LOST & FOUND
What Is Croisé
Croisé for men who desire to accomplish goals which form their own soul and build society in accord with God’s design. These goals include protecting the human family, freedom of the individual to express belief in and loyalty to the one creator God and challenging false portrayals of the Christian faith among other things. This involves engagement with ideas, philosophies and activities which are formed from a perspective which aggrandizes man and limits the true God.
Bonding is a natural result of individuals sharing belief in the same goals and pursuing them in a cooperative effort. With Croisé the success of bonding relies on respecting the ability and willingness of each to use his assets, skill set, time and physical ability to accomplish our goals. By the virtue of humility we know that each goal seeker can contribute toward the good of all. Because all of our goals flow from the teachings and shared life of Jesus Christ what bonds us together is God’s Son. This frees individuals to face the limitations of past failures, vices and unawareness of God because there is always someone nearby (even through this site) who has lived through the same experience and has accepted the goal to witness the saving power of forgiveness to others.
Our goals depend upon prayer most especially before the Most Blessed Sacrament of Our Lord, discernment of God’s current individual call to live a virtuous life and the bonding that comes with others associated with Croisé in study, projects and prayer.
Historical examples of the above goals and their completion guide our thought by revealing the power of the aggregate when Christ is the focal point of mind, body and soul. From twelve to billions is the result.
It is impossible to lean on yourself. Give yourself a rest and lean on the Cross of Christ. He will tell you when to carry it and how far.
Read the Article on the Left
Then Read This:
WHAT IS THE KINGDOM OF GOD?
Countless times in Scripture Jesus talks about the Kingdom of God. In fact He is always mentioning it and Eternal Life when offering the parables. What does Jesus mean by the Kingdom of God or Eternal life (KOGEL)? Croisé proposes that He means the relationship that the Holy Trinity has with each other and how humans can have a similar relationship with each other. People live in kingdoms on earth. The three persons of God have always lived in the Kingdom of Heaven.
People possess half of eternity. We have a beginning but no end. The three persons of God had no beginning and will also have no end, so they are sustained in their life together eternally. Always have, always will!
As the article to the left explained God designs the material universe (catholic is the Greek word for universal) and places creatures with bodies and souls to exist and interact with each other and the things around them. If they make the right choices then they experience a union similar to what God experiences in the heavenly union of the Trinity. This is how we little human beings know what God is like. When we act like God we know what is going on inside God. You may have laughed at your little brother when he stubbed his toe running around the bed . . . until you stubbed yours. That is because you then knew what was going on inside of him at the time. We know what is going on inside God when we make the same decisions God makes: the choice to be in union with another person(s).
Remember God made us intending that we could know the three of them. They are free. We are free. They maintain their union. We denied ours. Jesus came down to show us how to get back into union with the Father by his death. This brings new choices for us and the power to be forgiven for our old bad choices which is the way we get rid of that tendency to sin (not live in union).
So There's No God, Huh?
Understanding God And Existence
From the scientific method we know that every material thing has a cause. Everything comes from something else. All change involves the affect of one thing upon another thing producing motion. The only rational conclusion is that something cannot come from nothing. Therefore, the first change was caused by something but that something was not material because that thing would have had to have been moved (caused) by another thing. So the material things had to have a beginning from something non-material. That is God. God is the source of all material things.
People who say that something can come from nothing are irrational. To ration something means to make placement in an order. Thought is wrong when it denies proof so thoughts which end their "rationing" with a conclusion which denies God are disordered and irrational. This denial is not caused by the mind itself but by ignorance or a choice made by an individual to suspend belief and deny God. That is what we call superstition. There are other ways to rationally approach the reality of God. St. Thomas Aquinas came up with five. We really only need one. Have some fun and look up those five proofs. Your mind will thank you because the tightened stress from continually hearing about the absence of God is not a natural state of the human mind. Violating one's nature is unhealthy and will have repercussions on all levels of the human persons' existence and in the lives of others. This is happening all over the place now by the fools of this age.
What Do We Really Know About God?
Each of us is a person because we have our own conscious experience of ourselves. We know that we are not a different person: each of us is just us. We know that we are not a rock or a tree. We are just us. I am me and you are you. You are not me. We call this part of our human nature.
Each person has a mind and will. Our minds (intellect) reveal to us how to relate to things and other persons. Our will is the ability we have, uncontrolled by anyone else, to choose the way we want to act out our relationships. We usually act this out through our bodies.
When we make a choice in our will we call this an intention. Once we realize that all of us can intend something the obvious conclusion is that whatever made everything around us could also be able to intend something. So God's intention was to create everything, including us, from nothing.
Through history and in God's own time it has been revealed to mankind that God is three persons. Each of the three persons of God knows themselves, too. This is the Divine Nature of God. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit each know that they are not the other two. They also know they are not a rock or tree because they made the rocks and trees.
Each of the three persons of God also has a mind and a will. But in God the mind and will of each person is the same. This is why we say that God is love. God is a total sharing of the three persons with each other. They are separate persons but share everything. So they each have the same knowledge and understanding (mind) and choose to relate to each other in the exact same way (will).
God has also reminded mankind that He created all things from nothing and He did so with a purpose manifest in the design of how the material world is supposed to fit together. This is what the Old Testament books of the bible are about. If we choose to relate to others according to our nature (the way God made us to function) then we have a union similar to what the Holy Trinity have with each other. When we deny or do not understand in the intellect how to relate properly to others then the union is diminished and we will not be in the state of love that God intends for us. Unfortunately this is the condition human persons are in due to what we call original sin. This occurred when mankind freely chose to deny God's plan of union and instead chose to use creation for a different end.
That incorrect end was that each of us would focus on ourselves and seek a union with others that would offer immediate pleasure instead of long term affects which help us flourish. Some scholars call these Human Goods. If we had stayed true to God we would have been able to keep a union with others but instead this original choice sent our body soul relationship into chaos. Instead of finding our ultimate pleasure from these Goods, we often search for immediate gratification as a priority ignoring the negative disordered long term affect this has on other people and ourselves.
This causes disparity and neglect among individuals even to the point of total separation such as one human killing another. This happens when the child of sin (Cain son of Adam and Eve, the first two sinners) kills his own brother because the presence of his brother caused him to "feel bad" about himself. This bad feeling was a result of the choices Cain had made which violated God's plan. Cain concludes that if he eliminates the source of his bad feelings he will be open to experience pleasure again. This merry-go-round never stops until the mind and will see the truth: the truth of Godly pleasure for mind, body and soul which we call Holiness.
The clear and present example of this truth being followed in a human being is the life of Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity in heaven which enters life on earth as a human like us to be seen and heard so we can know what God's original plan for us was. The ultimate act of the human mind and will of Jesus (He also has a mind and will which is Divine, remember?) is to choose to give up His life for the love of the Father. The normal choice would be to watch out for our security. But because sin is always seeking to destroy us (our sin and that of others) Jesus shows that the only antidote to sin is to do absolutely what the Father wants Jesus to do.
We do not have to run from or give in to sin because death is not death. Jesus shows us that death is life. This is shown in the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Killed on the Cross and placed in a tomb for three days Jesus appears in glory demonstrating that if one chooses union with God it will never end...despite the influence of all sin which includes the disbelief of others.
To protect this truth the Holy Spirit (third person of the Trinity) enters human lives and offers knowledge of the mission of Jesus Christ on earth. This truth is protected and passed on in the Catholic Church by teachings including the writings of the Bible. We call this gift from the Spirit FAITH. This is the knowledge of things that we cannot know on our own such as Jesus is the awaited Messiah, He died for all sin on the Cross and He was Resurrected. No one ever "figured" this out. The certain knowledge of it was a gift from the Divine God who wishes to save all of us from ourselves.
These are the fundamental beliefs of faith that help us realize that so much of what we see around us today totally ignores God and the Divine plan. We reinforce these beliefs so that goals can be formed based on truth instead of short term pleasure and the ignoring of the eternal destiny of heaven..
The List of Good Books
The List of Good Books
Classics are classics because like penny loafers and Swiss knives they always seem to meet the current need. Here are twenty spiritual classics. Now you have something to do for the rest of your life!
Abandonment to Divine Providence
Jean-Pierre de Caussade
Uniformity With God's Will
St. Alphansus Liguori
The Cloud of Unknowing
Confessions of St. Augustine
Dark Night of the Soul
St. John of the Cross
Story of A Soul
St. Theresé of Lisieux
Introduction to the Devout Life
St. Francis de Sales
The Spiritual Exercises
St. Ignatius of Loyola
The Imitation of Christ
Thomas a Kempis
The Fire of Love and the Mending of Life
How to Live Nobly and Well
Edward F. Garesché
What Jesus Saw From the Cross
A.G. Sertillanges O.P.
On Loving God
St. Bernard of Clairvaux
Revelations of Divine Love
Julian of Norwich
True Devotion to Mary
St. Louis de Montfort
The Interior Castle
St. Teresa of Avila
Twelve Steps to Holiness and Salvation
St. Alphonsus Liguori
Lift Up your Heart
Fr. Gabriel S. Maria Magdalena O.C.D.
OUR HIGHEST RECOMMENDATION
The Eymard Libary is a series of books composed primarily of conferences given by St. Peter Julian Eymard, founder of the Blessed Sacrament Fathers. They are one of the best spiritual guides ever written. See our Saints page.
Society of Catholic Scientists Lauds Move to Rename Hubbel Law to Include Fr. Georges Lemaitre, Originator of the Big Bang Theory
The Society of Catholic Scientists, a group of 600 PhD. holders in the natural sciences, has lauded the vote of the membership of the International Astronomical Union to recommend renaming the famous Hubble Law of cosmology as the Hubble-Lemaitre Law to honor Fr. Georges Lemaitre (1894-1966), the Catholic priest and theoretical physicist who proposed the Big Bang theory in the late 1920's.
Fr. Lemaitre was the first to propose in his academic work that the universe began in one action and continues to expand from that point. He proposed this for many years to Dr. Einstein in regards to his view of relativity. For Einstein's theory, Lemaitre held, only applied in a universe that is limited in extension and duration (no matter how broad that limit is). Lemaitre was a brilliant professor of physics at The Catholic University of Leuven and personally saw Einstein at least upon four occasions. It has been reported that Einstein declared one of Lemaitre's lectures as the best presentation ever of the theory of universal construction (our words).
The Hubble-Lemaitre Law states that distant objects in an expanding universe move apart at a rate proportional to their distance from each other. The American astronomer Edwin Hubble discovered this law from observations in 1929. Hubble and most other scientists at the time were unaware that Lemaitre had predicted the law from his theory of an expanding universe two years earlier.
Because worldly recognition lacked interest for Lemaitre his ideas were often overshadowed by other cosmologists, but today the magnitude of his contributions is being increasingly popularized. For example, Einstein's equations that describes an expanding homogeneous universe are often now referred to as the "Friedmann-Lemaitre-Robertson-Walker (or FLRW) metric."
The vote of the membership of the IAU to rename the Hubble Law in honor for both scientists with 78% approving is an historical earmark. Please check out the Society of Catholic Scientists website to stay current on this and other activities which recognize the Divine Will present in the cosmos.
Living Outside Yourself
Jesus said that the truth would set us free. What truth is that? Aside from the truth about the identity of Jesus truth is the personal understanding of the objective order of what is around us which includes the role things and relationships play in the Divine plan. The problem with the idea of truth is that it eludes us. We rock and roll through the years being carried along by the river of life. Pretty soon we wash up on a strange bank alone and out of breath. Now what? How did I get here? What I had been doing and the choices I had made which I thought were somehow matching the circumstances of my life have left me high and dry.
This is all about truth. People around me who were moving me through life, many of whom are strangers on a daily basis, all of a sudden seem to have abandoned me. My job, my money, my health or the love of my life either are no longer there or just can't seem to help me get my footing. In the modern world family seems to be disconnected from me and they all have their own problems and messes they are trying to clean up. Where am I going? My interior seems to just spin like a hamster in his exercise wheel going round and round and round ending up nowhere. The lack of truth can be a dangerous vacuum.
When we find ourselves either momentarily or especially for extended periods of time in this situation we have to escape the static lack of momentum in life. We have to find truth. This is not an individual definition of what relationships should be. It is the choice to stop and make notice of the truth that is outside of me that I have been missing. If my own truth
was working I would not feel unfulfilled, confused or depressed or frustrated. It is necessary to find the truth by which God wishes me to order my life choices. I then have to point myself in the direction of where that truth should lead me and escape the worn out approach I have to life. I cannot change everything in my life. I still need to suck oxygen and drink H2O. But I can for now end up avoiding the chaos by focusing like a laser beam on something new or something that I had set aside which God is calling me to do.
The first step toward any new goal and objectives is to make sure that it comes from God. Assess how God is using other people to move and guide you to something new. Pray and ask for the Divine Assistance. Turn away from what is cementing you into the ground and overcome your past conclusions and decisions which keep you spinning inside. This is how you live outside of yourself. The new perception of truth is just that. It is NEW. It is something that was not inside you. As you grasp for it and reorder your life you are overcoming your old self and building a new one.
What things do we have to remember to keep moving? The first is the willingness to work. Many people do not want to work. Many times that means they are doing the wrong type of work. Work is one of the prime sources of dignity if it serves a good purpose. That means that innate in the work is a true relationship to the world around you. If work is nothing more than a search for money or esteem then "what goes up must come down, spinnin' wheel got to go round."(1) The merry go round will just keep you dizzy.
The second is that you must learn the importance of having a diverse group of friends and acquaintances. This again involves work. The work of being friendly. The work of helping others while expecting no pay. If you have a choice between working for no pay or not working at all choose to work without pay. Sometimes we call this volunteerism. The more of this you do the more people will see in you the type of virtue that they either want to be around or they know someone who needs your type of sincerity and skills at a job or in a project that allows you to live in the truth of God by increasing the spectrum of your life "OUTSIDE YOURSELF." The point here is that you are transforming your interior by divorcing yourself from yourself and the limited way you have been living. While you do all this you are avoiding what is dragging you down.
The third juice in our cocktail is to to be a curious person. If you do not want to find truth and are satisfied with the fuzz in your belly button do not expect to expand your life. God made everything around you to reflect His identity to you. From the corn production in Argentina to how many soldiers were in a phalanx to how many statues are in Chartres Cathedral, if it happened in the world and made some impact it may be worth your mind giving it some attention. This prepares the mind to see the logic in all things and the impact of good and evil which gets us back to the Divine Plan. It also establishes in many cases new relationships with others which expands that diversity of people in life. Most of life's disappointments involve either how we treat others or how they treat us. So the more people we know the more good people we will find.
In conclusion, if you perceive that things very much need to improve in life focus on what is outside of you. Narrow down that focus and define it with a goal and/or objective and take a run at it. "Drop all your troubles by the riverside. Ride a painted pony let the spinning wheel fly."(1) Get back on the merry go round of life and this time enjoy the view and the others on it with you.
(1) Spinning Wheel, written by David Clayton-Thomas from the album "Spinning Wheel"1969.
"My interior seems to just spin like a hamster in his exercise wheel going round and round and round ending
Our Greatest Addiction
And How to Defeat It
We all have our own experience of addiction. We either have been addicted to something in our life that ruined the general way we function socially or physically or we knew someone in our family or had a good friend who ran into a controlling obstacle in their lives that proved impossible or very difficult and expensive to overcome.
Booze, porn, drugs, pot, sex, food, shopping, hunting, wasting time aimlessly, coffee, gambling, anger, the internet, smoking and believe it or not work are all addictive conundrums for most people. But there is an addiction greater than all of these. It is something that originates all the others. It is something that daily we strive to control but end up giving into and the intervention of our most beloved family members and respected friends cannot help. It is the addiction we have to our own personality!
Our personality can be affected by many things. The environment we live in, our genetics and our social relationships from the time we were born all affect the composite of who we are. But there is one element of our being that concretizes what we pursue in life everyday over all other available things. This is the free will which is the quality and capability of our eternal soul. This eternal element (we possess one half of eternity because we had a beginning but will have no end) of us is the "self" which from its unique position of experiencing our body and our intellect chooses how to react to everything outside of ourselves. And no one controls the free will except you.
And partially because we only experience one "self" we grow very attached to the whole experience of ourselves. Our body, mind and soul (personality) are the only one we ever experience. As we go through life we see that our free little soul is the only thing we have to put up against the world around us to provide for our pleasure and future security. So we follow our personality religiously often times not knowing how to stop ourselves from pursuing those pleasures and what we think will offer that security.
But wait!!!! I hear the cavalry over the hill. For there is something that can enter your very soul to support it and change it and allow it to make new and unbelievable new kinds of decisions about your own welfare. This is the very presence of another soul in you. It is the Spirit of God. The God that made you. A God that as we see from the prophet Isaiah will give us many gifts to change us and let us see life totally and completely differently. And if we freely choose to accept these gifts we will be able to control ourselves in new ways and make better and more healthy and dare we say "supernatural" decisions in our lives to overcome not only our own mistakes in life but also to deny our very selves when we come to realize we have been wrong. And as Jesus taught us we must die if we are to live. This means a whole category of choices are available to us that were not before. Our Lord Jesus Christ tells us over and over and over in scripture that we can overcome our own personality because it becomes completely new by a new truth. This is when we live in Christ instead of ourselves and we die in Christ and let the dead bury the dead and walk away in new life.
Accepting these gifts has to start in prayer. In prayer we come to know ourselves better because we are listening to (1) God and (2) ourselves. Usually we are listening to the world around us including the devil and we ignore ourselves. Once we are aware of our "self" in prayer we see how the free will can lead us into things we could not do before: like accepting those gifts of the Spirit which never even interested us before. Your inner "self" begins to trace and be aware of how it can travel through your own personality. It sees the power of memory. It sees the relationship between body and world in a more vivid way. It realizes the control it has "in the Spirit" to enter all the rooms of the soul. What happens is that you gain completely new ways to control yourself. Viola, Croisé! With the help of God you gain control over yourself if the purpose of the control is to live in holiness and dedication to God.
Jesus said the truth would set us free. But the truth will escape us immediately if we do not learn how to surrender ourselves over to the mind and will of the Divine. When we allow truth to leave us something will fill the gap. Then all the addictions pour in. So stay in the truth and meditate on it through scripture and the lives of the saints because they did pray - everyday. This is all the benefit of extended, intended prayer.
Entering the Forbidden Zone
Suicide is a major problem in our society. It is especially a problem with males. Both teenage males and middle aged males have been hit especially hard by this complex decision which reveals the loss of hope that so many have been infected with from the current zeitgeist.
There are as many paths to suicide as there are victims. So let us concentrate on the fatal flaw of traveling down the decision making process to escape from stressful life situations to the point where as the French say les carrottes sont cuites ("the carrots are cooked"): there is no going back.
We can look at this from two angles: one is that there is a God who created me and has done so in order that I may know that God now and forever in an increasing dimension. All the experiences of my life therefore, pleasant or not, allow me to choose in the interior of my soul to be led deeper into the knowledge (and union) of God because he is allowing them to happen to me. In fact, God the Son, actually entered into creation and submitted himself to the same outward sufferings and joys that I go through in life to assure me that this sustains and leads to a greater union with God. Ultimately the victory of life over death of Jesus in His Resurrection assures me that the sufferings of life are "worth" it.
The other view is that there is no God and therefore my experience of myself in the composite of my mind and body and its interaction with whatever is near me is the sole determinant of whether I use the assets under my control to determine whether I should exist in this self-conscious manner or end it because it is not very pleasant and I do not see my life experience getting any better or even that it will get worse. One can even end up in a solipsistic state believing that I am literally the only thing that exists so whatever I am deciding is okay because I cannot be hurting anyone else. (Yes, the epitome of intellectual narcissism.) In a particularly revealing moment my college roommate told me that he could not imagine anything in the universe greater than him. "Well, our landlord does not believe that so don't forget to pay your share of the rent."
Simply put, once an individual with either set of these beliefs makes the decision to escape from the unpleasantness of life by suicide they then can experience an euphoric high which serves to galvanize their rational decision to end their life even if that rationality may defy what they portended to believe (as a believer in God) or as a person who formerly had found some value in life. This new sense of reality now drives their future actions based on the decision to end their life because they want to sustain the "escape factor high" and never return to their former set of circumstances which they believe can no longer bother them.
If the individual does not then perceive any alternative that challenges that high with the possibility of some greater type of "feeling" it is dangerously scant that they will change their end's design. If they do not think the current vortex of being a failure or not being loved or not being respected or as some have said "of just being bored" which they are spinning around in one may have crossed the bridge. Yes we have heard the phrase "bored to death." The world famous singer Dalida was voted as the second most popular person in France and killed herself because she said she had become "bored with it all." Sometimes the root of this conclusion is that the individual has limited their pursuit of the activities of life to one area or one relationship and this limits them from pursuing other things in life that are sitting right in front of them. Once this is forfeited heading into something "unknown" becomes an attractive alternative.
The Croisé thesis is that suicide is bad and to live is good. So the question becomes: "Can an individual be influenced before they enter the "forbidden zone" of relinquishing survival alternatives and placing trust in the "euphoria" created by their reasoning process?"
A healthy strategy is to try to give the individual tools that keep them from entering into the euphoria trap. A series of rational components which help assure the individual that the set of circumstances they are perceiving as unchangeable must be employed. Those closest to them may help by constantly portraying a value system which validates individual worth and looks at social influences as negligible. Values such as friendship, love, forgiveness and helping others are things under an individual's control. No one else can dictate success in these areas. Trust and faith in God falls in the same category. If an individual is constantly grounded in these they will become more resistant to complete self annihilation. Consistent behavioral discipline encouraged by example and not through force leads to personality bonding to others.
That is what we do to help others. What about helping ourselves? We must ground ourselves in an objective set of beliefs which match the pattern of reality established by God's own design. The truths of nature can only be perceived at their height (truest reality) through the addition of truths of faith. It is only when we are committed to approaching God to ask for help to discern his plan for our individual life that we can fully grasp and them accomplish it. Again, the entire model for this is the life of Christ. We must imitate that life and the lives of those who also accomplished complete imitation whom we call saints the apex of whom is St. Mary the Mother of Jesus of Nazareth.
Prayer is the font of ultimate truth about the application of faith in an individual's life. Determining which goals and which daily objectives are apt can only be defined through placing oneself in God's presence and seeking that which He chooses to reveal. Subsequent following of such wisdom then depends on fellowship and the graces obtained through public worship, sacraments and the grace in good deeds.
Short of physio chemical abnormalities which are usually best dealt with by the prudent use of pharmaceuticals the key to never reaching the Rubicon of suicide has been stated in the above case. Before any of us reach this point we must daily and repeatedly seek God above any and all things no matter how distracting they are. Following the commandments of the Old Testament and then the new commandment to believe that Jesus is God made man sent to save us is the antidote to the failure of seeing value in one's life and obtaining the ability to sustain oneself in the face of some perceived set of circumstances which sap us of the normal sense of being content as we view God's good green earth from our own little hill. Fortunately, this path is always available to anyone who willfully accepts it. Croisé challenges us all to help others to find this way and to build our own personal goals and objectives based on this view of reality. If you EVER EVER sense that you are even minimally approaching that "high of highs" pull back. Choose from the depths of your soul to reverse course. You are still in control. You can still obey God above. You are still His child whom He loves and always welcomes back. You still have much happiness to know in this life despite any past pain or loss. Bonne chance.
Porn In The USA
Why Guys Get Addicted To Porn. No More Excuses!!
We know factually that there is a huge problem with pornography. This has affected men in our culture for decades. It has increased because of the ready availability of pornography through the internet. It is now uncensored in any way and is available to young people with the click of three buttons. But why are men (and women in a lessor sense) driven to spend inordinate amounts of time perusing the endless avalanche of images of sex acts? There is a clear reason and you are about to hear it.
Man is designed to live in a union with others which is a reflection of the relationship of the Holy Trinity in Heaven. This is available in all relationships with people as each person makes daily decisions on how to interact with others (both short term and long term decisions). When an individual chooses to follow how God has designed all reality to fit together then that individual is becoming aware of the type of union God has between Father, Son and Spirit because they know it in their own life.
The greatest union people have with each other according to God's plan is in marriage. This involves a total sharing of oneself with another which involves material goods, future plans, sacrificial service in good times and bad and IN GIVING ONE TO ANOTHER IN THE SEXUAL UNION which binds the two together through pleasure (both physical and spiritual) and results in the creation of new life which is to be watched over and cared for with the similar sense of sacrifice and duty. When two people do this they most completely reflect how God relates within "themselves." This is why finding someone to love and completing the marital state is so compelling to humans. Doing so lets us know what God is like in the greatest way.
Marriage was intended by God to be permanent. Because of original sin, the affects of which have been handed down generation to generation, the union between spouses has been hobnailed and damaged in ways that is almost impossible to repair in every way.
The intimate sexual act and the sharing of bodies is supposed to be exclusive to a married couple and reflects the complete union between the two. But no one lives the union in a completely perfect way. The Church teaches that there are few who are living saints because the grace to do so is rarely offered and rarely accepted (Council of Trent) but we still have a tendancy to seek it in our minds. This can occur when someone meets a women that is not their spouse and for the moment that women seems to be kind and appealing. So a fantasy comes into the mind of the guy picturing himself with that women in a moment of intimacy as if it was his own wife. This is the emotive part of body and soul seeking a resolution to not experiencing love from their own spouse every moment of the day and night in perfection. Of course that women in the fantasy could never offer perfect love either if he spent every day with her but the mind and soul are searching for it on this momentary basis.
This experience is intensified with pornography. The women one sees at work or at the bank or waiting on you at the restaurant isn't naked. Being naked in front of someone else is something specifically for the intimacy of married couples. Seeing someone actually performing a sex act is absolutely something specific to married couples. But because this intense union is so pleasing men will then inside their imagination (image...picture...get it?) place themselves in the pornographic scene having sex with the new "perfect love of my life."
This is why men seek image after image after image after image without stop. They are seeking this fantastical union with miss perfect with what result? It isn't real because it doesn't exist. Even if we throw in the sexual orgasm that normally comes with the marital act it still is not real.
This is the cause of the addictive problem with pornography. It is the search for perfect love even though you don't even realize what you are searching for. You think it is more connected to the orgasm but that is only consistent by God's true plan with a spouse. This is why Croisé is here. To give you the insight to your own behavior which may or may not match the way you are made by God and the affect of sin which needs to be thought through and overcome by turning to God, accepting the responsibility for the error of your ways and reforming your emotions through the sacramental life and the freedom that prayer before God gives you. Now you can set goals about your sex life and your living a better marriage because along with all this new perspective to think about is that your wife or any women you are emotionally involved with knows intuitively that if you are into porn at some level you are not into her. Otherwise you would not be searching. This is the ultimate destructive element of this bane to the life of modern man.
So boom! Explode your current attitude and behavior and let God give you the control you need to be holy and have a happier more fulfilled and more "in control" life, and if you are involved with somebody it can give you a better and more trusting marriage or romance. Bonne chance.
"Anger is the emotion that is the signal something should be done in a situation."
If you don't break the rules and the anger is gone you win.
Time To Get
Past the Hurt:
Healing From What Has Hurt
Us Most In the Past
Along the path of life many people may have caused us pain. It could have been a family member, a bully at our school or in our neighborhood, someone who ripped us off financially or the jerk who sold us that waxed and buffed lemon. Often we yearned for the attentions of a certain female who in the end just had no interest in us. Sometimes we have hurt ourselves by attaching ourselves to dreams or goals which were completely unrealistic and never materialized.
Most times we merely learn the lessons of life and stay away from the unfriendlies and plan a little better, but sometimes the hurt becomes so great that it robs us of the ability to live a life sustained by happiness and even the ability to enjoy other people. Well, you can no longer let the actions of others or yourself destroy your peace and joy. It's time to use the otter's approach. You have to learn to let it all run off your back. But when that back is raw and scarred how to we do it?
There are two great affects in you if you have experienced the above. One is that you lose confidence in your ability to negotiate your way through life. The other is that you become the safe deposit box for a lot of anger. Both of them can over occupy our mind and block out progress in life. If anything you just read rings any bells then you may want to stop and discern how much either of those two things has affected you. Croisé has some suggestions which can help the one who is ready to be healed.
To succeed at this you have to objectively look at your life. And to increase your objectivity you have to find the quiet safe place to look at what has happened to you. If you were in a dark movie theater and you thought someone could come from behind you and assault you at any moment you would not pay much attention to what was happening in the movie. THE GREATEST PLACE TO WATCH THE PASSING SCENES OF YOUR LIFE IS IN A CHURCH MOST PREFERABLY BEFORE THE FACE OF CHRIST. This is the most secure environment you can have. Although many memories will come forward at many different times you still need this secure zone to look at them which has been provided for you by God. That is what a church building is for. It helps you look at yourself honestly because all the time you are there you are reminded of the God who made you not to be lonely, unafraid or frustrated but who created the grand universe so that you could touch the eternal love of heaven in this life. The greatest churches in the world were built for this purpose in the medieval period: to bring one into a great space occupied by God yet reflecting that He created all material things.
As you look at the crucifix and ask the Spirit of God to help you, you will see that you have been treated many times in your life like Jesus was treated: humiliated, denied His right to speak when the truth needed to be spoken, physically assaulted, plotted against, ignored and betrayed. It could have been by family, friend, foe or stranger. These events formed who you are in some way. The more frequently and more severely they occurred, the greater affect on your current life.
You will also see the times in your life when you were the perpetrator. You may have lied to get your way. You may have manipulated others to accomplish your goals. You may have been the bully or the thief or the betrayer or traitor. But when you know that Jesus endured all those things so that you could face them in your life you know you do not have to run.....or change the channel.....you can stay and watch more in order to see how things in your life must change. Then you will hunger for the next episode.
Whether others have done very bad things to you or whether you have chosen the dark path you may very well have a lot of anger against others or yourself. Anger is the emotion that is the signal something should be done in a situation. What should be done? Should I hurt someone because of what has happened or should I forgive them? Should I hurt myself because I messed up my life or should I forgive myself? With the Spirit of God as our guide (and sometimes a person experienced in the spiritual life) we must decide what must be done with the anger because the anger may be blocking our ability to extend ourselves to others in friendship and to experience peace of heart (also referred to as emotional health). We may be focused on the emotion and not the solution because no one ever showed us how to forgive. No one may have forgiven you, even for small things in life. Or you may have seen parents who did not forgive each other for small or large transgressions.
So you decide to forgive the creep that hurt you or to forgive yourself. That means that you will treat that person as though they did not hurt you. That is what forgiveness is. It does not mean that you allow them to hurt you again. This may give rise in them a new sense of how to treat you if they are still involved in your life.....or it may not. They may be too confused to understand it all just like you may have been without the help the God's Spirit and the example of Jesus. Either way you must treat them as though they did not hurt you even if you need to avoid them in order to prevent them from victimizing you. We do not have to reason out forgiveness because we do it because Our Lord told us to. That is the reasoning. Otherwise we will waste precious time and spiritual energy waiting for the best reason to forgive and actually we may never figure out the why. That may come in the next step. The second tic on the clock is this forgiveness.
Whether or not they responded to your forgiveness or whether or not you have responded to the forgiveness that Jesus has offered you for yourself, in this whole thought process you will realize that you may have done what you did because of the imprint of past hurt in your life. And you now can see that the others who hurt you may have done the same. They had bad examples in their lives and thought they had limited choices. It is sad either way. Now you can pity them and have a justifiable pity for yourself. This shows an incredible new understanding in your mind about life and about the effect of sin in humans and the importance of doing what is right because everyone benefits.
If you are realizing these things in the concrete examples of your life and not just in some kind of broad sense of universal truth you are moving along quite well. But you must continue to embrace all these things in order to more fully participate in life on earth as God wishes. You will now experience inside your soul a fullness where there had been emptiness. Pity is the sign of the gift of understanding manifest in you because it will empower you to now love others despite the hurts or mistakes of the past. It is a step beyond forgiving.
But now the final spiritual test is here: you must extend yourself in action to those who hurt you or those that you have harmed. And you have learned such a great lesson that you must also no longer treat anyone for an ill gotten gain. You now know that you must love others not for what they do or do not do for you but rather you will provide for others what they need in life only because they truly need it. Do you love me says Jesus to Peter. Do you love me says Jesus to Peter. The third time he changes the word to mean "Do you love me not for the benefits of our friendship but only to accomplish the mission I will send you on which will not serve you in your need but the needs of others." This is what charity is. It is love as God loves. It is the way in which God has created us to know what God the Father, Son and Spirit are like in heaven.
Now you choose charity and when you do you are choosing healing: the healing of others and the healing of yourself. Enlightened by God's Spirit and strengthened by the friendship and presence of Jesus Christ you can choose to transcend your past. And the more and more you go before the face of Jesus you will overcome the weaknesses you have so that you can move from anger to forgiveness, from forgiveness to pity and from pity to charity. All this helps you fit into the world as God truly wishes you would. Now you can find your greater purpose and fulfill it. If you continue to make a commitment to pray before the face of Christ no one including the evil one will be able to fool you again. With true sense of purpose and the help of the Spirit what hurt you in the past can now roll off your back. It does not have to worry you because you, like Peter, are not in it for yourself. Only by reaching these realizations and making these choices can you find the Kingdom of God in you. Yes, the Kingdom that Jesus told us is inside each of us. Bon chance!
Your Life Clock Is Ticking
Finding the Life You Think You Lost
Rethinking Errors and Misfortunes and
Seeing Truth As The Generator of Action
Recovering from major life status trauma, romance chaos, divorce, career smashup, death or separation from an essential personality influence or reorientation of financial security and family crisis issues all involves some of the same strategy and application of new realizations.
Okay here it is. You knew what was coming. Yes, inside your mind and shortening the breath in your body you knew what this article was going to say: that says volumes about what you already know you need.
From the Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis:
Book Three, Chapter Sixteen
"Whatsoever I can desire or imagine for my comfort, I look not for it in this life, but hereafter.
For if I alone should have all the comforts of this world, and might enjoy all its delights, it is certain they could not last long.....
You can not be fully satisfied with any temporal good, because you were not created for the enjoyment of such things."
Most of the mistakes we have made in the past (or the errors of others that affect us) come from the pursuit of the things of this world, including love relationships, based upon our particular sense of what we thought would bring us pleasure and security. The whole point of the quote above is to state boldly and emphatically that the things of the world are not ends in themselves......EVER. They are always ways in which we are to come to know about the love of God in heaven: the love of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How we use them also teaches other people about how they can experience what Jesus called "The Kingdom of God."
The story of Adam and Eve helps us reflect on what happens when we use the things of the earth for our own purposes and not in order to know God. God said no. Adam and Eve said yes. Result: Cain kills Abel.
The irony for all of us is that what has wrought frustration, or pain, or insecurities in life mostly flow from our lack of the ability to stand back and wait and see what is to happen in life while we patiently live out our daily duty. Instead of jumping into a romance head to heels after three margaritas, we should have looked at what type of person we were really connecting ourselves to before it seemed to be too late to say no to what was going on. What was a complete mismatch was something that could not be discerned for what it was because emotions or previous created expectations took over the mind. Eve thought those apples would be so good she could taste them. But she also knew rationally that it was a bad thing to do. She even said it would cause her death. How many times have I we say??
We also plan and organize our lives many times based on what we need to do in the practical side of life (job, money, recreation) which we believe will help us obtain what we see as long and short term pleasures. Hey it would be great to have a kid. They seem like they are so much fun and someday they can carry my genes into the future. And the process is pretty fun, too. Yeehaw! But we do not carefully, slowly, methodically and prayerfully (because we should get God's opinion maybe) look at this from all angles with the long term in mind. We may not even have done this with our career. We thought such and such kind of work or business would be our bouncing board to membership in the golf club, chrome wheels and that Crownline which would set us free every weekend. Or maybe we just wanted a simple apartment and to go to a movie now and then. But it all got much more complicated. It might have been that I did not even realize my mother in law has no respect for me or that my religious faith or lack of faith was someday going to be an issue in raising the kids or that living in that apartment at some point became too lonely to bear. In terms of an engaging life am I AFK? (A 360 gamer initialism ("Away From Keyboard").)
No matter what the thorn, the saving principles are the same. They must be recognized and followed in a new way otherwise the past mistakes will repeat over and over and over. How many divorces and affairs do people zombie through in life? So........
God is first, I am second.
Duty is third if the object of the duty is good and holy. Duty comes from the Old French word deu meaning when something is expected at a certain time. We take on responsibilities and their results are expected at a certain time: work, mowing the lawn, returning that library book, praying and going to Church on Sunday, fighting for the Duke when enemy ships are near (Oh, wait that's that Old French thing!), sitting and talking to my wife about the life we share, my obligations to my parents when they need me, attending my kids activities to a proper level and fulfilling financial obligations that are due at certain times (yep, all the bills). Duty is made up of accumulated responsibilities from young adulthood onward.
What if you got off track and people no longer respect your abilities or your word to deliver something at the appointed time? To cover their tracks some get involved in all sorts of addictions: porn, gaming, gambling, credit card binging, pet adoration (they always look like they love us no matter how irresponsible we are). And now I'm sitting here not knowing how to get back to where I was years ago before things got off course or when my parents helped out when I made mistakes.
Don't for one minute wish you were back where you were years ago. That's what got you in the mess. The life you thought you would lead was probably not possible because you did not realize that life is not lived for ourselves but for God through our relationship with others. The tendency we have is to merely reorganize a couple things in life so that everything else seems the same. If a little more money can come my way or if I can get a new girlfriend or wife to replace the old one (and she might even have a few bucks) then I can put off the idea of living out the duties that God wishes of me. In fact, I guess on second thought I didn't even know God really wanted me to do anything at all. I never added that into my calculus. My parents did not even tell me about that. Oddly, you never really realized how important you and your decisions are to everybody around you.
So its time to do so. Read. Read this entire website. It can be the new lens to look at life through. Go read the lives of the saints. Pointedly and purposefully deny in your mind and heart that what is going on around you in society is good and true and right, because most of it isn't. What was going on in any society anywhere at any time was never all that good and true and right. But God decided to break into society and offer a chance at salvation: a chance to have any individual life improved and restored to its original purpose of knowing the Kingdom of Heaven. If you can be committed to this idea then you are on your way to a life with less stress, more self love and greater respect and enjoyment from other people. You might even enjoy planting a few geraniums on the garden path! You probably never imaged that. In other words you create and share the beauty with everybody on the path because you won't be trying to squeeze every ounce of self pleasure out of the things you chose to value for yourself. That would kill your geraniums because, like those responsibilities above, they need to be weeded and watered. If your accumulated addictions take six hours a day (or more) there will be no time for any of that.
You also need to pray. Learn to pray. When people ask to be taught to pray sometimes they are told "just do it" with no real explanation. That is good and bad. Yes, like riding a bike you just have to do it. But some help is there, too. Jesus told us to pray the words of the Our Father. The Church gives us the "Hail, Mary" from scripture. Those are some easy ways to stop, recognize that God is listening and then say something. Over time you will desire more and more prayer because prayer is very consoling. It is enlightening as you can read about on the Prayer Page of this website. It is the most important thing to do to increase your knowledge of life and to ground yourself in solid decisions about goals and objectives. You can learn all the facts about life you want but if you don't know how to sort and apply them what's the difference?
The most important place for prayer is in front of the Most Blessed Sacrament (the Body of Jesus which He left us at the Last Supper through his Apostles) because like the other important relationships that pull you away from the rest of the things of the world (like best friends and lovers) it gives you an undivided ability to ponder true things. Jesus said the truth would set us free. Pilot asked what truth was. He really did not know even though he was looking at it right in the face. Then he washed his hands of the whole question. We cannot live like that. We cannot keep washing away the daily circumstances that are making demands on us. We must discern the truth and then choose to live by it. Nothing else can help us handle the crazy, intense circumstances that echo down the halls of life. We end up living like Pilot, in the fear that we will actually have to do something or when we do actually act we will end up making a monumental mistake (like he did).
Stop putting off the new truth. Even if you have lived part of the truth, only the whole truth and nothing but the truth can really bring peace and confidence inside. That is the greatest security that there is. Pilot just wanted to get through his time in Jerusalem so he could move up the ladder in Roman politics. He showed us how forgetting what daily life means and how to live it has great affect not only on us but on other people. The time to commit your time to some study, prayer, holy friendships and the truth is here. Don't wait for that galley from Rome to take you back to a sense of security and self purpose because it will never come. There are many happy people to be found as examples to follow once you focus on the goal. Follow them.
Oh, history records nothing certain about Pilot after he served in the important position as governor of Judea. It only remembers him as another mushroom on the forest floor serving political expediency. Bon chance.