O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Come O Burning Sun!

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1487
It is because you are not of this world that the world hates you. First it persecuted Me. Persecution is a sign that you are following in My footsteps faithfully.
The Burning Sun Descending at Pentecost
The devil is the ruler of this world. He sets up his own system of doing things is direct contradiction to God. God establishes marriage as the union of one man and one woman who want to give themselves to each other in a complete self sacrifice because they a grace of the Holy Ghost, that Burning Sun of Love, the vocation to the married state, hit them like a ton of bricks and now they love each other with a sacrificial love, which serves as a nest for conceiving and raising children later after they get married. The whole thing is a reflection of Christ's marriage to the Church. The vocation to marriage is no more than a vocation to imitate Christ's union with the Church and His great love for Her. The devil responds by contradicting each and every one of those things. The devil says that marriage can be either heterosexual or homosexual, that love is not a sacrificial bond created by the Holy Ghost but a mutual respect for each other as equals created by the two partners themselves, and that you don't need to be married to have children (so long as your responsible-and in the devil's book having an abortion is considered being responsible) or even have sex because to the devil, sex isn't a giving of self to procreate children, it's a display of affection-like kissing only far greater. The Holy Marriage of Christ the Nymphios (Bridegroom) and the Church is dismissed as completely unrelated. (Btw, Ecce Homo Sunday is tomorrow, so this serves as a good vigil and preparation for the Feast of the Nymphios.)

Eastern Icon of the Nymphios
So this is our choice: either defend marriage as God designed it (fighting sodomy is only the beginning in defending marriage) or tolerate and accept the devil's notion of marriage. Since the world is the kingdom of Satan, the world will hate us for trying to stop them from living their life their way according to their "rights" to live their way without God and without you. They hate you if you do not tolerate and accept their lives as they have established them. They hate God because God wants them to live according to His own system and not their own. God wants them to reject their lifestyle entirely and follow Him alone. They want to live their own life their own way, so they hate God because of what He asks of them. Since those of us faithful to God do nothing besides repeat what God says in direct contradiction to the world, they hate us the same way they hate God and for the very same reason. They yell at us and say we are delusional. They tell us that we are trying to force some sort of fantasy on others who have nothing to do with us. They tell us that we are obsessed. They tell us we are full of jealousy and hatred. If this is wrong, I don't want to be right, because this is no more than fidelity to God and what He has revealed. If God is for you, who can be against you? (cf. Rom. 8). Spera in Deo, quoniam adhuc confitebor illi: salutari vultus mei, et Deus meus. Hope in God, for I shall praise Him still: the savior of my face, and my God. We have to choose sides: either stay with God or stay with the world. The world is the devil's kingdom and the devil set it up a certain way purposefully to oppose God. We cannot be on both sides. We cannot support God and earth or even reconcile the two. It's one or the other. Either you accept God or you don't. Anything else is infidelity and hypocrisy.

Come Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Come Creator, Nymphios, and Burning Sun. I adore You for You are God. Set us on fire. Burn everything that is not in accord with Your will and purify what is good. Inflame our love and compunction. Draw us together into the life you compose for us. Mater Misericordiae, guard us with your mantle and give us to eat from that sweet Honeycomb, the Bread from Heaven.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Jesus, I Trust In You!

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1486
My child, all your sins have not wounded My Heart as painfully as your present lack of trust does that after so many efforts of My love and mercy, you should still doubt My goodness.
Many times we act like St. Peter when he tried to walk on water. He wanted to walk on water and Christ permitted it. For as long as he was focused only on Christ, he walked on water no problem. It was only when he took account of his environment that he sank with the grace and dignity of a stone. He took account of the wind. He remembered that the human body isn't capable of walking on water. It isn't supposed to happen. We are supposed to sink into the water instantly. The devil says the same about us. The devil says that we are not capable of returning to Christ and restoring our life with Him. It isn't supposed to happen. We are supposed to remain in sin. Sin is the life we have chosen. We have a right to remain in this sin. This is our life. We can do as we choose with it. Other people need to respect our choices. If someone wants us to return to Christ and re-establish our relationship with Him, they are just being conceited, wanting other people to live the way they tell them to. They are trying to force their delusional opinion on others.

If we are praying for conversions, we have our whole environment against us telling us that we are wrong, just like how St. Peter had his whole environment telling him that he was wrong; that it wasn't possible to walk on water. He did for as long as he trusted in Christ and stayed focused on Christ. The more he trusted in Christ and focused on Christ, the easier it was. He only failed when he didn't trust and didn't focus. The less he trusted, the harder it became, until he sank and nearly drowned. We must learn from his mistake. We have to trust in Christ, being confident that he will grant our prayers and provide for us. We need to focus on Him and ignore the world. The world only wants us to fail in converting souls.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Greatest Heartbreak of All

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1447
Oh, how painful it is to Me that souls so seldom unite themselves to Me in Holy Communion. I wait for souls, and they are indifferent toward Me. I love them tenderly and sincerely, and they distrust Me. I want to lavish My graces on them, and they do not want to accept them. They treat Me as a dead object, whereas My Heart is full of love and mercy. In order that you may know at least some of My pain, imagine the most tender of mothers who has great love for her children, while those children spurn her love. Consider her pain. No one is in a position to console her. This is but a feeble image and likeness of My love.
I keep picking the same type of passages out of the diary. I keep wanting to talk about the Nymphios. He is the titular of this blog after all. The love Christ has for His bride is like the love a man has for his bride, except that Christ's love is perfect. A man's love is limited by his human weakness and finite capacity for love. Humans are finite after all. As God, Christ is infinite. Sure, His humanity has certain limits, but His Divinity allows Him to love infinitely. So the love He has for His bride is like the love of man and wife only greater. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that the love of man and wife is a smaller version of His love. Christ's love is the original. Spouses love each other only insofar as their love mimics Christ's love. The more their love mimics Christ's love for the Church, the stronger their love is. Since they are finite and Christ is the Infinite God, they could never love each other as strongly as Christ loves His bride, but they still love each other with the same love.

Therefore, just as it hurts a man to have his wife cheat on him, so it hurts Christ to have us sin, only the pain is greater, because His love is greater, because He is God. Christ wants to give His Bride, the best gifts and to spend time with her, just wanting to be in her presence. He wants her fidelity towards Him. He loves her but how does she respond? She runs away into sin hates it when He tries to stop her. The souls doesn't want the Church with it's oppressive rules to get in the way. She might or might not want to be with God now and then, but she still wants her own life. This is just like a girl who cheats on her man and yells at him to leave her alone, that if she wants to have this other life it is her right because it is her life and she can do as she pleases with it. She wants to live life her own way and is mad that this man, who she fell so in love with, is now trying to stop her. He wants to give her the complete gift of himself and now she has that thrown back in his face. She would rather be with someone else than hear what he has to say. After all, her lover never tells her to go to confession. He still loves her. He just wants his love reciprocated. He just wants to be with her and give her the greatest gifts. His offerings are thrown back in his face. She has more fun being in sin than being with him. She is everything to him, but she treats him like nothing. He wants to live his life with her, but she lives it with another. Christ's love for sinners is this same love, only stronger. This is how sinners act towards Christ. This is the pain Christ feels, only He feels it more intensely as His love is greater. No broken heart can compare to Christ's Heart as no heart loves as much as Christ's Heart.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Your Bridegroom is Waiting, Gift in Hand.

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1397
The Lord said to me, The loss of each soul plunges Me into mortal sadness. You always console Me when you pray for sinners. The prayer most pleasing to Me is prayer for the conversion of sinners. Know, My daughter, that this prayer is always heard and answered.
Christ loves the Church as a bridegroom loves his bride. For Christ to experience the loss of a soul to sin and eternal fire is exactly like a man falling in love with a girl (not infatuation, but love) only to have that girl cheat on him with another man and eventually run away with another man and give her life to that other man instead of him. Here he sees the love of his life living her life with someone else as if he never lived, as if they never met. He wanted to offer her his whole self in the sacrifice of matrimony. The gift of his whole self was rejected in favor of a man who never loved her. He only wanted her for pleasure. She gives herself to him instead of her true man. Now she is apart from him forever and united to another. This is what the Nymphios experiences when souls die in sin. He wanted to be with her forever in Heaven. He gave the whole gift of self on the cross and constantly makes that present in the Eucharist. This gets rejected in favor of sin. The souls joins herself to sin and death. She spends her life and after life with demons that offer pleasure, but it is only a trick. It is the same strategy as in the Garden of Eden, carried out by the same trickster.

There is nothing that the Divine Bridegroom wants more than the return of His beloved. Her salvation is an all consuming obsession because the fire of His love for her burns so hotly. He remembers when she was young and undefiled. He wants to return her to that state. He sees her grown into a huge sinner that goes about worldy pleasures and completely forgotten about Him. She hasn't been to Mass since her Confirmation. She has lost interest in her Divine Bridegroom and completely forgotten Him, that is how bad her sin is. He has never forgotten her. He offered Himself on the cross for her. He renews this sacrifice daily for her through the work of His priests. He remembers her on her birthday, wanting to give her the ultimate birthday present: Himself; God Himself. That is how much Christ loves the sinner. He remembers Her on Her birthday. Such a generous Bridegroom. On His birthday He is the one who gives her a present, Himself, the Christchild, that He may be with His beloved. No matter how far she runs or how stained with sin she gets, He never forgets her and always wants her back. He is God. Restoring her dignity and purity is easy for Him. He is not worried about that. He only wants His beloved to return. Pray for conversions. That is what Christ asks for today. He asks you to pray for conversions.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Gift of the Divine Lover

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1385
After Communion today, Jesus told me how much He desires to come to human hearts. "I desire to unite Myself with human souls; My great delight is to unite Myself with souls. Know, My daughter, that when I come to a human heart in Holy Communion, My hands are full of all kinds of graces which I want to give to the soul. But souls do not even pay any attention to Me; they leave Me to Myself and busy themselves with other things. Oh, how sad I am that souls do not recognize Love! They treat Me as a dead object." I answered Jesus, "O Treasure of my heart, the only object of my love and entire delight of my soul, I want to adore You in my heart as You are adored on the throne of Your eternal glory. My love wants to make up to You at least in part for the coldness of so great a number of souls. Jesus, behold my heart which is for You a dwelling place to which no one else has entry. You alone repose in it as in a beautiful garden.
When you are in love, you want to be with the beloved. That is the basic definition of love: desire for union with something and desiring the greatest glory for that same something. Christ loves the Church as His Bride and that is exactly what she is. He wants to be with His Bride as any groom wishes to be with His beloved. It is not a desire to get anything from them, but rather just being in their presence brings joy. This is why Christ loves it when we go to Eucharistic Adoration. When a bridegroom goes to see his beloved, he goes out of his way to give her the best gifts. He wishes to see his bride in the greatest splendor he can provide for her. So too it is with Christ. He wishes to have His Bride in the greatest splendor He can provide, the splendor of Heaven.

The catch is that the bride must accept this gift, or it is for nothing. If she accepts this gift, given out of love, not something owed to her, then the two remain happy in each other's presence. If she rejects, it greatly wounds and offends the groom. She remains apart from him. So it is with the Church. We can either accept or reject the gift Christ gives us. God owes us nothing. There is no debt He must pay to us. This gift is given out of love. If we accept this intimate union with Christ (which happens in the Eucharist), we go to Heaven. We gain a new appreciation for the Bread of Life discourse (John 6). If we reject this gift, we remain apart from Him. This condition is called Hell. Christ is greatly offended. We are the one He loves. We are the one He wants to be with and we have rejected Him. He wanted to be with us and we ran off to be with others; to live our lives with others instead of Him. He, from the beginning, wanted to live our lives with us.

We instead lived it with others instead of Him. We are the cause of the Wound on His Heart. We have pierced His side to the Heart. He tried to give us His love, His whole Self on the cross, made present in the Host. We did not even recognize His love and rejected Him as if He were something from our childhood meant to be forgotten as it gets in the way of our life now. So many people receive Communion not caring about what it is that they are doing. They receive the Sacred Host as if it is something casual and don't even care that this is the Body of their Divine Lover. He gave His whole crucified Self to them through the Eucharist and this gift is either neglected as some casual or auxiliary thing or rejected altogether. All He can do is look at Himself and think "This is my Body which I gave for them and it was rejected in favor of sin." It is a huge insult to neglect or even reject the Eucharist. You, a mere creature, are saying that God Himself is not good enough for you and that sin, as degrading as it is, is more acceptable than Him. You must get up and return to Him. Go be with your Divine Lover in the Eucharist. He gave Himself for you, go give yourself to Him in return. Reciprocate His love.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Gift of Self to the Divine Bridegroom

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1318
O my Jesus, in thanksgiving for Your many graces, I offer You my body and soul, intellect and will, and all the sentiments of my heart. Through the vows, I have given myself entirely to You; I have then nothing more that I can offer You. Jesus said to me, "My daughter, you have not offered Me that which is really yours." I probed deeply into myself and found that I love God with all the faculties of my soul and, unable to see what it was that I had not yet given to the Lord, I asked, "Jesus, tell me what it is, and I will give it to You at once with a generous heart." Jesus said to me with kindness, "Daughter, give Me your misery, because it is your exclusive property." At that moment, a ray of light illumined my soul, and I saw the whole abyss of my misery. In that same moment I nestled close to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus with so much trust that even if I had the sins of all the damned weighing on my conscience, I would not have doubted God's mercy but, with a heart crushed to dust, I would have thrown myself into the abyss of Your mercy. I believe, O Jesus, that You would not reject me, but would absolve me through the hand of Your representative.
What do we keep the most secret? What part of us do we share with no one and keep the most private? It is our fears. It is our heartbreaks. It is our disappointments. It is the times we have been defeated. We keep them secret as our biggest embarrassments. We are afraid to share them even with God. God gave us all the tools we needed to succeed, yet we failed. God never lets us be tempted beyond our ability to fight temptation. God always is offering the grace to break even the greatest addictions. It is when we worry and get scared that we won't succeed that we start to fail. God gave us what we needed to succeed and yet we still failed. We wasted what He gave us and did not make the most efficient use of it.

Now we are miserable. Now we are afraid to face even Him. We are miserable because we failed at something in the past or because something in the present is failing fast. We cling to our misery our of embarrassment. We cannot face even God as He is the one that offered us the means to succeed and we either rejected His offer or didn't use His resources efficiently. In order to get out of this mess, we need to offer ourselves up to God. We need to let God take ourselves, let Him turn us into whatever He wants, and let Him decide the outcome. The innermost part of us is our misery, as we have said. When you give yourself completely to another person, you give even the most private parts to yourself, your deepest darkest secrets that are for only you to know. When bride and groom give their bodies to each other, they give the whole body, even the most private part, in the marital embrace. So it is with giving ourselves to God. We share even our deepest secrets and worries with God, letting Him take them and fix them. We give everything to God. We let Him take it and change it however He wants. It is at that point that we succeed.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Our Food Stash

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1302
Today, I have come to understand many of God's mysteries. I have come to know that Holy Communion remains in me until the next Holy Communion. A vivid and clearly felt presence of God continues in my soul. The awareness of this plunges me into deep recollection, without the slightest effort on my part. My heart is a living tabernacle in which the living Host is reserved. I have never sought God in some far-off place, but within myself. It is in the depths of my own being that I commune with my God.
The Eucharist is the intimacy between Christ and His Bride. When we go to Communion, we go to Our Divine Bridegroom. This union remains in us, as food for the soul, that we can go too again and again for strength. When we go to Communion, we speak to the Lord in that most intimate moment, telling Him our most intimate needs and desires (or at least that is what we are supposed to do). He speaks to us. When we feel weak, tired, or in pain, we should go back to that Communion and draw strength from that intimate exchange with the Divine Bridegroom.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Christ is Waiting...

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1275
My Secretary, write that I am more generous toward sinners than toward the just. It was for their sake that I came down from heaven; it was for their sake that My Blood was spilled. Let them not fear to approach Me; they are most in need of My mercy.
If it wasn't for sin, Christ would not have had to come down from Heaven. Sin is the very reason for His Priesthood, for His Sacrifice. When we sin, we are afraid that Christ won't want us back, because we have done so much to hurt Him and have rejected everything He tried to give us. On the contrary, we are the very reason He came down from Heaven. He waits impatiently for our return. He waits impatiently, wanting to forgive us. He goes out of His way to get us back, even going through the death of the cross. All that's left is for us to go back to Him...

Thursday, May 19, 2011

His Omnipotent Mercy

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1273
My daughter, do you think you have written enough about My mercy? What you have written is but a drop compared to the ocean. I am Love and Mercy itself. There is no misery that could be a match for My mercy, neither will misery exhaust it, because as it is being granted-it increases. The soul that trusts in My mercy is most fortunate, because I myself take care of it.
Many times sins seem huge. God was calling us to a life with Him. He wanted us to give ourselves to Him for His glory and the good of our neighbor. Our life would have been great. We would have given everything we are to God and neighbor and that union with God with neighbor brought into the fold would have given us such an immense and indescribable joy. This joy alone is infinitely powerful and satisfying, because God alone is infinitely powerful and satisfying. This joy alone lasts forever as God alone lasts forever.

But no. We had to go off into sin. It was too hard to give ourselves completely to God and neighbor. The world offered us much easier pleasure if we were to run off into sin. So we did. Now life has passed us by. We spent it all in sin. Christ wanted to spend it all with us, but we ran off into sin and we spent it all away from Him. When we realize just how much He loves us and how happy He can make us, we are devastated. We can never have all those parts of our lives back. We can never go back and do it again with God. We can never go back and try it again.

Christ doesn't see it that way. He can destroy sins as if they never existed. When He absolves sins, He doesn't say that He won't punish us, rather He destroys sins as if they never existed. He erases them from space and time. They are erased from your past and cease to exist. There is no sin to punish at that point. This is because is He alone is infinitely powerful, as we have said. Our sins might be very extensive, but are always finite, since we are finite. We can only do so much harm. Christ, however, is infinite. As powerful as our sins are, His ability to destroy them is even more powerful. On top of that, as His mercy wins another victory, it grows even stronger. It is always growing as it is always defeating more and more sin.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Compassion of the Passion

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent.
Diary of St. Faustina, 1182
Today the Lord said to me, My daughter, My pleasure and delight, nothing will stop Me from granting you graces. Your misery does not hinder My mercy. My daughter, write that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy; [urge] all souls to trust in the unfathomable abyss of My mercy, because I want to save them all. On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls-no one have I excluded!
When we are in misery, we doubt God and His Mercy. We cannot see a way out. That's what makes it misery: the lack of a way out of the painful situation. We think that God cannot possibly get us out of this current pain and restore the graces that were had before the sin that causes the misery. Even if we can see a way out of the sin, we can't see any way that the previous graces could be restored completely. We think that since we can never live that part of our lives again, we can never have anything completely restored. We doubt God's mercy. We doubt God's mercy every step of the way. What does the King of Mercy tell us? He tells us to say the prayer "Jesus, I Trust in You". He tells us to trust Him. He says here that, "nothing will stop Me from granting you graces." He is the Pantocrator, the Omnipotent One. He can give us whatever graces He so chooses. He tells us through the Royal Prophet, "But if thou turnest away thy face, they shall be troubled: thou shalt take away their breath, and they shall fail, and shall return to their dust. Thou shalt send forth thy spirit, and they shall be created: and thou shalt renew the face of the earth." (Ps 103:29-30). The Spirit blows where he pleases. He can restore whatever He wants. He's God. It's easy for Him. He can also give new graces that are greater than the last. He's infinite, so there is always more grace; there's always a greater grace. His mercy is not limited by our misery. As the Omnipotent One He can restore anything to any condition or create an even greater condition than what existed before. There is then no reason to doubt His mercy.

When we look at it from His point of view, we see just how foolish it is to think that our misery can limit His mercy. He loves us. Here He calls His bride (St. Faustina, but the same applies to the Church) "My pleasure and delight". He loves His bride and it is precisely her misery that moves Him, full of compassion and love for her, to give her mercy. He sees her in a miserably state. This is His beloved. She is His bride and He loves her as one. This is the one He loves. Of all creation, this is the one He loves. He said of her in the Canticle, "There are threescore queens, and fourscore concubines, and young maidens without number. One is my dove, my perfect one is but one". When He sees His most beloved in a miserable state, He does not want her to continue in that way but wants her to be happy. The misery causes the mercy because of His great love for us, His Bride. Thus He says, "that the greater the misery of a soul, the greater its right to My mercy" and "I want to save them all." When you fall in love, you are no longer attracted to mere parts of the person (some parts you like others you don't) as in infatuation. Rather you are attracted to the other person as a whole; you want the whole thing. There is no differentiation into various parts. The person is a whole. Thus, when Christ loves the Church, He wants to save all her members. He wants to save them all. "On the cross, the fountain of My mercy was opened wide by the lance for all souls-no one have I excluded!"

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When St. Paul said, "Husbands Love Your Wives and Wives be Submissive to Your Husbands" This is What He Meant...

JaneK has another great piece on Voces Traditionis, this time on wives being obedient to their husbands. First she and her husband tried doing things the world's way:
We thought that we would have an equal relationship and decide everything together through discussion. It became apparent fairly soon that this did not work. I am better at talking than my husband. In practice, deciding things together through discussion meant that I always got my way. There were two problems with this. My husband rightly became resentful. And we ended up making bad decisions that would have been prevented by doing things my husband’s way.
When you pretend that marriage is an equal partnership, it becomes politics. You have two different people with two different wills and two different sets of strengths and two different sets of weaknesses. An "equal partnership" is no more than negotiation of peace terms between the two on every little thing. Any time any decision needs to be made, the two people in this "equal partnership" need to negotiate some "middle ground" that is satisfactory to both. However, it is not completely satisfying to either since each needs to give something up to compromise and maintain the "equal partnership". In the end, whoever is a better negotiator will always win. Every. Single. Time. It's usually the woman. Worse come to worse, women can always deny the man sex in a desperate attempt to win a fight after they realize that the man is right. Again. This happens all the time in so many relationships. At this point, what happened with this couple isn't the slightest bit surprising.

This "equal partnership" garbage only causes tension and more arguing. The relationship is only satisfying if you can get your way. Unless you win in the negotiations and compromise, you will never be happy. This often times causes the end of the relationship: the two claim to be equal, so they must agree on everything, so they must negotiate and compromise on everything, so you are only happy if you win, so the other person gets sick of you. After this point, these two smartened up and started doing things God's way: the man is the sole head:
That meant that I had to obey him and he had to love me in a self-sacrificing way. (I think that I got the easier part.) This worked really well. My husband was not bossy or oppressive. He sought input from me and considered my feelings. He used his authority for the good of our family, not to selfishly indulge himself. Also, I discovered that obedience has spiritual benefits and I came to greatly appreciate that this was my role in marriage.
Now that is what a marriage should look like! None of that equality crap. What's wrong with that model is that it is no more than negotiation and compromise with the other person because you desire happiness for yourself with the other person. That's not love. That's infatuation. It desires happiness for self. Love is a desire to sacrifice yourself for the good of the other. It is not a desire to gain, but a desire to give. You desire to give yourself to the other for their greater good, not your good. Your good isn't counted, only theirs. That's true love. The man is the head of his wife. He loves her in a self-sacrificing way. Everything he does is for her greater good. She is submissive and obedient to him. There cannot be two heads. That's anarchy. That puts you in the tailspin of an "equal partnership" I already described. The two will pull back and forth and can never be happy as a result.

Instead, the man is the head and it is his obligation to lead her to Heaven, since Heaven is the only joy that lasts forever. Hell is the only other thing that lasts forever. It's your choice. He must lead her with love both guiding him and strengthening him. At this point it is clear that three are needed: man, woman, and love. They love they have for each other is an actual grace (which they received from God after being deeply infatuated for some time) calling them to the Sacrament of Marriage, where it becomes a sanctifying grace (thus the need for matrimony becomes clear; cohabitation is evil in and of itself). Ergo, love is the Holy Ghost (grace being His presence). In other words, the couple needs God. The two alone are not enough, they need the grace of God to help them and guide them and strengthen them. They need the Holy Ghost, who is the Burning Sun of Love. Once the man is guided by the grace of the Holy Ghost, everything is for her good. Nothing is an attempt to gain happiness for himself. Even sex is not about pleasure, it's an expression of love. During sex, the mentality is one of giving everything to the other, even your very body, even the most private part of that body. It is a total gift of self. Sex is not about pleasure when your in love.

If the woman refuses to be submissive to her husband, then she refuses to be submissive to God, who operates through her husband. God is the One Who, by His grace (the love the man has for her), moves the man to act the way he does. It is not so much the husband that works, but God that works through him, using the grace of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. It is in this way that the husband is an Alter Christus. He is the Christ figure in the marriage and the family. He loves his bride the same way Christ loves His Bride the Church. He is head of his bride the same way Christ is head of the Church. He, by the power of the Holy Ghost, leads his bride to Heaven the same way Christ by the power of the Holy Ghost, leads His Bride to Heaven. A marriage is only good if it reflects Christ's marriage with the Church. The more it reflects Christ's marriage, the better it is.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Let's Get Our Priorities in Order...

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent. Today's passage is rather brief:
Diary of St. Faustina, 1107
Neither graces, nor revelations, nor raptures, nor gifts granted to a soul make it perfect, but
rather the intimate union of the soul with God.
That's it folks. That's all the Catholic faith is about: intimate union with God in prayer. That's the whole of the Catholic faith right there. Developing that relationship is the sole foundation for the entire Catholic life. It's the only goal of the Catholic faith. It begins in this life but only reaches it's perfection in the next. Intimate union with God in prayer is not the most important thing, it's the only thing. Without it, everything else fails. You cannot love neighbor or anything else if you don't love God first. The success of everything in the Church hinges on this one point. If this union succeeds, all else will succeed, because God will sustain you. If this fails, all else will fail, as God is lacking. The same way a house will fail without a foundation, so too a Catholic will fail without a prayer life.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

They that sow in tears shall reap in joy.

III Sunday after Easter - II Class
Missa Iubilate Deo

Epistle: I Pet. 2:11-19 [Abstain from lust, obey your superiors, and love your neighbor.]
Gospel: Jn. 16:16-22 [You are suffering now, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

When we look around in our lives, what do we see? We see the people around us in the world get excited at the world's vices, without caring at all for the things of God. They see the human body as an object of sexual pleasure and the fact that the human body is really the masterpiece of the Divine Artist is foreign and absurd to them. They have relationships where the male does whatever he has to do in order to get sexual pleasure and the female does what ever she has to do in order to get romantic pleasure. Songs that praise lustful pleasure are ever popular. They go to work, but what they care about most is their paycheck. Things are only seen as good if they make you feel good. If something stops making you feel good, it is now worthless. That girl becomes worthless if she becomes ugly. That boy becomes worthless if he stops doing romantic things. All this is no more than hedonism.

These people do not know what love is. When we look at them, we see something different. We have created an intimate relationship with God in prayer and He has increased our love of neighbor. This love allows us to start seeing them as He sees them. We see that they are good and beautiful in and of themselves, just because God created them. We see that their sins degrade them down to the level of being just an object of pleasure. We see the beauty of God's creation in their bodies and we can't stand to let those bodies to be degraded to objects of pleasure. The more we love them, the more it hurts us to see them drowning in sin. We want their bodies for the purpose for which they were created: for validly married couples to give those bodies to each other as a gift, not wanting to use the other's body for pleasure, but wanting to give everything they are to the one they love. God then uses this expression of love to create a child. We don't want them to run around in life looking for good times that come to an end because those good times lack God. God alone can make good times last forever because God alone lasts forever. Only when we seek God and join ourselves to Him can we find a joy that lasts. Other pleasures can last for a long time, but they all end because they lack God and God lone is forever. We want them to reject their vain and empty lives in favor of God who can give far greater joy, just because He's God.

We want these great things for them but they stubbornly refuse to abandon their sins. They cannot stand to hear the sound of our voices because we condemn what they are doing. We come to the verge of despair. We want them to be holy and pure in the sight of God, but they fall deeper and deeper into the world's vices. With each passing day a conversion seems more and more impossible. Today we have reassurance. Today we hear "Amen, amen, I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice: and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labor, hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow: but I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you." We can see that it is ridiculously impossible for us to convert them. They hate us because we condemn the lives they live. We are not even remotely capable of converting them, but we still love them. God loves them even more. God wants them to convert even more. God wants what we want, but even more. God wants them in Heaven more than we do. God is capable of converting them. Nothing can over power the Lord nor can anything resist Him, because He alone is God. He is the Pantocrator, the Almighty. Today He tells us that we do not pray for nothing. He hears our pleas and He too desires that they be converted. We are suffering now, because all those around us, whom we are about, are in sin, but God wants to convert them and God wants to turn our sorrow to joy.

Seriously? Do You Really Need To Practice Having Sex?

I love the smell of gunpowder in the morning. Let's blast some sins, shall we?

Over at Voces Traditionis, JaneK, who has been married for 31 years next week and stayed chaste before marriage, blasts the concept of sex before marriage and concubinage as offering little advantage and defends chastity as having great rewards without loosing much. I instantly like her. Defending the Church's teachings on sex and blasting sexual sins is one of the easiest ways to gain my respect. She did not value chastity but her husband did while they were dating and insisted on waiting until marriage. Without being caught up in lust and pleasing each other, they were free to develop the other areas of their relationship. That includes communication skills: being open about everything with each other and hiding nothing. Once a couple develops that skill, sex becomes so much easier. One does not need practice. Sex is simple. It's easy to learn. Usually, it's a little too easy. Practice my foot. Having a healthy sexual relationship depends on communication. If the two spouses have good communication, are open with each other, give constant feedback to each other, and are considerate of one another, then they don't need to worry about performing well or needing practice. The less they communicate, the more awkward and uncoordinated they will be.

Basically couples have two paths to choose from. Either they can have sex before marriage, practicing their sexual skills so that they are in good shape by the time their married at the expense of other aspects of their relationship, which greatly weakens the relationship overall and greatly increases the chance of splitting up, all the while degrading each other's bodies as objects of pleasure and becoming addicted to using the other's body for pleasure (which further weakens the relationship) instead of respecting the body as the Creator's work of art. Or... They can remain chaste before marriage, developing all aspects of their relationship except sex, which would include communication and telling each other everything (which greatly strengthens the relationship), which then when they're married allows them to have sex in a skilled and pleasing way immediately without any previous experience whatsoever (because they hide nothing from one another), all the while they have learned to respect the body as beautiful art and not an object of pleasure (since they haven't been having sex), which greatly increases respect for one another and further strengthens the relationship. It's their choice. They can do things either way. Oh, and the first way leads to Hell and the second to Heaven. Yea, there's that too.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Domine Non Sum Dignus...

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent. Today I think I'll get a little personal, the passage is about the priesthood after all.
Diary of St. Faustina, 331
"When the priest acts in my place, he does not act of himself, but I act through him. His wishes are Mine." I can see how Jesus defends His representatives. He himself enters into their actions.
Christ defends His priests and their wills. Although I am still on the path to the priesthood, I can already see this to some extent in my life. Certain people I once knew ran off into a certain lifestyle. I do not want said people in said lifestyle. God proclaims that said lifestyle is sinful. Ergo, God has taken my side in this matter. God even goes as far as saying that I will have the authority to forgive sins and expiate them on the altar. You know when St. Peter said to the Lord after the miraculous catch of fish, "Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord."? Yea, that's pretty much how I feel at this point. Never mind the whole situation where the priest says the form of one of the Sacraments and God then obeys the priest and does as he says, either coming down on the altar or forgiving sins or what have you, just the circumstances around that can be pretty profound and humbling sometimes.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Three Little Words? Try Three Big Nails.

[EDIT: This is a repost from Thursday, May 12, 2011 due to the Blogger server failure]

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent. Today we have an illustration of the difference between love and infatuation:
Diary of St. Faustina, 324
Pure love gives the soul strength at the very moment of dying. When I was dying on the cross, I was not thinking about Myself, but about poor sinners, and I prayed for them to My Father. I want your last moments to be completely similar to Mine on the cross. There is but one price at which souls are bought, and that is suffering united to My suffering on the cross. Pure love understands these words; carnal love will never understand them.
Love is willing to suffer. When you love someone, you desire to be with them so much that no price is too high. The desire is not one of wanting the person to come to you, that you might have good times with them. That would be infatuation. That is what Our Lord here calls "carnal love". Such "love" is rightly called "carnal" because in the first place, lust is the main fuel for it's fire. It seeks to use the other to attain happiness. The person is looking for good times and wants to use the other as the means to get there. It sees the other as a source of pleasure. Carnal "love" has no desire for sacrifice, only for good times, because it is not attracted to the whole person. It is attracted to specific physical or psychological aspects of the person, and only because of the pleasure they afford. The deeper the infatuation, the more parts or aspects are desired (theoretically even all parts of the person), but it always a collection of parts. It does not see the other as a whole person. It only sees parts, even then only those parts that offer pleasure. It is always a motion towards you, of gaining pleasure, never a motion away from you, of offering yourself for their greater good. Second, it is rightly called "carnal" because it is a human attraction. It is not Divine in any way. It has humanity as it's source and end. It is completely and totally human. As a result it is mortal, vain, and ultimately weak. No matter how strong it might become or how long it might last, it cannot endure forever. It must of necessity end, because it is not from God. It does not lead to any good, but only down "to the inner chambers of death." (cf. Prov. 7:27).

What Our Blessed Lord calls "pure love" is the only emotion that can truthfully be called love. It does not seek to gain happiness, but rather to give one's self to the other. The motion is not towards you (as with infatuation), but away from you and towards the beloved. Love is in and of itself sacrificial. It is a desire to offer everything you have and everything you are for the other person's greater good. It sees the other as a whole person, not someone who has certain attractive body parts and behaves in an attractive way at certain times. It is one single person, not divided into good and bad aspects, but the whole person and his/her greater good is desired. Love is a desire to give everything, your whole self, for their sake. You want to sacrifice your very being for their greater good. It is that union of one person, the other person, and love that alone brings joy. Good times are not desired, but rather the other person's companionship through life, through good times and bad, going through life together, always helping each other. Union with this whole person and their greater good is desired. When the fire of love burns, it burn so hotly that the person is willing to undergo great suffering for the sake of the beloved. The fire of love empowers you such that you are willing to make any sacrifice for the sake of the beloved, even give your very life.

This fire is not from man. It is the Holy Ghost. Love is a grace. Only a grace, which is the presence of the Holy Ghost, can allow someone to love another as God loves that person. With God as the constant source, this love does not fade. The flesh might become weak, but the spirit is always willing. It does not end when life gets difficult, rather it strengthens the lover when life gets difficult, so that the lover might act for the sake of the beloved. It is with this same love that Christ loves His Bride the Church. He is the source of this love. This love radiates from Him and into married couples, to people towards their family members, and all those who truly care for some another person. They only love each other insofar as their love is a reflection of His love for His Bride. When we consider the fact that this love is the love with which Christ loves the Church, everything makes sense. The Incarnation makes sense. The Passion makes sense. His condemnation of lukewarmness and syncretism with other religions make sense. The Eucharist, both as a sacrifice and as the intimacy between Christ and His Bride, makes sense. All of Christ's behavior becomes clear and makes perfect sense when seen under the light of the Burning Sun of Love. Indeed, is that not what the Apostle tells us? No man can call Jesus Lord, except by the Holy Ghost. (1 Cor. 12:3). That Burning Sun of Love is the Holy Ghost.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

For Expedited Service, Ask Mom

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent. Today we have a poem praising the Immaculate Virgin Mary. This is the month of Mary. She is our great helper, our "strength" and "sturdy anchor". She hurries to our aid faster than any other celestial being because she is our loving mother. Christ gave His mother to us as our mother, so she loves us and cares for us as she did her Divine Son.

Diary of St. Faustina, 161
Immaculate Virgin,
Pure crystal for my heart,
You are my strength, O sturdy anchor!
You are the weak heart's shield and protection.
Mary you are pure, of purity incomparable;
At once both Virgin and Mother,
You are beautiful as the sun, without blemish,
And your soul is beyond all comparison.
Your beauty has delighted the eye of the Thrice-Holy One.
He descended from heaven, leaving His eternal throne,
And took Body and Blood of your heart
And for nine months lay hidden in a Virgin's Heart.
O Mother, Virgin, purest of all lilies,
Your heart was Jesus' first tabernacle on earth.
Only because no humility was deeper than yours
Were you raised above the choirs of Angels and above all Saints.
O Mary, my sweet Mother,
I give you my soul, my body and my poor heart.
Be the guardian of my life,
Especially at the hour of death, in the final strife.

Monday, May 9, 2011

The Lovers Together in the Garden

During the Easter Season I'll be bringing you gems from St. Faustina's Diary, after reading it for Lent. Today we have a poem worshiping the Sacred Host. This is no more than two souls, deeply in love, meeting together. The Divine Bridegroom comes to meet His Bride, veiled in the Sacred Host. The Holy Bride, so in love with Him, runs out to meet Him:
Diary of St. Faustina, 159
O Blessed Host, in golden chalice enclosed for me,
That through the vast wilderness of exile
I may pass-pure, immaculate, undefiled;
Oh, grant that through the power of Your love this might come to be.
O Blessed Host, take up Your dwelling within my soul,
O Thou my heart's purest love!
With Your brilliance the darkness dispel.
Refuse not Your grace to a humble heart.
O Blessed Host, enchantment of all heaven,
Though Your beauty be veiled
And captured in a crumb of bread,
Strong faith tears away that veil.

Your Taxpayer Dollars at Work...

Via RealCatholicTV:
Abortion Mega Center A Waste of Taxpayer Money
Auburn Hills, Michigan-- Planned Parenthood has spent two hundred thousand dollars of taxpayers’ money to purchase a building in Auburn Hills, Michigan that could be lost because of mismanaged funds. The building, located at 1625 N. Opdyke Road, carries a deed restriction forbidding its use as a medical facility.
Planned Parenthood’s loss of the building would mean a waste of the two hundred thousand dollars in tax money commissioned to acquire the building. Such a large amount of money wasted on a questionable real estate purchase, either without adequate research or with intention to breach legal precedents, is not an institution that should be trusted with taxpayers’ funds. This incident has raised eyebrows in the state capital, and may have repercussions regarding the state funding of the abortion provider.
Read the rest here (PDF).

On one hand, it's good that PP lost a building. On the other hand, it's sad that gov't money is wasted so frivolously. Large sums of cash are given to protect personal ideologies instead of being spent anything that's actually good. Then the people behind this genocidal corruption loose their money. Good. Bem Feito. However, the general public still lost $200,000 (which is no small sum of money) for ideological reasons.

People go to work, earn money by the sweat of their brow, then have it taken away by the government only to have it wasted on failed attempts to protect the personal ideology that the human body should be used for sexual pleasure and that there shouldn't be any negative consequences for those sexual acts, ergo a woman has a "right" to an abortion. Think about that. People are so hell bent on abusing the human body as a source of sexual pleasure that they're willing to mercilessly slaughter the most innocent of children to preserve their lifestyle of sex with no consequences. That's what the government is protecting and funding with your money.

Here in the US, we just had Mother's Day yesterday. Moms, think of your children who you love so much. You would never want anyone to kill them. That would be your worst nightmare. You are willing to sacrifice yourself to protect them. Many other moms are perfectly willing to kill their own children just so they can have more sex and they do this every day. They call it "women's right's" and being "pro-choice". Anyone who protects children is "anti-choice" and "hates women". That's right. If you defend motherhood, you hate women. The ability to become a mother is what makes a woman a woman. It's what separates her from men. The world's wisdom says that if you defend the gift of motherhood (which is from God), you hate women. How anyone can agree with them is beyond me...

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Shepherd Became a Lamb to Save the Flock

II Sunday after Easter - II Class
Good Shepherd Sunday
Missa Misericordia

Epistle: I Pet. 2:21-25 [Christ brought back the lost sheep by being a silent lamb.]
Gospel: Jn. 10:11-16 [Christ the Good Shepherd lays down His life for His sheep.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Christ is the Nymphios (Bridegroom) of the Church. He loves Her as a man loves his wife. In fact, Christ's love is the original spousal love and a man only loves his wife insofar as his affection for her is a reflection of Christ's love for the Church. God offered His love to His Bride and wanted to be with her. When you fall in love, you want the person's companionship. You aren't after the person's body and you don't desire romance from them. Those things are seen as good, but aren't what's important. What's important is the person's companionship through life. Whatever they do, you want to do with them and whatever you do you want them to do with you. God offered this life in the perfect joy of the garden of Eden. His Bride threw His love back in His face by running off after sin. Like sheep She went astray, as we hear in the Epistle, where St. Paul alludes to the Canticle of the Suffering Servant in Isaiah 53.

Again, when you're in love, when you get separated from the one you love, you want to be together with them again. It is love's nature to unite. Love is a grace that unites man and wife using the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony. In the Holy Marriage of Christ and the Church, love unites the two lovers using all the sacraments. As a grace then, love is the Holy Ghost, as grace is simply the presence of the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost unites God the Father and God the Son. Unite is simply what the Holy Ghost does. Union is the natural end of love. Therefore Christ wanted His Bride back with a perfect longing, which could only be satisfied by union with His Bride. The longing was so strong that He took on flesh, becoming one of the sheep and He sacrificed Himself as the Lamb of God to purify His mystical Spouse and bring Her back from the death of sin. The Good Shepherd became one of the sheep so He could sacrifice His life to give life to his sheep. The Good Shepherd became the Lamb of God.

In His suffering, Christ was as a lamb, going silently to it's death. He suffered the worst pains and humiliations without complaining or opening His mouth. It is love that enabled Him to suffer the worst torments without complaint. When you are in love, you are willing to undergo any suffering or humiliation for the sake of the beloved. Love itself is so strong and your desire to not only be with the one you love, but also have her be pure and holy, is so strong that even the worst suffering is weak in comparison. Christ was able to undergo so much pain in His passion because His love for His Bride the Church is so strong. Without love, one is not willing to suffer. When the bond is infatuation, then it is weak, because it is not love. When suffering comes, infatuation breaks and one is no longer willing to suffer for the other. The deeper the infatuation, the more suffering one is willing to undergo for the other, but it will break because only love can withstand suffering. That is why the divorce rate is so high: a lack of love and abundance of infatuation. There is no willingness to suffer for the good of the other. Infatuation is like the hireling.

The Bride of Christ today devotes half the Gospel to condemning the hireling, who flees when life gets difficult. This is a condemnation of calling infatuation "love" (as many are wont to do these days) when it is only a mutual infatuation. Infatuaters and lusters look for good times. Lovers suffer for the good of one another. This is how Christ loves the Church, as His Bride. He suffers for Her good. We must reciprocate His love. We mustn't reject or ignore His love. We must reciprocate it. We must be willing to suffer for His greater glory and our love for Him will make that suffering easy to bear. That is the basis of the whole Catholic life. Husbands and wives must also love each other in this way, or else they have no right to get married. Marriage can only happen for self-less reasons, never for selfish reasons. If a couple is actually called to marriage then there is an immediate willingness to suffer without any hesitation, because love strengthens them to do so beyond their human weakness. The Nymphios told St. Faustina, "True love is measured by the thermometer of suffering." (Diary, 343). Indeed. That's true love.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

The Lover's Garden is So Worth It

I read the Diary of St. Faustina for Lent. During Easter, I'll be sharing various gems from that book. Today we have a lesson about two sorts of pleasures. Pleasure that is easily obtained and feels good quickly inevitably leads to hell and eternal pain as a result of choosing the world over God. Pleasure that is difficult to obtain and comes only after much hard work and suffering lasts forever and is completely worth the trouble.
Diary of St Faustina, 153
One day, I saw two roads. One was broad, covered with sand and flowers, full of joy, music and all sorts of pleasures. People walked along it, dancing and enjoying themselves. They reached the end without realizing it. And at the end of the road there was a horrible precipice; that is, the abyss of hell. The souls fell blindly into it; as they walked, so they fell. And their number was so great that it was impossible to count them. And I saw the other road, or rather, a path, for it was narrow and strewn with thorns and rocks; and the people who walked along it had tears in their eyes, and all kinds of suffering befell them. Some fell down upon the rocks, but stood up immediately and went on. At the end of the road there was a magnificent garden filled with all sorts of happiness, and all these souls entered there. At the very first instant they forgot all their sufferings.
That last point is hard to understand while you're suffering, but when you reach that joy and relief that you were striving for it becomes clear that the suffering no longer exists, only the joy exists. The suffering no longer matters. It is nothing. It doesn't exist anymore. It is a thing of the past. All that exists now is the joy and it becomes evident that the joy is greater than the suffering. As great as the suffering was, the joy is even greater. That makes all the suffering worth it. This life is a life of suffering, but if we stay faithful to God, it will all be worth it. We hope that this is true. We know that this is true. We believe that this is true. This gives us the strength to continue in the face of great suffering. We pray that this comes to pass. We know that this will come to pass. Spera in Deo quoniam adhuc confitebor Illi. ("Hope in God for I shall praise Him still").

Friday, May 6, 2011

Of Conspiracies & Drag "Queens"

Fr. Longenecker over on his blog has a go on conspiracy theories. He goes on, as an example explaining the theory that Queen Elizabeth I was really a man, posing as her after she died as a child. This explains many different facts about her, including her famous disdain for nudity, which came to be shared by the rest of England. Go there to read the whole thing. This anti-nude mentality was shared by the US's founding fathers, which explains our American disdain for social nudity whereas most Europeans see nudity as something natural. It's a mentality of "It's just how God made us." This is at least partly correct, since we need to respect the human body as the masterpiece of the Divine Artist, and never see it as something to be used for lust (The Sistine Chapel ceiling and Michaelangelo's David randomly come to mind). Scandal to those weak against lust is another matter... Us Yanks and Brits are the unnatural ones seeing nudity as always sexual (which is definitely wrong) because we are offspring of Elizabethan England, which might have been founded on a drag queen (couldn't resist the pun on "queen").

Nudity aside, Fr. Longenecker's main point and reason for bringing up Queen Elizabeth I is that conspiracy theories are a waste of time:
The number of conspiracy theories is only matched by the amount of imagination people have along with the need to find some greater hidden meaning to it all. It's a form of illness and the final slam for conspiracy theorists is to ask, 'So what?' So what if JFK was actually murdered by LBJ, George Bush and the Cuban Cigar manufacturers? Can you do anything about that? So what if you discover incontrovertible proof that George W Bush murdered JFK Jr in a rigged plane crash or Elvis ate a poisoned peanut butter sandwich or Bill Clinton is a secret Rockefeller love child? Or Princess Diana was murdered by an international secret group of reptilian aliens. What are you going to do about it? Nothing. So at worst it's a waste of time and at best its an amusing hobby.

If you want to wonder at the hidden meaning of all things I recommend meditating on the mystery of Divine Providence.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Love Never Gives Up, No Matter How Impossible

Feast of St. Monica, widow - III Class
Common Mass Cognovi
Full Latin-English propers here.

St. Monica is famous for converting her son, St. Augustine. Think about what that must have been like. She raised her little boy, holding him in her arms as a baby and taking care of him as a child. He was a sweet little child. He was mommy's little boy and the apple of her eye. He grew up into something different. He became a horrible sinner. He entered into concubinage (cohabitation-of course you know I had to condemn that first). He was promiscuous. He loved to party. He searched for philosophies and beliefs that defended his vices and opinions. He obviously didn't practice the faith or go to Mass anymore.

St. Monica didn't want him like this. She wanted him to be holy and a saint. The whole world told her that her son doesn't want to live the way she wants him to. He has chosen this life. He has chosen concubinage and promiscuity. He has established his life this way and it is too late to establish it any other way. He has already lived the prime of his life and he lived it in sin. You can't go back in time and re-establish his life any other way. This is his life. This is what he wants. She needs to respect that and stop forcing her will on him. What she wants isn't him; rather it is a fictional and fanciful version of him that never existed and never will because he never wanted that life. He wants this life of concubinage and all sorts of sin and she needs to accept reality.

St. Monica rejected all this and instead listened to the truth. Her entire environment and surroundings told her she was wrong. She trusted even though everything said she was wrong. Her entire surroundings caused her great pain and suffering as she had to see her son live that life. Each sin a mockery of her love for him. Each sinful act spitting in the face of the virtuous life she wanted for him. His whole life became a mockery of her and her great love for him. Each sinful act was another statement that what she wanted for him was wrong and that the life he was chosen was right. Each of these statements was a lie, but the only thing she had telling her this was her faith. Everything else told her she was wrong. She stayed true to her love. She hoped in hope against hope that her son would reject his life of sin with a great hatred for it and great compunction and then accept her love and reciprocate it.

Each sin of his brought great pain and insult. She accepted this pain and did not resist it. She did not try to escape it. She did not want it to stop. She accepted it and let it come. She treated suffering as a good thing. Why? Suffering accomplishes two goals: it joins us to Christ, which gives us consolation in that we and Christ are suffering together and since our suffering is joined to Christ's then our suffering can be offered up to atone for sins, both ours and those of others. Second, accepting suffering makes us submissive and malleable. We no longer resist anything God gives us, no matter how painful, so God can do great things with us. She accepted the pain of his sins mocking her and the life she wanted for him with his sins replacing the life he should have had. She offered it up and became submissive to this pain that God was giving her. Like Christ, she became obedient and humbled herself to a humiliating death and like Christ, God greatly exalted her and accomplished one of the greatest conversions of all time. This is what it means to be joined to Christ. We become like lambs as Christ became like a lamb, going silently to His death, not resisting any of the pain, as the pain destroys the sins that caused it. St. Monica's pain destroyed the sins that caused it because joining her pain to Christ's pain made her pain pleasing to God.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Unless the Lord Build the House...

St. Joseph the Worker, spouse of the BVM - I Class
Transferred from Yesterday (Low Sunday)
Missa Sapientia

Epistle: Col. 3:14-15, 17, 23-24 [All we do should be done for God and He will reward us.]
Gospel: Mt. 13: 54-58 [Jesus is rejected at Nazareth.]
Full Latin-English propers here.

We can put a whole lot of effort into our work, but unless God is guiding us, it is all for nothing. We can build up a home, a career, an entire life. If we do not do what God wants us to do in the way God wants us to do it, then God is not with us in that work, whether it is as insignificant as making lunch or as major as establishing your home life. If God does not support the work, then it cannot survive death. It will meet it's demise; it will come to an end. God alone can make anything forever as God alone is forever. Any work lasts forever and bears fruit forever only insofar as it is joined to God as God alone is forever. Ergo, "nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum in vanum laboraverunt qui aedificant eam." Unless the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it. (From today's Introit.)

Am I going to use this as a chance to take a shot at concubinage (cohabitation)? You bet. Concubinage is the epitome of working apart from God. It is the epitome of building the house without the Lord. It degrades the human body to something to be used for sexual pleasure when it is the masterpiece of the Divine Artist. It is an arrogant attempt on the part of humans to establish on their own what God alone can establish through the Sacrament of Marriage by giving them the grace of true love (an actual grace), which is the vocation to Holy Matrimony (which, as a sacrament, strengthens it into a sanctifying grace). God needs to be the beginning and end of all our work or else the work in the end is for nothing. God alone is forever. God alone can make our work last forever and bear fruit forever. We say daily in the Divine Office at Prime and repeat in today's Offertory, "Bonitas Domini Dei nostri sit super nos, et opus manuum nostrarum secunda nobis, et opus manuum nostrarum secunda. Alleluia." (Let the brightness of the Lord our God be upon us: and direct Thou the works of our hands over us; yea, the work of our hands do Thou direct. Alleluia.)

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Jesus, I Trust in You That You Will Wash Your Bride

Eastern Icon of Divine Mercy.
It depicts today's Gospel.

Sunday in White (Low Sunday) - I Class
Feast of Mercy
Missa Quasi Modo

Epistle: I Jn. 5:4-10 [Whoever is of God conquers the world because God is greater than the world.]
Gospel: Jn. 20:19-31 [Institution of Confession & Doubting Thomas]
Full Latin-English propers here.

Today has more names than just about any other day on the Church calendar. It is The Octave of Easter, Sunday in White (after the baptismal garments worn from the Easter Vigil until today), Low Sunday (last Sunday being High Sunday), Quasi Modo Sunday (after today's Mass-and yes the hunchback is named after today as in the story he was found orphaned on this day), Doubting Thomas Sunday and the Feast of Mercy (both based off of the Gospel). That might be all of them... Incidentally, this is also the 600th post for this blog.

When we look at a sinner, what do we see? We see a person who lives as if she either hates God or thinks God doesn't exist. Sometimes she isn't sure which. She lives this way because she grew up into this life. In the days of her youth, she gained whatever graces she had. She tried being Catholic. It was fun for a while. Then she got bored of it and had her fill. It was too hard to live the "right way". She ran off into the world, since life there was easier. We can take St. Margaret of Cortona, as her example is typical. She was raised in the faith, as all Italian girls. As a teenager, she became rebellious. She wanted to live life her own way, without her parents holding her back. She was strong-willed and wanted to live life by her own rules. That is a lethal combination that, without confession, will always lead to Hell. She didn't want anyone, especially her parents, to force her to live a certain way. She wanted to "get away from her parents". They were "too restrictive" and wouldn't let her "live her own life". It's as if they don't trust her at all. She found a boyfriend and cohabited with him, or to put it more precisely, became his concubine.

This didn't come about all at once. It started when she was young, in her early teens, wanting to do things her own prideful way for her own enjoyment, in spite of the self-control her parents wanted to instill in her. It started with small things and grew to big things. First she wanted to go out with her friends or speak to that boy she liked or whatever. As things escalated she wanted to be alone with the man she was dating at the time. Her parents would have to have been complete imbeciles to leave two young unwed lovers together alone. Eventually she ended up moving in with that man. She bore him a son in sin. She cohabited with him and was his concubine for nine years before his murder (probably by his family's political enemies) freed her from her life of sin. It was a sudden conversion much like St. Paul or fellow penitent St. Pelagia of Antioch, who was converted by the sermon of St. Nonnus. So here she was, having wasted the prime of her life in sin. When she was young and beautiful, she gave her body and her life to be degraded by sin and used for pleasure. Her dignity was degraded for pleasure that passes like a cloud.

She could have stayed in the practice of the faith, found a better man, a man that would have respected her body as the masterpiece of the Divine Artist and not seen it as something to be used for pleasure, a man that would have loved her and wanted to give his whole life to her and wanted her as his companion in life. A man with whom she would have been called to Holy Matrimony-not someone who wanted to have fun with her and then be made to take care of the ensuing baby, and have her constantly wanting to have the relationship go to the "next level". She could have had that never-ending joy with a man in the Church that wanted her good, but she chose passing pleasure with a man that wanted good times with her. We look at St. Margaret's situation and think that it is too late to do anything. She already lived the prime of her life in sin. She will never get those years back. She will never be able to re-live that part of her life, the good years of her life, and do things right this time. She will never get a second chance. She went out looking for good times and life passed her by. If she looks inside the Church, the little kids are grown up now. Life has passed by and she still hasn't set up a lasting and satisfying relationship, because she was looking to receive romantic and carnal pleasure in this relationship instead of giving herself for his good and wanting his companionship in life. That's the difference between infatuation (the former) and love (the latter).

Now, she isn't a virgin, is alone, has a bastard son, and is past the prime of her life. To us it seems to late. God cannot undo this. The prime of her life has passed her by, she wasted it, and will never get it back. She can't get a second chance. That would require time travel or something. She only had one chance at life and she failed miserably. She can't regain her virginity and preserve it unto marriage or join a convent to preserve unto death. She can't re-live her prime, this time with a good man. That's not how God sees it. To us, sins seem so great and too big to be destroyed. To God sins are nothing. They are minuscule. They are easily destroyed as if they never even happened. St. John tells us today that whoever is of God conquers the world because God is greater than the world. She lost the graces she had and went after an evil life. Now she realizes what she has done. It seems as if life is over and she has lost. However, today we see the Risen Christ. Today we see new life. Through Confession, God can give her graces back. The life she lost can be restored. Paradise lost becomes paradise regained. Eden becomes Heaven. She can live in that same grace and everlasting joy she could have had. The same tranquil paradise becomes open to her again through Confession after the blackness and empty pleasures of sin (both carnal and emotional) destroyed and wasted her life, preventing her from having that never-ending, tranquil, joy that leaves her being feeling complete. She will never have that part of her life back, but that would have passed anyway. Even if she spent it with a good man instead of that man, that long, happy, chaste, and saintly marriage would have ended and given way to Heaven anyway. O the joy she must have felt at hearing those words said over her:
Dominus Noster Jesus Christus te absolvat; et ego per auctoritate ipsius te absolvo ab omni vinculo ecommunicationis, et interdicti, in quantum possum, et tu indiges. Diende ego te absolvo a peccatis tuis in nomine Patris, et Filii, † et Spiritus Sancti. Amen.
Our Lord Jesus Christ absolves you; and I by His authority absolve you of all stain of excommunication and interdict, insofar as I am able and you have need. Therefore I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.
She decided to join the Fransiscans as a tertiary. She became a famous mystic. She is a saint in heaven. From the blackness and selfishness of sin to the brilliance and joy of Heaven. How many teens today live like St. Margaret? How many in their 20's are just like her? Pray for their conversions. Trust in Jesus that He will convert them and wash them more and more from their sins. Jesus, I trust in You that you will give them tears of compunction and regret for their sins. Jesus, I trust in You that you will wash them and make them whiter than snow. Jesus, I trust in You that you will come down in the form of the Host to be intimate with them. Jesus, I trust in You that You will be the Burning Sun over them, illuminating their darkness and burning off their impurities. Jesus, I trust in You that You will be intimate with them forever in Heaven. Amen. Alleluia.

True Liberty, True Dignity

For the Feast of Mercy, I'll repost this: