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Sunday 19 October 2014

Perfection Series VI: XIII Reparation And Mary Again

The Pope Emeritus writes about Mary and the Presentation of Christ in his book  Jesus of Nazareth: The Infancy Narratives. Simeon told Mary she would suffer-her heart would be pierced. Such are the paintings of the Sorrowful Mother we see throughout the centuries.

The Pope Emeritus notes that Mary had true "com-passion" with her Son. And, that is "quite unsentimentally assuming the suffering of other's as one's own."

This is another way to describe Reparation. Now, Mary is then the "Co-Redemptorix" as some theologians have explained through this compassion.

If one is called to Reparation, one takes on a little bit of this compassion for others and suffers with that person in order for them to reach heaven.

Those who are in difficult relationships understand this concept.

To be continued...

On Anons, Again

People who read this blog know I do not post anonymous comments, unless, and this is true in a few cases, I know who the anons are.

There are some nasty people who continue to send me anonymous comments, which they know I shall not post, people who want just to be horrible and rude.

To those anons-stop it! 

Maliciousness is a serious sin. Cowardice is also a sin. The two seem to go together. Trolls do not like truth, they only want attention, like screaming two-year olds.

Trolls become like beasts, sub-humans, and they must consider their immortal souls.

One name for satan is The Antagonist. Hello!

Choose a different side, trolls. (I know who one is, sadly.)

There is nothing worse than a Catholic troll.

The promised re-post....see last post

Tuesday, 6 May 2014

An Anxiety Put Down

Using Newman these past few days for meditation and devotional reading, I was delighted to read his own comment that he meditated  better with a pen in his hand.

I was greatly relieved after reading this, as I meditate better when typing. Many of my blog posts are meditations on the Scriptures or, recently, a combination of study and contemplation on the Attributes of God. Writing helps me pray and prayer helps me write.

Why this is so, I do not know. Perhaps it is the way some minds work; in other words, writing out something is part of the process of meditation or active contemplation.

I have been worried about this for a long time, but as this was true for a saint, I can relax, as one who is aspiring to be a saint, I have found a model in writing. I am so glad Newman wrote this for me and others to ponder.

Twice I started theses on Newman and have not, for good reasons, not sloth, not been able to finish these. I have been studying him off and on for over 30 years, but only really read this phrase today.

Amazing how when one is ready for certain knowledge, it can just leap off the page of a book one has read before.....

The second idea I want to share from Newman is the thought of his that all sin is actually blasphemy. This point stunned me today.

Here he is on this point: "O my God, can I sin when Thou art so intimately with me? Can I forget who is with me, who is in me?" The fact that we Catholics through baptism have the Indwelling of the Trinity means that when we sin, we sin against God within us.

Think on that....

This great man needs another miracle in order to be canonized. Please pray for one and pray for me to be included in his intercessions before the Throne of God.

Meditations on The Keyboard

This blog helps me as much as it does my readers. I wrote months ago how I meditate with a pen in my hand, as did Blessed Cardinal Newman. Some of us work out insights in writing. I shall repost that next.

But, since August, I have seriously considered dropping the blog for three reasons.

First, as God shows me more and more of my hidden sins, those predominant faults, the more I realize I have no right to write about anything.

Second, the times are such that people must now make decisions and stop reading how to be perfect, and become perfect. One can only share so much and then it is time for readers to act.

Third, being in the Dark Night is exhausting. I cannot imagine how Mother Teresa kept going in fifty years of the Dark Night. Will power keeps me going...sometimes passion.

But, I cannot yet leave off the blog...not yet. I keep waiting to hear that clear voice I heard to start, stop and re-start again.

My blogging is a work of love and passion, for God and for the Church, which is all of you out there in the blogosphere.

But, knowing how much I am the wounded healer becomes more and more of a burden.

Today, I read this, by the Pope Emeritus:

"Redemption is not 'wellness' it is not about basking in self-indulgence; on the contrary it is a liberation from imprisonment in self-absorption. This liberation comes at a price, the anguish of the Cross."

Being a writer demands some sense of self-absorption. One must be a wordsmith, working with ideas on paper, on the computer, moving pieces of type around mentally in order to communicate clearly.

But, for those of us called to write, the action is part of who we are as well as what we do.

To break through the self-absorption, one must reflect and pray much, and, listen. I must daily listen to God and listen to His People.

My liberation from sin comes at a price. Someday, God will clearly say, "Stop writing."

That day has not come, yet.

But, I wait on orders, knowing that more of me will die when I have to give up the blog.

Today, in the Carmelite Church where I went to Mass, I saw the large modern stained-glass window of Blessed Titus Brandsma. A bit of comfort, as there is a window of him in the Carmelite Church I attended regularly the summer of 2013. It was almost as if he was saying-"No, you cannot quit yet. Keep going."

The Cross is writing in the pain of knowing I have no right to write, that my readers need to out-grow me, and that so many I love the most do not read this blog. I write for the absent ones as well as you.

Here was a post on this subject.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Titus Brandsma and Thoughts on Time

In the Carmelite Church on Whitefriars in Dublin, the sacristan has moved the statue of Blessed Titus 
Brandsma from its place in a small shrine, to the front of the church, in honour of his feast day tomorrow. 
Already, dozens of candles have been lit for intercessions.

In the small shrine, at the back on the left-hand aisle, are now placed a few letters from Blessed Titus to 
various people, concerning his stay in Ireland in the 1930s. I read the translations, and was reminded 
of the letter in the Church of the Circumcision in Valletta, from St. Ignatius of Loyola. (no longer there in Oct. '14)

I find it moving to see the handwriting and read the words of saints. These men were doing what God asked 
them to do on earth. Now, their letters are second class relics.

And, I was reminded at how fast the world changed from the writing of these letters of Bl. Titus to the 
day he was murdered. Freedom of speech was taken for granted when he wrote his letters in the mid 1930s. 
How quickly things changed for him. He was actually killed today, July 26th, in 1942, less than eight years 
from the dates when he was writing freely in Ireland, just before his trip to the States in 1935.

How fast things can change, dear brothers and sisters in Christ. Bl. Titus was arrested on January 19 and 
died on July 26th. Not much time to prepare for martyrdom...

We have more time to think of freedom of the press, freedom of speech for Catholics; perhaps a year 
and half will pass before we are fined for writing on certain subjects. I am extrapolating from recently passed laws.

Blessed Titus is a great saint for modern times. May he bless all of us who pray and write for the glory of 
God and His Kingdom.

Bl. Titus' Press Pass from

Sunday Reflections Three

When I first moved to England in 1985, and went to parties of academics, my world then, people would start a conversation not with the American phrase, "Oh, and what do you do?", but with "Ah, and who are your people?"

In those days, the English identified a person by their "people". At first, I thought this odd and even rude, as asking about one's job is more objective and less intrusive.

Then, I began to realize that we are identified by our "people".

An ancient text explains who we are as a people, as Catholics. I cannot find the source today, maybe a reader can help, but the paraphrase is this, "We are the Sabbath people, and without the Sabbath we do not exist as a people."

The Catholic Encyclopedia reminds us that Sunday quickly become the day of Catholic worship.

The practice of meeting together on the first day of the week for the celebration of the Eucharistic Sacrificeis indicated in Acts 20:71 Corinthians 16:2; in Apocalypse 1:10, it is called the Lord's day. In the Didache (14)the injunction is given: "On the Lord's Day come together and break bread. And give thanks (offer the Eucharist), after confessing your sins that your sacrifice may be pure". St. Ignatius (Ep. ad Magnes. ix) speaks of Christiansas "no longer observing the Sabbath, but living in the observance of the Lord's Day, on which also Our Life rose again". In the Epistle of Barnabas (xv) we read: "Wherefore, also, we keep the eight day (i.e. the first of the week) with joyfulness, the day also on which Jesus rose again from the dead".
St. Justin is the first Christian writer to call the day Sunday (I Apol., lxvii) in the celebrated passage in which he describes the worship offered by the early Christians on that day to God. The fact that they met together andoffered public worship on Sunday necessitated a certain rest from work on that day. However, Tertullian (202) is the first writer who expressly mentions the Sunday rest: "We, however (just as tradition has taught us), on the day of the Lord's Resurrection ought to guard not only against kneeling, but every posture and office of solicitude, deferring even our businesses lest we give any place to the devil" ("De orat.", xxiii; cf. "Ad nation.", I, xiii; "Apolog.", xvi).

This day gives us an identity. We should be clear and careful not to lose our Sunday People identity.

From Breitbart

Maltese Couple Being Considered for Canonization

I cannot read the entire story. When I went to get a paper on the bishop's resignation, these were sold out. Am borrowing a paper for the news coverage.

Sunday Reflections Two

Sunday observance also reminds us of something else. Over the years, I have seen the locus of relationships change from family to work.

More and more people find that their primary relationships are with people with whom they work, instead of with family or friends.

This cultural phenomenon has happened especially in America, where people who work work more than 40 hours per week. We spend more time with our work mates than even with our immediate families.

Here is the problem with this: our families and friends, for the most part, share in our values, share our religious viewpoints, our morals. Our primary relationships in marriage and real friendship have a basis in commonly shared world views, or should.

Those with whom we work rarely share those same values or ideals. In fact, and I can attest for this fact working in academia most of my life, rarely do we find someone with whom we share the closest things in our hearts, and the center of our lives, Who is God.

Sunday observance gives us a chance to reconnect with the deepest feelings and thoughts which we hold. We stop and reconsider the week, repent and start again with renewed minds and hearts, if we keep Sunday as God intended.

Without this respite, one may easily lose focus, lose faith, hope and charity, which are missing in the world.

Sunday observance helps us to find ourselves, to recreate in the real sense of the word.  We need Sunday to be fully human, body and soul renewed.

We need to spend time with those who refresh our souls and renew our minds on Sunday.

We need to spend extra time in prayer.

Keep Sunday, as God's ideas are always better than ours.

No Beauty without Sunday

One of the changes I have seen in Malta since I first came several years ago, is the number of people working on Sunday in construction projects, deliveries, and so on.

The days of old, Sunday was truly a day of rest, with communal meals, family meals, gatherings, walks with loved ones and so on. Also, extra services marked the day, and quiet time for reflection.

My mother remembers that St. Louis shut down on Sunday when she was a child. The streets remained quiet, as people did not travel far. Families spent time together in small pursuits.

I remember when the stores first opened in Iowa in the 1970s. None of us liked this, as the malls took over from the old downtown shops, mostly family owned, which closed on Sunday. the old days, brought out violins, sang, ate a meal together, visited grandparents and for a moment, life was joyful beautiful. Sunday reminded us of that Beauty was in our lives, and Beauty Is God.

To see so many shops open and see so many people doing heavy labor saddens me here in Malta.

Part of it has to do with the multicultural society which Malta has become with less Catholics here and more people who do not believe that Sunday is God's holy day

Why is Sunday observance important?

Keeping the Lord's Day reminds the individual as well as the culture Who is God.  God needs to be the First Love, First Person in each life of a nation. When commerce, money, entertainment, even sin push God to the side on Sunday, the people are clearly stating who their gods are now

To see the idolatry of money and work reminds me of the Tower of Babel incident.

God was upset with men for their pride and disregard for nature and His Plans for men. We all need a day of rest and reflection, a day when we set aside our own pursuits in order to listen to God speaking in the depths of our hearts. What does He want of us? What are His Plans for us?

Busyness and noise destroy humans, bit by bit by bit. Sunday observance is not about what one cannot do, but about what one must do-pay attention to the interior life with God. Sunday observance is also a foretaste of heaven, when all work has ended as we rejoice in the love of God together.

I pray that Malta and other countries realize that God demands this day to be holy. It is not a request.

Lest Catholics think only Protestants are supposed to obey God in keeping the Sabbath holy, I quote the entire section in the CCC here.





Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor, and do all your work; but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God; in it you shall not do any work.90The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath.91

2168 The third commandment of the Decalogue recalls the holiness of the sabbath: "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the LORD."92
2169 In speaking of the sabbath Scripture recalls creation: "For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day; therefore the Lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it."93
2170 Scripture also reveals in the Lord's day a memorial of Israel's liberation from bondage in Egypt: "You shall remember that you were a servant in the land of Egypt, and the LORD your God brought you out thence with mighty hand and outstretched arm; therefore the LORD your God commanded you to keep the sabbath day."94
2171 God entrusted the sabbath to Israel to keep as a sign of the irrevocable covenant.95 The sabbath is for the Lord, holy and set apart for the praise of God, his work of creation, and his saving actions on behalf of Israel.
2172 God's action is the model for human action. If God "rested and was refreshed" on the seventh day, man too ought to "rest" and should let others, especially the poor, "be refreshed."96 The sabbath brings everyday work to a halt and provides a respite. It is a day of protest against the servitude of work and the worship of money.97
2173 The Gospel reports many incidents when Jesus was accused of violating the sabbath law. But Jesus never fails to respect the holiness of this day.98 He gives this law its authentic and authoritative interpretation: "The sabbath was made for man, not man for the sabbath."99 With compassion, Christ declares the sabbath for doing good rather than harm, for saving life rather than killing.100 The sabbath is the day of the Lord of mercies and a day to honor God.101 "The Son of Man is lord even of the sabbath."102


This is the day which the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.103
The day of the Resurrection: the new creation
2174 Jesus rose from the dead "on the first day of the week."104 Because it is the "first day," the day of Christ's Resurrection recalls the first creation. Because it is the "eighth day" following the sabbath,105 it symbolizes the new creation ushered in by Christ's Resurrection. For Christians it has become the first of all days, the first of all feasts, the Lord's Day (he kuriake hemera, dies dominica) Sunday:

We all gather on the day of the sun, for it is the first day [after the Jewish sabbath, but also the first day] when God, separating matter from darkness, made the world; and on this same day Jesus Christ our Savior rose from the dead.106
Sunday - fulfillment of the sabbath
2175 Sunday is expressly distinguished from the sabbath which it follows chronologically every week; for Christians its ceremonial observance replaces that of the sabbath. In Christ's Passover, Sunday fulfills the spiritual truth of the Jewish sabbath and announces man's eternal rest in God. For worship under the Law prepared for the mystery of Christ, and what was done there prefigured some aspects of Christ:107

Those who lived according to the old order of things have come to a new hope, no longer keeping the sabbath, but the Lord's Day, in which our life is blessed by him and by his death.108
2176 The celebration of Sunday observes the moral commandment inscribed by nature in the human heart to render to God an outward, visible, public, and regular worship "as a sign of his universal beneficence to all."109 Sunday worship fulfills the moral command of the Old Covenant, taking up its rhythm and spirit in the weekly celebration of the Creator and Redeemer of his people.

The Sunday Eucharist
2177 The Sunday celebration of the Lord's Day and his Eucharist is at the heart of the Church's life. "Sunday is the day on which the paschal mystery is celebrated in light of the apostolic tradition and is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church."110
"Also to be observed are the day of the Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Epiphany, the Ascension of Christ, the feast of the Body and Blood of Christi, the feast of Mary the Mother of God, her Immaculate Conception, her Assumption, the feast of Saint Joseph, the feast of the Apostles Saints Peter and Paul, and the feast of All Saints."111
2178 This practice of the Christian assembly dates from the beginnings of the apostolic age.112 The Letter to the Hebrews reminds the faithful "not to neglect to meet together, as is the habit of some, but to encourage one another."113

Tradition preserves the memory of an ever-timely exhortation: Come to Church early, approach the Lord, and confess your sins, repent in prayer. . . . Be present at the sacred and divine liturgy, conclude its prayer and do not leave before the dismissal. . . . We have often said: "This day is given to you for prayer and rest. This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it."114
2179 "A parish is a definite community of the Christian faithful established on a stable basis within a particular church; the pastoral care of the parish is entrusted to a pastor as its own shepherd under the authority of the diocesan bishop."115 It is the place where all the faithful can be gathered together for the Sunday celebration of the Eucharist. The parish initiates the Christian people into the ordinary expression of the liturgical life: it gathers them together in this celebration; it teaches Christ's saving doctrine; it practices the charity of the Lord in good works and brotherly love:

You cannot pray at home as at church, where there is a great multitude, where exclamations are cried out to God as from one great heart, and where there is something more: the union of minds, the accord of souls, the bond of charity, the prayers of the priests.116

The Sunday obligation
2180 The precept of the Church specifies the law of the Lord more precisely: "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass."117 "The precept of participating in the Mass is satisfied by assistance at a Mass which is celebrated anywhere in a Catholic rite either on the holy day or on the evening of the preceding day."118
2181 The Sunday Eucharist is the foundation and confirmation of all Christian practice. For this reason the faithful are obliged to participate in the Eucharist on days of obligation, unless excused for a serious reason (for example, illness, the care of infants) or dispensed by their own pastor.119 Those who deliberately fail in this obligation commit a grave sin.
2182 Participation in the communal celebration of the Sunday Eucharist is a testimony of belonging and of being faithful to Christ and to his Church. The faithful give witness by this to their communion in faith and charity. Together they testify to God's holiness and their hope of salvation. They strengthen one another under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
2183 "If because of lack of a sacred minister or for other grave cause participation in the celebration of the Eucharist is impossible, it is specially recommended that the faithful take part in the Liturgy of the Word if it is celebrated in the parish church or in another sacred place according to the prescriptions of the diocesan bishop, or engage in prayer for an appropriate amount of time personally or in a family or, as occasion offers, in groups of families."120

A day of grace and rest from work
2184 Just as God "rested on the seventh day from all his work which he had done,"121 human life has a rhythm of work and rest. The institution of the Lord's Day helps everyone enjoy adequate rest and leisure to cultivate their familial, cultural, social, and religious lives.122
2185 On Sundays and other holy days of obligation, the faithful are to refrain from engaging in work or activities that hinder the worship owed to God, the joy proper to the Lord's Day, the performance of the works of mercy, and the appropriate relaxation of mind and body.123 Family needs or important social service can legitimately excuse from the obligation of Sunday rest. The faithful should see to it that legitimate excuses do not lead to habits prejudicial to religion, family life, and health.

The charity of truth seeks holy leisure- the necessity of charity accepts just work.124
2186 Those Christians who have leisure should be mindful of their brethren who have the same needs and the same rights, yet cannot rest from work because of poverty and misery. Sunday is traditionally consecrated by Christian piety to good works and humble service of the sick, the infirm, and the elderly. Christians will also sanctify Sunday by devoting time and care to their families and relatives, often difficult to do on other days of the week. Sunday is a time for reflection, silence, cultivation of the mind, and meditation which furthers the growth of the Christian interior life.
2187 Sanctifying Sundays and holy days requires a common effort. Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day. Traditional activities (sport, restaurants, etc.), and social necessities (public services, etc.), require some people to work on Sundays, but everyone should still take care to set aside sufficient time for leisure. With temperance and charity the faithful will see to it that they avoid the excesses and violence sometimes associated with popular leisure activities. In spite of economic constraints, public authorities should ensure citizens a time intended for rest and divine worship. Employers have a similar obligation toward their employees.
2188 In respecting religious liberty and the common good of all, Christians should seek recognition of Sundays and the Church's holy days as legal holidays. They have to give everyone a public example of prayer, respect, and joy and defend their traditions as a precious contribution to the spiritual life of society. If a country's legislation or other reasons require work on Sunday, the day should nevertheless be lived as the day of our deliverance which lets us share in this "festal gathering," this "assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven."125

2189 "Observe the sabbath day, to keep it holy" (Deut 5:12). "The seventh day is a sabbath of solemn rest, holy to the Lord" (Ex 31:15).
2190 The sabbath, which represented the completion of the first creation, has been replaced by Sunday which recalls the new creation inaugurated by the Resurrection of Christ.
2191 The Church celebrates the day of Christ's Resurrection on the "eighth day," Sunday, which is rightly called the Lord's Day (cf. SC 106).
2192 "Sunday . . . is to be observed as the foremost holy day of obligation in the universal Church" (CIC, can. 1246 § 1). "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound to participate in the Mass" (CIC, can. 1247).
2193 "On Sundays and other holy days of obligation the faithful are bound . . . to abstain from those labors and business concerns which impede the worship to be rendered to God, the joy which is proper to the Lord's Day, or the proper relaxation of mind and body" (CIC, can. 1247).
2194 The institution of Sunday helps all "to be allowed sufficient rest and leisure to cultivate their amilial, cultural, social, and religious lives" (GS 67 § 3).
2195 Every Christian should avoid making unnecessary demands on others that would hinder them from observing the Lord's Day.

90 Ex 20:8-10; cf. Deut 5:12-15.
91 Mk 2:27-28.
92 Ex 31:15.
93 Ex 20:11.
94 Deut 5:15.
95 Cf. Ex 31:16.
96 Ex 31:17; cf. 23:12.
97 Cf. Neh 13:15-22; 2 Chr 36:21.
98 Cf. Mk 1:21; Jn 9:16.
99 Mk 2:27.
100 Cf. Mk 3:4.
101 Cf. Mt 12:5; Jn 7:23.
102 Mk 2:28.
103 Ps 118:24.
104 Cf. Mt 28:1; Mk 16:2; Lk 24:1; Jn 20:1.
105 Cf. Mk 16:1; Mt 28:1.
106 St. Justin, I Apol. 67:PG 6,429 and 432.
107 Cf. 1 Cor 10:11.
108 St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ad Magn. 9,1:SCh 10,88.
109 St. Thomas Aquinas, STh II-II,122,4.
110 CIC, can. 1246 § 1.
111 CIC, can. 1246 § 2: "The conference of bishops can abolish certain holy days of obligation or transfer them to a Sunday with prior approval of the Apostolic See."
112 Cf. Acts 2:42-46; 1 Cor 11:17.
113 Heb 10:25.
114 Sermo de die dominica 2 et 6:PG 86/1,416C and 421C.
115 CIC, can. 515 § 1.
116 St. John Chrysostom, De incomprehensibili 3,6:PG 48,725.
117 CIC, can. 1247.
118 CIC, can. 1248 § 1.
119 Cf. CIC, can. 1245.
120 CIC, can. 1248 § 2.
121 Gen 2:2.
122 Cf. GS 67 § 3.
123 Cf. CIC, can. 120.
124 St. Augustine, De civ. Dei 19,19:PL 41,647.
125 Heb 12:22-23.

Comment on Ebola

This disease has not been naturally spread. Look at the video earlier this year on this blog. Many of us for years have known two things: one, that those in charge of our nations are not in charge; and two, God will allow suffering to cleanse all of us.

Great sins stalk America like dark shadows and God will not ignore the cries of the children killed by abortion. Nor, will God ignore being mocked by those who live against natural law, revealed law and the Teaching Magisterium of the Church.

The time of mercy is over and the time of trial has begun. Only those who are asleep cannot see this.

And, what many Catholics do not understand, as in the Destruction of Jerusalem which Christ prophesied, the good suffer with the bad.

To pretend we should not be vigilant is naive and lacking in common sense.

Political correctness rules the day for immigrants, not common sense. But, America harbors a death wish, as this nation is consumed with death. When a nation begins to unravel family values, disdain law, hate life, and turn away from God to false religions and even religions of the dark side, that nation dies.

Sadly, there are two generations of Catholics who lack a background in history. This type of judgment of nations has all happened before under the permission of God, who allows evil for the purging of peoples and for the flowering of saints.

Just make sure you are on the side of God and not darkness. Those in darkness sleep.

Scroll Down And Read America's Lame Response

A Good Day To Re-Read This Remarkable Document

A timely snippet...

Concern of the Church
18. It is to be anticipated that perhaps not everyone will easily accept this particular teaching. There is too much clamorous outcry against the voice of the Church, and this is intensified by modern means of communication. But it comes as no surprise to the Church that she, no less than her divine Founder, is destined to be a "sign of contradiction." (22) She does not, because of this, evade the duty imposed on her of proclaiming humbly but firmly the entire moral law, both natural and evangelical.
Since the Church did not make either of these laws, she cannot be their arbiter—only their guardian and interpreter. It could never be right for her to declare lawful what is in fact unlawful, since that, by its very nature, is always opposed to the true good of man.

In preserving intact the whole moral law of marriage, the Church is convinced that she is contributing to the creation of a truly human civilization. She urges man not to betray his personal responsibilities by putting all his faith in technical expedients. In this way she defends the dignity of husband and wife. This course of action shows that the Church, loyal to the example and teaching of the divine Savior, is sincere and unselfish in her regard for men whom she strives to help even now during this earthly pilgrimage "to share God's life as sons of the living God, the Father of all men." (23)

Good Article on Blessed Paul Vi

I would have beatified him just for Humanae Vitae, as he had to stand up against those who were pushing for modernization. Does that sound familiar?

Remember, despite some views of some Catholics, Humanae Vitae is an infallible document.

Blessed Paul VI, pray for our Church now, more than ever in need of your intercession.

Thoughts in the middle of the night

Ants crawling on me in the bed at three in the morning, flea bites on my legs from being on the bus swelling up into welts, money transfer difficulties leaving me cashless, no consolations from God--this must be the Dark Night of the Soul.

Seriously, when things pile up negatively, one can ask God two questions. The first should be this one-Lord, show me my sins which deserve these punishments so I can repent.

The second is, Lord show me for whom to use these sufferings. Do not waste suffering.

Satan is also angry at his set-back in Rome. Notice, it is the laity who have risen and called the bishops to task. That is our job when the bishops stray. The faithful are called to prayer, work, suffering.

There are about 157 recorded species of spiders in Malta, btw, not counting pet imports.

And, I saw one of these on my walk. It was the size of a small dinner plate...

the Beady Spider Steatodo paykulliana maybe, I am not sure, or one of the was more black and white and huge....

Read about nasties here....

and here

and here

and here

and here

and here

I also found out there are Brown Recluse in Malta. Interesting-these are in Missouri, Iowa and states south as well. These cause great damage.

There are also wolf spiders here, which act similar to the ones in Iowa--ground beasties, not web-makers. Several Maltese spiders do not make webs but hunt on the ground.

The downside of a beautiful island!!! But, we have spiders in Iowa and New York as well----

A type of wolf spider

From Michael Voris-Modernists Pushed Back


At the conclusion of the Extraordinary Synod on the Family, Pope Francis addressed the assembled Fathers, thanking them for their efforts and encouraging them to continue on their journey.

Below, is Vatican Radio’s provisional translation of Pope Francis’ address to the Synod Fathers:
Dear Eminences, Beatitudes, Excellencies, Brothers and Sisters,
With a heart full of appreciation and gratitude I want to thank, along with you, the Lord who has accompanied and guided us in the past days, with the light of the Holy Spirit.
From the heart I thank Cardinal Lorenzo Baldisseri, Secretary General of the Synod, Bishop Fabio Fabene, under-secretary, and with them I thank the Relators, Cardinal Peter Erdo, who has worked so much in these days of family mourning, and the Special Secretary Bishop Bruno Forte, the three President delegates, the transcribers, the consultors, the translators and the unknown workers, all those who have worked with true fidelity and total dedication behind the scenes and without rest. Thank you so much from the heart.
I thank all of you as well, dear Synod fathers, Fraternal Delegates, Auditors, and Assessors, for your active and fruitful participation. I will keep you in prayer asking the Lord to reward you with the abundance of His gifts of grace!
I can happily say that – with a spirit of collegiality and of synodality – we have truly lived the experience of “Synod,” a path of solidarity, a “journey together.”
And it has been “a journey” – and like every journey there were moments of running fast, as if wanting to conquer time and reach the goal as soon as possible; other moments of fatigue, as if wanting to say “enough”; other moments of enthusiasm and ardour. There were moments of profound consolation listening to the testimony of true pastors, who wisely carry in their hearts the joys and the tears of their faithful people. Moments of consolation and grace and comfort hearing the testimonies of the families who have participated in the Synod and have shared with us the beauty and the joy of their married life. A journey where the stronger feel compelled to help the less strong, where the more experienced are led to serve others, even through confrontations. And since it is a journey of human beings, with the consolations there were also moments of desolation, of tensions and temptations, of which a few possibilities could be mentioned:
- One, a temptation to hostile inflexibility, that is, wanting to close oneself within the written word, (the letter) and not allowing oneself to be surprised by God, by the God of surprises, (the spirit); within the law, within the certitude of what we know and not of what we still need to learn and to achieve. From the time of Christ, it is the temptation of the zealous, of the scrupulous, of the solicitous and of the so-called – today – “traditionalists” and also of the intellectuals.
- The temptation to a destructive tendency to goodness [it. buonismo], that in the name of a deceptive mercy binds the wounds without first curing them and treating them; that treats the symptoms and not the causes and the roots. It is the temptation of the “do-gooders,” of the fearful, and also of the so-called “progressives and liberals.”
- The temptation to transform stones into bread to break the long, heavy, and painful fast (cf. Lk 4:1-4); and also to transform the bread into a stone and cast it against the sinners, the weak, and the sick (cf Jn 8:7), that is, to transform it into unbearable burdens (Lk 11:46).
- The temptation to come down off the Cross, to please the people, and not stay there, in order to fulfil the will of the Father; to bow down to a worldly spirit instead of purifying it and bending it to the Spirit of God.
- The temptation to neglect the “depositum fidei” [the deposit of faith], not thinking of themselves as guardians but as owners or masters [of it]; or, on the other hand, the temptation to neglect reality, making use of meticulous language and a language of smoothing to say so many things and to say nothing! They call them “byzantinisms,” I think, these things…
Dear brothers and sisters, the temptations must not frighten or disconcert us, or even discourage us, because no disciple is greater than his master; so if Jesus Himself was tempted – and even called Beelzebul (cf. Mt 12:24) – His disciples should not expect better treatment.
Personally I would be very worried and saddened if it were not for these temptations and these animated discussions; this movement of the spirits, as St Ignatius called it (Spiritual Exercises, 6), if all were in a state of agreement, or silent in a false and quietist peace. Instead, I have seen and I have heard – with joy and appreciation – speeches and interventions full of faith, of pastoral and doctrinal zeal, of wisdom, of frankness and of courage: and of parresia. And I have felt that what was set before our eyes was the good of the Church, of families, and the “supreme law,” the “good of souls” (cf. Can. 1752). And this always – we have said it here, in the Hall – without ever putting into question the fundamental truths of the Sacrament of marriage: the indissolubility, the unity, the faithfulness, the fruitfulness, that openness to life (cf. Cann. 1055, 1056; and Gaudium et spes, 48).
And this is the Church, the vineyard of the Lord, the fertile Mother and the caring Teacher, who is not afraid to roll up her sleeves to pour oil and wine on people’s wound; who doesn’t see humanity as a house of glass to judge or categorize people. This is the Church, One, Holy, Catholic, Apostolic and composed of sinners, needful of God’s mercy. This is the Church, the true bride of Christ, who seeks to be faithful to her spouse and to her doctrine. It is the Church that is not afraid to eat and drink with prostitutes and publicans. The Church that has the doors wide open to receive the needy, the penitent, and not only the just or those who believe they are perfect! The Church that is not ashamed of the fallen brother and pretends not to see him, but on the contrary feels involved and almost obliged to lift him up and to encourage him to take up the journey again and accompany him toward a definitive encounter with her Spouse, in the heavenly Jerusalem.
The is the Church, our Mother! And when the Church, in the variety of her charisms, expresses herself in communion, she cannot err: it is the beauty and the strength of the sensus fidei, of that supernatural sense of the faith which is bestowed by the Holy Spirit so that, together, we can all enter into the heart of the Gospel and learn to follow Jesus in our life. And this should never be seen as a source of confusion and discord.
Many commentators, or people who talk, have imagined that they see a disputatious Church where one part is against the other, doubting even the Holy Spirit, the true promoter and guarantor of the unity and harmony of the Church – the Holy Spirit who throughout history has always guided the barque, through her Ministers, even when the sea was rough and choppy, and the ministers unfaithful and sinners.
And, as I have dared to tell you , [as] I told you from the beginning of the Synod, it was necessary to live through all this with tranquillity, and with interior peace, so that the Synod would take placecum Petro and sub Petro(with Peter and under Peter), and the presence of the Pope is the guarantee of it all.
We will speak a little bit about the Pope, now, in relation to the Bishops [laughing]. So, the duty of the Pope is that of guaranteeing the unity of the Church; it is that of reminding the faithful of  their duty to faithfully follow the Gospel of Christ; it is that of reminding the pastors that their first duty is to nourish the flock – to nourish the flock – that the Lord has entrusted to them, and to seek to welcome – with fatherly care and mercy, and without false fears – the lost sheep. I made a mistake here. I said welcome: [rather] to go out and find them.
His duty is to remind everyone that authority in the Church is a service, as Pope Benedict XVI clearly explained, with words I cite verbatim: “The Church is called and commits herself to exercise this kind of authority which is service and exercises it not in her own name, but in the name of Jesus Christ… through the Pastors of the Church, in fact: it is he who guides, protects and corrects them, because he loves them deeply. But the Lord Jesus, the supreme Shepherd of our souls, has willed that the Apostolic College, today the Bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter… to participate in his mission of taking care of God’s People, of educating them in the faith and of guiding, inspiring and sustaining the Christian community, or, as the Council puts it, ‘to see to it… that each member of the faithful shall be led in the Holy Spirit to the full development of his own vocation in accordance with Gospel preaching, and to sincere and active charity’ and to exercise that liberty with which Christ has set us free (cf. Presbyterorum Ordinis, 6)… and it is through us,” Pope Benedict continues, “that the Lord reaches souls, instructs, guards and guides them. St Augustine, in his Commentary on the Gospel of St John, says: ‘let it therefore be a commitment of love to feed the flock of the Lord’ (cf. 123, 5); this is the supreme rule of conduct for the ministers of God, an unconditional love, like that of the Good Shepherd, full of joy, given to all, attentive to those close to us and solicitous for those who are distant (cf. St Augustine, Discourse 340, 1; Discourse 46, 15), gentle towards the weakest, the little ones, the simple, the sinners, to manifest the infinite mercy of God with the reassuring words of hope (cf. ibid., Epistle, 95, 1).”
So, the Church is Christ’s – she is His bride – and all the bishops, in communion with the Successor of Peter, have the task and the duty of guarding her and serving her, not as masters but as servants. The Pope, in this context, is not the supreme lord but rather the supreme servant – the “servant of the servants of God”; the guarantor of the obedience and the conformity of the Church to the will of God, to the Gospel of Christ, and to the Tradition of the Church, putting aside every personal whim, despite being – by the will of Christ Himself – the “supreme Pastor and Teacher of all the faithful” (Can. 749) and despite enjoying “supreme, full, immediate, and universal ordinary power in the Church” (cf. Cann. 331-334).
Dear brothers and sisters, now we still have one year to mature, with true spiritual discernment, the proposed ideas and to find concrete solutions to so many difficulties and innumerable challenges that families must confront; to give answers to the many discouragements that surround and suffocate families.
One year to work on the “Synodal Relatio” which is the faithful and clear summary of everything that has been said and discussed in this hall and in the small groups. It is presented to the Episcopal Conferences as “lineamenta” [guidelines].
May the Lord accompany us, and guide us in this journey for the glory of His Name, with the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary and of Saint Joseph. And please, do not forget to pray for me! Thank you!
[The hymn Te Deum was sung, and Benediction given.]
Thank you, and rest well, eh?

And from the BBC, nonsense