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Thursday 20 November 2014

Americans, do you want to live in Mexico?

King Obama....our founding fathers would not believe this day.

A Little Bit True, A Little Bit Orthodox

One of the interesting things about truth and orthodoxy, is that all the philosophy and theology connected to Revelation and Tradition hang together.

For example, if one believes that the priest is the alter Christus, then one believes that Christ is truly present in the bread and wine, which becomes the Body and Blood of Christ through the priest. And, if one believes in the Real Presence, one believes that the priest is the alter Christus.

Another example, if one believes that one of, if not the main purpose of marriage, is child bearing and child rearing, one would not contracept.

Yet, one more example, if one believes in sin and hell, one would see the need for Confession and absolution from the priest. If one believes in the efficacious nature of the sacraments, one believes in punishment and purgation.

And so on.

Truths come in logical, easily grasped, yet profound statements, upheld by the Catholic Church for over two millennium.  The rationality of belief is connected, therefore,  to morals, to worship, the Liturgy, and so on.

How we think is how we live our lives and how we live our lives is based on what we believe.

One cannot accept a little bit of truth, a little bit of orthodoxy and throw away the rest and be Catholic.

Of course, for years, we have used the term "cafeteria Catholics" to describe those who pick and choose which beliefs they want to uphold and which they want to deny.

Cafeteria Catholics are apostates, those who have decided to not believe in all the teachings of the Church and who have decided not to obey, even when they do not understand fully a truth.

At worst, cafeteria Catholics are heretics, picking up a false belief, not merely rejecting, but accepting something else which is man-made error.

We call this a Protestant stance or mind-set. For example, the Protestants threw out apostolic succession and the connected belief in the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.

To believe Holy Communion is a mere memorial constitutes believing in a condemned heresy.

One cannot accept a little bit of this and a little bit of that and be saved.


Because the Truth is a Person, and that Person clearly told us this.

John 14:6Douay-Rheims 

Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. 
No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

Do we not believe that Jesus is God?  Do we think He lied? 

God said that...God. He also said,

John 6:53 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.

Do we  believe Christ said this? Do some believe He lied? He is God, the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity. 

Again, no one comes to God the Father except through Christ. No one has life, that is sanctifying grace in one's soul, unless one receives Holy Communion.

No little bits of truth, no little bits of orthodoxy. Christ did not give us crumbs. He gave us Himself.

Twice this week here in Malta I heard Catholics, who are in teaching positions, say that all religions lead to God. They do not. I have heard Catholics say that all men are saved. They are not.

I have heard a discussion which denies the uniqueness of the Catholic Church as the one, true, holy and apostolic Church.

Sad days, when Catholics take a little bit of this and that, and are in roles of authority.

Sad days.

(apologies for spacing errors-a gremlin is in the works today--getting triple space or none)

Breeding Weakness

This post will anger some Westerners, but some will nod their heads and say, "I see this."

Western culture, specifically parents, even Catholic parents. are breeding weakness into the children of this generation.

I believe this breeding of weakness started with the Gen Xers, as they were the first generation of "hot-house kids". While we Baby Boomers climbed trees, rode on our bikes to school, ate what Mom put before us sitting down to dinner, did tons of homework, plus chores, and grew up in big families, all situations which caused a toughening of character, the last two generations have been bred, on purpose, in weakness.

Breeding a child in weakness is connected to my posts on how to create a Peter Pan or a Peter Pam.

But, the breeding of weakness has been taken over by governments bent on creating a slave society.

Breeding weakness into children is the result of two opposite parental problems: the first is over-indulgence, the giving of the child everything he wants, and the needing of the parent to want to be friends with their children instead of parental authorities. But, the second problem is the opposite and that is complete control-freakiness over the children.

Children's schedules have been taken over by parents so that there is no time for freedom in play or reading or doing anything reflection or creative.

The control-freaky parent plans out the entire life of the children for the status and success of the parent.

This control, and the opposite lack of discipline and order, create weakness. Children grow up never having suffered inconveniences or having to wait for satisfaction in anything. They have not had training in the virtues, but only aggressiveness training, or, the opposite, training to be completely complacent.

Weakness had now been bred into the West. Narcissism is rampant, a sign of weakness of character, not strength.

Only a spiritual life at home can change this decay of character. (See my long series on virtue training).

But, I am sure that in some places, the weakness is so endemic that the cultures will not change and the civilizations will fall. This is what happened in Rome-the strong few overcame the weak and the two layers of social organization-the poor and the rich, fell into greater and greater weakness together owing to sin and corruption. Socialism breeds weakness as well, as Catholics know. taking away personal freedoms and responsibilities.

God is in charge. He gave us all free will. Some have used it to breed weakness into their children and, therefore, into society. My parents are 91 and 86. They were bred in strength and passed this down. They are still in their own house and go out to lunch most days. Their generation bred strength in adversity, as adversity surrounded them either through war or the great depression. Suffering, not coddling creates strength.

To breed strength takes time, focus, energy and God's laws. Only holy men and woman can breed strength, real strength.

to be continued...

Complicity with evil is evil

THE Birmingham Mail revealed in October how an official West Midlands Police report – completed in August 2012 – had shown that 75 per cent of known on-street groomers in the region were Asian, while 82 per cent of girl victims aged 14 to 16 were white.

Sent to me by a friend today

Perfection Series VIII Part V Word to the Pressed Remnant!

Raissa Maritain employed two types of contemplative prayer, titles of which Jacques decided to leave in the French rather than try to translate. As these terms provide us with great insights and guidelines into the way to perfection, I shall explain these here.

The first is oraison.

Oraison is not meditation, and belongs to the level of prayer called contemplation. As defined several times on this blog, meditation begins with reflecting on the Life of Christ, and particularly images, events, and persons found in Scripture. Meditation can also flow from the writings of saints.

Oraison does not use images at all. Garrigou-Lagrange would call this the first level of contemplative  or acquired contemplative prayer, the prayer of complete silence, in which a person allows God to come and move the heart, mind, and soul. One may find that contemplating leads to thinking or reflecting or even the beginnings of experiencing the Attributes of God. (see tags) Some theologians call this simple prayer.

One usually does not enter this type of prayer without moving from the lower forms of prayer. (again, see tags)

Raissa went through the Dark Night of the Senses and Spirit, then moving from meditation to orsaison. 

As an orthodox and wise Catholic, she warns against not thinking about Christ in prayer, as one cannot empty one's mind, heart and soul without encountering demonic, deceitful influences. Christ, not ourselves or emptiness, must be the center of prayer.

Christ is always the starting point in prayer for the Catholic.

Oraison moves from meditating on the Incarnation to God as Father the Spirit, and the Trinity, but without images or concepts. Of course, this prayer is a gift to the purified soul, mind and heart.

At this level of prayer, one is not interceding for anyone or even against evil, The experience of God encompasses all those negative things and places them within the larger context of God's Providence and His Divine Will.

The simplicity of this prayer and the zeal for truth merge. Here are her own words.

But I do not wish to remove myself from the Cross. Every day I abandon myself to whatever suffering God wills. And the Cross of Jesus carries me over all the abyss.

Error is like the foam on the waves, it eludes out grasp and keeps reappearing. The soul must not exhaust itself fighting against the foam. Its zeal must be purified and calmed an, by the union with the divine Will, it must gather strength from the depths. And Christ, with all his merits and the merits of all the saints, will do his work deep down below the surface of the waters. And everything that can be saved will be saved.  For our God has chosen to reign in humility , and it really seems as if he wished to show himself only just as must as is necessary in order that the visible Church shall endure to the end and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (7th March 1924)

Too many Catholics are fighting directly in their minds, hearts and souls the errors seen popping up out of the darkness of late. We have been trained in politics in the Church but not in prayer.

The primary way to fight error is spiritual, notes Raissa above.  Let those in Rome fight the battles, but use the power of prayer to engage and overcome evil.

I have learned this the hard way here in Malta. Daily I meet heretics, and those who have grown up in ignorance about the Faith. These people do much damage ministering error. Some are priests.

I cannot put out all the fires, but I can go into silence before Christ and join with His sufferings in order to overcome evil.

I can do that, and you can do that.

Raissa notes that the world has a false optimism.  God permits, with full knowledge, evil.

He is not like a man who regretfully permits what he cannot prevent. He has let men go their own way armed with their freedom, ---win more or less, and perhaps will end by winning everything. God has simply reserved for himself in humanity one Man who is his Son. And this Man-God calls to himself for his own work--which he also has to do with men's freedom--call a small number of men, a handful in every century, to work in his own way. (quoted by Jacques in the Preface, from Brief Writings, 16th February 1935)

It dawned on my why I have been so exhausted here. I was working too hard to correct errors and not praying oraison.  This is what God wants of the remnant--some work, but much more, He wants prayer.

Not intercessory, but that simple prayer of love being in Christ's Presence, even experiencing deep suffering for the sake of the Church, is what causes change. Prayers are not being answered because Catholics are not willing to enter into the state of purity of heart, which allows one to join in the sufferings of Christ. In this state, prayers become efficacious.

In the next post, I shall move on to the second type of prayer as explained in the Journal.

to be continued...

Americans, Try and Visit These Shrines

Cardinal Burke will be there for several days in early December, so check the website.

Also, there only approved USA apparition of Mary, as Our Lady of Good Hope, may be honored in Wisconsin as well.

Here is the website for that shrine.

Go where the Church has approved honor.

An Extremely Important Prayer Request

I am asking readers to make a commitment to pray for some very specific people and events.

Today, before Mass, I met women from a newly organized prayer group in Malta. These women believe that the Holy Spirit has told them to pray for two things.

The first is for the conversion of ISIS-Al Qaeda. These women believe that God wants them and others to pray for the conversion of these enemies of Christ.

The second focus of their prayer is to stop the invasion of non-Catholics into Malta, the Muslims from Libya and Saudi Arabia, as these immigrates and businessmen are replacing Catholics.

The women know that the demographics are against them, as so many of the young Maltese are not getting married, not having children.

I am begging my readers to pray that these women are protected against the demons of the air which are behind the false religion and the violence.

Please pray for them to have the Blood of Christ, Virgo Potens, and St. Michael watch over them and keep them safe from all harm both spiritual and physical. I promised them today I would pray for their protection.

Such brave and stalwart women deserve our support. Remember Christ's words.

Luke 23:28Douay-Rheims 

28 But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me; but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

Not only the Jews are weeping, but these good Catholic women who have been inspired to pray.

Perfection Series VII: Part IV In our times....

Before I continue with Raissa's types of prayer, I want to stress that these times, fast moving into persecution and tribulations, are like Raissa's times of living through both world wars.

In WWII, her life was in danger as she was a converted Jewess. But, the details are not as necessary as the concept that we must become perfected before the horrible times set in.

I have written about this many, many times. Without priests, the Mass, the sacraments, we shall need to be in a mature state of holiness in order to withstand the evils which shall assail us.

If you are not taking my words to heart, and the words of those to whom God has given you who are orthodox, serious Catholics, I urge you to wake up from the sleep of everyday business.

I felt something when I was in the States-that provincial blanket which covers all who live there with two ideals-one, nothing bad can happen here-this is America. And, two everyday business is more important than the spiritual life, believed by so many Sunday Catholics.

Raissa and Jacques became spiritual during, between and again during two crises in Europe.

Their words cry out to us across the decades, get ready, be prepared. They knew and loved Garrigou-Lagrange. You have him here on this blog and in his books online.

Take advantage, now, of the time to turn to God with all your heart, mind, and soul.

In today's Gospel, Christ warns us of passing up the time not only to repent, but to become holy.

Luke 19:41-44New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

Jesus Weeps over Jerusalem

41 As he came near and saw the city, he wept over it, 42 saying, “If you, even you, had only recognized on this day the things that make for peace! But now they are hidden from your eyes. 43 Indeed, the days will come upon you, when your enemies will set up ramparts around you and surround you, and hem you in on every side. 44 They will crush you to the ground, you and your children within you, and they will not leave within you one stone upon another; because you did not recognize the time of your visitation from God.”[a]

to be continued...

Financial troubles...

Perfection Series VIII: Part III Perfection and Justice

Raissa was called to be a contemplative in the world. Some of us seemed to be called to this. Such a life means that one moves from solitude to being with people easily.

Too much solitude is not a good, nor is too much time with people. A balance must be met.

Like Raissa, if I am with people too much in one day, I find the experience exhausting. The interior life demands attention and discipline, and for the beginner, like myself, much focusing.

Sometimes, I can be at Adoration for an hour, but not always.

Raissa was given the graces to be with Christ in the Eucharist for many hours in the day. But, she also needed to go out to her husband, his work, their friends, and the call of God to work in the larger world, as necessary.

Jacques notes in the Journal that she was given this ability to move back and forth between the two worlds of contemplation and activity.

He wrote this elsewhere: Contemplation… is frequently the treasure of persons hidden in the world… souls who live by it in all simplicity, without visions, without miracles, but with such a flame of love for God and neighbour that good happens all around them without noise and without agitation.

To get to the point of not experiencing agitation means that one must allow God to show one the ugliness of one's soul and live in a state of humility.  I am not there, yet.

This happens in the Dark Night, the time of no consolations, no resting in the Lord, just the awareness of one's sinfulness.

I think it is easier for an intellectual, to be honest, as one is use to study and reflection. The very active person must change the style and pace of life to meet the demands of contemplation.

For the definitions of meditation and contemplation, see the other series. I am not going to repeat those.

However, I shall use the terms which Raissa uses and which Jacques kept in the original French, as the English translation of both ideas lacks precision. But, before I mention those, I want to emphasize that Raissa knew in 1915 that God was calling all Catholics to perfection.

She writes that perfection is not merely for one's self, but for the sake of justice. She quotes the Mass:

Sursum corda. Habemus ad dominum. Dignum et justum est. Vere dignum et justum est, aequum et salutare, nos tibi semper et ubique gratias agere, and this is perfection. December 10th, 1915.

Lift up your hearts. We lift them up to the Lord.....It is right to give Him thanks and is our duty and our salvation always and everywhere to give You thanks.

It is our duty to be perfect. God demand justice, which is righteousness, and this is the call of each one of us. Raissa notes that do we not all desire justice? So does God.

We are justified in God through perfection. On November 26th, 1914, Raissa writes that the horror of World War I, which has caused all people in Europe suffering,

...would make the world hateful if one did not know that in some way all is well because there is divine will and permission. There remains nothing for us but to ask more than ever for the perfecting of our souls, so that by aspiring to nothing but Heaven, they too may be worthy to be admitted there the day God wills.

From the beginning of this part of my blog, from January, 2012, this has been the reason for my writing to you, my readers... for the perfecting of your souls and my soul.

to be continued....

Perfection Series VIII:Part II Pressing Towards The Goal

When one is pressing towards the goal of perfection, one must be and is forced to be aware of the great enemy who tries to move one away from this goal. But, Raissa was doing more than just clearing the field for her own race to holiness. She was praying for Jacques who was working in the world of art, philosophy, and poetry, and meeting the ancient foe in each arena.

Both Jacques and Raissa were aware that the battles which are spiritual prove to be more intense than those which are physical.

Jacques writes in the Forward,

"Raissa was well aware of it--she wrote The Prince of this World. I see better now why she had to suffer so much. It was she who bore the heavier burden of the conflict--in the invisible depths of her prayer and her self-sacrifice. I see better too why the battle was so ruthless and so swift--the baptisms rained down, so did the blows. Conflicts of this kind can be only fought in raids carried out at full speed. And the territory gained is not gained for long. For where the prince of this world has his kingdom, the Christian cannot establish his permanent dwelling as on definitely conquered soil. On such a domain, what he should hope to see, at certain particularly propitious moments in the course of history, is the flaring up of a kind of cultural blaze--what matter is less the result that can be expected than the work of the flame itself while the blaze lasts."

He continues that founders of orders know this, but that when projects or groups fail to grow or are persecuted, what lasts are the friendships in the Lord, the small groups which carry on the kingdom of God in the world.

It has taken me a long time to understand this. As I have looked back on my life, I see times when I thought communities were going to be permanent. First, the lay community I was in seemed to be something permanent. It was not. Then, various parish groupings, including some TLM groups which no longer exist, seemed to be the way.

But, what Raissa and Jacques knew as young people was the quick response in the fighting with evil is primary. When one hesitates, ground and souls are lost.

We are all given "propitious moments" to grow in holiness and to set people on fire with the love of God. In my peripatetic life, I have seen this movement of grace too well not to finally understand that we are all missionaries in the field, wherever we are.

The great evil which has ruined the Church is the false sense of spiritual permanency some people have. They think they are saved once and for all, therefore losing the edge of spiritual warfare.

One cannot be a procrastinator in the spiritual realm of prayer and penance, reading and reflection.

One cannot put off tomorrow finding where God wants one to work, to pray, to love.

For years, I was praying to God to let me die in the vocation to which He called me. I was married, raised a child, single for a long time before those events and single for a long time afterwards.

In all those times, I was being called to study, prayer, reflection, meditation, contemplation.

Now, it is clear to me, as it was to Raissa, (only for her, she came to this very early in her life), that this movement of contemplation and activity is exactly my vocation.

To encounter God and to encounter His People create themes and variations in one's life.

To balance both demands attention, but also a knowledge of when to rest in the Lord.

Raissa was given that grace to rest in the Lord, which I shall examine in the next post.

to be continued....

Perfection Series VIII: Pressing Towards The Goal Introduction

All of us are given graces in order to cooperate with God's call to holiness.

First is the grace of conversion, which I have explained on this blog.

Then, we are given efficacious grace in order to grow in love.

Sacramental grace, which is sanctifying grace, gives us the Life of God in which we live if we are not in mortal sin.

God at this time is pouring out graces on His People. One of these graces is that of prayer, so that we can press forward on the road to purification and holiness.

In this mini-perfection series, I shall concentrate on the writings of Raissa Maritain, who should be canonized. The lay saints have trouble being canonized as it costs so much money to do so and orders are better equipped to put forward their priests. monks and nuns.

I met in 2013, the man behind the push to get Zelie and Louis Martin canonized. This is a full-time job.

Once you begin to see Raissa's reflections, you will realize how far advanced in holiness God brought her.

Of course, suffering physically had to be endured by this sensitive, highly intelligent and highly gifted woman.

In this series, I shall choose words from her Journal which add to the copious posts on perfection already on this blog, dating back to January, 2012.

She is able in her own words to explain grace to us in simple terms. That she and Jacques were personal friends with Garrioug-Lagrange is no accident.

Neither it is an accident that God led me to both Raissa and that great Dominican.

I call these events, these movements in one's life, "God-incidents."

Take advantage of the sharing of "God-incidents".

to be continued....