as equal, which these two groupings of people are not.

The ideology behind the destruction of the idea that the West has had a superior civilization rests in two false "isms"-communism and atheism. However, other "isms" know attack Western inheritances as well.

The reasons the proponents of those two above mentioned systems undermined the history and heritage of the West are simply this-hatred of Christianity, specifically Catholicity, and hatred of the Church.

I saw the rot creeping in when I was teaching. More and more history books, as well as philosophy books, no longer criticized the pagan ideas behind pagan civilizations. In fact, one history book still used for the Cambridge international examinations includes a discussion question as to whether Hitler was right or wrong.

Relativism ruined objective thinking to the point that one of the most evil national parties based on neo-paganism and anti-Semitism, could be considered a "correct"  or viable possibility.

The Catholic Church created Western civilization, out of the ruins of the ancient world. The Jewish revelation of the Old Testament, which is ours, and the great civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome, blended to create the Judeo-Christian civilization of Europe.

Cultures are not civilizations. This blurring of distinctions purposefully introduced into all levels of education in the 1970s and later, grew out of political correctness. No one could "judge" any longer between a small cultural grouping and a real civilization with currency, trade, education, laws and legal systems, and religion, not merely cultural practices.

The rot won. Now, few of the Millennials can distinguish between a heritage based on the rule of law, religion and strict norms for society, in opposition to cultural identifications of a tribe.

No one is allowed to think from these older definitions, except, of course, Catholics.

Catholics know which institution began schools, universities, hospitals, legal systems, while raising the status of women and the poor. Art and music came out of patronage from Catholics. The most beautiful buildings in the world, the great Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque Cathedrals, came out of the architectural ideals of the classical and Catholic world. The Catholic Church created Western civilization and that is why those who are communists and atheists have striven to tear down that great inheritance.

One reason I home schooled was this denigration of Western civilization. One reason I got a Master's Teacher Certificate from NAPCIS was because of this denigration of Western civilization. One reason I teach is because of this battle, raging, but sadly, in most countries of the West, won by those who hate the Church.

We can all be proud of our cultural backgrounds, but we cannot pretend that all cultures have equal value or that cultures are civilizations. Such confusion and such pretensions have destroyed the best educational systems in the world. Such confusion and such pretensions have destroyed logic and the use of reason in many areas of life. Such confusion and such pretensions have made Catholicism just one more religion, instead of The Religion.

I suggest re-reading these two documents.

Latest Memorare Count Update

We need 3.5 million for the Irish College!

Keep them coming--up to 84,310.

Woman Praying by Hans Memling

I love this painting. Especially, I like the inclusion of the little it a Maltese?

Prayer Schedule

I am working on a prayer schedule for active contemplative prayer. As I am tutoring only part-time, I can devote more time to prayer again, as I did in Ireland and London.

The only way one can devote time to prayer is through scheduling. The only way one can move to perfection is through scheduling.

If any readers are having trouble with daily prayer, I highly suggest setting aside the same time daily.

Do not leave prayer time, until you "have time".

"Make" time.

A Tiny Perfection Post

More and more, I am convinced that the prayers involving complete resignation to the Will of God prove to be the fastest way through purification to perfection.

Some examples:

O Lord my God, I now at this moment, readily and willingly accept at Thy hand whatever kind of death it may please Thee to send me, with all its pains, penalties and sorrows.

Lord, thou hast given me this help and now thou dost take it away. Blessed be thy holy will! I beg thee, teach me what I must do to serve thee.

And, the Our Father, of course....Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done...

On Envy Again

America is purposefully being led into class warfare by the Marxist vocabulary of both parties, but most especially, by the words of the Democrats. This is not a new phenomenon, but one which has increased in influence since I left America almost exactly three years ago.

Now that I am in the Midwest again, I find that it is not the poor who hate the rich, but the middle-classes. Years ago, I told an Irishman that he would not get into heaven with hatred for the English in his heart. The middle class members will not get into heaven with hatred for the rich in their hearts.

Hatred of the rich, as St. Thomas Aquinas points out in the above section of the Summa, reveals the sin of Envy. Envy can become an obsession, and many so-called "socialist" are obsessed with the wealth of the rich.

Some Catholics go so far as to say that all rich people are evil and have gained their wealth through sin. Of course, this is simply not true. Many hard-working and honest people have become wealthy without stealing or lying.

Envy ties up grace and causes a twisting of the intellect. It is a sin which can grip a people and turn hearts into ashes.

All hatred is evil, but the sin of envy must lash out and detract.

Pray for those who have fallen prey to the sin of hatred of the rich. The poor are not honored by such hatred and envy.

I remove myself from the company of those who are envious. They seem to be stuck. Pray for them.
From  Aquinas:

I answer that, Just as sloth is grief for a Divine spiritual good, so envy is grief for our neighbor's good. Now it has been stated above (Question 35, Article 4) that sloth is a capital vice for the reason that it incites man to do certain things, with the purpose either of avoiding sorrow or of satisfying its demands. Wherefore envy is accounted a capital vice for the same reason.
Reply to Objection 1. As Gregory says (Moral. xxxi, 45), "the capital vices are so closely akin to one another that one springs from the other. For the first offspring of pride is vainglory, which by corrupting the mind it occupies begets envy, since while it craves for the power of an empty name, it repines for fear lest another should acquire that power." Consequently the notion of a capital vice does not exclude its originating from another vice, but it demands that it should have some principal reason for being itself the origin of several kinds of sin. However it is perhaps because envy manifestly arises from vainglory, that it is not reckoned a capital sin, either by Isidore (De Summo Bono) or by Cassian (De Instit. Caenob. v, 1).
Reply to Objection 2. It does not follow from the passage quoted that envy is the greatest of sins, but that when the devil tempts us to envy, he is enticing us to that which has its chief place in his heart, for as quoted further on in the same passage, "by the envy of the devil, death came into the world" (Wisdom 2:24).
There is, however, a kind of envy which is accounted among the most grievous sins, viz. envy of another's spiritual good, which envy is a sorrow for the increase of God's grace, and not merely for our neighbor's good. Hence it is accounted a sin against the Holy Ghost, because thereby a man envies, as it were, the Holy Ghost Himself, Who is glorified in His works.
Reply to Objection 3. The number of envy's daughters may be understood for the reason that in the struggle aroused by envy there is something by way of beginning, something by way of middle, and something by way of term. The beginning is that a man strives to lower another's reputation, and this either secretly, and then we have "tale-bearing," or openly, and then we have "detraction." The middle consists in the fact that when a man aims at defaming another, he is either able to do so, and then we have "joy at another's misfortune," or he is unable, and then we have "grief at another's prosperity." The term is hatred itself, because just as good which delights causes love, so does sorrow cause hatred, as stated above (Question 34, Article 6). Grief at another's prosperity is in one way the very same as envy, when, to Wit, a man grieves over another's prosperity, in so far as it gives the latter a good name, but in another way it is a daughter of envy, in so far as the envious man sees his neighbor prosper notwithstanding his efforts to prevent it. On the other hand, "joy at another's misfortune" is not directly the same as envy, but is a result thereof, because grief over our neighbor's good which is envy, gives rise to joy in his evil.

More here....

Family Thoughts Today

My ancestors in America lived in Edwardian style. I suppose this was because that generation before the Great War had more money than later generations. The Great Depression affected one side of the family terribly, but not so much the other. The photo on the left is more elaborate than their houses and furnishings, but much the same.

I have photos in storage of ladies in large hats, men in whites at shooting and interiors of houses either in the Eastlake style, or Gustave Stickley,

or in other Mission styles, which was considered daring at the time.

Children dressed like Hayley Mills in Pollyanna, and toys consisted of wooden things or mechanical things.

The Edwardian Age in England was one of peace and prosperity, but war clouds gathered. This was the age of Chesterton and Knox, the age of men. But, women were becoming more and more active. Both of my grandmothers went to college and one finished her degree. That was in 1908 or so, marrying shortly afterwards.

My grandparents had a house almost exactly like this one, which, sadly, no longer exists. I remember it. It was larger, room enough for parents and seven children, a library, and billiard table downstairs, a huge kitchen, and brand new. This style is called American Craftsman. Almost 100 years later, I bought a Craftsman house for awhile. Things stick in the psyche. It was similar to this one below.

Happy days. But, the other side of the family was still going back and forth to Europe, not settled in the new land, but busy being Catholic laypersons, working for the Church, working directly with the Vatican and with governments.

We are partly our past, but not totally, as each one of us is made unique. We can have family traits and family talents, but God places each one of us here for His glory.

Things which are material come and go, but the interior life moves with us. Are you internalizing your life?

Here is a prayer of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman.

“God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission. I may never know it in this life, but I shall be told it in the next. I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.

He has not created me for naught. I shall do good; I shall do His work.

I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth in my own place,
while not intending it if I do but keep His commandments.

Therefore, I will trust Him, whatever I am, I can never be thrown away. If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him, in perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him. If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him. He does nothing in vain. He knows what He is about. He may take away my friends. He may throw me among strangers. He may make me feel desolate, make my spirits sink, hide my future from me. Still, He knows what He is about.”