Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Prayer and Trust … letters for our times …

“A Dhia Ghleigil” (Oh Glorious God) Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, 1996

Glenstall Abbey House

Glenstall Abbey House

Today’s Gospel is about Christ’s prayer, from John 17: 13-26…

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13And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy filled in themselves.

14I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world.

15I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. 16They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world.

17Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. 18As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

19And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Prayer for all Believers

St. John, by Pieter Paul Rubens, Flemish, 1577-1640

St. John, by Pieter Paul Rubens, Flemish, 1577-1640

20And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; 21That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: 23I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.

24Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world.

25Just Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee: and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26And I have made known thy name to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.

*****

These days I am thinking about mortality, and sin, and the state of affairs in our current modern English society. Thinking of Christ’s prayer that all believers be one. Here is a little story from the Catholic side of my family. My line is Irish/French on my mother’s side and German/Swiss on my father’s side.

I guess you could say I am a “religious half breed”, Catholic and Methodist (United Church now, seems to be the universal catch-all for dieing denominations), which is why I see these religious things a little differently from those who come from a unified spiritual background and a single point of view with respect to religion, or, more commonly now, no spiritual background at all.

“An Taiseirl (The Resurrection)”, Noirin Ni Riain and The Monks Of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, (1996)

Nóirín Ní Riain

By Nóirín Ní Riain official website, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php

On the East coast as a child on Sundays I would sing in church with my Catholic mother, and then an hour later sing in church with my Methodist (United Church)  grandmother. Everyone was just trying to save little Joe’s soul as best they knew. Now, as an old(er) man, I sing in church with my daughter who plays piano for our music ministry.

Anyway, here is a little story of my recent ancestors.

November 24, 1831.  “I the undersigned, having received the mutual consent of Michael Devanny, Son of Darby Devanny and Margaret Gillan, of the County of Sligo, Ireland, and Ann Magown, Daughter of James Magown and Bridget MacCown,  of the Same County, Married them in the presence of John Stewart, Patrick MacMullin and John Scollion. (signed by) J. Loughran P.P.”

Thus begins the story of my mother’s family in the new world. Before the first child was baptized the family name had been changed to DeVan, (from Belgium via the Channel Islands, as the family mythology goes, because of course “Irish need not apply”)  and they had three children baptized as DeVan before Michael’s untimely death 7 and a half years later.

The DeVan Family Bible states that Michael DeVan died 20th of May 1839 at Dartmouth from stepping on a rusty nail. St. Mary’s R.C. Registers (Halifax) Burials (1830-1842) No. 25, (PANS Reel 11506)

“I the undersigned buried Michael DeVan aged 34 years, husband of Ann McGowan, a Ship carpenter by trade and a native of Ireland. J Loughnan P.P.”

In a time when life was often short and even brutal, bigotry was more common, more overt than today, and more virulent, and literacy was not as widespread amongst the common man as our modern educational “establushment” claims we now are. Back then name spelling varied from day to day and person to person it seems.

Just an aside, I still can’t, for the life of me, understand why using Apple computers and iPhones and trinkets from the AppStore and having a Facebook account and 500 “friends”, counts as “literacy” but then again, perhaps I am just an ignorant throwback to an earlier day when party lines were the most common connection and the World Wide Web had yet to be born as ARPA net. Anyway, this post is about prayer, remember that Joe.

patrick_shamrock_0

Saint Patrick

In the early 1800’s literacy was not as widespread amongst the common man as claimed today but their prayers still survived. There were prayers still, in the time of Michael and Ann, powerful prayers, that had come down from ancient times and which are now lost to most modern sophisticated peoples, prayers abandoned along with the sacraments by we enlightened moderns.

As John wrote: “and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world;

Sometimes called “The Deer’s Cry”, this is one of those prayers, translated from Old Irish around 1898, to be read aloud as a morning prayer, attributed to St. Patrick (ca 433?)

St. Patrick’s Breastplate
(“I Arise Today”)

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Domini est salus, Domini est salus, Christi est salus. Salus tua, Domine, sit semper nobiscum. (Salvation is of The Lord, salvation is of The Lord, salvation is of Christ. May thy salvation, Lord, be always with us.)

Good Morning and may you have a blessed and peaceful day …

Cheers

Joe

coptic-desert

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Confusion Fosters Doubt … unless we trust God’s plan

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

Mary of Jesus of Ágreda (Spanish: María de Jesús), OIC, also known as the Abbess of Ágreda (2 April 1602 – 24 May 1665), was a Franciscan abbess and spiritual writer, known especially for her extensive correspondence with King Philip IV of Spain and reports of her bilocation between Spain and its colonies in New Spain (now New Mexico and Texas). She was a noted mystic of her era.

Venerable Mary of Agreda Incorrupt Body

Venerable Mary of Agreda, In 1909 her casket was opened for the first time after her death in 1665. Her body was found to be completely incorrupt

A member of the Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as Conceptionists, Mary of Jesus wrote fourteen books, including a series of revelations about the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Her bilocation activity is said to have occurred between her cloistered monastery in rural Spain and the Jumano Indians of central New Mexico and West Texas, and inspired many Franciscan missionaries in the New World. In popular culture since the 17th century, she has been dubbed the Lady in Blue and the Blue Nun, after the color of her order’s habit.

I am currently reading Venerable Mary of Agreda’s “Mystical City of God”.  It is four volumes and possibly the biggest book on my Kindle. I have discovered, in Volume One, Chapter VI, an articulate recounting of a view of the perennial controversy amidst various schools of thought and theological points of view within The Roman Catholic Church and within Christendom at large.

The Second Vatican Council, Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council, Vatican II

It would appear that ever was it so, and even I myself in my own lifetime have seen the controversy and confusion arising out of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II at the end of the 60’s as a result of the agendas and narratives of various participants in the Council, including the infamous “Spirit of Vatican II” by which some parties, even those who did not participate, sought to append their own agendas onto the body of genuine theological work which the Council produced.

Pope Francis,

Pope Francis,

These days, and for the last several years under Pope Francis there seems to be a never ending stream of controversy emanating from Rome with respect to this or that fundamental doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. The sides are drawn up, the Pope stands in the middle, and while saying nothing dogmatic one way or another seems to have adopted a position of “We neither confirm nor deny” whatever the latest controversial topic may be.

So, as controversy seems to be “status quo” for the Catholic Church for many centuries, I expect we should not judge, not take sides, but simply have Faith and Trust in the King’s plan about which we really don’t know anything – it is, after all, “Above our Pay Grade”. This situation appears, quoting from “The Mystical City of God” to have been the case for centuries, and hopefully this quote will shed some useful light on “The Plan” which we are expected and commanded to Trust:

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“74. “And in order that thou mayest better understand the answer to thy doubt, remember, that there is neither any succession of time in my decrees, nor any need of it for the perception and the execution of them. (ed. God exists outside time in the eternal now)

75. “The existence of different opinions regarding these sacraments and other mysteries in the Church, arises from the fact that I manifest and give light concerning one set of mysteries to some teachers, and illumine others concerning other mysteries; for mortals are not capable of receiving all the light. It is not expedient: that the knowledge of all things be given to one man, as long as men are viators (travelers or pilgrims in this world).

For also in the state of comprehensors (one who comprehends; one who has attained a full knowledge), they obtain them in parts and according to the state and the merits of each. … mortals receive it neither entirely, nor is it always given so clearly, as to assure them altogether. Therefore they must acquire it by means of study and the use of letters and science There are also many truths revealed in holy Scriptures and to some men light is given from above.

Yet, as I leave most men to work by their natural light, it must follow, that they understand these mysteries in different senses, and that there exist different explanations and different meanings regarding the different passages in Scripture; for each adheres to his opinion according to his understanding. Many have a good intention and the light and truth is essentially one, but it is made use of with diversity of judgment and inclinations, so that some adhere to these teachers, others to those and so the controversies arise among them.”

77. “Take notice also, my spouse, that very often I permit and cause differences of opinions among the doctors and teachers. Thus some of them maintain what is true and others, according to their natural disposition, defend what is doubtful. Others still again are permitted to say even what is not true, though not in open contradiction to the veiled truths of faith, which all must hold. Some also teach, what is possible according to their supposition.

By this varied light, truth is traced, and the mysteries of faith become more manifest. Doubt serves as a stimulus to the understanding for the investigation of truth. Therefore controversies of the teachers fulfill a proper and holy end.

They are also permitted in order, to make it known, that real science dwells in my Church more than in the combined study of all the holy and perfect teachers, and that she can make them wise above the wisdom of the worldly wise; that there is above them One, who is the Prompter of the wise (Wis. 7, 15), namely, Myself; who alone knows all and comprehends all; who weighs and measures, without ever being measured or comprehended (Wis. 9, 13); that men, although they may search my judgments and testimonies ever so much, cannot attain them, unless I give the intelligence and light (Job 32, 8), who am the beginning and the Author of all wisdom and science.

I desire that men, in acknowledging all this, give Me praise, exaltation, confession, supremity and glory forever.”

78. “I desire also that the holy doctors acquire for themselves much grace, light and glory by their earnest, laudable and sacred study, and that the truth be more and more clearly detected and purified, and be traced to its source, By humbly investigating the mysteries and the admirable works of my right hand, they come to be partakers of them and of the bread of the understanding, the holy Scriptures (Eccli. 15, 3).

I have especially shown my Providence in regard to doctors and teachers, although their opinions and doubts have been so diverse and for such different ends. Sometimes, for my greater glory and honor, sometimes for earthly purposes, they are permitted to dispute, and to contradict each other; and there is a great inequality in the manner in which they have proceeded and do proceed to show their emulation and earnestness.

But with all this I have directed, governed and enlightened them, giving them my protection in such a manner, that the truth may be investigated and clearly manifested. The light has spread out, so that many of my perfections and wonderful works have been made known, and the holy Scriptures have been interpreted according to high standards, which has been very pleasing to Me.

For this reason the fury of hell, with inconceivable envy (especially in these, our times), has raised its throne of iniquity, pretending to engulf the waters of the Jordan (Job 40, 18), and obscure the light of holy faith by heretical doctrines and seeking to sow its false seeds by the help of man (Matth. 13, 25).

But the rest of the Church and its truths are in most perfect order; the Catholics, although much involved and blind in other respects, hold nevertheless the truths of faith and its holy light without diminution. I call all men with fatherly love to share this happiness, yet few are the elect, who choose to respond to my call.”

79. “I also desire thee to understand, my spouse, how well my Providence disposes things in such a way, that the teachers, by the diversity of their opinions, and by their own diligent exertion and study, scrutinize more deeply my testimonies and thus lay bare the marrow of the holy Scriptures to wayfaring men.

But it would be very pleasing to Me and in harmony with my service, if learned persons would extinguish and do away with pride, envy and ambition after vain honors; also all the other passions and vices, which arise from them, together with the bad seeds, that are likely to be generated from that sort of occupation (Matth. 13, 25).

But I do not root out this bad seed at present, in order that the good may not be rooted out with the bad.”

Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations (Volume One chapter VI, para 74 – 79). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition.

*****

So, something to think about, Trust, perhaps the most difficult of virtues in a singularly distrustful, self-reliant world which has come to worship “Self” above even God.

I think some of us have an unfair advantage. It is easier for those of us with a military background, after spending years sometimes, following orders without knowing the big picture, to accept that the “Plan” is above our pay grade and to Trust that the King knows what he is doing. Military personnel give up worshiping themselves or they simply don’t last.

It has been my experience that modern society, especially our academics, progressive bureaucrats and the “Brights” of our day look down from their tower of self, on we military, serving and vets,  as “stupid” and “brainwashed” because we, the dogs in the back yard, learned honor and integrity, and volunteered to “go in harms way” to serve and protect others, even when those others hate us for our service … hmmm … the long haired screamers still offend even in their old age.

But we know that we chose to let ourselves be brainwashed, if that is what it is. To willingly accept the breaking down of the childish self and the rebuilding of that individual self into a member of a team with a purpose greater than the sum of the parts. To accept the uniform code of military conduct without having to think about it, to make a habit of all the little sacrifices daily in order to advance unit integrity, effectiveness and putting the mission first. Service and sacrifice Ad Aeternitatum.

That is really the essence of self-sacrifice, even in the world at large. Just look at what any loving mother or father go through for their children, even when the children don’t recognize or understand the sacrifices. And look at the daily sacrifices involved in simply trusting God’s plan.

The Brights and their progressive societal hangers-on are more deeply brainwashed and simply can’t see their reality because it’s all dressed up in bright shiny cool stuff that folks hang on their “I love me” wall. Everything and everyone that doesn’t agree with their world view is simply branded as “stupid” and Bulverised into oblivion. We just know that we are right, isn’t that so Justin?

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

But “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophyHamlet, Act I Scene v.

And Trust in God’s plan is an important constituent in charity, that is Love in the Agape sense. That charity which accepts that the right things have to be done even though some will not thank you and will ridicule you even while accepting your protection and help. Trust in God’s plan lends patience and kindness even to trying situations.

4 Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; 5 Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. 12 We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. 13 And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Cor. 13: 4-13)

Cheers

Joe

Quid Hoc Ad Aeternitatum

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The Mass … This fountain of grace …

“Christ’s title “the Son of Man” meant that He was representative not of the Jews alone, nor of the Samaritans alone, but of all mankind. His relation to mankind was similar, as we have said, to that of Adam.

He was made man and qualified Himself for copartnership with human nature. He entered into the reality of common humanity. He assumed a human nature into His sacred person.”  Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

*****

“The heart of liturgical worship is the Mass. Just as the redemptive work reached its culminating point on Calvary by His death on the Cross, so too, the liturgical action, which continues His work in the world, has its climax in the Mass, which renews and perpetuates on our alters the Sacrifice of the Cross.

Jesus has willed that the precious fruits of redemption, which He merited on Calvary for the whole human race, be applied and transmitted to each of the faithful in a particular way by their participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice.

This fountain of grace which Jesus opened on Calvary continues to pour over our alters; all the faithful are obliged to approach it at least once a week by attending Sunday Mass, but we may approach it even daily, each time we are present at the Holy Sacrifice.

Holy Mass is truly the “fountain of life”. By offering and immolating Himself continually on our altars, Jesus repeats to us, “If any man thirst, let him come to Me and drink.” (Jn 7,37).

“The august Sacrifice of the Altar,” says the Encyclical Mediator Dei, “is not merely a commemoration of the Passion and death of Christ, but a true and proper sacrifice, in which, by immolating Himself in an unbloody manner, the Great High Priest renews His previous act on the Cross.”

The Victim is the same, so is the Priest; nothing but the manner of offering is different — bloody on the Cross, unbloody on the altar. If we do not see in the Mass, as Mary did on Calvary, the torn Body of Christ and the Blood flowing from His wounds, we do have, by virtue of the Consecration, the real presence of this Body and Blood.

Moreover, as this divine presence becomes actualized under two distinct species, the bloody death on Calvary is mystically renewed by the real separation of the Body and Blood of the Saviour.”

(Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy” meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year.pp 478).

Cheers

Joe

“Quid hoc ad aeternitatem,”

 

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JESUS OF THE SCARS

JESUS OF THE SCARS

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

If we have never sought, we seek Thee now;

Thine eyes burn through the dark, our only stars;

We must have sight of thorn-pricks on Thy brow,

We must have Thee, O Jesus of the Scars.

The heavens frighten us; they are too calm;

In all the universe we have no place.

Our wounds are hurting us; where is the balm?

Lord Jesus, by Thy Scars we claim Thy grace.

If when the doors are shut, Thou drawest near,

Only reveal those hands, that side of Thine;

We know to-day what wounds are, have no fear,

Show us Thy Scars, we know the countersign.

The other gods were strong;

but Thou wast weak;

They rode, but Thou didst stumble to a throne;

But to our wounds only God’s wounds can speak,

And not a god has wounds, but Thou alone.

Edward Shillito, 1872-1948

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Christ’s title “the Son of Man” meant that He was representative not of the Jews alone, nor of the Samaritans alone, but of all mankind. His relation to mankind was similar, as we have said, to that of Adam. He was made man and qualified Himself for copartnership with human nature. He entered into the reality of common humanity. He assumed a human nature into His sacred person.

Aristotle said that if the gods take interest in human affairs, they may be expected to look with most satisfaction on what is most akin to their own nature. This would imply a certain amount of disdain for the human; hence the Greeks said that manifestations of deity “were too fair to worship, too divine to love”.

But in the person of Christ it is the reverse that was true: “He came unto His own.” A sanctifier must be one with those whom He sanctifies. The very separateness in character between the two parties makes it necessary that in some way they should be one. There must be a point of contact, one with the other.

He who is like his brethren will have more power over them than one who is not like them. Hence, in order to be a sanctifier, Our Blessed Lord had to be a man like His unholy brethren. He would make them holy by reproducing in His life the lost ideal of human character and bringing that ideal to bear on their minds and hearts.

Sheen, Fulton J.. Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity (pp. 62-63). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Cheers,

Joe

“Quid hoc ad aeternitatem,”

 

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What is Truth?

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

So, as mentioned previously, I am charting a new course in my blog posts. Trying to stay away from writing about sayings and doings and opinions of others, which are unverifiable, and ultimately unknowable by myself. I am trying to avoid every attitude and word likely to cause unjust injury … and to take a page from my grandfather, namely: “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything.” Or as Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen said:

As a result, I find myself momentarily with a dry well, since I am finding that a lot of my motivation for writing was personal angst about the goings on in the world and in the church. For now I am going to focus on sharing sources of insight I have found and sharing where I found them. None of this new approach is rooted in my own brilliance in self assessment but rather in the discovery, feeling serendipitous, of useful books by other greater writers and thinkers. The challenge has become “How do I apply their insights to improving myself?”

The last couple of posts were from a book by Archbishop Fulton Sheen, this post is drawn from Ulrich L. Lehner, “God Is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For”.

Ulrich L. Lehner, Dr.theol., Dr. phil. habil.

Ulrich L. Lehner, Dr.theol., Dr. phil. habil.

In particular, the conviction of absolute or objective truths is almost universally seen as suspicious or symptomatic of bigotry. Can the Church survive without belief in truth? If I believe in absolute truth, such as the truth of my faith, it does not follow that I must treat others badly or support religious persecution.

In fact, every statement of truth states something absolute, because the nature of truth is that it is absolute. The claim that truths are “relative” is philosophically not coherent, because it is itself a truth claim: the person who says there are no objective truths is nevertheless stating that her sentence is true.

You could ask a relativist: “And your belief that truth is relative, do you think that is the right approach to things? Are you convinced of your approach?” “Well, yes.”

“Well, then, why do you push your truth claim onto me? How can you be convinced of your truth if truth is relative? If it is relative, your truth is relative, and thus you should not be convinced of anything at all because that would mean that there is something better than relative truth claims.”11

Believing in absolute truth does not mean fundamentalism or intolerance or forfeiting the search for truth—quite the opposite: if I am convinced of a truth, I will not enclose it in a shrine but seek to understand it better, especially if this truth is a person, Jesus, as Christians believe. When I speak about truth claims, I am thinking specifically of these: “Jesus Christ is God and Savior” and “God exists.”12

Both are truth claims, and many Americans would respond, “Yes, I agree, but it’s true only for us.” Again, such a statement is self-contradicting: either it is true or it is not. Your neighbor can say it’s wrong or it’s true, but not that it’s true for you—that statement simply does not make sense.

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

We are afraid of denying somebody else’s truth claim because we fear being labeled intolerant or bigoted, although it is a sign of tolerance that I accept other views that I know are incorrect. Tolerance presupposes a truth claim: I am tolerant of Aunt Lucy’s conspiracy beliefs because I love her, but I think she is utterly wrong.

Disagreeing with somebody is not the same as hatred or bigotry or intolerance. A relativist, it should have become clear, cannot hold strong convictions and hold them to be true, if she does not want to contradict herself. Yet most do not see this contradiction because they have stopped contemplating the world. If I am a relativist, I will not easily see the intellectual weakness of my stance: I believe in being tolerant, but I do not know that I have given up the idea of truth and thus of tolerance itself.

Truth claims and convictions do not mean that we have to go at one another’s throats. Truth does not preclude prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance—the cardinal virtues are only possible because there is truth, and without truth they are mere chimeras. Without having roots in reality, humans have no truthful convictions but mere opinions.

Jesus Christ

Jesus Christ

But what is a person who is not planted in truth and reality? Max Picard saw this in his little book “The Flight from God”.13 We modern men and women, writes Picard, are no longer in real communication with our neighbors, not even with those we love. We uphold external relations, but we run away from the big existential questions, such as, “What is the meaning of life?” that point to God. We tend to exchange the quality of things for mere quantity.

Consequently, nothing has value in and of itself. Only through the realism of faith can we regain trust in reality and see it as it actually is. Yet if we keep running away from God, we cannot give up the enslavement to “having things” and to viewing everything from the selfish perspective of its use for us.

Only with realism do we have truth, and only with truth do we have conviction and imagination. Realism teaches humility, which means, literally, “closeness to earth,” and thus prepares us to accept the notion of asceticism. The latter entails giving up goods that we are entrusted with, such as food, comfort, and the like, and doing things we do not normally want to do.

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has compared asceticism to physical exercise: we have to do it frequently to prepare our soul for God. We empty ourselves and surrender our will to receive God’s. Asceticism plows the soil of the soul so that it can be fertilized by grace: one dies to oneself so that Christ can live in oneself.

Christian asceticism, however, is also the utmost realism there is in the world: it perceives that the highest value is God, takes him most seriously, and sees everything in the order it was created or is connected. It aims at keeping mind and will connected to reality and protects us from falling into the trap of viewing God as a vending machine, as the eternal, faceless “principle of the universe,” or as a mere set of moral guidelines.14

Ulrich L. Lehner, “God Is Not Nice: Rejecting Pop Culture Theology and Discovering the God Worth Living For”  (pp. 14-17). Ave Maria Press. Kindle Edition.

Cheers

Joe

“Quid hoc ad aeternitatem,” as old Saint Bernard of Clairvaux used to mumble when faced with the usual parade of travail, what does it matter in the light of eternity?

 

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The Inner Struggle

To reject the Savior is to reject salvation

“No teacher who ever lived told those who heard him that the rejection of his words would mean their damnation. Even those who believe that Christ was only a teacher would scruple at this judgment about receiving His message. But as He was primarily a savior, the alternative was understandable.

To reject the savior was to reject salvation, as Our Lord called Himself in the house of Zacchaeus. The questioners of His authority had no doubt of the spiritual significance of the parable and the reference to themselves. Their motives were discovered, which only exasperated more those whose designs were evil.

When evil is revealed in the light, it does not always repent; sometimes it becomes more evil. The good repent on knowing their sin; the evil become angry when discovered. Ignorance is not the cause of evil, as Plato held; neither is education the answer to the removal of evil.

These men had an intellect as well as a will; knowledge as well as intention. Truth can be known and hated; goodness can be known and crucified. The Spirit of Christ in man convinces him of sin. Nothing but the spirit can convince man of sin; conscience could not, for it can sometimes be smothered; public opinion cannot, for it sometimes justifies sin; but the gravest sin of all which the Spirit would reveal would not be intemperance, avarice, or lust, but unbelief in Christ.

It is this same Spirit of God which renders the sinner not merely conscious of his state, but also contrite and penitent, when he accepts redemption. To reject the Redeemer is to prefer evil to good. The crucifix is an autobiography in which man can read the story of his own life, either to his own salvation or his own condemnation. So long as sin was regarded only from a psychological point of view, the Cross of Christ appeared as an exaggeration.

Fulton J. Sheen

Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen

The sand of the desert, the blood of a beast, or water could just as well purify man. But once sin was seen under the sight of infinite holiness, then the Cross of Christ alone could equal and satisfy for this tragic horror. Once man is convinced of his own sinfulness, he cannot be convinced of his own righteousness; once a man is convinced that Christ has saved him from sin, then he is convinced that Christ is his righteousness.

To have accepted Christ as our righteousness and to have embraced His holy faith is no guarantee of freedom from trials. The Divine Savior never said to His Apostles: “Be good and you will not suffer”; but He did say: “In this world you shall have tribulation.” He told them also not to fear those that kill the body, but rather to fear those who can kill the soul.

Now He told the Apostles that His life was a model for all of His followers; they were encouraged to take the worst this life had to offer with courage and serenity. He said that all sufferings were as the shade of “His hand outstretched caressingly”. No talisman was He to promise as security from trials; rather as a captain He went into battle in order to inspire men to transfigure some of life’s greatest pains into the richest gains of the spiritual life.

As the poet Edward Shillito has put it: ‘No false gods, immune from pain and sorrow, could console us in these days.’ “

Fulton J. Sheen,  “Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity” (pp. 60-62). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Cheers

Joe

It seems’s easy, at times, to tell people to “Go to Hell!” Why is it so hard instead, to tell them to” “Go to Heaven!”

“Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity” is a great read. Get it from Amazon, only $11.16 at https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B074MDYSRL/ref=oh_aui_d_detailpage_o05_?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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The Inner Struggle

man is not an angel,

Fulton J. SheenFirst, man is not an angel, nor is he a devil. He is not intrinsically corrupt (as theologians began claiming four hundred years ago) nor is he intrinsically divine (as philosophers began saying fifty years ago).1

Rather, man has aspirations to good which he finds it impossible to realize completely by himself; at the same time, he has an inclination toward evil which solicits him away from these ideals. He is like a man who is down a well through his own stupidity.

He knows he ought not to be there, but he cannot get out by himself. Or, to change the picture, he is like a clock whose mainspring is broken. He needs to be fixed on the inside, but the repairs must be supplied from without.

He is mistaken if he is an optimist, who believes evolution will give him a mainspring, or a pessimist, who believes that nobody can fix him. He is a creature who can run well again, but only if some watchmaker will have the kindness to repair him.

Second, this conflict has all the appearances of being due to an abuse of human freedom. As the drunkard is what he is because of an act of choice, so human nature seems to have lost the original goodness with which a good God endowed it through an act of choice.

As St. Augustine said, “Whatever we are, we are not what we ought to be.” The origin of this conflict has been told by medieval and modern theologians through the analogy of music.

Picture an orchestra on a stage with a celebrated conductor directing the beautiful symphony he himself composed. Each member of the orchestra is free to follow the conductor and thus to produce harmony.

But each member is also free to disobey the conductor. Suppose one of the musicians deliberately plays a false note and then induces a violinist alongside of him to do the same. Having heard the discord, the conductor could do one of two things. He could either strike his baton and order the measure replayed, or he could ignore the discord.

It would make no difference which he did, for that discord has already gone out into space at a certain temperature at the rate of about 1100 feet per second. On and on it goes, affecting even the infinitesimally small radiations of the universe.

As a stone dropped in a pond causes a ripple which affects the most distant shore, so this discord affects even the stars. As long as time endures, somewhere in God’s universe there is a disharmony, introduced by the free will of man.

Fulton J. Sheen,  Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity (pp. 37-39). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Cheers

Joe

ad aeternitatem

 

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The Inner Struggle

Good Reporters …

Good Reporters … report … they don’t spin, they don’t fabricate, they don’t “follow the party line”. Good reporters report the story, the whole story, and nothing but the story, and leave it up to the reader/viewer to put their own interpretation on things according to the viewer/readers own conscience or lack thereof.

Diane Montagna is the Rome correspondent for LifeSiteNews.

Diane Montagna is the Rome correspondent for LifeSiteNews.

It appears to me that Diane Montagna is a “Good Reporter”, one of the few, the blessed few. Diane Montagna is the Rome correspondent for LifeSiteNews.

She began translating papal addresses under the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI for Zenit News Agency, and has served as a translator for the English edition of the Vatican newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

Her work has also appeared in the National Catholic Register and Humanitas Christian Anthropological Review. Before joining LifeSite, Diane served for several years as Rome correspondent for the English edition of Aleteia.org.

She has also taught children’s and adult faith formation classes, and holds a License in Sacred Theology from the International Theological Institute, Gaming Austria and a B.A. in Italian.

One of her latest articles is a report on the Final declaration of the recently concluded conference Catholic Church, where are you going? this was an all Italian conference held in Rome. Reading this clearly reveals the difference between true reporting, op-ed, and tabloid media.

“Therefore we testify and confess…”

Final declaration of the conference ‘Catholic Church, where are you going?’

Rome, April 7, 2018

Due to contradictory interpretations of the Apostolic Exhortation Amoris laetitia, growing discontent and confusion are spreading among the faithful throughout the world.

The urgent request for a clarification submitted to the Holy Father by approximately one million faithful, more than 250 scholars and several cardinals, has received no response.

Amidst the grave danger to the faith and unity of the Church that has arisen, we baptized and confirmed members of the People of God are called to reaffirm our Catholic faith.  

The Second Vatican Council authorizes us and encourages us to do so, stating in Lumen Gentium, n. 33: “Thus every layman, in virtue of the very gifts bestowed upon him, is at the same time a witness and a living instrument of the mission of the Church itself ‘according to the measure of Christ’s bestowal’ (Eph. 4:7).”

Blessed John Henry Newman also encourages us to do so. In his prophetic essay “On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine” (1859), he spoke of the importance of the laity bearing witness to the faith.

Therefore, in accordance with the authentic tradition of the Church, we testify and confess that: 

1) A ratified and consummated marriage between two baptized persons can be dissolved only by death.

2) Therefore, Christians united by a valid marriage who join themselves to another person while their spouse is still alive commit the grave sin of adultery.

3) We are convinced that there exist absolute moral commandments which oblige always and without exception.

4) We are also convinced that no subjective judgment of conscience can make an intrinsically evil act good and licit.

5) We are convinced that judgment about the possibility of administering sacramental absolution is not based on the imputability of the sin committed, but on the penitent’s intention to abandon a way of life that is contrary to the divine commandments.

6) We are convinced that persons who are divorced and civilly remarried, and who are unwilling to live in continence, are living in a situation that is objectively contrary to the law of God, and therefore cannot receive Eucharistic Communion.

Our Lord Jesus Christ says: “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (Jn 8: 31-32).

With this confidence we confess our faith before the supreme pastor and teacher of the Church and before the bishops, and we ask them to confirm us in the faith.

Not much else to say. So refreshing to be allowed to arrive at one’s own conclusions without being directed towards the agenda of the media.

Cheers

Joe

With patience, humility, and charity towards all …

 

 

 

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The Inner Struggle

Nothing good to say?

St. Thomas Aquinas

St. Thomas Aquinas, 1225-1274

St. Thomas maintains: ‘Each one is under obligation to show forth his faith, either to instruct and encourage others of the faithful, or to repel the attacks of unbelievers’ (S. Thomas, Summa theologiae, II-II, quaest. 3, art. 2, ad 2).

To recoil before an enemy, or to keep silence when from all sides such clamors are raised against truth, is the part of a man either devoid of character or who entertains doubt as to the truth of what he professes to believe. […] Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good.

Or, in a more modern vein “all that is required for evil to prosper is for good men to do nothing.”

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals

Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals

The history of the Church teaches us that “truth is not necessarily found with the majority,” but rather in the “minority which has truly lived and witnessed to the faith,” Cardinal Walter Brandmüller, one of the four ‘dubia’ cardinals, said today in Rome.

Speaking at the symposium ‘Catholic Church: Where are you heading?,’ Cardinal Brandmüller said “when Catholics en masse consider it legitimate to remarry after divorce or use contraception … this is not a mass witness to the faith, but a mass departure from it.

Food for thought then … when is it bad to refrain from attesting to the Truth?

Bishop Athanasius Schneider in Rome, April 7, 2018 Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews

Bishop Athanasius Schneider in Rome, April 7, 2018, Diane Montagna/LifeSiteNews

Bishop Athanasius Schneider, in Rome, April 7, 2018, quoting an encyclical from 1890, said: “Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: “Have confidence; I have overcome the world (Jn 16:33). […] The chief elements of this duty consist in professing openly and unflinchingly the Catholic doctrine, and in propagating it to the utmost of our power” (Encyclical Sapientiae Christianae, January 10, 1890).

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII

Pope John XXIII taught: “All the evils which poison men and nations and trouble so many hearts have a single cause and a single source: ignorance of the truth—and at times even more than ignorance, a contempt for truth and a reckless rejection of it. […]

Anyone who consciously and wantonly attacks known truth, who arms himself with falsehood in his speech, his writings, or his conduct in order to attract and win over less learned men and to shape the inexperienced and impressionable minds of the young to his own way of thinking, takes advantage of the inexperience and innocence of others and engages in an altogether despicable business.”

Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman

Blessed John Henry Newman’s 1859 essay On Consulting the Faithful in Matters of Doctrine. emphasized the laity’s role in matters of doctrine, and sought to distinguish what is a true sensus fidei (sense of the faith) of believers and what is not.

“In the history of the people of God, it has often been not the majority but rather a minority which has truly lived and witnessed to the faith,” he said. “The experience of the Church shows that sometimes the truth of the faith has been conserved not by the efforts of theologians or the teaching of the majority of bishops but in the hearts of believers.”

Cheers

Joe

Church Militant …

Having a majority does not automatically confer “truth” and “good” and “just” upon any particular sociopolitical direction of a society or group. Can we still tell the difference between right and wrong, or is our moral compass broken irreparably?

 

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The Inner Struggle

Focus on what the person actually says and does …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

… not on what everyone is complaining about.  The starting point of any thoughts about the conduct or speech of another should not be the conclusions and opinions of yet others about the person one is thinking about.

Joe Friday,

Joe Friday,

Just the facts, ma’am.”  It’s difficult for anyone who didn’t experience the early days of television to realize now how popular and influential certain shows were. I used to watch it regularly with my Dad in the 50’s when “Dragnet” and “Hockey Night in Canada” were the only reasons that I was allowed to stay up past my normal bedtime.

I really loved “overtime” in those days before the invention of “shoot-outs”. Anyway, Dragnet, was really popular amongst my parents crowd for its attention to detail and realistic portrayal of the nuts and bolts of police work.

Snopes tells me that “Dragnet” started out as a radio drama in 1949, made the transition to television in 1951 (and aired in both media simultaneously through 1957), became a feature film in 1954, spawned a revival TV series and made-for-TV movie in 1966, was spoofed in a 1987 movie starring Dan Akroyd and Tom Hanks, and was spun off yet again (after Webb’s death) as a new syndicated series in 1989.

The long lived popularity and influence of Dragnet is attested to by the number of Dragnet-related items that have become firmly embedded in our pop culture idiom: the distinctive “dum-de-dum-dum” opening four notes of its theme music; the characters’ rapid-fire, staccato delivery of dialogue; the somber “The story you are about to hear is true; the names have been changed to protect the innocent” intonation of its prologue; and, of course, Sgt. Joe Friday’s famous business-like catch phrase, “Just the facts, ma’am.”

Well, about that last item . . . memory lane is fatally flawed … it turns out that “just the facts” are that the facts folks are talking about are wrong. And we go down this lane when we speculate about other’s motives and intent while relying on 3rd hand reports about what was said or done, appropriately spun to accommodate the views, opinions and fantasies of whoever is writing or speaking 2nd hand.

Our language is replete with famous phrases from historic and literary characters who never uttered the words attributed to them: Marie Antoinette and “Let them eat cake”; Cary Grant and “Judy, Judy, Judy . . .”; Sherlock Holmes and “Elementary, my dear Watson.” Sometimes the phrases are made up out of whole cloth (because they sounded like something those people would say), and sometimes they’re corruptions or rephrasing of something that actually was said. “Just the facts, ma’am” is a case of the latter. So popular was Dragnet in its day that satirist Stan Freberg spoofed it on a 1953 record titled St. George and the Dragonet.”

This record and its flip side, “Little Blue Riding Hood” (also a Dragnet spoof) were extraordinarily popular as well, hitting the #1 spot on Billboard‘s pop chart and selling over two million copies; the record’s success prompted Ed Sullivan to invite Freberg to perform both sides of the single live on his Talk of the Town variety show. Jack Webb’s ‘Joe Friday’ character typically used the phrase “All we want are the facts, ma’am” (and sometimes “All we know are the facts ma’am”) when questioning women in the course of police investigations. Freberg’s “Little Blue Riding Hood” spoof changed the line slightly, and it was Freberg’s alteration — rather than anything Joe Friday said — that would enter the roll of immortal catch phrases.

So also with all those news items and blogger reports of what people said and did and why, especially the why part, speculation about intent and motive … its expressing opinions about what we can’t know and don’t know we don’t know that trips us up and leads us into trouble and sin …

“Respect for the reputation of persons forbids every attitude and word likely to cause them unjust injury. He becomes guilty:

– of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor;
– of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;
– of calumny who, by remarks contrary to the truth, harms the reputation of others and gives occasion for false judgments concerning them.

To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way: Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it.

But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. And if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.”

— Catechism of the Catholic Church, n. 2476-2478

So, going forward, I resolve to write only about sayings and doings and opinions which are verifiable, and that avoid every attitude and word likely to cause unjust injury  … and to take a page from my grandfather, namely: “If you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything.”

Cheers

Joe

ad aeternitatem

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Shalom (שׁלום)

“Deep Peace”, Bill Douglas, from the album of the same name, (1996)

Divina Misericordia (Eugeniusz Kazimirowski, 1934)

Divina Misericordia (Eugeniusz Kazimirowski, 1934)

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday.  The Divine Mercy of Jesus, also known as the Divine Mercy, is a Roman Catholic devotion to Jesus Christ associated with the reputed apparitions of Jesus revealed to Saint Faustina Kowalska. The Roman Catholic devotion and venerated image under this Christological title refers to the unlimited merciful love of God towards all people.[1][2] Sister Kowalska was granted the title “Secretary of Mercy” by the Holy See in the Jubilee Year of 2000.[3][4][5]

Sister Faustina Kowalska reported a number of apparitions during religious ecstasy which she wrote in her diary, later published as the book Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.[4][5] The three main themes of the devotion are to ask for and obtain the mercy of God, to trust in Christ’s abundant mercy, and finally to show mercy to others and act as a conduit for God’s mercy towards them.[4][6]

Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland, had great affinity towards this devotion and authorized it in the Liturgical Calendar of the church. The liturgical feast of the Divine Mercy is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Some members of the Anglican Communion also share its pious beliefs and devotions in an effort towards church renewal.[7]

1“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

21Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (John 20:21-23)

The Hebrew word for peace, shalom (שׁלום) is derived from a root denoting wholeness or completeness, and its frame of reference throughout Jewish literature is bound up with the notion of shelemut, perfection.

Its significance is thus not limited to the political domain — to the absence of war and enmity — or to the social — to the absence of quarrel and strife. It ranges over several spheres and can refer in different contexts to bounteous physical conditions, to a moral value, and, ultimately, to a cosmic principle and divine attribute.

In the Bible, the word shalom is most commonly used to refer to a state of affairs, one of well‑being, tranquility, prosperity, and security, circumstances unblemished by any sort of defect. Shalom is a blessing, a manifestation of divine grace.

Christ Jesus, AD 33

Christ Jesus, AD 33

36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” (שׁלום)  37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish,b 43and he took it and ate before them. (Luke 24:36-43)

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance forc the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49)

“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Trust in the Truth … no matter how things appear to us in this world … trust in the Truth. “O my Jesus, supreme Goodness, I ask of you a heart so enraptured with You that nothing can distract it. I wish to become indifferent to everything that goes on in the world, and I want You alone, to love everything that refers to You, but You above everything else, O my God!” (St. Thomas).

Sins of the repertoire … I do not trust, and the catechism tells me “He becomes guilty: – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor; – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;”.  Judgement and detraction are greatly facilitated when love of self and of the self’s opinions are coupled with caring about and being attached to everything that goes on in the world. I know better, right? Therefore I judge these others … bad, bad, bad, my bad. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.

3 … and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,a it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7“Woe to the world for temptations to sin!b For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! (Mathew 18:3-7)

So do not judge, do not assume to know intentions, or the disposition of another soul. Do not aid and abet the confusion, the temptations, by pontificating about that which one cannot possibly know, one’s opinion to which I am so attached … woe to the one through whom the temptation comes.

Cheers

Joe

“Quid hoc ad aeternitatem,” as old Saint Bernard of Clairvaux used to mumble when faced with the usual parade of travail, what does it matter in the light of eternity?

 

 

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