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Monday 5 May 2014

Note high court ruling

What part of this do people not understand? You are the primary teachers of your children.

More and more, I am understanding the fantastic Catholic education I received from 1956-1971. I keep hoping that parents in this generation realize that teachers AID parents in education and are not substitute parents. One of the evils of communism and other isms can be demonstrated in the undermining of the authority of the parents with regard to schools, such as the obsession with pre-school as a requirement or not allowing volunteer parents into the schools.

Thankfully, homeschooling parents have made great progress in the States with regard to rights, based primarily on the excellent returns and test results of the vast majority of homeschoolers. College professors have shared with me that not only can such students write well and think well, but they have better study habits than there counterparts from state schools.

When teachers and school systems take authority away from children, one should be more than concerned.

One should be alarmed.

My teachers cooperated with parents and parents were involved in the schools almost on a daily basis.

At that time, parents did not have to take the courses or keep up with the monthly questions relating to all the "safe children" programs instituted by the USCCB. Again, voluteerism is at an all-time low because of these courses, which can be intrusive and are, for the most part, window-dressing. While over 20 priests in this diocese have been accused as sexual predators since the 1940s, only two lay people have been.

Parents who hand their children over to either the Catholic school systems or the state systems without being involved may be not only cooperating with evil, but causing their children's souls to be damned.

Think about this. Padre Pio refused to hear the confession of a woman who had not repented of sins. He yelled across a room that she had not repented and because of her, her son was in hell.

Strong words for a parent, but we are responsible for raising our children to be saints and throwing them into positively evil school situations, or compromising ones cannot be an option.

See my posts on the evils of the Common Core by following the tag.

One more reason a Catholic cannot be a Dem

A Short Road to Perfection by Newman

see same book as two posts ago, pp. 104-105

September 27, 1856
It is the saying of holy men that, if we wish to be perfect, we have nothing more to do than to perform the ordinary duties of the day well. A short road to perfection—short, not because easy, but because pertinent and intelligible. There are no short ways to perfection, but there are sure ones.
I think this is an instruction which may be of great practical use to persons like ourselves. It is easy to have vague ideas what perfection is, which serve well enough to talk about, when we do not intend to aim at it; but as soon as a person really desires and sets about seeking it himself, he is dissatisfied with anything but what is tangible and clear, and constitutes some sort of direction towards the practice of it.
We must bear in mind what is meant by perfection. It does not mean any extraordinary service, anything out of the way, or especially heroic—not all have the opportunity of heroic acts, of sufferings—but it means what the word perfection ordinarily means. By perfect we mean that which has no flaw in it, that which is complete, that which is consistent, that which is sound—we mean the opposite to imperfect. As we know well what imperfection in {286} religious service means, we know by the contrast what is meant by perfection.
He, then, is perfect who does the work of the day perfectly, and we need not go beyond this to seek for perfection. You need not go out of the round of the day.
I insist on this because I think it will simplify our views, and fix our exertions on a definite aim. If you ask me what you are to do in order to be perfect, I say, first—Do not lie in bed beyond the due time of rising; give your first thoughts to God; make a good visit to the Blessed Sacrament; say the Angelus devoutly; eat and drink to God’s glory; say the Rosary well; be recollected; keep out bad thoughts; make your evening meditation well; examine yourself daily; go to bed in good time, and you are already perfect.

Newman on Some of The Attributes of God

VIII. God All-Sufficient from Meditations

Ostende nobis Patrem et sufficit nobis …
Philippe, qui videt Me, videt et Patrem

Show us the Father, and it is enough for us …
Philip, he that seeth Me, seeth the Father also

1. THE Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son. O adorable mystery which has been from eternity! I adore Thee, O my incomprehensible Creator, before whom I am an atom, a being of yesterday or an hour ago! Go back a few years and I simply did not exist; I was not in being, and things went on without me: but Thou art from eternity; and nothing whatever for one moment could go on without Thee. And from eternity too Thou hast possessed Thy Nature; Thou hast been—this awful glorious mystery—the Son in the Father and the Father in the Son. Whether we be in existence, or whether we be not, Thou art one and the same always, the Son sufficient for the Father, the Father for the Son—and all other things, in themselves, but vanity. All things once were not, all things might not be, but it would be enough for the Father that He had begotten His co-equal consubstantial Son, and for the Son that He was embraced {367} in the Bosom of the Eternal Father. O adorable mystery! Human reason has not conducted me to it, but I believe. I believe, because Thou hast spoken, O Lord. I joyfully accept Thy word about Thyself. Thou must know what Thou art—and who else? Not I surely, dust and ashes, except so far as Thou tellest me. I take then Thy own witness, O my Creator! and I believe firmly, I repeat after Thee, what I do not understand, because I wish to live a life of faith; and I prefer faith in Thee to trust in myself.
2. O my great God, from eternity Thou wast sufficient for Thyself! The Father was sufficient for the Son, and the Son for the Father; art Thou not then sufficient for me, a poor creature, Thou so great, I so little! I have a double all-sufficiency in the Father and the Son. I will take then St. Philip's word and say, Show us the Father, and it suffices us. It suffices us, for then are we full to overflowing, when we have Thee. O mighty God, strengthen me with Thy strength, console me with Thy everlasting peace, soothe me with the beauty of Thy countenance; enlighten me with Thy uncreated brightness; purify me with the fragrance of Thy ineffable holiness. Bathe me in Thyself, and give me to drink, as far as mortal man may ask, of the rivers of grace which flow from the Father and the Son, the grace of Thy consubstantial, co-eternal Love.
3. O my God, let me never forget this truth—that not only art Thou my Life, but my only Life! Thou art the Way, the Truth, and the Life. Thou {368} art my Life, and the Life of all who live. All men, all I know, all I meet, all I see and hear of, live not unless they live by Thee. They live in Thee, or else they live not at all. No one can be saved out of Thee. Let me never forget this in the business of the day. O give me a true love of souls, of those souls for whom Thou didst die. Teach me to pray for their conversion, to do my part towards effecting it. However able they are, however amiable, however high and distinguished, they cannot be saved unless they have Thee. O my all-sufficient Lord, Thou only sufficest! Thy blood is sufficient for the whole world. As Thou art sufficient for me, so Thou art sufficient for the entire race of Adam. O my Lord Jesus, let Thy Cross be more than sufficient for them, let it be effectual! Let it be effectual for me more than all, lest I "have all and abound," yet bring no fruit to perfection.

Evil And The Effects of Sin-Meditation by Newman

 from Meditations and Devotions, Part One: Meditations on Christian Doctrine, Paulist Press, 2010 pp. 36-37
O my God, I know full well why all these evils are. Thou hast not changed Thy nature, but man has ruined his own. We have sinned, O Lord, and therefore is this change. All these evils which I see and in which I partake are the fruit of sin. They would not have been, had we not sinned. They are but the first instalment of the punishment of sin. They are an imperfect and dim image of what sin is. Sin is infinitely worse than famine, than war, than  pestilence. Take the most hideous of diseases, under which the body wastes away and corrupts, the blood is infected; the head, the heart, the lungs, every organ disordered, the nerves unstrung and shattered; pain in every limb, thirst, restlessness, delirium—all is nothing compared with that dreadful sickness of the soul which we call sin. They all are the effects of it, they all are shadows of it, but nothing more. That cause itself is something different in kind, is of a malignity far other and greater than all these things. O my God, teach me this! Give me to understand the enormity of that evil under which I labour and know it not. Teach me what sin is.
 All these dreadful pains of body and soul are the fruits of sin, but they are nothing to its punishment in the world to come. The keenest and fiercest of bodily pains is nothing to the fire of hell; the most dire horror or anxiety is nothing to the never-dying worm of conscience; the greatest bereavement, loss of substance, desertion of friends, and forlorn desolation is nothing compared to the loss of God’s countenance. Eternal punishment is the only true measure of the guilt of sin. My God, teach me this. Open my eyes and heart, I earnestly pray Thee, and make me understand how awful a body of death I bear about me. And, not only teach me about it, but in Thy mercy and by Thy grace remove it. 

Attributes of God Part Six

This will be the last great Attribute of God I shall take a
peek at during this time. Today, I am referring to God as Eternal.

Aquinas states this, which is interesting, that God is Eternity. These ideas are found in the First Part, Question 10 of the Summa.

Eternity is nothing else but God Himself. Hence God is not called eternal, as if He were in any way measured; but the idea of measurement is there taken according to the apprehension of our mind alone.

... Words denoting different times are applied to God, because His eternity includes all times; not as if He Himself were altered through present, past and future.

Obviously, being people of time, we cannot understand easily a God Who is totally outside of time and Who Is "Permanent Being".  And, even though we have these beautiful ideas, I think that the best way to try and understand the Attributes, as much as we are able to do so, is through active contemplation. 

If God so blesses us with infused knowledge, as He has granted to those who allowed themselves to be purged of sin and egotism, then such ideas will become not only clearer, but experiential to a certain degree.

Eternity is simultaneously whole. But time has a "before" and an "after." Thereforetime and eternity are not the same thing.
I answer that, It is manifest that time and eternity are not the same. Some have founded this difference on the fact that eternity has neither beginning nor an end; whereas time has a beginning and an end. This, however, makes a merely accidental, and not an absolute difference because, granted that time always was and always will be, according to the idea of those who think the movement of the heavens goes on for ever, there would yet remain a difference between eternity and time, as Boethiussays (De Consol. v), arising from the fact that eternity is simultaneously whole; which cannot be applied to time: for eternity is the measure of a permanent being; while time is a measure of movement. Supposing, however, that the aforesaid difference be considered on the part of the things measured, and not as regards the measures, then there is some reason for it, inasmuch as that alone is measured by time which has beginning and end in time. Hence, if the movement of the heavens lasted always, time would not be of its measure as regards the whole of its duration, since the infiniteis not measurable; but it would be the measure of that part of its revolution which has beginning and end in time.
Another reason for the same can be taken from these measures in themselves, if we consider the end and the beginning as potentialities; because, granted also that time always goes on, yet it is possible to note in time both the beginning and the end, by considering its parts: thus we speak of the beginning and the end of a day or of a year; which cannot be applied to eternity. Still these differences follow upon the essential and primary differences, that eternity is simultaneously whole, but that timeis not so.

On Evil, Humans And Our Decisions

Recently, I came across the author Rabbi Eliezer Berkovits and was stunned by one phrase of his. I have been reflecting much lately on the nature of evil in the world as part of my thinking of the Goodness of God.

Berkovits noted one thing about the Holocaust which opens the door to our thoughts on evil in the world.

He wrote that we should not be asking "Where was God in the Holocaust?" but, "Where was man?"

To be truly human is to respond to the natural law which is in every human being ever created.

Natural law is the same as the Ten Commandments, that law given to us by God because we are made in His image and likeness.

That millions of people disregard natural law and become sub-human as a result of evil choices forms an anxiety for many Catholics.

Nature and nurture determine evil in a person, but in today's world of psychology and worse, pop-psychology, nurture seems to trump nature in many people's mind.

Education, good housing, and food do not make saints. In fact, many comfortable, wealthy people with loving families do not become saints and many people who are impoverished in so many ways do so.

The two most prevalent heresies are universalism, which holds that all people go to heaven, and Pelagianism, which holds that people get to heaven without grace.

Sadly, too many Catholics cannot see that the divide between those who believe and those who do not believe is growing.

Where is man? Where are the humans who respond to natural law? We need to stop making excuses for those who pass up grace and God, creating strong friendships in the Lord, so that we are not swept away by the waves of trials to come.

Prudence and wisdom dictate that Catholics join together to help each other stay strong. The early Church community was built on friendship, based on common beliefs and goals.

Without this, the Church is weak.

The Matter of Sin Again

I wrote one post on this earlier this year. But, an idea came to my mind today to help readers understand the Matter of Sin.

Our sins are forgiven in the sacrament of confession, but we have "hang-overs" from sin. If any of you saw the 2010 Narnia movie which was based on the Voyage of the Dawn Treader, you will remember the scenes when Edmund is tempted by the dead queen, the White Witch, or Jadis to sin again. This weakness of the imagination is part of the Matter of Sin. (By the way, have there been other Narnia movies since this one?)

Now, Edmund's sin of betrayal was forgiven long ago by Aslan. But, because Edmund sinned, he has a memory of sin and a memory of temptation. The Matter of Sin is that weakness which comes into the mind, the heart and the imagination, as well as the will of one who sins.

The Matter of Sin is not present in a person who has not sinned, such as Mary, Our Mother, and St. John the Baptist. However, those who sin must be purified even of the Matter of Sin, the detritus of sin.

This purification happens in the Dark Night of the Spirit, when God takes over the mind, imagination, heart and will, having already dealt with the senses.

The Matter of Sin is like Frodo's wound from Weathertop-a reminder of mortality and concupiscence given into.

Those great saints who allowed God to purify them while on earth and wrote about this process, such as SS. John of the Cross, Augustine, Teresa of Avila and others, have shared with us how to have purgatory on earth.

St. Therese, the Little Flower, also wrote about this process, which is the entire theme of my purification series.

Let God heal you and free you from the Matter of Sin, which can only happen after one truly repents and turn against sin.

Like the layers of scales of Eustace the Dragon, we must be purged of selfishness.

to be continued...