It has seemed to us that one of the saddest fruits of rationalism, the fatal error and great plague of our century, the pestilential source from which our revolutions and social disasters arise, is the absence of the sense of the supernatural and the profound neglect of the great truths of the future life. The earth is afflicted with a dreadful desolation, because the majority of men, fascinated by the lure of fleeting pleasures, and absorbed in their worldly interests and the care of their material affairs, no longer fix their thoughts on the principal considerations of the Faith, and stubbornly refuse to recollect within themselves. – Father Charles Arminjon, The End of the Present World (written in 1824!)
“…the absence of the sense of the supernatural…” and “…refuse to recollect within themselves.” These are some of the, if not THE truest words ever written…188 years ago!
As powerful as the entire quote above is, the word that struck me the hardest was the word refuse. That we “stubbornly refuse to recollect within ourselves” suggests to me that somewhere within us is the light switch of our own awareness…we know we should turn it on, but we refuse to do so…in 1824 and in 2012!
It’s fair to say that most of my family and friends think I’m “crazy”, “obsessed”, “depressed”, “self-righteous”, “extreme”…and so on. Many have said far worse, and many have chosen to have nothing more to say to me. I realize that I have drawn the fire of their slings and arrows because, after all these years, I have accepted what they continue to refuse. I write every other day and on Sundays because something within…something that I trust more than I’ve ever trusted anything or anyone before, compels me to do so!
Welcome to the Sunday Morning Tune-up Dear friend! For many of you who have been regular visitors to the Tune-ups, or have come here more “self-aware”…the passage above is sure to resonate with you. And the reason this is so is because, for the most part, we have been more conscious of living from the inside out. And more than likely, we have done the work to keep our windshields clean! There is a special group that I would like to speak to this morning…from the deepest inside of my heart. Before I do, I must tell you that I am certainly not without sin…and that I have done things in my life for which I am deeply ashamed…
I think most of us have become, to some extent, numb to the headline flows of our day. Not so many years ago, most of them would have “shocked” us in our tracks! Today, we just seem to yawn and move along. Just from the two “W’s” alone! Washington & Wall Street…so perfect together! Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac, Glass-Steagall, 9/11, Lehman Brothers, TARP, Fort Hood, New Black Panthers, Iraq, Afghanistan, Caliphate, $5 gas, Fast & Furious, OWS, Solyndra, Light Squared, TSA, GSA and a partridge in a pear tree!
But the one that really hit me hard “south of the border” as it were, was the most recent Washington debacle involving what was once considered the most elite well-trained and disciplined men on the planet! Approximately 10 Secret Servicemen and 10 members of the military went to Columbia to guard the President…and let their guards down!
This incident struck me on so many levels it’s hard to know where to begin. First, each of these men by most earthly standards would be considered Supermen! There is no trivializing the mental and physical toughness these men possess to even be considered for such a detail! And while this scandal was totally unrelated to the GSA-Las Vegas scandal, they had one thing in common…a total breakdown of leadership, honor and respect! And the other unmistakable commonality in these egregious errors is in fact the DIRECT CONSEQUENCE of men who refused to recollect within themselves! Arminjon’s 188 year old beam of light falls directly on these incidents today!
As I said above, there is a special group that I’d like to speak to this morning. Those of you who sit upon life’s fence…you know who you are. To think of the lives, marriages and families ruined in a brief sequence of “wheels up, rings off” fleeting pleasures! There are those among us who have chosen and planted their black hearts firmly on the dark side of the fence…the same ones who came up with the “wheels up, rings off” line no doubt. I promise you their only remorse today is that they were caught. But the rest of you who knew and refused, were of hearts and minds that desperately wanted to remember…and now it is too late to avoid the unspeakable pain that comes your way…and into the lives you loved and lived to protect!
God in Heaven, I pray! Please let these events be the wake up call for us all to heed. Let every man, woman and child stop and pause on life’s path to recharge our senses. As the best trackers instinctively know outside…please God, guide us inside to sniff the air, feel the ground and listen with intention to what this day and every day brings our way…that we might find our way, and help another do the same. Amen.
In the Catholic Faith there exists what I like to think of as Runway Lights in the form of the Rosary. The Wedding of Cana, the Second Luminous Mystery, carries the spiritual fruit of Fidelity! If we take an honest and objective look around us, can we not see that at the heart of our decay lies the breach of Fidelity? And not just in terms of Fidelity to our wives, but to ourselves, our country and every meaningful relationship we treasure! Is Fidelity not the very bedrock of our Foundation as a Society?
I want to especially acknowledge and thank my friend Gene whose friendship has become a lighthouse beacon…who in fact, has not only guided me to the runway lights, but has also blessed me with the words of Father Charles Arminjon! As for the book, I’m afraid you will have to read it yourself to learn how it ends. 🙂