Monday, March 30, 2015

Another Publishing Triumph (Sort of)

I've written a fair amount of book reviews--a few of which weren't even self-published--and now, after my master's project has been circulated a bit, I have a third-party review of it!  Best of all, it's favorable.  You can read the review here.  If you'd like to get a copy, simply go to and look up Greening God's Earth.  You can get it for free or leave a tip to help continue the work.
Thanks again to the Englewood Review of Books for the review.

Courtesy Creative Commons

Monday, March 16, 2015

Another Publishing Triumph

Here's the second (and final) post I've written for Ignatian Solidarity Network and their Lenten devotional blog.  Thanks again to Ken Homan.

We're more than half-way through Lent.  If you've come this can make it.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Another Publishing Triumph

The following link will take you to the Renewing the Face of the Earth Lenten devotional series.  It's an arm of the Ignatian Solidarity Network.  Here's my contribution.  I've got another entry due in another week or so.  Let me know what you think.

Friday, February 13, 2015

Worth Quoting

Most Western Christians are Augustinian in some way and I can't deny that myself, even though I have trouble with the man's outlook in ways I can't fully articulate.  Still, the Western church didn't make him a saint for nothing (in the East he's known as Blessed Augustine--they never fully warmed up to him).  Anyway, here's a piece from his gigantic magnum opus (and this was hand written, mind you) City of God book 22, chapter 22.
This life of ours--if a life so full of such great ills can properly be called a life--bears witness to the fact that, from its very start, the race of mortal men has been a race condemned.  Think, first, of that dreadful abyss of ignorance from which all error flows and so engulfs the sons of Adam in a darksome pool that no one can escape without the toll of toils and tears and fears.  Then, take our very love for all those things that prove so vain and poisonous and breed so many heartaches, troubles, griefs, and fears; such insane joys in discord, strife, and war; such wrath and plots of enemies, deceivers, sycophants; such fraud and theft and robbery; such perfidy and pride, envy and ambition, homicide and murder, cruelty and savagery, lawlessness and lust; all the shameless passions of the impure--fornication and adultery, incest and unnatural sins, rape and countless other uncleannesses too nasty to be mentioned; the sins against religion--sacrilege and heresy, blasphemy and perjury; the iniquities against our neighbors--calumnies and cheating, lies and false witness, violence to persons and property; the injustices of the courts and the innumerable other miseries and maladies that fill the world, yet escape attention.
 It is true that it is wicked men who do such things, but the source of all such sins is that radical canker in the mind and will that is innate in every son of Adam.  For our infancy proves with what ignorance of the truth man enters upon life, and adolescence makes clear to all the world how full we are of folly and concupiscence.  In fact, if anyone were left to live as he please and to do what he desired, he would go through practically the whole gamut of lawlessness and lust--those which I have just listed and, perhaps, others that I refrained from mentioning.
Yet, for all this blight of ignorance and folly, fallen man has not been left without some ministries of Providence, nor has God, in His anger, shut up his mercies.
Nothing new under the sun, indeed!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

My Advent Wish

Less than 24 hours remain in Advent 2014, and while the season hasn't been particularly hard, life itself has been.  Reflecting back, I think my life has been in a semi-tailspin since late January 2012, from which I've only partially recovered.
Without revealing too much, I've been struggling to overcome a habitual sin that has plagued me for far too long; my economic contribution to my family has been negligible, and I've been ambivalent about joining the Roman rite of the Catholic Church since Spring 2012.
What I (think) need is a priest who can find that balance in the confessional between saying, "Quit Fu@&ing around" and "Jesus loves you more than you can imagine, keep following Him, do not, under any circumstances, take your eyes from Him."

Does anyone in SE Michigan know of such a priest?
Here's hoping your Advent has been fruitful.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Realization of the Weekend

There is no twelve-step program for pride.  The sins of the flesh, while destructive, are not the worst, as is the spiritual sin of pride.  That it's invisible and can be mistaken for good makes it that much more insidious.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Good-bye to All That

Old Flatt is as dead as a drywall screw.  My father is dead.  I'm not sure when it happened, but I believe it was sometime last fall.  I don't know what happened; I only found out about it in a Facebook post.  No one told me.  No one has yet told me. 

     I believe I've revealed on this blog about my origins: that the man who holds held the title of father to me only did so because he was a rapist.  Someone who claimed to be a good friend to my mother chose to take his anger and God knows what other thoughts and emotions he couldn't handle out on my mother by asserting his sexual power.  His fecundity was forced rather than as a loving act of self-donation.

     Which brings up a side point.  I can't tell you how prickly I get whenever I hear some pro-abort talk about the importance of being able to kill the Lebensunwertes Leben.  I get, more than most men, the pain and shame a woman receives from rape.  Yet, I also understand more than most women, that the rhetoric thrown around about killing children conceived in rape and incest is pretty damn insensitive to mildly state it.  I'm not sure how killing your child--even a child with half the chromosomal signature of a rapist--alleviates the situation.

     A few years ago I hired a PI to find out about grandparents and siblings.  In a matter of minutes, the PI informed me where my father lived and where my two younger sisters lived--they were only a county away.  The sisters, that is.  The Father resided in Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. 

     After some back and forth with the PI, one sister AB, the younger, finally agreed to meet with me one November night.  I thought it went well.  She gave me a hug at the end and then asked if we could meet again.  

     I had informed her that her father was a rapist and shortly after that meeting I provided some legal documents to remove the doubt's shadow.  She did send me a Christmas card that year--three years ago this December.

      Then it all seemed to fall apart.

       She never accepted my "friend" request on Facebook--though we did communicate a few times through the messaging feature.  The older sister, NR, has yet to write a word to me.  The last time AB said anything was last Christmas in a very short Christmas greeting--responding to what I sent to her.

     I've checked in on her Facebook page, simply to see what she might be up to (yeah, yeah, Creeper) or to see if we might at some point have a friend in common that I can communicate through.  That's when I saw a post, a photo only of my father, dated June 25th, with some one responding "Hugs" on her wall.  

     I surmised "Uh oh." and looked through more of past postings to find some post about supporting people with brain tumors.  Did RDF aka The Rapist die of a tumor?  I wasn't gloating at all.  It was anger that was becoming palpable.

     The Father had divorced the mother of my sisters sometime ago--probably the early 80s and at some point supposedly sobered up and remarried.  My sister is Fb friends with the new wife.  I checked out her page--she is now listed as widowed.

     A quick obituary check on the interwebs pulled up that he actually died 1 October 2013.  I found this out about two weeks ago.

     After consulting two sage people, I was given conflicting advice.  One was to ask the widow (for whom I bear no malice) about what happened.  Did he ever acknowledge my existence?  I don't want any money that might be had--I just want to know did he ever mention me?  Did I matter to this cretin?

     The other's advice, which I'm following (apologies TG) is to let the whole affair slip under the waves.  Forget contacting the sister(s) anymore, don't bother the widow.  Their silence (and the widow's probable ignorance) is the answer to my question. 

     Even though I gave AB a way out: "Look, if you want me to leave you alone, just say so and I will," I still got nothing.  Her mute passivity is rejection.

     I can't figure it out.  If someone came to me and announced that he or she was my long-lost sibling, I would warily embrace the person.  I might not want anything to do with him or her based solely on their character, but I would find out all I could before that rejection happened.

     Not so with AB and NR.  Ladies, you probably won't ever read this, but you are HORRIBLE PEOPLE.  Your friends would console you with platitudes and say, "Oh, that's not true, you are wonderful," but that's because you probably never told them you had have a brother who wanted to get to know you, but for reasons unbeknownst to him, you've rejected him.

     Is it that hard to say, "Get out of our lives!  We don't want you!"? 

     If I've offended them, I have no idea what I said or did.  I bounce between Philo of Alexandria's dictum, "Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a great battle" and wanting to publicly curse them (yeah, sort of like this).

     The Father aka The Rapist has gone to his grave without reconciliation.  I've prayed for his soul.  I have no idea in what condition he was spiritually before he left, but I can guess given 45 years of no looking back on his part.

     I've quoted this before from Nick Cave:
People just ain't no good
I think that's well understood
 You can see it everywhere you look
People just ain't no good

     And it's true.  "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner."  I hate these two women (for now) and I desperately want to embrace them.

     God have mercy on us all.