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Sunday 17 August 2014

Perfection Series IV Preview

This section will be totally on the Illuminative and Unitive States. Here are some past articles for warm-up.

21 Mar 2014
Continuing with some signs of the person in the Illuminative State, at the highest stage, here are a few more characteristics. Eleven: the person is no longer living in a subjective reality, but in objectivity, taking nothing ...
21 Mar 2014
Here are a few signs of someone who is in the Illuminative State. These are taken from Garrigou-Lagrange, St. Catherine, and from observation. One, the person easily lives a life of virtue, without constraints and with joy, ...
09 Feb 2014
The Illuminative State will be discussed further in the series on perfection, but here I want to concentrate on the ending of the time of Affective Prayer and the moving into true Contemplative Prayer. Here is Garrigou-Lagrange ...
12 Nov 2013
Two points stand out on the characteristics of the Illuminative and Unitive Stages, to which I have been referring during the perfection and Dark Night series in the past two years. Those people who enter into the Illuminative, ...
25 Nov 2012
For the sake of the laity trying to understand the stages of perfection, may I point out that today in the TLM, the reading from Colossians of St. Paul is a description of the illuminative state. Here it is. EPISTLE Col. 1:9-14
28 Jan 2013
I do. Garrigou-Lagrange has these three in his section on the Illuminative State, which I think will be helpful for all of us. Garrigou-Lagrange's next chapter highlight St. Catherine and Bl. Henry, and here are some of his ...
19 Feb 2013
Part 36: Doctors of the Church-Anselm and the Illuminative State. Posted by Supertradmum. Before I finish St. Anselm, I must address some questions from a few who have asked me whether God really does want us to pursue ...
03 Apr 2012
Lenten Series of Perfection--The Illuminative Stage. Posted by Supertradmum. Father Gabriel continues with his clarification of St. John of the Cross' stages of purification. The movement from the prayer of meditation, which ...
01 Aug 2014
Most Catholics go to St. John of the Cross or St. Teresa of Avila for the description of the Illuminative and Unitive States. However, I find St. Bernard's writings more clear. St. Teresa was, despite her descriptions of the ...
24 Jan 2013
It is only in the Illuminative State that we can do the works of God. All out works before that belong to our humanity and not eternal merit or good. I know that sounds harsh but until we are purified all our works are not beginning ...

STM Plea

The school year is about to begin. 132 diocesan educational systems have accepted this pernicious plan.

If you are in one of those dioceses, do not send your child to those schools.

I cannot express strongly enough the dangers of the government being in control of both your child's entire educational career and life choices through the database.

So, if you want your child taken out of a class which teaches ssm and other anti-Catholic stands, your child will be "flagged" in the database forever.

ACT is now the official testing group for the CC, and so if your child takes the ACT, he is in the database forever.

The CC is an effort to change Catholic education in the United States.

Your souls, parents, and your children's souls are at risk. I am convinced this imposed curriculum with turn your own children against you and your Faith.

I have warned you for months and months. Basta.

Learn Your Faith, Catholics

"....Catholic Church almost doesn't even need a defense. It's more like a lion; just let it out of its cage and it takes care of itself." Scott Hahn

To be a Catholic is not to be anti-intellectual. To be a Catholic is to study the Faith. One of the biggest problems with the Charismatic Renewal, is that it harbors anti-intellectualism.

That is the ONE reason I left my wonderful community after seven years of living the basic Christianity life. I never heard any heresy, but I was not encouraged to study, either.

I was considered "too intelligent", "too intellecual". The entire history of commentary and the Doctors of the Church was overlooked except by the few. I was thirsting after Aquinas, Bernard of Clairvaux, John of the Cross.

Those who did read, and study, went on to be "renewed" in the real sense of the word. On my bookshelves at home were Congar, Danielou, Boyer, and the Douay-Rheims. My educational and family background was too rich to ignore. Yes, I had read C. S. Lewis and some brilliant popular Catholic writers, but I wanted the real deal.

The Catholic Church created the great universities of Europe. She created the school system from the Benedictines.

She preserved the Classics, including the pagan Classics, for study. We must study to fulfill our baptismal promises. To learn the Faith is to learn to love God.

So, what are you studying right now?

Will Catholics Wake Up?

Nadhim Zahawi, a Conservative MP who was visiting northern Iraq late last week, said that Islamic State fighters had been caught carrying a season ticket for Liverpool Football Club and a gym card from Ealing.
He said that local forces estimated that between “500 and 750 fighters have joined the Islamic caliphate from the United Kingdom”.
Rory Stewart MP, the Tory chairman of the defence select committee who was also in Iraq, said Islamic State was now a “significant threat”.
He added: “We have been complacent. This has been developing a long time. In some ways these people have been in Mosul for two and a half years and we worked up to it about two and a half months ago.
“We ignored them when they were developing in eastern Syria, we ignored them when they took Fallujah in January.

Almost wake up time...almost. The only thing strong enough against a false religion is the True Religion of Catholicism. The cultures wars and the military wars are being lost for the lack of grace and holiness among Christians.

The Blessed Virgin Mary interceded at both the Siege of Vienna and the Battle of Lepanto, which is why we celebrate her victories on two days-September 12 and October 7th.  She also had a victory on the Feast Day of Our Lady of Snows.

Secularists think they can win this war with the code of decency and humanitarianism. But those traits, even virtues, come from somewhere. These come with a heart centered on the Trinity; the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

Secularized Catholics, who no longer see right and wrong, but only grey, and who do not honor Mary Our Mother, also do not understand how we can defeat violence.

Prayer and action, prayer and few do this now.

Traditional Art of Lovely Lady Mary Plus....

"According to His good pleasure, by a strange self-emptying, He passed through thy womb, yet kept it sealed."  Liturgy
"O God, my God: I will glorify thee by Thy Mother. For she hath conceived thee in virginity: and without travail she hath brought Thee forth." Bonaventure
"There is a gate of the womb, although it is not always closed; indeed only one was able to remain closed, that through which the One born of the Virgin came forth without the loss of genital intactness" St. Ambrose
"As thou hast found my womb, so thou hast left it." Byzantine Liturgy
"It was fitting that the body of her, who preserved her virginity intact in childbirth, should be kept from corruption even after death. She who nursed her Creator as an infant at her breast, had a right to be in the divine tabernacles.... It was fitting that she who saw her Son die on the cross, and received in her heart the sword of pain which she had not felt in childbirth, should gaze upon Him seated next to the Father." John Damascene
Beautiful Mary in contemplation or ecstasy....and the words of the Divine Liturgy and saints and Doctors of the Church....

Gearing Up for More Perfection Posts

Having finished Ralph Martin's book, I am in the painful position of seeing how very, very far I am from the last two stages of the journey to perfection, the Illuminative and the Unitive. I do disagree with his interpretations, which I am allowed to do, as even St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila have differences in approach and words. I see a more distinct line of demarcation than Martin. I believe this demarcation is upheld in the writings of Catherine of Siena and John of the Cross.

But, the progress is the same. I have used Garrigou-Lagrange mostly, as my readers know, as I think his work is the most clear and most comprehensive. I shall continue to use him.

All saints who are canonized reach those higher levels on earth. That is what it means to be a saint. We can see this clearly in the writings of the great mystics, but also in the writings of all the Doctors of the Church, which is why you can visit my series on them and see the same pattern.

The problem is that so few people today stay the course. It is extremely hard and one must will one's way through the Dark Night and constantly ask God for help.

That is key, asking God to perfect one, to keep wooing, not to give up on one.

But, people give up on God.

Why? I think most people give up for three reasons.

One, they do not want to embrace poverty.

Two, they do not want to embrace chastity.

Three, they do not want to embrace obedience.

Simple, really. The Dark Night is DARK. One can hardly explain the odd back and forth of the purification of the spirit. The purification of the senses is much more obvious.

The first two counsels, poverty and chastity, deal with the purification of the senses. The third points to the purification of the spirit.

I want to encourage all readers to pursue perfection, to pursue love.

St. Bernard, who I have been reading off and on this summer (fall weather) again for the umteenth time, reminds us that the bride in the Song of Songs first speaks of kissing the feet, then the hands and finally receives the kisses of the mouth of Christ, the Bridegroom.

Why does the bride persist in seeking the Bridegroom? For love, of course. Why does anyone seek the lover but for love? This much I know, that the Dark Night is the seeking of love.

Sometimes, as if seeing something in a fog, one perceives love. But, it is not enough. It is not the bridal love one desires from Christ, but a glimpse, a hint, a shadow.

If we seek Him, He will let us find Him. This is my faith and this is my hope.

Perfection on Another Blog

Are you fasting and praying?

Jesus is crucified again and again, and these people know that.

They revel in hurting Christ. They are choosing hell. God help them.

In the letter, dated Aug. 4, the Memorial of St. John Vianney, the archbishop said he is concerned about “dark powers” that the performance of a black mass would invite into the community “and the spiritual danger that this poses to all who are involved in it, directly or indirectly.” Though the event is being promoted merely as “some sort of dark entertainment, this Satanic ritual is deadly serious,” he said. “It is a blasphemous and obscene inversion of the Catholic Mass. Using a consecrated Host obtained illicitly from a Catholic church and desecrating it in the vilest ways imaginable, the practitioners offer it in sacrifice to Satan.”

Again, again, again, do not be deceived

 this is a repeat, because of the proliferation of out-of-order ministries which are proliferating in the Church and which seem good until one compares these with the ministries of the saints.

I am forced to say again and again, do not let anyone but an exorcist or exorcist team appointed by a bishop to pray over you.

 Do not pay for spiritual direction or healing. To charge for healing is a serious sin.

Most who have so-called "charismatic gifts" are exhibiting false gifts, counterfeits, from satan.

Anyone who is doing such ministries and believing things contrary to Catholic teaching is in serious sin. I know healers in one diocese who believe in women priest. They are heretics and do not let such people touch you.

Counselors must, must, must have backgrounds, degrees in psychology or psychiatry. Any one saying and acting as a counselor without training about the mind and the soul is a fraud. Run away, fast.

Not all people who claim to be Catholic are. Not all ministries approved by some dioceses are without error. 

Women and men without spiritual directors who are priests should not be in healing ministries. Women and men whose families are not in order should not be in healing ministries.

The word "deliverance" is misused by many Catholics. Listen to Fr. Chad Ripperger on this point.

Most, if not all tongues in charismatic groups praise satan, not God. Again, listen to Fr. Ripperger.

To go a shaman or faith healer who is into witchcraft or other occult things are mortal sins.  Saul was damned for going to a necromancer.

More later.


Weakening the Church from Within

Many of those involved in the charismatic so-called ministries are actually weakening the Church.

Why? Here are some hints. 

Without doubt God sometimes reveals to the living the time that remains to them on this earth, the trials that they will undergo, what will happen to a nation, to a certain person. But the devil can easily counterfeit these things and, to gain credence for his lies, he begins by nourishing the spirit with likely things or even with partial truths.(28) St. John of the Cross says: "It is almost impossible to escape his wiles if the soul does not immediately get rid of them, because the spirit of evil knows well how to assume the appearance of truth and give this appearance credit." (29) "In order to be perfect there is, therefore, no reason to desire these extraordinary supernatural things. . . . The soul must prudently guard itself against all these communications if it wishes, in purity and without illusions, to reach divine union by the night of faith." (30) No words could make a clearer distinction between these extraordinary supernatural things and infused contemplation, and more effectively show that infused contemplation is normal in the perfect.

What Garrioug-Lagrange is stating is that one can get caught up in illusions and leave the path of Faith.

Here are some points which indicate that healing and so-called deliverance ministries weaken the Church and are based on the lies of false illusions.

One: many of the so-called healers are involved in New Age and non-professional activities, such are reiki, the enneagram and other condemned practices.  The Church is always rational and never anti-intellectual. Ministries based on emotions involve gross manipulation of people's hurts and emotional chaos. Manipulation come from personal needs and the lack of purification of the passions.

Two: many of these ministries, if not all, undermine the hierarchy and traditions of the Church. Many have no spiritual directors who are solid priests and many work with priests or nuns who have left their orders and not living according to the vows of their communities. Such people should be suspect, as they are in disobedience.

Three: many people are on power-trips not having cooperated with the humbling and purification processes described by the great saints. 

Four: many people take money for healing courses, and spiritual direction. This is a huge no-no. St. Paul was a tent maker even while he was preaching the Gospel. 

Five: these people are not in the unitive state. Once someone is in that state, it is obvious. 

Six: so many of these people and their followers get publicity and encourage it.

Seven: many of these people come from backgrounds and cultures of superstition; if a person is involved in what is called pre-pagan practices, you know he or she is not of God.

2) Revelations improperly so called, which give us a greater understanding of revealed truths, are associated with infused contemplation, especially if they concern God Himself and do not stop at particular things, but profoundly penetrate His wisdom, infinite goodness, or omnipotence. In The Ascent of Mount Carmel St. John of the Cross says on this subject: "This profound loving knowledge is, moreover, accessible only to a soul in union with God. Such knowledge is this union itself, for it has its origin precisely in a certain contact of the soul with the Divinity. Consequently it is God Himself who is felt and tasted, though He is not perceived manifestly in full light, as He is in glory; but the touch is so strong and so profound, by reason of the knowledge and attraction, that it penetrates the substance of the soul. It is impossible for the devil to interfere in this and to deceive by imitation, for nothing is comparable to it, or approaches it in enjoyment and delights. These touches savor of the divine essence and of eternal life, and the devil cannot counterfeit such lofty things. . . . In regard to the other perceptions, we said that the soul should abstract itself from them, but this duty ceases in the case of this lofty loving knowledge, since it is the manifestation of that union to which we are trying to conduct the soul. All that we have taught previously on the subject of despoliation and of complete detachment was directed toward this union; and the divine favors which result from it are the fruit of humility, of the desire to suffer for the love of God, with resignation and disinterestedness as to all reward." (31)

To be continued..

Normal, Human, Sub-Human with A Review

The new normal is to be sub-human. Someone said to me recently that it was "human" to sin. No, it is human to want to be with God. We were created to desire God. We were, as the Baltimore Catechism states created for a reason.

From the Baltimore Catechism Number One:

6. Q. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him for ever in heaven. 

Now, Christ redeemed us through His Passion and Death. He showed us the way and gave us hope to achieve happiness in heaven through the Resurrection, the sign of His Victory over sin and death.

It is normal and human to want to be happy and to be good. To want to be evil is sub-human. The capital sins turn us into sub-humans. Virtues and a life without sin make us fully human.

It is sub-human to choose evil over and over. It is slavery not the freedom of the sons and daughters of God

Here is a little review of truths:

40. Q. Were Adam and Eve innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God?
A. Adam and Eve were innocent and holy when they came from the hand of God.

43. Q. Did Adam and Eve remain faithful to God?
A. Adam and Eve did not remain faithful to God; but broke His command by eating the forbidden fruit.

44. Q. What befell Adam and Eve on account of their sin?
A. Adam and Eve on account of their sin lost innocence and holiness, and were doomed to misery and death.

45. Q. What evil befell us through the disobedience of our first parents?
A. Through the disobedience of our first parents we all inherit their sin and punishment, as we should have shared in their happiness if they had remained faithful.

47. Q. What is the sin called which we inherit from our first parents?
A. The sin which we inherit from our first parents is called original sin.

50. Q. Was any one ever preserved from original sin?
A. The Blessed Virgin Mary, through the merit of her Divine Son, was preserved free from the guilt of original sin, and this privilege is called her Immaculate Conception.

More on The Virgin Birth of Christ

The Catechism of the Council of Trent states:
"But as the Conception itself transcends the order of nature, so also the birth of our Lord presents to our contemplation nothing but what is divine.
"Besides, what is admirable beyond the power of thoughts or words to express, He is born of His Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity, just as He afterwards went forth from the sepulchre while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which His disciples were assembled, the doors being shut; or, not to depart from every-day examples, just as the rays of the sun penetrate without breaking or injuring in the least the solid substance of glass, so after a like but more exalted manner did Jesus Christ come forth from His mother's womb without injury to her maternal virginity. This immaculate and perpetual virginity forms, therefore, the just theme of our eulogy. Such was the work of the Holy Ghost, who at the Conception and birth of the Son so favoured the Virgin Mother as to impart to her fecundity while preserving inviolate her perpetual virginity….
"To Eve it was said: ‘In pain you shall bring forth children’ (Gen. 3:16). Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate, she brought forth Jesus the Son of God, without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain." ("The Creed" Article III)

More on Mary's Virginity And The Birth of Christ

The theologian must approach the mystery of Mary’s fruitful virginity with a deep sense of veneration for God’s free, holy and sovereign action. …
The theologian, however, who approaches the mystery of Mary’s virginity with a heart full of faith and adoring respect, does not thereby forego the duty of studying the data of Revelation and showing their harmony and interrelationship; rather, following the Spirit, … he puts himself in the great and fruitful theological tradition of fides quærens intellectum.
When theological reflection becomes a moment of doxology and latria, the mystery of Mary’s virginity is disclosed, allowing one to catch a glimpse of other aspects and other depths.

St. John Paul II 

 Acta Apostolicæ Sedis (henceforth referred to as AAS) 85 (1993) 664, L’Osservatore Romano (English edition, henceforth referred to as ORE) 10 June 1992, p. 13.

quoted in

More from St. John Paul II coming up...

Does Anyone Have These?

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, Sermons for the Seasons and Principal Festivals of the Year, Volumes 1, 2, 3, The Carroll Press-Westminster, MD 1950. 

I would love copies if anyone can get these.

Ta muchly

More on The Miraculous Birth of Christ

The fact is that the mystery of Mary’s virginity in giving birth to the Savior was preached and taught consistently by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church. One finds beautiful expositions of it in the homilies and catecheses of St. Gregory of Nyssa (+ c. 394), (1) St. Ambrose (+ 397), (2) St. John Chrysostom (+ 407), (3) St. Proclus of Constantinople (+ 446), (4) Theodotus of Ancyra (+ before 446), (5) St. Peter Chrysologus (+ 450), (6) Pope St. Leo the Great (+ 461), (7) Severus of Antioch (+ 538), (8) St. Romanos the Melodist (+ c. 560), (9) St. Venantius Fortunatus (+ c. 600), (10) and Pope St. Gregory the Great (+ 604) (11).
This preaching and teaching was not a mere matter of pious fantasizing, but rather it was a careful “handing on” of what had been received. The miraculous birth of Jesus in time was seen as a reflection of the mystery of his eternal generation by the Father. (12) As with all of the most important data which touched on the person of the Son of God, it became progressively clarified by the magisterium. Already during the pontificate of Pope St. Siricius (384-399) this matter was dealt with in the Plenary Council of Capua (392) and in the Synods of Rome and Milan in 393 (13) with St. Ambrose’s teaching on Mary’s “incorruption” in giving birth emerging as authoritative. (14)
In his De institutione virginum St. Ambrose introduced this mystery by quoting the beginning of the forty-fourth chapter of Ezekiel:
“Then he brought me back to the outer gate of the sanctuary, facing the east; but it was closed. He said to me: ‘This gate is to remain closed; it is not to be opened for anyone to enter by it; since the Lord, the God of Israel, has entered by it, it shall remain closed.’” … Who is this gate, if not Mary? Is it not closed because she is a virgin? Mary is the gate through which Christ entered this world, when he was brought forth in the virginal birth and the manner of His birth did not break the seals of virginity (quando virginali fusus est partu, et genitalia virginitatis claustra non solvit). (15) … There is a gate of the womb, although it is not always closed; indeed only one was able to remain closed, that through which the One born of the Virgin came forth without the loss of genital intactness (per quam sine dispendio claustrorum genitalium virginis partus exivit). (16)
St. Ambrose’ defense of the “virgin birth,” especially in this treatise, is so definitive that those who have subsequently sought to “re-interpret” the doctrine in the light of the criticism of Dr. Albert Mitterer (17) have found it necessary to take him on. (18)
II. The Magisterium
In 649 the Roman Synod which convened at the Lateran, whose teaching was approved as authoritative by Pope St. Martin I, anathematized anyone who would deny that Mary “gave birth to (God the Word) without corruption.” (19) In his Constitution Cum quorumdam hominum condemning the errors of Unitarianism Pope Paul IV admonished all those who deny that the Blessed Virgin Mary “did not retain her virginity intact before the birth, in the birth, and perpetually after the birth.” (20) The Roman Catechism also known as The Catechism of the Council of Trent followed suit with this clear teaching:
For in a way wonderful beyond expression or conception, he is born of his Mother without any diminution of her maternal virginity. As he afterwards went forth from the sepulcher while it was closed and sealed, and entered the room in which his disciples were assembled, although “the doors were closed” (Jn. 20:19), or, not to depart from natural events which we witness every day, as the rays of the sun penetrate the substance of glass without breaking or injuring it in the least: so, but in a more incomprehensible manner, did Jesus Christ come forth from his mother’s womb without injury to her maternal virginity. …
To Eve it was said: “In pain you shall bring forth children” (Gen. 3:16). Mary was exempt from this law, for preserving her virginal integrity inviolate, she brought forth Jesus the Son of God, without experiencing, as we have already said, any sense of pain. (21)
The Second Vatican Council presented this mystery succinctly by speaking of “the birth of Our Lord, who did not diminish his mother’s virginal integrity but sanctified it” (22) and the Catechism of the Catholic Church repeats that statement after clarifying that
The deepening of faith in the virginal motherhood led the Church to confess Mary’s real and perpetual virginity even in the act of giving birth to the Son of God made man. (23)
Those who would say that these recent professions of the mystery are minimal and non-binding need only examine the footnotes appended to each of them to discover that they are based on previous major declarations of the magisterium which have been considered definitive since the Patristic era. The text of Lumen Gentium cites the Lateran Synod of 649, the Tome of St. Leo the Great to Flavian (24) and the De institutione virginum of St. Ambrose. The Catechism gives two citations to the Tome to Flavian, (25) as well as citing the Second Council of Constantinople, (26) the Letter of Pope Pelagius I to Childebertus, (27) the Lateran Synod of 649, the Profession of Faith of the Synod of Toledo of 693 (28) and Pope Paul IV’s Constitution Cum quorumdam hominum.

more coming...