Sunday, 25 October 2015

Lost....

This is a post about post-synod fatigue.... and I wasn't even following it closely!

I have found peace in the Church, a peace the world cannot give.  She has fed me, she gave me nourishment through the Sacraments that flowed through her from God.  Her light and her wisdom are not Her own, they come from God, IS God, GLORIFIES GOD.

I have been through much, yet Christ has been by my side and Holy Scripture has ever been my consolation.  The Church has been my rock: Triumphant, Militant and Suffering.  The Church is One, Holy and Catholic.  The Church is timeless because Her Spouse is the same yesterday, today and forever.  She walks to Calvary at His side, her bridal attire in shreds, her glory hidden in His suffering, and He feeds Her, He consoles Her, He dignifies Her with the shedding of His Precious Blood, because He loves Her, madly, passionately, eternally and in covenant.  He is a fool for Her and we must be a fool for Him.  And through a glass dimly, we see something of Her true beauty,  Her marriage to her Spouse is the eternal delight in the house of the Father.

So, blindly and trustingly, at all hours of the day and night, willingly and unwillingly, with good heart and hardened heart, in season and out of season, I have done my best to follow Him.  I have had to rely on my intellect; weakness and illness injured my will and my heart is damaged and unreliable.  And He has been there for me and He leads me on......

He set me in Psalm 118.  I love Him, He is the Law, my intellect knows it and heart and my will consent.  He forever reveals the light of His Law , it grows and the more I see, the more I seek, the deeper it becomes and the less "I" understand.......  I simply follow where His Law takes me, I surrender all to that.....

And so this little sheep finds herself at the end of that long Psalm.  I have followed the Law, it has been my delight, I have become intoxicated with its beauty and like a drunk man after all the pubs have shut, I'm staggering down the road alone.  I am a lost sheep, I can't find the flock, and I can't see the shepherd, my intoxication is my isolation and now I am helpless....


Let thy hand be with me to save me;
for I have chosen thy precepts.
I have longed for thy salvation, O Lord
and thy law is my meditation.
My soul shall live and shall praise thee;
and thy judgements shall help me.
I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost;
seek thy servant, 
because I have not forgotten thy commandments.
[Ps 118: 173-176]

I am bleating alone in a damp and desolate place with my intellect screaming at me that it simply can't understand anymore, that the Church simply does not make sense, that all clarity has gone....

And whilst my bleating is pathetic, weak willed, not entirely kindhearted and decidedly stubborn, I am bleating ¡Viva Cristo Rey ! and I ask for His Mercy.


Saturday, 17 October 2015

Holy Horror


What are we seeing in the synod?

We are seeing worldliness.

Let Faber explain:

There is a hell already upon the earth; there is something which is excommunicated from God's smile.  It is not altogether matter, nor yet altogether spirit.  It is not man only, nor Satan only, nor is it exactly sin.  It is an infection, and inspiration, an atmospehere, a life, a colouring matter, a pageantry, a fashion, a taste, a witchery, an impersonal but a recognisable system.  None of these names suit it and all of them suit it.  Scripture calls it "The World".  God's mercy does not enter into it.  All hope of its reconciliation with Him is absolutely and eternally precluded.  Repentance is incompatible with its existence.  The sovereignty of God has laid the ban of the empire upon it: and holy horror ought to seize us when we think of it.  Meanwhile its power over the human creation is terrific, its presence ubiquitous, its deceitfulness incredible...

...It cannot be damned because it is not a person, but it will perish in the general conflagration.... we are living it, breathing it, acting under its influences, being cheated by its appearances, and unwarily admitting its principles

Faber doesn't advocate the remedy of total escape from the world into the severe aesthetic of the coenobite.  He argues that worldliness will follow us into that particular cell.  He argues simply that we put God first; remembering our smallness and His eternal majesty, remembering the hardness of our own hearts and His infinite love.  He argues for our continual remembrance of the Incarnation; that He came into the world because He loves us.  He argues that we forever remember that God's creation is good, and that it is only sin that corrupts and that He is not the author if sin.

I'd also add that I think it important we stop blaming the devil for all that we see. He'll be enjoying the credit too much, especially when he has hardly had to lift a finger and actually do anything.  The confusion is caused by worldliness more than the prince of this world.  The bottom line is, we only have ourselves to blame.  Our Lord and His Holy Scripture have spelt out in simple language the dangers of worldliness since the very beginning. It is worth reading John Chapter 17 carefully and humbly, about what it is to be a disciple and to live in the world, but not be of the world, because that is what God calls us to do.

Faber again....

It is not so much that it [the world] is a sin, as that it is the capability of all sins, the air sin breathes, the light by which it sees to do its work, the hot-bed which propagates and forces it, the instinct which guides it, the power which animates it .... It has laws of it own, and tastes and principles of its own, literature of its own, a missionary spirit, a compact system, and it is a consistent whole.  It is a counterfeit of the Church of God, and in the most implacable antagonism to it.

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Holy Havoc

I am a person who is naturally drawn to being careful, who shuns the reckless, who loves order, stillness and silence.  I admit to finding these characteristics attractive in others and in consequence I could be accused of narcissism in my friendships.

There is certainly an essence of the Divine in order, carefulness, stillness and silence.  God can be found there and many have encountered Him in that stillness.

However, these things are not necessarily good in themselves.  What is harder to grasp is that the diabolical also has a love of order and stillness.  The order and stillness it loves is but a parody to the True order and stillness where God dwells.  But nevertheless it is an order and stillness in its own right and we must learn to discern its presence and avoid it.  Diabolical order can be found in the intricate record keeping and cataloguing that we do of everybody elses traits, habits and faults as well as our own.  Only the devil keeps a ledger.  God forgets and He does so every time we go to Confession and are truly repentant.  Diabolical order can be found in obsessive ritualism, in secret societies, in covert surveillance, the "old boys' network", in art collections and cellars full of fine wine. Diabolical stillness is terrifying.  It is the stillness of emptiness, the stillness without light or hope, a stillness that rejected love.  It is stillness where I picture Judas, where he acts as a sentinel at the permanently shut gates of oblivion.  Since the Resurrection there is no more oblivion, we are all judged because as He shared our humanity so we share in His Divinity. There can be no more oblivion as meted out to Sodom and Gomorrah, or the oblivion meted out at the Flood.... but at its gates, there is diabolical stillness.   The mystery is that so many seem to seek it out and seem to crave it.  It has a "spirituality" all of its own.

What about those things that leave me so uneasy: havoc, chaos and carelessness?  It is easy to see the negatives in these.  We can easily see how the devil can make use of these, indeed we can call him the "lord of misrule".  But they are not necessarily bad in themselves and this leads to the questions that have to be asked.  How does God make use of havoc, chaos and carelessness? Is there something in the Divine that actually works through havoc, chaos and carelessness?  Is there a way of loving God that involves havoc, chaos and carelessness?  The answer to these questions has to be YES, and this terrifies me.

There is a list of saints I don't much care for and in whom I can find nothing appealing.  They are saints who I am going to suggest reflect the Divine in their havoc, chaos and carelessness.  They loved God, period.  Nothing else got in the way.  They were stubborn, passionate, indiscriminate in their love and strong willed.  They simply can't be imitated.  And many who try end up achieving the exact opposite, moving away from God and being angry with Him because things don't go as they want them to. Many also have received great blessings from them, they are saintly heavyweights. Everything about them was driven by emotion, by the moment, by the stubborn love of God in that moment.  They terrify me.  Their sanctity is assured and I know that through them I am having to learn the uncomfortable lesson that holy havoc exists.  That God isn't a God of "Godly Order".... oh the irony!

And who are these saints?  I will name, St Therese of Lisieux,  St Francis of Assisi and St Pius X.  And our current Holy Father has a childlike trust and devotion to all of them.  We live in an age characterised by havoc, I think we must also accept it and let God work through it.

Quite probably true.

Prigogine's my Physics hero, and he may just be right here too.