My Thoughts

I never know quite where my thoughts might take me. All in all, I believe that to be a good thing; at least it seems to keep things interesting, though thoughts seldom overstay their welcome. As I was thinking of one thing, another thought quite rudely shoved it aside which is something not so uncommon these days given these unsettling circumstances. The rude thought was nothing new, rather old for the modern mind: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread.” Those who refuse to bother history will have no idea as to when or where or what or who was first to pen the line. Which is terribly sad when you stop to think about it.

The phrase is from a poem (Part III, line 625) with the rather misleading title An Essay on Criticism written by the English writer Alexander Pope (1688-1744) and published in 1711—that is 309 years ago for those who think old is yesterday’s news. In addition to the previously cited line, the poem has been the source for several other familiar phrases: “To Err is Human, to Forgive, Divine” ( Part II, line 525) and “A little Learning is a dangerous thing” (Part II, line 215). Irrespective of the centuries gone between then and now, all three lines reveal something of today and the times we are now living. And yet, what seems now the most pressing is the last. Perhaps, I will leave the other two for another day, but then, to flagrantly borrow from Robert Frost, “knowing how way leads on to way, I doubt if I should ever come back.”

For more than half a century we have allowed academies of “higher education” free rein to inexorably turn generations of our young into uneducated fools. Think about it. How many have spent a fifth or more of their up-to-then brief lives in higher academia “studying” anything and everything in a concerted effort to delay growing up! After putting off maturity and adulthood for four or five or more years, they wave their sheepskins, evidence of wasting an insane amount of their parents’ and other people’s money for a worthless sheet of faux parchment.  Let’s face it, colleges and universities are no longer academies of “learning”; they have become, to be kind and generous, high-priced diploma mills.

Victor Davis Hanson, classicist and historian at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, recently wrote:

Earlier generations went to college mainly to become educated and develop marketable skills. They weren’t very interested in ethnic and gender “studies” courses, ranting professors and woke administrators. For the students of the 1960s who were, protesting was a side dish to a good investment in an affordable college degree that would pay off later.

But when such pathways are blocked, beware.

The woke but godless, the arrogant but ignorant, the violent but physically unimpressive, the degreed but poorly educated, the broke but acquisitive, the ambitious but stalled—these are history’s ingredients of riot and revolution.

Tragically, and horrifyingly, the “learning” most recent college graduates have received is little more than ideological indoctrination, woke pravda which correctly serves to prove Pope’s observation, “A little Learning is a dangerous thing.” Dangerous indeed.

Just my thoughts for a Thursday, for what it is worth.

About the author: Deacon Chuck

Deacon Chuck was ordained into the permanent diaconate on September 17, 2011, in the ministry of service to the Diocese of Reno and assigned to St. Albert the Great Catholic Community. He currently serves as the parish bulletin editor and website administrator. Deacon Chuck continues to serve the parish of Saint Albert the Great Catholic Community of the Diocese of Reno, Nevada. He is the Director of Adult Faith Formation and Homebound Ministries for the parish, conducts frequent adult faith formation workshops, and is a regular homilist. He currently serves as the bulletin editor for the parish bulletin. He writes a weekly column intended to encompass a broad landscape of thoughts and ideas on matters of theology, faith, morals, teachings of the magisterium and the Catholic Church; they are meant to illuminate, illustrate, and catechize the readers and now number more than 230 articles. His latest endeavor is "Colloqui: A journal for restless minds", a weekly journal of about 8 pages similar in content to bulletin reflections. All his reflections, homilies, commentaries, and Colloqui are posted and can be found on his website: Comments are always welcome and appreciated. He is the author of two books: "The Voices of God: hearing God in the silence" which offers the reader insights into how to hear God’s voice through all of the noise that surrounds us; and "Echoes of Love: Effervescent Memories" which through a combination of prose and verse provides the reader with a wonderful journey on the way to discovering forever love. He regularly speaks to groups of all ages and size and would welcome the opportunity to speak to your group.

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