Life goes on, and it occasionally surprises with good news. As in,
"Hey, your student loans have been forgiven under the PSLF program!"
My Much Better Half and I are still processing that one, but a debt that was bidding fair to stretch into retirement is now gone. Thanks be to God.
Sometimes something in your life has cast a shadow for so long that becomes a perpetual drizzle: an inevitable part of existence that is taken for granted, but weighs on you at a subconscious level. But no more, wondrous to relate.
The confirmation letter is now a treasured document in our fire safe.
The children continue to grow in encouraging ways. The one grim note is that while I have convinced myself that most of what sound like gunshots in our neighborhood probably aren't, "most" is not a win. The last two I heard were certainly the signature "pops" of a 9mm handgun.
And to think I believed the worst neighborhood problem I would have to deal with this summer was the cloying skunk-stink of marijuana fumes floating upwind from two houses down or the next block over. At least the pops happened long after the children of the block had gone inside.
If you wonder why I doom-scroll and have prepper plans, some already carried out, wonder no longer.
On the spiritual front, I have hewn to the Church Fathers and find them a veritable Astronomican in the grim darkness of the Third Millennium. St. Gregory of Nazianzus is at the top of my bookshelf, and Andrew of Caesaria's commentary on Revelation is also in rotation.
You can thank the latter gentleman for the Eastern part of the Church finally accepting Revelation as a canonical book, by the way.
On a related note, a quote from the script of Amistad has been going through my head lately, and here it is, in full:
We've long resisted asking you for guidance. Perhaps we have feared in doing so, we might acknowledge that our individuality, which we so, so revere, is not entirely our own. Perhaps we've feared an appeal to you might be taken for weakness. But, we've come to understand, finally, that this is not so. We understand now, we've been made to understand, and to embrace the understanding that who we are *is* who we were. We desperately need your strength and wisdom to triumph over our fears, our prejudices, ourselves. Give us the courage to do what is right.
That is part of John Quincy Adams' argument to the Supreme Court in the film, and it is a riveting delivery by Anthony Hopkins.
To me, that looking back is the key to resolving our social crisis as Americans and our ecclesiastical crisis as Christians in the West.
For the former, we need to put paid to the derision of them as part of the problem and the narcissistic reduction of the Founders to their worst behaviors. Any quest by men and women to reach for a great principle will inevitably be stained by the sins of those who so reach. But that says nothing about either the principle or the attempt. And to argue otherwise is the ignoble, ignorant slander of the morally-stunted.
All men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights is worth every candle that will ever be made.
For the latter, reading the Fathers of the Church reminds us that there is nothing new under the sun. Certain sins and charging into rabbit holes will inevitably recur. Nor is there any value in cringing before nor making excuses for error simply because of the title of the one who is erroneous. Truth is always worthy of those who take up its fallen standard, no matter the hour or the age. And the Fathers can show you how to do it. Should you fail, even then you helped keep it alive.
In any event, I can tell I am near to maxing out the "Windbag Moralizer" gauge. May God bless you and yours.