“The Beatitudes”, from the album “Biscantorat – The Sound Of The Spirit From Glenstal Abbey” – The Monks of Glenstal Abbey – (2009)
I just finished reviewing the draft of this post and realized that “It is really fricken long!” just under 10000 words, so I am editing for tone and content and splitting it up into 2 or 3 or 5 posts. So what follows here is part One …
Today, I am trying to focus on Personal Responsibility and the results of failing to take responsibility for our choices, our motives, and for the results of that failure. So, I just read over my last post which was a talk about the “New Ice Age”, “Global Warming”, “Evil Oil”, “Evil Carbon” “Epic Fails” of the International Environmentalism religion of Gaia, of which I don’t think very highly but I excuse my pride this time by appealing to my injured ankle and my “cranky” discomfort.
And now I am thinking about Death and Pride … and, lo, I find myself guilty as charged of the very crimes about which I bitch so much when I see others commit them. As I have said before, in this area I have my opinions to which I am very attached, but your mileage may vary, and you may well be right and I wrong, or perhaps we are all wrong because Truth is elsewhere. Neither will know for sure in this lifetime, only GOD, and He will judge us on Mercy, that is His mercy will be conditional on ours.
So much for Pride … ultimately I am the only one who cares about my views and who am I to judge others right or wrong, especially since there is absolutely nothing my little voice can do or say against the tidal wave of modern society. My response to “the narrative” on many popular “issues” is all about my own pride, desires, and fear. I wrote about this problem in this post.
I have remarked before that: “It seems a hallmark of Truth that it always believes and expects the best of others and acts accordingly. It also seems a hallmark of untruth that it always believes and expects the worst of others and acts accordingly.” My guess is that it all depends on what your starting assumptions are, one’s own motivations and default responses to events, as to how you believe others will act.
This sunny Friday morning I prayed a litany of humility, a part of the Friday morning prayers according to the “Auxilium Christianorum” a routine of daily prayers which I have on my iPad, very convenient that. The members of the Auxilium Christianorum try always to bear in mind the reality of our state as members of the Church living in this world. “For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places.” (Ephesians 6:12)
Despite St. Paul’s teaching, many Catholics do not take seriously their obligation to wage war against the demonic forces. It is for this reason the Association of the Auxilium Christianorum was founded and for this reason I follow their practices as far as possible where I live – in my case daily Mass and Eucharist is impossible in this part of our diocese.
And afterwards, I have been thinking about how the petitions of the litany encompass the entire gamut of all the underlying provocations of human conflict, in families and outside the family circle in the wider world. I keep meaning to include this litany daily in my routine prayers but somehow the little demons encouraging my baser nature always help me to forget how important humility is to salvation.
All human conflict and rancor seem rooted in either fear of something or desire for something, the conflict arising from disappointed desires or realized fears.
“An Taiseirl (The Resurrection)”, Noirin Ni Riain and The Monks Of Glenstal Abbey, from the album “Vox de Nube”, (1996)
So what about death, or should I say “Death“? What about that final destination to which every single living human being is committed, whether by natural causes, or by some apocalyptic Global Warming holocaust, regardless of their beliefs or lack of same about anything?
I have been aware of and thinking about the gate for over fifty years now, more or less daily as I go about my routines, the gate beyond which I can not see or understand. All around me life goes on, banal and dramatic, indifferent and caring, hateful and loving as circumstances and moods take us.
It, daily life that is, appears to be self centered for the most part, although that perception might just be the lens through which I see the society around me, my self centeredness projected onto the screen of existence.
And all life around me seems to work hard at ignoring the gate, acting and reacting as though the gate in fact does not exist at all, that the here and now is all there is, that pleasure, gratification, license and indulgence are the only objectives, the only goals, absent anything but the material “here & now”.
But it seems (to me) the gate is THE most obvious artifact in the entire universe, the single most obvious event which no one escapes no matter what their beliefs, no matter their state in life, it all winds down to dust. More grist for the penitential mill, my ongoing failure to “Love one another” as God has loved me. Sigh, to paraphrase Dore, “Just keep Trying…”.
We take off our Baptismal “Wedding Garment” when we sin, sin in all its flavors, Mortal, Venial willed and Venial unwilled, and all the little imperfections we carry around all the time because we are forever giving ourselves a pass. So what does matter?
Unless one is living in close proximity to the latest atrocity, the majority, the masses, seem more or less content with their modern comforts, pleasures, social media, “I’m all right Jack”, the “What, me worry?” clique of “low-information” consumers, and in general quite happy with their daily existence. We are really doing so well that we have come to believe that not only do we not need GOD, but there is actually no GOD to need.
Because we see ourselves as “nice” we believe we are living in a “sin free zone” and have become used to giving ourselves a pass, a perpetually active “get out of jail free card” such that no-one is even aware of sin any more. Am I the only living human being currently reflecting upon what actually matters, and the end of human life? (that’s pride again, thinking that one might be the only one who gets it).
Still, despite our “happy, doing great, contentment” there seems to be an awful lot of “weeping and gnashing of teeth” on social media and the MSM about so many things that are wrong, and none of these “things” seem to be seen as the fault of the weepers and gnashers. When I think of how, in the process of getting to where we are now, we have thrown out our baptismal wedding garment, I am reminded of Mathew’s Gospel …
“11And the king went in to see the guests: and he saw there a man who had not on a wedding garment. 12And he saith to him: Friend, how camest thou in hither not having a wedding garment? But he was silent. 13Then the king said to the waiters: Bind his hands and feet, and cast him into the exterior darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth. 14For many are called, but few are chosen.” (Mather 22:11-14)
And I know its not true that I am the only one, its just a rhetorical device, to pretend that I am the only one. I have confidence that I am not the only one. Some of those who are reflecting even write about it in their personal version of my personal blog.
Someone once nicknamed us all “The Pajamadeen” because we sit at our keyboards late at night in our pajamas, guarding the goal, like I used to do when I was young and playing Hockey, writing scathing commentary about whatever torques our fancy at the moment. We are not alone, and the cognitive dissonance grows and grows.
This of course, was a play on “The Mujahadeen” which one more recent example of this crowd of Islamic terrorists was the group who destroyed the World Trade Center on 9/11 killing thousands of American civilians in one strike.
Of course they weren’t Islamic, because “everyone” knows that Islam is “The Religion of Peace” according the MSM and the Global Warming loonies, all the while at the same time they deride and persecute Christianity for being “Patriarchal and Oppressive”… except for the few moments when they are busy playing “Je suis Charlie”.
The real reason for this schizophrenic behaviour is that it is really pretty safe to attack Christianity. No nuns with AK-47’s will show up at your office to fix your breathing problem.
This whole area of hate falls into the category of truth and fact covered by: “The MSM and the “all right thinking people” are always on the wrong side any story or meme”.
Courageous Freedom Fighters like Alex Baldwin and Sean Penn always seem to be on the nasty side of any issue as long as they can be the focus of attention. I remember Sean Penn’s famous “rescue mission” to New Orleans after Katrina … what a hero, eh?
Of course, when proven wrong in anything they move the goal posts and rewrite history to hide their duplicitous malice. “OOH … We are the NICE virtue signalers, we never do or say anything wrong, it’s all the fault of those low information knuckledraggers who disagree with us“.
Most recent example … Alex Baldwin wants us all to boycott Georgia, because apparently he and his friends think killing babies is a “Good Thing”and pregnant women are just A-OK after their baby is traumatically cut up and ripped out of their body. Well of course they are right, they are highly qualified caring professionals so we should all just trust them, and drink the “outrage KoolAide”, right?
If we find ourselves questioning the trustworthiness of Hollywood stars as moral models for life with their 30 second sound bites, there are other sources of real facts who are not high paid virtue signalling narcissists, like Vicki Thorn to name just one. The problem with this is that the truth always requires more work than the social media MSM Rockstars would have you believe is needed. Do we want to do the work to find the truth, or do we just want to skip on to the next crisis with our thoughts already canned and carbonated for us by others.
Check out this video (1:29:42 long but WORTH IT!), and the MOST IMPORTANT PART is the direct response to the Hollywood stars, the narcissistic boycott Georgia mob, the “punchline”, and that starts at about 1:22:43, so if you are really rushed in your busy life just skip to that spot in the presentation, that little 5 minutes that could save your life… or the life of a good friend …
That said, back to the macro, the big picture … I suspect that Christian Believers are the only people in Western society, our modern “culture”, who have a clue about Islam and what “Faith” means. We worship the same God as Islam and the Jews. They don’t believe in the Divinity of Jesus, and the holiness of His mother Mary. Of course “Messianic Jews” do believe in the Divinity of Jesus, so it’s rather more complicated than that simple sentence.
I am sometimes tempted to consider the dictum “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. Were I not already a committed Christian I suspect I would be tempted by Nazari Islam. The question of trust remains a stumbling block. Then again, there is the Prophecy of Fatima and of our Lady Maryam, the Mother of God, a prophecy that through the intercession of Our Lady of Fatima the world of Islam will be united with the world of Catholicism and become the one religion of the one True God.
Imagine that … just for a moment … what a world that would be, no? What would the unbelieving secular progressive leadership of the west be able to do about 4 billion believers? Could the believers influence a change for the better? Interesting future I see – over 50% of the world’s population united against the godless bureaucracies of Mordor and the Antichrist. hmmm … We can always pray.
“My God, I believe, I adore, I hope, and I love You! I beg pardon for those who do not believe, do not adore, do not hope, and do not love You“.
The words of this prayer given to the young visionaries of Fatima may seem simple. But the words outline our responsibilities as Christians—to believe, to adore, to hope, and to love God. As well, to ask pardon for those who do not act in this way. And further, to beg pardon for them, we should make reparation for their sins too.
Wow, I am really long winded. Please help me Lord. Time to sign off now. Continued in Part Two …
“Reaching for heaven”