Friday, May 17, 2019

Memorial of St. Paschal Baylon

Lay-brother saint.*

A special patron.

May 17 is the memorial of St. Paschal Baylon. A Spanish Franciscan lay-brother devoted to the Blessed Sacrament. A short biography here.

The lovely thing about St. Paschal is the grace of infused recollection which often absorbed him as he went about his duties. Deeply united to Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, he was on occasion favored with the grace of seeing the Holy Eucharist when unable to be present in church.  It is this devotion which so attracted me to him when I was little.

On infused recollection:
I still want to describe this prayer of quiet to you in the way that I have heard it explained and as the Lord has been pleased to teach it to me. . . . This is a supernatural state and however hard we try, we cannot acquire it by ourselves. . . . The faculties are stilled and have no wish to move, for any movement they make seems to hinder the soul from loving God. They are not completely lost, however, since two of them are free and they can realize in whose presence they are. It is the will that is captive now. . . . The intellect tries to occupy itself with only one thing, and the memory has no desire to busy itself with more. They both see that this is the one thing necessary; anything else will cause them to be disturbed (Teresa of Jesus, chap. 31).
The predominant characteristics of the prayer of quiet are peace and joy, for the will is totally captivated by divine love. The faculties of intellect and memory are still free and may wander, but the soul should pay no attention to the operations of these faculties. To do so would cause distraction and anxiety. Later on, in the prayer of union, it will be impossible for the intellect and memory to operate independently, because all the faculties will be centered on God.  Jordan Aumann OP

Religious Brothers Conference 2018

*After Vatican II, the status of lay brother in most monasteries and religious orders changed, there remained little distinction between choir religious and lay religious, most became brothers of more or less equal status, save for those in Holy Orders. Brothers enjoyed a new prestige and ministry, especially in the mendicant orders. Many pursued higher education if they did not already have it. They were more likely to teach or have some form of apostolate.  I had a Discalced Carmelite friend who told me they were no longer treated like servants and second class citizens after VII.  That was disappointing to hear because I didn't realize there had been that type of attitude.

Unfortunately, the vocation of the simple lay brother, who was responsible for the more menial tasks of the monasteries, more or less fell by the wayside. As I indicated, I've known brothers who insist that the idea of the lay brother as a servant in the community is insulting to their status as a religious. As a result, some monasteries hire people to do the menial work, including the cooking and cleaning. This may also be due to a lack of vocations. Although one wonders if the lack of vocations might also be the result of discouraging this humble vocation, as well as placing so much emphasis on advanced education, degrees, professional services, and so on.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Literary Prophets

For one may know by natural means ... the direction society is moving.

A friend posted the meme shown above of George Orwell. A few comments mentioned Ayn Rand and Aldous Huxley and their contributions to the genre of dystopian literature which appears to have been uncannily accurate in predicting the future of modern civilization. It seemed to confirm for me what John of the Cross taught about private revelations and prophecy, that human intelligence and experience, can ascertain a great deal when it comes to predicting future events. St. John warns us that the devil, who is far more intelligent can also predict the future, based on the same criteria, which is why the saint warns against putting too much stock in private revelations and locutions.

That said, the early 20th century writers did a good job indeed.

Back on topic, we can know on our own that even chastisements and corrections are coming, as John of the Cross makes clear:
"And likewise supernatural events and happenings may be known, in
their causes, in matters concerning Divine Providence, which deals most
justly and surely as is required by their good or evil causes as
regards the sons of men. For one may know by natural means that such or
such a person, or such or such a city, or some other place, is in such
or such necessity, or has reached such or such a point, so that God,
according to His providence and justice, must deal with such a person
or thing in the way required by its cause, and in the way that is
fitting for it, whether by means of punishment or of reward, as the
cause merits. And then one can say: At such a time God will give you
this, or will do this, or that will come to pass, of a surety.'"
- Ascent of Mt. Carmel

Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Imagine that. Catholics who are in favor of Jeff Anderson suing the Vatican - again ...

The Babylonian, WTH?

I was responding to the news on Facebook that Jeff Anderson is once again going after the Holy See and I received some surprising comments from Catholics who support Anderson and associates in their lawsuit against the Vatican - I.e. the Pope.  I wrote:
Anderson tries again. What is this, his 3rd attempt? It's an ambitious attempt to reduce the Church to a mere commercial enterprise, a business, or coporporate-for-profit enterprise. Probably something many non-religious people are more than ready to believe now days. Maybe even some Catholics are getting excited over the prospect. It's very strange to me how religious people seem to get on board with this type of crap, supporting a variety of secular campaigns against the papacy/Vatican to satisfy their desire for some sort of vendetta against the 'power structure' which ignored them for decades. I might be wrong in thinking this is ridiculous, but we live in litigious times and so many follow and support a president who has made his fortune in bankruptcies and lawsuits, so I see this as another side of the same coin of corruption and greed. I suspect the lawsuit will be thrown out like the others, but if it isn't, the Church will be fine - not sure about the litigants.

The following exchange ensued:
Dana Christensen While this won't work for many legal reasons. I believe Jeff Anderson has done the Church a great service by exposing the rot of her leaders. Like the Lord often does in scripture, He uses the enemies of the Church to do the hard work of purifying the Church.
Terry Nelson I'm sure we'll see the Church - even the Pope, loving the so-called enemy. I would love to see the Holy Father distributing the goods of the Church as St. Laurence is so often depicted. It would be wonderful to see St. Peter's become a museum while the bishops and priests really embrace the poverty of the poor - much like the Missionaries of Charity and the Little Sisters of Jesus. I am not at all against that.

Dana Christensen Terry Nelson since St. Lawrence is a patron of mine and one of my favorite saints, I must defend him. He did not give away the treasures if he Church, he protected and hid them (including the Holy Grail). Also, the idea hat the Church is “rich” is a myth. Those who want us to give away what is ours sound much like Judas in the gospel when he said that the precious nard that was poured on Jesus feet could have been sold and given to the poor.
Terry Nelson Dana Christensen I'm not selling out to the likes of Anderson. I don't see him as doing any favors for the Body of Christ. I wouldn't dream of profitting from his pilferring of the Church. That said, Laurence did not hide the treasures of the Church but rather showed them off to the Emperor, presenting to him the lame, the blind, the poor - the true treasure of the Church. If indeed you welcome the onslaught against the Church as perpetrated by these lawsuits, you would recognize that.
Terry Nelson Dana Christensen BTW - I'm not claiming 'what is ours' (really - thought it belonged to God) should be given away - you are the one who seems to welcome the lawsuit, which as you know would be quite costly - causing the 'Church' to be come much smaller as Benedict is said to have predicted. So where's the problem?

I hate these conversations-arguments.  Why can't I just shut up?

But wow!  So does this mean Catholic Evagelicals see Trump as King Cyrus?

Monday, May 13, 2019

DogwoodDetails is now open.

I reopened the shop today and will be updating selections this week for those who are interested.

Memorial of Our Lady of Fatima ... as the persecutions spread and intensify.

Tell everybody that God grants us graces through the Immaculate Heart of Mary; 
that people are to ask her for them; 
and that the Heart of Jesus wants the Immaculate Heart of Mary to be venerated at his side. 
Tell them also to pray to the Immaculate Heart of Mary for peace, 
since God entrusted it to her. - Bl. Jacinta to Lucia

Living the consequences.

Yesterday gunmen attacked and killed six people, including the priest during Mass in Burkina Fasso.  Last month a Protestant church suffered a similar attack, with the minister killed. The attacks against Christian churches and the killing of Christian worshipers seems to be happening around the world, week after week.  In our country and elsewhere in the West, persecution is more or less limited to social and cultural pressures to accept moral relativism and laws requiring acquiescence to laws and conventions which violate the Christian conscience.  It is a sort of psychological warfare, which many people assume is only in the imaginations of those who feel their own rights are denied.

Today is the 102nd anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima, she asked that we pray the rosary every day. She also warned that if her requests for men to repent went unheeded, persecution of the Church would come, explaining the good will be martyred and the Holy Father will have much to suffer. It is not unreasonable to believe we are in the throes of these events.
What Sr. Lucia stated very clearly:
The third part of the secret is a symbolic revelation, referring to this part of the Message, conditioned by whether we accept or not what the Message itself asks of us: ‘If my requests are heeded, Russia will be converted, and there will be peace; if not, she will spread her errors throughout the world, etc.'.
Since we did not heed this appeal of the Message, we see that it has been fulfilled, Russia has invaded the world with her errors. And if we have not yet seen the complete fulfillment of the final part of this prophecy, we are going towards it little by little with great strides. If we do not reject the path of sin, hatred, revenge, injustice, violations of the rights of the human person, immorality and violence, etc.
And let us not say that it is God who is punishing us in this way; on the contrary it is people themselves who are preparing their own punishment. In his kindness God warns us and calls us to the right path, while respecting the freedom he has given us; hence people are responsible”. - Message of Fatima

As for the request made by Our Lady for the consecration of Russia, Sr. Lucia stated that is was finally fulfilled by Pope John Paul II in union with the bishops of the world in 1984. (Albeit late, as Our Lord foretold to Sr. Lucia.)

I come to answer your question, "If the consecration made by Pope John Paul II on March 25, 1984 in union with all the bishops of the world, accomplished the conditions for the consecration of Russia according to the request of Our Lady in Tuy on June 13 of 1929?" Yes, it was accomplished, and since then I have said that it was made. - Sr. Lucia

It is important to remember that Our Lady called the faithful to repentance and penance, and at every appearance, she asked that we pray the rosary every day.  That is the part of the secret which is most important for the faithful to know and do, 

"Look! Don’t you see many roads, 
paths and fields full of people crying of hunger, 
not having anything to eat? 
And the Holy Father in a Church 
praying next to the Heart of Mary?" - St. Jacinta Marto

I keep thinking of this aspect of the Secret 
and wonder why and how so many are missing it?  
If Jacinta's voice could be heard today, 
perhaps she would exclaim to all of us: 
"Look! Don't you see? It is happening now!"