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Saturday 21 February 2015

Plan of House of Adoration

I only need one more person to join at this time.

Here is the tentative schedule. I was told to make a schedule.

Grand Silence from Compline until Lunch

7:00 Rise, Lauds at 7:15, Auxilium Prayers, Third Order Prayers, Readings of the Day; Meditation in Chapel

8:00 Breakfast in silence, check email and blog; Study time or religious reading options

9:00 Chores-laundry, cleaning, gardening; if two people 9 and 10 are reversed for second person.

10:00 Individual Adoration until 11:00 followed by religious reading

12:00 Lunch and end of the Grand Silence. Phone conversations, blogging and/or study

1:00 Midday Prayer-Terce, Sext, None, all together and Adoration. 

2;00 Spiritual Direction or if none, Study; if more than one person 1 and 2 are reversed after Midday Prayer for second person

3:00 Tea and conversation with guests or if none, various writing and work. If two people and no guests, 3 and 4 are reversed for second person.

4:00 Adoration until Vespers with Rosary as group.

5:00 Vespers and Adoration

6:00 Dinner Prep and Dinner and Clean Up-left over chores from morning

7:30 Study time, chores as needed; group meeting on Friday-- only checking blog briefly.

8:00 Compline and Adoration-- Beginning of Grand Silence

9:00 Bath and Bed for one who does 4-5 Adoration;variable

10:00 Adoration until Bed Time for person who does not take 3-4 hours-take turns; variable 

11:00 Lights Out.

If more than one person, Adoration from 4-5 turns, and take turns as porter, closing up. If more than two, entire schedule will be re-done.

If Daily Mass is available, schedule will be changed to accommodate. 

A Different Society

I am living in a neighborhood temporarily and I am surrounded by very old people and young people under 40. Some of the young people are hardy guys. Some are hardy gals. These are well-to-do young people with SUVs, new cars and snow blowers.

So, after a snowfall of three feet, who was out helping the 81 year old man shovel out? The 66 year old with sciatic and a shovel.

I am ashamed of what has happened to America.


Revisionist Church History

Matthew 8:20New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

20 And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.”

Having one of my degrees in history, I am able to spot false revisionist history. Revisionist history became a popular ideological tool of academia, a tool which is now used at every level of education, down to kindergarten. Revisionist history is one reason I did consulting for schools in the early 2000s, bringing them back to Classical Education, using original sources, instead of propaganda generated in the 1970s. Unfortunately, revisionist historians infiltrated the scholarly discipline of Church History, to the point where many things which are now normally accepted by Catholics in the pew can be traced to ideologies perpetrated by various revisionist Catholic historians who departed from centuries of Church teaching, including history.

Three dangerous developments worm their way into the minds and hearts of Catholic through the lies of revisionist history. More than three exist, but these are the most pernicious.

Some of these lies affect the nature of Christ's mission on earth, but let me start with the least "stupid" and move towards the worst revisionist ideal.

Today, the first one I want to consider is the lie that the Early Church was not persecuted and that the history of the martyrs is exaggerated. Secular historians have always desired to undermine the power of the Early Church, including some Protestant church historians, as it strengthens the argument that the Church was not that strong immediately after the Apostolic Age.

Early historians outside of Biblical texts testify to the large, planned extermination of Christians. As I noted in the series last year, February 24, 303, Christianity, or Catholicism, to be exact, came under the empirical title of "heresy", as paganism, and specifically, empire-emperor worship, was the state religion.

Those who try and undermine the impact of Catholicism need only read St. Augustine, and look at the number of dioceses, cathedrals, and churches which existed at the time of the Fall of Rome. At the Council of Carthage, six Catholic provinces of 466 dioceses just in Africa alone were represented by bishops. When Huneric, an Arian and King of the Vandals, exiled the African bishops, 464 went into hiding or moved out of their dioceses to other safe havens. Some were martyred. Ironically, the date of his removal of the bishops was February 24, 484,181 years after Diocletian's persecution began. And those numbers reflect the Church in northern Africa without consideration of the Church in the Levant or Europe.

The lie that the Church was, one, not large, and two, not persecuted, has popped up in articles online as late as two months ago.  What is behind this lie may be the growing worship of the State, which, of course, would never hurt Christians. This lie lulls people into a false sense of security, especially Catholics, as the State wants all to believe it supports religious freedom. Not so then, not so now. Many Catholics still trust the State when they should be very wary as there is a conflict of interests in most Western countries between Catholicism and State practices and beliefs.

The second revisionist lie involves the spreading of the falsity of the following of chastity for priests and bishops in the Early Church. One only needs to look at the writings of the Fathers on the importance of chastity and the growing discipline of celibacy in the priesthood, as well as the lives of the myriad celibate and chaste saints to bring this untruth into the light. Those who push for the married priesthood and who want to destroy the discipline of celibacy in the Church have developed this revisionist historical lie. Yes, some of the early bishops, and even the Apostles, were married. But, we know that these men entered into celibate relationships, even Peter leaving his family, when God called him to Rome.  The exhortation of St. Paul that a bishop should be a man with one wife is not a revisionist interpretation that there was polygamy, but that if the wife died, the cleric would not remarry. This is true today in the rule of the Ordinariates, those priests who have come in under the Personal Provision of St. John Paul II, and deacons. In fact, with the re-establishment of the deaconate, it was the desire of the Church that such men, and the new Ordinariate and PP priests, would enter into Josephite relationships with their wives. But, sadly, some bishops ignore this desire on the part of the Church, and also ask for exemptions. Celibacy has been, since the time of Christ, the norm which became the accepted discipline over the years.

The last and third revisionist lie of history is to me one of the most pernicious. I have referred to this many times on this blog, but as it reared its ugly head this week, I bring it up again.

This is the lie, perpetrated after Vatican II, that the Holy Family, specifically St. Joseph and Jesus, were "middle class".

When I hear this lie, from the pulpit and see it, as I have this week in a little Lenten book passed out at church, I want to break into laughter.

Those of us who have studied the history of the ancient and medieval world know one thing for sure. There existed the rich, about 5% of any given population, and the very poor, about 95%.

The middle class came into being in the late medieval, early Renaissance boom of banking and trade, and the term was not even in print until the mid-1700s. The word, bourgeoisie, originally meant a person who lived and worked in a town, rather than in the agricultural world.

The entire concept of a middle class as existing in the class structure of the Roman Empire is not only terribly unhistorical, but laughable.

There are several reasons for this creeping lie concerning workmen, such as Jesus and Joseph, who were carpenters, being middle class.

The first is the denial of holy poverty. The Protestant historians were the first to deny the value of poverty, following their guides, the Protestant theologians, who saw and still see, poverty as punishment for gross sin. Those who are middle class are blessed by God because they are holier than the poor, and so on. 

For centuries before the 1970s, holy poverty was held up as not only an ideal, as practiced by the great religious orders, but as a comfort for the vast majority of  Catholics in the world who were living in poverty. Priests pointed to the simplicity and poverty of the Holy Family as an example for all families to follow. One of the reasons the orders made vows of poverty was directly linked to Christ's own poverty, in an effort to live exactly as He did while on earth. Holy poverty links one to the denial of self and detachment from worldly goods, hardly a popular subject for priests in the pulpit these days.

The second reason for perpetuating the lie of the Holy Family as middle class is the constant re-definition of the working class in recent years. To blur the distinctions between labor or blue collar and white collar workers, some historians have purposefully looked to the Holy Family as an example of middle class wealth gotten by work of the hands.

Well, it is true that plumbers and carpenters make more money than I ever did teaching, but this comparison of modern workmen cannot be made with those of the past. I made $21 per hour as a college teacher, while I paid my plumber $70 per hour to fix a pipe. That the term "laborers" now covers those who make 100,000 USD a year or more in the construction business, or those who make expensive hand-made furniture, like someone I know who charges $800 for a hand-made chair, has nothing to do with the lot of the Holy Family.

Those who worked with their hands in the ancient times were either slaves, or just above the slave class, that is freemen, who worked for very poor wages. Even an independent furniture maker, or a builder of walls, would not be paid today's market prices for labor. These modern fees have come about because of the lack of skilled workers, or unions.

The ancient world upper class did not have any responsibility to pay fair wages, an idea which simply did not exist outside of Judaism and Christianity. There is a reason why one of the four sins which cry out to God for vengeance includes not giving a fair wage to workers....because it was a huge problem in the ancient world! That the one, true God through the prophets exhorted the Hebrews on this very point reveals the depth of the sins of greed and pride among the few rich.

Joseph and Jesus would have "gotten by", as we say in the Midwest, but just. The typical laborer in the Roman and Jewish world would have been poor by even today's standards-small houses of one or two rooms, dirt floors, work space connected to the house and so on. Mary's daily trip twice a day to the well reveals her poverty. They had no maid, no helpers, no family that we know of, only the Son of God who humbled Himself to live among the poorest of people in the ancient world, the Jews, long subdued and taxed mercilessly.

The third reason, but not the end of the list, for the perpetuation of the lie which states that Jesus, Mary and Joseph were middle class, is the worst reason of all.

When the Catholic Church members, especially in the United States, became middle class, they no longer wanted to remember their impoverished ancestors, or even their recent past. The new middle class wanted to forget the trials and sufferings of poverty and not be reminded of their duties to the still poor.

To purposefully forget one's past poverty means that a person has fallen into the sin of pride and desires the esteem of others in the society. To identify with a poor Christ means that one cannot forget that we are all poor, indeed, naked before God.

The comforts and consolations of the middle class prevent people from growing in the one virtue which invited God into the heart, and mind and soul--humility.

Today, there is about three feet of snow on the ground. Yesterday, I asked a couple to take me shopping as I am almost out of food. I can pay for it, but I have no way to get to the grocery stores unless I take a cab.

They said "no".

This type of thinking, even among Catholics, has to do with the revisionist history people hear from the pulpit and read in their Lenten meditations. Many priests themselves are too comfortable in middle class lifestyles, like going on extensive vacations, even more than once a year, driving expensive cars, eating out frequently at the best places. They cannot preach what they themselves do not live.

They do not understand the Holy Family. They do not understand what it means to create a holy family in their own parishes. They may not think of the necessity of Jesus giving Mary to John at the Cross. Why? She had no one else and would have been forced into the street--(and another proof of her ever-virginity, as there were no so-called brothers and sisters of Christ to take her in.)

Think on that.

Without Joseph and Jesus, Mary would have had to rely on her community for things. Perhaps, they would not have helped her, thus Jesus remembering her plight from the place of His Death.

I have no Joseph, no Jesus in my home to help me. How many others are overlooked, especially in these places of bad weather, because they do not measure up to the false idea of the middle class Jesus?

I shall nibble on what I have and be comforted by the thought that the Holy Family lived in poverty and had great joy even in suffering, and perhaps, having days without adequate food.

That is the model still for Catholics today. Revisionists allow themselves to judge and to not be involved with the plight of others because "their Jesus" did not suffer poverty.

He did. He still does.

From Philippians 2:

 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. Let the same mind be in you that was[a] in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
    did not regard equality with God
    as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
    taking the form of a slave,
    being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
    he humbled himself
    and became obedient to the point of death—
    even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
    and gave him the name
    that is above every name,
10 so that at the name of Jesus
    every knee should bend,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue should confess
    that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

The Pope, Giuliani and Potus

“When the Pope is sounding more hawkish than the President of the United States, then the White House just doesn’t get it,” a longtime party operative said, “and I believe Rudy’s genuinely frustrated about that — as are a lot of other people.”

and all Josh Earnest can do is throw out an ad hominem....Go Giuliani!

Peter Damian Repeats for His Feast Day Today

23 Feb 2014
In the rocky solitude of Fonte Avellana, Peter Damian desired to be with Christ. Here he is on contemplative experience. "I longed to cleave with all my heart, to the everlasting light. My heart, then as it seemed, was made of ...
23 Feb 2014
Here is St. Peter Damian on this idea. Think about this. To be continued............ Now just as the Greeks call man a microcosm, that is to say a little world, because his body is comprised of the same four elements as the universe ...
20 Feb 2013
The scholarship of our dear Pope is seen clearly in this selection from his talk on St. Peter Damian from Benedict XVI General Audience Address September 9, 2009 found here on the Vatican website. I am glad to highlight two ...
20 Feb 2013
Part 42: DoC: St Peter Damian and Perfection. Posted by Supertradmum. Many years ago, I thought this, that is, that we each one of us, was a little. Catholic Church, enjoying all the benefits individually of the larger Church, as

20 Feb 2013
In the rocky solitude of Fonte Avellana, Peter Damian desired to be with Christ. Here he is on contemplative experience. "I longed to cleave with all my heart, to the everlasting light. My heart, then as it seemed, was made of ...
09 Apr 2014
There is no obstacle more harmful in striving after perfection than the gratification of self-will. “If,” says St. Bernard, “you can induce men to give up their self-will, there is no Hell for them to fear.” According to St. Peter Damian, ...
18 Feb 2013
Anselm, Archbishop of Canterbury, Bede the Venerable, Peter Damian, Gregory the Great, and the reformer of the Benedictine Order, Bernard of Clairvaux. So, although the Franciscans claim they have the most, I count more ...

24 Feb 2014
St. Peter Damian, Book of Gomorrah: An Eleventh-Century Treatise against Clerical Homosexual Practices: "Without fail, it brings death to the body and destruction to the soul. It pollutes the flesh, extinguishes the light of the ...

11 Jan 2013
The Angels guardian procure for the souls committed to their care grace to have recourse to a priest that he may absolve them: "Although," says St. Peter Damian, "Angels may be present, they yet wait lor the priest to exercise ...

16 Nov 2014
Many Saints and theologians (St. Peter Damien, St. Bernard, St. Bonaventure, St. Bernadine ... say that Jesus instituted the Eucharist above all for Mary and then through Mary, the Universal Mediatrix of All Graces, for all of us.

08 Mar 2014
... illustrated the sacred pages with "glosses" or short commentaries, as we see in Walafrid Strabo and St. Anselm of Laon, or expended fresh labour in securing their integrity, as did St. Peter Damian and Blessed Lanfranc.
11 Sep 2013
Chastity is called by St. Ephrem the life of the spirit; by St. Peter Damian, the queen of virtues; and by St. Cyprian, the acquisition of triumphs. He who conquers the vice opposed to chastity, easily subdues all other vices; and, ...

City of God Again

I have not really decided to make this into a mini-series, and the readership is low on these Augustine posts so far.

However, Augustine obviously speaks to us now in 2015. The saint tells us from the first page of his work that the proud want dominion of the earth and others, therefore building up the City of Man. This city, "aims at dominion".  This city holds "nations in enslavement".

Immediately, Augustine describes the Fall of Rome, and the fact that Alaric, the leader of the barbarians, spared all those who fled to the shrines and churches of Catholicism.

The saint notes that "For God's providence constantly uses war to correct and chasten the corrupt morals  of mankind, as it also uses such afflictions to train men in a righteous and laudable way of life, removing to a better state those whose life is approved or else keeping in this world for further service."

In other words, some righteous men die in war and some do not. There is a false teaching going around both some Catholic and Protestant circles that the Christians will be spared death and horror in the coming tribulation. This is not only an idea contrary to the teaching of the Church, but reminds one of some type of science fiction novel where the good are made invisible or put under a bubble of protection.


All will suffer something.

The key is to be in the City of God, surrounded by holy people who will help one stay firm and true.

to be continued....