Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part One …

The Beatitudes”, from the album “Biscantorat – The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey” – The Monks of Glenstal Abbey – (2009)

I just finished reviewing the draft of this post and realized that “It is really fricken long!” just under 6000 words, so I am splitting it up into 2 or 3 or 5 posts. So what follows here is part One …

Today, I am trying to focus on Pride, but also on Personal Responsibility and the results of failing to take responsibility for our choices, our motives, and for the results of that failure. So, I just read over my last post which was a rant about the Global Warming Environmentalism religion of Gaia.

And now I am thinking about Death and Pride … guilty as charged of the very crimes about which I bitch so much when I see others commit them. These are the items (in bold below) from my last post which flag the desires and fears which prompt my rants. The prayers are short snippets from the Litany of Humility attributed by many writers to: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930), anyway, here are the short quotes :

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

I trust that I got the posts right.(The Web of Trust posts)”… O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Make my heart like yours … From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire to be understood, deliver me, O Lord.

I don’t believe that my point of view is very popular with the social media crowd“,  From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being honored, deliver me, O Lord. From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Lord.

but I think that I am on the side of truth and the right side of history on these issues” … From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Lord. From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Lord.

As I have said before, your mileage may vary.

So much for Pride … ultimately I am the only one who cares about my views and who am I to judge others right or wrong, especially since there is absolutely nothing my little voice can do or say against the tidal wave of modern society. My response is all about my own pride, desires, and fear. I wrote about this problem in this post.

It appears to me that any conflict at any level has it’s root cause in the absence of humility on the part of the players in whichever drama is being considered in any venue.

I have remarked before that: “It seems a hallmark of Truth that it always believes and expects the best of others and acts accordingly. It also seems a hallmark of untruth that it always believes and expects the worst of others and acts accordingly.” My guess is that it all depends on what your starting assumptions are, one’s own motivations and default responses to events, as to how you believe others will act.

This morning I prayed a litany of humility, a pius Catholic custom. And afterwards I thought about how the petitions of the litany encompass the entire gamut of all the underlying provocations of human conflict, in families and outside the family circle in the wider world. I keep meaning to include this litany daily in my routine prayers but somehow the little demons encouraging my baser nature always help me to forget how important humility is to salvation.

All human conflict and rancor seem rooted in either fear of something or desire for something, the conflict arising from disappointed desires or realized fears.

“An Taiseirl (The Resurrection)”, Noirin Ni Riain and The Monks Of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, (1996)

So what about death, or should I say “Death“?  What about that final destination to which every single living human being is committed, whether by natural causes, or by some apocalyptic Global Warming holocaust, regardless of their beliefs or lack of same about anything?

Last post I laughed to myself and offered that “I will put off death to another post” … Ha, I wish it was that easy …

I have been aware of and thinking about the gate for over fifty years now, more or less daily as I go about my routines, the gate beyond which I can not see or understand. All around me life goes on, banal and dramatic, indifferent and caring, hateful and loving as circumstances and moods take us.

It, daily life that is, appears to be self centered for the most part, although that perception might just be the lens through which I see the society around me, my self centeredness projected onto the screen of existence.

And all life around me seems to work hard at ignoring the gate, acting and reacting as though the gate in fact does not exist at all, that the here and now is all there is, that pleasure, gratification, license and indulgence are the only objectives, the only goals, absent anything but the material “here & now”.

But it seems (to me) the gate is THE most obvious artifact in the entire universe, the single most obvious event which no one escapes no matter what their beliefs, no matter their state in life, it all winds down to dust. More grist for the penitential mill, my ongoing failure to “Love one another” as God has loved me. Sigh, to paraphrase Dore, “Just keep Trying…”.

We take off our Baptismal “Wedding Garment” when we sin, sin in all its flavors, Mortal, Venial willed and Venial unwilled, and all the little imperfections we carry around all the time because we are forever giving ourselves a pass. So what does matter?

Unless one is living in close proximity to the latest atrocity, the majority, the masses, seem more or less content with their modern comforts, pleasures, social media, “I’m all right Jack”,  the “What, me worry?” clique of “low-information” consumers, and in general quite happy with their daily existence. We are really doing so well that we have come to believe that not only do we not need GOD, but there is actually no GOD to need.

Because we see ourselves as “nice” we believe we are living in a “sin free zone” and have become used to giving ourselves a pass,  a perpetually active “get out of jail free card” such that no-one is even aware of sin any more. Am I the only living human being currently reflecting upon what actually matters, and the end of human life? (that’s pride again, thinking that one might be the only one who gets it).

Still, despite our “happy, doing great, contentment” there seems to be an awful lot of “Weeping and gnashing of teeth” on social media and the MSM about so many things that are wrong, and none of these “things” seem to be the fault of the weepers and gnashers. When I think of how, in the process of getting to where we are now, we have thrown out our baptismal wedding garment, I am reminded of Mathew’s Gospel …

11And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. 12And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent. 13Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mather 22:11-14)

And I know its not true, its just a rhetorical device, to pretend that I am the only one. I have confidence that I am not the only one. Some of those who are reflecting even write about it in their personal version of my personal blog. Someone once nicknamed us all “The Pajamadeen” because we sit at our keyboards late at night in our pajamas writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment. We are not alone, and the cognitive dissonance grows and grows.

My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.

The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.

Wow, I am really long winded. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off now. Continued in Part Two …

Cheers

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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