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All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and change is painful. (Emphasis added.)

Flannery O’Connor, in a Letter of December 9, 1958

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We are willful.  We prefer our ways to the ways of He who made us. This one thing accounts for our disorder, and eventually to a demise.  It is for each of us the single challenge in our life.

Done well life is a process of submission to God.  Yes, we grow when we decline so He might gain. In shorter the shadow we cast, the greater we are – the healthier we become, the more certain and the calmer we are.

Look around you.  We now have organizations that work to advance selfishness, sin – one preferred method of rebellion and godlessness or another … and we have many who co-exist with those who advocate disorder and sickness.  The enablers can sink this culture, jeopardize our health and wellbeing.

The tug-of-war between good and evil is a consistent part of the human story from the beginning of time.  Flannery O’Connor reminds us in this December 1958 letter that God does not miraculously meddle in each and every human affair, rather He offers the grace to grow, mature, come to faith and meaning through life experience, the sacraments, belief, worship.  In grace we grow in dignity and our implicit responsibility is to defend and preserve the sacred value of life itself.  Yes, this may put us at odds with others … but is it not Jesus who asked: “Who is my mother and who are my brothers?” (Mt 12:48)

To reject grace is to reject God and life itself.

Look about.  Do you see bad being called “good?”  This is the condition of our time, and the ageless challenge: good or evil – life or death, God or His adversary?

Shalom.   

 

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Difficult subject.  I have tweaked this several times in the hopes of not alienating others while trying to focus on restoring some good to our present circumstances.

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The psychology of the individual can never be exhaustively explained from himself  alone: … clear recognition is needed by the way (one) is also conditioned by historical and environmental circumstances … individual psychology is not merely a physiological, biological, or personal problem: it is also a contemporary problem. (Emphasis added.) 

Carl Jung, M.D. in “Psychological Types” (Collected Works, Vol. 6)

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Mass murder in Las Vegas.

Disorder does not spring up by itself no more than a flower blossoms without a seed.

The individual person does not (even in the best of times) possess much self-understanding.  In our mass communication culture, where God and religious belief is minimized or attacked, disorder is magnified.  Today we seem intent on division and antagonism.  Political correctness is not a moral structure.

When “isms” proliferate disordered conduct can displace healthy and trusted beliefs.    Those in authority can even advance chaos.

An individual’s disorder is conditioned by history, personal environment and culture – all the more when faith is lost and society has gone astray.

Evil seems to flourish when antagonism is more common.  We pay a very heavy price for division and godlessness.

It is a time to draw together, to seek what we share in common, to build friendships and foster individual responsibility so each might know prosperity and the contentment of personal achievement. 

It takes discretion and determination to avoid disorder today.  Only those with considerable self-understanding maintain a healthy distance.  Religious narrative and a relationship with God are critical today.

You had best see who you are and what precisely your culture conveys … and most certainly turn away from those who advance disorder.  Destruction is the obvious product of disordered people.  We need to get well.  To listen carefully and choose wisely.

The healthy person today will be more likely he or she who resembles as to modern society and disordered godless mass culture the disposition of a monk in plain clothes.

Shalom.

If you find this post helpful, please pass it along to others.  Thank you.

Being Reported – It is being reported by several news organizations that a senior attorney at CBS expressed an absence of sympathy for those shot in Las Vegas because “country music fans often are Republicans – (and) gun toters.”  One can only hope this is not accurately reported.  Yet, it is surely the case that political hostility must be reduced by all.

If you took one-tenth the energy you put into complaining and applied it to solving the problem, you’d be surprised by how well things work out.

Randy Pausch, in The Last Lecture

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I’ve never been a fan of whiners so the well-healed NFL football players, coaches and owners who put their social complaints on the captured audience of ticket-holders and television viewers have lost my interest and respect.  Shame on them.  Nothing admirable about them – nothing.

Just watched Patriots Day about the Boston Marathon Bombing.  Excellent movie.  More than that a terrific story about tough-minded, loving men, women and children who rallied together as one to see that those who killed innocent people were apprehended and punished.  It is a story about courage, toughness, achievement, honor, resolve, determination, individual strength, shared mission, sacrifice, community, love.

I grew up in Boston in a very testy public housing complex.  I know these people.  Many have been my friends for 64 years and more.  They are my family.  They would sacrifice for me and I for them.  Several recently faced tragic medical situations, I kept in touch: encouraging and caring.  I prayed for them and, as is always the case in tragic situations, I drew closer to God and became more thankful for all that we are generously given – especially for friends, neighbors, the capacity to care for others – and love God and others more than self.

Today, I see the legions of complainers in American culture today and am sickened by this – disgusted with them.  I knew a far different life.  I knew the life of taking what you get and moving forward, proving the obstacles non-existent, defying others who thought less of me by being more a person than they were.  I was not a genius but I was a hard worker, determined, tough, a realist who saw the near-empty glass and said: “Damn, I’ll fill the thing and more like it.”

I knew the bigotry that befalls the guy from the “wrong side of the tracks.”  The thoughts others affix to the poor neighbor and its residents.  This was my badge of courage – a badge shared by others in my same situation.  I saw life being raised with one parents and not much money.  I lived that life.  Became the first in my family to go to college.  First to graduate from college, go to law school, become part of a profession.

I became an Army officer.  Went on to graduate school at Johns Hopkins, worked in the U.S. Congress on foreign policy matters, had a successful law practice helping the poor, the sick, the under-represented.  People wrote articles about my work, about me.  I walked my wife through a devastating illness that took her life at age 29.  I left law in my late 50’s to earn a graduate degree in theology at Notre Dame, became a Catholic convert and vowed religious Catholic Brother.  I raised a successful son with his own Ph.D.  By the grace of God, he is a better man than I am – talented, smart, a terrific son, father and husband.  Ya, I was busy … I had no time to whine nor taste for it.  Like those around me, I saw bigotry and said “Screw you, I’ll show you who I am and what I can do.”  Their bigotry was motivation to me.  I didn’t sit on my fanny or make a political statement: I lived and defied those who discounted me and my friends.

At the end of the movie Patriots Day the men and women who participated in the hunt for the hate-filled brothers who killed and maimed children and adults spoke of visiting those wounded and without limbs and made this point: none were bitter – but rather they were optimistic, courageous – ready to strive, to live and prosper.  Yes, working class people I know are – not whiners … they are Boston Tough. 

Damn it, we ought to learn from them.

Shalom.

 

In living we are directly doing the will of God … our very existence is contact with His will … life is holy and a responsibility of God and man.

Abraham Joshua Heschel, in Man is Not Alone

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If you can imagine that your existence is willed by God, that each moment of your existence fulfills God’s will – would you think differently … act differently … feel differently than you do?

If one’s very existence touches the will of God, would you make different choices in life than you now do?

Each day I awake and in due time look at the news of the world.  Typically, I see some article that tells of something like this: a man tried to drown his two twin children, or a school teacher threatened to flunk a student with whom she was sexually involved if that student “broke” off their “contact.”

Seeing these things, I am repelled – not just by the event but by the fact that these things are thought newsworthy.  

These reported stories make me ask: Why would I want to know this?  What effect does reading this have on me?  On others?  Do these stories not bring us down? Sow seeds of despair?  Turn our appetite for life sour?

I am sure that every day there are any number of horrible acts committed and that newspapers and the news media in-general have their pick of horrible stories to convey – but is there any glancing thought that feeding others these stories has a debilitating effect?

The mere reporting of such stores tells us that the lost souls offering these stories neither conceive of living as collaborating with God’s will, nor that life itself is holy, sacred, divine in its creation and ought to be respected as such.

The truth is if you look around you will see all sorts of actions which deny that life is holy, sacred and divine.  Having seen this so clearly, I have decided to ignore this crap.

My view is quite simple: why do I want to have my spirit be poisoned by the godless conduct of those gripped by evil and its manifestations?  I know such people and acts occur, but why must I be made a party to them each day? Consequently, I’ve come to “keep by distance” from these reports just as I reject a diet of rotten food.

Why bathe in other people’s dirty water, or each rancid food?

Shalom.

If this post strikes a positive cord for you, please send it to others.  The process of reclaiming the public square and public space calls for our participation … and that means you and me together.

The agony of breaking through personal limitations is the agony of spiritual growth.

Joseph Campbell, in The Hero of a Thousand Faces

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We live so that we might grow in wisdom and understanding become fully human and in this come to know God and in that know both meaning and purpose.

Alas many opt for not growing.  They reside exclusively in their ego and stand on the smallest plot of life and land.  Without growth they are godless and utterly destructive of self and others.  They are a common bunch and the worse among them attack and diminish the mere thought of faith – particularly Christianity and, of course, the West and its Civilization.

We have many godless and dumb in our midst.  In their unchecked ignorance they attack what is time-tested and good.  Without morals, they know not good from evil.  We give them far too much attention.  When Believers are fewer in number, their voices soften when they should be the loudest and the strongest … for the ignorant threaten survival having long ago crippled civility.

We would be wise to anchor ourselves to Truth.

Recall if you will the end of Dante’s Paradiso when Bernard beckoned Dante look upward and Dante reports that he had already fixed his eyes on the lofty Light “in which Itself is true.”  Further, he notes that his vision was greater than speech … this Light “Different it is from all that are known … beyond the unknown as well.”

We are in decline.  We think we know more than we do.  Truth is: we have dumbed-down.  Most of what you hear is nonsense.  Many that you meet are disordered – to be avoided and when that is not possible we must correct, challenge, confront.

Few realize the coin we see has two sides: one our destruction, the other our rebirth. The mad crowd of the badly mistaken delivers the former, while the faithful few know rebirth … yet, who speaks loudest, whose voices multiply and go unchecked?

A faithful one speaks.  Silence is collaboration.

Shalom.

Observation – President Trump would be wise to worship regularly.  We need to see faith in play.  The divide we know how requires that his leadership be tethered to his faith, our faith – that indispensable place of faith in life, culture and governance.  Let the godless Left be clearly visible – make them carry their destructive and godless ways and see if the public at-large wishes to be housed in their small and unseaworthy boat.

Please share this post with others if you are so inclined.

The punishment of every disordered mind is its own disorder.

St. Augustine, in Confessions

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They say anxiety is on the rise in the United States.  How can it not be?

Anxiety is a natural response to uncertainty and grows when uncertainty abounds. Today we manufacture uncertainty as those with power and influence alter the most fundamental and time-tested institutions, ideas, and relationships.

Think about it: the “elites” feel privileged to “change” anything and everything in sight.

The dubious minds of the academy welcome any zany proposition while banning the norm as centuries have known it.  They are joined happily and uncritically by politicians who, for some sick reason – lacking as self-understanding and honest self-assessment, propose earth-shaking “change” of matters, institutions, relationships that were once settled and regularized.

Examples?  Gender is no longer gender.  Mary can be Joe and literally the question is asked: if it is bigotry for a man not to want to date a “women” with a penis?  (I am not making this up.)

Marriage is redefined by the lamest of individuals sitting on judicial benches.  Free speech is now understood to allow a heckling mob to block others from speaking. Racism is now too often Black in color rather than White – and, no harm, no foul.  Police are the hunted and the illegal immigrant is the hero.  Our nation itself is seen by the Left as “guilty” and to be condemned and destroyed. Laws are selectively enforced and the “privileged” go unpunished.  (Are you listening Hillary?  Ms. Rice?)

Anxiety.

What St. Augustine poses is this very important question: who is responsible for generating anxiety?  Stated another way one can ask: who possesses the disordered mind that spreads its disordered thinking to each of us in mass culture?

You see, in mass communication culture (where religion is ridiculed and discredited) any sick idea can be promoted more or less without objection and those on the Left in politics, in universities, in the media and in Hollywood can advance their disorder and destabilize you, create real anxiety in you.

The truth of the matter is this: anxiety today is the result of disordered thinking foisted on you by others – a case of the sick and stupid making the normal and reasonable sedate person anxious.  Reason Number One for NOT listening to the talking head in any of its iterations.

Give yourself a break: say goodbye to Lizzy Warren, Bernie Sanders, Barack O., the Clintons, DNC spokesmen and spokeswomen, the Hollywood Left, the cracked eggheads of academia, the tired and passe newspaper people, et al.

Recognize sickness and disorder for what it is.  Lunacy.  And reject it outright – do and think the exact opposite of what you hear.

Shalom.

Dedicated to my Grandchildren, my Nation and to you.

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Zion will be redeemed with justice and her repentant ones with righteousness.  But transgressors and sinners will be crushed together, and those who forsake the Lord will come to an end.

Is 1:27-28

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It is Lent.  We are closing in on Easter and the Resurrection.  Is it not a good opportunity to take this time between now and Easter to reflect on the above and ask: What do I see around me?  What do I hear daily?  In the news?  On television?  What is the state of our culture? Our nation?  Our leaders?  Our public conversation?

Have we forsaken God?  Have we listened as if there is no God?  Have we deserted our faith?  Been led astray?  Become pagans and thought and acted as such?

What is the tone of public discourse?  Do those among us divide for the lust of power? Have some among us elevated ideology and politics above all else?

Who among us speaks with faith?  Shows the courage to offer an honest picture of who we have become and how that is so unflattering, so godless?  So destructive of person and nation?  

We live in urgent times.  In talking about the Jews and Jerusalem and Judah, the Prophet Isaiah is speaking to us, today at this hour, in this time.  You best take heed.

Nothing good, absolutely nothing good, comes to those who forsake God.

If you do not live first in faith, then who but yourself can you blame for the troubles we have and the decline we court?

Shalom.

Discouraging – It is truly discouraging to see so many House and Senate Democrats carrying Mr. Putin’s water in their efforts to delegitimize President Trump and anyone who dares to challenge the settled and corrupt ethos of political Washington.

It leaves one to conclude: (a) they are the unwitting handmaids of Mr. Putin, (b) they are showing their Leftist allegiance, (c) they love the sweet Washington honeypot that gives them privileges the voting public does not enjoy and keeps them from real work, (d) all of the above.  Whose team are these guys and gals on?  Putin’s?  Their own?  Both?

Face to face with what must be, Cease thou from sorrow

Bhagavad-Gita, 2:27

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So begins the book Simply Sane: The Spirituality of Mental Health by psychotherapist Gerald May, M.D., a 1982 book addressing this significant question: How does one manage sanity in a trouble-ridden world?

As the above quotation suggests: Dr. May makes this vital point – face your life, live it out, accept as it appears, stop seeking the “Holy Grail” of control and perfection, stop expecting that a therapist, or medicine, or particular attitude, habit, achievement, possession, etc. can provide you sanity, comfort, satisfaction. May’s simple proscription for a sane existence: BE, just BE – exists as a human being.

In particular, Dr. May decries the extraordinary reliance people have on therapists. He sees this as a reduction of the human being and his or her natural endowment – their created state of being.

Reading him, I cannot but help to see in the present day, some 35 years since the book was published, that what he says about dependence on therapists and other substitutes for actually living your life out applies four-square to “political correctness” of the idiot Left.

You know if you wonder where insanity comes from today, you need only look at the Left and their “political correctness.”  It is way past high time to tell these “sickos” to take a long walk off a short pier.

Really, does anyone want to resemble the life of Bruce Jenner?  Miley Cyrus? Whoppie-Cushion Goldberg?  Chuckie “Hair-plug” Schumer?  Granny Pelosi? Maxine “the C.I.A. distributes crack in my neighborhood” Waters, or Senator Hiawatha “high cheek bones” Warren, or Bernie “never held a job” Sanders – he – the three house socialist?

Sanity today is secured by saying to the gender crowd, the fascist Left, the child-killing feminists and a sundry “snowflakes,” and whack-job academics and race-baiters – “Shut up, you loon – I’ve had enough of you.”

Want to counter-punch your way to sanity and freedom, I give you a simple phrase to use and invoke as often as necessary: “Hey you, shut up.”

Have a nifty day, boys and girls.

Shalom.

Update – Bad Week for Liberal Yahoo Montgomery Country, Maryland.

After the rape arrest of two immigrant students for an assault of a 14-year-old girl in a high school bathroom, today a school bus driver is arrested for the sexual assault of two 11-year-old school girls.  No word, yet, as to how the school administrators and whacked-out Leftist multiculturalist politicians will defend this mess and remind all again that they love children, provide for their safety, and take umbrage at anyone who disagrees with their view of “reality.”

I am a man … I am a splinter of the infinite deity …

Carl Jung, M.D., in Memories, Dreams and Reflections

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Think about yourself as being in a dream each day.  Think also of what you have heard reported on the news as part of the dream.  Think of the White woman seeking to lead the Democrat Party who said her job would be to tell White Democrats to “shut up” or about the skinny woman on the airplane that felt “privileged” to verbally assault a fellow passenger who attended the Inauguration. Or the washed-up celebrity who thinks of blowing up the White House.  Or the D.C. rioters and child fire-starter who at age nine or ten wanted to say by this matches: “Screw the President.”

Are the events of this dream not unsettling?

But, why?

Perhaps, you (like Carl Jung) and others are a “splinter of the infinite deity.”

Suppose that is our baseline identity, our actual state of perfection.

Just as the dream would be disturbing, so too isn’t the present day?  Are we not surrounded by troubled, sick and lost souls – yes, others who in their misdirection cross from normal to hostile and in this touch the boundary of insanity.  Has their cheese not slipped off the cracker?

Why do we not plainly identify this conduct?  And then clearly sanction those whose illness disturbs us all, eases the standard of civil conduct, and unchecked – spreads their illness.

In this unchecked coarseness are we not denying God and the sanctity of the human person – splinter as we are?

There are in this dream we now live daily insults and aggression that we need not tolerate.

Shalom.

“Theology takes cognizance of a soul only in its relationship to God; its relation to its fellow-men, in the end, helps to constitute its relations with God.”

Caroline Gordon

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The public discussion of politics and life in today’s secular American culture is, frankly, inane.  It lacks depth, a hint of intellect or insight.  It is as if we dropped to earth yesterday, as if there is no history or historical development, no theology, no religious narrative, no lasting literature, no psychology, no human record whatsoever.

Most of what we hear in public discourse is not worth listening to.  The public chatter is a very, very narrow bandwidth.  One might call it “dumb.”

Someone asserts X is a racist and Y and anti-Semite.  Dumb as we are – others count this as truth.  A demonstration starts.  Hysteria follows.  The press (equipped with a B.A. from some “named” college or another which has long ago abandoned teaching and knowledge) trumpets the chatter and those who are skeptical do the very worse they can – they repeat the idiocy by talking about it endlessly.

One gets the clear sense that we are in the monkey house, thrown back to prehistoric times.

As the novelist and literary critique Caroline Gordon so rightly knows the soul figures into human existence.  What a novel thought to today’s very poorly educated intellectual class, and indeed the religious hierarchy who suffer from their easy-street sequester – a life buffeted from the travails of actual living, the very thing that teaches faith: real life.

The point to be made for Catholic laity is this: we know that God has already created the universe and given us a moral order and it is our task to find our proper place in it, and, of course, oppose its dissolution.  

Folks it ain’t that hard.  No more wasting time on conversations about transgender bathrooms, euthanasia, the child sacrifice we call abortion, the fiction of same-sex marriage, the preposterous notion of a nation without borders or one godless world government with the dumbed-down Baracks and Hillarys, oddball professors, and a sundry privileged know-it-alls attempting idiotically to control all aspects of human existence.

The silence of the lambs at the top of the man-made religious institutions, by the way, remind us the Pharisees are to be ignored while the law of faith is to be complete by the experience of God through Christ Jesus.

You see, like it or not, God has placed His bet on the Body of Christ and each of us in it.

Yes, the curtain is up and you are on stage.  God bless.  Do your job.  Live your faith.  Shun the noise.  Do not be misled.  You can do it.  God made you for this. You get to be a disciple. It is your time!  Be the Christ in you.

Shalom.

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