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Sunday 3 May 2015

No I did not ignore Athanasius Yesterday--Here Is Our Athanasius

I have an entire series on the Doctors of the Church, so use the tags.

However, if we ever needed such a stalwart warrior of the Faith as Athanasius, it is now.

His clarity of mind and spirit are needed in the current members of the Synod. The truth is that we had an Athanasius speaking to us clearly on the definition of marriage as ordained by Christ, and this was St. John Paul II, who is still with us in the Church Triumphant.

I want to quote some short bits from Familiaris Consortio, which need to be considered seriously by the Synod fathers this year.

Illuminated by the faith that gives her an understanding of all the truth concerning the great value of marriage and the family and their deepest meaning, the church once again feels the pressing need to proclaim the Gospel, that is the "good news," to all people without exception, in particular to all those who are called to marriage and are preparing for it, to all married couples and parents in the world.
The church is deeply convinced that only by the acceptance of the Gospel are the hopes that man legitimately places in marriage and in the family capable of being fulfilled.
Willed by God in the very act of creation,[3] marriage and the family are interiorly ordained to fulfillment in Christ[4] and have need of his graces in order to be healed from the wounds of sin[5] and restored to their "beginning,"[6] that is, to full understanding and the full realization of God's plan.
At a moment of history in which the family is the object of numerous forces that seek to destroy it or in some way to deform it, and aware that the well-being of society and her own good are intimately tied to the good of the family,[7] the church perceives in a more urgent and compelling way her mission of proclaiming to all people the plan of God for marriage and the family, ensuring their full vitality and human and Christian development, and thus contributing to the renewal of society and of the people of God.

Notice that marriage between a man and a woman has been willed by God from the very beginning of the creation of humans. Only in Christ can marriages be sustained and healed. Not by changing the definition of marriage as that special relationship, as seen both in natural and revealed law, as the union between a man and a woman for the procreation of children and for their mutual contentment.

The Papal Saint saw the horrible evils besetting marriage, and now, some false leaders in the Church, just like Arius, want to change the Church's teaching in order to accommodate their own desires

We all have the graces we need to be holy and get to heaven. The Pope actually in this encyclical, which is infallible and supports over 2,000 years of teaching, comes against gradualism, which has so many people confused.

Let us look together at a few of his paragraphs. It is clear that this saint understands the stresses of the times.

Since God's plan for marriage and the family touches men and women in the concreteness of their daily existence in specific social and cultural situations, the church ought to apply herself to understanding the situations within which marriage and the family are lived today, in order to fulfill her task of serving.[8]
This understanding is therefore an inescapable requirement of the work of evangelization. It is, in fact, to the families of our times that the church must bring the unchangeable and ever new gospel of Jesus Christ, just as it is the families involved in the present conditions of the world that are called to accept and to live the plan of God that pertains to them. Moreover, the call and demands of the spirit resound in the very events of history, and so the church can also be guided to a more profound understanding of the inexhaustible mystery of marriage and the family by the circumstances, the questions and the anxieties and hopes of the young people, married couples and parents of today...

Before getting into gradualism, the Pope states clearly that the Church is not a democracy and does not follow the ideals of the majority. God's Word has always been accepted by the remnant.

The "supernatural sense of faith,"[13] however, does not consist solely or necessarily in the consensus of the faithful. Following Christ, the church seeks the truth, which is not always the same as the majority opinion. She listens to conscience and not to power, and in this way she defends the poor and the downtrodden. The church values sociological and statistical research when it proves helpful in understanding the historical context in which pastoral action has to be developed and when it leads to a better understanding of the truth. Such research alone, however, is not to be considered in itself an expression of the sense of faith.
Because it is the task of the apostolic ministry to ensure that the church remains in the truth of Christ and to lead her ever more deeply into that truth, the pastors must promote the sense of faith in all the faithful, examine and authoritatively judge the genuineness of its expressions and educate the faithful in an ever more mature evangelical discernment.

And St. John Paul II tells us that the world undermines God's teaching in many ways.

...signs are not lacking of a disturbing degradation of some fundamental values: a mistaken theoretical and practical concept of the independence of the spouses in relation to each other; serious misconceptions regarding the relationship of authority between parents and children; the concrete difficulties that the family itself experiences in the transmission of values; the growing number of divorces; the scourge of abortion; the ever more frequent recourse to sterilization; the appearance of a truly contraceptive mentality.
At the root of these negative phenomena there frequently lies a corruption of the idea and the experience of freedom, conceived not as a capacity for realizing the truth of God's plan for marriage and the family, but as an autonomous power of self-affirmation, often against others, for one's own selfish well-being.

And, we are not moving towards progress in this world, but devolution, the falling into more and more darkness. Here is JPII's take on this briefly:

This shows that history is not simply a fixed progression toward what is better, but rather an event of freedom, and even a struggle between freedoms that are in mutual conflict, that is, according to the wellknown expression of St. Augustine, a conflict between two loves: the love of God to the point of disregarding self, and the love of self to the point of disregarding God.

We are called to love God first, in complete freedom, to the point of self-denial.

OK, now the first blow against gradualism is the constant call of each of us to conversion:

What is needed is a continuous, permanent conversion which, while requiring an interior detachment from every evil and an adherence to good in its fullness, is brought about concretely in steps which lead us ever forward. Thus a dynamic process develops, one which advances gradually with the progressive integration of the gifts of God and the demands of his definitive and absolute love in the entire personal and social life of man. Therefore an educational growth process is necessary in order that individual believers, families and peoples, even civilization itself, by beginning from what they have already received of the mystery of Christ, may patiently be led forward, arriving at a richer understanding and a fuller integration of this mystery in their lives.

What the Pope means here by gradual is not letting a person remain in sin and receive the sacraments, but the gradual learning of the life of virtue when one is in sanctifying grace. JPII assumes that one in grace will grow holier by appropriating "interior detachment". Detachment from the consolation of this world would be an exterior sign of the growing detachment interiorly.

One cannot grow in faith, hope and love while in adultery, or same-sex relationships, as one has removed one's self from the event of conversion to God's Will, preferring one's own version of truth, choosing to be a little god one's self and determine right from wrong, which is relativism.

In this next section, the saint explains the greatness of love, in sacrificial love, as true love, demanded from all of us in each one of our situations.

God created man in his own image and likeness:[20] calling him to existence through love, he called him at the same time for love.
God is love[21] and in himself he lives a mystery of personal loving communion. Creating the human race in his own image and continually keeping it in being. God inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the vocation, and thus the capacity and responsibility, of love and communion[22]. Love is therefore the fundamental and innate vocation of every human being.
As an incarnate spirit, that is, a soul which expresses itself in a body and a body informed by an immortal spirit, man is called to love in his unified totality. Love includes the human body, and the body is made a sharer in spiritual love.
Christian revelation recognizes two specific ways of realizing the vocation of the human person, in its entirety, to love: marriage and virginity or celibacy. Either one is in its own proper form an actuation of the most profound truth of man, of his being "created in the image of God."
Consequently sexuality, by means of which man and woman give themselves to one another through the acts which are proper and exclusive to spouses, is by no means something purely biological, but concerns the innermost being of the human person as such. It is realized in a truly human way only if it is an integral part of the love by which a man and a woman commit themselves totally to one another until death. The total physical self-giving would be a lie if it were not the sign and fruit of a total personal self-giving, in which the whole person, including the temporal dimension, is present: If the person were to withhold something or reserve the possibility of deciding otherwise in the future, by this very fact he or she would not be giving totally.

How beautiful that the standard of God for marriage demands of us that we are truly most human when we are called to love until death, in a great decision, yes, in the will, of sacrificial love.

Such total giving is not possible when one wants one's own way, one's own temporary comfort, outside the natural and revealed laws of God.

The only "place" in which this self-giving in its whole truth is made possible is marriage, the covenant of conjugal love freely and consciously chosen, whereby man and woman accept the intimate community of life and love willed by God himself,[23] which only in this light manifests its true meaning. The institution of marriage is not an undue interference by society or authority, nor the extrinsic imposition of a form. Rather, it is an interior requirement of the covenant of conjugal love which is publicly affirmed as unique and exclusive in order to live in complete fidelity to the plan of God, the creator. A person's freedom, far from being restricted by this fidelity, is secured against every form of subjectivism or relativism and is made a sharer in creative wisdom.

True conjugal love, even in suffering, reveals something way beyond the couple. This covenant reveals God's Bridal Love for His People, the Church. 

Those cardinals and bishops who want to undermine God's perfect plan for marriage also want to undermine God's Love for His Church.

Is it possible that these men, and I could name several, have never experienced this Bridal Love themselves, and, therefore, cannot believe that God calls us all to this?

to be continued tomorrow..

On The Acheiropoieton

Recently, because of the generosity of readers, and thanks again to those who helped, I now have a real chapel, almost complete, lacking only the portable altar, some more brass candlesticks, and linens. Of course, if it is God's Will, I want to be able to be in a diocese where the bishop will let me have the Eucharist in a monstrance for adoration daily.

One of the icons which now adorns one wall is that of the Face Painted Without Hands. The acheiropoieton may have been the image of Christ left on the veil of Veronica, or an original painting by St. Luke, who also in tradition, is the painter of the first icon of Our Lady as well. These are called Hodegetria. 
Salus Populi Romani

This image above is supposedly the original painted by St. Luke of Mary in the house of St. John.

Most of you know that the name Veronica means "true icon", true image of Christ. She, in her compassion and courage, is also a true image of Christ.

This icon now in temporary abode hails from Russia. The soft, loving, and compassionate Face of Christ fills the room with peace and a quiet joy.

I could not find this exact depiction on line, but it is very similar to this one above, only lighter, airier.

Early on, I decided on icons as these are easy to move and I have collected icons since 1994 or so. Some of mine are in storage, and pray I can get someone to help me go through the few things I have there. I do have a few statues, as seen in the photo last week. but I only now have four out.


St. Luke, as well as being a physician and great friend of Our Lady, also was a painter. The original Face of Christ, and the Mary may be contradicted by other claims, but that he did paint their likeness is an ancient tradition in the Church.

On Having A Missionary Heart

The world has always hated missionaries. Look at the long list of martyred missionaries just among the Jesuit Order itself.

This is a partial list from wiki, on the ones which have pages. The list is much longer.


And I add Z, Francis Xavier...

Recently, I have been thinking of the life of two Jesuits, St. Francis Xavier and St. Nicholas Owen.  St. Francis Xavier stated if there had been enough missionaries at the time he was travelling to China, China could have been converted. The Chinese, he believed, were then open to God's Word.

The fact that there are not enough missionaries and this is the fault of the laity for not raising children with missionary hearts.

Do you think it is easy being a missionary? No. Francis Xavier died at 46, being abandoned by his own countrymen, and worn out from his exertions.  He faced opposition, loneliness, separation from his family and friends, especially St. Ignatius Loyola. He faced horrible trips in nasty ships and overland. He kept the serious discipline of prayer and the Examen daily despite difficulties we cannot imagine. And, he came from a comfortable family, one not use to pain and poverty.

Do you think it is easy for anyone with a missionary heart to work in this world consistently? Daily, I walk to a nasty restaurant where the food and service are substandard, where the music is evil, where I sit and blog for those who need encouragement in the Church Militant and for those who want to learn the truth.

I have two foot injuries and back pain and yet I sit in uncomfortable surroundings to blog for you. I shall be in another place in two weeks and I do not even know where this will be. And, yet, I pray and blog, study, and read for the upbuilding of God's Church. I know I shall not live as long as my parents, who are 87 and 92, as all this poverty and moving takes a great toll on the body. I am thousands of miles away from those I love the most, as were the missionaries to North America. Holy detachment helps one not to think of them but with love for their salvation and in prayer. The soul is purified through such trials, and this is God's plan for all of us. To step out of our comfort zones and share His Love with all we can in our state in life. We are all called to this.

I understand why St. Paul wrote his brag and why St. Edmund Campion did as well. Proud to be Catholics, proud in God's own glory to spread the love of the Trinity to all. Nothing is too difficult, is what St. Francis Xavier teaches me.

Why? Because I have zeal for spreading the Good News of Christ, because I love Christ. I have been to many countries doing what I hope is God's Will. Look at this map from wiki on the travels of St. Francis and ask yourselves, "Where are the missionaries?"

"Xavier f map of voyages asia". Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons -

I wish I had started blogging earlier, but I was a single mum raising a boy, I hope, to be a saint.

The other Jesuit who has been part of my thoughts is St. Nicholas Owen, mentioned on this blog before today. Here is that link.

For a long time, Nicholas was a lay man, but he worked with so many Jesuits who were martyred that he was inspired by the lives and deaths of those for whom he worked. 

His life is a great one to share with your boys, Moms and Dads. 

Sadly, too many Americans have been raised to be weak and not strong. I have also written on this before, and I add those posts at the end of this one.

Time for weak kids is over....over.

Saturday, 8 February 2014

Are your children in the Church Militant or the Church Mushy?

There is a famous story of a young girl in France, who was Jewish. On her way home from school, on July 15 or 16, 1942, she witnessed the infamous Vel d’Hiv roundup, when up to 13,000 Jews in Paris were taken to the old stadium Vélodrome d'Hiver and sent to Auschwitz. 

The young girl had enough sense not to go home, but turned around and went to the closest house. She knocked on the door and an older woman answered. The woman opened the door, looked at the girl, and let her in.

Through out the entire war and occupation of Paris, this woman pretended that this girl was her own. 

The child was saved by a brave woman, who would have been killed, if she was discovered hiding a Jewess.

The young girl was about twelve years old. 

I am sharing some of the details as I am writing to parents a harsh but necessary lesson.

As parents, it is our duty to protect our children from harm. 

It is not our duty to protect them from the truth of coming times of trials. Children in the next years will be facing a number of extremely difficult situations which will change their lives. 

These changes should not come as a shock or surprise to even those in grade school.

Like this young girl, who knew what was happening, and used her common sense to survive, we need to be training children to live in the Church Militant, not the Church Mushy.

There is a wrong way that parents look at suffering. Too many want to pretend that their children will not suffer. But, we have a duty to prepare our children spiritually for suffering.

What does this mean? I have written many posts on the formation of virtue in children from a young age. 

That is merely the first step. Formation in the virtues means reading books about virtues, going to Mass in the week, going to regular confession, saying the rosary, going to proper Adoration.

When my son was eight, I took him to the abortion vigil across from where a clinic was being built, and he said the rosary with the group there. The priest who led the vigils told me recently that my young son confided in him that he wanted to be a priest. 

There is a connection. Another priest who influenced my son at the age of thirteen came out of the Serbian-Croatian wars as a young man. He shared stories of horrible persecution, and so did his wife. They lost family members because of their religion. They are Byzantine Catholics. 

The lives of the martyrs should be shown as soon as possible, especially such great movies as A Man for All Seasons. Ten to twelve would be an appropriate age to begin with movies, but books can be read much earlier. One can share the news about the Christians being persecuted in Syria, or Bethlehem or Saudi Arabia, or Pakistan and show children the lives modern martyrs. Families can pray for these Christians.

Age 13-14

Agnes, Lucy, Tarcisius, Agatha, Odilo, Hugh of Lincoln,Peter Yu Tae-cho, the Ulma children, Ambrosio Kibuuka, Denis Ssebuggwawo, Kizito, Reparata,  and José Luis Sánchez del Río are either Servants of God or Blesseds, or Saints. 

They are all martyrs, and so are the seven sons of the Mother in the Book of Maccabees, which you can find here.

They were aged three to eighteen when they were martyred-all of the above. The Church honors them. There are many more child or adolescent saints who were martyred. 

Denis SSebuggwawo, Age 16

I was reading books about the early martyrs at age seven. So was my son.

The third step, as stories and movies is step two, would be the praying to martyrs, especially if the child is named after one. I named my son after two martyrs, knowing the days to come would bring suffering, and he would need strong patrons. 

Talk about the reality of the political situation if it begins to impinge on the family. Do not hide the truth, for example, if your church is shut down because of the lack of vocations or a priest shortage, share this with the family. If there are heresies or contraception taught in the schools, talk about this. Children need to know the future of the Church as real and affecting their lives. This would be step four.

Step five would be explaining to them that to be a Catholic means making a decision for Christ and His Church even in hard times. 

Our children are surrounded more and more by people who hate the Church, hate Christ, and the ways of God. Step six would include discussions on what it means to be in the world, but not of the world. And, I would hope that parents would be living a life which is teaching this truth on a daily basis.

Parents, it is our duty to raise saints, not marshmallow children.

Those in the Church Mushy may not be able to save their souls in the times to come. We are responsible for teaching our children how to become saints in a hostile world.

And, of course, if you are helping your children become closer to Jesus, they will know that they are not alone.

Say the Guardian Angel prayer daily. I do. 

to be continued....

Grieving Over Lost Generations

Perhaps it is because God let me live for a while in California. Perhaps it is because God let me live for a while in New York. Perhaps it is one reason I have had to live in 12 states and visit 26 states,as well as living in Canada and Europe.

The Church is weak everywhere, but there are pockets of resistance. However, geography has had an impact. The old pioneer spirit has lasted much longer between the Ohio River and the Rockies than elsewhere.

It is obvious that the Church is much weaker on both coasts. It is obvious that there are more non-church going people than in the Midwest or the South.

Memories of Christianity have been snuffed out like smoking candles for two generations here.

I blame parents, fully, and not priests. In some missionary countries, Catholicism was kept solidly by the laity underground.

But, now, it is so clear to me that those generations of youth who had no Catholicity at home may very well be so closed as to not even want to consider converting.

I see this in the two generations after mine. Obviously, the Baby Boomer parents did not do their jobs.

God allowed me to see the rot in Catholic schools in the 1980s. Even then, I decided if I ever married and had children to home school them.

God allowed me to see the hypocrisy and outright hostility to Rome when St. John Paul II asked all the colleges and universities which are Catholic to insist on all teachers taking the Oath and Promise, so many times posted on this blog.

The laity is responsible for the end of the Christian culture in America and Europe, but more than that, those clergy, priests, bishops, and cardinals, who spread modernism or were just too selfish and greedy for power to object to the status quo, caved in.

For many, there are no preachers, no teachers, no missionaries.

It will get worse.

I am, today, grieving over the children who are now adults, who are labeled GenX. They are the most in danger, as they are true materialists.

I grieve for those Millennials who are children of the GenXers, who have never, ever had to sacrifice, do chores at home, work for anything and were raised as hothouse plants.

To be a member of the Church Militant is hard work. To be a saint is hard work.

It means sacrificing "stuff" to raise your children Catholic. It means being salt, being the sign of contradiction in the world, to really stand up daily for the Faith and never compromise.

My generation will be judged strongly, as we had the last of the great education of Catholics.

And, as I had Classical Education, I, too, shall be judged severely, which is one reason I continue this blog.  I have to make up for the wasted years, the sins of leading others astray when I was a youth.

Millions of people in America and Europe would go to hell today is there was a nuclear or natural, or planned disaster. Do not kid yourselves about this.

Stop spending time on trivia, any type of trivia is time away from your salvation and the salvation of others.

The last two generations spend more money on entertainment than all the rest before them. My friends in Iowa told me this.

When I was married, we went out to eat maybe four times a year,max. My parent went out once a month, but they had more money than my little family.

Now, I have some friends in the two coastal areas, California and the East Coast tell me that people go out everyday to eat and do not eat at home.

One of my dear friends, in her early forties, and an excellent cook, told me last March that people in her generation do not know how to cook. She is a Gen Xer. Their moms did not teach them how to cook, sew, can, clean, or take care of children.

The Millennials cannot do these things, either.

When my son was ten, for Christmas, I gave him a tool kit and a cook book. He can fix anything and is a fantastic cook.

Why? I made him do these things at home. He likes working with his hands.

How many kids have never done anything like fix steps, paint walls, plan and take care of an entire garden, learn easy plumbing jobs for maintenance, make things, bake.

Two generations are lost. I am not sure they can be found. If you are not planning podding, it may be too late.

Windows of opportunity for existing Catholics will open up, but, again, the time of mercy is short, coming to a close. I know this.

Our Lady warned us at Fatima, and Christ spoke to us over and over again about the consequences of sin.

In both nature and supernature, there are consequences.

Get holy, teach your children to be saints, to be martyrs.

If you are not, you are derelict in your duty as parents.

A wise woman said to me several days ago that it is clear to here why there are no vocations. Young people are simply too far away from God to hear His Voice. They have been totally seduced and given in to satan.

God forgive us parents for all our failings, for the results are two lost generations.

I was taught leadership training, that we could change the world and make it Catholic, moral, good, focused. What happened?

(PS: There is a manga on Dante's Divine Comedy. Has anyone read it? Is it good?)

And, in case you missed this, this is how lost they are...the lost generation. They make bad good and good bad.

More here and follow the tags at the bottom...

and here

Friday, 14 February 2014

Another Lost Generation

Between WWI and WWII, a generation of men and women appeared who earned the label of the "Lost Generation" in Europe. These were the men born between 1883 to 1900. This label was not used for Americans, although American authors picked it up as a term, as few went to war, and this was the generation who really built up America in both industry and agriculture. 

However, in Europe, those who were in their twenties in the 1920s seemed to have been characterized by the trauma of being young in the years of the war, and not having the greatest of role models, as so many of the best and the brightest had been killed in WWI. 

We are now seeing a second "Lost Generation". But, which generation is the lost one? Some people, including myself, see more hope in the individualism of the Millenials than the over-conforming people of Gen-X. 

But, with regard to religion, the Gen-Xers are a "mixed bag" of those who go to church simply because it is still the thing to do, and those who are completely secularized. Gen-Xers in America are those born from 1965-1980. In America, the Baby Boomer cut off in 1965, but in Europe, as people after WWII delayed marriage, it is considered a bit later.


The Generations DefinedRoughly, 25-30 years is a generation. But, this is not merely based on age, but on a shared culture, and as the culture changes more quickly, so will the generational years be shortened. 

The Millenials are those born after 1980, or from 1981. 

A lost generation is one which lacks purpose because of being traumatized by war. The Baby Boomers, on the whole, are a positive, optimistic group who were highly successful, living in a time when education was still at a higher level, and where competition was considered a good. No one was afraid to speak of leadership training, for example, which is now a dirty phrase among the politically correct crowd.

The Gen-Xers have had focus as well but on the things of this world-money and status and this generation have been seen as much more conformist than the Baby Boomers. In America, the great symbol of the Gen-Xers was the SUV. Kids in my son's generation grew up watching DVDs and eating on the way to and from school in the family SUV.

This is the techno generation....and they are more introverted and loners.

But, the Millenials are not only more individualistic, they are the new lost generation.

They have not been traumatized by war, but by complete chaos in the world. They have been traumatized by watching wars and terrorism, violence and paganism on TV and in movies. They are surrounded by anti-heroes.

And, there is one huge reason for this. They were not "parented". Too many Gen-Xers wanted to be friends with their children, to the point of letting them call them by their first names. The Millenials have not been formed at all in the virtues, except for the few. 

"Here are Paula and Sam, my parents, " is something I began to hear in the generation who were never disciplined, never "grounded", whose parents just "talked" to them as discipline was without consequences.

I saw the huge change as I had stopped college teaching in 1986, and stopped working with youth as a chaplain in 1987 to get married and be a stay-at-home mom in 1988. When I returned to the world of academia, in 1997, I was shocked at the change. 

For the first time, I met youth who had never been disciplined, and never been inside a church. I was teaching in a Catholic high school, before going back to college teaching, and quickly saw the rot of the lack of parenting.

This is also the generation whose parents have never taught them any moral framework, and who have never learned to share. Why share when there are only two kids in the family?

The new lost generation is not inclined to religion or, ironically, are more religious than their parents. So, the extremes are more clearly seen in their groupings.

They are lost because they are beginning to perceive that they have no futures economically, and many have to put off marriage and having families because they are out of work. According to a Pew Research Document, 16% of the American Millenials of working age in 2013 were living in poverty, compared to 8% of the first wave of Baby Boomers.

Twice as many.....

We are losing our children or grandchildren to the greatest age of neo-paganism the world has ever seen. A post-Christian world is worse than a pre-Christian one, and parents who refused to form their children with religion and morals have created this lost generation. The rise of the occult in this generation is shocking and a direct result of the laissez faire attitude of parents.

It will be the job of those religious Millenials to bring some of their own generation into the Church, as few listened to anyone else. The peer group is all. The lost generation continue the heritage of  "peter pans" and "predators" instead of "protectors". 

But, sadly, the movement of converts will not make much of a difference to numbers, as the older generations die off and the new ones do not take their place in the pews. Up to one-third of this generation have been killed in abortion. 

The new lost generation have lost their souls. Pray that these young men and women are open to God's call and grace, given to all despite the failings of their parents.