Whether Christianity is essentially one sect, and the consequences of our answer.

One cannot be a Christian, or even get an essential grasp of Christianity, without giving a definitive answer to whether Christianity is essentially determined to a particular sect. It is now commonly accepted that Christianity is not essentially determined to one sect.

If Christianity is essentially determined to one sect, then whoever is not a part of that one sect is essentially unchristian. It is perhaps out of a feeling of tolerance or niceness or fear of sectarian division we tend to all adopt the opinion that Chirstianity is not determined to one sect.

But if Christianity is not determined to one sect, then clearly one not need be a member of any sect to be Christian, and further one need not believe anything that is peculiar to a particular sect, nor follow any of its rules. Even if there were something common to more than one sect, a person could still judge it to belong to “institutional” Christianity, and therefore judge that he need not follow it.

And so if we believe Christianity is not essentially determined to one sect, we are forced to believe that true Christianity is found in individualized Christianity, as opposed to institutional Christianity. Individualized Christianity means that the individual gets to determine the observances and doctrines.

For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God;

Man by nature hopes for what Christianity alone provides: for man by nature seeks union with the divine life, for

1.) God moves all, but does not himself move. But the only thing that moves without itself moving is the desirable. And so As all motion finds its source in God, so does all desire.

2.) Man’s knowing power contains all within its grasp of being, without exception. But man’s intellect cannot by its own power cannot rise above what it considers in sensible things. For this reason, its knowledge of immaterial thing sis imperfect, and known as imperfect. Therefore for a man to seek perfection means hoping for assistance from a higher intellect.

3.) Further, the higher intellect that assists man is either God himself, or some subsistent intelligence. If it is some subsistent intelligence, then both man and the subsistent intelligence will seek to be moved ultimately by God himself.

4.) The same thing can be proved by appealing to man’s loves of what is good and beautiful, which are the object of his will.

Interiority and virtue.

We philosophize to acquire a certain virtue, i.e. a habitual perfection within ourselves. We do not argue or philosophize primarily for other people, as though we sought primarily to bring them to truth. In fact, it is only to the extent that we are trying to perfect ourselves that we are capable of giving some perfection to others. Who can create a perfection in another which he doesn’t have in himself? Who can love his neighbor except insofar as he already loves himself?

An Existentialist Argument.

Nietzsche founded his philosophy on his belief that God could no longer give meaning to the lives of the men of his day. The following is a partial list of Saints, Blessed Persons, and Venerables that lived during Nietzsche’s lifetime.

Blessed Bartlomiej Osypiuk
Blessed Maria Francesca Rubatto
Saint Bernadette of Lourdes
Saint Francisca Salesia
Saint Joseph Marello
Blessed Edmund Rice
Blessed Andre Bessette
Blessed Candida Maria de Jesus
Blessed Eugenia Ravasco
Venerable Maria Maddalena Della Passione
Saint Anthony Mary Gianell
Saint Marie Madeline Postel
Saint Andrew Kim Taegon
Blessed Angela of the Cross Guerrero
Blessed Arcangelo Tadini
Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified
Venerable Giulia Salzano
Blessed Giulia Nemesia Valle
Saint Clelia Barbieri
Saint Vincentia Maria Lopez y Vicuña
Blessed Luigi Talamoni
Blessed María Dolores Rodríguez Sopeña
Venerable Celestine of the Mother of God
Blessed Marie-Rose Durocher
Blessed Dominic Barberi
Blessed Ludovico Pavoni
Blessed William Chaminade
Saint Vincent Pallotti
Blessed John Beyzym
Saint Frances Xavier Cabrini
Saint Raphaela Maria Porras
Blessed Joseph Allamano
Saint Hannibal Mary Di Francia
Blessed Joseph Allamano
Saint Emily de Rodat
Saint Rose Philippine Duchesne
Saint Teresa Eustochio
Saint Augustine Schoffler
Saint John Louis Bonnard
Blessed Anton Maria Schwartz
Blessed Joseph Freinademetz
Saint Remigius Isore
Venerable Maria di Gesù
Saint Philip Minh
Blessed Salvatore Lilli
Saint Joaquina Vedruna de Mas
Saint Joseph Luu
Blessed Giovanni Mazzucconi
Saint Andrew Thong Kim Nguyen
Blessed Anicet Hryciuk
Venerable Marie Therese of Saint Joseph
Blessed Andrew Nam Thung
Blessed Maria Adeodata Pisani
Blessed Michael Ghebre
Saint Mary di Rosa
Saint Auguste Chapdelaine
Saint Lawrence Pe-Man
Blessed Maria Cristina dell’Immacolata Concezione
Blessed Philip Rinaldi
Venerable Matt Talbot
Blessed Charles Steeb
Saint Emily de Vialar
Blessed Rosalie Rendu
Saint Hannibal Mary Di Francia
Saint James Buzabaliao
Venerable Casimiro Barello Morello
Blessed Caterina Cittadini
Saint Dominic Savio
Blessed Benedicta Cambiagio Frassinello
Saint Lawrence Wang
ordination of the future Saint Pope Pius X
Saint Agatha Lin
Saint Francis Trung Von Tran
Saint Jerome Lu
Blessed Antoni Julian Nowowiejski
Blessed Charles de Foucauld
Blessed Colomba Gabriel
Venerable Amelia of Saint Joseph
Venerable Felix de Jesús Rougier
Blessed Josephine Vannini
Saint John Mary Vianney
Saint Joseph Thi
Saint Joseph Mukasa
Venerable Caritas Brader
Blessed Gaetano Errico
Blessed Johann Nepomuk von Tschiderer
Saint John Neumann
Saint Justin de Jacobis
Saint Joseph Cafasso
Blessed Pierre Bonhomme
Blessed Joseph Tshang
Saint John Hoan
Saint John Baptist Lo
Saint Joseph Khang
Saint Theophane Venard
Saint Valentin Faustino Berri Ochoa
Blessed Ceferino Jimenez Malla
Blessed Anton Martin Slom
Saint Benildus
Saint Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows
Blessed John Peter
Blessed Martin
Blessed Juana Maria Condesa Lluch
Blessed Maria Dominica Mantovani
Blessed Andrea Giacinto Longhin
Saint Alberic Crescitelli
Venerable Cesare Maria Barzaghi
Venerable Bernarda Heimgartner
Saint José María Rubio y Peralta
Saint Agostina Petrantoni
Saint Jeanne Marie Kerguin
Blessed Jacques Laval
death of Venerable Charles Samuel Mazzuchelli
Saint Agostina Petrantoni
Saint Jeanne Marie Kerguin
Blessed Guido Maria Conforti
Blessed Maria Karlowska Blessed Ursula Ledochowska
Henri Chanès
Saint Charles Lwanga
Saint Pauline of the Agonizing Heart of Jesus
Blessed Jacques Laval
Blessed Maria de Mattias
Venerable Anastasius Hartmann
Saint Siméon-François Berneux
Blessed Eurosia Fabris
Blessed Ignatius Klopotowski
Saint Leopold Mandic
Saint Marie De Saint Just
Saint Marie Adolphine Dierks
Saint Mary Hermina Grivot
Venerable Carlo Liviero
Venerable Maria Luisa Josefa of the Most Blessed Sacrament
Blessed Eugenia Picco
Blessed Gregory Khomyshyn
Saint Peter Julian Eymund
Blessed Antoni Rewera
Blessed Florentina Nicol Goni
Saint Josephine Bakhita
Blessed Narcisa de Jesus Martillo Moran
Blessed Aurelio da Vinalesa
Blessed Clement Sheptytsky
Blessed Jose Tàpies Sirvant
Blessed John Adalbert Balicki
Blessed Ignazio Maloyan
Saint Cristobal Magallanes Jara
Venerable Agnel D’Souza
Saint Genoveva Torres Morales
Blessed Ladislao Batthyany-Strattmann
Saint Anthony Mary Claret
Saint Clelia Barbieri
Blessed Mary of Providence
Blessed Edmund Bojanowski
Blessed Kuriakose Elias Chavara
Blessed George Matulaitis
Blessed Francis Palau y Quer
Blessed Paolo Manni
Saint Maria Chaira
Saint Kizito
Saint Luigi Orione
Saint Marie Amandine
Saint Luigi Versiglia
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Blessed Anicet Hryciuk
Blessed Bartlomiej Osypiuk
Blessed Daniel Karmasz
Blessed Filip Geryluk
Blessed Ignacy Franczuk
the Martyrs of Podlasie
Saint Pedro Poveda Castroverde
Venerable Laura of Saint Catherine of Siena
Blessed Francis Coll
Blessed Bernhard Lichtenberg
Blessed Luigi Variara
Venerable Angela de San Jose Lloret Marti
Blessed Frederick Albert
Blessed Mary Frances Schervier
Saint Catherine Laboure
Blessed Daniel Brottier
Blessed Francisco Castells Brenuy
Blessed Josaphat Kotsylovsky
Blessed Nicholas Konrad
Blessed Placide Viel
Blessed José Juan Perot Juanmarti
Blessed Maria Pilar of Saint Francis Borgia
Blessed Manuel Gonzalez Garcia
Blessed Maria Crucified
Blessed Nikita Budka
Blessed Pope Pius IX
Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified
Blessed Bernardina Maria Jablonska
Blessed Clemens August von Galen
Blessed Felipe Ripoll Morata
Blessed Mary Assunta
Venerable Jean Marie Cassant
Blessed Gaetano Catanoso
Blessed Leonid Feodorov
Venerable Vincent Cimatti
Blessed Jeanne Jugan
Blessed Theresa of Jesus Gerhardinger
Blessed Marco Antonio Durando
Venerable Emmanuel D’Alzon
Blessed Artemide Zatti
Blessed Alfredo Ildefonso Schuster
Blessed Elizabeth of the Trinity
Blessed George Preca
Blessed Joseph Moscati
Blessed Luigi Beltrame Quattrocchi
Blessed Maria Mercedes Prat
Saint Joseph Moscati
Blessed Daniel Comboni
Venerable Brother Francois
Blessed Pope John XXIII
Blessed Anselmo Polanco
Blessed Isidore of Saint Joseph
Blessed Titus Brandsma
Venerable Silvio Gallotti
Saint Paula Frassinetti
Blessed Anna Schaeffer
Blessed Anastazy Jakub Pankiewicz
Blessed Gregory Lakota
Blessed Carlo Erana Guruceta
Blessed Josaphat Chichkov
Blessed Maria Candida of the Eucharist
Blessed Nicholas Charnetsky
Venerable Giacomo Alberione
Baron Odo Russell Ampthill
Saint Luigi Scrosoppi
Venerable Casimiro Barello Morello
Saint Joseph Mukasa
Venerable Antonio Amumdarain Garmendia
Saint Marie Victoire Therese Couderc
Blessed Mercedes Maria of Jesus
Saint Achileo Kiwanuka
Saint Adolofu Mukasa Ludigo
Saint Ambrosio Kibuuka
Saint Anatoli Kiriggwajjo
Saint Bruno Sserunkuuma
Saint Charles Lwanga
Saint Gonzaga Gonza
Saint Gyavire
Saint James Buzabaliao
Saint John Maria Muzeyi
Saint Kizito
Saint Lukka Baanabakintu
Saint Matiya Mulumba
Saint Mbaga Tuzinde
Saint Mugagga
Saint Mukasa Kiriwawanvu
Saint Nowa Mawaggali
Saint Ponsiano Ngondwe
Blessed Peter Donders
Saint Maria Soledad Torres Acosta
Saint John Maria Muzeyi
Blessed Andrew Ishchak
Blessed Charles of Austria
Blessed Isidore Bakanja
Blessed José Trinidad Rangél Montaño
Blessed José Boher Foix
Saint Padre Pio
Saint Inocencio de la Immaculada
Venerable Aurelian of the Blessed Sacrament
Blessed Giovanni Antonio Farina
Blessed Giacomo Cusmano
Saint John Bosco
Saint Mary Joseph Rosello
Blessed Jose Maria Robles Hurtado
Saint Bertilla Boscardin
Saint Cirilo Bertrán
Venerable Alberto Capellan Zuazo
Blessed Gaetana Sterni
Blessed Joseph de Veuster
Saint Paula of Saint Joseph of Calasanz
Blessed Antoni Leszczewicz
Blessed Carmelo Sastre Sastre
Blessed Edward Maria Joannes Poppe
Blessed Peter Verhun
Blessed Arnold Reche
Blessed Maria Repetto
Blessed Maria Anna Blondin
Venerable Antonio Rosa Ormieres
Blessed Maria Anna Sala
Blessed Tommaso Maria Fusco
Blessed Alfons Maria Mazurek
Blessed Laura Vicuna
Saint María Maravillas de Jesús
Saint Teresa Benedicta of the Cross
Saint Antony Mary Pucci
Blessed Francis Rogaczewski
Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified
Blessed Charles of Mount Argus
Blessed Ferdinand Mary Baccilleri
Blessed Josepha Naval Girbes
Venerable Amelia of Saint Joseph
Blessed Kamen Vitchev
Blessed Simeon Lukach
Blessed Caterina Volpicelli
Blessed Mary Restituta Kafka
Blessed María De Los Ángeles Ginard Martí
Saint Maximilian Kolbe
Blessed Sigimondo Felice Felinski
Saint Joseph Marello
Blessed Aleksy Sobaszek
Blessed Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung
Blessed John Sleziuk
Blessed Yakym Senkivsky
Venerable Ivan Merz
Saint Henry de Osso y Cervello
Saint Vincentia Maria Lopez y Vicuña
Venerable Catalina of Mary
Saint Richard Pampuri
Saint Therese of Lisieux
Saint Teresa de Gesu, Jornet y Ibars
Saint Charbel Makhlouf
Blessed Alojzije Stepinac
Blessed Karolina Kózkówna
Blessed Nikolaus Gross
Saint Jaime Hilario Barbel
Blessed Eusebia Palomino Yenes
Blessed Alicja Maria Jadwiga Kotowska
Blessed Pascual Araguàs Guàrdia
Blessed Anna Rosa Gattorno
Blessed Eugenia Ravasco
Blessed Luigi Maria Monti
Blessed Rafaela Ybarra de Villalongo
Saint Leonard Murialdo
Saint Alberic Crescitelli
Saint Maria Chaira
Saint Jeanne Marie Kerguin
Saint Marie Amandine
Saint Marie De Saint Just
Saint Marie Adolphine Dierks
Saint Mary Hermina Grivot
Saint Remigius Isore
Saint Rose Tch’Enn-Kai-Tsie
Saint Rose Tchao
Saint Rose Wang-Hoi
Saint Raymond Li-Ts’Uan
Blessed Claudio Granzotto
Blessed Vincent Eugene Bossilkoff
Saint Marciano José

The Peacemakers

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. The Lord calls them peacemakers to indicate the fullness of the peace that they have within, for they do not simply have peace, but they radiate this peace out to those around them. This peace proceeds from and is proportionate to joy (so much so that the peace can even be confused with joy) and joy proceeds from and is entirely rooted on love.

– Christ, through the will of the Father and the sanctifying power of the Holy Spirit, offers man the gift of eternal life. It is called life because it is an interior principle, but most importantly, it is Christ’s own interior principle- his own awareness of the world in him was life, and that life was the light of men.

Fragments on immateriality.

Man does not have an image as a canvas does, he does not have a sound like the air does, neither does the soup taste bitter to itself.

Which rose is “rose”? All and each and neither.

Consequences of the following truth: “Man comes to know”

-To say he comes to know means there is some motion from imperfect knowledge to perfect knowledge. But perfect knowledge is a knowledge where a certain whole is seen distinctly with all of its distinct parts. Imperfect knowledge, then, is characterized by seeing as many what is one whole, and/or seeing the parts of something indistinctly.

-If our knowledge begins with imperfect knowledge, then by however much knowledge is less distinct, so much more is it the first thing in our mind. But being is the most indistinct concept in our mind, for it describes all, and is entirely opposed to non- being, and included in its account.

-If being is the first concept in the mind, then the first concept of the mind is open to any distinction. The mind, for example, grasps something prior to “material being” or “spiritual being” or “logical being”- not in the sense that it sees something beyond them, but rather that the first awareness of the mind cannot be seen as a priori limited to, say, the empirical world, or the world of the subject, etc. The possibility of an absolutely transcendent being or world, and of our knowing it, is assured by the first principle of the mind. Whether such a being or world exists is a matter of argument, but the existence of anything is contained in the possibility of the first principle of the mind.

-Said another way, the following statement is false “the first principle of the human mind is limited in such a way as to make metaphysics impossible”.

-If advance in knowledge involves unifying what should be one, and dividing out what should be distinct, then the mind learns truth by composition and division.

-If perfect knowledge is distinct knowledge, then any set of fundamental distinctions will constitute a body of knowledge that is necessary in order to know.

Two Notes on Important Words

-What we call “heaven” St. Thomas conspicuously calls “patria” (“the fatherland” or in contemporary English our “native land”). The most well known case of this is the end of St. Thomas’ liturgical hymn called “Tantum Ergo”, which asks that we might be granted eternal life “in patria”. Thomas also uses the term in formal theological discourse, as in his questions on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and the Beatitudes in the Prima Secundae.

-Both Greek and Latin have a single term to describe both the principle of life (psyche, anima) and what makes that life complete (arete, virtus). This single term allowed for a real dialogue about the source and nature of human life and its meaning. Homer and Plato, Epicurus and Aristotle- all agreed that there was a psyche that should seek arete, but there was a dispute to the very roots over what the two terms meant. English has no corresponding terms to discuss these things, and so we have to train ourselves to see the same concept that the Greek or Latin speaker picked up without effort.

A good example of a profound term that an English speaker picks up with no effort, but which a Greek or Latin speaker would have to train himself to see is the modern English word “right” (as in legal or natural right). Clearly there profound disagreements over its meaning, which are only made possible by many different schools agreeing upon one term. We argue a great deal about rights- the same word can get used by people who disagree as profoundly as Karl Marx and Thomas Aquinas. But as important as it is to get “rights” right, still, the Greeks had the better portion. We need to pay more heed to our souls and virtue than to rights, as any good scholar of rights would tell you.

Newton’s First Law

Newton’s first law became the basis for all subsequent Physics, even to this day, because the first law is indifferent to uniform motion and rest- it even unifies them as two aspects of one event. This requires that we only view things to belong to physics only inasmuch as they are measured, for it is only as measured that uniform motion and rest are the same. No measuring device can tell the difference between a resting man performing measurements, and one who is moving uniformly with the measured.

The negation of things and mystical theology

When I think about God as pure act, or as proceeding and triune, sooner or later I realize that I’ve been imagining a bright point of light in black space, or a beam of light shining into another beam of light. Similar things happen when I think of the angelic hierarchy. I realize that I’ve been imagining a rather ladder made out of light, in black space, doing nothing.

All of these images are far more pleasant and instructive when they are experienced from within- in the same way that dreams can be terrifying or intensely interesting to the one having them, though they tell a rather dull story taken by themselves. No one, for example, has ever dreamed a story as interesting to retell as Crime and Punishment or Don Quixote, but many people have had dreams that have moved them as much as reading those books.

These interior images are necessary to us, and they teach not only by symbolizing divine things, but also at those moments when we realize that they are false- Pure act is not a point of light in the black, the Trinity is not two light beams flowing into each other- from which billions of angels are generated at every moment. There is not even a moment in the Trinity. Both experiences, i.e. the experience of God in the symbol, and the negation of God within the symbol are necessary to ave right thinking about God. Any Atheist or Blasphemer could deny that God is present in the imagining of a beam of light- this takes no great insight. The mystical experience is not constituted by the negation alone, but by a negation of God’s presence from something that has shown us God’s presence. Ultimately, we must negate even our way of knowing from our knowledge of God, but this would be a meaningless negation if we had not come to know God through our mode of knowing.

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