Archive for the ‘Christian Analysis’ category

MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY, WEDNESDAY . . .

June 20, 2017

(very random “apparentlies”  from the Spruce Tunnel)

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Yes:   –  in the immortal words of Apollonia Corleone,   the short-lived wife of Michael Corleone:        “Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Wednesday . . .”

This is Tuesday.  Apparently.    When the normal activities of the weekdays are suspended,  every day seems like a weekend day.  Hence, my abortive trip to Sunday morning Mass – last Friday.

empty church 2

Our young lady friend is off her ventilator, finally, and out of the ICU.   She is better, but still has a long way to go.     I’m spending less time at the hospital,  more time on my new (and rather demanding) classes for the summer.    I need to do so well with that topic . . . .

Yet, I haven’t really caught up with Time.  That takes some effort.    How I would like to slide into that state of Perpetual Retirement,  where the only activities are occasional voluntary activities.

But I have promises to keep,    And miles to go before I sleep.”  *

Speaking of which,  I could use a little snow.    I’ve resurfaced into a heat wave, with a long string of near 90-degree temperatures and almost daily thunderstorms, which menace my electronics.

sad tv.jpg 70x90   I’ve also checked into what the entertainment-news media is going on about.    Same thing.   Same words. Same people.  Same accusations.    Same minor terrorist strikes here and there.  Same perplexities about what to do . . . .  Missing a week and a half has not resulted in any developments.    The world does not need my attention!

This discovery needs my attention:

Slant Tree.jpg 380

 

That’s my front yard.

S My house.jpg 380

Apparently we had a wind storm this weekend.

Son will know what to do.

It’s apparently going to take some time to return to normal.   Me, that is.  I’m coming out of these past almost two weeks a little shaken.    It was a life-and-death matter, after all, to watch a young lady have to fight for her life – with no definite diagnosis that started it all.   And then to worry anew about the state of her soul and of  my childrens’  souls . . . .  And my own efforts seem weak next to the consequences of getting it wrong.

And, yes, I still studied in my spare moments.  I studied  Gramschi, again;     Herbert Marcuse,  Wilhelm Reich – you probably know where I’m going with this:   the stunning victory of cultural marxism,over our society.     In the Catholic Church this is called:  The Errors of Russia.   Although it didn’t begin with the Russian Revolution,  it nevertheless points to Error,  the kind that will separate you from God – forever.

Frankfort School

“Critical Theory”:   Criticize everything;  demonize the cultural norms;  break down society so that it can be replaced with the Slavery of Marxist-Liberalism – because the State is  more important than the individual.  The atheistic State is more important than your immortal soul.

I’m a bit shaken with that realization.     The realization of the complete and utter victory of cultural marxism over the society my children and grandchildren have to live in.   What chance to they have?

What chance do they have to even learn about it, after years of schooling in an apparent  marxist – liberal environment of anti-intellectualism,  anti-analytical thinking,   anti-objective reality,  anti-logic, anti-truth — and the Any Glass theory:  Any glass will do it for you when you’re thirsty.  (No right and wrong, no moral norms, no “judgmental” thinking.)

Apparently, I have a lot of catching up to do.     (Why was I made with this impulse to teach?   I don’t know.    It’s my duty;  it’s what I am.)    I have a lot of catching up in my studies to do.     It’s the only way I can be of use to my classes,  to my family and  friends     . . .   to God.

Crash course for me this summer.    Cramming again.    Not for final exams,  but so I can be a better parent,  a better teacher,   a better blog writer.

 

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.  *  I have struggled and struggled with this poem all my life

Stopping by The Woods One Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.   
His house is in the village though;   
He will not see me stopping here   
To watch his woods fill up with snow.   
My little horse must think it queer   
To stop without a farmhouse near   
Between the woods and frozen lake   
The darkest evening of the year.   
He gives his harness bells a shake   
To ask if there is some mistake.   
The only other sound’s the sweep   
Of easy wind and downy flake.   
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,   
But I have promises to keep,   
And miles to go before I sleep,   
And miles to go before I sleep.
by Robert Frost

 

 

 

ASCENSION CONSIDERATIONS

May 26, 2017

Ascension Thursday this week.  40 days after the Resurrection.   (40,  not 43.)  It’s a Feast Day of Hope.

The older I get,  the more I realize “I’m not getting out of here alive.”   I’m leaving this planet via my death.   Here’s that picture again:

“Will this be me?”    —

SAMSUNG

I’ve already been the one sitting at the bedside of a dying man,  worrying and praying.   Soon, possibly,   it will  be my turn to be the one in bed.      And yours too.

(Sometimes some of my friends hear me say  “Pray for my healing; pray for my health.”   I say it offhandedly,  but few realize how serious I am.)

But though I am a Christian,  and my health matters aside,   I live a somewhat safe life in this country.    My Christian brothers and sisters around the world are not so “lucky.”

A little while ago in the Philippines,  where lovely, peaceful,  beautiful,  friendly Christians live in a sort of tropical  Paradise,  nine Christian  men driving in  cars  were stopped by the   Muslim-“extremists   who are gaining power-by-force on their  beautiful islands.   They were stopped,  dragged out of their cars,   their hands were all tied together,  and the nine men were shot to death.

Youd better believe

See their hands all tied to one another?

They were executed because they were Christians who happened to be on the road at the same time as these Muslims  (who were carrying ISIS flags).

The government is trying to  stop the violence and to stop the drug money that finances these Muslim terrorists.

what war looks like

Sometimes strong and forceful  (violent)  measures have to be taken to eradicate the murderous Threat that has taken hold in a country.  This is what such a “war”  would look like in such a country.  The civilian cars must give way so the military can do its duty to protect.

It’s what a government is supposed to be doing:  protecting its citizens with resources that only it,  the government,  can assemble.

Today,  the head of our DHS  (Dep’t of Homeland Security)  stated publicly:  “If you knew what  I know,  you would be afraid to leave your homes.”   If we had his information about the actual  threats we were under . . . .

Again,  so far  I  live in such seemingly safe circumstances that I can afford to stay ignorant of the severity of the danger.   I can ignore it,  if I want to,  even as more and more people are saying things seem to be spinning out of control,  and  it feels like “something”  big is going to happen.

So,  I’ll just repeat:   I’m not going to get out of here alive!

Jesus did not.     Jesus did not “get out of here alive.”     He laid down His life for us;  He took up His life again at His Resurrection.   And He took His Resurrected body  “up” into  the “heavenly  places.”

He who was seen by many is now unseeable.

But Eternity is all around us.  It penetrates this world.   Or, as I kept saying this morning to my class:  Eternity interpenetrates our world.    The spirit in us is able perceive this presence of Eternity.    That is,  Jesus,  Eternal, can now be perceived by everyone, not just those who stood next to Him so long ago in one small part of this globe.   All  of us can,  “whosoever”  wants to.

Ascension

As  He ascended,  He took with Him something very important:  His human nature.   The same as our human nature.    He made it possible for all  those creatures with a human nature can also enter into Heaven.

It’s possible.

I dearly hope those Christian children and mothers on the school bus today and  those  young Filipinos with their hands tied together took comfort in the meaning of the Ascension as they lay dying.

Christians are those who have chosen to follow Jesus,   through whatever and wherever  He leads us.    It’s our cross,  the way that leads us to Heaven.   Executed.   Blown up.   Needless accidents.   Sickness.    Ascension Day tells us that we can follow Him into glory.   It’s possible.

Follow crosses to Heaven

“It’s needful for you that I go.”     Behold,  I go to prepare a place for you.”     “In my Father’s house are many mansions.  If it were not so,  I would have told you.”

We can pray for the souls of our Christian brothers and sisters who’ve left this world so violently.    And perhaps  “before their time.”  And for their loved ones,  left behind to mourn.

 

 

CANDLES, TEDDY-BEARS, AND FLOWERS – (Go Missing)

May 26, 2017

silence

The entertainment-non-information-news media.

 

 

I looked for this news item  all over today.  Nothing on TV,  nothing on mainline Internet sites,  and only one small sentence on the radio  (but it wasn’t the “news,”   it was a talk-show comment).

More than two dozen little girls and their mothers killed today,  many more injured.

By a bomb.

A bomb set off by Moslem-“extremist”  jihadis  . . .  (they were seen).

Memorial

No tears from the Progressive Western World.

No reporting.   No interest.  No candles, teddy-bears, and flowers for the victims,  yet young children and their mothers were most definitely blown apart;  “bits of skin, bone, body parts”  lying all over, as the British newspaper put it a few days ago — concerning another bombing.

All of today’s  victims,  the children and the mothers,   were Christians.

A traditional Christian faith.

Killed by bombs in their buses.

Bombs set off by Moslem-“extremist”  jihadis,  just fulfilling certain verses of the Koran —  the ones that abrogated the earlier “peaceful”  verses  that are trotted out for us by those practicing taqiyya.     (Because we’re not only infidels,  we’re idiots.)

The Great Silence from the normally talkative entertainment-news media keeps us that way:     Idiots.

 

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In case you want to look it up,  the  several dozen  Christian souls left this earth in a violent manner in Egypt today,  They were on their way to visit an ancient monastery in the quiet desert.

SILENCE OF THE MIND

May 14, 2017

Sorry I’ve been away for a while again.

House upo High

I’ve found a hideaway again,  or pretty close.   It’s been very silent and quiet around here for about a week.   No TV.  Not much radio.  Not much YouTube.    I’m not sure why —   I’ve just “retreated.”

I guess people do that once in a while.

Actually,  my back yard makes a perfect Retreat in the Spring.

BACK YARD I prefer

I just want to sit on my deck and gaze at this.     It makes it hard not to withdraw from the world when I want to even when maybe I shouldn’t,  not so much.

Tree in Bloom cr

It’s just so pretty out there.

I think I’ve been looking normal.    I’ve had two repairmen come to my house this week.   That’s normal.   Now I have TV,  if I want to.   And I have clean water again.    Things  . .  .  break down from time to time.   Normal.

I’ve had an epic Drapery-Fail.    Got free curtain material with a comforter I had bought awhile  ago.    Time for me to get those drapes put up . .  .

Sewing is nice silent work.   Normal,  but silent.

Sewing

I hit snag after snag after snag  (no pun intended)  but it looked like I was solving the problems.  Son even moved the drapery hardware for me on the walls near the windows.    But then –  I had misgivings.

I sewed for many hours this week, but I will now have to  redesign the whole project.  And the hardware will have to be re-done.    —  Well, it’s Mother’s Day tomorrow.   Can Son refuse. . . ?

Had a normal scheduled recorder session this week.    I hope I was a “good conversationalist,”  though I was struggling with paying attention sometimes.

And I’ve been going to class off and on,  I mean whenever classes are scheduled.   Nobody would know that in between activities I retreat into deep solitude and don’t want to talk.      It’s like a Funk  without feeling anything.

But I think I’ve been normal.

Books

Been studying.  As usual.   Normal for me.   Got another problem I’m working on:      How did the assumptions of  univocal metaphysics arise out of  equivocal  categories   . . . ?   It’s the old Aquinas vs. Scotus thing.   But it’s not made any easier with Avicenna’s use of the word “being”  which tripped everyone up.   You can’t make good Latin from Greek via Arabic!

Owls

But I’m working on it.    I don’t always agree with this author,  so maybe he’s the one with the problem.

(How could I have been so busy these last few days when all I wanted was Silence around me?)

Opened up   a new laptop and got it  going . . .   Easy.  No brainer.  No thinking.    Then  I really didn’t want to   go   anywhere on the Internet.

But I did go somewhere a couple days ago.  I went to a good site, and there was a review of a book that presents exactly what I’ve been doing this week –  and what we’re all going through,  and it’s consequences, perhaps a remedy or two.

It’s a new book written by Cardinal Sarah-   one of the Good Guys   – a minority in Catholic thinking today.   Here’s a bit from that review:

We are in an age of increasing social madness. Cardinal Robert Sarah, in his new book, The Power of Silence, reveals this to be symptomatic of a widespread spiritual illness in modern Western culture. This illness, according to him, is largely caused by an absence of crucially needed, God and truth-revealing periods of silence of the ears, of the eyes and of the heart in the life of modern men and women.

“Silence of the ears, of the eyes and of the heart.”   *

He also talks about the    “tyranny of destructive external and internal noise.”

All that noise,  All that information.   All those words demanding that you pay attention and make some sort of decision.     It becomes a tyranny.    That’s what I’ve been shutting out, I think.

Because of all the noise experienced by our eyes, ears and hearts, modern man no longer hears, experiences and knows God. He is unable to comprehend the purpose and even the value of his life and the lives of others . . . Our world no longer hears God because it is constantly speaking, at a devastating speed and volume, in order to say nothing. Modern civilization does not know how to be quiet.

Quiet.   Silence.

Everything that enters the mind and heart through the senses, emotions and memories can create howling internal “noise” and greatly disturb our internal equilibrium, sense of being and relationship to our Creator.

Howling.   No TV howling.  No radio howling.  No music howling.  No Internet howling . . . Not much talking in the Spruce Tunnel either.   And sorry about that,  because today was an important anniversary for the whole world.    I’ll get to that in the next post —

—   but meanwhile,  one more glance backwards here.  I wonder if my craving for silence is coming from the Blood of my Forefathers.

sami sign

I’ll go visit them there, in Samiland, ,  once again,  before I move out into the “howling”  world where there is that “tyranny of noise”  and everyone is expected to comment on everything.

No.

SONY DSC

Solitude.

sami mountains

Nature, being quiet.

sami reindeer

Oh.    I guess it’s usually winter there.

How about a quiet cabin,  all alone . . .

sami in snow

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.*  If you want to read the article about Cardinal Sarah’s new book,  it can be found here by removing all the spaces when you use this URL:

http:// angelqueen .org/ 2017/05/13/cardinal-sarah-reveals-surprising-cause-and-remedy-for-the-fears-and-anxieties-of-our-time/

March 28, 2017

winking
(I hope I didn’t melt any Snowflakes in that previous posting ) 

I really was just musing about how important that “warrior” spirit is to building up and maintaining a  ccivilization.      Included in that term “warrior spirit”  is a very high system of ethics and morality,  without which warriors would devolve into barbaric free-for-alls.   Might makes right, etc.

In a nice serendipitous point on our calendar,  we are directed today to look at St. Gontran.   I never heard of him.  (Or I probably read about him before as I cycle through the yearly saints – I simply don’t remember him.)

St Gontran de Bourgpgne
In that last post,   I had just referenced my study of Merovingian kings,  and here is one for today!    Gontran was the son of that first great Merovingian king,  Clovis, a pagan Frankish warrior  who converted to his wife’s Christianity to save his life in battle  and then went on, with God’s help,  to establish a stable Frankish kingdom which contributed to the development of Western Civilization as we  know knew it.

His son, Gontran, was raised Catholic from  birth and probably had an even  better understanding of Christianity than his father.    He was devoted to Christ,  and when grown was given the land of Bourgogne to rule,  that is,  the big area we call Burgundy,  which played such an important role in our  history.

St Gontran king of lotsA dignified and respected leader, King Gontran

Although King Gontran has an interesting biography,  I’ll just give you this partial  summary   from  Butler’s . . .  “The prosperity of his reign,  both in peace and in war,  condemns those who think that human policy cannot be modeled by the maxims of the Gospel,  whereas, in reality,  nothing can render a government more flourishing.  . . .  He was the protector of the oppressed and a tender parent of his subjects.     He gave the greatest attention to the sick.   He fasted, prayed, wept, and offered himself to God night and day  . . .    He was a severe punisher of crimes . . .   and by many wholesome regulations he restrained the barbarous licentiousness of his troops.”   He lived to 68 years of age, after reigning for 31 years –  a great long life span!

Note that this freedom from the godless barbarism of the day came with the application of the Christian notion of the warrior of high moral conscience.   Fighting for what is right.      Only a people who are willing to be free and who are willing to defend their freedom will be free.

Now, today,  as we saw,  that warrior spirit is on beer bottle labels.    Or we put our warriors in the land of make-believe and give them  imaginary, unrealistic and superhuman faculties, confining them to  movies or games.     If  warrior spirits dare to emerge in elementary schools,  we suspend those young boys.   Even if their “weapon” is a munched-on Pop-Tart!  College males go around apologizing for who they are.   We’re content to come home from work or school,  kick off our shoes,  and rest in an electronically induced somnolence, while our Rulers silently consolidate their power over us.

deep

Again,  freedom isn’t free.   Freedom didn’t come to us for free.    “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.”   Not just a sentimental phrase from history.  And though we don’t know for sure who first stated it,  the truth of the matter is that  we won’t keep our freedom without paying a price.     Perhaps we only need to pay attention – and do our duty appropriate to our station in life and to the circumstances around us.

Perhaps we’ll be called on to do more.

Not necessarily with battle-axe and sword.

So,  I’m not sure,   but it would seem that  if a  foreign “warrior spirit”  threatens our freedoms or even our very existence, . . .

Slay and Butcher

        . . .    then it ought to be matched by an equal or great warrior spirit coming from us.

Unless our culture is suicidal.

History will record . . . .

WHAT IS LOVE.

March 25, 2017

Period.  Not a question mark in that title.  We owe the invention of the question mark to Charlemagne and his renaissance of Christian learning which helped to create the European civilization we’ve inherited  (and perhaps squandered).   Charlemagne notwithstanding,   I choose a period after “LOVE”) 

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On this day,  a  Saturday,  Christendom keeps in mind that one Saturday long ago when Love Itself was defeated.     It was mocked, ridiculed,  demonized, crucified,   done away with – finally! –  then shut away in a tomb – boom! –  out of sight forever!  It seemed that Love had been conquered.

tomb

Friday evening,  Saturday, into the wee hours of Sunday morning,  three calendar days;   it certainly seemed like a defeat for the Gospel.    A dark time for the followers of Jesus  in which all that “religion talk” from God’s chosen people  ended.

That Man,  that Son of Man,  had talked of  love between God and man,  God’s love to man through man,   and an eternity of Love, loving and being loved.

Humans  have always been  capable of the motivating factors  which we’ve called “love”:      parental love,  filial love,  friendship love,   spouse love  —  the love we have for a certain kind of pizza!!        Apart from God, the source of Love,    we can get quite distracted with loves of various kinds.

Should I give the four  Greek categories?     Storge,  Eros,  Phileo  . . . 

freud long (Beware:  the “modern” lists of “Greek”  love using six words from popular culture or seven words from  psychologists who seem to be trapped in the perspective of 20th century agendas.    They elevate minor subcategories into unwarranted importance and are certainly not time-tested throughout human experience.)

. . .    And the fourth:     Agape,     which human beings do not seem to be capable of – on their own,  on their own strength,   on their own willpower.

We need no instruction in the first three categories.    dad and sonBiological forces,  affections fondnesses,   familiarities make these first three loves common and natural to us.

They can be  very powerful,  of course,  overwhelming us sometimes.

I’ve just finished another book by Michael D . O’Brien, the last in his series which speculates whether our current events and personalities might indicate the formation of the last one-world governance with the antichrist at its head.   It’s a deeply thoughtful book – I’m going to have to read it again and take notes this time! –  but I was struck by his definition of that Agape love:

     Dr. Abbas  (the blind Christian Arab)   paused to clear his throat.  He then resumed his story:   What is love,   . . . ?   Do we not love most what is best in another but lacking in ourselves?  to see in someone else what we should be?     That is a part of it.

Another part  is to have one’s eyes opened to the gift that each person is. Subtract him from existence and the world is poorer.   When he is present, the world is richer – and full of wonder, really, if we can sustain that vision.    I’ve had glimpses of it . . .    (from Elijah in Jerusalem)

 

Yes,  this thought from Dr. Abbas is only a glimpse.    He  knows he’s seen only a glimpse of Love.    Love from the Christian definition is to desire the best and highest good for another – and to be always ready to act on it.

It is a deep-seated self-sacrificing commitment to that other person.     “No greater love has a man than to lay down his life for another.”

(“It is a far, far better thing . .  .  than I  have ever done.”)  —

tale of two

 

And:  “Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the Church.”   How did Christ love the church?    He died for it.

To step up and die for the good of another?     Yikes!    Occasional heroic acts of self-sacrifice to save the life of another occurs,  of course,  but it is especially Christian to  die for the good of the other person’s eternal soul.

Or to live for the good of the other person’s eternal soul.   Most of us are not required to prove our love by our deaths;  but we’re required to live with that kind of love.       This kind of original Christianity is not for half-hearted sissies, but it is rather the defining characteristic of a true follower of Christ.

not afraid to love

Nor are we capable of it without  that gift of Love being first given to us.   The Bible puts it simply:  “God is love.”      God created out of Love.  God loves His creation.   Dr. Abbas had a glimpse of this:  “. . .   to have one’s eyes opened to the gift that each one is.”   God opens our eyes;  he gives, we receive.

Perhaps the Bible, Charles Dickens,  and Dr. Abbas can say it better than I can,  but I do try to frequently explain it to my classes this way:    God is.   God is love.  Before the universe was created,  He thought you up.   He liked the idea of you!   And then, after He created the universe,  he created you and put you down into the best and most optimal time and place so that you’d be able to find your way back to Him, and to His love.

anthony

Hold Him.    Hold Him in your heart.

You love God back,  and you love all the human beings that He loves, and hold each one  in your heart so that you can act,  with sacrificial love,  for their  welfare, here and now.

Period.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WIKI AND THE SWORD OF DESTINY

March 17, 2017

 

(I have to repeat this yet again:  “There is something wrong with the passage of time!  It is speeding by too fast” —  too fast to take in all the things that each week offers us.)

And so this post is still thinking through the things of March 15 . . .

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March 15,  on this day we remember the life and martyrdom of St. Longinus –  the name given to that Centurion who thrust the spear into the side of Jesus after He had died on the Cross.

Longinus Card 220

      The story makes sense:    The Jews in Palestine at the time knew the Law:  “Cursed is anyone who hangs from a tree”  (i.e.,  a criminal, executed);     and if the criminal is allowed to hang there overnight,  then the whole land is cursed.

       The three men executed had to be killed before sunset and taken down from their  “trees”     or else the large Jewish population would revolt against the Roman authorities.

      The Jews in Palestine would also have known that any lamb to be sacrificed had to be perfect,  unblemished,  and never to have any broken bones, before, during, or after.

To fulfill the Law,  then, the Roman authorities sent out the order to the Centurion in charge to break the bones of the three so that they would die quickly, before sunset that day.    But the Centurion found Jesus already dead.   Probably.   It looked like it.   To make sure,  he thrust his spear into the side of Jesus.

The Catholic Church was born that day,  from the water and blood,  (the spiritual meaning of the Water and Blood)  that gushed out of the side of the dead body of Jesus.*      Eerie, un-explainable phenomena had taken place in the natural world that day;  and now at the sight of this Water and Blood,  it was remarked, then,  “Surely this   (actually) was the Son of God!”

All parts of this Day have been preserved and recorded –  including  the part that this Centurion played and the lance that he used.    The tale was told in Greek and Latin and in subsequent languages of Europe.    Thus, in Greek:   λόγχη   –   meaning “lance”  which is not too far from the name  “Longinus”  now given to this Centurion.  For his part and for his conversion to the faith of Christ,  he is called St. Longinus.      The remark attributed to him,  (surely, this was the Son of God!)  has confirmed the faith of many.

It’s a tale well worth pondering – and internalizing.      My Roman Martyrology for March 15th begins with this short statement about him:  ” At Caesarea in Cappadocia the martyrdom of St. Longinus who is said to have pierced our Lord’s side with a spear.”   

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SED CONTRA   (but contrariwise):    (just in case you haven’t joined the cynical modern-day scoffers,  religion-wiki offers you that chance!)    —

I had time to look around on the Internet for some more information –  and eventually came to the odd and sometimes untrustworthy site of Wikipedia,  which carries the predictable words:  doubt, doubt, doubt,  unreliable sources,  apocryphal,  legend, pseudopigraphical,  perhaps,  been asserted to,   folklore,  local tradition, etc., etc.

And then this odd statement:   In the Roman Martyrology he is mentioned, without any indication of martyrdom, in the following terms: “At Jerusalem, commemoration of Saint Longinus, who is venerated as the soldier opening the side of the crucified Lord with a lance.”

Wait!  But my Roman Martyology  said he WAS martyred.

He was mentioned along with an indication of his martyrdom . . . .

It’s not a big thing, except as it is part of a subtle rewriting of the history of Western Civilization that is going on all over, all around us, and at breathtaking depth and speed.

We truly live in an age of Fake News,  Fake Information,  just about Fake Everything.  There is a reason for this,  a methodology,  but that’s not my point here.      Right now, these days,  I am more concerned with something called The Tipping Point,  as well as the growing  movement towards Totalitarianism.

The stakes are high.

spear of destiny

We have this spear from almost two thousand years ago.      It was the “Spear of Destiny” given all sorts of supernatural powers by those who believe in . . .   anything.    (“When one stops believing in God, one doesn’t believe in Nothing;  one will believe Anything!”  (GKC))

And such we have personified by the man who last led a portion of our world into Totalitarianism.    Hitler.   He truly believed that the two   “spooky, supernatural”  items from the time of Christ  (the Christ Figure, I suppose),  which are the Spear and the Holy Grail, would give him the godlike powers he tried so hard to attain.

The bridge to our day and a new totalitarian way of thinking?

Hitler (and his companions) were masters at managing the attitudes and enthusiasms of millions of people.     He was a master of propaganda  and mass mind control (of the “scientific”  or “psychological”  kind – I’m not referring to any spooky supernatural mind-control),   and of manipulating the minds of crowds and masses of German people.  There were subtle changes made to their history,  their culture,  their “destiny.”

Studying the minute details of how this was accomplished day to day in Hitler’s Germany will reveal chilling similarities to what is being accomplished today.    From  subtle and not-so-subtle changes in our textbooks and other sources of information,   to entertainment which entices us to enjoy the new morality and agree with the new mindset,   to  Fake News that knows it’s Fake but also knows its lasting effects even when it gets caught out,  to the “children” on campuses who will not allow any other opinion but the one they’ve been propagandized with – and will become violent to shut out any diverse opinion . . ..

We have it all – and so much more.

I watch this growing trend towards the Group Think of the totalitarian mindset –  and I wonder:  When are we going to reach that Tipping Point – and experience the fulfillment of consequences that we didn’t even realize we were forming.

The Tipping Oint towards the full reality of Totalitarianism.

Bar Cross in middle

.*    It was His death that was the Sacrifice, offered to the Creator,  God the Father,  that enabled the many benefits of salvation and grace to pour out into the world.      (This Teaching has been a bit mangled in the last few decades – but that is our fault,  it’s not the Teachings that have changed.)

  To Abraham it was said that one of his descendants would bring Blessings upon the whole world.”    These Blessings refer to the future one-time Sacrifice of Christ which effected the  sure possibility of Salvation offered to anyone in the world who wants it.     Thus, at the time of His death,  Christ’s Church begins.

Quicumque !!!     

QQ 150

  (for those of you who have visited my house and seen the wall above my computer!)

………

WINTER PHOTOGRAPHY

March 14, 2017

 

A hint of Beauty this week:

Snow stars on cars 380

It was a cold morning, and I had left Hubbie’s car outside of the garage, but I needed to get going anyway.   It was routine . .  .  mumble mumble mumble . . .  gotta get going . . .  mumble mumble . . .   get those car keys in . . mmb . . .   start up the engine  . . .

And THEN —  I looked up, out, through the windshield!    There,  right in front of my face I looked, I really looked at the windshield, and saw the beautiful pattern the frost had laid down on the glass.

It was fascinating.   It pulled me up out of my routine and I just had to stare and appreciate and “feel”  the little snow stars.

Snow Stars 380

Fractals.   I’m sure there are mathematical formulas to describe those patterns with numbers;  beautiful  formulas to describe the beautiful material patterns!

______________________________________

We’re created for Beauty.     We’re created with the capacity to recognize Beauty.  We’re created to find enjoyment in Beauty.      We’re created to desire the Source of Beauty,  the Creator Himself.

I’ve been reading from that book on Heaven  *  to my Monday class.  It says we’ll see our Creator, face to face, in all His glory. Our intellects will be glorified and we will see things in all their glory and splendor and beauty.  We won’t see just reflections of Beauty,   hints of Beauty,   we’ll see the essence of Beauty itself, and we will see our own soul as the beautiful creation that it is.

We will know ourselves clearly.     We will see ourselves as we really are.     Quote:

“We shall see (our soul)  clothed with a surpassing Beauty, adorned with gems of grace and good works,  and shining in the presence of God like a bright star.  This sight of ourselves will kindle in us sentiments of unbounded gratitude to God who is the giver of our existence.”

Enough.

An encounter with Beauty can take our breath away.

But with our intellects clarified and glorified (in Heaven)   we will live forever within the full enjoyment  of surpassing,  enchanting Beauty that is the Presence of God, Ever-Beautiful, Ever-Glorious,  Ever-Lovely.

Heavens Gate

And we will know and love and possess Him and all that He has for us.

It’s enough to make one want to seriously begin preparing!!!

______________________________________________

.*    The Happiness of Heaven   by  F.J.  Boudreaux

(easily available at Amazon and as an eBook elsewhere)

THE SCIENCE OF WHIMSY

February 21, 2017

“True Science is whimsy.”

speeding-thoughts

There was a young lady named bright
Whose speed was much faster than light.
She set out one day
In a relative way
And returned the previous night.

Science is whimsy,  for God made the world out of Love and Joy!    It is the serious pudding-faced “science practitioners”  of our day who put a heavy weight to science –  and dare you to disagree!

If you cannot find fun and admiration and joy and gratitude in the science you know,  then you have not done science at all!

studying-outside

I took my studying 0utdoors today –  it was 61 degrees, for goodness’ sakes!!!    That’s a pretty warm February day here in the Far North!   I did my work right in the middle of nature with the sounds of many seriously happy birds, the  water in the  creek  babbling over the rocks,   and the wind soothing itself through the trees.

So enjoyable,  this science of  meteorology.

Speaking of which,   WHERE IS MY GRANDSON AGAIN?

truckee-snow

White-out in the High Sierras

Cooper lives in the Sierra Nevadas where they’ve had  five feet of snow one week, six feet the next, five feet again the next week,  and one time it was eight to ten feet.   Today and yesterday they are having a three to five feet snowfall –   not so much –  but the wind gusts  nearby were measured at  199 m.p.h. (Alpine Meadows)  and 193 m.p.h.  (Squaw Summit.)   Fascinating.      Intimidating.       My son-in-law works up there at times!

Haven’t received any recent photos of Cooper.    Probably don’t have cell phone service again.  Or electricity.

I think they could use a little science and technology help out there.

snowflakes

Science is delightfully beautiful but it’s probably not a good time to teach Cooper that “each little snowflake has six points and each one is different from every other snowflake   . . .”  They’re not seeing  “flakes” out there.

Amazingly,   the world is so big and man and his dwelling places are so tiny,   that  Cooper can have his blizzard way over there and I can have my heatwave way over here.

Looks like the Pacific Ocean has been having an unexplained heatwave of its own.

ocean-heat-blob

They call it “the Blob”  sitting alongside our West Coast,   a large heat anomaly.  It’s been there for a couple years, but science hasn’t figured it out yet.

It’s still a mystery to wonder at.

And then there is  “gorgeous”   on an ordinary day:

sunset-drive-cr

Do you know what that column of sunlight is called?   Do you know what causes it?

Just driving along one evening   —     all of a sudden,  the sun shoots out a pillar of brilliant golden light.

It was gone in 45 seconds.

Just a whimsical  reminder of the power and glory of the Creator of all science.

 

 

 

SEXAGESIMA: ENEMIES WILL COME

February 20, 2017

( I felt safe this morning, in a dangerous world. )

I went to church this morning,  and didn’t even give a thought to my safety:

purg-1

Christendom had always seems so big and  strong.   I’d like to take my safety for granted,  but I know time is running out for us.

I  kept in my mind this morning that some Christians were not so safe going to their church services a couple Sundays ago.

uganda-attackers

Right in the middle of their services,  angry men surrounded the church building,  burst in through the doors,  locked the doors so no one could escape,  and then proceeded to beat and rape the men and women inside.

Because they were Christians.

(Our Rulers who are creating and then using chaos and confusion,  are moving the enemies of Christianity into Christian  (formerly Christian)  nations.     Now why would they want to bring in our  enemies? )   

we-are-death-for-you-2-jpg

Christians have always had enemies.    The Christian world has always had enemies.

It’s “Sexagesima Sunday”  today,  the second of three Sundays that get us ready for the season of Lent.    These three Sundays are a thoughtful reminder of how serious this world is, how necessary Good Friday and Easter were, and that happiness in this world  is incidental,  but not our goal.

One of the Readings attached to this Sunday is a sort of short  autobiography that St. Paul gives us, concerning the enemies he faced.       This great man,  this Apostle to the Gentiles  —    What all did he face?

Here is a portion of what we heard today,  from St. Paul’s second letter to the Corinthians:     He did his work as a Christian missionary   ” in many more labours, in prisons more frequently, in stripes above measure, in deaths often. [24] Of the Jews five times did I receive forty stripes, save one. [25] Thrice was I beaten with rods, once I was stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I was in the depth of the sea.    [26] In journeying often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils from my own nation, in perils from the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils from false brethren. [27] In labour and painfulness, in much watchings, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness . . .”

Ahhh,  the life of a serious Christian!     Most likely none of us will ever have to go through that much in order to fulfill our mission on earth,  but it does remind us that Jesus said if we want to be followers of Him,   we have to be like Him and to take up our cross too  . . .  and then we can follow him.

lent-our-crosses

Christ first.      Then us.

He faced enemies and opposition from this present world system –  and so will those who love Him and follow Him.

It’s sobering to list all the enemies there are,  both external and internal.    Safety is an illusion,  a temporary illusion,  but we have each other for friendship,  encouragement,  and prayer for such as those in Uganda,  facing such enemies as in the photo above.

 

 

 

 

 

DEJA VU HISTORY – 15th CENTURY –

January 31, 2017

First,  a  little Rant –

“Deja vu all over again” ??   No!  I’m not going to state that culturally -imposed knee-jerk reaction which trivializes the actual (quite rare) phenomena.

“He who is ignorant of history is condemned to repeat it...” ??    No!    We hear that so often that we’re oblivious to its serious meaning.

But humans are always humans and similar events do come up again and we should learn from those who  lived before we do,  because they really lived in this world and gained experience.

It is arrogance, narcissism, and hubris to reject what they have learned;  and it is criminal negligence for government schools to keep a knowledge of history from us and to pass on a version of history that was rewritten by current political ideology.

bar-fancy-line

So.  Now.    I’ll just be matter-of-fact.      Factual.

It was my intention to re-study the 16th century because I know I’ll have to answer many questions about it  during this fateful year of multiple anniversaries, one of which is 1517, the reputed beginning of the “Reformation. ”

(Book recommendation:   “The Unintended Reformation”    by  Brad S. Gregory.)

But I needed to know some background and I got “stuck” in the 15th century –  an amazing and interesting century all over Europe  (anyone familiar with Game of Thrones?),  but unfortunately  a century with familiar circumstances to us in the 21st.

Let’s just do Spain.     After repeated attacks, robberies, knifings,  killings,  banditry,  political assassinations, courtroom disruptions committed by the Moors who were resident in Spain,    it became clear that Spanish citizens, the “indigenous” people of Spain,  were presented with life-and-death danger every day.

The Moors claimed Spain for their worldwide Caliphate and wanted to re-start their war of conquest.   The Moors were the “conquistadores,” so to speak against  the Spanish people.

If this was your home,  you were somewhat safe:

guadamur-castle

But if you had to travel somewhere,  or if your  home was a smaller “suburb” or remote village, or if you were a farmer,   then you faced death or capture and forced slavery and conversion to the Moorish religion.    (We call it Islam today.)

(By the way,  for those of you who have learned the re-written version of history,   the truth is that the Church forbade forced conversions to the Catholic faith.  In writing.   In documents.   All over the world.     And the penalty for those who tried it was excommunication from the Church.  And many were.   The real Church teaches that you don’t force anyone to become Catholic. )

But the Moors did force Christians to convert, according to what is written in their book.

So here is the likeness between that time and ours:     As more and more protective laws were developed in 15th century Spain,   restricting the movement of the Moors,  more and more Moors pretended conversion to the Catholic faith.    It’s in their  book that you can do that if it advances the cause.

images-rejected

I doubt if many 15th century Moors ever understood the images in this painting.   I’m sure many   Moors were repulsed by it,  including some converts.

Many more Christians were killed because of these new “Christians”  being given the same  advantages as the Christian Spanish citizens.

So now in today’s news, I read:   Because the Previous President issued some orders to detain certain people from certain countries and because the Current President has decided enforce those orders,   the entertainment-news media  (in America and in Europe)  are announcing that President Trump is “banning Muslims from entering the United States.”

A falsehood, of course,  but believed by people in those certain countries.    And so, according to some news today,  many Muslims are converting to the Christian faith in order to enter the United States.

Is there anyone in the world who will doubt the sincerity of all these conversions?     All of them?     All?      

Of course not.

Is there anyone who doesn’t know that this was a successful strategy used in the past by other “converts”  and dangerous to the citizens of the target nation?

. . . .

safe-home

My loved ones and I don’t live in a safe home, like this.

And we’re not protected by soldiers looking out for us, like this:

safe-soldiers

But those who have declared themselves to be enemies of the United States are coming . . .

invading-not-migrating

. . .    by the hundreds of thousands.

And some of these have declared their intentions.

islam-willl-dominate-cr

“. . .the WORLD.”

“Freedom can go to hell” ??        Freedom is a Western value.

Deja vu?   Once upon a time there was a mindset to protect Western values:

fight

The Catholic Church has said that every nation has a right to protect itself, its citizens,  its borders and culture.    Every nation has a right to exist.

I hope indeed that this part of history repeats itself.

 

SOUR BERRIES, GOLD STRIPS, AND TOILET PAPER ROLLS

January 13, 2017

The “lesson” today began with a curmudgeonly encounter with sour berries,   two gold strips, and a toilet paper roll.

Lesson # 1 –  “New”  doesn’t always mean better.

new-tricks
In fact,  in this benighted century,  “new” almost always means worse.   Or greatly diminished.

“New” ways of doing things,  “new tricks,”   almost always means cutting corners, cutting quality  — and caring more for the Bottom Line than for people.

 

My first encounter with the “new” came in the form of many, many pints of berries,  raspberries and strawberries.   Good price.  Good for juicing and freezing in little cups.

1-juice

I did it.  I did all the work.     Then I  tasted the juice.    Ick!     Sour, tasteless berry juice.  I know berries grow in the summer . . .   but if they sell them now in the winter, doesn’t that mean they’ve come from warmer climates?  Southern places?   Greenhouses?   Aren’t they still berries?

It’s “new” to be able to buy berries out of season . .  .  but what are these?     Maybe the “new” way of growing doesn’t give the berries the ability to include their natural sugar.

The second encounter  was with the gold strips.

2-gold-strips

I was putting away Christmas cards – and envelopes – and was delighted to see a couple envelopes made with a heavy gold lining,  like the “good” cards we used to send to special people.

Only the gold lining didn’t go all the way through.

1-5-pretty-envelope

Just two little strips on the back and front, inside the envelope,  to make it look like the envelope was just as elegant as they always used to be.

Not a really big deal, I guess,  but the “little girl” in me felt tricked by this “new” way of saving money.   I felt a little sadness at this diminution of quality.

Third encounter?

3-toilet-paper-rolls

Yeah . . .  the “new”  toilet paper rolls.    The cardboard roll at the right is a sad reminder that the size and thickness of these rolls has also decreased — to the point that my old patterns for using toilet paper rolls in crafts:  Brownies, Girl Scouts,  first-grade classroom art projects,  and those silly little crocheted dress forms that you make to put on a little girl’s bedspread . . .    You can’t use these smaller, flimsier  imitation rolls in those patterns  . . .

And how about having NO rolls at all  (like the white thing on the left)?     Doesn’t work quite as well as they’d like us to believe.

To those people who thought up these “new” ideas:   TREES ARE A RENEWABLE RESOURCE!!!!     Making paper products employs American workers of many skills!!   Paper companies produce something of worth and add value to our economy.    Don’t be afraid to use paper — it adds;   it doesn’t waste anything!     (Of course, I’m not speaking about thoughtless “wastefulness.”)

Am I being a curmudgeon?   Maybe.    But sometimes I wonder, how much lower do we have to let the quality of everyday things get?     Paying a little bit more for smaller quantities.     Buttons and seams that come unthreaded . . . .    “Newspapers that have one-tenth of the words newspapers are expected to have.    We’ve all had these “encounters.”  What will we see ten years down the road?

Lesson # 2 –

Yes,  this is about Epiphany – the entire season of Epiphany,  the one that has been diminished by the modern  “new-improved”  version of the Church.

epiphany

Wherever you find Christendom today, you’ll observe that today is an important day on the Liturgical Calendar.   It is the Octave of Epiphany.    That is,  the Church (the real, actual Church), has given us eight days to learn, relearn, and more deeply learn the lessons of Epiphany.

After all,  only a child would want to look at the Three Wise Men and then quickly move on to “something else.”   There is much more to Epiphany to the adult mind — and we need at least an octave of days to consider it all.

I didn’t write about the three main points of epiphany this year.   Many others have done so, and I wasn’t physically able to do so.    But just to point out, though,  the three events  that Epiphany offers us are

  1.    The visitation of the Wise Men
  2.     The changing of water into wine at Cana
  3.     The baptism of Jesus

All three events demonstrate to us some aspect of the divinity of  Jesus,  who was presented to us at the very beginning of the Gospels.     All three events have significant meaning for our  eternal life, in the next world.

I’m not writing about those events, however;    I’m just calling attention to a diminished and weakened presentation of the Gospel story which obscures the splendor and majesty of Jesus,  the Son of God.     You can’t squish a whole octave into one Sunday morning sermon on the day of Epiphany.

The “new” way of having just one day of Epiphany is not a better way!    So much we no longer know!!!     So much quality slipping through our hands.

Christendom diminished.

The burden of the effort is on us to recover . . .  quality.

STOPPING BY WOODS ON A SNOWY EVENING

January 12, 2017

ice

“Stopping by the woods  . . .    Lovely, dark, and deep . . . *

Yeah . . .   that poem.  

woods

(For those of you who know some Robert Frost.  .  .)   I’m getting through it, though.

“. . . But I have promises to keep,  and miles to go before I sleep. and miles to go before I Sleep.”

 Nature spoke:

rabbit-tracks

That deep, dark Scandinavian Funk jumped out and grabbed me just as I was getting rid of the  “Evil California Toddler Virus”  that settled in during the holidays.

How easy  to withdraw from everything and smoothly drift into those Dark Woods.   It attracts . . . .

But Nature spoke – and I remembered I have some promises to keep.      A few hundred books to read.     A mother, to be.   A grandmother, to be.     A teacher,  yet to be.   I’m a soul who hasn’t been called out of this earth yet,    into those deep, dark lovely woods.    Oh, man, I was tired!   Of everything.

And then I saw the bunny tracks.  

I was too tired to be out there on my driveway, to shovel the snow away, even though it wasn’t deep.      But there are those rabbit tracks!!     About three feet apart!    That bunny wasn’t tired on my driveway!    How absurd that “big me”  should be holding back when that little rabbit had used so much energy to get across.

See?  Sometimes,  and even for you, it might be just the smallest thing speaking to you from the Real World,  from Nature, and if you add a little humor, a little irony or absurdity,  you are snatched back into that Real World and you participate in a whole new outlook.

Well,  it can happen.   I know what being “trapped” is too — but here again Nature showed me what really being trapped is:

trapped-leaf

Just a moment later, after I enjoyed those rabbit tracks,  I saw this leaf.  The wind was blowing on it and it had left tracks too, but not what one would expect.

The end of leaf is trapped.   Probably in some under the snow.   Instead of making forward progress and “getting somewhere,”   the leaf has been going around and around in circles.

Mmm-hmmmm.    I could draw a lesson from that too.   I’ll just draw my own lesson;  you can draw yours.

I rejoiced with the rabbit.  I took pity on the leaf.   But both made cute tracks,  lovely patterns, and both left their mark that — they existed.

bar-gold-with-cross

Robert Frost had a really, really good reason for writing that poem, and just because  that’s a common experience to us all,   it’s a good idea to read it again;  become familiar with it in your now new stage of life,  however long you’ve been living.

(Memorize it, for fun!    Ha ha!   No teacher making you do it!!!)

You can use a Search engine;  just type in “Stopping by  Woods on a  Snowy Evening.”

Or:   (more)

(more…)

MEAT IN THE MODERN WORLD

December 2, 2016

Or maybe I should call this post:  MEAT BECAUSE OF THE MODERN WORLD.

 

Meet my meat:

my-beef

They’re fine (Scottish) Highland cattle, big shaggy things.

Contented:

my-meat-contented

They do well in  pastures here in the Far North,  and their owners let them graze  on grass during their whole lives.    Even when it’s time for their lives to end,  they are not “force fed”  vitamin and chemical laden grains to  add marbling (streaks of fat) to their muscles in their last six weeks,   which is what happens to a lot of “grass-fed”  cows.

I know their owners personally.   I don’t mean they’re “friends of mine,”  but I have come to know them, talk to them,  and respect the way they handle their herd and the way they handle the meat and bring it to  market.

(From an informative flyer):

my-meat-source

They’ve patiently answered all my questions and taught me a lot about what makes good meat.

I’m a meat-eater.    It’s in my genes.    My gene pool has been traced back 11,000 years (if you can trust the  gene-tracing company) —  and my family certainly came from a protein oriented culture (deep cold-water fish like herring and haddock and cod;  eels,   trout, salmon,   fish eggs, seals, walrus, and the occasionally bear and reindeer. )

So I’ve always taken meat for granted.

Until I learned how “modern”  industrial cattle factories have corrupted the meat supply and turned “meat” into something unwholesome – and not really very tasty, either,   compared to these:

my-meat-looking-at-you

It’s more expensive to buy a cut of real meat.    I know that.   But you can really get away with eating less.   You’re satisfied with  a smaller piece that is very tasty and full of nutrition.

I know this modern world and all its broken promises.     You have to pay more, sometimes much more,  just to keep even with the quality of the past.    That’s the challenge.

It’s “quality of life.”      Sometimes we just have to slow down and pay attention to the Quality of our lives.

We actually honor our Creator when we take care of the body He has created for us.    And so . . .   food is  a moral issue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

GOOD AND EVIL UP ABOVE

September 11, 2016

Sept. 11, 2016   –

good-versus-evil-450

As I left church this morning I looked up.

Great evil:   Those “trails”  are raining down on us  boron,  barium,  cadmium,  assorted radioactive isotopes, desiccated red blood cells,  and above all,  great quantities of aluminum.     Among other occasional substances.

Most of these are neurotoxins, causing neurological deficits, dementia,  sterility, and increasing immune-system weaknesses.       The above-named substances have been found in human hair samples,  bone marrow,  spinal fluid in  “inexplicable”  quantities, and all on the rise.

Whatever explanation our Rulers give us,  the fact remains that this is destroying human, animal, and plant life on earth.     Since about 1995.

I call that evil.

In front of that, however,  in the photo, pointing upwards,  is a great good.      In our church,  the Son of God actually becomes present on our altars.     Since about, oh,  33 A.D.

I call that a great good.

Who wins?

“Heaven and Earth shall pass away,  but my word will never pass away.”   (Jesus.  About 32-33 A.D.)

 

 

 

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE CHURCH!

August 14, 2016

Well, it’s Sunday, so “church” is on my mind.    And I’ll start with a title from the great writer GK Chesterton,  (What Wrong With the World), and tweak it a little,  but I promise not to show the genius, perspicacity, and humor of Chesterton.   I’m just as passionate,  but not quite as talented!

sleepy 150

I began my Sunday morning struggling to come awake in time, as usual.   (I don’t “do”  mornings.)   To wake myself up,  I read a little of the entertainment-news headlines and saw the typical murder and mayhem,   immorality, and confused thinking.    A world unable to reason clearly and to choose the right thing.        And Christians who seem weak in the face of  growing tyranny, crime, immorality, and evil.      Why?   What happened?

The Church offers a huge, almost endless treasure of logic, philosophy, science, reason,  history,  examples of good people, and instruction in civic, social, and  limitless power for holy living for  anyone who wants it.    Quicumque!

We used to know this.

(Before):

I was a history major in the university I attended;  I’ve been  studying secular history,  sacred history,  Church history,  and Bible history for many, many decades.   And I witnessed what has happened to the Roman Catholic Church.

It’s this:    Words matter.  And through words come meaning and power as well as information and, influence, and inspiration.    What is relevant and powerful is lasting, and that’s why we can say we have “classics” in literature.

Such classics are timeless because they speak to the common,  higher things in mankind.  Hindus worship in classical Sanskrit.   Muslims worship in classical Arabic.   Christians worship in classical Latin –  to name a few traditions.      The classical words don’t change,  they won’t change, and so the meaning will not change either,  because the meaning is respected and “timeless.”

cat picture

The Mass of the Church is made of words and gestures which bring us to a high point of communication (prayer)  with God  and an intimate spiritual union with Him, one on One, so to speak.     The beginnings of the Mass can be seen way back in New Testament times, as evidenced by the earliest Christian use of the catacombs, mid first century, A.D.

The Mass kept the early Christians in constant and very real contact with God which strengthened them through persecutions and heresies.

cat chaliceI know if we were to go back to those times and peek into the catacombs, we would see and hear things that are very familiar to us:     prayers, words,  gestures, procedures.     The Vessels used by these early Christians were made of the finest metals, carefully crafted for the purpose which they would serve.   This is a “museum quality”  chalice from the 3rd century.

Very little was changed or added through the succeeding centuries, and we know this from the writings of the people who lived at these times.   The Mass differed a little from location to location,  but by the time of (Pope) St. Gregory the Great, 6th century,  the Mass was pretty well set in its present day form.  Several centuries later,  again there were “accretions” particular to specific locations.   Pope Pius V  decreed in the 16th century that anything that was added “in the last 200 years”  should no longer be used – it was too “new”!      No sudden changes!      Never any sudden changes.

 

mass priest to God

And so we have a powerful, time-proven Mass that is a conduit for spiritual strength because it makes present for us, in our time,   the One-Time offering of Christ, as Sacrifice,   to God, for our peace and salvation.

The words of the Mass are the priest’s words, not ours.  That’s the function of a priest:  to be involved in sacrifice, or in this case,  the Sacrifice.   Only one sacrifice,  but made present to us each time.    (The idea came from Christ Himself who told us “This is my Body . . . )

(“Is”   Let’s not get into President Clinton’s vocabulary lesson.)

So what happened?

(After):

Where we used to bring ourselves and our praise and thanksgiving to God-Most-High  in a solemn ceremony that acknowledges our sin as well as our Redemption through Christ’s offering of Himself —

Mass to God

 

—   we now  cheerily “entertain” each other —

Mass strumming

According to Pope Benedict,   the Mass was scrapped in about the mid-20th century and a whole new set of words were written to be put into the place of the Mass.   Pope Benedict said the new Mass-words were created “out of whole cloth” –  meaning they started from scratch with new ideas,  they didn’t just make “improvements”  or “edits.”

Secondly,  Pope Benedict’s assessment of the finished product was that it trivialized the Mass,   and  he also used an Italian word for banal –  the newly-written Mass-words banalized  the Catholic Mass.   Banal?    That means made it common and stupid!

It also made the Mass weak.   I’ve talked before about the words of all the rites being rewritten, and how exorcists are having a hard time of it nowadays because the original words of exorcism, with all their power,  had been rewritten to the point of  weakness.  that would be weakness before Evil Powers.

Weakness.    Even if you have good “readings”  and good sermons and good, talented people talking and singing to you —

Mass priest to peole

— the newly-written Mass  just simply obscures what a genuine Mass is all about.

What’s Wrong With the World?

What’s wrong with the Church?

The people of the  Church,  the common,  everyday people have been trained to accept unquestioningly the new, weaker Mass – as though it were a good replacement.    The result is a weaker spiritual life,  confusion in the face of opposition,   an inability to stand up for what is right.      So many  have discarded the  wisdom and  the vital knowledge that the Church has to offer us.        We are more vulnerable in the face of rising political tyranny.

Sheeesh!  If so many hadn’t accepted this substitute,  we’d have a safer, saner world,  strengthened by true spiritual Power!

chalice

 

 

THE “CHOICE” – 1200 YEARS AGO

August 10, 2016

(From a book I am reading):*

Left alone in the fens:

FENS 2

The “boy” was 14 years old and was left alone for days,  with only his dog for companionship.     Today we would call that “child abandonment;  but then it was called  relying on the watchfulness of a  young man of 14 years.   He was strong and good,  watchful and smart.

Good;  of good and trustworthy character.

He was left alone for a  few days by his father and a companion to take care of their small house, a hut really,   in the middle of the lonely fens of  …  England.

FENS

 

Fens.    We don’t really think about “fens”  in America.  Not so that we’d be familiar with them.  I’m sure a physical geographer could identify fens,  perhaps in South Carolina where the Swamp Fox practiced guerilla warfare against the British in the Revolution — 240 hundred years ago —  but mostly we are a nation of dryer lands:  prairie, plains,  deserts,  high plateaus, dryer mountain ranges, forests, and valleys.

Fens hut

The boy was left waiting on a small island of dryer land in the midst of a swampy, marshy area, where his little home had been  built.   He was well-fed by an abundance of fish and fowl.   His portion of dry land  was connected to other pieces of dry land,  pathways, really between the wetlands,  small ponds and rivers, which provided transportation and food — and danger.

The boy’s big hound protected him from the wolves, which were a very real threat, even though his people, the Saxons, had pretty successfully gotten rid of most of these terrifying predators.    But in addition to wild animals, there was the ever present threat of the Danes.

The Danes had arrived a few generations ago and had conquered many areas of F see enemy and readyBritain.   They were the greatest enemy, the greatest present threat to those tribes who were  native  to Britain – even to the Britons themselves.   The Danes were rough and violent conquerors, and they were pagans.  Their aim was to  own Britain, to rule the land, to  enslave the more useful of the people they conquered, and to eradicate Christianity.

And they were pretty much succeeding when this little book opens.  The father and uncle eventually come home,  but the Danes were on their way.  Then all three are off to join other groups of fighting men  in  hopes that they can turn back the onslaught of the Danes.

F Danes warriros

In the first battle, they fight these Danish Vikings well and push them back  a little.

F 14 alongside  The fourteen year old fights valiantly alongside his father, but his strong young body is not quite strong enough for the big warriors he must fight off;  he is too young, too small yet.  Too many times the father had to shield the boy’s body from the strong arm of a seasoned  Danish warrior.

In another battle,    a more desperate one,  the father knows that he will likely die, and he gives orders for his son to hold back along the far edges of the battlefield,  and he gives order to his friend to go to his son if he, the father, should fall in battle.   To go to his son and take him to the king.

F you go away

Both son and friend do not want to leave the man’s side,  but he is the father,  and there is no thought of disobeying his word.   The father dies,  the friend saves and guards the son;  the father’s name lives on.

The young man, Edmond,  becomes   friend and companion to King Alfred of the Saxons and fights faithfully at his side.  And the story goes on . . .  .the Danes are defeated,  and England becomes part of history, part of our world.

F sorrowfully rode away

Now here we are.      Many hundreds of years later.    Our lands are being invaded.  As the Danes conquered place after place in Britain,  so our lands,  Europe and America and Canada,  are being cleverly and efficiently invaded – just not by Danes this time,  and not only by machete, knives, guns, and explosive devices.

I look for the  intelligence to define the enemy.    I look for leadership to unite us in the cause of self-preservation.    I look for “soldiers” who are strong enough and smart enough to fight off the invading forces.    I look for men of good character that can be relied upon to defend us.

There are many ways to fight,  but it is a soldier’s fighting spirit that we need.

It’s a spirit that makes us think that we, ourselves, are worth preserving.

 

.* The Dragon and the Raven   by G.A  Henty

 

(DNC) – “DEAR MRS BROWN”

July 25, 2016

mom african

 

Dear Mrs.  Brown,

First,  I am going to assume you and your son Michael have the same last name.    And “Mrs.”  is one of the highest titles a woman can receive (and earn); so I am going to use that honorable title for you.

mom and ch   In addition,   I share with you the awesome position of motherhood with all its beauty and wonderment, and awesome responsibilities.

I am wondering about some things.   I am a mother too,  and I know some things that the children we raise must be taught.

I also have a son that grew to be quite large,  larger than most of the people around him, larger than  most of his friends.   Mrs. Brown, did you teach your son that his size might intimidate others, and that he could easily become a self-entitled bully, just by the way smaller people react to his size?

Did you (and his father)  teach him and teach him by example  to be gentle with other people, respectful?

Dd you teach him that you don’t “throw your weight around” – not by shouting and intimidating words, nor literally, physically -although he easily could?

mom bl and son    Did you teach him the Ten Commandments (which elevate all cultures) such as Thou Shalt Not Steal?

Did you teach him that shoplifting, even a small item,  is stealing?

Did you teach him that when the store owner catches him,  not to become intimidating and  not to push the store manager down into a display,  even though your son, Michael,  does have the physical strength to do that?

Dear Mrs. Brown,    does he know that he can be a bully people and ignore   laws which ordinary  people have to live by —  but he mustn’t?

Did you teach him that one doesn’t walk down the middle of the street?

That it’s dangerous for him to do so?

That it’s against the law for pedestrians?

That it’s disruptive to traffic and rude to drivers?

That when a policeman tells him to “get off the road,”  he should do that?

Mrs. Brown,  does he know that when you break a law, like stealing from a store,  that your description will become known to the local police?

Mrs. Brown,  does he know that policemen have a DUTY to stop you if you look like the lawbreaker  and ask you questions about where you’d just been?

Policemen have duties to do, in order to protect you and me, and to enforce public safety laws?

Mrs. Brown,  did you teach your son, Michael,  to show respect to a police officer who is talking to you?

And to stop walking so he can talk to you?

And not to shout back?

And not charge his police car?

And not to reach into the car and try to take his gun?

Did you teach him that there would be eye witnesses and videos and forensic evidence of his actions inside the police car?

Did you teach him that those actions against a police officer could result in his death?

Mrs. Brown,  did you speak up when people began lying about what happened, in order to arouse the anger a few people of his own race?

Mrs. Brown, did you speak out to the public and teach them  that this whole movement, based upon something that didn’t happen with your son  should come to a stop because it is based upon an erroneous premise and it promotes contempt,  hatred, and violence against police officers –  whom we all need to keep the police and public safety for us?

Did you speak out to the crowds to tell them to have respect for your son by telling the truth?

The truth about how your son grew up?

The truth about what your son did on the day of his death?

The truth about what happens when anyone doesn’t obey the law?

The truth that there consequences for living according to your own impulses, without self restraint, without reference to a Higher Power?

Dear Mrs. Brown,  I hope you are not riding high on the phenomenon called celebrity.  It’s a heady experience,  but it does no honor to your son, and his death would remain meaningless.

And the falsehood that grows and grows and arouses anger in more people will result in the death of many policemen,  (and not the “bad” policemen who are then prosecuted, but policemen in general,  the good ones.)

And law and order will break down.

And it will be even more difficult, if not impossible,  for a peaceful society to produce safety and prosperity for more and more people.

The political process:

Crowd

 

I hope all these people know,  that you can’t break laws just because of who you are.

DESTINATION – WHERE HIAWATHA LIVES

July 21, 2016

The Spruce Tunnel has reported many times that our Land,  this USA, is so empty.  One can drive for hours without seeing anyone, and many times during this past week I’ve been the only car in my lane for a half hour, sometimes  an hour at a time:

Hour W out cars

HIAWATHA’S LAND:

But it  is  beautiful in the Far Far North where Hiawatha lived (lives).

GG Driving Island  Sunlight through the forest,  Nature speaks deep within you with concepts of Beauty:   colors, pleasing proportions,  compositions, contrasts, harmony . . .  all the classic elements of Beauty, which testifies to its Creator.

GG Driving 2 400

Curve after curve,  Hiawatha’s forest views.

But of course he didn’t have a car to ride in!  So I went into the forest –

GG Forest floor 400

Ferns on the forest floor.    Easy walking, because ferns aren’t really thick underbrush.  They’re very soft when you walk through them.

GG Forest path and wild 400I found pathways.   I’ve walked miles along these pathways during this past week.   All the time I was thinking about Hiawatha’s small village,  one of many, many, maybe countless villages that existed throughout this Land.    Many millions of people lived in this Land, long before the Vikings and the Italian exploreres came to it.

I kept “seeing”  these villages:

BR new goods

And wondering who was “seeing” me:

BR coming

Hiawatha’s forest was not only a location, of course,  an “address” for his home;  it also gave to them everything needed to sustain life.

GG Forest Deer 400I drove by these deer one afternoon.   Probably descendants of the 17th, 18th, and 19th century deer that provided many necessities for Hiawatha and his people.

I couldn’t help taking a picture of this:

GG Forest Birch

We all know that the white birch  has bark that is stripped off to make canoes.  What I learned this time is that each strip of bark has five, six, or seven layers, and each thin layer is waterproof and very strong,  perfect for making  a lake or river canoe, among other things.

GG Canoes from Birch When I was a child I tried making a small toy boat with birch bark.  I also tried making “paper”  with the birch bark.   I failed.   I really didn’t know about the “layers”  in a strip of birch.

But it was important to know these things for Hiawatha because his land borders the Great Gitche Gumme,  and I walked many pathways to get to that Lake.

GG Forest Edge Path 400

If you could see across that Lake,  you would see the shores of Canada.

Gitche Gumme claims the land, in a constant tussle between land and water.

GG Forest Edgge Dropoff 400

The pathway along the edge seemed to be about a half mile long.  Finally,  I got to my destination,  the destination for this whole week-long, more-than-400-mile journey:

Black Rocks 400

It’s here.  This was my destination.    It’s an area called Black Rocks,  a singularly unromantic name for an outcropping of “rock”  that is estimated to be 1.3 billion years old.  This is some of the oldest known rocks on the surface of the earth.

On the shores of Gitche Gumme
By the shining Big-Sea-Waters

Yeah,  here is where I needed to be,  I thought.    These were the first waters I saw at the very beginning of my life . . .  and now,  with the end in view,   I needed to see these waters again.

Black Rocks into lake.

It was the end of land of the Far Far North in view, anyway.

Black Rocks far 400I climbed all around Black Rocks,  and finally looked for a place to sit.

Black Rocks Seat

And I did it.   I found a good rock ledge to sit on and I put my camera away, and then I began to . . .  well,  brood.   I divided my life into five-year segments . . . .

And, well . . .  with each and every scene from my memory huge wounds of negative emotions leapt out at me.    Private, powerful emotions.

It would have been tough that day . . .  it would have been a tough whole life . . .  but for one thing.     With each sudden emotional blow,  I asked myself,   “Well,  what did God want me to learn from this hardness?”     And why is it that each emotional “blow” I felt seemed really rather feeble in my memory?    And how is it that I’m not unhappy,  but indeed,  full of hope and joy and love for those whom I know?

“What did God want me to learn…?”    There was a lesson in each stage of my life.   I suppose.    But I wasn’t that broody, actually.   I probably was taught something during each stage, and then incorporated the learning into my assurance that God was in control.

And so I don’t need to know any “answers.”  I don’t need to come to any conclusions.

What I learned from my brief three hours of “brooding”  sitting on those rather hard rocks is that,  in a big way,  I’m not that baby,  that toddler, that child,   that adolescent,  that young adult . . .  anymore.

I am “me”  only in this Present Moment.  That’s all I ever can be:  Me  Now.     I am identified by what I am Now.

In a big way,   what matters is what kind of person I am Now.

Forgiveness  and Forgetfulness available for the past;   hope and healing available for the future.

That’s the way Gitche Manito works.   Ever Present- Ever Now.     What’s NOT to be joyful about?!

I think I actually did reach my “destination.”

Deo gratias.

 

(Next post:  Why Hiawatha knew this too.)

GITCHE GUMEE

July 12, 2016

Gitche Gumee.        For real.     It really exists.

gitch waters

In the days when American children and young adults were taught American literature,   the words “Gitche Gumee”  would be a familiar sound;   lovely, fetching, longing . . . .a song of roots and courage and duty;   a song of love for the land and union with the earth and its people.

I’ll be there soon.      Not in a boat,  but  h e r e –   looking out over  Gitche Gumee:

gitch 3 blue

I have many decades behind me,  and the “storms” of life have  “ruffled my feathers”  – as is true for all of us.   We’ve all had waves crashing against us.

gitch 5 waves

 

I need to sort things out.    I was born here,  long ago.     It’s possible that the very first sight my newborn eyes saw was this Great Lake, as my nurse carried me outdoors, into the car, into my Mother’s waiting arms.

I need to see this again.

I need to get strong and steady before the storm breaks over us all.

New Haven Lighthouse storm

 

I need to get in touch with myself,  see who I really am, see what “I’ve done and what I’ve left undone.”          Hopefully, I’ll gain wisdom like  Nokomis.

 

On the shores of Gitche Gumee,
Of the shining Big-Sea-Water,
Stood Nokomis, the old woman,
Pointing with her finger westward,
O’er the water pointing westward,
To the purple clouds of sunset.
  Fiercely the red sun descending
Burned his way along the heavens,
Set the sky on fire behind him,
As war-parties, when retreating,
Burn the prairies on their war-trail;

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Thanks for the words.

 

 

 

 

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