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Tuesday 22 April 2014

I shall know that the hierarchy of England is truly holy

when The Tablet is finally not allowed to be sold in Catholic churches, found in Catholic schools, and in Catholic retreat centers.

Can someone imagine bringing a crucifix into a mosque?

A must read and the photos are adorable!

Wow-kerfuffle in Britain

Working on Schedules

Many weeks ago, I had an interesting discussion with a friend who had read by post on scheduling and prayer.

Now, without schedules, one cannot become holy.

The younger generations have yet to make interior scheduling, as many of their parents resist scheduling. There is a false idea that "down time" is a necessity. There, also, is a hugely false idea that one should have entertainment daily.

Check out these posts.

No longer, and I would guess, that there never has been any neutral territory in the world for the imagination. If we are merely "vegging out" or "chilling out", we are not concentrating on God.

The New Age ideal of meditation outside of the reading of Scriptures or the thinking on the Attributes of God leads not only to narcissism, but occult influences.

Schedules make us disciplined and accountable to God, not merely to ourselves.

As humans with a body and a soul, we absolutely need schedules to tame the flesh and nourish the spirit.

When I teach, one of the first things I make a student do is a time management chart. I find up to 27 wasted hours per week per student.

Adults need to do the same. Scheduling also takes away fatigue, which is created when we have interruptions in our normal bodily patterns.

Homeschooling moms and dads who do not have schedules for their children, mostly because the parents are not scheduled, are not forming the children in the virtues. Only the externalizing of discipline can create the interior discipline needed to be a saint.

A schedule also entails making a "prepared environment" for work, for prayer, for leisure.

More later...

A Great Celebration: 1564-2014

This year, tomorrow, and at the end of the week, the Western World which is civilized, will celebrate the anniversary of the death and baptism of William Shakespeare. That Shakespeare would have been baptized shortly after his birth indicates an April birthday. His baptismal date is April 26th, and the birthday of someone close to me as well.

I am teaching Julius Caesar at this time and constantly find new things in the Bard's words. Today, however off, I want to emphasize his poetry with a favorite of mine.

Happy Official Birthdate and Death date tomorrow (1616) and Happy Baptism Friday--more later.

Sonnet 130

My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damask'd, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress, when she walks, treads on the ground:
   And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
   As any she belied with false compare. 

Take two hours this week and watch one of his plays. I recommend this one:

On Dreams

Catholics have accepted, because of the Scriptures, the importance of some dreams, such as those of Daniel the Prophet, John the Evangelist and two Josephs, the great leader in the Old Testament, and  Christ's Foster Father.

We accept the fact that God can use dreams and interpretations, as well as angelic involvement in dreams.

However, the Church has also warned us about the occult use of dreams or visions while sleeping, as dreams can come from many sources.

Dreams can come from the unpurified imagination, especially is one watches movies, and television. Dreams can come from the subconscious and merely be a reflection of our own desires or needs. Dreams can come from indigestion. Satan and other demons may cause dreams as well

One of the most famous quotations in the English language puts dreams above philosophy, which I do not, but dreams and visions form part of the plot and underplots in Hamlet.

Horatio: “O day and night, but this is wondrous strange!”
Hamlet: “And therefore as a stranger give it welcome.  There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy.”
Hamlet, I.v.164-167
Modern counselors and psychologists put some stock in dreams, but only a Catholic spiritual director can really help with a dream interpretation. I have known some people go before Christ in Adoration and be informed by Christ of the meaning of a dream.
We should not go our of our way to write down or interpret dreams is these happen frequently, unless our directors tell us to do so. 
However, balance and moderation are necessary. 
Does God speak in dreams? Yes, and if one is in sanctifying grace, one can discern a dream immediately without trouble. Do not get into interpreting other's dreams, however, as that can lead to pride and occult practices.
As in all things, pray and if something brings peace and a closer relationship with God, that thing is good.
We all have discernment, unless we are living in deceit. Pray, reflect, think, act....

On Light and Darkness

Sometimes we cannot see the forest for the trees, as some say here.

Sometimes, the people in our lives who bring us the most sadness and grief are those who are actually angels of light brought into our lives to heal us and bring us to holiness.

Years ago, I knew a lovely family of three children and a mom and dad.

The oldest child was born with disability and quickly developed muscular dystrophy. He ended up needing a wheelchair for his entire life. He died at a young age.

His siblings were born after him, a testimony to the faith of the parents. But, what was so amazing to us who knew this family was the love and light this boy brought into that group.

His siblings adored him. His parents became saints because of him. He was kind, good, happy, and loving. He never complained in his entire life.

His life was pure gift. And, the very person who brought grief and sadness at first was the child who brought the entire family back to the Catholic Church, as the parents had fallen away.

We do not understand the ways of God. We cannot see how one person, even disabled, can be the angel of light to bring grace into a family.

Light and darkness exist side by side in our worlds. We can look at something or someone who seems in darkness, but in reality is in light and brings light.

We can think someone is living in light and, in reality, that person lives in the prison of a darkness.

Those who have the eyes of faith can see the light. Those who do not can only see the broken body of a young child.

Do not pass up the people who have light to bring into your world.

Do not think the sadness of disability could not possibly be the way of healing and holiness for an entire family.

God is bigger than we know and the plan of God is more mysterious than we know.