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Let us lie in wait for the righteous man, because he is inconvenient to us and opposes our actions; reproaches us for sins against the law and accuses us of sins against our training.

Wis 2:12

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From the Book of Wisdom.  How vibrant is our sacred narrative!  But do we read it?  Take heed?  See how it fits our mortal life?  Today, no less!!!

Are we not a culture that finds the righteous man inconvenient?

What shows us any evidence that the accusers know the wisdom of their faith?  Or possess humility?  Or have accurately assessed their failure before they condemn others unjustly?

Who but God reproaches us so that we might grow and become friends to one another?

Do you bother to study the lessons that you have been given?  If not, why not?

Shalom.

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The process which, if not checked, will abolish man goes on apace among Communists and Democrats no less than among Fascists … The methods may at first differ … But … the means in the long run (are) just the same … ‘Traditional values are to be debunked’ and mankind … cut into some fresh shape at will.

C. S. Lewis, in Abolition of Man

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Perhaps the Professor Ford – Judge Kavanaugh story indicates a significant turning point in the flow of radical politics from the 1960’s to the present.  Perhaps we see in the Kavanaugh episode a significantly outlandish and destructive “overreaching” by the extreme Left.

Years ago Lewis saw what was afoot. The voice of others like Solzhenitsyn and Milosz who fled what Lewis describes are echoing in the public today.  Maybe citizens are now focusing more on the efforts of American Leftists to remake us in their fractured image … and rejecting their dubious project?

Odd as he is, President Trump, signifies something.  He is, as is shown by the pollsters and political professionals who gave him no chance to win the last presidential election, a statement that something has changed here.

Contrary to the popular Left-leaning commentary it may not be that the great-unwashed “deplorables” made a huge mistake – but rather that people have began to repudiate precisely the “re-make” that Lewis identified.  Perhaps what we are seeing in Trump and in the Kavanaugh mishmash is a reaction to the arrogant elites who, without hesitation, desire to shape us to their liking – and perhaps we have said or are starting to say “Get lost.”

Think about it – abortion is no longer coveted by many of the younger people in this country, Catholics are prepared to hold their clerical leadership to account, the cost of education and the product it produces in “the snowflake era” is now seen as a poor investment.  Likewise, perhaps the impermanent policies and practices of President Obama executive orders and fiats being easily dismantled are further evidence of a fundamental shift afoot.

There are a number of such schisms much like these which appear to be a reaction to the excess and the hubris of the educated, celebrity, privileged and governing class.  Think, for example, of the failures in Democrat governments in Chicago, in California and other places where public debt verges on bankruptcy and social order is in disarray.

Could it be that we are seeing tradition reasserted?  Normalcy restored.  Radical propositions put in check?

Think about it.  Be assured – humans are designed to seek what is good and in the long run that instinct prevails – often trigger by the excesses of those who do not promote what common sense knows to be true and good.

Shalom.

… with you is my grievance, O priests … My people perish for want of knowledge!  Since you have rejected knowledge, I will reject you … Since you have ignored the law of your God, I will also ignore your sons.  One and all they sin against me exchanging their glory for shame.  (Emphasis added.)

Hos 4: 6, 7

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The words of the Jewish prophet Hosea tell of his understanding about what his God would do to those (the Jewish people) who consistently ignored God and God’s teachings.

Reading it I cannot but help thinking of those among us, yes even the high clergy, who reject God’s teachings enshrined in the Canons of the Church.  Likewise I think of so many in public life who proceed always with what interests them while never putting their ideas, opinions, plans to a test of faith.  Nary do they ask: What might God seek of me this day?

Too, too many people in positions of authority and influence readily exchange their own glory for shame … never giving a moment’s thought to what God might otherwise desire.

This is the road to perdition (i.e., the loss of soul and path to eternal damnation).  

Mind you, if Mr. X or Ms. Z wishes hell as their destination, so be it – but those in positions of influence and authority have no justification for leading us to that same eternal misery.  Be very, very careful as to who you listen to, who you elect, what ideas you entertain and any who appear strangers to faith, to God.

You are forewarned.

Shalom.

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.  Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

Rom 12:2

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Look at Washington today and think about the above proposition – “don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world.”  A very emphatic proposition.

Think about the Democrats and Feminists in the context of the last-minute uncorroborated allegation of some social or sexual misconduct of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh when Mr. Kavanaugh was a high school student.

Very much a remake of the Anita Hill episode vis-a-vis Justice Clarence Thomas.  Like Ms. Hill – the women making the allegations has not offered any evidence that she spoke to anyone contemporaneously with the alleged incident.  The present source of the allegations cannot remember the year this incident was to have happened, the house where it is alleged to have happened, nor did she (like Ms. Hill) make any complaint with anyone in authority – police, teachers, counselors, etc.

Indeed, the woman making the allegation (as is reported) has recently taken a polygraph test and is presented by a Leftist lawyer and partisan feminist.

Sadly we see the consequences of the division caused by feminists and the power-at-all-costs Democrats.

Having worked in Washington, worked in the Congress, practiced law in the city and lived there for decades before adjourning to study theology, enter a vowed religious community and began writing on living faith in secular culture – I can only tell you that this whole mess shows the nature of Washington culture and the craven nature of Democrats who like power more than character and just conduct.

Yup, that’s Washington culture.  Refuse to sink to such a low level.  This is a place that needs some real resurrection.  No Abe Lincoln or George Washington in this group.

Best to live with God.  What we witness is the conduct of lost souls.

Shalom.

Why do the nations protest and the peoples grumble in vain?  Kings on earth rise up and princes plot together against the Lord and his anointed … The one enthroned in heaven laughs; the Lord derides them.  Then speaks to them in anger … “I myself have installed my king on Zion, my holy mountain.”

Psalm 2

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Present day contemporary cultures world-wide are highly political climates.  Yes, it is as if politics and power as self-aggrandizement are the reason for being – that which makes life worth living.

The love of self enshrined in political matters – ’tis a story old as man.  We see it in the above Psalm.

When you think about it for but a moment, we live precisely the thing discussed above.  Look at the “resistance” shenanigans on Capital Hill and in national politics, particularly among those who have lost influence in the last decade or so.  Yep, princes plotting together …

Just as the Psalmist reports – those seeking power act as if there is no God, nothing wiser or better than they reckon that they are.

Why do we repeat the problems of the past?  Why do we act so foolishly?  Can it be that we have no relationship with God and know not humility and the stability of a bended knee.

Shalom.

Moses told us very explicitly that our blessings come from obedience to God.

Listening to John Rutter’s Requiem preformed by the Choir Clare College Cambridge – exceptionally beautiful … moving, deeply touching, truth and rejuvenation – feeds the soul and soothes the psyche.  Please avail yourself of such things – let that be your act of gift to yourself and others.  God bless you each and all.

Happy are those who do not follow the counsel of the wicked, nor go the way of sinners, nor sit in the company of scoffers.  Rather the law of God is their joy; God’s law they study …

… the wicked will not survive judgment, nor will sinners in the assembly of the just.

The Lord watches over the way of the just but the way of the wicked leads to ruin.  (Emphasis added.)

Psalm 1

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Life is a matter of choosing good or choosing evil.  Those who choose what is good are wise – they live stable and contented lives.  Those who choose evil will be rootless and discontented.  Yes, the wicked will know death in life.

To choose “the way of sinners” is to choose what is immoral.  The wicked are those who distance themselves from God.  They distance themselves by words, thoughts and actions.

The Psalms were the prayers of Jesus.  They were His guide.  They can form you and teach you just as they formed and taught Christ.

We live in times where immorality and corruption are on display.  Indeed, we see these behaviors in high places and among the privileged.  In such a time, it is all the more important that we choose what is good and reject what is evil and those who purpose evil ideas, evil deeds, evil actions.  

If there is a blessing in a time of evil, it is that we are given the opportunity to bravely and faithfully choose good over evil … and to stand in opposition to evil.

When good prevails, prosperity and peace follow.

Your choice: live God’s law or suffer miserably and watch what was once good come to ruin.

Shalom.

 

 

… signs … Jesus … performed … have been written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God; and that believing you may have life in His name.

Jn 20: 30,31

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Believing or not believing.  Belief in God or belief in nothing.  Theism or nihilism.  We face this proposition more directly today than we have probably in our history.

I have a very dear childhood friend.  He was my closest friend growing up.  We were like brothers – did so many things together.  Shared the same classes and teachers throughout school.  I was like a family member in his home.  His mother treated me like one of her children.  She and my mother were best of friends.

My friend is now in a nursing home.  He is frail.  Spends a good deal of time in bed.  As a child he was bright, friendly, a reader – social, trusted, quite capable.  In his late adolescence he seemed to be at odds with institutions and authority – but more to the point he began to lose interest in the world around him.  He seemed to make a wilful decision to reject this or that – his skepticism began to grow.  His actions seemed to say: life is worthless – this view and his skepticism grew as he aged.

He drank consistently throughout his life beginning when he was a teenager.  His initial adult working life seemed consistent with his abilities.  He had a modest political life and was elected to his local School Board.  His two children were successful.  He seemed at odds with his wife and she with him most of their married life.  She too was a negative person.

His negativity continued to grow – his work history declined as his cynicism strengthened.  He suffered from seizures.  Eventually his downward work trajectory ended when he worked himself out of a janitor’s job, being fired from a government position despite his union membership.  A very hard act to accomplish.  He burned bridges at work and with family members.  He scoffed at religion and those who tried to help him.

If I have to point to one thing that explains my friend’s decline it is this: he became a cynic – lived as a nihilist.  He lived as if to say very loudly – life has no meaning.  Nothing  met his approval – all was more or less rejected.  He lived as if to deny his own existence and existence itself.  

I see his attitude in our culture and politics today.  Those who reject national borders sound like him.  The lapses with the Vatican as to sex abuse, denying law, morality and the Canons of the Church reflect his disposition. The upheaval in sexual mores, in families, in lawless urban enclaves seem to say: “belief in good” no longer holds.   The corruption at the federal bureaucratic level says much the same thing – truth and honesty are not honored in practice.  Drug addictions, suicides, random violence and corporate men preying on women employees – but more indications of decline and decay, amoral behavior – signs of depravity and reasons for serious concern.

All this to say but one simple thing: I do not hear much said about nihilism and the denial of values, morals, conduct – rather, too often, I see others advocating decline and decay – angry people attacking structures and codes of conduct that hold us together and provide a basis for community, peace and prosperity … life itself.

Theism or Nihilism.  Believe in something or believe in nothing.  God or nothing at all.

Shalom.

Christianity (is) not … a matter of getting … ideas straight but rather of getting (one’s) life straight.

Robert Barron, in The Strangest Way: Walking the Christian Path

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Ultimately people want to live well, have peace, experience love, be free of troubles, worries, sickness and injustice, be able to laugh, enjoy friendship, and realize the value of their own good work.

Life is about “getting life straight.”  And that is a faith matter.

Yet, in the course of my lifetime, I have seen interest in faith (particularly Christianity) decline and, in the void that is created, I have seen people seek meaning in ideology and satisfaction the prosperity that has come to us mid-last century in a free market economy with peace at hand.

However as to ideology, I am most troubled.

Ideology is a body of ideas reflecting the “perceived” needs of an individual, group, class or culture.  Needs, mind you, of this mortal existence.

Unlike faith, it is earth-bound and reflects the desires of a class of individuals.  Its goal is not the realization of a full life but rather it is smaller than that – it seeks only the self-authored, contemporary desires of a group – often pursued with force so to impose a narrow and self-interested view of life on all others.  Apropos, politics, propaganda and public tantrums are three of their favorite coercive tools.

Ideologues, you see, care only that their views (which comfort them) be forced on others – never time-tested and never challenged.  Totally accepted as totalitarians demand.

Imagine living with someone who, exposed to an idea, assumes (because they like the idea and feel empowered by it) to make of that idea their world view and the “thing” that  governs their world as they experience it – as if this idea is the prism through which all experiences are, and must be, filtered.

I guarantee that living with such a person is close to living in North Korea or a re-education gulag.  This is where we are today as to ideology – in its public and private hues and noises.

Convince a potential ideologue a hammer is a “hat” and that person will spend the rest of life trying to fit that hammer to their head and expect you to do the same.  Yes, they will abandon all reason in favor of foolishness.  Me?  I’ll take faith – you can keep the hammer.

Shalom.

 

 

REMEMBER SEPTEMBER 11th

… we all have to be “crucified with Christ,” suspended in a moral suffering equivalent to veritable crucifixion.

C. G. Jung, M.D., in Psychology and Alchemy, Collected Works 12

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Is there ever a time or a life in which one did not experience a moral challenge, a struggle with temptation, the experience of betrayal or witness depravity?  No.  This is life as a mortal … this is life in the world.

Make no mistake – we live in a Crucifying Time.  But who does not.  Yes, there come times when the incidence of evil is more obvious and more heinous … but all time brings us moral struggle and one form or another of treacherous rebellion and evil dressed in “justification” and maybe even brazenly not even disguised.

Now how can that be?  Well, we are people.  Imperfect, easily tempted.  Many live in their ego and its demands and ill-formed sense of “entitlement” and superiority.

The Crucifixion (it is said) “is the central image of the Western psyche.”  It is surely the case that it conveys the “juxtaposition” of what is human and what is divine.  In these times one is offered Christ once again – plainly so.  In darkness, you know, Light is brightest.  We live in such a time.

In a “crucifixion time,” – what do you see?  What do you know?  Who are you?  What do you do?  With whom do you reside?  With God or the godless?

Shalom.

 

Sunday, September 9, 2108 –  in the rain, and wind, the fog and the cold … where forest meets pasture – I write drawing on my biographical experience – my own lived life and what it is for me to write.  My hope is that this will connect with you, give you something you did not have before you read this post.  Give you a sense of how personal writing is.

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William Faulkner… once characterized his approach (to writing) as “oratory out of solitude” … Of this approach (Walker) Percy made a new thing altogether.  The solitude of The Moviegoer isn’t the solitude of a rebel or an independent, but of a man who is alone in a crowd.

Paul Elie, in The Life You Save May Be Your Own: An American Pilgrimage

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Percy, the converted Catholic medical doctor turned extraordinary Southern novelist, who wrote the award-winning novel The Moviegoer and said of the power of writing and of fiction in particular that he could “banish alienation through the … alliance … of character, reader and author.” Now look specifically at this in Paul Elie’s words above: Walker’s solitude was that “of a man who is alone in a crowd.”

That so explains my history and my writing.  I write from a strong sense of what it is to be alone, and, yet, at the same time possess the gift of a facile nature as to social existence and being with others.  I suspect that each of us must know suffering or we do not know life … Indeed, I cannot imagine the experience of The Divine without our suffering and disappointment – and the sublime reality of solitude … including the task of knowing we are alone.

Before I began blogging, I had faithfully maintained journals for years – every page filled beginning to end.   Social as I was – writing was self-examination and a reach for others.

While I was always comfortable with people – my ease with others and interest in them was a compensatory gift from God that was designed to offset the pains of desertion, death, betrayal, loss, poverty and the witness of my mother’s suffering in difficult circumstances.

Yes, writing was a way to understand myself and all that surrounded me.  My blogging is more of the same.  Seems that God had this path in mind for me – some hard experiences to teach and grow me – so I might be with others in a helpful way.

My blogging is an offset to being the lonely man in a crowd.  I think if you review what I write you may well see that proposition within the writing – ironically, like Walker Percy, I reach our from an “aloneness” within – in order to make contact with others to banish the alienation of my history, wounds and disappointments.

For me my “alliance” is: my history, self-understanding, the world as it inflicts sufferings on us and you, the reader.

If you never read anything I wrote I would be left with the past, the sounds, knowledge of myself that never reached another human being, and a world that dispenses suffering in ample quantity.  Too much to bear by one’s self.

If no one ever read the blog – I would be a voiceless disciple, a man mumbling alone, an unheard voice.

Like others, I write an “oratory out of solitude” so I might live and help.

Shalom.

I welcome any thought you might have on this particular post.

 

 

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