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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

This must be read as well....

This must be read......

Being in Eastertide Is Down and Dirty

From today's First Reading:

Acts 14:19-28New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

19 But Jews came there from Antioch and Iconium and won over the crowds. Then they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead. 20 But when the disciples surrounded him, he got up and went into the city. The next day he went on with Barnabas to Derbe.

The Return to Antioch in Syria

21 After they had proclaimed the good news to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, then on to Iconium and Antioch. 22 There they strengthened the souls of the disciples and encouraged them to continue in the faith, saying, “It is through many persecutions that we must enter the kingdom of God.” 23 And after they had appointed elders for them in each church, with prayer and fasting they entrusted them to the Lord in whom they had come to believe.
24 Then they passed through Pisidia and came to Pamphylia. 25 When they had spoken the word in Perga, they went down to Attalia. 26 From there they sailed back to Antioch, where they had been commended to the grace of God for the work[a] that they had completed. 27 When they arrived, they called the church together and related all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith for the Gentiles. 28 And they stayed there with the disciples for some time.

Note that the great Apostle of the Gentiles just got up out of the dirt and carried on. He kept going despite horrible ordeals. Again and again, he and his fellow workers got up and kept preaching, teaching, setting up liturgies, moving on.  He opened the door of faith for the Gentiles.

We are to open the door of Faith. 

We are an Easter People, a community of the Resurrected Christ, Who "trampled death by death" and "led the captives out of prison"

However, many of us do not feel release from the pains of many prisons. With the increasing evil revealed in even the msm, one may feel overwhelmed with negativity and the proliferation of sin.

But, Christ has overcome evil and He has overcome death. However, some of us wear death in our souls from sin, from sins against us, from daily, almost constant persecution and the various consequences of sin in the larger society.

McDonald's, were I sit daily, and write to my Dear Readers, has a motto here in this state, "Your lovin'--Their healing." I assume the advertisers mean to state that a mom and dad who takes their kid or kids to Macs will be feeding them good food and helping charities at the same time.

Some of the billions of the money earned through places like this little outlet, goes to houses for medical treatment for children. A drop in the bucket... And, I am sure the vast majority of people who come here for coffee and a muffin, or the dollar menu actually care if any of the money goes to charity.

This type of charity, which is another word for love, is not the type of charity God, the Resurrected One, demands of us daily. Love cannot be compartmentalized. It cannot be pushed off to be done by others. We need, absolutely, to be involved with others who have needs.

Lately, I have noticed that most people do not want to get involved with the needy, or, only at a great distance. I see this in my own life, but then, I understand that people are limited in love, just as I am, and that we have to be pulled, even pushed out of our comfort zones.

Our charity must be direct, involved, "down and dirty" as Christ got down and dirty walking this earth created for happiness and perfection and not for sin.

Sin was mankind's idea, not God's.

When Christ appeared in His Resurrected Body, He wore and still wears for all time, the wounds from His Crucifixion.

Have you meditated on this fact? The Glorified Body of Christ bears all the major wounds-the marks on the Hands, the spear-thrust wound in the Side, the holes in the Feet.

Recently, a priest reminded me that the wounds I wear from trials, poverty, illness, especially is done for mortification and for the glory of God, will be part of my resurrected, glorified body.

Amazing--the wounds we carry will be part of our glory, and how these wounds will be manifested is a mystery.

But, one can guess. If one has been hated, perhaps one will emanate great love. If one has been poor, perhaps one will be adorned like a princess. If one has been calumniated, a great humility will be obvious.

Mary, Our Mother, shares in all the greatest of virtues, from her Immaculate Conception to her days with John in Ephesus.

What were those long days like as she waited for God to call her home?

She was in constant union with the Trinity.

Again and again, I return to this mystery of the Indwelling of the Trinity. The Trinity dwells within all who are in sanctifying grace.

St. Teresa of Avila's birthday is being celebrated by Carmelites and those of us who love her this year. She was born in 1515. More than many saints, she shared what it means to experience the Indwelling of the Trinity.

Here is one of her notes on this fact, also referred to by St. Thomas Aquinas and St. Augustine.

The spirit becomes enkindled and is illumined as it were, by a cloud of the greatest brightness. It sees these Three Persons, individually, and yet, by a wonderful kind of knowledge which is given to it, the soul realizes that most certainly and truly all these three Persons are one Substance and one Power and one Knowledge and one God alone; so that what we hold by faith the soul may be aid here to grasp by sight, although nothing is seen by the eyes, either of the body or of the soul, for it is no ordinary vision.

As Garrigou-Lagrange, who refers to this teaching of St. Teresa notes, this awareness comes after the Dark Night and when one is entering the Illumination State.

Even some great saints, such as Mother Teresa of Calcutta, did not experience the awareness of the Indwelling of the Trinity until the very end of her life.

That some saints live in this awareness has been made clear by their writings-I think of Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity. I shall share more of her insights later this week.

While one is walking with God, one must keep in mind that although the lives of the saints are useful guides, God calls each one of us in a unique manner.

There is only one Thomas Aquinas, only one Teresa of Avila, only one Joseph of Cupertino, only one Mary of Egypt.

However, the universal truth of the Indwelling of the Trinity may be shared by all the baptized who are in sanctifying grace.

An exploration of the Indwelling of the Trinity will be my theme this week on this blog.

On Doctrine

When the Popes who declared the dogmas of the Immaculate Conception and the Assumption, the first, Pope Pius IX and the second, Pius XII, these popes contacted the bishops by mail as to their collegial agreement on these dogmas. We call these dogmatic definitions which are doctrines.

By mail.

Here is part of the statement of Pius IX in Ineffabilis Deus.

Accordingly, by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, for the honor of the Holy and undivided Trinity, for the glory and adornment of the Virgin Mother of God, for the exaltation of the Catholic Faith, and for the furtherance of the Catholic religion, by the authority of Jesus Christ our Lord, of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, and by our own: "We declare, pronounce, and define that the doctrine which holds that the most Blessed Virgin Mary, in the first instance of her conception, by a singular grace and privilege granted by Almighty God, in view of the merits of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the human race, was preserved free from all stain of original sin, is a doctrine revealed by God and therefore to be believed firmly and constantly by all the faithful."[29]

Here is part of the document from Pius XII in MUNIFICENTISSIMUS DEUS

41. Since the universal Church, within which dwells the Spirit of Truth who infallibly directs it toward an ever more perfect knowledge of the revealed truths, has expressed its own belief many times over the course of the centuries, and since the bishops of the entire world are almost unanimously petitioning that the truth of the bodily Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into heaven should be defined as a dogma of divine and Catholic faith--this truth which is based on the Sacred Writings, which is thoroughly rooted in the minds of the faithful, which has been approved in ecclesiastical worship from the most remote times, which is completely in harmony with the other revealed truths, and which has been expounded and explained magnificently in the work, the science, and the wisdom of the theologians - we believe that the moment appointed in the plan of divine providence for the solemn proclamation of this outstanding privilege of the Virgin Mary has already arrived.
42. We, who have placed our pontificate under the special patronage of the most holy Virgin, to whom we have had recourse so often in times of grave trouble, we who have consecrated the entire human race to her Immaculate Heart in public ceremonies, and who have time and time again experienced her powerful protection, are confident that this solemn proclamation and definition of the Assumption will contribute in no small way to the advantage of human society, since it redounds to the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, to which the Blessed Mother of God is bound by such singular bonds. It is to be hoped that all the faithful will be stirred up to a stronger piety toward their heavenly Mother, and that the souls of all those who glory in the Christian name may be moved by the desire of sharing in the unity of Jesus Christ's Mystical Body and of increasing their love for her who shows her motherly heart to all the members of this august body. And so we may hope that those who meditate upon the glorious example Mary offers us may be more and more convinced of the value of a human life entirely devoted to carrying out the heavenly Father's will and to bringing good to others. Thus, while the illusory teachings of materialism and the corruption of morals that follows from these teachings threaten to extinguish the light of virtue and to ruin the lives of men by exciting discord among them, in this magnificent way all may see clearly to what a lofty goal our bodies and souls are destined. Finally it is our hope that belief in Mary's bodily Assumption into heaven will make our belief in our own resurrection stronger and render it more effective.

For any Pope to declare an infallible doctrine, he need not call all the bishops to Rome. For centuries and for very good reasons regarding schedules and travel, bishops have not usually been called to Rome. I write this as a clarification for some readers who think that it is necessary for a Pope to wait for a big meeting to make an infallible statement from the Chair of Peter. Not so.

Lately, there has arisen again confusion as to what is infallible doctrine, what is approved Revelation and what is private revelation.

I have repeated this sentence on the blog many times. There is no official, true Revelation after the last word of the Book of Revelation in the Bible.

Any private revelations may be believe optionally. And, these, even of saints, are not infallible. Only when Rome picks something out of a private revelation to use in a devotion, like some of the prayers of St. Faustina, are these officially approved. Only, and still optional.

Only doctrines are not optional, but all private revelations are. Please keep this in mind and in perspective. 

To live one's life on private revelations of any type is dangerous, and keeps one from the virtue of studiosity.  Recall that vision chasing is the sin of curiosity. And, one is not to pay attention to a vision unless Rome approves it. 

Here are some of my ideas on studiosity versus curiosity, again.

Father Chad Ripperger has been one of the most influential priests in my life via his amazing set of talks and some personal input. He is the reason I am in the third order which he started. His intellect and spiritual insights are gifts from God.

One of the things he has pointed out is something I have written on this blog-the sin of curiosity.

This sin causes people to run after approved and unapproved apparitions. We do not need to concern ourselves with visions, but we do need to study our faith.

Recently, Father noted that curiosity is a vice, even when it is connected to wanting to know the latest about certain apparitions, even approved ones.

The virtue which is the opposite of this vice is studiosity, the virtue connected to temperance, which is a search for the truth which is disciplined and ordered. 

We are responsible for knowing the Faith, and we are also responsible for dulling our own intellects.

Raissa, as I noted, cried out in her diary for people to know their religion, the Catholic religion.

Without knowledge of the Faith, one easily falls into many other vices, and we are responsible for that type of falling away.

Studiosity is a virtue. If one is an adult and never studies the Faith in the Catechism or the encyclicals, or other excellent books, one is committing two sins at least. One is sloth and the other is neglect of conscience.

Ask yourselves honestly in your examination of conscience whether you are studying. If one merely chooses one author, such as St. Alphonsus, or the Pope Emeritus, or St. Augustine, or St. Therese of Lisieux, one is doing one's duty.

But the virtue demands that we study not only spirituality and prayer, but doctrine and dogma.

Studiosity is connected to the great virtue of temperance, the virtue which strengthens our reason. Temperance prepares us to combat temptation. Studiosity allows us to know the Faith so that we can avoid temptations and prepare for holiness.

Are you studying anything solid with regard to the Faith?

For those caught up with seers and visions, even approved ones, I challenge you to set those books aside and begin to study your Faith.

We are required to do this, and the fact that there is a virtue which helps us do so should be comforting.

Thomas Aquinas makes this distinction between curiosity, which actually is connected to lust and greed, and studying.  Curiosity connects us with the senses, not the intellect. Whereas studying increases our knowledge in order to help us know God and ourselves.

To be constantly distracted by trivia may be an indication that one has fallen into the vice of curiosity. To be chasing vision instead of studying is a sin of curiosity.

The Demon Mischief

One of the definitions of mischief is this---playfulness that is intended to tease, mock, or create trouble. 

Recently, I wrote a blog on trolls as mischief makers, but today, it dawned on me that many people in the Church actually want to create trouble but do so in an underhanded, supposedly playful manner. A man mocking a woman in Church because she wore a mantilla must not be seen as without malice. Why mock? Why does a parent say to a child who wants to kneel down to receive Communion that the young person is trying to merely get attention, when the effort of respect should be praised?

Mockery now involves making fun of people who do not support the gay lifestyles of those who want their sins to be accepted by society. Mockery includes undermining efforts to teach Catholic truth on marriage, and teasing those who want to follow God in all things seems to come even from rather young children.

The demon called Mischief can infect even the supposed innocent teasing of children, who learn to bully in teasing, which turns to mockery, and creates all types of trouble.

Catholics, you will be mocked, and even by family members. 

In law, there remains a criminal definition of mischief. Vandalism may come under the criminal code of mischief, as well as the purposeful as well as negligent accidents which could have been avoided.

Mischief can be seen as done on purpose, with a malicious intent.  What we are seeing in our society are more and more activities which may be called malicious.

Be prepared for these, and learn to be peaceful in the face of mischief. It is a demon with a rather soft sounding name.

Here is a man who has stood up against mischief for years.