Life in a small town

The Power Of Faith …

The Return Of The King” Howard Shore, composer, from the soundtrack of “The Return Of The King”, part 3 of “The Lord Of The Rings”, released on December 17th, 2003.

I do believe, Lord; help my unbelief; increase my faith” (Mk 9, 23 – cf Lk 17,5)

It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” Tolkien, “The Return of the King

I haven’t written anything since before last July 17th … I have been rather thinking and wondering if I have anything worth sharing and how can I tell … as Thomas a Kempis said “We think sometimes to please others by our company, and we rather offend them with those bad qualities they discover in us.” … and then, in our self regard we take offense that they have been offended by our bad qualities.

What is worthwhile?

I watched “Indivisible” last night. It helped me to re-focus my head on what matters.

Honor, Faith, Loyalty, Competence, Selflessness, Integrity, Courage, Discipline, Sacrifice,  Tradition,  virtues to live by. The virtues we strive to live by, for better or for worse, in sickness or in health, onto death or the end of the world in spite of everything the world throws at us in it’s effort to deny life. The thing that all of these virtues or qualities have in common at their root is they are all about “Giving”  to others. Giving away what we have and are for the benefit of others, even unto death. To develop these “characteristics” one has to live them, repeat them, over, and over, and over, until the repetition ingrains them so deeply into every cell of our being that thought never enters into it. it just IS the way you live, as natural as breathing.

Aristotle makes this point about the virtues in general, with courage as one of the virtues he addresses. As he notes in his Nicomachean Ethics, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit.”  For Aristotle, the key to virtuous behavior (to include courageous behavior) is habituation. We have to habituate ourselves to facing fear and reacting courageously. A great deal of military training focuses on exactly that — the formation of certain military virtues through repetitive training.

The corollary is, of course, that choosing self indulgence also becomes ingrained. We become what we do. “Giving” to others or “Taking” from others for ourselves are the two sides of the coin. We choose what we become. It is so simple that few acknowledge it, because to do so would mean having to take responsibility for our lives. Not being responsible has become, in our modern culture, literally a “get out of jail free” card. We can do and demand whatever we want and if anyone tries to stop us or hold us accountable THEY are the bad guy.

Honor and loyalty are kind of like a religion, a part of our religion. It is a religious experience.  It’s a belief in the standards, values, morals espoused by an organization and an adherence to them, [but] . . . it’s not a mindless adherence. . . . Duty, honor, sacrifice: You have a duty, and by properly executing your duty you cause an honor to be associated with yourself,  your profession and your beliefs. “Now do I swear fealty and service to the Lord, to speak and to be silent, to do and to let be, to come and to go, in need or plenty, in peace or war, in living or dying, from this hour henceforth, until my Lord release me, or calls me home, or the world’s end“.

Much of what follows here came out of “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”.  So my thoughts going forward are focused on the “end of all things” and how to make the best of the remaining time we have in  this world.

All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mk 9,22). Before Jesus performed a miracle, any miracle, He always asked for an act of faith. “Do you believe that I can do this unto you?” (Mt 9,28), and when faith was sincere, the miracle took place immediately. Jesus never said “My power and omnipotence has saved you, or cured you, but rather your faith, this to give us to understand that faith is the prerequisite to benefit from His power.

He, the all powerful Creator of the universe and everything in it, will only use His power for the benefit of those who firmly believe in Him, hence, there were no miracles for Nazareth.  4And Jesus said to them: A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and in his own house, and among his own kindred. 5And he could not do any miracles there, only that he cured a few that were sick, laying his hands upon them. 6And he wondered because of their unbelief, and he went through the villages round about teaching. (Mk 6,4-6),

The more lively our faith the more powerful it is with the very power of God. Like everything in the Gospel, Jesus’s words are literally true, as mentioned in previous posts, it’s either all a lie, or it’s all true, it’s either all an evil con game, or it is all absolutely true. We choose to believe, or not to believe … we choose.  If the word of God is ineffectual in our lives  it is only because our faith is very weak.

In life we meet with many difficulties, and for us they are real  mountains. Difficulties in our spiritual life; faults we struggle to overcome; virtues we never seem to be able to acquire; difficulties in our everyday life; insufficient means of support, duties which surpass our abilities or our strength. And we stop , we are discouraged, at the foot of these mountains. “It is impossible, I cannot do it.”. It would require only a little faith, and provided our faith is living, certain, resolute, supernatural, and that it counts only on God and trusts in His Name alone, this faith will confront every difficulty with courage.. “Nothing is impossible to him that believeth.” and where belief stops, self love begins, and with self love begins every evil under the sun.

Although the difficulties we encounter are serious ones, discouragement is never justified. We get discouraged because we consider our powerlessness: on the one hand we remember our past failures and bitter life experience, and on the other hand we imagine situations coming up which are beyond our strength, making them appear like huge cliffs which crush, smother and paralyze us.

And, then there you are, sitting on your living-room floor, with no path forward visible in the darkness around. And the demons of our doubts are prattling on about the only “logical” choice is to stop wasting resources and end it.  That is often why God permits these very difficulties to teach us not to trust in ourselves … sometimes these difficulties cannot be solved by any human means.

And God permits all this to teach us, to force us, to practice the virtue of faith.



Freedom and Faith


Pen as Sword - Social Commentary

Web of Trust … part 3

(Note to readers who might find this old post from May 2015:  That was then, this is now, I am adding this on April 14, 2019, almost 4 years on from where I was back in May 2015. I have to emphatically declare that much of what I believe and write about in this and the next three post about “The Web Of Trust” is based on the work of Bill Whittle and his writings at the beginning of the 21st century, about that Web of Trust as he sees it and also to no small degree on his “Tribes” polemic. 

Bill put it all together in a good book called SILENT AMERICA: ESSAYS FROM A DEMOCRACY AT WAR which is well worth reading. Bill articulated very well the headspace of an entire generation of retired vets, workers in the trenches of our modern society, and even many who served in other ways, his Grey Tribe workers … you know who you are.

And he affected the way we resolved the coginitive dissonance we experienced once we left the Armed Services. I had a rather gentle transition spending, as I did, 10 years in the Corrections Service, getting used to “civvie street” again before making a clean break into the world of modern College, University and eventually Government Health Care. Others were not so lucky.)

So we were talking about the 7 “hard” disciplines and how they underlay the entire web of trust which makes our modern civilization work and provides pretty much all of us with an unprecedented standard of living, safety and comfort.

The 7 “hard” disciplines is the complete picture of our civilization’s web of trust in a nutshell – physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, engineering, computer science and of course mathematics. Everything that makes life safe, prosperous, and even possible for us today depends totally on developments and progress building step upon step in those 7 “hard” disciplines, the development of which stretches all the way back to Aristotle, Plato, and the birth of the Western Philosophical Tradition, a group referred to collectively by the Illuminati of the Pink as Dead White Males in their broadcast Ad Hominum attack on all of recorded history.

And, of course, the total construct of these interrelated “hard science” disciplines rests on a foundation of Catholic Philosophy and the work of hundreds of generations of Catholic scientists, many of whom were (HORRORS!) Catholic Priests. We are never told about that part these days, in the midst of absorbing our Progressive Relativist Revisionist “Social Studies”.

I didn’t just make this up for this blog post. It is common knowledge available to anyone who cares to search rather than get their “wisdom” from the main stream media.

As I mentioned earlier, I use the term “hard” in the sense that these disciplines typically function in an empirical structure that doesn’t care how the student, working scientist, or professor “feels” about developments and results. In the “hard” disciplines we have no room for weaselly distortion and subjective opinion.

No room for feelings. Things either “are” or “are not”. The direction of experimentation always points to “truth” or “fact” or some sort of error or “untruth” which encourages the searcher to try a different tack, revisit his or her thesis or premise and try again. Or you can choose the “soft” approach, the “Pink” approach”, and just chuck out or ignore the bits that don’t support what you are selling.

And so you have the “soft” sciences, the “studies” programs, the subjective, emotional, touchy feely, “investigations” into the human “reality”.  The “soft” sciences are a very recent development in our history. The “soft” sciences only exist because the “hard” sciences were so successful that we developed an incredibly rich civilization.

The 7 hard disciplines applied over centuries allowed mankind to bring into existence a civilization so successful that huge surpluses of wealth and resources existed to support the investigation of areas of human existence where empirical reality has less value and subjective feelings and “Gedanken” experiments reign supreme.

Stated another way, we now observe the sad fact that the very success of the 7 “hard” disciplines in creating an incredible civilization, also gave us enough security, and comfort, and frankly, slack in the system, the culture of slack, for all the “soft science”  areas called “studies” to develop, and even usurp pride of place over the “hard” disciplines which make them possible.

And not only possible but to thrive and flower and release their spores into the surrounding culture. We have become as gods, destroyers of worlds, for the real important world is not actually the physical reality so easily manipulated by the hard disciplines but the much deeper spiritual reality of souls. and verily we are truly destroying the world of the soul, with mockery and belittling in the interest of “Self” worship.


And in the “Just So” stories of our culture, the “soft science gurus” experienced their own “trinitarian”  Epiphany. Their very own “Eureka” moment when they gazed into the mirror of their black souls and saw the perfect reflection of themselves gazing back and  immediately felt total love for that reflection. They became each and every one of them their very own little triune god.

And so it was that in their heart of hearts they KNEW they couldn’t take themselves seriously, knowing themselves and their personal evils as only they did, and not feeling the same respect for themselves that the examining committees are expected to project, they took the only easy way out and began to ridicule God. They became Momos,  and proceeded to attack and destroy anyone who didn’t get in line to worship at the alter of their thesis.


And Lo’ their “Gedanken” experiments were assigned the arbitrary weight of “reality”, until something overwhelmingly and undeniably contradicted  their predictions whereupon they moved the goal posts to a new “Gedankan” position and carried right on, on the theory that no-one would remember what they originally said, and anyway it’s all about getting the grants, and everybody does it, right?

And the practice rubbed off on some of the “hard” science community because they could see, right before their starving eyes, that sensation sells and gets grants and sponsorship and publicity and television shows and so on, and so they too ate of the apple.  And the serpent of egregious relativism entered the garden of science, and the rest is history …

Don’t believe me?  I remember this, ’cause I was there!. If you weren’t then here are some “Historic Notes” courtesy of Wikipedia:

The Population Bomb is/was a best-selling book written by Stanford University Professor of Biology and teacher, Paul R. Ehrlich and his wife, Anne Ehrlich (who was uncredited), in 1968. It warned of the mass starvation of humans in the 1970s and 1980s due to overpopulation, as well as other major societal upheavals, and advocated immediate action to limit population growth (why do they always decide that they have to kill off someone else to solve the problem?).

Fears of a “population explosion” were widespread in the 1950s and 60s, but the book and its author brought the idea to an even wider audience. The book has been criticized since its publishing for its alarmist tone, and in recent decades for its inaccurate predictions.

The Ehrlichs stand by the basic ideas in the book, stating in 2009 that “perhaps the most serious flaw in The Bomb was that it was much too optimistic about the future” and believe that it achieved their goals because “it alerted people to the importance of environmental issues and brought human numbers into the debate on the human future.”

Fact: Erlich trained as an Entomologist (specializing in butterflies). He had no background or training in agronomy or population growth. “The Population Bomb” was written at the suggestion of David Brower the executive director of the environmentalist Sierra Club, and Ian Ballantine of Ballantine Books following various public appearances Ehrlich had made regarding population issues and their relation to the environment.

The Population Bomb began with the statement:  “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now. At this late date nothing can prevent a substantial increase in the world death rate…   ”  Nothing weaselly about that prediction. Pretty much lays it on the line. And was dead wrong.  … the book was a huge marketing success and made a LOT of money for the players involved.  Any questions?

or another:

Global cooling will kill us all!! But they didn’t just have a proposed physical mechanism for this catastrophe. They had the evidence of the temperature record, which showed global temperatures generally declining from about 1940 to 1970. Which led to fevered predictions like this one, from UC Davis ecology professor Kenneth Watt: “The world has been chilling sharply for about twenty years. If present trends continue, the world will be about four degrees colder for the global mean temperature in 1990, but eleven degrees colder in the year 2000. This is about twice what it would take to put us into an ice age.”

As late as 1980, Carl Sagan was still presenting global cooling as one of two possible doomsday scenarios we could choose from. The series “Cosmos” marks the precise moment of change, when the goal posts were moved.  This is a bit of a cultural time capsule, preserving the precise moment at which scientific alarmists were switching from warning about a new ice age, in the 1970s, to warning about runaway warming. …

so, “soft science”, moving goal posts, changing stories, relativism, denial, plausible deniability, … to be continued …




Disclaimer for nitpickers: We take pride in being incomplete, incorrect, inconsistent, and unfair. We do all of them deliberately