Friday, August 30, 2002

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 9

How much the contemplation of God is to be preferred to all other exercises

Now since all things other than God are the effect and work of the Creator himself, their having ability and being is a limited power and existence, and being as they are created out of nothing, they are circumscribed by the effects of their nothingness, while their tendency of themselves towards nothingness means that we receive our existence, preservation and activity moment by moment from the Creator himself, along with whatever other qualities created things may have, just as we receive their insufficiency to any action of themselves, both with regard to themselves and to others, in relation to him whose operation they are, they remain as a nothing before something which exists, and as something finite before what is infinite. For this reason let all our actual contemplation, life and activity take place in him alone, about him, for him and towards him who is able and capable to produce with a single nod of his will things infinitely more perfect than any that exist now.

No contemplation and fruition of love, whether intellectual or affective, is more useful, more perfect and more satisfying than that which is of God himself, the Creator, our supreme and true Good, from whom, through whom and to whom are all things. He is infinitely satisfying both to himself and to all others, who contains within himself in absolute simplicity and from all eternity the perfection of all things, in whom there is nothing which is not himself, before whom and through whom remain the causes of all things impermanent, and in whom dwell the unchanging origins of all changing things, while even the eternal reasons of all temporal things, rational and irrational, abide in him. He brings everything to completion, and fills all things, in general and in particular, completely and essentially with himself. He is more intimately and more really present to everything by his being than each thing is to itself, for in him all things are united together, and live in him eternally.

What is more, if someone, out of weakness or from lack of intellectual practice, is detained longer in the contemplation of created things, this supreme, true and fruitful contemplation may still be seen as possible for mortal man, so that there may take place an upward leap in all his contemplations and meditations, whether about created things or the Creator, and the appreciation of God the Creator himself, the One and Three, may surge up within so that he come to burn with the fire of divine love and the true life in himself and in others, in such a way as to make him deserving of the joy of eternal life.

Even in this one should bear in mind the difference between the contemplation of faithful Catholics and that of pagan philosophers, for the contemplation of the philosophers is for the perfection of the contemplator himself, and consequently it is confined to the intellect and their aim in it is intellectual knowledge. But the contemplation of the Saints, and of Catholics, is for the love of him, that is of the God they are contemplating. As a result it is not confined in the final analysis to the intellect in knowledge, but crosses over into the will through love. That is why the Saints in their contemplation have the love of God as their principal aim, since it is more satisfying to know and possess even the Lord Jesus Christ spiritually through grace than physically or even really but without grace.

Furthermore, while the soul is withdrawn from everything and is turned within, the eye of contemplation is opened and sets itself up a ladder by which it can pass to the contemplation of God. By this contemplation the soul is set on fire for eternal things by the heavenly and divine good things it experiences, and views all the things of time from a distance and as if they were nothing. Hence when we approach God by the way of negation, we first deny him everything that can be experienced by the body, the senses and the imagination, secondly even things experienceable by the intellect, and finally even being itself in so far as it is found in created things. This, so far as the nature of the way is concerned, is the best means of union with God, according to Dionysius. And this is the cloud in which God is said to dwell, which Moses entered, and through this came to the inaccessible light. Certainly, it is not the spiritual which comes first, but the natural, (1 Corinthians 15.46) so one must proceed by the usual order of things, from active work to the quiet of contemplation, and from moral virtues to spiritual and contemplative realities.

Finally, my soul, why are you uselessly preoccupied with so many things, and always busy with them? Seek out and love the one supreme good, in which is all that is worth seeking, and that will be enough for you. Unhappy therefore is he who knows and possesses everything other than this, and does not know this. While if he knows everything as well as this, it is not from knowing them that he is better off but because of This. That is why John says, This is eternal life, to know Thee, etc. (John 17.3) and the prophet says, I will be satisfied when your glory becomes manifest.

I've been out-of-pocket lately...

And for those who have stuck with me, I appreciate the fact that you continue to return to my site. I don't know why you would want to, but you have and for that I am grateful. As I said in a blog entry lower down on this site, I have been going through some personally trying times as of late. I've been trying to work through them and I've certainly been praying over them, and it has not been easy, but life does go on. For those who have offered their support and prayers, I am extremely appreciative and indebted to your mercy and kindness.

I hope to begin a regular blogging presence again rather soon. So please bear with me.

Thomas Joseph

Thursday, August 22, 2002

Came across this in my email today...

In God We Trust

Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the water-way, and cars costing more than her house. The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live.

The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely. As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband.

He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment. Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. here was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts. Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny. He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd! What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up? Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her. Finally, she could stand it no longer. She causally mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.

A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see. She had seen many pennys before! What was the point of this? "Look at it." He said. "Read what it says."

She read the words "United States of America."

"No, not that; read further."

"One cent?"

"No, keep reading."

"In God we Trust?"



"And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin. Whenever I find a coin I see that inscription. It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it! God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him? Who am I to pass it by? When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment. I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him..For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold. I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me. Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!"

When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk. I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I can not change. I read the words, "In God We Trust," and had to laugh. Yes, God, I get the message. It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful! And God is patient...

Tuesday, August 20, 2002

I apologize...

... for my blogging absence. I have been experiencing some personally trying times and I'm working my way through them. Your prayers are appreciated. I shall be back shortly.

Monday, August 12, 2002

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 8

How a religious man should commit himself to God in all circumstances whatsoever

I am now completely convinced that you will recognise from these arguments that the more you strip yourself of the products of your imagination and all worldly and created things, and are united to God with your intellect by a good will, the closer you will approach the state of innocence and perfection. What could be better? And what could be more happy and joyful? Above all it is important for you to keep your mind bare - without imaginations and images and free of any sort of entanglement, so that you are not concerned about either the world, friends, prosperity or adversity, or anything present, past or future, whether in yourself or in others - not even your own sins. But consider yourself with a certain pure simplicity to be alone with God outside the world, and as if your mind were already in eternity and separated from the body so that it will certainly not bother about worldly things or be concerned about the state of the world, about peace or war, about good weather or rain, or about anything at all in this world, but with complete docility will turn to God alone, be empty for him and cleave to him. So now in this way ignore your body and all created things, present or future, and direct the high point of your mind and spirit directly, as best you can, naked and unencumbered on the uncreated light. And let your spirit be cleansed in this way from all imaginations, coverings and things obscuring its vision, like an angel (not) tied to a body, who is not hindered by the works of the flesh nor tangled in vain and wandering thoughts.

Let your spirit therefore arm itself against all temptations, vexations, and injuries so that it can persevere steadily in God when attacked by either face of fortune. So that when some inner disturbance or boredom or mental confusion come you will not be indignant or dejected because of it, nor run back to vocal prayers or other forms of consolation, but only to lift yourself up in your intellect by a good will to hold on to God with your mind whether the natural inclination of the body wills it or not.

The religious-minded soul should be so united to God and should have or render its will so conformed to the divine will that it is not occupied with any created thing or cling to it any more than before it was created, and as if nothing existed except God and the soul itself. And in this way it should accept everything confidently and equally, in general and in particular, from the hand of divine providence, agreeing in everything with the Lord in patience, peace and silence.

The thing is that the most important thing of all for a spiritual life is to strip the mind of all imaginations so that one can be united in one's intellect to God by a good will, and conformed to him.

Besides, nothing will then be intermediary between you and God. This obvious, since nothing external will stand between you when by the vow of voluntary poverty you will have removed the possession of anything whatsoever, and by the vow of chastity you will have abandoned your body, and by obedience you will have given up your will and your soul itself. And in this way nothing will be left to stand between you and God. That you are a religious person is indicated by your profession, your state, and now your habit and tonsure and such like, but whether you are only a religious in appearance or a real one, you will find out.

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 7

How the heart should be gathered within itself

What is more, as is said in the book On the Spirit and the Soul (of St. Augustine), to ascend to God means to enter into oneself. He who entering within and penetrating his inmost nature, goes beyond himself, he is truly ascending to God. So let us withdraw our hearts from the distractions of this world, and recall them to the inner joys, so that we can establish them to some degree in the light of divine contemplation. For this is the life and peace of our hearts - to be established by intent in the love of God, and to be sweetly remade by his comforting.

But the reason why we are in so many ways hindered in the practical enjoyment of this matter and are unable to get into it is clearly because the human mind is so distracted by worries that it cannot bring its memory to turn within, is so clouded by its imaginations that it cannot return to itself with its understanding, and is so drawn away by its desires that it is quite unable to come back to itself by desire for inner sweetness and spiritual joy. Thus it is so prostrate among the sense objects presented to it that it cannot enter into itself as the image of God.

It is therefore right and necessary for the mind to raise itself above itself and everything created by the abandonment of everything, with humble reverence and great trust, and to say within itself, He whom I seek, love, thirst for and desire from everything and more than anything is not a thing of the senses or the imagination, but is above everything that can be experienced by the senses and the intellect. He cannot be experienced by any of the senses, but is completely desirable to my will. He is moreover not discernable, but is perfectly desirable to my inner affections. He cannot be comprehended, but can be loved in his fullness with a pure heart, for he is above all lovable and desirable, and of infinite goodness and perfection. And then a darkness comes over the mind and it is raised up into itself and penetrates even deeper.

And the more inward-looking the desire for it, the more powerful this means of ascent to the mysterious contemplation of the holy Trinity in Unity and Unity in Trinity in Jesus Christ is, and the more interior the yearning, the more productive it is. Certainly in matters spiritual the more inward they are the greater they are as spiritual experiences.

For this reason, never give up, never stop until you have tasted some pledge, as I might say, or foretaste of the future full experience, and until you have obtained the satisfaction of however small a first fruits of the divine joy. And do not give up pursuing it and following its scent until you have seen the God of gods in Sion. Do not stop or turn back in your spiritual journey and your union and adherence to God within you until you have achieved what you have been seeking.

Sunday, August 11, 2002

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 6

That the devout man should cleave to God with naked understanding and will

The more you strip yourself of the products of the imagination and involvement in external, worldly things and the objects of the senses, the more your soul will recover its strength and its inner senses so that it can appreciate the things which are above. So learn to withdraw from imaginations and the images of physical things, since what pleases God above everything is a mind bare of those sorts of forms and objects, for it is his delight to be with the sons of men, that is those who, at peace from such activities, distractions and passions, seek him with a pure and simple mind, empty themselves for him, and cleave to him. Otherwise, if your memory, imagination and thought is often involved with such things, you must needs be filled with the thought of new things or memories of old ones, or identified with other changing objects. As a result, the Holy Spirit withholds itself from thoughts bereft of understanding.

So the true lover of Jesus Christ should be so united through good will in his understanding with the divine will and goodness, and be so bare of all imaginations and passions that he does not even notice whether he is being mocked or loved, or something is being done to him. For a good will turns everything to good and is above everything. So if the will is good and is obedient and united to God with pure understanding, he is not hurt even if the flesh and the senses and the outer man is moved to evil, and is slow to good, or even if the inner man is slow to feel devotion, but should simply cleave to God with faith and good will in naked understanding. He is doing this if he is conscious of all his own imperfection and nothingness, recognises his good to consist in his Creator alone, abandons himself with all his faculties and powers, and all creatures, and immerses himself wholly and completely in the Creator, so that he directs all his actions purely and entirely in his Lord God, and seeks nothing apart from him, in whom he recognises all good and all joy of perfection to be found. And he is so transformed in a certain sense into God that he cannot think, understand, love or remember anything but God himself and the things of God. Other creatures however and even himself he does not see, except in God, nor does he love anything except God alone, nor remember anything about them or himself except in God.

Follow or Falter?

Matthew 14:22-33

After he had fed the people, Jesus made the disciples get into a boat and precede him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. After doing so, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When it was evening he was there alone. Meanwhile the boat, already a few miles offshore, was being tossed about by the waves, for the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night, he came toward them walking on the sea. When the disciples saw him walking on the sea they were terrified. "It is a ghost," they said, and they cried out in fear. At once Jesus spoke to them, "Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid." Peter said to him in reply, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." He said, "Come." Peter got out of the boat and began to walk on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw how strong the wind was he became frightened; and, beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus stretched out his hand and caught Peter, and said to him, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?" After they got into the boat, the wind died down. Those who were in the boat did him homage, saying, "Truly, you are the Son of God."

This was the Gospel reading for today, the Nineteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time. We had a visiting priest and he had a great comment on the passage I emphasized in bold face. Quite often we allow ourselves to get sidetracked, we let things of little consequence throw us off (Given the fact that Peter knew he was walking on water, what was a little extra wind?). We allow them to get us frustrated, we allow them to muddy the waters forcing us to lose sight of things as they are. All of these things make us lose our focus on Christ. As long as Peter kept focused on Christ, he walked on the water. Once Peter began to think about other things, to focus in on himself and his problems, he began to sink.

This story goes far beyond letting us know that if we have true faith, we can walk on water. Matter of fact, I don't think that is what this story is about at all. I believe what God wanted emphasized in this story, as He inspired Matthew to relate it to us, is that we need to always keep focused on Him. As soon as we worry about anything else, we will lose sight of Him and we will falter. We are called to bear our crosses and follow the Lord, we are not called to carry our crosses and complain and worry about how heavy they may or may not be, how much it hurts to carry them or who has a smaller and lighter cross. Pick up your cross, focus your eyes squarely on the beaten, bruised and bloodied back of Christ and follow Him wherever He goes.

As long as we do that, we shall not falter.

What is so interesting?

Taken from the article I linked to yesterday...

The Rev. Canice Connors, the conference president, said in his opening address earlier in the week that he thought the bishops were "paralyzed in remorse" when they developed their policy and he accused them of scapegoating errant clergy.

I agree with his comments. Zero tolerance does do one good thing, it gets errant clergy away from children... in a parish environment. However, zero tolerance does some things which in my opinion are not very good. First it releases the clergy into the outside world, now completely unsupervised. Second, it gets rid of the "dirty secrets", making people think action has been taken and relieving the Bishops of any blame they have accumulated over the years (and they have). Third, it lacks any mercy whatsoever. This last one is the one I find the most disappointing, especially coming from a Christian Church.

I think Rev. Connors also felt this way. The article also has him commenting: "Just as a family does not abandon a member convicted of serious crimes, we cannot turn our backs on our brother," the statement read.

When things get bad it is quite easy to forget the community we are a part of. Need I remind anyone of what happened when Jesus was arrested? The community he nurtured for over three years scattered and in some instances went so far as to publically deny their connection to Him. Why must we constantly repeat these errors?

Saturday, August 10, 2002



Oh my beloved world
You have given me so much and yet so little
Always offering an answer to my questions
Always with a comeback for where I come from
And yet here I stand
Still full of questions of self
For your responses my world,
Have been an unread subscription
That lingers on the coffee table
With images that grab.
But your answers do not fill
So I just wanna say "Yo soy libre"
Because I have been freed by the great I Am.

For I am as the cobblestone on
The Grand Concourse that call out
From breaks in the asphalt
What was once suffocating
From sinful tar and stony heart
Has been freed from the heat of Grace
I now see through the melting-pot holes
And now by my presence I can call out
To the world that this land on the
Surface is not all there is or was
Yo soy libre porque El me ha liberado

I am Carravagio spray painted
On the Spanish-Harlem wall
The beauty is unquestionable
And it calls out to all
But some choose to dismiss it
As Medieval graffiti
Chaining themselves up
With the fetters of false ideologies
Worshipping the beauty of creation
While executing in their hearts the Creator
Who has freed me
Yo soy libre porque El me ha liberado

I am one who stands in awe of the martyrs,
But my tastes have changed
For once my heroes were
Pancho Villa, Che and Trotsky
For these died for what they believed
But man cannot find his end in himself
I too have envied the rich
Wishing it were I instead of they
For these lived for what they achieved or received
But man cannot be his own measure
So I have traded in the rhetoric of empowerment
For the contradiction of the Cross.
And now I know what freedom is
Yo soy libre porque El me ha liberado

For what the Lord has kept from the wise and learned
He had revealed to mere children
That one must lose his life in order to gain it
Now my heroes are
A wrinked blue and white
Flower from Calcutta
A bishop of a war torn land
Killed for preaching peace
And a man who goes throughout the world
Clothed in white
Saying "Do not be afraid"
Lord, help me not to be afraid...
Lord, I need you to help me to not to be afraid...
Porque Yo soy libre,
Tu me has liberado.

by: Brother Augustino, Franciscan Brother of the Renewal
-Sacro Song II (Fr. Stan Fortuna CFR)

Friday, August 09, 2002

Dream, but in freedom! Plan, but in truth! -JPII

Viva Il Papa!

God bless Pope John Paul II.

Wednesday, August 07, 2002

Another pew filled in St. Blog's Parish

Everyone, please welcome Karl Kohlhase.

It used to be...

... that the Sacrament of Marriage was between God, the husband and the wife.

Not anymore.

On a semi-related note...

If anyone is going to be a best-man and needs a speech, you can either pay $100+ or use the one I delivered for my friends wedding a few years back.

N. and N., may your love grow day after day, and may all your problems be little ones... about 6 to 7 pounds.

Sick, just sick

Was reading up on the fact that Daniel Pearl's body, six months after he was first abducted, is being returned to the United States soon. Was doing some further reading up on the whole affair and was shocked when I found out that a website named Ogrish dot com had a copy of Mr. Pearl's execution and had it available for free download. Needless to say, Ogrish dot com will not be getting a plug from me. Nor will I be giving them any props for this sick display of immorality. The dignity of a human being extends even unto death, displaying this video can only cause pain for the family of Daniel Pearl.

At any rate, there is an online petition (I do not know how effective it is or will be) that is asking Ogrish to remove the video. One can only hope, and pray, that the owners of that website feel some tug on their conscience and remove that video.

Then again, given the stuff on that site, it's going to have to be one huge tug.

It's a little past noon...

Did you say your Angelus today?

V. The angel of the Lord declared unto Mary. 
R. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost. 
Hail Mary... 

V. Behold the handmaid of the Lord. 
R. Be it done to me according to thy word. 
Hail Mary... 
V. And the Word was made flesh. 
R. And dwelt among us. 
Hail Mary...  

V. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God. 
R. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ. 

Let us pray. 
Pour forth, we beseech thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ, Thy Son, was made known by the message of an angel, may by His passion and cross be brought to the glory of his resurrection, through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen. 

By the way...

If the suspense is killing you, the entire manuscript for De Adhaerendo Deo can be found over at the Christian Classics Ethereal Library right... here.

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 5

On purity of heart which is to be sought above all things

If your desire and aim is to reach the destination of the path and home of true happiness, of grace and glory, by a straight and safe way then earnestly apply your mind to seek constant purity of heart, clarity of mind and calm of the senses. Gather up your heart's desire and fix it continually on the Lord God above. To do so you must withdraw yourself so far as you can from friends and from everyone else, and from the activities that hinder you from such a purpose. Grasp every opportunity when you can find the place, time and means to devote yourself to silence and contemplation, and gathering the secret fruits of silence, so that you can escape the shipwreck of this present age and avoid the restless agitation of the noisy world. For this reason apply yourself at all times to purity, clarity and peace of heart above all things, so that, so far as possible, you can keep the doors of your heart resolutely barred to the forms and images of the physical senses and worldly imaginations by shutting off the doors of the physical senses and turning within yourself. After all, purity of heart is recognised as the most important thing among all spiritual practices, as its final aim, and the reward for all the labours that a spiritual-minded person and true religious may undertake in this life.

For this reason you should with all care, intelligence and effort free your heart, senses and desires from everything that can hinder their liberty, and above all from everything in the world that could possibly bind and overcome you. So struggle in this way to draw together all the distractions of your heart and desires of your mind into one true, simple and supreme good, to keep them gathered within yourself in one place, and by this means to remain always joined to things divine and to God in your mind, to abandon the unreliable things of earth, and be able to translate your mind continually to the things above within yourself in Jesus Christ.

To which end, if you have begun to strip and purify yourself of images and imaginations and to simplify and still your heart and mind in the Lord God so that you can draw and taste the well of divine grace in everything within yourself, and so that you are united to God in your mind by a good will, then this itself is enough for you in place of all study and reading of holy scripture, and as demonstration of love of God and neighbour, as devotion itself testifies.

So simplify your heart with all care, diligence and effort so that still and at peace from the products of the imagination you can turn round and remain always in the Lord within yourself, as if your mind were already in the now of eternity, that is of the godhead. In this way you will be able to renounce yourself through love of Jesus Christ, with a pure heart, clean conscience and unfeigned faith, and commit yourself completely and fully to God in all difficulties and eventualities, and be willing to submit yourself patiently to his will and good pleasure at all times.

For this to come about you must repeatedly retreat into your heart and remain there, keeping yourself free from everything, so far as is possible. You must always keep the eye of your mind clear and still. You must guard your understanding from daydreams and thoughts of earthly things. You must completely free the inclination of your will from worldly cares and cling with all your being to the supreme true good with fervent love. You must keep your memory always lifted up and firmly anchored in that same true supreme good and only uncreated reality. In just this way your whole mind gathered up with all its powers and faculties in God, may become one spirit with him, in whom the supreme perfection of life is known to consist.

This is the true union of spirit and love by which a man is made compliant to all the impulses of the supreme and eternal will, so that he becomes by grace what God is by nature.

At the same time it should be noted that in the very moment in which one is able, by God's help, to overcome one's own will, that is to cast away from oneself inordinate love or strong feeling, in other words so as to dare simply to trust God completely in all one's needs, by this very fact one becomes so pleasing to God that his grace is imparted to one, and through that very grace one experiences that true love and devotion which drives out all uncertainty and fear and has full confidence in God. What is more, there can be no greater happiness than to place one's all in him who lacks nothing.

Tuesday, August 06, 2002

More Nihil Obstat fun...

Look here.

And I quote: I'm sure that Chris got guud grades at his Katholik skool, but I most note a mistake...

I don't know about you Nihil, but typically people must take note of those types of situations.

Yes, it is old material, but I had to start somewhere.

The Word Police

Next time someone spots Nihil Obstat, ask to see his/her/its badge.

The Word Police

Monday, August 05, 2002

Grow up Nihil Obstat

And I quote from his/her/its site: The fool over at a misnamed blog (Integrity) did not take my advice.

Matthew 5:22 But I say to you that every one who is angry with his brother shall be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother shall be liable to the council, and whoever says, 'You fool!' shall be liable to the hell of fire.

Then Peter came up and said to him, "Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? As many as seven times?" Jesus said to him, "I do not say to you seven times, but seventy times seven." - Matthew 18:21-22


Light in a Place of Darkness

Two sites worth checking out...

They're both very graphic, but there is no denying the truth when presented with the actual evidence.

AbortionNo dot Org

Abortion Is Murder dot Com

"We do abortions here. That is all we do. There are weary, grim moments when I think I cannot bear another basin of bloody remains, or utter another kind phrase of reassurance. So I leave the procedure room in the back and reach for a new chart....I prepare myself for another basin, another brief and chafing loss." Quote from an anonymous abortion clinic nurse, Sallie Tisdale "We do Abortions Here" Harper Magazine Oct. 1987 p66

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 4

How man's activity should be purely in the intellect and not in the senses

Happy therefore is the person who by continual removal of fantasies and images, by turning within, and raising the mind to God, finally manages to dispense with the products of the imagination, and by so doing works within, nakedly and simply, and with a pure understanding and will, on the the simplest of all objects, God. So eliminate from your mind all fantasies, objects, images and shapes of all things other than God, so that, with just naked understanding, intent and will, your practice will be concerned with God himself within you.

For this is the end of all spiritual exercises - to turn the mind to the Lord God and rest in him with a completely pure understanding and a completely devoted will, without the entanglements and fantasies of the imagination. This sort of exercise is not practised by fleshly organs nor by the exterior senses, but by that by which one is indeed a man. For a man is precisely understanding and will. For that reason, in so far as a man is still playing with the products of the imagination and the senses, and holds to them, it is obvious that he has not yet emerged from the motivation and limitations of his animal nature, that is of that which he shares in common with the animals. For these know and feel objects by means of recognised shapes and sense impressions and no more, since they do not possess the higher powers of the soul. But it is different with man, who is created in the image and likeness of God with understanding, will, and free choice, through which he should be directly, purely and nakedly impressed and united with God, and firmly adhere to him. For this reason the Devil tries eagerly and with all his power to hinder this practice so far as he can, being envious of this in man, since it is a sort of prelude and initiation of eternal life. So he is always trying to draw man's mind away from the Lord God, now by temptations or passions, now by superfluous worries and pointless cares, now by restlessness and distracting conversation and senseless curiosity, now by the study of subtle books, irrelevant discussion, gossip and news, now by hardships, now by opposition, etc. Such matters may seem trivial enough and hardly sinful, but they are a great hindrance to this holy exercise and practice. Therefore, even if they may appear useful and necessary, they should be rejected, whether great or small, as harmful and dangerous, and put out of our minds.

Above all therefore it is necessary that things heard, seen, done and said, and other such things, must be received without adding things from the imagination, without mental associations and without emotional involvement, and one should not let past or future associations, implications or constructs of the imagination form and grow. For when constructs of the imagination are not allowed to enter the memory and mind, a man is not hindered, whether he be engaged in prayer, meditation, or reciting psalms, or in any other practice or spiritual exercise, nor will they recur again. So commit yourself confidently and without hesitation, all that you are, and everything else, individually and in general, to the unfailing and totally reliable providence of God, in silence and in peace, and he will fight for you. He will liberate you and comfort you more fully, more effectively and more satisfactorily than if you were to dream about it all the time, day and night, and were to cast around frantically all over the place with the futile and confused thoughts of your mind in bondage, nor will you wear out your mind and body, wasting your time, and stupidly and pointlessly exhausting your strength.

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 3

What the perfection of man consist of in this life

Now the more the mind is concerned about thinking and dealing with what is merely lower and human, the more it is separated from the experience in the intimacy of devotion of what is higher and heavenly, while the more fervently the memory, desire and intellect is withdrawn from what is below to what is above, the more perfect will be our prayer, and the purer our contemplation, since the two directions of our interest cannot both be perfect at the same time, being as different as light and darkness. He who cleaves to God is indeed translated into the light, while he who clings to the world is in the dark. So the supreme perfection of man in this life is to be so united to God that all his soul with all its faculties and powers are so gathered into the Lord God that he becomes one spirit with him, and remembers nothing except God, is aware of and recognises nothing but God, but with all his desires unified by the joy of love, he rests contentedly in the enjoyment of his Maker alone.

Sunday, August 04, 2002

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

Chapter 2

How one can cling to and seek Christ alone, disdaining everything else

Certainly, anyone who desires and aims to arrive at and remain in such a state must needs above all have eyes and senses closed and not be inwardly involved or worried about anything, nor concerned or occupied with anything, but should completely reject all such things as irrelevant, harmful and dangerous. Then he should withdraw himself totally within himself and not pay any attention to any object entering the mind except Jesus Christ, the wounded one, alone, and so he should turn his attention with care and determination through him into him - that is, though the man into God, through the wounds of his humanity into the inmost reality of his divinity. Here he can commit himself and all that he has, individually and as a whole, promptly, securely and without discussion, to God's unwearying providence, in accordance with the words of Peter, cast all your care upon him (1 Peter 5.7), who can do everything. And again, In nothing be anxious (Philippians 4.6), or what is more, Cast your burden upon the Lord, and he will sustain you. (Psalm 55.22) Or again, It is good for me to hold fast to God, (Ps. 73.28) and I have always set up God before me. (Psalm 16.8) The bride too in the Song of Songs says, I have found him whom my soul loves, (Canticle 3.4) and again, All good things came to me along with her. (Wisdom 7.11)

This, after all, is the hidden heavenly treasure, none other than the pearl of great price, which must be sought with resolution, esteeming it in humble faithfulness, eager diligence, and calm silence before all things, and preferring it even above physical comfort, or honour and renown. For what good does it do a religious if he gains the whole world but suffers the loss of his soul? Or what is the benefit of his state of life, the holiness of his profession, the virtue of his habit and tonsure, or the outer circumstances of his way of life if he is without a life of spiritual humility and truth in which Christ abides through a faith created by love. This is what Luke means by, the Kingdom of God (that is, Jesus Christ) is within you.

De Adhaerendo Deo (On Cleaving to God) - St. Albertus Magnus

NOTE: St. Albertus Magnus (Albert the Great), mentor to St. Thomas Aquinas and Doctor of the Church, is one of my patron saints. His insights into the purpose of man, and his recommendations on how to focus our life on Christ have been a tremendous help to me. Therefore, I will, as time permits, place his writing On Cleaving to God onto this Blog. It's a rather short read but it is very inspiring. Read on.

Chapter 1

On the highest and supreme perfection of man, in so far as it is possible in this life

I have had the idea of writing something for myself on and about the state of complete and full abstraction from everything and of cleaving freely, confidently, nakedly and firmly to God alone, so as to describe it fully (in so far as it is possible in this abode of exile and pilgrimage), especially since the goal of Christian perfection is the love by which we cleave to God.

In fact everyone is obligated , to this loving cleaving to God as necessary for salvation, in the form of observing the commandments and conforming to the divine will, and the observation of the commandments excludes everything that is contrary to the nature and habit of love, including mortal sin. Members of religious orders have committed themselves in addition to evangelical perfection, and to the things that constitute a voluntary and counselled perfection by means of which one may arrive more quickly to the supreme goal which is God. The observation of these additional commitments excludes as well the things that hinder the working and fervour of love, and without which one can come to God, and these include the renunciation of all things, of both body and mind, exactly as one's vow of profession entails. Since indeed the Lord God is Spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth, in other words, by knowledge and love, that is, understanding and desire, stripped of all images. This is what is referred to in Matthew 6.6, 'When you pray, enter into your inner chamber,' that is, your inner heart, 'and having closed the door,' that is of your senses, and there with a pure heart and a clear conscience, and with faith unfeigned, 'pray to your Father,' in spirit and in truth, 'in secret.' This can be done best when a man is disengaged and removed from everything else, and completely recollected within himself. There, in the presence of Jesus Christ, with everything, in general and individually, excluded and wiped out, the mind alone turns in security confidently to the Lord its God with its desire. In this way it pours itself forth into him in full sincerity with its whole heart and the yearning of its love, in the most inward part of all its faculties, and is plunged, enlarged, set on fire and dissolved into him.

Friday, August 02, 2002

Lord Have Mercy by: Father Stan Fortuna, CFR

Love is Mercy's second name,
They are one and the same.
The remedy for all our sorrow,
and our pain.

Messianic consciousness, beatific vision bliss,
grow in holiness and Godly righteousness.

Kyrie eleison
Lord have mercy (4x)
Lord have mercy (4x)
Lord have mercy (4x)
Lord have mercy (4x)

This is how we are to live,
Love like Jesus and forgive.
Love one another in the
power of His name.
Jesus didn't say "Be nice",
Jesus died to pay the price.
The Lord wants mercy,
not a selfish sacrifice.


Learn to turn the other cheek,
Yes, I know we are too weak.
The Paschal mystery is the power
we must seek.
The spirit helps us to be strong,
To forgive our neighbors wrong.
Enter paradise and sing the saving song.


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