Prophecies

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Lo, when the forests reclaim that which was stolen,
When the wolves return to the heart of Europe,
Births will have ceased. Humanity wanes in their moment of triumph.
The stars and the sun shall look down upon this earth
for the Kingdom is nigh.

Or something like that.

What’s up

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Everyone once in a while I find it’s good to say what’s going on with me, for those who care about such things. I am not teaching this summer after all, the US history class I was going to teach was turned over to the art teacher, for reasons unknown.

This works out really. I have a new urge to begin the process of sending various things off to publishers and such, which is very good for my soul… at least the writing bits.

I’m doing a couple of websites, www.thegatewebzine.com, is one of them. The second is a little more complicated and thorough. You see I’m helping to develop a curriculum for use in a Juvenile Hall setting that can be used online, cd-rom, or other formats, making an interactive approach to literacy. I’m doing the design mostly, as there’s more folks more trained in the specifics of the actual approach. The county has invested in this, however, and bought some high end Macromedia products to work with, beyond the simple Studio programs, and various other tools, such as video editing. So, I get to write for fun, and do more computery things for other reasons.

My flirtation with US history got me back into reading about the subject, so I’ve recently finished the great His Excellency by Joseph Ellis, and have gotten a fair way through a biography of Roger Williams by Gaustad. On deck is McCullough’s 1776. I’m also continuing to forge my way through the four volumes of the Philokalia for spiritual edification and, yes, inspiration. Reading from this for a little while sparks my prayers something fierce.

For the next couple of days I’m going to be heading down the mountain, a little break of sorts, then back to writing, training, designing, and in the midst of it all trying to find that beautiful stillness which only comes through the work of the Spirit.

And that’s me. Thanks for asking.

Boycott themselves

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The worldwide association of Anglican churches will consider a controversial report Friday that calls for companies in its investment portfolios to drop any business activity supporting the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories.

If they do this they should also propose calling for companies in its investment portfolios to drop any businees activity supporting the British occupation of Irish territories. Methinks the Anglican Peace and Justice Network should be less concerned about the politicized Middle East and more about what’s going on in their own backyards. The long standing anti-Catholic policies of Anglicans have caused significantly more suffering over a much longer period of time than anything Israel has done. These are folks who starved a whole country to death in order to rid the land of their presence. Israel just doesn’t like to be blown up. Sure, attitudes may have changed… but there’s centuries of terror to atone for.

When England (for it is England not Britain) gets out of Ireland, methinks they will have the right to suggest the same to Israel. Until then they need to find a way of getting that log out of their eyes.

Somehow the Anglicans right now remind me of King David and his little visit by the prophet Nathan.

What was that about the poor?

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Jim Wallis says that liberals are more concerned about the poor.

I beg to differ with that assessment.

This is a shameful ruling that strikes at the heart of what America is all about. This is why people came to these shores, to get away from such feudal actions.

I dare say there are going to be upheavals from this decision, and I would even guess there will be violence. And maybe rightfully so.

When the laws of this land favor the powerful and wealthy, turning civil authorities into landlords who can dispossess anyone at a whim, we have begun a downward spiral.

Forget the flag burning amendment. Congress needs to protect the rights of its citizens from overzealous local politicians, many of which have rather curious connections to the developers.

I don’t often write my various representatives… but this might be an issue that spurs me towards such. And I write this as someone who does not own land, or hardly anything for that matter.

Thought for the Day

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If we fervently desire holiness, the Holy Spirit at the outset gives the soul a full and conscious taste of God’s sweetness, so the intellect will know exactly of what the final reward of the spiritual life consists. But later He often conceals this precious and life-creating gift. He does this so that, even if we acquire all the other virtues, we should still regard ourselves as nothing because we have not acquired divine love in a lasting form. It is at this stage that the demon of hate troubles the soul of the spiritual contestant more and more, leading him to accuse of hatred even those who love him, and defiling with hatred even the kiss of affection.

The soul suffers all the more because it still preserves the memory of divine love; yet, since it is below the highest levl of the spiritual life, it cannot experience this love actively.

It is therefore necessary to work upon the soul forcefully for a while, so that we may come to taste divine love fully and consciously; for no one can acquire the perfection of love while still in the flesh except those saints who suffer to the point of martyrdom, and confess their faith despite all persecution.

Whoever has reached this state is completely transformed, and does not easily feel desire even for material sustenance. For what desire will someone nourished by divine love feel for such things? It is for this reason that Paul proclaims to us the future joy of the saints when he says: “For the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit’ (Rom. 14:17), which are the fruits of perfect love. Those who have advanced to perfection are able to taste this love continually, but no one can experience it completely until “what is mortal in us is swallowed up by life” (2 Cor. 5:4).

–Diadochos of Photiki

Amendment

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The House passed an amendment to the Constitution today which reads:

The Congress shall have power to prohibit the physical desecration of the flag of the United States.

It passed this amendment because the Supreme Court said Congress did not have such an ability, and neither did any of the states. Forty eight states had laws against this until such things were barred a little ways back.

It might be a surprise, but I’m not really for this amendment. Don’t get me wrong, I think burning the flag is a terrible thing. I have a lot of admiration for this flag as I posted on Flag Day recently.

In fact it’s because I think it’s a terrible thing that I’m not really for outlawing burning it. You see, it’s a foolish thing to do, and anyone who does it is really burning themselves. They are burning the rights that this flag represents, and so in a way rejecting their very right to protest. When you burn a flag you don’t just burn bits and pieces, choosing the philosophy to protest. You are rejecting the whole thing, the whole history, the whole meaning. In burning a flag you are showing yourself to be wholly rejecting it. This is understandable for folks who would like to see America burn. It’s ludicrous for those who are themselves Americans. It should not be outlawed because by burning it people are rejecting themselves, and really are painting themselves as completely misguided, which is certainly an American right.

It is sad for them, because in their hate and confusion they are rejecting their own rights, and if their symbol would be carried out they would have no voice whatsoever. So let them burn. Each flag burned by a protester is a protester rejecting their own protest. They are rejecting the very right to reject, and making themselves look foolish in the process.

Self-loathing is very sad, but it shouldn’t be illegal. Such a right seems the very purpose of the flag, and although misguided, it curiously honors the very flag being burned. They are celebrating the very meaning of the flag they are burning.

Though, this being the case, I likely wouldn’t prosecute anyone who burns up something precious to these protesters as a counter-protest, though I suspect they would be rather more aghast at their own sensibilities being offended. Indeed they would likely sue because of property, the Bill of Rights, and so on and so forth.

But, if they want to reject those things, then who am I to say they should be valued for them?

Martyrs are respectable… these people would be, however, the very first in line to hide behind their flag should they find the slightest opposition. They’ll burn it, but they’ll still use it for their own protection. That’s foolish and cowardly, both intellectually and morally. Neither of which should be illegal, just frowned upon and discouraged.

Imagine the outrage

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There are some issues that are chic with those who purport to care about the poor and suffering and some which are not. Or I should say, there are some oppressors who are chic to condemn while there are those who are not. It’s not about the people suffering, it seems, it’s more about scoring points against those who I despise.

Imagine, for instance, the global reaction if this was Sharon instead of Mugabe, if this happened in Israel instead of Zimbabwe? Mugabe steals land back from the white folks, however, so he’s given a pass no matter how much real suffering he causes his people. It’s the thought that counts.

Hypocrisy. It does abound.

Exit Strategy

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Timothy Kane pens a very interesting commentary on what apparently is almost entirely a political term of the last decade. That’s not to say the Powell doctrine does not have aspects of this… it’s more that those who are least interested in military strategy seem to be the loudest in trying to proclaim the merits of this particular one, that they mostly designed for themselves as a faux standard.

Just something to look at in a spare moment or two

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Optical Illusions!!

Old Age and its occupations

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Gardening. Lawn bowling. Pontificating. Golf. Crossword Puzzles. Haranguing. Woodworking. Puttering. Crochet. Reading. Motor Homing.

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