Thursday, November 7, 2013
Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D., in his devotional classic, DIVINE INTIMACY, (Perseverance, #293) - speaks of the instability of matter, as opposed to the stability of spirit:
"We are not angels, we are human beings. The angel, a pure spirit, is stable by nature. If he makes a resolution, he holds to it, but this is not the case with us. We, being composed of spirit and matter, must suffer the consequences of the instability and fluctuations of the latter. Hence it becomes so difficult for us to be perfectly constant in the good...(p.879).
It is precisely within this ever-moving material-cause - conjoined to the stability of the formal cause of the body of the universe, that we find a physical manifestation of the stability of the spirit - which is God Himself, His Holy Ghost, Divine Grace, and His life in our own souls. St. Paul says that in Him, we live and move, and have our being. St. Thomas explains this as God's efficient-final power of Causality, which alone sustains the Universe as a whole, in being. Not every soul is in the state of Grace - but every living soul informing a physical body, is maintained in existence by God's power. And so it is also with the Body of the Universe.
This body, created on Day One, is a purely physical-material Body with no soul, but constituted entirely by the inanimate elements - the particles and photons that the modern physicists and chemists study with their immensely sophisticated instruments. Since the Copernican revolution, the Body of the Universe is no longer seen or felt to be even a relatively stable environment for mankind, and the rest of creation, in the descending hierarchy of beings below him. Before Copernicus and his popularizing disciple Galileo, plus the concourse of revolutionary figures that arose during the 16th and 17th centuries, the universe was trustingly perceived as terra firma within the great and grand hierarchical Order of the Angels, who were charged with keeping the celestial bodies, and their beneficent influence on the sub-lunar world - in their proper periodic motions around the immovable earth. But the Copernican revolution changed all of that, and because Copernicus attacked the Cosmology, the very environment of our living being - it gave rise to that "synthesis of all heresies" - which is evolutionary Modernism as defined, described and condemned by Pope St. Pius X in Pascendi and Lamentabili of 1907. And this "synthesis of all heresies" can only be corrected and replaced by the synthesis of all truths, which is represented so well by the Summa of St. Thomas Aquinas.
In his Summa, St. Thomas demonstrates the importance of the entire Natural Order for Theology. Truth is One, which means that all particular and general truths relate to one another in some way. There can be no real conflict or inconsistency between a truth of the natural order, the moral order, the principles of Metaphysics and the Truths of Faith based on the literal meanings of the Holy Scriptures. An example of this, that is routinely overlooked in modern times, is the institution of marriage. This institution is established for all time in Genesis 2:18-25 and implicitly in Genesis 1:27-28. The words of Adam describe the natural union of man and woman in the consummation of the vowed agreement or covenant/contract, especially the "two in one flesh". The Church has always taught that Our Divine Lord raised marriage to the level of a supernatural sacrament - replete with all the necessary graces a married couple need to save their souls and accomplish the primary purpose of marriage - which is the procreation and education of children - explicit in God's command to increase and multiply. It is obvious that when the institution of marriage in Genesis - and the Church's raising of the natural union to the supernatural level - when these basic facts of Creation are forgotten - the entire natural order is threatened, as it is today. And why is Genesis forgotten? Because of a false science, - what St. Paul calls "knowledge falsely so-called" (1 Tim.6:20), and what Pope St. Pius X condemned as evolutionary Modernism. And it all started when Galileo insisted that the Holy Scriptures erred when they made the Earth the IMMOBILE center of the Universe.
The most obvious and extensive conflict of truth and error, in modern times, is that between the entire evolutionary world-view and the world-view of Scripture. Both worldviews begin with Creation. And the most obvious - and I believe probably the most important difference - yet the one most misunderstood and misrepresented is this:
Creation by God is an Act - absolutely transcendent and involving NO PROCESS whatsoever - nor any instant of time. Creation by God is an a-temporal, transcendent Act. But, "creation" by evolution - or in the evolutionary world view, is all process - taking millions and billions of years - as if the impossible could become possible in time! This is what makes the evolutionary world-view the greatest Myth of all time. In fact, it is Lucifer's Masterpiece. The ancient myths of all the earliest city-states and civilizations were corruptions of the Primordial Revelation given to Adam, and edited by Moses, who discerned, by divine inspiration, the real words of God and the eye-witness accounts of the Patriarchs, from the later fictional embellishments of the original events by such poets as the author of the Gilgamesh epic, etc. All of this has been well documented. One of the best accounts I know of is that of Henry M. Morris in the introductory material to his book - THE GENESIS RECORDS.
I am certain that one day in the future, theologians and following them, all natural scientists, will find the order of the literal - 24 hour - six days of Creation Week - the first six days of all time, to be absolutely necessary, not only in their ORDER, but also in the "work" of each Day - for a correct and intellectually satisfying basis for all the sciences. This concerns primarily the fact that what God did on each of the six days - was to create, ex nihilo and in toto, the substantial form of each being that He intended to endure until the End of Time and even glorified into Eternity. Thus, He definitely intended at least three plant forms to endure:
The grasses and cereals
The flowering plants
And the trees - vines, e.g. grape.
The animals and plants of the marine world and the birds
The land animals - insects - reptiles and mammals
For the sciences, the formal object of each science is determined, defined and limited by the form - the formal principle of that science. It may be instructive to inject a personal note here. In graduate school at the Catholic University of America in Washington DC...in the 1950's - I elected to take literary theory as my special field of study. My doctoral dissertation was a defense of Jonathan Swift's - A TALE OF A TUB, as a primarily poetic - rather than a rhetorical construct. I was basing this view on what I perceived to be the formal principle of this literary structure. I held that the end achieved by the TALE - was a poetic - rather than a rhetorical purpose. It did not even attempt to persuade or move to action certain rhetorical purposes! What it did accomplish, was to produce in the reader or listener - an apprehension of simple contemplative, that is, non-conceptual pleasure in the structure as such, the FORM produced by the juxtaposition of the three figures in the TUB and their adventures. A similar and more spectacular example is John Milton's PARADISE LOST, wherein the poet's avowed and explicit purpose was to "justify the Ways of God to men?, but the purpose actually achieved - is one that necessarily must transcend any Truth values - because the end achieved is simple - aesthetic pleasure in the architectonic structures within structures that constitute the almost superhuman building and Formal being of this linguistic construct, or what some consider to be an aesthetic monstrosity! And so it is with the Formal Principle or Cause of every TRUE Substance in nature - created by God on one of those First Six Days of the World.
The Formal Principle, like any principle or cause, is invisible, hidden, but the primary operative - in any being - because it is the cause that - under God as First Cause always, causes a being to be, that is, to exist, to be actual, and then, to be what it is or to have a nature, an essence. In natural beings, we may think of the DNA as the Formal Cause, but it is not. The DNA is what defines the essence, the what-ness, the nature of what it is to be this or that Kind of being. The Formal Principle, with the Material Principle in corporeal beings, is what is behind each particular DNA. For example, it is the active force or power that gives the rationality to the human DNA. And you can see that this can only be God, because no human or angelic power is or ever was or will be capable of inventing, and then activating, such a FORM as that of a human being like Adam, or of the simplest atomic element or particle or wave of light.
All of these things, including language, come ready-made. Men and animals can only use them, as birds use twigs to build their nests, and as men use the wood of trees and natural metals to build their houses and other things - such as ships and cars and airplanes. And so, what does all this have to do with cosmology? Everything! Because Cosmology includes Creation and everything. Absolutely everything presupposes Creation. And too often, an ideological-fictional principle forgotten by the evolutionist is the all-important fact that FORM absolutely must precede, in fact be present and actually existing, that is, in act - anything remotely resembling a process or a function. You can see from this - both physical and meta-physical necessity for the presence of FORM, how really ABSURD all evolutionary methods of proceeding really are!
Michael Behe made it famous with his example of the Mouse Trap. And Creationist Dr. Duane Gish followed (or proceeded?) with his brilliantly - stunning demonstration of what would happen to the Bombardier Beetle, if only one of the several chemicals - necessary for the proper functioning of his defense mechanism were missing or "fired" at the wrong time! When men and animals, such as beavers and spiders, make things, the method is necessarily a process involving time. Not so with God! He does not need time. In fact, to take time would be against His very Nature, which is eternal. Time is His creature. Time began with the motion of the first particle and photon on Day One and was measured by the succession of "instants" in the progression of a particle of atomic structure, say, of the electrons around the nucleus of the gold hidden in the water-enfolded earth. The atomic particles began to move - the instant the Body of the Universe was created ex nihilo and in toto.
This in toto refers to each Substantial Form that God created during the Six Days. The First Substantial Form - was the Body of the Universe, including its spherical shape with Earth at the center and covered with Water. I understand that it is difficult to see Earth and Water as accidental forms of the Body of the Universe. But here the analogy with the animal or human body may be helpful. In each human being, there is but one - substantial form, and that is the rational soul. The heart and the brain are physical organs that are necessary for the soul to use - in order for the human being to function as a human being. At the same time, the heart and brain cannot be said to be either substantial forms themselves - or parts of the substantial form. But they are very important - even perhaps - necessary parts of the total human organism. The human organism, or Body, is a hierarchy of parts with brain and heart - functioning as an intellectual control center, or central intelligence agency at the service of the Soul-Form. Perhaps in a similar manner, the Earth is like the heart of the Body of the Universe. Water is like the circulatory system and the Sun is in some ways - analogous to the human brain. After all, it is the light of the world! Physically, only, of course! But Jesus Christ is the True and Eternal Light of the World. Yes, our Divine Lord is the True and only Light of the World that can dispel the darkness of Sin and Error. And today, the world is overwhelmed by the false artificial light of Luciferian technology - electricity. Electricity is a creature of God and therefore good in itself. But today, under the influence of Godless men, it has been harnessed for evil purposes.
Please read Solange Hertz on these subjects, especially - "HELL'S AMAZING GRACE" - available from the Remnant Press.
at 7:44 PM
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
And in line with my present focus, we can see in all women Saints, some kind of special relationship with a man, usually in the Priesthood. And there surely needs to be many special studies of married Saints. In all cases, I submit, it would be most profitable and rewarding to focus on the masculine loss of the feminine principle, which is incarnated in the woman. This is why
men are irresistably drawn to women. And it places upon women the most sacred responsibility, the truest obligation and most natural of all duties to respond to that need in a way that conduces to the eternal salvation of both. And it is important for a woman – always – to be under some man in authority, either ecclesiastical or the head of the family. There is no such thing, in my opinion, as a woman whose career is her life. There are only two vocations for a woman: marriage and religious. If a woman does not enter a religious order or congregation and elects to remain in the world, she is obliged, in my opinion, to live the evangelical counsels in the world….but live them she must. Consider: Poverty. One is either wealthy and living a life of luxury, i.e., un-necessary things, the opposite of which is a certain frugality tending to real asceticism. Otherwise, how will she save her soul?
Poverty is undoubtedly the most difficult of the three evangelical counsels for anyone living a single life in the world and sincerely trying to follow Christ according to His own conditions. Just consider those three chapters in St. Matthew’s Gospel, chapters 5,6 and 7, containing the Sermon on the Mount and addressed to all who would believe in Him and therefore, follow him according to His calling and conditions. In my opinion, it is simply a matter of priorities. “Seek first the Kingdom of God…” – It is simply a matter of what and how the first is FIRST. Everyone living in the world is obliged to practice OBEDIENCE, to the precepts of the Church and to one’s confessor or spiritual director. And chastity speaks for itself. What is not mentioned or emphasized enough is Prayer! St. Paul says we must pray without ceasing. St. Theresa of Avila would perhaps identify this as the Prayer of Recollection. What a great Grace it is!
Perhaps we can learn much by comparing Our Lord’s Temptations in the Desert with those of Eve and Adam in the Garden.
Our Lord’s First Temptation was to work a miracle, turning stones to bread, in order to satisfy His hunger in a gluttonously, instantaneous, that is impatient manner – as when one is ravenously hungry. It is one of the virtues of civilization to surround the animal necessity of eating with an elaborate system of manners – the do’s and don’ts of table etiquette. And it is traditionally something that pertains to the woman to supply and teach and enforce – even so far as insisting that the man “carve” the meat and serve the portions. After all, he is the Provider. It is certainly fair to say that Our Lord here atoned for every sin involving food, from the prolonged luxurious pleasure of the rich to the ravenous satisfaction of the starving – even – also – to the shopping mall pleasures of selection. For He had within Him, the Feminine love, even lust for viewing and grasping that is inherent in the shopping mania peculiar to the modern woman in the midst of superfluous choices. Our Lord’s rebuke to Lucifer/Satan is, of course, all important. “Not by bread alone doth man live, but by every word that proceeds from the Mouth of God.” (Deut.8:3.) Like so many of Our Lord’s admonitions, this one, too, is EXTREME, or so it seems. And yet, the Church has always exhorted us to the virtue of temperance, especially in food and drink, and all other pleasures of the Flesh – involving necessities of life. In fact, temperance is one of the four cardinal – natural virtues, necessary for natural health.
Now, let’s recall that Adam and Eve enjoyed at this time, the high state of innocence and original justice. They were in the highest state of sanctifying grace, from whence flowed all the pre-ternatural gifts they possessed. But Lucifer/Satan possessed a power apparently unknown to the beautiful simplicity of God’s children. Lucifer was subtle, that is, he was cunningly and maliciously deceitful. He was something… truly virtuous souls do not know how to be. In a word, he was tricky. It was not a playful trickery, but a deeply malicious and cunning intent to destroy by deception. And so he did. In the absence of Adam, her “other and better half”, Lucifer presented to Eve the opportunity to gain something she lacked! The masculine power of knowledge by intellection. He engaged her in debate, something she should have refused at once – on the very basis of her femininity. It is always for the man and his masculine mind to engage in dialectical issues. And Lucifer knows this – so he temped Eve with a question: “Why hath God commanded you, that you should not eat of every tree in Paradise?” And the woman answered him: “of the fruit of the trees that are in Paradise we do eat. But of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of Paradise, God hath commanded us that we should not eat – and that we should not touch it, lest perhaps we die.” And the Serpent said to the woman: “No, you shall not die the death. For God doth know that in what day soever you shall eat thereof, your eyes shall be opened – and you shall be as God, knowing good and evil. “ And the woman saw that the tree was good to eat and fair to the eyes, and delightful to behold. And she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat and gave to her husband, who did eat. And the eyes of both of them were opened and when they perceived themselves to be naked. They sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons….” – (Gen.3:1-7).
Notice how Lucifer distorts God’s commandment making it appear unjust that they were not allowed to eat of EVERY tree in Paradise. But Eve corrects him, probably feeling very good about herself as she defends God’s command to this Arch Deceiver! And so, she very imprudently gives Lucifer an opening, wherein he can insert his BIG LIE! And his outright denial! And his “little” very telling addition. Apparently, he knew MORE about the future, than she did! (This may be objected – Lucifer did not know the future as God did). Had not his testing revealed more than Eve could have dreamed – of tears and sorrow, unknown until then, and at what a price of transitory pleasure! But we must remember that Eve was bathed in the Supernatural Light of Innocence and Justice. I think it is only when we begin to realize the immensity of the height to which Adam and Eve had been raised, and from which they fell by some unfathomable degree of prideful and ambitious malice – that we can also begin to understand some little bit of why Our Divine Lord had to undergo such atrocious sufferings in order to redeem us, in order to satisfy the outrageous insult and offense given to the Creator by His first two human children – upon whom He had heaped such favors.
Truly, the Scriptures are “divine” as the Fathers and Doctors described them. The “Bible” is not a human book. It was most certainly dictated by the Holy Ghost, so that there is no error in it, from the plain, pure historical narrative of Genesis – to the highly and most sacred symbolism of the Apocalypse.
at 7:06 AM