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Wednesday 13 August 2014

On Answers to Prayers

Now, some of my readers will be ahead of the game from me on this point. It may seem like an obvious point, but it is not until one has experienced it.

The point is this: prayers are answered when these are in the Will of God. Prayers are not answered when these are not in the Divine Will.

Now, from all time, Divine Providence has seen our lives and known us. God has had us and our lives, our trials, failures, sins, successes in mind from all time.

So, when we pray, we are either praying in the Will of God or not.

How do we know if we are praying in the Divine Will? Simple, our prayers are answered.

Too simple for words---sometimes the answer is delayed. But, if the prayer is answered, it is because our wills have been in the Will of God.

God does not "change His mind" in prayer. If someone has cancer and we pray and that person is healed, that was in the Will of God. If someone has cancer and we pray and that person is not healed, that is also God's Will.

Too many people think that they can influence God. No, He puts both the will and the action in us.

When Christ states, "Ask and you shall receive", He specifically means that our good prayers said in conformity with God's Will are answered.

St. Thomas More must have prayed that he would not have to face death for his Faith. This was not to be so.

Here is an interesting site with the trial and his comments, as well as his death and comments.

He did tell us not to be afraid.

Nice One...Thanks, Fr. Z.

In case you missed this....important note from the Vatican

Reviewing Grace

This is a fuller answer to a Protestant reader. Most Protestants only believe in one type of grace. See my series on grace here. And the CCC under the painting.

22 Jul 2014
The predominant faults we have cause us not to cooperate with grace. Pride, greed, envy, lust and so on keep one from following the urgings of grace. Do people actually ignore little hints, or even big hints? Yes. A man I know ...
20 Jun 2014
Yes, this is a wonderful grace-but it takes much suffering from others and dependence upon Divine Providence to obtain it and recognize it. Forgiveness with the will and prayer for those that calumniate us is also a path to ...
10 May 2014
One does not get more "grace" by doing things in the traditional mode; one may get merit; one can have more easy access to grace through the traditional movement. One may be made more open by attending the Latin Mass, ...
06 Mar 2014
There is much confusion among Catholics less than 55 years old on the nature of grace. This is owing to bad catechesis and the Protestand mindset which crept into the Church in the 1970s. I am reposting this and one.
28 Jul 2013
Internal helps, which are either permanent (such as infused habits, for instance, sanctifying grace, the virtues and gifts) or transient (such as supernatural movements which excite in us indeliberate acts, pious thoughts and .
02 Dec 2013
Justification is to be derived from the prevenient grace of God, through Jesus Christ, that is to say, from His vocation, whereby, without any merits existing on their parts, they are called; that so they, who by sins were alienated .
21 Mar 2013
Internal helps, which are either permanent (such as infused habits, for instance, sanctifying grace, the virtues and gifts) or transient (such as supernatural movements which excite in us indeliberate acts, pious thoughts and ...
21 Mar 2013
We differ greatly from the Protestants, as we believe that Christ wants all to be saved. Grace is available to all men and women, but God gives as He wills, not as we will...We also believe that reason is an important faculty in ...
07 Apr 2013
I reiterate this point today as many converts coming from the Evangelical and Lutheran, as well as Anglican communities do not understand this interplay of grace and will. Grace is not a feeling. It is not a consolation. It is the ...
02 Jun 2012
The phrase Dei Gratia, is part of the title of the monarch of Great Britain. By the grace of God, she reigns. Now, Americans have a hard time with this overlap of religion and politics. And, this weekend's amazing celebration of ...
24 Mar 2013
... grace from another blog. Posted by Supertradmum · · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest.
16 Feb 2012
The subject of Baptism is found below in more than one posting, but we become children of God, heirs to heaven, freed from Original Sin, and given sanctifying grace, which means, the Indwelling of the Trinity. If a child, who ...
09 Jul 2014
“The Semi-Pelagians maintained that man can have the initium fidei et salutis, the beginning of faith and a good desire apart from grace, this beginning being subsequently confirmed by God. According to their view, not God ...
21 Jul 2014
(1) "Predestination to the first grace is not because God foresaw our naturally good works, nor is the beginning of salutary acts due to natural causes; (2) predestination to glory is not because God foresaw we would continue ...
23 Jul 2013
Grace is not fairy dust. Grace is the life of God given to us in several ways. There are also many posts on grace. One can use the search bar or the labels or the tags. Sacramentals. Here is merely the section on sacramentals ...
09 Jun 2014
Imagine Divine Providence, God from all time thinking of each one of us, seeing us in sanctifying grace, desiring that we persevere in baptismal innocence, as do so many of the saints. Each one of us is the object of God's ...
09 Apr 2014
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it. That others may be chosen and ...
06 Jun 2013
If sanctifying grace is the seed of eternal life in us, what follows as a result? First of all, that sanctifying grace, called "the grace of the virtues and the gifts," is "much more excellent," as St. Thomas says,(13) than the graces ...
05 Nov 2013
A gentle reminder is that the Dark Night is a grace, but one offered to all. How long it takes is up to God. For some, it lasts months and for some years. Again, one is reminded of Blessed Mother Teresa's 50 years in the Dark ...
13 Oct 2013
Third, the unity of this saint with the Holy Spirit would bring a near completion of this conception of "all is grace". Through intense suffering and death of the ego, Therese went through the purification of the senses and spirit ...
21 Mar 2013
Justification is to be derived from the prevenient grace of God, through Jesus Christ, that is to say, from His vocation, whereby, without any merits existing on their parts, they are called; that so they, who by sins were alienated ...
16 Jul 2013
Wherefore I beseech You, through grace and mercy, that, from today henceforward, I may never again wander from the path of Your doctrine, given by Your goodness to me and to whoever wishes to follow it, because without ...
05 Mar 2014
He told me that truth has a grace attached to it. Anytime we speak the truth, we conform to what Christ teaches and what is being taught by the Church. Every time we stand up for the truth there is an internal grace from God ...
27 Aug 2012
But, she had made a vow and the vow brought grace. She also stated that because of the days in which she lived, ten years after being a religious, at an older age and some maturity, she had virtually no counsel from priests ...
21 Mar 2013
The CCC is clear on merit and grace and this is like a summary of the perfection series! I do not think a commentary is necessary here. These selections from the CCC have been repeated in the Doctors of the Church series ...
03 Dec 2013
It is clear that the grace of the sacraments lead one to perfection. The Eucharist, states Blessed John Paul II, gives us both the power and the source of that complete gift of self. Christ gives Himself to each one of us and each ...
22 Jul 2014
(3) That those, however, who are walking in the path of righteousness in their innocence, He heals and aid their free will by grace. (4) The who go far from God, who is desirous of gathering the children of Jerusalem that will it ...
03 Dec 2013
... The Grace of Forgetfulness. Posted by Supertradmum. Listen to the mp3s I listed earlier.....Fr. Ripperger notes that the way of perfection is brutal. God bless this good priest, carrying on the tradition of Garrigou-Lagrange and ...
24 Mar 2012
I find that the recent plethora of false visions do not help the real concept of Mary as Mother of God, but only emphasize her role as petitioner, not even her role as Mediatrix of All Grace. The quicker Rome clarifies her position ...
20 Jan 2013
Who would be sufficient without God's grace to give continual attendance to reading and constant earnestness in work, receiving no advantage of present gain? And all these matters, as we cannot desire them continuously ...
22 Jul 2014
Basically, the Church has accepted and made into teachings the insights of St. Augustine against the Pelagians and Semipelagians. There is Original Sin, grace is necessary and gratuitous, and we are absolutely dependent ...

09 Jul 2014
(Should I comment here that this is the case for so many Protestants, who do not believe in sanctifying grace or the sacraments, but think the initial grace of conversion is enough? See my posts on the types of grace and on ...
06 Jun 2012
Now, both the low church Protestants and the atheists, including some of the anarchists below, would be shocked to know that they have in common the idea that we are idolaters par excellence. The academic craze for ...
21 Mar 2013
We differ greatly from the Protestants, as we believe that Christ wants all to be saved. Grace is available to all men and women, but God gives as He wills, not as we will...We also believe that reason is an important faculty in ...
11 Aug 2013
And, even in 2013, prejudice rears its ugly head in conversations with protestants, who have been raised to hate things, even people, which and who are Catholic. The second is disobedience, which is connected to heresy.
05 Jul 2012
Two things have struck me on this history, the history of Protestantism and the factions within the Catholic Church. Firstly, the Revolt of the Protestants, like the defection of the Arians, hurt the Church with a wound which is still ...
04 Aug 2012
In this post I want to talk about one of the most striking differences that I have noticed in the fundamental outlook of Protestants and Catholics regarding the relationship between God and His Church. In the title of this post, ...
29 May 2014
In the rest of the chapter, Manning shows how the only thing really separating the Protestants from the true Church is the "divine tradition of dogma, its certainty and purity." That the Holy Spirit has guided and taught the Church ...
01 Dec 2013
Because either some Protestants have made comments on this blog, or because some Catholics are thinking like Protestants, I am going to outline a few points of confusion. I apologize for the length of this. There will be more ...
28 Jul 2013
We differ greatly from the Protestants, as we believe that Christ wants all to be saved. Grace is available to all men and women, but God gives as He wills, not as we will...We also believe that reason is an important faculty in .

And from the CCC.


1987 The grace of the Holy Spirit has the power to justify us, that is, to cleanse us from our sins and to communicate to us "the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ" and through Baptism:34
But if we have died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with him. For we know that Christ being raised from the dead will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. The death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves as dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.35
1988 Through the power of the Holy Spirit we take part in Christ's Passion by dying to sin, and in his Resurrection by being born to a new life; we are members of his Body which is the Church, branches grafted onto the vine which is himself:36
[God] gave himself to us through his Spirit. By the participation of the Spirit, we become communicants in the divine nature. . . . For this reason, those in whom the Spirit dwells are divinized.37
1989 The first work of the grace of the Holy Spirit is conversion, effecting justification in accordance with Jesus' proclamation at the beginning of the Gospel: "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand."38 Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, thus accepting forgiveness and righteousness from on high. "Justification is not only the remission of sins, but also the sanctification and renewal of the interior man.39
1990 Justification detaches man from sin which contradicts the love of God, and purifies his heart of sin. Justification follows upon God's merciful initiative of offering forgiveness. It reconciles man with God. It frees from the enslavement to sin, and it heals.
1991 Justification is at the same time the acceptance of God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ. Righteousness (or "justice") here means the rectitude of divine love. With justification, faith, hope, and charity are poured into our hearts, and obedience to the divine will is granted us.
1992 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ who offered himself on the cross as a living victim, holy and pleasing to God, and whose blood has become the instrument of atonement for the sins of all men. Justification is conferred in Baptism, the sacrament of faith. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who makes us inwardly just by the power of his mercy. Its purpose is the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life:40
But now the righteousness of God has been manifested apart from law, although the law and the prophets bear witness to it, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction: since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, they are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as an expiation by his blood, to be received by faith. This was to show God's righteousness, because in his divine forbearance he had passed over former sins; it was to prove at the present time that he himself is righteous and that he justifies him who has faith in Jesus.41
1993 Justification establishes cooperation between God's grace and man's freedom. On man's part it is expressed by the assent of faith to the Word of God, which invites him to conversion, and in the cooperation of charity with the prompting of the Holy Spirit who precedes and preserves his assent:
When God touches man's heart through the illumination of the Holy Spirit, man himself is not inactive while receiving that inspiration, since he could reject it; and yet, without God's grace, he cannot by his own free will move himself toward justice in God's sight.42
1994 Justification is the most excellent work of God's love made manifest in Christ Jesus and granted by the Holy Spirit. It is the opinion of St. Augustine that "the justification of the wicked is a greater work than the creation of heaven and earth," because "heaven and earth will pass away but the salvation and justification of the elect . . . will not pass away."43 He holds also that the justification of sinners surpasses the creation of the angels in justice, in that it bears witness to a greater mercy.
1995 The Holy Spirit is the master of the interior life. By giving birth to the "inner man,"44 justification entails the sanctification of his whole being:
Just as you once yielded your members to impurity and to greater and greater iniquity, so now yield your members to righteousness for sanctification. . . . But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves of God, the return you get is sanctification and its end, eternal life.45
1996 Our justification comes from the grace of God. Grace is favor, the free and undeserved help that God gives us to respond to his call to become children of God, adoptive sons, partakers of the divine nature and of eternal life.46
1997 Grace is a participation in the life of God. It introduces us into the intimacy of Trinitarian life: by Baptism the Christian participates in the grace of Christ, the Head of his Body. As an "adopted son" he can henceforth call God "Father," in union with the only Son. He receives the life of the Spirit who breathes charity into him and who forms the Church.
1998 This vocation to eternal life is supernatural. It depends entirely on God's gratuitous initiative, for he alone can reveal and give himself. It surpasses the power of human intellect and will, as that of every other creature.47
1999 The grace of Christ is the gratuitous gift that God makes to us of his own life, infused by the Holy Spirit into our soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it. It is the sanctifying or deifying grace received in Baptism. It is in us the source of the work of sanctification:48
Therefore if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has passed away, behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.49
2000 Sanctifying grace is an habitual gift, a stable and supernatural disposition that perfects the soul itself to enable it to live with God, to act by his love. Habitual grace, the permanent disposition to live and act in keeping with God's call, is distinguished from actual graces which refer to God's interventions, whether at the beginning of conversion or in the course of the work of sanctification.
2001 The preparation of man for the reception of grace is already a work of grace. This latter is needed to arouse and sustain our collaboration in justification through faith, and in sanctification through charity. God brings to completion in us what he has begun, "since he who completes his work by cooperating with our will began by working so that we might will it:"50
Indeed we also work, but we are only collaborating with God who works, for his mercy has gone before us. It has gone before us so that we may be healed, and follows us so that once healed, we may be given life; it goes before us so that we may be called, and follows us so that we may be glorified; it goes before us so that we may live devoutly, and follows us so that we may always live with God: for without him we can do nothing.51
2002 God's free initiative demands man's free response, for God has created man in his image by conferring on him, along with freedom, the power to know him and love him. The soul only enters freely into the communion of love. God immediately touches and directly moves the heart of man. He has placed in man a longing for truth and goodness that only he can satisfy. The promises of "eternal life" respond, beyond all hope, to this desire:
If at the end of your very good works . . ., you rested on the seventh day, it was to foretell by the voice of your book that at the end of our works, which are indeed "very good" since you have given them to us, we shall also rest in you on the sabbath of eternal life.52
2003 Grace is first and foremost the gift of the Spirit who justifies and sanctifies us. But grace also includes the gifts that the Spirit grants us to associate us with his work, to enable us to collaborate in the salvation of others and in the growth of the Body of Christ, the Church. There are sacramental graces, gifts proper to the different sacraments. There are furthermore special graces, also called charisms after the Greek term used by St. Paul and meaning "favor," "gratuitous gift," "benefit."53 Whatever their character - sometimes it is extraordinary, such as the gift of miracles or of tongues - charisms are oriented toward sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. They are at the service of charity which builds up the Church.54
2004 Among the special graces ought to be mentioned the graces of state that accompany the exercise of the responsibilities of the Christian life and of the ministries within the Church:
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; he who teaches, in his teaching; he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who contributes, in liberality; he who gives aid, with zeal; he who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.55
2005 Since it belongs to the supernatural order, grace escapes our experience and cannot be known except by faith. We cannot therefore rely on our feelings or our works to conclude that we are justified and saved.56 However, according to the Lord's words "Thus you will know them by their fruits"57 - reflection on God's blessings in our life and in the lives of the saints offers us a guarantee that grace is at work in us and spurs us on to an ever greater faith and an attitude of trustful poverty.
A pleasing illustration of this attitude is found in the reply of St. Joan of Arc to a question posed as a trap by her ecclesiastical judges: "Asked if she knew that she was in God's grace, she replied: 'If I am not, may it please God to put me in it; if I am, may it please God to keep me there.'"58

You are glorified in the assembly of your Holy Ones, for in crowning their merits you are crowning your own gifts.59
2006 The term "merit" refers in general to the recompense owed by a community or a society for the action of one of its members, experienced either as beneficial or harmful, deserving reward or punishment. Merit is relative to the virtue of justice, in conformity with the principle of equality which governs it.
2007 With regard to God, there is no strict right to any merit on the part of man. Between God and us there is an immeasurable inequality, for we have received everything from him, our Creator.
2008 The merit of man before God in the Christian life arises from the fact that God has freely chosen to associate man with the work of his grace. The fatherly action of God is first on his own initiative, and then follows man's free acting through his collaboration, so that the merit of good works is to be attributed in the first place to the grace of God, then to the faithful. Man's merit, moreover, itself is due to God, for his good actions proceed in Christ, from the predispositions and assistance given by the Holy Spirit.
2009 Filial adoption, in making us partakers by grace in the divine nature, can bestow true merit on us as a result of God's gratuitous justice. This is our right by grace, the full right of love, making us "co-heirs" with Christ and worthy of obtaining "the promised inheritance of eternal life."60 The merits of our good works are gifts of the divine goodness.61 "Grace has gone before us; now we are given what is due. . . . Our merits are God's gifts."62
2010 Since the initiative belongs to God in the order of grace, no one can merit the initial grace of forgiveness and justification, at the beginning of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit and by charity, we can then merit for ourselves and for others the graces needed for our sanctification, for the increase of grace and charity, and for the attainment of eternal life. Even temporal goods like health and friendship can be merited in accordance with God's wisdom. These graces and goods are the object of Christian prayer. Prayer attends to the grace we need for meritorious actions.
2011 The charity of Christ is the source in us of all our merits before God. Grace, by uniting us to Christ in active love, ensures the supernatural quality of our acts and consequently their merit before God and before men. The saints have always had a lively awareness that their merits were pure grace.
After earth's exile, I hope to go and enjoy you in the fatherland, but I do not want to lay up merits for heaven. I want to work for your love alone. . . . In the evening of this life, I shall appear before you with empty hands, for I do not ask you, Lord, to count my works. All our justice is blemished in your eyes. I wish, then, to be clothed in your own justice and to receive from your love the eternal possession of yourself.63
2012 "We know that in everything God works for good with those who love him . . . For those whom he fore knew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the first-born among many brethren. And those whom he predestined he also called; and those whom he called he also justified; and those whom he justified he also glorified."64
2013 "All Christians in any state or walk of life are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity."65 All are called to holiness: "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."66
In order to reach this perfection the faithful should use the strength dealt out to them by Christ's gift, so that . . . doing the will of the Father in everything, they may wholeheartedly devote themselves to the glory of God and to the service of their neighbor. Thus the holiness of the People of God will grow in fruitful abundance, as is clearly shown in the history of the Church through the lives of so many saints.67
2014 Spiritual progress tends toward ever more intimate union with Christ. This union is called "mystical" because it participates in the mystery of Christ through the sacraments - "the holy mysteries" - and, in him, in the mystery of the Holy Trinity. God calls us all to this intimate union with him, even if the special graces or extraordinary signs of this mystical life are granted only to some for the sake of manifesting the gratuitous gift given to all.
2015 The way of perfection passes by way of the Cross. There is no holiness without renunciation and spiritual battle.68 Spiritual progress entails the ascesis and mortification that gradually lead to living in the peace and joy of the Beatitudes:
He who climbs never stops going from beginning to beginning, through beginnings that have no end. He never stops desiring what he already knows.69
2016 The children of our holy mother the Church rightly hope for the grace of final perseverance and the recompense of God their Father for the good works accomplished with his grace in communion with Jesus.70 Keeping the same rule of life, believers share the "blessed hope" of those whom the divine mercy gathers into the "holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband."71
2017 The grace of the Holy Spirit confers upon us the righteousness of God. Uniting us by faith and Baptism to the Passion and Resurrection of Christ, the Spirit makes us sharers in his life.
2018 Like conversion, justification has two aspects. Moved by grace, man turns toward God and away from sin, and so accepts forgiveness and righteousness from on high.
2019 Justification includes the remission of sins, sanctification, and the renewal of the inner man.
2020 Justification has been merited for us by the Passion of Christ. It is granted us through Baptism. It conforms us to the righteousness of God, who justifies us. It has for its goal the glory of God and of Christ, and the gift of eternal life. It is the most excellent work of God's mercy.
2021 Grace is the help God gives us to respond to our vocation of becoming his adopted sons. It introduces us into the intimacy of the Trinitarian life.
2022 The divine initiative in the work of grace precedes, prepares, and elicits the free response of man. Grace responds to the deepest yearnings of human freedom, calls freedom to cooperate with it, and perfects freedom.
2023 Sanctifying grace is the gratuitous gift of his life that God makes to us; it is infused by the Holy Spirit into the soul to heal it of sin and to sanctify it.
2024 Sanctifying grace makes us "pleasing to God." Charisms, special graces of the Holy Spirit, are oriented to sanctifying grace and are intended for the common good of the Church. God also acts through many actual graces, to be distinguished from habitual grace which is permanent in us.
2025 We can have merit in God's sight only because of God's free plan to associate man with the work of his grace. Merit is to be ascribed in the first place to the grace of God, and secondly to man's collaboration. Man's merit is due to God.
2026 The grace of the Holy Spirit can confer true merit on us, by virtue of our adoptive filiation, and in accordance with God's gratuitous justice. Charity is the principal source of merit in us before God.
2027 No one can merit the initial grace which is at the origin of conversion. Moved by the Holy Spirit, we can merit for ourselves and for others all the graces needed to attain eternal life, as well as necessary temporal goods.
2028 "All Christians . . . are called to the fullness of Christian life and to the perfection of charity" (LG 40 § 2). "Christian perfection has but one limit, that of having none" (St. Gregory of Nyssa, De vita Mos.:PG 44, 300D).
2029 "If any man would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" (Mt 16:24).

34 Rom 3:22; cf. 6:3-4.
35 Rom 6:8-11.
36 Cf. 1 Cor 12; Jn 15:1-4.
37 St. Athanasius, Ep. Serap. 1,24:PG 26,585 and 588.
38 Mt 4:17.
39 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1528.
40 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1529.
41 Rom 3:21-26.
42 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1525.
43 St. Augustine, In Jo. ev. 72,3:PL 35,1823.
44 Cf. Rom 7:22; Eph 3:16.
45 Rom 6:19,22.
46 Cf. Jn 1:12-18; 17:3; Rom 8:14-17; 2 Pet 1:3-4.
47 Cf. 1 Cor 2:7-9.
48 Cf. Jn 4:14; 7:38-39.
49 2 Cor 5:17-18.
50 St. Augustine, De gratia et libero arbitrio, 17:PL 44,901.
51 St. Augustine, De natura et gratia, 31:PL 44,264.
52 St. Augustine, Conf. 13,36 51:PL 32,868; cf. Gen 1:31.
53 Cf. LG 12.
54 Cf. 1 Cor 12.
55 Rom 12:6-8.
56 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1533-1534.
57 Mt 7:20.
58 Acts of the trial of St. Joan of Arc.
59 Roman Missal, Prefatio I de sanctis; Qui in Sanctorum concilio celebraris, et eorum coronando merita tua dona coronas, citing the "Doctor of grace," St. Augustine, En. in Ps. 102,7:PL 37,1321-1322.
60 Council of Trent (1547): DS 1546.
61 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1548.
62 St. Augustine, Sermo 298,4-5:PL 38,1367.
63 St. Thérèse of Lisieux, "Act of Offering" in Story of a Soul, tr. John Clarke (Washington DC: ICS, 1981), 277.
64 Rom 8:28-30.
65 LG 40 § 2.
66 Mt 5:48.
67 LG 40 § 2.
68 Cf. 2 Tim 4.
69 St. Gregory of Nyssa, Hom. in Cant. 8:PG 44,941C.
70 Cf. Council of Trent (1547): DS 1576.
71 Rev 21:2.

Why The Church Is Weak Three

I may not be able to blog or be online today. The Net here is literally on and off, in seconds and in minutes. Apologies for interruptions.

Many years ago, for several years, I taught the Confessions of St. Augustine. I am now re-reading his text. The book is an examination of the soul, mind, memory and imagination of a man becoming a saint.

He is clear about his predominant faults and his neglect of his spiritual life for so many years. The list of this pre-saint's sin is staggering: lust, pride, curiosity, wastefulness of time, spiritual sloth, anger, heresy, and so on.

I have actually, heard from the mouths of priests, that St. Augustine was too hard on himself.

This type of mind-set is extremely dangerous.  It completely misses the point of the sharing of the purgation of one of the greatest saints of all time.

As I was reading about the conversion of St. Augustine, I was struck by the fact that a holy priest and bishop brought this great sinner, saint-to-be, into the Church. St. Ambrose was, perhaps, the most holy man of his day. It takes a saint to lead a saint.

Pray for saintly priests and bishops today.

Why The Church Is Weak Two

I am continuing today on the weakness of the Church from within, concentrating on a selection which I have posted before from Garrigou-Lagrange.

Too many priests, nuns, sisters, laity fight the purification of the predominant fault. Virtues are not released because one is in a prison of the self. Garrigou-Lagrange has this table to help us see and combat sin and vice in our souls.

 from Ch22 of "The Three Ages of the Interior Life"  - Fr R. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.
Inordinate love of self Pride in regard to self Vain glory, from which come: disobedience, boasting, hypocrisy, contention through rivalry, discord, singularity, stubbornness.
Acedia (sloth), hatred of spiritual things, whence are born: malice, rancor, pusillanimity, discouragement, spiritual torpor, forgetfulness of the precepts, seeking after forbidden things.
in regard to one's neighbour Envy, from which spring: hatred, detraction,
regard calumny, joy at the misfortune of another,
to sadness at his success.
Anger, whence come: disputes, fits of passion, ,
insults, contumely, blasphemy.
Concupiscence of the eye's Avarice, whence proceed: perfidy, fraud, deceit, perjury, itch to acquire and excessive anxiety to keep, harshness, hardness of heart.
of the flesh Gluttony, which engenders: improper jokes, buffoonery, impurity, foolish conversation, stupidity.
Lust, whence proceed: spiritual blindness, poor judgment, impetuosity (of decision), inconstancy, love of self even to hatred of God, attachment to the present life which destroys hope of eternal life.
Virtues Theological Charity toward God and the gift of wisdom disgust for spiritual things
towards one's neighbour and mercy envy, discord, scandal
Hope confidence, abandonment, and the gift of fear, opposed to presumption presumption
Faith and the spirit of faith, and the gifts of understanding and knowledge infidelity, blasphemy, blindness, culpable ignorance
Cardinal Prudence docility to good counsels and the gift of counsel imprudence and negligence, carnal prudence, cunning
Justice and the connected virtues of religion (gift of piety), penance, filial piety, obedience, gratitude, veracity, fidelity, liberality injustice, impiety, superstition, hypocrisy, lying
Fortitude and the gift of fortitude, with magnanimity, patience and perseverance rash boldness, cowardliness, and pusillanimity
Temperance sobriety and chastity, with meekness and humility intemperance, lust, anger, pride and curiosity
Contrary Vices

Before conquering our predominant fault, our virtues are often, to speak more properly, natural good inclinations rather than true and solid virtues that have taken root in us. Prior to victory over this fault, the fountain of graces is not yet adequately opened on our soul, for we still seek ourselves too much and do not live sufficiently for God.

Because of the rise of the occult, witchcraft is increasing, as well as satanism, as we see in the current battle in Oklahoma. These two serious and damning sins come from the table above of seeking out forbidden things.

The laxity of priests not speaking of the dangers of the occult and not addressing the great sin of rebellion, the primordial sin of satan, has created a lax attitude among Catholics regarding the connection between witchcraft and disobedience, witchcraft and lust, and the worst connection, witchcraft and abortion.

Witches sacrifice babies as do satanists. Sorry to bring this up, but anyone one who has spiritual eyes can see this in today's world.

I came across a horrible quotation from one of the original Anglican womynpriests, or priestesses, which clearly shows the connection. Ms. Carter Heyward, one of the Philadelphia Eleven, said this, a direct connection between witchcraft and abortion.

"If women were in charge, abortion would be a sacrament, an occasion of deep and serious and sacred meaning." 

I bring this up because I began to notice something about a certain drugstore chain in America in the Midwest. Women in more than one store of this famous chain were sporting tattoos with symbols of wicca. First of all, I moved my pharmaceutical account from that chain. Then, I began to think as to why so many wiccas (I saw about eight) would be hired by this chain in the pharmacy department.

It came to me that these wiccas participate in glorifyimg and encouraging and causing abortions by passing out contraceptives which are abortifacients. They are participating in their horrible sacrament. Do not kid yourselves on this fact. God wanted me to see this in order to understand how prevalent this sin is and how anyone with the predominant fault of pride could fall into such darkness.
If you have any youth in your family messing about with the occult, realize how serious the connected sins are and the underlying predominant fault. Sadly, the above quotation is from a woman who has worked in the Episcopalian church for many years, and who has been highly instrumental in teaching and publishing.

Do not kid yourself as to the horrible danger of Catholics who support the womynpriest movement. One reason why God created the patriarchal, male line of priests was to make a break from the ancient pagan religions and witchcraft which had women "priestesses". To raise men back up to the role and call of Adam is part of the reason for the male priesthood and the fact that the man is the head and priest of his family. Where there is a problem of the woman ruling the house over the man, there could be a predominant fault of pride, and the sin of rebellion in that woman. A long time ago, I saw this in a family, where the woman not only ruled the family and the husband let her, taking a weakness of his and letting it run him. Sadly, one of the boys became a homosexual as a result of this false nurturing. My guess is that this is not unusual.

Neo-paganism may be the fastest growing religion in America. This weakens the Church from within. I would not have to write these types of posts if priests had not stopped preaching on sin and corruption of the soul.

Pray for God to remove all rebellion and pride, lust, greed, gluttony, anger, avarice, sloth from your soul, mind, heart. Pray for the purification of the Dark Night. The Church needs people who know themselves and know God.

The Church needs saints.

This was a difficult post to write. I do not like looking at evil. But, we all must come to this honesty.

to be continued....

Thoughts from The Dark Night-Reviewing the Predominant Fault Posts

Everyone has a predominant fault. Some have more than one. I have been thinking of how some vices come in pairs or even triplets.

The knowledge of self and one's sins is one of the reasons for purification. If one is attempting to cooperate with grace regarding the destruction of the predominant faults, one may find that the fault is connected to another and another.

For example, pride can morph into vainglory and presumption. Sloth may be easily attached to Gluttony and Greed. Envy, Anger and Lust sometimes "work together". One sees a pattern.

Now, because of concupiscence, we shall be tempted all our lived until the moment of death. Even the greatest of saints experienced trials in the last months of their lives. St. Therese the Little Flower is only one example.

One must learn to avoid temptations as these occur immediately. Here is a reminder from Garrigou-Lagrange on the predominant fault. I have already written on the predominant fault, but this truth bears repeating. My highlights....

The predominant fault is the defect in us that tends to prevail over the others, and thereby over our manner of feeling, judging, sympathizing, willing, and acting. It is a defect that has in each of us an intimate relation to our individual temperament.(1) There are temperaments inclined to effeminacy, indolence, sloth, gluttony, and sensuality. Others are inclined especially to anger and pride. We do not all climb the same slope toward the summit of perfection: those who are effeminate by temperament must by prayer, grace, and virtue become strong; and those who are naturally strong, to the point of easily becoming severe, must, by working at themselves and by grace, become gentle.
Before this progressive transformation of our temperament, the predominant defect in the soul often makes itself felt. It is our domestic enemy, dwelling in our interior; for, if it develops, it may succeed in completely ruining the work of grace or the interior life. At times it is like a crack in a wall that seems to be solid but is not so; like a crevice, imperceptible at times but deep, in the beautiful facade of a building, which a vigorous jolt may shake to the foundations. For example, an antipathy, an instinctive aversion to someone, may, if it is not watched over and corrected by right reason, the spirit of faith, and charity, produce disasters in the soul and lead it to grave injustice. By yielding to such an antipathy, it does itself far more harm than it does its neighbor, for it is much more harmful to commit injustice than to be the object of it.
The predominant fault is so much the more dangerous as it often compromises our principal good point, which is a happy inclination of our nature that ought to develop and to be increased by grace. For example, a man is naturally inclined to gentleness; but if by reason of his predominant fault, which may be effeminacy, his gentleness degenerates into weakness, into excessive indulgence, he may even reach the complete loss of energy. Another, on the contrary, is naturally inclined to fortitude, but if he gives free rein to his irascible temperament, fortitude in him degenerates into unreasonable violence, the cause of every type of disorder.
In every man there is a mixture of good and bad inclinations; there is a predominant fault and also a natural quality. If we are in the state of grace, we have a special attraction of grace, which generally perfects first of all what is best in our nature, and then radiates over that which is less good. Some are thus more inclined toward contemplation, others toward action. Particular care must be taken that the predominant fault does not snuff out our principal natural quality or our special attraction of grace. Otherwise our soul would resemble a field of wheat invaded by tares or cockle, of which the Gospel speaks. And we have an adversary, the devil, who seeks to foster the growth of our predominant fault that he may place us in conflict with those who work with us in the Lord's field. Christ Himself tells us: "The kingdom of heaven is likened to a man that sowed good seed in his field. But while men were asleep, his enemy came and oversowed cockle among the wheat and went his way." (2)
Christ explains that the enemy is the devil,(3) who seeks to destroy the work of God by creating disunion among those who, in a holy manner, ought to collaborate in the same work for eternity. He is skillful in exaggerating in our eyes the defects of our neighbor, in transforming a grain of sand into a mountain, in setting up, as it were, a magnifying glass in our imagination, that we may become irritated at our brethren instead of working with them. Considering all this, we can see what evil may spring up in each of us from our principal fault if we are not most attentive to it. At times it is like a devouring worm in a beautiful fruit.

When one is attempting to live in community, the devil attacks by putting the predominant faults of others "in one's face" constantly. If one is aware of what is happening, one can avoid this deception and turn to prayer and compassion for the other.

to be continued...

08 Apr 2014
Firstly, St. Alphonsus reveals that anyone who gets upset with sin in one's own life is not humble, but proud, and may be exhibiting the predominant fault of anger. Anger is not merely focused on other or events, but one can ...
07 Apr 2014
Use the tags and labels to read the posts on one's predominant fault, if you have not done so already. Hard stuff, but necessary for the road to perfection. There are 45 posts dealing with that topic directly. And, speaking of ...
27 Nov 2013
But later the predominant fault is less apparent, for it tries to hide itself and to put on the appearances of a virtue: pride clothes itself in the outward appearances of magnanimity, and pusillanimity seeks to cover itself with those ...
18 Sep 2013
The predominant fault is the defect in us that tends to prevail over the others, and thereby over our manner of feeling, judging, sympathizing, willing, and acting. It is a defect that has in each of us an intimate relation to our ...

21 Jul 2012
Garrigou-Lagrange states that "it is of primary importance that we recognize our predominant fault and have no illusions about it. This is is so much the more necessary as our adversary, the enemy of our soul, knows it quite ...
23 Jul 2012
Perfection Series continued-the predominant fault--four. Posted by Supertradmum. St. Augustine tells us, using Garrigou-Lagrange, that God never asks us to do the impossible. If God desires us to be one with Him and He ...
25 Sep 2013
Youth can spot a hypocrite a mile away and the bad priests and neglectful husbands and fathers will have to face God as to why they did not work on their predominant fault. Being a Catholic man, like being a Catholic woman, ...
20 May 2014
In Chapter 22, the great Dominican writes of "The Predominant Fault".The holy priest lists most of the obvious sins, but I want to highlight one, but in a different manner. We know that Pride is most likely the worst of all sins and .
18 Sep 2013
The greatest fault is pride. Thinking that one knows better than a bishop or that one can judge a liberal bishop as unauthorized to make a statement on a visionary is pride. Period. But, those with a predominant fault of sloth or ...
18 Sep 2013
Garrigou-Lagrange helps us on our way. The graph at the very end of this post indicates how to break the sins of the predominant fault. This is hard work. This takes time and reflection. One must be ruthless with one's self to a ...
18 Sep 2013
For without dealing with our predominant fault, there is no moving on into the Dark Night, Illumnative and Unitive states. Later on, I can show how the predominant fault, unless dealt with in this life, is the reason we go to ...
26 Sep 2013
The Predominant Fault of Some Women. Posted by Supertradmum. Just to be fair, I have been talking with lovely, good Catholic women who want to become saints. They would be in the category of the really beautiful women ...
26 Sep 2013
The second most common predominant fault of women could be pride. This is the primordial sin and one easy to fall into. But, if this is the main, underlining fault of all faults, it must be rooted out through serious attention, ...
21 Jul 2012
Predominant Fault Three-perfection series. Posted by Supertradmum. Promptness of will and intolerance of our faults are part of the battle against our predominant faults. This is a battle from which we cannot escape if we ...
05 Dec 2013
For those interested in most of the postings on the predominant fault, I have tried to find most of the links on this subject, which is a Catholic idea, btw, and not a protestant one. As one who is being dragged into looking at my ...
08 Apr 2014
St. Francis de Sales on His Predominant Faults-Two. Posted by Supertradmum. After being greatly insulted by a Knight of Malta for not giving a benefice to one of his servants, “the bishop‟s brother …asked him how it was he ...
03 Aug 2014
As we have already spoken of the predominant fault, we here insist on precipitation to be avoided or, as the expression goes, on impulsiveness, which inclines one to act without sufficient reflection. With rash haste many ...
13 Jul 2014
It is very good to find a devotion which specifically leads to the removal of our predominant fault. We all need to crack the deep sin, deep weakness which keeps us from God, stops virtue, hinders grace. I now belong to a third ...
28 Jul 2014
However, some physical and mental pain is given by God for our purification, for the removal of the predominant fault. Too often I hear people say, "Oh, she is a suffering soul, or a victim soul" when in reality, the person is ...
29 Sep 2013
one can have more than one predominant fault. A good priest and I were discussing this today. He said that if the faults are close in nature, it is easy to have two. This makes it much harder to cooperate with grace and burn the ...
27 Sep 2013
Obviously, a mother may have the same predominant fault as her girls or girls. When the Bible states that a woman is saved by child-bearing, one of the meanings of that pregnant (pun intended) phrase is that one sees one's ...
06 Feb 2014
The Dark Night is the time of purgation of the predominant fault or faults. I have written about these here and one can follow the tags. The call is to cooperate with grace so that one can move into the Illuminative State, which is ...
05 Nov 2013
Unless one has had spiritual director for years, one who can tell one the predominant fault, one needs to do this on one's own. A sign of the movement towards the Dark Night is the movement into regular meditation, ...
30 Jan 2013
More than fear as a great evil, the state of living in a hidden sin, allowing one to keep on sinning and not dealing with the predominant fault, keeps people from the Truth, Who is a Person. Garrigou-Lagrange makes it clear in ...
31 Jan 2014
But, sloth is the great sin which is hidden in our society. It is "too ok" to have a lot of down time these days. . For my friend who is working to get rid of this predominant fault, God bless you. Remember, a lukewarm Catholic is ...
02 Sep 2013
Want to overcome the predominant fault and be brutally honest with one's self. Want to become love for the sake of Love, not for one's own sake, but for God's alone, Want all who one meets to experience not the "me" but the ...
20 Jul 2012
In Chapter 22, the great Dominican writes of "The Predominant Fault".The holy priest lists most of the obvious sins, but I want to highlight one, but in a different manner. We know that Pride is most likely the worst of all sins and ...
17 Sep 2013
Subtle temptations are connected to our predominant fault, about which I have written many times. If we know what are main fault is, we can catch the temptations and stop the process which leads to sin. Satan, as St. Ignatius ...
25 May 2014
This could be a predominant fault for some. The old phrase, "Let go and let God" applies to the egoist, if he wants to attain heaven. Egoism is like a cancer of the will, which ravages it more and more, whereas sanctifying grace ...
12 Apr 2014
beg God to reveal your predominant fault beg God to take the suffering for repararton of your sins offer the suffering for the sins of others, especially family members be patient be calm be resigned read the lives of the saints
10 Feb 2014
The predominant fault is discussed at length on my blog, when I did an unpacking of Garrigou-Lagrange and other writers on perfection and in the Doctors of the Church series on perfection. Over 600, more than 10% of my ...
21 Mar 2014
Eight, the predominant fault has been utterly destroyed. Nine, the person walks in light, and is no longer affected by the dark, but transcends the darkness with the awareness that God is always with him. Ten, good works, great ...