Life in a small town

Assumptions … authority can be wrong …

I have remarked in previous posts on the prevalence of politically correct fantasy over truth, over empirical reality … in these days we find ourselves living in a culture and society where keeping control is more important than truth, than reality. Over decades I have come to believe that a truth can always be proven, a truth can be defended, even against a vigorous attack. But a lie will not hold up to scrutiny.

Today, in the mainstream media, social media, state information organs and even in our churches we are witness to radical attempts on the part of many established authorities to vilify, demean and silence anyone, literally by any means possible, who dares to disagree with them. Anyone who is not advocating the current social narrative in lockstep with the talking heads and all the suits at the photo-ops is publicly ridiculed as (pick your favorite belittling and denigrating anathema, ban, curse, execration, malediction, malison, ).

Should you have the slightest doubt of the truth of this just take a cursory look at what passes for political, municipal, or even social dialogue as reported in all media in Canada and the good old U.S.A. today, eh? It’s a no brainer … anyone with even 1 neuron firing and 1 ounce of integrity would have to acknowledge the scarcity of polite consideration for the views of others or honest “good will” efforts to understand anyone who doesn’t agree with us.

So, continuing with my illustration of the gulf between what TROTKU (the rest of the known universe) spouts and believes about Christianity and what the Truth is, here is some more about bearing one another’s burdens.  I continue to be a little surprised when I discover how many heterodox modernist practitioners and followers still claim to be “christian” and even “catholic” when their daily performance is light years away from what Christ’s Truth was all about.

There were still traces of orthodox tradition to be found amongst the general population in “Western Christendom” up into the early 20th century and those Truths and Traditions are still practiced today in a few isolated locations on the planet. But the modernist progressives have made huge strides in establishing the kingdom of The Prince of This World in our “enlightened” 21st century. The Mystical Body Of Christ has been pretty well subverted by the mystical body of Antichrist over most of the planet in our day.

But what have we discarded in our “rush to belong”, our drive to “get with the times”, to “get a life”, as my family members and acquaintances are fond of remarking when they are feeling polite. Here is a sample:

If charity and grace unite us to Christ in such intimate and vital relations, it is evident that we must live this union, first with Him who is our Head, and then with our brethren, who like us have also been engrafted into Christ. Hence there will be a supernatural affection which will bind us to one another and make us one heart and one soul, ready to labor and suffer  for one another, to help and sustain one another.

`Rejoice with them that rejoice; weep with them that weep` (St. Paul, Rom 12,15), Thus the Apostle teaches us to share the joys and sorrows, the cares and anxieties of others as if they were our own. They are, in fact, our own, because they are the joys, cares, and anxieties of that one Mystical Body of Christ to which we belong and which, therefore, is ours.

… Bearing one another’s burdens also means enduring the faults of others calmly and kindly. Faults are the inevitable consequence of human limitations. “The Imitation of Christ” tells us, “what a man cannot amend in himself  or others, he must bear with patience till GOD ordains otherwise” (I, 16, 1). (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 778-779)

Saint Thérèse of Lisieux, born Marie Françoise-Thérèse Martin, also known as Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face, O.C.D., was a French Catholic Discalced Carmelite nun who is widely venerated in modern times. She is popularly known as “The Little Flower of Jesus”, or simply “The Little Flower.”  In the last months of her life, she wrote “Now I know that true charity consists in bearing all my neighbor’s defects, in not being surprised at mistakes, but in being edified at the smallest virtues” (St, 10)

And yet another lesson which has fallen out of favor:

For Whom the Bell Tolls
by
John Donne

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.

John Donne (1572 – 1631)

John Donne (1572 – 1631) was an English writer and poet.  As a Catholic in a time when that denomination was illegal in England, he endured constant prejudice and harassment and was ultimately forced into joining the Anglican church by King James I. Early in his life, John earned a reputation as a playboy and spendthrift, but at 25, he fell in love with Anne More. Despite her father’s scorn, the couple married, had a dozen children, and John became a devoted—if not financially successful—family man.

His career forays included law, diplomatic service, and church leadership, but he is best remembered as the founder of a group called the “metaphysical” poets. Popular during his lifetime, then dismissed for many years as inferior because it was so different from other poetry of that time, John’s work is today considered brilliant and his influence on literature legendary among some who don’t get their daily reality from social  media, but he continues in obscurity amongst most modernists including some allegedly highly intelligent intellectuals and high leaders of church and state.

Well, I suppose that is about enough for one day …  just now I am thinking of a fictional “man of honor”, Ned Stark.

Ned Stark by Sean Bean

In A Game of Thrones (1996), Ned Stark is introduced as the virtuous and honorable patriarch of House Stark and the father of six children. The moral compass of the story, he is content to remain far from courtly intrigues and is unwavering in his view of loyalty and honor.

His family name, Stark, serves as an indication of his resistance to moral compromise, but his boundaries are increasingly tested over the course of the novel. Finding himself a key player in the escalating political intrigue of King’s Landing, Ned struggles as his own sense of honor draws him into corrupt goings-on at court.

Sean Bean said of the character, “he’s a good man trying to do his best in the middle of this corruption, he’s a fish out of water, he’s used to being up north in Winterfell where people are pretty straight and pragmatic, and he comes down to a place where people are playing games and backstabbing … he’s a principled man who tries to hold things together. This is a journey that he makes where ultimately his loyalty causes his downfall” … and death.

I thought the book and the show were pretty good right up to the early point where Lord Stark is executed. Things got too real for me at that point as both the show and the book abandoned any semblance of morality in the interest of the corruption of viewers and readers. The despair which the series invoked and the plot direction which kept it popular with viewers is a symptom of our cultural and societal moral turpitude.

Moral turpitude is a legal concept in the United States and prior to 1976, in Canada, that refers to “an act or behavior that gravely violates the sentiment or accepted standard of the community”. In 1976, the Canadian government and legal community decided that no behaviour gravely violates the accepted standards of our communities and opted for another path of subjective relativism in which “it all depends”.

The precise definition of a crime that involves moral turpitude isn’t always clear, but in the U.S.A., the following crimes are always considered crimes of moral turpitude:

  • murder;
  • voluntary manslaughter;
  • rape;
  • statutory rape;
  • domestic violence;
  • prostitution;
  • fraud and crimes where fraud is an element
  • all theft offenses;
  • blackmail;
  • malicious destruction of property;
  • arson;
  • alien smuggling;
  • harboring a fugitive;
  • bribery;
  • perjury

Of course, in Canada, “It all depends…” on geographical location, on age, on employment status, on political allegiance, on social status, on voting record, on gender or lack of same, on language, on religious beliefs, on victim-hood, on racial profile, … whatever …

Cheers

Joe

Winter Is Coming …

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Life in a small town, The Inner Struggle

Imitatio Christi

David Warren has a timely post here. I completely agree with his view of “The Imitation of Christ”, by Thomas a Kempis. I have been reading it, both linearly and using the “open it anywhere” method for years now. It never grows old. My personal version of “The Little Brown Book” is a Baronius Press  imprint from 2008 of the Richard Challoner translation from the 18th century. It is available as a free eBook at Gutenberg.org. A couple of passages from where I am in the book right now are particularly comforting in my current state of mind:

*****

Chapter XLIV Deadness to Exterior Things”

CHRIST

SON, in many things it behooveth thee to be ignorant, and to esteem thyself as one dead upon earth; as one to whom the whole world is crucified. Many things also must thou pass by with a deaf ear and think rather of those things that appertain to thy peace.

It is more profitable to turn away thine eyes from such things as displease thee, and to leave to everyone his own way of thinking, than to give way to contentious discourses.

If thou stand well with God, and look at His judgement, thou will more easily bear to see thyself overcome.

DISCIPLE

2. O Lord, to what are we come? Behold a temporal loss is greatly bewailed; for a small gain men labour and toil, but the loss of the soul is little thought of, and hardly returns to mind.

That which is of little or no profit takes up our thoughts; and that which is above all things necessary, is negligently passed over; for the whole man sinks down into outward things, and unless he quickly recovers himself, he willingly continues immersed in them.

*****

and

*****

“CHAPTER XLV  Men Are Prone to Offend”

DISCIPLE

GRANT me help, O Lord, from trouble, for vain is the salvation of man. (Ps 59:13).

How often have I not failed to find faith there where I thought I might depend upon it. And how often have I found it where I did not expect it? Vain, therefore, is all hope in men; but the safety of the just is in Thee, O Lord. Blessed be Thou, O Lord my God, in all tings that befall us.

We are weak and unsettled, we are quickly deceived and changed.

2. Who is the man that is able to keep him self so warily, and with so much circumspection in all things, as not to fall sometimes into some deceit or perplexity? But he that trusts in Thee, O Lord, and seeks Thee with a simple heart does not so easily fall (Wis. 1:11).

And if he fall into some tribulation, in what manner soever he may be entangled therein, he will quickly be rescued and comforted by Thee; for Thou wilt not forsake forever him that trusts in Thee. (Ps. 36:28). A trusty friend is rarely to be found that continues faithful in all the distresses of his friend. (Ecclus. 6:10). Thou, O Lord, Thou alone are most faithful in all things, and besides Thee, there are no other such.

3. Oh, how wise was that holy soul that said, My mind is strongly settled and grounded upon Christ. (Eph. 3:17). If it were so with me the fear of man would not so easily give me trouble, now flying words move me. Who can foresee all things, or who is able to provide against all future evils? If things foreseen do nevertheless often hurt us, how can things unlooked for fail of wounding us grieviously?

But why did I not provide better for myself, miserable wretch that I am! Why also have I also so easily given credit to others! But we are men and but frail men though by many we are reputed and called angels. To whom shall I give credit O Lord? To whom but to Thee? Thou art the truth which neither canst deceive, nor be deceived. (John 14:6). And on the other side, every man is a liar (Ps. 115:11), infirm, unstable, and subject to fail, especially in words; so that we ought not readily to believe even that which in appearance seems to sound well.

4. How wisely didst Thou forewarn us to beware of men (Matt. 10:17), and that a man’s enemies are they of his own household (Matt. 36); and that we are not to believe, if anyone should say “Behold here, or behold there.” (Matt. 24:23). I have been taught to my cost, and I wish it may serve to make me more cautious, and not to increase my folly. “Be wary,” saith one, “be wary, keep to thyself what I tell thee.” and whilst I hold my peace, and believe the matter to be secret, he himself cannot keep the secret which he desires me to keep, but presently betrays both me and himself, and goes his way.

From such tales and such incautious people defend me, O Lord, that I may not fall into their hands, or ever commit the like. Give to my mouth truth and constancy in my words, and remove far from me a crafty tongue. What I am not willing to suffer I ought by all means to shun.

5. Oh, how good a thing and how peaceable it is to be silent of others (Prov. 25:9), now to believe all that is said, nor easily to report what one has heard:

To lay one’s self open to few; always seek Thee, the beholder of the heart; Not to be carried about with every wind of words; but to wish that all things, both within and without us may go according to the pleasure of Thy will.  How secure it is for the keeping of heavenly grace to fly the sight of men; and not to seek those things which seem to cause admiration abroad; but with all diligence to follow that which brings amendment of life and fervour. To how many hath it been hurtful to have their virtue known and over-hastily praised.

How profitable indeed hath grace been kept with silence in this frail life! All which is a state of temptation and a warfare.

*****

Cheers

Joe

 

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