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Yet another repost on Bede

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Part 39: Bede, Doctor of the Church and Perfection

I am amazed that this is the thirty-ninth posting on the Doctors of the Church and Perfection. Looking at Bede is such a joy, as he not is only is a personal example for us of one who pursued perfection, but his great contribution to civilization is tremendous. Did you know that he was the first person to us Anno Domini for dates? Sadly, in the past thirty years, secularists have moved away from this. However, we know better, those who read and write on this blog!

Now, a sermon of Bede's on the saints for a further look at perfection. My commentary is in red. This is found here.

Bede's Tomb
TO-DAY, 1 beloved, we celebrate in the joy of one solemnity, the festival of All Saints, in whose companionship the heaven exults; in whose guardianship the earth rejoices; by whom triumphs the Holy Church is crowned; whose confession, as braver in its passion, is also brighter in its honor—because while the battle increased, the glory of them that fought in it was also augmented. And the triumph of martyrdom is adorned with the manifold kind of its torments, because the more severe the pangs, the more illustrious also were the rewards; while our Mother, the Catholic Church, was taught by her Head, Jesus Christ, not to fear contumely, affliction, death, and more and more strengthened—not by resistance, but by endurance—inspired all of that illustrious number who suffered imprisonment or torture, with one and equal ardor to fight the battle for triumphal glory.
 O truly blessed Mother Church! so illuminated by the honor of divine condescension, so adorned by the glorious blood of triumphant martyrs, so decked with the inviolate confession of snow white virginity! Among its flowers neither roses nor lilies are wanting.

Endeavor now, beloved, each for yourselves, in each kind of honor, to obtain your own dignity—crowns, snow white for chastity, or purple for passion. In those heavenly camps, both peace and war have their own flowers wherewith the soldiers of Christ are crowned.

Bede is showing us that each person has a way to perfection within the larger stages all experience. Virginity is a white martyrdom, a real suffering perhaps for Bede.

 For the ineffable and unbounded goodness of God has provided this also, that the time for labor and for agony should not be extended—not long, not enduring, but short, and, so to speak, momentary; that in this short and little life should be the pain and the labors, that in the life which is eternal should be the crown and the reward of merits; that the labors should quickly come to an end, but the reward of endurance should remain without end; that after the darkness of this world they should behold that most beautiful light, and should receive a blessedness greater than the bitterness of all passions; as the apostle beareth witness, when he saith, “The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us.”

Again, the sufferings are purgation of the soul, the mind, and the body. The endurance is not merely "offering up crosses" as so many modern people state, but immersing one's self in the suffering, cooperating with it for the greater glory of unity with the Beloved.

With how joyous a breast the heavenly city receives those that return from flight! How happily she meets them that bear the trophies of the conquered enemy! And with triumphant men, women also come, who rose superior both to this world, and to their sex, doubling the glory of their welfare; virgins with youths, who surpassed their tender years by their virtues. Yet not they alone, but the rest of the multitude of the faithful shall also enter the palace of that eternal court, 
who in peaceful union have observed the heavenly commandments, and have maintained the purity of the faith.

The final union with God in heaven depends on this purity of faith, which might seem like a strange phrase. But, what Bede means by this is the complete trust of the will which has been conformed to the Mind of Christ.

Purity comes only after suffering.

 But above all these things is the being associated with the companies of angels and archangels, thrones and dominations, principalities and powers, and the enjoyment of the watches of all the celestial virtues—to behold the squadron of the saints, adorned with stars; the patriarchs, glittering with faith; the prophets, rejoicing in hope; the apostles, who in the twelve tribes of Israel, shall judge the whole world; the martyrs, decked with the purple diadems of victory; the virgins, also, with their wreaths of beauty. But of the King, who is in the midst, no words are able to speak. That beauty, that virtue, that glory, that magnificence, that majesty, surpasses every expression, every sense of the human mind. For it is greater than the glory of all saints; but to attain to that ineffable sight, and to be made radiant with the splendor of His countenance, it were worth while to suffer torment every day—it were worth while to endure hell itself for a season, so that we might behold Christ coming in glory, and be joined to the number of the saints; so is it not then well worth while to endure earthly sorrows, that we may be partakers of such good, and of such glory?

These are the passionate words of a man who has seen God. Bede reveals here the same intensity as seen in St. Paul when he describes his moment of union with God in 2 Corinthians 12.

 What, beloved brethren, will be the glory of the righteous; what that great gladness of the saints, when every face shall shine as the sun; when the Lord shall begin to count over in distinct orders His people, and to receive them into the kingdom of His Father, and to render to each the rewards promised to their merits and to their works—things heavenly for things earthly, things eternal for things temporal, a great reward for a little labor; to introduce the saints to the vision of His Father’s glory; and “to make them sit down in heavenly places,” to the end that God may be all in all; and to bestow on them that love Him that eternity which He has promised to them—that immortality for which He has redeemed them by the quickening of His own blood; lastly, to restore them to Paradise, and to open the kingdom of heaven by the faith and verity of His promise?

I like the phrase "all in all" and the idea that God in His Love is all to the saints. This is what one must desire to be a saint--to want the all of God, to the capacity which God has called one.

  Let us consider that Paradise is our country, as well as theirs; and so we shall begin to reckon the patriarchs as our fathers. Why do we not, then, hasten and run, that we may behold our country and salute our parents? A great multitude of dear ones is there expecting us; a vast and mighty crowd of parents, brothers, and children, secure now of their own safety, anxious yet for our salvation, long that we may come to their right and embrace them, to that joy which will be common to us and to them, to that pleasure expected by our fellow servants as well as ourselves, to that full and perpetual felicity…. If it be a pleasure to go to them, let us eagerly and covetously hasten on our way, that we may soon be with them, and soon be with Christ; that we may have Him as our Guide in this journey, who is the Author of Salvation, the Prince of Life, the Giver of Gladness, and who liveth and reigneth with God the Father Almighty and with the Holy Ghost.

Do not forget that on this journey to perfection, one has help from those who have gone before--the Church Triumphant.  Christ takes us by the hand and guides us, giving us Life and Grace.

We only need to desire this way and to cooperate.

And, so, goodbye to Bede, and on to the next Doctor of the Church...

Bede's Door
Note 1. Translated by the Rev. John M. Neale. Abridged. More than thirty editions of Bede’s writings have been published. The one which appeared in 1843, edited by Dr. J. A. Giles, and giving in complete form the original Latin, with translations of the historical work into English, comprises twelve volumes.

Another Repost on Bede

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Doctors of the Church Series and Perfection: Bede the Venerable; Part 38

There are only two people who have been born in the Holy Spirit besides Our Lord Himself. One is the Blessed Virgin Mary, who was perfected from the moment of her Immaculate Conception. She achieved the Unitive State by a particular grace without any effort, as she was prepared from all time to be the Theotokos, the Mother of God.
Such perfection was never seen before on earth and is a great gift to us, her children by adoption. She is the New Eve plus. She is the most perfect of all God's creatures.
The second person born in the Holy Spirit was not conceived without Original Sin or sanctifying grace, but was given it at six months, when the Mother of God visited his mother, Elizabeth. Now, we know this is St. John the Baptist.

These two humans are models for us on our way to perfection. St. Bede writes of both in sermons, which highlight the fullness of grace in Mary and the great light given to John the Baptist, which is why Christ called him the greatest of all men.

Not even St. Joseph, who achieved great purity through righteousness and grace, was born with such graces at John the Baptist.

How does he show us the way to perfection? Let us look at Bede's sermon on this wonderful saint. This is Bede's Homily 23 ffound on the CCL site. and this particular reading is also in some breviaries.

Now, remember a few days ago, I mentioned here that martyrs also reach the perfection possible to all of us, but through a different manner. And, although John the Baptist was a martyr, his unitive state came before his death. I do not quote the entire sermon here. My comments are in brown.

The Baptizer had been baptized in the womb.

John is a type of Christ. He experienced what Christ was going to experience; that is, tremendous suffering, isolation, misunderstanding, persecution. John knew the Truth as a Person and never denied Him.

Through his birth, preaching and baptizing, he bore witness to the coming birth, preaching and baptism of Christ, and by his own suffering he showed that Christ also would suffer.

Again, as the forerunner, all things which happened in John's life, all he did, pointed to Christ.

Such was the quality and strength of the man who accepted the end of this present life by shedding his blood after the long imprisonment. He preached the freedom of heavenly peace, yet was thrown into irons by ungodly men; he was locked away in the darkness of prison, though he came bearing witness to the Light of life and deserved to be called a bright and shining lamp by that Light itself, which is Christ. 

That Bede emphasizes the Light which is Christ as being in and with John, we understand that John has experienced Illumination, and was living in the light of all virtues and graces. His union with Christ would be completed in martyrdom.

John was baptized in his own blood, though he had been privileged to baptize the Redeemer of the world, to hear the voice of the Father above him, and to see the grace of the Holy Spirit descending upon him. 

Can we understand how close John was to Jesus? He shared all the manifestations of the Father with Christ, recognizing his God in the Baptism of Jesus and witnessing the Trinity. John was illumined to recognize God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit right before him in the Jordan.

But to endure temporal agonies for the sake of the truth was not a heavy burden for such men as John; rather it was easily borne and even desirable, for he knew eternal joy would be his reward.

Only a man who has been purified of all desires, of all venial sins, of all imperfections through trials and sufferings can experience joy at death. John desired to be one with God, as he knew his time on earth has accomplished what God wanted--to prepare the way for the Lord.

Since death was ever near at hand through the inescapable necessity of nature, such men considered it a blessing to embrace it and thus gain the reward of eternal life by acknowledging Christ’s name.

John's suffering is not purgation but the invitation to be one with Christ in His Cross.

John was invited by Christ to suffer with Him, for Him and witness to Him in that suffering.

Hence the apostle Paul rightly says: You have been granted the privilege not only to believe in Christ but also to suffer for his sake. He tells us why it is Christ’s gift that his chosen ones should suffer for him: The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed in us.

Only Mary was completely without sin. John earned his reward by cooperating with grace from his childhood. He knew his way was unique. He knew he had to go into the desert to be completely formed into the Precursor. 

John's way is a light for us on our way. Bede obviously understands this all first hand, being holy himself and knowing the stages of purification, illumination and unity.

To be continued....

Repost on Bede

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Part 37: DoC--St Bede the Venerable Two--The Beauty of Simplicity

I want to look at Bede on Bede  and his dates are 673 – 26 May 735 .

Here is a snippet which reveals Bede's way to perfection.

“I  have devoted my energies to a study of the Scriptures, observing monastic discipline, and singing the daily services in church; study, teaching, and writing have always been my delight.”

How simple and yet how profound is his description of himself.

First, he is focused, putting all his energies into the road to perfection.

Second, he studies the Scriptures, which would include meditating on the Word of God as well as using commentaries from the Early Church Fathers. Of course, Bede would have had infused knowledge as well.

Third, he observed the Rule of the monastic life. Celibacy, poverty, obedience and if Benedictine, stability.

Here we see his choice of the shortest way to perfection-the rule under obedience, which forms the will into God's Will.

Fourth, singing the daily office; nine times a day and night, Bede joined in the Divine Office of the monks.

Fifth, from study, the pursuit of God through learning, Bede used his great gifts to teach and write.

We have his books today and still study him in high school or college, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.

A modern drawing of his monastery, St. Paul's
Sixth, in all of this is his joy. The suffering is muted, but the joy shines through these limited words. 

Such is the way to perfection for the religious, whose entire day is devoted to perfection. So much in so few words...

To be continued........

Reposts on Anselm, partly, and Bede

Wednesday, 20 February 2013

Part 36: Doctors of the Church-Anselm and the Illuminative State

Before I finish St. Anselm, I must address some questions from a few who have asked me whether God really does want us to pursue perfection. They wanted Scriptural proof and not "merely" the ideas and insights of the great saints. Such is the Protestant mindset which does not understand the Tradition of the Church as resting on Christ and the Apostle.

Another person said to me that it was too hard to be a Catholic. Yes, it is hard, but we have grace and help.

Christ said it and this was echoed by St. Paul as well as the saints I have been emphasizing on this blog. 

Without being tedious, I shall only quote again two passages: Christ, the Son of God Himself in Matthew 5:48 said, Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. DR

St. Paul in 2 Corinthians 13:11 states, For the rest, brethren, rejoice, be perfect, take exhortation, be of one mind, have peace; and the God of peace and of love shall be with you. DR.

Seeking perfection is not an option.

And, at that stage of Illumination, we shall have light to understand more and more what this means.

Here is St. Anselm again.

CHAPTER XIV  from Meditations of St. Anselm on Seeking God.

HAST thou then found, O my soul, that which thou wast seeking? Thou wast seeking God and thou hast found that He is that thing which is supreme among all things, than which nothing better can be conceived, and that this is very life, light, wisdom, goodness, eternal bliss and blissful eternity, and that this is everywhere and always. For if thou hast not found thy God, how can He be this which thou hast found, and which thou hast with so certain an assurance, so assured a certainty understood Him to be? But if thou hast found Him, why dost thou not perceive that which thou hast found? Why doth my soul not perceive Thee, O Lord God, if she hath found Thee? Hath she not found Thee, whom she hath found to be light and truth? Or could she understand anything at all concerning Thee, except by Thy light and truth? If then she hath seen light and truth, she hath seen Thee; if she hath not seen Thee, she hath seen neither light nor truth. 

And may I add that if one truly seeks Truth, one will find God.

Or is it rather that that which she hath seen is indeed both truth and light; and yet she hath not yet seen Thee because she hath seen Thee in part only, but hath not seen Thee as Thou art? O Lord my God, my Creator and Renewer, tell my soul that longeth after Thee, what else Thou art beside what she hath seen, that she may see clearly that after which she longeth. 

Shall we not seek for the "more"?

She stretcheth out herself that she may see more, and yet seeth nothing beyond what she hath seen, except mere darkness. Nay, she seeth not darkness, for in Thee is no darkness; but she seeth that she can see no farther, because of the darkness which is in herself. Wherefore is this, O Lord, wherefore is this? Are her eyes darkened by her own infirmity, or are they dazzled by Thy splendour? Surely she is both darkened in herself and dazzled by Thee. 

Thus also she is darkened by reason of her own littleness, and overwhelmed by reason of Thine immeasurable greatness. She is straitened by her own narrowness, and vanquished by Thy vastness. 

And, so we are purified in the heart and in the mind as well as the soul.

For how great is that Light, whereby every truth shineth that doth enlighten the rational intelligence! How vast is that Truth, wherein is contained every thing that is true, and outside whereof is only nothingness and falsehood! How immeasurable is that Vision which beholdeth in one glance all things that have been created and whence and by whom and how they were created out of nothing! What purity, what simplicity, what clearness and splendour is there!  Surely more than can be comprehended by any creature.

St. Anselm is standing on the shoulders of a lowly monk to show us  his roots in humility.

Anselm's words remind me of those of Julian of Norwich. The path way is the same for all who seek holiness.

Goodbye to St. Anselm for now. There is so much more of his writings, but I have shared a little of his great insights. St. Bede will follow, the Venerable Bede.

Garrigou-Lagrange Again

One of my readers asked me recently about the connection between malice and egoism. I think one reason why this question is in the mind of those who use the Internet is that the language of many Catholic bloggers and tweeters has become more and more vitriolic.

One friend has suffered terrible name-calling in public in blogs and on twitter. Of course, this is not, absolutely not, Christian behavior.

Anything which is an attack on a person is serious sin.

Therefore, what we are seeing in public are fights of egoism, descending into malice. Sadly, those who are narcissists and believe the sun rises and sets on their little worlds, cannot always understand the maliciousness which pops out of gross egoism.

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange on this connection. More later..

Since original sin, we are born without sanctifying grace and charity, with our wills turned away from God, the supernatural last end, and weak for the accomplishment of our duties even in the natural order.(3)
Without falling into the exaggeration of the first Protestants and the Jansenists, we must say that we are born with a will inclined to egoism, to inordinate self-love. This is called the wound of malice; (4) it often manifests itself by a gross egoism, against which one should guard, an egoism that mingles in all man's acts. It follows that the will, which has become weak by reason of its lack of docility to God, no longer has absolute power over the sensible faculties, but only a sort of moral power or persuasion to lead them to subject themselves.(5) Doubtless after baptism, which regenerated us by giving us sanctifying grace and charity, this wound, like the others, is in the process of healing; but it also reopens by reason of our personal sins.
The principal defect of the will is the lack of rectitude, called self-love or inordinate love of self, which forgets the love due to God and that which we should have for our neighbor. Self-love or egoism is manifestly the source of all sins.(6) From it are born "the concupiscence of the flesh, the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of life." (7) The sensible appetites, which are no longer firmly led, incline man to thoughtlessness, feverish eagerness, fruitless agitation, selfish search for all that pleases, flight from all that is painful, nonchalance, discouragement, in which he sees that his will has lost its strength, and to all sorts of bad examples. (8)
It is clear that self-will, which is defined as that which is not conformed to the will of God, is the source of every sin. Self-will is extremely dangerous because it can corrupt everything; even what is best in one may become evil when self-will enters in, for it takes itself as its end, instead of subordinating itself to God. If the Lord perceives this will in a fast or a sacrifice, He rejects them because He sees therein a divine work accomplished through pride in order to gain approbation. Now, self-will is born of self-love or egoism; it is strong self-love that has become imperious.

Hello, Will Happen Here

Please take time to watch this. As one reader noted, there is some signs of this happening in the States already.  I would imagine that military personnel do not want to talk about this.

News and A Lovely Sermon from The Pope

Tribal Politics And Thoughts on The End of Democracy

One of the most unfortunate trends in politics, both in America, and in Europe, is the growth of "tribal politics," a term used in the UK and in America to describe voters and leaders of voters who represent ethnic or group priorities.

This term is, sometimes, is use to describe pro-life groups in America, which effect change through voting, unlike the pro-life movement in GB, which is so fragmented, there are never any politicians put forward in the elections which one can state are truly pro-life.

Brits vote, like so many Americans, in knee-jerk fashion, with old party loyalties, which do not reflect the reality of the parties in 2014.

So, millions of Catholics, because of their ancestors proclivity to vote Dem, voted in the most anti-life, pro-gay, anti-Christian president America has ever seen. Dem first, Catholic second is their motto.

Tribal politics, sadly, vote for faces. The leader of the tribe is the one who wins the election. Again, this is connected to the cult of personality. For tribal politics to work, people must put their trust in a person and not a party.

Sadly, when voters do not use their right and privilege to vote, tribal politics rule the day, as the tribe is usually organized.

Tribal politics tears apart a cohesive party, but also reveals the end of democracy in many Western nations.


Because consensus is necessary for democracy to work. But, once a nation has lost its identity, consensus dies in a death brought about by tribal politics.

The problem now in the States, and in England, is that the Christian basis for political parties has completely disappeared. There are no parties which represent Christian morality and goals. Christianity is now completely marginalized in GB and will become so in the States quickly.

The reason is simple. The main tribe is no longer Christian. There are no Christian leaders of any of the various tribes. Some may say they are Christian, but they consistently hold ideals which are anti-Christian.

Democracy has been severed, on purpose, for many reasons, from Christianity, especially in GB. Therefore, tribal interests will rule the day, not Christian principles.

In this post-Christian era, Christian moral ideals, culture, and way of thinking have been marginalized.

I do not think that there is any turning back. We are headed, especially in the EU and in America, for the systematized persecution of the now shrinking Christian tribe.

And, may I add, that as only 35% of Londoners voted yesterday, one can say that democracy is dying a quick death as well.

de Tocqueville prophesied all of this, did he not?

Catholic Narcissism Three And Last

A healthy Catholic is one who recognizes that he has gifts and talents from God (not from the self) and that God created him to do something in this world. I have posted Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman's prayer on one's role in the world just recently. Here it is again.

The Mission of My Life
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.

A healthy Catholic has a balance of kindness, sensitivity, empathy, capableness, good aggression or energy, creativity, and a sense of self as being made good in and with and through God. A healthy person is honest about one's self and about others.

But, what has happened to many Catholics, especially trads, is that they have fallen into a passivity and a depression and even a passive-aggressiveness about the Church.

So, instead of working hard in the Church Militant and instead of working with grace in the purification of self, they leave all responsibility for their sin at the feet of priests. I wrote about this yesterday and before.

Now, the root of this is narcissism, again.  When one focuses on the sins of those in authority, one falls into the narcissistic awe state described in the previous post. But, one decides, in the false demonization of the authority, to become passive, or even passive-aggressive concerning one's own sins. Instead of facing one's imperfections, one either blames the authority figure or attacks the authority rather than looking in the mirror.

If one is angry enough, one becomes depressed, as depression can be a result of suppressed anger.

Such is the case of those who leave the Church either on the left or on the right.

Those on the left blame the Church for not being made in their image and likeness, demonizing the horrid Church for not accepting contraception, ssm, or marriage, divorce and remarriage without annulment.

Those on the right blame the Church for not being the idealized perfect parent and go off and create a new one. These people cannot accept sin or failure among members of the clergy and want only a perfect clergy.

Yes, we should pray for perfection in our clergy, but we should not get angry is some are not.

I have met many depressed trads. They concentrate on people rather than on Christ. They concentrate on the sins of the hierarchy rather than praying and doing penance for such men.

They choose to demonize some and idolize others. The real priests, who are men trying to become holy, will not even stand up to such scrutiny. And, when a priest is seen as not quite perfect, those involved in narcissistic awe begin to demonize him as well.

Anger and depression about the Church may result in actually leaving the Church and become schismatic, as one looks for perfection in other people rather than looking towards Christ.

The anger can turn husband against wife and wife against husband. It can lead people to accept false private revelations in search of a place of utopia on earth by constructing cults.

The Church is now, as a good priest told me yesterday, "two churches"--those who want to make the Church into something of their own idealization, either right or left in nature, and those who accept and love the real Church.

I suggest reading my identity series as is the last one.

What we see in society is, sadly, repeated in some members of the Church. Pray to God to be a mentally and emotionally healthy, mature human being, which are synonyms for "holy".

Catholic Cult of Personality and Narcissistic Awe

In psychology, there is a part of the underdeveloped person who falls into the category of being narcissistic labelled "narcissistic awe".  Narcissistic awe may be described as the judgment of the narcissist who sees the parent or adult as either completely good and wonderful or completely bad. The person is incapable of seeing someone as a good person with faults and flaws.

This type of view is found among those with a narcissitic personality disorder. That person cannot see adults in authority as anything but in black and white terms.

A healthy child grows up realizing that his parents are good people but imperfect. He will not either demonize nor idolize the adult.

Now, I have been watching many people in the traditional camp of Catholicism turn against this present pope. They have demonized him to the point of denying any good in this man. Some of their judgment is based on faulty media reports, but some is based on the problem of  "narcissistic awe".

Those who blame this pope for the evils of other priests and for the evils of the Church are exhibiting the downside of the "cult of personality", which, imo, grows out of  "narcissistic awe." In other words, these people adore one pope unrealistically and hate another one unrealistically.

Popes, and, indeed, the Church of the past are idealized, into persons and institution which never really existed. I have written on the false romanticizing of the past concerning the Church before, but now I am writing about the root cause-narcissistic awe.

Very often, people who seem religious fall into this cult of personality growing out the inability to look at the adults in their lives realistically. One young person I know was abused as a child, but instead of demonizing the parent, she has fallen into deceitful idolization of that parent.

This may seem both impossible and amazing, but her own narcissism will not allow her to see the emotional truth of the situation.

So, too, with the pope blasters, who cannot see him as an imperfect man, chosen by the College of Cardinals, to be the pope. That he deserves the respect of office seems obvious.

Because of the decay of the healthy family, there seems to be more narcissists about than in the past. And, many of those in the Church are into papal blasting on a daily basis.

Time to look at narcissistic awe as the root of this cult of personality gone wild and on the negative side at this time in history.

to be continued....and see these posts

2007 Revisited-Ecclesiastical Narcissists

Few of you read my old blog, which I wrote daily from early 2007 until late January, 2009. That blog was highly political, as I was writing about the growing Marxist agenda in American politics, the problem with Black Liberation Theology, and the exposure of narcissism in American culture.

Dr. Sanity taught me so much about the narcissism imbedded in American politics that year, and she was so disturbed after the last election, she stopped writing.

She warned us for years of the impeding destruction of America because of the number of Gen Xers who had fallen into or been raised to be narcissists. Of course, there are many societal reasons for this, including contraception and the lack of religion. Nurture rather than nature seems to create narcissists.

Dr. Sanity was the first to use this term with regard to the present political personalities, including those who now run Washington.

However, she did not write about narcissism in the Church. Too many Catholics look to politics and see the narcissists at the helm, but ignore the fact that the same cultural evils which created political narcissists has created ecclesiastical ones.

I first met people like this in positions of authority in chancery offices and in Catholic schools, in administration.

The narcissist may be defined as a person who not only thinks he or she is better than everyone else, but one who honestly expects the world to revolve around his or her needs and desires.

The person who is a narcissist lives in an emotional turmoil of feeling hurt and desiring constant attention.

The true narcissist cannot understand the feelings of others and lacks empathy, except towards himself or herself.

Now, one of the obvious signs of narcissism is that the person only wants the best-the best clothes, the best food, the best car, the best vacation and so on. Such a person is never satisfied with second best.

But, the emotions cause the person to see things only from his or her point of view and not others.

A Catholic narcissist, and many are running the Church, refuses to be obedient in large or small things, as he or she only sees the personal point of view as valid.

Sometimes, these persons cannot approach a healthy relationship with God or with others in the community of faith because they simply cannot understand others and the needs of others. One way is which narcissism is very different from healthy self-esteem is found in the emotions. Emotional satisfaction rules the narcissist, and the rational runs a weak second. With regard to healthy self-esteem, there is a true recognition of sin and the need for repentance in that happy, mature state.

Those who decry the usual Novus Ordo Mass as full of false emotion and a playing to the emotions in music and in gestures may be sensing the emotional needs of the many narcissists who go to Mass. not to praise God but for their own emotional fix.

Chancery offices are full to the brim with those who have ruined Catholic school systems and even parish structures because of the overwhelming need, as they see it, for control. Those priests involved in wreckovatons may suffer from this emotional need to have their ideas hold sway over the guidelines and sanity of tradition.

The trouble is that one cannot talk with a narcissist, as all the meaning in his or her life rests in the emotions. How they feel is of the uppermost importance.

They judge only by the need for admiration and a sense of acceptance. Hence, liturgists who consistently ignore Rome's guidelines and rules for what they see as important may be working out of complete self-absorption. The many "we songs" play to the narcissistic tendencies of exaggerated self-importance and emotional satisfaction not only in those who wrote the songs, but those who sing these.

We have created another generation of narcissists by feeding them with songs about me, we, the people, instead of praising God and teaching the real lowliness of the place of the creature, the son, the daughter.

But, sadly, Catholic narcissists can be found among the effete who attend the TLM. Those who have to have the best choir, the best sermons, the best architecture may not be seeking the true spirituality of the TLM, but only the emotional fix. Like a man who only wants a trophy wife, some seek out the TLM as the trophy Mass, which feeds their sense of superiority.

Those who deny the validity of the NO have not only removed themselves from the Teaching Magisterium, but fall into a small group of those determining the entire Catholic religion from their own point of view-a classic narcissist tendency.

How is it that our society has produced so many narcissists in the past fifty years or so? Is it not a sign of the decadence of an entire culture that the narcissists are running the show both in government and in church?

Where egos run liturgies, where egos run interpretations of tradition which never existed, a parish has a huge problem.

Sadly, only the seeking of humility and the constant awareness of sinfulness can combat the rule of those who only love themselves.

Where there is emotional chaos in a parish, look for the narcissist.

I also think that narcissism can cause same-sex attraction, as one is only loving the same and not the different, the other, the other gender. How hard it is to love one who is completely different, such as a woman loving a man and a man loving a woman? But, such is God's plan. And, such is a topic for another post.

 Here is the anti-narcissist prayer.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,

Deliver me, Jesus.

From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...
That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…

Facing Death

Some people I know are facing death. I have readers writing to me to pray for loved ones who are in the last stages of various illnesses.

Readers, please join me in prayers for them.

But, also think on your own death. And, think of the death of others.

When dear ones are close to death, sometimes we forget it is our duty to remind them of heaven, hell, purgatory, the particular judgement.

Especially in America, we run about trying to avoid death by either denying a person is near death, or even lying to that person.

Years ago, a friend told me of her husband's beautiful death. He died of cancer, but it was a long death. However, everyday, as she changed his bandages, at home, they read Scripture together and they prayed together.

His last year was one of repentance and prayer.

The wife did not lie to her husband, and as he was a doctor, he knew his real condition. He was brave enough to face death, and his final judgment.

One of the hardest times to face is that moment when one knows there is nothing else one can do, or that doctors can do.

One then can only join Mary at the foot of the Cross.

One can only watch and wait and pray.

Do not run away from watching and waiting. Be patient. Love and savor every day, every moment and help the person become closer to God.

Help them face God in peace and honesty.

I pray for the many people who have written to me about loved ones with cancer. This morning, I remember you in my thoughts and pray that God gives you strength and peace.

Praise God-how about those dioceses which have approved evil?

Interesting, very interesting

St. Francis and Us

St. Francis said, and one of his followers wrote, this. "My God never says 'enough'."

My God never says "enough". We are called the Church Militant for a good reason. This two-fold job of becoming holy and evangelizing takes guts and stamina.

I almost forgot this today, as I had many things which are negatives thrown at me in the heat of the day; not doubts about God's love but doubts whether I shall persevere to the end with all the bad things which are happening.

Physical, emotional, even psychological pain comes with going the distance. One cannot do a run around the goal or leave the playing field.

Toughing it out makes us or breaks us. And, the daily facing of pain must be endured.

But, more than that-it must be chosen. We choose whether to suffer of not. Satan stands on the sidelines with the ice-cold drink and the towel, whispering, "Who do you think you are to go the distance? You are so lame to think you can win in this game."

I think of Rudy and the guy in the movie who wanted him to "tone it down" as everyone else, apparently, found themselves fed up with Rudy's zeal.

The saint-in-the-making does not tone it down. The would-be saint does not say, "I deserve a well-earned break."

That "break" comes in heaven, not here.

But, when things get rough, and one gives one's suffering to God as He ordains, one falls into a deep peace, which passes understanding.

All complaints end in praise. All self-pity gets focused on the Wounds of Christ.

I write this for R, J, Z, E, G, K, D, and myself.

Help Fr. Z Help The Troops