A Traditional Catholic Crusade With Hilaire Belloc

I posted this article and it was somehow removed from my blog.  I am not sure if it was because it talks about muslims?  Let’s see if it disappears again.


By Fr. C. John McCloskey on The Catholic Thing

“My old friend Hilaire Belloc spoke to me from heaven, where the Catholic sun doth shine and there is no need of plenty of wine. I was delighted to see him, even though he interrupted a fine sleep to communicate some suggestions to me and my confreres on how to handle the current threat to the civilized world posed by resurgent and aggressive Islam.

As many readers of The Catholic Thing already know, Belloc predicted that Islam would return as a major world threat, this time even more dangerous and armed with weapons of mass destruction, posing a serious challenge to the decadent West, which no longer even procreates at levels that replace its population. Over time Islam may well win the battle against the West via procreation, without firing a shot.

We cannot let that happen, and so Belloc told me to pass this warning on to you, in addition to making some additional suggestions.

His fellow heaven-dweller GKC frequently argued that, of course, what is most important is prayer! Nevertheless, we must also defend ourselves – as well as the innocents now being slaughtered in the name of false gods and the prophet Mohammed.

Regarding the West and the whole question of militant Islam (including the Islamic State, the crisis in the Middle East, and ongoing persecution of Christians by “ISIS” and other terrorist groups), what can we heirs to Christian civilization do? What is the Christian response to be if we are to save what is left of the West, so that it might rise again?

Naturally, I turned to my otherworldly expert for advice on how the West should counter present-day Islamic aggression. He provided several suggestions whose efficacy and political viability I will leave it up to the readers to determine.

First, as a good Catholic Belloc, urged that the NATO nations and other countries willing to pitch in should come up with and immediately implement a rescue plan to offer humanitarian asylum to all endangered Christians (and peaceful members of other religions facing Islamic persecution).

Second, Belloc envisioned all European countries of Christian origins, including Russia (though this is a long shot in the current geopolitical situation), and their erstwhile colonies that are Christian, including Latin America, forming a coalition of armed forces to attack and destroy the forces of the Islamic State and its allies and lookalikes.

Hilaire Belloc by E.O. Hoppé (1915)

He cautioned that, of course, such a coalition should strictly abide by just-war principles – among other things, by stopping short of the use of nuclear weapons and other WMDs, giving warning of attacks, and doing everything possible to save innocent lives and civilians.

Next, Belloc the historian referred to an era of European history now widely vilified, but (despite lapses) worthy of present-day emulation. He argued (also a long shot) that if the Islamic nations were signing on for jihadism, bent on killing and maiming, we of the West should once again don the Crusader’s cross, seeking from Pope Francis the customary plenary indulgence and the blessings of our separated Christian brethren, the Orthodox churches of the East.

Assuming that such a modern Crusade would meet with the success (unfortunately, temporary) of the one that wrested away control of the Holy Land from Muslim invaders in 1099, Belloc advised that we confiscate our defeated foes’ weapons, reopen all formerly closed Christian places of worship, and rebuild the demolished churches, financing the reconstruction with money from the oil-rich Muslim countries (such as Saudi Arabia and others) that have armed the jihadists.

Of course, Muslims in these territories should be allowed freedom of worship, but their (rebuilt) mosques should be open for all to see and hear the proceedings to prevent any secret incitement to violence against Christians or other peaceful religions or sects in the Middle East.

Before taking leave, Belloc emphasized that, given the sad state of Christianity in the West, only the measures mentioned above would have any chance of holding back the forces of Islam from conquering all of Europe and the Americas.

St. George, pray for us! As my good friend Hilaire reminded me in my sleep, to keep the peace, prepare for war.

Why was my friend Hilaire so prescient in seeing the revival of militant Islam? Perhaps in part because he witnessed two unnecessary World Wars, in the course of which he lost two sons and a multitude of friends. In addition, he foresaw both in England and in the United States the decline of Christianity and its morality, with the resulting journey along the Road to Serfdom.

So when others did not, he foresaw the ominous resurrection of militant Islam, now armed with deadly weapons of destruction; he also perceived, perhaps correctly, the West’s weakness and corruption. Now that we are no longer worshipping the triune God of Christianity, our civilization is ripe to worship the false god of Mohammed.

Newly Blessed Pope Paul VI once famously said, “No more war! Never again war! If you wish to be brothers, drop your weapons.” But as Hilaire admonished me in the dream, make sure they drop theirs first.”

“The Family Under Attack” Don Leone Chapter 3 a)

41VAKxjdgfLChapter 3

HAVING OFFERED A BRIEF SKETCH OF THE FOUNDATIONS OF CATHOLIC MORALITY, let us proceed to examine a novel tendency in the Magisterium which bears upon the themes treated in this book.

Radical Subjectivism

1. Radical Subjectivism Defined: This tendency may be defined as radical subjectivism, in the sense of a movement away from the object towards the subject.

We propose to consider two aspects of this subjectivism, namely the movement away from objective truth of the supernatural order, that is to say the distancing from the Faith; and the priority given to the order of the Good over the order of the True (whether this Truth is natural or supernatural). That is to say, in scholastic terms, from being.

i) The Distancing from the Faith

In regard to the distancing from the Faith in general, we refer to Fr. Doermann’s analysis of the encyclicals Redemptor Hominis, Dives in Misericordia, and Dominum et Vivificantem in his four-volume work on the theology of Pope John Paul II (referred to above), and Romano Amerio’s analysis of the encyclical Tertio Millenio Adveniente in his work Stat Veritas (in Courrier de Rome 1997).

In the recent teaching of the Magisterium on the themes treated in this book, the distancing from the Faith occurs principally by means of a confusion of the natural and supernatural orders. This confusion occurs when the attempt is made to apply elements of the Faith universally, so naturalizing and degrading the supernatural order, and supernaturalizing and unduly glorifying the natural order.


(This tendency was already manifest in the Second Vatican Council. In the first chapter of “Die ‘Neue Theologie’’’ (Amis de St. Francois de Sales 1996), the comment of the Jesuit Fr. Henri Bouillard S.J. is quoted that: “The Second Vatican Council avoided the expression ‘supernatural’ in its principal documents.” In this connection Romano Amerio in Iota Unum points out (at paragraph 253 in chapter 35 on Ecumenism) that in the two documents Ad Gentes and Nostra Aetate (on Ecumenism and the non-Christian religions) the word ‘supernatural’ does not even appear.)

Examples of this confusion are analyzed in the discussion of the vocation to religious life (ch.4 footnote), the vocation to Divine beatitude, the dignity of the latter vocation, the dignity subsequent on the Incarnation (ch.2), limbo (Appendix B), the concept of love (ch.3 and the appendix on the ‘Theology of the Body’), and the concept of life (ch.12). Here we see respectively how the vocation to a supernatural goal is confused with a purely natural impulse; how the vocation of the faithful is confused with the vocation of all men; how the supernatural dignity of man is (in two cases) confused with his purely natural dignity; how the supernatural end of man is confused with a purely natural end; and how (in two cases) supernatural love is confused with natural love, and supernatural life with natural life.

ii) The Priority of the Good over the True

The motivation for this distancing from the Faith seems to be the precedence given to a new ideal, namely the loving communion of men irrespective of their beliefs, in other words to the priority of Love over Truth: the priority of the order of the Good over the order of the True. This priority runs counter both to Reason and to Faith, for Reason demands that one must first know an object before one can love it, and love it in the appropriate way; and (as Romano Amerio explains in Iota Unum (17) Faith teaches that the Procession of the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity from the Intellect of the First Person, precedes the Procession of the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity from the Will of the First and Second Persons.

17 (City MO, 64127-0611 (1996) cf. Iota Unum, Romano Amerio A study of Changes in the Catholic Church in the XX Century, Sarto House Po Box 2700611, Kansas)

This priority of the Good over the True is manifest in the falsely conceived principles of ‘Dialogue’18 and ‘Ecumenism’19 where union between parties is sought even at the expense of the Truth. An example may be seen in the Magisterial document ‘Ut Unum Sint’(1995) in regard to ‘Sister Churches’ (see below)20.


18 19 (cf. Iota Unum, s.151 cf. Der Oekumenismus als Hebel der Protestantisierung derKatholischen Kirche, Fr. Georg May, Verax-Verlag 2000. Ecumenism, being above all a doctrinal matter, most obviously errs in according priority to the order of the Good over that of theTrue; but it also typically errs in ignoring Grace, which is a feature of the Catholic confession, of not all of the other confessions, and of none of the non- Christian religions (see footnote 14). It thereby also falls prey to the naturalism noted above)

20 (We refer also to the liturgical example of the bidding prayer in the Novus Ordo for Good Friday, that the Jewish people ‘may continue to grow in the love of his name and faithfulness to his covenant’; to paraliturgical functions such as the placing of a statue of the Buddha on the tabernacle of Assisi, the strangling of a cock on the altar of St. Clare, or in the course of the same proceedings, and the organization of Hindu rituals in the Sanctuary of Fatima; and to diplomatic gestures intimating that the Catholic Faith is on the same level as other ‚World Religions’.

As far as the themes of this book are concerned, the aforementioned priority is particularly manifest in an approach to philosophy which we have called ‘Magisterial Personalism’. According to this approach, man is prized not in virtue of objective moral or supernatural standards, but solely in virtue of his humanity (see the section on the Dignity of Man in chapter 2); marriage is understood not in accordance with the objective moral law but simply in terms of ‘love’, and is described in terms of ‘life and love’ (ch.4); it is insinuated that the primary end of marriage is love (ch.5); the conjugal act is presented as ‘total self-giving love’; and contraception is presented as sinful on this basis (ch.5). This form of personalism finds a particularly clear expression in the doctrine known as ‘Theology of the Body’(see Appendix A).

2. Anthropocentrism

This subjectivism (which we have understood as a movement away from the object towards the subject), when viewed from the standpoint of religion, in other words from the standpoint of man’s relation to God, amounts to anthropocentricism, that is to say a movement away from God towards man. Such an anthropocentricism may be described as a ‘new humanism’ which is neither atheist nor Christian, but a hybrid of the two.

This anthropocentricism is clearly manifest in the following text of the Second Vatican Council: that homo … ‘in terris sola creatura est quam Deus propter seipsam voluerit’: man is the only creature on earth that God willed for its own sake (Gaudium et Spes 24, quoted by Pope John Paul II in a speech on conjugal love Osservatore Romano 17th January 1980). As Romano Amerio in chapter 30 of his Iota Unum points out, the Church has always taught that Universa propter semetipsum operatus est Dominus (Prov.16.4): The Lord has made all things for Himself. Man was therefore created not for himself but for God.

21.(It is true that in a passage mentioned in the discussion of the natural dignity of man in the previous chapter (at Summa II II q.64 a.2), St Thomas says that man exists for himself, but the context shows that he understands this not in an absolute, but in a relative, sense: man exists for himself, or has an intrinsic dignity, in virtue of his orientation to eternal beatitude. But by grave sin he can lose this orientation and this dignity, so that he can be treated as a means to an end – as an animal. And in any case man’s eternal beatitude is not an absolute, but rather is relative to the Glory which he gives to God.)

Furthermore he was also redeemed for God, that is to say in the first place so that divine justice might be satisfied; and only in the second place for his (man’s) own good.

The same anthropocentricism may be seen in the encyclical Dives in Misericordia (1) where Pope John Paul II states that ‘whereas the various currents of human thought in the past and present have had, and continue to have, a propensity to divide and even contrast theocentricism from anthropocentricism, the Church … is concerned to introduce into human history their deep, organic connection. That is also a fundamental thought, perhaps the most important in the teaching of the last council.’ In this connection we may also mention the remark of Pope Paul VI (in the OR 6th March 1969 quoted in the same chapter 30 of Iota Unum) that: ‘on this matter the council has considerably modified attitudes and judgments concerning the world.

Fr. Doermann, in his book on the theology of the former Pope (II/2, 1.4 op. cit.), argues that the Pope understands as the ontological ground for the union of man and God referred to in this encyclical, the union of the Son of God with every man on the occasion of the Incarnation (see the discussion of the dignity of man in chapter 2 above).

This purported union would also provide a justification for loving man in an absolute sense, as Pope John Paul II advocates in the following two instances: first in the speech to UNESCO at Geneva in 1980 where he said: ‘man should be affirmed for his own sake, and not for any other motive or reason: uniquely for his own sake. Still more, man should be loved because he is man; love for man must be demanded because of the particular dignity which he possesses.’ We qualify this statement by noting, as does Romano Amerio, that the Pope was here addressing non- religious humanists, but this having been said, we recall that the love of Charity that we owe to man is a love essentially related to our love for God: it is a love for the sake of God, a love by which we love man in God, or so that he might be in God, a love motivated by the fact that God loves man and has redeemed him.

A second instance where the Pope advocates that man should be loved in an absolute sense is his doctrine that man should be loved with a total self-giving love (see chapter 4), that is to say with a love otherwise reserved for God alone. (22) (This purported union would also provide a justification for the cult of man, where we see the correspondence of belief and prayer, in accordance with the principle lex orandi lex credendi. In this context we note the words of Pope Paul VI in his allocution of 7th December 1965 quoted in Mgr. Brunero Gherardini’s Le Concile Oecuménique Vatican II – un débat à ouvrir, Casa mariana editrice 2009 (ch.6.3): ‘We also, We more than any-one, We have the cult of man.’ This is particularly true of the Novus Ordo Missae instigated by this same Holy Father (see the chapter on the Cult of Man in Michael Davies’‚Pope Paul’s New Mass’)

If we follow this radical subjectivism, this radical anthropocentricism, through to its logical conclusion, where do we arrive? at the divinization of man in despite of God, or in other words without Sanctifying Grace.

Buried Traditional Catholic Treasure Brings Joy

Each one of us traditional Catholics have his own story of how he rediscovered the PRECIOUS BURIED TREASURE of TRUE CATHOLIC WORSHIP OF GOD.  As Jesus said: “The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure hidden in a field. Which a man having found, hid it, and for joy thereof goeth, and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” Matthew 13:44.

10334460_628860477204704_2345939455710502595_nThanks to the Society of St. Pope Pius X and Pope Benedict, in 2007 we ignorant Catholics were able to find these GREAT BURIED TREASURES:

  1. The Tridentine Latin Mass,
  2. The other Sacraments in Latin from the 1962 Missal,
  3. The magnificient vestments,
  4. Stone Altars with Altar stones,
  5. Church Architecture that gives glory to God, not man.
  6. Exorcisms and Sacred Blessings.
  7. Inspiring Religious Art.
  8. Gregorian Chant and Scholas.
  9. Dignifiied Sacred Vessels that are worthy of the Body and Blood of Jesus.
  10. Catholicism that pleases God, not man.

It all began when Pope Benedict wanted to regularize the Society so that they could have canonical status within the Church’s canonical structure.  The Society asked for two things:

  1. The lifting of the Excommunication against the 4 bishops consecrated by Archbishop Lefebvre.
  2. That every priest in the Catholic Church would be free to offer the Tridentine Latin Mass according to the Rubrics of the 1962 Missal.

archbishop_lefebvre_rome460From these meetings, Pope Benedict lifted the excommunication and issued the Motu Proprio; “Summorum Pontificum” that now allows priests to offer the Latin Mass without permission of his bishop.

From this day forward, thousands and thousands of Catholics, including bishops and priests, are rediscovering the great buried treasure that the Society of Pope St. Pius X had carefully guarded over these years.  They did this during the time in the Church when so much of the Sacred was literally destroyed, sold or thrown out by those in the Church who were to be its guardian, not its desecrator.

destructionof3rdtempleDestruction of The Temple Of Jerusalem

Each day, more and more Catholics and non-Catholics are continuing to discovering the previous jewels and gold contained in the traditional treasure box.

As you, who read this, already know, once you discover what is contained in the “Treasure Box”, you can never ever go back to the trite and benign way of worshiping God.

As difficult as it is to find the Latin Mass, find a good priest who is willing to sacrifice and be persecuted for offering it, and as much as you will be misunderstood, you still know that you could never deny THE SACRED TRUTH that you have discovered.  Pray, pray so hard, that you will never compromise these divine truths.

Every one of us Catholics, whether we are progressive, liberal, mediocre, orthodox or traditional, at this very instant, are standing on the blood stained treasures.  These treasures we take for granite everyday when we use them, our past Catholics paid for and preserved them with imprisonment, torture and death.  What I mean is that they were tortured, imprisoned and killed in saving for us the Holy Scriptures, (the Bible), the Holy Sacraments and true orthodox dogma.

peterMartyrBelliniJust read the Acts of the Apostles, the writings of the Apostolic and Church Fathers, the lives of the saints, (especially the martyrs), and you will see at what price these saints paid so that we can quote the Bible and offer the Holy Sacraments.

So why should we now be so cowardly and un-manly as to be afraid of practicing, sharing and protecting the Catholic truth that tradition contains?

Thank God, the Holy Spirit, Pope Benedict and the Society that our eyes have been opened and again given us access to these divine treasures.  Thank God once truth has been discovered, there is not turning back.

Jesus Looking For One Clean Soul

December 16th begins the Holy Rosary Novena to prepare for Jesus’ birth.  It is called “Posadas” where people gather together for nine (Novena) days to pray the Holy Rosary.   Children dressed up as Mary and St. Joseph and knock on house doors asking for “Posada”, a place to stay.

las-posadasFrom the Bible we know the end of the story.  No matter where St. Joseph and Mary asked for a place to stay and for God/Jesus to be born, absolutely NO ONE gave Jesus a place to be born in.  Out of pure necessity, He ended up being born in a sub-human place, a place only fit for animals.

posadas-begins-1b2We need to remind ourselves everyday that it was Jesus who created every element that we build our houses with.  He is who created us.   He is who gave us the intelligence to be able to build homes.  He is who gave us olive trees to give us olive oil to burn for light.

Well, that was 2014 years ago.  Thank God we were not the ones who did not show Him hospitality.

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  The same was in the beginning with God.  All things were made by him: and without him was made nothing that was made.  In him was life, and the life was the light of men.  And the light shineth in darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.

That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world.  He was in the world, and the world was made by him, and the world knew him not.  He came unto his own, and his own received him not.”  John 1-5, 10, 11.

posadass2Today, as we prepare for Christmas, is our heart pure, free from all sin and attachment to sin?  That is where Mary is looking to find a place for Jesus/God to come too.  He made everyone of our hearts.  And yet it is almost impossible to find a place where He can come into out of the cold.

Hearts have grown cold as they embrace their own pleasures and beliefs of the world.  Hearts are ruled by the devil.  He is well implanted in most hearts.  It may not be obvious or clear, but agains as Jesus said it: “Where your heart is, there is you treasure”.  Or we can modify it a bit and say, “What is in your heart is what you treasure”.  So if we treasure sinful pleasures and the world, there is the devil.

FLIGHTINTOEGYPTMost Catholics have a sentimental like for Jesus.  But in their lives, they put themselves and the world as the most important things.  From these sinful distorted way of being Catholics, we have invited satan in.  Jesus can have no part with a heart that is partially occupied by the devil and sin.

So as we prepare for Christmas, may we go to confession; be absolutely sorry and invite Jesus into our hearts, lives and families.  When His Spirit comes into our hearts, the devil can have no hold on our hearts.  Make Posada for Jesus, Mary and St. Joseph.

St. John Of The Cross Dec. 14

159_stjohn_crossSt. John of the Cross was cofounder (with St. Teresa) of the Discalced Carmelites, doctor of mystic theology, b. at Hontoveros, Old Castile, 24 June, 1542; d. at Ubeda, Andalusia, 14 Dec., 1591. John de Yepes, youngest child of Gonzalo de Yepes and Catherine Alvarez, poor silk weavers of Toledo, knew from his earliest years the hardships of life. The father, originally of a good family but disinherited on account of his marriage below his rank, died in the prime of his youth; the widow, assisted by her eldest son, was scarcely able to provide the bare necessities. John was sent to the poor school at Medina del Campo, whither the family had gone to live, and proved an attentive and diligent pupil; but when apprenticed to an artisan, he seemed incapable of learning anything. Thereupon the governor of the hospital of Medina took him into his service, and for seven years John divided his time between waiting on the poorest of the poor, and frequenting a school established by the Jesuits. Already at that early age he treated his body with the utmost rigour; twice he was saved from certain death by the intervention of the Blessed Virgin. Anxious about his future life, he was told in prayer that he was to serve God in an order the ancient perfection of which he was to help bring back again. The Carmelites having founded a house at Medina, he there received the habit on 24 February, 1563, and took the name of John of St. Matthias. After profession he obtained leave from his superiors to follow to the letter the original Carmelite rule without the mitigations granted by various popes. He was sent to Salamanca for the higher studies, and was ordained priest in 1567; at his first Mass he received the assurance that he should preserve his baptismal innocence. But, shrinking from the responsibilities of the priesthood, he determined to join the Carthusians.

1015-ac84922c05bf.-John-of-the-Cross-and-Teresa-of-AvilaHowever, before taking any further step he made the acquaintance of St. Teresa, who had come to Medina to found a convent of nuns, and who persuaded him to remain in the Carmelite Order and to assist her in the establishment of a monastery of friars carrying out the primitive rule. He accompanied her to Valladolid in order to gain practi cal experience of the manner of life led by the reformed nuns. A small house having been offered, St. John resolved to try at once the new form of life, although St. Teresa did not think anyone, however great his spirituality, could bear the discomforts of that hovel. He was joined by two companions, an ex-prior and a lay brother, with whom he inaugurated the reform among friars, 28 Nov., 1568. St. Teresa has left a classical dscription of the sort of life led by these first Discalced Carmelites, in chaps.xiii and xiv of her “Book of Foundations”. John of the Cross, as he now called himself, became the first master of novices, and laid the foundation of the spiritual edifice which soon was to assume majestic proportions. He filled various posts in different places until St. Teresa called him to Avila as director and confessor to the convent of the Incarnation, of which she had been appointed prioress. He remained there, with a few interruptions, for over five years. Meanwhile, the reform spread rapidly, and, partly through the confusion caused by contradictory orders issued by the general and the general chapter on one hand, and the Apostolic nuncio on the other, and partly through human passion which sometimes ran high, its existence became seriously endangered.

St.-John-of-the-CrossSt. John was ordered by his provincial to return to the house of his profession (Medina), and, on his refusing to do so, owing to the fact that he held his office not from the order but from the Apostolic delegate, he was taken prisoner in the night of 3 December, 1577, and carried off to Toledo, where he suffered for more than nine months close imprisonment in a narrow, stifling cell, together with such additional punishment as might have been called for in the case of one guilty of the most serious crimes. In the midst of his sufferings he was visited with heavenly consolations, and some of his exquisite poetry dates from that period. He made good his escape in a miraculous manner, August, 1578. During the next years he was chiefly occupied with the foundation and government of monasteries at Baeza, Granada, Cordova, Segovia, and elsewhere, but took no prominent part in the negotiations which led to the establishment of a separate government for the Discalced Carmelites. After the death of St. Teresa (4 Oct.,1582), when the two parties of the Moderates under Jerome Gratian, and the Zelanti under Nicholas Doria struggled for the upper hand, St. John supported the former and shared his fate. For some time he filled the post of vicar provincial of Andalusia, but when Doria changed the government of the order, concentrating all power in the hands of a permanent committee, St. John resisted and, supporting the nuns in their endeavour to secure the papal approbation of their constitutions, drew upon himself the displeasure of the superior, who deprived him of his offices and relegated him to one of the poorest monasteries, where he fell seriously ill. One of his opponents went so far as to go form to monastery gathering materials in order to bring grave charges against him, hoping for his expulsion from the order which he had helped to found.

As his illness increased he was removed to the monastery of Ubeda, where he at first was treated very unkindly, his constant prayer, “to suffer and to be despised”, being thus literally fulfilled almost to the end of his life. But at last even his adversaries came to acknowledge his sanctity, and his funeral was the occasion of a great outburst of enthusiasm. The body, still incorrupt, as has been ascertained within the last few years, was removed to Segovia, only a small portion remaining at Ubeda; there was some litigation about its possession. A strange phenomenon, for which no satisfactory explanation has been given, has frequently been observed in connexion with the relics of St. John of the Cross: Francis de Yepes, the brother of the saint, and after him many other persons have noticed the appearance in his relics of images of Christ on the Cross, the Blessed Virgin, St. Elias, St. Francis Xavier, or other saints, according to the devotion of the beholder. The beatification took place onb 25 Jan., 1675, the translation of his body on 21 May of the same year, and the canonization on 27 Dec., 1726.

He left the following works, which for the first time appeared at Barcelona in 1619.

  1. “The Ascent of Mount Carmel”, an explanation of some verses beginning: “In a dark night with anxious love inflamed”. This work was to have comprised four books, but breaks off in the middle of the third.
  2. “The Dark Night of the Soul”, another explanation of the same verses, breaking off in the second book. Both these works were written soon after his escape from prison, and, though incomplete, supplement each other, forming a full treatise on mystic theology.
  3. An explanation of the “Spiritual Canticle”, (a paraphrase of the Canticle of Canticles) beginning “Where hast Thou hidden Thyself?” composed part during his imprisonment, and completed and commented upon some years later at the request of Venerable Anne of Jesus.
  4. An explanation of a poem beginning: “O Living Flame of Love”, written about 1584 at the bidding of Dona Ana de Penalosa.
  5. Some instructions and precautions on matters spiritual.
  6. Some twenty letters, chiefly to his penitents. Unfortunately the bulk of his correspondence, including numerous letters to and from St. Teresa, was destroyed, partly by himself, partly during the persecutions to which he fell a victim.
  7. “Poems”, of which twenty-six have been hitherto published, viz., twenty in the older editions, and recently six more, discovered partly at the National Library at Madrid, and partly at the convent of Carmelite nuns at Pamplona.
  8. “A Collection of Spiritual Maxims” (in some editions to the number of one hundred, and in others three hundred and sixty-five) can scarcely count as an independent work, as they are culled from his writings.

It has been recorded that during his studies St. John particularly relished psychology; this is amply borne out by his writings. He was not what one would term a scholar, but he was intimately acquainted with the “Summa” of St. Thomas Aquinas, as almost every page of his works proves. Holy Scripture he seems to have known by heart, yet he evidently obtained his knowledge more by meditation than in the lecture room. But there is no vestige of influence on him of the mystical teaching of the Fathers, the Aeropagite, Augustine, Gregory, Bernard, Bonaventure,etc., Hugh of St. Victor, or the German Dominican school. The few quotations from patristic works are easily traced to the Breviary or the “Summa”. In the absence of any conscious or unconscious influence of earlier mystical schools, his own system, like that of St. Teresa, whose influence is obvious throughout, might be termed empirical mysticism. They both start from their own experience, St. Teresa avowedly so, while St. John, who hardly ever speaks of himself, “invents nothing” (to quote Cardinal Wiseman), “borrows nothing from others, but gives us clearly the results of his own experience in himself and others. He presents you with a portrait, not with a fancy picture. He represents the ideal of one who has passed, as he had done, through the career of the spiritual life, through its struggles and its victories”.

His axiom is that the soul must empty itself of self in order to be filled with God, that it must be purified of the last traces of earthly dross before it is fit to become united with God. In the application of this simple maxim he shows the most uncompromising logic. Supposing the soul with which he deals to be habitually in the state of grace and pushing forward to better things, he overtakes it on the very road leading it, in its opinion to God, and lays open before its eyes a number of sores of which it was altogether ignorant, viz. what he terms the spiritual capital sins. Not until these are removed (a most formidable task) is it fit to be admitted to what he calls the “Dark Night”, which consists in the passive purgation, where God by heavy trials, particularly interior ones, perfects and completes what the soul had begun of its own accord. It is now passive, but not inert, for by submitting to the Divine operation it co-operates in the measure of its power. Here lies one of the essential differences between St. John’s mysticism and a false quietism. The perfect purgation of the soul in the present life leaves it free to act with wonderful energy: in fact it might almost be said to obtain a share in God’s omnipotence, as is shown in the marvelous deeds of so many saints. As the soul emerges from the Dark Night it enters into the full noonlight described in the “Spiritual Canticle” and the “Living Flame of Love”. St. John leads it to the highest heights, in fact to the point where it becomes a”partaker of the Divine Nature”. It is here that the necessity of the previous cleansing is clearly perceived the pain of the mortification of all the senses and the powers and faculties of the soul being amply repaid by the glory which is now being revealed in it.

St. John has often been represented as a grim character; nothing could be more untrue. He was indeed austere in the extreme with himself, and, to some extent, also with others, but both from his writings and from the depositions of those who knew him, we see in him a man overflowing with charity and kindness, a poetical mind deeply influenced by all that is beautiful and attractive.

Catholic Novena Of Childlike Confidence

madonnachild1Novena of Childlike Confidence

O Jesus, Who has said, “Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened,” through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I knock, I seek, I ask that my prayer be granted;

(Here, tell God your need and request with great childlike confidence.)

infant-child-of-pragueO Jesus, Who said, “All that you ask of the Father in My Name, He will grant you,” through the intercession of Mary Your Most Holy Mother, I humbly and urgently ask the Father in Your name that my prayer will be granted.

(Again, tell God your need and request with great childlike confidence.)

madonna-and-child-marianne-stokes-1908-2O Jesus, Who has said, “Heaven and earth shall pass away but My word shall not pass away,” through the intercession of Mary, Your Most Holy Mother, I feel confident that my prayer will be granted.

(Again, tell God your need and request with great childlike confidence.)

Traditional Catholics Need To Admonish Sinners With Charity

As clearly as we see the world going to hell, we still always need to have charity toward sinners, (and everyone), just like Jesus had, the sacrificial love with which He died on the cross to save souls. Crucifixion_Christ_on_the_Cross_DELACROIX_Eug_ne This means that when we see people sinning or dressing immodestly, we need to informed them with charity on how their way of living or dressing is immoral.

Cristo_crocifissoHere is a comment I received on this blog that is good to remind us that our goal is the salvation of all souls from going to hell and to get them to heaven.  Because it is so difficult and appears to be impossible, at times we just want to write off these sinners and all those who do not see what seems obvious to us, (bad is bad, good is good).  But for them, it may not be as obvious as it is to us.

Christ in Mary in Glory_GHERARDUCCI, Don Silvestro dei“Why is it Fr. There is a lack of charity among “most ” Traditional Catholics especially with the SSPX Trad Catholics, their arrogance is a turn off to hardened sinners who wish to convert. No one likes to be gossiped about and felt unwelcome especially glared at if you are covered with tattoos you don’t look the norm like the other parishioners . You are politely acknowledged but not someone to be associated with even by priest. Priest cater to the good parishioners needs without hesitation,but bad guy converts needs are constantly put off they are too busy for them. Been a trad Catholic for 19yrs and observed that we have the Faith but so much Charity is lacking.”

Let us renew our love for God and for neighbor every morning.  Then let us try to put it into practice everywhere we go that day; church, shopping, gas station, school, work and especially in our homes.

“The Family Under Attack” Don Leone Chapter 2, c)

41VAKxjdgfLiv) The Dignity Consequent on the Incarnation

Another form of dignity taught by the contemporary Magisterium is expressed in the following section of the Encyclical Evangelium Vitae (see chapter 12): ‘By His Incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every human being… This saving event reveals … the incomparable value of every human person.’ In a similar vein in his speech ‘on the Dignity of the Human Person, the Pope to be, while enumerating the grounds for human dignity, writes: ‘Furthermore God also became a human being’, redeems man, and ‘permeates the human being with divine Grace… The matter of the dignity of the human person … is certainly an ecumenical element, an element common to all people of genuinely good will.’ (viz. the last section of chapter three).

How are we to interpret this form of dignity? The Pope seems to conceive it as a form of ontological dignity, indeed of the supernatural order. However, the Incarnation did not change human nature, and only Christians in a state of Grace possess a supernatural dignity. How can we understand it in the light of the Catholic faith?

In Fr. Matthias Joseph Scheeben’s analysis of the patristic Tradition in his ‘Mysterien des Christentums’, as presented by Fr. Johannes Dörmann, the Incarnation constituted a form of ‘simple union’ or ‘dead union’ with the whole human race in the sense of a material precondition for the ‘living union’ in the mystical body of Christ and the Church through faith and baptism. We may conclude that if we wish to speak of a dignity consequent on the Incarnation then we should speak of the dignity consequent on the simple union of Christ with mankind, which is but another form of dignity of vocation, namely vocation to the Christian faith.

We note in passing that if this were true, then the Incarnation would furnish a basis for the vocation to Divine beatitude comparable to Original Justice or baptism (see the previous section).

Comparing this fourth type of dignity to the third, namely to the dignity of vocation as taught by the contemporary Magisterium, we note that both are merely relational dignities, the former as to Divine beatitude, and the latter as to the Christian faith.

Leaving aside the fourth form of dignity due to the indeterminacy of its content, let us briefly review the two principal forms of dignity, as well as the dignity of vocation to Divine beatitude in virtue of its prominence in The New Catechism (especially part III).

We may say then that a person may possess three forms of dignity: first a dignity of vocation to union with God, second a natural dignity of orientation (albeit weakened by original sin) to God as Being under the aspect of the True and the Good; and third a supernatural dignity together constitute the Image and Likeness of God in man.

Which in the interpretation of the Fathers of the Church of actually knowing and loving God, which is at the same time the sonship of God and a sharing in the Divine life. We see that these three forms of dignity belong to one and the same scheme of things. God desires union with man in Heaven (the ground of the first dignity), to this end he gives man a natural orientation (the ground of the second dignity), and offers him supernatural assistance thereto (the ground of the third dignity).

Before moving on, let us show that the third form of dignity is superior to the others, and this in three ways.

The first way is causally: the vocation and the orientation are means towards the end, namely the (supernatural) union: the vocation is a vocation to union with God and the orientation is an orientation to union with God. The vocation and the orientation are but the necessary means for union with God (although not sufficient means because they constitute natural perfections whereas the union with God in question constitutes a supernatural perfection). In addition, since the dignity of union with God is in fact the final end of man, it follows that it is the highest form of dignity even on earth.

The second way is morally: the dignity of union with God on earth is a moral dignity (leaving aside the case of a baptized infant who is united to God but not as a result of his actions); a moral excellence is higher than a natural or a teleological excellence.

The third way is ontologically: the vocation and the orientation are related to the union as potency to act: the vocation is related to the attainment of the goal (namely the union), the orientation which is the potential to know and love God (in the ultimate, supernatural sense) is related to the actual knowledge and love of God; act is superior to potency. In addition, the dignity of union is a supernatural excellence whereas the dignity of vocation and of orientation are merely natural excellences.

4. On the Nature of Love

Now in the previous section we have noted that it is dangerous to use the term ‘dignity of the person’ in a sense that is undefined and hence open to misinterpretation. The same is true of the term ‘love’. Love in particular may be understood merely emotionally. In order therefore to understand properly the love relevant to sexuality, let us begin by offering a brief analysis of the nature of love.

i) God’s Charity

In order better to understand man’s love, let us begin by considering that perfect love which is God’s love. St. John tells us in his First Epistle 4.8 that ‘God is love’ which may be understood in the following terms: The Father loves the Son, the Son loves the Father, and the Holy Spirit is their united act of love. Two general features of this love which are of note are that it is self-giving and unitive.

As for God’s love for man, St. John tells us in his Gospel 3.6 that ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son: that whosoever believeth in Him may not perish, but may have life everlasting’. Here again God’s love is manifest both in self-giving, for in the Person of the Son He gives Himself to mankind, and as unitive, for in so doing he unites Himself with mankind. A third feature of the love here described is what we might term its fruitfulness, or its promotion of a good, in this case life everlasting. The fruitfulness of love is most evident where the object of love is created being, expressing God’s will that created being should exist and should attain its end.

ii) Man’s Charity

Man’s love for God in Heaven is a sharing in God’s love for Himself. It is therefore a self-giving and unitive love. It is also a fruitful love with regard to man because it constitutes the attainment of man’s final end. In an extended sense it is also a fruitful love with regard to God, not because it gives anything to Him Who possesses, and indeed is, the sum of all perfections, but because it increases His gloria externa: it magnifies Him as in the words of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. John the Baptist magnificat, magnificari: it accomplishes His purpose in creating the universe which is the communication of His goodness and the manifestation of His glory in Creation.

The love so far described: God’s love for Himself, God’s love for man, man’s love for God in Heaven, is known as ‘Charity’. This love is supernatural. For man it is a participation in God’s love and life, a participation which is only possible by means of Supernatural Grace. Without this Grace it is impossible for man to love with a love of Charity. This love is possible in the present world as well as in Heaven and has as its objects God or one’s neighbour for the sake of God. The love of God comprises acts of the love of God such as acts of adoration, as well as all of a man’s actions when he performs them for God, for the sake of God: to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10.31), to God (Col. 3.23), in the name of God (Col. 3.17): ‘All whatsoever you do in word or in work do all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ’; the love of neighbour includes the love of enemies. Charity transforms the actions it accompanies, elevating them to a Divine level. As with all realities revealed by God, Charity can only be understood in a limited sense. It cannot be comprehended by philosophy, and so is not an object of philosophy.

To the comments on the three general features of love noted above, one may add in the case of man’s Charity on earth that it is always characterized by giving, since it consists in actions performed for the sake of God; and that it is also always characterized by union with God, since it is a sharing in the love and life of God. It is fruitful for the agent in promoting his final end, it is fruitful for any human object it may have either in directly promoting his final end, or in indirectly promoting it as for example it consists in bringing him happiness and peace, the best conditions for progressing towards the final end.

In Heaven in the Beatific Vision, man will behold God as He is in Himself according to his own ineffable mode of being: sicuti est (I St. John 3.2), and will hence love God as He is in Himself in Charity.

Now the basis for man’s knowledge and love of God in the next world is the radical orientation of his intellect to God as Being under the aspect of the True and the radical orientation of his will to God as Being under the aspect of Good. As for this world, these radical orientations form the basis equally for man’s knowledge of God as the True and the Good in the light of reason alone (albeit weakened by Original Sin); for his knowledge of God as He is in Himself: in seipso by Faith; and his love of God as He is in Himself in Charity.

Man’s love of the Good in all its finite embodiments and his love of God as the Good is known as rational love. It is a purely natural love and is distinguished as such from his supernatural love of God in Charity.

iii) Rational and Sensible Love

Now man is not merely a spiritual being; he is also a physical being and to preserve him in his journey towards his final end, and to ensure that he has progeny, he has been given the faculties of sense perception by which he apprehends individual being under the aspect of the true, and of sense appetite by which he desires it under the aspect of the good. This sense appetite is known as sensible love or the passion of love.

Sensible love is a feature of man as a psychophysical organism. Its goal is pleasure which it seeks by taking, by attaining union with its object, for pleasure arises from union (Summa II 1 a.30). It is in the service of biological life: the conservation and promotion of the individual organism or the species. It looks to what is presented by the senses as requisite and congenial here and now. It is subjective, and its dynamic is that of potency seeking its own fulfilment. Examples of it are the desire for food and drink and, unless and until they are informed and elevated by rational love or Charity, family love and sexual (or ‘erotic’) love.

The nature of sensible love is largely the same for man as for the animals, although in man it is elevated by the presence of the spirit to a status higher than in its animal counterpart.

Rational love is a feature of man as spirit, its term is Being itself. The radical dynamism of spirit is one of act, of abundance. It looks to absolute being and seeks to promote it in all its finite embodiments by giving. Examples are the natural love for God and the love of friendship.

Comparing sensible love and rational love in regard to the three features of love noted above, we may say that sensible love involves taking, rational love giving; sensible love is characterized more markedly by union than rational love – as in the case of doing good to an enemy; sensible love promotes the good of the self as psychophysical organism and of the species, rational love promotes the good of the other as a rational being as well as the good of the self as rational being, since in promoting the good of the other the agent gives, and in giving he advances towards his own final end: his perfection in love. (It should however be noted here that since rational love is not a supernatural love (like Charity) but only a natural love, it does not promote the agent’s final end, which is supernatural, immediately (like Charity) but only mediately, in disposing the agent towards this supernatural end.) The fruitfulness of rational love in regard to the other may be described in terms of the Aristotelian-scholastic phrase as ‘willing the good of the other’.

Now rational love when it has man as its object, is known as the virtue of love. The virtue of love differs from Charity in quality and scope: it is a natural and not a supernatural form of love, and has a narrower range, not including the love of God or the hallowing of man’s every action. The virtue of love is often contrasted with the passion of love, which is another name for sensible love. The virtue of love may be defined as that virtue by which a man altruistically wills the good of his neighbour by promoting it to the best of his ability wherever and however he can. A prime example of the virtue of love is the love of friendship, which is characterised by its mutuality and by the virtuousness and likemindedness of the pair: idem velle idem nolle. Further examples are family love and marital love where the virtue of love informs and elevates that family love or erotic love which are initially merely sensible. Let us note that ‘friendship’ is here understood in a narrow sense. In a broader sense it is understood to characterise other forms of rational love too, such as family love and marital love, as well as Charity itself, as St. Thomas shows in the Summa II II q.23.a.1.

Sensible family love is the love between parents and children or between children. It can become inordinate to the detriment of justice. When it is informed and elevated by rational love it becomes unselfish, the child regarding the parent as a good person for example, or as worthy of his love, and the parent relinquishing his possessive hold on the child. Erotic love is in man’s fallen nature tinged with lust, seeking pleasure for its own sake and regarding persons as objects, tending to transfer from one person to another even though the mediation of successive ‘marriages’. When erotic love within marriage is informed and elevated by rational love it is transformed into marital love regarding persons as persons. Such are the ways in which sensible love becomes truly human, receiving depth from rational love and becoming an expression of it. For Christians in the state of Grace this rational love is in its turn informed and elevated by Charity and thus becomes a form of supernatural love.

To recap, we have briefly examined Charity in its fourfold aspect: God’s love for Himself, God’s love for man, man’s supernatural love for God, man’s supernatural love for man. We then examined rational love, including man’s natural love for God and the virtue of love, and finally sensible love.

In most general terms, the following may be said of human love: Human love is rooted in man’s imperfection and indigency. On the natural level he is unable of his own resources to preserve himself as an individual or as a species: he needs to eat, drink, and to procreate. On the supernatural level he is unable of his own resources to attain his goal which is supernatural perfection: he needs the help of Grace. These goods which man needs are fruitful for him and must be communicated to him from without. Human love pertains to the communication and fruitfulness of these goods, and hence has two elements: the element of communication (or union) and the element of fruitfulness. The element of fruitfulness is primary because it regards his perfection; the element of union is secondary, because it regards the means to this perfection.

Let us conclude by briefly comparing and contrasting the love of God for man and man for God in two of its aspects.

Amor Dei est infundens et creans bonitatem in rebus (Summa II q.20a.2) the love of God infuses and creates the goodness which is in things. His love is the principle of the creation and continuing existence of all that is. It is the principle of their desirability. Man’s love by contrast is essentially passive: a response, a movement elicited from without. God gives goodness to things, He does not, like man, submit to their attractions. His love is sheer benevolence, gratuitousness, selflessness. He gains nothing from us while we gain everything from Him.

The love of God is a love of self-giving, as is the love of man to God to which man is called. The love of man for his neighbour (whether rational love or the love of Charity) may by contrast more aptly be characterized simply in terms of giving: it may be described as self-giving only in a secondary sense (e.g. in phrases such as: ‘he gave of himself’).

Let us briefly show the application of this introductory section to the particular moral themes of this book.

The Final End of man, Heaven, or the Beatific Vision, provides the foundation of all morality. Since this vision is purely supernatural, the means for attaining it must also be purely supernatural, that is to say, Sanctifying Grace. This Grace is acquired by baptism alone, with the result that the unbaptized are unable to attain Heaven.

Now, since there are only two final destinations for man, namely Heaven and Hell, it follows that the unbaptized are consigned to Hell. Hell consists essentially of the deprivation of the beatific vision: the consequence of mortal sin, whether original or personal. Unbaptized infants are deprived of the beatific vision because they have inherited the stain of original sin from which they have not been purged by baptism. Since, however they have committed no personal sin, they are not liable to suffering, which is the punishment for personal sin, but rather dwell in a place in Hell characterised by a purely natural happiness, the purely natural Final End. The name given to this place is ‘Limbo’(See Appendix B).

Aborted children cannot be supposed to enjoy either of the two substitute forms of baptism allowed for by the Church, namely baptism of desire and baptism of blood, for the former requires perfect contrition of heart of which, having not yet attained the age of reason, they are incapable, and the latter requires martyrdom for the faith of Christ. Neither can they be considered to be baptized by the pious practice of prayer together with the sprinkling of Holy Water, for baptism requires the infusion of water over a living person.

The moral law entails the principles quoted above that man as a living being must respect and conserve the being he has received from God, and that man as a member of a species must work for the conservation of this species in marriage and in the procreation and education of children. These principles in their turn entail the fifth and sixth Commandment, namely Thou shalt not kill (prohibiting abortion) and Thou shalt not commit adultery (prohibiting all forms of sexual immorality).

Moving from general ethics to special ethics, in particular to interpersonal ethics, we may proceed to consider these moral themes in the light of the dignity of the person and the virtues. Since it is by the practise of the virtues that man attains his final end and obeys the moral law, it is possible to analyze a moral act in terms not only of the final end and the moral law but also in terms of the virtues. Taking account of the dignity of the person and the nature of the unborn we conclude that the virtues relevant to the issue of abortion are both justice (suum cuique dandi)-the virtue of rendering to each his due, and the virtue of love – that of selflessly promoting the good of the other. Taking account of the dignity of the person and the nature of sexuality, we conclude that the virtue requisite to sexuality is the virtue of love: that of selflessly promoting the good of the other. Of course if the agent is a Christian this love should in both cases be transformed into Charity.

The dignity of the other requires justice and love (or Charity) in the first case and love (or Charity) in the second case, but what of the dignity of the agent? We have seen that the primary dignity of the person derives from his actual knowledge and love of God, which is at the same time the sonship of God and a sharing in His Divine life, or in other words it derives from his Charity. The means by which a Christian agent respects this dignity in himself is by performing all his actions with Charity, or in other words for the sake of God. It is then not only the dignity of the other person but also his own dignity that obliges a Christian to act for the sake of God, to act with Charity, when he acts towards the unborn or in his marital relations, or indeed, in a more general sense, in everything that he does.

St. Lucy Dec. 13

Lucy_St_Altarpiece_LOTTO, Lorenzo“St. Lucy a virgin of Syracuse, noble by birth and by her Christian faith, went to the tomb of St. Agatha at Catheria and obtained the cure of her mother, Eutichia who was suffering from a hemorrhage. Soon after, she gained her mother’s permission to distribute to the poor all the possessions which were to have served as her dowry.Lucy_Legend of_Unknown Master As a result of this charitable action, she was accused of being a Christian and brought before Paschasius the Prefect. When neither promises nor threats could induce her to sacrifice the idols, Paschasius became enraged and commanded Lucy to be taken to a place where her virginity would be violated. But the power of God gave the virgin a strength that matched the firmness of her resolution, so that no force could move her where she stood. And so the prefect commanded a fire to be kindled all around here, but the flames did not harm her. Lucy_LIPPI, FilippinoAfter she had suffered many torments, therefore her throat was pierced through with a sword. So wounded she foretold that the Church would have peace after the deaths of Diocletian and Maximilian, and on December 13 she gave up her spirit to God. Her body was first buried at Syracuse, than taken to Constantinople, and finally transferred to Venice.”  1960 Roman Breviary