An attempt at Sanctity 

The Saints that have helped me recently

St Bernadette (pray for us)
St Bernadine of Sienna
St Donation and Rogation
St Meriadoc
St Peter of Spain
St Dominic Henares
St Cosmas and Damian

Old Heresies Resurface

Feast of Saint John Vianney, 4th August 2003

Whilst avoiding the temptation to drink (and do anything else :( I was lead to look at EWTN and its Catholic news site. Of interest, was the continuing reaction to the Church's pronouncements on 'same-sex unions'. The Church's document made mention of natural law. So off I went to the Catholic Encyclopedia
Curiousity then attracted me to the article on Jansenism
Jansenism, about which I had heard but knew little (and I still little understand the debate about grace - further research required). Although much of the theological debate went over my head, the refusal of the Jansenists to assent to the Holy Father's decisions struck a chord. Although the Jansenist controversy was in the 17th/18th century, it seemed to me to mirror the proud refusal of 'theologians' today to humbly accept the verdict of the Visible Head of the Church.

But more was in store. The article mentioned another heresy of the 18th century, Febronianism
. This heresy, named after the pseudonym used by the origniator basically argued that the Pope had no real authority and was merely the adminstrator of the decisions made by ecumenical councils (by majority vote). Febronianism also was quite big on national conferences of bishops. Hmmm.... I've heard this one recently as well.

An attempt at posting links

Feast of Saint Alphonsus Ligouri, 1st August, 2003 AD

I wonder how this works?

Homosexual Activism

Feast of Saint Ignatius Loyola, 31st July, 2003

Before I berate the behaviour of others, I had better examine my own conscience - sheesh! To use a recent quote of President George Bush, "We are all sinners". Despite the appearence of prayer, including the rosary, and a visit to Church, to spend a while (a not very great while) in front of Our Lord present in the Blessed Eucharist today saw me no closer to God, although I hope I strayed not too far either. Graces where, as ever available, and I would guess I spurned them when I: a) decided to have another drink; b) said something cruel in order to gain a few cheap laughs; c) got scared and forgot the Divine Mandate "To go and teach all nations"; d) trusted almost exclusively to my own willpower. To use a quote from yesterday, I neglected the supernatural gift of Hope.

Notwithstanding all of the above, I know that the Church is divinely called to heroic witness and that I am also, although a sinner, called to play my part in this. God alone knows, how great a sinner I am (though I have a fair idea, especially when I recall my conduct with my longest girlfriend, how great my sins are). It would be so easy to fall into introspection and to many this would be the correct action. Yet my sins, and the realisation of them does not override my obligation to love my brothers and sisters, all of whom were created in God's image.

Vice is justifying your sins, and, as as a result, continuing to commit them. By the grace of God, I haven't fallen into vice with regard to sexual matters (yet)! But the secular world, swept along by the 'winds of progress'(and we all know the diabolic source of these) is now conducting a campaign to legitimize the vice of sodomy. Where is the outcry? Where would one expect it to come from? Not the protestant sects (the pathetic, inconsistent statements of the 'church' of England show how far the protester's religion(s) have strayed from God's will). Nor from the Orthodox 'church(es)'. Of course, the clear, lone voice railing against the sinfulness of legitimizing homosexual 'unions', comes once more from the Catholic Church.

If ever one needed a sign that God's Church existed here on earth, the unpopular, yet truthful, statements by the Catholic Church on contraception, abortion, euthanasia and homesexuality etc., provide it.

A month passes

27th July, 2003
Feast of George, Aurelius, Natalia, Felix & Liliosa MM

For those that don't know, the above are five Spanish martyrs who gave their lives as witnesses to the Truth. The Moorish rulers of 9th century Spain (the supposed epicentre of Islamic 'tolerance') executed them for not accepting the falsehoods of Islam.

When I logged in I had a lot I wished to say. Ten minutes later most of it has gone.

This last month has seen a lot transpire. Off the top of my head, the occassions when I followed God's lead have been minimal. I know that feelings are poor guides to the Truth, but I can honestly say (without pride) that I feel no closer to God, now, than when I started this blog.

Another Fall

Feast of Saint Dominic Henares 25th June 2003

"Trust in God", sadly, I trusted in myself. And why not, I thought? Had I not gone two days without a drink? Was it not my own willpower that enabled me to limit my food to one meal a day, again for the last two days? I suppose even a fool would have realised that two days of exercising a limited amount of self-control demonstrated very little growth in willpower. A wise man knows that we can accomplish nothing without God.

So, deluded by my new found self-restraint I put myself into an occasion of sin. Needless to say my prayers of resistance were weak and feeble. Even as I prayed, "Jesus mercy, Mary help", my will had already turned to the possibility of serious sin. I allowed myself (forced myself?) to stray further and further from God's wishes. Foolishly, I half (or a lesser fraction) thought that I could turn away at the moment it became a serious sin - though in my heart of hearts I knew already that I was committing such a sin. Yet even when in this situation it is still possible to stop committing the same sin, or a new one.

For one brief moment I had the opportunity of sinning no further. Of course, without prayer, with reliance on one's own weakened will this opportunity was lost.

But God is merciful, His Son died for us, and the Holy Spirit is abroad bringing all men to Him. His Holy Church is the last stop before Salvation. By the graces won for us by Our Lord's Passion I was able to receive God's forgiveness through, IMHO, the most underused Sacrament, Reconciliation.

Presumption is clearly a sin against the Holy Spirit, and I hope to God my confession and penance were acceptable to God. May my resolution to avoid the occassions of sin prove strong. I hope and pray to the Blessed Virgin Mary that she and all the saints, especially SS. Bernadette, Bernadine of Sienna, Rogation and Donation, Meriadoc of Cornwall, Peter of Spain, and my latest hope, St Dominic Henares, will intercede on my behalf and beg Our Lord to help me. Please, please heaveny intercessors, implore Jesus to grant a miserable sinner the graces he is so unworthy of. Please Our Lady and friends use your influence to help Him help me, despite the fact that I have so often crucified Him by my sins and deserved Hell.

Lord Jesus, grant me the divine aid I need to feel the meaning of the words I've written.

Sunday in retrospect

Feast of the Pentecost 2003:
Having prepared poorly for Mass (five pints down the pub and then an afternoon kip followed by a large pizza) it was unsurprising that emotionally I gained little from Mass. Of course, objectively there was much gained by participating in the Sacrifice of Calvary and then receiving the Body & Blood of Christ. Who knows if and how much grace I received.
What I do know is that my venial sins were forgiven.

I pray that one day the Holy Spirit will grant me the gift of courageous prophesy. I know what to say (after the event), but almost always lack the courage to say it, or the wisdom to say it properly.

A Daily Prayer/Meditation

Remember, Christian soul, that thou hast this day and every day of thy life:

God to glorify
Jesus to imitate
The Angels and Saints to invoke
A soul to save
A body to mortify
Sins to expiate
Virtues to acquire
Hell to avoid
Heaven to gain
Eternity to prepare for
Time to profit by
Neighbours to edify
The world to despise
Devils to combat
Passions to subdue
Death perhaps to suffer
And Judgment to undergo

An explanation

"Vanity, all is vanity" (well, the quote is from memory, so forgive the inaccuracy).

Why bore others with my musings? Is it some 'ego-trip', do you really think anyone else would be interested?

Not really (though, deep down, there must be an element of egotism), it is mainly to help me overcome my abiding vices and ascend towards the Truth which ultimately all must face.

How? By reflecting back to me the thoughts and emotions of each day. God willing, these might highlight were I have put myself into the dangerous 'occasions of sin' and thrown away grace. The grace upon which my salvation depends.

If (and it is a very big 'IF') it is of use to others then sobeit and thanks be to God and His Holy Mother.


Opening entry

June 7th
Whilst having a quick cigarette during the catechism class I teach, it dawned on me that individuals might be better if they inverted the tendency to make excuses for themselves and being hard on the actions of others. For instance, I???m always making excuses for my sinfulness (I drank too much, I was tired from work etc.), yet I NEVER (well almost) think charitably that this might be the cause (or contributory factor) in the sinfulness of others.

Drank too much, yet again. Fascinating (descent/ascent) into the world of regular drinkers (not a new thing, in fact it is a daily occurrence). Conversation seemed far from Christ and reality. Cousin Kev joined me. Five pints of ???Summer Lightning??? probably a pint too far.

Went to confession. St Peter (of Spain) and St Meriadoc, pray for us. They now join the (growing list) of saints whose feast day occurred on the day I resolved to become a saint ??? St Bernadette, St Benardine of Sienna, SS. Donation and Rogation. Will there be many more Lord?

Resolved next to nothing. Have I gained any graces today? Have I missed the opportunities to gain new graces, or have I lost any previous grace I had?

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