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Such a wonderful cool spring rain – gentle and quiet.  It pairs with the heart’s beat, easy breathing, the green and flowered forest, the pastures, hills, mountains, and umbrella pale gray sky.  It is a day for collecting thoughts, writing notes to friends, and making a chicken stew while incense burns and floats in the air.

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“How long are you going to keep killing people?” Lady Astor would ask Stalin brightly.  “As long as it is necessary,” he answered …

Whittaker Chambers, in Witness

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When he left his secret Communist espionage ring Whittaker Chambers felt “an uneasiness, an anxiety” which he identified as “spiritual.”  He pondered how and when it was that the “spirit of man” had gained its foothold in him.

He recalled he had wondered, quite involuntarily, what Communism lacked?  Why it was such “a rat’s nest of intrigue and faction?”  Why it housed a “corroding cynicism?”  What “keeps the human level of Communism so low?” Why it had “not produced a single inspired work of the mind” since the Revolution?

Chambers asked, is it God that it lacked?

He reasoned it’s killings and deceits injured the soul.

Yes, without God man’s actions most often attack the soul, and put to danger and trial the “spirit of man,” his essence, his identity – his divine inheritance.  In this is the edge of conversion in man.  

Within each of us is a longing for good, for God.  When this longing is neglected, denied (as it is by ideology and it our present highly secularized culture) man is estranged from himself, his true identity  – and meaning, purpose, intimacy, optimism, and peace are lost.

Today, we are like Chambers – captured by ideology and secularized culture. Combined they breed division and hostility and heighten anxiety, worry and isolation.  It follows the sooner one turns to God, the sooner health and civility is restored, community and fellowship are renewed, and we find peace and meaning – and become whole and one again.

Think critically.  Are you Chambers?  Is your brother or neighbor Chambers?  Your pastor?  Elected official?  Have you lost longtime friends whose lives are narrowed and governed by ideology, secularism, and utopian political nonsense?

In this past century, Mao killed 60 million of his countrymen, Stalin killed 50 million, and Hitler thirty million.  All ideologues.  Each godless.

Think about it.  140 million people killed by political ideologues.

Shalom.

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A strong city we have; he sets the walls and ramparts to protect us.  Open the gates to let in a nation that is just, one that keeps faith.

Is 26:1-2

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These are difficult times.  They try the soul, turn one to anger. Combat lurks.  Our God and faith is demeaned by Clinton political aides.  The privileged Bush Family acts like sore losers who are accustomed to getting “their way.”  The ideologues and racists seek vengeance.  They hate this nation.  Their intent is to destroy us.

What is one to do to temper the anger?  Retain a faithfulness in opposition?  

My first piece of advice is this: Leave the righteous anger to God, for He alone judges and demands recompence.

I for one have renewed a habit, and that habit is this: to read the daily Liturgy of the Hours – morning and evening prayer.  This anchors me.  Refreshes me. Fortifies me.  Guides me.

The above citation is from the today’s Morning Prayer recitation.

In these readings, I am struck by how we have, in our heritage, been formed as a great nation first in our Jewish history, then in the Christian West.

How shocking is the reality today that we have forsaken God and in doing so lurch to destroy what He has given us: faith, freedom, family, holy matrimony, children, peace, commerce, independence, liberty, the free market, prosperity, courage, confidence, belief, insight, the capacity to lead and to sacrifice for what is good, to serve those in need, to love, care and forgive, and to live in civility, humility and community.

The ways of the godless are always self-destructive for absent God, they are full of self-hate.

We have been silent too long.  Too tolerant of those who would destroy and bend all to their sickness and disorder.  The battle lines are drawn.  We do not find conflict, conflict finds us.

All strength comes from God, all courage from faith.

Center your life each day on God … and give hell to those who seek it.

Shalom.

Please Pray for 10 year old Kayden Culp of Texas.  Kayden is a special needs boy who was taken to a field and doused with gasoline and set afire by another child.

This nation MUST return to God.  Everything we do must be to that end!!!

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among them are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness …

The Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776

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An American citizen is endowed by God with unalienable rights.  Yes, these rights are given by God, not by man or government, and given by God they cannot be taken away by man or government.

But does government, especially the Executive Branch, Supreme Court and the judiciary honor this invaluable and fundamental truth?

I suppose if one thinks of legalized abortion, one would have to say that the unborn child’s unalienable rights are not honored and protected.  Likewise, when a Court “redefines” marriage or polices and even expels God and prayer from the public square or the classroom, the unalienable rights of Believers are not protected.  So too, when military chaplains are silenced – those Believers who protect us are deprived of their unalienable rights.

We have departed radically from Our Founders vision and intent.  We have divorced ourselves from God; and, government now assumes the role of Our Omnipotent.

We are now governed by a few men and women and their fickle, uninformed and godless bias.  We are now beholding to their prejudice, ignorance, ideas, hostilities and preferences as if they are God.  Yet, man cannot govern himself or herself without God for man cannot know his full measure, the depth of his psyche or soul.  He is most often a mystery to himself and one who dares not examine his depths – a person without full knowledge even of himself.

Today I saw a video tape of two middle-aged people (a husband and a wife) sprawled out on a public street in broad daylight.  They were heroin addicts who collapsed and a small crowd of onlookers hovered near them, chatting and laughing about this man and this woman.  No one came to their assistance.  They simply “enjoyed” the spectacle.

When a government exiles God and proceeds to be “master of all” people and things – People and a nation lose their way, lose their humanity, lose their bond with one another. This is where we are now – and we can thank the godless in governing positions, for this.

Is it not the case that Believers and church leaders have been silent too long, passive too long, collaborators too long?

When rights are not protected they are seized by the prideful who seek to bend others to their image and whim.  Disaster follows and nations fall to ruin.

Shalom.

Have we not had enough of children being killed, thugs on the loose, government excuses, police under attack, politicians creating divisions?

Silence in the face of evil is itself evil.  God will not hold us guiltless.  Not to speak is to speak.  Not to act is to act.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

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When Dietrich Bonhoeffer faced the challengers of the rise of Nazism in Germany he observed the capitulation of the German church to Hitler and his ideology.

Bonhoeffer explained this development to himself and others by recognizing that the Gospels require a costly grace and that his fellow citizens had lost the taste for such a personal demand.

Further, he understood that the Church was “marked by formalism” and people had begun to think of their faith as mere attendance – in contrast – a cheap grace of compliance without a demand attached to it.

Yes, the Believers fell short of sacrifice and religious and political responsibility.

It is oh, so easy to ignore the harder tasks of devoted life when the winds of evil ascend upon us.  We prefer to think – “all will be well.”  We prefer to imagine that what we see is “not the bad.”

Think about our circumstances today.  What we face.  The persecution and killing of Christians and others because of their religious beliefs, and the opposition of governments to the practice and place of faith in free societies.

Where are you at this moment?

When all is said and done, the life of faith is nothing is not an unending struggle of the spirit with every available weapon against the flesh.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Shalom

Life in Christ is a wonderful adventure.  He alone can give full meaning to life, he alone is the center of history.  Live by him!

St. John Paul, II

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These are the words St. John Paul II spoke in 1997 at a Mass for youth in Hradec Kralove, Czech Republic.

St. John Paul knew that life and history bring us personal and political hardship.

He was orphaned when his mother, brother and father died before he was 20 years of age.

He saw his beloved Poland occupied by the Nazis and then shamefully handed to the Communist Russia by the West after World War II.

He had to attend an “underground” seminary.

He risked his life to sustain the Catholic faith of others during the Nazi occupation and did the same under Communist occupation – smuggling seminarians into Poland when their native counties, occupied by the Communists, prohibited the ordination of Catholic clergy.

Christ alone is the center of history.

It is now our turn.  Those who are Believers face our time to witness.

Christianity is under attack – in the world, in the Middle East, in Europe and here in the United States.  Godless people dismiss the importance of faith, others have antipathy for religion, for Christ and for Christians and for our country and its heritage.  We find each in positions of public leadership – from politics, to media, entertainment, public and higher education, and corporate life.

Like St. John Paul II and Christians in Poland and others throughout history, we must demonstrate overtly what a Christian life is – who God in Christ is, how purposefully a person lives once a relationship with Christ is engaged and established.

Difficult things come to us personally and collectively so God might see His creation perfected.  Such opportunities are blessings.  We are living in such a time – a time of challenge, of opportunity and of blessings.

If we love God, if we are Christians – would we not join together to respond, to teach others who Christ is and what the love of God for all looks like?  Is it not unimaginable that we would do nothing less?

Brothers and Sisters, time for us to witness Christ – He who will never be diminished. We have been silent too long.  Live has been easy for a while – our faith left to prosper – but that has changed.  Now it is our moment.  It is a sacred time.

True holiness does not mean a flight from the world; rather … the effort to incarnate the Gospel in everyday life, in the family, at school … at work … in social and political life.

St. John Paul, II 

We are many and God is invincible!

Shalom.

If this message appeals to you, please share it with others.

… vastness blurs and time beats level.  Enough! the Resurrection,/A heart’s-clarion!  Away grief grasping, joyless days, dejection/Across my foundering deck shone/A beacon, an eternal beam … I am all at once what Christ is, since he was what I am …

Gerard Manley Hopkins,

in That Nature Is a Heraclitean Fire and of the Comfort of the Resurrection

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Hopkins wrote this in the late 19th century.  One wonders (and hopes that) if alive today he might express that same view.   Yes, still the “vastness blurs and the time beats level.” But so much has changed!  So much.  Indeed, our culture is more inclined to be occupied by those who do not believe than those who believe.

Amid today’s godless secularism where many are actively hostile to God and particularly to Christianity, one must ask does the Resurrection still serve as the “heart’s clarion?”  Does it still dissolve grief for us, give each joy to our days and banish dejection?

Do we experience Christ as Hopkins and others routinely did?

This is the question today in the U.S. and in the West.

How did it come to having to ask this question?  The answer requires looking at history with a feel for psychology, philosophy, social theory, theology, spirituality, the ebb and flow of political existence, and cultural criticism.

Until the late Middle Ages those in Europe believed that God governed the natural world, that God orchestrated large and small events and ordained their Christian societies.  As philosopher Charles Taylor says their’s was an “enchanted world” in which God assured order and the victory of good over evil.

Yet, in that latter portion of the Middle Ages a sentiment arose within the Church and society that the greater populace fell short of a daily piety and the Church undertook to reconcile the lives of the laity with those living within professed religious congregations. Such an effort could not but impose on the laity a life style that would chafe the average person.

By the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation arose as a sharp rebuff to these Catholic efforts.  In this reaction, Protestantism provoked egalitarianism (a stimulus in time to the development of democracies).

More to the point, the Protestants took a particular aim at reducing the presence of “magic” (mystical beliefs) in religious life and experience.  (Illustratively, one can, if one visits Glasgow’s St. Mungo Cathedral, see a beautiful structure stripped of its ancient stained glass windows, religious statues and artifacts previously displayed in this Pre-Reformation Cathedral.)

This shift away from a mystical or sacramental experience of the natural world made way for the importance of the singular “self” and accelerated and examination of the world without regard to God’s governance.  In essence, the door swung open to the primacy of man sans God and elevated human reason over the Divine and life divinely experienced.

In essence, a sacramental and enchanted life diminished and we elevated man and reason free of God – a more secular being than we once had been.

Shalom.

For, dear me, why abandon belief/Merely because it ceases to be true?

Cling to it long enough, and not a doubt/It will turn true again, for so it goes.

Most of the change we think we see in life/Is due to truths being in and out of favor.

As I sit here, and oftentimes, I wish/I could be the monarch of a desert land/I could devote and dedicate forever/To truths we keep coming back and back to.

Robert Frost, in The Black Cottage

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When a culture loses faith it cannot regenerate it through politics alone.  When consecration is lost, faith is reborn in the soul.  Yes, life is a spiritual exercise, not a political exercise.  Life is not about power but about Spirit, and Truth lives in Spirit – good, too.

So what does one do in times like these when Truth goes out of fashion and Dante’s damnation (the deprivation of hope) takes reign in Big Brother while Father, Son and Holy Spirit are forgotten or chased away?

Against all pressure and prohibition: stay in faith – do your duty.  Perpetuate faith in the lives of your children and grandchildren, and friends and strangers so predisposed.   Secure your goods so they might be given to others for their comfort and use.  Keep this in mind: you do these things because there is always continuity and it is stronger than “change” for we participate in a natural and moral order of things no matter what others say .

These three things alone keep you fit and free, far from the godless folly.  Never conform to the godless mob and its hideous state.  You are a monarch of a desert land.

Hold tight the beliefs and customs that nourish civilization and the soul of the human person.  Let “the barbarian nomads … encamp in their mechanized caravans.”*  They shall pass like the hordes before them – and Truth again will be in favor.

Shalom.

Postscript – I am saddened by how many good people to small minded liberalism have so easily turned.  ‘Tis sad to hear the senseless words of the blind, good people though they be.

* Inspired by T.S. Eliot’s genius and tireless effort to point us from the present Waste Land toward an ordered soul and society.

… men, as intelligent and free creatures, have to journey toward their ultimate destinies by their free choices and preferential love.  They can therefore go astray.  Indeed, they have sinned.  Thus has moral evil, incommensurably more harmful than physical evil, entered the world.  (Emphasis added.)

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 311

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We are free to choose and to love.  Yes, our destiny individually and collectively requires that we choose good over evil and love over hate or love’s opposite: indifference.

Our ultimate destiny comes as this mortal existence ends.  Our ledger: good or evil, love accepted or love rejected?

How are we doing lately in the collective?  No so well.  Far too much moral evil.

Moral evil is simply acts that are contrary to God’s law.  We are awash in moral evil. And what might they be?

A breach of trust that would have a public figure place “personal convenience” above national security and the safety and survival of a nation and its people. Another who deems such acts unpunishable and tortures law and logic to do so. Others who consistently fail to call evil by its name. And those who divide us through “identity politics.” And judges who tell us that they hear “morality” and think “bigotry” or who call something that is not a “tax”, “a tax” so to earn affection and approval. Then there is abortion in an age when contraceptive measures, medication or devises are commonly available and inexpensive. And judges who after centuries of recorded human history deem their “genius” sufficient to redefine marriage.

Multiplying moral evil is a dangerous game.

Yes, God is merciful and can create good out of evil – but God is also able and disposed to seek justice in punishment.

“Everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not act on them, will be like the foolish man who built his house on sand … the rain fell … the flood came … the winds blew … that house … it fell – and great was its fall.”  (Emphasis added.)

The Sermon on the Mount, Mt 7: 26, 27

Shalom.

Jesus never used this miraculous powers to promote any general or collective purpose.  The salvation he offered was for individuals, not collectives; for a person, not an idea.

Malcolm Muggeridge, in Jesus: The Man Who Lives

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We are in a political, moral, legal, spiritual, and cultural mess today.  And, much of it results when too many people latch on to an ideology and let in drive their thinking, decision-making, judgments and life.  The dominant favor of ideology is a mindless and uncritical variant of Marxist foolishness governing the Democrat Party of the Left and applied by its functionaries and tribes of special pleaders who campaign to force their fractured and destructive views on others.

Now how does this relate to Mr. Muggeridge’s insight?

Well for those who are Christians we might be wise to place in the fore what Muggerridge says.  Christ does NOT favor collectives – Christ is aimed at the individual person.  Christ does NOT favor and idea – Christ brings Truth and seeks that we individually seek, know and embrace Truth.

Faced with our present mess, each Christian, indeed each person, has the opportunity to seek, know and embrace Truth.  In a real sense, all challenges are about what we believe and in believing – who we individually are.

Our present circumstances pose this simple question: who are you, and who are we? Are we special-pleading Leftists intent on selfish ends secured by any means and regardless of the destruction that might result?  Or are we Believers whose lives reflect eternal Truth?

Christ offered no collective cures or blanket dispensations.  No, His Love, like that of His Father, is intimate, more personal – given for each person to seek, know and embrace.

In a real sense, those who offer ideology in place of faith are much like Satan who offered Christ stones that He might turn them into bread.  And just as Christ, it is our opportunity in denying the collectivists to reject Satan and his stones.

Shalom.

… you were called for freedom … serve one another through love.  For the whole of law is fulfilled in one statement, You shall love your neighbor as yourself.  But if you go on biting and devouring one another, beware that you are not consumed by one another. (Emphasis added.)

Gal 5: 13, 14, 15

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Biting and devouring one another …

There is something to this image.  What?

Our political culture allows for biting and devouring one another … Yes, we have legitimized “identity” politics and this is precisely what it does – it bites and devours.  In it, we are less sacred beings all, but rather divided into groups.

This division is always binary – the self-proclaimed “good” people against the “bad” people, the “we know better people” against the “know-nothings.”  It pits one against another and says to the target enemy – “you are less than me …”

Examples: women vs. men, Blacks vs. whites, Left vs. Right, Non-Believers vs. Believers, elites vs. everyone else, big government vs. the sacred individual.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights … among them life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  (Emphasis added.)

Thomas Jefferson

If you wonder why British voters turned away from membership in the European Union or why Donald Trump has emerged as he has, it is because people rightly claim that they matter as people – period.  That no one is superior to another. That God makes this so. And that no government or international entity will reduce them to dust, will enslave them, or dictate bathroom privileges to them, change the nature of human nature or of marriage, or the sacred distinctions between a man and a woman, or regulate their existence from before birth, through life, until death.

In short, those who voted to exit the European Union or who gravitate toward Mr. Trump are saying to the Left and its allies in globalism: enough, halt – we’ve had it with your nonsense.

They are also affirming that God, and God’s way, exceeds that of man, and of government – that the individual is sacred and sovereign as made by his and her Creator, that the human person must be trusted to live in love of one another and that identity politics works to destroy the sacred nature of the human person and the sacred task of self-governance in a free society.  

The fact is that the Left and its fellow travelers must be reminded that we do not need their acting as gods, that there is a God and we belong to Him … that government is not God, nor man-made law His law.

You are holy, for you are God’s temple and God dwells in you.

1 Cor. 3:16

Enough of this Leftist foolishness.

Shalom.

Note: Turning Point?  A little noticed development in the immediate post-Exit English vote is this: the leftist English Labour Party began to unseat his own socialist leader Jeremy Corbyn who favored Brussels over Britain.

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