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Monday 26 May 2014

More News Impacting Your Kids

With this and Common Core, your children will have no protection, no security, unless you as parents step in.

Will blog later today..

Off to a rare treat of morning rosary and Mass.

Americans, have a peaceful and safe Memorial Day, and may God bless our veterans.

Also, may God shine His light and mercy on the souls of those departed, especially those who died to keep us free.

More Birds Times Three

Thanks to Wiki for photo

Saw these today and the past few days: Eastern Meadowlark, Goldfinch, Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, Green-Violet ear Hummingbird, Tree Swallow, and a House Finch.

Heard a Mourning Dove but could not see it. Also hear a Barred Owl, but could not see it.

I have seen many more and varied types of birds, but cannot list them all at this moment.

For a list of Iowa birds, check this out.

I kept a bird diary for 35 years or so, which includes most of the birds on that list, plus others I saw in other states and in England.

All the ones I mentioned above I saw from my windows.

More Birds

There are hundreds of Red-winged Blackbirds here, but today, I distinctly saw a Yellow-winged Blackbird. 

I have seen these before in the Midwest. Visitors?

Thanks to Wiki for the photos.

I Love Birds

There are now two kinds of Phoebes outside my window at this time.

One is the Eastern Phoebe. There seems to be a male and female.

The other is the Black Phoebe, which really should not be this far east, but there it is. In fact, there are also two. Interesting.

They have lovely songs. Thanks to Wiki for the photos.

Happy Birthday

to all who have birthdays on this wonderful feast day of May 26th.  SS. Philip Neri and Mariana are just two.

I like to think of Philip Neri walking in the streets of Rome, with his little dog. This saint was a great evangelizer of youth and of course, the founder of the Oratory. He called the hot afternoon in Rome, "the dangerous part of the day" and made sure the young men had things to do at that time.

St. Philip Neri has a magnificent altar dedicated to him in the Brompton Oratory. Please pray for the seminarians in that order today. If you have a chance get there today.

Someone in Rome years ago told me his dog was white, like a little Maltese, but here is a modern icon with the saint and a orangey-brown dog.

More from Garrigou-Lagrange on Confession

On Confession with no comment..

As regards ourselves, there is another motive: venial sin, though it does not of itself diminish charity, takes away its fervor, its liberty of action, and its radiation. Venial sin renders the divine friendship less intimate and less active. To lose the intimacy of a saint would be a great loss; but to lose the intimacy of our Savior is a far greater loss. Moreover, venial sin, especially if deliberate, causes evil inclinations to spring up again in us and thereby disposes us to mortal sin; and in certain matters the attraction to pleasure may easily cause us rapidly to cross the line which separates venial sin from mortal. We have here another motive for sincere contrition.
Confession thus practiced will, especially by virtue of absolution and the counsels of the priest, be a powerful means of purification and progress. Blessed Angela of Foligno, along with many others, exemplifies this purification and progress by means of confession. At the beginning of the book of her visions and instructions, the saint herself relates that when she first took cognizance of her sins she was greatly afraid, trembled at the thought of damnation, wept much, blushed for the first time, put off confessing them; nevertheless she went in this state to the holy table. She says:
With my sins I received the body of Jesus Christ. That is why my conscience did not cease to chide me day or night. I prayed to St. Francis to make me find the confessor I needed, someone who would be able to understand and to whom I could talk.. . . In the morning I found a friar who was preaching in the church of St. Felician. After the sermon I resolved to make my confession to him. I confessed my sins in full, I received absolution. I did not feel love, only bitterness, shame, and sorrow.
I persevered in the penance imposed on me; devoid of consolation, overwhelmed with sorrow, I tried to satisfy justice.
Then I looked for the first time at divine mercy; I made the acquaintance of that mercy which had withdrawn me from hell, which had given me the grace that I have related. I received its first illumination: my grief and tears redoubled. I gave myself up to severe penance. . . .
Thus enlightened, I perceived only defects in myself; I saw with entire certitude that I had deserved hell. . . . I received no consolation other than that of being able to weep. An illumination made me see the measure of my sins. Thereupon I understood that, in offending the Creator, I had offended all creatures. . . . Through the Blessed Virgin and all the saints I invoked the mercy of God and, knowing that I was dead, on my knees I begged for life. . . . Suddenly I believed that I felt the pity of all creatures and of all the saints. And then I received a gift: a great fire of love and the power to pray as I had never prayed. . . . I received a profound knowledge of the manner in which Christ died for my sins. I felt my own sins very cruelly, and I perceived that I was the author of the crucifixion. But as yet I had no idea of the immensity of the benefit of the cross. . . .
Then the Lord in His pity appeared to me several times, in sleep or in vigil, crucified: "Look," He said to me, "Look at My wounds." He counted the blows of the scourging and said to me: "It is for thee, for thee, for thee." . . . I begged the Blessed Virgin and St. John to obtain the sufferings of Jesus Christ for me, at least those which were given to them. They obtained this favor for me, and one day St. John so loaded me with them that I count that day among the most terrible of my life. . . . God wrote the Pater Noster in my heart with such an accentuation of His goodness and of my unworthiness that I lack words to speak of it.
By this very profound contrition, Blessed Angela entered on the way of sanctity. These great graces should draw our attention to the value of the aids which God offers us daily, to matters of import in the ordinary Christian life.

And Again, from Garrigou-Lagrange on Confession

The series on the predominant fault has received attention lately, so I am continuing posts on this theme.

One of the things I must remind readers is that the removal of the predominant fault is in the stage of Beginners.

This purification is part of the Dark Night, and not the stage of the proficients, who are involved in given contemplative prayer.

Several readers have written to me that one of the biggest problems is finding a confessor who takes the way of perfection seriously. As late as two weeks ago, I was confessing to a priest who wanted to talk me out of what I considered a serious sin of imperfection. One does not want to argue with priests, especially trad ones, but the laity must admit that not all priests themselves understand even the beginning stages of purification and, therefore, cannot help the person in the confessional.

To be honest, I have met no more than six priests in my entire in the confessional, who understood the way of perfection through purification.

Six, which is about one for every ten years of my life. The best, absolute best confessors I have had have either been FSSP priests or Opus Dei priests.

And the best of the best is at St. Kevin's in Dublin.

Here is a long section from Garrigou-Lagrange on the importance of confession in the Dark Night, the purification.

If a man who tends towards perfection has the misfortune to commit mortal sins in a moment of weakness, he must accuse himself of them sincerely and clearly at the beginning of his confession, without, seeking to cause them to pass unperceived in the multitude of venial sins. He must indicate their number, kind, and cause, and especially have a profound contrition for them accompanied by a firm purpose of avoiding in the future not only the sins themselves, but their occasions and causes. Even after receiving pardon, he must also keep alive in his heart the sincere desire to atone, by an austere life and a generous love, for the evil committed. He should also remember how the Apostle, St. Peter, wept over his denial, humbled himself profoundly, thanked infinite Mercy, and continued on his way even to martyrdom.

An isolated mortal sin, when immediately confessed and atoned for, leaves scarcely any traces in the soul, which may at once resume its ascent from the very spot where it fell, without having to retrace all the road that had already been traveled. Thus he who stumbles midway in an ascent, may, when he picks himself up, promptly continue his climb from the spot which he had reached.

Venial sins committed with full deliberation are a serious obstacle to perfection, especially when they are frequent and the soul is attached to them. They are real maladies, which weaken the Christian soul. "Do not allow sin to grow old in thee," Christ said to St. Gertrude. Fully deliberate venial sin, when not rejected, is like a poison that is not vomited forth and that, although it does not cause death immediately, acts slowly on the organism. For instance, close attention must be paid to avoid keeping voluntarily any petty rancor, or attachment to one's own judgment, to self-will, to habits of rash judgment, of slander, of dangerous natural affections that would be a fetter, depriving us of liberty of spirit and all spontaneous movement toward God. When we deliberately refuse the Lord these manifestly demanded sacrifices, we cannot expect from Him the graces that lead to perfection. Consequently we must plainly accuse ourselves of fully deliberate venial sins against charity, humility, the virtue of religion, and so forth, especially those which are most humiliating. Their cause must be sought with a firm resolution to avoid them. Otherwise, of course, there is no longer any real and effective tendency to perfection. This is a point of primary importance.

There are other semi-deliberate venial sins, which are committed with less reflection and into which there enters a certain amount of surprise and impulse, but to which the will adheres with a certain complacency. We must guard against them, especially if they recur frequently; they show that the soul fights too feebly and is not determined to free itself from all obstacles.

Sins of frailty are those committed inadvertently because of human weakness; the will has only a small share in them; it yields momentarily, but promptly disavows its weakness. Sins of this kind cannot be completely and continually avoided, but their number should be diminished. They are not a serious obstacle to perfection because they are quickly atoned for; yet it is well to submit them to the influence of the sacrament of penance because thereby purity of soul will become more complete.(1)

On this last point, an excellent confessor is essential and a great blessing. How fortunate you are if you find such a holy priest, who has allowed himself to go through the hard stages of purification, in order to help his flock, as well as save his own soul.

Sins of fraility are those which one has committed from childhood and are ingrained in our souls, sins such as white lies, cowardice, defensiveness, and even rebellion, which can become a habit. When one commits these, one must repent immediately and confess these in order for the bad habits to be broken. It is interesting that those sins of human weakness may not at all be connected to one's predominant fault.

Here is another link which might help....

to be continued.....

Again on Egoism Ruining The Church

Many months ago, I wrote on the fact that egotism hinders the work of the virtues in the Church and weakens the Church. Here is one of the articles on this. 

Garrigou-Lagrange actually describes the same problems with greater emphasis on sin as one sees in psychological treatises on narcissism.

The problem is that we are all living in societies which not only tolerate egoism, but encourage this state.

Those egoists in charge of churches, parishes, families work on the premise that somehow "their gifts" are necessary for the growth of the Church, when in reality only those who have become humble and are working with God's gifts in and through the life of virtue can really do the work of God.

How much we have forgotten in these days of hero-worship of super-stars, or personal idolatry of the self.

This could be a predominant fault for some. 

The old phrase, "Let go and let God" applies to the egoist, if he wants to attain heaven.

Egoism is like a cancer of the will, which ravages it more and more, whereas sanctifying grace should be in it like a strong root which buries itself ever deeper in the soil in order to draw therefrom nourishing secretions and transform them into fruitful sap. We should think of the value of habitual grace, called the "grace of the virtues and the gifts," because of various proximate principles of meritorious acts springing from it. We would do well to consider that our will should possess a high degree of the virtues of justice, penance, religion, hope, and charity in order that its powers may be vastly increased.
The author of The Imitation thus describes inordinate self-love when he has Christ say: "My son, thou must give all for all, and be nothing of thy own. Know that the love of thyself is more hurtful to thee than anything of the world. . . . If thy love be pure, simple, and well ordered, thou shalt not be in captivity to anything. Covet not that which thou mayest not have. Seek not to have that which may embarrass thee and deprive thee of thy inward liberty. It is wonderful that thou wilt not, from the very bottom of thy heart, commit thyself wholly to Me, with all things that thou canst desire or have. Why dost thou pine away with vain grief? Why art thou so worn with superfluous cares? Be resigned to My good pleasure, and thou shalt suffer no loss. If thou seekest this or that, or wouldst be here or there for thy own interests' sake, and the more to indulge thy own will, thou wilt never be at rest or free from solicitude; for in everything there will be found some defect, and in every place therewill be someone that will cross thee." (14)