The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Although I am an ordained deacon of the Catholic Church, the opinions expressed in this blog are my personal opinions. In offering these personal opinions I am not acting as a representative of the Church or any Church organization.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Course Presentation: Biblical Typology Session 2

I conducted the second session of the course in Biblical Typology on Wednesday evening. Again, we had a good crowd of almost 80 people. I didn't get pelted by soft fruit so I assume the session was well received. I'll conduct session three next Wednesday evening.

You can either go directly to my Bible Study page and view the course presentations and other handout material: Bible Study Website

...or you can view the PowerPoint here: Typology Session 2

(I corrected the bad link to the Session 1 presentation in the previous post. My apologies, and thanks to those who pointed it out to me.)

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Adult Faith Formation: Course on Biblical Typology

Last Wednesday I began teaching a parish adult faith formation course on Biblical Typology. The course will be conducted every Wednesday evening for four weeks and will offer an introductory overview of the subject. We will examine "type" links between the Old and New Testaments, the people and events in the Old that foreshadow greater things in the New Testament. I also hope to examine how we can apply typology to develop a better understanding of Sacred Scripture and its meaning for us today on our journey to salvation.

I expected perhaps 30 or 40 people to attend, but imagine my surprise when 82 people enrolled for the course. They filled the meeting room and even stayed for an extra 15 minutes because, as usual, I made the session longer than I should have.

Any handout material, along with each session's PowerPoint presentation will be placed on my very modest Bible Study website at the conclusion of each session. Here's the link: St. Vincent de Paul Parish Bible Study. You should be able to access the presentations of future sessions by Friday of each week.

But for those who just want to view the PowerPoint, here's a link to the Session 1 presentation: Typology Session 1

Saturday, July 14, 2018

Homily: Healing Service

This morning one of our visiting priests, Father Ron Oser, celebrated the morning Mass. Deacon Dick Stevens and I assisted. Twice each year we conduct a healing service following this Mass, so the Mass and service draw many who seek healing in their lives and the lives of others. I was asked to preach the homily at Mass, which I have posted below.
Readings: Is 6:1-8 • Psalm 93 • Gospel: Mt 10:24-33
A few years ago, on one of my chaplain days at the hospital, I entered the room of a parishioner.

Normally Diane and I minister together, but on this particular day she was ill and couldn't join me. Of course, her absence means I'll more likely say or do something amazingly stupid.

Anyway, I recognized the man, and we talked for a while about his illness. Then I prayed with him and gave him a blessing. He was lonely and afraid, and not all that comfortable as I prayed. Before leaving, I asked if I could add him to the prayer list of parishioners who are ill.

"Oh, no," he replied, "I don't want people to know I'm sick. I'd like to keep it quiet."

"Oh, okay," I said and left his room. I told you I'd do something stupid.

After visiting a few more patients, I entered a room that was crowded with visitors. I apologized for interrupting and said I'd return later, but the patient, a woman of 85, just said, "Don't go. Come on in and join the crowd." And so I did.

She was a Southern Baptist and her visitors included her husband, a sister, a neighbor, several members of her church, and her pastor. Our conversation covered the waterfront -- her family, her hometown, her illnesses.

In her words, "I've got so many things wrong with me, they don't know which ones to work on. But I really can't complain; God let me live a lot longer than I expected."

I asked if I could pray with her, and the whole crowd joined hands.

I prayed for healing and peace, that God's will be done in her life and the lives of all present. We prayed for her doctors, her nurses, and her husband, and thanked God for the gift of friendship. We thanked God too for the gift of discipleship, for those who listen to the Lord when He says, "I was...ill and you cared for me..." Before leaving, I remarked that she was blessed to have so many caring for her and praying for her.

"Yes," she said, "I am blessed. And their prayers mean so much. They let me know that I am loved, that I belong."

When I left home that morning, I asked Diane to pray that I would minister worthily and well. I guess she did, because as soon as I left that room I headed back to the room of our parishioner. I sat down and said:

"Your Baptism made you a child of God, a member of the Church, of a community of the faithful, a community called to love you. Let that community know you need their prayers, because, believe me, you do. The prayer of the community brings healing; it brings you to repentance and brings peace of mind and soul; it brings you the joy you seek in your life, the joy promised by the God who loves you. In your illness you're lonely and afraid. But God wants you to love and be loved. He wants you joyful, not fearful. Don't let pride separate you from those who strive to be true disciples by doing God's will in the world, which includes loving and praying for you. By praying and caring for you they further God's plan for their salvation and that of the world."

Now, I was just as surprised by my words as he was. They certainly didn't come from me. No, the Holy Spirit and Diane's prayers brought those words into being.

Anyway, after the Spirit's little homily, the patient agreed to be prayed for and as I left I asked him to pray for the Baptist woman down the hall. That generated an odd look so I just said: "Pray for her. Her joy will bring you healing."

It's hard not to think of him as I stand before this community of the faithful gathered here today.

We're gathered in communion, as the Church; gathered here in Jesus' holy name; gathered in Christ's Eucharistic presence; and through that communion we're graced by healing today. This, then, is today's first healing thought:
It's through communion with Jesus, communion with each other, indeed, communion with God's created order that brings healing into our lives.
As Jesus reminds us in today's passage from Matthew: He is "Master of the House." We're not the Master. Our redemption, our healing take place on God's terms, not ours. When we come to terms with God's terms, we may well find ourselves confronting some other corner of our lives where the need for healing is even greater.

We're here today in Jesus' name, and so He is with us. He's also with us in Word and Eucharist. Accept His presence and that of His Spirit, for as Jesus told Nicodemus:
"The Spirit blows where it wills, and you can hear the sound it makes, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes" [Jn 3:8].
Let the Holy Spirit move where He wills in your life. For it is through the Spirit, through Him alone, that you receive the healing God wants for you, that you come to know God's will for you. This leads to our second healing thought:
In our brokenness you and I are called to be both healed and healer.
How many of us, pushing aside our own perceived needs, respond to Jesus' call to be healer? How many of you, here today for healing, are pleading with God to heal those sitting next to you? After all, if we've come together as a communion of faith, gathered here to bring God's healing to His Church, we must respond to His call to be healers.

We all need healing, every one of us. But so often we don't realize the healing God desires for us. Instead we just get irrational: "Why me, Lord, why me?" And then we change our tune: "Heal me, Lord, of this evil thing you gave me."

Isn't that amazing! We blame God, and then ask Him to fix it. And we call ourselves intelligent beings.
Image result for heal me lord
We plead for healing...alone
Of course we're just focused on ourselves, and by focusing on ourselves instead of God, we find nothing but fear and loneliness...just like the parishioner in the hospital.

Do we ever think of asking God to turn that which is evil in our lives into something good?

Look around you. Reach out to another in need of healing. Set aside your own needs and minister to the other, to Jesus: "I was...ill and you cared for me" [Mt 25:36].
Related image

When we break free of our self-imposed loneliness our fears disappear. Fear's a very natural, human thing. It'd be unnatural not to fear when life is threatened by illness. But listen again to what Jesus says to the disciples:
" not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul..." [Mt 10:28]
You see, Jesus is telling us that His true disciple need not fear the world and the evils it can bring. And how does He explain this? Simply by letting us know that
"Nothing is concealed that will not be revealed, nor secret that will not be known" [Mt 10:26]
In other words, we should never fear because He promised that, ultimately, the Truth will triumph. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life. And He will triumph. As His disciples, we'll join in that victory.

And so, Jesus, the Lord of History, assures us that He will overcome every threat to the body, every illness, every persecution. You see, brothers and sisters, the true disciple - like the martyrs of the past and present who willingly sacrificed their bodies for the Truth - knows he is more than his body. This brings us to our third and final healing thought:
God always heals the human spirit first.
In our sinfulness we need healing of the soul, for only that can bring us eternal life. Three times in this brief passage Jesus tells the Apostles, and He tells us, not to fear. He implies that we must instead rejoice.

I think again of that woman of 85 in the hospital, how she rejoiced in her illnesses, how she rejoiced in the gift of life, how she rejoiced in God's love expressed through those who prayed for her. She knew that God had healed her many times during her long life, healed her body and her spirit. She knew, too, that whatever healing God gives her this day is the healing He meant for her to have.
Simone Weil, the brilliant, young French philosopher who escaped the Nazis, once wrote:
"Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude."
Yes, two very different people - Simone Weil, born Jewish, Catholic by conviction, died in exile in 1943 at the age of 33; and my Southern Baptist patient in The Villages Hospital - and yet they both came to know this truth about the love of God. Let me repeat: 
"Love of God is pure when joy and suffering inspire an equal degree of gratitude."
We see this displayed so often in the Gospel - the love expressed by those who seek healing from the Lord, a love arising out of their saving faith.

We see it in the faith of the woman who had suffered for 12 years with hemorrhages. [Mk 5]

We see it in the faith of Bartimaeus, the blind beggar of Jericho, who leaps to his feet and goes to the see. To see what? To see the Way, to see the Truth, to see the Life [Mk 10].
Bartimaeus Leaps for Joy and is Healed
Jesus tells them and so many others like them, "Your faith has saved you."

Brothers and sisters, will all of us gathered here today accept the way of the disciple?

Will we unite our prayers to bring God's healing power to each other, to the world?

In our brokenness, will we accept the call to be healers, taking Jesus to those in need?

Is there enough wonder in us to accept that God, by healing our spirits, by creating in us new hearts - that by doing this He is doing something even greater than the creation of the universe?

Yes, we have a lot of work to do today. For we are all here not just to be healed, but also to carry God's healing power to others.

Like Isaiah in our first reading, we are called, but can we respond to God's call?
"Here I am. Send me" [Is 6:8]

Monday, July 9, 2018

Homily: Monday, 14th Week of Ordinary Time

Readings: Hos 2:16-18,21-22; Ps 145; Mt 9:18-26

Oh, what a gospel reading this is for us! Matthew gives us the short version, while Mark provides more detail, so I'll tap into both.

Inspired by the Sprit, Matthew blends these two events, two healings by Jesus. He sandwiches them together so you and I won't miss the point. Two people confront Jesus on this day in Galilee - two very different people.

The first is Jairus - we learn his name from Mark's Gospel - an important man, a synagogue official. Yes, Jairus was the first to know, first to have, first to shake your hand, first to be invited, the first to be served, and the last to be overlooked - a man to be noticed. He had a life filled with people who cared for him. It had probably been a good life...until now.

Because he had a daughter whom he loved, and this young girl had just died. In desperation he approached Jesus. No, that's wrong. He didn't just approach Jesus. This important man knelt at Jesus' feet and begged for his daughter's life.

On his knees, looking up, he asked Jesus to come and lay hands on the girl, to mediate God's grace and power and deliver his daughter from death - his little girl who has lived only 12 years. Moved by this father's love, Jesus accompanies Jairus. They are followed by the crowd, the crowd that always followed Jesus. And there, in that crowd, we encounter another in need of healing.

For 12 Years Jairus enjoyed his daughter's presence. But the woman in the crowd had spent those same 12 years on the outside looking in.

For 12 years, she was the last one at the well, the last one at the marketplace, the last to be noticed, and the first to turn away.

For 12 years, she lived on the fringes, avoiding people, avoiding contact, avoiding everything, everything but shame.

For 12 years a flow of blood had made her unclean according to Jewish law - 12 years without the prayers of the synagogue.

Her friends disappeared long ago, lost along with her money and her pride - 12 years of loneliness. Lonely, even in a crowd, she had learned how to be almost invisible.

There are men and women just like her today. They're all around us.

You see them at the soup kitchen and the food pantry. You see them on the streets and alleyways of our cities. You see them in your neighborhood, eating alone, living alone, always alone.

She's the one whose eyes are on the ground, the one you might notice, just for a moment, out of the corner of your eye, before she slips away.

I know you've seen her. Sometimes she's in front of you at the checkout counter, counting out her change to buy a small bag of groceries.

You see her in our cities, the one who lives her life along the edge of the curb, among the empty wrappers and the discarded cans.

But sometimes, perhaps most times, we don't see her at all. Or if we do, we wonder why they let these crazy people out on the streets.

Yes, the woman who reached out to touch Jesus is with us still.

We encounter two very different people - both in desperate need, both turning to Jesus in hope. Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Matthew asks us to look at these two people, to see them together, as he nests their stories one within the other. And they're so different, these two.

Jairus, the man of importance, doesn't hesitate. Sure of himself, he goes in search of Jesus, finds Him, approaches Him directly. He's the kind of man who can say, "Jesus, help me!" and trust he'll be welcomed and heard.

But the woman? She buries herself in the crowd. Those years of hiding and shame have had their effect. She couldn't bear another rejection. Fearing public humiliation, she sneaks up on Jesus, just to touch His garment, to taste His healing power, and she can slip away silently.
“If only I can touch his cloak, I shall be cured.”
But Jesus sees her, doesn't He? He feels her presence. He sees her just as clearly as He saw Jairus. Yes, He sees them both that day in Galilee. Jesus never allows the one before Him to hide the other lost in the crowd. Unlike us, His eyes are never so focused on the obvious that He misses those who live on the fringes, those who hide just out of view. Jesus sees what you and I so often ignore.

In Mark's Gospel we're told that both, Jairus and the woman, fall to the ground as they approach Jesus. Yes, Jairus, blessed in life, is wise and knows its source. He falls at Jesus' feet and begs for one more blessing. But the woman...Jesus must call her to Him. Filled with fear and trembling, she too falls at His feet. She knows she's been healed, for God's healing power flowed from Jesus the moment she touched His garment. But Jesus wants her to know her wholeness came from faith, not fear:
"Courage, daughter. Your faith has saved you" [Mt 9:22]. 
Such kind, life-changing words. You're my disciple now. Have courage. You never again need to fear.

At the home of Jairus Jesus clears out the mourners and wailers, those who cling to a culture of death. It calls to mind what His later did in the Temple, doesn't it? - that day He sent the money changers packing.

One touch from Our Lord and the girl rises from her deathbed. You see, brothers and sisters, Jesus brings life, and because of Him death will never again be the same.
One touch from Jesus' hand...
One touch from your hand?
Maybe that's why the Spirit invites us to read about these two healings, one inside the other. Two people - one in comfort and position, another in poverty and obscurity - but both come to Jesus in faith; both approach Him humbly and hopefully. And both came away fully aware that they own nothing, that everything comes from God.

Maybe we're not supposed to wonder whose need was greater, or whose faith was stronger, or why Jesus stopped to talk with the woman when a little girl's father needed him so desperately.  Maybe it's enough for us to know that Jesus saw them both, was there for both!

That's the wonder of being a Christian, brothers and sisters. Jesus sees us too and is there for us if we approach Him in humility, in hope, and in faith.

Of course, the other part of being a Christian is recognizing Jesus in those who stand before us, those who hide in the crowd waiting for us to see them, waiting for us to love them as Jesus loves them.

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Homily: Saturday, 12 Week in Ordinary Time

Readings: Lam 2:2,10-14,18-19; Ps 74; Mt 8:5-17

Back in my Navy days, I was a commanding officer on several occasions.

It carried quite a bit of authority, but I tried to ensure my decisions were formed by solid information, so I always included key subordinates in the decision-making process. There was a lot of give and take and open argument, but then, once I made my decision, I expected everyone to support it and do what was necessary to implement it. And remarkably they did...largely because of the authority the Navy gives its commanding officers. Of course no decision pleases everyone, so there was probably occasional grumbling, but never in my presence.

I also knew that "the buck stopped here," that command in the Navy meant that the responsibility always rested on the commanding officer's shoulders. Believe me, this is a humbling realization.

Our Gospel reading from Matthew shows that things haven't changed much in 2,000 years. Indeed, I've always felt a strong connection with that Roman centurion Jesus encountered in today's Gospel passage.
The Humility of the Centurion
Here was a man, despised by the Jews: not just a Gentile, but also a hated officer of the Roman army, an armed occupier of their Holy Land. Like the exiled Jews in our first reading who lamented their captivity and the destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews of Jesus' time lamented too. And for Jesus even to speak with the Centurion must have shocked them.

And yet in these few verses we encounter a man of tender concern, clear thinking, and moving faith.

He was a remarkable man, one who had been blessed; blessed because God had given him the wisdom to understand the limitations of his work in the world and its connection to his faith.

He understood the nature and difference between human authority and divine authority. Although he had physical control over those he led, he knew that he too was subject to a higher authority. And because he had accepted God's gift of faith he had come to recognize that higher authority present in the person of Jesus.

This is a remarkable display of true humility of the kind we all should possess. True humility, the "poor in sprit" kind of humility, is nothing less than a deep, soul-ingrained awareness that God is great and we are all His creatures. It puts all of life into perspective, forcing us to focus on what is truly important.

Those who, like the centurion, understand the truth of their existence don't revel in their humility; for to them it's no personal virtue; it's simply reality. My father used to say: "Humility's a strange commodity because once you know you have it, you've just lost it." Our centurion's humility was just an acceptance of truth.

Confronted by the real presence of Jesus, his Lord, the centurion asks for healing, not for himself but for one for whom he is responsible. He knows his limitations. He cannot heal another of his paralysis and his suffering. That is something only God can do. Filled with faith, he appeals to the divine authority standing before him. Jesus accepts his appeal and agrees to accompany him.

It's then the centurion utters those words made holy by the Church, words we all pray when we are confronted by the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. 

"Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof; but only say the word and my servant will be healed" [Mt 8:8].
What remarkable words - words of both deep faith and simple kindness.

Deep faith because he knows that God's power, God's authority over His creation, is limitless and certainly doesn't demand Jesus' physical, human presence. The word of the Word of God, the word that created the entire universe, is sufficient: "...only say the word..."

And simple kindness so Jesus, a Jew, wouldn't have to deal with the consequences of entering the home, of being "under the roof" of a Gentile.

The centurion brings these words of our liturgy to life and you and I should pray them with the same sense of humility and faith. Yes, indeed, we too are "not worthy" of the Eucharistic Presence of Jesus, a miraculous Presence, a Presence He shares with us despite our unworthiness. And yet in that Presence He opens His heart to us, asking us as we come forward to receive Him to lay our needs at His feet.

How blessed we will be when Jesus responds to us as He responded to the centurion:
"You may go; as you have believed, let it be done for you" [Mt 8:13].

A Prophecy

One look at the titles in my home library and you would notice, with a few exceptions, most of the fiction was written by writers who are no longer with us. The exceptions include such novelists as Mark Helprin, Gene Wolfe, Dean Koontz, V. S. Naipaul, Michael D. O'Brien, and a few others. I enjoy the work of authors who write well, who accept the reality of objective truth, and who believe in what T. S. Eliot called the "permanent things" that make us human beings what we are and lead us to what we are destined to become. You will find few atheists or relativists among the novelists residing in my modest library. I hear enough from them in the popular media.
Jane Austen and The Cottage in Chawton, Hampshire
I've written often of my fondness for that early nineteenth-century moral theologian, Jane Austen, a woman so unlike those dark, brooding Brontes. And I continue to enjoy and reread the work of Charles Dickens, Herman Melville, and Anthony Trollope. In truth, these days I don't read Trollope but instead listen to him during my early morning walks, thanks to the good folks at and the Apple engineers who made my iPhone. Trollope is really quite listenable. And then there are the writers whose stories and novels make me laugh again and again, authors like P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) and H. H. Munro (aka, Saki, 1870-1916). I've also come to enjoy the somewhat strange novels of the late Alice Thomas Ellis (1932-2005) and the ghostly stories of Russell Kirk (1918-1994). I remember my surprise when I learned that Kirk, one of the intellectual fathers of the American conservative movement, also wrote these wonderfully spooky tales. 

A Young Mackenzie
All of this talk of authors and books has brought me to Compton Mackenzie (1883-1972), another writer in whose works I delight. I first encountered him about 30 years ago when I picked up a used copy of his farcical novel, The Monarch of the Glen, a book I thoroughly enjoyed. Since then I've probably read a dozen of his novels. But one day, while browsing in the aisles of my favorite Cape Cod bookstore -- Parnassus Books -- I picked up a copy of Volume 3 of Mackenzie's My Life and Times. I soon discovered that his autobiography was a massive work, filling ten volumes -- yes, that's right, ten! Each volume covers an "octave," eight years of this man's remarkable life. 

Since reading that third "octave", I have searched for and purchased the other nine volumes and, believe me, few lives are more interesting than Mackenzie's. He knew everyone from Kaiser Wilhelm to Winston Churchill, from T. E. Lawrence to D. H. Lawrence, from William Faulkner to Lawrence Olivier. The child of a theatrical family, Mackenzie graduated from Oxford, was a lifelong Scottish nationalist, converted to Catholicism, and developed a deep distrust of invasive government. He also liked cats, a odd trait which I can overlook.

Last evening, while reading Volume 8, which covers the war years (1939 to 1946), I came across something Mackenzie had written late in 1940. This was a most difficult time for the British. In 1939 Stalin and Hitler had signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop non-aggression pact, an agreement conceived in hell, one that would last until broken by Hitler in mid-1941. It would be well over a year before the United States entered the war after the Pearl Harbor attack in December 1941. At the time Mackenzie was writing, Britain stood virtually alone against the most powerful army the world had ever seen. And that army had just blitz-krieged its way through France and the Low Countries forcing the British troops and a contingent of allied forces to evacuate at Dunkirk. Were it not an island nation, Britain too would have fallen, probably quickly.

Mackenzie's comments were published as the forward to a volume designed to raise money for a charity called the War Orphans Fund. Given that they were written almost 80 years ago, in the early years of World War Two, they are both insightful and prophetic. I have included some excerpts here.
"If would be more comfortable to believe that this great war was merely the result of the last Great War. We might then feel fairly certain of achieving a real peace, for we have learnt a lesson and are in the mood to benefit by it. If this war is part of an evolutionary struggle, whatever the result we cannot hope to see the world securely re-established, because our victory must in time be challenged again but our defeat would be final, at any rate for too long a period to make speculation worth while. 
"I believe that we may soon be witnessing the death agony of that habit of thought and system of economy which is too loosely called capitalism, too loosely as it seems to me because it overstresses the economic aspect and I am not a dialectical materialist who can accept Marx's theory that man's circumstance is entirely determined by this. I regard our period as the beginning of the reaction against the trend that was given to Western development by the Renaissance and the Reformation and the discovery of America, which led to an exaggerated conception of the rights of the individual and an insufficient appreciation of his duties. The process has been accelerated by the abuse of mechanical progress from printing to flying, by the corruption of the ideal of popular education, by the substitution of humanitarian theory for religious practice, by the continually growing power of money, and by the encouragement of an illusory freedom of thought at the cost of real freedom of action. The result has been that never in recorded history was the ordinary man so completely at the mercy of his environment as he is today. The liberty that seemed within his grasp at the beginning of the fifteenth century is now farther away than ever, and is likely to recede still farther as long as man elects to be the slave of self rather than the servant of God."
At this point Mackenzie refers to a drawing of the Holy Family fleeing into Egypt and writes:
"They too were refugees...but they are refugees at this moment. What that Holy Family stood for mankind is even now being driven more brutally into the desert by material progress than ever by Herod's violence...
"After the Great War of 1914-1918 people sat back and declared that another great war would mean the end of civilization. Pamphlets were published to warn the world what appalling weapons and poisons would obliterate humanity. Pacifism was feverishly preached on the text that war was too horrible; its missionaries forgot that only experience teaches and that a younger generation would be excited but not warned by books like All Quiet on the Western Front. Meanwhile for two fatal decades audiences sought a deliberate thrill from gangster films and plays and readers procured themselves a kick from tough novels.
"And then suddenly in September 1938 audiences and readers woke up to the fact that the thrills and kicks they had been administering to themselves, thrills and kicks more pernicious to moral stamina than any hashish or cocaine could supply, were expressions of such a zeitgeist as not even the far-sighted Goethe discerned upon the wing...
"In one last desperate effort to travel out of the respectable past into the disreputable present Neville Chamberlain flew to Berchtesgaden to allay the whispers of politicians who had betrayed their country out of laziness because it was easier not to disturb an electorate with warnings of a storm which after all might not break. To politicians willing to betray their country out of laziness it did not seem a grave offense to betray what Mr. Chamberlain called a 'remote country' like Czechoslovakia out of cowardice. Not that such cowardice was not immediately justified, let it be quickly said; war was impossible for Britain and France. Neither was ready..."
Neville Chamberlain and Adolph Hitler in Munich
Mackenzie goes on to address the muddled thinking of both the Left and the Right in the years leading up to the war, and then writes the following:
"The seat of the trouble was that confused thinking which led to the failure to recognize that Fascism and National Socialism were only different expressions of the same basic evolutionary drive as inspired Communism. Black ants or red ants, they are both ants. The initials of Liberté, Egalité and Fraternité provide the first three letters for the LEFT, and T stands for Totalitarianism...
"The Communist secure in a positive material creed declares the condition of Europe to be evidence that the death agony of capitalism has begun. The Catholic equally secure in a positive creed which transcends materialism .declared the condition of Europe to be the logical result of turning aside from the way of life God Himself indicated when He was Man..."
Interesting stuff by a man who served actively on foreign soil in British Intelligence during World War One. I look forward to reading more of his thoughts as he describes life during the war years.

Mackenzie who wrote upwards of 100 books, also penned a four-volume memoir of those years as an intelligence officer in and near Greece during Word War One -- something else to search for...

God's Peace, the only True Peace...