Daily Archives: October 3, 2010

Two Bad News And A Good One

A beautiful place for another piece of church bureaucracy

One never ceases to learn. Also, one never ceases to see how the faithful’s money are squandered and responsibility avoided by the Bishops.

The first bad news: believe it or not, there is a Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community. I kid you not. It exists and it has the obligatory abbreviation (COMECE). It “organises” things. One foresees all too easily further delegations of responsibility from our bishops (“abortion legislation is a COMECE competence as it is a european phenomenon”) to this new conference-organising organ.

The second bad news: Christians are the most persecuted in the world, both in absolute and percentage terms. Roughly one-third of the planet’s inhabitants, but roughly three-quarters of the planet’s religiously persecuted are Christians. I’m sure that a detailed study about where the persecutions come from would also reveal some surprising facts. Or perhaps some unsurprising ones…

The good news: at least this new european absurdity organises something to try to put the problem at the attention of the West. But hey, wait a minute: without COMECE it would be the responsibility of the single Bishops’ Conference to move and actually it is responsibility of every single Bishop to tackle these issues out loud. Do they do it? No, they leave it to the COMECE (please forgive me: can’t be bothered to copy and paste the entire name again) to organise a conference. Gives one a beautiful excuse to shut up before and after – and even during – the conference.

So it’s three bad news after all…..


“Abiding Sorrow For Sin”: A CTS Vintage Booklet

Faith Of Our... Faber

From the inexhaustible, truly precious reservoir of traditional Catholic wisdom of Lux Occulta, a CTS booklet that is a bit different from the others I have mentioned.

The CTS Booklet Abiding Sorrow For Sin is an abridged version from an original work of Father Frederick William Faber, a notable Catholic convert of the XIX century famous among other things for being the founder of London’s Oratory and the author of Faith of Our Fathers.

Faber’s writing style is the one of his age and this booklet, though certainly accessible to everyone, is less easily readable – particularly for very young readers – than more modern CTS productions. Still, the author conveys his points with grace and persuasiveness and one understands how he could achieve spectacular conversions to Catholicism in his London years.

The main theme of the booklet is that true and lasting spiritual progress doesn’t have at its root a constant habit of prayer, or of penance, or of tranquil and ordered life deprived of stress. Whilst prayer and penance are certainly good, father Faber tries to understand how it was that he could observe people not lacking in either and still not able to, so to speak, jumpstart their spiritual life. Similarly, he observed that people whose life was blessed with absence of hectic did not show, as a rule, a tendency to be more advanced spiritually.

The key to spiritual advancement lies, according to father Faber, in abiding sorrow for sin. This abiding sorrow for sin doesn’t mean being permanently saddened at our and the human race’s sinfulness, but lies rather in the constant remembrance of our inherent weakness and sinfulness. Once acquired and exercised in the right way, this will become a habit of frequently reminding ourselves that we need forgiveness but at the same time constantly receive it, and the quiet knowledge of Jesus’ forgiveness being greater than our proclivity to sin will give us a constant sense of serenity and at the same time help us in our spiritual progress by gradually allow a “hate for sin” to grow in us. The message is simple and profound and whilst it will certainly already play an important part in the life of the one or other reader, there’ s no need to fear than anyone may read this booklet without drawing inspiration.

This booklet will require, perhaps, 15 minutes of attentive reading and the way his author presents his argument is not what we would expect today (he basically needs one-third of the work to make his main point, not very common in today’s instant information age); but taken with the right spirit and a bit of patience, this booklet will not fail to impress every reader above the age of thirteen or fourteen.


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