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Saturday 5 July 2014

Big Post Day

Huge Storm kept me in the cafe for a while....

Hello to Readers from Argentina

Of course....

Memorares Do Not Forget

Still collecting Memorares for the college in Ireland. Got more.....

84,9154 to date....

Serious Development just gets worse

Sent via a great friend as I missed this


Friday, 4 July 2014

A picture of the homosexual lobby's war against children and families

Today Stonewall, the UK's main homosexual organisation, is holding a conference about how to indoctrinate schoolchildren with homosexual ideology. Sarah Guerra, one of Stonewall's supporters, today tweeted this picture, with the caption "Now for including different families in primary schools":

Interestingly, Sarah Guerra, whose surname is Spanish for "war", has the Twitter handle "equalitywarrior". I can't think of a more poignant example of the homosexual lobby's war against children and families.

Comments on this blog? Email them to 


Pray for an excellent seminarian at the Brompton Oratory, my good friend Zak.

Congratulations to him on his tonsure.

Question Two from Garrigou-Lagrange

A second question to answer is whether perfection is for all Christians to pursue, or just those who follow the counsels of the religious orders, the vows of poverty, chastity and obedience being shortcuts to perfection. As the author notes, referring to Aquinas, these counsels are “accidental”, and “more surely” lead us to perfection.

Aquinas notes, in the paraphrase of Garrigou-Lagrange, that “Christian perfection consists essentially in a generous fulfillment of the commandments”.

That we are all called to this journey to perfection, as I have noted over and over on this blog, is our duty. St. Catherine is invoked, stating that, again in the words of Garrgou-Lagrange, that “the perfect fulfillment of the commandments is impossible without the spirit animating the counsels, the spirit of detachment from all creatures, which is simply one aspect of the love of God and which must always increase in us.”

Sadly, for many, many years, even before Vatican II, priests watered down the call to holiness for the laity, as if there were two tiers of expectations in the Church.

The religious life is a “higher call’ in so far as the life itself is geared totally to perfection. But, the lay person is also called to perfection, not any less than the nun, monk or priest.

So, as St. Catherine points out, if one has riches, one must not be proud. If one things, one must use all as if merely lent by God. Riches and things can be profitable for one’s salvation, but only, “for a man, so using them….observes the counsels in spirit, having cut out of his heart the poison of disordinate love and affection.” We are to be lords over are things, not as servants.

Too many people who pursuer the life of asceticism, actually have never loved anyone, perhaps not even themselves. There can be a hatred of self and others, which masks as detachment. I have met people like this myself, who think they are on the road to holiness because they have given up things or relationships, only to have fallen back into gross selfishness and self-centered decisions.

The answer is love.

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange again, “ By following this path the soul may reach the perfection of charity even in this world, may reach such a pure and might love for God and souls that it will be prepared to accept insults, contempt, affronts, ridicule, persecution, everything for the honor of our Lord and the salvation of one’s neighbor.”

To be continued…

Love Is The Answer Again

Finishing up the chapter on “The Will and Holy Love of God”, one is taught how to come into God’s perfect will for our lives.

“As a practical conclusion, we must allow ourselves to be loved by this exceedingly holy, purifying, life-giving love, and submit to its purifications, however painful they may be at times. And it should be met with a generous response, according to these words of St. John: ‘Let us love God: because He hate first loved us’”.

Garrigou-Lagrange continues, “We must love the Lord for His Own sake, with a purity of intention rising above the promptings of vainglory and pride and that self-seeking which is induced by jealously and the desire for the esteem of men.”

Here is the crunch paragraph. One can meditate on this paragraph for a long time.

“The beginning in us of a pure love for God will then be some participation in that love which God has for Himself, a spark from that divine furnace of His own self-love . And as our love grows purer daily, it will increase in holiness, generosity, and strength. Indeed it will make us invincible, according to the phrase of St. Paul (Rom. 8:1), ‘If God be with us, who can be against us?’ And finally, our love thus gradually purified will enable us to triumph over death itself and will open the gates of paradise to us. When we enter into glory, we shall be established forever in a supernatural love for God that can nevermore be lost or lessened.”

Love is the answer. Living, working, walking, speaking, resting in love is the way to fulfill the perfect will of God in our lives.

This post sums up the entire perfection series, but I do not think I am ready to write (again) this is the last perfection post.

Real Love

Too many people continue to look for happiness either in things or in other people. To continue to seek the Good in others is not only a journey doomed to fail, but a misplaced preference.

We must prefer the love of God before all other loves. As Garrigou-Lagrange notes, only when we are focused on God will our lives be in order.

God’s love is supremely holy, absolutely pure; it is unchangeable, never ceasing. God is the sovereign good and therefore, He can and does love Himself perfectly.

“…God in preferring Himself to all things is preferring the sovereign good.” His creation is a manifestation of His goodness. Creation is His goodness manifested externally. 

Our own personal dignity is raised through our praise of God.  “The more we give glory to God, the greater will be our own glory,” states Garrigou-Lagrange. He is describing the lives of the saints in this phrase.

Now, here comes an idea which may be shocking to some, but understood by the Church Militant.  God’s love is holiness...and “not only is it absolutely pure and incapable of sin but it has its inevitable sequel a holy hatred of everything that is evil. In fact, no true love of the good can exist without a detestation of evil; we cannot love the sovereign good above all things without a sovereign detestation of sin. ….With Him, there is no bargaining or compromising with evil.  This, in the divine light and shade, stands out in clear relief. …Where sin is willfully persisted in, the love of God, which is gentleness itself, becomes a thing of terror. ‘Love is as strong as death, jealousy as hard as hell.’ (Cant.8:6) God detests sin with a burning hatred, which is simply the obverse of His ardent love for the good.”

This is why we are, as a Western society, moving towards a time of great tribulation. This is not merely a time of punishment, but of purification, as nations and peoples (as I have written before months ago on this blog) can fall into deep sin.

God Who Is Love will no longer hold back His Hand. The time of mercy is rapidly coming to an end. The time of justice, which is the other side of love, is coming upon us soon.

Too many Catholics not only do not hate evil, but tolerate it. This is an unspeakable blasphemy against God, Who will not be mocked.

To avoid this tribulation, people and nations only have to do one thing—love God more than themselves. Garrigou-Lagrange notes this of ourselves. He also states this, “..we ought to love with a holy love our own soul and its destiny, or it has been created to give glory to God eternally. Let us love ourselves with this holy love, in God and for His sake; this is the way to overcome that inordinate love of self in which egotism consists.”

To take an idea from the author and change the perspective, an egotist would become a saint if he stopped loving his lower self and began to love his soul.

To be continued….

Short and Sweet from The Master

Garrigou-Lagrange emphasizes in his text on Providence, the mystery of seeing things as God sees all things. I have used on this blog the phrase, “putting on the Mind of Christ” of St. Paul to say something similar. Here is Garrigou-Lagrange: “In the spirit of faith and by the dim light it sheds let us accustom ourselves gradually to see all things in God. Let us see in the pleasant events of our life the token of God’s goodness, and also in the painful and unexpected afflictions a call to a higher life, as being so many graces sent for our purification and therefore often more to be prized than consolations. St. Peter crucified was nearer to God than on Thabor.”

“By thus accustoming ourselves to live by faith and the gift of wisdom we shall become every day better fitted to enter into that knowledge which is to be ours at the end of our journey through life. We shall then see God face to face, and in Him all that emanates from Him, especially those things we have loved on earth with a supernatural love. St. Francis and St. Dominic thus behold in God the destinies of their orders, and a Christian mother on entering heaven sees in Him the spiritual needs of the son she has left on earth and the prayers she must offer up for him.”

In Providence, in the Wisdom of God, is our peace, as the Dominican points out. We may not feel joy on this earth, but we shall experience God’s peace “which comes from order through union with God.”

Do Not Engage

For those code-breakers, who read the series earlier this year, I want to add some ideas to the breaking of the codes of sins in families.

Number one; deal with the sin in yourself first. I wrote this before, but it is the first stage and the first necessary step. 

Two, once you are free of the code, or if you have married into a family which needs a code broken, ask for the ability to see the sin clearly when it rears up.

Three, do not engage in the sins of the code. For example, if the entire family is sitting around the bar-b-que speaking negatively or going over years of unfogiveness, do not get sucked into the vortex of these patterns. Ask God for wisdom as to how to avoid such sin.

Four, gently point out the problem to those who may be open to changing. For example, in one group I know, people speak ill of the dead, even those long dead. I tried to change the subject and said, merely, “We should not speak ill of the dead.”

The conversation stopped, thankfully, but one person may have been upset with me for saying this.

Five, if necessary sadly, the code-breaker may have to avoid certain situations and just pray and fast, instead of engaging in social gatherings, or in conversations on the phone with those stuck in the codes of sin.

See the rest of the series for more…

Reviewing Providence

I realized opening the book Providence, that, although I had started it years ago (2009), I had not finished it. That was the year I got cancer and Hashimoto’s Disease, and my focus changed for a while, from reading to watching fantastic DVDs, such as the life of Teresa of Avila and other great religious series.

I think that in God’s plan, He did not want me to read the rest of the book until after I had done research on the road to perfection through the Doctors of the Church and Garrigou-Lagrange’s Three Ages of the Interior Life, which are the topics of over 600 posts on this blog, from 2012-2014.

I prefer going to the original source material in order to learn something, and the writings of the Doctors of the Church provided the basis, as well as the above book on the levels of the interior life.

Now, in this book, I shall not, as I stated before here, cover the entire book but merely highlight some of the chapters which I think fit into one of the themes of this blog.

As a fast reader, I can usually finish a book in a few days. However, with Garrigou-Lagrange, one must stop and reflect continually, setting down and picking up the words of sheer, holy insight which he provides.

His books are books for meditation and active contemplation. One reason I break up his ideas is so that my readers can use the section for meditation and active contemplation.

One of the reasons I did not finish the book was that I would have been reading it purely as an intellectual exercise, rather than a heart-felt meditation. The past few years have allowed my soul to be pummeled into receiving some of these truths rather than just my intellect.

But, we are intellect, memory, understanding, body, will and soul, all of which must be brought together to the place where God can speak to us and we can actually hear His voice.

I shall return to examining the book, but am taking a break today, as I want what I have read to sink in, as it were. I am sure you readers will do the same with the short passages-read, reflect, think, act…..

To be continued….

The Devil and The Law

I have been travelling to various houses, families, in the Midwest since I landed in Chicago months ago. Because of being immersed in the culture and because of experiencing many different peoples, I have discovered two main reasons why America will fail as a country in the near future. These reasons have histories, which were planted in the foundations of this democracy. If you have never read de Tocqueville, now is the time to do so. It is never too late to understand the times.

The first reason is the philosophical mindset which the American Dream shares with communism and Marxism. This ideology, of course, is materialism, the belief that there is no afterlife and that life on earth can be some sort of material utopia. Materialism denies the soul, the operation of the spiritual in life, and the need for religion in the market place. Materialism worships the god, the demon, Mammon.

The second reason may, at first, not seem connected, but is an insidious, core belief which will bring America to its knees, and this is anarchism.

Anarchists do not want any rules: no guidelines, no Ten Commandments, no Common Law, no Rule of Law. Anarchy is the primal sin of satan.  All rebellion rests in anarchy, which holds that governance is always wrong. Anarchy grows out of the heart of pride and lawlessness.

There are more anarchists in Europe than America, but the attitude of getting by in small crime, and the tendency to rebel against laws seems obvious here.

A small example: fireworks and firecrackers are illegal in the State where I spent July 4th with a family as a guest. Yet, in this town neighborhood, at least seven families displayed and used both fireworks and firecrackers. The people I stayed with did not want to phone the police, as they fear repercussions from so many neighbors, who not only broke the law for hours and hours, even until three in the morning, but who endangered the safety of their pets, children, and properties. Of course, I had a huge asthma attack from the smoke and chemicals in the air. The family tells me this happens yearly and will continue all weekend. I had no idea so many people were allowed to break the law. When I questioned the family members as to why they thought the police did not care, they replied that the police were busy on this day with drunk drivers and other breaches of the peace. The family just want to get along with their neighbors. As a guest, it was not my place to interfere, but I could see the lack of community in the neighborhood and the selfishness of a younger generation than mine who simply do not care about others or even their own children’s safety.

Such anarchy and hatred of law reveals contempt for society, not merely contempt for the law. Law exists for the common good, for the most part. Of course, there are unjust laws, and immoral laws, as Catholics understand. But, the reason for law is order and without a religious basis, law becomes whatever a government decides, instead of what is in the heart, but either ignored or suppressed by sin and arrogance.

Today, I am still suffering from asthma, wondering how people have so much money to waste on illegal activities. I wonder at the hours of television my guests watched regarding the glorification of America without any, not one, reference to God, Who gave years of freedom and plenty to this land.

Of course, stations like EWTN aired the Third Annual Mass for Religious Freedom ending the two weeks of prayer for religious freedom, which was not mentioned in any parish in this area, either from the pulpits or in bulletins , as the family, Church-going Catholics,  had known nothing about it, the prayers from the USCCB and the activities found in some dioceses not promulgated here.

It is ironic that those who should be preserving the law have either twisted it or ignored it. It is sad that too many Americans do not recognize law as ultimately from natural law and, therefore, from God.

I was speaking with one of this family’s members who said that she did not believe that the Catholic Church had all the truth. She had heard this from a course she took at the local Catholic college-a course which pushed relativism and undermined the Teaching Magisterium of the Church. Catholic teaching was the same or not superior to that of the Protestants or Buddhists, or even agnostics in her mind. She goes to Church weekly. Yet, she simply does not believe in the awesome truth of Catholic teaching. She is a product of this age-a relativist, a subjective thinker, not any different from those who set off the firecrackers behind her house.

Again, the Rule of Law in the Church has been destroyed in people’s minds. Church law and teaching no longer are seen as infallible, true, an expression of God’s order in the world.

This country is ripe for a huge downfall, as the souls of the citizens have died the death of materialism and anarchy. Their own lack of understanding as to the need of spiritual order will allow a tyrannical, overly bureaucratic government to take over, easily. I pity the children, who like dead leaves in the Autumn, will be blown away by the winds which will sweep over the plains once the fall comes. They have no moral frameworks, no connection with natural law or their own ignored souls to protect them.

These thoughts brought to mind the famous saying of the character of Thomas More in A Man for All Seasons. If you did not understand the reference then, you will perhaps understand it now.

Mary Our Model

Continuing with the beautiful chapter on love and the will of God from Garrigou-Lagrange, one sees the movement of holiness coming from God, in His perfect will and in His love.

I think it is worth quoting him at length, as I do not want to miss any of the jewels in his paragraphs.

Some may be a repetition, but no one can over-meditate or contemplate in active contemplation on the love of God.

We are love by God far more than we think. To realize the extent of his love for us, we should have to know fully the value of grace when it has reached its final development in the glory of heaven; we would have to see God, if only for an instant.”

This seeing God for an instant occurs at our particular judgment. So, we are condemned by love, or we are saved in love.

St. Thomas Aquinas is quoted many times in this chapter on love and God’s will. “It is always the best that God prefers.” This means that there is an order of love, to which I referred in the last post.

Aquinas continues…”for, since He is the source of all goodness, one thing would not be better than another, did He not love it with a great love”. (Ia, q.20, a.3)

The characteristics of God’s love are that it is universal, free, a manifestation of goodness and invincible.

All these characteristics lead to the predilection of God’s will. God calls sinners, us, over and over and over, in His love.

Our wills must be conformed to the divine will and to love, as Garrigou-Lagrange notes, again referring to Aquinas. Two aspects of God’s will provide us with the understanding of how to come into union with Him, the goal of perfection.

These two aspects are “the divine will of expression”. Let me let Garrigou-Lagrange explain this: “By the divine will of expression, we mean all those external signs that reveal God’s will—command, prohibitions, the spirit underlying the counsels, and everything that happens by His will or permission. The divine will thus expressed, especially in commands, comes within the domain of obedience, and as St. Thomas remarks, is what we refer to when we say in the Our Father, ‘Thy will be done.’”

Let me stop here for a moment and unpack this in light of the Mass of April 12th.

Our Lady Mary was completely obedient from birth because of her unique grace. All the commands, prohibitions, and the counsels of poverty, chastity and obedience were perfected in her. She totally followed the divine will of expression. Here is the Collect of that day.

“O God, Who didst make the blessed Virgin Mary surpass all creatures as perfect partaker and image of Christ’s interior virtues, grant, we pray, that we may so venerate Mary’s interior life as to become through her conformed to Christ and through Him perfectly united to Thee. Through the same our Lord.”

This Collect describes the way of perfection perfectly. This prayer refers to the interior virtues which led Mary to live in the divine will of expression.

The second aspect of God’s will, “the divine will of pleasure”, is, Garrigou-Lagrange writes, “…the interior act of God’s will, which often is not yet revealed or expressed externally. Upon it depends our still uncertain future—future events, future joys and trials, whether of long or short duration, the hour and circumstances of our death, and so on. As St. Francis of Sales remarks and Bossuet after him, whereas the expressed will of God is the domain of obedience, the will of His good pleasure is the domain of obedience, the will of His good pleasure is the domain of trusting surrender….in making our will conform daily to the divine will as expressed, we must for the rest abandon ourselves in all confidence to the divine will of good pleasure, for we are certain beforehand that it wills nothing, permits nothing, unless for the spiritual and eternal welfare of those who love God, and persevere in that love.”

God’s love for us is sheer generosity. “O, Generous Love,” as Cardinal Newman writes in “The Dream of Gerontius”.

God states, as the Dominican author reminds us, “ You have not chosen me…but I have chosen you” (John 15:16).

How wonderful, how beautiful…how loving, how kind.

More later…much more

Love and Suffering

Victim Then Victor

I can now write a bit more about the experience I had of Christ’s Passion. This was not a physical experience, but an existential one.

For about fifteen minutes, I felt the complete abandonment of people and of God. It was hell. No love, no light, no peace, just a blackness of fear and emptiness. Gradually, after making an act of faith and act of love,  and understanding that this was a gift of understanding and knowledge, I was released from this horrible experience only to be led into the Harrowing of Hell, again, as an emotional and intellectual, not a physical experience, although fear and abandonment do cause physical reactions.

When Christ descended into hell, as we say in the Creed, He went down first as Victim, experiencing all the pain and agony of those who have sinned and turned against God. He experienced what a soul who needs salvation does, what all who need salvation do, except that He is All Perfect, All Good, the Only Pure Victim. He went down as a Victim and then, immediately as He conquered sin, death and satan, as Victor, over death and damnation, going through hell, freeing those who waited for Him. He literally unlocked the Gates of Heaven so that from that day forward, we all have the chance for eternal bliss. As Victor, He overcame Death and Decay through His Purity and Perfection, as God-Man, as the only valid Sacrifice Who could be made for our sins.

That Christ suffered for all men and women is a profound truth, pointing to the fact that only a God could do that.

The intense pain of Christ was our pains, our sins, not His, of course. His moment of death in all its existential horrors as well as physical ones, He allowed Himself to experience.

He made His Own act of confidence in God on the Cross, “Father, into Your Hands, I commend My Spirit.”

But, He accepted His Passion, the pain of His Entire Being totally in love, for love of us.

To love in the midst of such agony is sheer gift. This is what we all must desire, in our imperfections, allowing God to cleanse us of all which separates us from Him.

He allowed others to take control of His Holy Self. He allowed others to torture and disrespect Him. He allowed Himself to feel the brunt of hatred.

Love is the answer, the only answer to suffering. Love leads to forgiveness and new life, just as Christ was raised from the dead, so too, shall we, if we persevere.

In the morning light

I am a morning person. If I can live according to my own schedule, not other household’s, I am in bed between 10-11 and up at 6. I love going to morning mass, (not possible in the land of cars) and praying outside in the early morning sun.

My favorite animals are birds, and they love the morning as well. The morning chorus is their daily song of praise to God for their creation. They take joy in the morning.

This morning, the chickadees reminded me that the garden belongs to them. The solitary hummingbird came up to the pink hanging petunias. The roses are moving into their second bloom, the last, as in the Midwest, most roses only bloom twice, or even once. This is hard to see, as roses bloom into October in England. But, one enjoys the blooms while these grace the edges of the garden.

Morning is the time for introverts, as we have time to reflect, listen, watch, think of the day. One can begin the day in silence, and today, most people are enjoying the long weekend, sleeping in, which they should do, after a long week of work.

The robins, which descend in flocks, slowly disappear in the heat of the summer. Where they go, I do not know, but they will fly up here again towards the north, flock and leave again.

But, today, a few stragglers eat the worms which have been flushed out onto the sidewalks from the copious amount of rain.

This morning was the first time I heard the wing-song of the locusts, the ebbing and flowing of their call, another sound of praise to the Creator, who, unlike us, they do not know. I love the locusts’ song from their large wings in the oaks and elms which surround this property. Growing up with locusts and tree frogs serenading me most during most of my childhood, I love the soothing sound of the insects and amphibians, which point to earlier days, before men and women settled these lands.

This morning, I discovered, for the first time in my long life as a Catholic, in the 1962 Missal, the memorial, “The Interior Life of The Blessed Virgin”. In my many years of attending Mass on April 12th, I do not think I have ever assisted at one which honored this memorial.

I refer to it because the overlap with Garrigou-Lagrange’s superb chapter “The Will and Holy Love of God” will be obvious.

First of all, let me quote the introductory paragraph.

“Mary was created immaculate, and therefore the grace of God streamed into her sould without check or hindrance. She began her journey along the road to perfection at a height to which other Saints arrive only at the end of a long life of saintliness. An intimate union with God, a continual and joyful remembrance of His presence, a perfect agreement of will with Him was the beginning of His gifts to Mary.”
Our first model on the road to perfection is, of course, Mary.

The Tract for this day also gives us insights into the entire chapter of Garrigou-Lagrange on God’s love.

The Tract is from the Song of Songs, (Cant. 2:3-5, 16;5:8,6; 6:2).

“I sat down under his shadow whom I desired, and his fruit was sweet to my palate. He brought me into the cellar of wine, he set in order charity in me. Stay me up with flowers, compass me about with apples, because I languish with love. My beloved to me and I to him; my soul melted when he spoke. I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you tell him that I languish with love.”

The phrases I want to attempt to explain in light of Garrigou-Lagrange’s work are these:

I sat down under his shadow…

he set in order charity in me..

that you tell him that I languish with love

First of all, like Mary of Bethany, one must sit before Christ, under his shadow. One must set time aside to reflect, such as early in the morning, listening, watching.

The shadow of God is all we can see until we are taken up into the Beatific Vision.

Second, Christ sets in us and sets us in an order of love. This order of love is not merely the Ten Commandments, but the higher walk of living the life of the virtues. This walk is absolutely an “order” and not chaos, or relativistic emotion.

That love orders us is part of the work of Divine Providence. In the next post, I shall go back to Garrigou-Lagrange for more on this point.

Third, we can invoke the saints to remind God that we are waiting for His love. We wait, in patience, and sometimes never experiencing for a long time consolation, but merely the assurance in faith, hope, and love, that He will come to us….

To be continued…

More Garrigou

Reading Garrigou-Lagrange is like eating Death by Chocolate Cake. One needs to stop and take a breath before continuing absorbing all the fantastic insights he gives one.

In the chapter “The Will and Holy Love of God”, the author looks at these points: a) in what way love is in God and in what way He loves Himself; b) and the nature of His love for us.

How wonderful to read a chapter on love.

There is a third section on “the will of expression in and the will of His good pleasure.”

Remember that there is no sensibility in God as He is pure spirit. Therefore, in God, “a wholly spiritual and eternal act of love for the good necessarily exists, and this good loved from all eternity is God Himself, His infinite perfection, which is the fullness of being. God loves Himself….infinitely.

Of course, our pea-brains cannot understand this “eternally subsisting burning flame, ignis ardens.”

We can only hope to have glimpses of this great love, by looking and meditating on the Cross of Christ and the Scriptures, and by partaking in the sacramental life of the Church.

One passage quoted by the author may help us perceive, a bit, this undying, eternal, infinite love:

“We read in the Gospel, ‘Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: or they shall have their fill.’ (Matt. 5:6). This is that burning love for the good which is mightier than all contradictions, than all weariness and temptations to discouragement we may meet with, a love mighty as death, even mightier than death, as seen in our Lord and the martyrs. Yet this mighty, ardent love for the good, which must eventually dominate everything in our hearts, is but a spark springing from that spiritual furnace in God, the uncreated love for the sovereign good.”

To be continued…

Hello to Readers in Ireland

Hello to Friends from England