Archive for the ‘Christendom’ category

WHERE WE ARE FALLING BEHIND

May 9, 2019

 

(Something more serious this time):

In all my years of studying history, from university onwards,  I don’t think I’ve ever come across a country in the world which did not have enemies.   Some of their own making,  some unasked for.

Always there will be “enemies.”   Of Nations,  countries,  tribes, clans,  ethnic groups:  Jesus said as things heat up towards the end of this age,  “Nation will rise against nation, kingdom against kingdoms.”      . . .   meaning   more so than usual,   increased enmity between nations will characterize that last age.

war

But there was always something I puzzled about when the Bible talks about the End.    As the end of this age approaches there will be increased numbers of Christian martyrs,  we’ve all heard that, but the Bible shows that many who will become martyrs during this time will become martyrs by being beheaded.    Beheaded?      As though the Roman soldiers were going to come back from the past.

However,  I wonder if you’ve heard the news in the past two or three weeks. . . .

Like about this young sixteen-year old teenager – healthy, strong,  religious.   I would like you to know about him.

16 yr old shiite beheaded

He was watching a peaceful anti-government protest meeting and decided to text some friends about it.

This is that government:

FLAG Sau Ar

This is the government that was being petitioned and protested.    That young man was arrested for  “te^^”  ro – ris -^  m   because of his texts, imprisoned for a few years, tortured, sentenced to  death — by beheading.

Which was carried out a few weeks ago.

And then there was a 17 year old who took part in a peaceful demonstration;  the kind of demonstration where you love your country, you want to make it better,  and you want to point out some things that should be improved.

He didn’t last long….

17 YR OLD BEHEADED

But of course there was vicious, violent,  unspeakable tortures he had to endure, including threats to his mom and dad’s lives unless he confessed to . . .   whatever.

I think I just want to state the names of these two young men, remembering that 35 others also died a few weeks ago in that mass beheading.

Abdulkareem al-Hawaj

Mujtaba al-Sweikat

(Teenagers)

 

How could a culture give rise in modern times to such actions?    Well, it’s in their Book for one thing.  They study it.

Not just “over there,”  but here — under the Red, White, and Blue.  In this country there are many schools which teach children the ways of this culture.    Here is a video from a school program in one of those schools.   It’s a “musical.    Middle Eastern music.

CHOP children

And then the girls had a turn at the mic:

CHOP OFF chldren

The subtitles of the entire song were words of violence, hatred, and killing.   The “shame” these children are being told to feel will one day be gone because of their actions.

During the 1930’s when Hitler was on the rise and Western leaders were noticing,   some literary figures in England were brought together for comment. It was 1938 and it was expected that they would all say something about the extreme threat  they were facing from Germany.

Hilaire Belloc was among them.    He gave them all a surprise:

The celebrated historian and British parliamentarian Hilaire Belloc was convinced in his day that Europe and America had forgotten about Islam to their own peril, and were unaware that the Muslim religion could rise again and would pose perhaps the greatest threat of any enemy of the western world.

“It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable,” Belloc wrote in 1938, “that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.”

“…had forgotten about Islam to their own peril…”

“…for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent (enemy)….”

What is the “Cradle of Christianity”?   What is the Birthplace of Christianity?     The Middle East.  Palestine in Roman times, Israel today.    And why is it that observers are predicting that within a decade, there will be no more Christians in the Middle East?

Where else did Christianity take strong hold and flourish and produce many notable saints and scholars?    Northern Africa.       Any Christians there today? 

Belloc further argued  that “there was no reason that Islam would not return to its former power and once again threaten the peace and well-being of Judeo-Christian civilization.”   

No reason at all that they couldn’t.  Or wouldn’t.

Or shouldn’t,  given that they too can rise in material strength as we have — but they are already far ahead of us in another item:

While Islamic culture “happens to have fallen back in material applications,” Belloc wrote in a damning indictment of European Christianity, “there is no reason whatever why it should not learn its new lesson and become our equal in all those temporal things which now alone give us our superiority over it—whereas in Faith we have fallen inferior to it.

Belloc indicts Christianity for its inferior Faith.     Material superiority makes the West superior in material things, but other nations can catch up and surpass the West.

Praying Alone 200cr   And that is because it’s not material things that make a nation strong,  but faith, piety, reverence, and the practice of religion.       The Greeks knew this.  The Romans knew this.  Right through the Middle Ages and the founding of Christendom people knew this.

As in the title of this post,  it’s where we’re “falling behind.”

Speaking of End Times, it is madness to crawl in bed with enemies who want us gone from the face of the earth.       On the other hand,  this “madness” has a new logo:

Islam-Cath LOGO 2

If you take the green and orange crossed swords as a distorted image of the Cross,  then you might wonder:  “Who encircled whom?”      “Who swallowed whom?”

.

 

War is not always won with swords.

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To be totally safely politically correct, add the word “radical”  before each of the “I” words!

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MAY DAY THE GOOD

May 2, 2019

MAY BIRD

Yesterday was May 1st.   May Day.   (I seem to be running a day behind,  but nevertheless, May Day happened . . . )

Certainly, the origins of  May Day celebrations can be traced back to our pagan and agricultural past.   The signs of Spring is a joyous thing.  It signifies ongoing fertility and it was celebrated with all the pagan “fertility”  actions, if you know what I mean – including also a dance around the Maypole that was generously decorated with flowers, the sure sign of Spring.

Even after Christianity came to Europe, it was proper that we took note of “May Day,” in honor of God’s providential care of us.     Spring again!    New life again!

may girls

We can honestly welcome signs of a new generation of “flora and fauna” – that keeps us fed and keeps the human race going.   It is an act of humility to truly acknowledge our dependence upon Him. *

Flowers also appear in our joyful thanksgiving in our churches called the May Crowning.

may giving

By our faith in Jesus,  we  acknowledge Him as the source of our new and everlasting life — our second birth.     Through him we are “born from above,”  as it says in John, chapter 3.   Young girls, all dressed up in their Sunday best,  bring flowers to some representation of Mary, the Mother of  Jesus.

The month of May is a beautiful time to honor the Incarnation of Christ through His Mother with flowers.    mary crowned

 

One time here in The Spruce Tunnel I presented the traditional flower of each day in May.    I would like to do that this year . . .   (I doubt my health and stamina — please continue your prayers for me —  but I remember it made the month of May so happy!)

God the Creator:   “In Him we live and move and have our being….”   — and that’s a joyful thing!

DIY:    You, personally,  can take part in the acknowledgment of  “May” and all it brings,  even if your church or your group of friends or your workplace – or whatever –  doesn’t.    Joy and celebrations and meanings come from within you.

I hope May Day doesn’t pass you by.   I wish you all joy!   Or at least a smile!!

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  .   *  (The Puritans — and Puritan-minded people — could not “baptize” this pagan holiday into a Christian testimony to the wonders of God through nature;  they could not lay aside in their minds the pagan origins of the ceremonies.  Today’s modern  “wiccans”  and other pagan wannabes,  modern druids, etc., who have recreated what they think was our pagan past,  also use the Maypole as a witness to their beliefs.)

Two pathways that branch off from Christianity:    Puritans and Modern Pagans.

A WOMAN, NOT SO TIMID

May 2, 2019

I don’t imply, by the title of this post,  that women are less timid than men, or vice versa, but  I do mean to imply that some men and some women are not so timid — and we need more of that, from both sexes. 

Who are you, really;  and what good are you?

cath be

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So,   less timidity,  more boldness.     

Faucet     I was awakened about 3 or 4 this morning by a “dripping”  noise, I thought.     I was sleeping in a chair near my kitchen, so I assumed a faucet was dripping.

And then it would stop.    But it would start again.   A dripping-clicking noise.   Faucet?   We have an herb planter with automatic sensors for water and food and light . . .  so, something mechanical going on in there?

No rhyme or rhythm to the intermittent dripping.   An animal chewing on something?   (It was the middle of the night.    Imagination runs wild.)

Eventually, after several perambulations,  I discovered it was Hubbie’s stereo system, an old 5-disc changer/radio/tape player  —   all of which I still use, but it’s always hard to use its system of buttons and commands.   For some reason,  the thing was trying to turn on.  And off.    On and off.    Pause for several minutes,  then on and off again.

Finally pulled the plug.      By now I’m no longer sleepy!    I solved the problem,    but I’m also not the “Woman,  Not So Timid”  in the title.

My last two posts seem to be connected to the word “timid.”    No one wants to be called timid.   For a while the Disciples seemed to be,  during the Crucifixion of Christ.  And yesterday’s post about the pope giving so much money  to the Global Socialist scheme of forcing mass migration of third world countries into developed nations implied a kind of timid silence  about the problem — there is no general public outcry against the pope’s decision.  Timid mutterings,  yes,  but nothing that would lead to a correction.

The last day of April was the Feast Day of St. Catherine of Siena who lived during a time when the head of the Church and most of those around him, cardinals, priests, and bishops,  were in the wrong.   It was a time of great corruption and error in the Church and in society in general.

Most people alive at that time   knew something was wrong,   like my “dripping  faucet”;  they knew something was askew in the Church —  but they had lives to lead.  Busy lives.   Stuff to do.   It wasn’t their concern anyway, whatever went on in the Vatican.

cath write

Catherine was extremely intelligent;  smart and holy.     Outspoken about the corruption going on in her day.    Not well liked by some, of course,  but she was not timid.   She was used by God to give rebuke where rebuke was needed.

And so I’m going to give to you the words  she wrote to the pope in her day:

(This was a time when literate people used words more strongly and intelligently than we do today.   It is more complex thinking than we’re used to,  but though you don’t know the occasion,  at least feel the strong “tone” of her words.)

On behalf of Christ crucified I tell it you: refuse to believe the counsels of the devil, who would hinder your holy and good resolution. Be manly in my sight, and not timorous. Answer God, who calls you to hold and possess the seat of the glorious Shepherd Saint Peter, whose vicar you have been. And raise the standard of the holy Cross; for as we were freed by the Cross–so Paul says–thus raising this standard, which seems to me the refreshment of Christians, we shall be freed — we from our wars and divisions and many sins, the infidel people from their infidelity. In this way you will come and attain the reformation, giving good priests to Holy Church. Fill her heart with the ardent love that she has lost; for she has been so drained of blood by the iniquitous men who have devoured her that she is wholly wan. But comfort you, and come, father, and no longer make to wait the servants of God, who afflict themselves in desire.

And I, poor, miserable woman, can wait no more; living, I seem to die in my pain, seeing God thus reviled.
Saint Catherine of Siena
Letter to Pope Gregory XI

 

 

A strong,  fervent, pointed rebuke.

And a very much needed rebuke:    a weakened Church causes moral and doctrinal confusion in society;  i.e.,  “anything goes” ! )   Weakened,  timid lay people allow social ills to spread.

History shows her letter was effective.

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PARIS AND THE CROSS AT THE END

April 16, 2019

 

Sorry I’ve been gone so long.   Two weeks?    Two weeks.

Not Really Present

I really haven’t been here.    Haven’t been “around.”     My body is fighting a pretty big “problem,”  and sometimes it tries to get the best of me.   And the whole “problem” is exacerbated by exposure to WiFi, cell phones, EMFs. RFs, etc., etc ., — of which I’ve had a lot lately.  

I think I’m coming back now.    

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Coming back,  just in time to join in the worldwide shock and sadness at the fire in Notre Dame Cathedral, Paris.    The cathedral dominates the Paris landscape, dwarfing other buildings around it.

ND aerial

It’s a work of art and an architectural wonder from any angle — a monument to human achievement and inventiveness.

ND Cathedral

 

But of course it’s a monument to the faith of Christians and a testimony to the awe and reverence given to God Above.

ND aisle

This same aisle has directed  people to the altar in front where Christ is worshiped and — as best as we can do with material objects — He is also glorified.    Poor and destitute people have been uplifted and given hope at that altar.    Ordinary people, everyday people have said their prayers there.     Kings and queens heads of state have had their endeavors legitimized there.

It is a cathedral for every person.

For all people.   Remember,  just before He died on the Cross,  Jesus address His mother, but  He called her “Woman.”   The Woman of Genesis 3:15;  the Woman of Revelation 12.  He told the Woman, “This is your son.”    John was standing next to her,  but by this word “son”  He indicated all humanity within John.      All of us.

MAry Patroness PINK

Our Mother.  Our Lady.   Notre Dame.   

Of whom the Bible says:  “Blessed art thou among women . . . .”

You’ve seen the photos and the videos of the flames destroying the tallest spire, the roof, and much of the  interior.  One newsman said an aerial view of the fire shows the entire roof engulfed in flames –  and remember the cathedral is built in the form of a cross;  so there, looking down on the city, was a flaming cross.

A flaming cross in the middle of Paris.

I’d like to have a prophetic voice and pronounce some significant meaning to the flaming cross or to the whole event . . .

But — just this:

Cross Stays

The interior is destroyed.    But the cross . . .  stays.

At the end of your long walk down your life’s aisle, there will be a cross at the end.

 

 

 

 

 

BLACK HISTORY MONTH

February 18, 2019

“With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

If in Black History Month we are supposed to honor great Blacks of the past . . .  then let’s see a few more:

My favorite man –

Pierre Toussant

He is Pierre Toussant.   A Catholic gentleman who lived from 1766 to 1853,  born a slave, was a reliable man of good character, learned a valued skilled trade, was eventually freed,  went into business for himself – but yet  not for himself and his wife and children alone —  he became the Founder of Catholic Charities  in the United States of America.

He relieved the suffering and ignorance of countless thousands of people in New York City.

(I started with more and have done less.)

I’ve written about him here at The Spruce Tunnel previously,   (Although now if you look him up elsewhere you may have to endure  atrocious anti-Trump rhetoric in some articles first, before you get down to the story of PIerre Toussant.)

You can read about his equally venerable wife, Juliet Noel, devoted to charitable works in New York City.

Bl Juliet Noel

Juliet Noel

A few of  their foundations and their charitable buildings still stand.    The life of these two people should be included among the great biographies of American history, although they are not being taught in our children’s textbooks.

Mother Mary Lange is another black woman in American History you should know:

Bl Mother Mary Lang

Born Elizabeth Clarisse Lange  (in Colonial Cuba — see the missionary work of St. Anthony Mary Claret), came to the United States in 1833, to South Carolina,  to Virginia,  then to Maryland,  and then opened free schools for Black children, with the encouragement of the Church.  Eventually she and a co-worker founded a new religious  order of women working   called the Oblate Sisters of Providence working with women and children in needy and poverty stricken situations,  teaching them all both faith and skilled work.

Bl Mother Mary Lang 2

(an early photograph of B. Mother Mary Lange)

(Their work still exists today, but I don’t know if they have been “modernized” into focusing on a more secularized “social justice.”   I hope not.  God is the foundation of  all justice.) 

Well,  that’s my contribution to Black History Month……

Of course the Catholic Church has many other “Black”  saints.

As St. Paul said,   “With Christ there is no Jew or Gentile, no rich or  poor,   no male or female, no slave or free . . . ..”

All are equal in the dignity and worth that God gave us.

 

A DRUMMER BOY PREPARES

January 8, 2019

Had no “dog in that fight,”  Clemson vs. Alabama,  so I’m okay with the outcome.   I’ll listen to the Truckers debate it all night on the radio.  I did have more free time (away from football ) this weekend, a big weekend in Christendom, but I’m behind in my reporting on that. . . .  Next post.

Meanwhile . . .   I have been busy.    And not unmindful of this weekend of Epiphany, which apparently brought  out in me an urge to “clean.”

silhouette three wisemen at manger

I cleaned everything I could.     Took care of mailing mail, packing up packages;    getting rid of old holiday food, bringing in new food;  doing the guest laundry and making up the beds;    organizing library books, bringing books back, bringing new reading projects home . . .   Even  doing special, long-put-off projects —

f floor

Yes,  scrubbing the grout.   I have a big kitchen floor, new tile with lots of grout.  Light colored grout.    And a whole big foyer of ceramic tile.  Light colored tile – with  lots of grout.

Which is light-colored once again.   Ugh.

And as I cleaned and scrubbed and made the grout look new again,  I had lots of time to think.   Philosophically,  as my habit is.    As “muddied up” as my grout looked,  so did my mind feel “muddied up” and a bit muddled.   Things were no longer “light.”  Things in my mind were rather tangled and . . .  some things were wrong.

As I worked on the floors, I understood it was time to work on my inner self too  — time, that is, to go to Confession.

Because Epiphany was approaching.    We all know that’s when we “think about” the Three Wise Men.   “Three,”  by tradition, from somewhere in “the east.”    They had studied for a long time their own histories and prophecies, and then understood, these particular students of prophecy,  that the time was Right.   The  King had been born, and they had to travel to a town in Palestine to pay homage to Him.

They’re called three “kings.”     Three kings of the Orient.    They certainly worked in royal circumstances,  in the royal households,  the royal libraries;  they’re pictured wearing “crowns”  and carrying royal gifts:

f king gifts

Gold,appropriate to give to a King;

Frankincense,  appropriate for a priest, as this Infant King would stand as priest between God and Mankind;

Myrrh . . .  a costly, bitter “perfume” – appropriate for burying a royal body.

 

I continued to clean the whole darn house that had gotten so dirty during the holidays!

fire and clean

Scrubbed the fireplace next.  As Son says,  the fire seems to burn better when you start with a clean fireplace.   Sometimes we can skip that step, a time or two,  but you get the best fire if you start out clean, and his comment gave me no excuse to skip this step of preparation.

The three Wise Men Kings certainly prepared for their journey to Bethlehem.

f wise men finery

Their minds were prepared by devoted study;  their hearts were ready to meet this One and Only, Long-Promised King;  and their bodies were clothed with their finest raiment, showing both self-respect and respect for the Holy Infant whom they will visit.

I’m not sure all my cleaning was done consciously to prepare for Epiphany,  but it all worked together.   I’m glad my house was clean for Sunday.    And a  good Confessor  can help out with some really needed insights and “clean up” some of the mud(dle)  that has been collecting on your soul for a while.   “Inside,” too, I was ready.

And then I had time to think in front of the fireplace  . . .

fire and foot

Being “clean”  doesn’t change the whole world,  doesn’t make things that much easier.   I had to continue to work hard to get that fire going.    I’m beginning to believe that all those  boxes used to start a fire are made from inflammable cardboard.  And the kindling –  it must have been wet from all our rain . . .

But as I was working hard trying to keep the fireplace lit,  I was thinking about those Wise Men who worked hard all their lives, studying,   preparing, traveling,  desiring that one necessary thing,  that glorious meeting with  Christ Jesus, the Infant King born in their Day.      It  would be worth it all.

 

fire going 380

Finally got a nice big fire going.

I had time to sit back and remember, now,  what I had heard in our sermon on the day of Epiphany.       It was remarked that the Wise Men  visited the Holy Infant with hearts prepared;  minds prepared;  best clothing prepared.        And we?  When we think about Jesus . . .  what have we prepared for meeting Him?      How do we come to Him?    I have no royal clothes.  I have no crown to wear.  I have no “wisdom.”   I’m not even very well studied.

I’m never going to be more than just “me.”

f drummer

If all I have is a drum to play,  then that’s all I can do, is visit Him and  play for Him.   And show Him I want to be there with Him.

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It’s just not “January 6th” on the calendar and “let it go by.”     There’s an opportunity here.

“CLOTHING” FOR ADVENT

December 2, 2018

lavender splotch

(A necessary “pause”  from current events today.)

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A giant turn of the wheel on this day in the Christian calendar;   a big click!  into  the notch that brings the rotating gear back to its beginning point.

gear

As you guys know,  a gear is for turning.  This may be a cog wheel, but I don’t really know the difference.    Things act on it and then it turns, notch by notch, each notch slipping for a moment into its proper (and useful) place.

And as we all know,  today is the first day of Advent.   Christians follow a Liturgical Year not too far in concept from a gear:

Liturgical Calendar Worksheet Worksheets For All | Download And with Blank Liturgical Calendar Wheel

As the world revolves around the sun, so have we devised calendars to mark the passing of time – with religious significance.    God, through various instruments, acts upon the universe, and with each revolution of our calendar year, there are stops or pauses as these divisions rotate to the top, and they are useful to us.

I put a blurry black dot at the top of this circular calendar where that dark vertical line is.   Proceeding clockwise,  this upcoming season is called Advent, represented by the four candles.

On this first Sunday in the Advent season, we light one of the candles on an Advent wreath.

Clip Advent 1

Just one candle.   It’s just the first week and there are many things to experience, to think about, and to learn during this first week of Advent.  You’d miss out if you don’t keep Advent.   You’d miss out on all the new insights and  wisdom that you could receive . .  .     You’d miss out on the possibility of having having faith,  increasing your faith, enjoying your faith in God.

So don’t.     I care for all of you.

You’d also “miss out” if you lump the whole season together without pausing at each week to see what the Church presents to you.

It can be  “clothing” I think, this week.   Advent (meaning the Coming)  is a purple (penitential) time to prepare ourselves properly for the First Coming of Christ.  According to the Readings from the Bible, we are to “clothe ourselves”  with Jesus Christ Himself:   “Wake up!  Pay attention!  The End is sooner than we thought!   So cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of Light.  .  .  Walk honestly,  not in immorality and sinfulness but put on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

put on Christ

That’s what we heard in church today.   “Put on”  refers to an act like that of “putting on”  clothing.

What are we to wear now?

 

put on christ 2

Both the word “Light” and the words “Lord Jesus Christ” refer to the same Being,  the Second Person of the Trinity —  “I am the Light of the World.”

 

learn christ

Learn who He truly is.

If any of us are going to call ourselves a Christian and claim  safety and salvation at the end of our life,  then now is the time to learn of Christ,  learn what He is truly like, get to know Him,  form a relationship with Him so closely  that it is like we are “wearing” Him every day.

Because,  even though this is the “beginning” of a year and it seems like we have a whole year ahead of us,  we don’t.   In the full words of the beginning of our Reading today:

“Brethren, knowing that is is now the hour for us to rise from sleep. For now our salvation is nearer than when we believed. The night is past and the day is at hand…” 

 

apoc

We’re really kind of just about out of time.   The Gospel Reading for today makes that very very clear.

That apocalyptic picture means that the Second Coming of Christ is approaching:

seeing his coming

It could be good — if you have a good Advent!

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CORRUPTIO OPTIMI PESSIMA

August 27, 2018

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

Unsolvable Problem  – 3    Pederasty in the Church

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(Pardon the absence.    After that traumatic month of July, the death of my younger sister, and the discovery of four deadly physical conditions in my body,  two of which have been known to cause  sudden death –   most likely not in me – after all this,  sometimes I withdraw and retreat, just to process everything.   Then I come back all okay.)

(One thing a period of time like that produces is a desire to speak truth plainly.  Just put it out there.)

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CORRUPTIO OPTIMI PESSIMA

Once a well-known saying for anyone who was educated,  it means, roughly, “the corruption of the very best is the very worst” (that can be done).

I will get back to my series of “Unsolvable Problems”  in a minute,  but all weekend,  I wanted you to know that there is a purpose to such “gloomy”  writings.  There is a solution.   If your feet are on  Solid Ground,  you will discover the wisdom and receive the power to effect changes for the better.

So we’re not stuck.

It’s gloomy only if you don’t know what’s going on.

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

To all nations that have been formed (in their past)  by Christianity,  it is common knowledge  (not accepted by all,  but known by all)   that “The Church is the pillar and ground of our Truth.”     (That’s in the Bible, for you Bible-only type Christians.)

That firm foundation for action in our lives,  that Solid Ground for us, is the Church.

Corruption of the best is the worst.

Today the Church stands in the mists.

Church in the Mist 390

After the Great Infiltration of the Church by the World in the mid-Twentieth century,  Church leaders took a GIANT step to the Left, taking with them the majority of Catholic laymen — who did not so deeply understand their faith anyway.

As one Church theologian said:  “We have accomplished the French Revolution  in the Church.”    (That’s not a good thing.)  (quote from Cardinal Suenens)

We have to look back to the fourth century to find a similar march into heresies by the bishops, cardinals, priests, laymen, and perhaps even the aging,  somewhat confused pope.    At that time,  St. Athanasius consoled his people by saying “They have the buildings and the institutions;  we have the Faith.”

Among the things that entered the Church in the last century is the sexual deviances of the World.    Let’s call it  “sexual practices that stand in opposition to the firm, unchanging teachings of the Church.

Step away from those teachings and you no longer stand on Solid (safe)  Ground.

So today, we read the headlines:   POPE REFUSES TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THE SODOMITES IN THE CHURCH WHO PREY ON TEENAGE BOYS.”    Something like that.

A shock?   Nope.   Given  the Extreme Left politics of the man  who is in the office of the pope,  this is no surprise at all.    Do not the Left in our own country praise and promote those who are openly homosexual in our entertainment media?   then why should he take a heavy hand remove the sexual corruption in the Church?

Pope John Paul II is reported to have pounded his fist on the table, shouting “WHAT is going  on with those Americans?”    after receiving a report of rampant homosexuality in the  seminaries. Pope Benedict XVI demanded to know how bad the sexual activity was in the Catholic world.     Is there really a Lavender Mafia?  Is there really a St. Gallen Mafia club?      He received a 200-page summary of the study that was done . . .  200 pages never made public . . .  after which he suddenly and perhaps  contrary to canon law “resigned.”   St. Gallen wins?

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

Fish in greek

Every field of knowledge seems to be saying that the world cannot go on much longer the way it’s going.   The financial world.  The military world, with super weapons that can destroy human life.  The natural world with earth changes and perturbations.     The social world, with increasing chaos, totalitarianism,  and impending civil wars.   And Christianity in general,  co-opted by the World it was meant to bring the message of salvation to.  .  .  .

Things will end.  Quite badly.    The Age of Pisces is ending.

Jesus told His Church,   “When I come back,  will I find any faith left in the world?”

If anyone can, He can –  and He expresses doubt that He’ll find any!   Or at least not much.  The corruption inside the Church is very severe.   The lack of knowledge inside the Church is very severe.   The lack of faith inside all Churches is very severe.

What about  “. . .the gates of Hell will not prevail against the Church . . .”?    Well, first of all, think about what that means.  A gate.  Gates don’t rise up and march against its enemy.   Gates provide a kind of barrier.   Perhaps it’s the Church itself which is supposed to knock down the Gates of Hell.

Whichever way you take it,   those Gates can rise to predominance pretty far, and by the end of the World,  it will seem that they have prevailed.   The Church seems not to be able to tell the World anything!

In case you don’t know The Age of Pisces,  the Age of the Fish,  that ancient sign of Christianity,  here is an explanation:

Fiah

Pisces seems to be ending.   It was predicted.

When I say we have “unsolvable” problems,  I mean they are unsolvable without supernatural aid.   We cannot do it by our own physical power,  our own brain power,  our own good will.

They are unsolvable to us alone.

“There is only one name under heaven given among men whereby we must be saved.”

So don’t despair. . .

We won’t know where to start if we don’t know what’s going on!

Are you among the Best?  Or are you among the Worst?

 

 

A REFRESHMENT BREAK

July 24, 2018

c perc

 

“What’s this blog all about?”    Well, I don’t know,  you can read the column to the right:  it says  “random.”  Random thoughts.    That’s because my mind is like a kaleidoscope —  it’s made up of a thousand bright sparkly colors, each representing something very interesting in this life!  And each one taking “center stage” for a while.

My favorite childhood poem:     (by Olive Beaupre Miller)

The world is so full of a number of things

I’m sure we could all be as happy as kings!

I wish you a kaleidoscope mind too!

So –  some refreshment tonight,  thanks to the good Pope Clement VIII a few hundred years ago. . . .

C outside door

A “necessary”  trip to one of my favorite stores.

And just to the left of that photo is the actual entrance with welcoming signs:

c welcoming entrance

Much to my surprise, the insides had been totally scrambled around  since I was last there.  That is,  they moved the tables and chairs towards the front, so it looks more like a comfortable coffee shop;  and where I was heading is now in the back section:

C whole shelves 380

Hundreds of little white bags of every flavor of coffee you can imagine!     Here is a sample from a previous trip, a few years ago, actually:

coffee-trip

This time I got only three bags:  Toasted Almond,  Mackinaw Island Fudge,  and Almond Coco  (which says it taste like an almond joy . . .  and kind of does.)     With the Toasted Almond, I can slant the flavor to the almond side with a few beans.  Or I can make it taste slightly more chocolate by adding a few Fudge beans.

Oh, I like plain coffee too.   Guatemalan is my favorite –  and Light Roast to retain the good enzymes and antioxidants that coffee beans offer.

Before I left I purchased a treat for my young friend which is also sold there —

c smoothie

Peach-Pear smoothie.    With  whipped cream.

They’re delicious!  But I didn’t get one this time.

Although I didn’t drink coffee until I was really old,   old enough to . . .  well, to be someone’s grandmother,   Daughter started me out on espresso, which is still my favorite.   Regular coffee is fun.    But I’m more into juicing nowadays:

c juicing

Blueberry juice today.

I need every bit of concentrated nutrition that I can get.   Everyone does, really.    How grateful we should be that in this country we can get a wide variety of fruits and vegetables,  eat them, juice them,  use them to heal our bodies and give us health and energy!

Coffee beans are vegetables.   Or a fruit.   Or plant material, at least.  Full of nutrition!

And, yes,  at one time, when coffee was new in Europe, it was controversial.    How can something this good and this energizing and coming from the Arab world be  anything less than sinful?

So when coffee finally reached Venice in the early 1600s,  1605-1615,  these scaredy-cats brought their coffee troubles to the pope who refused to condemn the new drink until he had first sampled it.

It gave him a good smile, just as it does with many of us today!    He blessed the rest of the  beans they had brought to him and pronounced it Good.

Deo gratias.

 

 

 

PART TWO: REFUGEES ON THE MEDITERRANEAN

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.

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PART ONE: REFUGEES ON THE MEDITERRANEAN

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:

DECENAS DE INMIGRANTES ENCARAMADOS A LA VALLA FRONTERIZA DE MELILLA

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

And elsewhere, one of thousands of photos:

ref

 

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. . . .

.

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FRIDAY’S “SCHEDULE”

February 2, 2018

 

In ascending order of importance to us as individual souls:

February 2nd –      Ground Hog Day, of course.

Groundhog

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.

statue

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.

dec

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.

pid

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!

“DOING” SOMETHING – LIKE THIS

January 7, 2018

 

Well, yesterday’s post was a little complex – and serious.    I still mean every word – even all the words I didn’t write  so it wouldn’t become extraordinarily long.

holy family the

Feast of the Holy Family

I meant just to say,  “Look around you, look at the world around you – and although there is much to learn and study and analyze,  yet still in a small way,  each of us is called  to actually act upon what we know.

Today’s remembrance within  Christendom centers on the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, put before us as our model of family life.   Our sermon was about what makes up a family in general;  I would have wished to hear more about the qualities of the Holy Family, but that’s okay,  that was his choice,  and nothing stops me from finding out more writings about these qualities on my own.

 

st theres familyThe family of St. Therese of Lesieux –

 

But that’s my point from yesterday, I guess.   Find out something in society that is good, that makes life strong and stable, and since we can all acknowledge that we don’t have that commonly anymore,  find out what went wrong, and what  can be done about it.  That’s a doable task for each individual person.

Take “family,”  for instance,  the theme for this day.

 

her whole family

The entire family of St. Therese, mother on left, father on right.

 

I’ve had lots of decades of TV viewing under my belt.   (Lots!)    I can truly say with sorrow that I’ve witnessed the disintegration and degradation of TV families,  so until now we hardly know — or rather we hardly dare define what a family really is.  We must be “politically correct” and “inclusive”  — so “they” tell us.   *

But “they” are wrong.   I’ve witnessed the sorrow and regretful longing implicit in so many movies and television series of the past two decades . . .  almost as though the writers know they are missing something precious, and this society can never have it  back.

HOLY FAMILY and st therese

(I have this painting at home,  but this photo  is apparently from “Restored Tradition.”   It shows St. Therese visiting the Holy Family – to learn as well as to pay homage.   Of course, she is separated by many centuries from the Holy Family,  but there is truth here:  we can all “visit”  this model of family love,  and also learn.  But as she,  the visit must be on bended knee.)

It’s not just sadness among  young adults because their family was messed up.      There are serious and dangerous society implications too,  all reflected in our entertainment that seems rudderless, pointless,  and rather despairing.

How do we turn around the loss of Family?    Can we repair this mess we’ve made of family life?       We need a model.    What is the “real dollar bill”  and what is the counterfeit?   We need to know the difference, and we need to know what difference it makes.

Then in our small way, one person at a time,  make our family a good one, perhaps modeled after the Holy Family.

 

_______________________________

.*   This presentation of devolving family life is also seen in children’s books, especially their school “readers.”      My Grandson Cooper loves reading the Dick and Jane books of the 1950’s;  he finds them interesting and logical,  fun and safe.     By the time I was teaching school, “they” had taken away wholesome family life and substituted all the politically correct wrong ideas about what the word family could mean.

That generation of children grew up imitating the broken families that they had read about their schoolbooks.

Their children know “something” is wrong with the way their parents lived, lived apart,  broke up their families,  blended new groups together . . .

And their children’s children wish to do something about it.

2018 – FIRST DAY

January 1, 2018

No one wants to put the first mistake onto a brand-new  sheet of blank paper.   No one wants to let the first drip of spaghetti fall onto a clean white shirt .    And no one wants to goof up the first day of a New Year.

But I did NOT want to get up this morning in the middle of a deep sleep,  super physically tired, feeling  like I might be coming down with something, and  feeling slightly depressed after saying good-bye to Cooper at the airport, and then facing a long drive to church in 3 degree morning temperatures    . . .

But I also didn’t want to  miss the first Mass of the year.

According to my last post:

New Year’s Resolution #3 is  foundationally related,  simply to put forth God,   God’s Christ, and God’s Church . . . . throughout this Liturgical year –  365 days, each with a reason  — 

So.    It’s January 1st.    Christendom unites in celebrating the Feast of the Circumcision,  which falls eight days after the birth of Jesus – of course.

circumcision

On its surface,  the rite of circumcision welcomes the child into the nation of Israel.   The child is an Israelite.  The child is a Jew.

A little deeper –  the separating away of  the flesh is an outward sign that  the child (the man)  is separated  away  from the world,  separated unto God.

A little deeper still,  circumcision on the eighth day is a physical symbol of the separation of a man’s heart from sin,   prefiguring  that complete cleansing from sin that will occur after his Resurrection, and thus circumcision is connected to our Judgment.

Circumcise yourselves to the Lord,      circumcise your hearts,
    you people of Judah and inhabitants of Jerusalem,
or my wrath will flare up and burn like fire     because of the evil you have done—
    burn with no one to quench it.     Jeremiah 4:4

The act of circumcision is used this way in both the New and the Old Testaments.

In the Church’s Feast of the Circumcision, we remember that Christ Himself was subjected to circumcision, not to separate himself from any  actual sin,  but to demonstrate that He has come to fulfill every part of the Law of Moses.

And furthermore, more deeply:    A small amount of blood is shed during a circumcision.     This is the first time Jesus, the Son of God, shed His blood – a foreshadowing of  pouring out His lifeblood on the Cross for all  human souls.   

One more thing happens at a Jewish circumcision:  you are given a name.

“Jesus.”    (The meaning is “Savior.)     Or:   J’shua   (  God saves.)

motherhood

Closely related to remembering the Circumcision on this day is remembering the Mother of the Child who was circumcised –   Mary,  the Mother of Jesus,  the Mother of the Son of God,  the Mother, therefore, of God.

Her   Yes   to God  (“Fiat mihi secundum verbum tuum.“);   her faith and love;  her role;  her total giving of herself;  her motherhood;  her universal motherhood, as her Son would have it from his Cross.

Yes, I’m glad I didn’t put the first stain on this bright and blank New Year.    I’m  glad – pretty joyful –  that I had gotten out of bed and driven through the deep freeze, and that I had united myself to all this in the Mass of this day.

In fact,  there’s a lot more here that can be contained in just one Mass.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ADVENT’S STATE OF THE WORLD – CHURCH DISSOLUTION

December 7, 2017

Another data dump posting –  I must clean up all the waiting stories on my PC!

December 6th:

3 gold balls

Most in Christendom used to know what these three gold balls have to do with the date Dec. 6.        (So much information has been [deliberately]  withheld from modern people!)

Many centuries ago, a good Christian man was persecuted, pursued, beaten, and threatened,  but courageously held fast to his Christian faith.    He  eventually became  a bishop in the Church, wise and good and full of compassion.   Contemporary accounts tell of his saving of three unmarried girls of a very poor family who faced a future of being sold into slavery or prostitution, as was the custom of that pagan day when a family did not have enough money for their dowries.

st nick beloved bishop

As each came to marriageable age,  Bishop Nicholas of Myra in Lycia secretly tossed a bag of gold into the house of the three young women,  thereby making it possible for them to marry with a decent dowry.

The three gold balls which we find on the signs of pawn shops, then, remind us of the generosity and kindness of St. Nicholas,  whose Feast Day is December 6th.    And of caring and giving that arises naturally from the heart of true Christians.

True Christians.  True Christianity.

A slap in the face

There is another thing St. Nicholas is remembered for:  As always,  the Church has had to fight enemies without and enemies within.    Heresies and heretics have always risen up to dilute the teaching of the Church.

“So then, brothers and sisters, stand firm and hold fast to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.”   (written by St. Paul,  II Thessalonians 2:15)   “Whether by word of mouth”  (that would be oral traditions, not written down in the Bible);   “or by letter” (that would be words of the New Testament and other early letters and sermons).

What happens when an official of the Church does not “hold fast” to the teachings that are supposed to be handed down?

Well, when St. Nicholas confronted the stubborn heretic Bishop Arius who continued to teach heresy, even at the great Council of Nicaea,  he slapped Bishop Arius in the face –  in a public affirmation of the heretical teaching!

“Is the pope Catholic?”

Ha ha ha  ha not.     Used to be a joke because the answer was so obvious.   Today, not so much.    Everyone, Catholics,  Catholic   bishops,  leaders of other religions,   and some heads of states are asking publicly what’s wrong with the present pope?

This has happened before, with a pope or a group of bishops turning away from the teachings of the Church,  but it always produces confusion and dismay, turmoil, uncertainty;  more seriously, a loss of souls.

HImmerod Abbey

Himmerod Abbey, West Germany.   Scarcely can we create a huge building like this today.    We do not have the will – and perhaps no longer the knowledge.   After existing for 900 years,  it is now abandoned and most likely will be torn down.   Demolished.   Unused. Unneeded.      Loss of souls.

A symbol of the slow dissolution the Catholic Faith.

“When (I)  the Son of Man returns,  do you think He will find faith (left)   on Earth?”  asked by Jesus, recorded in Luke 18:8.

Maybe.

But we don’t get to define our own version of faith.

Everywhere in the Western World,  there are savage attacks against the symbols of Christian faith.     In Belgium,  the Red Cross can no longer use the symbol of the cross of Jesus.     Belgium’s  Red . . . , I guess.

in France, the statue of a modernist pope who helped deconstruct the traditional Catholic Faith may stand in its public place – but the cross now  has to be taken down.

Here’s a “before”  photo.

Cross No Pope Yes

But what’s happening internally among Catholics –  the Catholics-in Name-Only?    This is a most important question because sometimes in history it was only the lay people, ordinary Christians, who “held fast” to the traditional teachings handed down from the Apostles II Thessalonians 2:15 again.

Sometimes it is lay people who must wake up!,  stand up,  slap some faces (so to speak), and promote and demand  the spiritual and moral teachings that made the Western World great and strong:

decent m ovies

Ordinary people, demanding decent movies.   

Ordinary people,  We the People,  we the lay people,  people of faith –  people who know our culture was safe and stable when Christian principles aided government policies.    (Not merely a “movie”  issue.)

Church dissolution is very real and quite advanced today,  crime is rising;  greed, bribery, and deception run the economy;   crime, greed, bribery, deception, and lust seem to motivate our political leaders;   fear and distrust grow among people in general.  Cultural Marxism has demolished all the good points of our history, leaving us disoriented and weakened, without heroes and role models.

Church dissolution has consequences.

It also has a remedy –  us –  but as Jesus asked:    “When I come back,  will I find faith anymore?” 

Bar Cross in middle

Such is the uncertain State of the World without Christian faith.

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NEW . . .

December 4, 2017

 

thinka nd do llue

Some of you may remember the old Think and Do workbooks that we had in school to help us learn how to read.      It was an excellent way to learn reading skills such as phonics,  spelling, and composition.      It taught us to take time with the details.

_________________________________

Well,  I think I’m having a “Write-and-Do”  problem –  I’ve been doing so much, I haven’t been able to slow down and write . . . .

_________________________________

Clip Advent 1   However, I cannot let the start of this New Year go by!   St. Augustine has praised God with the phrase:  “Ever Ancient, Ever New.”      Exclamation point, I think,  because as a grown man,  he was deeply astonished!  to discover the reality of God and of all His attributes as taught to Him by the Church, when Augustine lived, 1,600 or so years ago.

Ever Ancient, Ever New!       God-Most-high, Ancient of Days,   is also Ever New to every part of His creation, at every place, at every moment.    And we poor humans,    living in time and space,  must take God in each new day, each new year, and hence –  the cycles of the Liturgical Year,  which emphasizes God’s closeness and the necessity of a response from us.

Advent begins the Liturgical Year,  and so today was the first day of this new year.

For what purpose?      Advent is ad + vent;   that is, ad ( to, a movement towards)  and vent/ venire (  He comes,  He comes to,  He arrives).      God, Ancient of Days,  yet Ever New,  comes (again)  (and again and again….)   to each person, as prophesied  by the ancients,   as foretold by the great prophets,  in a threefold advent:

Always moving towards  each  human born, as individuals:

One time, moving towards us by His incarnation, taken on our human nature to teach and to act for us;

And in the future, sooner or later,   very soon or a little bit later,    to enter this world once again as Great King and Judge,  ending this world system, putting all things to rights.

Advent,  but a Threefold Advent.    Moving towards us;  unstoppable.

We have more than three thousand years of witness to this movement-towards-us, and much written down for us to read.

The first day of Advent –   time to start.     Time to learn the details.   But there may not be much time left!

 

 

THE UNKNOWN ASSUMPTION

August 15, 2017

What I wouldn’t give to  know for sure that I’d be reunited with my own son in Heaven some day!!!!!

Bar Cross in middle

 

To “assume”  may mean to make a mental leap,  an educated guess;  but it can also mean something in the physical world.   That is, the physical taking up of something.

This Assumption is largely unknown outside of Christendom,  and rapidly disappearing from even the vestiges of Christianity.    But there are those,  surprisingly many,  who still choose to recognize the Assumption on August 15th.

The Assumption of Mary:

assumption

There are so many beautiful works of art about the Assumption of Mary –  Centuries and centuries of trying to get it just right!    I like this one because it shows movement.   The Virgin’s hair seems to be moving, or flowing,   because of the upward motion,   and people seem to be reaching.

The Church doesn’t teach one way or the other whether Mary, the Mother of Jesus actually died or if she  “fell asleep”  and was taken up in to Heaven,  but it doesn’t matter.   The teaching,  based on contemporary writings, is that her body totally disappeared from the place where she lay in a deep trance?  coma?  sleep?

Everything about her physical presence is just gone.  No relics.    No pieces of cloth or hair.  No “bones.”  No vials of blood.   Nothing.  Most unusual, for even the least of the martyrs had some relics saved.    It’s what they did in those days.

The Assumption of Mary into Heaven is clear.

assumption crown

Just as we will go “some” place when we die,   so did she.

The Love of God in each lover of God unites,  and separation is only temporary.

So  just as Death will not end our love and will not separate us from our Loved Ones,  in and among this wonderful Community  of Saints,  dead and alive,  we will still love and care for each other,  and so does she . . . .

mary nearby

Heaven is not a matter of time and distance.  It’s Eternity,  an eternal now that permeates the physical world.

When Jesus (on the Cross)  gave His mother to be ours,  He means now.

 

 

“REACHING UP TO SLAP GOD’S FACE”

August 13, 2017

(Pardon the slightly blasphemous metaphor —  truly  random, rambling Sunday talk today):

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Bozeman Trail

The whole quotation (in the title of this post)  is  spoken about a man who held himself apart from the group,  his opinions,  his rights,  a little more worthy than the others, he thought:  “Look at him,”  said Rusty Karnes under his breath, “if he could reach high enough, he’d try to  slap God’s face.” 

boseman trail

(We saw people like that in Charlottesville yesterday –  people who think they are so right that they can throw rocks,  fire, pepper spray and tear gas,  and foul liquids at those whom  they disagree with and want to silence.)  

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God does NOT change.    The world doesn’t change.   Right-and-Wrong doesn’t change.   Honor doesn’t change.   Men don’t change.    And Danger doesn’t change.

bozeman exposed

Exposed on the Bozeman Trail

We’re all mighty vulnerable in this world.    Even when we band together with a few friends and relatives,  we’re always a small band facing the forces of evil and random uncertainties that the world gives us.   It’s a humbling thought.

Bozeman single

We’re alone,  with only one guidebook and only one Church —  a thought for those who don’t intend to “slap God in the face.”

Along the Bozeman Trail you had to deal with snowstorms,  thunderstorms,  lack of shelter or water, Indian attacks, accidents with your horse or wagon wheels,   assorted outlaws and thieves waiting for their chance at you,  and the possibility of losing your way and making the wrong decisions.

I’ve crossed the Bozeman Trail several times – in my car – and I plan to do it again this month.  I’ve dealt with snowstorms,  black ice,   concern about thieves or muggers (as a woman traveling alone),   strong summer winds blowing such hot air that you feel you’re being sucked dry just trying to put gas in your tank;  and I’ve made some bad decisions about which way to go – that turned out all right.    No problem with the Sioux or Pawnee, though.

B protection

Modern times,  about a century later,  there are still perils in our world, and especially now in these times we must think clearly about our “traveling” companions in life.    That is,  who and what values and what attitudes will accompany you?

You must choose your companions wisely.   You want to be sure that the ones who are with you are true and honest and have the ability to protect you.

Bozeman Wagon box

You don’t want your “traveling companions”  to be those who are so sure of themselves that they can’t see any other point of view and cannot allow anyone to think differently;  leastwise you.    You have a right to think things through in your own way.

 

Micah 6:8  —  He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.        And what does the Lord require of you?    To act justly and to love mercy   and to walk humbly  with your God.

One way of looking at it,  there are still only two postures:    (1)    “walk humbly with your God” – or “before your God,” as some versions put it,  knowing that you don’t know everything on this journey through life but you’re on a journey to meet Him and He’s given you a Guide.   Or   (2),  try to reach up to God and tell Him you’ll do it your own way,  the “slap in the face.”

A book and a little story:

Here’s the book I’m reading –   plain, clear  thinking  in it . . .

Bitterrot Book

I might not go all the way to the Bitterroots this month,  way up north in Montana,  but I’ll remember the things I’ve learned from this book.

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Here’s the story I love to tell – and you don’t have to read through it,  I just really like to think about it:

The word “faith” is important to a lot of Christians, and the Bible tells us that the Pillar and the Foundation of our faith is the Church   (not the Bible).      Took me a while,  but I studied that Church and  understood enough to know that that’s where I belonged.

So one day,   a particular holiday that we all must recognize,  I went to church,  went to Mass, along with many hundreds of others in that church building.   Standing room only by the time I got there!   That meant kneeling on the hard stone floor for quite a while.

The crowd had pushed me, elbow to elbow, next to a man whom I recognized as the governor of our state!     There he was, kneeling on the stone floor,  next to me.   Except for a nod of recognition,  I didn’t speak,  and neither did he,  because we were both silently kneeling at that time to  the Lord Jesus,  the Son of God, Who  was present on the  altar, way far away in front of the church.

kneeling

That’s it.     That’s the story.    I disagreed with that governor on a few things,  but we seemed to be both on that same  “trail” in life,  humbling ourselves before our actual, present God.

Neither of us, nor anyone in the church that day,  appeared to be telling  God that we’ll do it our own way,  reaching  up to His face and . .  .  you know.

Our souls are safer that way.

 

HUNCHBACK REDUX

April 27, 2017

 

Anybody remember who this man was?

jimmy pic

He was a celebrity, to be sure,  but he was a kind and wise fatherly figure to me . .  .

Well,  wait a minute.

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Yesterday I wrote to you about two ugly people,  hunchbacked, blind, hobbling around, apparently useless — indeed,  rejected by society.   The story of the  first one, the hunchback who lived in Notre Dame cathedral, packs a powerful punch and it takes courage to read that book.

The second hunchback is a real person,   Margaret of Castello,   and her story will fill you with outrage and pity –  and astonishment.

The first figure displayed heroic Christian courage,  constancy,  loyalty,  love and tragic action. marg  The second figure,  Margaret,  all her life showed wondrous Christian  love and forgiveness,  wisdom,  virtue,  goodness and kindness.

I wanted to revisit their stories a little bit because I’m not sure if I told their story well enough.    The one common point that these two figures have is that their interior lives were both made good and wonderful and valuable by the power of God which they allowed to work in them — in spite of great difficulties. 

Our world is full of serious, even life-threatening problems,  and maybe in our personal lives we have serious problems.    That old saying is pertinent for our difficult world:  “Change the world?  Change yourself.”

The effect that Margaret of Castello had on her surrounding world was profound and life-changing for many, many people.

Okay,  the man in the first photo above?     Jimmy Dodd!

jimmy

Even as a child I could tell that he was a good man,  a wise man,  and that he genuinely cared that we grew up to be good and caring people.  He sang to us, as he taught us and he taught us his lesson by teaching us to sing.  Here is “Doreen”  from  the original (and very good)  Mickey Mouse Club singing his song.     It’s less than a minute:

 

 

“Beauty is as beauty does.”        To the one who follows Jesus —   who knows Him and loves Him, and so therefore follows Him,  there is a real change inside,  no matter what the outside appearances are.

It comes out like this:   (Galatians 5:22,  23 ) –  “. . .   the fruit of the Spirit is charity, joy, peace, patience, benignity, goodness, longanimity, mildness, faith, modesty, continency, chastity. “

A follower of Jesus gets some “gifts” too.  Among them are wisdom and understanding, discernment.    With these we can help solve the problems around us.

Here’s Blessed Margaret of Castello now:

marg incorruptible

Her body is incorruptible after several centuries.  But it doesn’t matter what her body used to look like.

She’s no longer ugly,  hunchbacked, and blind.

She’s beautiful.

 

 

 

TIPPING POINTS TO DANGER

April 1, 2017

I think this relates to “Saturday,”   as I said last week,  the day when Christendom remembers that absolutely  desolate feeling of being without the Christ who was just crucified and placed in His tomb.

It relates because just as the first  Christians were without Christ on that day,  so are today’s cultures largely without Christ.   When a culture takes a giant step away from reason and truth,  it gets  desolation and  confusion,    barbaric violence and anarchy.

tipping egg

Before Western Civilization  (that is, Christendom)   there were centuries of barbarism.  And now,  post-Christendom,   our Western Civilization was strong enough to imitate the values of Christendom  without Christ for a while,  but it’s reaching a Tipping Point now.

tiping earth

How?  In what manner?  How soon?    I’ve looked at the idea of Tipping Points,  read about them, observed them.    It’s a complex arrangement of elements that waits for just the right circumstance – and when that last component comes into being –  boom!

What was before is now gone.

The culture has tipped irrevocably into another existence altogether.

Not all changes are Tipping Points, of course, and not all Tipping Points are called by that name.

bubble

Sometimes we call them “bubbles, ”  as though using a name for such a delicate ephemeral thing means it can’t hurt us.   (Student loan bubble,  currency bubble,  debt bubble,  derivatives bubbles,  housing bubble . . .)

Statistics,  statistics,  statistics –

tipping graph

 

Statistics can show us some things,  but it can’t tell us where on the graph we are – just that we’re getting close.     BEFORE  a Tipping Point s reached, it’s theoretically possible to pull  back from the brink,.  but I worry that it’s not likely.

Well, you get the idea;  let me just give one example of a Tipping Point that is forming,  but I don’t know what’s coming next.    What’s forming, from historical human experience,  are all the elements that will tip us over into  a deadly,  unfortunate,  all-encompassing violent Revolution.    All it will take is one surprising, unthinkable act of violence against,  say,  our president.

Celebrities, comedians,  and the actors and actresses who read news scripts and give us their opinions in front of  a camera have commonly and frequently called for the as^ sas sin nation  of the president.    It’s actually NOT funny and it’s not really “forgivable.”

How much of this can our society take?

The president has been in the crosshairs of the extreme left   (the progressives,  the radical democrats the socialists)   for quite some time now.

Even before the inauguration,  the leftists speculated and fantasized about his death.  Even  television  “news”  cable channels were  having irresponsible  discussions about “what would happen if (the president was dead and who woudl take over the government?”      And to justify making such a suggestion, the leftists are  speaking of “Trump Carnage”   and predicting that Trump will cause the “extinction of mankind.”       This is silly –  but it has also successfully placed this vocabulary into the minds of rootless,  unstable people.

Here are some of these unstable people acting out what they are hearing is now  “possible,”  acceptable behavior:

In recent  news,  shots were fired on Capitol Hill.
A day or two ago, a woman jumped over the fence around the White House.
 Two secret service people took pictures of the president’s young son – while he was sleeping.    (?)
A secret service  person parked her car in a Brooklyn neighborhood,  did not lock her door,  and left her laptop inside as she walked away, so that it could be stolen.      (?)
Another  man jumped over the fence and was on the front porch of the White House for 16 minutes before anyone did anything.  (? )   According to reports he lingered around , looked into windows, stopped to tie his shoes . . . .
How many fence jumpers have there been?    Again,  recent  news –  the alarm on the fence surrounding the White House had its sensors removed — by the secret service.    (?)  The alarm sensors had been removed!
An intruder was found inside Pres.  Trump’s  Florida home (at Mara-Lago.   (?)             There are numerous reports of air space violation over his home,  planes and drones . . . .
There was a female secret service person who publicly stated that she would not defend the president, as is her first duty.
The secret service is not using its dogs anymore to help them secure the White House grounds.

What’s happening?     How many “intruders”  have tried to get into Trump Towers?  how about the one who was found with a pistol inside there?   

The narrative against the president is becoming increasingly outrageous.   The Bill Maher popular celebrity:    “It Looks Like Russia ‘Installed’ ‘Trump and His Crime Family’ ‘To Loot and Destroy America.”

That’s not funny, Mr. Comedian.     That’s incendiary.       That’s marginalizing and demonizing a man –  justifying an  extreme response in the minds of some,  and it’s putting the president of the United States in jeopardy.

Given the daily all-pervasive violence Americans generally experience in their favorite television programs,  local news programming,   and careless office gossip,  violence-as-a-solution is becoming less and less surprising,  more and more commonplace.

tipping glass

It’s almost inevitable that we will reach some kind of  Tipping Point.

And we can   “cry over spilt milk”  but we can’t put it back in the glass.

As a teacher with “experience,”  as a mother with “experience,”   as a historian with a lot of study under my belt,   it seems to me that we might not be able to stop what we’ve started.   Not enough of our society will return to the values that built UP civilization in order to prevent the complete pulling DOWN of this civilization.

Pessimistic?   Yeah,  well,  there’s always hope.   Right?   No.   Not on our own.

A Saturday without Christ;  a Saturday with Jesus “dead and gone” into his Tomb:    It could have turned out badly for the first Christians.

Not on our own can we save this culture.