Archive for the 'Trust' Category

Our Moral Compass

Each of us has the power to make decisions, and the cumulative effect of those choices results in the goodness or badness of our society. Every action we take has an impact not just on us but on the world. All we need to do is look around us, pick up a daily paper, or watch the evening news to verify that there is much that is not right. A great deal of what is wrong is the result of the attitude and moral climate of our times. There are some who insist that this age has lost its ‘moral compass’.

As soon as we begin to speak of morality, there are those who object on the grounds that each person’s opinion is his or her own and equal to that of anyone else. For some, there can be no objective and commonly agreed-upon moral norm. For such persons, morality is an illusion. How many times have we heard that morality is a completely personal and subjective choice? This position is probably the most widespread and pernicious challenge to morality that our society has ever faced. The issue today in much of our public discourse – and certainly on talk shows – is: ‘Do values have any value?’

As Catholics, we recognize that there is more to life and human action than fleeting personal preference. Human existence is not a meaningless show of smoke and mirrors. Each one of us knows deep down at the very core of our being that there is such a thing as right and wrong – that, while the wrong choice may be alluring at the moment, it is a choice with lasting consequences. While individually we may not know the answer to every moral question, we are aware that there are answers – answers that oblige all of us.

There is right and wrong, human freedom, and the choice that each of us makes. At the core of human freedom is knowing and doing what we ‘ought’ to do rather than what we ‘can’ do. It is the voice of conscience that keeps reminding us what we ought to do even though there are enticing reasons to do otherwise.

Catholic morality is not only for Catholics. It is for everyone, because all are called to follow God’s law manifest in the natural moral order, revealed in the Ten Commandments, and made complete in Christ. Catholic morality is the authentic, central, and integral form of morality. It is the fullness of teaching on the human condition before God. Apart from faith in Christ, the great questions about the reality of feedom, the rationality of conscience, and the value of pursuing human good unselfishly cannot be fully answered. It is for this reason that we look to Jesus and listen to his Church.

Where do we go to know right from wrong in all of the myriad forms that moral issues appear today? Jesus has not left us orphans. The pledge of the Holy Spirit in the fourteenth chapter of John’s gospel is verified today as it has been for twenty centuries in the teaching office of the Church. In the many issues before us today, when decisions are presented with a range of good attached to each of the multiple choices, we need to listen to the sure and Spirit-led voice of the teaching office. It guides us in issues as complex and emotional as artificial insemination, physician assisted suicide, the massacre of the powerless, and the range of social justice, bioethical, and medical-moral dilemmas that manifest the complexity of the human condition.

It is true that morality is rooted in the natural moral order, because that order follows from God’s creation. But it is equally true that God chose to reveal the moral order in the old covenant, through the Decalogue, and in the new covenant through Christ. When the Church calls the faithful to specific moral teaching, it does so with the full weight and authority of Christ, who has empowered his Church to speak for him. At the same time, the Church presents cogent and compelling reasons for her teaching based on an appeal to human nature and the natural moral order that we all share.

Life is complex. Moral decisions are difficult. But we need not fear, because we have a sure moral guide. Christ reveals to us the way. He sends the Holy Spirit to guide us and he enlightens his Church in a way that we can with confidence and trust follow its teaching in matters of faith and morals.



A child hungers for caritas (God-like love) from parents, siblings, and other adults and peers in his community. In an earlier, healthier society, this included impromptu lessons, innocent affection (hugs and kisses) and even necessary correction, provided consistently by many adults, even strangers in public settings. Such a social milieu, once called Christendom, is the ideal foundation of true psychological health.

Today, in those fortunate countries that allow it, parents homeschool precisely because they have recognized the importance of re-creating Christendom at least within the ‘walled garden’ of their homes.

The child suffers when caritas fails in his world, when his sense of innocence and trust is consistently betrayed by one or more adults. Most homeschooling parents have recognized that they can no longer rely on the majority of adults in society (especially in schools) to be even minimally respectful of Catholic views and beliefs.

Homeschooling provides a much needed shelter from a dysfunctional ‘real world’ (not unlike protecting one’s child from exposure to contagious diseases). The homeschooled child senses that the adults in his life have taken a courageous and most difficult stand against the currents of neo-pagan culture, and that they are motivated by true caritas – love of neighbor (in this case one’s children) for the love of God. Statistics show that homeschooled children display the greatest leadership potential at college level, and are the most socially mature and adept (Robin Wallace ‘First Wave of Homeschoolers comes of age’, Fox News Channel Website) . This is because they have developed true self-respect, the psychological result of having been loved. The child whose parents have spent years homeschooling, as a living sacrifice, knows deeply that he is cherished.

Parents cannot provide absolute protection from harm for their children. Accidents, illnesses, and abuses of various kinds may come. But parents can strive heroically to provide the spiritually and psychologically healthy home atmosphere that will prepare a child to withstand the spiritual and physical assaults.

One prominent psychiatric textbook (Kaplan’s and Sadock’s ‘Comprehensive Textbook of Psychiatry) notes that most child abusers seek to approach a child gradually, by incremental invasions of the child’s intimate space, but that ‘healthy, protected, self-assured children rebuff the intrusions’. Children do need to be instructed (in private, one on one with a parent) that certain types of touching are wrong, and that the child should report these to his parent with the assurance that he will be believed, no matter who did the touching. The bond of trust forged in homeschooling, in which parents regularly participate with their children in the critique of various outside authority figures (e.g. people in the news, characters in books or movies,  public figures praising sexuality in the guise of fashion, priests in their homilies, etc.) can be wonderfully protective in this area. Abused children, by contrast, have often learned to follow a false logic, according to which they always follow authority figures even when such figures command them to do evil.

A very common question by homeschooling parents is:  “I know my children have learned at home, but I wonder if they would have learned more in school.”  Maybe, although personally I don’t think so.  Psalm 78 is a great one in relation to homeschooling.  Please read it in light of what God tells parents to do.  Nowhere in the Bible does it say for Rulers (the government) to train all the children.  Everywhere the Bible tells parents to teach, train, correct, etc.  It is a God given responsibility and authority.

Whether you teach them at home or send them away to school, the responsibility is yours. A ship’s captain can retire for the evening and pass control to the second or third in command.  But if the ship is wrecked, the captain is ultimately held accountable.  It is the same with parenting and training.  The weight of the responsibility and authority is solely on the parents.

Ps: did you know that there are many famous men and women from throughout history who were homeschooled as children? Read here.

This tremendous lover

I’ve been thinking recently that my prayers have been said with a sad heart, in a rushed and cold way and automatically.  Maybe this happens to all of you or maybe not.  One thing I do know is that we must never despair.

An unwavering confidence in God’s loving guidance and action to lead us to Himself and in His infinite mercy which will forgive all our infidelities is of capital importance.

Winter bleaknessWhen the sense of God’s presence is gone and all facility in making acts and persevering in silent prayer disappears, we can see ourselves so clearly that one may be quite overwhelmed at the sight, and, losing confidence in God, may give up the spiritual life and seek consolation in creatures. If one falls at this stage, one will probably fall very badly. In fact, one must go to extremes if one is to intoxicate oneself sufficiently with pleasure to drive out even temporarily the remembrance of one’s need for God and one’s horror of oneself. But even if we fall, we must return with confidence to God. Where sin abounded, grace did more abound  (Rom. 20). God understands our position far better than any human being, and always is ready to forgive.

The soul must persevere in this arid prayer and in the service of God despite unwillingness and our feeling disinclined, with absolute confidence and reliance upon Him. Nothing gives Him so much glory and pleasure as these dry acts of devotion to His will. This is a time of great merit for the soul and great profit for the Church. There is nothing of self-seeking in such service.  We must persevere.

The joy of SpringIf we persevere in prayer despite the gloom of winter, the spring will come eventually. And we will hear the voice of our lover:

Arise, make haste, my love, my dove, my beautiful one and come. For the winter is now past, the rain is over, the flowers have appeared in the land. (Cant. 2, 10-12) And we can then say, with song in our hearts, with the Spouse in the Canticle: Behold, my beloved speaks to me … My beloved to me, and I to Him who feeds among the lilies, till the day break and the shadows retire … (Cant. 2, 10-16)

The grace of prayer, which formerly had caused such aridity in the soul, now extends its reign, and its effects become noticeable – it extends to the other powers of the soul, and distractions cease, it touches the very heart, and fills it with peace and joy  and love. A new life opens before the astonished eyes of the soul, and one counts the past years of winter as nothing.

Then we truly love, we are truly loved, and we not only know our love, we know our tremendous lover.

We must trust Him absolutely

I am the vine, you are the branches … I am the true vine: and my Father is the gardner. Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away; and everyone that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth much fruit. (John 15:1-5)

GrapevineThis purging or pruning action of the Father is what disconcerts us.  We see an orchard in full bloom, and what has a more delicate charm? And yet those flowers must disappear if the branches are to bring forth fruit. There are many flowers in our life that seem of great value to us. In God’s sight they are only flowers, and in His mercy He removes them that we may yield Him fruit. He alone knows the deep desires of our hearts, and He alone can satisfy them. We must trust Him absolutely if we wish to achieve out heart’s desire. We are not only the children of God, but we are members of the Mystical Body of His well beloved Son in whom He is well pleased. Every single thing that happens is part of a plan for the development of that Mystical Body. The Three Divine Persons are continually directing events towards that end. The Father to the Body of His Son. The Holy Spirit is continually moving each of us interiorly that we may live the life of the Son. The Son Himself is continually pouring His grace into our soul that we may share His own life. Is it any wonder that all things work together for the good of them that love God?

VineyardThe whole trouble is that – literally – we do not know what is good for us; and what makes the trouble still worse is that we think we do. We have our own plans for our happiness and too often we merely regard God as somebody who will help us to accomplish them. The true state of affairs is just the opposite. God has His plans for our happiness, and He is waiting for us to help Him to accomplish them. And let us be quite clear about it, we cannot improve on God’s plans.

Once a man has realized that God wills his happiness and that all that happens to him is ruled and regulated by God with infinite wisdom and power towards that end, and that all God asks of him is to co-operate with that loving will of His – then, that man has found the beginning of peace. And if he would be filled with that peace which is as a river, full, overflowing, rising up from the depth of his own heart, the peace which surpasses all understanding, the peace which the world cannot give – let him devote himself to the practice of abandonment to God’s will, always remembering that where God’s will is to be done or to be accepted, Jesus Christ is waiting to share our doing of it.

He always does the things that please the Father.

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February 2019
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The most beautiful thing this side of heaven!


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INDIFFERENTISM is a mortal sin; a condemned heresy. That's the Catholic view of the matter. INDIFFERENTISM paves the way to MORAL RELATIVISM. I have been accused of the opposite of ‘Indifferentism’, which is defined as ‘Rigorism’, and the charge is not without some merit. I believe in a rigorous following of Church doctrine and in strict accuracy in proper Catholic catechesis, and I openly attack watered-down Catholic doctrine and catechesis whenever and wherever I encounter it. Many friends scold me saying that for me it’s either my way or the highway. But here’s the thing … it’s not my way; I didn’t make up all (or any of) the rules of Catholicism. I’ve been told “you’re too rigid in your doctrine,” as if it were my doctrine. When it comes to Catholic catechesis, there is only one Church teaching, and it is represented in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. I’m prepared to defend any item in it, against any opponent. I draw the line at ‘indifferentism’ and ‘moral relativism’. All belief systems are not the same. The ones who push it the most are the ones who seek to replace it with something less. Again, indifferentism paves the way to moral decay. Don’t let it seep into your thinking. May you please God, and may you live forever.

“Oremus pro beatissimo Papa nostro Benedicto XVI: Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius.”

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The Catholic Church doesn’t need progressives, Nor does it need Reactionary Conservatives - It badly needs Catholic Traditionalists that practice faith, hope and charity. So don’t be shy! Come forward.

“When Christ at a symbolic moment was establishing His great society, He chose for its corner-stone neither the brilliant Paul nor the mystic John, but a shuffler, a snob, a coward - in a word, a man. And upon this rock He has built His Church, and the gates of Hell have not prevailed and will not prevail against it. All the empires and the kingdoms have failed because of this inherent and continual weakness, that they were founded by strong men and upon strong men. But this one thing - the historic Catholic Church - was founded upon a weak man, and for that reason it is indestructible. For no chain is stronger than its weakest link.”
(G.K. Chesterton)

Anno Sacerdotale

Pope Benedict XVI has declared a “Year for Priests” beginning with the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus on June 19, 2009. The year will conclude in Rome with an international gathering of priests with the Holy Father on June 19, 2010.

Quest'anno sia anche un'occasione per un periodo di intenso approfondimento dell'identità sacerdotale, della teologia del sacerdozio cattolico e del senso straordinario della vocazione e della missione dei sacerdoti nella Chiesa e nella società.

Let your light so shine before men that, seeing your good works, they may glorify your Father in Heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

In Domino laudabitur anima mea.

"That sense of the sacred dogmas is to be faithfully kept which Holy Mother Church has once declared, and is not to be departed from under the specious pretext of a more profound understanding."- Pope Leo XIII, Testem Benevolentiae

Nessuno di noi entrerà in Paradiso senza portare con sé un fratello o una sorella. Ciascuno di noi deve uscire dalla folla e reggersi sulle proprie gambe, fiero di essere un Cattolico e capace di testimoniare la sua Fede.
Ci stiamo comportando come se la Fede Cattolica fosse un affare privato. Questo non è affatto vero. Penso che potremo andare molto, molto lontano, se riusciremo a convincere tutti i Cattolici a farsi carico della salvezza del mondo intero.
Il mondo ha bisogno di essere salvato e deve essere ciascuno di noi a farlo.

Cantate …

Cantate Domino canticum novum. Cantate Domino omnis terra. Cantate Domino et benedicite nomini Ejus. Annuntiate de die in diem salutare Ejus.

Causa nostrae laetitiae

“We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe”.
(John Henry Newman)

Pueris manus imponit

Iesus vero ait eis - Sinite parvulos, et nolite eos prohibere ad me venire - talium est enim regnum caelorum.

“There is another essential aspect of Christianity: the interior, the silent, the contemplative, in which hidden wisdom is more important than practical organizational science, and in which love replaces the will to get visible results”.
(Thomas Merton)

Lo Spirito Santo

Uno dei Suoi nomi è "Consolatore"!


Confession heals, confession justifies, confession grants pardon of sin. All hope consists in confession. In confession there is a chance for mercy. Believe it firmly. Do not doubt, do not hesitate, never despair of the mercy of God. Hope and have confidence in confession.

“Almeno sei volte durante gli ultimi anni mi sono trovato nella situazione di convertirmi senza esitazione al cattolicesimo, se non mi avesse trattenuto dal compiere il gesto azzardato l'averlo già fatto”.
(G.K. Chesterton)

"Whatsoever I have or hold, You have given me; I give it all back to You and surrender it wholly to be governed by your will. Give me only your love and your grace, and I am rich enough and ask for nothing more."

(St. Ignatius of Loyola - Spiritual Exercises, #234)

"Mia madre è stata veramente una martire; non a tutti Gesù concede di percorrere una strada così facile, per arrivare ai suoi grandi doni, come ha concesso a mio fratello e a me, dandoci una madre che si uccise con la fatica e le preoccupazioni per assicurarsi che noi crescessimo nella fede".
J.R.R. Tolkien scrisse queste parole nove anni dopo la morte di sua madre.

Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

“Beati sarete voi quando vi oltraggeranno e perseguiteranno, e falsamente diranno di voi ogni male per cagion mia. Rallegratevi ed esultate perché grande è la vostra ricompensa nei cieli”.