Sunday, 23 February 2014

Very Troubling

So, this has always bothered me... and I think it will bother any serious Catholic, too. The place to begin is at the beginning. I'll just get right to the main, and I'm sure you will follow. The Council of Nicaea of course produced a Creed, and though it has changed, we continue to call it the Nicene Creed. The Council of Nicaea which produced the Creed and the successive councils which improved upon it, until the Council of Ephesus, were each clear that only another council could alter it further.

Council of Ephesus states:

"We do not permit ANYONE (Pope included) in any way to upset the defined faith or the creed drawn up by the holy fathers who assembled at Nicaea as the times demanded. We give neither ourselves nor them the licence to alter any expression there or to change a single syllable, remembering the words: "Remove not the ancient landmarks which your fathers have set".

"...adding nothing at all to the creed put forward by the holy fathers at Nicaea."

"It is not permitted to produce or write or compose any other creed except the one which was defined by the holy fathers who were gathered together in the holy Spirit at Nicaea."

"Similarly if anyone should wish in any way to upset the decisions in each point taken in the holy synod of Ephesus, the holy synod decides that if they are bishops or clerics they should be completely deprived of their own rank and if they are laity they should be excommunicated."

And that was the last council to alter the Nicene Creed. It was not altered again until Pope Leo III did so unilaterally, at the request of the Holy Roman Emperor. According to Ephesus, he was excommunicate, ipso facto. This of course is know as the Filioque clause. Though there were differing opinions, it was not a catastrophic issue at first. The Eastern Churches were not required to adopt the filioque. However, due to an abundance of issues, the filioque did eventually come into play as fodder for as to why the East should separate from the West. Certain uneducated and contentious people in the East were presumptuous and ignorant enough to suggest that the filioque constituted actual heresy, saying that Rome had suggested that the Holy Spirit was produced as a generative substance (as in a creature) from the Father and the Son... which of course is complete nonsense. The Romans were very concise in their use of Latin to state that the Holy Spirit "proceeded" from the Father and the Son, as in "to go forth from," as in "having gone forth from amongst them as a concomitant, consubstantial person of the Godhead." So, I won't, and do not think for a moment that anyone, anywhere need take that portion of the issue seriously.

However, the Pope had sent proxies to attend these councils, and not only but had affirmed them solemnly. The issue is not Pope Leo III, or Pope Sixtus, or Pope Benedict, or Pope Pius... it is all one office, one chair. The issue is PETER. Now, as a Roman, I believe in the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. I also believe in the filioque clause. However, if Peter has agreed to lay aside his rights and prerogatives to speak infallibly, in order to agree and bind himself by agreeing with the decrees of an ecumenical council, then he has laid them off... as surely as Christ laid aside his rights and glory, to humbly take the flesh of Mary, and become a man. There can be no confusion about this, whatsoever!

Peter bound himself repeatedly, and solemnly by laying aside his prerogative to speak authoritatively, unilaterally, and infallibly on the content of the Creed... so that he might with his brothers in solidarity. But Peter reneged, broke his pledge, and changed it anyway, by himself, without regard for his peers. Further, when he saw that he had created a scandal because of his manners, though he had not spoken heresy... he did not deign to pronounce the truth with his brothers in a council, according to their previous agreements. Rather, he reviled them, and said that whoever refused to agree with him was anathema. Being that he had spoken the Divine Truth by adding the filioque, it was true... whoever would not assent to it was anathema. But how harsh and reckless a thing to do to your brothers! Even our Lord, Jesus Christ Himself said to Peter and the other apostles," I have many things to say unto you, which you cannot now bear [to hear]. But I shall send the Helper [holy Spirit] unto you, who will reveal the Truth about God, until the end of the Age."

This means that there was Truth intended for the Church, intended for the Apostles to be entrusted with, which they could not bear to hear. They could not bear to hear it. So, in His gentleness, our Lord said that he would leave the task to the Holy Spirit, who would do it over time, until the end of the Age, when His Bride the Church would be perfected. How far indeed the Pope strayed from this example in his rash behavior! Using the Truth to destroy people because of their weakness!

You may or may not agree with me at this point... which is not the intent of this entry. But I think these are natural, logical, truthful conclusions, as clear to the mind and the heart as the sun is to the eye. And yet, as troubling as this is, there is something even more troubling to me. It is to be found in Pope Pius IX's Syllabus of Errors,' wherein this is listed as an error:
"38. The Roman pontiffs have, by their too arbitrary conduct, contributed to the division of the Church into Eastern and Western. -- Apostolic Letter "Ad Apostolicae," Aug. 22, 1851."

That means that if you are of the opinion which I stated above, you are anathema. It immediately leads one to ask the question," Is the syllabus an infallible statement?" There is some debate about that. However, this will clear everything up:

"So long as Rome has not decided the question, everyone is free to follow the opinion he chooses. Even should the condemnation of many propositions not possess that unchangeableness peculiar to infallible decisions, nevertheless the binding force of the condemnation in regard to all the propositions is beyond doubt. For the Syllabus, as appears from the official communication of Cardinal Antonelli, is a decision given by the pope speaking as universal teacher and judge to Catholics the world over. All Catholics, therefore, are bound to accept the Syllabus. Exteriorly they may neither in word nor in writing oppose its contents; they must also assent to it interiorly."

In typical Roman fashion, it says you can have a different opinion... except you can't. Here's the problem. You can't just decide that you are going to believe something. I can't say," From now on everyone is going to believe that 1+1=5. And no one can oppose this, and they must also assent to it interiorly." That's asinine. It's clear and evident to every literate person, and anyone who can hear the historical events read, that it was in fact the too arbitrary conduct of the Roman Pontiff that "contributed" to the division of the Church into Eastern and Western. It is clearly the case. It isn't infallible and binding, because it is a potentially changeable statement... but it is binding, and you have to believe it, despite all evidence to the contrary. Oh, It gets better:

"Many theses of the Syllabus of Pius X, as all Catholic theologians affirm, are heresies, i.e. infallibly false; for their contradictory is dogma, in many cases even fundamental dogma or an article of faith in the Catholic Church. With regard to the question, whether the Syllabus is in itself an infallible dogmatic decision, theologians hold opposite opinions. Some maintain that the Decree is infallible on account of its confirmation (4 July, 1907) or sanction (18 November, 1907) by the pope; others defend the opinion that the Decree remains nevertheless the doctrinal decision of a Roman Congregation, and is, viewed precisely as such, not absolutely immune from error. In this theological dispute, therefore, liberty of opinion, which has always been safeguarded by the Church in undecided questions, still remains to us. Yet all theologians agree that no Catholic is allowed to maintain any of the condemned theses."

Isn't... that... nice. So, if you believe what it obviously true... you are anathema. "They don't know if it is infallible or not." That's amazing, given the fact that the Second Vatican Council says this:

"Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation" (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, 16)."

And that the Syllabus of Errors lists this as an error:

"17. Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ. -- Encyclical "Quanto conficiamur," Aug. 10, 1863, etc.
I get the nuance, Vatican II is talking about good people, and Error #17 is talking about Universalism. But then it says this:

"16. Man may, in the observance of any religion whatever, find the way of eternal salvation, and arrive at eternal salvation. -- Encyclical "Qui pluribus," Nov. 9, 1846."
And the language of the Second Vatican Council does contradict that. Why? Because of the word "may." But if all that is confusing, this unquestionably infallible statement is crystal clear:

"Pope Eugene IV, Cantate Domino (1441): "The most Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that none of those existing outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans, but also Jews and heretics and schismatics, can have a share in life eternal; but that they will go into the "eternal fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels" (Matthew 25:41), unless before death they are joined with Her; and that so important is the unity of this ecclesiastical body that only those remaining within this unity can profit by the sacraments of the Church unto salvation, and they alone can receive an eternal recompense for their fasts, their almsgivings, their other works of Christian piety and the duties of a Christian soldier. No one, let his almsgiving be as great as it may, no one, even if he pour out his blood for the Name of Christ, can be saved, unless he remain within the bosom and the unity of the Catholic Church."

The Second Vatican Council doesn't agree. It may seem that I've gone down a rabbit hole, but I haven't. The point of it all is this, the Magesterium of the Catholic Church teaches that something explicitly declared as false, as heresy... is acceptable for belief. Namely, that "Those who, through no fault of their own, do not know the Gospel of Christ or his Church, but who nevertheless seek God with a sincere heart, and, moved by grace, try in their actions to do his will as they know it through the dictates of their conscience — those too may achieve eternal salvation." And every Catholic is duty bound to defer to the Magesterium, who are also duty bound to defer to and accept infallible statements, which are interpreted and taught by the Magesterium. What? So, I am duty bound to believe and assent to two conflicting things... because I am duty bound to defer to two different authoritative sources? And no one can say," Know thy place!" Well, thank you very much, I'd like to! You can see why they can't tell if the Syllabus of Errors is infallible or not. In the mean time, you have to believe what is obviously false... while you wait upon Rome to decide officially and authoritatively which it is (fallible or infallible)... if it EVER decides it is important to do so. That is unacceptable to me.

Friday, 14 February 2014

My Government

I have been frequently asked lately what my own conception of a perfect government would be. Since I am a Catholic the answer should be very clear: The Monarchy of the Holy Trinity. Of course, that's not what is meant by the question, so that isn't a sequitur answer. Naturally, the inquiry is concerned with what sort of government amongst ourselves would be preferable.

Anyone undertaking such an exposition is immediately tempted to defend the reasons as to why they would make such selections. For instance, I think that freedom of speech is a horrendously stupid idea, and that it has had a disastrous affect on the West. However, to appropriately address the reason as to why would force me to get long-winded about the perverted "rights of man" so-called, which were put forth by the 'Philosophes'... so-called. But naturally, most people don't really know who they were or what they said, and if they do know what they said they don't know why they said what they said and why it was a bunch of humanistic devilry. So, you have to explain that, and then trot out all the ill-effects and affects as evidences. Then, they still don't understand, and you're contending with the fact that they are brainwashed from living in an 'Enlightenment' nation, and they aren't even following or listening by that point, and it's damned pointless. You find yourself trying to untangle 20 or 30 years of wrongheaded thinking with one argument... all in the futile attempt to get them to understand that the terms 'ability' and 'right' are not synonyms, and that people do not have the right to free speech as Americans conceive of it. Of course, they balk at that. Just one example of many.

So... I will not attempt to do that. Rather, I will merely outline what I think most efficient and best. Further, I will only address the top tiers, and perhaps name some laws I think good. Per your request, I give you my thoughts:

There would be a very strong monarchy... which would defer first to the Church, and second to a senate. Not an American style Senate, a Roman style senate.

The Church would take a stern, authoritative, and active paternal role towards the senate and the monarchy.

The monarchy would not be based on bloodline. The monarchy would work very much the same way a Pope is elected. He would be taken from amongst the senate, via the confluence of the senate. That is to say, they would vote, and not only once, but several times. The people would in no way be consulted on this matter. Further, upon their agreement, their pick would be presented to the Church for approval. If approved, and he is found without fault, he would be coronated by the Pope... thus receiving his privilege to rule from the Church.

The Church alone would have the authority to revoke the crown, because it was they who placed the crown upon his head.

The senate would have the right to petition the Church for such a revocation.

To qualify for a position in the senate would necessitate the following: The subject would have to be a Catholic, no less than 40 years of age. The subject would have to possess a doctorate. The subject must have no debt. The he must take a vow of poverty, he must be single, he must make a vow of loyalty to the Church. Membership in any non-Catholic fraternity would be strictly forbidden. He would contribute all his wealth to the people. He would receive no pay. He must be a daily communicant. He must live an austere, virtuous life amongst his fellow senators in a senatorial complex... outside of which they may not venture without the permission of the monarch, and never on personal business, except for to make pilgrimage.

The senators would be chosen from amongst an aristocracy, to which any man could attain through the exercise of reason, morals, virtues, and ability. It would not be an hereditary aristocracy. It would be based on merit and conferred by the monarch, and it would be known as knighthood. It would be a functional aristocracy, entrusted with the local goods of the state. Therefore, it would not be a land based aristocracy; rather the land would belong to the people, as prescribed by distributionism. The aristocracy's sole purpose for existing would be to enrich the lives of the people, maintain and improve the infrastructure, to enforce laws through subordinate officers, to propagate morality, and to maintain traditions and culture.

From amongst this aristocracy senators would be selected by Catholic men in good standing falling into one of several categories: men of property aged 65-80 years, those with doctorates, priests, military officers, and any other common man who could pass a voter's aptitude battery (which he would take before voting each time). These men would vote, and by their confluence in a province, suggest a man to the senate. The senate could reject the man during his probationary period of three years. During his three year probation, he would not function as a senator, but merely as counsel.  

Freemasonry would be outlawed. Membership in the organization would carry the immediate penalty of permanent exile.

Anyone caught intentionally peddling or promoting communism, fascism, socialism, democracy, anarchy or other such perversions, beyond the shadow of a doubt, would immediately receive a penalty of 30 years hard labour.

Political parties would be strictly illegal, with the penalty of life sentence to hard labour in service to the state .

The practice of demagogy would carry the swift penalty of life sentence to hard labour in service to the state.

Adultery would carry the penalty of 20 years hard labour in benefit to the spouse, unless their spouse petitions the state to have mercy on them.

Murder would carry the penalty of a life of hard labour in service to the state, without the possibility of parole.

The use and/or possession of any illegal substance would carry the penalty of ten years hard labour in service to the state.

Grand theft would carry the penalty of seven years hard labour in service to the state.

Frivolous lawsuits would be penalized with harsh, yet appropriate, sentences of hard labour in service to the state.

Sedition against the state or the Church would be punished with 100 years hard labour in service to the state.

Rape, 80 years hard labour.

Divorce would not be granted except in the case of adultery.

Fornication, five years hard labour.

There would be one penalty for pornographers: life sentence, hard labour.

Journalists found to be intentionally disseminating falsehood, 100 years hard labour.

Kidnapping and human trafficking: life sentence, hard labour.

Espionage: life sentence, hard labour.

Animal abuse: one year hard labour.

Identity theft: life sentence, hard labour.

Burglary: 30 years, hard labour.

Vandalism: 10 years, hard labour... unless dispensed by the victim.

There would be one penalty for all successful attempts to escape: Death by public execution.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Ascending

Take a lesson from nature. In the tundra, when a moose is down in the plain it is eaten by swarms of pestilence, flies and mosquitoes. He is also tormented by the oppressive sun, and the humidity of the plain because the plain is full of water that has run down from the mountains. To escape the pestilence, he climbs the slopes of the mountain where the wind is, where they dare not fly, where the stifling heat is swept away. But if he climbs too boldly, he may injure himself, and so be forced to make his descent.

In the same way, when we are in the world, we are buffeted by the passions, and the demons who stir them up. Similarly, all blessings come from the Father, who makes the rain to fall upon the just and the unjust alike. These blessings of wealth, and food, and pleasure, man has greedily stored up in the plain of his anxiety and mediocrity, like pools, and ponds, and lakes. The harsh justice of the Son, who is like the sun, sees to it that these are punished by the same means with which they sin. This is why these blessings of pleasure, wealth, and power have become stifling to us. Nonetheless, these blessings have come down to us from the Father, and our own deeds have condemned us, and made the world an intolerable place.

To escape the Lord of the Flies, and his power, we must make our ascent! But the way is difficult, and the path is narrow which leads to life. The closer we come to the summit, where God is, the safer we are from these lethal torments. But just as true, to fall from those heights is immediately more lethal. If we make our ascent, without self-knowledge, we will surely injure ourselves through presumption and pride. Therefore, it is a steady way we must go, with all patience, enduring the aridity of the slope (spiritual testing), the loneliness (actual), and the brightness of the sun which hurts the eyes (which is revelation)... remembering with all lucidity the torments we sought to escape.

For if we forget how horrible it was, which is to fail to hate sin with natural anger, we become disheartened and lose our sense of purpose. Allowing ourselves to come to a halt, and looking back down to the plain at the glistening waters, and the windswept prairie, we may consider most powerfully to descend once more to the flat and easy ground, having allowed ourselves to be incensed by our present troubles. Having forgotten, through weakness of the intellect, the torments which were killing us, and devouring us, and filling us with sores, the torments which made it hard to draw breath, we may foolishly reason to reject the trials that presently weary us and perfect us, for those torments which which were down in the plain that were killing us and rotting us.

Therefore, remember the angel's warning to Lot and his family as they took them up from the plain, that they should not look back. For, in looking back, and longing in her heart for the cities of the plain which were full of corruption, she was destroyed. And be so careful as you make your ascent! Don't go leaping about like a goat, and perish.  Make your steps sure, examining each hold, and each place you set your foot. How horrible for you, through false pride, to make your own way which can only lead to peril, instead of taking that provided nature, that is to say by the Lord of the Mountain, the like of which leads to life.

And once you have entered into the cloud which rests upon the summit, just as a cloud descended upon Horeb and Tabor, there are other things. Things which cannot be spoken of because it is not permitted. Indeed, when you are there, there is only one instruction which is needful. Be silent, and be still. There are many who have experienced this tenuously in foreshadowing as mists and clouds pass by and envelop them on the slope. And all those who have seen hear the words of the Father,"This is my Son, whom I have chosen; listen to Him." These mists prepare you for true vigilance, when you cannot see, and true silence, when the mind is free from all illusions, not only images, or airs, but is entirely freed from the imagination and even reason. The Lord takes you, and enraptures you in His glory, like Moses, and you are beheld by the light of God and behold Him yourself. God forgive me for speaking of such things! If I can but make you understand what sort of prayer your ascent is aimed to! It is a holy fire, and you are beheld by the Thrice Holy God.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Saturday, 1 June 2013

Lawlessness


You've heard it said that we are no longer under the Law, meaning the Law given to Moses by God on Horeb. But the Law which God requires of all mankind is the Law of Righteousness. Therefore, St. Paul says that those who do what is in the Law (of Moses) fulfilling the requirements of righteousness (which is the Law which Abraham was under. Namely, to walk before the Lord perfectly), without being under the Law are a law unto themselves. Wicked and deceived people go around trying as they may to conflate the Mosaic Law and the Law of Righteousness which was given through Christ, so that by having been excused by God from the Law they might excuse themselves from righteousness. These people are lawless, and they never stop making excuses for their wickedness. They live without the natural restraint which comes from living righteously. They reject righteousness for what they call liberty, when it is liberty which is given by Christ to His people so that they can be righteous. This is the lawlessness I was speaking of.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Tuesday, 28 May 2013

Be Human


You don't need to become divine in order to be a saint. All you have to do is become human. Do you understand? Man is made in the image of God, which is a divine image. To be human is to bear divine similitude. That similitude is the source of human existence. Since the Fall, man's humanity is delimited. A delimited glory. Christ Theanthropos (Godman) is more human that we are. He was conceived without sin. God does not have a delimited glory. But in the Incarnation, He has united His divinity with our humanity, and our humanity with His divinity. Strive to be what God created you to be, and this is enough. You cannot be more than what you were created to be.

Think back to how it was before we inherited this delimited glory, Adam walking in the Garden with the Lord. He walked, walked, with the Lord of Glory who is an all consuming fire, in the cool of the day. He was in the Glory of God. This is theoria, and theosis... the way things ought to be. This is how man was created, this was his lot. People go around sinning and erring all the time, and they think they are humble when they excuse themselves, saying," Oh, I'm not perfect. I'm just human!" What is this? This is not being human. This is a statement which is referential of the fact that we are NOT fully human. Do you see the way things ought to be understood? Don't excuse yourself. Strive for perfection, seeking His kingdom and His righteousness. Be strong.

And we know we are strong when we admit we are weak, crying out for mercy," Kyrie Iesou Christi eleison me!" (Lord, Jesus Christ, have mercy on me!) Strive to be human. Fix your understanding of what it really means to be human. Wash your heart with prayer and the reading of scripture, by partaking of the sacraments. All the wonderful things you are capable of, called divine, these are what it means to be human. Become human and He will unite your humanity with His divinity. Do you require proof? Then, understand that this is why Mary was assumpted into heaven. This is why Enoch and Elijah and Moses were assumpted. Christ undermined the natural flow of time, and you see them transcending all, their humanity enraptured and united to His divinity. Strive to be human. Purify your understanding of what it means to be human.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

The Heart


How many of you have awoken to the sensation of falling? Where did that fear come from? Was it an image in your mind that frightened you? Or was it something in the pit of you?

How many of you have been wrongfully accused? Where did that glow of anger come from? Did it start within the mind and move to heart? Or did it pour out from the middle of you?

Or how many of you, when you were young saw a beautiful woman? Did that sensation start in your mind intellectually? Or did that flush feeling emanate through you starting at the center of your being? Hot faced and weak, swooning like a fool.

As Christ said, evil comes out of the heart of a man. Here we have fear, anger, lust. These things you feel automatically. You don't even have to try to feel them. But let you look upon a crucifix! and how hard it is for you to feel something genuine, not self-promoted. The only emotion you can work up is self-suggested maudlin.

Do you see how small the heart is? Do you see how full of evil it is? We ought not love God out of duty. No. We ought to strive for this automatic response which comes from the heart being filled with holiness. This is the prayer of the heart. Presently, the heart wants evil: vengeance, comforts, fornications. When we stop coming to God through images primarily, and our heart beats for him, apart from the images... then we are close. We are VERY close!

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

How My Pursuit for Holiness Almost Ruined My Life


It wasn't until I really, I mean really, let my sins go in the sacrament of confession that I began to make progress. I used to think somehow, subconsciously, that being 'afraid' of certain sins, worrying about committing them, being anxious about them (hyper-vigilance), and hating them would bring about metanoia (repentance) and metamorphosis (change). That by these means I would someday, if I kept at it, escape my sins, that I would stop sinning. This deluded me, and I thought to myself," You have only to be courageous and obedient! Do not do...!" I thought my virtue would save me, even understanding that it was God-given, to help me. He would give me His courage! He would help me abstain!

And other Christians led me to believe it, too. They said," Yes! Keep on!" Some directly, some indirectly. Others I misunderstood, because of my own delusion. It wasn't until I understood that fear, worry, anxiety, and hate only tend to evil... that I really began to leave them behind. Christ didn't come to stop me, to prevent me, to make me abstain. He came to set me free, not only from what I had done, but He had freed me to set me at perfect liberty. He did not come to recruit soldiers, dispensing courage, to have them fight a battle that He had already won. No. He came, giving His Spirit, heartening us with courage so that we would proclaim Christ crucified, in word and deed. I was in truth trying to fulfill the Law, and did not recognize it.
I was believing a lie. Namely, that though I was absolved, I was still full of sin. That I could save myself from sin, if only God would give me the tools, if only He would help me obey the rules!

I learned to love God in that miserable state of despair out of auto-suggested zeal and duty. I did not love God with my heart, that miserable, shriveled up, little raisin. I only intellectually comprehended who He is and that I owed him something. So, imagine how shallow my view of Christ was! I was so shallow! I was a faker! But I desperately wanted to be good. My pursuit for holiness had ruined me, because I was not seeking 'first the Kingdom of God and HIS righteousness'... which is that He is loving and merciful, and that through His loving mercy He establishes His kingdom with in me. Because He says," No one will say,' Lo, here it is... or... Lo, there it is. For the Kingdom of God is within you." Can you see how backward I was? And maybe this is you, right now! It can be over in an instant. Cry out for mercy!

Satan had deceived me, and I had deceived myself. I was so frantic, I could not see the mess I was in. I could not see that I was deceived! Moreover, I actually believed that if I persisted in this, I would obtain what my soul was crying out for. Can you imagine? I thought what was killing me was saving me. And the 'duty' to be holy made me seem holy to those around me, so no one could help me. No one knew I was drowning. Least of all myself! I thought I was treading water until I could reach God's far shore. As if God was standing off at a distance for my good. "Who can know God's ways?," I told my self with resignation, as I exhausted myself near to death. That is why I did not experience His grace. The truth was, I had no real faith, because I was putting it in my own false perceptions. I was like Peter, I had started well, got scared, and was about to drown to death.

I was under siege, like an animal being poked in a cage and tortured. I thought I was pleasing God, but I was offending Him! I thought I was offering service to God, but I was serving myself. Worse I was serving demons as their entertainment. I was walking in iniquity, believing I was doing the holy things He commanded me to do. I was rejecting His grace for the Law! And yet, ignorant as I was, I still marveled that Satan tormented me as often as He liked, and with impunity. Christ mercifully made me see that I would escape temptation through His mercy. Not that I would not be tempted, but that I would escape it by grace, through taking every thought captive for Christ and crying out for mercy! His mercy is my life. I knew that, but I did not understand. I had knowledge, but not understanding. And when His Spirit made me understand, I was able to be wise. I could then do what was good, taking no thought of evil. He made me to behave wisely, by enlightening me, and strengthening me to do whatever He had shown me.

I don't carry around those sins on my shoulders. They are not within me, necessitating me to contain them with my virtue, my strength, and my cunning. Not even with my faith, or my hope, or my love. I am not a 'Pandora's Box' of evil, whose lid must remain shut! I am the temple. I had been been closing the gates of my heart, but through Christ I now understand the Psalmist when he says to me," Lift up your heads, O ye gates; and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors; and the King of glory shall come in!" Before, I knew; now, I understand, that though concupiscence is a voice within me, I will drown it out with cries for mercy, not by arguing with it. Not by what I know. Sin is stupid, brothers; it is no feat to win an argument against it! A child can do that. But it doesn't care if you win, because it is Evil. It will destroy you anyway. Thanks be to God that I understand, now!

Nothing is more simple! Accept the work of the Cross, banish condemnation from your heart by believing in and accepting the power of confession, and cry out for mercy. Don't waste any energy on worry, hate, anxiety, or fear. They only work to evil. Simply love what is good, understand that Christ's mercy is your victory over sin, pray incessantly, and do good. Therefore, stay with Him in the Eucharist, and in confession. And of course, forgive all people, especially before they seek forgiveness... this, too, is how you banish condemnation. "There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit."

If I am careful, and I take every thought captive for Christ, through Christ, and nullify the evil images, and cut them off by the name of Jesus Christ... then that poison will not make it's way into my heart. Where does Christ say evil comes from? "It is not what goes into a man which defiles him, but what comes out of him." Elsewhere He says," For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders." So, if I do that first thing, then evil does not come out of me. Then, I have only only not to do evil. Not that I have not to do evil, but that I have to do good. It is for me to do. You don't like all the evil in the world? Stop doing evil. You like the good? Then, do that. Please pray for me as I pray for you.

"Every art and every inquiry, and similarly every action and choice, is thought to aim at some good; and for this reason the good has rightly been declared to be that at which all things aim." ~Aristotle~