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Thursday 26 March 2015

What A Day

Oh no...things are happening fast

After largely failing to prod state governments into developing a national identification system known as “REAL ID,” Republican lawmakers in Congress are once again pushing an Obama-backed scheme that would force every American to have a national ID card containing sensitive biometric data. The controversial plan, embedded in an immigration-enforcement bill, has been in the works for years, but has consistently been met with stiff opposition from liberty-minded grassroots organizations and activists. While the plan has failed in previous Congresses thanks to a groundswell of opposition, critics of the measure say that without prompt action, the unconstitutional scheme could soon become a reality.
The legislation, officially dubbed the "Legal Workforce Act" (H.R. 1147), is ostensibly aimed at preventing illegal immigrants from obtaining jobs in the United States. Among the most troubling elements highlighted by critics, though, is that the bill would purport to mandate a national ID card for every American as a condition of working. It would also force every employer in America to purchase and use so-called “E-Verify technology” to check with Washington, D.C., as to whether potential employees have government permission to work. Finally, it would create a massive federal database containing sensitive data on virtually every person in the country — a database that could easily be expanded to include even more information.

More bad news...

More privacy issues


Are you ready for Easter?

Update from a great reader:  peepal conclave...
see link in comments...

Horrid New Law Down-Under

The Great I Am Passages

Those of you who read and study Scripture know about the great "I Am" passages in the New Testament which riled the feathers of the Sanhedrin. There are eight, a number of completion after the holy number of seven, of these in John's Gospel and today we see Christ claiming, rightly, to be God. Here these verses are for your reference:

John 6: 35, 48 I am the bread of life John 8: 12, 9:5 I am the light of the world John 8: 58 Before Abraham was, I am John 10:9 I am the door John 10:11 I am the good shepherd John 11:25 I am the resurrection and the life John 14:6 I am the way, the truth, and the life John 15:1 I am the true vine 

Today, Christ tells us unequivocally, that He is God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Son of God. Those religions which deny that Christ is God, do not accept this passage, obviously.

Christ is either a liar, or a madman or really God, states C. S. Lewis, and I paraphrase.

We are faced with a choice today. Do we really believe in Christ as God, and take all His actions and words seriously, or, like some of the Jews of His day, reject the "I Am" statements?

The Jews wanted to kill Christ as they knew He was referring to the great epiphany to Moses--I Am.

Those who wanted to stone Christ for blasphemy were closed to the great I AM.

Exodus 3 Douay-Rheims 

Now Moses fed the sheep of Jethro his father in law, the priest of Madian: and he drove the flock to the inner parts of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, Horeb.
And the Lord appeared to him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush: and he saw that the bush was on fire and was not burnt.
And Moses said: I will go and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt.
And when the Lord saw that he went forward to see, he called to him out of the midst of the bush, and said: Moses, Moses. And he answered: Here I am.
And he said: Come not nigh hither, put off the shoes from thy feet: for the place whereon thou standest is holy ground.
And he said: I am the God of thy father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. Moses hid his face: for he durst not look at God.
And the Lord said to him: I have seen the affliction of my people in Egypt, and I have heard their cry because of the rigour of them that are over the works:
And knowing their sorrow, I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians, and to bring them out of that land into a good and spacious land, into a land that floweth with milk and honey, to the places of the Chanaanite, and Hethite, and Amorrhite, and Pherezite, and Hevite, and Jebusite.
For the cry of the children of Israel is come unto me: and I have seen their affliction, wherewith they are oppressed by the Egyptians.
10 But come, and I will send thee to Pharao, that thou mayst bring forth my people, the children of Israel out of Egypt.
11 And Moses said to God: Who am I that I should go to Pharao, and should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?
12 And he said to him: I will be with thee: and this thou shalt have for a sign, that I have sent thee: When thou shalt have brought my people out of Egypt, thou shalt offer sacrifice to God upon this mountain.
13 Moses said to God: Lo, I shall go to the children of Israel, and say to them: The God of your fathers hath sent me to you. If they should say to me: What is his name? what shall I say to them?
14 God said to Moses: I AM WHO AM. He said: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: HE WHO IS, hath sent me to you.
15 And God said again to Moses: Thus shalt thou say to the children of Israel: The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me to you: This is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
Christ reveals Himself as the Everlasting God, pointing to the Trinity, and referring back to the freeing of the Hebrews from slavery. Christ is getting His listeners ready for the real freedom from the slavery of satan, the rule of Original Sin, the life of sin, and everlasting death.
But, these people were not open to hearing these words of truth from The Word of God. A long time ago, a rabbi told me in London, that the Jewish unspoken word for the Name of God means this, "I Am Who Am and shut up and stop asking me."
The point is that God gives us absolute knowledge of Him through the Revelation of the Old Testament and for us Christians, the New Testament. We have been told Who Christ Is.

We accept Christ as our Lord, Saviour, King, or we reject Him.

John 8:51-59Douay-Rheims 

51 Amen, amen I say to you: If any man keep my word, he shall not see death for ever.
52 The Jews therefore said: Now we know that thou hast a devil. Abraham is dead, and the prophets; and thou sayest: If any man keep my word, he shall not taste death for ever.
53 Art thou greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? and the prophets are dead. Whom dost thou make thyself?
54 Jesus answered: If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father that glorifieth me, of whom you say that he is your God.
55 And you have not known him, but I know him. And if I shall say that I know him not, I shall be like to you, a liar. But I do know him, and do keep his word.
56 Abraham your father rejoiced that he might see my day: he saw it, and was glad.
57 The Jews therefore said to him: Thou art not yet fifty years old, and hast thou seen Abraham?
58 Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say to you, before Abraham was made, I am.
59 They took up stones therefore to cast at him. But Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple.

Time to re-read a series

Begging for a book as well--

To those who will be recusants in some countries in our lifetime,,,

You are the the tagged posts on the remnant. Here are some of those posts.

20 Jan 2015
Recusancy. After 1581, recusancy became an indictable offence, so recusants often appear in quarter sessions records and the fines levied were recorded in the pipe rolls. After 1592 a separate series of rolls, the recusant ...
01 Mar 2014
The first of two of the reasons why I am posting this series on recusant nuns rest in my conviction that unless there are relationships among Catholics, some type of Catholic community, the Faith will die in many areas.
01 Mar 2014
Again, one sees the pattern of relationships among the recusant families, which did not necessarily live in proximity to one another but which made a point of networking, as we would say today. May I add this from the Tudor ...
28 Feb 2012
What struck me about the narration, and also the history of recusancy in England, was the heritage of stubborn loyalty to the Church in the face of fines, imprisonment and even death It was as if the charism “in the blood” was ...

Etheldredasplace: Remnant Thinking
17 Mar 2015
Remnant mentality sees the potential for conversion, but also realizes that the Faith must be preserved intact. These young ones have no time for heresies and simply, are not interested in the same dicsussions older Catholics ...
20 Nov 2014
Perfection Series VIII Part V Word to the Pressed Remnant! Posted by Supertradmum. Raissa Maritain employed two types of contemplative prayer, titles of which Jacques decided to leave in the French rather than try to ...
27 Oct 2014
I do. Garrigou-Lagrange has these three in his section on the Illuminative State, which I think will be helpful for all of us. Garrigou-Lagrange's next chapter highlight St. Catherine and Bl. Henry, and here are some of his ...
30 Jan 2014
Second, the remnant is saved by grace, by election, that is chosen by God, and are those who have kept the Ten Commandments and have the testimony of Jesus Christ, which is baptism. Third, the remnant is those who ...

16 Jul 2014
Responding to The Remnant. Posted by Supertradmum. This is a bit late, but better late than never. In the May 20th, 2014 issue of The Remnant, Father Celatus has. a list of issues, comments and events which he claims are ...
30 Sep 2013
I am sad to leave the TLM and the beautiful Carmelite churches which I have attended. There are still many excellent priests in Ireland. Pray for them and pray for the remnant. If I ever return, it will not be to this exact place.

Knowledge of Divine Things Twenty-Eight Caritas in Veritate Three

For those who have not read the long series on grace and free will, please do so. Such basic teachings are necessary for understanding some of the encyclicals.

As I have noted, knowledge leads to praxis. And, we are responsible for cooperating with the graces given to us daily in order to learn, to know.

Here is the Pope Emeritus again:

5. Charity is love received and given. It is “grace” (cháris). Its source is the wellspring of the Father's love for the Son, in the Holy Spirit. Love comes down to us from the Son. It is creative love, through which we have our being; it is redemptive love, through which we are recreated. Love is revealed and made present by Christ (cf. Jn 13:1) and “poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit” (Rom 5:5). As the objects of God's love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God's charity and to weave networks of charity.

All baptized persons are given the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity in baptism. These virtues need to be cultivated through the other virtues, prayer and study. (See my posts on virtues and virtue training). The above phrase approves us and condemns us, "As the objects of God's love, men and women become subjects of charity, they are called to make themselves instruments of grace, so as to pour forth God's charity and to weave networks of charity."

God has loved us first, we respond, and make ourselves, through free will, into "instruments of grace" for others. The weakness of the Church, (see other posts as well on this subject), is that the laity and clergy alike for the most part, indeed, the majority, do not cooperate with charity and fall into self-seeking egotism.

This dynamic of charity received and given is what gives rise to the Church's social teaching, which is caritas in veritate in re sociali: the proclamation of the truth of Christ's love in society. This doctrine is a service to charity, but its locus is truth. Truth preserves and expresses charity's power to liberate in the ever-changing events of history. It is at the same time the truth of faith and of reason, both in the distinction and also in the convergence of those two cognitive fields. 

All isms, all ideologies have a philosophy behind the actions seen in history, If you remember the Gramsci posts, you will see how his view of history clashed with the Catholic view. We, as Catholics, have an anti-socialist view of history and society. We believe in the individual love of each person reaching out to other persons and individuals.

Faith and reason must move towards both the renewal of the person and the renewal of society through love, not isms.

Development, social well-being, the search for a satisfactory solution to the grave socio-economic problems besetting humanity, all need this truth. What they need even more is that this truth should be loved and demonstrated. Without truth, without trust and love for what is true, there is no social conscience and responsibility, and social action ends up serving private interests and the logic of power, resulting in social fragmentation, especially in a globalized society at difficult times like the present.

Would that every cardinal, bishop and priest truly believed this. We have so many Marxists and socialists in the Church, such condemned societal philosophies spoken even from the pulpit, that people no longer believe in charity.

The one world government to come, and any totalitarian state feeds on the destruction of individual charity. Social fragmentation allows tyrants to take over.

Benedict is clear on these points.

 “Caritas in veritate” is the principle around which the Church's social doctrine turns, a principle that takes on practical form in the criteria that govern moral action. I would like to consider two of these in particular, of special relevance to the commitment to development in an increasingly globalized society: justice and the common good.

Shades of Leo XIII! Charity goes beyond justice. None of this Victorian "deserving poor" mythology, or the ideology that all people should have the same things and wealth. There is a hatred of the poor in the States but also a hatred of the attitude ripe for tyrannical government. This envy of the rich and despising of the poor are both contrary to the Gospel.

First of all, justice. Ubi societas, ibi ius: every society draws up its own system of justice. Charity goes beyond justice, because to love is to give, to offer what is “mine” to the other; but it never lacks justice, which prompts us to give the other what is “his”, what is due to him by reason of his being or his acting. I cannot “give” what is mine to the other, without first giving him what pertains to him in justice. If we love others with charity, then first of all we are just towards them. Not only is justice not extraneous to charity, not only is it not an alternative or parallel path to charity: justice is inseparable from charity[1], and intrinsic to it. Justice is the primary way of charity or, in Paul VI's words, “the minimum measure” of it[2], an integral part of the love “in deed and in truth” (1 Jn 3:18), to which Saint John exhorts us. On the one hand, charity demands justice: recognition and respect for the legitimate rights of individuals and peoples. It strives to build the earthly city according to law and justice. 

Would that Catholics were so holy as to transform the City of Man into the City of God.

On the other hand, charity transcends justice and completes it in the logic of giving and forgiving[3]. The earthly city is promoted not merely by relationships of rights and duties, but to an even greater and more fundamental extent by relationships of gratuitousness, mercy and communion. Charity always manifests God's love in human relationships as well, it gives theological and salvific value to all commitment for justice in the world.

Just a warning to those fuzzy Catholics in the Church--Revelation and Tradition, as backed up by philosophy and theology, must be part of the implementation of both justice and charity.

to be continued....

Thanks, New Sister et al

Well, I have always wondered why I lose so much weight and feel so heathly in Europe compared to the States. I thought is was only that I walked everywhere, to the shops, church, friends, and so on, but now, New Sister has brought to my mind the fact that most EU nations do not allow genetically modified foods. Great Britain announced they would start selling chickens fed with GMO feed in 2013. Now, there is more pressure to do so.

Since coming back to the States, within weeks, I have felt more ill than my entire time in the EU.

Interesting that GMOs can make us feel so ill.

Coming from Iowa, I know that Monsanto "owns" both State universities, which do research and develope GMOs.

I had my students in 2010 do long research projects on this in the classroom, in a class learning critical thinking skills and they were shocked at the results.

I shall have to think about what to do as I am on a very low budget and eat lots of what I call "poor food"; mac and cheese, Ramens, cheap spags, and canned stuff.

I shall absolutely need to review what I can do to change this, if anything, as I have become ill since being over the now almost three months. But, I cannot daily feel this bad.

Simple-greed created this problem and graft in politicians. Why does America have to spread bad ideas around the world? FACTA is a bully-boy rule, which I wrote about last year here. And, this is bullying as well,

Britain and other European Union member states are under increasing pressure from North American business groups to open their borders to imports of genetically modified food as part of negotiations for a new Transatlantic trade deal, environmental campaigners have warned.
The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) is being negotiated among European governments, the US and Canada, with the active participation of dozens of large businesses. It has already attracted strong criticism from democracy campaigners, who say it could mean the UK could have to open theNational Health Service further to private companies, and complaints against large companies could be treated in secret without proper legal recourse.

Also, thanks to a good nurse who wrote about carbs and sugar....I need to learn more about these things. Of course, I have to deal with my allergy to the Cuburbitaceae family as well. Sigh, Back to my Bible Diet...I think, if I can afford it. Thanks a lot, Jody, as I had no idea carbs and sugars affected the lungs.

Tragic Evil


For over a year, I have been praying to Father John Hardon asking him to intercede for a complete healing of asthma.

Last year, in the winter and spring, I was having constant attacks. I had three medications I needed to take constantly. Summer was not too bad, as I moved from the Midwest, where there is a lot of agricultural pollution, to Upper State New York, which is colder and higher in altitude. But, I had some reaction to the forests, most likely mold allergy.

When autumn came around, the asthma subsided somewhat, and I kept praying. In Malta, I only had four bouts of asthma, which was fantastic, each caused by me being in areas of high car pollution for several hours. I kept praying. I had no asthma in Ireland, (I never have, nor in England), and none in France.

When I returned to the States, in the dead of winter weather in New York, I had no asthma. Living in New Jersey for some time, no asthma. By this time, I was thanking Fr. Hardon and God for healing me. Then, out of the blue this past night, I had an attack. I had experienced two mild bits in Church being surrounded by women with heavy perfume. But, this occurrence is rare. Sometimes if churches have old carpet with lots of mold or dust mites, this can set off asthma in some people.

But, this time, late at night, I began to look at my recent changes in diet.

I have discovered two things which may help others with asthmatic symptoms.

Milk and white flour products seem to cause an attack, as well as an increase in cheap sugary drinks.

Now, these are easy to avoid. My European diet was almost completely free of sugar, except for natural sugars in fruits and vegetables.

Now, it is very, very easy to avoid sugary drinks, like fruit waters. I just have to go back to drinking more plain water and less juice, or flavored water. I have been eating too much poor food, like Ramen noodles, mac and cheese, and cheap things of empty calories.

Some people say sugar is good for asthma.

Milk in cereal is easy to give up. I do not put milk in coffee. But, cereal seems to create a problem. I never ate cereal in Europe at all which may account for the lack of asthma.

I would like some comments from others who may have experience with asthma to learn if food allergies or food intake of certain things actually cause asthma.

Comments welcomed...

Knowledge of Divine Things Twenty-Seven Caritas in Veritate Two

3. Through this close link with truth, charity can be recognized as an authentic expression of humanity and as an element of fundamental importance in human relations, including those of a public nature. Only in truth does charity shine forth, only in truth can charity be authentically lived. Truth is the light that gives meaning and value to charity. That light is both the light of reason and the light of faith, through which the intellect attains to the natural and supernatural truth of charity: it grasps its meaning as gift, acceptance, and communion. Without truth, charity degenerates into sentimentality. Love becomes an empty shell, to be filled in an arbitrary way. In a culture without truth, this is the fatal risk facing love. It falls prey to contingent subjective emotions and opinions, the word “love” is abused and distorted, to the point where it comes to mean the opposite. Truth frees charity from the constraints of an emotionalism that deprives it of relational and social content, and of a fideism that deprives it of human and universal breathing-space. In the truth, charity reflects the personal yet public dimension of faith in the God of the Bible, who is both Agápe and Lógos: Charity and Truth, Love and Word.

A few weeks ago, I was trying to explain to someone how sentimentality was a sin of inauthentic love.  Sentimentality is a false love without truth, without reason and only sensual feelings. With the use of reason and the intellect, one can love in truth.

This is the huge problem of some of the members of the synod who want a love, an acceptance, an inclusion without truth. This is a type of sentimentality towards sinners which does not demand change, metanoia, repentance or reparation. Reason and faith show us that subjectivity which is false love. With mere emotions and opinions, people lack the framework of sacrificial love, which is the only true love.

Emotionalism is "all about me" and not about the other person's good. 

Christ, the Word of God, the Logos, is Agape, the True Love of selflessness.

Faith without reasons destroys love, making it subjective and not objective. Our reference in true love is always Christ, not ourselves.

The "public dimension" is revealed in the authentic human being who has not separated himself into a private life and a public life. This authentic type of life is the integrated life of the saint, who is consumed with love of Christ and neighbor.

to be continued....

Knowledge of Divine Things Twenty-Six Caritas in Veritate One

I cannot do justice to the end of Fides et Ratio, but you all can read it yourselves. I want to move on to Caritas in Veritate, because of circumstances with time.

Again, I may not have the Internet much longer....

The entire theme of the then Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical is that love is in truth an truth is in love.

Simple, but not really.

What this encyclical has to do with faith and reason will become clear as I move along in the text.

Here is part of the preamble or introduction.

All people feel the interior impulse to love authentically: love and truth never abandon them completely, because these are the vocation planted by God in the heart and mind of every human person. The search for love and truth is purified and liberated by Jesus Christ from the impoverishment that our humanity brings to it, and he reveals to us in all its fullness the initiative of love and the plan for true life that God has prepared for us. 

Typical Benedict, is that he gets to the pith of the matter immediately. All of us want love and all of us deep down inside, as humans, wnat truth. But this desire and journey have to be purified, (yes! perfection again) and freed by the intiative and salvation which comes through Christ alone.

In Christ, charity in truth becomes the Face of his Person, a vocation for us to love our brothers and sisters in the truth of his plan. Indeed, he himself is the Truth (cf. Jn 14:6).

What a packed sentence: only in Christ can we love first Him, as a Person, and then all others. Christ is truth.

This seeking is an intellectual pursuit, btw, and not merely emotional. In fact, when searching for the Truth, Who is a Person, we must be prepared for a ruthlessness of seeing ourselves as we really are.

Charity is love in Christ, not some gooey emotional feeling. Remember, love is in the will.

2. Charity is at the heart of the Church's social doctrine. Every responsibility and every commitment spelt out by that doctrine is derived from charity which, according to the teaching of Jesus, is the synthesis of the entire Law (cf. Mt 22:36- 40). It gives real substance to the personal relationship with God and with neighbour; it is the principle not only of micro-relationships (with friends, with family members or within small groups) but also of macro-relationships (social, economic and political ones). For the Church, instructed by the Gospel, charity is everything because, as Saint John teaches (cf. 1 Jn 4:8, 16) and as I recalled in my first Encyclical Letter, “God is love” (Deus Caritas Est): everything has its origin in God's love, everything is shaped by it, everything is directed towards it. Love is God's greatest gift to humanity, it is his promise and our hope.

Two years ago, I walked you through Deus Caritas Est. Some of you may have time to go back and review those posts.

All commitment comes from charity. All personal relationships which are good and true are based on charity.  We start with the small groups around us and spread out this detached love to all.

Love orders all relationships, and is the great gift of God. Yes, we receive faith and hope through God's love for us. But, because this love is in the will, one must always see it as connected with truth, even in the market place. There is, simply, no real charity without truth. As the Pope Emeritus points out here, relativism destroys charity, as it becomes disconnected with truth.

I am aware of the ways in which charity has been and continues to be misconstrued and emptied of meaning, with the consequent risk of being misinterpreted, detached from ethical living and, in any event, undervalued. In the social, juridical, cultural, political and economic fields — the contexts, in other words, that are most exposed to this danger — it is easily dismissed as irrelevant for interpreting and giving direction to moral responsibility. Hence the need to link charity with truth not only in the sequence, pointed out by Saint Paul, of veritas in caritate (Eph 4:15), but also in the inverse and complementary sequence of caritas in veritate. Truth needs to be sought, found and expressed within the “economy” of charity, but charity in its turn needs to be understood, confirmed and practised in the light of truth. In this way, not only do we do a service to charity enlightened by truth, but we also help give credibility to truth, demonstrating its persuasive and authenticating power in the practical setting of social living. This is a matter of no small account today, in a social and cultural context which relativizes truth, often paying little heed to it and showing increasing reluctance to acknowledge its existence.

to be continued...