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

Fulton Sheen quotes … the masses, and coat-tails again

I am thinking again of Albert J. Knock’s essay which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936 under the title “Isaiah’s Job”.

article found at:  http://mises.org/library/isaiahs-job

Again, I quote (since I could not do better) :

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Albert J. Knock

Albert J. Knock

As the word masses is commonly used, (especially today in the early 21st century) it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, laboring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority.

The mass man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses.

The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.”

*****

And Archbishop Fulton Sheen had some thoughts in a similar vein, seeing the masses and reality with a clarity I find refreshing. It’s not just me. This truly is “the Never ending Story”. Anyway, here are some quotes which are more understandable and more credible in light of Venerable Mary of Agreda’s “The Mystical City Of God” visions

So … quotes by Sheen – taken from various sources, including Facebook, and  http://motheofgod.com/threads/archbishop-fulton-sheen-1895-1979-prophetic-quotes.11156/

Archbishop Fulton Sheen and St. John Paul II, 1979

Archbishop Fulton Sheen and St. John Paul II, 1979

“It is characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of the people are unaware of the tragedy. Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives.

Men do not want to believe their own times are wicket, partly because they have no standard outside of themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated?

Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on, because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.” Fulton Sheen

Yes, man, created to be full of grace and faith and fallen so far. I found another site which seems to hold Fulton Sheen in as high opinion as do I. There are a collection of quotes in a post from August 2917 …

“I am amazed at how clear a vision Archbishop Sheen had of both his time and of the future. How would the Vatican view him if he were alive today? Here are a few selected quotes from “AZQUOTES.COM” for us to ponder:

Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.Fulton Sheen

And another 24 good ones are here.

Happy Good Sunday Morning.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

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The Inner Struggle

Another coat-tails post … rules for life

This is priceless!

I just started glancing through a new book and was so amused by the table of contents that I post it here entirely, for our edification and consideration of how Benedict’s instructions are so refreshingly different from those of our current crop of “thinkers” and “leaders”, our most popular talking heads

… A new 12 step program for our times direct to us from the “Dark Ages” … which appear to have been far more enlightened than we have been led to believe by our “betters” …

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SAINT BENEDICT’S LADDER OF HUMILITY

Step 1: Be afraid –  FEAR OF GOD. Always have the fear of God before your eyes (Ps 36:2) and avoid all thoughtlessness so that you are constantly mindful of everything God has commanded.

Step 2: Don’t be true to yourself – SELF-DENIAL. Do not be in love with your own will, but put into practice that word of the Lord which says: “I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me” (Jn 6:38).

Step 3: Don’t follow your dreams – OBEDIENCE. For the love of God, be obedient to those in authority over you, imitating the Lord, of whom the apostle says: He became “obedient unto death” (Phil 2:8).

Step 4: Suffer fools gladly – PERSEVERANCE. Be patient in suffering, even when you encounter difficulties and injustice, for Scripture says: “He who endures to the end will be saved” (Mt 10:22).

Step 5: Put your worst foot forward – REPENTANCE. Never hide any of the evil thoughts which arise in your heart or the evils you commit in secret. Instead, reveal them to someone you trust. For Scripture says: “Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him” (Ps 37:5).

Step 6: Be someone’s doormat – SERENITY. When ill treatment comes your way, try to accept it. Learn to be content with the lowliest and worst of everything, and in all that is demanded of you.

Step 7: Have a poor self-image – SELF-ABASEMENT. Believe in your heart that you are an unworthy servant of God, humbling yourself and saying with the Prophet: “I am a worm, and no man; scorned by men, and despised by the people” (Ps 22: 6).

Step 8: Think inside the box – PRUDENCE. Only do what is lawful, and follow the example of your elders.

Step 9: Don’t speak up – SILENCE. Only speak when you are spoken to, for Scripture says, “When words are many, transgression is not lacking” (Prov 10:19).

Step 10: Laughter is not the best medicine – DIGNITY. Do not be too quick to laugh, for it is written: “A fool raises his voice when he laughs” (Sir 21:20).

Step 11: Be unassertive – DISCRETION. If you must speak, do so gently, humbly, earnestly, and quietly, with few and sensible words; for it is written: “The wise man is known by the fewness of his words.”

Step 12: Keep your chin down – REVERENCE. Wherever you go, bow your head in prayer, remembering the words of the publican: “God, be merciful to me a sinner!” (Lk 18:13).

*****

Augustine Wetta,  Humility Rules: Saint Benedict’s Twelve-Step Guide to Genuine Self-Esteem. Ignatius Press. Kindle Edition.

Cheers

Joe

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The Inner Struggle

A Little more on Faith

“En Priere”, Bill Douglas, from the album “Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

“Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

“Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

In the previous post I remarked that “When I think about this (faith) I wonder that when we transcend the natural self centeredness of the human person, are we no longer just a human? Has God entered into our soul and rendered us “supernatural” in proportion to the vitality and strength of our faith?”

I noted that “St. Thomas Aquinas says “Faith is a habitual disposition of soul by which eternal life begins in us”. It is a “beginning of eternal life”.”

But, as mentioned, other thoughts arise. Have I changed in ways that mean I cannot worship God as well, because my self regard is actually stronger for that thought?

I do not believe that, but I look beyond my current view of things and wonder if this is dangerous. Am I just indulging in “being clever”? I think that any sentient entity is necessarily filled with contradictions. Another take on the faith question is that we are actually created to be faith filled as part and parcel of our human nature.

Rather than taking some consolation in feeling a little faith we perhaps should realize that we were created to be faith filled as fully developed humans … we were created to be filled with faith, and to lack faith in full measure is a sign that we are actually crippled humans, a sign that we are not fully human, not fully aware of our true nature, proto-humans, more like animals or creatures without souls, the less faith we have.

Rather than feeling “special” because we have found some small amount of faith we should understand that by faith we have moved a little way towards being “full” humans, not crippled travesties of what God designed, defrauded by the devil of our true nature and our true happiness.

And what is the unfortunate outcome of this historic fraud under which we cripples still labor?

The reality of a “faithless” life seems to be that we “the masses” (understanding myself, the “I” as a charter member of “the masses”) mostly wallow along in our immediate self-centric drama, dealing with all the unexpected natural fallout of making bad decisions.

And of course we are not responsible, are we? We spend huge effort blaming the unexpected outcomes on circumstances, or politicians, or evil “conspiracies”, or family, or our boss, or the media, or our landlord, or …. fill in your convenient A_ _hat of choice.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Alberta Premier Rachel Notley, Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016. BFF’s (Larry MacDougal/CP)

After all, any one who points out the reality of bad choices MUST be a rude and unlikable provocateur, which observation may well be exactly true, but their rudeness doesn’t change the truth or the reality.

I touched on the concept of the masses in a previous post a few years ago.  What I am referring to is not the popular media caricature  of the masses and the elite, the current religion of progressives everywhere, that the “masses” must be governed because they do not know how to look after themselves, its all “for their own good”.

No, I am in mind of the idea as written about by Albert J. Knock in his essay which first appeared in The Atlantic Monthly in 1936 under the title “Isaiah’s Job”.

article found at:  http://mises.org/library/isaiahs-job

I quote (since I could not do better) :

*****

Albert J. Knock

Albert J. Knock

As the word masses is commonly used, (especially today in the early 21st century) it suggests agglomerations of poor and underprivileged people, laboring people, proletarians, and it means nothing like that; it means simply the majority. The mass man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses. The line of differentiation between the masses and the Remnant is set invariably by quality, not by circumstance. The Remnant are those who by force of intellect are able to apprehend these principles, and by force of character are able, at least measurably, to cleave to them. The masses are those who are unable to do either.”

*****

Now, with this idea of the masses and the remnant in mind and given the proclivities of the modern progressive  “masses”, it comes as no surprise that we have arrived at the social conditions and dilemmas we now face, so much more true today and more obvious than when Knock wrote his article early in the last century.

Doug Ford

Doug Ford

For a current example, we can see the new Premier of Ontario, Mr. Ford, just starting his Augean attempt to roll back the perversions of the previous government in Ontario. this is just the tip of the iceberg of chaos we know as Canadian Society.

The moral, social, civil, political chaos we have brought upon ourselves is the direct result of the disastrous tenet of faithless “private interpretation,” and its ugly stepchild, “secular humanist progressivism,” namely, all good and all truth is relative.

This proven fraudulent creed of self worship blesses the spiritual and moral disorder produced by Protestantism, New Ageism, Agnosticism, Atheism, Masons, Scientologists, Progressives of every stripe, and all the rest of the faithless flock.

It blesses this disorder with the gooey mental salve of “one religion is as good as another,” and its equally absurd corollary, “It doesn’t matter what you believe, as long as you lead a good life.”

As Fr. Sarda y Salvany states in the original edition of his book written in the late 19th century, “Protestantism is now a dead dog.” (Page 74 of the book). Even more so now in 2018 we can clearly see 23 distinct and authentic manifestations of the Catholic Church comprising the Latin Church and the 22 Eastern Catholic Churches all in communion with an unbroken history from Christ himself.

Looking out from that 2000 year old core of belief we see from the 16th century on a huge scattering as each man who rejected “Truth” started his own personal version of “truth” and pursued his own dream of what constituted “faith”, while conveniently dropping any requirements for “humility” and “obedience” without which virtues any faith is impossible..

The current landscape of culture and morality is now littered with the wreckage of virtually all the original mainstream Protestant sects and at present we can count  902 new sects including over 200 non-trinitarian sects, all of whom claim to have the one truth, and which arise and vanish like the leaves of summer.

Can they each and all be the unique sole purveyors of truth and light? Where can one start to find faith in this sea of differences?

It does seem a stretch when considered in the bright light of day through the lens of history with the wreckage mounting all around us.

Please visit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Christian_denominations    for the latest count.

Defeated Ontario Premier Wynne

Defeated Ontario Premier Wynne

And yet secular humanist progressivism still beats the drum in Protestantism’s defense. The social upheaval of our times, brought on by these false ideas, now demands acknowledgement of the death-knell of secular humanist progressivism.

We can no longer live with this rapid accretion of “new freedoms” and abandonment of the old order. We must reject these myriad errors in order to survive as a civilization.

For secular humanist progressivism in a society is like termites in a wooden house. They live off the house while it is still basically sound, saying all the while, “What harm do we do? The house still stands!”

But we know that the house of our civilization is getting progressively weaker as the termites, the secular humanist progressives increase and thrive, and at some point, in the not-too-distant future, the entire structure is going to collapse!

Progressive Public Relations Officer at a Press Conference

Progressive Public Relations Officer at a Press Conference

IMAO we are now there! Here in 2018 we are witnessing the slow motion demise of our culture and civilization, the long drawn out pathetic whimper as the life blood of truth drains away.  The long train of history is slowly rolling over the cliff as the progressives argue about the color of the new seats in the dome car. Mordor is triumphant everywhere.

We need to begin the process of exterminating the secular humanist progressive vermin with large antidotes of real, logical truth, taken from the wellspring of all truth, the Divinely Revealed Religion—the Holy Roman Catholic and Apostolic Faith (Nicene Creed :  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nicene_Creed   .

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

Icon depicting the Emperor Constantine, accompanied by the bishops of the First Council of Nicaea (325), holding the Niceno–Constantinopolitan Creed of 381

No other medicine will do for what is otherwise a terminal case for all of us.

We are dieing of a terminal case of liberal leprosy, and the smiling face of the diseased elite try to re-assure us while the rotting corpse sloughs off the  dead and dieing remnants of the past.

We are at the point where action is imperative. For our personal, earthly safety is at stake not to mention the vastly more important matter of the salvation of our souls.

But we can only act rightly if we know the truth and act in accordance with it. Truth matters. Actions have consequences. Bad beliefs produce bad outcomes.

Or is this all something different, just the latest chapter of the Never Ending Story … ? Are we really at that point at all?

Are we really being asked to fix all this, or are we actually being asked to just learn, in humility, with faith, how not to behave, because in the long game this world really doesn’t matter.

Qid hoc ad aeternitatem, indeed.

Anyone with a service record (vets) will understand that this collapse has all happened often in the past.

Read history. Learn from the past. Reality does not permit relativism to function unless it flourishes under the protection of the Legions.

But the progressives hate the legions because the legions represent all that they are not, everything they can never be, and everything they fear, namely Faith, loyalty, competence, pride, selflessness, integrity, courage, discipline, sacrifice, humility and tradition.

And when the progressives finally drive the legions beyond the walls then the civilization falls – any civilization – even today. So far we are still here … but … progressives come and go in every time and place.

In the Never Ending Story the world will always need faith, honor, loyalty, courage, integrity, discipline, sacrifice, humility, … and God’s legionaries.

God just keeps on giving us chance after chance to learn to live according to his will … it is up to us to take up the eagles and make it so.

Cheers

Joe

Qid hoc ad aeternitatem, indeed.

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The Inner Struggle

The Never Ending Story … Faith

Hamachidori“, by Ryutaro Hirota, played by Tokyo Kosei Wind Orchestra & Kazumasa Watanabe, from the album “Konomichi―Favorite Japanese Melodies (Japanese Melody Series)” (2004)

The struggle between “The Good” and “the absence of good” is a battle of life or death, a never ending struggle since the first instant of time. This is how nations, corporations, the creatures and entities of this world fall, their self love is their fatal weakness.

Their soldiers don’t fight for them, they fight for themselves, as a mirror of their tribe or group, for their self, because of their own self love. They don’t believe in their leaders. When it comes to a battle of life or death, that lack of faith is fatal.

Without faith, it is impossible to please God, because faith is the foundation of all our relations with God. For the man, the creature, the entity without faith, God has no meaning, value, or place in their existence, their reality.

With faith, however, God can enter into a self-centered existence as the belief in something greater than the self makes room for the Other. The stronger the faith the more God can enter into our life and the more we are willing to accept the Other, and put the self away.

Ultimately, I am told that He becomes our All, the one great reality for which we live and the One for whom we are willing to suffer, and face sorrow and death. Faith does not depend on data or the perceptions of our senses, in fact it is focused on something outside of the passing realities of everyday life. Faith allows us to begin to perceive God and other creatures as He, and they really are.

And perceiving this, the desire to give glory to God as one’s creator gradually grows until life is really about making everything you do a devotion. A devotion is a prayer but more than a prayer.

A devotion is a service to God. A prayer is sometimes seen as a dialogue, a request made to God. Then when people do something extraordinary and devote that act to God, or proclaim that they do it to glorify God, they see that as something different than prayer.

But a devotion, in the way that a monk or any other religious would perform it, is to do every task of daily life as a meditation. To do even the tiniest task as if it is solely for the glory of the Creator and of all creation. Tending a garden, washing dishes, keeping livestock, writing, making music, creating art, fixing a car, taking out the garbage, listening patiently and with charity to others.

When I think about this I wonder that when we transcend the natural self centeredness of the human person, are we no longer just a human? Has God entered into our soul and rendered us “supernatural” in proportion to the vitality and strength of our faith? St. Thomas Aquinas says “Faith is a habitual disposition of soul by which eternal life begins in us”. It is a “beginning of eternal life”.

But other thoughts arise, have I changed in ways that mean I cannot worship God as well, because my self regard is actually stronger for that thought? I do not believe that, but I look beyond my current view of things and wonder if this is dangerous. Am I just indulging in “being clever”? I think that any sentient entity is necessarily filled with contradictions.

Since one essential element of faith seems to be the absence of evidence it seems normal to me that my intellect from time to time doubts what it cannot see and cannot understand. I think these doubts are temptations encouraged by the forces of “the absence of good” in a continuous struggle to separate me from the “Good”… “I do believe, Lord, help my unbelief; Increase my faith” Mk 9,23 – Lk 17,5

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

The Never Ending Story …

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

Aizu Castle

Aizu Castle

Why do we suffer? In the movies the hero usually wins in the end, albeit occasionally dying heroically for others, as in the movie “Armageddon”.

But it does seem that in the “real” world, outside of the story teller’s fantasies, it is usually the bad guys who seem to always end up on top.

Why does this seem to be the case? In this world, at least, no good deed goes unpunished. All the ruined castles of our dreams are stark testimony to this sad fact.

I have observed this and wondered about it for decades, once it became apparent that there were good guys and bad guys and good causes and bad causes outside my own narrow personal concerns.

In my teens I left the church of my birth and headed out into the wide world on my own. In my attachment to my own intelligence, my human imagination, my pride, I couldn’t conceive of a God who created the whole universe and everything in it, that still had time for a person called Joe, some lonely grain of sand on the beach of life.

The idea of being loved personally by God was “inconceivable”. I measured everything in human terms, my own yardstick. Now, at 66 years young, I find myself with a completely different point of view. I have seen enough and read enough, and thought enough to understand that although it “seems” that the bad guys always win, in fact this is a never ending story.

After the entire history of the world, the bad guys are still trying their best to overcome “good” in their own narrow interest, no matter how big it appears to be to those of us experiencing it personally in the here and now.

Still trying, never actually winning, no matter how loudly they brag, or threaten, no matter how often they declare victory, no matter how often they declare the case closed, the matter settled, that “all right thinking people” know the truth … they never actually win.

Just witness Child Justin’s recent embarrassments concerning splash-back about “groping” and pedophile friends getting arrested. Paraphrasing Jesus “virtue signalling is its own reward”.

Total victory always eludes the bad guys, and this story, through all of historical time, this entire struggle, is but a split second in eternity … The Angelic creatures, the Heavenly host, exist in God’s eternal now and their choices are instant for eternity and irrevocable.

But we, we mortals are truly blessed, mankind has been gifted by our Divine Father with a lifetime, an existence within time, a time for rousing, a time for choosing, a time for conversion, a time for repentance.

Someone famous and holy once remarked that “our entire life is but a single night in a bad hotel”. Another remarked “What does it matter in the light of eternity, “Quid hoc ad aeternitatem” in Latin.

Our default condition is love of self, this is our “natural state. And uniquely amongst all the created, we are gifted with intelligence, free will and time, time enough for change, for conversion, for repentance.

I am reading a book right now called:

THE MYSTICAL CITY OF GOD,  THE DIVINE HISTORY AND LIFE OF THE VIRGIN MOTHER OF GOD MANIFESTED TO MARY OF AGREDA FOR THE ENCOURAGEMENT OF MEN.

Translation from the Original Authorized Spanish Edition BY FR. GEORGE J. BLATTER under his nom de plume Fiscar Marison COMPLETE EDITION CONTAINING ALL FOUR VOLUMES WITH GENERAL INDEX AS WELL AS SPECIFIC TABLE OF CONTENTS FOR EACH VOLUME ILLUSTRATED

Edited by Paul A. Böer, Sr. VERITATIS SPLENDOR PUBLICATIONS et cognoscetis veritatem et veritas liberabit vos (Jn 8:32) MMXIII

I have a hard copy in 4 volumes and also an eBook on my Kindle. It was heavy going at the start but I have reached chapter 13 in volume 1 now and it is much easier. And it is very much to the point regarding why things are as they are in the world as we know it.

Mary of Jesus of Ágreda (Spanish: María de Jesús), OIC, also known as the Abbess of Ágreda (2 April 1602 – 24 May 1665), was a Franciscan abbess and spiritual writer, known especially for her extensive correspondence with King Philip IV of Spain and reports of her bilocation between Spain and its colonies in New Spain (now New Mexico and Texas). Also known as “The Blue Nun”, she was a noted mystic of her era.

She is an “Incorruptible” and her body is  on display at her Abbey in Agreda. The skeptics of this world have no rational or scientific explanation for the documented fact of multiple cases of “Incorruptibility”. The Communist Party of Russia (a few of the modern “Bad Guys”) tried to replicate it with the body of Lenin using modern embalming and makeup techniques.

Anyway, I would not have given her book a second glance at age 16, I knew everything already back then. But now it sings a True song.  I am going to quote at length from it, and also from St. Paul’s 2nd letter to the Corinthians, because I watched the new movie Paul, Apostle of Christ” a couple of days ago and was much impressed.

So if that sort of stuff is not your cup of tea then just give it a pass. When and if you are ready for it it will sing to you as well … here goes: from volume 1 pp 109 vs 112 thru 113

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

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Venerable Mary of Agreda, incorruptable

Venerable Mary of Agreda, In 1909 her casket was opened for the first time after her death in 1665. Her body was found to be completely incorrupt.

” … the eternal Father conferred with the other Persons of the blessed Trinity in regard to this petition. He also partly revealed to the holy angels the decree of this divine consistory, saying, in regard to the sacraments resolved upon: “Lucifer has raised the banner of pride and sin and will persecute with all his malice the whole human race.

With cunning he will pervert many men, availing himself of their own passions for their destruction.

In the blindness of sin and vice men will prevaricate, heedless of danger. But his lying pride, his sins and vices, are infinitely distant from our nature and wishes.

We will therefore bring out the triumph of virtue and sanctity; for this purpose the second Person will assume human nature; He will exalt and teach humility, obedience and all the virtues, and thus will secure the salvation of mortals.

Being true God He will become humble and submissive. He will be the Just Man, the Model and Teacher of all virtues. These alone shall be accredited before our tribunal and shall always triumph over vices.

We will raise up the lowly and humble the proud (Math. 11, 28) ; we will make labors and endurance praiseworthy in our sight; we resolve to help the afflicted and the sorrowful. Let them be corrected by afflictions and thereby advance in our grace and friendship and, according to their capabilities, reach salvation in the practice of virtue.

Blessed will be they that weep (Math. 5, 3), and happy the poor and those that suffer for justice sake and for Christ, their Chief; and the insignificant ones shall be magnified, the meek of heart exalted.

The peaceful shall be loved as our sons. Most dear shall those be to us, who forgive and suffer injuries and love their enemies. We will assign to them copious benedictions of our grace and an immortal glory in heaven.

Our Onlybegotten will put in practice these decrees, and those that follow Him shall be our chosen ones, our cherished ones; they shall be refreshed and rewarded by Us; their good works shall be engendered in our own mind, which is the first cause of all virtue.

We give permission to the bad ones to oppress the good, thus helping them to gain the crown, while for themselves they increase the punishment. Let there be scandals (Math. 18, 7) for the common good; unhappy be those that cause them, and blessed they that are proved by them. The vain and the proud will afflict and despise the humble; the great and the powerful will oppress the lowly and abject ones. They will give benediction instead of curses (I Cor. 4, 12).

While they are pilgrims, they shall be rejected by men, but afterwards they shall be ranked with the angelic spirits, our sons, and they will enjoy the seats and crowns, which the unfortunate and unhappy apostates have lost. The stubborn and the proud shall be condemned to eternal death, where they will recognize their foolish proceedings and their perverseness.

113. “In order that all may have a true model and superabundant grace, if they wish to use it, the Son will descend, capable of suffering and as a Redeemer, and He shall save men (whom Lucifer defrauded of their happy state); and He shall raise them up through his infinite merits.

We have resolved and determined upon the salvation of men, through a Redeemer and Teacher, who shall be able to propitiate and to teach, who shall be born and live poor, shall die despised, condemned by men to a most ignominious and frightful Death; who shall be esteemed a sinner and a criminal, and yet shall satisfy our justice for the guilt of sin.

On account of his foreseen merits We will show mercy and kindness. All will understand, that those who are humble and peaceful, those that practice virtue, that suffer and yet forgive, are the followers of Christ and our sons. Nobody will be capable of entering by his own free will into our kingdom, unless he denies himself, and, taking up his cross, follows his Chief and Master.”

*****

Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations. Veritatis Splendor Publications. volume 1 pp 109 vs 112 thru 113.

and

*****

The Mystical City Of God

The Mystical City Of God, by Venerable Mary of Agreda

” … As soon as Lucifer with his followers entered hell, they assembled in general council, which lasted to the morning of Thursday.

During this time Lucifer exerted all his astuteness and diabolical malice in conferring with the demons and concocting plans to offend God so much the more deeply, and to obtain revenge for the chastisement, to which he had been subjected.

They came to the conclusion and resolved that the greatest vengeance and injury against God would be to impede the effects of the love, which they knew God bore toward mankind.

This they hoped to attain by deceiving men, and persuading them, or even, as far as possible, compelling them to neglect the friendship of God, to be ungrateful toward Him, and to rebel against his will.

123. “This we must strive to do,” said Lucifer, “toward this end we must apply all our forces, all our solicitude and knowledge. We will subject the human creatures to our influence and will, in order to destroy them. We will persecute this race of men and will deprive them of the reward promised to them.

We will exert all our vigilance, to prevent them from arriving at the vision of God, which was denied us unjustly. I will gain great triumphs over them; I will destroy them all and subject them to my designs. I will sow new sects and errors, and set up laws contrary to those of the Most High in all things.

I will raise up from among men false prophets and leaders, who will spread these doctrines (Act 20, 30) and I will scatter this seed through them and afterwards I will assign to them a place in these profound torments. I will afflict the poor, oppress the afflicted, and persecute the timid.

I will sow discord, excite wars, and stir up nations against each other. I will raise up proud and haughty men to extend the dominion of sin and after they shall have executed my designs, I will bury them in this eternal fire, and in so much the greater torments, the more faithfully they followed me.

This is my kingdom and this is the reward which I will give to those who follow me.” 124. “I will wage fierce war against the incarnate Word, for although He is God, He is also man, and therefore of a lower nature than mine.

I will exalt my throne and my dignity above his; I will conquer Him and will humble Him by my power and astuteness. The Woman who is to be his Mother shall perish at my hands. What is one Woman against my power and greatness?

And you, ye demons, who were injured together with me, follow me and obey me in the pursuit of this vengeance, as you have followed me in disobedience I Pretend to love men, in order to destroy them; serve them, in order to ruin them and deceive them; help them, in order to pervert them and draw them into these my hellish regions.”

No human tongue can explain the malice and fury of this first council of Lucifer and his hosts against the human race, which although not yet in existence, was to be created. In it were concocted all the vices and sins of the world, thence proceeded lies, sects and errors; all iniquity had its origin in that chaos and in that abominable gathering, and all those that do evil are in the service of the prince of this assembly.”

Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations. Veritatis Splendor Publications. Volume 1 pp 117-119 vs 122 thru 124.

*****

 

And St. Paul has something similar to say:

*****

The Light of the Gospel

1Therefore, having this ministry by the mercy of God, we do not lose heart. 2But we have renounced disgraceful, underhanded ways.

We refuse to practiceth cunning or to tamper with God’s word, but by the open statement of the truth we would commend ourselves to everyone’s conscience in the sight of God.

3And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. 4In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.

5For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. 6For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

Treasure in Jars of Clay

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. 8We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; 9persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; 10always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies.

11For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. 12So death is at work in us, but life in you. 13Since we have the same spirit of faith according to what has been written, “I believed, and so I spoke,” we also believe, and so we also speak,

14knowing that he who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into his presence. 15For it is all for your sake, so that as grace extends to more and more people it may increase thanksgiving, to the glory of God.

16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. 17For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, 18as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.

*****

Paul’s 2nd Letter to the Corinthians, Chapter 4

I suppose that is pretty much enough inner struggle for now …

So, more cancer stuff to follow, as I make more progress in my new Cancer book.

Cheers

Joe

Pop Quiz! “Science”  Good Guys or Bad guys?

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Happy Independence Day! … More Wisdom …

Inner Thoughts”  Rodrigo Rodriguez, from the album “Inner Thoughts” (2006)

July 4th 1776

July 4th 1776 when the U.S. Declaration of Independence was signed, loyal Americans were of one mind, to protect life. Office for Emergency Management. Office of War Information war poster 1941–1945

I wrote this on July 4th,  Wednesday, but life intervened and I got busy with business related activities and am only getting back to this now, Friday morning.

My American cousins are celebrating Independence Day today. That happy coincidence that found them Midwestern farmers, south of the 49th when things firmed up border-wise, while my grandfather sold the farm and returned to his Nova Scotian home town and married his childhood sweetheart.

Those decisions, made for immediate personal reasons, flow on across the generations and affect the futures of entire families. Little do we realize how we change the future for generations yet unborn.

The United States Declaration of Independence was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and then edited by the Committee of Five, which consisted of Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Roger Sherman, and Robert Livingston.

It was then further edited and adopted by the Committee of the Whole of the Second Continental Congress on July 4, 1776.[2][3] The second paragraph of the first article in the Declaration of Independence contains the phrase “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.

Jefferson’s “original Rough draught” is on exhibit in the Library of Congress.[4] This version was used by Julian Boyd to create a transcript of Jefferson’s draft,[5] which reads:

We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …

The Committee of Five edited Jefferson’s draft. Their version survived further edits by the whole Congress intact, and reads:[6]

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ——

A number of possible sources or inspirations for Jefferson’s use of the phrase in the Declaration of Independence have been identified, although scholars debate the extent to which any one of them actually influenced Jefferson.

Jefferson declared himself an Epicurean during his lifetime: this is a philosophical doctrine that teaches the pursuit of happiness and proposes autarchy, which translates as self-rule, self-sufficiency or freedom. The greatest disagreement comes between those who suggest the phrase was drawn from John Locke and those who identify some other source

But, are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights … is powerful.  A powerful phrase indeed, rooted in natural law, and once upon a time considered an absolute Truth, before the Progressive Relativists outlawed all Truth and replaced it with fashionable consensus amongst “all right thinking people”.

A thought pops up in my fuzzy head, my “Neanderthal” head. Why are “modern” Protestant Bible translations copyrighted? How can one copyright the inspired word of God? Does this mean that in fact these “versions” are not the Word of God? Rambling thoughts on ownership of God’s Word…

1609 Doway (Douay-Rheims) Old Testament

1609 Doway (Douay-Rheims) Old Testament

Wisdom 7 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) Seems the primary English translation from the Latin Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible is not “copyrighted”. So lets look at more Wisdom:

*****

1 I myself also am a mortal man, like all others, and of the race of him, that was first made of the earth, and in the womb of my mother I was fashioned to be flesh.

2 In the time of ten months I was compacted in blood, of the seed of man, and the pleasure of sleep concurring.

3 And being born I drew in the common air, and fell upon the earth, that is made alike, and the first voice which I uttered was crying, as all others do.

4 I was nursed in swaddling clothes, and with great cares.

5 For none of the kings had any other beginning of birth.

6 For all men have one entrance into life, and the like going out.

7 Wherefore I wished, and understanding was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wisdom came upon me:

8 And I preferred her before kingdoms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison of her.

9 Neither did I compare unto her any precious stone: for all gold in comparison of her, is as a little sand, and silver in respect to her shall be counted as clay.

10 I loved her above health and beauty, and chose to have her instead of light: for her light cannot be put out.

11 Now all good things came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through her hands,

12 And I rejoiced in all these: for this wisdom went before me, and I knew not that she was the mother of them all.

13 Which I have learned without guile, and communicate without envy, and her riches I hide not.

14 For she is an infinite treasure to men! which they that use, become the friends of God, being commended for the gift of discipline.

15 And God hath given to me to speak as I would, and to conceive thoughts worthy of those things that are given me: because he is the guide of wisdom, and the director of the wise:

16 For in his hand are both we, and our words, and all wisdom, and the knowledge and skill of works.

17 For he hath given me the true knowledge of the things that are: to know the disposition of the whole world, and the virtues of the elements,

18 The beginning, and ending, and midst of the times, the alterations of their courses, and the changes of seasons,

19 The revolutions of the year, and the dispositions of the stars,

20 The natures of living creatures, and rage of wild beasts, the force of winds, and reasonings of men, the diversities of plants, and the virtues of roots,

21 And all such things as are hid and not foreseen, I have learned: for wisdom, which is the worker of all things, taught me.

22 For in her is the spirit of understanding: holy, one, manifold, subtile, eloquent, active, undefiled, sure, sweet, loving that which is good, quick, which nothing hindereth, beneficent,

23 Gentle, kind, steadfast, assured, secure, having all power, overseeing all things, and containing all spirits, intelligible, pure, subtile.

24 For wisdom is more active than all active things: and reacheth everywhere by reason of her purity.

25 For she is a vapour of the power of God, and a certain pure emanation of the glory of the almighty God: and therefore no defiled thing cometh into her.

26 For she is the brightness of eternal light, and the unspotted mirror of God’s majesty, and the image of his goodness.

27 And being but one, she can do all things: and remaining in herself the same, she reneweth all things, and through nations conveyeth herself into holy souls, she maketh the friends of God and prophets.

28 For God loveth none but him that dwelleth with wisdom.

29 For she is more beautiful than the sun, and above all the order of the stars: being compared with the light, she is found before it.

30 For after this cometh night, but no evil can overcome wisdom.

*****

So it seems that the Founders and Framers were more in tune with Douay-Rheims than our contemporary Progressive Liberals … endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights … would the Founders even recognize modern North American society, our culture of death? Why does our society flee from the light and deny all Truth?  Birds of a feather, and by their works …

Cheers

Joe

Land of the Free, and home of the Brave ... hmmmm.

Land of the Free, and home of the Brave … hmmmm.

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

The Sins of The Fathers …

The last couple of posts have been rather unpleasant, drawing attention as they do to some realities behind the curtain constructed around the northern Magus and his descendants.  The Sins of the Father or Sins of the Fathers derives from Biblical references (primarily in the books Exodus, Deuteronomy, and Numbers) to the sins (or iniquities) of one generation passing to another. The idea has been conveyed paraphrastically into popular culture.

While there are many references throughout recorded history to evil and misfortune passing down from generation to generation we in our times seem to be enjoying a singularly refreshing view where history has been re-written and now there is nothing but the great goods of “Progress”. All things of this world are plentiful and desirable and worship of self overwhelms all sensibilities.

We are rather like those adventurers of the late great 60’s, those adventurous souls of whom Timothy Leary was a leading light, an American psychologist and writer known for advocating the exploration of the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs.

Of course, it is an undeniable fact that both the drug high, and the ideological high, always and everywhere wears off, leaving disaster, misery and death in its wake.

Because of our cultural aversion to reality we no longer study history. History mitigates against the corruption of ideology and so cannot be tolerated in the halls of ideological fantasy where our polite society derives its social policies of death.

History is no longer studied nor has it been a popular subject for several generations now. We strive to forget the past, even the recent past, and steadfastly present an ideological fantasy as our reality for consumption and belief by “all right thinking people”.

But one of the best consolidations  of real history, of the corruption of man is found in the Christian Bible. Perhaps that is why the Christian Bible is so unpopular these days, when “all right thinking people” just know that “we are practically perfect in every way”. No need to look anywhere else than in the nearest mirror to find the idol we worship.

I know it is extremely unpopular in our enlightened times but lets just dip into one chapter of the book of Kings for a gloss of how history repeats itself in our current Canadian society: …The surest way to lose an audience these days is to “go Biblical” on them, right? But I really don’t care much about the masses, I am writing for the remnant, so …

2 Kings 21 Manasseh Succeeds Hezekiah  is a nice little story about an historical family, a dynasty if you will, a dynasty whose practices took their people in an unhappy direction.  And Mathew 7: 15-20 … about fruits, and do we see clearly or do we pretend that everything is just A – OK?

A Tree and Its Fruit

 15Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravenous wolves. 16“You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they? 17“So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18“A good tree cannot produce bad fruit, nor can a bad tree produce good fruit. 19Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20So then, you will know them by their fruits.

And what of the fruits of our current leadership cadre, our current collection of apparatchiks lead by the brilliant and fearless Justin? What of their fruits … poverty, sickness, misery, murder, all burnt offerings on the alter of their self worship.

They, these lockstep followers of the progressive creed, the worshipers of the idol of self, bring to our society what David Warren calls “that delicious spirit of malice; an overwhelmingly destructive attitude of mind; and deriving from that, a terrible, a purposeful blindness.”

They can no longer see what is right before their eyes. They makes no concession to realities. They are opportunistic political propagandists, for very dark causes. These apparatchiks; fifth columnists; enemies of civilization, enemies of every decent value, of every pure good, poisoning from within and killing the flower of civilization with the agent orange of their progressive, me first, creed.

But still, we have Mathew 5: 43-48

Love your Enemies

43“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ 44But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Road to Emmaus is everyone’s road –

On the Road to Emmaus

13Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven milesa from Jerusalem. 14They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16but they were kept from recognizing him.

… the troublesome secret is to see that Christ walking right alongside you … “めんどくさい (mendokusai)”

Cheers

Joe

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The Inner Struggle

Awareness of self love

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

As mentioned in my last post, are not all these special “problems”, my special problems, simply a manifestation of of my own  “Love of self”? Alternatively,  true “Love of others” is a way of accepting all these special “problems” if accepted with humility and meekness, without taking offense and building the castle of self love higher.

The little daily affronts and hurts offer an opportunity for refraining from claiming special victim status, and ceasing to worry about the fairness of life, and feeling sorry for myself. If I can accept each imagined hurt and slight and difficulty not as a personal attack, but as another “splinter of Christ’s cross” I might turn them into an occasion of grace rather than an occasion of sin.

Unfortunately, dawning awareness of my self love often seems to paralyze my trust and love of God. Pride jumps in and with the help and encouragement of my daily demons I repeat with Peter “Depart from me, O Lord, for I am a sinful man” (Lk 5, 8).

It seems at times that the dawning awareness of sinfulness gives rise to awareness of another layer of sin, always the self turning back into itself and its “specialness”, a sin within a sin within a sin, rather like those nesting dolls the Russians produce, the Matryoshka or Babushka dolls.

This seems especially frequent when going through dark periods of struggle, temptation and difficulty, all of which throw me into agitation and confusion. This state of mind interferes greatly with any outpouring of my heart, any attempt to submerge myself and my worries in God.

So we come to humility … again … and my obvious lack of true humility … I have written about this here, and here.

At the risk of seeming repetitive I re-post a litany of humility because it seems overwhelmingly important on this summer morning.

From Wikipedia, (obviously it must be true of it is on Wikipedia, right?)

As usual, anything, any article, that is outside the progressive secular mainstream comes with a neat disclaimer regarding veracity as in: “This article does not cite any sources. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed.

But it seems that at least so far, no one has cared enough about humility to make a point of having this article removed from the Wiki. So here it is then”

The following Litany of Humility is a Catholic prayer that the penitent be granted the virtue of humility.

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

This Litany is commonly attributed to Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val (1865-1930), Cardinal Secretary of State of the Holy See under Pope Saint Pius X, but there is little evidence of this.

C.S. Lewis attributed its composition to Cardinal Merry del Val in his March 1948 letter to Don Giovanni Calabria. Father Charles Belmonte, S.Th.D., a priest of the Opus Dei Prelature, who was inspired by the writings of the Cardinal, included it in a collection, the Handbook of Prayers (Studium Theologiae Foundation, Manila, 1986, and in a later edition, by Midwest Theological Forum, Chicago, US.) As editor, Belmonte wrote: “attributed to Card. Merry del Val”.

Subsequent copyists, jumping to conclusions, wrote simply: “by Card. Merry del Val”. (remember, attribution of motive reveals more about the attributer of motive than about those to whom he is attributing motives … just saying, this is one of those areas of sins within sins within sins …)

A “Litany to Obtain Holy Humility” was published in 1867 by “A R.C. Clergyman.” A version very similar to the version attributed to Cardinal Merry del Val was published in 1880, copyright 1879 and “translated from the French of the Fifth Edition.”

Clearly, the good Cardinal was simply using a lesser known, but already published prayer. The original author of the Litany of Humility seems to be lost to history, in the obscurity for which he prayed. SO SPEAKS THE ALMIGHTY WIKI!

Or it might be possible that great and holy minds think alike? 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 as to how you believe others will act.

Anyway, what is a litany?

A litany is a form of prayer with a repeated responsive petition, used in public liturgical services of the Catholic Church, and in private devotions of Her adherents.

O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, Make my heart like yours.
From self-will, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be understood, deliver me, O Lord.
From the desire to be visited, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being abandoned, deliver me, O Lord.
From the fear of being refused, deliver me, O Lord.
That others may be loved more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That, in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I go unnoticed,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I may become as holy as I should,
Lord, grant me the grace to desire it.
At being unknown and poor, Lord, I want to rejoice.
At being deprived of the natural perfections of body and mind,Lord, I want to rejoice.
When people do not think of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they assign to me the meanest tasks, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they do not even deign to make use of me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never ask my opinion, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they leave me at the lowest place, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they never compliment me, Lord, I want to rejoice.
When they blame me in season and out of season, Lord, I want to rejoice.
Blessed are those who suffer persecution for justice’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Attributed by many writers to: Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

Cheers

Joe

approach everything with patience, fraternal charity … and humility.

 

 

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Love of others … Love of self

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

The fundamental binary choice every human makes is to love the self or not, to love the other, or not. We ALL have to make that choice regardless of our desires and ambitions.

Unlike the Angelic creatures, the Heavenly host, who exist in God’s eternal now and whose choices are instantly for eternity and irrevocable, mankind has been gifted by our Divine Father with a lifetime, an existence within time, a time for rousing, a time for choosing.

Someone famous and holy once remarked that “our entire life is but a single night in a bad hotel”.  Another remarked “What does it matter in the light of eternity, “Quid hoc ad aeternitatem” in Latin. And yet, isn’t the love of self our “natural state? Don’t we love “our” problems.

The tiny “personalness” of them, the importance and urgency, the “zest” they give to us in our special unique existence. How are we doing today, considering the alternative, don’t the problems make us feel alive?

Isn’t it true that daily I happily wear my Inuit sunglasses to avoid having to look upon the blinding glare of eternity?

Don’t I actually love the never ending blizzard of bills I can never pay in total, the surly complaining wife, the angry dismissive daughter, the shabby apartment, perpetually under renovation of some sort or other, the old beater of a vehicle, 300,000 miles and still truckin’, likely, more and more, to be buried in it.

Don’t I cherish my shivering pains, cramps, swellings, aches and itches, numbness and tremors, the grim brooding of never to be paid off debts, the fears of the business failure in an economy destroyed by others, these favorite fears that role through my mind when I find myself awake and contemplative at 2:00 AM?

Most especially do I not relish the dark thread of fear that I might not have been a good dad, the feeling sometimes that maybe there was a better husband for my wife if only she had hung in the game a little longer.

And the one that haunts me every minute of the blessed week, month, year, the health and joy of my kid, and the fragility of her future. The “personal” special problems that prove I am still alive and kicking, that I still matter somehow to someone, sometimes. Don’t I love the self image of “soldiering on”, to “persist doggedly”, no matter what, “never give up, never give up”?

Are not all these “problems” simply a manifestation of “Love of self”? Alternatively,  “Love of others” is a way of accepting all these “problems” if accepted with humility and meekness, without taking offense and building the castle of self love higher, of refraining from claiming special victim status, and ceasing to worry about the fairness of life.

I am starting to realize that each life “time” is but a divine “wake-up call” from God’s switchboard. We each have an unavoidable and immensely important “meeting” to get to “in the New Dawn”, at the end of this single night in a bad hotel.

During that lifetime we humans each are shaken to our very depths, so that we may wake up to understanding the truth of ourselves. The primary condition for a fruitful and rewarding lifetime is renunciation of attachment, surrender of self, detachment from all the things of this world, this one night.

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.

The measure of every institution and organization is whether it threatens or enhances the life and dignity of the human person, made in God’s own image and likeness, the image and likeness of his Son, on Whom we were modeled.

Man must abandon all his self centered dreams, his conceit, his arrogance, all the pretense with which he hopes to deceive himself and others, his default narcissism. If he fails to do this, brutal reality will take hold of him and rouse him forcefully in a way full of both anxiety and suffering.

Life can be difficult for those who don’t fall in line and bow to the religion of the day, the generally accepted wisdom of their society, the Barabbas of the moment. It is always easier to go along with the crowd. To just get to the end, of the day, of the week, of the year … of the life?

This is even true when the crowd embarks upon an evil venture. As long as we can avoid being blamed, being held accountable, then its all just OK, right?

I was just following orders, I just pushed my wheelbarrow, I just handled the doors, I just scheduled the trains, I just shoveled the coal, I don’t make policy, I wasn’t at that meeting, there were no minutes, I don’t remember, I didn’t know …

Witness the results yesterday of the Irish referendum on the acceptability of infanticide as social policy. And of course, eventually, euthanasia, the natural next step everywhere else, especially here in Canada. And why not Ireland? Self or Other?

But we still have to go to that meeting,

I tell you the truth, when you were young, you were able to do as you liked; you dressed yourself and went wherever you wanted to go. But when you are old, you will stretch out your hands, and others will dress you and take you where you don’t want to go. (John 21:18)

And so we have to make that choice, self or other … Self or Other … ask not for whom the bell tolls.

Cheers

Joe

Self of Other …

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Prayer and Trust … letters for our times …

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

Glenstall Abbey House

Glenstall Abbey House

Today’s Gospel is about Christ’s prayer, from John 17: 13-26…

*****

13And now I come to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy filled in themselves.

14I have given them thy word, and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world; as I also am not of the world.

15I pray not that thou shouldst take them out of the world, but that thou shouldst keep them from evil. 16They are not of the world, as I also am not of the world.

17Sanctify them in truth. Thy word is truth. 18As thou hast sent me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.

19And for them do I sanctify myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

Prayer for all Believers

St. John, by Pieter Paul Rubens, Flemish, 1577-1640

St. John, by Pieter Paul Rubens, Flemish, 1577-1640

20And not for them only do I pray, but for them also who through their word shall believe in me; 21That they all may be one, as thou, Father, in me, and I in thee; that they also may be one in us; that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

22And the glory which thou hast given me, I have given to them; that they may be one, as we also are one: 23I in them, and thou in me; that they may be made perfect in one: and the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast also loved me.

24Father, I will that where I am, they also whom thou hast given me may be with me; that they may see my glory which thou hast given me, because thou hast loved me before the creation of the world.

25Just Father, the world hath not known thee; but I have known thee: and these have known that thou hast sent me. 26And I have made known thy name to them, and will make it known; that the love wherewith thou hast loved me, may be in them, and I in them.

*****

These days I am thinking about mortality, and sin, and the state of affairs in our current modern English society. Thinking of Christ’s prayer that all believers be one. Here is a little story from the Catholic side of my family. My line is Irish/French on my mother’s side and German/Swiss on my father’s side.

I guess you could say I am a “religious half breed”, Catholic and Methodist (United Church now, seems to be the universal catch-all for dieing denominations), which is why I see these religious things a little differently from those who come from a unified spiritual background and a single point of view with respect to religion, or, more commonly now, no spiritual background at all.

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

Nóirín Ní Riain

By Nóirín Ní Riain official website, Fair use, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php

On the East coast as a child on Sundays I would sing in church with my Catholic mother, and then an hour later sing in church with my Methodist (United Church)  grandmother. Everyone was just trying to save little Joe’s soul as best they knew. Now, as an old(er) man, I sing in church with my daughter who plays piano for our music ministry.

Anyway, here is a little story of my recent ancestors.

November 24, 1831.  “I the undersigned, having received the mutual consent of Michael Devanny, Son of Darby Devanny and Margaret Gillan, of the County of Sligo, Ireland, and Ann Magown, Daughter of James Magown and Bridget MacCown,  of the Same County, Married them in the presence of John Stewart, Patrick MacMullin and John Scollion. (signed by) J. Loughran P.P.”

Thus begins the story of my mother’s family in the new world. Before the first child was baptized the family name had been changed to DeVan, (from Belgium via the Channel Islands, as the family mythology goes, because of course “Irish need not apply”)  and they had three children baptized as DeVan before Michael’s untimely death 7 and a half years later.

The DeVan Family Bible states that Michael DeVan died 20th of May 1839 at Dartmouth from stepping on a rusty nail. St. Mary’s R.C. Registers (Halifax) Burials (1830-1842) No. 25, (PANS Reel 11506)

“I the undersigned buried Michael DeVan aged 34 years, husband of Ann McGowan, a Ship carpenter by trade and a native of Ireland. J Loughnan P.P.”

In a time when life was often short and even brutal, bigotry was more common, more overt than today, and more virulent, and literacy was not as widespread amongst the common man as our modern educational “establushment” claims we now are. Back then name spelling varied from day to day and person to person it seems.

Just an aside, I still can’t, for the life of me, understand why using Apple computers and iPhones and trinkets from the AppStore and having a Facebook account and 500 “friends”, counts as “literacy” but then again, perhaps I am just an ignorant throwback to an earlier day when party lines were the most common connection and the World Wide Web had yet to be born as ARPA net. Anyway, this post is about prayer, remember that Joe.

patrick_shamrock_0

Saint Patrick

In the early 1800’s literacy was not as widespread amongst the common man as claimed today but their prayers still survived. There were prayers still, in the time of Michael and Ann, powerful prayers, that had come down from ancient times and which are now lost to most modern sophisticated peoples, prayers abandoned along with the sacraments by we enlightened moderns.

As John wrote: “and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world;

Sometimes called “The Deer’s Cry”, this is one of those prayers, translated from Old Irish around 1898, to be read aloud as a morning prayer, attributed to St. Patrick (ca 433?)

St. Patrick’s Breastplate
(“I Arise Today”)

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through the belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness
Of the Creator of Creation.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ’s birth with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension,
Through the strength of his descent for the judgment of Doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim,
In obedience of angels,
In the service of archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of apostles,
In faith of confessors,
In innocence of holy virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun,
Radiance of moon,
Splendour of fire,
Speed of lightning,
Swiftness of wind,
Depth of sea,
Stability of earth,
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to save me
From snares of devils,
From temptations of vices,
From everyone who shall wish me ill,
Afar and anear,
Alone and in multitude.

I summon today all these powers between me and those evils,
Against every cruel merciless power that may oppose my body and soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of pagandom
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of witches and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that corrupts man’s body and soul.
Christ to shield me today
Against poison, against burning,
Against drowning, against wounding,
So that there may come to me abundance of reward.

Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the threeness,
Through confession of the oneness,
Of the Creator of Creation.

Domini est salus, Domini est salus, Christi est salus. Salus tua, Domine, sit semper nobiscum. (Salvation is of The Lord, salvation is of The Lord, salvation is of Christ. May thy salvation, Lord, be always with us.)

Good Morning and may you have a blessed and peaceful day …

Cheers

Joe

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The Inner Struggle

Confusion Fosters Doubt … unless we trust God’s plan

“Crux Fidelis”, Benedictines of Mary, Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent at Ephesus”, (2014)

Mary of Jesus of Ágreda (Spanish: María de Jesús), OIC, also known as the Abbess of Ágreda (2 April 1602 – 24 May 1665), was a Franciscan abbess and spiritual writer, known especially for her extensive correspondence with King Philip IV of Spain and reports of her bilocation between Spain and its colonies in New Spain (now New Mexico and Texas). She was a noted mystic of her era.

Venerable Mary of Agreda Incorrupt Body

Venerable Mary of Agreda, In 1909 her casket was opened for the first time after her death in 1665. Her body was found to be completely incorrupt

A member of the Order of the Immaculate Conception, also known as Conceptionists, Mary of Jesus wrote fourteen books, including a series of revelations about the life of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Her bilocation activity is said to have occurred between her cloistered monastery in rural Spain and the Jumano Indians of central New Mexico and West Texas, and inspired many Franciscan missionaries in the New World. In popular culture since the 17th century, she has been dubbed the Lady in Blue and the Blue Nun, after the color of her order’s habit.

I am currently reading Venerable Mary of Agreda’s “Mystical City of God”.  It is four volumes and possibly the biggest book on my Kindle. I have discovered, in Volume One, Chapter VI, an articulate recounting of a view of the perennial controversy amidst various schools of thought and theological points of view within The Roman Catholic Church and within Christendom at large.

The Second Vatican Council, Vatican II

The Second Vatican Council, Vatican II

It would appear that ever was it so, and even I myself in my own lifetime have seen the controversy and confusion arising out of the Ecumenical Council Vatican II at the end of the 60’s as a result of the agendas and narratives of various participants in the Council, including the infamous “Spirit of Vatican II” by which some parties, even those who did not participate, sought to append their own agendas onto the body of genuine theological work which the Council produced.

Pope Francis,

Pope Francis,

These days, and for the last several years under Pope Francis there seems to be a never ending stream of controversy emanating from Rome with respect to this or that fundamental doctrine of the Roman Catholic Church. The sides are drawn up, the Pope stands in the middle, and while saying nothing dogmatic one way or another seems to have adopted a position of “We neither confirm nor deny” whatever the latest controversial topic may be.

So, as controversy seems to be “status quo” for the Catholic Church for many centuries, I expect we should not judge, not take sides, but simply have Faith and Trust in the King’s plan about which we really don’t know anything – it is, after all, “Above our Pay Grade”. This situation appears, quoting from “The Mystical City of God” to have been the case for centuries, and hopefully this quote will shed some useful light on “The Plan” which we are expected and commanded to Trust:

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“74. “And in order that thou mayest better understand the answer to thy doubt, remember, that there is neither any succession of time in my decrees, nor any need of it for the perception and the execution of them. (ed. God exists outside time in the eternal now)

75. “The existence of different opinions regarding these sacraments and other mysteries in the Church, arises from the fact that I manifest and give light concerning one set of mysteries to some teachers, and illumine others concerning other mysteries; for mortals are not capable of receiving all the light. It is not expedient: that the knowledge of all things be given to one man, as long as men are viators (travelers or pilgrims in this world).

For also in the state of comprehensors (one who comprehends; one who has attained a full knowledge), they obtain them in parts and according to the state and the merits of each. … mortals receive it neither entirely, nor is it always given so clearly, as to assure them altogether. Therefore they must acquire it by means of study and the use of letters and science There are also many truths revealed in holy Scriptures and to some men light is given from above.

Yet, as I leave most men to work by their natural light, it must follow, that they understand these mysteries in different senses, and that there exist different explanations and different meanings regarding the different passages in Scripture; for each adheres to his opinion according to his understanding. Many have a good intention and the light and truth is essentially one, but it is made use of with diversity of judgment and inclinations, so that some adhere to these teachers, others to those and so the controversies arise among them.”

77. “Take notice also, my spouse, that very often I permit and cause differences of opinions among the doctors and teachers. Thus some of them maintain what is true and others, according to their natural disposition, defend what is doubtful. Others still again are permitted to say even what is not true, though not in open contradiction to the veiled truths of faith, which all must hold. Some also teach, what is possible according to their supposition.

By this varied light, truth is traced, and the mysteries of faith become more manifest. Doubt serves as a stimulus to the understanding for the investigation of truth. Therefore controversies of the teachers fulfill a proper and holy end.

They are also permitted in order, to make it known, that real science dwells in my Church more than in the combined study of all the holy and perfect teachers, and that she can make them wise above the wisdom of the worldly wise; that there is above them One, who is the Prompter of the wise (Wis. 7, 15), namely, Myself; who alone knows all and comprehends all; who weighs and measures, without ever being measured or comprehended (Wis. 9, 13); that men, although they may search my judgments and testimonies ever so much, cannot attain them, unless I give the intelligence and light (Job 32, 8), who am the beginning and the Author of all wisdom and science.

I desire that men, in acknowledging all this, give Me praise, exaltation, confession, supremity and glory forever.”

78. “I desire also that the holy doctors acquire for themselves much grace, light and glory by their earnest, laudable and sacred study, and that the truth be more and more clearly detected and purified, and be traced to its source, By humbly investigating the mysteries and the admirable works of my right hand, they come to be partakers of them and of the bread of the understanding, the holy Scriptures (Eccli. 15, 3).

I have especially shown my Providence in regard to doctors and teachers, although their opinions and doubts have been so diverse and for such different ends. Sometimes, for my greater glory and honor, sometimes for earthly purposes, they are permitted to dispute, and to contradict each other; and there is a great inequality in the manner in which they have proceeded and do proceed to show their emulation and earnestness.

But with all this I have directed, governed and enlightened them, giving them my protection in such a manner, that the truth may be investigated and clearly manifested. The light has spread out, so that many of my perfections and wonderful works have been made known, and the holy Scriptures have been interpreted according to high standards, which has been very pleasing to Me.

For this reason the fury of hell, with inconceivable envy (especially in these, our times), has raised its throne of iniquity, pretending to engulf the waters of the Jordan (Job 40, 18), and obscure the light of holy faith by heretical doctrines and seeking to sow its false seeds by the help of man (Matth. 13, 25).

But the rest of the Church and its truths are in most perfect order; the Catholics, although much involved and blind in other respects, hold nevertheless the truths of faith and its holy light without diminution. I call all men with fatherly love to share this happiness, yet few are the elect, who choose to respond to my call.”

79. “I also desire thee to understand, my spouse, how well my Providence disposes things in such a way, that the teachers, by the diversity of their opinions, and by their own diligent exertion and study, scrutinize more deeply my testimonies and thus lay bare the marrow of the holy Scriptures to wayfaring men.

But it would be very pleasing to Me and in harmony with my service, if learned persons would extinguish and do away with pride, envy and ambition after vain honors; also all the other passions and vices, which arise from them, together with the bad seeds, that are likely to be generated from that sort of occupation (Matth. 13, 25).

But I do not root out this bad seed at present, in order that the good may not be rooted out with the bad.”

Venerable Mary of Agreda. The Mystical City of God: Complete Edition Containing all Four Volumes with Illustrations (Volume One chapter VI, para 74 – 79). Veritatis Splendor Publications. Kindle Edition.

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So, something to think about, Trust, perhaps the most difficult of virtues in a singularly distrustful, self-reliant world which has come to worship “Self” above even God.

I think some of us have an unfair advantage. It is easier for those of us with a military background, after spending years sometimes, following orders without knowing the big picture, to accept that the “Plan” is above our pay grade and to Trust that the King knows what he is doing. Military personnel give up worshiping themselves or they simply don’t last.

It has been my experience that modern society, especially our academics, progressive bureaucrats and the “Brights” of our day look down from their tower of self, on we military, serving and vets,  as “stupid” and “brainwashed” because we, the dogs in the back yard, learned honor and integrity, and volunteered to “go in harms way” to serve and protect others, even when those others hate us for our service … hmmm … the long haired screamers still offend even in their old age.

But we know that we chose to let ourselves be brainwashed, if that is what it is. To willingly accept the breaking down of the childish self and the rebuilding of that individual self into a member of a team with a purpose greater than the sum of the parts. To accept the uniform code of military conduct without having to think about it, to make a habit of all the little sacrifices daily in order to advance unit integrity, effectiveness and putting the mission first. Service and sacrifice Ad Aeternitatum.

That is really the essence of self-sacrifice, even in the world at large. Just look at what any loving mother or father go through for their children, even when the children don’t recognize or understand the sacrifices. And look at the daily sacrifices involved in simply trusting God’s plan.

The Brights and their progressive societal hangers-on are more deeply brainwashed and simply can’t see their reality because it’s all dressed up in bright shiny cool stuff that folks hang on their “I love me” wall. Everything and everyone that doesn’t agree with their world view is simply branded as “stupid” and Bulverised into oblivion. We just know that we are right, isn’t that so Justin?

William Shakespeare

William Shakespeare

But “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophyHamlet, Act I Scene v.

And Trust in God’s plan is an important constituent in charity, that is Love in the Agape sense. That charity which accepts that the right things have to be done even though some will not thank you and will ridicule you even while accepting your protection and help. Trust in God’s plan lends patience and kindness even to trying situations.

4 Charity is patient, is kind: charity envieth not, dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; 5 Is not ambitious, seeketh not her own, is not provoked to anger, thinketh no evil; 6 Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth with the truth; 7 Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

8 Charity never falleth away: whether prophecies shall be made void, or tongues shall cease, or knowledge shall be destroyed. 9 For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10 But when that which is perfect is come, that which is in part shall be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child. But, when I became a man, I put away the things of a child. 12 We see now through a glass in a dark manner; but then face to face. Now I know in part; but then I shall know even as I am known. 13 And now there remain faith, hope, and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. (1 Cor. 13: 4-13)

Cheers

Joe

Quid Hoc Ad Aeternitatum

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