18 May 2018

Concerning a Correct Disposition Towards Our Own Faults


+JMJ+


AVE MARIA.





Shouldn't we, as Christians (of the one true, Christian faith that has been passed down directly from Christ via the very tradition that he instructed the Apostles, and their successors, to pass down) find it not only easy to apologize (keeping in mind always, first, how God might see us) but find pleasure in doing so (that we might have find, next opportunity, a better away to please God)? We ought to find fault with ourselves where even our brother does not find fault, and where our brother does find true fault in us, thank him for the reprimand? We, Catholics, who live for Christ, seeking to remain in that Life of Christ in the Sacraments, live for God and not for ourselves, that we might say one day, along with the apostle, "And I live, now not I; but Christ liveth in me. And that I live now in the flesh: I live in the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and delivered himself for me.
[21] I cast not away the grace of God. For if justice be by the law, then Christ died in vain." ---- Galatians 2:20-21

28 January 2018

Get Ready for an EXTRA SPECIAL Valentine's Day (2018)


+JMJ+



Happy Chocolate Day!
Imagine that you've spent at least a few weeks choosing a romantic gift for your loved one to celebrate the heavily commercialized, totally secularized, (St.) Valentine's Day, to only have the conversation go a little something like this:

"Hi honey!   Look what I got you!   A lovely box of chocolates for you to look at and offer up!"  If your honey is not devout, trust that she will grab them and shut the door on you, and not talk with you the rest of the day.  If she is devout, she may give you a blank stare.   If she is VERY devout, she may accept them and then hide them away immediately, because it is an unnecessary near occasion of sin.

"WHAT!" You ask.   "Chocolate is an 'unnecessary near occasion of sin'?  Since when?"   To which I shall reply, "...since it is 2018, and this year, (St.) Valentine's Day happens to fall on (*drum roll, please*)...


ASH WEDNESDAY.



(Don't forget to pin your fringe back on Ash Wednesday.)
Here you have options, just a little less 'traditional' than most (St.) Valentine's Days.

Regardless of how devout your other half seems to be, Lent is a time to reflect on the higher reality that encompass every day of every year:  that this life is not the end, but merely intended to be the means.  And since (the one, true, triune) God is the source and means to love, it makes more sense that we take advantage of the fact that the feast and fast coincide.  And since the fast of Ash Wednesday is an OBLIGATION, and of course, in case you didn't already know, the celebration of the martyr is not (an obligation), let's consider some ways in which it makes sense to celebrate, even on a day of Fast:

"Jesus loves you, and to dust you shall return!"  


1.) PRAY TOGETHER.  You can pray the Compline the night before.  You can even offer to do it certain days throughout Lent, or if you are married, pray it every night of Lent (if you're not already praying it every night). 

2.) PRAY FOR HIM/HER.  Offer to Our Lord or Our Lady a set of prayers during a Novena, or throughout Lent, on behalf of your loved one.

3.) MAKE AN ACT OF MORTIFICATION.  In addition to your Lenten mortification, you may add an additional, small mortification on behalf of the spiritual progress of your loved one.   Write this in a note and add it to a card.

4.) DO A LENTEN LECTURE.  You can do this either together or even separate, because if you grow in holiness from it, your loved one benefits, as well.   Also, you can do one together and if you're not able to be together due to distance or schedule conflicts, you can do one together that is pre-recorded.  You can even discuss what you each will take away personally.  If you are married, you may wish to take it a step further, and ask that your spouse help you with specific areas in your progress, and tell them how they can help (but be specific).

5.)  HAVE A MASS SAID.   Have your priest say a Mass on behalf of your loved one, for his/her spiritual and temporal needs, and for a holy, fruitful Lent.

6.) SPIRITUAL READING.   Buy a book or a few books for spiritual reading during Lent.  It is always good to read the lives of the saints, but also to read about progress in virtue and in the spiritual life.  Also, writings of the saints, especially the Church Fathers and Doctors, is always a good way to learn the faith, or deepen your knowledge of the faith from what you think you know now.  Some of the spiritual readings can be done together, or separately, and then on certain days of the week (i.e.: Saturday or Sunday), you can get together to discuss what you've read, and what you will take away personally from it.  Some of these writings can even be found for free online.

7.)  MAKE AN OFFERING TO OUR LADY.   Our Lady takes care of both the spiritual and temporal needs of her children by her intercession to her son.   Asking for her help for not just yourself, but also for your loved one, is a very good gift any time, but especially for a fruitful Lent. 

8.)  GIVE A HOLY IMAGE.  You can print some beautiful images from online that are in the public domain, and give them for gifts (for the use of educational purposes and/or private viewing), and even get the image blessed.  These would best be images in keeping with the Lenten theme, and will be useful for medications during that time.

9.)  GIVE SACRAMENTALS, especially ones that can be used frequently throughout Lent.  This is a nice "add on" type of gift.   Perhaps a holy card of St. Valentine, along with the story of his martydom, would be fitting?
  
http://www.discountcatholicproducts.com/Saint-Valentine-Laminated-Prayer-Card-P9955.aspx
http://www.discountcatholicproducts.com/Saint-Valentine-Laminated-Prayer-Card-P9955.aspx


St. Valentine, pray we have a holy Lent this year!


+AD JESUM PER MARIAM+

25 April 2017

Nostra Aetatae is a Heretical Document from Vatican II

+JMJ+


The document's point is to "build a bridge" between Catholics and Jews, by respecting their false religion.  That starts off on the wrong foot, because it 1.) presupposed that hatred of the Jews comes from not respecting their (false) religion, and 2.) that it is ok to respect a false religion.  Also, it makes the assumption that if you openly disavow Judaism or Islam, or any other false religion, for that matter, you are disrespecting the person and not being charitable.  It also presupposed that there is a dichotomy between charity and truth, for on one hand, it is true to say that our religions are different, and that, as the Church has always taught, there is only one, true faith, and it is immutable.  However, according to the "Spirit of Vatican II", it is without charity to state this boldly and clearly, and therefore, also presupposes that the highest good is how we make people feel about themselves, not God HIMSELF.  This is the heresy of imanentism.  The truth is that God is transcendent and immutable, and the truths that come from Him are as well.

But Holy Mother Church is never wrong!  This is true, but it was not she who claims these errors: even the chief Vatican proponents of these erroneous documents (as you will see in them each laid out bare in this post and the following posts) do not claim that this council or these documents are "ex cathedra".  It did not define dogma, but it DOES SKEW the representation of dogma 180 degrees,  If the purpose of dogma is to define (clarify) in order to teach, is actually, nowadays, uncharitable or "non-pastoral",  then that is the same to say that our dogma is outside of charity.  Again, how can their be such a dichotomy between truth and charity?  This is a lie.  The Church never needed to bow to the Spirit of the World, but consider, first, the salvation of souls.  The watering down of the truth does not make one who is against it for it, but just aims to make it appear as something that it is definitely not.  Therefore, it does not aim to convert, but to confuse the truth.

Peter's Denial is in Nostra Aetate, in the False Pretense of "Charity"
Nostra Aetatae states, ""The Church also looks upon Muslims with respect.  They worship the one God living and subsistent, merciful and mighty, creator of heaven and earth, who has spoken to humanity and to whose decrees, even the hidden ones, they seek to submit themselves whole-heartedly, just as Abraham, to whom the Islamic faith readily relates itself, submitted to God... Hence they have regard for the moral life and worship God in prayer, almsgiving and fasting."[73]

Defenders of this will say that it is unclear whether or not this document means that they pray to the same God, but rather, a 'god', but the Latin text shows it as it is translated, with the capitalization of the 'g' in "God".  The context spells it out even further, that the entire point is made that they, the Muslims, pray to the same God.

If this was true charity, it would be 100% true.  However, our dogma states that the one, true God is TRIUNE, and to say anything less is outside of the truth.

It even goes so further to lie about the Muslim faith, that their 'god' created Heaven and Earth, but the Muslim faith does not even teach this.

Likewise, the document likes about the Buddhist faith, to make it, too, palatable to Catholics (NOT to Buddhists, because truly practicing Buddhists and Muslims know their faith, it is Catholics who do not know the Buddhist, or the Muslim beliefs, let alone their own Catholic faith).  And the document makes assertions regarding Hinduism, in the same way, that there are this seeking for truth within these philosophies that are deeply heretical in the first place.  It even equates "illumination" with finding the truths of the one, true God.

Nope!  Sorry, but dangerously incorrect.  These Bishops had to misrepresent these religions for what end?   Do you believe it was to help these people convert?  Then why laud their false beliefs?  Is it in order to encourage their conversion, but by saying they are already well to be as they are?   It is only to confuse Catholics, that they might, otherwise, remain in the truths of their Baptism.

The point of the faith is not to find "illumination", but to know, to love, and to serve the one, true God.  To say otherwise, for whatever purpose, is to propose heresy.


And lastly, let's look at the odd statement on the Jews:

"True, authorities of the Jews and those who followed their lead pressed for the death of Christ (cf. Jn. 19:6); still, what happened in His passion cannot be blamed upon all the Jews then living, without distinction, nor upon the Jews of today. Although the Church is the new people of God, the Jews should not be presented as repudiated or cursed by God, as if such views followed from the holy Scriptures."  This is so gross, because it insults the faithful, by presupposing that standing up for the faith is the same thing as putting down a Jewish person.  The correction of an error is just that, and not an insult to the one being corrected.  If one was to say that a Jew was cursed because he was a Jew, that would be an error, but to say that there is a curse on his false religion, that is a given, but because it is based on the denial of Christ.  he new Judaism is NOT the biblical Judaism, but rather, is without the sacrifice and temple of Jerusalem, but is based on the denial of the Messiah.  They are awaiting the 'new Messiah', so it is not merely indirectly denying the one, true, Triune God, but directly denying Jesus as the Messiah.  This is a curse to its religion, but not to individual Jews.  Jesus desired their conversions, 

There are plenty more errors, but this should be enough to demonstrate that Nostra Aetatae is a danger to the faithful.


" Poor Jews! You invoked a dreadful curse upon your own heads in saying: "His blood be on us AND ON OUR CHILDREN!" (Mt.27:25); and that curse you carry upon you till this day, you miserable race, and to the end of time shall you endure the chastisement of that innocent Blood. "  --  St. Alphonsus Maria Liguori, Doctor of the Church


23 April 2017

Lack of Charity: A Sign of Weak Faith


+JMJ+


"Whatsoever you do to the least of my brethren, you do also to me," says our Lord in Matthew 25:40. 


There is an old saying that we see what is in the heart of a man by how he treats one who can do nothing for him.  The same can be said of the faith of a man.  Yet, so many people's hearts grow cold and deform into hardening to the point of having malice, which is even one of the 7 Deadly Sins, because they justify their hatred by their false 'faith'.   Hatred of sin is not hatred of the sinner, but yet, people will grow so much in their pride, that they will perversely look for reasons and excuses to hate others.  St. Mary Magdalene did not have a hatred of the simple man, but impatience can lead to this, and definitely, detesting the Cross will lead to it.  


Our Lord appeared as a gardener to Mary Magdalene.  Here is was trying to give her an opportunity for her strength to be built up, at the same time, he was teaching her a lesson.  She was seeking him, and he did not rise again to be here forever, therefore, he came in the guise for which she would not immediately recognize him.  This way, she would learn she would seek him in her heart in not only her prayer, but in all her interactions.  It was a humiliation for her, for which she would later learn upon him revealing himself.  (She would, then, later seek him in her interior life thereafter the Ascension.)  While she was not dismissive to the gardener, she was impatient with him that she sought our Lord.   Mary Magdalene came from a class that was higher than a mere gardener, but she sought our Lord, and yet, did not have the faith to 'see' him.  


Why does this happen?  It happens because at some point, they lose so much charity, because they did not firstly guard their faith.  It takes more than just going to Mass on Sundays and Holy Days, but it takes daily prayer, frequent confessions, daily examination of conscience, and a sincere effort daily to live according to the love of God and the love of man out of the love of God --- (in) the fulfillment of the 10 Commandments.  People forget these because they become spiritually slothful, and want to throw off the cross.   They want a faux "Christ" that did not suffer and die on the Cross.  They want to believe that they have "arrived" in sanctity, and that they are definitely on their way to Heaven.  Hope is one thing, but presumption is NOT hope.  Presumption is sin and a lack of gratitude and contrition for past sins, and amendment for any attachments to sin (whether mortal, or venial, or even imperfections in proclivity to unintentional venial sins due to imperfections).

God did not make it impossible for us to become perfect.  Once we believe that it is not possible, we deny the fruits of Christ Death and Resurrection, and in doing so, worship a false "christ".  It is not only possible through his graces won for us by opening the doors of Heaven by his death on the Cross, but it is necessary for us to get to Heaven, and more importantly:   because Christ commanded us towards this end.  We must, therefore, seek to perfect ourselves in sanctity, and not think that this is not realistic or impossible.  It is possible, and that is why we worship Christ at Mass; that when we hear, "Ite Missa est!"  we take that mission literally, to go and live as God orders us to live.




28 March 2017

"I Wanted to be a 'SOMEBODY'", he said...

+JMJ+

Rather, consider: It would be better to not be afraid to think too little of myself than to think I should accomplish grand things in my life. If I can only be little in my own sight, that I may have every passion silent only to wait on the Will of God in any and every tiny thing, I would do more to please Him than to seek grand things by my own direction even in His name.



19 March 2017

LEARN AUTHENTIC SPIRITUALITY from St. Patrick's Example


+JMJ+

Third Sunday of Lent, 2017 

Just two days ago, many people celebrated with beer, meat (even meat on that Friday), even over-eating and lots of noise and wearing green, all in the name of celebrating St. Patrick.  Yet, none of this has anything to do with him, and even more, he would have regretted seeing frivolity, vanity, and worldliness.

Sounds harsh?  If you think so, put that disturbance of your 'peace' aside, and let's together consider the humility of St. Patrick, by observing one of his manuscripts.

His last surviving manuscript, known as his 'Confession' (in the sense of 'confessing the faith', not 'confessing of sin', although, he does mention his past way of life, that was not the meaning of the title here), begins with the words, ",


"My name is Patrick...

I am a sinner, a simple country person, and the least of all believers. I am looked down upon by many."


St. Patrick's writings sound a lot like St. Paul, as he accounts his many trials and tribulations.  We learn that at the heart of St. Patrick's life, was his love and complete abandonment and 100% trust of God in His Providence.  While he admits to suffering pain from the treachery of even friends and clergy, he is humble enough to see that while these things were based on falseness and/or a lack of mercy, that to look at his life as a whole, he did not EARN the grace of God, but it was given.  It was given because of his obedience which opened him to live out the graces given to him, and in his complete abandonment and trust to God, he was able to receive great strength from God.

So what does St. Patrick's life teach us?  One can say that it boils down to three life lessons.  They are:


1.)  NEVER DETEST ANYTHING IN THE WORLD BUT SIN, AND ESPECIALLY THAT OF YOUR OWN.

2.)  GO ON THE WAY OF BECOMING A SAINT; THE WAY IS NEITHER TOO SMALL, NOR TOO BIG.

3.)  AS MUCH AS YOU ARE AMONG THE SAINTS, THEY WILL BE AMONG YOU.  


Let's break this down, as these can easily be misinterpreted:

1370s: The Fiacail Phádraig or shrine of St Patrick’s 
tooth. The fourteenth-century figure of St Patrick is 
located directly below the crucified Christ.
1.) NEVER DETEST ANYTHING IN THE WORLD BUT SIN, AND ESPECIALLY THAT OF YOUR OWN SIN.

Often we have in our thoughts to hate this or hate that, and we forget who we are in the site of God.  What difference does your preference make?  Are you a saint yet?  Then you still have a tendency to sin, so everywhere your will is not refined and purified, it opposes God.  There is no middle road to this way, it is either the way of the flesh, the world and/or the devil,  Compromise or anything under the false guise of 'mercy' (mercy is always directed back to gratitude to God, and it is NEVER without conversion.  IF there is no conversion from a sin, there is no room for the mercy of God, and our mercy is NEVER greater than His).  Dialogue, with the intention of compromise is not mercy or charity.

The only 'opinion' that should matter is that of God.  

As much as we abandon ourselves to His will and in our love, seek Him in every moment, looking for His admonishments and direction of our hearts purely to Him, the less preference we have for any creature, comfort, or any kind of preference outside of God and His Holy Will.  The virtue of humility will further help us to detest our own sins far more than all the sin in the world, because it is our own souls to which we have first responsibility.  Furthermore, if we happen to be a parent, or a spiritual parent, we will teach more by our example than word or writings.

For all the things we say we complain about, how many of them are not about sin, but rather, frivolous?  For each of these one commits, he will be made to make account of to God.  It is best, then, to keep in mind the reason you were created and your final end at all times, that you do not displease Him to whom you owe your life.

2.) GO ON THE WAY OF BECOMING A SAINT; THE WAY IS NEITHER TOO SMALL, NOR TOO BIG.

Many people think that becoming a saint is not realistic, but these are those who either deny that the Bible is the Word of God, or that it needs to be redacted to a new meaning relevant to today, by the world's standards.  Our Lord commands us, rather, to "be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect."

Yet, how many times we busy ourselves with this project, or that project, yet last on our day's list of things to do is to recall our sins, and to regard what progress we have made that day, and/or what little gratitude we have for our suffering Savior's price, and the Holy Spirits grace won for us by that Price?

We have such important things to do, but are they really God's will?  If not, they are not nearly as "important" as you make them out to be, if they have the tiniest significance at all, when it comes to why you were created.  Even pious are often caught by the devil in this manner, to make themselves busy in pious activities to which they call themselves (falsely) in the name of God.

Some of the basic things we must do are outlined in the Catholic classic known and loved among saints, "The Spiritual Combat"* (and a Treatise on Peace of Soul)" by Dom Lorenzo Scupoli.  The first print in America was in 1945, and contained the preface by B.F. Marcetteau, S.S., which contained within it a summary of the basic things one must do to simply enter the spiritual life.  They are identified as "spiritual weapons":  1 - Self distrust, 2- confidence in God, 3 - training in spiritual warfare through the proper use of our mental and physical powers, and 4 - both short and ejaculatory, and prolonged in the form of mental prayer."  The book explains each of these points in detail and ought to be among your most important books.

The way of becoming a saint is not too big, because it is through God's grace that we come to love and trust in Him and Him alone.  The degree that we allow ourselves to be attached to things that are to their own end, we lock God out of our lives and hearts.  Even certain things that seem to be for God may not be entirely for Him, even with good intention.  No good intention is purely for God, unless one is willing to give it up on a dime because He desires it.  But one also cannot truly discern His will any other way, without keeping to their daily spiritual duties, without excuse, and living in grace, and pursuing consistency and virtue, especially focused on the virtue opposing our major vices in a conscientious, deliberate, and consistent manner.  Otherwise, we give way to the devil.  There is no middle road.



3.) AS MUCH AS YOU ARE AMONG THE SAINTS, THEY WILL BE AMONG YOU.  

We live in a society where social media has become the most successful weapon of the devil for entering into people's hearts.  Social media is merely one path of many, while the window to the soul is the vice of human respect.  However, the desire for creature comforts over and above doing the Holy Will of God is an every day common vice for almost every person, and can be observed in most circumstances.  

People (yes, and even pious Catholics) wish to be accepted by others.  There is a good to community, but only when it is ordered to God.   There can never be a community truly ordered to God where a majority of the members do not pray as they ought daily.  This prayer, again, should consist not just of the discursive prayers, but also of the authentically Catholic, mental prayer, joined also by daily examination of conscience and of some focus on overcoming their major vice. The point of this is to simply stop offending God.  This must also be understood in the context of points one and two, made previously here.

Our hearts and minds tend to be preoccupied, on some level, to all kinds of vain pursuits, ambitions, sentiments, and devices towards sensible pleasures towards their own end.  Even for one who prefers his own company to that of even small groups, there is a need to order ones mind and heart to this community of the saints.

St Patrick in St Dominic's Statue of the patron
 and apostle of Ireland in St Dominic's priory church in London.
+Sancte Patrice, ora pro nobis.+
The Perfect Community resides in those heavenly souls who are now perfectly united to the Holy Will of God.  Even in death, their character remains, yet they are more influential by their prayers than when they were alive on this earth, because even their perfection was made perfect*.  (*Meaning, now their having died in being united to God, and purified in this life or in Purgatory, now they are without any disordered attachments, but also even those who died without them, they are 'perfected further' by the glory of God transmitting through them by their having abandoned themselves to His Holy Will in their lifetimes.) Just as St. Patrick called on Elias to help him, we should call on the saints to come to our aide, especially in our spiritual struggles.

These are meant for you and are waiting for you, and will be "among you" in their intercession and guidance, in so far as you learn of them, call on them for assistance, and put into practice that which you have learned from them.


In the end of St. Patrick's "Confessions", he wrote, "I pray for those who believe in and have reverence for God.  Some of them may happen to inspect or come upon this writing which Patrick, a sinner without learning, wrote in Ireland.  May none of them ever say that whatever little I did or made known to please God was done through ignorance.  Instead, you can judge and believe in all truth that it was a gift of God.  This is my confession before I die."

Celebrate St. Patrick, but by becoming a saint.  Anything less, is not really of St. Patrick, but celebrating the world, and this life, that is not ours.


Ad JESUM per MARIAM

+




*Footnote:  The book mentioned in this post, "The Spiritual Combat", while was published with the imprimatur in the US in the 1940s, it was actually first published in 1589.  St. Frances de Sales, Doctor of the Church, kept a copy of this book in his pocket and for 18 years, he read from it every day.  He also recommended it to everyone under his spiritual direction.  Also, St. Teresa of Avila, another Doctor of the Church, said that this was one of the most instrumental books in her conversion, along with "The Third Alphabet", by Francisco de Osuna.

28 February 2017

One of the Many Problems with the New Mass...

+JMJ+


One of the many problems with the New Order Mass is that it is focused on the community rather
than constantly and consistently on the Holy Sacrifice of Christ.  It even has lay people bring up the "offering of the gifts", as if the Mass was about what we were giving to God of our own selves.  In reality, the offering is Christ; the priest does act as an "alter Christe", sacrificing himself to bring down Christ in the Consecration, but we participate in the offering of Christ.  

This focus as if the highest good is what we can do for one another in the name of Christ stems from the immanentistic basis on which the Novus Ordo Missae was intentionally formed.  It was for this reason that inevitably, abuses would stem, while this breaks down into many specifics which for purposes of this post, I will defer to discuss at a possible future post.

This looking to one another in the name of worship, rather than looking chiefly to Christ in the context of worship is not just the reason we lost external solemnity with the New Order Mass, but also internal solemnity, as a result.  Never-the-less, BOTH are necessary, not one or the other.

In preparation for this Lent, which begins tomorrow, I wanted to share with you the need to practice this internal solemnity by simply referring more to the saints in Heaven for assistance than to friends and family.  I do not mean to advise you avoid speaking to them for advice if they are known to give good counsel, but do not do so then exclude first and foremost the saints.  And when you speak to the saints, detach from the response, for it will not come as if you are having a dialogue (unless you are a highly advanced, Catholic mystic ... insert joke here as to why you would bother with this blog ....), both practice anticipating their intercession, and as God wills, re-devoting yourself to holy Providence.  This heavenly community has "made it" already to being perfectly united to God and His Divine Will, and will guide you better by the most pious earthly community. Remember that charity is love first of God, and secondly, love of neighbor out of that first love, as He loved us first.

And their is no dichotomy in love of God vs. love of neighbor.  God loves our neighbor more than you will ever love him, and for ANYONE to suggest that we could be too "rigid" in putting God and obedience to Him first, is suggesting that we put ourselves and the world before Him (if even in His name).  Remember also that the grace of God TRANSFORMS, and not simply covers us and leaves as as "cow dung", as Luther would have you believe.  Our Lord says that "my grace is sufficient" and to "be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect."  No one says it happens over night, but only someone without the faith will say it is impossible.

Love God and seek Him.  Find help in the Church Triumphant.