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Tuesday 17 June 2014

Note from the neighboring diocese

Several Prayer Requests

Please pray for K, J, E, J, D, S, R, and C. I get many prayer requests sent to me privately.

Also, pray for me and my immediate needs.

We had severe winds here, hundreds of miles away


Answer me this question, please..

Why is Japan, and now the States, working so hard on sophisticated robots, while exterminating the human race via abortion, contraception, or just plain abstinence for selfish reasons?

A Plea

I have to move from this area in ten days. I have two possibilities for housing, but no money to get to these places, which are not close. I would have to fly and pay extra for luggage. Please considering helping.



Friday, 13 June 2014

In loving memory of Margaret Ann Harris

Earlier this year, on 18th February, one of SPUC's staunchest supporters, Mrs Margaret Ann Harris, died. May she rest in peace!

Her life-time of work for the Society has been remembered and reflected in a most generous gift of £500 from monies (in lieu of flowers) collected at Margaret Ann's local church. Thus, through Mrs Harris's legacy - that is, her legacy of inspiring others to act to protect the lives of unborn children - a significant gift has been made which enables SPUC to continue our educational and political work in defence of those who cannot defend themselves.

David, her husband, tells me that a lot of the donations made at the church were from people unknown to him. On behalf of SPUC, I thank you all. We will not stop our work until every unborn child enjoys the full protection of the law.

I am sure that many of my readers will join me in prayer for the repose of Margaret's soul and will pray too that God may comfort and strengthen David, her husband, and all their family, at this difficult time.

Comments on this blog? Email them to 

New Story ....The Brothers of Malta

Let me tell you all a story: in a nation far away, there lived two brothers. They were both members of the Order of St. John, Hospitallers. One lived according to the rule of the order, keeping his vows of poverty, celibacy and obedience. The other one lived a life of wealth, status and popularity. Their names would be remembered a half-millennium later for different reasons.

The first and younger brother was named Frederico, and the second brother,the elder was named Tomas. Tomas had three children and used his position to find them careers of power and influence.

Frederico remained devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who he saw as his lady and love.
Daily, Frederico said his rosary. The two represented the best and the worst of the Knights.

Both worked in the many roles of the Hospitallers. Both took care of hospitals under their care. Both, as of yet, did not fight any battles for their country, which was, at the moment, at peace.  However, the proverbial storm clouds of war were gathering on the horizons of their beloved nation. They lived in relative ease and peace. However, Frederico, worshipping God with his whole heart and soul, could see that there time of peace was coming to an end. Tomas saw nothing in the future. He missed all the signs of the times, such as the failed trips of the ambassadors to the countries threatening invasion.  Tomas kept busy, organizing his huge staff, re-decorating his villa on the sea, and having dinners for his children and their new employers, both in the state and in the Church.

Frederico had to be busy as well, as his hospital also was a garrison for soldiers, the true Knights who were training for invasion. Frederico oversaw this training himself. He began to realize that time for preparation was shorter than previous thought.  His intuitions pushed him to a point of surety, but Tomas doubted every word, every vision, and prayer in general.

The elder brother was a realist, a pragmatist, and sadly, utilitarian. All his friends were “contacts” and all his “connections” brought him success. He owned two galleons himself, and supplied all the weaponry as well as the wages for the sailors, as these were, unusually, all free men.

Tomas owned the biggest villa in the city, rivaling even the palace of the Grand Master. His estates yielded the best wine and his horses the fastest runners. But, those he kept in Sicily, on his other estate, which was the largest farm in that country.

Frederico had taken a vow of poverty and took that vow seriously. Tomas called him “The Monk”, but many of their fellow Knights loved and admired the quiet, prayerful man.

He lived in Mdina, is a small apartment, when he was not in the garrison. His own body guard took private oaths to defend him to the death. Frederico would have been scandalized by their fierce loyalty, which he would have said belonged to God, only. And, he would have been right.

Long ago, as a tall, thin youth, Frederico began “seeing” visions, which he, at first, spoke of only to the old holy Father Muscat.  Father Muscat believed the youth, seeing the purity of heart and simplicity of Frederico’s soul. But, after the priest died, when the youth man was twenty, Frederico had no one with whom to speak of his great love for Mary, Jesus and the Archangel Michael.

One day, after seeing St. Michael hovering over Valletta like a giant in the sky, Frederico made the mistake of telling Tomas of the vision. Not only did his older brother laugh at the thought of a giant floating above the new city, he laughed at his brother’s simplicity, calling him a religious fool. But, worse than that, Tomas, only two years older than his brother, told his parents, and peers of Frederico’s secret visionary life.

The Knights got involved, interrogated poor, young Frederico, but to the surprise of the embarrassed family and the cynical Tomas, decided in a tribunal that Frederico had been favored with visions from heaven.

The family was temporarily, and to the relief of Frederico, silenced. Not even the youths’ mother believed her youngest son. But, one sister, the beautiful and gracious Claire, did.

Claire listened to Frederico’s heart and she learned to hear the words of wisdom coming from this young man. She was convinced of her brother’s special call, which was to defend Malta from all enemies, but not merely by force, but through prayer, fasting, and penance.

Tragically, God decided to take Claire away from the family when she was sixteen, drowning in the great sea, coming back from a visit to Tomas’ new estate in Sicily. Her lovely body was never found, but yearly, Frederico would take the best French Bourbon roses from the Grand Master’s gardens, make a wreath, and with Tomas, sail out near the place of the loss of Claire.

However, the winds of war forbade this custom this year, as fleets were being prepared, both in the lands of the Sultan and the small Catholic island.

Frederico’s thoughts came back from the floating roses on the sea to his meal with Tomas. Frederico suddenly burst out, “But, Tomas, what is you are wrong? What if there is a siege and the people have no food, no water, no wine? You would be to blame for not planning for such an exigency.”

Tomas frowned. “I? To blame? What of these stupid priests who tell us that God will bring peace? No, I do not think I would be blamed.”  But, a small seed of doubt concerning his great reputation had been planted by Frederico’s comment. Tomas would think about this possible blame. He would consider planning farms on the island, but he would not yet tell Frederico he would ponder the younger man’s words.

“And, what about Immanuael?” Frederico drank his large glass of water. A servant immediately filled his goblet up again.
“So, is he your son? What do you know about having a son, getting him placed in a good situation, away from danger? What do you know of a father’s concern, anxiety, sleepless nights?”

Frederico sighed. “I am sorry. Or course, I know nothing of these things, but we need him here. We need his many talents. Can you not see that he could be one of the men of the hour, as they say, right here?

“A man of the hour planting cabbage in Gozo? You astound me, Frederico, but then, you have always been more than a bit stupid about the world.”

Tomas stood up. “I need to go. I have a meeting at two and it is half-past two. I shall send you a message before I go with Immanuel to Milan.”

The two brothers embraced, briefly and Frederico watched Tomas rush away. A meeting. What woman would be waiting for Tomas and where this time? Frederico would go to the old cathedral and pray, while Tomas ignored his immortal soul.

To be con

Attributes: Continuation Using St. Angela

Earlier this year, I wrote a bit on the Attributes of God. As I am finishing up The Book of Divine Consolation Of The Blessed Angela of Foligno (now saint), I can return to this theme, using some of her great insights given to her as infused knowledge from God in her Illuminative and Unitive States.

God revealed Himself to her after her purgation is extraordinary ways. Like Julian of Norwich, Angela experienced the universe as God’s creation and the earth as very small. She experienced the great love and mercy of God, thereby given infused knowledge into His attributes.

So she learned of God as All Goodness, first. Then, she experienced God as Pure Love and Mercy.

God revealed Himself to her as Beauty. After that, God showed Himself to her as Invincible Omnipotence, followed by God as Humility. 

What is clear up to this point in her visions and times of union with God is that she perceived God are pure objectivity.

God then revealed Himself to her as Power. And, then, as the Trinity in the Eucharist, making her worthy to receive the Trinity, God came to her.

These are but the beginnings of her consolations and this pattern fits that of other saints, as well as the listing of stages from Garrigou-Lagrange. One meditates first, on the Life of Christ, particularly His Passion. Then, from meditation, one is led to experiencing the Passion in a deep purgation followed by the sharing of Christ’s own pain.

Following the acceptance of the experience of the sufferings of Christ, contemplation of the attributes of God occurs. One moves in this pattern for a reason-purity of heart and complete rejection of all sin happen before infused contemplation.

By this time, St. Angela had seen only three visions, but these seem to be long and intense.

Part of these visions is the incomplete revelation of God as Bridegroom to His Bride, and God told Angela this. He wanted her to hunger and thirst for Him, so He withheld some of His Love. In later visions, to which I shall refer in another post to come, God revealed more of His Love. He also revealed specifics about His Passion.

How wonderful it is that St. Angela is called “The Teacher of The Theologians” as what she experienced is what logically, rationally others came to through reason and revelation, rather than direct experience.

To be continued…

Do Not Trust in Princes

How often did Our Lord and His Mother suffer because of the powers that be?

The other day, I told someone I could not trust an atheist or agnostic. This shocked the person. But, Cardinal Manning in his chapter on the gift of understanding, states the idea much more strongly.

“This gift of intellect or understanding, as it is a gift of the Holy Ghost, is found in no man who is out of the grace of God; and therefore in no one who is an unbeliever in the revelation of God, and therefore in no one who is out of charity with God and his neighbour. It is a special intellectual power or perfection given to those who, corresponding to the light of faith and to the Spirit of God working within them, receive, over and above the light and power of natural reason, a further supernatural gift which becomes habitual like a special faculty."

Why would anyone choose a politician, a world leader, or even a spouse from among those who have darkened intellects because of sin or unbelief?

Understanding helps each one of us perceive supernatural truths. Manning writes this of understanding, that it penetrates, “…into the reasons and the motives of faith” and that it helps to “exhibit and to prevail on others, by the exhibition of the truth, to believe in the same.”

It is a discernment, an “intuition”.  Manning notes that as when we read the words of a book, our intellect picks up more than just the letters on the page. We understand combinations, suggestions.

As I have noted from his previous book examined on this blog, and now, from this chapter, “Reason is the preamble of faith.”  Faith is rational and unbelief is irrational. So, how could anyone trust someone who is living in a lack of rationality?

St. Anselm is quoted by Manning: “...but having believed…as it would be contrary to the divine order for us to examine and to discuss by reasoning the revelation of God until we have believed it, so it would be an act of great negligence on our part if, after we have believed it, we did not try thoroughly to understand it…”.

We come to understand the meaning of the Scriptures, of Tradition.  Understanding, states Manning, leads to contemplation, which goes beyond an orthodox acceptance of revelation. One learns the answer to the Catechism questions, but one must return to ponder these truths, to understand.

I know people who do not believe in the Incarnation. They are Christian Scientists and Moslems. They do not believe that Christ is the God-Man.  In the Gospel of John, we see the phrase, “the Word made Flesh”. Manning points out that this is merely the beginning of the use of our intellect, which then absorbs the truths of the Nicene Creed, the Summa Theologica and so on. From the acceptance and then the beginning of understanding of the Incarnation, one moves to the doctrine of the Holy Sacrament, the Real Presence and so on.

The gift of understanding allows us to move from the basics to the sublime.

Would you trust your life to an atheist? Would you trust the words of someone who completely lacks understanding of who man is and Who God Is?

I believe, as did Cardinal Manning, the Doctors of the Church, the saints who defended the doctrines of the Church.  I believe in those who witnessed by their blood in the Church, in the Papacy, in Christ. I believe in the Church. But, then, I have chosen to develop the gift of understanding by seeking Truth, Who Is a Person, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity.

In our day, we are surrounded by those who demand our trust but who are not believersor who are separated by choice from the Church. They are involved in, as Manning puts it, “the complex pretensions of error”.

The Truth is simple and certain as it is from God, as Jesus called Himself, “the Way, the Truth, and the Life”.

To trust in Christ using the gift of understanding is to choose life.

“We must choose between one of two things: we must either believe the Catholic faith, or find a rational and intellectual solution of the unity of truth, and of its adaptation to human nature and of the existence of the Christian world.”

Cardinal Manning speaks to us today.

Of course, as no one can do this, relativism and subjectivism are rife.

To be continued…