Home >> Blogs

this user is offline now  exile
Send message

Gender: Male
Age: 77 Years

Country: United States

Signup Date: 12/01/2008

  Religion & Philosophy
  Jobs, Work, Careers
  Movies, TV, Celebrities
  News & Politics

September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002

Who Gives Kudos:


10:51 AM   [09 Nov 2012 | Friday]

Letters to Jesus (Marks of Humanity) - 9



Dear Jesus,

   It might seem somewhat tangential to write to You about “contingency” but I often think about Thomas Merton’s transcendent epiphany as he stood at the corner of 4th and Elm in Louisville, Kentucky, and watched all the people going by in different directions. He needed to see that and to be brought up short by what it evoked in him. I need that too! I need to look at all those around me and realize my contingency upon them. I need to realize and think about the contingency of the whole world.

   Contingency denotes dependence, and there never was a single person who trod this earth – in any direction – who was not dependent. To be human is to be dependent because we live in a contingent world. 

   If I recollect correctly one of the arguments for the existence of God is the argument from contingency – the idea being that all contingency radiates back to a non-contingent source just as, in the argument from cause and effect, effects radiate all the way back to an uncaused cause.

   The fact that each one of us is a contingent effect should, when we behold from our own position those around us, make us miraculously aware of the common intertwining of the Spirit of God in our lives. To be able to see through ourselves to others: to their facial features, their hair styles, their bodily figures, gait, speed, direction, intensity, skin, clothing, disabilities, etc. and then, through them, to reflect back on ourselves – this is truly a grace-filled gift. We so seldom get passed those things that set us apart so as to be able to contemplate the contingency that draws us all together in sameness. Even to Merton it came as a surprise; and it touched him deeply.

   We are not separate islands apart from the mainland of our being which is not separated from the ground of our being upon which we are contingent and upon whom we depend.



- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

10:07 AM   [07 Nov 2012 | Wednesday]

Letters to Jesus (Marks of Humanity) - 8



Dear Jesus,

 The concept of “latent religion” is interesting to consider. It manifests itself in the formation of metaphors. We are compelled from within to express figuratively the urges that seem to be built-in. Religion itself is our metaphor for that by which we try to make comprehensible who we are, where we come from, and why we’re here. The latent questions deep inside us have genuine specific answers that our minds cannot wrap themselves around. So, to answer the urge to know, we devise constructs that suffice, to varying degrees, to satisfy our understanding – metaphors; and the need for the religious metaphor is latent, I believe, in all of us.

   Latent religion, with its accompanying metaphors, is as present in the atheist as it is in the saint. However, it can be ignored. The seed comes as standard equipment but its nurture is up to us. We have a lifetime to respond to the urge. We have a lifetime to construct our metaphor. Indeed, in a very real sense, our lifetime is the gift during which we choose to respond to or reject this urge which moves us toward our spiritual destiny of union. For us, metaphors seem the only way we are able to deal with the spiritual, and this fact alone is evidence of the latent religion in all of us. Yet it is so easy to ignore. It is subtler than the consciousness of our respiratory or cardiac functions. But, ignoring it results in a spiritual demise as opposed to a physical one.

   I don’t see how any man or woman can believe with conviction that he/she is an agnostic or an atheist. They may say it, they may argue it, they may swear it; but deep within themselves they cannot  embrace it.


- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

9:55 AM   [05 Nov 2012 | Monday]

Letters to Jesus (Marks of Humanity) - 7



Dear Jesus,

    How much of my “religion” or my so-called “spirituality” is a seeking after a state in which I can be left as myself and still be approved? I’m sure that’s not the highest ideal, but it may be the reality. I guess for me it reaches its best when I forget entirely about the approval of others (which is seldom) and seek only Your approval.

   The approval of others is much easier to discern than Yours – or is it? With the approval of others we never quite know for sure what mental reservations or qualifications are being held. But with You we know that when Your approval is granted it is without reservation or qualification. Yet, my need for approval must indeed include a validation of myself and what I am doing; thus, in seeking approval I manufacture my religion/spirituality to validate myself. This seems very human but there also seems to be something not quite right about it.

  To have the feeling at any particular stage that I am validated or approved may be interpreted as permission to stay where I’m at. Yet, if I accept the reality that at any given moment I am a being becoming, resting in validation or approval does nothing but impede my growth. I become OK to myself because I think others think I’m OK and because I think You regard me as OK. But, in fact, such an evaluation may first come more from me that from You or others, and, second, it can be a dam to the flow of Your graces. Thus, falling prey to this seductive spiritual trap makes us more Pharisaical than we would admit to ourselves. The discomfort such an admission causes does not fit into my “religion.” But, if we can admit that this is pretty much what takes place then we can begin inuring ourselves to the effects of seeking approval and moving on without it.

   On the other side of this dilemma, a total disregard of validation or approval may result in a callous disregard for the honest consideration of others. You did not need approval or validation from men; only from Your Father. From men all You sought was acceptance of what You offered. But in Your own time You got very little of this. Maybe the lesson is that we’re never approved, validated, or accepted until the life in which we seek it is over.


- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

9:26 AM   [03 Nov 2012 | Saturday]

Letters to Jesus (Marks of Humanity) - 6



Dear Jesus,

    To communicate with others we try mightily to frame our thoughts, words, and beliefs in the clearest way we know. But we fail. We fail over, and over, and over. We dash around the Tower of Babel unintelligibly. What seems perfectly clear to us, perfectly simple and uncomplicated is utterly baffling to others. This is a great pain of being human. It is what Kierkegaard calls the “martyrdom of unintelligibility.” Each time what is intelligible to us is unintelligible to another, a piece of us is forced to die. And when a piece of us is forced to die, a bit of our self must die. Because of our estimation of our self, it is painful! The fact that what we say or believe may be unintelligible to others renders us martyrs to the cause of understanding.

   Your own life is a prime documentation of this. The simplicity of Your message and Your teachings was unintelligible to the Pharisees and most of the Jewish people resulting in Your physical martyrdom on the cross. But it must have been equally painful in Your life to suffer the inability to make Yourself intelligible to the very people to whom You were sent. Yet, accepting this predicament is something with which every human must come to grips. And there is only one way to do this: by denying the self that seeks to be intelligible and by discounting the desire to have others feel and think exactly as you do. It is prideful! Each of us is a martyr to unintelligibility, each a citizen of Babel. Only one other can make out anything intelligible about us – You!


- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 

10:18 AM   [01 Nov 2012 | Thursday]

Letters to Jesus (Marks of Humanity) - 5



Dear Jesus,

      It will always be so that we look for consolations to affirm that we are loved by You. But again, we are so often sad about traits of our own personalities that seem surely to make us less than loveable.

   Recently the feast of St. Jerome was celebrated. Highlights of his life were read at Mass and they intrigued me enough to do some further research on him. To put it kindly, he seemed something of a curmudgeon. Two words kept popping up while reading about his life: “abusive” and “irascible.” But he’s a saint!

   I tend to think that I often come off as something of a curmudgeon. I can be abusive and I’m often irascible. I am consoled by the fact that a saint struggled with the same things. Maybe us curmudgeons have found our patron saint.

   The point, I think, is that even those who are canonized saints had to deal with human foibles and personal flaws which, through effort, they overcame – but not always. When we encounter an irascible, abusive curmudgeon the one thing we don’t see is how much or how little that person is struggling to overcome those parts of his/her life. If we knew that struggle and all it entailed we might be more likely to consider the saintliness of an individual. While I do give credence to the exterior demeanor of a person as it is influenced by his/her inner self, I can also see the possibilities of an interior life that struggles mightily with exterior flaws.

   Julian of Norwich says that you lay on each person you love some particular thing which, while it carries no blame in your sight, causes them to be blamed by the world.


- 0 Comments - 0 Kudos - Add comment 
Copyright © 2009 - 2012 True2ourselves. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission is prohibited.