Archive for the ‘Necessity of Virtue’ category

THE PEOPLE OF LAS VEGAS

October 2, 2017

The people of Las Vegas can one day look back on these days with satisfaction and encouragement even as their grief continues.

We see nothing but mutual comfort and aid, compassion and  sympathy  that is proven by   courage under fire as they helped each other,   protected each other, offering their own blood to those who lost so much of their own.

As the crowd was hiding and  running away as best they could,  the first responders,  the policemen!,  were running towards the gunfire.    The people of Las Vegas can look upon their officials with pride and gratitude.

Some of the facts are known.    Many questions are yet unanswered.    President Trump articulated what I and many Americans were thinking in his speech on Monday, so I don’t   need to give my opinion.

Our Leftist entertainment-news media practically applauded the act, mocking the character and voting habits they supposed the audience of a country music festival would have and  hoping that the Trump supporters among the audience would be the ones to die.

We’re eager to find out what this man’s motivation could have been.

I hope we also try to discover what has become of the moral climate of our country to allow even the possibility of an American mass murderer to act.  Several decades ago when I was in school,  some of my friends took their guns or rifles to school for after-school meetings of the ROTC.   One time I asked my friend if he played saxophone.  He said,  “No.”      Then he opened up his case and showed me his rifle.

The moral climate was different then.     The character  of the American people was different then.

If it can bend one way,  can it bend back the other way?

 

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FOURTH SHORTS – Two Sets of Rules

July 4, 2017

A short little observation since I’ve had some  free time to get caught up on news reading  . . .

Although this is old news.

________________________________________

We cannot have Rulers over us if there is only one set of rules.     Rulers don’t obey our rules.    This is the Fourth of July  —  and yet our Rulers think we will obey without question.

 

jRulers say J

“You must NOT build that wall.”

(That wall that would reduce the steady stream of invaders across our southern border.)

“But I can.”

O Wall

 

It seems our Rulers and we,  both,   understand the word “protection.”

flag

 

The  ideals of America offer equal protection before the Law.

The  promise of America  is  that all are treated equally,  even those who have been elected to office to serve for a time.

It’s not just a matter of political concern  that we’ve been too easy-going to preserve our freedoms.   It’s a religious matter as well.   “Spiritual,”  if you prefer.   Just as we are all brothers because we have the same Father,   so is it true that all of us will be judged by the same God and Father of us all,  in the same Judgment,  by the same measure.

That is true equality.

That is true integrity:  living your civil life as you do your spiritual life.

Anything less is insanity.

 

COLONIAL BEAUTY

January 16, 2017

 (  Just one observation to correct our “modern” prejudices.)

“The development of Western Civilization  has allowed for the greatest manifestation of the highest human values.”

sao-paulo-church-400

My daughter visited the above church in Sao Paolo,   Brazil,  an actual result of  Western colonialism.   It’s an attempt to glorify God and show the beauty of His Kingdom with the use of higher philosophy leading man’s spirit upward,  with order and hierarchy,  and an architecture intended to reflect the beauty of heaven, focusing the eyes on the presence of God at the altar.

Yes, those floors are mirrors!   The edges of the pews are decorated with sweet smelling flowers for one of the many weddings that take place in that cathedral.   Hopeful promises of better things to come.

Western civilization is the culmination of Greek thinking and  Roman law and governance in combination with  Christian principles.       The enemies of the West have prevented nearly every citizen from knowing what those Greek philosophies are,  what the genius of Roman government was,  and the actual Truth mediated to mankind through the Kingdom of Christ.

In fact, each of these three elements are so thoroughly denigrated today, that it seems impossible to have anything good to say about them.

Now,   real Truth is identical with Beauty and with Goodness and with Purity and with Holiness  . . .   with God the Creator.

Historically,  wherever Western Civ has spread,  there has been the spread of  kindness and respect for the dignity of the human being:

Hospitals

Hotels and Hostels   for travelers

Safe, free traveling

Universities,  schools,  and literacy

Orphanages

Commerce and common methods of bookkeeping,  common laws of interchange

Advanced technology:  Farming;  Beer and Wine-Making;    Irrigation;  Grinding Mills

Scientific   inquiry,  discoveries, and knowledge

Architecture that uplifts the human spirit

The ideal of honesty in politics and peace treaties

Equality before the Law and the presumption of innocence when accused

 

Exterminate the Church and the Christians;    destroy knowledge of the past.

Then cross out all those things in red.   Because all those things in red don’t come to humans just because they are humans.      They existed here and there, perhaps,  but not all together in one civilization.

 

Just one geographical example:     When Christian colonialism came to   African nations, for instance,  it brought with it all those things in red.     (Please  don’t look to an imperialism divorced from Catholic Christian principles.)     When Christianity was kicked out by the enemies of Western Civilization,  African nations collapsed into anarchy, chaos,  poverty, starvation, and the rule of whichever tribal despot could gain power.

And anarchy can happen anywhere.

To follow after the dystopian future vision I wrote about in the last post,   how long do you think it will take for all our institutions to also collapse – without a firm commitment to the principles and values of Western Civilization?

To my Foreign Readers:  Perhaps this explains why supporters of Donald Trump are cautiously optimistic;  not that Mr. Trump will lead us into some wonderful future and solve all our problems.    He has very little power, in the face of our anti-West Rulers behind the scenes.

No,  there is optimism because perhaps the social and political climate will now allow those who understand the value of Western, Christian, European, American ideals to live freely and without fear of reprisals and destructive opposition.

Optimism.     Hard work,   but optimism.

Something for all of us to do!

 

DAY 9 – A SUCCESSFUL PUSHBACK

October 30, 2016

(Happy Interlude Topic #2)

You’ve seen the photos during the past few decades:

devils-night

Devil’s Night !!

It’s a not-so-fun night of mayhem and madness – and arson, first held in Detroit on the night before Halloween, and then spreading to other “inner urban”  city arenas.   I don’t know whose brilliant idea it was to start the tradition,  but it has resulted in the loss of many businesses and homes, and when you add the gunshots,  loss of life too.

Every October 31st we’d wait to hear the news of just how bad it was during the night before.

Well,  this year I woke up to the Detroit radio station having a discussion  about something new.  “Angel’s Night.”    This is a grass roots type of activity started by some Detroit citizens who were tired of having their hometown trashed in reality and by reputation;  so  a group of them met together and made a plan.

For the past few years,  and this year,  this group forms citizen patrols, in coordination with the Detroit City police,  and they inform residents of safety tips for October 30th, including keeping outdoor house lights on all night.

Whatever all the things are that they do,  it’s been working.   Crime is down on October 30th, and little or no arsons committed.

That’s all.     Good citizens rising up to fight against crime in their local area.

Push-back.        They pushed back against the criminals.

And it’s working.

hall-banner

We can do it!!

SILENCE FOR A TEENAGE GIRL

July 11, 2016

Sami aurora

The Arctic blood in me is stirring.    The Far Far North is calling, and my daily routine will soon be disrupted.   

Sami teepee

In a very good way.    I go to seek my roots.   My foundation.

Dove of Peace outline

But a few last words,  because no one should be forgotten.

As I wrote in the last post,  the entertainment-news media can be false at times and it can be funny at times.   But not innocently false,   deadly false;   and it’s really not funny funny,  when Truth is battered.

And I sorrow when the Truth is ignored into silence.   An American-citizen teenager lost her life a couple weeks ago.    She was brutally murdered as she slept in her own bed, in the middle of the night.

She had been sight-seeing with her family –

Hallel and family

Close to her Mom:

hallel and mom

And her Mom said good-night to her one day.

And that night a man of another religion broke into her bedroom –

HaLLEL'Sbedroom

. . . . As I always tell people,  it’s not that easy to kill someone with a knife,  not even with a big knife.

Doesn’t look like it was easy.

We’re grown-ups:       Men and women who can face reality.   Face Truth.  Who can feel something.    Who can pray.   Who can act.    Or at least, who can speak up.

Her name is Hallel.    An American citizen.   Hallel Yaffa Ariel.   Living in Israel.     13 years old.   “She wanted to be a doctor”  when she grew up.

It’s time for me to  . . . go . . .  and think about things like this and other things.

Longboat drawing left 75

I won’t be silent.    I’ll just be . . .  different for a while.

 

 

 

 

 

VICE, VOLTAIRE, AND VEHEMENCE

June 3, 2016

(3 V words for 2 choices)

stop

 

Well,  if some of you went ahead and read yesterday’s post in spite of my warning not to,  you’ll understand that there are two Junes to choose from this year.  One of inexpressibly strong Love for you ending in such wonderful good and happiness that we don’t even have words to express it;  and the other “June” of the degradation of human dignity and worth . . .   ending in unspeakable horror and fear.

(Well, that lays it out.  Two choices.  No confusion there.)

VICE

Funny, but the first June of Love gives absolute freedom;  the other June leads to more and more uncomfortable restrictions – and things will happen which you do not choose.

In the second “June”  you are caught – as in a vice.

Vice grip

When I was a young girl I often had to “help” my Dad in his workshop.   I had to hold something while he worked on it.   My little girl muscles were often not strong enough, so my Dad would go get his “vice grip” as he called it, to hold the thing down.  I was often astonished at how firmly the vice would hold onto something.   There was no getting free!

bear trap

I’d also read many stories of pioneer days in our country’s history,  trappers and explorers,  cowboys and settlers.   Occasionally there would be a description of animal traps –  bear traps. The trap would hold the bear in a vice-like grip,  and it would work.   the troublesome, man-eating bear could be dealt with.

There is another use of the word “vice.”        —   ouch!

bear trap into

City police departments used to have a Vice Squad,  made of officers and detectives who were experts in rooting out the vice of their city.

So what is Vice?    Any deviant or unlawful or unhealthy behavior which traps a person like a vice grip so strongly that the person will do anything – even commit a crime – in order to repeat that behavior.

VOLTAIRE

Voltaire

Vice brings us to Voltaire…   one of the most famous promoters of Vice.  This famous man of the 18th century who, when we’re given only half the story,  is a man held up as some kind of cultural hero of his day:  the man who spread the values of the  misnamed  En”light”enment and of the consequent French Revolution,  all the atheistic “-isms” of the 19th century,  and the following most vice-ridden, murderous century of all,  the 20th.

If you educate yourself further than what textbooks present to you,  you would see that Voltaire was a man of great vices,  including all of the sexual behaviors which become vices,  such as that recently  promoted by the politician put in the office of the American presidency.

It was Voltaire’s stated intent to break down the social and moral barriers of Western Civilization — and specifically of the Christian values which allowed Western Civilization to exist.     All Christian values.    He did it with such amazing boldness and with such skillful, enticing writing and conversation,  that it seemed as though he was a “gentleman” of great worth.

No gentleman, he.     The exact way that Voltaire and like thinkers influenced their Age and Ages to follow is a fascinating history.   It’s like watching an army of workshop Vice Grips march into human society,   corrupting the culture, ruining lives and religious faith  wherever it succeeded.    All in the name of being New and Modern and Courageous, of course.

The Final end of Vice?  Like the final end of Voltaire.  

Death

It is frightening.    To those who witnessed his dying days,  it was horrifying.  Voltaire died with anger and hatred on his lips,  shouting out in  pain and fear all manner of blame and blasphemies against the God he hated and had convinced himself did not exist!   It was a  hard death.   He knew things now,  and he fought against that which he was knowing.     (I believe similar “endings”  were witnessed as Nietzsche died and . .  .  was it Kant also?   These “giants”  of  Modernist philosophy died shouting out their terror and hatred toward God — and interestingly,  toward their own fathers.)

Oh, yes,  heroes of 20th century textbooks.

A life of vice leads to a terrible dying,  if it’s a slow and conscious one;   but, at any rate,   to a terrible ending for all caught up in unrepented vice.

VEHEMENCE

“with strong and violent force”

palm trees  in wind

That leads to the last dictionary word:  vehemence.     Those who are dedicated to the ways of “freedom from moral restraint”  sometimes display the most surprising and unexpected vehemence somewhere in their conversation.

I’ve seen it.   I’ll be in a group that is simply talking, conversing,  exploring ideas,  when suddenly someone will take great offense — or rather: GREAT OFFENSE!  — at what someone said.    They CANNOT BELIEVE  that anyone would dare to call  such and such a thing wrong!   How INSULTING!    How WRONG of you to say something is wrong!!   It seems totally out of character of the person who was part of our group.  That vehement anger must have been lying in wait,  to strike out at the first mention of moral goodness,  God,  self-restraint,   self-discipline,  or religious values.

The vehemence comes with insulting accusations and character assassinations that would knock over a whole forest of trees.   It is a rhetorical tactic used to shut up one’s conversational opponent.    Violent words,  violent actions.   No reasoning.

VOLTAIRE LIVES.

This “other” month of June,  a month ordering us to honor those trapped in vice and moral turpitude (which Voltaire would, of course, call “freedom”)   is certainly a choice that American citizens have available to them.

How DARE we not go along?    How DARE we object?     Our response may be “prudent silence”  —  but it’s hard to distinguish silence from timidity.

Qui tacet consentire videtur.

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE MONTHS OF JUNES – R-RATED

June 2, 2016

Still contemplating which R word to use (Recover, Restore, Rebuild) —  but in this post I really mean   R-Rated,  and unless you’re a child of the 20th century and inured to perversion and immorality,  please don’t go on.      I wouldn’t let my family read this.  It’s not . . .  ladylike.

So,   don’t.    You’ve been warned.

JUNE # 1

June to fix

The lovely month of June is here!     Blooming Gardens,  Brooding Birds,   and Blushing Brides .

Good things that celebrate love and life!

June was named for the Roman goddess Juno who represented  matrimony and childbirth.   Families are the foundation of any healthy society,  and the Romans honored family and family connections.

In Christendom,  June is also known as the month of weddings,  *    a time to celebrate Holy Matrimony,   the foundation for family and the setting for rearing children.    The Church adds one deeper dimension:     June is the month dedicated to the celebration of The Sacred  Heart.

When I entered the Church, this symbol –

sacred heart

–   with its red heart surrounded by a crown of thorns,  burning flames, and dripping blood   was “embarrassingly”  overly sentimental.  It took me a little time to accept the Intense (burning)  Love that Our Crucified Lord actually had – for me!

Now I understand the symbol,  but  like any human being,  I also . . .  forget.    I know,  but I don’t feel it all the time.     Sometimes I remember when I used to roll my eyes at such a symbol –  and then I have to think about the True God that came to die for me in order that I may have eternal life in God’s good Heaven, where no sinner deserves to be.

So the Church, in her wisdom,  has developed the tradition of  appointing the whole month of June for us to think more deeply on these things.

A God who loves and cares!   Deo gratias!

JUNE  #  2

Now, we live in two worlds.   St. Augustine called it Two Cities.    We leave the City of God now, with its Natural Seasons and Natural Law,  and look briefly at that other city;    it’s temporary and R-Rated,  much to our sorrow.

An attempt to command –

 

O Not gonna have mine

The man they have placed into the American White House has –  in  diabolic defiance to Nature –    “ordered”  this country to celebrate un-Natural acts.

(Want the official White House proclamation?    Go   Here . . . )

Defying Nature is Un-Natural,  as in a roaring lion rolling over on its back, exposing its throat to a bunny rabbit . . .

Lion sent

A bunny coming?

. . .     Un-Natural  as  a butterfly swimming under water;

. . .    as  a hippopotamus “boinking”  a giraffe –  or trying to.    (Boinking –  you know  . . .  poking into.)

Each creature is made with certain characteristics for which it is Natural to do the things it was designed for.   An ear is for hearing.   A mouth is for eating.   Other parts of the body fit into other parts of another body.

Yet this man who is known to have been a  member  of two   (TWO!)   gay bath houses in Chicago,     has taken this lovely month of June and is trying to PUBLICLY  besmirch it . . .

(TAKE NOTE:  I’m writing about observable, objective undeniable  practices) — 

. . .   encouraging practices  which place a human mouth on another person’s . . . place where it’s icky to put it.     Or thrust one’s hand inside in order to find . . .   squishy substances.

Practices which always  result in damage to delicate tissue.      (As I said a few posts ago,  I worked in a hospital for four years.   Pediatrics, yes,  but sometimes I was pulled to help out in the emergency room.    You wouldn’t believe some of the things one man can do to another.)

Practices which encourage the spread of disease from one person to another.

Practices which according to government studies have increased the cost of healthcare and   burdened the economy with lost work days and lost productivity.  Government studies;  not someone’s “opinions.”

Practices which result in higher rates of depression,  psychological sickness, and violent abuse (statistically speaking)  of one’s partner in shame.    (so-called “spouse abuse”)   Just according to statistics.       Objective numbers.

Practices which violate the sanctity of the Natural family.

Practices which therefore a healthy society has always regarded with shame and  then outlawed – and punished.

The man encourages practices which violate his own religious preferences –

O presofus

—  and wishes citizens of this country to violate theirs.

Two Junes.   Two Months of Junes.

The contrast is clear.     And we can let it go,  or we can choose to live as human beings, repairing and rebuilding and  elevating our society into a state of dignity and respect.

bar dissolve er

Okay.  So maybe this post was X-Rated.        It’s hard to be ladylike and truthful about a 20th century-type society.

But NOTE AGAIN:   I speak of Practices;  actions,   not of persons.    Practices happen and can be objectively observed.

bar dissolve er

 

. *     Please don’t fall for the anti-Christian myth that puts forth June as the month for weddings because in the Middle Ages people were dirty and took baths only once a year when the weather got   warmer and so their bodies were less offensive in June.

Gullible college professors should be ashamed to continue that slanderous story in front of their uneducated students.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

“ALL’S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD” – HUH?

June 1, 2016

(some backyard philosophy today,  from ducks to caesars.)

I wrote in the last post about an amazing new fact I learned recently:  that a bumble bee’s mouth is filled with little hairs!   Yuck.    But they serve as receptors for important little electrical signals put out by … flower petals!

Honestly!    All of  creation fits together in the most remarkable ways, one part made for the other.    Creation  works:

DUCKS to crop

It’s spring, and the ducks have returned to my backyard pond.   When they are resting like this they signal peace.  Peace in my backyard.   Peace.    Sometimes I’m consciously grateful for the time to watch them for a while.    They are there because “All’s right with the world,”  however temporarily for them.

Another sign of nature working well:

Bird closeup

Well, it works well for her, at least.   She’s made her nest – and laid her eggs now –  in the porch light just outside my front door.   That means, once again, that I can’t use my front door for a while;  and it means I have to duct-tape over the light switch or else the light bulb turned on  will set fire to the nest (as it almost did last year).

But for her – and we’re beginning to think this is Mama Robin – she has found a peaceful place to make a home and nurture her chicks.      “All’s right with (her) world.”

We can multiply this millions of times in the natural world.

However, when it comes to humans, who are part of the natural world,  well, we sometimes get in  the way of our own well-being.    Observe this excerpt from a famous poem . . .

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven –
All’s right with the world!

( by Robert Browning.)*   It’s a portion of a poem that presents the terrible life a young girl who has been oppressed and ground down by her society.    Society  (politics and culture and social conventions)  had gotten so far from the natural order of Creation that a young girl is cruelly victimized unto death.    That society was in the midst of its collapse.

collapsing building

Yet  look at the context in which this societal collapse took place!

“The year’s at the Spring” – as usual –  “the day’s at the morn” –  as expected –    “the lark’s on the wing” – as normal  –  All of nature works, just as the Creator  created it.     And what does Nature care of the risings and fallings of societies and civilizations — which have learned to ignore natural, commonsense ways of Truth and Reality? 

We build ourselves up:

collapsing cards cr

Oh, yeah –  you just know what’s going to happen next!     One unstable house of cards;  one push;  one gust of wind;   one accident;  one deliberate undermining of the foundational layer.

Poof!    The house of cards that man has built lies in a heap – to be discovered, perhaps,  by archeologists thousands of years in the future.

There are certain truths about who and what Man is that cannot be contradicted for very long.    Natural laws  determine human growth beginning from a few cells to mature old age;  one of two sexes;  fresh and clean air, water, and food for optimum health;  and certain ways to associate with each other, summarized efficiently in the Ten Commandments, for instance.

Here is one Truth about Man:     “. . .  man was formed for society . .  .”  a partial quote ** from Sir William Blackstone, who wrote his famous volumes of commentary on the Law, as England knew it in the 18th century.

Man was formed for society. . . .     As such,  it is of utmost importance that  Man in his society   reflects the reality of Man in Natural Truth.     It’s common sense.   But if our society, or our culture,  departs from Natural Law,   then it begins to erode and to corrupt.

“All’s right with the world . . . “       Evidence seems to be that all is NOT right with our society.    Our foundations have been corrupted.  Our foundational layer has been undermined.   Poof!

But when I write about this in the weeks to come,   I’m writing within the context of  the existence of Natural Law at work in the Natural World.   That Natural Law applies not only to Ducks and Robins   (!)   but also surely to us human beings.

The  R word is very much on my mind these days,  but I don’t know if it should be  Recovery,  Restoration,  or Rebuilding.

This man had an idea:

augustus

Augustus Caesar  sought to restore the Roman Republic to its higher moral foundations.  He succeeded, somewhat,  and built the Roman Empire, which lasted a few centuries more;  not because its succeeding leaders were good and moral men,  but because the momentum of a restored higher  moral foundation made a few more centuries possible.

Good laws.   Good men.   Good moral foundation.

augustus senate

The new society worked —   “All was well” with society, as in the natural world.

For a while, at least.     

But it can be done.

_________________________________________________

 

. * Pippa’s Passing    (Well-educated children used to have this portion of the poem memorized,  but I fear that they were not taught the irony it presents.   Modern society continued to collapse.)

. **  “But man was formed for society; and as is demonstrated by writers on the subject, is neither capable of living alone, nor indeed has the courage to  do it.”   (speaking, of course, of normal, healthy individuals)

EVIL CHILDREN

April 1, 2016

 

I didn’t know what to call this posting.    But, yeah,  it’s Friday in Easter Week –

Banner Easterthur

–  so I was doing what I was supposed to be doing:  thinking back on the whole Easter thing, and specifically one week ago,  not only a Friday,  but Good Friday.

And why did it all happen?

Why did it all have to happen?

Did you see this on the news this past week?  —

SAMSUNG

America.   Near Philadelphia.   People sitting on a commuter train,  subway thing,  when all of a sudden a small group of six year olds began shouting obscenities,  punching, kicking,  and otherwise threatening the passengers.  This picture is from the video — the words of these vicious six-year olds had to be bleeped out.

The story is here.   

It is a scene out of Lord of the Flies.     It’s a scene from the Passion of the Christ where those devlish little boys chased Judas out of the city.   It’s a scene I’ve posted before, showing tiny children being taught how to behead teddy bears;   a 5 year old holding a little machine gun;   a sweet little 4 or 5 year old girl holding a large knife yelling “Stab! Stab!  Stab!”

And we don’t realize how common scenes like this occur.      Little children fighting, slapping,  swearing at their parents in a store.   We don’t pay much attention anymore.  When I spent a year teaching 4 and 5 year olds in a well-known Kindergarten type school,  I was astonished at the sexual activity among some of them.   As well as their language. As well as their defiance towards any adults,  most especially their own parents.  “Normal”  suburban kids, without any knowledge of God.

I have in my memory so many actual news stories of dangerous children . . . .

Oddly,  this was predicted for our century in the early 1600s, when the intensity of such moral depravity was not ever suspected.    *.

quito

In around 1635,  from this building,   it was predicted that there will be a  time when the world sinks into moral depravity so widespread and deep that the very innocence of  children will be corrupted —  which indicates it’s going to go deeply into the next generation when they grow up – and don’t know how to live and don’t know what to teach their children.    The whole culture is depraved and unworkable.

(By the way,   when the passengers on that Philadelphia train pleaded with the adults who were with those out-of-control children to “do something,”   those adults became defiant and aggressive towards the victims!)

The century for when this deep moral corruption resulting from a repudiation of the True Faith was named:   it is the 20th century.

We’re living it now.  Our world is  a fulfillment of that prediction.   We don’t even understand what it means that “the innocence of children will be lost” —   what “innocence” ?   What innocence are they supposed to have?     Other centuries would be astonished that we can’t even answer that question.

The prophecy said: A time “when the world sinks into moral depravity . . .”   It will become as bad as it can get – and such times will illustrate the danger and murderous insanity of sin,  where no one is safe.   And children can be evil too.

This is an illustration why we had to have a Good Friday.    An  illustration of the stark contrast between a world living without its Creator and a world that can choose to live in obedience to its Creator –  Who is also its Savior.    Dying in  propitiatory sacrifice because of  these sins.

. . . . An act which offers the Hope that if we turn back to God, we will be given the power to overcome sin and intellectual darkness, and to reform ourselves.

 

Bar Cross in middle

*.   I write of the visitations of Our Lady of Good Success in Quito,  Ecuador.     That’s enough words to use in any Search engine if you’d like to know more about  the descriptions of our Age,  what’s going to happen,  what the remedies could be.

But I’ll write about it more later on too,  maybe in a month or two.

WORD: Rulers

March 15, 2016

The whole point of having elections is to give the impression that you believe that people are smart enough to know what they want and to know what’s good for them – in general.    If that’s true,  then you can overthrow your king.   And hold elections.

R Vote

The Word:   Rulers

I look at the heads of state,  the presiders of the various nations,  the governors, leaders –  and I see them all acting in a similar way — and generally against the welfare of the people they are governing.  Truly leading the people in  directions the people do not want to go,  in nation after nation,   with just enough finesse that the people are not stirred up into a troublesome rebellion.

So why is this happening?     Who is ruling these heads of state and presiders and governors?    No conspiracy theory, just an observation:  Something is guiding them all into a similar goal,  into a  same purpose.   I call this group our Rulers.

That’s how I use the term here in the Spruce Tunnel:  Our Rulers.

It’s not that the Rulers are powerful.  It’s that they are powerful beyond our imagining.

The Rulers are not just very, very, very rich;  not even merely billionaires.   The Rulers are rich beyond imagining.

But they richly reward those who cooperate and obey — and those who repudiate any values and virtues which would impede their will.

Two categories of examples:

Let’s compare a couple of presidents in the U.S. and their families.    The many speeches, eulogies, and personal testimonies that I heard recently regarding Nancy Reagan made me happy to have been alive in her time – she is inspiring in some ways –  and it also made me question:   Why is the only thing I had associated with her name the fact that she chose new china for White House dinners?

Seems like a trivial matter, doesn’t it?   Truly,  it was a fact that the White House china had not been replaced in about forty years, and it was getting faded and obviously old.   I’m an American.  I’d like us to present a good table for visiting dignitaries.    She selected an elegant, though modest, set of new dishes.*    It was her right and her duty as First Lady.

r china
Yet, in spite of using  her own money and I think some private money donated by friends,  the entertainment-news media were told to excoriate her for her “extravagance,”  and they led the public to believe that she had been profligate with taxpayer money.  I remember reading those “news” stories.    It was a lie, but a strongly-stated, oft-repeated lie.   I’m so sorry, Nancy Reagan, that for many years when I heard your name I saw . . .   dishes.

r gown
All over the news on this day,  I see the two daughters of another version of the presidential family wearing new $20,000 dinner gowns*  – to be worn once, to be sure.   Two daughters:   $40,000 — and paid for by our taxes.  Did you know your money bought the r gown 2dresses?

I hear of “vacations”  by this family in the half-million and million dollar ranges – for each “outing.”

Our rulers richly reward some;  and others they don’t.

Values and Virtues?    

Nancy Reagan was mocked and ridiculed for her Just Say No campaign,  which was inspired by a conversation she had with some young people who were were in the midst of the drug battle.   She asked them;  they answered:  Just Say No.   There are many grateful testimonies that the campaign worked.

You wouldn’t believe it by hearing the entertainment-news media talk about it.   Mocked and ridiculed for just saying no.   We were taught to believe that the slogan was simplistic and unrealistic.

But what if you’re the other kind of person,   what if you don’t uphold or promote such personal virtuous behavior?    The auto-biography   (so-called “auto”biography)  of the other presider is full of personal stories of drug use, from the purported “harmless”  drugs right down to cocaine use.  It’s there in his book,  shockingly.   Parties and constant drunkenness,  admitted only for his teen years.    Constant sexual activity,  with same sex partners, as reported by companions.     That’s why I’m not naming any names.   (He who has ears to hear, let him hear here!)   He says he was a mediocre student (Harvard material?)  and wonders if he could have been better.   Just Say . . . “okay.”

So I repeat:   The word “Rulers”:    Those who Rule or who are in charge,  behind the scenes.  Those who use heads of state,  governors,  presiders,   leaders of nations, and celebrities of nations to do their bidding and who richly reward and protect those who cooperate.

And generally disregard the good of the people and of their general welfare.  **

How do you know if our Rulers are getting annoyed?    They begin to throw out bad names at those who don’t “cooperate.”     Of course you are not a Nazi or a Fascist or on the Extreme Radical (Dangerous)  Right!   Of course not.    But you’ve objected. . . .

There is a lot at stake in the American election come this November.

Bar fancy line

 

. *  Not the actual china or dinner gowns.  (But the actual gowns are rather immodest.)

. **  Although for several thousand years it’s been studied and taught what is the welfare of the people, what is the general good,  what is good governing,  good politics,  good civil behavior for both leaders and population,  these studies have been withheld from students around the world in most  school curricula in the past few decades.

Rare is the person who has studied what made Western Civilization a great source of freedom for the individual.

Our human Dignity –  the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of (true) happiness – is God-given and can’t be “alienated” from us;  but the Freedom to express those rights can be taken away.

 

PIETY, PATRIOTISM, AND VALOR

February 24, 2016

“When a man doesn’t see something, he cannot fear it.” (  from The Thirteenth Warrior)

“Fear precedes valor.”   (me)

binocluars

You have looked through binoculars.   You know the little wheel that you turn (slowly)  to bring things into focus.

Well, it happened to me today.   I was watching my favorite movie (2nd favorite?)  this morning,  “The Thirteenth Warrior.”

Muslim and previking

I believe the western world needs a good dose of this movie – perhaps “thirteen” consecutive viewings . . . until you get it. 

As I watched,  I was thinking of the history of northern Europe,  the timeline,  and these Scandinavians in particular.

And it was like my “binoculars”  clicked into full focus on this timeline.

What pushed the wheel was the juxtaposition of this movie with three recent news* articles  concerning Sweden –  the probable location of “The Thirteenth Warrior.”

1.  One headline read:  “Swedish Police Admit That There Are 56 No-Go zones”  for them in Sweden.   Swedish police are NOT ALLOWED to go into many places in Swedish cities and towns.    (Oh,  this goes on in other European countries too . . . )

2.   Then I remembered this recent  photo:

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Yes, the pre-Vikings in the movie wore “skirts” – or more properly what we’d call kilts — allows for much greater freedom — uh,  in battle, that is.   These are NOT kilts.  These are Swedish men (I think;  other northern men have imitated them recently)  – and they are showing their “solidarity”  with women.   They are marching down the street in women’s skirts and hose, in public,  while their own women are being attacked and raped – and killed  by . . . “foreigners.”      (I will spare you some of the photos)

(Doesn’t take much valor to talk and make signs.)

These “foreigners”  are the invaders who have publicly declared more than once  “YOUR WOMEN ARE OURS!”   And the northern European white men run for their . . . skirts.

3.   Headlines yesterday:   “Study shows that Swedish men will not come to the aid of a Swedish woman who is being raped.”

Huh?

Now please take note:   It is true that the foreign invaders of Sweden are from southern countries and are part of the barbaric Muslims which exist today.   Therefore they feel superior to any other race or religion or society.   (But it is not their religion, necessarily, which makes them barbaric.  At the time portrayed in this movie,  the Islamic world was advancing in culture and literature and visual arts and science . . .  a little bit – until it was brought to a halt….)  —

muslim among the vikings

Now, by contrast,   the hero-narrator of “The Thirteen Warrior”   IS a Muslim, one who is cultured, refined, educated, civilized.   His intelligence and valor saves the pre-Viking society from a barbaric enemy.

Presumably these (men in skirts)  are the descendants of the Warriors in “The Thirteenth Warrior.”       Although the movie takes place in a time of around or before  800 A.D.,   the roles and functions of people within their societies have not changed.

 

Any man is made greater by his piety,  his patriotism,  and his valor.

 

So what about that Scandinavian timeline?

The pre-Viking Warriors in the movie had patriotism,  they fought for their patria – their families and lands.   They had piety;  they had a simple, unwavering faith in their gods, and knew their place before the gods.  And they certainly were brave.

The movie takes place before St. Olaf came to them.  Before St. Urhu came.  Before St.Bridget and St. Catherine,  and all the other Catholic saints were born,  named and unnamed  –  but when the Faith came,  Scandinavians were no longer the  uncivilized, barbaric  “Vikings”  of our historic imagination.

Until another king came along — and by decree took the Catholic faith away from them — well, I  know how it happened in Sweden.   This king**,  with no piety or  patriotism, preferred the   approval of Important Men of   Northern Europe to the south,    and the wealth and the status that their approval gave them.   In order to be “in league” with them, literally,  he had to give up his faith and the faith of his countrymen.

Might makes right, eh?

And so we have the devolution of society today.   Patriotism is whatever your ruler says it is.   Piety is — a troublesome idea from the past.

And valor?

Why?  Why bother?

.

This isn’t the end of our story, I don’t think.

It’s hard to put human nature down for long.   And human nature is made for piety, patriotism, and Valor!

.          Bar Cross in middle

.

*Because   the Rulers of America have given up our right to the Internet,  it may soon be illegal according to international law to link to news stories.    I will begin now, by refraining from giving you original sources.    I will “paraphrase” from personal knowledge and memory.  (56 places?  53 places?)

**Gustav Vasa    You could look up how he and his kind did this.

The word “fear” of course is the healthy, necessary fear one must have for those determined to conquer you.   But what you don’t know about the enemy,  you cannot fear.

This movie is similar to the book by Michael Crichton called Eaters of the Dead –  which in turn is inspired by Beowulf, which informed the character of Europeans for many, many centuries.

We have apparently forgotten . . . much.

.

IMAGINE – PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES OF NO 4TH COMMANDMENT

August 7, 2015

I sit here often.

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There I read, think, enjoy, contemplate, pray, assess, plan, experience, live . . .  and  you may have one of those places too.

Lately the Fourth Commandment has come up in my mind.  There are things I need to deal with.

I would usually write “Imagine – a World Without the Fourth Commandment,” a world devastated by lack of respect for those who are far older than we are,  a world that acts on arrogant pride which tells us “we can break with the past and do it our way”    — but you can imagine that yourselves.

It’s a  world without respect, dignity, honor, rejecting the wisdom of one’s parents   (and their generation – and all the generations past).      Reinventing the wheel never works.    The wheel works.

4th wheelThere are many consequences that flow from understanding God’s Commandments  (the “wheel”) and following them,  but I want to get down to particulars – a small and disturbing detailed example,  one that is common to us all.

We know our grandparents will die some day.   Our parents will die some day.   And there is nothing like a dead family member to remind us of how much we loved them — and how much we failed to love them and to show them honor.

“Honor thy father and thy mother . . . ”  says the Fourth Commandment.      Acknowledge that they are worthy to be honored.  Worthy of our love.  Worthy of our respect.

I’ve been sitting in my Reading Chair looking at the small sofa across from me:

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On that small sofa I had recently placed a beautiful afghan that my mother made for me.   It’s full size.   She used the “afghan stitch” which is an easy if somewhat monotonous activity.    And then once the afghan squares were made and stitched together,   my mother embroidered the designs on it.  The pattern came with flowers,  but my mother, on her own,  added the cross, because she personalized it for me.

quilt tissues

Excuse the tissues.   She died last year.

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Here’s a closeup of the stitches,  the white yarn and the colored yarn, all requiring  individual and deliberate  movements of her hands to create each  white “square” and each colored X.

How many thousands or tens of thousands of individual movements did this afghan require?    She intended this afghan for me and she presented it to me one day.   I was suitably impressed.  I thanked her profusely.    Often I kept it stored away from a busy household with two little potentially damaging children growing up near the afghan.

And then I took it out, and now I’m using it.

Wondering:

I wonder at all the work that went into its making.  All the effort.  The love.  My mother’s hopes that I would like it.      And I also wonder how many times did I thank her for it?    Ever again?

More importantly when she got old and had lots of time to think back on her life,  did she ever wonder  if I still  appreciated it?   Did I ever think of it?     How would she know?     Sometime during her last eight or so years I took a photo of it and intended to show it to her, thank her for it again,  tell her it was not forgotten — but by that time she had already begun to suffer from the  brain damage that always occurs after chemotherapy.     She would not .  .  .

Yes, we can still honor our parents and grandparents who have died, and the goodness and wisdom of past generations.  that’s important.

But here, from my Reading Chair,   I wish I had  been more acutely aware of the Fourth Commandment when my parents were alive.  There are consequences when we disregard it, not only for the management of “world affairs”  — No,  just consequences for us, personally.

” . . .   that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God has given thee.”

“Imagine” a world without the Fourth Commandment, you  Pop Culture Victims.    A world full of personal confusion and regrets.   All willing orphans.

God’s Laws and rules and principles are meant to keep us happy and safe, with the least amount of “regrets” tugging at us.

“IMAGINE” ?

July 29, 2015

Before I go on to the next Commandment, and then imagining what it would be like without it,  I want to tell you where I got the word from.

“Imagine.”    A song by the Beatles,   those young men who in their interviews tell us, from time to time, how their lyrics were inspired by spirit guides,  channeling,  UFO experiences, drugs, and other occult sources.   The melodies too are strangely and eerily compelling.   Sure, I’ve banged out a few Beatles songs on my piano —  but nor for long.   As attractive as the melodies are,  eventually they get to  a kind of hypnotic  repetition, like you’re stuck in a meaningless loop going nowhere (musically speaking).   Or the lyrics with the melody eventually evoke a sad, wistful longing for a “good”  that one has long since rejected (“Yesterday”)  — and can never quite get back again.     Jude can’t quite ever make it better.

But they keep trying.

(I”Imagine”  that there are no Ten commandments)   —

What does this mean for society?   One thing it means is that we are “free” to sell dead baby body parts, even though it is a felony and breaks three separate laws — but we can do it if we tell ourselves it is for “medical research”  — and it’s a good way to make a living.

What does it mean for our culture?   It means that we cannot safely trust our neighbors to have the same moral compass, the same ethical code,  that we have each devised, on our own.

What does it mean for nations and their leaders?       Here are some people who were free to rise,  free to rise all the way to the top,  whatever way they could,  without restraint.     (Because rejecting God means rejecting his restraints upon us,  right?   We – and our Rulers – are free to get whatever we want, right?)

CHART killed by dictatorsA little blurry, maybe,   but each drop of blood is a million people killed by atheistic, socialist dictators.   National socialist,   Marxist socialist, or Democratic socialist.   It doesn’t matter what they call themselves,   these leaders believe that the State is the Ruler over the people . . . and the State is the source of rights that the people have.  The State gives  rights to some people   — and therefore can take away these rights.   Even the Right to Life.

Over a hundred million citizens killed by their own governments in the murderous, largely atheistic 20th Century.

I’m sure you’ve seen those statistics before.

The  song “Imagine”   influenced us to imagine that the world could be better without “religion.”   Those who distort the meaning of the word religion, and who do not understand history, and are predisposed to reject God and His moral foundations for us.  we are to   “imagine”  a utopia filled with people holding hands and walking through the green grass . . .

.. . .   because people are “basically good”  and if religion just let them alone,  they would be free.   Free to do whatever they wanted.  Free to get whatever they wanted.

There is a  famous poster of the Beatles saying “Imagine  No  Religion” should truthfully carry the faces of the men in the chart.

It’s about one century after  the Frenchman Bastiat that I wrote about in the last posting  had written his observations of how his — and European  society in general —  were trending.    Just one century later.   Imagine:  no God.  No religion.   No moral restraints to follow.    And you have Power!

And the word utopia means:  No Place

A world without the First Commandment  is a dangerous place for created beings.   In the End,  it is unworkable.

“IMAGINE” — NO FIRST COMMANDMENT

July 29, 2015

So, I’ve got another series going.   One unifying theme that reaches out into many areas of interest.    It’s the theme of the moral Commandments that humans live by — or reject and die by.

Underlying all this theme is this concept:   Human nature is the plan of human action.

Say that out loud today,  ten times!    Or until it makes sense.

The principles of right and just action arise from that human nature, and these principles are codified for us in the Ten Commandments.

But now,  today,    “IMAGINE”    the First Commandment were not true.    “I am the Lord thy God;  thou shalt have no other gods before me … ”      Imagine:    No God.

That gives rise to this likely principle:   “If there is no God,  then everything is permissible.”

No rules.

Just —  as the neo-pagans say —  Do what ever you want,  just don’t hurt anybody.

After society quits acting like a bunch of 8 year olds let out for recess with no supervision,   then the adult considerations begin.   Unfortunately, if there is no God,  what the adults have created is confusion,  strife,   license, and the unhappy necessity of having to constantly deal with the consequences of unguided decisions and misguided actions.

Here is a quotation from a French economist of the 19th century, observing what happens as a society begins to reject God:
 “When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable

and despises what is honorable,

punishes virtue and rewards vice,

encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful,

applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult,

a nation turns its back on progress,

and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.”

The man who wrote these observations is Frederic Bastiat;  and he is a Revolutionary  (Liberal, socialist,  progressive, etc.) and is using a human intellect unaided by religion.   Still,  he was created with a human intellect and he can make good observations.    Just a little dose of the words coming from the news-entertainment media people will give plenty of examples of his observations.

Many feel that our society is “in a mess.”

“The problem is acceptance of our destructive behaviors as harmless when, in reality, they’re sins precisely because they’re destructive.”   

Let’s “IMAGINE”  there is no God who has given us boundaries that keep us safe and sane.   Destruction ensues;  and we can learn our lessons only after “great catastrophe.”       This is what Bastiat observed in his society long ago.

Don’t we hate it when our politicians act like they can do whatever they want?    Don’t we hate it when people commit felonies, break our laws, but are honored, pitied, aided,  held up as examples?   Don’t we hate it when things that are promoted and financed and encouraged turn out to be ultimately very harmful for us or for our society?   On and on it goes . . .   in a society that has rejected God.

Meep-Meep THE FIRST COMMANDMENT

July 28, 2015

Aw, geeeeee. . . . .
wiley cliff

Yesterday I wrote about the cartoon cat who shaved off his whiskers because he thought it would make him look sexy,  cool,  modern;  but all that happened is that he lost an important guide for daily navigation.

That’s as dumb as human beings cutting themselves off from the foundation of our knowledge of our Creator and of His Laws.

It’s  Wile  E. Coyote in the cartoon picture above.   Remember him?   (He was the chief villain in the Road Runner cartoon.)   The cliff that he relied upon to support him is cut off!

wile e in air

Yep.  Either direction,  he has nothing to stand on.

Without the Commandments of God to stand on,  we have no real principles or reasons or values or justifications for anything that we do.

No matter how clever we are; no matter how smart we think we are;  no matter how “complex and nuanced”  we make life out to be . . .

wile e clever
. . . or no matter how “quick and busy”  we are,   no matter how  “occupied”  we are, no matter how “distracted”   we keep ourselves . . .

wile e busy fast
. . . without guidance from God’s Commandments . . .

wile e splat

. . .  we’ll just go SPLAT in the end.

What’s that First Commandment?

“Thou shalt have no other gods before Me;   thou shalt not  to worship  other gods by making graven images (statues) of them and bowing down to them.”

Put aside the One True God,  and other gods will automatically move in on you.

These gods can be our “cleverness,”  our “smartness,”  and all our sophisticated ideologies and agendas.  We worship such things by keeping our minds  occupied and distracted and busy according to the demands of our own personal agendas.

But if we put any other of these gods ahead of God-Most-High,  then we too go splat in the end — and the name for a human end-of-life splat . . .  is Hell. 

rr for meep meep

USING THE MAGIC MIRROR (dont look if…)

June 27, 2015

I just wrote to explain why I’m not leaving this place of mental bullying and intimidation but will continue write, using my MAGIC MIRROR, as it were, to deflect back certain not-so-subtle messages aimed at all of us.

Don’t Look If. . .    Please skip this posting if you are Comfortably Numb and easily offended.    If you are Comfortably morally Numb.     This is not for you.  Sincerely.

But first —

khrushchev  shoeI’ve written about this man here before.   He is Premier Khrushchev.    Yes, that’s his shoe in his hand, as he gave his “We Will Bury You”   speech before the United Nations.   He is yelling at us, saying that his Soviet Union will prevail because Socialist values will prevail.  The shoe-banging  is just for emphasis.

khrushchev wordsIt was the time of the ’50s and ’60s and we were the strongest,  generally most moral nation in the world — so we kind of ignored him.  We actually laughed at anyone who would take his shoe off in public . . .

What we didn’t know is that they, and other extreme leftists like him,  had a PLAN;  it was called variously the Communist Manifesto,  the Humanist Manifesto ….   One of the first planks of the Manifestos was to corrupt the moral fabric of American society.    (Look it up.)   Well they knew that a morally corrupt society is a society with a weakened character.      And a society with a weakened character, confusion, and an emphasis on pleasure is a society that is EASILY LED.

Easily led to where they wanted to take us.   (Under their domination, though they don’t call themselves “communists” anymore.)

That was three generations ago,  three generations of a PLAN that we didn’t know was in place.

Three generations and we now have unwatchable television “programming” and laws permitting and promoting immoral and harmful activities that have now become commonplace.    Billions, perhaps trillions of our own money is being wasted by theft, bribery, dishonesty,  bullying tactics in all kinds of endeavors — just for one example.

So now we have at least three generations of people who find this commonplace — and a “Sup eme”  Cou**  that reflects a society that has been thoroughly demoralized  and de-moralized.

We should realize this small “Sup eme”  group of people have made serious moral mistakes:

(Now usually,    . . . )

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Or any other issue that the “Sup eme”  Cou**    has been so wrong on  because  once they decided that, no, slaves aren’t to be counted as inanimate property,  but must be considered among the population census of the great plantations; however,  they are to be considered only 3/5 of a person, rather than one whole unit of a person.

shckles and chainsDid you morally agree with that Decision?   Were they right just because they are “Sup  eme”?

And then once   that “Sup eme”  group of people  decided that we may legally  kill our unborn children.   Those who “rejoiced” at this decision do not want to know what Roe v Wade  means:

aborted quarterMy little grandson was born prematurely.

aborted babyBut he wasn’t burned to death or sliced apart or swirled around in a powerful vacuum until he was torn apart.   He never felt that mortal pain.

This “Sup eme”  group of individuals also ignored our Constitution and our laws and the common meaning of words to make the Health Control Bill “legal.”     Immoral, but legal.

no med servicesI have friends who can no longer afford any medical health care.     There are people who are deemed by remote government bureaucrats that they are too sick to receive any medical treatment.     There are many doctors who can no longer afford to practice their medical skills, nor have the time to fill out hours and hours of daily paperwork.   And our Rulers tell the doctors what they can and cannot do for us.    Many of my friends and I are reaching an age where we will be “too old”  to receive medical care.

If you dare go to a physician,  he must report ALL of your private information to the easily hackable government Websites which IT people generally regard as a joke.   Unsecured – if they even work properly.     You might as well go stand naked in the public square;  your medical records are that exposed.

Less medical care.   Much higher costs.     Private information openly available to hackers.   An immoral assault on the medical needs of a society.

And lastly, for now,   this “Sup eme”  group of anti-American individuals have decided that we Americans must pass THEIR  Litmus Test  for  “acceptable”  beliefs.   How many times have we heard that our First Amendment rights END as we leave our own homes?    (First Amendment:  Freedom of Religious Expression)    You can have your private religious beliefs as long as you don’t let anyone else know about them and  as long as you don’t use them in public.

The Litmus Test becomes, again,  Do you live here? —

fantasy land. . . .Here in Fantasy Land where we ignore Natural Law, we ignore the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, where we ignore Christian teaching,  where we ignore the medical evidence of the consequences of behavior in such a Land.

I have read several times recently that no longer is the remedy to be found in our   “elections.”

It used to be “bullets or ballots.”     But now it is neither “bullets nor ballots.”

The remedy lies somewhere in the moral fabric of our society as a whole, and in individuals who make up that moral fabric.

“We will bury you!”      And:  “We will give you enough rope to hang yourselves.”

I fear, though . . .

rope. . .  I fear that our heads are already ever so comfortably in that noose. . . .

And so in spite of that offensive banner on this page,  I will go on writing.

THE CAMELLIA, THE CHURCH, AND THE SCIENCES

May 30, 2015

Pure beauty!

cam white pure
The Camellia stands for Perseverance.   One reason is that this is the 30th day of May, and it’s noted that you’ve come this far, nearly to the end of May in honoring Christ by bringing these meaningful flowers daily to His mother.    That’s perseverance!   On my part it is accidental perseverance;  I never intended to continue these flowers all throughout the month.  I didn’t think I could!

I hope you will practice some perseverance in reading this post, because there is much to think about.  Pick and choose what you like:

cam white
The Camellia is a beautiful flower that grows on an evergreen shrub that is scientifically a member of the tea plant.  That same bush or shrub which gives us tea leaves in the Far East is related to this bush, the Camellia sinensis.

Some reddish Camellias:
cam bush

The “tea Camellia”  is another glorious example of the beautiful flora that fills this planet,  flowers of so many kinds that we haven’t even seen or identified them all!    Each grass, tree, evergreen, bush, flower – whatever –  each one in its own way praises some aspect of its Creator.    That’s why we need an endless variety –  because the Creator is infinite.

We do have names for the plants that we know about, however, so how did the Camellia get its name?

GK Chesterton wrote shortly after his reception into the Church as an adult that “The Catholic Church is a lot bigger seen from the inside than it is seen from without.”    Like him,  I am astonished at the riches inside.  All that I knew before of the following subjects,  “Camellias”  and “The Church” and “Science”  seem like pablum for young children compared to what I have learned from my vantage point within the Church.

The Catholic Church teaches that “Science is the knowledge of things from their causes.”     So,  there is such a principle as Cause and Effect.   The material world can be known from our senses;  and our intellects have the ability to know objective reality.    All this makes Science possible, in its various forms.   No one was ever “put to death” or tortured by the Church in actual history because of Science.  The Church promotes the study of all sciences, even to the point of using the very “mysterious”  giant telescope on Mt. Graham of which so much speculation by outsiders  is made.

Armed with this intellectual training from the Church,  the Jesuit Linnaeus set out to categorize and describe —  well, all the plants he knew about.   (You’ve studied Linnaeus in high school science, I’m sure.)   When his friend  Georg Josef Kamel discovered what we call the Camellia,  Linnaeus named it after him:  Kamel – Camellia.    Father Kamel himself practiced perseverance as a Jesuit missionary in the 17th century.

Just from that short story,  one can spend a lifetime learning more about philosophy,  about cause and effect, about  the natural sciences,  botany,  about geography,   about the Jesuits,  about each of these men and the contributions they made —

Or you can just indulge yourself in the beauty of the Camellia.

cam walk
I first learned about Camellias during a trip to the beautiful Bellingrath Gardens in Mississippi.   It was a long, long time ago, but I remember the beauty and serenity of those Gardens.   Coming from the North —  a big city of concrete and tall buildings —  I had no idea that gardens of such artistry and magnitude had been created.

cam mounds
I walked for hours in hushed silence, amazed at the variety of flowers that existed.   Later, as an adult,  as I learn about St Therese of Lesieux, “the Little Flower,” I can easily visualize what she is talking about when I remember Bellingrath Gardens.

cam water

Now, if you’ve “persevered” this far,  I’m sure you understand  what value there is in Perseverance in general.  It always rewards you with something worthwhile.    Perseverance is a crucial quality,  whether it’s the academic  study of something, the practicing of some skill,  or fidelity to God right up to your entrance into Heaven,

Do not forget to pray for “Final Perseverance” !!

It is easy to associate Perseverance with Our Lady who, against what we might call “reason,” stayed faithful to the will of God and to His promises to her, and then stayed faithful to her Son,  right through His own horrible death and on into the glory of His Ascension and Resurrection, and through her own entrance into Heaven.

Camellias for the Virgin Mary!

A MIMOSA OF GENEROSITY

May 15, 2015

Generosity is the quality we associate with Mary, the mother of Christ,  today.    This quality is suggested by the little mimosa flower.

mimosaThey are made of many little petals reaching out, giving a sort of soft, puffy appearance.

A close-up  —

mimosa close upI’m not able to write much tonight,  so I will just remind us all that generosity is not measured by how many checks you write to help other people;   nor by how many dollar bills you may hand out to the needy;   nor by how unselfish with your time you are when people need your help;  nor by any act which can be seen, felt,  quantified, or marked down on a ledger — not even the invisible one that the angels are said to be keeping of our deeds.

My thought for you and for me tonight is to remember that generosity refers to a  natural responsiveness  within us that makes us ready and easily willing to give ourselves to others, without even a first thought.   Generosity of spirit resides so deeply and naturally within us, that we are generally unaware of it.   It’s a way of life.   Generosity is a gift from God,  a gift for those who are His and are able to receive it.

Here’s a pink one:

mimosa pinkThere is a warmth that comes forth from generous people.   A soft loveliness,  a safe feeling, because they are the right hand of our good God.

*    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *    *

And now I shall go back to bed again to fight the unwelcome virus that has been so generous to me. . . .

LAUREL

May 13, 2015

Busy today.   Tired now.    Did hours of mind-bending studying.   Prepared notes for my classes.   Did enough outdoor work to make me feel physically tired.    So I worked hard,  did what I had to do.

And now I have to write about a flower.

laurel pin kThe Laurel.

All  these flowers this month are chosen to represent a quality that is associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary.   The Laurel  represents Duty.

Well,  it’s probably appropriate because Mary actually did all that was required of her.   She probably did her Duty and didn’t complain about either . . . like being tired at the end of the day.

laurel stripesThis looks like a sturdy plant,  cranking out perfect little flowers,  like it’s supposed to.   Perhaps that’s why it’s chosen to represent Duty.

There are many varieties of laurel, many different appearances,  and then there is the Crown of Laurels that was awarded to those who won the  serious physical Games played by the ancients.    Was the crown made of the leaves from this same plant?

laurel crownThis is a gilded laurel crown,  but the real one, the one you wanted to win,  was made of leaves.  the leaves will wilt and fade away quickly, and there was a message in that.   Whether you are an athlete,  a general, or a common worker, it is noble to do your duty and to do it well.    “Virtue is its own reward.”

Doing your duty is hard work sometimes,  but you must do what you must do, and to fulfill your duty,  you must do it well.

Come to think of it,  that’s why I’m so tired tonight.   And rather than complaining,  I can remember there is someone else who did her duty.   We can all have recourse to her when we’re weary, and our life’s work is not over yet.   Mary,  the Mother of Jesus;  she’d understand.

THE MIGNONETTE

May 9, 2015

Nothing spectacular or delicate about this flower,  it’s easy to overlook when out in the wild, common along rocky shores of the eastern Mediterranean, now in gardens everywhere.

mignonetteBut very close up the mignonette has a wonderful spicy sweet fragrance that makes it worth a second look.   The fragrance is quite attractive and compelling, according to those who know this flower, but you have to get up close to the flower.   For that reason,  it’s chosen to represent the practice of hidden virtues,  exemplified so well by the Mother of Jesus, and so we offer the mignonette to her today, on this ninth day of May.

There are not too many words in the Bible spoken by Mary, nor, for that matter,  not too many words about her.   She led  a life hidden from us, her would be audience,  but a life of virtue, faithfulness  and love,  hidden in God.

They say Character is what you choose to do in private – when no one is looking, or no one will ever know.    Your true character will come out.

For my classes, I call that your Inner Spiritual Reality.   It is that Reality which you will take with you when you stand before your Creator, at your death.    Now, while you’re still alive, is the time to carefully create and cultivate that Inner Reality of the spirit.

Strengthening the practice of Hidden Spiritual virtues is a good way to create a holy and beautiful Inner Reality.    Although Mary was created and saved all at once, and was always beautiful and  sweet and holy,    it’s all right if it takes us a “bit of time” to become like her.

Like Mary, who showed us the way,   we must practice the virtues, hidden, to please God only.   We may not look much like on the outside,  but it’s the beautiful fragrance of our inner lives that matter.  Like the mignonette.