New Blog — Perditus

I’m no longer going to post to Perditus and have set up a new blog. It’s a bit hard to explain but I set up Perditus as part of my journey and that phase for me is complete. I will leave Perditus open with all my poetry and ramblings to date but won’t add to […]

New Blog — Perditus

4 Effective Ways to Develop a Better State of Mind — Olivia Lucie Blake

[GUEST POST] As 2020 closes, I want to share a gift to all of you. This gift is to be remembered at all times especially when dealing with dilemmas beyond your control. Your state of mind is everything. Develop it. Protect it. Value it. It’s a small gift from me to you; a reminder as you reach…

4 Effective Ways to Develop a Better State of Mind — Olivia Lucie Blake

How to Break Free from People Pleasing and Speak Your Mind

/ Ron Edmondson

All people-pleasers lose themselves.

The #1 regret of the dying is, “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”

You always fall short of your best self when others define you.

Looking at a lake. Dog and person.

You never become your best self when you let others define you.

How to Break Free from People-Pleasing:

#1. Own your addiction.

Begin by confessing you’re addicted to people-pleasing. Confess to yourself and to trusted allies. Just say the words, “I’m a people-pleaser.”

You never overcome a personal challenge that you blame on someone else.

#2. Practice saying no before you need to say it.

Saying NO sets you free.

Roleplay saying no with a trusted ally. (Yes, practice saying NO out loud.)

You go further by including trusted allies, supportive colleagues, and encouraging friends on the journey.

#3. Speak up with kindness.

  1. Determine YOUR OWN perspective before you speak. What do you really think? How do your words express your values?
  2. Listen. Deep listening precedes effective talking.
  3. Consider impact. Speaking your mind includes respect for the impact of your voice on others.
  4. Follow one rule. Only open your mouth to make something better.
  5. Chill out before you speak if you feel frustrated. Calm yourself, then speak.
  6. Speak with openness. “I could be wrong, but ….” “I wonder if ….” “At this time, I think….” Don’t invite unnecessary resistance.
  7. Don’t resist resistance. Thank people for offering alternatives, even if they seem contradictory. “Thanks, I’ll think about that.”
  8. Avoid defensiveness.
  9. Don’t apologize for your perspective.
  10. Receive appreciation gracefully.

#4. Improve incrementally.

Narrow the scope of focus to one thing at a time. Say NO once this week, for example.

#5. Contradict your inner critic.

Your inner critic needs approval from others while disapproving of yourself.

What are the dangers of people-pleasing?

How have you overcome inclinations toward people-pleasing?

Human stupidity

Rachana Dhaka

this is the best example of human stupidity… That we are facing the music as a result of destroying the beautiful nature but still not ready to improve our habits and destroy the nature for our selfish luxurious interests.

though this is just a depiction of the fact otherwise woodcutters who are daily wage earners are not damagers rather those coming with machines and doing business of woods or cutting them in the name of development or smuggling woods are the real culprits.

even if governments need it for the public interest they need to plant double the number of trees they cut then it will almost remain the same number when grown up. But our culture has been too spoiled to plant even a single tree even for the one we cut while construction of our house.

rest all you know.

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Understanding and overcoming scrupulosity

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Editor’s note:  This article was originally published in the early years of and is just as relevant today.  We are re-publishing some of our most engaging content here because we know it will be of great interest to those who are pursuing authentic spiritual direction and growth.  

Dear Father John, I seem to be struggling with scrupulosity.  However, when I read St. Teresa of Avila and St. John of the Cross, they exhort that any small sin or attachment can keep us from union with God.  How do I know if I am scrupulous or just sensitive to sin?  How do I avoid taking sin too lightly?  If I am scrupulous, how do I overcome it?

First thing: if you are sincerely concerned about not taking sin too lightly, you can rest assured that you are not taking sin too lightly. If, on the other hand, you find yourself convinced that you really don’t sin and don’t ever need to go to confession, then you are probably taking sin too lightly. All the saints were keenly aware that they were sinners and made good use of the sacrament of confession. Now on to the heart of your question.

Scrupulosity is oversensitivity to faults. It consists in seeing sin where there is no sin, which causes us to become emotionally tense and spiritually tied up in knots. It paralyzes the will, fills the mind with turbulence, and can cause intense interior suffering. Since it comes in different forms and from different sources (and since the word itself is slippery), there is no single solution. We’ll tackle this one in two parts. First we’ll look at the types and causes of scrupulosity, then we’ll examine the practical question of what to do about it.

Sin Matters

Sin is disobedience to God’s express will. It is a rebellion against God, a breaking of the eternal law. As such, it offends God (just as teenagers who insult their parents offend their parents). As a result, it disrupts, weakens, or ruptures our friendship with God. And since friendship with God is the whole purpose of our existence, sin is our arch-enemy, the source of all unhappiness and tragedy.

Today’s culture tends to minimize and belittle sin. What matters to a hedonistic, relativistic consumer society is comfort and personal autonomy. Where does sin fit into an ethos like that? There is no eternal law to break, no universal moral order against which to rebel, no Father to offend. This poisonous ethos has a powerful ally inside each one of us: our fallen human nature. We have an enemy within. We tend towards self-centeredness (to which any parent of a two-year-old will eloquently attest). This is why most spiritual directors would agree that a scrupulous conscience is less common than its co-conspirator, a lax conscience.

The essential evil of sin explains why St Teresa and St John of the Cross so fervently exhort us to mercilessly excise every sinful habit and tame every wild tendency. We must give no quarter to sin and make no compromise with temptation – just ask Eve. Sometimes the term scrupulous or scruples is used by folks who have made a pact with certain personal sins in order to criticize other folks who have refused to make treaties with the devil. Their conscience is bothering them, and the presence of people more upright than themselves exacerbates the bother, so they use the label “scrupulous” as a shield.

Personality-Based Scrupulosity

Scrupulosity understood properly, however, is an authentic spiritual difficulty. It comes most often in two forms. The first is related to certain personalities. Whether by temperament, upbringing, or a combination, some people have a strong tendency towards perfectionism. When they begin taking seriously the adventure of holiness, this tendency can help, usually by energizing their efforts and giving them staying power in the face of difficulties. But the same tendency can tangle things up. God works patiently; perfectionist tend to be impatient. This impatience can take the guise of paralyzing discouragement or even desperation in the face of one’s imperfections. Keenly aware of their shortcomings, these personalities often equate holiness with impeccability – they can start straining out gnats while they still need to stop swallowing camels.

An interior flash of self-centered anger or impatience, for example, is rightly recognized as a fault – it flows from the selfish tendencies in the soul, tendencies which are un-Christlike and need to be purified. But God is less interested in the selfish flash itself than in how we react to such things. As soon as we recognize it, we should reign it in, like a dog that wants to run out of its leash. Exerting our faith and willpower to keep that selfish flesh from turning into self-righteous judgments, wounding words, or spiteful actions – that’s what should concern us. If we think we have already sinned just because the flash flashed, we are being scrupulous. Our sinful tendencies are not sins; they can be the source of sins, if we let them. But if, with God’s grace, we fight against them, the powers of our soul will gradually be trained to react less violently and less selfishly. In that way, we grow in virtue.

Turmoil and Temptation

The second form of scrupulosity comes from the devil in the form of a temptation. In this spiritual attack, the person who is sincerely seeking holiness and has made progress towards it is suddenly confronted with doubts about what God’s will really is for them. If sin can be understood as rebellious disobedience to God’s will, holiness is its contrary: loving obedience to God’s will. But what if you start seeing God’s will everywhere? What if you start thinking that choosing which outfit to wear has as much moral and spiritual weight as obeying the commandment against murder?  Well, you think to yourself, what I wear does matter to God – he wants me to reflect his dignity, but he also wants me to avoid ostentation and provocation. So what is his will for me? Which outfit should I wear?… These kind of doubts can also come in even more subtle forms. We experience a flash of interior anger; we govern it as Christ would have us; all is well. But then, we start wondering why the flash happened in the first place. Did I encourage it without realizing it? Did I allow a selfish thought to take root in my mind, and the thought bore the fruit of that flash? Am I doing something to displease God that I don’t even realize?… And we find ourselves in a labyrinth of doubts and “what ifs” and “maybes” that really torture the soul and won’t leave it in peace. It is a trial, and it can be severe, that many saints have undergone.

Sometimes this second kind of scrupulosity can also derive from psychological conditions that are clinically treatable, chemical imbalances or wounds from trauma. It is not always easy to tell the difference. Usually, it takes looking at other factors and behavior patterns in a person’s life, not just the scrupulosity itself.

Those are the common manifestations of scrupulosity, or over-sensitivity to faults. More could be said about each one, but that’s enough to lay the groundwork for the next post, which will examine some tactics for dealing with scrupulosity in practice.

As MN COVID cases increase, so does need for Anointing Corps ministry

Of all the items Father Paul Hedman expected to need as a priest, “COVID shoes” wasn’t on the list. But now the associate pastor of St. Peter in Forest Lake, who was ordained in May, keeps worn-out dress shoes in a bag in the trunk of his car, ready for a quick change if he’s called to administer the sacrament of anointing of the sick to someone gravely ill with COVID-19.

Source: As MN COVID cases increase, so does need for Anointing Corps ministry –

‘There Was in Fact Fraud That Took Place:’ FEC Chairman Trey Trainor

Trump lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks to media while flanked by Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell (L) and Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis at a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on Nov 19, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

Trump lawyer and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks to media while flanked by Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell (L) and Trump campaign senior legal adviser Jenna Ellis at a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on Nov 19, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times) Donald Trump

By Allen Zhong November 21, 2020 The Epoch Times

Federal Election Commission (FEC) Chairman Trey Trainor said that affidavits from the Trump campaign show that fraud has occurred during the November general election.

“The massive amounts of affidavits that we see in these cases show that there was in fact fraud that took place,” he said during an interview with “Just the News AM” on Friday.

He said it’s important to have transparency surrounding the election process and that answering questions raised by the Trump campaign over election integrity is “very important for the legitimacy of the presidency.”

In response to a question from reporter Carrie Sheffield, Trainor specifically mentioned a sworn affidavit by Steven Miller, a professor of mathematics at Williams College.

Miller—who specializes in analytic number theory and sabermetrics—flagged nearly 100,000 ballots in Pennsylvania for potential voter fraud after analyzing election data and phone interviews.

Between 89,397 to 98,801 ballots were either requested by someone other than the registered Republican, or requested and returned but not counted, he said.

Trainor said that Miller is clearly qualified as an expert witness in almost any court in the United States and that the court would have to look at the information he has provided.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden didn’t respond immediately to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Trump Team Showcases Evidence Amid Legal Battle

Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell, two leading attorneys for the Trump campaign’s legal battle over the process of the November election, outlined their evidence of alleged election fraud and abnormalities during a press conference on Thursday.

During the presser, which Trump lawyer Jenna Ellis described as an “opening statement,” the Trump legal team said there are a great number of affidavits in support of their allegations.

“We have, in the Michigan case, 220 affidavits. They are not all public, but eight of them are,” Giuliani said.

The Epoch Times can’t verify those affidavits independently.

Various governmental officials at state and local levels have confirmed reports of voter fraud, including that of Republican poll watchers being blocked from poll sites, votes being cast in the name of dead persons, and election rules being changed by judges or officials bypassing the state legislature institutions, among others.

According to federal law, a person who knowingly makes a false statement in a sworn affidavit could be charged with perjury, to face up to five years in prison and/or fines.

It’s unclear how many affidavits the Trump team will present to the court, as most of the sworn affidavits have yet to be made public.

Epoch Times Photo
Trump campaign lawyer Sidney Powell speaks at a press conference at the Republican National Committee headquarters in Washington on Nov 19, 2020. (Charlotte Cuthbertson/The Epoch Times)

According to Powell’s remarks during an interview with Fox Business on Friday, there’re at least two areas that the Trump legal team is working on.

“I’m focusing more on the technology and the fraud, and he [Giuliani] is working [on] the individual witnesses, on that side of things,” she said.