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Monday 15 June 2015

Prayers, Please, Please

I have been following this for months. I am personally connected with one of these hermits.

This did not have to happen if the bishops would have supported this man and the other two.

Trusting vs. Triumphalism I

In his great work, Providence, Garrigou-Lagrange clearly states that true trust involves humility, and the awareness that one is never worthy of God's graces or protection.

Starting with this quotation, one begins to sense the difference between Triumphalism and Trusting in Divine Providence.

As the psalms declare: "Blessed are they that trust in the Lord" (2: 12) ; "They that trust in the Lord shall be as Mount Sion: he shall not be moved forever that dwelleth in Jerusalem" (124: 1) ; "Preserve me, O Lord, for I have put my trust in Thee" (15: 1) ; "In Thee, O Lord, have I hoped, let me not be confounded" (30: 1).
St. Paul (Rom. 4: 18) reminds us how Abraham, in spite of his advanced years, believed in the divine promise that he would be the father of many nations, and adds: "Against hope, he believed in hope.... In the promise also of God he staggered not by distrust: but was strengthened in faith,, giving glory to God: most fully knowing that whatsoever He has promised, He is able to perform."
We, too, while fulfilling our daily duties, should look to our Lord for the realization of these words of His: "My sheep hear My voice: and I know them, and they follow Me... and no man shall pluck them out of My hand" (John 10: 27). As Father Piny notes, [74] to do one's duty in all earnestness and then to resign oneself with entire confidence into our Lord's hands is the true mark of a member of His flock. What better way can there be of hearkening to the voice of the good Shepherd than by constantly acquiescing in all that He demands of us, lovingly beseeching Him to have pity on us, throwing ourselves confidently into the arms of His mercy with all our failings and regrets? By so doing, we are at the same time placing in His hands all our fears for both the past and the future. This holy self-abandonment is not at all opposed to hope, but is childlike confidence in its holiest form united with a love becoming ever more and more purified.

Two keys to trusting and not falling into Triumphalism have been defined as humility and childlike confidence, which is not the same as a prideful arrogance which either borders on presumption, or leads to the sin of presumption.

The unpurified, those who have not gone through the Dark Nights, and have not moved into the Illuminative State, in other words, the beginners, float back and forth between presumption and doubt. This vacillation is caused by the lack of humility, and the still present predominant fault, which interferes with purity of heart.

One can see this dynamic in one's life, if one is honest.

More from the great Dominican:

Our Lord loves with a most tender love those who are so happy as to abandon themselves wholly to His fatherly care, letting themselves be governed by His divine providence, without any idle speculations as to whether the workings of this providence will be useful to them, to their profit, or painful to their loss, and this because they are well assured that nothing can be sent, nothing permitted by this paternal and most loving heart, which will not be a source of good and profit to them. All that is required is that they should place all their confidence in Him. [75]... When, in fulfilling our daily duties, we abandon everything, our Lord takes care of everything and orders everything.... The soul has nothing else to do but to rest in the arms of our Lord like a child on its mother's breast. When she puts it down to walk, it walks until she takes it up again, and when she wishes to carry it, she is allowed to do so. It neither knows nor thinks where it is going, but allows itself to be carried or led wherever its mother pleases. So this soul lets itself be carried when it lovingly accepts God's good pleasure in all things that happen, and walks when it carefully effects all that the known (expressed) will of God demands. [76]
Then it can truly say with our Lord: "My meat is to do the will of Him that sent Me" (John 4: 34). Therein it finds its peace, which even now is in some sort the beginning of eternal life within us—inchoatio vitae aeternae.

The mystery of the times of persecution involve the purification of the elect, those who desire God and want to learn to trust completely in Providence.

If, then, as a result of our failings, something happens to distress us, it is a providential lesson which we must accept in all humility and thus derive some profit from it. If, through no fault of our own, God permits us to be deprived of certain help, this is because that help is not really necessary for our sanctification and salvation. The saints find that in a sense nothing is wanting to them unless it be a greater love for God. If only we knew the inner meaning of those incidents we call hindrances, contradictions, reverses, disappointments, misfortunes, and failures, we should of course deplore any disorder they might involve (and the saints deplored it, were pained by it far more than we), but we should also reproach ourselves for complaining and give more consideration to the higher purpose God is pursuing in all that He wills and even in His divine permission of evil. [77]
Should we wonder that the ways of providence are some times mysterious and that reason is disconcerted at the mystery? "The just man liveth by faith" (Rom. 1: 17), says the Scripture, and in particular he lives by the mystery of providence and its ways. Eventually he realizes that, far from being contradictory, the mystery cannot be rejected without every phase of our life becoming a contradiction.

The problem is that most people do not want to spend the time necessary to learn patience, and humility.

Could we but grasp this truth, then not only the time of mass or our hours of prayer and visits to the Blessed Sacrament would be a source of sanctification to us, but every hour of the day would take on a supernatural significance and remind us that we are on our way to eternity. Hence the pious practice of blessing each hour as it begins, calling down the divine benediction upon it. At every moment we should be at God's service; there is no moment of the day that has not some duty for us to fulfil, some duty toward God or our neighbor, the duty at least of patiently waiting when external action is no longer possible. Every minute must find us hallowing the name of God as though there were nothing more to keep us here in time, as though the next moment must see our entry into eternity.

The reference to the War is significant for us today. War is just another form of the justice of God allowing people to be punished for serious sin, as we see over and over again in the Old and the New Testament.

In the World War this was the attitude of the more spiritually-minded when under gunfire. In those three-minute intervals before firing recommenced, they would say to themselves: "One moment, perhaps, and then death, " and they would live the present moment as though it were the prelude to eternity.

This, too, was the attitude of the saints, not only in exceptional circumstances, but in the ordinary routine of their lives: they never lost the sense of God's presence. Now light is thrown on this attitude of theirs by the Gospel principles we mentioned and which are as applicable to us as to them.

The key is humility, humility, humility...and the refusal to fall into subjective attitudes. 

 As often noted, in many cases where souls have given themselves to God in all sincerity and have made generous, even heroic efforts to prove their love for Him, a critical moment comes when they must abandon a too personal way of judging and acting—though it may be of a high order—so as to enter upon the path of true humility, that "little humility" which loses sight of self and looks henceforward on God alone.

One must move away from all narcissism. One must look at the Cross.

At that moment two widely different courses are possible: either the soul seeks for itself the course to take and pursues it, or it fails to do so, sometimes going so far astray in its upward path as to go back again without being altogether aware of it.

To see this path of true humility is to discover in our everyday life, from morning to night, opportunities of performing seemingly trivial acts for the love of God. But the frequent repetition of these acts is of immense value and leads to a delicacy of attitude to God and our neighbor which, if constant and truly sincere, is the mark of perfect charity.

Trivial acts bring us closer to the depth of cleaning out the ugliness of our hearts and minds. The little things are important., not just the big things.

If one truly gives one's self to God, He more than meets that generous spirit with His Own Abundant generosity. God cannot be outdone in generosity.

If a soul that has shown itself generous or even heroic, after reaching this point is still far too personal in its manner of judging and acting and does not see the need of a change, it continues on its way with a merely acquired impetus, and its prayer and activities are no longer what they should be. There is a real danger here. The soul may become stunted and its development arrested like one dwarfed through some deformity. Or it may take a false direction. Instead of true humility, it may almost unawares develop a sort of refined pride, which scarcely appears at first except in the small details of daily life. For that reason this will remain unknown to a spiritual director living apart from those he directs. This pride will steadily take the form of an amused condescension, and subsequently develop into an acerbity of manner in our relations with our neighbor, permeating the whole life of the day and thus stultifying everything. This acerbity may lead to rancor and contempt for our neighbor, whom nevertheless we should love for God's sake.

Triumphalism is based on pride or fear. Trust is based on a loving relationship with the Father, which destroys both pride and fear.

I have written on the Illumination State and I have only met three people in my life who have reached this state. 

Here is Garrigou-Lagrange again, and look up the many posts on Providence and the Dark Nights posts.

In God's dealings with souls that abandon themselves to Him, much remains obscure, mysterious, disconcerting, impenetrable; but He makes it all contribute to their spiritual welfare, and some day they will see that what at times to them was the cause of profound desolation was the source of much joy to the angels.
Moreover, God enlightens the soul by means of this very darkness and just when He appears to blind it. When the things of sense, which once so charmed and fascinated us, are obliterated, then the grandeur of spiritual things begins to be seen. A fallen monarch, like Louis XVI after losing his throne, sees more clearly than ever before the sublimity of the Gospel and of the many graces he has received in the past. Formerly he scarcely gave them a thought, being too absorbed in the external splendors of his kingdom. And now it is the kingdom of heaven that is revealed to him.
An important law in the spiritual world is that the transcendent darkness of divine things is in a sense more illuminating than the obviousness of earthly things. We have an illustration of this in the sensible order. Surprising as the truth may at first appear, we see much farther in the darkness of the night than in the light of day. The sun, in fact, must first be hidden before we can see the stars and have a glimpse of the unfathomable depths of the sky. The spectacle presented to us on a starry night is sometimes incomparably more beautiful than anything to be seen on even the sunniest day. In the daytime, doubtless, our view may extend far over the surrounding country, and even to the sun itself, though its light takes eight minutes to reach us. But in the darkness of the night we see at a single glance thousands of stars, although the light from even the nearest requires four and a half years to reach us. From the spiritual point of view the same holds true: as the sun prevents our seeing the stars, so in human life there are things which by their glare obstruct our view of the splendors of the faith. It is fitting, then, that from time to time in our lives Providence should subdue this glare of inferior things so as to give us a glimpse of something far more precious for our soul and our salvation.

Mary is our model for such trust and humility. She is Queen of Heaven and Earth because she trusted in God, totally. 

more later....

Time for Fasting and Prayer

Nothing has been said from any pulpit I have heard in the past four months on the pending horrible change in our country.

If your priests in your diocese are not encouraging you to fast and pray this week for the upcoming decision, if your bishops are not having a special prayer session for the decision, take it upon yourself to fast and prayers.

Fast and pray, now.

A Necessary Clarification

36. Wherefore, strictly adhering, in this matter, to the decrees of the pontiffs, our predecessors, and confirming them most fully, and, as it were, renewing them by our authority, of our own initiative and certain knowledge, we pronounce and declare that ordinations carried out according to the Anglican rite have been, and are, absolutely null and utterly void.

Thus, Pope Leo XIII in Apostolicae Curae defined the reality of Anglican ordinations. A few days ago, I was discussing this with a Catholic who did not understand that Anglican orders are and have been invalid.

Catholics recognize that their priests are in the line of Apostolic Succession-the unbroken tradition of the laying of hands in the Sacrament of Ordination which goes back to Christ's call of the Apostles. The Eucharist is only valid when consecrated by validly ordained Catholic priests. 

Pope Leo XIII clearly did not mess with modern "false ecumenism".

39. We wish to direct our exhortation and our desires in a special way to those who are ministers of religion in their respective communities. They are men who from their very office take precedence in learning and authority, and who have at heart the glory of God and the salvation of souls. Let them be the first in joyfully submitting to the divine call and obey it, and furnish a glorious example to others. Assuredly, with an exceeding great joy, their Mother, the Church, will welcome them, and will cherish with all her love and care those whom the strength of their generous souls has, amidst many trials and difficulties, led back to her bosom. Nor could words express the recognition which this devoted courage will win for them from the assemblies of the brethren throughout the Catholic world, or what hope or confidence it will merit for them before Christ as their Judge, or what reward it will obtain from Him in the heavenly kingdom! And we, ourselves, in every lawful way, shall continue to promote their reconciliation with the Church in which individuals and masses, as we ardently desire, may find so much for their imitation. In the meantime, by the tender mercy of the Lord our God, we ask and beseech all to strive faithfully to follow in the path of divine grace and truth.

Some of the confusion has to do with the difference between intent and the words of ordination. But, the good pope covered this point as well. I read a modern commentator on line who was confused on this point, a convert from Anglicanism, who did not understand the following illumination.

32. Many of the more shrewd Anglican interpreters of the Ordinal have perceived the force of this argument, and they openly urge it against those who take the Ordinal in a new sense, and vainly attach to the Orders conferred thereby a value and efficacy which they do not possess. By this same argument is refuted the contention of those who think that the prayer, "Almighty God, giver of all good Things", which is found at the beginning of the ritual action, might suffice as a legitimate "form" of Orders, even in the hypothesis that it might be held to be sufficient in a Catholic rite approved by the Church.

33. With this inherent defect of "form" is joined the defect of "intention" which is equally essential to the Sacrament. The Church does not judge about the mind and intention, in so far as it is something by its nature internal; but in so far as it is manifested externally she is bound to judge concerning it. A person who has correctly and seriously used the requisite matter and form to effect and confer a sacrament is presumed for that very reason to have intended to do (intendisse) what the Church does. On this principle rests the doctrine that a Sacrament is truly conferred by the ministry of one who is a heretic or unbaptized, provided the Catholic rite be employed. On the other hand, if the rite be changed, with the manifest intention of introducing another rite not approved by the Church and of rejecting what the Church does, and what, by the institution of Christ, belongs to the nature of the Sacrament, then it is clear that not only is the necessary intention wanting to the Sacrament, but that the intention is adverse to and destructive of the Sacrament.

The intent of the original men who broke with Rome in the Anglican communion involved that desire to no longer be part of the Roman Catholic Church. The changes in the rite occurred in order to reflect the decision to break with Rome.

Those members of the Ordinariate understand this distinction and receive the sacrament of Catholic ordination. One can recall that Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman was ordained in October, 1846, in Rome, one year after his conversion to Catholicism. 

“To be deep in history is to cease to be a Protestant.”
Blessed John Henry Newman

Pay attention; difficult two weeks ahead for all of us

One Last Gem from The Maritains

I want to share a bit more from the book, Prayer and Intelligence. 

This holy couple gives advice to the laity who are caught up in the frenzy of the world.

Here are some points to help the laity when events and time do not allow for contemplation.

1) Throw one's self into one's "littleness" and embrace humility.

2) Abandon one's self to God's mercy.

3) Abandon one's self to God's Providence.

4) Constantly give thanks for all thinks, taking joy in the Lord.

5) Be kind to all creatures, great and small.

6) Abstain from judging others.

7) Enlarge one's heart by admiring, understanding the freedom and variety of how God's ways are in the world.

8) Prepare one's soul for the counsels of perfection , if one is not able to do these (poverty, chastity, obedience) in the same way as religious in the ways outlined below.

9)Work on purity of heart, which "cleanses the intelligence and the will from the imprint of created things...a spiritual chastity"..

10) Work on detachment "which causes us to make use of ourselves and created things 'as if not using them'...a kind of spiritual poverty".

11) Abandon one's self to Providence, "which causes us to cast all our care on God and give us up to his good a spiritual obedience, which penetrates to the most intimate depth of the soul, and, while it makes us free of the whole created world, (and) obliges us to depend in everything on the conduct of the Holy Spirit."

This is the whole perfection series in a nutshell.

In these ways, the Maritains write that one will be able to take up one's cross daily, faithfully following the Lord, and living in His Presence. In addition, one will "adhere with his whole Him who is above all thought and who wishes to transform us into himself by love."

Actually, I shall return to this book again at a later time,,,as there is more.

Family Litany

Many years ago, I made up a family litany, which I just found as well. I wrote this before Mary, Undoer of Knots was popular.

You may want to do something similar for your family. I used the saints who are our personal patrons of the names in my immediate family, and the members' favorite saints at the time. We just wrote down what came to mind without concern for historical timelines, or categories of saints.

Litany of Saints for Our Family

Infant of Prague, have mercy on us
Christ, Pantocrator, have mercy on us

Answer, Pray for us

Our Lady of Walsingham,
Our Lady of Good Counsel,
Our Lady of Good Remedy
Mary, Queen of the Rosary
Mary, Queen of Apostles
Mary, Queen of Heaven,
Mary, Undoer of Knots,
Our Lady of Vladimir
Mary, Star of the Sea
Our Lady of Guadalupe
Our Lady of Fatima
Our Lady of Lourdes
Paul, Apostle to the Gentiles,
John, Beloved Disciple
Anne, Mother and Grandmother,
Rose of Lima,
Edmund Campion,
Thomas More,
Nicholas of Smyrna,
Cuthbert Mayne,
Thomas Aquinas,
Nicholas Owen
Margaret Clitherow
Anne Line
Augustine of Hippo,
Augustine of Canterbury,
Felix of Burgundy,
Laurence of Canterbury,
Thomas a Becket
Edmund, King,
Edmund of Canterbury,
Edmund Arrowsmith,
James, Apostle
David, King
Charles Borromeo, 
Thomas, Apostle,
Edward, King,
Ignatius Loyola,
Francis Xavier
John Bosco
The Magi,
Therese, the Little Flower,
Teresa of Avila,
Catherine of Siena,
John the Baptist,
Padre Pio,
Joseph Cupertino,
Joseph, Foster-Father,
Damien the Leper,
Vladimir the Great, King,
Stephen of Hungary, King
Wenceslaus, King
Henry, Emperor,
Karl, Emperor
Gregory the Great
Peter, First Pope
Hermenegild, King
Philip Neri, 
Alphonsus Liguori
Bernard of Clairvaux
Philip Howard, 
William Howard, Viscount Stafford
Margaret Pole,
Ailred of Rievaulx,
Pier Giorgio Frassati
Elizabeth, Cousin
Elizabeth, Sister
Ebba the Elder
Hilda of Whitby
Elizabeth of Schonau
Xenia of Petersburg
Basil, Fool
Ephrem, Fool,
John of Moscow.
Macrina the Elder
Macrina the Younger
Basil the Great
Gregory of Nyssa
Cyril and Methodius
Saints of Alaska
Hildegard of Bingen
Brigid of Sweden
Zita, Empress
Olga, Empress
Ludmila, Queen
Matilda, Queen
Stephen Harding
Robert Southwell
John Southworth
John Henry Newman
Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Maximus the Confessor
Mary of Egypt
Benedict Labre
Robert Bellarmine

And I found many poems

..including this short one you may like.

Your words
are your gifts to me
like windows lit
in a distant house;
at night the path is hidden.

I found this is my papers

I had a file of prayers I was saying during my cancer and thyroid year, is one I found today.

The Litany of Divine Providence

For Private Use Only.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

God the Father of Heaven,

Have mercy on us.

God the Son, Redeemer of the world,

Have mercy on us.

God the Holy Ghost,

Have mercy on us.

Holy Trinity, one God,

Have mercy on us.

God, all-knowing and all-wise,

Have mercy on us.

God, all-powerful and all-good,

Have mercy on us.

God, most patient and most merciful, etc.

Father of mercy and consolation,

God, wonderful and inscrutable in Thy plans,

God, in Whose hands is our life,

God, from Whom all good things and every perfect gift comes,

Thou Who hast made all things for the service of man,

Thou Who governest all with wisdom and love,

Thou Who fillest all living things with blessing,

Thou Who dost clothe the lilies of the field and feed the birds of the air,

Thou Who dost number the hairs of our head,

Thou Who seest in secret,

Thou Who makest the sun to shine upon the good and the bad,

Thou Who allowest it to rain upon the just and the unjust,

Thou Who workest all things for the benefit of those who love Thee,

Thou Who sendest temporal sufferings for our correction and good,

Thou Who dost reward Christian patience with an eternal reward,

God, our sole refuge and hope,

God, our only consoler and helper,

Be merciful,

Spare us, O Lord.

Be merciful,

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

From all evil,

Deliver us, O Lord.

From all sin,

Deliver us, O Lord.

From all murmurings and complaints against Thy holy decrees, etc.

From cowardice and impatience,

From mistrust in Thy Divine Providence,

From too great trust in riches and the favor of men,

From immoderate concern for temporal things,

From misuse or neglect of Thy gifts and benefits,

From ingratitude toward Thy loving kindness,

From uncharitableness toward our neighbor ,

From obduracy in sin,

From all dangers of body and soul,

From Thy well-merited chastisements,

From earthquake, pestilence, famine and distress,

From disease, hunger and war ,

From a wicked and unprovided death,

On the day of judgment,

We sinners

Beseech Thee, hear us.

That we may always trust in Thy Divine Providence,

We beseech Thee, hear us.

That in good fortune we may not become proud and godless,

We beseech Thee, hear us.

That in misfortune we may not become discouraged and impatient, etc.

That we may submit simply to all Thy decrees,

That we may praise Thy name whether Thou givest or takest away,

That Thy will may be done on earth as it is in Heaven,

That we may seek consolation from Thee in time of trial,

That Thou mayest give us what is necessary for the support of our life,

That in all adversities we may grow in patience and humility,

That Thou mayest accompany all our labors with Thy blessing,

That Thou mayest reward our temporal sufferings with eternal joys,

That Thou mayest fill our spiritual and civil rulers with the spirit of truth and the fear of God,

That Thou mayest pity all who suffer want,

That Thou mayest console and raise up all the abandoned and oppressed,

That Thou mayest reward our benefactors with eternal goods,

That we may praise and glorify Thy Divine Providence now and forever,

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Spare us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Graciously hear us, O Lord.

Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world,

Have mercy on us.

Christ hear us.

Christ, graciously hear us.

Lord, have mercy on us. Christ, have mercy on us.

Lord, have mercy on us.

Our Father [silently]. Hail Mary [silently].

All eyes are turned to Thee, O Lord,

And Thou givest them food in season.

Thou openest Thy gentle hand,

And fillest with blessing all living things.

V. Lord, show us Thy mercy,

R. And grant us Thy salvation.

Let Us Pray.

O God, Whose Providence is never frustrated in its decrees, we beseech

Thee to keep from us all harm and grant us every blessing,

through Jesus Christ Our Lord. R. Amen.