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”

I am indulging myself 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”.  Last night, on the way to peaceful slumber, I watched several episodes of a new series on Netflix … “The Umbrella Academy”.

So far it seems to be an OK story proposing 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.

Another possibly interesting note is that in the upper left corner of the Ethan Siegel graphic, above, he has some names of relevant scientists in Astrophysics, and the one I noticed is “Spitzer”. I link here to Father Robert J. Spitzer’s site and work.   And here is another link to a Google search about Fr. Spitzer.

So the appeal to authority here involves the claim that the Christian world view and the Christian concept of GOD is Truth. Part of this necessarily includes the belief that, while some other world views may 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 the domains of the other world views.

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 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 a social commentary about what is wrong about the folks screaming the loudest about what is wrong.  Spoiler: This might not be a popular post with some gentle-folk because I point a finger and shine a light, very non-PC, and indulge my pride that “I am not like some of those other men”, that I am one of the “good guys”.

But it is also about how making 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. 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”.

I now have no problem imagining being quite angry as I calmly press 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.

I imagine Col. Tibbets was pretty calm when he gave the command to drop the bomb which would soon wipe out tens of thousands of civilian non-combatants 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.

So I am trying to move away from the “angry” lens through which I have 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?

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, professionals, and business operators in western democracies, but in particular, whether the others like 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 difficulties in the political, manufacturing, and religious domains, America is also the most generous and the most patient people and nation on the planet. Remember, all you America haters, actions speak louder than words … look at what they do, not at what they say.

Look at yourselves in the mirror all you haters, and what do ya see? It ain’t beautiful I’ll tell ya. I have many relatives in the American Mid-west, 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, 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.

Anything resembling success in Canada is mostly due to our forced co-residency and trade with the most successful nation on the planet, and yelling anti-American slogans on your University  campus or in your Starbucks 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  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.

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.

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.

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

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 for now. 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”

 

 

 

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Three …

Continued from Part Two …

So on with part three of this article … Where were we going now?

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.

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.

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.  And it can go either way. Today’s First Reading from Ezekiel directly addresses this situation:

*****

“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 which you would give yourself” not to love everybody in a group hug kind of way.

We have to be more or less tolerant of world views which differ from our own unless those world views put the innocent in danger. 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 others, those others who are responsible for all the pain. That’s gold plated PRIDE screaming out its tantrum at not getting it’s way.

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

Wow, one more part to go …. 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”

 

 

 

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part Two …

Continued from part One

Someone once nicknamed us all “The Pajamadeen” because we sit at our keyboards late at night in our pajamas writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment. We are not alone, and that feeling of being part of something bigger feeds our passion. 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”..

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

For those of you who may have never heard of the Pajamadeeen, 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”, 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 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.

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.

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.

Many of us “disagree” with the currently popular attribution of blame and demands for “compensation” by all the usual suspects, rather than their acceptance of personal responsibility and making an effort to improve through hard work and self discipline

It 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 prove that we were right  and all those others were sniveling emoticons.  Well, it turns out that regardless of whether we were and are right or wrong about anything this is really “Pride” talking. 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 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. 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 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”.

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 reconsider what I think and say and reevaluate it in the light of pride 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.

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).

*****

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!

They 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.

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 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 have referred to this 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 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.

Continued in Part Three …

Cheers

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Back to Death … and Pride … Part One …

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

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

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

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

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

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

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

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

As I have said before, your mileage may vary.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

“Reaching for heaven”

 

 

 

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Wisdom and advice for our day …

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

Job, Naked Came I ….

Prayer and self indulgence, self love, do not go together. If we are to be generous, in both prayer and temporal works, we must put away all inordinate love for our body and ourself. We must put away all excessive preoccupation about our health, and we must put away all anxiety about food, clothing, rest and comfort.

Our body, and our self love have a common fault, that is the more we indulge it, the more it discovers to be essential to it, and if one discovers any reasonable object for indulgence, however unnecessary it might be, we are easily deceived and move the object of interest to the “needs” column of our personal life ledger.

These “objects of interest” might be something physical outside our self, like food or material possessions, or they might be something inside ourself connected to desires or fears. For example, a new pair of shoes, or a new shirt, or going out for a nice meal of sushi when I have lots of left over turkey and gravy in the fridge, ready and waiting to be eaten … I just want the sushi because I “feel like a change”. Or the other “needs”, like the “need” to share my low opinion of some sequence of actions playing out in the media and my equally low opinion of the perps.

The Ghost of Christmas Present — Want and Ignorance

In the moment of self love, of self indulgence it is very easy to slide any number of things from the wants column to the needs column, thereby justifying all sorts of bad behaviors. Our desires and fears play a large role in embracing behaviors and activities which may be less about God and others and all about ourselves.

Some examples of these are our desire of being esteemed, being loved, being extolled, being honored, being praised, being preferred to others, being consulted, being approved. Our fears include fear of being humiliated, being despised, of suffering rebukes, of being calumniated, being forgotten, being ridiculed, being wronged, being suspected.

I believe at this time that all of those fears and desires arise in our lack of trust in God and Jesus Christ. We don’t trust that God has our best interests at heart, that He loves us absolutely, and we turn to the world to make up for the imagined shortfall rooted in our self love.

I find myself doubtful at times. In spite of having made a commitment to follow Christ and having drunk from his redemptive hand I still have trouble trusting and thereby receiving all the goodness God offers me,  because I am always acutely aware of who I really am.

Because of that awareness of my sinfulness, and my failing to forgive myself (in my pride) I hesitate to commit fully, to abandon myself to Jesus. I continue to lose sight of the truth that the more we know our failings the more Jesus wants to give us.

Christianity, unlike any other worldview, accepts the fact of human sinfulness while providing a solution whereby God and man work together to recover, reclaim, restart and advance towards Divine Intimacy.

To move forward we have to accept God’s forgiveness in Reconciliation, and we HAVE TO FORGIVE ourselves sincerely and trust Jesus. The grace of forgiveness drives us not to more sin but to desire to be more like him and nearer to him. But the secular world’s  loudest mantra is “We Are Not Worthy” … and to become worthy the world tells us to accept the values of the world, to “join the team”.

To follow Christ in a world as secular as Western Society takes a special diligence and commitment to stay in the Scriptures and to find like-minded and deeply committed people in a community who can help one another stay focused and growing. We constantly have to overcome the more shallow lures of the world, that intentionally play on our fears and desires.

Nothing is static. WE cannot indulge in “coasting” or “drifting”. We are always moving toward or away from an intimate relationship with God; there is no standing still.

St. Thomas Aquinas

And I discover that there is a spiritual dimension to my thoughts which has no credibility in the secular world where the preoccupation is with justifying everything by the numbers and the guidelines relating to the non-existent “standard” human. 

“Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Trust in the Truth … no matter how things appear to us in this world … trust in the Truth.

Fortunately, as we grow older, the spiritual aspect of our lives becomes stronger, as Paul wrote, “So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison” (2 Corinthians 4:16-17).

The readings from yesterday’s and today’s Mass are particularly applicable to our life in modern secular society. They are taken from the book of Sirach (also known as Ecclesiasticus) and have been a part of Torah and the Bible since they were written in about 175 BC.

Sirach was written by the Jewish scribe Ben Sira of Jerusalem, on the inspiration of his father Joshua son of Sirach, sometimes called Jesus son of Sirach or Yeshua ben Eliezer ben Sira.

The Book of Sirach has been especially important to me in trying to understand our modern secular worldview, our culture and society as it has developed since the Reformation and the Enlightenment.

I am not going to get into the what, when, and why of the leadership of the Reformation removing the  Books of the Bible which the leaders and Reformers had problems with, disagreed with, or were unhappy with for some personal or public reason. The Roman Canon has been the trusted source as far as I am concerned since about 175BC (includes Old Testament).

The Rt Revd N T (Tom) Wright delivering the James Gregory Lecture, “Can a scientist believe in the resurrection”, St Andrews, Thursday 20 December 2007

All that “He said, She said” is well above my pay-grade and the quality of the scholarship which resulted in those decisions from 1721 is questionable at best … my gold standard for scholarship is N.T. Wright and his “Christian Origins and the Question of God series.

If a scholar can’t measure up to that level then he is no better than a Facebook guru and his work deserves the credit one would give to just such a post. What was good enough for the church fathers. is good enough for me.

Mathew, Mark, and Luke all recount: Christ Himself saying “AND he said to his disciples: It is impossible that scandals should not come: but woe to him through whom they come. 2It were better for him, that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should scandalize one of these little ones.

Aleppo Codex

The Wisdom of Solomon or Book of Wisdom is a Jewish work, written in Greek, composed in Alexandria (Egypt). Generally dated to the late first century BC,[1] the central theme of the work is “Wisdom” itself, appearing under two principal aspects.

In its relation to man, Wisdom is the perfection of knowledge of the righteous as a gift from God showing itself in action. In direct relation to God, Wisdom is with God from all eternity.[2]

The Book of Wisdom is one of the seven Sapiential or wisdom books included within the Septuagint, along with Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Songs (Song of Solomon), Job, and Sirach, and is included in the canon of Deuterocanonical books by the Roman Catholic Church and the anagignoskomena (Gr. ἀναγιγνωσκόμενα, meaning “those which are to be read”) of the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Maimesbury Bible

The Book of Wisdom, including Sirach, has formed part of the official Roman Canon since 382AD. It was listed as canonical by the Council of Rome (382 AD),[14] the Synod of Hippo (393),[15] the Council of Carthage (397) and the Council of Carthage (419),[16][17] the Council of Florence (in 1442)[18] and the Council of Trent (in 1546).[19]

So Sirach is in the Jewish Canon, the Roman Canon, and my Canon.  That a bunch of Northern European rebels rejected it in 1721 because it shone a light on the direction of their desires is of no account with me.  Sirach 1 is all about Wisdom and the importance of same as regards the views of the world. Sirach 2 is all about serving the Lord in justice and in fear:

*****

[1] Son, when thou comest to the service of God, stand in justice and in fear, and prepare thy soul for temptation. [2] Humble thy heart, and endure: incline thy ear, and receive the words of understanding: and make not haste in the time of clouds. [3] Wait on God with patience: join thyself to God, and endure, that thy life may be increased in the latter end. [4] Take all that shall be brought upon thee: and in thy sorrow endure, and in thy humiliation keep patience. [5] For gold and silver are tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the furnace of humiliation.

[6] Believe God, and he will recover thee: and direct thy way, and trust in him. Keep his fear, and grow old therein. [7] Ye that fear the Lord, wait for his mercy: and go not aside from him, lest ye fall. [8] Ye that fear the Lord, believe him: and your reward shall not be made void. [9] Ye that fear the Lord, hope in him: and mercy shall come to you for your delight. [10] Ye that fear the Lord, love him, and your hearts shall be enlightened.

[11] My children behold the generations of men: and know ye that no one hath hoped in the Lord, and hath been confounded. [12] For who hath continued in his commandment, and hath been forsaken? or who hath called upon him, and he despised him? [13] For God is compassionate and merciful, and will forgive sins in the day of tribulation: and he is a protector to all that seek him in truth.

*****

After this it goes on to the “Woe to’s” … but I will leave that up to you to visit if it interests you. My particular take on Sirach is that it perfectly explains the world which has has utterly rejected anything which might call into question the “truth of the world” and so utterly rejects even the existence of critical reviews embodied in works like Sirach. Satan always tries to shoot the messenger. Jesus I trust in You.

Cheers

Joe

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

The Light Of The World …

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

*****

The Light of the World ...

The Light of the World …

15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So because thou art lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spew thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, “I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing”; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked:

18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold refined by fire, that thou mayest become rich; and white garments, that thou mayest clothe thyself, and that the shame of thy nakedness be not made manifest; and eyesalve to anoint thine eyes, that thou mayest see.

19 As many as I love, I reprove and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. 21 He that overcometh, I will give to him to sit down with me in my throne, as I also overcame, and sat down with my Father in his throne. 22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith to the churchesRevelations 3:15-22

*****

I have indulged in a couple of rants, in the last few posts. These rants are the result of giving into temptation, indulging in old passions, backsliding into old habits of thought and judgement and are not evidence of progress but rather sure evidence of regress, back into old sins, the temptations to which we struggle with every day.

We Catholics have the great good fortune of repenting and going to Confession (Reconciliation), and doing penance, and of knowing with certainty that we are forgiven, and we get to rise up and start the trek again, the trek to Divine Union. We are humbled by recollecting and saying our current sins; seeking forgiveness; and receiving, celebrating and confirming our liberation from sin. This spiritual transaction of confession prompts God’s forgiveness as well as his cleansing from the very source of the desire to sin.

Every person who believes in Christ can experience this freedom (confession and forgiveness). But it is our choice; God will not force a relationship on us. There is a beautiful depiction of Jesus as the light of the world in a painting titled The Light of the World by William Holman Hunt, a pre-Raphaelite artist, at Keble College, Oxford, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral, London.

Christ is knocking at a door just before dawn with light emanating from his head and from a lantern he is carrying. He appears to have been there for some time; the door to this soul’s house is overgrown with ivy and thorns and is encircled by a bat. There is no handle on the door from the outside; the door has to be opened from within. He waits …

At our door there is a knocking, we hear it, and we have difficulty making ourselves get up to answer the door. The knocking continues for what seems like a long time and it never stops. it gets louder or quieter as we turn to and fro from this world to eternity and back again. It gets quieter when we indulge our love of self and sin in our judgements and anger.

Jesus Christ, AD 0-33

Eventually we have to get up and answer the door or die in our sin for all eternity. We, perhaps, finally get up and go to the door and looking out we see Jesus sitting on the steps outside the door. He had been there a long time and is surrounded with a number of unopened gifts he had brought us.

Many of us who have made a commitment to follow Christ and have drunk deeply from his redemptive hand have trouble receiving all the goodness of God because we always know who we still really are.

Who ya gonna serve?

(material in the previous five paragraphs is excerpted and paraphrased to my own situation and perceptions, from “Is Reality Secular?: Testing the Assumptions of Four Global Worldviews“, by Mary Poplin (Veritas Books) (pp. 241). InterVarsity Press.)

So, that’s where my head is right now, and I am going to restate some truths, some cultural truths, or precepts that are at least 4 millennia old in the Judeo-Christian tradition, namely my Worldview, which seems to make sense of all the events in our world. These are the basic Judeo-Christian precepts related to reality and the existence and operations of evil in the world that Jesus and the early Hebrews, prophets and so on, taught:

  • We are all living in a fallen world (nature and humanity are in a fallen state).
  • Evil began when Satan, originally an angel who was created by God for good, wanted to take God’s place (the very thing with which he tempted Eve—“you will be like God, knowing good and evil,” Genesis 3:5).
  • Satan is God’s enemy but not equal to God.
  • Satan took one-third of the angels with him in his rebellion. There are not two equal forces in the universe, but rather a King, and a rebel … this is a civil war, not a battle between equals. Where we find ourselves is living in that part of the universe controlled by the rebels and their followers.
  • We are involved in a spiritual war between good and evil—a war not for or against people but against the spiritual powers that humans choose to serve.
  • We are always serving one or the other—good or evil;  nothing is static and there is no neutral demilitarized zone.
  • Unable to affect God, Satan seeks to recruit and infect human beings, whom God loves, by using humankind for his rebellion.
  • Humans are made in God’s image and are special to God. The demons, the rebels, prowl throughout the world seeking the ruin of souls.
  • Though designed to be good, humans are given free will, which allows the possibility that human beings will choose to do evil.
  • The laws by which all creation was made prevail, both physical laws and human ones, and breaking them incurs consequences: “your sins have kept good from you” (Jeremiah 5:25).
  • Nature also groans and is affected by evil in part due to the sins of man.
  • There is far more good than evil in the world and far more chance that we will live today rather than die.
  • God works so that evil tends to destroy itself—falling into the pit it digs for others.
  • Evil is irrational. Evil “rationalizes” evil conduct in the interest of self love. In reality, it makes no more sense to be offended by Scriptural and Moral Truth than to be offended by gravity or the nuclear processes at work in the sun.
  • There are authorities (in heaven and on earth), and the moral condition of those authorities influences those under their authority.
  • There is an ultimate divine justice in eternity.

All of these precepts are covered in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, but are drawn from history and the Judeo-Christian Tradition. there is a Divine Plan and we are a part of it, wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.

Cheers

Joe

Fight against the Fire and do not give up hope …

 

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

Why are you troubled? … Managing Expectations …

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

We are not guilty, but we are indeed unworthy. I am thinking about the last couple of posts dealing with the reliability of established mainstream information authorities in the healthcare and research world. I find these discoveries of questionable integrity in the system disturbing because they call into question a model which I have believed and taken for granted most of my adult life and because, just when I need it the most, the model is crumbling in my hands as I turn to it for support in the aging process. I find myself asking “If this, then … what is truth”?

St Thomas Aquinas, 1225 - 1274

St Thomas Aquinas, 1225 – 1274

And I discover that there is a spiritual dimension to my thoughts which has no credibility in the secular world where the preoccupation is with justifying everything by the numbers and the guidelines relating to the non-existent “standard” human.  “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?” Trust in the Truth … no matter how things appear to us in this world … trust in the Truth.

“O my Jesus, supreme Goodness, I ask of you a heart so enraptured with You that nothing can distract it. I wish to become indifferent to everything that goes on in the world, and I want You alone, to love everything that refers to You, but You above everything else, O my God!” (St. Thomas).

Sins of the repertoire … I do not trust, … and the catechism tells me “He becomes guilty: – of rash judgment who, even tacitly, assumes as true, without sufficient foundation, the moral fault of a neighbor; – of detraction who, without objectively valid reason, discloses another’s faults and failings to persons who did not know them;”.

The individuals (that would be us) working within the system, the culture of the day, are not culpably guilty of the sins of the system, except perhaps in our willingness to delegate responsibility to our betters in the belief that they really do know better and have our best interests at heart.

So, judgement and detraction are greatly facilitated when love of self and of the self’s opinions are coupled with caring about and being attached to everything that goes on in the world. I know better, right? Therefore I judge these others as a homogeneous herd … and this is bad, bad, bad, my bad. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.

I guess I have to make clear the distinction between systemic information control and censorship of negative reporting, and the malice or culpability of all the myriad individuals enmeshed within that same system. I think the spiritual dimension is entered into through the secular materialist’s implied assurance of some form of eternal youth and health through the consumption and application of their recommended products and guidelines.

And “We The People” are, all of us, looking for that fountain of youth, that perpetuation of childhood joys where there are no clouds on the horizon and all things are possible including genuine relief from pain, discomfort and disease … in perpetuity? Seriously … we want the dream in perpetuity … and we are willing to turn a blind eye to anything that disturbs the tranquility of that dream.

Our expectations, at least at the subliminal level, exceed what is possible by a wide margin because in our inner soul we are still aware of eternity and the resurrection, still aware of a yearning, of a hole that wants filling.

As a result of that yearning, and having rejected “patriarchal authority” in favour of a dissolute life pursuing self gratification, our society has rejected the wisdom of the ages in favor of the fountain of youth implicitly offered by “Material Realism” and science divorced from spirituality.

This material state of affairs necessitates the suppression of dissenting views lest truth creep out and become visible. Unmanaged expectations are the fertile soil of our economy and our societal values.

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

Here Lies Low-Carb Joe ...

Here Lies Low-Carb Joe …

So, referring to the image on the “left” mocking the views and observations of those who do not share the mainstream health model as sacrosanct, who would rather eat the sacred cows than bow down in worship to their priesthood … we need to manage our expectations.

This might come as a surprise to some but reality is well explained by the truth that “Life is a fatal STD”.

There is no human, past present, and presumably future who can transcend mortality through the application of whatever happens to be the trendy fashionable healthcare models of any generation in history.

We have all been dieing of something for at least 100,000 years and are looking likely to continue dieing for the next 100,000 years regardless of the implied claims to the contrary of “modern medical science”.

But modern medical science, and all modern science for that matter, have so far proven utterly incapable of creating even the simplest of single cell life forms, because there is no life in it.

It seems rather obvious that absent the “source” of life we humans are incapable of creating anything from scratch, let alone life. Its like that old Spam commercial asking where the meat is and the reply that “It just isn’t in me”.

But are all the members of the homogeneous herd actually complicit in this scam writ large? Absolutely not. First the whole concept of the homogeneous herd is erroneous because we are all individuals, all outliers. There are no standard humans, not now, not ever, never.

And, reality is that most human beings (probably in the middle 90%’s) are good, harmless, more or less productive people by normal human standards, and they wouldn’t willfully harm a fly if left to their own devices. Everyone is just trying to get by to the best of their abilities in the world that they find themselves in, just desirous of pursuing life, liberty and happiness, in some order that makes sense to each individual.

Where society goes seriously off the rails is when human ambition, pride, and self worship diverges from the Manufacturer’s Instructions. And all us little folks still have to try to get by in the world in which we live. Our society and culture is all about delegating responsibility to higher and higher human authorities on the (perhaps) spurious assumption that their claims to wisdom are perhaps true, or at least truer than ours.

We are all called to something higher and transcendent, to that far green land beyond the grey rain curtain of the world … and we opt for mediocrity, and a handful of dollars, and a promise, and we never get to the beach, we die in the surf line. Because of FOMO we opt for death.

Cheers

Joe

“PIPPIN: I didn’t think it would end this way.

GANDALF: End? No, the journey doesn’t end here. Death is just another path, one that we all must take. The grey rain-curtain of this world rolls back, and all turns to silver glass, and then you see it.

PIPPIN: What? Gandalf? See what?

GANDALF: White shores, and beyond, a far green country under a swift sunrise.

PIPPIN: Well, that isn’t so bad.

GANDALF: No. No, it isn’t.”

 

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Progressive Liberal Virtue Signaling and Infanticide …

Progressive Liberal Virtue Signaling

Some ideas and observations transcend culture. It seems Japanese culture gets some things right, even if they are not generally Christian.

We have an image on left of Progressive Liberal media. As we witnessed here recently in the Covington affair, the media are poisonous. And even those within the local Church, at least in that diocese, are shepherds who jump to judgment and throw their lambs to the wolves of the morally bankrupt media in a display of virtue signaling and in fear of being politically incorrect.

The media, social and otherwise, go to great lengths to NOT report truth. The  MSM and their owners and handlers, supported and fed by our wonderful, wholesome social media with it’s horde of Howlers, will literally do anything and say anything as long as they can portray Christians, and especially Catholics, in a bad light.

And it is not limited only to Christians as targets, we watch them leap to judgement every day, on every front, they are truly equal opportunity haters. The contortions they go through to paint their enemies in a bad light defy reason.

Demoness and severed child’s head

On the right we see a Japanese print of a Demoness and a severed child’s head. O how many of those demons and demonesses, all unnoticed, walk our streets and labor away in our bureaucracies.

The murderers in our “health” systems, our elite political leadership and our corrupt bureaucracy, are in fact simply the living embodiment of the NICE evil of our polite contemporary society. Evil in action all around us every day destroying life at every turn and in every way.

O, Mary, conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to thee.

Cheers

Joe

Pentecost

Standard
The Inner Struggle

Fake News and Evil in Action … The “Knowledge” of Our Family

FLASH!!!   Stop The Press!!!! No … Wait! That’s them not us.  Do we even use presses in the media any more? Whatever …

We just witnessed in living color, the frothing insanity of the media in a recent, almost real-time example, of the pervasive malice of the Progressive Left and their media lap dancers, lap dogs … no  wait a minute, that’s just a vile insult to dancers and dogs. Lets just settle on “scum sucking bottom feeders” and fill in our own image of corrupt evil.

We are all bombarded with this sort of media coverage every day of anything that seems to support the Liberal narrative, with all their propaganda, outright lies, fake news, hatred, and pure evil in action. This particular item is the narrative and the edited coverage accorded the alleged confrontation between some Catholic youth attending the March For Life in Washington DC and an aboriginal man from Omaha.

The Left-wing Media (AKA the MSM) and their owners and handlers will literally do anything and say anything as long as they can portray Christians, and especially Catholics, in a bad light.

The actual story is starting to come out now with at least one reporting example of real journalism found at The Washington Examiner where new details about a viral video that showed an interaction between white teenagers wearing “Make America Great Again” hats and a Native American. These new details are leading many people on all sides of the issue to second-guess their first impression of the encounter …

The link is here: “Rush To Judgement …

Such malice in action is no surprise to anyone on the religious right … we have been suffering this sort of treatment by the established secular society in Canada and the U.S. for years now.  Meanwhile, another perspective on our modern lives sheds light on how this sort of media malice happens, and the fact that Truth may someday prevail, or not, it’s all in GOD’s hands and unfolds according to His plan …

The knowledge of GOD in which eternal life consists, as Jesus has said, is not the kind of knowledge which stops at the enlightenment of our intellects, but knowledge which stirs up our wills to love the GOD whom we know, and which regulates our whole life so that it is pleasing to Him. Consequently, when Jesus has brought us to the knowledge of the Father, He then teaches us what we must do to please Him: “Be ye therefore perfect as your  heavenly Father is perfect” (Mt 5, 48).

In this brief formula, the divine Teacher reveals two great truths: GOD is the model of sanctity, because He alone is the fullness of perfection, free from every shadow of fault or failing; secondly, GOD’s will in our regard is that we also be perfect, which we shall be according to the degree in which we try to imitate GOD’s perfection“. (Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy” Meditations on the interior life for every day of the liturgical year.pp 149).

And we are each and everyone of us, both the good and the evil, a dwelling place of the spirit of GOD, more or less, as we adhere to His precepts and strive to do His will. We are all on a journey either to heaven or to hell, even those who refuse to accept the Truth are willy-nilly on the same journey as those who believe.

The only difference is that non-believers (of any sort) have willingly given up any chance of picking their final destination when the ride comes to its inevitable end. We choose to believe or to not believe. GOD doesn’t punish anyone. We choose our destination.

“It is a serious thing, to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or another of those destinations”. (C.S. Lewis, in The Weight of Glory: pg. 15)

Cheers

Joe

The Church Militant

The Church Militant, Christ’s Church on earth …

Being an active member of Christ’s church on earth, that is, being a member of “The Church Militant“, is rather like waking up in the morning to discover that you are actually fighting on the Greek side at “The Battle of Thermopylae“.

Go, tell the Spartans, stranger passing by
That here, obedient to their laws, we lie.

Epitaph on the Cenotaph of Thermopylae, recorded by Herodotus. Or you can just make a quick visit to Michael Voris’s blog site.

Standard
The Inner Struggle

Morning Prayer …

I have posted at length here and here and here about the presence and work of “evil spirits” in the world, their likely origins and their goal in eternity. In the light of what I posted there I sought out the prayers used daily by Auxiliam Christianorum in dealing with oppression and the work of demons and fomenting spirits in our daily lives. Our family have been praying these prayers daily since October 26th when I posted this.

The apparent short term results of our prayer in our “N of 1” “clinical trial” of these prayers, prayed devoutly and with faith, is a significant decrease in the level of anxiety and depression, a dramatic decline in the number of fights and disagreements we find ourselves involved in, and previously unexperienced overall feeling of well-being in our daily family lives both within the home and outside our family in our daily working lives.

We will continue down this path.This works.

If anyone is interested I have included those prayers here in this post, as well as the fact that “there is an app for that” which works well on iPad and iPhone to make it even easier to do daily – only takes about ten minutes. peace of mind, absence of anxiety and absence of depression is a treasure beyond worth … if you have any interest at all it is worth trying out for a few months and is way easier and cheaper than drugs, alcohol and gym memberships. Here are the prayers:

*****

Introduction Handbook and Prayers for the Association of the Auxilium Christianorum

Introduction
The Church teaches us that it is divided into the Church Triumphant (which includes the members of the Church in heaven), the Church Suffering (this includes the members of the Church in purgatory) and the Church Militant (this refers to those members of the Church who are alive in this world).

Because we are part of the Church Militant, we are in a spiritual warfare and this spiritual warfare requires that we recognize, as St. Paul teaches us, “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).

The members of the Auxilium Christianorum should always bear in mind the reality of our state as members of the Church living in this world. 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 that the Association of the Auxilium Christianorum was founded.

The principal aims of this association are:
1. To provide prayers for those priests associated with the Auxilium Christianorum, so that their apostolate in driving out the demons is efficacious.
2. To provide prayers for the protection of the priests, members of the Association and their families and friends so that they are not adversely affected by the demonic.

Requirements of its Members
The requirements of the members of the Auxilium Christianorum are the following:

1. Prior to becoming a member of the Auxilium Christianorum, laymen are strongly exhorted to consult their spiritual director or confessor.

2. They are to seek to lead a habitual life of sanctifying grace, always desiring never to fall into the state of mortal sin and to avoid all intentional venial sin.

3. The members are continually to seek to increase and to perfect their life of prayer, which includes not only the vocal prayers which are required contained herein, but also a consistent life of meditation, which is very effective in driving out the demonic and avoiding demonic oppression.

4. To pray the Rosary daily. The intention of the Rosary may be for any intention and does not have to be offered for the aims of the Auxilium Christianorum.

5. The members are to fulfill the daily requirements of vocal prayers contained herein having as their intention the principal aims of this Association. The members are to make frequent use of the sacramentals known to ward off and drive out the demonic.

6. The members are to strive to keep the words of St. Paul in their hearts that since we fight against principalities and powers, i.e. against the demonic, they are to strive for meekness and humility in relation to their neighbor, never striking out in anger or vindication, but seeking to root out any demonic influence according to their state in life.

This involves using binding prayers according to authentic Catholic principles and to avoid any form of superstition, whether it is in the daily living of their lives or when they engage in the battle against the evil spirits.

This means that their use of the prayers contained herein or any prayer to drive out the demonic will always be subordinate to authentic Catholic principle and always be done with devotion and faith.

7. The members must strive to increase their devotion to Our Lady under the title of Virgo Potens (Virgin Most Powerful).

8. Each member must strive to increase his devotion to his Guardian Angel.

9. When it is financially possible, each member of the Auxilium Christianorum is to keep statues of Our Lady and St. Michael in his home, before which a votive candle is to be burned.

10. The members of the Association should be aware that none of these requirements binds under pain of sin.

With Ecclesiastical Approval.
Copyright © 2012 Auxilium Christianorum

Daily Prayers Offered for the Members of the Auxilium Christianorum
Prayers to be said every day:

V. Our help is in the name of the Lord.
R. Who made heaven and earth.
Most gracious Virgin Mary, thou who wouldst crush the head of the serpent, protect us from the vengeance of the evil one. We offer our prayers, supplications, sufferings and good works to thee so that thou may purify them, sanctify them and present them to thy Son as a perfect offering. May this offering be given so that the demons that influence or seek to influence the members of the Auxilium Christianorum do not know the source of their expulsion and blindness. Blind them so that they know not our good works. Blind them so that they know not on whom to take vengeance. Blind them so that they may receive the just sentence for their works. Cover us with the Precious Blood of thy Son so that we may enjoy the protection which flows from His Passion and Death. Amen.

Recite the following prayers:

St. Michael Prayer. Guardian Angel Prayer. Our Father. Hail Mary. Glory Be.

Litany of the Most Precious Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ
Lord have mercy.
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy.
Christ hear us.
Christ graciously hear us.
God the Father of Heaven, have mercy on us.
God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us.
God the Holy Spirit, have mercy on us.
Holy Trinity, One God, have mercy on us.
Blood of Christ, only-begotten Son of the Eternal Father, save us.
Blood of Christ, Incarnate Word of God, save us.
Blood of Christ, of the New and Eternal Testament, save us.
Blood of Christ, falling upon the earth in the Agony, save us.
Blood of Christ, shed profusely in the Scourging, save us.
Blood of Christ, flowing forth in the Crowning with Thorns, save us.
Blood of Christ, poured out on the Cross, save us.
Blood of Christ, price of our salvation, save us.
Blood of Christ, without which there is no forgiveness, save us.
Blood of Christ, Eucharistic drink and refreshment of souls, save us.
Blood of Christ, stream of mercy, save us.
Blood of Christ, victor over demons, save us.
Blood of Christ, courage of Martyrs, save us.
Blood of Christ, strength of Confessors, save us.
Blood of Christ, bringing forth Virgins, save us.
Blood of Christ, help of those in peril, save us.
Blood of Christ, relief of the burdened, save us.
Blood of Christ, solace in sorrow, save us.
Blood of Christ, hope of the penitent, save us.
Blood of Christ, consolation of the dying, save us.
Blood of Christ, peace and tenderness of hearts, save us.
Blood of Christ, pledge of eternal life, save us.
Blood of Christ, freeing souls from purgatory, save us.
Blood of Christ, most worthy of all glory and honor, save us.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, spare us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, graciously hear us, O Lord.
Lamb of God, Who takest away the sins of the world, have mercy on us.

V. Thou hast redeemed us with Thy Blood, O Lord.
R. And made of us a kingdom for our God.

Let us pray.
Almighty, and everlasting God, Who hast appointed Thine only-begotten Son to be the Redeemer of the world, and hast been pleased to be reconciled unto us by His Blood, grant us, we beseech Thee, so to venerate with solemn worship the price of our salvation, that the power thereof may here on earth keep us from all things hurtful, and the fruit of the same may gladden us for ever hereafter in heaven. Through the same Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

On Sundays:
O Glorious Queen of Heaven and Earth, Virgin Most Powerful, thou who hast the power to crush the head of the ancient serpent with thy heel, come and exercise this power flowing from the grace of thine Immaculate Conception. Shield us under the mantle of thy purity and love, draw us into the sweet abode of thy heart and annihilate and render impotent the forces bent on destroying us.

Come Most Sovereign Mistress of the Holy Angels and Mistress of the Most Holy Rosary, thou who from the very beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan. Send forth thy holy legions, we humbly beseech thee, that under thy command and by thy power they may pursue the evil spirits, counter them on every side, resist their bold attacks and drive them far from us, harming no one on the way, binding them to the foot of the Cross to be judged and sentenced by Jesus Christ Thy Son and to be disposed of by Him as He wills.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, come to our aid in this grave battle against the forces of darkness, repel the attacks of the devil and free the members of the Auxilium Christianorum, and those for whom the priests of the Auxilium Christianorum pray, from the strongholds of the enemy. St. Michael, summon the entire heavenly court to engage their forces in this fierce battle against the powers of hell. Come O Prince of Heaven with thy mighty sword and thrust into hell Satan and all the other evil spirits. O Guardian Angels, guide and protect us. Amen.

On Mondays:
In Thy name, Lord Jesus Christ, we pray that Thou cover us, our families, and all of our possessions with Thy love and Thy Most Precious Blood and surround us with Thy Heavenly Angels, Saints and the mantle of Our Blessed Mother. Amen.

On Tuesdays:
Lord Jesus Christ, we beg Thee for the grace to remain guarded beneath the protective mantle of Mary, surrounded by the holy briar from which was taken the Holy Crown of Thorns, and saturated with Thy Precious Blood in the power of the Holy Spirit, with our Guardian Angels, for the greater glory of the Father. Amen.

On Wednesdays:
In the Name of Jesus Christ, Our Lord and God, we ask Thee to render all spirits impotent, paralyzed and ineffective in attempting to take revenge against anyone of the members of the Auxilium Christianorum, our families, friends, communities, those who pray for us and their family members, or anyone associated with us and for whom the priests of the Auxilium Christianorum pray. We ask Thee to bind all evil spirits, all powers in the air, the water, the ground, the fire, under ground, or wherever they exercise their powers, any satanic forces in nature and any and all emissaries of the satanic headquarters. We ask Thee to bind by Thy Precious Blood all of the attributes, aspects and characteristics, interactions, communications and deceitful games of the evil spirits. We ask Thee to break any and all bonds, ties and attachments in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

On Thursdays:
My Lord, Thou art all powerful, Thou art God, Thou art our Father. We beg Thee through the intercession and help of the Archangels Sts. Michael, Raphael, and Gabriel for the deliverance of our brothers and sisters who are enslaved by the evil one. All Saints of Heaven, come to our aid.

From anxiety, sadness and obsessions – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From hatred, fornication, and envy – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From thoughts of jealousy, rage, and death – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every thought of suicide and abortion – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every form of sinful sexuality – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every division in our family, and every harmful friendship – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.
From every sort of spell, malefice, witchcraft, and every form of the occult – We implore Thee, deliver us, O Lord.

Thou who said, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you.” grant that, through the intercession of the Virgin Mary, we may be liberated from every demonic influence and enjoy Thy peace always. In the Name of Christ, our Lord. Amen.

On Fridays:
Litany of Humility
O Jesus, meek and humble of heart, hear me.
From the desire of being esteemed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being loved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being extolled, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being honored, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being praised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being preferred to others, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being consulted, deliver me, Jesus.
From the desire of being approved, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being humiliated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being despised, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of suffering rebukes, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being calumniated, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being forgotten, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being ridiculed, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being wronged, deliver me, Jesus.
From the fear of being suspected, deliver me, Jesus.
That others may be loved more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be esteemed more than I, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That in the opinion of the world, others may increase and I may decrease, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be chosen and I set aside, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be praised and I unnoticed, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may be preferred to me in everything, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.
That others may become holier than I, provided that I become as holy as I should, Jesus, grant me the grace to desire it.

On Saturdays:
O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we call upon Thy holy Name and humbly beseech Thy clemency, that, through the intercession of the ever immaculate Virgin, our Mother Mary, and of the glorious Archangel Saint Michael, thou wouldst vouchsafe to help us against Satan and all the other unclean spirits that are prowling about the world to the great peril of the human race and the loss of souls. Amen.

Conclusion for Every Day
August Queen of the Heavens, heavenly Sovereign of the Angels, Thou who from the beginning hast received from God the power and the mission to crush the head of Satan, we humbly beseech Thee to send thy holy legions, so that under Thy command and through Thy power, they may pursue the demons and combat them everywhere, suppress their boldness, and drive them back into the abyss. O good and tender Mother, Thou wilt always be our love and hope! O Divine Mother, send Thy Holy Angels to defend us and to drive far away from us the cruel enemy. Holy Angels and Archangels, defend us, guard us. Amen.

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus, have mercy on us.
Mary, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Virgin Most Powerful, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.
St. Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
All You Holy Angels, pray for us.

In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

*****

Cheers

Joe

Standard
The Inner Struggle

The Responsibility of “Carrying” …

Michi Haruka”, by Kobudo, from the album “Ototabi”  (2013)

As we go through life, if we are lucky, we never lose the, perhaps subconscious, sense of “carrying” our family name, the sense that everything we do or say reflects on our family, either for good or for bad. We carry, in our name, the honor and reputation of our family, and of our ancestors and their community. We carry their moral code and their social beliefs.

A snug harbor ... a maritime coastal town.

A snug harbor … a maritime coastal town.

I have a distinct memory of, as a child, and as a young teen, having been gratuitously accorded community gifts of respect, tolerance and unsolicited opportunities to be of service – little jobs and small responsibilities as the moment presented.

This was all a result of the familiar conduct within the community of my father, and my grandfather, and my great-grandfather, and their forefathers, all the way back to the mid 18th century, all of whom were known and respected in the community.

Along with these gratuitous gifts came the implicit expectation that I would behave myself in such a way as to “be a credit to my family”. I had an implied “responsibility” to express the truth of the value system of my ancestral community in my day to day behavior within that community.

When we young men (and some young ladies as well) “stepped off the reservation” the adults were not shy about taking corrective measures, even in the absence of our parents, because I was Robert’s kid, Bernhart’s grandson, Wilhelm’s family … and then we would get “straightened out” all over again when our parents eventually heard about how we had behaved.

With those gratuitous gifts of “membership” in our community came responsibilities … expectations that we would behave in a manner deserving of the gifts. There was no “free lunch”. As an older teen, a couple of years before I joined the NAVY, I learned that responsibilities went both ways, both up and down the community “chain of command”. We discovered that as a result of a misadventure involving “messing about in boats”, a normal summer activity of young people in any coastal town.

In a popular story, Mole and Rat are rowing up the river in Rat’s boat. They are discussing nautical things and life in general when Rat is heard to utter, “Believe me, my young friend, there is nothing — absolutely nothing — half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats”. (The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame: Ch. 1: The River Bank)

east coast small craft

Anyway, we, a mixed group of young people, headed out in a couple of small boats for an afternoon “expedition” of swimming and fishing and a picnic or shore lunch if we caught anything.

But we navigators failed to accurately gauge the state of the tide and in taking a “shortcut” which would have been perfectly safe an hour earlier we managed to clip some rocks and snapped a sheer-pin and disabled 1 of the small boats. We were definitely off the well traveled lanes and not likely to be found by accident.

Now, some things never change, and no red-blooded young man willingly asks for help in front of young ladies he is seeking to impress. Instead of sending the other boat with the good prop back to town for help we instead decided to haul out and camp while we repaired the engine ourselves.

This was well before the days of cell phones and such and we completely forgot about the fact that our failure to return on time more or less, would create rather a stir.

When we finally made it back, several hours later, in pitch darkness, on a flood tide, we discovered that all the local lobster boats and small craft and half the town had turned out to search for us through every nook and inlet up and down the shore. While everyone was overjoyed to find us all OK there were also serious “grounding” repercussions for our failure to keep everyone informed about what we were involved in.

lobster boats

Their (adult) responsibility was to look after us and search for us when we didn’t show up and they went all out. Our responsibility was to make sure we kept our folks aware of what was going on and we really blew it that time. Privileges and responsibilities tie families and generations together in a web of caring, a web of values.

Those beliefs and that code are our “tribal values” if you will. If we are lucky, as we grow up and join larger groups than our immediate tribe, we discover that those larger groups have the same values as our tribe. Not a coincidence, these shared beliefs, that similarity, that “familiarity”, is probably what attracted us to that group in the first place. Joining that larger group seamlessly expands the boundaries of what we now feel is “our family”, our “tribe”.

So, what’s the point of this? Well, our tribe turns out to be very large. I won’t go into the whole human race part of things, but I want to talk about carrying the name of “Christian”. We are part of the family of Christ. We are Christians and we carry GOD’s name. And we have a comprehensive set of “family values”, our community values, inherent in being part of over 2000 years of Christian family. And we have a command and a responsibility to not carry GOD’s name in vain.

When we carry GOD’s name in keeping with the Manufacturer’s Instructions, we bring honor and glory to our family. The body of Christ, and the meta-values of the Christian community form a basket of safety within which we are free to live our lives as a credit to our family. We respect a set of spiritual fences within which the sheep of His flock are safe.

Not behaving according to Christian values is sinful, and harmful to ourselves and to others, it is evil, the absence of GOD. 

But the absolute worst sin is doing evil in GOD’s name, whether it is murder and torture in the name of holy war, or abuse and exploitation of others as part of our position in the community, or teaching bad doctrine to “little ones” or accepting moral relativism in giving evil a pass because it is not “tolerant” to criticize bad behavior.

Evil is evil is evil, and pretending that it is not while carrying the name of GOD is the most heinous sin. Thou shalt not carry the Lord’s Name in vain.

I believe that Satan’s greatest tool is that he always makes sin look good, he makes it look attractive. That is how he sells the biggest lie, the biggest lie is that we can do without the sacred. The deadly lie is that we think we can find our fulfillment and our happiness in our own pleasure and gratification.

That “Pleasure as the way of ultimate fulfillment is the ultimate lie” is obvious after only a little thought. Humans always crave change, we are wired to notice change, not stasis, and for pleasure to be good we must always crave more, not less pleasure.

In seeking only pleasure without boundaries we necessarily fall into self worship, and ultimately, as we grow older, it leads to tremendous weariness of pleasure – and then despair as we look at our future without pleasure, without our neighbor, and without the sacred … our future alone.

One of our traditional tribal meta-values is to love the other as ourself. That is the exact opposite of finding our end in seeking pleasure. As soon as we love “the other” as ourself we have to accept boundaries as necessary to the realization of “do onto others as you would have done unto ourself”, another traditional tribal meta-value. If we love GOD, the creator of all, then we must see in the face of the other the face of GOD.

We are all “the other”, and GOD our Creator loves us all infinitely. We cannot love GOD with our whole heart and our whole mind and our whole will and our whole soul if we still love ourselves above others. As children of GOD we are necessarily required to emulate GOD’s values, that is “love for all” and to see our brothers and sisters as our Father sees them. We are all, each of us, a Shekhinah.

The Shekhina(h) (Biblical Hebrew: שכינה‎ šekīnah; also Romanized Shekina(h), Schechina(h), Shechina(h)) is the English transliteration of a Hebrew word meaning “dwelling” or “settling” and denotes the dwelling or settling of the divine presence of God. And we are each and everyone of us a dwelling place of the spirit of GOD, more or less, as we adhere to His precepts and strive to do His will.

Without the Sacred there is quite literally only death, sooner or later, for every human being, for all eternity.

So read the signs … they are not complex … its not “rocket science”. The signs were as clear for the 1st century Palestinian peasant as they are for us today if only we will look and listen.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

 

Standard