Update on the contact form

The Contact Form page was not sending any emails out to Father and were stuck in an email account.  For anyone who emailed him, Father wasn’t ignoring your emails.  Sorry!

As of right now, Father is not able to respond to any emails due to his health condition.  Please use the contact form for blog suggestions or other comments that you might want to make.

-Jonathan

On A Band-Aid Being Heritical

As the Synod continues to go on in Rome and as I read the response to it by the bloggers, one thing of the main things that people are trying to do is trying to put a big bandage on the giant boo-boo.  This boo-boo (or as I like to call it: HERESY) isn’t some scrape that happened on the way to full “enlightenment,” it is a cancer that is eating out the very heart and soul of our faith.

You see, God doesn’t like cancerous limbs.  In John 15, Jesus’ says those that don’t produce fruit will be cut off.  The cutting off, isn’t some monstrous evil thing, it is to protect the body from the cancerous cell that is trying to poison the root. If this cancer is allowed to continue, it will corrupt the root. The time is long since passed to beat around the bush concerning what we need to do.  The Catholic Church is in a state of Crisis not seen since the great Arian Crisis and our actions have to rise to the occasion.

I contend, this crisis isn’t new and the church has been in this crisis for nearly 50 years now, but it seems, that by God’s divine mercy, people are slowly starting to see it for what it is.  This crisis isn’t just about having a Mass said in Latin, it is about the entire mindset of the church.  This crisis is bringing to a head the traditional understanding of the Faith delivered and the modernistic, humanistic, heretical doctrines of man being the center of all that has been espoused in since the Second Vatican Council.

The mindset of tradition and modernism are diametrically opposed and there can be no synthesis of the two.  We can’t blend them.  The last 50 years of the church prove this out.  Currently, the prelates in Rome are discussing how to “pastorally” allow something God forbids.  HOW DARE THEY!  The wolves are circling the sheep fold “Seeking Whom They Can Devour.”

How can we stop this?  Praying and fasting are some of the ways along with recognizing where we have allowed modernism to creep into our own lives.  We must, completely, totally, and without reserve accept the Faith that was delivered and believed by all everywhere at whatever personal cost this might cause us and then let the chips fall where they will.   As long as we accept any heresy, the seed of that heresy will remain and will sprout forth its ugly fruit sometime in the future.  The time for band-aids has past.  The church militant needs to say, “NOT ON MY WATCH.”

 

-Jonathan Byrd

Humility Of Heart Part 23

92. Humility is a potent means of subduing temptation, and in the same way temptations serve to maintain humility; because it is when we are tempted that we are practically conscious of our own weakness and the need we have of Divine grace.

It is for this that God permits us to fall into temptation, reducing us sometimes to the very brink of succumbing to it, so that we may learn the weakness of our virtue and how much we need the help of God.

And even in this we can see the infinite wisdom of God who has so disposed that the demons themselves, spirits of pride, should contribute to render us humble if we only knew how to make a good use of our temptations. Nevertheless, we must remember that in all our temptations the first thing is to exercise that humility which is derived from a practical knowledge of ourselves and of how prone we are to evil if God does not stretch out His hand to restrain us through His grace. Do not let us wait to learn our weakness till we have fallen; but let us rather know it beforehand, and the knowledge of it will be an efficacious means to keep us from falling. “Before sickness take a medicine; humble thyself,” [Ecclus. xviii, 20, 21] says Holy Writ. The humble will never want for grace in the time of temptation, and with the help of this grace they will even derive profit from these very temptations; for the merciful providence of God has so disposed it that with the special aid of His grace He will “let no temptation take hold on you.” [1 Cor. x, 13]

93. Let us strive with all our might to acquire this holy humility; and if, by the help of God, we succeed in possessing it only in such measure as our state of life demands, we shall then either imperceptibly attain to all other virtues or this humility alone will suffice to compensate for all our deficiencies. Many people desire to possess either chastity or charity, gentleness or patience, or some other virtue of which they are more in need, and are most anxious to know how they are to acquire it; they consult various spiritual directors to learn what means to take, but very few exercise due prudence in the choice of these means.

Do you wish to know the most efficacious means of acquiring these virtues? Then begin by endeavouring to acquire humility; impregnate yourself with humility, and you will soon find that all other virtues will follow without any effort on your part, and you will exclaim with great joy: “Now all good things came to me together with her.” [Wisd. vii, 11] And even when, through the frailty of your own nature, you are deficient in some particular virtue, humble yourself, and that humility will fully compensate for your other deficiencies.

There are some who are troubled because their prayers are full of distractions. This proceeds from pride, which is presumptuous enough to be astonished at the weakness and impotency of the mind. When you perceive that your thoughts are wandering, make an act of humility, and exclaim: ” O my God, what an abject creature I am in not being able to fix my thoughts on Thee even for a few moments.” Renew this act of humility as often as these distractions occur, and if it is written of charity that “it covereth a multitude of sins,” [ 1 Pet. iv, 8] it is also true of humility and contributes greatly to our perfection. “The very knowledge of our imperfection,” says St. Augustine, “tends to the praise of humility.”
[Lib. 3 ad Bonif., c. vii]

94. We have more opportunities of practicing humility than any other virtue. How many occasions we have of humbling ourselves secretly, in all places, at all times, at every turn—–towards God, our fellow-men, and even towards ourselves! With regard to God: how much we have to be ashamed of in our ignorance and ingratitude towards Him; receiving as we do continual benefits of His infinite goodness. Knowing as we do His supreme and infinite Majesty, deserving of all fear; His infinite goodness, worthy of all love; how much we ought to humble ourselves in the thought of how little fear and love we have for Him! With regard to our neighbour: if he be wicked, we may humble ourselves by reflecting that we are capable of becoming suddenly worse than he, and in fact we may consider ourselves worse already if pride predominates within us. If he be good, we must humble ourselves in the thought that he corresponds better than we do to the grace of God and is better than we are by reason of his humility of heart. With regard to ourselves, we need never lack opportunities of humility when we remember our past sins, or consider the faults we commit at present in our daily life, or even when we reflect upon our good works which are all tainted with imperfection, or when we think of the future so filled with tremendous uncertainty: “I know how to be brought low everywhere and in all things,” [Phil. iv, 12] says St. Paul. It is necessary for us to form the good habit of frequently renewing these interior acts of humility. Humility is merely a virtuous habit, but how can we acquire this habit without making repeated acts of humility? Like the habit of humility the habit of pride is acquired through frequent repetition of its acts, and in proportion as the habit of humility is strengthened, the contrary habit of pride becomes weakened and diminished.

95. Lucifer sinned once only through pride of thought. Ought we not therefore to consider ourselves worse than Lucifer as our pride has become habitual through the frequent repetition of its acts? We do not consider ourselves proud, because it does not seem to us that we are rash enough in our minds either to believe that we resemble God or to rebel against God; but this is the greatest mistake we can make, because we are full of pride and will not recognize that we are proud. Even if we have not sufficient pride to rebel, to think or to speak against God, we must be fully aware that the pride which prompts our actions is far worse than the pride of thought, and is that pride which is so condemned by St. Paul: “They profess that they know God, but in their works they deny Him.” [Tit. i, 16]

How great is our self-love! Do we ever mortify our passions for the love of God as He Himself has commanded? How often do we prefer to follow our own will instead of the will of God, and as His will is contrary to our own we place ourselves in opposition to Him and desire to gain our own will instead of fulfilling His, valuing the satisfaction of our desires more than the obedience we owe to God! Is not this a worse pride than Lucifer’s? for Lucifer only wanted to make himself equal to God, whereas we wish to raise our will above God’s. Thou must humble thyself, O my soul, even below Lucifer, and confess that thou art more proud than he!

Humility Of Heart Part 22

88. Even admitting the value of the world’s esteem and fame for the sole reason that we love and desire it in our hearts, we can infer from this how great is the virtue of humility, since, offering all that we hold so precious to God together with our self-esteem, we offer Him something that we value very highly.

The vow of chastity is considered heroic, be cause we thus sacrifice to God the pleasures of the senses. Martyrdom is considered heroic, because the martyr thus offers up his life as a holocaust to God. And it is also considered heroic to give all one’s goods to the poor. But our self-esteem is certainly what we hold more precious than either money, gratification of the senses, or even life itself, because we often risk all these things for the sake of our reputation. Thus by offering our self-esteem with humility to God we offer that which we deem most precious.

This is truly offering “sacrifice to God, and a good savour.” [Ecclus xlv, 20] Those who live in the world can often gain more merit by their humility of heart than those who are vowed to poverty and chastity in the sacred cloister, for it is by the practice of this humility that we form within ourselves the “new creature,” without which St. Paul says that” Neither circumcision availeth anything nor uncircumcision,” [Gal. vi, 15]
which is as much as to say that whether you are priest or layman your state can avail nothing without humility.

Humility without virginity may be pleasing to God, but never virginity without humility. Were not the five foolish virgins displeasing to Him? “Vanitate superbiæ,” says St. Augustine. And if the Blessed Virgin herself pleased God by her virginity, she also deserved to be chosen for His Mother because of her humility, as St. Bernard says: “By her virginity she pleased God, by her humility she conceived Him.” [Hom. I sup. “Missus est”]

89. It is very easy for a proud person to fall into grave and terrible sins; and after having fallen to find great difficulty in accusing himself of them in the Sacrament of penance; for loving his self-esteem and reputation too well and fearing to lose them in the eyes of his confessor, he would rather commit a sacrilege than disclose his weakness. He goes in search of a confessor to whom he is unknown so as to avoid shame; but since he felt no shame in sinning, why should he feel so much shame in confessing his sin, if it be not from motives of pride?

My soul, say to thyself: The reason why I do not feel true sorrow for my sins is because of my lack of humility, for it is impossible for the heart to feel either attrition or contrition if it is not humbled. I lack humility, and it is for this reason that I have not the courage to confess my sins straightforwardly and without excuse. Ask God for humility; and in measure as thy heart grows more humble, it will feel deeper sorrow for having offended Him, and from this heartfelt humility the words will flow without difficulty to thy lips, because “He that pricketh the heart bringeth forth resentment.” [Ecclus. xxii, 24]

It is pride that compels us to withhold our sins in the confessional and seek to palliate their wickedness with many excuses. O accursed pride, cause of innumerable sacrileges! But O blessed humility! King David was humble in his repentance, because he did not excuse his sins but publicly accused himself of them; nor did he lay the blame of his own sins on others, but attributed them only to his own wickedness: “I am he that have sinned.” [2 Kings xxiv, 17] And the Magdalen also in her repentance did not seek for Jesus Christ in some hidden spot, but sought Him in the house of the Pharisee and desired to appear as a sinner before all the guests. St. Augustine, being truly humble in his repentance, gave the confession of his sins to the whole world for his own greater confusion and shame.

90. It is difficult for us to realize our own nothingness, and it is difficult also to refer all things to God without reserving anything for ourselves, because is not our industry, our diligence, and the co-operation of our will really ours? Let us admit this, but if we take away the light, the help and the grace received of God, what remains to us of all these things? Our natural actions only become meritorious when they are supernaturalized by Christ Jesus. It is Jesus Christ who raises and ennobles all our actions, which in themselves would be entirely inadequate to procure for us the glory of eternal life.

How the will is moved by grace to co-operate with grace is a mystery which we do not fully comprehend; but it is certain that if we go to heaven we shall then render thanks for our salvation to the mercy of God alone: “The mercies of the Lord will I sing for ever.” [Ps. lxxxviii, 2] We may therefore say with holy King David, and be fully persuaded of its truth, that human nature is weaker and more impotent than we can imagine, because in the nature which we have received of God we have only, through the fall of Adam, ignorance of mind, weakness of reason, corruption of will, disorder of the passions, sickness and misery of the body. We have nothing therefore in which to glory, but in all things we can find fit cause for humiliation. « Humble thyself in all things,” [Ecclus iii, 20] says the Holy Ghost, and He does not tell us to humble ourselves in some things only but in all things—–in omnibus.

91. Holy humility is inimical to certain subtle speculations; for instance, you say that you cannot understand how it is that you are yourself mere nothingness, in doing and being, because you cannot help knowing that in reality You are something and can do many things; that you cannot understand why you are the greatest of all sinners, because you know so many others who are greater sinners than yourself; nor how it is that you merit all the vituperations of men, when you know that you have done no actions worthy of blame, but, on the contrary, many worthy of praise.

You should reprove yourself for being still so far from true humility in thinking that you could grasp the meaning of these things. The truly humble believes that he is of himself mere nothingness, a greater sinner than others, inferior to all, worthy of being reviled by all as being, more than all others, ungrateful to God. He knows that this feeling of his conscience is absolutely true, and does not care to investigate how this comes to be true; his knowledge is practical, and even if he does not understand himself, and cannot explain to others, with subtle reasoning, what he feels in his heart, he minds as little being unable to explain this as he minds his inability to explain how the eye sees, the tongue speaks, the ear hears. And from this we may infer that it is not necessary to have great talents in order to be humble, and therefore before the tribunal of God it will not be a valid excuse for us to say: “I have not been humble because I did not know, because I did not understand, because I did not study.” We can have a good will, a good heart, and yet not be clever; and there is no one who cannot grasp this truth, that from God comes all the good that he possesses and that no one has anything of his own except his own malice. “Destruction is thy own, O Israel: thy help is only in Me,” [Osee xiii, 9] said God by the mouth of His prophet.

Humility Of Heart Part 21

85. Humility of heart, St. Thomas teaches, has no limit, because before God we can always abase ourselves more and more even unto utter nothingness, and we can do the same to our fellow men. but in the exercise of these exterior acts of humility it is necessary to be directed with discretion so as not to fall into an extravagance that might seem excessive. “Humility,” says St. Thomas, “lies chiefly in the soul, and therefore a man may submit himself to another as regards his interior acts, and this is what St. Augustine means when he says: “Before God a prelate is placed under your feet but in exterior acts of humility it is necessary to observe due restraint.” [2a 2æ, qu. clxi, art. 3 ad 3]

Profound humility should exist in every state of life, but exterior acts of humility are not expedient to all. For this reason Holy Writ says: “Beware that thou be not deceived into folly and be humbled.” [Ecclus xiii, 10]

We can learn of the pious Esther how to practice humility of heart in the midst of pomp and honours: “Thou knowest my necessity,” she cried to God, “that 1 abominate the sign of my pride.” [Esther xiv, 16] I attire myself in this rich apparel and with these jewels because my position demands it; but Thou, Lord, seest my heart that through Thy grace I am not attached to these things nor to this apparel, and that I only wear them of necessity. Here indeed is a great example of that true inward humility which can be practiced and felt amid external grandeur. But now we. come to the point. This humility of heart must really exist before God, whose eyes behold the most hidden motions of the heart; and if it does not exist what excuse can we allege before the tribunal of God to justify ourselves for not having had it? and the more easily we could have acquired it now, the more inexcusable will it be for us on that day.

86. The malice of pride lies in reality in the practical contempt which we show for God’s will by disobeying it. Thus it is, says St. Augustine, there is pride in every sin committed, “by which we despise the commandments of God.” [Lib. de. Salut. docum. c. xix] And St. Bernard explains it in this way that God commands us to do His will: “God wishes His will to be done”; and the sinner in his pride prefers his own will to the will of God: “And the proud man wishes his own will to be done.”

And it is this pride that so greatly augments the grievousness of sin; and how great our sin must be when, knowing in our minds that God deserves to be obeyed by us, we oppose our will to the will of God, whom we know to be worthy of all obedience. What wickedness there is in saying to God, “I will not serve,” [Jer. ii, 20] when we know that all things serve Him.” [Ps. cxviii, 91] To give an example of this, let us imagine a person endowed with the noblest qualities possible, such as health, beauty, riches and nobility, and with every natural gift and grace of body and soul. Now, little by little, let us take away from that person all those gifts which come from God. Health and beauty are gifts from God; riches and rank, learning and knowledge, and every other virtue are all from God; body and soul belong to God. And this being so, what remains to this person of his own? Nothing; because all that is more than nothing belongs to God.

But when this person says of himself: “I have riches, I have health, and I have knowledge,” etc., what is meant by this “I”? Nothingness; and yet this “I,” this nothingness, that derives all it possesses from God, dares to disregard this same God by disobeying His sovereign commandments, saying to Him, if not in words most certainly in deeds, which is far worse, “I will not serve”; no, I will not obey. Ah, pride, pride! But, O my soul, “Why doth thy spirit swell against God ?” [Tob. xv, 13] Am I not right in preaching and recommending this humility to thee? Each time thou sinnest thou art like the proud, Pharao, who, when he was told to obey the commandments of God, said: “Who is this God? I know Him not.” [Exod. v, 2]

87. The mistake lies in our having too high an opinion of what the world calls honour, esteem and fame. For however much the world may praise or honour me, it cannot increase my merit or my virtue one jot; and also if the world vituperates me, it cannot take from me anything that I have or that I am in myself. I shall know vanity from truth by the light of that blessed candle which I shall hold in my hand at the hour of my death. What will it profit me then to have been esteemed and honoured by the whole world, if my conscience convinces me of sin before God? Ah, what folly it would be for a nobleman, possessing talents which would endear him to his king and make him a favourite at court, if he were to seek rather to be adulated by his servants and menials, and to find pleasure in such miserable adulation. But it is a far greater folly for a Christian, who might gain the praise and honour of God and of all the angels and saints in heaven, to seek rather to be praised and honoured by men and to glory in it. By humility I can please God, the Angels and the Saints; therefore is it not a despicable pride that makes me desire the esteem, praise and approbation of men, when we are told that “He is approved whom God commendeth?” [2 Cor. x, 18]

The thought of death is profitable in order to acquire humility; and humility helps us greatly to obtain a holy death. St. Catherine of Siena, shortly before her death, was tempted to thoughts of pride and vainglory on account of her own holiness; but to this temptation she answered: “I render thanks to God that in all my life I have never felt any vainglory.” Oh, how beautiful to be able to exclaim on one’s death-bed: I have never known vainglory.