1. First, a belated Happy Thanksgiving to one and all. Gobble gobble. The second November benefactor/supporter Mass was offered while all of you were still in your turkey comas on Friday. But remember, God is the actor at the Holy Sacrifice and so even passed out on a sofa, bloated and drooling on your blankie, completely oblivious to the fact that somewhere a Mass was being said for you, the Holy Sacrifice was offered, and all of the Angels and all of the Saints were there as Our Lord offered up Himself for you. I’ll let you know when the December Masses are scheduled.
2. I say this a lot, but it bears repeating:
The opposite of love or charity is not hate. The opposite of love is indifference.
3. While we’re on repeating memes, this can never be said too often either:
Meekness is not weakness. Meekness is power under control. Big, big difference.
4. Here’s a wonderfully humiliating thought: Human beings are the lowest grade of intellectual beings possible. Between the smartest human being and the dumbest human being, the angels see little difference.
Ouch. The truth hurts.
5. Here is a beautiful quote from St. Aelred of Rievaulx:
“Brothers, however cast down we may be by harassment or heartache, the consolations of Scripture will lift us up again. . . . I tell you, brothers, no misfortune can touch us, no situation so galling or distressing can arise that does not, as soon as Holy Writ seizes hold of us, either fade into nothingness or become bearable. This is the field where Isaac walked in the evening meditating, and where Rebecca came hurrying towards him and soothed with her gentle charm the grief that had befallen him. How often, good Jesus, does day incline to evening, how often does the daylight of some slight consolation fade before the black night of an intolerable grief? Everything turns to ashes in my mouth; wherever I look, I see a load of cares. If someone speaks to me, I barely hear; if someone knocks, I scarcely notice; my heart is turned to stone, my tongue sticks fast, my tear-ducts are dry. What then? Into the field I go to meditate. I reread the holy book; I note down my thoughts; and suddenly Rebecca comes running towards me and with her light, which is your grace, good Jesus, dispels the gloom, puts melancholy to flight, disintegrates my hardness. Soon sighs give way to tears, accompanied in their turn by heavenly joy. Unhappy are those who, when oppressed in spirit, do not walk into this field and find that joy.”
6. Here is a letter from the mailbag from a Vietnam vet with regards to St. Bibiana:
I confess that had not heard of St. Bibiana, but I know of a Roman Catholic who walked that walk.
In the Mekong Delta in 1970, the VC would kidnap villagers to use them as porters or prostitutes. One girl who was kidnapped would not cooperate with the VC. She fought them, bit, scratched, kicked, screamed and made a general nuisance of herself. You see, she was a Roman Catholic. She would not cooperate with them in any way. The VC finally brought her back to her village and hung her on the barbed wire perimeter. It was the dry season. The VC disembowled her near an ant hill. She cried out. Every time a villager went out to rescue her he was shot at or shot. A soldier finally put her out of her misery from within the compound. I wish I knew that girl’s name, but I know the exact spot where she died because the village erected a memorial to her.
7. I came across this comment at Market-Ticker.org on the topic of raising the minimum wage and the disastrous consequences that follow – namely mass layoffs, forced automation, and businesses failing. I think this chap, “Debtisbadmmkay”, has hit on exactly what the dynamic is:
A lot of you guys are not thinking about what the real agenda is. There are two types of people that push this crap. The 1st type is the socialist pig leader who understands that push this crap and the 2nd type are the ignorant masses that can’t think through first level consequences let alone second level consequences.
The 1st group doesn’t care if the entire middle class quits taking this slightly lower paying job with a lot less stress. That is actually the goal. They want 98% of the people to make the exact same amount of money with themselves in the top 2%. They do not care if the overall prosperity of the nation is lower. What they care about is the delta between themselves and everyone else.
If they had to choose between them having a quality of life of 100 but everyone else is at a quality of life of 1 or them having a quality of life of 150 with everyone else at 100 they would choose the 100 and 1. All they care about is being better than everyone else and since they arent capable of building themselves up they would rather tear everyone else down. That is the goal.
The second larger group is just stupid.
I think this observation is spot-on. It relates back to what I have been talking about with regards to the “Cool Kids Club” dynamic. There are a lot of people running around whose main driving objective is to establish themselves as part of that “2%” that the commenter mentions – and that oligarchical stratification isn’t merely a function of wealth, it is also a function of morality. This is typically rooted in massive insecurity and deep-seated self-loathing, but also among a certain percentage of them is a function of sociopathy. There is a desperate need to feel “above”, “separate”, “special”, “elite” and ultimately this manifests as a denial of the Rule of Law, even the Laws of Mathematics, and certainly the Laws of God, aka objective morality. For this “2%” faux-class, the Rules simply do not apply. And if you want to be in their “good graces”, you had better be cool with that.
8. Which reminds me, here is a repost of the signs and traits of sociopathy/psychopathy. The more people there are who are aware of these pathologies, the less power they will have in society. Remember, just because a person demonstrates a few of these traits does not mean they are a sociopath. However, if a person fits, say 12 out of these 14 traits, well, prudence clearly dictates extreme caution.
Signs of Sociopathy and Psychopathy:
-They have glibness and superficial charm.
-They are manipulative and cunning. Under their feigned charm, they are covertly hostile and domineering.
-They have a grandiose sense of self.
-They are pathological, convincing, effortless liars.
-They have no remorse, shame or guilt.
-They have shallow emotions.
-They have incapacity for love.
-They are not concerned about how many lives they wreck.
-They usually have promiscuous sexual behavior.
-They have poor work ethic but are masters of exploiting others.
-They have versatility; they will change their image or affiliations quickly to avoid prosecution.
-They are deeply contemptuous of anyone who understands them, or is “on to them”.
-They think only of their own immediate gratification.
-They are found in all political parties.
9. A reader introduced me to something wonderful after I posted the Allegretto from Beethoven’s 7th. Did you know that Franz Liszt transcribed all of Beethoven’s symphonies into solo piano arrangements? It’s incredible, and is like meeting old friends again for the first time. Here is the Allegretto transcription. Enjoy!