Saturday, June 04, 2016
"You could say, "let the birds nest in your crown. ...
throw your scepter in the mud ..."
B. Sylvester, Brother Sun, Sister Moon
First of all - remember St. Francis was really poor and he really loved Lady Poverty and he considered riches as so much dung... Just like the Desert Fathers centuries before him.
A great man came from a distance to Scetis carrying gold, and he asked the presbyter of the desert to distribute it among the brothers. But the presbyter said, ‘The brothers do not need it.’ But he was very pressing, and would not give way, and put a basket of money in the church porch. So the presbyter said, ‘Whoever is in need may take money from here.’ No one touched it, some did not even look at it. The presbyter said, ‘God has accepted your offering to him. Go away and give it to the poor.’ He went away very much edified. - Sayings of the Desert Fathers
Once Saint Anthony was traveling in the desert he found a plate of silver coins in his path. He pondered for a moment as to why a plate of silver coins would be out in the desert where no one else travels. Then he realized the devil must have laid it out there to tempt him. To that he said, "Ha! Devil, thou weenest to tempt me and deceive me, but it shall not be in thy power." Once he said this, the plate of silver vanished. Saint Anthony continued walking along and saw a pile of gold in his way which the devil had laid there to deceive him. Saint Anthony cast the pile of gold into a fire, and it vanished just like the silver coins did. After these events, Saint Anthony had a vision where the whole world was full of snares and traps. He cried to the Lord, "Oh good Lord, who may escape from these snares?" A voice said back to him, "humility shall escape them without more.” - Life of St. Anthony
“We often fail to realize the depth of evil, terrifying as it is. I am not speaking only of the selfishness of the wealthy, heaping up riches for themselves, or of those who sacrifice to achieve their self-selected goals. Or of the dictator who breathes in the incense due only to God. I am speaking of the selfishness of good people, devout people, those who have succeeded through spiritual exercises and self-denial in being able to make the proud profession before the altar of the Most High, “Lord, I am not like the rest of men.” Yes, we have had the audacity at certain times of our lives to believe we are different from other men. And here is the deepest form of self-deception, dictated by self-centeredness at its worst: spiritual egotism. This most insidious form of egotism even uses piety and prayer for its own gain.” - Carlo Carretto, Letters from the Desert
Sister Therese would keep for her own use only what was strictly indispensable, and the uglier and poorer these were, the happier she was. She used to say that there was nothing sweeter than to lack what was necessary, because then you could say you were really poor. She urged me never to ask for anything to be bought without first assuring myself that there was no other alternative, and then I was to choose unhesitatingly what was cheapest, like really poor people do. - Marie of the Trinity ocd, testimony for beatification of S. Therese.
There is no option. Either we practice poverty or we shall not only not be sanctified; we shall not even be saved. It was not a pious platitude but a sober truth when Jesus said how hard it is for the rich person to enter heaven. - Fr. Hardon
Refuse honors and riches, take the last place. Do not even desire honors or riches. Set your heart on the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. St. Bernard tells us because there was no poverty in heaven, and because Jesus longed for it so much, he came down from heaven and chose it for himself - to make it precious for us.
Friday, June 03, 2016
The 'you can eat meat today' post.
Solemnity of the Sacred Heart on First Friday and no one mentions you can eat meat today. A glaring neglect by the spiritual advisory committee... it didn't even warrant a footnote. The Catholic blogisterium can be biased, going so far as to ignore whomever and whatever they choose whenever they choose, in an effort to promote their own, or gain donations for 'nursing school' or trips abroad ...
THIS JUST IN:
Christopher Ferrara and The Remnant receive approval and praise from Bishop Athanasius Schneider. - source
I am impressed. Seriously. I admire Bishop Athanasius Schneider and respect his fidelity to the Church and traditional Catholic teaching.
Dear Mr. Christopher A. Ferrara:
On May 9, 2016 you published on “The Remnant” website an open letter to me regarding the question of the Apostolic Exhortation “Amoris laetitia”.
As a bishop, I am grateful and at the same time encouraged to receive from a Catholic layman such a clear and beautiful manifestation of the “sensus fidei” regarding the Divine truth on marriage and the moral law.
I am agreeing with your observations as to those expressions in AL (“Amoris laetitia”), and especially in its VIII’s chapter, which are highly ambiguous and misleading. In using our reason and in respecting the proper sense of the words, one can hardly interpret some expressions in AL according to the holy immutable Tradition of the Church. - Finish reading here.
I'm stirred and shaken at the same time.
Thursday, June 02, 2016
"There are some people whom God takes and sets apart.
There are others he leaves among the crowds, people he does not 'withdraw from the world.'
These are the people who have an ordinary job,
an ordinary household,
or an ordinary celibacy.People with ordinary sicknesses,
and ordinary times of grieving.
People with an ordinary house,
and ordinary clothes.
These are the people of ordinary life.
The people we might meet on any street.
We the ordinary people of the streets,
believe with all of our might that this street, this world,
where God has placed us,
is our place of holiness.We do not need to find silence - we already have it ...
In the street crushed by the crowd ...
In those crowds ...
we recollect ourselves ... with great ease." - Madeleine Delbrêl
+ + +
Stay a long time after Communion - recollected amidst the din - and you will learn to abide constantly in the presence of God. It's an ordinary grace given to ordinary people of the streets. If you are faithful to this grace, many things which bothered you before will no longer matter. You will follow the meek and humble Christ, who 'walked in peace through the midst of them.' When you fail, you'll quickly recover your peace - because He is with you. Your conscience will become more and more sensitive and after every fall you will quickly return to that interior silence, repentant and more humbled.
Wednesday, June 01, 2016
Last year the local bishop approved the apparitions and devotion to Our Lady of Lipa, Mediatrix of Grace, contradicting earlier Vatican judgments since 1951 that the apparitions were not supernatural - the last such declaration was made in 2010. Yet last year the local bishop determined that the apparitions were 'worthy of belief'.
Cardinal Muller, prefect of the Congregation of the Faith nullified the local bishop's decree, pretty much because he had no authority to make that determination. Hence the Vatican ruling stands. The story and letter is published here.
I always found these apparitions compelling since they involved a Carmelite community whose discernment I felt would have to be trustworthy, guided as they must be by their heritage of spiritual discernment and prayer. I also loved the image representing Our Lady, which inspired devotion in my heart. I never paid a great deal of attention to the messages, since I've always found the message of Fatima complete and more than enough for me. Nevertheless, I was intrigued by the phenomenon of rose petals at Lipa, said to be miraculously impressed with images of Christ and Our Lady. These 'signs' seemed to prove the authenticity of the apparitions. The weirdest part for me was the suppression of the apparitions, the transfer of the prioress to another monastery, and the seer leaving religious life. That was the only 'creepy' part I could discern, which resulted in my not being entirely convinced by the entire story.
It's interesting how this has turned out. Approval given, then refuted, and so on. In the current declaration, the CDF reiterates the order that studies of the apparitions be disbanded. The case is closed. No 'yes, buts' or spinning the story saying things like, 'they didn't condemn - they just said they couldn't find evidence that anything supernatural went on there.' It's over, not deemed worthy of belief.
I think it's best to live ordinary life with great faith - preferring not to see - and in some cases - not to know - at least not to know too much about these things. God is pleased with faith.
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
Scene from Jesus of Nazareth
Zeffirelli framed this beautifully.
Let your love be sincere; hate what is evil, hold on to what is good;
love one another with mutual affection; anticipate one another in showing honor.
Do not grow slack in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord.
Rejoice in hope, endure in affliction, persevere in prayer.
Contribute to the needs of the holy ones, exercise hospitality.
Bless those who persecute [you], bless and do not curse them.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
Have the same regard for one another; do not be haughty but associate with the lowly; do not be wise in your own estimation... - Romans 12