Archive for October 2015

THE EVE OF ALL-HALLOWEDS’ DAY

October 31, 2015

jack

First of all,  there is a lot LESS influence by the Celts or Druids or “whatever” upon Christianity than is currently presumed.  A lot less!    Our first command was to “Go out into all the world and preach the Gospel.”   And so we did.

Great Commission

The influence of Christianity upon the cultures that it met was far greater than the influence of ancient cultures upon Christianity.   (Unless you must push the relatively new teaching that the Church is a mixture of paganism and apostate Christianity.  Then you may embellish that thought any way you please.)

But, secondly,   and thankfully,  scholars are beginning to admit that we know very little about what constitutes a “Druidic” culture or even a Celtic culture.

So,  who were these Celts anyway?

Celts JWe don’t really know.   However you want to define them,  they lived approximately within that black boundary —   but it would be a modern-day presumption.    They didn’t really call themselves “Celts.”

So what would “historians”  a thousand or two thousand years in the future  call us who live in the Western Hemisphere?    “Europeans” ?     Or would they call Europe Europe?    They would probably make up their own names for us  (assuming there would be human civilization then and reading and writing and history.)  

We know almost zero about Druids and their religions.

druids todayBut some people find the idea “romantic”  and “empowering”  and so a whole presumptive history is being developed,  complete with costumes and wholly-made-up rituals and a feeling of entitlement.

No, sweetie —

No priestess

—    you are NOT a druidic princess or priestess, but the costume is nice.

There were pagan rituals and customs  in those   days,  but alongside that ancient culture was a growing Christian culture with its own customs and rituals and holy days.   It was thought to be a good thing to set aside one special day to honor all the martyrs who had died because of the name of Christ.  Elsewhere it was also thought to be a good thing to honor all the well-known saints;  different days were “officially” designated for these remembrances:  May 13;  April 20;  and November 1.

Eventually the “universal” Church settled on one “universal”  date:  November 1st.

A pope from Syria

(A note to evangelicals:   The April 20 date was chosen in some areas so as to distinguish this holiday from the pagan Fall harvest festivals.  It was not in the mind of the Church to “blend” the two cultures together “so as to gain the favor of the pagans.”)

Pope Gregory III  was a pope from Syria — the Middle East.   He is the one who regularized the November 1 date in the 8th century.

Every major holiday in the Church has an “eve” — that is,  the evening before, throughout which one should prepare for the great festival.   There is Christmas Eve, for example, although sometimes the “eves”  are called “vigils of.”     So on November 1st we honor all the saints of God,all the Hallowed Ones,  and tonight . . .  (five more minutes, as I write)  is called the Eve of All Halloweds’ Day.    Hallowed-Evening.  HallowE’en.

What is a saint?     My class on Friday had a rather unstructured discussion of the definition of a saint.  I was very pleased with their thoughts  and let them go on for quite some time.   Insights can be developed in good discussions.   (More on the word “saint” tomorrow.)

rainy halloweenIt was a rather “sad” Halloween around here tonight.  It was a rainy Halloween.   In the Far North that  means cold, windy, and rainy.    Hardly any children out there.

How  ever all the fun traditions of an American Halloween developed,  I get the feeling that it’s changing, somewhat.   There are far fewer children than ever before.   There are far more rules about trick or treating than ever before.    And far more “hovering” and “worrying”   parents.

There is a whole mythology about how these two “eves”  are connected.     One is fun; one is rather thoughtful and solemn. May the happy innocence of the childhood fun Eve continue;  and may the children mature with a knowledge of the thoughtful Eve.

(Son texted me tonight to say that he had so much fun last night that “they” are going to do it again tonight.     Hmmmm.  I’ve got to talk to him about that.)

FALL BIKE RIDE – AND THE PHOTO THAT WASN’T

October 30, 2015

A change of pace:

SAMSUNG

Before we all completely leave the month of October,  I have a set of photos waiting on my Desktop for The Spruce Tunnel.

It’s Fall.   The acorns wait like slippery ball bearings on my lawn,  hiding in the grass and leaves.   A person can walk across the grass for a while, then suddenly start flailing his arms as he skids on a hard patch of acorns.   Amusing — unless you’re the one  doing the skidding.

SAMSUNG

The following photos are quite uninteresting;  rather bland, really,  but  what couldn’t be captured by my camera was the peace of the day,  the peacefulness of the neighborhood during my bike ride.    It was a good, normal,  peaceful day amidst the problems and concerns I was having this Fall.

And I was on a mission!

We’ve been supplied with a generous amount of acorns this year.    The squirrels are happy and visibly active all over the neighborhood,  so I thought this would be a good time of the year to catch a photo of our elusive family of ALBINO squirrels.    Albino squirrels are so white,  they have an total absence of color. They’re interesting to see, darting around like little patches of  squirrel-shaped non-existence.    They are mesmerizing to watch.

I found one a few blocks away,  scratching around right on the side of the street.    As soon as I remembered my camera and brought it out of my pocket ….   it disappeared into the low bushes.  I could hear him,  but he never reappeared.

So I took a picture of the bushes –  his hiding place.

 We have had a “late Fall,”   a late changing of the colors.   That happens sometimes.

Maybe I could capture an albino squirrel somewhere else.   Lots of pleasant houses around here.   It was a quiet afternoon,  but there was a  sense of quiet activity around the homes too.   This one was busy with Fall lawn maintenance trucks, tree  trimming and mowing.   People were at work.     A quiet neighborhood can employ a lot of people during the daytime.

SAMSUNGI rode by too fast for  good photos of all the trucks.

My mission went on.  I didn’t see as many squirrels of any kind as I thought I would,  but I did find some unidentifiable birds on someone’s front lawn:

Here they are closer up.  They’re unidentifiable to me, at least.     Heron sort of things?

Beginning the long downhill  road to home. . .

Free!   Free motion, no pedaling for a quarter of a mile.

 Near the bottom of that hill is a pretty little brook.

 The foliage was still heavy on this day,  and it’s  hard to capture unless the sunlight points just right into the opening.

It was an hour-long pleasant bike ride that gave me some real contentment.   Hubbie and I worked very hard to be able to eventually live in a quiet neighborhood like this.

At last I coasted down my own street,  with my own home up ahead.

 Didn’t need our cars today.      Once in a while we see the albino squirrels in our back yard.  I still had my camera ready so I went back there:

 In the back yard is our own litle brook,  babbling as it should over that little dam of rocks across the middle.

But no albino squirrels that day.

So,  here

bike 10 squirrel

I’ll give you someone else’s.   They really do exist!

I hope you can all slow down for a while, and enjoy your own neighborhood.   Enjoy a little search of some kind,  even if you don’t find what you’re looking for.

VIEW FROM A SPEEDING TRAIN — OCTOBER IN REVIEW

October 27, 2015

Normally,  I’m pretty unflappable.

But I’ve been “flapped”  by a lot of things lately.    It’s not Writer’s Block here at The Spruce Tunnel.   I’m writing a lot.  It’s just that by the time I try to post something, days have gone by because more serious issues have come up.   And I thought recently that these “issues,”  both public and private,   both in my personal life and issues out there,  have all kind of knocked me “off the rails,” as the saying goes.

The whole month of October has been like watching the world go by from the windows of a speeding train, ready to go wildly off the rails.

train tracksI’ll be all right pretty soon.   That I’m posting at all is a sign that I’m hanging on to the rails.

But meanwhile,  I’ve missed a lot.     I’ve missed writing about important personal and historical anniversaries and events . . .    Sometimes I say,  ‘Join me for a walk in the Spruce Tunnel,”  and then I show you pretty pictures from the Tunnel.  But now I’m going to say,   “See those black windows in the little train?   Join me for a wild train ride as I try to catch up with the world before October is completely gone.”

It all started with my birthday, at the end of September.  With my cake, specifically:   (with a darkened view out of those “black train windows.”)

 I remember it!      Beautiful, no?    (No.)     “Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.”    Not only was this the very, very tasty, rich chocolate cake that I wrote about previously, home-made for me,   but it was also “home-decorated.”     Yeah.     Beautiful.

It is the memory of this that sustained me through the following weeks.

October is a month of significant religious significance.  Here is a painting of a great battle —

Train Lepanto jammed ships—   wall-to-wall battleships at Lepanto, off the coast of Italy,  not very many of them Christian.   Yet another Islamic onslaught against Europe in their never-ending Wars of Expansion.    Europe won.    Otherwise Europe would be worshiping at the sign of the desert crescent moon god —  the image which got the young men at the time of the Maccabees into so much trouble.

The battle was won with the help of prayers and processions called for by Pope Pius V —  Saint Pope Pius V —  which included a call for prayers with the help of the rosary,  that great retelling of the Gospel and personal immersion in its power.

It is said that there was a business meeting at the Vatican on the final day of this battle, and that the pope got up from the table, walked over to a window, and said with great joy,  “This is not the time for business”  but for great thanksgiving and rejoicing, for the battle has been won.      This,  long before there were technological means of up-to-date communication.   He knew.

Train rosarySo, from the dark windows of that speeding train,  I was aware that October is the month dedicated to the rosary, and to its power.     It’s a serious dedication, meant to deepen our habit of prayer.

Then there was another anniversary that I watched, passing by without notice here:

Train fatima70,000 witnesses present in the fields that day,  and an additional estimated 20,000 who saw the Miracle of the Sun from the peripheries, from  windows in houses in nearby cities;  witnessed by believers and witnessed by very decided unbelievers, scoffers of everything Catholic,  determined to prove that a so-called miracle could be explained away by scientific thought.

But they couldn’t.   Of course we don’t think the sun actually approached the earth on that day,   but something happened that looked very much like it.    It was so much more than an optical illusion,  and given for the very powerful, fearsome mystery of it.    More happened that day to the people, to their clothes, to the muddy fields . . .   but I’ve written about it before, and the story is easy to find on a Search Engine:  October 13,  1917.   And the warnings accompanying the strange miracle.

Warnings which involve the dissolution of our civilization,  witnessed by “me”  as that black-windowed train sped through October, 2015.

Today,   the clear teaching of the Catholic Church has not changed,  but it is very much out of focus —  especially if you get your news from the entertainment-news media on television or through bloggers.

Train st peter'sSt. Peter’s is still there. . . but sometimes those within it can blur and obscure that spiritual authority and that moral voice which ought to be crystal clear.    “Those within it”  took part in a synod on the “Family.”     It was not about the family.    It was about “how far can we change church practice to make it resemble the socialist disruption of the family” — a necessary task,  because  strong,  intact  family units  get in the way of strong, centralized governments.

(That would be the old “divide and conquer” —    Divide the families into individual demographic groups, and then control each demographic group:  men versus women versus teenagers versus children versus babies and above all:  parents versus their own unborn children.    Then make it all “fun” and “modern”   — Promote  sexual fun and liberation,  sexual immorality of all kinds,  sexual envy, sexual perversion, and sex-without-consequences.)      Presto!!   No strong  families!!

(Uh,  you have read the Communist Manifesto, haven’t you?   The Humanist Manifesto?     They told us about all this ahead of time.  They needed to break down society before they could “transform” it.)

Not a pretty picture from out of those black windows . . .   but if the train goes fast enough,  we won’t be too troubled by all this.

I was thinking of removing the Fukushima links from the right-hand column.      Nuclear power plants are an expensive and  suicidal way of getting “power” but no one seems to mind very much.   How about the results of all the accidents around the world,  poisoning, now, our rivers and our ground water?  how about the mind-boggling ongoing radioactive pollution spreading out from Fukushima?   How many October stories told us about the death of fish and mammals in vast areas in the Pacific Ocean. . .

How about a dolphin —

Train dolphin deadPoor thing.    Lots of other specimens that look just like him.

It isn’t only the oceans at our feet:

Train Skies PoisonedMore and more people are photographing their skies above,  stripes of fuzzy white trails, sometimes intersecting,  sometimes curving  (all this against FAA laws);  sometimes analyzed and examined for their chemical and heavy metal components…  But we’re not really allowed to do anything about it.    The Project is too big.    Meanwhile — breathe in that aluminum.  And cadmium.    And barium.    etc.          Shhhhh.

Then I saw China’s  “Practice Cities” —    Little areas built in China, with great care and accuracy,  for Target Practice!

china targetsSatellite view.   Nicely done.    They’re practicing   b* om * bin *  g the Eiffel Tower?   An Interstate exchange?   And then “America”  says “You’d better not use those islands in the South China Sea” — and they did –  and then . . .   nothing.    But three Chinese warships have been invited to a harbor in Florida.   Act of good will.       Inscrutable.

I saw, from this speeding October train,   ongoing acts of violence against Christians and Jews:

Train Joseph burning

I thought this view was “odd.”    Sad and odd.    This is the tomb of Joseph — you know,  Joseph of the Coat of Many Colors?   Joseph,  the Patriarch who saved Egypt and the surrounding Middle Eastern area from the severe seven-year famine.    Joseph,  whom God appointed to be the protector of the Israelites during this famine, and thus assure their continuing existence.

What was odd is that I came across a news article I had printed out several years ago.   Same thing.    Same Islamist hatred against Jewish  shrines.      And other historic shrines and archaeological sites.    I understand  Palmyra lost some valuable historic sites. .  .      The ongoing War of Expansion.

These people are still “in the way”  and so there is a new “meme”  going around.    See if you can catch it from the two following photographs:

STAB -school-lessonsSo you get instructions,  lecture and visual aids.

And students:

I want to STAB

Nasty view from out of those black train windows.   I take offense at this.     Two people who are very near and dear to me,  two people in my own family, whom I love very, very much . . .  are Jewish.

The world, in general,   does not take offense at this, though.     Or maybe they have lost their moral authority,  their sense of right and wrong,   their spiritual strength.

Maybe we haven’t reached a Tipping Point yet.    I wonder about this.

When I went to church this weekend,  I didn’t know that just a few hours later,  others like me would be going to church too,  in Syria.   Only during their Mass,   as people were getting ready for the actual Communion,   a bomb was lobbed onto the roof of their church building.    400 people inside.

The roof held, and only a few people were injured.    Had it not held, it would have been a massacre of great proportion.    People, just like me,  doing what I do.

Here are some words of the report:

OCTOBER 26 – A mortar shell last night hit the Latin church of Aleppo dedicated to Saint Francis, in the Aziziyeh district, while mass was being celebrated in the building. The grenade, coming from areas held by anti-Assad rebels, hit the roof, tearing its dome, but did not penetrate inside the church, . . .   “Bishop Georges Abou Khazen, the apostolic vicar of Aleppo, said that ‘if the grenade had exploded inside, there would have been a massacre.’”

So,  things are getting dangerous,  because that’s only one report of the almost daily attacks on Christians.

I didn’t even want to look outside that “train window”   and see the Invasion:

Death of EuropeA small portion through Europe’s fields.

They leave behind tons of garbage and throw garbage and feces and obscenities at the relief workers:

Mig Iitaly Austria dump

This video and others like it made the rounds in October.

Look what I stoleHe is boasting about the things he stole from the stores in his “host” nation,  the one that invited him in.   On the table in front of him,  obscured by the black frame,  are a half a dozen or more  iPhones.   Proudly stolen.

I take this one personally too —    It happened this month in Sweden:

All your women belong to usThe Islamist is shown hitting the Swedish woman,  then knocking her down and kicking her,  injuring her severely, as it turned out.     The video that this photo came from says:  All your women are ours.”

Want a European video?  I think I can make it happen.  A short one:      It’s here,  if you want to see what happens when you realize you’ve “lost”     —     I think it’s called “Meanwhile, in an average German city.  ”    https://youtu.be/-VJyKRwQHHM

Well,  whatever,     Civilization rose on the Natural Law formulated by the Greeks, and consequent understanding of Natural Morality and Society and Politics administered by the Romans;  then fully developed by Judeo-Christian moral foundations, and brought into being by Christendom.

Toss out any of this,  reject Christianity, for example,  and then civilization – civilized life, as it’s commonly understood — has no leg to stand on.  Anything goes.   Might makes right.     You lose.   Even if you’re one of the Powerful,  because  the Powerful always eat their own.    Anything goes.

But to preserve what is familiar to us:

“Itaque fratres, state : et tenete traditiones, quas didicistis, sive per sermonem, sive per epistolam nostram.”

The operative word being:   sta’te    (two syllables)   —  Stand fast!       (The above quotation from II Thessalonians 2:14)

Stand fast,  hold fast to the teachings that have been handed down to us;  so things don’t fall apart.

So that was my October.    Flapped.

I’ll get off that train now,  and turn to other things, closer to home.   Domestic affairs.   Domestic treasures.     Watched over by Christ the King,   whose feast day we just celebrated.   The King is not absent.   Viva Cristo Rey!

Time to re-watch the movie:  For Greater Glory.    Pretty difficult scenes from that train too.

A RATHER HUMBLING FLUKE

October 24, 2015

FOOTBALL.   It’s Saturday.   Of course college football!  (It appears that football is the only thing keeping me connected here lately.)

spartans get fumble
By now,  many of you have heard of the fortuitous “fluke” that enabled the Spartans to recover a fluffed punt snap — somehow the punter is getting all the blame,  and not the center who made the bad snap (but who can understand Michigan fans?  ) —

spartans and dark blue

It’s interesting to observe in myself and in every other Spartan fan I see  that scoring the unexpected winning touchdown does not mean we have become a “better” team.   Not at all.

 We are good — but we were also lucky.   We could have been good, but unlucky.

I can’t speak for some of our  young, young   fans,  inspired by the many  fine microbreweries around the MSU campus,  they may be concluding something else altogether.   (Drink beer; feel invincible.)

However, to most fans,   today’s game against Indiana, still to come at this writing,  is by no means a certain win in the minds of the Spartans.

spartans vs indiana

Here is a Life Lesson that Coach D’Antonio is known for:   “Be attentive and give your best effort to every single play,  right through  to the end of the game.”

For those of us who don’t actually play football:   ” Work hard and prepare; and then give your best effort to every moment in your life, right to the end.”

Football or not,   live and work and play with heart;   and when those good opportunities come along, you’ll be more likely to be able to take advantage of them — and in the end,   your End,  you will have played your best.

No wasted time,  no moments of your life taken for granted.

0ur Creator likes that.

Heaven cropped

Go Spartans!!!    

(Sorry, Indiana;  I know the logo is upside down — but . . .  may your luck “run out” today, like an upside down horseshoe!)

TRYING TO RETURN

October 16, 2015

Sorry for the long absence.   I’m  trying to return to normal,  getting through several weeks of  intense anxiety,  uncertainty,  frustration,  anger,   and dismay.   So much  not like me, so I hardly know how  to think about all that.  

Tomorrow will help.  

The energy around here has been rising all week.  It’s in the air.  Everywhere you go.   

Tomorrow is . . . the Game.

Football Dogs

 

See,  my humor is even coming back.             (hmmmph)

Tomorrow will be one small step towards Normal.   

And then I’ll let loose with a bunch of postings.

State Logo

GO,  SPARTANS!

 This is the biggest rivalry in this state.         Won’t mention the other c o  l o r s.

Football

ASKING QUESTIONS — SECOND FOLLOW-UP

October 6, 2015

These “follow-ups”   follow the posting about the Oregon shooter and the associated topic of martyrdom.

So much has been going on around here that I’ve misplaced most of my notes and references,  but a couple things I remember:

That evening after we heard about the Oregon community college shooting,  there were reports and several discussions about the fact that one of the shooter’s social media sites (did he have only one?)  had been entered five times after the shooting.  FIVE TIMES —   That would be after the shooting,  after he had committed suicide.

Who got into his social media site, and what were they doing to it?

Questioning 45

Maybe this is why the reporters had to wait so long for  the identity of the shooter.     Someone was  busy with his identity for a while.

A couple days later I began to hear the entertainment-news media say he was a “troubled” young man;”  a  loner;   disliked organized religion   (see,  not Christianity;  just religion in general).    And —  oh, yes,  a right-wing nut — admired Hitler ( a national socialist, not a conservative) and the IRA (a marxist socialist group,  not a conservative group)  , etc.;    and —   you could have predicted this:   He self-identified as a “conservative republican.”

Oh, yes.

One of those evil white conservative males.   And a Republican.

We even have two photos of him.  Choose your enemy.

mercer-cnn-420x315The cable-news-entertainment channel was caught doctoring his coloring.  They had a point to make, but they made it too obviously this time.

What about other news sources?

On his MySpace,  there are two “friends”  listed.  Two contacts.      One is an unidentified young woman.   The other is Mahmoud Ali Ehsani,  a publicly self-declared and open sympathizer with Islamic Jihadism.

I guess he had a “friend   who shared his hatred of Christianity.

There is more.

But behind it all,  the point to understand  is that whatever the tragedy,   whatever the criminal event that occurs,  this country is being gently nudged into believing right-wing or conservative or Republican or Christian or white male  are all bad signs.    You don’t want to be one of those.

It’s not  that this “troubled young loner”  was actually mentally ill, as his mother described him.    It’s not that once again we have a young man on  SSRI’s,  pharmaceuticals whose side effects are listed as Homicidal Behavior and Suicidal Behavior (on their package inserts),  and Lithium,  a chemical which “enhances”  the effect of the SSRI’s.

It’s the attempted attitude adjustment that is so apparent in the Official Story.   Our attitudes.    If we just hear the surface stories about an incident like this,  we’ll find ourselves “adjusted.”

Nudge, nudge.    Hate the conservatives.    Hate conservative Christianity.   Hate the right-wingers,  not the left-wingers.

As I keep saying,  Ask Questions!

Ask questions!   Form your own opinion!      Or else your “attitude”  will be “adjusted”  for you.

KEEP ASKING QUESTIONS – FIRST FOLLOW-UP

October 6, 2015

Much has happened in this past week.  I’ll get to all those things later; after this.

I see I left off with the Oregon community college shooter and the growing  present-day martyrdom of Christians.    Two things to follow-up on:   (1.  Growing persecution of Christians) —

Perhaps you haven’t started reading the Roman Martyrology, which I speak of from time to time here, and you haven’t yet experienced its benefits to you.    Perhaps you don’t know where to buy one, or can’t afford it.  Perhaps you don’t know where to find the daily  entries online.  And anyway those martyrs were a couple hundred years ago.   Or five hundred.  Or eight hundred. . .    Or 1,900 years ago.

So let’s keep asking questions about today’s Christian martyrs.

Columbine shooters too long ago?   “Are you a Christian?”   they asked some of their victims.    One father wrote a book about his daughter’s courage to say yes. . .

This month’s  Oregon shooter:  “Are you a Christian?”    Yes?   “You’re going to meet your God.”     Boom.

Let’s go to the Middle East currently.     A Christian father and his young son.    The attackers cut off the little boys fingertips one by one in front of the father, saying they will stop if the father renounces his Christianity.   He refused.  Two other Christian friends came to help.    How did this all end?     The three men and the boy were crucified. Date reported:   Oct. 2,  2015.   Why did they do it this way?     Here is their instruction:  “When your Lord inspired to the angels, ‘I am with you, so strengthen those who have believed. I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieved, so strike [them] upon the necks and strike from them every fingertip.’” (Qur’an-Sura 8:12)   Christians are those “who disbelieved.”

In Syria:  12 Christian men and one 12 year old boy “brutally tortured and murdered”  because they wouldn’t renounce Christianity.

Also recently:  Eight Christian Aid Workers including two women;   refused to renounce Christ.     Beheaded.

Martyrdom doesn’t always mean death, although I’m skipping a half dozen other recent incidents..

United Kingdom  (England)  —    Here’s a Christian family,  but it’s in the middle of their story.

UK familyI’ll keep their photo small.    Their attackers demand that they leave Christianity, and have hounded them out of two homes so far.   The threats continue.  The threats increase.   They’re appealing to the public to help because they think  the officials in the UK will protect Christians.   As I said,  it’s still in the middle of the story of this Christian family.

How about going to church in India (Chhattisgarh) and having your church surrounded by a mob of 40 Christian haters who violently beat the church goers, two women so badly they may not live.

Luke Sarker.   52 year-old Christian pastor.    Opened the door to three young HIndus in Bangladesh pretending to be interested in Christianity.    They knifed him, leaving him for dead.

Nepal:   Two Christian churches bombed during their “services.”   A third church spared because that bomb didn’t detonate.   Anti-Christian pamphlets left all over the area.

Africa:  Ushahemba and Sughter Kumashenge;  two brothers;  Christians.   Ambushed and killed while they worked on their farm by Christian-haters.

Africa:  19 year-old girl brutally, repeatedly raped because her parents are Christians, so the attackers said.   She was left alone on the road overnight;  it’s not clear whether she will survive.

These stories — and more — were in the news I read in just one day!

So.

No need to purchase a Roman Martyrology, I suppose.

Just know what’s going on in the world around you.  It’s happening in every country.

Hatred of Jesus Christ and hatred of His followers is on the rise all over.   It may be beheadings.   Knifings.   Shootings.   Beatings.    Driving people out of their homes.   Drivings people out of their jobs.   Refusing employment or fair advancement in their professions.    Demanding that Christians violate their conscience.    Making Christians pay ruinous fines.   Character assassinations.   Deleting any positive reference to Christianity in textbooks,  movies, songs,   general fiction,  and anywhere in the entertainment-news  articles.    Lying about the contributions Christendom has made to civilization.

We have a lot to learn from paying attention to martyrologies,  ancient or current.      Keep asking questions:

How did they do it?

How did they act?

How did they stay faithful to Christ?

Why did they stay faithful to Christ?

How did they suffer.   How could they?      How much . . .?

Could I?

Would I?

Can I follow their example?

Why would I?

St.  Paul acknowledged that it doesn’t make much sense to live so precariously.    “If in this life only we have hope,  we are of all men most miserable.”   (I Corinthians 15:19)

It’s all about love, though.  A Creator that thought us up;  loved the idea of us; went ahead and created us;  picked the best time for us to be born;   draws us to Him,  hopefully;   and plans for a life of love, here and forever.    Love, in the next life forever.

It’s all about true quality of life.    Think about the martyrs.   If you can, pray for them.     When this is me,  I know I’d need all the help I can get.

ASK QUESTIONS – BE BRAVE

October 1, 2015

Concerning the “unnamed shooter”  —

In that great Christian classic which has helped so many souls live on this earth —

imitation     —    that would be The Imitation of Christ,  a book so good that it’s been memorized by more than one Christian,   there is a sentence, a very helpful sentence:    “Do not concern yourself  with things that you cannot change.”    It comes within the advice to not seek after “much information,”   to not be overly curious about things.   “Do not concern yourself with things that you cannot change.”

But we live in an information age.   It’s easy to get caught up in the nasty emotional dramas that current events offers us. And maybe, as citizens,  there is something we should be doing.     At least maybe we should know what dangers are out there and plan how to protect ourselves should the danger come our way.

Or maybe not.    What we should concern ourselves with is having the faith  and the courage to live and to believe as we are supposed to.      Death is not the worst thing that could happen to us.      Faith and courage in the Living Christ will see us through,  even to our deaths and into the next life.

We’ve been told today that the killer at the Oregon community college shooting first asked his victims “What religion are you?”

He didn’t.

He asked them:  “Are    you    a     Christian?”

ARE YOU A CHRISTIAN?

Are you a Christian?

Oops wrong answerOoops.   Wrong answer.

Today, in Oregon,  according to an eyewitness,  if you said “No, I’m not,”  you got shot in the legs.   If you said “Yes,”   you got shot dead.

American citizens, so far, have a First Amendment to protect them.    But not everyone honors our First Amendment, even within our own country’s borders.

 Are you a Christian?

He tried free speech

The Rulers of the United States do not protect Christians,  and they have made a point to declare to the world that they,  our Rulers, and the Barack Hussein person they gave us,  will NOT help any Christian refugees seeking asylum from the Middle East.   In fact,  if you are here as a refugee but you are a Christian,  you are going to be deported back to the Middle East, or wherever else you would be accepted.   (This is stated public policy now.)

But if you are a Muslim refugee —   welcome.     The American citizens will pay for anything you want.    And no questions asked pertaining to your political viewpoint,   goals,  training, and experience or murderous prejudice.

Don’t agree with “transforming our nation”  into a Muslim paradise?      If you don’t,   they have a way . . . .

But if you don't run awayAre you a Christian?

Who wants to know?       Christians don’t shoot other people for not being Christian.    Jews don’t shoot people for not being Jews.      Hindus shoot Christians,  but mainly just in India.     Who else?

Of course,  we mustn’t assume too much.     Every Christian death is singular.

“Are you a Christian?”

If you answer yes,   then:  “Take up your cross and follow Me.”       Christians know Who said that.

crucifixion

“The servant is not better than his Master.”       

I hope you are beginning to read The Roman Martyrology that I wrote of a few posts ago.

book frontWe are not the first generation, of course, to experience hatred directed at us because we are Christians.    It’s just that it’s a new thing for American citizens.   Regular reading of the Martyrology connects us to those who have come before us.   This helps us to remember those who live  the authentic Christian life will be hated by the world:  “If the world hate you, know ye that it hath hated me before you.     John recorded this in his Gospel.    Those are the words of Christ to His followers.

Later,  when John was writing a little letter to some Christians,  he said:     ” Wonder not, brethren, if the world hate you.”   Because,   as John’s Master had said,   the world hated Jesus long before it hated us,  His disciples.

Bar Cross in middle

By the way,   this college campus, according to some reports was a “gun-free zone.”    That means that the home state of the Mighty Ducks  is the home state of some Sitting Ducks.   One or two security guards on campus.   Unarmed.    Then a former official of that college said into his microphone “We have prepared ourselves for this kind of emergency.  We’ve done everything we can.”

Good will stops bullets,  don’t you know.

As Son remarked:    “If the campus was a “gun-free zone.”  then how did the shooter get a gun in there?