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Friday 6 February 2015

I want one....

Need More Responses

One of two responses on podding. This one is for Orthodox readers of this blog. There is a growing lay community connected to St. John's Orthodox Cathedral in Alaska.

I need more responses.

The second one concerns lay people moving out near Clear Creek Abbey, the Benedictine community found here. If anyone has any specific information about this grouping of the laity, please let me know. Someone just indicated that there were laity moving out to this area, but I was given no details.

Attention Podders


Are there any readers in America podding?

If so, send me comments and I shall not publish them.

I know some Catholics who are willing to move to pods, but do not know where these are.

Thanks, and this is an immediate request.


Passing Up Angels....Friendship in the Lord Part Three

From today's readings...there is no such thing as coincidence.

Hebrews 13:1-8New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

Service Well-Pleasing to God

13 Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it.Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.[a]Let marriage be held in honor by all, and let the marriage bed be kept undefiled; for God will judge fornicators and adulterers. Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be content with what you have; for he has said, “I will never leave you or forsake you.” So we can say with confidence,
“The Lord is my helper;
    I will not be afraid.
What can anyone do to me?”
Remember your leaders, those who spoke the word of God to you; consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

Part one

The Universal Church-Friendship in the Lord Two

The Roman Catholic Church has been, for a very long time, called the "one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church".  What universal means may be misunderstood by the vast majority of Catholics.

Today, I want to reference the CCC on this point of the Church being universal and what that attribute actually means to the person in the pew.

First, an overview.

811 "This is the sole Church of Christ, which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic."256 These four characteristics, inseparably linked with each other,257 indicate essential features of the Church and her mission. The Church does not possess them of herself; it is Christ who, through the Holy Spirit, makes his Church one, holy, catholic, and apostolic, and it is he who calls her to realize each of these qualities.
812 Only faith can recognize that the Church possesses these properties from her divine source. But their historical manifestations are signs that also speak clearly to human reason. As the First Vatican Council noted, the "Church herself, with her marvelous propagation, eminent holiness, and inexhaustible fruitfulness in everything good, her catholic unity and invincible stability, is a great and perpetual motive of credibility and an irrefutable witness of her divine mission."258

The Church as universal indicates that communities join in this aspect of Catholicity.

What does "catholic" mean?
830 The word "catholic" means "universal," in the sense of "according to the totality" or "in keeping with the whole." The Church is catholic in a double sense:
First, the Church is catholic because Christ is present in her. "Where there is Christ Jesus, there is the Catholic Church."307 In her subsists the fullness of Christ's body united with its head; this implies that she receives from him "the fullness of the means of salvation"308 which he has willed: correct and complete confession of faith, full sacramental life, and ordained ministry in apostolic succession. The Church was, in this fundamental sense, catholic on the day of Pentecost309 and will always be so until the day of the Parousia.
831 Secondly, the Church is catholic because she has been sent out by Christ on a mission to the whole of the human race:310

All men are called to belong to the new People of God. This People, therefore, while remaining one and only one, is to be spread throughout the whole world and to all ages in order that the design of God's will may be fulfilled: he made human nature one in the beginning and has decreed that all his children who were scattered should be finally gathered together as one. . . . The character of universality which adorns the People of God is a gift from the Lord himself whereby the Catholic Church ceaselessly and efficaciously seeks for the return of all humanity and all its goods, under Christ the Head in the unity of his Spirit.311
Each particular Church is "catholic"
832 "The Church of Christ is really present in all legitimately organized local groups of the faithful, which, in so far as they are united to their pastors, are also quite appropriately called Churches in the New Testament. . . . In them the faithful are gathered together through the preaching of the Gospel of Christ, and the mystery of the Lord's Supper is celebrated. . . . In these communities, though they may often be small and poor, or existing in the diaspora, Christ is present, through whose power and influence the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church is constituted."312
833 The phrase "particular Church," which is first of all the diocese (or eparchy), refers to a community of the Christian faithful in communion of faith and sacraments with their bishop ordained in apostolic succession.313 These particular Churches "are constituted after the model of the universal Church; it is in these and formed out of them that the one and unique Catholic Church exists."314
834 Particular Churches are fully catholic through their communion with one of them, the Church of Rome "which presides in charity."315 "For with this church, by reason of its pre-eminence, the whole Church, that is the faithful everywhere, must necessarily be in accord."316 Indeed, "from the incarnate Word's descent to us, all Christian churches everywhere have held and hold the great Church that is here [at Rome] to be their only basis and foundation since, according to the Savior's promise, the gates of hell have never prevailed against her."317
835 "Let us be very careful not to conceive of the universal Church as the simple sum, or . . . the more or less anomalous federation of essentially different particular churches. In the mind of the Lord the Church is universal by vocation and mission, but when she put down her roots in a variety of cultural, social, and human terrains, she takes on different external expressions and appearances in each part of the world."318 The rich variety of ecclesiastical disciplines, liturgical rites, and theological and spiritual heritages proper to the local churches "unified in a common effort, shows all the more resplendently the catholicity of the undivided Church."319
Who belongs to the Catholic Church?
836 "All men are called to this catholic unity of the People of God. . . . And to it, in different ways, belong or are ordered: the Catholic faithful, others who believe in Christ, and finally all mankind, called by God's grace to salvation."320
837 "Fully incorporated into the society of the Church are those who, possessing the Spirit of Christ, accept all the means of salvation given to the Church together with her entire organization, and who - by the bonds constituted by the profession of faith, the sacraments, ecclesiastical government, and communion - are joined in the visible structure of the Church of Christ, who rules her through the Supreme Pontiff and the bishops. Even though incorporated into the Church, one who does not however persevere in charity is not saved. He remains indeed in the bosom of the Church, but 'in body' not 'in heart.'"321
838 "The Church knows that she is joined in many ways to the baptized who are honored by the name of Christian, but do not profess the Catholic faith in its entirety or have not preserved unity or communion under the successor of Peter."322 Those "who believe in Christ and have been properly baptized are put in a certain, although imperfect, communion with the Catholic Church."323 With the Orthodox Churches, this communion is so profound "that it lacks little to attain the fullness that would permit a common celebration of the Lord's Eucharist."324

Catholicity is the opposite of provincialism. The idea of the "local" church being the only Church came in with the Protestant revolt. One forgets that even in ancient times, the bishop's cathedral was the center of church life, and the rise of pilgrimages added to the sense of unity in catholicity with all Catholics.

Thus, Christendom was born from the real understanding of the unity and catholicity of the Church.

Catholicity and unity are connected. The Protestants do not have unity, nor catholicity-their churches cannot claim such attributes. Too many people have a protestant attitude about their own church experience. They fall into a gross provincialism which excludes the ideal set by Christ of unity with the Trinity throughout the world.

The real Church, the Catholic Church, reflects this unity and catholicity only.

But, this has been forgotten or set aside in America especially, much more than in Europe, where Catholics go back and forth between "national churches", moving out of cultural comfort zones into the reality of the one, true, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

That Catholics marry outside their national and ethnic groups proves the hierarchy of both catholicity and unity. Our Faith transcends boundaries. What has happened in America is the two-fold resurrection of the heresy of Americanism, discussed on this blog in early days, and the fact that people have separated themselves into groupings which are not Catholic communities.

More on this in Part Three...

813 The Church is one because of her source: "the highest exemplar and source of this mystery is the unity, in the Trinity of Persons, of one God, the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit."259 The Church is one because of her founder: for "the Word made flesh, the prince of peace, reconciled all men to God by the cross, . . . restoring the unity of all in one people and one body."260 The Church is one because of her "soul": "It is the Holy Spirit, dwelling in those who believe and pervading and ruling over the entire Church, who brings about that wonderful communion of the faithful and joins them together so intimately in Christ that he is the principle of the Church's unity."261 Unity is of the essence of the Church:

What an astonishing mystery! There is one Father of the universe, one Logos of the universe, and also one Holy Spirit, everywhere one and the same; there is also one virgin become mother, and I should like to call her "Church."262
814 From the beginning, this one Church has been marked by a great diversity which comes from both the variety of God's gifts and the diversity of those who receive them. Within the unity of the People of God, a multiplicity of peoples and cultures is gathered together. Among the Church's members, there are different gifts, offices, conditions, and ways of life. "Holding a rightful place in the communion of the Church there are also particular Churches that retain their own traditions."263 The great richness of such diversity is not opposed to the Church's unity. Yet sin and the burden of its consequences constantly threaten the gift of unity. And so the Apostle has to exhort Christians to "maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace."264
815 What are these bonds of unity? Above all, charity "binds everything together in perfect harmony."265 But the unity of the pilgrim Church is also assured by visible bonds of communion:
- profession of one faith received from the Apostles;
-common celebration of divine worship, especially of the sacraments;
- apostolic succession through the sacrament of Holy Orders, maintaining the fraternal concord of God's family.266
816 "The sole Church of Christ [is that] which our Savior, after his Resurrection, entrusted to Peter's pastoral care, commissioning him and the other apostles to extend and rule it. . . . This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in (subsistit in) the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him."267

The Second Vatican Council's Decree on Ecumenism explains: "For it is through Christ's Catholic Church alone, which is the universal help toward salvation, that the fullness of the means of salvation can be obtained. It was to the apostolic college alone, of which Peter is the head, that we believe that our Lord entrusted all the blessings of the New Covenant, in order to establish on earth the one Body of Christ into which all those should be fully incorporated who belong in any way to the People of God."26

Persecution Watch 1,004

from LifeSiteNews
In a decision that has significant international ramifications, Canada's Supreme Court today legalized assisted suicide. This heart-breaking decision will not only affect our Canadian readers, but will inevitably set an unofficial precedent for courts in the U.S. and elsewhere. Our readers in those countries need to be aware of this decision, in order to be better prepared to oppose this encroaching element of the Culture of Death. Read our breaking news report on the decision here, or below. 



By Pete Baklinski


“In striking down Rodriguez, our highest court told Canadians today that the lives of the weak, infirm, and vulnerable are not worth protecting. The court in essence decided that some people are better off dead than alive and gave power to those who are strong to end the lives of those who are weak. This is a terrible day of shame for Canada,” said Jim Hughes, national president of Campaign Life Coalition, to LifeSiteNews. 
“We as a country have entered into utter moral blindness if we honestly believe that killing someone in the name of ‘compassion’ or ‘mercy’ is a solution to the problem of pain or debilitation. All life is a gift, and no one has the moral right to take that gift away from someone else. This law used to be called: ‘You shall not kill.’ It is always a false compassion to kill someone who is suffering. There is no dignity in killing the patient instead of the pain...

People say that ‘safeguards’ and strict eligibility for death will offer protections,” said Hughes. “You can see just how unsuccessful this idea proved in Belgium where the categories of the killable have now expanded to include children. There’s even a booming suicide tourism now happening there. Mark my words, the same slippery slope will occur here in Canada. It’s been said before and it’s as true now as it was then: 'Once you start looking at killing as a means to solve problems, suddenly you’ll find more and more problems where killing is the only solution.'"

Persecution Watch 1,003

Of course this ministerial exception is contingent on the fact that Catholic schools are actually promoting the Truth of Catholic teachings. Earlier this week, after decades of dissent on many Catholic college campuses, the federal government—through the NLRB—has stepped in to assess whether the employees of Catholic colleges and universities are actually contributing to the religious mission of these institutions by “performing religious functions.” This is a new standard for evaluating religious objections to federal board oversight that was implemented in a unionization decision in December at Pacific Lutheran University. The NLRB knows that if the faculty actually uphold and advance Catholic teachings, these colleges may be viewed by the Courts as performing a religious function. But, it is likely that the labor board knew otherwise—and on January 6, 2015, the NLRB issued a “Certification of Representation” allowing adjunct professors and lecturers at St. Mary’s College of Moraga, California, to join the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). This ruling by the NLRB that employees of Catholic colleges are not expected to uphold Catholic values and doctrine and advance the college’s Catholic mission is an important development in Catholic higher education. In the Manhattan College decision, the NLRB claimed that “public representations of Manhattan College clearly demonstrate that it is not providing a religious educational environment.” Ruling that Manhattan College did not qualify as religious institution deserving of an exemption, the NLRB pointed out that although Manhattan frequently cites its Lasallian tradition in describing itself in its public documents, these references are made in “purely secular terms.”  Noting that Manhattan College’s own admission brochure does not even include any reference to the Catholic Church or Catholicism, the NLRB issued a 26-page report which concluded that the college cannot claim a religious affiliation in an effort to prevent the unionization of its employees.

Friendship in the Lord

Many years ago, about 1974 to be exact, I remember reading a book by Father Paul Hinnebusch, Friendship in the Lord.

This book is now out-of-print. However, as I was in a lay community for seven years, I learned what this meant from experience and not merely from a book. I think the confusion about lay communities stems from the fact that people have never seen one or read about such.

The Anabaptists, of course, have communities, such as the Bruderhof, and the various Amish and Mennonite communities. These Protestants began their movements as mostly agrarian groups, purposefully separated from urban life, and from the evils surrounding their worlds, such as the compromises made by the Lutheran bishops under Nazism.

Catholic communities, and, indeed, the first communities mentioned in Acts, were urban. It was not until the fall of the Roman Empire that the Church moved out into the countryside. This movement out of the cities, a Catholic Diaspora, helped spread the Gospel, and created the monastic orders, specifically Benedictinism. Recall that St. Benedict's order grew out of the decay following the lack of order after the fall of Rome. His own father was a governor, as the local governments continued using Roman law and order, when possible, even after Rome was ruined.

The combination of law, order and Catholicism created new communities, in addition to the urban ones. It was never the intention of the communities, as seen working in Acts, to isolate themselves from the great cities of the time. In fact, if one also remembers the churches mentioned in the Book of Revelation, one sees that these seven churches were found in the largest cities in the Middle East, especially in the Levant, at the time.

Urban life now seems to be horribly anti-communal, and the suburban life-style, which I never lived, preferring to live in cities, or in towns or villages, dictates against communal life.

I have seen neighborhoods here in New Jersey full of McMansions and no sidewalks. Bedroom commuter neighborhoods by definition are anti-communal.

The strip malls I see here are also anti-communal. One parks a car in front of a store, shops and leaves. There is no place for gathering or even sitting down with friends.

Perhaps this is one reason I love Europe as the smaller villages have community still, and the cities are built on the old communal squares or gathering places. One sees one's friends by walking to church, for example.

Urban sprawl kills communities which existed in older times. For those who are younger than I am, the memory of community simply is not there in the imagination.

We lived in Catholic ghettos, or with other Protestant families who were still having children. People were in each others' houses. Of course, the inflation which hit America in the late 1970s, forced some women to have to work instead of being stay-at-home moms if a certain lifestyle was desired, In my own married life, we chose a simpler lifestyle on purpose in order for me to stay at home and home school.

Such are the choices people make.

However, the ideal of friendship in the Lord, which is found in real communities, seems a dream to many Catholics. Friendship takes time and detachment, and is not based on false, societal class structures, but on the sharing of resources and talents.

Many of us in the community movement in the States now so long ago learned how to have happy, prayerful families. Single people met like-minded single people, which created good marriages based on Godliness and not modern disorders of sex and false romance.

To be in a community meant that those who chose to do so had spiritual direction on a regular basis, and also, the teaching of how to become a servant. In fact, our community had something called "servant school". Dying to self, like those who lived in large families in the past experienced, became part of daily life.

Friendship in the Lord means first of all that one has a relationship with Christ which can be shared with others. and that one wants to live for and in Christ, building the Kingdom of God and not the Kingdom of Man.

Years ago, I had the delight in one college in which I was an instructor, to teach St. Augustine's City of God. This book should be read by all Catholics, and if God allows me some stability, perhaps I can share some of my notes, still floating around my head, with my readers here. At the time I was teaching this book, in the early 2000s, most of my friends were involved in the pro-life movement. Some were even in "rescue".  These people met at each other's houses, including mine, and prayed together, discussing pro-life issues, and the ministries coming out of the concern for pro-life issues.

This group was a small community. We shared dinners, were in each others' houses, and helped each other sharing talents. I was working and homeschooling, and out of this group, I tutored a girl with special needs, whose foster-mother needed help. And, so on.

Out of this group, came homeschooling sharing of talents as well. Many of those involved went to the local TLM even before the Summorum Pontificum.

The group broke up as some of us had to move away for other jobs, one key person moving to California and one going into a convent. However, like my earlier community experience, it was clear that working for the Kingdom of God formed the center of our focus.

Community will be essential in the days which are coming upon us quickly. Those who are strong need to help those who are weak. Those who are weak need to grow and learn to trust in Divine Providence more directly, more intensely.

When I encouraged readers a long time ago to pod, I was hoping that some would see the immediate need for such movements towards community. The time is coming quickly when people will not be able to move into neighborhoods with other Catholics. The time is coming quickly when the isolation of surburbia will become a real prison.

Too many people tell me that they would move into pods but that their spouses do not agree. These couples need to pray together so that one mind can be found on these issues. Women need to learn obedience to their husbands, if their husbands want to take the lead in the formation of community.

Perhaps because my generation came out of big families, where we learned how to share from little on, it was easier than those who have grown up with their own private bedrooms and all the luxuries of middle-class income families. I do not know if that is a problem for some-giving up "individualism" for the sake of the Kingdom.

There is no doubt that the Church grew in persecution because of the communities. That the Holy Spirit left us traces of this history in the Acts of the Apostles proves the importance of communal life.

To be wholly human, one must learn to have friendships in the Lord.

Part be continued

Good article's%20Dark%20Night_Oct15_07.pdf

I recommended the book mentioned last year.



Finally An Answer why so many Catholics are afraid of community.

I have come to this conclusion after meeting with several families in the East who absolutely do not want community. The epiphany came after some discussions with a friend.

These families are either involved in one secret society or another, all condemned by the Church.

Simple. If Catholics are already involved in a secret society, they are not going to want real, open community.

Plus, as we know, there is demonic influence in the secret societies. The occult looms large, as do many modernist heresies.

So, these groupings have loyalties elsewhere already. And, the fear of strangers is a mark of those caught up in Masonry.

Big in the eastern states is one of the condemned societies based directly on Masonry, the Grange. Another big s.s. out here is Woodmen of the World.

Real Christian community, centered on Christ and the Catholic Church, would be seen in opposition to these secret groups.

To me, the Catholic Church has been so weakened from within because of these false and occult loyalties, that I cannot see communities or pods happening in certain areas.

Check this out again....