Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Reflection on Good and Evil

Before one can hate evil, it is necessary to first come to know and to love the Good. A natural irascibility is not a virtue.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

The Interelatedness of the Trinity - A Case of the Absent Father

One of the gravest dangers in theology can be a one-sided emphasis which results in a distortion of the whole. We must admit that the splendid and marvellous nature of our Catholic religion invites us to a deeper understanding in faith and charity of the Sacred Mysteries revealed virtually. One could never tell enough the glories of the Incarnation and Redemption, the ineffable procession of the Son from the Father and the spiration of the Holy Ghost, yet at times it would be hazardous to describe any further. Often it is more in keeping with due reverence to fall silent at the Mystery. However, this truth can never be a pretense for laxity in theology.
 I heard in a homily on Sunday that it is a current tendency to neglect the Person of the Father in favour of the Son and/or the Holy Ghost. Sadly, without the Person of the Father, Christ is reduced to a teacher and the Holy Ghost to a impersonal force which has a certain proclivity to conform to liberal opinion.
 Let us deal in this short article with the ''Fatherless Son'':

 Although Christ is true God, fully possessing the divine nature and the perfections eminently and formally, He can never be considered apart from the Father. He is 'God from God' and 'consubstantial with the Father', the perfect image of the Unbegotten and His Word. The Father of Orthodoxy, Saint Athanasius and the Fathers of the Council of Nicea fought for this truth and interrelatedness of the First and Second Divine Persons and would not compromise on the term, 'homoousios' which caused outrage to heretics. We do not have a case of three Gods existing side by side or apart in anyway. There is only a very minor, virtual distinction between the Persons and the divine nature which Each fully possesses.
 Man has labelled Christ many things, a teacher, a radical, a socialist, a feminist, a good and kind soul. However, no one who claims to be equal to the Father and sent by Him can be reduced to these categories. One must confess Jesus Christ as God or a lunatic. There is no middle ground. Our Divine Lord is at pains to express in the Sacred Gospels that He has come forth from the Father and to the Same He will return. His message and preaching is not His own but belongs to the One Who sent Him to bear the sins of many. The souls that are drawn to the Christ are drawn by the Father and whoever sees Him, sees His Father.
 If we refuse to acknowledge this essential element of our Lord's Person and His redemptive mission, we reduce Him to the same level as Socrates, Buddha or any one of the legion of self-proclaimed enlightened figures of our fickle generation. Such a person could not save. He would remain on our level not through setting aside glory, but as one who belongs to us by nature. 
 Our God wills something greater for mankind. It is only in the One Sent that man can approach the Father. It is only through the Body that sinners may receive life. In the end, the Kingdom will be turned over to the Father and all will be subject to His dominion. Christ uniqueness stems from His deriving His hypostasis from the Father which makes the Incarnation possible and fruitful for the salvation of many.  We can only come to be sons of the Father by grace and participation through Him Who is Son by nature and according to essence.

Latin Doctor Quote of the Day

St Alphonsus Maria de Liguori:

''O Jesus. my Redeemer! I thank Thee for not having taken me out of life when I was Thy enemy. For how many years have I deserved to be in hell! Had I died on such a day or such a night, what should be my lot for all eternity? Lord, I thank Thee; I accept my death in satisfaction for my sins, and I accept it in the manner in which Thou shalt be pleased to send it. But since Thou hast borne with me until now, wait for me a little longer. Suffer me, therefore, that I may lament my sorrow a little!''

Comment: O how often have we deserved death through our constant sins of lukewarmness and ingratitude. Yet, the Lord is His good has preserved us through the night so that we make a new and firm resolution in the morning. If He had taken us through the night, in what torment would we be? But blessed be our God for He has upheld us and brought us to repentence in His abundant mercy.

Against the Faith Movement: With the Assistance of Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange

In ''Reality - A Thomistic Synthesis'', the Dominican writes thus in opposition to the false opinion of Scotus:

''Scotus, on the contrary, maintains that, even if Adam had not sinned, the Word would still have become incarnate. But, since He would not have come to atone for sin, He would not have a human nature subject to pain and death. Suarez, seeking a middle ground, says that the Word became incarnate equally for the redemption of man and for the manifestation of God's goodness. By the adverb "equally" he understands that these two motives are coordinated, as being two chief purposes, each equal to the other, whereas Thomists hold that the ultimate purpose of the Incarnation was indeed to manifest God's goodness, but that the proximate purpose was man's redemption.
Against the Scotist view Thomists use the following argument. Divine decrees are of two kinds: one efficacious and absolute, the other inefficacious and conditional. The latter is concerned with the thing to be realized taken in itself, abstracting from all actual circumstance. Thus, for example, God wills the salvation of all men. But, in fact, God permits final impenitence in a sinner (e. g.: Judas) as manifestation of infinite justice. Efficacious decrees on the contrary are concerned with the thing to be realized taken with all its concrete circumstances of place and time. Hence these decrees are immutable and infallible. Now the present efficacious decree extends to the concrete circumstance of the passibility of our Savior's humanity. And Scotists themselves concede that the union between divine nature and human nature subject to passibility presupposes Adam's sin.
This reasoning, which Thomists hold to be irrefutable, supposes that the last end of the Incarnation is to manifest the divine goodness by way of redemption, redemption being efficaciously decreed as subordinated to this manifestation. Thus proposed, the argument concludes against both Suarez and Scotus. For us men and for our salvation, says the Council of Nicaea, He came down from heaven. Had man not sinned, the Son of man had not come, says tradition. Scotus and Suarez would reword this sentence. They say: Had man not sinned, the Son of man would still have come, but not in a "passible" humanity. By such restatement the assertion of the Fathers, taken simply as it stands, would be false. To illustrate, it would be false to say that Christ is not really in heaven and in the Eucharist, though He is not in either place in a passible humanity.
Scotus brings another difficulty. A wise man, he says, wills first the end, then the means in proportion to their nearness to that end. Thus he transfers the subordination in question from the order of different acts of the divine will to the order of different objects of those acts. Then he continues: Now Christ, being more perfect, is nearer the last end of the universe than is Adam. Hence God, to reveal His goodness, chose first the incarnation of the Word, before Adam was willed, and hence before his sin had been committed.
In answer to this objection, many Thomists, following Cajetan, distinguish the final cause from the material cause. To illustrate. In the order of final causality God wills, first the soul, secondly the body for the sake of the soul. But in the order of material causality He wills first the body, as being the material cause to be perfected by the soul, and the soul is created only when the embryo is sufficiently disposed to receive the soul.
Applying this distinction to the Incarnation, God wills, under final causality, the redemptive Incarnation before He wills to permit Adam's sin, conceived as possible. But in the order of material causality, He permits first the sin of Adam, as something to be turned into a higher good. Similarly, in the order of beatitude, beatitude itself is the final cause and man is the material cause, the subject, which receives beatitude.
This distinction is not idle, verbal, or fictitious. It is founded on the nature of things. Causes have mutual priority, each in its own order: form before matter, matter before form. If Adam had not sinned, if the human race were not there to be redeemed, the Word would not have become incarnate. That is the order of material causality. But in the order of finality, God permitted original sin in view of some higher good, which good we, after the Incarnation, know to be an incarnation universally redemptive.''

Monday, 20 June 2011

Reflection on Christ, the Cross and the Church

Christ, Church and Cross are inseparable. Man cannot be saved by one without the other two.

Latin Doctor Quote of the Day

Saint Francis de Sales:
''Though light is beautiful and lovely it dazzles our eyes if we have been in darkness for any length of time; we are always ill at ease in a strange country no matter how gracious and courteous its inhabitants, until we become familiar with them. It may well happen, Philothea, that having embarked on this new life, your soul may feel ill at ease and that you experience a sense of sadness and discouragement in bidding farewell to the follies and vanities of the world; be patient a little while, it is of no importance, only the discomfort of unfamiliarity; as soon as it has worn off you will experience abundant consolation.''
Comment: One of the greatest difficulties that I have experienced in undertaking the Christian life after conversion has been discouragement. It was certainly naive of myself to consider the Faith initially as having commandments to adhere to outwardly. Certain pursuits are easy to cast off, but often the inward affections that lead to them are difficult to extract. I was unaware of the spiritual battle to be engaged in. Too quickly my mind wanders, my devotion is dissipated and my heart loses courage. It was not without import that our Lord said that whoever wishes to find his life, must lose it.

...of the Greek Variety.

Saint Gregory Nazianzen:

(Concerning the Trinity)

''When did these come into being? They are above all When. But, if I am to speak with something more of boldness—when the Father did. And when did the Father come into being. There never was a time when He was not. And the same thing is true of the Son and the Holy Ghost. Ask me again, and again I will answer you, When was the Son begotten? When the Father was not begotten. And when did the Holy Ghost proceed? When the Son was, not proceeding but, begotten— beyond the sphere of time, and above the grasp of reason; although we cannot set forth that which is above time, if we avoid as we desire any expression which conveys the idea of time. For such expressions as when and before and after and from the beginning are not timeless, however much we may force them; unless indeed we were to take the ├ćon, that interval which is coextensive with the eternal things, and is not divided or measured by any motion, or by the revolution of the sun, as time is measured.
How then are They not alike unoriginate, if They are coeternal? Because They are from Him, though not after Him. For that which is unoriginate is eternal, but that which is eternal is not necessarily unoriginate, so long as it may be referred to the Father as its origin. Therefore in respect of Cause They are not unoriginate; but it is evident that the Cause is not necessarily prior to its effects, for the sun is not prior to its light. And yet They are in some sense unoriginate, in respect of time, even though you would scare simple minds with your quibbles, for the Sources of Time are not subject to time.''

Short Reflection for Trinity Sunday

Benedicta sit sancta Trinitas, atque indivisa unitas.

We have come to believe in and approach the Father through Christ in the Holy Ghost. Starting from this reality one can not consider the Godhead as an abstract conception or a logical proposition to be examined and analysed as one would deduce the properties of a triangle or how one would form a judgement about a particular state of affairs.
Although revelation is objective and the statements proposed for belief by Holy Mother Church express the truth about God and His relations with the universe which He created freely out of His abundant goodness, the mystery far transcends our limited attempts to grasp what has been communicated to us. Yet, what has been communicated to us is not simply articles of faith which one must subscribe to in order to form some organization, but it is the self-subsistent, self-existing, Being Who is truly Father, Son and Holy Ghost. These make Themselves known to us so that we may share in their essential and ineffable communion of life and love. The Godhead does not exist as a 'naked substance', inert and lifeless. They Who have made us able to approach them in confidence through grace, are plenitude of being and possessing simply, formally and eminently all perfections that we see participated in all around us. The diversity of being in our environment mirrors and reflects in a very finite degree yet one that truly participates in the perfections the fullness of God Who is pure act and exists without lack or want, the principle of all that comes to be and the sustainer of all that is.

 One may wish to make a distinction between the Author of nature and the Author of grace, yet it is still the same Trinity that controls, directs and governs all things no matter their degree of complexity. If such is the case can it be said that God may be known as three subsistant relations simply through a process of intellectual inquiry a postiori? No. This may be likened to the truth that man's felicity can only exist in God, His origin and end.  Man, in his natural will, seeks happiness necessarily (or there would be no justification for him to do anything at all) and his heart longs to rest in God as Saint Augustine famously wrote. However, man is unable to realise exactly what his blessedness and security exists in as it is one thing to know that someone is approaching and that Peter is approaching. Our consideration of God through reason can only come through an examination of effects and perfections which we realise exist in God primarily and in plenitude. However real this knowledge of God may be, it is not enough to elevate man to a knowledge of the Trinitarian reality. In no way can we reach such a high through a posteriori reasoning alone. 
 Furthermore, what is revealed by the Father through the Son in the Holy Ghost transcends any of our hopes, imaginations or desires. Man is not positively ordained for the beatific vision, and only possesses a conditional and inefficacious desire for happiness, but through the descent of the Logos and the indwelling of the Holy Ghost (and hence, of the Father and the Son) man can come to the supernatural level through grace and mercy that he could not even dream of. He is raised to the intimate life of God as He is. However, in this life we have not reached the full realisation of this glory, therefore we must be watchful not to allow us treasure to be prised from our grasp. In heaven, we will delight in the eternal procession of the Son and the ineffable spiration of the Holy Ghost, thereby possessing this glory for all eternal without diminution. By means of the created light of glory and God Himself united to our intellect, man is capable of beholding the vision of God and know as he himself is known, yet in no sense can the Godhead be truly comprehended by us whereby God would have served His purpose and would then be relegated to a proposition. No, He is and without reduction will remain the fullness of Goodness, Love and Life and no man can, upon beholding His essence turn away.
 Oh if we truly believed this! What would man not abandon for the sake of His incomprehensible gift! It was the Trinity that allowed Francis to take leave of his father, for Thomas to resist the snares of his family and the carnal allure of the prostitute, the same Godhead that strenghtened Athanasius in his five exiles and this Mystery for which countless men and women have deserted earthly hopes and set their hearts on an unending eternal inheritance of glory.
Let us adore in silence the Mystery.

As it is, ; ''For of Him, and by Him, and in Him, are all things: to Him be glory for ever. Amen''.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Fra' Fredrik Crichton-Stuart


I was saddened yesterday to read of the death of Fra' Freddy who passed away on Tuesday in Edinburgh. From what I knew of him, he was a humble servant of the Church who fought for the preservation of the Traditional expressions of the Roman Catholic Faith. When I have been serving Mass when he attended, it was obvious that he had a simple joy at being there to worship. It was only through reading reports of his death that I came to realise how much he had done for the sake of the Church, and I am certain that he will be missed. However, at the moment he needs our prayers and offerings for the repose of his soul, so I ask you to offer something for him please.

Monday, 13 June 2011

Pentecost - A Pneumatologically Conditioned Christology.

It is a deficiency in much theology when one considers the Person of the Holy Ghost and His operations. Too often He is seen as a mere auxiliary, as one who assists in some indefinite way in our Christian pilgrimage. How can we correct this view? How can we truly appreciate the infusion of the Holy Ghost without viewing Him as an afterthought? One will often hear something said of discernment, ''...with the help of the Holy Ghost', but what is this help and how essential is He to the oneness of God and the salvific will of God? I will not attempt to answer all of these questions as they are certainly above my ability but I would like to refer to some of the insights of an Eastern Orthodox theologian, the Metropolitan John (Zizioulas) of Pergamon on this crucial matter.

In the Creed it must be seen that the Third Person of the Holy Trinity should never be considered as an optional extra or a name to be inserted out of a certain form of piety. We sing each Sunday while kneeling, 'et Incarnatus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine: et homo factus est'. The Oblation of our Redemption could not occur unless the Logos united Himself with a human nature so that He could offer Himself as a propitiation for our sins. This is the key point of our Faith. In other religions, man raises himself up by his own will through his own energy often through some form of 'purification'. On the other hand, the beauty of the Christian Faith is that the Son of the Eternal Father descended out of love to dwell amongst us as man by the power and work of the Holy Ghost. By the work of the Holy Ghost. It was the same Paraclete that overshadowed the Holy Virgin so that she may conceive and bring forth the holiest of all fruit, Jesus, that fell upon the disciples on the day of Pentecost.
His Excellency states in this respect that Christ is conditioned 'Pneumatologically', and that this is absolutely essential to His becoming man. According to this theologian, Jesus Christ is inconceivable as an individual by is ontologically relational. In first place, He is the only-begotten Son of the Father, and without this filiation the Father could not be Father. He descended not as an individual but with a body, a body that was to unite the dispersed people so that they may become holy. He came with one intention, for our sanctification in obedience to the Father's will.
So how is man, once redeemed by the shedding of the blood of the Lamb, to be united to this propitiatory offering? Through Holy Baptism, the ''individual'' (as opposed to person in Zizioulas' thought) enters into and shares the Son's essential relation to the Father existentially. Yet, this laver of regeneration can only occur by the work of the Holy Ghost. It was through Him that the world began to be renewed by His overshadowing of the Woman, it was He that led Jesus into the desert to prepare for His ministry and redemptive work and it was in He that Christ offered Himself on the Cross to the Unbegotten One. Our baptism is by water and the Spirit. Not by water alone. But the Spirit presupposes the blood and the blood presupposes the Spirit. In fact, they are simultaneous. Christ dwells in our hearts by faith with the Father and the Paraclete. We are temples of the Holy Ghost. There can be no opposition.

In the life of the Blessed Trinity considered apart from creation, the Holy Ghost precedes (primarily/principaliter) from the Father through the Son. There is a one-ness in the immanent Trinity and this is manifested in the work of the economic Trinity. It is absolutely true that the redemption, regardless of appropriation, is conducted in common. The Three Persons act.

How then does this relate to Pentecost? It is certain that on this solemn day we celebrate the Birthday of the Church. By the appearance of the tongues of fire, the Apostles depart with a firm conviction and a new awareness of the uniqueness of the Person of their Saviour and His divine mission. This only occurs because of the illumination of the Holy Ghost. Apart from Him, Jesus can only be regarded as an individual from the past, someone subject to historical constraints and prejudices. This is entirely false. If the Third Person were not to be shed above the disciples gathered in prayer, how could we possibly reach the one that had ascended to the Father?
While Christ instituted the Church, we may say truly that she is constituted by the Holy Ghost.

In conjunction with this truth there can be no discord between the spirit and the institution. Amt und (oder?) Geist can never enter into our consideration of the Church and the world. Just as the doctrine of Christ is not His own by that of the Father, so the Holy Ghost only reveals what He has heard from the Father. The unity of the Godhead consists in the Monarchia of the Unbegotten. That same Spirit is not a liberator considered apart from Christ (the institution-maker) but is sent by the Son to convince the world of sin, justice and judgment. He has the same mission as the Son, as 'One sent', ''He shall glorify Me (Jesus): because He shall receive of Mine and shall show it to you.''

Therefore in accordance with the words of the Saviour, we must continue to rejoice in that same Spirit Who is building up the Body of Christ unto the fullness of the man. He still works in souls to unite them to the Death of the Lord so that we may be taken up to the dignity of sons of God in the Holy Ghost. There is no other name in heaven or earth that man can be saved under except Christ and no one can proclaim Christ is Lord apart from in the Holy Ghost.

Friday, 10 June 2011

A Definition of Eternity

From Boethius:

''The simultaneously-whole and perfect possession of interminable life''

Commentary from Fr. Reginald Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P. :

'We must come to the knowledge of eternity by means of time. But time is but the numbering of movement by before and after. Contrary to this, in the duration of that which is without movement, there is absolute uniformity, without any before or after. Moreover, what is absolutely immutable is interminable, without beginning and end, whereas those things that are measured by time have a beginning and an end. Contrary to this, our life is not simultaneously whole, for it consists of the distinct periods of infancy, youth.... (etc). Hence the now of time is the current now between the past and the future, so that past and future do not actually exist but exist only in the mind, whereas the now of eternity is a standing now, which is absolutely permanent and immobile...''

The Ascension of the Lord - With H.H. Pope Benedict XVI

From his recent book 'Jesus of Nazareth - Part 2'. I only have the Spanish edition and the following imperfect rendering into English is my own:

''In the gesture of the hands in blessing, the lasting relation between Jesus and his disciples and the world is expressed. In His Ascension, He comes to elevate us above ourselves and to open the world to God. Therefore, the disciples were able to rejoice when they returned home from Bethany. In faith we know that Jesus blessing, has his hands extended over us. This is the permanent reason for Christian joy.''

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Latin Doctor Quote of the Day

Saint Augustine of Hippo:

''And so it pleased God, the Creator and Governor of the universe, that, since the whole body of the angels had not fallen into rebellion, the part of them which had fallen should remain in perdition eternally, and that the other part, which had in the rebellion remained steadfastly loyal, should rejoice in the sure and certain knowledge of their eternal happiness; but that, on the other hand, mankind, who constituted the remainder of the intelligent creation, having perished without exception under sin, both original and actual, and the consequent punishments, should be in part restored, and should fill up the gap which the rebellion and fall of the devils had left in the company of the angels. For this is the promise to the saints, that at the resurrection they shall be equal to the angels of God. And thus the Jerusalem which is above, which is the mother of us all, the city of God, shall not be spoiled of any of the number of her citizens, shall perhaps reign over even a more abundant population''

The Ascension of the Lord - With St. Thomas Aquinas.

S.T. Pt. III. Q57, A1.

We must in this short article reflect upon the fittingness of our Lord's Ascension.
Since the humanity assumed by Christ had passed into incorruptibility as a result of His true Resurrection from the dead and that the Godhead remained perfect as it always was, how is it apt that our Lord should undergo movement into Heaven when He had nothing lacking here below? In this movement, nothing possibly could be gained as He was (and still is) truly God consubstantial with the Father and in His human soul delights in the beatific vision in the highest degree for a created nature. Furthermore, would it not be for our benefit that He remain to console the Apostles with His physical and sensible perceptible appearance, performing miracles and wonders to convert the whole Empire?

I must allow the Angelic Doctor to comment on this mystery:

''The place ought to be in keeping with what is contained therein. Now by His Resurrection Christ entered upon an immortal and incorruptible life. But whereas our dwelling place is one of generation and corruption, the heavenly place is one of incorruption. And consequently it was not fitting that Christ should remain upon earth after the Resurrection (after confirming His true triumph over death); but it was fitting that He should ascend to heaven''


''By ascending into heaven Christ acquired no addition to His essential glory either in body or in soul: nevertheless He did acquire something as to the fittingness of place, which pertains to the well-being of glory: not that His body acquired anything from a heavenly body by way of perfection; but merely out of a certain fittingness. Now this in a measure belonged to His glory; and He had a certain kind of joy for some fittingness. not indeed that He then began to derive joy from it when He ascended into heaven, but that He rejoiced thereat in a new way, as at a thing completed...''

He states then that the Ascension of our Lord was to our benefit as:

1) It increases our faith in invisible reality. From the right-hand side of the Father He will send the Holy Ghost to convince the world of sin and justice and judgement.
2) Uplifts our hope. The end of human life is to rejoice in the Trinitarian communion of life and love in eternity. One can not establish a paradise upon earth, a place of corruption.
3) To direct our charity to things in the heavenly places. It is where Christ is that we must long to be and the Paraclete, the best gift of God above inflames our breast with a constant love of what truly is.

These truths are admirably exposed in the collects of the Mass for this period. For instance:

''..our Redeemer, to have ascended on this day into heaven, may also ourselves dwell in mind amid heavenly things.' (Mass for the Ascension of our Lord)

''grant to Thy people the grace to love what Thou dost command and to desire what Thou dost promise, that amid the changes of the world, our hearts may there be fixed where true joys are to be found''. (Fourth Sunday after Easter)

Let nothing during this pilgrimage distract us from the only end of human life. Once we come to realise the marvels of our Divine Lord's promise, how can we walk away untouched by His mercy?

Vado ad eum qui misit me: sed quia haec locutus sum vobis, tristitia implevit cor vestrum.

Short Reflection on the Ascension of the Lord - 1

It appears that the life of the Christian is characterised by several fundamental oppositions and antagonisms, for instance, in the world but not of the world and salvation that has been wrought already for us yet we must wait patiently to enter into the fullness of the Kingdom. Therefore it must be asked how are we to understand this glorious occasion? It may truly be said that even though a great joy overcame the Apostles when the Risen Lord rose above in might to return to the Father, a sadness or a time of unknowing, maybe of fear, could have followed.
In considering the Mystery of the Ascension of our Divine Saviour and the period afterwards until the day that the Holy Ghost descended upon our fathers in the Faith, we may justly liken it to Holy Saturday.
After the shedding of the blood of the Divine Victim upon the Tree of Life, the paying of a debt that man could not offer to the Father, our Lord descending to the depths left the Apostles dispersed and scattered. One would struggle to imagine their thoughts during this 'abandonment' by the Lord who had brought together this motley bunch of no-hopers. Should we return to our ships and nets? To collecting taxes? Should we attach ourselves to another teacher in the hope of him achieving the restoration of the Kingdom of Israel?
The Lord Himself had declared His Resurrection openly to these men but it is only in light of the actual event and the subsequent Descent of the Paraclete that they could enter into this mystery with the required Faith to proclaim in their turn the Kingdom of God.
Likewise, we here live far removed from the time when the Logos humbled Himself to take flesh from the spotless Virgin, yet through our baptism and our incorporation into our Lord's Mystical Body we are enabled to experience the same. However it will not do to assign a facile historical approach to this mystery just as it will not do to assign a psychological understanding to our putting on of Christ.
Our Saviour has ascended on high with jubilee and with the sound of a trumpet to prepare a place for us. At this moment He is still risen and acts in us to will and to accomplish. Although seated at the right-hand of the Eternal Father with His Mother on His own right, He is not far removed from us where we could only hope to be united with Him in some indeterminate point in the far-off future. Such an approach is not fidelity to Christianity and reduces the grace given to us to a sentimentalised humanism. Whoever eats the flesh of the Son of Man lives in Him and receives life and immortality from Him just as He lives by the Father. Is this not such close union that man seeks? He dwells in us through sanctifying grace, He is the Priest of the Mass, the One who removes our bounds in Penance and speaks through the universal, ordinary and extraordinary magisterium. He has certainly been removed from our sight yet He is now closer to us rather He was simply by physically appearing to the men of Galilee.
'But I will see your again and your heart shall rejoice: and your joy no man shall take from you'. What a consolation we have in these words. However, what is the difference between now if Christ is present in our midst as He promised and the lot of the resurrected bodies and glorified immortal souls of the saints in light? We are still on pilgrimage here before, our bodies grown for their redemption and we are still to be what we shall appear as. Salvation can be lost on this earth but there our wills and intellects will be terminated by the One Who created them and Who brought us to Himself out of His abundant mercy and love. We long to see Him with full glory unveiled not as under appearances but just as He is. Our time here is image but there is reality.
Without the operations of the Holy Ghost and His gifts, without the renewal of the Sacrifice of the Cross in an unbloody manner in the Mass et cetera, the glory of the sons of God would remain far-off and unattainably so. It is only because He lives in us that we can come to Him for a happy eternity unmoved from bliss.

Where He is, our treasure must be. Where our hearts are, so shall we.

Monday, 6 June 2011

Random Thoughts

The true master of himself is the servant of God.

A triangle will continue to possess three sides whether the majority recognise it or not.

Where did I leave off.....

The Lord in His abundant goodness (which is His essentially, and not by participation) decreed long holidays from university so that time could be spent profitably blogging. I have not written on here since the beginning of the year as I have not had sufficient time to write anything truly worthwhile.

Plans for this week:

1) Reflections on the Ascension of our Lord and Pentecost.
2) Further discussion on a particular teaching of the Faith Movement.

Sunday, 2 January 2011

Latin Doctor Quote of the Day

Saint Augustine of Hippo:

(''For the Son of Man is come to seek that which was lost.'') 'Therefore, if man had not sinned, the Son of Man would not have come'.

Saturday, 1 January 2011


Although in the closest union possible to the most eminent degree, the human soul of Christ, remained a creature. It was not consumed or drowned by the divine but was and still is distinct from the eternal nature of the Logos however one. No ontological alteration occurred, neither is it possible.
The assumed human soul certainly from the first instant of the Incarnation viewed the divine essence in the highest degree possible for a creature, yet did not see as God sees or as God knows. It remains within the bounds of a creature.

Latin Doctor Quote of the Day

Saint Ambrose:

''Ye will see that as all the ceremonies of the old law were types of realities in the new, so the circumcision of the body signified the cleansing of the heart from the guilt of sin. But since the body and mind of man remain yet infected with a proneness' to sin, the circumcision of the eighth day is also a type of that complete cleansing from sin which we shall have at the resurrection''