By Desmond A. Birch

(Charlie’s friend and ours, Desmond, who reads and comments here began presenting a series in June of this year which he has been posting on his Facebook page. He’s titled it: SCHEMA ON CAUSES OF CURRENT CRISIS. Now, we’re blessed to present Desmond’s most recent piece in this series for your reading and contemplation. And by all means, pose your questions for Desmond who is ever ready to clarify and further explicate when needed. ~Beckita)


I chose the carved image of the word ‘VERITAS’ (Latin for ‘Truth) for this post, along with the truism that it “is not written in stone” in order to point out the major horror of our age. This Latin word is on the motto’s of some of the oldest colleges and universities in our land (e.g., Harvard) – and in many such institutions in Europe for that matter. Yet, a great majority those places of learning – openly challenge the very idea that there is any such thing as truth. Our children are in large part being brainwashed into this lie in our schools – from the first year in school on up.

HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? I TELL YOU – AND THE LONG LIST OF POPES WE WILL BE LOOKING AT TELL YOU – THE CAUSE IS BAD PHILOSPHY. The false conclusions of that bad philosophy have for over a century permeated our governments, our societies, and in large part filtered down to the common man. As you will see, Pope Leo states this to already be a fact in the year 1879.

Leo XIII was aware of this sad state of affairs even well before his famous ‘vision’ in 1884 wherein he received the understanding that Satan would have a field day on earth for 100 years.

I can safely say this, because in 1879 – five years before that vision – Pope Leo XIII promulgated his famous Encyclical, ‘Eterni Patris’. Therein, Leo sounded the alarm bell in relation to the great damage which had been done to the studies of both philosophy and theology through bad philosophy. His solution was to instruct all Catholic seminaries that they were to now center their studies in the philosophy and theology of St. Thomas Aquinas.


It is really critical for us to understand these points which Leo XIII and virtually every Pope since have made: Bad philosophy had wreaked terrible havoc on mankind. Sound philosophy (sometimes called ‘right reason’) is critically necessary in properly understanding the Word of God and in implementing it in our lives. And finally, for much of human history most of mankind utilized sound philosophy to some degree or another – for the greater good of mankind. I.e., you don’t have to go to university to learn the basic elements of sound philosophy. I.e., the most basic elements of it the average child has learned by the age of reason. Particularly in the West, the average adult has been subjected to so much irrational propaganda that – in an alarming number of cases – the common man is now beginning to wonder if there is any such thing as truth. [If any reader is unaware of this phenomenon – he or she cannot have been getting out much during the last thirty or forty years.]

In the opening passages of his Encyclical, ‘Eterni Patris’, Leo XIII names the central cause of the alarming situation he sees in the civil and religious world around him in 1879. He identifies bad philosophy as the central culprit in that debacle, in culture, science, the Church, etc. He first points out upon the use of sound philosophy depends the very ‘Right Interpretation’ of all other branches of study (sciences). In other words, he makes it clear he is not attacking good or sound philosophy – but rather he is singling out bad philosophy as the central culprit in the ‘modern’ crises. He makes this distinction absolutely clear in the following paragraph:

“Indeed, venerable brethren, on this very subject among others, We briefly admonished you in Our first encyclical letter; but now, both by reason of the gravity of the subject and the condition of the time, WE ARE AGAIN COMPELLED TO SPEAK TO YOU ON THE MODE OF TAKING UP THE STUDY OF PHILOSOPHY WHICH SHALL RESPOND MOST FITLY TO THE EXCELLENCE OF FAITH, AND AT THE SAME TIME BE CONSONANT WITH THE DIGNITY OF HUMAN SCIENCE.”

[DB Note: Here, Leo is telling his readers that he is now going to instruct them on what kind of philosophy most soundly fits Christian Faith and belief – and it is also quite useful for (“consonant with”)the study of the other human sciences (e.g., biology, physics, chemistry, psychology, linguistics, etc.).]

Now, in the 2nd paragraph of ‘Eterni Patris’ – here names bad “schools of philosophy” as the cause of the great public and private evils in the world – which were already horrendous in 1879.]

“2. Whoso turns his attention to the bitter strifes of these days and seeks a reason for the troubles that vex public and private life must come to the conclusion that a fruitful cause of the evils which now afflict, as well as those which threaten us, lies in this: THAT FALSE CONCLUSIONS CONCERNING DIVINE AND HUMAN THINGS, WHICH ORIGINATED IN THE SCHOOLS OF PHILOSOPHY, HAVE NOW CREPT INTO ALL THE ORDERS OF THE STATE, AND HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED BY THE COMMON CONSENT OF THE MASSES. For, since it is in the very nature of man to follow the guide of reason in his actions, if his [man’s] intellect sins at all his will soon follows; and thus it happens that FALSE OPINIONS, WHOSE SEAT IS IN THE UNDERSTANDING, INFLUENCE HUMAN ACTIONS AND PERVERT THEM.”

At this point, I’m compelled to comment that nothing has changed in that regard in the ensuing 141 years. Very frankly, right up to this day, every successive Pope since Leo XIII right up through Pope Saint John Paul II and Benedict XVI have declared more or less similar statements. [We’ll be featuring those of JP II and Benedict XVI when we come to them.]

Now we will see Leo XIII point out that ‘REASON’ itself – which had already been under systematic attack from bad philosophers since the 17th century, that ‘reason’ is absolutely necessary for men and women to make the right decisions in life. That is true as long as it is “right reason” as St. Thomas Aquinas puts it. Leo points out that this is nothing new – that even St. Augustine refers to the necessity of the proper use of reason by men of faith. Leo continues:

“3. Therefore, Divine Providence itself requires that, in calling back the people to the paths of faith and salvation, advantage should be taken of human science also-an approved and wise practice which history testifies was observed by the most illustrious Fathers of the Church. They, indeed, were wont neither to belittle nor undervalue the part that REASON had to play, as is summed up by the great AUGUSTINE when he attributes to this science “THAT BY WHICH THE MOST WHOLESOME FAITH IS BEGOTTEN . . . IS NOURISHED, DEFENDED, AND MADE STRONG.”

For those of you who have never studied philosophy, all of this may sound somewhat puzzling. Why would a Pope in 1879 have to defend the use of reason by human beings? Why, indeed? It is because for centuries prior to Leo’s Papacy, the use of reason itself had been under systematic attack. [One of the most glaring examples of this is the philosopher, Immanuel Kant’s, ‘Critique of Pure Reason’ – published a century earlier in 1781.]

And of course, Leo is gently leading people to understand that attack has had dire consequences in both the world and in the Church. The results of this bad philosophy had been devastating Europe for a century before Leo became Pope. To the mind of a late nineteenth century observer, the horrors of the French Revolution and the predations of Napoleon Bonaparte were still fresh in their minds. The French Revolution was only a century old then, which had butchered tens of thousands of priests, nuns, monks, etc. The French Emperor, Napoleon, had devastated Europe only twenty five years later in his mad desire for power and glory. Men of Leo XIII’s age, their grandfathers were young men during the reign of Napoleon and his wars which devastated Europe. All of that and much more was a direct result of the bad philosophy so prevalent in salons of French and other European nobility and academe. As a result, Satan was having a field day with mankind, which Leo XIII knew all too well.

‘Eterni Patris’ is basically an eight thousand word document. So, I’m having to selectively choose material to make my points. But in doing so, I am not misrepresenting nor over simplifying the meaning or intent of that work.

My purpose is to show you that the Magisterium of the Catholic Church – going right back to the days of the Infant Church – has respected and utilized sound philosophy for a proper understanding of God’s Word, and in the choices involved in the practice of that Word.

So we shall now present the view of Leo XIII on the purpose of sound philosophy and its use in the Church.

Why are we going to such measures to demonstrate the beneficial purpose and usefulness of sound philosophy. As stated earlier, it is primarily because of one central thing. THERE ARE CHRISTIANS OF MANY FLAVORS – INCLUDING CATHOLIC – WHO LAY THE JUSTIFIABLE BLAME OF BAD PHILOSOPHY — ON ALL PHILOSOPHY. The reason for that is quite clear. Bad philosophy has held sway for so long, especially in the West, that such people assume (due to understandable ignorance) that all philosophy is of one bad flavor or another.

There is no shortage of those who will try to tell you that all philosophy and all theology is evil or bad. Quite a number of them have been conditioned even to make the same statements about ‘reason’ itself. We will get into this deeper in the course of the series.

Next we present a thick slice of the Leo’s Eterni Patris, in which he spells out the need and proper use of correct philosophy in comprehending the Word of God. Even so I’m going to have to take a piece from the top of the Encyclical’s #4, and another from the bottom, or this is going to just get too long for one post. Leo writes:

“4. In the first place, philosophy, if rightly made use of by the wise, in a certain way tends to smooth and fortify the road to true faith, and to prepare the souls of its disciples for the fit reception of revelation; for which reason it is well called by ancient writers sometimes a steppingstone to the Christian faith, sometimes the prelude and help of Christianity, sometimes the Gospel teacher. And, assuredly, the God of all goodness, in all that pertains to divine things, has not only manifested by the light of faith those truths which human intelligence could not attain of itself, but others, also, not altogether unattainable by reason, that by the help of divine authority they may be made known to all at once and without any admixture of error. Hence it is that certain truths which were either divinely proposed for belief, or were bound by the closest chains to the doctrine of faith, WERE DISCOVERED BY PAGAN SAGES WITH NOTHING BUT THEIR NATURAL REASON TO GUIDE THEM, were demonstrated and proved by becoming arguments. For, as the Apostle says, the invisible things of Him, from the creation of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made: [Here Leo is referring to St. Paul’s teaching that man can by reason conclude from God’s creation that, there must be a Creator, One God who created this our ordered universe.]

Later in this same paragraph, Pope Leo cites a long list of the early Christian Saints and writers who both defended and utilized philosophy to defend Christian teaching and to defeat pagan arguments used against the Faith. I’m not going to take you through all of the text, but rather will just give you the names he cites from Fathers of the Church who so utilized philosophy. They are, Gregory of NeoCaesarea, Gregory of Nazianzen, Gregory of Nyssa, Basil the Great, Jerome, Quadratus, [a disciple of the Apostles] Aristides, Justin, Irenaeus, Augustine, Cyprian, Lactantius, Victorinum, Optatus, and Hilary.

Leo concludes this description of such men’s defense of Christ and His Church with the following conclusion:

“But if natural reason first sowed this rich field of doctrine before it was rendered fruitful by the power of Christ, [Aristotle and other pagan philosophers who reasoned that there must be a God, and only one] it must assuredly become more prolific after the grace of the Saviour has renewed and added to the native faculties of the human mind. AND WHO DOES NOT SEE THAT A PLAIN AND EASY ROAD IS OPENED UP TO FAITH BY SUCH A METHOD OF PHILOSOPHIC STUDY?”

Brothers and sisters, these teachings of Pope Leo XIII about the positive role of philosophy were not new with him. He simply restated what the Church has known since Her infancy. We must close this post here.

In the next one, we will look at what Leo laid out for the Church as the best of the best in masters of both philosophy and theology, St. Thomas Aquinas. Then he proceeded to require all the Catholic seminaries to anchor their teachings in the philosophy and theology of Thomas.

All my love in Christ


104 thoughts on “POPE LEO XIII (1878 -1903) – ON THE NEED FOR SOUND PHILOSOPHY

  1. Fantastic stuff, Dez. Thank you so much! This gives us a great deal to ponder when we consider the magnitude of what it will take to rebuild and renew our Church and culture. By God’s Grace and the best efforts of many, it WILL come to pass in a Renaissance to behold!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thank you so much, Desmond. Can we name a “pet peeve” philosopher? My pet peeve philosopher is Jean Jacques Rousseau, whose “philosophy” I think fully brought back paganism as an acceptable “reality.” Here’s what Wikipedia, that hotbed of bad philosophy’s effects, says about Rousseau: “a Genevan philosopher, writer and composer. His political philosophy influenced the progress of the Enlightenment throughout Europe, as well as aspects of the French Revolution and the development of modern political, economic and educational thought. [Eye-roll] Spare me, please.

    Anyone who seriously looks at the world and separates the good from the bad will see that those changes that led to good outcomes in the Western World, true advances for the human race, sprang from the Judeo-Christian tradition in general and the Catholic Tradition in particular. Right reason would say to stick with what really works, but alas, Rousseau and so many others have poisoned our understanding of the world and poisoned the Church with their followers.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Steve, you have asked a quite difficult question here: “Can we nae a ‘pet peeve’ philosopher”.

      That question rather reminds me of something which occurs more often that one might imagine. When I have visitors of religious persuasion, often I meet with in my study/library. Therein are somewhere above two thousand volumes. Every so often, one of them will ask mw, ‘What is your favorite book?’

      Usually I wind up giving them some vapid look for an instant – like a deer caught in my card headlights – you know, that blank stare.  Then I usually ask them – ‘My favorite for what purpose?’

      How could I possibly choose without them telling me what purpose they have in mind? If it is for daily prayer, it would probably be my breviary. If it were for ‘Lectio Divina’ – then obviously the bible. It I will to study the theology of God and His Creation, it would most of the time be, ‘On the Power of God’ by St. Thomas Aquinas. If it were for enjoyable reading in cosmology, then probably one of the works by St. Bonaventure. If it is for spiritual growth and Development – then often my first choice would be one of the spiritual works of St. Bernard of Clairvaux. If it were on the very simple truths-basics of theology, it might be some of the writings of St. Gregory the Theologian, etc. If on the Mystical Writers. I would again have Catherine of Sienna near the top of the list, accompanied perhaps by St. Hildegard of Bingen, or Theresa of Avilla, or again by Bernard.

      But if you ask me to pick one from amongst the philosophers, I’m afraid I would again come up with some kind of ‘The Usual Suspects’.  How would I pick them. The most dangerous in the course of time, the one(s) doing the most damage today, the one or two or thee who did the most to suppress the study of Metaphysics, the worst relativist, the most depressing, the most boring. 

      Rousseau would definitely fit on that list of suspects somewhere – which would probably include Rene Descarte (the publicly named favorite of both JP II and Benedict XVI). Immanuel Kant with his attack on ‘Critique of’ pure reason, or Locke or Hume. Further down would come William of Occam. It would take too long for me right now to comprise a whole list of suspects, and once started how would I keep it under two or three dozen?

      But I have no problem with your personal selection. 

      All my love in Christ


      Liked by 5 people

      1. Desmond, I’m laughing. You are way overthinking their question. They’re asking you what you *like* not what you think is the best book for a purpose. They’re wondering what you like to curl up with and read just for the sheer pleasure of it. If someone asked what was my favorite movie, I would never *think* to respond by saying, do you mean in science fiction or romance or for learning something? They’re asking what I *like*. I’d say my favorite movie is LOTR with Shakespeare in Love the closest runner-up. You can then ask me why I like them and you will learn something about me by my answer.

        When I say “pet peeve” philosopher, I’m not saying the worst philosopher or the most damaging philosopher, but rather the one that I *like* the least, the one that disgusts me emotionally as well as being intellectually disgraceful. The Left looooves JJR and so do a lot of New Agers that are being “adventuresome” – Noble Savages all, doncha know. He’s the philosopher of intellectual laziness as well as paganism, of liberal smarminess and other annoying aspects of the wasteland of modern liberal/leftist thinking (such as it is).

        After reading a number of European philosophers back in the 1970s and 1980s looking for something real, I just tossed them all out. All you name are bad, but JJR appalls me and how he is used by the intellectually lazy in our modern world assaults my sense of life’s meaning and quality.

        So I do have to ask, what *is* your favorite book out of those 2,000 books on your shelves? Meaning, of all those books, if you had totally free time to curl up with that book before a fire and read just for the pleasure of the read. Meaning not just that you consider “popular” books that you enjoy for fun but which of all your books satisfies you at the core of your being, is a pleasure to read because its crystalline structure, its beautiful language, its flowing development of its point, and its ultimate message come together in a kind of perfection in your mind and heart, like a jewel of many perfect facets, to give you artistic and intellectual and emotional satisfaction. A book you would save from a fire if you could save just one, because it is so much a part of *you*. A book you admire not just for its purpose but for itself, a book that *has* a purpose as part of its perfection but which you love also because as a whole it *is* beautiful to your eyes and heart.

        These people may be asking you in order to get a recommendation for what they should read next or someday, but it is also an attempt to know *you* more deeply. You give it back to them in spades, so they get their answer, but it isn’t quite in the way they were looking for. 😀

        Now answer my question, Desmond. I think if you treat the question seriously, you might find that you have a treasure in that set of 2,000 books that you really hadn’t understood before as a jewel to your heart.

        “Standing there and looking through all those books on a dark, rainy day, with firelight to help him scan the titles slowly, remembering each in turn, which one identifies itself to him by gleaming gently back to his eyes? “That one,” he says, in a whisper of recognition…”

        Liked by 2 people

        1. I love this, Steve, for it perfectly reflects my visceral repulsion at Jean-Jacques Rousseau. I was astonished by him when I first read him in college. I wondered how anyone could possibly have ever taken him seriously. It utterly mystified me. A couple of years ago, I read him again, just to see if I missed something when I was still just a teen. I found myself wishing one of my old college mates saw me reading him anew – and wishing they would ask me if I was re-thinking my opinion of him. Then I could respond, “No, just keeping my disgust and horror fresh.”

          Liked by 2 people

        2. Steve, I tried to answer this yesterday, but it must have disappeared into the black hold in calcutta. Today I return again to work with my son-in-law in moving their things from storage into a house they bought – but must remodel. That is why it took till yesterday to make the first try at answering about, ‘my favorite book’. I have thought about it a lot – and about whether I have a favorite movie. So I willgive you my best answer about both.

          I don’t even have one favorite movie. I can assure you of this. BUT, I have a favorite comedy movie, ‘A Christmas Story’.
          My favorite drama Movies are ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ &, ‘Ben Hur’ (the color movie with Charlton Heston).
          Favorite Historical/action movie, ‘How the West Was Won’ with Debbie Reynolds and Gregory Peck.

          My favorite Science Fiction (favorite ‘curl up’ with book is a three volume set by C.S. Lewis’;, “A Space Trilogy’ [‘Out of the a Distant Planet’, ‘Perelandra’, ‘That Hideous Strength’].

          My favorite mystical contemplation book is the Quadrilogy on Solomon’, ‘Song of Songs’ (parts 1-4) by St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

          My favorite speculative theology book is, ‘On The Power of God’. by St. Thomas Aquinas.

          I hope that helps.

          All my love in Christ

          p.s. Now I shall make another attempt to actually post an answer.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Ha, Desmond! I kinda sandbagged you unfairly on that one, trying to force you to find “just one” favorite, as if it is possible to eat just one potato chip, as the ad used to say. I think you’ve sidestepped my bag rather nicely. Thank you. I actually think a lot of people here, and certainly myself, will take these recommendations seriously. I’ve already added the latter two to my reading list and re-added the C.S. Lewis books which I read when I was about 20 and could do with a reread, now that I am older, if not wiser. 😀

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Dear Mr. Sand Bag,

              “SIDESTEPPED (your) BAG”?
              Can you imagine my distress upon discovering that you thought me to be less innocent than Little Bo Peep, more ‘street smart’ than Casper Milktoast, more courageous than the cowardly lion (meeow). I stand crushed before your cruel suggestion that I would even recognize a ‘sandbag’.

              My response to a quiry with, or without ‘sandbag’ would have been the same. In all honesty, I could have added a list of many dozens of books which I would or could equally choose to read while cozied up before the fire with a cup of hot chocolate. IT ALL TRULY DEPENDS UPON THE MOOD I’M IN WHEN I ‘CURL’.

              So, in a form of demonstration of this principle, I should add the names of volumes I hold in equal favor for ‘curly’ reading. [That generally applies to books I’ve loved enough to read two or three times ofsmore.

              a. ‘THE LOVE OF LEARNING AND THE DESIRE FOR GOD, A Study of Monastic Culture’, by Jean Leclercq, O.S.B., Abbot, Fordham University Press.
              IF YOU ARE FOR SOME INANE REASON INTERESTED IN WHAT HAS MADE DESMOND TICK ALL HIS LIFE – READ THIS BOOK. It’s philosophy of life is that within which I was raised by my father and uncle, (Fr) Joseph Birch, and only expanded upon under the influence of the Benedictines and later by a few Old School Jesuits.]
              First published in French in 1957 when I was in high school, LeClercq came to world fame during my freshman year at a Benedictine College in 1959.
              b. St. Thomas More’s, ‘A Dialogue of Comfort Against Tribulation’. He wrote this while he was unjustly imprisoned in the Tower of London, awaiting his Kangaroo Court’fake’ Trial which resulted in his murder/beheading by the English King, Henry VIII.
              c. The various works of St. Augustine – especially his ‘Confessions’ and ‘On Christian Doctrine’.
              d. Any of the works of St. Bonaventure, the greatest Franciscan theologian of all time. His ‘Collations on the Six Days’ is a great read, as is his ‘Breviloquium’, or his ‘Defemse of the Mendicants’.
              e. Then there is St. Anselm’s ‘Cur Deus Homo’ [‘Why God became Man’]
              f. Any of the works of Theresa of Avila.
              g. At least a couple of hundred more titles/autors.

              I could honestly go on for hours listing books which I on occasion pull out for a curled up read. I really could. How do I know? Because this is an exercise I have engaged in on a number of Sundays after Mass – when I’m looking for an inspiring yet comfy read. What do I do then? I go through my library till I find a general subject of interest to me which makes me stop and go, ‘yeah’. Then I start roaming through the books in that section, could be in volumes of lives of the saints (an entire large bookcase), or history (an entire book case), or, books/commentaries or guides to the Scripture, Liturgy (half a book case each), general reference texts (almost a bookcase), section on the history of development of doctrine, the section on the works [variously in English and Latin] of Thomas Aquinas, an entire book case+ of the works of the Church Fathers, sections on Philosophy and Theology, the section on Music – secular and Liturgical, sections on Latin and Greek languages, etc. I’m quitting only because I’ve run out of gas to continue – and I must get over to help the kids move into their new house.

              All my love in Christ


              Liked by 1 person

              1. HaHaHa, Dez! Love your reply, for both aspects, very funny and very worthwhile advice, until of course it gets into the “thousands of books” range, thus exceeding by two or three titles my current prospective reading list for my *next* 69 years of reading life! 😀

                Liked by 1 person

  3. As for Napoleon Bonaparte, as an immigrant from Poland I kind of disagree here. At that time, Poland disappeared from the world map after being invaded and divided by its three neighboring countries (kind of the same story repeated in 20th century with Hitler and Stalin invading and dividing Poland).In case of Poland, and this is taught in history classes in Poland, Napoleon was a positive figure,a liberator, although only just a part of Poland known as Duchy of Warsaw was restored (not for long since Bonaparte was defeated in 1815….). Napoleon is also in the lyrics of the anthem of Poland.

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    1. I am reading Fr Walter Ciscek SJ’s book “With God in Russia”. He was a Polish American from I believe upstate New York. It tells the tale of his experience doing 15 years of hard labor in the Soviet Union’s Siberian prison camps from 1943 to 1958.

      After studying in Rome for awhile he volunteered to go to Poland to work as a parish priest. He had a life long calling to ‘Go to Russia”. When WWII broke out and the Russians invaded Poland he saw his opportunity to get into Russia by “volunteering” to go to Russia to support the war industry in in a volunteer labor battalion.

      He was scooped up in short order and condemned as a “Vatican Spy”.

      Now what is interesting about the book to me is the insight it gives to life under Communism.

      If we want to see our future under President Harris and Congress controlled by Democrats in both chambers then this book surely provides it.

      Just a couple of things we can expect:

      1. Interrogations. Most everybody in America can expect to be Interrogated by bureaucrats at some time or another. A part of daily life. “Just to update our files on you.”

      2. Registrations. We will have to register everything. Not just guns but our homes. Who lives in our homes.

      3. Permits. Permits will be required for everything under the sun. Work permits. Travel permits. Permits, permits, permits.

      4. Ministry of Internal Affairs. MVD. We haven’t had anything like that but we will in Communist America. Offices in every county seat. That’s where your file will be maintained.

      5. Suppression/oppression of organized religion, especially the Catholic Church. In the face of Constitutional right to Freedom of Religion. You can practice it at home but you can’t proselytize it in public to others.

      6. Takeover of Catholic Church property for State use. My guess by foreclosure due to crushing taxes. Forcing of the Church underground. Imprisonment of priests and religious for being “agitators” by bringing the sacraments to the people.

      Oh, it’s not going to be good under the President Harris administration.

      My pet peeve philosophy? Marxism. What a pile of hooey. You can just ask the Poles.

      Liked by 3 people

      1. All good observations, Ed. I rather think this is how it “would” be rather than how it “will” be under a B-H administration. I’m holding on and joining my prayers with everyone from exorcists to the childlike faithful whose pleadings are rising like incense, day and night, that Truth and Justice prevail in revealing the pervasive election fraud that just occurred. I DO believe Trump and company saw this coming and I’m amazed at the thousands of ordinary Americans who are doing their part to speak as eyewitnesses to the attempted steal of this election. May all the prayers, including the prayer of doing the work of bringing light into darkness, result in Truth prevailing.

        Liked by 8 people

      2. If you haven’t read his “He Leadeth Me” book, I would encourage you to do so. It is his personal account of the suffering he endured and his faith journey while in prison. I was thinking about him the other day. After a long time of suffering and interrogations in solitary confinement he came to the realization that just because you have learned a lesson doesn’t mean the practicing of it is over. He spent the next 10 or 15 years in the gulag. It has been decades since I have read his book so the specifics are fuzzy. There are attempts to make him a saint.
        I have the great pleasure of having a few personal letters from him. It might be time to go back and reread them.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. We have a copy of “He Leadeth Me”. My wife sys I am going to love it. But my next book is going to be “With God in America”. Unfortunately, I am a pretty slow reader.

          Liked by 3 people

      3. We need to take a stand. Let’s begin by live streaming the Trump March tomorrow morning in DC. You can live stream via http://www.trunews.com they have sent reporters there. If you go to http://www.trumpmarch.com there is an impressive the list of speakers; looks to be a big event, hopefully. Of course a media blackout unless to blame covid spread or accuse concerned patriots of being basket of deplorables and white supremacists, anti-maskers, etc.
        Look, we need to hold the majority of Bishops, Cardinals, Pope, and priests accountable. All silent FOR YEARS publicly while homosexuality, abortion, pedophilia in our faces and nothing, but quick to publicly congratulate Biden! No more money to the Catholic Church, no more, this can’t be allowed to go on. Their true colors shown over and over again. Look at their fruit.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. ST Ed, I don’t want to freak anyone out, but, some of the items on your list are already happening to us:
        1 Interrogations: One kiddo works for a 3rd party gov contractor and gets this every.day at work. They demand to know the household’s comings/goings, medical records, demand tests be done according to their judgement, etc. (he complies to the minimum) Our parish priest has sign-up lists and scans everyone’s temp to enter into mass. (we try to not go there much). Every time I bring a kid or myself to the doctor/dentist we get interrogated. The standard answers are “no” regardless. Sometimes I mess with them and say “yes” (have you been out of state?) since we live on the border of 2 states. Critical thinking is a challenge, so we’ve found its a mercy to just say no.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have to laugh, Little Light because they are all relying on our personal integrity to tell the truth. As we relied on the personal integrity of the ballot counters, I wonder? In any case I had a covid test the beginning of Oct. Went to a bridal shower with lots of yapping at our table of 10 sans masks. The next day, a Monday, I had a fever so I called the doc and she arranged for a covid test. Took 3 days. On the third day the fever broke and I noticed a red streak from my ankle to my knee. Ahh! a very advanced cellulitis infection caused by a cut on my toe. (The cut was at least 2 weeks old and was not healing.) The day I found out my Covid test was negative, I called for a doctor’s appointment. I know cellulitis from a hospitalization of my husband and the only way to get rid of it is with antibiotics. I concluded the fever was not Covid but an infection needing immediate confirmation by my primary doctor. Ahhh! but not so fast. Got a temp check in the vestibule of Doctor building by a nurse. No fever. Went into the large waiting room which was empty. Hmmmm?? Where is everyone? I waited and then the doc’s nurse came out to me and scolded me for being there less than 48 hours AFTER my fever broke. “I had a fever because I have an bad infection in my leg.” I said. She (all of about 22 years old) repeated my scolding. That got my Irish up! “Look”, I said as I pulled my pant leg up, I have a severe cellulitis infection, I need antibiotics. It can’t wait.” So I’m wondering if I still had had a fever, I guess I wouldn’t be allowed in. It use to be when you had a fever, you go to the doctor. I broke all kinds of protocols, but the doc saw me and prescribed 2 meds, one of which was a heavy duty antibiotic. AND I STILL HAVE NOT CONTACTED THE WUHAN VIRUS.

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Thanks for asking. I’m ok. You should’ve seen the doctor when she came in to see me. She had glasses on covered by goggles, mask over nose & mouth and a plexiglass shield over all of it.


              1. I’m glad you are getting better. Cellulitis can be very serious.

                I have a bunch of kiddos. One had surgery. There have been many doctor and dentist appts since The Fear commenced. So I hear you. It’s hard to believe the world will ever return to some semblance of normalcy.

                Liked by 1 person

      5. I would add especially the takeover of home teaching (probably make it illegal) and private religious schools except Islamic ones ( because they fear them). Cant have them teaching contrary to atheism aka relativism aka the state.

        Liked by 2 people

    2. Pavel, I understand where you are coming from. It may have been a partial gain for Poland. Where I’m coming from in the article is what the effect of Napoleon was on most of the balance of Europe – and how he affected the course of Christian civilization in general.

      ‘For openers’, let’s take his effect upon Christian civilization. As our first example, we have the following historical account to consider:

      “Between the hours of 2 and 3 on the morning of July 6, 1809, French troops under the orders of Napoleon Bonaparte scaled the walls of the gardens of the Quirinal Palace in Rome and penetrated into the part of the palace occupied by papal servants. After an hour of violent skirmishes with the Swiss guards, they arrested Pope Pius VII, spiriting him away in the night to Savona, near Genoa. He would not return to Rome for another five years.

      The kidnapping was the climax of the combative relationship between the global leader of the Catholic Church and the brash Emperor. From the beginning of Pius VII’s papacy in 1800 to the fall of Napoleon in 1815, the two men were continually at loggerheads, with the French military leader regularly infuriated by the pope’s refusal to meet his demands.
      But it wasn’t the first time such a thing had happened: in 1796, during the French Revolutionary Wars, Napoleon’s troops had invaded Rome and taken the previous pontiff, Pope Pius VI, as prisoner to France, where he died in 1799. The following year, after the papal seat sat vacant for six months, cardinal Chiaramonti was elected to the papacy, taking the name Pius VII. But because the French had seized the papal tiaras when they had arrested Pius VI, the new pope was crowned on 21 March 1800 with a papier-mâché tiara.”
      There was a long history preceding all of this. Napoleon did everything in his power to harm the Catholic Church. While the Pope was in prison, Napoleon visited him and bragged to him, “I will destroy the Catholic Church.” The Pope’s reply was reported that, he doubted that Napoleon would succeed where so many Cardinals had failed.
      Paval entire books have been written on the history of Napoleon’s hatred of and persecution of the Church – wherever and whenever he thought he could.
      The massive numbers of human beings who unnecessarily died in the course of his military campaigns, and the cruel starvation and persecution of peoples who would not just willingly submit to his tyrannical rule is another subject quite beyond the scope of this article we are discussing.
      In any case from Sardinia to Russia – the vast majority of Europeans in countries he unjustifiably attacked – they despised Napoleon. It was so bad that, the Catholic citizens of those countries commonly wondered if he was the Antichrist. That is another historical fact.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Aquinas, I agree with a bigger picture, however, when you look at Poland, which at that time was being annihilated by some “mostly peaceful” European countries (Russia, Prussia aka Germany and Austria), Poland which was a stronghold of Catholicism for a few centuries and which officially had Mary as the Queen since mid XVII century, one might get wondering if perhaps God sometimes uses certain individuals to straighten things out. Also, I can’t imagine we had Bonaparte in the anthem of Poland if he was clearly among the ranks of Hitler or Stalin. I have never heard Catholic Church in Poland or anyone actually bring this issue up.


        1. Sorry, I didn’t respond earlier. I’ve been very occupied with helping one of our daughters and family move from Arizona to Colorado. The things written above are common knowledge these days to anyone who seriously studies the life and period of Napoleon Bonaparte. His kidnapping and brutalizing of two Popes who wouldn’t bow to his wishes is a commonplace in history texts of the period. There is no question this happened. His ‘rape’ of the Russian countryside is legendary. Yes, Russia dominated Poland as she did Ukraine. The history of Russia is one of pillage and domination of neighboring states of which Poland is one. That doesn’t change the fact of how his policies devastated the males of an entire generation of Frenchmen – who were ‘drafted’ into the French army. [Napoleon was the first to introduce general conscription into the military]. The estimates are that Napoleon’s Russian Campaign took the lives of between 570,000–630,000 French soldiers, and between 350,000 – 410,000 Russian lives. This doesn’t begin to cover all the civilian casualties all over Europe due to his other predations.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. As a psychologist, an old one at that, my perspective about what ails Western society in general and the USA in particular is not bad philosophy, but instead the lack of philosophy, sheer ignorance of the history of events (such as a truthfully portrayed American history) and lack of interest in morality as an essential guide for a virtuous life — coupled with unbridled hedonism, such as was accelerated by the pill for birth control. When I used to watch Fox tv, they would do street interviews of folks ranging from children to adults, and I was surprised at the sheer ignorance of both history and current affairs, such as the treachery of Socialism and Communism. Folks were seen simply to be busy living out their day to day needs and wants, little impeded by any reflection on ethics and morality, or how our culture has become predominantly amoral. Basically, anything goes if able to slip by unnoticed (such as Hunter and Joe Biden making treasonous deals with foreign nations). What years ago had been exaggerations about Big Brother as portrayed in 1984 have become the norm, aided by the tech giants of Twitter, Facebook, and google.

    Intelligent, educated, thoughtful individuals live in a world of ideas, and are motivated to live a noble life. But the average Joe today is ignorant about the history of civilization and its evil, failed ideas (such as Communism) and mindlessly just goes about living a vapid life. My old age has left me truly cynical about our Western culture’s drift into amorality.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Jack,
      Yet, JPll remarks about how the “everyday life” the majority live, when lived properly, brings salvation.
      “God comes to us in the things we know best and can verify most easily, the things of our everyday life, apart from which we cannot understand ourselves.”
      In the “deep state” arena, the average Joe has no clue. With this unveiling going on we are being shown, not just political and religious shenanigans, but where we stand as individuals and a line is being drawn in our hearts.
      Full quote:
      “For the People of God, therefore, history becomes a path to be followed to the end, so that by the unceasing action of the Holy Spirit (cf. Jn 16:13) the contents of revealed truth may find their full expression. This is the teaching of the Constitution Dei Verbum when it states that “as the centuries succeed one another, the Church constantly progresses towards the fullness of divine truth, until the words of God reach their complete fulfilment in her”. History therefore becomes the arena where we see what God does for humanity. God comes to us in the things we know best and can verify most easily, the things of our everyday life, apart from which we cannot understand ourselves.”
      St. John Paul II
      Encyclical Fides et Ratio: On the Relationships Between Faith and Reason.

      Liked by 5 people

    2. Jack,

      I totally agree with your post. I have experienced that when most people are given an opportunity to truly assess the trends and existing culture they live in, there is a total lack of belief, understanding, or even concern. As you said they just do not want to hear about it. I think that for this topic and many others, unless someone is personally and currently being negatively affected by it, they will go on their merry way. It is someone else’s problem. As they say “ignorance is bliss”.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We took God out of our public schools, and God was never in our colleges and universities, so that left formalized inculcation of morality in our culture to our churches. But to avoid taxation and political controversy, our churches, even the RCC, have generally steadfastly avoided dealing with moral issues– even baby murder when the Democrat Party makes keeping Roe v Wade’s permission for abortion a high priority.

        So, where is the average person getting information and education on morality. Well, they get that from Mom if they have a good one (like Dr. Ben Carson), and the conscience God gives us at birth. But the hedonism natural for living in our bodies apparently makes the conscience hard to notice in Western society. Islam, by contrast, achieves making its version of morality, and its recognition of a stern God that created and governs the world, an ever-present consideration for behavior.

        We need for our churches to become effectively politically relevant! However, I do not expect to see that happen any time soon.


  5. …”Yet, a great majority those places of learning – openly challenge the very idea that there is any such thing as truth. Our children are in large part being brainwashed into this lie in our schools – from the first year in school on up.

    HOW DID THAT HAPPEN? I TELL YOU – AND THE LONG LIST OF POPES WE WILL BE LOOKING AT TELL YOU – THE CAUSE IS BAD PHILOSPHY. The false conclusions of that bad philosophy have for over a century permeated our governments, our societies, and in large part filtered down to the common man. ”

    Yes! Yes! yes!

    Dr. Anthony Rizzi, the author of The Science before Science, https://iapweb.org/education.htm
    has said: “We need real philosophy, the real science of the first principles of things; we need its wisdom. Techniques and mathematical tools and descriptions that masquerade as philosophy but at best are only tools of philosophy will not do. Yet, the eclipse of philosophic sensitivity is so complete that many scientists think that addressing purely philosophic questions is just an extension of their scientific knowledge with no special effort or study required.”

    Liked by 4 people

  6. And a remedy given to alleviate the delusion…
    “People must recite the Rosary every day. Our Lady repeated this in all her apparitions, as if to arm us in advance against these times of diabolical disorientation, so that we would not let ourselves be fooled by false doctrines, and that through prayer, the elevation of our soul to God would not be diminished…. This is a diabolical disorientation invading the world and misleading souls! It is necessary to stand up to it… “(—Sister Lucy, to her friend Dona Maria Teresa da Cunha).

    Liked by 10 people

  7. I am in the camp, Philosophy is bad and too much brain power is spent on useless talk. There is a saying in nY, everything I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11/01. Same holds with Philosophy… everything I need to know about Philosophy, I heard from a Jesuit.

    I do understand and believe Pope Leo 13th vision of the 100 years of the Devil’s influence. We are living it. Hence, the Black Robes aka Pope’s Men were corrupted.

    So, hindsight a need does exist for correct and proper thought. Especially if the current trend of removing Priests, to whom should we turn. Sound philosophy amongst bretheran would us evangalizing others… particulary Islam.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. PS:
    It’s ALL about Big Bro Control ….. and RECALL how Beep Blue States have gone out of their way to TARGET Churches, Synagogues, Private Schools… Bars/Restaurants where people gather and discuss current events …. any venue that may find those who oppose THE AGENDA!!


    I don’t have the time/inclination to become involved in philosophical debates but appreciate Desmond and his research. I’m more of a “Give me the info in short Bullet-Points” kinda Guy.
    Any Philosophy that rejects God, His Precepts, and places Man on top of the heap has shown poorly through History …. whatever the “Philosophy” calls itself.
    Don’t get yourself wrapped around the axle …. and “These-Days” Ya might want to go with the Best Bullet-Point of All Time:
    Jesus, I Trust in You! 😉


    Liked by 6 people

    1. Ha ha, Crewdog. i felt like I walked into the wrong college class. I read it. To me the gist was, there is good philosophy and bad philosophy-too much bad is in the church and society. In a nutshell. Made me want to retreat even more.
      I love that there are people who ponder this, I really do. And, I am thankfully for them. Makes my head swirl. I’ll stick to hauling, chopping wood-literallly.

      Liked by 4 people


        There are more than bullets involved here.

        There is primary reason to understand the Popes over the last 140 years have repeatedly taught us is the reason that evil has had opportunity to take such hold over our world – bad philosophy. So far, so good. That bad philosophy has led to a world which largely thinks that everything is relative. That has led to the believe that there is no truth, no right, no wrong — in a world Moral Relativism.

        We may not understand all the ins and outs of the problem – but till we at least understand its basics – we are helpless to be involved in any realistic way in its solution.

        So we’ll put the following in ‘bullet’ form: (smiley face)

        1. Till we understand the cause of a problem, we are more or less helpless to know what we are supposed to do about it. And yes, there is no excuse in God’s eyes for us to ignore a major problem once we know of its existence.

        2. Even as ordinary laymen – we can at least pray for the solution to a problem which we cannot personally solve. But we have to have some basic understanding first of what it is.

        3. Who says so? Why? Jesus and His Church say so.

        4. Where? In Scripture and the Catechism.

        5. SCRIPTURE: 1 Peter, 3:15.
        “Always be prepared to make a defense to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you, yet do it with gentleness and reverence;” [DB Note: Just for the record, that is what I’m trying to do right here.]

        6. THE CATECHISM teaches us that once we are baptized, we are obliged (once we reach the age of reason) to both teach and defend the faith. As adults, that obligation to prepare ourselves becomes “even more absolute”. Here is the Catechism on this”

        Paragraph 1285, CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Para
        1285 For “by the sacrament of Confirmation, [the baptized] are more perfectly bound to the Church and are enriched with a special of the Holy Spirit. HENCE THEY ARE, AS TRUE WITNESSES OF CHRIST, MORE STRICTLY OBLIGED TO SPREAD THE WORD AND DEFEND THE FAITH BY WORD AND DEED.”

        When we put #’s 6 and 7 above together, we have the Church’s teaching on what we/you are obliged to do in preparing to answer anyone’s question about the “Hope that is in us”, AND to teach and defend the faith.

        According to the Popes of the last 140 years – when they assess the evil which permeates the world – they say the root problem is bad philosophy. They give us clearly understood text on this. They give us a multitude of examples to demonstrate the truth of what they have taught us on this subject.

        Jesus doesn’t demand that I be able to deliver a lecture on this to a class of seminarians in order to meet my obligation as a true witness of Christ in this regard.

        As Charlie and many others here have repeatedly observed, in what is coming there will be a myriad of people who do not know which way to turn, what to do, what to think about the chaos around them — and its causes.

        What are you going to tell them when they ask you – and at that point your salvation might depend upon whether or not you cared enough to put out the effort to learn enough to give a reasonably competent adult level answer. [“People became evil” level of answers – are such going to meet the obligation the Christ and his Church have laid on us all???


        That is why at the age of almost 80 years, I still pray and study on this every day. It is not out of fear of God’s judgment if I don’t. It is out of the love he has placed in my heart for my fellow man. I do not want any of them to despair of hope because I was either to preoccupied or to mentally lazy to prepare myself as Scripture and Tradition tell me I must. And I don’t claim to be perfect at this. Not by a jug full. I strongly suspect I may be called to account for perhaps too many hours I spent in personal entertainment – when I should have been praying for guidance and growth – and working at further preparing myself.

        All my love in Christ

        p.s. There are bullets here, but more, there is God’s food for thought which comes from Him to all of us.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. My husband once said to me: “The most awfullest judge of you is in the mirror. Stop looking in the mirror.”

          I think all of us here have rejected moral relativism to the best of our ability and tried to show the world that message by our lives. For many of us, it isn’t going so well—- OR at least that we can “see” We must keep squirrelin’ on and try harder. What other choice is there?

          God Bless you! You are a Mighty sign of Hope!

          Liked by 1 person

          Thank you for the reminder. God bless you for what you are doing here.
          I had to take four classes in philosophy to graduate and just couldn’t wrap my head around it. ( I really don’t know how I passed them.) I finally started to “get it” when I came to Nietzsche. I was blessed to find a professor who knew how to make it more than just a class to attend–somehow, he actually made it interesting. You take it further for me because, in my lifetime of experience, I can actually see the effects of bad philosophy, which I couldn’t understand back in college.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Thank you. Please don’t feel like that ‘lone Rangeress’ here. In over half a century since I finished university, I’ve found myself rereading many of the texts we had to go through rather quickly in school. I’ve discovered many many insights which I missed on the first trip around the track back in the 50’s and 60’s. Understanding – like a good wine – often takes significant time to mature. 🙂

            Liked by 3 people

            1. Aquinas41: Somewhere along the line of information I remember reading about the rediscovery of Plato and Aristotle after the Dark Ages. It was because of Irish monks writing, rewriting and preserving ancient documents in vast forgotten libraries. I wonder if we are entering a new Dark Age but this one with vast scientific knowledge that will be politically manipulated. Science, we have seen, can be made political ie climate change (thousands of scientists don’t agree and have been silenced) and hydroxycholoquine/zinc/azithromycin (and yes there are doctors prescribing it early on as a therapy for covid). I read Ayn Rand in high school. I got the freedom of the individual but remember thinking, the philosophy of Ayn Rand seemed so empty. Point is that atheism is empty, cold and earth bound. Christ philosophy was missing. The same bad philosophy says a living, breathing pre born baby can be slaughtered, a born baby can be left to die, you can make up your gender and this one isn’t new, a philosophy cannot be argued and if you try, we can condemn you, punch you in the face, show up at your home and scream at you, try to reeducate you and, if not, throw you in concentration camps and maybe even death camps. Wait…didn’t we just go through this? It hasn’t even been 100 years.

              Liked by 1 person

        3. I like this one too:
          For this is what the Lord has commanded us:
          “I have made you a light for the Gentiles,
          that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.”

          There’s a lot right there, packed in that short verse.

          Liked by 3 people

      2. HTTP, you beat me, LOL. I started to read it and my eyes glazed-over. There was a time in my life, when things were less wild/chaotic when I could focus and kid myself I could understand such writings, Hah.


        1. There is wisdom in what you said here. I find myself facing the same problem ‘eyes glazing over’, whenever I have not spent sufficient time and effort in prayer prior to trying to understand what I am reading. When I find that happening to me – sometimes I’m tempted to curse the darkness of my intellect instead of lighting a candle. I light the candle when I pray deeper and harder to the Holy Spirit for the gift of understanding – in the spirit that I recognize I’m a dummy – and that I will only understand it if the the Holy Spirit intervenes.

          Liked by 5 people

      3. HTTP, your first sentence made me laugh, because it took me back to those college classes, sooo many years ago. Desmond, this is awesome and I agree as much as my brain lets me follow your essay. I value the requirement my alma mater had for a philosophy minor, because it was then a fully Catholic college. We started with logic and Aristotle, etc. The reason I value those studies is not that my tired old brain remembers it all, but that the foundation has remained and still molds the way I think. Thank God those wonderful, cloistered nuns had not abandoned their habits and gone out into the world yet.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Dear Annie, As you may possibly have guessed, I’m essentially a Thomist, an Aristotelian Thomist perhaps. Last year at this time [my final semester of teaching seminarians as my health, my MD, and my wife conspired to force me to retire] one of the courses I was teaching was Thomas’ Commentary on the Aristotle’s, ‘Nicomachean Ethics’. The readings were all in Thomas’ Latin text. So, yes, I’m fairly traditional in my philosophy and theology.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Reminds me of Latin I, II and III taught at my son’s high school by Dr. Henry Bender. “How much guts do you have, Michael?”, he asked him. Dr. Bender, a marvelous classics professor, taught all things Roman and Greek, conducted European trips everywhere but specifically to Italy and Sicily with 30 to 40 teen boys in tow. Latin trained their brains.


    2. “Don’t get yourself wrapped around the axle …. and “These-Days” Ya might want to go with the Best Bullet-Point of All Time:
      Jesus, I Trust in You! 😉”

      Love it, CrewDog!

      Liked by 3 people

      1. Yes, and philosophy at its best, at its fullest, is understood in tandem with God’s Revelation. St. Thomas Aquinas married natural philosophy with God’s supernatural Revelation. I have found that only within that context do I find fullest understanding. E.g., Proverbs 8:12, “I, wisdom, dwell in prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.”

        Liked by 3 people

  9. Worldview: Short List of Seven Life-Changing Questions
    Who Am I Questions
    1. Where do I come from? (What’s my origin?)
    2. Where am I going? (What happens after I die?)
    3. Why am I here? What’s the meaning and purpose of my life? (CCC 1 -2)
    How Do I Know Questions
    4. What is truth?
    5. How do I know right from wrong? What’s my compass for moral decision-making?
    Redemption Questions
    6. What’s wrong with the world and what’s the solution?
    7. What’s really happening in our world?

    Steve Wood, the Catholic apologist, a bit back had a series on having a Christian, Catholic world view and he came up with the above ?? which Catholics, vs non believers should be able to answer. And this org:
    From an evangelican perspective did a lot of research on a Christian world view. Our basic view of the world and basic philosophy are related deeply, I am sure.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is an example from BobG’s link. (from report #9)
      “A person’s worldview affects their view of law enforcement. Those with a biblical worldview prefer “law and order” policies such as policeneutrallyenforcing the rule of lawequally, while those who believe in the innate goodness of humanity more likely support defunding police and the military.”
      The only trouble with those believing in the “innate goodness” of humanity is that they also do not believe in original sin (see Fr Pacwa’s homily)

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Ah. Original Sin is the monkey wrench in all utopian ideologies. (I forget who said that.) The founding fathers of the United States of America acknowledged the reality of Original Sin in establishing a non-utopian constitutional republic with checks and balances.

        Liked by 4 people

    2. And these world view issues are not deep philosophy but how we basically understand the world, Did God create us or did we just come out of the ooz? Do I have to answer to God when I die or do I just rot into dust, that is do I have an eternal soul which will be judged? Am I created to know love and to serve God in this life so as to be happy with Him eternally, or just to have a bit if fun, as much as possible before I go into nothingness? Is there a God who is truth and His truth is eternal and unchanging or can I just make it up as I go? Does God have a set of basic standards of right and wrong, etc? Are all humans deeply flawed or can we save ourselves and if deeply flawed what limits and checks and balances do our societies need? Is there a God who deeply loves and cares for us and for all of humanity or not? We all know the answers to these and other ?? but how many in our society still are confused? and this is not rocket science folks, just basic simple truth.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. BobG: Years and years ago as HIV/Aids emerged, I remember Phil Donahue grilling a religious person (don’t remember who). “Did God send HIV/Aids as a punishment to the gay community because they broke his commandments” (paraphrased)? I remember thinking, that no God did not do this to punish commandment breakers. He gave us the commandments to PROTECT us from events like HIV/Aids.

        Liked by 3 people

          1. Charlie reading your Rise And Fall piece right now. For 4 years and even before through Obama, I watch Dems accuse us of sins they actually were committing. Here we go again-knowingly accused Trump of faux election fraud with Russia only to use fraud in this election. Do you remember Pelosi about a month before on camera in a almost state of euphoria say that Biden will be president. That they had hidden arrows in their quiver. I still have her displace absolute hate of DJT at the State of the Union when she tore up his speech on camera and behind his back. Took my breath away.

            Liked by 2 people

  10. Desmond,

    While I do not read as much as I like to regarding Church histories and most of a Pope’s encyclicals, I have read some. I found your post very educational and contemplative. The historical background is very informative and adds a lot to my understanding of the Pope’s actions. I have to admit however, in reading some of these types of documents I would much prefer to have you next to me. I am a person that, on any subject, likes to interrogate the expert to not only to grasp and understand what is being said, but also to try and see where it may apply to myself or surroundings.

    I am always awed by how God has spoken through his prophets, popes, Our Mother Mary, church teachers to warn His children of when, and in many cases how much, they have strayed from their God and salvation.
    I also think our totally destructive ‘me first’ culture is directly related to this topic and certainly is a visible side effect.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Thank you for the very kind words. I totally agree with you that one of the toughest things is to see just how these documents apply to me personally. I had the fact sent to my understanding, that I have spent too much time on various forms of entertainment in my life – when I should have been reading and studying in prayer, When I do it that way – often the thoughts or understandings which come to mind I often recognize are ‘clearly beyond me’. I get help when I do it in prayer which is way above my natural pay grade.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. Awesome counsel, Desmond, to pray for divine enlightenment as we read. As a retired educator, I self-observed, and observed in my students, that when some reading material seems to be too much to fully grasp at first, just let it go and enjoy whatever duties and fun fill the day, get a good night’s rest and reread the next day. Voila! It’s literally amazing what the brain can then more readily encompass.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Since our brain constantly works at different levels simultaneously, at a lower level it is working on understanding what we have read and seen the day before later and while we are sleeping and can surprise us with new insights the following day. jas

          Liked by 4 people

          1. I’m aware of this type of thinking as well. Sometimes E.g., I program my subconscious to work on solutions to a problem by making sure I think about ‘the problem’ quite thoroughly before I go to sleep. That is an entirely different thing than being stumped by a problem which I have not prayed sufficiently upon — realizing that is the situtation — then sincerly in an unrushed manner asking the Holy Spirit for help — and then getting that specific help.

            Liked by 1 person

  11. Seems pretty clear that it takes docility and humility to understand these things. I thought after the first read through that it was missing as a preface, but found it interwoven on the second work through. So thankful that God is not stingy, but He does require us to put in some effort.

    Liked by 6 people

        1. Exactly, Exactamente. Satan regularly likes to whisper in our ear, ‘That looks a lot like real work. This isn’t what you do for a living. You don’t have to do that.’ Then he smirks as we deal with the temptation to sloth.

          Liked by 3 people

  12. I love The Gospel reading for today!!!
    It again gives another reminder to be persistent with our prayers!!!
    Luke 18:1-8
    Let us never stop praying for the true results of the election to be properly/fully exposed/corrected!!!
    As fasting is also powerful, Let’s all add some form of fasting to our lives along with our prayers !!!
    Blessings, -kevin-

    Liked by 5 people

  13. Interestingly – “Quite literally, the term “philosophy” means, “love of wisdom.”
    which is one of the gifts of the Holy Spirit!
    I find the technique of philosophy locks into the more “natural” elements of reason as a mechanism utilized to define this disciplines practice. Needing a solid base to build reason upon, philosophy gives us this foundation if it is constant in its technique.
    Now the gift of wisdom from above can advance ones soul by prayer and a “correctly” formed conscience where upon an individual’s life is judged on the heart not the mind as His truth is written on our hearts leading us to constancy of purpose:
    “…there can never be any real discrepancy between faith and reason. Since the same God who reveals mysteries and *infuses* faith has bestowed the light of reason on the human mind, God cannot deny himself, nor can truth ever contradict truth… The *humble and persevering investigator* of the secrets of nature is being led, as it were, by the hand of God in spite of himself, for it is God, the conserver of all things, who made them what they are. “—CCC, n. 159
    Those of us led to TEACH need a solid base of understanding to teach from. Here I see the struggle Desmond puts forth for there are those who would change truth into lies and absolutes to relativism.
    “All justice will be confounded, and the laws will be destroyed. —Lactantius

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  14. Thank you, Desmond, for this thoughtful post.

    Two quotes come to mind:

    “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your MIND, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)

    And also:

    “This is the thrilling romance of Orthodoxy. People have fallen into a foolish habit of speaking of orthodoxy as something heavy, humdrum, and safe. There never was anything so perilous or so exciting as orthodoxy. It was sanity: and to be sane is more dramatic than to be mad. It was the equilibrium of a man behind madly rushing horses, seeming to stoop this way and to sway that, yet in every attitude having the grace of statuary and the accuracy of arithmetic. The Church in its early days went fierce and fast with any warhorse; yet it is utterly unhistoric to say that she merely went mad along one idea, like a vulgar fanaticism. She swerved to left and right, so exactly as to avoid enormous obstacles. She left on one hand the huge bulk of Arianism, buttressed by all the worldly powers to make Christianity too worldly. The next instant she was swerving to avoid an orientalism, which would have made it too unworldly. The orthodox Church never took the tame course or accepted the conventions; the orthodox Church was never respectable. It would have been easier to have accepted the earthly power of the Arians. It would have been easy, in the Calvinistic seventeenth century, to fall into the bottomless pit of predestination. It is easy to be a madman: it is easy to be a heretic. It is always easy to let the age have its head; the difficult thing is to keep one’s own. It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob. To have fallen into any of those open traps of error and exaggeration which fashion after fashion and sect after sect set along the historic path of Christendom—that would indeed have been simple. It is always simple to fall; there are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands. To have fallen into any one of the fads from Gnosticism to Christian Science would indeed have been obvious and tame. But to have avoided them all has been one whirling adventure; and in my vision the heavenly chariot flies thundering through the ages, the dull heresies sprawling and prostrate, the wild truth reeling but erect.”
    (Gilbert K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy. (New York: John Lane Company, 1909), 185–187)

    These days, it’s not enough to be smart and educated in expensive schools, even religious ones, to “avoid the dull heresies.” It’s also not enough to have a certain kind of “faith” without using one’s mind to seriously weigh the claims and purported evidence coming at us from all directions.

    As CrewDog reminds us and exhorts, “GOD SAVE THE REPUBLIC & ALL HERE!”

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    1. Thank you. Chesterton is of course one of my wife’s and my favorite authors. Beyond that, ‘Orthodoxy’ is one of my chief favores of his. Of my thousands of volumes I have room for to put out in my library/study, There are about two dozen which are special favorites – placed within arms reach on my desk’s. As ou’ve undoubtedly guessed, ‘Orthodoxy’ is one of those two dozen.

      Chesterton is one of those who forever chose – like the Church – not to take the easy way out. Never. He knew for a fact that if he refused to work with the ‘thinker’ God gave him – apply his intellect to major problems – that he just might have a tougher ‘judgment’ than somet Christians presume they will get. 😉

      Thanks again for quoting one of my heroes.


      1. Aquinas41: I hope you have provided direction for your library in your will. I mentioned above we may be entering a new Dark Age and some of those book may be banned at some point in time. Stunning that books like Animal Farm, 1984, Fahrenheit 451 and even a movie like Solent Green seem to be becoming reality. As Irish monks forgotten libraries preserved knowledge/philosophy and reestablished Western culture and thought, the world may desperately need and appreciate your library one day.

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        1. Oh yes, my library is to be delivered into the hands of quite probably the best antiquarian book dealer in the English speaking world. He’s also rock ribbed orthodox Catholic and an ‘in-law’ – married to a niece. He is in turn to deliver it to a scholar of his choice who is, a) orthodox catholic, b) a voracious reader, c) 35 to 40/45 years of age maximum. Such a person who also already has the basics of philosophy, theology and church history under his belt – at that age still has time left for serious study in a sufficiently broad range of subjects to become a ‘Renaissance Man’ (or Woman).

          Charlie and I were discussing this morning the fact that such broadly and deeply read scholars are fast dying out. They have been an endangered species for decades. Fr. James Schall who passed a year and a half ago was one of the very last Renaissance men left. He was an ‘old school’ Jesuit.

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    2. And the book of Revelations mentions this “evidence from all directions:
      “Then from the mouth of the serpent spewed water like a river to overtake the woman and sweep her away in the torrent.” Rev 12:15.
      This “river” is a torrent of disinformation or what we now call “fake news” to drown out all truth.
      The devil used a similar technique against Adam and Eve so it is not new.

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  15. Fortunately, God is never outdone and can keep us faithful by the gift of His Spirit:
    “What moves us to believe is not the fact that revealed truths appear as true and intelligible in the light of our natural reason: we believe ‘because of the authority of God himself who reveals them, who can neither deceive nor be deceived’ (cf. Dei Filius 3: DS 3008). So ‘that the submission of our faith might nevertheless be in accordance with reason, God willed that external proofs of his Revelation should be joined to the internal helps of the Holy Spirit’ (cf. Dei Filius 3: DS 3009). Thus the miracles of Christ and the saints, prophecies, the Church’s growth and holiness, and her fruitfulness and stability ‘are the most certain signs of divine Revelation, adapted to the intelligence of all’; they are ‘motives of credibility’ (motiva credibilitatis), which show that the assent of faith is ‘by no means a blind impulse of the mind’ (cf. Dei Filius 3: DS 3008-3010; cf. Mk 16:20; Heb 2:4).”
    Here’s another:
    “For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with might through his Spirit in the inner man, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have power to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ which surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God.”
    St Thomas Aquinas , Suma Theologica

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