Your reasoning is straight forward, but there is an underlying premise that I can't get behind:
The Church has never been a Church of 'law alone' anymore than it is a Church of 'scripture alone'. I don't think the 1917 canon law has more authority than historical Tradition as a whole (although I get that it is a written summary of precisely that). The Tradition is a living thing though, not just the words, and that fact is what allows our doctrines to develop (i.e. the language of Trinitarian theology took nine-hundred years to solidify) without changing the doctrine in essence. Sedeprivationism seems too much like an essential change, and not a development. I know you would probably argue that the instantiations of Vatican II, mostly the Novus Ordo liturgy, are more of a change than Sedeprivationism, but I think we can, and we are in the Trad-movement, preserving the Latin Mass and scholastic theology without rejecting the post-Vatican II clergy.
An essential paradox of our faith is the co-habitation between the Divine Spirit and human letter. Canon law is the letter, but the Pope in communion with the Bishops and the faithful are the Spirit. If the Pope, Bishops, and faithful together think Francis is Pope than I don't feel that I have the authority myself to disagree. And in my opinion, the law can't interpret or impose itself. The law is dead. It died with Judaism. We are beyond mere law now. That is clear from the New Testament. The Holy Spirit leads us, not mere text (but not to the exclusion of texts either). Perhaps I am merely too sinful or weak to accept His promptings, but I just don't see the Holy Spirit leading me to a reform that denies the priesthood and sacraments to the overwhelming majority of those who call themselves Catholic. Words are the human tools for the communication of reality but not incarnations of Reality themselves. As you said in your book, the Church invites us to this non-binary reasoning, that is, to embrace of paradox, beginning with hypostatic union of the Divine and human natures in the person of Christ. In the logic of this paradox, I still say yes, the Pope Francis Church is infiltrated by satanists, and yes, the Pope Francis Church is Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Body. Both are true.
I think the response of "Who am I to judge?" bears further reflection. Even when we, like the apostles, can't see beyond the coming Crucifixion, we still say "to whom else shall we go?" The primary authority of judgement is embodied and ecclesial (living people not 'dead' words). As far as us laymen are concerned, Christ says to judge by the fruits. I understand that this is where our present difficulty resides, but on the ground level (not what is portrayed in media) the Catholic Church is still bearing the same fruits of conversion and charity that it always has. Its the same one fruit and it comes from the same One Vine. Everything great in our world has come out of the Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and it has a recognizable historical continuity. The infiltration is bad, but not so bad as to have destroyed that recognizable Catholic Body. It's a very small percentage of the hierarchy that are evil, even if they tend to conglomerate at the higher ranks. The large majority of the clergy and the Catholic faithful are true enough to historical Catholicism as I have studied it and lived amongst these people for thirty years. There is always a spectrum of sinners, from the holy souls to the average tradie to the ignorant liberal to the all out satanist. The wheat and the chaff must grow together. For some reason, God wants Judas Iscariot to be a part of the Twelve. I believe time will lop the Judas' off, as it has lopped off many heretics within the Church throughout history. And the final judgment will be Christ's, in the end.
I don't deny the seriousness of the problems with the Church, I just think the reform has to come from within a hierarchy that has historical continuity with the Apostles, and that is what I believe the traditional Catholic movement is all about. Ora pro nobis.
Conversations with Propertarianism's Curt Doolittle
"I work under the principle that the laws of nature, the natural law of man, and the evolutionary necessity of transcendence are the same in whether we state them in Theological, Philosophical, and Scientific language. So whether you intuit, think, and speak in the Christian, Deist, or Naturalist language, and whether you choose to adhere to physical laws, the natural law of man, and the necessity of evolutionary laws out of faith, reason, or science, is irrelevant to the individual or to the polity, or to mankind unless you selfishly demand the rest of the world conform to your way of thinking, speaking."
This has been a helpful clarification for me as well. I am a person with very strong logical reasoning, with gratitude to my ancestors, yet I have been utterly convicted of the reality of a supernatural realm layered over the empirically measurable one. This is logical to me because of my experience and experimentation interacting with that realm - seeing its effects on myself and others and the world beyond any currently explicable psychological or physical mechanisms. For this reason, as many believers would echo, my relationship with Christ permeates every other aspect of my life.
I have heard John Mark criticize the Christian focus on salvation of souls, and I understand it, but I think that it is a criticism that arises out of the doctrine of sola fide and not traditional Christianity. The Catholic doctrine of grace, to put it in a popular phrase, is 'to pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you'. You aren't supposed to put God to the test by making imprudent decisions, regardless of how passionate you are to save souls. You can't actually save a soul simply by getting them to make a single act of faith. We are saved only by a lifetime rightly ordered to love. It is primarily when the sufferings of life are forced upon us that fidelity to the mission of saving souls becomes meritorious for civilization. Salvation of souls than is the victory of Truth/Love over death and the fear of death. This seems impossible to replicate to the same degree of sincerity without actual belief in the reality of Jesus, his historical and transhistorical work.
The Catholic doctrine is that the merits of Christ and man are hypo-statically united, and since human merit is obviously bound up with the application of reason, it makes some sense to me when you (Curt) say that proper theology, philosophy, and science come to the same practical conclusions in terms of law/politics. However, there does seem to be a hierarchy of Faith>Reason. They aren't parallel paths; the later is embedded in the former. Someone can truly be 'saved' (come into pragmatic union with Truth) by relationship with Christ even if their IQ is too low to participate consciously in the philosophical or political spheres of life. Relationship is the common denominator, which is why God needs to be a Trinity and needed to become an actual human being in the macrocosm of history (Jesus of Nazareth) and the microcosm of today (Christians!).
The same is true of someone who has been psychologically wounded, but is rather intelligent, like many Leftists. That person can often only find a place in the evolution of society through Faith, because their reasoning ability has been distorted (i.e. the first three Faith steps of a Twelve Steps Program lead to encountering the objective Truth in a disordered personality or situation). The Mystical Body of Christ is more than just a frontal lobe, so to speak, there is also a kind of spinal instinct that comes from Faith, which we call promptings of the Holy Spirit. Believers witness to a Helper and Advocate who pushes us into truths we could not have led ourselves to, kind of like Plato's idea of remniscence extended to every waking decision. Non-believers experience this too, but without knowing Who to thank, and with less agency. It can't well be argued that a relationship with mere mystery is better than a relationship with a revealed mystery, i.e. Christ.
My very serious questions, I think, are these:
How does Propertarianism account for the dignity of the human person by virtue of their potential for relationship with God versus their potential for advancing civilization?
Why doesn't Propertarianism promote Christianity?
The purpose of my above post was to argue somewhat the 3 points Curt made:
1. I don't think Christianity is argued in the same way as any other faiths (moral baiting), like I tried to say, it is the unique and unrepeatable Christian response to suffering and relationship that really converts and 'saves souls'.
2. Christianity civilized the West and not the other way around. I don't understand the idea that early Christianity was another religion of warfare from within. Christianity was spread by its own blood, not the blood of others.
3. The Church was always meant to lead the state, not compete with it. Like I said, the latter was embedded in the former (even when it deviated from its philosophy in practice).
Great Questions. Thank you.
It is difficult to transition between Theological, Philosophical, and Legal-Scientific thought. This is because the 'tests' (theological obedience, philosophical choice, and legal-scientific decidability in matters of conflict) in each system of thought vary from wisdom to choice to necessity. To think in terms of law and science means eliminating what is false and irreciprocal so only the true and reciprocal (good) remain. So while the theological attempts to sculpt with clay, the legal-scientific attempts to carve away stone. This difference between the positive and negative is a difficult transition for the faithful, just as the reverse is a difficult transition for the legal-scientific.
The difference between spiritual (emotional, imaginary, and intuited) and material (intellectual, actionable, and observable) is well understood in the philosophical literature as the difference between experience and action. experience and observation overlap but the Positive information from Experience, and the Negative information from Action are not the same. There is more 'felt' with experience than is observed. Both Faith and Science depend upon this difference. Faith to say 'there is more to life than the material", and law-Science 'there is means of settling conflict by the observable and material'.
Lastly, there is a difference between P-law (the natural law of sovereignty and reciprocity within the limits of proportionality) and my opinion. I have opinion. The law consists of what amount to 'proofs' of decidability under tests of sovereignty reciprocity and proportionality. So don't confuse the law with my opinion.
---"Why doesn't Propertarianism promote Christianity?"--
That's not true. Law doesn't promote it prohibits. Science doesn't promote it explains. We explain why Jesus' teachings were true and an innovation. We state it in scientific terms. Christianity is compatible with natural law, extends natural law, and contributes to high trust commercial society with middle class majority ethics. As such Propertarianism makes other religions illegal because they are not compatible with natural law and Jesus' extension of natural law. So we don't necessarily promote Christianity we prohibit competitors. We do not consider practicing heathen (love of nature and ancestors), pagan (love of heroes and archetypes), and christian (love of god) together as incompatible. We understand this as the evolution of religion from familial, to tribal to cultural to political - which is the evidence of the evolution of religion.
There are three sets of laws that God has shown us with evidence of his hand. The laws of nature, the natural law of reciprocity, and the evolutionary law of transcendence. Fundamentalist (literalist) Christianity is not compatible with Laws of Nature (science), and because of this, incompatible with the evolutionary law of Transcendence. The laws of nature are evidence of god's hand. So wherever religion is incompatible with God's hand then the men who wrote that religion erred. I seek to solve the problem of the incompatibility of religion with the evidence of God's hand. This leads one to the conclusion that the deists are right and Jesus was right and the Jews and Muslims and church doctrinists were wrong - but wrong only because they were doing the best they could with the primitive knowledge of god's hand they had at the time.
The basics underlying christian faith (god, soul, Jesus teachings, ten commandments as property rights, and devotion) are all compatible with the evidence of god's hand, in one way or another. And that the doctrine does succeed in causing the faithful to *behave* in accordance with god's hand.
--"How does Propertarianism account for the dignity of the human person by virtue of their potential for relationship with God versus their potential for advancing civilization?"---
We say it in scientific terms: if you demonstrate by your actions that you follow the evidence of god's hand, and do not act counter to the evidence of gods hand then you are due dignity and respect - just as those who do not, do no deserve dignity and respect. However, your experience is not observable, only your actions. How you believe and feel is not observable and decidable by other than your actions. If you do not treat others as Jesus would demand, then you are not christian regardless of what you feel and believe. There are many Christians who use Christianity as a means of doing nothing at all because others are not conforming to their demands. This is the ultimate selfishness, ultimate deceit, ultimately unChristian denial of Jesus's teaching, and ultimate heresy. These people are not christian. They are evil in Christian garb.
There are hundreds of Christian sects and all that they share is some point on the spectrum between priority for the tyrannical god of the old testament Semites that Jesus tried to reform, and the loving god evident in Jesus' behavior and teaching. Your faith is in your mind. Your behavior exists and is observable. So in this sense, Propertarianism (God's natural law of sovereignty and reciprocity within the limits of proportionality) judges your actions because no law can judge your mind.
---"1. I don't think Christianity is argued in the same way as any other faiths (moral baiting), like I tried to say, it is the unique and unrepeatable Christian response to suffering and relationship that really converts and 'saves souls'."---
As an example, the presumption that man's soul needs saving is the creation of a false debt. You will live a better life, cause those around you to live a better life, by following the teachings of Jesus, and thereby insulating yourself and others from the animal impulses within us all. If you do so you will save your soul from emotional suffering in this world and the next. To save yourself from physical suffering requires more than saving yourself from emotional suffering. That is where science, technology, and medicine provide what faith does not.
---"2. Christianity civilized the West and not the other way around. I don't understand the idea that early Christianity was another religion of warfare from within. Christianity was spread by its own blood, not the blood of others."---
Why did Christianity (a Jewish heresy) spread among Europeans, rabbinical Judaism among Jews, and Islam (a christian heresy) among Arabs and non-Europeans? Because of what these people were beforehand. It is simply not true that other than a tiny minority accepted Christianity willingly. This is church mythos. In all cases it was imposed upon them by leaders who found political value in it, a useful tool for political control of people, and a literate administrative class in the priesthood to do so. even during the high middle ages the documentary record looks a lot like "political correctness" is practiced today: the common people gave lip service, the urban people went along, and the upper classes virtue signaled, with a minority of purists truly devoted to the faith just like today. Those who write write history. Fortunately we have a lot of documentation from outside of the church and the writings of these people are decidedly 'medieval', right up until the enlightenment.
---"3. The Church was always meant to lead the state, not compete with it. Like I said, the latter was embedded in the former (even when it deviated from its philosophy in practice)."---
The church was forcibly imposed on Europe by the Greeks after they defeated Rome and reconquered it, closed the schools, killed or outcast the philosophers, and destroyed the arts, temples, literature, and knowledge of the Greco-Roman civilization. The purpose of the church was to prevent the restoration of roman (European) aristocracy. Some monks in the north, particularly Ireland, worked to save what little knowledge remained in Europe. Some middle easterners saved the work of some of the Greeks and Romans. Then destroyed the rest with the Muslim conquest.
The problem was that the church was far more corrupt than the state it sought to replace. So after the institution of the church we had the monastic movement to defend the people from the church, then the protestant reformation to defend people from the church. The renaissance reformation and scientific revolution to escape the corruption of the church.
Jesus was a gift from god. He was the only christian. American Evangelical Protestantism the closest religion to the one Jesus imagined, and the church as a political institution the farthest thing from the one he would have imagined. So the church failed in the early medieval period. It failed in the high medieval period. It was punished in the restoration of European civilzation. And in the 19th Century it failed again in response to discoveries of science. And it has been destroyed by the Marxist-postmodernist-feminist revolution against both Christianity and aristocracy. And it wasn't until the middle of the 20th that protestant evangelicals finally cast off the corruption of the church, and returned Christianity to a religion of the people, by the people, in imitation of Jesus Christ. I have seen evangelical preachers take Christianity even closer to its roots by teaching Christianity as an intuitive more emotional close relation to our ancient religion of stoicism, and our scientific understanding of cognitive behavioral therapy.
My view of Christianity is an attempt to use Jesus teachings to create an institution of governance and oppression, where Jesus was trying to lift poor ignorant people out of tribalism, so that they were not a permanent underclass taken advantage of by usurers and tyrants, by loving each other as the greatest resistance movement against tyranny whether familial, tribal, national, or imperial in human history.
So I am personally hostile to 'Church-ianity" but I consider myself a christian who seeks to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ: "Love thy neighbor".
I am not sure anything else is required. There are five principles buried in christian teaching. Every one of them is reducible to "love thy neighbor and thy conscience shall be free." That's it.
Thank you Curt for your in-depth responses. I think my opinions here are generally representative of intellectual Catholicism today and throughout history, so finding reconciliation in our views is important. Not to say that I am the one to do that, but I do want to do what I can. I personally need to have some more clarity about Propertarianism, before I can comfortably sell it to the Catholics and Christians in my circles. That doesn't require us to entirely agree, just to be clear about the greater or lesser significance of our differences.
If we are talking about rebuilding Western Civ. we need more than the negative precepts, we need an overarching religious orientation as well. We need to know what we are moving towards (the positive) as well as what we are trying to prevent (the negative). The positive Truth of our ultimate destiny has to be the leader in order to give discernment to the meaning and usefulness of those negative truths of law and science. Christianity is a logical axiom, the very first principle, not a separate realm of experience. This was an essential element of our original American experiment, however subdued in the documents and the persons.
I am familiar (though somewhat removed of late) with the historical conversation about the overlap and distinction between philosophy and theology. There are different views, but the Catholic position is essentially one of illumination. Reason and science are illuminated (expanded and telescoped) by Faith in Christ. At the same time, there is an absolute necessity to Faith that doesn't exist for reason and science, as in the case of the intellectually handicapped who can still have a relationship with the Absolute. I can't get onboard with a philosophical system that doesn't give these people a place to exist and contribute in this world.
I do not know what the idea of evolutionary transcendence means? Is this like the theory of emergentism? Where is evolution transcending to exactly? I'm not convinced that deism and archetype/ancestor religions aren't incompatible with Christianity; the former faiths would have to be understood as mere psychological preferences and not propositions of objective truth.
When I talk about the dignity of the human person I am talking about an ontological reality not dependent on one’s actions in this life. The scientific definition you gave is a description of virtue or character but doesn't address the unqualified God-given dignity that all human beings possess. Christianity admits the potential for each human person to be redeemed, first by conversion to Faith i.e. AA, and then subsequently reintegrated into the scientific measures of character. This work of relational mediation between West Civ. and the other faiths and civilizations, needs to be a part of our system too. Christian civilization always provided for (and honored above the philosophical and scientific class) a class of formally religious people dedicated to this mission of reintegrating the lost sheep (the indifferent as well as the antagonistic) into God's hands through the missionary proposal (not imposition) of faith. This was often considered the saintly (high risk but also high return) character of the usually celibate person who forgoes direct participation in the political and economic system in exchange for 'saving souls'. I believe this calling truly does convert peoples and it isn't violent or coercive; its a true fatherhood by virtue of its sacrifice for those affected. These people need a place in society as well.
The doctrine of Original Sin is our only fortification against idolatry of whatever kind. The need for salvation is not a false debt, it is an obvious truth. Like you said, we need some insulation from animal instinct and that is what is meant by the battle between flesh (original man) and spirit (man reborn) in the NT. The redemption and rebirth begins with an acknowledgement of concupiscence or Original Sin, the acknowledgement that we are not yet good or true enough. Its not mere personal/psychological sin either because we know that we are social beings and can't be truly and finally free until each and every human person is free with us. We need God because we know we aren't God and because God is necessary for existence. We need Jesus because we need that invitation to a loving relationship at an absolute level that only He can offer (through the gateway of God's Incarnation as one of us). We need the Christian Church in order to share that freedom with the world and protect it through time (by means of an unbroken tradition and leadership).
I take issue with many of the historical claims you made above. Maybe in a different threads we could hash out specific periods and get into references, but I'll give my opinion briefly as you did... Christianity was probably a large minority throughout Rome and its provinces before the political alliance with Constantine. The mass proliferation of New Testament documents in the first hundred years of Christianity attests to this. There is evidence that Constantine's mother was a baptized Christian and that Constantine along with previous Christians were converted for reasons of conviction, not politics. Jesus gave us far more than a reiteration of the golden rule or the ten commandments. He illuminated those previously existing teachings to a new resolution of personal sacrifice. The entirely novel definition of love that Christ and his followers implemented set the example for a plethora of social advancements from the end of gladiator fights, the humanization and later suppression of slavery, to the invention of schools, hospitals, charities, more lenient governance, more reasonable courts, empiricism, and international law.
Where civilization did not advance, it was in proportion to its deviation from Christ's teaching, regardless of the nominal titles of people within the institution. Yes, the true Church has always existed, enmeshed within a corrupt society, but that is not to say that the corruption extended into the Christian dogma. The historical continuity of the dogmas of Christ (development without deviation) are in fact the main evidence for a divine element within the Catholic Church. The modern Church is no different than the medieval Church in terms of corrupt persons within it, but again, that doesn't transfer to the corruption of the tradition. Of course, following your brief and very contrasting review of Church history I can understand your hostility to 'Church-ianity'. The details and themes of history seems to be the crux of our difference here, but there are also obvious implications for how we define Christianity.
Curt's Blog Responses:
Thanks Curt! A few of those answers missed my meaning, but that's my fault for assuming too many categories of my own mind and mis-intuiting the landscape of your own. I was able to extract most of what I was looking for anyway. I understand what you are trying to do politically much better now too. I also see where you differ in worldview from a traditional Catholic. I completely agree that the competition of positive faiths has to happen in a free marketplace of ideas and not through monopoly or imposition, as does the CC. I actually believe that Catholic dogma can scale (this is part of the Catholic doctrine of the mystical body of Christ) but that that is a matter for history to continue working out and really a non-issue to your legal system. Happy Easter!
I finally had a moment to start E. Michael Jones’s new book “Logos Rising,” and after reading the introduction I realized something that was still bothering me about my questions on P-Law.
When I brought up the religiosity of the US founders I was referring only to a very basic common principle: that morality, and its subgenre of political law, must be grounded in God by a logical necessity (hence the ‘God-given’ ‘inalienable rights’). This is a philosophical truth that Catholicism specifically built into European civ. and consequently handed down to our Protestant and Deist founders.
It’s an important point because your responses to me sounded a little like moral relativism at times, and I’m thinking maybe it’s because you don’t actually have a coherent metaphysics undergirding your law?
Other religions and other forms of Christianity outside trad. Catholicism deviate to various degrees from the logic of the Catholic doctrines, but the most essential Catholic idea that I was trying to convey in several different images - which, according to your responses, you either can’t accept or don’t yet understand - is that our doctrine is a revelation of the internal functioning of everything. It’s the living Logos of nature and man and God alike. That’s what Jesus means to us. His resurrection IS the trans historical Catholic Body. That body, like a human body, has physical dimensions and limitations, a ritual heart, a doctrinal head, and a tongue that has refused to stop speaking for 2020 years. These are not poetic-psychological preferences, they are objective truth claims. I’m not saying everyone has to accept them, I’m just asking that they be called what they are.
I’m not sure how much this matters for P-Law as much as to your personal opinion, I just didn’t feel like you acknowledged Catholicism on it’s own terms. You gave it a very superficial treatment as just another political institution, but I really don’t think that does justice to the doctrine it has consistently professed. Nor does it appreciate the miraculous historical persistence of the thing.
Catholicism is unique among the religions in presenting its theology as a science, and as the inspiration for science. It’s not an accident that the best attempts at civilization have been built on the Catholic Church, either directly or through philosophical plagiarism. There is real evidence for this. I’m not a cradle Catholic driven by nostalgia or a man easily deceived by sentiment. I came to the Church from atheism by way of the scientific method.
The logic that defines the scientific endevour found its source historically and metaphysically in a God who loved us enough to reveal Himself to us, and in so doing also revealed the nature of everything else. What the ancient philosophers lacked was precisely this thread, Christ living in the Catholic Church, who could weave together natural science and supernatural science.
The ideal political law would protect human freedom so that the people have space to test their supernatural intuitions against the natural world. Christendom did this first and then in its death throws shot its dogmatic seed across the ocean to the new world, where it grew up to be another Constantine, instinctively and almost accidentally Christian, but Christian nonetheless. Now, he is being tested as to whether or not he will honor his heritage or forsake it.
Very smart fellow and intellectually honest. Pleasure discussing this with you.
---"When I brought up the religiosity of the US founders I was referring only to a very basic common principle: that morality, and its subgenre of political law, must be grounded in God by a logical necessity (hence the ‘God-given’ ‘inalienable rights’). This is a philosophical truth that Catholicism specifically built into European civ. and consequently handed down to our Protestant and Deist founders"--
Well, it's in our law which predates Christianity by over two thousand years.
Christian: God has given us his son Jesus as his prophet, and first among his laws is to live in imitation of Jesus and according to his teachings - teachings we call christian morality: to love thy neighbor as thyself,
Deist: God has given us the evidence of his hand: the physical laws of nature(the physical sciences), the natural law of reciprocity (morality), the law of christian love (Christianity), and the law of evolutionary necessity (transcendence).
Scientist: Whether a god exists or not these are the laws evident in the universe: the physical laws of nature(the physical sciences), the natural law of reciprocity (morality), the law of seduction into reciprocity (Christianity), and the law of evolutionary necessity (transcendence).
The human brain evolved to distribute between feminine and empathic to raise children in small numbers and masculine and systematizing to govern polities in large numbers. Each of us regardless of sex, has a mix of feminine and masculine intuitions. For those of you with more feminine cognition, the empathic is necessary - you must feel the spirituality. For those of us who are in the middle - practical - we must only undrestand that the norm works and imitate it. For those of us who are entirely masculine, we feel nothing, find faith childish, find norms arbitrary, and seek the science in faith and norm - because we cannot feel, we cannot just imitate, we can only calculate.
Throughout our history we have practiced Trifunctionalism: The martial aristocracy, the Religion of the Faithful, and the Judicial law to resolve our differences. We have always had three leadership groups: violence, law, and faith. Women and the faithful cannot think as men. Men and the empirical cannot think as women and the faithful. But by obeying the judicial law we can still cooperate despite our thinking.
There is no place for faith in truth or it would not be faith. There is no place for truth in truth or it would not be truth. There is no place for violence in either. As such we are left with the law to judge our differences.
Men and women can be loyal to one another. Men and women of feminine mind can marry. Men and women of practical mind can marry. Men and women of systematizing mind can marry. And under our law any combination in between - because loyalty is enough.
Likewise the faithful, judicial, and martial can be loyal to one another.
As we always have been. And both succeed.
Or we cannot and both fail.
And my name is Caesar so to speak. And my job is the law. ;)
Thanks for engaging with me. :)
It's true that the Greeks were almost there, but their system didn't really take root until it was baptized by Paul, John the Evangelist, the Cappadocian fathers, and Aquinas. Catholicism added to Plato and Aristotle something essential that they lacked. The intuition of the Trinity (necessitated by the doctrine of the Incarnation) brought a higher consciousness to the philosophical problem of the one and the many that the Greeks never sufficiently solved. I think it had a powerful explanatory power that penetrated both the rational and the mythological minded. Not unlike your own 'trifunctional' division of history and personality...
Haha, I like how you said 'you' feminines, but 'us' masculines... It's funny though because I've studied masculine and feminine language styles and historical gender norms quite a bit; it's something that I've thought and written a lot about. I can actually trace the inception of feminine cognitive biases in myself to the day of my religious conversion. I've always thought of it as a playing out of that archetypal scene at the foot of the cross... I took the mother of Christ into my home and she taught me how to see the world with her eyes. Before that time though, I would say I was 'enitirely masculine'.
I tend to think that we are genetically and environmentally disposed to being at a certain position on the continuum between masculine<>feminine, but once we become aware of ourselves, we can consciously develop the other side (to a degree), like any personality trait. So, in my opinion, the marriage of the internal mother and father takes place in each individual on the psychic/spiritual journey. Once one possesses both 'archetypes', there is a real 'oneness' that occurs, as I have been emphasizing... not mere parallel paths, but intersecting discourses. Maybe the feminine has more to contribute than you are allowing for? I dunno.
I'm working my way through your chapter on religion from the website and I am also listening to the lectures from In Truth Victorious' playlists. I think I'm starting to track with your view of science and history better, even though I disagree with several of the historical claims you have made, mostly having to do with the Church's politics. I appreciate all the work you have done and I am following closely, knowing that the time for serious solutions like yours may be upon us sooner than we would like.
I do. And I am full of gratitude. From the beginning, the Lord chose me to be a reckless lover. What seems to be imprudence to the world is really my blessed faith in the power of love. We can only love God as well as we have loved our best loves in this life. So say the saints. Do you want to know God? A doctorate in theology won't help much. A library of learning means nothing if not applied. Do you want to know God? Love someone. Be willing to give them everything you can give and even to die for them so that they might know God's love through you. In so doing, you will know God. You will fail. You will suffer. And you will know God. When you resurrect, you will be a better lover than before. This is all that is necessary. Everything else is a distraction. This is the only way to Heaven, and the Way is Heaven. It begins now.
I've taken a hiatus from the internet because I remembered that this digital world, though it serves a purpose, cannot substitute for the face to face to loving other people that is the life of the soul. This place is supplemental at best. For all of us. Its easy to forget. I see it all the time. People missing out on the beauty of one another, to be absorbed in a screen. I need to love. I'm desperately panting for love. Not my pleasure. Not my satisfaction. Not my possession of anything in this world. Just simple service to someone in need. That is the love I need. All my joy is there. In the darkness of my interior God hides. But in my neighbor, in my family, in my friends, I see His face and I am full.
Coming out of the dark, I get motivation again to achieve new goals. Mourning over a dead relationship is still holding me back. Anxiety from lack of understanding still cripples my heart. Guilt for not leading us better, wanting to make amends and knowing that its impossible at the same time. I've had to do a lot of letting go of people in my life, but I almost never initiate it. I never want to be the one to give up on a relationship, because I just value relationships too much. I find Jesus there. That's one of the blessings and curses of my trauma wounds. I am so grateful to anyone who receives and reciprocates my love, even in small ways that most people seem to take for granted. The pain of disappointment or failure in a relationship, is proportionate to the joy I have in it. There is an extremism to my attachment to people that will make the suffering of detachment extreme too. The deeper the relationship goes the more dangerous it will be. But to avoid the possibility of this pain would be to miss out on the joy as well. I think a lot of hurt people take this route, but I have continually refused to concede this territory to fear. Every time I lose someone, I experience it as losing God, or at least a big part of God. I think it was C.S. Lewis who said the closer one approaches to the persons or work one is called to, the greater the temptation to idolatry will be. So, vocational relationships are the hardest to get over. I know I am being purified of my temptation to idolatry now.
People are the closest we can get to the incarnate God in this life; it is through them that we learn everything about God. People are ends in themselves, and Christians are sharers of the divine nature, why wouldn't we expect to be able to commit ourselves to others with an extreme love? God is found in human persons most fully when we love them more than our own life. But, who would dare love a stranger this way? Almost no one, ever. Even for a very good friend, few would ever love enough to die. What about being tortured for someone you love? Who wants to sign up for that? I sign up for that... with people, in my arrogance, relying too much on my own power to bear it. Even while we were still sinners (i.e. terrible friends and abusive lovers) Christ died for us. This is what we believe. God gives completely, He doesn't 'guard his heart' as we like to say. His heart is pierced for us, as is His mother's. However, He let God the Father do all the work through Him, and He knew how to do that perfectly. He didn't try to control his life. In order to follow Him, I must love myself more than my own life first. I must die for myself! Waiting on the Father to give my identity back to me, as it should be. Then and only then will I possess the gift of myself I so long to give away.
I am not who I thought I would be at this point in my life. I accept this and I repent of trying to force God’s hand. I am finding myself. I am happy with my job. It is not all revealed yet, but there is stability in this work that I desperately need. I am free in mind to pray and study and think while I work, but I am also in constant interior struggle for the same reason. This is good too. I need to learn to master my thoughts anew. I don't know why its so hard, after this breakup, but it just is. I am not the same person I was before. It feels like I am being forced to step backwards. But that is okay too. I need to be grateful for my humiliations. It was easier in school when I had so many intellectual friends and projects. It was easy for me to succeed and be happy in that environment because my mind was obsessed about whatever it was focused on at the time. Relationships were relatively automatic. Except the vocational ones. I am certain that I was created to serve a woman. My personality is just not at home without that intimacy, either the reality of it or the promise of it. I am sure of this. I feel terrible sometimes about my last attempt. It just didn't end well for me. I still feel betrayed and abused. I was clear from the beginning about my needs and my wounds. She didn't listen. I never really wanted to be ‘just friends’, at least not friends in a casual sense. I wanted her to be a best friend, which is what I mean by 'sister' (celibate or not, that part still doesn’t matter to me much). But I absolutely needed trust, vulnerability, commitment, and a degree of exclusivity. If those aspects weren’t available, I would have pulled away from her. I guess in order to learn the lessons I am, those things had to be, at least conceptually, offered to me and then taken away, in this extremely triggering manner. I still don't understand why God let it end like that. It has hurt my perception of God and of myself. So much deception. Self-deception most likely. No reasonable answers. I needed much much more than she was able to give me in terms of effort in communication and keeping in touch. It would have helped me immensely to process. My imagination is very unkind. I let myself wait way too long and suffer way too much. The months and months of no contact destroyed the friendship that I thought we still had. When we broke up, she stopped caring for me, and that was not okay with me. I tried to tell her I needed regular contact. She just wasn't willing or able to engage me on my terms. That's fine, but its not a kind of relationship I want to be in. I should have been more assertive about my needs, but I was prideful about how much I could suffer for her. Our last contact destroyed the only good thoughts about her I had left to hold on to. Now the memory of what I thought we were is just poison to my life. I can't understand it and it drives me into a self-destructive loop of trying to reconcile two unbridgeable realities. I had to just cut her off and push her out of my heart as much as possible. After seven months, I've finally let go of my hope for a positive relationship with her anytime in the near future. I got too messed up by it. I need to stop letting myself think about it, even though I never wanted to do that to her. But the anxiety has become unbearable. My weakness has become too apparent. My wounds make the difficulty much more torturous than it should be, but that is my lot; I’ve got to give God more space and opportunity to help me through the dark days that come. I don't judge her. I really don't. I think she is doing her best. I just should have been much more careful with myself. I expected too much from her. I am too old, and too needy for a normal girl. I am grateful she even tried. There were so many red flags that I ignored, thinking that I could help her grow. But I unknowningly sacrificed my ability to help her relationally when I let things become romantic between us. I thought it was a natural outgrowth of our friendship, but it was all too fast for her. I didn't really think she was ready, but I went with my feelings instead of leading with my reason. She wasn't exactly transparent or consistent either. Nevertheless, I was supposed to lead, but I let her lead me on instead. I regret that. Its a lesson I'll never forget. I truly desired her good and sanctification above all else, and I still do. I made a good and holy gift. Now all I can do is pray for her.
December Rose is my routine of self discipline for the coming month and my bulwark against the storm that I know will soon return. This is a daily commitment to specific goals and activities to fill my time and move me towards a longer term vision. In general, I must become a rock solid lover at home and a spiritual leader in public. The next steps are just simple activities, balancing my intellectual, physical, emotional, and pastoral health in the larger life of my relationship with the Spirit of the Lord. I'll be rotating through the activities from day to day to keep things fresh and give myself the advantage of some spontaneity. All in all it will be difficult during this busy month at work, but I already have some of these habits rolling and I am rising without an alarm at 3am or so now. So, I will check in with you as I progress through the month, and share my projects with you here, as always. Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Advent! Pray for me! I pray for you all in my rosaries each day.
I'm so broken. I'm being tested so much more than ever before in my thirty-five years. Its heartbreak, midlife crisis, and spiritual darkness wrapped up and delivered daily in an onslaught of stress and drudgery. Once a month or so, I get completely overwhelmed by anxiety, a tightening spiral of unresolvable thoughts, accompanied by tension and pain in my body. I really am overtaken; it gets to a point that I am no longer able to cope with my life, at least, notwithstanding some kind of behavioral intervention. The coping mechanisms can be positive or negative. I consider this website one of my positive behavioral therapies, but since it offers little to no relational feedback, the emotional connection with it/you becomes tenuous and breaks apart during the heights of my suffering (to the point that I want to throw it all in the fire). Obviously, writing personal notes and designing educational materials for an invisible audience is not a sufficient emotional outlet. Plus, the content is tainted when I am hurting too much. I can't teach when I don't have peace. And I don't need more social life or fraternity. I need intimacy with a woman. Its precisely that. There is no substitute for it, and there is no way to force it. If I let my body fake it, that just ends in further shame and isolation. Its my pathetic special little trauma of female affection deprivation, maybe I'll call it, 'sister abandonment syndrome', SAS. During these few days every month, I can't feel close to God either, who always used to be my emotional rock. He is still my source of strength, but I just can't seem to feel His presence or help in these dark hours. And its not for lack of trying. I do my devotions with all the heart that I can muster. It isn't enough. I know He is trying to teach me something, but I don't understand what it is, or what He wants me to do. I can't handle these dark nights all the time, I'm clearly not strong enough for it yet. I can't escape this need for a woman to share my life with. I know that a deep friendship would be enough too, but she has to trust that my vulnerability isn't manipulative. Why is that so much to ask? I don't know. Nothing makes sense. I'm always tired. I'm always in pain. I don't feel safe. I don't feel connected. I can't heal alone. So I'll wait for it to pass and then come back again.
Think of others as better than yourself.
Outdo one another in giving.
Be of one mind and one Spirit.
Why not rather be wronged? Turn the other cheek and take a strike for your friend.
Stop being so defensive, the fool is enraged by reproof, but reprove a wise man and he becomes wiser still. Find God in the soul's discipline.
Be content with God alone.
Pray that men judge correctly for their sake and not your own.
Think about the needs of others more than yourself. Pray for your enemies with genuine concern.
Stop trying to control other people. Receive the other as you would Christ. Be gracious to those who make demands upon your time and energy.
Stop manipulating relationships to get the things and feel the feelings you want. Give of yourself without counting the cost or estimating the reward.
Learn how you are being perceived, so that your presence may be a gift.
Stop trying to be right. To be right for the sake of being right is to miss the truth. There is no such thing as winning a quarrel, if the other person loses, so do you. To be ‘right’ is to come together with the other in the truth. This requires hard work. Will you have succeeded if you get to heaven all alone?
Be your brother’s keeper, care for one another as God cares for you. In deed and thought alike give charitably.
Stop judging other people. You do this because you think too highly of yourself. The arrogant person turns a perspective difference into moral conflict out of laziness in understanding the other. Never assume to have exhausted another person’s mysteries, or to know every angle of a situation.
Don’t take relationships for granted. Each person is a tabernacle of God. Reverence each other as such.
Don’t call someone a friend who you are not willing to suffer for. People are not your commodities.
Don’t suffer at the expense of others, rather, suffer for their sake. Be merciful to those who hurt you because they may be hurting even more.
Friendships require sacrifice, work, and commitment. Emotional reciprocity is a delicate balance, easily tipped; pay attention to keep the scale even, lest the relationship should die from neglect.
Without regular communication there is no relationship. Without trust there will be no love.
Take responsibility for your own emotions. Stop blaming people, or circumstances, or genetics for the way you feel. The choice that you make in response to your feelings is yours alone.
You are free to love the other even when you feel you are being wronged. Choose love and God will settle your pain. Choose anger and the devil will stoke it with lie upon lie.
Let your own faults be the focus of your concern. Remove the log from your own eye before pointing out the splinter in your brothers’.
Humble yourself before others and they will forgive you a thousand offenses.
Presume what you are owed and you will not receive it. Expectations from life are the source of hurt, there is only one God and He is all you need.
Be grateful that the other gave what they could and your patience will attain what was lacking.
Connection with a loved one must outpace the division that time creates.
Prayer and honest conversation destroy myriad misunderstandings.
Honor your words even when your feelings change. This is training in love, for love is a choice and not a mood. If you fight for it, emotion will eventually obey the choice. If you are not faithful in the small choices, you will not be faithful in the large ones.
If you must change a plan made, do so only for grave reasons and with thorough explanation to those affected.
Be yourself at the risk of offending and you will learn the new self you want to be. Hide yourself and you will never be free. You can only love others in a proportion to your receptiveness to God's Love. Deep roots in God are what make vulnerability with others sincere and relational giving authentic.
Pray constantly to do God’s Will and you will find yourself doing It by accident.
Be eager in seeking reconciliation with a friend.
Apologize for misperceptions and let your true intent be known.
Humility gives strength to every virtue.
Your work will be finished when you die.
Pray without ceasing. Take your whole mind captive to the obedience of Christ!
According to Cal Newport’s research in Digital Minimalism, when the brain is not in a task-focused state, it defaults to a mode of personal social analysis. The human person has evolved complex methods of relational navigation (i.e. unconsciously interpreting body language, social positions, voice intonations, and cultural cues) amounting to a large degree of one’s normal cognitive activity when not otherwise distracted. With the rise of the smart phone and social media (including gaming and streaming) there has been a correlating rise in cases of anxiety, among young people especially. This is now thought to be a result of intentional corporate strategy designed to stimulate lower brain reward circuits via electronic devices and the internet. Basically, these apps and programs are designed to be addictive, and thereby, indirectly degenerative to a healthy and holy life. Smart technology has been training young people’s minds to give up live-conversation and intentional-communication for consumptive relational behaviors, such as the dopamine hits of having a post ‘liked’, or low grade achievements such as looking good in a picture. The same is true of information gathering, as people now look to quick guides and popup-news in place of academic level research techniques. Newport’s solution to these problems requires a reordering of one’s priorities to minimize digital technology use, new boundaries for timed and purposeful use of tech, and replacing the time saved with real world interactions (analog crafts and face-to-face relationships). Chief among these necessary, though often neglected, activities is being alone and undistracted with one’s own thoughts, regularly.
In my adult life, I have held to a principle of approaching Christian friendship as if I were becoming a part of someone else’s family and they a member of mine. All other relationships I relegate to a sphere of courteous superficiality, such that they make no demands on me and I expect nothing from them. I call these acquaintances. Many people are comfortable in-between those categories, and even seem to enjoy staying in a place of low-commitment and lower-brain emotional connection. I can’t help but blame social media for this. Personally, I have had a great deal of difficulty with superficial relationships; because nothing distresses my traumatized heart more than those moments of realization that someone does not want to be a part of my family. Every attempt at a meaningful Christian relationship must first pass through this phase. Not many have survived, and my soul takes these hits hard. So I don’t risk myself often. Usually, God has to setup the circumstances in such a way that I feel compelled to take the chance. It is like going on a mission for me, because I know if it doesn’t pan out that I’m going to suffer greatly. But I don’t protect myself once I’m committed to trying, that’s my rule. If I’m going to do it, I’m going all in. Such is my understanding of the dignity due to the other person. The same is true about my avoidance of pretend relationships. It’s degrading to both of us. People are ends in themselves. They deserve the best gift of myself I can make. They even deserve my death, if it comes to that. This, I believe, is the love that seeks not its own, that sets Christians apart and converts the world by its example. I used to think that if someone was a good Catholic, for that reason alone, it would be a safe bet to invest myself in their lives. It seemed a safe place to grow and encounter God. The reality is that most Catholics today are more a product of American culture than they are children of The Church.
So, I ask myself and I ask God, how do I create community? Not just any community, but one which cultivates those features of relationship that are eroding so rapidly today. The best friendships I ever created were in my family and in my fraternity at college. I keep coming back to that model. It was a religious community. My answer is the school of life that I have been developing here and in my personal life for years. A place a friendship, education, liturgy, evangelization, and craftsmanship. I constantly pray that this dream comes to fruition. Lord knows my heart is there. But the process has become so roundabout that I frequently get lost on how to proceed. I forget that the vision is God’s first and that I need to let Him lead so I don’t mess it up. I can’t do it alone either. These online courses I’m working on will build an intellectual framework for the ground based version when the hour arrives. Step one, I thought, would be to have a partner to engage in this holy practice with. In the meantime, I am growing immensely in my relationship with the Holy Spirit, more so than I could have known was possible without the gift of my wounds. What survives the fire is the Lord's work in me.
After finally getting around to reading The Purpose Driven Life - since everyone and their mothers have read it by now - I have some reflections and notes to accompany my last post. Firstly, this idea of the celibate or Josephite marriage, whether or not it prophecies a literal end, it is an archetype of the Christian life generally. Unless you are at this very moment about to participate in the procreative act, waste no extra energy thinking about, preparing, longing for, or expecting sexual intercourse. Let nature come as it will and pass freely by you. Don't hold onto it, don't feed it. Bow your head in reverence of the mystery. Release it back to God with gratitude, and then pray for your many many many brothers and sisters enslaved to lust and at risk of hell. Sex is not an end for human love. Love does not need or require sex. Instead of burning with sensual passion, give your whole hope to having God in a new way and with a new joy, in a spiritual passion (this would be the proper attitude to procreate with as well). All of us are called to this single-heartedness, single, married, widowed, divorced, and celibate, the same. When or if you are called to the act, it will be in the service of the Kingdom and only after God initiates. Primarily, The Holy Spirit is your spouse, and this intercourse is always available after Baptism, protected by obedience to the commandments, fulfilled in perfect love of neighbor, and renewed by frequency to Christ's Sacraments. Chastity is an expression of Purity of Heart, that is, to seek and find and rejoice for God in all things at all times. This is the true purpose driven life.
Warren's thesis is that we must all answer life's Five Great Questions:
1. How do I worship?
Making God the beginning and end of every moment; making God my closest and greatest friend
2. What is my character?
The sum of my habits over the span of my life, enhanced by faithfulness to my words
3. What is my service to the Church?
My unique combination of spiritual gifts, desires, talents, personality, and experience given freely
4. What is my mission for the world?
The habit of evangelization counters reliance on worldly possessions, accomplishments, and status
5. How do I fellowship?
Warren says the nine characteristics of biblical fellowship are: We will share our true feelings (authenticity), encourage each other (mutuality), support each other (sympathy), forgive each other (mercy), speak the truth in love (honesty), admit our weaknesses (humility), respect our differences (courtesy), not gossip (confidentiality), and make each other a priority (frequency).
Nothing has been more painful and fruitful than my willingness to die in my relationships. Worldly imprudent, but spiritually efficient. Maximum effort, maximum humiliation. So many lessons from love. The last one really tortures me still in a holiness inducing manner. I just interpret it as a call to continual prayer, until (if?) it fades away. In the moments of peace about what it all meant for me, I keep receiving this idea of a sexually integrated celibate community. I keep believing that my romantic love belongs in a celibate marriage with a special sister. In my last attempt, I almost never felt like she was a temptation for me while we were together, even though we had a very strong physical chemistry. It sounds weird, but I felt sexually full, satisfied by her love without the desire to consummate it in that procreative way. And I didn’t feel that our sexual attraction was a hinderance to our ability to serve God. In fact, I experienced it as a kind of protection and inspiration that freed me to pursue God’s Will with more joy and more direction. In the beginning, it seemed like she was so on board with the idea. Because of both of our different wounds, there seemed to be a real fittingness to it. Somewhere along the way, the relationship started to become something else, something much more like the way everybody else does it, and I really did not like that. That’s where our friendship started falling apart, at least for me. When it became a normal marriage vision for her, she drifted so far away from my call for my life that I felt I couldn’t even relate to her anymore in a non-superficial way. I wish I hadn’t let that happen, but hindsight comes before foresight and it was my first time in that situation. The lesson has been how to recognize and avoid letting our relationship slip into that worldly rut again next time. If the pain has served any purpose, I definitely think it is to never let me forget that difference. When I find the right one, she will want the same freedom to be focused on serving the Lord (in a direct fashion) that is also equally protected by my love as I am by hers. This lesson is the light that now accompanies me through this ugly darkness of my broken life.
In the absence of literal physical danger, the primitive brain system (Biblical 'flesh') became overly sensitive to potential attacks on one's sense of self-worth. Its responds to these supposed attacks with fight, flight, or freeze. In the world of psychology they are renamed: anger, fear, or withdraw. With these come a pantheon of life sabotaging beliefs (lies). It is a terrible plight to be constantly in one or all of these states, as they destroy functional interaction in relationships and create a self-consumed victim personality. They are natural defense mechanisms, and they are difficult to counter. The longer they persist, the harder they are to break. It takes constant work. Through mindfulness, the non-judgmental observational state of mind (Biblical 'spirit'), every instance of anger, fear, or withdraw can be questioned and followed back to a foundational lie. After this awareness, the lies can be replaced with a new beliefs, until the new beliefs become habitual responses (second-nature), over-taking the old addictions. Addicted to the Monkey Mind, is a great book on this topic.
Your nature is corrupt, your love is perverted
My love, in both body and mind, has become purer and purer each day with Christ
You are not loved, you are not known
I am known and loved by my Heavenly Family more deeply than I know and love myself
You are useless to the one's you love
My prayers, my sufferings, my joys for others are efficacious beyond my ability to measure
You are alone, you will always be alone
I am united in Body to the whole Church and I am spiritually connected in a special way to my family and friends
Your minimal social life is a reflection of your social value
My desire for holiness requires me to choose friends and spend time carefully
Your thoughts and words are morally ambiguous
I am an eccentric artist for Love and the pure will see my purity, I am always trying to improve my precision of expression, but I cannot and do not need to control other people's interpretations of me
The sex drive is an evil desire, chastity means fear of being a sexual being
God made sex; all the bio-chemical movements of sexuality can be drawn into the service of True Love, of God and neighbor, without being frustrated or suppressed. Only God's law gives us authentic sexual freedom.
You are emotionally immature and effeminate
I am an emotional man, that is a gift, it helps me understand and serve women better, my feelings do not control me, I use both my positive and negative emotions to support my passion for Truth
No one wants your love
I am free to love people whether they want it or not
You have been financially irresponsible
I went in debt with the Lord's blessing, for the Lord's service, my financial state is what it is for a good reason and it will not be a hindrance but a blessing to my true vocation! I am doing all I can right now and enjoying this time of learning new financial virtues.
You don't have a vocation because you would be a bad spouse and father
My Father is waiting to give me my fatherhood only because the hour has not yet come. God is making me into a saint and a saint-maker. I have the gifts to be a wonderful husband and father, especially the gift of always learning and trying improve myself. The longer I must wait, the better husband and father I will be!
Some of these lies are ridiculous and obvious, but they never reveal themselves as they really are, they hide behind lesser accusations and trivial circumstances. The real difficulty lies in uncovering your own individual triggers and learning to root out the error beneath them. Then, God-willing, we can start helping other people through their triggers as well. We should love the people who have forced us to face these lies, for they almost certainly didn’t mean the lie itself, and without their triggering we wouldn’t have had to grow. Once we have dealt with our weaknesses, we can liberate others from the burden of feeling like they always hurt us. Lord, let us always seek to lighten each others’ crosses through Your redemption of our minds!
After finishing another book on codependency, I am only now verily certain that I suffer a kind of post-traumatic stress disorder related to childhood wounds, exacerbated by a series of life traumas as well as repeated difficulties that have triggered it. Although I am tempted at times to think I have made no progress, simply because the wound remains tender, the evidence is quite the contrary. I almost never take out my pain on other people anymore; even in my own mind and emotions I protect them from my angry monkey brain. I work very very very hard at this, because the monkey is a monster. I have become a great monkey killer over the years. I refuse to accept non-constructive motivations toward the people I love, even if I can't stop them from repeatedly rising up. I can give the benefit of the doubt and forgive and work through almost anything with someone if they will give me the chance and meet somewhere in the middle (I'll be forced to do it alone if they don't). Thinking unloving thoughts about people is to me such an unbearable violation of my faith. And it is enhanced by my wounds. I am less adept at protecting myself, however. I take serious beatings from the monster sometimes; even to the point that I can barely make it through my daily duties. I'm talking about days that feel like they go on for weeks. It's absolutely brutal and physically exhausting. Telling me to just ignore it, or shake it off, or man up, or just let go, is counter-productive. Its like telling someone with bipolar disorder not to be so extreme. The difficulty is already there whether we want it or not. To top it off, we feel burdensome to the people we love as the burdens we bear might be somewhat contagious. During the worst times for sure. There is a process here I have been working on as well, and my recent break has pushed the whole thing into overdrive.
Holding boundaries with ourselves and others is where the healing happens. For myself, I do well with forcing my monkey to reason. I force us to examine all the evidence in context. I can keep him busy for long stretches with these logic games. I.E. She only said that because she is struggling with X right now and doesn't realize that I've been doing Y for her, so I understand and hope for the time when I will be understood as well. The logic of the cross is the ultimate trump card of course, when all else fails, but we want to have more pragmatic responses as well. The Lord only wants us to bear what we have to bear and not to add to it by being mentally/physically/relationally lazy. However, all the non-Jesusy answers are going to be temporary. The monkey will be back with new data soon. Where does he get this data from I wonder? *cough* spirits *cough*. My heart apparently is a landing field for imaginings that I don't own and often don't approve of. I know the difference between my own creations and those from above or below. That's my discernment to make, so unless you're my spiritual director, stay out of it. If you don't believe me you can't teach me. Which leads me to the prognosis of a new boundary I must enforce in my life. I need to be trusted and listened to in my relationships (you'd think it would go without saying...). I'm not suggesting that I deserve the trust or ear of a stranger, because knowledge about someone and trusting them go hand in hand. But people act like that means you have to distrust everyone!!! No, no, no, no, no. Distrust should follow the same rule of being tempered by knowledge of a person. I can't tell you how many times I have been accused of crimes by people, expressing utter certainty, who couldn't possibly have the knowledge required to file the charge. Some evidence isn't sufficient evidence my dear shallow world. I'm sorry that this culture taught you to judge everything by its surface impression, I really am sorry. This is the anti-climax of Western Civilization. Consulting the other person BEFORE making the assumption is vital. Often I have felt like my entire adult life should be evidence to the contrary of an accusation, but that's not enough, or its overlooked, when the monkey gets ahold of them. I am not saying I can't or don't sin anymore, but please, acknowledge my goodness first. Five affirmations before a single criticism! That is a loving friendship. I understand if its too much work to be worth it sometimes, but I'm going to be the last one to accept that. I like the work. I think that is where love really is. Communion. I die for you, you die for me, I resurrect, you resurrect, repeat. But when its: I die, I die, I die, I die, I die, I die, I die, I die, you die, repeat, um, something's off here.
So when the monkey can't get me from within, he tries to get me from without. He knows exactly how to get in too. Through the women that I love the most; this is where the lie is so wrong that the fact they are even entertaining it is degrading to my core. I fight heroically for Our Lady and my women, its a critical point in my identity. Why would I want to be around women who don't honor that? Strange to me how secular women seem to see it and appreciate it better than my Catholic sisters. Truly, I am not standing for the emotional abuse anymore. Its triggering to me. If the relationship isn't giving me anything in return, why would I stay around? I have been too lenient with people. Its an insult to God, because it is unjust. A false assumption once and awhile is normal of course, and good communication skills will stomp it out right away. In fact, if the communication highway is open, I can take pretty intense triggering. Like I said, I fight heroically when the one I am fighting for loves me and leaves me with a promise of love. So long as I know the person cares enough to work through it with me, and is humble enough to acknowledge they may be wrong, that's a healthy relationship and I am all about it. I don't have to feel guilty about the fact that relationship with me requires more work than it does with others. That's because I am actually trying to become a saint here. I am at war with pretension and falsehood. It doesn't mean I don't know how to have fun, it just means that visits with my inner child require the admission price of a holy effort in communication first. If the price is too high, its too high. Come back when you've built up more spiritual capital. If you don't know how to listen, then stop talking so much. As soon as I feel like I'm the dumping ground for someone's woundedness, I'm closing shop and shipping out. Like they just use me and leave me, that's wrong and they need to learn. I'll be kind and help if I can, but I cannot subject myself to that continual abuse. So I won't. That's my codependent creed.
P.S. I am a total sucker for repentance and apologies.
One of my prayers was clearly answered. I got the direction I needed and I made a very liberating decision. Its a crazy life. You would think that love would be easier to live. I feel terrible for all the people who learned love from Hollywood and television. Narcissistic 'love'. The addiction and idolatry of novelty and pleasure. From this culture of death, Jesus, deliver us. I hate the devil for his victories over my family and friends. Not that they aren't good people, no worse than me; I just hate that we allow so many barriers to love in our relationships. A lot of it is really unnecessary. Always taking out our hurt on other people. We can allow the hurt to be crucified with Christ and sent back to hell where it belongs. But not often do we succeed, since it requires a natural death. Our nature is programmed to avoid death. We defend ourselves. We want retribution. We want someone to save us from the burden.
On the contrary, we shouldn't hold onto a burden that's not efficacious. This is my problem. It usually begins involuntarily as empathetic intercession, but then I don't know when to let go. I just want to get the crucifixion over with and get out of this gross and suffocating world. I want to give my all, all at once, so I can go home. But I don't exactly get to choose my cross. My cross was chosen for me from eternity. I knew this one wasn't mine when I felt no more joy in it. I don't mean pleasure. The pleasure for me died long ago. But there was still joy in the barrenness, in the hope of resurrection. A tree with no fruit withers and dies. I thought it might be saved, but its already dead. I suspect it was never the living tree I thought it was. Merely another hard lesson from the Gardener. It takes two to raise life, and I was doing all the work alone. So God pulled me away from trying to save it. I am starting over. Rediscovering myself through the eyes of the Father. Allowing myself to be the uncompromising man that I know He's made me to be. Searching for the place that can receive my passion. Fighting evil with patience, purity, meekness, and humility. Walking through the darkness following His light. God be with you too.
Lord, pull together these broken experiences and give them meaning. I am lost again. Renew me in Your new creation. Guide me please.
Its hard to have a five-year financial plan and stick to it, while you feel like the world is falling apart around you. Its still worth keeping commitments for the sake of integrity and holiness, but it is hard to believe that it is actually going to pay off in any material sense. I've felt this way for almost two decades now. I understand that some of this emotion is just my personality type; I fly to extremes quite easily and I am hungry for that state of necessity that makes me feel truly alive. I have been learning how to cultivate this passion in the mundane, but part of me still keeps looking over its shoulder for the end times. Know what I mean? Like I am here plowing my field, day after day, secretly hoping with a holy fear to be summoned to join the Church's crusade against Satan and his warlords. I mean a literal war. Which is probably coming soon. When rationality and communication break down, violence is all that's left on the table. The transition from monk to knight really shouldn't be that hard, assuming we have accepted enough pressure on ourselves in the monastic life. Right? We don't get to Heaven without a fight. The dragon is here. Right now in your face, telling you to take the easy road; offering you pleasure and comfort and fun. Meanwhile, our family and friends are falling into hell by the droves. Send me Lord. I will go. Continue to show me the way.
My only reason for seeking financial freedom is to have the personal freedom to begin the school of life that burns in my soul. A safe haven for Catholic families (including my own if I am so blessed) amidst this deceitful and depraved generation. I don't think we realize how bad it is out there. We are losing ground like late Rome, the barbarians are in the gates, and Catholics are still casually philosophizing and living comfortable lives like spoiled hippies. The Truth will hurt people, but nobody wants to do that hard work anymore. Nobody wants to take the hit from their retribution. No godly correction is accepted without anger these days. Because we lack virtue. When virtue fails the sword will return. History is violent because God is fighting for our souls and the reality of death is going to be the last call to action for a lot of overly complacent people. Let us not be one of them, Lord, and fight now with all our strength to win souls without blood. I already know I have failed more than I will want to see, but Father lead me to a better life, a better use of time, that I might fail You no more.
As I reflect on my miracle month, I am grateful, but not thrilled. I want to give more in this next month, In fact, I've already begun a new set of goals today. It is going to be hard, like a trial of fire, and so it is. Until the mark of habit is burned in my skin. Let it sow love to my future vocation. I have this gift for adaptive enculturation with an always learning love combined with a fervent desire to be a saint. Since the future of our country is very uncertain, I am trying to have a plan A, B, and C. No matter what, I know I must keep The Father at the forefront of my consciousness, to listen and follow His Will in all things, to face the day's difficulties with His power going before me. He has been teaching me how to transfigure these mundane and profane worldly deeds into beautiful acts of creative will/love. Works to lay at the feet of my beloved when she comes, and again to the Beloved when He comes. I feel the call to marriage, and I feel the call to children. I am going to continue to prepare myself to be the best husband and father I can be. My past was not a mistake, it was preparation, the present is not a roadblock, it is merely a challenge. My present endevour will take more than human will to bear through, but I shall put my faith in the Father who loves and leads, protects and saves me. For His glory I will serve.
To live in the world and not be of the world. A strange and fearful call. The more we engage in politics, economics, culture, the more they seem to suck us into their dead ends. Shrewd as serpents, innocent as doves, He says, and the children of the earth show more ingenuity than the children of the light. With the Holy Spirit I can change this stereotype. I have to try and try and try. One morning at a time. I know we can never have utopia here, yet every move we make is an attempt in that direction. It has to be. The inertia to perfection is woven into us. To build the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. But its not a prosperity Gospel, and life will not play-out as planned. We will fail, but we will succeed in having made a true and holy effort. Some, in their refusal to accept the inevitability of death, psychological, physical and civil, believe that they can overcome mortality through technology. This error displaces the flesh and blood of the common man, becoming a choice of outward pride and hidden envy. Playback the history of civilization. The American system was built on the premise that worldly power is dangerous in this way and therefore must be fractionated and subsidiary. Yet we still defend the union, we don't sacrifice solidarity. This is a unique land in its potential fertility for the Catholic mission. Those who want to make the state their Church (i.e. socialism) will have the same hostility to Judeo-Christian culture as communism did. If we can preserve our Constitution's unprecedented historical balance, we should try. Even if it means succession for half the country. As in our souls and spirits, we must nurture the parts in order that they all might fully serve the whole.
In the Litany of Saint Joseph, one of his titles is 'Lover of Poverty'. Why does he love poverty? Isn't he worried about the most beautiful woman ever created and the God-man whom he must raise; isn't he worried that they might not be shown the due dignity and the majesty they deserve. Of course he is. It is one of his greatest sorrows that Mary and Jesus are born in an stable built for animals. Yet, into that very place were carried the treasures of the East: wisdom, gold, knowledge, frankincense, understanding, and myrrh; the bended-knees of foreign kings gave worship to a baby in a trough. Did Joseph spare a single thought not addressed to the Heavenly Father in intercession for these two? No. Do we doubt that his role in the shadow was efficacious? Of course not. Sometimes the spiritual life takes everything from us. But this makes us pure. Like St Joseph's staff, earthly riches bloom on the branch of spiritual purity. The branch was the necessary foundation. This is why Joseph is the lover of poverty. For in poverty is humility and such lowliness blossoms with Heavenly aid.
Still, there is more. Can we believe that Joseph was one of the world's most talented artisans? Why not? Can we also believe that he was one of the most brilliant entrepreneurs? I think we can. So why was he poor? By no fault of his own but of providence itself. These thirty days speak to my heart of this truth, that I can work with all my strength to build a fortified spiritual, emotional, physical, intellectual, financial, and communal home, but finally it will be my own Father who provides it to me first. It may seem that I am behind the curve, but I am actually ahead. The Lord granted to me eyes to see the Logos of time's priorities. Mastery of the moment is the saintly gate. This power is The Spirit Himself. I was led by my Lord of Love to put first things first. I did so well and to His honor for a decade of my life. Now I must put third things third and win my financial freedom. If it be His Will. This will require a sacred effort and unwavering faith. I can't know until I throw my passion at it, like I always do for Him, and in Him now for my future wife and children. My age and receding energy is not a hindrance, it is meant to be; its just more poverty. If this is the wrong road, He will let me know, but now it feels right. Even if the effort is only to make me holier, so be it. My poverty is the material manifestation of a spiritual truth. I will always be poor before God, one way or another we will always be poor. Let us be poor in the ways we need to be for our salvation and rich in the ways we need to be for our salvation. I do not love poverty for poverty's sake. Increase my Faith oh Lord in the miracles you do for holy husbands and their families. So that I might shoot my children straight back to You, repairing the broken arrows of my ancestors, and giving the fruit of my energies to the service of Your Church. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, pray for us.
Still here. Still rising early. Still praying every day for you. Just giving myself the freedom to post only when I feel inspired, although I encourage all to keep a regular writing habit.
The Father took me aside to renew my strength and give me new vision. He is present to me. He loves me. He is proud of me. He gives me power over evil and breaks through the unbreakable in my life. He heals my wounds. He guards my heart. He appreciates all the wonderful gifts I have. He encourages me to keep exercising them. Even in the dark desert night we are together, perhaps at a distance at times, but I see Him or know Him near. And we are moving, always moving, He keeps me moving. This is not the opposite of quiet or stillness, it is the embodiment of it. For to sit in the pain is only to let it paralyze me. I must keep in step with the Spirit. I am making progress in detachment from this girl. This is no way implies that I am pushing away my love for her or trying to forget her or replace her, such would merely be the easy way out and a short term solution. Not to mention, I would just be using another woman if I went that route. Obviously, I am still in love with her and that is why this hurts so much. I’d die to feel again the holy tenderness of her heart and the incomparable radiance of her beauty. And so I have died and I will continue to die. Detachment is not letting go in the sense of stepping over her or judging her or convincing myself that she doesn’t deserve me, or any of this other worldly nonsense. True spiritual detachment, in fact, is increasing attachment to God so that we can hold the things we love in the right way. This is why I have always believed that being in love with someone does not have to be about any particular vocation. It is supposed to have a chaste sexual element and that is okay. It is simply the love that is due to each of us from everyone by the merits of Christ’s body who we are! The journey into this truth is not easy, it’s does not fit the world’s way of treating people as consumer goods, things to be tried and enjoyed and then perhaps returned or tossed away. I have refused to participate in this system of abuse. I am building a better life, the Catholic life, where spiritual virginity and nuptial love coexist in all our interpersonal relations. That is what the Father has been doing with me now these many long years of failure in love, leading me into my kingship through a purgation of continual rejection. I don’t blame anyone for not seeing the truth about me; if my presentation and actions had been purer I could have protected you better from doubt. My suffering continues to improve me in this way, until finally I am able love you with the full self-donation of God. I seek that day more than all else. The devil hates my love and wants me to have no support or hope for this endeavor. I am hurting so much, it feels terrible to wake up almost every morning, but I am so joyful to offer my sufferings for her growth and for the salvation of our families. I was always willing to be whatever I needed to be to be a blessing to her. God put her in front of me and so I loved her with all my heart. If He slowly takes her from my heart, than so be it; if He brings her back to me, so be it. She is free and I am free. But she chose to break our relationship, so the initiative to begin again is hers to bear. The burden of not invading her freedom is mine, and even in these posts I feel guilty for that, although I don't think it is wrong to talk about her. I hope the picture that I paint of her is not too tainted by my agony. When she walks in grace, she really is the most beautiful woman in the world to me. To walk away from such a light has been the most difficult trial of my life. But I must be content to do His Will. He balances my life for me by showing me the reality of the ground beneath me. Because my love is what it is, supernatural at core, I cannot ask for anyone to reciprocate and I cannot chase those who leave. Again this would be the way of the world and not of God. You don’t see Jesus chasing anyone, ever. He makes a gentle invitation and then leaves us to our freedom. The invitation is there to all who I have loved, I have absolutely no barriers up, even to my life’s greatest enemies. I accept anyone who joins me on this journey to Heaven in whatever way the Spirit prompts. If you want to leave this dying world aside and simply love each other, then that to me is the fulfillment of all the prophets and the law. The only true freedom. The discernment of our work together will be gentle and mutual if we do it right. As will our departures. Until the day that Love is all in all.
The Father be with you. Happy Feast of the Maternity of Mary!
Our King is taking me aside for awhile. Don't know when I will return. Love be with you.
So, I have to make some serious changes still. One of them is going to be backing off the posting for awhile. I know you don't see much progress with the courses, but it needs to stay behind the scenes work right now. My flesh is waging war on my spirit. It refuses to follow my will. It refuses to accept the reality I am in. My animal brain has always been over-developed, maybe from physical abuse in the genetic memory, not sure. As a kid, I was a troublemaker, extremely hyper-active, dangerously impulsive, had a raging temper, but I was also exceptional at all physical activities for the same reason. A kid can get pretty far on instinct alone. A good friend once termed it: incarnational. Most regrettably, I did not learn until late (my 20's) that I was supposed to subdue my body to God's will. My body and my intellect are also very tightly interwoven. I sometimes think I should go into the military or get into extreme sports, because when my body feels in danger my thought train speeds up exponentially to get me out of it. Time literally slows way down giving me much more power to act. I feel more alive and in my element than anywhere else. This is also why my suffering can be totally unbearable one minute and then suddenly disappear like a violent storm that rolls away. The suffering is my inability to act even though I am driven by all my survival instinct to do so. Or else I don't yet see how to act because its not physical. On the other side, I find my self in shock of the things I thought and felt while the storm was upon me. You can see why I am attracted to such a passionate Gospel life, radical suffering and radical love. Its just how I was made.
So, where am I now? God has given me much, and I do not appreciate Him enough. I am in a really good position for the mission I am called to. My work day both pays very well, and gives me two essential ingredients to my flourishing: being outside and being alone. This I have been turning into a wonderful time of prayer and study, and all the while building my worldly resources for whatever God needs them for in the future. The problem is that I put myself in a position to be crippled by a woman, who I thought would never actually do the thing that would cripple me. It blindsided me and traumatized me. But the devil has always used women to attack men at their weakest points, from the beginning, I need to start expecting it rather than continuously letting it break me. Her total physical and emotional withdraw was the only thing that could cripple me like this. So of course that's what happened, its been happening for years now. Because I am still not strong enough there. I take the blame. I put too much emotional pressure on her and I didn't protect the boundaries of our friendship. Because I still wasn't strong enough there, I am still trying to give back to my inner child something that he can never get back. That is what this is all about for me.
I am honored that the Lord considers me worthy of such suffering, because of the saint I know He is building me into, yet I am sure I am not capable of bearing it. For this time it is 100x worse than it ever was before. God will take it away or transform it in due time, but I actually don't want Him to until I get this lesson ingrained. He doesn't ask me to kill my hope of its end, but He does ask me not to force or presume the arrival. That's not what I need to focus on. I need to reach out to Him in more extreme ways so that I can control my extreme flesh: these moments of shear panic, severe, almost daily, anxiety attacks, ruthless piercing thoughts that make me sick to my stomach. All this pushes me back into the uncontrolled child I used to be. That's how it is with wounds. Its like a crack in your armor, you take a risk, thinking you are safe, until the blade slips through that crack. Then its all survival mode. The animal brain starts taking over. All the defense mechanisms kick into high gear. And that's where I find myself still, almost everyday, after being essentially ghosted with no warning more than six months ago (in retrospect, there were warning signs but I just had too much faith in us to work it out). Maybe this is us working it out, but without the communication to ground me in her reality, I am totally susceptible to the worst most painful ideas that lurk around my wound. It still hurts like it was yesterday. But even if it hurts like this for the rest of my life, I must go further. My stronghold, my strength, my Lord, my Father, teach me how to love my crucifixion. Teach me to be humble enough to die. My spirit begs you for the love of Yours, unite us in Your Son. Teach me to recognize that it is all His suffering first that I might transcend my own and satiate Him. Forgive me for the times I run away. Deliver me from this fearful body. Make me the man I am destined to be.
So when I say some serious changes are in order, what I mean is that my flesh is not moving on, and I need to start forcing it, in extreme ways, into a new consciousness. Into conformity with my spirit, who simply loves and lets be. The trouble with being so traumatized is that I need very corporeal changes in order to heal. Not mere therapy or knowledge, but tangible differences in my world. I need to suffer in new holy ways. That is to say, I need new deep relationships, new actual ministry, new physical disciplines, and new art (the website is my artistic outlet). Everything is difficult these days, but the private stuff is a little easier to do. I'm setting up a new rule of life to follow for the next thirty days' after this set. Making each task a prayer for someone I love is all the motivation I need with God's help! God, help me! I also may be starting a new ministry soon; I am very hopeful about it. Making new friends in the Church, however, that is going to be much more difficult for me. Even if I can find one local person who is actually available for a deep relationship on my level, it would be a small miracle. It has to be face to face and it has to be somewhat regular. Thats part of the incarnational thing. My body needs to see and feel and hear them directly and frequently. I have a plan for starting this search as well, starting tomorrow evening. We'll see how it goes... Peace be with you.
Forgive me for my selfishness. It comes out when I feel lost and desperate for help. I take up my cross, but then I don't know where to take it. I don't know the details of how to follow Him right now. Still struggling in prayer over the concrete service I am called to give. Trying to learn to follow Him by being still and silent, trusting and waiting. Trying, but not always succeeding. What I share is merely the teaching I have been given. God’s responses to me. The fruits of contemplation. Experiential knowledge. Never mere untested theory. I believe in teaching by letting others witness my life; passing on not only the facts but also the emotional weight of the lessons, present and past. Its not pride to do this. I want to stand beside you, not above you. You are just like me. Maybe we have personality differences, and contrary tastes, but we are all seeking the same End. Praising the same Lord. Feeling the same joys. Filling the same lack in the sufferings of Christ. The path that I choose is always the one that bears faithful witness to the Truth, the truth of the primacy of Love as defined by the Catholic Church. You have to trust me though, if not, the teacher cannot perform his miracles for you here. In turn, I trust you too. Not to give me exactly what I want in this moment, unless God wills it, but always certainly to grow into your full stature of grace. I trust that you will. I pray that you will. All that is left is the careful and plodding work - and fun if we let it be - of hashing out, through community, what we think Love wants us to do, together. Love wants to capture and transform each and every passing thought and emotion and interaction, if only we invite Him to. The more frequently we turn to Love, the faster He does train us in the mind of Christ. The more we start to think like we are Christ in the world today, as we work, as we speak, as we eat and sleep and clean and play, the easier it becomes to make bold decisions for Love's glory. Not as the world loves, but as God loves. Both joy and sorrow. Both wide and deep. Some must love wide to become deep. Others must go deep to grow wide. The more we realize that pouring out this Love is all that matters, and the less time we waste worrying about our earthly status, the more time we can give to each other. All our needs are contained in the gentle, patient, humble, and pure expression of Love. Our worries are a measure of our idolatry. They ought to be kept subordinate. All concern should be for Christ first, always and everywhere, and then, within Him, for the people He puts in our lives. Everything else will take care of itself. We are totally free to give our whole being to following these two commandments. That is the only true freedom. That is the only true faith.
The cabin in my dream represents a deep hideaway in my heart. The deer and the cougar outside my window are natural and feminine beauty and grace, they come close to me because I have great awe, admiration, love and respect toward them. I feed them and they inspire me. The deer however became possessed. Red-eyed, rage-full, and attacking me, ultimately breaking through my cabin door. In my flayed imagination, I am constantly tempted to think this is how the women I love feel about me.
Feminine beauty captured my heart for good many many years ago. Sadly, before I ever had positive experiences with beautiful women, I had many unholy and hurtful interactions. After my conversion, God gave me a series of amazing ladies to build me up in grace and each one bestowed upon me a new spiritual gift. I want to write a book about this someday. My many vocational failures started this pattern over again, and right now, unfortunately, beautiful women are almost exclusively a source of spiritual attack for me - save for a couple cousins who God has put in my life.
This spiritual attack is the evil deer attacking me in the dream. Its as if beauty itself has become hostile to me. Because this was a pattern in my life that I was convinced would end with my last relationship, it sometimes pushes me not to trust beauty anymore, but rather, to use it as it used me. This is the nature of the wound. Its not that I expected her to fix me, I have already been on the healing path for many years, but I did expect her not to judge me and to love and encourage me in the healing process, as I did with her. It wouldn't take that much, a little goes a long way for me, but its still too much to ask I suppose.
This is the unfulfilled promise that hurts me more and more each passing day, the pain that I cannot bear, but somehow must. I try my best not to make my days about myself, but if I was totally selfless I wouldn't be human, and if I thought I could be, that is pride. All the unnecessary drama and emotional violence that you witness in me here, could be quelled by a single heartfelt conversation. It might be difficult, but I feel like I should be more than worth it, and that makes what is already a depressing situation so much worse. Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me, a sinner.
I'm so tired. I feel like I'm losing my head sometimes. I don't understand why. I was fine, I was content. Now I'm barely breathing. One day, one hour, one breath at a time kid. Be present to our dying Lord.
This is what I heard today:
The place I was relocating to in the dream was called (roughly) "dweller near the stronghold" in English. I was reluctant to move until I saw that it was close to a holy community, wherein I knew I could thrive. I also felt this pressure to move in order to please the woman I loved. I wanted to do it for her and it made sense. There was a topographical map showing two mountains, one where we would live and one where the religious community was. Only thirty minutes apart. The Lord was telling me that I need to establish myself in a place of strength (stronghold) close to the Catholic Church and await a revelation for my occupation and vocation. Silly? Maybe. Meaningful to me? Yes.
The hoodlums at Nanny's house symbolized the world trying to take ground from my present home and my Church. I was able to non-violently move them away with some degree of authority. Nanny is the Church as well as the guardian of my vocation generally (its not the real Nanny who has appeared to me in other dreams). But Nanny/the Church won't even look at me... Why? She is the only place I have ever known as home and where I spend all my strength in prayer and work. Why is she ignoring me? Yet it almost seemed unintentional. Like I actually was invisible. She literally cannot see me, or see who I really am... I don't know how to change this yet.
Mom is in the basement trying to clean up broken pieces of drywall... Why does this bother me? Because it is not her home. She doesn't know this place. She in fact is not helping, even though her heart is good in the effort. A woman cannot do this work, its out of her charism. I took from this as a reminder that a woman or women cannot fix the brokenness in the home of my soul. Although a helper would be nice. First, I need to look for a holy man I can learn from. This is hard for me. I don't look up to many men in my world. Not sure why exactly. I don't see many men living the way I want to live I suppose. They have to be a lot older than me usually. My spiritual director is awesome right now, but someone else in the Church, preferably an old and holy husband and father...
The cabin and deer element of the dream, I'll leave for another time, maybe.
Good morning. I am extremely unhappy today. Surprised? I know! Crazy right?! I'm thinking this website isn't helping my life right now. I need to find a way to serve people in the real world, cyber life is draining my soul. Its attractive because it gives me access to such a large audience and so much information, but often I think we were never meant to have this 'gift'. Also the miracle morning doesn't seem to be working for me, I think because its just more work. It would be a different animal if my social and emotional lives were already in order, then I probably would benefit from this extra time alone, but right now it just feels like another task I've undertaken to try to prove to myself that I am worthy to be loved. That's not right. I can't give you what I don't have. It's out of order. I'm only human. God can't expect me to only receive love in this invisible suffering way all the time. Even Jesus got to live a happy family life for thirty years, and He was only abandoned for a short time. Even then, He had loved ones with Him on the cross. I'm not saying I suffer more than Jesus. I'm just saying, my life is not as it should be. I'm going to finish the thirty days, because its a prayer commitment, but I might try something different for the following month.
I am almost finished the dream interpretation book. It is very Christian, very Biblical, I like it. It has me dissecting my unconscious. It is fun to listen to the Lord through dreams. For example, I realized that my Nanny's house represented my sense of home and belonging. Yet, I didn't feel at home there, even though in reality it is the only house I lived in happily for the large majority of my life. When Nanny opened the door to my brother and I, she looked at him with a big smile and said his name, but she never looked at me or spoke to me. Here, obviously is my unconscious reminding me that my brother has been welcomed into a home and I have not. Even in the house, when I sat with Nanny, I felt as if she either didn't know I was there or was completely indifferent to me. My sense of being invisible. It was hurtful because I loved her very much and was excited to she her. In the dream, Nanny represented the pure image of the mother figure in my life and the feminine generally. My own mother was there too, moving things, cleaning up broken pieces of the house. I had this strange feeling like I didn't want to help her because I didn't like whatever she was doing, it seemed unwanted or not her business. Ruminating on this and other dream messages today...
Yesterday ended up being very blessed. A wave of hope came over me and I was happy and having fun at my job again. Thank you for your prayers.
I might start a book today about how God speaks to us in dreams by James Goll. Last night, I had very strange dreams both in general content and in emotional potency. First, I was transferred to a UPS in some province neighboring the Austrian town of Gaming. I was going to work and earn my PhD there. Then my brother and I chased some hoodlums off my Grandma’s property (not hers anymore) and visited with her for awhile (she has been in heaven for over 20 years now). Mom was doing something to Nanny’s house and needed help, but I had to leave to make some time commitment. Then I was at our family cabin, where I also felt a pressure to leave and make some unknown deadline, despite that I could tell dad needed my help with things there. I watched as several deer came all the way up to the windows and even seemed to look inside. They were just deer at first, then it some cougars joined the group. Eventually, as I stared at them, the deer became sentient and humanesque, communicating to me a vague hostility. One finally broke down the door. I woke up. My emotions during my dreams sometimes differs vastly from what I would have felt if the dream situation actually occurred. Those strange emotions linger for awhile. I don’t know that I can communicate what the feeling is like right now. A species of fear perhaps. Fear of letting someone down, a fear of being left behind, a fear of being delusional, a fear of feeling good, a fear of the unknown. Some of that is just the regular morning fear that comes most days now but with an added sense of mystery and unanswered questions. I should try to be extra quiet.
Halfway through these first thirty-days here. Other than suffering with God for the world, I'm not sure much else I do matters. I guess I wouldn't know if it did. I am grateful for the Lord, happy to be with Him, consoled by the fact that His work will be accomplished regardless of me. I don't know how I'm supposed to do this alone. Where are my friends in this mission? Where is my local community?
The tide pulls from my heart.
A dry shore takes the place of living water.
I want to love you.
I don't know how.
Black it wraps my eyes.
All I see is sin in me.
No path or destiny.
Everything feels out of place.
Am I where I'm supposed to be?
The light that I remember is her face.
A beauty that became this heaven ache.
Its all for her and all not good enough.
The love I give to her.
Unites me yet to Him.
So may He love her for me.
May He give her treasures for a queen.
This prayer alone sustains me.
Pain to grace the aging ways of men.
With this death.
I know its not the end.
The moon has lifted it.
I rest and wait.
Until the water falls again.