on becoming extinct

Paradoxes are intriguing, perhaps this is so for the simplest of reasons: they seem to take one down the proverbial rabbit hole into a world filled with the illogical, the senseless, perhaps even a grin from a Cheshire cat. A paradox contradicts itself yet may in fact appear to be both true and not true at the same time.

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becoming drunk from reading

Great literature never turns a bitter tongue but taunts the mind with its rich bouquet of thought, leaving the soul well and truly drunk from its sweet liqueur. What disappoints is how rare the occasion when the pages of aging greatness are laid bare, to be lovingly consumed, for fortune awaits those who would dare to travel among such leafy fodder, to discover oft forgotten truths buried there.

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considering the care and feeding of the mind

What is truth? Three words uttered by the prefect of the Roman province of Judaea, Pontius Pilate, during the trial of Jesus Christ.[1] Pilate asked because he was honestly attempting to determine the truth surrounding the man who was brought before him for judgment and as reported in all four gospel accounts, could find no reason to convict Jesus of a capital offense.

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with nothing in mind

Forty-five years ago television viewers were reminded that “a mind is a terrible thing to waste[1] and although that public service announcement is no longer around, the message it conveyed and the sentiment it evoked remain as true today as it did at the time. There is nothing quite as tragic as when something as incredibly complex and capable as the mind is laid waste or obtunded through neglect, moral turpitude, intoxication, stupor, or indifference on the part of the one who lacks the will to use and care for that which God has so freely given.

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sometimes it is just a marble

Where on your personal bucket list is the Kingdom of Heaven? Can you claim with perfect candor and complete honesty that spending eternity with God in Heaven is even on your list? If not, then why not? We know that the measure of our lives is brief and fleeting, yet we are want to dismiss any thought of what awaits beyond the sunset and the dark of death, now unknowable and thus too disconcerting, too discomfiting to seriously consider.

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suffering from tolerance

Venerable Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen was a prolific writer, commentator, moral theologian, and philosopher as well as a bona fide television star. His weekly television show Life is Worth Living was amazing not only for being carried on ABC from 1952 until 1957 and on other networks under different titles until 1968 but for being the most widely-viewed religious series in television history, averaging over ten-million viewers every week. All this despite the fact that the show, shown only in black and white and hosted by Bishop Sheen, consisted mainly of he in his clerics speaking to the camera discussing moral issues of the day from an clearly Catholic perspective.

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upon further reflection

Agood friend voiced an objection over last week’s article, stating that he was certain that his children would themselves resolutely object to my disparagement of the young, casting them as ill-informed entitled sycophants who knew nothing of any consequence. While disparagement and ridicule were neither my intent nor the direct object of my concern I certainly understand how anyone could have come away with that interpretation.

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filling that vast empty space between the ears

Reflection in a way is a uniquely human endeavor for only we are capable of giving serious thought or consideration to any matter, to spend ample amounts of time in contemplation thoughtfully examining and assessing a thing with fresh eyes and an open mind. It is a talent of the mind, a most useful and beneficial asset yet like so many other useful things all too seldom exercised. Critical thinking is fast going the way of the dodo and the dinosaur much as has rational, objective, and civil discourse and debate. Matters worthy of serious reflection and thoughtful consideration are dismissed as if one’s hand had come into contact with an open flame or worse avoided as if the mere mention of it evoked a foul stench.

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with all things considered

Optimism is often in short supply these days; it is just so much easier to be pessimistic, to see our world and all its wonders in shades of dull depressing grayness rather than bright vivid colors. It is a simple thing to find fault in almost anything or anyone, for nothing and no one is perfect and yet we find it so difficult, often impossible to see all the goodness that surrounds us in abundant measure. It is as if we relish any opportunity to sit alone in the darkness, wallowing in self-pity and despair: the light is too bright, it hurts the eyes; laughter and joy irritate and distract; there can be no hope for all is lost; nothing good will come of whatever.

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Church or State

Benedict (Baruch) Spinoza was a seventeenth century Dutch philosopher of Sephardic Jewish descent who developed highly controversial ideas regarding the authenticity of the Hebrew Bible and the nature of the Divine. Jewish authorities issued a cherem [1] against him, excluding him from Jewish society and the Catholic Church placed his books on the Index of Forbidden Books. Despite, or perhaps because of the concerted Judeo-Christian objections to his ideas, he achieved significant renown [2] and long-lasting influence on the rapid growth and dominance of secular societies.

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