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Friday 17 October 2014

Hello to Readers in New Zealand

There may be at least one reader down in NZ right now! Thank for the photos!

Thanks, Readers, So Much!

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Sometimes, God just makes us be alone

You have taken my friends and those close to me:
  all I have left is shadows. Compline

In case you missed this...

Friday Review

If you missed the mini-series on Gethsemane and Eden,  and the new beginning of the sixth perfection series, use today to catch up. I was out all day. And, no, the garbage bin is NOT waiting to get on the bus....

The really old buses looked like those below. Most people miss them, but they did not have air conditioning and people hung out on the outside. I wonder if these were on time?

For transport fanatics, here is a website with some interesting historical information. Train lovers, pick out the videos to watch in the middle of the article.

The Last Yellow Buses is a great, short video as well.

This one is cute as well...for a late Friday evening when I am plumb tuckered out.  But, as seen if you scroll down on the site above, one notices the statue of the Pieta and Latin phrase "And the Word was made Flesh", in the bus...good old days of Malta.

Popular Repost Time

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

On the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity: thoughts for Lent

Theophoroi” or God-bearers. When was the last time you heard a sermon on the Indwelling of the Trinity? I referred to this Truth of the Catholic Church before on this blog, but I return to it today after several discussions with lay friends who had never heard of this before.

Garrigou-Lagrange is my basis for explanation, but we have the Fathers of the Church, and the Scriptures as the foundation of all following teaching. The great Dominican synthesizes centuries of teaching. I am not going to emphasize the Indwelling of the Trinity is all created things, but in the specific soul which is Baptized into Christ. Garrigou-Lagrange notes the Scriptures relating to the Coming of the Spirit in the Gospels, and particularly the Priestly Prayer of Christ in the Gospel of John. But, I want to move on from the references to the Holy Spirit and comment on the Indwelling of the entire Trinity, the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. But, before I do that, I want to look at Garrigou-Lagrange's shedding light on the foundations necessary for this Indwelling.

Obviously, only those who are Baptized, and I capitalize the word for emphasis, have this Indwelling. But, there is more to the Life of God in each one of us than the first Sacrament of Initiation. The spiritual writer notes St. Thomas Aquinas, stating, that Pope Leo XIII (why is he not canonized?) used Thomistic explanations in his encyclical on the Holy Spirit Divinun illud munusFor God is in all things by His essence, power, and presence, according to His one common mode, as the cause existing in the effects which participate In His goodness. Above and beyond this common mode, however, there is one special mode belonging to the rational nature wherein God is said to be present as the object known is in the knower, and the beloved in the lover. And since the rational creature by its own operation of (supernatural) knowledge and love attains to God Himself, according to this special mode, God is said not only to exist in the rational creature, but also to dwell therein as in His own temple. So no other effect can be put down as the reason why the divine Person is in the rational creature in a new mode, except sanctifying grace. . . . Again, we are said to possess only what we can freely use or enjoy: but to have the power of enjoying the divine Person can only be according to sanctifying grace.

The great heresies of our time deny the need for sanctifying grace for salvation or for spiritual growth. Someone commented to me one time that to “be good” was the only thing necessary to get to heaven. Sadly, this is not the case, nor are the young taught, even in so-called Catholic schools, the real need for the Sacraments.

Notice in the above selection that the term “rational” in relationship to human nature is clearly delineated. Why? Catholicism stresses knowing God and loving Him, not merely experiencing Him in some sort of Quietist or Pentecostal manner. Do we not want to know everything about a person we love? Do we not want to find out all about that person? That sanctifying grace moves us to knowledge of the Indwelling of the Trinity demands that we receive the Sacraments on a regular basis. Without sanctifying grace, the initial gift of God at Baptism is starved of spiritual food.

Garrigou-Lagrange is clear that we all share in the Indwelling of the Trinity, only in degrees. This is true not only of all of us, but of the saints. The saint who has the fullness of the Indwelling of the Trinity is, of course, the Theotokos, the Mother of God. That the Doctors of the Church exhibit this rational knowledge and are God-bearers in a smaller sense than Mary, Mother of God, indicates a degree of holiness. But, Garrigou-Lagrange shows us over and over again, that all are called to such holiness, albeit in different degrees. God-bearers is the term quoted from St. Ignatius of Antioch, who used the term “theophoroi” or God-bearers. This term applies to us, the members of the Church Militant today, in 2012. I include an icon of St. Joseph of Arimathea, who brought Christ and the Grail to England. He, indeed, is a model God-bearer. To be continued...

Thoughts from An Aging Boomer

Some beautiful women age beautifully. Some women are actually more beautiful when older. Then, there are some of us who have lost beauty in the ravages of time and life.

It is hard for one who use to be beautiful to accept ugliness. One must be brutally honest before the mirror and admit that illness, time and various adventures, both good and bad, have sapped one's beauty. I am more and more accepting this fact, but it is part of dying to self.

When I am in Malta, and this is the fourth time now, I am humbled by the number of truly beautiful women on this small island. God made Maltese woman beautiful, with lovely skin color, eyes like coal diamonds, fantastic dark hair, and great low voices.

For someone from the northern climes, with spotting skin, a mixture of grey, brown and black hair, and not the number eight figure anymore, to be surrounded by beauty is a huge lesson in humility.

If I had always been ugly, then it would not be so hard, but faded looks is now the name of the game.

Women were created by God to be beautiful, to show the world what beauty is and to civilize men and culture with beauty and grace.

Ah, there is the rub. There is no true beauty without grace. Grace adorns the inward life and may show forth to other people a small glimpse of the glory of God. Eve was supposed to give glory to God, but she failed the test.

But, for us ugly sisters, there is hope in God. The "hidden person of the heart" wherein lies the virtues is the real beauty God so desires of all of us ladies.

A gentle and quiet spirit is the opposite of the Maltese lady I heard today. Again, the second time this week, a car accident in the bus lane caused an hour and a half delay in our journey. The last time this happened, someone moved the two cars to the side of the street, so the buses could slip by. This time, we all waited and waited for ages. Then, this beautiful woman began a public tirade. Now, to be honest, her complaint did lessen the tension for many people as it was 90 degrees in the shade and tempers were short.

This physically beautiful woman carried on with complaints for a half-hour, then fell into using nasty four letter words. Her beauty became marred by her petulance and foul language. Here was an outstandingly beautiful woman of about 40 ruining her chance to bring loveliness into the world.

On the other hand, a peaceful, tiny woman endured the ordeal of the heat and inconvenience by radiating an interior peace and harmony. Although not as drop-dead gorgeous as the other woman, this small person brought a quiet beauty into the situation.

She has the jewel of God, a quiet and gentle spirit, so rare these days.

1 Peter 3:3-4Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (RSVCE)

Let not yours be the outward adorning with braiding of hair, decoration of gold, and wearing of robes, but let it be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable jewel of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.
Truth, honesty, a caring heart make us ladies beautiful, but not everyone sees that beauty. Perhaps this is a good thing. Only those who appreciate Christ in us, the Christ Who loves us in our fading days and hopefully shines forth to make the world a better place, only those who also have the eyes of Christ can see real beauty.
Real beauty is making life beautiful for others, no matter where we are, at home, in the office, waiting for the bus.......

Recommended by a reader

Truth from A Protestant Brother

And, prayer could change America and England and France.

I have wondered why the bishops of the West do not call us all to joint prayer and fasting.

I have been fasting, but today, I heard loud and clear from God that He does not want me to fast right now. Difficult on short funds, but I shall try to be obedient.

Day Old News

Paul Cremona has resigned as Archbishop of Malta. He has suffered from depression for years.

Pray for him and pray that Malta gets a bishop who allows the TLM, which Cremona did not.

Gethsemane and Eden Seven

Love is from God. So, if He takes a loved one from us, He is merely testing the love He gave us to see if we have appropriated love correctly. Gethsemane and Eden meet.

All real love is God. Here is one of St. John's treatises on love.

1 John 4:7-21Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

Beloved, let us love one another; for love is of God, and he who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God; for God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 10 In this is love, not that we loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the expiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. 12 No man has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.

13 By this we know that we abide in him and he in us, because he has given us of his own Spirit. 14 And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son as the Savior of the world. 15 Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God. 16 So we know and believe the love God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him. 17 In this is love perfected with us, that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and he who fears is not perfected in love19 We love, because he first loved us. 20 If any one says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot[a] love God whom he has not seen. 21 And this commandment we have from him, that he who loves God should love his brother also.
Several points here. One, God perfects love in us if we really love one another.
Two, He lives in us in that love.
Three, we know this, because we are in sanctifying grace and have the Holy Spirit in us.
Four, this love gives us confidence at the hour of our death, at the edge of the particular judgement, because fear has been destroyed in us and all we have is confidence in God.
Five, if one loves, there is not any fear of suffering and in fact, suffering become joyful.
Six, but one must love whoever God puts in our track. We love those God shows us to love.
One of my good friends who is on his way of becoming a saint recently said to me, "I am getting used to giving things up." Such is the way of love.
More from is truth and accepting orthodoxy.............He writes to the Church. whom he calls "Lady".

2 John 1 Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

The elder[a] to the elect lady[b] and her children, whom I love in the truth, and not only I but also all who know the truth, because of the truth which abides in us and will be with us for ever:
Grace, mercy, and peace will be with us, from God the Father and from Jesus Christ the Father’s Son, in truth and love.

I rejoiced greatly to find some of your children following the truth, just as we have been commanded by the Father. And now I beg you, lady, not as though I were writing you a new commandment, but the one we have had from the beginning, that we love one another. And this is love, that we follow his commandments; this is the commandment, as you have heard from the beginning, that you follow love. For many deceivers have gone out into the world, men who will not acknowledge the coming of Jesus Christ in the flesh; such a one is the deceiver and the antichrist. Look to yourselves, that you may not lose what you[c] have worked for, but may win a full reward. Any one who goes ahead and does not abide in the doctrine of Christ does not have God; he who abides in the doctrine has both the Father and the Son10 If any one comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into the house or give him any greeting; 11 for he who greets him shares his wicked work.

Good words for be continued

Eden and Gethsemane Six

Sacrifice without pain, without suffering is perfect love. Few have written about this in the annals of the saints. But, one can get beyond pain to sheer joy in sacrificing. I am not there, yet. But, I am being given practice runs.

The saint who reminds me of this truism the most is St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who I have labelled on this blog, the Saint of Love.

Another saint of love is St. Alphonsus. He stated that both his honor and glory in God and his greatest temptation to sin was love.

Adam made a huge mistake. Eve sinned first, out of stupid curiosity. Then, she wanted Adam to sin with sin. She had lost pure love and wanted either prideful solace in suffering or she experienced fear, possibly malice.

Adam did not have to sin. He could see clearly the change in Eve. She was lost to him, lost to God, no longer living in sanctifying grace. Yet, he chose to be with her instead of God. That is called the sin of idolatry.

And, to this day, we call Original Sin, the Sin of Adam, as if he, as the primary leader in nature had not sinned, there would be no Original Sin. God would have raised up another Eve, I suppose.

But, Adam had not yet experienced pain and suffering, having not sinned. He could have sacrificed Eve's company for God's. Adam still was in a state of perfection we offspring cannot understand until we get there. He did not have to sin.

He freely chose sin rather than sacrificing without pain. Interesting.

In Gethsemane, because of the Fall, Jesus felt pain and suffering in His sacrifice. He willingly stepped outside the joy of sacrifice without pain, the constant love of heaven, wherein joy after joy is experienced in true love, and took on Himself the pain and suffering we feel when we must sacrifice something or someone.

What Adam refused to do without pain, Christ took on in pain.

Christ is our model for this type of sacrificial love. Sometimes, when one must sacrifice, one cannot quite believe what is happening. If the sacrifice is the death of a close loved one, one may be in shock or denial for a while. The same is true when one loses the love of one who is loved. Shock and denial may follow.

Shock and denial form part of grief, and these states are now natural to all men and women. But, at first, mankind did not experience such deep movements of suffering and pain.  

That Christ chose to do so is a miracle for us. He took on sin, He became sin so that we can be free.

We do not have to experience the shock and denial of losing eternal life, eternal love because of His sacrifice.

And, He wants to teach us the same. He gives us opportunities almost daily to step out of complacency and accept suffering in joy.

St. Therese the Little Flower provides an example for us-her "unfelt joy" reminds us that suffering is not only efficacious, but a sharing in the love of Christ.

When we look at the Cross, we see suffering without joy, but with acceptance, with peace.

Luke 22:42Douay-Rheims 1

42 Saying: Father, if thou wilt, remove this chalice from me: but yet not my will, but thine be done.

Luke 23:46

46 And Jesus crying out with a loud voice, said: Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost.
Notice the double movement of Christ's Spirit. "thine be done" becomes "into your hands I commend my spirit". Then, He willed His death, which He had to do as God. He gave up the ghost.  We cannot do that. Our soul is taken from us in death. We cannot will death but only agree to it in Christ.
But God gives us practice if we are open to His grace. Daily we can die to ourselves to that the final passing is merely one more step of self-denial.
When I had cancer, I had to die to self, as now I am deformed. God asked this of me. For a person who had been attractive up to that point, this was a real death.
When I lost the love of a beloved, that was a deformation of dreams and expectations. For one who wants to be love and who wants to love, this was a real death. God knows I need the practice, as He has allowed this more than once.
But, one does learn to love and sacrifice less and less with the gnashing of teeth and more and more in peace and even moments of joy. The "unfelt joy" brings peace, but the real joy is a glimpse of eternity, wherein sacrifice is happy, happy, happy.
We shall be like little sparks in heaven, part of the large Light Who is Christ, loving freely, sacrificing in love with love for the sake of love and living in that love.
We shall be rewarded with Love in return and we shall never be outdone in generosity.
Eden was a small mirror of heaven on earth. Gethsemane brings down heaven in perfect love, perfect unity of Will and Will. Christ wants the same from each one of us. 
Dying to self means just that-death of the self and the finding of humility, the finding of sacrificial love. Only grace gives the joy, as if God reaches down to us and grabs us by the hand and lifts us up out of misery and pain. When He does this, we stand in Gethsemane with Him, but it is Eden, the place of love.
God's Will is not our own. We must conform our wills to His, and each one of us is called individually in different ways to do this. Do not miss the opportunity. Do not miss Eden because you are staring at Gethsemane.
to be continued....