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Wednesday 14 January 2015

Just Another Day...And Night

Nightmare scenario. Not being able to open files and be on the Net as much as I would like to be....Lately, I have not had the nice internet opportunities I had in Malta. Malta has lots of cafes and rental properties with wifi or cable links.

It is interesting how Intenet service varies from country to country.

We are so dependent on the Net for our virtual communities, which everyone knows have taken the place of real communities. When God puts me in a real community, that will be my sign to give up the blog, but this has not happened yet.

I miss my real communities which are spread over many countries. It would be wonderful to visit new places and have new communities spring up like little green shoots.

In the past week, I have met people from Australia, France, New Zealand, Ireland, England, America and we all have one thing in common. We are Catholics.

The Catholic Church is our primary community. This is the way people created communities on the prairies in America so long ago. The churches became the center of communal life.

It is nice to find out that there are places here and there where this is still true.

It is sad when I visit these places and have to leave. There are too many rules for Americans abroad now. But, to be honest, America has many rules for Europeans as well.

I would have loved to live in Medieval times, when people crossed boundaries of nations freely and the Church was united beyond borders.

Borders and laws are in place to strangle the Church. Pay attention. Here and there, the activities of the Church are already severely curtailed by laws which have been increasing since about 2000.

From now on, more constrictions will be in place, sadly.

Watch and see....pray for the freedom of religion and especially, the freedom of Catholics to move about the world. We could see in our lifetime a complete end of missionary work because of laws.

Rain, stars, rain...

Tonight, I took a few short walks in the dark. The sky was brilliant with stars and planets. Orion stalked the sky like a giant and Cassiopeia reigns supreme above my head.

When I went out earlier, Venus shone brightly, like the queen of the planets.

Then, the rains came again, heavy and cold. This has to be one of the coldest winters in Europe.

I think of those soldiers, like my dad, who fought in the Battle of the Bulge in one of the coldest winters on record.

I cannot imagine being out in the cold all the time. Where I have been this week has central heating, so the chilblains have settled down. But, my fingers are still somewhat red and swollen, as are my feet, but with less pain.

I think of how vulnerable humans are, needing clothes, heat, warm food. We are needy little creatures. But then, in the mornings, when I go for a short walk, I hear the song of the birds, praising God in the rain, cold, sun or wind. So, I learn from the birds to praise God daily in all things, in all weather.

How did our ancestors survive without modern heating? How will humans survive if oil and gas are rationed, or if the new ice age comes upon us?

The pouring rain shares no secrets of God, Who is in control. We wait, patiently, listening, discerning, trying to trust in His Ways daily, like the birds, hidden in the trees, singing their songs to God.

When I hear the birds, I know that we humans have complicated life to the point of forgetting too easily why we are here. We are here to know God, to love Him, to serve Him, and to praise Him.

Can we not learn this from the elements which are so obedient in nature, following by instinct and physics the laws of God?

Reading but not commenting

I highly recommend William Kirkpatrick's Christianity, Islam and Atheism by Ignatius Press. If you are asleep, it will wake you up and if you are awake, you will be consoled by your insights and knowledge as being placed in the correct peg holes.

I do not think I need to comment on the book, as it is better for one to sit down and read it slowly. It is not difficult to understand-an "easy read".

Good News from LifeSite News

Good News from Ireland

Shortly after being appointed to Armagh, Martin stood out from his brother bishops in Ireland when he said that Catholic politicians must not presume to receive Communion if they support the then-pending abortion law. “If a legislator comes to me and says, ‘Can I be a faithful Catholic and support abortion?’ I would say no. Your communion is ruptured if you support abortion,” Martin told the Sunday Times.
“You cannot regard yourself as a person of faith and support abortion. You are excommunicating yourself. Any legislator who clearly and publicly states this should not approach looking for communion.” 

Dark Night Queries

A highly spiritual and intelligent reader asked me some questions on the Dark Night and I shall attempt to answer these in bullet point form.

  • The dryness of the Dark Night has nothing to do with circumstances of Liturgical aberrations or bad clergymen. 
  • The dryness of the Dark Night is personal, and internal, not external. God can use circumstances to begin the suffering, but the externals are not what is important.
  • Not having a community is not a sigh either of the Dark Night or Illuminative States. One can be alone in the secular world without support and still enter the Unitive State. It is God's call how this happens.
  • Those who are in the Dark Night for years are not to be judged, as God sees with His Eyes and we are extremely limited in discerning such growth. The short period of time for St. John of the Cross, about nine months, compared to Blessed Teresa of Calcutta's fifty years cannot be understood by us at all. God leads different people in different ways. The main point is that the Dark Night is the time of purgation of the senses and the spirit, as explained in the long series.
  • Depression and despondency are not necessarily indicators of the Dark Night. In fact, depression is a spiritual state not recognized as part of the spiritual life of purgation. None of us would necessarily recognize a person in the Dark Night, as they may be joyful with St. Therese's "unfelt joy" and working hard in the Church or in other jobs, or as parents in a family. Again, it is the interior journey which must be emphasized.
  • A good spiritual director may help, but I know from experience that these are few and far between. Many priests have not allowed themselves to enter into the Dark Night and live on the level of Faith. I have discovered about five in my entire life. The best priests to seek out with regard to the experience of the Dark Night are traditional Carmelites, FSSPs and Opus Dei priests.
  • DO NOT ask in the Dark Night "What am I to do?" One does not change direction of vocation in the Dark Night and the Dark Night is not about doing but being, and being passive. Asking what one should do is pride in disguise. One must ask for the graces to be purified.
  • Bitterness, cynicism, impatience and other connected sins rearing up in the Dark Night point to the predominant fault(s) of a person, such as pride, anger, greed and so on. Quickly deal with those in Confession and the process will continue more quickly.
  • The Dark Night is about learning who one really is before God-nothing, basically, but a sinful creature.
  • One is the Dark Night waits on God.
  • Meditating on the Passion of Christ must be part of the Dark Night and if one is doing this already, this is an indication that one is in the time of purgation.
To be continued...