Recent Posts

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Americans, pray

This list gets smaller and smaller-take Rand Paul off...

Now, in a new interview, Paul says he doesn’t anticipate changing the laws on abortion and added that his belief that life begins at conception is a personal and religious one, not a scientific viewpoint.
“The country is in the middle (and) we’re not changing any of the laws until the country is persuaded otherwise,” he says.
Paul talked about how abortion laws can and shoulder reflect a middle ground position on abortion between life beginning at conception and abortion on demand.

I do not like Jeb Bush or Chris Christie. The list gets smaller and smaller. Cruz?

Loss of Identity Part Five

In my favorite movie, Lawrence of Arabia, a compelling scene reveals a problem with identity. It may be found here:

David Lean wanted to emphasize the struggle T. E. Lawrence had with illegitimacy. His mother never married his father, which caused Lawrence, according to some, a huge problem with knowing who he was.

Whether this specific state of mind is true or not according to history, the psychological interpretation remains valid. A person who is denied identity by two parents, a mother and a father, will suffer a loss.

Only God can heal these tragedies and only the Holy Spirit can make a man or woman new.

This newness is based on grace, which transcends the natures of our births and formation. Too many young people in the world have been forced to discover who they are by negligent, narcissistic, or nonspiritual parents. Material things alone do not give identity. But, a made up of both the flesh and the spirit, the physical cannot be ignored, either.

Some people deny their past, their heritage in order to become new. This is impossible. One must come to deal with one's family, one's heritage, in healing and in peace.

Does that mean one must be immersed in unhealthy families? No, in fact, many times people must walk away from highly negative influences. A drastic separation may be necessary for wholeness.

But, to be one's self as God created one to be, one must be honest about the past and about one's identity in God.

Love alone is the answer, but so often, love is frightening to those who have lost identity. I have seen this in the homeless or the lonely. They hate themselves so much that they can no longer be affirmed in love. Affirmation in love gives one identity.

I shall repeat that: affirmation in love gives one identity.

To be continued...

Decadence of America

BTW, the term "hand-fasting" is used by witches.

Loss of Identity Part Four

Some people have been denied access to the identity to which God has called them through no fault of their own. The necessity for healing and sometimes exorcism results in this lack.

If a mother hated a child in the womb and the child grew up under the death sentence of abortion and hatred, that child would be born with a compromised identity.

If a child were violently snatched away from a parent and forced to be displaced, that could cause a lack of identity.

If a person was abused repeatedly as a child, that could result in a loss of identity or the faulty formation of one.

God is greater than all sin and all hatred, but one must be willing to face the corruption of one's own person honestly in order to be healed, in order to be a saint.

In the concentration camps, the Jews and Romanies were denied their own identity, except for the Jewish mark of the Star of David, which became for others, a sign of derision.

However, there can be solidarity in derision and hatred. If one is rooted in one's family and faith identity, such an experience as intense persecution can lead one to a formation of a stronger identity. This decision on the part of the person begin persecuted would involve heroic virtue.

I know four people who were abused by a priest as little children. They kept their identity, but suffered as a result of these sins. Their identity was strong to begin with, in the family, in the love of mother and father, but compromised by abuse.

I know people who have left cults and have struggled to find their identity. This takes prayer, honesty, healing, and sometimes a massive turning point in the life of the person who has been damaged by others.

If one has a strong identity with which to stand up against the evil manipulation and even torture of others, one will not lose identity. Such was the power of Blessed Titus Brandsma and St. Maximilian Kolbe. Such was the strength of St. Benedicta of the Cross.

These saints of the Holocaust remind us today that we must look towards God for identity. Only His Fatherhood can keep us from slipping into the non-entity, the loss of who one is.

The daily rituals of the home which the Jews practiced gave the children identity. The prayers said daily and the long history of the people gave them identity. Even past persecutions allowed some to endure, as they had role models before them, such as Joseph the Patriarch, Jeremiah and Daniel the Prophets, and so on.

Unless Catholics teach the children in the home to have a strong identity as a Catholic first, the loss of identity will result in sin and even choices which could mean turning against the parents. Many people have turned parents into authorities, identifying with the persecutors and not the persecuted.

Such has been the evil choices of some.

Did not the Jewish Sanhedrin turn Christ over to the Romans for the punishment of death, turning against the Messiah, the King of the Jews? This has happened over and over again in history.

Some people lose identity at the death of a loved one, in deep grief, or in the betrayal of love, or in the leaving of children, all situations causing grief. Great love causes an identification with the beloved. And, if that beloved leaves or dies, one must adjust one's identity. Such is the pain of suffering and growth.

Mark in Ireland had no family, no friends, no center of his being. His homelessness cried out that he was lost inside as well as outside.

But, some, have such pain thrust upon them for deeper reasons than seen at first. Some must work through the crisis of identity to new life. Leaving a life of sin and deceit can be the beginning of the finding out of one's true identity in God.

This was the message of Christ to Nicodemus. This is Christ's message to us. Love brings identity. Love created identity, as when the love of a married couple brings forth life in a baby.

But, here is Christ's message to Nicodemus: our true identity is in Christ alone, in Love Who Is a Person.

John 3

And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him.
Jesus answered, and said to him: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
Nicodemus saith to him: How can a man be born when he is old? can he enter a second time into his mother's womb, and be born again?
Jesus answered: Amen, amen I say to thee, unless a man be born again of water and the Holy Ghost, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.
Wonder not, that I said to thee, you must be born again.
The Spirit breatheth where he will; and thou hearest his voice, but thou knowest not whence he cometh, and whither he goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Nicodemus answered, and said to him: How can these things be done?
10 Jesus answered, and said to him: Art thou a master in Israel, and knowest not these things?
11 Amen, amen I say to thee, that we speak what we know, and we testify what we have seen, and you receive not our testimony.
12 If I have spoken to you earthly things, and you believe not; how will you believe, if I shall speak to you heavenly things?
13 And no man hath ascended into heaven, but he that descended from heaven, the Son of man who is in heaven.
14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the desert, so must the Son of man be lifted up:
15 That whosoever believeth in him, may not perish; but may have life everlasting.
16 For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting.
1For God sent not his Son into the world, to judge the world, but that the world may be saved by him.
18 He that believeth in him is not judged. But he that doth not believe, is already judged: because he believeth not in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
19 And this is the judgment: because the light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than the light: for their works were evil.
20 For every one that doth evil hateth the light, and cometh not to the light, that his works may not be reproved.
21 But he that doth truth, cometh to the light, that his works may be made manifest, because they are done in God.

The light and love are not rules, but the work of the Holy Spirit. One must move away from formulas, the great mistake of the Sanhedrin, to an encounter with God Himself, in the Church, in the sacraments, in relationships of love.
One must set aside false visions of grandeur and false loyalties. Nicodemus is St. Nicodemus. We do not know the names of many in the Sanhedrin, Their identities have been lost in time, as in reality, for they rejected the Truth, Who stood before them.

to be continued...

The Loss of Identity Three

This is really four, not three, counting the post on sects and cults the other day.

I want to answer two questions today.

One, how is it that cults are so popular and that highly intelligent people join cults, which ruin their lives?

Two, how does one keep one's identity in a time of severe displacement, such as in a concentration camp?

I shall answer these two questions later today. I am teaching this morning and need to go. However, I repeat these questions for readers to consider.

For the second question, we have great examples of those who kept identities under extreme circumstances, such as Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn.

I shall only mention one thing. When the tyrannical enemy is obviously evil, it is actually easier to keep one's identity, if one has such. The subtleties of tyrannical parents is much more insidious today than the evil of tyrannies. One only has to think of thwarted lives under the thumb of narcissistic parents.

To be continued...

Loss of Identity Part Two

A cult is not based on the teachings of the Church or natural law. Cults provide deviant alternatives to normal relationships with the Church, parents, the world, or other healthy societies.

Many cults cause a loss of identity or a formation of a bent identity.

We have seen this in American history, as well as in European history.

St. Benedict's genius was that his Rule is not cultic. One is free to leave and to be one's self in monasteries, if one is called to this lifestyle. That is key, by the way. One must be called to be formed into the person God intended one to be.

One reason why convents and monasteries do not accept older people, except in unusual circumstances, is this very problem of loss of identity. A person who has been in the world as a lay person for a long time has found his or her identity in that environment.

A twenty-something person has not yet been completely formed and, therefore, can cooperate with methods of formation. Such is the wisdom of early vocations to both the religious life and the priesthood.

In Medieval or even ancient times, life for the lay person was not drastically different from monastic settings. Apprentices were under obedience to their masters and women under much more strict obedience to their fathers and eventually, husbands. The standard of living for most was to similar that movement from one type of poverty or simplicity to another would not cause a lack of identification. Even the nobles, such as Bernard of Clairvaux whose saintly mother brought up her entire family as Catholics living a simpler lifestyle than most "upper classes" today, could become saints.

But, the loss of identity is not the same as formation, obviously.

Many Catholics today are upset with the present pope. This is partly because these Catholics do not know who they are as Catholics and have relied on exterior authority for identity.

That is what children do until they grow up, finding,creating their own identities in and with God.

The cult of personality denies a person the chance to grow up into the identity God has designed for them.

The is one of the serious problems of cults. The reliance on a charismatic person determines identity for the group. How painful it is to realize that adults have not "found themselves" in these cults and remain at the emotional state of children.

Parents must be especially careful when raising adolescents, for this is the time of identity settling in. One reason I loved teaching junior high students was that this age is like the second "no" stage of two-year-olds.

At two, toddlers begin to sense they are separate from mum and dad and the "no" is a statement of identity. To be other than one's parents is necessary for growth emotionally, spirituality and physically.

Many years ago, I had a roommate from a large family in America, wherein the father, now long dead, was over-protecting and over-bearing. His five "girls" did not experience normal physical growth, nor normal emotional growth because he kept them prisoners in his own demanding role of father. He did not want them to grow up.

My roommate did not experience puberty until she was 23 because of this trauma. Finally, she got married and became the woman God intended her to be, but later than most young people.

She was finally released from this imprisonment of childhood.

I have since met others who have been kept from their adult capacities by overbearing parents. These are the peter pans of the world among men and the ever-princesses of the world among women. In all cases, these adults have not reached either emotional or spiritual maturity. The parent is evil in these cases, making themselves into gods and forcing children to be made in their own image and likeness, instead of God's.

They must break away from the maternal or paternal expectations and tyrannies in order to be who they are.

God, the Father, intended us to be His children first. He intended us to grow in His likeness,which is grace. But, the sins of others against some and the sins of society sometimes hold people back.

I shall continue this conversation on loss of identity today and tomorrow.

Let me ask one question of my readers. If you were placed in a concentration camp, would you be able to keep your identity?

I shall answer how one can do this in the next posting.

Loss of Identity-Part One

One of the problems for the homeless is the psychological state of "loss of identity".  Because, as humans, we are body and soul, our identity is not merely based on the soul, the mind and the imagination, which are somewhat intangible, but on our surroundings.

Loss of identity can happen through individual homelessness, or dislocation, but also thro,ugh the evils of tyrants, such as the mass deportation of persons for the purpose of genocide. The Holocaust and the pogroms give us intense examples of tyranny's efforts to cause people to lose their identities. In those two cases, in Germany and in Russia, the effort was to destroy the identity of not only individual identities, but corporate identities. The effort aimed at destroying the Jews both as individuals and as a people.

There are political groupings, some based on religion, which attempt today to wipe out entire peoples through violence in order to destroy their identity in history, in civilizations. Such is the goal of any organized genocide.

There is at least one religion which has at its roots the desire and goal to eliminate both Jews and Catholics from the earth.

Prisons can be set-up like concentration camps in order to cause people to purposefully lose identities.

The loss of identity can happen when a person is forced into circumstances which are so different to one's own construction, that the identity disappears and the person flounders in a state of crisis.

If the external circumstances prove difficult or persuasive enough, that loss of identity may never be found.

Families can destroy identity, especially when parents do not pray to know their children and impose their own dreams on those children instead of nurturing what God has given naturally.

Incest is an extreme form of enforced loss of identity, whether physical incest or emotional incest. The perpetrator imposes his or her devious designs on a younger person and destroys a natural relationship of mother to son or father to daughter and son on.

To help a person come out of the loss of identity caused by incest demands involvement of a Catholic psychologist and even, perhaps, an exorcist, if demonic control took over the person's core of being.

Sometimes we meet people who have no sense of identity. Brit Ekland stated of the great actor Peter Sellers that he lacked a sense of who Peter Sellers actually was, which enable him to adapt to other characters with such success. Some actors do experience this loss of identity, at least temporarily, when adopting another character. If the actor does not have a core of being, this adoption of various roles seems natural, even good.

However, loss of identity most likely comes when people rely on external things for their identity more than the strength of internal things. But, external structures are important and cannot be totally ignored.

For the homeless, especially the veteran, who may have lost some identity in the army or in war, the way back to normalcy is denied to them. Living as itinreants, they have no control over their external life and, therefore, cannot be themselves.

Think of this-the inablity to be one's true self as created by God.

Most people have this ability to fin out who they are and to live out a life with identity. Peter Pan men have been thwarted, as I have written in many posts and have a hard time coming into their own identities as grown-up men. The same can happen with "daddy's little girls", who have been smothered by the over protection or overpowering of a father, who cannot see his girls as needing to grow into adults. I have met some women, more in the past than now, who fell into that category of thwarted womanly growth.

For the Catholic, identity must include the formation internally as well as externally to become a Catholic.
Catholic identity is not merely internal or not merely external.

To become a Catholic truly, to conform one's mind to the mind of Christ, demands discipline and structure from little on. Formation of the child to be a saint is the main duty of parents, again, as I have written on this blog.

But, like the homeless, a Catholic might miss out on proper formation and wander through the world looking for other things with which to identify. Such are the actions of concupiscence and sin.

Adam and Eve lost their identities in Eden, but Christ gave these identities of true man and true woman back to mankind on the Cross. He re-formed us into His image and likeness by giving us grace, opening the door to heaven where we all were locked out, except for a chosen few, and by making us again, through baptism children of God and heirs of heaven.

To experience a loss of Catholic identity actually is another name for hell.

Some people have nervous breakdowns because they have either been forced to deny or denies themselves a chance for their true identity. To follow the vocation to which God calls each one of us is to find ourselves and to be the person God created us to be.

When lay men refuse to marry or when women refuse to have children, they exhibit a serious loss of identity. when priests are not obedient to Rome and when nuns set aside their rule, they experience a loss of identity.

Or worse, these people create a false identity, founded on sin. Such people risk going to hell, as God gave them an identity they have spurned.

Many of us have written how Ireland has lost her identity as she is no longer Catholic. Here are some statistics for the homeless in Ireland.

I am going to state that a nation which has lost its identity allows a homeless population to grow, as if saying subconsciously, "We are all without our true home now."

The most recent statistics on homelessness in Ireland are from the Special Census report on homeless persons in Ireland. Of the 4.5million persons in Ireland on Census night (10th April 2011), 3,808 were in accommodation providing shelter for homeless persons or were sleeping rough. 62% (or 2,375) were living in Dublin on Census night, and 644 (17%) were under the age of 20. 15% or 553 people were non-Irish, compared to 12% of the total population. Almost one-third of homeless persons had health which was ‘Fair’, ‘Bad’ or ‘Very bad’, compared with 10% of the general population.
The number of people sleeping rough in Dublin is counted each year in April and November. 87 people were observed sleeping rough in November 2012. Found here.
Last year, once in a while, I fed a homeless man who sat in two or three different places in downtown Dublin. I shall call him Mark, not his real name. I always remembered to call him by name. He appreciated this, as few saw him as an individual. He had a name, he had an identity but it was lost. 
To call him by name was my small attempt to give him back his identity....
We must call people by their names. We must engage the homeless in helping them seek and find their lost identities. But, they are not the only ones who have lost the idea of who they are.

To be continued later today....

Wisdom for The Day

Don't worry about me no matter what happens in this world. Nothing can happen to me that God doesn't want. And all that He wants, no matter how bad it may appear to us, is really for the best.
-- St. Thomas More

I wrote this in my bible in 1983.

Religion Is Not Politics

Man, how many times have I said this to some American sems who confuse politics in the Church with religion? Do I now have to write this to my English Catholic friends?

Being religious does involve some involvement in politics, such as in the ssm debate and abortion debate. However, being holy has nothing to do with such.

Too many lay people are trying to change the hierarchy of the Church. Hey, change yourselves. Change your families. Get some vocations out of your own families.

Stop blaming others for not changing the world, please, and do it yourselves by becoming perfect.

A challenge given to us by Christ Himself...Be you therefore perfect, as also your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48 DR


Hello to Friends in Poland Today

Have a great day in Poland!

Happy Feast of St. George