22 November 2017

The Smiles We Left Behind

The 7th of 15 in a Series of Meditations on the 15 daily intentions offered by members of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.

The next intention is "that no memories of past experiences may disturb us in any way, but that the Lord will touch and heal us with hope for a better future." Again, it's tempting to isolate this into memories of sex or impure actions in the past, but we we will learn with intention #9, all sort of things get wrapped up in leading us into sin, in triggering us. Even coming to this as a virgin, one never having a sexual experience, there are memories that can trip us up.

20 November 2017

In a World of Pure Imagination


The 6th of 15 in a Series of Meditations on the 15 daily intentions offered by members of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.

Imagination is the wildest, the most unruly thing ever. The Church Fathers constantly warn us against it. It's the one that only the Jesuits take on (and see where it gets them, sometimes). It's hella dangerous, to use a Californianism. Imagination is the ability to picture what is not and to act as though it were. If you really want to explore that the Church teaches about the imagination, start with this article in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

A Dangerous Book


Popular histories can tend to be strident, combative affairs: they carry on arguments on and off their pages, and come with definitive points of view. People love them or hate them. They divide readers and reviewers into camps of good and evil based on reaction to the book. This is very different from scholarly history which is supposed to be "unbiased".  If you didn't like the history text in Western Civ I or American History (shoutouts to Dr Doug!) then you were not evil in the author's eyes: you were only failing in class. Disagree, however, with Howard Zinn's point of view in A People's History of the United States and you, Dear Reader, are part of the problem, not the solution. It doesn't matter if you read Zinn calmly and put it away having done your duty. The author is clear: he's evangelising with his point of view and if you don't agree you're not just "another point of view", you're wrong.

12 November 2017

Again! Again!


The 5th of 15 in a Series of Meditations on the 15 daily intentions offered by members of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.

We pray for a right ordering of our sensuality. In all of these intentions, this was one of two I had to look up (the other being "Affectivity"). This one is very subtle.

The world around us, we know from Genesis, is created to be good. Something broke in the Fall however. We are in a broken world: and part of that brokenness is not only caused by our own sinfulness, but is exacerbated by it. What feels good to us... we don't know if it actually is good or only feels good because of the fallen world in which we live. We must judge things not on externals, but rather by the teachings of the faith. Take pecan pie, for example.

10 November 2017

Custody of the Senses

The 4th of 15 in a Series of Meditations on the 15 daily intentions offered by members of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.

The next intention offered is one for our five senses. That "the things we see and hear, the food and drink we eat and the encounters we have through touch may all be pure and holy." How is that at all possible? This is not even a question of time and place: any time and any place, how is it possible for everything to be "pure and holy"? 

St Paul, in his Epistle to Titus, give us the answer: omnia munda mundis. All things are clean to the clean. When we are praying for our five senses we are not asking that all the world be set right (as it only will be in the Parousia): we're asking that we be purified in our interactions with the world. Again, this isn't about things that happen to us, but an opening out of our prayer that we may interact in agape with the world.

09 November 2017

Allure and Glamour

The 3rd of 15 in a Series of Meditations on the 15 daily intentions offered by members of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.

After prayers for the world and for our relationships we turn to the first "me-related" prayer; asking for help in our efforts at modesty. Modesty in our culture is so often discussed as either another word for humility (which it is not, entirely) or a tool of oppression aimed at women (which it often is but shouldn't be). 

For our relationships.


The 2nd of 15 in a Series of Meditations on the 15 daily intentions offered by members of the Angelic Warfare Confraternity.

After praying for the world around us, we pray that all of our relationships may be "holy, healthy, pure, and honorable at all times." It would be very easy (as with praying for the world) to only worry about sex in this context. I do find you hot, so I'll be your friend. In some parts of our culture we might even sleep together once or twice just to "get that out of the way" and get on with being friends. In other parts of our culture that might ruin the friendship. Yet "holy, healthy, pure, and honorable" is not just about sex. This is about love.