For His Glory and His Alone
Friday, September 25, 2009
  Commonitory of Vincent of Lerins' Chapter one
For the Antiquity and Universality of the Catholic Faith Against the Profane Novelties of All Heresies.

Chapter 1.
The Object of the Following Treatise.

[1.] I, Peregrinus, who am the least of all the servants of God, remembering the admonition of Scripture, "Ask your fathers and they will tell you, your elders and they will declare unto you," Deuteronomy 32:7 and again, "Bow down your ear to the words of the wise," Proverbs 22:17 and once more, "My son, forget not these instructions, but let your heart keep my words:" Proverbs 3:1 remembering these admonitions, I say, I, Peregrinus, am persuaded, that, the Lord helping me, it will be of no little use and certainly as regards my own feeble powers, it is most necessary, that I should put down in writing the things which I have truthfully received from the holy Fathers, since I shall then have ready at hand wherewith by constant reading to make amends for the weakness of my memory.

[2.] To this I am incited not only by regard to the fruit to be expected from my labour but also by the consideration of time and the opportuneness of place:

By the consideration of time,— for seeing that time seizes upon all things human, we also in turn ought to snatch from it something which may profit us to eternal life, especially since a certain awful expectation of the approach of the divine judgment importunately demands increased earnestness in religion, while the subtle craftiness of new heretics calls for no ordinary care and attention.

I am incited also by the opportuneness of place, in that, avoiding the concourse and crowds of cities, I am dwelling in the seclusion of a Monastery, situated in a remote grange, where, I can follow without distraction the Psalmist's admonition, "Be still, and know that I am God."

Moreover, it suits well with my purpose in adopting this life; for, whereas I was at one time involved in the manifold and deplorable tempests of secular warfare, I have now at length, under Christ's auspices, cast anchor in the harbour of religion, a harbour to all always most safe, in order that, having there been freed from the blasts of vanity and pride, and propitiating God by the sacrifice of Christian humility, I may be able to escape not only the shipwrecks of the present life, but also the flames of the world to come.

[3.] But now, in the Lord's name, I will set about the object I have in view; that is to say, to record with the fidelity of a narrator rather than the presumption of an author, the things which our forefathers have handed down to us and committed to our keeping, yet observing this rule in what I write, that I shall by no means touch upon everything that might be said, but only upon what is necessary; nor yet in an ornate and exact style, but in simple and ordinary language, so that the most part may seem to be intimated, rather than set forth in detail. Let those cultivate elegance and exactness who are confident of their ability or are moved by a sense of duty. For me it will be enough to have provided a Commonitory (or Remembrancer) for myself, such as may aid my memory, or rather, provide against my forgetfulness: which same Commonitory however, I shall endeavor, the Lord helping me, to amend and make more complete little by little, day by day, by recalling to mind what I have learned. I mention this at the outset, that if by chance what I write should slip out of my possession and come into the hands of holy men, they may forbear to blame anything therein hastily, when they see that there is a promise that it will yet be amended and made more complete.
  What are we if not conceived Immaculate

I ask all for your indulgence and understanding. I have been reading as much as I can on the Church teachings on our birth and find very little. In fact it is a road down which the Church has never travelled, even in the commentaries on the Wisdom Books, which tell us there is only one way for man to enter the world and only one way out. Perhaps this a blog may reach some recondite theologian and inspire him to refute it and prove me wrong. I truly believe and it could be text proofing to say, that things of God hidden in the darkness of our minds often and eventually come into the light. I pray that I never lead anyone astray with the wanderings of my mind. May I then follow up and write about some more thoughts on our immaculate conception that is the sinless thoughts of God as He thought of us? Although we think eternity is not time, it is of course time but it is God’s time which has no start and no end and somewhere in this infinite moment which again is wrong as His moments are so short as to be a temporal meaningless for us as they are so fast. Nevertheless, in that moment of eternity God thought of a perfect creature with all the attributes that would captivate Him. Stealing Augustine’s phrase of original sin let us call this momentary thought of God which will last into Eternity, original conception. Can I claim only a fool would say there was no first sin in our temporal world, or do we claim there was no first sin as sin existed from the moment the world was conceived, designed and created in God’s mind? Some must do as there are religions who either, deny sin exists, or impute in ignorance, Adam was born with concupiscence already overcoming his conscience in fact from this we can make a case there could be no moral law to counteract our behavior. That is to say, we cannot see bad from good and anything goes that makes us feel good in ourselves even at the expense of the well-being of others. This has led to the prosperity theology of strange theologians. Of course you must consider for yourselves if these words are the "privatae opiniunculae" mentioned in last chapter of Vincent of Lerins'

Commitorium where he defined the common, universal mind of the church.

I quote from AlterNet an opinion on this belief

Health and Wealth

Genealogy is important. Therefore, in order to help you distinguish one movement from another, let me give you a brief primer on Pentecostalism and its two mutations: Prosperity Gospel and the New Apostolic movement.

The Pentecostal movement has been defined by historical, theological, and sociological means, but to understand its “mutations,” focusing on the movement’s practices is key. The Pentecostal emphasis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, which can also function as a religious practice, are outlined in various New Testament texts (including I Corinthians 12-8-10, I Corinthians 12:28, and Romans 12:3-8). These gifts, or practices, include healing, exorcism, speaking, and interpretation of tongues, words of wisdom, and prophetic utterances. Speaking in tongues or glossolialia, once touted as the primary practice of Pentecostals is now, despite the occasional outburst of televangelists, something very few Pentecostals engage in according to a 2006 Pew survey. Instead, practices of healing, faith, and exorcism have gained primacy among the “spiritual gifts.” As a result, the long-term health and strength of Prosperity Gospel and the New Apostolic Reformation (NAR) rests on the elevation and promotion of these practices above all others. The deviations, then, are just as important in understanding how Pentecostalism is being reshaped and redefined.

The Prosperity Gospel has had several names throughout its history, including the “Health and Wealth Gospel” and, as noted above, “Word of Faith,” whose antecedents arise out of the healing movements of the 19th. century. Early Pentecostals laid hands on and prayed fervently for healing “in the name of Jesus”; teachings that were appropriated by many churches and evangelists. For some, however, the teachings of E. W. Kenyon on the Word of Faith (with an emphasis on “faith”) became more primary in ministries and churches. Emphasis on the power of faith asserted that Christ’s atonement for sins on the cross included healing, and that if faith were applied appropriately, whatever a believer prayed for that was in God’s will would occur.

In the late 1940s, Kenneth Hagin (sometimes known as the father of the Word of Faith Movement or just ("Daddy Hagin”) focused on principles of ”faith” and the right of believers to be healed. Using his own story of healing, Hagin, alongside evangelists like Oral Roberts, A. A. Allen, and others, began to promote healing teachings, adding financial blessings and a how-to on the proper application of “The Word of Faith.” [See Jonathan Walton’s watch this! The Ethics and Aesthetics of Black Televangelism and RD’s “Selling the Good News.”]

For these Word of Faith proponents, the emphasis was placed on an almost fanatical belief in speaking and living the Word of Faith in line with scripture. These teachings in turn became foundational for many in the movement, including Hagin protégées Kenneth Copeland, Frederick K. C. Price, and John Osteen. Many mainline Pentecostals embraced these teachings at Copeland and Hagin meetings, which also attracted Charismatics from mainline denominations. Now known as the Prosperity Gospel, these movements garnered more participants and visibility in the 1990s; not only due to the advent of larger non-denominational churches linked to the various ministries, but also to the explosion of full gospel churches led by leaders like Paul Morton (who linked to other leaders with Pentecostal backgrounds like T. D. Jakes).

Something I might add to the pot is also the new term, “Natural man” which I have found appearing in the Catholic Pentecostals. Apart from Paul use of the word natural it is a bad translation, I might add a translation of the Greek word "physicos", which is closer to psychic in understanding. The natural man does not acknowledge government, does not pay taxes and other odd behaviors.

Returning to my original thoughts, all this happened after God’s conception of the perfect soul, which owing to the providential acts of God; this soul was held as it were for a later occasion. Then God in His wisdom sent a soul into man during the sixth day of creation, the sixth night of those dreams or visions, given to who ever wrote the Book of Genesis. Surely, you are not going to deny this and say it was all written by an eyewitness to creation; someone in your view sat of a rock and watched as the rocks were created. Perhaps you might also say by some alien scientist who watched from a spacecraft and left his notes for us to discover.

Returning from my digression to my thoughts which is what they are, mine alone. God’s original conception, original idea, His created wisdom came to live with us when His will deemed it necessary to complete His plan of redemption. After this first thought we came in our own time, which is His time, to live in this world with the tools to follow God as He wishes, that is created wisdom, through Christ and with Christ we can claw our way back to perfection, the perfection of our original immaculate conception, the very thought of God.

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Monday, September 21, 2009
  The Magnificence, the Magnitude, and Might of God.

I found these thoughts hard to set out for anyone to read. It is not that I am claiming any advantage over any of you. My advantages are the same as yours but taking them as they are given is harsh problem, the world never believes. The time spent to obtain them is a harsh effort. How often have I prayed for perseverance, fortitude, patience and prudence and yet we can find how we can claim those virtues in the light of scriptures.

From reading criticisms and commentaries on so called private revelations, called private because it then becomes easier to forbid them without using one's conscience, I am appalled by the lack of any sense of the immensity of God by many of these writers and their commentaries on the spiritual life of others without the proper examination and approval of the Pope. It is my hope that what seems to be, as approaching, skirting the bounds of Blasphemy of the Holy Spirit is not included in these writings and denials. of which you read above. Especially I think when I see some of the reasons advanced for the complete dismissal of what may just be the Work of the Holy Spirit. Rarely do I see in these condemnations any examination or mention of the Spiritual Life of those who are examined. It must be said that from personal experience I claim that two things screw up the Holy Spirit on these occasions. The pride of the followers whose motto may just as well be, “I have made up my mind. Do not bother me with facts”. The pride of the messengers as their ego is manipulated by the adulation given unrestrictedly by the hangers on found in their egotistical behavior who say, by their actions “I know more than the Church”. We know John Paul 2 wrote the Bishops have to examine them and report upon these claims of spirituality to see if they are false. The book, “Newman’s essays on Miracles” should be read by any catholic and it is or can be seen as a reason why so many are able to say the miracles in scriptures are more or less natural phenomena. So many today echo that viewpoint when it comes to any spiritual action and the envy is shocking.

Can we know the absolute grandeur and magnificence of God? Yes of course we can if God’s wisdom allows us. Unfortunately, we all know that so many never reach that point in prayer, known as Divine Contemplation. The point where in the extra ordinary silence of God teaches us of Himself to the level that the indwelling grace we have earned by a spiritual use of a pick and shovel can admit us know in our hearts the sheer immensity of His Glory. It is plain for anyone who looks we do not reach that level of true charity in our life. The charity that drives us to true and perfect humility, to realize what we are and what the Fatherhood of God really and truly means to us and what it is for us in our life. A life so spotted by sin. Outside of Mary our Mother there is probably in reality, a very real reality, there is only St Francis of Assisi, who overcame himself by self denial and discipline. A revelation given to a Franciscan notes St Francis occupies Lucifer’s throne and that is why he is called the seraphic father by Franciscans

We like Sampson of the old law, we rise and fall to rise again through penance and repentance. Look at his story, which as it is in scriptures we are bound to accept. Sampson was a Nazirite. He vowed to grow his hair and never cut it. He did not use alcohol, fat meats and remained, or at least he was supposed, a virgin from birth. He surrendered to temptation and only got His strength back when purified spiritually through the most terrible of penances. He was blinded by his enemies. He was imprisoned and underwent the grief of repentance. God forgave Sampson as He always will when we are sincere in what we practice. What is this sincerity that we must practice? We must be truly and deeply sorry and absolutely give up sinning. It is so very easy for us to promise, but so hard for anyone in this world to do. We must use the proper virtues and then we can and we will earn forgiveness.

I have gone away from what I started to write on how we never reach that grace that helps us to contemplate the magnificence of the Father’s immensity. I use such poor words to speak or write trying to describe Him. Like Sampson I keep falling but struggle through forming the Cross again and again in my mind, confessing my sins in the confessional and the sacramental rite of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church.

How many times do I return to the rite and say I promised not to but, I went out and did it again without thinking. I would say I am no different than any of you. I reach high above me, so high above me and our Father leans down from such a lofty height and lifts me into His arms and at times gives me a kiss and I resolve and ask that I am preserved from the temptations, the occasions, the misfortunes and dreadfulness of sin, and my prayer life begins again. Have I made myself clear if not try this. Teresa Higginson, St Faustina at roughly the same period in time knew directly from God of the Ocean of His Mercy, the depth less ocean of His Love. Teresa compares us as a teardrop in that ocean. Well I comprehend it this way, it would have to be so many oceans of the magnitude in the ratio of one of our tears in the first ocean to emphasize the difference between us and God and then even then the ratio would not be anywhere near accurate. And we claim from His promises we are His Children. I know but it is so hard to accept because of the paucity of my intelligence how God so loves us with all that magnificence. It seems He cannot not stop Himself from kneeling before us to hug us and kiss us. St Bernard wrote about the kiss obviously he experienced it.

I once and on two subsequent occasions saw a magnificent flame. I did not see as a fire with width and height but only as a flame that went up and up, well beyond my vision, The flame and flames inside sang and sang, they hummed with great beauty. I watched as sparks flew off and some returned brighter, some less so, some were flickering but the majority were out and bounced off the flame into a large dark abyss at the foot of the Light. Sparks were souls I would think. We should not in our conceit neither deny God does love us in a way that we can only understand in a different human manner, than His, It is unfortunate we do not completely understand His Love. Remember he said, “Suffer little Children come unto me”. Should it be written, “Little children who suffer come to me and I will love you”.

When I wrote and sent the Flames episode to a Bishop, whom I was told by a priest who said, "This Bishop could help me". I received an answer, “I do not know what you are writing about. It does not make sense”.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009
  From Immensity to Immaculate
Why is there such an explosion of horrified indignation when the words, immaculate conception are used?
When used do we touch upon the orthodox and protestant sore spots, their weaknesses and denials at what first we were and what Mary, Mother of God, shows us we should be, by her example? Is it they do not want to know?

“What are we”? A question we should ask of ourselves. However, we do not and under any circumstances, most of us never will. The devil knew or rather Lucifer did and he was unable to contain his jealousy and then his raging anger that he, who was the archangel of light could not be, us . He could not be God’s conception of a creature that loved Him freely, with a soul that would love God for what He was, even given the choice we have of dismissing Him as not needed by us, was more than the Lucifer’s pride could stomach.

God’s conceptual idea, I mean His thought how each of us was to be, and how in each of our separate ways we would serve Him on the rewarding road to salvation and reach the eternal life with Him as the end. The end would come when God decided the time for our reward. Did Jesus not tell St Gertrude when asked how to pray for someone, was to introduce the Cross and pray that the Paternal thoughts present in His mind for us at the moment of our creation (conception in God’s mind) would come to pass for us all.

God cannot sin, cannot conceive of sin, although He knows it well as a disorder in His creation therefore we are all conceived immaculately(without sin) in His mind. Therefore, as He thinks of us when He sees there is a need for us to enter this world He created for us, when the act of procreation or sexual congress achieved by two of His children is completed successfully, He sends us that mystical essence of His thought which we know as a soul.
A simple form of hypostasis many times less magnificent than His Son's.
Our conception in the mind of God is His creation and is created wisdom. We are made by God in His image and likeness, to be a spiritual carbon copy of Himself, so tiny in comparison to the Almighty, Eternal and consuming fire of Love. Yet as a thought of God, we were destined to be a god. How awful it is we, so many of us, could not care less about our destiny and our beginning.

The soul entering into this world through us is now subject to the Laws of heredity and inheritance as configured in the Old Law, They are found in Deuteronomy and Numbers. However, what of the original thought of God of what he wanted us to be, what He planned for us, to be what our destiny demands of us. Entering into this world, the domain of the prince of this world we join his family because of the spiritual estate left us by our original progenitors Adam and Eve. We are detached, our soul is detached, from the Light of God by a dreadful shadow, a disorder entering into in God's creation; we who are the created Wisdom of God are overshadowed by the darkness that hides the light from the eyes of our soul. The knowledge that will continually drive us to seek God. It is the remnant of the grace. It is the remembrance of the beatific vision. It is a knowledge of the light dimmed into a spluttering candle. We become destined, driven in some cases to seek God we know from a melancholy memory, as does each and every one of us in this world. There are those of us favored by God to be born into Catholicism the original and only true Christianity and baptized solemnly into this life by a priest, we know the mystical life of the Sacraments is ours to live.

Now if we can only see that God had to keep the perfect soul, the first perfect conception of created wisdom and a perfectly sinless soul as He conceived, keep her the soul beside Him until the time He knew He would need this soul to be the Mother of His Son, the first born from amongst the dead. Reluctantly out of Consuming Fire of His love, He would send this soul He treasured, a soul uncorrupted because of it was the first created before Adam and Eve's soul, send her, the soul, when His promise of redemption by Messianic law was to be fulfilled. When His will was accomplished or as Christ said, "It was consummated. He called Her back to Him. Destined as we were and sometimes are through meditation and Divine Contemplation Mary’s soul; became a constant companion in the thought of God until His Love could not return Her to this world. This is the ecstasy, this call of grace that so many do not reach due to the fluttering candle of our soul dimly lit through a lack of grace due to concupiscence is one we rarely reach. . That is in flowery words, the Ecstasy that can be part of our prayer life through grace. A time when our soul does soars like an eagle to God's bosom if we ever do, and it is an unfortunate fact of life many do not. Is this because we know of God, yet we never try hard enough to find Him again, and remain ignorant of His Mercy and grandeur and do not want to enter into the immensity of His glorious essence, the ways the Church teaches and acknowledges from Her experience as a true and faithful way of life or of the Cross?
This ignorance is threefold, lack of prayer that leads to a lack of desire that leads to disinterest and love of our personal comfort. No self-denial, no grace, no sacraments mean no eternal life for any catholic. Put it this way as succinctly as I can, yet no words I know will penetrate many of the opinions, the private revelations of so many ego. It is trues you can believe or dismiss, rest assured at the final judgment the only one who can say, " I told you so", is Himself Jesus Christ only He has earned that right.

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