Archive for February 2018


February 28, 2018

“Music, a Meeting,  More Snow,  and a Reverse Lesson in Kindness)

(This posting will feel like  a disorganized mess because . . .  well, I feel like a mess right now.)


So,  this is me, recovering tonight:


Words actually say it better than this photo:   I’m having a quiet, relaxing evening in front of a soothing fire with a bright almost- full moon shining through the window behind me, and I’m so surprised to be able to begin my new knitting project – a thick, luscious white cabled sweater.

(“Every journey begins with a few stitches.”)

It’s a surprise because I have fairly badly injured my right thumb, slightly traumatizing, and I thought I couldn’t start my new knitting project,  but as it turns out,  because there are so many cables in it,  I’m not using the European style of knitting which would have put more pressure on my thumb.   So,  two fingers, not the thumb. . . .

I need the knitting, the fireplace, and the quiet right now.

I injured my thumb yesterday during a meeting in an office of our, uh,  professional advisor,  just a periodic meeting,  with Son by my side.  I couldn’t hide the bleeding which didn’t stop during that whole time, but I had to hide the shock my body felt and the growing pain.


You don’t give up any of your strength when you are kind to someone:

kind animals


It matters, it matters very much if you are kind to the people around you.     Thankfully,  I’ve been surrounded by kindness.   Our “advisor”  who kindly got up several times to give me wads of paper towels to soak up the blood (which I didn’t know what to do with – not thinking clearly).

And Son,  glancing at me once in a while in the office,  and then his kind attention and (distracting) conversation as we went out for a nice lunch afterwards;  and his helping with needed yard work which I couldn’t do, and patient conversation afterwards.

The kindness of these two men was not unnoticed, and I’m a bit embarrassed to say, but  it was very much needed.

And kindness today:


It was Recorder Practice today.    I didn’t think I could use my thumb.   It hurt.   I was unaccountably tired.  And I felt a little tense and shaky all over.   But I like my friend and I like playing recorder together with her.    So I went.     (“Music hath charms to soothe the “traumatized”  breast.”)    My friend kindly listened to my tales of woe and said we could stop when my thumb said to stop.

And look what was waiting for us after we played our music!

Table Whole 380

A beautiful table like this just doesn’t assemble itself.   My friend is an artist, with color and composition.   Those little  flowers grow on her property, and they’re called Snow Drops,  arranged beautifully.    They were so charming in the little crystal containers  that they actually soothed and cheered my body.


When you do something like this for a friend,  that is an act of kindness.     It’s actually a command from our “Master.”

(Ephesians 4:32)   Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.

The Snow Drops bring me to another whole set of considerations:

Not too long ago I woke up to this outside my window – an Ice Cage!

Icicle Cage 250

Long icicles had formed across my house.   It was the aftermath of lots and lots of snow –

Snow Banks 380   –   I had shoveled the snow up into four-foot banks.

Snow BENCH 370

Everything was deeply covered .

But then the ice on the pond turned “green” signaling a change in the weather.

sea green pond 370

We had a couple days of very warm rains, causing the creek back there to rise into a raging river,  a couple days of flooded roads and detours,  and now,  though it’s “Indian Spring”  or whatever this warm weather is called,   we have some snow predicted.

A measly three inches.    Can I get back on my skis again?

Grandson Cooper has four to eight feet of snow predicted this week.    He lives right on the shore of Donner Lake,  here:

Donner Lake

And up in the pass?   Donner Pass:


It will be a white-out again.

Lucky Cooper!    He’ll be able to ski!




February 25, 2018


A restful interlude. . . .


As the “confetti” of  the thoughts in my mind settle down  on this Sunday, I find myself “settling down” gently into a mode  of rest.

(It’s still here, solid  and true):

Ancient Mass Pages 390


This is a photograph from some side pages in our missal.  It’s the handwritten pages of a portion of the Mass – the very same Mass, the very same words,  the very same meaning it has always had. 

God doesn’t change.    The Son of God doesn’t change.    His Body, the Church, doesn’t change, not from the first century, not from the time of this manuscript 900 or more years ago,  and not today.

The script is very hard for me to read,  but I can read some of the Latin; I can verify that it’s the very same Latin prayers we said today in church.

It’s not “Traditional.”    It’s  Timeless.

No matter what happens in this world,  no matter what happens to me in this world,  no matter what happens to me,   the Truth in those words in the manuscript above will abide.

I can count on Him.



February 24, 2018

(Say that title ten times quickly!   Hah!)

Everything I said in the last post is true, but I suppose we can find some humor amongst it all.   You may have seen this:


square root

High school students.    Learning math.      One of them  remarked that this square root symbol looked like a gun.    They were goofing off, but someone overheard the students (who were visibly armed with paper and pencils).

It was reported to the local sheriff, who questioned the accused  student, and who then made a house call that evening to the student’s home and searched for “weapons of ter r or ism.”    (They found no guns and determined the student had no access to guns.)

True story, but sadly funny.

What else is funny is that one of the newspapers which  reported the story  thought it necessary to explain to its readers what “square root”  means.

http://   http://www.  national/article201604224 .html  )





February 24, 2018

I want to see Good News about the very, very youngest generation being formed right now.  I think I see it.    I see resistance.    I see distaste for the attitudes of those who are older.    I see anger that they have been tricked and manipulated –  and viciously lied about when they don’t conform.

But we have a ways to go. *


We give up.  We give in.  In the face of vicious opposition,  as a group  we remain quiet,  quieted down,  because we know there is more viciousness coming.

And here is at least one part of the reason for our quietness, though in my opinion a big part:  We don’t know what to say and we don’t know  how to argue back.

A Debate Team

A Ddebate Team

Trained in rhetoric, argument, and verbal defense


Both deficits come from what was done to our “education” system.   First,  training in  how to say things is important,  as well as how to recognize verbal tactics used against you.

But secondly,  perhaps more crucial is this:    Once,  students all over the world were tested as to their knowledge and understanding of the things they had been taught.     American students  regularly came out on top:  #1 in all categories above all other countries.   Number one, consistently!

class studying

We worked hard in school, as a whole.    We had nothing to be ashamed of, as a whole.   We knew that our excellence in academics  produced  many of  the advancements that created a better world.

classroom science

And we knew, all of us,  that our safety depended upon our academic achievements.    We were number one in science and technology,   we knew we were  unassailable.    We emphasized our dominant position  to the whole  world by being  the first to “go to the moon” (if you are a believer).

Khrushchev and shoe

Our marxist enemies knew this   There is the leader of Russia banging his shoe on the podium,  declaring  to the USA:   “We  will bury you!!”

We thought we were unassailable.     But then we didn’t realize the extent of the Soviet Socialist infiltration into various institutions in our country,  especially the education department.       However,  I was there, as a teacher,  to witness the changes imposed on our schools that changed  American education purposes, permanently, it seems.   Teachers seemed powerless to stop the absurd changes imposed from above, but now our student-victims are the teachers themselves – and they no longer know how children should be educated because they weren’t taught themselves.

I heard on the news this week that that same international committee that ranks students around the world found that out of 70 nations,  American students rank  40th.

We have dropped from First place to Fortieth place.

40th out of 70 –  should we be ashamed yet?

Three generations of school children,  sixty years, maybe,  have gone by without our children  (us) becoming educated in knowledge and in competency using that knowledge.   Schoolchildren are trained and indoctrinated;  they are shown how to be good (compliant)  citizens, how to think about things,   and they are shown  how to vote.  They are demeaned, disrespected, and their minds are being wasted.

Give in to the growing system of Big Government, .    Give up.   “A powerful central State will direct and coordinate all the necessary functions of our nation.”

And most of all,   your attitude and desires should match everyone else’s  (on the Left).

“If everyone jumps off  a cliff,  are you going to do it too? ”  the older generation used to remind us.

jumping off


Kowtow.   Kowtow, you moron.

Kowtow to the commands coming from the entertainment-news media.



.*    We have a ways to go.    It’s not ever too late to learn and to change.     To become who we freely should be.

We don’t know what to say and we don’t know  how to argue back.    Again, it’s not ever too late to learn more, more than you know right now.   

Do you know history?    Do you know how the world got to be the way it is?  Do you know where the enemies of Freedom want to take us?      The serious consequences of, say,  gun confiscation, even incrementally?     The absolute dangers of the recently discovered massive voter fraud in the 2016 election?     The Leftist weaponizing of our most powerful institutions to take down their political enemies?     The Lawlessness of the people in the previous administrations?

We should all still be students!






February 21, 2018

(At last,  I’ll explain a word I’ve been using lately.)


“How you kowtow”  –   


It is to show deep obeisance to another.   No,   more . . .    it is to show abject  submission to your betters.    You have nothing to say,  your silence,  your body language,  your cowed expression shows that you have  betters and they are there, right before you.

Throughout ancient human history, in many parts of the world,  one lowers oneself as far to the ground as possible in the presence of one who is superior.      We associate it usually with ancient oriental potentates,  (holders of power),  in the Middle East and in  the Far East.

When West came to East in the mid-19th century,  “West”  demanded that the Chinese kowtow to them,  transferring their submission to colonial masters.

(To keep the record straight, two hundred years earlier,  when Catholic West came to the Far East,  there was none of this submission . . .   the “universal”  Church arrived to preach the Gospel to all,  equally.  As St. Paul has said,  In Christ there is no slave or free, rich or poor,  male or females, etc. etc.   St Francis Xavier, et al. did not demand that the Japanese kowtow to them.   He did not demand subservience from any of the Asians he met.)

xavier in japan


Some lessons in kowtowing for the average American:

Nevertheless, in the 19th century, it was  Protestants in China, and that’s the way the word kowtow came into the English language.     It then became used in the presence of attempted superiority or  inequality,  objecting to someone who tries to act superior.      “I’m not going to kowtow to you!       “I don’t have to do what you tell me to do!”      I don’t have to agree with you!”

Or often the word is used to express mocking  disgust with someone who  “gave in” too easily;  we say they’re kowtowing to  so-and-so.

In this day of Political Correctness,  which is an effective form of social censorship,  we find it terribly easy to kowtow to whomever has the loudest mike or the most aggressive stance.   We give up too easily.    We don’t make an argument in defense of our own beliefs.

“Just go with the flow.”   “Put up and shut up.”    “You don’t know enough about the subject anyway – let the experts do what they want.”     “You don’t have experience,  only those with actual experience have a right to speak.”

Get it?

“All that’s needed for evil to prevail is for  good men to  do nothing  kowtow.”

(With my apologies to Lord Acton who is credited with that phrase,  I’m sure you can all think of issues that you dare not speak out about,  lest you upset someone,  or annoy someone, or provoke an angry, aggressive response  —  a Radical Leftist tactic, by the way, to shout you down, shotgun style,  when you say something they don’t like to hear.)


What kowtowing is not:

I don’t want you to think that kowtowing is the same as bowing.    You can certainly kowtow to the culture around you without bowing!     On the other hand,   you can show respect,  even profound respect,  to another person by bowing – depending upon your culture.

Here is  Yuzuru  Hanyu.   He took my breath away at the Olympics when I saw him skate.


Somehow he combined grace and elegance with   strength and masculinity.    I kept thinking:  I didn’t know ice skating could be like this!      He so well deserved the Gold!  And after his performance?   He went up to his coaches to wait for his score.

And he bowed to each one,  in respect.       Yes, I know it’s their “custom,”  but  not everyone holds to it,  and his bow seemed to carry with it a genuine respectful acknowledgement of the role they played in training him,  not merely that they were his elders

Even to the children he showed respect:

Hanyu bow

He’s bowing to a child!    But not because she’s a child,  because she is performing her role too with honor.

I’m not saying Americans should suddenly start “bowing” to each other.   It’s not necessarily a superior sign of respect.     I’m  just affirming that we can all show respect for each other, genuinely, deeply, interiorly,  even when they are talking political nonsense,  and even when walking away from someone who is becoming hysterical over what you say and you must show that you are not giving in.

We can honor each other – without  kowtowing to them – and spread the truth by our example that we are all made with equal dignity.

Xavier Beloved

Beloved teacher-saint,  dying.     The last words of this Great Man were recorded:

“Jesu,  fili David, miserere mei!”        (“Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”)





February 19, 2018

Sorry,  I’ll get to how you “kowtow” soon,  but for now,  with current events, it’s important to seize the moment.

I have no more comments of my own on the school shooting in Florida (second school shooting of this year),  but I wanted you all to hear what a Teacher of the Year in Lake County Florida had to say about the conditions which lead up to such a terrible event.

(By Kelly Guthrie Raley, teacher)

Okay, I’ll be the bad guy and say what no one else is brave enough to say, but wants to say. I’ll take all the criticism and attacks from everyone because you know what? I’m a TEACHER. I live this life daily. And I wouldn’t do anything else! But I also know daily I could end up in an active shooter situation.

Until we, as a country, are willing to get serious and talk about mental health issues, lack of available care for the mental health issues, lack of discipline in the home, horrendous lack of parental support when the schools are trying to control horrible behavior at school (oh no! Not MY KID. What did YOU do to cause my kid to react that way?), lack of moral values, and yes, I’ll say it-violent video games that take away all sensitivity to ANY compassion for others’ lives, as well as reality TV that makes it commonplace for people to constantly scream up in each others’ faces and not value any other person but themselves, we will have a gun problem in school. Our kids don’t understand the permanency of death anymore!!!

I grew up with guns. Everyone knows that. But you know what? My parents NEVER supported any bad behavior from me. I was terrified of doing something bad at school, as I would have not had a life until I corrected the problem and straightened my ass out. My parents invaded my life. They knew where I was ALL the time. They made me have a curfew. They made me wake them up when I got home. They made me respect their rules. They had full control of their house, and at any time could and would go through every inch of my bedroom, backpack, pockets, anything! Parents: it’s time to STEP UP! Be the parent that actually gives a crap! Be the annoying mom that pries and knows what your kid is doing. STOP being their friend. They have enough “friends” at school. Be their parent. Being the “cool mom” means not a damn thing when either your kid is dead or your kid kills other people because they were allowed to have their space and privacy in YOUR HOME. I’ll say it again. My home was filled with guns growing up. For God’s sake, my daddy was an 82nd Airborne Ranger who lost half his face serving our country. But you know what? I never dreamed of shooting anyone with his guns. I never dreamed of taking one! I was taught respect for human life, compassion, rules, common decency, and most of all, I was taught that until I moved out, my life and bedroom wasn’t mine…it was theirs. And they were going to know what was happening because they loved me and wanted the best for me.

There. Say that I’m a horrible person. I didn’t bring up gun control, and I will refuse to debate it with anyone. This post wasn’t about gun control. This was me, loving the crap out of people and wanting the best for them. This was about my school babies and knowing that God created each one for greatness, and just wanting them to reach their futures. It’s about 20 years ago this year I started my teaching career. Violence was not this bad 20 years ago. Lack of compassion wasn’t this bad 20 years ago. And God knows 20 years ago that I wasn’t afraid daily to call a parent because I KNEW that 9 out of 10 would cuss me out, tell me to go to Hell, call the news on me, call the school board on me, or post all over FaceBook about me because I called to let them know what their child chose to do at school…because they are a NORMAL kid!!!!!

Those 17 lives mattered. When are we going to take our own responsibility seriously?


Her response has been posted on many Internet sites, as well as all over Facebook, so maybe you’ve seen it already,  but it warrants a second thought in light of the takeover of the media by the “progressive” and Radical leftist element.

Everything (on the entertainment-news media)   is shown to us through their lens, and their “reporting”  — which is really simply the presentation of the  Leftist agenda — doesn’t really deserve a point by point response.

There is life and thinking beyond the television celebrities!

Hooray for Kelly Guthrie Haley!!!!!







February 18, 2018

Reflections –  reflections related to the origins of this past week’s tragedy in Florida – (owtowing).

Any  way you slice and dice it,  it is a grave matter to not attend church on a Sunday.

10 com

But – it’s easy!    When we Americans go to church,  we can be 98% sure that we won’t be massacred while in church.   We can be 95% sure we won’t be accosted by angry demonstrators as we leave our churches.     (We can be 10% sure that we won’t hear ridicule and insults heaped upon us by the current “culture” around us.)

Not so in other areas of the world –  which are included in the word “universal” –  the name given to our church way back at the end of the first century.    (Greek word for universal =  “Catholic.”)    All humans are included, equally, and warmly.

Not so elsewhere.    Let’s start a tour   with India  –

Christianis in India

Christians are not protected in India.  They are burnt, beaten, killed;  their houses and churches are destroyed . . . (by Mos l ems and by “peace”-loving Ghandi-type Hindus) .


Further East:

Chinese Requires Church

And few are “sanctioned” —

Chinese Church BEING Wrecked

That photo shows the new policy towards churches in China, many buildings are currently being razed.


Somewhat west of India

christians killed


And south of India  —

nigerian church attacked

Here is a still-shot from a video I was going to post last Sunday –  because every Sunday there is news of yet more attacks on Christians as they worship, somewhere in the world, and I want to make these poor victims known to the world.  We want to  ‘aid”  victims, don’t we?

Maybe only prayer  is possible ,  as this Nigerian man knows —

Nigerian in church

And this Nigerian woman —

nigerian woman

It is the norm for a human to want to worship God.   It is normal to pay homage to one’s Creator, absent generations-long indoctrination to the contrary.    It is normal among humans to seek Truth.

In European-derived nations, indoctrination seems to be the weapon of choice.  However, in Africa last Sunday,  and in other parts of the world,  the machete seems to be a common weapon of choice.

nigerian machete

This is a still-shot from a video shown a few days ago of armed men running through Christian villages and farms,  destroying livestock,  buildings,  and sometimes human lives.

Things seem to be getting worse for Christians in this world in this present time.  (It’s not a surprise that it will happen;  it’s just a surprise that it actually is happening, in front of our eyes.)   What will be done about violence against Christians?

Nothing, really.   The governments will do nothing effective.  “Missionary groups” with money from wealthier nations will not make it safer for Christians.   Public opinion in America will continue to be oblivious.

And this is where the LL Bean company comes in.     LL Bean is a good family owned company that has been selling quality clothes and things for 91 years.   I love their styles!  If I were a man,  I would get my entire wardrobe from them!

ll bean slippers

Here is a pair of slippers that I gave to my daughter.   They didn’t fit,  so we exchanged them with LL Bean’s generous and easy exchange policy,  (I didn’t get her the cat;  I had  gotten her a bear, one half on each slipper.   They didn’t have a bear in her size, so I wanted to get her a moose –  they live in the High Sierras, after all –  but she  chose instead a  whimsical goofy-looking frog.   It’s cute.)

This morning on the radio, on some financial advice program that happened to be on when I woke up,  I heard them say that LL Bean is now changing their 91-year old exchange policy;  and it’s basically, bottom line, due to the highly immoral conditions pervasive in our society.   You can still exchange things, but only for one year after purchase, and with proof of purchase,  and with a stated reason.  Still generous,  but no longer trusting and generous.

Can’t be, any longer.   Everywhere,  from highest to lowest activities,  we are being compliant to Falling Values.      We kowtow.

Something as major as going to church,  something  as  trivial as buying clothes from a 91 year old family owned business,   something as common as going to school and expecting to be safe,  and everywhere  in between,  Christian values which a society could count on are being . . .  well, devalued.

Let’s look at the good:

Nothing is so  joyous as an African man at prayer!   Nothing is so philosophically calm and certain as an Indian at worship.   Nothing is so motivated as a Western man coming out of Mass.       

And nothing is so sweet as a Chinese man  adoring Emmanuel,  God With Us,    God Who Became Human for us.

Chinese Madonna Chinese


And that brings me to KOWTOW   –

           a word UNIVERSAL in its own meaning.


(Next time.)




February 18, 2018


A small sad  Rant tonight:

If you follow one avenue of analysis,  you will find the motto:  “Get the children first.” Never mind the parents,  get the children – and you will have your revolution.


Do you ever go around the Internet and choose a little city at random and read their local news?   If you have time,  it can reveal some interesting (national) trends.

In our little area, here in the Far North, in the middle of Fly-Over country,   in a nearby small town,   a day after the school shooting in Florida,  the school of this small town was closed down for two days –  after receiving a “shooting” threat.

If you didn’t make it “here” to our local news – no reason you should have –  maybe you saw this in the national news, another “interesting” trend:


It was slipped under the door of the principal’s office in a school near Parkland, Florida, this past week.

I can’t show the rest of the note – there’s so much obscene and foul language in it.

It was written by an eleven year old girl – who was apparently not protected from the hysterical and actually hateful news reporting of this past week.   And she was apparently not parented this week.   What she heard was not put into any  perspective proper to an eleven year old girl.     

Her mind is at the mercy of the entertainment-news media and of the Revolutionary Radical-Leftist influences promoted by our government (public)  schools.     Her mind and her emotions.    In a culture which has lost its capacity to rear its young, we seem to think children can raise themselves, according to any current trends.

A few hundred years ago a major prophecy was given to the Church – concerning not just the future, but specifically the 20th century, and the “interesting” trends that will begin in that most dark of all human centuries.   One of the predictions was that the children of that century will be almost totally corrupted.

There will be no more innocence among children.

When this prophecy was discovered in the 1800s,   more than a couple hundred years after it was written,  that statement alone was too startling to even believe.   Children have always been protected,  parented,   taught how to become human beings, trained in the highest values of civilization.  It was inconceivable that a whole century would somehow abandon their children to the point that generations of children could become so degraded.

Marx,  Lenin,  Stalin,  “Rules for Radicals,”  Communist writings —  socialist educators like Dr. John Dewey (who almost single-handedly corrupted American schools –  I witnessed this transformation when I taught in public schools) — all these  say the same thing:  “Give me the children . . .”



I had intended to write about the Olympics tonight.

Like many Americans, I have a long history of watching the Olympics,  cheering for our own athletes,   being inspired by their skill and dedication.    When I was a teenager,  I watched the winter Olympics and then went out and built my own ski jump in the surrounding forest.  After school each day I practiced on that ski jump –  not sure I’d have the courage to jump that far and that high today,  but it gave me a tiny taste of the life of those Olympic athletes.     Striving to be better;  striving for excellence.

I cannot write about the Olympics this year.   (“Good parenting”  taught me “If you can’t say something nice about someone, don’t say anything at all.”     Hah!)

Each night, and several times each night,  deviant behavior is showcased, promoted, and at the very least spoken of casually.

The picture of the American team members that the entertainment-news media showed to us was beyond youthful exuberance and joy.  This year’s American athletes were photographed being shamefully immature, juvenile,  arrogant, and appeared to feel they were entitled to all the medals  which were sure to come to them (and which most didn’t get).    They were therefore  like children:   vulnerable  to adulation and willingly complicit in promoting anti-American sentiments, anti-American values,  anti-family behavior.

(Did you hear the athletes of any other nation bad-mouthing their own nations or presidents or vice-presidents?   Did any other country’s announcers continually point out deviant behavior of their athletes?  )

So.    Yes, Mom.  Yes, Grandma:    I won’t say anything at all about individual athletes.   I’ll  just have more free time now away from the television.

But I feel rather sad for the children of our country.

We gave them away . . . .


(For those of you trained in marxist thinking where there are no absolutes –  this is not an “absolute”  100% statement.  Of course it isn’t.    But it takes only one eleven year old girl without moral training to make life very unpleasant for our society.)


Reclaiming America?     Restoring American values?

There can be push-back.    Maybe there could be enough push-back.

But there won’t be.   I’ll write about that in the next post.



February 15, 2018

Lent begins as   . . .   Wednesday follows Tuesday:


On Tuesday, according to law-enforcement sources, this is what was written in the letter that delivered the suspicious white powder to the home of Donald Trump, Jr.  —

“You are getting what you deserve.   You are an awful person. This is why people hate you. You are getting what you deserve. So shut the f–k up.” 

This message arises out of the hate and violence fanned daily into flames by our divisive and hate-mongering  entertainment-news media and those they support:

You may  know  what this is —

Kehinde Wiley

But do you understand what this is?      It’s a Black person  holding the severed head of a White person,  which is the most famous product of the artist whose odd depiction of the Barack-Hussein person was made public this week.   (Kehinde Wiley)   Fanning the flames of hatred and division are all around us.

On  Wednesday,  we all watched information about the Florida school shooting on television (our entertainment-news media).    Some private observations:

(The shooter) – marginalized by his society;    full of hate and resentment;    wounded, adolescent pride;    psychologically alone and abandoned by his peers . . .  The sum total of all his responses to these psychic insults was his shooting at the high school which rejected him.  A wicked act;  yes,  a sinful act.

Now,  he was mean and scary to his peers;   the school did have justification to expel him;  people were right to report his threats to the FBI;      . . .

. . .  Let’s see . . . . . .   read the package insert –   “Side effects:  homicidal tendencies and suicidal ideation . . . .”       Yep  –   turn a blind eye to the side effects and give him these  psychotropic drugs;  that will quiet him down . . . .    Abandoned, alone,  no uptick in the intensity of the counseling and spiritual instruction . . . No understanding of what it means to be a human being,  a man. . . .

. . . .   for that matter,  most likely no man (or a man and his friends)  to provide a good spiritual role model for this young man   —    18 years old?  19 years old?  We can’t even get his age right . . . .

Now society wants to kill him for his crimes.  Justifiably, I guess.   But to send him to Hell after a life of misery .  .  .  At least in Christendom, a condemned prisoner was given a priest to talk with,  to hear his confession,  to give him hope,  to give him understanding of the necessity of his death:  “a life for a life” –  Or perhaps to stand by him as the appeal process goes forward and the young man is confined to our dungeons for life.

And what of the victim families?    All we have are words and feelings, so far –  sympathy,   prayers,  “my heart goes out to them,”   my heart is heavy”   ” we are with you  . . .”     Good things to say and to feel.

If all you want to do,  if all you have time for,  is to analyze  (endlessly)  the problems in our country,  (cluck your tongues along with the media),  then stop here –  fine.   Just realize that the White Powder (sent to more than one address now)  and the School Shooting are closely related and arise out of the same broken culture.  This is a culture that cannot work anymore, as we Americans presently live it.



   . . . ..  “Say nice things to the victims’ families  but we,  as a society,   as observers of what our culture has become,  we want to do something, so this  “never happens again.”

And so we must, if we truly want to see less of these tragedies.    But it’s not a political matter.  It’s not a legislative matter.   It is absolutely a matter of the spiritual underpinnings of our culture.   “No man is an island,”  the English poet tells us.   In this case, it is true,  our culture changes one person at a time.  Some  persons will effect needed procedural changes.   Some persons will feel responsible to teach and to mentor.

But all persons in a viable culture must dedicate themselves to civilized living,  all equal before God,  all responsible to know God’s mind and to subject himself to It,  and all  persons living out freely their God-given talents and characteristics.

I would commend to you the writings of JW Unwin,  a philosopher and observer of Western culture,  especially his book:  “Sex and Culture.”      (Not a favorite of Amazon’s and general liberal sources,  even though Dr. Unwin began his study by believing that a free culture should allow free sexual conduct, including divorce, remarriage,  and “free” sexual behavior — that is,  “if you have an itch you should be allowed to scratch it.)

But his scholarly and well-researched writings concluded that any culture which lets go of strict adherence to high moral values, including monogamy,  eventually and inevitably crumbles, falters,  and fails, disintegrating to barbarisms such as “Might makes Right,”    “He who has the Gold Makes the Rule,”   “Every Man for Himself,”   and   “If it feels good, do it.”

I want to do it,  therefore I have a right to do it.      If someone hurts me,  I’ll hurt him back.

In a well-ordered and morally-restrained culture,  right and wrong is derived from intellectual and unchanging truths –  not from the Situations around you.   Circumstances do  not drive “right and wrong”  in a mature human society.

If Americans really want to “do something about it”   then we’ll all have to recover lost knowledge,  go back to school (self-schooling please),   and learn what it is our Founders knew and cautioned us to adhere to – or else our nation is . . .  over.     Freedom, safety, stability, happiness . . .  over.

Tuesday slid into Wednesday this week, and the beginning of Lent;  so I also commend to you this writing of  Amy Welborn, who reminds us that Lent is not for the aggrandizement of the Individual  (that is, our own self-improvement).   Rather it is a collective exercise of Christendom –  what is left of it.  We join, as a Body of Christ,  in the rightful penance that will detach us from temporal things, which will come to an end,  and attach us to eternal things –  to things of God, who cannot ever fail.   Lent is about living in a Christian society;  promoting the strength and truth of the Body of Christ,  not our own bodies.

You can find her writing on this blog (remove the spaces):

https: //  amywelborn.wordpress . com/

Have a good Lent – and don’t do something childish like  “give up coffee” or “give up “chocolate.”   Not, at least, if you think of yourself as a grown-up with an adult mind – responsible to know right from wrong.

.giving up





February 12, 2018

Bear.  Waiting.

bear seeing you


As the weekend began,  I was having a very comfortable, peaceful night. Soft snowfall outside.   Fireplace going.    Knitting nearby, nearly done.   Good book I had been reading, turned upside down on the table.    Such are my cozy evenings.

And I was baking bread.   I had just finished kneading the bread, I had put it in a bowl,  just covered it with a clean, damp cloth —  when   POOM!   Louder than that.   It sounded like a gunshot right next to me!

Glass on Stove

The glass lid on that pot of water next to me had just exploded.  There is a reason, of course,  but I don’t know the reason.   The stove top was not being used;  it was cool.  The water in the pan was room temperature.  and the thick glass lid on the pan had been there for hours.   I had just laid a cloth on the bread dough (lower right-hand corner)  gently.

I turned slightly to my right to pick up the used mixing bowl, had not quite reached it, when the explosion happened.

The house had been quiet.  Then the loud explosion,  Then quiet again –  but not altogether.   Over the next twenty minutes I heard tiny little cracks.   Like a little shard had fallen with a little “tick” against the stove.  A couple times  I heard a little “tick”  and thought I could hear a slight sliding, like a shard was gliding for a short space across the stove top.

Clean-up was not easy.   The bread dough was safe because it had just been covered,  but there was a nearby plate of cooked carrots and broccoli, waiting for me.   It was peppered with tiny specks of glass.  And so was my kitchen.

Glass in net

Much wiping up with a damp paper towel, of course,  and then I had to get the broken glass out of the pan of water, without the glass going down the garbage disposal.  Wouldn’t hurt it, maybe,  but I didn’t want it down there.   Luckily I still had a wire mesh strainer  with much smaller holes than the plastic ones.

I had walked in the glass with my stocking feet and walked my stocking feet all over the carpeting in the other rooms.  A flashlight told me that.

The Bear and the Book –

Some of you know why the bear is a metaphor for me – a metaphor that originated in a nice walk in the woods with my parents when I was a child –  interrupted in an instant by an angry mother bear that roared out at us and chased us about a quarter mile or so back to our cabin in the woods.

Bear Print 370

It’s why I wear this bear paw print bracelet –  to remind me that at any moment, life can be changed.   Things beyond our doing, beyond our control pop out and change the world for us.

The bracelet was bought at the Donner Party Museum last time I was on Donner Pass  (where my grandson lives).  The people in the Donner Party didn’t expect a 22-foot snowstorm when they were at the top of Donner pass either.

The Book?     To Hell and Back, by Ian Kershaw,  the years between 1914 – 1949.  It’s a thick book, dense with information, but so important for us to know –  because these things are happening again.      Life was “normal” in Europe –  and then a war began,  a war worse than any other war up to that time.    Soviet Socialism changed the lives of many millions.    Then life got normal again,  but fearful signs were unseen, National Socialism slowly grew  –  and then a terrible war began.

I wish every who reads this book would then  know how to stop history from repeating itself,  but like the bear,  like the sudden disappearance of my glass pan lid,   the changes that have been building up in the United States,  will suddenly rush out at us in unstoppable fury,  and whatever freedom we think we have,  whatever laws we think protect us,  whatever economic stability we think we are enjoying, all of it will explode away in a sudden fearful recognition that the world has changed for us, very much.

As vague, rising fear is the first sign,  subtle enough so that we can get used to it, even deny it’s really there.

It’s above our ability to stop it, I think.   At least from the growing signs I see.      A Tipping Point is near.        Perhaps  “Above” is the only answer.    Pray, of course.

We don’t quite know what to do with ourselves.  We don’t quite know how to manage the world without God.      More than pray.     Look to God Above.

Bear Trees a Man

We quite know how much more time we have.




February 8, 2018

I ended the last post about slavery with a brief reference to quantum physics  (thinking chiefly of  Light Entanglement)  and the interpenetration of the seen and unseen worlds, the co-existence of the material and the spiritual.

john's cross do you know 60

And, therefore,  of our spiritual and material duties:  To love God with our whole heart and mind and soul and to love our neighbor as ourselves.


Today, February 8th, is the day we are reminded to celebrate the life of St. John Matha, a man who lived those two Great Commandments.   He lived in the 13th century, that century which is designated by many as the “Greatest Century”  of Christendom, for all the advances in human understanding and achievements it had made.

John was a good young man,  caring of the poor, though not of the poor.   He was popular and trusted among his friends, and soon came to wonder if he ought to become a priest.    He became a priest in his thirties,  a little later than most. . . .

During his First Mass – an important milestone in the life of a priest –  he had a vision,  recorded by many artists:

john first mass gradient 6

Further above in the upper left-hand corner,  this artist  (de Miranda)  had shown the relevant portion of the vision –  a youth, probably an angel, wearing a red and blue cross and holding out his arms, crossed, with a hand on a Christian and a hand on a Moor.

(I didn’t show it because I wanted to accentuate the artist’s understanding that above any Mass, even today,  there is no line of separation between the spiritual realm and the material realm.   No dividing line.    The entire spiritual world pays attention to what we do and how (and if)  we worship.)

John, in his forties, after much studying,  consultation,  preparation,  growth in holiness,  and permissions obtained,    established a group of young men dedicated to the rescue of slaves from those Moorish lands I wrote about in the last post,  based upon the meaning he had gleaned from his first vision.

These men did their work  among the North African Islamic nations and were called Trinitarians.    They wore that red and blue cross on white robes.

john b r red blue cross St.  John of Matha

St. John  and the men collected alms from the Europeans, peasants and rich people alike.  He used those alms to purchase the freedom of slaves in Africa, after negotiating with  their Moorish captors:

john negotiating

They ransomed hundreds of thousands of slaves – an endless supply –

john's chr slaves woodcut

The work was hard and dangerous.  John walked among the slaves,  consoling them,  reminding them to be faithful to Christ,  encouraging them to be patient while he worked for their ransom.

One time,  sailing back to Europe with 110 former captives, the boat was attacked by  a small group of Moorish sailors.  The sails on   John’s boat were torn and shredded,  the rudder was damaged and unusable.   They were left to drift.

aerial med


Heaven saw and then answered their prayers.  The survivors offered their cloaks and blankets,  sewn together to make new sails –  and even though rudderless,  made it back safely to Europe.

From one of the accounts:

The saint, full of confidence in God, begged him to be their pilot, and hung up his companions’ cloaks for sails, and, with a crucifix in his hands kneeling on the deck, singing psalms, after a prosperous voyage, they all landed safe at Ostia, in Italy.

Their work continued for many centuries, inspiring another young man,  St. Peter Nolasco,  (also in this “greatest” 13th century)  to begin a group with a similar mission,  the Mercedarians.


These  groups exist today, somewhat, in this not-so-great century and as part of the New Version of the Church.   We don’t hear of their work among slaves today . . .

But perhaps . . .   their work can continue, at least in our prayers.



February 8, 2018

(Don’t let your history be taken away from you!)


Any idea what this kind of cross means?

Trinitarian Cross

. . . .   red and blue . . .  ?


 john boast people ref   If you read the news today, you’ll have heard of all the M os le m  “refugees”  fleeing    terrible conditions, risking their lives on rickety  boats, crossing the Mediterranean to find refuge.   The “news” articles regularly include admonitions (demands, really)  to Europeans to not reject these refugees  (few ever do) and to give them tax money and welfare aid,  giving preference to them over the Europeans (commonly done) .

If you read further,  you’ll see that the “refugee” camps where the boat people land are frequently places of crime, rape, revolt, and anger against the Europeans who are “rescuing” them.  (Not 100%, for those of you trained by marxist rhetoricians.  Of course not 100%)

The end point for these African “refugees’ of military age?     Often scenes like this:


Africans invading Spain (recently)  from out of a “refugee” landing point.

And elsewhere, one of thousands of photos:



But it wasn’t always like this.  To call these militant young Islamists “refugees” is to pervert the word itself.    They have a different purpose from the millions of refugees throughout the centuries who were rescued across the Mediterranean from actual slavery and torture in Moslem  lands.

Let’s call them Moors, as history does.

john slaves being taken to mors

(Christian boat people)

Over the centuries,  millions of Christians from Europe (some of your ancestors)  were kidnapped from their homes and brought to, well,  Moorish countries, especially in North Africa.

Just as Christians who live in Africa today are being kidnapped from their homes,  sold into slavery,  married into another kind of slavery,  and never heard from again,  these Christian captives were  also never heard from again.    You live if you gave up your Christian faith – lived for a while.

The problematic evil of slavery has existed even before written history began – and it exists today:

Slave Women

It’s a real tragedy from the entertainment-news media that the nations excoriated for the evils of slavery are those very nations   (the White, European and European-derived nations)   that have eliminated slavery,  and  long before our great-greatgrandparents even lived!

This simply diverts attention from the real problem of modern slavery.

I don’t mean to imply that only women are taken as slaves.

Little boys . . .  (not for working “in the fields”:

peeking between fingers

And young Christian  men:

peek boy slave 400 dollars

The accompanying article said he was being sold for $400.   (equivalent American.)

What do you care about this young husband and father?    About the little boys?  About the young women?       What should we care?   What can we do, anyway?

john's cross do you know 60   What does all this have to do with that red and blue cross?

Well, lots, actually.      And it has a lot to do with what you think about the separation of this life from the next;  of the material world from the spiritual world,  and the knowledge that there is no separation . . . .    Whether this knowledge comes from from the advances in quantum physics  or from religious writing,  or  the experience of Catholic teaching  —  the spiritual world pervades and co-exists with the seeable, material world.

And our duty to God is co-extistent with our duty to our fellow-man.

This post is not getting written as I thought it would, so I’m going to have to do a Part Two so it doesn’t get too long. . . .




February 5, 2018

“Walking with Christ through Lent”  —

Among some of  the best ways of praying is to pray through the Gospels.   Not read them every day, but  to prayerfully meditate on  them every day,  staying close to the Lord we wish to follow.      A joyful and uplifting way to pray!

Uplifting.   (ahem):


Pretty, floaty balloons.

Lots of hands involved:


Children love to participate.



“Many hands make light work.”


It’s an “uplifting” project that needs to be kept untangled – and free:



The tendency is to float – upward, of course:



And all the people let go!



Up, up, and away!



Into the Heavens:


Where our prayers are heard!

Credit to the Papa Stronsay blog site ( http: / / papastronsay . blogspot. com/  —  Remove spaces, of course.)     Papa Stronsay is the name of the larger of the Stronsay islands, north of Scotland, where a joyful community of Christians live and work and pray.




About the “repetition of prayers”  in the Rosary:

When I was a child,  the Bible that was given to me lied to me.   It kind of made it sound like you were never to say a prayer “more than once.”    Prayer should  “come from the heart” – i.e.,  it should always be extemporaneous.

(Saying “The Lord’s Prayer'”  again and again was a contradiction that I couldn’t ask about – and expect a satisfying answer.)

If you did repeat a prayer, or prayers,  it was called “vain repetition.”    My contradiction problem was relieved when I learned when I was older that the words “vain repetition” was a deliberate and deceptive mis-translation of the original Greek words regarding the manner of prayer.   In other words,  the men who wrote that particular Bible lied – with what they thought was good reason.

They were breaking away from the Church,  starting their own version of Christianity,  so they had to reject as much as they could that came from the Church.   And they had to write all kinds of reasons why they were right, including changing the words of the Bible.


February 5, 2018

(The season of Lent begins with the contemplation of a Sword):

I didn’t write about this right away, and then I left another related issue unfinished – so I’ll have to tie up some loose ends today;  rather important loose ends.

It’s starts with a Prediction and a Sword.

roman sword

This is a Roman gladiator’s sword,  used around the time of the Prediction.    It’s meant to kill by piercing . . . .

A few days ago,  February 2nd, we remembered the events when the Child Jesus (Infant)  was brought into the great Temple at Jerusalem and certain sacrifices and  rites were performed according to the Law.

old prophet  Living in Jerusalem at the time was a man named Simeon,  an old man who visited the Temple every day with a special desire – to see the long-promised Messiah.   He had a long, long wait,  a lifetime of waiting expectantly.     When he saw the Holy Infant Jesus,  he knew immediately  – internally –  that this was the Messiah.

He adored.  He thanked God.  And he had a revelation that shook him with the power of its inspiration.    He saw here before him  a  contradiction of Israel’s expectations.   “This child is marked out to produce the Fall and the Rising of many in Israel.”

That’s one way to put it.  “He came unto His own and His own received Him not – but as many as received Him,  He gave power to become the sons of God, even to them who believe on His name.”   

But then the sword came into play.   Old Simeon looked at the Mother and said –  And thy own soul,  a sword shall pierce,  so that out of many hearts, thoughts shall be revealed.”   (Luke 2:35)

And this Mary pondered:

sword pierced with asword

Truly, a mother feels her son’s every pain.  Every disappointment, every slight,  every indignity, every unfairness,   every time he is misunderstood, rejected, and hurt . . .  even unto death.

Mary had a few more years to “ponder,” the birth of her Son, her Savior,   but soon, three decades later,  she would start in motion the events that would  lead to the Passion of this Christ, her Son.

She had brought to Him the needs of the people at the wedding in Cana –  and for a moment He asked her “what does this mean to you and to me?”   And she went ahead anyway   —   Every love and joy would be accompanied by a sword in her heart.

So much to ponder each February 2nd.     Around that time we enter into the three Sundays that anticipate Easter:  Septuagesiman,  Sexagesima,  and Quinquagesima.    That is,  Seventy and Sixty and Fifty days before, and then starts the Forty Days before – the Forty Days we call Lent.

The three Sundays are like taking a deep breath before the serious  ponderments of Lent.

No Christian would not consider the seriousness of these next few weeks.




February 4, 2018


A brief interruption in my Sunday-Christian theme writing  . .  . or maybe not.

The Patriots didn’t win today.   That’s kind of okay, because the Eagles played like they were worthy to beat them.  They played well,   They were gutsy and surprising and skillful and determined.

Nick Foles

And they had Nick Foles.  Quite a young man.   MVP for football this season — but more importantly,  a Most Valuable Young Man not only for the sport, but for his generation, and for our country.   An unabashedly  Christian American  family-man  leader of his team.    Worthy of being a  Most Valuable Role Model.


What is going on here?  I’ve never seen so many men in on-camera, after-game interviews who gave credit and honor to Jesus Christ.       So many famous football names, Nick Foles,  Carson Wentz, and others . . .   leading Bible studies,   taking part in Bible studies . . .   Could these young men be emblematic of a whole new generation of Americans?     The quiet, strong, new leaders that the entertainment-news media doesn’t pay any attention to?

Nick Foles, et al.   I’m going to keep my eye on them in the coming years.

And I’m NOT going to have to give up on football!



February 4, 2018


chinese christian







Tomorrow, Feb.4, 2018.

Barring a snowfall that interferes with driving   or  certain recurring “health” problems, both of which are quite possible,   I shall be at Mass tomorrow.   

Not everyone around the world will make it.  And of those who do,   not everyone will make it home again. 


Holy Face 130


Catholicism is not a happy-clappy religion.  And it’s not for the faint of heart.

Saints pray for each other.



February 2, 2018


Just one comment on this Friday evening after the release of the Summary (Memo) of the Congressional report:


Confession Today


Hat Tip to Cousin in the Far Far North –  and her Facebook communications.


February 2, 2018


In ascending order of importance to us as individual souls:

February 2nd –      Ground Hog Day, of course.


Restless last night, so I got to hear the report from  Gobbler’s Nob right as it was first announced.   (Guess they call that “morning.”   It’s going to be a long day without sleep.)  And so, according to the Prognosticator from Pennsylvania,    (one of his official titles) our winter will be –  six weeks longer.

“Thanks”  from the Far North where it is current  9  degrees, with snow predicted all weekend.    At least we were also told that the Ground Hog is right 39% of the time.

football happy

February 2nd –  Time to be thinking about what to have for your Super Bowl experience, whether it’s a party or simply private enjoyment before a fireplace and a big screen.      corn Looking at email newsletters from Kraft,  all grocery store flyers,  and I suppose television ads,  you’d  think there was only one meal, ahead of us!

I have my favorite team.   Predicted to win by four points, and it’s not the underdog.  I hope those prognosticators have a better than 39% record.


February 2nd –    The day of the publication of the Summary of wrongdoings and questionable practices in the collusion between the Justice Dept. and the political appointees at the FBI,  erroneously called The Memo.

Who is it that famously said  governments fall from within?     Well known to historians is the fact that  republics last an average of 200 years.

I hope we Americans can prove both “prognostications”  wrong.


Are we serious about this?   Are we happy that we Americans are (supposed to be)  self-governing?  That means self-correcting too.   Read what it says:  we have the DUTY  to overturn our government if it becomes a tyranny.    It’s our responsibility to be on the watch for signs that it is becoming a tyranny.    (Lois Lerner anyone?  Weaponizing the IRS against the political enemies of the radical Left?)

We have plenty of catching up to do.

February 2nd –  A busy day in Christendom!   It’s Candlemas today.   Candles are blessed in church today, a token of our acknowledgement that something Supernatural and Sacred is possible and existent in our world.

presentationThe Presentation at the Temple,  Jesus and Mary.     

Yes,  it’s an actual, historical event.

Mary has given birth 40 days ago, and this is the day she presents herself at the temple for the formal end of her  ritual seclusion from public and religious activities.

(Can you imagine how kind and gentle it is to allow  (to require) a woman who has just given birth to stay at home,  rest,  recover,  and have time to bond with her new child?!

When my Filipina friends told me how kindly the Christian culture there treated their new mothers,  I nearly cried for joy.   How they honor the one who labored to bring new life into this world!

Do not let the God-haters tell you that women who give birth are shamed and isolated and are looked down upon as “unclean” (as American s understand that word)  until some “white male priest declares her all right again.   Rather,  this whole ritual is an affirmation of the sacredness of the whole, process of the co-creaion of  a new human being.

The second thing that happened back then   – that we remember, for our instruction –  is that Jesus was presented to the Temple –  with a sacrifice of a lamb and a little bird.  Id you were too poor, the family could substitute a second little bird    (usually a dove)  in place of the lamb.

You have a baby,  you make sacrifice to God to  acknowledge all life is in His hands.  Sacrifice the dove, not the baby.    You GIVE the baby back to God –  but you can Redeem him for a small price and raise him as your own.     Jewish people will recognize this as the ceremony of Pidyon Haben,  which is returning to modern practice in many places.


Ceremonial coins for Pidyon Haben

Two very old people who were living at the Temple at the time of the Presentation saw and recognized the Messiah they had been waiting for all their lives.

Their  words  deserve a post of their own.


Meanwhile —  it’s a busy Friday!