“Care of the soul, looking back with special regard to ancient psychologies for insight and guidance, goes beyond the secular mythology of the self and recovers a sense of the sacredness of each individual life.”

Thomas Moore, in Care of the Soul

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We in America and the West are defaulted to the “self” whereby the individual person thinks of their “irreplaceable” value. Yes, look about, do you not see the endless line of bores, self-proclaiming fools thither and yon!

Look at the recent occupants of White House, those in politics who never seen to exit from the public stage. The abject foolishness pursued as public policy, the profound incoherent destruction, a defenseless border, idiotic public spending, deeds intended to destroy the Republic. Never have we witnessed such overt intent to destroy a Nation, its economy, wealth, freedom, security, legacy, history, unity.

When the soul is neglected bad things happen and suffering is assured. Yet, who among us gives a critical account of this road to self-destruction? No one, actually. By default you are forewarned. Best you spend time with Thomas Moore – former professor, monk, writer and psychotherapist. His words might help you understand the calamity at hand. It serves us not to be governed by fools.

Shalom.

“The political process is dominated by rival elites committed to irreconcilable beliefs … politics of ideology, our view of the world and confronted us with a series of false choices … replacing substantive issues with purely symbolic issues …”

Christopher Lasch in The Revolt of the Elites and the Betrayal of Democracy.

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Lasch wrote this back in 1995 and how right he is. The global elites have succeeded in distracting us from real life. The likes of the Davos elites have shifted our attention from serious matters to Drag Queens and AOC and nonsense like the Green “New Deal.”

Public critics abound. Many mere imbeciles, super lightweights … a lazy breed of know-it-alls who know little to nothing but live to divide and be noticed.

Today in the West we are besieged by the global ladies who demand our attention and obedience. Hence, America and the West is placed in jeopardy. The lazy affluent seek to alter America so it might reflect their off-beat views … Odd how the super-lazy know-it-alls seem to know so much that has no more bearing on us than to distract and destroy. How is it that the super unaccomplished can fancy themselves masters of the universe without ever doing anything in particular! Best we pay them no heed. Who is John Kerry after all?

Shalom.

“I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (Emphasis added.)

John 16:33

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Today we live among the chaos of the Godless. Yes, in high places, amid public voices no less, wisdom is lost and confusion seems to flourish. It is safe to say what we hear, see and experience is not among our finest hour.

Need a change? Peace and truth awaits in Christ. Better His words than the voices of lost souls seemingly intent on disorder and division. When one is ill feasting on what has made you ill makes no sense. Better Christ than self-destruction. Take shelter in the Divine. Seek not the words of the confused, those of no faith, they who want their own way in all things. Christ. Christ is by far the better way.

Shalom.

“A quiet, almost tentative knock sounded at the door. According to the practice of the Cistercians at the time, l gave a couple of sharp raps on the wooden side of the bed table. The conspirator entered … This was the first time I had laid eyes on Thomas Merton.”

Basil M. Pennington, in Thomas Merton Brother Monk

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If you wish to sustain a religious life amid the present culture you would be wise to take time to read Pennington’s book which carries this sub-title: The Quest for True Freedom.

Merton, like Monk Basil Pennington, was devoted to live a sustained existence in accord with his faith. I am inclined to think that such an orientation might well fit one’s need today. I can add that Pennington’s book is one of the best l have read insofar as it tells us of a deep desire to adhere to one’s spiritual existence in the midst of secular culture.

Shalom.

“Hell’s principal punishment consists of eternal separation from God in whom alone man can have the life of happiness for which he was created and for which he longs.”

Part One, 1057, Catechism of the Catholic Church

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Separation from God. Beware of those who separate you from God for such separation is hell. Apply this to those who are in positions of power, and those who claim authority over you, likewise those who wish your approval as to sins they pursue and persist in pursuing.

Those who would separate us from God are many. Being vigil is our responsibility lest we are compromised by others with power or authority.

Shalom.

“The last consequence of a dying Christianity is a dying people. Not one post-Christian nation has a birth rate sufficient to keep it alive.”

Patrick Buchanan

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How interesting. No children, no future and a Nation dies. Why does no one in public life attend to these practical considerations? Alas, we are not as bright as we think we are. Nary a voice asks those who favor abortion: how it is that a Nation not producing children can survive as its population dwindles?

It is hard to watch what goes on here in Washington. Hard to not sense one encounters self-destruction, and self-loathing. One wonders if there are among us those who intend our demise. If there are it is best to invoke persona non grata.

l contrast the above with an interview l saw recently with three of the brave men who protected our compound in Benghazi, Libya, against extraordinary numbers of terrorists who attacked our citizens stationed in Libya.

I encountered a significant number of challenges from early childhood onward. In each challenge I had no way to avoid hardship, I had the task of confronting reality and moving forward no matter the risk. Implicit in this was “doing what God asked of me” with an implied understanding that God would only present me with that which would grow me, lead me to greater challenges. Alas, today l see a nation in the throws of self-annihilation and l feel as if someone is taking my vital interior organs out of me one by one. It is a sickening feeling.

To prosper, we must survive. To survive we must secure the selfless bravery of the brave Benghazi heroes whose love of country, one another, God and their fellow citizens gave them the strength to stand their ground no matter the odds. We are approaching the challenge of Benghazi. Are you ready? You had best be.

Shalom.

“How can l repay the Lord for his goodness to me? … Your servant, Lord, your servant am I; you have loosened my bonds. … My vows to the Lord I will fulfill before all his people … “

Excerpt from Psalm 116

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Watching the men and women in the Congress sadly reveals a good deal of childish behavior. Childish quarrels are discouraging.

The world is a serious place. We have adversaries. They are emboldened when they see childish conduct were adult conversation ought to be on display. Hence, I utilize Psalm 116.

In candor l say we scare no one when we behave as children and act out immaturity in childish quarrels. Best to recognize that God expects much more from us. As do those men and women in the military and law enforcement and fire fighters who stand ready each day to put their life on the line … much as our Lord did at considerable cost.

My suggestion? Expect sober adults in the conduct of the people’s business and expect as well a sound intellect, evidence of humility and a living faith.

Shalom.

“The teacher, particularly the teacher dedicated to liberal education, must constantly try to look toward the goal of human completeness and back at the natures of his students here and now, ever seeking to understand the former and access the capacities of the latter to approach it … What each generation is can be best discovered in its relation to the permanent concerns of mankind.

Allan Bloom in The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students.

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One cannot look at American culture today but that one sees the absence of the past, the loss of contact with Western Civilization, familiarity with the Ancients, with the place of faith in full human development and an understanding of what resides within the human person per se. Yes, those who would take command of a Nation are best who are fit for the task. Their knowledge of the past and the insights of the best of those who have come before is critical. Consequently we are governed, led and served by those who may profit from Bloom’s thoughts. Indeed wisdom is vital, it staves off error and unexamined impulse.

When you think about it, it is really quite interesting to see the range of figures exercising authority. More to the point, think about once admired entities of government which earned our respect and ask yourself if we match the best from years gone by. It seems that a culture that ignores its rich heritage is destined to do injury to what once was the proper envy of many other nations and peoples. I suppose one might say we are lost to who and what we are and have been. We hope not to fulfill what Pogo said, “we have met the enemy and it is us.”

Our best hope: return to our heritage, come to know the human being from the inside out, return to faith and the treasure of religious narrative and the extraordinary truth of the Ancients who saw the human being and his or her nature so clearly. Why discard the wisdom of the Ancients who knew so much more than we apparently do?

Shalom.


“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. In meadows he makes me lie down, by quiet waters guides me.”

Psalm 23

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There are many Psalms which l like, several l silently recite rather regularly. Their content is timeless. In the above l see two things: one, God is the Shepherd and you and l are His sheep who are so carefully watched over. Yes, l realize humility here. We are but sheep who need guidance and loving protection. It is, indeed, the Shepherd upon whom the vulnerable sheep must depend.

Think of the truth of this ancient text which takes us back to the life-giving water of the desert and the wise and vigilant Shepherd who faithfully watches over his flock. In truth it must be said that despite our personal “accomplishments” we are His sheep and it is God’s unwavering task to watch over us and our “human achievements” nonetheless.

It is the watchful Shepherd who still prefers to guide us. Alas, the discord we witness today in the world leads one to ask: do we still depend on the Shepherd or are we lost sheep destined for our own demise?

We are NEVER so great that we can ignore God and navigate mortal life by our self. Humility has its place in contemporary existence. Indeed, it is a sign of ageless wisdom and enhances the truth of human limitations notwithstanding this or that we see as the achievement of mere mortals.

Shalom.

Postscript – Maybe the opening lines of 23d Psalm might best be tattooed on the forehead of those elected to serve in the U.S. Congress. Can’t do more harm than what is being done routinely. Any port in a storm!

“Both Augustine and (Thomas) Merton wrestled with the intellectual demons of their respective times and both had to put some framework of moral order into their personal lives.” (Emphasis added.)

Lawrence S. Cunningham, in Thomas Merton & the Monastic Vision

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l wonder how many souls have been lost to gigabytes?

We live in a machine age, typing on small keyboards might indeed shrink the interior topography of the human person. Have you know technological wizards who seem to have forfeited access to emotions? Well, at any rate we sure could use a reintroduction to feelings and the interior plain of affection, spirit, morals, virtue, humor, love, and devotion.

For a change of venue, you might enjoy Augustine’s Confessions and Merton’s The Seven Story Mountain or Huxley’s Ends and Means.

Let’s face facts. Civilized life as we have known it is in a tailspin in the West. Centuries of humanity in practice are being subverted and the soul ignored as sure as spirituality is likewise neglected, deactivated.

Shalom.

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