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Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous

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June 2013

There Can Be Peace Despite the Surrounding Physical and Moral Tempests

In Jeffrey R. Holland’s book, For Times of Trouble: Spiritual Solace from the Psalms, he comments on Psalms 57:7:

“My heart is fixed, O God, my heart is fixed…”

Jeffrey R. Holland states, “We can’t always control external experiences. We can’t always control the forces of nature or mortality. Things swirl around us coming from the complexity of [this life] that won’t always yield to our wishes. But we can fix our heart. We can remain true, we can keep our integrity, we can hold to that which we believe.”

Despite the moral swirl coming from the new normal being externally imposed on us as individuals and imposed on our schools, churches, and businesses from those who profit off of confusion and nuanced morality, there can be peace had in our souls.

Despite the threat to freedom of conscience, freedom of speech, and freedom of religion, a peace can be had from which compassion, civility, understanding and love can spring forth. A peace that defies Justice Kennedy’s inaccurate characterization of those opposed to any component or any of the outcomes of the sexual freedom experiment as “improper animus”.

While it is incomprehensible for those interest groups promoting their agendas to believe, as John Smoot notes in his article, Children Need Our Marriage Tradition, most of us, gay or straight, can wake up and love and respect our gay or straight friends, relatives, and neighbors and still have opposing opinions on marriage. Most of us, can still marvel at the beauty of all children no matter how conceived and still be strongly opposed to any cultural change….

As Christ explained this peace, which does not mean freedom from external worldly turmoil or attacks, would be beyond worldly comprehension because it embraces virtue, integrity, and sacrifice, and includes the concept of love:

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”—John 14:27.

Good from the Beginning to the End: What Matters is Not Your Matter

Whether in utero or on your penultimate breath on the next to last day of your fantastic life, your contribution to society, your legacy to your loved ones, is not your body or mind but rather your spirit. It is your spirit that lingers, comforts,haunts and inspires our memories.

For better or worse, no matter what state of development your body or mind may be in, allow the lights to have a chance to shine and don’t turn off the lights before their time. It is civilized to celebrate life and barbaric to extinguish what is inconvenient, and alas it is darn tootin’ medieval, incredibly blackhearted, to make a deathwish a right.

Step Away from that Mythical Line that Supposedly Separates Science and Religion

If you haven’t heard there is good news, although it’s not necessarily new news. It has actually been around for at least 400 to 500 years. Religion and Science; and, Science and Religion are not mutually exclusive. Most of what is science has and does become easily incorporated into what leads many religious people to wonder about, to embrace, to include and even work in science. And, many of our greatest scientists past and present have held religious beliefs.

It also equally important to make the distinction that atheism or humanism is not the same as science.

And even though, I majored in Sociology and loved it, much of what masquerades as social sciences, beginning with the likes of Freud, is really just pseudoscience, strident atheist using the scientific method and terminology to support their unscientific conjectures. The worse offense is the use of all uncertainty and doubt as proof that there is no absolute truth or universal truths. Perverting the fact that truth does exist, but it is our understanding of those truths that is selective and subjective. Honestly, loyalty, patience, peace and joy, don’t go out of existence or become situational because humans fail to understand and apply them correctly.

Additionally, this misuse of science has been used and continues to be used to explain away any possibility of a divine purpose to life or to mock and ridicule eternal values and to propose a new experimental morality for a “brave, new world”. Of course, the new morality isn’t reality morality at all, or what we could call a definable set of beliefs, but a hope, a wish, a fancy, a mythology that our moral actions can be separated from their consequences or at best be taken care of in 30 minutes. But life is not like at TV sitcom. Life is deeper than feel good sound bites, pithy comebacks and it’s cannot be supported by “schizophrenic subterfuge” that creates false distinctions and leads to confusion, dissension, cries about false inequalities and ultimately collective misery and spiritual poverty.

Just at the brain is not the same as the mind and just as there is our physical heart and then there is our “heart”, we know there are two parts to our natures or our reality as individuals. And this reality cannot be controlled by our selfish passions, needs, desires and pleasures without causing serious damage to our physical and spiritual selves as well as the other people in our lives. And we know that life is an ongoing struggle between our physical selves and our spiritual selves. But that struggle is not for one to be in control of the other, but the struggle is to harmonize those dual parts of our souls.

Despite saying earlier that Science and Religion are not exclusive, there is at least one area where science, as we know it, and believe cannot co-exist. We know that science can lead one to speculate about God and to surmise about His possible existence or at least the existence of some creative intelligence in the universe, but it cannot cause one to belief God. This, my friend, requires faith.

Oppressively Insincere Rot: Turning off the Attempts at Irony Once in A While

Wasting Words;
Like some hollow purge;
Four or Five times a day
Do you work or do you not?
Time to tune out
the trifling thought
Of the unceasing babbling of
the distant polyglot.

These ideas have the semblance
Of something deep and profound
Dabbling in irony,
Always prevalent
Always around,

As if cool carelessness
by itself can be considered art.
But, the words fail to penetrate
To anyone’s core,
Or lead them to ponder the
the mysteries of the heart.
Vainly the words fade easily in and out
Like the drunken rambling and shout
of the mad and crazed lout.

Lazy stream of consciousness
Careless, unfiltered sentences
Appear to have the utmost pretenses
But, this is not a heartfelt journal,
No tis not!
But is nothing more
Than two-dimensional abstract
yet popular self-indulgent rot.

It’s the Dream That Makes Sense of the Sound and Fury

There is no significance to the sound and fury of life…unless something is being affirmed…It must be apparent that logic depends on the dream, and not the dream upon logic. We must admit this when we realize the logical processes rest ultimately on classification, that classification is by identification, and that identification is intuitive. It follow then that a waning of the dream results in confusion of counsel…Whether we describe this as a decay of religion or loss of interest in metaphysics, the result is the same; for both are centers with power to integrate, and if they give way, there begins a dispersion which never ends until the culture lies in fragments.–Richard M. Wright, Ideas Have Consequences, pp.20-21

Emerson’s Jigger of Wisdom

“The years teach much which the days never know.”-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Guardian Angel Recall

I am starting to have a sneaky suspicion that the guardian angel assigned to look after me looks and act like Rip Taylor, the Prince of Pandemonium, the King of Camp and Confetti.https://www.google.com/search?q=rip+taylor&client=safari&hl=en&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=eXarUa7wBKO8igLxioCYDA&ved=0CJ8BELAE&biw=320&bih=356&sei=sCisUZCYLo3wigLNmYHABw#biv=i%7C23%3Bd%7C4lPhA1jVnIPGBM%3A

Reality, it’s a gas.

Reality is not something we can control and seems to have an unlimited capacity to surprise us.

Poems from Times Past: How Far is it to Bethlehem Town?

How far is it to Bethlehem Town?
Just over Jerusalem’s hills adown…

Sunned white and sweet on olived slopes
Gold lighted still with Judah’s hopes.

And so we find the Shepherd’s field,
And plain that give rich Boaz yield,
And look where Herod’s villa stood.
We thrill that earthly parenthood
Could foster Christ who was all-good…

–How Far to Bethlehem?, Madeleine Sweeny Miller

…He haunts the lowly highways
Where human hopes have trod
The Via Dolorosa
Up to the heart of God.

He looms a lonely figure
Along the fringe of night,
As lonely as a cedar
Against the lonely light.

Judean hills are holy
Judean fields are fair,
For one can find the footprints
Of Jesus everywhere.

–Judean Hills Are Holy, William L. Stidger

Let not our hearts be busy inns,
That have no room for Thee,
But cradles for the living Christ
And his nativity.

Still driven by a thousand cares
The pilgrims come and go;
The hurried caravans press on;
The inns are crowded so!

Here are the rich and busy ones,
With things that must be sold,
No room for simple things within
This hostelry of gold.

Yet hunger dwells within these walls,
These shining walls and bright,
And blindness groping here and there
Without a ray of light.

Oh, lest we starve, and lest we die,
In our stupidity,
Come, Holy Child, within and share
Our hospitality…

–Christmas Prayer, Ralph Spaulding Cushman

Above the road to Bethlehem
When I was very young,
A twilight sky of tender blue
With golden stars was hung…

But now the road to Bethlehem
Seems cold and steep and far;
It wanders through a wilderness
Unlit by any star.

The earth I tread is frozen hard;
The winter chills my breath;
On either hand rise evil shapes
From valleys dark with death.

The air is tense with moans of pain
A cries of bitter hate,
Where bloodstained hills and
Shattered stones
Lie black and desolate.

How can the sacred heart of God
Heal all this guilt and grief?
Lord, I believe. And yet this night,
Help Thou mine unbelief!

Purge thou mine eyes that they may see
Thy star across the gloom!
Touch Thou my heart, that I may lose
These agonies of doom!

Now in the darkness guide my feet,
Give holy strength to them
To walk with childlike faith once more
The road to Bethlehem!

–The Road to Bethlehem, Watson Kirkconnell

The angel song still trembles
In Bethle’em’s holy air;
The little hills lie sleeping,
The bright stars still shine fair.

Gone is the rustle of the wings
Heard in the watch serene;
The Golden Hour of God is past,
His glory has been seen.

But, oh, the hearts that since have waked,
The souls that have found rest
Because small Bethlehem one Day
Took heaven to its breast!

–After Christmas, Consuelo Valencia

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