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Thursday 19 June 2014

Happy Feast of Corpus Christi

God bless this day.

Perfection Series II: Manning and Angela

The reading of Cardinal Manning is like a cool, sea breeze on a stifling hot day. His clarity of mind and intense spirituality leads one into meditations on the Holy Ghost and the attributes of God. One moves from meditation on the Scriptures to contemplation of the nature of God as much as possible through grace.

St. Angela, as I have noted, is called the “Teacher of the Theologians”, was given infused knowledge as to the attribute of God, as well as details of the Passion.

One can see that see moved from the Dark Night into the Illuminative and then the Unitive States. All the insights of Garrigou-Lagrange apply to this great mystic.

But, remember, all Catholics are called to these stages, one by one, not skipping anything, in order to have union with God as much as possible while on earth.

This union is not for the benefit, merely, of the person sharing this, but for the building up of the Church.

One of the great insights from St. Angela which is worthy of reflection is the great objectivity towards all men and all women, as seen from God’s point of view. This insight astounds one. God sees and loves all humans, past, present, and future, damned and saved in one great objective view. No sinner can “hurt” God. No hatred affects Him. Christ sufferings in eternity have passed away into glory. This will be our heritage, if we love God and His ways.

St. Angela is one of the earliest saints to write and have experiences of the Eucharist in Adoration. I would call her the Patron Saint of Adorers, if I could. She could see all eternity in the Eucharist and all creation. Her gifts in Adoration span the centuries.

I cannot recommend her writings enough, and have not gone into her lengthy sections of Illumination and Union in ecstasy. I am resolved not to dwell on these stages until God lets me experience these myself. It is dangerous to read beyond where one is in the spiritual life. And, as a beginner in the Dark Night, I know my limitations.

I would like to mention that her encounter with the Crucified One, as she calls Christ, is perhaps the most intense and moving part of her writings. She notes that Christ suffered in each part of His Body for her sins using that part of her body.

To be confronted with vainglory, with pride of eye, with wastefulness and seeing each of these sins, among many connected with a specific pain of Christ provide a terrible witness of my sins. 

Imagine Christ stating that the nails in His Hands were from the sins of the hands of one person. Or the pain of His being stripped of all, even clothes, was owing to one's sins of wealth, the saving or the spending?

I encourage all my readers to read The Book of Divine Consolation of The Blessed Angela of Foligno.

And again, thanks to my friend Angela for the book, which I have now passed on to a priest.

Choosing Celibacy?

An apocryphal story of St. Francis tells of a talk he had with some of his disciples. In this talk, he said, apparently, that if all people became celibate and dedicated their lives to the building of the Kingdom, Christ would come sooner than later.

This visionary saint, the one the Church calls the “most like Christ”, believed that the Church and the world would be a better place if people became priests, religious, nuns.

I am beginning to think likewise. One of the greatest lies from the pulpit since Vatican II, which has nothing to do with Vatican II, is that the lay life is on the same plane as that of the religious life. This is simply not true. The dedicated life of prayer and penance provides a short-cut to holiness.

If I were a young person in these days, I would seriously be considering the religious life for several reasons.

I sincerely hope parents encourage their children and pay attention to the vocations of their children. As I have noted many times on this blog, parents are given graces to know and guide the vocations of their children. Parents must die to their own wishes and be open to God’s Will.

Be open…

Loss of Friends

For me, as a single person, after the loss of the presence of my son so far away, the loss of friends forms one of the greatest sufferings in my life. I can imagine, a bit, how St. Paul must have felt moving from place to place, making new friends in Christ, but having to leave old ones.

Leaving old friends is like leaving a part off one's self. Every time I leave close friends, I die a little.

Maybe that is the reason God puts me in the position to have to leave friends instead of sticking around. Death of self...relying totally on Him, the Bridegroom, not being allowed particular friendship for any length of time.

My friends are all truly special. Most are Latin Mass, orthodox Catholics, who make me a better person just by osmosis. Some are as close to me as my own self. Some are very old close friends and some are newer ones with whom I have become close in a short time, like three and a half years.

But, I am denied permanency at this time.

Even INTJs have feelings.

So, I have not seen C or B, or J and E and their children for a long time. I have not seen D or R or Z since before Thanksgiving.

Soon, I shall have to leave D and S, K and E.

There is nothing one can do except pray, "Thy Will be done".

Thy Will be done, and please, God, bless all my dear friends.

People want scandal and gossip

Whenever I wax eloquent on the perfection series or highlight saints' writings, my number of readers goes down.

People seem to want politics, Vatican gossip, or complaints.

Sorry, but, imo, this is the time to get holy before the hard times start. I cannot think of a better theme for now.

Even if my numbers are down....

The Best Argument Against Common Core

This may be one of the most important posts I have ever written. If you are reading this and have school-age children, please, for the sake of their souls and yours, pay attention. 

Instruction is NOT education. I wish I had found Cardinal Manning 9-14 years ago, when I was giving talks on education, from 2000-2005, concerning formation as the real reason for education. For years, I spoke of the great evil of the Bismarck take-over of education and the establishment of the “gymnasium” over the “academia”.

Cardinal Manning, referring to the Syllabus of Errors, in his chapter on the gift of understanding, writes this:

“The persecution of the Church which we see at this moment in Germany is nothing more than a revenge of the mortified pride of the men of culture and of the philosophers who are deposed from their seat of error by the Vatican Council. They were one by one put down. They were suspended by their bishops, and finally, because they would not obey, were put out; and being put out, they gathered themselves together to head against the Church of God. But their end is sure. They will be scattered from before its face, as all heretics have ever been.  The Holy see has always laid down this great and vital principle—namely, that secular and religious instruction shall never be parted in education. It has laid down the principle not only for the schools of the poor, but for the universities of the rich. It has ever wavered; it has never receded, and it ever will; and that because education is not the mere teaching of intellectual opinions. Education is the formation of the whole man—intellect, heart, will, character, mind and soul. Whether it be the poor child in the parish school, or the son of the rich man in the university, it is all the same. The Catholic Church will accept as education nothing less than the formation of the whole man. Therefore, when doctors and politicians talk of this separation of the religious and the secular element, the Church will have none of it, and that for this plain reason—instruction is not education.”

This one section reveals the great evil of the American Common Core Curriculum. In my opinion, any diocese which accepts the CC is in disobedience not only to the long tradition of the Church regarding education as formation, but the more recent guidelines regarding the heresies of Modernism.

Imagine explaining to a diocesan school system, which has caved in to secularism, these words of Manning. If I were invited (lol) to a meeting in the chancery office concerning Catholic education accepting CC, I would read this.

“Secular teaching, without the light of faith and the gifts of the Holy Ghost, not only cannot form the man, but they deform the man. The form the man upon a false model; they unshape him from that original reflection of the image of God which is in him. First, they deprive him of light; and where light departs, darkness comes. The human mind, once deprived of the light of revelation, is filled with the clouds of unbelief or of credulity. It can give no account of God; it has no knowledge of His character or of its own nature.”

Manning continues…”Is this education? Though a man were a professor or seven sciences, without the knowledge of God and of himself what is he?  In the sight of God he is like the men of the old world which knew not God. He may be as wise as Empedocles or Aristotle, but he is not a Christian. He is not formed upon the type of Christianity: he is not after the example of Jesus Christ.; he is not after the example of Jesus Christ.”

What should be the purpose of education? Formation, not instruction….

“Lastly, where the mind is deprived of light it is perverted. The whole intellectual and moral nature loses its normal shape. It is perpetually conceiving and giving out erroneous judgments, erroneous principles, erroneous maxims, which issue in erroneous and dangerous actions. The separation of religious from secular education wrecks altogether the seven gifts of the Holy Ghost in the souls fo those who have been baptised. Is it a wonder, then, that the Catholic Church will never consent that its children shall be reared without the knowledge of their faith, or that education shall be so parted asunder that secular knowledge shall be made the subject of daily and earnest inculcation, and that religion should be left out as an accident, to be picked up when and as it may?”

Anyone who sends their child to a school incorporating CC or one which is Catholic in name only will have to answer before God as to the loss of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, in their baptized children.

I knew years ago that most Catholic and all secular education deformed the child, which is why I began home schooling in 1991. Formation of the virtues is the number one goal of any teacher-parent.

That the Cardinal speaks of the loss of the gifts is so serious that all parents must examine what is happening daily to their children.

Manning notes that we all have the gift of understanding if we are in sanctifying grace. Please read both 2 Corinthians 2:4-6 and Ephesian 3:14-19 today and ponder the great gift of understanding given to each of us, not to be squandered or lost to the darkness.

To be continued…


How delightful it is when two books one is reading, (I read multiple books at once), overlap in themes and discussions.

I have been continuing my review of Manning and St. Angela on this blog in the past many days.

St. Angela’s amazing experience of the Illuminative and Unitive States allowed her to know God in His Attributes, something I can only do through study and reflection.

That God is Good seemed to be the attribute which encompassed the entire spectrum of St. Angela’s experience of God’s relationship to the world. Angela’s words remind me, as I have noted before, those of Julian of Norwich. The mystical experience of the Goodness of God, of God as holding the entire creation in His Hands is described by both women.

Both Manning and Angela write of the gift of wisdom. Manning is describing it from theology and Angela from experience, yet their descriptions overlap.

In this post, I only want to highlight one aspect of wisdom which is this--that we must not seek knowledge which is not to be known. Here is St. Angela on this point: “There I beheld the ineffable fullness of God; but I can relate nothing of it, save that I have seen the plenitude of divine wisdom, wherein is all goodness.”

She continues, “In this plenitude I saw that it is not lawful to seek or desire to know that which  the divine wisdom is going to do, for this is a forestalling and dishonouring of it. When I persons, therefore, who seek to know such things, I am persuaded that they do err.”

Me, too. I have warned and warned people about over-concentrating on private revelations instead of praying day by day and reading the Scriptures, going to Mass and Adoration, praying at the abortion mills, working for Project Rachel.  St. Angela tells us all to be involved in prayer, fasting, penance. She states, “By Thy Passion deliver me, oh Lord.”

Angela says she was “in love” at this stage. She never doubted that God was with her after her Illuminative and Unitive experiences. She said, however, that she was in some darkness even after those experiences.  

One of the results of encountering wisdom according to St. Angela is the enlargement of the mind.  This enlargement of the mind is connected to the gifts of the Holy Spirit, especially the gifts of understanding and wisdom. St. Angela writes that this is the way of perfection.

I shall continue this posting on St. Angela and Cardinal Manning in another post.