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Today’s blog is dedicated to women and my Mother, Jackie Sylvester, and so many great women I have been blessed to know.

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The woman was made out of a rib out of the side of Adam … of his side to be equal to him, under his arm to be protected and, near to his heart to be loved.

 Matthew Henry, in Exposition of Genesis

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My mother raised me by herself.  My father deserted the family when I was an infant.  My mother literally saved my life.  She placed me first and held me accountable – never failing to offer opportunity, correction, encouragement, support, love or her sacrifice for my benefit.

Through the grace of God I recognized this very early on in my life.  Accordingly, I never gave her reason to worry about me.  We were a team – we were one together.

My job was to not make her job any harder – and to protect her and support her and love her.

I love her to this day and think about her everyday.  She has been dead now 21 years – yet, I’ve not lived without her in each of my days all those years because anything good I have done, or thought, or do today is in some manner derived from her selfless dedication to me as a woman and a Mom.

Perhaps you can guess, I have enormous affection and respect for women.  No man proceeds to a good life without a woman’s guidance and instruction, love and assistance.

I loathe men who disadvantage women, hurt them and treat them poorly.  I adore the strength and manner of women, their wisdom, their courage, and their heart.

That said, I reject “identity politics” which shamelessly divides woman from man and in doing so rebels against God and nature.  In “identity politics,” like so much of what the godless Left promotes, we devalue truth and inflict needless damage on this life that we are given.

In “identity politics” we are made to be far, far less than we are, and who God has made us to be.

Shame, shame, shame – turn your back on those who divide us – they are wrong, miserably and hatefully wrong.  They bring evil to what is a great good.

Two bound together are stronger than one alone.  It is idiocy to divide what God has made as one.




Be strong and of a good courage, fear not … for the Lord thy God … he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.

Duet 31:6

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When uncertainty or troubles near – step back, pause, sit in quiet.  There you will come to a peaceful pace – where you may return to the God who made you and is faithful to you.

Yes, times can present reason for concern.  Hostility makes an appearance now and again.  But you have a certainty in all times and all circumstances.

I find that coming to quiet in these times is the one essential and first thing.

In difficult times, go to quiet.  God is there – within and about you.  There you can know peace and patience and come to trust in what is good and always will be good.

This life we are given is a good life and that never changes.  Yes, others can present difficulties – but your stability is in God who created you.

Seek shelter where good resides.  You have a home within and it is a good and peaceful place.


Humility is the virtue of men, their only defense; to walk humbly with God, never doubting, whatever befall, that His will is good, and His law is right.

Paul Elmer More, in Pages from an Oxford Diary

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It seems that without God and a consciousness of God in our culture and our life, humility becomes a rarity.  In such circumstances much of what we do, our transactions with others and our interactions become more difficult and less pleasant.

When humility is the common realm things go more smoothly.  In humility we become the friend of one another, even one another’s servant.

Samuel Taylor Coleridge reminds us that there is not much chance of finding the truth if humility is not present at the beginning of the quest.

Yes, humility is at the heart of learning and also its objective.  The more we know, the more we are humbled.  The more we experience life fully – in joy and sadness, in victory and defeat – the greater humility is gained.

Today humility seems less common than it once was.  In such a state, I find solitude is preferable to the crowd.  The quiet humbles with its voice, so divine.

We would be better off if humility were a common presence.  Humility quiets the appetites and desires, and staves off anxiety.  It produces the calm that welcomes others.  Humility brings access to joy and fellowship – even fellowship with utter strangers.

Think about this.  With humility sedatives are not needed.  Ease is restored to life when humility resides within and is shared among us.


It’s not much of a tail, but I’m sort of attached to it.

A.A. Milne, in Winnie-the-Pooh

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After seven decades on the planet, I have come to prize modesty and see the value of humility.

Most recently I have been reading a history of the last century.  In reading about the Treaty of Versailles which concluded the First World War, anyone with any intellect, a beating heart and (yes) a soul is apt to think of the ruin that followed the Treaty that we might all do better with an anatomy to which a small tail is shamelessly attached.

I say this because human beings today (at least in the Western World) attach far, far too much value to themselves.  Indeed, you see an example of this in the antics of diplomats, self-proclaimed scholars of statecraft, national leaders and heads of countries who were parties to and/or beneficiaries of the Treaty.

What do I mean?  Nations grabbed new territories where they could, – assumed rule over those who spoke not their language but the language of their country of origin or small ethic group.  Worse of all – self-determination (which was the “phrase of the day”) promoted ethnic groups, within new boundaries and those trapped under rulers and parliaments who thought little (or worse) of them, to take to violence to claim their “slice of the pie.”

In short, chaos and brutality followed the interim “peace”and laid (along with the huge problem of reparations) the ground for a second (even more bloody, destructive and demonic) World War.

One wonders if all the geniuses of the day might have been less robust in preparing the world for more slaughter and destruction had they had “a small tail” to which they were modestly but honestly “attracted?”

Aye, yes – we think way too much of ourselves and surely of all the Ivy-educated elites, celebrities, people in media, faces on television, intellectuals, the educated class and the founding techno-monkeys who sit atop piles of cash as the benefactors of asocial dispositions in themselves and many others.

Small tails, people – small tails!  Poverty of the Spirit in plain view. Tails needed.



Quiet is peace.  Tranquility.  Quiet is turning down the volume knob of life.  Silence is pushing the off button.  Shutting it down.  All of it.

Khaled Hosseini, in The Kite Runner

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We live among the seriously disordered.  We hear them everyday.  Such is the nature of a mass communication society.  Yes, the voices of hatred and anger and bigotry are many and the standards of morality and civility are honored in the breech.

What is one to do?  Seek silence.  Decide not to listen to too much.  Once you get the drift that there is something wrong with Mr. X or Ms. Y – just turn the button off.  Stop listening.  Count Mr. X and Ms. Y among the loons.

There are many Mr. X’s and Ms. Y’s.  They are always complaining.  That is what unhappy people do.  What Marxists do.  What malcontents do.  What spoiled children do.  What disordered people and ideologues do.  What bigots do.

The wise choose tranquility … and take account for their own safety and security.


Moral values, and a culture and a religion, maintaining these values are far better than laws and regulations.

Swami Sivananda

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Noted Indian philosopher and wise man, Swami Sivananda has it right.  Laws alone are not our completion, our fulfillment – nor the source of our power and identity.

The truth is those with humility have the greatest strength.  They stand without fear in the face of terror and death, for they know eternity and that it awaits those who believe.

If you were to read of the history of Western Civilization and its unique formation and evolution over centuries, you would see and know of something to marvel.  You would see your blessings and take comfort – indeed you would seek to preserve what we have.

But alas we have many among us who attack what we have, disparage religion, attempt to deny God, and deconstruct marriage, gender, nature, the institutions that provide protection for each sovereign citizen and for those who live their religion in their every day, … those who adhere to a moral code.

The destructive actions I see today give me great concern.  Attacking what we have is an act that insures our dissolution – a destruction that cannot be easily re-assembled.

Those who destroy our historic gifts pave the way for an ugly totalitarianism, a loss of freedom and meaning.  This is a very, very dangerous course – rejecting sacred gifts always is.

What are you doing to preserve our blessings?


Postscript – We have been poorly served by the education establishment (colleges and universities included) and our political and media figures insofar as we have not familiarized our sons and daughters with the treasure that is Western Civilization.

Without education, we are in a horrible and deadly danger of taking educated people seriously.

G. K. Chesterton

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Hum … That’s about were we are.

I am absolutely amazed when I listen to public debate and conversation about the events of the day.  No one seems to have even a remote sense of the flow of history and the casualties, major shifts in culture, and the gross errors we have made over time.

I give but two examples.

Who speaks today who might have any sense of what occurs in human history when we proceed from the Enlightenment and Newtonian physics to the General Theory of Relativity and the foolishness of concluding that all things are “relative” – including morality, discerning right from wrong, or good from evil?

Likewise who among our vaunted public figures can explain the role of pessimism as a causal factor in the outbreak of World War I?  Who understands the cost of pessimism in politics, culture, and psychological well-being?

When one does not know history and has not pondered its lessons, one has no claim to public discourse.  Yet, we are awash in the extraordinary uninformed.

A parade of dunces leads but to disaster.


What good is it, brothers and sisters, if someone claims to have faith but no deeds?  Can such faith save them?

James, 2:14

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Who among us shows their faith in their deeds?  And, who among us speaks harshly, counsels violence and division?  Some make no pretense about faith, their hatred divides.  They seek confrontation and destruction.

Who unifies?  Who divides?  Faith in the former; anger, malcontent and evil in the latter.

Why all the rancor?  Godlessness and faithlessness makes it so.

Who is calm?  Who will unify?  No one without faith.  In faith their is maturity no matter one’s age.

Today we live in shameful times among shameful people who call their neighbors “deplorables” and “irredeemables” and see nothing wrong with themselves.

Today we live among plotters, conspirators in high places, and prissy men from fancy New England prep schools who fashion themselves above all others.

Today women speak of violence and retribution but not of love and kindness.

Today some, once the subject of racism, sharpen their racist sword.  No good will come of this.  Faith is missing and anger prevails.

Today wealthy men on foreign shores finance division.  No faith have they.

We live in shameful times.  Faithless people command attention.  Followers follow.

Shameful times.

You, you of faith – where are your faithful deeds?







… activity that is based on the frenzies and impulsions of human ambition is a delusion and an obstacle to grace.  It gets in the way of God’s will, and it creates more problems than it solves.

Thomas Merton, in Life and Holiness

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Somehow we have assigned a ridiculous gloss of esteem to “the activists.”

Now we have a bumper crop of half-baked dunderheads haranguing and threatening others if their simple-minded admonitions or preferences are not instantly honored by submission and compliance.

Why is there a presumption that the feeble fancy of the month must be honored and obeyed?

This, of course, makes no sense.

What might your objection to his nonsense be?  Listen to Merton.

Does the person screaming some ideological or personal preference at you, know anything?  (If they did they would not be acting like a two year old with a tantrum.)

Or, does this person have any control over themselves?  The answer is obvious by the mere conduct they display.

But more to the point – have they EVER thought their “activism” might be inconsistent with God’s intention?  With nature?  Or, that it might be a disaster of an idea that they are proposing?   (Chances are if they are hysterical and screaming they are not familiar with cool-headed analysis, and dispassionate inquiry – and likely stopped learning somewhere in elementary schools – college education notwithstanding.)

By the look of these self-anointed “activists” you can just imagine what disarray their lives are.

Disordered behavior mirrors disordered being.

Well, okay, how does this relate to Merton’s above insight?

We are NOT created for a life dedicated to altering the universe.  We are not the Creator of the universe.  We are merely the beneficiaries of its creation.  We are not omnipotent.  We are at best mere humans.

That said, many, many among us do not take particular interest in growing fully in life.  These people don’t much like the humbling self-examination that such a task requires.  They are, one might say, lazy – preferring ideology and childhood to maturity and hard work  … all the better, by the way, to prepare for a life of an “activist.”  Ain’ that grand!



Please pray for those in the Florida Panhandle and others in the area that they might avoid personal injury and significant loss as a consequence of Hurricane Michael.

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… the active life is essential to every Christian …

The active life is the participation of the Christian in the Church’s mission on earth, whether it means bringing to (others) the message of the Gospels, or administering the sacraments, or performing works of mercy, or cooperating in the world-wide efforts for the spiritual renewal of society and the establishment of that peace and order without which the human race cannot achieve its destiny.  (Emphasis added.)

  Thomas Merton, in Life and Holiness

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Every baptised Christian is called out of darkness – called to live as and for Christ.  In this comes “the most mysterious aspect” of Christian life: living in grace – living in “light of God in us … transforming us” … making us the children of God so we are His instruments of peace and good in our culture and in this life on earth.

This is the nature of the active life of each Christian.  Nothing ought precede this orientation to our life – for this is the most fundamental identity a Christian possesses – and it is for us the source of our happiness, strength, wisdom, purpose, meaning and value.

Think about it.  What are you doing to further the spiritual renewal of our society?

What are you doing in response to the increasing violence of radical mobs and the irresponsible Senators, Congresswomen and wealthy benefactors who encourage hostile behavior or those who excuse it in newspapers, magazines, network and cable “news” programs?

Spiritual renewal of society … and you.  Think about it.


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