Pay attention to the colleges and universities which are dropping the ACT, and Compass, and even the SAT tests. Those are the ones you to which you want to send your children. Find out which ones....please
Sunday 22 June 2014
I shall continue with more Manning tomorrow, but today, let me end with a section found earlier in the section on the fruits of the Holy Ghost.
“…what are the rights of God over you? May He not come and look into your hearts for the fruits of innocence? May He not say, ‘I gave to your soul the graces of baptism and the innocence of a child of God—where are they? I gave to your soul the graces of the Holy Ghost, that you might live according to justice—where are the fruits of justice? I have given to your soul the grace of contrition, that you might repent—where are the fruits of penance? I have given to your soul the grace to know My love, to feel the love that I have for you—where is the return of love for love, where is your generosity? I have heaped upon your soul mercies without number, poured out upon it blessings beyond the heart of man to conceive—where is your spirit of thanksgiving or of praise?’ These are the rights that God has over you. He may justly expect these things from you. See then, the disappointment of God.”
This paragraph reveals to me the suffering of Christ in
Gethsemane. He saw His chosen ones, those baptized and
those given tremendous graces, turn away from His Love.
To be continued..
Because of limited access to the Net and because I want to pass this magnificent book on to friend before I move in two weeks, I am aware of the inadequacies regarding the unpacking of Cardinal Manning’s insights.
Moving into the fruits of the Holy Spirit, which I did in the last post, one sees in Manning a deep, deep spirituality, that of a saint.
Let me share a few posts more on the book we have been following together.
On the fruits, as I noted briefly in the last post, some of these pertain to us and our holiness more directly than others.
Modesty, which keeps us temperate and moderate, helps us to do more than merely what is lawful. We move into humility through modesty. Continence, as Manning notes, “.. mean most especially the repressing of the passions,” and again, he points out that such regulation keeps us moderate and disciplined.
“Chastity,” the Cardinal writes, “is the transparent purity of the soul and the custody of the senses, because they are the avenues of the soul by which sin enters.”
Manning moves to the ideal of the sweetness which comes from love the love of God and the love of neighbor. And, Who is our great example but, Christ Himself.
Manning tells us of his own love for the Sacred Heart through these words.
“His hands were always exerting the promptings of His Sacred Heart. And His Sacred Heart He bequeathed to His Church, which is His Mystical Body. The vibration and the pulsation of that Heart of love are felt through Christendom.”
The work of good Catholics contains the working of the Sacred Heart.
“The Sacred Heart of the Incarnate Son of God cast fire upon the earth. And the Christian world kindled and broke forth into all works of charity.”
We all, notes Manning, as baptized Catholics, have a ‘facility of dong right” but this comes from and in the Heart of Christ. The active perfection which is the working of the fruits in the world comes from the heart.
The fruits are “…the acts, internal and external, of the love of God and of our neighbour.”
The fruits point to active perfection as these are all acts. But, Manning reminds us, as do all the saints, perfection is not merely found through actions but through passivity. And in the passivity of the acceptance of suffering, perfection becomes sublime.
“Obedience is perfected in patience.”
“Jesus revealed the perfection of the Sacred Heart always and everywhere, but no-where and at no time, as in the three hours of agony on the Cross. There His deified will was crucified—there His heart and mind were conformed to God by the last conformity of self-oblation and of suffering unto death.”
Manning sums up-“The active perfection is the perfection of the fruits of the Holy Ghost; the passive is the perfection of the Beatitudes”.
To be continued…
Manning and the Passive Perfection
All I can say of this section is “wow”! Read on…
Manning tells us that the Beatitudes are a foretaste of the happiness of heaven.
“Therefore such acts are called Beatitudes because they beatify the soul even here in this life of warfare. They constitute also the highest perfection of the saints—the closest conformity to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.”
So, if we want to be one with Christ, if we desire to love Him and be possessed entirely in this love, we must move from the active perfection of the fruits of the Holy Spirit to the life of the Beatitudes. Christ did not have to be perfected, but He showed us the way.
Here is Manning again: “They describe the eight kinds of perfection by which the soul tastes of its eternal sweetness. They are poverty of spirit, meekness, holy sorrow, hunger and thirst for God, mercifulness, cleanness of heart, peacemaking among men, patience under persecution. We have here the image of Jesus Christ from
Calvary. Perfection begins in the stable, and
is finished upon the Cross; and all along the way of perfection the children of
the Beatitudes are known, not only for their active charity, which is the sap
and strength of the twelve fruits of the Spirit, but by a gentle and passive charity,
which unites them, I may say, visibly with God; got no man could do they thing
they do except God were with him.”
So, the saints live in the Beatitudes, showing forth character, the life of the virtues, perfected while on earth.
Manning continues, and this leaves me so excited, that I can hardly type this out: “And, I may say that they are the last finishing touches by which the Holy Spirit of God completes His perfect will in us—that is, our perfection.”
Our perfection is this, then, in so many words-the complete of God’s Perfect Will in each of our lives.
To be continued…
Cardinal Manning presents us with excellent basic catechesis on the virtues, gifts, and fruits of the Spirit.
Faith, hope and charity, the theological virtues, are given to us in baptism. These are called by Manning the “the faculties of the soul which is born again.”
The gifts are infused, not obtained by practice. The fruits are the result of the gifts flowing into the life of the virtues.
Manning notes that the first fruit is love, or charity, as is the usual term. He writes that there is no middle ground for the growth of the fruits, One cannot be mediocre or lukewarm as a Catholic and bear the fruits of the Spirit of God.
The fruits are the “active perfection” of the soul, not the passive.
If we are not bearing fruit, the good Cardinal reminds us, we are dead, living in sin. There is no middle ground.
Love is first, then joy, which includes gratitude and “the consciousness of God’s infinite goodness, in which we live and move; peace, whereby we are at rest with God, and in ourselves, and with all mankind.”
The Cardinal continues on the fruits which have to do with our neighbors. Patience is the most obvious fruit and Manning asks, “Are we irritable, revengeful, resentful, malicious?”
Those automatic reactions which happen too easily show us that we are not bearing fruit.
Manning is quite clear on this point. “If so, the fruits of the Holy Ghost are not in us, because the benignity of God is not in us.”
Again, we must ask for the purification necessary to bear fruit, to have all hidden sins removed from the depth of the soul.
Goodness follows patience. Longanimity is “another name for patience. Just as equity is the most delicate form of justice, longanimity is the most perfect form of charity, the perpetual radiance of a loving heart which, in its dealings with all who are round about, looks kindly upon them and judges kindly of their faults. Longanimity means also perseverance.”
What follows is an indictment for most of us. “…the not being wearied in well-doing, not throwing up and saying, ‘I have tried to good for such a one, I have tried to correct his faults, I have tried to win him; but he is ungrateful, he is incorrigible, and I will have no more to do with him.”
This is the mantra of divorce and the loss of friendship. Manning notes, “Our Lord does
not so deal with us. Longanimity means an unwearied perseverance in doing good.”
So often, we remove ourselves from relationships because we do not love enough, or long enough. Even in prayer, do we not sometimes give up?
There are many people I have been praying for over the years. I cannot see any change in their ungodly lives, as some are atheists, agnostics, heretics, or full of self-deception. They are not walking with God. Do I give up? No.
A spiritual stubbornness comes out of a heart which loves, even if there is not any regard or love returned.
Manning writes of mildness, gentleness, kindness, forebearance, “the dissembling of wrong, the absence of the fire of resentment and of the smouldering of ill-will.”
One must catch one’s self and immediately repent of even venial sin, even the uncharitable thoughts which one may not act upon.
To be continued….
Having finally finished the book of St. Angela, I can state absolutely that her language and experiences are quite similar, if not exact, to those of Julian of Norwich.
Julian's statement that God is closer to us than our own souls is echoed in Angela's writings.
Julian's view of all the world and the universe as in God's view, in His plan, is also that of Angela's.
They both consider trust in Divine Providence as the root of holiness, as this trust brings with it humility.
They both rest in a peace which passes all understanding and all suffering.
We should be grateful that both women wrote down their experiences and insights.
We should be grateful that the Catholic Church has honored the holiness of women and seen female saints as worthy of honor.
We are unique in world religions in our honoring of women who let God find them while in the world.
The feminine touch is necessary in the Church, through these Brides of Christ, who were willing to show us their weaknesses and the strength of God.
When I get back to England, I shall visit Durham Cathedral, which I have never seen. This glass below is in this cathedral.