20 February 2017

More on the Vice of SLOTH

+JMJ+



(Note:  Please refer to the previous two posts, as they relate to this one.)




St. Thomas Aquinas, in his Summa Theologica, he describes the vice as the "sorrow for spiritual good", but also explains why it is a capital sin, and not to be confused as something of just a feeling or less dangerous.  One might say wrongly that sloth moves one to inaction, and therefore there is no sin to which it is motivated, but Pope St. Gregory listed "daughters of sloth", from which St. Thomas Aquinas primary draws.  They are:



Malice

Spite
Faint-heartedness
Despair
Sluggishness in regard to the Commandments
Wandering of the mind after unlawful things


Before I go through which each of these mean, let's first define what we mean by 'spiritual good'.  Since we are here to know, love and serve God with our whole heart and whole mind and being, then we can see that a spiritual good can be more than the liturgy, private prayers, and spiritual readings (etc.), but seeing all daily avoiding sin, whether great (grave) or small and the pursuit of greater virtue.  Furthermore, the end to which these are to be pursued is for God and God alone, rather than for some feeling or any other gain.  



St. Thomas says that the two steps by which someone fails to regard an unpleasant good are: 

1.) First, he comes to withdraw from, or avoid, the good itself, 
2.) Then, he seeks for something else more agreeable.  In other words, he struggles actively against having to perform the higher good in question.


Malice
Malice is one of the daughters of sloth because it is the result of the habit of preferring one's will over God's to such a degree that the perceived arduous good is one that threatens the ease or lesser good that the person prefers.  Quite simply, it is malice because one becomes angry to think that they should have to do that which has become so distasteful to them, even to the point of detesting that good.  Examples:  Hating a liturgy that looks only to God for looking only to God, or detesting to put God first in daily priorities to the point of having to put one's wants last over another needs for whom we are responsible (i,e.: our child, or spouse).  



Spite
This is when our struggle against an unpleasant spiritual good leads us to attack those people who lead others to that good, we have descended into "spite."  These people will often accuse by detraction and/or even rash judgement a sinful reason that a person will have the virtue to pursue the spiritual good in question that the spiteful person wishes to avoid. And so, to quell their suffering of conscience, and attenuated preference towards a lesser good, they will use spite as a way to distract themselves, and sometimes also others, of their own vice of sloth.  


Faint-Heartedness
This is the avoidance of spiritual good that is the reasonable means to the end in matters of genuine difficulty.  One example is avoiding deliberate unnecessary near occasions of sin.  This is always a bad thing, but in the faint-hearted, often they will even make excuses to not avoid the near occasions that lead them to their chief vices, whether they are mortal or venial sins.   Just because something is difficult, doesn't mean that you should not own up to your responsibility.  Jesus, God the Son, suffered and died on a Cross, so that your crosses for what you are Commanded to do are bearable through grace (that he won for you).  To say otherwise is a lack of humility (*to see oneself in the light of who God is), because He gives us the means to overcome temptation, if we are close to the Blessed Mother and "do whatever He tells you."  Jesus, who commands that we "be perfect, as your Father in Heaven is perfect," does not command the impossible, but it is we who, in faint-heartedness, lose faith by not living by it in charity.


Despair
Ultimately, the more one becomes faint-hearted, the more one deeply descends into the vice of sloth, they not only weaken their faith, but they lose hope in the things of Heaven, and the promises of the helps of God to get to Heaven.  Despair is then the avoidance of spiritual good considered as an end in itself. Since sloth tends towards one's feelings, whether one reasons these feelings are a priority or not, the deeper descent into this vice often leads to sins of lust, which further ties one to this sin.  Also, since one despairs of the spiritual goods as ends in themselves, to give glory to God in gratitude to Him, for it is our duty to know, to love, and to serve Him (it's why we are here), one despairs, inevitably of the promises that God makes to those that do serve Him in this life.



Sluggishness in the Practice of the Commandments.
This is the avoidance of spiritual good that is the reasonable means to the end in matters of common righteousness. Even private sins affect the world, because they create disorder in the soul, and in the resulting actions borne of the wounds from those effects in the soul, heart and mind of the sinner.   The person with this daughter of sloth doesn't look to observe the commandments closely, with eagerness and faith that they will overcome their most deeply seeded vices by the grace of God (and prayer of the Blessed Virgin), and working towards constancy and consistency, because they have chosen to perceive the pursuit (of the Commandment in question or Commandments in general) as either looking too closely at the obligation, or because they want to procrastinate their observance.  


(Incidentally:  The suggestion that the practice of the commandments "paralyzes" one from their freedom is a great example of sloth, but of a different daughter.  It encourages the daughter of sluggishness in the practice of commandments by the the daughters of malice and spite.  Freedom is ability to chose the higher good, and graces are the means to obedience.  We should follow them, less we lose them and offend God who gave us His only son to die on a cross as a means of giving us graces.  Obedience to God IS the measure of gratitude to Him.)


Wandering of the Mind to Unlawful Things
This daughter is the last step which the vice of sloth generates over vices, where we pass over the arduous or unpleasant good in favor of something easy and pleasant, simply because they find no joy in spiritual things.  Now, this means in context within one's state of life, and takes into account those duties and with their priority, with our reason for being (the eschatological realities) as our final end. By that, even in the smallest duties that are required of our state may be prioritized and not ignored, but done with God as our devotion in their accomplishment, and both with Him and by Him, that they be for Him.  If we dissipate our time, rather, in frivolous pursuits, or sin in loquacity for sake of avoidance of spiritual good, even unconsciously but out of habit, or if we simply allow ourselves to be distracted at Mass or in private prayer, these are all examples of "unlawful things".  Someone might say, "Well, having a conversation is not 'unlawful'!"  Well, it itself, of course not, neglect of duties due to long conversations would be giving in to a "wandering of the mind".  Often, the mind might be accustomed to wandering in prayer, or leaving it off to a point where one is more inclined to not being as mindful.  You can see how easily the mind becomes trained to this vice, as one takes his mind and heart off of God, who never-the-less, is always seeing everything we are doing or thinking in every given moment.



I hope this makes more sense.  There aren't a lot of resources on the web for this, but you can read St. Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica: The Vice of Sloth online.  


A few final words on this subject:


Sloth is the sorrow for the spiritual good, and what is sorrow?  But it is the absence of joy, so that is why often when we commit this sin, we EXAGGERATE the effort required for the spiritual good. Why do we do this?  We do this because of a LACK OF FAITH.  The easy solution to this is to ACT OUT OF FAITH.  Our Lord tells us (and shows this all the time, since He is never outdone in charity, since HE IS the Creator of all good), that we only need a "mustard seed of faith" with which to begin. (Notice:  I said, "begin", not end and/or sit there and say that a "seed" should remain just a "mustard seed".  Remember the Gospel reading for Sextagesima Sunday (according to the traditional cycle based on the Breviary), Luke 8:4-15.   Actions based on faith are essentially planting the seeds of grace that were given to us by God.  They are, as a good canon once put, and I love this, "GOLDEN OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRACE!"   So, unlike any other kind of commerce, the more we SPEND this well, the more of this we receive back.  It's like, imagine going to a store to purchase something you need.  You pay the total for the bill, and then you are handed back all that you just handed over and a whole lot more.  That's a great deal!  I DARE YOU to find a better 'bargain' anywhere!   You certainly won't find a better 'commodity' in this life.)

So let us not be slothful in winning the war on sloth within our souls.  We start with our minds and our hearts will soon follow.  We will very soon be given the GREAT JOY, that increases beyond imagination, and is constant and consistent to the degree that we remain constant and consistent in pursuing the virtues for the love of God, who Loves us first and MADE us that we *might* give HIM glory by turning our self-inclined wills over to His will.  For He alone knows what will give us the deepest and greatest happiness, and the kind that can never be taken away or damaged, if we hold onto it tightly with both hands, with our practice of overcoming vice.  Let us even enjoy the struggle, as we battle, "not as though beating the air" but TO WIN the award, and in the end, an AWARD SO GREAT, that we cannot imagine.  Feeling still overwhelmed?  Don't be, because the battle is now.  The adventure is not one you pursue:  you're in it.  You just have to decide whether you're going to float like a dead fish on the tides, or fly soar like an eagle in the clouds.  The Commandments are not just rules, they are our guide, and within each of them we can find every virtue.  This is your game plan, God's means to the path HE has chosen from your very beginning, as He knew you even before you were born.

You were made to know, to love, and to serve God.

You've got this; now GO TO IT!

19 February 2017

The Truth Most Everyone is Unwilling to Hear (*includes most Catholics), Part II of II

+JMJ+


(Recommended meditation:  Sexagesima's Gospel Reading: Luke 8:4-15)
In the previous post, we left looked at the fact that we are often unwilling to look at things from a moral perspective.  Even when we do look at it from a moral perspective, it is usually from a self-directed perspective rather than transcendent, looking at our rights over God's rights.   For example, mercy then become redefined as if they are at odds with justice (that old, dialectic heresy of the Modernists).  Some, who as if they are "traditional", but in fact, unknowingly infected with Modernism by being scandalized and not knowing the faith, will think that mercy must be earned. Now, he's no theologian, but Shakespeare happened to hit the nail on the head with his description of mercy:



"The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice blest;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes" 
 -- William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act IV Scene I

Why is it charity, to which mercy belongs, is misunderstood and/or repressed?  First of all, what is charity?  Let's take a look at the Baltimore Catechism:

Q. 467. What is Charity?
A. Charity is a Divine virtue by which we love God above all things for His own sake, and our neighbor as ourselves for the love of God.


What causes one to lose the theological gift of Charity?  We lose charity when we do not abide in it.  The reason we don't abide in it is because we lose the theological gift of supernatural Hope.  The reason we lose Hope, is because we have lost and/or weakened Faith.  


(Note: while the greatest virtue is charity, it is supported by Faith and Hope, in that order, as defined by God, and revealed dogmatically by His Holy Bride.)


The chief means to lose of Faith is the vice of sloth.  When we think of the word, "sloth", we often limit it to meaning only a type of sluggishness in behavior, but it as actually, in the theological sense, a lot more defined significance.  Despite it being known as one of the 7 Deadly Sins, sloth is probably the single least understood and underestimated vice, and for these reasons, the most damaging because it is very insidious in today's world, and especially in the new order/modernist theology.  St. Thomas Aquinas, a Doctor of the Church, described it as the "sorrow for spiritual good," at its genus.  It is more defined as the act or inaction based on that sorrow, with the sorrow being at the genus of the vice.  It is not, therefore, a feeling, but an attitude resulting in the resistance towards or repression of certain spiritual goods.  Often people look at sloth mere as inactivity, but in reality, people today busy themselves in vain activities that they make out to be necessary and in the way of the time availability to do the spiritual requirements of their Christian faith.  This might be anything from holding one's tongue from an unkind word of look, or neglecting daily mental prayer and/or spiritual reading and anything and everything in between.  It is not merely, therefore, a sluggishness, but often a deliberation.  Things like, "Not now", or "I'll eventually work on building that virtue/praying silently/daily spiritual reading of the saints" or, "Let's not exaggerate things."  We even have prelates in high places calling the self-observance of whether or not we are ordering our moments to God as "fundamentalism" and a bunch of other misappropriated insults often used to distract from some weakness in their theology and/or practice. Another big excuse is that one is "too busy at the moment", and they go from moment to moment, without any self-discipline, ordering all their life to giving God what believe is enough to get them to Heaven, the same God who commands us to "be perfect."  

He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust also in that which is greater." -- Luke 16:10

There is an old saying, "Lex Orandi.  Lex Credendi."  The rest of that saying is, "Lex Vivendi."  This saying, however, can be rearranged, indicating that our interior worship may be shallow and weak, if how we live the faith is inconstant, and inconsistent.  (This saying translates to:  The law by which we worship, determines the law by how we believe, which determines the law by which we live.  However, it is important to acknowledge that BOTH external AND internal worship are necessary, and one does not preclude the other.)

The vice of sloth wants everything to be easy; it always procrastinates against doing the difficult things of higher priority.  Eventually, it weakens the faith to where the vice becomes so strong in an individual, that they perceive the justice or charity in ordering certain things to God as God commands.  Truth and the practice of virtue seem to be at odds with reality to these people, and then they will call this the "old way" that is no longer relevant to the complexity of the reality.  (I like to call this, "50 Shades of Theology." It's very philosophical orientation is immanent and not transcendent, as it pretends that their is a dichotomy between mercy and justice, as it is lacking grounding in the Faith.  Such prelates attempt to devalue all the Church Father and Doctors in this way, as well as the rights of God and his ability to grant supernatural grace.)  


The Reverend Canon Talarico, provincial superior of the Institute of Christ the King, listed the following means of overcoming the vice of sloth:


1.)  Build up love of God.

This is accomplished by greater knowledge of God.  Read the writings of the saints, in particular the Doctors.  Read the Dogmatic counsel documents (I personally recommend, "Sources of Catholic Dogma," by Denzinger, which is out of print, but you might find online).  

2.)  Spiritual Reading
By this, Canon means GOOD spiritual reading. (I recommend, again, the Church Doctor's provide great meditations, as well as Dom Gueranger.)

3.)  Praying the Stations of the Cross
If you can't pray all of them everyday, but pray and meditate on at least one station every day.  

4.)  Meditation on the 4 Last Things (a.k.a. The eschatological realities): Death, Heaven, Hell, Judgement.  

5.)  Being cheerful givers in their manner of interacting with others.  
Canon also further explains that Catholics must not withdraw from other people via spiritual sloth. They should be joyful in sincere overflowing gratitude for the graces of God in His mercy to them that He forgives them their sins, and even gives them the graces of conversion (hopefully, continued conversion, again, depending upon their charity, and cancelling the vice of sloth in their lives through consistent and constant charity from moment to moment).  This joy is also a Fruit of the Holy Ghost.

6.)  Say a prayer to Mother Immaculate.  Canon recommends a morning Memorarae, and/or an Angelus, and/or 1 decade of the Rosary, to petition Our Lady specifically to grow that day against the vice of sloth.  (I might add: singing the Marian Antiphon for that liturgical time, preferably the solemn chant in Latin version.)

If you're still looking for another aide, I recommend this simple trick:


7.)  Get a notebook and a pen.  In the evening before or the morning of, write down what you need to get done that day as a schedule.  SCHEDULE what you need to for the steps advised above, 1-4 (#5 is a regular moment-to-moment practice, and #6 is a given to be done with Morning Prayers).  Then, simply, stick to the schedule.

The stronger we are in charity, the more we will strengthen our hope and faith.  We will then have the courage by the Faith, and true Charity, to speak with courage and share in the Hope we have in Christ with others.



"PERFECT Thou my going in Thy paths that my footseps be not moved:  incline Thine ear, and hear my words: show forth Thy wonderful mercies, Thou Who savest them that trust in Thee, O Lord." Ps. 16:5,6,7.  Offertory prayer for Sexagesima Sunday.



The Truth Almost EVERYONE* is Unwilling to Hear (*includes most Catholics), Part I of II

+JMJ+


A LITTLE BACKGROUND TO THIS POST:

This post was inspired by a recent 'debate' that took place by some pseudo Catholic (?) group (which I won't bother naming) that had famous Chesterton advocate (who promotes Chesterton as if he is greater than the Church Doctors and Fathers, and Chesterton was hardly a Catholic theologian) who is an "apologist"* (*which for an upcoming post on "Why We DON'T Need Apologists, and Should AVOID Them"), and some proud, liberal, extreme Modernist, and Michael Matt from "The Remnant."  First I saw the clip, then eventually I got myself to watch the debate.  It was so painful, because it was not a good debate, the whole thing was formatted against Truth, and Michael Matt, unintentionally, contributed to more confusion by emphasizing that the issue mainly came down to a matter of canon law, which was incorrect.  I am not suggesting that the issue at hand was dealt within canon law, but that was not the crux of the matter.  Not only that, as Michael was talking, it almost sounded as if all of canon law was up for future debate, and that is just not the case.  Some canon law CANNOT CHANGE where it is law that supports dogmatic teaching in practice.  Whoever gave him the idea that canon law can change as if ALL of it can change was feeding him a gross lie (whether intentionally or not).  People just don't understand these basic things about it, and even say that if something is not contained expressly in canon law, it is up for grabs in terms of practice.  That is just not true.  If something is omitted from any publication of Canon Law, without their ever being an expressed reason for its being omitted, it is not, by Canon Law itself, to be deemed as having been abrogated from Canon Law, but I have digressed.  The main point I am trying to make is that the heart, or crux of the issue, is not that it is mainly canonical, but in fact, moral.  He (Michael Matt) should have drawn specifically on the Church Doctor's words, and dogmatic definitions, and beat the Modernists (both lite had heavy versions) at their game by stressing the definition of charity (while they redefined it) and obedience (while they redefined it). 


Now, with that introduction, I begin.

By now, most faithful Catholics have noticed that there is the tail wagging the dog with regards to politics and even within the Catholic Church:  a small number of people are storming the castle of a Christ-centered civilization.  In this first article, we will look at how this is being accomplished.

The short of it is that the (metaphoric) 'castle' (or 'castles') was found to be vulnerable to attack.  Were people who were watchers by night bought by the enemy?  Were security secrets stolen?  Did the lord of the castle become weakened by calumny or blackmail?

When we look at who is really the King of the World, we can see that on the broadest stage, our Lord is never blackmailed, and is always in control, but allows us to have our way.

So the question is:  how did WE let this happen?

---


THE WRONG CONVERSATION

One of the chief reasons things went haywire is because devout Catholics --- even conservatives in general --- have been having THE WRONG CONVERSATION.  They have let the liberals take control of the terms of the debate.  Let me first explain what that means:


The Rules of Debate:



Step 1)  Agree on the issue in discussion, and form the issue into a question that is not leading, and/or based on false premise.

Step 2.)  Any valid conclusion must be support by at least 2 valid premises, and these premises must be actually correlative to the conclusion, not supposition.

Step 3.) Terms of the debate must be recognized, agreed upon and given agreed upon definitions prior to the debate's start.

There are other important qualities of a debate, like staying to the topic, and that is just assumed. Some participants will try to get off topic in order to redefine the terms and the even the question of the debate.  If there is a Moderator, the Moderator must, not simply from the start of the debate, but through out the debate, work to ensure that the debate is directed towards the end in which it was created, at the very least.


Unpopular views win popularity by redefining the issues.  The issues are redefined by redefining of the terms.  

This is a most vital importance to acknowledge, because we do this to ourselves all the time.  We ALLOW ourselves to be lied to, because often we lie to ourselves (see PART II, to be posted after this post).  Unpopular views win gain strength by the real issues having been redefined.  The real issues are redefined by the terms having been redefined.

Here are some of the key means to redefining issues:

1.)  Not discussing the issues on the grounds of morality.  I will expound on this in a moment.

2.)  The error of humanism.  This will either be by openly promoting secularization over the Kingship of Christ, or, pretending to be either Christian (Catholic) or friendly to Catholic morality, it will, in the (false) name of Catholicism, use humanism to purport to defend its interpretation of Catholic dogma in a new, enlightened fashion, relevant to 'today' (because, allegedly, to these faithless, God hasn't always said or supported ideas that are infinitely relative.)  In order to support the humanist's approach, the heretic will use gnostic principles and turn things into always dialectics.  The trap is then soliciting pride by those entrapped by these "feel good" ideas that are based on false obedience.  and false charity, and tremendous amounts of inflated pride.

The chief reason that these errors have prevailed on the level of  Western society is thanks to Protestantism. The ideas of the ironically and diabolically called, "Enlightenment" were only able to take any root as a direct result to the errors of Martin Luther.  Luther rightly saw some errors in the Church hierarchy that were NOT dogmatic, but as a result of a handful of corrupt prelates, their nepotism to certain benefactors, and disingenuous and even spiritual harmful means to soliciting for financial support of their churches.  HE USED THESE LESSER EVILS to excuse his own evils, by redefining, in his mind, the nature of supernatural grace.  He said that the most God's grace could do was cover a soul like white snow, and the soul was "cow dung".  Therefore, God's SANCTIFYING GRACE does not, in his error, TRANSFORM THE SOUL by ordering the heart and mind to the perfect will of God and the truths of who He Is, but rather, it just "covers" us, like signing up for car insurance.  This error occurs throughout formal Protestantism, as well as informal Protestantism, where ever error against dogmas is promoted, and sometimes (and more often than not) where necessary truths of the unchangeable dogmas are not spoken (at many Catholic pulpits, for example, where political correctness in the name of "welcoming our absent brethren" has replaced the 1st Commandment.)


----

THE AVOIDANCE OF THE DISCUSSION OF MORALITY;  THE ELEPHANT IN OUR LIVING ROOMS, SANCTUARIES, AND VIRTUAL PUBLIC SQUARE


Now, let us return to the #1 reason the 'terms' in the debates we have are being redefined against truth (as well as goodness, unity and beauty -- all the transcendentals).

Devout Catholics are simply, almost always, not really all that devout.  Let's face it:  the bar has been lowered thanks to the Modernism, and its infiltration into most churches.  No one wants to bring issues to the light in terms of morality because that instantly puts to the forefront the reason truths have a hierarchy.  The discussion of truth in the terms of morality is being ignored by conservatives, only to find faithless people in all kinds of positions of authority beat them to the punch by redefining the transcendentals (what is good, what is united, what is beautiful, and first and foremost, what is TRUE).   They can do the impossible by (seemingly) redefining dogma by redefining obedience and charity (and doesn't Satan love this?  It is the means to emulate* obedience --- FALSE obedience).  (Note:  Notice I didn't say "imitate" obedience, but actually, he plagiarizes it by supporting false obedience.)  

The subject of morality is one which many prelates have told us is only to be left to priests.  This is an untruth.  God gives us the truth to live under, so it is through the unchanging truths that we know the mind of God and that which is expected of us.  We are not unconscious creatures, to be living in blind obedience.  Rather, God's grace helps us to see the dogmatic truths as things to defend out of love of God firstly, and love of neighbor secondly, out of that first love.  These operate in the Gifts of the Holy Ghost, which (collectively) operate in both the intellect and the will/heart.


We have to recognize that God needs to be the center of our worship, and that true gratitude to the one, true God demands high solemnity in worship.  In daily life, it demands constancy and consistency in doing all things under Him (by holy obedience in observance of His commandments) and FOR Him.  Our merciful Lord, who is never outdone in *true" charity, will give us, in return, the means to order all things in our hearts and our minds to him and his holy will, by giving us the graces to accomplish all that He commands.

For whatever is at the center of worship, is the purpose of the worship, and whatever is the at the center of our motivation, is then its end.  We spend our time fighting battles unarmed with grace, battles that either are not meant for us to fight directly, or battles to which we come unprepared.

"But he said: Are you also yet without understanding? Do you not understand, that whatsoever entereth into the mouth, goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the privy?  But the things which proceed out of the mouth, come forth from the heart, and those things defile a man.  For from the heart come forth evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false testimonies, blasphemies. [20] These are the things that defile a man. But to eat with unwashed hands doth not defile a man."  - Matthew 15:16-20


There is an old saying that one knows a man's heart by what comes out of his mouth.  We would speak of moral truths if we loved them enough.  We would love them 'enough' if we made a point to make every day, every MOMENT be a love note to God.  Simply put:   SPEAK THE TRUTH, AND SPEAK IT BOLDLY, BUT FIRST, LIVE IN THE TRUTH FROM MOMENT TO MOMENT.

Don't waste tons of time on all kinds of activities that keep you from putting God first according to your daily duties.  IF you are not praying your morning prayers, your evening prayers, and your quite prayers during the day, if you are not finding time and putting it to use to do spiritual reading of the saints daily,  if you are fighting a vice even to the point of deliberate sin, you're not growing in the grace of God.  He demands your obedience.  He demands your constancy and consistency in the little things according to your state.


"He that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in that which is greater: and he that is unjust in that which is little, is unjust also in that which is greater." -- Luke 16:10


continued in Part II...

REGARDING THE VICE OF SLOTH...

Part II (click here)




27 March 2016

How to Find Beauty and/or Truth

+JMJ+

AMDG

The Jews rejected Christ because he came and did nothing more than miracles that pointed back to his divinity.  That wasn't enough simply because they wanted a messiah that would bring them have the riches and power over the things of this world.   Some might assert that the Jews were "surprised" to see the Messiah in such a meek state, but no highly devout Jew, well-versed in scripture would have or should have been surprised by this, because of the writings of the prophets.

Jesus Christ's meekness was NOT a political statement that pointed back to himself and vertically to the natural order, but ordered everything to God the Father, even himself being divine.  He began to prove this when he celebrated the first sacrifice, not as the traditional pascal feast of a perfect lamb being sacrificed, but of HIMSELF as the sacrifice.  Here was the turning point for one of his disciples, that was scandalzied by this act of the Institution of the Holy Eucharist.   Judas refused to have a messiah that would allow himself to be a victim.  Judas essentially refused also the Good Friday of Jesus, although, running from it, he never-the-less participated by his refusing Christ's Sacrifice, and denying obedience to him.  Yet, he came back and kissed him on the cheek, and seeing the true divine goodness of Christ in Christ's response, he fell into despair.  Here he refuses also now, the promise of the Resurrection.

Do we forget our supernaturally supplied faith, hope and/or charity?  How often do we take for granted the Cross of Christ; His Passion and death, and his Resurrection?   How often do we take for granted the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass --- the true body and blood of Jesus in the Most Holy Eucharist, when we do not regard first and lastly HIS Holy Will?

The remedy:

Pray daily in silence.  If you seek truth (in this world), seek (rather) Christ.  If you seek beauty, seek Christ.  If you seek unity, seek Christ.  If you seek any goodness, seek it in Christ, and you will find the origins of any true goodness firstly in God, for any created goodness pales by comparison to its Creator.  If you seek love, seek Christ, because there is no greater example of love in this world past, future or present, than that of Christ's love for you.  Seek Christ in quiet consideration and prayer, and ask him to bring you more graces to create in you a new will that longs for the things that obey his will, and you will find all truth, all beauty, all peace and goodness in him.


HAVE A BLESSED EASTER.

29 October 2015

REALITY CHECK

+JMJ+

NO MATTER WHO dislikes or even if the entire WORLD hates me,

NO MATTER WHAT happens, regardless of what I may experience,

NO MATTER WHERE I may end up, even alone and lost,

NO MATTER WHEN I may experience suffering of any kind or combination,

NO MATTER THE REASON...

I MATTER because GOD LOVES ME.

I matter because I have life, that I MAY have SUPERNATURAL LIFE to OBEY GOD,

I AM, not because of what I think, but because GOD MADE ME.

HE GAVE HIS SON TO DIE FOR ME, AND THE HOLY GHOST TO TRANSFORM and CONFORM MY HEART AND WILL, that I may ascent to the one, true Faith.

God the Son loves me so much, that He suffered more than I can or will ever suffer in this life, so that no matter what the circumstance, I can remember that HE SUFFERED AND DIED FOR ME because HE LOVES ME.

I only need to concern myself with pleasing Him by avoiding sin and living in holy gratitude for His Creation, born out of His love.  This life I have is to give Him glory, by means of His Grace, which I may receive in the normal means He ordered since His death on the Cross.

Is this not proof also of His love, that I can know that I am loved?

Didn't the Blessed Mother --- a woman I have never seen with my own eyes --- pray for this poor, ungrateful creature, that I may have this Faith, that I may be obedient, as the servant she instructed at the wedding feast, "Do whatever He tells you?"

Yes, this is proof of the Blessed Mother and her power via her intercession.  Yes, this is proof of her Son's love, and that not long ago he suffered and died for me.  Yes, this is proof that there is a Heaven for those who give their wills and hearts to God in holy obedience to all He asks.  Here is proof of my purpose, that HUMAN LIFE IS ALWAYS INHERITANTLY GOOD by the fact that it is created to give HIM GLORY by the means of HIS GRACE, and OBEDIENCE to HIS LAWS.  All rights are His.

+++

Sin is saying that my rights are separate from God's, and that I am not grateful for His Sacrifice.  Nothing that can happen to me is worse than what I can do against God by sin.  Lord, Make me, therefore, a most faithful servant, always close to your Mother, that she may always continue interceding for me, until I am safely united to You forever in Heaven.  Amen.








15 September 2015

+++IN COMMEMORATION OF JARED CHEEK AND MATTY MOLNAR++++

+

Feast of the Seven Sorrows of the Blessed Virgin Mary, 2015 A.D.
Adorolata


A dear friend used to say while he was in seminary:
"Don't sin, and do what you will."

This is bad theology.  If we do what WE will for ourselves, our imperfections will turn to sins, inevitably, if even first by small sins as concessions, and little by little into larger sins.  However, it's even more dangerous than being just plain "cold" of the faith, but it espouses lukewarmness as the idea.  

It's not.  Our Lord made that clear: "But because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold, not hot, I will begin to vomit thee out of my mouth. "  Revelation 3:15



It doesn't matter if one gives his entire time, energy, and goods over to God.  God wants our hearts, and not just in a sentimental way.  He wants our WILL.  We are here to do GOD'S WILL, not our own.  Even Jesus Christ said that he "came to do the will of (his) Father," to humiliate his own --- in a good way, out of TRUE CHARITY --- which IS love of God, and secondly, love of neighbor out of that FIRST love: love of God.   

We need to remind ourselves and be reminded by others that because we are imperfect, we each also have an imperfect knowledge of God.  Therefore, we must not presume that we rely on our own understanding by doing the bare minimum, and simply obeying the Commandments.  We must have our actions out of love, that we conform our wills to God's, and then we can begin the path of spiritual progress.  The very last stage of the spiritual life (after the Purgative stages and Illuminative), is the Unitive stage, which is ultimately has in it's final part union with God's will.  This is what the saints in Heaven have, but one cannot enter Heaven without such union, if achieved in this life first, or later by purification in fire.  However, there are many in Hell who suffer eternal fire because they were lukewarm in this life, and died, as most of us will die, in an unplanned hour. 


LET US BE GRATEFUL FOR THE SACRAMENTS THAT LEAD US TO CONFORMITY and eventually to unity, if we truly love Christ and seek to obey God and HIS HOLY WILL in ALL THINGS.  

Not my will but GOD'S WILL BE DONE.



In loving memory of JARED CHEEK and MATTY MOLNAR.



REQUIEM aeternam dona eis, Domine, et lux perpetua luceat eis.
Requiescant in pace.  Amen.







Angel in Chapelle Royale
Dreux, France
Jean Marie Bienaimé Bonnassieux
(1839-1848)

Karl Keating's Comments on Michael Voris's False Allegations re.: SSPX

+

Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows


Karl Keating:

"NOT A GOOD WAY TO START A SERIES ABOUT THE SSPX"

"Today’s episode of Michael Voris’s “The Vortex” is titled “SSPX Sadness.” It’s about the Society of St. Pius X, the religious group established by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre. Apparently this episode is the first of several that will air this week, with a more in-depth program to be devoted to the SSPX on Friday.
While much of what Voris said is accurate, much is not. I don’t know if he has time to rectify his errors before later episodes air, but it would be good if he could do so. His basic error—and the only one I’ll mention in this post—is to state that the SSPX, as an organization, is in schism. It isn’t, and the Vatican hasn’t claimed it is.
In 1988 Lefebvre (1905-1991) and Antonio de Castro Mayer (1904-1991), the retired bishop of Campos, Brazil, ordained four SSPX priests as bishops. This was done without papal approval and in contravention of canon law. All six men were excommunicated latae sententiae—that is, automatically.
Their excommunications were confirmed immediately by John Paul II, who noted that the illicit ordinations displayed a schismatic attitude on the part of the six. (The excommunications were lifted by Benedict XVI in 2009; this lifting in no way implied that the excommunications had been unjust or unwarranted.)
To the extent there was a schism, it was personal and on the part of the six bishops. The effects of their act did not automatically transfer to their followers, whether the priests and seminarians who are the formal members of the SSPX or the society’s lay followers, or to the SSPX as an organization. The SSPX is said by Rome to be in an irregular status within the Church, but it is not said to be in schism. It thus is incorrect to assert that the organization, its priests, or its followers are in schism.
Michael Voris should amend his comments to make this clear. There is plenty of reason to criticize the SSPX, its current leaders, its founder, and some of its vocal advocates, but that criticism should be in the context of an accurate representation of the status of the organization.
(There are other errors in today’s “Vortex,” but I don’t have time to dissect the whole episode.)"




14 September 2015

The Upcoming Schism


+JMJ+

Feast of the Precious Blood of Jesus, 2015 A.D.
Jesu, Salvator mundi,
tuis famulis subveni,
quos pretioso sanguine,
quos pretioso sanguine redemisti.

The tone of this post will be much different that the previous posts.  
I haven't been posting in quite a while.  The main reason I started this blog was because I wanted some place to virtually 'store' my favorite digital, religious images, prayers, considerations, etc., while practicing my HTML.  It was during a time when my health was in crisis, and things were not looking too good for me in the longevity department.  The good Lord deemed that He still would work on me longer, and I am happy to say I am still here (to further work out my salvation, for my hope is to be in Heaven).

Today, however, there are a few things I would like to say to a lot of well-intended, but very confused Catholics.  

First, I would like you to paint an image in your mind of a well-dressed man whose arms are on strings like a puppet, wearing a thorny crown for show that he has suffered, with his arms somewhat extended by the ropes, and his nose growing like Pinocchio.  Then imagine a faceless man pulling the strings, dressed in an expensive polo shirt and jeans, and behind him are men holding masonic images.
Pinocchio had good intentions.  

What I described is what I see when I hear Michael Voris talk about the SSPX.  

I am NOT a fan of the SSPX, but for reasons far removed from what has ever come out of Michael Voris's mouth.  I do have respect for the late Archbishop Lefebvre but not for signing Nostrae Aetate (an action which he immediately regretted).  However, I am also not a fan of  a lie being presented as truth, and then making an argument based on that false premise.  For instance, it is a LIE that the SSPX is in schism.  Yes, Pope John Paul II had said that they were in schism, but even then, it was for reasons that were very odd.  Never-the-less, since then, the current pontiff in the visible hierarchy permitted by God (who is obviously visiting a vengence on His people for their spiritual laziness) has declared that they (the SSPX) are NOT in schism.   This is clearly why Michael Voris conveniently did not even mention the current Pope's declaration, and went straight to Pope John Paul II (because, hey, he's like a ROCK STAR, in pop culture!).  So, let's start from there, and "uncover the LIES and FALSEHOODS" of the online network known as "Church Militant"...

Let me start by saying that Voris has made a lot of GOOD shows.  I am very confused by his flip-floppiness in his own philosophies, though, and it makes me wonder if his boss, Terry Carroll, has anything (*cough*) to do with it.  I want to believe that Mr. Voris is well-intended, and just maybe he was hypnotized by the man who gives him his bi-weekly check adding up to only "$40K"  per annum.  God bless him and that work he has done that is good, and there is a lot of it!  He and his Ivy League friend, Christine Niles (who also used to have her own podcast produced by Terry, and had a repeated guest who was a heretic prelate, mixed, of course, with some orthodoxy on other occasions) may both mean well, but their passion for the faith sometimes gets eclipsed by their passion for affiliation, and their pride seems to cloud their judgment.

But "Who is TERRY CARROLL?" you ask.   Check this article out by Christopher A. Ferrara: Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Vortex

Now, let me also share with you what I PERSONALLY know about the man that ought to be, BY JUSTICE, PUBLIC, as although the man wants to be hidden from the public, his WORKS are NOT HIDDEN, and are PUBLIC, but he carefully orchestrates them from behind the scenes.  (That's what a producer does, but misleading the public, more specifically, traditional and semi-traditional Catholics on the internet, is another thing.)  



OK, let me just cut to the chase:  I know Terry has funded other shows on the internet which support people like Dr. Phil Mango, John Eldgredge, Gregory Popcak, etc.   I saw the connection, not knowing a thng about the producer of one show, and called in one night when Dr. Mango said some blasphemy against the Blessed Mother.  He went BALLISTIC, but these guys who host the show... the main host living at his mother's home, could somehow afford VERY SOPHISTICATED ON THE AIR EDITING equipment, and edited out his screaming tyrade (did I smoke someone's serpants???) on the airing delay.  

That night I heard from someone I knew affiliated with the hosts, and he worked as a (get this) go between on behalf of the show's producer, Terry Carroll.  I was asked to not give out his name to ANYONE.  Well, I've renegged on this because of the gravity of the danger he is posing* (&double-meaning to that word there).  Mr. Carroll wanted to know who I was, who I was "with" --- as apparently he believed I was "working with someone".  Well, I certainly hope I was and still am!  The pay, however, is not in money but in merit, may it please God.  LESS THAN AN HOUR of hearing from Terry, I started getting attempts of hacking on my computer over, and over, and over again that very same night.  I asked our 'go between' contact if there might be a connection, and he asked Terry, and the word back was that it happens to him, too, and that the "government" was probably spying on him, so I have to be careful not to tell anyone about my "associating" with Terry.  And I am very gullible and wanting to believe the best in people, so (don't laugh), I actually believed that Mr. Carroll had nothing to do with the attempted break ins to my pc.  (I happen to work in IT, so I knew what was happening and was pretty impressed with the attempts, although, they were unsuccessful.)

Umm... sorry, it's more dangerous not to mention this, as I have come to learn it's time to spill the beans.

Now, let's cut over to Michael Voris's recent revisting his hatred for the SSPX.  This is a smoking gun of the element behind Voris and even all the good works.  

Let me first lay out a concept regarding black propoganda, as I've repeatedly mentioned over the last several years in previous posts:   it's simply the single, most effective means of selling unpopular ideas or ideals to the very groups that are most against them.  Simply it's a type of magic by delivering something that appears one way, when it is really another in hidden aspects, by concealing what you are not meant to see with a plausible diversion.

Plausible diversion:  No devout Catholic wants to be in schism.  Yet, we know that the SSPX IS NOT in schism, so much that even Pope Francis declared that they are not in schism.  So, what's happening?   Voris only goes with the Pope when it suits his/Terry's interests?  But why NOW?

In "Church Militant's recent video released today, he made a conclusion based on a false premise:  the conclusion that the faithful will not receive valid Sacraments if they are celebrated by any SSPX priest, and bases it on the (FALSE) premise that they are in schism.  Even if you believed that the reason they were in schism was because of Pope John Paul II having said so (if even for strange reasons), then you would be obliged to believe that they are no longer in schism because of what the current pontiff has declared.   (Note:  if a priest can hear confessions, he most certainly can provide the other Sacraments. Remember two words:  supplied jurisdiction.   Now, Fr. Z.,  and his fans will have a problem with that, but that's with them.  The fact is, the faithful are not obliged to go to priests who do not celebrate the traditional Mass, or who even celebrate both as if they are equivalent rites.  I don't want to go on too much of a tangent here, but any liturgy that has at it's inception the premise of becoming more "relevant" to popular culture and its errant, predominating philosophies --- not even compatible with traditional doctrine --- has major issues, no matter how much of it is said in Latin.  Fr. Z. talks about "Modernism 2.0", but he represents Modernism 2.8.3.)

But getting back to my point:  WHY NOW?  Why does Voris and his puppeteer/(main)producer want to make THIS WEEK the veritable, "SLAM-THE-SSPX-AS-SCHISMATICS-AT-ALL-COSTS WEEK"?    Now, mind you, I do not attend there, but I do ironically attend an "approved" Mass.  (That sounds so odd, since when does the traditional Mass that has been given to us via tradition and has never been abbrogated need to be approved??  Oh right, since Vatican II, the "New (World) Order" minstries!)  Why THIS week, sandwiched between the Pope's recent defending, not the Sacrament of Marriage, but making another 'sacrament' of people's feelings, and the upcoming Synod?    (For those of you who do not know this, Pope Francis, who requested bishops and cardinals be more supportive of collegiality and discussion, BYPASSED the usual process for approving the two documents.  He did this because the heretical German bishops were pressing for it, among them Kasper the Friendly Heretic, no doubt.)   Maybe the Pope honestly means well, but even the path to Hell is paved with 'good' intentions, and this is no exception. The Sacraments and Commandments were not to be watered down so that we could have it easier and throw off the cross.  We are to come to Christ, not bring him down to be crucified by our lack of obedience and tepidity --- even in times of trouble, hardship and even emotional pain.  You don't believe me?  This was clear to St. Thomas More, and his enemies were all about finding a way to make an annulment easier.  (Watch, "A Man for All Seasons, and note how Cromwell proposes that they help King Henry marry in the Church with his 'new wife', "And our job as administrators is to make it as convenient as we can.")

Remember the reason Pope Francis said he was pushed to deliver these documents ahead of the October Synod?    The hierarchy that is for building the perception that dogma can change will declare that those prelates who are against the new proposals will be the ones in schism.  Mark my words.  Meanwhile, Bishops who will be defending the truth, will be marginalized by other Cardinals and Bishops.  


Now Michael Voris will have it that it is better to go with the flow of the formal obstinant heretics and materially confused than to obey the true teachings of Christ.  Consider, however, that once a prelate refuses dogmatic truths, he is not teaching in Christ.  We are to confirm to HIM, not Christ to the world.  



Watch Michael Voris flip-flop after the Synod about the very same bishops he defends today.  He will say that we must obey whatever is fed to us from this Synod.  He's setting you up for this if you are buying what he's selling this week.  He knows what he's doing, and he's already decided.  Voris believes he will be outside the Barque of Peter if he doesn't take everything that comes out of the October synod hook, line and sinker.  

That doesn't surprise me, and it shouldn't surprise you.  Afterall, Michael Voris's spiritual director is none other than Fr. Paul Nicholson.  Fr. Nicholson, who a posted mean-spirited "tweet" on the death of Fr. Gruner (may he rest in peace+)  immediately upon hearing of Fr. Gruner's death, and who has MANY TIMES posted lewd, immodest images (would you believe, even one of Miley Cyrus twerking?) and makes crude jokes even about sacramentals... this is the Fr. Nicholson who is Voris's spiritual director.  This is a priest who celebrates the New Order Mass, and is a member of the Opus Dei, who was started by a priest who flaunted a cross with a rose in the middle, the symbol of the rosicrucians* (*a demonic order well above the rank of the Freemasons).
Fr. Nicholson schmoozing with Bishop Schneider

So why do it?   Why preach some good things, and Voris make a lot of legitimately GOOD videos?  Again, it's because the target audience are the faithful Catholics.  Who else and how else to get them to come on board with swallowing the poison to be presented to us at the synod, the same poison we are already seeing coming from the misguided, (hopefully) well-intended Pope, who, by his own closest associates when he was Cardinal Bergoglio, said of him that he was more political than 'religious'?   (Don't forget; mind the Pope's "friends" who are big players in the UN, as well as the Marxist Jesuits of Brazil.)

Fasten your seatbelts, because this will be a bumpy ride.  Faithful Catholics will be thrown under the bus.  Do you think things are bad now by our respective governments telling us that it is illegal to stand for marriage as defined by God?   Wait 'till you can't even claim that you are truly Catholic!

OREMUS.+

Pray for the Pope.
+





07 November 2014

Signal Graces: What Are They?

St. Augustine de Hippo, by Phillippe de Champaigne
What are "signal graces"?  

First of all, let's talk about what they are not.   Signal graces are not a "sign" in the sense of when a prayer is answered, well, not necessarily.  Strictly speaking, that is not what they are and especially they are not something created, but actually grace.  Grace is the indwelling of God moving the soul. We know about actual graces and sanctifying grace, for example.  They are not in the natural order, so simply an answered prayer is usually not a signal grace.

Signal graces are extraordinary graces that move the soul by the intellect and will in such a way that the reception of the grace --- to a certain degree --- can even be detected by others -- or less commonly, even in ourselves.

So I guess they can be a "sign" of God's mercy, but we should know that all grace is God's mercy whether or not it is detectable.  Most grace, afterall, is not able to be detected.

A lot of times, God grants signal graces when He desires not just the conversion of a soul, but a conversion that will take the soul to a whole different level of faithfulness, preparing them for the person's new phase in life.  The best examples of these are in "conversions" that are very noticeable and abruptly life changing. The conversions of saints like St. Augustine of Hippo and St. Mary Magdalene are great examples of persons who have received signal graces.  They received extraordinary graces that changed their hearts and minds to such a degree that they changed their lives entirely to live only for Jesus Christ.   Other times, God is preparing the soul for death, but really, in call cases, that is always one of "4 Last Things".  

St. Mary Magdalene, by Carlo Dolci

One personal account of signal graces was of a situation with a little girl that I knew.  This little girl was blind, and never really dealt well with her situation.  She was "high-maintenance" and often complained about many things.  This made her a challenge to help socialize with other children.   After several months, of working with her, abruptly, she stopped complaining, except for one thing she finally admitted to having recently been bearing:  she had just started suffering from a stomach ailment.  Meanwhile, she was having no problem putting every other child ahead of her needs and wants, and looked to encourage others around her as if she forgot herself completely.   There was only one person she started mentioning quite frequently:  the Blessed Virgin Mother.  This young girl of 15 years began asking all sorts of questions regarding devotions to this Blessed Mother and especially questions regarding the Brown Scapular.   It was arranged by a woman who had been volunteering to assist this young girl along with other blind children, that this child be invested in the Brown Scapular.   The child began to wear the Scapular with great devotion.  Soon after, there was a woman who witnessed that this child had a literal glow to her and a peace of heart that was not of this world.  There was one concern:  she kept her forearm over her belly, as if to be in some pain.  While she had been preparing for a trip with her friends, one of the volunteers asked the girl if she was ok, and the girl only gently then mentioned that she had a stomach ache.  

The volunteer was a practicing Catholic, and had been noticing that all these changes that happened with this girl were sudden and very much "signal graces" --- where they were given in an extraordinary degree all at once.  So the question was, "What big phase was the child about to undergo?"   The mysterious stomach ache suddenly took on an extra, spiritual dimension.   It was obvious then to that woman that this child was being prepared for a holy death.  Perhaps this understanding was also a signal grace within the woman who noted these graces in such abundance, but it was said that the stomach problem was not deadly.  However, only a few months later, the child succumbed to a cancer that had not been disclosed to anyone outside of the family.  

Just before this little girl of only 15 years' had passed, there was an interesting battle among certain family members over the wearing of the Brown Scapular.  Those closest to her in her family were against her wearing the scapular.  The young girl insisted she wear it in the hospital, until her final rest.  +
The battle had been won, by the grace of God.

May He be praised in all things.

+A.M.D.G.+



For more information, please also read about "The Four Last Things" and "The 7 Gifts of the Holy Ghost".