Archive for the ‘Christian Analysis’ category

GOOD ADVICE FROM O.W.N.?

August 8, 2019

One-Third/One-Third/One Third

 

PHARISEES 1

When the highest religious authority in the days of Jesus was trying to calm down those who were  protesting Jesus and calling for His death,  this religious leader said,”Well, it’s better that one man die in place of the whole nation getting in trouble with the Romans.”*

PHAR THOUGHTFUL

He had no idea what he was saying.   He had no idea that putting one Man to death to save all the others is exactly what he was doing when  he advocated sending Jesus to Calvary.

Honestly,  people don’t change.  The human experience doesn’t change.

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OBSERVING THE DOWNWARD PATH OF OUR CULTURE

OWN

It is reported today that Oprah Winfrey, multi-billionaire, at the top of her huge media corporation called OWN, has surveyed the wretched state of America’s social scene, particularly after these recent mass shooting. .  What she seems to see is  a broken and non-functioning culture that is giving rise to terrible acts of public violence.

She may be one of the celebrity elites who fear the “angry mob” will turn on them if things get too much out of control.    (Oh,  we’re the “angry mob,”  dontcha know.)  But whatever she fears.  I think this fear has caused her to look deep down into her past, her roots,  when she was a young Christian girl, learning timeless lessons in Sunday School.

Here is her conclusion for turning society in a new and better direction:

“I think what people are missing is a core moral center.    “Churches used to do that,” the OWN boss continued. “It was a central place you could come to and there was a core center of values about a way of living and being in the world. Until we can return to that, however that is, in whatever form, we will continue to be lost.”

This was spoken on “Extra,”  a television program perhaps, and in answer to a question by someone named Renee Bargh, if you want to look it up.

ch in st

Of course, you have to be careful where you look for your “core center of values,”   because many a modern church has left the pathway of Christianity and is trying to build a social justice utopia here on earth.   You won’t get many “timeless values”  there;  you’ll just get a church that sounds like the society it’s in.

 

THE REMEDY FOR SOCIETY

Nevertheless,   Oprah is a good one-third right.    The values of the traditional Christian church used to provide a strong and sure moral compass for our country.

(Bring these traditional Christian values out from under the dark clouds!    Re-learn and live by the Two Great Commandments,   by the Ten Commandments,  by the one new commandment given by Jesus to His disciples — and do it all because you know, deep down, that there is a Living God..)

Another one-third — maybe Oprah can’t help but think in terms of a large global socialist regime that governs the world “peacefully.”      Maybe she means laws must be passed to put morality back into citizens.    That would require a VERY  big State!   And it wouldn’t work anyway.

(It’s incumbent  upon each individual living in a society to improve his own moral actions and make  better the world in his immediate proximity.)

And the last one-third implied in her statement —     “Until we can return to that, however that is, in whatever form, we will continue to be lost.”    So what does she mean by:   “. . . however that is, in whatever form . . .”      Doesn’t sound like the church of her youth is necessarily what she is referring to, and that leaves a very big gap for a reinterpretation of Christian values.

SOMETHING WE CAN DO:

We don’t need a modern reinterpretation . . .   What we need is a return of Christian values . . . one by one of us.

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.*    Gospel of John  11:50   “Don’t you know it is better for one person to die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed?”

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“FAUNA” IN THE AMAZON

August 1, 2019

Get  REAL:     The Amazon, no Garden of Eden.

Yeah —  deadly bugs, spiders, beetles,  snakes, violence,  superstition, existential fear,  idolatry,  mayhem, cannibalism and murder.

But these jungle people have one big admirer,   the pope.

To quote one commenter:

“Tell us, O wise one, what the spirits of the jungle are teaching us.”   —

Amazonizn

The instigator of the “Amazon Synod”

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He is focused on the Amazon — and “what we should learn from it.”       Some have asked whether he is senile.   Some have asked whether he is a Catholic.   Some have asked whether he is merely in error.   Some have asked whether he is maliciously trying to am green snakechange what cannot be changed,  that is, perennial and unchanging Church teaching from the time of Christ.

All have agreed — ALL who are paying attention — that the man is a communist . . .  the end goal of socialism,   the natural result of Global Socialism left unchecked.

 

The man, trained in the error of Liberation Theology,  is in a confused daze of intellectual relativism,   believing in the  moral equivalency of all cultures and  confusing essential equality of human beings with the goal of accidental equality of human beings.

am red black snake

There never can be a manifestation of the accidental equality of human beings, because we all differ in ability, intellect, effort,   circumstances of birth, personality and character — and we differ greatly in our willingness to receive (and hence give)  the Love of God.    Willingness.

To force the accidentals of equality on society is to injure that society – to wound it to the point of nonfunctioning.     No matter how hard the present pope and his ilk try,    Utopia will never be reached by the efforts of “good, well-meaning,  big-hearted men.”       am beetle The non-existent Paradise of the Amazon is a cruel illusion.

But there will be an attempt to impose it on humanity.  And it will look like it’s successful, for a while.

I believe, along with many observers, that there is more danger in this present and upcoming Amazon Synod than good people realize.

am spider hand

The danger is as large and as real as the Amazon spiders.

The danger is as large as an Amazonian leech:

Am leech

And as deadly.   The book  Lost City of Z is a true account of explorers, more than a  hundred years ago, who got financial backing for an archeological expedition to search for a rumored ancient city in the midst of the Central American jungle.   Not all came back from the jungle, and some who did carried a mosquito-borne illness that ended their lives within a few years.

Physical  danger ,  likewise a spiritual danger.

am jaguarThis Synod is dangerous because it looks to those primitive people who live in the Amazon for spiritual direction.

I don’t “fear” there are dangers to Christian teaching;  I  know there are dangers lying within this Synod, as the dangers of a rumbling volcano, spewing ashes and burning lava.

Oh, the Amazon is beautiful when viewed from your armchair,  presented by lush, colorful nature programs or delivered by the glossy photographs in National Geographic.    But for the people who have to live there in primitive conditions,  it is a place of Death:

Am death

50 % of young men will die of homicide.

AM fifty percent

Of course their children are darling and precious.    They are young human beings.

Am little ones

But notice what these little boys are carrying?

Am breath of death

They are carrying the “Breath of Death” —  the blowgun, smeared with poison.

They will grow up to be hunters.  Warriors.

Am hunters

Perhaps the pope who is leading the Newe Version of the Catholic Church doesn’t know this about the primitive people of the Amazon.  Perhaps he really thinks they are living in harmony with Nature.

Am relig   Perhaps he thinks their religions give them special insight into “living in harmony with the planet.”

Because he is saying that the Church could learn a thing or two about marriage (and the  acceptance of  re-marriage and adultery and fornication and harmful sexual initiation rites and priests and priestesses . . .)

He sees the practices of the native Amazon women something to be admired.
After all,  when a woman has a baby,  she can choose to bury alive her newborn infant if it is not the right sex or if it not perfect in her eyes.   That’s power!

So the upcoming Amazon Synod is going to discuss the changing of the Church’s teachings about the “role of women” in the Church;  ordination of female “deacons”;  priestly ordination . . .   the acceptance of alternative ideas about sexual morality . . .

Yep.  Those Amazons can teach us a lot!    They’re not like us.  We’re not like them.   And all those who are ignorant of actual life in the Amazon can be easily led to believe that they have some superior way of life.

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An interesting Coda:       Anthropologists now believe that many of the jungle peoples of Brazil are the descendants of the great cultures of Maya, perhaps some Aztec.   Remember them?   Remember what they did to European explorers?    (No?  Plucking living hearts out,  torture to capture the spirits;  beheadings and death, eating the flesh of the Europeans and other enemies.)   A few migrated deeper into the jungles of Central and South America.

They have now devolved from a once strong and forceful culture into  these benighted primitives, still, surviving,  still violent and superstitious, still deadly to visitors,  but very weak.

Bar Cross in middle

 

Don’t want our culture to become more “non-functioning”  than it already is ?   What to do about this upcoming attempted doctrine-changing Synod? 

How about a quote from an authentic Catholic pope?

“Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it; and indeed to neglect to confound evil men, when we can do it, is no less a sin than to encourage them.”

Resist!   Speak up.   Speak out.

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BLAKE TO THE RESCUE

July 2, 2019

 Yeah, well,   I guess I don’t need “a few days” to get better, emotionally, as I ended the last posting. I am strong. I won’t die of grief or fade away. I will live to experience more grief in the future.

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INTELLECTUALIZING THE GRIEF

My two favorite poets: Blake and Yeats. It’s time for Blake.   Poet and illustrator.

The House of Death 1795-c. 1805 by William Blake 1757-1827

Adam and Eve  become dead, by William Blake

William Blake, one of the most gifted poets the English-speaking world has, understood the supreme tragedy of death. He was deeply attached to his younger brother, who was sickly.  Blake was there when his little brother, Robert, died of tuberculosis. At the moment the pain and difficult breathing overcame his brother’s body, Blake saw something that transformed his understanding of the world. He saw his brother become infused with great joy, great happiness, and he saw what he called his brother’s spirit rise up, attracted to the Source of that joy, rising up further and further . . . .
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DEATH, AGAIN
So, a good night’s sleep and a retreat into intellectualizing has shielded me from the worst of it. That, and being distracted by the surprising, horrifying news that a young man named “Joe” has died, just a couple days ago.  June 29th.   Maybe murder; but maybe, maybe not.   36 years old.
I understand that family’s grief.
Though I don’t know Joe personally, I’ve had him in my house, so to speak, many times a week, for several years now. He and his father host a show that reflects the results of their research into current events. I’ve never known them to be wrong about their information , although their revelations are sometimes “unwanted” – if you want to live a tranquil life.
They are investigative journalists and their show has been removed from YouTube along with the many other non-mainstream news sources.  Here’s a partial list:

CENSOR all these
“The Purging of Truth”  

Too bad, because every single mainstream entertainment-news media has been wrong, and proven wrong frequently, even our local news readers who blithely read their scripts to us, completely unaware that what they are saying is either not true or is a partial truth that is meant to allow an agenda to go forward.
Joe and father Doug   (so some of you will know whom I’m talking about now)  were an antidote to that. I think their religion is wrong, it’s inadequate, somewhat non-factual, but their observations of our world are pretty accurate.    I’m not necessarily a “fan” of their show, I won’t promote it by name, but I’m interested in the topics they cover, from time to time.
netf  When you take someone into your home like that, they do become a part of your life. It’s the reason why you watch your favorite television show. It’s the reason I and many people watch “series’ on any streaming service, Netflix, Amazon, YouTube. You watch the series that has people you become familiar with and you come to like and care about.

But now Joe is dead and gone from this present world.

Blake’s stunning drawing that I show above illustrates the tragedy and finality of death as it came to Adam and Eve after they rejected God.   Whatever you think of Adam and Eve, we are all in Adam and Eve.

sin kills
We would not have done differently.    Romans 5:12 Wherefore as by one man sin entered into this world, and by sin death; and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

 

THE END OF DEATH
But of course God, Who is Love itself and has delighted in mankind (Proverbs 8:31) did not leave us alone, without a remedy. Paul goes on to say that : But not as the offence, so also the gift. For if by the offence of one, many died; much more the grace of God, and the gift, by the grace of one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.
As horrible as death is, the gift of God, is eternal life, a million thousand times better than the life we know now. He came here to overcome Death itself, and we are not permanently dead.
So we can’t get rid of death. We can’t avoid death. We just have to deal with the death of our loved ones, and more significantly, our own death. That’s our primary task; our reason for being here: to find our way to God’s grace.

Bar Cross in middle
No fake news.
No fake religions!

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QUINCE QUICHE AND SCAPES

June 25, 2019

“The glories of small town living”

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“Quince Quiche and Scapes”?  Oh,  that was Sunday dinner . . .

Jesus,  when He lived His short time here on earth  (It’s all short:  33 years, 63 years, 93 years –  it all seems like a short lifetime) —  He was immersed in the things of the Natural world,  intensely and acutely aware of the beauty and orderliness,  the Providence of God to direct all things for the good of all things, and the power of the natural world to overwhelm us from without and yet to  penetrate our senses and direct us to a new perspective.

Jesus spoke of the fields of grain which feed us, good bread, good olives and grapes and figs;   the water in rain and storms, in rivers and seas;  the skies above, night and day.  He spoke in parables of the animals and the birds, the chicks which need protection against the mighty eagles overhead, the flowers, like the lilies, which are breathtakingly beautiful, should we only have time to  look at them closely and contemplate how it is that they are that way.

He told us of the “pearl” of great price, and we wonder, what did He know of the deep, mysterious beauty of a perfect pearl …

He was always aware of “nature” around Him, of its testimony to His Heavenly Father and to Providence and the lessons it can give us, leading us back to our Creator, the Good God.

Here was my “pathway,”   the road I took on Sunday, into our wee little village.

FM 390 Greentunnel

After Mass on Sunday, Son texted me to remind me that “today” is the day of our local Farmers Market.  It’s something I wanted to go to for a long time, but . . .  you know . . .  I have to get up for church when I’m in the middle of a deep, deep sleep, then I go, then I come back, and the best thing ahead of me is a little nap to finish up my night’s sleep.

But — the text;  and so I went.   Left my quiet Sunday home and drove down through this green tunnel of summer trees.    And, yes, I thought of how lucky I am to have to drive through this.

(Anyone ever read the old classic:  “Green Mansions“?     Hauntingly beautiful,  like that.)

It’s a small town,  but big enough for a nice Farmers Market:

FM 380 SECOND the WHOLE

While walking towards it,  I stopped with several other people to enjoy this:

FM 390 Dog and Donkey

I think we were attracted by the innocent intensity of that dog’s fascination with the two donkeys.  All three animals stayed very still and silent for many, many minutes, just watching each other.

All those minutes,  it was somehow very moving.   Concentration.    A lesson for me to stay focused on where I was and the opportunities available to a watchful person who is Present where she’s at.  (Me, possibly.)

FM 290 cheese table

There were many, many interesting displays.   The man in the hat is selling duck eggs and chicken eggs to Son.   Think that’s not interesting?  You should have heard him tell us about the ins and outs of producing good, healthy eggs.    And the cheese table beyond him?    Who would have guessed all that goes into cheese making, unpasteurized healthy, enzyme-filled cheese of endless variety and flavor!

These vendors are enthusiastic about what they’re selling, generous with their time and information.  Son bought some smoked string cheese, among others, and I bought some Basil Jack, which proved, a few hours later,  to be a serendipitous choice.

If there’s one thing the natural world offers us, it’s Time.     It’s Time to think and to perceive and to grow more deeply inside ourselves.   

It wasn’t all food that was offered.    There were several homemade articles, including a table of fine and beautiful, soaps.  Soap is not something I usually think too much of, but after hearing the soapmakers,   I took a second look – or had second thoughts.

Some of the soaps looked like works of art.    Pretty flowers.   Some of the soaps were “felted.”  Actual fuzzy felt around the soap.   And most made with milk or cream.  Who would have guessed the many advantages of using milk in soap?

FM 370 goat recipes Vicki

At this particular table,  they made their soap with goat’s milk, and they even had a photo of their goats:

FM the goats

 

I was feeling adventurous,  so I bought some scapes.

FM the scapes

Once I smelled their wonderfully mild-garlicky fragrance,  I knew I could cook “something:”  with them.

They’re harvested somewhere in the garlic-growing process.

 

You cut them up and saute them until they’re soft.    Or softer.    I never got them very soft.

 

FM 390 Scapes 2 in a pan

Then you can add cashews,  basil leaves, Parmesan cheese –  I forget what else.  You can mash them into a pesto,  but I just used them as a side dish.    I had Parmesan cheese on hand,  but for once in my life my kitchen was not growing basil,  so I used that fortunate purchase of Basil Jack –  which worked out very well.

FM 370 Scapes Dish.jpg

Quite tasty.

The “quince quiche”  part in this post’s title?  It’s in the photo of the scapes in the pan,  that little round thing by the pan’s handle.   I bought three,  they’re not homemade,  they weren’t so tasty.    I was hopeful,  but — too much crust and way too little quince.  But, okay,  I tried them.

We had Sunday dinner afterwards and rounded out our food from the Farmers Market with Japanese yams,  all mashed and buttery;  some homemade coleslaw,  and some Chilean sea bass (a personal indulgence of mine).

Dessert was freshly purchased strawberries for a strawberry shortcake.

I’m not a gourmand!    I don’t always think so much about the food I’m eating,  but once in a while, it’s good to eat the kind of food that reminds you  of the natural world around us.

Our food doesn’t have to come in cellophane packages!

 

WHAT TO DO WHEN IT’S OVER

June 6, 2019

That’s   anything.      What To Do When Anything Is Over.

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Hey!  Got enough to do in your life?

CW 2

 

We’ve all experienced the end of something,  a certain period of time ends.

CW 13

Good or bad.   It’s over.    Your attention has been taken up with certain activities or issues, good or bad or “indifferent,”  but then it comes to an end.   And we find that Life still goes on.

 

CW 14

 

We can choose whether we go on, too.  Or not.

CW 7

 

But eventually  we have some biological urge to get on with things.  To “move on,” we say.

CW 17

How do we get started . . .  again?

What’s needed for a restart?

CW 18

Well, if it’s “company,”  overnight, out-of-state company,   there is much preparation,  then you oversee the “company,”  and then they leave.

Cooper was here!!!   My grandson from the High Sierras.    Here he is wearing the sweater I made him.

Cooper Sweater.jpg 380

(Modeling the sweater.  Being goofy.)   It’s the one with the red cardinal tweeting out the word  “Joie!”     Glad it fits him.

CW 8

It was a wonderful rather surprise visit from Daughter and Cooper.   Lots of fun –  I might blog our activities soon.  Constant activity, fun, laughter, noise.      Sure kept me busy for this past week.

And then it was over.

But more serious things, bad things can happen too.     And then they will over too.  Things will work out one way or the other, and then you clean up the loose ends:  Clean the house;  clean up the leftovers;  clean the carpeting (sometimes necessary!) ;  clean up the toys and all the other objects that have left out or moved around;  clean the car . . .

Oh, yes,  the car

CW 3

These photos today are from inside my car, inside a car wash.

CW 1

They wave you on in,   and somehow,  if you follow their wiggling fingers, right or left,  then your tires  connect to something — and you’re committed.

It’s going to be messy,  loud, wobbly, bewildering,  but you know it’s all for the scrubbing and the rubbing and the cleaning.

Why all this?  because after having company,  you clean.  After some issue in your life is over, there is “cleaning” to do.    After some period of time is ended,  before you can go on effectively,  you must clean up the debris:    organize your thoughts, remember,  reflect,  learn,  discard certain moments and  erroneous interpretations, learn anything you can from the experience. . .

. . . .   That’s the physical and the mental, and then if you’re human,  clean up the spiritual aspect:  give thanks, give thanks for the people you know,  the ones you’ve  just dealt with;  forgive yourself;  forgive any others, go to confession, if you must;    and commend everything you can think of to God’s care.

Then relax!   It’s over.

CW 20 end

It’s your turn to leave that period of self-reflection and restoration.   This is how you grow!    Life is a series of moments that are  Teaching Stations.    You experience, hopefully fearlessly facing the challenge, and then it’s over.

It’s behind you.    Time to resume your life, living in each present moment as it comes.

CW 22 clean car

 

I drove away and put that red-roofed Car Wash behind me . . .    Always remembering that newly beautiful blue car in the review mirror, ready to go !

Ugh!   I’m still cleaning up.

There’s  always  so much to do!

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ABSENT BY TIMIDITY

April 29, 2019

This is an Afterthought to Easter Week.  Life goes on, people still exist after an event,  and the Apostles chosen by Jesus still existed after Easter.   What about them?

Eleven Apostles were absent at the Crucifixion.   Ten Apostles were absent at the empty tomb.    They were afraid and timid at the Crucifixion.  They were too disbelieving and timid to run to the empty tomb.

Absent because of their timidity, no matter what caused them to be timid.

Timid, but not rejected.

12

I chose this image of Tissot’s  famous painting of Jesus exhorting his disciples because it’s rather fuzzy and indistinct,  just like our memories of these men.   We don’t know them too well, even though their work established the Christian church throughout the Middle East, and Turkey, and Europe .

In those days,  a teacher  (a  rabbi)  was not “distant”  and outside of the family or group, appearing only when needed to  “teach.”       A teacher was part of the family  —  intimate,   caring,  loving;  watchful.     The Disciples  (the students)  followed their teacher, lived with their teacher,  followed and imitated their teacher, walked, slept, and ate with Him.

The Great Teacher did not reject the students He loved.

Let’s see those absent Disciples from the view point of Jesus while He was still on the Cross:

12 tissot

Looking down from the Cross

Bartholomew (Nathaniel)  was not there.   Jesus remembers that Bartholomew “had no guile” – an honest, faithful Israelite.  Nothing more.   But Bartholomew had recognized Jesus as the “King of Israel.”   Honest and clear thinking.

Philip, not there;   Philip had just the night before said “Rabbi,  show us the Father!”   And then as Jesus was answering him,  there was most likely Philip’s long gaze into the eyes of Jesus where he found infinite, patient Love,   flowing through the eyes of Jesus.

Matthew,  the tax collector, who left his lucrative occupation at the first call of Jesus – and then held a banquet in honor of the Rabbi who had shown such love to him.

Thaddeus — Jude Thaddeus  (Judas) —  whose name is so close to the traitor’s name;   John makes sure to notice  this was “not the Iscariot”  but rather a friend of Jesus with faith so strong that he would one day be  known as the patron saint of “things almost despaired of.”     He was timid on this day, but the love of Jesus continued to pour  into him and strengthen him, endowing him with the ability to bring about mighty miracles.   Confident in Jesus’ love right up until his (terrible) martyrdom.

Simon the Zealot.  Not much is said about him, but since he earned the title “the zealot,”  we can imagine he zealously and enthusiastically embraced  first a political movement which promised victory on earth and then after experiencing the Infinite Love of God, he devotes himself to the Gospel which offers Infinite Love to all, forever.

Love in.  Love out.

James, the relative of the Lord, perhaps also growing up with him in Nazareth.    What astonishment he must have felt as he came to realize that this friend and relative not only had something special about Him,  but was actually the long-promised Messiah.  What love he must have witnessed within his family.   What love he saw confirmed as he followed Jesus around.    And what love he lived within during his manhood, as he provided leadership to the church in Jerusalem — until the religious leaders threw him off  a high roof and then clubbed him to death.

James, one of the sons of Zebedee, abruptly left his father’s fishing nets when he heard the involving voice of Jesus calling him.   Returning that love, this James said he was willing to drink the cup that Jesus said He was going to drink.   “I’ll share it with you!”  And Jesus, lovingly, sorrowfully,  replied,  “Yes, you will.”

Peter was not there at the foot of the Cross.    Peter, the alert,  intelligent, strong fisherman,  whose love for Jesus led him to moments of  unrestrained, unthinking enthusiasm,  yet he was taught individually by Jesus and forgiven for all,  even for his confused night of fear when timidity kept him silent as Jesus was being threatened and mocked.  Patience and forgiveness from Jesus were apparent before, during, and after the Crucifixion.

Andrew, the brother of Peter, who wondered if “anything good could come out of Nazareth” and then followed Jesus to his home along the banks of the Jordan and discovered Eternal Love walked among them.  Later Andrew would bring the Greeks, Gentiles,  during that last Passover week.    And yet Andrew could not bring himself to the Calvary.

These flawed, weak, uncomprehending Disciples were deeply loved by Jesus,  never rejected.    “…He loved them to the end…”

In spite of their occasions of timidity,   Jesus Christ still used them.    And He still loved them.    He was still at “their right elbow” through the Spirit which was sent to them as they spread out all over to teach people about Jesus —  and eventually, down through the centuries, to teach us.     They were good examples of faithful Christians because they were like us.

Timid sometimes.   Timid, but not rejected.

If,  for a Christian,   “every Sunday is a little Easter, ”   we can look to the Disciples who were not there at the foot of the Cross.   We can  call down on us the love they discovered and live in this love, obey the Commandment to “love one another.”   It never stops.

We are never rejected.

 

 

HOLY THURSDAY/GOOD FRIDAY

April 19, 2019

creation

“And the evening and the morning were the first day.”   The “calendar” given in the Bible marks the beginning of the new 24-hour day period at evening (or dusk) (or sundown) (or when the first three stars of the night are discernible). And the day ends after daylight  as the sun goes down again.

Easy to remember. Your Jewish friends go to Temple on “Friday night” for Sabbath services, which as we know, Sabbath is “Saturday.”

But all this is important because it underscores the fact that the ACT of the Last Supper and the ACT of the crucifixion were all performed in one 24-hour period; that is, they are the proceedings of one day.

That which was broken at the table at the beginning of the day is the Same Body which was broken as the day ended.

THE LAST SUPPER:

Jesus gathered with his disciples for his last meal. Was it a “seder” meal?    I don’t know. The Passover meal had changed over the centuries, and even of what we know of it that might have happened around Jesus’ time, the Bible does not record any of the Passover meal elements during that Last Supper.

But it was a solemn meal, just before the Passover, and it was given lasting importance because there Jesus blessed the bread and wine and made it – in essence – His body. He indicated that this is the way He would dine (or commune) intimately with us until He returns.

Bread and Wine

Some small details have changed since then, but not the meaning, the substance, the Essence.

That is why the brave French fireman Fr. Fournier was so keen to remove the Blessed Sacrament from the burning Notre Dame, at peril of his own life. “Rivers of fire cascading down the walls,” he said. “It was like a vision of Hell.”

One day.     Bread broken.  Body broken.    One significant Act of God.
GETHSEMANE

A word that means “winepress.” 

It’s where we take the grapes and crush them with heavy weights, so that their “blood,” their juice,  runs down – and can be used by mankind.

Gethsemane

That winepress was located in the Garden near the Mount of Olives. It’s where Jesus went to pray in  the night before His crucifixion.     Alone, ahead, apart from his disciples.

What else went into the Garden with Jesus?

Ever do anything wrong? Ever sin? Ever say an unkind, thoughtless word? Ever pass up a chance to help someone? Ever go a whole day without praying and praising your Creator? Ever say bad things about the Church? …. et cetera  … et cetera …

All those things are in there, with Jesus… crushing Him under the weight . . . .
VERDICT

“Every which way from Sunday,” as our American saying goes. Jesus was tried and scrutinized and accused and found guilty and condemned to death by religious people, by local government, and by the global empire.

Who killed Jesus?     Everyone.
GOLGOTHA
Calvary is Golgotha, when you use the local term: “place of the skull.” (Whose skull? According to local tradition of hundreds of generations, Adam’s skull.    Right there somewhere under the Cross of Christ —

golg crack

Under Mt. Calvary 

And that place kind of looked like a skull from a certain angle.)    “Adam” – the word for mankind, the word for humans, the word for our beginnings.

skull icon

 

And there on the Cross at Calvary, Jesus, cursed by all (by God’s command: “Cursed is anyone who hangs on a Tree.” ) Jesus was cursed for Sins and died.

He died — to the shock and sorrow and grief of all who knew Him.

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(Tomorrow/Holy Saturday:    the grieving aloneness, groping for answers . . .)

MYSTERY AND LIGHT – NO GOOD-BYES

February 16, 2019

I’m not ready to leave the subject of Mystery-and-Light;  too many more things to say!  And because of that,  here are some seed thoughts for you,  so to speak.

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In the last post I said:  Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

How many are the human souls who will say a permanent good-bye to us at the end of life!   What a sadness!.  What a horror!!   A horror because the permanent good-byes are given to those who choose not  the Light,  and  who then  will exist in a horror of Darkness that we cannot now fully imagine.

But Light is eternal,  and Light is eternal Life.   Light is from the Creator,  it is the Creator:      “He was the Light of the world,  and His light was the Life of men.”

Here is some photo-miscroscopy for you:

1 light conception

We are told there is a  “flash” of light at the moment of conception; at the moment that the sperm enters the egg,  whoosh!  However brief and instantaneous it is,  it does occur.

 

1 cell suicide.jpg

We are told that when  our immune system causes a cancer cell to self-destruct —  whoosh!    Again,  a flash, a release of energy.

 

1 destroy tumors

Light has been used (in a laboratory)  to destroy tumors.

And we can see a strand of DNA in a powerful microscope.

1 dna

Bathed in light (energy).

 

Light is Life.     

I don’t know how many of you have read the classic book which describes the qualities of our existence in the next  Life;   Heaven, that is,  for those who have chosen the Light of Christ.

(Now,  this is Light as a Catholic is instructed,  not a New Age concept of “Peace and Light.”   Not the secular-atheistic concept of “Enlightenment.”   It’s not some esoteric and nebulous Nirvana.     As Christians are instructed, the Light is from God,  the Light is God,  the Light is a Person entering this world,  giving and bringing Light.)

That Light raised himself from the dead and is able to raise each of us, in that same manner.  We will have new resurrected bodies with new qualities,  reserved until then.

(in no special order):

.  1,   Impassibility  –  our new bodies won’t change,  won’t be subject to pain or aging and decay

. 2,   Immortality –  our new bodies will never die

. 3,   Agility –  our new bodies won’t be subject to the limitations of time and space

. 4,   Understanding –  our new bodies will have the full use of our intellectual capacity which will enable us to fully  know and to  understand  everything  around us – as far as “humanly” possible.   We will still be human;  merely human.  We will know ourselves as ourselves – and we will know others.

.4,    Glory –  our new bodies will have Beauty and Glory,  which is the reflection of the Glory of God,  which manifests as pure and radiant Light.

We won’t have “light bodies.”   We’ll have human bodies filled with the Light of Pure Love, which is God.

Eternal Light.   No good-byes to the people around you,  no good-byes to the glorious angelic beings;  no good-byes to the One who loves you with a powerful and eternal Love.

No ending.

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The “classic book”  which discusses these matters, based upon solid Church teaching is called:  The Happiness of Heaven,  by Fr. J.  Boudreau.  Easily available on Amazon.

Also helpful is a passage in the gospel of John, first chapter.  (John 1:1-14)

What will you think,  what will you feel, at the moment you realize you are dying?  This is it!  I’m leaving this world and going . . . .      so, another helpful book is called Preparation for Death,  by  St. Alphonsus Liguori   (Don’t get the one by the 20th century author.   It has little depth of understanding.)

The Sinner’s Guide is helpful.   It’s by Louis of Granada and will guide you away from the darkness.

PURPLE cloud

Lent is approaching!  

We cannot stop our calendar! 

Time to choose a good book to read.    One that is profitable for your soul.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MYSTERY AND LIGHT

February 15, 2019

 

Light will in one future instant say a final and eternal Good-bye to all who choose Darkness.

____________________________________________

The End of the Mystery is a mystery in itself.   

A well-crafted mystery is a pleasure to read.

ag christie vic

A really good whodunit engages the reader and draws him into the story — temporarily,  because then when the mystery is resolved, the story is over;    and then the reader sits back with satisfaction knowing, now, how it all worked together.

ag jek

The best authors have given the reader little facts along the way that only as the story progresses does the reader begin to perceive the smallest facts as clues.

ag writer

The author must have great skill to weave those important facts into the narrative, being fair to his readers but respecting the reader enough to require him to use his intellect.

Wherever we are confronted with a mystery,  the closer we look at it,  the more we see there are facts and clues that lead us to greater and greater understanding.

Light is like that.  It’s actually the greatest Mystery we have.   We know  it when we see it.   (Or do we?)   We can give it a definition.  (Or can we?)   We know what it does.  (Or we know some of its effects.)

We even know its origin:  “Let there be Light.”    It isn’t that at the first moment of Creation some kind of “light bulb” was turned on so we can see what the Creator is doing.

Instead . . .

ag big bang

. . .  energies,  forces,  vibrations,  frequencies began where there were no “disturbances”  before.    It began in an instant.

Such,   let’s call them energy frequencies —  such energy  frequencies  moved “outwards,”  became organized  into irregular areas and forms,  some slowed down and coalesced into what we call high energy particles, which built atoms,  some of which became matter,  plain old material that we can touch and feel and use.

af particles

We’ve read the clues, we’ve learned some facts,  but much of this is still unknown to us,  still undiscovered.  The whole truth about Light remains a mystery.

It’s exciting and very interesting to some people.   They want to keep on learning more about this thing we call Light, observing nature, examining science books,  research, studies,  results of experiments at CERN — the nuts and bolts of hard science.

Grandson Cooper will be receiving this book soon –

a book moon

–   from “Science Grandma.”   Ha!     I gave him a seven-inch diameter moon for Christmas,  a night light,  which he likes very much.    Little by little during his lifetime he will pick up “clues”  about the mystery of Light.

But apart from hard science,   we can approach this mystery of Light by examining the Equivalent of Light –  an equivalence that exists in Reality.     The Person who said “Let there be Light”  actually called Himself  the Light, our Light.  “I am the Light of the world.”

eden 2

That Light was all over the first home of the first humans, whatever that was;   it was still there after the Fall which darkened both the world and the intellect of man;  it was there choosing and enlightening one portion of the human race, one race, one tribe;   and then later,  the Light came to enlighten all the rest of mankind.

Now the Light was identified as “the Light to Lighten the Gentiles.”

That Light had been long-promised, and It was  the long-promised  Messiah sent by the Creator,  the long-promised Christ.      He came to “enlighten” us about the nature and reality of God, giving us more facts and clues about our Creator.   Infinite.    Infinite Power.    Infinite Love.     Infinite Fatherly Caring.

The Christ chose a small group of men to teach His mysteries to, as many as they could endure.

a transf

 

And then Christ returned to that Father, leaving us enough information, enough clues,  so that we can now call the Creator “the Father of Lights.”     (James 1:17)     He used that small group of men to set up a living system,  a Church,  to preserve and  transmit that information, and it has endured for almost 2,000 years.

The more we seek and search,  the more facts and clues we learn about how this all works.    We were not abandoned,  the Light can live in us – if we so indicate our desire – and then Christ, the Light of the World, will return to us.

a return

What will that look like?

Now  the End of all this  Cosmic Mystery is a mystery in itself.       Some humans will recognize and choose to live in that Light.   Some,  many more,  will choose to continue on in darkness.

If there is One Light,  One Christ,  One Church,   why would some choose to live apart from it?

Do they truly think that when they die,  the Light will go out?

.

 

 

 

WATCH YER FEELINGS

February 12, 2019

(“Cooper’s Cardinal”  next post.)

A more serious post tonight:   “You can stifle your feelings,  but feelings can stifle your ideas.”

'It always hurts more when...'

_______________________________________________________

 A WORLD OF FEELINGS*

We don’t even question it.  We ask each other,  “How do you feel about . . .?”    We watch ads on television that are devoid of any meaningful information but are meant to give us feelings towards the product, one way or the other, blatantly and annoyingly!

Since mass media developed in the early 20th century,  appeals are made to all people, men and women, on the basis of how they can be made to feel.

Political speeches were always like that – but not always political debate.

(“How do you  feel about  the Wall?   Doesn’t it make you mad/hopeful?”)

Today, if a person doesn’t accept the many socially correct ideas like man-made climate change,  or evolution from one species into the next,   gender fluidity,  central state control of all of society . . .  you can name other ideas we’re supposed to accept . . .  but if  a person doesn’t agree or accept,   there is a kind of emotional-social horror towards him.   It’s not “oh,  so what do you know about that subject?”  It’s  “you don’t!?”

There’s a big difference.   One invites human discussion; one doesn’t.   One seeks to advance understanding, for the benefit of all;  the other seeks to shut down the “dissident” voice,  to the benefit of no one.

They say ordinary conversation between people has become self-restricted;  we dare not say exactly what we think because we may get called on it.  Or we may get told it “offends”  someone’s feelings.   So we talk a  lot but dare not say a lot.

I wonder how common this is?

 

FEELINGS COLLAPSE EDUCATION

Parents used to see their children off to school with the words, “Be good!”   because good children can think clearly and learn.   Now it’s common to say, “Have fun!”

We make our children “feel good”  about going to school.   We make sure their self-esteem is bolstered.    We make sure our college students are not offended in anything,  so we carefully guard them from points of view that differ from  the ones they’ve been taught.

Unfortunately,  since socialism has increasingly taken control of our education  (early 20th century)  our children have been taught that Western Civilization is the root of all evil, in general.  This precludes teaching students anything that contradicts this ideology, so that they won’t be upset.

There is no transmission of  all those characteristics and values that built up civilization since the collapse of the Roman Empire.

I wonder if we can anticipate all the consequences of an ignorant generation coming into positions of leadership normally reserved for the mature mind.

I wonder how we’ll “feel”  as society around us falls apart – and just doesn’t seem to work anymore  – and no one knows how to put it back together again?

 

SERIOUS DISCUSSION HAS BECOME AN APPEAL TO FEELINGS

No matter what field of inquiry,  appeal is made to our personal inclinations but not to observable and objective facts and analysis of those facts for the purpose of advancement of understanding and possible improvement.

Especially sad is the lack of serious discussion for the development of understanding in the field of religion.   No matter how often we’re told that religion isn’t important,  religion is outdated, religion is the cause of war, etc.,  the fact remains that humans are religious.  They all believe in something.  The Creator of humans have given all humans the capacity to seek and to find Him . . .

Humans do frequently choose to not seek out their own Creator, much to the delight of the powerful Enemy of human beings,  but when a human  stops believing in God, he doesn’t believe, now, in nothing,  he will believe in anything — but he will continue to believe.

We’re just made that way.

So we seek after answers.

Unfortunately, if you’ve read any religious book, any “Christian”  book that was published in the past fifty or so years, you are likely to be “encouraged,”  made to feel “confident” in God,  “soothed,”   and directed to not be afraid.   Reading some of the most popular Christian books is like reading a vapid woman’s magazine, where we are shown how to be happy people,  happy Christians,  happy members of our society.   All is well.    things will work out.

Boring.   Boring because such books don’t satisfy the deepest questions we are asking ourselves.

In a recent brilliant essay entitled:    Why How You Feel Is Not All That Valuable,   Father Stephen Freeman,  an American Russian Orthodox priest,  explores how we are defined by our feelings –  in our current culture. **    He says:

Sentiment is a function of the passions, and rather shallow passions, at that. It is a disposition towards pleasure. A sentiment that says, “I think human suffering is terrible,” is generally a sentiment that will avoid confronting the nature of suffering and its true depths. If you’re decently middle-class, you can afford to avoid encounters with many forms of suffering. You can filter your friends-list in a manner to see and hear what you find pleasant and agreeable.

But as he implies, our character should not be equated to our feelings.  “I feel, therefore I am.”    No matter how a person feels about something, if we watch what he does,  that reveals his true character.

Or, as the old adage has it:  “character is what you do when you think no one is watching you.”

And character  is  destiny.

I wonder if a society that runs on its feelings could ever know what its “destiny”  is — until it smacks it in the face.

 

It’s the rug you’ve been sweeping things under that gets pulled out from under you.”

 

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.*   For those of you who are used to marxist rhetoric,  of course none of my statements are intended to indicate all, all, all, all cases in some kind of 100% mathematical completeness.     I’m observing general trends.    There are always pockets of good thinkers here and there.    I hope you find them.

 

.**  If you’d like to read the whole serious article by Father Stephen,  it can be found here:

(remove spaces)

https  ://  blogs.ancientfaith.com/glory2godforallthings/2019/01/28/why-how-you-feel-is-not-all-that-valuable/

 

It is satisfyingly intelligent.

 

 

 

 

 

LIBERTY AND DEATH (Sunday Thoughts)

January 13, 2019

“Willingly giving our lives for something or Someone is the ultimate expression of our Liberty.”

My ongoing 5G technology thoughts have a lot to do with our Liberty,  but I don’t want to make that connection right now.  It’s Sunday.   The day is set apart, if you choose to be a follower of Christ.   I do.   So I’ll stick with “Sunday Thoughts.”

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liberty or death

Every American is —  (used to be)    familiar with this phrase:  “Give me Liberty or give me Death!”   We cherish our Liberty, those of us who have been taught what Liberty actually is;  and many step forward, willing to die to retain our Liberty.

God gave each of us uniqueness, individuality,  free will, worth, and dignity,  and our Founding Fathers pointed out that these qualities endow us with certain Rights which are “inalienable”  from us in order to truly live and become the people we were each meant to be.

Of the several enumerated Rights,  one is the Right to Freedom of Conscience,  freedom to worship the way we want to worship and to freely speak out what we believe and hold dear, without reprisals from our Rulers.     No one has to hide what he believes.

But we’ve seen recent  attempts  to erode this particular Right.  We’ve watched several video clips of  nominees for public office being interrogated by Senators whose inquisitorial questioning reveals their contempt and suspicion for anyone who adheres to a religious conviction.    “How can you convince me that your religious beliefs will not interfere with your public duties?” 

(As though that Senator does not have his own set of religious-type beliefs, based upon Humanism,  Marxism, Secularism, or any of the other “isms”  that oppose themselves to Christianity today.)

SAMSUNG

(Our evening Bible study location watched over by our State capitol building)

No,  it’s the Christian religion which is under assault, and few Christians seem to be aware of the assault.  Can we win the war if we don’t know we’re fighting?

But thus it always was, from the very beginnings of Christianity.  This is not new, nor should it be a surprise.    Jesus told us that the World will hate us because it hated Him.  We are not “above” Him, or more privileged or protected than He was.

jesus arrested

And yet, we must not sit back and wait for our own arrests.     We have a job to do, to make the world a better place, a place where all mankind is able to know  to consider, and then to freely choose to come to the Gospel.

china extreme persec  We know that today Christians are being persecuted and killed around the world.   The Chinese government has recently been given complete control of all churches within China,  unfortunately with the full cooperation of the head of the Catholic church who seems to be unaware of  the consequences of his political machinations.  At least I hope he is “unaware.”

If he knows what he’s doing, then that is of the highest evil . . .

We all  know there are some “unconstitutional”  laws in place in our country which force Christians to pay for some very unchristian-like government-sanctioned acts of murder and immorality.   We know certain jobs and certain Internet sites do not welcome  beliefs based upon Christianity.

So, it’s interesting that during this season of Christmas and Epiphany,  two of the saints that are honored are  (1)    St. Thomas à Becket,   that close  friend of King Henry II in England . . .  until Henry II put him in a place of high government office.   As Shakespeare describes the conflict,   Henry became so aggravated over St. Thomas’s refusal to appoint as bishops his own nominees that he peevishly uttered that damning statement:  “Aaaargh!  Who will rid me of my enemy?”

becket

Well,  Shakespeare and TS Eliot and Lord Tennyson all said it better than that,  but however that question was worded,  the king’s friends got to work to “eliminate”  Thomas à Becket,   right in his own cathedral.

Saint Thomas à Becket is a martyr for the Liberty of the Church and her freedom from control by any State or King or Empire or Ruler or Supreme Court.

(2)  On January 14th the church honors another man whose courage and stalwart faith encourages the Church in her fight for freedom from any earthly control.  This is St.  Hilary of Poitiers.

hilary  Beloved bishop,  admired and beloved for his personal holiness, wisdom, and administerial skill,  he ran afoul of not only his emperor(s)  during his lifetime,  but also of factions within the Church who were very “slightly”  changing the teachings that had been passed down to them from the time of Christ.

“Just a small change in wording.”  “Just a simple nuance of meaning.”   “Just a little difference in the way of doing things.”     It’s not something to split the church over,  is it?

But such changes in wording, thought, or meaning do bring corruption and death into the Church and the Arian Christians knew what they were doing.   Temporarily in power and allied with the Roman government,  they sought to move away from the revelations from Christ.

creed

 

Control of the Church by government or by smaller factions within the Church –  St. Hilary fought against them both, at the cost of his life.

He is another martyr for our Liberty.

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(Sorry for the length . . .  I’ve edited it downward but,  even so,  it’s longer than I wanted it to be.   I hope you don’t have to “rush” through your Sunday with lots of commitments and activities.   I hope you can use the day to take time . . .  to think;  and to see where we’re going,  where we should be going, and why.      We need all the intelligent,  thoughtful, and “woke”  people we can get!)

THE OTHER “PRACTICE”

January 2, 2019

 

Caution:    Some “dark” thoughts.  When I say  Do Not Read if you’re squeamish or easily offended,  I really mean  Do Not Read.  Good-bye until next time.

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Sometimes I make plans to write about just “happy” things —  instructive, interesting, uplifting things . . .  But then the Real World intrudes.

I’m trying to watch less of the entertainment-news media.     It’s upsetting.    It’s all about things I can’t really influence in my private position here in the Far North.

I’ve made a good start in my personal life:

CABLE NEWS CLICK

Then again, there are things that we should be concerned about;  even upset about,  fearful.   At least we ought to be informed — and ready.      Maybe some opportunity will come along that we can have some small effect.      If you don’t know about things in the Real World,  you can do nothing about them.

Circumcision and “the other” circumcision:

So,   yesterday we celebrated the Circumcision and Naming of the Infant Child Jesus.

It was noted that these were the first few drops of Blood shed,  foretelling a greater shedding of Blood in His sacrifice for the human race, judged guilty and condemned.    Why “death” to the whole human race?

Hell - Silhouette Man before Red

Are we evil enough to deserve that?

Well,  recently in this region of the country,  some federal judge,  appointed by the Barack Hussein person,   has just ruled that the U.S government has no right to make a law against FMG. *    This isn’t the flippant and blasphemous  OMG —  but it probably deserves a comment like that.   This is the real thing,  “Female Genital Mutilation.”   Also known as Female circumcision.

It’s not a “circumcision.”  It’s actually an excision.

We have laws against it in this country.  Except not all over.  And except now those laws will be considered unconstitutional.    Something like 13  (is it 17?)    (23,  it’s 23, states in this country permit FMG.      We could become a  Safe Haven  for such deeds:    The United States of America!  – formerly a culturally Christian nation

(This is  one reason why the matter of Cultural Assimilation by Legal Immigrants is so important.)

The reason for such a practice is just . . .  just . . .  dastardly!    There is no good reason for doing it.      It’s done on little girls, usually elementary school age.

FMG 1

 

And without anesthetic or the usual sterile environment for a surgical procedure.

FMG 2

Private homes are usually the location in this country.

Here are the usual instruments:
FMG 3 tools

This issue comes up from time to time as we read the news, read books,  hear the celebrity news-readers read out brief  little references to FMG.     Few of us can be really ignorant of the practice.

So,  are we, collectively, as a human race, that evil?    guilty of condemnation for thinking up such ways to harm each other?    for letting such things continue on?    for keeping the knowledge right out of our heads?    for taking no measures,  writing no letters,  doing no praying for such things to cease?

 

That was my question.

HELL spoke

Let us at least pray that someone is working on this issue.

Maybe some people will stop electing officials who make it possible for this practice to continue.

FMG Poster 4

.

________________

.*  He says it is the individual states which must do so.   The federal government can’t dictate to the states . . .  at least in this case.     Isn’t this what the War Between the States was fought over?    States’ Rights?     The Federal Government,  even one presided over by the Abraham Lincoln presidency  can’t tell individual states what to do.      Can Washington DC dictate what laws each state passes?

 

“Civil rights”  supersedes states’ laws?    If that’s okay,   then maybe little girls should  be protected from FMG – as a matter of their civil rights?

These are deliberately thought-provoking questions.     Nothing worthwhile is easy.   Nothing good that must be done will get done by itself.

 

 

41

December 5, 2018

My poor words can add nothing at all to the power of the magnificent Christian and Patriotic ceremony we saw today on television,  the funeral of George H W Bush.

The audience witnessed sincere,  touching personal  stories, firmly Christian prayer, beautiful and uplifting music.

Most of all I want my grandson to hear  all the words that were said today.   They were words of courage, faith, duty, love and gentleness, hard work, friendship, generosity, family values, respect for our military services, and love for country.   These are the kinds of things I wish were still taught to American children.

These are the kinds of things that should continue to mold our character.     (And still can if we believe in them.)

We, the audience,  also experienced the finest performances of oratory and music and architecture.

(I had forgotten about the spectacular, soul-stirring voice of Ronan Tynan.  He is God’s gift to our ears, nourishing our spirits.   He will be a part of my music listening  now.) 

________________________________________

I almost missed all this.  I almost thought the funeral wouldn’t have anything new to offer.     Why?

  1.   The entertainment-news media on the Far Left disliked this man, mocked him, ridiculed him, and generally denied or  ignored  his achievements.
  2.  Those on the Far Right were deeply suspicious of President Bush’s endorsement of and involvement with “The New World Order,”  although it seems unlikely that he didn’t understand the truly anti-Western World, anti-Freedom,  anti- Christian nature of a one World governance.

The entertainment-news media has a definite depressing, mind-numbing. and paralyzing effect on our thinking.  I’ve been staying away from it for a while, and so I was able to put aside its powerful influences and make the decision to turn on the TV “just to see what the funeral is going to be like.”

So glad I did.

And I don’t want to hear what “they” have to say about the funeral.   I want my own thoughts.

RIP

.

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SKIDS AND STEERS . . . FOR ADVENT

December 4, 2018

(As Advent begins,  clear the clutter and open your mind.)

______________________________________________________________________________

I’m going to be a little goofy tonight,  but, well . . .  interpret this —

Blank Sign

Okay,  I see interesting things during the day, and sometimes those things lead to a whole long string of thoughts.   My mind is ever busy.  I have ADHD of the brain.  Well,  just the (H)yperactive part.     A day or two ago I was driving along in my car, when my eyes scanned a sign on a telephone pole.    “RENT EXCAVATOR SKID STEER.”     A second or two later my mind said,  “Huh?”

TOO MANY STEER

 

I know what a steer is.   But as busy as my mind was being, I couldn’t make sense of that sign and I couldn’t stop the cascade of thoughts that followed.  And that got me observing all the trivial things going on in my head and thinking about how easy it is to get so preoccupied with minor things that you scarcely have time to think – deeply – about serious things that are actually meaningful  to your whole life.  Deeply enough.

In this time of Advent,  we vaguely feel that we should be preparing for something important that we celebrate in a few weeks.  

But we’re  busy people and we spend our life distracted.

Too much to do!

Too many places to go!

Too many commitments!

Too many choices of entertainment!

Too much information!

too many words

Too much . . . too much . . .

Now, this posting was brought on by the fact that I’m going through old papers in my house — all those “great things” that I read and saved from, oh, so long ago.   It made sense to hold on to interesting articles many years ago when I was a teacher and needed handy material or needed to present some “evidence” of what I was saying;   but now, not so much.

These “great things” should all be in my head by now,  so much a part of me that when I teach, the information flows out seamlessly — as though I had thought about it, meditated on it, discarded the superfluous and only the best part became part of my thinking.

That means concentrating, paying attention, and thinking about what I read on all these saved articles, so the information has enlarged my thinking.

 

I don’t need the actual pieces of paper.     Right?

too many papers

One of the old articles I had saved was good advice for parents:     Do not give your children an abundance of toys.   Many of us can afford to do so, but don’t.   It will teach them to value things less and it will teach them to be wasteful.

too manytoys

It was a very convincing article.

And I am guilty, guilty, guilty.    Dear Cooper, my grandson, I will try to not to give you so much from now on…   (Starting after this Christmas.)

Now back to that cryptic sign I saw on a telephone pole in my town recently.    RENT EXCAVATOR SKID STEER (followed by a telephone number.)

I said I knew what a steer was (I thought)   but I looked it up and checked anyway.    From the Britannica  dictionary:

In the terminology used to describe the sex and age of cattle, the male is first a bull calf and if left intact becomes a bull; if castrated he becomes a steer and in about two or three years grows to an ox.

Did you know a male cow can become an ox?   As often as I have taught my classes about ox goads,  I never questioned what an ox was.     Or how it came about.

But the image of an ox – or a steer – skidding did not “compute” in my mind.

So I looked up “skid” and found some images of actual  “skid steers”  —

SKID STEER 1

Or else:

SKID STEER 2

Or else:

SKID STEER 3

Doesn’t look like they all do the same thing,  but I guess if you needed one, you’d know which one to get.

Especially if you wanted to “excavate” like the sign said.

I said this is a goofy posting — but that whole chain-of-thought process illustrates what I was  trying to say.     “In this time of Advent,  we vaguely feel that we should be preparing for something important that we celebrate in a few weeks. “

What if we spend that much time, not looking up “skid steers,”  but looking up, discovering,  thinking about  Advent, and just Who it is that we are preparing for,  and why do we have to prepare, and what does that  mean that He had a First Coming and He will come back in a Second Coming?

It would enlarge our thinking.     We would value our thoughts.   We wouldn’t spend so much time on an abundance of trivial things, like a kid with too many toys.

It would make us different (and better) people.   We would be properly prepared.     And thankful.

Deo gratias.

“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!

.

JUST SHOULDN’T BE

October 15, 2018

(So many things going wrong)

As the Morton Salt company used to say:

Morton Salt

It’s pouring now in the Spruce Tunnel.

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I don’t mean all the deaths —  our five close family members in the last eight years.

I don’t mean Hubbie’s car finally rusting sadly past repair:

Red car

And I don’t even mean the recent demise of my TV:

TV

“Put to death”  by our last lightning storm a week or two ago,  frying the remaining port.   (The TV works, the pixels are all there,  the sound is there —  there’s just no way to input any signal into the TV.)

No, it’s worse.  It’s this.   It’s something that is just so wrong …..

Son’s  beautiful gleaming black Pontiac GTO:

GTO red 260

“It was a dark and stormy night . . .”  Or at least dark and drizzly, slick roads.

Son is a good driver.  The young lady behind him was not.  She smashed into his left rear end going probably more than 80 m.p.h.  on the Interstate.

Thanks be to God that he didn’t spin out of control and roll over.

I love that car too.   It’s the most beautiful sports car anyone in our family has ever owned.   Many times when  it’s parked in my driveway I wash it.  I tell Son it’s to thank him for doing my heavy yard work,  but the truth is, I like to wash it and make it shine.

.

I have a simple philosophy: 

This is something that “should be.”

 

GTO right side.jpg380

This is something that “shouldn’t be” –

GTO y 260

But it is.     “Should”  is our judgment call.    Our own opinion.

To paraphrase Yoda,  There is no “should,”  there is only “is.”

What “is”  is the substance of each day.    What “is”  is our task,  our challenge,  our joy,  our duty,   our sorrowing,  our work,  our purpose . . .  our life.

Sometimes life just pours out on us.

BRIEFLY – A LITTLE WICKED HUMOR

August 31, 2018

Speaking in hyperbole,  to repeat a picture posted here recently —

sodom

(Sodom)

Although, by rights,  that is what we expect to happen to the Vatican,   all we’ve gotten so far is this —

Lightning no fire

That’s St.  Peter’s dome, in the Vatican.   Lightning.  It didn’t even start a fire.

(I think that photo was taken on the day that Pope Benedict was forced to announce his resignation.   Another lightning bolt was recorded on the day the present man was installed into the See.)

With all the crime,  scandals,  sexual aberrations,  misrepresentations of Christ’s teachings, and contradictions to Church practice coming out of the hierarchy of the Church,  either promoted or permitted,  more and more voices are beginning to admit that there is a schism forming in the Church.

And more and more are beginning to understand that it could take a generation or more to wrest control away from those in power and make necessary corrections with a necessary and canonical Council.

It can be done,  but it is unsolvable by merely human means.

Unsolvable Problem #3.

 

And that’s not a hyperbole.

Bar Cross in middle

 

UNSOLVABLE PROBLEM #3 – UNIQUE FISH

August 29, 2018

 

In the last post,  Unsolvable Problem #3 was the current scandals in the  Church,  but you are a unique fish:

Bar Cross in middle

The Kingdom of Heaven on earth is like a fisherman’s net.

Net flining

 

It’s cast into the sea, and many fish come into the net;  fish of all kinds.

And all the men in the boat are happy to see such a great catch.   But there are more fish, more and still more fish.

net school

The fishermen call to their friends and the friends move their boats closer and help take in the net, and all are rejoicing at such bounty!

Net and many

God is good.   The fishermen are happy and enthusiastic.     God is so good, and so many fish are entering into the net.

The  Kingdom of God (on earth) is like that net.   For much of its history it has gladly gathered in many souls, and rejoiced because it knew its purpose was to gather in many souls.

net pilgrm rus

And many answer the call.

net woman at prayer
This is how the Church was at the beginning of its history as it spread throughout the known world,  bringing knowledge of God and His goodness to everyone.     Even the poorest and the  most obscure can be sanctified and given Hope of Heaven.   Even the bad ones,  rich or poor.

 

Because the Church contains human beings who are fallible (all kinds of fish),  sometimes the Church’s mission is not fulfilled and in places it seems like an undesirable net to climb into.

And then the Creator of the net moves and heals and restores and the great missionary commission is again fulfilled, reaching out to the New Continents, all around the world now.

Net chmany

And then it falters.

And then comes another refreshment, and the Church fulfills her mission, bringing God to many  people and helping those souls become holy and strong!

Net strength and holiness

Strong and good and holy.

 

net niqueYou are a unique “fish.” God made you and wants you and needs you.

God wants you even at times when that “net” has some bad fish in it.   There are many good fish in that net, fish that will be brought out and prepared for their purpose, made fit to be used by the Master Fisherman.

 

And now – in the 20th century, on into now, the Church has faltered again. Not for the first time , of course, but it seems worse because everyone is connected to omnipresent artesian wells of information, bubbling up into our minds.  It seems that all the Church is is disappointment and scandal and and hypocrisy.     Empty and dirty —

net bad church
Don’t despair. Don’t be indifferent. don’t be discouraged or ashamed. But do be faithful to the mission of the Church, be faithful to Jesus Christ, the world’s only Messiah, who has brought True Reconciliation between God and Man.

Net Master

The Master Fisherman is still there,  still at work.

The Church is much more than scandal.   Look at that part that can bring you reconciliation with God, and peace.

Again,  the current scandals of the people in the Church,  the sexual crimes, the financial crimes,  the failure to transmit the full teachings of Christ,  the failure to assist souls to become holy . . .   all these seem to be Unsolvable  failings.

Unsolvable #3 — but if you noticed,  throughout history, it’s human failure.   It’s only Unsolvable to us alone.

God acts, and God will act again.

If we ask.

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?

 

 

WANDERING – AND FOUND

July 16, 2018

It’s hard for my mind to “live”   in just one country,  but today, a little encouragement and optimism:

Those last couple posts were rather awful.    Just as a matter of fact, it’s good to know what’s going on in this world, even though it’s  not merely  a “matter of fact”  but a matter of the heart –  Compassion.  Empathy.

Pakistan Christians

Our brothers and sisters,  fellow human beings,  may live in the jungle,  the desert, or rugged mountains;  and they may  live in fear of what’s going to be coming out of the jungle at them;  or  what’s going to be riding  (or driving, nowadays)  up over the sand dunes at them;  or what and who they will see advancing up the mountain passes, heading their way.

We don’t live in fear like that,  not yet, but we can certainly help them, one way or the other, even if we’re not in the diplomatic corps or in the military assigned to protect innocent people;  even if we’re not very  wealthy so that we can give our money for their causes . . . .  We can help.

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We are “safe” here in the West,  in the United States.    That’s okay,  no reason for guilt,  you didn’t ask to be born here, it’s Divine wisdom that wanted you here . . .   But one young man on a Website I visited recently  asked an ultimate kind of question that is there,  in the back of all our minds, no matter where we live.

beautiful moon reflection

He asks,  and he answers . . . .   I’ve got to copy what he said:

I was always asking, “What’s it all about?” Everything seemed so senseless. You work hard all your life and then you die with no U-Haul behind the hearse and no pockets in the shroud. As they used to say in the old neighborhood, “Life’s a # and then you die.”
A twisted mess of conflicting desires. We want what we want until we get it, then we wonder why we wanted it to begin with. So often the wanting is much more fulfilling than the getting because the having is always transitory and the losing is inevitable.

 

We enter this world lost and God wants us to find Him so that we can find ourselves in Him.

 

beautiful daisy

Nothing physical comes with us when we die.     Nothing physical that we’ve earned and obtained will be of any ultimate  value.

beautiful horse

That’s what the young man was thinking about.     What’s it all about?  What is all our striving all about?

Some of you may remember that I went to Florida in June to help my younger sister who is in the process of dying.   Weeks left to live, most likely.     There is nothing like knowing you are inevitably, unstoppably  dying, right now,  to narrow your focus and discern just what is important and of eternal value.  I see things just “drop off” of her radar screen, like so much  dross  falling away.

beautiful waterfall

The young man wrote that we enter this world “lost” — and I’d say rather clueless.

“Lost”  but not alone.  Not unwatched.   Not uncared for.

I’m showing you a few pictures of Beautiful Things.

beautiful camaro

(Heh heh –  If only I could trust myself with buying a Camaro for me . . .  what a beautiful thing!)

Okay –  nature’s beauty;  something that mankind doesn’t make . . .

Meadow flowers

Horses again?  (I just drove through the state of Kentucky –  twice):

beautiful horses

A few posts ago I wrote that St. Augustine told us that beauty is here to point our way to to the author of “Beauty.”        Again:  “We enter this world lost and God wants us to find Him “

Think of the deer, resting on a hillside in the evening.   He sees what you can see:  a beautiful sunset, full of resplendent light and colors.    Your heart may fill with the experience of the sunset,  but the deer . . .  looks on calmly,  content that he is fed,  comfortable, and there is no danger nearby.   There is no sense of “beauty” in him.

But there is in us.  For a purpose.

andromeda

God wants us to find Him,  and Beauty is just one pathway.   Your grandmother or great-grandmother probably told you, or could have told you:  “Take time to stop and smell the roses.”     Same idea.   You’re not an animal on a hillside.

“… so that we can find ourselves in Him.”      No other way to be who you truly are.

That other young man,  St. Augustine whom I’ve alluded to before,  realized all the ways God tries to draw us to Himself:

Augustine Confessions X.27

Late have I loved you,
Beauty so ancient and so new,
late have I loved you!

Lo, you were within,
but I outside, seeking there for you,
and upon the shapely things you have made
I rushed headlong,
I, misshapen.
You were with me but I was not with you.
They held me back far from you,
those things which would have no being
were they not in you.

You called, shouted, broke through my deafness;
you flared, blazed, banished my blindness;
you lavished your fragrance,
I gasped, and now I pant for you;
I tasted you, and I hunger and thirst;
you touched me, and I burned for your peace.

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“Beauty so ancient and so new.”

Do take notice of his words.  And when we’ve understood them,  we can help.  We can help others.  We can help each other.