Saturday, December 19, 2009

The pain, what it truly is now!






(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

A change slightly in the room's temperature,sudden, everything changes, and one is left near empty. The feeling, as though one is too long in lukewarm water, as though drained, as though ones essence is sucked away, and one has nothing, because they have not that!

And inside, the heart feels physical pain, a pain as though a spear splintered into it- and the stomach hurts as well. A desire seems to appear, as though to desire blankness, nothingness, though really- one simply desires comfort, one misreads what one really needs.

One may feel sick, not desire to raise out of bed, not want to eat, or sleep- or do anything. One wants to be nowhere, or anywhere but here.

Odd, our mood is determined by so few things in life, so few people hold the key to our hearts and everything. Everything is so close to falling, our journey rests on the edge of a knife-blade. One individual, one things- makes everything noted.

One wants an end to absence of good, not really an end to self. One wants hope, truth, and shall get it again, if one seeks truth.

If one is depressed, it is because they have hope, for one can only be sad of what they have lost, or could have had.

I know God oddly acts, his ways are strange, odd at the least and most. Yet, his wisdom is great- therefore, I follow my intuition and always do I trust. Do you? Even when one or other thing in the day goes wrong. Often, we can offer it up as a sacrifice, our suffering, and try find God's will. I truly have learnt to find joy in my life, even if things are temporarily awry ... because the tides of life are just that- but the tides of eternity last for eternity.

This advent, look forward to Christ. Have joy, and remember- the darkest clouds move on, too heavy, blown in the winds, but the Christian lasts forever, if he seeks to obey truth always!







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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Dusk 'til Dawn- our journey with God of truth..


(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

It is odd the effect some people have- just by their presence they change our entire being, by their strength we can move mountains- by their faith we believe.

Though they exhaust us, their energy pushes into us, I almost would say we are inebriated with sanity, with hope, truth, faith, strong faith- and by faith we get strength- and the way to continue through this path- our life.

The dark labyrinth fills vision, as one walks down the tunnel, from darkness to darkness, and into water, a current pulls, a current pushes. And as one flows, they grab onto anything, yet fall, for it is the fate of those with no hope. Yet, this is trust- to lean into the current, deeply, so as to float, though one is pushed. This is faith, to push still in the right direction, with or without the force of water. Catholicism is sanity, and simply in the presence of some, all desire to sin leaves- breaks, dies like a broken flame.

When we are told to live the gospel- this is it:... by changing the world with our presence, choices- works, energy and faith, our hope- by hitting the tennis ball as though into the net, so that it flies over- by doing what some think near suicidal in risk- out of trust of God.

I would rather believe the "impossible" from truth as my source, than any probable thing. God often allows storms in our lives. The lightning flashes, the thunder howls, yet- if we trust, and are shelters- these are beautiful, not deadly. The rain, the Highvelt thunder, itself effects one with energy, and the faith of one makes another dance with joy- by actions and truth.

Often we watch the flashes, but can we feel the magic in the air, the power of raw nature, which accompanies the storm. Are we a storm to watch? I try deeply to be- if anything one gets everyone's attention when they follow the way of God. I have never seen a diluted Catholic change anything- though I often argue from another's perspective, slowly pushing them along.

I walk in dusk, dawn ahead, night behind, somehow fate reversed, in this spiral- my life. I broke the ice, and pushed beyond all snow, and yet I still walk in greyness, and daily I must break the ice, and snow and awake- walk naked into the blizzard, knowing this is not the blizzard I know- that here is infinity minus, that in righteousness, all we thought is oft reversed, and our missteps are clear. Our glasses and every lenses broken.

I know I am weak, though I am told I am strong, I clutch to the wind, like a speck of fluff, and I sink and break, and fall. My strength which has emerged is not my own, but that of God! And perhaps of you- should you perform it for me! We are only real in faith!











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Friday, October 2, 2009

And yet it hurts so much... and yet... it does! Friendship, and truth- interconnected as they are!

(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

I wonder at it, as its happening, as I watch it fall apart, and apart again.

I watch, not comprehending, hardly understanding... why again has it collapsed.

I still remember this emotion now, still feel it from memory, as understanding cradles what so often had occurred in my childhood friendships.

I understand now, that each friendship has its place if any at all, and its time. I understand and it no longer hurts should one end, or rather- it hurts greatly, yet is understood, and the pain is indeed even... comforting in a way- for it says that what I feel is true. The pain is good, in fact, true.

It is foolish to say our friends are our own, in fact we could not own them at all, and in my experience the closest of the "bestest" (those who promise most to remain friends forever) of friends may part for a reason or misunderstanding, or nothing.

Time changes man, and the souls or personalities or beliefs or ways which once fit, no longer do. Ultimately, we change, and change again as man. We do not stay static or the same.

Inside, pain moves, flows slowly or fast. We feel that our chest is tight, we want to cry or sink into oblivion, should a friend have been close. We pray and find no answer, or else simply want to cry.

The lesson I learnt after eventually losing some truly close friends was this- our friendships are governed by God, and are maintained while useful to him, while needed, or while we clasp onto them, as though they could even be eternal.

Once I felt pain as I lost a friend I had had for years, and anger also. Such fiery anger I felt, all that time ago. I wished justice against them, or something to show who they really had become. I prayed, and found I often then needed confession, or that is a sense I have felt of then.

Yet, goodness is fullness, and that which is good, is its fullness. That which is evil is where goodness lacks. Should it have been their goodness which hurt me, I would have been hurt, and yet better off for it. Yet, could I hold their lack to heart and feel pain for it? Surely not. For the person I cared for still was in memory, and indeed was my friend, yet what was before me was no longer them. I could cry for tragedy, but not feel anger now. For it was not their desire what occurred, but rather their misreading of this desire that lost me them to their thought of what was better apart from me, their once friend!

Sometimes, even I have found a person to be good as long as I needed them, to be perfect as a friend, the prayed for effect, as long as was healthy for my soul. I have found before that while a person was righteous as I knew them, they may lose their footing once I left- as though for my sake they had been kept true.

If our friendship does not fulfill God's purposes, we cannot expect him to keep it forever. I understand this now- and make sure I stand firm with friends in honesty, and yet in truth and love, and firm determination to seek what is best for them- which may well not lie with me. Perhaps only they and God may know.

Yes loss, whether in the relationship, or their very life- is hard, but the God of mystery is not a God who acts for no reason. A friendship may be restored, even stronger than before, or a death may save a soul.

Many things have their time and reason, and it is our place to always follow God, who speaks in conscience, logic and intuition- wherever this God of Sanity leads.

We should not fear the loss of friends by whatever means- even as we should pray they be not lost, in greater sense, we should ask this before we ask in lesser.

It is holding my tongue I have regretted most with friends, besides the occasional secret shared. To the true friend, the friend is more important than their relationship with their beloved friend, or friends.

And so, how do I view friendship- but as something as beautiful as snow, or a rainbow. True friends, I see as rare. But friends are human, fallible and breaking- 'cept those which do not break, or do not break any longer.

And so: we must know the truth- it is better to love than to be loved. This is the beauty Petrarch taught the world, even as it is better to love in reality than another kind of love.

A friend: someone entrusted to your love. A true friend, one who is entrusted back with you, and does.

Every temporary thing and way has its place, if at all, and its time- if at all. It is our place to serve, to do what is best despite our misreadings of our wants- which are much more vague than we'd tell the world, or maybe even our selves. Want and manifestation of want both play a role.

In friendship, we mimic God- who laid down his life for truth, and thereby his friends- but while laying it down- did not take his own life as a selfish man might.

May God bless us, as we entwirl in our many hopes and entangle with those friends who do good- yet let us rely first on Him, if not through them at times, and only then on them!



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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

But worry, it woul' kill me today!

(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais

In the middle of the night, you awake screaming. Another nightmare of the subconscious, the same which causes such fear as you feel... often to rush over you, and to sink calmly, maybe foolishly within.

You fear so much in this world, but most of one, can learn to adapt. You learn to read risks, and continue on. Perhaps you learn to trust God, or some special people who will not betray you. You do not give much charity, how could you, and be safe?

You learn not to trust people with certain characteristics, to avoid those without some nuances which speak of one's culture's home. In elections you vote out of fear, not hope, who could blame you? At least you have not given up hope as some do, as they allow apathy to conquer them.

Friends leave the country, and you know you may leave soon also, if it gets any worse. You watch the tides of people, and read politics carefully, cautiously, even dangerously. You listen and are careful. In all, you have become so- cautious, or reckless, either one or other or both.

Such can seem the world to you, can it not, as you drive fearfully from streetlight to streetlight, and rightly look all around when you stop the car.

Yet, while this caution is good, it gives nightmares, or is rationalised away with all you have of basic logic.

You may call it a blessing and a curse, call the rest of the world so very boring, or see it as a game of sorts. You may say- you're safe, or get a false sense of security.

You might work extra hard, to avoid ever losing the protection money brings.

These can be the fears of our people, can they not? a fear so basic, so tribal- that we fear ever losing, or becoming weak. We have heard the stories, and have no reason to doubt them?

Perhaps- but do you not also feel a sense of freedom in the inevitable? While your senses are only made more acute, and while many a person grumbles, or wonders why they stay in this place, this volcano ready to erupt... While we wonder at this, does it not make us, make you more aware of your mortal state of life?

Should you die, you should not be caught unaware... perhaps that part is a blessing, or a curse depending?

Perhaps the solution is simpler, is it not perhaps?

Yes, if God calls you, consider Europe, Australia or Canada, perhaps that is to be to you a home, a safe place to raise the kids?

And a second passport never was a bad idea...

But for all our worries, do we not realize that it is not an indictment on a good driver, should they crash when they did the best they could given the circumstances? Be cautious, but do not stay up through every night in fear, and nerves.

Some worry is good, but too much worry inevitably leads to a shorter life, as adrenalin pulses through the veins. yes, paranoia is good- to an extent, yes- take the other route home, do what needs doing, but do not let fear disrupt your life in entirety, do not let it string you like a puppet, unless there is some direct need of this.

We live our lives and Die at the end. This is near inevitable to most.

There are matters grave to be concerned about, and one should never cease to care, or watch the waves- knowing that the sea can turn at any moment. Yet, one should also try to live- to focus on what God requires, and take pleasure in his moral laws- as a map past fear and anger and so much else.

fear and anger are designed to cause us to act when needed, when thought may not be of benefit. But, irrational fear or anger, or too much or little- these damage love, and hope and so much else.

We do not stop shaking hands with our friends for fear of a very real flu.

Wherever we stand on matters- we should try our very best to be safe, to be aware- to notice all. Yet, once we have done what is reasonable, and should our intuition and logic not demand more- then we should rest, knowing we have done what is needed.

fear or anger is not our master- they are only signals of something we observe. Our emotions are signs of how we react to what we see, and tell us things we might not notice otherwise.

Our fears are oft rational, and good, and this is not the fear I warn about.

Whatever our deep fears, it is good to note them to ourselves, to note where there is wrong in this world, perhaps to write it down. Yet, we then must sit down, and look at these rationally, and determine what is the best course of action.

Should we live a moral life- and fight for life through life, shall we have fear of death? Truly, man always fears death, and rightly- but to truly be an excellent masterpiece, one must look at their fears with intuition and the heart and mind.

One must resolve their fears least these hurt them.

We cannot be governed by fear free from rational thought- no, our fear must not be who we are- only a reminder to always be vigilant and alert, and cautious.

In fact, God wants a fear in us, a fear of displeasing Him, of losing our salvation, of hell and the like. This is a fear which makes us all the more aware as we explore what is right and wrong in our lives.

Sin is always irrational, righteousness is sane. When our fear incapacitates us in finding some way to better the world, in God's fight for justice and goodness, & proportional, strong, true truth in matters- then it is a sinful fear, for it is irrational.

I do not say to risk one's life to give others charity, but rather to look within and ask where one can be a friend to a friend first. I think it best to look beyond our fears to our root emotions, and to ask what one is attempting to achieve by any fear.

I am not fearless, yet I am not governed in fear. My dreams are not often nightmares. I sleep in peace, because I know I take every precaution which is reasonable- in corporeal and spiritual matters, and having taken the precautions- I then leave matters in the realm of God and my protectors, and in the way things seem to be.

We can only do our best, yet once we have done all we can- we must then trust. Trust that though matters may worsen, that if I am obeying God, he has accounted for whatever is to occur. This does not mean I should cease to be cautious, but only that once we have gone that extra mile within reason- then we may rest, knowing we have done all we can. Fear only has a purpose when that which is feared may be combated in some or other way.





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Monday, September 14, 2009

Judiciary and rights- what are they really?

(Journey in a Broken World)

Article by Marc Aupiais


Given my area of study- I must surely have some confidence in the judicial system- granted, but that does not mean I see it as more than it is. Let us not believe that Constitutions are about justice, or democracy is about the will of the people.

Gaius, in his Institutes says that every nation has their own Ius Civilis, and is also bound by the Ius Gentium. here he speaks of Natural law, and its comparison to the purely human law.

Natural law is a vital concept, on this concept any conception of human rights or justification of the justice system rest. It is a debated concept, and sadly- most modern legal systems are too politicized to hope to delve into it.

We are too centered on right and left, liberal and conservative, to ask what life actually is, and what is actually best. Natural law, is ascertainable by natural reason. It is the law governed by logic. I would argue that in fact- Natural law is far too dynamic to be consigned to simple, idealist things like basic rights of men.

Natural law, is the law ascertainable by logic, by which we judge what is best. What is best- is what betters life, and extends it, is what causes it to strain at the ordinary, right into excellence.

Natural law is different than divine law, for divine law is not ascertainable by logic and reason alone. Natural law is different than the laws which nations of adopt, but it resonates in the laws of all nations, and the democracy of international humankind.

As for judiciary, the concept of the modern judge, has its roots, not in the average citizens who were appointed judges in Ancient Rome, but in the role of the Praetor, whose duty it was to ensure fairness, in accordance with the Ius Gentium, in accordance with Natural Law.

Lower judges in our age and nation are bound by the decisions of higher courts. And the courts determine what the laws of the land mean, and when they must be curbed or rewritten subtly by their pen.

In this modern day and age, nations have emerged with constitutions, what some call a nation's pure law. With these have come bills of rights of some or other sorts, or charters on human freedoms.

But, a bill of rights is not a result of delving deep into the pool of natural law. No, a bill of rights is always a political document. With every right it gives an inch of movement to one person, and takes an inch or mile of movement away from another.

Human rights are equally political, and it is hard to find true agreement on what they mean or how they should be interpreted.

Judiciary, seen as so important to protecting the people from themselves, and their leaders- whom the modern democrat hardly trusts, are equally political. The function they surely serve, at least on the highest level- is to govern how the laws of the land are interpreted, and to limit the powers of the ruling party in parliament, or whatever coalition, or movement takes it in a moment.

In truth, are not these judges- political appointments, only ways of taking some power away, their role almost that of a tutor to the new rulers, or an obstruction that the previous hegemony put in place to block the bigger plans of the new rulers of a rotating democratic chair?

These judges, also may be used to change law, in a way a ruling grouping cannot in a parliament- by changing precedent or interpreting statutes differently.

The South African example, where the constitutional drafters purposely went against the will of the people, especially on matters such as the death penalty, and where the judiciary have given interpretations to the constitution, against the moral fabric of the society the Constitution claimed to uplift- is a classic example of a simple fact.

Neither does democracy uplift Natural law- as many would see it, nor for that matter does it comply with morality. Democracy is all about politics, especially in a day and age when emotion rules the roust, as it does today.

A judge is a human being, and as political as any other man. Few judges are appointed in any country- because they are seen as unaffiliated with any ideology.

Simply because a government has a piece of paper which says they can do something, a piece of paper, such a body itself crafted- does not in any manner whatsoever- mean that what they are doing is in any manner right.

Human Rights, and legal rights- while oft used as a weapon to insure the degradation of human dignity, can be used as imperfect tools at times to achieve a purpose, no matter how vague and hard to define they may be.

Law however, should never be confused with morality, and the Ius Gentium, must never be confused with the Ius Civilis. The law is what it is, but man is bound by fuller law, which judges even judges and presidents, and any head of state.

Let us not fool ourselves into believing that this or that charming politician is really doing what he or she does out of care for our means. Rather, let us make it important to them to adhere to what is best.




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Monday, August 31, 2009

Subsidiarity- a Catholic concept

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 31 / 08 | August / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

In Europe, much is made of subsidiarity- it is a concept which keeps the Union together, just as federalism glues America into a powerful union of connected states. Subsidiarity is why so many in Africa oppose many of the intercontinental adoptions occurring. This concept is also vital in Canon law, and Catholic doctrine.

Understanding subsidiarity is understanding half the choices the Vatican makes. Subsidiarity, appears in a way in the bible, further, it is a basis on which the Vatican interacts with the faithful world.

According to this concept, the lowest, most local solution to a problem should be sought first, the lowest adequate solution should be sought, the lowest competent measure. It is why most miracles are social, and why the safest normal salvation is in sacraments.

It is as much logical as when some seek first the least direct solution, and only use a direct one if needed. In subsidiarity, the least powerful body, or tribunal first hears a problem- but more than this, the first solution should be looked into from the ground- where we look for the most local- though not always most simple solution first.

A foreign national should not adopt a child from a country- unless there is a valid reason why this child should not go to local parents. A person of one religion should not be allowed to adopt a child of another religion, unless a local solution within the child's own community is not viable.

On a larger level- the Vatican leaves much of the governance of the hierarchy to bishops, and then parish priests. Catholic doctrine looks for a local solution first: unless something is better sorted at a higher level.

This is why local bishops are those who first oppose evil politicians, and why dissident bishops are often left for the local conference to request back into order. The pope does not speak until the local authority has been given an opportunity to, or the situation warrants this.

In accordance with this- the Vatican oft respects the formal relations between politicians and its representatives in important local bishops- still it has a direct route- separate from their authority- a nuncio which represents it. One need only read the speeches of the papacy to politicians, and the letters from the Vatican- and compare them with important local authorities- to catch the catch phrases.

In the ancient Israeli Sanhedrin, the council which judged criminals and similar matters- the youngest and least experienced of the men spoke first. The most experienced spoke last. This made the least experienced consider what they said, and prevented undue influence over these by the more powerful men.

Subsidiarity is oft applied by the church in advising on politics, and many matters. This same concept is why the church advocates nationalised armies, but not nationalised healthcare nor nation run economies.

If a matter can be sorted out in civil society- it need not be legislated on, unless civil society is found- sufficiently to be lacking.

Subsidiarity is a vital concept in understanding the church. Its primary function is in making local authority useful and using power to do what its proportion can best achieve. It is why Moses in the desert, appointed judges to hear the lesser cases, while the greater came to him. Remember most- if not all: who were appointed- would surely later perish with Moses for his disobedience- and theirs, and yet were permitted to judge Israel... Were they not en masse destroyed, yet would be used to judge?

Subsidiarity serves to protect conscience- the lowest jurisdiction is the first and is protected from interference on a higher level- until there is reason to demand otherwise. This is why Romans chapter 10 in the bible is important- we must evangelise and change and save the world- it is broken deeply in its own lack and in the lack of the church- the salt which is designed for the world- to salt it into a better territory, even as the world is designed for the saints of the church.

Subsidiarity is also why we must pray first to the saints when they can help us. In it, we respect the gifts given... As God also does by Romans 10, and as He does in His use of Gabriel, Raphael, the prophets and apostles. Subsidiarity is vital to Catholic doctrine!

This is also why Saint Paul commands the early Christians, I think it was the Corinthians- as recorded in the bible- that the wives were first to discuss their problems in the household, and ask about the scriptures there. We should first speak with our own family, asking for answers before we approach a priest or theologian. Even before this- we should look ourselves: for an answer- it is us who are condemned to hades or saved from it. By subsidiarity- we have a definite responsibility- even God notes our personal responsibility by allowing choice! The God of order did not create our minds to ignore them!

This said- with the breakdown in many places- of the family church- and in many a local authority- it is often best to discover the truth for yourself from the magisterium- the source, and also by your own resources at seeking truth in grace. You are the most local authority in your own design... This means that even if the family were not oft broken, you should still seek answers in yourself. First one must ask their own intuitive conscience, and then work up within themself, the Christian must become reliably creative to survive, subsidiarity helps here. Where one is competent- one should attempt first to solve an issue, an equation- before one subjects to another's authority- this also helps make their help easier to apply, or reject.

It is wise to learn from the wise, and we should, yet we must not underestimate ourselves. Some things we cannot handle- it is why there are apologists. Some things are near impossible to cure, and require sacraments and the like administered- because we are not (except in some extreme exceptions) competent to save ourselves without assistance of another from this matter.

This is why we must educate ourselves constantly- from observing the world around, by reading what wise people say, and by creatively viewing the entire world. What we can solve, and are adequate to solve- we should first try to solve, but we should certainly make ourselves more competent, and add to our resources to do so!

This is why most of what I write on theology is to apply to your internal being- your personal responsibility. First focus on your own salvation... It will better prepare you to save others. First focus on your own means, they are oft adequate. First pray, prayer and intuition save a lot of thought and work.

It is not unwise to attempt tasks in a wise, even minimalist manner- what effort is saved is used elsewhere- as long as the effort was adequate!

How to start or stop a Genocide- A lesson from the medieval Glossators of Bolonia

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 29 / 08 | August / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

The Irony about the South African Common Law, is its basis on the Roman (Roman Dutch) Civil law. The fact that South Africa's common law is based on the same law mostly used in civil law countries- lies in the fragmented times of Rule of Britain and Holland in our nation's territory.

The British have a common law system, even as most of Europe is based on civil law concepts. The British believe in precedent, as does South African legal science- to a degree, though more firmly in lower courts.

The Italian Glossators of Bolonia, Italy- who rediscovered the Corpus Iuris Civilis and Roman law, and much of western legal science, however- teach us another lesson- a lesson about philosophy.

The Secular Natural Lawyers- known as the Humanists- despised the Glossators for allegedly creating false legal security. The Humanists being, to my knowledge: those who justified colonialization and the conquering of Africa- are also more focused on by many: than the Glossators, but the Glossators teach us something- a powerful lesson which emerged with their fallacy.

They divided the concepts of Roman Law into smaller concepts, they defined these until the law became uniform and would not contradict itself. It is how they reintroduced true legal science to Europe. It is also how they allegedly misread the law.

The secret truth the Glossators of Bolonia teach us is that of division. Philosophy is the love of truth- the finding of the source of things, and thus their position. From the source of a thing, what divides it from others may well be discovered truly...

The Glossators misdefined concepts- blinded by ideological beliefs and too much belief in the law of Justinian, they drew the lines between concepts incorrectly- yet in doing so, they teach us a truth.

How one separates one concept from another is often how logic is twisted. To separate a child and an adult in one way is just- a child cannot define their destiny to the same extent- yet to separate two living beings with human DNA into human person and human non-person is fallacy- one which has sadly entered South African legal thought. The problem lies in the division.

To avoid the mistake of the Glossators on everyday matters- one should not simply separate concepts on the surface- based on practicality. One must look to the source of the difference and its cause, in context, with understanding and comprehension. One must further look into the source of the thing which is divided from another... In and on itself, and perhaps the source of the other also.

This said, how the Nazis murdered about ten million people- was by purposely dividing concepts of what human is and is not, without just boundary. The true division was not between human person and non-person, a just judgement would never call a human being a non-person, yet politics and political advancement caused this division- an unjust division to emerge.

It is by false division that abortion flourishes- for the source of man is ignored in dividing his personhood into unjust divisions. It is by this false division that nationalism emerges, and persons of one culture or race kill, murder those of another, with no just cause for killing.

The secret of the Glossators is simple- how one defines the world tells us who and what one truly obeys- and whether one desires truth or mere practicality. The Glossators of Bolonia- these early medieval legal scholars: were not wrong to divide concepts from each other- the Glossators failed Europe by dividing the law out of context. This same misreading of law was used by later lawyers, important members among the Humanists of the later time- if I remember: to justify the bloodshed which conquered Africa and Australia.

How we define the world, our worldview - our "faith" in whatever way of defining the world we have, is what determines our actions. I believe it better to find the source of a division first- to seek the truth, and thus define the difference from its beginning. Or as closely to this source of a thing as is possibly viable.

Targeted, powerful- higher prayer... The properly partaken mass!

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 29 / 08 | August / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

As I stand, my hands in prayer... As I sit, back straightened, palms on knees... As I listen, and as I join... As quiet joy enter, softness gloats.

I recognise church as prayer, and so- when I stand, it is in a prayer I stand, and so my gestures boldly claim. When I take communion, I kneel, I am before a king. Genuflecting, I speak of my Emperor- the Emperor beyond the logical sea.

I do not clap in church- neither for people, nor if people do so when we should be praying by song.

A few hurt feelings are worth the lesson, the gospel I attempt to preach.

Church can be fun if properly done. Fun in a way beyond normal fun. A fun, spiritual felling of waste which enters all and fills the soul deep within all more shallow chasms. A game is not fun if not properly played- how boring is tennis without a net, how impossible if the boundaries are moved...

Church is about prayer first and foremost. The gospel is truth, and the Eucharist unites us with God- but all of these are just some life-giving parts of a high form of prayer.

One does not clap when praying in silence in the bedroom, the door closed. One should not trumpet the fact they are fasting in the streets. Clapping is communication, or a means of artificially creating community.

All those things, designed to spice up the mass- distract. They hide the hidden effect of the spiritual- like a buzzing sound, they move attention from the meaning- the force which plunges the clear of soul into God.

When entering mass, we quiet our souls with the water- and we take up our role. What we receive is the Eucharist, and blessings and the Word, which is read. What we give is to the world, by changing it by focussing on this as prayer, and by the grace given us.

Every Catholic should pray at least about an hour a week- this prayer in body and soul- gesture and word- thought provoked too. By prayer our soul dances joyously with God- by prayer it heals softly. Mass is about prayer- about you praying to God.

The word Worship refers to love, respectful, Godly love- it is why Catholics must not abandon this word in false ecumenism when talking of the saints- the word reveals the truth of the Gospel: that we must Worship one another as God has and does Worship us.

The ultimate form of love is to absolutely adore a person- when we say we only adore God- with utmost adoration- we say that we must think of whom we love most, and willingly love God more while not loving them less as an excuse. By loving others- worshipping them based on more than just our like of the relationship that is, with true Godly worship, by our just treatment of others we adore and worship God.

According to the Holy Scriptures, as seen in one of the Epistles, one of the letters of Saint John the Apostle- "this is love, to obey the commands of God..." Clearly, to love is to be in resonance with God, in sinc with this world we truly live in. The mass transcends this universe we touch, and is a foretaste of heaven. The transcendence is spiritual, and when at mass it is the spiritual we must see and taste.

When at mass I either stand and have my hands up in visible prayer, or else sit as Augustine did as Bishop of Hippo, with my hands respectfully on my knees. Here, I pray by mimicking the saints.

As we say the creed, I put my hand to my heart- it is our anthem- these words, we confess and believe unite us from being apart. As I kneel- it is proper and my hands do not rest on the pew in front- my elbows rest on air as I pray while kneeling and give this up to God.

When I genuflect- my knee touches the ground. Most of communication when in person is body language. I am in the court of the Emperor of my very own being when at church. I must allow others to see this also- least they offend the king.

What a gospel we can spread from the pews, what a truth- by celebrating mass as what it is- a prayer, a high prayer. At mass we are taught the long night of the soul- we must not take shallow joy from triviality, but rejoice for we Pray, for we eat God himself- Jesus: body, blood and soul!

It is the matter of mortal sin to take the Eucharist in mortal sin, and Saint Paul records to the Corinthians in the bible, of why some had died or fallen ill. They had not recognised the body of Christ, and like in the gospel account, where Jesus had chased the crowds from the temple- they had turned God's building into a human thing (eating and drinking normally- to fill their bellies), for the crowds had turned God's temple into a market-place.

Prayer is the power of mass- prayer in thought, perspective adopted, in gesture and in word, in action, and obedience.

Let us not distract from this for the sake of entertaining others. The focus of mass must be on our relations with God, and not triviality, or finding ways to "have fun" despite the Mass, despite God, despite God's asking for our being there to pray!

By prayer and action shall the Universe turn to God. Shall we desecrate one of our most powerful weapons- the mass, by neglecting in whose court we are. The fun we get from games come when we play them in the right structure, the way they are designed to bring fun. Whimsical fun comes and goes, but proper games continue to amuse. The way to have fun in church is to consider it a prayer- while in the presence of God almighty. My greatest joy is respecting God- adoring him. If worship in honour- powerful respectful love, based on their souls- is due the saints, the adoration that God asks of us, is a deep love on our respect- a love that I must yearn in, love which softly permiates our vision, and returns us to closer to where we were ordained to be.

How shall I be saved- if I do not care for the spiritual war of Christ- and all of God- ...a war of Reality against His enemy: illusion. Prayer is a weapon of truth.

The dolphin- it swims, softly sparkles and yet danger dances

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 29 / 08 | August / 2009)



Article by Marc Aupiais



Swish... And the sound sprays into the oceanic netherworld. The sparkling waves spray and leap with their broken surface. Light is caught, and held hostage for a moment, it breaks and shivers- as shadows move below.



Burst... the surface is shattered, and then absorbs the subtle, living dynamism of the creature.



It plays as sun or moon causes it to shine, sparkle in the breaking breeze. The water splatters off, and this, the forceful playmate softly reabsorbs. The playful power catches what left a silver-gray skin. All as it is unknowingly sopping wet... Jumping into the world its ancestors once knew- that of air, my world that it happens- is.



The dolphin plays, and dances- purely in joy, and yet its play is deadly- practice it seems.



When I face hardship- I surely should attempt to learn- to strengthen, to move- yet if I only did this then- I would be weak.



The child, they play to learn. They play to understand. Play is important, it must be more than just a game.



As Christians we must play fully with God. We must play in our understanding- and playfully look into our being. Play is important, and the ultimate game is religion, is just love.



We love that dolphin- because it resonates a part of us. Imagine playing forever- serving God ad infinitum, in joy!



Of course, games take practice- and rules/methods, and comprehension- before we get the fun!

My bible is dynamic truth- unchanging, in a dynamic- moving universe of space and time!

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 29 / 08 | August / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

The true art of poetic work- is not giving many meanings to a work- but giving infinite meaning- limited by truth.

One word, must cancel another's meaning- one stream, an idea- destroy the tangent of another.

The perfect poem speaks deeply and shallowly at once- on deep matters infinite, and practical matters also. The dynamic poet can speak to smart and dumb alike- or protect the foolish while enlightening the wise.

Such a text is hard to create- the larger it is, the more dynamic it must be. With a dynamic text- context matters more- what comes before or later- matters all the more.

The bible is such a work, it speaks solidly and more. It leaves us wanting and quenched of want all at once. It is designed ad infinitum, and speaks of all there is. The problem with a dynamic text- is how much it enforces a mirror effect. A person can easily misread it- or only understand one level of it.

A dynamic text only speaks to us what we are able to hear. Like an ocean shell- lifted to the ear, so are the deeper mysteries- only heard if we seek them wisely and lift them up in faith.

A dynamic text, when translated- loses meaning, loses truth, in the inadequacy of the translator. The influences of the world- its prisms limit the reader, and sometimes combat the perfection of the text.

The bible says- "[... The] Church, which is [the / a] pillar and foundation of truth..." (I Timothy chapter 3, verse 15)

In the language written, there was no definite article used, so I have been told. And we know that the Greek past and present tenses were different than our own. Much of the work, captured was in a different language system. It is perhaps why Jesus so relied on parables. Word for word, the bible loses some meaning- although the meaning is assertainable with honest intent at inner learning of the whole truth. If the Church is a pillar of truth, or the pillar of truth- the words pillar and foundation, still mean the same. A building cannot stand if even one foundation is missing. The text remains valid.

And on other levels- we also forget- our metaphors today- our ways of describing, the concepts many believe, had yet to exist when Jesus spoke.

And yet- while dynamic, the bible is rich. When read with the right lense (really corrective against our localised area)- we are infinitely quenched of thirst and infinitely desire so much more.

Many Catholics have turned to protestant versions of the bible- with the books of the early Canon of the bible, books which Catholics and the rest of mainstream Christianity accept: added in. I think this a mistake. Often protestants have given a more literal interpretation, even as often they have tainted the text- yet the greatest advantage of a bible, is for it to give you the context of the words, to compare them with other texts of the genre and time- to explain how the Christians, and society interpreted the words. I would not advise a Catholic to risk their soul- by reading a bible which is not Catholic.

When I read the bible, my catechism is ready- my mind alert. I attempt to spiritually consume the word- to accept Jesus into me through the words- as though he were a sea creature jumping out of a pond (the page)- and into my being.

I test the words within me, and ponder them. I compare them to what I know- I digest them. I research them as I struggle, and lean on the other two pillars- the tradition and the magisterium of the People of Christ.

I do not determine to act on the words, but to have them clean my soul- I do not intend to rush off in terror into the world, all aghast... I intend to nurture my soul, by pushing God's words through it as though cleansing my system with water.

And so- I meditate on the truth. I ignore the immediate voice, and entangles in the deeper, softer, weaker sound which hovers above the page- and emerges as I continually read.

I used to read oft the bible- but now I read it less. I find that many of the deepest lessons are around us in the constructing of our world. Perhaps if we understood its ways more... We'd better comprehend God.

Much of the bible is practical advise- we must greet people we know- not only friends; we must treat workers justly, and guard what is ours. We must not... We must ... We shall not take care of him who abuses our charity by refusing to work when able... Yet while that which is practical should enter our lives softly- most of all a desire for truth, yet the rest must be pondered. The eternal pond of God, its power must be pondered in the depths. His eternal mysteries- always revealing more ad infinitum, until we burst past the depths and breadth of all things.

It is not unwise to stop, think... Ponder the pond of our world. We have all the time we need! Knowing our real wants- taking our evil desires, and step by step tracing these mis-manifestations of true, just wants- back to our real desires- is how we conquer sin. It is not our deep, actual wants which are evil- the human being was made in proportion- but what we render them as- in our practical pursuit of these, or our thoughts of pursuit, which may be. The righteous- true man- takes his any evil desire back to the proper point, and renders it right. A slight diversion can change the whole path of a stream- can destroy mountains... And lives.

It is always good to look gradually into the depths of our souls. Pushing slowly back- never missing a slight moment until we reach right back deep within- and push into our soul to God ad infinitum. The Soul is the design of a man, the truth God made of Him- which is his life and connector with Man's Original Creator.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Video: Pope's Angelus: ANGELUS 2009-08-23

(Journey in a Broken World; c.f. Official Vatican YouTube Channel 23 / 08 | August / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais



View this video on YouTube, at the Vatican's Website- Click on this Sentence to do so!

English version- scroll over to 11 minutes, 52 seconds in.


To a crowd, which could easily be compared to a mob, rabble or an exited crowd of sports stadium fans, and greeted by cries of "Viva la Papa" before he finally said only a few words in English, Pope Benedict XVI once again gave his Sunday Angelus, this past Sunday the 23rd of August: to packed crowds of fervent onlookers.

Speaking to applause, on Sunday the 23 of August (the eighth month in the modern calendar), Pope Benedict XVI attempted, somewhat in vain as they applauded him- to quiet the crowd, by signalling with his hands, before giving his weekly Angelus.

The video placed online by the Vatican, is a massive 18 minutes and 17 seconds long, and spans through a crowd- so exited they could be a multicultural rabble. Overall, during the Angelus- this Sunday- the Pope spoke in seven languages- starting with Italian, and then routinely returning to Italian during multiple sections of the speech, fortunately, the English section is only a few seconds long and may be easily watched.

As the crowd quieted slightly, and the Pope decided to start speaking, in Italian: What looks like something containing paper, or else some form of folder- was placed in front of the pope by a Vatican official who came forward to assist him. The pope appeared, from his hand gesture- to bless the crowd, with an excitement and life in his voice and vigor as he spoke. He had a firm strength about his voice as he spoke this Sunday.

The pope preceeded to speak, softly reading as a grandfather may to his children.

In the English part of the audience, which only occurs 11 minutes and 52 seconds in , where the Holy Father gave a simple blessing to the English speaking pilgrims, the pope gave a brief few words to his attentive English speaking listeners.

Here he greeted all the "English speaking pilgrims" gathered at the day's Angelus- to shouts in the crowd, of "Viva La Papa", and excitement among English speakers. He asked that their visit to Castel Gandolfo, Italy and to Rome strengthen their faith in the Lord, the Holy One God and Renew their desire to share the peace of his kingdom with others.

At this point, the Pope's speach becomes hard to hear correctly, he seemed to either ask that God "Renew upon [the pilgrims'] love... to answer with God's blessing of true happiness and joy" or, speaking of the world: "upon who [the pilgrims will] have to answer, [and for God to bless them with] God's blessing of true happiness and joy"



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The morality of what we cannot alter... Cannot Change!..

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 25 / 08 | August / 2009)


Title: The morality of what we cannot alter... Cannot Change!..

Apologetical Article by Marc Aupiais

Shadow sprayed across the moon... this night. Night, darkness... Hiding the terror, the horror of the deep black, deathly shadow of lightless fog.

The thick, heavy dark clouds passed across innocently harsh waves of the reflecting moon. The trees splintered shadows, as the light filtered down in airy silver sheets of visible nightmares.

Within this place, horrors happened. Within that place, people were hurt... People- We... We never heard about, never saw... Or knew at all.

Yet, if this airy place exists, if it is as whole nations are at times... Evil, horrendous, murderous and worse. If it is real- do you truly care what occurs there? Do you mind if infants are killed, or children hurt? Do you care if women are abused, men treated as animals? Would you still care if it were done by your government, race, culture, ideology or party, or religion?

What happens out of our control, we are not guilty of. What happens beyond our ability to know... We are not guilty of. These things, we read about afterwards- in articles by media and books by persons, who never encompass the fullness of happenings. And sometimes we learn hate from these, or believe what is not true or really sourced. We find sometimes- we learn the devil's lesson, and unwittingly mimic the faulty beliefs of the oppressors- while holding as martyrs- the oppressed.

We are never guilty of what we had no chance to prevent- or fight against. Yet, there is another dimension at play- another role of the conscience's dice.

The reason the Christian must become part of a creative minority, as the Pope called our modern day mission when still a Cardinal- my reason for this, not his, which I do not remember, my reason which I shall speak of: is simple. The Christian must look sceptical at the news, and statements of officials of so many groupings. He must be suspicious of those tasked with the care of souls, and suspicious of those opposing them. He must attempt to see the truth, to dig deeper and understand the real issues at play.

What we do not know of- we are not guilty of not stopping. What we cannot stop, we are not guilty of not succeeding against... Yet- what if we were able to know and chose not to know ... What if we could have strengthened our cause, and endurance, and have fought against evil... And won?

We are not guilty of what we cannot stop, but we are guilty if our negligence is our own doing- this is why gluttony is a sin, and sloth is evil.

Yet- what of that we cannot stop, it seems, when we come face to face, nose to nose with it- we merely observe its happening and oft forget morality. We look coldly at history, and justify acts of evil, or ignore them, or heartlessly study these... in icy cold. When we cannot act- we turn morality off; we observe?

The truth is- that when we do so, we learn apathy. When we consign ourselves to doing nothing, to neglecting even judgement of evil as what it deeply is and neglect keeping memory... When we turn to holding tight onto justification of evil- we forget the effect that which we cannot halt has... Even... on us.

There are times we tolerate evil, but the righteous must only do so for a time. There are times when doing nothing is right, but inside we must condemn the evil we watch. Inside we must note it, and should we ever be able to combat it justly- we must ensure justice prevails.

I may not be able to prevent abortion, or oppose the killing of other innocents throughout the world- but I can observe it as evil, speak of it as inhumane, note it- and attach the wrong to those guilty of it- and account for this as evil- whatever it is. It must be remembered, whatever the evil- and the one who did it must not be forgotten for what they have done. Forgiveness, as sound theology relays- is not weakness or amnesia. Forgiveness is a state when one analyses a situation and does what is most right, most just and Godly to do.

I may be helpless, but do I pray? And should I be able to act- do I do something... Something solid and powerful, something tactical and worthwhile?

... Shall I choose to do the right thing- or lose my life in refusing to do wrong?

To be a Catholic is to never stand by and do nothing when evil takes action... It is to act or omit action in the way which best benefits good over evil- or less evil over greater evil.

One does not have to be righteous to have God on their side. The world is a system, thereby... Sadly, truthfully... where there is greater evil, all suffer. The smaller evil becomes, the greater the situation is... for all.

We may not be able to stop evil, or even confront it- but we can win the small victories we are able. We can win the victory within, that of Faith- a mind set which attempts to view the world as it really is. Every matter, every issue in the world pertains to proportional truth, and to falsehood- and to their children- life and death...

If all we can do is acknowledge something is evil- at least we may take a step to truth and hope. If we can do more... We should wisely, prudently, cautiously, if not boldly and firmly act! It takes creativity to be good, does it not..?

The logic and illogic of judging-- based of birth and breeding!

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 25 / 08 | August / 2009)


Editorial by Marc Aupiais

Hopefully, this article will clear up some of what I see as misperceptions of which sort of judgement based on birth and breeding is illogical and thereby superstitious and evil, and which judgement based on birth and breeding- is just and good.

A lot in society, in morality is based on geneology. Joseph, the step father of Jesus- was descended of Solomon, and Solomon was the son of David. The Jews were the Chosen People, the gentiles were not. Based on genetics, and their results- it is moral to kill a chimpanzee for food, but not to unjustifiably murder a human being. It is moral to easily hunt one form of animal- but not another which is endangered- this too is told us.

In modern times, we have become increasingly acute to the prejudice of racism. Racism is wrong, but so is unpreparedness.

Philosophically- is the treatment of one's own child with more care than another's, or the way in which inheritance is distributed wrong- I would say not so. It is "prejudging" in some perspectives, it is judging based on lineage, based on one's physical makeup- but just judgement, is it not.

If one assumes that a child is good because of the parent- this is not itself illogic- but if, having used prejudice (judging, based- often: not on behaviour of the individual or what may well be seen as apparent fact, but otherwise- often done prior the time- and kept up), we cease to judge- seeing the person act badly, this is illogical, as with sweepingly condemning all people of a race. Prejudice itself can prepare one to avoid danger or embarrassment- if in its right place- as speculation, or preparedness.

In one of my law books, when it was speaking of logic- it mentioned that most criminals in South Africa are black- something oft mentioned by some. I felt offended- I am white, but I hate racist comments. It went on to explain that the majority of South Africans are black. It is only logical that the majority ethnicity in a nation, are the majority of convicts in addition to this. Any percentage increase would also be explained- by poverty and history, and possibly other factors.

The race of a person is incidental to their circumstance.

While racism is illogical, as with bigotry- compensating for race is not, and the same with for instance- compensating for culture, is also certainly not. Not making a meat meal when a Catholic visits you on a Friday- is not bigotry. Knowing the values which are regular in a culture, and vetting what you share is not wrong, but correct.

I would be careful about saying "I love you" to an Afrikaans girl. In my English Speaking etc culture- it oft is an expression of friendship- though one should only say it to girls. For the Afrikaans culture- it means so much more. In my culture- it portrays everything from like, to humour- to undying affection and unending love!

And this does extend further. It is illogical to treat different people like one and the same. They are different- in good and bad ways, and if we judged persons of a different culture as though they belonged to our own- we endanger ourselves and the friendship.

It is wrong to judge on race in isolation, but just as illogical not to take people's race into account as we serve God and our fellow men- including those whose race and nation and culture we must also take into account while serving them, or accounting for them. When one has something firmer than culture to judge on, then the rebuttable presumptions of prejudice seem to fade or solidify.

If I were talking about the Gospel to an ethnic European, I may well compare the sacraments, and grace of God to a sort of Magic, as C.S. Lewis does with grace to magic, acknowledging that magic is evil. Knowing the cultural climate, I would hesitate to use the same example when speaking to some other South Africans- given our history of superstition and "witch" hunts and burnings in South Africa, of whole families. This is not to impart guilt, but to acknowledge a fear which haunts some or their fellows.

When the church therefore considers it an honour for a person of one or other race to be sainted. When a pope says that it is a favour to his country that he is elected and made leader- this is not illogical, "racism" as the slur says, said on these matters.

Race matters, appearances give hints of culture- but it should never blind us. This is why it is evil and superstition to purely judge on race if given more- or to class all of a race as one man, but not evil to assume relatively who a person may well be- based on what can be ascertained from their background.

We all have the same species DNA. We are mankind and one race, yet our differences- while sometimes historic are there for a reason. It is just as evil to be entirely "colour blind" as to be racist. And it is wrong to judge on race- while ignoring the facts. Racism, the vice- is foolishly out of proportion and is thereby evil, yet we need to also guard against those who want a world without culture, religion or race, that idea is dangerous. It is the basis of much of the modern persecution many face.

"He helped others, but couldn't save himself"

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 25 / 08 | August / 2009)


Editorial by Marc Aupiais

"He helped others, but couldn't save himself"

Are these not famous words. Words about Jesus, about our beloved words. True words in a sense. I always try to view the gospel via different eyes- and these words, at least in english- are true of Jesus.

He helped many, but he could not save himself. Even his mention of hosts of angels who could save him shows his nature true- he says that it must not be.

God is infinite in all- defined and contained by his nature. It was impossible for Jesus to avoid the cross- impossible because he was and is God.

When he rose again, I would say that again- He made it impossible for Him to save himself. His name was Jesus- Yahweh Saves, and I would say that He was risen from death by the other persons of the Holy Trinity, possibly His own power also- possibly all three acting- but Jesus never once did a miracle on his own power- He said it was faith, or prayer- or the Holy Spirit. I have prayed to God to pray for me, and been scolded by non-Catholics for it, but God does pray to God, and did when on earth.

The priest can hear my sins, and have God heal them- but he cannot hear his own sins. Nor can the saints do miracles apart from Reality- from God, Yahweh.

Jesus could help others, but He was never sent to save Himself from the crucifixion.

This message gives us simple truth. God demands we save ourselves first- by the parable of the splinter and log, but he also makes us to rely on others- and the world, so others rely on us.

We can only save others if we in turn are saved by God- safe I say rather- for salvation can be lost is the cutting in half and splinterring of a moment. Yet, who can save themselves alone?

The Gospel teaches perseverance in salvation as the ultimate virtue... Yet, we save ourselves by being Godly to others.

God the Son does not scratch his own Back- God the Holy Spirit enabled his miracles.

The message which that terrible comment teaches us is simple- God never works alone. Our salvation and that of others are linked. If we pray for others, we are adding good to the world- we are aiding our own salvation. It is why the wisdom of the Old Testament says to throw bread in the river so it will return on one.

Our every breath has changed the world. Our every action is but prayer. Our faith is in our actions- for salvation is In Faith, Within Faith. Our faith is in word, thought- our salvation in perseverance... Within Faith.

We cannot save ourselves, but if we do not play our part in our salvation- we will not be saved! For Jesus was murdered and thrust into Prison, where He preached- yet in this obedience saved all who may be called all. And then- He was raised- himself saved though he was never lost.

We are never alone- we have the saints- living and eternally living. And we have the sacred Mother, and the church, with her doctor's healing sacraments where Christ acts on our Salvation by chosing his way- to enter into his ways!

The God of Love does not save in isolation. My whispered lie, can cause death in you- my hidden truth can save you..!

"He saved others but (by his very Nature) He can't (Now) save Himself (yet, in allowing His loss, His Trust, He enabled our salvation!)"

God bless.

Marc

My many loves and hates

(Also appeared at : South African Catholic 24 / 08 | August / 2009)

Editorial by Marc Aupiais

I watch as she walks, I smile and breathe in and admire her for her beauty. Then I stop and repeat... But it is not my spouse or potential spouse, it is not even someone I know who I would be fawning over if they were here. I am watching television, watching a leading female character, knowing fully it is an illusion, but freed, knowing she does not seemingly know me, I do not need any affection returned. Granted, I believe we all truly, divinely are connected, in that way I know her, the actress that is. I also know you by that- and you, may realise you know me- and that person you pass on the street.

With my many female friends, it can be similar- I truly love them each, more deeply than a girl I once considered my girlfriend, who once considered me her boyfriend. My love for my friends is deeper and stronger and infinitely more free. I love them and sometimes tell them so. I love my other friends also, but differently than my closest friends, who are often women.

I have many friends, and very little at all in common with some. Some, no, many- I do not even know the names of- but I do care for quite a number of them- to a degree. Yet, the reason I speak of this, why I share how wonderful I find it is... to love my friends is not straight forward simple, but complex.

Jesus commands us to love one another as he loved us. I take this seriously, I greet people I do not know, I discuss, joke, laugh, smile- play socially- I enjoy this, it is as though God commanded us to eat chocolate- I love being social in a good way.

When I have been saddest- helping others was my deepest cure. When I am heartbroken- loving others is a cure, when sad or hurt. When I do not love for a while- I feel stale, repressed, ugly, depressed.

I find now, as I said in the beginning, that I do not need love returned- though it hurts when it isn't. I am not then after romance- but also that to love properly, I must be loved in return. A friend is a person who let's us love them, who we let love ourselves.

So you may well seek attention and love, but I seek to give attention, confidence and love.

You may seek help- I seek to help. You may seek praise- I seek people who deserve my praise.

I take joy in loving, and naturally loving truthfully.

When I learnt to love, I found it was painful- but then, I learnt to love in pain and beyond it- to care should I not be cared for; empathise when painful. It is freeing. I do love deepest those who love me, these I would fight to protect. My affection and loyalty are not one and the same- but I find that the best love can well feel pain and go past it. The best love refuses to be taken advantage of unjustly, refuses to become a tool, or object, or be abused evilly.

I do chose to love, and to manifest love and channel it within, to those I deeply love.

So- in Christ, I have become the opposite of what I once was. I need friends, loyalty, love, hope, kindness- but I seek also to give these first. I want to marry a perfect woman one day- and so I learn perfection for her- what better test of preparedness for the Sacrament than learning to be a perfect, true- genuinely true friend? Oddly, if one seeks to be honest, and if one allows themselves to justly empathise, and see the world rightly- love comes for those we love; and we rejoice at their love. Every relationship is subject to God, and he determines their end. In this I trust others sometimes- but only as much as is wise.

My friends matter to me. I see their fate as intertwined with mine, their web connected to mine. What happens to them- I feel to happen to me. Yet, to my acquaintances I am kind and just if able- or at least just.

I am not as fortunate to have love returned (my deep desire), as I am to love deeply. I may go out of my way naturally- for my friends and my God- but that I may is a gift mostly to me.

I am fortunate to have learnt to love- to change and become someone else- who encompasses my essence. I may be weak, I may not be perfect, but I can love- and love is infinite and eternal. I encourage you, yes- you- to learn the same. To take the risk and care... Hurt, and care all the more: rejoicing for the pain is pleasure in unconditional true love!

Learn to be a good friend! As I hope to one day become!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Holy Water- not fighting the Flu in Japan?

(Journey in a Broken World; c.f. Reuters (Independent; British; Secular)Friday 21 / 08 | August / 2009)

Article by Marc Aupiais

According to the Reuters news agency, some parishes seemingly belonging to the Roman Catholic Church, in Japan have dried up their Holy Water Basins: so to speak, in order to combat the swine flu / H1N1 2009 strain influenza / Pig Flu.

According to Reuters:

"The Franciscan Chapel Center in Tokyo is one church that has decided to empty the holy water basins, into which parishioners traditionally dip their fingers and bless themselves by making a sign of the cross."
(Reuters (Independent; British; Secular) Friday 21 / 08 | August / 2009)

Holy Water is used as a sacramental when entering a church, though it is technically not designated for use on leaving a parish church. It reminds Catholics of their baptism, and is supposed to symbolize the clearing of the mind of secular ("worldly") matters.

The news agency notes that another parish- St. Ignatius, has also excluded Holy Water from the traditional ritual in order to combat swine flu. Only 0.4 percent of Japan is Catholic, many attending churches are foreign nationals. Parishioners of the first parish mentioned are also encouraged to give a sign of peace, not involving touching- such as bowing to one another.

Circumstances with high densities of people, such as churches during celebrations / liturgy, schools, shopping centres, festivals, and Universities, have been seen as places one is more likely to get swine flu at. The Catholic Church permits persons who are sick or tending to the sick to miss mass, the obligation absolved for these persons. People suffering from flu like symptoms may be well advised to miss Sunday mass for the sake of others.

The Sign of peace, which was once a kiss, is generally now a handshake- health authorities, and some bishops' conferences have advised Catholics to share the sign of peace via a sign which does not involve touching the other individual physically.


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