Helpful books on subject of classical theism

I wanted to respond to Fr Kimel’s article today via another blog post in order to expound on why I recommend the books I recommend. Fr Kimel gives a sourcement of books in regard to the topic of divine simplicity and classical theism. After reading Edward Feser’s response to William Lane Craig, I am going to recommend the following two books.

The reason being is because much of the philosophical language for most people is garble-de-gook at times. It’s not that it’s bad but is it really necessary to understanding classical theism? Both St Julian of Norwich and St Angela of Foligno express God in different ways but both show the overall transcendence of the Creator in their own specific ways.

I recommend these books pre-dominantly for their overall theology of God and specifically for St Angela of Foligno’s rather interesting Trinitarian theology. In one of her visions, she hears from God, “I am the Holy Spirit” a little later, “I am the one who was crucified for you”. Suspicious, her scribe asks her about this and she understands in the Trinity, “[it] was at once one, and a union of many” brushing aside all analogies of the Trinity as imperfect in describing God (Memorial, chapter III). In another place, St Angela speaks of the Father and Lord, head of angels, as God become man (Instruction XXXII). This stresses the oneness of the unity of God as opposed to lead to Modalism. St Angela is very Trinitarian in her theology but what is seen consistently is an emphasis on the unity of the Trinity.

St Julian of Norwich in turn is also highly apophatic in regards to her theology expressing sin as nothingness. God’s mercy and forgiveness being nothing as well except in contrast to the nothingness which is sin.

Both are a little bit easier to grasp for more simple-minded folks like myself but both in turn express the teachings of how classical theists typically think when they speak of God. St Angela constantly reiterating how inexpressible God is in comparison. Neither are highly philosophical.

As for St Maximus the Confessor, I have been reading a whale of a lot lately and am hoping to get to his life of the Virgin Mary soon. I was more under the impression though that the Eastern Orthodox were more Palamite. But alas, we should try to move toward both ultimately. I do recall what St Faustina once stated–God speaks to philosophers as a philosopher and to the simple minded as a simple-minded person. I tend to prefer more simplicity being in awe of the unfathomable and I cannot unfortunately keep up with these kinds of highly sophisticated debates (well the term “Sophist” was originally conceived as an insult in ancient Greek culture so that’s probably a good thing!).

But for those trying to see classical theism without the garble-de-gook jargon, I highly recommend both St Angela of Foligno’s Book and St Julian of Norwich’s Revelations of Divine Love as these two works are much more easier to understand for those of us simpletons that at least want to say a couple of things about God.

About Emperor Thomas I

Catholic monarch of the New Roman Coalition. Consecrated to the Apostle Thomas, the Holy Martyr Sigismund, and the Holy Martyr Olaf II.
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235 Responses to Helpful books on subject of classical theism

  1. rtsacred says:

    Hi Daniel. I hope that you are ok. I had to go on a trip and my password to my email is somewhere, but I have not gotten to finding it yet. I just wanted to let you know that if you have written to me, that is why I have not replied.

    • I am praying for you always, friend ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you. Prayers for you as well.

      • Always ๐Ÿ™‚
        Hope you find your password soon or are able to make a new one.

      • rtsacred says:

        I probably will not be digging through everything soon. Things are a little complicated right now. If you have any questions though, I can try here, and just hold the more personal ones for later if that makes you more comfortable. I hope you are ok.

      • I will continue to pray for you my friend. It sounds like you have stress to deal with.

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • God loves you, Isabella!

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you! He loves you also Daniel! More than you know. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I’ve been reading this series called Dogmatic Theology by Francis J. Hall right now. I have also been reading The Idiot by Dostoevsky. I started today another book called The Road to Serfdom by F.A. Hayek. You reading anything?

      • rtsacred says:

        Hi Daniel. Yes, I am reading a couple of books or so. How is the reading going?

      • It’s going well. What ones are you reading?

      • rtsacred says:

        I was reading “The Story of the Irish Race” this evening. I had a good book on the North Sea that I did not get a chance to finish; all about how the North Sea and the regions around there were so instrumental in the history of Western Civ.

      • You use the library a lot or just a very distracted reader?

      • rtsacred says:

        I do use the library, and book stores too for the sake of lounging and reading. Amazon for many purchases. And I can be a distracted reader, but I did not finish the book because I had to leave the state and so I returned it. I can also be a slow reader; I find things I want to just keep thinking about. You?

      • Ah. That can be difficult when renting a book on the road or borrowing from a library. I mostly use Amazon but sometimes, I see cool things at these thrift book stores on the University Campus. Somebody brings in the used books.
        I like when the library does used book sales as well. My own library card is long since expired and I have not renewed it.

      • rtsacred says:

        Books sales are good. So are those discounted books with cool bindings that you find sometimes for a cheap price. You must have a lot of books.

      • It’s been a while since I’ve seen a book sale though I always like to peruse. Maybe next time, I’ll buy one.

      • rtsacred says:

        Books are too much fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I still thinking about doing English for my M.A. but family is probably moving to D.C. area…yuck.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh, that would be fun. I like big cities. Actually, bigger than D.C. I like…. but there is a lot of interesting things in D.C. Why can’t you do English there?

      • I can but I’m not particularly fond of sewers/cesspools inside of a giant hell-hole if you know what I mean…

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes. I think our problems run much deeper than abortion though. I know for a lot of people, that is the center issue to correct everything, but I think the center issue goes even further, although that is a very important issue and does need to be fixed.

        We have a strong social conservative, pro-marriage, candidate running in Alabama right now.
        He’s SBC so he has flaws in terms of religion but his social issues stances are going in the right direction.

      • rtsacred says:

        100 years is also almost up…. should be interesting to see what happens, perhaps immediately or in the next decade or two.

      • Yeah. The shrieking does seem to be dying down as of late. But there features to be some intense demoniacal activity this coming week.

      • The war does not end. Emmanuel Lasker once said, “The hardest game to win is a won game”.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, except now California wants to put you in jail for telling the truth about gender…. so if you are a liar, you are right, if you tell the truth, you are wrong. El bizarro.

      • California keeps sending Arizona their political refugees…
        It’s all nonsense and it promotes the lunacy that mental illness ought to be glamourised rather than treated.
        California will probably be seceding and then it will come crying back after realising it’s ruined itself and that will ultimately bring it to repentance. It took a war to convince the Democrats that slavery was better off being outlawed.

      • rtsacred says:

        It is indeed lunacy to cater to mental illness, rather than trying to help resolve it. I think our world is more and more run by the mentally ill who desperately want to “normalize” their illness for one reason or another, rather than being brave and seeing it for the opportunity it is – namely, to become stronger and internally better.

      • You’ll like this one ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        I knew this some years back. I have been messed with by both Facebook and YouTube. My Latin Mass videos were relatively successful, and then I tried to switch them to a different channel. They were barely getting views, and YouTube flashed me this bizarre upside down message calling me a bigot and something else, but it went on and off my screen so fast that I could not read it all. I also had some very, very creepy, bizarre stuff with Facebook. I mean extremely bizarre. These people play big games.

      • Ironic that it was upside down. Like an upside down crucifix?
        Ironic you mention bizarre. I was just talking about Bizarro world with another friend of mine where everything is flipped around.
        Youtube serves the Devil and so does Facebook. It is becoming quite obvious right now.
        Google and Fearless Girl Brokers are both in hot water facing suits for undercutting pay for their women employees. They are part of the industry that pushes that there is a “pay-gap” between women and men which very few are believing right now. I guess they figured they could push it more effectively if they actually started doing it themselves!
        Facebook has been very open about censoring conservative speech. They are not a good tool to communicate the Gospel. They have never been friendly to it.

      • rtsacred says:

        Hi, my apologies that I have not been around. I hope you are doing ok? Yes, it was text on a white background. Maybe like 5 or 6 lines of text that filled the top part of the page, the rest of the page below it blank. The text was all upside down, so when it came up, I was confused at first, then started to read it. All I remember was catching the word “bigot,” and then the text flashed off the screen. It was clear to me that when I was unknown, and my video was first out there, they did nothing to “hide” it, so it was getting good hits. When I tried to upload it to another channel, it seemed to me that they were trying to “hide” it, and since I kept trying to upload it, confused by the lack of hits, that is when the text flashed; sort of like they were saying. “Stop trying to reload this video! You are a bigot and your video will be suppressed.” As for Facebook… they play huge mind games is all I will say. Things are pretty bad. But that is how it is meant to be for now.

      • Just keep praying and leave it in the hands of the angels, Mary, Jesus, and God.
        We already know the end–our side wins!
        You know who a loser is? Satan. Much like this guy…

      • rtsacred says:

        (Real) Love always wins.

      • Note: real love, not fake love. Not the “love trumps hate” “love” which is entirely fraudulent. Not the “if you love Jesus, fund other people’s abortions” “love”.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yep. That is why I added *real* to the equation… because I know the ones on the wrong side use that slogan to claim they are in the right, when their ideas of love are just not real love.

      • They just aren’t love in general. Agape!

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, thank you for asking. How are you?

      • I’m pretty good. I just haven’t heard from you.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh; I “liked” your one comment but did not have anything else to add, so that was why I did not reply but used the “like” button. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Sweet ‘n’ sour right? We are Chinese toppings. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • For that, you just got down-graded to soy sauce.

      • rtsacred says:

        lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Salty…

      • I like cats better than dogs…

      • rtsacred says:

        woof. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • you are such a child. are you really 30-something?

      • rtsacred says:

        Wow. I did not know playfulness ever went out of style. Have it your way.

      • I’m kidding ๐Ÿ™‚
        You’re a fun person.

      • rtsacred says:

        No, your not. But… I will reply to your other comments and explain more.

      • It is why I like in-person conversation better than internet. Though Iโ€™m glad you allow me to be open with you. I am moving your comment to the โ€œapproval pendingโ€ column since it contains highly personal information that does not need to be on the web.

      • rtsacred says:

        Ok. I hope you are ok.

      • a little bit depressed as of late but mostly okay…
        how are you? you seemed stressed about a month ago.

      • rtsacred says:

        I am ok, thank you for asking. I am sorry to hear that you are a little depressed. That is hard. Do you meditate on God’s Love for you when you start to feel that way? I think a lot of sadness comes from humanity’s difficulty realizing how loved they are by Love itself. Of course, there are many factors at play in different situations, but I think we as people tend to have a hard time recognizing how loved we are by God. Anyways, maybe think on that for awhile. Hang in there. God loves you! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • My cat under the piano bench at home.
        I pray each day. It helps a lot. But still there is some sadness…

      • rtsacred says:

        Yeah, I understand. It is difficult to deal with that. Especially when you have been around a lot of dysfunction – and many people have. It creates something akin to “open doors” in the psyche for other things to get in, such as a tendency to sadness, which can possibly be yet another “open door.” The thing is, at some point you sort of have to go back along the hallway of life, so to speak, and close those doors and lock them. It doesn’t mean the old things won’t come knocking again, but if you can at least close and lock the doors, then you can learn how to just ignore the rest. It is not easy, and it is not something one can do alone, which is why it is really good that you keep working with your priest, counselor, etc. to get better. That is so good. Yet ultimately it is you who has to close and lock those doors, and ignore them in the future. I think the foundation for doing that is to really understand how good God is, and how loving, and how much He loves you. Those are two separate things though, and the first is to understand how good God is and how loving He is. I know you said you pray a lot, and that is good. Keep doing that. Yet do not forget to meditate on these things a lot – every day. You know, a lot of people “know” God loves them, but they don’t really KNOW it. It is not something deep in them. You need to make it so deep that you never doubt it. So that it is like second nature… “oh, here comes sad thoughts, but I can shoot them down real quick, because whatever they are, they dissolve before God’s Love for me.” That is why it is so important for you to meditate on those two things, and to be careful what you put in your mind. I know you like a lot of fiction books, but be so careful with what you read. I mean, there are a lot of classic books that have “great” status as “classics” but they can do a real number on a sensitive mind, so you are going to have to be very cautious what you allow into your mind now and always. That is not necessarily a bad thing either. You might say, “well, others can handle those books, movies, etc.,” but some people are so numb and dull that they cannot tell when a truck is hitting them. So in a way, sensitivity makes you more keen on what to avoid, whereas they might read away and end up a wreck and not know why. But at least you can pin point what would make you feel that way, and that is a gift. I think all forms of suffering are a gift, including what you are dealing with. You just have to find the gift within it. Hang in there. God loves you!

      • you don’t care about my cat? god cares about my cat. god loves my cat.

      • rtsacred says:

        I don’t know your cat, but I am sure that God loves your cat. Is that your cat in the picture?

      • That’s my cat. Do you have a dog?

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh, nice. I have had a number of dogs and I do have one now also. One nice thing about cats is that they require so little maintenance. Yet at the same time, I enjoy that dogs force one to go out and walk more. But there are times I would have liked litter for dogs – namely, when staying in cold, snowy places.

      • What kind of dog do you have?
        Also, I saw this video clip today–

      • rtsacred says:

        I have a thoroughbred nutcase. ๐Ÿ™‚ That video was cute by the way.

      • I always like hybrids.
        Well…we got bad news with that Senate race in Alabama–it turns out that the guy against gay marriage and abortion isn’t against child molestation…which is bad. Very bad…
        I write about him here:

      • rtsacred says:

        Bad news. Yet what is new? If I told you some of the things I have seen in my travels… I do not think you would believe me. People would think I was making it up.

      • I’d believe you. You’ve proven to be trustworthy. Sometimes, the truth is even weirder than the fiction.

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you. Yes, truth is at times quite stranger than fiction. I hope you are doing ok.

      • Mostly ok. Got a lot of work as of late so very tired…

      • rtsacred says:

        I hope you can get good sleep nevertheless, especially given what you go through. I would think lack of sleep could just have the potential to compound things. By the way, I have been thinking of mentioning this for awhile…. how are you on your eating/exercise habits? I do not think good food, exercise, plenty of rest, etc. is going to be a cure, but in the long term I do think it could help to at least ease things a bit. I don’t mean if you eat an apple today and get a good nights rest though – I mean steady habits over a long period of time that build up. And I do not know if you smoke or drink a lot, or do any other “things,” but those too are something to watch. Not a cure, just a way to make the road a little smoother if you know what I mean. Anyways, I just wanted to ask you about those things.

      • I do cardiovascular exercise routines at least twice a week now because of work and driving but I’ll be able to do more routinely at three times a week. I actually have dropped about 30lbs of fat over the last couple years. I try to eat roughly 2000-3000 calories a day (primarily, because I need a lot more energy doing the cardiovascular exercises and the physical labour at work combined). There’s a little bit more lee-way now with sugar because of the added energy I am burning.
        In terms of drug habits I have–the only alcoholic beverage I drink is the expensive French wine and only when I can afford it, which is sadly, never. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ
        I probably do a lot of inhalence though with smoking. I like to sit on the bench outside work sometimes near co-workers who smoke a lot. And I try to inhale a lot of what they smoke. I like the smell of cigarette smoke, that’s why.
        Do you do any exercise?

      • rtsacred says:

        It is good that you exercise. That is really important, as it helps flush toxins out and I am no expert, but all those toxins could make the road a little bumpy if you will. I do exercise. On a good day I do two hours; about one or more of walking, and one of light, low impact aerobics (protect the joints). But it can vary, as the time is not always as lenient. Sugar creeps me out; it causes all sorts of bad things. Dark chocolate that is above a certain threshold in percentage is good for you though, in moderation, and as long as the ingredients are right. If I do anything sweet, I try to make sure it is organic…. like organic ice cream, but even then the ingredients have to be checked because they can sneak junk in. I know what you mean about the smell of smoke. I like strange smells…. like the interiors of new cars. I would smoke day and night if I could, but it is so bad for you, so I do not smoke. I like the smell of second hand smoke too, but I avoid it like crazy because it is worse than actually smoking yourself. I am crazy about Guiness and I really like dark beers, like a good Russian Imperial Stout… but the magic of Guiness! Ah! Wow! Yum! But I like wines too. But dark beers are the healthiest if you are going to drink, so if I drink…. I try to stick with Guiness or a dark beer. There are so many little nuances to things…. but really tweaking ones diet, exercise, etc. can be a huge benefit for anyone. If you ever have any questions about it let me know and I can try to help.

      • I did not know that about dark beers. I understand the disgust about sugar. Cane sugar I’ve heard is the best. All people need different diets, of course.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, that is true. Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a good one.

      • got sick with a fever…still recovering. had to miss a couple days of work and over half of thanksgiving day’s work schedule.

      • rtsacred says:

        I hope that you feel better soon. Keep me posted.

      • did you change your name recently?

      • rtsacred says:

        Change my name? You mean my screen name?

      • I thought you were Isabella…
        Never mind…
        I got home after church today and saw that Batman Begins was on television today. The Dark Knight trilogy was by far DC Comics best live action film release.
        It’d been a while since I’d seen the first episode of it. Though the second installment of the trilogy clearly contained a very possessed actor–Heath Ledger–and basically led many people to obsessing over the Joker. That’s how demonic the Joker was in the second installment of that trilogy–you’re supposed to be aligned against the Joker but somehow these strong demonic forces jumped through the screen into the minds of people and led to the eventual Aurora, CO theater shooting that occurred during the airing of the third installment of the trilogy.
        You’re not supposed to join the enemy, you’re supposed to side with Batman…despite his flaws.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh, I see. When I changed my website over from a paid site to the free one, I lost a lot of things that needed to be manually fixed and I never really did it. One of those things was my name for comments. I kind of knew that I did not want to go on – I set out to share something wonderful that mattered to me, and instead I ended up with stories that I did not want to share because they were so terrible and involved people with public reputations. I did not set out to bring people down; I set out to lift people up, and I did not want my contribution to be that I tore people down. Besides, some things were so terrible and police had to be called in and everything….. Anyways, I am rambling now. I am sorry to hear that about the series you mentioned. I think dark clouds hang over some films and can affect people who watch them, which is why I try to avoid a lot of movies like that. I would recommend avoiding those movies myself, because they sort of hang dark clouds over the viewer, and who needs unnecessary excess dark clouds? Besides, it is a form of mental programming. Yikes. I hope you are ok.

      • I’m okay right now. A little sniffly and a lot of coughing. Glad to know you are still an Isabella. Also, I’m a big fan of Batman. I always watched that cartoon when I was younger. The Joker though…gotta be honest, he’s a phony but most don’t actually realise that.

      • rtsacred says:

        It is good to hear that you are a little better. I hope you are all better by now. I have never watched much of Batman or those sorts of modern superheroes. I think years ago I saw it, and I think years ago I saw one Spiderman. I like superhero figures though, but more along the lines of historic heroes, like Fionn Mac Cumail and the Fiann, King Arthur, Galahad, etc. i like them because they were at least possibly based on real people, and they have a creed that they live by outside of just fighting. In other words, their “superhero” powers go beyond fighting and into daily life, making them very well-rounded as heroes in many things. I like when people fight the bad guys. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • King Arthur was definitely real. But I am Anglican so I’m supposed to say that ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        ๐Ÿ™‚ I thought you were with the Greek church?

      • My mentor is in the Ruthenian-Greek Catholic Church. It might be where I end up eventually…who knows? Their new priest is much more invested in the faith than their old one was. The old one at the parish was more of an anti-Protestant than a Catholic. Probably the problem with being a convert from a more fundamentalist background which he experienced.

        Back to King Arthur though–

      • rtsacred says:

        Ok, thanks for explaining, and for the picture. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • You’re welcome. Yeah. Sin has infected our own church. We were a part of the Anglican Church in America but there was a forceful effort to install a bishop in our diocese which we could not afford and who did not live to the responsibilities of the episcopate. It was presumed that the bishop who wanted him installed needed him for a vote in order to become the Primate of the Traditional Anglican Communion worldwide…
        Since we were largely becoming more involved with the Anglican Province of America and there were talks of unity, we decided to undergo a process with our sister parish in order to be merged with the Anglican Province of America. So we are currently Independent right now but the Anglican Province of America is who technically represents the views of our church so that is kind of our Church.

      • rtsacred says:

        Wow. Thanks for explaining that. If you do not mind a little diversity of opinion, or some friendly debate… well, you see, I am of Old Irish ancestry. I do not know if you know what that means, and that is ok if you do not. England made certain most people have no idea (loooong story). Basically, it means that I am likely descended from the Celts; the Old Irish and not the “New Irish” who came over to Ireland in the waves with the Normans, English, etc. So… in my book, the Anglican Church is the tail end of a deadly beast (the bits of truth here and there aside) for more reasons than a library could perhaps ever give room to write. When you mentioned the vote issue, it reminded me of what was done to the Irish as the English bribed and cut and dealt in every sort of evil and vice to get their way in Ireland. If you ever read the history of what the English Protestants did to the Catholics, it would make the Jewish Holocaust and the Spanish Inquisition and all the modern media hate of the sins of the Catholic Church look like child’s play (and I say that with all respect to the very real suffering that many endured in both. I do not mean their sufferings are child’s play – but that the sheer magnitude of evil would massively outweigh all those things combined in a level that is unthinkable in many other terms). But you cannot find a Holocaust more cruel. or a history more vicious, than the extreme evil done to the Catholics in Ireland by the Anglicans… and what tops the cake, is the absolute silence on the issue. It has been buried. One of the most cruel travesties in the history of our world, simply buried. If you ever read the year after year, decade after decade, century after century history of the Anglican cruelty you will be utterly horrified – and dumbfounded that it has been covered up to this day by the media, history, etc. Anyways, take up the study if you ever get a chance and want to really understand the roots of what you are experiencing today in the modern Anglican church.

      • My mentor actually was a spox with the Irish Republican Party of Arizona a while back and wrote a petition to our Senator John McCain calling on him to condemn the British abuses of the Irish. Sen. McCain wrote a letter back affirming his support of what the British were doing to the Irish.
        I think I’ve called that Senator a traitor before…well now you have an idea why. The British abuses of the Irish are nothing new and nothing old either. I hypothesize that of the 10 DUP members in the English Parliament right now, a good 9 out of 10 of them have probably at the very least been accused of terrorism.

      • rtsacred says:

        That is interesting about your mentor. He sounds like he would be interesting to talk to. No doubt most people know about the British persecutions of the Irish. I think, however, that most do not understand just how far and how terrible it went. I mean, people dying in their hospital beds because the British were shooting them in their hospital beds and this caused the hospital to catch on fire… just one example, and still small in comparison with the whole. Yet what even fewer people know is that if it were not for the Irish, we might not have what we have today. The Irish had an amazing civilization and the English wiped it out so much that all people think of them they think of the Irish are poor potato farmers, and it just was not that simple at all. Europe is Europe because of the Irish, and we have the Christian faith that we do much because of them. What is owed them is great; yet no one even remembers what is owed. That is the sad irony. Hope you are doing good.

      • I’ve actually been reading Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray recently. Oscar Wilde was apparently Irish and his work received much criticism for not showing seeming interest in moral thematics (people still were no more educated then it seems) and then also was used in an investigation of a sodomy (homosexuality) charge against him. Oscar Wilde was also undergoing a long conversion process to Catholicism studying with Jesuits much of the time as well. I wonder if the reason so much criticism from the English against him in the arena of 19th century English literature was because he was Irish and leaning Catholic and there was hostility toward both.

      • rtsacred says:

        Ah, Oscar Wilde. ๐Ÿ™‚ Dorian Gray actually has a very moral side to it, IMO. It has been a long time, but I think the ending rather ties it all together. Yes, Wilde was Irish. I do not know too much of the history of his life, but I do remember the sodomy charges and that he suffered very much. Yet I think he found dignity in suffering near the end. He was rather flamboyant, which may have irked the English. Your point is interesting; perhaps it did have to do with his Irish background. I am certainly not a Wilde expert, but if you learn anything more I would be interested to know. He may have played up the English conceptions of the Irish on purpose, who knows. I read once of a group of Irish who went to England and the way I took it, they purposely played up all the old expectations – with their long hair, thick beards, kilt-like traditional outfits, and their burly wild, free fighting nature…walking through the streets of genteel London…honestly, the idea made me laugh. ๐Ÿ™‚ I would have liked to see that.

      • Well I will definitely have to study more of Oscar Wilde to determine if his reception by the English was principally because of his Irishness. I think there may be a legitimate case to make on that issue.
        I have also heard that prior to his death, he may have received last rites though atheists and anti-Catholics like to reject that story.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, given the perceptions of the Irish, I could see a dramatist on the social scene really playing it up if they wanted to. The English saw the Irish as exotic, while at the same time seeing them as barbaric. I read of them publishing drawings of the Irish with something like the heads of apes! I can only imagine that Wild could have seen an open door there to play up his dramatic flair. Interesting what you said. He was an interesting guy, all the more so if he did convert given everything. Well, keep me posted. Always interested to learn more. There was a good biography I saw on him on YouTube some years back if you google about. It goes more into detail about the end and how he found meaning.

      • So much stuff lost on the internet…it probably is buried under a series of Google algorithms if it talks about anything pro-Catholic about Wilde nowadays…if it even still is there.
        How are you doing? Sending a (((((cyberhug))))) your way.

      • rtsacred says:

        I am ok, thank you. How are you? How is your Holy Day Season going? (As opposed to Holiday – seems to me like a spelling trick to make people forget it is Happy Holy Days, but I could be wrong.)

      • I always have difficulty fasting but doing my best. I like Holy Days. I found a wonderful set of music for Advent done by a group of Benedictine Nuns.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh, yes, they have some nice Cd’s. I own a number of them. I was there some years back to visit, and they let me pray in the choir with them. They were going to build a new monastery I think. Not sure if it has happened yet.

      • You visit some very nice places. I wish I could travel with you some time…

      • rtsacred says:

        Some are nice. Some not so nice. It depends. Travel is fun. It can be challenging too. It just all depends.

      • Have you ever travelled with people?

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, I have. You? Travel can be wonderful, but it can also be challenging. I find it to be overall more enjoyable on my own. In the past when I have travelled with others, things have happened such as someone holding everyone up because they would not come out of the restroom where they were adjusting their appearance. When they did, they looked basically the same and the guided tour we had paid for was missed as a result…. things like that. Plus, I find that the best travels are the ones with the most meaning. Meaning is personal to each individual, and so you really have to have someone who understands your thoughts on things. This takes a lot, and most people are not interested in such things.

      • I like understanding your thoughts on different things. I’m also quite punctual ๐Ÿ™‚

        I hate travelling with people that aren’t like that. It makes things infuriating. I’ve been on long road trips before…yawn…

      • rtsacred says:

        ๐Ÿ™‚ Yes, travel can be challenging enough as it is without throwing extra things into the bag so to speak. I find that there are very few people interested in really deep relationships. I have had numerous people where I have reached that point wherein I realize all they will ever want to do is chit chat and such, but have no interest in taking the time to establish deep bonds. Yet it is just the depth inside a person that makes like beautiful and worth it. If that depth is not explored and shared, I do not think there can be any true relationship, and that is sad. This is highlighted in travel. Some people want to snap photos and move on; but to really ponder things and ask significant questions and search for deep meaning…. that makes travel so beautiful. But it takes patience and effort, and most people have no interest in that, which really is too bad. And trying to draw them into the depths is usually impossible…. so I end up sitting there listening to chitter chatter about who knows…. depth is so important.

      • I hate it when people try to have you take the same photo six or seven times until they get that “perfect photo”. I never understand that. All I remember is what the person looked like and not much else. Like what was done by us there. I’m one of those who likes people who just tell me everything it is about them and dumps all their feelings on me as well. It makes me more comfortable opening up to them. We should totally try travelling together some time. We’d be like the perfect match.

      • rtsacred says:

        My dad used to say (in so many words), “just buy a postcard.” That gives you the “perfect” photo. ๐Ÿ™‚ I eventually stopped taking many photos; it got to be too much. If it really matters I take a photo. Usually I just try to appreciate what I am seeing. Places have stories imbedded in them – feelings, emotions, memories. Listening to that and discovering it is wonderful. Another reason why traveling with people is problematic; hard to “listen” to the place with a lot of chatter. It is good when people open up and can bond emotionally. I am not sure about emotional dumping, but definitely opening up and bonding is good. I find letters and notes are beautiful for that, and to me are practically paramount to a meaningful relationship. If someone is willing to take the time to write something significant on a regular basis, it shows that they really care about having a deep bond and have the patience and willingness to nurture that. Poems, thoughts, feelings, quotes from lyrics… whatever. There is something about writing regularly and sharing thoughts that way which leads to true friendship and understanding, as well as mutual growth and development in a relationship. Now try to explain that to most people….”uh, dude… what??!!” ๐Ÿ™‚ It all comes down to how much meaning a person wants in knowing another person, friends or more than friends. I would write little notes and hide them around the Piazza, and have the other person find them. ๐Ÿ™‚ An evening game to bring out the beauty while traveling. Just one example… but most people might say, “forget that. I just want a beer.” You see, creativity matters too. In travel especially. You see…. I am not for everyone.

      • Isabella is a dove,
        adorned with roses from above.

      • rtsacred says:

        You are sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚ That was lovely, thank you. I hope you are having a good Christmas season. Anything special planned?

      • I am going to the midnight mass tonight. Other than that, really nothing but enjoying a relaxing day off from work.

      • rtsacred says:

        Well then, Merry Christmas!

      • Remember to pray for me ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        Ok. Hang in there!

      • Thanks. Foot is hurting…possibly some ligament tear, I don’t know. I have to take a break from running. It’s hard.

      • rtsacred says:

        Running is rough. Walking or something more gentler is a good option. I hope that you feel better.

      • I found this song for you.

        Running is hard on the feet but it provides more vigorous exercise than walking and normally, that does not happen…

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh my gosh, terrible lyrics! Sweet tune though. I am a lyric nut. If I find anything bad in them, it kills the song for me. So you like Irish music? I enjoy this song: What do you think? You know, I think it was Handel who said he would have given up all the songs he ever wrote if he could have been the author of ONE Irish song that he liked. He really admired Irish music.

      • I especially love the Irish punk rock bands ๐Ÿ˜‰

        But I do love Celtic music of all varieties.
        Here is another favourite of mine.

        Despite the instrumentals, it is actually quite a traditional Irish song (if by traditional, you mean from the 20th century–it’s about the Irish revolts against the British).

        But…”will you go Lassie, go? And we’ll all go together!”

      • rtsacred says:

        lol @ #1 – interesting variation! ๐Ÿ™‚

        The other song – do you know who the Wild Geese were? “‘Twas England bade our Wild Geese fly
        that small nations might be free
        But their lonely graves are by Sulva’s waves
        or the fringe of the Great North Sea”

        The Wild Geese were the Irish who were taken from Ireland to fight for other countries. The Irish were greatly respected as warriors, and other countries wanted them on their battlefields. The Irish did a lot for France, and many things that they did have been forgotten. But it was considered sad, because they had to die for other countries, but not Ireland. Hence the term “Wild Geese.”

        I like this jab at England: “While Britannia’s Huns, with their long range guns
        sailed out on the foggy dew.” A little jab at the English there, who thought of the Irish as barbaric…. but who could be much more barbaric than the Huns? I liked that. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I love how you are so knowledgeable at history. It makes discussing with you so much fun! You’re always throwing me these facts I’ve never known before ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        Thanks. You are always welcome to share new facts with me too. I enjoy learning what you know as well, and found our Oscar Wilde discussion to be enjoyable. The more I learn, the more I realize how little I know, so keep me updated with anything you learn on anything new.

      • As long as our relationship stays in line with what God wants from both of us, we will continue to learn more. He knows all ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        Hi Daniel, I do not know if you celebrate Epiphany (Three Kings), but if you do, happy Three Kings! Do you celebrate the full season? Yes, you are correct in that all relationships must stay in line with what God wants from both individuals if they are to learn and grow from the relationship. That is very important, and so essential! If you understand that at a young age, you will have a good chance to develop into an individual who can maintain very healthy, constructive relationships that are beneficial to your happiness, well being, and that of others. It is those who do not realize this who are set adrift on the great ocean of relationships without any means of protection or safety, and sadly, that is most people I think – and more and more as our world becomes more self-centered. Yet one cannot really blame them, for it all makes sense to the natural side of things. You meet someone, you like them well enough, find you have enough things in common to get along…and presto! A relationship of one sort or another. But in truth, what a terrible way to build a relationship. People even base whole marriages on such a thing, which at my age just horrifies me… but I cannot blame. I was the same at a much younger age. It is entirely natural…. but to live above the natural is more real, for the only real thing is love… all else is shadows and illusions and what we think is real is but a nothing. Supernatural motives are the only real ones, and the only ones worth turning to. So what do you think is a healthy way to find strong relationships that lead to God? A very important question for everyones well being – for who we are close to will shape us very much in life.

      • ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Epiphany my friend ๐Ÿ™‚
        I celebrate the same Holy Days you do.

        That’s a healthy way to find strong relationships in God. Another way would be by going to Church together and rather than talking to each other at Church, intently participating in the liturgy and looking forward to the altar.

        Godly relationships don’t require much talking at all. Just focus on the importance. Praying often. And also committing to each other to help the other worship God. They don’t distract or replace God but rather enhance God.

      • rtsacred says:

        Those are good points, and true. I think your last point is why I love letter writing so much; it really reaches down to the depths so much more. Conversation is great too, but letter writing is sublime.

        Ultimately, I think the most important thing is to have core values in common. That is what I was most getting at. People can like one another, and have many things in common, and this can last for a long time. Even years, decades – maybe a lifetime. But I think eventually, in most cases – at least if the people are looking for depth and meaning – they will come up against a wall at some point if all the core values are not aligned. This is why I believe there is no true friendship where core values are not spot-on. To discover these takes great thought and mature conversation though, and most people do not look for those things.

        But for example, I think it is essential for two friends to share the same religion as well as the same lens towards that religion. So just because someone is Catholic does not mean they see it at a core level in the same way – even if they are on the same “angle” so to speak.

        Core values about religion, life, faith, how to have a relationship…. so many things have to be aligned. Yet once they are…. it is like bringing the Aurora Borealis to life every night. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I actually like writing more than talking. I can really speak what I am thinking without embarrassment. Such that I have this friend who leaves me comments on some of the places I write. She is a real sweetheart. Always gives me encouragement and scolds me when I need to be scolded.

        We only kind of share the same religion though, unfortunately. But it is not that I am adverse to the thought of becoming a Catholic. I was rather dissuaded by it a while back when there was a priest who was more anti-Protestant than Catholic. I might consider it again now though…

      • rtsacred says:

        You are sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚ I hope that I help. You know, never change who you are for a person. It does not work, and that was not what I was suggesting or insinuating anyways. ๐Ÿ™‚ For your happiness, never do that. I am sincere in saying that if you want to find happiness, you have to draw out from within who you are and who you want to be. That has to come from more than feelings and emotions though; it is your will and what you choose, despite what you may naturally want. Your will is above your nature, but ultimately to understand what you will you have to seek God and God will shape you into who He wants you to be. God is Love, and He loves you very much, and He does not want you to be anyone other than who He created you to be. He values YOU, and wants you to be YOU, although that is a process of becoming and you are on it. He does not want you to change for another person though, and no one should ever want that of you either.

        Trust me, it would never lead to happiness for you. Things like that might work for a time, but they have no real staying power and even if they somehow manage a long time, it would be a very uncomfortable, bumpy ride.

        I think you are smart, and you are young. You have a lot to learn still to discover who God is asking you to be. I think you are 23? Give yourself time. But please, remember this: don’t ever force yourself into being someone just for another person. To do so would be to enter into yet another dysfunctional situation, and that would not be healthy for you. Yes, I have to say, it would be perpetuating dysfunction if you did that.

        I think it would be great if you became Catholic! I think everyone should be Catholic. But not to fit into someone else’s idea. It has to be something YOU want, regardless of if they are ever apart of your life or not. The same goes for all other core values. You have to will it completely on your own free will.

        You see, God loves you that much. He wants you to have the freedom to choose HIM. Not because you are cajoled into it, but because He loves you so much He only wants YOU – the authentic YOU – in return.

        No one else should ever want anything else either, and if I may, neither should you. Love wha you love because you love it. I do not mean feeling – I mean will. Choose what you choose to love because you choose it freely. I hope you choose the Catholic faith one day, but if you do, I hope it is for love of Love, and not for any other reason. ๐Ÿ™‚

        So, I know that was a bit of a lecture, but you are worth it, to hear the truth be told to you. God loves you.

      • This goes into another point about friendship. If someone is not willing to lecture me or scold me for my flaws, they would be a terrible friend. A friend is someone who needs to make you see your flaws so you know what imperfections you need to fix. One who does not do this does not love you but rather are dragging you down into the abyss.

        I pray a lot about whether I should be Catholic or not or if I am in the place God wants me to be. I do not know. If it is the true Church, then God wants me to be Catholic but if I am convinced by God that my own Church is the true Church, then I cannot flee God…

      • rtsacred says:

        That is a good point about friendship. Please always stay that way. I do not think you need to be put down, that would not be good, but to be open to those who have constructive advice is always a wonderful thing for both you and your relationships. If you can keep that mindset as you grow and mature, then you will be even closer to having healthy relationships because you will be someone who can listen to others needs/concerns and make adequate adjustments as needed to strengthen the relationship, or know when to say no. Nothing is worse than trying to be friends with people who have the “I am who I am and so just shut up and deal with it because I will never make any effort.” You cannot reason with those people, and it just is so detrimental to relationships.

        As for the Catholic thing, well I would suggest – pray and ask God to show you the truth. I would suggest telling Him that if the Catholic Church is the true Church, you want to know and to join it, so if it is the true Church, could He please let you know?

      • I will pray that dearest Isabella. I kind of got on this boat a while ago and it seemed to have drifted out to sea. Well, the waters were bad at first but they settled down. I had difficulty piloting it so I stopped trying. Now the boat kind of goes where the waters lead it. I always pray God leads it somewhere safer and safer and eventually into a harbour filled with angels and saints.

        I also always pray for you as well because I know you always pray for me.

      • Sorry, I forgot to answer to your other question. When we first met, slightly over two years ago, I was 23. Now I am 25.

      • rtsacred says:

        Old fart. ๐Ÿ˜› (That is a joke…. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • It wasn’t a very funny joke… ๐Ÿ˜ก

        OTOH, at least someone acknowledges that I am old and isn’t calling me or treating me like a kid or some kind of baby. The one thing I hate more than being called an “old fart” is being called a “kid”.

        Besides, you’re in your 30s. I don’t think that old. I think that rather quite youthful. Not “kidly” though.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh, I don’t mind “old fart.” I am sorry that you don’t like it. I know one girl who we have been teasing each other about being old since we were about your age. “So, should I get you a walker for your birthday?” That sort of thing. I hear you about being called a “kid” though. People think I sound young. I was told the other day my voice sounded 19…. and I was not being silly or anything. Plus, I still get people who think I look like I am in my 20s. I once had a man insist I call him “Mr.” When I told him I have two master’s degrees, he sort of looked at me like he barely believed it, as though I was some sort of kid. I should have said, “so…. that means I will call you Mr., and you shall call me Master.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ No, 25 is a good age.

      • You have a very playful spirit but I kind of like the serious side of you when we talk and the playful spirit the rest of the time. I like both sides but I tend to like observing your playfulness more.

        You should have said something more like:
        “So that means you may call me ‘Princess’ and refer to me as royalty since I spent a lot of money–which doesn’t grown on trees!–earning those two master’s degrees!”

        I still haven’t figured out quite what I want to do for my Master’s degree. I’m still leaning toward English but perhaps theology instead. The issue is a) where to get the money, b) where should I go, and c) is it even worth it?

        As a matter of respect and formality, I generally refer to women in general as “Mrs.” or “Lady” and men in general as “Gentleman” or “Sir”. If you refer to them as “Sir” in addressing them, they won’t insist you call them “Mr.” as “Sir” either arrives at the same or goes above “Mr.”.

        It isn’t bad to be mistaken as young. I like being mistaken as young, just not treated like someone young. If someone thinks I’m too young to drink because of my looks, I take that as a complement. If they start calling me a “kid” because of my looks, that is where I draw the line.

        So it isn’t bad that you have the voice of a 19-year-old and the appearance of a 27-year-old while being a 30-some-odd-year old. Age decay was brought on by the Fall. Our Lady aged until the height of her age and then maintained such appearance of the climax of beauty until her death. If you continue rooted in Christ and all things pure and wholesome, youthfulness will be in your spirit and then also on the outside as well. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        Thanks for the interesting thoughts. I think I understand what you mean about observing, but it is always more fun to join in and play than to watch. ๐Ÿ™‚ One of the great joys in life is to know someone who you can frolic and romp with and just be goofy and silly with at times, harmlessly tease and joke and laugh with each other. Think of puppies playing and growling and nipping at each other; they know it is all harmless, and that is the fun. Humans may not be puppies, but we all have something of that innocence in us somewhere. I hope that you will not let yourself miss out on that.

        I understand your dilemma about money for school. But not everyone who attends graduate school is rich. There are many different ways that people make it work for them. Some might have something to sell, like a car, or they might work while they go to school (forbidden at some institutions, but some do it). They may save up in advance, cut back on where and how they live, or have scholarships or financial aid. There are just many different ways to do it.

        I think graduate school is wonderful, but it depends on where you go. I have taken graduate courses at numerous institutions, not just the ones I graduated from, and there can be such a difference in ones experience as a result. Not just quality of teaching, but atmosphere and the life around the school can be a big influence. So definitely factor in everything that you want from the experience.

        Is it worth it? I suppose it depends on how much you want it and how much you are willing to put up with to get it, and what you want to do with it. It is all so personal in the end.

        Thank you for what you said about being mistaken as young. I do not mind it either for the most part. I just do not like it when people mistake it for being naive, so I understand what you mean about being called a “kid.”

      • I just don’t really know how to “play” as you call it. Or like what you do in “playing”. I know how cats and dogs play and how to pet my cat while he is playing but not much else.

        Perhaps you could show me that some day.

        I will definitely figure out some way to pay for graduate school. I just don’t know what I want to do exactly…

        BTW, there isn’t anything a man won’t do for a Princess so if you tell him he should call you one, you can get him opening doors for you, paying for things for you, and lots of other things. Princess or Lady…both somehow invoke a weakness in men.

      • rtsacred says:

        I understand. When you were little, do you remember having a friend that you could be goofy with?

        It is not easy deciding what to take in graduate school. Pray about it. It can take time.

        That was sweet what you said about men. Yes, I understand what you mean to a degree, but more in regards to the term “lady.” I have always had very high standards for men, since I was a child, and have often used the term “lady” to remind naughty boys how to treat me. ๐Ÿ™‚ The sad thing is, most do not know how to be a man anymore. I have tried to teach different men, and they have tried – even claimed to enjoy learning what a gentleman should do, and putting it into practice. But if it is not there deep down in, it does not last. Some things just have to be there intrinsically. If those things are there for you, then that is good.

      • I can’t say I remember any one like that in my life. I had a few people I’d considered “friends” but they tended to do whatever they wanted and I kind of got stuck on something and it became frustrating…

        I keep praying. It will probably end up being either theology or English but I still cannot decide but I will keep trying and hope you can give me good advice.

        The picture this blogger has posted on this page is the one picture I always think of for when it comes to how to treat a Lady.

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you for sharing. I understand. I am hesitant to delve too much into your memories, as I am not a shrink, but I hope that you can sort of file our conversation away and perhaps one day explore it when you are at a place to understand it. I do think early experiences can have a huge impact on our life, and developing a sense of “play” is very important. But, I am no expert. ๐Ÿ˜‰ We all have our stuff.

        In regards to school, I took both Theology (only a little) and English programs (B.A.). I personally never liked Theology to that degree. I love spirituality, but for Theology you have to have a very different mindset. I do not mind a little Theology, but splitting hairs over those sorts of details is just not my thing. Not that it is bad; clearly, many great minds have had a calling and a passion for it. I just always preferred reading spirituality more (such as what the saints had to say about the spiritual life).

        What have you taken the most of, English or Theology? Also, I would guess it would be a LITTLE easier to get a job in English than in Theology. English departments are so big, and I think Theology is probably a much smaller field. That said, getting a job in academia is never easy, or necessarily recommended. But if that is what you want, it is something to consider.

        Thank you for the picture. Yes, that is a lovely one. I think I used to have a framed copy of it, but maybe not. The pre-Raphaelites were wonderful. Of course, if I went around wielding swords at men’s shoulders these days, I might get in a lot of trouble. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • The systematic theology of a St. Thomas Aquinas is indeed very cumbersome to work through and very complex. The simple things often grant much more as well. But from administrative perspective, it is important to be able to work out the nitty-gritty and some people have that intellectual calling. Most do not though. But we are all equally important. Different roles to fulfill in the kingdom.

        I majored in religious studies and history. Religious studies sounds like theology but it was far more sociological and the religious studies field of scholarship nowadays has a very gross tendency to be overtly hostile to Christianity and Judaism while at the same time being positive toward Islam (probably because non-Christians are frequently chosen to teach religious studies classes on Christianity and for the most part, Muslims dominate the field of Islamic studies). I have taken courses in philosophy, languages, history, and religion.

        If you want to dub me your knight using a sword, I can take on the title “Sir Daniel” and will defend you in battle, keep the house clean for you, and let you wield a sword over my shoulder–lol. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        That was sweet what you said about the knight dubbing – it rather made me chuckle and smile. ๐Ÿ™‚ But perhaps I should keep my sword wielding at bay for the time being. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        Yes, I understand about religious studies. I almost took that myself, but switched to English ultimately with Art History as a minor. The programs are usually more as you say I think, based from my recollection of the course catalogs.

        Yes, theology is a gift. It is not one of mine. ๐Ÿ™‚ But it is needed, no doubt. Keep praying and go where God calls.

      • Yeah. We should probably train you first so that when you dub me “Sir Daniel” you do not accidentally end up decapitating your fearless knight. :O

        I only added history. There is much to learn from history. I have been introduced by a friend of mine at church to the Austrian school of liberalism and there is much that is drawn from history there. It is often frowned upon in political science discourses, largely because of the hostility toward freedom from both rabid left-wing and right-wing people but it was able to make a case for itself. Did you know that The National Review is heavily influenced by the Austrian liberal tradition?

        Theology is a gift that is to be given back to the Church of course. If God leads me in that direction, my promise is to give the gift back to him.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh my! Yes, we shall have to hold off on the dubbing by quite the long shot!

        I did not know that about the National Review. You are probably far more advanced in your understanding of politics than I am to be honest.

        Besides, politics is a little triggering for me. It reminds me of the men who used to hit on me when I lived abroad, and what they thought they could get away with. As a child I looked at many politicians with admiration. As an adult, I just feel creeped out.

        Theology is indeed a git. Yet I think more than Theology, the Church needs saints. My experiences with the Church over the years have been absolutely horrific in many ways, and some of those people were very intelligent human beings who were respected for their ideologies, their personal politics, and many other facets that would tuck them in and neatly label them according to the group mentality that they held… yet they were lacking in what was needed. I can barely stand to even go on some blogs anymore, because everyone is so narrowly folded into their correct slots that it is like engaging with an idea and not a person. Besides that, the levels of abusive behavior and…. I don’t know. I shall never turn away from the Church, but like many prophecies over centuries have warned, Mother Ecclesia is covered and hidden by the sins and faults of her own. We are all guilty in the end I suppose, but that is why what we really need are saints. Not tidy little people who live tidy little lives.

      • It strikes at the core of people. Deep underneath, we are all hypocritical. Either that or we are naturally contrarians. We say one thing and do another or we do two totally different opposite things and believe them both to be true. There is a problem with the hard focus on the intellectual aspect of the faith. Then there is a problem with the non-intellectual as well. The non-intellectual tends to be ill-equipped to fight back though we all must start there and learn from those to be reminded of the simple things of the faith that are of the most important. The intellectual typically form a mentality of being the Church militant and waging out the battle of the ideas it seems but forget the non-intellectual aspect. The faith and the charity.

        Faith, charity, reason. The greatest is charity but that is encompassed in faith and reason is to point to those two.

        There are some good places on the internet that spread the truth but there are the bad places which tend to be the more reactionary and rather terse.

      • rtsacred says:

        Well said my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I suppose I just find it difficult to relate to a lot of these people. They have never tried to live outside of the ordinary, and all that they know is that life is nice and neat and tidy and they wake up and do their duties and go to bed and was, rinse and repeat.

        Then a homeless person comes strolling along, and they tell them they cannot be on church property….because it will offend all the nice tidy people?

        I would rather see the Church filled with homeless people and suffering people and sick people. The Church is FOR the sick. Jesus came not for the just, but for sinners, for those who are not well.

        The ones who are not well have more right to the care and love of the Church, for even Jesus said to Saint Faustian, “the greater the sinner, the greater the right to My Mercy.”

        But neat tidy people are so scandalized by the slightest thing. A homeless person sleeping in their bathroom is an “offense” to them, rather than a lost person who did not know where else to turn but than to a place that preaches Charity to the suffering.

        They scold and gossip and find fault but ins’t that what the Gentiles do? They are kind to those who make sense to them and unkind to those who do not?

        Last Sunday, for example, I had to bite my tongue so bad at the way I saw this person in Church treating someone, and then come milling around me to put the person down for his faults. The guy was homeless, and probably very mentally ill, and he is being picked on and treated like a disease rather than welcomed…. and why? Because he is not “tidy?”

        I get that we all have faults and say one thing and do another. It is written of in scripture. And I know we must bear with one another. But when is the time to speak? When is the time to speak and tell someone, “shut up!!!!! Why don’t YOU go try to be homeless for a week or two and then come back and run your mouth?!”

        The Church on Her own is pure and beautiful. But we are not. We are all messy and ugly and sinful. And in the process of hiding that, so many are left to suffer.

        There are sex abuse victims who need healing from the Church, but it never comes. There are those who have been treated terribly – not just in the Catholic Church too. This is a problem in all Churches and all ideologies and all beliefs, religious or non-religious. But sometimes I just feel like something needs to be done. These cold Bishops who let abuse victims suffer and never lift a finger is just awful.

        But what do you do? People are people everywhere, no place is perfect. There never will be a perfect place on this side of things.

      • Isabella, when you see someone in your church being picked on as you described, you need to speak out. Don’t bite your tongue. Jesus tells us that thieves and whores proceed us in Heaven. Very often, these are the people who give the MOST for the Church because those who have received much give much. But if we shut the door on them, they cannot develop into the being God wants them to be.

        Take a look at my church’s sister parish. We have a lot of drug addicts going there. The archdeacon’s wife astonishingly asked him “Is this our future church?!?” He responded, “If it is God’s will, so it shall be.” These people came into our church one day dealing with all sorts of demons, dirty, addicted to drugs. Do you know what happened? We welcomed them in and they are the most devout members of our church and one of them even started a clothing drive this past winter!

        I think this is the reason you see the beauty fleeing from the Church. Why the traditional mass seems to be dying a painful death. It is because we keep refusing to let dirty people see what is in inside there. Only by allowing a dirty person to see the beauty can they begin to appreciate what is beautiful. If we need a vacuum or a broom to clean up a few inches of dirt, who cares?

        Our archdeacon is actually the most generous man I know. Generous to the point that he’ll even allow himself to be swindled but he knows that it isn’t his money. It’s God’s money. If he gets swindled, God gets swindled. But he never misses the opportunity to minister to one of God’s angels. Our church of former drug addicts is proof of that.

        (BTW, in the Anglican Churches, an archdeacon is more equivalent to a protopresbyter as in the Eastern Churches–“archpriest”, “chief vicar”, “Vicar General”, all equivalent terms.)

      • rtsacred says:

        I enjoyed your comment. It was very well thought out and you explained it with great understanding. Thank you for your thoughts friend.

        I have spoken up to this individual before, and I did a little that day, but I suppose I was hesitant to really unleash the full depth of what I wanted to say to him. I have to be careful how I handle things, but I do think I may have to find some way to get my point across a little clearer. Thank you for your support. ๐Ÿ™‚

        I suppose I was also wondering when it is time to take up the battle publicly, in a larger way. I have always been very cautious to say things against the Church publicly and against priests, but part of me wonders when it is ok to speak up publicly. How do you balance the fact that so many have fallen from the Church because they have been scandalized by the abuse/poor treatment that they received, and nothing will probably be done until people are literally shamed into doing it, and the fact that you do not want to risk scandalizing others by speaking of the scandals that have already occurred to these individuals I first mentioned?

        It is a fine line to walk. On the one hand, speaking could just make more people hate the Church and not solve anything. On the other hand, staying too silent could mean the suffering continues amongst these people.

        I am sorry to hear that the archdeacon’s wife said what she did. I would have hoped someone could have said to her, “yes, it seems that it is, and thank Heaven for that!”

        Yes, the Traditional Church is a very conflicting place for me. It is a place where to belong, you must fit in a very neat box. You must think as they do, act as they do, speak as they do, and not vary. I, on the other hand, see the Traditional Church as a place with strong boundaries so that you are free to explore all the more, and be who you are called to be – original, yet knowing where not to treat. But sadly, I have never met anyone else who sees it in this way. It is like they were all handed a coloring book, and told they can fill it in however they want as long as they stay within the lines, and because one person colors his all black, everyone else does too. Then someone comes along who colors it with other colors, and they just go bananas. The individual spirit (color) is personal. Religion (the lines and boundaries) is not.

        I am glad to hear that somewhere things sound a little different. ๐Ÿ™‚ How is Orwell coming along? Do you like his work?

      • Our archdeacon holds a very similar sentiment to yours. At least in practice. His wife said what she said in a more private matter and was not meaning to offend but yes, she should not have complained that former drug addicts our going to be our new church. Our archdeacon always accepts whatever it is that God gives him. He is someone who does not simply believe what he preaches but also practices what he preaches. He is a lion at the pulpit and a lamb the rest of the time (except when you discuss with him about politics ๐Ÿ™‚ ).

        How do I handle abusive church leaders? Well it is a good question because very rarely does one ever come head-to-head with someone they know who is an abusive church leader. When you meet someone, you are to always assume they are holier than you even if they may be the most vicious serial killer. Remember that St. Paul killed Christians before becoming one. But if you know and observe them behaving badly, it is not a disgrace to you to call them out for it. I tend to be more impulsive so it comes easier for me than others. But often times, embarrassing them in front of everyone is the most productive way to humble them back into the right order.

        I ordered 1984 some time last week and I think it is scheduled to arrive some time in the next two weeks. But I have been reading from the letters of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque in the mean-time.

        I will probably also order l’Morte de Arthur when that book arrives as well though ๐Ÿ™‚ .

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you for the thoughts. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Your archdeacon sounds like a lovely person. I do believe that how people treat the mentally ill, homeless, drug addicts, etc., is a huge red flag about who they truly may be.

        It is very simple to treat those who are easy to deal with in a nice, polite way. But when someone comes along who is vulnerable, suffering, irritable, and either looks and/or acts different – perhaps even in a way that one finds initially “offensive” – I do believe that a person’s true character can come out.

        People whom others greatly respect can show themselves to be entirely opposite their supposed reputation for “niceness” that they may have developed.

        Naturally, this does not include behaviors such as being around someone who steals , cheats, consistently lies, etc. But there is a difference in protecting oneself from deviant behaviors and being kind to someone who is just uncouth, or is suffering too much to have polite manners.

        I too am like you, and I can have a hot temper when I see injustice. I have been known to fly off the handle in my day, but I do try to handle things more patiently generally…. although truly, sometimes the best way to stop people is just to go all NYC on them. ๐Ÿ˜‰

        How is the reading on St. Margaret Mary going? Any interesting thoughts? I appreciate her story and the devotion that was further developed through her life very much. It is beautiful.

        Do you never use the library?

        I hope that you are doing well, and thank you again for the thoughts! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • St. Margaret Mary is very much like St. Maria Faustina Kowalska. Both had a vision to reform the Church by enacting devotion. The Church, of course, is always in need of reformation though the word sounds bad after what happened in the 16th century, doesn’t it? But are not both of these saints reformers in the truest sense of the word?

        There is another saint I like as well. St. Mary Magdalene de Pazzi. She never wrote anything. The Church suspected her of being a very holy person and so they ordered her convent to record the visions that she experienced. She would try and burn the writings but they prevented her. As such, when you read her visions, what you get is a one-sided conversation between a saint and God. It can be difficult to understand sometimes because of that and when she has visions of demonic attacks it can be frightening. But there is much to learn there. St. Alphonsus de Liguori draws a lot of influence from her.

        I used to use the library a lot as a kid. But the library doesn’t have a solid wealth of material. While they might have Orwell, they sure don’t have a lot of the other of my readings that I have shared with you. Also, my library card has been expired for at least five years by now…

        I am doing sort of okay. My family will be moving to somewhere in the D.C. area (either Maryland, Virginia, or D.C.). All garbage countries good for nothing more than a space for a toxic waste dump. A hell-hole inside of a giant cesspool. Or the other way around. Or just inside of another hell-hole. But hopefully, the place we end up is a more rural place on the outskirts of the sludge. I’m going to miss my old place but on the bright side, I’ll be closer to a theological seminary I’ve been interested in–the Catholic University of America. I’ve met one of their philosophy professors who seems a very gifted man. I’ll probably then focus more on graduate school then and maybe go for over-night work. I would hope you’d be able to visit maybe…

        Any way, here is another song for you:

      • rtsacred says:

        Hi Daniel. Thank you for the interesting thoughts. I like reading them. Yes, Holy Faustian and Saint Margaret Mary have many things in common. I like both of them, and have read things by them or about them. I suppose any saint is a reformer in one way or another; being reformed in their own life (even the seriously “spotless” ones can always use improvement) and helping others in one way or another.

        I have heard many, many times of the other saint that you mentioned. Perhaps I have even read something on her, but nothing seems to stick in my mind. I remember in graduate school I think she was mentioned many times, but we were not concentrating on Florence (was she from there, or the region, I think?) so I never read her that I recall.

        I am sorry to hear that you are not happy to be moving. Moving is never easy. You are from Phoenix, correct? Well, I think that while I did like Phoenix very much for the weather and great natural resources that are so close by, it tended to also seem to me like it had a rougher aspect to it. I could just be wrong; it had nice areas too, but overall I was not sure on how cultural it was.

        I never spent enough time there to find out, but I do know that a place like DC will have a TON of culture for you. There is some sort of huge Bible museum that I heard opened in recent years, and just many, many other things as well. So I think if you can dodge the “dodgy” stuff, and keep focused on the things that stimulate your mind, you might find a lot there.

        Plus, you WILL be closer to the ocean, depending on where you are – but the ocean is a wonderful thing to be near. And….don’t forget that EST makes getting to Europe much easier! If you are in D.C. especially, you can probably get great direct flights to Europe that are shorter. Grand! ๐Ÿ™‚

        Anyways, there are definitely some positives, and if you must go, then try to accept it and roll with things. Try to see it as an adventure, and have fun with it. There is always something exciting about going to a new place and being in it for the first time.

        Thank you for the McKennitt song! I had no idea she released a new one, so thank you! A little different in style than what I am used to with her, but it fits the theme of the song I would say, and is still obviously her work and very lovely. Thank you so much for letting me know!

        I hope that all is well!

      • Yes. St. Maria Maddalena de Pazzi was born in Florence and her major shrine is in Florence.

        Well if the flights are shorter to Europe, maybe we could go to Europe together and see the Pope ๐Ÿ™‚ . I did forget about that Bible museum. There seems to be a lot of good stuff that can come out of a Hell-hole isn’t there?

        I’m hoping we can end up in Maryland perhaps in Montgomery County like Bethesda. Governor there has been way better economically.

        It seemed to be the same style McKennitt usually does. Then again, she normally mixes her styles up quite frequently encompassing all sorts of folk music into her style and not just one specific style. “The Bonny Swans” uses electric guitars in it.

      • rtsacred says:

        Maryland is nice. I used to go there as a child with my family in the summer. We went to Ocean City, and I remember the boardwalk and the old hotels. We stayed in one that we never forgot, because as soon as they put us in the room, we discovered that there was a spot where the carpet sank in quite oddly! It seemed there was a hole in the actual floor, which the carpet was covering! Oh my! lol And it was not a dive, just one of those lovely hotels that looked like a huge old stately home. I am not sure if there is anything like that there still.

        It was the 80s, and I remember this great little place to eat right around the corner from the boardwalk, down a little side street but still so close to the beach. They had these booths where they would sit you, and bring out huge sheets of brown paper off a gigantic ream to cover the table top. Then, they would pile the table with delicious crabs…. all you can eat crabs!

        We would sit and sit and sit, just feasting on warm crabs and yummy, melted butter, salty beach messes now even messier with our delicious meals!

        There is a lot to be said for the east coast. Every area is different, but they have their charms.

        The McKennit song was more patriotic in sound, and she tends to be a little bit more folksy dreamy. But still, you can tell it is her – it is not that far off or anything. Just a little different with the patriotic vibe going on. Patriotic tends to take away the folk music vibe just a bit.

        See, that is the grand thing about DC – even where I am at, I need connecting flights usually, which just adds more time to your trip. I have connected out of DC before – but if you are there….presto! Better chance at a great one way, and less hassle.

        When will you know where you are moving to and when you are leaving?

      • I think I am going to be heading to that area some time in the late Spring to early Summer. I was born in 1992 in Alexandria, VA and my family had lived in Waldorf, MD until 1995 when we moved to Arizona in the early Summer.

        I don’t have as many memories of my early childhood as you do. So I cannot recall anything about what living in Maryland is like at all.

        I see now what you mean about the McKennitt song there. I think she did that one for the Canadian armed forces. It is a very pro-military song. I love those kind of songs. People don’t really understand that the military are great people but a lot of people I know who don’t know any veterans or military people think it is all about “killing” people rather than defending us from being killed.

        I’ll be certain to keep you updated about the moving process.

      • rtsacred says:

        Wow, you make me feel so old! lol Actually, I feel very young. My age is surreal to me. I found an old picture the other day from my party days in the 90s. I was with my best friend, all dressed to go clubbing – I had not seen the picture in years! I had looked for it but it seemed gone, then there it was. Yet to me, it was yesterday, and while my thoughts have matured and developed, some have been discarded and new ones developed, I feel so much the same. But it is odd to think of you still learning to talk while I was out partying! ๐Ÿ™‚

        The military are good to have. I always try to thank them for their service when I see them. Some are not such great members, some are. But as an ideal, it is a good one to have.

        Well, keep me posted on where you go and when, etc. I hope that it will be a good time in your life for you. Challenging to move, of course, but many good things usually are a challenge. ๐Ÿ™‚ So who knows what new things await?

        Take care.

      • I can’t really comment on your age as I have never actually seen a photo of you…but I don’t mind that there is age gap among friends. Someone must be born first.

        You must have been a trouble-maker back then. A bit like myself nowadays except I don’t go to the clubs. I kind of kept to myself in high school and in college I wanted to focus more on the academia.

        I will keep you up to date on the moving definitely. I hope you would be kind to pay a visit up there when we move.

      • rtsacred says:

        No doubt you are correct. Age is only a number in many ways. I know a lady who is starting to push 80, and she can be as fun to be with as someone who is 30. Being around her I forget her age, and other women in the same range seem so old next to her! Certainly, it often has more to do with how one feels than the number.

        I was more of a survivor back then. ๐Ÿ™‚ I did what I thought I had to do based on the environment around me and what I learned from others. Being a bit of a trouble maker was almost like a badge of self-protection back then, so I ran with it. I much preferred things when I discovered academia and ended up at a good university, as opposed to the liberal “wild-child” high school I went to and the liberal party university that I was forced to attend in my first two years.

        Thank you for the invite to visit. It is kind of you. I think that you know by now how private I am though. A virtual hermit. ๐Ÿ™‚ Online, I live in com boxes and don’t peek out very much other than that. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thank you though for your kindness.

        Have you started Orwell yet? I am interested to know what you think.

      • Orwell has not come in the mail yet sadly. It is expected at the latest by Feb. 16.

        I hope you change your mind about visiting. I don’t know if I’ll have any one I can trust that well after the move. In the meanwhile, the offer stands and is there in case you do.

        I hope I can find a good university as well. There are so many bad universities out there these days.

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you again for the offer. What about your family though? I know that they have their faults as you have said, but your mom seems to try.

        Finding a good university is difficult. If you know your field, or even a few fields that you are interested in, I would suggest starting at the “top” and reaching out to professors at the “best” universities. I put those two words in quotes, because what may seem the “best” university to us overall, you may find out is not the best for your field. Some place you have never heard of before may have an incredible reputation in your field that you are not aware of. For example, a professor who teaches at Oxford may tell you that he got his degree at another institution and your training would be better there.

        You can also ask your professors at your own university too. But wherever you choose, make certain to ask the professors that will potentially teach you how rigorous their training is and how involved they will be.

        Some institutions literally throw you to the wind. They give you some classes and let you go to do your own work and they barely provide any feedback or mentoring. These are terrible. And it can even vary just by professor alone – you could do an English MA alongside someone studying English with another professor, and you could have totally different experiences.

        Look for professors who are going to push you and challenge you and make you work hard, and who will require that you give a lot of accountability to them. Professors who will require you to meet with them regularly for serious critiques of your thinking and work and who want to be involved with your process of learning very personally and hands-on.

        You can always ask around for who are the “superstars” of your field, and try to talk to them too.

        Just watch out for places that seem to want to take the easy route. They are there to teach you and guide you, not sit back and just mark a paper every now and then with a red pen. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I don’t know about my family. Sometimes, trying has made it worse in the past and I don’t really like “try”. It gets bothersome after a while to pretend that bad means justify an attempted end…

        I am grateful for your advice. My overall impression with the Catholic University of America is that it did a lot of that stuff but I only received a glimpse of it when I visited the campus last year.

        I have a question…about five years ago when I was very deranged and hated Christianity, I tore pages out of a Bible. I still have it on my book-shelf. I’m not sure what to do with it. Should I throw it away?

      • rtsacred says:

        I am sorry to hear that. I am not entirely clear on the situation with your family, but I know you have been through some rough things. Once you know where you will be going, will you start researching for a good church and counselor?

        That sounds good about the University, Definitely check into the actual professors though who will teach you. I have been at schools that have amazing reputations and the professors I got were just the type to sit back and basically do hardly anything, and then I have had the opposite – wherein I have the professor who really gives you your money’s worth, and other students at the same place are getting the “meager” professors.

        About the Bible…. hmmm. I would guess it would be something to confess and perhaps ask the priest in confession what to do. I would suggest taking it and and burying it very deep in the ground someplace where you know it will be safe and in a good environment (not near a bad place). I am not certain, but I think you can also burn things that were once holy, but I would ask the priest. I have a box in my closet of holy items that I no longer use and I just collect things there that one day I plan to dispose of in one go properly. Old scapulars, etc. You could do that too.

      • I will definitely start researching for a good church and counselor. I am hoping to find a good Greek or Maronite Catholic church if I cannot find an Anglo-Catholic church. Definitely a counselor. The problem is that a counselor can’t really be a “friend” and I’m not sure if the counselor would be a good fit for me either. You’d be a better shrink. I’ve had one good counselor before so maybe I’ll be able to find one.

        Maybe I’ll take a couple of undergrad courses to see what it is like before getting into it.

        If I bury it underground, how do I know someone won’t be able to find it? Does an intentionally defiled Bible have a demonic presence? It just has been making me worried lately and I’ve also been experiencing more depression.

      • rtsacred says:

        I hope that you find the right church. I think if you are in DC you will have more options though, but that is just my assumption.

        You can also take graduate level courses without being a grad student. I did that when I was an undergraduate. It gave me a taste for graduate level instruction. It was interesting to transfer from a classroom setting to more of an “office” where we would sit around a round desk and discuss things more intimately. Some grad classes later that I took had us in a classroom, but most were very intimate – and I had to take my turn to teach to! I suppose it all depends on the field though.

        If you bury it underground, do it someplace where it is unlikely someone will find it. If you know a wooded area, such as a state park, you could go hiking (as long as it is safe, use good judgement) and bury it there. If I recall, Phoenix had some great rock formations that I went hiking amongst, and at times I was totally alone. Just bury it deep and make sure when you recover it that you blend the earth in so it does not look freshly dug up.

        Of course, someone could find it – but ultimately what can you do? Someone could go into a book store and buy a Bible if they have bad intent, so trust in God once you have done your part and leave it to Him.

        I do not think it has a demonic presence. Based on what you told me, you just ripped pages out. It is not good to do that, and I would confess it, but I would not over worry it. Just despise of it properly to the best of your ability and confess it and be resolved not to do it again and trust in God’s mercy for you. I am certain He has probably forgiven many who have done the same if not worse.

        But ask a priest. He can better judge, and it might be easier to just burn it if that is ok to do (ask a priest) and scatter the ashes someplace clean and pure. Try not to worry too much until you talk to a pries; he might know better (just don’t ask a liberal…. who knows what he will tell you to do!)

        Why are you depressed? I hope that you feel better. When you feel sad, try to get your mind off of whatever is making you sad. Think of God’s Love for you and believe in it.

        Thank you for what you said about me being a shrink. I am not qualified though. I do have an interest in helping people though, because I have seen how few people really care to reach out to those who are suffering.

        Do you have Netflix? I saw a really good movie on a shrink who worked with some people who were very bad off – much worse than you. But it was very interesting. It was called “Nise: The Hear of Madness.” It is based on a true story of a shrink who tries to help some who are schizophrenic. I admire her methods, and the film was actually uplifting and not depressing IMO. I do think she also shows a side to the field of helping others that is not recognized enough, and that side is that much of what is done for others needs massive help and reworking. I find it all very interesting and wish I could do something like that to help people, but I do not have the qualifications.

        Hang in there. Remember that God Loves you and there is nothing you can do to change that. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I wasn’t meaning to say you have the qualifications of a shrink. You certainly would be very incompetent in that profession. But you seem to be able to draw things out of me that other people are unable to do so. When I don’t want to admit things.

        Why am I depressed? To be perfectly honest, I don’t know and I don’t understand. I feel disconnected from people at times and that contributes. I am also feeling the emotion of moving and that contributes. I also feel more longing in my religious life. It feels like I get distracted and lose focus when I pray. I try to focus and all of a sudden, my mind becomes filled with distractions.

        I do not have Netflix and I don’t many good series or movies to watch…OTOH, 1984 came in the mail today so I will order The Death of King Arthur today as I promised a friend of mine. I don’t think you know that friend though… ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, I definitely would not be qualified to be a good shrink. I am glad you know that. ๐Ÿ™‚ I know very little compared to the vast information that is out there in the field of psychology. It is good to be able to help in whatever way I can though.

        I think I understand a little of what you are saying. When you say you feel disconnected from people, is it because you do not feel that they understand or relate to you on many things that are important to you, or you to them? Or is it something else?

        Moving is stressful. They say that it is one of the most stressful things that a person does in their life. The only thing I can recommend is to try to see it as an adventure, and try to be excited for new things. That helps take away some of the stress if you have a great interest and curiosity in having new experiences.

        When I first started traveling on my own, I would sometimes find myself in situations that had the potential to be very disconcerting. Lost, in a foreign country, not speaking the language and trying to figure out where to go…. but it helped me so much to just stop, pause, and tell myself, “this is an adventure. Haven’t you always wanted adventures? Well, there is no real adventure without real risk. So this is a real adventure with real risk. You can do this. Just stay calm, and take it one step at a time.” Talking to myself that way helped SO much and turned what could be stressful into something really memorable and wonderful. Just learning to thirst for new experiences, to take delight in them, to view them as a challenge that I had to rise to…. and to remind myself that I COULD do it. I would think if I could make my way around town, then I could make my way somewhere thousands of miles away too. Just takes a little more effort. ๐Ÿ™‚

        It might help to write about your experiences too, and to put down on paper what you are going through and then to also encourage yourself in the same medium.

        In the end though, I know moving is a big deal, and so try to take it easy on yourself and take the time that you need to take care of you.

        Distractions in prayer….yes, we all have them. But it is so important to be kind with yourself there. Jesus knows that you are human and easily distracted. He loves you all the same. ๐Ÿ™‚ The best thing to do is just to regroup as soon as you realize you are being distracted and try again, even if that is all you end up doing during prayer…. catching yourself being distracted and calmly regrouping to focus again. Just do not beat yourself up. God – Jesus – Love – only cares that you are trying to please HIM. If you beat yourself up, you put the focus back on you. The point is to please Him. So if He is your teacher, and He is teaching you something, and you sit there and just say to yourself, “I am so upset! I am distracted! Argh! Bad me! I am frustrated!” (or however… I do not know what you say, just using that as an example) and get all worked up, imagine Him sitting there with you…..

        What is He doing? He is just watching you beat yourself up or focus on you, and He is left alone.

        But… imagine that you look at Him and say, “Jesus – God – Love – I know that you love me and just want me to try. I am weak and will always mess up. I am sorry. But I love you and will try again.”

        Won’t He be happier with the second? Because you are taking the focus off of you and returning to just trying to please Him. Sure, you know you have faults, but you know it pleases Him not to let those faults tear you down.

        God loves you very much. He is not concerned so much with your faults as you are, or as any of us are with our own faults. This is why, like you said before, tax collectors and prostitutes were so loved by Him. They had so many faults to be condemned by, but they were able to realize that He loved them and cared more about their efforts to please Him than anything else.

        It is a love relationship you are entering into. You have to remember that. God is not a cruel, exacting God. He is a divine lover and He just wants you to love Him and try. ๐Ÿ™‚

        If I may ask, how do you pray?

        I am happy to hear that you got 1984! I am interested to hear your thoughts on the book. Read the end with caution though.

        Hmmm…. a friend who want to read Malory with you? *scratches head* ๐Ÿ™‚

        By the way, I am really interested in your interest in the Pazzi saint. If you have time, I am curious if you have any examples of why she is so intriguing? I know so little, so I am interested in what draws you to that saint.

        Take care, and remember, God loves you. His Love is real.

      • I have heard Fr. Chad Ripperger makes a good shrink though. I have one of his books on my shelf. It’s massive. About 900 pages worth of material. And his methodology isn’t infected by modern progressive politics. I hope I could get someone with his methodology as a shrink.

        I will have to open the book I have of hers back up again and take down some notes on it. Some of the parts were left in the Latin and Italian so I couldn’t quite understand all of it but the book had footnotes and I should practice some translating as well. I’ll have to post maybe a blog on her as well.

        I just realised that I mistakenly ordered an abridged version so I submitted a return request to the seller. Hopefully, they haven’t shipped it yet…

        I should have probably asked what edition to get. Should I order the Wordsworth? I don’t know. I’ll go ahead and order it and if you recommend another, I’ll then cancel that order or maybe not because it’s actually at a pretty decent price.

        It will get here in March. The latest by the 19th. But that will give me time to read Dawn of All and Lord of the World as well. They were other recommendations from the friend who suggested Animal Farm and 1984 primarily because Msgr. Robert Hugh Benson gives a more Christian perspective whereas George Orwell is more of an atheistic perspective.

        How do I pray? Often times sitting or lying down. Sometimes kneeling on a soft surface. But the distractions keep forming…

      • rtsacred says:

        In regards to Fr. Ripperger as a shrink, I would use caution. What I once thought I am not certain I can think anymore.

        I will have to dig up what edition I have to see about your other question.

      • Do you mean to tell me that Fr. Ripperger is a bad man or do you think he may be a bad man?

      • rtsacred says:

        No. I do not know his character. I am not speaking of the state of his soul. I am referring to his capacity as a healer.

      • Oh good. I would hope that Fr. Chad is a good man. Whatever that word means. I have not been able to go through his book but I think he does actually have some training in psychology though it is certainly not his field of study. I was only meaning about the methodology. There are some psychological methodologies that are just plain whack and encourage immorality and that is not good.

        How are you doing today?

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, I know what you mean about some methodologies encouraging immorality. Those are bad. There are many methods out there, for certain. No doubt Fr. is very intelligent and knows a great deal as far as all that goes, and his learning is more grounded. I am sure he probably knows much more than many out there. He is very intelligent as far as all that goes.

        I am busy working away at some things. How are you today?

      • I’m hanging in there. I go to work in about an hour and a half and won’t be home til evening so I won’t be able to reply until tomorrow. Very tired lately for some reason. Probably all the work hours I’ve been getting. It’s rough but I get paid so it all works out.

        Have you found what edition of Le Morte d’Arthur you have? The Wordsworth one I ordered uses Caxton’s translation so I suppose if it roughly matches then I have done well.

        1984 is not like Animal Farm the latter being more of a parable about getting rid of a monarchy and replacing it with a democracy. Napoleon having come from out of the animals while the Farmer (Monarch) is of a totally different class, not being a comrade but a patriarch (or sometimes matriarch as with Marie Therese). It is basically a parable about how when democracies replace monarchies, they become even more tyrannical. The vast majority of modern day despots have emerged from democrat-republican parliamentary government systems. The vast majority save one which was actually some democratic monarchial Italian party in the 20th century.

        Glad to hear Princess Isabella is doing okay. I was worried you might have needed a hug. Here is one though any way. (((cyberhug)))

      • rtsacred says:

        I am sorry to hear that you have been tired. I hope that you can take care of yourself and get lots of good sleep and healthy food, etc. It can help you to stay strong mentally. I do not think any job is worth loosing that.

        I have not had a chance to look through my boxes yet. I have so many books that they have to be stored. Going to find one is quite a process, and I have been busy today. I will have to find some time soon.

        Different forms of government are interesting. It would have been intriguing to live in an era when they had city-state structures. I know that it caused a lot of competition, but it also helped bring about a lot of great achievements in the arts, etc. I do not think any form of government is ideal, but some are better than others.

        Thank you for the hug. ๐Ÿ™‚ That was sweet.

      • Well I was able to run yesterday for the first time since December. That was pretty great. Though I’ll take a rest today. I try to get good sleep as often as I can even if that means extra naps and have been taking bad things off my diet recently as well. One of our night crew managers doesn’t sleep much at all. Or as he tells me, the left side sleeps one moment and then the right side sleeps the next moment. “Oh, so that’s why you sometimes zig-zag?”

        Do try to get through that box-checking soon. Though the edition I ordered won’t come until next month, it would be nice to know if we are using different editions or the same. It is an unabridged though at this time.

        The city-states provided subsidarianism but generally without solidarity. Not all city-states allowed competition. Athens was the center for regress in its day and would prosecute people such as Socrates for “thought-crimes”. City-states which were based on monarchial structures actually provided far more freedom but the Greeks still had massive problems with racism. The Persian monarchy was actually far more liberal at that time. Alexander the Great also provided greater freedoms to people but he was Macedonian. When his Empire broke up, people tried seeking power and it corrupted his kingdom.

        You’re welcome for the hug.

      • rtsacred says:

        Hi Daniel, I am glad you were able to run again. That is good. I too like exercise. It makes one feel so good! You are smart to work on your diet too. I am a big fan of keeping oneself healthy in every way that can be done, because I know the difference it makes in life. When I stand in a checkout aisle and watch the people in front of me, I wonder if they realize what they are doing, and if they understand that they would probably feel a lot different if they ate healthier. I think so many people have never experienced the difference of a truly healthy diet, and do not know how much better it feels.

        I have to dig up a book for someone else, so I should be getting to it soon.

        Yes, political structures all have their faults. Every time and era has its problems, etc. I would have liked to seen Italy back before it was unified. I am not saying I would want them to not be unified today. Just that it would be interesting to have seen the competition between places like Siena and Florence on a cultural level (not the war level, that part was no good). Some of that competition is still alive in Italy today, and it is fun to see – as long as it does not turn violent.

        What is your ideal political structure?

      • As I said before, I am a classical liberal. So most classical liberals generally tend to favour divine right monarchies or republican parliamentary systems as the most ideal ensurers of freedom. But really, as long as a system ensures the most freedoms, that is the system I prefer. It is important that people can express their values otherwise, what you have is enforced conformity. But at the same time, there needs to be a guiding structure. The “secular state” and separation of church and state tends to lead to moral relativity which sinks freedoms.

        I am in favour of a federalised European Union. I don’t think the Euroskeptics are in favour of a dissolved EU either but a federalised version in which small states would be able to run their programs according to their states’ needs. That is not happening in the EU right now. Right now, states have to do according to what France and Germany want them to do.

        I hope you find the book. I have to get back to my reading, praying, and exercising.

      • rtsacred says:

        Well, since I am a ridiculously distant relation of the family that gave birth to Queen Elizabeth I, perhaps you can help get me on the throne. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Then I will fix everything for you.

        Just teasing. Monarchies are interesting. Certainly better pageantry than democracies, and nicer “digs.”

      • Well you can always be on my throne as an Empress ๐Ÿ™‚

        Being of royalty is quite the responsibility but the English system is more of a parliamentary republic though. There’s advantages and disadvantages but a monarchy has generally been the best of the possibilities. Plato weighed that monarchy was the most ideal, oligarchy was the second best, and democracy was the worst.

        There seems to be a general dis-regard in American politics about the founding fathers of the United States. None of these guys trusted democracy and nowadays, you want a party that wants more of it. “One vote equals one vote!” One vote does not equal one person though. The greater the mass of democracy, the more atomised a vote becomes such that a person’s individual voice is further and further reduced to nothingness.

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚ That was sweet.

        Yes, royalty is a responsibility. I am glad that it is not mine. Besides, I am too Irish… eventually, I would need to bust out the Guiness and just have a good ol’ time. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then, very neatly, return everything to normal, smooth my skirts, and smile like a well-bred lady.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, you can be. Why, do you not think so? No one is perfectly “sweet,” everyone has their stuff. But yes, you can be sweet.

      • I’ve been a monster sometimes…

      • rtsacred says:

        I sent you an e-mail.

      • I’m looking for it…

      • I e-mailed you about an item I found the other day…

      • Also, it appears I won’t be returning the abridged version after all. The seller expects me to pay for shipping, 20% re-stocking fee as well. Plus, the cost of the stamps and the additional amount to print label, take it to the post office. It’s cheaper just to live with it…

      • rtsacred says:

        ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Well, maybe it is for the best. There are always reasons. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        P.S. I spelled that wrong. It was “Nise: The Heart of Madness.” It has subtitles, but I like subtitles. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        P.S. I forgot to say do not throw it out, but check with a priest if you want to be certain.

      • I figured you were not meaning to tell me to throw it out. I’m a little bit worried that it may emanate something demonic…I do not know why I am worried now and haven’t been for the past four or so years…

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh, you know how the baddies work. They always have to find something new to work on you with. Try not to let it stress you.

      • I will try not to. I did that act when I was entertaining the occult and so that is why I asked the question. I did it before I was baptised. Long before I was baptised…

      • rtsacred says:

        I understand. I figured you did it back then. I still suggest the same things. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hang in there.

      • I was just thinking perhaps we could exchange mailing addresses and start writing actual letters to each other and that way, we wouldn’t have to type on the internet…

        Of course, communication would be much slower but that is quite the small price to pay for it would mean that hearing from each other would be like seeing an old friend you haven’t seen in a while…

        I don’t know, what do you think?

      • rtsacred says:

        By the way, I just want to add that I was referring to core values in my last comment. I was not referring to healthy changes that people can and should work on in any form of a relationship.

        As for e-mail, I know I have not been emailing like we used to. I still need to find my passcode. I am so slow. And it is not unusual for me either. I have a terrible slowness habit about some things. Let me check. But please remember not to get attached. I can only offer so much as far as keeping in touch goes. Always remember to rely on the people who know you in real life the most. The internet is not a substitute for such people. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I was actually referring to actual postal mail. My hand-writing is small and you may need a magnifying glass to read it though.

        I wish I did know you in real life…

      • rtsacred says:

        You are kind. I would bore you silly in real life. Our outlooks are radically different on things in many way. But thank you. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I don’t think you’d bore me at all. We may approach things with different outlooks but don’t we arrive at similar positions regardless? I can’t always agree 100% with everyone. Radically different suggests we’re closer to 1% in agreement and I don’t think that’s accurate at all.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, thank you. How are you?

      • Doing pretty good. I like when you go away for these brief periods because then hearing from you is like hearing from a friend you haven’t seen in a while. You know that feeling? You just want to run right up and wrap your arms around them in a warm and gentle embrace.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, I do know that feeling. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks for the thought.

      • I’m reading more theological things right now with more literature on the side because I want to know the overall spiritual direction God wants the waves to send my ship into. Learning a lot about stuff. But also that prayer and worship need to form the core base of that relationship and search.

      • rtsacred says:

        That sounds good. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • I heard this song a while ago. It was beautiful.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oh, I love that song. I love the story of Elaine. I have been listening to that song for probably about 20 years. It has been very significant in my life. How did you find it? McKennit is one of my favorites. Do you like her? And Tennyson was a great poet in many ways. The sad thing about the poem – the original by Tennyson – is the end.

        “But Lancelot mused a little space
        He said, “She has a lovely face;
        God in his mercy lend her grace,
        The Lady of Shalott.”

        What is sad is the wording there. Here is this young, beautiful girl who loved him so much that she died out of love for him, and when her body floats up to Camelot, just about all Lancelot can say is, “She had a lovely face.”

        He never understood her suffering and love for him, and he did not care what she had been through in regards to him. That is what makes the end so sad. He politely wishes good on her, but that is it. On with life and back to ruining the court of Camelot. Lancelot was a dreadful man. I never understood why he was so favored. Galahad was the truly good one.

      • You sent me a song of hers a while back. Her musical rendition of St. John’s “Dark Night of the Soul”. I ended up perusing on iTunes for her music and found the album with that song on it. But every time I hear one of her songs, I am afraid I have not heard enough of her. She has a very beautiful voice and is a very beautiful lady and has put so much passion into making these old poems and folk songs come to life again.

        As for Sir Lancelot, I’m not certain if he can be judged too critically here for his failure to understand what she went through, the frustrations she suffered, the captivity she broke free from. She was entirely secluded from the world and it is impossible to ascertain whether any one was aware of her sufferings.

        One I recently fell upon is her version of “Annachie Gordon” which I have listened to at least once a day since stumbling upon it. Though her version is clearly corrupted from the original version as she interprets “Saltoun” as “Sultan” perhaps because the two titles sound so much alike (if not the same) when sung, the primary being a Lord of a Scottish aristocrat family that continues still this day. But it is still a very beautiful song.

      • rtsacred says:

        I enjoy when you leave long comments. I do not remember sharing the Lorenna McKennit song, but that sounds like something I would do for certain, so I am sure I did share it at some point. It is a beautiful song. I love that feeling that such music evokes. It is not an easy feeling to put into words, but it makes so much sense to me. I could live in that type of world and probably never want to leave.

        As far as Lancelot goes, I understand what you mean, and it is fair in regards to Tennyson’s poem. Yet Tennyson’s poem is a rather narrow, albeit lovely, version of her story. When I think of Elaine, I tend to think of her more in connection with other versions, wherein she did interact with Lancelot and he was at least aware of her feelings for him. Have you ever read Malory? I would read it with you if you wanted. It has been years for me.

        I am actually rather excited, for a version of The Canterbury Tails showed up in my mailbox today. It is modernized, but I am excited to watch it and see what they did with the original. Chaucer…. lol ๐Ÿ™‚ Have you ever read that?

        That is a lovely song that you sent. Thanks for the thoughts to go with it too. I like the picture on the cover – I wish I could just go there and stay and never leave, on some ocean cliff far away from the world. Perhaps I would decide to never speak again, and so I would be the crazy lady hidden away in her cottage who never speaks to anyone but is as happy as a thousand birds flying above the sea. ๐Ÿ™‚ What would be your ideal life?

      • I am not certain what you mean by Malory. I googled the name and found someone named Sir Thomas Malory who wrote a book called “Le Morte d’Arthur”. Is that the one you refer to? I would be happy to read a book with you. I am kind of swamped in other readings right now as well but perhaps in a couple of months time? Would that be okay? I hate to delay my friend but there is another friend I have been neglecting as well and I made a promise I would read the Orwell he assigned.

        I have never read any Chaucer. I never had much taste for comedy to say the least. If you assign me Shakespeare, I’d take King Lear over Much Ado About Nothing and MacBeth over A Midsummer Night’s Dream. There is something about tragedy that moves the emotions far more than a comedy.

        I believe some rural place would be excellent for me. A small house. Some sort of quiet life. I have way too much noise in my life and I don’t think it good for me. I just wish for peace and quiet.

      • rtsacred says:

        Yes, you are correct in regards to Malory. That is indeed whom I was referring to. ๐Ÿ™‚ And no worries about the delay, I understand. So you are going to read Orwell? I liked 1984 better than Brave New World for certain. I thought it was much better developed. Very interesting, but take it easy with that book. I do not want it to trigger you at the end. Let me know what you think.

        I agree with you in regards to comedy. I am generally NOT a big comedy fan, as most comedy is dumb and unintelligent to me. I do prefer something more serious. But the thing with Chaucer is that he is actually INTELLIGENT. There are great layers to his work, and, well…. I have to admit, I took a class on it, so I was a little cued in at the help of the experts, but I enjoyed it. I would say with the right guide, you would probably at least come away from the experience appreciating it.

        I know what you mean about peace and quiet. I have things that I do to my mind to keep it very quiet and happy, but it takes a lot of focus. Keep working on learning more about the mind and developing your skills at mastering it.

      • I was recommended by a friend to read Animal Farm and 1984. I hope I do not get triggered at the end. Lord Acton has been someone I have become quite curious about as well as Alexis de Tocqueville. I often get accused of being a “conservative” politically. So I always clarify–I am more properly a traditionalist when it comes to the political. But if one must label me “conservative” or “liberal” I always prefer “liberal”. Conservative sounds like you are trying to conserve something. The only thing I intend to conserve is freedom in Christ (true freedom). Classical liberal would be the proper category.

        I will then now read Orwell fast so we can get to Malory sooner rather than later. ๐Ÿ™‚

        Chaucer does seem to be a bit of a classic but I have not been able to go through his works yet. But yes, you spot-light the key flaw of comedy. It is hardly intelligent and often full of wishful thinking.

        Your final paragraph reminds me also that I do have one book on prayer that you recommended that I read remaining. It looks like I have some reading to do and less news to watch! ๐Ÿ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        The end of 1984 is pretty intense. If you need to, just take a break from it. But it is better than Huxley’s “Brave New World” I think. I am not a big fan of dystopian novels, but 1984 was good for that genre.

        Ah, politics. I have a vague interest in politics, but to be honest, I cannot take much of it. It is too dry for me, and I do believe sincerely that the world is not genuinely changed and altered by politicians. They may make policies, but what drives them to make those policies or change them? For me, the culture is where it is at.

        I always considered myself a conservative from the time I was a child. I had a crush on Reagan when I was like 10 years old or something like that! I grew up in something of a fairy tale in the early part of my life, and for me, good people wore suits, drove Cadillacs, listened to classical music (or genres close to it), and were surrounded by beauty. I never questioned that conservative = good person, and liberal = bad. For me, liberals were those people who tried to tear down all that was beautiful and good, and wanted people around them to live in an ugly, fading world where lunatics on stage screaming about rats was better than a symphony. I could not understand it, and as a child, ugliness made no sense to me.

        Of course, as an adult I realize that this all had little or nothing to do do with the differences between them, but for me, the culture spoke louder than the ideas. Good people liked beauty. Bad people liked ugliness. It just was how a child’s brain worked.

        Yet that instinctual sense to view ideas and concepts through the lens of culture has never left me, and perhaps this is why I tend to find culture more important than politics. Did people love the bad because they were raised on horrid music and trashy living, or was it because of the ideas around them? To me, it was probably more the culture than anything/

        I am not certain if what I am saying makes sense. It is all rather simplistic in a comment box like this, and to explain it appropriately would take time.

        I do not think I would label myself conservative anymore though. I would not want a label at all actually. I am tired of all the narrow labeling boxes, and just need to be free of them.

      • Erik Ritter von Kuehnelt-Leddihn always described himself as an “extreme conservative arch-liberal” or a “liberal of the extreme right”. Culture has a lot to do of course with politics. Because people who love good things and surround themselves with good things bring good things to the policies of their nations. And people who love ugly things bring ugliness to the policies of their nations. In the ancient world, the two were linked and not to be separated. As Aristotle famously wrote: “man is a political animal”.

      • I saw this video on my favourite Senator’s twitter feed. I found the “epic” music playing in the background humourous.

      • rtsacred says:

        Oops. I spelled that wrong. Fionn Mac Cumhail and the Fianna. ๐Ÿ™‚ Some say that Fionn was the historical basis for King Arthur, and the Fianna the basis for the Round Table knights. It is possible, because they were more Celtic influenced I think in the King Arthur legends. Fionn Mac Cumhail is Fin Mac Cool in English.

      • rtsacred says:

        * Finn – I think this time I can possibly blame auto correct for that spelling mistake.

      • you’re not deserting me, are you?

      • Never too old to have fun. You’d be a good mother to little ones.

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