Universal Utterings®
for May 6, 2024


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05-06-2024 Sirach 41 V1420 Shame’s instruction rules of disgrace




The Book of Sirach Ch 41 v- 14 thru 20

14 My children, listen to instruction about shame; 15 judge of disgrace according to my rules, 16 Not every kind of shame is shameful, nor is every kind of disgrace to be recognized. 17 Before father and mother be ashamed of immorality, before prince and ruler, of falsehood; 18 Before master and mistress, of deceit; before the public assembly, of crime; Before associate and friend, of disloyalty, 19 and in the place where you settle, of theft. Be ashamed of breaking an oath or a covenant, and of stretching your elbow at dinner; Of refusing to give when asked, 21 of rebuffing your own relatives; Of defrauding another of his appointed share, 20 of failing to return a greeting.


Shame is a complex emotion with both personal and social dimensions. It serves as a moral barometer, guiding us in our interactions and decisions. However, not all shame is created equal, nor does every instance of disgrace warrant the internalization of this feeling. You will understand if you read or listen to every word in today’s study.


First, it is essential to distinguish between personal, constructive and destructive shame. Constructive shame acts as an internal corrective, a signal to oneself that one’s actions have fallen short of personal or societal values. It can lead to positive outcomes such as personal growth, the strengthening of character, and the repair of social bonds. For example, feeling ashamed of committing a crime or engaging in deception is often a healthy response, as it acknowledges the violation of ethical norms and the harm caused to others. It can prompt the individual to make amends and strive for better behavior in the future.


On the other hand, destructive shame is often misplaced or disproportionate and can stem from unrealistic expectations or societal pressures that do not align with one’s personal values. For instance, feeling shame over factors beyond one’s control, such as socioeconomic status, physical appearance, or cultural background, is not only unproductive but can also be harmful to one’s self-esteem and mental health.


Moreover, some forms of shame are culturally induced and may not reflect an individual’s moral compass. For example, feeling disgraced for not conforming to rigid gender roles or for failing to meet arbitrary standards of success does not necessarily indicate a moral failing. In such cases, it is important to challenge and critically evaluate the sources of shame.


In the realm of morality, shame should be reserved for actions that truly warrant it—acts of immorality, deceit, disloyalty, theft, and breach of trust. These are instances where shame serves as an acknowledgment of wrongdoing and a catalyst for change. Conversely, minor social flaws, such as failing to return a greeting, while potentially embarrassing, do not typically reflect a deep moral failing and should not elicit the same level of self-reproach as genuine ethical breaches. Maybe they have something on their mind that prevents them from saying, “Peace be with you.”


In conclusion we look at personal shame for not every kind of shame is shameful, and not every kind of disgrace should provoke a sense of shame. It is the context, the intent, and the impact of our actions that must be evaluated to determine whether the feeling of shame is justified and constructive. By understanding the nuances of shame, we can ensure that it serves its purpose as a guide toward ethical behavior without allowing it to become a tool for undue self-criticism or societal control showing empathy will help those overcome personal shame.


Personal shame, a complex emotion that intertwines with our sense of identity and societal norms, manifests distinctly when it comes to male rape due to traditional gender expectations and the stigma surrounding sexual violence against men. Society often perpetuates a narrative that men should be invulnerable and in control, which can exacerbate the shame felt by male survivors of rape. This pressure can lead to a profound sense of emasculation and the fear of being perceived as weak or less masculine.


When a man is raped, he might grapple with the shame of not being able to protect himself, a burden heavily compounded by societal myths that men should always be able to fend off an attack. This type of shame is rooted in the perceived loss of agency and power, elements that are often associated with traditional masculinity. The violation of one’s bodily autonomy and the inability to prevent the assault can trigger a deep feeling of helplessness and vulnerability, emotions that men are frequently taught to suppress or overcome.


Additionally, there is a misconception that men should always be ready and willing for sexual activity. When a man is raped, he can be shrouded in the shame of not being able to control the desires of the assailant, a violation that undermines his own sexual autonomy. This can lead to a conflicted sense of self, where the survivor may question his own sexuality or feel a sense of impurity and defilement.


Shame in these contexts is distinct because it is entwined with the fabric of gender identity and societal constructs of masculinity. The burden of this shame can be exacerbated by a lack of recognition and understanding within society, often leading to isolation and a reluctance to seek help. It’s important to acknowledge that not all shame is justifiable; shame for being a victim of a crime such as rape is an undue weight placed upon survivors by a society that has yet to fully understand or accept the complexities of male victimization.


To confront and overcome this specific shame, there must be a collective effort to dismantle harmful stereotypes and to foster an environment where male survivors can speak openly without fear of judgment or emasculation. Support systems and resources tailored to the unique needs of male rape survivors are crucial in this process, providing the empathy and validation needed to heal and reclaim a sense of self beyond the experience of assault. Shame is overcome when we submit to Salvation and allow Jesus to heal our bodies, our heart, our minds and our souls to know Redemption and eliminate the shame by living Life Eternal where all shame disappears. Amen.


Join me as we pray our daily prayer of forgiveness. The Lord’s Prayer.


At the Savior’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ. For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and for ever. Amen.


I am sorry Lord. I believe You died and rose for me. Please forgive me as I forgive others. I share You as my Lord and Savior seeking to live your Will in all things. Prayers for wife Toni and my mother Betty pray for our children especially our two oldest Alexandra & Allen Son in Law Mark Stern; Julian, Gabriel and Jeffrey and our grandchildren Oliver, Julian and Elliott. We pray for those we’ve said we’d pray for and those who’ve asked us to pray for them. We pray for the dying as we do each day Lord give them peace in their last breath. We pray for Holy Mother Church. Our prayers for our niece Brittany. In Jesus Precious Blood by His Name we pray. Amen.


I am a poet obedient to Christ,
Catholic Evangelist Thomas Cruz†Wiggins

Practice. Pray. Proclaim. ®
†Spirit led God inspired Christ fed†®
Ephesians 6:17-20


05-06-2024 Sirach 41 v-1420


**Shame’s Instruction Rules of Disgrace**


In the court of human conscience where judgments are arrayed,

Shame sits as a stern judge, in robes of darkness made.

Not all shames are equal, not all disgraces weigh,

For in the realm of virtue, some shames should lead the way.


Be ashamed of deeds unkind, of words that harm or sear,

Of the lies that twist the truth, making the false appear.

Be ashamed of stolen moments that were never yours to take,

Of promises like brittle glass, destined just to break.


Shame, oh judge, be gentle when the fault is merely small,

When a greeting’s left unanswered, or no helping hand to call.

Not every slip is sinful, not every error great,

Some are but human folly, not the bait of fate.


But cast your heavy verdict on immorality’s stage,

Where deceit and cruel intentions, in history’s book, doth cage.

Be harsh on true betrayal, on loyalty’s broken sword,

On theft that leaves another’s life diminished and unadorned.


On oaths and covenants shattered, let the gavel fall with might,

For these are the chains that bind us, in societal trust and right.

These are the shadows that linger, the stains that long endure,

These are the acts deserving of a shame that’s just and pure.


And so, let shame be measured, a guide to lead us back,

To a path of righteous conduct, from the wayward, errant track.

Let it teach us to be humble, to mend our errant ways,

Not every kind of shame is shameful, in the human days we play.


For shame can be a teacher, a call to rise above,

To correct our course with honor, with integrity and love.

Let it not be a torment, but a voice to guide the heart,

To a life of greater meaning, where better selves can start. Amen.


© Thomas Joe Cruz†Wiggins

May 6, 2024 @ 05:50 AM EST


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