Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Saturday, December 26, 2015


A Scandal for Justice

Mercy is no fleeting sentiment, but rather the synthesis of the joyful Good News, a choice and decision on the part of all who desire to put on the “Heart of Jesus” and to be serious followers of the Lord who has asked us to “be merciful even as your heavenly Father is merciful” (Mt 5:48; Lk 6:36). In the words of Father Ermes Ronchi, “Mercy is a scandal for justice, a folly for intelligence, a consolation for us who are debtors. The debt for being alive, the debt for being loved is only repayable by mercy”. --Pope Francis' Christmas Greeting to the Roman Curia

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

From the shadows they fed - the wood's edge,
just out from the eaves but not straying from them.

Alerted to the watcher, tranquility broken,
they fled for the trees, as fish strike for the depths.

But one walked out to watch the watcher.
Saplings from his head upon a raised neck.

His family now shadows moving in the woods,
how he guarded with a naked heart!

Mercy before Justice

"By experiencing the tenderness and pardon of the Lord, the penitent is more easily led to acknowledge the gravity of sin, is more resolved to avoid it in order to remain and grow in renewed friendship with him." --Pope Benedict XVI,  To The Confessors Who Serve In The Four Papal Basilicas Of Rome

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Mark Mallett writes in a meditation entitled Just Enough:

"The same Jesus whose apologetics could silence the Pharisees suddenly became silent Himself. The Jesus who could pass through angry mobs now stood condemned before Pilate. The Jesus who raised the dead could now barely pick Himself up to carry His Cross. The Jesus whose hands healed the sick were now helplessly fastened to the wood. The Jesus whose tongue cast out demons was now soundly mocked by them. And the Jesus who calmed the roaring waves now lay lifeless in a tomb." ...

..."You, my dear brothers and sisters, are being called into this 'little flock of believers'. But if you are looking to the nostalgia of yesterday, the glorious Church of the past, the strength of yore, then you will not find it, for the glory of tomorrow will be as different as the wounds of Christ’s resurrected body were from His crucified flesh." --Mark Mallett, Just Enough

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Sing to the Lord a new song for He has done marvelous things




"...We have to put mercy before judgment, and in any event God’s judgement will always be in the light of his mercy. In passing through the Holy Door, then, may we feel that we ourselves are part of this mystery of love, of tenderness. Let us set aside all fear and dread, for these do not befit men and women who are loved. Instead, let us experience the joy of encountering that grace which transforms all things. ..."

"...as we pass through the Holy Door, we also want to remember another door, which fifty years ago the Fathers of the Second Vatican Council opened to the world. This anniversary cannot be remembered only for the legacy of the Council’s documents, which testify to a great advance in faith. Before all else, the Council was an encounter. A genuine encounter between the Church and the men and women of our time. An encounter marked by the power of the Spirit, who impelled the Church to emerge from the shoals which for years had kept her self-enclosed so as to set out once again, with enthusiasm, on her missionary journey. It was the resumption of a journey of encountering people where they live: in their cities and homes, in their workplaces. Wherever there are people, the Church is called to reach out to them and to bring the joy of the Gospel, and the mercy and forgiveness of God. After these decades, we again take up this missionary drive with the same power and enthusiasm. ..." --From Pope Francis' homily on the inauguration of the Year of Mercy



Photo source

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Setsuko Hara - RIP



Her family only released the news of her death recently. She died on September 5, 2015. She was 94.

It's not a "film crush". Her presence on screen was remarkable beyond that sort of thing. To use the words "pure" and the like would be useless cliche. There was just this amazing aura of quiet virtue and beaming joy she manifested. In Ozu's films it's both radiant and down to earth.

Two of Ozu's films that she was in are on my top ten favourite films list (yes, I'm compiling a 100 favourite films list, and being an actual rated list, 1 to 100, and not just randomly placed, it's a difficult task).

Those two films are Tokyo Story and Late Spring.

To talk about Yasujirō Ozu's films...right now I can only silently point to their place in my faves' list as the best articulation of praise.

Tokyo Story is number three and Late Spring is number 6. Their respective positions will not change.

Oh, what the heck, since I know that at least the first ten aren't going to change, here they are:

1. Stalker
2. Au Hasard Balthasar
3. Tokyo Story
4. Andrei Rublev
5. Diary of a Country Priest
6. Late Spring
7. Seven Samurai
8. Mirror
9. Rear Window
10. Ugetsu


If you wish to to see both Tokyo Story and Late Spring, you can watch them right now on youtube, while you have the chance:

Tokyo Story

Late Spring

I won't even bother raving about them.

And pray for the departed, yes?

Friday, December 4, 2015

Nothing like it








That "chest whistling" sounds awesome.


Time stamped:



I wonder if it employs the same "recycled breathing" that one does for the didgeridoo?







The piece is called Good Horses - for all you Herzog fans. LOL.

The Inuit do it too, but differently:


Ballpoint waiting in car - series 4













Thursday, December 3, 2015

This is so true

Time-stamped:


"The only way they can support their gold theories is they just treat it as religion and say we don't have to understand it; we just know that's God's money and it'll work." --Byron Dale

The world's oldest peach pits (to date) have been found

This is most excellent news.

2.5 million years old.

"We found these peach endocarp fossils just exposed in the strata," Su said. "It's really a fantastic finding." --Tao Su, associate professor at Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden

H/T: Ben Greenman

Superb article on Chesterton moving towards sainthood


James Parker has this article in The Atlantic: A Most Unlikely Saint.

His piece reminded me of why I love Chesterton so much.

H/T: Joseph Pearce at The Ink Desk.

That was kind of the park ranger



Why, you're most welcome! Next time if you could just leave me a key for the lock so that I can come and go as I please, if you don't mind, that would be swell. A ham and swiss cheese sandwich would be nice too. Thanks!

I would like to state that I was tardy back to my vehicle because I was occupied - under a Canadian sky miraculously clear - with a woman, K-I-S-S-I-N-G. I would like to say so, because when you're in the sharp winter dusk (even though it's technically not winter yet) and the forest trees at the field's edge are strangely luminous in the dimming light and the geese are making their silly honking noises in the sky, that's exactly what you want to be doing - to be with a woman, K-I-S-S-I-N-G.

I would like to say that, but alas, it is untrue. Woe! I was drawing! And all alone! I don't even have a girlfriend! How tragic! Drawing, drawing, drawing! The chickadees were dancing around - now this is true - saying to me that the after-light does not stay for long this time of year. Your fingers are numb! They can barely hold the pencil anymore! Your toes are numb! Frost is on the grass! Time for you to go, go, go! You still have a long walk!

But I did not obey.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Came across this booklet

My bookshelf always has surprises in store for me. A good deal of it was inherited and lots of it I've barely skimmed over. I was pleased to find this booklet the other night:




LOL! That's Pierre, by the way. What a horrible Prime Minister he was. He made abortion "legal", before the States did, and it was done in that Canadian law way in which it was declared simply that there was no law. Under Pierre Trudeau the legalization of abortion was worse, if you can imagine, than the legalization that took place in the US. After the initial legalization in 69, he made it open season on the baby in the womb in every sense, later on, in the eighties.

The booklet is from the early eighties. I haven't read it yet, but I will.

Here are pages of just the introduction:






I like this

Medjugorje Message - Dec. 2

"Dear children. I am always with you because my Son entrusted you to me. And you, my children, you need me, you are seeking me, you are coming to me and you are bringing joy to my motherly heart. I have, and always will have, love for you; for you who suffer and who offer your pains and sufferings to my Son and to me. My love seeks the love of all of my children, and my children seek my love. Through love, Jesus seeks unity between Heaven and earth; between the Heavenly Father and you, my children - His Church. Therefore, it is necessary to pray much, to pray and love the Church to which you belong. Now, the Church is suffering and needs apostles who by loving unity, by witnessing and giving, show the ways of God. The Church needs apostles who by living the Eucharist with the heart do great works; it needs you, my apostles of love. My children, from the very beginning the Church was persecuted and betrayed, but day by day it grew. It is indestructible because my Son gave it a heart - the Eucharist, and the light of His resurrection shone and will continue to shine upon it. Therefore, do not be afraid. Pray for your shepherds that they may have the strength and the love to be bridges of salvation. Thank you."

Iceland watch: why aren't other countries jailing bankers?




"We were wise enough not to follow the traditional prevailing orthodoxies of the Western financial world in the last 30 years. We introduced currency controls, we let the banks fail, we provided support for the people and didn't introduce austerity measures like you're seeing in Europe." --Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, President of Iceland (emphasis mine)


"In the US, not a single banking executive was charged with crimes related to the 2008 financial crisis." --Bill Still

St. Thomas Aquinas

"Sorrow can be alleviated by good sleep, a bath and a glass of wine." --St. Thomas Aquinas

Did you know that St. Thomas Aquinas was the inventor of dandelion-burdock beer? Yep. While he was writing the Summa and becoming very tired, the Spirit told him to go for a walk outside and take the roots of the first two plants he came across, then make a brew from them: they were the dandelion and the burdock.

Bresson on how certain things should not be shown in film

"If you show it, it's finished. The same thing goes for love. You don't feel love if you see two people making love." --Robert Bresson

Monday, November 30, 2015

When Summer Grew Still


A snake floats near in the green thorns,
slack ropes amassed and skirting each thorn
as though in lounge-grass and not in thorns;

like a drinking rock, sponges noon,
back of drooping blackberries
ample at the melting point, opaque,
their depths of jet ready to slip
the vines with no resistance.

Unlifting blue has the thicket slaked
in a voiceless stasis of unsealing joints.
Like eyelash-perching beads of sweat,
no pluck from stem disturbs the snake
bundled in the woof of thorns.

As an ochre dust waltzes in sleep
on a deep black pond, a somnolent sheet,
intimates a kettled wetness underneath,
so does the noon in its plateaued heat
reveal a hovering lump of snake.

We break the prime-past berries, and see
within the regnant warmth of juice is germed
wriggling high speed, a sliver - a silver worm.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Friday, November 27, 2015

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Sunday, November 22, 2015

How Super Catholics could relearn the basics of their faith by watching the film The Apostle


"Jesus is here right now."


Nearly twenty years on, The Apostle is aging well. Recently viewing this film - not having seen it since 98 - I was impressed with not only how well it holds up, but how much better it was than the last viewing. The first time watching it, I knew that there was something very unique taking place; I was struck most of all by an unabashed, unaided truth coruscating through the frame. On my latest viewing there was deep impact. While the film's qualities were certainly recognized by critics upon its release, I think this film is still sort of one of those not yet sufficiently recognized classics. It has not yet taken that place among the quiet late bloomers, like Casablanca and It's a Wonderful Life (neither of which I'm a fan of), but I am pretty certain it will. Moreover, I'm convinced - and some may laugh - that the Holy Spirit breathes through this film in an effusive, unstoppable way.

Therein lies the great surprise of this film, not to mention its actual greatness. You may chuckle at the white suit preacher repeating "Holy Ghost power" or you may find Billy Bob Thornton's conversion quaint, and so on, but towards the end, something like a chill sweat threatens to break over you, and the recognition that this film is, as a narrow sluice channel, delivering. Holy Ghost power. Very much in the same way this flawed preacher man - do you trust him? Is he just nuts? - is an instrument of "an acceptable time", a channel for Evangelium, so it goes with the film itself.

It is not a psychological portrait. It is not southern gothic. It is not genre. It is not ironical or cynical commentary. It is most certainly not sentimental. Only a conception, a script, gestating in the mind of Robert Duvall for thirteen years could have ended up becoming this film. I find comparisons that put the film in the company of the stories of Flannery O'Connor and other authors to be superficial, brittle observations; putting the film on the safe shelf.

The late Roger Ebert wrote about the almost documentary-like way in which this film unfolds and flows. You never feel - not once - that this film is fulfilling the requirements of a story arch. Other critics have used the words "electrifying" and "unapologetic" to describe that very particular course this film takes. The general reception of this film was quite positive.

I think one of the most startling things is the revelation that Duvall's character, Sonny, is indeed doing the work of Jesus, of planting and spreading the Gospel. It's convincing because you see that even when he realizes that his big sin of wrath - of murder - is catching up to him and he knows he must pay for it - that the mettle of his gospel convictions are tested: you see that while he knew his crime and indeed, fled from turning himself in, knew he was sooner or later going to be arrested and taken to jail, he still moves forward to spread the gospel in the ways he can. And more, that the Holy Spirit is working through this man. We see this emphasized also at the very end while the credits roll: Sonny is part of a chain gang at the side of a road and he's the leader in their song. He poses the questions, while the other convicts answer "Jesus". He's clearly continuing to do the work of the Lord while in jail.

I liked the very last words we hear before the final fade out:

"Who is Mary's little darling?"

"Jesus!"


Time stamped:


Time stamped:

Time stamped:


"Smugness is the Great Catholic Sin." --Flannery O'Connor

Sing it, Bruno

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

“I think in the whole world things are going very badly. People are becoming more materialist and cruel ... Cruel by laziness, by indifference, egotism, because they only think about themselves and not at all about what is happening around them, so they let everything grow ugly and stupid. They are all interested in money only. Money is becoming their God. God doesn't exist for many. Money is becoming something you must live for. You know, even your astronauts, the first one who put his foot on the moon, said that when he first saw our earth, he said it was something so miraculous, so marvelous, don't spoil it, don't touch it. More deeply I feel the rotten way they are spoiling the earth. All the countries. Silence doesn't exist anymore; you can't find it. That, for me, would make it impossible to live.” --Robert Bresson

Friday, November 6, 2015

Monday, November 2, 2015

Medjugorje Message - Nov. 2

"Dear children. Anew I desire to talk about love. I gathered you around me on behalf of my Son through His will. I want my children who understand the love of my Son and follow it to live in love and hope. They came to know God's love. Therefore, dear children, pray, pray that you can love more and do acts of love, because faith alone, without love and without acts of love, is not what I ask from you. My children, that is the illusion of faith. That is self-boasting. My Son asks for faith and acts, love and goodness. I pray, and I am asking you to pray and live love because I desire that my Son, when looking at the hearts of all my children, may see in them love and goodness, not hatred and ambivalence. My children, apostles of my love, do not lose hope, do not lose strength. You can do it. I am encouraging and blessing you, because all of these earthly things—which are unfortunately placed in the first place by many of my children—will vanish, and love alone and acts of love will stay and open the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven. At those gates I will be waiting for you. At those gates I want to greet and hug all of my children. Thank you!"

Friday, October 30, 2015

Monday, October 26, 2015

It's Over


"The metal age of money is over now. Central banks all round the world are already selling their stocks of gold, as discreetly as possible, and as slowly as necessary to avoid a gold-price collapse." --Creating New Money, Joseph Huber and James Robertson





"They will throw their silver into the streets, and their gold will be treated as a thing unclean. Their silver and gold will not be able to deliver them in the day of the Lord's wrath. It will not satisfy their hunger or fill their stomachs, for it has caused them to stumble into sin." --Ezekiel 7:19

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Watch Iceland. End the debt!

Since 2008 the monetary reform issue has been brewing well in Iceland.






"In theory, banks are only supposed to lend out 9 times the amount of cash they actually have in reserve. Yes, they get to counterfeit 900% of the money they actually have and charge us interest on it. That's outrageous. This is the very definition of the word 'usury'. Fractional reserve banking is practiced worldwide now. Over 90% of all new money in every nation on earth now is created by banks in the loan-making process."


"This debt-money system is nothing but legalized counterfeiting of national money. It is worldwide in scale. It is slowly breaking the backs of the economies of every nation and will eventually lead to an even larger worldwide banking system collapse."


"Many Americans, in the wake of Ron Paul's influence, believe that ending the Federal Reserve system is the answer. It's not. Yes, the Fed tries to control the quantity of money in the American system. But who are they really trying to control? The banks. Especially the biggest banks. The banks are in total and complete control of how much money there is, because they create all of it, except coins and paper money which is less than 10% of the money supply in America."


"Gold-backing would make zero difference."




What are the foundations of our money supply?




1. How is the supply of money put into circulation, for all the members of society to use?

2. How does the government raise its revenue? What does it tax and what does it not tax?

3. How does the government spend the revenue on public purposes?


"Have got all of them badly wrong."


Time stamped:




"The public money supply should not be a source of private profit."

Cause after Effect




If I cared to make a top ten list of my all-time favourite films, no matter what films would drop off and others take their place down the years, Au Hasard Balthasar would always remain in the top five, no matter what. Absolutely.

It kills me that so many people go through life watching so much celluloid dross and never see this film, or any of Bresson's films.

"...Thanks to that extraordinary device, the miraculous machine called a camera. As a matter of fact, what surprises me is that such an incredible device, capable of recording what our eye cannot, or more precisely, what our mind does not, is only used to show us tricks and falsehoods. That's what surprises me." 

Did he just hit the bulls-eye or what.

And listen to what else he has to say. I think Robert Bresson was prophetic.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Last of the Chilean Guava




They ripened earlier this year. The last handful pictured above I'm using for seed. Which works well, since they are overripe. That doesn't mean they taste bad, but that they've gone from "sherbet bomb" with that faint spice-like juniper I-want-to-keep-eating-more flavour to just full-on "all sweet" - which isn't really my cup of tea.

Besides, it's sweeter to see this:



From seed sown at the beginning of '15. Photo taken today.


Chilean guava seed, by the way, takes a loooooooooong time to germinate. If you're growing it from seed, never throw out the soil thinking they were duds. Just keep watering it. Patience. It takes over three months. Some of the seeds even longer. And then you have to study the soil closely to see the teeny tiny little sprouts. They're so small one would easily overlook them and decide to throw away the dirt, just when they've started.

Chilean guava makes for really easy cuttings too. Don't bother with "rooting hormone". Just stick the twig ends in soil. Keep it watered in shade to partial shade.

Monday, October 19, 2015

We're screwed



It's a sign.

It's a sign that the US will get Trump.

Misc.


Held my nose to vote against the Liberal party. I say vote against because there is no one to vote for. There is no CHP candidate in my riding. Is there a lesser evil in this election? When someone like Trudeau could be the potentate? Absolutely. Have you listened to the guy? Holy Toledo.

*

Looks more and more like the gluten-is-the-devil hype is dying down. Looks like it is turning out to be - oh, I don't know - just another one of those extremist diet health crazes that come and go like the plague. Looks more and more like - oh, as common sense dictates - highly refined processed grains combined with short leavening time-periods using commercial yeast consumed on a regular basis to the detriment of consuming actually good food is the problem (combined with little to no exercise), and consistent consumption of highly refined sugars to boot. Golly. What would we do without the experts? Saw a headline the other day about how antioxidants could help to cause cancer. No one knows anything really.

I still remember this one blog post by a Catholic blogger lady who has a book or three published getting alarmist about gluten to her thousands of readers, linking to another lady who basically said all grains - even rice - are little better than poison. She had it all figured out (the other lady, not the Catholic blogger lady), charted, squared, articulated - the science and everything, like she was a scientist - with that unmistakable, unerring estrogen energy that says I am full-proof, hear me lecture. To which I wondered out loud in my own blog post (which I'm too lazy to link to) that I find it reprehensible that Jesus would use for the institution of His Eucharist something that was little better than poison.

Here is one assumption that I bet we'll find out later was totally wrong: that all food we consume must be chock-full of vitamins and minerals and other nutrients, and if there aren't any, or few, either in its raw or cooked state, then it's not good for us. This will be disproved. Just watch.

People without responsibility on social media going on about this, that and the other thing. Maybe some readers of the anti-gluten lady decided to cut out all gluten from their diet, not having any allergy to it before - and then developed an allergy to it because they had cut it so drastically out of their diet? Who knows, right? Human biology is amazingly complex.

People all over the social media lecturing and influencing their readers about this, that and the other thing - from gluten to Vatican II to the Synod on the Family. They just know it all. Pope Francis has been making some serious mistakes. He's a Machiavellian villain. He's a fuzzy simpleton. He causes confusion. He's an anti-John the Baptist paving the way for the anti-Christ. He's a product of the polyester 70's. He's not even the Pope. He's Judas. He's a Peron populist crowd whipper-upper. He's well-intentioned but mistaken. He errs in doing this, that and the other thing. He should have unleashed the wrath of God on Congress. He should not have spoken to the U.N. (he opened the fragrance of the Gospel to them! How dare he! He was handing over to them authority for their evil agendas!) He should have come out wearing the mozetta. He should be reading LifeSiteNews. He should be studying with prayerful diligence the words of Rorate Caeli, Pewsitters, 1Peter5 and the Holy Catholic Remnant. He should be doing this, that and the other thing. You know how it is. How it is when people have every simulation of received knowledge - but do not have the ability to go out of themselves.

*

I watched Seven Samurai last night. I have seen it several times before. What a great movie. There are a couple moments that flop in my opinion - like the villagers making way for the old granny to kill the captive in order to avenge the death of her son. Meh. But hey, they were pagans, so whatever.

I even let the intermission play out. I love intermissions. I've said many times before (not on this blog I don't think) that filmmakers should bring back the intermission. People of course would regard it as a mortal sin, because a movie is way too long if it exceeds two hours - and, really, just sitting there with the music playing? That's asking way too much.

Everything is such a joke now. Films ought to be absorbing. The intermission is great for a number of reasons. Just practically because people have to urinate. But it allows a kind of recollection, a coming away from the film that is actually an immersion in the film. The next person to make the Lord of the Rings films - and thereby leave the Peter Jackson series to moulder in the dust - should utilize the intermission. Break each book into two parts (and the books already are broken into two parts). Each part will be one theatrical release, one movie, that runs about four hours long, two hours before and after the intermission, or thereabouts. Thus will be released six movies, each one around four hours long.

But the false law of efficiency that herds people into predetermined units of time says that's a horrible mortal sin. Gone is the capacity for attention, attentiveness. Thou shalt not linger. Move along. On to the next piece of candy. Click, click, click.

*

Few things are as obnoxious as cheaply bought cynicism. It is the usual stock-and-trade of hoi polloi, the inflated currency by which the mass populace avoids the acceptance of suffering, or simply, the acceptance of reality. The cheap cynic seeks to preemptively overextend the action of disillusionment onto everything, and by this he seeks to control, and by this he seeks to avoid the contact of reality. He would darken the light of every doorway with his rot-gut and have people accept it, with him in the picture as the capstone wounded anti-hero, while he himself won't carry a jot or tittle upon his own back - though he will, of course, make a big show of seemingly carrying the world on it. He seeks to be a master of reality in order to dispose of it.

Precisely in this is he indecipherable from the manipulative sentimentalist.

*

Progressive Christianity, or Universalism, succeeds only in nullifying Heaven.

The height of heaven and the descent of Christ from it always keep their radical standard, toward which we move, by sanctifying grace, which displaces us from making a home of the hell in our hearts. Or, if you will: from making a home of the but-I'm-not-a-bad-person indifferentist illusion already-giving-the-lie-that-one-has-a-skin-flint-hard-necked-stubborness in our hearts. The emphatic "progressive" removal of the consideration of eternal hell ends only in emphatically removing the glory of heaven.

Above all though, I suspect that it incubates a wounded pride at the thought of heaven's truth and goodness; its height and breadth; that it goes under the auspices of being wounded - wounded pride. Pride is wounded precisely because it is pride. Spiritual pride would rather that the grace given wound it and that it take pleasure in this being wounded, and by this "prove" that the grace is ineffective, than that it submit to the grace.

Submitting to the grace, by the way, leads to a very different kind of being wounded. Here one notices something interesting. That the worst does not manifest as an opposite to the good, but as anti to it, like Antichrist. Most essentially, we resemble Christ in sharing His wounds. That's putting it briefly, but it's true, essentially. As Venerable Bishop Fulton Sheen talked about in a late homily: when we die and go before Christ the "measure" will be His asking show me your wounds, show me the scars, on your hands, in your side; the wounds that you bore, for My sake and for others'; not that you bore out of resignation, but out of love for Me. The life of Me that you took on, that you let Me give to you. My abundant life of which there is no end. When I was a babe before you, did you become as a little infant? When I was scourged with the punishment reserved for the worst offenders, did you become as the worst of sinners receiving my mercy? Did you let my wounds shed light on your wounds - the wounds you knew not were there, trusting in Me?

We do not have faith in order to "get into heaven"; rather, we have faith in order to love the One who is more real than we can imagine.

Anyways, spiritual pride, that ever subtle thing, concocts a fantasy that it has put itself beyond the reach of God, but using the instance of the grace of God to perpetuate the lie. It may retain some semblance of "struggle" (this may actually make it look all the more woe-is-me heroic) but essentially it denies that act of humiliation by which God identifies himself with one's own soul, one's own self, in that place within that we ourselves have not the capacity to reach (Christ is more present to us than we are to ourselves), and abiding there, inspiring and watering our own self-abasement, the growth of new life, together with Christ, in Christ.

Self-pitying, pride is a kind of sick, perpetual enjoyment of oneself at the expense of trampling over others and the precious grace of God, which is to say, over the self-emptying life of Christ crucified. And that is a horror to behold: that pride in doing this, actually consumes grace like a black hole, all the while pretending that it is, in some way, beyond the working reach of grace. It is a deeply pervasive lie born of the father of lies, and it is amendable to people in all walks of life, from the hedonist materialist to the traditionally formed religious. And, of course, the progressive.

The progressive Christian, or Universalist, does not care all that much about there being or not being a Hell, if it's transitory or if it's been emptied; what he emphatically does not want there to be is an eternal High Heaven.