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Christians are meant to be the continuing revelation of God’s Son through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us.

Thomas Keating, in The Heart of the World

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While our challenges may be many and run deep within us, our country and our culture, our task is quite clear: to be the continuing revelation of Christ in this world.

What makes this task initially challenging is that we are (independent of God) merely humans and as such we get angry, become busy, self-absorbed, weary and preoccupied.

Look about, many are angry (especially those in the secular Left – the socialists, Communists and radicals).  Confrontation can be quite hostile, even physical.

What is one to do?  Remain calm.  Be soft-spoken.  Avoid anger.  Simply respond quietly.  Perhaps take up your calling to speak to others of the truth of the Gospels.  Our task is to share Christ with others, to quell the hostility – defuse the anger.

In our most trying times – it is the peace of Christ which resides in us and gives us voice, courage and wisdom.  Yes, the peace of Christ in troubled times.

Shalom.

Postscript – Those who dislike Trump make their position known in rather intense and obvious ways,  We see this with Democrat Members of Congress and the news and celebrity class.  But few people ask: How did we elect Trump?

Well the news of the very wealthy in business, law and entertainment paying huge amounts of money to get their “little darlings” into once “elite” colleges tells you exactly why we have Donald Trump as President.  The elites live separately from the vast majority of all other Americans.  They live (as the Clintons so clearly do) above and apart from the vast sea of working Americans who pay their taxes without loopholes and privileges.

The arrogance of elites elected Trump, and their elected state, local and national representatives go one better – they ignore the will of the common voter on borders, the national deficit, abortions, illegal immigration, the Second Amendment, education, religion and all manner of Leftist (i.e., socialist and Communist) public policy.

This is a divide that creates very real problems.

 

It is within your power to withdraw yourself wherever you desire.  Perfect tranquility within consists in the good ordering of the mind, the realm of your own.  (Emphasis added.)

Marcus Aurelius

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What gives rise to tranquility?  Your tranquility?

If you pause to think about your health and happiness is this not the fundamental question?  I think it is.

Our eyes are the avenue to the brain.  What do you see each moment, each day?  Do you live in an “ordered” realm?  Are your surroundings in chaos, disarray?  If so, how can your eyes not convey this disorder to your brain?  And what of noise?  What do you hear?  Does not noise itself affect tranquility?

Desire tranquility?  Ask yourself what effect the invasion of unwanted ads on the internet have on you?  When you think about it they are intruders – others pushing themselves into your life – ads: from the eyes to the brain.  Do you wish unwelcome intruders into your home whenever they desire to enter?

We live in a culture where intrusion and invasion are common.  Yes, tranquility is denied routinely.  What is one to do?

Wall off these intrusions.  Control your surroundings – have your place of home ordered.  Each thing has a place.  You need not that much.  The less you have the easier it is to know tranquility.  Give no space to the TV talking heads.  You do not know their life – whether it is utter chaos – which it probably is.  Why listen to sick, confused people?  They bring no tranquility – only chaos.  And celebrities?  Ugh!!!

And, problems.  Do you welcome those who bring problems into your life?  To do so does not bring tranquility.

And what about your interior journey?  Have you quietly and diligently examined your life experience and come to know the pluses and minuses of those so important to your development from birth to adulthood?  And what of the losses, betrayals, great disappointments?  Have you faced them honestly and learned what was intended to be learned?  And how about you?  Do you know what triggers your most salient thoughts, reactions, attitudes, convictions?

Finally, can you be silent and alone?  And most importantly, do you have a home in religious narrative?  Do you keep the company of history’s great contemplatives?

When you think about it – tranquility soothes the Spirit and we are all first and foremost spiritual beings.  Tend to that thought and act on it – and you will come to greater tranquility – no more anxiety, no more naked vulnerability to intrusions and the idiocy of the noise and disorder surrounding you.

Shalom.

Postscript – When we see another, do we see a man or a woman or do we see color, age, ethnicity, status, physical attributes?  Can tranquility come from such seeing?

Then spoke Jesus again … saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

Jn 8:12

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We live in dark times.  There is much anger, hostility and bigotry reported daily.  Some aimed at anarchy engage in violence.  Our founding principles are attacked, discounted – under assault.  Virtue is not a part of the public discourse nor public actions.  Morality is largely discarded.  Selfishness, like nihilism, shouts loudly.

Light or darkness?  Your choice.

The former speaks of God.  The violence we see does not.  God or no God?  Some flirt with disaster and think it just wonderful.

Listen discretely.  Who speaks from faith?  Who is wise and good?  It is not the godless – those who are the loudest and most carried by the media of today.

The product of godlessness is hatred and bigotry – their form is not fellowship but intolerance and force.

Where are you?  Who shall we be?  If you do nothing, remain silent and inert – you will be choosing darkness when Light has been offered.  There is shame in this failure.

Shalom.

Does anyone of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go before law before the unrighteous and not before the saints?

1 Cor 6:1

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When you think about how litigious we are today, we all might want to read the First Letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians.

The simple verse above raises this question: Why let the “unrighteous” settle your disputes?  Would it not be better to trust the Holy Ones to resolve your disputes?

Would it not be better to ask our heart, what am I to do?  How am I to react?

It is very easy to default to conflict.  People do selfish and hateful things and these things hurt us, disappoint us, anger us – and justifiably so.  But, we all must ask cautiously: will I let these deeds convert me to anger?  Will I let these deeds diminish me?

As for me, this is something I need to ponder.  So many times the bad deeds of others have challenged me and divided me from my faith, angered me and provoked my unflattering thoughts or words.  St. Paul’s words humble me.  His words today will take root in me.  Thank God.

Shalom.

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