15 July 2017

Charity of the Spirit

Charity of the Spirit - the solution to the RED / BLUE divide, especially for Christians.

St. Paul to the Galatians 5:13-15
For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through charity of the spirit serve one another. For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, watch out that you are not consumed by one another.

St. Paul to the Galatians 6:10
So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

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30 June 2017

Pray for Peace

On life's journey from the womb to the tomb,
A place of deep shadow without a glimmer
Of the light of awareness and reason,
A man should hope and pray for peace, even
To the last clod of earth thrown upon his grave.
God exacts from us less than guilt deserves
When you stretch out your hand to Him in life,
You will be forgiven and will not know fear.
You will have contempt for worldly misfortune,
Feeling secure in the knowledge that there is hope
And life beyond the grave will be brighter than noonday,
And the shadows will be like the morning sunrise.
Those who don't believe in God will remain unblessed.
They will grope around in darkness without the light
Their remedy against misfortune...to breathe their last.

21 June 2017

Don't drain the swamp. Clean out the barn.

In the Gospel of Mark (Mark 5:1-20), Jesus goes across the lake to the "country of the Gerasenes", that is to say, the territory of the city-state of Gerasa. There, a man "possessed by a demon" comes from the caves to meet him. People had tried to tie him down but he was too strong to be tied, even with chains for he would always break out of them. Day and night among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. Jesus approached him and called the demon to come out of the man, who replied "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you in the name of God never to torment me!" Jesus asked the demon for his name and is told "My name is Legion, for we are many." The demons begged Jesus not to send them away, but instead they asked Him to send them into the pigs on a nearby hillside, which he did. The herd, about two thousand in number, rushed down the steep bank into the lake and were drowned. The possessed man was restored to sanity.

Now, the men tending the pigs ran off and reported this in the town and and the people went out to see what had happened. No doubt these people were not Jews because Jews under the Mosaic law do not eat pork and so these pigs were being raised for other people, perhaps for sale to the Roman soldiers or for export to other places. In any case, When the Savior released the young man from the evil spirits and permitted them to enter into the pigs and the pigs all died by drowning, the local people ordered Our Lord to go away. He was bad for business. The spirit of capitalism made them feel that rescuing a poor soul from the demons, was not worth the loss of their precious pigs.

Why is it that pigs and capitalism are so related? We talk about "bringing home the bacon" as if it were money. Mothers tell their children, "Don't be greedy like a pig." On Wall Street they say "pigs get fat but hogs get slaughtered." In George Orwell's novel "Animal Farm" the pigs were the smartest animals and they ended up representing all of the other farm animals against the farmers. When the animals peeked into the window of the farmhouse where the negotiations were proceeding, they looked around the table and had difficulty discerning which were the men and which were the pigs.

Our television screen is our modern equivalent of the window to the negotiating table and we still have trouble differentiating the men from the pigs. I think instead of draining the swamp we need to clean out the barn.


14 June 2017

Where does one find rest?

In the fuzzy orange glow of a new dawn fear strikes the land.
The damp air is heavy and smells of fear and uncertainty.
The sound of shouting and quarreling is heard on all sides.
In whom can the people trust if they no longer trust in God?
Do they trust in Science? But how does one pray to Science?
Where are the altars of Science and Technology located?
Is the Devil nothing more than a malicious Russian hacker?
Don't Science and Technology die when you Control-Alt-Delete?
God is not dead. He is the Resurrection and Life Eternal.
I shall go with God. I invite you to come along with me.
This is what the Lord says: “Stand by the roads, and look, 
And ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; 
Walk in it, and find rest for your souls. (Jeremiah 6:16)

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23 May 2017

Mastering Oneself

It is by patient endurance that you will gain possession of your souls. (Luke 21:19).

The possession of a soul means the undisturbed mastery of oneself, which is the secret of inner peace as distinguished from a thousand agitations that make it fearful, unhappy, and disappointed. Only when the soul is completely possessed can anything else be fully enjoyed. The body can be injured without the consent of the soul, but the soul cannot be injured without its own consent.

Truth is as native to the mind as light is to the eye, but when truth illuminates people's sins they hate the truth and prefer to lie. Truth stirs the conscience of all men, especially evildoers, and they don't like it. Hence they try to cover up the truth. No one can turn off the light of truth but they can pull down the blinds of their own soul and shut it out. (Fulton J. Sheen)

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01 May 2017

Groping from dark to light!

"On the dark path that man has to walk here, he is granted just as much light as he needs for the next steps that he has to take. More light would only dazzle him, and light from the side would only confuse him. Every man needs to be constantly reminded that he won’t end when this life does; that he has ahead of him an endless future for which his life here below is a preparation, just as throughout all creation every present moment is a preparation for the future."
(Moses Mendelssohn 1783)

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15 April 2017

It's Getting Late

There is a journey before me but,
The destination is not at all clear.
The best part of me may already be there,
And what is left is mostly my memories.
I will leave with nothing in my pockets.
I cannot tell the reason for my journey.
My heart has yet to reveal it to my mouth.
Why does my body feel light and airy?
I am floating away like a child's baloon,
Tethered to Earth by a single thread.
A fortune in bribes can't stay my departure.
When it's time to go you really must go,
And something tells me it's getting late.

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28 March 2017

What I would say

If I could give a short admonition to congress and the current administration, this is what I would say:

In 1864 Herbert Spencer coined the phrase "survival of the fittest" as a way of describing the mechanism of natural selection in Darwin's evolutionary theory. If the term "survival of the fittest" truly implies a war of man against every other man, then it follows that the first rule of nature regarding civilization must be "to seek peace." The followers of this rule are said to be "sociable" and those who are always contrary for superfluous reasons are guilty of tension and strife because of their disregard for this fundamental natural law. The second rule is that all men and women should do unto others as they would be done unto, or, in other words, the golden rule. Following close behind this are the societal rules that covenants must be kept, that people should have no reason to repent of their good will, and that every person strive to accommodate themselves to the rest.

With the object of these natural laws of civilized people in mind I am asking our elected government representatives of all parties to extend their hands in fellowship with one another and resolve to avoid petty grievances. I remind them also that lies are akin to murder because lies are intended to murder truth. I ask that they seek truth and harmony to the greatest extent possible in the interest of peace and to invoke God's blessing upon us and our posterity. Amen!

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21 March 2017

For the Greater Glory

Abraham Lincoln once recited a line from the Gospel that has been quoted often over the years and especially recently. Lincoln delivered that line in a speech that he gave on June 16, 1858 as he accepted the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate seat from Illinois that was held by Stephen A. Douglas. This speech is most remembered for Lincoln's quotation of the biblical phrase, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." (Mark 3:25, Matthew 12:25)

The Republican Party was being newly formed at the time by an odd coalition of folks whose only unity consisted in their abhorrence of slavery. The new Republican Party contained former members of the Whig Party who opposed slavery, members of the Free Soil Party, Democrats who opposed the Kansas Nebraska Act, former members of the "Know Nothings Party who viewed slavery as a threat to political freedom, and abolitionists who sought a political outlet for their hatred of slavery. It was Lincoln's task to pull these different groups together in order to build a consensus strong enough to hold the Union together. We are now at another point is history when our Union is becoming divided against itself, but what is the solution to save us from so much civil strife?

I believe that the solution can also be found in scripture.  Jesus says in Mark 12:31 and Matthew 22:39, “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Yes, of course, that is easy for us to say, especially when we speak from a high horse or a high pulpit. As a practical matter, however, what might be the mechanism for the change in thinking that could result in such a change of heart? I found an answer in something written long ago by St. Augustine. Who wrote: “Love men, slay error; without pride be bold in the truth, without cruelty fight for the truth.” (Diligite homines, interficite errores; sine superbia de veritate præsumite, sine sævitia pro veritate certate.)

We must remember that we all make mistakes and that we will be judged by God as to whether the mistakes that we make are just errors without malice or if they are sins of omission or commission. In the meantime whatever mistakes that we perceive about others by using our five senses are either violations of societal laws or common errors, both of which may or may not be subject to temporal punishment depending upon the power and authority of the court that does the judging including the court of public opinion.

Time and again we see people who worship the same God yet hate each other. We also see patriots from various political parties who profess to love their country but do not love people who are not just like them and so there are people of different races and denominations who hate each other. The solution therefore is to hate error but love people. How? Through empathy, education, and charity toward all. By understanding that most hatreds are rooted in humiliation, envy, and fear brought on by ignorance. If the United States is truly “One nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all” then it should carry the seal of God which is Truth. Our task is not to tear down but to build up, to build a consensus based upon unity in spirit, “Ad Majorem Dei Gloriam” - “For the Greater Glory of God” (the motto of St. Ignatius, The Jesuit Order, and Pope Francis).

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14 March 2017

Of Parousia and the Divine Milieu


“Someday, after mastering the winds, the waves, the tides and gravity, we shall harness for God the energies of love, and then, for a second time in the history of the world, man will have discovered fire.” (Jesuit priest Pierre Teilhard de Chardin)

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin SJ was a French idealist philosopher and Jesuit priest who trained as a paleontologist and geologist and took part in the discovery of Peking Man.
Born: May 1, 1881, Orcines, France
Died: April 10, 1955, New York City

Teilhard de Chardin wrote a book called the Divine Milieu in which he addressed evolution in both scientific and spiritual terms. He is endorsed by both Pope Benedict and Pope Francis. The following are some of my notes from "Teilhard De Chardin - The Divine Milieu Explained: A Spirituality for the 21st Century" by Louis M. Savary.

Evolution is happening continually on every level of being and has a direction.

The Law of Attraction, Connection, Complexity, and Consciousness

As elemental things are attracted they combine to form connections. They join together. Their connection or union is always a bit more complex than the separate parts. Since things never stop connecting because of attraction, the complexity of unions that are being created keeps growing. In this way complexity leads creation into consciousness.

At the physical level, the law of attraction is continuously expressed in four forces:

1.) Gravity
2.) Electromagnetism
3.) The strong and the weak nuclear forces
4.) Dark Energy

At the chemical level it is revealed in those attractive forces that bind atoms and nuclei together.

At the biological level, attraction is manifested in forces that keep bringing insects to plants to pollinate them, and bring animals in heat together to keep their species reproducing.

At its highest manifestation at the spiritual level attraction is expressed as love that brings humans together in friendship, marriage, and family.

Attraction, connection, and complexity eventually gave birth to movement, sensation, perception, awareness, and finally consciousness.

Evolution's trajectory is urging humans toward higher and higher levels of consciousness. We are at the apex of evolution's pyramid.

"Spirit is the indestructible secret at the heart of the world. Evolution is based on spirit and not on matter".

"The success of humanity's evolution will not be determined by 'Survival of the Fittest' but by our own capacity to converge and unify".

One of the most important characteristics distinguishing man from all other forms of nature is his knowledge of transitoriness, of beginning and end, and therefore of the gift of time. In man, transitory life attains its peak of animation, of soul power, so to speak. This does not mean man alone would have a soul. Soul quality pervades all beings. But man’s soul is most awake in his knowledge of the inter-changeability of the terms “existence” and “transitoriness." To man, time is given like a piece of land, as it were, entrusted to him for faithful tilling; a space in which to strive incessantly, achieve self-realization, move onward and upward. Yes, with the aid of time, man becomes capable of wresting the immortal from the mortal.

All of Creation from the beginning of time forms a single whole - a single immense system.

Merge yourself with the Divine Milieu in everything that you do until it becomes a habit.

Three Spheres of Creation:
Inner Sphere - Non-living Geosphere
Middle Sphere - Mass of Organic Matter - Biosphere
Outer Sphere -  Noosphere - Sphere of spirit and mind

 "The guidance provided by the clergy to the flock is being confined to a little artificial world of ritualism, of religious practices and pious extravaganzas that is completely cut off from the true current of reality."

"The true struggle that we are witnessing is not between believers and non-believers but between to types of believers. Two conceptions of the Divine are confronting one another. A secular religion of the Earth is fighting against a spiritual religion of Heaven."

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.

In order to have free will it would be impossible to have a universe based upon evolutionary processes without conflict, confusion, competition, struggle, violence, failure, loss, sadness, grief, death, and all the rest of the diminishments because the world is populated with billions of people, each of whom are struggling to achieve different and often conflictiong personal desires.

Diminishments are inevitable like the diminishment you receive from a female mosquito that sucks your blood for her own nourishment. Figuratively speaking, this world is full of "bloodsuckers" of one type or another.

You must acknowledge that the fact earth itself and everything on it is still incomplete and still in a state of process.

God is capable of making good out of evil. The higher good will be accomplished in good time. It isn't necessary an instant transformation.

God transfigures our diminishments, our partial deaths, and even our final death by integrating them into a better plan, providing that we lovingly trust Him.

Evolution's direction in the Divine Milieu is always meant to move in an upward trajectory, from separateness to union, from complexity to higher complexity, from consciousness to higher consciousness, from matter to spirit.

All of the diverse elements of creation are living in the divine milieu and are driven by the law of "attraction/connection/complexity/consciousness". Every fragment of creation feels the impulse and the longing at some incomprehensibly basic level of consciousness, to become greater. Grains of sand that had been lying on the seashore for centuries have become "greater" as scientists have used them as key components in a computer's silicon memory chip. Through the human impulse to evolve, sand has become more than mere matter. It has tasted spirit.

Implanted in us is the law of attraction, connection, complexity, consciousness, that is the impulse to climb upward toward the light. We are, in effect, suspended between the pull of gravity downward and the bottomless pit below us and the sunlit peak of the resurrection of the body and eternal life. Every step of the climb is a continual crucial moment of decision for the hiker. There is always a temptation to rest.

Realize that the frontier between the material and the spiritual is essentially relative and shifting. What is good today can be bad tomorrow or good for one person and bad for another. Everyone must find their specific path in regard to dealing with the material.

It is not our business to withdraw from the world before our time, before we reach our spiritual destination.

From the material perspective matter seems to devolve us toward maximum pleasure and minimum effort and from the spiritual perspective in its evolutionary potential matter emerges as the principle of minimum pleasure and maximum effort. Instead of being subject to entropy matter becomes subject to synergy.

Synergy is part of the complexity in the law of attraction, connection, complexity, consciousness.

The Law of Attraction, Connection, Complexity, and Consciousness is constantly urging humans to raise what is inert matter into a more spiritual form from that which is started.

When all matter has been reclaimed by spirit, then our world will be ready for "Parousia" - the summary and fulfillment of the world, or in other words, the Resurrection.

Divine Mileu is a concrete transcendence which is a paradox because all life is united as one being but we still retain our own individuality.

Growth in spirituality and growth in deeper awareness of God run a proportional path.

God reveals himself everywhere as a universal milieu, only because he is the ultimate point upon which all realities converge.

The Divine Milieu is like the radio, television, and cell phone signals - omnipresent, always acting, always operating. However, the omnipresence of God is never out of range unlike electronic waves.

The next great advance in evolutionary transformation will be the gradualization of mankind. Humanity will converge towards a single society. It will occur by means of progress in technology, urbanization, multinational corporations, and globalization, and through ever expanding improvements in health, education, communication, transportation. Politics, economics, culture, tradition, language, symbols, and habits of thought will converge in one body of humanity in an upward spiral of progression.

At the present time "evil" is a suitable label for the present disorder that will eventually be resolved by synthesis into order. We talk of the need "to put our lives in order." This is a collective progression that is constantly evolving from disorder to order albeit with some fluctuations along the way.

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.