Posted tagged ‘Choices’

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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WHY DO EASTER WEEK?

March 30, 2016

 Why do Easter Week at all?    I thought of some reasons:

Banner Easter Wed
I  “do”  Easter Week along with the Church,  (not the New Version, by the way, but the original, ongoing Church) because it affords me the time to savor the things of Eternity that we may come to know while still here on Earth.

bed of air
The things of this Earth change and pass away so quickly that there is nothing solid to hang on to.  Placing all your hope in this world is like resting on  a bed of clear Jell-O — really! —  it’s comfortable and easy and kind of fun at first,  but you sink down deeper and deeper and deeper and you begin to struggle for air, for the sight of other people,  for something firm to grasp onto — and there is nothing, because the things of this Earth offer no solid foundation.
Christ died on the Cross to give us a firm foundation to grasp onto –  an eternal foundation that will not change and that will always be benevolent and full of personal love for us.

I “do”  Easter week because as I catch myself growing older,  I understand  how much for a greater purpose is the time that is given to each one of us.   Time is fleeting!   Time is passing!
As you’re sinking deeper into that  bed of clear, comfy Jell-O,  there are many distractions offered on the way down.   Seems like fun.   Seems important,  for a moment in time.
How precious is the Time given to us?   Here is a quote  from Mother Angelica, who died just recently,    as she lay on her death bed, hanging on to life, hanging on,  hanging on.  She was asked why do you want to keep on living?   . . .  “Because I will have suffered one more day for the love of God… It will exercise you in virtue. But most of all I will know God better. You cannot measure the value of one new thought about God in your own life.'”

One.  New.  Thought.   About.  God. . . .

That’s what Time can give

I  “do”  Easter Week because I want to understand the difference between God in His Heaven, on the one hand, and this Fallen World, on the other hand.   It’s a clear choice.  The more I understand, the more my soul will choose God truly and rightly.  It works this way:  the more you know God, the more you love Him;  the more you love Him, the more you want to know;  the more you know God,  the more you love Him . . . .
One knows his loved one better by spending time together.   At least an Octave of days,  right?  And then every day of your life.

Finally,  “I do”   Easter Week because of the real contrast between Time and Eternity.   Nothing final happens in Time,  but I’d rather not spend my Eternity in a permanent state of Hellish, agonizing regret and despair and self-hatred (I should have known!).  I’d rather not have an Eternity being a plaything of the Enemies of my Soul,  the Enemies of God, who themselves are in such torment that not even tormenting me can ease their pain – but they have an eternity to try.

Time.  An Octave of time.   In the Epistle reading given to us today,  Peter is giving some powerful teaching about time.  He says,  You all, in the audience here,  the God who loves you so much worked through your ancestors to prepare you for Christ, and then, in your ignorance of Him He was put to death.  You denied the Holy One and the Just – and desired that a murderer be granted unto you. . . .  I know that you did this out of ignorance,  but now there is Time to repent – time to think,  time to come to Christ for forgiveness and for your salvation.

A paraphrase, of course,  emphasizing the use we can make of our Time remaining here on Earth.   The Truth dawns on us,  the Un-Truth becomes unworkable, intolerable, the desire for something Good and Lasting grows, and the Will comes into play — Time,  Time to choose!

That’s what having an Octave of Time is all about.