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Friday 5 June 2015

The Great Divide

Daily, I am made aware of the growing divide between those who think like Catholics, rational thinkers who pray and study the Faith, and the pagans with whom we live side-by-side

 Even our vocabularies vary to a degree which makes conversation almost impossible.

The false definitions (heresies) of the being and roles of men and women have clouded the minds of so many that real discussion on ssm seems impossible.

When groups lose the ability to discuss any issues rationally, culture, then civilization breaks down irremediably.  We can see this with regard to certain religions which cannot, simply cannot discuss the details of the faiths. We can see this with certain political groups, discussion regarding abortion has been shut down for years.

Now, some Catholics find themselves unable to discuss ssm with members of their families or, worse, even their pastors. Another area of non-discussion may be contraception. And, yet another, liturgical abuses.

One cannot discuss hell, heaven, or purgatory with some Catholics, even priests. And, one cannot discuss irregular marriages, fornication, modesty, and even the occult.

Real Catholics have been and are increasingly marginalized even in some parishes.

In the Soviet Union, certain ideas and religious ceremonies could not be discussed. One would be put in jail or sent to the Gulags if one spoke openly about God, Christianity, and so on.

This marginalization marks the beginning of the second to the last stage of persecution. The last stage is the criminalization of Christianity.

Happy Find

Many, many of my short stories, plays and poems have been now taken out of boxes, and I intend to put some on the blog in the near future.

Again, if anyone wants to help me with the list of books missing, which I posted a few days ago, please let me know. I read several books at one time and will get back into my schedule next week.

Some of my chapel things are "out", but I do not have a separate room for these at this time. Of course, the icons seem to be the easiest things to move about and I have about ten in my small room in an icon corner, to remind me to pray for my readers. Again, thanks to all who contributed to the mobile, recusant chapel.

I shall get back to both the encyclical and the lovely little Maritain book on prayer next week, after I dislodge myself from the basement, where I am going through boxes, but almost finished, thanks be to God! God has given me so many graces this week. One especially I want to share for all of you, as so many of you have written to tell me of very hard times in your lives.

We are all under attack from the Evil One, but God is allowing us, like Job, or Tobia, who we are reading about this week at daily Mass, in order to purify and grow in our Faith.

The particular grace we can develop through suffering is great patience. Amazingly, as a person who grew up with this sin and wanting things to be just so and "now", I have recognized that the virtue of patience grows like a flower out of humility. One cannot be impatience and humble at the same time.

The sin of impatience comes from pride. It is rooted in the idea that things, like bus schedules, or people, or events, must happen according to a perfection which is not found on this earth. Patience really means "suffering" with others and because of circumstances without murmuring or complaining. Patience means letting others be first in all things. Patience means concentrating on one's own sins instead of the sins of others.

I think the greatest lesson for me recently, in the past four months, has been to look towards God constantly, daily, and know both intellectually and experientially that the Trinity dwells within, and to concentrate on my own sins, rather than getting upset about the sins of others.

One good little prayer I would like to share--when encountering sin, and we shall more and more in this land of pagans and apostates, turn and say "God, show me my own sin and forgive me, giving me grace for this moment."

English: Jenney Grist Mill, Plymouth Massachusetts
Date 1 February 2013, 14:11:25
Source Own work
Author John Phelan

I am convinced that the key to holiness is this daily, hourly, minute practicing the Presence of God, which becomes not merely a "practice", but a realization of the God within. Patience demands that one turns one's thoughts to God constantly, quietly.

Impatience grows like a weed out of pride. It causes us to look at the sins of others instead of our own sins. To be patience means that one recognizes one's own imperfections and sins, running to the Cross and concentrating on the great mercy of God through Christ.

Another hint for the hard times, which I have learned recently, is to realize that one deserves punishment and suffering and that joy comes from this realization. Yes, I lost stuff in the move, but, yes, I deserve the bad things which happen to me because of my own sin.

This attitude also brings peace. Again, one of my favorite prayers, which I say every Friday as part of my third order prayers is the Litany of Humility. We cannot understand the suffering of Christ, the suffering of Mary and their great humility without letting God work this virtue into the fabric of our beings in this life. If we do not become humble now, we shall in purgatory, but without the merit.

Great joy comes from these situations and states in life which cause us humility, if one embraces suffering, and does not expect a lack of discomfort now, on earth. Being in time, we work out our salvation in time, with God's grace. This means using the gifts of times and circumstances for grist for developing virtue.

Get ready for hard times by practicing patience and longsuffering.

O Jesus! meek and humble of heart, Hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed,
Deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved...
From the desire of being extolled ...
From the desire of being honored ...
From the desire of being praised ...
From the desire of being preferred to others...
From the desire of being consulted ...
From the desire of being approved ...
From the fear of being humiliated ...
From the fear of being despised...
From the fear of suffering rebukes ...
From the fear of being calumniated ...
From the fear of being forgotten ...
From the fear of being ridiculed ...
From the fear of being wronged ...
From the fear of being suspected ...

That others may be loved more than I,
Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

That others may be esteemed more than I ...
That, in the opinion of the world,
others may increase and I may decrease ...
That others may be chosen and I set aside ...
That others may be praised and I unnoticed ...
That others may be preferred to me in everything...
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should…
Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930),
Secretary of State for Pope Saint Pius X

Will The Real Jeb Bush Please Stand Up?

Illogical--one cannot hold these two ideas at the same time....

Mr. Bush was explicitly opposed to same-sex marriage for years, but in recent months, since he has been considering a run for the presidency, he has made a wider range of statements — saying same-sex marriage is an issue that should be decided by the states, for instance. This winter, as gay couples began to wed in Florida, Mr. Bush also struck a conciliatory tone about those marriages.

“We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law,” he said in a statement to The New York Times in January. “I hope that we can show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue — including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty.”

Mr. Bush reiterated in the “Brody File” interview on Sunday that his views about same-sex marriage are based on his Catholic faith. “I think traditional marriage is a sacrament,” he said. “It’s at the core of the Catholic faith.”

Looking in the Mirror

Some Catholics do not understand that the normal way to receive grace from God is through the sacraments. Of course, God is not bound by any one or any thing, but He has given us the Church for our sanctification.

Another common fallacy is that one can gain merit while in mortal sin. This false idea clouds the thinking of many Catholics I have met recently.

The CCC reminds us that sin "... results in perverse inclinations which cloud conscience and corrupt the concrete judgment of good and evil." The more one sins, the less discernment one has to judge good and evil.

If one is living in sin, such as taking part in an invalid marriage, or fornication, or homosexual relations, one's knowledge of good and evil becomes dimmed.

If one is not baptized, that person has a much harder time understanding the nature of grace, sin, and even natural law.

Grace builds upon grace. If one turns towards grace and cooperates with this gift, God responds generously.

What we saw in Ireland two weeks ago and what we shall witness here will corporate or social sin.

The CCC notes, "Thus sin makes men accomplices of one another and causes concupiscence, violence, and injustice to reign among them. Sins give rise to social situations and institutions that are contrary to the divine goodness. "Structures of sin" are the expression and effect of personal sins. They lead their victims to do evil in their turn. In an analogous sense, they constitute a "social sin."

Persecution always accompanies corporate or social sin because the culture turns against goodness and truth. Sin does not like to look at itself in the mirror. Sinners who have freely chosen a life of sin do not want to recognize goodness, God's Law, Christ's call.

They want to surround themselves with sinners so that their sin becomes acceptable. Such is the push for ssm, as well as the passing of the abortion law so many years ago. Sin creates more sin, and an atmosphere of tolerance.

We should be disgusted with sin. We should be righteously angry with laws which protect gross sins.

When we look in the mirror, what do we see-truth, goodness, beauty in the Lord, or deceit, evil, ugliness?

Our nation will be looking in the mirror soon. I am afraid of the new image of America which will be seen.