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Thus far in the year 2019, and despite having been without a computer for a significant period of time, Spirlaw has been read in over 90 countries worldwide.

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“St. Paul could see the course of human history as it progressed toward its end: the liberation of all creation, the consumption of all things in the unity of the Body of Christ now fully perfected.” (Emphasis added.)

Henri de Lubac, in Catholicism: Christ and The Common Destiny of Man

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What if St.Paul is absolutely correct. What if Christ’s presence and mission is a cosmic one? What if the stakes are that high? What if our relationship with Christ has less to do with mortal life and everything to do with eternal life?

What if Christ comes not for our social salvation but for our eternal existence? If that be the case social justice, gender politics, climate change, radical feminism, material wealth, celebrity, earthly possessions, equality and hostility and such lose any significance and surely the attention we give to them? Indeed, would not our personal behavior change for the better? Would we not see division fade and fellowship and community ascend and prosper? Think indeed how our world and its institutions would change so fundamentally that cooperation might well be commonplace.

I suggest you think of this often when you consider the news of the day and the folly it so often chronicles.

Get ready for the Birth of Christ. Soon it will be Christmas Day … and on that day think of St. Paul’s proposition – our salvation is a collective salvation.

How are we doing on that?  You be the judge. Doing so might change you in a very significant way … and free you from the nonsense of those who flee faith, God and Christ and the Incarnation and vest all efforts in the mortal time.

We are, it seems, not as wise as we need me – and far more distressed than necessary.

Shalom.

“Throw the bums out!”

American idiom.

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Well, Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party (the Tories) won a rousing victory in yesterday’s nationwide election.

In this election, we saw the idiom “throw the bums out” dusted off and acted upon to the exquisite repudiation of the exclusive, arrogant, wrong-minded radical Left.

Yet, the Conservatives in Great Britian didn’t just win – they reshaped the scope of their Party by welcoming huge numbers of disgusted Labor Party voters into their conservative Party. In doing this they showed you the future here in our 2020 elections where the Democrat Left will be unseated in the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.

Yes, the bums will be thrown out – on their ear and their backside … and none to quickly for sure. The likes of Schiff and Nadler and others will be repudiated and the noxious communists/socialists will be out on the street and their Party appropriately reduced in size. Yes, “political correctness” will take on water here.

In the U.S. and Great Britain “the deplorables” are sick of the elites, the bias media and print press, the partisan federal bureaucrats, the utterly presumptuous Harvard and Yale indoctrinated “know-it-alls” who claim expertise if not full human development and humility. (Are you listening fake-Indian Princess Lizzie Warren?)

Yes, the handmaidens of the globalists will be discharged and the no-border cabal, fevered climate-changers and confused multi-gender folks will have less public space for their clamoring and fretting.

There will be a shake up. Those dismissed can thank their colleagues who spied on the elected President and endorsed a plot to impreach one who they could not beat nor tolerate. Yes, those who preach tolerance had none for the people who cast their vote for he-who-is-not of the “ruling class.

After next year’s election, we might just return to business and dispense with the Leftwing foolishness and their calamity, destruction, division, wasted opportunities, boondoggles and hyper-politics might well recede.  Why?  Because “throwing bums out” has its benefits and pleasures … and people don’t like being talked down to, insulted and dismissed by jackasses.

Shalom.

“A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people to whom it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbors – such is my idea of happiness.”

Leo Tolstoy, in Family Happiness

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Author Anais Nin said that “It is not easy to find happiness in ourselves, and it is not possible to find it elsewhere.” Her insight matches that of Tolstoy.

We are made to be the discoverers of our own happiness, our own contentment. We are designed to come to know meaning and purpose in this mortal segment of what is a prelude to an eternal existence.

That said, just look around you at all the people (yes, far more than a majority) who run about in a desperate need to establish their value in ways that are devoid of happiness, ease, humor, tranquility, candor, humility, courage, and virtue.

One thing these frantic moon-for-the-misgoten souls have in common is this – they have little interest in knowing exactly who they are as derived from one simple reality – in being called to life itself they are sacred beings with the truth and health and happiness residing within them.

Stated another way – they run about in an exterior existence with no real sense of who they are. These are the people readily given to appearance, fad, affluence, faux status, the quest for power, endless consumption, and the need for others approval, the need “to me accepted.”

They are, to a very large extent, those who produce disorder for themselves and all around them. They seem always to encounter struggle, problems – to be either in motion but going inefficiently in cyclonic circles or inert, incapacitated, or sad and alone and stuck in the mud.

Yep, happiness is within, and once known it can be experiened without … and in quiet and seclusion, in solitude, nature and good deeds, useful work, rest, reading, music, art, laughter, friends and loved ones and faith. These make for a contented life – a good life. But note – these are all things that surround us, are near or within us.

Friend: know yourself and see what is near or within. Therein is happiness and contentment – therein meaning and purpose are amplified.

These words: my Christmas gift to you.

Shalom.

Postscript – Note our widespread use of opiates and heroin are the antithesis of what Nin and Tolstoy have said in the above quotations. Yes, at issue is this: do we have a culture that leads others to happiness and contentment? Can we each do a better job of reflecting what is good, satisfying and timeless?

“May it be done to me according to your word.”

Luke 1:38

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These are Mary’s words upon hearing that she would carry the Christ child.

Are these words in any sense or dimension that apply to you? Is this not a worthy question at Christmas time … and particularly at a time in which even the most politically disinterested person is rightly alarmed and angry at the unrelenting hatred aimed at a lawfully elected occupant of the White House?

I tell you a story about the Buddhist monks of Myanmar.

In 2007 these unarmed monks courageously confronted the ruling military that controlled their country and they did so not with arms or sit-ins, or violence or national disturbances – or at the ballot box. They did so with wooden bowls turned upside down.

You see the monks of Myanmar awake each day and walk the street with their wooden bowls seeking that others place some food in their bowl so they might eat. These monks live by begging for food – their trust in God is that strong that they risk starvation daily.

These very respected monks turned the tide of their military occupation and rule by simply turning their bowls upside down when they passed in the presence of their military rulers.  In accepting nothing form their oppressors they rejected their overlords.

Their upside down wooden bowls were a certain sign that those who governed were unwelcome, dismissed, discounted, rejected, unwanted. In this act they were saying: “You wrongdoers have abandoned God.”

Detained, arrested, assaulted by the military – the monks persisted in their message – their bravery summoned citizens who joined in their artful and non-violent protest. In protest parades the monks and citizens chanted “Do-aye” – which meant in their language: “it is our task.”

They accepted their task as Blessed Mary accepted her sacred task.

How about you? How about you at this sacred season of Christmas? Have you accepted “your task?” Does your life raise up God?

Do you stand a disapproving distance from those who corrupt government? Those who lie to gain or retain power? Those who seek to destroy what our Founders created?

Are you Mary or the monks of Myanmar? Or are you nothing but quiet and compliant? “Do-aye.”

Shalom.

“Patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.”

Aristotle

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Christmas time is a “patience-time.” And who needs this more than a people who live not in the moment but in the next moment?

Let’s be honest we are a people who are always “connected,” always “on-line,” always “plugged-in” … but never in touch … rarely in touch with oneself or one another. So much for the gods of technology whose connections are disconnections – whose community is isolation.

We are people in a hurry. You know this from your drive on the four lane going north and south or east and west … with the driver on your bumper or the wizard passing on your right and sliding over three lanes to the left nearly clipping others tail to front.

We think we see what “is” but fail to see what could be. For all the talk of globalism we hardly know our neighbor. “Educated” we do not know what is good and what is not.

Free by law – we cave into ideologies and ideologues and their spokesmen and women who have never worked an honest day in their life in the economy we inhabit.

In Christmas we have an opportunity – an opportunity to know truth and freedom … but this requires patience in these days of expectation and further it requires learning the lesson of a patient people and the incarnation. Forfeit that and you are one of the impatient and the loss, the destructive and the resentful – those full of beans and numbered by those they serve who are in this mortal life scornfully far above you who they just use as they need- the footstool to the flabby and the fat whose interest is furthered at our expense of both identity and soul.

Patience and Christ – or the status quo and your captivity and unhappiness?

Christmas presents a choice you know.  It is in patience that we stop and listen with our hope and heart and in that we see … and in that real life begins.

Shalom.

“Difficulties strengthen the mind, as labor does the body.”

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

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Adversity is part of life. Yes, humans are not perfect. Yes, some people are hostile, destructive … and in our present culture highly disordered.

The world has been challenging for a long time – just look at what is recorded in multiple sources for centuries. Yes, if you are alive, you will encounter difficulty.

What might do? One, know this is the world as it is. Two, be selective in what you do and who you encounter. Yes, pick your spots.

Three, do not assume that someone with a college degree is smart and, hence, probably helpful or knowledgeable.  And why would I say that?  Those who have not lived in the world as it presents and managed hardship and growth in wisdom and savvy as a consequence are not to be relied upon.

See adversity this way: what am I to learn from this event?

Life is for growing – not for easy-street, not for all things braking in your favor.  No, it is for growing in strength, and wisdom, and faith, and humility, and character, and gratitude.  By all means dismiss those who boast that they know all and ought to be followed for they surely tell you quite the opposite – i.e., that they are fools full only of self and excess gas.

Shalom.

“The great joy of the solitary life is not found simply in quiet, in the beauty and peace of nature … nor in the peace of one’s own heart, but in the awakening and attuning to hear of the voice of God … ”

Thomas Merton, in The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals

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What if the only peace and fullness of person you could experience required you to live in solitude, to remain alone so that you might hear what alone would bring you to wholesness and peace?

Would this not prompt in you a discreet exit from all the obligations, demands and noise that comprises most of modern life? Would not the computer and the cellphone be abandoned rather easily? Does that not speak of liberation and contentment?

Is it not the case that Jesus entered the world at a time when mankind had far fewer possessions and distractions?

Does it not stand to reason that silence and solitude are most likely the essential conditions to knowing God and knowing who you are?

If one assumed this was so, would not crowded cities likely be the antithesis to our peace and tranquility and knowledge, and the experience of God?

With this in mind, I ask: Are you whole and content, at peace and ease? Are you settled and sufficiently free of the domination by today’s culture and today’s gadgets, worries, occupations and manufactured “needs?”

Shalom.

Remember Pearl Harbor, December 7th, 1941

“Either you look at the universe as a very poor creation out of which no one can make anything, or you look at your own life and your own part in the universe as infinitely rich, full of inexhaustible interest, opening out into the infinite further possibilities for study and contemplation and interest and praise. Beyond all and in all is God.” (Emphasis added.)

Thomas Merton, in The Intimate Merton: His Life from His Journals

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I don’t have much appetite from most public conversation. I prefer silence or conversations with friends and others who I have come to know have something to say about life because these people live resigned to the gift of life as something rich, fully interesting, sacred, amusing, entertaining, full of pathos … yet humbling.

Most public voices hardly warrant any of our intention. Nothing ought to be made of those who deem themselves the chosen ones who will (in the self-claimed genius) straighten out this poor creation we occupy.

Indeed, these absurd “rescuers” are fools and worse – they often make matters far worse and are so mistaken as to their value that they actively lie and deceive to hang on to their view of their god-like “superiority.”

So let’s clear the record: neither a fancy prep school or a college degree, nor Ph.D., law degree, professorship or accumulation of wealth makes one worthy of being heard … much less being followed or adored. No, we are all merely people on foot walking toward eternity. The problem, of course, is this: too many “rescuers” in a visible and audio mass communication secular culture have possession of the instruments of sight and sound.

What fools ye culture brings!

My response to this? I hunker down in silence and solitude and in the company of those who have let life lead them to humility and hence insight, laughter, wisdom and meaning.

You see those denominated as Thomas Merton describes above live a greater peace and contentment than the “rescuers” whose disorientation makes them wrong most of the time and bores virtually all the time.

You want to find a “good life?” Be oriented as our friend and teacher Thomas Merton was oriented. Let the “rescuers” bury themselves.

Shalom.

Postscript – As to a Merton orientation, I offer you this tidbit: having spent significant time in vowed religious life as a Catholic Brother I can tell you that few in religious life live as Thomas Merton describes above … but those who did were a delight be know and a joy to be with. I hope you learn from what I say here.

“Before I finished my testimony, my home and office were inundated with threatening messages and demands that I be fired from George Washington University for arguing that, while a case for an impeachment can be made, it has not been made on this record.” (Emphasis added.)

Law Professor Jonathan Turley, in his op-ed piece in The Hill (12-5-19)

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This is the fascist nature of the American Left that finds its home in the Democrat Party today. Intolerance is its foundation. Agree with them or suffer the consequences. Such an attitude leads to one of two results: (1) a political party with such a profile that shrinks to a small and minor party status if it does not moderate radically its thoughts and behavior, or (2) despite its shrinking size it attempts to seize power by force.

It is really quite amazing to watch a major political party self-destruct and that is just what we see today.

When I get calls from long time friends who are Democrat voters who express their amazement that the likes of Pelosi, Schiff and Congresswoman Waters and others make Trump more appealing, you realize that the Democrats are hastening to destroy themselves.

The good news is that there appears no appetite for seizing power by force. Then again, is not that what this impeachment nonsense, the Mueller fiasco, and the whole FBI Steele dossier foolishness intended by trying to drive Donald Trump from office?

We live in interesting times. The Democrats seem captive to some whose fear and dislike of the elected President and those who elected him, and in this President Trump looks like a 2020 winner and a responsible leader.

” … inundated with threatening messages … ” Childish campus behavior now a tool of the Party of the Left. We are likely seeing the demise of the Democrat Party.  Very interesting historical moment.

Shalom.

Note: Mr. Turley was one of four lawyers who appeared this week before a House Committee to discuss matters related to impeachment under the U.S. Constitution.

“Most mainline Protestant churches are, to one degree or another, post-Christian. If they no longer seem disposed to converting the unbelieving to Christ, they can at least convert them to the boggiest of soft-left cliches, on the grounds that if Jesus were alive today he’d most likely be a gay Anglican bishop in a committed relationship driving around in an environmentally-friendly car with an ‘Arms are for Hugging’ sticker on the way to an interfaith dialogue with a Wiccan and a couple of Wahhabi Iran’s.” (Emphasis added.)

Mark Steyn, in America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It

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People do not comprehend how it is that Donald Trump is President and is quite likely at to be re-elected. That proposition alone is reason enough for a mildly alert individual to ask probative questions pointed directly at the man or women in the mirror that one finds oneself looking at each morning.

That is to say – with just that tiny morsel of curiosity one might wake up to the state of our culture and that of Western Civilization by simply asking: How did Trump become President?

Yes, see that is the question a modestly bright man or women might ask. Yet, alas, few such people occupy any space in political life and fewer still in the media or newspaper business – and surely very few in either the “entertainment” industry or in the clown factories that many colleges and law schools (especially the so-called elite colleges and law schools) have now become.

And therein is the answer as to how Donald Trump became President. You see Mr. Trump simply noticed the obvious (something utterly lost to the likes of Pelosi, Schiff, CNN, MSNBC, NPR, PBS, et al and the other blind mice of the Party of the Left and their followers).

The obvious? Yes, Western Civilization as we have know it is falling apart and the post-World War international order is no longer functioning as a vehicle for insuring its own survival or defense.

Closer to home we have raised “educated” and affluent citizens who at best wonder what harm can become if the West and America disintegrate?

Worse yet, we have waves of intellectuals and “educators” who actively advocate America’s decline or extinction … think open borders and the various domestic “grievance” cabals who deplore some imaginative “oppressor” which explains to them their own lack-luster, under-achieving, ill-defined (and hence rather meaningless – often angry and chaotic and perhaps addicted) existence.

You see – many just plain people are aware of the accelerating loss of the American Republic as it has been defined for 243 years of extraordinary growth, security, success, prosperity, peace, liberty and religious freedom.

Yep, these work-a-day men and women – young and old – have had enough of the decline and the nonsense of the ideologues of the Left and their Big Brother Boondoggle “programs” that intrude into their life and produce far more harm and dependence than good and freedom while exacting greater taxes and deeper budget deficits and prohibitive self-destructive National Debt (thank you, Mr. Obama and weak-knee Congressional Republicans – in particular).

Yep, we got today – the failed Big State Lefties verses the every day man and woman who quaintly loves this Country and still lives a modest life of hard work, religious faith and fidelity to family. Donald Trump prevailed because this Country is well worth saving from those who would destroy it. And a goodly number of those people state but state have been finally heard.

Shalom.

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