Awaken Godly Brain

Your Godly Brain

By Betsy Malone | 3rd Dog Script | 26 Aug 2020


Hello Friends,

I want to introduce you to Awaken Your Godly Brain, a scientific book. The book demonstrates the ability we possess to use our brains in a lower or higher capacity. You have a choice - you can choose to use your reptilian brain or your Godly brain.     

Secondly, I would like to elaborate on the concept of "Your Godly Brain."

Finally, I'll answer the question, If "we have all the 'right stuff built into our brain simply waiting for a spark to ignite the awakening," then what is the spark that ignites the awakening?

Awaken Your Godly Brain  

"Awaken Your Godly Brain is a scientific, easy-to-read, treatise on interpersonal happiness, spirituality, and political liberty. The steady escalation of violence and drug addiction, disintegration of family cohesion, governmental corruption, mental illness, media dishonesty, and global fascism – to name a few disturbing trends – is not caused by Hollywood, political ideologies, propaganda, or anything external to us. All that we fear in the world is caused by a deterioration of our greatest asset – our prefrontal Godly Brain.

We are born with a primitive reptilian brain that drives behavioral compulsions, allowing us to survive within various social "pecking orders" such as our family, academic, and work environments. Two reptilian survival compulsions – necessary for animal survival – threaten human extinction.

1) Domination Compulsions –The need to oppress, subjugate, control, and bully others. 2) Submission Compulsions – The willingness to be oppressed, subjugated, controlled, and bullied. 

A functional Godly Brain can abolish reptilian domination and submission compulsions, the root cause of socialism, war, and unfathomable human suffering. Backed by neuro-imagery studies, cognitive science, and other evidence, brain awakening is described as happening in three successive stages: 1) Individuation - A willingness to stand alone on one's selfhood despite conformist social pressures. 2) Self-Actualization – A deepening recognition that "actually," one's thoughts, feelings, and behaviors come from within and have little to do with social conditioning. 3) Transcendence – A realization that a separate ego is illusory.

We are 'created equal' with the same basic brain hardware used by Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Moses, Lao Tzu, and all the saints and sages throughout the ages, as they taught us about our inalienable transcendent potential. Like them, we have all the "right stuff" built into our brain simply waiting for a spark to ignite the awakening." - Dr. Charles Gant 

If we all have the same basic brain hardware, then why haven’t more people created solutions to our root causes of socialism, war, and unfathomable human suffering after following the example of the great teachers?  If it is a matter of hardware will AI create solutions?  

"Humanity is both a poor and good reference for AI’s future inclinations.

At our worst, we are brash and prone to tribalism and violence. But at our best, we are highly collaborative and can achieve better outcomes for all. Most likely, AI will have none of the former and all of the latter. Through the years, programmers will have developed AI to be benevolent and extremely functional. And, hopefully, ASI beings will opt to continue to fulfill their original mission as providers of great value." AI's Transcendence

Information Age       

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The Digital Revolution (also known as the Third Industrial Revolution)  – wikipedia.org

Does the Digital Revolution hold all the elements needed to awaken our Godly brain?  No. 

The digital revolution is not the solution to all the social, political, and economic ills.  Have you noticed technology can dominate, oppress, and deceive? Politics is an excellent example of where technology is exploited to benefit an individual, party, or group desiring power, wealth, honor, and pleasure.  Politicians promise to save us from the evils of the other party.   

Technology is a tool that can be used by a reptilian brain or Godly brain.  For example, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, and Google have played a role in exposing false realities at the highest levels of society. 

How do you reach Your Godly Brain?  You have a choice - you can choose to use your reptilian brain or your Godly brain.     

"From the beginning, human beings have been faced with a two-pronged temptation: to subject themselves to the created world, which God made for man and woman as the crown of creation, and simultaneously, to refuse to subject themselves to God, and thereby not to acknowledge their creatureliness. The office of kingship requires that man and woman reject both of these options and find the middle way, which alone fulfills God's plan.

This demands, on the one hand, that created persons have dominion over the world and humanize it by means of science, technology, and civilization, and on the other hand, as the created order is perfected, to subject it along with themselves to Christ, who will, in turn, subject it together with himself to the Father" 

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The Lie or False Reality

To live without the letter v or "vav" is to form a lie or false reality.  Take the letter "v" out of the word "live," and the absence of one letter leaves you with a new word- "lie." The only thing that evil, the reverse lettering of "live," can do is go backward, take something away or destroy.  Evil's nature is lacking.  Lacking the v... lacking the vav.   

Hey!  What's going on here? 

Notice the pictograph of a man with his hands in the air representing the letter hey in the Aleph-Bet means look or behold. 

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Most people recognize these letters YHVH.  God.  But do you know the meaning of these letters? 

Reading from left to right: Hey = behold Vav = Nail Hey = behold, Yod = Hand.  "Behold the nail behold the hand."   Look at the hand of God, and His sacrifice.  Jesus Christ's nature, divine and human, yet one divine personhood (unlike Buddha and the above mentioned "Godly brains" who have human personshood and a human nature) was the only acceptable sacrifice to redeem humanity.  This point is coming soon in my next blog. 

Let's take a closer look at vav in Hebrew, which is the nail. 

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So, what's the meaning attached to the nail, nailed it, and vav? 

The surname Macchiavelli is derived from the Italian word malo, and from Latin malus, which means dangerous and chiavelli meaning nail or spike. – houseofnames.com

Someone Machiavellian is sneaky, cunning, and lacking a moral code. The word comes from the Italian philosopher Niccolo Machiavelli, who wrote the treatise The Prince in the 1500s, which encourages "the end justifies the means" behavior, especially among politicians. – vocabulary.com

"Nailed it" is an expression used to comment on the successful, skillful, or clever completion or performance of something. – dictionary.com 

At the time of Roman domination and oppression, being nailed to a cross was a symbol of domination, power and oppression through torture and death on the cross.  Jesus Christ's resurrection turned a symbol of destruction and death to a symbol of victory and life.   

Just as the original vav was lost through the first Adam and his sin, so the vav is restored through the obedience of the “Second Adam,” the Mashiach Yeshua. -  hebrew4christians.com

The Missing Vav 

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Missing the vav (lie) or Absence of Good

Hell exists because God is love and God desires the free love from His creatures.  That is us.  Now, if He forced us to love Him, then we wouldn’t be giving him true love.  We would be robots.  Love in order to be true, has to be free and it cannot be forced.  It has to be offered and received willingly.  That’s why free will is one of our greatest gifts.  So, in that case the choice not to love must be a possibility just like the choice to love is a possibility. We were made in the image and likeness of God… if we refuse to love God or our neighbor, we are denying our very nature which is love.  In the case that we deny ourselves that love and choose not to love we are setting ourselves up for hell.  A separation from God for all eternity.  God does not send anyone to hell, we choose it with our free will.  Evil personified is hell.  Evil is a privation of the good.  When we pull God who is goodness itself out of our courts, our schools, out of our families, we are pulling out goodness itself. When we remove God who is goodness itself, we have a lack of the good and the result is evil.  That is what hell is.  – Fr. Chris Alar, MIC The National Shrine of Divine Mercy              

The absence of good (Latinprivatio boni) is a theological doctrine that evil, unlike good, is insubstantial, so that thinking of it as an entity is misleading. Instead, evil is rather the absence or lack ("privation") of good. It is typically attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo, who wrote:

"And in the universe, even that which is called evil, when it is regulated and put in its place, only enhances our admiration of the good, for we enjoy and value the good more when we compare it with the evil. For the Almighty God, who, as even the heathen acknowledge, has supreme power over all things, being Himself supremely good, would never permit the existence of anything evil among His works, if He were not so omnipotent and good that He could bring good even out of evil. For what is that which we call evil but the absence of good? In the bodies of animals, disease and wounds mean nothing but the absence of health; for when a cure is effected, that does not mean that the evils which were present—namely, the diseases and wounds—go away from the body and dwell elsewhere: they altogether cease to exist; for the wound or disease is not a substance, but a defect in the fleshly substance,—the flesh itself being a substance, and therefore something good, of which those evils—that is, privations of the good which we call health—are accidents. Just in the same way, what are called vices in the soul are nothing but privations of natural good. And when they are cured, they are not transferred elsewhere: when they cease to exist in a healthy soul, they cannot exist anywhere else." - wikipedia

Your Godly Brain is Called to Kingship

"The opening of the book of Genesis demonstrates the lordship of God over all things and, consequently, the dethronement of any false claims to absolute authority. God creates the sun, moon, stars, all the animals that walk upon the earth, and all the fish swimming in the sea. In many of the cultures that surrounded ancient Israel, all of those things were, at various times and varying degrees, worshipped. By relegating them to the level of creatures, the author of Genesis suggests that authentic cosmic kingship belongs to the Creator God alone. Finally, as the crown of his creation, God brings forth human beings. To be sure, human beings had become, in some cultures, objects of worship; one need only to think of the variety of deified kings on offer in the ancient world. Therefore, portraying the human being as a creature of the One God certainly undermines all attempts to turn humans into gods.

But there is more here than a mere cautioning against ego inflation, for the first humans are presented not simply as servants but as viceroys of the supreme king, God. Their purpose is precisely to have dominion over the various other things that God has made, ruling, as it were, as kings in the name of the supreme king. In fact, this stewardship of creation is a function of the first humans made "in the image of God." Just as God cares for and delights in the things he has fashioned, his vice-regents are given the task of "tilling" and "keeping" the garden where God placed them. The use of those terms of cultivation should preclude any temptation to interpret "dominion" as domination or oppression. In these very first verses of the scripture, an affirmation of the kingship of the Creator can be found, as well as a concomitant affirmation that it pleases God to involve his human creatures in a kind of kingly fellowship, granting to them the privilege and responsibility of tending the garden in line with God's purposes. According to a standard rabbinic reading of this passage, Adam's kingship was to expand the boundaries of the garden of Eden until it contained the whole world. His good stewardship was meant to turn all of creation, both human and nonhuman, into a place of order and harmony. The early interpreters saw Adam as the first scientist, the first philosopher, exercising a sort of intellectual kingship. Tilling the soil, naming the animals, and walking in easy fellowship with God, Adam functioned as a good king, mimicking the moves and instantiating the purposes of the Creator King. From these earliest verses of the Bible, a theme runs like a golden thread through the whole of the scripture: God is the Lord of creation, but he delights in allowing humanity to participate in his lordship and thereby brings the created order to its proper fulfillment. 

All does not go swimmingly with Adam's kingship. The fall of the first king (and his consort) from grace establishes the tension between good and evil rule that marks almost the entirety of the biblical narrative. Part of the task of a king is to cultivate the realm under his jurisdiction, but another dimension of his leadership is the protection of his Kingdom from deleterious outside influence. The third chapter of the book of Genesis commences with reference to "the serpent" who was "more crafty than any other wild animal that the LORD God had made" (Gen 3:1). Adam and Eve not only allow this dangerous figure into the garden; they also listened to him and obeyed him, taking his suggestion and ignoring the command of God. In this, they demonstrate the opposite of dominion, allowing a negative power to have lordship over them. The result of their failed leadership is a compromising of the order and harmony that obtained within them and the garden.

The kingship motif continues throughout the Old Testament narrative. Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Samson, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samuel are kingly, new Adam figures in the measure that they order the people Israel. But even the most cursory reading of the relevant stories discloses that none of these figures is a flawless king: indeed, all share in the spiritual ambiguity of the first Adam, which means that the quest for definitive leadership in Israel is ongoing and open-ended. When the book of Judges concludes with the line "in those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what was right in their own eyes" (Judges 21:25), a certain sense of despair can be detected, signaling that the Adamic role, essential to the flourishing of the garden of Israel, is not being exercised. Throughout these opening books of the Bible, Yahweh has not yet found the king in whom his divine purposes can become utterly incarnate. Hence Israel's identity remains compromised, and its mission unfulfilled.

The second chapter of 2 Samuel is of central importance to understanding the strength of the kingship of David. Not only does it show the quick moves that David made to consolidate his power, but more significantly, it discloses the manner in which David acted, which was steadily under the aegis of God. The chapter commences with the simple declaration that David "inquired of the LORD, 'Shall I go up into any of the cities of Judah?'" God says, "Go up," and when pressed for more information, responds "to Hebron" (2 Sam 2:1). This exchange highlights the humility and obedience that David showed in submitting his will to God's. In this, he showed himself a worthy new Adam whose kingship consisted of governing Eden according to God's word. As long as David remains in the attitude of attentive listening to the voice of a higher power, he will prosper as king and produce the effects promised to Adam and Abraham: land, life, fruitfulness, and right praise.

King David's obedience to God is a clear indication that he realizes that his worldly rule must be situated in the context of God's providence and placed upon the foundation of moral principles derived from God. Once more, the correlation to the kingship of Adam is illuminating. The first man functioned as a good ruler of Eden as long as he was obedient to the divine word and responsive to the promptings of the divine spirit. But his kingship foundered the moment he seized for himself the prerogative of determining the difference between good and evil when he gave himself the power to establish the moral foundation for his kingly choices. This move, which is fundamentally equivalent to the abandonment of orthodoxy, leads inevitably to expulsion from the garden and to loss of rule. Again and again, the biblical authors tell us that earthly kings are rightly conceived as under the guidance of God. They consistently show us the devastation, both personal and societal, that follows from the laying aside of this truth. The lords of the tower of Babel, the pharaoh of the exodus, the kings of the Amalekites, and Philistines—all of them recapitulated Adam's sin. They set themselves up as the criterion of good and evil. In principle, Israel was meant to be the countersign, a corporate Adam, a people whose political and cultural life unfolded according to God's principles.

In his treatise on law, Thomas Aquinas teaches that positive law, the concrete prescriptions by which a society is governed, is derived from natural law, the first principles of morality, and their immediate applications. Natural law, in turn, is grounded in the eternal law, which is none other than the reasonability of the divine mind itself. When this nesting relationship is overlooked, positive law becomes but an expression of the will to power of the legislator, and the moral integrity of a society so governed is fatally compromised. At least a vestige of this Thomistic understanding can be discerned in the American Declaration of Independence, precisely in its affirmation of humans' rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, explicitly recognized as "endowed by their Creator." The implication is that the positive laws that govern the United States must be correlated to objective moral principles, which are articulated as rights, which are implanted in us by God.

Joseph Ratzinger (Pope Benedict XVI) proposes a reading of Jesus's conversation with Pontius Pilate, which is apt in the context. Under pressure from the restive crowd, Pilate both abdicates moral responsibility and confesses ignorance of any objective ground for moral decision making: "What is truth?" (John 18:38). Having severed any possible link between positive law and natural law, he surrenders to the whim of the crowd, asking them to decide whether a guilty man or an innocent man should be released. This, Ratzinger argues, is the prototype of moral governance by public opinion poll so prevalent in contemporary society. But what the severance of positive, moral, and eternal law inevitably results in is the ultimacy of the legislator's will to power. (Nietzche) Thus Pilate bullyingly says to Jesus, "Do you refuse to speak to me? Do you not know that I have the power to release you, and the power to crucify you?" (John 19:10). To which the One who came to testify to the truth responds, "You would have no power over me unless it had been given you from above" (John 19:11). Pilate's authority, the legitimacy of which Jesus does not question, is nevertheless subordinate to the higher authority of God. David, the king who dances with joyful reverence before God, is an appropriate iconic representation of this truth.

But even David was flawed, and much turmoil ensued after his reign. So the people of God continued to dream and hope that a definitive David would arrive, that the temple would be finally be cleansed and purified, that the enemies of the nation would be defeated, and that a king, a Son of David, would come to reign as Lord of the nations.

Jesus Christ, Son of David, became that king, and the Church, as Vatican II emphasized, is the "initial budding forth" of his Kingdom. The Incarnation is the beginning of the new creation that lives on in the Church, the Mystical Body of Christ, and will come to fulfillment at the Second Coming of Christ. "When Jesus, who had suffered the death of the cross for mankind, had risen, He appeared as the One constituted as Lord, Christ, and eternal Priest. He poured out on His disciples, the Spirit promised by the Father. From this source, the Church, equipped with the gifts of its Founder and faithfully guarding His precepts of charity, humility, and self-sacrifice, receives the mission to proclaim and to spread among all peoples the Kingdom of Christ and of God and to be, on earth, the initial budding forth of that Kingdom. While it slowly grows, the Church strains toward the completed Kingdom and, with all its strength, hopes and desires to be united in glory with its King" (Lumen Gentium, 5).

As members of Christ's Mystical Body, we are charged at Baptism to participate in his kingship, just as Adam was charged with the kingship of the garden when God created him. "Christians are called to be the light of the world. Thus, the Church shows forth the kingship of Christ over all creation and in particular over human societies" (CCC 2105). Each Christian takes up his or her kingly role to make the Church as a whole function properly as God's visible Kingdom on earth. In his first encyclical, Redemptor Hominis (1979), St. John Paul II explained man's calling to share in Christ's kingly function:

"Man's situation in the modern world seems to be far removed from the objective demands of the moral order, which found expression in the Creator's first message to man when he was giving him the earth subdue' it. This first message is expressed by the Second Vatican Council in its teaching, which concerns man's 'kingship'; that is to say, his call to share in the kingly function is the munus regale of Christ himself. The essential meaning of this 'kingship' and 'dominion' of man over the visible world, which the Creator himself gave man for his task, consists in the priority of ethics over technology, in the primacy of the person over things, and the superiority of spirit over matter" (par. 16).

He later emphasizes the servant nature of kingship: "However, one element seems to stand out: the sharing in Christ's kingly mission, that is to say, rediscovering in oneself and others the special dignity of our vocation that can be described as 'kingship.' This dignity is expressed in readiness to serve, in keeping with the example of Christ, who 'came not to be served but to serve.' If, in the light of this attitude of Christ's, 'being a king' is truly possible only by 'being a servant' then 'being a servant' also demands so much spiritual maturity that it must be described as 'being a king.' In order to be able to serve others worthily and effectively, we must be able to master ourselves, possess the virtues that make this mastery possible. Our sharing in Christ's kingly mission – his 'kingly function' (munus) is closely linked with every sphere of both Christian and human morality" (par. 21). "The people of God share in the royal office of Christ. For the Christian, 'to reign is to serve him,' particularly when serving 'the poor and the suffering, in whom the Church recognizes the image of her poor and suffering founder' (Lumen Gentium, 8). The people of God fulfills its royal dignity by a life in keeping with its vocation to serve with Christ" (CCC 786).

By taming our ego, which is full of worldly passions and desires, and submitting to God's will, we can become charitable servants, reflecting the divine love and mercy. Sister Paula Jean Miller, FSE, in her book Members of One Body: Prophets, Priests, and Kings (St. Paul's, 1999) discuss two major temptations that can thwart this essential, kingly work:

"From the beginning, human beings have been faced with a two-pronged temptation: to subject themselves to the created world, which God made for man and woman as the crown of creation, and simultaneously, to refuse to subject themselves to God, and thereby not to acknowledge their creatureliness. The office of kingship requires that man and woman reject both of these options and find the middle way, which alone fulfills God's plan. This demands, on the one hand, that created persons have dominion over the world and humanize it by means of science, technology, and civilization, and on the other hand, as the created order is perfected, to subject it along with themselves to Christ, who will, in turn, subject it together with himself to the Father" (p. 163). – 

Called to Kingship Companion Booklet to David the King Study Program www.WORDONFIRE.org

With infinite Hope

With Infinite Hope looks back at the life, leadership, and legacy of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  The program follows King's career from his hiring at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church and leadership of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, through his death on April 4th, 1968 in Memphis. The documentary includes interviews with people who participated in well-known events of the Civil Rights Movement. 

"He had a way of taking two documents, the Bible and the founding documents of this nation, and he would put the two together.  If you remember his speeches, he says, all we're asking is for you to be true to what you have said on paper." - The Rev. Dr. Carolyn M. McKinstry  

“You can tell a natural leader because he’s going to speak the truth to you whether you want to hear it or not.” -   Louretta Carter-Wimberly   

“We need moral authority… Dr. King had moral authority.”  - Doris Dozier Crenshaw

Holy Silence 

Filmmaker Steven Pressman began work on “Holy Silence” in 2017 without regard to any possible opening of the Vatican Secret Archives. Nonetheless, he is obviously pleased about the favorable timing of the film’s completion and release.

“To be honest, I woke up that morning [March 2, 2019] to the news about the opening of the archives [in a year] and felt total panic… But then I realized that the timing is actually good and that I am very lucky,” Pressman told The Times of Isreal.

The major question posed by “Holy Silence” is whether Pius XII did all he could to counter Nazi Germany and save Jews. The answer is clearly no based on the majority of viewpoints expressed by the experts interviewed.  “I was determined not to make a film that came across solely as an attack on the Catholic Church, though it is critical of Pius XII,” Pressman said.  In “Holy Silence,” Dr. Suzanne Brown-Fleming, director of international academic programs at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and author of “The Holocaust and Catholic Conscience” states that Nazi leaders would not have cared what the Pope said. However, Pius XII could have done more to raise the moral consciousness of Reich citizens.

In the first half of “Holy Silence,” Pressman tells how Pius XI secretly summoned in 1938 an American Jesuit priest named John LaFarge is known for his activism against racism and anti-Semitism. The pope asked LaFarge to draft an encyclical that would effectively counter everything Hitler and Nazi Germany stood for. LaFarge did so and gave it to a Jesuit superior to deliver to Pius XI. Then things went silent; months passed and LaFarge heard nothing back from the pope.  “Half the Vatican was against the encyclical,” Eisner said, in explaining why it took so long to reach the desk of Pius XI.

Pius XI died on February 10, 1939, immediately before he was to unveil his encyclical to the bishops and lobby for its adoption. Pius XII was inaugurated, and according to “Holy Silence,” the draft encyclical was destroyed. 

A tale worthy of Sherlock Holmes

But this is not exactly what happened. Eisner told The Times of Israel that in the early 1970s, a Jesuit priest working on files at Georgetown University left by LaFarge after his death in 1963 discovered a draft copy of the encyclical. Then in 1995, a book was published in France based on the discovered document. 

However, when Eisner went looking for the encyclical at Georgetown, it wasn’t there. He discovered it at Boston College. A priest named Edward Stanton had borrowed the LaFarge files from Georgetown in the 1980s and had suffered a fatal heart attack before returning them.

“I found the original English draft and a letter from LaFarge to Pope Pius XI asking what was happening with it,” Eisner said.

Following the inauguration of Pius XII, LaFarge had been ordered to destroy the draft encyclical and tell no one about it. He kept quiet for many years, but in the months before his death, he told his Jesuit colleagues the whole story.

According to Eisner, German and French versions of the draft encyclical also survived in the Vatican archives, but all documentation surrounding the writing of and plans for the document was destroyed.  Eisner is not the only one who believes that Pius XI would have issued the encyclical and that it could have made a major difference for at least some of European Jewry.

After reviewing what became known as “The Hidden Encyclical,” The National Catholic Reporter published an editorial on December 15, 1972, stating: “Considering that Hitler had only begun to move into full-scale persecution of the Jews, and had not yet begun planned extermination; considering that Italy had only begun to copy Germany’s racial laws; considering the persecution of Jews throughout history; considering the difficulty, especially in Europe, of launching a similar wide-scale attack on Catholics; and considering the moral weight of the papacy, especially at that point in history — considering all this, we must conclude that the publication of the encyclical draft at the time it was written may have saved hundreds of thousands, perhaps millions of lives.”  - The Time of Israel

A Model of Leadership

(minute 12 to 19)

Feast of St. Louis IX, of France.  He was the king of France from the age of twenty-two until the age of fifty-six for forty-four years.  He died on this day in 1270 and he lived at a time when St. Francis of Assisi was still alive.  And, he was attracted by this spirituality of the Franciscans which in a particular way is a spirituality of the heart.  A spirituality of charity.  He was then chosen since he was a temporal leader who also sought the heavenly kingdom.  And recognized although he was the king of France there was a greater king to whom he was subject to and whom he sought to put that order of the Christian life within his realm in France.  He is a patron of the third order of St. Francis, the lay men and women and also secular priest who strive to live out that spirituality of St. Francis in their own lives.     

I love an insight of Pope Benedict, he says, “but there is a certain limit to which our intellect, our mind, can go.”  It can’t go any farther in regards to God and who God is but he says, love still sees.”  So love is able to go beyond the limits of our intellect. And again, faith and intellect truth are both leading us toward God who is truth. But we can’t fit the reality of who God is, His awesomeness, most high omnipotent God.  We can’t encompass all that he is within these puny minds of ours, but our hearts can insert even more deeply into that reality of who God is that is the Franciscan spirituality.

St. Louis as a young boy was attracted to this. He was taught by friars.  As I said, St Francis of Assisi was still alive.  There is no indication that they ever meet.  But he began his reign the year that St. Francis of Assisi died 1226. For forty-four years he reigns as the king of France.      

He has been seen as a model of leadership. How much we need him today.  You know, in the United States House of Representative as well as the United States Supreme Court there’s a portrait of St. Louis IX of France because he is seen as a model of leadership.  He was seen as first among equals among the European leaders.  And he would often be looked to because he sought peace and justice and fairness, and so there was this looking toward him to resolve different tensions that were going on because of the wisdom that he had because of his spirituality.  –  Fr. Joseph Mary @EWTN

Love

If "we have all the 'right stuff built into our brain simply waiting for a spark to ignite the awakening," then what is the spark that ignites the awakening?  Love is the spark.      

You shall love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.  To understand this radical teaching, we have to be clear on what Jesus means by love.  Love is not a sentiment or feeling.  Love is actively willing the good of the other as other.  And, this is why enemy love is the surest test of love.  If I am generous to someone who is my enemy or not the least interested in responding to me in kind, I can be sure that I have truly willed the others good and not my own.

Jesus wants his followers to aspire to the way God loves.  God loves those who hate him.  If we are truly free from our attachments, especially the attachment to approval, then we can become sons and daughters of this God and hence conduits of His peculiar grace.  The already radical teaching of enemy love becomes even more intensely focused as Jesus turns his attention to the practice of non-violence.  You are familiar with the law of retaliation, "an eye for an eye," but I say to you, do not resist an evildoer; but if someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other.  This can sound like passivity in the face of evil, but it's not. 

It is the proposal of a new and very effective means of resistance.  Classically there are two responses to violence: fight (domination) or flight (submission).  We can respond with counter-violence, or we can acquiesce.  But we all know in the long run, neither of these is an effective method.  When you fight violence with violence, you tend to make the situation worse.  If you consent to violence, then you confirm the violent person in his tyranny, in his evil.  What Jesus proposes is a third way:  Again, it sounds like passivity to turn the other cheek, but in Jesus' time, you would have never used the left hand to strike as it was considered unclean.  So if someone strikes you on the right, it means they are striking you with the back of their hand, and it was a gesture of contempt - the way you would treat a slave or inferior.  So what is Jesus saying?  Don't fight back, but by God, don't flee, don't acquiesce rather stand your ground and turn the other cheek.  You are saying in effect you will not treat me that way again.  I refuse to cooperate with the world that you are living in.  You are mirroring back to the violent person his violence hoping thereby to lure him into a different moral and spiritual space.   A contemporary example of this method of resistance concerns Bishop Tutu of South Africa.  When he was a young priest in Johannesburg he was making his way one day over a raised wooden sidewalk over the muddy street.  He came to a narrow spot in the sidewalk and was met by a white man who was a racist.  The white man said, "Get off the sidewalk.  I don't make way for gorillas."  Bishop Tutu got off the sidewalk, gestured broadly, and said, "I do."   

In this case, Tutu didn't fight back, but by God he didn't acquiesce.  He didn't run rather he stood his ground and in this humorous provocative way mirrored back the violence of his aggressor hoping thereby to lure that man into a different spiritual space.  That's turning the other cheek.  - Bishop Barron @BishopBarron 

Peace, Love and Blessings, 

Betsy

 

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Betsy Malone
Betsy Malone

I'm a writer who produces creative content for the mass media. Founder: 3rd Dog Script. Find me on Twitter @BA777one or TradingView betsy247


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