Archive for June 2009


June 30, 2009

A “green interlude”  in my awful Serious Series:

Green green green

Must be the “Green Season.”    Monochrome greens.   Everything out my front window is green, with a strip of whitish pavement.   

If it were up to me, we’d have one season.   The one you can ski in.    But I don’t get to choose the seasons.  I don’t get to choose the timing of anything.   Probably a good thing too.   I’d make a mess with my own ideas of what’s good and bad.   

I didn’t even get to choose what century I’d live in, nor what challenges I’d have to face.   But I have faith that these times were chosen for me because my Creator knew that these particular advantages and disadvantages, the good with the bad, would be the best way to develop my soul.   Most likely I need the joys, problems, and deadly dangers of this particular century to fully develop whatever qualities I might have — eternally.

SunriseYellow  Verticle


Even when I look out my back window, there is nothing but greens.    Thanks be to God for whatever he sends.      I keep telling myself.



June 29, 2009

Second in my awful “Serious Series” —  Steps in the Takeover:

We kids used to hear this all the time:  “Stop!  Look!  And Listen!”       — One of those things that grown-ups said to us, and we knew there was some sort of wisdom behind it.  Maybe we even practiced it once in a while.

I don’t feel so good about that saying anymore, though.   Who has time to Stop!  in our busy schedules?    Who can pay enough attention to really Look! honestly at what we are seeing?    Who will take the effort to Listen!  to what is being said and compare it to our inner common sense — and admit that something is very wrong?

The “New and Fun” way to be informed!


Verbal engineering precedes social engineering.   Words don’t have the same meaning as before, and the changes are being imposed upon us at a more rapid rate than the normal organic changes in spoken languages. 

And so we get to Step Two in the takeover of a nation, used successfully in the past two centuries by a certain political faction intent upon tearing down the existing world and constructing a wolrd according to their own purposes.   Oh, yes,  “change” is the slogan of revolutionaries, but they don’t tell us  that  first they have to tear down our nation in order to impose their “change.”

The frog hides in the weeds — or the weeds are tossed onto the frog.   Frog Hiding 1Their First Step I wrote about before is to make their chief opponents invisible to the rest of society.  

They do this by inflating the amount of people who agree with them by suich means as carefully crafted opinion polls or media atttiudes;   by Bookdropencouraging and financing only the information and entertainment that agrees with them (as in my Mom’s Book of the Month Club),  and by ignoring groups that don’t agree with them.   Ever wonder what happens to your phone calls and emails to our government?

     The Second Step, then, is to Describe-and-Demonize the groups that stand in their way by the use of publicly-spoken official words.     This is a little more actively aggressive and targeted step against their enemies. 

Lies work real well, and so does exaggeration and distortion.    People who aren’t targeted rarely have the time to question the accusations.   Marie Antoinette did NOT say:  “Let them eat cake”  but this propaganda was quite effective against the royal family.   The Tsaritsa Alexandra did NOT have a secret phone line to the German government, but that deliberately spread rumor inflamed the Russian people. 

In both cases, the campaigns of villification led to the deaths of the monarchs, but it also led to the deaths of countless other innocent citizens.   Politically-motivated lies can have deadly consequences.   If you have time, look up the treachery against the Vendees of France.   Yes, offers of “tolerance”  and “compromise” can have deadly results too.

We were warned about all this at the beginning of the 20th century.   These three children were at the heart of the warning:

Fatima three children

From what I observe and from what I hear people say, our existing society is under attack.  We are in the way of those who wish to be our Overlords.   We were warned about this — and as a society, as a Church, for all practical purposes we did nothing.

Fatima Newspaper

This is a photo from a newspaper at the time of the warning.    The newspaper actually told the truth and showed photos.     The message was ignored, silenced, described as “doom-and-gloom”  and then demonized and lied about.    To the advantage of the Overlords.

I said before I don’t like this Series that I’m doing, but there is anger growing in me.   I don’t know if it is the anger of helplessness or the anger of seeing so many people do nothing in the face of growing tyranny, or if it is the natural anger that comes from grieving a serious loss.    There is Viking blood coursing in my veins….Would my ancestors tolerate such a defeat?    Perhaps it’s time to go pick up my “pen” and go a-viking!


June 27, 2009

“He leadeth me beside still waters…”     

PresqueIsleRvr 600

And just in time.   I don’t like the “Serious Series” I’m doing.   I think it’s important, but I always get unsettled when I pay attention to the turbulent times we are in.    “The times, they are a-changing,”   as one song put it, and I think the full impact of the changes are going to horrify us all.

But just in time, for a little spiritual refreshment, comes the 4th Sunday After Pentecost, with its two Readings of great encouragement.  Paul says in the Epistle Reading that the “sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come.”    And in the Gospel, Peter realized that the great catch of fish that miraculously came into their nets was an indication that the power of God  assures the future success of the Church;   the Gospel  says he “was astonished”  and fell down and worshiped Jesus.

God is in control, His Church will triumph, and there is such glory waiting for us that we, like Peter in today’s Gospel, will probably also feel like saying:  “Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”      But the Lord will just smile at that, and still take us in, because it is His desire to have us with Him in glory.

The river in the photo is called the Presque Isle River.    Very lovely, still waters.  It makes a pretty picture.    But like today, this Sunday, it is only a peaceful interlude in a river that is exciting for kayakers.    As a matter of fact, this river is known for its Level IV rapids, and it provides quite a challenge for experienced kayakers.   

It is peaceful here in the photo;   but a few miles further on as you go, you will run into turbulent waters several times.   There will be rocks and shallows and unseen hazards just below the surface.   Some of the rapids will seem impossible to get through in one piece.   Eventually it flows out into the deep, smooth waters of  Lake Superior,  where there are no  more rapids and no unseen hazards and no end in sight.

Okay, it’s not a perfect analogy.   Lake Superior can toss around large ships and occasionally swallow them up.   It’s not the glories of heaven, but I’ve seen the Lake when it almost seems like it.

God will see us through all kinds of days, according to the Introit for today:  “The Lord is my light and salvation, whom shall I fear?  The Lord is the protector of my life, of whom shall I be afraid?”

Here are the beautiful words of the Collects for this Sunday.    “Grant us, we beseech Thee, O Lord, that, by Thy providence, the events of this world may be peacefully arranged for us, and that Thy Church may be gladdened by being permitted to serve Thee with peaceful devotedness…Preserve us, O Lord, we beseech Thee, from all dangers of soul and body…”

I think those are good things for the Body of Christ to pray for in these turbulent times of change.    Thanks to God for interludes like this!


June 27, 2009

Faust Learn

I’m sorry.    I wrote yesterday that our popular media culture doesn’t represent ordinary decent people anymore;  and that people with traditional family values have become publicly invisible.   If I had intended to deliberately  demonstrate the contrast between the offerings of the modern pop culture versus what is good and true,  then I may have given myself an excuse for referring to certain books.

As it is, after I thought about it, I realized that I had read these books simply to find out bits of information about an interesting time in history, without regard to the other elements the author served up.   A little truth  mixed in with the poison?   A little poison mixed in with the truth?    Looks like I just demonstrated that I can be too easily caught up into the poison of modern pop culture.   Surely that is a lesson I could be learning better.

 I had elevated the pursuit of knowledge over goodness and wisdom.  

Faust, listening

Faust, listening

Isn’t that the same deal Mephistopheles offered to Faust?

(Mea culpa…)


June 26, 2009

Here is another in my “Serious” series.   

"Simple Dove" visitors

"Simple Dove" visitors

Jesus often taught us lessons from the natural world.   “Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves.   Be ye therefore wise as serpents and simple as doves.”  (Mt. 10:16)   But let us not allow anyone to silence us with the words “simple (harmless) as doves” so that we forget we must also be “wise as serpents.”

Or how about amphibians?   In the natural world, being nearly invisible can make you safer.    See the little guy looking out at you?

Frog Hiding 2

But today I don’t mean physical invisibility;   I mean:   are you invisible in the world you live in?   I’ll bet a lot of nice people have a vague sense that they are.  They and their family and friends seem to be pretty hard to find anywhere in this culture.   The first step in the takeover of a country is to make the opposition seem invisible.

Frog Hiding 1See him now, with the yellow eye?    He was trying to be invisible, but I nearly stepped on him!   I wouldn’t have hurt him deliberately.    But I want to do this series of postings on a certain “faction” in our world who are acting as though they are the dominant majority and we are in their way — and they would step on us. 

The first step in the takeover is to make their enemy invisible.

En Irv Pk Rd

That’s “my” Irving Park Road. I had a large world to grow up in on the west side of Chicago.   I wrote about  growing up next to O’Hare Air Base in a previous post.    My world was large because there were so many different kinds of people in it   There were different degrees of happiness and difficulties, of peace or of troubles, different family sizes, origins, languages.   Being the only child of two working parents, as long as I obeyed their simple rules, I was free to move about in my world.   I must have had my own En Law Av trees 175“Spruce Tunnel” in those days.   I spent a lot of time up in those trees on Lawrence Ave.,     to observe and ponder things.   Here are two observations I remember  thinking about:  

 Random observation #1–   My Mom belonged to the Book of the Month Club.    Wonderful!     Except I noticed I wasn’t allowed to read some of those books.      She would usually just accept whatever selection they sent to her each month, she read it, and told me I wasn’t old enough to read it.   She was right.   I read them all, and they weren’t for children.   They pushed the boundaries of morality and decency in a monthly parade of sex, violence, and scandal.

BookdropNow why would a book club send these kind of books to my nice “ordinary” Mom and to her friends like her?  

Where were the books about real, everyday people from all parts of the world, with interesting bits of drama?

Random observation #2 –   Television was new and fun.   But as my childhood  years progressed, I noticed more and more of the programming was becoming less and less like the ordinary people I saw, of all shapes and sizes, races and religions;  ordinary, decent people.    But, just like the books, the television was showing us a parade of tortured, twisted, immoral, irreverent,  clueless people who were not at all like people we knew.

Oh, we kids saw a lot in real life.    These times were not paradise.    We saw robberies and beatings, domestic violence, drunkenness.  We knew of prostitution, extortion, and murder in our mafia-ridden area.    I saw my first pistol in  school, in a classmate’s desk.  He had just robbed our local drugstore during the noon hour.     This was Chicago, remember.     We were familiar with the Al Capone-Richard Daley-“Obama” types  that ruled over other people.     But here’s the thing:   they didn’t live in all the ordinary neighborhoods;   they were in American culture, but they did not characterize it.

Some pundit of the past called television “a vast wasteland.”     And slowly, ordinary Americans,  hot dogs, mom, apple pie, and flag-waving, became invisible to the pop culture portrayed in the media.

Here’s a better look at the little guy:Frog Hiding Not

When he’s out in the open, he is less likely to get stepped on.   He’d better croak loudly – and be “wise as a serpent.”


June 26, 2009

Book Stack Nice      There are just a few things I need to make me happy.    Simple food,   cool air, and something to read….These are the inanimate objects that symbolize contentment for me.  

And maybe wheels;   Rollerblades and a bicycle.    I like to move around once in a while.

This is a Friday again, a day of connecting ourselves spiritually to Good Friday by means of  Bread&Fish-colorrecollection, meditation, penance, and abtsinence.    Since I like to do all those things too, I sometimes wonder if Fridays are more an “earthly” pleasure to me than a spiritual exercise.       It  feels good to slow down, eat simpler food so there is less  fussing  in the kitchen;   and it feels  good to get  to the devotional reading that I might have been putting off during the rest of the busy week.

 Nearly all of the various categories of books are helpful if your mind is directed to its proper goal, although not all the books in each category are of equal worth.    Yesterday I mentioned three books that are Historical Novels.    They showed me a lot about how the Enemy of America can easily take over our country with the same methods they used in Russia.    I didn’t write their titles…and I won’t because I cannot in good conscience recommend that anyone read them…


It’s  just that….some…historical novels are worth the reading….Please find them among books that were written before this evil century which gives us poison with anything good.


June 25, 2009

What’s going on down there?    It is of great interest.

Angel Notices 285

The upcoming posts will mostly be of a serious nature.    We really ought to be noticing what is going on.     The posts will be about one faction which is spreading and taking over everything, because we are letting them.   They have a technique for doing this, and there are a series of steps they use:

First they define whoever is standing in their way, describing them according to a set of demographic data.   

Then they make their “enemy” group invisible, taking away their voice in society.

Then the enemy is described as a problem, a hindrance to progress, a harm to society.

The next step is to demonize them.

The next step is to criminalize their behaviors or their thoughts.

The next step is to punish them, fine them, remove them from society.

The last step is to eliminate them.


There are variations to these steps.  

I’ve recently read three books about what the socialist/materialists did to the country of Russia.    They exaggerated the problems of Russia and they lied about the Romanovs and demonized anyone who supported the existing system.     They followed all those steps above. (…deleted name of author and books…)

 They do it in every country they take over, one by one.    I wish I hadn’t read those three books.    I see my own country in them.


June 23, 2009

Life is fun; life is serious.   We Americans like  life to be fun — and stay that way.      We want it so badly that we are not looking at the seriousness coming.

Because of the seriousness of what’s forming around us, soon to strike, I will only write in analogies;  obliquely;   “a word to the wise….”

We have fun and ease and the things we need are practically handed to us, with little effort on our part.   Keep that in mind.      What if things weren’t handed to us and we had to work for them…and keep vigilant so that important things are not taken away from us?

Boar Brush 100

Here is a silly little example:   If you want one of these, what would you do?   

But if you couldn’t just “go to the store” and buy one, what would you do?

What did early Americans do?     

What did my ancestors do, serious and self-sufficient,  centuries ago?


Boar dead 250Well, if you really wanted one of those and you had to rely on yourself and your friends to help you get one, first you’d have to start out and find one of these!     

That’s a boar.    And once you’ve got him dead, you can use his bristles to make an excellent hairbrush.     (And if you and your friends are wise, every single part of him would provide food and  soap and other supplies for everyone for a very long time.)

As I said, a hairbrush is just a silly little thing that we might want.   But let it be a substitute for some very important things that we should want in life.      A serious question:    Do we still know how to go about and both obtain and retain some of these more important things?

How should we get the job done?    How do we get the boar dead?  

Well, let’s start with how do we get a boar near enough to us to even begin?   Here’s the plan;   it works well;    and our enemies know it too.

Boar in the wild 190 FL

Here’s the big guy, running around,  free.      Free.     We need to get him where we want him.      We must be subtle and tricky.     We must offer him friendship, a smiling face,   and “hope” !!!       Let’s “change” things for him.

The first thing we do (wisdom of the past)  is to put up a short length of fencing, and place food in front of it.   Whatever it is he likes.   Like us, he will want more of it.     When he is used to getting it from us, near the little fence, we will then attach a second fence, at right angles to it.    

Now we have created a “corner” in which to place the food.    But the boar wants things to be easy for himself, so he comes and feeds…..and trusts.

And then we attach a third length of fence and make a three-sided area and place his favorite food inside  the area.    Might look a little suspicious to him.     He might think something is strange.    But the caution in his mind is put aside because….life is easy, life is good, and his food is handed out to him, and it seems like the three-sided fence was almost always there like that…..or whatever.   

And, of course, we know how easy it will be for us when he is busy enjoying his food and we swiftly put up that fourth side.

As I said,  “A word to the wise… sufficient.”


June 23, 2009

If you don’t go in  for psychocybernetics, you probably think the world is a real, objective place and is not dependent upon you to think it up.     (I believe Oprah and others got rich – again – on a book which tells people the “secret” of calling good fortune to yourself, similar to psychocybernetics;  you  make your own reality, so “be careful what you think.”  )

Many decades ago, when the hippies were young and the new agers were taking over our culture, my husband and I enjoyed thinking about the technique of psychocybernetics and just….well, playing around with it for a while.   Sort of like chasing pretty soap bubbles, our success was elusive.

Here’s why I’m thinking of it again today:

Trav Lake Ripples 450

That’s water in the shoreline of one of the Great Lakes.   Cold, cold water.   My feet were walking through that water.       And that’s where I want my “mind” to be right now.

The reality?     90 degrees.    Humid.    Sunny.    Power outage for hours.    No running water.    No air moving.    A Swede can’t  live like that!

Some day I’ll write about air conditioning.    A so-called “luxury.”     We wouldn’t need a luxury like that if we lived decently closer to the Arctic Circle……

Psychocybernetics.    Maybe I could  look at that cool water and the rippling sand – and pretend that’s my reality right now.


June 22, 2009

Guess who came to dinner on Father’s Day!

John's car better

I was standing inside my garage before dinner, opened the garage door, and this is what greeted me — with a big grin on her face.   I think she’s beautiful!    (She came with “the son” — it was Father’s Day, after all.) John's car side


And this is a nice side view of her:




 And these came to dinner too:

Red Shoes

So cute!

Every man is a chair cover

June 20, 2009

“Every man…..”     Mmm-hmmmm.

Not exactly  my sentiment.     But that’s what was  written on my refrigerator this week.

BBQ Fridge whole

 We had a BBQ party for my Bible studies this week;  it was their almost-annual summer get-together and it was a good time to introduce my English friend Liz.   Among the activities that my two dozen or so guests could do was to rearrange the little magnetic words on the refrigerator doors into little sentences.     Oh, boy.   I really didn’t read them until the party was over.   I have no idea who is responsible for what….

BBQ Fridge sentences better

“never judge”   (nice)

“discover an open heart”    (nice)

mystery novel long & short

wander through this turn (in) (of)  life  (preposition missing)

“ask the first question”

“some strange smell in our library”     (huh?)

“do old dog(s) fight”

“say no to crack”       (oh, yes)

“every man is a chair cover”     (??)

“love like a monster”    (a bit disturbing!)

“woman whisper truth”

“shop(p)ing difficult     (one of the men?)

“inspire romance”

Well.      Well, well.     Sometimes I wonder about these guys

Oh –  I found “more” on the floor today:      m – o – r – e        I hope nobody needed “more.”


June 20, 2009

I meditated and studied more about the Sacred Heart last night, after I wrote yesterday’s post.    Here’s what I learned:

Ark side door

This is a cartoonish depiction of Noah’s Ark.    See the side door?   The animals and the people entered the door on the side of the Ark for their Safety.   After everyone was in, it was God who closed the door somehow.  His doing.  Safe and secure.

 Note where the heart is on a human’s anatomy.      The Spear of Longinus entered the heart of the body of Jesus through His side.    Thomas thrust his fingers into the side of Jesus to find the wound the spear made.

 The Sacred Heart on the side of Jesus reminds us directly of the safety obtained by entering into the side of the Ark.

I love it how all the details tie together.    Noah couldn’t  know that, but we can.  We can all find safety through His side, within His Sacred Heart, loving, and in Love Itself.


June 19, 2009

“Could you not watch with Me (just) one hour?”     I think of this plaintive question asked by Jesus of His “friends” who fell asleep in Gethsemane while He was agonizing over what was soon coming.     And I think of paraphrasing it a bit:    “Could you not give over one day of the week to meditate upon what I did for you and the whole world on that one Friday, long ago?”   

So today is not only Friday, and we can meditate on the meaning of Good Friday, but this year it also happens to be the day set aside to meditate on the incomprehensible, eternal, and inifinite Love that drove Jesus to His Cross and kept Him on the Cross.

Sacred Heart

This is an image of that Fervent Love.    It’s really more of an icon, a pictorial representation of several teachings.   I used to think it was strange.    Sentimental.    But I’ve found it effective.    Long after the image is kind of forgotten by the memory, the mind retains the teachings of the various parts of the image.     And   visual images have a tendency to make the teaching more vivid.    Gaze at it a moment.   Think about the elements in the image.   Forget the image….but you will have retained an impression of love (the heart),   fervency (the fire) and the Passion and Pain, which demonstrate the lengths and depths that God has gone through to save us.

Even from the time of Moses this God, this One-Only-True God, has commanded that images be made to implant teachings into the heart of men.

(Sure am glad this particular culture has chosen a “heart” for the seat of love.    It used to be the intestines.     “Bowels of Mercy,” anyone?)


June 19, 2009

A wonderful visit is over.

Liz airportI’ve left you at the airport.  

Two and a half hours early, before your international flight takes off.    It feels odd to leave you “on your own” now, after enjoying your company, showing you Midwestern American life,   “flyover country,” and being with you constantly for a week.

You assured me you would be all right and there are “things to do” in an airport….and I believe you, because I’ve come to understand that we are very different and very much alike.    And one of the parts that we’re alike in is that we are perfectly fine alone with ourselves.    Independent women.      Choosing what we want to do and who we want to be with, moment by moment.   

Two women.   One on each side of the Atlantic.   After many decades of pen-pal type correspondence, we find  we are almost alike and quite not alike.   

I can’t decide which was the more interesting to discover!

Thank you, my friend.


June 15, 2009

Just.   Don’t.   Go.    There.    Now.

Mosquito !

I have a special guest from England.     One would think a visit to the Spruce Tunnel would be a good place to enjoy the delights of nature in this area.   We learned otherwise.

We were soon pursued by these CARNIVOROUS DENIZENS of the forest and narrowly escaped with our lives.  

There will be no revisit.    Until after the next Hard Frost.

Homeland Security should be notified about these things.


June 13, 2009

“The measure of love is to love without measure.”

Francis de Sales 200x300

This is St. Francis de Sales.   He lived a little while ago when people were leaving Christianity by the hundreds of thousands and even by the millions.   They were being told false ideas about the Faith and they were being taught to hate the Faith….so those who really weren’t committed one way or the other found good excuses to just walk away.

St. Francis de Sales taught people what the Church really teaches and what the Church really offers.  Many hundreds of thousands came back.     For those who truly wanted to come back, he didn’t question or scold or punish or make them do penances.  He physically, literally held out his arms to them and gave them a soft, warm, loving welcome.  

In the truly Christian world of the One True Faith,  we can be measured by how well  we manifest our  willingness to serve the needs of others, in a loving and gentle manner.    To what degree?   To what extent?   To what limit?  

The motto St. Francis said he learned to live by is the one quoted above his picture:    “The measure of  love is to love without measure. ”   In other words, no limits to the amount of love we are to give.

How about our limits as to whom and what we should love?   There are only four categories that we absolutely have to love, given to us in order of importance, by St. Augustine:

Warm welcome

Warm welcome

One is  “God,  above us.”

Two is  “Ourselves, within us”

Three is “Our neighbor,  round about us”

Four is, “Our bodies, beneath us”

I think that covers…..everything there is.

No limits.   No limits.    Welcome all.


June 9, 2009

The Wake-Up Call is NOT gentle. . .

Suzy in the AM

AAAAARGHHHH!     That’s the FIRST thing I see in the morning.    (Nothing in the morning is “gentle” for me, but, even with that look in her eye, I know Suzy is showing enormous restraint – and gentleness with me.)

All day long there are things a cat must do.   Unfortunately for me, a cat like Suzy needs to do them  in the presence of her human “servant.”    Every so often throughout the day (and the night, truth be told) when I’m very busy and concentrating on something, I feel the very gentle touch of a cat’s paw.    It’s like a velvet feather landing on an ankle or a leg or an elbow or an arm.   Whatever is convenient.   

And I respond.   I respond, because if I don’t, I get another touch, a little firmer this time.   I could keep ignoring such a thing, but it will eventually escalate into a little nip….gentle at first.

The PAW is ever ready

The PAW is ever ready

But the main reason I respond is that at that first touch I know I have already missed sensing her attention.   And I have missed sensing her intention.   And further on in time, I’ve missed sensing the urgency in her mind.    By the time I am touched with that soft cat’s paw, the need is urgent indeed, and yet, it is a gentle contact.   

I marvel at this sometimes.   With a different personality, Suzy could go directly from:  “Dumb lady won’t look at me”  to “I’ll just have to pick up her arm with my teeth – now!”

But she doesn’t do that.    I can learn from this.    The people around me are busy with their own tasks and thoughts and feelings too.     It is unlikely they know what I want.     Whether I need to tell them something or get them to do something or teach something,  the best approach is a gentle feathery touch onto another person’s attention.    As many times as it takes.   

 Gentleness and Meekness are related, and even though Meekness is one of the Seven Virtues a Christian needs to learn and cultivate, it is hard for us Americans to really understand what Meekness is.     

You see, “meekness”   means you could  be quite blunt and direct about things.  You are strong and you are right and you need to get things said and done,  but you hold back  for the sake of the other person next to you.    You restrain yourself and treat the person with gentleness, because that person is loved very, very much by God.    

  Hold back, calm down, take a deep breath, and smile.    Let the urgency fade a bit.  A gentle touch makes a big impact!




June 8, 2009

Faith makes a nation great.

First, a Tribute:    (I don’t believe many, or any, of my Filiipino friends read this blog, so I will speak freely, just what I think.)     This weekend I learned that  Filipinos consider their island to be “The Pearl of the Pacific.”    This has to be the most beautiful pearl ever  imaginable,   the Pearl that all other pearls look up to;  the Pearl of Great Price that Our Dear Lord pointed us to.

I can’t even find a pearl as beautiful as I need it to be for my friends, so I will show you their national flower, the Sampaguita…pure and white and fragrant.

Flowers sampaguita

Now, generally, when I look inwards, I am most often aware of the weakness of my faith, of my faithlessness.   In those rare moments that I am aware of the Gift of Faith in me, there is   fleeting  joy and pleasure and thankfulness.     However, when I am among my Filipino friends, I am immediately put in my place,  my proper place, which is way down the rungs on Jacob’s Ladder.   In the presence of these friends, spiritually I place myself at their feet and touch the ground with my head — not in worship, but as a student in the presence of masters.

Flowers Sampaguitas 300What do I learn from them?     The Lord rains down His goodness and graces onto the Philippines, and the people absorb it all and are, by His power, miraculously transformed into strong, capable, gentle people of love.     They do not seem to see what a great miracle this is!    I marvel at the ease with which they give and give and give and freely receive and receive and receive from each other.    They are living and breathing the Love of God.

Another Filipino Flower The Dama de Noche

Another Filipino Flower The Dama de Noche

I am often assured by them that their culture is saturated with the Faith of all Ages.   I can assure all of you, my readers, that every single nation that is saturated with the Faith — that is, the people, in a personal way — enjoys the blessings of God, and His aid and protection.

Wherever the Faith is abandoned, whether for reasons of indifference, or of sin, or of adopting the goal of material prosperity and worldy freedom, wherever and whenever the Faith is abandoned,  the plain evidence of history shows that that nation becomes either weak and enslaved or it becomes a menace to other nations.  The people’s “misery index” goes up and the economy cannot support the cost of fixing the “misery.” 

F anthemI am sorry, I do not have explicit permission to use this photo, and I don’t know who to ask, (and I hope it is small enough not to see details)  but this is the beautiful national anthem of the Philippines being sung at a recent festival.   No music here, but just imagine the hearts and souls of many people being lifted up with pride and love and confidence in their own great nation.

Folk songs (photo darkened)

Folk songs (photo darkened)

Our Dear Lord taught us to seek the Pearl of Great Price, as this Pearl of the Pacific has done.   What does it profit you if you gain all these material goods and freedoms — if you then lose your own soul?


June 7, 2009

It’s the beginning of another month.   Time to remember what the Spruce Tunnel is all about:    Besides being a dark, inner place in the middle of a park, delineated by tall spruce trees, it is also a dark, inner place of quiet and solitude,  where random thoughts can slowly turn into insight.  It is any place where one can think and contemplate and hear what the One has to say.

Sometimes the Spruce Tunnel turns one’s thoughts upwards:

Spruce Looking Up

My last posting referenced the Trinity, and I said I don’t know anything about the Trinity.   My mind is finite;  I can’t know;   I can’t figure it out.

But in the last few hours I have experienced Communion.   We were told in the homily that we experience God’s love Person-to-person, because that’s how True Love is experienced;  and God-Most-High  is Love.   God draws us to Him, quiets our hearts (and minds!),  and then communes with us, Person-to-person.

I cannot explain what I communed with;   I do not “know” the deep meaning of the Trinity, but I can affirm that I communed with the One-Triune-God, Who was there, Who knows me,  and Whom I’m coming to know. 

How can we even talk about “knowing” the Triune God?

Trinity 400

Lucky children of India who were catechized with this photo!   The missionaries treated the children of India as intelligent children, able to come to know complex doctrine.    This photo is a reprint from their actual catechism book.

Now, the tips of the trees in the Spruce Tunnel draw our minds “upward” to God, even though we know it is not a geographical “up” but rather a metaphysical “up.” 

In the same way, this catechism picture of the Trinty suggests to us the Truth of the Three Persons.    The children knew that there were not three kinds of gods “up there.”

To try to know the Triune God by one way of knowing and explaining is to miss the point that there is a far better “knowing” available to us all, in His Holy Communion with us — Person-to-person, in flames of Love, as we learned at Pentecost, one Octave ago.


June 7, 2009

Liturgical Year:   Trinity Sunday

I don’t know anything at all about Trinity.

I know the One-True-Living-God-Most-High is a Trinity,  and I place my hope that I will some day be in the Presence of that Trinity.


A Trinity of Persons is not a trinity of people.    It is Elohim – capital E, a plurality  of existence –   ABOVE  elohim – small letter E, a plurality of beings.  

“Time and Eternity belong to the Trinity.”  (Dom Prosper Gueranger)

For all my classes, I repeat:   As soon as you begin to understand about God and you can describe Him,  you can be sure that you are merely describing  your own understanding of God, not the really-existing God-Most-High.    Your understanding of God is too small.   Always.

He is worth so much more than you can understand or give to.  

 He is worth your all.