Life in a small town

Real Christianity … True Teachings & Apostasy …

“2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties.

3 Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, 4 is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, 5 and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

6 Of course, there is great gain in godliness combined with contentment; 7 for we brought nothing into the world, so that we can take nothing out of it; 8 but if we have food and clothing, we will be content with these.

9 But those who want to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, and in their eagerness to be rich some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pains.

11 But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal life, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses”  (1 Tm 6:2-12)

Apostasy in Christianity is the rejection of tenets of Christianity by someone who formerly was a Christian. The term apostasy comes from the Greek word apostasia (“ἀποστασία”) meaning defection, departure, revolt or rebellion. It has been described as “a willful falling away from, or rebellion against, the beliefs of Christianity. For current examples of apostasy we need look no further than our local parish and ask the question about how folks “feel” about the Real Presence of Christ, Body Soul and Divinity, in the Holy Eucharist.

Another example would be the belief in the need for a regular approach (monthly?) to the sacrament of Reconciliation or Confession for forgiveness of sins lest we eat and drink damnation upon ourselves by receiving the Eucharist while being not in a state of grace occasioned by not having attended confession and therefore having mortal sins on our soul.

So, first, to believe in the Real Presence, Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity, and secondly, to eat and drink this Body and Blood worthily, that is without sin upon you and in a state of grace. 1 Corinthians 23-32 is in every bible of every Christian denomination:

23 For I received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus in the night in which he was betrayed took bread; 24 and when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, This is my body, which is for you: this do in remembrance of me. 25 In like manner also the cup, after supper, saying, This cup is the new covenant in my blood: this do, as often as ye drink it , in remembrance of me. 26 For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink the cup, ye proclaim the Lord’s death till he come.

27 Wherefore whosoever shall eat the bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner, shall be guilty of the body and the blood of the Lord. 28 But let a man prove himself, and so let him eat of the bread, and drink of the cup. 29 For he that eateth and drinketh, eateth and drinketh judgment unto himself, if he discern not the body. 30 For this cause many among you are weak and sickly, and not a few sleep. 31 But if we discerned ourselves, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world. (1 Corinthians: 23-32)

Presumably this is an important tenet of of all Christian belief … and yet, Christ Himself instituted the sacrament of Confession, and taught us that we needed to go to confession to be in a state of grace, to worthy to receive His Body and Blood …

19 When therefore it was evening, on that day, the first day of the week, and when the doors were shut where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood in their midst, and said to them, “Peace be with you.” 20 And when He had said this, He showed them both His hands and His side. The disciples therefore rejoiced when they saw the Lord. 21 Jesus therefore said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” 22 And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. 23 “If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained.” (John 20: 19-23)

This scriptural fact exists in all Christian Bibles and the validity of the sacraments is at the root of the importance of the Apostolic succession. These days, there is no such thing as confession, or most other sacraments, in most “Christian” denominations and even very few “Catholics” avail themselves on the sacrament even when it is available … in many places it is difficult for Catholics to get the sacrament because it has fallen out of favour with some clergy and is only available by special appointment.

Back in the 1800’s it was still considered important, an essential requirement of Christian belief, that a Christian church could trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing hierarchy, the “High Church” of whichever denomination. The Apostolic succession is required in order to have “valid” sacraments. No Apostolic succession therefore meant no valid sacraments.  The Oxford Movement began in the 1830’s and was championed by John Henry Cardinal Newman.

The Movement was begun by Anglican theologians who attempted to trace the Apostolic succession from St. Peter to the existing Anglican High Church. The more they studied, the more the theologians realized that they were unable to do this. Their examination of the Anglican faith found that it lacked the full deposit of faith found only in the Catholic Church. some of these theologians, including Newman went on to follow the Truth and converted to the Catholic Faith.

The remainder who chose not to follow the evidence where it led were rewarded with worldly positions and honors and advancement in the “new” belief’s of the new “Non-Apostolic” churches. In other words, they became officers and practitioners of the new “State” religion and took their marching orders not from God and Rome but rather from whoever the “Head of State” happened to be at the time, rather like the way modern day Iran and Iraq and Saudi Arabia and others do it.

Very few modern “Christian” churches (only about 23 out of approximately 900 “Christian” churches ) can legitimately claim Apostolic succession and without it there are no licit sacraments available to their believers.  Now in 2019 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. 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 all be unique purveyors of truth and light?  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:  here  for the latest count. This is all apostasy … through and through.

Christian Truth is either all true, or none of it is for any sect, it is either all true, or is just another long running con game practiced by various gangs throughout history and if that is the actual truth then the World’s claim that Christianity is evil is true … it is all just “relative” … “I’m OK, your OK” and whatever you feel is good is good as long as it is what you want. And we are just as evil as the world.

For a more cosmopolitan international flavor of Apostasy we have the current episcopal Summit, the Amazon Summit, where we are being told that we must take moral and spiritual instruction from the animist Amazon jungle tribes. This current “Amazon Summit,” is seeing all kinds of ecclesiastical enormities, being committed by amateur Rousseauians and Neo-Marxists in the pope’s “progressive” entourage., his holiness’s “delegation”. But then, we have seen “liberation theology” in action before and I am confident it will burn out again eventually.

Just in passing, the punishment for apostasy in the Catholic Church was, and perhaps still is, excommunication which is basically a formal Canon Law acknowledgement that the apostate is no longer a Catholic and no longer can partake of the sacraments nor can they legally present themselves as Catholic.  In our modern day, excommunication is no longer much in use as in many cases the apostates are actually senior members of the Curia and even the ones who would organize the excommunication process. It has become “unfashionable” and as David Warren recently mentioned: “quaint”.

The current commonality is that many people, perhaps even most people, who claim the name of “Catholic” are in reality smorgasbord Catholics who do not adhere to all the beliefs of the Catholic Church … only the ones they like or are comfortable with, the “nice” beliefs that don’t involve any real sacrifice, that don’t involve taking a stand against the deviant beliefs of our politically correct polite society. In other words they are “Apostate” Christians or maybe even non-Christian. These days in the “Christian” world being “excommunicated” carries about the same weight as being “unfriended” on Facebook.

In Islam, things are still taken quite seriously. This is one of the more admirable characteristics of Islam … Real Belief … In Islam the Penalty for Apostasy seems to indicate a more serious view. Maliki – allows up to ten days for recantation, after which the apostate must be killed. Both men and women apostates deserve the death penalty according to the traditional view of Sunni Maliki fiqh. The verses 33-34 of Surah al-Ma’ida of the Qur’an[Quran 5:33] specify punishment for “those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land”:[2]

“The punishments of those who wage war against Allah and His Prophet and strive to spread disorder in the land are to execute them in an exemplary way or to crucify them or to amputate their hands and feet from opposite sides or to banish them from the land. Such is their disgrace in this world, and in the Hereafter theirs will be an awful doom save those who repent before you overpower them; you should know that Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Ever Merciful.”

The verbal noun form (i.e. hirabah) is frequently used in classical and modern books of Islamic jurisprudence, but neither the word hirabah nor the root verb haraba occurs in the Quran.[3] (Yuhaaribun is the form used in Quran 5:33-4.)  Blasphemy (sabb-al-nabi) of the Prophet Muhammad, his daughter, or his family is a crime in Iran, and a blasphemer would be found guilty of apostasy as well by default. Blasphemy is punishable by death or imprisonment. For all other hudud crimes, the fourth offense would be a capital offense (carrying the death penalty), unless the person repents. the Religion of Peace, indeed, for all will be peaceful when all believe.

If one looks closely at what might transpire in our society if “all believe” what Christ actually taught, then the “all will be peaceful when all believe” rings true as well. “Imagine” as world where there was no self love, no self interest, no “What’s in it for me”, where all people “Love one another as I have loved you”.

So what does “Real Christianity” look like? this is a question I have started to address here and here and am now going to continue on the same vein in future posts.

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

 

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Life in a small town

Assumptions … onward from August 25th …

Lately I have been spending a lot more time thinking about my moral life in Christ and a lot less time writing. On August 25th I posted thus: “So, imagine a universe where authority can be wrong. Sometimes, a person in authority can be mistaken. A person who believes a lie, and who repeats the lie, does not do so out of malicious intent! And yet, he is repeating a lie! Sometimes people and authorities believe things that are later proven to be untrue and they act on those things with a clear conscience because it’s “for our own good”. If you forced these folks to take a lie detector test they would pass because they actually do not know it is a lie.

There are books, books written as recently as a few years years ago, books you can still find in the library, which include untruths. Did those writers lie to you? No, they’d told the truth, as they’d known it. But future generations discovered that their concept of the truth had been very limited, and knowledge is still advancing. And that is just the mild form of misinformation.”

And at the time I wrote this I was thinking in terms of various secular authorities and governing bodies and so on, but I realized, thinking about this, after finishing my routine morning meditation, and going about my daily duties, that the “wrong authority” meme applies equally well to the popular image of “religion” as delusional, superstitious, and as some Communist “thinkers” have expressed: “The Opiate of the Masses”.

And I also thought about some popular notions regarding “the Inquisition”, “Burn the Witch!”, and so on including categorizing “The Crusades” as militaristic aggression on the part of European culture against “innocent” Muslim nations, all of which are frequently cited as “reasonable proof” that religion, and more specifically Christian or even Catholic religion is a load of mind control malarkey.

Our accepted “authorities” have done a pretty good job of selling these mis-truths about religion to the general proletariat in the interest of maintaining control and rationalizing their social policy choices and directions and coincidentally, their power base. So, as previously posted “imagine a universe where authority can be wrong“. Imagine a situation where all those “assumptions” about Christianity are just … well … wrong. Imagine.

So I am just going to quote from my meditation book … a message shining a light on what Christianity is … in reality …:

“1. Everyone has some burden, more or less heavy, to bear: physical or moral weakness, the press of duties and responsibilities, fatigue or other troubles which weigh on his shoulders. Everyone feels the need of a friendly hand to help him carry this weight. This hand should be held out to him in fraternal charity, which for the love of GOD, knows how to be all things to all men. “Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so you shall fulfill the law of Christ” (St. Paul, Gal 6,2)

A Christian knows that he  is not isolated, but is a member of a unique body, the Mystical Body of Christ. “So we being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another” (St. Paul, Rom 12,5). This knowledge of his solidarity with the brethren makes a Christian live, not enclosed in the tiny circle of his own interests, but with his heart open to the needs and interests of others. The mystery of our incorporation in Christ is more than an individual fact; by its very nature, it is a social fact. Incorporation in Christ by grace and charity connotes reciprocal incorporation among brethren, like branches of a vine, which, sprung from the same stock, are so closely united one to another that they live, grow, and develop together.

Love for Christ is the vital expression of our union with Him; the closer this union becomes, the more our love increases; so too, fraternal charity is the vital expression of our reciprocal union with the brethren in Christ, to such a point that if this charity were not living and operative, we would have to say that our union in Christ and with Christ is very weak or even absolutely null.” (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 778)

That’s definitely not the popular image of a “Catholic”. The world “KNOWS” that Catholics are the real bad guys… hmmm.

Enough for now … more in the next post and a parting jest:

 

Cheers

Joe

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Life in a small town

The Resurrection Of Our Lord

This could have been a long and involved post but N.T. Wright wrote over 800 pages on this topic and I think I will simply refer those interested to his work and stick to what this means to me and why I have come to believe what I believe. First, it is absolutely clear to me at this stage that All of Christianity stands or falls on the reality of the Resurrection. Either Christ was/is GOD the Son and the Resurrection is a real event as we believe, and everything He taught is true and is as He says:

Jesus Christ, ca 30AD

1Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God: believe also in me. 2In my Father’s house there are many mansions. If not, I would have told you: because I go to prepare a place for you. 3And if I shall go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself: that where I am, you also may be. 4And whither I go you know: and the way you know.

5Thomas saith to him: Lord, we know not whither thou goest. And how can we know the way? 6Jesus saith to him: I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.

7If you had known me, you would without doubt have known my Father also: and from henceforth you shall know him. And you have seen him.

8Philip saith to him: Lord, shew us the Father; and it is enough for us. 9Jesus saith to him: Have I been so long a time with you and have you not known me? Philip, he that seeth me seeth the Father also. How sayest thou: Shew us the Father? 10Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father in me? The words that I speak to you, I speak not of myself. But the Father who abideth in me, he doth the works. 11Believe you not that I am in the Father and the Father in me? 12Otherwise believe for the very works’ sake.

Amen, amen, I say to you, he that believeth in me, the works that I do, he also shall do: and greater than these shall he do. 13Because I go to the Father: and whatsoever you shall ask the Father in my name, that will I do: that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14If you shall ask me any thing in my name, that I will do.” (John 14:1-14)

George Soros, 2012

Or, Christ was/is NOT GOD the Son and the Resurrection is not a real event as we believe, but rather some foundational myth of just another religion, and everything He taught is a lie.

There is no moral compass and all truth, good, evil, joy and suffering are simply some relativistic opinion of one or another charismatic person, more or less good according to their own judgement and the judgement of their particular followers.

In this regime, this philosophy, there is no moral difference no valid way to judge what are right actions and results between, for example, those who sought to save and protect the Jewish and Christian victims of the Nazi holocaust, and the bureaucrats and camp workers and soldiers who set those policies and put the “Final Solution” into action.

All that we have is a difference of opinion between the followers of different sociopolitical points of view.

Kim Jong-un

In the society which does not believe in the Resurrection there are only differences of opinion and any and all means of forwarding one’s point of view are acceptable. Christians are just stupid suckers who deserve death or worse because they are “just too stupid to live”.

Might makes right, and outside of the Resurrection, that is the foundation of every belief system in history and really, anywhere on the planet today.

Our choice today is between North Korea and by implication China, and all the other totalitarian regimes making headlines today on the one hand, and the nominally “christian” west which has a history of “working for the good” but is currently in the throes of rapidly jettisoning that “old fashioned baggage” and rapidly moving towards the Korean model by way of Franco-European style socialism.

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

We are proudly living in the derelict castle of our past and using up the stores of our patrimony without providing anything or creating anything new for the future generation. All the while we prance about like drama students pretending that we wrote the play.

This is one of those utterly simple binary choices between two clearly, radically even, different paths of existence and the choice hinges on belief that there is a Good that is desirable and attainable by all men, or on a belief that there is no Good, that all choices are relative and equally meritorious, what I have previously referred to as “the Mystical Body of Christ vs The Mystical Body of Anti-Christ”.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau speaks with the media in the foyer of the House of Commons following the release of an ethics report in Ottawa on Wednesday December 20, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld ORG XMIT: ajw105

The latter path appears to be the predominant direction of our modern society, the clear choice, the politically correct mindset of the Luciferian Left, our progressive leadership and the vast government network of functionaries and minions who are engaged in  forwarding the agenda of the latest “Final Solution”, as well as those who they claim to “serve” as in “public service”.

We find ourselves living our lives in a perfect classroom experiment involving Christ’s instruction about “loving our enemies”. If the delineation between the sides of this choice is not immediately clear then ask yourself “Why is the Tides Foundation Canada one of the major supporters of the Liberal Party of Canada?”

Who is at the top of the food chain in the Tides foundation? What’s in it for them? And why is Pope Francis’s administration lining up in lock step all across the spectrum with the global agenda of George Soros?

Don’t take my word for it … do your own digging … it’s all out there in the public domain.

I have been reading “Resurrection of the Son of God V3: Christian Origins and the Question of God”, by N. T. Wright. Fortress Press.  I quote from a couple of reviewers: “‘A monumental achievement in its scope, depth, and execution … a landmark in scholarly studies of the resurrection.’ Gerald O ’ Collins, The Tablet.

and

‘The most monumental defence of the Easter heritage in decades … The Resurrection of the Son of God marches through a clearly organized case that confronts every major doubt about Easter, ancient and modern.’ Richard N. Ostling, Associated Press.

For me, this is indeed “monumental”, the best book about the Resurrection I have ever had the pleasure to read. To end this post I am going to quote from the Preface. I have edited and slightly re-arranged the paragraph order and structure into bite sized bits which I find easier to read online but the thoughts and words are all N.T. Wright.

… in order to determine what happened on one particular day nearly two thousand years ago we find ourselves obliged to call and cross-examine a wide variety of witnesses, some of whom are simultaneously being questioned by advocates of other answers to the question.

The debate has frequently been bedevilled by oversimplifications, and to avoid this we shall have to set things out reasonably fully. Even so, there is no space for a full-scale history of research on the subject. I have chosen certain conversation partners, and regret that there was no room for more. My impression from reading the literature is that the primary sources themselves are not well enough known, or carefully enough studied.

The pilgrim who visits the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem faces several puzzles. Is this after all the place where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified and buried? Why is it inside the city walls, not outside as one had supposed? How does the present building relate to the original site? How did the place come to be so different from what the New Testament leads us to expect (a garden with a tomb in it, close to a hill called Golgotha)?

And, even supposing this is roughly the right place, is this the right spot? Is this rocky outcrop, now enclosed within an upstairs chapel, actually the top of Golgotha? Is this marble slab really where the dead Jesus was laid? Is this highly ornate shrine really the site of the tomb? And—a different sort of question, but a pressing one for many visitors—why are different groups of Christians still squabbling about who owns the place?

N.T. Wright, speaking at a conference in December 2007

These puzzles, though, do not noticeably affect the appeal of the place. Despite archaeological, historical and ecclesiastical squabbles, the church retains its evocative and spiritual power. Pilgrims still flock to it in their hundreds of thousands.

Some of them still question whether it all really happened. Did Jesus of Nazareth, they ask, really rise from the dead? Whether or not they realize it, they join a different throng on a different pilgrimage: the jostling, overheated crowd of historians investigating the strange reports of events at the tomb of Jesus on the third day following his execution.
Here they are confronted with a similar set of problems.

The story of Easter, like the church at its supposed location, has been demolished and reconstructed again and again over the years. The tantalizing narratives in the gospels are as puzzling to the reader as the building is to the visitor. How do they fit together, if at all?

What precisely happened? Which school of thought today, if any, is telling the story truly? Many have despaired of discovering what, if anything, happened on the third day after Jesus’ crucifixion. Yet, despite perplexity and scepticism, billions of Christians around the world regularly repeat the original confession of Easter faith: on the third day after his execution, Jesus rose again.

So what did happen on Easter morning? This historical question, which is the central theme of the present book, is closely related to the question of why Christianity began, and why it took the shape it did.

N. T..Wright, “The Resurrection of the Son of God V3: Christian Origins and the Question of God” (pp. 3-4). Fortress Press.

Cheers

Joe

15. But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord. (Joshua 24:15)

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The Inner Struggle

Duty … Virtue … and especially Suffering …

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

Marcus Aurelius – was Roman emperor from AD161 to AD180,

Marcus Aurelius – was Roman emperor from AD161 to AD180,

When searching for answers about “what constitutes right living?”, and “how does one know when one is following the right path?” one is really asking oneself “How do I know with certainty what is the will of God?”  Understanding the perfection of love, that is “love of another besides myself” consists in striving towards the perfect conformity of my will with the divine will.

I think it is sitting right in front of our face and residing in our soul of we are honest with ourselves. It is expressed  simply in a concrete and detailed way in the duties of my state and the various circumstances of my life. The “duties of my state” determine particularly how I must act on a daily basis so as to be always in conformity with the divine will.

Those duties are expressed in the commandments of God, known in “natural law” to all men, in all times, in rules and customs, commands of superiors, and tasks imposed by obedience, my duties are those required by my family life, my profession or occupation, my social activities, and by good citizenship.

And so, as is known in “natural law” to all men, in all times, Marcus Aurelius reflects on Duty: Our duty is to Begin the morning by saying to thyself, I shall meet with the busy-body, the ungrateful, arrogant, deceitful, envious, unsocial. All these things happen to them by reason of their ignorance of what is good and evil.

On Virtue: But I who have seen the nature of the good that it is beautiful, and of the bad that it is ugly, and the nature of him who does wrong, that it is akin to me, not only of the same blood or seed, but that it participates in the same intelligence and the same portion of the divinity, I can neither be injured by any of them, for no one can fix on me what is ugly, nor can I be angry with my kinsman, nor hate him,

On Suffering, : For we are made for co-operation, like feet, like hands, like eyelids, like the rows of the upper and lower teeth. To act against one another then is contrary to nature; and it is acting against one another to be vexed and to turn away.” going forward in duty by virtue regardless of the consequences and violence we might suffer whenever the all too human tendency to refuse co-operation, to insist on doing things our own way, to work against each other and to experience the suffering inherent in human relations whenever the reality of selfishness and self worship impact the smooth exchanges of daily relations.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book Two.

We understand, from reading the “ancients”, from reading the “classics”,  that “natural law” is knowable and known, to all men, in all times, since man began. And God’s will, as discerned in natural law, is also marked out for me by the circumstances of my life, whether it is important or not, down to the very smallest detail, in health or sickness, wealth or poverty, interior joy or aridity and emptiness, success or failure, struggles, misfortunes and losses.

From time to time I am presented with tasks – special tasks – of patience, generous activity, love, or renouncement, detachment, submission, and sacrifice. These tasks may come to me through the actions of my superiors, governing bodies, professional organizations, family members, or some combination of the actions and consequent fallout of such actions involving some or all of the above groups.

But everything is permitted by God, “To them that love God, all things work together unto good” (Rom 8, 28), so it remains to me to discover what the divine will may  be in each task with which I am presented. Sanctity does not consist in doing extraordinary things … sanctity is reduced to simply the fulfillment of duty … therefore it is most definitely possible for me to attain to sanctity regardless of how insignificant I may view my role in the tapestry of life.

Therefore I must be persevering and punctual in the fulfillment of my duties, diligent, being careful in my actions, accustoming myself to see the expression of God’s will in every one of my duties, no matter how trivial. I must fulfill my duties not only when I feel great fervor but also when I am sad, tired, frustrated, or in a state of spiritual aridity. I must express constancy with generosity.

It may feel small and insignificant but it takes uncommon virtue to fulfill all one’s duties without carelessness, negligence, or laziness, to avoid the pitfall of giving everything a “lick and a promise” or just going through the motions in order to “get it done”. It takes uncommon virtue to put the effort into attention, piety, and spiritual fervor, to pay attention to the details, for the whole combination of ordinary duties which make up my daily life. The details matter.

I must not be discouraged by failure, either resulting from outside forces or from my own failure of attention or lack of competence – my mistakes and forgetfulness and so on and so forth. Always acknowledge faults and failures, take ownership of them and begin again with renewed commitment.

What else is there to say about “duty”? It seems something of a truism that in our great self-regard we find it easier and more attractive to identify the duties of others than our own, and inversely, there will always be a plenitude of folks more than willing to tell us what our duty may be should we find ourselves momentarily unfocused and apparently idle.

Well, I suppose that might just be enough for one post – I will continue next post with thoughts a about virtue and how one employs virtue to carry out one’s duty and perhaps then into how this persevering way of life, constantly doing one’s duty by exercising virtue results in suffering …

Hmmm

Cheers

Joe

 

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Life in a small town

Happy Good Sunday Morning from the Shire …

Driving home from church last night, in the dark, yup, the sun is going down earlier and earlier this time of year setting at about 6:45 pm and came up this morning about 7:40 am, but last night the most impressive “Harvest “Moon”  I have seen in a long time dominated the drive until it rose high enough to pass behind a bank of scattered light clouds.

Then it became a different kind of spectacular … lighting up the clouds like some kind of celestial vision.  I guess others thought so as well and there are lots of photos and videos about the moon and the northern lights at the link below from our weather channel which I use as my home page now.

With this “home page” I get a “first thing in the day” reminder of all things to be grateful for in our lives, before the litany of evil and drama washes over me when the rest of the MSM “news” intrudes on my peace.

One can scroll down through the Weather channel article to see the still photos below the video feed at the top. The video from space of the Northern Lights is pretty spectacular, and I especially enjoyed the Land-Rover advert.

Wish that one was longer with more Racing Cat coverage. Big on Racing Cats myself, lifelong passion in fact. Really not big on sand though, “The Sandbox”, “House built on sand”, “Sand in the gears”, nope, not big on sand around here. Also, I rather suspect that this site gets updated regularly so it may not have the same content in a few days as it does now.

https://www.theweathernetwork.com/news/articles/october-harvest-moon-2017-fall-equinox-northern-hemisphere/87168 

September Full Corn Moon

September Full Corn Moon … from the site: https://www.almanac.com/content/full-moon-september

The kind of news showing up here is about as different from the MSM as it is possible to get and that is all good in my books. Of course we get full moons every month but in the fall we seem to be out more in the dark evening and we notice them more, especially if one lives in a rural area and the activities with fall harvest see many folks working late into the night, sometimes all night.

Harvest seems to be going much better this year with many farmers having only a couple of thousand acres left to harvest varying from farm to farm of course depending on what was planted and the decisions on the ground.

But last year, folks had 10’s of thousands of acres left unharvested and many didn’t finish harvest until the end of November and still had crops unharvested, so we are doing OK this year in a general sort of way. Of course there are always problems but when are there not problems?

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

Today is the 18th Sunday after Pentecost, and my meditation readings are about “The Power and Love of Jesus”. Yesterday was an Immovable Feast, the “Feast of The Blessed Virgin Mary of The Rosary” a Catholic Feast Day which has it’s origins in a famous battle and which Feast Day marks now the 446th anniversary of the Battle of Lepanto, a great naval battle, perhaps one of the greatest naval battles in all of history.

Lepanto, and the events leading up to the battle, have fallen into unfashionable obscurity, notwithstanding the fact that were it not for that battle, and the victories of the beleaguered Christians in many other lopsided battles of that time, there would have been no Western Civilization to give us all the good things we take for granted in our lives, in the here and now, every day.

We ignore history and reality at our peril, we, men and women both, need to examine what the future holds if Christians fail to win victory in this age. The enemy has not improved with age, no, Old Nick has aged gracefully and is more powerful than ever as mankind has chosen to pretend that he does not exist.

The Battle of Lepanto, 1571 ...

The Battle of Lepanto, 1571 …

There are still a few people who remember Lepanto, some honest scholarly individuals, who continue to try to remind us of a past which the fashionably Progressive Brights and the proles of our modern day and age would much rather prefer to forget, or at least to not have this “version” of “Truth” and “Facts” come up in polite conversation or be mentioned in the news.

One such writer is Fr. George W. Rutler, pastor of St. Michael’s church in New York City. He is the author of many books including Principalities and Powers: Spiritual Combat 1942-1943 (South Bend, IN: St. Augustine’s Press) and Hints of Heaven (Sophia Institute Press). His latest books are He Spoke To Us (Ignatius, 2016) and The Stories of Hymns (EWTN Publishing, 2017).

Fr. George’s take on Lepanto can be found at “Crisis Magazine” in an article from last October 7th entitled “The Banners of Lepanto”.  What follows is a few paragraphs from the middle of his 2016 essay:

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… Not to diminish the Battle of Baltimore, the Battle of Lepanto ranks as one of the greatest sea battles of all time, and in one sense it was the most important. There never would have been a Trafalgar or Jutland or Leyte Gulf without it and, as a matter of fact, it is likely that it made possible the survival of everything we know as civilization.

Had the Christian fleets sunk off western Greece on October 7 in 1571, we would not be here now, these words would not be written in English, and there would be no universities, human rights, holy matrimony, advanced science, enfranchised women, fair justice, and morality as it was carved on the tablets of Moses and enfleshed in Christ.

Many banners wafted at Lepanto. The great one bearing an image of Christ Crucified was the gift of Pope Pius V to Don Juan of Austria. One of the admirals, Gianandrea Doria, a nephew of Andrea Doria often confused with his uncle, used as his ensign, if not a banner, an image of Our Lady of Guadalupe, this only forty years after her appearance in Mexico. The bishop there had commissioned five copies, touching each to the original tilma. The one given to the King of Spain, Philip II, was in turn entrusted to Doria for the battle.

Then there was the sixteen-foot long silk banner of the Ottoman admiral Ali Pasha decorated with Quranic verses and the image of a zulfiqar, the double-bladed sword said to have been what Mohammed had used in his slaughterings, with the name of Allah stitched in gold 29,800 times.

Naval historians have extraordinarily detailed resources for studying the battle. Perhaps the most literate remembrance is that of Cervantes who fought heroically at Lepanto despite a severe fever and wounds; later he was able to write Don Quixote with his right hand, the left being totally useless after October 7.

Pope St. Pius V never recorded the details of his astonishing vision on that day, but he saw the scene miraculously while in the church of Santa Sabina discussing administrative accounts with his advisor Bartolo Busotti, and announced the victory to him, nineteen days before a messenger of the Doge of Venice Mocenigo reached Rome with news—no longer new—of the great victory. (Pope St. Pius V said) “Let us set aside business and fall on our knees in thanksgiving to God, for he has given our fleet a great victory.

Five years later the astronomer and geographer Luigi Lilio died. He was a principle architect of the Gregorian calendar implemented in 1582. Trained minds like his, acting upon the testimony of witnesses, calculated by the meridians of Rome and the Curzola isles that the pope had received his revelation precisely as Don Juan leaped from his quarter deck to repulse the Turks boarding his vessel and when the Ottoman galley “Sultana” was attacked side and stern by Marco Antonio Colonna and the Marquis of Santa Cruz.” (More here …)

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

Another writer and Blogger of note, David Warren, has also touched upon the significance of Lepanto and the anniversary of the battle. (and also here), as above I have extracted a few paragraphs from the middle of his 2015 post:

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… Heroic chastity might take the form of declining to steer the willing wench into bed, but here I am considering the “high political.” And this includes the high political in humble stations of everyday life. The question, What is for the good? — aye, there’s a question. It is a masculine one, so that when a woman asks it she must play the man. (So much of mothering requires masculine decision.)

But, par excellence, the father in the household must exercise a judgement in which his own interest is sublimated within the interests of his family. He must stand above himself to see what these are, and make painful personal sacrifice sometimes, without selfish whining or complaint. Or else, become a failure in the eyes of wife, children, and God.

And likewise, all leadership is in its essence chaste and masculine, whether the ruler be a woman or a man. The commander of the fleet — our Don John of Austria — has before him Victory in a holy cause, demanding all sacrifice together with the knowledge that he is in the service of Heaven. For all the private failures of his past, he must not fail now.
*
There is a distance from which some clarity is possible, perhaps; and then I fear a greater distance at which the subject shrinks and disappears. I am referring here to the Battle of Lepanto, whose 444th anniversary we celebrate today, in the Feast of Our Lady of the Holy Rosary.

The issue of that battle was not clear at the time. The fleet of the Holy League had destroyed the massed Ottoman fleet, but could hardly reconquer the eastern Mediterranean. The initial intention had been to recover Cyprus from the Infidel Turk, but this was impossible; and long after Lepanto the recovering Ottoman forces harried Catholic (chiefly Spanish) interests in the western Mediterranean.

Tunis and Algiers resumed as centres of piracy, and long into the eighteenth century the European coast remained an open target for Muslim depredation. Indeed, as we were reminded on the 11th of September, 2001, the spirit of Islamic raid and conquest is far from quelled today.

It was only over time that the magnitude of the victory of Lepanto came plainly into historical view, as the most consequential naval engagement since the Battle of Actium — fought at nearly the same location, in 31 BC. In each, West prevailed against East, and had it not been so, the history of Europe would be much different. ” (the rest is here).

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So much to be thankful for, so many events, big and small, so many minor and major miracles every day. Consider the miracle of just waking up after 13 hours of good sleep, wow!  So many people didn’t experience this miracle, so many people didn’t wake up at all, so many people went to their final judgement unshriven and unwittingly desperate, having ignored all the signs and messages all their lives.

Pray for the souls of the dead … “Eternal Rest grant onto them O Lord, and may Perpetual Light shine upon them, may they rest in peace. Amen” Pray for the souls of the living … “Most Precious Blood of Jesus Christ save us, and the whole world”.

It seems that whenever mankind has things good, the first thing mankind does is thumb the nose at God or some flip Him the bird, God doesn’t exist, God doesn’t care, I don’t know about God but I am definitely gonna worry about me first and have fun right now.  4000 unbroken years of “Things are great, God doesn’t matter!  WHOOAAAH! Things are BAD!  “You and me Lord, You and me!”

Prosperity, Peace, Babylon, Prosperity, Peace, Persia, Prosperity, Peace, Rome, Prosperity, Peace, Islam, Prosperity, Peace, Nationalism, Prosperity, Peace, Communism, then came the 20th century and WWI, WWII, and WWIII, now the 21st, … are things looking better or worse than last century?

Does anyone notice a pattern here? Where do we feel that we are on the Prosperity, Peace, Disaster, Downfall cycle? We can look at what is actually going on around us and, in spite of what out leaders and the elite of the intelligentsia tell us, do things seem OK to you?

Your mileage may vary, but my gut tells me we are approaching a major “chastisement”.  So Sunday is a day for praying and reading scripture and Joshua has some things to say about the behaviour of the people which are still applicable to we the people in this day, especially applicable in this day and age I think:

Mother of Sorrows”, Benedictines of Mary Queen of Apostles, from the album “Lent At Ephesus”, (2014)

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Joshua 23:

1And when a long time was passed, after that the Lord had given peace to Israel, all the nations round about being subdued, and Josue being now old, and far advanced in years: 2Josue called for all Israel, and for the elders, and for the princes, and for the judges, and for the masters, and said to them: I am old, and far advanced in years: 3And you see all that the Lord your God hath done to all the nations round about, how he himself hath fought for you:

Joshua ...

Joshua …

4And now since he hath divided to you by lot all the land, from the east of the Jordan unto the great sea, and many nations yet remain: 5The Lord your God will destroy them, and take them away from before your face, and you shall possess the land as he hath promised you. 6Only take courage, and be careful to observe all things that are written in the book of the law of Moses: and turn not aside from them neither to the right hand nor to the left:

7Lest after that you are come in among the Gentiles, who will remain among you, you should swear by the name of their gods, and serve them, and adore them: 8But cleave ye unto the Lord your God: as you have done until this day. 9And then the Lord God will take away before your eyes nations that are great and very strong, and no man shall be able to resist you. 10One of you shall chase a thousand men of the enemies: because the Lord your God himself will fight for you, as he hath promised.

11This only take care of with all diligence, that you love the Lord your God. 12But if you will embrace the errors of these nations that dwell among you, and make marriages with them, and join friendships: 13Know ye for a certainty that the Lord your God will not destroy them be- fore your face, but they shall be a pit and a snare in your way, and a stumbling block at your side, and stakes in your eyes, till he take you away and destroy you from off this excellent land, which he hath given you.

14Behold this day I am going into the way of all the earth, and you shall know with all your mind that of all the words which the Lord promised to perform for you, not one hath failed. 15Therefore as he hath fulfilled in deed, what he promised, and all things prosperous have come: so Will he bring upon you all the evils he hath threatened, till he take you away and destroy you from off this excellent land, which he hath given you,

16When you shall have transgressed the covenant of the Lord your God, which he hath made with you, and shall have served strange gods, and adored them : then shall the indignation of the Lord rise up quickly and speedily against you, and you shall be taken away from this excellent land, which he hath delivered to you.

Joshua 24:

Abraham and Isaac ...

Abraham and Isaac …

1And Josue gathered together all the tribes of Israel in Sichem, and called for the ancients, and the princes, and the judges, and the masters: and they stood in the sight of the Lord: 2And he spoke thus to the people: Thus saith the Lord the God of Israel: Your fathers dwelt of old on the other side of the river, Thare the father of Abraham, and Nachor: and they served strange gods.

3And I took your father Abraham from the borders of Mesopotamia: and brought him into the land of Chanaan: and I multiplied his seed, 4And gave him Isaac: and to him again I gave Jacob and Esau. And I gave to Esau mount Seir for his possession: but Jacob and his children went down into Egypt.

5And I sent Moses and Aaron, and I struck Egypt with many signs and wonders. 6And I brought you and your fathers out of Egypt, and you came to the sea: and the Egyptians pursued your fathers with chariots and horsemen, as far as the Red Sea. 7And the children of Israel cried to the Lord: and he put darkness between you and the Egyptians, and brought the sea upon them, and covered them. Your eyes saw all that I did in Egypt, and you dwelt in the wilderness a long time:

Moses parting the Sea ...

Moses parting the Sea …

8And I brought you into the land of the Amorrhite, who dwelt beyond the Jordan. And when they fought against you, I delivered them into your hands, and you possessed their land, and slew them. 9And Balac son of Sephor king of Moab arose and fought against Israel. And he sent and called for Balaam son of Beor, to curse you: 10And I would not hear him, but on the contrary I blessed you by him, and I delivered you out of his hand.

11And you passed over the Jordan, and you came to Jericho. And the men of that city fought against you, the Amorrhite, and the Pherezite, and the Chanaanite, and the Hethite, and the Gergesite, and the Hevite, and the Jebusite: and I delivered them into your hands.
12And I sent before you hornets: and I drove them out from their places, the two kings of the Amorrhites, not with thy sword nor with thy bow. 13And I gave you a land, in which you had not laboured, and cities to dwell in which you built not, vineyards and oliveyards, which you planted not.

Choose Whom You will Serve (Deuteronomy 10:12-22)

14Now therefore fear the Lord, and serve him with a perfect and most sincere heart: and put away the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15But if it seem evil to you to serve the Lord, you have your choice: choose this day that which pleaseth you, whom you would rather serve, whether the gods which your fathers served in Mesopotamia, or the gods of the Amorrhites, in whose land you dwell: but as for me and my house we will serve the Lord.

16And the people answered, and said: God forbid we should leave the Lord, and serve strange gods. 17The Lord our God he brought us and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage: and did very great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way by which we journeyed, and among all the people through whom we passed. 18And he hath cast out all the nations, the Amorrhite the inhabitant of the land into which we are come. Therefore we will serve the Lord, for he is our God.

Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin ...

Sodom and Gomorrah, by John Martin … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodom_and_Gomorrah

19And Josue said to the people: You will not be able to serve the Lord: for he is a holy God, and mighty and jealous, and will not forgive your wickedness and sins. 20If you leave the Lord, and serve strange gods, he will turn, and will afflict you, and will destroy you after all the good he hath done you. 21And the people said to Josue: No, it shall not be so as thou sayest, but we will serve the Lord.

22And Josue said to the people: You are witnesses, that you yourselves have chosen you the Lord to serve him. And they answered: We are witnesses. 23Now therefore, said he, put away strange gods from among you, and incline your hearts to the Lord the God of Israel. 24And the people said to Josue: We will serve the Lord our God, and we will be obedient to his commandments.

25Josue therefore on that day made a covenant, and set before the people commandments and judgments in Sichem. 26And he wrote all these things in the volume of the law of the Lord: and he took a great stone, and set it under the oak that was in the sanctuary of the Lord. 27And he said to all the people: Behold this stone shall be a testimony unto you, that it hath heard all the words of the Lord, which he hath spoken to you: lest perhaps hereafter you will deny it, and lie to the Lord your God. 28And he sent the people away every one to their own possession.”

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I guess that would be enough for one day. The parallels are startling if one takes a moment to consider. Are we, as a culture and society, really THAT sure that we are right about God … the last 4000 years of history are not on our side in that bet …

Cheers

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

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