Life in a small town

The Real Presence, the Resurrection & the Trinity … Part 1, the Trinity

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

*****

The Light of The World …

14“To the angel of the church in Laodicea write:
The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

15 ‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 ‘So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth. 17 ‘Because you say, “I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing,” and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked,

18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 ‘Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; therefore be zealous and repent.

20 ‘Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him, and he with Me. 21 ‘He who overcomes, I will grant to him to sit down with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.

22 ‘He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.’” (Rev 3:14-22)

*****

G’day all … lots of things to think about these days. Every now and then my friend in Toronto the “Good”, as it is known in the “minds” of gentle Canadian Progressives, hits one out of the park … he articulately and accurately encapsulates an observation to which I mentally cheer “Hear! Hear!”.

Today, David posts: The “smart” economy” in which he turns his scalpel on the reality of post secondary “education” in our “Smart” economy and “Smart Society” at large. A taste of this follows:

Graduation 2019 …

” … Some sense of the current world can be had if we consider college education as a fiat currency. The graduating student receives, in addition to a mountain of debt for him to climb, a piece of paper or e-paper that can be exchanged for a paid position in the labour market — the better the more wisely he shops. This “degree” indicates that he has useful virtues, the crucial one being patience.

A doctorate, for instance, indicates that the holder is willing to spend x consecutive years in an extremely tedious, and rather pointless activity, without doubting the benefits that will accrue. He may be secretly rebellious, but few have been provided with the religious skill of self-analysis, leading to self-knowledge. Natural feistiness in the human being is displaced from creative to destructive activities, such as crime or progressive politics.

Depending on the human, a voracious sex life is an alternative, or this can be combined with politics via social media. … ” read the rest of this delicious confection here.

Elsewhere in the Mundane world we are continuously injected with healthy doses of our secular progressive reality intended to keep us distracted and spiritually diseased lest we discover the foundational lie of our existence and all that is missing in our lives.  I just received word, by Facebook of course, that one of my “Professional” 20-something nieces, unfashionably married a couple of years and a bit, one young child still occasionally breast feeding but mostly weaned, with a hard working but “accessorized” husband, having just moved into their first house, eminently upwardly mobile and the apple of several related eyes, has now been diagnosed with acute Leukemia.

causes of Acute Leukemia (AML)

The doctors (in Ontario) have immediately put her on chemo and she is looking at a week(s) long stay in the hospital for starters. The aggressive level of response doesn’t fill me with optimism since everyone is already talking “acute” and at the same time are making comforting noises about 70% survival rates. This is a tragedy however one looks at it.

I had a friend who died a couple of years ago of “chronic” Leukemia, and he lasted 12 years after diagnosis. Most cancer stats only talk about the “5 year” survival rate. My friend and I, we talked from time to time and often thanked God that it wasn’t “acute” because in that mercy God gave him time to get his life together and get right with his family, his responsibilities, and eternity.

My  niece belongs to that part of our family (the majority) who don’t believe in GOD or anything spiritual except for a couple of New Age, Wiccan witches and animist shamans who are thought of as “cool” by the atheist majority. Anything remotely resembling Christianity is reviled, mocked and pitied.

As for that “moral philosophy”, that world view which informs most of the extended family’s thinking, I think “delusional” pretty much covers it … the 70% 5 year survival rate stats include all those many sufferers of “chronic”, with likely the “acute” victims falling into the 30% no one likes to talk about. Nuf said.

Some of the elder members of this godless clan have been contemplating their eminent deaths and departure from this mortal coil to their various rewards over a spectrum of acceptance and panic alternating with anger and self pity, so to suddenly discover that one of youngest of the clan is in mortal peril in an area where “this world” is notoriously short on success and/or comfort has been rather a bombshell blasting through the worshipers at the pool.

We will continue to pray for their conversion and for my niece to recover in spite of the mortality stats. I also pray that she discovers something beyond this world before it is too late.

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

I have been reluctant to post lately because the muse I have relied on for years has been “of this world” and mostly focused on what is “wrong” with this world, all the things that annoy and irritate us, or at least they annoy and irritate me. I have been indulging in much thinking and contemplation on what matters and what does not matter.

Broad categories are becoming apparent. This World and Eternity, the Presence or Absence of Christ, the Resurrection or not, awareness of love of GOD and of love of Self and their opposition, love of the created versus love of the uncreated, the mystical body of Christ and the mystical body of Anti-Christ. Things like: What defines Christianity and Christians? What defines Antichrist and antichristians? Why does it all matter?  I am currently focusing on 3 things …  the Trinity, the Resurrection, and the Real Presence of our Risen Lord, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity in the Holy Eucharist … the Trinitarian GOD, the Resurrection of our Lord, and the Real Presence of our Lord and Redeemer in this world.

I will try to keep these parts to around 2 or 3 thousand words per post because I don’t think anyone reasonably wants to read much more than that at a sitting, and I’ll start with the mystery of the Trinity.

For quite a few years, in my limited understanding of the Blessed Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, the quintessential Catholic mystery has been aided by a metaphor of “images”, as in photographic images as created and produced by human’s but elevated to absolute perfection as God’s thoughts.

The analog of the flat 2D photo recording the “thoughts” and “affections” of the human creature is embraced to help one understand, as much as humanly possible, a concept of Divine Trinity.

Even in our own imperfect way we have a mental image of the loved one like a photograph in our mind. God, who always was, is now, and always will be in the eternal now, is perfection defined, all perfection, all goodness, and God’s “thoughts” are so perfect that His mental image becomes substantial, that is real in reality as a real person.

God’s first thought was about Himself, since there was nothing else but God “in the beginning”. That thought, of Himself, was so perfect that the thought substantiated as the Son, begotten of the Father. Immediately the Son and the Father regarded each other with a love so perfect that it substantiated as the Holy Spirit, the spirit of perfect love. So in the beginning there was only The Blessed Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Now, I would like to highly recommend a book of Carmelite meditation, “Divine Intimacy“, by Fr. Gabriel of Saint Mary Magdalene, O.C.D. , Copyright 1953 Monastero S. Guiseppe – Carmelitane Scalze, (Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Rome), 2014 edition. I really can’t say enough good about this book, and it has made a huge difference in my life. It is available at Baronius Press. It is worth every penny. I am quoting now from “Divine Intimacy (pp 637-638)” what is perhaps the best explanation of the Blessed Trinity that I have encountered anywhere, any time.  I am quoting it in full because it is so profound:

*****

God, the sovereign, infinite Good, is self-sufficient. He finds all His happiness in knowing and loving Himself. Because he is the infinitely perfect Being, knowledge and love are essentially fruitful in Him, and from this fecundity comes the mystery of His intimate life, the mystery of the Trinity. The Father knows Himself perfectly from all eternity, and knowing Himself, He generates the Word,the substantial Idea in which the Father expresses, and to whom He communicates, His whole essence, divinity, and infinite goodness.

Thus the Word is “the brightness of the glory and the figure of the substance” of the Father (Heb 1,3); but He is a substantial brightness and figure, because He possesses the same nature and the same perfections as the Father. From all eternity, the Father and the Son contemplate and love each other infinitely, by reason of the infinite, indivisible perfection which they have in common.

In this eternal love, there is a mutual attraction, a mutual giving of Themselves, one to the other, diffusing Their whole nature and divine essence into a third Person, the Holy Spirit, who is the terminus, the pledge, and the substantial gift of Their mutual love.

Thus the same nature, the same divine life circulates among the three divine Persons: from the Father to the Son, and from the Father and the Son to the Holy Spirit. The mystery of the Most Blessed Trinity is therefore the mystery of the intimate life of God, a mystery surging from the most perfect operations of knowledge and love by which God knows and loves Himself.

More than any other mystery, that of the Trinity shows us our God as a living God, as One whose life is essentially fruitful, so fruitful that the whole divine nature and essence can be communicated by the Father to the Son, and from the Father and the Son to the Holy Spirit without any loss or diminution, all Three thereby possessing the same infinite perfection.

This mystery, above all others, reveals to us the perfection of God’s goodness. It tells us that God is good, not only because He is infinite Good, but also because this infinite good that He is, is communicated: from the Father to the Son to the Holy Spirit. Whereas in works outside Himself God communicates His good only partially, in the bosom of the Trinity He communicates it integrally and necessarily, so that his intimate life consists precisely in this eternal, necessary and absolute communication of His whole good, His whole Being.

The mystery of the Trinity teaches us that in God there is a boundless, inexhaustible ocean of goodness, love, fruitfullness, and life. Precious knowledge this, because more than any other, it enables us to develop a sense of the infinite greatness of God.

*****

The Black Gate, Lord Of The Rings, The Return Of The King

All that is gold does not glitter,
Not all those who wander are lost;
The old that is strong does not wither,
Deep roots are not reached by the frost.
From the ashes a fire shall be woken,
A light from the shadows shall spring;
Renewed shall be blade that was broken,
The crownless again shall be king.
-J.R.R. Tolkien

In an older time, from my own family tree, when life was often short and even brutal, bigotry was more overtly common, virulent and not selectively restrained and restricted to a few targeted religious minorities by PC considerations and fear of retaliation and violent reprisal, and of course, literacy was not widespread amongst the common man outside of their spiritual life in the church, but ancient prayers still survived from the very first years of Celtic Christianity.

Celtic crosses in an old Irish cemetery – Mark E Tisdale

There were prayers still, from the time of my Celtic Forefathers, the third period of Celtic Druidism, and they survived over the years into later centuries, under English Protestant persecution. Powerful prayers, that had come down from ancient times and which are now lost to most modern peoples, prayers abandoned along with the sacraments and the worship of GOD by the progressive humanists of our “polite” self-worshiping society.

By the way, an excellent book, available on Amazon.com as an eBook, on the topic of “Self Worship” is  Paul Vitz’s “Psychology as Religion: The Cult of Self-Worship”. A trenchant analysis of modern psychology, an enterprise that Paul Vitz maintains has become a religion, a secular cult of self, now part of the problem of modern life rather than part of its resolution.

Virtually rewritten, this second edition of the original 1977 text takes into account much of what has happened in the field of psychology during the past nineteen years. Two completely new chapters are also included — one on education and “values clarification” and the other on New Age religion. Paul C. Vitz is professor emeritus of psychology at New York University. His other books include Sigmund Freud’s Christian Unconscious and Faith of the Fatherless: The Psychology of Atheism.

Anyway, where was I, O ya … “Ancient Prayers” …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

OMNIA AD MAJOREM DEI GLORIAM

Joe

Empty oneself of every trace of belief in one’s “goodness”. The Lord patiently knocks at our door. Will we let Him enter?

Standard
Life in a small town

Pentecost and the Second Coming …

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

Cassandra of Troy, was a woman in Greek mythology cursed to utter prophecies that were true but that no one believed. Cassandra was reputed to be a daughter of King Priam and of Queen Hecuba of Troy

Well, it has been over a month since I last sat down to write. Life has intervened with broken roof drains and blown out electrical fixtures and complicated by heavy rains we had some flooding in our building and also blah, blah, blah … life is like that isn’t it.  Everyone has problems and everyone likes to believe that their troubles are the most important and troublesome of them all, but rarely is it really so. Still, October is coming up quick so we have something to look forward to.

So how does one write about what one is upset with and still embrace the cross. As Saint Faustina remarked in her diary, she saw a vision of Christ on his cross and He instructed her to look at the accompanying groups, multitudes, of souls.

There was one group who were crucified like Christ, there was a second group who while not crucified exactly still carried their crosses clasped firmly in their hands and held to their bosom, and then there was a third group who were not embracing their crosses but rather were dragging them behind them across the land dissatisfied and complaining loudly all the while.

His word to her was that those who resembled Him most in their suffering would resemble Him most in Glory in Heaven. Something to think about when one is aware that one is most likely in the third group, the complainers, if one is even good enough to get into the picture and is not still wallowing amongst the miserable lost souls.

And if I spend my writing time articulating what is wrong with our current society and those things which I find provoke me am I being “humble” or “prideful”, am I complaining and judgemental or am I, like Cassandra on the walls of Troy, sounding the alarm to deaf ears all around me.

front_johnralstonsaul_1282163cl8_main

John Ralston Saul

As John Ralston Saul pointed out, in “Voltaire’s Bastards“, the Devil is in the Regulations, and those who write the Briefing Books run the show. Whatever one’s views or thoughts, it is a grim fact that, in Canada, it is now legal to kill inconvenient citizens, and inconvenient children, not just inconvenient babies.This is our “Final Solution”, our “Choice”.

Remember, “Arbeit macht frei“. You think these things cannot happen here? I was born in and lived in Montreal for years. I experienced the October Crisis, and Papa Trudeau’s respect for Rule of Law, up close and personal.  Je me souviens.

“Like other periods of the history of the Church, the present has ushered in a new ascension of interior purification, on the sole condition that the faithful show themselves proud enough in the confession of their faith in Christ, generous enough in suffering to face the oppressors of the Church with the strength of their faith and charity.

May the holy time of Lent and Easter, which preaches interior renovation and penance, turn Christian eyes towards the Cross and the risen Christ; be for all of you the joyful occasion that will fill your souls with heroism, patience and victory.

Then We are sure, the enemies of the Church, who think that their time has come, will see that their joy was premature, and that they may close the grave they had dug. The day will come when the Te Deum of liberation will succeed to the premature hymns of the enemies of Christ …” para 42, Mit Brennender Sorge

We look out across a landscape of declining morality, the tragedy of moral relativity, where the value of a human being is in their perceived utility and if they fail the litmus test of utility they are disposed of and sold for parts. I heard a talk recently in which the highly reputed speaker mentioned that since Roe vs Wade in the 70’s our culture has murdered 1.5 Billion babies. That’s right, 1.5 Billion inconvenient children killed to make it easier for us to pursue our carnal gratification and appetites, to “do our own thing” with no consequences or responsibilities.

Our own visions of “Soylent Green” dance through our heads as we trundle off to the re-education camps being set up by the famous twins separated at birth. Or perhaps we are only looking at a simple Good Cop, Bad Cop routine … “take me or you will have to take him”.  I don’t know, what do you think?

potw-kim-jong-un_3578513kThere are some sinister overtones and similarities, no? On the one hand we have a villain born of a bloodline of villains according to international opinion,  an utterly failed economy, a population held in terror of the state, and holding office by virtue of son-ship.

A Great Leader unanimously condemned on all sides, with only one significant player abstaining, and that player having a close and special relationship with Canada and Canada’s government.

The Prince On The White Horse, John Albert Thomas

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (front, R), Chinese President Xi Jinping (front, L), his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd row, L), and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd row, R), arrive for a gala show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin (front, R), Chinese President Xi Jinping (front, L), his wife Peng Liyuan (2nd row, L), and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (2nd row, R), arrive for a gala show to mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two, in Beijing, China, September 3, 2015. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-Hoon

In counterpoint to the bad actor, we have, home at 24 Sussex Drive, the Drama Coach. Also holding office by virtue of pedigree, a playboy with a silver spoon and a Mercedes and a projected 100+ billion deficit before our next election coming in October 2019.

And we have a population, citizens, voters, without a true voice in the Capital, where everything is controlled by the iron fist of the PMO, or in the state controlled national media (aka the CBC), of the deviants, by the deviants, for the deviants.

justin-trudeau11Well, that’s about as far as even I can stretch the similarities, but you get the drift, right? China vs Justin?  Hmmmm. Can anyone spell “Canola”?

Methinks the Communist Party of China is a much heavier hitter than Senator Brazeau. To give this all some context, think of that great first year Boxing farce as a High School skit between two class clowns,

Do we see Justin going the distance with Xi and Vlad, hmmm? A charming class clown who no-one on the international stage takes seriously as he sucks up to virtually every regime out there in a desperate bid for acceptance of his handlers and their policies, no longer the cool kid in class, the snowboarder seeks approval.

I read somewhere a reference to “Big Trump” and “Little Potato”, but it seems that when the rubber hits the road we end up with pressure from the Big Boy south of 49 and counter pressure from the Big Red Dragon, and manufactured political scandals to distract the low information voters from reality.

Castro and the trudeausAnd there is of course that famous, or perhaps infamous, family tradition of sleeping with murderers. Maybe that’s an asset in Boy Justin’s world.

There was a man once, who said: “plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose, Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr (24 November 1808 – 29 September 1890) was a French critic, journalist, and novelist. His epigrams are frequently quoted, and that “plus ca change” line is one of his best.

Another was on a proposal to abolish capital punishment, “je veux bien que messieurs les assassins commencent”  “let the gentlemen who do the murders take the first step”, or “I wish the assassins to go first”, a view which I share. Are we not on the brink of a bold new social experiment? After first hand witness to the fall-out of Roe vs Wade, can we not imagine where this will end?

To paraphrase Karr, with respect to euthanasia, “je veux bien que messieurs les bureaucrats commencent”. Not much has changed since 1937, Just the level of sophistication of the players and the level of ignorance of the voters. I will paraphrase from a book I am reading called “The Crown of Sanctity: On the Revelations of Jesus to Louisa Piccarreta” by Daniel O’Connor

I have “adjusted” the specific context from the book to the general context of our modern society. It’s really all about “interest” isn’t it?

The poison of interest has invaded everyone, and since almost all of our leadership and management are taken by this fever, they lack the courage to correct and to check those who depend on them for leadership and guidance and discipline. And the love and mercy of Jesus Christ is not understood by any of those who are not stripped of everything and of everyone.

They cannot hear Him and do not want to hear Him. His voice resounds very badly to their hearing; even more, it seems an absurdity to them — the claim that Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, and the Life” is, to use the words of St. Paul, “a folly to the Jews and a stumbling block to the Gentiles, something that is not appropriate for the human condition. And what is the source of all of this — that is, this whole tragedy? Interest.

Politicians and CEO’s, Bureaucrats and Executives, middle managers and the rank and file, who do not undertake their vocation, their jobs, in accordance with their responsibilities and promises, but rather in accordance with the opportunities it provides for their own interest: comfort, pleasure, enjoyments, popularity, security, etc.

Faith is almost extinguished among the Western peoples in this our modern day, and if there is any spark left, it is as though hidden under cold ashes. Life, which is almost completely secularized, and maybe worse than that, as well as the examples of our leadership, which are not good, lend a hand to extinguish this small remaining spark of faith.

And the most insurmountable stumbling block is mere self-interest. Self-interest is the wood worm of leadership at all levels, which renders them like rotten wood, that is fit only for burning. Interest makes our leadership and management a laughing stock, the mockery of the people, and the idol of their families.

And what about all these programs for the Little People, the voters who they supposedly serve and by which, at election time, they justify their existence? Where and who do they actually help?

They do good to the rich; they have time for the rich, but by them also the poor are almost excluded; for the poor they have no time; for the poor they have not a word of comfort or help to tell them; they send them away, reaching the point of pretending they are ill or setting up vacant gatekeeper positions which supposedly have to “approve” program delivery decisions.

But then, if a rich person would show up, it is all the opposite: they would not hesitate one instant; time, words, comforts, help…, they would find anything for the rich.

OnTheRock8But the Faithful, the little ones, are cast away, the Cassandras calling out warnings from the walls are shunned and banned from the public discourse with much calumny, slander and abuse.

I’ll end this post with another reference to Mark Mallet’s blog post of March 12, 2012.  “As more and more people are waking up to the growing persecution of the Church, this writing addresses why, and where it’s all heading. First published December 12th, 2005, …  “

Cheers

Joe

As Ned Stark said, “Winter is coming”. Always remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously” and of course “Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.” Sometimes when I post, I look at my sig and wish that I’d follow my own damned advice.

 

Standard
Life in a small town

The Second Coming … “MIT BRENNENDER SORGE” (“With Burning Care”)

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

I have been thinking about my last Easter Sunday experience after Mass. I think that there is nothing to be done except to pray, pray for the light of conversion to re-ignite the souls of my fellows and bring the “retrouveille” of renewed belief and of repentance and sorrow to restore and rebuild a healthy faith life.

Sunrise on The Last Day

Thinking back to where we were in our Canadian society fifty years ago, and 20 years ago, and how things have now changed somewhat. Thinking back to how things were 5 or 10 years ago in my Catholic church and where things have come to now in the midst of what is arguably one of the most serious crisis in her history.

The Chickens of Modernism and Moral Relativism have indeed come home to roost. Looking out the door to the future I can see a huge flock, stretching to the horizon and entering the present like a stream wearing away stone, and all the eminently predictable outcomes of the deviance and derailments apparent in the 60’s have come fully to fruition, and continue to flourish and to proper going forward into the likely future.

What is different now, for me, is that I do not see “Christ’s church” as  “problematic” and complicit in this rapid decline, but rather I see those “Hired Men” claiming to represent Christ in their role as “Shepherds” as troubling and complicit. My Faith is stronger than ever … “Jesus, I Trust In You”.

Christ Himself said: “ 7Jesus therefore said to them again: Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. 8All others, as many as have come, are thieves and robbers: and the sheep heard them not. 9I am the door. By me, if any man enter in, he shall be saved: and he shall go in and go out, and shall find pastures. 10The thief cometh not, but for to steal and to kill and to destroy. I am come that they may have life and may have it more abundantly.

11I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep. 12But the hireling and he that is not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming and leaveth the sheep and flieth: and the wolf casteth and scattereth the sheep, 13And the hireling flieth, because he is a hireling: and he hath no care for the sheep. 14I am the good shepherd: and I know mine, and mine know me. 15As the Father knoweth me, and I know the Father: and I lay down my life for my sheep.

16And other sheep I have that are not of this fold: them also I must bring. And they shall hear my voice: And there shall be one fold and one shepherd. 17Therefore doth the Father love me: because I lay down my life, that I may take it again. 18No man taketh it away from me: but I lay it down of myself. And I have power to lay it down: and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father.” (John 10: 7-18)

Well, what to say then?  As often happens in my life, I notice something dark in an otherwise normal, provocative insult by some talking head, journalist, academic or other progressive pseudo-intellectual and it just gets the juices flowing. And lucky for me and my muse, there are just so many of them every damned day, that it takes a whopper to rise my awareness above the anesthetization of the daily progressive drone.

So what are the blinding strobes of recent memory, the last four or five years? Well, there are a couple which really stand out, real attention getters in their cognitive dissonance … and one of them is “the current outcry against the Catholic hierarchy in general and the Papal curia in particular is the controversy surrounding the so called “Lavender Mafia” and the outrage about homosexuality amongst Catholic clergy. Against that outcry we have the almost total triumph of the largest propaganda campaign in the history of the western world, that of “Making Gay OK” in normal daily polite society.

Here’s just one example from a couple of years ago –  Alberta reaches into parochial education with their fiat directions (Guidelines) regarding the Rainbow Agenda dressed up in various costumes of tolerance.  Why are there no information hearings or guidelines relating to the meaning and affects of sodomy? That is, after all, what we are approving and supporting with these guidelines. It seems that Canadian polite society is more concerned about who exactly is practicing sodomy, that is, to which group do they adhere rather than any unfortunate outcomes related to the act itself.

It seems, on the face of it, that if one is a member of the broadcast community or a public educator and academic, or an exalted member of the media or the entertainment industry or of certain political parties then sodomy is just fine as a personal preference for sensual gratification and we dare not utter a word of censure for fear that the Human Rights Nazis and the Political Correctness Police will come after us and prosecute or even imprison us for being (Horrors!) “homophobes”.

BUT, if you are a member of a clerical group, a southern Baptist, an Anglican, and especially a Catholic clerical group, then you must be persecuted and prosecuted to the ends of the earth for committing acts which are deemed “perfectly normal” in polite Canadian society.  Does anyone see this as even a little hypocritical and self serving … Homosexuals prosecuting homosexuals because they don’t belong to the right group, don’t belong to the right union, don’t have the right affiliations? That is a lot like denying a person’s right to life because of geographical location of the person, isn’t it?

Bishop Fred Henry, of Calgary, attracted a lot of vitriol from all the usual suspects but here is his letter regarding Gay-Strait Guidelines. Show me where he is mistaken or wrong.  Anybody? …  Anybody? Come on class! Is ANYONE paying attention?

On Passion Sunday, March 14th, 1937, this encyclical of Pope Pius XI , MIT BRENNENDER SORGE, (“With Burning Care“) was read from every Catholic pulpit in Nazi Germany on “The Church and the German Reich”.  The 43 paragraphs of this encyclical are as timely today as they were when preached in Nazi Germany in 1937. It is a moving and interesting piece of history, freely available to every one with eyes to see and ears to hear. One only has to translate “Germany” of 1937, into ANY Socialist or Progressive nation of the early 21st century to see the undeniable parallels. “Hello Darkness My Old Friend”, indeed, from one of my generation’s first GAY superstar duos..

, The Sound of Silence, Simon & Garfunkel, 1964.

At the time (1937) the German public thought it was all just business as usual in the Reich. The winds of war and evil had not reached into their kitchens and coffee houses, and Just like right here and now in Canada the public think things are all just business as usual as well. Hey, what’s the big deal? Just go with the flow and don’t rock the boat man, Lets just all go to Timmy’s and cool down.

This encyclical was/is like a clarion call, and reads as fresh today as it did in 1937. Nothing covered up and hidden away like the secret government meetings we are accustomed to here in beaver country, not hidden like some Gnostic rite reserved to the elite, some Cabal in the back rooms of power where there are no minutes, and no recordings.

In this fair land the idea of keeping a record of what actually went on in a meeting or conversation or telephone call of any senior bureaucrats in any government has fallen out of fashion. Witness the gymnastics of the S.N.C. Lavalin scandal and the the splashing of the rotten fruit being tossed out the windows of government. This Gentle Reader is because reality on the ground is that no record is desired, and there must be no accountability attributable to any particular three piece suite or group thereof.

This is a brave new world where the common man is unwelcome and unwanted and all participants can find that Holy Grail of bureaucracy, that is, plausible deniability. In the event that the new policy, or the direction from above turns out to be a “Bad  Idea”,  All bureaucrats want to be able to look innocently at the other riders in the elevator and exclaim “Eeuwww! What’s that smell?”

cs-lewis-tyranny

This is not to say or imply that each or even any individual “self” has any innate malicious or evil intent, but that the “system” conspires to induce compliance in all the little “selves” adrift without a moral compass or higher Absolute authority to rely on for guidance in a trackless moral wasteland of relativism. what we see in our culture today is the sum total of every little compromise  “in the name of peace in our time” that have been accepted over the last 100 or so years. These little accretions laid down generation by generation like layers in our moral great barrier reef leave us not knowing what is right, and even worse, what is wrong. For example just watch this little YouTube Video:

The only lighthouse visible to these lost souls, these little “supermen” in their individual fortresses of solitude, is the flickering candle of the tribal campfire, and each in  their own loneliness strive for approval and acceptance by doing their best to implement their small portion of “die Endlösung”, the “Final Solution”.

As our polite society banishes “morality” and Christ’s presence from the world, wherever they succeed, chaos takes His place. And with chaos, comes fear. And with fear, comes the opportunity to control. But now, in this present time,the spirit of Control is not only in the world at large, it is operating in the Church as well. Chaos is really nothing more than the “Mystical Body of Antichrist”.

Hence the performance of the Hired Men on the world stage and before the secular authorities whom Christ Himself has deemed necessary to cut out the cancer of “Hired Men” from the Mystical Body of His Church. The Mystical Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ wages war against the worldly “Mystical Body” of the Anti-Christ, and the gates of hell will not prevail. The Lord turns even evil into good.

“… Christians, this is the hour to defend your King, and to keep Him company in the profound isolation in which He finds Himself. How few, O Lord, are the servants who remain faithful to You! … The worst of it is that there are some who profess to be Your friends in public, but who sell You in secret. You can scarcely find one in whom You can trust. O my God, true Friend, how badly does he repay You who betrays You! …” St. Teresa of Avila,  1515 – 1582

The Lark Ascending, Vaughan Williams, Andrew Davis & BBC Symphony Orchestra

And yet, in these amazing times all the common men and women CAN access this information, anywhere there is internet access, if they care to do so. The chestless ones of NICE, hide in obscurity and anonymity because they want no connection to their evil to mar the smiling face of modern progressivism, but the bright light of the internet shines everywhere regardless of their fondest desires.

The Nazis, in their day, could raid every parish, snapping up every copy of MIT BRENNENDER SORGE in a vain attempt to hide their actions and plans. The National Socialists tried to cover their tracks to no avail. In a previous life (with the DOJ and a very large RHA) I learned by practice how the secular progressive authorities now hide behind “Framework Legislation” and “Guidelines” where all the teeth are hidden in the 1000’s of pages of bureaucratic “regulations”  and “notwithstandings” and carefully crafted “loopholes”.

It requires energy and some modicum of intelligence to drill down to the foundational intent of modern legislation and regulations. Most folks understandably simply don’t have the resources to ride herd on the Mandarins and have to trust that they really do have the public’s best interests at heart. But …

Balrog500ppxAnything that was voted into existence by elected representatives can be made to perform any function or even the exact opposite function of that envisioned by those who voted for it, and all without minutes or records to provide an evidentiary trail.

So, reading some quotes from “MIT BRENNENDER SORGE” stirs some feelings of familiarity, some recognizable “policy positions”, and being long past 1937 we can see the ancient evil lives on … enshrined in the bureaucracy, now managed just as efficiently as the National Socialist’s “final solution” by the faceless “appointed”, “serve at the pleasure of”, incumbents of corner offices everywhere across this fair land from sea to shining sea.

“The moderation We showed in spite of all this was not inspired by motives of worldly interest, still less by unwarranted weakness, but merely by Our anxiety not to draw out the wheat with the cockle; not to pronounce open judgment, before the public was ready to see its force; not to impeach other people’s honesty, before the evidence of events should have torn the mask off the systematic hostility leveled at the Church. Even now that a campaign against the confessional schools, which are guaranteed by the concordat, and the destruction of free election, where Catholics have a right to their children’s Catholic education” para 5, Mit Brennender Sorge

Would that I could/would personally apply the above paragraph’s sentiments in my daily assessment of the actions and conduct of Public  leaders and their minions. I think I am going to revisit all 580 or so posts in this blog with an eye to exactly the sort of miscarriage that attributes intentions and malice, when nothing more than ignorance, or lack of resources, or blindly following guidelines, would account for the event. But we still have to acknowledge the evidence of events which have torn the mask off the systematic hostility leveled at all that is good in our progressive polite society.

Judge not, and all that. If we forgive another for the injury caused we put ourselves in the sanctuary of GOD’s mercy; If we do not forgive then we set ourselves before the Judge—and neither will He pardon you.  “If you forgive others their transgressions, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your transgressions.” (Matt 6:14-15)

When poisons become fashionable they do not cease to killJudgement and unforgiveness  is a breeding ground for evil, judgement and unforgiveness set one at play in the fertile fields of Satan. Judgement and unforgiveness are gateways for Satan to enter into your soul; it is a poison we drink ourselves in bitterness and malice toward our neighbour; it is a breach in our defenses through which darkness enters in and shrouds all in confusion and bitterness. Forgive as you have been forgiven! Let it go… and let Jesus set you free from your chains of pain. But keep hold of reality nonetheless.

Remember Martin Niemöller (1892–1984). He was a prominent Protestant pastor who emerged as an outspoken public foe of Adolf Hitler and spent the last seven years of Nazi rule in concentration camps. Niemöller is perhaps best remembered for the quotation:

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.

We have to exercise charity, compassion and forgiveness, but we also have to maintain a firm grip on reality. Compassion and forgiveness doesn’t include giving evil a politically correct pass.

Cheers

Always remember, “be charitable in your judgements, never take yourself too seriously”. We are all headed to the same “worldly” place. Why can’t we be allowed to speak truth on the way there? We can still think (possibly) but we can’t communicate any more.

 

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
The Inner Struggle

A Little more on Faith

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

“Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

“Kaleidoscope”, (1993)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I quote (since I could not do better) :

*****

Albert J. Knock

Albert J. Knock

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

*****

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

Doug Ford

Doug Ford

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Defeated Ontario Premier Wynne

Defeated Ontario Premier Wynne

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

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

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

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

Progressive Public Relations Officer at a Press Conference

Progressive Public Relations Officer at a Press Conference

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Qid hoc ad aeternitatem, indeed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

Qid hoc ad aeternitatem, indeed.

Standard
The Inner Struggle

Awareness of self love

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

Rafael Cardinal Merry del Val, (1865 – 1930)

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

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

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

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

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

Or it might be possible that great and holy minds think alike? I have remarked before that: “It seems a hallmark of Truth that it always believes and expects the best of others and acts accordingly. It also seems a hallmark of untruth that it always believes and expects the worst of others and acts accordingly.” My guess is that it all depends on what your starting assumptions are as to how you believe others will act.

Anyway, what is a litany?

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

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

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

Cheers

Joe

approach everything with patience, fraternal charity … and humility.

 

 

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Shalom (שׁלום)

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

Divina Misericordia (Eugeniusz Kazimirowski, 1934)

Divina Misericordia (Eugeniusz Kazimirowski, 1934)

Today is Divine Mercy Sunday.  The Divine Mercy of Jesus, also known as the Divine Mercy, is a Roman Catholic devotion to Jesus Christ associated with the reputed apparitions of Jesus revealed to Saint Faustina Kowalska. The Roman Catholic devotion and venerated image under this Christological title refers to the unlimited merciful love of God towards all people.[1][2] Sister Kowalska was granted the title “Secretary of Mercy” by the Holy See in the Jubilee Year of 2000.[3][4][5]

Sister Faustina Kowalska reported a number of apparitions during religious ecstasy which she wrote in her diary, later published as the book Diary: Divine Mercy in My Soul.[4][5] The three main themes of the devotion are to ask for and obtain the mercy of God, to trust in Christ’s abundant mercy, and finally to show mercy to others and act as a conduit for God’s mercy towards them.[4][6]

Pope John Paul II, a native of Poland, had great affinity towards this devotion and authorized it in the Liturgical Calendar of the church. The liturgical feast of the Divine Mercy is celebrated on the first Sunday after Easter. Some members of the Anglican Communion also share its pious beliefs and devotions in an effort towards church renewal.[7]

1“Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? 3And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. 4And you know the way to where I am going.” (John 14:1-4)

21Jesus said to them again, Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you withhold forgiveness from any, it is withheld.” (John 20:21-23)

The Hebrew word for peace, shalom (שׁלום) is derived from a root denoting wholeness or completeness, and its frame of reference throughout Jewish literature is bound up with the notion of shelemut, perfection.

Its significance is thus not limited to the political domain — to the absence of war and enmity — or to the social — to the absence of quarrel and strife. It ranges over several spheres and can refer in different contexts to bounteous physical conditions, to a moral value, and, ultimately, to a cosmic principle and divine attribute.

In the Bible, the word shalom is most commonly used to refer to a state of affairs, one of well‑being, tranquility, prosperity, and security, circumstances unblemished by any sort of defect. Shalom is a blessing, a manifestation of divine grace.

Christ Jesus, AD 33

Christ Jesus, AD 33

36As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!” (שׁלום)  37But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit. 38And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? 39See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” 40And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. 41And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” 42They gave him a piece of broiled fish,b 43and he took it and ate before them. (Luke 24:36-43)

44Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47and that repentance forc the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48You are witnesses of these things. 49And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:44-49)

“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;”.  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 … bad, bad, bad, my bad. Mea Culpa, Mea Culpa, Mea Maxima Culpa.

3 … and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 4Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, 6but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin,a it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea. 7“Woe to the world for temptations to sin!b For it is necessary that temptations come, but woe to the one by whom the temptation comes! (Mathew 18:3-7)

So do not judge, do not assume to know intentions, or the disposition of another soul. Do not aid and abet the confusion, the temptations, by pontificating about that which one cannot possibly know, one’s opinion to which I am so attached … woe to the one through whom the temptation comes.

Cheers

Joe

“Quid hoc ad aeternitatem,” as old Saint Bernard of Clairvaux used to mumble when faced with the usual parade of travail, what does it matter in the light of eternity?

 

 

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

On Second thought … another look at “A New Paradigm”

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

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

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

03:30AM … Silence, and unanswered questions, and doubts, and “Nacht und Nebel”  or the modern variation, FUD, that is Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt. Hiding … Why does talking about this make me uncomfortable?

Revisiting this particular train of thought to see if it takes me anywhere new, can I see any new peaks from the metaphorical dome car on the way through the Rocky Mountains of my mind?

*****

7And the eyes of them both were opened: and when they perceived themselves to be naked, they sewed together fig leaves, and made themselves aprons.

8And when they heard the voice of the Lord God walking in paradise at the afternoon air, Adam and his wife hid themselves from the face of the Lord God, amidst the trees of paradise. 9And the Lord God called Adam, and said to him: Where art thou? (Genesis 3: 7-9)

*****

Where art thou? Things always seem grimmer after a relatively sleepless night … Where art thou … indeed … separated at birth … separated  ourselves … broke with our creator … self inflicted wounds … will not serve … and death entered in …

Was there ever a time in human history when mankind was not completely mired in sin and evil? Was there ever a time in human history when mankind wasn’t playing “Russian Roulette” for pride and personal ambitions and frequently blowing his own brains all over the wall of life?

Cardinal Gerhard Müller

Cardinal Gerhard Müller

I find this inner struggle of developing spiritual awareness is frequently made more difficult by the reported antics of those charged with my instruction.

Is the error, my sin in this, my curiosity, that I seek after this reporting? Or perhaps is it that I deceive myself in believing that I somehow know what is right, is this all just my pride?

I don’t know, so I cling desperately to Cardinal Gerhard Müller’s explanation that this is simply a misunderstanding. Again and again, Cardinal Müller has been the victim of criticism in some Traddy circles. This, in Father Hunwicke’s view, is totally unjustified:

*****

” …  (Müller’s) stance on Amoris Laetitia is perfectly rational and it doesn’t need guarantees of its perfect orthodoxy. His is one way to skin a cat.

4 Cardinals

His Eminence Walter Brandmüller, President emeritus of the Pontifical Commission of Historical Sciences, His Eminence Raymond Leo Burke, Patron of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, His Eminence Carlo Caffarra, Archbishop emeritus of Bologna (Italy), and His Eminence Joachim Meisner, Archbishop emeritus of Cologne (Germany)

The other skinning method is that of the Four Cardinals (the Dubia Cardinals – two of whom have since died); to seek a clarification which will put its orthodoxy beyond the doubt which they judge some prelates and some hierarchies have created.

Each Feline Modality is directly aimed at the affirmation of the same orthodoxy. Whether as a matter of fact there is ‘doubt’ about what AL teaches, is for individuals to assess.”

*****

Or is the error in this distress, an error of my honest expectation that those who have devoted the entire course of their lives to this struggle for awareness should not have found meaningful examples and left trail blazes to guide me easily on my travel?

Or is this train of thought really just some sterile version of self-pity? This post started out as a momentary “what the heck” exclamation prompted by the latest “pontifications” emanating from the Vatican.

It seems that much of what comes out of Rome these days is a freeway to sin rather than guidance towards the good, that is, a preferred guidebook on the narrow path to Divine Intimacy.

Fear in Rome

Fear in Rome

I end up experiencing sadness instead of joy every time I wander into that neighbourhood. Continuous flashbacks to late 60’s early 70’s, and the chaotic fall-out from Vatican II.

Flashbacks to a time when, in my all-knowing youthful pride, I decided that I didn’t give a rat’s backside about the Catholic Church since they (the Curia) obviously didn’t know their own backside from a hole in the ground.

How can one reform “Truth”? Only “Not Truth” can be reformed, only “Not Truth” can give rise to “A New Paradigm”, a bureaucratic “Policy Change” with a new “Briefing Book” full of platitudes, half baked excuses and accusations.

So the post grows and grows with each new thought … again I am realizing that this spontaneous outpouring of angst is now around  5000 words and I’m still writing. Realizing, as when I first attacked this discomforting subject that it is just too long.

I have decided that this needs to be broken into multiple parts – again … like multiple therapy sessions on the couch … whoever is sitting on the chair behind my head must be VERY patient. Who knows, when we start, where the train of thought is going? Maybe it needs a disclaimer at the start of each part, or maybe a warning about toxic waste?

When the Scribes and Pharisees declared “better that one should die than that all suffer”, they were not talking about “all” the people, they were talking about all the entire crop of Scribes and Pharisees of that day …. they were talking about the “all” of themselves and the threat to their own power, pride and honor which Yeshua  embodied.

Saint Teresa of Avila says “However slight may be our concern for our reputation, if we wish to make progress in spiritual matters we must put this attachment right behind us, for if questions of honor prevail we will never make great progress or come to enjoy the real fruits of prayer, which is intimacy with God.”

The Saint also says that concern for their honor is the reason why many people who have devoted themselves to the spiritual life, and are very deserving on account of many good works, are still “down on earth” and never succeed in reaching the “summit of perfection”.

They remain mired because they are so insistent on preserving their reputation, so extremely attentive to every small point, every minor rule and little detail, so strict or exact in the observance of the formalities or amenities of conduct or actions with regards to their station in life.

To paraphrase Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D. from the book “Divine Intimacy”:  Attachment to the things of this world, especially to our honor, is shown in all those large and small susceptibilities arising from our attitude that wishes to affirm our personality, hold onto the esteem of others and make our point of view prevail.

This attitude shows up in the various schemes, conscious and petty or not, to obtain and keep privileges and honorable positions where our own views, which we always think are good, will prevail. In this way we hope to make obvious our abilities, works, and our own personal merits which are always worthy in our own eyes.

Pride, pride, pride, it is always about pride.

Cheers

Joe

And “The Guardian” is announcing that the Vatican has reached an agreement with the Peoples Republic of China … Seriously?!  They can’t actually mean that, can they? Interesting times indeed … I wonder where this new “Orient Express” is heading?

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

World Problems and Joy?

A part of the ancient Hadrian’s wall in northern England. Image from: http://catholicexchange.com/peace-and-security

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

I am thinking about peace and conflict, and how I choose to drink at springs of peace or springs of conflict. After yesterday’s outburst of emotion, about observed events which I chose to observe and judge, courtesy of lots of folks with nothing to do but emote and “create content”.

“Wind of the Western Sea” Bill Douglas, from the album “Songs of Earth and Sky”, (1998)

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

It’s 06:55 and the sun is coming up on a cool dawn. With quiet time for second thought, the truth is, there are not really any problems anywhere which directly affect my immediate life … my “real” world is full of beauty, and peace, waiting for room in my soul … if I make the time and make the room to just let it in, if I don’t fill it up with other stuff.

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

I think that is the scriptural sense of “Blessed are the pure of heart, for they shall see God” (Mt 5,8), and with this Purity of heart, this directing of my entire capacity for affection and attachment towards God alone I may achieve clearer vision of my ultimate goal.

I get glimpses of the target but they are frequently obscured by the up-welling of my passions and self-love and I frequently loose sight of the path, and the world struggles mightily to re-establish dominance in my soul … and I fall … again …

… Prayers to start the day …

O Lord, give me right sentiments about You and grant that I may seek You with a simplicity of heart. My heart says to You, ‘I will seek Your face.’ When my heart seeks You, O Lord, it is Your presence it is seeking. Your home is where You dwell, and where do You dwell, if not in Your temple? My heart is Your temple: teach me how to welcome You there. You are a spirit, and I must adore You in spirit and in truth. Come into my heart, and all the idols shall fall.”

“Now I shall listen to Your voice and learn to long for You and to prepare myself to see You. Blessed are all who see You! And if they do see You, it is not because, while they were on earth, they were poor in spirit, or because they were meek or merciful, or because they mourned or hungered and thirsted after justice, but because they were clean of heart. Humility is good for attaining the kingdom of heaven; meekness is good for possessing the land; tears are good for receiving consolation; hunger and thirst after justice, for being filled; mercy is good for obtaining mercy; but only purity of heart permits us to see You.”

My desire is to see You; what I desire is great, but it is You who tell me to wish for it. Help me to purify my heart, because what I desire to  see is pure but my means of seeing it, impure. Come to me, O God, and purify me by Your grace; purify my heart with Your aid and strength. If I receive You into my heart during this present life, after my death You will admit me into Your presence.” (St. Augustine)

and

“Come, Holy Spirit, speak to my heart; or at least, if You wish to remain silent, may Your very silence speak to me, because without You I am always in danger of following my own errors and confusing them with Your teachings” (St. Bernard)

prayers from : (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 907)

Cheers, and have a blessed and peaceful day …

Joe

Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners. Spread the Flame of Love of your Immaculate Heart over all of humanity, now and at the hour of our death, Amen

Standard
Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Two Kingdoms … A Tale Of …

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

Hong Yi

Hong Yi (23 October 1880 – 13 October 1942; Chinese: 弘一; pinyin: Hóngyī), born Li Shutong (李叔同) was a Chinese Buddhist monk, artist and art teacher.

My last thought, in my last post was “Sitting under a tree, weeping, thinking … praying …” accompanying the above image by Hong Yi. I think the image is intended as “the Buddha sitting under the tree rather than as a self portrait – the source site is unclear.

My prayer would be something like “O Lord, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful.”

A GOES-13 satellite image captured at 17:45 UTC on January 2, 2014,

A GOES-13 satellite image captured at 17:45 UTC on January 2, 2014, depicting an ongoing blizzard across portions of the Ohio River Valley and the Northeast United States as cold air from Canada moves across warm air from the Gulf of Mexico

I purged over 4 thousand emails yesterday from assorted accounts. Found an item from my pre-blog era when I was busy annoying email contacts with long rambling emails about what was wrong with the world IMAO. Can’t hear myself think over the barking of my EGO.

So out of my personal Way-Back machine from the dark winter of 2014, back before I started my ranting in this blog … this monster rises from the slab of my Atelier …

A writer of great talent and no small amount of clarity regarding our daily grind and happily, at last call, still amongst the living, at least we are happy he is still around even though his mileage may vary, finding as he does that the Hoi Polloi for the most part do not share his sensibilities with respect to eternity. It sometimes seems to us that the Progressive idea of eternity is how long it seems between coffee breaks. But that for another day.

Anyway, he once remarked on ways to lose readers … mention church (and hell) … mention the poor … criticize a (any) Liberal Bureaucracy. And in a “Me Too!” sort of way I leapt on board his wagon.

The Church Militant ...

The Church Militant …

On the topic of Church:

Archbishop Chaput of Philadelphia, in his Erasmus Lecture for 2014:
If we ignore the poor, we will go to Hell. If we blind ourselves to their suffering, we will go to Hell. If we do nothing to ease their burdens; then we will go to Hell. Ignoring the needs of the poor among us is the surest way to dig a chasm of heartlessness between ourselves and God, and ourselves and our neighbours.”

Or the poor:

This is so true that, it would seem, the opposite is also true. This is Christ’s dismissive reply to some liberal posturing from Judas, when He said, “the poor you will always have with you, but me you will not always have.”  suggesting that if we ignore God, we will go to Hell.”

Or criticize a (any) Liberal Bureaucracy:

Ambassadors

Ambassadors of … a Big Red Shiny …

“Our progressive society has programmized fraternal charity in a desperate ongoing attempt to sanitize and manage reality out of existence and has created the perfect system to facilitate ignoring our neighbours.

Enter the The Nanny State, queue marching bands … Big Red Shiny Maple Leaves Forever … long may they wave from Sea to Shining Sea … over the home of the brave and the land of the free lunch, in which daily we willingly participate, and which State provides us with a wonderful opportunity to ignore the poor, in our spare time while we are ignoring God full time.

The Pool of Worship ...

The Pool of Worship …

After all, there’s not much time or room left for God when every waking moment of consciousness is totally focused on self worship. Said State even gives cover and plausibility deniability for the murder of any fellow inconvenient souls in the name of dignity and health care, at least until our turn comes … It allows every enfranchised taxpaying citizen to declare glibly, “I gave at the office.”

Meanwhile, the bureaucracy itself ignores the poor, reducing them to an economic transaction, within an administrative routine, whose heartlessness must be experienced, to be believed.

So what’s the point here?  Who’s the target here? What are the goals which lead to the perpetuation of these heartless situations? What are the Brass Rings of goal, desires, and rewards of this life, this road, this set of choices for a secular self centered society?

REALITY CHECK FOR PROGRESSIVES: Not too many years ago I spent 18 months pushing the bureaucratic system strings to get a 50-something year old handicapped man enrolled into a program to assist the handicapped for which he had been manifestly qualified as a candidate for almost 50 years.

running Rachel ...

running Rachel …

Nobody cared enough to ever do anything about him. Because nobody cared, nobody helped, everybody thought somebody was looking after the poor handicapped nobody.

Then I got involved!  WTF! Why has nobody ever done anything for this somebody? And even with myself, a motivated, talented highly vocal, champion working hard on his case, phoning and following up and visiting face to face, and – well you get my drift –  it took a whole bloody year and a half to get get him enrolled in the program.

The government agency and program which existed solely to help people like this man was mired in requirements and vacant positions and proofs and every conceivable bureaucratic obstacle to prevent people from qualifying instead of helping them to qualify.

Truly, Truly, Heartless. The real goal of the managers and directors charged with overseeing these programs is to PREVENT candidates from qualifying because then you can preserve your budget for doing the things the management bureaucrats think are important. Actually Helping Candidates?  Where’s the fun in that?

I’ve was told many times, over the years, by those infinitely my superiors, while working in Social “Services”, “Justice”, and “Health Care”, that the situation merely has to be properly “managed”. Heartless, the putative target of my self-righteous anger and judgement is the uncaring self centered bureaucrat and his/her self centered goals and objectives. But didn’t someone famous recently say “Who am I to judge”?

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

Lots of going to hell and pissing in other people’s soup in the above topics, BUT, IMAO, the ultimate fart in the elevator show stopper is to mention Man’s (or even worse – Woman’s) frailty, especially in a spiritual context:

Frailty  from an old site called “Liturgy that Works” even thought some of the links therein seem to no longer work as they originally might have.

Let us pray (in silence) [that we and the whole church may be kept by God’s love]

pause

“God of grace and goodness,
you know that by reason of our frailty we cannot but fail;
keep us always under your protection
and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;

through Jesus Christ our Lord
who is alive with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God now and for ever.
Amen.”

New Zealand Prayer Book p. 571b

Glenstal Abbey House

Glenstal Abbey House

The old monk was asked, “So what do the monks do here in this monastery?” To this he replied, “We fall, we get up. We fall, we get up. We fall, we get up.” It is a story just as applicable to ordinary Christian life. Another version has it ending with variations of “…one day we fall and we get up in heaven.”

For you Latin Scholars, this Gelasian Collect for Trinity 15 in the Sarum Missal (11th century) read, “Custodi, Domine, quaesumus, ecclesiam tuam propitiatione perpetua: et quia sine te labitur humana mortalitas, tuis semper auxiliis et abstrahatur a noxis et ad salutaria dirigatur.”

Cranmer translated this for 1549 (Epiphany 5) as:
KEPE we beseche thee, O Lorde, thy Churche with thy perpetuall mercye: and because the frailtie of man without thee, cannot but fall: Kepe us ever by thy helpe, and leade us to al thynges profitable to our salvacion; through Jesus Christe our Lorde. Amen.

An Irish Abbey ...

An Irish Abbey …

The 1662 revisers restored “for all things hurtful” (lost again in the collect at the top):
KEEP, we beseech thee, O Lord, thy Church with thy perpetual mercy; and, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

International readers of this page may echo my surprise: I cannot find this collect revised in any Anglican prayer books except New Zealand’s! Do let me know if your province’s revised prayer book has it. Just when the church needs all the prayer it can get – as well as acknowledgment of our frailty!

Roman Catholics have this collect tucked away for Tuesday in the second week of Lent, where ICEL has it translated as:
Lord watch over your Church and guide it with Your unfailing love. Protect us from what could harm us and lead us to what will save us. Help us always, for without You we are bound to fail. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.”

The great roaring hairy legged EGO

The great roaring hairy EGO devouring all …

Our frailty, never more immediately obvious than in my own comments here, designed to provoke those who may not share my own views of reality and eternity. How does what I have said above conform to what I wrote on September 23rd, Saturday last.

Everything mentioned may be provably true but the focus is on the frailty of the undefined persons embracing the problems by ignoring them or just walking away, “Sniff …” obviously crass lower castes, every mother’s son of them. The great roaring hairy legged EGO strikes again.

So behold the position of man, with respect to the spiritual life, like  a young childe who, finding himself at a fork in the road, cannot proceed alone and knows not which road leads to his home. Two roads lie before him, one leading to the kingdom of the spirit, the kingdom of God, and the other to the kingdom of this world, the kingdom of the flesh, of Mammon.

Which to choose, the calm peaceful kingdom of the spirit? I think we all inherently wish to choose the kingdom of God, but unfortunately the Kingdom of Mammon also has it’s attractions, and these attractions try to seduce us to their path. We struggle against these attractions and allurements, “For the flesh lusteth against the spirit, and the spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary one to another, so that you do not the things that you would.” (Gal 5, 16-24)

Oliver Ridge, 2016

Oliver Ridge, 2016

So just where WAS I going with this?  Oh yeah!  Two Kingdoms, two paths, two realities, two universes, one centered on self and spiritual stagnation and the other centered on God and spiritual growth, and the choosing, Ah yes, the choosing … seems obvious when regarded at leisure, in calm thought, seems obvious, the path of Peace is rooted in humility, the path of Mammon is rooted in pride.

Pride in seeking the first place, at table, at meetings, the first place spiritually, the esteem of others, the regard of others, our self love always tries to make us take a higher place than that which is due us.

There is great harm and great evil in wishing to elevate ourselves above what we are and in preferring ourselves. And we choose the direction in which we proceed, and from these choices flow our joy or our unhappiness.

Last Days Of Summer, 2016

Last Days Of Summer, 2016

If we have trouble translating these ideas into real life then perhaps a tangible media example of this idea works for us, as portrayed in the film “Last Days Of Summer” which won a gaggle of prizes and critical recognition in late 2016. This Festival Circuit darling, produced by British born OLIVER RIDGE, appeared at the Whistler Film Festival.

Having taken the grand prize for best feature at the Rhode Island Film Festival, the acclaimed drama starring WILLIAM FICHTNER competed at the prestigious Canadian event.

And our point is: “The film tells the story of a suburban husband whose quiet life is turned upside down when he becomes obsessed with the beautiful young woman who moves in next door”. Obsessed with the things of this world, earthly affections, sensual pleasures, all the golden rings of our material society.

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

In the face of all that life has to offer, honors, satisfaction, affection of creatures, comforts and riches, the path of peace offers humility, to desire nothing more than what one has, even to give up what one has, not to be eager for riches and pleasures, consolations and fame, or any earthly affections and sensual pleasures. And we choose the direction in which we proceed, and from these choices flow our joy or our unhappiness.

Son rise …

The things of this world, the golden rings of our material society, do not occupy our soul nor cause it harm. The things of this world are neutral with regards to man.

But out of the will and desires of man spring all the evils and joylessness which plague our lives. When we remain attached to our own will and ideas, or remain too fond of our independence, we are “rich in ourselves”, in our self love and pride.

It seems to me that if we seek the affections and approval of creatures and the joys and satisfactions which they can give us, we find only increasing hunger for more.

We find unhappiness with what we actually get, and instead of satiation we get misery with what we find. And we choose the direction in which we proceed, and from these choices flow our joy or our unhappiness.

DP130155, 2/7/06, 11:18 AM, 16C, 6856x8852 (180+693), 100%, Rona Copywork, 1/30 s, R93.8, G57.6, B56.4<br /> Working Title/Artist: The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji)Department: Asian ArtCulture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: 10Working Date: 1831-33<br /> photography by mma, Digital File DP130155.tif<br /> retouched by film and media (jnc) 8_17_11

Choose Wisely, lest we be overwhelmed … (The Great Wave at Kanagawa (from a Series of Thirty-Six Views of Mount Fuji))

We choose … so choose wisely … so far I am trying to choose NOT to be critical of the choices of others, at least not vocally.

I am choosing NOT to preach about how I think things should be done (and why).

I am choosing not to express my annoyance when things are not going my way.

I am choosing, so far with mixed results, but lots of opportunities to try again keep showing up so I will keep on trying.

And praying … “O Lord, because the frailty of man without thee cannot but fall, keep us ever by thy help from all things hurtful.”

Cheers

Joe

This Purgatorial struggle to choose the right path, to choose to put away self and make room in my soul …

Standard
Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Gratitude … for what?

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

So many gifts ...

So many gifts …

Even the poorest beggar, having nothing to give in return for the alms he has received, can always acknowledge a kindness by showing gratitude to his benefactor. … Yet this, a natural need of a humble soul, is a duty so often neglected even by good people, even by those who have received the most favors.” Fr. Gabriel of St. Mary Magdalen, O.C.D.

So much freedom ...

So much freedom …

We have received a plenitude of natural gifts, talents, circumstances, opportunities, freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, freedom from war, freedom from fear, freedom from gratuitous persecution.

Most of us have a reasonable expectation of good health, and a long life barring natural disaster or mischance. Or at least we did have these freedoms in the past before we and our fathers ceded away those freedoms in return for the empty promises of Napoleon the pig.

Freedom from fear ...

Freedom from fear …

In this culture we still have an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity in fact, that it is more a case of choosing which opportunity to pursue, rather than desperately seeking just ANY old opportunity, and as Mark Manson says:

there existed (in the Anglo West) an abundance of economic opportunity—so much economic opportunity that it became far more valuable to present yourself in a certain way, even if it was false, than to actually be that way. Trust lost its value. Appearances and salesmanship became more advantageous forms of expression”... trust lost it’s value, honesty lost it’s value, sincerity lost it’s value, gratitude lost it’s value …

Even under the current regime in Edmonton, and with the current economic climate we still have the luxury of looking for “appropriate” work rather than any work, and we don’t trust or appreciate anyone whilst getting ours first …. Why is Calgary a squalor of failing business (28 thousand a year at last count), while Edmonton is a thriving metropolis of growth and burgeoning government payrolls? Is there more fear in Calgary than in Edmonton? What do you see when you look around? What are we grateful for?

Freedom from want ...

Freedom from want …

Yet, even here, in this global centre of resource riches, we have the poor. Jesus remarked “the poor will always be with you.” and so it is to this day. The programed poor, the working poor, the abject poor the handicapped poor, the psychologically poor, the spiritually poor, all are with us everywhere around us.

Often, in our busyness, our selfcenteredness, we don’t even notice those in need, those less well off, those who are losers in the lottery of life. When we look upon those all around us who have been gifted with less, even, in some cases, a lot less, then for all that we have been gifted we would think we should feel some need to express gratitude, shouldn’t we?

But we are also supposed to be, identified as,  citizens of a womb to tomb nanny state which has promised everyone that all our “needs” will be met if we just acquiesce and faithfully follow our leader’s instructions. Following Napoleon’s instructions blindly, blindly, blindly …

Freedom of Speech ...

Freedom of Speech …

Are all these things which we receive as gifts, the talents and circumstances mentioned above, are they received as gifts from the all powerful state? At some guaranteed minimum level we are promised free health care, free education, free housing, a guaranteed income sufficient to our basic needs, and so on.

So what about those talents and circumstances which provably don’t derive from our political and societal masters, which seem to spring from the human person in spite of the desires of our masters? Where do all those gifts come from? And if our masters truly are capable of meeting all our needs then  how can there be poor people?

Freedom of worship ...

Freedom of worship …

In a society where even the least of it’s citizens are promised everything they need by their government what is there to be grateful for?

Unless there is something greater than the state, there really isn’t any reason to be grateful since everything we have is our due, and deserved, right?

What is there to be grateful for then, unless we look at the state’s relation to our talents and abilities.

The government line notwithstanding we are manifestly not created equal and there are great disparities of ability and talent and motivation within the bell curve of our population.

Even the notional IQ of 100 being considered “normal” for the purposes of program eligibility implies a tacit acknowledgement on the part of the state that some people are “more equal” than others. so what is one to make of this provable and acknowledged inequality of talent and ability.

Is there some higher source of those personal talents which we are born with, something beyond merely accident of birth, the lottery of genetics, and so on?

More on “Gratitude” in a future post …

Cheers

Joe

So much to be grateful for … why do we throw it all away for a handful of glass beads and promises? Let the scouring begin.

 

Standard