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Friday, 5 December 2014

Perfection Series VIII Part XII Know your religion....

 A few bullet points from Raissa, from 1919:

  • True prophecies need no dates or times, as God is outside of time and He sees all. Therefore, we should not get caught up in specifics, but in the message which God wants to convey-repentance.
  • Raissa notes, in 1919, that the world has gone mad with consumerism, relativism, and determinism-her excellent discernment uses these very words. 
  • She notes that civilization since the Renaissance, has moved away from seeing the city as the City of God, and therefore, men move farther away from God, towards money and comfort.
  • The only thing which can save civilization and renew the Church, is "intelligence enlightened by faith". I feel totally justified in my own efforts on this blog to help Catholics think, and think like Catholics. To ignore the intellect is to doom us all to decay and more "madness", as Raissa notes.
  • One must admit it will be the few who will pray and enter into a relationship with God, thereby renewing others. Such was the role of the saints, and such is our role, the role of the remnant.
  • Raissa states that curiosity is NOT seeking the truth among students, and may I add, many Catholics who are adults. She writes, "The person who loves truth, seek to know the first causes, an ultimate knowledge beyond which one cannot go. ....I have always had the keenest desire to know the ultimate truths, not being able to base my life on uncertainties, not being willing to base it on feelings uncontrolled by reason."
  • I could be writing that last paragraph ....and to all who follow emotion and experience rather than knowledge.
  • Holiness increases true knowledge.
  • Wisdom, proper to truth, leads to detachment.

She adds that man must go to meet God "by searching for truth" , which is why the Dark Night, I add, is so important, because only in that time of purification do we see ourselves as we really are.

Another thought from this section--she quotes Pascal; "Truth is so obscured in these days and falsehood so entrenched that unless one loves the truth once cannot recognize it."

I think of Pilate-asking "What is truth?" when Truth was standing right in from of him.

He could not see it as he did not love the truth.

Raissa writes this cry from the heart--"Know your religion, Catholics, know your greatness."

I have tried to teach all of you on this know your religion, know the truth, know your greatness. There is a deep pain in me when I realize that I have not been able to share truth with those I love the most. Such a sadness is part of the detachment God demands from me-to not be able to love those I love in truth, to be denied the opportunity to show these loved ones their own greatness.

to be continued...

Perfection Series VIII Part XI Raissa's Journal Again

Raissa makes it clear, as do the great saints who write on the Unitive State, that this cannot happen until one gets to passive contemplation.

I have written on this before, but want to clarify that active contemplation is in the will and passive contemplation is totally initiated by God.

I am struck over and over when I discuss these levels with people how many think that they do not have to start with obedience.

The devil can counterfeit gifts and even experiences in prayer, which is why the saints tell us to ignore experiences.

Most people want the sweeties and not the suffering of purgation. Satan can counterfeit all the gifts. Suffering is the only way to union, because we are sinful creatures.

Raissa notes that love of neighbor flows from union with God. One would expect this, but it is so simple and so obvious that one can overlook this fact.

One of the problems with those who insist on experiences is that they are putting off or even, running away from the Dark Night.

Remember, there is less merit and perhaps none gained until one is purified.

See my previous posts on merit. But, here is Raissa on this point. And, her comment partially answers my thoughts and queries on the many unsaved I have witnessed here.

You (God) will that the saints should constitute a great capital of merits and love--with which every soul leaving this world will be able to pay for its salvation. You let sinner go their own way, you stir up the just to love you more--and you levy in advance the share of the poor people who only recognize you when they are dying. This is the way the world goes, and you show that your kingdom is not of this world. This is how saints grow. This is how the Redepmtion is accomplished.

to be continued...

Some have jobs...

but they cannot find housing they can afford. We Americans should be ashamed that some people cannot afford housing. Affordable housing is not found in many places across the US.

On Grace, and Damnation

All humans, each and every person who has ever lived and will live, has been, is and will be given the grace for salvation.


This means that each person in a lifetime, and most likely, more than once, is given light to choose Christ, Who is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Now, the Church teaches that we do not understand necessarily how God imparts this grace, as the normal channels of grace are through the Church.

The brilliant Garrigou-Lagrange has a book on grace, which is found here on line.

I have written a lot on grace on this blog and one can follow the tags and labels.

However, today, because I have been thinking of this for weeks and weeks, I want to share some thoughts on the denial of grace and damnation.

I have been wondering why we do not see many saints in our day and age, except for martyrs.

One knows that St. John Paul II and the Pope Emeritus canonized many saints, but most were martyrs of the Faith from the horrible times of persecution in the past 200 years.

We can understand clearly the response to grace regarding martyrdom. We see Christians being killed almost daily in some parts of the world even now.

But, where are the everyday saints, those who lead us to God by examples and leadership? Where are those like Ignatius, or Teresa, or even the small saints, like Bernadette, canonized not because she saw the Mother of God, but because of her personal holiness?

And, why are there so many people who refuse to follow Christ, refuse to consider religion at all?

Perhaps it is because I take the bus daily to Mass that I see thousands of people who are not Christians, or not practicing Christians. Many friends tell me that their grandchildren are not baptized.

That grace is given is a truth. That grace is deferred or ignored or out-and-out rejected creates tragedies-the loss of people to eternal damnation.

That some people seem to be better than others, seem to be following Christ closely, is attributed to efficacious grace. God puts both the will and the ability of such people to follow Him.

But, that all men are called to salvation, that all are given sufficient grace to be saved seems to be a truth ignored by many. It is heretical to state that God demands the impossible from all human beings.

Trent makes it clear that God helps us not merely in general with grace, but in the particular, in individual cases.

Garrigou-Lagrange quotes Christ, reminding us that He gives us all the necessary grace to repent and follow Him

Matthew 23:37Douay-Rheims 

37 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered together thy children, as the hen doth gather her chickens under her wings, and thou wouldest not?
It is not poverty or hunger, the lack of training or even riches which cause damnation, but the choosing against God. Choice is what we have all been given. We all have free will to decide yes or no, cooperating or not cooperating with grace.
Once a person accepts the grace of conversion, more grace follows. 
I am astounded at the number of people I meet daily who have refused grace. 
Habitual grace is lost when one commits mortal sin. Prevenient grace is no good unless one perseveres.  Garrigou-Lagrange quotes St. Paul as well, but I choose only one of his references here.

1 Timothy 2:4-6Douay-Rheims 

Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth.
For there is one God, and one mediator of God and men, the man Christ Jesus:
Who gave himself a redemption for all, a testimony in due times.

Garrigou-Lagrange reminds us that St. Augustine taught that hardness of heart may be removed by grace. Many re-verts to Catholicism attest to this fact. We are also reminded in the text that we may beg for more grace in order to live holy, perfect lives.
I am saddened by those who refuse grace. Let us continually pray for God's mercy on those who have said "no" to Him, that they may respond to grace and say "yes".

Read tomorrow's Gospel. What you have been freely given, you should freely share-the good news of salvation.

Many Prayers for Several People, Please and A Story

Please remember in your prayers this weekend the following. S for migraines, T for a fever and flu, R for sciatica, and L for cancer. Also, several families I know are struggling with either siblings or children who are left the Faith. Thanks for remembering them in your prayers, please.

Also, a Maltese man told me an interesting tale this morning. When the Muslims took over Gozo, all the men were put in jail and all the young women were made sex slaves. This was in the 16th Century, in 1551.

A few of the girls escaped, got into a boat and went to Malta where they made their way to the Grand Master of the Order. He sent word to the King of Sicily, who sent a fleet of ships and retook Gozo.

Sicily then sent troops to reconquer Gozo, and men, women, and children to repopulate Gozo, as the Muslims had only spared one monk and 40 old men.

All the rest, about 6,000 people were either killed or taken to Africa and sold as slaves at Tripoli, a former Knights of Malta city, taken over by the Muslims as well.

My friend's family dates back to those Sicilians who came over to re-populate Gozo.

I hope the Maltese keep their long memories and find in their hearts a new courage, as well as faithfulness to Holy Mother Church.

Reposting these because of the movie...

10 May 2014
The events in the Vendee from 1793 reflect a deep identity with Catholicism, which carried over into a love for the Church and the Monarchy. The romanticzing of the French Revolution, even in so-called Catholic textbooks ...
17 Apr 2014
Check out this video through here or on the link below-not the same one as posted. I had trouble posting the one I wanted....
19 Apr 2014
French General Francois Joseph Westermann penned a letter to the Committee of Public Safety stating: "There is no more Vendée... According to the orders that you gave me, I crushed the children under the feet of the horses, ...

St. Ambrose Not Forgotten

Because this feast of St. Ambrose, Doctor of the Church, falls on the Second Sunday of Advent, one will not hear the Mass readings for his day.

Here are some reposts on him from this blog.

05 Mar 2013
Part 68: DoC: St. Ambrose and Perfection. Posted by Supertradmum. In Chapter 18 on his book on perfection for the clergy, Ambrose takes a digression into speaking to youth on modesty. He connects modesty with chastity.
06 Mar 2013
DoC and Perfection: St. Ambrose: Part 70. Posted by Supertradmum. I think a short comment from Ambrose is sufficient today for looking at Justice. How little there is in the world. Ambrose points out that justice, like all the ...
04 Mar 2013
All on one week, the next Doctor of the Church to be considered, St. Ambrose, was baptised ordained and consecrated bishop of Milan. In the next section of this series, I shall look at the rest of Latin Doctors of the Church, ...
17 Aug 2014
Already during the pontificate of Pope St. Siricius (384-399) this matter was dealt with in the Plenary Council of Capua (392) and in the Synods of Rome and Milan in 393 (13) with St. Ambrose's teaching on Mary's ...

17 Sep 2012
A good priest over the weekend suggested I read the two books of St. Ambrose on The Death of Satyrus. Obviously, from the text, Ambrose had a great love for his brother. But the section recommended to me is the one ...
07 Dec 2013
I have written about these before, of course, but St. Ambrose has tremendous wisdom, so this is not merely a repetition of the basics. Ambrose relates these virtues to the lives of the Patriarchs of the Old Testament, but I skip to ...
08 Mar 2013
I cannot do justice, to make a pun, on Ambrose' excellent work on the four cardinal virtues. A tiny bit on his discussion of justice will wrap up his part in this perfection series. The next person to be considered will be St. Jerome.
06 Mar 2013
St. Ambrose will return on Friday. Posted by Supertradmum. So much to do and so little time.........Doctors of the ... Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely. Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely a blog since early 2007 ...

Hope and Joy on the Second Sunday of Advent

Getting Ready for Sunday...

Isaiah 40:1-11Douay-Rheims 

40 Be comforted, be comforted, my people, saith your God.
Speak ye to the heart of Jerusalem, and call to her: for her evil is come to an end, her iniquity is forgiven: she hath received of the hand of the Lord double for all her sins.
The voice of one crying in the desert: Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the wilderness the paths of our God.
Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the crooked shall become straight, and the rough ways plain.
And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together shall see, that the mouth of the Lord hath spoken.
The voice of one, saying: Cry. And I said: What shall I cry? All flesh is grass, and all the glory thereof as the flower of the held.
The grass is withered, and the dower is fallen, because the spirit of the Lord hath blown upon it. Indeed the people is grass:
The grass is withered, and the flower is fallen: but the word of our Lord endureth for ever.
Get thee up upon a high mountain, thou that bringest good tidings to Sion: lift up thy voice with strength, thou that bringest good tidings to Jerusalem: lift it up, fear not. Say to the cities of Juda: Behold your God:
10 Behold the Lord God shall come with strength, and his arm shall rule: Behold his reward is with him and his work is before him.
11 He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather together the lambs with his arm, and shall take them up in his bosom, and he himself shall carry them that are with young.

Happy Name Day to All Nicholases Tomorrow

More Advent postings...

Get This for Christmas

Happy St. Nicholas Day tomorrow! And here are my posts of this great saint--some of them.

06 Dec 2012
We would rush to the door and there, on the front porch, in the snow, usually, were sacks of fruit, chocolates, other candies, and some toys. Of course, we always received gold coins, the symbol of St. Nicholas, who provided ...
06 Dec 2013
Happy Name Day to All Named after St. Nicholas. Posted by Supertradmum ... Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely. Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely a blog since early 2007 ...
30 Jul 2013
Voris says it better than I would--and what would St. Nicholas do? Posted by Supertradmum ... Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely. Dedicated to St. Etheldreda: Abbess of Ely a blog since early 2007 ...
06 Dec 2012
Someone referred to The Pickled Boys miracle of St. Nicholas today on Fr. Z. May I add that I grew up on this story, as did my son. We had the books, Six O'Clock Saints and More SOS at home and this story is in the first one.

27 Aug 2014
No St. Augustine of Canterbury, no Canterbury, no Mottisfont Abbey, no Walsingham Priory, plus the other 133 Augustinian houses in per-Reformation England... No St. Rita, no Augustinian martyrs of Japan, no St. Nicholas of ...

If you do not read anything else

read Garrigou-Lagrange on this blog on grace, perfection, predestination, and providence...

Please...there is too much stupidity out there on these subjects, so just read the best...and Garrigou-Lagrange is one of the best....

Pro-Life Message from Nigeria