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.

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About newenglandsun

A student. Male. Passionate. Easily offended. Child-like wonderer. Growing in faith, messing up daily.
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151 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 πŸ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

        Thank you. Prayers for you as well.

      • Always πŸ™‚
        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. πŸ™‚

      • God loves you, Isabella!

      • rtsacred says:

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

      • 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. πŸ™‚

      • 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.

      • https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_Senate_special_election_in_Alabama,_2017#Polling_3
        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 πŸ™‚

      • 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. πŸ™‚

      • rtsacred says:

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

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

      • rtsacred says:

        lol πŸ™‚ Salty…

      • I like cats better than dogs…

      • 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 πŸ™‚
        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 I’m glad you allow me to be open with you. I am moving your comment to the β€œapproval pending” 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! πŸ™‚

      • 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. πŸ™‚ 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:
        https://polihackblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/17/roy-moore-needs-to-step-aside/

      • 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. 😦
        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. πŸ™‚

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

      • rtsacred says:

        πŸ™‚ 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–
        https://damselofthefaith.wordpress.com/2016/02/05/king-authur/

      • rtsacred says:

        Ok, thanks for explaining, and for the picture. πŸ™‚

      • 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

        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:

        πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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??!!” πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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 πŸ™‚

      • 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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7c0xCkw6jaE 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 πŸ˜‰

        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! πŸ™‚

        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. πŸ™‚

      • 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 πŸ™‚

      • 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 πŸ™‚

      • 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.

      • πŸ™‚ Happy Epiphany my friend πŸ™‚
        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. πŸ™‚

      • 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚ 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. πŸ™‚

        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…

      • 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.

      • 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. πŸ™‚

      • 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…

      • 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. πŸ™‚ 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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