A Spiritual Lesson from My Little Dog, and other Spiritual Meditations
In the simple boy chases dog story we can see the problem inherent today in the state of Catholicism.
"The Church wasn't dragged down by a world going to pot. The Church is the lampstand in the world, ever calling all into the fullness of the light. Rather, someone broke off a large piece of that lampstand, extinguished it, and hurled it into the crowd like a rock star hurling pieces of his broken guitar into the audience, and the world simply followed suit. In all the confusion that has followed only tiny minorities of us have even noticed that the true lampstand yet still remains where it always was, with still all the lamp oil, and still lit, just an awful lot shorter than it was those few decades ago."
I had a little brown dachshund as a pet, named Willie, and I know I enjoyed that dog a great deal. But in dealing with this pet, some lessons come slow, even being right in front of me all the time. In particular, once in a while it was time to bring the dog home. In the simple naiveté of my childish mind (I had this dog as a child), I saw no pattern to the ways and directions he would wander as he sought various smells and things to chew on or dig into or what not. So I saw it all as something along the lines (on an inarticulate and childish level) of what mathematicians would describe as a "random walk," where each step is as likely to take one in one direction as another. Furthermore, he often didn't come when he was called.
Therefore it seemed natural to me that what I must do to bring the dog home is to go to where the dog is and pick him up and bring him home. And to this day I don't believe he was ever averse to being picked up and held by me. And yet it just never seemed to work out that way. When I would run over to where he was (and I would run, on the premise that if I only walked that would give him more time to wander further than if I run and get there as quickly as possible), the most amazing and frustrating thing would happen, as if almost like clockwork: Instead of simply continuing to sniff at whatever he was sniffing at or dig at whatever he was digging at, he would begin running all of a sudden. And most maddeningly of all, it was always directly away that he would run.
As a child, this experience, many times repeated, only taught me two things: 1) that luck was absolutely against me, anything open to chance was in fact guaranteed to go against me, and 2) that Murphy (discoverer of the first of a great corpus of laws regarding the nature of how things work out) was an optimist. Obviously it never once dawned on me that there was a cause and effect at work here. My parents actually had to explain it to me. The reason he was running away from me was that I was running in his direction. Well, why in the world would he do that? But from a dog's perspective there is actually a kind of logic to it. Recall, that dogs in their native habitat tend to travel in packs, and that they lack the verbal and hand skills to speak articulate words or point and gesture as we humans do and take for granted. If a dog in a pack senses a danger or else knows where food is to be found, how can he best indicate the direction the pack must go, but to begin running himself in the necessary direction?
So my running towards Willie actually told him that there is something in that direction (the same as I am running and so, given that I am running towards him, directly away from me) that merits his breaking into a run. It probably never occurred to Willie that it was he that I was running towards and not something else of interest that way, or away from some predator. "So this is the way to go? Good, let's go! I'm already way ahead of you." Perhaps he thought that because I was taller than him I might be able to see some reason to run that he from his low stature could not see. And all the while I am shouting after him "Stop! Come back! Come here! Don't run!" and of course he hasn't a clue what any of the sounds I am making mean.
My parents couldn't explain all of this of course, but they did tell me to call his name and then run away from him, towards home. It took a lot of faith to actually do this, as I thought for sure it wouldn't work or even make a difference, and that afterwards I would only have all the further I must then run to catch up with Willie. But in time I finally attempted it, and to my utter amazement it worked. But even then I really couldn't understand or believe it. It was to me exactly as if luck, showing off all of its perversity, was taunting me, wagging its tongue at me and declaring, "Look, see, you can win, anytime it doesn't count, haha." And how much of life can be like that. How many of us strive and strive for some goal that perpetually eludes us, only to give up, despairing of that goal, shouting, "Aw, to heck with it!" and walking off in a huff, only to find that very goal only then sidling up to us, ready to be grasped at last.
This all has a significant bearing upon the V-2 doppelganger church's policy of ecumenism and the overall disintegration of society at large. The actual conspiratorial plotters who architected that whole false "ecumenism" thing only comprise a tiny minority of those who ultimately got sucked into doing it themselves and making it a defining action for the new V-2-created church. Many lay, priests, and even some bishops and cardinals, may have genuinely thought that such a watering down of their faith would "reach out" to those of other religions, heretics, and the like. Many of them, in a naiveté similar to my own with respect to my little dog, really believed that doing that would bring them home to the Church and increase the conversions and vocations and the like. Only the evil conspirators (and a few others no one listened to) knew what would be the real consequences.
"Let us be a little less like Catholics and a little more like you [Protestants, Jews, Moslems, Buddhists, etc.] by softening our moral guidelines, blurring our theology, and vulgarizing (vernacularizing and simplifying to the point of distortion) our liturgy. Thus by going to where you all are spiritually we can then pick you up and bring you back home to the Church." Surely, one might think, wouldn't they at least try to meet us halfway? If we give up Latin might they not take up Mary? If we give up sacerdotalism might they not take up transubstantiation? If we give up a vertical, hierarchical structure for the Church in favor of a more horizontal and egalitarian structure, might they not take up Purgatory? If we give up formalism and ritualism might they not take up all of us worshipping together in one room, at last one big happy family? If we make ourselves more like them might they not also in return make themselves more like us, until we are all just the same and can at last unite into a single One World Church? Then united at last, we can all just saunter off into the sunset, all the world's problems and religious divisions solved. Perhaps if we tell them that they are all right and doing fine just right where they are then they might at last say the same to us. Then we will all approve of each other and be one big mutual admiration society.
To those of us who know better such naiveté must seem unimaginable. But a surprisingly large proportion of bishops, priests, religious, and lay (to say nothing of members of our secular society at large) actually buy into such thinking. Theologically, they are like a child (me back then) chasing after the dog. Just imagine all the Joe Six-pack's there are out there in the world, for whom such a compromise seems a perfectly reasonable step to take. The Vatican II architects and plotters of false ecumenism all knew what a demoralization and malaise they would cause by doing this, even as Adam knew the consequences of eating from the forbidden tree, but as Eve was deceived, so many many more were merely deceived about this.
So they ran after all manner of schismatics, heretics, pagans, idolaters, infidels, and all false religionists of every kind, exactly as I ran after the dog. And guess what happened. Those they ran after just all went all the further into their schism, heresy, paganism, idolatry, infidelity, and other false religions of every kind. Why couldn't they just stay put and let us come and pick them up and bring them back? Why couldn't my dog have just stayed where it was waiting for me to arrive? So what do we have now?
The schismatic East Orthodox are mutilating their liturgies, and what few among them as refuse to mutilate have instead just one more reason never to submit to Rome. The Anglicans who were this close to formally rejoining suddenly decided there was no need to continue Catholicizing themselves and have so much gone the other direction as to appoint known and public homosexuals to be their "bishops." While "mainstream" semi-liturgical Protestants approve abortion and homosexual "marriage" and decline, the non-liturgical Evangelicals and Pentecostals see growth as their morals also fade and the slovenly "come as you are" dress like a slob "Hi ya God, my good buddy my pal my friend" way of life becomes what they call sacred service. The Jews go from thanking His Holiness Pope Pius XII for rescuing so many from the Nazi holocaust (far more even than those rescued by Oskar Schindler, of Schindler's List fame) to calling Pius XII "Hitler's Pope," and defaming everything Catholic (such as Mel Gibson's Passion) and the whole rest of the world is such that they get away with it. Islamic terrorists discover that blowing people up is not only a fun and invigorating way of life, but even a one-way ticket to fame, fortune, and popularity. The secular world at large goes from a kind of civic modesty and propriety (that kept even Hollywood from showing husbands and wives in bed together) to the Sexual Revolution, Free Love, and "Don't ask; don't tell."
The Church wasn't dragged down by a world going to pot. The Church is the lampstand in the world, ever calling all into the fullness of the light. Rather, someone broke off a large piece of that lampstand, extinguished it, and hurled it into the crowd like a rock star hurling pieces of his broken guitar into the audience, and the world simply followed suit. In all the confusion that has followed only tiny minorities of us have even noticed that the true lampstand yet still remains where it always was, with still all the lamp oil, and still lit, just an awful lot shorter than it was those few decades ago.
The solution is obvious. Anyone who is truly serious about converting the world to Catholicism and bringing peace and order into the world must now know that chasing after the dog will only make the dog run further away. Instead, let us call the dog's name and run towards the fullness of Truth and Faith and the Church, lift up that lampstand, perhaps one day even higher than it was lifted before all this nonsense got started, and be pleasantly surprised as to how much of the world comes running after us into the Truth. And those who know this to be true, but who nevertheless persist in chasing after the dog instead of chasing after the Truth, thereby show themselves to be from among those criminal conspirators who seek, desire, and work towards the destruction of souls and society. Respect them or not, you cannot in good faith follow them in their vain chasing after the dog of irreligion and worldly ways. Let this article be circulated widely, and thereby let all show their true selves.
Kibbles and Bits
Have you ever noticed that it costs money (or at least the fruits of your labor) to buy food so as to eat, but nothing to fast?
Ever wonder why it is that no one other than Jesus and Mary were sinless, why it is that even the greatest of saints still knew they were sinners, why it is true that even the righteous man falls seven times every day? Our sins serve to remind us of what our life would be without Jesus. Everything we did that we ought not, everything we neglected to do that we ought to have done, all of those things are moments of our life that were lived without Jesus. While in this life, though we cannot eliminate them, at least we can always learn from them.
Live as if it is up to those you have wronged to decide whether you shall be permitted to enter Heaven. Now understand: I don't mean those who merely THINK you have wronged them. Indeed, on that Last Day, those who long thought you had wronged them due to some mistake or misunderstanding will then know their mistake or the nature and full cause of the misunderstanding, and in repentance of their rash judgment against you, they will desire to make it up to you in any way they can and in the end prove to be your greatest allies. No, your greatest danger will be those you have wronged in this life and who do not as yet realize it. Those you have spoken against behind their back but politely to their face, those you have secretly maneuvered against, those whose loved ones you have secretly injured, those you have guided into sin, convincing them that they are not sinning. For on that Last Day they shall know what you have done and, knowing how you have deceived them and taken unfair advantage of their ignorance and good will towards you, the vengeance they shall seek against you shall be fulfilled. Finally, it is God Whom we have wronged with all our sins, and He knows them all even now. Make your peace with God and with Man while life remains and amends come cheap, for what amends as must come in the next life will come very expensive indeed.
Just a few observations to meditate on during these long days between Christmas and Lent, or, what one might call, the dog days of winter.
Griff L. Ruby
Griff's book is available from iUniverse.com Books for $26.95 or can be read on-line at www.the-pope.com We at The Daily Catholic strongly urge you to share it with all you can for that could be the gentle shove that moves your friends back to where the True Faith resides forever, rooted in the Truths and Traditions of Holy Mother Church as Christ intended and promised.