Friday, April 27, 2012

Christ Crucified

"For both the Jews require signs, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews indeed a stumblingblock, and unto the Gentiles foolishness: But unto them that are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God, and the wisdom of God." - 1st Corinthians 1:22-24

"In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... That was the true light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into this world... And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we saw his glory, the glory as it were of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth." - Gospel of St. John 1:1, 9, 14

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of LifeFor the Life was manifested; and we have seen and do bear witness, and declare unto you the Life Eternal, which was with the Father, and hath appeared to us..." - 1st John 1:1-2

St. Paul, writing around the mid-50's AD, shows that the early unity of Christians between the Gentile Greeks and the Jews consisted of the fact that Christ, the Lord of all, perfectly fulfilled at that time in history everything that the whole world was looking forward to. This is particularly evident in contrasting the Jews and the Greeks. Christ said while on this earth that the Jewish people would receive no sign except the Resurrection - and what a Sign! St. Paul refers to this sign here, by calling it "the Power of God." In the Resurrection, the power of the Triune God is on fullest display; in vanquishing death in glorious light, Christ is the true Sign Himself, crucified and risen from the dead, the truly dynamic and life-changing power of God.

St. Paul also says, however that Christ is the Wisdom of God. He also says that the Greeks seek after this 'wisdom.' This terminology is absolutely loaded when referring to the Greeks, and it is essentially equivalent to St. John's terminology employed in the first chapter of both His Gospel and His First Epistle, where he refers to Christ as the Logos, or the Word of God. St. Paul is here making a profound point: The Greeks had been seeking Wisdom, or Logos, for over four hundred years at this point. Philosophers among the Greeks had spoken elegantly of the Logos being essentially the Reason for human life, and for all life; the order behind all nature; and most profoundly, the 'niche' where man found his nature vindicated and his truest self fulfilled. A Greek philosopher might look at a fish in a pond, or a bird in the air, and observe how that creature was perfectly suited for it's environment. It 'fit' there, that was its 'niche' if you will; a fish did not have land as its proper place that it was suited for, and the bird did not have the water as its proper place, and if you took them and put them in the right place, only then did they survive and only then were they content. So, the Greeks reasoned, it is with man. Man has a place, a place where he makes sense, a place where he is supposed to be, and they were constantly seeking after this Place. They knew that, since man was Mind with Reason and not simply flesh, that this Place had to be the metaphysically and spiritually higher than man that justified his existence and where he could fit into the mystery of the cosmos. This place they called Logos, and St. Paul here is proclaiming the same glorious truth that St. John did some twenty or thirty years later in his writings: This Jesus of Nazareth, whom I preach to you, is the Logos made truly man, to partake of our flesh and blood, and divinize man whole and entire, body and soul. He is proclaiming to the Greeks that Christ crucified is the Logos Himself suffering in the flesh, truly the Wisdom and Word that they had been seeking for so many hundreds of years, now manifest before their eyes in the paschal mystery. Meditating upon this truth brings for a profound reality. The Greeks understood that the Logos represented the place where man fit and his ultimate meaning was found, and the place where His Reason resonated and reasoned off of; almost the cookie cutter to our cookie, you might say, the mold that we were imprinted from. A profound thought to remember is that this same Logos that they understand as the mold of humanity, Himself became that which was from the beginning created in His mold and image; that which was metaphysically higher than man, in which man found His nature vindicated, assumed that very nature. The Mold Himself once and for all definitively justified and made firm His haunting and familiar Voice that we hear enlightening our souls at every moment, the same Voice that enlightens even the man who still has never heard of that Voice made Flesh. That itch that man always wants to scratch, that part of him that he feels calling to Where He Does Not Know, from the muck of this world, appeared gloriously in the Flesh to say once and for all, 'Good people, you were made in My Image, and now I am sent into this world to Renew this holy Image that is so tarnished. You know in your heart that you are not animals, and I Am here; press on to know Me, and let me incorporate you into the Mold from which you were from clay formed. Partake of your origin and destiny in My Eucharist, and never be hungry or thirsty again.' This cannot be meditated upon too much, for it is the heart of Christianity, and it is powerful. It resonates with everything we know about human nature, and confirms the divine image in man.

Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us. Immaculate Heart of Mary, pray for us.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Happy Birthday

Happy Seventeenth Birthday to Renee C. Shumay, as special of a girl as you're ever going to meet. God will fulfill His plan in her life, and it's going to be an amazing one. Even now God is forming her soul in beauty after the Mother of God, and infusing in her the Blessed Virgin's dignity. God will surround her as the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit surrounded Our Lady, and she will embody Mary to the world, carrying Jesus into it, radiating His Spirit which flows from His Eucharistic Presence. May she enjoy joy and faith in the knowledge and the will of God, and forever enjoy the presence of the One Whose praises her whole being sings.

Abortion: Removing the Happy Dreams Veil

I was thinking the other day and I couldn't help but write this out because it was bothering me really badly. I still may not be writing for awhile after this, but it was really bothering me enough to write it down so that it's out there in the world. God protect the unborn, and keep them forever in the hands of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God and humanity.

If you haven't already noticed, one of my M.O.'s in philosophy is to take ideas and conceptions of reality out to their logical conclusion, conceptions from both atheism and theism. The reason I do this is because I find more and more that people in the West have utter blinders on regarding what the ideas and practices that they subscribe to and support actually mean in the long run. To quote St. Thomas Aquinas, ideas most certainly do have consequences, and it is precisely those consequences that I wish to constantly shed light on. Filling in this sorely neglected area of a rational worldview, that of perceiving not just what ideas and practices purport on the surface, but the actual, deep things that they say about a man or woman's perception of reality, I believe makes all sorts of issues really pop out at you. They suddenly make sense because you can see the underlying philosophy behind them.

Take abortion for example. Abortion has profound consequences that fall from it regarding how you regard human nature. You can't simply support abortion without also, as a consequence, supporting what it entails in the realm of human dignity and worth. The only way for one to live an honest life is to examine and probe out the logical consequences of your positions and beliefs, and see if you can stomach them as they really look, with the veil of superficiality taken away. This is essentially what abortion means: If you support abortion, you're supporting a philosophy of human nature that is utilitarian, horrifyingly dangerous to the human race and all civilization, and truly unbearable for any sane and rational person to hold. If it is moral and right to kill an infant in the womb, then the logical consequences follow that every human life begins in worthlessness and entirely devoid of intrinsic value, intrinsic to the very nature of being a human being. In this immoral construct of the world, even your own life, and the life of every adult, begins in this state of utter meaninglessness. This has three main consequences that make it horrifying to sane human beings who have thought it through:

1) It means that the only worth that counts in human life is the worth of the strong: mentally strong, physically strong, strong of personality. The children killed in the womb have no worth because they are not fully functioning, adult human beings who are developed and capable of doing something constructive. In other words, they're weak and small and at a stage of lesser development and therefore are worthless and capable of being murdered and thrown away like a wart removed from the skin. In this construct of reality there is no rational basis for mercy or love that transcends harsh survivalism, and anyone who supports abortion and still is living in a happy dream of a world in which there is a place for mercy for the weak for mercy's sake, or recognizing inherent value in a human being simply for being a human being without that man or woman having to justify their own value or worth based on their strength, just hasn't lifted the veil and looked at the horrible consequences of supporting abortion. The fact is they have bought into a lie, the lie that is pervasive in our culture today that is undermining our very humanity, our deepest and most cherished gut beliefs about human nature that is so taken for granted that reasonable Americans don't realize that it has to be defended. We have to wake up and realize that culture and society in Western Civilization are eroding under our feet, and this false view of human nature is one of the main reasons.

2) It means that it is only a matter of time before this utilitarian morality to spread to other justifications for the murder of human beings, particularly by the State. Utilitarian morality is essentially the idea in the modern world that the only worth that counts is what you can do, or what strength you possess. It means, essentially, that there is no such thing as intrinsic worth or dignity in a man or woman, and that all human worth derives from certain acknowledged strengths that they possess. Notice the critical word acknowledged. Whatever parameters that are set in place to define who is a human person and who is not must be acknowledged by someone stronger than the weaker of the species being examined and evaluated (Orwellian language deliberately employed there). This means that the stronger play God to the terrifying extent that simply by virtue of being the stronger party, you can define the worth of another human being; indeed, entire groups or classes of human beings. This is disgusting, repugnant to any sane man, and absolutely dangerous because it means that the State, for example, is right simply because they are stronger than the citizenry. It means that Hitler, Stalin, Mau, Mussolini, and Pol Pot were all right simply by virtue of being stronger than those millions of human beings that they murdered, and that whatever worth they acknowledged or didn't acknowledge was 'right' by virtue of strength. Don't believe me? Think about this: in abortion and the philosophy surrounding it, you are patterning and employing this horrific idea by projecting either affirmation of worth or condemnation and denial of value onto an infant, and the law provides you with a concrete, physical choice of which of those two you are going to recognize and acknowledge in the weak infant, being the stronger party. I have heard casually pro-choice Americans have such an illogical disconnect from reality that they will at the same time hail a woman aborting their unwanted (and unacknowledged) infant in a later period of pregnancy as their right and lavish them with praise for having done so, and then turn around and call an wanted and acknowledged infant, born at the same period as a premature infant, that survives, a miracle. Same period of development in the infants, same everything, except for the acknowledgment or lack thereof from the stronger party, the parents, of the worth that the infant possesses. My friends, this is madness. Wake up and start thinking critically once more, and make some hard decisions about what you believe, and why, before Western society and culture goes entirely down the drain and the process is no longer in your hands. It may not be in our hands even now, for those in power in the State consistently echo this horrific thinking.

Mark this with absolute certainty: No human civilization, particularly a democratic republic like America, can long survive with this sort of value system where worth must be acknowledged by the stronger in order for the weaker to be truly worthy of living; where 'all men are created equal' is relegated to fairy-tale status; where there is no humble human acknowledgment of the sacred mystery of the human person possessing value inherently, God-given moral worth. In the case of the unborn infants, this strength that they lack is development. They are humans at an early stage of development, and therefore, they lack that strength of development to justify their existence in the eyes of adults, the stronger party. In the case of the elderly and those who are mentally in their dotage, who are going to be the next class of the weaker to be targeted as a drain on society, the strength they lack is once again developmental. They have developed too far, and are weak and vulnerable, and of no utilitarian worth whatsoever. Their existence cannot be justified any more than an infant's can, for some of them have been reduced to an infant or a toddler's existence, therefore they are not worthy of life. Any man or woman of any decency whatsoever who has looked into the eyes of a grandparent or parent who has Alzheimer's Disease knows that in the mystery of human existence, they are persons and worthy of life and a dignified, natural death inherently and intrinsically. It's time to wake up and realize that this abhorrent insanity has taken over the West; the inmates are running the asylum. Our law and cultural consciousness both employ this exact insanity and embody it in various ways, which is the guaranteed beginning of a hemorrhage that will continue to bleed more profusely into every corner of our civilization until, like an acid, it eats away at the pillars of that human civilization too much and the whole building collapses into chaos.You don't have to be a brilliant philosopher to realize that this does not stop at the elderly and infants of society. There is no stopping this disgusting attitude from sweeping through to the infirm, the young, the older, the mentally ill, the handicapped, the less intelligent, even those who differ in viewpoint from whoever happens to be the strongest in society, usually the State. There can only be two sure and stable positions you can take on human nature: either human beings are endowed with the mystery of being the image of God from conception, in possession of inherent dignity and rights simply by being human, or no-one has guaranteed dignity or rights. Any middle position will gravitate toward the 'no-one' side because the lines inevitably get blurred and obfuscated by those who have an interest to do so (Planned Parenthood comes to mind).

This is as slippery a moral slope as one could ever imagine sitting on. It is not surprising therefore that just recently this insidious worldview is proposing, via some so-called 'medical ethicists' (talk about cruel irony!) in the West, that parents should have the right to murder a disabled, or weak, infant up to a certain number of months after birth; also included in this proposition of what is being termed 'post-birth abortion' (there is that Orwellian language again! it has a habit of popping up from sick minds to obfuscate the lines in the sand that are being washed away daily in the conscience of Western society) are the killing of even healthy infants for no reason beyond that the parents, the stronger, desire it to be done. It's no longer, "Thy Will be done," it's My Will Be Done, even to the point of trespassing on another human life. The stronger rules the weaker and defines whatever pseudo-meaning will be acknowledged in humanity.

3) Ultimately, from a metaphysical perspective, abortion is truly removing the happy dreams veil by acknowledging that nothing, not even the strong, have any ultimate meaning at all. We all come from the womb universally, and we all go to the same womb of the earth (cf. Ecclesiasticus 40:1), even the temporarily strong. If you are willing to acknowledge as your guiding life philosophy that all men begin in meaninglessness, and all men end in meaninglessness (since meaning and worth is being defined as strength or a functional development state), and have no other worth besides what they can materially justify their existence with, then you're acknowledging that even the apparent meaning of strength in between is futile, cruel, and an illusion. You're declaring that, at the end of the day, all human life is meaningless and any appearances to the contrary are happy illusory dreams that pass away like a shadow as the sun falls. Your children are meaningless, they only have the meaning you assign them. You are meaningless, you only have the worth that the State assigns you. The State is meaningless, it has no worth besides what it enforces itself as having by it's strength, and since empires crumble and fall in the course of time, it too has no meaning at all. Ultimately, only death is Omnipotent. If you do not acknowledge God and the image of God in man from conception, then from a metaphysical perspective, nothing means anything at all, not love nor hate, nor children of any age, nor spouses, nor your very life.

This was originally a pagan concept of life before Catholicism built Western Civilization upon Judeo-Christian ideas like the universal worth of man, and the concept of man being created in the image of God: prior, it was often thought that you come from nothing, go to nothing, and everything in between is nothing; therefore, "Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we shall die" (1st Corinthians 15:32, in which St. Paul compares pagan philosophy of life to Christian philosophy of life). This has every imaginable consequence on both society as a whole and on your own life, because it means that, ultimately, the only way to live honestly is to stop deluding yourself, follow your actions and beliefs through to their logical end, and never, ever be dishonest enough to think or say or act like you, your spouse, your mother and father, your children, heck your pets or animals matter one iota at all. The problem is that this is abolishing your humanity in the process; it is another extension of what C.S. Lewis perfectly described as the abolition of man. You humanity is sort of like a large building built on pillars and walls resting on a foundation. The Foundation is God, and the pillars and walls upholding the building represent the logical consequences that flow from belief in God. These logical consequences are the fundamental ideas that flow from our very being as human beings, that are the clearest evidence for the existence of God precisely because they are so counterintuitive to the way nature works, so contrary to the law of the strong; ideas and concepts that could not have any worth or merit or true existence unless they find their place in the relationship between God and his image in man that enlightens him to eternal permanency and real existence. These ideas include universal human value, mercy on the weaker for mercy's sake, unconditional love defined as the willing of the good of another without any recompense of good to yourself, moral systems of good and evil, value judgments of perfect, and many other concepts. All of these are what I would like to call the divine in man, the proof of his radical difference in nature from all of the rest of creation, and ultimately, if you accept this humanity, you accept God. If you accept God, you accept this humanity. They are intrinsically linked, and when you realize their unity of being, God and our highest and most inexplicably divine human nature, you have discovered the image of God in man. My point is this: ultimately, abortion implies an image of humanity devoid of meaning and worth, and by accepting the logical consequences of abortion, you are knocking down the pillars and walls of man's humanity, including disavowing the existence of his image and the metaphysical source of that image. Consequently, all of the house of cards that is human existence and our humanity inevitably come crashing down, for nothing has any support or causality anymore. This is universally true, from society as a whole down to you and I in our personal lives. But if we acknowledge God, and the image of God in man as intrinsic worth and value, everything flows from there and man is supported with causality in his entire being.

Above all, I am calling all to take seriously this one truth: all ideas and concepts have consequences, and ultimately, only a firm belief in God can give even a shred of hope in any worth for man, or for society as a whole. The only way to function as a human being or as a society is by acknowledging God, and the divine image in man, and by following through in honesty and acknowledging the sacredness of all human life. The problem with our age is, I believe, ultimately one of cynicism and arrogance. Modern man has an epidemic of both, and they cause him to question and rethink all that man has always believed and held sacred, to the suicide of their very humanity. Cynicism in particular has overshadowed the West for decades, ever since the enlightenment, that causes him to forget these basic truths and cause him to doubt basic humanity. Return to humility, and a simple acknowledgement of God as the only hope for us to preserve our own humanity, which is intrinsically linked to Him in its being.

May God bless us all and preserve us from self-destructive ideas and actions.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Could Use Your Prayers

Hey readers, just wanted to post asking for your prayers for something that has recently happened in my life, something very emotionally and psychologically painful. It's a dark night of the soul for me and it has me very, very down at the worst possible time, since final exams are barreling down at me within weeks. God bless you all, and I may or may not be posting for a little while depending on how things go.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dialogues on Worldview and Logical Consequence - Interlude to Human Existence Three

"The Atheists lead you to progress to flourishing society to facts to certainty."- Atheist One

(me) "It is indeed possible to be so concerned with 'the facts' that you lose sight of what supports those facts. In such shortsightedness, you forget to realize that by abolishing mankind's (and society's) sense of the metaphysically transcendent and of absolute Thomistic causality (again, as was proper to European society), you have removed from thought the only entity capable of making societal progress worthwhile. Only one insane pursues no goal, no truth, no good nor perfection. Atheistic societal progress is an unadulterated myth. If we came merely from the animal kingdom, and possess no soul patterned after the divine, then why civilize man? If man has no ultimate destiny, where are we progressing to, exactly? A greater good? No such thing, since that would require a scale of perfections, implicitly implying an absolute Good. Progress is only as good as where it ultimately leads; from an atheistic consciousness, barbarism and civilization end in the same non-being. Thus we see a society whose governing philosophy is atheism is a congregation of uppity apes constantly imposing upon themselves absurd delusions of grandeur and wish-projecting this silly thing called morality, a weak excuse to mask seven billion Wills and their evolutionary clashing; said congregation of apes deluding themselves in happy dreams from realizing they come from nothing and go to nothing, illusion of meaning and 'progress' in between notwithstanding. This, the logical consequences of atheism, is simply abolishing humanity along with God; it is abolishing God in man and man in God; it is abolishing the Image of God and its Origin, the Most Holy Trinity."

"You just are too narcistic to accept that you do not serve any concrete ultimate Goal. The life by it's nature is meaningless it is you who should put a meaning to it the most important is the goal but the most fun is the process. The process is the fun from atheistic point of view there simply is no God and that is all. Shortsightedness? without us atheists you would never have the internet you would never have things without which your life would be miserable. No society progress cannot be worthwhile it is the best thing it is you may say your ultimate Goal."- Atheist One

(me) "A rational man never acts, strives, believes, and suffers for no reason whatsoever, that would be pure vanity. If the most rational face you can put on atheism is that it is a laborious and intense process of societal progress away from traditional human understandings of God, spirituality, and nature, toward no goal, no end, and no good, purely for the sake of doing something subjectively and personally fun, then theism is just as rational, even from the atheistic perspective; we wouldn't even need to posit any reasons for belief! It is totally irrational to just say 'There simply is no God and that is all, and we're going to just continue on endlessly moving from undefined to undefined,' for you cannot even be human enough to perceive definition, or reject another understanding of the universe as a lesser good from an atheistic viewpoint. Atheism is utterly self-defeating, intellectual suicide, and the abolition of man, because in it you are bound not to make truth or value statements, which are nonexistent in atheistic context. If you even cannot establish categorically that a theistic worldview is bad or untrue, and that your worldview is good and true, and finally, present an alternative destination or goal that society *ought* to move toward, all of which are human and require reference to the Divine, then all I can say is you've surrendered rationality. All you can say is, "This is subjectively fun." On the contrary, I stand by and offer rationality and faith in the Truth together with humanity, God in man, God in Image of God, not narcissism."

"D*** you self righteous falsly pious zealots. Leave your thoughts for your theology class and share them with someone who gives a flying F***. Any religion since its beginning was designed or later became a tool to force laws onto uneducated masses. You have been fooled to believe in magic and never grew out of the collective mindset that surrounds you. You will never change that but know that you have no more soul in your imperfect mortal body than a chimp, a dog or a pig. Death is final. Live."- Atheist Two

(me) "Thankfully, I have freedom of speech in America, which is the freedom to express my point of view in the public forum, whether that is offline or online, in speech or in writing. Unfortunately, that caricature of religion is itself a myth. Some of the most intelligent, educated men in history have been theists and Christians, namely, Chesterton, Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Peter Kreeft, Cardinal Newman, Aquinas, Anselm, and others. It was a Catholic Priest who first stated the Scientific Method, just as it was a Catholic Priest who laid the foundations for modern genetic theory. Catholics built Western Civilization and developed Law and Society after the collapse of the Roman Empire, Catholics established the Western idea of a University and of Western higher education, Catholics established the notion of a charitable hospital, and Catholics were involved in the development of astronomy and other arts. The myth you are convinced of is that of Marx, and is completely unfounded. You have to realize that religion and theism are rational, and the most rational, beautiful expressions of humanity in Western Civilization have come from educated and intelligent minds who have also accepted theism and Christianity/Catholicism. This is not an accident, since our life philosophy is one that promotes truth, beauty, and goodness, and is striving tangibly toward the goal of the ultimate Good, God. The consequences of your philosophy of man are the abolition of human Reason."


I've been thinking a great deal about prayer lately. Something that I've realized about prayer is the profound power it has in Christ to the reordering and restructuring of the mind to Him, Logos; to the Mind of God. Here is what I mean: I've noticed especially with myself that it is easy enough to truly believe something when you are thinking about it. For instance, I can believe that such-and-such an action is moral as opposed to this immorality at a given time; I can be informed of Catholic Truth, and avoid it. But life does not work that way. It is not possible at every moment to analyze and actively govern every action you take, for the sheer speed of life prevents it. That is one gift that prayer bestows on the Christian. When you pray, you are in essence bowing your fevered mind and resolute will to God's will, and reordering your stances and thoughts completely to His Mind. It is the oasis of refuge within the Womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary; it is that Place where the Most Holy Trinity dwells and imparts peace, comfort, and stability; where Christ is not just the just Judge nor even simply the merciful Savior, but rather, in His entire Person, an Infant in His mother's Womb. Prayer is going to that place of paradise where Eternity joins to the cosmos in the Divine Person of Jesus Christ, God and man; prayer is seeking and finding union with Him in body and soul in the Womb of the Virgin, being absolutely at peace. This, by the way, is one of the reasons why the Holy Rosary is so efficacious to the mystical union of the man or woman to God; for it is simply being mystically united in being and perspective to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and sharing in her union with Christ her Son. Praying the Holy Rosary, going to Jesus through Mary (who is His humanity, by the way; His humanity is not simply an abstract thing, but is *Mary herself*) are expressions of the fact that the Blessed Mother is in fact the Church in her person and in her relationship with Christ, for as St. Francis of Assisi, under the influence of the Holy Spirit, praises her: "You are the Virgin made Church." She is the Bride of the Holy Trinity and, most literally, the Body of Christ; we find our identity as the Church, the Bride of God, and the Body of Christ most perfectly when it is found in her Heart and in her person. If you go to that Place in prayer, if you seek the place of Sacred Union between the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, you will find the Place where the Holy Spirit reorders, strengthens, and establishes you; where you drink deeply of the River of Life, the Spirit flowing from the Father and the Son, which confirms you in your Faith and strengthens mind and heart and will for the battle that is of it's nature being a member of the Church Militant during the course of your life on Earth. God speed on your journey to Heaven, sanctity, and Sainthood; and in all things, for all eternity, the mystical union of body and soul to Jesus Christ, our Divine Spouse.

Patience and steadfastness, in that Love which is virtue par excellence, is only to be found in Jesus our true God, through Mary His true humanity, in prayer. Pray the Rosary, dear Catholics. Don't just say it or do it, become a part of it. Become a part of the mystery of the one Life, the one Love, the one Body, the united Sacred and Immaculate Hearts of Jesus and Mary.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Love and Death

"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you stir not up nor awaken love until it please. Who is that coming up from the wilderness, leaning upon her Beloved? Under the apple tree I awakened you. There your mother was in travail with you, there she who bore you was in travail. Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm; for love is strong as death... Its flashes are flashes of fire, a most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it. If a man offered for love all the wealth of his house, it would be utterly scorned." - Song  of Songs 8:4-7

In the Passion, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, our Beloved, our Divine Spouse, Love Himself gave His whole being over to death, under the waters of death, hiding His Love from the world for a time - but as the Scripture says, Love is as strong as death, and refused to be put down. Love Himself rose gloriously in victory, Love that conquers death, Love that is our final destiny, in His Heart. As Christ rose gloriously from the dead, the flashes of fire, the brilliant light of Love were awakened in His Sacred Body, which though dead moments earlier, was suddenly alive in power, and the fiery glory of the Spirit of the Father. Always remember, dear Catholic, that His love cannot be bought. Grace and Love Himself comes not from wealth, but humble and undeserved in Baptism. Let us acknowledge our poverty once more in the Sacrament of Penance, and come to true repentance and grace once again. For in he who truly repents Love will once again dwell in His glorious presence; enlivening in Charity a heart dead and lukewarm for so long.

Monday, April 16, 2012

I Am Faithful to the Holy Catholic Church; I Am Loyal to the City of Rome

"Et ego dico tibi, quia tu es Petrus, et super hanc Petram ædificabo Ecclesiam meam, et portæ inferi non prævalebunt adversus eam." - Matthaeus 16:18

"Si autem tardavero, ut scias quomodo oporteat te in domo Dei conversari, quæ est Ecclesia Dei vivi, columna et firmamentum veritatis." - I Timotheus 3:15

Sunday, April 15, 2012

When Israel Shall Turn to the Lord: Christ Mystically Present in the Orient

One thing that has really been turning over in my head lately is the concept of the Divine Liturgies of the Church of God being celebrated toward the people or toward the East, toward God. Something that is just striking to me is that there are many, many within the Church today who do not recognize the fact that celebrating the Liturgy with the Priest(s) and the congregation of the priestly people facing East is not, repeat, NOT so that the Priest can have his back to the people. There is an beautifully rich and mystical reason regarding practice of ad orientem Liturgy, one that can be found throughout Scripture and in the organic and Living Tradition of the Catholic Church. Here are eight passages of Scripture (and one, from the Didache, of Sacred Tradition interpreting that Scripture) that give us a sense of the Church's understanding of what worshipping toward the East means, and the mystical Truth that it has been in the Church since the first century.

"For behold the day shall come kindled as a furnace: and all the proud, and all that do wickedly shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall set them on fire, saith the Lord of hosts, it shall not leave them root, nor branch. But unto you that fear my name, the Sun of Justice shall arise, and health in his wings: and you shall go forth, and shall leap like calves of the herd." - Malachi 4:1-2

"For as lightning cometh out of the East, and appeareth even into the west: so shall the coming of the Son of Man be... And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven: and then shall all tribes of the earth mourn: and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with much power and majesty. And he shall send his angels with a trumpet, and a great voice: and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the farthest parts of the heavens to the utmost bounds of them." - St. Matthew 24:27, 29-30

(Notice: Our Lord, Jesus Christ, teaches us that His final and conclusive coming to judge the quick and the dead occurs somehow mystically from the East; when the Eucharist is celebrated toward the East and the faithful worship Jesus Christ present in the Eucharist, the coming of Our Lord in the Eucharist is superimposed over that grand and final coming, becoming itself both a real accessing of the people of God to that day of His Revealing at the end of time, and a type and symbol of that Day. This is all vital Sacred Tradition, and it is unspeakably beautiful. When the Priest(s) proclaims "Lift up your hearts," He means it; we are encountering the Risen Savior coming at the end of time from the East; time and eternity have become interwoven and joined in His Presence in the Eucharist; angels accompany His coming. It is the Revelation of Jesus Christ in the Hidden Manna, and the proclamation of His final coming.)

"Then the Lord shall go forth, and shall fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle. And His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is over against Jerusalem toward the East: and the Mount of Olives shall be divided in the midst thereof to the East... and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with him... And the Lord shall by King over all the earth: in that day there shall be one Lord, and His Name shall be one.

Behold, the Lord cometh with thousands of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to reprove all the ungodly for all the works of their ungodliness, whereby they have done ungodly, and of all the hard things which ungodly sinners have spoken against God. it was said: The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him. Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven." - Zechariah 14:3-5, 9, St. Jude 1:14-15, and Didache 16:15-17

"When Jesus therefore was born in Bethlehem of Juda, in the days of king Herod, behold, there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem. Saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen His Star in the East, and are come to adore him." - St. Matthew 2:1-2

"And when they were drawing near to Jerusalem and to Bethania at the Mount of Olives, He sendeth two of his disciples, and saith to them: Go into the village that is over against you, and immediately at your coming in thither, you shall find a colt... And many spread their garments in the way: and others cut down boughs from the trees, and strewed them in the way. And they that went before and they that followed, cried, saying: Hosanna, blessed is He that cometh in the Name of the Lord.
Blessed be the Kingdom of our father David that cometh: Hosanna in the highest.
And He entered into Jerusalem, into the temple..." - St. Mark 11:1-2, 8-10

(Notice: Christ came from the East, from the Mount of Olives and Bethania, in order to enter the Temple on Palm Sunday, and cleanse it. This calls to mind the following passage from the prophet Ezekiel, which is prophetic of the cleansing of the Temple by Jesus Christ, who is the Image and Glory of God the Father, and it is also prophetic of the Second Coming, as all of these passages are.)

"And he brought me to the gate that looked towards the East. And behold the glory of the God of Israel came in by the way of the East: and His Voice was like the noise of many waters, and the earth shone with His majesty... and I fell upon my face.
And the majesty of the Lord went into the temple by the way of the gate that looked to the East.
And the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court: and behold the house was filled with the glory of the Lord.
And I heard one speaking to me out of the house, and the Man that stood by me,
said to me: Son of man, the place of My throne, and the place of the soles of My feet, where I dwell in the midst of the children of Israel for ever: and the house of Israel shall no more profane My holy Name...
Now therefore let them put away their fornications, and the carcasses of their kings far from Me: and I will dwell in the midst of them for ever.
But thou, son of man, shew to the house of Israel the temple, and let them be ashamed of their iniquities..." - Ezekiel 43:1-10

(Notice as well: What did Ezekiel do when the Glory of God descended upon Him from the East? He fell upon his face. Again, those who do not understand what they are doing (at least, I hope they don't) abolish kneeling before the Presence and Glory of God present even more profoundly to us and in us via the Eucharist, and rarely do you see Priests or anyone else prostrate in adoration before the Sun of Righteousness rising from the East in the Eucharist. Do not doubt this: Everything in the Sacred Liturgy of all the ancient rites is there because the Holy Spirit intended it to be and moved the Church to this symbolism over millennia. This does not mean that Liturgy does not grow and develop, and it doesn't mean changes like altering whether the people receive under one or both species, altering the precise number and types of Clergy celebrating, or other such things should not be done, since indeed both of those and many other things have place in Sacred Tradition and the various Rites present in the Church today. But if there is something that is changed in the Liturgy that is present in no current Rite at all, but is a complete innovation and rupture, that is just... painfully sad and in some cases, impious; for many ought to know better and commit Liturgical abuse and radical alteration anyway.)

"But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the Light; for all that is made manifest is LightWherefore he saith: Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee." - Ephesians 5:13-14

"And that knowing the Season; that it is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is passed, and the Day is at hand. Let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of Light. Let us walk honestly, as in the Day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and impurities, not in contention and envy: But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh in its concupiscences." - Romans 13:11-14

"Since we have such a hope, we are very bold, not like Moses, who put a veil over his face so that the Israelites might not see the end of the fading splendor. But their minds were hardened; for to this day, when they read the old covenant, that same veil remains unlifted, because only through Christ is it taken away. Yes, to this day whenever Moses is read a veil lies over their minds; but when a man turns to the Lord the veil is removed. Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being changed into his likeness from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit... For it is the God who said, "Let Light shine out of darkness," who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ." - 2nd Corinthians 3:12-18, 4:6

This is the point: the Scriptures are full of mysteries and mystical types, with connections we could scarcely fathom. They truly are divine and sacred Writ, beautiful to behold. When I look back upon the Early Church of the first number of centuries and the very early development of the Liturgies of the Church, this is what I see: I see sacred mystery, I see holy mysticism, I see profound Christian spirituality, I see a Church learning and understanding more and more about the infinite Gift it has in the Eucharist, and I see the Spirit of Christ enlightening His Church how best to honor the Lord in the Holy Mystery of the Eucharist. When you look at how the Liturgy developed very early in the infancy of the Church to the point that the Priest(s) and the people faced East, you can really connect with the mystery they were experiencing and understanding. When the Priest(s) utter the Epiclesis over the holy Gifts, and when they bless them with the prayer of Christ's words, the Spirit and the Bride are indeed calling with one voice to the one who is Light itself, the One who is called the Sun; for He descends down from the Heavens to Hell and disappears for three days, to rise gloriously as the risen Sun, in splendor in the East, to Lighten the world. This is the Mystery! This is the Faith! Those who tamper with the Liturgy do not understand that profound mystical theology of the first, second, third, and fourth century Church. They do not realize that those who first worshipped Christ, had this complex theology already seen in the AD 50's and 60's in St. Paul's writings of Christ being patterned after the Rising Sun, and these and later Christians realized that when they were encountering the Lord Jesus Christ present among them in the sacred Mystery of the Eucharist, by facing East they were greeting their Bridegroom, coming both now and truly present in the Eucharist, and greeting Him in earnest expectation of His final and conclusive Appearing. The night of this world is indeed far spent; Day draws near. Let Grace come to us from the East, and let this world pass away. Let that Place in Eternity where Christ is the only physical and spiritual Reality descend to us now in the Eucharist, and transform us into His Reality of Being, true Reality, for we are in poverty of His Being. Let us draw near to Christ, the Light of the World, the Sun of Justice, and submit to this divine Tradition. Do not be one who stands by as the spirituality of the ancient and Catholic Church is diminished or disregarded, and when you are at the Liturgy, recall to mind these passages, and worship Jesus Christ, who comes into your presence to dispel all night.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Catholic Philosophical Musings - Interlude to Human Existence Two

Another dialogue with a YouTube Atheist - I have yet to hear back from him. Hopefully, this will serve as more stimulation to thought. God bless!

By way of explanation, I was referring to my own speculation into metaphysics. My logic and epistemology are simple: I did not claim that atheism was true, and then contradict myself saying that there is no such thing as truth or error. I was extrapolating the proposition, "There is no God," to it's full logical end.

Here is the general point of my posts: human reason is constantly striving to encounter "the truth" in all things precisely because we are under the impression that discovering more of our concept of reality, what is most real, is beneficial and good, and that distancing ourselves from reality in the form of illusion or lies is harmful and bad.

Thus through our Reason as human beings, we constantly either subconsciously or consciously assign a certain essential 'permanency' to various things, ideas, or concepts. This is necessary for human reason to function at all, because fixed points are necessary to make any judgments in the realms of truth vs. lie, good vs. bad, helpful vs. harmful, right vs. wrong, beautiful vs. ugly, love vs. seeking the ill; all human reason is predicated to the practice innate to us of assigning a solidity to something, and then reasoning off of it. Philosophers sometimes call this the axiomatic principle of an argument or idea, or simply the axiom. Thing single most basic axiom is that of Pascal's famous statement: I think, therefore I am. The existence of self as Observer is the first axiom that must be assumed in order to reason from that fixed point.

There are other fixed points of reasoning erected by human reason, however. Such things as the biological reliability of the human mind to know truth at all given evolution removed from the context of any sort of theism or divine principle acting in man (Darwin struggled with this one), the existence of reality exterior to the mind (a la Bertrand Russel and his temporary stint as a believer in solipsism), and the reliability of the evolved senses to convey to you anything truly based on an exterior reality given that there is one and solipsism is not true. These are just some of the axiomatic principles that have to be accepted for human reason to argue off of in the pursuit of truth and of objective reality; there are, however, many more like them. Without these sort of fixed points, human reason is powerless to know *anything.*

Perhaps a sort of rough analogy would be helpful: imagine a car that is sitting in a driveway with the key in the ignition. This state represents the state that the mind is in when not thinking about any given thing. Turning the key and starting the engine is akin to the mind thinking of a given thing and trying to ask questions to encounter external reality in that thing, ie, truth vs. falsehood, right vs. wrong, etc etc. The will for the car to move from point A to point B is representative of the desire for the mind to encounter this external reality. A car revving in neutral is as powerless to get from point A to point B as a mind is to encounter an external reality that influences what it believes through reason without fixed points to adjust itself and its thoughts by. Putting the car into drive and traveling to the desired destination is representative of the effect that reasoning off of fixed points has on discovering reality: to put it simply, you're not going to get metaphysically anywhere without acknowledging and operating based on the principle that basic, unproved suppositions and axiomatic principles, ie fixed points, precede arguing from reason to a reality external of thought itself. Without that, your mind is a car stuck in neutral.

This is my argument: Only a foolish man who is comfortable with possibly living in a complete illusion would argue off of all of these miniature and erected fixed points of human reason without considering the relative solidity and permanency of each of these individual axioms. Their solidity is just that: relative and illusory, and with their illusory nature goes human reason and thought itself down the proverbial drain. This is because human reason is intrinsically ordered to the finding out of what is *most* true, since anything less than the truest reality would be holding human reason bridled under the yoke of living in a partial illusion, which defeats the purpose of asking questions and pursuing truth at all.

Now, apply that argument to its logical end in the speculation that neither God, nor anything like God, exists.

If there is not an eternal Being that is the Fixed Point of Reason in the truest sense of the term axiomatic principle, that supports and upholds the permanency of all other fixed points of human reason; if you do not identify God as the foundational basic assumption of human reason that you base all other fixed points and all other arguments on, then all other fixed points that we erect and reason off of are just our own projections of solidity that are not really fixed, but are illusions. This is perfectly logical, because all other axioms we erect, having no support outside the human mind, would then be simply products of the human mind superimposed on our experiences, *and not actually true reality external to the mind.* What this means is that our human reasoning would then have come into existence and evolved as our brains evolved, and will die when we die as a species. Anything that was at one time nonexistent and will be nonexistent in the future, and is currently only upheld by human brain chemistry, is the very definition of an illusion and a wish projection of man superimposed on the Nothing to help him survive. I say, "Nothing," as an alternative to saying "absurd universe" because absurdity still reflects a feeling within man of reaction against something. Nothingness comes far closer to getting a feel for the abyss of total lack of cognition and knowable reality that existed prior to mankind's evolution and that is the ultimate end of all of our fevered reasoning when we all die as a species. These are the logical outworkings of an atheistic worldview, and it is only once you descend into the pit of the darkness of this logic that you realize the truth: atheism is at core a proposition that can be likened to a man who is standing on a stack of books, which stack is resting dubiously on a chair, which chair is perched even more precariously on a large wooden table, that is threatening to topple off the top of the roof of a large car just big enough for it, which car is resting firmly and solidly on the resolute and unyielding driveway that is holding it up. The books, chair, table, and car all represent various fixed-point axioms that the mind accepting atheism is obliged to perch on in order to reason to external reality at all; the unyielding ground represents the unyielding Eternal ground of Reason itself that is found in God. Thus intellectual atheism could be likened to that man perched way up there denying the existence of the ground, but never stopping to question what is holding up the books, chair, table, and car that he is standing on.

Unfortunately, there is another intellectual path to tread: it is called despair, or even downright evil. Nietzsche dived deeply into both of those categories by denying not only God, but following atheism to its logical end and becoming a proponent of utter nihilism and absurdity; in doing this he more or less eliminated the unfounded and illusory bases of human reason that were represented by those books. And, again likening it to the man perched on the books, this can be illustrated by a man doubting *everything* under his feet, even down to the very books he's standing on, becoming wildly suspicious that everything, even the most basic fixed points, are illusions due to the fact that none of them are supported by anything eternal or absolutely true. Having become convinced of this, the man topples off the books, falls to the ground, and dies after smacking his head on the concrete. Nietzsche was the perfect example of this, as at the end of his life he went insane and died without his human Reason in an insane asylum.

Bottom line: if the ultimate reality is assumed not to be God or anything transcendent like God that can be fathomed by human beings and reasoned from, but rather to be the opposite, nothingness, then the human mind is living in an illusion of knowable reality that is only as real as our own, impermanent and fleeting existence. Accordingly, all things, ironically, hinge on death and the impermanence of humanity in death. If this is reality for human beings, then we have effectively come full circle, since it would be just as 'true' from the human perspective to believe in God as it would to believe in nothingness and to disavow God while keeping a faith in human reasoning ability and thought, since both would be only true insofar as they are wish projections of human beings (not even worth the dignity of that title - in such a world, I prefer Voltaire's apt description: 'Tortured atoms in a bed of mud') in the face of their own impermanence and death. I say, therefore, that questions of truth vs. error are only valuable in the context of theistic belief, and as goes God, so goes human reason. And if humans lose their Reason, we are in Hell right now, being in an Sisyphus-like existence of constantly twitching to ask questions and seek truth and reality. We have become the evolutionary laughingstock of creatures evolutionarily advanced enough to extrapolate their curiosity and consciousness and thirst for meaning and truth to the infinite nothing, and, receiving only silence in return, return to die in the mud or else commit suicide. Perhaps this is why there are so little intelligent life in the universe - there's a self-destruct program embedded by the blind watchmaker (thanks for the term Dawkins) in this self-organizing meaningless tornado we call life that destroys itself once it realizes that the more sentient it gets, the correspondingly more it thirsts for reality and permanence only to find the Void. If, in this construction of atheism, you hold anything as true or beautiful or hold any human joy, you are a fool.

Theism is the only proposition that renders human reason tenable.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday Meditations - Alleluia!

Rejoice, O Heavens; shout to the King, O Earth; bend the knee, specters of Hell! Let none entertain a single doubt, your King has risen, He is risen, He has proven Himself God before the face of men and demons. The evil one could inflict suffering upon the Word made flesh, and thinking the victory was his, Our Lord descends to the realm of the dead. Put to death in the flesh, but all the while alive in the Spirit and joined to His Body by His Divine presence. Not even death could sever His Divinity from His Body, and now at last, with release of all power, the Spirit descends over the body of the Lord and quickens it to life, glorifying and divinizing Him with the light of a thousand suns!

Let us be present there in our meditations, witnessing as the Holy Spirit comes to move over the Body of the Lord, as at the creation of the world, over the waters of death, over seeming chaos and despair; all is quiet, all is still. Contained within the Lord is all of the fulness of Divinity and humanity, the culmination of all creation, and entire world, nay, the realm of the infinite and the entire universe contained in the tomb. The Resurrection represents the complete recreation of the entire cosmos, the entire creation of God; in a sublime mystery, the miracle begun with the incarnation is completed here. God becomes present in the flesh and the paradigm is shifting, for from the moment He is conceived by the Holy Spirit in the Virgin's womb, to the moment He is risen to die no more, can be likened to One who Samson was patterned after. Like Samson, Our Lord in assuming the human race into Himself in His incarnation is coming in the midst of and bearing on His mighty shoulders the entire weight of sin, death, and pain that is represented in the crumbling building; He literally bore a crumbling world on His shoulders, not as in Samson's case due to His sin, but for the sin of the world He came willingly to bear its weight of guilt. Indeed, the world caved in on Him, and He like Samson died under the weight of our pain and darkness; but glorious Light of World, He rises from the rubble; not as an ethereal spirit, but bearing His Body that He laid down, and with it bearing the crumbling ruins of the world connected to it and pulling it up, assuming Earth into Heaven, which is none other than the One whose very life was Sacrifice.

Like the Almighty Sun of Righteousness, He falls in the evening of the world below the West to the realm of the dead, spiritually under the earth, and on the morning of New Beginnings, He comes bearing eternity on the fringes of His garment, lightening the world with His light! Soon it will be full noon, and soon He will return; can you not see the demons frightened? They have no where to hide from the Sun, for it shines all around them, risen in resplendent glory! As St. Paul says: "Meanwhile, make no mistake about the age we live in; already it is high time for us to Awake out of our sleep; our salvation is closer to us now than when we first learned to believe. The Night is far on its course; Day draws near. Let us abandon the ways of darkness, and put on the armor of Light. Let us pass our time honorably, as by the Light of Day, not in reveling and drunkenness, not in lust and wantonness, not in quarrels and rivalries. Rather, arm yourself with the Lord Jesus Christ; spend no more thought on nature and nature's appetites."- Romans 13:11-14

Let us always remember the One who, though He was the Lord God Almighty, glorious beyond all imaging and infinite in every goodness and perfection with the Father and the Holy Spirit, descended into the unfathomably deep abyss of not only Hell but our very corrupt nature that had aligned itself with Hell by the envy of the devil and our cooperation since the primordial times. For it is written of the Lord the following in the divine prophet:

"Come, let us return to the Lord: for he hath taken us, and he will heal us: he will strike, and he will cure us. He will revive us after two days: on the third day he will raise us up, and we shall live in his sight. We shall know, and we shall follow on, that we may know the Lord. His going forth is prepared as the Morning Light, and he will come to us as the early and the latter Rain to the earth."- Hosea 6:1-3

As it is written in the prophet, the one who is the Judge of all, the one to whom it belongs to mete Divine Justice, Retribution, and Wrath to we who deserve such, has Himself been made to not only represent us but mystically draw us into Himself, annihilating our sin as it came to Him on the Cross in suffering; for the sin and suffering could not bear His terrible and Divine Presence. Notice how the prophet has said that he speaks of us as mankind that the Lord will strike in judgment for our vileness of sin, and that it is us as mankind who will be raised after the third day; yet we know that he speaks not of us, but of our Merciful Savior, Jesus Christ. This signifies therefore that, lest we be entirely withered and die from His Wrath, the Lord comes unto us and joins Himself to us in so intimate a way that in Him mankind did endure His own wrath; in tremendous mystery God suffered in the flesh as man and mystically representing the entirety of mankind, wherefore the divine prophet may speak as though signifying us, when really it is our shared humanity that God has been made partaker of. And now! the meditation of Easter! The prophet says, if we follow on so that we may know the Lord Jesus, his going forth is prepared and destined and resolute as the Morning Light, as the Rising Sun in the East, to dispel all darkness for ever and ever, Alleluia! And in the meanwhile, as He says Himself in His own Gospel, He will not leave us orphans; for He will surely come to us as the Rain of His Spirit to comfort and console us on our journey; He will come in His Eucharistic Presence and in His Spirit, Blood mixed with Raining water pouring from His Side on High, coming to refresh the children of men - Alleluia to the Rock that is our sustenance in this our wilderness on Earth.

And lest we forget our Mother, let us remember her and her sharing in her Divine Son's victory on this day; victorious with Him as Queen of His Kingdom in Heaven and on Earth, and crushing Hell under her heel even now. For the vale of tears that is our exile, which we mention to her in our Rosaries, is none other than the spiritual wilderness that the Israel of the Spirit must walk through; through Our Lady's Fiat, through her commanding word ringing out in the darkness of this world falling apart, creation was renewed in the Body and Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ; through the consent of Our Lady of the Eucharist, we receive Our Lord sustaining us as the Water mixed with Blood, and the Body, and the Spirit, coming unto us in His glorified flesh and in His Spirit, Alleluia! Let us remember that the entire Incarnation of our God is such that He assumed humanity into itself; therefore, the process of the Incarnation was brought to final and dramatic close here on Earth in the Assumption of Our Lady into the presence of the Blessed Trinity; the action of the Spirit in the Resurrection of Christ was brought to a perfect and loving finish when He as the Divine Spouse of Our Lady descended over her sacred Dormition, vivifying her in mystical union with her Son's Resurrection. O Christ, we adore you as our God; O Mary, we hail you as our Queen!

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen, and Alleluia!

Hail, Holy Queen, Mother of Mercy! Our Life, our Sweetness, and our Hope. To thee do we cry, poor banished children of Eve; to thee do we send up our sighs, mourning and weeping in this vale of tears. Turn then, most gracious advocate, thine eyes of mercy toward us. And after this, our exile, show unto us the blessed Fruit of thy womb, Jesus. O Clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary. Pray for us, O Holy Mother of God, that we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let us pray.

Almighty, everlasting God, who by the cooperation of the Holy Spirit didst prepare the body and soul of the glorious Virgin-Mother Mary to become a worthy dwelling for Thy Son; grant that we who rejoice in her commemoration may, by her loving intercession, be delivered from present evils and from everlasting death. Amen, and Alleluia!

Let us praise the Lord;

Thanks be to God!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Holy Saturday Meditations

Today, all is silent. The God of the universe has died in the flesh, He has been laid in the tomb. All around the world, the Mass has been silenced; the Pure Sacrifice is laid aside; the Eucharist, hidden away; the Altar candles, put out. All is in the ground, all is dead, all is in solemn quietude.

Christ our God has died on the Cross for our salvation and the undoing of the Curse of Adam, becoming a Curse for us, and His Soul has left His Body. Mystery of mysteries! as Our Lord's Body is laying in the tomb dead according to the flesh and separated from His human soul, even so the eternal Word never ceases to be united to it, preserving it incorrupt. True Life exists in death - the victory of the human race! And that same creative and eternal Word that is united to His Body speaks profoundly to our souls in the quiet silence of the tomb, though His physical mouth is fallen silent.

Let us return to the tomb with Our Lord, the tomb we entered in our Baptism. Let us not just remember, but be mystically present there in our meditation. The tomb and the Virgin's womb speak one testimony and one Life and are one in the Life of Christ they embody and make present, the Life we clothed ourselves with in Baptism, the Life that comes not otherwise than though the sufferings of this life and our many crosses. Christ is hidden once for the development of His Life and unutterable communion with His mother, and again He is hidden in the tomb for the salvation of mankind; and these two joined, hidden periods in Our Lord's life help us to remember that His Life Divine and Human comes not to us nor is embodied in Him except through suffering and death. At our Baptism we are born, and we die; we die, and we are born anew to eternal life; we clothe ourselves with Christ our God, from His conception in the waters of His mother's womb to His death in the tomb, in order that in rising from our enlightening by the Spirit, the eternal Word would enlighten our minds and our hearts and come to be present in our soul; that Jesus Christ would be born, death and life, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, whole and entire, in the midst of us; and so in His glory transform us body and soul into His own Body and members of Him so intimately that no more intimate can be imagined.

And this Holy Saturday night, we proclaim with one accord: Alleluia! for Christ, the Light of the World, is rising as an Almighty Sun from the depths of the earth and the realm of the dead; behold, He arises in the East. Turn, turn, behold, the Lord God Almighty comes; let us greet the Rising Sun.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on us sinners, love us we pray, turn us not away in your Divine and terrible wrath, but be our Divine Spouse instead. We remember you now, and on Divine Mercy Sunday, as our incredible Divine Lover; be present to us this Easter in a deeper way. We seek you and we love you; behold, it is written of your Resurrection in the sacred prophet: Let us press on to know the Lord. If we press on to know Him, His coming to us is assured, and He comes as the rain upon the earth, as the latter and former rains thereof. Amen, and come swiftly to us by your Spirit, Lord Jesus, as in heavy rain, as in a dry and thirsty land, where there is no water; for we pant for thirst of you O Jesus, we are a desert, let it rain your Spirit upon our hearts that we may know you more intimately. Spark fervent devotion to you in all of us, that we may teach sinners your ways, and many may be converted to you. And we pray that you come, whole and entire, through your Divine and Eucharistic Presence, Body, Blood, Soul, and Divinity, and in your Spirit, for we thirst for you, O Lord our God.

We cling to the immortal and eternal power of the Resurrection of Jesus as our only Life.

Good Friday Meditations

Passages to foster a contemplative and meditative spirit on this hallowed day when Christ broke the curtain of His Body to reconcile us to His Father, and to poor out upon us poor children of wrath the riches of His life given through His Spirit, His Blood and Water, and His Body, the testimony of which is one in the Life given to us through the Eucharist. Let us remember that the humanity of Christ is the true Temple of God, the holy of holies, his Body being the curtain veiling His Divinity. He allowed the people that He had created, both Jews and Romans, to destroy the temple of His Body, to rend it asunder, in order to poor out the infinitely separate and holy God on a broken and sinful humanity. O necessary sin, O happy fault of Adam indeed; for through his sin, grace has far more abounded where there was evil; through sin God has broken the curtain to the holy of holies deep within the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ, and allowed us to swim through that infinite Heart for all eternity as an infinite River of the Water of Life.

Let us remember the Cross, the true Tree of Life, the fruit of which we partake of for everlasting life in the Eucharist. St. John has told us that in the mystery of sin there are three centers and three prominent weaknesses that man succumbed to in original sin: the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. In the primordial garden, the analogy of all sin and all that is wrong in our world, it is written that the first parents of our human race succumbed to the influence of the evil one through these same temptations which became our principle weaknesses. Eve, it is said, reasoned within herself that the fruit of this forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil was appealing to eat, was appealing to her eyes and to her senses, and was desirable to make one wise. It is said that the immortality that God Almighty destined man to have was blocked and taken from man by God who gave it, and that immortality which was pictured as the tree of life is blocked from man for age upon age. Until tonight. God is made manifest in the flesh for the renewal of eternal life and the restoration of the tree of life to all mankind.

But, what character does this Tree of Life take on? It comes as the absolute cancelation of the power of sin and death for those who now draw near to partake of its fruit. For the abolishment of sin and its fruit of death is also accompanied by the negation of the three weaknesses that gripped at the core of concupiscence. We behold the Cross of our Savior, Jesus Christ, let us take it in, and attempt to fathom its magnitude. The Lord reigns from the Tree, praised be He unto the ages of ages. On the Cross hung our Savior as its Fruit. This Fruit is not pleasing to the eye, it offends the eye, for as the divine prophet has said, 'So many look on in horror...was human beauty ever so defaced?' This Fruit is the annihilation of all lust, for as our Savior was crucified in the flesh but alive always in the Spirit, so those who draw near are purged of their bodily sins and their power is broken unto renewal in the Spirit. And lo! Its Fruit is foolishness to the Greeks, for who would ever have thought that a crucified Man could be desirable to make one wise - But to us who are being saved it is the power of God and the wisdom of God. And accordingly, New Adam and New Eve stand at this Tree, partaking together of the suffering of sin, the Fruit, but dwelling in untouchable holiness all the while. Redeemer, have mercy on us! Coredemptrix, pray for us in His Presence. Let us draw near, for the Fruit of this Tree of Life is given at ever Mass, the cancellation of all debt and the abolishment of the three centers of concupiscence. The Divine Eucharist, the Fruit of the Tree of Life, is in our midst - let us adore Him, our Eucharistic Lord. Praised be God unto endless ages in the Church, His Mother, Bride, and Daughter. Let our solemn praise of heart be profound and new in conversion afresh, for our sin is removed! Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins be as scarlet, they will be white as snow - and I will remove the sins of that land in one day.

O Christ our God, glorious in your Cross, gateway to eternal life, our only Resurrection, we adore you. O you who did not abhor the waters of the All-Pure Virgin's womb for the renewal unto eternal life, but descended through the Holy Spirit and His Power, have mercy on us. For as the River of the Water of Life, your Spirit, descended in primordial time unto waters creating order out of the chaotic and dark earth, so now you have come through the the Spirit and the waters of the Holy and Sanctified Virgin's womb to make a new creation all who are mystically born of the same mother and the same womb in Baptism by the power of the Holy Spirit, children of God and Blessed Mary; new creations unto all ages; partakers of your Divinity, along with your mother, and sharers in the relationship Mary had with you, O Christ our God and our Divine Spouse.

O Christ our God, glorious in your wounds, we draw near to your Cross, have mercy on us. For never once did you, O Divine and Almighty Word of the Father, separate from your Body; accordingly we confess this mystery of you, O Christ: True Life in Death; praised be He unto all ages. You expired, Jesus, but the source of life gushed forth as a fountain of Divine Mercy and salvation for all the world. When you died, O Immortal  One, Hell quaked with fear, not understanding or fathoming the mystery - for you were united to your Body and your Soul, yet Body and Soul were separated in your Infinite Majesty for a time, so that you might descend unto the realm of the dead and save men and prophets. We confess your Mystery sublime, O One dead, and yet alive and Almighty. Hell could not hold you, O True Life, for you laid down your Life that you might take it up again. Your Body we confess did not receive corruption, for the Source of all Life was united all the while to it.

It is finished!

Purge out the leaven of sin, so that you may be a new loaf unto the Lord; for Christ our Pasch has been Sacrificed.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Catholic Philosophical Musings - interlude to Human Existence parts One and Two

Disclaimer: I am under twenty years old, an amateur at philosophy; I bear no imprimatur, nor any ecclesiastical approval; none of this is guaranteed to be right, I'm simply using my blog as an outlet for my thoughts about life and human existence. If I hit on even 75% of the Truth, with 25% error mixed in, so be it. Take it for what it's worth, hopefully it stimulates the mind if nothing else. If I say anything that is clear contrary to any infallibly defined article of Catholic Faith (aka Heresy), tell me, and I will correct myself, and gladly. God bless~

(The following is based on a correspondence I held with a fellow on YouTube, with added text to make it more blog-able)

(Him) "You guys are all very confused, there is no god."

(Me) "Say goodbye to all meaning and truth, then. The only way to get by in one's life while believing there is no God is to live dishonestly, because if there is no God that means that the ultimate end of all things, all endeavors, and all human ideas whatsoever is nothingness. If the ultimate end of anything you think, do, feel, or hold to is that all of those things came from nothing and go to nothing, then your entire life and very person are illusions, and your very statement there is an illusion.

Hence it's a nonsense statement to say there is no God, since if there is nothing transcendent and nothing at all like God, it renders your statement utterly meaningless and absurd, and an illusion; coming from nothing, filtered through electrical impulses and chemicals in your brain, manifested through the illusory dream of consciousness, and going to die, with you, in nothingness, the nothingness that was there all along and ignored. Morbid? You bet. God is as real as we are, literally; as real as the human race. Why? Because our entire basis of thinking at all, of using Reason, is based entirely on objectivity and a fixed and transcendent point. If you take away mankind's ability to Reason to true reality, you've taken away his ability to identify meaning, truth, goodness; you've lowered him to the level of an animal, and yet, something hideously worse than an animal, because he would still be conscious of his incessant insanity and disfunction of mind that compels him to THINK about anything and everything. A man who no longer believe in Reason to reality based on the fixed point of God has taken away both his ability to be fully human or even fully animal; hence it follows by natural consequence that the only existence possible to man is one in which he acknowledges some kind of transcendent God.

Remember: there is no room in pure evolution for love or truth. Take away love and truth from humanity, and congratulations, you have created the supernatural; you have created a race of conscious devils who are neither man nor beast, but pure evil, pure ego, pure 'self,' pure subjective. There is no viable path back to become animals, only the incessant striving forward to the infinite and to God, whether one likes it or not. Otherwise, stop thinking altogether, for man is thus rendered inexplicable and there is no answer to the questions you ask.

All human thought must have the fixed point of transcendence, of some sort of God, or it collapses into absurdity and gibberish. Value judgments become absurd, truth statements like "There is no God" become absurd because there is no truth or error, just nothingness and illusions of being and causality.
This isn't all just big-worded philosophy, it's the heart of life, and it is the truth. And if it is the truth, and not absurdity like all other statements, then God has to exist.

Here's another way to look at it: if there is no transcendent God, and only a subjective and illusory universe, then even in that case I argue mankind still would have to believe in God. Why? Because that would mean that the human mind had evolved to be utterly contradictory to, and incompatible with, our universe. The only truth we would be capable of knowing and understanding would be self-defined human truth, what we've inherited in the bubble of the human race, including spirituality and religious thought. Objectivity regarding the Actual State of the universe exterior to the human mind would be rendered impossible. An analogy would be fitting here: the human mind itself would be like an immutable wall to any sort of exterior reality, incapable of processing or making sense of anything outside of the system of fixed-point objective thought that has evolved within it to enable human beings to survive. Hence, if God does exist, we ought to believe in Him. If He does not exist exteriorly but only in human thought, we still ought to believe in Him, since He would turn out to be the sum total of human thought, and not exterior to our thought, but its only basis for functioning whatsoever; rejection of the God-concept within human thought would then amount to suicide of thought. None of my reasoning is invalid; if it seems a dishonest and absurd statement to say that even if God doesn't exist we ought to believe in Him, get used to it; in an atheistic system, as I've already explained, all is absurd and all thoughts and statements are dishonest, being based on no truth whatsoever.

At the end of the day, as a human person, to assert anything as definitively, objectively true, even your own existence, is to assert God's objective existence as the fixed point of absolute Being that you've based your truth assertion on. To say "I am" is to echo God's definitive "I Am;" you've discovered the Image of God in man, the Reason that enlightens every many coming in the world (John 1:1-14).

As one final added point: if you've read this, and you've reasoned, and you've evaluated, and decided that there is even one point of objective Truth in this essay, you've decided that an objective and transcendent God exists without even realizing it. How's that for Truth?

Lord, help us to wake up from our insanity. Have mercy on the West."

In a society like ours today, these things need to be said, in order to prompt people to think about themselves and about God. We've never needed the Catholic Truth of Faith and Reason more than in 21st century Western Civilization.

Veritatis Splendor!