The American Dilemma and How We Can Fix It

Today is a “Red Letter Day.”  You’ve probably heard that expression but may not know its origins.

During the Dark and Middle Ages, the Church was primarily responsible for preserving what knowledge there was.  It was the monastics of those times who painstakingly copied the accumulated wisdom of Western Europe.

Of course, many of these were Church documents such as the Roman Missal.  The Missal was the delineation of the Feasts and Fasts that the Church observed through the liturgical year.  This included the days on which those whom the Church recognized as saints were remembered in the liturgy and in the Divine Office.

Very few saints are observed more than once in the course of the liturgical year – normally on the day of their death (their re-birth into a new life in Heaven).  One of those who is observed twice is St. John the Baptist – and today is the day of his Nativity, June 24th.

In order to make certain that the reader of the Roman Missal could not fail to note days of great importance, the monks inscribed the beginning letter of solemn and important feasts in red ink – hence our term, “Red Letter Day.”

As you know, John the Baptist met his death because he refused to renounce his principles and is the inspiration for today’s (Not Yet) Famous Quote:

“Hatred destroys the person harboring it, long before it ruins it’s intended victim.”

– Juwannadoright


Comments on: "(NOT YET) FAMOUS QUOTES – X" (4)

  1. This was a great lesson in history – thank you. I love this quote. Truly words to live by.

    • Being grounded in an historical perspective I believe gives a person a sense of confidence that comes from a feeling of continuity.

      I happened to think of the quote because I read an article this week on someone conducting an “anger management” class. (My presumption is that they were teaching people to control anger rather than to create it). Are we so out of control that we need a class to conduct ourselves in a civilized way?

      • I completely agree about having an historical perspective. Unfortunately, however, our education, news, and political systems do not. I can barely believe the out-of-context alleged history taught in our schools, nor can I believe the way our news reports and political machine hovers in mid-air unattached to anything even resembling context. Worse, all this context-free info is accepted as whole truth on which we the people base our judgments and decisions.

        And to answer your question: yes. I believe we are so out of control that anger management classes are absolutely necessary to avoid the tripling of our current homicide rate. But it’s a sign of the times, I think. Moreover, it’s a sign of how individuals are being affected by accepted societal mores now – like the sense of entitlement & exceptionalism w/ which we raise our children, for example. No child left behind. Everyone gets a star – even if they put forth no effort. These kids grow up to be anger management class candidates as they discover that real life in the real world is star-free for those not willing (and not trained) to work hard for it. This, I’m sure, is maddening to such people who have only heard the word “no” a handful of times in their lives, and even then were able to charm or tantrum their way around that “no” into a very self-satisfying but undeserved “yes.” I support the whole anger management thing because I think it provides valuable real-world lessons about how society really works outside the realm of overly indulgent parents, and I think it keeps the rest of us safe by tempering destructive impulses of those who were not taught how to do this in their upbringing.

      • There is a reason that the only publication to which I have subscribed continuously for many years is “The Christian Science Monitor”. Thoughtful Pulitzer Prize winning articles and authors without the sensationalism we find ourselves subjected to everywhere.

        As to our educational system, although you are obviously more intimately familiar with it than I, wouldn’t it be better to re-name the “No Child Left Behind” program to “No Child Gets Ahead?”

        Finally, on anger management … I can only say that I was so fortunate to have been born and reared into a family that was loving, gentle and nurturing. The few disagreements that occurred between my parents were minor, brief and they got resolved. And I know that my parents tried to shield me from them as they felt they were not something to which I should be exposed. They considered that a part of their duty being responsible parents. And most parents tried their best to be just that.

        I have been angry (by that I mean blood-boiling hot as the blazes) exactly twice in my life. Sometimes I think I had a lobotomy as kid and my folks neglected to mention it.

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