Life in a small town

A vast sea of blue with an orange island … and a couple of other things …

“The Banks Of Green Willow”, Vaughan-Williams: “The London Symphony Orchestra & Richard Hickox”, 2001

Alberta Election 2019. Blue = Conservative, Orange = Socialists

Well, the Alberta Election yesterday turned out OK. In the following image the Blue is the United Conservative Party and the Orange is the NDP and as I mentioned, the rest were just votesplitters.

Alberta Election 2019 – United Conservative Party majority

Leading and elected – 44 needed for majority

UCP 63 seats, Pop vote: 55.12% Elected: 60 Lead: 3

NDP 24 urban seats (All Academic/University and Government “Worker” Union supported Ridings), Pop vote: 32.22% Elected: 24 Lead: 0

All the votesplitters crashed and burned, none elected. all wiped out – all wasted votes by fence sitters.

Look upon this map and despair Redmonton, there really is something in your water.

On other fronts we have an interesting photo from Paris … of Notre Dame of course …

Notre Dame by AFP

The day after the night before at Notre Dame de Paris.

The High Altar stands untouched with its gleaming Cross, and the Blessed Virgin weeping holding her dead Jesus in her arms.

The modern Altar installed after Vatican II, lays under the rubble from the collapsed roof.

From another blog I follow daily, we have:

Later, one Macron (ed. some important French Bureaucrat) appeared  on the TV, talking in long syllables about the rebuilding which would follow. I thought: Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum …. (ed. translated from the Latin as “Except the Lord build the house …”, I think its close, anyway)

Apparently, the use of public money would not offend against laicite because Notre Dame is, culturally, so much bigger a thing than mere Christianity.

So that’s all right, then.

Some arty person, interviewed this morning, explained that the rebuilt Cathedral will of course be disentangled from the (Christian) myths which led to its building. More or less back to the Revolution, and the Goddess Reason. Since first writing this piece, I still feel cold about the emotions”

Inside Notre Dame

I have a hunch the “arty person” is feeling pretty smug about now … and completely missed the point … these “important” opinions have been around since at least Gamaliel’s day … Perhaps listen to wise council O thou “arty person”:

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Acts 5:27-39 from the New American Standard Bible:

27When they had brought them, they stood them before the Council. The high priest questioned them, 28saying, “We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.”

29But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. 30“The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31“He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32“And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”

Gamaliel’s Counsel
33But when they heard this, they were cut to the quick and intended to kill them. 34But a Pharisee named Gamaliel, a teacher of the Law, respected by all the people, stood up in the Council and gave orders to put the men outside for a short time.

35And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you propose to do with these men. 36“For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a group of about four hundred men joined up with him. But he was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing.

37“After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census and drew away some people after him; he too perished, and all those who followed him were scattered. 38“So in the present case, I say to you, stay away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or action is of men, it will be overthrown;

39but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them; or else you may even be found fighting against God.”

40They took his advice; and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. 41So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.

42And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.

*****

And so it has been for over 2000 years now and no nation or power or person or even the Gates Of Hell have prevailed against Jesus’s Church. and a very large number of people have tried. Where are they now?

I don’t know … but I look at that picture of The High Altar standing untouched with its gleaming Cross, and the Blessed Virgin weeping holding her dead Jesus in her arms. It makes me think … am I the only one, again … I strongly suspect not.

Cheers

Joe

So, God will look after Notre Dame, … Alberta voters have taken control and freed their Province from the Socialist tyranny … all that’s left here is the Scouring … next stop Ottawa …

Justin, we are coming, with many Freman warriors … we are your worst nightmare … Trick or Treat!

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

They Also Serve … The Passion of Christ … Prayer and Atonement … Election Results

“Deep Peace”, Bill Douglas, from the album of the same name, (1996)

John Milton, ca 1629

John Milton was totally blind by age 40. “When I Consider How My Light is Spent” is one of the best known of the sonnets of John Milton (d. 1674).

The last three lines (concluding with “They also serve who only stand and wait.”) are particularly well known, although rarely quoted in context.

When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one talent which is death to hide
Lodg’d with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest he returning chide;
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience to prevent
That murmur, soon replies: “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts; who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is Kingly. Thousands at his bidding speed
And post o’er Land and Ocean without rest:
They also serve who only stand and wait.

by John Milton (d. 1674). This sonnet was first published in Milton’s 1673 Poems

The Gospel of Matthew, composed between AD 80 and 90

When Milton writes “that one talent which is death to hide” he is specifically alluding to the parable of the talents in the Gospel of Matthew.

And I would add, for a modern audience who might never have heard of it … they also serve who only stand and wait … and pray.  This was assumed in the day of Milton and his culture … and pray.

So here is a prayer for Passion Week, the week leading up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

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O Lord of my soul, how quick we are to offend You! But how much quicker are You to forgive us! What am I saying Lord! The sorrows of death have encompassed me. Alas! What a great evil is sin, since it could put God Himself to death with such terrible sufferings! And those same sufferings surround You today, O my Lord! Where can You go that You are not tortured. Men cover You with wounds in all your members.

Christians, this is the hour to defend your King, and to keep Him company in the profound isolation in which He finds Himself. How few, O Lord, are the servants who remain faithful to You! … The worst of it is that there are some who profess to be Your friends in public, but who sell You in secret. You can scarcely find one in whom You can trust. O my God, true Friend, how badly does he repay You who betrays You!

O true Christians, come to weep with your God! It was not only over Lazarus that He shed tears of compassion, but over all those who, in spite of His call, would never rise from the dead. At that time, my Love, You saw even the sins that I would commit against You. May they be at an end, and with them, those of all sinners. Grant that these dead may come to life. May Your voice, Lord, be strong enough to give them life, even if they do not ask it of You.

Lazarus did not ask You to bring him back to life, and yet You restored life to him at the prayer of a sinner. Here is another sinner, my God, and much more culpable than she was. Let, then, Your mercy shine forth! I ask it of You in spite of my wretchedness, for those who will not ask.”

St. Teresa of Avila,  1515 – 1582

*****

In a recent interview, given to The Catholic Herald, Robert Cardinal Sarah said in answer to question 8:

Robert Cardinal Sarah, in 2015

“First I would like to explain why I, a son of Africa, allow myself to address the West. The Church is the guardian of civilization. I am convinced that western civilization is passing at present through a mortal crisis. It has reached the extreme of self-destructive hate. As during the fall of Rome, elites are only concerned to increase the luxury of their daily life and the peoples are being anesthetized by ever more vulgar entertainment.

As a bishop, it is my duty to warn the West! The barbarians are already inside the city. The barbarians are all those who hate human nature, all those who trample upon the sense of the sacred, all those who do not value life, all those who rebel against God the Creator of man and nature. The West is blinded by science, technology, and the thirst for riches. The lure of riches, which liberalism spreads in hearts, has sedated the peoples.

At the same time, the silent tragedy of abortion and euthanasia continue and pornography and gender ideology destroy children and adolescents. We are accustomed to barbarism. It doesn’t even surprise us anymore!

I want to raise a cry of alarm, which is also a cry of love. I do so with a heart full of filial gratitude for the Western missionaries who died in my land of Africa and who communicated to me the precious gift of faith in Jesus Christ. I want to follow their lead and receive their inheritance!

How could I not emphasize the threat posed by Islamism? Muslims despise the atheistic West. They take refuge in Islamism as a rejection of the consumer society that is offered to them as a religion.

Can the West present them the Faith in a clear way? For that it will have to rediscover its Christian roots and identity. To the countries of the third world, the West is held out as a paradise because it is ruled by commercial liberalism. This encourages the flow of migrants, so tragic for the identity of peoples. A West that denies its faith, its history, its roots, and its identity is destined for contempt, for death, and disappearance.

But I would like to point out that everything is prepared for a renewal. I see families, monasteries, and parishes that are like oases in the middle of a desert. It is from these oases of faith, liturgy, beauty, and silence that the West will be reborn.

*****

…I am prolonging the time of mercy for the sake of [sinners]… Speak to the world about My mercy; let all mankind recognize My unfathomable mercy. It is a sign for the end times; after it will come the day of justice. While there is still time, let them have recourse to the fount of My mercy; let them profit from the Blood and Water which gushed forth for them..Divine Mercy in My Soul, Diary, Jesus to St. Faustina, n. 1160, 848

*****

And finally, for a criminally low price of 99 cents U.S. on Kindle, we have a treasure like unto “The Pearl of Great Price”. We have Daniel O’Connor, in his new book The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta

“In His revelations to Luisa, Jesus goes so far as to say that it is the enemies of the Church who are necessary in order to purge and purify her. It is difficult to think of stronger words; but it’s becoming increasingly impossible to ignore them. Today, it is sadly the Church’s enemies—Godless, secular people who have long hated her—who are doing what the Bishops should have done long ago: dealing with the sin of sexual abuse as strongly as it should be dealt with and exposing the perpetrators.

In this passage, Jesus prophesies today’s crisis to Luisa 100 years before it began; although He does not explicitly refer to the crisis as involving sexual abuse, I think it is safe to say that this is one of the major things (if not the major thing) He intended when He said to Luisa: I was praying blessed Jesus to confound the enemies of the Church, and my always lovable Jesus, in coming, told me:

“My daughter, I could confound the enemies of the Holy Church, but I don’t want to. If I did so, who would purge my Church? The members of the Church, and especially those who occupy positions and heights of dignity, have their eyes dazzled, and they blunder a great deal, reaching the point of protecting the false virtuous and oppressing and condemning the true good.

This grieves Me so much—to see those few true children of mine under the weight of injustice; those children from whom my Church must rise again and to whom I am giving much grace to dispose them to this… I see them placed with their backs to the wall, and bound to prevent their step. This grieves Me so much, that I feel I am all fury for their sake!

Listen my daughter, I am all sweetness, benign, clement and merciful; so much so, that because of my sweetness I enrapture hearts. But I am also strong, as to be able to crush and reduce to ashes those who not only oppress the good, but reach the point of preventing the good which they want to do. Ah! you cry over the secular, and I cry over the painful wounds which are in the body of the Church.

These grieve Me so much as to surpass the wounds of the secular, because they come from the side from which I did not expect it, and induce Me to make the secular rail against them.”[785] Here, Jesus says clearly what it has taken until now for the boldest of voices in the Church to acknowledge: The enemies of the Church, paradoxically, have now proven necessary for the Church in order to purge it. For the leaders of the Church—the Bishops—go so far as to “protect the false virtuous” (predator priests) and “condemn the true good” (traditional, orthodox-minded priests).

Daniel O’Connor, “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta (p. 296).”

*****

Well, I gotta check the election results, cause I wouldn’t be a good little neanderthal knuckle-dragger if I went to bed without looking it up. I guess that is just about enough for now so I will say goodnight and “Hasta la vista, baby”.

Cheers

Joe

Good news tonight here in our little Rohan of the North.

The people have spoken, and the Now Word is “GOODBYE NDP”.

Does anyone remember de-Nazification?

Its time to Scour the Shire, and Jason Kenney is making noises about turning off the taps to the East and the West Coast. We can always pray.

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Life in a small town

SpaceX, … and another take on Canadian Health Care …

Morning Dew”, Adrian von Ziegler, from the album “Wanderer”, 2011

Ledger Hauptbuch der Gemischtwarenhandlung Hochstetter, vor 1828

Mostly these few days I am buried in Year End accounting which is  mindnumbingly boring and I won’t share that with anyone.

The result of the numb mind is a very slow day for thinking and opinionating. Here is just some stuff that popped up today in my inbox.

The inbox occasionally gives some uplifting distraction for a moment or two. So here are a couple of things relating to some of my recent posts and interests.

The items below relate to that post where I was talking about “Beautiful Technology as an Idol”, and the general Idols of “Goods” we think of as “ends in and of themselves”, the “Good” in this case being the “Free” health Care we take for granted in Canada.

WATCH LIVE: ARABSAT-6A MISSION

SpaceX is targeting Wednesday, April 10 for a Falcon Heavy launch of the Arabsat-6A satellite from Launch Complex 39A (LC-39A) at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

The primary launch window opens at 6:35 p.m. EDT, or 22:35 UTC, and closes at 8:32 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, April 10, or 00:32 p.m. UTC on Thursday, April 11. A backup launch window opens on Thursday, April 11 at 6:35 p.m. EDT, or 22:35 UTC, and closes at 8:31 p.m. EDT on Thursday, April 11, or 00:31 UTC on Friday, April 12. The satellite will be deployed approximately 34 minutes after liftoff.

Following booster separation, Falcon Heavy’s two side boosters will attempt to land at SpaceX’s Landing Zones 1 and 2 (LZ-1 and LZ-2) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. Falcon Heavy’s center core will attempt to land on the “Of Course I Still Love You” droneship, which will be stationed in the Atlantic Ocean.​

SpaceX Falcon Heavy Launch Vehicle

The live launch webcast will begin about 20 minutes before liftoff at spacex.com/webcast.

Now it seems that the healthcare article I was going to refer to was on “Quora Digest” but it disappeared over night, which annoyance has prompted me to get rid of my Quora digest account since this website is THE MOST ANNOYING website I have ever encountered since the web was invented.

Anyway, I will just get to the point, and that is that every Province has a different health care system, controlled by each province and there are certain national commonalities resulting from the Federal Funding Model which supports each province’s health care system.

Staffing levels and availability of service (The source  of the unhappiness for the Texas born nurse living in a small town in Ontario) are a provincial issue and vary widely from East to West across the country. Alberta comes out pretty good in certain areas compared to Ontario or Nova Scotia for example.

The differences are the direct result of provincial government priorities and policies. We still have the most expensive health care on the planet, and it is an open question whether it is a “good” system depending on how your experience has been over the years in your jurisdiction. It is really a crap shoot and what ever you get it still costs bazillions in tax dollars.

The grass is always greener, right?

Cheers,

Joe

ISS Astronaut on the end of the Canadarm. No trust issues here.

Have you heard about “The Web Of Trust“? I guess parachutes are not required in space.

NO, it is not the left lib internet content rating agency which exists solely to block access to anyone who doesn’t agree with the Progressive Left Wing meme-du-jour.

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Here We Stand … Hae nobis propriae sedes

“Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)

Yes indeed … waiting on the night to fall … and it is falling, isn’t it?  I have a small selection of Web blogs which I read regularly, at least weekly and I am going to share links here because I have found these writers helpful in my own quest … expressing other insights into the same questions and helping me avoid “scope creep” in my own quest.

Letter of Most Reverend Mark A. Hagemoen, April 17th, 2018

Letter of Most Reverend Mark A. Hagemoen, April 17th, 2018

The first one (on the list that is, not necessarily in importance) is the Canadian blogger Mark Mallett and his blog “The Now Word, Reflections on Our Times”.   Mark Mallett, a one time TV reporter, is a Roman Catholic singer/songwriter and missionary. He has performed and preached throughout North America and abroad.

The messages posted on Mark’s website are the fruit of prayer and ministry. Mark is very current and he doesn’t pull any punches, but his views are charitable and restrained with respect to the human players. He sets my bar when it comes to “Fraternal Charity” and I often write something in my own posts and then after reading what Mark has to say I edit or rewrite what I have written about the event in question.

Any postings on Mark’s site which contain elements of “private revelation” have been subjected to the discernment of Mark’s spiritual director. I included a letter from his Bishop (image on the right) which he posted on his blog-site on the “about Mark” page.  For a recent example of his work, Mark writes on Robert Cardinal Sarah’s interview with The Catholic Herald:

CARDINAL Sarah has given a stunning, perceptive and prescient interview in the Catholic Herald today. It not only repeats “the now word” in terms of the warning that I have been compelled to speak for over a decade, but most especially and importantly, the solutions. Here are some of the key thoughts from Cardinal Sarah’s interview along with links for new readers to some of my writings that parallel and expand his observations”.

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Father John HunwickThe second Blog-site which I follow regularly is that of the British blogger Fr. John Hunwicke, titled Fr. Hunwicke’s Mutual Enrichment”   Father Hunwicke was for nearly three decades at Lancing College; where he taught Latin and Greek language and literature, was Head of Theology, and Assistant Chaplain. He has served three curacies, been a Parish Priest, and Senior Research Fellow at Pusey House in Oxford. Since 2011, he has been in full communion with the See of S Peter.

Fr. Hunwicke asserts: The opinions expressed on this Blog are not asserted as being those of the Magisterium of the Church, but as the writer’s opinions as a private individual. Nevertheless, the writer strives, hopes, and prays that the views he expresses are conformable with and supportive of the Magisterium. In this blog, the letters PF stand for Pope Francis. On this blog, ‘Argumentum ad hominem’ refers solely to the Lockean definition, “Pressing a man with the consequences of his own concessions“.

Fr. John has a deep (and sometimes obscure) interest and expertise in “old” liturgical rites and prayers, pre-Vatican II Catholic and Anglican liturgical practices and also a very current and even humourous eye for the goings on in the “modern Roman Curia, The Church of England Hierarchy, and the Catholic and Anglican church at large”.  I appreciate greatly his restraint, and at the same time his dry humour, irony and even satirical observations. He helps me to stay focused, restrained, and to practice “fraternal charity”, when confronted with some of the more egregious “missteps” of our current batch of Curial managers in Rome and in the rest of the Catholic world.

*****

Third, there is the American blogger Fr. John Zuhlsdorf, writing at “Fr. Z’s Blog“, formerly entitled: “What Does The Prayer Really Say?” – Clear, straight commentary on Catholic issues, liturgy and life by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf o{]:¬)    In Fr. Z’s own words: “This blog is like a fusion of the Baroque ‘salon’ with its well-tuned harpsichord around which polite society gathered for entertainment and edification and, on the other hand, a Wild West “saloon” with its out-of-tune piano and swinging doors, where everyone has a gun and something to say. Nevertheless, we try to point our discussions back to what it is to be Catholic in this increasingly difficult age, to love God, and how to get to heaven.” – Fr. Z

I don’t really have any images for Fr. Z. so I guess I will just include an excerpt from a recent post “The Internet Prayer” which I enjoyed:  “… Meanwhile, here is the English (version).  A prayer before logging onto the internet:

Almighty and eternal God, who created us in Thine image and bade us to seek after all that is good, true and beautiful, especially in the divine person of Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, that, through the intercession of Saint Isidore, Bishop and Doctor, during our journeys through the internet we will direct our hands and eyes only to that which is pleasing to Thee and treat with charity and patience all those souls whom we encounter. Through Christ our Lord.   Amen.

(and) Finally, I’m still waiting for an improved version in Klingon.”

And just for good measure another post on cooking and “traditional” recipes:  “Lately, Sundays have found me in the kitchen making something interesting… to me, at least. 

Yesterday I had a hankerin’ for Ragù alla bolognese.  When I say “ragù” I don’t mean something in a jar!  Ragù alla bolognese is a classic from one of the truly amazing foodie regions of Italy – and that’s saying a lot – Emilia-Romagna and, so they say, Bologna in particular. 

The denizens of Bologna, as a matter of fact, have codified the “official” recipe via their chamber of commerce.   You can use this ragù (French ragoût from ragoûter… “revive flavor”) directly on various shapes of pasta or as a layer with lasagne.   Broad, flat noodles, such as tagliatelle and pappardelle are great.  I used the latter, dried.  I was a too lazy to make fresh. This sauce is easy to make, but you need patience and time.”

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“Ladies in Lavender”, Joshua Bell, from the album “the Essential Joshua Bell”, (2005)

David Warren

Fourth and last, for today, but by no means least, is the Canadian blogger David Warren. He posts 4 or 5 times a week, a slightly less charitable view of the world than the above three, but no less elegant in his own way.

Because David is closer to my heart, I actually have his site as my default Home Page on my browser so the first thing I see each day when I log on is whatever new words of wisdom and repartee David has seen fit to share with the world.

Irony and Satire figure in many of his posts both on his own site at “Essays in Idleness, but also he aims for a broader audience with his occasional op ed pieces on “The Catholic Thing“. There are many other writers of worthy articles in the archives at “The Catholic Thing”.

Back in 2015, over at David Warren’s site Essays in Idleness we found “Hae nobis propriae sedes” Virgil, Aeneid 3 147-149,  in English I think it is something like “This Will Be Our Proper Place“, according to Google Translate, but I’m no scholar so I may have missed the mark on that. Anyway, David is a beautiful writer and I enjoy his insight. Here is an old post in full from October 2015, or better yet, just go and read his stuff at his own site, it would certainly be worth one’s time.

*****

Hae nobis propriae sedes

If the Viking priests from the age of the Orkneyinga Saga Orkneyinga Saga(composed eight centuries ago, about matters through centuries before it), returned suddenly to their old haunt on Papa Stronsay, they would have lively conversation with the current inhabitants. As they could not speak English, nor these new monks Old Norse, the chatter would be in Latin. The Mass they would celebrate together would also be in Latin, of course, and the Vikings would have no difficulty in following it. For it was their Mass, too.

The gentle reader who does not already know about the Transalpine Redemptorist presence in Orkney may inform himself (here, and perhaps also, here). For it is more than the “romantic story,” of a genuinely counter-cultural adventure. In some sense one might say that the living centre of the Catholic Church is now more on that bleak, and beautiful island of Papa Stronsay, than in the heart of today’s pagan Rome. This seems especially so in light of the recent Synod; as to me, after reading the current pope’s latest remarks at the conclusion of it — full of his characteristic slights and insults towards traditional practitioners of the Catholic faith.

I know that many faithful are hurting, or quite understandably angry; that they feel violated and betrayed. That is why I am writing like this, reminding that Christ will bind wounds; that He will not betray us. Christ goes where He is wanted, and under present circumstances that is far, far away, “to the peripheries” — or rather, let us cut the cheap sociological blather and say, “to the ends of the Earth.” He is in love with the bright-eyed peoples of Africa; and with those suffering under murderous tyrannies in Asia and the Middle East. By contrast in Europe, and here in the Americas, in our life of fat and consumption, we now have little use for Him; and so He leaves us to find our own way, progressively, downward.

Yet in many rural and remote places, and even sometimes in little neighbourhoods within the huge, fraught cities of these once-Christian realms, His Church is flourishing. The numbers may be tiny in proportion to the general population, but wherever that old Latin Mass is sung, there are vocations, and there is revival. Where it is not, the Church is dying out; and yet here, too, where the Mass of the Ages, and through it the teaching of the ages, is no longer made available, individual novus-ordo Christians still wait and humbly pray for relief.

Christ is there, forever in the Eucharist; and wherever it is taken by the shriven with real faith and the childlike understanding, the power of the Redemption is felt. (And where it is taken by appropriation, unworthily “by right,” the power of Judgement is visited instead.) He is present in the sincerity of all private prayer and petitions, extending from that Mass, and every good and virtuous deed, done in the communion of the Saints. Christ is crucified, dead, and risen; He is alive. Try as they will, His detractors will ever fail to kill Him.

This is simply how things are, and how they always were and will be. Within every cell of the true Church is the relation between that small Christian soul, and this Tremendous Lover. (See here.)

We have often before been abandoned by priests and bishops, with their own private agendas, or strutting their fake “humility” for the adulation of crowds. We have had bad popes; we have had every sin of which men are capable, done in sacred places. This is the world, and this is what men are: fallen. Let them seek forgiveness, and pick themselves up; do what they can to rectify the damage they have caused, the pain they have gratuitously inflicted. Let them open their eyes before Our Lord closes them forever. It makes no sense to choose the road to Hell.

There is nothing new under the Sun, and I see that Saint Peter Damian’s Liber Gommorrhianus, or “Book of Gomorrah,” from ten centuries ago, is once again circulating, in English translation. (Can be ordered here.) It is from another age, when clerical corruption, including rampant sodomy and pederasty, was threatening the integrity of holy orders. Damian was an ascetic, at home in the remote Italian hills, but as I recall from a previous translation of this book, he can be unpleasantly modern in his forensic descriptions of what priests and monks descend to, when they become depraved.

He turns, with a form of mercy that is excoriating, upon the most common crime: then as now, the satanic tampering with adolescent boys. He provides, too, the context for this corruption, through cross-allusion to simony and careerist self-advancement (his Liber Gommorrhianus ought ideally to be read alongside his Liber Gratissimus) — directing fearless, full-bore attacks on the princes of the Church who make themselves comfortable, and hide the crimes. The book made its author extremely unpopular, and the defence of him, by Pope Leo IX, though brave at first, became increasingly lukewarm. But the scandals it exposed were quietly acknowledged and gradually addressed. The shame that this saint had helped to reawaken slowly triumphed over the filth of this eleventh-century liberalism.

This is not the whole story of Petrus Damiani, some of whose miscellaneous writings on the spiritual and contemplative life are also known to me through the excellent translations of Patricia McNulty (1959, here). These are precious, very positive works, curiously contemporary with that saga of conversion in the northern wilds. This lonely Benedictine would likewise be at home with those monks on Papa Stronsay, so far away from him in space and time.

It was beloved Benedict XVI, incidentally, who through his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, brought the Transalpine Redemptorists back into full communion with Holy Church. They were a product of the SSPX reaction against the liberal innovations that followed from Vatican II, and the account of their relations with Rome is complex and often vexed. So it must be in a generation when the Vatican bureaucracy is more easily alarmed and scandalized by the persistently faithful, than by the faithless and glib. But that generation is already passing into ashes.

Our task is to keep our moorings in the true and unchanging Magisterium, clinging, as it were, “to our guns and our Bibles,” or to distant treeless islands as the case may be. For wherever Christ is — however cold, windy, and wet — we are at home in the breast of Our Saviour.”

*****

Cheers

Joe

I think it’s almost time to eat … fasting makes “EVERYTHING” taste so good.

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

The Four Freedoms … Responsibility and Ownership.

“River Flows In You”, Yiruma, from the album “Yiruma Piano Collection” , (2001)

So, my resolution after my  last post was, going forward, to avoid pointing fingers, avoid divisiveness, and avoid setting up others as the bad guy, the enemy, the Strawman supporting MY argument. To strive to avoid badmouthing and criticizing and pointing out the faults and failings of others in ways that pump up my own pride and ego.

In the words of my Grandfather … “Joe, if you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.” To which my young self would usually reply … “But then there would not be much to say.” To which my Grandfather would then inevitably reply “That would be a nice change.” And Dad would laugh. Funny thing, the little vignettes which one ends up remembering out of all the adventures of one’s childhood.

I have repeatedly referred to GOD’s will in pointing out where many of my thoughts and my personal narrative stray from the will of GOD. And I have strayed a lot, usually in the same ways and about the same things, a kind of personal repertoire of sin. Knowing that an action or a thought is not in conformity with GOD’s will, I still fall into these habits and same old internal dialogue. Isn’t it about time to actually make a serious effort to stop.

So, going forward I resolve to work at “Living in the Divine Will”. What is the Divine Will and how do I conform my entire life to the Divine Will?  GOD has given me a template and a set of instructions and they are really pretty simple, ten basic Commandments. The Scriptures, and the Magisterium of the Church flesh out the details. And we have it from Scripture, the most important Commandment:

27And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbor as thyself. 28And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.” (Luke 10:27-28)

Now going forward I aim to look at what is good about what I see around me, even if that “good” is merely the absence of a more evil “bad”.  I want to take a look at the “Idols” of my personal world view … those things and persons and ideas which I have “worshipped” as ends in and of themselves, without GOD entering into the picture. I aim to try to illustrate how I can easily go astray whenever I lose sight of the fact that “All Good is Gift”.

So first, some Idols …  mostly things and a few people who I have thought to be “Just Awesome” and by their worship cementing the “superiority” of my ego in the firmament of my personal pantheon, all backed up by “facts” with which I can “Prove” that my judgements are correct and therefore not sinful. The First Idol … beautiful technology …  Ooooh, Aaaaah

150625-N-SN160-356 EVANSVILLE, Ind. (Jun, 25, 2015) The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, join their signature Delta formation with the Canadian Air Demonstration Squadron, the Snowbirds, for a photo shoot over Evansville, Ind. The Blue Angels are scheduled to perform at 68 demonstrations at 35 locations across the U.S. in 2015. (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Lindsey/Released)

150625-N-SN160-356
The Idol of beautiful Technology:  EVANSVILLE, Ind. (Jun, 25, 2015) The U.S. Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron, the Blue Angels, join with the Canadian Air Demonstration Squadron, the Snowbirds, for a photo shoot over Evansville, Ind.  (U.S. Navy photos by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Michael Lindsey/Released)

And what about the International Space Station, over 20 years old  now and still ticking amidst all the usual controversy and budget wars and disputes between the players. I linked to the Canadian Government Site where we can see the entire space program as one big photo op.

ISS at 20 …

And then all the rest of the “Goods”… trains, and planes, and automobiles, and toilets and sewers, and water systems, and cell phones, and stoves and refrigeration, and microwaves, and furnaces, and the internet, and supermarkets with every kind of food imaginable, good and bad, available in all seasons, 365 days a year and 24/7 in some places, and coffee shops, and bakeries and cake shops, and wine stores, and swipe cards and financial payment networks.

And the communications and transportation networks that make that all possible, and all the fuel to run the electrical generators, and the electrical grid so the lights and our large screen LCD TV’s all come on whenever we want them.

Mazankowski Alberta Heart Institute

And fuel for the furnaces and to fire the engines, and fuel the planes, and fly us to our annual holidays in our favorite resort,  and last but not least in this litany a great medical/health system standing by to give everyone with a health problem free health care services.

The truth is that all this “stuff” is a tribute to courage, will power, determination, grit, hard work and sheer brain power, there is just so much good stuff, and these great things make us feel proud of ourselves when we take the time to think about it all, and all of these great things in some way become Idols. We did this … we must be great.

“Eternity’s Sunrise”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Eternity’s Sunrise”, (2000)

Canada’s budget for the Space Program is about 260 million a year and falling. It’s really a question of balancing optics and priorities, and cutbacks, and needing to make savings in one area because of uncontrollable growth in other areas.

And Canada’s budget for Health Care in 2018 was … who knows, we are always way over budget … but we do know that total health expenditures in 2018 in Canada reached $253.5 billion, or $6,839 per per man woman and child in Canada. In 2018  overall health spending reached 11.3% of Canada’s gross domestic product (GDP). This s the biggest Idol in Canada. This is the Idol we all worship and sacrifice to, and sometimes it pays off and the gods give us a blessing, like my own recent surgery on my broken ankle.

It’s a question of optics and priorities. and “Free” Health Care is a huge vote magnet. And a 2 income family of 5 is paying $34,195.00 a year in taxes for “free” healthcare. And I and my wife (2 incomes) have been paying into this “free” system for about 45 years now, every year, year after year. There ain’t no free lunch, this is our sacrifice to our Idols.

The problem is that true “Freedoms” come with “Responsibilities”, and that is not the the same as “Rights”.

Free Republic of Albertastan

Back in ancient times, about 20 years ago, back before the Communists overthrew the government here and set up their little experiment in Social Equality, I and my optimistic friends used to entertain pleasant fantasies about a new kind of country.

We dreamed about setting up an independent Republic of Albertastan,  a kind of little Rohan of the west nestled under the looming Rockies, lots of open space for training and adventure, lots of internationally valuable resources, and with easily defended borders where everyone is welcome.  BUT the iron clad criteria for citizenship are:

#1: Prima Fascia evidence of real life Service and Sacrifice (eg. multi-tour military service with honourable discharge or equivalent non military service – equivalency to be determined by a panel of expert “citizens” and no one else)

#2: The criterion for eligibility for candidacy for political service is “citizenship” (see #1) and candidate acceptability determined on a scale relating brain power and willingness to work and accept basic subsidiarity and accountability in a hierarchy (no free rides ’cause you’re smart and/or good looking and/or related to someone and/or are a political hack, and so on and so forth). Wanting the position is an automatic fail. Only one position, one term,  per person, per lifetime. No exceptions.

#3: No person regardless of sex, creed, parentage, wealth, or belief system gets an exemption for any reason from #1 and #2. No person covered in #3 gets any say whatsoever in how the republic is run or what kind of programs are offered. Folks covered by #3 get normal respect for human life and dignity, as normal human beings, and as they have been recognized for, Oh … several thousand years … Natural Law is the foundation of civil law in this republic.

Those were the rules, the constitution as it were, of the Free Republic of Albertastan … real simple, easy to remember, and no exceptions, and everyone is welcome.

Albertastan Border Patrol

Any one who finds they don’t like this setup, or objects to any of the above or decides he or she or it demands his or her or it’s special “rights” and “privileges” will be given an escorted free ride to the nearest border crossing, 1 Gallon of water, a hamburger, and a map showing how to get to the nearest “other” place.

They would also be given a solid understanding that if they are still in sight in an hour they will be paint balled until they are out of site.  Well, it was a rather juvenile fantasy after all, but that didn’t mean that we were not proud of ourselves for “thinking” this all out … simple answers for simple people.

And we didn’t ever take into account the large Federal military presence, all under Liberal control of course as it was when we all served back in the 70’s. We just thought of them as our “little brothers”.

Freedom of Speech

But, the goal of setting up the Free Republic of Albertastan, the thought behind the dream, was in order to guarantee to all the inhabitants of Albertastan “The Four Freedoms”.

At that time we were concerned about the erosion of the Freedoms under the national and provincial government of the day, and all of us remembered the 80’s very well.

The four freedoms refer to President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s January 1941 Four Freedoms State of the Union address in which he identified essential human rights that should be universally protected, and Roosevelt proposed that the government would do it for us.

Freedom of Worship

The Four Freedoms images are a series of four 1943 oil paintings by the American artist Norman Rockwell. The paintings—Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Worship, Freedom from Want, and Freedom from Fear—are each approximately 45.75 inches (116.2 cm) × 35.5 inches (90 cm), and are now in the Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.

Wikipedia tells us: “Throughout his political career Roosevelt championed the cause of human rights.[6] In his annual State of the Union address to Congress of January 6, 1941, which was delivered at a time when Nazi Germany occupied much of Western Europe,[15] he asked the American citizens to support war efforts in various ways.

He stated his vision of a better future, founded upon four freedoms: “In the future days which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms,”[2][16] some traditional and some new ones: freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear.

Freedom From Want

That was then, this is now. Most people have no memory of WWII, or the Nazis or the evils of statism.  Heck, most people have already forgotten 9/11. Many people seem to think that “Nazi” is what you call someone who disagrees with you on Twitter. Public memory is short and folks are mostly content and concerned with their immediate needs and wants. But there is a background undercurrent of change in our culture.

As a society we have already, mostly willingly, ceded Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Worship to the control of government and social media, that “erosion” we were worried about in our Albertastan fantasy. We no longer are willing to go to the line for someone else’s right to their point of view or their choice of world view. We seem to want more and more to shut down dissent.

We are still doing pretty good in the “Freedom From Want” category. We Nord-Americanos are doing pretty much better than most of the rest of the world when it comes to want. I think the next thing to erode will be Freedom From Fear, as a result of the loss of the first two freedoms over the last two decades.

Freedom From Fear

But the truth about all of this is that all these things we think we treasure are really Idols. None of them matter when looking at eternity. I mean they ARE nice and highly desirable, ideals even, but not as an end in and of themselves, except perhaps Freedom To Worship, but even that, when denied brings eternity into a much sharper focus, as we perhaps are witnessing in the underground Catholic Church in China. Maybe Faith benefits from some persecution.

What does it matter in eternity? So what does a country boy see out there in the “REAL” world? What are the “world problems” that I think might affect myself, my family and my life here in rural flyover country, what gets on the radar?

I am thinking about peace and conflict, and how I choose to drink at springs of peace or springs of conflict. After the data dump of calm emotion over the last couple of weeks, about observed events, I am thinking that I chose to observe and judge, and attribute, courtesy of lots of folks with nothing to do but emote about what is wrong in their life  and “create content”. Well guess what? I am doing the same damned thing.

Am I one of those “emoticons in suits”? Well, maybe an emoticon in Levis, and pretty thread bare Levis at that. No suits around here any more – that was all in a previous life, long, long ago. Don’t even have a tie anymore.

It’s 06:48 now and the sun is coming up on a cool dawn. With quiet time for second thought, the truth is, there are not really any problems anywhere which directly affect my immediate life … my “real” world is full of beauty, and peace, waiting for room in my soul … if I make the time and make the room to just let it in, if I don’t fill it up with other stuff.

So, I pray for “Purity of Heart”, that purity that goes beyond simple passions and pleasures. Speaking of purity here I am intending to evoke the purity which not only implies an absence of sin but goes much further to invoke the absence of all earthly affections. And I begin the quest to “Live in the Divine Will”.

I think I have quoted St. Bernard somewhere in a past posts like this: “Quid hoc ad aeternitatem,” as old Saint Bernard of Clairvaux used to mumble when faced with the usual parade of travail, what does it matter in the light of eternity?

Cheers

Joe

I hear the snakes are back in Ireland … hmmm

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Five …

Continued from Part Four …

graphic : “The Big Bang”

So , this is the fifth and final episode in what has become a great data dump of all the things that used to fire me up to write my posts. I am declaring an end to pointing at and yelling about “The Great Divide”.

There is way too much divisive stuff around these days and way too little of fraternal charity. I hope this five part series allows me to just put it all away and walk a different path. This is therapy for the terminally dissatisfied.

I am indulging myself today in an appeal to authority, some stage setting, some discussion of my metaphysical framework which supports my world view and by implication, my “caustic non PC musings” which musings I am trying to stop.

A few nights ago, over a period of nights, on the way to peaceful slumber, I watched all the  episodes of a new series on Netflix … “The Umbrella Academy”.

Now a couple of weeks later, after watching the whole series I now give it two thumbs down. I found it was mainly about how everything wrong with our lives is the fault of our parents and the world is ending in 8 days no matter what we do so just go and have fun.

This is just exactly what my last post was on about in as much as “Blaming Others” and “not taking ownership” is the root of all evil, or something like that but with a lot more words. Anyway, the story of the Umbrella Academy proposed a collection of protagonists (children in the first episode) with exceptional abilities and talents (ever was it so), one of whom shows the ability to manipulate his position in the timeline.

He, the child with this remarkable talent, is apparently able to somehow take a grip on the “fabric” of the “space-time continuum” and leverage himself to another position on or in that fabric much as we would grab onto a material object and pull ourselves over to a new physical location in our 3 dimensional material existence.

Nine Year Microwave Sky, The detailed, all-sky picture of the infant universe created from nine years of WMAP data. The image reveals 13.77 billion year old temperature fluctuations (shown as color differences) that correspond to the seeds that grew to become the galaxies. The signal from our galaxy was subtracted using the multi-frequency data. This image shows a temperature range of ± 200 microKelvin. Credit: NASA / WMAP Science Team WMAP # 121238 Image Caption 9 year WMAP image of background cosmic radiation (2012) Date 21 December 2012, 22:30:50

This is my description of what is shown by special effects (of course) in the show, there being no attempt to explain this “interesting” talent other than manifesting it as part of the story line accompanied by many wall covering equations, for which the protagonist is searching for “more accurate” values to plug into these equations.

Mathematical equations are always a good prop to impress a non technical audience, in fact much of what now passes for science in our modern society, our pseudo-science industry, is supported by arcane jargon and equations to baffle the audience and the budgetary gatekeepers who rarely have sufficient education to keep up with the argument, and who slip into nodding donkey mode to save face.

Anyway, in the midst of coming to an “understanding” of a plausible “why & how” for manipulating one’s position in space-time I started thinking about how our thought processes, intimately wrapped up as they are in a “time-centered” existence, can articulate the idea of “outside of time”.

I currently conceive of this “reality” as a “bubble” of time-centered reality totally submerged in and surrounded by an immense abyss of timelessness, rather like a tiny bubble of fresh water submerged in the depths of a great salt sea, which seems to make this idea easier to imagine and articulate.

graphic: “The Big Bang” projected from the the 9 year microwave image out to the present and into the future …

And this timeless, limitless, dimensionless, immensity is the domain of GOD, in fact there is nothing but GOD at this point in this model. The GOD of “I AM” exists, “is being” always and everywhere. In a timeless abyss everything exists in its totality at that instant (time creeping in to our thought articulation) always and forever.

The GOD of “I AM” had to withdraw a little of HIMSELF in order to even create the “nothing” within which HE then “created” everything we know and are able to perceive and think about.

“The Big Bang” theory is at least as good as or most likely much better as a hypothetical explanation of that creative spark than anything else currently on offer. It is an interesting point that “The Big Bang” theory was proposed by a Catholic priest and scientist, Fr. Georges Lemaître.

In 1927, the Belgian Catholic priest Georges Lemaître proposed an expanding model for the universe to explain the observed redshifts of spiral nebulae, and calculated the Hubble law. He based his theory on the work of Einstein and De Sitter, and independently derived Friedmann’s equations for an expanding universe.

“The first Friedmann equation describes how, based on what is in the universe, its expansion rate will change over time. If you want to know where the Universe came from and where it’s headed, all you need to measure is how it is expanding today and what is in it. This equation allows you to predict the rest!”

graphic: “Weak field limit around a single mass” (in this case, the sun)

In 1915, Einstein put forth his theory of General Relativity, which related the curvature of spacetime on one hand to the presence of matter and energy in the Universe on the other.

So the appeal to authority here involves the claim that the Big Bang theory is a part of the Christian world view and the Christian concept of GOD is Truth.

Part of this Truth necessarily includes the belief that, while some domains of other world views over lap in some way some of the claims of Christianity, it is Truth that only the domain of the Christian world view embraces all Truth while excluding all the errors in some of the other domains of the other world views.

We are all looking at reality through glasses and without the right prescription things can be a little “blurry”, and blurry vision can put you in the ditch with all the expected and predicted consequences.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, or back in the Shire, I leap from the metaphysically cosmic to the mundane day to day of thoughts, sometimes angry (or “cranky” I am told) and sometimes sorrowful, about those who I see as “bad actors” in the stage play of my existence, and my ongoing development of “growing up” on my part in relation to “loving my neighbor”.

Now I am about to head off into another social commentary about how making the others on the other side of the great social divide that is our society into the bad guys, the enemy, is wrong. It is wrong because it is against the will of GOD.

I am also trying to come to terms with a recent understanding about my  thoughts and behaviour, namely that “being calm” is not an equivalent, or does not equal “not being angry”. Calmly angry is a brand new headspace for me, a new lens if you will, through which I think I may have been looking for a long time.

Col. Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr. Col. Tibbets (23 February 1915 – 1 November 2007) was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force.

With this insight, I now have no problem imagining being angry as I imagine calmly pressing the button that launches the missiles that turn a large part of the planet’s surface into it’s atomic constituents. I am thinking of Col. Paul Warfield Tibbets Jr.

Col. Tibbets (23 February 1915 – 1 November 2007) was a brigadier general in the United States Air Force. He is best known as the pilot who flew the B-29 Superfortress known as the Enola Gay (named after his mother) when it dropped Little Boy, the first of two atomic bombs used in warfare, on the Japanese city of Hiroshima on August 6th, 1945.

While we are touching on the only use of atomic weapons on civilian targets in world history so far, I discovered a little known piece of trivia, an aside, for all you Trivia fans … the Democrat 33rd President of the U.S.A., Harry Truman, whose biography is staring back at me from my bookshelf and whom I have always admired and my Dad admired, was a Freemason, and that’s common knowledge. But…

On October 19, 1945, Truman was raised to the 33rd degree of the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite for the southern jurisdiction. The 33rd President became a 33rd Degree Mason a couple of months after the Little Boy Atomic Bomb was dropped on Hiroshima … weird coincidence, eh? Good Trivia question anyway. Bet ya didn’t know that, eh?

President Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United States of America

He is the only President to have received this high distinction, which he considered with satisfaction to be the culmination of his Masonic career. Who knew?  Anyway, President Truman and Freemasons and Trivia bits aside, I imagine Col. Tibbets was pretty calm when he gave the command to drop the bomb.

The bomb which would soon wipe out tens of thousands of civilian non-combatants in a flash with hundreds of thousands of follow on casualties, in aid of delivering Allied surrender demands to the Japanese government. Its hard to imagine him not being a little angry, so “calmly angry” has moved from “oxymoron” to “plausible state of mind” in my world view. And we ended WWII, did we save more than we killed? Was there another way? I don’t know … no one can know except God.

So I am trying hard now to move away from the “angry” lens through which I have at times viewed the great divide, the “We” and “all the rest” who make up the “masses” who don’t see things the way I do.

Who the heck are “We” and why has that been so important to me over the years, so much a part of my personal world view, in spite of what I know to be the Christian world view mentioned above? Who are the “We”?

Well, “We” are fat and happy (relatively speaking). We are influential, we are powerful, we are wealthy. Why do all immigrants everywhere want to immigrate to North America with the U.S.A. as the first choice and Canada as the ugly sister second choice, sort of the Lobby of the desired address?

Freedom of Speech is the first of the Four Freedoms paintings by Norman Rockwell that were inspired by United States President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address, known as Four Freedoms, which he delivered on January 6, 1941

Why is that? With a whole planet to choose from, everyone wants to come here. Why? That’s what used to be called a “no brainer”, everyone wants to be on the winning team, and unfortunately, not everyone makes the cut … see the seven characteristics in my previous post.

“We” are the successful servicemen and women, workers in industry, professionals, and business operators in western democracies, but in particular, whether the world likes it or not,  that “we” group are mostly Americans, in America, which is arguably the most successful of the western democracies by a long margin.

America is the most successful nation in the history of the world, economically and technologically and militarily and even culturally. While currently experiencing some troubling difficulties in the political, religious, and manufacturing, domains, Americans and America are also the most generous and the most patient people and nation on the planet. Remember, actions speak louder than words … look at what they do, not at what they say.

Look at yourselves in the mirror all you America haters, and what do ya see? It ain’t beautiful I’ll tell ya. I have American relatives in the American Mid-west, I’ve talked to them in the past, they seem to be decent regular folks, just like the folks I have met from Montana and North Dakota.

I have known and worked with many Americans, served with American service men and served under American Naval Officers. They are solid. They are what defines “The Good Guys”, even if some of them can be loud mouthy dicks at times. But I don’t know of any country some of whose servicemen are not like that at times. It seems to go along with the kind of personality that joins militaries. That is reality, folks, like it or not.

To launch from the personal to the general demographic, this is the truth Canada, look into your mirror and despair. Socialism always drags a culture down to the “equality of squalor” lowest common denominator. If we don’t abandon Socialism we are soooo dead.

Anything resembling success in Canada is in a large way due to our forced co-residency and trade with the most successful nation on the planet, and repeating anti-American rhetoric and decades old political protest memes on your University  campus or in your Starbucks or over dinner with your “special” friends doesn’t change reality. Look at Venezuela, there but for the grace of America go we.

While there used to be a solid case to be made for Alberta being the most successful polity on the continent (TD Bank Economic study from 10 or so years ago), that situation is now long gone thanks to the benevolent rule of the National Democratic Party in all their Socialist totalitarian blindness.

We are so materially screwed we are thinking of moving our provincial capital to Caracas. I am pretty sure that Red Rachel and her cronies would fit right in there. Isn’t it strange that virtually every totalitarian regime on the planet always wants to have the words “Republic” or “Democratic” in their name. The “Newspeak” is everywhere.

I love my country, but I am not proud of its conduct over the last ten or twenty years or so and in some domains for the last 50 years or so.  I despise it’s leadership at all levels. A greater collection of Keystone Cops amateur hour bad guys exists nowhere else on the planet, but in spite of everything it is still a pretty good place to live compared to anywhere else.

Witness my recent surgery which I was able to get within a couple of days of the medical event with only the presentation of a health care number. On the other hand, it is just as easy to kill my baby, or my granny, or my mentally retarded little sister, or to have a sex change operation, all dressed up as a “free” taxpayer funded, medical health care procedure, as it is to get a broken ankle fixed.

So IMHO the jury is still out on whether this is a net “good” health care system, and its bloody expensive, consuming the lion’s share of all tax dollars. And the government doesn’t provide much else except embarrassing public performances, taxes, and an ever increasing library of  restrictions, rules and regulations designed to control the population and protect government asses from liability for anything.

I think one of the better vignettes about Canada and Canadians was recently posted by David Warren here.  I include the first paragraph by way of a teaser:

“I will tell you a secret about Canada, but you must promise never to tell another living soul. We are secretly quite sane. We do a good job of hiding it, lest anyone notice and start asking us to assume adult responsibilities; for instance, we elected Justin Trudeau. But when no one seems to be looking, we do the right, or at least the practical thing. Then pretend it isn’t happening. Publicly, we may do something quite visibly insane, but just for a distraction. The Justin lad was good for that purpose. But then we act just as if we hadn’t done that, either. We have mastered the art of ignoring cause and effect. But privately, we can still tell most hawks from most handsaws.”

So what about America, that great western democracy right next door across the longest undefended border in the world. Well, keeping in mind that Alberta is still the “Texas” of Canada in spite of being run by the commies, there really isn’t much noticeable difference between us and our northern state cousins in Montana and Idaho and North Dakota and so on. Outside the cities we are the same kind of people, with the same kind of values, in the same kind of communities.

A 2nd Term for The Donald?

A large part of American success for the last 200 yeas or so has been their system’s ability to protect a large part of the population from the interference of their leadership. That is now in decline and we are starting to see the Canadian disease played out in American elections these days. It remains to be seen how long they will continue on their winning streak.

I am reminded of the Basketball hoop parable … Life is a basketball game, not a box of chocolates. Each time you sink a basket the hoop gets a little bit bigger, each time you miss the hoop gets a little bit smaller. America has sunk a lot of baskets, and missed a few as well. Canada has sunk some baskets too, but has missed quite a few more, so our game is harder to win.

The real world rewards hard work, responsibility, self discipline, precision and accuracy. But if enough of the people drink the KoolAide and start electing Socialists to give them something for free, then it’s all over but the crying and blaming. Then you end up with Venezuela.

And all of this is measurably true but so what? So fricken what? Why does it matter so much to me to be right about these sorts of things? Pride, Pride, Pride. All is vanity.

Father Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. (1893-1953)

As Father Gabriel writes:Dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return”. These words, first spoken by GOD to Adam after he had committed sin, are repeated by the  Church to every Christian, in order to remind him of two fundamental truths … his nothingness, and the reality of death.

His nothingness and the reality that all the things of this world are immaterial chimeras. The things we find so important today have no value whatsoever for eternity, they will all pass away. Our pride, our arrogance, needs to grasp this truth, to realize that everything in us is nothing.

“Drawn from nothing by the creative power of GOD, by His infinite love which willed to communicate His being and His life to us, we cannot, because of sin, be reunited with Him for eternity without passing through the dark reality of death.”

The things we find so important today have no value whatsoever for eternity, they will all pass away. But the sins we commit in pursuit of and defence of these worldly things will not pass away and will have to be acknowledged, confessed, forgiven and atoned for.

So thinking and writing unkind or hurtful things about others who disagree with me even if they are provably incorrect in their views have to be examined, confessed, forgiven and atoned for.

Jesus submitted to death in order to give all Christians the strength to accept it out of love. Nevertheless, death still exists, and we should reflect on it, not to distress ourselves, but to arouse ourselves to do good. The book of Sirach is wonderful …

In all thy works, remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin” (Sir 7,40)

So I resolve to reflect on my mortality every time I entertain angry or hurtful thoughts about another. I give myself all kinds of breaks, I am Oh so understanding of all my myriad faults, but I do not extend the same courtesy to those I see as attacking me or my well-being for spurious reasons. I am having a difficult time hating the sin but loving the sinner as the Church instructs.

Wow, finally done with this topic hopefully forever. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off now.

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.

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Four …

Continued from Part Three …

Now I am about to head off into a social commentary about what seems wrong with and about the folks screaming the loudest about what is wrong. 

Into the West, Annie Lennox, Howard Shore, LOTR, 2003

Pandemonium, the Capital of Hell, by John Martin

Spoiler: This might not be a popular post with some folks because I shine a light at some of our obvious societal flaws and ask rhetorical questions which are not politically correct, not what we are supposed to mention over coffee. And, to a certain degree I indulge my pride that “I am not like those others”, that I am one of the “good guys”.

But it is also about how the making of the others on the other side of the great divide into the bad guys, the enemy, is wrong and is against the will of GOD. Casting others as the foil or fall guy for the story being told does not render onto them the love that God feels for them and which He expects us to understand and to ‘Love one another as I have loved you”.

For we struggle again principalities and powers, against powers not of this world as well as our own flesh and concupiscence, and one way or another we all become “useful idiots” in the hands of Lucifer the light bringer and his minions.

I am very aware of Matthew’s Gospel, specifically Mathew 5, while thinking and writing all of this and so to refresh it in my mind I will put a bit of it here:

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ 44“But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46“For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? 47“If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48“Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Mat 5:43-48)

St. Matthew and The Angel,

For my part, I am trying to preach the gospel of responsibility and self control. That is my intent but in some senses this might be rather Pharisaical – all that PRIDE again, it’s insidious, and I drift back and forth between the poles of prideful self righteousness over how good I am, and trying to get my head sincerely around actually “loving” those who don’t see what I see, what seems so important and obvious to me.

That dichotomy places me in a mental conflict, sort of like trying to love and be tolerant and forgiving of others, while standing my moral ground and trying to explain and defend reality, all the while experiencing the effects of having the “loved” ones trying to metaphorically cut off my arm without anesthetic.

I firmly believe that GOD desires of me to love my neighbour as myself, and even more, to love one another as He has loved us. That’s a BIG love. What this means to me is wishing for anyone else the things which I believe to be good, for his or her sake but not for my own. And, even more, sincerely wishing for anyone else, the things which GOD has told us are good for their own sake.

I don’t mean this as the “permissive” will of GOD, as PF so recently alluded to but rather the “specific” will of GOD as presented to us in Scripture and the Teachings of the Magisterium, and as we encounter it in the myriad daily duties and responsibilities of our lives. I believe that we have to make every effort to ensure that we are following the “Manufacturer’s Instructions” the popularity of which seem to move in and out of fashion amongst many men of all walks of life as their convenience is impacted.

This translates into believing with certainty that all things, all creatures, were made by GOD and that GOD made all things GOOD, and so love of the other is best expressed by “It is good that you exist, that you have being” and that right direction and thinking flows from that starting point … it is good.

I also wonder if calumny and detraction enter into the effort but currently think “not” because I am not gossiping about or targeting particular individuals, cultures or nations, but rather commenting in a general way about observed trends and norms in our society.

I am being specific about generalities (if that makes any sense) on what I see and read and hear whenever I break my rules and visit any worldly media for some “news”.

Ralph Peters

It seems clear to to me that the traits or characteristics in the defining constellation of traits including responsibility and self control relating to success or failure, in life, are found in varying degrees across all nations, cultures, and individuals.

The difference in degree to which they are manifest is entirely due to self discipline and self control or lack thereof. And self discipline and responsibility are trained into people, they don’t come naturally.

Self Discipline and Self Control are, among others, two of the foundational virtues of Christianity and, if you pay attention to the teachings, the “Wisdom Books” are full of these teachings, which virtues are to be striven for at all costs. These seem to be MIA to a greater or lesser degree in all other religious frameworks, including Protestantism, along with “It is good that you exist, that you have being” .

Waiting On The Night To Fall”, by “Casting Crowns”, from the album “Thrive” (2014)

So,  what are those characteristics or traits which define us and the path we seem to follow? I used to enjoy reading Ralph Peters’ work long before he came and then went as a commentator and consultant at Fox News. He seemed to be very clear on what he observed and the results of same, and was excoriated in some some circles for that trait. He was not Politically Correct, rather he was precise in his observations and honest in his telling of them.

Jordan Peterson

Jordan Peterson reminds me of Ralph in some ways and he also is a currently favored hate figure of the left. Both of them are all about personal responsibility and honesty in discourse which is a bitter pill in the Howler Jungle these days. They both are preaching “Ownership” of the problem … you have to own the problem to fix the problem.

Ralph is a believer, it is hard to imagine any military person as a non believer, but Jordan Petersen has not, to date, come out of the closet as a religious man. I believe he will in time since he seems to be on the right path but perhaps is too successful in life so far to separate what is gift and what is his own brilliance. To realize that all  is gift is a happy grace. He seems to have struck a chord with all those millions of young men which our society has glibly belittled and abandoned.

Anyway, there are seven characteristics or traits or choices which Ralph Peters identifies as condemning nations and cultures (and, I think,  individuals) to failure in the modern world. Peters was speaking about the international situation, but I think his logic and observations apply equally well at the local and individual level as well. I think Jordan Peterson would agree with Ralph’s assessment.

Peters makes a very convincing case that there is a correlation approaching unity between the extent to which a nation, or culture, (or social group or individual) embrace some or all of these characteristics and their inability to succeed in the 21st century. That “inability to succeed” produces serious fallout. I have “fleshed them out” a bit to better illustrate how they operate at the local and individual level. Here is the list”

1. Any restrictions on the free flow of information (Most Common), censorship, bias in reporting, intimidation, exclusion of opposing views, media bias, National Firewalls, Political Correctness, government and corporate secrecy, the “PMO” factor, Star Chambers and “Rights” Tribunals, “Hate Crimes” Tribunals, lieing, documentaries,  Fake News, Social Media untruths,  “Burn The Witch!”, to name just a few.

2. Any subjugation, objectification, or any other moral or intellectual abuse of women (Most Evil) as an objectified resource to be exploited, Radical Feminism, discriminatory rules for a woman’s inheritance, “free love”, free “choice”, pornography, prostitution, polygamy, discriminatory divorce laws, the glorification of “strong, independent” women as desirable sex objects or accessories (in popular magazines),  50 Shades, 2nd class citizens, glass ceiling, rigid roles, keeping them “in their place”, buying and selling women as sex slaves/concubines, covering women’s bodies and faces, honour killings, FGM, child marriage, punishing women for the “crime” of being raped, treating females as objects or slaves useful only for breeding and pleasure, and so on and so forth. This list of memes is particularly evil and deeply buried in many cultures, societies and sub-groups, for most of human history.

3. Inability to accept personal responsibility (endemic in western populations) for individual or collective failure and the results of those failures.

4. Seeing the basic unit of social organization as one’s immediate social class (Xenophobic and narrow minded), extended family or clan, clique, party, social group, sexual orientation, or academic silo, like your faculty, church, PAC, club, activist group, or Facebook group, leading to victimology, or refusal to integrate with society at large … “they” are all evil,  or at least “they” are too stupid to live!

5. Domination by a restrictive religion,(Only believes what their own social group says is so) like any kind of or combination of “Fundamentalism”, Material Realism, Islam, Marxism, Fascism, Secular Humanism, Socialism, Facebook Group, etc.

6. A low valuation of education, (figures prominently amongst the young) that is refusing education, or studying exclusively the dogma of one’s chosen religion, one’s political world view, sexual orientation,  social studies, soft “sciences” and all the rest instead of math, medicine, engineering, physics, chemistry, skilled trades, etc. pointing to aberrations like believing that qualifications in one narrow specialty domain automatically confer qualification in all domains, or another common situation of burger flippers with BA’s in political “science” or any field ending in “Studies“, or ghettos of unskilled “radicalized” xenophobic parasites, and so on.

7. Low prestige assigned to productive work (figures prominently among the young) … eg. remaining unemployed while living on student “loans” or grants, or social welfare, or EI, or Foreign Aid while engaging full time in “Occupy Wall Street” or political protests or anti social activities within one’s social class or ghetto, directed at  outsiders like, in the extreme, assault, kidnapping, vandalization of property, mass shootings, fire bombings, suicide bombing, and random sniping, vehicular homicide, etc.

Desolation Row”, Bob Dylan, from the album “MTV Unplugged”, 2013

Before we get back at it, there is a little story about the above tune along with lyrics and so on over here.

SO! … Seven characteristics of human behaviour. Seven predictions of outcomes. What Ralph, is saying, (and I agree),  is that “the more of these seven characteristics the culture or group or individual exhibit the more likely that culture or group or individual will be a measurable failure in the 21st century by any rational evaluation“.  And he also goes on to make the case that those cultures and individuals are essentially shame based and shame motivated, avoiding shame is more important than doing good.  For these groups and individuals, any behaviour is acceptable and even desirable as long as you don’t get caught.

These nations and cultures and especially groups and individuals know with absolute certainty that they are in fact failures, utter failures. They feel acute shame at that failure, and they hate everyone else around them for shining a light on the hater’s shame by their success in the world. There is no fixing this unless and until those cultures and especially those individuals start to take responsibility for their failure, to take responsibility for their actions and the results, to stop taking the “easy way out”.

There is no absolute moral difference between those in foreign cultures who for example would rape and crucify women for being Christian or Yazidi, or bomb a mosque or a market or a church, and those here in the comfortable “nice” West and even in Alberta who would support killing babies and handicapped children and Elders or who force the agenda and religion of Gaia down the throats of the population by destroying every trace of our carbon based economy in the name of “Environmentalism”.  No absolute moral difference.  Both groups, the activists, and the bureaucrats, inflict misery and death on innocent helpless others with whom they have a problem. 

C.S. Lewis once remarked: in his 1948 book “God in the Dock: Essays on Theology”: Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.  It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies”.  Another phrase comes to mind: “being gnawed to death by the teeth of a thousand rats”.

The only reason the Western Haters are not killing everyone who disagrees with them, as they do in Iraq, and Iran, and Palestine, and in Venezuela and other nations all over the world is that they are chestless poltroons, lacking in courage and unwilling to commit because they fear being held accountable for their actions by others outside their area of control …  they fear the Great Satan just next door. 

They are nothing but Terrorist Middle Managers, afraid of being caught and blamed … they are the Chickens in the Bacon and Eggs metaphor … The Pigs are real terrorists.  The chickens are involved, but the pigs are committed, the true believers. And all it takes is for the U.S. to burp or rumble and they start screaming and wetting their panties.

In 2018, the U.S. started increasing training of U.S. NAVY SEAL Ops in the Pacific Northwest, just a short chopper ride from our hotbed of dissident Environmentalist activity in B.C. and Alberta. Who knew? The Great Satan protects us just by sitting in the next pew. What a concept. The Great Satan, just by being close, protects not only our lives but our economy and our way of life such as it is.

There is such fear in the hearts of the evil ones that the Great Satan might intervene directly that they hesitate to carry out their desires completely as their brothers in arms in foreign lands do every day. Every Canadian living their life in more or less peace and tranquility should really pay  Jizya to the great nation of America for keeping the jackals in check,  keeping us more or less free and peaceful just by being our neighbour.

The haters, the jackals, don’t want to or can’t change because change requires responsibility and hard work, and they don’t want to live in isolation because they enjoy the toys of the successful, so they are left with only the destruction of the object of their hate by force or, when possible, by legal coercion to ameliorate their shame.

To paraphrase Bill Whittle, they must “level the playing field” so that there is nothing to make them stand out as failures. Many turn to the political field to address this desire. For example, all socialistic societies suffer from the “equality of squalor” philosophy. This is the Howler Tribe in all their glory. And in the West, they exploit the rules and structures and institutions established by the successful to destabilize and harm the very society that makes their existence possible. In literally any other culture on the planet, these failures would be ended by a bullet or worse.

They hate us. They hate us, the “successful”, because we are everything they are not. We are vibrant and fecund; we are are successful. Our achievements are magnificent. Our engineering and sciences advance at breathtaking speed and our standard of living continues to increase wherever these social failures are not able to interfere, or are prevented from interfering, politically or otherwise. Robert Heinlein (long the “racist Nazi” of the left) had a bit to say about this:

*****

“Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded—here and there, now and then—are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty. This is known as ‘bad luck’. ” – Robert A. Heinlein

*****

Of course, when “they” the Destroyers, do manage to grab political power they immediately set about sinking the ship as fast as possible, knowing full well that the folks might wake up soon and kick them out. That’s just the way our system works and I suppose it is better than prison camps, re-education camps, purges and pogroms better than “Cultural Revolutions”, and the Gulag.  Of course, those might at least bring things to a head so the boil pops and the infection bleeds out.

And the entire social tragedy roils and boils along oblivious to the damage all around, damage in health and happiness and standard of living and damaged communities and families and so on. and all because of Why? Why can’t I have what I want?

But  I don’t trust God any more, now I actually fear God because I know in my heart that I have done wrong, and I am hiding from God and I don’t trust that God really is “All Good” and is merciful and loving. I fear the “vengeful God” of my own vision, of my guilty conscience, the vengeful God of Lucifer’s lie in the Garden.

And eventually I turn far enough away that I no longer even think about God … and then I don’t even believe in God … but the society around me just keeps getting worse and worse and I keep getting unhappier and unhappier … Why? Why Me? There is something going on here, why is it all going wrong?

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.

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town

Momentary Aside …

Anduril, Howard Shore, LOTR, 2003

I  must take a break from blogging since I am preoccupied with recovering my momentum in completing my Corporate Year End(s) recently lost due to my broken ankle and my temporary invalid status.

Therefore I must stir my “stumps”, leave my comfortable library lounge and return to my Server Workstation in the “bunker”, another lower level space of my vast stone establishment, “Casa Bernhart”.

No windows or nice views down there, and kind of cold and damp … fortunately I have “electricity” and “electric heaters”  which are far easier to use than fireplaces and coal … thank you my daughter, child of a newer age for your insistence on some 21st century amenities.

While not as aesthetically gratifying as my library, I have access to vastly better equipment and connections in the bunker, where I can maintain and monitor all those process and events by which my family and I draw material sustenance from the dark world outside my castle walls.

So, while I am away dealing with the trivial details of material existence I give you links to pleasant distractions over at David Warren’s site, starting with his April Fool’s day post, and then his Back to the Land post. Enjoy!

Cheers

Joe

Note to self: For Today …

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Three …

Continued from Part Two …

Well, good Sunday afternoon to Gentle Reader. It is nice to welcome a sunny day with a good cup of coffee and an expectation that the temperature might stay above freezing for a while.  So on with part three of this article … Where were we going now?

So, the “Great Divide”, what’s going on? The “rational” proponents of a “fact based logical reality” just end up with anger, hurt feelings or worse, and the Howlers just keep on howling because there is not and never was and never will be anything resembling common ground.

The choice we are faced with, again and again, is between being “part of this world” with all that this implies for righteous self-love or being part of GOD’s Kingdom. The choice is between loving the chimera’s of this world or loving GOD’s will. The temptations to engage in worldly strife and more, become more obvious when we try to break away from the world’s disorders.

Robert Cardinal Sarah …

Two years ago I read Cardinal Sarah’s book “The Power of Silence: Against the Dictatorship of Noise”.  I have cited Robert Cardinal Sarah in numerous previous posts on this blog. As we are tempted to dive into the next controversy or outrage it would be well for us to remember one of his insights: “If we give ourselves to ephemeral and insignificant things, we will understand ourselves as ephemeral and insignificant. If we give ourselves to beautiful and eternal things, we will understand ourselves as beautiful and eternal.”

This image below is a hierarchical pyramid  of prevalence of certain types of discourse in the public sphere, and is typical of the blogosphere.

The pyramid is self explanatory. This situation is rooted in the fact that both sides (all sides?) have forgotten GOD’s part in all this. GOD loves all of us, He created all of us on both sides of the divide, just like he created good angels and bad angels. GOD is way above the pyramid, outside of and surrounding and maintaining our reality with His infinite love and power. He wants us all to succeed and join Him in heaven.

But in a Social Media blizzard of confused directions and questionable directions dominated by Hollywood, the MSM, local rock-stars and a plethora of self proclaimed messiahs like Guru Eckhart Tolle, we find ourselves being encouraged and pushed willy nilly towards a social place where God is no longer needed, or even, for many souls to a place where the very existence of GOD is denied … we are encouraged to see ourselves as the center of all things, a place of self worship and reverence for our own will in all things. “Our mind is not ourself”.

And this turns out to be a VERY profitable gig for all our new “spiritual” messiahs leading us into the paradise of the worship of self. The website “Charity Navigator” lists the following financials for the Eckhart Tolle Foundation (in millions of dollars): Asset Amount $618,350,000, Annual Income Amount $87,453,000, Form 990 Annual Revenue Amount $86,253,000, and the Latest Form 990 Return is December, 2017.

Worship of self can be very rewarding if you can get a lot of people to buy into it. And there are Agents for that. There was a nice 2 and a half hour supernatural horror film released in 1997 … staring Keanu Reeves and Al Pacino … Devil’s Advocate from certain perspectives this film is seriously chilling, it might have been a lot better but Hollywood while  lost its nerve, at least they didn’t have Pacino prancing around in a Red Devil suit. And and this little clip below is the final scene of the movie where the star and his wife have overcome all adversity and emerged victorious … is it just a film or is it something more? GOD brings good even out of evil … serious food for thought …

Unlike the angels we have the great good fortune to have the gift of time within which we can exercise our intellect and examine our views and make a decision to worship GOD and do GOD’s will in our lives, to live “virtuous lives”, or we can choose not to. We are blessed to be able to change our minds and our selves, change our souls. This is a gift unique to humans and it is all gift, we didn’t do anything to earn this and there is nothing to indicate that we deserve this mercy.  And this change can go either way. A reading from Ezekiel directly addresses this situation:

*****

Ezekiel: The Priest-Prophet of God; John Wesley’s House & The Museum of Methodism; by Frank O.; Salisbury, http://www.artuk.org/artworks/ezekiel-the-priest-prophet-of-god-133617

“19And you say: Why hath not the son borne the iniquity of his father? Verily, because the son hath wrought judgment and justice, hath kept all my commandments, and done them, living, he shall live.

20The soul that sinneth, the same shall die: the son shall not bear the iniquity of the father, and the father shall not bear the iniquity of the son: the justice of the just shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.

21But if the wicked do penance for all his sins which he hath committed, and keep all my commandments, and do judgment, and justice, living he shall live, and shall not die. 22I will not remember all his iniquities that he hath done: in his justice which he hath wrought, he shall live.

23Is it my will that a sinner should die, saith the Lord God, and not that he should be converted from his ways, and live?

24But if the just man turn himself away from his justice, and do iniquity according to all the abominations which the wicked man useth to work, shall he live? All his justices which he hath done, shall not be remembered: in the prevarication, by which he hath prevaricated, and in his sin, which he hath committed, in them he shall die.

25And you have said: The way of the Lord is not right. Hear ye, therefore, O house of Israel: Is it my way that is not right, and are not rather your ways perverse? 26For when the just turneth himself away from his justice, and committeth iniquity, he shall die therein: in the injustice that he hath wrought he shall die.

27And when the wicked turneth himself away from his wickedness, which he hath wrought, and doeth judgment, and justice: he shall save his soul alive. 28Because he considereth and turneth away himself from all his iniquities which he hath wrought, he shall surely live, and not die.

29And the children of Israel say: The way of the Lord is not right. Are not my ways right, O house of Israel, and are not rather your ways perverse? 30Therefore will I judge every man according to his ways, O house of Israel, saith the Lord God. Be converted, and do penance for all your iniquities: and iniquity shall not be your ruin.

31Cast away from you all your transgressions, by which you have transgressed, and make to yourselves a new heart, and a new spirit: and why will you die, O house of Israel? 32For I desire not the death of him that dieth, saith the Lord God, return ye and live.”   (Ezekiel 18:17-32 Douay-Rheims Bible)

*****

And one of GOD’s laws is “Love your neighbour as yourself”. I interpret this to mean “give your neighbour the same considerations and breaks and charity which you would give yourself”. I am not saying we should love everybody in a group hug kind of way. And I am sure my understanding of this precept isn’t nearly as far-reaching as GOD intended. I have new insights of how far off the rails I am every day.

So, we have to be more tolerant of world views which differ from our own but also be discriminating about what we will accept. World views that harm the innocent must be resisted. Those world views which put the innocent in danger must be opposed, and that is complicated because sometimes even the bad actors are “innocent” in their vast ignorance … they sincerely believe they are doing the right thing even if it is provably harming others or even their loved ones.

So what defines a world view failure in my humble opinion? Well, one of the big symptoms is a lot of loud wailing and gnashing about those “others” who are responsible for all their pain. That’s a gold plated telltale, the wailing tantrum at not getting one’s way and blaming “others”.

The first and essential step in recovery, conversion and repentance is to recognize and accept the beam in our own eye, accept it and start working towards removing it before we even start to attempt to remove the splinter in our brother’s eye. This is all about taking responsibility for our problems and not blaming others.

So … where to now … This post is uncharacteristically short so I’ll stick in one more little bit about truth and facts.

Well, there is one group of loud wailers and gnashers, a loud group of Hollywood Narcissists who hope to overwhelm Truth and Facts  with their Loud Social Media and MSM message. Hi Ben, and Sean, and Alex, and the rest of you less well knows coal shovelers.

How are y’all doing this Sunday morning?  How’s your coffee? I mentioned them a couple of posts ago in connection with the currently fashionable “Boycott Georgia” Social Media meme … which meme will last until the next time some Hollywood star shouts “Squirrel!” and the Social Media pack changes direction 90 degrees and races off howling after whatever new crisis suddenly has their attention.

In the meantime there is and are sources of truth and facts which are consistent and honest and don’t suddenly change their minds about what is really important. Some of these truths have been around since at least the 60’s, (for us) and actually date back thousands of years.

These truths commonly affect thousands of women and men in our modern society, and are completely unreported because they flow against the narrative of narcissism prevalent in today’s culture at all levels. These truths shine a light on the reality behind the currently fashionable narrative of self gratification and license and self love.

One of the stars of this reality is a lady I recently started listening to, namely Vicki Thorn the founder of the International Project Rachel. Here is a short 15 minute interview she gave for Shalom  World. It’s worth every minute if one is looking for the truth, the reality, behind the Social Media curtain:

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.

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, Politics and Economics, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Two …

Continued from part One …

House of Their Dreams”, Casting Crowns, 2013

“The Pajamadeen” guarding the crease “for the team”.

So I remarked last post that someone(s) once nicknamed us all “The Pajamadeen” because we sit at our keyboards late at night (or in my case early morning) in our pajamas writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment.

We are not alone, and that feeling of being part of something bigger feeds our passion. We guard the goal “for the team” even when the fans are booing us.

And the cognitive dissonance grows and grows and we believe we are seeing something which the “others” don’t acknowledge. And we don’t realize that the clock is winding down and we are lost in our anger and it all seems so “reasonable”.. because we’re different, we know better … right …

Welcome to my office …

“I’ve seen things …” is perhaps a common belief in the minds of those who have spent much time living “on the edge” … living where getting it wrong will likely kill you, and your mates as well, or at least be a painful reminder about  “details matter” and “personal responsibility” and “we are in this together and we have each other’s back”.

We are a team. And for this team, it IS “life and death”. And the brutal reality is that WE ARE DIFFERENT … for the rest of our lives we are condemned to a life of not fitting in with a society where everyone is “out for number one”, “what’s in it for me?”.

That unit identity, that willingness to put it all on the line because you are unwilling to abandon the others for your own benefit, that mind state where you never stop to think “what’s in it for me?” is more easily trained into young men,  late teens – early 20’s and young men are hard wired to respond to this stripping away of the individual and reforging a “pack” into an effective mission centered unit.

It never occurs to most young “mil-spec” ordinaries to run away, they would rather die for their squad-mates than run away … and in the NAVY at least, there is nowhere to run … everyone from the skipper (god) to the lowest ordinary seaman works together, and lives or dies together, because after all it is a damned long swim home and if you screw up you just might kill the whole crew, and it is the chief’s job to make sure you don’t.

we are in this together and we have each other’s back”

You better just knuckle down and put out that engine room fire before the whole crew (your mates) become Post Crispy Critters. And if you are not wired that way you don’t last long. Either you decide to muster out (“take release”) or you ARE mustered out (released from service) because of your PERs, for the good of the rest of the team.

If one is never exposed to this training by the time one gets to 25 years old or so the brain is fully formed and it is too late. That opportunity to learn self sacrifice is gone, probably forever. You are now a child in an adult body and you have an unfounded belief in your own worth based on “self esteem” driven into by “20 years of schoolin’ an they put you on the day-shift“.

And that hurts your ego … you “deserve better” “you are special”. That’s what your teachers taught you because that is what they were taught in “Teacher’s College”. That’s why you want to start at a $100,000 a year management position instead of spending 20 years earning your ticket. You start blaming the ones who who DO have $100k a year jobs for your failure to get one. and so it starts … and it has been going on for a looong time.

Cain killed Abel because he blamed Able for his failure, and Eve had more children by Adam who is reported to have lived around 800 years. Remember, Adam and Eve were perfect in all things, genetically, physically, mentally, in every way … in all ways except that they sinned, they sinned and had to leave paradise for that, but GOD was merciful, and GOD helped them get started in the world and to populate the earth even after they sinned.

19In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread till thou return to the earth out of which thou wast taken: for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. 20And Adam called the name of his wife Eve: because she was the mother of all the living. 21And the Lord God made for Adam and his wife garments of skins (leather), and clothed them.

22And he said: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil: now therefore lest perhaps he put forth his hand and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever. 23And the Lord God sent him out of the paradise of pleasure, to till the earth from which he was taken. 24And he cast out Adam: and placed before the paradise of pleasure Cherubim, and a flaming sword, turning every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” (Genesis 3:19-24)

Subterranean Homesick Blues, Bob Dillon, from the album “Bringing It All Back Home”, 1965

Early diversification of genetic groups

But remember that Adam was still Adam and Eve was still Eve, the original GOD-made Superman and Superwomen, and they had many many children, and even back then there were two groups, two sides, just like the angels before them, and the children of Cain went their way and the children of Seth went theirs and never the twain agreed. This was the original split between the “blame others” tribe, and the “take personal responsibility” tribe. We ain’t likely to find a fix here in 2019 AD.

And it took many many generations of decline to get to the pathetic creatures we see today. By the time of Moses, things had already got so bad that GOD even had to bring in laws regarding incest because of genetic and health concerns in the gene pool, and to protect them from the diseases of the Egyptians.

So now we have endured what … a hundred thousand years of decline? The children of Cain as of 2013, estimating for the age Y-MRCA, insist that the human genome is at least subject to substantial uncertainty, with a wide range of times from 180,000 to 580,000 years ago (with an estimated age of between 120,000 and 156,000 years ago, roughly consistent with the estimate for mt-MRCA.).

So how long we have been here varies wildly depending on who you listen to, who you “trust”. Lots of room for error and moving goal posts in the difference between 100,000 years and 580,000 years. Just like lots of room for climate data error between 30 years of data and 4.5 billion years of data. It’s never really about truth and honesty and all about power and control, about who gets to decide and who gets the money. The ultimate proof is that data and the scientific evidence that doesn’t fit the current social narrative just gets dropped and buried.

The name “Mitochondrial Eve” alludes to biblical Eve. This has led to repeated misrepresentations or misconceptions in journalistic accounts on the topic. Popular science presentations of the topic usually point out such possible misconceptions by emphasizing the fact that the position of mt-MRCA is neither fixed in time (as the position of mt-MRCA moves forward in time as mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) lineages become extinct), nor does it refer to a “first woman”, nor the only living female of her time, nor the first member of a “new species”.  So …

Whatever we believe, whether we are children of Seth, or children of Cain, everyone agrees that is rather unclear how long we have been around and everyone agrees that there has been plenty of time for humanity to degrade to the desperate pathetic critters we now are, with only a tiny percentage of our genes being expressed and a multitude of self inflicted biological and cultural problems destroying our lives.

So back to sacrifice, or running away … doomed by age 25, sigh … this is just so sad.  Or maybe you get a lucky break, you get another chance. One finds a girl, settles down, gets married,  and maybe has children (not DINKS), and maybe even finds one’s “soul mate” and signs on for the duration “till death do us part”, which seems to be very much unfashionable these days where the majority of marriages end in divorce. If you are one of the lucky few, GOD gives you another chance to redeem yourself and learn about sacrifice up close and personal.

So we get a couple of chances in life to learn about sacrifice and a lot of us cut and run at the least sign of that dreaded dragon. In fact, maybe its because we are hanging onto our wonderful youth as long as possible and avoiding adult responsibility. We are putting off getting married later and later – ’til we are past that 25 year magic milestone where it becomes “all about me”.

As Roy Batty says: “I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe. … All those moments will be lost in time, like tears in rain. Time to die.”  Indeed … time to die … soon … we are all replicants, running out the clock, done in the blink of an eye.

Steven DenBeste 1952-2016

Meanwhile, what about us “Pajamadeen”? For those of you who may have never heard of the Pajamadeen, here is one reference:  “FrauBudgie, a “proud member of the 101st Keyboarding Division of the Pajamadeen,” chalks it up to Kim Jong-il playing hardball because of a Clinton-era promise of a reactor.”  This was pulled from a Slate post from 2005, referencing numerous members of the “Pajamadeen”. What we write “Never Dies”. Da Da Da Dumm!

I was introduced to blogging around 2000, by Steven DenBeste’s blog “U.S.S. Clueless”, DenBeste was an electrical engineer, and one of the first Pajamadeen and still one of the best, may he rest in peace. The next bright light in that constellation of stars was Bill Whittle, author, director, screenwriter, editor, internet personality, blogger, and his blog “Eject!, Eject!, Eject!” around 2003. That domain has unfortunately been taken over by robots and no longer resembles the original at all. But the Way-Back-Machine can almost always be trusted to find what once was, even if we delete it. We will find you no matter where you hide! Bwahahahaha!

Prophecy” Adrian von Ziegler, from the album “Feather and Skull”, (2013)

Fortunately, an archive of the original Eject!, Eject!, Eject! can be found here.  I link to just one of the archived posts here … WARNING! as Bill himself says “(Folks, there’s R-rated language throughout this thing. Normally I can edit it out; this time, not so much. I may do so later, but now I want to leave it as I wrote it.)”.

Whittle in 2014.

He wrote the post, angry, on September 5, 2005, about the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. It is called “Tribes”, and at the time, for me, was the best articulation I had ever read of my own opinion of humanity, based on my 30 years or so of real-world exposure in the NAVY and the Department of Justice. I was a faithful reader of Bill’s and other blogs for years.

I eventually started blogging myself in 2014 here at notmyfirstrodeo.  Now it seems, in retrospect, that what we all had and have in common, we Pajamadeen, is a very high opinion of our own opinion and ideas, and a desire to share with the universe what we see as wrong with the socially reported status quo as seen through the eyes of social media and the MSM.

Many of us “disagree” with the currently popular “attribution of blame” and demands for “compensation” by all the usual players (victimologists) and and their chattering Facebook groupies.

That’s their life style choice, rather than the acceptance of personal responsibility and making an effort to improve through hard work and self discipline. This divide has existed as long as there have been humans on the planet, which we discussed earlier in this post. As discussed in previous posts, in our modern society that other tribe have seriously altered their biochemistry and further accentuated the gulf between the sides, by the addition of many and varied chemical aides to forwarding their chosen “lifestyle” and “gender”. The chasm between grows ever wider … inexorably.

This Guerrilla War was and is a battle of “cold hard facts against the tyranny of emotion and feelings”, against what I now call “The Howler Jungle”, and by God, we could/can prove that we were/are right  and all those others were/are sniveling emoticons.

Guerrilla warfare is a form of irregular warfare in which a small group of combatants, such as paramilitary personnel, armed civilians, or irregulars; use military tactics including ambushes, sabotage, raids, petty warfare, hit-and-run tactics, and mobility to fight a larger and less-mobile traditional military. Organized Guerrilla groups are a type of violent (more or less) non-state actor, For example the FLQ in Quebec, and Bill Ayers and the Weathermen in the U.S. Ayers was never convicted for the murders of security guards and police carried out by his group and ended his career as an honored University Professor of Education at the University of Illinois at Chicago,  where he spent most of his high profile career sponsoring and promoting “Community Organizers” including one Barrack Husein Obama.

The real big change since the 1960’s is that the Left, and their “Community Organizers” have now become the State actor, and the old establishment supporters have now become the Guerrilla fighters, minus the violence for the most part, although both sides have had their share of violent crazies, such as the Uni-bomber and now The Christchurch massacre which atrocity NPR blamed on Trump and has somehow turned into an anti-Trump dialogue … sigh, that is hugely worse than the Howler Tribes blaming our Chinese crisis on EVIL Harper because he sold the Wheat Board to the Saudi’s.

Anyway, it turns out that regardless of whether we were and are right or wrong about anything this is really “Pride” talking, our own pride. There is just no “winning” this battle. It started with the Angels and has been going on here on earth since Lucifer was cast down.

In the meantime … what of “We” the discontented, those who are noticeably unhappy with the moral, ethical and economic status quo? Yes, what about us? Well, it seems that in reality there is no “us”. Some of “us” choose to dither, complain, wail and gnash their teeth, but never reach any conclusion. Some have been labeled “Merchants of Outrage” or some such “Straw-man” inanity by the Left Howlers, although that label does seem to apply objectively much more to the MSM and the Left but it’s all OK when they do it.  Others slip under the radar because we have no large and influential following … not a big enough target I guess.

“We” remain chronically dissatisfied and unhappy with whatever is fashionably top of the pond, the latest PC pond scum, curdled and agglomerating deviance and corruption, and spend our leisure time articulating our discontent and pointing out what is wrong with the current status quo, a kind of negative virtue signalling to re-enforce our imagined moral superiority.

Others mourn the loss of a humanity in the general, that probably never existed in the particular, and along with that Unicorn they mourn the loss of “everything” that made up “human civilization”, holding a perpetual wake for a “Prince on The White Horse” who never really existed. They have forgotten that funeral services are not for the benefit of the dead, That person(s) and their immortal soul are forever beyond our praise or condemnation.

Rather, a funeral service is for the living, who should know that before long they will follow the honored dead into a cold dark grave, and from that fact take motivation towards preparing for eternity. Railing against those who deny an afterlife, deny eternity, is an utter waste of the most precious gift we have been given by GOD, namely “Time”. We get a “do-over” every morning that we wake up, right up until we don’t wake up.

And in the end, it is all just Pride, Pride, Pride, an overweening sense of personal outrage and a serious attachment to the things of this world and the worship of self. I didn’t think this way even as recently as back in 2014 but the evolution of my thoughts over the intervening years has produced a heightened awareness of Pride as it applies to what I do, think, and say, every day. I still have outbursts, fairly regularly even, but I also regularly now regret and reconsider what I think and say and reevaluate it in the light of Pride and self love as a sin.

Back in 2001, when this particular journey started for me, I didn’t spend much time and energy thinking about death. Oh, I was certainly fully aware of death daily, having buried numerous friends and acquaintances since 71, and I had no doubt of, or fear of my own mortality, but it wasn’t an immediate sort of presence, a minute by minute worry in my thoughts. I couldn’t hear the clock ticking then like I can now.

Almost 20 years on I am much more aware, on a daily basis, of my own impending death. And that awareness has refocused my thoughts on what happens afterwards, on eternity, and am I ready for eternity and if not why not? This is not a “Why, Poor Me” sort of why. It’s a “why am I not ready” why? Why do I still sin without even giving it a moment’s thought? Why? It is that insidious loss of the sense of sin which renders us less aware of what is wrong with what we are engaged in.

“A Dhia Ghleigil” (Oh Glorious God) Noirin Ni Riain & The Monks of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, 1996

I will insert a short quote from  Daniel O’Connor’s “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta”  touching on the subject of “Why?” This is a massive book on the writings of the mystic Luisa Piccarreta, an Italian nun in the late 19th to early 20th century.

*****

Jesus Himself takes this teaching further, telling Luisa (Piccarreta):  “My daughter, in almost all of the events that occur, creatures keep repeating, over and over again: ‘And why? And why? And why? Why this illness? Why this interior state? Why this scourge?’ And many other why’s.

The explanation of ‘why’ is not written on earth, but in Heaven, and there everyone will read it. Do you know what ‘why’ is? It is egoism, which gives continuous food to love of self. Do you know where ‘why’ was created? In hell. Who was the first one that pronounced it? A demon.

The effects produced by the first ‘why’ were the loss of innocence in Eden Itself, the war of untamable passions, the ruin of many souls, the evils of life. The story of ‘why’ is long; it is enough to tell you that there is no evil in the world which does not carry the mark of ‘why’. ‘Why’ is destruction of divine wisdom in souls.

And do you know where ‘why’ will be buried? In hell, to make them restless for eternity, without ever giving them peace. The art of ‘why’ is to wage war against souls, without ever giving them respite.”

Obviously, by repudiating the “why,” Jesus is not condemning innocent inquiry into matters; He is, rather, insisting that we not ask the accusatory “why” every time something goes the way our self-wills did not want it to go.

We must, instead, understand that, as St. Alphonsus Liguori said, “it is certain and of faith that, whatever happens, happens by the Will of God.” It is that simple. If it happened, it was God’s Will. By lamenting what has happened, we lament God’s Will.

How are we supposed to submit to—much less live in—God’s Will if we lament that very thing? Instead, any complaining of any sort has no place in the life of any Christian, and must be repudiated by one who wishes to live in the Divine Will. But we must go farther than merely refuse to complain of crosses; we must love them.

O’Connor, Daniel. The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Luisa Piccarreta (p. 274).

*****

“Over The Hills And Far Away”,  Jon Boden,  from the album “A Folk Song a Day”, 2011. The song is  also the Theme from “Sharp’s Rifles” an historic series set in the Napoleonic Wars in Spain.

So about my problem of “Why”, it seems to me that often the “Why” is really in the context of “Why Me”! I believe that “Why” is because I have been too busy trying to grab the splinter out of my brother’s eye and not busy enough dealing with the plank in my own eye. That has got to change.

I know now, I UNDERSTAND that it is not my role to “save the world”, and even though I remain convinced of the correctness of my argument, my pride will not let me “let it go” and  acknowledge that the person or persons with which I have a difference is not really the enemy! We are not marching off to another foreign war to the sound of the drums and the pipes … we are not!.

They, those others, may or may not be a tool of the enemy but fixing that is not my responsibility, my responsibility is to spend all my effort on accepting and doing the will of GOD to the absolute best of my ability and if GOD wants me to fix something He will clearly let me know.

It may be true that “they” don’t really understand empirical reality or care about the others who occupy that reality and it may be true that “they” are willing to commit literally any atrocity from simple verbal abuse up to and including physical harm, even murder, if “they” are not granted their way. BUT IT IS NOT MY JOB AND NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY TO FIX THAT. The Lone Ranger has hung up his gun and mask and Tonto has gone back to the reserve. “Thy will be done Oh Lord, Thy will be done”.

The sin of pride creeps in when I am coming to conclusions about whole classes of people, conclusions that are way above my pay grade. Only GOD knows what lurks in the heart of man, but He knows it ALL, and he is a just and merciful GOD, and that judgement stuff is HIS job, not mine.

The sin of pride creeps in when I find it very hard to back down in the face of injustice (as I see it). My pride most desires to be esteemed, and approved of and understood. My pride most fears being despised, calumniated and ridiculed.

Words are indeed much more hurtful than sticks and stones, no matter what the old rhyme says, and psychologically I have always been a “Best defense is a good offense” kind of guy, it’s kind of my default. “If you hurt or threaten me or mine, I am coming after you and we will fix your breathing problem” … not much patience or charity in that mind-set.

In 2000, I was a background follower, a lurker, back in the beginning when Steven DenBeste was being routinely excoriated by all the usual outraged liberal progressive bloggers who did their level best to destroy him by mockery, innuendo, malice, lies, exaggeration, misdirection and misrepresentation but never once did they ever try to match facts and logic with facts and logic.

They just howled and threw shite. There were many times when the overwhelming emotion I felt was that it was impossible to deal reasonably with these “unprintable” individuals and it was time to “Bring The Rain”.

That critical judgement of his detractors involved my pride acting out on his behalf. DenBeste himself accepted all the vitriol as just part of the job of shining the light on hard facts. I eventually lent my support by email and we became distant acquaintances although we differed mightily on many things, number one being he was a confirmed Atheist and I was and am a confirmed Catholic.

Unlike exchanges with other Atheists, our discussions were always civilized, polite, respectful and thought provoking, even when we disagreed and he taught me a lot about Power Grids among other things, and he was a joy to exchange views with.

We shared the belief that Bulverism was anathema and unfortunately most public discourse had degraded into just that sort of exchange.

As DenBeste himself has written, “By the way, I don’t think that “Listen to yourself!! Do you realize what you just said???” is a useful response. I know full well what I wrote; it took me four hours to write it.

And I knew it was “politically incorrect” when I wrote it; I said so. If you think there’s a problem with this, tell me what it is. Respond on the merits. Deal with the issues I discuss.

If you don’t like my solution, propose another and explain why it’s better, in execution or result. If you think my identification of the problem is wrong, explain why.

But don’t bother trying to shame me into retracting it. Don’t bother delivering that here; addressee unknown. I don’t subscribe to postmodernist or transnational progressivist standards about what is right and wrong.”

Mike_Godwin_photographed_by_Voice_of_America_(Cambodia),_September_2017

Godwin’s Law states: “As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one.”

There is a tradition in many groups that, once this occurs, that thread is over, and whoever mentioned the Nazis has automatically lost whatever argument was in progress.

I was a big fan of Usenet back when I was in love with Unix and Linux. In my posts I have referred to Godwin’s Law as Bulverism in previous posts and it is not limited to the use of the term “Nazi” and any of it’s cognates.

BUT … None of this “He said – She said” emotional Howler behaviour leads to any kind of resolution.

Wow, I am really long winded. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off for now.

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, for they know not what they do.

Continued in Part Three …

Cheers

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, 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)

Glenstal Abbey House

I just finished reviewing the draft of this post and realized that “It is really fricken long!” just under 10000 words, so I am editing for tone and content and splitting it up into 2 or 3 or 5 posts. So what follows here is part One …

Today, I am trying to focus 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 talk about the “New Ice Age”,  “Global Warming”, “Evil Oil”, “Evil Carbon” “Epic Fails” of the International Environmentalism religion of Gaia, of which I don’t think very highly but I excuse my pride this time by appealing to my injured ankle and my “cranky” discomfort.

And now I am thinking about Death and Pride … and, lo, I find myself guilty as charged of the very crimes about which I bitch so much when I see others commit them. As I have said before, in this area I have my opinions to which I am very attached, but your mileage may vary, and you may well be right and I wrong, or perhaps we are all wrong because Truth is elsewhere. Neither will know for sure in this lifetime, only GOD, and He will judge us on Mercy, that is His mercy will be conditional on ours.

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 to “the narrative” on many popular “issues”  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 sunny Friday morning I prayed a litany of humility, a part of the  Friday morning prayers according to the “Auxilium Christianorum” a routine of daily prayers which I have on my iPad, very convenient that. The members of the Auxilium Christianorum try always to bear in mind the reality of our state as members of the Church living in this world. “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

Despite St. Paul’s teaching, many Catholics do not take seriously their obligation to wage war against the demonic forces. It is for this reason the Association of the Auxilium Christianorum was founded and for this reason I follow their practices as far as possible where I live – in my case daily Mass and Eucharist is impossible in this part of our diocese.

And afterwards, I have been thinking 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 seen as 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)

“Pajamadeen” … At The Crease, The Hockey Goalie. Ken Danby, Canada

And I know its not true that I am the only one, 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, guarding the goal, like I used to do when I was young and playing Hockey, writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment. We are not alone, and the cognitive dissonance grows and grows.

The Mujahadeen

This of course, was a play on “The Mujahadeen” which one more recent example of this crowd of Islamic terrorists was the group who destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11 killing thousands of American civilians in one strike.

Of course they weren’t Islamic, because “everyone” knows that Islam is “The Religion of Peace” according the MSM and the Global Warming loonies, all the while at the same time they deride and persecute Christianity for being “Patriarchal and Oppressive”… except for the few moments when they are busy playing “Je suis Charlie”.

The real reason for this schizophrenic behaviour is that it is really pretty safe to attack Christianity. No nuns with AK-47’s will show up at your office to fix your breathing problem.

This whole area of hate falls into the category of truth and fact covered by: “The MSM and the “all right thinking people” are always on the wrong side any story or meme”.

Courageous Freedom Fighters like Alex Baldwin and Sean Penn always seem to be on the nasty side of any issue as long as they can be the focus of attention. I remember Sean Penn’s famous “rescue mission” to New Orleans after Katrina … what a hero, eh?

Of course, when proven wrong in anything they move the goal posts and rewrite history to hide their duplicitous malice. “OOH … We are the NICE virtue signalers, we never do or say anything wrong, it’s all the fault of those low information knuckledraggers who disagree with us“.

Hollywood Rockstars

Most recent example … Alex Baldwin wants us all to boycott Georgia, because apparently he and his friends think killing babies is a “Good Thing”and pregnant women are just A-OK after their baby is traumatically cut up and ripped out of their body. Well of course they are right, they are highly qualified caring professionals so we should all just trust them, and drink the “outrage KoolAide”, right?

If we find ourselves questioning the trustworthiness of Hollywood stars as moral models for life with their 30 second sound bites, there are other sources of real facts who are not high paid virtue signalling narcissists, like Vicki Thorn to name just one. The problem with this is that the truth always requires more work than the social media MSM Rockstars would have you believe is needed. Do we want to do the work to find the truth, or do we just want to skip on to the next crisis with our thoughts already canned and carbonated for us by others.

Check out this video (1:29:42 long but WORTH IT!), and the MOST IMPORTANT PART is the direct response to the Hollywood stars, the narcissistic  boycott Georgia mob, the “punchline”,  and that starts at about 1:22:43, so if you are really rushed in your busy life just skip to that spot in the presentation, that little 5 minutes that could save your life… or the life of a good friend …

That said, back to the macro, the big picture … I suspect that Christian Believers are the only people in Western society, our modern “culture”, who have a clue about Islam and what “Faith” means. We worship the same God as Islam and the Jews. They don’t believe in the Divinity of Jesus, and the holiness of His mother Mary. Of course “Messianic Jews” do believe in the Divinity of Jesus, so it’s rather more complicated than that simple sentence.

I am sometimes tempted to consider the dictum “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Were I not already a committed Christian I suspect I would be tempted by Nazari Islam. The question of trust remains a stumbling block. Then again, there is the Prophecy of Fatima and of our Lady Maryam, the Mother of God, a prophecy that through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima the world of Islam will be united with the world of Catholicism and become the one religion of the one True God.

Imagine that … just for a moment … what a world that would be, no? What would the unbelieving secular progressive leadership of the west be able to do about 4 billion believers? Could the believers influence a change for the better? Interesting future I see – over 50% of the world’s population united against the godless bureaucracies of Mordor and the Antichrist. hmmm … We can always pray.

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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