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Wall Street Journal gay marriage poll February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in asshatery, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, foolishness, General Catholic, Society.
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I don’t know if this poll has been spiked by gay activist groups linking to it or what, but when I took it, it was running 85%-15% in favor of gay marriage, well outside the bounds of normal polling on this issue.  You can’t get 85% of Americans to agree to like chocolate chip cookies, so something’s up.

Go vote?

Voris on zombie Catholics February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, Society.
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How widespread is this phenonemon?  In my experience – very.

I could easily work up a rant, as Mr. Voris so often insprires me to do, but I’ve been writing long pieces all week and I think I’ll just note a couple of things.  I agree that it’s going to take decades to turn things around in the Church.  Things are so far gone in so many areas that it will take a herculean effort by many Saints to get things turned around again.  I pray we have them, or grow them.  Secondly, he could not be more right about the noise levels at Mass today in almost all parishes.  I have noted, however, that the noise level tends to grow in proportion to the ‘public’ nature of the celebration.  Since weddings, Confirmations, First Communions, tend to bring out alot of people who haven’t been inside a church in years, it would seem advisable for priests celebrating these Sacraments to make a few pointed reminders to those attending that they are participating in something sacred, and not attending a hockey game.  Goodness, people behave with more decorum in waiting for a movie to start than in waiting for the beginning of Mass at a Confirmation.  It wasn’t quite like that at Our Lady of Atonement and my nephew’s First Communion, but, unfortunately, I was at another First Communion here much closer to home recently and the noise level before, after, and even DURING Mass was atrocious.  You could barely hear the words of (the very abbreviated – I’m not entirely certain it was valid) Consecration over all the chatter going on in the pews.  It’s only the Lord coming down from Heaven! 

So, I know some people find Voris too harsh, too ‘judging,’ too heavy in his criticisms.  I know even some very tradtional Catholics who find him off-putting.  I’m afraid I disagree – I feel the situation is so severe, so urgent, that very strong medicine is called for.  And I think it’s going to take more than very pointed words to get things turned around, if they do turn around, short of another schism.  Pray, and strive to be holy.  That is all I can suggest.  We need Saints.  Many, many Saints.

This is a 100% true statement February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic, Society.
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If you are a child in a black woman’s womb in NYC, you have about a 60% likelihood of being murdered.  I would say that constitutes making the womb the most dangerous place in New York City:

Get the whole story at Jill Stanek’s site.  But note this interesting quote: ” According to Guttmacher 54% of girls and women were using contraception the month they got pregnant”  So, “family planning” advocates #1 favorite recourse – contraception – simply leads to more abortion.  But, abstinence doesn’t bring in millions for Planned Barrenhood, so we can’t have that.

Does the canon law matter anymore? February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, sickness, Society.
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Dr. Ed Peters, the well known canon lawyer whom I admire but occasionally disagree with, has engendered a media firestorm by stating that NY governor Andrew Cuomo should not have been given Communion by Bishop Howard Hubbard of Albany at a Mass on Jan. 1, because Cuomo persists in public sins he has not repudiated, at all.  These sins include: being pro-abort, pro-gay marriage, pro-contraception, and living with a woman who is not his wife, described as his “live in girlfriend.”  By the way, at the Jan. 1 Mass, Bishop Hubbard gave Communion to both Cuomo and his non-Catholic girlfriend, after a homily in which he stated that Cuomo is exactly the kind of man he likes to see in government.  Wow. 

Some background – Canon 915 of the Code of Canon Law, the official law of the Church, states that those “obstinately persevering in manifest grave sin are not to be admitted to holy communion.”  Pretty cut and dried, right?  If you’re a public sinner, say, by being a well known, unrepentant war criminal, you may not receive the Blessed Sacrament.  Cuomo is exactly this type of sinner – he has publicly stated repeatedly that he is pro-abort, that he is pro-gay marriage, and of course his living arrangements are very well known. 

Obviously, we all sin.  And apparently, Dr. Peter’s has received countless communiques informing him that he’s a Pharisee, that Jesus only came to love, and Jesus didn’t judge, that he is without sin should cast the first stone, etc.  It is amazing to me, the depravity of knowledge regarding the Faith so many self-described Catholics have.  Yes, Jesus said “let he is without sin cast the first stone,” but he also said “go and sin no more” right after that, which is the part everyone forgets.  Cuomo is going and sinning lots more.  The issue is not that Cuomo sins, ever, but that he persists in a manifest state of grave, public sin, that he has no remorse over and that he doesn’t intend to stop.  Look, when I screw up badly, I don’t go to Communion until I can get to Confession.  That’s because I believe in the Real Presence, and I don’t believe that St. Paul was lying when he stated that “he who receives the Body and Blood unworthily eats and drinks condemnation on himself (1 COR 11:29). 

But that’s all really a side issue.  The real issue is how the Diocese of Albany has responded.  They issued a statement regarding the Cuomo situation, saying this:

There are norms of the church governing the sacraments which Catholics are expected to observe.

However, it is unfair and imprudent to make a pastoral judgment about a particular situation without knowing all the facts.

As a matter of pastoral practice we would not comment publicly on anything which should be addressed privately, regardless if the person is a public figure or a private citizen.

Obviously trying to dance around the issue.  Canon 915, one of the most conveniently ignored but important aspects of canon law, regards PUBLIC sin, which Cuomo is guilty of, repeatedly.  Apparently, the Albany Diocese is incapable of making this distinction.  But I’m going to suggest something else.  That Bishop Hubbard is a well known dissenter from Church Doctrine is no surprise – in fact, he has a very checkered past that has been the subject of some very, very dark allegations I won’t go into now.  I’m going to suggest, and this is just my opinion, that what we see here in so many of these instances of well known politicians continually receiving Communion in a state of grave sin, is that those who refuse to impose ecclesial penalties, their bishops, are also those who lack a profound respect for the Real Presence, and instead feel that the most important aspect of Communion is its role as ‘community meal.’  And in their malformed view of ‘collegiality,’ these bishops and priests feel that the worst thing one can EVER do is to exclude someone from the community.  We’re called to brothers, right?  And Jesus is Love, right?  So how could we possibly exclude anyone from coming together in community and sharing this ‘meal’?  It wouldn’t be fair!  It wouldn’t be loving!  It wouldn’t be…..pastoral.

I think that is what this ultimately comes down to – the horrid abuses of the Mass in Albany, the willing embrace of pro-abort politicians, the distribution of Communion to those known to be in a state of grave sin – it all comes down to a lack of Faith in the Real Presence.  If one really, truly believes in the Real Presence, and all that implies (so very, very much), one could not allow someone to re-crucify Jesus by receiving it unworthily.  One could not allow someone to persist in a state of grave sin by giving them the Source and Summit of our Faith, giving that person the impression that they are in good standing with the Lord, when they are most certainly not.  Today’s Gospel (Mark 9:41-50) states that anyone who causes one of Jesus’ sheep to sin would be better off drowned in the deep.  Bishop Hubbard has caused Andrew Cuomo to commit an incredibly grave sin, and persist in one of the ‘unforgiveable’ sins – the sin of presuming that he is worthy to receive Communion, as if by right.  I pray for that Diocese – we in Dallas think we have suffered, but we have no idea.

And this is why Canon 915 must be enforced – it’s not a ‘punishment’ to the unrepentant sinner to do so, it’s an act of Charity to prevent an even worse sin from being committed, and to forestall potential eternal damnation.  That is why the law exists – would that it would finally be enforced!

The future of medicine under Obamacare – pulling the plug? February 24, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, disaster, General Catholic, horror, sadness, scandals, Society.
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Sarah Palin garnered a great deal of attention in the debate over Obamacare by claiming that a single payer government funded system would lead to death panels, groups of anonymous ‘experts’ setting guidelines that would lead to care being denied to severely ill patients.  Once the government becomes involved, individual decisions regarding health care go out the window, and everyone is forced to operate under the ‘one size fits all’ approach that is endemic to anything government does.  The fear is that, unlike under private payment schemes, patients will be denied care if they are deemed too far gone – or, more worringly, too expensive – to deserve care.  Canada has operated under a government directed single payer system for the last 4+ decades, and the experience there with these kinds of decisions being taken out of the hands of patients of their families is very troubling.  In fact, recently, a family with an infant son with a neurodegenerative disease has been told their son must be taken off a breathing machine and forced to die:

The Canadian family of a 13-month-old boy clinging to life support has defied a court order to remove the boy’s breathing tube and now is looking to an American hospital for what experts say would be a miracle recovery.

The boy, Joseph Maraachli, has been in a vegetative state at a hospital in London, Ontario, since last fall. He’s been treated for a neurodegenerative disease that doctors ruled leaves no hope for the boy.

A Superior Court judge, in turn, ordered that Maraachli’s breathing tube be removed on Monday. But his family refused, insisting that the boy be released to his family’s care, according to CBC News. 

“I belive in my son,” Moe Maraachli, the boy’s father, told Fox News on Monday. “I will never let my son die in the doctors’ way.”

The family says removing the ventilator would promise an agonizing death for the boy. They asked that doctors at least perform a tracheotomy that would allow Joseph to die at home, but the Canadian hospital has refused.

There is a sickness that has crept into our ‘health care system’ as a result of advanced care directives and the omnipresent concern over cost – almost making every decision related to health care based on a cost-effectiveness study.  But life is not cost-effective, it is a precious gift, and in the case of parents trying to care for their infant son, cost is immaterial.  Even simple procedures, like a tracheotomy, are denied, because the ‘system’ knows that might prolong life and mean more cost, which simply cannot be had.  Once the decision to terminate has been made in a government run system, it is final.  There is no room for compassion, there is only cold cost analysis that says whether the cost benefit to society is worth spending money on a given patient.  It is the same kind of cold mentality towards death that the writer described yesterday referring to his uncle that died because he had signed an advanced care directive in a fit of depression. 

And then we witness the spectacle of doctors, who have sworn an oath to heal and, more than that, do no harm, advocating that a baby boy be forced to asphyxiate.  Lovely.  This kind of thing has a terrible impact on the doctor’s (and nurses, etc) humanity, until they begin to view humans as just a consuming leech on the very finite resources of the government run system.  Private systems are more flexible – if the parents wish to pay for a tracheotomy and other care, or if the insurance company can/will do so, then it can be done.  But with the government, as I said, once the cost-benefit analysis points against you, you’re done. 

In the post yesterday, the man whose uncle was forced to die by medical ‘care givers’ had some discussions with a nurse who was particularly inured in this mentality – she had a violent desire to see people die if she felt there was no hope.  But as the conversations in that article reveal, this woman had gone from merely accepting the fate of someone horribly ill, to actively taking steps to force death on people who may have had weeks, months, possibly even years left to live.  This is the corrosion of the soul that seeps into people who become so coldly consumed with concerns over costs and resources that they completly lose the human aspect of their profession, and will actually prevent others from feeding a patient they have consigned to death.  It’s Terry Shiavo writ large, and it’s coming for all of us if this disaster of Obamacare is allowed to stand.  And then, there will be no ‘American hospitals’ for the Canadian families to flee to.

Something I thought I’d never, ever see…. February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, General Catholic.
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….but am so glad I did!  A feminist fake-ordained as a ‘deacon’ has renounced her fake ordination.  Which, is kind of oxymoronic, but, hey, at least she’s repudiating her sinful attempt at ordination.  She now agrees that it is impossible for women to be ordained, that the Church hasn’t the competence to do so, and that she understands that all efforts to the contrary are not only doomed to failure, but are offensive to God.  She’s cut all ties with the delusional Roman Catholic women priests group. Way to go!  That is awesome!  Welcome back!  We’ll pray for you!.  From her letter:

Holy God, I ask your blessings on my Bishop and my pastor and priests in Rome who have assisted me in the process of being re-instated into the Roman Catholic Church and I forsake all connection with the Roman Catholic Women Priests program via Internet or otherwise.

I thank you for the efforts of my family in my behalf and ask for Jesus’ Light and Love to pour over my husband of 47 years and my five children.

Forgive me my Beloved Jesus and Mother Mary for pursuing my own will in this matter of ordination and as I consecrate myself to your Divine Will through the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I ask you to pour out Light and Love upon any who have placed themselves outside of your Love and Light Bless us, O Lord, for these thy gifts and place us in the Heart of the Father, as we pray for more priests to serve in our church and for vocations to enrich our Church in the United States.

Forgive us for failing in obedience and enrich us in your Holy Love, I pray through Jesus and Mary. Fiat+

Beautiful.

h/t Fr. Phillip Neri Powell OP

I LOVE IT – Bishop Wenski describes new age as ‘narcissistic navel gazing’!!!!!! February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, foolishness, General Catholic, North Deanery, sadness, scandals, sickness.
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Awesome!  I’ve heard many good things about Bishop Wenski of Miami, and a few not so good, but this is fantastic!   And, I might add, another bishop with a substantial blog for his diocese, not just………..heh.  I’ll bite my tongue on our local ordinary’s blog.  And he even allows comments – wow, what a novel concept!   New Age is old Gnosticism:

While New Age writings may seductively appeal to the legitimate longing of human nature, they are fundamentally opposed to Christian revelation.

Spirituality in our Catholic tradition is more than just narcissistic navel gazing. It is not a self-absorbed seeking after self-fulfillment found through esoteric teachings or practices. Christianity’s invitation is to look outwardly and beyond — to a “New Advent” of the God who calls us to a dialogue of love, a dialogue which invites us to conversion and submission to his will.

Authentic spirituality for the Christian is not so much about our search for God but God’s search for us. Spiritual life is a relationship with the Triune God entered into through our participation in Christ’s passion, death and resurrection through baptism and the living of a life of discipleship. This personal relationship with God grows through his free gift of grace and sheds light on our relationship to our fellow men and women and indeed on our relationship to the world.

New Age spirituality — born as a reaction to contemporary culture but nevertheless its child — certainly represents a new challenge to the Church today. Yet, there is very little that is “new” in New Age teachings. A joint statement issued a few years ago by the Pontifical Council for Culture and well as the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue quotes the Holy Father, who warns with regard to the “return of ancient Gnostic ideas under the guise of the so-called New Age: We cannot delude ourselves that this will lead toward a renewal of religion. It is only a new way of practicing Gnosticism — that attitude of the spirit that, in the name of a profound knowledge of God, results in distorting His Word and replacing it with purely human words.”

That statement entitled “Jesus Christ, the Bearer of the Water of Life,” offers an insightful analysis of the New Age movement and its incompatibility with sound Christian doctrine and practice. It specifically cautions against using the Enneagram, which in recent years has enjoyed some popularity among Christian groups and has even been promoted by some Catholic religious communities. The Enneagram, a pseudo-psychological exercise supposedly based on Eastern mysticism, introduces ambiguity into the doctrine and life of the Christian faith and therefore cannot be happily used to promote growth in an authentic Christian spirituality.

Well, isn’t that interesting, seeing that, at St. Joseph’s, the enneagram will be taught by one of the leading advocates of this misbegotten practices, Fr. Bill Sheehan.  And during Lent, of all times! It seems incredible, almost impossible, that one of our bishops could be at least tacitly approving this, but Bishop Deshotel must be at least not terribly opposed, seeing as he is also pastor of St. Joseph.  And how about Prince of Peace – that parish in Plano also ‘teaches’ how to use centering prayer?  And on an ongoing basis – they’ve been doing it for years. It’s almost like new age is some kind of doctrinally acceptable thing in this diocese, and yet, that cannot be.

It is so incredibly refreshing to hear an Ordinary speak the truth of this new age claptrap with respect to Catholic doctrine.  This diocese, and in particular that “oh my gosh, I’m sure this is SOOOO necessary’ organization the ‘Collin County Catholic Churches Association’ (which was actually formed as a vehicle for supporting Dallas Area Interfaith) have been sponsoring these dangerous new age speakers for years.  If you recall, the Collin County Churches Association consists of St. Mark, St. Elizabeth Seton, Prince of Peace, Our Lady of Angels, and St. Joseph.  They brought in Sr. Joyce ‘new age’ Rupp last year, Sr. Maria Schwan this year, and people like Richard Rohr (very new age), Maria Windecker (ditto), and Thomas Keating (the veritable grandfather of so-called catholic new age) in the past.  All of them new agers, all advocating that Catholics practice centering prayer, enneagrams, focusing entirely inwards on ourselves (to find the god, or goddess, within), and the like – all practices condemned by the Vatican – by the Pope. 

I love Bishop Wenski’s words.  I must pray more for him.  But when will this nonsense stop in this Diocese?  Is this really the best we can do?  When will our pastors, or bishops, stand up to the “Mrs. So and Sos” on the staff of these parishes listed above who keep bringing this garbage in, year after year?  It is such a complete abrogation of responsibility, it is heart-breaking.  I pray that with this latest condemnation of new age, more hearts and minds may be changed around here.

A depressing tale of hospitals killing patients February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Basics, General Catholic, horror, scandals, sickness, Society.
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I’ll never sign an ‘advanced care directive.’  That’s just a legal license for a hospital and insurance providers (the federal government!) to starve you to death.  I don’t want to live forever, but I don’t want to be starved to death, either.  Too long and detailed to post a clip, go here to read the entire tale of a man whose uncle was starved (and morphined) to death due to having signed an advanced care directive, likely in a fit of depression. 

We are not to try to seek an ultimate escape from our sufferings.  Easy for me to say, I know, but this belief is a constant strain that runs through Catholic belief.  That doesn’t mean we have to accept every pain that comes in life, but it does argue against these kinds of advanced directives.  The Church is opposed to “pulling the plug.”

America’s dying counties February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in Abortion, Basics, Dallas Diocese, disaster, General Catholic, Immigration, sadness, sickness, Society.
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Most of my readers probably don’t know, but my family owns a farm in north central Kansas.  It’s in Phillips County, near the town of Phillipsburg, the county seat.   The population of Phillips County has been dropping for the last 5+ decades.  Whereas about 10,000 people used to reside in the county, now it’s down to about half that number.  And Phillips County is hardly unique – across the Great Plains, there has been a massive depopulation over the last several decades, with many farms folding and the land going back to fallow, a boon for hunters with the return of huge numbers of wildlife, but I’m not sure it’s a good thing, overall.  We have a great deal of slack in our agri-business infrastructure, right now. 

As I said, Phillips County is hardly unique.  And it’s not just the Great Plains that are affected.  Across the country, in primarily rural areas but sometimes not, roughly 1/4 of America’s counties are experiencing severe population decreases.  This puts a huge strain on local services, as the people who tend to remain are generally older, and of course is leading to all kinds of problems – economic depression, destitution of physical infrastructure, etc.  And while there are many reasons for the decline in the affected areas – from former rust belt suburbs near Pittsburg to failed retirement communities in Florida to barren coal mining counties in the Appalachians – I have to wonder if this problem would not have occurred if 1) this country had not aborted over 50 million of its children over the last 4 decades, and 2), the native-born birthrate wasn’t below replacement rate.  For the collapse of so many of these counties, an unprecedented event in US history, tracks nearly exactly with the availability of the pill and the legalization of baby slaughter:

In all, roughly 760 of the nation’s 3,142 counties are fading away, stretching from industrial areas near Pittsburgh and Cleveland to the vineyards outside San Francisco to the rural areas of east Texas and the Great Plains. Once-booming housing areas, such as retirement communities in Florida, have not been immune.

West Virginia was the first to experience natural decrease statewide over the last decade, with Maine, Pennsylvania and Vermont close to following suit, according to the latest census figures. As a nation, the U.S. population grew by just 9.7 percent since 2000, the lowest decennial rate since the Great Depression [your average coastal elite white female now has 1 child in her lifetime – ED].

…..common threads among the dying counties are older whites who are no longer having children, and an exodus of young adults who find little promise in the region and seek jobs elsewhere. The places also have fewer Hispanic immigrants, who on average are younger and tend to have more children than other groups. [the total fertility rate for native born caucasian women in the US is 1.7 – 20% below replacement rate – ED].

“The downturn in the U.S. economy is only exacerbating the problem,” said Johnson, whose research paper is being published next month in the journal Rural Sociology. “In some cases, the only thing that can pull an area out is an influx of young Hispanic immigrants or new economic development.” [because, once again, native born women are not having children at a sufficient rate to maintain, and certainly not increase, economic development].

I’ve been beating a lonely drum on this issue for the past year or so (since this blog’s inception).  Low birth rates lead to severe economic decline – even economic collapse, if the rates persist long enough.  If, in the US, we would have had 3 children per native born woman over the past 40 years, instead of less than 2, we would have massively fewer problems funding social security, medicare, and all the other entitlement programs.  The problem we have is not that the benefits are too great, although I think there should be means testing – the problem is we have not reproced ourselves enough to provide a large enough workforce to pay for the promised benefits to those who are in their retirement years, or will be soon.  In fact, reproduction has been so selfishly ignored in this country (and every ‘developed country), that we now have to import vast quantities of unskilled labor from abroad, through horribly flawed immigration policies (or lack thereof) in order to make up the difference.  The problem is, an immigrant worker will not be as skilled or efficient as a native born worker due to issues of language, culture, custom, etc.  And so what we’re trying to do to make up for our inability to reproduce ourselves is bound to be expensive and ineffcient, with many inherent problems such as lack of  inculturation, social breakdown, and crime. 

NOBODY talks about this as a serious issue.  No one with a major voice is out there trying to get people to have larger families.  And yet, strengthening families and encouraging children should be the very bedrock of any rational state’s policies.  I think White Lily is right – we do need a Catholic political party.  Something to advocate the true doctrine of the Church and obedience to the natural law. 

Hmmm……as if I weren’t busy enough already. 

Rejection of suffering is a cultural weakness February 23, 2011

Posted by Tantumblogo in awesomeness, Basics, Dallas Diocese, General Catholic, Interior Life, North Deanery, sickness, Society, The Imitation of Christ.
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I’m not saying people should fight through bone cancer with just a stick between their teeth, but our culture has become profoundly suffering-adverse.  No one wants to suffer, or even be mildy inconvenienced, and if we are, you better get out of the way!   This is not really a good thing.  We’re terribly soft.  And suffering is an integral part of drawing nearer to Christ – whether the sufferings and mortifications be great, like detox (I didn’t offer those up – I wasn’t there yet),  or small, like letting someone have the seat on the bus.  The Little Flower practiced perfect virtue, or very nearly so, through the little mortifications of life in a cloistered community and through offering all in love to God.  Jesus wants us to take up our cross and follow him.  The early desert fathers took this so very literally, and many of them are Saints.  Mortification is a necessity for sanctification.  A few thoughts from my man, Thomas a Kempis:

If thou knowest not how to meditate on high and hevavelnly things, rest on the passion of Christ, and willingly dwell in His sacred wounds.

Christ was also in this world despised by men, and in His greatest necessity forsaken by His acquaintance and friends in the midst of reproaches.

Christ would suffer and be despised, and dost thou dare to complain of anyone?

Christ had adversaries and backbiters, and wouldst thou have all to be thy friends and benefactors?

Whence shall thy patience be crowned if thou meet with no adversity?

If thou wilt suffer no opposition how wilt thou be a friend of Christ?

Suffer with Christ and for Christ if thou desirest to reign with Christ (2 Tim 2:12).

If thou hadst once perfectly entered into the interior of Jesus and experienced a little of His burning love, then wouldst thou not care at all for thy own inconvenience, but wouldst rather rejoice at reproach, because the love of Jesus makes a man despise himself.

A lover of Jesus and of truth and a true internal man, that is free from inordinate affections, can freely turn himself to God and in spirit elevate himself above himself, and rest in enjoyment.

I was actually talking with an Anglican family member about this last night.  She’s an incredibly dear lady, as considerate of others as I know, but this concept of ‘dying to self’ is totally foreign to her, intellectually, although she practices mortification alot more than many do, including me.  It’s just her way of being nice and thinking of others.  But, she has trouble believing that God  might want us to not enjoy this life so very much, to focus our thoughts and desires on the next life.  While she does mortify herself in many small ways, she also has many earthly attachments – friends, her Anglican church, reading, and most of all, her family.  I have many more attachments, I think.  But I see the Catholic mysticism that says to let go of those things, to focus our life first on God, and then outwards through that perfected love that we send to and through God out to others.  I’m terrible at it, and, really, I’m just beginning to kind of start to maybe almost understand this dying to self thing.  It’s so totally foreign to the ways of the world, especially our modern world.  I see so many things I need to change about myself.  And it’s interesting, when I gave her a copy of the Imitation of Christ to read, and even The Story of a Soul, they didn’t resonate with her, I don’t think – she just isn’t comfortable with this idea that we should turn away from the world.  But I want to embrace that philosophy so very much.  So I find it odd, that someone who rejects it would be better at it than I am!  My God, Your ways are not our ways.  Ohhh….You are so great!  I pray for a voice to sing Your praises like those Saints of Your Church!  My life is Yours – I consecrate it all to Your Perfect Will now!  Take it!  Make me Yours, Your slave, Your instrument, whatever You want of me! 

I seem to have gotten rather off the track.  The point is…..if you want to become a Saint, be prepared to let go of everything else.  St. John of the Cross says that the path of perfection is the path of nothing.  Hold on to nothing.  Prefer nothing.  Love nothing, save God.  You may say, “but aren’t we called to love our families, our friends, neighbors, strangers?”  Yes, we are.  But we are first called to love God, and when we are greatly perfected in virtue and in mortification and have that greatly perfected love for God, we will have an immensely greater love for our family, and friends, and neighbors. We will have a charity, a love, perfected by the Grace of God.  The more we die to ourselves, the less we sin, the less attached we are to things of the world, the more God will come to dwell in us and fill us with His Grace.  To gain our families, friends, and neighbors, to gain perfect charity, we must first lose them in the worldly sense.  And that is why our world today is so full of misery, because so very few choose to follow this path.  And that is the source of a grave cultural weakness, an enormous, gaping wound that continues to fester and grow.  So  many who read this blog have great concerns about the Church – certainly I do.  What the Church needs for renewal, for a return to a much greater holiness, is not plans or committees or USCCB memos or anything like that – it is Saints.  The Church, and the world, need Saints.  Mortification is a necessity for sanctification.  This is the path of the Saints.

God bless you!

Here is a good read on the same subject.