Tag Archives: narcissism

Sunday Devotional: Whoever wishes to come after me must deny yourself

Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples set out
for the villages of Caesarea Philippi.
Along the way he asked his disciples,
“Who do people say that I am?”
They said in reply,
“John the Baptist, others Elijah,
still others one of the prophets.”
And he asked them,
“But who do you say that I am?”
Peter said to him in reply,
“You are the Christ.”
Then he warned them not to tell anyone about him.

He began to teach them
that the Son of Man must suffer greatly
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes,
and be killed, and rise after three days.
He spoke this openly.
Then Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him.
At this he turned around and, looking at his disciples,
rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan.
You are thinking not as God does, but as human beings do.”

He summoned the crowd with his disciples and said to them,
Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself,
take up his cross, and follow me.
For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it,
but whoever loses his life for my sake
and that of the gospel will save it.”

“Whoever wishes to come after me must deny himself”.

The above reading from Mark 8 wasn’t the only time when Jesus warned us about narcissism — the excessive love of self that expresses itself as selfishness, self-preoccupation, entitlement, and pride. In Mark 9:33-35, too, chastising the Apostles who were arguing who among them was the greatest, our Lord said in no uncertain terms:

“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.”

The late author Christopher Lasch, in The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in An Age of Diminishing Expectations, maintained that narcissism is the disorder of our time. Indeed, the decade of the 1990s is given the sobriquet of the “Me Decade.”

Some are of the opinion that contemporary Western culture itself is narcissistic:

  • Psychiatrist Richard Fitzgibbons observed that the “predominant character weakness in our culture is that of selfishness”.
  • James F. Masterson, M.D., described American society as “signifying the virtual apotheosis of the interested self.”
  • Psychiatrist Alexander Lowen, in Narcissism: Denial of the True Self, said that in his forty years as a therapist, he (and others in the psychological profession ) had seen a marked change in the personality problems of those who came to him for consultation. Instead of the neurotic guilts, anxieties, phobias, and obsessions of earlier times, Lowen increasingly encountered narcissistic individuals saddled with depression, a lack of feeling, an inner emptiness, and a deep sense of frustration and unfulfillment.

Narcissism being “the disorder of our time” is due in no small measure to the increasing secularization, irreligiosity, and outright satanism of contemporary culture. As Fr. Juan José Gallego, the exorcist for the archdiocese of Barcelona, Spain, explains, the Devil’s favorite sin is pride.

See “Satanism as a new political movement in America” and “Satanism is now a cool thing in California, esp. Hollywood“.

C.S. Lewis, too, called pride “the great sin” and wrote that “it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind.”

Like all narcissists, Lucifer’s choice to love himself more than God only condemns himself to misery. As poet John Milton so perfectly captured the fallen angel’s eternal misery in Paradise Lost:

Which way I fly is Hell; myself am Hell.

And what’s the antidote to narcissism?

Once again, Jesus had already given us the answer:

To love God with our whole heart, our whole mind, our whole soul, and with all our strength.

May the peace and love of our beloved Lord Jesus Christ be with you this glorious Sunday,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: Whoever exalts himself will be humbled

Sun, 05 Nov 2017 11:58:59 +0000

eowyn2

Matthew 23:1-12

Jesus spoke to the crowds and to his disciples, saying,
“The scribes and the Pharisees
have taken their seat on the chair of Moses.
Therefore, do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you,
but do not follow their example.
For they preach but they do not practice.
They tie up heavy burdens hard to carry
and lay them on people’s shoulders,
but they will not lift a finger to move them.
All their works are performed to be seen.
They widen their phylacteries* and lengthen their tassels.
They love places of honor at banquets, seats of honor in synagogues,
greetings in marketplaces, and the salutation ‘Rabbi.’
As for you, do not be called ‘Rabbi.’
You have but one teacher, and you are all brothers.
Call no one on earth your father;
you have but one Father in heaven.
Do not be called ‘Master’;
you have but one master, the Christ.
The greatest among you must be your servant.
Whoever exalts himself will be humbled;
but whoever humbles himself will be exalted.”

*Phylactery (definition): A small leather box containing Hebrew texts on vellum, worn by Jewish men at morning prayer as a reminder to keep the law.

What a stunning rebuke this passage from Matthew 23 is!

Try this:

In the place of “scribes”, “Pharisees”, “synagogues” and “Rabbi”, insert the words “priests”, “ministers”, “churches” and “pastor/bishop/archbishop/cardinal/pope” — and Matthew 23 is as timely today as then, as a rebuke of hypocritical, uncaring and pretentious church clergy, with their pomp and ceremony and bureaucratic titles.

Matthew 23 is also a rebuke to us, when we exalt ourselves by pretending to possess knowledge of God over others. For we are all the same — brothers and sisters in Christ, who have but “one Father in heaven” and “one master, the Christ.”

May the love and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: How to fight for what is right

Luke 18:9-14

Jesus addressed this parable
to those who were convinced of their own righteousness
and despised everyone else.
“Two people went up to the temple area to pray;
one was a Pharisee and the other was a tax collector.
The Pharisee took up his position and spoke this prayer to himself,
‘O God, I thank you that I am not like the rest of humanity —
greedy, dishonest, adulterous — or even like this tax collector.
I fast twice a week, and I pay tithes on my whole income.’
But the tax collector stood off at a distance
and would not even raise his eyes to heaven
but beat his breast and prayed,
‘O God, be merciful to me a sinner.’
I tell you, the latter went home justified, not the former;
for whoever exalts himself will be humbled,
and the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

Today’s reading is a sober and much-needed reminder of the difference between being righteous and being self-righteous.
Here are the definitions from Oxford Dictionaries:

  • righteous: A person who is “morally right or justifiable”; “morally good; virtuous”.
  • self-righteous: “Having or characterized by a certainty, especially an unfounded one, that one is totally correct or morally superior.

Jesus’ admonition in Luke 18 is about being self-righteous.
It’s an admonition that I especially must take to heart because I have this daily soap-box of Fellowship of the Minds.
warrior
Yes, we are to fight for what is right. But when you and I get all puffed out with righteous moral indignation, be sure that we’re not being self-righteous, for our Lord is “a God of justice, who knows no favorites.” (Sirach 35:12)
So what’s the antidote to self-righteousness?
Three things:

  1. Be sure that when we are on that moral high horse, our cause and our justice are God’s cause and justice.
  2. Humility: Don’t imagine that being righteous makes us morally superior or better than others.
  3. Love: The right kind of love. Not love of self — getting all puffy and grandiose that we are morally better than others — but love of God.

It’s always narcissism: our stumbling block is always narcissism.
Remember that the Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength.
He is our lodestar. Always.
Jesus loves us this much
Fix our eyes not on ourselves, but on Him — while we battle for what is good, and right, and true, and just.
And then perhaps someday, when it’s time for us to go, we too can say what St. Paul said:

2 Timothy 4:7-8

I have competed well;
I have finished the race;
I have kept the faith.
From now on the crown of righteousness awaits me,
which the Lord, the just judge,
will award to me on that day, and not only to me,
but to all who have longed for his appearance.

May the peace and love and righteousness of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,
~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: ‘Every one who exalts himself will be humbled’

Sirach 3:17-18

My child, conduct your affairs with humility,
and you will be loved more than a giver of gifts.
Humble yourself the more, the greater you are,
and you will find favor with God.

The opposite of humility is narcissism or grandiosity — the exaltation and excessive love of your self. As such, narcissism is an offense against God because it violates the first of the Ten Commandments:

“I am the Lord your God: you shall not have strange gods before me.”

As American culture becomes increasingly corrupt, it’s no accident that studies testify to a corresponding increase in narcissism “across the board,” in the words of San Diego State University psychology professor Jean Twenge, the author of Generation Me (Free Press, 2006).

As recounted by Dan Zak for Washington Post, narcissism and one of its behavioral manifestations — entitlement — among college students have increased steadily since 1979. The data are clear: The ascent of narcissism and entitlement is dramatic. Professor Twenge observed:

“What we really have is a culture that has increasingly emphasized feeling good about yourself and favoring the individual over the group. And that has happened across the board, culturally, and it’s showing no signs of slowing down. I have a 14-month-old daughter, and the clothing available to her has ‘little princess,’ or ‘I’m the boss,’ or ‘spoiled rotten’ written on it. This is what we’re dressing our babies in. Schools have programs designed to boost self-esteem. Parents say things like, ‘You shouldn’t care what other people think of you.’ We’re inundated with the notions of ‘feeling special,’ ‘believing in yourself’ and ‘be anything you want to be.'”

For that reason, Twenge coined the term “iGeneration” (“i” as in both iPod and “me, me, me”) for the Millennials — those born in the general range of 1981 to 1999.

It is also no accident that the cultural rot and increase in narcissism “across the board” are accompanied by a dramatic increase in overt and coarsened sexuality, which permeats everything.

In a 1992 encyclical, Pastores Dabo Vobis, Pope/St. John Paul II explained the cause-and-effect connection between licentious (or unrestrained) sexuality and narcissism — the adulation of the self:

“…that outlook on human sexuality according to which sexuality…becomes degraded and thereby reduced to nothing more than a consumer good. In this case, many young people undergo an affective experience which, instead of contributing to a harmonious and joyous growth in personality which opens them outward in an act of self-giving, becomes a serious psychological and ethical process of turning inward toward self, a situation which cannot fail to have grave consequences on them in the future. In the case of some young people a distorted sense of freedom lies at the root of these tendencies. Instead of being understood as obedience to objective and universal truth, freedom is lived out as a blind acquiescence to instinctive forces and to an individual’s will to power.… On the religious level, such a situation, if it does not always lead to an explicit refusal of God, causes widespread indifference and results in a life which, even in its more significant moments and more decisive choices, is lived as if God did not exist.”

It is also no accident that all of these “Do As Thou Wilt” cultural indicators are accompanied by, not just the tolerance, but the celebration of homosexuality and transgenderism.

Psychiatrist Dr. Richard Fitzgibbons, with more than 35 years of clinical experience treating homosexuals, including homosexual priests, said in a 2011 interview that “Narcissism — a personality disorder in which an insatiable need for admiration often leads to attention-seeking behavior — is prevalent among men who struggle with homosexuality.”

 

And what’s the antidote to narcissism?

The right kind of love.

The Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with your whole heart, your whole soul, your whole mind, and with all your strength.

Luke 14:11

“…For every one who exalts himself will be humbled,
but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.”

May the peace and love and humility of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you,

~Eowyn

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Woman, 63, drinks her own urine to “stay young”

Would you drink this to stay young?

urine-sample

Women (and increasingly men) have resorted to cosmetic surgery cutting up their faces in a quest to erase signs of aging like wrinkles, double chins, and under-eye bags.

A narcissistic British woman is going a different route. She drinks her own urine to “stay young.”

Katy Winter reports for the Daily Mail, Oct. 3, 2013, that 63-year-old Sylvia Chandler claims drinking a pint of her own urine every day for the last 20 years has kept her slim and youthful.

She also uses her urine to wash her hair and moisturize her face, and insists she hasn’t gone to a doctor in over a decade.

Chandler told the UK entertainment website Closer:

“Drinking my own urine has kept me healthy and energized. And it helps me stay young — men are often surprised when I tell them my age. I have a glass of urine in the morning and another couple during the day. It tastes delicious – it’s a bit like water, but sweeter. I haven’t been to the doctor in a decade. I never get colds and I’ve maintained my size 10 figure.”

The thrice-married single mother-of-two is an advocate of urine therapy for everything from keeping youthful to healing wounds, and keeps a bottle of old urine in the kitchen in case she burns herself, as aged urine has stronger healing properties.

But she admits that she had to start small when it came to actually drinking her urine. She diluted her first glass with cranberry juice, but soon progressed to drinking it straight three times a day.

Chandler justifies the purported health benefits of drinking urine, saying that when we were in our mothers’ wombs, we were swimming in and drinking our own urine: “For nine months before you were born you floated in a combination of your own and your mother’s urine. You drank it, it fed you, it grew your lungs entirely. All of your skin, your bones are made from tiny crystals which are all formed by urine. Most of us came out perfect with beautiful skin, and it’s only when we’ve lived this toxic life that we get sick. If you came out perfect, it doesn’t matter what you get wrong with you, you can put yourself back to being perfect.”

But Rob Hicks, M.D. — a general practitioner — thinks otherwise. He reminds us that urine is a waste product, produced by our kidneys ridding the body of toxins: “Over the years many people have claimed health benefits from drinking their own urine, but as far as I’m aware there is no scientific evidence to back-up these claims. The kidneys are an efficient filtering system getting rid of what the body doesn’t need, so to put this back into the body seems counter-productive. Personally, I believe there are better – and more palatable – ways to keep the body healthy including not smoking, eating a healthy diet, and keeping stress under control.”

The pic below is the only pic of Sylvia Chandler that I could find by googling images of “Sylvia Chandler.” It’s taken from a very long and tedious video of her extolling her “urine therapy.” Note that she’s shot in dim light and from a distance, not to mention her hair conceals most of her face.

Sylvia Chandler

I took this screenshot (below) of her at the 40:21 mark in the video, showing more of her face:

Sylvia Chandler1

.

Then I cropped her head, and magnified it

Sylvia Chandler1Even in the dim light you can see those deep bags under her eyes.

Take away the youthful long hair (washed in urine!) and mini-skirt. What you have is a 63-year-old woman who looks her age — and more!

Yuck! disgust

~Eowyn

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Puke of the day

Fox news host Geraldo River tweeted this scrawny pic of himself, naked to right above his weewee-maker, early this morning, with this sickeningly narcissistic message:

70 is the new 50 (Erica and family are going to be so pissed…but at my age…)

Geraldo

So now millions across America and the world know Geraldo shaves his pubic hair.

Pass me the barf bag, please! barfbag

3 days ago, Geraldo also tweeted about how wonderful he thinks POS Obama is for his speech about how he’s just like Trayvon. Maybe Geraldo’s naked pic is just his way to audition to be the next Reggie Love.

Just a thought!

~Eowyn

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"Thank You!"

gratitude-cicero
My mother and father raised me to always be thankful for the gifts that God has given me.  I remember them telling me that God knows everything that you need and to never forget to thank Him.  My mother and father also taught me “manners” and how to be gracious, kind and generous to people, that this was so very important.  And in teaching me manners, included was the need to thank others when they have done something for me in whatever capacity.  I remember listening to them intently, with my eyes gazing up at them, and truly, I tried to implement thankfulness in my life.
In September of 2006, during the Sacrament of Confession, a wonderful priest told me “To thank God in all things and situations, to praise God in all things and situations, to remember to live in the mystery of His Cross and to live in the present.”  He told me that no matter what happens, even if it is evil, that a greater good would come from it and to submit all circumstances to God, asking for his help and direction, to be the best person I could be, to be an excellent soldier for Christ and to ask to do His Will.  Every day I have remembered this counsel, at its heart being thanksgiving and praise to God, willing to submit to Him in all the circumstances of life, to actually “be” the person He has made.
Indeed and in fact, the term, “Eucharist”, the central act of Christian worship, the Mass, is a Greek word which means, “thanksgiving,” because through its institution by Jesus, He “gave thanks” to His Father  (Mt. 26: 26-28):
While they were eating , Jesus took bread, said the blessing, broke it, and giving it to his disciples said, “Take and eat; this is My body.”  Then he took a cup, gave thanks, and gave it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you, for this is My blood of the new covenant, which will be shed on behalf of many for the forgiveness of sins.”
The Mass is the supreme act of Christian thanksgiving, the celebration of the Eucharist, from Jesus instituting this Sacrament in or about 33 A.D., to the present time, December 22, 2012 and on forward.  It is noteworthy here that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity in avid constancy, gave thanks to the Father and asked that this supreme Thanksgiving, be done in remembrance of Him.
I love listening to the Gospel that involved Jesus healing the ten lepers in Luke 17:11-19:
As he continued his journey to Jerusalem, he traveled through Samaria and Galilee.  As he was entering a village, ten lepers met Him.  They stood at a distance from Him and raised their voice, saying, “Jesus, Master!  Have pity on us!”  And when He saw them, He said, “Go show yourselves to the priests.”  As they were going they were cleansed.  And one of them, realizing he had been healed, returned, glorifying God in a loud voice; and he fell at the feet of Jeus and thanked him.  He was a Samaritan.  Jesus said in reply, “Ten were cleansed, were they not?  Where are the other nine?  Has none but this foreigner returned to give thanks to God?  Then He said to him, “Stand up and go; your faith has saved you.” 
Clearly, Jesus takes notice of the leper who thanked Him, but He also takes notice of the nine lepers who did not thank Him.
Being thankful to God from the heart, soul, mind, intellect and will is a wonderful necessity that frees us from ourselves, our egos, wherein we learn how to be “little” and how to recognize Jesus in disguise, how to help our neighbors, the people that we are involved with in our own Calcuttas.  Thankfulness is liberating and essential for happiness, and above all, it is essential for holiness, it is essential to becoming a Saint and it is essential in loving our neighbors.  We should want to be Saints, friends of God living in Heaven with Him, seeing the Triune God, face to face.  This should be our ultimate goal over any other goal.
dear God
In spite of how wonderful it is to be thankful, there are actually people in this world who avoid being thankful and who spurn being thankful as something that is beneath them.  Since I have been involved in Fellowship of the Minds (FOTM) as a writer, I have made it a point to thank the writers, especially Dr. Eowyn, the owner and administrator of this blog, for the specific communications I have read, which incudes the effort, research and thought that goes into the various posts.  In this capacity on FOTM, I have learned that many people are not thankful and actually make it a point to condemn thankfulness.  One commenter called me “comical” because I “thank” so much, also calling me a “butt kisser.”  I laughed, because if you know me, you know that this would never be a description of me.  It really is funny.  But I thought about why would someone make such comments about being thankful?  I came to the conclusion that once again, the sin of narcissism and pride is the cause of such a stupid disdain for being “thankful”, and that people who do not appreciate or thank have chosen darkness and their own glory as their light, instead of the Light of Christ and the light of goodness that we experience in being thankful to each other.  Such people need our prayers as they must be very unhappy and do not know themselves.  For if you know yourself, you would then realize why it is necessary to be thankful.
So, as I say almost every day to my dear Sister of choice, Dr. Eowyn, the leader of this Fellowship, “Thank you, Dr. Eowyn, for everything you do for us, for everything that you do for your neighbors that you do know and for your neighbors that you do not know.  Thank you for your research and the accompanying brilliance and scholarly enlightenment that helps us to understand what is true and what is not true.”  And, to all of my fellow writers, I extend my utmost thanks for everything that you do as well to be Soldiers for the Triune God, to point out evil and to point out good, all servants of the Truth, which is Jesus, a Person.  And most of all, I thank you, most Supreme and Loving Triune God!  Thank You!
~Joan

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Giant sculpture of the POS at the 2012 DNC

He’s not waiting for posterior to immortalize him by adding his visage to Mount Rushmore.

The POS is having a gigantic 16-foot sculpture of himself made for next week’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, NC.

Daniel Greenfield reports for FrontPageMag.com, Aug. 31, 2012:

Forget the marble pillars, this time there will be a giant 16-foot sculpture of Obama made out of 15.5 tons of sand at the Democratic National Convention. Building a giant sand sculpture of a living leader might be considered a bit tacky with its worshipful implications, but building one during a hurricane in South Carolina is in particularly bad taste.

But if nothing else, at least Obama has found one “Shovel Ready Project”. And this isn’t even the creepiest giant Obama sand sculpture ever made. The winner of that particular competition is still Sudarsan Pattnaik with this nightmare made out of sand.

Hey, you POS squatting in the White House! The United States of America is not North Korea. We don’t do Cult of Personality here — at least not if the American People have any say about it.

Unlike granite, sand is ephemeral. I hope dogs pee on your creepy sand-sculpture.

~Eowyn

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Obama got booed in Boston

CBSW Boston reports that being booed was probably the last thing Barack Obama expected from the crowd at a Symphony Hall fundraiser last night (June 25), but boos he got.
That’s because the POS had the arrogant insensitivity to “thank” Boston for Kevin Youkilis, who was just traded to the Chicago White Sox, which is Obama’s favorite team.
The POS said, laughing, “I’m just saying, he’s going to have to change the color of his socks.”
Youkilis was traded from the Red Sox, to Obama’s favorite team just a day ago, on Sunday, for infielder Brent Lillibridge and pitcher Zach Stewart. Youkilis went 1-for-4 with a single in his White Sox debut Monday night, but Chicago lost to the Twins, 4-1.

“I love me! I love me! I love only me!”

But then the POS was being totally in character. One of the defining attributes of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a lack of empathy — putting oneself in another’s shoes and feeling what he/she feels. Our human ability to empathize with others is the basis of morality: Do to others as you would have others do unto you. A lack of empathy also characterizes other personality disorders, including the Anti-Social Personality Disorder, more commonly known as sociopathy and psychopathy.
Tickets for the POS’s fundraiser at Symphony Hall cost between $250 and $2,500.
Those fools and the POS deserve each other!
~Eowyn

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A product of the "Self Esteem" movement

In the 1980s, public government schools began promoting the self esteem movement.
Here’s one product.
[youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ENPXSVyO6Yc&feature=player_embedded]
In 2007, five psychologists unveiled the results of their comprehensive study of U.S. college students who would have grown up being indoctrinated in the self esteem movement. Based on the responses of 16,475 college students nationwide who completed an evaluation called the Narcissistic Personality Inventory between 1982 and 2006, the study found that today’s college students are more narcissistic and self-centered than their predecessors, which has troubling implications for society.
“We need to stop endlessly repeating, ‘You’re special,’ and having children repeat that back,” said Jean Twenge , the study’s lead author and a professor at San Diego State University. “Kids are self-centered enough already.”
Self esteem can only come from real achievements. Unearned self-esteem leads only to grandiose narcissism.
That would explain why young Americans are also lacking in empathy.
A Univ. Michigan ISR meta-study in 2010, summarizing 72 other studies of college students’ empathy, concluded that American college students are 40% less empathic than in 1979 with the biggest declines coming in the last decade. They found especially large drops in “empathic concern”.
One of the distinguishing traits of the Narcissistic Personality Disorder is that narcissists, imagining themselves to be superior than others, lack empathy. A deficit in empathy also characterizes sociopaths and psychopaths.
~Eowyn

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