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Thursday, November 23, 2017

Freedom? To do What?

We all 'know' what freedom is.  Don't we? It is in our Nature: put there. Not an accident or random concept. Intrinsic.  Do you think of it much? Yet History is all about fighting for it, to keep it. History is all about War.  Maybe you do not think about history that much. Every major movement in humanity's history pivots upon war and resisting the attempts of others to take freedoms away from us. 

The original concept had a name. Eleutheros. Def:1.freeborn: in a civil sense, one who is not a slave or of one who ceases to be a slave, freed, manumitted. 2. free, exempt, unrestrained, not bound by an obligation. 3. in an ethical sense: free from the yoke of the Mosaic Law. The last is the Christian theological definition. We had to wait for it.

And what do we do with the freedom we enjoy? We can play videogames. We can attend rock concerts. Twerk? Take selfies? That seems to be what many of our young do. Or we can use it to free other aspects of our Nature. We can use our freedom to discover the way home. We can free others. We can fight the Good fight.
We can ask: What Can I do in the War?

My good friend The Southern Gal has been doing some deep thinking. She took me aside and we sat for a while. She is recovering well. Over in the US it is 'Thanksgiving'. She is thankful and preparing for something.
eleutheros  
As we are soon approaching a new year in the next month or so I sit back and reflect upon what the Almighty has placed on my own heart.  I ponder what I need to change, what I need to fight for, what I need to let go of, how I need to better myself personally and what I can do to make a difference in my own community.   
Also, I think about what He has brought me through, how He saved me both physically and spiritually, and what He intends for me to do in the future along with how I am to prepare myself for it.
The older I get, the more I realize God does not promise us an easy life, nor should we as believers ever feel entitled to one.  
Christ Himself did not have such luxury of a pain free life and He was the Son of God.  Yet He did not complain, He did not whine, and He never acted like a perpetual victim to His circumstances (even when He was on the cross).  He was ever pressing forward to the mission ahead; Christ was a man of action.  
One of my own personal struggles is finding my place in this world.  Where I fit in….what purpose am I to fulfill in the number of years God decides to keep me here. What effort am I putting forth to see change not only in this blessed land I live in but also within myself.  Am I just complaining about the injustices I see or am I taking action to correct them?  
Our purpose. Hmmm. The Catechism has it.... 'God made me to know Him, love Him and serve Him in this world and be happy with Him in the next'.  It behoves us all to think about it but so few do. TSG is ahead already.
Part of our mission as mothers, is that we raise our children and that we raise them well.  We make sacrifices for them.  We want them to grow up in a place that is free.  And if you are anything like me you ask yourself what part do we play in seeing that our children remain free?  
That they live in a world and a country that is just?  
Children are our living legacy.  As to Christ, we are His living legacy and his sacrifice on the cross was not for himself but for those coming after Him. God gives each of us a mission and gifts to complete those missions He lays in our hearts.  
As a believer, part of our mission is to fight evil wherever we are, with whatever means God has given us to do so.  
But it starts first within ourselves.
I believe we are fighting internal and external evils in our nation.  The 2 biggest threats I see to our way of life are the leftists and Islam.  
We fail to acknowledge that Islamic cultural values are not equal to western values.  Many also have an entitlement attitude to freedom.  The harsh truth is, the only person that came to save your soul was Christ….but beyond that this life is 100% your responsibility to make a positive impact in this world.  Nobody owes you anything.

Most in my generation haven’t traveled abroad, they haven’t experienced life outside of the “luxuries” many of them take for granted.  
Many know nothing of true poverty or what it means to live under brutality or oppression.  
Even though America has problems, I still consider it the best country in the world.  I hear many complain about the problems but very few are willing to get their hands dirty to be a part of a broader solution.  And it starts in our own back yards. 
I could see she was in need of a moment for composure. She had a couple of examples of the lack of freedom that others have, but I drew her attention to the picture at the top, first. It has a far deeper meaning than most realise. It is very like another. Perhaps you can take a moment too. The deeper aspect come near the end. 
That Corpsman had freedom. Of sorts. He was also constrained by military rules, Orders, disciplines, regulations, physical burdens and challenges to his very life such that most could not carry let alone work with. 


But he shouldered far more. 

He had the Freedom to do that.

I shall come back to his lesson.
The truth is if you live in the United States you are far more blessed than what you realize.  Here is a glimpse of what its like in cultures where Islam is that main religion and sharia law is common practice.  

What it’s like to grow up as a young boy in Afghanistan…..
What it’s like to be a women in Afghanistan…..
We are blessed here in the west because of good men that are willing to fight injustices both in the present and in the past generations.  We shouldn’t forget that.  
But some of the greatest threats we are facing now are leftism and radical Islam.  
The threats are coming from within our borders.  The values held by those promoting these beliefs are not compatible with the freedoms and values our country was founded upon or of those in the west as a whole.  They are a threat to the very fabric of our society and way of life.  
I am unwilling to bend in submission to these evils.  We must fight them, actively wherever they are.  We must educate our young people on what it means to be free or we will most definitely lose it.  
And it is that younger generation that will suffer most for it.  

We are not above suffering for the freedom in this country. 
Every Christian is responsible for preparing themselves to be a warrior in their own way.  War is a constant throughout history.  Many men have been conscripted into the armies of nations.  So, too, have the people of God been called to war: 
one in which the ultimate stakes hang in the balance. 
 Christ often compared following him to warfare.  It is a very real aspect of the way those who follow Christ must live.  There is much effort involved-energy must be expanded in the day-to-day life of a true Christian.

Every good soldier will study his enemy to determine his strengths and weaknesses.  To be able to defeat the enemy, he must know how to deftly use, with overwhelming force, the weapons at his diposal.  
Every Christian faces three enemies.  
The mighty foes are in the league against us.  They are crafty, cunning and lurking whom they may devour like a lion in the night.  They stand ready to attack us at every corner.  They seek to confuse and overwhelm us and wear us down.  Their ultimate goal is to murder us.

These three enemies are SELF, SOCIETY and SATAN
Yes, The World, the Flesh, and the Devil. 
We will have to battle them for the rest of our physical lives.  Every ounce of energy and effort must be put forth to gain victory over them.  We must never underestimate our enemies.
Not every warrior is cut from the same cloth.  Many fight with a physical sword and bring those to justice on the battlefield..they are the physical embodiment of the ArchAngel Michael.  
These men use their strength for good.  They use it to rebuild, to save and to bring justice and prosperity.

 A warriors message about fighting for freedom…..for a nation that isn’t even his own…..Good men, manly men….doing what good men do.  
A dignified  English Knight willing to stand shoulder to shoulder with his men.………….. 
Now this is a short speech you will not hear in a holywood film. And a Chaplain's blessing delivered as by a Glasgow heavyweight.
Another soldier of sorts…..blessed with a brilliant mind.  Fighting the fight in his own way with the gifts God gave him. 
We often fail to take seriously the Communists’ and Socialists’ quest for “utopianism” has a tendency to end with mass graves of the undesirables at the time.  Evil often can have different names or different forms, even another face.  
But it is still evil.  

My grandmother once told me that every generation has some sort of evil they must rise up and fight against.  
Can you imagine the type of country we would have if our grandparents would have bent over into submission to Hitler?  I challenge you to ask yourself, “What price is too high for freedom?”  
And what part are you willing to play in order to keep it? 

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”

John 8:32
We very often overlook the evil within. We see it sometimes in our neighbours but rarely give what is inside ourselves that label. We find it easy to critique others, label them, fight their pernicious impacts, but mostly we ignore our own.

Recal that soldier above - the corpsman who rescued a wounded enemy. He managed to understand the injunction "Love Thine Enemy", even in the thick of battle. A truely Good man. He had taken the time to examine his conscience well before arriving on the front. 
That is a prepared Soldier.
The gentleman soldier giving the speech would have us believe that the Corpsman did what he did because he was 'an American'.  I can understand in the context. But can you understand that in praise of nationality bordering on hubris, he does not do justice to God nor to the man.  I have seen Englishmen, Frenchmen, almost all nationalities save an enemy. 

The chap did what he did because he was answering to God, not to America.
He was a Good Man.

The Monks I spoke of yesterday have pledged their freedom to fight that evil in all men's and women's hearts, including their own. Their own first.  They have to purify themselves to be of use to others.

In our thinking and contemplating we must look at that too. Thinly disguised, our faults of thinking, even of knowledge, can be put down to laziness. Our upbringing, the myths and calumnies, the pride and certainties we are given from an early age, can distance us from that Nature God gave us, and from the true Legacy of his One Holy Church that He established for us. As adults we need to challenge those myths and calumnies, free ourselves and gain the gifts we were promised.

I will share fine Ales and wines from my Supplier with TSG well beyond my last days. She will find her purpose.

She comforts my heart.

Pax

7 comments:

  1. We are blessed to be born in the Western World with our current freedoms. There but for the Grace of God go I springs to mind when I think of other places I could have been born.

    Your grandmother was very wise in her assessment that every generation has some sort of evil they must rise up against.

    On a visit to Carcassonne I visited the 'Museum of Torture' The museum explained the history of torture in the Middle Ages and highlighted different groups that were subjected to this treatment. My lasting memory of the museum is not the instruments of torture but the following words that were displayed at the end of the museum tour:

    "You have just visited the museum of torture. Do you think all this belongs in the past; alas such things are still used today in several countries, with more modern and evil refinements.

    It is an inevitable result wherever intolerance and fanaticism thrive.

    In every human being there is good and evil. Arrogance spreads evil. Wherever it is found it must be fought by the good. You have just seen the consequences of failure."

    The Navy corpsman reminds me of my great uncle who served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during WWI. Within his line of duty, he served casualties from both sides, even becoming friends with one of his German patients. My great uncles story is sad, you can read it here:

    https://cherryelsewhere.wordpress.com/2013/10/31/a-family-history-tragedy/

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  2. PS: Oops! I accidentally pressed the publish button before finishing my comment. Here is the missing bit:

    "God made me to know Him, love him and serve him"

    Loving and getting to know God is the purpose of our life. It is for us to understand how he wants us to serve him.

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    1. Hello CherryPie,
      After my accident I don't doubt there is a Creator. I don't know how people make it through such things without God on their lifeline. But yes, loving and getting to know God is a good start. Thank you for your comment:)

      TSG

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  3. We all 'know' what freedom is. Don't we? It is in our Nature: put there. Not an accident or random concept. Intrinsic. Do you think of it much? Yet History is all about fighting for it, to keep it.

    Over the course of human history very few wars have been fought for freedom. People generally don't put their lives on the line for abstract principles. No sane normal person does so. Soldiers fight for money or they fight for kith and kin. Or, more usually, they are misled into thinking they're fighting for kith and kin.

    Which is fortunate. On the rare occasions when people do fight for abstract principles things get very ugly very quickly. Atrocities carried out in the name of abstract principles tend to be large-scale and particularly brutal. It doesn't matter if the principle is Marxism or fascism or liberalism or "freedom and democracy" the end results are always nasty.

    A soldier fighting for money probably won't commit atrocities. He's not motivated by hate. A soldier fighting for kith and kin will probably stop when the threat no longer seems immediate. A soldier fighting for a principle will just go on killing.

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    1. Generally in a war, one side tries to impose on the other, which defends its freedom: which includes its freedom to impose on others still.

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  4. The 2 biggest threats I see to our way of life are the leftists and Islam.

    I don't think there are any leftists these days. I used to be a leftist so I can recognise them and I don't see any. I see globalists, but they're certainly not leftists. I see SJWs, but they lack the slightest understanding of actual politics. I see right-liberals, and they scare me.

    I'd rate liberalism and capitalism as the two greatest threats we face. They're responsible for all the other evils.

    The death of the Old School Left has been a tragedy in some ways. At least it offered an alternative vision. The vision of those who currently get identified as leftists is that we need more of what we've got now. They're not revolutionaries, they're foot soldiers of the Establishment and they're funded by bankers and billionaires.

    I miss the Old School Left. No-one wants to line bankers up against the wall and shoot them any more. It's sad. What's wrong with kids today?

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    1. Hahahahaha. That winking cynicism needs a pint.

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Ne meias in stragulo aut pueros circummittam.

Our Bouncer is a gentleman of muscle and guile. His patience has limits. He will check you at the door.

The Tavern gets rowdy visitors from time to time. Some are brain dead and some soul dead. They attack customers and the bar staff and piss on the carpets. Those people will not be allowed in anymore. So... Be Nice..