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The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

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The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  George Brenner on Wed Oct 05, 2011 8:21 pm

The year was 1860. I post this for anyones thoughts or reflections. The following quotations taken from:



The Precious Blood or The Price of Our Salvation

By Frederick William Faber DD,



With The Approbation of The Most Reverend, The Arcbishop of Baltimore

Sold by All Catholic Booksellers

1860



Author of " All For Jesus"," The Blessed Sacrament"," Growth in Holiness",

Creator and Creature"," Spritual Conferences", " The Foot of The Cross"

or "The Sorrows of Mary"





Pages 5 & 6



" To The Members



OF The Confraternity OF The Most Precious Blood



My Dear Friends:-



" I have written this little book for you, and now dedicate it to you with feelings of warmest affection. It is ten years next August since the Holy Father set up our Confraternity. Since then we have enrolled upwards of thirty eight thousand members, and a hundred and four Religious Communities. Besides this, several other Confraternities of The Precious Blood have been set up and affiliated with ours; and their members are also very numerous."

The Confraternity is now so extended that the correspondence includes letters from Ireland and Scotland, from France and Germany. from Canada and Newfoundland, from the United States and Central America, from California and Brazil, from Australia and New Zealand, from the East Indies and the Chinese Missions, from the Cape of Good Hope and other British Dependencies".

Pages 13 & 14



" Our uppermost thought--no! our only thought--is our salvation. We care for no science, but the science of reedeeming grace. The Cross of Christ is our single wisdom. Once we wished for many things, and aimed at many things. But we are changed now. Our lives are amazingly simplified by the fear of sin and by the love of God. Our anxiety now is, that all this may remain....... The right of Jesus to our best love, to all our love, is becoming plainer and plainer to us....What depths there are in Jesus and how wonderfully he lights them up with the splendors of his eternal love."

Page 30



" There is a sense in which the Church goes along with the world. It is the same sense in which the shepherd leaves the sheep which have not strayed, and goes off in search of the one that has strayed. Each age is a stray sheep from God: and the Church has to seek it and fetch it back to him, so far as it is allowed to do so. We must not make light of the differences of the ages. Each age needs a persuading in a manner of its own. God's work is never done in any one age. Old controversies become useless, because they cease to be convincing. Old methods are found unsuitable, because things have changed."


Page 33



" Let us kneel down, and hide our faces before God., and say nothing, but let the immensity of this faith sink down into our souls."



Page 72



" Christian charity can only sustain its equanimity by fixing it's eyes upon a higher object than the misery which it relieves."


Pages 92 & 93



" If the precious Blood had been shed, and yet we had no priesthood, no sacraments, no sacramentals, no jurisdiction, no mystical life of the visible unity of the Church----life so it seems, would be almost intolerable. This is the condition of those outside the Church; and certainly as we grow older, as our experience widens, as our knowledge of ourselves deepens, as our acquaintance with mankind increases, the less hopeful do our ideas become regarding the salvation of those outside the Roman Church. we make the most we can of the uncovenanted mercies of God, of the invisible soul of the Church, of the teaching of invincible ignorance, of the easiness of making acts of contrition, and of the visible moral goodness among men; and YET what are these but straws in our own estimation; if our own chances of salvation had to lean their weight upon them? They wear out or they break down. They are fearfully counterweighted by other considerations. We have to draw on our imaginations in order to fill up the picture. They are but theories at best, theories unhelpful except to console those who are forward to be deceived for the sake of those they love,-- theories often very fatal by keeping our charity in check and interfering with that restlessness of converting love in season and out of seasons, and that impetuous agony of prayer, upon which God may have made the salvation of our friends depend. Alas ! the more familiar we ourselves become with the operations of grace, the further we advance into the spiritual life, the more we meditate on the character of God, and taste in contemplation the savor of his holiness, the more to our eyes does grace magnify itself inside the Church, and the more dense and forlorn becomes the darkness which is spread over those outside...... Would not the divine assurance of our salvation be a very heaven begun on earth? Yet the sacrements are the nearest approach to such a sweet assurance as the love of our heavenly Father saw to be expedient for the multitude of his children..... In truth, no created intelligence of angel or of man could have imagined it."

Pages 226, 227, 228, 229, 230, 231 & 232


" Hence it follows that all true devotion to the Precious Blood MUST be accompanied by a hearty devotion to the Church. Heresies, which have done despite to the Precious Blood by narrowing its sphere or by limiting its prodigality, have also been distinquished by want of loyality to the Church. In ALL times we have seen that those who take a rigid view about the easiness of salvation ALSO take a lax view about the exclusive privileges of communion with the Church; while on the other hand, those who dwell more strongly on the doctrine of EXCLUSIVE SALVATION in the true Church are also most given to magnify the abundance of redeeming grace within its pale.At first sight it seems a strange inconsistency, that those who make it hard to be saved in the Church should make it comparatively easy to be saved out of it. ...... Yet so it is that a light esteem of the overwhelming advantages of the Church, and a want of appreciation of the sacraments, go along with the most rigid and harsh views regarding the easiness of salvation and the number of the saved; and these errors go together for want of a true and tender devotion to the Precious Blood.The doctrine of the Sacraments is the touchstone of all theology of the day."


"Now that the world is overrun with heresy, and that in social life almost all distinctions between the faithfull and others are obliterated, it is convenient to men's ease and acceptable to their cowardice to regard the faith as one of many saving
options, and the church as one of many saving institutions."


"The Church is a kingdom, not a literature--a life, not a congeries of doctrines; it is a rule and a soverignty , a royalty which belongs to the Royalty of the Precious Blood. We MUST look at the Church habitually as the sole ark in the deluge of the world, the sole mistress of Salvation.We do not bind God further than he has been pleased to bind himself.We do not limit the far reaching excesses of His mercy.But we MUST remember that his ordinary law is, that there is no Salvation whatever outside the Roman Church......No near approaches, no sensible devotions, no felt actual graces, will make a man a living member of Jesus Christ, without communion with the Holy See. We must be jealous of the uncomprimising simplicity of this old-fashioned doctrine. We must be suspicious of all the fine words and specious theories, and ingenious abatements, which the spirit of the day would suggest.We must be misled by no circumstances of TIME or place, by no prevalence of heresy, by no arguments drawn from consequences, which are the affair of God's government of the world...not ours."

" The sins of men cannot change the truth of God. They are at His mercy, not He at theirs. In the days of the antichrist, when two-thirds even of the faithful shall fall away from the Church, their apostacy will not make it less the exclusive mistress of Salvation. We must be loyal to the church in our least thoughts of it, nor even talk lightly of its majesty.We must put faith in it in all its contracts and concussions with the world, and in all its contradictions of the assumed grandeur of this nineteenth century, which is more than half spent, and has done nothing yet to justify its boasting, We must not measure the Church by unsupernatural standards, which it is the world's great object to persuade us to do.We must not be ashamed of it because it holds back when it seems grander to go forward.We must not be discontented with it when its action intersects some little favorite anticipations of our own. we must merge our own selves and our own views in its consciously or unconsciously Spirit Guided policy. When we are perplexed, we must stand still and believe. Silence makes us great-hearted and judging makes us little minded, We must like its ways, as well as obey its precepts and believe its doctrines. We must not theorize; for if we once begin to theorize, we shall soon come to sneer. A mind NOT under authority always lies under a necessity of being pert.When the Church suffers, or souls suffer, we must not be content with the selfish consolation that, after all, the Church is eternal, and MUST conquer in the long run; but we must have an active sympathy with all its present vicissitudes, and an untiring zeal and unquenchable thirst for souls; and the Salvation of souls is a matter of the present; it cannot wait for the future, because men are dying daily."

Page 235





".....Devotion to the Church is a loyalty, and further, it is a Supernatural loyalty"


Pages 352 & 353



"If we hated sin, as we ought to hate it, purely keenly, manfully, we should do more penance, we should inflict more self punisment, we should sorrow for our sins more abidingly,. Then again, the crowning disloyalty to God is heresy. It is the sin of sins, the very loathsomest of things which God looks down upon in this malignant world. Yet how little do we understand of its excessive hatefulness! It is the polluting of God's truth, which is the worst of all impurities. Yet how light we make of it! We look at it and we are calm. We touch it and do not shudder. We mix with it and have no fear. We see it touch Holy Things, and we have no sense of sacrilege. We breathe its odor and show no signs of detestation or disgust.Some of us affect its friendship; and some even extenuate its guilt. We do not love God enough to be angry for his glory. We do not love men enough to be charitibly truthful for their souls.... We can dwell amidst this odious plague, in imperturable tranquillity, reconciled to its foulness, not without some boastfull professions of LIBERAL admiration, perhaps even with a solicitous show of tolerant sympathies...... we have not the antique sterness. Our charity is untruthful, because it is not severe; and it is unpersuasive, because it is untruthful. we lack devotion to truth as truth, as God's truth. Our zeal for souls is puny, because we have no zeal for God's honor.We tell men half truth, the half that best suits our own pusillanimity and their conceit; and then wonder why so few are converted, AND of those few so many apostasize. Where there is NO hatred of heresy; there is no holiness. A man , who might be an apostle, becomes a fester in the Church for the want of this righteous abomination. We need Saint Michael to put new hearts into into us in these days of universal heresy. But devotion to the Precious Blood, with its hymning of the Church and its blazoning of the Sacrements, will give us Michael's heart and craft to use Michael's sword. Who ever drew his sword with nobler haste, or used his victory more tenderly, than that brave archangel, whose war-cry was, All for God?"

END OF QUOTES>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

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Re: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  Roguejim on Thu Oct 06, 2011 4:39 am

I'm picking my way slowly through this book now. His eloquence seems limitless. Few books have been this inspiring to me. Maybe you already saw this, George:

http://catholicforum.forumotion.com/t538-fr-faber-on-the-incarnation
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Re: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  George Brenner on Thu Oct 06, 2011 2:52 pm

Hello Roguejim,

I think it was you that asked me on on my second or third post, how I found this Forum. I said by chance. That was not correct. But, by the Grace of God would be more accurate.
Father Faber's writtings has been compared to Dickens. He inspires me beyond words.
as did Father Feeney and so many Religious and laity who have touched my life. I can not sit on the fence on any issue for fear of my soul being impailed. We are in turbulent waters, we cannot be silent, nor can we ever falsely accuse or undermine and the wisdom to know the difference.
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RE: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  George Brenner on Fri Oct 07, 2011 9:12 pm

One of my favorite , most inspirational writers in my life. I keep trying to learn from his words of wisdom, Father Frederick Faber, Spiritual Conferences, "On Taking Scandal".

Not to be confused with Heresy.......

"To give scandal is a great fault, but to take scandal is a greater fault. It implies a greater amount of wrongness in ourselves, and it does a greater amount of mischief to others.

Nothing gives scandal sooner than a quickness to take scandal. This is worth our consideration. For I find great numbers of moderately good people who think it fine to take scandal. They regard it as a sort of evidence of their own goodness, and of their delicacy of conscience; while in reality it is only a proof either of their inordinate conceit or of their extreme stupidity. They are unfortunate when this latter is the case; for then no one but inculpable nature is to blame. If, as some have said, a stupid man cannot be a Saint, at least his stupidity can never make him into a sinner. Moreover, the persons in question seem frequently to feel and act as if their profession of piety involved some kind of official appointment to take scandal. It is their business to take scandal. It is their way of bearing testimony to God. It would show a blamable inertness in the spiritual life if they did not take scandal. They think they suffer very much while they are taking scandal; whereas in truth they enjoy it amazingly. It is a pleasurable excitement, which delightfully varies the monotony of devotion. They do not in reality fall over their neighbour's fault, nor does it in itself hinder them in the way of holiness, nor do they love God less because of it, ---- all which ought to be implied in taking scandal. But they trip themselves up on purpose, and take care that it shall be opposite some fault of their neighbour’s, in order that they may call attention to the difference between him and themselves.

There are certainly many legitimate causes for taking scandal, but none more legitimate than the almost boastful facility of taking scandal which characterizes many so-called religious people. The fact is that an immense proportion of us are Pharisees. For one pious man who makes piety attractive, there are nine who make it repulsive. Or, in other words, only one out of ten among reputed spiritual persons is really spiritual. He who during a long life has taken the most scandal has done the most injury to God's glory, and has been himself a real and substantial stumbling-block in the way of many. He has been an endless fountain of odious disedification to the little ones of Christ. If such a one reads this, he will take scandal at me. Everything that he dislikes, every thing which deviates from his own narrow view of things, is to him a scandal. It is the Pharisaic way of expressing a difference.

Men marvellously like to be popes; and the dullest of men, if only he has, as usual, an obstinacy proportioned to his dullness, can in most neighbourhoods carve out a tiny papacy for himself; and if to his dullness he can add pomposity, he may reign gloriously, a little local ecumenical council in unintermitting session through all the four seasons of the year. Who has time enough, or heart enough, or hope enough, to try to persuade such men? They are not sufficiently interesting to us to be worth our persuading. Let us leave them alone with their glory and their happiness. Let us try to persuade ourselves. Do not we ourselves take scandal too often? Let us examine the matter and see.

Now, here is a thing which I have often thought upon. Certainly no one can remember every thing in the voluminous lives of the Saints; for it would take a lifetime to read them all. But I do not remember to have read of any Saint who ever took scandal. If this is even approximately true, the question is decided at once. Big men, swollen with self-importance, who see the faults of others with eyes of lynxes, and criticize them with clever sarcasms, and delight in the pedantry of a judicial frame of mind, can only humorously apply to themselves the name of the little ones of Christ. Yet books tell us there are two kinds of scandal, ---- the scandal of the little ones of Christ, and the scandal of Pharisees. It follows, then, that these men must be Pharisees. But I say that, if this remark about the Saints is even approximately true, it must give us a check, and make us very thoughtful, if we are earnest men, although we are not Saints, and what belongs to Saints is by no means safely applicable to us in all respects. Let us suppose it not to be strictly true. Let us suppose it only a rare thing for Saints to take scandal. We can draw a sufficiently broad conclusion from this to be very practical to ourselves. For we may infer that it is a matter about which persons aiming at being spiritual are not sufficiently careful. Every time we take scandal we run a great risk of sinning, and a manifold risk as well as a great one. We run the risk of impairing God's glory, of dishonouring our Blessed Lord, of giving substantial scandal to others, of breaking the precept of charity ourselves, of highly-culpable indiscretion, and, at the very least, of grieving the Holy Spirit in our own souls. Here is enough to make it worth our while to inquire."


END OF QUOTATIONS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.





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Re: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  Allie on Fri Oct 07, 2011 11:48 pm

George,

First of all let me apologize for my tardiness in welcoming you to the forum.

Secondly, thank you for posting these words from Father Faber. I have found them to be very wisdom-filled and inspiring. They have given me a lot to think about and (by the grace of God) work on in myself.

God bless you and thanks again.
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Re: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  Roguejim on Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:24 am

George Brenner wrote:One of my favorite , most inspirational writers in my life. I keep trying to learn from his words of wisdom, Father Frederick Faber, Spiritual Conferences, "On Taking Scandal".

Not to be confused with Heresy.......

"To give scandal is a great fault, but to take scandal is a greater fault. It implies a greater amount of wrongness in ourselves, and it does a greater amount of mischief to others.

Nothing gives scandal sooner than a quickness to take scandal. This is worth our consideration. For I find great numbers of moderately good people who think it fine to take scandal. They regard it as a sort of evidence of their own goodness, and of their delicacy of conscience; while in reality it is only a proof either of their inordinate conceit or of their extreme stupidity. They are unfortunate when this latter is the case; for then no one but inculpable nature is to blame. If, as some have said, a stupid man cannot be a Saint, at least his stupidity can never make him into a sinner. Moreover, the persons in question seem frequently to feel and act as if their profession of piety involved some kind of official appointment to take scandal. It is their business to take scandal. It is their way of bearing testimony to God. It would show a blamable inertness in the spiritual life if they did not take scandal. They think they suffer very much while they are taking scandal; whereas in truth they enjoy it amazingly. It is a pleasurable excitement, which delightfully varies the monotony of devotion. They do not in reality fall over their neighbour's fault, nor does it in itself hinder them in the way of holiness, nor do they love God less because of it, ---- all which ought to be implied in taking scandal. But they trip themselves up on purpose, and take care that it shall be opposite some fault of their neighbour’s, in order that they may call attention to the difference between him and themselves.

There are certainly many legitimate causes for taking scandal, but none more legitimate than the almost boastful facility of taking scandal which characterizes many so-called religious people. The fact is that an immense proportion of us are Pharisees. For one pious man who makes piety attractive, there are nine who make it repulsive. Or, in other words, only one out of ten among reputed spiritual persons is really spiritual. He who during a long life has taken the most scandal has done the most injury to God's glory, and has been himself a real and substantial stumbling-block in the way of many. He has been an endless fountain of odious disedification to the little ones of Christ. If such a one reads this, he will take scandal at me. Everything that he dislikes, every thing which deviates from his own narrow view of things, is to him a scandal. It is the Pharisaic way of expressing a difference.

Men marvellously like to be popes; and the dullest of men, if only he has, as usual, an obstinacy proportioned to his dullness, can in most neighbourhoods carve out a tiny papacy for himself; and if to his dullness he can add pomposity, he may reign gloriously, a little local ecumenical council in unintermitting session through all the four seasons of the year. Who has time enough, or heart enough, or hope enough, to try to persuade such men? They are not sufficiently interesting to us to be worth our persuading. Let us leave them alone with their glory and their happiness. Let us try to persuade ourselves. Do not we ourselves take scandal too often? Let us examine the matter and see.

Now, here is a thing which I have often thought upon. Certainly no one can remember every thing in the voluminous lives of the Saints; for it would take a lifetime to read them all. But I do not remember to have read of any Saint who ever took scandal. If this is even approximately true, the question is decided at once. Big men, swollen with self-importance, who see the faults of others with eyes of lynxes, and criticize them with clever sarcasms, and delight in the pedantry of a judicial frame of mind, can only humorously apply to themselves the name of the little ones of Christ. Yet books tell us there are two kinds of scandal, ---- the scandal of the little ones of Christ, and the scandal of Pharisees. It follows, then, that these men must be Pharisees. But I say that, if this remark about the Saints is even approximately true, it must give us a check, and make us very thoughtful, if we are earnest men, although we are not Saints, and what belongs to Saints is by no means safely applicable to us in all respects. Let us suppose it not to be strictly true. Let us suppose it only a rare thing for Saints to take scandal. We can draw a sufficiently broad conclusion from this to be very practical to ourselves. For we may infer that it is a matter about which persons aiming at being spiritual are not sufficiently careful. Every time we take scandal we run a great risk of sinning, and a manifold risk as well as a great one. We run the risk of impairing God's glory, of dishonouring our Blessed Lord, of giving substantial scandal to others, of breaking the precept of charity ourselves, of highly-culpable indiscretion, and, at the very least, of grieving the Holy Spirit in our own souls. Here is enough to make it worth our while to inquire."


END OF QUOTATIONS>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>.






Wow. I need to read this two or three more times to get the full effect. I really do want to read everything by him. Allie, buy a used copy of Precious Blood.
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The Precious Blood by Father Frederick Faber D.D>

Post  George Brenner on Sat Oct 08, 2011 1:27 pm

Hello to Allie and Roguejim,

We are so blessed to have a great Bishop where I live in Indiana. His words inspire me also. The people that have helped me in my quest for salvation through my life would crash the memory on this Forum site. Thank you Rasha for having this forum.

So speaking of eternity.... go out in your yard, garden or favorite place outside and draw an invisible circle in the air. That circle represents all creation, the contracting and collapsing universe. Inside the circle draw a speck as small as you can. It is impossible to relate to its size in relation to the total universe. In fact there is no dot you could make small enough that would do any justice to the scale that would be needed to depict any sense of accuracy; and yet ONLY 2000 years ago Jesus came to us, walked, taught and loved us and offered up His very life for us.

Now place yourself on the outer edge of the Circle and simply walk off the edge. Now take twenty steps away from the circle and look back at the circle which now is relatively very small to your total view. Now look in all directions as it seems to go forever and so it does. Eternity is Forever ! We need to get it right. With the help from God, Holy Mother Church and each other there is great reason to smile.
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Re: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  simple Faith on Sat Oct 08, 2011 2:08 pm

Hi George, many thanks for your quotes from what appears to be a great book. I have just downloaded a free copy from google books and will work my way through it. I was much impressed when I also discovered that Fr. Faber was also the writer of a great hymn, very popular here in Ireland, 'Faith of Our Fathers", written in memory of Catholic martyrs. He also translated Saint Louis de Montfort's classic Marian book True Devotion to Mary into English.
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The Precious Blood By Father Frederck Faber D.D.

Post  George Brenner on Sat Oct 08, 2011 10:24 pm

More on Scandal from Father Faber

and I quote:

"Let us see, first of all, how much evil the habit of taking scandal implies. It implies a quiet pride, which is altogether unconscious how proud it is. Pride is the denial of the spiritual life. Spiritual pride means that we have no spiritual life, but the possession of that evil spirit instead of it. Pride is hard enough to manage even when we are conscious of it; but a pride which has no self-consciousness is a very desperate thing. It often seems as if grace could only get at it through a fall into serious sin, which will awake its consciousness and at the same moment turn it into shame. Now, the habit of taking scandal indicates that worst sort of pride, a pride which believes itself to be humility. Any thing like a habit of taking scandal implies also a fund of uncharitableness deep down in us, which grace and interior mortification have either not reached, or failed to influence. If we pay attention to ourselves, we shall find that, contemporaneously with the scandal we have taken, there has been some wounded feeling or other in an excited state within us. When we are in good humour, we do not take scandal. It is an act which is not for the most part accompanied by kindness. A genuine gentle sorrow for the person offending is neither the first thought nor the predominant thought in our minds when we take the offence. It is the offspring generally of an unkindly mood. Sometimes, indeed, it springs from moroseness, brought on by assuming a seriousness which does not become us because it is not simple. We precipitate ourselves into recollection, and find that we have fallen over head and ears into sullenness. Neither can taking scandal be very frequent with us without its implying also a formed habit of judging others. With a really humble or a naturally genial person the instinct of judging others is overlaid and, as it were, weighted with other and better qualities. It has to exert itself and make an effort before it can get to the surface and assert itself; whereas it lies on the surface, obvious, ready, prompt, and predominating, in a man who is given to taking scandal. Is it often allowable to judge our neighbour? Surely we know it to be the rarest thing possible. Yet we cannot take scandal without, first, forming a judgment; secondly, forming an unfavourable judgment; thirdly, deliberately entertaining it as a motive power inclining us to do or to omit something; and, fourthly, doing all this for the most part in the subject matter of piety, which in nine cases out of ten our obvious ignorance withdraws from our jurisdiction.

It also indicates a general want of an interior spirit. The supernatural grace of an interior spirit, among its other effects, produces the same results as the natural gift of depth of character; and to this it joins the ingenious sweetness of charity. A thoughtless or a shallow man is more likely to take scandal than any other. He can conceive of nothing but what he sees upon the surface. He has but little self-knowledge, and hardly suspects the variety or complication of his own motives. Much less, then, is he likely to divine in a discerning way the hidden causes, the hidden excuses, the hidden temptations, which may lie, and always do lie, behind the actions of others. So it is in spiritual matters with a man who has not an interior spirit. There is not only a rashness, but also a coarseness and vulgarity, about his judgments of others. Sometimes he only sees superficially. This is if he is a stupid man. If he is a clever man, he sees deeper than the truth. His vulgarity is of the subtle kind. He puts things together which had no real connection in the conduct of his neighbour. Base himself, he suspects baseness in others. If he saw a Saint, he would think him either ambitious, opinionated, or hypocritical. He sees plots and conspiracies even in the most impulsive of characters. He cannot judge of character at all. He can only project his own possibilities of sin into others, and imagine that to be their character which he feels, if grace were withdrawn from him, would be his own. He judges as a man judges whose reason is slightly unsettled. He is cunning rather than discerning. To clever men charity is almost impossible if they have not an interior spirit.

We shall also find that, when we fall into the way of taking scandal, there is something wrong about our meditations. There are times when our meditations are inefficacious. With some men it is so nearly all through their lives. The fact is, that the habit of meditation will not by itself make us interior. When a man's spiritual life is reduced to the practice of daily meditation, we see that he soon loses all control over his tongue, his temper, and his wounded feelings. His morning's meditation is inadequate to the sweetening of his whole day. It is too feeble to detain the presence of God in his soul until evening. Like general intentions, it has theological possibilities which are hardly ever practical realities. It is like a shrub planted in the clay; if we do not dig around it and let in the air and moisture, it will not grow. Its growth is stunted and impeded. This is a perilous state of things, when our meditation is but an island in a day which is otherwise flooded with worldliness and comfort. For we must remember that comfort is one of the worst kinds of worldliness, and is most at home in our own rooms, at a distance from the gay, noisy, and dissipated world. We are not far from some serious mishap when mortification and examination of conscience have deserted our meditation and left it to itself. A habit of taking scandal often reveals to us that we are in this state, or are fast tending to it.

It also poisons much else that is good, and desecrates holy things, almost making them positively unholy. It infuses somewhat of censoriousness into our intercessory prayer. It turns our spiritual reading into a silent preachment to others. It charms away the arrows of the preacher from ourselves, and aims them with a pleased skill at others whom we have in our mind's eye. It plays into the hands of whatever is unkindly and unlovely in our natural dispositions; and it makes our very spirituality unspiritual by making it uncharitable. All this complicated evil it implies as already existing in us; and it fosters and increases it all for the future, while it is implying it in the present. It is plain, therefore, that it would be well for us to take scandal at our taking scandal, seeing what a degrading revelation it is to us of our own misery and meanness. We are aiming at a devout life. We have only just extricated ourselves from the swamps of mortal sin. We know something of the ways of grace. We have the models of the Saints. We are more or less familiar with the teaching of spiritual writers. We are not obliged, either because of our ignorance or because of our weakness, to look to the conduct of others as the rule of our own. Hence, in our case, taking scandal is neither more nor less than judging, and we must treat the temptation to it as we would treat any other temptation against charity, ---- namely, check it, punish it, detest it, resolve against it, and accuse ourselves of it in confession. We must beware also of its artifices. For it has many tricks, and they are often successful. Masters, parents, and directors are quite familiar with a device of those under their care and control, and who criticize, suggestively at least, their government or direction: this trick consists in their accusing themselves of having taken scandal at the conduct of their superiors and directors. It is ingenious, but soon wears out. Directors learn early to stifle their own curiosity, and not allow their self-deluded critics to tell them what has scandalized them, as they cannot even listen to it without compromising their dignity and forfeiting their influence. In a word, we shall find it the truest and the safest conclusion to come to, that we must regard the temptation to take scandal as wholly and unmitigatedly evil, a temptation to which no quarter should be allowed, and to whose eloquent pleadings of delicacy of conscience no audience should be given but that of calm contempt.

Now that we have considered the existing evil which a readiness to take scandal implies in us, we may consider the way in which it hinders us in the attainment of perfection. It hinders us in the acquisition of self-knowledge. Watchfulness over ourselves is nothing short of an actual mortification. We eagerly lay hold of the slightest excuse for turning our attention away from ourselves, and the conduct of others is the readiest object to which we turn. No one is so blind to his own faults as a man who has the habit of detecting the faults of others. It also causes us to stand in our own light. We ourselves actually intercept the sunshine which would fall on our own souls. A man who is apt to take scandal is never a blithe or a genial man. He has never a clear light round about him. He is not made for happiness; and was ever a melancholy man made into a Saint? A downcast man is raw material which can only be manufactured into a very ordinary Christian. Moreover, if we have any sort of earnestness about us, our taking scandal must at last become a source of scruples to us. If it is not quite the same thing as censoriousness, who shall draw the line between them? We know very well that it is not at our best times that we take scandal, and it must dawn upon us by degrees that it is so often contemporary with a state of spiritual malady that the coincidence can hardly be accidental. At the same time, the act is so intrinsically ungenerous in itself that it tends to destroy all generous impulses in ourselves. No one can be generous with God who has not a great, broad love of his neighbour.

Furthermore, it destroys our influence with others. We irritate where we ought to enliven. To be suspected of want of sympathy is to be disabled as an apostle. He who is critical will necessarily be unpersuasive. Even in literature, what department of it is less persuasive, and thus less influential, than that of criticism? Men are amused by it, but they do not form their judgments on it. There are few things in the literary world more striking than the little weight of criticism compared with the amount and the ability of it. We like to find fault ourselves; but we are never attracted to another man who finds fault. It is the last refuge of our good humour that we like to have a monopoly censure, Then, again, this habit entangles us in a hundred self-raised difficulties about fraternal correction, that rock of narrow souls; for a man's presumption is mostly in proportion to his narrowness. Men awake sometimes, and find that they have almost unconsciously worked themselves into a false position. This is a terrible affair in spirituality, It is harder to work ourselves right than to recover our balance after a sin. Yet the supposed obligation of fraternal correction is always enticing us into false positions. It also calls our attention off from God, and fixes them with a sort of diseased earnestness upon earthly miseries and pusillanimities. It is bad enough to look off from God by looking too much on ourselves; but to look off from God in order to look upon our neighbours, is a greater evil still. It deranges the whole interior world of thought, upon which the exercise of charity so much depends. It hinders us in acquiring the government of the tongue. It prevents our succeeding in good works where zealous and free co-operation with others is needed. It is the cloak which jealousy is forever assuming and calling it by the name of caution. Finally, we think all these things virtues, while they are in reality vices of the most unamiable description.


do not think I have exaggerated the evil of this quickness to take scandal. I confess it is a fault which vexes me more than many others, and for many reasons. Its victims are good men, men full of promise, and whose souls have been the theatres of no inconsiderable operations of grace. It seizes them for the most part, just at the time when higher attainments seem opening to them. Its peculiarity is, that it is incompatible with the higher graces of the spiritual life, that it defiles that which was now almost cleansed, and vulgarizes that which was on the point of establishing its title to nobility. When we consider how many are called to perfection, and how few are perfect, may we not almost say that we do well to be angry with that evil which so opportunely and so effectually mars the work of grace?

In what does perfection consist? In a childlike, short-sighted charity; charity which believes all things; in a grand supernatural conviction that every one is better than ourselves; in estimating far too low the amount of evil in the world; in looking far too exclusively on what is good; in the ingenuity of kind constructions; in an inattention, hardly intelligible, to the faults of others; in a graceful perversity of incredulousness about scandals, which sometimes in the Saints runs close upon being a scandal of itself. This is perfection; this is the temper and genius of Saints and saint-Iike men. It is a life of desire, oblivious of earthly things. It is a radiant, energetic faith that man's slowness and coldness will not interfere with the success of God's glory. Yet all the while it is instinctively fighting, by prayer and reparation, against evils, which it will not allow itself consciously to believe. No shadow of moroseness ever falls over the bright mind of a Saint. It is not possible that it should do so. Finally, perfection has the gift of entering into the universal Spirit of God, Who is worshipped in so many different ways, and is content. Now, is not all this just the very opposite of the temper and spirit of a man who is apt to take scandal? The difference is so plain that it is needless to comment on it. He is happy who on his dying bed can say, "No one has ever given me scandal in my life!" He has either not seen his neighbour's faults, or, when he saw them, the sight had to reach him through so much sunshine of his own that they did not strike him so much as faults to blame, but rather as reasons for a deeper and a tenderer love."

END OF QUOTATION>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Let us all, pray , think and do a self examination
Thank you Father Faber, you are a special person

Thank you
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George Brenner

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Re: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  columba on Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:37 am

Ahh George that's food for the soul.
Bet we're all looking round to see who we can apply it too. Shocked

I now resolve to overlook the offense and not take scandal and be charitable to all. I'll attack the argument if I think it's wrong and not the person. Everyone here has permission to call me out if I should relapse.

Anyone else care to take the vow? Smile

But.. I reserve the right to deal with Simple Faith differently cos he doesn't mind and we can always sort it out later over a pint.
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columba

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The Precious Blood by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

Post  George Brenner on Sun Oct 09, 2011 1:09 pm

Hi Columba,

I will give my best shot and re read Father Fabers writings on Scandal often, daily if I need to. I do not need to look arround. Every time I look in a mirror I sometimes can only say, George, George George! I am always concerned with seeing some of Dorian Gray in myself. Thank Jesus for Confession. My knee caps hurt from falling down.
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Re: The Precious Blood, by Father Frederick Faber D.D.

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