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Showing posts with the label emotions

Mass Murder: No Fast Fix

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This year's Ash Wednesday and Valentine's Day were the same day.

Folks exchanged greeting cards. Many got their foreheads marked with ashes. And 17 were killed at a high school.

Someone's already called last Wednesday's mass murder the 'Valentine's Day Massacre of 2018.' The famous Valentine's Day Massacre was in 1929. It happened when a Chicago gang tried resolving a disagreement over bootleg booze. It didn't succeed. Not quite....

...I'm quite sure the 17 folks killed at Stoneman Douglas High School will be missed by their families, friends, and acquaintances....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Anxiety Optional

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Today's second reading from Philippians 4 says to have "no anxiety at all," praise God, and "your requests known to God." Then we'll have the "peace of God...."

I think that's a good idea: but it's not the whole picture.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Death in Las Vegas, and Life

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My plans for today did not include writing about mass murder on the Las Vegas Strip and rush hour panic in Wimbledon.

Instead of trying to ignore what is now international headline news, I decided to look for whatever useful facts might be filtering through.

I'll share what I found, along with what I think about the events.

How I feel about them is — sad, for what happened in Nevada. No words can console folks who lost family and friends there. I won't try.

The Wimbledon panic? I'm not entirely sure what I feel about that....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Raving Politics"

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Quite a few parts of the Bible don't talk about forgiveness. But quite a few do, and they're not just in the New Testament.

This morning's second reading doesn't mention forgiveness directly, but the verse right after it does.

They all say why forgiving is a good idea.

It's enlightened self-interest, in the long run....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Emoji Virtues!? Guest Post: Cathy Gilmore from Virtue Works Media

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Emoji Virtues in our emotions? Is that even possible?
When we encounter characters in the books we read, the movies and TV we watch, as well as in the ever-unfolding story we call real life, we can witness virtues. Virtue comes alive in people’s beliefs, perceptions, thoughts, decisions and actions. But, how often do we consider the way that virtue can operate in human feelings and emotions?

A lifetime of research by a Catholic spiritual psychology pioneer, Richard Johnson, PhD. revealed that we  have special spiritual strengths, otherwise known as virtues; which specifically operate in the part of our personality whose function is emotion. He identifies Joyfulness,Trust, Devotion, Empathy and Gratitude as personality traits that we can cultivate as holy habits of virtue in a unique way in our emotions. Often, we think of emotions as something reactive; triggered by some new situation, or a recalled memory. However, through the miracle of virtue, aided by God’s grace, we can be INTEN…

Death in Charlottesville

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A vehicular homicide case near the intersection of Fourth and Water streets in Charlottesville, Virginia, is international news.

I regret the loss of life, particularly since the driver apparently intended to harm or kill the victims. I'll get back to that.

Heather Heyer had been with several other folks there, protesting something — or maybe someone — which or who she felt should be inspiring more outrage.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Navel-Gazing in August

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Someone said "write what you know." It was definitely Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway, Nathan Englander, or somebody else.

I've mostly seen the quote applied to writing fiction.

Apparently some folks assume that it means authors should only write stories about events they've experienced. That may help explain why fantasy and science fiction stories aren't taken seriously in some circles, and entirely too seriously in others.

Others, including John Briggs, Diablo Cody/Brook Busey-Maurio and Jason Gots, say it means using the author's emotional memories when telling stories. They're professional writers, so I figure they know what they're talking about.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Still Rejoicing

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My father reminded me of this good advice when I was in my teens: "...whatever is true, ... whatever is lovely, ... think about these things." My response was something like '...because they won't last.'

I wasn't happy about saying that at the time. I still regret it.

I can't, of course, undo what was done. And the time for telling my father "I'm sorry" has long since passed. In any case, I said "I'm sorry" too often, and that's almost another topic.

The quote is from Philippians 4:6-9. I'll get back to that.

Following the advice from Philippians isn't easy for me.

But it's been getting easier as I work though a massive backlog of bad habits. Nothing unusual there, since we're all dealing with consequences of a bad choice described in Genesis 3:1-13.1...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Death in Manchester

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(From European Press Agency , via BBC News, used w/o permission.)
("Thousands attended a vigil in Manchester earlier"
(BBC News)

Manchester is England's second-largest urban center, in terms of population.

At around 10:30 Monday night, something like 21,000 folks — pre-teens, teenagers, adults — were leaving a music concert at the Manchester Arena. Someone with a bomb set it off in or near the arena's foyer.

He's dead. So are more than 20 other folks.

Except for the chap who killed them, the dead had been enjoying an Ariana Grande concert. The youngest victims I've read about were eight years old.

Quite a few others are injured. Some are missing.

I am not happy about this, putting it mildly....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Hate, Justice, Forgiveness

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Islamic centers in California got hate mail recently. At least one of the letters was addressed "To the Children of Satan," and started with "You muslims [!] are a vile and filthy people...."1 Details are new, but the attitude is all too familiar.

Hating Muslims, Hindus, Jews, Catholics, or other 'outsiders' may be easier than coming to terms with personal issues. I don't know why those letters were sent.

I also don't know why a Somali refugee drove into a crowd at Ohio State University and hurt some folks with a knife this morning.2 He had been a student there, and now he's dead. I'm not happy about that, but I think he shouldn't have attacked those folks.

I do not think we should deport all Somalis, lock up college students, or ban knives and automobiles. I'll talk about what I think would make sense, after explaining why I'm not upset about Americans who don't look and act exactly like me.

More at A Catholic Citizen in Amer…

Trusting Feelings: Within Reason

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(From John Martin, via Wikimedia Commons, used w/o permission.)

Anger is bad, right?

Yes, sort of, but it's a bit more complicated than that.

Emotions, anger include, are good; in the sense that they're part of being human. They're "...the connection between the life of the senses and the life of the mind...." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 1764)

In another sense, emotions aren't good or bad by themselves. What matters is what we decide to do about them. (Catechism, 1762-1770)

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Evil is Not Good

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On Wednesday, December 2, 2015, at about 6:59 p.m. UTC, 10:59 a.m. PST, two people killed 14 others at a holiday office party in San Bernardino, California.

The killers were located and stopped a few hours later, and died during an armed confrontation with law enforcement. I put names of the dead, and a few links, at the end of this post.1

I'm still experiencing anger, disgust, and several other emotions in connection with this latest mass murder. It's an unpleasant sensation, but I'd probably be more concerned if I didn't notice any emotional response.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

"Have No Anxiety At All"

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My wife gave me a familiar 'did you really say that?' look a few days ago, after I said I didn't understand why so many folks are upset about current events.

She had, as usual, reason on her side. I've gotten upset, a lot. I'm pretty much the opposite of phlegmatic.

But I don't see much point in contemplating cracked mirrors, or taking my cue from Yeats:
"...The mirror crack'd from side to side;
'The curse is come upon me,' cried
The Lady of Shalott....
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("The Lady of Shalott," Tennyson (1842))
"...Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.


"Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand....
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("The Second Coming," William Butler Yeats (1920)) ...Like quite a few other folks at the time, Yeats was getting over the Great War

EMOTIONS

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ARE YOU IN CONTROL OF YOUR EMOTIONS? REALLY? CLICK HERE

Charleston Church Shooting: Emotions and Reason

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A young man joined a Wednesday evening Bible study group at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina, earlier this week

After participating for about an hour, he killed nine of the folks there and left.

I'm angry, and sad, that nine lives were unjustifiably ended in that church: and am profoundly impressed at the calm shown by some of the victims' relatives.

In my considered opinion, what the young man did was wrong. I'll get back to why I think that's true: and what I'm doing about my anger and sorrow.

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Raqa, Anger, and Whitewashed Tombs

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Once in a while I run into the notion that emotions, particularly strong or unpleasant ones like anger, are bad — or 'beastly,' not something people should experience.

Reality check.

Emotions are part of being human. There's something seriously wrong with someone who lacks emotions. It can be a sign of hebephrenia, or other serious disorders.

We may seem less emotional as we mature: but that's because most of us learn how to manage our emotions. Or mismanage them....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Dim Day of the Soul

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Sometimes it's easier to see at night. It depends on what you're looking for.
"O guiding night! O night more lovely than the dawn!"
(Translated from "Dark Night of the Soul," St. John of the Cross) I decided that this year's Lent would be a good time to upgrade my prayer life. (February 15, 2015)

That could have been a topic for this post: except that I couldn't think of anything to say about it. Not that 'clicked.'...

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Charlie Hebdo, Chick Tracts, and Getting a Grip

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As I'm writing this, 19 folks in France have died because — it's complicated.

Assuming that the Kouachi brothers had religious motives for killing folks at the Charlie Hebdo offices is, I think, reasonable: but it's an assumption.

Assuming that Charlie Hebdo's distinctly irreverent treatment of Islam led to this week's attack is — that's complicated, too....

More at A Catholic Citizen in America.

Why I Cope With Life Better Today (as a Catholic)

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I do not know how I would cope with my life if I were not Catholic. I can easily tell you that I would not cope well. Years of living beforehand would bear that out.

Here are some differences in how I get through tough times today vs. during my "heretical" years. 

(1) My emotions do not control my decisions as much

Free will has to do with making decisions without being driven by emotions. I am making more solid, logical and clear choices now than I ever have before. During my "heretical years," I believed that free will had to do with extricating myself from the oppression of moral obligations in order to be free to follow my feelings. How did that work out for me? Hmm.. I'm writing this... so...

(2) I take care to have selfless motives. 

When I pursue being of the greatest service to God above the motives for comfort, public opinion or material things, each decision I make has meaning. When I work to make my life a gift to God rather than a gift to myself, I do n…

Joy and Standing Orders

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My father reminded me of this good advice when I was in my teens: "...whatever is true, ... whatever is lovely, ... think about these things." My response was something like '...because they won't last.'

I wasn't happy about saying that at the time. Decades later, I still regret the statement. I can't, of course, undo what was done: and the time for telling my father "I'm sorry" has long since passed. In any case, I said "I'm sorry" too often, and that's almost another topic.

That quote is from today's second reading, Philippians 4:6-9. I'll get back to that.

Today, thanks to very powerful antidepressants and a few other psychoactive prescriptions, I no longer have to fight the controls to make my brain work. I even have moments when I feel good about who I am and what I do.

That's a nice change of pace....

Joy, Zest, and Mud
As it is, I had an opportunity to reason my way out of suicide: and developed a knack fo…