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Sunday 7 June 2015

First Mass Photos Later

Busy backson....

A Timely Repeat

I never did follow this priest. He drew attention to himself instead of being obedient. He wrote about things which are not doctrine and which we do not have to believe.

Icons "Gone with The Wind"

Icons are "window into heaven" and sacramentals, if blessed, like statues, medals and rosaries. To have icons stolen seems odd to me unless someone did not know the meaning of the label "icons". Sad to say, all the Evangelists are gone, as is a large icon of my beloved St. Bernard of Clairvaux. STS and I discovered Monastery Icons in 1996, almost six years after they began making and selling icons. In those days, things were made on site. Now, the icons come from somewhere else and the customer service is horrible. A friend of mine had to order the same icon three times as the first two came damage either because of poor packaging, or the icons were made in an inferior fashion.

So, someone decided that a box marked "icons' would be a good thing to take...interesting. Also missing are large icons of the three Archangels, matching ones, my very large Rublev Trinity given to us as a gift, and one of Mary, the Immaculata. Obviously, these were paced in separate boxes and now all are gone with the wind.

There are few icons of St. Bernard although there are several different writings of icons of the Evangelists. I had to mark all the boxes as these were going to be shipped overseas.

We are also missing St. Francis and the animals. Thankfully, I have some bought at Boscobel in 2004. If you are in Wisconsin, take time to visit the skete.St Isaac of Syria, there. The chapel holds one of the most magnificent collection of icons, as do the nuns at Clyde in Missouri, btw.

Ephraim the Fool is missing, as is St. John the Baptist. Sigh, and I cannot replace these. Also gone is Christ, the Great Humility.....sigh. At least fourteen missing....not new ones, but ones which should have been in storage for four years.

I hope those who took the icons now are being blessed and not using these for nefarious reasons. If these were thrown away by disappointed thieves, like my old and venerable St. Thomas Summa Contra Gentiles years ago, with many rare books by or about the Benson family, some art work and my Montessori library, I hope they have had some type of conversion.

Anything is possible in God while there is still life....

Please Pray for The Pope

Well, too cute, but not as cute as another British baby was...

OMGoodness BB strikes again

Another law which undermines the family as the center of society, family religion, and family rights.

Ordination Pics from June 6th

Congratulations, Father Trevino. one of my "second sons". 

Supertradmum getting first blessing from Father Trevino.

Early photo of  Father Trevino with STS's cricket team, 2005 or so...

Any one interested in helping?

One of the mysteries of moving is that I have Volumes Two and Four of The Philokalia, but am missing One and Three. If anyone wants to help me get these, I would be very grateful and would do a walk through the volumes for you all.

I have the 1990 texts from Faber and Faber, which I got when living in England. These are in English.

Called: The Philokalia--The Complete Text. The two I have are in paperback. I actually gave these to STS for his birthday in 2009, although I was using them before that. However, when he left to go into the seminary, he left his books with me. He actually now has more than I do.....

The Devolution Question Yet Again And Some Maritain

I first learned about devolution from two men-one a major in the Army and the other a famous Catholic priest. They talked about the growing stupidity of people across the world as a planned and also, physical de-evolution of the species.

Lately, this idea, which I have written about before on this blog, of devolution, has become more obvious to me.

  1. Young people who have never heard of the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission or the Council on Foreign Relations. Amazing.
  2. Young people who have never, ever thought of the spiritual side of humans, who either ignore or deny the soul and are, therefore, practical atheists, denying the Spirit of God.
  3. Catholics who have never read one encyclical, not even Humanae Vitae.
  4. Catholics who do not know that there are four Eucharistic Prayers, many movable feasts, or who understand the liturgical year. and worse, do not read to find out. They do not know one can buy a missal, and are not interested in doing so.
  5. Young people who do not believe in natural law philosophy.
  6. Young people who have never studied American or Western History, or taken any other Humanities course.
  7. A complete lack of the ability to do mental math among the younger generations.
  8. Reading difficulties of those under sixty, causing serious problems with basic pronunciation and understanding of content which has been read.
  9. The inability to debate or discuss rationally.
  10. No sense of the goal or end of human beings and not interested in the big question of why we are here.
  11. Complete lack of interest in foreign affairs, geography, or world events.
  12. Complete lack of interest in eating in a healthy manner, thus creating an unhealthy body while still young.
  13. An interesting lack of common sense which I, as an ex-Montessori teacher, where children do practical things and learn common sense, plagues the younger generation.
All of these problems of thinking or living or degeneration I have met in the past three weeks. There are more examples, but these I have seen and experienced more than once in a short period of time. 

De-evolution is not merely a physical problem, but a spiritual problem. Why it is a spiritual problem is that the soul is the form of the body, which means that all movements of the intellect need to be under grace in order to be truly in God's will and effective. The Maritains note that those in the active life, which would include most of the laity, "have a more pressing need of prayer" and that the active people should "ask of the divine mercy the grace of a sufficient intensity of interior life for their very activity, at least in its mode of production, to proceed from the superabundance of their contemplation..."

Devolution is a direct result from a lack of commitment to a life of prayer in the active life, and spiritual sloth. The Maritains, in this little jewel I have been reading, quote St. Augustine. "The love of truth seeks a holy repose, the necessity which love imposes accepted justified toil...If no duty be imposed on us, let us be busy with the study and contemplation of truth; and if labours are laid on us, charity itself obliges us to accept them. Even so, however, the sweet contemplation of truth should not be abandoned, for fear that with the disappearance of their sweetness, we should be overwhelmed by our necessities."

Devolution happens when reflection ends. Man was created as a thinking, reflecting animal, an animal with an immortal soul, will and intellect. To ignore all or any create a bestial condition of emotional responses to stimuli instead of a studied, virtuous response.

To state this simply, spiritual sloth and indecision in following Christ and His Church lead to devolution. The mind becomes dulled by sin and excess.

Prayer and intelligence being the process of purification leading to perfect charity.

The Indwelling of the Trinity, given in baptism, but absent without baptism, gives each one of us the ability to contemplate, to decide to follow Christ, to love. Those in grace do not devolve or degenerate.

2 Peter 3:18Douay-Rheims 

18 But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him be glory both now and unto the day of eternity. Amen

Again, Where Love Rests

Some people that have not remembered my blogs on where love is located. True charity is in the intellect and the will and not the heart. The heart is merely an image of the emotions, and this comes from Jewish theology which put the will in the heart, as well as the movements of the soul. However,
God in His Wisdom revealed to Catholics through Tradition that the intellect moves the will through grace to love in real charity.

Garrigou-Lagrange explains this and so do other great writers in his text below. As the Maritains stress, love comes out of the reflection of the intellect and the will to study and learn Sacred Doctrine, and not the heart. The heart has been confused in modern times for many reasons as the main "place" for love. But, one must decide to have a willing heart to pursue perfection in order to be charitable.

"Christian perfection consists essentially in charity",  states the Maritain. In fact, real perfection is real charity. The perfection of charity is the end of perfection and the pursuit of perfection leads to love of God and love of neighbor, the first love being necessary before the second.

The Maritains quote Cajetan: "The lowest degree of divine love is to love nothing more than God, nothing  contrary to God, nothing as much as God. He who does not reach this degree of Christian perfection in no way accomplishes the precept."

Perhaps Garrigou-Lagrange''s  selection would help.


Heroic charity toward God manifests itself in the first place by an ardent desire to please Him. In fact, to love someone not for one­self but for himself, is to wish him well, to wish what is suitable for him and pleasing to him. To love God heroically is, in the midst of even the greatest difficulties, to wish that His holy will be accomplished and His reign profoundly established in souls.

This holy desire to please God is a form of affective charity, which is proved by effective charity, or by conformity to the divine will, in the practice of all the virtues. The soul thus reaches unswerving fidelity in little things and in great things, or what is most difficult.

Heroic love of God is shown, we have seen, in the passive purification of the spirit, when it is a question of loving God for Himself, without any consolation, in great and protracted aridity, in spite of temptations to disgust, acedia, and murmuring, when the Lord seems to withdraw His gifts and leave the soul in anxiety. God is for this reason none the less infinitely good in Himself and deserves to be loved purely for Himself. If then, in spite of such prolonged dryness, the soul loves to be alone with God, especially before the Blessed Sacrament, and if it still continues to pray, if in spite of everything its life remains a perpetual prayer, this is a sign of heroic love of God.

As St. Francis de Sales (1) shows, heroic conformity to the divine will appears when the soul receives lovingly every agreeable or painful occurrence as coming either from the positive will of God, or from a divine permission directed toward a higher good. It then sees with ever greater clearness the truth of the words of Ecclesiasticus: "Good things and evil, life and death, poverty and riches, are from God." (2) The soul here becomes deeply convinced that God makes use even of the malice of men, for example, of persecutors, as an occasion of merit for those who wish to live only for Him. Thus Job accepted adversity, and in the same way David bore the insults of Semei. (3)

In the greatest difficulties, the saints, while doing what is in their power, say: "It will be as God wishes."

To this sign is added a confirmation: namely, one who thus renounces his own will and adheres heroically to the will of God finds a holy joy in this adherence. In conforming his will more and more to God's will, he has all that he wishes. He experiences the truth of the Psalmist's words: "O Lord, Thou hast crowned us, as with a shield of Thy good will." (4) This is what the martyrs have particularly experienced.

In his explanation of the Canticle of Canticles, St. Bernard describes the ascending degrees of heroic charity as follows: "Divine love leads to an unceasing search for God, to continual labor for Him; it bears indefatigably all trials in union with Christ; it gives a true thirst for God; it makes us run rapidly toward Him; it gives us a holy boldness and an undaunted audacity; it attaches us inseparably to God; it burns and consumes us with a very sweet ardor for Him; finally, in heaven, it likens us completely to Him." (5)

These degrees of perfect charity are explained in a short work attributed to St. Thomas,(6) and also by St. John of the Cross in The Dark Night,(7) where he shows that the second last degree is the transforming union, the prelude of that of heaven. "The Apostles," he says, "experienced this sweetness of ardent love when the Holy Ghost descended visibly upon them." (8)

The greatest sign of heroic charity toward God, is love of the cross. The patience and conformity to the divine will of which we have spoken, lead to this love.

In The Dialogue of St. Catherine of Siena, the Lord says: "It now remains to be told thee how it can be seen that souls have arrived at perfect love. This is seen by the same sign that was given to the holy disciples after they had received the Holy Spirit, when they came forth from the house, and fearlessly announced the doctrine of My Word, My only-begotten Son, not fearing pain, but rather glorying therein. They did not mind going before the tyrants of the world to announce to them the truth, for the glory and praise of My name." (9)

In the same Dialogue we read: "Such as these, . . . as if enamored of My honor, and famished for the food of souls, run to the table of the most holy cross." (10) "They slacken not their pace on account of the persecutions, injuries, or pleasures of the world. They pass by all these things, . . . their affection clothed in the affection of charity, and eating the food of souls with true and perfect patience, which patience is a sign that the soul is in perfect love, loving without any consideration of self." (11) "Such as these do not feel any separation from Me. . . . I remain continually both by grace and feeling in their souls." (12)

In other words, the eminent exercise of charity is accompanied in a proportionate degree by the act of the gift of wisdom, which enables us, says St. Thomas,(13) to know God present in us in a quasi­experimental manner. This is truly the mystical life, the summit of the normal development of grace and the prelude of the life of heaven. This summit cannot exist without love of the cross, and love of the cross does not exist without the contemplation of the mystery of the redemption, of the mystery of Christ dying for love of us.

Consequently, in The Dialogue, the Lord, speaking to St. Catherine of Siena for herself and for her spiritual children, says: "It is right for thee, and My other servants who have learned My truth in this way, to sustain, even unto death, many tribulations and injuries and insults in word and deed, for the glory and praise of My name; thus wilt thou endure and suffer pains"; (14) that is, with patience, gratitude, and love.

Such are the great signs of heroic love of God: perfect conformity to His will in trials and love of the cross. There is also another sign, perfect charity toward one's neighbor, which we shall now discuss.


Charity leads us to love our neighbor in God and for Him; that is, because God loves him and as God loves him. It makes us desire that our neighbor may belong entirely to God and glorify Him eternally.

Heroic love of neighbor already exists when one promptly dominates strong temptations to envy, discord, isolation, so different from solitude; likewise when one quickly surmounts temptations to presumption, which incline one, in the wake of certain insults, to wish to get along without the help of others - of friends, director, superiors.

Perfect charity appears when, in the midst of great difficulties, one loves one's neighbor, mente, ore, et opere, that is, judging him with benevolence, speaking well of him, helping him in his necessity, perfectly pardoning offenses, and making oneself all to all. This charity is still more obvious if by preference one seeks out, as St. Vincent de Paul did, friendless and fallen souls, poor, strayed, and gravely guilty creatures, in order to lift them up, rehabilitate them, and set them back on the road to heaven.

A chief characteristic of heroic love of neighbor is an ardent desire for the salvation of souls, a thirst for souls, which recalls Christ's words on the cross: "I thirst." St. John used to say: "My little children, let us not love in word nor in tongue, but in deed and in truth." (15)

Heroic love of neighbor led some saints to the point of wishing to sell themselves as slaves that they might deliver captives and thus rescue families from wretched poverty. This zeal inspired St. Paul to write: "I wished myself to be an anathema from Christ, (16) for my brethren, who are my kinsmen according to the flesh, who are Israelites." (17)

This zeal inspired the apostolic activity of great missionaries, of St. Francis Xavier, St. Louis Bertrand, Las Casas, St. Peter Claver. Nearer our own day, it is the inspiration of apostles, like St. John Bosco, who are completely engrossed in bringing back to God the misguided masses in our Christian countries who no longer know the Gospel.

Another sign of heroic love of neighbor is radiating goodness toward all amid the greatest difficulties, according to the evangelical beatitude: "Blessed are the peacemakers," that is, those who not only preserve peace in most difficult moments, but who give it to others and hearten the most troubled. This eminent sign appears in Mary, the Consoler of the Afflicted, and in all those who resemble her. Our Lord says: "Love one another as I have loved you." (18) "By this shall all men know that you are My disciples." (19)

Communicative goodness, love of neighbor carried even to daily and hidden sacrifice, is the indisputable mark of the presence of God in a soul. This goodness, which is as strong as it is gentle, sometimes leads one to correct others, but without bitterness, sharpness, or impatience. And that the correction may be effective, it points out the good, the salutary seed which should be developed in the one who deserves the reprimand. Then the person receiving the reproof feels that he is loved and understood; he takes courage. If the Blessed Virgin were to appear and tell us our defects, she would do so with such goodness that we would immediately accept her corrections and draw from them the strength to make progress.(20)

Perfect charity toward one's neighbor springs from close union with God, and it leads one's neighbor to this same union, according to our Savior's words: "I pray. . . for them also who through their word shall believe in Me; that they all may be one, as Thou, Father in Me, and I in Thee." (21) The more united the soul is to God, the more it draws others to Him, never to itself. In the soul united to God, shines forth the divine goodness, which radiates, attracts powerfully and sweetly, and ends by triumphing over all obstacles.(22)

An incident from the life of St. Catherine of Siena will serve to illustrate this teaching. One day Peter Ventura, a Sienese involved in the affairs of the government, was brought to Catherine with his heart full of implacable hatred. "Peter," Catherine said to him, "I take all your sins on myself, I shall do penance in your place. But grant me a favor; go to confession." "I have just been to confession recently," said the Sienese. "That is not true," replied the saint, "it is seven years since you went to confession," and, one by one, she enumerated all the sins of his life. Stupefied, Peter admitted his guilt, repented of his sins, and pardoned his enemies. By promising Peter Ventura that she would take his sins on herself and expiate them, the saint had truly offered herself as a victim, and the Lord required of His servant, or rather His spouse, expiation through suffering. She interpreted literally Christ's words: "Love one another, as I have loved you."

In the same heroic manner St. Catherine obtained the conversion of Andrea Mei, a Sienese invalid, who had grievously calumniated her. The saint with consummate devotion nursed this woman, who was being eaten by a cancer. The unfortunate creature had the sorry courage to impugn the virginal honor of her devoted nurse, and these evil remarks spread abroad. Catherine, however, did not cease to tend her with the same zeal. Her patience and humility triumphed over Andrea Mei. One day the saint, as she approached the sick woman's bed, was surrounded by light, as if resplendent in glory; "Pardon!" cried the guilty woman. Catherine threw her arms around her neck, and their tears mingled. It was like the radiation of the divine goodness and the realization of our Savior's words: "The glory which Thou hast given Me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as We also are one." (23)

Two souls united in God by charity are like two candles whose flames unite and fuse.

Charity, which thus triumphs over wickedness, makes the saints share in the victory of Christ over sin and the devil. It is one of the glories of His mystical body; through it shine forth the grandeur of the life of the Church, its fruitfulness in every kind of good and of works of mercy. It is the confirmation of the divine origin of the Church.

1. Treatise on the Love of God, Bk. VIII, chaps. 5 f.; Bk. IX, chaps. 3-6, 15 f.
2. Ecclus. 11: 14.
3. Cf. II Kings 16: 10.
4. Ps. 5:13.
5. The Canticle of Canticles, V, 8; VIII, 6.
6. Opus., 61.
7. The Dark Night, Bk. II. chaps. 18-20.
8. Ibid., chap. 20.
9. The Dialogue, chap. 74.
10. Ibid., chap. 78.
11. Ibid., chap. 76.
12. Ibid., chap. 78.
13. Summa, IIa IIae. q.45. a.2.
14. The Dialogue, chap. 4.
15. Cf. I John 3:18.
16. Not for eternity. but for a more or less protracted period.
17. Rom. 9:3 f.
18. John 15: 12.
19. Ibid., 13:35.
20. We find an example of this goodness united to deep humility in the life of the foundress of the Cenacle, who at the age of thirty-three resigned as superior general, and for almost fifty years obeyed like a simple sister. She was so obedient that it was only at the end of her life that those about her understood all that the Lord had given her and how closely she was united to Him. He had hidden her, but the radiation of her goodness in humility ended by revealing her. It was she who, by her love for God and souls, bore the burden of the congregation of which she was truly the foundress. Cf. P. H. Perroy, S.J., Une grande humble, Paris, 1916.
21. John 17:20 f.
22. One of the characteristics of heroic charity is to bear with great generosity the sufferings that come from those one loves. Thus saints who, like St. Catherine of Siena and St. Joan of Arc, had a great love for the Church, have also had to suffer particularly from the faults of churchmen. This suffering was in the nature of reparation.
23. John 17:22.