Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

A New Paradigm … Final … the horse is dead … we wait and pray.

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

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari, the 93 year old atheist philosopher. Pope Allegedly Says Hell Doesn’t Exist in Latest Scalfari ‘Interview’ Nonagenarian atheist philosopher also claims Pope is honoured to be called a revolutionary.

Pope Francis has again received Eugenio Scalfari, the 93 year old atheist philosopher, leading to more controversial comments that the Vatican has had to insist are not “faithful” to the Pope’s words.

In his fifth meeting with the atheist philosopher, Scalfari — who neither records interviews nor takes notes — said the Pope allegedly told him again that hell does not exist and that he is honored to be called a “revolutionary.”

The Pope’s purported comments were published Thursday in La Repubblica, the left-leaning Italian newspaper Scalfari co-founded and which the Pope has said is his favorite newspaper.

Hell does not exist – what exists is the disappearance of sinful souls,” the Pope allegedly said. “They are not punished, those who repent obtain the forgiveness of God and go among the ranks of the souls who contemplate him. But those who do not repent, and therefore cannot be forgiven, disappear.” (Wasn’t disappearing what happened to those who disagreed with the government in Argentina under Peron?)

Headlines were quick to spread around the world saying Pope Francis believes hell does not exist, a belief which would break with 2,000 years of Church teaching.

Saint Vincent of Lerins

Saint Vincent of Lerins, who died c. 445, was a Gallic monk and author of early Christian writings.

Vatican statements intended to clarify things smell very strongly of damage control and cover up … quick, scrape the poop off the rug before anyone notices … I have seen this first hand back in the day as a government hack when I wrote briefing notes to spin the latest cluster for my departmental masters. I have a strong feeling that the ducks are taking over the Vatican. My personal bias here is that Scalfari probably got it right, or close enough. But even if he did not,  the damage is done. Again. And again. And again.

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Seriously. I borrow from David Warren here:I know at first hand how the media work, (David also knows) and I know that Bergoglio came to Rome (from Argentina of all places) with a reputation as an adept media manipulator, fond of playing the crowd. He is no babe in the woods. He must know as I do that if a journalist seriously misrepresents what you say, you don’t give him another opportunity. Moreover, you publicly correct him in a way not only unambiguous, but sharp enough to get everyone’s attention — at speed, I should think, if you have millions of Catholics hanging on your words. Instead he lets the outrage stand.”

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This is going on and on … this is not an accident … and I cannot see a good end for my following this. I think that this will be my last post on this topic and these sorts of things. Let things go, into God’s hands, according to God’s plan, for me, prayer and fasting and penitence. It is Lent after all.

Fr. Hunwicke, over at his blog  quotes from an address by Pope Francis last year, a line which Pope Francis quoted from Saint Vincent of Lerins, writing in the 5th century – a contemporary of Pope St. Leo The Great.

The phrase referred to in Pope Francis’ address …  is the Latin eodem sensu eademque sententia“.

While my Latin has declined precipitously in the decades since I was a Tridentine rite alter boy, we are now graced, courtesy of Google Translate, with the ability to whip off translations willy-nilly as required by circumstances. To paraphrase an old joke from 60 years ago, Latin may well have killed the Romans but it failed to kill Google Translate.

 Pope St. Leo The Great

Pope St. Leo The Great was Pope from 29 September 440 to his death in 461

So we learn that  this Latin snippet, in English, expresses the belief that, or understanding that, something, or some teaching, or some doctrine, is used in the same sense and the same meaning”To quote Father Hunwicke over at his blog  (above):

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Eodem sensu eademque sententia: because the teaching of the Church cannot and does not change. Derived by St. Vincent of Lerins from the text of Saint Paul, it was used by Blessed Pius IX, incorporated in the decree on the papal ministry at Vatican I, and contained in the anti-modernist oath.

Very significantly, it was used by Pope Saint John XXIII in the programmatic speech he gave at the start of the Council … What the Council taught, so he laid down, was to be in the same sense, the same meaning, as the teaching of the preceding Magisterium.

Pope Saint John Paul the Great

Pope Saint John Paul the Great

Pope Saint John Paul the Great in Veritatis Splendor made clear that it applied to questions of morality as much as to those of dogma. used this same sanctified phrase in his 2005 Christmas address to the Roman Curia about the Hermeneutic of Continuity. I have recently repeated a series of mine on this phrase which you could find via the search engine on this blog.

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI

Eodem sensu eademque sententia”.  If this phrase means anything at all, it must mean that the teaching of Familiaris consortio (1981; paragraph 84) and of Caritatis sacramentum (2007; paragraph 29), that divorced people who, having gone through a civil form of marriage, are in an unrepented sexual relationship with a new “spouse”, should not approach the Sacraments, cannot already … in less than a decade! … have metamorphosed or “developed” into its exact and polar opposite“.

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So, what else is in play here? Where do all these tooings and froings leave the authority of the Chair of Peter? I have some more to add but I will first quote from a commenter over at Father Hunwicke’s blog namely:

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Thank you. Well, Father, I’ve referenced it a bit differently to the same end in that in Catholicism today we have far too many who look at a cow and then turn, look you straight in the face, pull a Bible from their pocket, place their right hand on it and swear it is a motorcycle.  With handlebars.  But then that is why we mortals have only maybe a half a dozen original stories ever told, one of them being the Emperor’s New Clothes.

You have nailed it here.  Jesus either said something or He didn’t.

He (Jesus) made life a lot easier in many ways. He softened many unnecessarily hardened teachings. But when He took on the issue of marriage I think His eyes narrowed, he scanned left and right like we are told in our self-defense pistol classes, He tightened His gut and He tensed every muscle for a fight.

And He ENDED the “Mosaic Compromise” right there and then.  Fact is, even Mercy has a limit, and that limit is found on the Original Intent of God Himself. The Pope can’t have more “mercy” than the Son of the Living God.

One Man. One Woman. One Time.

“For I hate divorce” says the Lord.  As that’s the case, I really don’t give a Rat’s Backside for what the Pope thinks about it.  {Says the man who got in a raucous fight this very eve with his precious and wonderful wife of 30 years.}

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Well said, Brother … to paraphrase Shakespeare,Something is rotten in the state of Vatican City

That apostolic primacy which the Roman pontiff possesses as successor of Peter, the prince of the apostles, includes also the supreme power of teaching. This holy see has always maintained this, …

So the fathers of the fourth council of Constantinople, following the footsteps of their predecessors, published this solemn profession of faith:

“The first condition of salvation is to maintain the rule of the true faith. And since that saying of our lord Jesus Christ, You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church [55] , cannot fail of its effect, the words spoken are confirmed by their consequences. For in the apostolic see the catholic religion has always been preserved unblemished, and sacred doctrine been held in honour. Since it is our earnest desire to be in no way separated from this faith and doctrine, we hope that we may deserve to remain in that one communion which the apostolic see preaches, for in it is the whole and true strength of the christian religion [56] .

What is more, with the approval of the second council of Lyons, the Greeks made the following profession: “The holy Roman church possesses the supreme and full primacy and principality over the whole catholic church. She truly and humbly acknowledges that she received this from the Lord himself in blessed Peter, the prince and chief of the apostles, whose successor the Roman pontiff is, together with the fullness of power. And since before all others she has the duty of defending the truth of the faith, so if any questions arise concerning the faith, it is by her judgment that they must be settled.” [57]

Then there is the definition of the council of Florence: “The Roman pontiff is the true vicar of Christ, the head of the whole church and the father and teacher of all Christians; and to him was committed in blessed Peter, by our lord Jesus Christ, the full power of tending, ruling and governing the whole church.” [58] To satisfy this pastoral office, our predecessors strove unwearyingly that the saving teaching of Christ should be spread among all the peoples of the world; and with equal care they made sure that it should be kept pure and uncontaminated wherever it was received. …

BUT

… For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter NOT so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the apostles.

This would seem to overrule any notions of a “New Paradigm”, regardless of the perambulations of the Vatican Secretary of State in his “dialogue” with the secular media and other interested parties. So on the face of it, we seem to find in 21st century Rome two old heresies, the Heresy of Arianism, regarding the nature of Jesus Christ, and the Heresy of Pelagius, regarding the nature of man. With respect to amending doctrine, if  Jesus Christ were not God, but only a prophet, then indeed his “prophecies” might reasonably be amended in light of “new evidence”.

With respect to a “New Paradigm” and the perfection of man, given a perfect man, then a “New Paradigm” might not be an unreasonable possibility upon reconsidering past thought. Two old heresies flowering again amongst the night soil of the Roman Curia, like mushrooms in a dark sewer.

Now, Pelagius was a monk from Britain, whose reputation and theology came into prominence after he went to Rome sometime in the 380’s A.D. The historic Pelagian theological controversy involved the nature of man and the doctrine of original sin.

Pelagianism views humanity as basically good and morally unaffected by the Fall. It denies the imputation of Adam’s sin, original sin, total depravity, and substitutionary atonement. It simultaneously views man as fundamentally good and in possession of libertarian free will. With regards to salvation, it teaches that man has the ability in and of himself (apart from divine aid) to obey God and earn eternal salvation.

Pelagianism is overwhelmingly incompatible with the Bible and was historically opposed by Augustine (354-430), Bishop of Hippo, leading to its condemnation as a heresy at Council of Carthage in 418 A.D. These condemnations were summarily ratified at the Council of Ephesus (A.D. 431). Pelagianism is not Catholic, nor is it even Christian.

Hilaire Belloc

Hilaire Belloc by Emil Otto (‘E.O.’) HoppÈ, vintage bromide print, 1915

In addition, there appears to be a second heresy operational amongst the curia in Rome. The second heresy is that of Arianism. From the book “The Great Heresies” by Hilaire Belloc, :

“Arianism was the first of the great heresies. There had been from the foundation of the Church at Pentecost A.D. 29[1] to 33 a mass of heretical movements filling the first three centuries.

They had turned, nearly all of them, upon the nature of Christ. The effect of our Lord’s predication, and Personality, and miracles, but most of all His resurrection, had been to move every one who had any faith at all in the wonder presented, to a conception of divine power running through the whole affair.

Now the central tradition of the Church here, as in every other case of disputed doctrine, was strong and clear from the beginning. Our Lord was undoubtedly a man. He had been born as men are born, He died as men die. He lived as a man and had been known as a man by a group of close companions and a very large number of men and women who had followed Him, and heard Him and witnessed His actions.

But — said the Church — He was also God. God had come down to earth and become Incarnate as a Man. He was not merely a man influenced by the Divinity, nor was He a manifestation of the Divinity under the appearance of a man. He was at the same time fully God and fully Man.

On that the central tradition of the Church never wavered. It is taken for granted from the beginning by those who have authority to speak. But a mystery is necessarily, because it is a mystery, incomprehensible; therefore man, being a reasonable being, is perpetually attempting to rationalize it.

So it was with this mystery. One set would say Christ was only a man, though a man endowed with special powers. Another set, at the opposite extreme, would say He was a manifestation of the Divine. His human nature was a thing of illusion. They played the changes between those two extremes indefinitely. Well, the Arian heresy was, as it were, the summing up and conclusion of all these movements on the unorthodox side_that is, of all those movements which did not accept the full mystery of two natures.

Since it is very difficult to rationalize the union of the Infinite with the finite, since there is an apparent contradiction between the two terms, this final form into which the confusion of heresies settled down was a declaration that our Lord was as much of the Divine Essence as it was possible for a creature to be, but that He was none the less a creature. He was not the Infinite and Omnipotent God who must be of His nature one and indivisible, and could not (so they said) be at the same time a limited human moving and having his being in the temporal sphere.

Arianism was willing to grant our Lord every kind of honour and majesty short of the full nature of the Godhead. He was created (or, if people did not like the word “created” then “he came forth”) from the Godhead before all other effects thereof. Through Him the world was created. He was granted (one might say paradoxically) all the divine attributes — except divinity.”

Essentially this movement sprang from exactly the same source as any other rationalistic movement from the beginning to our own time. It sprang from the desire to visualize clearly and simply something which is beyond the grasp of human vision and comprehension.

Therefore, although it began by giving to our Lord every possible honour and glory short of the actual Godhead, it would inevitably have led in the long run into mere Unitarianism and the treating of our Lord at last as a prophet and, however exalted, no more than a prophet (as does Islam) .

Arianism is not Christian by definition since absent the divinity of Christ there is no such thing as Christianity. It is impossible to have it both ways. On the one hand, you have  Bishops and Priests who disagree with the “New Paradigm” theory of doctrinal changes, and there are numerous examples, or on the other hand you have Bishops and Priests who do subscribe to the “New Paradigm” theory of changes to established magisterial teachings.

Those who espouse the “New Paradigm” theory are neither Catholic nor Christian by any reasonable definition of the terms and concepts. They are heretics.

quod erat demonstrandum

So, end of the subject, perhaps forever – we will let things unfold and draw our own conclusions. Let those with an IQ higher than room temperature also draw their own conclusions?

Cheers

Joe

Ad Aeternitatem …

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Pen as Sword - Social Commentary, The Inner Struggle

Second Thoughts … (part two) implications of the New Paradigm …

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

Kobudo, Ototabi, 2013

Kobudo, Ototabi, 2013

As mentioned in the previous post, I have decided that this needs to be broken into multiple parts – again.

First, while it is fresh in my mind, I mentioned in a previous post the expression “Check your Privilege”, which was mentioned in an article by David Warren.  Coincidentally I just got an email this morning from an MP, (that would be a Federal representative in the House of Commons) Maxime Bernier, which read as follows:

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” … to be effective, justice must be blind.  And our government should be too. The way to solve the injustices of the past is not to create new categories on which to base discrimination. It’s to treat all citizens equally. That’s not what the Liberals are doing.

They recently tabled a budget where money is allocated on the basis of “inter-sectional race, gender and sexual identities.”  They’re creating more division and more injustice. And when I called them out on it, I was told to “check my privilege and be quiet.”

This wasn’t just another troll on the internet. It came from a Liberal Member of Parliament. There are people in this government who believe my opinion is less valid because I’m a white man. They believe the government should segregate people based on their gender and skin colour and treat them differently.

Help me fight this radical ideology. I believe the government should be blind. And that it should work to the benefit of all its citizens.”

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Why is this not a surprise? It seems that Liberal Members of Parliament have a new expression for Virtue signalling, which we all know is the popular modern habit of indicating that one has virtue merely by expressing disgust or favour for political ideas or cultural happenings, or even another person’s personal values.

Welcome to “Check Your Privilege” as the latest strawman putdown belittling anyone and everything which the leftist progressives dislike or disagree with, which obviously includes anything or anyone with the damned nerve to point out their peccadilloes.

 a breathless "Me To, Me To"

A breathless “Me To, Me To”, Celebrating A Big Shiny Bright Red Nothing …

NEWS FLASH! … THE EMPEROR IS NAKED!.  And, as usual, in this and every societal directive and direction, the sitting members of the Canadian government are years behind the curve. Evidence current Canadian legal policies on infanticide and parricide which are a decade behind Europe’s.

But then Canada has always been a breathless “Me To, Me To” sort of place, a place where the inhabitants never really matured past the grade school recess. If you ever want a window on Canada’s future 10 years down the road, just look at whatever is fashionable now in Europe.

Lieberose Solar Park

Lieberose Solar Park

The prevailing paradigm in Canada is to always be ten years late to the progressive social policy party or better yet 20 or thirty years late, for example the global warming party and solar power party and carbon taxes party which Europe has now abandoned as completely unworkable.

Which is why we now have German Solar Power companies, fresh off the boat from the country with the highest electricity prices in the world, building Solar Farms in Alberta – they are out of work in Europe where there is no more public money to be had for that particular golden calf.

when one is living in a country where the norm is to be ten years old … ten years late … no new paradigm … ever,  just other people’s failed ideas and programs, it is truly jarring to have the Magisters of the Roman Catholic Church beating the “New Paradigm” drum.

What impact does this “New Paradigm” have on two millennia of Catholic teaching on marriage and the family?  Either Jesus said it, or Jesus didn’t say it … this observation is binary, at least to me in my ignorance.

Lightning on the Tiber

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt in Rome …

Let’s just “blue sky” this thought pattern for a bit. If Jesus is God, and God is “All Good and All Truth, then “It”, that is “Truth” is not subject to Reform and Paradigm Shifts. You can’t just dump two thousand years of “Truth” because is has become unfashionable in our “New Age”.

If Jesus is not the source, if Jesus is not God, then there is no church, and no Truth,  and certainly no need for the curia and all the old men of the Catholic hierarchy.

Absent tradition, the Magisterium, the Petrine Ministry, and the Catholic Church, all that remains is “Anti-Christ” and the global agenda of the United Nations, and the “New World Order”, a World Government.

In that context, why do we see the Holy Father, our “Godfather”, cuddling up with China, or being vocally supported by the agents of the “Sustainable Development” and “Family Health” agenda of the U.N.?

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See speaking at the United Nations.

Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State for the Holy See, and his “New Paradigm” can only exist in a world where “Truth” is not truth … where everything is mutable and changeable according to the fashion of the moment.

BUT:

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“Since the LORD your God walks in the midst of your camp to deliver you and to defeat your enemies before you, therefore your camp must be holy; and He must not see anything indecent among you or He will turn away from you.” (Deuteronomy 23:14)

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Where is the “Holy” in this “New Paradigm” … if what has gone before is so unworthy that a complete “New Paradigm” is necessary then how are we, the ignorant sheep of the flock to know and trust anything?

Arianism was a new Paradigm,  Pelagianism was a new Paradigm,  Jansenism was a new Paradigm, Albigensianism (Cathar) was a new Paradigm, Islam was a new Paradigm, the Reformation was a new Paradigm, Modernism was a new Paradigm. and each in its day was sincerely believed by its founders.

Medieval

Medieval – Lissner Troice Sergieva Lavr

No wonder then that Modernism and Secular Humanism and Progressivism all conflate “Organized Religion” with human maleficence and essentially teach that all religions are the same, delusional, superstition, Medieval, and should not be taken seriously by any reasonable person, any sophisticated “modern” person.

Still, mankind feels an undeniable thirst for the spiritual, a thirst for something above and beyond himself, a thirst for a “higher order”. And the Progressives seem to be comfortable ignoring the “deeply spiritual” New Age movements proliferating in their own ranks even as they mock and denigrate the ages older “organized religions”.

They seem to be able to ignore the fact that the adherents of “organized religion” have always vastly outnumbered the “New Age” pantheist religious of our “modern” day.

And both old and new together dwarf the tiny minority of vocal unbelievers, the “elite” worshipers of “man”, and “self”, as the higher order personified, the “brights”, the atheists, who get all the publicity from the “…journalists, who know nothing about anything, and are therefore liberal all round.”

We moderns are too advanced for such “religious” superstitions. So we get such joyous “nuanced and contextualized” outbursts as Cardinal Parolin “pontificating” about new paradigms …

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Pope Francis

Pope Francis

VATICAN CITY, January 12, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Vatican’s Secretary of State Pietro Cardinal Parolin stated that Pope Francis’ teaching on marriage and the family found in his  controversial 2016 exhortation Amoris Laetitia arose from the Pope’s “new paradigm” for the Catholic Church.

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There is much ado these days, much controversy, in Catholic Church circles and some media, about this “New Paradigm” in Catholic doctrine, as initially expressed in Chapter 8 of “Amoris Laetitia“, and most recently we see:

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Pope Francis, and Father Antonio Spadaro

Pope Francis, and Father Antonio Spadaro

February 20, 2018 (LifeSiteNews) – Papal confidante Father Antonio Spadaro retweeted a call for EWTN to be severely censured “until they get rid of Raymond Arroyo.”

The call for an “interdict” to be imposed on the Catholic media empire started by Mother Angelica came from Anthony Annett, Assistant to the Director at the International Monetary Fund’s Communications Department.

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So, when did the Assistant to the Director of the IMF’s Communications Department get the right to make the calls on who gets censured and who gets excommunicated in the Roman Catholic Church? And why is a senior Catholic cleric agreeing with him?

Well, that is for the next post …

Cheers

Joe

So much to read, so little time, this “thinking” thing really makes life harder doesn’t it?

 

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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?

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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)

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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:

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” …  (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.”

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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?

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