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Tuesday, 31 March 2015

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.


Monday, 30 March 2015

One of my favorite passages...

Love is wasteful. Our love for Christ can have no limits. Christ loves us without limits. We only need to listen, repent, love. John, who loved Christ, understood this action of the sinful woman.



John 12:1-11


Six days before Passover Jesus came to Bethany,
where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead.
They gave a dinner for him there, and Martha served,
while Lazarus was one of those reclining at table with him.
Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil
made from genuine aromatic nard
and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair;
the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.
Then Judas the Iscariot, one of his disciples,
and the one who would betray him, said,
“Why was this oil not sold for three hundred days’ wages
and given to the poor?”
He said this not because he cared about the poor
but because he was a thief and held the money bag
and used to steal the contributions.
So Jesus said, “Leave her alone.
Let her keep this for the day of my burial.
You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.”

The large crowd of the Jews found out that he was there and came,
not only because of him, but also to see Lazarus,
whom he had raised from the dead.
And the chief priests plotted to kill Lazarus too,
because many of the Jews were turning away
and believing in Jesus because of him.

Bad News

 Alliance Defending Freedom. 15100 N. 90th St. Scottsdale, AZ 85260

Pastors in 20-year-old case call for NYC Mayor to fulfill promise to change policy barring churches from public schools

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
For 20 years, Pastors Jack Roberts and Bob Hall of the Bronx Household of Faith have fought for the right to rent an empty space in their local New York City public school for their weekly worship services. It didn't seem like such an outrageous request, but the New York City Board of Education made it clear—people can rent the spaces during non-school hours for just about any community event–except worship services.
Today, the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the case. The 2-1 ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit in favor of the city will now go into effect. As a result, the fate of Bronx Household of Faith and other churches in New York City that meet in public school facilities rests in the hands of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio.
This is the same mayor who promised during his campaign to reverse the policy, but he has not yet done so. Unless swift action is taken to amend the current city policy to grant churches equal access to public school buildings, Bronx Household of Faith and others will soon find themselves homeless.


Interruption Again and News from Scotland

Within three weeks, I shall have an interruption in wifi service again. The friend who has allowed me to us her Internet will be moving away, changing her lifestyle, and I shall be walking back to the local hamburger place for use of the Net. Thankfully, the weather is changing for the better, but the fast-food place is not a nice area to go and sit with some serious "spiritual warfare" happening there. It is a creepy place, in other words.

The nice thing about going to the cafes for usage is that I am free to be off the Net and not distracted by "checking email" and so on during the day. I am fairly organized and usually leave my mornings and evenings for prayers, as well as the mid-day and three o'clock prayer times, but I do check things sometimes, not daily, late at night. Basically, I am online only in the afternoon and late night, if then.

My day is on American time, but my computer usage is on GMT.

This type of schedule will all end in three weeks. I would love to move to get to a place where I can get to daily Mass--has been hard being in the desert.

By the way, sad news from St. Andrew's and Edinburgh Diocese....

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/news/2015/03/30/archbishop-urges-faithful-to-resist-pessimism-ahead-of-parish-closures/



Dark Night Again....




Matthew 27:46 Douay-Rheims 

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

One of the few "lights"of Holy Week for the person in the Dark Night. is that Christ joins us in His Own darkness. Christ allowed Himself to take our sins upon Himself and experience the type of suffering we suffer daily because of our sins and the sins of others.

Joining us in humanity, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became Incarnate specifically to free us from Original, mortal and venial sins.

Christ enters liturgically into His Dark Night of the Spirit, not because of His sin, as He is Perfect, Innocence, Good, but because of our sins. We join His sacrifice in the Masses we attend, but especially this week in the climax of Lent,  in this Passion Week and in the Triduum.

As I enter this week, I am grateful to God for His Sacrifice, when He chose suffering, both spiritual and bodily, so that I do not have to go to hell. Grace upon grace is given to us through His Passion and Death on the Cross, and through His Resurrection. Christ overcame death and sin, conquering Satan, undoing the damage done by our First Parents.

This is the week of Christ's joining with us as we see on Good Friday in the terrible words of pain and faith as noted above.

We neither despair, nor do we pretend to be something other than we are--sinners standing at the foot of the Cross. And, if we love Christ, we are on Calvary not merely for ourselves, but for Him. But, there is no consolation on this Place of the Skull, only the agony which brings victory over sin and death.

The Mass is the real, not symbolic, recreation of Calvary in an unbloody manner. Everytime we go to Mass, we are standing, again, at the foot of the Cross.

Let us all pause and thank God for His Goodness shown to us most clearly in Holy Week.




Tide of the Century..."old news", but spectacular view

http://www.france24.com/en/20150321-france-tide-century-mont-saint-michel-brittany/

What part of John 6

54 do non-Catholics, non-Christians not understand? And, why? Christ said this sentence and highlighted it with "Amen, amen", which means "pay attention, please". 

Life in this verse means sanctifying grace...no Eucharist, no grace, no salvation, no heaven.

Then Jesus said to them: Amen, amen I say unto you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you shall not have life in you.

I caused this...


Only a god could take on his shoulders the sins of the world. Only a god could die for all the people who ever existed in this world, and, bar one chosen woman, sinned. Mankind has seen myths of such a sacrifice in the many stories of the gods who do great feats for men, but the myths point to the reality of this liturgical week.

The consequences of sin, individual and corporate is that the God-Man, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity allowed Himself to suffer and die for each one of us, for all of us.

Rarely do priests speak of the consequences of sin. Rarely are the consequences of sins discussed among Catholics.

When I sin, even if the sin is "private", such as an unkind or critical thought, I harm not only the Church of God, but the entire world.

My lack of holiness spreads out into the corporate responsibility of all men and women of either choosing good or choosing evil.

I have shared on this blog before the encounter with God I had concerning one venial sin.

Consequences of venial sin and consequences of mortal sin affect each person we meet and even those we never meet.

My selfishness causes a child not to have supper. My omission of kindness causes a person to doubt Christianity. My inattention in prayer weakens the Church Militant. My passing up of joining in the suffering of Christ willingly by mortification undermines God's plan for a new creation on earth.

Our free will is totally sacred to God. He will not interfere with our will, but gives us grace to respond. We can say yes, or no.

The individualization of religion, the subjectivity of both secularism and Protestantism have infiltrated the minds of Catholics to the point where most Catholics cannot see how their lives affect the entire Church.

What I do matters. Everything we do has consequences for good or for evil--everything.

Mary could have said no in Nazareth. Christ could have said no in Gethsemane.

Eve said no to Adam's authority. Adam said no to God.

Sin has consequences....But, Christ took those consequences onto Himself.

Pray that God shows you both justice and mercy. Pray you see the consequences now, while you still have time to repent. When one comes to understand consequences as seen by the Eyes of God, one can say of the Passion and Death of Christ, "I caused this."






Knowledge of Divine Things 32 Caritas in Veritate 7



Perhaps the most important lines in this encyclical are found in this paragraph. What is missing among the vast majority of Catholics, including many priests, some bishops, and some cardinals, is the knowledge which is wisdom. Wisdom is not only a gift of the Holy Spirit, but development of the intellect and faith.

I am temporarily abandoning this walk through Benedict's important work simply because so few people are reading these posts. If readers want me to continue, I need feedback as now 7-28 readers per post is the norm--not enough for the work at hand, when I could be concentrating on other things.

I assume most readers are not making the connections with this series and the synod. Without the grounding of the knowledge of divine things, empty platitudes, such as stated recently by a foremost cleric in England, will control the media and thoughts of many people.

These words must not be merely applied to social conditions but to the conditions of society which foster the type of relativism seen in the comments of senior clergymen concerning adultery and remarriage.

Back to the text...

30. In this context, the theme of integral human development takes on an even broader range of meanings: the correlation between its multiple elements requires a commitment to foster the interaction of the different levels of human knowledge in order to promote the authentic development of peoples. Often it is thought that development, or the socio-economic measures that go with it, merely require to be implemented through joint action. This joint action, however, needs to be given direction, because “all social action involves a doctrine”[74]. In view of the complexity of the issues, it is obvious that the various disciplines have to work together through an orderly interdisciplinary exchange. Charity does not exclude knowledge, but rather requires, promotes, and animates it from within. Knowledge is never purely the work of the intellect. It can certainly be reduced to calculation and experiment, but if it aspires to be wisdom capable of directing man in the light of his first beginnings and his final ends, it must be “seasoned” with the “salt” of charity.

What seems to be forgotten is that this world and the happiness of this world are not the true goal or end of human being.

Deeds without knowledge are blind, and knowledge without love is sterile. Indeed, “the individual who is animated by true charity labours skilfully to discover the causes of misery, to find the means to combat it, to overcome it resolutely”[75]. Faced with the phenomena that lie before us, charity in truth requires first of all that we know and understand, acknowledging and respecting the specific competence of every level of knowledge. Charity is not an added extra, like an appendix to work already concluded in each of the various disciplines: it engages them in dialogue from the very beginning.

Those who settle for compromise miss the core truth that charity must always be accompanied by truth, which is found through wisdom, through knowledge.

The demands of love do not contradict those of reason. Human knowledge is insufficient and the conclusions of science cannot indicate by themselves the path towards integral human development. There is always a need to push further ahead: this is what is required by charity in truth[76]. Going beyond, however, never means prescinding from the conclusions of reason, nor contradicting its results. Intelligence and love are not in separate compartments: love is rich in intelligence and intelligence is full of love.

Intelligence full of love? Where does one see that in the banal statements of too many clerics at the synod, who insist on seeing good in sin, or compromise over grace? What seems like love is really a snobbery of some priests who actually look down on the laity as incapable of holiness. 

The truth is that too many priests, bishops and even cardinals do not believe in holiness for themselves, only earthly comforts and happiness.

To undermine sanctity is to undermine the very reason the Church exists--- which is to help us all become saints. Such is the satanic influence we can plainly see even last week in comments from certain cardinals against those priests who uphold the constant teaching of the Church on marriage.




Will The Cross


Suffering forms the theme of many posts on this blog. Just follow the tags.

But, this week, the holiest week of the year, one follows Christ on His terrible journey to the Cross.

Years ago, when I read that the great saints encouraged meditating on the Crucifixion, I could not accept that looking at the Cross was a credible exercise. Thankfully, God has been patient with me, and now, I can say truly that meditating on the Passion brings one into the reality of self-knowledge and love of God.

When one gets to the point where one asks God the Father to join in the suffering of Christ, one has embraced the purgation of the soul and body.

This purgation, this accepting of the Cross in any way God presents it to one, marks the real beginning of purification.

One begins to want to suffer, for one's sins, for reparation, for intercession, for the glory of God.

The more humble one becomes, the easier the acceptance of suffering becomes.

Follow Christ this week, not only in the Scriptures, but in the heart, mind, imagination, will.

Will the Cross.

The Book of Esther-Black Liberation Theology and Anti-Semitism

Today, I was reading the book of Esther, and then I found this article on line.

http://www.jpost.com/Israel-News/American-Israeli-Rabbi-compares-Obama-to-Haman-395457

We sin because we are selfish. Selfishness in little people, who are in lowly places, causes small ripples of consequences. But, selfishness in big people, who are in positions of power, causes tidal waves.

Haman hated the Jews with a racist fury. Of course, few people realize that in our country there has been a long hatred of those who follow black liberation theology for Jews.

POTUS sat for umpteen years in the front row of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's black liberation theology "church". Many of the articles which described this false ahistorical view, which holds that the Black People are the Chosen People of God and not the Jews, and that Christ is a political Messiah have been erased from the Net.

In 2007 to 2009 on my first blog, I explained black liberation theology in detail. I discovered by studying blt that it was rife with anti-semitism.

Supplanting the Jews as the real tribes set aside by God is a seminal idea therein.

I have read parts of blt books and can assure you these are bogus attempts to deny the history and revelation of the Old Testament.

Small wonder our leader hates Israel.

Read more here http://www.acton.org/pub/commentary/2008/04/02/marxist-roots-black-liberation-theology  with a snippet below.....and

What is Black Liberation Theology anyway? Barack Obama's former pastor, Jeremiah Wright catapulted black liberation theology onto a national stage, when America discovered Trinity United Church of Christ. Understanding the background of the movement might give better clarity into Wright's recent vitriolic preaching. A clear definition of black theology was first given formulation in 1969 by the National Committee of Black Church Men in the midst of the civil-rights movement:
Black theology is a theology of black liberation. It seeks to plumb the black condition in the light of God's revelation in Jesus Christ, so that the black community can see that the gospel is commensurate with the achievements of black humanity. Black theology is a theology of 'blackness.' It is the affirmation of black humanity that emancipates black people from White racism, thus providing authentic freedom for both white and black people. It affirms the humanity of white people in that it says 'No' to the encroachment of white oppression.
In the 1960s, black churches began to focus their attention beyond helping blacks cope with national racial discrimination particularly in urban areas.
The notion of "blackness" is not merely a reference to skin color, but rather is a symbol of oppression that can be applied to all persons of color who have a history of oppression (except whites, of course). So in this sense, as Wright notes, "Jesus was a poor black man" because he lived in oppression at the hands of "rich white people." The overall emphasis of Black Liberation Theology is the black struggle for liberation from various forms of "white racism" and oppression.
James Cone, the chief architect of Black Liberation Theology in his book A Black Theology of Liberation (1970), develops black theology as a system. In this new formulation, Christian theology is a theology of liberation -- "a rational study of the being of God in the world in light of the existential situation of an oppressed community, relating the forces of liberation to the essence of the gospel, which is Jesus Christ," writes Cone. Black consciousness and the black experience of oppression orient black liberation theology -- i.e., one of victimization from white oppression.
and more here with another snippet
Until I started following the threads of Obama's Chicago history, his church, his other associations, especially the religious ones, I honestly didn't think anyone but the scantiest few fringe neo-Nazis or throngs of Middle-Eastern Muslims still harbored Jew hatred. 
I assumed Farrakhan got his antisemitism from the Koran.  The Koran, after all, is pretty explicit about Mohammed's hatred of the Jews, most likely because the Jews stubbornly clung to the wisdom of their own prophets and refused to convert.
But when I read the Black Liberation Theology books of James H. Cone, I saw a subtly disguised, resentful kind of antisemitism which I had never encountered before. 
The Gospel of Envy
Perhaps Winston Churchill was absolutely correct when he called socialism the "gospel of envy."  It has always struck me as odd when populist politicians, posing as Christians, perpetually tempt people to envy, driving home the notion that some are poor only because others are rich. 
It somehow never seems to dawn on either the politicians or those they are tempting that this flies directly in the face of the Tenth Commandment, "Thou shalt not covet..."  Nor do these so-called Christians seem to remember that Jesus condemned the tempting of others to sin as far worse than the sin itself.  "Woe be unto the tempters," Jesus admonished. 
Nevertheless, black power preachers who ascribe to Black Liberation Theology seem to be masters at provoking envy in the name of Christianity.
One of Cone's earliest books, Black Theology & Black Power, was first published in 1969, only 24 years after the end of WWII.  At the War's end, photographic and cinematic evidence of the Holocaust was spread worldwide and was met with horrific incredulity at what the Nazis had done to the Jews.  Yet, Cone embeds within his call to black liberation a diabolical resentment that Jews, not blacks, could lay claim to the Holocaust.  When I first read his words, they caught in my throat and I could barely believe they were on the page before me.
Cone is writing of "negro hatred of white people" not being in the least "pathological," but a "healthy human reaction to oppression, insult, and terror."  He remarks that white people seem surprised by this hatred, but that they shouldn't be, because it's just a natural response to the horrors black people face.
This audacious vindication of hatred within a theology which claims Christian roots is absurd. But then Cone actually seems to express an inverted diabolical envy of Jews, precisely because of the Holocaust:

Sunday, 29 March 2015

Blasphemy!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/28/yoga-stations-of-the-cross_n_6954992.html

All the yoga positions relate exactly to one of the 900 plus gods of the Hindus. Yoga is one of the things mentioned in....

 http://www.vatican.va/roman_curia/pontifical_councils/interelg/documents/rc_pc_interelg_doc_20030203_new-age_en.html

This is blasphemy.  Christ died to free us from superstition and false "religions". To join paganism with Catholicism is too horrible to contemplate.

Kyrie eleison...

1 Timothy 4 Douay-Rheims 

Now the Spirit manifestly saith, that in the last times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to spirits of error, and doctrines of devils,
Speaking lies in hypocrisy, and having their conscience seared,
Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth.
For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be rejected that is received with thanksgiving:
For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
These things proposing to the brethren, thou shalt be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished up in the words of faith, and of the good doctrine which thou hast attained unto.
But avoid foolish and old wives' fables: and exercise thyself unto godliness.
For bodily exercise is profitable to little: but godliness is profitable to all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
A faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10 For therefore we labor and are reviled, because we hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially of the faithful.
11 These things command and teach.
12 Let no man despise thy youth: but be thou an example of the faithful in word, in conversation, in charity, in faith, in chastity.
13 Till I come, attend unto reading, to exhortation, and to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the grace that is in thee, which was given thee by prophesy, with imposition of the hands of the priesthood.
15 Meditate upon these things, be wholly in these things: that thy profiting may be manifest to all.
16 Take heed to thyself and to doctrine: be earnest in them. For in doing this thou shalt both save thyself and them that hear thee.

Knowledge of Divine Things 31 Caritas in Veritate 6

Vice controls both finances and social interactions of most governments and cultures. The great vice controlling the imaginations and decisions of most leaders and followers is avarice. Without defeating avarice in the soul. all political efforts are useless, to be honest. Without reason informing the soul, one is trapped in the sins of the passions.

Reflection must be part of our daily lives regarding all aspects of social and cultural life. One must put all things "under Christ".  Individual rights go hand-in-hand with duties, and part of the larger ethical dimension of Church teaching.  This is our framework for decision making regarding responsibility in the public sphere. Too many people have "private religion", which is one of the problems with some "thinkers" at the synod. There is not division between private and public expressions of the Faith. Reason informs faith on all aspects of human life.



43. “The reality of human solidarity, which is a benefit for us, also imposes a duty”[105]. Many people today would claim that they owe nothing to anyone, except to themselves. They are concerned only with their rights, and they often have great difficulty in taking responsibility for their own and other people's integral development. Hence it is important to call for a renewed reflection on how rights presuppose duties, if they are not to become mere licence[106]. Nowadays we are witnessing a grave inconsistency. On the one hand, appeals are made to alleged rights, arbitrary and non-essential in nature, accompanied by the demand that they be recognized and promoted by public structures, while, on the other hand, elementary and basic rights remain unacknowledged and are violated in much of the world[107]. A link has often been noted between claims to a “right to excess”, and even to transgression and vice, within affluent societies, and the lack of food, drinkable water, basic instruction and elementary health care in areas of the underdeveloped world and on the outskirts of large metropolitan centres. The link consists in this: individual rights, when detached from a framework of duties which grants them their full meaning, can run wild, leading to an escalation of demands which is effectively unlimited and indiscriminate. An overemphasis on rights leads to a disregard for duties. Duties set a limit on rights because they point to the anthropological and ethical framework of which rights are a part, in this way ensuring that they do not become licence. Duties thereby reinforce rights and call for their defence and promotion as a task to be undertaken in the service of the common good. Otherwise, if the only basis of human rights is to be found in the deliberations of an assembly of citizens, those rights can be changed at any time, and so the duty to respect and pursue them fades from the common consciousness. Governments and international bodies can then lose sight of the objectivity and “inviolability” of rights. When this happens, the authentic development of peoples is endangered[108]. Such a way of thinking and acting compromises the authority of international bodies, especially in the eyes of those countries most in need of development. Indeed, the latter demand that the international community take up the duty of helping them to be “artisans of their own destiny”[109], that is, to take up duties of their own. The sharing of reciprocal duties is a more powerful incentive to action than the mere assertion of rights.

Sadly the bad developments, mostly coming from the United States government, in an effort to control the global economy, has set back some of the more optimistic ideals of the Pope Emeritus. the unreasonableness of socialism, condemned by every pope in the past 150 plus years, has been ignored by many governments.

Much in fact depends on the underlying system of morality. On this subject the Church's social doctrine can make a specific contribution, since it is based on man's creation “in the image of God” (Gen 1:27), a datum which gives rise to the inviolable dignity of the human person and the transcendent value of natural moral norms. When business ethics prescinds from these two pillars, it inevitably risks losing its distinctive nature and it falls prey to forms of exploitation; more specifically, it risks becoming subservient to existing economic and financial systems rather than correcting their dysfunctional aspects. Among other things, it risks being used to justify the financing of projects that are in reality unethical. The word “ethical”, then, should not be used to make ideological distinctions, as if to suggest that initiatives not formally so designated would not be ethical. Efforts are needed — and it is essential to say this — not only to create “ethical” sectors or segments of the economy or the world of finance, but to ensure that the whole economy — the whole of finance — is ethical, not merely by virtue of an external label, but by its respect for requirements intrinsic to its very nature. The Church's social teaching is quite clear on the subject, recalling that the economy, in all its branches, constitutes a sector of human activity[113].

New Website for Helpers of God's Precious Infants

http://helpersuk.org/

I have been on retreat with these great people.

Knowledge of Divine Things 30 Caritas in Veritate 5

Moving back a little, I am referring to the section in the encyclical on Original Sin.

Many Catholics do not believe in Original Sin; see my series on heresies, Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism.

Sometimes modern man is wrongly convinced that he is the sole author of himself, his life and society. This is a presumption that follows from being selfishly closed in upon himself, and it is a consequence — to express it in faith terms — of original sin. The Church's wisdom has always pointed to the presence of original sin in social conditions and in the structure of society: “Ignorance of the fact that man has a wounded nature inclined to evil gives rise to serious errors in the areas of education, politics, social action and morals”[85]. In the list of areas where the pernicious effects of sin are evident, the economy has been included for some time now. We have a clear proof of this at the present time. The conviction that man is self-sufficient and can successfully eliminate the evil present in history by his own action alone has led him to confuse happiness and salvation with immanent forms of material prosperity and social action. Then, the conviction that the economy must be autonomous, that it must be shielded from “influences” of a moral character, has led man to abuse the economic process in a thoroughly destructive way. In the long term, these convictions have led to economic, social and political systems that trample upon personal and social freedom, and are therefore unable to deliver the justice that they promise. As I said in my Encyclical Letter Spe Salvi, history is thereby deprived of Christian hope[86], deprived of a powerful social resource at the service of integral human development, sought in freedom and in justice. Hope encourages reason and gives it the strength to direct the will[87]. It is already present in faith, indeed it is called forth by faith. Charity in truth feeds on hope and, at the same time, manifests it. As the absolutely gratuitous gift of God, hope bursts into our lives as something not due to us, something that transcends every law of justice. Gift by its nature goes beyond merit, its rule is that of superabundance. It takes first place in our souls as a sign of God's presence in us, a sign of what he expects from us. Truth — which is itself gift, in the same way as charity — is greater than we are, as Saint Augustine teaches[88]. Likewise the truth of ourselves, of our personal conscience, is first of all
given to us. In every cognitive process, truth is not something that we produce, it is always found, or better, received. Truth, like love, is neither planned nor willed, but somehow imposes itself upon human beings”[89].

The truth is that many Catholics no longer believe in Original Sin, which, unless one is baptized, keeps on in darkness, and, simply, "not saved."

Do not think that children in Original Sin have grace to combat the evils of the world and the devil, as well as the flesh. They do not. Reason is in darkness. And, those unbaptized do not have the virtues of faith, hope, and charity.

to be continued...





Piano Rant 1,002

“It is strange that the postconciliar pluralism has created uniformity in one respect at least: it will not tolerate a high standard of expression.” (A New Song  for the Lord, 123)

Pope Emeritus Benedict clearly indicated that the piano is not a liturgical instrument. He said it affects the emotions, and not reason, which is why the organ should be used at Mass and other services. The organ demands reasonable reflection and attention.

Why are so many parishes in disobedience? In all my years and travels in Europe, I never, never found a piano in a Catholic church, thank God.

“The organ has always been considered, and rightly so, the king of musical instruments, because it takes up all the sounds of creation… and gives resonance to the fullness of human sentiments, from joy to sadness, from praise to lamentation. By transcending the merely human sphere, as all music of quality does, it evokes the divine. The organ’s great range of timbre, from piano through to a thundering fortissimo, makes it an instrument superior to all others. It is capable of echoing and expressing all the experiences of human life. The manifold possibilities of the organ in some way remind us of the immensity and the magnificence of God.” (Regensburg, 2006)

The piano was created in a time when music was appealing more and more to the emotions and not reason.

God deserves more than sickening emotional piano playing. I had no idea the piano was so ubiquitous in churches in the States. Imagine, a piano the main instrument at two parishes I know today for Palm Sunday.

Horrible.

The Mass is ritual worship. The music should be transcendent and not tickling the emotions. The Mass is prayer, not stroking of the people.

 Sacrosanctum Concilium teaches (Art. 120): “The pipe organ is to be held in high esteem in the Latin Church, for it is the traditional liturgical instrument, the sound of which can add a wonderful splendour to the Church’s ceremonies and powerfully lifts up men’s minds to God and higher things.”

All Catholics need to read encyclicals, as well as Benedict"s book on the sacred liturgy, found here.

"Certainly as far as the liturgy is concerned, we cannot say that one song is as good as another. Generic improvisation or the introduction of musical genres which fail to respect the meaning of the liturgy should be avoided. As an element of the liturgy, song should be well integrated into the overall celebration. Consequently everything–texts, music, execution–ought to correspond to the meaning of the mystery being celebrated, the structure of the rite and the liturgical seasons. Finally, while respecting various styles and different and highly praiseworthy traditions, I desire… that Gregorian chant be suitably esteemed and employed as the chant proper to the Roman liturgy".(Sacramentum Caritatis).

NIce Reminder of Lack of Infallibility

http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/news/bishops-conferences-are-not-the-magisterium-vatican-doctrine-chief-reminds-cardinal-marx-70113/