"The body, and it alone, is capable of making visible what is invisible: the spiritual and the divine. It was created to transfer into the visible reality of the world the mystery hidden since time immemorial in God, and thus be a sign of it." JPII - Theology of the Body
As I said in the previous blog, prudence is the cardinal virtue that orders our human actions. It directs us to the just measure as it regards all of our choices and activity. From time to time, supernatural prudence will even aid the theological virtues of faith, hope, and charity. We see prudence at commonly at work in our lives in three specific instances.
The first instance is the avoidance of sin. If we are paying attention, to our life and making a daily examination of conscience, prudence will point out to us the causes and occasions of sin. So, for example, can a seminarian confront his rector without sinning? Of course, he can, does he risk being penalized. However, if the seminarian's response is charitable and honest, his concern ought not be with the outcome. He ought not be bound up in how the rector will respond. While it is a consideration, he has no control over it. He has control over his fidelity. Prudence governs his honest conversation. Modernism is a real thing. It is not going to go away without conflict. I offer Padre Pio's humble submission to authorities who would not allow him to say mass publicly. Or how about Christ's response to the scribes and the Phrarisees? He called them "blind vipers and white washed tombs." Was he acting imprudently, because they would not respond well?
The second instance in which we notice prudence is it's aid to our increase in virtue. The more prudent we become, the more capable we are of judging right action in each moment of our day. The more capable we become, the more holy our actions and our lives. Perhaps, remaining silent in the face of injustice within the Church is a legitmate choice for some. Maybe they love to argue and seek out confrontation. As a result, they need to temper that desire by saying no to it from time to time. Or perhaps, there is too much anger to actually have a civil discussion with Mr. Unjust Rector. Growth in virtue happens when we rightly confront evil in a manner that is holy and pleasing to God. Sometimes, calling the rector a "blind viper" is actually a virtuous action. It is difficult to judge in different situations which whether justice or mercy is to be practiced, whether recollection or apostolic zeal. Nevertheless, prudence aids us in making the right decision.
The final way that we see prudence in our lives is in our apostolic works. Whether we are evangelizing, or teaching, or simply trying to be holy in the middle of the world. Prudence implies that from time to time you are going to have to say no. The work of an evangelist or a priest or a husband, cannot always and everywhere be "positive." It will never be without conflict. Family life often includes a disagreement. My wife and I are madly in love. However, from time to time, we disagree about something and one or the other of us has to say no. How we do that is governed by prudence.
The Church it seems to me is experiencing the fruit of "keeping your head down." We are a Church of bishops and priests that seem to hate any type of conflict, especially if it is public. Yet, our relationship to the Church is both private and public. I am in the world. Until, that changes, until Bishops and priests are willing to stand up and be persecuted unjustly for the truth in charity, I will continue to remind them of St. Paul's words. "I have been Crucified with Christ, It is no longer I who live, but, Christ who lives in me."
Pray the Rosary Daily! Be holy, not Worldly! Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy On Us!
Recently this article "Seminarians asked to Stand for Holy Communion." was posted in a group which I am in on facebook. The discussion that followed was to say the least disappointing. The classical understanding of virtue seems to have been buried long ago. I will here, with shovel in hand attempt to unearth it. I admit that I do so at the risk of irritating fine Catholics. Some of you may love Fr. Z, I know I do. However, his response:
"Your best response? Shut up. Smile. Stand for Communion. And the next day? Shut up. Smile. Stand for Communion … until you get ordained."
To say the least it was disappointing. We are entering into a very strange time in the Church. The election of Pope Francis, the subsequent revival of liberation theology, the disastrous synod, and the emboldened actions of the homoheretics/modernists, have caused even the traditional folks to run for cover. My sense is that everyone is hoping that if we run for cover now, this will all blow over soon. My opinion is that the recent exit of Bishop Finn in the diocese of Kansas City, is evidence that simply "keeping your head down," may no longer be enough.
In the the virtual world, several very holy and orthodox priests, priests who are friendly to tradition, suggested that to do otherwise was tantamount to acting like "Rambo." If I recall Rambo fought against evil, and won? While, it seemed like a bad analogy to me and was certainly not meant to inspire, I chose to think of heroic virtue. Nevertheless, it was used to paint a picture, better, a caricature of anyone who dare stand up to evil, call it was it is, and refuse to accept that "keeping your head down," "smiling," and keeping your mouth shut, in the face of a tyrannical evil are in fact virtuous. It occurs to me that the classical understanding of virtue is not being conveyed by any of these priests. Perhaps, a closer look at the virtue it would seem they are all talking about, our good friend prudence.
In classical theology, it is difficult, near to impossible to list every moral virtue as there can be a virtue lurking wherever there is a good moral habit. Each of us has what is referred to as natural virtue. That is virtue that is a result of our nature, the ability to do and to choose good simply because we are rational. We can have a natural prudence that governs our actions. However, here we (hopefully) are talking about the supernatural gift of prudence. The great spiritual work, "Spiritual Theology," refers to it as:
"a special virtue infused by God into the practical intellect for the right government of one's actions in view of the supernatural end. By reason of origin, infused prudence is given by God with sanctifying grace. By reason of extension or application, infused prudence governs the supernatural order. By reason of the formal motive, infused prudence operates under reason enlightened by faith and informed with charity." Jordan Aumann
Prudence is the virtue by which we make choose our human actions. Not randomly, not because we have made up a truth and want to order ourselves to this new idea we have created in our minds. No! That is for the Kantian idealists! Rather, we know that there is objective truth that governs the universe, and we know that that objective truth is outside of the universe and greater than the universe. It is what we would call our supernatural end, it is God. The gift of grace that God gives to increase in us the virtue of prudence, is always ordered toward Him. When we are choosing our actions, prudence helps like an archer directing his arrow to the bullseye, to direct our actions to our end, namely God. Prudence is governed then by reason, it is given greater strength and vision by supernatural faith, and it manifests itself most fully when it is informed by the supernatural charity.
The virtues are not compartmentalized. We do not simply access prudence when we need to make a decision on whether to act or not to act. Rather, each virtue informs the other and works in harmony with one another. However, prudence is the virtue that governs all of the the others. As St. Thomas says "prudence is right reason applied to action." In other words, supernatural prudence elevates our ability to make good human choices rightly ordered to the will of God.
Let us go back to are initial dilemma. Can refusing to "keep your head down" or refusing to simply "shut-up and smile" be considered virtuous? Certainly! If we have divine faith, and we believe that our supernatural end resides in our union with Christ in the eucharist. In other words, we believe that He is God incarnate, as is the Eucharist, then it is likely the choice we make may be ordered to that good. Our response need not include a 12 inch blade with a serrated edge on one side. Rather, it can be a charitable resistance. Of course, those seminarians fear removal of from the seminary for failing to respond as directed. The request of their superior is both unjust and unfounded. If we recall that disagreeing is not disliking, we need not act in anger, rather, we can rest both in peace and in joy knowing, that when we kneel and receive on the tongue we are acting within the parameters of Redemtionis Sacramentum which says:
“…it is not licit to deny Holy Communion to any of Christ’s faithful solely on the grounds, for example, that the person wishes to receive the Eucharist kneeling…”(91) and “each of the faithful always has the right to receive Holy Communion on the tongue…” (92)
While then Cardinal Ratzinger in his book Spirit of the Liturgy states: “It may well be that kneeling is alien to modern culture — insofar as it is a culture, for this culture has turned away from the faith and no longer knows the one before whom kneeling is the right, indeed the intrinsically necessary gesture. The man who learns to believe learns also to kneel, and a faith or a liturgy no longer familiar with kneeling would be sick at the core. Where it has been lost, kneeling must be rediscovered…” (p. 194)
The virtuous man has as his end at all times his salvation. Christianity is the religion of the Cross. Which signifies persecution. Persecution for an unwillingness to acquiesce to the weak will and infidelity of a culture and a Church which have turned away from God. The lack of faith in the Church will not be overcome by a lack of virtue in men. While men are free to "keep their head down" I cannot help but wonder, if they do it in regards to the worship of Christ, where will it end. Our freely chosen actions are formative. If we convince ourselves that we are virtuous by walking away from a conflict directly involving the Incarnation, suffering, death, and resurrection of Christ Himself, where does it end? The Church herself says that it is illicit to deny anyone holy communion who wishes to kneel. Is it not a sign of the infection that is destroying the Church from within? The argument is that these priests will be ordained and then they will change everything? Really? When? If they have convinced themselves that the virtue of prudence is waiting to act until all of the conditions are right, when will they act? I know far to many priests who think that the virtue of prudence is something like acting only when it will not cause the collection plate to shrivel up to much. Perhaps, prudence is acting in fidelity to Christ, when we know the truth, and doing so with charity, regardless, of how it may be perceived by the world. Regardless, prudence is in fact taking action, the right action in the right manner. It is not simply doing nothing.
As near as I can tell the priests giving advice in the thread experienced even much worse conditions during their time in seminary. And they just "kept their head's down." By their logic, the Church should be flourishing today. Perhaps it is time for men of a more traditional mind to consider the FSSP. I am pretty sure you can receive while on your knees and you certainly do not have to "keep your head down."
All to often I run into practicing Catholics who assert boldly that those who are not practicing Catholics simply "don't know." When I attempt to explain to them that in fact they do know, it is rather, their unwillingness to convert that causes them to remain in either heresy or apostasy, I am frequently met with aggression and hostility. Over the years, I have broken this news to everyone that God has brought into my path. It is not easy news to hear or to accept. You know who received this news on the cross and unfortunately in his obstinance wound up separated from Christ for all eternity? The bad thief.
"And one of those robbers who were hanged blasphemed him, saying: if thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God seeing; thou are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly: for we receive the due reward of our deeds. But this man hath done no evil. And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me when thou shalt come into thy kingdom. And Jesus said to him: AmenI say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in paradise" Lk. 23: 39-43
While hanging on the cross, Christ was blasphemed. Think of nearly any movie you have seen in the last 5-10 years. "Jesus Christ" is a normal part of the dialogue. It is never used as a call to prayer, nearly always as if it were a curse word. One of them cursed Christ by denying his divinity after all is that not the reason that all of the modern totalitarians, reject Him. His divinity interferes with their own. Remember, when King Herod sent his men to kill all of the first born children? He did that because he knew of Christ's impending birth and kingship. Christ's kingship, so Herod believed threatened his own. The Robber that blasphemed Christ, immediately denies his divinity. He challenges Christ to prove that he "The King of the Jews," as the sign over his head accurately announced. This blasphemy, this denial of Christ's divinity required something. An act of the will in conjunction with the working of his intellect.
There are three acts of the mind that are made by a properly functioning intellect. The are simple apprehension (understanding a concept like man, dog, triangle), judging (understanding multiple concepts and how they relate to each other like man and mortal), and reasoning (moving through multiple concepts or premises to form a conclusion). It is by this process that men make decisions. This is how rightly or wrongly we order our lives to our end.
"by forming judgements, the intellect is able to compare good things with one another, the will can choose and it is that power of choosing which we call freedom. Thus, the intellect enables a man by knowing the object, to reason and govern his life and conduct: to be master of his own acts and consequently responsible for them." From "The Theology of Grace by Jean Daujat
The bad thief is not an example of "not knowing" he absolutely knew. He is an example of the hardness of heart that is a product of the life of sin. It effects the intellect and the will, it does not however, remove culpability. The bad thief, knew that Jesus had carried His own cross up Calvary. He knew that Jesus had been referred to as the King of the Jews. And he unequivocally knew that Christ asserted that he was the incarnate son of God. He knew that. Like just about every other person in the civilized Western world, he knew that Christ claimed to be God incarnate. Using the three acts of the mind, he judged (wrongly) that Christ was a man and nothing more. Though he knew all of those things he still rejected them.
Let us take this one step further. Christ is the divine life. Do you think that he wanted the soul of St. Dismas (the good thief) in paradise more than he wanted the soul of the bad thief? No, Christ came to save all souls. St. Dismas received the actual grace that was given to him through his contact with Christ in the flesh. His natural inclinations were elevated when he freely accepted Christ's gift of actual grace (inspiration to move closer to or accept the truth). While on the other hand, we can say with great certainty that Christ gives every soul enough grace to be saved and therefore, what was given to St. Dismas was given to the bad thief. That is the actual grace to come to the knowledge of the truth and accept salvation. To have his natural life elevated to the supernatural life. It required only his fiat. He however, chose not to allow the grace that Christ gave him to elevate those things that he knew about Christ to a supernatural level. In his arrogance and anger, he preferred himself to Christ, even on his death bed, he would not convert.
"If a man should have no one to instruct him, God will show him, unless he culpably wishes to remain where he is." St. Thomas Aquinas
The will is free. That does mean that some of our relatives, may refuse to convert, even on their death bed. With nails in his hands the Bad thief still refused to accept the grace and mercy of Christ for his salvation. It was not because he did not know, it was because, we was obstinate in his sin. He had the same freedom as St. Dismas, he had at the very least the same knowledge as St. Dismas, and he was given the grace to be saved. In fact, he was given that grace in the form of the incarnate Son of God. The Word Made Flesh, he was in his presence, just feet away from the divine love at the moment of his salvific act, could there have been more love coming forth from Christ for salvation? Only at mass when it is represented to us! But, he willingly and freely judged that the end of what he was experiencing was not worth his time or his effort. For that, he surely got what he asked for and I guarantee you it was not paradise. Do everyone a favor, if you are making excuses for heretics and apostates, stop. It is not helpful to anyone. Pray for them, call them out of their sin, call them back to the Church. Stop pretending that they are stupid. They are not, they are obstinate. Pray for them, be charitable, but never, never shy away from the truth. You cannot control their free will, only your own. If you fail to act, it is because you have judged wrongly. You have an obligation to call people from their error back into the truth, we all do. Do not let the obstinate refusal of some become a stumbling block. And remember, they do know, they just do not want to change!
Pray the rosary daily!
Be holy, Not Worldly!
Sacred Heart of Jesus Have mercy on us!
There is a story about Aristotle in which after one of his lectures on the various levels of intelligence and the universe, his students asked not one single question. Disappointed he said:
"My lecture was about levels of intelligence in the universe, and I distinguished three such levels: gods, men, and brutes. Men are distinguished from both gods and brutes by questioning, for the gods know to much to ask questions and the brutes know too little. So if you have no questions, shall I congratulate you for having risen to the level of the gods, or insult you for having sunk to the level of the brutes?"
On more than one occasion I have been told by someone that I am too direct or that confrontation is a bad thing. Aristotelian realism, is, well, real. There are real things happening in the universe and if you are paying attention not all of them are good. Errant philosophy and theology are the worst of those things that are not good. Because they lead men to do great evil in the name of their beliefs. All truly human action is a result of our beliefs, our knowledge our philosophy. If a philosophy/theology contains partial truths, and we decide to only discuss the good, we forget that the error, leads the soul from it's eternal end. What is more important, human acceptance or to bring the truth to light? Of course, with the hope that the soul is receptive and open to the truth so that it bring about a greater orientation to it's eternal end. Nevertheless, I am not responsible for another person's response, I am simply responsible for the truth in charity. If in the end I am hated for it, if human opinion of me wanes as a result of my refusal to "go along to get along" I say I am in good company. Aristotle was clearly not concerned with human popularity.
Christ did not end up on the cross because he was agreeable. He turned over tables in the temple. He called the pharisees, "hypocrites, blind vipers, and white washed tombs." He repeatedly said that he was the Son of God. In the face of his accusers, He uttered those same words, knowing that they would assault Him, spit on Him, and send him to the cross. When the rich man said that he had "kept" all of the commandments, He did not say, that sounds good, you certainly are a really nice man. He commanded him to go home and sell everything he owned and then come back and follow Him. How about those folks who said Lord, Lord, did we not drive out demons in your name? Did we not prophesy in your name? Did we not do good works in your name? He did not agree with them either. In fact, His response, "go away from me you evil doers, I never knew you," sort of implies that He did not agree that they had done any of aforementioned works for the glory of God, rather, it was done for the adoration of humans and their own narrowness and self interest. I could could pad the list, but I think you get the point.
That point is this. Pride is a killer. Whether it be on the end of the giver or the receiver. The human person is made to receive the truth. So, if he hears it, in humility he ought to rejoice in it. However, men, especially today's man, likes the adoration of human beings and like Adam hates to appear to need any help or correction. That is pride. But, it does not mean that we cannot disagree with people, in fact, we ought to, especially if their error could lead them directly into the everlasting heat. St. Thomas Aquinas says of pride:
"Pride is so called because a man thereby aims higher than he is; wherefore Isidore says "a man is said to be proud, because he wishes to appear above what he really is"; for he who wishes to overstep beyond what he is, is proud. Now every man's will should tend to that which is proportionate to him. Therefore it is evident that pride denotes something opposed to right reason, and this shows it to have the character of sin.."
For those who assert that a person who does not cower in fear every time a conflict arises is "prideful," is it prideful to prefer a superficial peace which does not correspond to the cross? Your preference for peace at all costs has cost the culture. Your clamoring in fear of confronting error so that you may enjoy good favor with everyone has allowed error to flourish. Is that not pride? Does not preferring yourself and your popularity to truth and the salvation of souls fit St. Thomas's definition? You make yourself higher. The funny thing is there is nothing that you enjoy about conflict, yet, the only disagreement you are willing to have is whether or not disagreement is a legitimate means of evangelization. You argue over whether or not there is conflict. You incite conflict to denounce conflict. You cannot escape reality. Conflict is a result of the fallen world. We will disagree from time to time, count on it. This is not the land of make believe. Be assured that disagreement and dislike do not share the same meaning. We can have civil discord. We can disagree without disliking each other, it is perhaps the greatest benefit of being Imago Dei.
Pray the Rosary daily! Be Holy, Not Worldly! Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on Us!
"For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world. And this is the victory which overcameth the world: Our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? This is he that came by water and blood, Jesus Christ: not by water only but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. And there are Three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit and the water and the blood. And these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater. For this is the testimony of God, which is greater, because he hath testified of his Son. He that believeth in the Son of God. hath the testimony of God in himself. He that believeth not the Son maketh him a liar: because he believeth not in the testimony which God hath testified of his Son." 1 john 5: 4-10
The first reading from today's mass implies as the holy author's of scripture often do that there exists in reality conflict and disunity. There are those things which God has revealed for our salvation, that many still believe with divine faith. However, many of us are surrounded by heretics (those who do not believe all that God has revealed for our salvation). Our call and the call of the gospel is to order and entrust our lives to the supernatural gifts that God has given us so that we might participate in his divine life and overcome all those who are against us in the world and there are many.
We must engage ourselves, our entire being, in the active pursuit of the increase in virtue. Knowing God's revelation is simply not enough, we must allow ourselves to be immersed in it so that our lives may be changed by the truth we encounter. Our salvation depends not solely on what we know, rather, we are charged with the task of turning that knowledge into holiness of life. If this is the true pursuit of the Christian life one might ask, why are we encountering today the totalitarianism of the "homosexual" agenda? Why are there politicians and "intellectual" elites lobbying for euthanasia of Children up to the age of four? Perhaps it is because the disunity which we encounter today has not been met with the proper conflict. The West finds itself in the throes of death. Within the Church we see this death all around us. There is great conflict and disunity. Yet, do we see men of heroic courage taking a stand against the totalitarians who refuse to take their boot off of the throat of Christ's bride? Rarely! When we do it is a great consolation and encouragement. The reading today is a clarion call to overcome the world through faith, so, that we may become beacons of light for a world that has rejected the divine life of grace in favor of the disorder and disharmony of the fall.
At the outset I must say I am not willing to reject the Imago Dei of the human person. I will not in this or any other article suggest that men and women with a fully functioning intellect and will are simply to stupid to change. Imago Dei implies quite the opposite. TO be in the Image and likeness of God means that we can know the truth and we can choose to pursue it. If we have embraced some error such as Kantian idealism, it is not because we are stupid or incapable of pursuing the truth, or because "they just don't know," it is because we have preferred to follow another path, a much wider path. The problem is not intellectual, rather, it is one of pride, it is the disharmony of Adam. The preference of oneself, to that of the divine arbiter of truth, goodness, and beauty. Adam, knew what he was doing, He KNEW God. He simply chose himself. The incomparable Dr. Dietrich Von Hildebrand says as much in his book "Transformation in Christ." He says that the first and most necessary element of holiness, is a radical willingness to change. He goes on to say:
"There are many religious Catholics whose readiness to change is merely a conditional one. They exert themselves to keep the commandments and to get rid of such qualities as they have recognized to be sinful. But they lack the will and the readiness to become new men all in all, to break with all purely natural standards, to view all things in a supernatural light. They prefer to evade the act of metanoia: a true conversion of the heart. Hence with undisturbed consciences they cling to all that appears to them legitimate by natural standards."
This is in a sense what the first reading demands we detach from. When St. John says that "whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world," he is not suggesting that the world itself is bad. He is not using the word world literally, rather, he uses it pejoratively. He is Catholic he understands that God created the universe and everything in it. He knows that which God has created from nothing, including, John himself, is good. However, since the fall there has been introduced into creation a four fold disharmony. Man is at war with God, with nature, with his neighbor, and with himself. Conflict is now a reality. We will come back to that. John uses the world to denote that anything that is in opposition to Christ's redemptive work on the Cross, that impedes Christ's salvific work in man is to be roundly rejected. John understands that there is a natural philosophy which is true and to be embraced, which leads to divine revelation. He battled the Gnostics, he knew that there were men who preferred themselves and their ideas, regardless, of their incompatibility with reality to the universal truth about nature and the divine things.
The rejection of those worldly things will in fact bring about conflict. Try saying no to one of your modern, overly sensitive friends. You will undoubtedly encounter conflict, you may even have one less friend by conversation's end. Conflict is now a part of reality. We can infuse no amount of Kantian idealism into this conflict that will remedy the situation.
The conflict began with the fall, continued with the Gnostics, the Arians, Luther, and Kant. Simply stated because Jesus Christ is King, and there is no other God. We are called to be new men in Christ. In order for that to occur, we must set aside our prideful desire to be the center of the universe and accept that Jesus is actually God. The incarnation of Christ is real. As I have said any number of times, you do not have divine faith if you do not believe that Christ is both God and Man. It is divinely revealed and necessary for salvation. If you believe and order your life to the incarnate Son of God, you may have divine faith. However, St. John suggests that more is necessary. There are two baptisms. The first is a baptism of water the second of Christ's blood.
In Christ's baptism both the Father and the Holy Spirit testify to Christ's divinity. That means that Christ is truly present in the sacrament of baptism. His divine life is united to the soul of the baptized. The life of grace begins as a result of the presence of Christ's divinity and the soul is forever changed. However, it does not end with baptism. The blood of the Cross has manifest itself in the blood of the martyrs as well as in the ongoing incarnation of Christ in the Eucharist. Christ wrought our redemption through His blood. If we are in Christ through baptism, than we must be willing to suffer with Christ in this life. In order to remain in Christ, however, we must again order our lives to the sacrifice of Christ on calvary and subsequently, in the Eucharist. WE are actually changed when we partake in the divine life with faith. This faith, the faith of the Catholic Church is in conflict with the Pelagians, the Arians, and the Gnostics of yesterday and today! Tertullian writing of the blood of Christ says:
"WE have also a second laving, and it too is unique-the baptism with blood. The Lord spoke of this when he said, "I have a baptism to be baptized with," having had already been batpized once. So, he did come by water and blood, as John writes, in order to be bathed by the water and glorified by the blood, in order to make us chosen ones through blood. These two baptisms spring from the wound in his pierced side; so it is that those who believed in his blood would be washed by the water; those who were washed in the water would also drink of the blood.."
Faith alone is a loser and St. James knew that long before Martin Luther could alter holy scripture. St. James said "faith without works is dead." It is dead because, "works" are the manifestation of an interior charity. To pray is a work. It is an act of of love. Love for the Father begins, with a constant and profound desire to be in communion with Him. Faith alone rejects acts of charity which actually flow from true divine faith. The heart that has encountered the love of God in faith, who believes that the Father loves him, can do nothing but make that love manifest in the world. As long as salvation comes through not just the first baptism but the second as well, there will always be conflict. The modern world has nearly become the pejorative that St. John speaks of. Flight from God and his revelation, leaves the modern heretic to deal with death on his own. Without the cross, without, the promise of Christ's mercy through His blood, there is only fear and anxiety. That which man naturally longs for, eternal life, escapes him apart from Christ.
Our Lord has given us the gift of His incarnate flesh, if only we would willingly accept it. As Divine Mercy Sunday comes to a close, pray for the courage to remain firm in the faith. Pray for conversions. As a result of disunity, conflict is part of reality. Do not fear it!
And remember, you and I are not special, God did not give me actual graces that he has not given to every other person. He desires the salvation of all. He loves you, but, he loves your neighbor as well. The difference is that you said yes. You opened your heart, you willingly, let Christ in, because in Him you recognized truth, goodness, and beauty. In return, he tabernacled within you and to the extent you continue to pray, fast, and faithfully receive the sacraments, He will remain with you. You will increase in sanctifying grace and as a result in virtue. You will literally be sanctified interiorly. All because you were presented with an opportunity to convert and you, like Mary, gave your fiat. Never forget that people are free and not even Our Lord will put them in an arm bar and force them to receive sanctifying grace. God's mercy requires your fiat!
Pray the Rosary Daily!
Be Holy, Not Worldly! Sacred Heart of Jesus, Have Mercy on us!
I was struck by how short a time it has taken for Gay activists to go from please just do not use the force of law on us, that is all we ask, to do what we tell you or we will use the force of law. The movement and it's success, should tell us something about our methods and our faith. They have both been weak and awful!
Very soon, if is not already happening to some of you, you are going to have to find your voice or completely give into their demands. In many circles, christians have already given way. They have willingly accepted something that is not true in reality. The idea that two people of the same gender can have a "marriage," is simply at odds with the reality of nature and it's laws. However, because many good Christians no longer understand the natural law, nor believe that there is no such principle as the natural law, the path has been forged. A path that began simply enough by asking for understanding but refused to stop there and marched ahead with voracity, has led us to this point in western civilization. The wide spread acceptance of the same sex lifestyle and the destruction of the family.
If you are reading this and you consider yourself pro-life, but you also, think that SSA is okily dokily, YOU ARE NOT PRO-LIFE! Pro life, means that you understand the nature of things. That men and women compliment each other. They were physically designed for a profound sexual unity which brings forth life and furthers western culture. Holding any position contrary to that of nature, is a position that rejects the integrity of family and therefore life. Please do not tell me you are against abortion and in the next breath suggest that SSA is just fine. It means you have no earthly idea what the natural end of sex is. You think that sex or marital love, has as it's natural end in pleasure or feeling good. If you do not think that sex is for bonding and babies, if you think that any old combination of a pulse and breathing can stimulate each other and that it is "all the same." You are not pro-life. Think about that, pray about it, and then get your mind in line with the reality of things. Two men do not compliment each other, that is asinine fatuity.
Prepare yourselves friends. It is heating up out there. Your options are going to be limited very soon, either you will have to stand-up for what you know to be true, run for the hills, go along to get along, or you can go full on totalitarian. Of course, if you choose the last option, like some of the Romans, you will have a good seat for the subsequent torture and death of the family members you turn in. Judas betrayed his beloved friend with the kiss of peace, don't say it can't happen!
Pray the Rosary daily! Be Holy, Not Worldly!
Sacred Heart of Jesus, Pray for Us!