Charlie's Blog: SOC 20


SOC 20

A nation which does not remember what it was yesterday does not know where it is today.

I miss beer. I never miss meat or cheese. I also never miss Jim Beam. But I do miss Pabst Blue Ribbon. And why is this? Because there was relaxation and comfort in that 12 oz. can. Every top popped was like a mini-vacation. I never cared for getting hammered, but I did like sitting back in Rusty's Chair and taking a chill pill. FYI, Rusty is the father of a friend who brought this discarded chair to my wife before she ever met me. That chair is mine now, and I love it. Here is a picture of it from my crappy flip phone:

Rusty's chair has seen some action. It has been in my wife's possession for at least ten years, and it was blown out when she got it. Somewhere along the way, it became my chair mainly because I sit in it on a daily basis. I like it so much that I might get it reupholstered when the time comes. When I sit in the chair, I can feel the old man crust on me. It grows a bit more as each year goes by.

The PBR was supposed to be the companion on my descent into crustiness. The beer was going to mellow me and maybe tamp down the bitterness that comes from watching the world go to hell. This guy has the right idea:

But I gave up PBR, and I have had no gout flare ups since. But old men like to find comfort in simple things--a cold beer, a cigar, a glass of scotch, a favorite pipe. Those things are denied to me. At least I have the chair. Man, do I love that chair!

I think God wants me to be a teetotaller. I don't know God's reasons for this, and I don't have to know. I've learned to not question the Almighty's business. I just want to obey. So, I am out of the beer game for the sake of a disease that I am not supposed to have. I will have to witness the world's destruction fully sober.

I don't have a comfortable life, and that is by choice and design. I am averse to comfort in a lifestyle my wife calls the "Arsenal of Pain." Somewhere in my journey, I made peace with pain and adversity and even seek it out. I find comfort in suffering which is counterintuitive. This is because suffering makes me turn to God. Ultimately, our comfort and solace must come from God Almighty. For some people, beer becomes the substitute for God.

I endure each day with heavy reliance on the rosary, the Holy Bible, the grace given through the sacraments of the eucharist and confession, and the examples of the saints who lived holy lives in much harsher conditions than I encounter in my life. God is my strength and refuge. God is always there for me.

The practice of daily prayer has made me appreciate things about prayer that I never really knew before. We are to be importunate in prayer which seems to be a strange requirement for me. I am reminded of the story in the Bible where Moses had to keep his hands up in order for the Israelites to keep winning in battle. They would help Moses by holding up and supporting his arms. That is the best image of the nature of prayer that I know. God wants us to share in what He does, and prayer is our way of sharing. Everyone prays for the ones they know and love, but do we pray daily? Would we pray 100 times or even 1000 times if it would save a loved one from Hell?

Prayer works. God is not a genie in the bottle, but I've seen answers to prayer that I did not expect. My own conversion to the Catholic faith was an answer to prayer. But most of the time, our prayers seem to go unanswered either because we ask for the wrong things or because we grow impatient with waiting for the answers. It is in those times of discouragement that we really need to keep praying. On the other side of the discouragement is the answer.

What does all this suffering and praying do? It produces grit. This is just another name for fortitude, but I like grit better. Endurance through trials makes strong people, and I have encountered strong people of faith. When life gets hard, these people fight back on their knees. They are holy warriors who don't give up. And that, Gentle Reader, is the secret of winning in this life. Never give up.

I often wonder if Donald Trump will give up. The Left would like for him to give up. I have little faith in him on this count. Yet, he is still there. I truly believe that he will make America great again as long as he stays in that Oval Office. Life would be so much easier for him if he threw in the towel. But this country needs that man. I believe that. A Jeb Bush presidency would be a disaster right now as nothing would be changing at this point. When I look at Theresa May in England, I shake my head in disgust. May is no Thatcher. I keep hoping the UK will get a true conservative prime minister.

When you are a Christian and a conservative, you have to make a mental commitment to never giving up. Surrender is not an option. This is a very important thing. It's like the story of the conquistadors who burned their boats upon arrival in the New World. They removed the option of turning back.

Trials reveal to us our escape hatches. I admit that I still have a couple in my brain. I didn't think I had them, but I see them clearly now. I am going to eliminate those escape hatches. I will always be a conservative, a Christian, and a Catholic. Even if I am blind in the deepest darkest pit I may find myself in the future, I will put my trust in the Lord. It is one thing to say that God is all you have. It is another thing to know it. God is all I have. And God is all I need.