Logic

A logical argument must meed three conditions:

  1. The terms must be clear.
  2. The form must be valid.
  3. The premises must be true.

A basic syllogism looks like this:

  • Premise #1.
  • Premise #2.
  • Conclusion.

If the terms are clear and the form is valid, the conclusion must be true. Channel your inner Vulcan and put your feelings away, for no amount of hurt feelings will make the illogical logical or the logical illogical. There is no tantrum of any size that will make the true conclusion false or the false conclusion true.

What do each of these conditions look like? Continue reading

Garden

All is settled, and
All shall settle.
A cool drip of water
A breeze, breeze wet and cool.
And the dirt rubs off
The dirt from breaking the land.
It is scarred in my small world
In my universe
From my actions
For my ends
The fruits of which whither,
And fester, and rot
Into compost.
A garden of life and vegetables, Amen.

Oh! My brethren, how shall we admire the loving-kindness of the Saviour? With what power, and with what a trumpet should a man cry out, exalting these His benefits! That not only should we bear His image, but should receive from Him an example and pattern of heavenly conversation; that as He has begun, we should go on, that suffering, we should not threaten, being reviled, we should not revile again, but should bless them that curse, and in everything commit ourselves to God who judges righteously. – Saint Athanasius, Letter 2.5

Going too far

When working with teenagers at my church on the subject sex and chastity, the question often asked is, “How far is too far?”

My addict brain asks the same question. “What can I do that won’t cross into my inner circle?” I would mistakenly believe that the middle circle is for behaviors I “get to do” rather than the ones that lead me to my inner circle.

The question is best answered this way: if I want to know how far I can lean over the edge of a cliff without falling, the only way I’ll find out is when I start to fall. 

Stay away from the edge. 

Three days before birth,
His anniversary thereof,
He contemplates the lives
Of the women
And the children he’s hurt.

Needing acceptance not rejection,
Wantedness not wantonness,
He poisons their souls
With hemlock, cyanide,
And tins of Zyklon-B.

Amazed at the way
Violation manifests itself
Without the slightest touch.
Just a stare, but a feather on the waist
Is the tearing of the hymen.

Wanted, accepted, loved,
These three he must feel
To end it all
And restore, recover.
Repent!

“The assembly believed them” Susanna Part 4

The assembly believed them, because they were elders of the people and judges; and they condemned her to death. – Daniel 13:41

Earlier in the story of Susanna, the elders conspired together to gang rape her.  They sneaked into her garden and threatened her.  If she didn’t submit to them, they would say that she was fooling around with a young man.  “Who will the people believe?” they might have asked.  “The respected elders and judges of the community, or a worthless woman?”

Indeed, when they tell the story of what didn’t happen, the people believe them, even though such things were unheard of with Susanna.  These men were in positions of authority.  They were civil as well as religious leaders.

One injustice begats another.  How often in your acting out have you also lied and caused calamity to come upon the innocent?  Has your acting out damaged relationships with your spouse?  Your parents, brothers, sisters, or extended family?  What about your children?  Very likely, some of your relationships have been harmed.

Many sex addicts are tempted to immediately go into Step Nine, making amends.  That is natural.  When we realize that we’ve done wrong, if we are truly sorry, then we should want to make amends.  That’s an important part of penance in the sacrament of confession, too.

However, we must not rush into our amends.  This can make problems worse.  Remember, we may be ready for amends, but the people we hurt may not be ready.  A sponsor can help you know when to make amends, if ever.  Sometimes amends must be spiritual only.

Small amends can be made at any time.  If you are on decent terms with another person, start doing small things for them.  They don’t need to know why.  Just be kind, courteous, and helpful.  If you are not on good terms with someone, make time to pray for that person.  Have a Mass offered for them.  I have had Masses offered for people that I will never be able to make amends for, because they are dead, or doing so will cause more problems than it’ll solve.

Find a sponsor, work with your sponsor, and go to confession!