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Saturday 27 June 2015

Helpful Hints Re: Our Persecutors

Years ago, when I was working with "at risk students", I had to take a course on classroom techniques regarding diffusing tense and potentially violent situations.

One learns one's vulnerability to various psychological "hooks" and one learns to avoid getting into certain patterns which can escalate problems.

The problem with persecutors is that they hate solid, strong, unwavering, faithful people. The more peaceful one is, the more the sadists get angry.

But, here are some helpful hints for the beginnings of persecution which many are facing already in the workplace or even at home.
  • Number One: Do not take anger personally, even if the person is angry that you are a Christian. You represent Christ and the Church, and, therefore, the focus in your mind should be on Christ and not yourself.
  • Disengage by asking God to heal your "hooks", which are usually connected to pride and other sins, such as vainglory and the lack of trust in Divine Providence.
  • Fear not. Anger is just anger, Violence hurts, but it has to be, by definition, temporary, as one will either prevail and live, or succumb and die, if the violence is fierce. At this point, anger is what you most likely will encounter. Do not get into someone's else's problem with anger.
  • Transcend your own feelings of inadequacy and even fear by concentrating on Christ.
  • Beg for grace constantly. Be ready. 
  • Do not begin arguments. Evangelize those who are open, not those who are closed and only want to argue. Arguing gains nothing.
  • DO NOT negotiate or compromise. Those persons will hate you, anyway, and you may lose your immortal soul. Plus, and this is most important, one cannot negotiate with either unreality or irrationality. One cannot negotiate with sin or evil. One must stand firm, even in silence.
  • If the person can be rational, say something like, "I know how you feel" or "I know how you think about this issue". Then proceed calmly. Help the other person reflect.
  • Sadly, we may be in a nation where rationality in discussions is no longer possible. Sometimes, one just has to walk away from confrontation. 
  • If one has no authority in their work or home situation, remaining disengaged and peaceful must be essential goals.
  • Do not fall into craven fear. Ask Our Lady and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit for fortitude, called, courage.
  • With God, all things are possible. He will not abandon us if we do not abandon Him.
  • Be reasonable. Always be rational.
  • Ecumenism never, never works. Think about that.
  • But, these points are not the same as not talking about it.

Read These, Please, Fellow Exilers--Are You Getting Ready?

and this one is just, well, WOW serious and can I say, I

Persecution Watch!!!! He is O.

"But today should also give us hope that on the many issues with which we grapple often painfully real change is possible,” he added. The implication was clear: Those who disagree with the idea of gay marriage based, for example, on their religious views, must change to be more like progressives who accept gay marriage.

“Shifts in hearts and minds is possible,” he added. “And those who have come so far on their journey to equality have a responsibility to reach back and help others join them. Because for all our differences, we are one people — stronger together than we could ever be alone.

Time to read and understand Lord of the World again.

Bishop's Statements on Friday's Decision

from some individual states will be coming out this weekend. Look for these online and in bulletins

From Today's Morning Prayer

One of the intentions struck me as apropos for our day today...we ask God that

our homes be the pledge of a world redeemed.

Home is where holiness begins and is nurtured-not schools, not the market place.

More than ever, the responsibility of parents to pass on the Faith must be seen as a priority in our time. 

I have shared this story online before, but here it is again.

My son's birth was extremely difficult. He almost died, as he stopped breathing in the womb five times. His apgar scores were zero, and his dad and I expected him to be severely mentally impaired. We said together we would love him whatever the loss of ability. 

The baby lost nothing in this trauma, through grace, God's mercy, our resignation, and acts of trust.and love.

The next morning, in the ward, (as in those days, the English hospital where the baby was born was an old Victorian building, now torn down), mothers lay in wards, I was sitting on the side of my bed, holding this tiny infant and basking in great joy. The room, full of mums, babies, nurses, buzzed with noise.

Suddenly, baby and I were wrapped in silence. I sensed a "God  moment". Then, I heard the Voice of the Father.

"When you die, I shall ask you one thing. Did you pass your Faith on to your son?"

I mentally said "Yes". I got it. This was the most important job in my life.

After my interior, instant assent, the room became noisy again. I looked at the baby son and knew that he did not belong to me, but to God, and I had a duty to bring him up in and with God to the best of my ability.

So, too, it is with all Catholic parents. So, too, we are given our children to give back to God, and now, in these darkening days, more than ever,we must raise saints.

I failed in many areas. I was too strict in some areas, and not strict enough in others. But, God makes up the difference if we try and do our best. We are sinners trying to raise saints.

Trust in God and be focused. Be very focused. As the prayer today states, make your homes pledges of salvation. Home school. Create times for silence. Do not be conformed to the world. Your children do not have to do everything other children do. They must be trained to be signs of contradiction in the world. Their childhood will be under attack from many sides. But, be faithful, be alert.

Grace will follow grace.

From Today's Office

Douay-Rheims Psalm 49

49 A psalm for Asaph. 
The God of gods, the Lord hath spoken: and he hath called the earth. From the rising of the sun, to the going down thereof:
Out of Sion the loveliness of his beauty.
God shall come manifestly: our God shall come, and shall not keep silence. A fire shall burn before him: and a mighty tempest shall be round about him.
He shall call heaven from above, and the earth, to judge his people.
Gather ye together his saints to him: who set his covenant before sacrifices.
And the heavens shall declare his justice: for God is judge.
Hear, O my people, and I will speak: O Israel, and I will testify to thee: I am God, thy God.
I will not reprove thee for thy sacrifices: and thy burnt offerings are always in my sight.
I will not take calves out of thy house: nor he goats out of thy flocks.
10 For all the beasts of the woods are mine: the cattle on the hills, and the oxen.
11 I know all the fowls of the air: and with me is the beauty of the field.
12 If I should be hungry, I would not tell thee: for the world is mine, and the fulness thereof.
13 Shall I eat the flesh of bullocks? or shall I drink the blood of goats?
14 Offer to God the sacrifice of praise: and pay thy vows to the most High.
15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
16 But to the sinner God hath said: Why dost thou declare my justices, and take my covenant in thy mouth?
17 Seeing thou hast hated discipline: and hast cast my words behind thee.
18 If thou didst see a thief thou didst run with him: and with adulterers thou hast been a partaker.
19 Thy mouth hath abounded with evil, and thy tongue framed deceits.
20 Sitting thou didst speak against thy brother, and didst lay a scandal against thy mother's son:
21 These things hast thou done, and I was silent. Thou thoughtest unjustly that I should be like to thee: but I will reprove thee, and set before thy face.
22 Understand these things, you that forget God; lest he snatch you away, and there be none to deliver you.
23 The sacrifice of praise shall glorify me: and there is the way by which I will shew him the salvation of God.

Poem by STM for Steven, A Brother

Lady beneath the Cross,
embracing the great suffering
of the Only Begotten Son,
her Son.

Lady beneath the Cross,
given to John, to all who
love the Crucified One,
her Son.

Lady beneath the Cross,
taken into silence in grace
and pain, holding Him first
her Son

Lady beneath the Cross,
so full of grief that the
third day promised by
her Son,

Seems far away...

Lady beneath the Cross,
alone in a time for grief,
soon to melt in joy with
her Son.

Lady beneath the Cross,
intercede for those who love you
now, at the hour all meet
her Son.

Lady beneath the Cross,
let your children join in your
hope, waiting for the glory of
her Son.

St. Cyril's Prayer, Support of The True Faith

Hail, Mother and virgin, eternal temple of the Godhead, venerable treasure of creation, crown of virginity, support of the true faith, on which the Church is founded throughout the world.
Mother of God, who contained the infinite God under your heart, whom no space can contain: through you the most Holy Trinity is revealed, adored, and glorified, demons are vanquished, Satan cast down from heaven into hell and our fallen nature again assumed into heaven.
Through you the human race, held captive in the bonds of idolatry, arrives at the knowledge of Truth. What more shall I say of you? Hail, through whom kings rule, through whom the Only-Begotten Son of God has become the Star of Light to those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death. Amen.

Great Clergymen Here