aides say that Mr. Trump, who often says, “I’m, like, a really smart person” in public, is driven by a need to prove his legitimacy as president to the many critics who deem him an unworthy victor forever undercut by Hillary Clinton’s three-million-vote win in the popular vote.
.. Second, fighting back — in this case, against Mr. Obama, the F.B.I. director and members of his own party who say his claim about phone taps is false — is an important part of the president’s self-image. The two most influential role models in Mr. Trump’s youth were men who preached the twin philosophies of relentless self-promotion and the waging of total war against anyone perceived as a threat.
Mr. Trump, according to one longtime adviser, is perpetually playing a soundtrack in his head consisting of advice from his father, Fred, a hard-driving real estate developer who laid the weight of the family’s success on his son’s shoulders. Mr. Trump’s other mentor was the caustic and conniving McCarthy-era lawyer Roy Cohn, who counseled Mr. Trump never to give in or concede error.
.. “He’s deeply, deeply insecure about how he’s perceived in the world, about whether or not he’s competent and deserves what he’s gotten,” he added. “There’s an unquenchable thirst for validation and love. That’s why he can never stay quiet, even when it would be wise strategically or emotionally to hold back.”
.. Mr. Trump’s now-infamous Twitter message on March 4 amounted to a Queens-intoned declaration that he would be no one’s victim. “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process,”
.. he believes his behavior makes him look tougher, no matter what the press thinks.
When you combine Trump’s ignorance with his lack of discipline and impulse control link
We are in love with security so much that its blinding us from love. link
So many Christians are captivated by fear.
You’re more likely to be killed by a vending machine than to win the lottery.
Persecution produces maturity. It can be purifying. link
The Christian Media Enterprise prefers celebrity to depth link
Equipping other believers so that they have the tools to engage their neighbors
Rather than focusing on what went right or wrong, how you failed or succeeded throughout the day, this exercise encourages you to reflect on moments when you were aware of God—when you were present to Love—and those times when you were forgetful or distracted.
“Hate is just a bodyguard for grief. When people lose the hate, they are forced to deal with the pain beneath.”  I guess we could say that King Herod and the poor soldiers who massacred the Jewish children (Matthew 2:16-18) were just not ready to deal with the pain underneath, which made them incapable of compassion—for that is where compassion comes from—holding the pain of the world.
Until we love and until we suffer, we all try to figure out life and death with our minds. Love, I believe, is the only way to initially and safely open the door of awareness and aliveness, and then suffering for that love keeps the door open and available for ever greater growth. We dare not refuse love or suffering or we close the door to life itself.
Your recognition of this is your own “final judgment” of yourself, which means you become responsible for what you now see—not shamed or even rewarded, but just deeply responsible. Not surprisingly, this seems to be the universal testimony of people who have gone through near-death experiences—and returned to tell about them.
If you have not received or will not give this gift of love to others, your soul remains tied to a small, empty world which is probably what we mean by hell.God can only give love to those who want it.
Intellectuals left and right have lost faith—and mercy.
the Great Chain of Being served the double purpose of insulating those on top from peasants with pitchforks below while reassuring those below that their natural desire to move up was nothing more than a snare. As all this was God’s invention, rebellion was both foolish and impious.
.. Beneath them, like the serfs of old, are the graduate students, the undergraduates, and then—surprise—lower still is the animal and plant world, and Mother Earth. The non-progressives whom Obama described as clinging to their guns and religion, on the other hand—NASCAR nation, country-music fans, people accounted to be dumb as dirt—count for less than dirt in the eyes of the progressive elite.
If you don’t believe me, look at their policies, in which saving the planet takes precedence over saving ordinary lives. Malaria kills nearly half a million people a year, mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. This can be addressed by spraying with DDT, which never killed anyone. It does kill birds, however, and the progressive worries more about them than he does people.
.. One can’t love something that can’t love back. That was the meaning of Cardinal Newman’s motto:cor ad cor loquitur, “heart speaks unto heart.” It’s why you can love your dog but not your goldfish.
.. It’s as silly as people who tell you they worship an impersonal god.
.. So what’s behind the earth lovers, if it’s not love? Just the opposite. Enmity. Contempt. Derision. The goal is to establish oneself in the pecking order by asserting one’s superiority over conservatives, sincere believers, “white trash,” placing them at a lower level than the plant and animal kingdoms. It’s the ultimate form of passive aggression. It’s the indignation of the social-justice warrior at Yale who asserts her own privilege by asking you to check your privilege. And it’s the product of our factories of hatred, the modern U.S. university.
.. Trump’s message, they might have realized that he spoke to real middle-class concerns. Our immigration laws are a scandal and effect a wealth transfer from poor to rich native-born Americans. Our tax system has done the same, and our schools betray our students.
.. The perfect Republican idiots looked at the evidence of income immobility in America and blamed it on the move to an information economy, as though the highly mobile countries to which the American Dream has fled—Denmark and Canada—are living in the Stone Age.
.. the unfeeling strain in contemporary conservatism. It’s something we’ve seen in Mitt Romney, Ted Cruz, Randians, and not a few libertarians. What Romney and Cruz communicated was a perfect fidelity to right-wing principles and an indifference to people.
.. What Romney and Cruz had promised was growth, more growth, a greater GDP, but none of this much appealed to middle-class voters who thought that all of the growth would go to people at the top of the heap, asset-fund managers like Romney or lawyers like Cruz.
.. most intellectuals on the right draw their inspiration not from the Judeo-Christian tradition but from abstract theories of natural rights that have little need of God.
.. One doesn’t learn empathy or kindness from John Locke. Perhaps it’s not something one learns at all.
.. The natural-rights theorist can tell you what others owe him, but not what he owes to others save for the thinnest of duties: don’t harm others, don’t steal from them or defraud them.
.. My friends are the inheritors of a religious, Western culture in which they live as illegal aliens, enjoying its harvest without planting the seed.
Love is the very meaning of Creation. Many of the Fathers and Mothers of the Church, along with many of the saints and mystics throughout history, said that God created because, frankly, God needed something to love and something that could love God freely in return. I imagine if you have children you’ve experienced this. When you welcomed your child into this world, your fondest desire, perhaps at an unconscious level, was just to love this little one in every way possible. Hidden behind that is the deep desire that “someday my child will love me back in the same way that I have loved him or her.” There’s nothing wrong with that. Of course, the very way you love your children becomes their empowerment to love you back.
.. At the heart of Scotus’ theology was the doctrine of the primacy of Christ. God is absolutely free and therefore if he [sic] creates it is because he wants to create. He wants to create in order to reveal and communicate his goodness and love to another. Because God loves, he wills that his creation should also be infused by love.
.. The incarnation in Scotus’ theology is the whole purpose of creation. Christ is the masterpiece of love in the midst of a creation designed for love, not a divine plumber come to fix the mess of original sin. 
In other words, we settled for Plan B, or Jesus as a mere problem solver after we messed up. The Good News is that the Christ is Plan A from the very beginning, and Jesus came along much later to make it all visible and loveable and attractive. Salvation is a historical, social, and universal notion, which is made very clear already by the Jewish prophets. But we made Jesus very small and then the good news of salvation became very small too.