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Tuesday 1 July 2014

Just wondering...

I am, as usual, sitting in a coffee shop. People around me are talking about the damage and flooding from the storms.

What about the storms inside our souls?

Just wondering....

Lack of Holy Priests

I was commisserating with a priest friend recently, as we were discussing the lack of secular priests who have gone on the journey to perfection. Even priests need holy priests.

Unless one finds such a priest in the confessional, one is hard-put to do all one can to be holy.

How many priests, even so-called Latin Mass priests follow the road to holiness themselves?

Only those priests can lead us.

Too few are willing to lead the crowd and become holy.

Holiness is, by definition, a lonely battle. One must keep focused on Christ Crucified.

Look what good stuff you can find on the Vatican Website. From St. Catherine Siena.

The priests’ responsibility
"O dearest  daughter!  Those miserable persons about whom I spoke to you have no consideration for themselves. If they had, they wouldn’t fall into so many vices, but would live like virtuous persons, who prefer death rather than offend Me, staining their soul or belittling the dignity to which I have raised them, but on the contrary, they increase their souls’ dignity and beauty. The dignity itself of the priest is not increased by virtue nor diminished by any sin, as I have told you. But virtues are an embellishment and give added dignity to the soul beyond what it possesses from the beginning, when I created it in my image and likeness. Those who live thus, know the truth of my goodness, their beauty and dignity, because pride and self-love have not blinded them nor taken away the light of reason. Not having this self-love, they love Me and desire the salvation of souls. But these spoiled persons, completely deprived of light, calmly pass from vice to vice, until they fall into the pit.
They have turned the temple of their soul and the holy Church, which is a garden, into a stable for animals. O dearest daughter!  How abominable for Me that their dwellings which ought to be lodging for those who serve Me and for the poor, a place to have as a wife their breviary, and as children the books of Sacred Scripture, to delight in them in order to exhort their neighbour to lead a holy life, but quite to the contrary have turned them into a den of unchaste and wicked persons!
Their spouse is not the breviary. They rather treat this breviary-spouse like an adulterous wife. A devil in the form of a woman’s body unchastely lives with him. His herd of children make up his books, and he shamelessly takes delight in these offspring begotten so indecently and wickedly.
At Easter and solemn Days when he should give glory and praise to My Name with the divine Office and offer Me the incense of humble and devout actions, he spends at gaming and entertainment with these creatures of the devil and has a good time with the laity hunting, as if he were just another lay person or courtier.
O wretched man, to what a level you have dropped! What you ought to hunt are souls for the glory and praise of My Name and be in the garden of the Holy Church, and not to go hunting through the woods. But you have become a beast; within you have the beasts of many mortal sins. For that reason, you are a hunter of beasts and the orchard of your soul is full of weeds and thorns, since you have acquired a liking for barren land seeking wild beasts. Be ashamed and consider your sins. You have cause to be ashamed wherever you turn. But you are not ashamed, because you have lost the holy and true fear of Me. Like the prostitute, who has lost shame, you will brag about your worldly position, your numerous family and your numerous children.
And if you do not have them, you try to have them so to be your heirs. You are a highwayman and a thief, because you know perfectly well you cannot bequeath your wealth to them; your heirs are the poor and the Holy Church.
O incarnate devil, spirit without light! You seek what you ought not seek. You boast and brag about what ought to be for you motive of confusion and shame before Me, who see the innermost of your heart, and before creatures. You are truly blind and the horns of your pride do not permit you to recognize your own blindness.
O dearest daughter!  I have placed you on the bridge of the doctrine of my truth so that he might serve you, o pilgrims, and administer you the sacraments of the holy Church, but he stays in the miserable river below the bridge immersed in the pleasures and miseries of the world. There he exercises his ministry, without noticing the wave that drags him to death and he goes with the devils, his masters, whom he has served and by whom he has been openly guided, along the river. If he does not amend his life, he will be eternally condemned with great reprimand and reproach, that your tongue would be incapable of referring. And he, due to his priestly office, much more than any other lay person. For this reason the same sin is punished more in him than in one who would have stayed in the world. At the moment of death his enemies will accuse him more terribly, as I have told you."
St. Catherine of Siena, Doctor of the Church: The Dialogue, 130.
O God, You choose the frail and ignorant to confound the wise and mighty. We beseech You to raise up in our times men and women, who following St. Catherine’s example, are full of ardent love for the Church and the Pope. Let them persevere in prayer so that the shepherds of Christ’s flock may be true guardians and not hirelings. We ask you this through Jesus Christ, Our Lord. Amen

By Ateneo Pontificio "Regina Apostolorum"

On Habits

Virtue is a habit, built over time. All the virtues are given, but they have to be "practiced." 

They just do not pop up in old age, or in a disaster, or when one is seriously ill.

Virtues must be learnt early, as in childhood and as many readers know, I have a long series on virtue on this blog.

I have been spending time with many elderly people in the past few days. Some have lives now which reflect a life of practicing virtues. Others do not. Others have made habits of selfishness, complaining, unforgiveness.

One cannot "rage" into the night.

As much as I love the poetry of Dylan Thomas, I disagree with his famous poem. He missed the point, which is that we must prepare AT ALL TIMES to die.

Thinking on the Four Last Things is necessary.

Do not go gentle into that good night

Dylan Thomas1914 - 1953
Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had forked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Good men, the last wave by, crying how bright
Their frail deeds might have danced in a green bay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Wild men who caught and sang the sun in flight,
And learn, too late, they grieved it on its way,
Do not go gentle into that good night.

Grave men, near death, who see with blinding sight
Blind eyes could blaze like meteors and be gay,
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

And you, my father, there on the sad height,


I am reading Garrigou-Lagrange's Providence again. It is better the second time and I am reading it at an
older age.

Makes a huge difference.

I highly recommend this if you need a book to give an agnostic or atheist.

Will write about it in detail later when I am not so restricted as to online time.



I know two prominent bloggers who have blogged for years, who have stopped. I have some friends who are no longer “on twitter”. I have two other friends who no longer read blogs or comment.

These good people are heeding the call to reflection and silence. We all know that being on the social networks on the computer can be addictive. One must choose to be detached, unless one has a job which is necessary for information, like journalism or teaching.

The call to more silence demands turning off the radio, TV, and avoiding mindless talk. On this blog, there are so many posts on silence, which you could read those happily for a long time.

And, the featured saints on this blog, such as the Doctors of the Church and the mystics, guide us to reflection.

I remind all of the great difference between meditation, which is Scripture based and contemplation, of which there are two kinds; active and passive.

Active contemplation forms part of the beginners’ routes to holiness. Passive contemplation is a gift for the proficient. Again, all these definitions and guides are found in the perfection series.

I am still in the state of surprise, even shock, concerning the majority of American Catholics who never reflect, never read Scripture daily, and have no knowledge of the Divine Office. Why Catholics ignore all the gifts found in the Church’s Tradition of prayer and guidance is a mystery. In this area, which I am about to leave, Catholics prefer heretical New Age methods such as “centering prayer”, “yoga” and “maze walks”. These people will never find God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, nor will they become perfect.

How sad, for those who stand in the fertile ground of the life of prayer of the saints in the Catholic Church, to seek things which are beneath and even demonic.

Pray for those who deceive themselves and lose discernment.

Stick with those who have gone before us, and who are in heaven and ignore those who can only lead to hell.

I could not post on Monday in the afternoon as this area was hit by severe weather and I could not get out.  Last night, the weather was also terrible. We had heat lightening for hours and then storms until four in the morning. Tonight looks like it will be similar. Many thousands of people are not getting power.

Corn and wheat products will be affected, as there was an early drought and now the deluge. Pray that people begin to realize that God is in charge and is allowing hard times to come. People complain, but, do not stop and reflect why things are difficult.

The number of babies slaughtered daily in this country provides one big reason for the tribulations which are merely beginning.

We have had a SLIM victory for religious freedom and the horrible backlash is hot and heavy.

Do not get complacent, please.

Yes, Indeed and Thanks to A Reader for This Link


Thousands of people are without electricity in this area because of the huge storms which came through last night. Many places are flooded. Several events for July 4th in the area have been cancelled.

Pray for all those effected.

This is the beginning...

Today Is Also

..the feast day of Blessed Junipera Serra and one of my favorite saints, St. Oliver Plunket.

See previous posts on the latter.

Happy Feast

Today is the Feast of the Most Precious Blood.

Read and meditate.

Apostolic Letter of Pope John XXIII
To his Venerable Brother Patriarchs, Primates, Archbishops, Bishops and other Local Ordinaries in Peace and Communion with the Apostolic See
Venerable brethren: greetings and apostolic blessings.
From the very outset of our pontificate, in speaking of daily devotions we have repeatedly urged the faithful (often in eager tones that frankly hinted our future design) to cherish warmly that marvellous manifestation of divine mercy toward individuals and Holy Church and the whole world redeemed and saved by Jesus Christ: we mean devotion to his Most Precious Blood.
From infancy this devotion was instilled in us within our own household. Fondly we still recall how our parents used to recite the Litany of the Most Precious Blood every day during July.
The Apostle's wholesome advice comes to mind: "Keep watch, then, over yourselves, and over God's Church, in which the Holy Spirit has made you bishops; you are to be the shepherds of that flock which he won for himself at the price of his own blood."[1] Now among the cares of our pastoral office, venerable brethren, we are convinced that, second only to vigilance over sound doctrine, preference belongs to the proper surveillance and development of piety, in both its liturgical and private expressions. With that in mind, we judge it most timely to call our beloved children's attention to the unbreakable bond which must exist between the devotions to the Most Holy Name and Most Sacred Heart of Jesus -- already so widespread among Christians -- and devotion to the incarnate Word's Most Precious Blood, "shed for many, to the remission of sins."[2]
It is supremely important that the Church's liturgy fully conform to Catholic belief ("the law for prayer is the law for faith"[3]), and that only those devotional forms be sanctioned which well up from the unsullied springs of true faith. But the same logic calls for complete accord among different devotions. Those deemed more basic and more conducive to holiness must not be at odds with or cut off from one another. And the more individualistic and secondary ones must give way in popularity and practice to those devotions which more effectively actuate the fullness of salvation wrought by the "one mediator between God and men, Jesus Christ, who is a man, like them, and gave himself as a ransom for them all." [4] Through living in an atmosphere thus charged with true faith and solid piety the faithful can be confident that they are "thinking with the Church" and holding fast in the loving fellowship of prayer to Christ Jesus, the high priest of that sublime religion which he founded and which owes to him its name, its strength, its dignity.
The Church's wonderful advances in liturgical piety match the progress of faith itself in penetrating divine truth. Within this development it is most heart-warming to observe how often in recent centuries this Holy See has openly ap proved and furthered the three devotions just mentioned. From the Middle Ages, it is true, many pious persons prac ticed these devotions, which then spread to various dioceses and religious orders and congregations. Nevertheless it remained for the Chair of Peter to pronounce them orthodox and approve them for the Church as a whole.
Suffice it to recall the spiritual favours that our predecessors from the sixteenth century on have attached to prac ticing devotion to the Most Holy Name of Jesus, which in the previous century St. Bernardine of Siena untiringly spread throughout Italy. Approval was given first to the Office and Mass of the Most Holy Name and later to the Litany.[5] No less striking are the benefits the popes have attached to practising devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, whose rise and spread owe so much to the revelations of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.[6] So highly have all the popes regarded this devotion that again and again in their official acts they have expounded its nature, defended its validity, promoted its practice. Their crowning achievement on this devotion are three splendid encyclicals.[7]
Likewise the devotion to the Most Precious Blood, which owes its marvellous diffusion to the 19th-century Ro man priest, St. Gaspar del Bufalo, has rightly merited the approval and backing of this Apostolic See. We may recall that by order of Benedict XIV the Mass and Office in honour of the divine Saviour's adorable Blood were composed. And to fulfill a vow made at Gaeta Pius IX extended the feast to the whole Church.[8] Finally, as a commemoration of the nineteenth centenary of our redemption, Pius XI of happy memory raised this feast to the rank of first-class double, so that the greater liturgical splendour would highlight the devotion and bring to men more abundant fruits of the re deeming Blood.
Following our predecessors' example we have taken further steps to promote the devotion to the Precious Blood of the unblemished Lamb, Jesus Christ. We have approved the Litany of the Precious Blood drawn up by the Sacred Congregation of Rites and through special indulgences have encouraged its public and private recitation throughout the Catholic world. Amid today's most serious and pressing spiritual needs, may this latest exercise of that "care for all the churches"[9] proper to our sovereign office awaken in Christian hearts a firm conviction about the supreme abiding effectiveness of these three devotions.
As we now approach the feast and month devoted to honouring Christ's Blood ---- the price of our redemption, the pledge of salvation and life eternal -- may Christians meditate on it more fervently, may they savour its fruits more frequently in sacramental communion. Let their meditations on the boundless power of the Blood be bathed in the light of sound biblical teaching and the doctrine of the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. How truly precious is this Blood is voiced in the song which the Church sings with the Angelic Doctor (sentiments wisely seconded by our predecessor Clement VI [10] ) :
Blood that but one drop of has the world to win
All the world forgiveness of its world of sin. [11]
Unlimited is the effectiveness of the God-Man's Blood -- just as unlimited as the love that impelled him to pour it out for us, first at his circumcision eight days after birth, and more profusely later on in his agony in the garden,[12] in his scourging and crowning with thorns, in his climb to Calvary and crucifixion, and finally from out that great wide wound in his side which symbolizes the divine Blood cascading down into all the Church's sacraments. Such sur passing love suggests, nay demands, that everyone reborn in the torrents of that Blood adore it with grateful love.
The Blood of the new and eternal covenant especially deserves this worship of latria when it is elevated during the sacrifice of the Mass. But such worship achieves its normal fulfilment in sacramental communion with the same Blood, indissolubly united with Christ's eucharistic Body. In intimate association with the celebrant the faithful can then truly make his sentiments at communion their own: "I will take the chalice of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord. . . The Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ preserve my soul for everlasting life. Amen." Thus as often as they come worthily to this holy table they will receive more abundant fruits of the redemption and resurrection and eternal life won for all men by the Blood Christ shed "through the Holy Spirit."[13] Nourished by his Body and Blood, sharing the divine strength that has sustained count less martyrs, they will stand up to the slings and arrows of each day's fortunes -- even if need be to martyrdom itself for the sake of Christian virtue and the kingdom of God. Theirs will be the experience of that burning love which made St. John Chrysostom cry out:
Let us, then, come back from that table like lions breathing out fire, thus becoming terrifying to the Devil, and remaining mindful of our Head and of the love he has shown for us. . . This Blood, when worthily received, drives away demons and puts them at a distance from us, and even summons to us angels and the Lord of angels. . . This Blood, poured out in abundance, has washed the whole world clean. . . This is the price of the world; by it Christ purchased the Church... This thought will check in us unruly passions. How long, in truth, shall we be attached to present things? How long shall we remain asleep? How long shall we not take thought for our own salvation? Let us remember what privileges God has bestowed on us, let us give thanks, let us glorify him, not only by faith, but also by our very works. [14]
If only Christians would reflect more frequently on the fatherly warning of the first pope: "Look anxiously, then, to the ordering of your lives while your stay on earth lasts.
You know well enough that your ransom was not paid in earthly currency, silver or gold; it was paid in the precious blood of Christ; no lamb was ever so pure, so spotless a victim."[15] If only they would lend a more eager ear to the apostle of the Gentiles: "A great price was paid to ransom you; glorify God by making your bodies the shrines of his presence."[16] Their upright lives would then be the shining ex ample they ought to be; Christ's Church would far more effectively fulfill its mission to men. God wants all men to be saved,[17] for he has willed that they should all be ransomed by the Blood of his only-begotten Son; he calls them all to be members of the one Mystical Body whose head is Christ. If only men would be more responsive to these promptings of his grace, how much the bonds of brotherly love among individuals and peoples and nations would be strengthened. Life in society would be so much more peaceable, so much worthier of God and the human nature created in his image and likeness.[18]
This is the sublime vocation that St. Paul urged Jewish converts to fix their minds on when tempted to nostalgia for what was only a weak figure and prelude of the new covenant: "The scene of your approach now is mount Sion, is the heavenly Jerusalem, city of the living God; here are gathered thousands upon thousands of angels, here is the assembly of those first-born sons whose names are written in heaven, here is God sitting in judgment on all men, here are the spirits of just men, now made perfect; here is Jesus, the spokesman of the new covenant, and the sprinkling of his blood, which has better things to say than Abel's had." [19]
We have full confidence, venerable brethren, that these fatherly exhortations of ours, once brought to the attention of your priests and people in whatever way you deem best, will be put into practice not just willingly but enthusiastically. As a sign of heavenly graces and our affection we im part our most heartfelt apostolic blessing to each of you and to all your flocks, and particularly to those who respond with devout generosity to the promptings of this letter.
Given at St. Peter's in Rome, the eve of the feast of Our Lord Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood, June 30, 1960, the second year of our pontificate.
1. Acts 20:28.
2. Matthew 26 :2&
3. Encyclical "On the Sacred Liturgy," America Press edition (New York: 1954), No. 46.
4. I Timothy 2:5-6.
5. Acta Sanctae Sedis 18 (1886) :509.
6. Cf. Office for the feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, 2nd nocturn, lesson 5.
7. "On the Consecration of mankind to the Sacred Heart of Jesus," The
Great Encyclical Letters of Pope Leo XIII (New York: 1903), 454-- 461; "The Reparation Due to the Sacred Heart," The Catholic Mind
26 (1928): 221-235; "On Devotion to the Sacred Heart," The Pope
Speaks 3 (1956): 115-149.
8. Decree "Redempti Sumus," Aug. 10, 1849, Decreta Authentica S.RC. (Rome: 1898), II, No. 2978.
9. II Corinthians 11:28.
10. Bull "The Only Begotten Son of God," Jan. 25, 1343, The Sources of Catholic Dogma (St. Louis: 1957), No. 550.
1. Hymn "Adoro te devote." Translation from Poems of Gerard Manley Hopkins (Oxford: 1930), No. 89.
12. Luke 22:43.
13. Hebrews 9:14.
14. "Homily 46," Commentary on Saint John the Apostle and Evangelist (Fathers of the Church, New York: 1957), 469, 471-472.
15. 1 Peter 1:17-19.
16. I Corinthians 6:20.
17. Cf. I Timothy 2:4.
18. Cf. Genesis 1:26.
19. Hebrews 12:22-24.

Today's Decision

Well, today in America, not GMT.

Celebrate-Good SCOTUS Decision

Very Bad Weather Means No Posts

Sorry about no posts today-severe storms and under, still, a tornado watch. There has been 24 hours of terrrible weather, including flash floods, high winds, even up to 70 mile per hour gusts and yet, another line of storms is on the way. Will hopefully post tomorrow. GMT times and CDT are a six hour difference. So, I am writing on one day which you may be surprised to get posts.


The crops will be impacted, folks. There are many big trees down and some farm building damage.