Staying forever young. A theme I’ve heard recounted many a time in music.
This idea of staying forever young has various perspectives, however, a prominent view our society has is on looking youthful.
As the years go by I have seen the bags under my eyes grow more prominent and baggy. The hairs on my head have been increasingly robed in the whiteness of snow. Aging is bittersweet.
There have been days when I’ve wanted to reverse this reality of aging. However, that battle is fought in vain. Rather than being distracted by the images of physical youthfulness that drift further and further away, I begin to understand that the truth of beauty is far richer and greater than I’ve been led to believe by the materialistic society I’ve been raised in.
Beauty is a powerful word. A word that can be used to enslave minds in order for people to capture $millions or a word to bring freedom and the greater hope of life lived in the pursuit of virtue.
Folks are protesting outside the funeral home in Worcester because people don’t want the body of Boston bomber, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, to be buried in their city. The hatred directed towards Tamerlan and what he did has moved into an abhorrence of his inanimate decaying corpse. When emotional energy is invested in this sort of vengeance I’m inclined to think these people are coping with the Boston tragedy in an unhealthy way.
There may be an association with their behavior and their concept of justice which favors retribution instead of rehabilitation. I’m less inclined to use a word like *natural*, which I heard a guest mention on NPR, to describe what they’re doing as I don’t find the word natural in this instance to be very meaningful.
When I asked my 16 year old brother, if a guy killed your family would you be okay with him being buried in the same cemetery? He said, yeah why not. It’s just a corpse.
If someone murdered your family would you have any objections to that person being buried in the same cemetery as your family?
“There was once a very zealous brother who was greatly troubled by the demon of unchastity. He went to a certain father and confessed his private thoughts to him; but this father, being inexperienced, became angry when he heard about them and told the brother that he was contemptible and unworthy of the monastic habit for having entertained thoughts such as these. When the brother heard this, he lost heart, left his cell and set off back to the world.
Through God’s providence, however, Abba Apollos, one of the most experienced of the elders, chanced to meet him and, seeing him over-wrought and very despondent, asked him why he was in this state. At first the brother did not reply because he was so depressed but, after the elder had pleaded with him, he told him what was wrong, saying: “Because I was often troubled by evil thoughts, I went to tell them to the elder; and as he said I have no hope of salvation, I have given up and am now on my way back to the world.” ‘When Abba Apollos heard this, he comforted and encouraged him, saying: “Do not be surprised, my child, and do not lose hope. I too, old and grey as I am, am still much troubled by these thoughts. Do not be discouraged by this burning desire, which is healed not so much by human effort as by God’s compassion. Please do this for me: go back to your cell just for today.” This the brother did; and Apollos, after leaving him, went to the cell of the elder who had caused his despair. Standing outside he implored God with tears and said: “O Lord, who puts us to the test for our own benefit, let this elder be given the brother’s battle, so that in old age he may learn through experience what he has not been taught over these many years: how to feel sympathy with those who are under attack by the demons.” As he finished his prayer, he saw a dark figure standing near the cell shooting arrows at the elder. Wounded by the arrows, the elder at once began to stumble back and forth as though drunk. Unable to withstand the attack, he finally left his cell and set off for the world by the same road that the young monk had taken.
‘Seeing what had happened, Abba Apollos confronted him, and asked him where he was going and why he was so troubled. Although he realized that the holy man knew what was wrong with him, he was too ashamed to say anything. Abba Apollos then said to him: “Return to your cell, and in the future recognize your own weakness. The devil has either not noticed or has despised you, and so not thought you worth fighting. Not that there has been any question of a fight: you could not stand up to his provocation even for a day! This has happened to you because, when you received a younger brother who was being attacked by our common enemy, you drove him to despair instead of preparing him for battle. You did not recall that wise precept: ‘Deliver them that are being led away to death; and redeem them that are appointed to be slain’ (Prov. 24 : 11. LXX). You did not even remember the parable of our Saviour, which teaches us not to break a bruised reed or quench smoking flax (cf. Matt. 12 : 20). None of us could endure the plots of the enemy, or allay the fiery turmoil of our nature, if God’s grace did not protect our human weakness. Seeing, then, that God has had this compassion for us, let us pray to Him together and ask Him to withdraw the whip with which He has lashed you. ‘For He wounds but binds up; He strikes but His hands heal’ (Job 5 : 18). ‘The Lord kills and gives life; he brings down to the grave and raises again…. He brings low and lifts up’ (1 Sam. 2 : 6–7).” After Abba Apollos had said this and had prayed, the attack which had been launched against the elder was at once suspended. Finally, Abba Apollos advised him to ask God to give him “the tongue of the learned” so as to know “how to speak a word in season” (Isa. 50 : 4).”
Pornography has been for many years, and continues to be, a difficult struggle in my life. Much of the porn which proliferates the web, of which I have seen, destroys the human and molds them into an *object* for pleasure. I’ll call it the *humping dog syndrome.* That dog humping your leg doesn’t care about your pleasure, if you’re real, and whether you are loved or not.
Many of the popular *free* sites (not really free as every time you go, you support the advertisers) have endless genres. I’ve realized over the years how when viewing porn, a sort of imaginary place gets created in the mind. I see the dangers of finding satisfaction in visiting such a place as a single person, I can imagine the devastation of visiting such a place as a married man with a wife.
It all collides together. The man I am now, the places I visit whether physically or in the thoughts, in some way fashion my heart, my mind, my soul; who I am. Finding pleasure, of the kind associated with porn, means finding enslavement, the fix that over time becomes like a drug. You move from one clip to the next, desiring to see more…to find another human, to smash as an object of fantasy, in a land of deception.
If I ever find a wife, in her eyes will I see the land of fantasy and deception, where I resuscitate once again the humans and sacrifice them as *objects* of pleasure, or will I see my wife. My wife, a human, fashioned in the image of God, a person of whom sexual expression is shared with as an extension of our love.
I walked into the Cafe, placed my order, took a seat and began checking my Facebook.
Behind me was an older married couple and their daughter; she appeared to be about 6 years old.
The father took his daughter into his arms and said, arrrgh I’m a goblin.
She said with authority, no no…you’re a good goblin not a bad goblin.
He responded, in his best goblin voice, there’s no such thing as a good goblin.
She said, you have to pretend you’re a good goblin and you will be one.