THE REMNANT NEWSPAPER:The Anti-Christian Pogrom

India today, America tomorrow

( The stark reality of deadly schoolhouse violence and the intellectual fraud that is the pathetic national narrative makes my blood run cold.  I don’t think I’m alone when I say, “the handwriting is on the wall”.  To those who are awake and standing watch, the truth is clear: we are witnessing the breakdown of our national social structure.

We know in our hearts that the political power and force has shifted into the court of those who adhere to the philosophy of socialism and the rules of Saul Alinsky.

How quickly and to what extent will the radical and tyrannical elements metastasize into street violence depends on the strength and resistance of the conservative Christian body.  Let’s be honest, the Christian body, for the most part, is in denial of the reality that threatens its existence.

Read more . . .

The Person and the Personal: Two Modes of the Same Being – Truth and Charity Forum

Pope John Paul II

In the present-day world of bioethics, it is commonplace for people to believe that they can make morally valid decisions based on the notion that they are “autonomous” beings who act for themselves alone and not persons who are called to love others in a personal way.

Consequently, many believe that they have a “right” to have a baby, to take but one example, and to the technology that could satisfy their desires. The “autonomous” person would also have a “right” to abortion, contraception, and other questionable bioethical procedures.

From the article: The Person and the Personal: Two Modes of the Same Being – Truth and Charity Forum.

Failure to Commit

"It is love alone that gives worth to all...

“It is love alone that gives worth to all…” _ St. Teresa of Avila

Sometimes a failure to commit is telling us something quite different than what we usually take away from the experience. For instance, in my case, I have a long history of these events and they have carried over in life to the present day.

While attending Long Island University in Brooklyn back in the 60’s I had a desire to get my degree in philosophy and eventually teach at the college level. However, as a philosophy major, I blamed the philosophy courses and especially the teachers for being second rate at best. So, using the wisdom of my twenty some years of life, I changed majors to English Literature and after a few more years of boredom quit college to pursue my real attraction: worldly distraction. It was a fall not unlike that of Adam. Strike one, for failing to commit. The question which I now pose to you is, was the fault in someone else or within me?

After bouncing around New York, earning rent and food money driving a cab, it struck me that it would be nice to follow my latest dream of being a blues guitar player. With guitar in hand I left for Boston. So I entered Berklee School of Music and pursued music along with some very talented people. But once again, I failed to commit. My excuse this time was that I just wasn’t good enough to continue this dream. The way I looked at it, was this: if I were an artist, my genius would most likely be in painting pictures of Elvis on black velvet with glow-in-the-dark colors. So whether or not I had the talent is not the question anymore because, for all my excuses, Berklee had accepted me into their musical studies program. Therefore, in their opinion, I had the ability to succeed. Strike two, for failing to commit. So I was back to driving cabs again; this time for many years. Was that failure based on lack of talent or lack of motivation or just plain sloth?

God had a plan to rescue me and I almost failed to commit here as well. But thankfully I did commit to my wife of thirty-four years who I fortuitously met while earning a meager living as a cab driver. Well it was about time that I committed to something. Halleluiah, for commitment number one! Was this commitment made because I saw the imperfections in my wife or in myself that would destine us to failure? Obviously not. True love it seems, makes the imperfect, perfect. It heals the wounds of life while making the impossible, possible. We become blind to any obstacles that might stand in our way.

Well life proceeds and I earned a living selling industrial products, becoming adept in electric motors, solenoids, transformers and industrial fans, to name a few. It supported my family a whole lot better than driving a cab and took me all over the country. I committed to a career in life which was made not because I loved selling and loved what I did but because I loved my family and their well-being. This commitment was also made for love and not for my own fulfillment. Another lesson to be learned.

My wife was a Catholic and I was a ‘nothing’ at the time we met and married. I had always been interested in religion but again, I could find nothing that I was willing to commit to or fully have faith in. I was a fallen-away protestant.

Years before I met my wife I had become a lover of Buddhist writings, especially in Tibetan Buddhism. But I did not get Buddhism: it was for an Eastern mind and that was just too abstract from my nature. However, some Buddhist writer, who I cannot remember, suggested to his readers the works of St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila. So I read Dark Night of the Soul by St. John of the Cross as well as another Catholic Book he suggested; The Cloud of Unknowing which had been written anonymously. Both of them are on Catholic mystical prayer. They had more impact on me than I realized at the time because I read them through the spectacles of Buddhist thought.

Years later, my wife was raising our children in the Catholic faith and as a dutiful but unbelieving father I would accompany them to Mass on Sundays. It was during this period, inspired by the Franciscan Monks who were the pastors of the church I attended (which looked like a Spanish mission from the Middle Ages), I began to read again the mystical writings of Catholicism. My reading accelerated as I became convinced of the truth of what I read. God tested my commitment by delaying my entrance into the Church by almost 3 years as I watched with sadness the old Franciscans, who were becoming a bit senile, forget that I was even getting religious instructions from them. So I awaited a new pastor and after he got his footings in his new assignment, I again started the whole process anew with him. Yes, maybe I can form a new habit of commitment after all: this was commitment number three. I had committed to read about the faith, to go through with the sacraments to gain membership to the faith and to abide as best I could, to the teachings of the faith.

My intentions and my desires, however, were not to merely be a pew sitter. I wanted more. I wanted what St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avilla had: a real substantial union with God while still in my human condition. In other words, I wanted to be a saint in this life; to enter by the “narrow gate.” My desire drew me to Carmel and to spiritual retreats given by traditionalists who said Mass according to the Missal of 1962; which is sometimes referred to as the Tridentine Rite or the Extraordinary Rite. I attended classes for the Third Order of Carmelites or OCDS. Once again, I saw my interest wavering. I judged everyone and everybody and only saw an order that did not live up to what I had imagined in the writings of the Carmelite Saints. Was it the Order that was changed by the modern world or was it me, once again? I could not commit and therefore retired to my own hermitage hidden within my family life. Strike three, you’re out!

Apparently not in God’s game of baseball. We get many balls to hit and many strikes that we take while we just watch them cross the plate, right in the sweet spot, without even taking a swing.

So here I am, still drawn to a life of prayer, to which I am not willing to commit. I pray but I am no prayer warrior. I am weak and suffer from the capital sin of sloth. My inabilities to commit in life always show me the same things should I care to watch and listen: commitment comes from love and sacrifice not just because we want it. Pray for me, that Christ might increase my faith, my hope and my love: and that through this increase find the courage necessary to make a sacrificial commitment to Him through my prayer and all my actions. Commitments are sometimes hard to make and even harder to keep. Pray for me, as I also pray for thee.__ a favorite form of ‘goodbye for now’ from my old and honorable friend and mentor, to whom I simply refer to as Monsignor. May his prayers from heaven have even more effect now than they did while he walked this earth.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality uses multimedia content. Appli...

“My dear brothers, never forget, when you hear the progress of enlightenment vaunted, that the devil’s best trick is to persuade you that he doesn’t exist!” __ Charles Baudelaire, French Poet, 1864

The above quote about sums up what the enlightenment brought with it. When Satan is no longer real then sin is no longer real as our Pope some 80 years hence proclaimed: “the sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin” (Pope Pius XII, Radio Message to the U.S. National Catechetical Congress in Boston, October 26, 1946).

Now some 65 years later I think we are entering a new era of the enlightenment: the era where true reality does not exist. Virtual reality is now more believed and viewed than is the actual lives and events taking place in the real world. It seems we have a generation that might ask: “what is real?” It reminds me of when Pilate said to Christ: “what is truth?”

We wring our hands about the loss of moral values and the loss of patriotism in our country. But it seems that the whole world is living in a virtual reality; completely absorbed in their virtual friends, music, texting, videos, television, movies and the like. Is it that the technology just took us there or is it that we made such a mess of the real world that the virtual world is more appealing? When our young people who grew up with this technology are watched we will notice that they do not converse so much with one another. Instead that parallel play like developing children, each involved in their own self-absorbed interests. You’ll see a table of young (and sometimes older people as well) not conversing with one another but each either listening to their mp3 players, surfing the web, texting, watching movies or updating their Facebook pages with seemingly little or no interest in the reality of the moment.

I’m not sure how this bodes for mankind socially, economically, morally or developmentally. I only know that present reality is a must for those who seek Truth. They won’t find a virtual Truth or Good. In other words, you won’t find God within some alternate universe of 0’s and 1’s. The effect of the visual horror that is portrayed by so many video games, television shows and movies has blunted the reality of the horror that exists in the real world. They have become numb or indifferent to it and need only change the channel or, as I suspect, bring their virtual reality into the world as their base of reference.

I don’t know why things like last night’s shooting at the opening of the Batman movie occur. It seems impossible to deny, however, that the world has seen an uptick in the most horrible behavior imaginable: from Columbine to kids beating up and even killing innocent people for fun or to upload the crime to Youtube. For these folks, this is their moment of fame. This gives them purpose in life. It is a tragedy to say the least.

Obviously not all of our youth are affected to this degree, in fact, it is a small percentage. I only maintain that it is on the rise and that its growth is creating unforeseen problems, both mentally and physically. Many try to use the new mediums to reach the kids and give them better answers for life than they are presently finding and I praise them for it. I hope and pray that we start finding ways of reaching these people who are so self-absorbed and live and breathe virtual reality on a daily basis. Otherwise, how will they ever discover meaning and purpose of life? How can they find a successful path to the everlasting peace and joy to which we are each called?

Who are the Meek?

Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

We have heard or read this word countless times in our lives but do we really understand what it is? In the Old Testament it is usually used regarding the poor, the humble and the afflicted. But that does not get completely to the heart of the meekness that Christ speaks of in the New Testament.

The Sermon on the Mount uses the word in Christ’s second example:Blessed are the meek: for they shall possess the land.”[1] The word in the New Testament Greek is praus which expands the OT understanding to: that disposition of spirit in which we accept God’s dealings with us as good and therefore without disputing or resisting it. It is not unlike the virtue of long-suffering which allows us to bear patiently with ills knowing that God’s will is being done. There is the hope and understanding that God is accomplishing something for the Good though we cannot see it or understand it at the moment. So we bear with it patiently.

When I was younger I used to think of meekness as being humble but somehow construed to mean apathetic as well. So when Christ says to the Apostles that they should “learn of me, because I am meek, and humble of heart,”[2] it always made the words of Christ seem a bit too contrived or a bit prideful (though He is God with every right to boast of His virtues). Maybe that was just me. But it did strike me as being a bit different from the usual statements I was used to hearing from Christ.

However, when I look back to the Book of Wisdom I find the following: “Let us see then if his words be true, and let us prove what shall happen to him, and we shall know what his end shall be. For if he be the true son of God, he will defend him, and will deliver him from the hands of his enemies. Let us examine him by outrages and tortures, that we may know his meekness and try his patience. Let us condemn him to a most shameful death: for there shall be respect had unto him by his words.”[3]

Now that passage seems to foretell the meekness that our Lord was talking about. For He was going to His death on the cross without a whimper, without crying out for mercy or declaring His innocence for the crime He was sentenced. No, He went as meekly as a Lamb to the slaughter.[4]

Now this is not apathy. For if apathy were a virtue, this country in its present age would be a utopia overrun with saints. But meekness is not a virtue you find very much of in this country or in any developed country. It resides mostly in the Third World.

I wonder if we are too far along in our belief in Utilitarianism to ever find meekness as a positive virtue to be practiced. Perhaps, as we continue our slide into the ocean of oblivion which swallows our wealth, freedom and pride, leaving us with shackles and chains of debt to eat the scraps that our lords throw us, we can once again find that God will respect His promise and return the land to the meek.

[1] Matthew 5:4

[2] Matthew 11:29

[3] Wisdom 2:17-20

[4] Isaiah 53:7 He was offered because it was his own will, and he opened not his mouth: he shall be led as a sheep to the slaughter, and shall be dumb as a lamb before his shearer, and he shall not open his mouth.

Conversing with Atheists about God is Difficult at Best

I must admit that I have little interest in debates between atheists and those who adhere to a belief in God. Primarily it is because in my limited exposure to atheists or agnostics (which I profess was a position held in my youth) I find most of them to be almost gleeful in their disparagement of those who believe. For most the sole adherence to science, as if it was an indisputable truth to be believed without question, is an axiom written in stone. Most harbor an equal disdain for anyone who has the nerve to question the validity of some scientific ‘fact’ to which they find absolute. Believers are usually belittled as unenlightened, superstitious Cretans that undermine and inhibit their utopian vision for life. I’m sorry that we make your life so miserable. But believe it or not we do not wish to destroy science and reason. In fact faith and reason are inextricably linked to faiths such as mine: Catholic. By the way, did you know that it was a Catholic, Monsignor Georges Henri Joseph Édouard Lemaître, who first came up with the big bang theory?

The atheist’s unhappiness and almost frenzied defense of a meaningless existence leads me to have some sympathy for them primarily because they seem to have developed into an anti-religion of sorts: peopled by  1) arrogant and rebellious youth who want to think themselves smarter than anyone else 2) those who have suffered loss or pain and cannot accept that a loving God could allow evil to exist or 3) embittered people who disdain the lives of those who seem so much more happy and fulfilled than are they.

I am not as smart as any of the atheists because I am one of those who believe in God, so bear with my unintelligent remarks or humor me: it might be a good laugh for those of the enlightened class who hold the highest ranking positions of intelligent thought. After all an oaf like me will never see the inside of an ivory walled institution of higher learning which should disqualify me from even voicing an opinion at all: though I will for humor’s sake.

The following are questions, observations and ponderings of one of the regular schleps that don’t know any better:

However, isn’t it true that science itself has no basis as a discipline unless it is founded upon the mysterious foundation of intelligence? If the universe has no intelligibility then our beloved science could not even exist: it would be an unintelligible hodgepodge of chaotic happenings without any hope of replicating an event in a lab or even within a mathematical model. Does an intelligent universe with mathematical rules point toward an intelligent creation or can intelligence be simply a random circumstance that we were fortunate enough to be privy to?

Is it also not true that in every age scientists felt that they had divined the secrets of some previously unknown phenomena just to see those theories overturned and replaced by their descendants? Am I to postulate that in this age things are different?  Or, have we reached the final truths? Or are we at the very brink of ultimate knowledge? If we are so much smarter than everyone who ever lived before us, can we foresee with any certainty that a glorious day will dawn when science will finally understand all things perfectly and no mysteries remain unsolved? For the atheists I have known had no taste for mystery, unless it was in the context of a completely intelligible event (in their estimation) that science will one day uncover.

Will we understand how the bombardier beetle came into existence (the scientific postulation for this is pretty weak from the answers I have read) or more fundamentally how does an organism develop sex organs with egg cells and sperm cells from a mass of single cell amoeba who might have banded together in a body of sorts? When these first sexual organisms evolved there must have been many billions of them morphed all in unison or how else could they find one another and create new little mutants of the sexual order? Had the first male organisms develop in the Pacific and the first female organisms develop in the Atlantic would they be able to find one another? I guess they are smarter than we give them credit. And since life is evolving by the law of the survival of the fittest, why didn’t all the lower forms evolve into the higher forms? Even the first 1 cell life forms still exist. How can that be? Further, if it is all about survival, why don’t some of the higher life forms devolve back into simpler forms of life when under stress instead of adding more complicated solutions to their quest for survival? Wouldn’t that make more sense to climb back into the ocean rather than evolve wings and take to the air? Maybe we will devolve back into apes someday if the banana trees start overpopulating the planet. Evolution is an accepted principle but devolution does not seem to be: I wonder why not.

To superstitious persons such as me, it seems that some kind of intelligence moved creation history along in a most intelligent way. I may be foolish but it seems that completely stupid creatures can do some incredibly complex, intelligent things: building nests, keeping their nests cleared of feces etc. This in my view is what you call instinct (a change in their genetics). But to us uninformed it seems more like a stupid animal acting in an intelligent and unexplained way. It remains a mystery to me and it only magnifies the mystery that is God in His creation. Many more mysteries exist in every science one can imagine. Are all these mysteries going to unfold before our god-like minds or will they continue to persist throughout all the ages?

And no, I am not a strict creationist. I only believe that God’s hand is everywhere present in shaping it. In fact it adds greatly to His Mystery that by His grace and His will one animal species might develop into a completely different species of animal or plant. If I see a building I know that a architect built it. When I read a novel, I know that a writer penned it. If I see a computer, I know that electronic engineers designed it. But when the simplest forms of life are viewed, which no brilliant scientist can replicate, the obvious question is: who is the designer – who is the architect – who is the author? The same holds true for us little people when we behold the wonders of the cosmos. How great thou art.

I for one accept mystery as a fact of life and would not like to live in a world devoid of mystery; especially the divine mystery of God which allows me to feel awe struck every time I look upon his wonders, whether of this world or out of this world: from the subatomic to the massive quasars and black holes. It is uplifting to live in a world and a universe that creates so much awe and wonder in the human heart and mind.

The fact that we creatures of stardust, as Carl Sagan loved to call us, have the ability to think and reason, feel joy and sorrow, love and be loved is a mystery to me. To know ourselves and have cognizance of existence itself is either a fantastic dreamscape or a mystery: it’s like saying a rock can come to know itself and its surroundings and has aspirations for a better and more fulfilling life in a few million years but that it is not a mystery how this came to be. How awesome is the gift of consciousness and more so, a reasoned consciousness!

For atheists to say they have no need of answers to mysteries so deep is to live in a vacuum of numbers, theorems and postulations without truly living and experiencing the best of human life. Such a life would render me a person without hope. Mankind becomes nothing more than another animal or created object. It is a purely utilitarian view of man’s worth. Is it no wonder that Marx, Stalin, Hitler, Mao and all the major ideological leaders who murdered 100’s of millions of people were atheists who happened to hold utilitarian views of mankind? They were going to make ‘life better’. For society should be more in keeping with their enlightened personal ideology and the rest of mankind should be forced to adhere to a life that they are just too stupid to appreciate or understand. Elitists always have a solution for the rest of us though we never asked them for one.  Abortion, euthanasia, forced work camps all come from utilitarian views of humankind and sadly it makes them more beast-like than human.

Speaking only for my unenlightened superstitious self, I would prefer to continue to live a life with purpose than to spend my time criticizing people for living good, wholesome, productive lives while fostering family values and instilling hope and love in everyone they can. Where does empathy, sympathy, and love reside? It was built into the fabric of a man’s beating heart and that is what the mystery of a firm faith in God excels in fostering. There are many reasons for faith but first you must come to desire it and seek it. I cannot give it to you like a book containing the Pythagorean Theorem so that you might analyze it. Some will find the need of God’s mystery screaming from their heart and others will not. I only pray that the emptiness of these persons might someday be filled with more than scientific models that explain how an existence that came from non existence can spontaneously happen without a creator.

That’s why I find it hard to discuss God with atheists. I’m far too shallow, happy and amazed at the wonders of this life to understand them at all.

Politics and Religion

The old wisdom repeated since I was a youngster was that if you wanted to keep a friend avoid speaking about politics or religion. As I grow older I can see the reason for such a guideline having experienced the loss of friends precisely for expressing my opinion within both of these forbidden arenas.

The loss of these “friends” led me to delve a bit deeper into my examination of why this is true. There are people who will only speak of politics or religion if it agrees with their opinion.  Yet they have no interest in arguing their point of view with an adversary – especially with a well-informed opponent. The controversy is never an endeavor to realize or confirm a truth (as those days are long gone). These arguments are more likely to arouse emotional rebuttals (usually name calling and slander) and do not spur any intellectual curiosity to explore, in depth, the finer points of a well reasoned argument. Therefore, truth is neither the prize to be won nor the motive of these emotionally entrenched individuals even if their positions are proved to be patently false by incontrovertible fact. The only goal and purpose of these individuals is to protect their “personal subjective truth” at all costs: usually a loss of friendship or outbursts of indignity. It seems that objective truth causes great pain and suffering to those who hold to their infallible belief that things are exactly as they wish.

There was a time, not so very long ago as human history goes, that men were eager to search for truth wherever they could find it. Great arguments from worthy foes were waged in newspapers or in public discourses that generally ended with a single victor while the most honest of the vanquished would tip their hat to the victor and readjust their thinking to coincide with provable fact and logic. What a loss it is that we no longer are eager to know the truth nor understand the practice of reason or logic. Converts were made from these debates to religion or to a political party or personage solely from the strength of the arguments.

The idea that there are alternative truths, one for each of us, was promoted in books and

Cover of "I'm OK, You're OK"

songs during the 60’s: I’m OK, You’re OK, Thomas A. Harris, MD (1967), “Your right from your side and I’m right from mine” stanza from Bob Dylan’s song One Too Many Mornings (1964). This idea might be thought of as complete anarchy from truth or the affirmation of Pilate’s derision of Christ with his eternally remembered quote: What is truth? __ Jn 18:38. So it seems that the general thinking might be summed up by, what is true for you is not necessarily true for me.

The same can be said of morality: What is wrong for you is not necessarily wrong for me. In this instance, the best way to avoid an attack of conscience is to hold to a self-imposed ethic that my sins are not sin at all. In this way if you are guilty of murder, you might just rationalize that murder is not a sin, absolving yourself of all guilt. The same could be said of any of the moral issues that confront us on a daily basis. Simply “self-rationalize” your behavior to adhere to some arbitrary subjective set of ethics and sin will no longer be sin. You may then live satisfactorily finding peace, joy and happiness in this life.

This is the reason why politics and religion are inextricably linked: in the end, both are concerned with moral values and judgments. There is no argument from me that we each view things from a perspective that is individually shaped by our lives our families and our intellectual talents. It is for that reason, religiously speaking, that our eating of the tree of ‘the knowledge of good and evil’ was a disastrous thing. It gave each of us the freedom to decide what is good and what is evil.

Why is this a disaster you ask? Because we have lost the ability to see that there is an

Good and Evil

objective good and an objective evil from an unbiased perspective. This objective Truth can only be claimed by the source of all things: the living God. Our only redemption from this fall seems to be our complete submission to Truth Himself, Jesus Christ, conforming our will and conscience to His. Without this compliance, we are ceaselessly lost, forever divided and our relationships become fractured: nation against nation and man against man. We will never see the Truth on our own: He had to bring Truth to us lest we would be our own gods: Behold Adam is become as one of us, knowing good and evil __ Gen 3:22. It is the reason that we were forced from Paradise.

Indeed many of us have acted as though we are the Trinitarian God and have usurped the right to declare ourselves worthy and to label our fellow citizens as evil. Yet our Lord spoke to us affirming our wickedness: O generation of vipers, how can you speak good things, whereas you are evil? A good man out of a good treasure bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of an evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall render an account for it in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. __ Mt 12:34-37. We gained our treasure of knowledge of good and evil illicitly, having stolen what was forbidden for us. So our treasure is evil treasure. Now it is up to us to give this treasure back and make amends by putting ourselves under the guidance and obedience of the Real Good and the Real Good will give us a treasure that is truly good.

Since every idle word has eternal consequence, how can any of us live a life free from the guilt that our slightest imperfections might have caused? Indeed, irreparable harm is wielded upon all of God’s creation lest our loving Creator both forgives and repairs these mistakes: and it is precisely this gift that our Lord has promised (i.e. Rev 7:17). Therefore it is imperative that we surrender to Divine Providence and make ourselves slaves to the Truth; being obedient to everything that we are commanded. Such obedience requires us to teach his gospel (good news), whether in season (fashion) or out of season (fashion) __ 2 Tim 4:2, subjecting our self-counsel to the counsel of Him and to those whom He placed over us. A world so conformed to His Majesty is far from us but, no matter, we are commanded to fight the good fight if we would be counted among His brethren.

It seems that those who would not enter the arena of this eternal spiritual struggle are not willing to take a moral stand that is beyond the wisdom of this world. As such they are uneasy to speak of morality and uncomfortable in their defense of political or religious matters of grave moral consequence. Unwittingly, many think that they might be able to hide behind the quite transparent veil called separation of Church and state. Like an ostrich that hides his head in the dirt he exposes his derriere for the whole world to see.