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Thursday, 24 April 2014

From Colossians 1

from DR; the all who have asked me to pray for them.
Therefore we also, from the day that we heard it, cease not to pray for you, and to beg that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will, in all wisdom, and spiritual understanding:
10 That you may walk worthy of God, in all things pleasing; being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God:
11 Strengthened with all might, according to the power of his glory, in all patience and longsuffering with joy,
12 Giving thanks to God the Father, who hath made us worthy to be partakers of the lot of the saints in light:
13 Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of his love,
14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the remission of sins;
15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

Happens all the time in Alaska

Loss of Identity Part 10

This is the last post on this subject for now.

Here is an interesting question. What if an entire people loses identity?

Europe was created out of the culture and civilization left behind by the Romans and Greeks. But, it was the Catholic Church which created Europe. Without the Catholic identity, Europe will disappear and become something else, something without roots, without beauty, without God.

America has lost the Christian identity of the founders. Again, what is lost can only be found through prayer and serious reflection, as well as repentance. Sin is a result of this lost sense of self, of a people of God.

Sin steps in when identity becomes muddled. If we know we are loved by God, we move towards perfection, towards union with Him.

Other nations have lost their identities. Look at Brazil. When the people become separated from who they are, the nation suffers.

Malta has lost her identity.

Sadly, in so many so-called free nations,  freedom is fast disappearing. Freedom comes from the natural law, from laws based on God's laws, not made-up laws by men and women who have lost their identity.

As citizens, we have a right to expect leaders to have a Christian identity and uphold natural law and the Ten Commandments. Without leaders with identity, our nations will morph into global anarchism or become the prey of those who want one world government. Those without identity will be permanently smothered by those who are stronger and have identified with evil.

Yes, some choose to identify with evil.

And, in this world, there is no such thing as a neutral identity.

This is why I am so against Common Core and other forms of godless education. Even most Catholic schools, especially in Great Britain, have sold out to those who have lost their Christian, even Catholic identities.

Who do you want to form your children?

Who do you want as leaders, spouses, clergy?

We need leaders, and ourselves, to truly find out who we are. We are first and foremost, as baptized Catholics, children of God. Secondly, we have heritages and loyalties to our families and ancestors, unless these were evil. Thirdly, we have loyalties to country, to nation.  Patriotism is a minor virtue, but only those who know who they are can be virtuous. Make sure your loyalties are for worthy causes, not unworthy ones.

Please find out who you are. Please pray and get the true advice you need. We all are here for a purpose. Here, again on this blog, is Cardinal Newman's prayer.

God knows me and calls me by my name.…

God has created me to do Him some definite service;

He has committed some work to me

     which He has not committed to another.
I have my mission—I never may know it in this life,
     but I shall be told it in the next.

Somehow I am necessary for His purposes…

     I have a part in this great work;

I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection

     between persons.
He has not created me for naught. I shall do good,
     I shall do His work;
I shall be an angel of peace, a preacher of truth
     in my own place, while not intending it,
     if I do but keep His commandments
     and serve Him in my calling.

Therefore I will trust Him.

     Whatever, wherever I am,

     I can never be thrown away.

If I am in sickness, my sickness may serve Him;
In perplexity, my perplexity may serve Him;
If I am in sorrow, my sorrow may serve Him.
My sickness, or perplexity, or sorrow may be
     necessary causes of some great end,
     which is quite beyond us.
He does nothing in vain; He may prolong my life,
     He may shorten it;
     He knows what He is about.
     He may take away my friends,
     He may throw me among strangers,
     He may make me feel desolate,
     make my spirits sink, hide the future from me—
     still He knows what He is about.…
Let me be Thy blind instrument. I ask not to see—
     I ask not to know—I ask simply to be used.

from Meditations and Devotions,
"Meditations on Christian Doctrine,"
"Hope in God—Creator", March 7, 1848

Loss of Identity Part Nine

When one finally discovers who one actually is in the eyes of God, one experiences a great freedom. Those who have never experienced this freedom cannot imagine what it is to be free in God. This freedom comes in and through love. This love allows us to be "all we can be" only in Christ.

Rules and regulations help us to become disciplined, of course, as I have written on this blog in the perfection series.

But, it is not the rules and regulations which create freedom, but only allow this to happen. As in Tyburn, the nuns respond to the Rule of St. Benedict and this becomes habitual.

Habitual rules open the door for holiness, but do not create holiness, which was the error of thinking of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

I am trying, with the help of friends, to re-create my schedule to allow for more contemplative prayer. So far, not bad--but the construct is difficult without a community. The joy of having others doing what one is attempting to do cannot be reproduced, but a lay person in the world must try.

When one has lost one's identity, slowly, but surely, one can find this in prayer. But, the scary thing for many is to take the first step towards love. For those who have been hurt or are wary of disappointment, one cannot take that first step without help.

Freedom can only come in love. What do I mean? Love creates trust. Love forgives. Love accepts one as one is, but has hope for new life, always.

To be affirmed in love takes risk.

For those who have lost their identity and do not know who they are in the world, pray and look to Our Lady, Mary. Mary will lead one to Christ, and in and through Christ, to one's real self. Mary allowed God, through her yes, to help create the Man Christ. Christ could not have been Incarnated without the cooperation of Our Lady. She will help those who have lost identity be re-created. Pray and trust.

to be continued...

A Warrior

John Smeaton on Michael Voris is great. See Wednesday night's Mike'd Up.

Loss of Identity Part Eight

Love answers all dilemmas, all tragedies, all sadness. The cry of Christ from the Cross, And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying: Eli, Eli, lamma sabacthani? that is, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Matthew 27:46, DR,  is the cry of those who do not know who they are or where they are going.

Christ allowed Himself to feel the abandonment of identity. He always was with God and the Spirit, from all eternity, and in the womb of Mary, from conception. But, in His Passion, He identified with us, not with His Godliness. 

Here is St. Paul on this matter. In Philippians 2, he states that Christ emptied Himself, as some feel when they lost who they are. But, the story does not end there. Can you who have lost yourselves find yourselves in God, in Christ?

Notice how Paul wants us to believe that God can make us new. Paul challenges us to have faith that God is working in us to make us who we are to be in Him.

For let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men, and in habit found as a man.
He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even to the death of the cross.
For which cause God also hath exalted him, and hath given him a name which is above all names:
10 That in the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth:
11 And that every tongue should confess that the Lord Jesus Christ is in the glory of God the Father.

12 Wherefore, my dearly beloved, (as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but much more now in my absence,) with fear and trembling work out your salvation.
13 For it is God who worketh in you, both to will and to accomplish, according to his good will.

On Identity Part Seven

T. S. Eliot helps us understand the finding of our true identity in East Coker. He had to leave St. Louis and go to England, where he found himself in his roots, in his heritage. For some of us, leaving the land of our immigrant ancestors is part of finding out who we are.

I came into my own as a person in England, and why, I do not know. The European roots of my family reached down into my heart, my mind, my soul and drew me back to the shores of places wherein I was most at home, both physically and spiritually. Until I get back, I am not home, I am not wholly who I am.

When I came to live in England finallly, in 1985, after visiting there years before, I knew I was home both physically and spiritually. Of your charity, as the memorial states, which I saw so many years ago, of your charity pray for me to come home. One of the best spiritual advisers I ever had told me that if one is in sanctifying grace, the deepest desires of our hearts are from God.

Why some of us are called to another place is a mystery. But, perhaps this poem helps.

In my beginning is my end. In succession 
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended, 
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place 
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass. 
Old stone to new building, old timber to new fires, 
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth 
Which is already flesh, fur and faeces, 
Bone of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf. 
Houses live and die: there is a time for building 
And a time for living and for generation 
And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane 
And to shake the wainscot where the field-mouse trots 
And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto. 

 In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls 
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane 
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon, 
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes, 
And the deep lane insists on the direction 
Into the village, in the electric heat 
Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light 
Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone. 
The dahlias sleep in the empty silence. 
Wait for the early owl. 

 In that open field 
If you do not come too close, if you do not come too close, 
On a summer midnight, you can hear the music 
Of the weak pipe and the little drum 
And see them dancing around the bonfire 
The association of man and woman 
In daunsinge, signifying matrimonie— 
A dignified and commodiois sacrament. 
Two and two, necessarye coniunction, 
Holding eche other by the hand or the arm 
Whiche betokeneth concorde. Round and round the fire 
Leaping through the flames, or joined in circles, 
Rustically solemn or in rustic laughter 
Lifting heavy feet in clumsy shoes, Earth feet, loam feet, lifted in country mirth 
Mirth of those long since under earth 
Nourishing the corn. Keeping time, 
Keeping the rhythm in their dancing 
As in their living in the living seasons 
The time of the seasons and the constellations 
The time of milking and the time of harvest 
The time of the coupling of man and woman 
And that of beasts. Feet rising and falling. 
Eating and drinking. Dung and death. 

 Dawn points, and another day 
Prepares for heat and silence. Out at sea the dawn wind 
Wrinkles and slides. I am here 
Or there, or elsewhere. In my beginning. 


What is the late November doing 
With the disturbance of the spring 
And creatures of the summer heat, 
And snowdrops writhing under feet 
And hollyhocks that aim too high 
Red into grey and tumble down 
Late roses filled with early snow? 
Thunder rolled by the rolling stars 
Simulates triumphal cars 
Deployed in constellated wars 
Scorpion fights against the Sun 
Until the Sun and Moon go down 
Comets weep and Leonids fly 
Hunt the heavens and the plains 
Whirled in a vortex that shall bring 
The world to that destructive fire 
Which burns before the ice-cap reigns. 

 That was a way of putting it—not very satisfactory: 
A periphrastic study in a worn-out poetical fashion, 
Leaving one still with the intolerable wrestle 
With words and meanings. The poetry does not matter. 
It was not (to start again) what one had expected. 
What was to be the value of the long looked forward to, 
Long hoped for calm, the autumnal serenity 
And the wisdom of age? Had they deceived us 
Or deceived themselves, the quiet-voiced elders, 
Bequeathing us merely a receipt for deceit? The serenity only a deliberate hebetude, 
The wisdom only the knowledge of dead secrets 
Useless in the darkness into which they peered 
Or from which they turned their eyes. There is, it seems to us, 
At best, only a limited value 
In the knowledge derived from experience. 
The knowledge imposes a pattern, and falsifies, 
For the pattern is new in every moment 
And every moment is a new and shocking 
Valuation of all we have been. We are only undeceived 
Of that which, deceiving, could no longer harm. 
In the middle, not only in the middle of the way 
But all the way, in a dark wood, in a bramble, 
On the edge of a grimpen, where is no secure foothold, 
And menaced by monsters, fancy lights, 
Risking enchantment. Do not let me hear 
Of the wisdom of old men, but rather of their folly, 
Their fear of fear and frenzy, their fear of possession, 
Of belonging to another, or to others, or to God. 
The only wisdom we can hope to acquire 
Is the wisdom of humility: humility is endless. 

 The houses are all gone under the sea. 

 The dancers are all gone under the hill. 


O dark dark dark. They all go into the dark, 
The vacant interstellar spaces, the vacant into the vacant, 
The captains, merchant bankers, eminent men of letters, 
The generous patrons of art, the statesmen and the rulers, 
Distinguished civil servants, chairmen of many committees, 
Industrial lords and petty contractors, all go into the dark, 
And dark the Sun and Moon, and the Almanach de Gotha 
And the Stock Exchange Gazette, the Directory of Directors, 
And cold the sense and lost the motive of action. 
And we all go with them, into the silent funeral, 
Nobody's funeral, for there is no one to bury. 
I said to my soul, be still, and let the dark come upon you 
Which shall be the darkness of God. As, in a theatre, 
The lights are extinguished, for the scene to be changed 
With a hollow rumble of wings, with a movement of darkness on darkness, 
And we know that the hills and the trees, the distant panorama 
And the bold imposing fa├žade are all being rolled away— 
Or as, when an underground train, in the tube, stops too long between stations And the conversation rises and slowly fades into silence 
And you see behind every face the mental emptiness deepen 
Leaving only the growing terror of nothing to think about; 
Or when, under ether, the mind is conscious but conscious of nothing— 
I said to my soul, be still, and wait without hope 
For hope would be hope for the wrong thing; wait without love, 
For love would be love of the wrong thing; there is yet faith 
But the faith and the love and the hope are all in the waiting. 
Wait without thought, for you are not ready for thought: 
So the darkness shall be the light, and the stillness the dancing. 
Whisper of running streams, and winter lightning. 
The wild thyme unseen and the wild strawberry, 
The laughter in the garden, echoed ecstasy 
Not lost, but requiring, pointing to the agony 
Of death and birth. 

 You say I am repeating 
Something I have said before. I shall say it again. 
Shall I say it again? In order to arrive there, 
To arrive where you are, to get from where you are not, 
 You must go by a way wherein there is no ecstasy. 
In order to arrive at what you do not know 
 You must go by a way which is the way of ignorance. 
In order to possess what you do not possess 
 You must go by the way of dispossession. 
In order to arrive at what you are not 
 You must go through the way in which you are not. 
And what you do not know is the only thing you know 
And what you own is what you do not own 
And where you are is where you are not. 


The wounded surgeon plies the steel 
That questions the distempered part; 
Beneath the bleeding hands we feel 
The sharp compassion of the healer's art 
Resolving the enigma of the fever chart. 

 Our only health is the disease 
If we obey the dying nurse 
Whose constant care is not to please 
But to remind of our, and Adam's curse, 
And that, to be restored, our sickness must grow worse. 

 The whole earth is our hospital Endowed by the ruined millionaire, 
Wherein, if we do well, we shall 
Die of the absolute paternal care 
That will not leave us, but prevents us everywhere. 

 The chill ascends from feet to knees, 
The fever sings in mental wires. 
If to be warmed, then I must freeze 
And quake in frigid purgatorial fires 
Of which the flame is roses, and the smoke is briars. 

 The dripping blood our only drink, 
The bloody flesh our only food: 
In spite of which we like to think 
That we are sound, substantial flesh and blood— 
Again, in spite of that, we call this Friday good. 

So here I am, in the middle way, having had twenty years— 
Twenty years largely wasted, the years of l'entre deux guerres 
Trying to use words, and every attempt 
Is a wholly new start, and a different kind of failure 
Because one has only learnt to get the better of words 
For the thing one no longer has to say, or the way in which 
One is no longer disposed to say it. And so each venture 
Is a new beginning, a raid on the inarticulate 
With shabby equipment always deteriorating 
In the general mess of imprecision of feeling, 
Undisciplined squads of emotion. And what there is to conquer 
By strength and submission, has already been discovered 
Once or twice, or several times, by men whom one cannot hope 
To emulate—but there is no competition— 
There is only the fight to recover what has been lost 
And found and lost again and again: and now, under conditions 
That seem unpropitious. But perhaps neither gain nor loss. 
For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business. 

 Home is where one starts from. As we grow older 
The world becomes stranger, the pattern more complicated 
Of dead and living. Not the intense moment 
Isolated, with no before and after, 
But a lifetime burning in every moment 
And not the lifetime of one man only 
But of old stones that cannot be deciphered. 
There is a time for the evening under starlight, A time for the evening under lamplight 
(The evening with the photograph album). 
Love is most nearly itself 
When here and now cease to matter. 
Old men ought to be explorers 
Here or there does not matter 
We must be still and still moving 
Into another intensity 
For a further union, a deeper communion 
Through the dark cold and the empty desolation, 
The wave cry, the wind cry, the vast waters 
Of the petrel and the porpoise. In my end is my beginning

Obstacles to Regaining Identity Part Six

If one has never had an identity and must find the one God intended one to have, that is a huge struggle for an adult. This painful journey ends in glory, however, as one finally comes into the role God had given that person from conception.

If one had an identity and lost it, the journey may be as easy as leaving the place where one is in order to find one's self again. This place could be physical or spiritual.

One thinks of the book The Wizard of Oz. Dorothy, taken into a completely foreign world of her imagination, came back a changed person. She learned to love "home". But home was not just Kansas. Home meant relationships with Auntie Em, Hickory, Hunk, and Zeke. She cannot fantasize about place and is happy to be just Dorothy.

Notice that the lion stands for courage against fears, the scarecrow for the brain, which includes memory an understanding, and the tin man for the heart. Do we not see in the spiritual life that the memory, understanding, will, heart and virtues (the opposite of fears) give us life if these are purified?

Note also that the yellow brick road did not bring Dorothy home-someone pointed this out to me when I was thinking of this book. The yellow brick road does not go home, does not lead to identity. She only had to find out what was in her own heart, memory, understanding, will and virtues to go home.

That is what the Wizard told her, basically. Dorothy had all she needed to go home in the red slippers and in the real, true desires of her heart.

The red slippers represent love and once she realized the love she had for home, Dorothy could go there. She already had what she needed to go home all the time in the story. So it is with us. We have all we need, unless we never had an identity, which is a much harder journey. But, if we did and lost it, we can find it through the heart, the head, and the virtues.

What if a person has not experienced love or is closed to love? They keep choosing false yellow brick roads, like cults, false identities, drugs, drink, or money to dull their senses and wills.

How many adults have fantasized themselves into a role in the world which is based on false premises, and without relationship? The idolization of consumerism has created a sub-cultural of adults without identity, those who merely live for the day, for things, for status.

Those people who have had a keen spiritual life may also have lost identities. I think of those who have desired to be spiritually something they are not. Or worse, not attempting to become the saint God has wanted them to be from all eternity. Can one not accept being a "little one" for God instead of a great saint.

This is what St. Benedict Labre teaches me. He was a pilgrim who could not find a home on this earth. But, his love led him to Rome, which became his spiritual as well as physical home. He found an identity contrary to the world, but simple, hidden, until the miracles at the end of his short life and after his death.

His obstacles were other people who could not see his worth. But, there are other obstacles.

The obstacles to regaining identity may be listed as follows:

1) fear, fear at losing a false identity for the real one;

2) family, fear of either embracing the past for healing or lack of forgiveness, even hatred;

3) false sense of duty towards something constructed or someone who has been an influence-one man I knew did not convert to Catholicism until he was 72, until his mother died, as she hated Catholics. Obviously, he was denying a call, an identity larger and stronger than her hatred;

4) pride, the biggest obstacle, as one may have to admit one has been mistaken in one's identity to the point of having a thwarted, unfilled life.

5) other people, especially if one is in a cult, as it is hard to break away from perceived love and a false reality;

6) fear of discovering again the pre-cult, pre-trauma, lost identity without a support group, without love;

7) the lack of a support group or counselors who understand the need for finding the pre-cult or lost identity; some counselors play along with the game of false identity, which is continuing a lie;

8) a lack of understanding that prayer and healing, the sacramental life, and confession especially, help find the lost identity.

Sometimes it takes a tornado, or at least a psychological one, to uncover our true selves.

One cannot completely deny one's past and heritage in order to find identity lost. God has a plan by putting us among a certain people, and for some, that may be a people not one's own, but called into being by God Himself. There is a mystery about identity which defies definition.

Those who persist in deceit if it is their own doing, and not something done to them, may need purgatory to find out who God wanted them to be. Purgatory purges the imagination and will, the heart, the mind, the soul and leads one to the truth of sin and falsity.

This purgatory may be accomplished on earth, with the help of a loving support group, who are steeped in the truth themselves. Plus, they may be healed enough to accomplish the good thing God wanted them to do on earth, by being themselves.

to be continued....

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!