Wednesday, 26 November 2014

On Contemporary Catholic Journalism

Excellence for some is a dirty word. Few students are allowed to shine, to become the best, to be competitive.
I shall not mention any names, but years ago, I was close to the editor of a famous British periodical.

At one lunch, I met the new editor who was taking over the magazine at the time. Later on, on the phone, speaking with a now passed away Catholic intellectual, with whom my family was very close, I noted I had met this new editor.

This friend of mine noted this, "One cannot work with second-rate people", and what he meant was that success could not be found with "mediocrity." Also, he noted this appointment would bring the downfall of this periodical, which it did.

What I am seeing in English Catholic newspapers and periodicals is a soup of mediocrity. There are no first-rate writers, that one can hardly wait to read daily or weekly.

Several reasons account for this sad state of Catholic journalism in England, but the main reason is a powerful anti-intellectualism, which causes poor choices in appointments, topics and zero intelligent commentary.

The Catholic Faith is built on Revelation and Reason. If reason is set-aside, the edifice falls. That publishing firms do not hire top scholars to work for their papers or magazines points to the dumbing-down of journalism, to the point where the mediocre are not only writing pablum, but are in charge.

How sad that the great heritage of Catholic writing in England has been undermined by second-rate writers. How sad that no one really cares if these newspapers or magazines do not make succinct and pertinent commentary on such things as the recent Synod.

Until reason becomes a basis for journalism, changing formats will not draw faithful readership.

The English were once known for not only being wordsmiths, but having a high level of rational discourse in daily and weekly writing.

The Catholic Church in England is not being served by the continuation of mediocrity. If there was ever a time for a new approach to Catholic journalism, it is now. Where are the best and the brightest Catholic writers in England? Where is the paper or magazine which we wait for earnestly weekly or daily?

Where is the excellence in sharing the truth of Catholic teaching through words and wit?

Thursday, 20 November 2014

How Gen 3:15 reconciles to the Father of Love and Justice


Genesis 3:15:
“And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her Seed;
He shall bruise your head,

And you shall bruise His heel.”


In true Carmelite tradition but appropriately using a business method of communication, the purpose of this illustration is to reflect on WHY Genesis 3:15 relates to these times and to the whole of human history. (If it works why not use it, you decide?)

Consider the Parable of the Wicked Vinedressers - Matthew 21:33-44 for Gospel context and further St Theresa Bendicta's petition to the Pope for action against the bruising of the heel of the righteous in Germany.

Letter of Saint Edith Stein to Pope Pius XI in 1933

Holy Father!

As a child of the Jewish people who, by the grace of God, for the past eleven years has also been a child of the Catholic Church, I dare to speak to the Father of Christianity about that which oppresses millions of Germans. For weeks we have seen deeds perpetrated in Germany which mock any sense of justice and humanity, not to mention love of neighbor. For years the leaders of National Socialism have been preaching hatred of the Jews. Now that they have seized the power of government and armed their followers, among them proven criminal elements, this seed of hatred has germinated. The government has only recently admitted that excesses have occurred. To what extent, we cannot tell, because public opinion is being gagged. However, judging by what I have learned from personal relations, it is in no way a matter of singular exceptional cases. Under pressure from reactions abroad, the government has turned to "milder" methods. It has issued the watchword "no Jew shall have even one hair on his head harmed." But through boycott measures--by robbing people of their livelihood, civic honor and fatherland--it drives many to desperation; within the last week, through private reports I was informed of five cases of suicide as a consequence of these hostilities. I am convinced that this is a general condition which will claim many more victims. One may regret that these unhappy people do not have greater inner strength to bear their misfortune. But the responsibility must fall, after all, on those who brought them to this point and it also falls on those who keep silent in the face of such happenings.

Everything that happened and continues to happen on a daily basis originates with a government that calls itself "Christian." For weeks not only Jews but also thousands of faithful Catholics in Germany, and, I believe, all over the world, have been waiting and hoping for the Church of Christ to raise its voice to put a stop to this abuse of Christ’s name. Is not this idolization of race and governmental power which is being pounded into the public consciousness by the radio open heresy? Isn't the effort to destroy Jewish blood an abuse of the holiest humanity of our Savior, of the most blessed Virgin and the apostles? Is not all this diametrically opposed to the conduct of our Lord and Savior, who, even on the cross, still prayed for his persecutors? And isn't this a black mark on the record of this Holy Year which was intended to be a year of peace and reconciliation?

We all, who are faithful children of the Church and who see the conditions in Germany with open eyes, fear the worst for the prestige of the Church, if the silence continues any longer. We are convinced that this silence will not be able in the long run to purchase peace with the present German government. For the time being, the fight against Catholicism will be conducted quietly and less brutally than against Jewry, but no less systematically. It won't take long before no Catholic will be able to hold office in Germany unless he dedicates himself unconditionally to the new course of action.

At the feet of your Holiness, requesting your apostolic blessing,
(Signed) Dr. Edith Stein, Instructor at the German Institute for Scientific Pedagogy, Münster in Westphalia, Collegium Marianum.

The 'WHAT' we shouldn't forget!

St Theresa Benedicta of the Holy Cross Pray for us, 
Blessed Titus Brandsma Pray for us.


N.B.Explanation for what the Golden Circle means go to the following link:



Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Report: Blessed Karl Solemn Mass in Washington, DC -- Address by Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza

Source



On Tuesday, 21 October 2014, a Traditional Latin Solemn High Mass was offered at Old Saint Mary's Church in Washington, DC, for the Feast Day of Blessed Karl of Austria.  At the reception after Mass, Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza addressed the assembled faithful.  His remarks are reproduced in full below (with permission).  This annual Mass and reception in honor of Blessed Karl was organized by Suzanne Pearson, founder of the Blessed Karl Shrine at Old Saint Mary's.

Remarks by HIRH Prince Bertrand of Orleans-Braganza,
the Prince Imperial of Brazil
On the Feast Day of Blessed Karl
21 October 2014, Washington, DC

BLESSED KARL
EMPEROR OF AUSTRIA
KING OF HUNGARY

Holy Mother Church gives us the saints not only as intercessors to whom we can have recourse but as examples to follow.

In what ways should Emperor Karl, recently beatified, be seen as a model? He should certainly be seen as a model Head of State and as a model head of family.

(Continue reading the full text here.)
Source

Monday, 17 November 2014

Some of How Ecumenism Went Awry at Episcopal Washington National Cathedral


Despite Reverend Franklin Graham's disappointment which he shared on Twitter about the Muslim led prayer service at Washington National Cathedral, this is not the first time that the sixth largest Cathedral church in the world  has ecumenically opened its doors to non-Christian worship.

*** 

Regarding the recent Muslim Prayer Service, the Dean of National Cathedral Gary Hall was unaware or did not care that the Muslim prayer service at Washington National Cathedral was held on the centennial of the last Caliph declaring a holy war on all non-believers.

***

Muslim led Friday Prayers at Washington National Cathedral Nov. 14, 2014 [photo source: AFP]


The prayer carpets for the around two hundred Muslim faithful gathered for the Jumu'ah (Muslim Prayer Service) were laid diagonally in the transept on the side of the sanctuary to face Mecca without seeing any Christian icons, as Islam forbids prayer in view of sacred symbols which are alien to their faith. 

Before the prayers started, a lone protester proclaimed: "Jesus died on that Cross for us.  Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior." before being whisked out of the supposedly Christian church.



It seems that forthrightly proclaiming the faith in the House of God which a Cathedral church represents is unwelcomed at Washington National Cathedral.  

***


The Right Reverend Gary Hall has interesting ideas about ecumenism.  Hall does not believe in talking about God with members of different faith as that only leads to arguments.  Instead Hall believes that "Let's all pray together and experience the divine together in our own way."  It ignores the great commission of MT: 28:16-20 but why be pushy about divine matters for the National House of Prayer? 

***

 While it is wonderful to reach out to people of faith to find commonalities, it seems pusillanimous to not represent the faith at the seat of the Archbishop, who should be shepherding the flock.  Moreover, treating Washington National Cathedral like an International House of Prayer seems like it is making it a big venue religious entertainment.  Then again the Very Reverend Gary Hall wished about to roller skate or throw paper airplanes down the temporarily empty nave of Washington National Cathedral


Ecumenism is illuminating and foster tolerance and perhaps peace in the proper context. This is often accomplished through interfaith prayer services, which may concentrate on the spiritual things which unite various confessions.  However, a renunciation of truth by not sharing the Good News when worshiping in a Cathedral church is indeed troubling. This leads to what Pope (Emeritus) Benedict XVI labeled a renunciation of truth that is lethal to faith.  

***

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Catholics?

Many years ago, when I wrote a book of historical poetry and monologues on Fountains Abbey, I had access to two libraries' special collections. I also had a Reader's Pass to the British Library.


In these collections, I discovered books of the actual letters of Thomas Cromwell's visitators to the abbeys and monasteries of England and Wales. As the master-mind behind the suppression of the monasteries, Cromwell dictated the rules, organized the men, and oversaw the systematic theft, destruction, and murder of the land, buildings, and inhabitants, not only of Fountains, but the hundred of other holy houses.

Cromwell oversaw and caused the downfall of SS. John Fisher and Thomas More, as well as the persecution of Katherine of Aragon and the death of Anne Boleyn. Cromwell said of the excellent Queen Katherine, (who should be canonized), that "If not for her sex, she could have defied all the heroes of History".  

He master-minded the complete change of the face of English spirituality. At the beginning of his several steps of suppression, there were at least 900 religious houses, including monasteries, priories and convents, involving over 12,000 persons in the land. He was responsible for the destruction of the shrine of Thomas a Becket, among all the other shrines, including Walsingham, the only place where Mary had appeared in England and, like Canterbury, one of the two major pilgrimage sites in England. All these places not only were physically destroyed, but ruined in memory.

At the end of the few years of violence, only a handful of religious houses remained, those which had gone over to Henry, all under the control of Cromwell. The Visitators were led and controlled by a group of commissioners of theValor Ecclesiaticus, and the later general visitation of 1535, Richard LaytonThomas LeighJohn ap Rice and John Tregonwell, who "visited" the holy houses themselves and wrote back to Cromwell. One of the Visitators sent to Walshingham was the grandfather of St. Robert Southwell, Sir Richard Southwell, who became wealthy from his part of the theft. John Tregonwell, for example, went to Oxford to force the religious to take the Oath of Supremacy. At first, the suppression was supposedly a commission to collect data on the wealth of the religious houses, but quickly these visitations included the forcing of the oath, and the destruction of the houses.


Cromwell also raised Hugh Latimer and others to positions of great power in the newly formed Anglican "church".  The fact that letters remain testifies to the vast organization which Cromwell establish in order to destroy the Catholic Church.

Reading the actual letters of these men who were sent to Walsingham, Glastonbury, Furness, Buckfast and the long list, including Fountains, chilled my heart. Here is a list of the dissolved monasteries.  Such phrases relating to the monks and priests, such as this one, that they were"sore bent rathre to die then to yelde to  this youre royals style" indicate the great spiritual and physical battles surrounding the dissolution. Such phrases are found in the Original Letters, Three Chapters of Letters and other books complied and edited by such scholars as Ellis, Wright and Thompson, as well as State Papers, Published under the Authority of His Majesty's Commission. There are other compilations as well.

Today, one can estimate that the worth of the land, buildings, altar ware, goods, including sheep and cattle stolen would be over 1.07 billion pounds sterling. Even though the visitators claimed that many of the monks, priests and nuns were evil, some of the letters indicate that the vast majority were good, Godly people. We know this from many sources, that the evils of the monasteries were not only exaggerated, but downright deceitful reports, created in order to suppress the houses and kill the monks, nuns, and laity who were faithful. Most became the great martyrs and homeless of England and Wales--some, like St. John Houghton, killed at Tyburn, and some dying on the roads in ditches and hovels far from their original monasteries. One of the greatest scholars tracing the evils of this time is David Knowles. 




Blaspheming God and committing the sin of sacrilege, such as at Fountains, when the men threw the Consecrated Hosts, the Body of Christ on the ground and forced their horses to trample God, these men then wrote back to the commissioners and Cromwell as to their "successes". The letters remain as proof of the greatest sins men can commit against Christ Himself in the Eucharist.


Some types of sacrilege cannot be published on this blog.

As a young person, I was shocked to realize that the vast majority of the men involved in violence against God, God's Church, the People of God, had been born and raised Catholic.

When I first did research into the dissolution, in 1979, I had somewhat of an idea of the horror which blighted the religious landscape of England and Wales. When I had finished my many months, and eventually years, of researching, reading and reflecting, I knew that we would see times like this again. We would witness Catholics destroying the Church of Christ, causing Christ to suffer the pains of Calvary again and again and again.


All these men, who perpetrated the murder of the martyrs and the desecration of the Eucharist had been or were still Catholics.

These men were Catholics who instructed the bullies to take the nuns out of the convents and push them onto the streets and wild roads of all the counties and shires of England and Wales. The bullies were or had been Catholics.

These men were Catholics who became wealthy lords, feasting on the backs of those who had provided livelihoods in farming, the wool trade, and even shoe-making for thousands of lay people, lay people who either lost their jobs, homes, and were separated from families, or who succumbed to the oath. 

These men were Catholics who committed the sins of blasphemy and sacrilege in the name of king, country and even the new false religion, with a new God of hatred and compromise, not the Trinity revealed and revered by those they sent to Tyburn, and other places of death.

These men were Catholics who killed such women as SS. Anne Line, Margaret Clitherow, Blessed Margaret Pole and others.

As I sit in my little "cell" in a country which is fast losing its Catholic identity, I consider the number of Catholics who are aiding this destruction of the Catholic Church from within. I consider the weak and heterodox priests, who have led their sheep into stinking marshes of falsehood, instead of green pastures with fresh water.


I have discovered the lies of some priests giving sinful advice to the laity. Priests and laity are men who are Catholics, creating a mind-set of anti-Catholicism from within the Church, which will end here, in this gorgeous country, with the abandonment and destruction of some of the most beautiful churches in the world,

Those who were Catholics destroyed Fountains. But, they also help to destroy souls. This is happening here. 


These priests are Catholics who preach and encourage not only contraception, but fornication, and even the supposed goodness of homosexual lust.

These men are Catholics who want to sell the beautiful churches, altar ware, vestments, and give the money to the poor, not realizing that it is their duty to clothe the naked and feed the poor. God deserves beauty and honor, and theirs is enough wealth here to keep all the churches and still care for the homeless and unemployed. But, such are the lies of the worldly, those Catholics who hate the Church, hate the Incarnate One, and hate the teachings of the Church.


May God preserve Europe and America. He did not preserve England and Wales, allowing free will to have supremacy in the mystery of His Divine Providence.

Therefore, we honor Edmund Campion, John Fisher, Thomas More, Oliver Plunkett and the myriad martyrs of England and Wales, the stars in the Church Triumphant,  some tortured, some mutilated, all killed by those who were. at one time in their lives, Catholics.



Thursday, 6 November 2014

A Bit on a Progressive Prelate Advancing an Aura of "Avanti"


Cardinal Reinhard Marx is a progressive prelate who was an outspoken advocate for change at the Synod of the Family.  German bishops have been motivated to usher in a change for divorced Catholics who have been civilly remarried to have access to the sacraments.  

Synod Fathers were visibly upset at the midterm relatio, which highlighted hot-button issues like homosexuality and remarried Catholics but did not seem to reflect Catholic doctrine or the overall discussions.  

To remedy this anomaly, Pope Francis consented to having the Synod vote on each paragraph and publish the results.  In an interview with Die Zeit, Cardinal Marx insisted that including these pieces opened the door and should not be seen as a setback, even though they did not receive the required  2/3rds majority.

One wonders if Cardinal Marx's insistence of the inevitability of change is an aura of "avanti". 

***

It remains to be seen how deliberations on hot button Synod on the Family hot button issues are resolved.  But it seems from afar that those motivated to usher in change are using the Synod of the Media approach, which plays upon secular sentiments to create an aura of inevitability. 


Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Some Residue from Remembering the Gunpowder Plot


Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, 'twas his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence [or By God's mercy] he was catch'd
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Hulloa boys, Hulloa boys, let the bells ring.
Hulloa boys, hulloa boys, God save the King!

A penny loaf to feed the Pope.
A farthing o' cheese to choke him.
A pint of beer to rinse it down.
A faggot of sticks to burn him.
Burn him in a tub of tar.
Burn him like a blazing star.
Burn his body from his head.
Then we'll say ol' Pope is dead.
Hip hip hoorah!
Hip hip hoorah!
  
Today is Guy Fawkes day in the UK.  Today it seems treated as just another bank holiday to enjoy carousing and fireworks.  Despite the 400 years that separates them, the Gunpowder Plot is analogous to the Islamists attacks on 9/11/2001.

The Protestant Reformation in England was not simply King Henry VIII making himself the supreme head of the English church in 1534.  After Queen Elizabeth I assumed the English throne after the Catholic Queen Mary, there were a series of Sixteenth Century laws enacted to reinforce Protestant dominion over England.    The Act of Uniformity from 1558 forced subjects to attend Anglican Churches and use the Book of Common Prayer.  Fines for following one's conscience became exorbitant  for most Catholics, it became treasonous to be absolved from schism, Jesuits were banned and priests were executed. 

After the death of the "virgin" Queen and the demise of the Tudor dynasty, King James I was settling into power under the aegis of the Stuart dynasty in a de facto united kingdom of Scotland, England and Wales.  Aggrieved Catholic partisans hoped to restore a Catholic monarchy to England.  Guy Fawkes was a Catholic convert who fought in religious wars on the continent.  When he returned to England, he plotted with others to attempt regicide.  Fawkes and his cohorts leased an undercroft which was directly beneath the House of Lords.  The plan was to blow up Westminster Palace (the Houses of Parliament) with 36 barrels of gunpowder.  Black humorist quip that Fawkes was the only man to ever enter Parliament with honest intentions.

[The Discovery of the Gunpowder Plot/ Henry Peronnet Briggs c. 1823]

The plot failed in part because Parliament delayed meeting for several months due to threats of the Plague.  Some of the gunpowder had decayed during the delay.  Concerns about Catholics being in the chambers may have tipped off security.  In the end, an anonymous tip turned Guy Fawkes in on November 5th as he was guarding his stash of explosives.

Fawkes was not cooperative after he had been taken into custody.  In fact, he earned some admiration from James I for his "Roman Resolution".  Fawkes was transferred to the Tower of London where his interrogators were authorized to start easy and proceed to the worst, hence starting with manacles to potentially the rack.  After a few days of torture, Fawkes told all and was forced to sign a confession.


Almost three months later, Fawkes and seven cohorts had a pro-forma trial at the Star Chamber. Fawkes and three others were slated for public execution.  The others were hanged, drawn and quartered. Fawkes begged for forgiveness from the King and the state while still keeping his "crosses and idle ceremonies".  Afterwards,  Fawkes unexpectedly jumped from the gallows which  broke his neck. Nevertheless, Fawkes lifeless body was still quartered and his body parts scattered to the four corners of the Earth.

***

While several centuries may have dulled the severity of the Gunpowder Plot, this was a vigilante attempt to decapitate the Government by destroying the seat of power.  This is the same plot lines as 9/11 although the Al Qaeda hijackers used airplanes missiles instead of kegs of gunpowder to try and achieve their ends.

 Today, "Guy Fawkes Day" is made light be burning effigies and lighting fireworks. But this was a violent reaction by a persecuted religious minority intent on a paradigm shift. While western nations have become secular and there is a separation of church and state, Islamists intent on building a Caliphate and imposing Sharia law do not make that distinction.

***

While there are no longer sectarian battles in Christendom,  a strong case can be made that political correctness is zealously being mandated as a state secular religion in America.  In 2010, President Obama had a spate of incidents where he could not read his own teleprompter well enough to utter "One Nation…Under God"  when echoing the Declaration of Independence.  Now the Obama Administration is fighting to prevent FDR's National Prayer on the eve of D-Day be incorporated into the World War II Memorial on the National Mall.  Lest one dismiss this assertive secularism as being merely rhetorical, consider how the implementation of Obamacare is eviscerating the right of conscience clause for Catholic health care workers.

The Gunpowder Incident of 1605 shows the stakes and consequences of imposing state religions.  But even the  most onerous of laws did not shake the faithful.  Some groups like the Puritans left England to follow their conscience in tolerant Dutch territories before becoming Pilgrims to the New World.  Others stayed within the Church of England but their Anglo-Catholic worship retained most of the vestiges and spiritual orientations of traditional "Papists". 

***

Perhaps the lessons that we should draw from the residue of the Gunpowder Plot is that we ought to cherish our liberties, such as the freedom of religion and the rights of the individual over the tyrannical predilections of the state so that we do not have to wait for a masked avenger to lead us to freedom.


Saturday, 1 November 2014

Thoughts on Purgatory and Perfection

Matthew 5:48 DR 

"Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect." 




Christ, Who is the Son of God, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity speaks only the truth, as He Is Truth.He asks us to be perfect, another word for holy. Only those who are perfect will see God. Simply, if we do not submit to purgation while living, in order to become as perfect as God has called us to be, then we must be purified after death.

Purgatory is a gift, but it is a secondary gift, not a primary one. The primary gifts are those graces God bestows on us, usually through the sacramental life of the Church, in order to become perfect now, while on earth, for our own good and the good of the entire Church. One reason the Church is so weak is that too many Catholics are not pursuing perfection, not wanting to be holy. Frequent confession, frequent reception of Holy Communion, going to Adoration, daily prayer and the meditation of Scripture, are all things we can do to cooperate with grace in order to become perfect.
This is not impossible. God does not call us to do the impossible. He has already opened the floodgates of grace so that we can become holy while on earth.This process of becoming holy brings suffering and death to the self. There is no other way. 

I have been reading the three books by the Pope Emeritus, in the trilogy of  Jesus of Nazareth. A short quotation from one can help us understand purgatory better.

"Purity of heart is what enables us to see." 

When we sin, we are not seeing God's reality clearly. We are blinded by our own desires, and our ears listen to the siren songs of the world. Too often, we depart from simplicity of heart by coveting things, people, knowledge. Purity of heart cannot be obtained without great suffering simply because we are rarely formed in the virtues at an early age and, therefore, learn bad habits which keep us from thinking clearly and seeing clearly the working of God in our lives. In other words, our muddied hearts react in ways which are imperfect. 

Garrigou-Lagrange in his masterpiece, The Three Ages of the Interior Life, reminds us of this:

Christ tells us: "Blessed are the clean of heart: for they shall see God." He does not say that those are blessed who have received a powerful intellect, who have the leisure and means to cultivate it; but rather, blessed are the clean of heart, even though they may be naturally less endowed than many others. If they are clean of heart, they shall see God. A truly clean heart is like the limpid waters of a lake in which the azure of the sky is reflected, or like a spiritual mirror in which the image of God is reproduced.
That the heart may be pure, a generous mortification is prescribed: "If thy right eye scandalize thee, pluck it out. . . . If thy fight hand scandalize thee, cut it off." (17) We must particularly watch over purity of intention: for example, not giving alms through ostentation, not praying to draw upon ourselves the esteem of men, but seeking only the approbation of "the Father who seeth in secret." Then will be realized the words of the Master: "If thy eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome." (18)
Even here on earth, the Christian will, in a sense, see God in his neighbor, even in souls that at first seem opposed to God. The Christian will see God in holy Scripture, in the life of the Church, in the circumstances of his own life, and even in trials, in which he will find lessons on the ways of Providence as a practical application of the Gospel. Under the inspiration of the gift of understanding, this is the true contemplation which prepares us for that by which, properly speaking, we shall see God face to face, His goodness, and His infinite beauty. Then all our desires will be gratified, and we shall be inebriated with a torrent of spiritual delights.
This contemplation of God ought, even here on earth, to be fruitful. It gives peace, a radiating peace, as the seventh beatitude says: "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." According to St. Augustine and St. Thomas, this beatitude corresponds to the gift of wisdom, which makes us taste the mysteries of salvation and see, so to speak, all things in God. The inspirations of the Holy Ghost, to which this gift renders us docile, gradually manifest to us the wonderful order of the providential plan even in those things, and at times especially in those things, which at first disconcerted us, in the painful and unforeseen events permitted by God for a higher good. One could not thus perceive the designs of Providence, which directs our lives, without experiencing peace, which is the tranquillity of order.

My highlights...so, the need for purification is now established and the fact that mortification and suffering are necessary is seen. If one does not pursue mortification and suffering now in order to free one's self from egosim and sin, one will experience this after death in order to be made ready for union with God

Only the perfect see God. Purgatory is the time for purification which did not happen on earth. It is also punishment for sin, which is another type of purgation, but not the same as being made ready for Love. That punishment is reparation, which one can also do while alive.

Sin is the negation of truth, the blinding of the senses and spirit and the resultant making of erroneous decisions. Sin must be "paid for" in the justice and mercy which belong to God Alone. One must do reparation for offending Innocence, Purity, Love.

But, the purgation of purgatory is also the destruction of those predominant faults which cause one to sin over and over and over. These tendencies to sin are imperfections which must be purged before one enters into the Beatific Vision, which is Heaven.

The feast day of All Souls gives us all a chance to remember those, the Church Suffering, who are in the state of purgation. One cannot imagine the pain of seeing God in the particular judgment, then losing His Presence because one is not yet perfect enough to receive His love.

As long as the heart is clogged with self, one is imperfect and God cannot come and be the Bridegroom in one's life. That calling is the daily calling to become holy. 

Pray for those who died in the state of imperfection. They will remember your prayers and pray for you as well after they are in heaven. Such is our faith and our hope. They no longer can merit anything, for themselves or for us. But, when they finally are made perfect and see God, they will not forget those who prayed for them in agony.

Remember, only the perfect see God. 





Thursday, 30 October 2014

A Bit on Reconsidering Liturgy

America, the Jesuit magazine, published an interview with Cardinal Francis George as he prepares to cede pastoral responsibilities for the Archdiocese of Chicago to current Spokane Archbishop Blaise Cupich. The  wide ranging interview touched upon secular hot button political issues, sacerdotal celibacy, clerical sexual abuse and the recent Synod of the Family.

But Cardinal George's comments about Liturgy have particular as the third anniversary of the implementation of the New (Third) Translation of the Roman Missal approaches.

Friday, 24 October 2014

Prophetic Dust


Yesterday, the dust was from Africa, in a wind storm called ghibli, and today the wind is from Turkey and is called the grecale, I think.

The point is that I and my flat are covered in dust. This dust reminds me of the ruins of the great cathedrals of Northern Africa and Turkey, the ruins of Christianity, which no longer exists in any of the seven great churches mentioned in the book of Revelation.

Dust is the symbol of humanity and Livy called the sirocco vulturnus. 

We are the stuff of the wind and rain.


Genesis 3:19Douay-Rheims 

19 In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return.
Walking around with sand in one's eyes makes one aware of one's own body's destination.
It is a good thing to think about death and the fact that all of us will be dust. 
My sister is dust and so is her casket. This does not bother me as I grew up going to funerals and hearing sermons on the Four Last Things.
But, it does not hurt us to think of our own passing from life to death to life again.
When I am wiping up dust from the floor, the counter tops, my clothes, shoes and even my breviary, I wonder if some of this dust comes from the old basilica in which St. Augustine gave his sermons.
Am I cleaning away sacred bits? This dust is prophetic, reminding me of whom I am and the fact that this beautiful city which I see before me could be a pile of dust in the very near future.
I always wanted to be an archaeologist, and this dust is the dust of centuries. I could be cleaning up part of Tell el-Amarna.





Thursday, 23 October 2014

A Bit on Archbishop Charles Chaput on the Meaning of Christianity and the Family


Even though Archbishop Charles Chaput was not a participant in the Extraordinary Synod on the Family at the Vatican, the Archbishop of Philadelphia certainly had some strong opinions about the Synod.  After delivering a lecture titled  "Strangers in a Strange Land" at a First Things symposium in Manhattan, Archbishop Chaput was asked the Extraordinary Synod.

Archbishop Chaput opined:  “I was very disturbed by what happened [at the synod]. I think confusion is of the devil, and I think the public image that came across was one of confusion".  


Sunday, 19 October 2014

On Blogging....

This blog helps me as much as it does my readers. I wrote months ago on my own blog how I meditate with a pen in my hand, as did Blessed Cardinal Newman. Some of us work out insights in writing. 


But, since August, I have seriously considered dropping that blog for three reasons.

First, as God shows me more and more of my hidden sins, those predominant faults, the more I realize I 
have no right to write about anything.

Second, the times are such that people must now make decisions and stop reading how to be perfect, and 
become perfect. One can only share so much and then it is time for readers to act.

Third, being in the Dark Night is exhausting. I cannot imagine how Mother Teresa kept going in fifty years of 
the Dark Night. Will power keeps me going...sometimes passion.

But, I cannot yet leave off the blog...not yet. I keep waiting to hear that clear voice I heard to start, stop and re-start again.

My blogging is a work of love and passion, for God and for the Church, which is all of you out there in the 
blogosphere.

But, knowing how much I am the wounded healer becomes more and more of a burden.

Today, I read this, by the Pope Emeritus:

"Redemption is not 'wellness' it is not about basking in self-indulgence; on the contrary it is a liberation from imprisonment in self-absorption. This liberation comes at a price, the anguish of the Cross."

Being a writer demands some sense of self-absorption. One must be a wordsmith, working with ideas on paper, 
on the computer, moving pieces of type around mentally in order to communicate clearly.

But, for those of us called to write, the action is part of who we are as well as what we do.

To break through the self-absorption, one must reflect and pray much, and, listen. I must daily listen to God and 
listen to His People.

My liberation from sin comes at a price. Someday, God will clearly say, "Stop writing."

That day has not come, yet.

But, I wait on orders, knowing that more of me will die when I have to give up blogging.

Today, in the Carmelite Church where I went to Mass, I saw the large modern stained-glass window of 
Blessed Titus Brandsma. A bit of comfort, as there is a window of him in the Carmelite Church I attended 
regularly the summer of 2013. It was almost as if he was saying-"No, you cannot quit yet. Keep going."

The Cross is writing in the pain of knowing I have no right to write, that my readers need to out-grow me, and 
that so many I love the most do not read this blog. I write for the absent ones as well as you.

I encourage the members of this Guild to write while the sun shines. Darkness is coming for us all soon.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...