Friday, February 19, 2016

Protector, Deliverer, and God

I have covered Verse 1 in another posting, “I” doesn’t want to be in Christ.  I do not desire to rehash that, but I do desire to touch upon a couple of things.

Some of the astute teachers of our Church that have gone before us have seen this psalm as a dialogue between God and the “just” man, e.g. GOD: “He that dwelleth (constantly dwelling) in the aid of the most High, shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob;” JUST MAN: “He shall say to the Lord: ‘Thou art my protector, and my refuge: my God, in him will I trust, for he hath delivered me from the snare of the hunters: and from the sharp word’.”[1]  For this reason, I am utilizing the Douay-Rheims (D-R) rather than the NAB or the NRSV.  I believe the D-R makes things more practical to us, and it is more in line with the references that I will be using.  I, of course, am not stating that the NAB, NRSV, or RSV are incorrect; I am just saying that the D-R is more beneficial.  For instance, in Verse 3 (which we will get to in another posting), the D-R has “and from the sharp word,” whereas the NAB has “from the destroying plague” and the NRSV, “from the deadly pestilence.”  Both the NAB and NRSV appear redundant in that a plague is deadly and a pestilence is deadly.  Also, since I don’t at the moment have to dread a plague or pestilence, they are not relevant to me at this time.  However, “the sharp word” is something that occurs frequently.  Therefore, I am utilizing the D-R for this portion.

We have already cover in the previous posting who it is that “dwells in the shelter of the Most High,” or the D-R version, “He that dwelleth in the aid of the Most High,” he that “shall abide under the protection of the God of Jacob.”  I do desire to spend a little more time on Verse 2 to cover something I omitted in the other posting.

In Verse 2, we have the “just” man saying to God, “Thou art my protector, and my refuge: my God, in Him will I trust.”  Where the NAB and NRSV have “my refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust,” the D-R has “Though art my protector and my refuge: my God, in Him will I trust.”  In other words, where the NAB has “refuge,” it will be “protector,” and “fortress” in the NAB will “refuge” in the D-R. 

St. Bellarmine tells us: “These words represent three of God’s favors, for which the just man returns thanks; one, a past favor; the second, a present; and the third, a future favor.”[2]  The first favor, protection, St. Bellarmine says, is the mercy of God through which he supports man after falling into mortal sin, e.g. David and Peter.  He says that the just man mentions this favor first because he says to himself, “If God be so good as to protect the enemy who does not confide in him, and to inspire him with penance and confidence, how good and kind must He not be to the friend and child who does confide in Him.”  Although the saint does not say it, I would also think that this includes Baptism because it is God who makes the first move of causing the person to become repentant, including infant Baptism.  In infant Baptism, God is calling the child through the parents, thereby protecting it.  Hence, we are thankful that God calls us through Baptism and when He absolves us during the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

The second favor, according to St. Bellarmine, is contained in the words “my refuge” because it is present time.  When God protects us through Baptism and the Sacrament of Reconciliation—when we have committed a mortal sin—He does not immediately assume us into heaven, but “places [us] in the line of His soldiers who are fighting here below and, if the individual trusts in the Lord as we discussed in the earlier posting, God will prove to be a “refuge” to the person “in every temptation and difficulty, and a most safe and secure refuge, as the Hebrew word for refuge implies.”1  We see this plainly as God placing us into the Catholic Church for security and for increase of faith.

For the third favor, the saint instructs us: “The third favor is a future one, and the greatest of all, and is contained in the words, ‘my God,’ for God is the supreme good, and God is always God in himself, and, therefore, the supreme good; and he will be peculiarly so ‘when we shall see him as he is,’ for then we shall enjoy the supreme good. The just man, therefore, reflecting and allowing that God was one time his protector, then his refuge, and, after this life, will constitute his happiness, comes to the conclusion, ‘in him will I trust;’ that is, I am firmly determined to put my trust in him, through every danger and temptation, as did holy Job, when he said, ‘Although he should kill me, I will trust in him’.”

To summarize:  When an individual desires to have a thorough trust in the protection of God, where he is abiding in that protection, by going to God in prayer, continuously asking to enter His secret place, the place of protection, “he then who so imitates Christ as to endure all the troubles of this world, with his hopes set upon God, that he falls into no snare, is broken down by no panic fears, he it is "who dwelleth under the defense of the Most High, who shall abide under the protection of God."1  That individual will then say to God, “Thou art my protector, and my refuge: my God, in Him will I trust.  This shall be our prayer at home, during Mass, and while receiving the Eucharist, constantly recalling that He is Protector, Deliverer, God.  We must remember that we can only be delivered when we are actually between the proverbial rock and a hard place.  It is then that He becomes our Fortress, for we do not need a fortress if we are not in danger.  Jesus promised us persecutions, hardships.  Our first pope, Peter, was crucified; St. Paul was beheaded; and we have a myriad of martyrs of the faith.  Nevertheless, they persevered and endured because God was Protector, Deliverer, and God of their souls.

--Tommy Turner

[1] The Holy Bible, Translated from the Latin Vulgate, (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2009), Ps 90:1–3.
[2] Saint Robert Bellarmine (2015-05-11). A Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Illustrated) (p. 422). Aeterna Press. Kindle Edition.
1 Saint Robert Bellarmine (2015-05-11). A Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Illustrated) (p. 423). Aeterna Press. Kindle Edition.
1 St. Augustine (2010-03-28). St. Augustine: Exposition on the Book of Psalms (Kindle Locations 21558-21559).  . Kindle Edition.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

“I” Doesn’t Want to be in Christ

“I” doesn’t want to be in Christ. You probably caught the improper grammar. It is not that I don’t want to be in Christ—because I do; however, I have a problem: I am not content with Christ; I want to fulfill the desires of the flesh. I can identify with Apostle Paul: “We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold into slavery to sin. What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if [I] do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am!”[1] This brings me to the first two verses of Psalm 91.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” Every time I have read passages like 91, I really just ignored them because I did not see them as being true in my life. I knew God did not lie; hence, this must be true. However, I did not see it as applicable to my life. I considered myself as dwelling “in the shelter of [God], but I knew these things were not true for me. Therefore, passage such as this went in one proverbial ear and out the other.

The human being who has been baptized, because of concupiscence, is truly a fickle creature. He is “in Christ;” nevertheless, he does not desire to remain in Christ at all times; he is distracted. He is caught in a revolving door, in-and-out constantly. He wants to stand on the running board of a vehicle, holding onto Christ with one hand while grasping for the world with the other. I am reminded of movies/TV shows in which one character would tell another to stay put or stay out of danger; however, they would get scared or thought they knew better and dart out; and, very often, they would get injured or killed. This is how we are more times than not.

Saint Robert Bellarmine (4 October 1542 – 17 September 1621), in his commentary on Psalm 91, explains: “‘He,’ no matter who he may be, rich or poor, learned or unlearned, patrician or plebeian, young or old, for ‘God is no respecter of persons,’ but he is ‘rich to all that call upon him’—‘that dwelleth,’ to give us to understand that this liberal promise does not apply to those who put only a certain amount of trust in God, but that this trust must be continuous, constant, and firm (emphasis added) so that man may be said to dwell in God, through faith and confidence, and to carry it about with him, like a house, like a turtle, ‘in the aid,’ for God’s aid is not like one of the strongholds of this world, to which people fly for defense, but consists in an invisible and most secret tower that can be found, and entered by faith alone.

However, the expression in the Greek as well as the Latin conveys, that we must place the most entire confidence in God (emphasis added), but still we are not to neglect the ordinary means that man can avail himself of. The husbandman puts his trust in him who gives the rain from heaven, and makes his sun to rise, but in the meantime he will be sure to plough, to sow, and to reap, knowing that God helps those who help themselves…Those in power spend much money on their fortresses and body guards, and yet are often betrayed by them; but here it is not frail and deceitful man, but the Almighty and truthful God that says, ‘Trust in me, and I will protect you,’ and yet scarce can one be found to trust himself to God as he ought.”1

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High is he who “sits in the secret place of the Most High,” trusting God no matter the circumstances, no matter what is occurring around them. The individual understands that, in his life, because he is Baptized, in Christ, there are no coincidences, no “bad” things, for all things are either ordained by the Father or allowed by Him for our good, to mold us more into the likeness of the Beloved, His Son. Jesus lived in the shelter of the Father regardless of the circumstances; He abided in the shadow of the Almighty. Because of Baptism, we too should dwell in the shelter of the Most High; however, we do not—we do not totally, absolutely, trust Him. We know that we should, that He is dependable; nevertheless, we are afraid to be put in the position to trust Him completely. We are fearful of the circumstances we may be put into. In the military, you can prepare your mind for combat, have an idea of what to expect. To dwell in the shelter of the Most High, we go into it blind, not knowing what to expect. However, we must imitate Jesus. St. Augustine puts it in plain words: “He then who so imitates Christ as to endure all the troubles of this world, with his hopes set upon God, that he falls into no snare, is broken down by no panic fears (emphasis added), he it is ‘who dwelleth under the [defense] of the Most High, who shall abide under the protection of God’.” 2

In Old English, the word that is translated as “dwells” for us is translated “dwelleth,” which means a constant, a continuous dwelling. This is consistent with how St. Augustine translates the verse. We are no longer in that revolving door, rotating in and out; we are in the Body of Christ, our will consistent with His will, allowing the Body to carry us where He wills.

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” I believe most people will recognize these as words contained in the Declaration of Independence. I do not think Thomas Jefferson, in drafting up the Declaration, was thinking of God. All Catholics know that Life, Liberty, and Happiness are all found in Christ. Nevertheless, because of concupiscence, we often look for these things outside of God. We know better; we are “bent.” In order to constantly dwell in the shelter of the Most High, to be one of those who abides in the shadow of the Almighty, to be one of those who will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust,” we must give ourselves over to God, dwelling in His defense. Only then will we be able to say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress; my God, in whom I trust.” We have to stop looking for happiness outside of Christ. Christ gives us all He has, including His life. He suffered all that we may have all. Why do we desire to grasp at straws? Why do we desire to possess straw?

How do we arrive at the state where we able to know we dwell in the shelter of the Most High? We must pray for it, confessing our fear in asking for the petition, but knowing that that is what we need. Then we must brace ourselves for the trials and temptations that will necessarily beset us. This was one reason why Jesus was “driven” into the wilderness to be tempted. In order to enter the dwelling of that secret place, all hindrances must be removed. “Iron sharpens iron.” St. Paul recognized this: Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord.1 We do not have the strength to enter on our own; we must ask. Ask (and keep asking), and you shall receive. The question that remains: Do we desire, do we want, to dwell in the shelter of the Most High?

--Tommy Turner

[1] New American Bible, Revised Edition., (Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), Ro 7:14–24.

1 Saint Robert Bellarmine (2015-05-11). A Commentary on the Book of Psalms (Illustrated) (p. 422). Aeterna Press. Kindle Edition.

2 Augustine of Hippo, Saint Augustin: Expositions on the Book of Psalms, 1888, 8, 446.

1 New American Bible, Revised Edition., (Washington, DC: The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, 2011), Ro 7:24–25.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Lent and Temptations

I believe that all Catholics (Christians) desire to do good, to do what is pleasing to God, to be molded into the image of the Beloved, His Son, Jesus Christ. As for myself, many times I know what to do but find myself unable to do what I should do. It is not as if I am incapable; it is as if I am mired in a tar pit, everything little thing requiring the utmost of energy. Many times, seeing little to no fruit for my labors, I resignedly think, “What is the use; how is this going to benefit anyone?” For Lent this year, I am reading Michael Aimino’s book, A Journey into the Wilderness: Forty Days of Lent. Included in his meditation for today, the day after Ash Wednesday, he wrote: “…there are times when we wonder if our efforts really make any difference.

On those days when we wonder if our work matters, it helps to remember that it is not so much the results that count, but that we make the effort to work in cooperation with a much greater plan and design, for a much greater purpose than we realize.” It is something that I knew; however, I often let the visual, or perception, inundate truth. We are responsible for the labor when it comes to the Kingdom; we are not responsible for producing the fruit. That is up to the Holy Spirit. As Mr. Aimino surmises, “When we place our work in the context of God’s kingdom, a kingdom of justice and love, then every little effort, no matter how seemingly insignificant, is helping to build something that really, truly matters.”

As an individual, we are not the Church; nonetheless, we are a microcosm of the Catholic Church. Therefore, when we repent of one sin as an individual, it has a tremendous effect upon the universal (redundancy intended) Catholic Church. Although sin is a personal act, it affects more than the individual. Our Catechism defines “sin:”
“Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain gods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as ‘an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law’ (St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas). 
Sin is an offense against God: ‘Against you, you alone, have I sinned, and done that which is evil in your sight’ (Ps 51.4). Sin sets itself against God’s love for us and turns our hearts away from it. Like the first sin, it is disobedience, a revolt against God through the will to become ‘like gods,’ knowing and determining good and evil. Sin is thus ‘love of oneself even to contempt of God.’ In this proud self-exaltation, sin is diametrically opposed to the obedience of Jesus, which achieves our salvation.” (Para 1849, 1850)
Therefore, every sin we commit, we are sinning against God, human nature itself, and against the Church. Contrariwise, every act of good (holiness) praises God and helps heal human nature and the Church. We are a functioning part of a living organism, the Catholic Church, the Body of Christ. The Church is not an organization; it is a living organism, the visible Christ on earth.

We are in the second day of Lent. Lent consists of giving up something and doing something good. Some people give up chocolate, candy, soda, etc. When they desire the substance, they should turn their minds to God and pray instead of partaking in the thing they desire. What I would exhort people to do is: Do not only stop partaking during Lent, but completely, because the thing they are doing is fulfilling a desire of the flesh, turning their free will to satisfy themselves instead of God. We cannot honor God by honoring ourselves, which we do by fulfilling our desires. “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. “On earth” means our bodies, which come from the earth. “Ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” When we no longer desire the thing we have given up, let us do some introspection and give up another desire of the flesh.

“Desires of the flesh” make me think of Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Jesus, after His baptism, was driven into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted, tested. Satan tempted Him. Was Satan visible to Jesus or invisible? Satan is a spirit. He can enter a person, but I do not know whether he is able to assume the likeness of a human body—unless, of course, God granted it. For me, personally, it aids me when I think that Satan tempted Jesus through His mind, His thoughts—remembering that Jesus was also wholly man and was tempted in every way that we are tempted. St. Thomas Aquinas believed, I think, that Satan was physically present to Jesus; however, he says that others believe otherwise. I don’t know; but, because Satan does not appear physically to me but tempts me many times through my mind, my thoughts, it helps me to think of Jesus being tempted in the same fashion.

Now, eating to stay alive is not a sin. When the disciples were walking through the grain fields and eating the grain because they were hungry, Jesus did not rebuke them; He rebuked the religious leaders. He did say to His disciples, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every words that proceeds from the mouth of God.” Likewise, He did not think this when He fed the five thousand. If we went one day without eating, having the power to convert a stone into a pepperoni pizza, what would we do? Turn the stone into a pepperoni pizza. Why was it wrong for Jesus to turn stone into bread? Jesus went without food and water for forty days. It is my understanding that it is impossible for a man to live forty days without water, let alone food—without the intervention of God. Jesus knew His mission; He knew why He was being tested; therefore, He knew His Father would keep Him. Nevertheless, He was starving because He was a man.

Because Jesus knew the Father’s will, that He was sent to redeem mankind, He knew that the Father was not going to let Him die of thirst or starvation. If we tried to go forty days without drinking or eating, we would be tempting God. Jesus needed to undergo severe temptations, more than any single individual would undergo in order that He would understand “firsthand” the temptations that a human being undergoes. He now “knows” how weak we are. He “knows” how to help us, when to actually deliver us and when to just give us grace to endure. We no longer can blame God. We see the Son of God, who is also Son of Man, overcoming the most brutal of temptation in another Garden, the Garden of Gethsemane. Last but not least—really, most importantly—He underwent the temptations as part of our salvation. Humanity had to overcome everything that humanity succumbed to in the Fall.

Where the Head goes, the Body must follow. Jesus forewarns us that because He was persecuted we must also be persecuted. Likewise, if He was severely tempted, at times the Church—and her members—must also be severely tempted. It is only because Jesus persevered through the severest of trials that the martyrs of the Church were able to endure their martyrdom. God will give us the grace to endure and to persevere. Are we not willing to give up one desire of the flesh at a time? The desires of the flesh are burdens that keep us from up the “ladder of Ascent.” The more burdens we relieve ourselves of, the higher and faster we will be able to ascend.
--Tommy Turner

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Psalm 84 and Being Stuck on the Ladder of Ascent

For those of us who have watched the TV series, Monk, during the intro we see a clip of Mr. Monk stuck upon a ladder due to his acrophobia. Although we are not “stuck” due to fear, oftentimes I feel as if I am “stuck” upon the “ladder of ascent” to heaven. It very well could be that, instead of being “stuck,” I am in all actuality descending the “ladder of ascent.” I sincerely hope not for I keep, by the grace of God, my mind upon the heavenly. Be it what it may, the fact of the matter is: I perceive that I am not ascending, that I am “stuck.” For what reason? I am thinking of two. There are, perhaps, many more; but I am thinking of two: 1) desires of the flesh, and 2) contentment. If I am desiring things that are not of God, I am seeking to pacify the flesh, the five senses; therefore, I am unable to ascend. If I have all the corporeal and temporal things that I perceive I need and/or want, it very well may be that I am content, satisfied with the status quo; hence, I do not aggressively seek to ascend, my going to Mass, prayers, and deeds amounting to “fulfilling obligations.” Now, what does this have to do with Psalm 84?

For Tuesday, Fifth Week of Ordinary Time, Year C, in the responsorial Psalm, Psalm 84, the Church has us focusing upon Verses 1-4 and 9-10. However, in order to receive a clearer understanding, it might help to read the title, “For the leader; ‘upon the gittith;’ a psalm of the Korahites.” “Gittith” means winepresses. St. Augustine, in his Exposition on the Book of Psalms, interprets what the NAB has as “upon the gittith” as “for the winepresses. He correctly ascertains that there is nothing in the text of the Psalm which refers to “any press, or wine-basket, or vat, or of any of the instruments or the building of a winepress.” Therefore, the Saint asserts, “Therefore, let us recall to mind what takes place in these visible winepresses, and see how this takes place spiritually in the Church.” The description St. Augustine gives paints a pretty vivid picture:

“The grape hangs on the vines, and the olive on its trees. For it is for these two fruits that presses are usually made ready; and, as long as they hang on their boughs, they seem to enjoy free air; and neither is the grape wine nor the olive oil before they are pressed. Thus it is with men whom God predestined before the world to be conformed to the image of His only-begotten Son, who has been first and especially pressed in His Passion as the great Cluster. Men of this kind, therefore, before they draw near to the service of God, enjoy in the world a kind of delicious liberty, like hanging grapes or olives: But, as it is said, ‘My son, when thou drawest near to the service of God, stand in judgment and fear, and make thy soul ready for temptation:’ So each, as he draweth near to the service of God, findeth that he is come to the winepress, he shall undergo tribulation, shall be crushed, shall be pressed, not that he may perish in this world but that he may flow down into the storehouses of God. He hath the coverings of carnal desires stripped off from him, like grape skins: for this hath taken place in him in carnal desires, of which the Apostle speaks, ‘Put ye off the old man, and put on the new man.’ All this is not done but by pressure; therefore, the Churches of God [all the parishes of the Catholic Church] of this time are called winepresses.”

Oftentimes, we focus more upon the “pressure” itself more than we do on the purpose of the pressure. It is true that often we do not know the purpose of the trial; however, we must always force ourselves to recall that nothing happens to us without God desiring it to occur or allowing it to occur. All of this is for the purpose of our salvation and sanctification. When we forget to bring this to mind, we very well might be tempted to relieve ourselves of pressures that are needful. Of course, I am not referring to those instances that we have done something wrong and need to correct in order to relieve hardships, nor of not relying upon the advice of professionals, e.g. doctors. Mostly, I am referring to temporal and corporeal things, status, etc. When we fight to hold onto these things, it may impede our progress up the “ladder of ascension.” Just as a rock climber must relieve himself of all nonessentials, likewise must we relieve ourselves of all nonessentials in order to make our ascent. Sometimes this must be a literal relief, for there are many things we rely on subconsciously. This is why it is important for us to be in the “winepress.” Many people get out of the winepress (the Catholic Church) because they find a “church” which tolerates their “beliefs,” which really may be a “pet” sin.

What the NAB interprets as “a psalm of the Korahites,” St. Augustine interprets as “to the sons of [Korah],” which I believe is more meaningful to us. If we understand it only as a “psalm of the Korahites,” who were the gatekeepers of the Tabernacle and the Temple, then it very well be our thought that this is only a song they sang, of how we should feel. However, if as our Saint thinks, the “sons of Korah” are Catholics:

“Being placed under pressure, we are crushed for this purpose, that for our love by which we were borne towards those worldly, secular, temporal, unstable, and perishable things, having suffered in them, in this life, torments, and tribulations of pressures, and abundance of temptations, we may begin to seek that rest which is not of this life, nor of this earth; and the Lord becomes, as is written, ‘a refuge for the poor man.’ What is ‘for the poor man’? For him who is, as it were, destitute, without aid, without help, without anything on which he may rest, in earth. For to such poor men, God is present. For though men abound in money on earth, they are filled more with fear than with enjoyment. For what is so uncertain as a rolling thing? It is not unfitly that money itself is stamped round”—circular—“because it remains not still. Such men, therefore, though they have something, are yet poor. But those who have none of this wealth, but only desire it, are counted also among rich men who will be rejected, for God takes account not of power, but of will. The poor then are destitute of all this world’s substance, for even though it abounds around them, they know how fleeting it is; and crying unto God, having nothing in this world with which they may delight themselves, and be held down, placed in abundant pressures and temptations, as if in winepresses, they flow down, having become oil or wine. What are these latter but good desires? For God remains their only object of desire; now they love not earth. For they love Him who made heaven and earth; they love Him, and are not yet with Him. Their desire is delayed in order that it may increase; it increases in order that it may receive. For it is not any little thing that God will give to him who desires, nor does he need to be little exercised to be made fit to receive so great a good: not anything which He hath made will God give, but Himself who made all things. Exercise thyself to receive God: that which thou shalt have forever, desire thou a long time.”

Very often, God “drives” us into the wilderness, into the desert, in order that we “miss” Him, in order that we yearn for Him. This is one of the purposes of Lent: that we give up something we like in order to recall to mind that we need to yearn Him, Who is All. Our Saint advises us: “Let no one look back, no one delight himself with his former interests, no one turn away from that which is before to that which is behind; let him run until he arrives, for we run not with the feet but with the desire; but let no one in this life say that he hath arrived…’for as long as we are in the body, we are absent from the Lord’.”

How lovely your dwelling,
O Lord of hosts!
My soul yearns and pines
for the courts of the Lord.
My heart and flesh cry out
for the living God.

As the sparrow finds a home
and the swallow a nest to settle her young,
My home is by your altars,
Lord of hosts, my king and my God!

Blessed are those who dwell in your house!
They never cease to praise you. Selah.
Better one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere.
Better the threshold of the house of my God
than a home in the tents of the wicked.

It is the winepresses (the Catholic Church) and being in the winepresses that create this desire, this yearning. It is the winepresses that aid us in relieving ourselves of the nonessentials that release our being “stuck” on the “ladder of ascent,” allowing ourselves to desire God more and more, enabling us to continue our ascent up the ladder. In essence, God is freeing us from all desires that are not of Him. One might insist that one does not have to be in the Catholic Church in order to be in the winepresses. This is true; however, there would be no "churches" if it was not for the Catholic Church, for the root of all "churches" lead back to the Catholic Church. Hence, the Catholic Church is the winepresses.
--Tommy Turner