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Reflections

Consisting of relflections in a variety of categories, including:
<ul>
<li>scripture (homiletic reflections)
<li>philosophy (metaphysics or epistemology)
<li>morality
<li>psychology
<li>spiritual development
<li>science or mathematics
<li>technology
<li>medicine
<li>Church documents
<li>catechesis
</ul>

Nineteen Eightyfour: Orwell's dystopian novel and its relationship to today

When I read George Orwell's dystopian novel, Nineteen Eighty Four, over 40 years ago, I hoped that knowledge of the possible abuses of government would be a sufficient warning to prevent it. I hoped that the dystopia it described would never come to birth. George Orwell was way ahead of his time, yet he had already seen the possibility of the deluded polity that would enable the creation of this system.

The tragedy of misbegotten love

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I recently revisited Shakespeare's "King Lear," a tragedy of misbegotten and alienated affections. It strikes me that there is a certain parallel between this great drama and the drama unfolding before our eyes in America.

It is an article of faith in America that "governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed." To put this another way, the people are sovereign, or so they have been.

Thus, I see a parallel between the benighted King Lear and the benighted American body politic.

The Papal honeymoon is definitely over.

It's understandable that the world's elite news media failed to capture the essence of who Pope Francis is, given their dogged determination to always be ahead of the narrative. One can find a representative sample of the approach taken in the New York Times piece by Rachel Donadio from July of last year, "On Gay Priests, Pope Francis Asks, ‘Who Am I to Judge?’" Who can blame them for failing to understand a personality such as his — compassionate, humble, and yet with firm convictions regarding the difference between truth and falsehood, good and evil, beauty and ugliness, wisdom and folly, material and spiritual, timeless and ephemeral. One must travel far and wide to find such a combination in a world leader these days. Even Catholic journalists found him confusing, although one can come across the occasionally balanced perspective, such as that of Colleen Carroll Campbell in her piece "God and Mammon". And as the English poet, Alexander Pope, noted, "Hope springs eternal in the human breast." It matters not the provenance of that hope.

Diagnosing Republican factionalism. What is the cure?

The basic problem with the Republican Party is that it suffers from dissociative identity disorder, colloquially referred to as a split personality.

It's possible to identify at least the following distinct political personalities in the G.O.P.

Secularism vs. Sectarianism in Domestic and International Power Politics

Secularism began as a philosophical reaction against Christianity in the 18th century in Europe. Like the religious rebellion of the 16th century, it had its roots in outrage at the vices of religious and royal officials. And, like its earlier religious counterpart, it began to invent and to live by its own rules. As a movement, therefore, it exhibited all of the tendencies of moral and cultural drift that all major cultural movements and even civilizations have displayed throughout human history.

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