Not Forgotten – Just Gone.

For those who may not be aware, The Aussie equivalent of spending time in the Wilderness is to ‘Go Bush’ or more locally, Go Walkabout.

Given the very understandable but completely detestable (to me) misinterpretation of the first term, especially in a US Election year, possible by some individuals the following notice is belatedly ‘erected’….

walkabout.jpg

for an indeterminate period.

As for the Road Less Travelled – it is undergoing a period of necessary repair.

Live Love.

BlogActionDay – Poverty

Blessed are the Poor, in spirit: for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. (Matt 5:3)

For the poor always ye have with you; but me ye have not always (Joh 12:8)

The Words of Christ imply a certain ‘appreciation’ for poverty and those who ‘suffer’ from it.

To only assume that Poverty is something we have to ‘eliminate’ in order to bring about a ‘better’ world may be somewhat presumptious of us.

It has been suggested that if we eliminated ‘wealth’ by taking the total assets of the human inhabitants of this planet and distributed it equitably among all the people who live on it, that within 2-5 years we would return to the inequality we have in it’s distribution today.

Eliminating Poverty is not going to be something we can do ‘in isolation’.

In order to eliminate poverty we would also need to eliminate quite a number of ‘larger’ issues.

We would need to eliminate the unequal distribution of people to available land and environmental resources.

America is incapable of feeding itself. It cannot currently produce all the food it’s people’s consume and relies upon imports from other countries for it’s very survival. This requires other countries to dedicate land which could be used to provide their own agricultural needs to meeting the needs of another part of the world in return for money (think coffee, sugar production for example).

Would you give up coffee so other countries could grow more rice to feed their people and prevent starvation from shortages of food?

This sort of consideration would not be enough to eliminate poverty – we would also need to eliminate or find ways to overcome simple human greed and corruption in governments. The example of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe and the poverty and rampant hyperinflation destroying the population’s wealth (while ensuring His own remains superior to the vast majority of ‘his’ supporters who are beaten into voting for him).

Even eliminating this would not be enough to overcome poverty.

We would also need to overcome War between nations – between the have’s and the have not’s.

And to do that we need to overcome the human traits of Envy and Jealousy and Covetousness, because even when our basic needs are met – when we have enough food to feed ourselves and the hungry mouths of our children; when we have some land to work and to build a house upon to provide shelter for our self and family, when we have a Job to occupy us and provide some wealth to buy necessities and the occasional luxury or two; and even when we can afford to go on a holiday once a year or so to take a break from the ever increasing ‘pressure’ upon us to consume and provide and produce more and more each year to allow for the Global Economy’s sustained and increasing growth to ensure the profits of the global corporationsย are able to be bigger this year than the last.. even when all that is ‘met’, there will still be some who want even more and will find ways to take it from those who can’t afford to give any more than they have already.

Because of our Desire.

Because of our Greed.

Because of our Envy.

Because of our Jealousy.

Because we do not know how to, or even why we should, control those elements of ourself.

And until we do we will never eliminate poverty.

And we will always have the poor with us – and the poor of spirit inside of us.

Eliminating Poverty starts with eliminating the poverty of your own spirit inside you.

The Ego Equation.

If Man is made in the image of God and we have an (comprising several lEGiOn) ego then:

Satan = God’s Ego.

No more whining about YOUR job!

Tam was too chicken to post this at her blog but we all know i have no class so…

Anyone’s job make this look ‘sweet’????

I thought not. ๐Ÿ™‚

Picture meme

I am indebted to Hoverfrog for the origin of this meme:

Essentially someone posts a word (in this case it would be me) and then the reader (you) rushes off to image search it. They (you) then post an entry with the amusing picture and a new word and rush back to say that you have done so. The next person goes from your blog in a long and silly chain.

We all then spend oodles of time cavorting about tโ€™Internet putting silly pictures up and much fun is had by all.

The word was Lazy. new word: Since it seems to be a popular one lately – CRUNCH.

Got the idea? Good ๐Ÿ™‚

Don’t forget to post the rules and to come back here to say you’ve done it on your blog. or people could get ‘lost’.

Seven Deadly Sins: Part VII – Sloth

Yaaaayyy!! Finally! On to the last in this series. In past months i’ve covered Anger (mistakenly confused with Wrath or unrighteous Anger), Envy, Gluttony, Greed, Lust, Pride and now Sloth.

Sadly, and perhaps predictably, and possibly self-evidently, the one i think i have the biggest issue over.

Idea here? I give a brief def’n of something other, more spiritually aware, people than i have deemed a Deadly or Mortal Sin. ie.one capable of unredeeming us if we entertain them in ourselves and would lead us to eternal damnation if we fail to acknowledge and repent sincerely of them.

Then i give an example in my own life and what, if anything i have managed to do so far to overcome it (the particular Sin of the Seven) in my life. Then you add your own examples and solutions – if you would be so kind ๐Ÿ™‚

Sloth:
– habitual disinclination to exertion; indolence; laziness.
– apathy and inactivity in the practice of virtue.
– Synonyms: shiftlessness, idleness, slackness.
(From Wikipedia) More than other sins, the definition of sloth has changed considerably since its original inclusion among the seven deadly sins. In fact it was first called the sin of sadness or despair. It had been in the early years of Christianity characterized by what modern writers would now describe as melancholy: apathy, depression, and joylessness โ€” the last being viewed as being a refusal to enjoy the goodness of God and the world he created. Originally, its place was fulfilled by two other aspects, acedia and sadness. The former described a spiritual apathy that affected the faithful by discouraging them from their religious work. Sadness (tristitia in Latin) described a feeling of dissatisfaction or discontent, which caused unhappiness with one’s current situation. When Thomas Aquinas selected acedia for his list, he described it as an “uneasiness of the mind”, being a progenitor for lesser sins such as restlessness and instability. Dante refined this definition further, describing sloth as being the “failure to love God with all one’s heart, all one’s mind and all one’s soul.” He also described it as the middle sin, and as such was the only sin characterised by an absence or insufficiency of love.

The modern view of the vice, as highlighted by its contrary virtue of zeal or diligence, is that it represents the failure to utilize one’s talents and gifts. For example, a student who does not work beyond what is required (and thus fails to achieve his or her full potential) could be labeled slothful.

Current interpretations are therefore much less stringent and comprehensive than they were in medieval times, and portray sloth as being more simply a sin of laziness or indifference, of an unwillingness to act, an unwillingness to care (rather than a failure to love God and his works). For this reason sloth is now often seen as being considerably less serious than the other sins, more a sin of omission than of commission.

From the above it seems fair to me to say Sloth, as a Sin, is the unwillingness to Do ‘Something’ towards assuring we follow God’s Will for us, His Children. (Be that an activity, utilisation of a particular skill or talent or learning something of use concerning our self so as to better be able to follow His Will over our own).

God took one day off in the first Seven in which to rest after his labours – if we do significantly less ‘work’ than that it could well be we are engaging in Sloth.

For those readers who may be concerned regarding illnesses, i would think He is well aware of the limits of your ability to perform certain duties for the duration, but i would not let that be a cause for any complacency. i believe His primary desire for us is to love Him, love your neighbour. If you can work on those i feel that constiutes an absence of Sloth. ๐Ÿ™‚

So: my sloth? Many and varied. I love to lie in bed in the mornings – been that way since i was a kid in England where getting up to go to school frequently meant getting out of bed before the sun was up in a COLD house and then having a mile or so to walk, sometimes in both snow and darkness or rain alone to reach the school. Not a particularly enjoyable prospect for a seven year old. Times have changed but some habits have not – Sloth! i know this is not of any particular benefit to me and may even be to my cost. It does mean i have a greater than usual ability to stay awake longer than someand so sometimes get to bed late (which adds to the ‘problem’) – but i am working on that ๐Ÿ˜‰

Again, at school, i developed the habit of leaving assignments and study due until the last minute and still somehow managed to qualify for University entrance in my desired field of Science (Chem and Computing Studies) Sloth and a successful entrance examination into a public service career ensured i have not yet completed same (more sloth).

Old habits are hard to break (harder still if you never get started!) ๐Ÿ˜‰

It took me Thirty years to Finally begin any serious approach to come to know God How slothful is THAT? almost 20 years on and progress is somewhat slow and goes in fits and starts. The last 2 years have been somewhat more fruitful, but more in knowledge than productive work outside of myself.

What have i done to overcome it? i said at the start this may be the Sin i have the greatest issue with. Truth is – other than reading Scripture and other research into Christ and my knowledge of the Universe and my place in it (and the odd volunteer or Charity works/donations) and blogging about some of it… i have not actually done all that much. With regards to Dante’s definition as being the only Sin characterised by an insufficiency of love… i AM learning how and who to love with all my heart and mind and Soul and Strength. Slowly.

Any ideas?

Maybe those Christians aren’t as nutty as some think?

Warning!: SERIOUSLY heavy thinking needed. Proceed at your own risk!

Let those who say that the teaching of Christ is hurtful to the State produce such armies as the maxims of Jesus have enjoined soldiers to bring into being; such governors of provinces; such husbands and wives; such parents and children; such masters and servants; such kings; such judges, and such payers and collectors of tribute, as the Christian teaching instructs them to become, and then let them dare to say that such teaching is hurtful to the State. Nay, rather will they hesitate to own that this discipline, if duly acted up to, is the very mainstay of the commonwealth. (St Augustine of Hippo. Epist. 138 ad Marcellinum).

( IF duly acted UP to – there’s the rub!)

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Hence, lest concord be broken by rash charges, let this be understood by all, that the integrity of Catholic faith cannot be reconciled with opinions verging on naturalism or rationalism, the essence of which is utterly to do away with Christian institutions and to install in society the supremacy of man to the exclusion of God. Further, it is unlawful to follow one line of conduct in private life and another in public, respecting privately the authority of the Church, but publicly rejecting it; for this would amount to joining together good and evil, and to putting man in conflict with himself; whereas he ought always to be consistent, and never in the least point nor in any condition of life to swerve from Christian virtue.

But in matters merely political, as, for instance, the best form of government, and this or that system of administration, a difference of opinion is lawful. Those, therefore, whose piety is in other respects known, and whose minds are ready to accept in all obedience the decrees of the apostolic see, cannot in justice be accounted as bad men because they disagree as to subjects We have mentioned; and still graver wrong will be done them, if — as We have more than once perceived with regret — they are accused of violating, or of wavering in, the Catholic faith.

Let this be well borne in mind by all who are in the habit of publishing their opinions, and above all by journalists. In the endeavor to secure interests of the highest order there is no room for intestine strife or party rivalries; since all should aim with one mind and purpose to make safe that which is the common object of all — the maintenance of religion and of the State. If, therefore, they have hitherto been dissensions, let them henceforth be gladly buried in oblivion. If rash or injurious acts have been committed, whoever may have been at fault, let mutual charity make amends, and let the past be redeemed by a special submission of all to the apostolic see. In this way Catholics will attain two most excellent results: they will become helpers to the Church in preserving and propagating Christian wisdom, and they will confer the greatest benefit on civil society, the safety of which is exceedingly imperiled by evil teachings and bad passions. (From:IMMORTALE DEI Encyclical by Pope Leo XIII1885)

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But then, lest we get carried away and think Leo X111 might have been a most excellent intellectual and True Man of God – the most perfect (infalliable) Catholic on the planet in His days as Pope… he also gave this Gem in the same Edict.

“To hold, therefore, that there is no difference in matters of religion between forms that are unlike each other, and even contrary to each other, most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice. And this is the same thing as atheism, however it may differ from it in name. Men who really believe in the existence of God must, in order to be consistent with themselves and to avoid absurd conclusions, understand that differing modes of divine worship involving dissimilarity and conflict even on most important points cannot all be equally probable, equally good, and equally acceptable to God.”

Two Big problems there:

1. “…most clearly leads in the end to the rejection of all religion in both theory and practice.” Crap! Simply because MAN is imperfect and finite and therefore incapable of perfectly following God’s understanding and so forms countless variations of His Will (which, as i see it, is simply to unite with us as individuals in symbiosis and harmony) which man calls ‘a religion’ with various laws that are at variance with other humans who believe differently ( have a different religion/Faith) to the other groups, does not ultimately lead to the conclusion that man MUST reject all Religion in both theory and practice.

Simply because – God is Perfect and infinite (to our limited ability to understand ) and so can perform His Will over any failing of individual or ‘religion’s making.

it’s like saying that because ten different witnesses all have varying accounts of a crime that there was no crime committed because we cannot determine from each witness statement what actually happened.

All religions work towards the same goal ( prety much!?) ๐Ÿ˜‰ union of us as individuals with a greater power than ourselves. Because NONE of us are exactly the same – neither can our religions be.

We do need however to select ONE WAY, one Faith, to hold dear to our Heart and do what it intends – without misunderstanding – and there is the difficulty that has bedeviled us all so far.

Our own understanding, and those of the humans who have usurped what a ‘Church’ truly is and made it into our own image, is ‘the Devil in us all.

2. Right at the very end – Leo XIII’s brain apparently gave out and ego cut in… ” and equally acceptable to God.”ย  Only God can tell each one of us perfectly what IS and IS not acceptable to Him. We cannot fully KNOW the Mind of God. But Leo has a whole systematic religion (Catholicism) dedicated to declaring that Leo (all Popes) are infallible and apparently are able to issue edicts on all that is acceptable to the One God.

Makes for a bit of an ego ‘trip’ at times! Hopefully this was just one of few.