Recent Posts

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Catholics Committing Cultural Suicide

So much for freedom of speech in GB

The Protestant Revolt Destroyed Monastic Herbal Expertise

Father Z has this on his blog with comments....

Where can one get "bovine salts"?

Something to have in one's bug-out bag, I would think.

Father Z Rants

Silent Retreat Coming Up

Because I shall be alone throughout the Triduum and even on Easter day, eating at "home" by myself, as there are no real communities here in the parishes, and as I have no friends in this area, I have decided to make the days into a silent retreat. The retreat earlier this month left no time for extended prayer as it was one of presentation and learning.

From the end of the time of the Mass on Thursday night until after Mass on Easter, I shall not be talking with anyone except out of necessity (cab drivers....etc.).

So, pray for my silent, single retreat. I need this after a very busy month. One actually needs prayers when one is in retreat.

I shall blog but much less..


Baptism, still again and again...

Speaking with a "low-church Protestant", who belongs to a congregation which does not believe in infant baptism, I could not convince him of the efficacy of grace nor the fact that we do not need to understand the complexities of sacramental theology in order to receive grace.

The parents in his denomination "dedicate" their children to God when these children are babies, but they do not baptize them.

So, the children have no infused virtues, no sanctifying grace, are thralls of sin and slaves of Satan, living in darkness, and not members of the Church, which all people are who are baptized.

Baptism is, also, obligatory, according to the words of Christ Himself, not an option put off until adolescence or adulthood, for membership of the Church.

If these good Protestants actually studied the Early Church Fathers, the Doctors of the Church, they would see a long line of references to infant baptism. In fact, it is a heresy to deny baptism to babies, as noted in the Council of Mileum I and one is excommunicated if one holds this belief. One may find more references here.

Sadly, too many Catholics are delaying baptism and are in great error.

"...says that infants fresh from their mothers’ wombs ought not to be baptized, or say that they are indeed baptized unto the remission of sins, but that they draw nothing of the original sin of Adam, which is expiated in the bath of regeneration . . . let him be anathema. Since what the Apostle says, ‘Through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so passed to all men, in whom all have sinned’ [Rom. 5:12], must not be understood otherwise than the Catholic Church spread everywhere has always understood it. For on account of this rule of faith even infants, who in themselves thus far have not been able to commit any sin, are therefore truly baptized unto the remission of sins, so that that which they have contracted from generation may be cleansed in them by regeneration" (Canon 3 written in 416). 

All sin is remitted, all punishment due to sin is remitted, one becomes an adopted son or daughter of God the Father, and one is given great graces, as well as the virtues.

Such luminaries as Irenaeus, Augustine, Gregory Nazaranzus, Cyril of Alexandria, and John Chrystostom refer to infant baptism, among others. Here is only one quotation from St. Irenaeus from the Second Century of the Church.

"He [Jesus] came to save all through himself; all, I say, who through him are reborn in God: infants, and children, and youths, and old men. Therefore he passed through every age, becoming an infant for infants, sanctifying infants; a child for children, sanctifying those who are of that age . . . [so that] he might be the perfect teacher in all things, perfect not only in respect to the setting forth of truth, perfect also in respect to relative age" (Against Heresies 2:22:4 written in 189). 
Children are not born innocent of sin, as they all have inherited Original Sin. To try and explain this to some Protestants seems very difficult.

They do not understand that baptism "marks" the soul, giving a character which those who are not baptized do not have. One is joined with Christ in baptism, and one will, if one stays in grace and does not commit mortal sin, (without confession), go to heaven "seeing", being with the Beatific Vision.
One of the greatest problems now in Western culture are the number of unbaptized people, adults as well as children, who are not living in grace, who have not received the virtues, and who are prey to Satan, as they have no spiritual protection.
A priest mentioned this in a talk I heard recently. Parents who are baptized and do not have their children baptized have not taken their children into light, and those children, still in darkness, have no recourse against all the great evils of the world.
more posts below on baptism
12 Dec 2014
Whenever I teach anything, I include Baptism, and Catholics are always shocked. I start the retreats I facilitate with a catechesis about Baptism and renewal of Baptismal promises, and an act of belief/acceptance/trust in the ...
06 Mar 2015
Review, reposts, revisiting baptism. Posted by Supertradmum. Here.... · Email ThisBlogThis!Share to TwitterShare to FacebookShare to Pinterest. Labels: baptism, magical thinking ...
22 Sep 2014
The newer rite tends to emphasize becoming a part in the body of Christ, which is fine and good, but it is at the expense of the reality that baptism is our rebirth in water and spirit which is necessary as the Gospels tell us.
06 May 2012
Pelagius supposedly said, and his ideas were condemned soundly at the Council of Carthage in 418, that humans could merit heaven and gain salvation without baptism. His emphasis was on human will power choosing ...

11 Apr 2013
Good answer to a question on the baptism of a child of lesbian parents.... Posted by Supertradmum · ... Labels: baptism, same sex marriage debate ...
28 Dec 2012
1213 Holy Baptism is the basis of the whole Christian life, the gateway to life in the Spirit (vitae spiritualis ianua),4 and the door which gives access to the other sacraments. Through Baptism we are freed from sin and reborn ...
02 Jun 2013
Magical thinking is indicated by people who think that baptism of infants whose parents are either atheists, (a priest told me today that many priest baptize infants of practicing atheists and a priest in Walsingham a few years ...
16 Nov 2014
The newer rite tends to emphasize becoming a part in the body of Christ, which is fine and good, but it is at the expense of the reality that baptism is our rebirth in water and spirit which is necessary as the Gospels tell us.

13 Jan 2013
A good Jesuit priest gave an excellent sermon today for the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord. Today, one of the three Epiphanies of Christ, the other two being the Feast of the Three Kings, and the other the Wedding Feast at ...

to be continued....

Using Books for Basic Spirituality

Some people have asked me for recommendations for spirituality. The problem is that too many try to bite off more than they can understand. Start small, be humble, grow like the plant, like a tree.

We all need the basics.

Fulton J. Sheen-anything

Sheehan's Apologetics

Chesterton's Orthodoxy

Practice of the Presence of God

Introduction of the Devout Life  St. Francis de Sales

And lives of the saints....

to be continued....

From Today's Office of Readings

I love readings on holiness, as these fall into my long theme of perfection on this blog. Today, the great Basil, notes that to be holy is not merely living the life of the virtues, but dying to self, to sin, to the world.

Again, baptism must be the most misunderstood sacrament today. Many Catholics no longer believe that an unbaptized person is any different than a baptized one. But, oh, yes. The difference is eternal.
Basil is speaking to adult converts, who are breaking away from their life of sin in baptism. The beginning of new life can happen to a newly baptized adult, child, or baby. Using the same metaphor of the race as St. Paul, St. Basil remarks that once we start the race to holiness after baptism, we must continue until we reach the finish line.

Apparently, in this race track of Basil's acquaintance, the runners had to stop at one point, turn around and run back to finish the race. This reverse of direction provides a clear symbol of one turning away from all sin and living in the new life of grace.

The symbol of the water is not only the real, efficacious cleansing of the baptized person from Original Sin, but the death to that sin and those inclinations of sin. The person is on the road to perfection. Virtues become part of the soul and intellect.

In baptism, we repeat the Death and Resurrection of Christ, Whose sacrifice on the Cross and the winning of the battle with Evil over sin and death, brings life.

Indeed, we are, at that moment of baptism, washed whiter than snow.

By one death and resurrection the world was saved from the book On the Holy Spirit by Saint Basil, bishop
When mankind was estranged from him by disobedience, God our Saviour made a plan for raising us from our fall and restoring us to friendship with himself. According to this plan Christ came in the flesh, he showed us the gospel way of life, he suffered, died on the cross, was buried and rose from the dead. He did this so that we could be saved by imitation of him, and recover our original status as sons of God by adoption.
  To attain holiness, then, we must not only pattern our lives on Christ’s by being gentle, humble and patient, we must also imitate him in his death. Taking Christ for his model, Paul said that he wanted to become like him in his death in the hope that he too would be raised from death to life.
  We imitate Christ’s death by being buried with him in baptism. If we ask what this kind of burial means and what benefit we may hope to derive from it, it means first of all making a complete break with our former way of life, and our Lord himself said that this cannot be done unless a man is born again. In other words, we have to begin a new life, and we cannot do so until our previous life has been brought to an end. When runners reach the turning point on a racecourse, they have to pause briefly before they can go back in the opposite direction. So also when we wish to reverse the direction of our lives there must be a pause, or a death, to mark the end of one life and the beginning of another.
  Our descent into hell takes place when we imitate the burial of Christ by our baptism. The bodies of the baptized are in a sense buried in the water as a symbol of their renunciation of the sins of their unregenerate nature. As the Apostle says: The circumcision you have undergone is not an operation performed by human hands, but the complete stripping away of your unregenerate nature. This is the circumcision that Christ gave us, and it is accomplished by our burial with him in baptism. Baptism cleanses the soul from the pollution of worldly thoughts and inclinations: You will wash me, says the psalmist, and I shall be whiter than snow. We receive this saving baptism only once because there was only one death and one resurrection for the salvation of the world, and baptism is its symbol.

Mysterious Words of Christ

Today, we hear Christ telling the apostles at the Last Supper that He will be glorified. This is stated clearly after Christ shows that Judas will betray Him.
Two mysterious things happen almost simultaneously. Satan enters Judas because Judas has given himself over to Satan in order to betray Christ. He is now possessed, by willingly giving over his free will, his decision of treachery to the dark side of evil. Those of us who have been betrayed by loved ones or trusted friends join with Christ in His suffering.
It is as if Satan and Judas have made a pact--Christ's death for Judas' soul. Judas cooperates with Evil to bring down Christ, the Son of God. But, Satan does not see the end of the story.
The second mysterious occurrence is announced by Christ in these words said after Judas leaves:
 When he therefore was gone out, Jesus said: Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32 If God be glorified in him, God also will glorify him in himself; and immediately will he glorify him.
Christ speaks of His glory, and that the Father is glorified because of Him, Christ. God gives the glory back to Christ in line 32, as the Father and the Son are One.
What is this glory? I think the glory is threefold. 
First of all, the sacrifice of Christ on the Cross, the Passion, begins in this Upper Room with the Institution of the Eucharist and the priesthood.
Christ and the Father are glorified both in the Mass and in the priesthood. The apostles become each an alter Christus, the other Christs, bringing the Body and Blood of Christ to all Catholics down to this present day through the apostolic succession. Indeed, these two new rites, new sacraments, Holy Eucharist and Holy Orders, bring glory to God, to Christ, to the Church. 
Second, Christ is glorified, and therefore, glorifies the Father through His perfect obedient Passion and Death on the Cross, which is the New Passover, the freeing of all mankind from the bondage of eternal death and sin. Christ is the Second Adam, undoing the sin of Adam through suffering as the Lamb of God Who takes away the sins of the world. God is glorified in His Son's redemption of all people. Freedom to be saints, to regain the lost innocence of Adam and Eve is given to all. The New Passover Lamb leads the New People of God through the new Red Sea of baptism, earned on the Cross by Christ. Christ is the New Adam, the New Moses, the New King David.
Third, Christ is glorified in His love for both the Father and all mankind, and this Love is the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity, the Holy Ghost. The Trinity is glorified at this Last Supper, in Gethsemane, on Calvary, and finally, as shown to all the world, at the Resurrection.
So, now is the Son glorified...
John 13:
18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen. But that the scripture may be fulfilled: He that eateth bread with me, shall lift up his heel against me.
19 At present I tell you, before it come to pass: that when it shall come to pass, you may believe that I am he.
20 Amen, amen I say to you, he that receiveth whomsoever I send, receiveth me; and he that receiveth me, receiveth him that sent me.
21 When Jesus had said these things, he was troubled in spirit; and he testified, and said: Amen, amen I say to you, one of you shall betray me.
22 The disciples therefore looked one upon another, doubting of whom he spoke.
23 Now there was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.
24 Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, and said to him: Who is it of whom he speaketh?
25 He therefore, leaning on the breast of Jesus, saith to him: Lord, who is it?
26 Jesus answered: He it is to whom I shall reach bread dipped. And when he had dipped the bread, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon.
27 And after the morsel, Satan entered into him. And Jesus said to him: That which thou dost, do quickly.
28 Now no man at the table knew to what purpose he said this unto him.
29 For some thought, because Judas had the purse, that Jesus had said to him: Buy those things which we have need of for the festival day: or that he should give something to the poor.
30 He therefore having received the morsel, went out immediately. And it was night.
31 When he therefore was gone out, Jesus said: Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him.
32 If God be glorified in him, God also will glorify him in himself; and immediately will he glorify him.

Faces of Good and Evil

There is a famous story about Abraham Lincoln refusing to place a person Seward knew in a high government position in the cabinet. Seward asked why Lincoln did not like this man, and the president replied that he "did not like his face". Seward was shocked that Lincoln seemed so superficially judgemental and said that the man was not responsible for his face.  Lincoln replied, "Every man over forty is responsible for his face."

Now, if you remember your childhood reading of The Three Musketeers, you will remember the evil character of Milady, a demon with a beautiful face, a horrifically manipulative villainess. 

She could turn her face into sweetness and light if she so wanted to do so, in order to ensnare her victims of revenge and violence.

But, her mask would slip, and some would see the horrendous anger and hatred which welled up from her soul into her face.

To state that a man over 40 is responsible for his own face means, simply, that the soul is revealed in the exterior. Some who have allowed God to purify their imaginations and discerning abilities can see serious sin on the faces of people.

I saw a murderer once, a long time ago, walking in a nasty area of a town, and later I found out this man was looking for "his" prostitute who worked for him. The locals understood what was going on. I could see murder in this man's face even though I saw him only once.

Some people seem so deceitful that one cannot see malice, or ambition, or pride.

But, the humble seem to be responsible for their calm and resigned faces.

Christ faced Pilate this week in history. Pilate asked the right questions--are you a king and what is truth and so on.

But, he could not judge the face. He was closed to Truth in the Face of Christ.

St. Therese had a great devotion to the Holy Face of Christ. This is a devotion of love and simplicity.

Here is the saint's poem of love honoring the Holy Face.

Canticle to the Holy Face.

Dear Jesus! ‘tis Thy Holy Face

Is here the start that guides my way;

They countenance, so full of grace,

Is heaven on earth, for me, to-day.

And love finds holy charms for me

In Thy sweet eyes with tear-drops wet;

Through mine own tears I smile at Thee,

And in Thy griefs my pains forget.

How gladly would I live unknown,

Thus to console Thy aching heart.

Thy veiled beauty, it is shown

To those who live from earth apart.

I long to fly to Thee alone!

Thy Face is now my fatherland, —

The radiant sunshine of my days, —

My realm of love, my sunlit land,

Where, all life long, I sing Thy praise;

It is the lily of the vale,

Whose mystic perfume, freely given,

Brings comfort, when I faint and fail,

And makes me taste the peace of heaven.

Thy face, in its unearthly grace,

Is like the divinest myrrh to me,

That on my heart I gladly place;

It is my lyre of melody;

My rest — my comfort — is Thy Face.

My only wealth, Lord! is thy Face;

I ask naught else than this from Thee;

Hid in the secret of that Face,

The more I shall resemble Thee!

Oh, leave on me some impress faint

Of Thy sweet, humble, patient Face,

And soon I shall become a saint,

And draw men to Thy saving grace.

So, in the secret of Thy Face,

Oh! hide me, hide me, Jesus blest!

There let me find its hidden grace,

Its holy fires, and, in heaven’s rest,

Its rapturous kiss, in Thy embrace!

August 12, 1895.