Life in a small town

Thoughts During Holy Week … Spiritual Practices …

I Am In thy Hands, O Mary”, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Doctor Scott Piper, Sir Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, OP & Sr. Maria Miguel Wright, OP;  from the album “Mater Eucharistiae”, (2013)

Mater Eucharistiae, the Dominican Sisters of Mary - Mother of the EucharistLife is such a rollercoaster these days, one day I am feeling upset and angry at the antics of those in power having a bright light shone on their fear and panic, and imposing that fear and panic on the masses via the zombie media. The next day I am feeling remorse for my “unkind and critical thoughts”.

The fastest and most predictable way to provoke outrage these days is to post on Facebook that this whole pandemic panic is nothing but another great big Y2K nothing burger. All the howler tribes immediately turn out in force to bury the heretic in monkey poop and shrieking.

Burn The Witch!

Yes, the True Blue Howler Jungle, doing what it does best. So far, mercifully, it is still illegal these days to “Burn The Witch!” So far … but the thought is definitely there, all that is missing is “official sanction” for the chestless to rise up and happily rend all who disagree. But the way things are going on the coasts, and in the capitals, and throughout academia, it might turn any day now.

The safest place to be is far, far away from any city.

I resent being made the butt of scorn and being lectured about not taking things seriously by people who have in the space of a month swung from being scornful of those who were taking things seriously and not travelling to now putting down those who always did take things seriously because they are not taking things seriously enough.

We Happy Few …

It holds up a mirror to me of how far I have to go to emulate the Christ in having scorn heaped upon him and responding in meekness and love. Meekness and Love are not my strong suite … mine is Clubs.

What is surprising about folks being attached to their opinions and assumptions? That is and has been the human default throughout history. Scapegoating has been practiced by all cultures in all times since humanity started to spread about the earth. Now we do it on Facebook instead of in the village square.

Why do I, again and again, fling myself into this muddy pit of anger and resentment. Isn’t it perfectly normal for all human creatures to respond poorly to having their assumptions about their opinions questioned or proven to be in error.

No one starts out accepting correction humbly, not my relatives, not our society, and certainly not me, obviously. Christ tried to teach us, and we fail to learn. Again, and again, and again.

Learning curve for IT Geeks …

I am angry at having been sternly lectured by my betters for criticizing them by asking for sources and fact checking their “Opinions” to which they are adamantly entitled.

They are angry at me for daring to question them … aren’t we all acting just the same. We are at that part of the learning curve where we all fall off and start over.

Why do I care, why do I bother caring about truth. The only truth that matters is Christ’s Truth. His response would be meek silence. On the right, above, is a meme image of an IT learning curve. Life is even more difficult to learn than running Linux. Is it any wonder that most of us get stuck at the cliff?

Why oh why can’t I just STFU. So what helps me struggle out of this muddy pit of normal modern human behaviour, this euphemistically named “Polite Society”, in which I am blessed to live.

There are a number of things that have risen up in my life as liferafts in the storm that is sinking the ship of this world. Probably the most important thing is daily rosary, but the list is a short one.

First there is Divine Mercy as related by Saint Faustina, Then, Daily Rosary according to the form of the Flame of Love as relayed by Elizabeth Kindlemann.

The mysteries for the rosary are drawn from Luisa Piccarreta’s “Living in the Divine Will”.

The last thing is daily scripture readings from a good bible such as “The Navarre Bible”,  and daily meditations from Father Gabriel’s “Divine Intimacy”“Divine Intimacy” has been especially helpful in gaining self knowledge and holding a mirror up to my life. It has become my daily wakeup call for 5 years now.

These practices over the last five years have literally saved my life. As an example, here are the Joyful Mysteries from Luisa Piccarreta’s “Living in the Divine Will, meditated upon in tonight’s rosary:

The Joyful Mysteries

1st Decade: The Annunciation (the fruit of the mystery is Humility)
Our Celestial Mother says: “Your Mama felt ignited with love, and echoing the love of my Creator, I wanted to form one single sea of love, so that the Word might descend upon earth within it. My prayers were incessant, and while I was praying in my little room, an angel came, sent from Heaven as messenger of the great King. He came before me, and bowing, he hailed me: “Hail, O Mary, our Queen; the Divine Fiat has filled you with grace. He has already pronounced His Fiat, for He wants to descend; He is just behind my shoulders, but He wants your Fiat to form the fulfillment of His Fiat.”

At such a great announcement, so much desired by me – although I had never thought I was to be the chosen one – I was stupefied and I hesitated one instant. But the angel of the Lord told me: “Do not fear, our Queen, for you have found grace before God. You have conquered your Creator; therefore, to complete the victory – pronounce your Fiat.” I pronounced my Fiat, and – oh, marvel! The two Fiats fused together and the Divine Word descended into Me. My Fiat, receiving the same value as the Divine Fiat, from the seed of my humanity, formed the tiny little humanity which was to enclose the Word, and so the great prodigy of the Incarnation was accomplished.” (From The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will”; Day 19

2nd Decade: The Visitation (the fruit of the mystery is Charity)
Our Celestial Mother says: “…So I departed from Nazareth, accompanied by Saint Joseph, facing a long journey, and crossing mountains to go visit Elisabeth in Judea, who, in her advanced age, had miraculously become a mother. I went to her, not to make a simple visit, but because I burned with the desire to bring her Jesus. The fullness of grace, love and light which I felt in me, pushed me to bring, to multiply – to increase a hundredfold the life of my Son in creatures. Yes, my child, the love of Mother which I had for all men, and for you in particular, was so great that I felt the extreme need to give my dear Jesus to everyone, that all might possess Him and love Him.

The right of Mother, given to me by the Fiat, enriched me with such power as to multiply Jesus as many times as there are creatures who want to receive Him. This was the greatest miracle I could perform: to have Jesus ready to give to whomever desired Him. How happy I felt! How I wish that you too, my child, in approaching and visiting people, would always be the bearer of Jesus, capable of making Him known, and yearning to make Him loved.”

“Dearest child, the Divine Will does great and unheard-of things wherever It reigns. If I worked many prodigies, it was because It had Its royal place in me. If you let the Divine Will reign in your soul, you too will become the bearer of Jesus to the creatures – you too will feel the irresistible need to give Him to all!”
(From “The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will”; Meditation 1, Appendix)

3rd Decade: The Birth of Jesus (the fruit of the mystery is Love of God)
Luisa says: “As I was in my usual state, I found myself outside of myself; after wandering around, I found myself in a cave, and I saw the Queen Mama giving birth to Little Baby Jesus. What a wonderful prodigy! It seemed that both Mother and Son were transformed into most pure light. But in that light one could see very clearly the human nature of Jesus containing the Divinity within Itself, and serving as a veil to cover the Divinity; in such a way that, in tearing the veil of human nature, He was God, while covered by that veil, He was man.

Here is the prodigy of prodigies: God and Man, Man and God! Without leaving the Father and the Holy Spirit – because true love never separates – He comes to live in our midst, taking on human flesh. Now, it seemed to me that Mother and Son, in that most happy instant, remained as though spiritualized, and without the slightest difficulty Jesus came out of the Maternal womb, while both of them overflowed with excess of Love. In other words: those Most Pure bodies were transformed into light, and without the slightest impediment, Light Jesus came out of the Light of the Mother, while both One and the Other remained whole and intact, returning, then, to their natural state. Who can tell of the beauty of the Little Baby, who, in the moment of His birth, transfused, also externally, the rays of the Divinity?”
(From Vol. 4; December 25, 1900)

4th Decade: The Presentation and Consecration of Jesus in the Temple (the fruit of the mystery is Obedience)
Our Celestial Mother says: “Forty days from the birth of little King Jesus are about to sound – when the Divine Fiat calls us to the temple in order to fulfill the law of the Presentation of my Son. So, we went to the temple. It was the first time that we went out together with my sweet baby. A vein of sorrow opened in my heart: I was going to offer Him as victim for the salvation of all! We entered the temple, and first we adored the Divine Majesty; then we called the priest, and placing Him in his arms, I made the offering of the celestial baby to the eternal Father – offering Him in sacrifice for the salvation of all.

The priest was Simeon, and as I placed Him in his arms, he recognized that He was the Divine Word and exulted with immense joy; and after the offering, assuming the attitude of prophet, he prophesied all my sorrows… Oh, how the Supreme Fiat sounded over my maternal heart – thoroughly, with vibrating sound, the cruel tragedy of all the pains of my little Son! But that which pierced me the most were the words that the holy prophet said to me: “This dear baby will be the salvation and ruin of many, and will be the target of contradictions.”

If the Divine Will had not sustained me, I would have died instantly of pure pain. But It gave me life, and used it to form in me the Kingdom of sorrows, within the Kingdom of Its Will. Therefore, in addition to the right of Mother which I had over all, I acquired the right of Mother and Queen of all Sorrows. Ah, yes, with my sorrows, I acquired the little coin to pay the debts of my children, and even those of the ungrateful children…

“Now, listen to your Mama: in your sufferings, in the painful encounters which are not lacking for you, never lose heart; but with heroic love let the Divine Will assume Its royal place in your pains, so that It may convert them into little coins of infinite value, with which you will be able to pay the debts of your brothers – to ransom them from the slavery of the human will, and make them enter again, as free children, into the Kingdom of the Divine Will.”
(From “The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will”; Day 23)

5th Decade: The Finding of Jesus in the Temple (the fruit of the mystery is Joy)
Our Celestial Mother says: “…After three days of most bitter sighs, tears, anxieties and fears, we entered the temple. I was all eyes and looked everywhere, when, finally, overcome with jubilation, I saw my Son in the midst of the doctors of the law! He was speaking with such wisdom and majesty as to make those who were listening remain enraptured and amazed. Only in seeing Him, I felt life come back to me, and soon I understood the secret reason of His being lost.

And now, a little word to you, dearest child. In this mystery, my Son wanted to give to me and to you, a sublime teaching. Could you perhaps assume that He was ignoring what I was suffering? On the contrary, my tears, my searching, and my cruel and intense sorrow, resounded in His heart. Yet, during those hours, so painful, He sacrificed to the Divine Will, His own Mama, the one whom He loves so much, in order to show me how I too, one day, was to sacrifice His own Life to the Divine Will.

In this unspeakable pain, I did not forget you, my beloved one. Thinking that it would serve as an example for you, I kept it at your disposal, so that you too, at the appropriate time, might have the strength to sacrifice everything to the Divine Will. As Jesus finished speaking, we approached Him reverently, and addressed Him with a sweet reproach: “Son, why have you done this to us?” And He, with divine dignity, answered us: “Why did you look for me? Did you not know that I came to the world to glorify my Father?” Having comprehended the high meaning of His answer, and adored in it the Divine Will, we returned to Nazareth.

Child of my maternal heart, listen. When I lost my Jesus, the pain I felt was so very intense; yet, a second one added to this – that of losing you. In fact, in foreseeing that you would have gone far from the Divine Will, I felt at one time deprived of the Son and of the daughter, and so my maternity suffered a double blow. My child, when you are in the act of doing your own will rather than that of God, think that by abandoning the Divine Fiat, you are about to lose Jesus and me, and fall into the kingdom of miseries and vices. Keep then, the promise you made me – to remain indissolubly united to me – and I will grant you the grace of never again letting you be dominated by your will, but only by the Divine.”
(From “The Virgin Mary in the Kingdom of the Divine Will”; Meditation 5, Appendix)

I guess that would be enough for one night.

Cheers

Joe

Just a little rough patch, eh?

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

They Also Serve … The Passion of Christ … Prayer and Atonement … Election Results

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

John Milton, ca 1629

John Milton was totally blind by age 40. “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” is one of the best known of the sonnets of John Milton (d. 1674).

The last three lines (concluding with “They also serve who only stand and wait.”) are particularly well known, although rarely quoted in context.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.

by John Milton (d. 1674). This sonnet was first published in Milton’s 1673 Poems

The Gospel of Matthew, composed between AD 80 and 90

When Milton writes “that one talent which is death to hide” he is specifically alluding to the parable of the talents in the Gospel of Matthew.

And I would add, for a modern audience who might never have heard of it … they also serve who only stand and wait … and pray.  This was assumed in the day of Milton and his culture … and pray.

So here is a prayer for Passion Week, the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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O Lord of my soul, how quick we are to offend You! But how much quicker are You to forgive us! What am I saying Lord! The sorrows of death have encompassed me. Alas! What a great evil is sin, since it could put God Himself to death with such terrible sufferings! And those same sufferings surround You today, O my Lord! Where can You go that You are not tortured. Men cover You with wounds in all your members.

Christians, this is the hour to defend your King, and to keep Him company in the profound isolation in which He finds Himself. How few, O Lord, are the servants who remain faithful to You! … The worst of it is that there are some who profess to be Your friends in public, but who sell You in secret. You can scarcely find one in whom You can trust. O my God, true Friend, how badly does he repay You who betrays You!

O true Christians, come to weep with your God! It was not only over Lazarus that He shed tears of compassion, but over all those who, in spite of His call, would never rise from the dead. At that time, my Love, You saw even the sins that I would commit against You. May they be at an end, and with them, those of all sinners. Grant that these dead may come to life. May Your voice, Lord, be strong enough to give them life, even if they do not ask it of You.

Lazarus did not ask You to bring him back to life, and yet You restored life to him at the prayer of a sinner. Here is another sinner, my God, and much more culpable than she was. Let, then, Your mercy shine forth! I ask it of You in spite of my wretchedness, for those who will not ask.”

St. Teresa of Avila,  1515 – 1582

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In a recent interview, given to The Catholic Herald, Robert Cardinal Sarah said in answer to question 8:

Robert Cardinal Sarah, in 2015

“First I would like to explain why I, a son of Africa, allow myself to address the West. The Church is the guardian of civilization. I am convinced that western civilization is passing at present through a mortal crisis. It has reached the extreme of self-destructive hate. As during the fall of Rome, elites are only concerned to increase the luxury of their daily life and the peoples are being anesthetized by ever more vulgar entertainment.

As a bishop, it is my duty to warn the West! The barbarians are already inside the city. The barbarians are all those who hate human nature, all those who trample upon the sense of the sacred, all those who do not value life, all those who rebel against God the Creator of man and nature. The West is blinded by science, technology, and the thirst for riches. The lure of riches, which liberalism spreads in hearts, has sedated the peoples.

At the same time, the silent tragedy of abortion and euthanasia continue and pornography and gender ideology destroy children and adolescents. We are accustomed to barbarism. It doesn’t even surprise us anymore!

I want to raise a cry of alarm, which is also a cry of love. I do so with a heart full of filial gratitude for the Western missionaries who died in my land of Africa and who communicated to me the precious gift of faith in Jesus Christ. I want to follow their lead and receive their inheritance!

How could I not emphasize the threat posed by Islamism? Muslims despise the atheistic West. They take refuge in Islamism as a rejection of the consumer society that is offered to them as a religion.

Can the West present them the Faith in a clear way? For that it will have to rediscover its Christian roots and identity. To the countries of the third world, the West is held out as a paradise because it is ruled by commercial liberalism. This encourages the flow of migrants, so tragic for the identity of peoples. A West that denies its faith, its history, its roots, and its identity is destined for contempt, for death, and disappearance.

But I would like to point out that everything is prepared for a renewal. I see families, monasteries, and parishes that are like oases in the middle of a desert. It is from these oases of faith, liturgy, beauty, and silence that the West will be reborn.

*****

…I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]… Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them..Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, Jesus to St. Faustina, n. 1160, 848

*****

And finally, for a criminally low price of 99 cents U.S. on Kindle, we have a treasure like unto “The Pearl of Great Price”. We have Daniel O’Connor, in his new book The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta

“In His revelations to Luisa, Jesus goes so far as to say that it is the enemies of the Church who are necessary in order to purge and purify her. It is difficult to think of stronger words; but it’s becoming increasingly impossible to ignore them. Today, it is sadly the Church’s enemies—Godless, secular people who have long hated her—who are doing what the Bishops should have done long ago: dealing with the sin of sexual abuse as strongly as it should be dealt with and exposing the perpetrators.

In this passage, Jesus prophesies today’s crisis to Luisa 100 years before it began; although He does not explicitly refer to the crisis as involving sexual abuse, I think it is safe to say that this is one of the major things (if not the major thing) He intended when He said to Luisa: I was praying blessed Jesus to confound the enemies of the Church, and my always lovable Jesus, in coming, told me:

“My daughter, I could confound the enemies of the Holy Church, but I don’t want to. If I did so, who would purge my Church? The members of the Church, and especially those who occupy positions and heights of dignity, have their eyes dazzled, and they blunder a great deal, reaching the point of protecting the false virtuous and oppressing and condemning the true good.

This grieves Me so much—to see those few true children of mine under the weight of injustice; those children from whom my Church must rise again and to whom I am giving much grace to dispose them to this… I see them placed with their backs to the wall, and bound to prevent their step. This grieves Me so much, that I feel I am all fury for their sake!

Listen my daughter, I am all sweetness, benign, clement and merciful; so much so, that because of my sweetness I enrapture hearts. But I am also strong, as to be able to crush and reduce to ashes those who not only oppress the good, but reach the point of preventing the good which they want to do. Ah! you cry over the secular, and I cry over the painful wounds which are in the body of the Church.

These grieve Me so much as to surpass the wounds of the secular, because they come from the side from which I did not expect it, and induce Me to make the secular rail against them.”[785] Here, Jesus says clearly what it has taken until now for the boldest of voices in the Church to acknowledge: The enemies of the Church, paradoxically, have now proven necessary for the Church in order to purge it. For the leaders of the Church—the Bishops—go so far as to “protect the false virtuous” (predator priests) and “condemn the true good” (traditional, orthodox-minded priests).

Daniel O’Connor, “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta (p. 296).”

*****

Well, I gotta check the election results, cause I wouldn’t be a good little neanderthal knuckle-dragger if I went to bed without looking it up. I guess that is just about enough for now so I will say goodnight and “Hasta la vista, baby”.

Cheers

Joe

Good news tonight here in our little Rohan of the North.

The people have spoken, and the Now Word is “GOODBYE NDP”.

Does anyone remember de-Nazification?

Its time to Scour the Shire, and Jason Kenney is making noises about turning off the taps to the East and the West Coast. We can always pray.

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