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Friday 16 May 2014


The small herd of Black Angus across the gravel road, begin eating about four in the morning. These animals, and their young, eat all day. Grass and hay form the main stuff of their diet.

Sometimes, they move to another part of the hilly farm. Sometimes these huge animals lay down around some small plum trees, or stand in the shade under some stunted maples.

One male turkey of an impressive size and one rather scrawny female turkey live in the same field. Deer use to come out of the woods to the field, which consists of a few low hills, but since the cows basically live in the fields all day and all night, the deer have moved on.

Black Angus eat and then die in the autumn. The entire purpose for their existence is to provide food for Americans. These animals have no idea of the future or their ultimate destiny.

Some Catholics are acting in a similar manner, eating, drinking, enjoying the sunshine, without any life of reflection.

Catholics are not dumb beasts which live on instincts. However, too many Catholics, both NO and trads, seem to living as if they were unaware of their destinies as well.

We are all created for a purpose. That purpose was determined in the Mind of God from all eternity. God knows us and our purpose. He watches over us, like the agents to tend this farm across the road. But, God waits for us to awake to our vocation and the pursuit of fulfillment in Him.

People with cow-minds never think, never reflect, merely react. These people may live relatively good lives, but lives without purpose.

Think, pray, reflect, act. Become a full human being.

Pray for Internet Access

I may be in a place for four days without Internet access. Please pray I can find a way to blog. Thanks.


Bernardine of Siena-Two

St. Bernardine and St. John Capistrano by Alanso Cano
Two small points from St. Bernardine may make him come alive for you.

He always spoke with a great awareness of the needs of men and women in the world. His sermons refer to real problems, real stresses of married and family life. For example, he did not think that merchants should stay too long away from their wives, so as not to all into sin. He also condemned soundly sodomy as one of the worst sins. His words could not be stronger.

A second point is that St. Bernardine calls all people to holiness. No one is exempt. But, the way is simple:

Know that the devil hath taught the opposite of this 
to the malice of men, to bring them into danger and also 
those who listen to them. Have faith therefore in that which 
thou seest made so clear by reason. Who dost thou believe 
is more powerful, God or the angels? God. Who is more 
powerful, the angels or the soul ? The angels. Which has 
more power, the 'soul or the constellations ? The soul. 
Which has more power, the constellations or the human 
body? The body. Which has more power, the reason or the 
senses? The reason. Which has more, Holy Church and 
her Doctors or thine own opinion? Holy Church. Attach 
thyself then to that which Holy Church teaches and believes 
and holds, and forsake that which in thine own opinion 
thou hast held true; for free will was given to man, and 
hath never been taken from him, and never will be while 
he shall exist in mortal flesh. 

Bernardine of Siena-One

Reading a book on the sermons of St. Bernardine of Siena has been an adventure. His sermons provide a revelation of an earthly man, completely in touch with reality.

His advice on the pursuit of perfection covers many aspects, but I want to highlight one, as his feast is approaching on May 20th.

Bernardine cautions all who are seeking holiness to do so within the vocation to which each is called. He warns us that we must not compare ourselves with the greatest of saints, such as SS. Francis and Bernard of Clairvaux. Instead, each man and woman is to look at when, where and how God has called each one to become a saint.

He notes that St. Francis could fast for forty days. And, Bernardine tells his listeners in his sermon that one cannot copy this type of behavior, if God has not given the grace.

However, he challenges us to be open to as much grace as God wants to give. Whether one is a large window or a small window, the openness to grace is all that matters.

Lay to thy heart this example, which doth show 
thee how the Grace of God cometh to men. Seest thou those 
windows? One of them is wholly open, one open but a 
little way, and one less. Even by way of those which are 
shut fast there doth enter some of the Grace of God, since 
that there are certain tiny crevices therein. And by way 
of every one of those windows there doth enter something 
of the splendour of the sun, but here more and there less; 
for so much or so little brightness doth enter there within 
according as each is more or less open. So is it with those 
who wish for Grace from God, according as he doth dispose 
himself so hath he Grace: if he doth show himself very 
well disposed, God giveth him very much of it; if he doth 
show himself but little disposed, then God giveth him but 
little Grace. And to the man who doth shut himself away 
from it, even to him God would give of his Grace. 

to be continued...

BTW, St. Bernardine is patron of those with respiratory illnesses. Those of us 
with asthma can ask him for healing.

Cynicism in The Young

Can there really be people who do not believe in love?

I have met several on this blog, commentators who doubt that God is Love to the point where they insult Love.

I do not post their comments. They rage against love. They cannot believe that anyone can truly love another.

More and more, I am grieved by those who are young who have no concept of the Sacrificial Love of Christ on the Cross. These Millennials have become cynical for one reason.

They have grown up without love. 

Love is not things, like computers, one's own room, a car, cell phone or money. Love is not unlimited liberty.

Part of the problem is that too many young people are growing up in homes where they are either the only child or one of two. These young people never had to share space, or wait for the use of the shower, or wear hand-me-down clothes. They have had everything they have desired, and grown up in families where their parents did not deny themselves things, either. These young people have never had to wait or work for something, but just got it. They have an expectation, a consumerism, and the need to never be denied anything they want "right now".

Sacrificial love is learned by denying one's self, one's needs, one's comforts. Those who have never denied themselves anything cannot understand sacrificial love.

The cynic cannot trust. The cynic no longer cares about others. The cynic cannot do anything, as she is denying herself the power of love.

Where do we start evangelizing those who do not know real love, or those who are cynical?

Where do we start but in prayer?

The Sin of Malice

I never knew, deep down inside, until recently, that there were people who actually took pleasure in causing other people distress. I had assumed that those who perpetrated great evils had at least some false reasoning why they acted in despicable ways.  I understood those who killed, for example, may have done so out of anger, spite, fear, envy, power, but to kill or hurt out of sheer malice seemed impossible for human beings. A person who is a sado-masochist may do things out of malice, but one does not need to be such a monster to be soaked in malice. One can be a smaller, more pitiable human being.

Sadly, recently, I have come up against sheer malice. Malice is hatred for hatred's sake; it is the desire to inflict pain. But, it is also a desire to be a "negative god" and be in control through hatred.

What has shocked me is that malice can be a sin found in mothers and fathers. Imagine, parents hating their own children...I have only seen this recently in a friend of mine's family. Thinking on malice made me realize that the Father of Malice, Satan, has trained some people who have given him power over their wills.

Malice is not a simple passion or an act which comes from an occasion, but a movement of the disordered will.

St. Thomas Aquinas writes this in the Summa Theologica under "malice":

The will is related differently to good and to evil. Because from the very nature of the power, it is inclined to the rational good, as its proper object; wherefore every sin is said to be contrary to nature. Hence, if a will be inclined, by its choice, to some evil, this must be occasioned by something else. Sometimes, in fact, this is occasioned through some defect in the reason, as when anyone sins through ignorance; and sometimes this arises through the impulse of the sensitive appetite, as when anyone sins through passion. Yet neither of these amounts to a sin through certain malice; for then alone does anyone sin through certain malice, when his will is moved to evil of its own accord. This may happen in two ways. First, through his having a corrupt disposition inclining him to evil, so that, in respect of that disposition, some evil is, as it were, suitable and similar to him; and to this thing, by reason of its suitableness, the will tends, as to something good, because everything tends, of its own accord, to that which is suitable to it. Moreover this corrupt disposition is either a habit acquired by custom, or a sickly condition on the part of the body, as in the case of a man who is naturally inclined to certain sins, by reason of some natural corruption in himself. Secondly, the will, of its own accord, may tend to an evil, through the removal of some obstacle: for instance, if a man be prevented from sinning, not through sin being in itself displeasing to him, but through hope of eternal life, or fear of hell, if hope give place to despair, or fear to presumption, he will end in sinning through certain malice, being freed from the bridle, as it were.

A long time ago, I met a woman who worked with me who delighted in being negative about everything. She took a strange pleasure in "stirring up the pot" at work. She was one of the most unhappy persons I have ever met.

But, even her activities may not have been those from a bent will, a will bent on malice.

However, seeing a person manipulate those around her for evil has revealed to me that some just take a perverse pleasure in causing pain and suffering. Malice goes beyond fear of the Lord, as St. Thomas points out. Malice goes beyond presumption. No longer does the person care for anything accept his own will to be done. Malice has a deformed will. 

Out of malice comes a bloated narcissism, driving out all love, even self-love. I pray that my friend can free herself from her family of malice and find peace of mind. She also needs to find herself. (See my posts on identity.) She was formed in a house of malice and she is not free to be who God created her to be. 

God have mercy on all involved.

Dark Night Series Continues

One of the things about this blog which I love are the wonderful readers who share their experiences with me and encourage me in my writing.

There are many saints reading this blog and I am humbled by their comments and insights.

One of the readers has shared with me her own Dark Night experiences. She has experienced the Light, which St. Padre Pio states, is just behind the shadows, just barely visible to the one in the Dark Night.

That God hides from one until that person is pure enough to experience Him rather than experience one's own idea of Him is a mystery of the Dark Night.

How many times do people fall in love with an "idea" rather than with a real person. To love a real person is a wonderful experience and those of us who have experienced this are grateful for that love.

Christ waits for us until we are ready to experience Him as He wants to reveal Himself.

Many times, people are afraid of love and back away from real relationships. Perhaps these people have been hurt and do not trust anyone. Perhaps they are afraid of someone "finding out" what one is really like.

Of course, real love accepts a person as he is, and not as one imagines that person to be. Such is the freedom of love and such is the wonderful freedom one experiences when God allows Himself to be found.

If God is not letting one find Him, it means the person is not ready to experience the love of God. The bride in the Song of Songs goes searching for her beloved. And, when she does this, it is night.

This is an allegory of the Dark Night.

Song of Solomon 3

In my bed by night I sought him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and found him not.
I will rise, and will go about the city: in the streets and the broad ways I will seek him whom my soul loveth: I sought him, and I found him not.
The watchmen who keep the city, found me: Have you seen him, whom my soul loveth?
When I had a little passed by them, I found him whom my soul loveth: I held him: and I will not let him go, till I bring him into my mother's house, and into the chamber of her that bore me.