March 19th, The Feast of St. Joseph

My Mother’s Birthday

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Blessed is the one whose will is the law of the Lord.

Antiphon – The Psalter, Vigil of the Office of the Saints,

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My mother was born on March 19th, the Day of the feast of St. Joseph – the Christ child’s Guardian.

There are no coincidences.  

As it is said: St. Joseph was like the tree planted near running waters which brought forth its fruit in due season, so it can be said of my Mother.

So many times I have said to others about my Mother, “She saved my life.”

Selfless, strong, loving, determined, thoughtful, sacrificial, savvy, tough – with a tender interior, a compassionate heart and eye for justice with a most merciful touch … and an inexhaustible love of children.

She taught by example.  Never placed herself first – preferred to serve rather than be served.

If there are two earthly things that I might say made the greatest difference in my life they are these: one, I had my Mother as my Shepherd and guide, and two, life brought us hardships, losses, challenges and misfortunes that strengthened us, grew us, increased our faith and made us One.

My Mother passed away 21 years ago, but the truth is she has never left me or my Son (her Grandson) – now a successful adult, father and husband.

Now she sits aloft to see her lineage extended to Grandson Jack (3), and Granddaughter Fiona (1).  Yes … fruit in due season …

Happy Birthday, Mom.  Love you always.  No one lived better than you.

We send our love to you … and think about you often.  You were one of a kind.  Unforgettable!




A Quiet, Peaceful Sunday

… of the things in life … which is the thing you believe to be most valuable?  (Emphasis added.)

William B. Irvine, in A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy

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We seldom stop to think about who we are and what would most satisfy us in this life.  Most people just respond to the noise and impulses of the culture.  Hard to imagine a contented life might result from that default setting.

No wonder there are so many discontented people, so many who submit willy-nilly to the noise, fashion, ideology, stimulus, fear or fancy of the day.  Yes, we play the lead role in our own confusion and discontent.  Few live a considered existence.

Given the opportunity to live a contented life of inner satisfaction and peace – many live in perpetual distraction, anxiety, turmoil and unhappiness.  Seems like such a waste.

In the manner we think about the world and ignore our humble place within it, the more chaotic our life is likely to be.

Author William Irvine reminds us that the Stoic philosophers sought to live a life without negative emotions, a life of tranquility – one absent fear, grief, envy and anxiety.

In pursuit of tranquility, the Stoics saw the mortal world as transitory.  They sought to minimize desires.  In contrast they sought to live courageously, in a temperate manner, with self-discipline and virtue, with joy.  In this they foretold of Christ.

They examined their life, sought to control their attitude and expectations – but nothing beyond their reach.  They did only what they could.

This: a descent prescription for today.  Yes, separation from the chaos and decay requires knowing what it is you intend with this sacred existence you have been granted.

Use the gift of life wisely.  Listen discretely and avoid crowds of the confused and contentious.  Yours is a sacred calling.

You’ll remember me when the West wind moves among the fields of barley …

Many years have passed since those summer days among the fields of barley.  See the children run as the sun goes down among the fields of gold.

Fields of Gold




And ‘Tis a Happy St. Patrick’s Day Indeed … 

… they hurried us aboard a bark, bore us some leagues to sea; where they prepar’d a rotten carcass of a boat, not rigg’d, nor tackle, sail, nor mast; the very rats instinctively had quit it.

Wm. Shakespeare, in Temptest, Act I, Scene II

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Well Lil Andy McCabe is a few pennies short.  “No cash for you, Lad.”

One of the things you learn in a poor neighborhood full of enterprising Irishmen – some on the “right” side of the street, and some not, is this: it takes a special talent to be good at mischief – and criminal enterprise.  Yep, special smarts, nerve, guts, creativity, innovation, toughness, cunning and the priceless capacity to instill loyalty.  (The later is in the Celt’s DNA.  I live to this day thinking love is loyalty – one and the same.)

It follows that the “educated” class has no such gifts.  It pays for them to forget trying to be clever miscreants – and, oh My God – the delicate conspiracy is far beyond their reach.

Lil Andy is short his pennies.  The Lad is indignant.  His responses already make no sense – denials confirming who he is or has become.  Laugh-able nonsense.  Ain’t no Irish Brother I know.

There are some things better left for those with “the calling.”

We are now about to see Act I, Scene II of the Tempest put in play in real time.  Those in the Andy loop and its wider web will be quietly meeting with their counsel – one by one, and the margins will be struck: what pray-tell will be my best course of exit?

Sure you be that those who shun the cleric, find need of counsel in due time.  ‘Tis a gravitational certainty.

You are about to see self turn to selfishness.  This is an ageless pleasure to observe: the you-know-whos taking leave of deeds discovered.

Not much new under the sun.  Enjoy the show.


… and now for a wee bit of Whiskey and water …


… taking ownership when things go wrong requires extraordinary humility and courage … (Emphasis added.)

Jocko Willink, in Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win

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Look around today.  Listen to the daily news.  Adults realize that in life “things go wrong.”  Some might say – things go wrong daily, perpetually.  Would anyone expect less from imperfect people?  No.  Not unless one was delusional.  And, yes – some people are delusional.

Learning requires taking ownership for our actions and inactions that produce error and failure.  Doing so requires humility and courage and is the mark of a leader.   

Looking at the daily news suggests we have a shortage of leaders.

When you find yourself in chaos and recognize that those who speak to the moment look neither humble nor courageous, you realize that you are called to fill that void – you are called to lead – to manifest that humility and courage, to take responsibility, to candidly identify and speak of errors that must be corrected, to call others out.

Today we are far from seeing daily examples of leadership. The messes in the Parkland, Florida school shooting, at the FBI and Justice Department, in the Obama Presidency and within the intelligence community are sufficient evidence that we have a leadership problem – because we have a maturity problem, a character problem, a faith problem, an honesty problem, a courage problem, a humility problem.

What are we to do?  We must call those out who fail to lead.  Identify failure.  Rid ourselves of those who fail to own their errors.  Realize valor is our mission.  Separate from the indigenous failures among us and lead as you are called to do.

Courage.  Humility.  Onward.

Begin with your family, then your workplace and community.  Keep the company of the humble, the courageous – and speak the truth.

Better the company of the few, the best – than reside with lost souls.


For Kant one can be both good and stupid; but for Aristotle stupidity of a certain kind precludes goodness.  (Emphasis added.)

Alasdair MacIntyre, in After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory

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Well count me with Aristotle.  Apropos: Good-bye Leftists.  So long Democrat Party, CNN, MSNBC, New York TimesWashington, Post, radical individualism, Presidents who claim to stop the tide from rising, Feminists, loony academics, Bill and Hill and their cohorts, et al.

If you have not read MacIntyre’s book, I suggest it.  Why?  While it is a challenging read – it lays out a fundamental proposition that helps one understand the present turmoil and decline we witness today in America.  Specifically, it tells of our drift from Aristotelian morality to the Nietzschean rejection of morality in favor of “the will to power” and its radical individualism.  That is – from a moral sensitivity to the person in community to the nihilism of a radical individualism that preaches – “the hell with others, do what you want.”

Yes, you can understand the journey from enlightened citizenship to a new Dark Age not unlike what the Fall of the Roman Empire ushered in centuries ago.

And, I repeat by suggestion to listen carefully to public voices – none of who seem to have done any reading that might give them a glimpse of depth of the mess we presently occupy.

Stick with Aristotle and his place in Christian theology.  In contrast, we have abandoned the idea that our being is but as one with others in community – and hence, a shared moral structure and beliefs are essential to our peace and civility.


Children’s March.  Oh, ya.  The Left as children.  Well now we recognize the truth – inadvertently proclaimed yesterday: the Left is childish.  Imagine “the movement’s” size had the Democrats and liberal women not encouraged so many abortions.


… the world believes in the pragmatic rather than the transcendental, and you will lose your soul (that is to say, forget what and who you are) if you do not get away from the noise now and then to thing about the First Things.  (Emphasis added.)

Antonin Scalia

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You know it is not that complicated.  You either conform to the secular world or you live your birthright which is a transcendental existence.  The second does not exclude the former – that is, a spiritual existence is inclusive, while a secularized existence in its present form does not welcome nor house what is transcendental.  In a secularized world, you lose your soul – your self.

The secular option reduces you, makes your life harder – more shallow, more confused, less meaningful and less manageable, leaves you to the template of ideology and material worries.

It remains to you to decide how you will live … whether you wish a full and contented life or one that is fragmented and constantly unsettled and at odds.

Pretty clear choice.


The two worlds, the divine and the human, can be pictured only as distinct from each other – different as life and death, as day and night.  The hero ventures out of the land we know into darkness … his return is described as coming out of that yonder zone.  Nevertheless – the two kingdoms are actually one.  The realm of the gods is a forgotten dimension of the world we know … the exploration of that dimension … is the whole sense of the deed of the hero.

Joseph Campbell, in The Hero of a Thousand Faces

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Easter approaches.  But do we think of Christ the Hero who joins again the divine and the human in “the two kingdoms that are actually one?”

Yes, this is the time for our unification of the divine with the human – a reminder that we live in but one kingdom – whole and divine … that we are made whole and divine!

I am often struck at how it is that we live as if there is no recorded human story over all these years of human existence and how in our ignorance we miss the obvious truth and significance of the essential and repeated stories of the Hero, the sacrifice – the rule of the Divine over all from Age to Age.

Our Easter celebration occurs in many forms in varied cultures, religious narratives and ancient stories – making it all the more True, and making us in our ignorance all the more in need of wisdom and sight that is not blinded by our badly mistaken assessment of our own importance.

In our political life we are trapped in the daily event – unable to connect history’s dots.  We live so superficially – and listen to the most inane dribble day to day.  In this small frame of mind we fumble about, pontificate, content to be doomsayers, hopeless, foolishly assertive grand problem-solvers, faithless.

Shortly after the above passage Campbell questions the Hero who returns, thus: “Why attempt to make plausible, or even interesting, to men and women consumed with passion, the experience of heavenly bliss?”  He notes it is just as easy to “commit the whole community to the devil.” Yet, he notes for the Hero comes “the work of representing eternity in time, and perceiving in time eternity.”

Christ descended into darkness for three days and arose and, then, returned to us so we might know eternity in time, and time in eternity.  But are we governed daily by the Hero’s selfless deed?

In Easter we meet reality.  But do we live this reality?  That is the critical, life-changing, life-saving question.  That is what you face at Easter – that one and only eternal question – that which governs mortal life and time, and eternity.


Hillary Kills Feminism.  Well, the poor-as-church-mouse Miss Hillary is at it again.  Traveling in India she tells us that she lost the election because White Women were directed by their husbands, male bosses and sons to vote for Donald Trump.

There you have it – the end of Feminism!  After years of listening to feminist nonsense and their howling at the moon – Feminism has achieved this one amazing thing: the White Women among their ranks now do what their husbands, male bosses and sons command!  Guess that puts an end to that “Cause.”  Take a bow, Ladies.

With Feminism dead, can gender studies be far behind?

Indeed the safest road to Hell is the gradual one …

C. S. Lewis, in The Screwtape Letters

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Battles between good and evil are won on the margins.  This is a lesson few Americans seem to understand.  Good compromising with its opposite is no victory … it is a lost …

Compromised moral structures result in the disappearance of morals and the institution of corrupt practices – and corrupt lifestyles. In this the abnormal becomes normative.

Look around, the Liberals and the Left have brought us six decades of gradual roads moving us to the destruction of the family, marriage, childhood, virtue, truth, decency, community, intimacy, imagination, honor, sacrifice, morality and meaning.  It their places: the bacchanal – anything goes, self and pursuit of pleasure is king!

But make no mistake – the battle is won or loss on the margins.  Accept same-sex marriage and holy matrimony is lost.  Accept abortion on demand and motherhood is lost – and euthanasia is right behind – hastened by homicide, suicide and drug addictions.

To fight and win on the margin one must address the son who is using drugs or living a dangerous lifestyle.  Yes, when evil is in play – one speaks up and stands for what is good, and right – what is healthy and moral and elevates the human person, preserves their soul.  Remain quiet and compliant and you can kiss your culture goodbye while saying “Hello” to Hell.

This is where we are today.


He who does not cry out the truth when he knows the truth becomes the accomplish of the liars and the falsifiers.

Victor Serge, in From Lenin to Stalin

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It surprises me that few among us dare to think that Donald Trump and his supporters are the only force pushing back on the radical Left, the Marxists, anarchists, nihilists – those who reject this country and wish its destruction.

It doesn’t take much knowledge of history or superior intellect to see what is right in from of us today.  Alas, we are short on truth-tellers and long on liars and falsifiers.

Have we learned nothing of the mass murders of Lenin, Stalin, Mao et al?  Do we forget that Nazism was National Socialism?  Are we not forewarned?

The stakes are rather high and today we are in very significant times.


The more we are adjusted to reality, the better our lives work.  But we can live in a world of reality only if we have a taste for mystery.  For the reality of the situation is that our knowledge is like a little raft bobbing up and down in a sea of ignorance, in an ocean of mystery.  (Emphasis added.)

M. Scott Peck, M.D., in Further Along the Road Less Traveled

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We know less than we think and far less than can be known.  Absent that understanding – humility is rare.

In mass communication culture we are presented with endless talking heads – male and female … most with a B.A. from some once-elite college, or (God help us) a communication degree from some third or fourth-rate place.  These people never utter these words: “So-and-so wrote a remarkable book on X and it says …. ”

Yes, we listen to non-readers with no significant and examined life experience, and crappy educations at mediocre institutions at best.

Imagine if people had as a baseline this: “Gee, life is a mystery … I best respect how little I know, how limited my knowledge and intellect is, how unfamiliar I am with the classics, with mythology, with religion and religious narrative, history, psychology, philosophy, the 20th century …”

The words of wisdom are the words of those who are experienced and humbled my life, by the mystery that it is.

Alas, we have the C minus-minus students telling us things that made no sense and are frequently simply wrong, uninformed, idiotic.  That’s news and public discourse now!!!

God help us all.

If it gets any worse, I’ll get my news from squirrels.  At least they have not been to some overpriced loony-bin of a college where left-wing pabulum is dished out for four mundane and tedious years.


Postscript – Hollywood and the media establish one significant “take it to the bank” truth and it is this: there is absolutely no correlation between wealth and intelligence, or between wealth and character, virtue, wisdom, common sense and decency.   As for courage, wealth and courage parted company a long, long time ago.

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