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Thursday, 7 May 2015

Books by Father Ripperger

Does someone want to get me the book by Father Driscoll?

Thoughts on The American Dream vs. The Catholic Dream

Today, I am immersed in a neighborhood which has rows of impeccable houses, trimmed lawns managed by companies. mostly State workers or retired State workers, and non-church goers.

I have marvelled at the wealth of Americans, especially after visiting Europe over the past several years, where the pursuit of happiness does not necessarily have to do with success or prosperity.

I wonderful if the Founding Fathers, schooled in the classics and the Enlightenment fallacy of progressiveness, which meant that they honestly believed that if people had more and could move up the social ladder, these same people would be "good", even "religious" people. By the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, leaders of the American colonies, all people who had left Catholic or Lutheran Europe in order to create a good life for themselves, the majority of the populace would have been divided into truly religious people, seeing America as the New City on the Hill, or entrepreneurs, who knew how to make money fast with various crops, slavery, and other businesses.

The latter mind-set has taken over the former, with the spiritual life of most people not even a blip on their radars.

One of the things brought to my attention in the past weeks, here in the great plains of Protestantism, has been the supplanting of the interior life for the exterior by my Protestant brothers and sisters. Even there discussions with me on the coming times of tribulation reflect an exterior preparation, not an interior one. They do understand the spiritual warfare of demons and those who hate Christ and Christianity, but they do not understand the civil war within. They do not understand Teresa of Avila's movement to holiness, or the need for purification daily.

This is because of the sola fide false teaching, which means that faith alone saves and not virtue or the Indwelling of the Trinity. In fact, my new Protestant acquaintances either do not believe in the Trinity as defined by the Church, or they simply do not want to address the Trinity.

To use a phrase in their company, such as the "Indwelling of the Holy Trinity" smacks of accretions to them, and of course, they cannot find the phrase in the Bible, as such, and therefore feel they do not have to attend to this truth.

If they were open to the discussion, which they are not, they would understand more deeply the need for working on the interior life, for begging for grace, not merely the grace of the first conversion, but the graces of the second conversion and all the stages of spiritual growth.

I live in a place right now which worships dead presidents, dead admirals, dead generals, as seen by the names of the streets, and the type of celebrations held in the community. These celebrations seem to be extremely popular, civic celebrations of the life and death of Lincoln, the founding of various local institutions of higher learning, or the winning of past battles. Of course, all of these historical events must be important to any civilization, but again, people are preoccupied by the exterior world of achievement, success, prosperity.

American civic life has become the religion, as in Rome. The comparisons are staggering.

And, the churches, even the non-Catholic ones, witness half-empty pews, aging populations, a lack of money which is needed for common resources.

But, the priorities of the churches reflect, again, the lack of an awareness of the interior life.

I am not THAT old, but when I grew up in the steamy summers of Iowa, the schools, elementary, high, and college did not have air conditioning. The churches did not have air conditioning.  Even businesses did not have air conditioning.

And I grew up surrounded by pollen and agricultural air pollution.

Now, the churches want more money for air conditioning, when the missionary activity of evangelization falls into dormancy. These same churches want people to give money to Catholic high schools which have not seen one vocation for forty years.

The ignoring of the interior life and the non-awareness of the Indwelling of the Trinity creates a completely superficial approach to religion.

Only the perfect see God, which could be the motto for this blog. Not the prosperous, not the comfortable sitting in air conditioned churches, not those who do not spread the Good News of Christ...these will not see God unless they stop looking constantly at the exterior life.

One gets sucked into this non-Catholic viewpoint so easily, too easily. It is easier to become holy in Europe than in America-why?

Less prosperity, more discussions on ideas, the real awareness of the difference between darkness and light.

Here, the shadows of the false America Dream and the dimness of the ignorance of the interior life hide the fact that the soul of America has died, even in the Midwest.

A few days ago, a woman here in the Macs spoke to me of the prosperity gospel. She was not open to hearing about the real prosperity of the Indwelling of the Holy Trinity.

Revelation 2:4-7New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition 

But I have this against you, that you have abandoned the love you had at first. Remember then from what you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first. If not, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place, unless you repent.

The Catholic Dream is life with God here on earth and life with God in heaven. We are to serve Him, love Him, praise Him....our dream is not that of America.

(Note: I have to leave this Macs now--believe it or not, I am getting flea bites on my feet sitting here....!!!)

Beginning More on The Indwelling of the Trinity

St. Teresa of Avila writes clearly on the Indwelling of the Trinity. Here is a selection from The Interior Castle or The Mansions. I have many more posts on this from the past, but this week, I am re-examining this truth.

The boldface parts are my emphasis.

1. BEFORE going farther, I wish you to consider the state to which mortal sin [46]brings this magnificent and beautiful castle, this pearl of the East, this tree of life, planted beside the living waters of life [47] which symbolize God Himself. No night can be so dark, no gloom nor blackness can compare to its obscurity. Suffice it to say that the sun in the centre of the soul, which gave it such splendour and beauty, is totally eclipsed, though the spirit is as fitted to enjoy God's presence as is the crystal to reflect the sun. [48] 

 2. While the soul is in mortal sin nothing can profit it; none of its good works merit an eternal reward, since they do not proceed from God as their first principle, and by Him alone is our virtue real virtue. The soul separated from Him is no longer pleasing in His eyes, because by committing a mortal sin, instead of seeking to please God, it prefers to gratify the devil, the prince of darkness, and so comes to share his blackness. I knew a person to whom our Lord revealed the result of a mortal sin [49] and who said she thought no one who realized its effects could ever commit it, but would suffer unimaginable torments to avoid it. This vision made her very desirous for all to grasp this truth, therefore I beg you, my daughters, to pray fervently to God for sinners, who live in blindness and do deeds of darkness. 

I am repeating some of her statements in order to show that God truly desires and demands holiness from each one of us. Too many clerics talk down to the laity, as if we were not called to perfection, which we all are. Mortal sin, no longer preached in most parishes, separates us from ourselves and from God. We are no longer the person God created us to be, but something less, something sub-human.

All mortal sins throw us into sub-human conditions of the body and the soul. We deny God's Own Life within and we deny the active Presence of the Trinity in our lives. How sad to exchange such a call to be one with the Divine for......what-temporal comfort. So, do some of the synod fathers deny mortal sin, deny grace, deny that temptations may be overcome?

 3. In a state of grace the soul is like a well of limpid water, from which flow only streams of clearest crystal. Its works are pleasing both to God and man, rising from the River of Life, beside which it is rooted like a tree. Otherwise it would produce neither leaves nor fruit, for the waters of grace nourish it, keep it from withering from drought, and cause it to bring forth good fruit. But the soul by sinning withdraws from this stream of life, and growing beside a black and fetid pool, can produce nothing but disgusting and unwholesome fruit. Notice that it is not the fountain and the brilliant sun which lose their splendour and beauty, for they are placed in the very centre of the soul and cannot be deprived of their lustre. The soul is like a crystal in the sunshine over which a thick black cloth has been thrown, so that however brightly the sun may shine the crystal can never reflect it.

We have to stop pretending that there are no differences in a person in mortal sin and those in sanctifying grace. We must bring those in mortal sin back to the realization of sin and death, eternal death of the soul and eternal pain of both the body and soul.

To accommodate sin is not love. One loves only in truth and in God. With God, love becomes glorious and perfected, as noted by St. John Paul II in Familiaris Consortio.

If something, some place, some person takes us away from God, this thing, place, person cannot be where love resides.

A Lovely Order