Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Common Sense … & Wisdom …

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

Revisited my post from the 6th of July   especially the last half which was a quote from the Book of Wisdom … Wisdom 7 Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA) Seems the primary English translation from the Latin Vulgate, the Douay-Rheims Catholic Bible is not “copyrighted”.

The Douay–Rheims Bible is a translation of the Bible from the Latin Vulgate into English made by members of the Catholic seminary English College, Douai, France. It is the foundation on which nearly all English Catholic versions are still based.

It was translated principally by Gregory Martin, an Oxford-trained scholar, working in the circle of English Catholic exiles on the Continent, under the sponsorship of William (later Cardinal) Allen.

The New Testament appeared at Rheims in 1582; the Old Testament at Douai in 1609. The translation, although competent, exhibited a taste for Latinisms that was not uncommon in English writing of the time but seemed excessive in the eyes of later generations. The New Testament influenced the Authorized Version.

Between 1749 and 1752, English bishop Richard Challoner substantially revised the translation with an aim to improve readability and comprehensibility. Bishop Challoner’s revised version is the one I use, published by TAN in the U.S. in 1989.

It was first published in America in 1790 by Mathew Carey of Philadelphia. Several American editions followed in the 19th and early 20th centuries; prominent among them the Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition Version.

Wisdom 7: 1-3

*****

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

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

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

*****

“I myself also am a mortal man, like all others”, I especially like this chapter of Wisdom. It speaks to the true commonality of mankind, rather than our stylish modern “Common Sense”.  Commonality transcends cultures and societies and goes to the root of what is truly human.

These days, I enjoy watching foreign shows on Netflix, especially since most haven’t succumbed to the Hollywood direction of the main characters hopping into bed with every creature they meet on the first date, a kind of smorgasbord of passion and animal lust, all lungs and sweaty thorax and four hours in makeup to look hot in bed. No more western TV for me, no joy there at all, just a reflection of a dead end quest for sensate immortality and distraction.

So, I watched a show last night in which one of the protagonists explained to a grieving friend how it all passes away … “All joy passes away with time, but so does sorrow and sadness” or something to that effect. I thought is was an apt comment about our times and the goals and choices held up to us by the world as “desirable” and “satisfying”.

St. Paul said: “We are fools for Christ.” … “we are weak, but you are strong; you are honourable, but we without honour. 11Even unto this hour we both hunger and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no fixed abode; 12And we labour, working with our own hands: we are reviled, and we bless; we are persecuted, and we suffer it. 13We are blasphemed, and we entreat; we are made as the refuse of this world, the offscouring of all even until now.” (1 Corinthians 4:10-13)

Venerable Fulton Sheen

Much of the rest of this post is drawn from my readings of Venerable Archbishop Fulton Sheen and Cardinal John Henry Newman. Specifically from:

John Henry Newman, Parochial and Plain Sermons, bk. 6, no. 7 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1977), 1241-45.

and

Fulton J. Sheen, Go to Heaven: A Spiritual Road Map to Eternity (p. 132). Ignatius Press.

Much is made these days of “Common Sense” as if somehow, “all right thinking persons” have common sense … hence, in our polite society, there is alleged a commonality of “common sense” amongst those “who think like me and agree with me”. This commonality permits me to virtue signal my esteem of others without ever taking my eyes off myself in the mirror.

Now, common sense never drove any man crazy, common sense supposedly defines “sanity”. But let’s think about this just a bit, this bald assumption about “common” sense.

Common sense never climbed mountains and certainly never cast a mountain into the sea in the biblical sense, common sense is not in any way about faith. Common sense is not violent and yet, violence is the commonest thing in our culture, in our society, and in our world.

Common sense never walked on the moon, or flew a plane or wrote a symphony, and common sense certainly never ran into a burning high rise to save lives.

Common sense never moves towards the sound of the guns, never makes a man willing to offer up his life, and yet it is in losing our life that we put into practice “greater love hath no man”.

Life sometimes can be saved by walking within an inch of death, facing the raging fire, standing firm against impossible odds, in jumping down a cliff, but common sense never makes those sort of jumps.

The soldier at times can cut his way out of his surrounding enemies, perhaps to save his comrades, or perhaps fall upon the grenade to save the rest, but he must have an uncommon carelessness about dying—and common sense does not permit that carelessness.

The Kingdom of heaven can sometimes be gained only by plucking out an eye—but common sense never plucked it out. Common sense is all about self, the “me first” knee jerk reaction.

Common sense makes a man die only for the sake of dying, for there is no choice about dieing, right? All that matters ultimately is dieing without pain, or loss of “dignity”.

It is not common sense, but love and a spirit of self sacrifice which makes a man choose to die for the sake of living—and it is the love of Jesus Christ crucified, which produces the wisdom of heaven at the cost of the foolishness of self sacrifice, of the abandonment of self, in the eyes of the world.

Al Pacino, Devil’s Advocate

Love makes men throw down their lives to take them up again, makes men sell fields for the pearl of great price, makes men treat the world as a trinket, laugh at death, and offer up everything for the one loved.

No matter the opinion of “common sense”, the opinion of the world, the Gospel of Christ is not a gospel of sorrow.

Our contemporary society’s view is that this life is made for pleasure and happiness. Any other view is ridiculed as foolishness. But to those who have actually experienced a few decades of this world, to those who have looked under the surface, it tells a very different tale.

Our doctrine of the Cross teaches the very same lesson which this world teaches to those who live long enough in it, who have much experience in it, who have lived it. Our doctrine of the Cross teaches this lesson more forcibly, but after all it is the very same lesson.

Even today, at this advanced age, some of my friends, when talking about other friends, not present, and often no longer in the world, will say “… and then he got religion”, as if this were like getting some illness. No doubt they say the same thing about me when I am not around. From my viewpoint this is simply the process of waking up … to a new dawn.

Someone famous once said: “The world is sweet to the lips, but bitter to the taste. It pleases us at first, but not at last. It looks gay on the outside, but evil and misery lie concealed within”. When a man has passed a certain number of years in it, he cries out with the Preacher, ‘Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.’

And if he doesn’t “get religion” … he will be forced to say: “All is vanity and vexation of spirit; all is disappointment; all is sorrow; all is pain”. Without the doctrine of the Cross we are invited to accept the culture of death, to escape our pain and disillusion, to accept evil with only a whimper and a sigh, as we stare, runny-eyed into the chasm of the banal..

The judgments of God upon our sins, upon our worship of the god of self, are concealed within the very fabric of the world itself, and eventually these force all men to grief whether they want it or not. The doctrine of the Cross merely anticipates for us the experience of the world. It is a “sneak preview” of the truth of eternity.

The doctrine of the Cross interferes with the common sense superficial view, and with finding a vain transitory joy in what we see and taste and feel, and experience. The doctrine of the Cross forbids our immediate enjoyment, but it grants enjoyment in truth and fullness afterwards. It only forbids us to begin with enjoyment. It only says, if you begin with pleasure you will end in pain.

Blessed John Henry Newman

The doctrine of the Cross bids us begin with the Cross, and in that Cross we shall at first find sorrow, but in a while peace and comfort will rise out of that sorrow.

That Cross leads us to conversion, to mourning, repentance, humiliation, prayer, fasting; we shall sorrow for our sins, we shall sorrow with Christ’s suffering; but all this sorrow will only be undergone in, and result in a happiness far greater than the enjoyment which the world gives—though careless worldly minds will not believe this because it defies common sense.

Careless worldly minds, minds obsessed with “common sense”, ridicule the notion of happiness through sorrow, because they never have tasted it, and consider it a mere matter of word play, semantic gymnastics. In a world of ideology, that truth which religious persons think decent and proper, and try to believe themselves, and to get others to believe, is to the common sense mind impossible, no right minded person really feels that truth.

But in order to truly enjoy this world one must begin with the world unseen, the supernatural world. We must first abstain from the world to truly enjoy the world. We must first fast in order to truly feast. Only those who have learned not to abuse the world are able to use the world. They alone inherit the world, who take it as only a shadow of the world to come, and who, for that world to come, relinquish this world.

“I myself also am a mortal man, like all others”. The “Common Sense” of self worship is a dead end. “No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend’s or of thine own were: any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bells tolls; it tolls for thee.” John Donne. from “Devotions Upon Emergent Occasions, and severall steps in my Sicknes“, written in 1624

Cheers

Joe

 Apollo 15 mission, 1971

Composite of photographs from the Apollo 15 mission, 1971

Common Sense?

Standard
Life in a small town

Trudeau … like father like son … Oh No! Canadian Politics … sigh

Canadian’s have very short memories. In fact Canadian’s seem to have a very short attention span and no memories at all. It is hard to believe that we voted for a baby Trudeau as opposed to senior Harper simply because “It is time for a change”, but that is exactly what Canadians did.

The Red Flag of Socialism pretending to be a Democracy.

The Red Flag of Socialism pretending to be a Democracy.

And in the short time since that event the change has completely destroyed the dollar, the economy, and what little  was left of the moral compass of Canadians.

We truly do get the government we deserve – statistically, at least, since it is hard to think that those few Canadians still working for a living actually deserve the world which has been dropped on their heads.

At the time of Harper’s last term we Canadians had the healthiest economy, the most robust banking system, a strong dollar and had come through the global recession in better shape economically than any of the G7 or even the G22. Canada was, at the time, rated by various review agencies as one of the most desirable places to live on the planet.

Liberal Party Rally in Ottawa?

Liberal Party Rally in Ottawa?

But, as ever, we can always count on the low information, emotional Liberal Canadian voter to snatch utter defeat from the jaws of certain victory. And of course, we should never forget that here in Canada, even the “Conservatives” are far to the left of the U.S. Democratic party – if that is even imaginable.

Most Canadians didn’t care because they were, by inclination and choice, mostly unaware of what was going on in the world outside the confines of Metropolitan Toronto and Ottawa as covered and spun by the Holy Canadian Broadcasting Company, the strong arm information ministry of the Liberal Party of Canada, the “Natural Ruling Party”. The Soviets had PRAVDA, Canada has the CBC.

Hard to imagine, but for many Canadians, budgeting means making sure you have enough money to go to Timmy’s today, and no one here ever heard of an economy, or if they did they certainly won’t admit it to their acquaintances over coffee where what is important is having a pleasant conversation with friends – facts are for a-holes.

And seriously folks, why would Canadians care what is actually going on anywhere when we are already, in the famous words of Mary Poppins: “Practically Perfect in Every Way”.

David Warren wrote yesterday  a poignant piece harking back to the Vietnam War, which addresses the media reality which I have observed every waking moment of my adult life – over 50 years now – that long, eh? Sometimes rather scary to still be alive to regard the swirling horizon as we are sucked ever further down the drain of eternity and the great darkness of much merited deserts beyond. Here is a short snipit of his article: …

*****

Birds of a feather … (FILES) This file photo taken in 1970 at an unknown location shows China’s chairman Mao Zedong (L) greeting top Khmer Rouge official Ieng Sary (R), also known as “brother number three”, while Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot (C) looks on. Former Khmer Rouge foreign minister Ieng Sary and his wife Ieng Thirith were arrested 12 November 2007, bringing to four the number of regime leaders now facing Cambodia’s UN-backed genocide court. A French-educated communist, Ieng Sary emerged as the public face of the secretive Khmer Rouge, while his wife became the murderous regime’s social affairs minister. RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE AFP PHOTO/FILES (Photo credit should read AFP/AFP/Getty Images)

(I made an exception for the photographers, who risked their skins in the field. Often they were surprisingly rightwing. This was because they’d had the opportunity to stare Communism in the face, and understood what the Americans were fighting.

Whereas the writers, romanticizing the Viet Cong (and also the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia), strayed seldom from the comforts of Saigon.)

Mr Davies knew all this. He told me several ear-curling stories, without mentioning his own correspondents. There were decent folk among journalists, to be sure, but the whole trade seemed to be falling into the hands of political operators.

This is what made the “Feer” (as it was known) so necessary. It was trying to get some things right; trying to explain why things were the way they were. This made it more informative than, say, Time magazine, or Newsweek — as much “fake news” then as today, though in those days a little more sophisticated.

Not journalism, only journalisme engagé — Mr Davies said this could be the future. Though light by disposition (the author of such amusing “Traveller’s Tales”), for a moment he was dark. He described a spirit of malice; an overwhelmingly destructive attitude of mind; and deriving from that, a terrible, a purposeful blindness.

The engaged journalist can no longer see what is right before his eyes. He makes no concession to realities. He is a political propagandist, for very dark causes. An apparatchik; a fifth columnist; an enemy of civilization, poisoning from within.

This is hyperbole, I thought. (For I was not quite twenty.) It can’t be that bad. Nor is it likely to get any worse.

But it was, and it did.”

*****

There are a few folks here in Canada, we few, we happy few, who make an effort to stay aware of the world outside our own BBQ pit, the local Tim Horton’s, and the tight circle at our daily coffee breaks. We few who don’t see the reflection of a narcissistic wanker every time we look in the mirror, or the daily worship pool of friendly conversation devoid of facts and reality.

Having said that, I strongly assert that I Love my fellow Canadians … unbelievable! Yes, I do, I Love my fellow Canadians. And a Facebook post I noticed yesterday concurred, “I love and am proud of my country, but not my Prime Minister”.

Prime Minister Trudeau and Chairman Mao

Prime Minister Trudeau and Chairman Mao, birds of a feather

Every squad, every platoon, every Company, every Battalion, every Ship, every Squadron, all are made up mostly of followers, so it ever has been and so it must be. What followers depend on for direction, knowledge, purpose and moral compass is the quality and strength of their leadership, their officers.

And, politically incorrect as it sounds, it is the responsibility of the leadership, these “officers” both military and civilian to lead their followers in the paths of righteousness, serving the good of the many in spite of their own interests, as Star Trek famously noted “The good of the Many outweighs the good of The One”.

And man, with his fallen nature is utterly incapable of determining what that “Good” is, unaided by some Higher Authority. When our betters start to believe that they are actually that higher authority, that they are god, or in military parlance “god actual”, it is a sure sign that the followers are doomed.

Trudeau, Castro and groupie...

Pierre Trudeau, Fidel Castro and groupie… birds of a feather

So how about a little history lesson, one which spans my entire life … not very long in historical terms but infinitely longer than most of the follower’s event horizons.

“Once upon a time … In 1940 a young Pierre, son of a wealthy Quebec gas station owner began his political activism supporting the Quebec wing of the Marxist movement.

Young Pierre Elliot Trudeau was a French-educated communist, very much like Ieng Sary, the “Foreign Minister” of the Cambodian Khmer Rouge at that time.

He later changed his allegiance, joining the Quebec wing of the Communist Party (operated and supported by the Soviet KGB). During this time he led a group of like minded Quebecers to a major international communist conference in Moscow.

When questioned by Peter Worthington (of old CBC fame) about his communist activities, he shrugged, suggested it was nothing, and claimed to have thrown a snowball at the statue of Stalin. Worthington pointed out that “Must have been difficult, as there wasn’t snow in Moscow all the time you were there”.

Mao, Bulganin, Stalin, Ulbricht, Tsedenbal

Mao, Bulganin, Stalin, Ulbricht, Tsedenbal … birds of a feather

Trudeau was blacklisted and denied entry to the U.S. based on his Communist activity. When he joined the CCF/NDP they actually believed he would be their candidate and were taken aback when he joined the Liberal Party, reassuring his left wing supporters “The Liberals are only a means to an end”. (useful idiots, as Stalin called them)

In 1965 he won election as a Liberal in the Town of Mount Royale. He was appointed Justice Minister in Pearson’s government (yes, Justice … from a communist, you may well ask?).

In 1968 he was elected PM and during the entire time he was PM, Canada was never privy to any highly classified western military intelligence.

Stalin's Red Star

Stalin’s Red Star

When he took office in 1968 our national debt was 18 Billion, largely a hold over from the war. 15 1/2 years later, the debt was 200 billion, interest at 25 – 28%, Canadians were losing their homes in record numbers, their businesses going bankrupt. I had family members lose their homes in this economic climate. I remember it well.

Wage and price controls had been enacted and enforced, the energy sector had been nationalized under Petrocan,(rather like Venezuela is now), and our taxes and surcharges were going through the roof.

Of course Canadians believed what their leaders were telling them that they were protected because everything was indexed to the double digit inflation rate and every year everyone got Cost Of Living Allowance added to their new pay rates.

What our national leaders slyly avoided drawing attention to was that the only thing not indexed was the income tax grid, so in the 50’s my father could support a family of five with a car and their own home on a wage less  than 10,000 dollars a year.

Trudeau's Red Maple Leaf

Trudeau’s Red Maple Leaf

By the time we were done with Trudeau the elder, a father needed over fifty thousand dollars a year and many families had to have both parents working by then just to survive. That was the biggest tax hike in Canadian history and no one even remarked on it, just blindly drinking the Koolaide from the CBC.

Trudeau declared on CBC his admiration for both China and Cuba and when asked about the millions who had died in their slave labor camps, like Stalin and Mao he stated, “Collateral damage is to be expected”. !!!

He was a pacifist, kicked out of officer’s training for behavior unbecoming an officer. This is the guy who raised this snowflake drama coach we currently call a PM.

The Truth About Trudeau”, is a great book by author Bob Plamondon. It’s well worth the read.

It is no coincidence, that stark resemblance between the Red Star emblem of Stalin and Mao and the Red Maple Leaf emblem of Pierre Elliot Trudeau. From any distance they are difficult to tell apart and Canadian vessels were often mis-reported as “Soviet” vessels because of the striking similarity in their emblems.

Trust me, I know what's best for you ...

Trust me, I know what’s best for you …

We desperately need amendments to our constitution. One is recall/impeachment… that would address the principle “tell them what they want to hear, once you’re elected you do what you want”, which was Pierre’s philosophy.

Sorry for the lengthy narrative, I just wish people would inform themselves of who they are voting for. We survived the father but it was day to day, he set us back economically at least 1 or 2 decades. Amazes me we have another Trudeau as PM.


FOOD FOR THOUGHT BEFORE YOU VOTE Again

plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose” An epigram by Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr in the January 1849 issue of his journal Les Guêpes (“The Wasps”). Literally “The more it changes, the more it’s the same thing.”

Contrary to popular Canadian opinion and socially acceptable public behaviour codes (political correctness) facts actually do matter, people’s true beliefs can be accurately assessed based on their known social associations, friends and acquaintances. Birds of a feather DO flock together and by their works we can and do know them.

Liberal laws, programs, and social policies have now claimed more lives than Hitler’s “Final Solution” and Pol Pot’s “Killing Fields” put together. Evil is still evil no matter what the hair-doo looks like or the talking heads at CBC might say. Evil is still evil, and we choose every day which side we stand on. This is the reality within which we live.

Not really much to cheer about when you actually think about it, eh?

Joe,

and still, and still, …

Archbishop Fulton Sheen

Archbishop Fulton Sheen

 

Standard