The Wall Street Journal reports on the latest fad: Getting up at 4AM – not because you have to, but because you want to.

When I commuted to NYC from Convent Station, NJ (no, I have never lived in a convent; Convent Station, between Morristown and Madison, is named after the convent of the Sisters of Charity of Saint Elizabeth and the train station was built during the 1870s to serve the Academy of Saint Elizabeth, now a College), I used to get up at 5:30AM.

I was in bed by 9PM. Then on Saturdays I slept until 10AM. Not being a real-early morning person, the sleep deficit seemed to accrue faster than if I slept from 11PM to 7AM.

I had a long commute, but would get to work at least an hour before official opening time, and was able to have a full breakfast, get a lot of work done, and tend to priorities before the normal interruptions of the day started.

The 4AM crowd, however, seem rather more intense – some recommend sleeping in your gym clothes.

The key to enjoying the early morning quiet time, however, is not sleeping in your gym clothes and rushing off to the gym before the crack of dawn; Rather, the key is being able to have a block of uninterrupted time with no outside distractions, where you can focus on the day’s priorities.

This means you are unplugged (no phone calls, texts, Facebook or other social media), are not available for interruptions, and, in my case, are  not listening to music, the TV. You are exclusively paying attention to the task at hand.

If the only way you can do so is at 4AM, all the more power to you.

However, in my case, I’ve found that – especially when my son was a baby – dedicating an uninterrupted twenty-minute block of time (a “unit”) during the day to a single, focused task was more effective than any other time management technique I tried. With a little practice, you can even estimate (“this will take three units”) how long it will take to get things done.

And you’re not sleeping in your gym clothes.

Fausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S, and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.

Reg:  All right, but apart from the sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?

Monty Python  Life of Brian 1979

Helen Ramirez: You want to know why I’m leaving?  Then listen.   Kane will be dead in half an hour.   And nobody’s going to do anything about it. And when he dies, this town dies too.   I can feel it.

High Noon 1952

Wednesday I wrote about how the situation in Louisiana doesn’t help the MSM’s cause and how it’s affects their coverage but there is another aspect that I’ve talked about before in these web pages that Rod Dreher mentioned in the piece I quoted that, that is worthy of its own post:

you would be hard-pressed to find a single church or Christian organization (like the school community of which I’m a part) that isn’t in some way helping flood victims. I’m not talking about simply giving money. I’m talking about doing sacrificial work to help those who are helpless.

This of course is no surprise to any Christian of any denomination as it echoes the words of St. James in his letter:

If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well,” but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?

James 2:15-16

Christians are not just called to be believers, we are called to be doers.  If you look at the Ten Commandments they are divided between the things we do based on our duty to God as his children and our duties to each other as brothers and sisters or as Christ put it.  

One of the scribes, when he came forward and heard them disputing and saw how well he had answered them, asked him, “Which is the first of all the commandments?”

Jesus replied, “The first is this: ‘Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is Lord alone!  You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mark 12:28-31

This is the reason why as Matthew Kelly said:

Every single day the Catholic Church feeds more people, houses more people , clothes more people, visits more imprisoned people and educates more people than any other institution on the planet earth can ever hope to.

Worcester Mass. March 20th 2010

And you will find that if you go to your local church of any denomination, Catholic or Protestant you will find people either quietly or loudly doing all the good works that a lot of you.

The media has not talked about this, any more than they bothered to talk about Miravia or the Kolping Society or visitation house or the open arms society.

Why do I bring all this up, because Rod mentions something of interest concerning the upcoming election and the election of Hillary:

Some people say that loss of tax-exempt status, which is what many progressives would like to see happen to dissident churches, will be no big deal. Why should their tax dollars go to subsidize bigotry? they reason.

It will be a very big deal. All contributions to churches and Christian organizations doing relief work are tax-deductible at the present time. This will likely go away, dramatically hampering the resources available to conservative churches like Istrouma to help the suffering in instances like this. Far as I know, nobody has seen crews from the Human Rights Campaign mucking out houses or feeding refugees.

Of course if they lose their tax exemption, churches will still do these things. But they will have many fewer resources with which to do so. Progressives either have not thought about this, or, as I suspect, they just don’t care.

I guarantee you won’t see Jim Carville saying “this is saving people lives” in arguing against this.  Our liberal “friends” have embraced a different faith and that faith’s primary enemy is Christianity.

One of the worst things about all this, is many Christians don’t see it coming

I find that even at this late date, it is difficult to get ordinary Christians, including pastors, to understand the reality of what’s coming. You should believe David Gushee. He has done us all a favor here. He and his allies — that is, the entire American establishment — are going to do everything they possibly can to eliminate any place of retreat. When people say that if the Left has its way, there will be no Benedict Option places left to retreat to, I agree. That does not mean they will succeed, at least not at first, but it’s just a matter of time. This means that we will need the Benedict Option more than ever. The Ben Op is not about escapism; it’s about building the institutions and adopting the practices required for the church to be resilient, and even to thrive, under harsh conditions. The church will be under unprecedented pressure, legally and socially, to capitulate. But it will be possible to resist, though not without paying a high cost.

But the people who won’t see it coming are the poor, the indigent the destitute and those caught in disaster who will discover very quickly the difference between the church coming to help without question or condition in your time of trouble and relying on the state.

That’s how a culture dies and when it does it will be through our own actions and inactions.


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