Archive for September 2012

ON THE “CORNER” OF CHURCH AND STATE

September 30, 2012

I took this picture around noon today, as I was walking to my car after being inside that church.    I took it because the leaves are getting to be really pretty, and I liked the way the artistic elements in the scene fit together.

But the sermon was still rattling around in my mind, and the church in the foreground with our state capitol building in the background brought that sermon into focus.     One of the prayers assigned for this particular Sunday, the 18th After Pentecost, begins like this:  “Moses consecrated an altar to the Lord….in the sight of the children of Israel.”      

That’s one of those “throwaway” verses;   you almost blip right over it because, yeah, yeah, I know what it means, I know what’s going on here, let’s get on with some action….     Well,  wisely,  the sermon was made to build on these words, making us all pause and realize what was being said.

To consecrate something means to take it out of the secular world and use it for sacred purposes.   With words of blessing and ritual and vows and whatever else we humans can do to show God we are serious about something, the object, whether it be altar or vessel or vestment, is now to be used for things of God.

Well, that’s the church building part of the photo, here’s where the capitol building comes in:

St. Paul tells us all believers in Jesus Christ are “saints,”   that is,  consecrated to God.   People can be consecrated and used, too,   to bless this world,  to do God’s good work in this world, to bring God’s presence into this world, to care for the world  — and to govern it well according to just principles of civics and social interaction.

That’s the ideal.

Have we given up on building a better world?    Does it seem sometimes that  there’s nothing we can do to substantially improve our own nation?    Do we even know where to start?

Seems to me that  the “artistic elements” in the photo I took today suggest that we have patterns and guidelines to follow.   We have  history books and biographies to tell us what was in the minds of the Founders of our country  and what they meant when writing our nation’s Constitution that guided us into stability and greatness.   We have religion available to us to guide us into a relationship with God.  We’ve got the world of nature that God created to be our examples of beauty and harmony and to lift us up out of ourselves.

I begin the pity those that Moses didn’t consecrate.    They seem to be left out of this wonderful work.

PIRATES AS WEAPONS

September 29, 2012

One more thing about pirates, although it’s not really about pirates at all.    It’s about the information that comes to us, who is giving us that information, and what agenda do they have.

Pirate stories are now the stuff of legends, the theme of children’s imaginative play, and a subject for Hollywood movies.   But as adults we realize that pirates are serious and especially deadly business to the innocent sailors and civilians who are confronted by them.

Serious, deadly, and effective business!    Queen Elizabeth I was the first monarch in modern times who very effectively made use of pirates against countries which she considered to be her enemies.    Her enemies were any of the countries whose monarchs and population were Catholic, and frequently in the late 16th century,  it was Spain.    Both countries were engaged in exploration and colonization of the New World  and both countries needed the land and the gold that beckoned them from the New World.

There is new evidence that Queen Elizabeth paid large sums of money to the  Islamic Turks, with their powerful  navy, to encourage them to harass and attack the ships from Christian countries all over the Mediterranean Sea.   It’s new research, though.  I’d like to wait and see on that one.

But certainly Queen Elizabeth financed many pirates to attack the ships of the trade and exploration routes of Catholic countries.   Her favorite pirate is a familiar name to us:  Francis Drake.  SIR  Francis Drake.    English children are taught to regard him as a hero.   His “acquired” wealth has  earned him respectability in the history books.

Our recent Hurricane Isaac re-uncovered the wreck of an old ship which may or may not be a pirate ship.

Most likely it was a gun-running ship, or maybe just a commercial ship, but the urge was there for a while to attach to the wreck some of the romantic stories of swashbuckling and derring-do of the old pirate days of a few centuries ago!

As I’ve written in the last two posts, we have pirates today, although they’re not regarded as romantic heroes.   They are not yet described as “freedom fighters” or “liberators of their people”  or “people trying to get back some of the wealth that their country is entitled to.”     The truth about them and about Queen Elizabeth’s use of pirates is that piracy is an act of war, illegal by international law, even though our history  books and entertainment media may paint a different picture.

That brings me to my point, a caution for us all in this election year:

You see, it’s popular in the last hundred or so years to walk around saying “Whose truth?”    “Your truth is not my truth.”     “It’s just a matter of how you look at things.”     And in doing so we forget that there is indeed philosophical and theological truth, physical and objective truth, apart from just the chemicals whirling around in our “physical”  brains, arousing our senses.

It’s  helpful to remember that information bits or opinions or propaganda that frequently come our way are not objective;    they are an inferior form of “truth.”      They are indeed very subjective and we have the faculty of Discernment to help us see through the declarations of subjective “truths.”

“Good Queen Bess,”  indeed!    Harrumph!

PIRATE MAP

September 26, 2012

A follow-up from yesterday, just in case you didn’t have time to click on the Pirate Report link:

They really do have a “live”  pirate map, pinpointing the latest attacks and attempted attacks this year.  I know there are more because not all the locations I’ve read about appear on this particular map,  but it’s helpful to see what parts of the world are most involved.

It’s also surprising to read the actual notes of the attacks.  The vast majority end with words like:  “…the pirates escaped.”  “….the pirates got away unharmed with the goods.”    “…stole ship property and escaped.”     “…robbers escaped in their speedboat with stolen items .”

Ah, no swashbuckling, swords, or sails today, but dangerous pirates, nevertheless, and a lucrative occupation.

 

 

SEPT. 24th – PIRATES, CAPTIVES, AND SLAVES

September 25, 2012

Now, it’s quite a coincidence that on Sept. 24th,  I was reviewing an old Latin lesson:   “Piratae semper ab incolis provinciarum timentur.  Saepe parva oppida a piratis oppugnatur;  agri agricolarum vastantur…..Piratae frumentum Siciliae desiderant;  magna castra in ora maritima insulae nostrae habent.”    Well, they would, the better to build secret bases to strike from….

Then I read about Lucretia who lived in Sicily who took a walk one night to wait for her sailor-friend.   “Sed olim noctu quattuor piratas in ora vidit.  Lucretia territa piratis diu spectabat, sed non clamavit…”   Well, she wouldn’t, clever girl.  The story goes on to tell how she later alerted the villagers and with the help of her sailor-friend, they lay in wait for the pirates to come back and – this time – defeated them.

A second “knock” on the head for me on Sept. 24th:   This is the day set aside for Christendom to remember the formal beginning of a group of men dedicated to helping those who have been attacked, captured, held as slaves or held in prisons and executed — all because they were not the “right religion.”

It was a time of so-called “radical” Muslim expansion into Europe.   Military Islamic forces and Islamic pirates attacked commercial and passenger ships alike, often overpowering the weaker European defenses and capturing untold thousands of Christians who were destined for slavery if they converted or for prisons if they chose to remain Christian.

Once in prison (dungeons) they would either be executed or held for ransom if there was hope that someone would pay the Muslims great sums of money on their behalf.

Living within fifty miles along the coast or traveling for any reason by boat or ship put one in great peril, as is related by the little Latin story above.

Christian men, women, and children were being overcome by invading Muslim forces and there seemed to be no help for the weaker, disorganized Christian nations – until finally, in the year 1248,  help came from Heaven.

The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three men, in three different places, instructing and encouraging them to form a special Order of men dedicated to raising ransom money for the captives and even, at times, offering to take the place of the captives so they could return home.

Courage?  Compassion?   Bravery?   Chivalry?   Many captives were freed and returned to Christian Europe, to their families and friends.   Knowing what we now know about genealogy,  many of these returned captives were our very own  forefathers.

The Order was called the Order of Our Lady of Mercy for the Ransom of Captives.   Along with the three common vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience, they were required to take a fourth:  to remain, as necessary, for security in the hands of the Muslims, in order to deliver Christians.

Unfortunately Pirates still exist today.  You can read a daily Pirate Report at several Websites such as this:  http://icc-ccs.org/piracy-reporting-centre/live-piracy-report

Unfortunately,  slavery still exists today. It is also treated in various reports, international news stories, and novels based on fact.    It is common across the Muslim world.

Fortunately,  this Christian group. the Mercedarians still exist also.

St. Peter Nolasco

The three men you should know about who received the initial instructions are King James of Aragon, St. Peter Nolasco,  and St Raymund Pegnafort.   What great piety and spirituality that enabled them to receive such a vision!  What courage and compassion in all the Mercedarians.

A few hundred years later, the world was still fighting the Islamic Barbary Pirates, and Thomas Jefferson instituted a special fighting force to protect the Mediterranean shipping lines.  That special fighting force is called the United States Marines.  Semper Fi, Dad, and fellow Marines.

RAINING DOWN

September 18, 2012

Book rained down on me today –

Decided to ratchet up my activity level today, so with duster in hand and a footstool under my feet, I cleaned and rearranged books for a while. . . . until I put that  one   last   book   up there at the edge of the shelf . . . . only it was the front edge of the shelf,  not the side edge…

The whole long, heavy shelf and its books came raining down on me.  I heard that first sound, the sliding sound, and then before I could move, the Gatling-gun sound of books thumping into me and on down to the floor.

No books were damaged.

I’m looking at all my books, neatly stacked now, in another room.   I’d like to read and dispose of many of these books, but it’s been bothering me all day – many of these books are not being published anymore.   The books that are taking their places do not say the same things.  They’re written for people who don’t really read books; for people who don’t really need a lot of complex facts to explore and analyze.      And the new books leave out many facts and then form the remaining  information into a modern politcally-correct agenda.

If I dispose of my books,  the knowledge inside of them will also be disposed of.

So it bothers me,  like  when I think of two books, side by side, with the same title, purporting to be the “same” book.   but one published fifty years ago is a Christian Classic,  challenging, thoughtful,  and worthy of being examined over and over.  The other book, published within the last ten years, same title,  same “author” has now become a nice book, superficial,  an easy read, and it leaves you wondering what all the fuss was about.

It bothers me what is done with information that any modern media gives us.    After a week of reading the news coming out of northern African countries, the attack on our country’s embassies and consulates,  the murderous mob that dragged our ambassador through the streets, beat him and sodomized him,  then I turn on the television yesterday to find out that the news readers are announcing that this was a spontaneous demonstration against a “movie” made in America and that the crowd was carrying the ambassador to a “hospital.”    Didn’t even sound like the same event.

There was no hospital, and there is no movie.   It’s  a disjointed string of poorly made scenes, amounting to about fourteen minutes, and has been out on YouTube since early summer.    It was so bad and incoherent that not many people even bothered with it.    There is no movie.  

Why do news readers read scripts that talk about a “movie”?     Is this a superficial, easy-to-understand bit of information that advances a politically-correct agenda?     A quick and easy way to obfuscate the rise of a strong and angry enemy that we ought to be protecting ourselves against?

Other bits of misinformation rains down onto me when I turn on the television — and stray away from the sports channels!     They’re  talking about a candidate for president who “doesn’t care about 47% of the country.”  Really?    Is that what he said?   Or is that the way  the news scripts interpret some of his words?

It wouldn’t take long to recall many other situations where news from the world is either not reported or is presented to convey the opposite meaning.

Remember hearing headlines about organic foods not being any better than factory-farm grown foods?  And that supplements were not any more beneficial than eating food?    Well, I checked out the studies they referred to.   Actually I checked out only summaries of those studies.    The studies demonstrate the opposite of what I heard over the airwaves.    The short headlines that were announced did not resemble the conclusion of those studies.

I think it’s time to stick our chins out and start talking about what’s really going on.     (If that’s not too politically-incorrect – and uncomfortable.)

We just may be able to halt the Revolution that is raining down on us!

 

 

 

 

BIKE, BLADES, BOOKS, AND BLAKE

September 16, 2012

Enough!    Enough already!    It’s not like me to let my wings be clipped and “do life” from a couch!   For the past weeks, all I’ve done is get up,  take a long nap,  get up, take a long nap,  and all there is to show for it is fatigue, shingles pain,  and a low-grade fever.    This is getting me nowhere.

I’m putting my own wings back on because there are things waiting for me:

It’s a Trek.     It’s a beautiful bike.      And it’s still waiting for me in my living room.       The air is sometimes cooler now, the bugs are abating,  and the chemtrails have lessened for some reason.     Freedom awaits!   It’s inspiring!

My Blades are waiting for me too.


There is nothing sadder than seeing them waiting, day after day, in the entranceway.

And my books!     If this is supposed to be the beginning of the schoolyear,  I’m way, way, way behind! The more I study,  the more I don’t know.   The more I don’t know,  the more I want to study.  What a wonderful cycle!

Well, that’s my Bike, my Blades, and my Books.    Here’s the Blake –

William Blake, that is.     He writes: ” You never know what is enough unless you know what is more than enough.”

I’ve always overlooked that sentence before.     I’ll gladly and humbly accept whatever is sent my way, even though it may seem like “more than enough.”      Yet there are some things which I can reject, and when I’ve had enough, change the course.    Like everyone else,  there is a life to live, a life to define,   a life to delight in.    Sounds like someone who is getting back her health!

Hope so.    I’ll think about it after a little nap.

CLIPPED WINGS . . . #7 SOME EXALTATION

September 14, 2012

Listless.    Still “on the couch.”    I’m tired and I just feel like flitting from one thing to another.

A young med student in my class this morning said it was because my body is still busy with the aftermath of fighting the shingles.   

(Or maybe it has something to do with Jay Cutler’s seven sacks and four interceptions last night…)

Either way,  I guess I should thank God for the time to “flit” over to today’s date.

It’s an important holiday today – that’s holy-day – for Christendom.  We are urged to Slow Down and contemplate the Cross.   “Lift High the Cross.”   It’s the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross.  Of course we do this every Friday, and we can contemplate the Cross any day, at any time,  but having a specific day designated for this emphasizes the solemnity of the Cross and “forces” us to make a good meditation, at least this once.   

Today in class we studied Isaiah 50, where the details of the Passion of Christ are presented.  It was necessary that Christ should die,  but here in Isaiah we are shown that Christ died in every way that a man can die:   striking, beard pulling, spitting,  being beaten…..   they killed all respect that is due a man,  they killed His dignity,  they killed His freedom of movement,  they killed His sense of safety,  they killed His sense of belonging to His own community,  they killed His right to life, and by putting Him on the Cross,  they killed whatever was left….

“And He set His face like a rock….”    That is, no emotional expression that would plead for mercy, that would beg for an end to the mistreatment.   He came to die, He came for this, He came for His Cross.  It was the only way to procure our salvation.   It was the price of our Redemption.

“Lift High the Cross.”

THE NAME OF MIRYAM

September 12, 2012

Hello.   Any reason why you don’t bow down towards a Middle Eastern city five times per day?

Well, yes there is a reason.   And it has nothing to do with your intellect,  your preferences, or your free choice.   It has to do with the reason Christendom celebrates today the Most Holy Name of Mary – Miryam.    A name whose root origins is “bitterness.”

Just a few generations ago,  what amounts to about three hundred or so years ago,   Islamic forces made yet another military advance against the borders of Europe, this time from the east, not the west or the south.   Just barely, under the leadership of Field Marshall Jan Sobieski, a terrible siege was put to an end.   But not too many years later,  Islamic forces came again with tens of thousands of soldiers, and after much suffering and effort and loss of life, Jan Sobieski once again led the Christian forces to victory.

But then, after nearly a decade of rest for Christian Europe but a decade of military build-up for the Islamic army,  a military force of 300,000 Islamic soldiers came up against Austria.   The Emperor fled and appealed to the rest of Europe and to Jan Sobieski specifically for help.

Vienna, modern, prosperous, well-educated, cultured Vienna lay under siege.

  Jan Sobieski answered the call with an army of tens of thousands against the hundreds of thousands.    Islam had advanced by its military might throughout all the lands that were previously Christian:  Palestine, northern Africa,  eastern Asia,   and the campaign was still going strong.

The army of Jan Sobieski marched behind a banner of the Blessed Virgin Mary   Behold, all generations shall call me blessed….Luke 1:48) , but on the way to Vienna they stopped at a shrine,  the Virgin of Sanctuary of Mary in Czestochowa.   It was common to plead the aid of Heaven before battle, to implore the prayers and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and without fanfare,  this is what they did that day.   Strong men, soldiers, warriors, on their knees, knowing help comes “in the name of the Lord.”      And so they went to Mass, receiving the Body of Our Lord, and ….on to battle.

This was one of the most dramatic battles of our times, back and forth, courage and valor, and finally victory.  The invading Islamic forces were driven back and defeated.   Their own banner was presented finally to Pope Innocent XI.

History honors Jan Sobieksi and his army and their Christian faith.   History notes their devotion to Our Lord and their reliance on the faithfulness and intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary — Miryam —   she of many names, of many helps, of the beauty that can only come from living totally within God’s holy will.   History – and the Church – has appointed this day to remember victory over Islamic forces and to consider the Heavenly Aid we receive during our trials and struggles.

Miryam,  Mariam,  Mary. . .   bitterness.    From the bitterness of sin and its consequences of death, sickness, violence, war,   false religions  comes Hope that God can and will and does save us and take us into His glory.

So there is a reason why you don’t have to bow down five times a day to an Arab deity, if you don’t want to.  If these battles of a few generations ago had been lost,  you wouldn’t have had a choice.

September 12 –   The Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary

 

Clipped Wings . . . #6 UNTERSEE(BOOT)

September 12, 2012

I’ve been in one, an Unterseeboot;  I toured the U-505 currently parked in Chicago.  Visitors at the museum can watch a film of the harrowing battle and defeat of this submarine during World War II and then walk around in the actual submarine that we captured.

It was a lean, mean military machine, meant to kill.

A few generations of U-Boats later:

Germany has continued to develop their submarine program.  That’s fine.   They may some day need to defend themselves.  But I’ll bet this one has far more capability to meet its “objective” than the ones they built  seventy years ago.

Well, relax.    YOU are buying one.   Or more accurately,  with your money you are helping Egypt’s present rulers buy some of these.    The man currently living in the white….you know, our capitol…house…..   He is completing negotiations to give one billion dollars of our money to the radical, militant Islamist rulers in Egypt so that they can purchase the German submarines that are on their shopping list.  *

Oh, the Egyptian leaders are “militant.”     Makes sense.   They’ll  need this military equipment.

If I hadn’t been forced to slow down for a while and if I hadn’t used that time to read the news,  I might have have missed this news article. **   I might have continued to think that our present rulers are working to make the world a safer place.

 

*    An excerpt from the news article I read: 

(the man in the white house’s)   “deputies are negotiating a $1 billion aid package with Egypt’s new Islamist government, even as Egypt’s cash-strapped military revealed that it is trying to buy $1 billion worth of German submarines that could threaten Israel’s fast-growing offshore energy projects.

The German government has pointedly declined to deny the incendiary revelation about Egypt’s request to buy the two submarines….”

 

**   Use any Search engine;  you’ll find many sources for this information.

CLIPPED WINGS… # 5 RED RIVER

September 11, 2012

Okay,  here’s another “funny”  observation from my vantage point on the Couch.     At least,  I think it’s funny:

That’s the famous  Yangtze  River in China.        It’s one of the most important rivers in world history and affects the lives of millions of people today.

And it turned red this week.     Three days afterwards the scientists have offered no satisfactory explanation, though they and countless others have offered suggestions.    None of the suggestions have been verified scientifically – so far.

This has happened to rivers on three other continents in the past few months — and, of course,  the province of Kerala in India keeps receiving red rain,  bright red raindrops, staining the towns and villages below.    No satisfactory explanation yet.

I’m sure one of the suggestions will become the official explanation, but meanwhile, we can’t help but remember that when the Nile turned blood-red a few thousand years ago,  it wasn’t good for the Egyptians.    And then there’s that busy Angel in chapter 16 of the book of Revelation, the Apocalypse of the Bible.

This all seems very remote to me, until I think of my little creek in the back yard,  my little babbling brook, whose sounds accompany me when I’m outdoors.    If I were to stand on the banks one day and look down and see that the water had turned bright red like this,  I know I would have an eerie feeling.  My stomach would “turn”  and I think I’d look behind my shoulder. . . .

 

CLIPPED WINGS . . .#4 MY FAVORITE BLOOPER

September 11, 2012

My Favorite Blooper of THIS day, that is.     Eliot’s words yesterday remind us that nothing less than freedom and civilization is at stake, if we are not paying attention.   Before I go on with really dire postings,  I want to join in today’s public re-acceptance of the great Narrative Fiction of these past eleven years,  and present to you one of the funniest TV bloopers I’ve ever seen.

“Funny,”  indeed.

Many news organizations were covering the events of eleven years ago.  Many, many cameras were trained on the action.    I noticed that seeing things and listening to things became increasingly separated from each other, and very rapidly a Fictional Narrative was developing.

Much of the world watched the BBC that afternoon, hours after the two buildings had been collapsed.

Here is a nice, competent news reader from England, reading the script in front of her face.    She is telling us startling, breaking news:   the World Trade Center Building #7  had just collapsed.   What a tragedy!!    A third building had gone down as a result of two airplanes. . . .

Except — behind her, shown plainly by her television crew,  is Building #7, standing firm and strong.

For about twenty minutes the world heard her describe the loss of Building 7.       And then,  after that,   They managed to actually get that building to fall in a carefully controlled in-footprint collapse.    (You can read about what was inside that building elsewhere.)

BBC explanation for the unfortunate timing of their “report”?     “We made a mistake.”         (I don’t know, a mistake with the help of Dr. Who, maybe)

In case you are inclined to believe in their mistake,   another camera crew and another set of reporters and scripts had already shot this angle:

This time there is a clear time stamp that the viewer can see.       Note that “21:54” is in the afternoon, after the first two buildings were taken down.

But it was 26 minutes before Building 7 actually came down.

In case you think only the British make “mistakes” like this,  Fox News also reported that Building 7 had come down.    There was a  little ad lib in their script.    “”…we are getting word from New York that another building has collapsed and we understand this is a 47 story building …”

“Take a look now at the right side of your screen….”      (Time to get the audience ready to see what they need to see.)

“Take a look now…..”

“It’s going down right now…..!”    

Good of them to direct our attention to where something is going to happen – in the near future.

The BBC reports it has lost the original film files.

Funny blooper, huh?     We ought to be paying attention.

 

 

CLIPPED WINGS. . . #3 ELIOT’S WORDS

September 10, 2012

Wrote a few posts tonight, but I don’t want to post them yet.   They’re all leading up to what I said last time about raising a new generation of people with “the virtue and strength to save our country.”     We’ve got to be good people in order to transmit those good characteristics on to the next generation.

But the actions we take will have to answer the problems we face, and that takes accurate observation, and that takes time and attention.    And now,  while I lounge on the Couch with “clipped wings”  and weak, wobbly knees, waiting for my strength to return,  I have the time,  and I’ve been paying attention…to the popular “media” culture that we live and breathe in.

Christendom has nearly slipped away.    Christendom, which provided the foundation for the development of Western Civilization, has weakened from neglect from within and from attacks from its enemies.   As our popular culture blithely demonizes and discards Christianity, it doesn’t realize that there is as yet no substitute for the civilization which grew out of it.

There is so much at risk today, so much at stake here.    I came across these words by T.S. Eliot who said it best:

If Christianity goes, the whole of our culture goes. Then you must start painfully again, and you

cannot put on a new culture ready made. You must wait for the grass to grow to feed the sheep to

give the wool out of which your new coat will be made. You must pass through many centuries of

barbarism. We should not live to see the new culture, nor would our great-great-great-

grandchildren: and if we did, not one of us would be happy in it. 

 

“…many centuries of barbarism….”

He saw this coming more than half a century ago.   Time to act is rapidly passing away.

 

 

CLIPPED WINGS. . . #2 THE UN-ENTITLED GENERATION?

September 9, 2012

21 months old.

“Responsibility, self-reliance, pulling his own weight.”

Don’t worry.  See the smile on his face?    When the adults around you are managing their own luggage, it’s fun to be a grown-up too!

Cooper is traveling again today.    He’s flying from the west coast all the way to the east coast. and this ‘Grrma’ can sit on her couch and blow kisses into the sky overhead…..

…..and think about all the obligations we have to the next generation.  We all have an obligation to help the next generation along.    Don’t have any grandchildren yourself?   No sons or daughters yet? You still share in the obligation.  Anytime you come into view of a person younger than you are, you can model good behavior.  You can demonstrate good comportment.  You can give an example of the dignity and worth and value of a human being.

You can show a younger person somehow, with words or actions or attitude,  that you are an individual human being,  responsible and trustworthy, self-reliant and dependent upon no one.   You can tell younger people that in the United States of America we use these qualities to pursue our own idea of a full, happy life  ( —  with, of course, the modification of Christian compassion acting for the benefit of those truly in need).   Under ordinary circumstances,  no one owes us anything.

Looks like a fun way to live — when you’ve got someone to walk beside you into the great unknown future.

From this Couch of the Clipped Wings, I’ve observed a lot of people who feel unrealistically, unsustainably entitled to the good life.   Perhaps we will find a way to raise a new generation with the virtue and character necessary to save our country.

CLIPPED WINGS ON THE COUCH – #1 Politics?

September 7, 2012

I love to travel.    I love the freedom of cross-country driving..     Son and I visited the Brevard (Florida) County Zoo a few weeks ago, and we saw, among other things,  many wild birds and they were very, very close up and touchable!

 

Beautiful birds:

Birds prized for their magical color feathers:

Comical laughing birds:

An ostrich so close he could have pecked at us if he were feeling grouchy:

An eagle:

Eagle??    The other birds were quite glorious and worthy of our time and a long look,  but….an eagle?   Loose and free?

It was trying to fly.     Trying.    But its wings were clipped.

Nah.  I’m not going to complain about my recent Stressors,  but I understand this eagle.    I have a “right” to be healthy and active and energetic!   That’s just me!     But with all these deaths and injuries and this terrible (though temporary) sickness, and with all the apparent fatigue from my cross-country driving trips,  I will admit it feels like  my “wings have been clipped.”

So I’ve parked myself on my couch in Hubbie’s TV room, dusted off the remote, cleaned the TV screen,  and thought I’d look out at what the television people are showing us.

Ugh.     Thank goodness football season is starting.    And NASCAR is still going on.   But the rest of it?    Ugh.

So, fair warning,  I thought I’d make some reports from this Couch.    Let you know some things I’ve been seeing lately, through all forms of media.

POLITICS –  Let’s get that one out of the way first.

My political experience is based in the theories of political science developed by the Greeks and Romans, with just a beginning of Aquinas and other thinkers from Christendom.    Working hard on that one right now.   So you can imagine my dismay when I tuned in to modern versions of what is called “politics.”

Just briefly about the two conventions that occurred during my sickness, one in Tampa, one in Charlotte.    One, although I don’t agree with much of what they stand for,  I felt I could sit down among them and be welcomed, fit in,  and not feel too out of place.  Normal, happy, enthusiastic people    The second one I felt I’d be very uncomfortable among.  Again, I don’t agree with much of what they’re saying, but I felt I’d be dressed wrong, my comportment and my faith would be out of step,  I would be shouted at, shouted down, and even threatened  (“I could just kill him,”  one delegate said about her opponent.   Don’t worry,  She won’t be prosecuted by the Secret Service.   She is of a protected minority, apparently.)

Insultingly deceptive, violently, arrogantly dramatically orating their opinions.    Reportedly, a former governor of our state had what they called a “meltdown” at the podium.    I saw a short clip of it.  I’d call it more a bad performance out of a very bad method-acting school.

I thought and thought and thought about why I felt so alarmed at what I’ve seen.

It comes down to this:     “If a ruler hearken to lies, all his servants are wicked.”   (Proverbs 29:12)    I didn’t think that up.  A king did.   A politician, of sorts, who witnessed plenty of politicking going on in his own kingdom.

I don’t know much about what’s going on in our nation — how did we get to this point? !!     But it will be back to the political science books for me.     Another wise man said:  “If you don’t know where you’re going,  you’ll end up someplace else” !    

We’ve got to know.  We’ve got to pay attention.

 

 

ONE ANOTHER

September 4, 2012

(Shingles)   I found out that if I don’t move too much,  the pain pills can almost keep up with the pain.    What a great number of icky sensations come with a case of the shingles…

But while I’m okay for a while,  I want to share with you some gratitude.

It started with a visitor this morning:

Down there, beyond the deck.  a young buck was standing in the creek, right across the pond.    He actually had a very small set of antlers.   He may be part of the family that lives back there, but I didn’t see Mama and her two new babies that she takes out for a walk once in a while.

Such a nice, friendly thing to see out your window first thing in the morning.   Gave me one of my now-rare smiles.

He just wanted to graze along the bank –

Nothing special, but he got me to thinking of the other “contacts”  I’ve had recently.    Cards from friends,  emails, phone calls,  wondering how I’m doing, expressing sympathy (for my father’s recent death) and concern for my struggle with these shingles.

Each contact was unbelievably wonderful.   I thank each one individually and uniquely.

I always liked that little phrase in the Bible:   “one another.”    Love one another.  Be kind to one another.  Care for one another….      I hope, when I’m better,  to be able to return the thoughtfulness I’ve been the recipient of and to pass on the kindness I received.   Thankfulness needs to be expressed.

I’m “one”  during these days.   My friends and family and neighbors are the “anothers.” 

 

Deo gratias.

 

SUFFERERS: For the Record

September 2, 2012

With deep gratitude, I want to share this Webstie for any of you who will ever suffer from shingles or who will ever know someone who will suffer and you will want to help:

http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/shingles.html

 

Thank you.   All five pages.   You’ll find hope in there somewhere.

We were made from the “dust” of this earth, from the molecules,  and God has made it so the molecules from this earth maintain and restore us to health.

 

 

Temporarily Out of Order

September 1, 2012

Me  (microscopically speaking) —

Shingles.     Entire side of my head….  pretty unbearable pain.

Doctor says I’m run down and immune system used up.    ( ?? )

As Ambassador Sarek says:  “The cause is sufficient….”

 

 

 

 

 

Will return to Spruce Tunnel in a day or two…