“Inner Thoughts” Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)
16th-century fresco depicting the First Council of Nicaea, (325 AD)
Souls, occupying no space, do not exist within material reality, that is to say they do not have material properties and cannot be sensed or measured or detected by methods and devices limited to the physical plane (by science).
The soul, my soul, is found in the domain of invisible creation, along with Angels and Demons and Satan, and so on, all that part of creation which “science” cannot acknowledge, because it cannot measure it, or prove anything about it.
Link 1 and 2 give some sort of background to the notion that modern science is functionally bankrupt when discussing “reality”. “Modern” “Science” is really all about power and money, namely who has it and who makes it.
This denial of reality in support of a favoured hypothesis is a fairly “modern” phenomenon in the history of man. In modern usage, sophism, sophist and sophistry are redefined and used disparagingly. A sophism is a specious argument for displaying ingenuity in reasoning or for deceiving someone. A sophist is a person who reasons with clever but fallacious and deceptive arguments.
What I want to say is that I believe souls exist within a material creature but outside the material universe, that is, not subject to the laws of the material universe observable by “science”. It exists as created outside that realm of vibrating bits and parts, and measurable energy, which realm is filled to overflowing with all created material beings and lots of “stuff”, the “things of this world”.
These “things of this world” which are respectively made up of agglomerations of parts, in ever decreasing size and ever increasing simplicity each material “thing” being simply the sum of its parts and all of it created by the Creator, our Prime Mover, so to speak, our God, The God, and I believe this because it is “revealed” Truth.
So … “detaching” from “stuff”, which attachment is the foundation of all my misery, my frustration and my anxiety, my regrets, my sin, detaching from “all this”, this is the task. Mission Objective: detaching the “Self” from all the “stuff” which fills up my “self” and leaves no room for God to fill me up with Himself, which leaves no room for “Union with God”.
In order to detach from “the things of this world” it is necessary for me to become comfortable thinking about everything from the point of view of my soul, which is in no dependent way connected to the material universe in which my parts reside, but rather to begin to routinely, as a matter of habit, look at all material things from “outside” so to speak. Only in this way can I start the process of detaching my “self” from the material existence that the “self” has lead throughout my material life.
So, what do I think about “Spirit”? I am told that God is a “Spirit” and it seems that the only way to approach intimacy with God is to understand and accept reality as “spiritual”. I can only approach the “spirit” God” as a “spirit” person. As long as my total reality is centered in the material universe as the only reality, I seem to experience extreme difficulty detaching from the things of this world, with a concomitant difficulty growing closer to God.
When material parts are regarded from a perspective outside material reality, from a soul’s point of view, a spirit’s point of view, the material parts are rendered less essential to existence and less essential to reality. The parts, the worldly goods all become merely unessential artifacts, experiences and feelings which become easier to set aside since they are no longer the center of our physical universe, the objects of desire by the “self”. The “things of this world” when observed as “soul” are merely observed to exist in the physical plane.
When material reality is observed from outside the material plane, as a spirit observes the material universe, objects in that plane become dramatically less important than when the material is the center of my existence and the essential center of my life. When my self identifies itself with it’s material possessions and it’s status in the material plane it is hugely difficult to “give up the stuff”.
None of the “stuff” has anything to do with God and it fills up that place in me which God would like to fill, in fact, asks me to fill with Him.
The closer I get to “the end of all things” the easier it is to contemplate detachment and even to actually start detaching from created “stuff”.
“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)
Today (of course it will only be today for a little while) is “Ash Wednesday”, the first day of the Catholic season of Lent. Lent is about sorrow, contrition, and repentance. As I read it, the scriptural references are to “conversion”, “repentance”, and “contrition”.
As one ages (and we all do) the pervasive sense of sin intensifies (for me, at least) and becomes more personal. I find myself having difficulty believing that this all ends well and somehow I can recapture the vitality and spontaneity of youth if only I … (insert your favorite self help program here).
Where in youth one barely noticed sin, age gives an unexpected intensity and poignancy to my consciousness of “the sins of my youth”, as well as the more sophisticated sins of my maturity. That conversion, that realization, that rediscovery of a sense of sin, of how I have diverged, in my self interest and self love, away from the “narrow path” and along my own broad highway.
Heaven or Hell?
I find I have been too long on the freeway of life, blowing past numerous exits at a high rate of knots. It is coming time to “put some gravel in my travel” as the song goes. It’s time to start making a good confession.
“conversion”, “repentance”, and “contrition” … a recent scripture reading explained the sensitizing of the soul’s faculties to the clear realization of God’s most wondrous prerogative, namely God’s mercy, and the revival of our adoption by Christ who “desires not the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live” (Cf. Ezek. 33:11)
“this realization of mercy becomes the impetus of the soul’s advancement in virtue. the inspiration of its power for good, and its daily shield in its struggle for eternal life“. (John A. Kane, “How To Make A Good Confession”, pp 14)
“conversion”, “repentance”, and “contrition” … I am starting to see “conversion” involving a dawning awareness of one’s sinfulness, a coming of age, so to speak, where my soul experiences a dawning and ever intensifying consciousness of one’s preferential option for self worship, self gratification and of “sinning” in the pursuit of pleasure, consolation, satisfaction as ends in and of themselves.
The essence of this “conversion” being the turning of my soul and my faculties from sin towards identification with, and identifying of, the will of God, and a concomitant experience of remorse in understanding the lifelong predilection for self centered thoughts, habits, activities and attachments.
I am discovering that the remorse experience gives rise to “contrition”, which also intensifies with advancing age, experienced as a steady wearing away of the whole “self” centered person.
This is my soul’s ever intensifying awareness of the preponderance of self worship, self gratification, self aggrandizement, and the serious attachment to all things and experiences centered on healing the wounds of my self regard.
My self image to which I find myself inordinately attached … attachment … to all the things of this world, but especially those things and experiences which reinforce my self regard.
The contrition experience gives rise to a desire for repentance, atonement for past sins, a transformation of my mind, an up-welling of the supernatural drowning the natural in an intensifying struggle. How to atone? How to repent?
Repent, atone, by cutting adrift all those elements, all those attachments, which contribute to the healing of the wounds of my self love, the papering over of those ugly wounds inflicted by self worship.
Attachments seem to be a significant part of the framework within which I tend to view “reality” and is it realy real? As I have remarked before, some famous guy once said: “it’s what we don’t know that we don’t know that bites our ass in the end”.
I have great difficulty identifying and isolating attachments. This process has been greatly assisted by my now year long program of fasting … never realized just how much I was attached to food, until I started fasting.
Now it becomes apparent that all attachments hide like this, they hide in plain sight within the normal every day experiences of life until I isolate them by choosing a different direction for my habits, thoughts, actions. It is only in the contrast that I start to recognize the attachments of my life.
Thus conversion, contrition and repentance devolve into an internal discussion about real “reality” and how attachments seem to be the lens through which I interpret and act upon events and stimuli in my life and relationships … attachments … all the attachments …
So, how am I to move towards being detached from “the things of this world”, the creatures and treasures which I look to for consolation and pleasure when indulging my self gratification and self worship? It appears to me that the first necessary step to understanding reality is to accept and totally embrace the existence of my soul and to adopt, as my natural view of reality, my soul’s view of reality.
I think that, essentially, I have to embrace living in my material shell as a “soul”, as the ghost in the shell. The shell is not the “us”. The shell is just the collection of lenses and sensor systems for the self, but it is not the self.
I, We, the “Us” are occupying the shell and looking at, interacting with, and thinking about the material plane, and the “things of this world”, but as a soul, not as the shell … which is actually what I really am, that ghost in the shell is where that which makes me “I” actually resides, actually exists.
Is all my life no more than one night in a bad hotel? More thinking and more understanding required … until next time … something about about attachment and reality … what is actually important … my lifetime … or the eternal now?
Oh Lord, You have created me for Yourself, to love You and to enjoy You, infinite Good, ineffable Beauty; do not permit me to lose sight of this sublime end toward which I must tend; do not permit me to wander among the wretched satisfactions that vain, feeble creatures can offer me.
“Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)
Back again, and all the tempests and crisis of the last three weeks have been more or less successfully and favorably resolved.
The government’s roaring and posturing has subsided to the distant rumble of a passing train, my technology has returned to good behaviour with no permanent damage, and family has returned well from a brief hospital stay.
I am grateful to God for what has been given and also for what has been taken away even though it was, at times, extremely painful.
Again I am posting quotes from Fr. John A. Kane, from that wonderful book by John A. Kane called “How To Make A Good Confession”.
As mentioned previously, in this book I have found tremendous consolation with respect to inner feelings which I have been going through for several years now.
Father John goes on to say:
“… Penitence is born of a consciousness of sin, and a consciousness of sin deepens with the passing of life. Repentance, therefore, intensifies as we grow older. …
… The commission of the first actual sin is a mere insignificant commonplace, inspiring no reasonable shame or analysis of its cause nor any deep realization of its full enormity.
Father John A. Kane
As we grow older we begin to feel the actual consequences of sin, the evils flowing from it that afflict us and those we love.
Gradually the knowledge of its real nature, the secret disorder wrought by it, and the ruin and desolation that it brings into the soul unfold themselves to the mind.
As the years pass, this inward working of sin becomes more vivid, more terrible.
It deepens more and more as the end of life approaches; and at the hour of death, even when our lips have been purpled and our souls washed with the blood of our God, even then, just because of the soul’s brilliant spiritual beauty, sin becomes all the more foul and ugly.
Since, therefore, the keenness of the sense of sin measures the depth of repentance, penitence must grow with advancing years.” (John A. Kane, “How To Make A Good Confession”, pp 9-10)
In all things, may the most holy, the most just, and the most lovable will of God be done, praised, and exalted above all forever. Thy will be done, Oh Lord, thy will be done. The Lord has given, the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.
“I Am In thy Hands, O Mary”, Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, Doctor Scott Piper, Sir Joseph Andrew Bogdanowicz, OP & Sr. Maria Miguel Wright, OP; from the album “Mater Eucharistiae”, (2013)
I am sorry for the hiatus, but life has become unpleasant and stressful with a series of blows including family in the hospital, IT server crashes in my business, government intervention in the Canadian drug business which threatens us perhaps, and a serious sense of crisis and preoccupation has mitigated against posting lately.
I will get this post out and at this time I am uncertain when the next post will appear. Please forgive this break.
Father John Kane
There is a wonderful little book by John A. Kane called “How To Make A Good Confession” in which I have recently found tremendous consolation with respect to inner feelings which I have been going through for several years now.
I am going to quote from his writing here:
“The end (purpose) of sorrow, both natural and supernatural, is correction, change. Supernatural sorrow must wean the soul from sin and turn it to God; it must, in other words, work repentance, for to repent is to change. The punishment of sin is meant to deter from sin. It is first corrective and then penal.
… Sorrow, therefore, is a divine power when it restrains the soul from sin; in short when it “worketh penance, steadfast unto salvation.” The soul honestly appraising its past sins and their consequences cannot but be deeply touched with a sorrow prolific of perennial penitence. Holy Scripture insists on lifelong repentance.
“Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord” (Ps. 111:1). “With fear and trembling work out your salvation.”(Phil. 2:12). “Be you humbled under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in the time of visitation.” (1 Pet. 5:6). “The sorrow that is according to God worketh penance, steadfast unto salvation.” “Converse in fear during the time of your sojourning here.” (1 Pet. 1:17). “He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:14).
“… One thought underlies all these texts; they express one dominant truth. And this momentously significant verity that comes out of them all is the idea of constant repentance.
(continued in part 2)
“9And I say to you, Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you. 10For every one that asketh, receiveth; and he that seeketh, findeth; and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened. 11And which of you, if he ask his father bread, will he give him a stone? or a fish, will he for a fish give him a serpent? 12Or if he shall ask an egg, will he reach him a scorpion? 13If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father from heaven give the good Spirit to them that ask him? (Luke 11: 9-13)
Mankind is ready to embrace anything which does not interfere with their comfortable lives – any force outside themselves which helps them to realize their thoughts and dreams of peace and harmony on earth.
Mankind spouts a never ending vomiting of platitudes about a world of tolerance, love, and goodwill, without any personal cost to themselves or responsibility for anything, and all the while we live with closed eyes and calming thoughts of “I’m OK, Your OK”, in the midst of the most intolerant, violent, murderous human culture in history.
But, hey, no guilt, no fear, believe anything, do anything … it’s just different opinions. This is the spirit of the mystical body of Satan.
“Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)
This is such a great tune, here are the lyrics:
There’s an old man living in the back of your woods tonight You forgot he was even there, but you’ve never slipped his mind He’s living off of scraps of you you never knew you left behind And as the sun goes down, he rises with a smile
He’s waiting on the night to fall The old man’s coming to call But you don’t see the writing on the wall He’ll never step out in the light No, he’s just biding time And while you slumber, he’s gonna come and take it all He’s waiting on the night to fall He’s waiting on the night to fall
He knows you have the answers, but truth lies dusty on your shelf And the sword that you could slay him with has become an ornament and nothing else You could put him back down in his hole in the ground, but he knows you never will He’s been around so long you got used to the smell
He’s waiting on the night to fall The old man’s coming to call But you don’t see the writing on the wall He’ll never step out in the light No, he’s just biding his time And as you slumber, he’s gonna come and take it all He’s waiting on the night to fall He’s waiting on the night to fall
He knows he’ll never have your soul But he will gladly rob you blind While you’re feasting at his table, he’ll tie your hands and numb your mind He’ll take you farther than you wanna go He’ll keep you longer than you wanna stay And it will cost you more than you ever thought you’d pay
He’s waiting on the night to fall The old man’s coming to call But you don’t see the writing on the wall He’ll never step out in the light No, he’s just biding his time And as you slumber, he’s gonna come and take it all He’s waiting on the night to fall He’s waiting on the night to fall
He’s waiting on the night He’s waiting on the night to fall The old man’s coming to call But you don’t see, you don’t see the writing on the wall He’s waiting on the night He’s waiting on the night to fall He’s waiting on the night to fall
There are none so blind … the name of the Antichrist has been synonymous with evil for at least a couple of thousand years now. But the truth is that the majority of people now recognize no god but talent, ambition, the aim of solve the world’s problems, the belief that man alone is capable of transforming the world into a paradise of man’s own making, without God.
“The Return Of The King” Howard Shore, composer, from the soundtrack of “The Return Of The King”, part 3 of “The Lord Of The Rings”, released on December 17th, 2003.
The snow has finally stopped … my coffee is hot and black, my music clip today is the title piece from Peter Jackson’s “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King”.
This trio of films had been dismissed by neo-pagan secular humanist reviewers as a simple “adventure movie, set in a strange world, climaxing with a battle between the forces of good, represented by the heroes and heroines, and the forces of evil, represented by the stranger, the odd, or the mean-spirited (Yes, I guess Sauron and Saruman might be described as odd, the stranger, or even mean spirited, yes mean spirited, that’s accurate I guess, especially for a society which buys into the idea that it is just OK to dismember babies and sell their body parts for profit).
These scenarios, make it all too easy for filmgoers to cheer for the good guys (with whom they quite naturally identify) and boo the bad guys (stand-ins for everything they don’t approve of) (isn’t this exactly what these neo-pagans are actively doing in this very review? I suppose, logically then, there is no “good” and “bad” then … always excepting, of course, that if the neo-pagans don’t approve of any particular Religious or believers then that is “good” because anyone who disagrees with any of the progressive left is “a priori”, even by definition, “BAD”).
The world is seen as the stage for dueling dualisms, “us” versus “them” (BAD GUY ALERT!) where it is perfectly acceptable for one side to completely obliterate the “other.” This kind of simplistic storytelling contributes to the creation of what Sam Keen has called the “hostile imagination”? (So good and evil are not real, it’s just “us” versus “them” or “The Other” … So I guess, logically, there could be no such a thing as “Sin” in this neo-pagan worldview. Gee, that’s convenient … hmmm … sounding rather “anti christian” here, dare I mention, a subtle flavour of “Antichrist”).
This worldview develops out of prejudice and hatred, two diseases of the mind ( I guess what they are saying is “believers with a moral compass are actually prejudiced, hating, and diseased” … Wow! Who knew! I bet these reviewers have weekend part time job crafting sign and posters for all those anti-Trump protestors the MSM so love to cover) but back to diseases of the mindin which we project our feelings of fear, resentment, self-disgust, anger, alienation, and paranoia on others whom we perceive to be different (especially strangers).”
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the hugely popular “Return of the King” was the culmination of nearly 10 years’ work and the conclusion to Peter Jackson’s epic trilogy based on the timeless J.R.R. Tolkien classic.
Aragorn leads the allies to the Black Gate in an attempt to distract Sauron from seeking out Frodo, Sam and the Ring. But Sauron’s army is much larger, and Aragorn is losing the battle. Their hopes rest with Frodo.
“The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” presents the final confrontation between the forces of good and evil fighting for control of the future of Middle-earth. Hobbits Frodo and Sam reach Mordor in their quest to destroy the `one ring’, while Aragorn leads the forces of good against Sauron’s evil army at the stone city of Minas Tirith.
Remember, “The Lord of the Rings was written in an era when folks still superstitiously believed that good and evil realy existed in an absolute sense and were not just a matter of opinion. I guess that makes me an anachronism, a man out of time.
Anyway, here we are again, a few hours later and I was explaining the idea of “The Mystical Body of Christ”, and how it came about, as a prelude to positing the idea that the “Antichrist” is not a specific figure who we are striving to identify, but rather “the mystical body of Satan” acting out in “the Spirit of the times”, a perfect example of which is the above review viewed as apologetics for evil as a matter of opinion.
Historically, later on in the story of the Church, after the time of Saint Paul and the world he wrote to, as the Church grew, the Church Fathers, including St. Augustine, reaffirmed and amplified Paul’s assertion that the Christian Church is a spiritual extension of Christ’s body.
The Catholic Dictionary explains it thus: “The Church is a body because she is a visible, living, and growing organism, animated by the Spirit of God. (The Church) … is a mystical body because her essential nature is a mystery, and all her teachings, laws, and rites are sacramental sources of grace.
And she is the mystical body of Christ because he founded the Church. He remains her invisible Head and through him all blessings are communicated to her members, and through them to the rest of humankind.”
Speaking of full membership in the Church, Pius XII, in his Encyclical on the Mystical Body, said it is the society of those who have been baptized, and who profess the faith of Christ, and who are governed by their bishops under the visible head, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome.
The Church came into being when Christ died on the Cross, but it was formally inaugurated on Pentecost, when He sent the Holy Spirit as He had promised. St. Paul speaks of all Christians as members of Christ, so that with Him, they form one Mystical Body (see 1 Cor 12:12-31; Col 1:18; 2:18-20; Eph. 1:22-23; 3:19; 4:13).
The Communion of Saints
St. Paul did not use the word Mystical. It was developed more recently to bring out the fact that this union is unique, there is no parallel to it. It is not the same as the union of a physical body, nor that of a business corporation.
The Church, the Mystical Body, exists on this earth, and is called the Church militant, because its members struggle against the world, the flesh and the devil. The Church suffering means the souls in Purgatory. The Church triumphant is the Church in heaven. The unity and cooperation of the members of the Church on earth, in Purgatory, in Heaven is also called the Communion of Saints.
When St. Paul uses the word “Saints” in opening an Epistle, he does not mean they are morally perfect. He has in mind Hebrew “Qadosh”, which means set aside for God, or coming under the covenant. Being such means of course they are called to moral perfection. But of course, not all have reached it in this world.
The word “Saint” in the modern sense means someone who has been canonized by the Church in recent times, or was accepted as such by the Church in earlier times.
Saint John Paul II
If a person is shown to have practiced heroic virtue–beyond what people in general do – in all virtues, the title “Venerable” is given; with two miracles by that one’s intercession, the title is “Blessed”; two more miracles can lead to canonization and the title of Saint.
Now, outside some people within the church and some believers, folks who have even a passing understanding of the process by which the Roman Catholic Church arrives at the point of proclaiming an individual as a “Saint” are rather thin on the ground.
It most certainly is not some “group think” resolution arrived at by a board room meeting of some cabal presided over by the Pope and involving the various department heads (the Curia) of the Roman Church establishment, the executives, so to speak. .
This is an in-depth rigorously developed legal investigation, requiring postulation, presentation, gathering of evidence, a defense team (The Postulator) and a prosecution team (The Devil’s Advocate).
Popular culture, namely the society which seems to embody the spirit of the times, the “Antichrist”, seems to understand “Saints” in the way presented by Hollywood and the MSM, and routinely call their “Saintliness” into question because, after all, the saints make us enlightened moderns look bad, by any standard.
Dan Brown, and the Hollywood team who rework his novels as screen plays for those who don’t read, are entertainers and entrepreneurs. Dan and the Hollywood screen writers don’t do in depth research nor do they write Truth, although their publicists go to great lengths to give the gullible customers of their product, the “low information” folks, the impression that in fact that is exactly what they do show and tell.
The plot lines of many modern movies reveal a puerile fascination with the sins and motives of others, preferably “respectable” others, which would not be out of line in the National Enquirer.
Dan and the Hollywoods (Hey! nice name for a new band) are popular and very successful developers of sensationalist entertainment. They want to sell their gloss of reality in the interests of forwarding the Big Lie, and making a boat load of money along the way.
Michael Moore says the vast majority of Trump supporters are like rapists, Oooo, nice, just feel the love …
Part of that process necessarily involves extensive denigration and belittling of any and everyone who disagrees with their point of view, especially political enemies, the Church, Christ, and Christians, the currently fashionable victims of choice.
Perhaps part of this choice is because of course Christians don’t retaliate by routinely show up in your office with an AK-47 to fix your breathing problem. This is where we get back to the Christ – Antichrist discussion.
So, as previously stated, “The Antichrist” is the opposite of Christ, the “Not Christ”. The Antichrist manifests the will of Satan among mankind. Satan’s whole ambition is to be like God in power and might, and he works for this with all of his might, night and day.
Remember, “Who opposeth, and is lifted up above all that is called God, or that is worshipped, so that he sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself as if he were God.” 2 Thessalonians 2:4.
Satan’s stated intention is to replace God, and the mystical body of Satan, “The Antichrist”, is the means to do this.
The mystical body of Satan, an analog of the Mystical Body of Christ, denies mankind’s necessity for God, and asserts himself (the worship of self), that is “man”, as ruler of this world.
It does not matter to Satan whether his mystical body believes in him or not. In fact, things go easier for him when mankind doesn’t believe in “The Father of Lies”. Ask yourself “what kind of a world would be willing to accept Satan as Lord”?
It seems apparent, given the popularity of every vice and evil in our modern society, that this modern world we live in has come to such a state. The prevailing spirit in the world is the “spirit of the Antichrist,” the mystical body of Satan.
The mystical body of Satan has been working since the earliest days of the church. (1 John 4) and the “Antichrist”, this fervent spirit of rebellion permeating the populace, can be summed up as every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh.
This spirit of rebellion alleges that Jesus had something that we don’t have, that He was divine, that He didn’t have lusts and desires as a natural man, and therefore, He couldn’t actually sin.
Hollywood stars Mark Ruffalo, Olivia Wilde and Michael Moore led protesters to Trump Tower after the president made comments about the deadly violence in Charlottesville.
That’s what Hollywood and and the secular humanist coreligionists would have us believe. Christ couldn’t sin because He was special, but we just can’t help ourselves and we are really rather nice people dontcha know?
And anyway, Christ is my buddy, he is all about mercy and forgiveness and get along go along … huh?
But if we believe what’s written in Scripture, Christ had the same flesh and blood that we have. “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same.” Hebrews 2:14.
He had the same lusts and desires, which caused Him to be tempted, and He had to fight to keep from sinning. He had the Holy Spirit to guide Him, and strength and help from His Father in heaven.
Because of His life and His sacrifice He made the same available to us, and therefore we are able to follow Him on the way that He opened up through the flesh and back to the Father, as members of “The Mystical Body of Christ”.
Halloween Party …
But many folks really don’t want to discipline themselves, many folks have no inclination to rein in their worship of self.
As a culture we strongly resist having to put in the effort, take up the same battle that Christ did. Saint Paul explains in great detail that we don’t want to fight against the tendency towards sin that we have in our human nature.
It seems that nowadays, and perhaps it’s been like this in all times, most people, the masses, aren’t willing to fight hard against human nature, the unbridled concupiscence of our flesh. And the result is the ascendancy of the spirit of the Antichrist.
Just a fashion show … the 7 deadly sins …
This spirit of concupiscence shows people an easier way to exist, a way of self gratification and taking the easy path. The spirit of Antichrist allows the sins that separate us from God to live on by covering them with tolerance, “love”, and freedom.
God’s word clearly states what is right and wrong, what is sinful and what is pure. But when enough people live in sin, for instance adultery, sodomy, pornography, fornication, murder, and so on and so forth, our society gives it a pass. Sin is no longer considered sin, it is considered a “right”.
Our western “civilization” sports a population who are indoctrinated almost from birth in a system of beliefs in which God’s laws are rejected, and the laws of society, and eventually even the laws of the nations, change to accommodate this adjusted view of what is right and wrong.
For just one example, how did murdering children and elders and other inconvenient people move from a crime punishable by death to a generally accepted right under the sobriquet of “choice”? Anyone? Anyone? The mystical body of Satan, the Antichrist, in action I guess.
So impurity and sin are allowed to live, and mankind grows farther and farther away from God – which is exactly Satan’s intention. The majority of the world has given over to this spirit, because it allows them to live comfortably, without a guilty conscience.
“Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014).
“Waiting on the Night to Fall” is a great tune by “Casting Crowns”, I added the lyrics to the tune in my next post “Christ and Antichrist … (part 3)”, in case anyone is interested. But now, back to the subject , the Antichrist in tis world …
Mankind is more and more reliant on itself and being governed by itself and worshiping itself in an orgy of narcissistic self gratification, rather than being led by any “higher power.”
Albert Jay Nock
The mass of man, the masses, in the famous words of Albert Jay Nock who wrote (in “Our Enemy The State”) in the 30’s, the following observation:
“There is, for example, no human right, natural or Constitutional, that we have not seen nullified by the United States Government. Of all the crimes that are committed for gain or revenge, there is not one that we have not seen it commit – murder, mayhem, arson, robbery, fraud, criminal collusion and connivance.” Albert Jay Nock, from Our Enemy, the State
These days, in the west, which used to be known as “Western Civilization”, Nock’s mass of mankind, “the masses”, now believe, in the spirit of the Antichrist, that mankind can accomplish anything.
When that belief is fully realized then Satan will finally have what he has always wanted. Seen or unseen, acknowledged or not, Satan will have control of a world that has no need for God.
Once the mystical body of Satan, “The Antichrist” has free reign then there will be a terrible time on the earth. The true, evil nature of the Antichrist, the mystical body of Satan will be revealed.
“Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)
Writing this on Friday morning … thinking about my life … of sin … and self indulgence, the places and times when self sacrifice was not in the ascendance. Lots of food for thought there, lots of decades of self. Lots of reasons for contrition and amendment. When and why did I start to diverge from the spirit of our times?
Outside my head, WOW! What a morning, quite in keeping with my state of mind! It’s cold here and snowing heavily, blowing also, about 6 inches down now and more coming, first snow since November 2017 and the first heavy snow of this winter.
Lots of shoveling now and probably all day, and making sure everything is cleared before folks start coming in, in an hour or so depending on how long it takes them to dig out and get their trucks running.
Finding crosses, suffering and sacrifice in the daily duties of our station in life, where God put us. Finding the will of God in the myriad minutia of the duties of my state in life.
Enough navel gazing for now, I have to start digging out, so I will stop writing for a while.
Wow, that day went fast, 12 hours later and it is still snowing, it’s about -10 degrees Celsius, that’s about 14 degrees Fahrenheit, but it is blowing harder and drifting now. I’m real glad there is no reason to be on the roads tonight or tomorrow. I bet there will be a lot of shoveling tomorrow. It’s a good thing we don’t open our doors until 10:00 AM on Saturdays.
Anyway, … the inner struggle … that’s what I was getting on about in this post. I have noticed that from time to time discussion arises and articles appear and the topic of the “Antichrist” comes up more or less frequently. “Antichrist” seems to be a favorite pejorative amongst certain groups, and it is at least as meaningful and helpful as “knuckledragger” and “Neanderthal” are amongst other groups.
I suppose the clique’s “group think” defines the pejorative favored, with one group seeing things in terms of good and evil and another group seeing things in terms of smart or stupid, the implication always being that “the other” is the bad one or the stupid one. At first blush, my reflexive reaction is “A pox on both your houses!” Upon further reflection I then find myself asking “What would Jesus do?” and then a bit further on “Does this bring me closer to God?”
Whenever the mudslinging starts, whichever gang starts slinging, it seems always to be in the context of some particularly egregious insanity or inanity, proposed or committed, by some other group or some powerful individual who is disagreed with, or some collection of individuals moving the narrative in a direction disruptive of the sacred views espoused by the narrator of the moment.
Alternatively, one specific public figure or another, George Soros, Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Justin Trudeau, Rachel Notley, Pope Francis, Cardinal Kaspar, Vlad Putin, Kim Jong-un, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, even Barry Obama, … I mean … seriously … pick your favorite target to hate, you get my drift.
There are literally thousands, maybe even millions, of high profile people pontificating about their views, and what is wrong with the world, and what they are going to do about it.
Seriously folks … Obama as Satan … what Kool-Aid are you drinking?
When humanity starts to believe that there is no-one in charge, no one responsible for the “strategic” big picture things in life humans are very quick to turn to golden idols and self proclaimed messiahs.
And any self proclaimed messiah who is not our favorite choice receives a rising tide of speculative negative attention depending upon the day, or the tides, or the level of confusion, frequently along the lines of he/she/it must be the Antichrist.
Thomas Cranmer, 1489 – 1556
This is especially true if that individual is the target of vilification from many directions at once by many disenchanted narrators. These unhappy narrators, narrowly focused on preaching their own gospel, and defending their own position.
These vocal, “important”, narrators who have picked their chosen hill to die on, and are now understandably hungry, highly motivated to convince their followers, their power base, their meal ticket, of the truth of their gospel.
They need someone to contribute, to “drop the offering in the collection plate”. And the target demographic is comprised of some group or other or perhaps many groups, perhaps the equivalent of our modern notion of the “low information voter”.
These narrators do a dog pile on the chosen target, perhaps under the assumption that “the enemy of my enemy is my friend”. For example, along these lines for several centuries now, many Protestant writers and leaders have identified the Roman Catholic Pope as “The Antichrist”.
However that may be, over the centuries many folks have assigned the status of “Antichrist” to any number of other folks who were on their personal dirt list for any reason but mainly for political reasons. Claiming this seems to be nothing more than a desperate “Ad Hominum” attack when they have nothing factual or truthful, that is “substantive truth”, upon which to base their argument.
“What would Jesus do?”
It’s all pride and personal ambition. My razor when reading these diatribes is to ask the questions: “What would Jesus do?” and “Does this bring me closer to God?”
I don’t see the Antichrist as an individual, it just doesn’t line up with my current personal understanding of reality. Yes, there are outliers of evil and standout perpetrators throughout history, and these persons, these figures in history, seem to be fairly evenly distributed amongst all cultures and religions all over the world.
It appears to me that this sort of behaviour, this sort of personal “character” is more attributable to their sheer humanness than to any particular system of beliefs. But from my point of view, I just don’t see the idea of “Antichrist” as a specific, living, substantial being, that is to say, one individual encompassing all evil and directing the whole thing as an articulated individual with a master plan.
Yes, we believe in Jesus Christ as the Head, in the Christian understanding. Given the obvious vagaries of human free will apparent in the world over time, it seems reasonable that there must then be, necessarily, the “not Christ” … the absence of Christ … the Antichrist. I think so anyway, the “Antichrist” is the “Not Christ”, the absence of Christ. I think that the “Antichrist” is in effect “the mystical body of Satan”, in a kind of analog of “the Mystical Body of Christ” in the Christian Tradition.
I guess that some explanation might be necessary in understanding of the concept of “The Mystical Body of Christ”, within the context of Roman Catholicism. As most of my readers probably are aware, I am a Roman Catholic. That is the filter through which I understand reality.
My understanding of the Mystical Body of Christ is one of the real existence of a mystical union of all Christians into a spiritual body with Jesus Christ as their head. This belief grows, in our Tradition, from the New Testament and Christianity’s roots in Judaism.
In Christian Scripture, St. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and the Romans both use the image of a body, with a head that is Christ and many bodily members, with many abilities and talents, namely we Christian believers. The belief in the Mystical Body describes the relationship between Christ and Christians, namely the Head and the body of believers. Wow, it’s getting late … gotta go eat to keep body and soul together.
When does a snow storm become a blizzard?
Well, now it’s tomorrow morning, Saturday, even colder now, still snowing, -21 degrees Celsius, that’s -5.8 Fahrenheit, and it’s blowing hard, driving the new snow into hard packed drifts.
When does a “Snowstorm” become a “Blizzard”? Maybe it’s when it is widespread, maybe the amount of snow, or the temperature, or the wind-speed, or perhaps even the dramatic license of the weather reporters? Who knows really what makes a snow storm into a blizzard.
Talking to customers yesterday and reports that an hour away in some directions they had no snow but three hours to the west everyone there and in between got lots of snow. Whatever … lots more shoveling today I guess, off and on, as circumstances permit and the demands of customers allow.
Well, another day just blew by in a twinkling of my eye. It’s Saturday night, time for bed, it’s -14 degrees Celsius, it’s still blowing and it’s still snowing lightly. Let’s see what tomorrow brings.
More to follow on Christ and Antichrist and the spirit of the times …
Putting away the roaring worship of the “Self” in all it’s manifestations … is the first step back towards a sense of sin, remorse, contrition and repentance …
“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)
I recently came across several writings and snippets about the gift of tears. Some comments on some posts referred to people who said they weep freely at Mass when they never used to, or they perhaps became emotional unintentionally.
I am one of those who find themselves often with tears running at Mass, and also when doing daily spiritual readings and thinking about these readings and meditations and how I apply them in my daily life. It seems at first glance to be more to this mysterious spiritual phenomenon than merely crying unexpectedly.
Some commenters seem to feel that this phenomenon (what I am experiencing) is a “gift”, and it is not merely because I am emotional, or easily moved. Some writers see it as a physical manifestation of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. It is formally known as “the gift of tears.”
The commenters go to some length to reassure the reader that I/we should not feel anxiety over this experience but recognize it as a great gift.
Father Bartunek , author of “The Better Part”, which I have referred to previously and highly recommend, explained in an article that this gift is one that has been explained through tradition rather than official documentation in Scripture or the Catechism. He defines this spiritual grace as an unbidden gift from the Holy Spirit that is bestowed on someone through the healing flow of tears shed.
The fruit of such tears leads both the recipient of this gift and others who witness it to joy and abiding peace. (He cautions that) … This definition supplants the mere notion that the gift of tears includes anyone who cries from a touching spiritual or emotional sentiment.
The gift of tears is considered a charismatic gift, a manifold of spiritual blessings to whomever the Holy Spirit grants it.
People who receive this gift may experience it only once or perhaps multiple times, but the gift itself is not an indication of one’s level of holiness or the achievement of perfect union with God. Many saints declared the importance of accepting with gratitude an unexpected source of consolation or perhaps divine insight, but they warned against the distraction of loving the gift rather than the Giver.
In other words, we should not focus our attention on any spiritual charism that happens to bless our lives but instead approach it with sincere and heartfelt thanksgiving while allowing it to become a fleeting memory.
Natural tears are often mistaken for this supernatural gift, especially when they occur during or after an intense spiritual experience. One must recognize one’s tendency toward weeping or the expression of deep emotions through tears in order to differentiate between the natural versus spiritual gift of tears.
The best distinction of the spiritual gift is by the resulting fruit. Is the person filled with an abiding peace or greater love for God? Are the people around him or her moved by the tears in the same manner? We must always remember that by our fruits they will know us. (read more here)
What seems to be common to all these experiences (for me) is that whatever the experience is, whether a moving spiritual reading, a meditation, a prayer, a great musical experience like chant, or a performance by the Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, (at top of post) or some of the work of Mozart, or Bach, or Renaissance Choral Music by, for example, Tallis or Allegri, whenever I have these experiences, the place I am at in my head at that moment during the experience is one of blinding realization of humanity’s place, that is, my tiny place, in God’s eternal now. It is just overwhelming.
So am I just a labile, highly sensitive, emotional cry-baby, or am I experiencing an important glimpse of reality, a momentary consolation along my path to spiritual growth? I don’t really know, but it is certainly greatly uplifting and peace inducing (and sometimes embarrassing afterwards as I fall back into old habitual modes of seeing).
Today my thoughts turn to the need for silence, God is calling to us continuously, and eventually, God takes us all home, willy-nilly, regardless of our desires and our interest. He takes us all home to our just end and we all find what we truly seek.
Our society puts little premium or credence on received wisdom. We value derived wisdom which we struggle to develop as we find it useful and productive but we disregard received wisdom, the wisdom of tradition and human experience. We receive God or Self, depending upon to which we give priority. Being still … being silent … accepting and understanding received wisdom, received reality … is unpopular in this busy culture, this noisy culture.
We need to understand reality NOT as something we achieve through hard work, labor, and suffering, not as something we create, but rather we need to understand reality as something we receive, something we are gifted with. In the understanding of this gift we must put aside our busy striving noisy self to embrace stillness, silence, and the gift of God’s creation through which we come to understand our own place in that creation and our true purpose … which is union with God.
We must embrace the putting aside of ourself, the discarding of our attachment to ourself, to make room for God in our soul. Be at rest, be still, and know God … “Be still, and know that I am God”. God is continually calling us home and we are too busy talking about ourself to listen to God and to gaze upon Him.
Perhaps this deafness and blindness to reality is a result of the ways, means, and modes of thought to which we are accustomed to turn, when working, when striving, in our society. These modes of thought are the tools by which we learn about and understand our reality.
But any tool is only as good as the thinking mind of the tool user. Tools of the mind condition the way the mind works. A “hammer”, and “hammering”, exclude other uses of hand and arm. What are we not doing, not thinking, because we are so busy doing? To what end are we so busy doing?
Psalm 40: 6-10
6 Sacrifice and offering you did not desire— but my ears you have opened— burnt offerings and sin offerings you did not require.
7 Then I said, “Here I am, I have come— it is written about me in the scroll.
8 I desire to do your will, my God; your law is within my heart.”
9 I proclaim your saving acts in the great assembly; I do not seal my lips, Lord, as you know.
10 I do not hide your righteousness in my heart; I speak of your faithfulness and your saving help. I do not conceal your love and your faithfulness from the great assembly.
“Ballad Of A Thin Man”, Bob Dylan, from the album “Highway 61 Revisited”, (1965)
A number of my recent posts have been focused on the distraction, drama and noise with which “the world” and the Father of Lies, the Lord of This World, strives continuously to keep us away from reality and focused on the self love and self interest of this world.
This noise and distraction is not one sided, but employs streams of noise from all parts of the spectrum in the never ending river of distraction.
For example, this morning a message popped up in my inbox from a writer and blogger who I used to subscribe to who espouses a point of view which I am sympathetic to and have been since I was a teen.
Now, even though Canada has pretty well shut down ALL discussion in a tidal wave of leftist propaganda, it still seems that our southern brothers in America are still able to muster an articulate response to evil.
But the distraction and noise of this discord is even more apparent now that I am starting to see my love of my own opinion and those who agree with me as just another worldly attachment distracting me from the Truth.
Hey, Al, doesn’t censorship smell funny, do you suppose that censorship has a Carbon footprint?
So here is an example of “noise and distraction” in action … a far cry from Robert Cardinal Sarah’s writing about “silence”.
First it was censoring conservative content on Google, by downplaying content they disagree with as “not generally accepted“.
Then it was censoring conservative content through the “Web Of Trust” spyware ratings system, branding content and sites they disagree with as “dangerous” and redirecting browsers when they are searching.
“IT HAS BEGUN!! Hi everybody, it’s Bill Whittle here with some disturbing news: There has been a zombie outbreak of unknown size at YouTube!
The Zombie Army of clueless Social Warriors …
These brain-dead zombies are being QUARANTINED by YouTube Censors, who systematically see to it that conservative common sense DOES NOT GET VIEWED!
YES! Unbelievably, YouTube is ACTIVELY attempting to prevent their target audience of zombies from being exposed to any opinion which they disagree with …
WTF guys, wasn’t I just writing about exactly this logical and moral disconnect in the two posts about the Left hating anyone who disagrees with them and their moral relativism?????
How do they do it?
Well, in many cases they simply tell the sharing algorithms to suppress conservative messages, meaning they don’t get shared among subscribers as frequently. Because they don’t want the “Useful Idiots”, the hate bigots screaming their message on the streets, exercising their “Right” to free hate, to ever get a clue.
They suppress conservative videos when people search for a topic. They restrict certain videos — on the Korean War, or the Electoral College, for example — with a “YOU MUST BE 18+ TO VIEW THIS VIDEO,” guaranteeing that very few young people get the message.
More Clueless Haters, gotta keep the herd restless …
And they also quarantine the left-wing zombies by de-monetizing conservative content. The self appointed herders of this hate stampede don’t dare let the street cattle bellowing their thoughtless chanting to ever get the whole picture.
Gotta keep them stampeding down the streets in the world of their dreams. Just have to prevent them from being exposed to any other view and everything will develop according to plan.
They isolate their target audience of sensitive young minds by inserting their opinion that this content is “NOT SUITABLE FOR MOST ADVERTISERS”.
They thereby actively discourage advertisers from sponsoring any content they disagree with – and you maybe thought I was exaggerating in my posts about how the Left reacts to differing opinions. That demonetizing process looks like this:
From Bill Whittle.com
And why is YouTube doing this?
BECAUSE THE MESSAGES ARE WORKING, THAT’S WHY.
So I’m asking you to join us in getting into these quarantine zones and inoculating young people while there is still time.
We have to buy page views that used to be free to us, because these self-described socialists at YouTube will censor a message they do not like but they will still take our money.
We are winning hearts and minds out there. They have George Soros and his billions.
I have you.
Become a member today, and we will whip these Social Justice Zombies out of their boots (and out of our throats).
Bill still seems to be able to get a different point of view out to the folks in spite of the huge opposition of the Left and the Socialist Progressives who have been so successful in monopolizing the media message, the “socially responsible narrative” as they so fondly describe their point of view … here is just a bit of one of Bill’s recent emails:
We began this week by paying homage to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. We paid tribute to all those who lost their lives on that day which will live in infamy, when radical Islamic terrorists struck at the very center of American strength and power.
We remember those who perished, including the first responders who sacrificed their lives in order to save the countless innocents who were trapped in the Twin Towers and the courageous and fearless heroes who confronted the hijackers on United Airlines Flight 93.
These individuals were the epitome of what it means to be an American.
It is our duty to never forget that day, when the whole country stood still, shellshocked by what was happening. The events of September 11, 2001 may fade away from the mainstream, but they will remain as fresh as ever in the minds of all patriotic Americans.
If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“A Dhia Ghleigil, Oh Glorious God”, Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstall Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube (Voice From The Cloud)” (1996)
Robert Cardinal Sarah
“134. We need to cultivate silence and to surround it with an interior dike. In my prayer and in my interior life, I have always felt the need for a deeper, more complete silence.
I am talking about a kind of discretion that amounts to not even thinking about myself but, rather, turning my attention, my being, and my soul toward God. The days of solitude, silence, and absolute fasting have been a great support.
They have been an unprecedented grace, a slow purification, and a personal encounter with a God who wanted to draw me gradually toward a more substantial interior life so as to maintain an intimate relationship with him. Days of solitude, silence, and fasting, nourished by the Word of God alone, allow man to base his life on what is essential.”
Sarah, Robert Cardinal. The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise (Kindle Locations 1224-1230). Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.
Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen
This book of Cardinal Sarah’s is another “treasure from the attic” and amazingly current, not even an antique, but as important and lucid as Father Gabriel’s “Divine Intimacy” or even Augustine’s “Confessions” at the right time in one’s life.
Cardinal Sarah writes in French and this e-book is translated into English for those who have problems reading French … but not so much of a problem for a survivor of, a refugee from, Quebec Premier Jean Lesage’s “Quite Revolution” of the 60’s.
My father realized that there was no future for an Anglo in the new Quebec, and my family emigrated to Ontario with the tidal wave of Anglos escaping the anti-Anglo bigotry running rampant in the Quebec of the 60’s.
Anyway, I did learn French as a result, forced to learn it to graduate from High School, and mostly it was useful in future years in understanding what French delegates at National Conferences were ranting about when they thought only Anglos were listening.
As to the book, I think the original French might be a better read, but the translation is good. Cardinal Sarah also gave us “God or Nothing” which I read a couple of years ago. For a few bucks on Amazon.com for the e-book … priceless.
Almost exactly a year since I started practicing intermittent fasting as part of my “Flame of Love” devotions. Amazing health benefits have flowed from that decision to begin fasting and the practice has become a regular part of my life.
Strangely prescient, making this lifestyle decision, and then to find the practice popping up again everywhere I go in my spiritual reading as a recommended practice in aid of spiritual growth.
Perhaps not such a surprise, in hindsight, to find that following the manufacturer’s instructions helps the engine run better, smoother, faster, longer … follow the manufacturer’s instructions. They are hard to miss once one starts sincerely looking and reading.
So much to read, so much to digest, in silence and no calories …
It is not really complicated. The snares of this world are a multiplicity of worries and fears and distractions, but it is not really complicated. It is so easy to be distracted and distressed by the message of our senses, by the agitation and distraction of the “outside”.
What is more, as is said in the book On the Spirit and the Soul (of St. Augustine), to ascend to God means to enter into oneself. He who entering within and penetrating his inmost nature, goes beyond himself, he is truly ascending to God.
So let us withdraw our hearts from the distractions of this world, and recall them to the inner joys, so that we can establish them to some degree in the light of divine contemplation. For this is the life and peace of our hearts—to be established by intent in the love of God, and to be sweetly remade by his comforting.
But the reason why we are in so many ways hindered in the practical enjoyment of this matter and are unable to get into it is clearly because the human mind is so distracted by worries that it cannot bring its memory to turn within, is so clouded by its imaginations that it cannot return to itself with its understanding, and is so drawn away by its desires that it is quite unable to come back to itself by desire for inner sweetness and spiritual joy.
Thus it is so prostrate among the sense objects presented to it that it cannot enter into itself as the image of God. It is therefore right and necessary for the mind to raise itself above itself and everything created by the abandonment of everything, with humble reverence and great trust, and to say within itself, He whom I seek, love, thirst for and desire from everything and more than anything is not a thing of the senses or the imagination, but is above everything that can be experienced by the senses and the intellect.