When the lambs is lost in the mountains, he said.  They is cry.  Sometimes comes the mother.  Sometimes the wolf.

Cormac McCarthy, in Blood Meridian

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Sometimes the wolf.  Yes, sometimes the wolf.

The wolf.  He runs in packs.  See one, know that another is close at hand  … and … they have their companions.

Nothing is more disconcerting than knowing the likes of Jimmy Carter, and now Barrack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson, Donald Trump, et al.

Why you ask?

They do not know what Cormac McCarthy knows.  Like their followers, they are blind and deft lambs in a forest of wolves.

Inexperienced.  Ill-equipped.  Unrealistic.  Sheltered.  Misguided.  Wrong.  Lost.

In a world of wolves, one must have been cut, bled, fought back, stood up to others bigger than oneself and more menacing.  Encountered those who will kill you, and be happy to do so.

My fortune was knowing the ones who would chop you up into small pieces and put you in a trash compactor, so that all traces of you were eradicated. “Doing the Houdini” they called it.

Likewise, those who pulled your teeth from your mouth after killing you, so there would be no identifiable elements of you when, and if, your body was discovered.

Yes, that was my forest and those were my wolves.

Wolves have their way.  And they teach a necessary lesson.  A lesson of life and survival: where blood soaks earth, where Abel meets Cain.

It does not pay to choose a shepherd who does not know well the wolf and his world.

Russians and Turks.  The Ukraine.  Russia in Syria.  The idiotic unleashing of the factious “Arab Spring,” the failed rescue of the Iranian hostages, the idiotic Hillary Russian “reset button,” unprotected emails and unauthorized servers, the Iran nuclear “executive agreement,” power vacuums for ISIS, unwillingness to say “radical Muslim terrorists,” the shame of Benghazi, unsecured borders, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Fort Hood shootings, closing “Gitmo,” watering down intelligence reports, unilateral presidential action and decision-making, dispatching of our best military officers, excusing deserters, fear of engagement and use of force, grave warnings laid down and then abandoned, vacating the Middle East, abandoning Israel and our allies, withdrawal from the world …

There is no withdrawal.  The wolves find you.  They roam.  They hunt.  They are made that way.

Sometimes the wolf.

God and men of war have strange affinities.

No God, no men of war.  Then, no lambs.  Only the wolf.


Imagination is more important than knowledge.  Knowledge is limited.  Imagination encircles the world.

Albert Einstein

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Secular life imposes itself on us.  Its view becomes our view – or else.

Secularism is a natural prison, a cell of conformity.  It is stamps out imagination, having in its views done all the thinking and experiencing for us (as it and its proponents demand).

In a secular culture with mass communication, the centralization of power and where religion is unwelcome and faith thought of as the habit of cranks and the superstitious – imagination is sharply diminished.

In such a culture, we cannot see nor experience life at any depth, at its inherent depth.  The loss, then, is of love, joy, creativity, intimacy, meaning and purpose, courage, laughter, happiness, full human life.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge said of imagination that it was “the living Power and prime agent of all human Perception,” and “a repetition in the finite mind of the eternal act of creation in the infinite I am.

William Blake said of imagination this: “I know of no other Christianity and no other Gospel than the liberty both of body and mind to exercise the Divine Arts of Imagination.”

Imagination is the root of religious experience.  It is kin to Creation and the Creator.

Blunt faith, and imagination wanes.  No garden grows without its water.

Think about it: we are encased in the dry lies of leftist ideology and political “correctness.”  Each demands submission and with it comes rote, a fraudulent existence – days, months and years short of life, full of dishonesty and its foolishness and destruction.

On the eve of Thanksgiving and nearing Christmas, we would do well to think of imagination and its limitations in secular culture.  And, wiser still to stand in opposition to those who curb our freedom to imagine.  Better to lampoon those people and institutions who demand your submission, a divorce from faith and the forfeiture of imagination.

So much of what you see, hear and experience at the hands of the centralized, secular conformists begs for your open rejection of it.  Oblige the fates.  Seize the invitation.  Live in Truth.  Do not disappoint.  Actually your life depends on standing in active opposition.  Do so.

Christmas is about the birth of human freedom, full life – full life in faith … peace on earth in such a life.  Sustain imagination and its essential condition (faith) at every turn.


When the world goes wrong, it proves rather that the Church is right.

G. K. Chesterton

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These are Chesterton’s words from his introduction to The Everlasting Man.  By the Church he does not mean an institution, he means Christianity and Christianity as Truth, the truth about man and existence and what is mortal and immortal.

There was a time not too long ago where those who led were well schooled, knew well and respected the indispensable place of Christianity in the West, its fundamental place it Western Civilization and its heroism, commitment to liberty, compassion, courage, and human prosperity.

I think of Churchill, General George C. Marshall, Dwight Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Lincoln, John Adams, the Founding Fathers of this country and others. These men were schooled in history, philosophy, religion, the professions.  They were truly educated, morally sound, fully grown, mature adults.

With some exceptions, we have something far less now.

In listening to the President speak of ISIS and the U.S. and, by his reckoning, our justifiably reduced role in the world, it brings to mind Chesterton’s introductory words and the lunacy of the President’s new American Isolationism – better designated as a dread of country, its mores, Christianity and the long history and rich achievement of Western Civilization.

Says Chesterton, men of the President’s sort cannot comprehend that they are part of a larger whole, the Divine One who Created them and all of this that surrounds us, is us.  Yes, Christian narrative forsaken, in his case, in preference of Rev. Wright’s Black liberation (racist) theology that curses America and the West.  As Chesterton says, these criticisms are but a type of uninformed “random and illiterate heckling.”

Imagine choosing illiterate heckling over history and fact as a way of life! What does that say of the judgment, character, “education” and maturity of the man who makes that choice?

Chesterton reminds us that it is the “agnostic world” that is “always prophesying the advent of universal peace.”  Yes, his comment does bring to mind the ill-conceived Iran nuclear “executive agreement” and underscores the foolishness and risk, and hubris, that comes from ignorance of, and contempt for, Christianity and Western Civilization.

Chesterton rightly laments that the “worse judge … is the … ill-educated Christian turning gradually into ill-tempered agnostic, entangled in the end of a feud of which he never understood the beginning, blighted with a sort of hereditary boredom with he knows not what, and already weary of hearing what he has never heard.”

We are wise to lament the same.  Wiser still to throw these ones aside and surely so if we wish to attend expeditiously to those who wish our execution.


The best way out is always through.

Robert Frost

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The Yankee poet had it right.

When problems present opportunity exists.  There is no problem that will not teach and, if encountered and faced, make you wiser, stronger, more resilient and more confident.

There are no real cocoons in life, although many do hide.  You will know them by their illness, their maladjustment, the chaos they present, the problems that follow them everywhere.

Those in cocoons lived stunted lives.  I saw this in abundance in religious life where men (in my case) lived less in faith than as residents of a flop-house, in hiding from the world outside.

When problems come, they make us acknowledge them and life.  They requiring naming.  What exactly do I face?  In what order of priority might I respond? What can I do to attend to the source of the problem or the first of several problems I face?

Problems present as sequences, that is: moves or action that must be employed one at a time.  Pants on fire?  Find water.  Sit in it.

When problems appear, order yourself to patience – it takes time to attend to problems.  In this we learn the wisdom of “one step at a time,” and of humility, and hope.

Problems test faith?  Do I have it?  Do I trust tomorrow?

The Stoic philosopher Seneca said it well when asked if he feared death when he said: “Absolutely not, why should I be afraid of something I know nothing about?”

Seneca trusted.  His life was an adventure, a journey.  Yours is too.

Truth is: in life there are problems.  We survive by passing through them.  In that, we grow, gain insights, courage, and strength.

Acknowledging problems is like dreaming that you suddenly find yourself skiing on a treacherous slope only to awake and find that your are.  Your only choice – learn to ski.

Fear not.  Face what is looking at you, and pass through.  (Wisdom and gray hair will follow, but – oh my, life gets easier that way, and your humor becomes sharper and ever-present.  You become “a very tough out” and even a spike through the heart will seem manageable.)


Humility is the virtue of men, and their only defense; to walk humbly with God, never doubting, whatever befall, that His will is good, and His law is right.

Paul Elmer More, in Pages from the Oxford Dictionary

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While we may be born of “humble circumstances,” humility is gained slowly in life – awakened in our errors and life’s hard listens: its disappointments, the mischief of others that gets visited upon us, the experience of a world that trundles along without regard to us, our sensitivities, desires and dreams, or our “good” nature.

It is in the hardships that humility arises from within, is stirred to life.

Those born of affluence and in prosperous times do not learn this lesson as quickly nor hold it as firmly as those who have been in the fight from the start. Yes, it is better to not have it “too well, too easy.”

Think about this: What does it do for us to live in a mass communication culture were ease and affluence are touted as the norm?  Where the poor have cable television, a car, air conditioning and government subsidizes for this and that? Or where a college “education,” such as it is now so devalued and absent the imparting of wisdom learned in the ages, is a “gimme?”

Do you think, Dear Liberal, that ease breeds humility and its offspring: wisdom, strength of character, cunning?  Or that your enemies are impressed with your concessions?

Just as I thought.

Look around, people.  There are those among us who will take your lunch money.

Are you among those who know in your heart that the will of God is good and His laws right?  Are you humbled by this?  And thankful?  Do you cling to it as one who knows?


… the shared commitment to safeguard one another’s lives is unnegotiable and only deepens in time.  The willingness to die for another person is a form of love that even religions fail to inspire, and the experience of it changes a person profoundly.  (Emphasis added.)

Sebastian Junger, in War

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Junger is talking about war, combat and life.

“No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”

So says Jesus in the Gospel of John, Chapter 15, verse 13.

This is a cardinal truth, a capital “T” truth.

How is it that the President of France can forcefully and appropriately respond to an act of war on his country in the Paris attacks and our President (and public officials) cannot even accurately name attacks on us, and on our land?

How can one man see an act of war while another denies it?

Note what Sebastian Junger correctly says: “the willingness to die for another is a form of love.” Same as what Jesus says.

What does this tell us?

The man who does not love cannot defend another.  Further, the man who cannot lay down his life for another does not know Christ.

Interestingly, the French President (Francois Hollande) was raised a Catholic. The Truth, you see, does not evaporate that easily, no matter one’s faith trajectory.  We are made in and for Truth.

Frankly, a commitment to fight for another and to die for another is rooted in love of others more than self.

The aloof and egocentric – those whose lives are committed to nothing in particular and surely nothing larger than themselves – will not fight nor die for anyone, let alone others or a value that exceeds self.

These people sooner claim to live for an idea.  They live in the abstract, in fabrications.  They are ideologues – living in the head, not reality as it is in its timeless form.

Ideologues do not live for others.  They live for an image of themselves and the world, not as it is – but rather as they fashion it is and for their egotistical belief that the world and others must conform to them.

Ideologues, after all, live at no greater depth than the ego.

They are surface people whose exterior “cool” is but a buffer, a veneer of no human depth.  They are without spirit.

For them sacrifice is utterly alien, inapplicable – to be avoided, lest they be discomforted, required to grow, denominated to reality – to the harsh reality that life is messy and demanding, and also a glorious experience rendering joy and love, purpose and meaning that exceeds one’s self.

One who does not understand Junger hides.  Those that hide cannot lead.

Life is combat.  It is that simple.

To survive and prosper, ignore the words of those who hide.  Dismiss them. They deceive.  With them you die before your time.


You might want to share this with others.  We are at a crossroads, a gut-check.

If each man relies on his individual reason for religious beliefs, the result will be anarchy of belief or the annihilation of religious sovereignty.

Joseph De Maistre

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I sit in the November morn, darkness still, listening to the Wexford Carol, a traditional Irish Christmas tune sung beautifully by The Cambridge Singers.

If the boys of ISIS or the secular state and modern liberalism have their way these voices will sing more.

Yes, the Christian West will be gone and along with it: beauty, hope, sanity, compassion, maturity, kindness, civility, heritage, faith, worship and freedom.

It does not take much thought to see that the world has changed its axis, that we have jumped orbit.

The signs are everywhere.

Evidence?  The Nobel Prize was awarded to a man who had no accomplishments whatsoever.  True to the award as given, this undistinguished teleprompter has done nothing of merit, bumbling instead into every imaginable destructive public action possible.

Having failed to learn the folly of electing the uniquely, superbly unaccomplished, we now have Mr. Trump and Mr. Carson, Hillary and Bernie the Bagel – people completely without any indication of excellence in governing a federal republic of 300 million people – actually believing that they are made “of the right stuff.”

Selling insanity, are you?  No, we have more than enough.  All stocked up here.

Ah, how about news from the vaunted academy!

The unoriginal “cry babies” (they mimic the foul balls of the 1960’s) at Miz-Zoo, and the kiddie-farms of Yale and Amherst, are throwing a seasonal tantrum.

At Amherst, a snot-nosed group of the grandiloquent has demanded among other things: an end to twelve “isms,” including “cis-sexism,” “ableism” and various iterations of “racism” – excluding Black racism, of course.

You can probably tell who drafted this laundry list for the ideologically inane. And you can rightly await the pantie-waist administrators to cave and grovel (in show of their unique expertise).

Where or where is there a man who can throw a punch, or has the good sense to use these demands to show students how a paper shredder works?

And what about settling un-vetted Syrian refugees near you (many youthful men of combat age among them) at the height of the spread of radical Islamist terrorism?

Some idea.  That’ll slow the local shopping mall traffic.

Is there not something wrong when the Feds have more IRS agents than FBI agents?

And how about “open borders?”

Hey, why not just send welfare payments to the would-be illegal entrants in their native homes? Checks pegged to their economies would be less expensive to us, and our policing costs reduced to zero.

Yes, pay them not to come.  The Saudis and other Middle Eastern “friends” (save Israel) pay ISIS to stay away.  Oh, wait, does this violate any “ism?”

If I were to identify one particular cause of this insanity, this shift of axis, this orbit jumping –  I might pick the separation of faith from reason and the rejection of our centuries-old Western identity.

Intellect alone shows itself to be a badly disordered guide to life in a violent, hostile world where evil occupies the vacuum.

Left to reason only, we get what we now have: an unwanted surplus of ideological nitwits living an extended adolescence of no accomplishment, commonsense or life skill.

From campus to White House – children all, destruction aplenty.

Man’s claim to be like God has been rejected once more; not one foundation of the life of civilization has remained unshaken.

Paul Tillich


… freedom is the only condition for happiness.  If, in our heart, we cling to anything … anger, anxiety, or possessions – we cannot be free.

Thich Nhat Hanh, in The Heart of Buddha’s Teaching

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Anger is a sure way to avoid happiness, a contented life.  Yes, we are often treated poorly, dismissed, hurt by others and yes, that does make a person angry.  Such anger is healthy, just as some anxiety when faced with the unknown, or uncertainty is healthy, normal and can be expected and accepted.

However, why carry anger forever?  Why let another dominate our life with their anger-producing behavior.  Once you know X or Y will hurt you, insult you, demean you, etc., they have established their value – their worthlessness.

Why let them hand you their malevolence in the form of anger that you then carry interminably – forever?  That only imprisons you – they are not thinking of you as often as you are thinking of them.

Anger carried forward is a win for the person who angers you.

You want to hurt them?  Dismiss them?  Then, drop them like a bad habit. Disregard them, discount them, forget them – they are worthless to you and these hurtful people rarely change.

The best thing to do with anger?  Feel it when it appears, express it to others and then be gone with it.

Anger held is a toxic acid – it burns its human container – and in that it is a victory for the one who authored it and aimed it at you.

If you want to respond, simply and calmly tell them that you know their game and that they are mistaken if they think they can hurt you since you realize they are powerless and small, and because of their conduct, also worthless, without value – a nonentity.

Be smart.  Don’t give victory to the aggressor.  Drop them and the anger and live happily.

Those, by the way, who consistently hurt us really get upset when we are happy and they can no longer provoke us to anger.  You see people who consistently anger us really lose when the realize their conduct is no longer effective and as to you, they no longer exist.

Drop anger.  Joy is so much better.

By the way, the subtitle of Hanh’s book is this: Transferring Suffering into Joy and Liberation.

Freedom and joy are far preferable to carrying anger.  The former liberate us, the latter only imprisons us.


True love is tested when betrayed.

Toba Beta

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I sit in the predawn dark.  Only the sound of a ticking clock and Arva Part’s Passio – yes, the melodic vocal piece, sacred story of the betrayal of Christ converted to triumph.

Yes, true love is tested when betrayed.  Well only for the brave and wise is this so.  That is, the very brave and the very wise who are courageous enough to love – love past the deceptions and the deceits.

Your father deserts you.  Love despite the hurt.  Not he who left, but love all the same.  Your mother departs for no reason at all – no reason, yes – no reason in particular or in the general.  Love despite the hurt.  Not she who left, but love all the same.  Your wife strays.  The brave and wise – those few rare heroes in life – love despite the hurt.

Let betrayal teach you – teach you how to love, teach of its strength and durability, teach you who to love, and when to love.

Never abandon love, stay with it – in you it is life, invincibility and courage, calm and certainty.  In you there is the Divine’s imprint; in love, it is acknowledged and glorified. 

There is a hero’s heart in those like that.  They are the ones you want in your boat.  And all such boats are small ones; they carry but a few in number from shore to distance shore.

The others, the betrayers, are left to cannibalize one another, devour their own flesh, drown in their own waste – suffocate in the mess they make .

Betrayal is the great divide.  It separates who loves and who does not.  On one side we have those who will never die and on the other – those dead before they die, and once gone are erased not just from memory but from the record of all time.

You see those in eternal life live in bliss, without the remembrance of betrayers: those governed by fear manifest in deceptions, large and small.

For the Christian, betrayals are the gateway.  Those who betray forfeit life. Those who do not, live forever; and, in daily life live stronger, wiser – able to endue anything that comes to them, any of the darkness that descends around them.

It is never a sign of weakness to have been betrayed.  No, it is a part of life. The best are betrayed.  Judas appears.  Peter denies.  The powers of darkness seek our death.

In it all, I can tell you this – I defy dark powers with the repulsion that borders love and, close to love’s magnetic call, walks me from revenge to the strength of pure defiance, then to a place where you can on longer be hurt by deeds of shrunken ones.  There is no need for revenge then.  You have crossed over from mortal to beyond.

Those who love despite betrayal are as Christ and it is said on them: You have suffered for us, have mercy on us.”

Be there.


Post for Monday, November 16, 2015

The bond that links … family is not one of blood but of respect and involvement in each other’s lives.


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It is rather common in modern secular society that people think that they can live independently, that they must rely solely on themselves in this world.

Not true.  No one makes it in life without relying on one another.  No one pitches a perfect game nor can one live entirely by themselves.

No, we need those in our life in whom we can confide, with whom we have complete access and who offer us loyal and trusted companionship and counsel.

Yes, we need those who love us and always will.

Part of living is knowing that we cannot do this journey alone.  Knowing that we have those loving friends, better yet – a parent, spouse, sibling, child or family member who stands with us unconditionally and in love.

Friends, don’t try to do this life all by yourself.  It cannot be done – and those who love you will feel excluded and worry about you when you labor by yourself.

Love others by letting them love you.


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