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Tuesday 16 June 2015

Happytudes or Beatitudes? And A Fleece Moment

Remember the old movie, The Inn of the Sixth Happiness, based loosely on the life of Gladys Aylward? This woman understood a basic truth of finding true happiness. The film begins with this statement.

 This story is based upon the life of Gladys Aylward, a woman of our time, who was and is dedicated to the simple, joyful and rare belief that we are all responsible for each other.

Christ states this principle like this.

John 12:24-25Douay-Rheims 

24 Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die,
25 Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal.

And, a simple commentary on this movie found on the website here, reminds us all of the true call to happiness. The person making this comment is a Mormon, but she knows something which the vast majority of our youth in today's America do not know.

We will never know what we are capable of without completely, totally trusting in God.
 “And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do.” – 1 Nephi 4:6

Ms. Alyward had a dream for happiness in being a missionary to China. Too many people have self-centered dreams, which will never make them happy.

The American Dream grew out of the immigrant desire for a better life, and connected with the messianic myth of Manifest Destiny.

In this new survey, the falsity of the American Dream has morphed into a more dangerous form, indicating a lack of spiritual insight in our youth.

As an ex-college lecturer, I can say for sure that the vast majority of youth in my classes should not have been taking college courses, but learning some necessary, useful trade or skill, many which are missing from our society. Apparently, there is a shortage, for example, of car mechanics, as well as practical nurses.

The substitution of the desire for money rather than the desire for a house, family, status, security indicates a decay of spiritual focus among youth. Money does not make one happy, but, of course, the falsity of the original American Dream, being basically a materialistic formula, does not make a person happy, either.

Yes, we all need, and do I not know this personally, housing, food, stability, safe environments. But, we all do not need to own property, although this is laudable and a right, even held sacred by the Catholic Church's teaching on private property, we all do not need lots of stuff, and we certainly do not need to be rich.

The problem with these dreams points to the lack of knowledge or understanding that as Americans, our ultimate goal is not the house for sale down the block, or the newest car, or a flat-screen tv, or the ability to go out eating daily with friends. The goal of each human is union with God.

Not part of the American Dream.....

But part of God's Perfect Will for us....

The only ways to be happy in the old version of the American Dream have been set aside by fantastical dreams of wealth, and power.

Do we all need a reminder of these "happytudes" as we use to call the Jerusalem Bible translation of the Beatitudes?

And, of course, beatitude is not the same as happytude.

The vision of Christ for our happiness is not the same as the American Dream. But, this permutation of it as expressed by some young people, of being rich, shows how far some members of this generation are from the truth of the necessity of a relationship with God and with others in service and love.


Matthew tells us of the real American Dream, which is not a dream, the but reality of God's plan for each one of us who walk these lands, and all lands.

Matthew 5 Douay-Rheims 

And seeing the multitudes, he went up into a mountain, and when he was set down, his disciples came unto him.
And opening his mouth, he taught them, saying:
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.
Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after justice: for they shall have their fill.
Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called children of God.
10 Blessed are they that suffer persecution for justice' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 Blessed are ye when they shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake:
12 Be glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in heaven. For so they persecuted the prophets that were before you.
I am putting the proverbial fleece before the Lord. If you do not know this phrase, read this:
Judges 6:36-40Douay-Rheims 
36 And Gedeon said to God: If thou wilt save Israel by my hand, as thou hast said,
37 I will put this fleece of wool on the floor: if there be dew on the fleece only, and it be dry on all the ground beside, I, shall know that by my hand, as thou hast said, thou wilt deliver Israel.
38 And it was so. And rising before day wringing the fleece, he filled a vessel with the dew.
39 And he said again to God: let not thy wrath be kindled against me if I try once more, seeking a sign in the fleece. I pray that the fleece only may be dry, and all the ground wet with dew.
40 And God did that night as he had requested: and it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.

By this sign, Gideon knew God's Will for him. His feast day, btw, is September 26th, as we consider him, like the patriarchs of old, a saint.  
Now, I am asking for a "fleece moment". Two priests have encourage me to pursue setting up the Chapel of St. Mary of the Angels and Martyrs and the house of contemplation here, where I am. Of course, I did not want to be where the two priests are suggesting, but if this is God's Will, so be it.

My life is not my own.
I need about 150,000 USD to buy a house in an area suggested by one of the priests. If the money comes to do this, (and the house is three minutes from a church where there is Sunday Latin Mass), then I know God wants this here.
Anyone who thinks he or she can be a benefactor, please let me know through comments, which now ask for Google links, in order to comment. Or if you have my email already, just contact me that way.
Thanks for your consideration and prayers.

Excuse spacing problems--am hurrying out the door soon for Holy Mass.


I shall wait for the official release on Thursday instead of making a comment on the leaked version.

By the way, the Guardian states this today...

The draft is not a detailed scientific analysis of the global warming crisis. Instead, it is the pope’s reflection of humanity’s God-given responsibility as custodians of the Earth.

Trusting vs.Triumphalism III

Not infrequently we hear people who are beset by difficulties say in a flippant sort of way: "Why worry?" That is a sheer materialistic and egotistic conception of the doctrine we are here considering. The animating principle of this doctrine is a trustful self-abandonment to Providence. If this trustful self-abandonment is no longer present, as in such recipes for life as that "why worry?" then nothing is left but a body without a soul, a formula of no greater value than the moral energy of the person who utters it. When one has departed from this way of salvation, all that is left of the noblest maxims on life is a dead formula that will serve as an excuse for anything. Yet to all is offered the light of life in the Gospel. The consecrated host elevated every morning on our altars is offered up for all, and all can unite themselves with this oblation. In place of that confidence in God which should accompany our daily task, for us to substitute an arrogant assurance based on purely human calculations is a tremendous misfortune. Man then sets himself up in the place of God; he destroys the theological virtues within him. He is poles asunder from the doctrine we are considering here, which is pre-eminently that of life.

Garrigou-Lagrange states the problem of pride in the clearest of terms. Those who are "flippant" have fallen into a "materialistic" and "egotistic" idea of Providence.  One must abandon self. Garrigou-Lagrange highly recommends daily Mass, with the Catholic uniting himself to the Sacrifice of the Mass, in which Christ joins His suffering with us.

Confidence in God is not confidence either in fantasy or in one's own strength. The key here is detachment for things, people, events. As one separates one's self from the world, one becomes more and more in union with Christ. 

This profound teaching was expressed with remarkable clearness by a seventeenth century Dominican, Pere Chardon, in his book, La Croix de Jesus. [97] He points out that the divine action, in gradually detaching us from all that is not God, sometimes in most painful ways, tends by that very detachment to unite us more and more closely to Him. Loss is thus turned into gain. As grace increases within us, it becomes at once a source of separation and of union; the progressive separation is simply the reverse side of the union. 

Here is a prayer from St. Augustine, an anonymous prayer, which Garrigou-Lagrange shares with us:

O my God, I leave myself entirely in Thy hands. Turn and turn again this mass of clay, as a vessel that is fashioned in the potter's hand (Jer. 18: 6). Give it a shape; then break it if Thou wilt: it is Thine, it has nothing to say. Enough for me that it serves all Thy designs and that nothing resists Thy good pleasure for which I was made. Ask, command. What wouldst Thou have me to do? What wouldst Thou have me not to do? Lifted up, cast down, in persecution, in consolation, in suffering, intent upon Thy work, good for nothing, I can do no more than repeat with Thy holy Mother: "Be it done unto me according to Thy word."

Give me that love which is beyond all loves, the love of the cross—not those heroic crosses with a glory that might foster self-love, but those ordinary crosses which we bear with so much distaste—those daily crosses with which our life is strewn and which at every moment we encounter on our way through life: contradictions, neglect, failures, opposition, false judgments, the coldness or impulsiveness of some, the rebuffs or contempt of others, bodily infirmities, spiritual darkness, silence and interior dryness. Only then wilt Thou know that I love Thee, even though I neither know nor feel it myself; and that is enough for me.

Again, persecution may makes us all saints.

This is truly holiness of a high order. Were there but a few such moments of great affliction in our lives, we should then have reached the topmost heights and have come very nigh to God. Now every moment God is inviting us to live this way and lose ourselves in Him. Especially at such moments as these it can be truly said: "The Lord leadeth the. just by right ways and showeth him the kingdom of God" (Wis. 10: 10).

more later.....

Trusting vs. Triumphalism II

I am now in the habit of saying daily, if things do not "go my way", which is a sign of the sin of pride lurking in me still, that this thing, this event, is God's Will.

I wanted to get some things for the project on which I am working and am being delayed by others in authority, causing me not to be able to finish stage one. So, I first, I was impatience, complaining to myself that I wanted this stage done by Friday and now it will all be delayed by a week.

Not my idea, but God's idea, to let this delay happen....and what do I learn? The world does not revolve around my wishes or desires.

Patience, docility, humility...nothing happens by chance. More Garrigou-Lagrange:

With Providence there is no such thing as chance; and so by some little unforeseen incident it can easily upset the cunning calculations of those hostile to spiritual good. We have an example of this in the life of Joseph, who was sold by his brethren. Had not the Ismaelite merchants, by chance apparently, passed by just when his brothers had decided to put him to death, he would have been left there in the cistern where they had thrown him. But it was then and not an hour later, as was ordained by God from all eternity, that the merchants arrived on the scene, and Joseph was thus sold into slavery. And so, being led into Egypt, he was later to be a benefactor to those who had wished to destroy him. Let us recall also the story of Esther, of the prophet Daniel, and of many others. j Similar and more striking are the circumstances surrounding the birth of our Lord. Herod had organized all the forces at his disposal to put the Messias to death and had then requested the wise men from the East to obtain for him precise information about the child. But, "having received an answer in sleep that they should not return to Herod, they went back another way to their own country" (Matt. 2: 12)." Then Herod, perceiving that he was deluded by the wise men,... sending, killed all the men children that were in Bethlehem and in all the borders thereof" (ibid., 2: 16), but an angel, appearing in sleep to Joseph, commanded him to save the child from the king's wrath and flee into Egypt.
In the lives of the just it is not miraculous that their guardian angels intervene at God's command to inspire some holy thought in them, whether they be asleep or awake; it is a providential occurrence by no means rare in the lives of those who abandon themselves completely to God. In the Book of Psalms (90: 10) we are told: "There shall be no evil come to thee: nor shall the scourge come near thy dwelling. For the Lord hath given His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. In their hands they shall bear thee up, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone." We must not tempt God, of course; but in the fulfilment of our daily duties we must resign ourselves humbly into His hands, and those who thus abandon themselves to Him, He will protect as a mother protects her children. If He allows persecution, often bitter persecution, to come upon them, as He did in the case of His own Son, nevertheless He will not allow the just to lose courage, but will sustain them in invisible ways and, if in a moment of weakness they should fall, as Peter did, He will raise them up again and lead them on to the haven of salvation.

Sign in Nazareth

This is the bishop

...who supports the Third Order of the Most Sorrowful Mother. Pray for him.

“Well they didn’t make the statement,” the bishop told LifeSiteNews. “If we didn’t withdraw we would have sent a different message that would have been in conflict with the Catholic Church.”
In his letter announcing the bishop’s decision, Msgr. Gaalaas wrote, “To march in such a parade seems to us to be a deliberate and full-throttled expression of support for the so-called gay agenda, a central component of which is same-sex marriage.”
In the same letter, he stated that, “Among those teachings of the Church are all the things the OCCJ has traditionally stood for: the rights and dignity of every human being and the protest against bigotry and all unjust discrimination.”


"This is the problem we're having today in our society, is that you want everything. You want to be able to join everything, even though you don't agree with it,” he said. “It's the dictatorship of relativism, that's what Benedict calls it, it's the dictatorship of relativism. You can believe what you want, I can believe what I want, but we can both be Catholic."

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