Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Pride, Humility, Approval, Love, Charity …

Yashi No Mi (Ohnaka), Jean-Pierre Rampal, from the album “Rampal: Japanese Folk Melodies”, (1978)

He makes me to lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside the still waters.
He restores my soul;
He leads me in the paths of righteousness
For His name’s sake.

Trouble is, for all of us, we have to choose to accept what Christ is offering. Christ simply presents us with “options”. He does not impose His choices, “for our own good”, very much unlike our current crop of all too human masters, in all their myriad halls of power from the sublimely national to the municipally trivial. All for “our own good”.

We, the laboring proles are plainly just too stupid to come in out of the rain and therefore require some serious “looking after”, as any of thousands of public service bureaucrats will plainly tell you while staring down their collective noses at this afront to their routine and wondering who let the sheep and goats into their office complex. Get back to the barnyard you sheeple. Leave important things to us management piggies.

Jean-Pierre Rampal, Yamanakabushi: Japanese Melodies, Vol 3 (1978)

So, that last paragraph is a illustrative example of pride in action. It’s just oh so easy to slip into. Hurt pride to counter the affronted pride of the management piggies. Obviously, you useless drones, I am waaaay more important than all those other animals. Pay attention to me and render unto me the obsequious respect due one of your employers.

Better be careful Joe. Hit the wrong manager on the wrong day and you just might become a test case for a “quality of life” policy decision. After all, this is Canada, and remember, the managers have now made it legal to remove ANY inconvenient animal, not just the inconvenient babies.

Be patient, be humble, be uncritical, be undemanding, be “invisible”, collect your Kool-Aide ration on time (just remember not to drink it). Whatever you do, don’t attract attention, it just might become the undesired kind of attention.

Lest we forget, I have read somewhere about a number of socialist progressive regimes in the not-too-distant past who had perfectly wonderful benefits and great retirement plans for “believers” and which believers “were just doing their jobs”.

And for the run-of-the-mill barnyard animals, there were always scenic holiday camps in beautiful far away places like at Treblinka and Ravensbruck for those who made themselves too obnoxious. The final solution never looked so promising.

Those were indeed salad days for the progressive proponents of eugenics, finally being free to deal with some serious problems of social engineering which had been plaguing good citizens for generations.

The progressive world was enraptured, George Bernard Shaw and the idolized ladies of the Famous Five finally had their fondest dreams, which they dedicated most of their lives to realizing, coming true in living color, the smoke of the crematoriums rising like incense to their god.

History tells us that the political construct fabricated by dead white males known as “Western Christendom” thought otherwise. It seems in those days that a lot of regular folks and their political proxies didn’t agree with the fond views of the progressives.

Yes, Virginia, there once was a time when even politicians had a moral code (at least publicly) and it still resembled Christianity, and killing folks who looked different or didn’t agree with you was still frowned upon in “polite” society.

“The Greatest Generation” stepped up to the plate and at great personal sacrifice and risk denied the progressives their breakout victory that time. Where are they now?

Does any thinking human being see the same courage and conviction in Gen-X, the Facebook generation? That’s an open question. I know where my money is sitting, your mileage (kilometrage?) may vary. Can anyone smell “breakout victory” in the 21st century.

But in Canada, just in case there are some geriatric relics of courage and integrity left, we now have Bill C-14, known euphemistically as Canada’s “Assisted Dying” law (just like the other euphemism, Pierre Trudeau’s 1982 gift to posterity, the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, also known as  the “Pro-Choice”  law).

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

Kojo No Tsuki (Rentaro Taki), performed by Yo-Yo Ma, Michio Mamiya, & Patricia Zander, from the album Japanese Melodies (1990)

I have no doubt that every single loyal German or Russian regime follower was quite comfortable typing the memos, pushing the buttons, making up the schedules, and buying the supplies as long as they could have cover.  And now we can all do the same thing here in Canada, all, amazingly, here and now, just like we old farts read about in the history books before history was banned and replaced with “Social Studies”.

I wonder when D Day will come for us. And it will, oh it surely will.

The only thing in doubt is whether the agents of justice will be some heretofore unnoticed tribe of courageous isolationists (the remnant) with backbone and moral courage, or if the agents will be supernatural, as in Egypt’s plagues. Because it is certainly coming, no mater what the  worshipers at the pool parrot at their critics.

“I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:8)

Instead of Humility I/we indulge ourselves in Pride. Instead of Love we look for approval and call that love. We look at the invitation to follow Christ’s plan, the Manufacturer’s Instructions regarding this Model 1 Human, conceived and created in the image and likeness of God.

Our response is that we are not Godlike creations but rather highly evolved ape animals and as far as the plan, well “Thanks but no thanks, we already have a better plan”, and as every bureaucrat can tell you their plan is superior to everyone else’s, including God’s.

And we can all see how that plan is working our every day in every way all around us in our society.  Are you over 65, have a handicap, are you “inconvenient” for someone?  Maybe you just voted the wrong way and some civil servant found out. Have you got your notice in the mail yet to report to the nearest “quality of life” processing centre?

I just watched a movie called “Equilibrium” a movie from 2002 staring Christian Bale. In a futuristic world, a regime has eliminated war by suppressing emotions: books, art and music are strictly forbidden and feeling is a crime punishable by death.

Clerick John Preston (Christian Bale) is a top-ranking government agent responsible for destroying those who resist these rules. In the movie the authorities call this “processing”, and the killing takes place at “processing centres”. And reality is not much different now.

You can rationalize literally any course of action with the right regulations, professional associations and government encouragement which can just as easily be a carrot as a stick depending on which direction the “initiative” is taking, which “options” are being pursued.

So far what this is all about is the Wimbledon of Pride, the endless back and forth of pride and the offshoot of pride, anger, and the endless search for approval so necessary to self. So lets see what Father Gabriel has to say about Humility.

Charity is the essence of Christian perfection, for charity alone has the power to unite man to God, to his last end. But for us poor, miserable creatures, whom God wishes to raise to union with Himself, is charity the ultimate basis of spiritual life? No. There is something deeper still which is, so to speak, the basis of charity, and that is humility.

Humility is to charity what the foundation is to a building. Digging the foundation is not building the house, yet it is the preliminary, indispensable work, the condition sine qua non. The deeper, and firmer it is, the better the house will be and the greater assurance of stability it will have. Only the fool “built his house upon sand,” with the inevitable consequence of seeing it crumble away very soon. The wise man, on the contrary, “built … upon rock”; storms and winds might threaten, but his house was unshakable because its foundation was solid.

Humility is the firm bedrock upon which every Christian should build the edifice of his spiritual life. “If you wish to lay good foundations,” says St. Teresa of Jesus to her daughters, “each of you must try to be the least of all” That is, you must practice humility. “If you do that … your foundation will be so firmly laid that your Castle will not fall”.  Humility forms the foundation of charity by emptying the soul of pride, arrogance, disordered love of self and one’s own excellence by replacing them with the love of God and our neighbor.

The more humility empties the soul of the vain, proud pretenses of self, the more room there will be for God. “When at last [the spiritual man] comes to be reduced to nothing, which will be the greatest extreme of humility, spiritual union will be wrought between the soul and God.”  (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.  from the book “Divine Intimacy” meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year.pp 301 – 302)

Cheers

Joe

Always remember, “Be charitable in your judgements, and never take yourself too seriously”

 

 

 

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