Archive for the ‘Christian Analysis’ category

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MYSTERY AND LIGHT

February 15, 2019

 

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

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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...'

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 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

.

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.*  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.) 

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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.)

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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.

_____________________________________________________

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

__________________________________________________________________

 

(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.)

________________________________________________________________________

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.

______________________________________________

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.

______________________________________________________

“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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E.T. – COSMIC CONSIDERATIONS – 1

July 6, 2018

(A couple “cosmic”  considerations.     Having a “close call”  healthwise  enlarges your thinking!)

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H red finger 380

 

“E.T.”

“Eeeeeteeee,   phone home.”

“Home” ” H-o- -oh- oh-h- m m m mmm.”

If you saw the movie, you’ll know why this picture made me think of E.T.!!

(If you’ve never seen E.T., the movie, I’d urge you to see it now. If you saw it only as a child or young person, please see it again. You will see it now with an adult understanding of the issues that are presented; but you can choose to see it, for the first time or not, with the open-hearted goodness of a child.  It is a well-made, worthwhile movie. It’s also fun! And funny and sweet and sad.)

So, that’s a photo of my finger in the hospital one night. I’ve been discharged now, so I leave behind  that little red light on my finger. *

I also leave behind a bruised arm, the result of numerous (failed)   attempts to draw blood.  (That’s my arm past my orange sleeve.)

H black 380

Well, I took it home with me,  but no more bruising, I guess.

I also take with me a new understanding of what it means to be alive. What it means to have “time” left in our lives. What it means to have friends whose support was a big factor in my well-being and my ongoing return to normal. I had no idea how much they  would mean to me.  Family and friends.  I will never hesitate to visit friends in the hospital, now.

The Church teaches us that that is one of the Corporate Works of Mercy: “. . . to visit the sick . . .” And you don’t do it to earn favor or merit with God, you do it with God, for His sake, being His hands, so to speak, and for love of the sick person. Then it becomes a Work of Mercy, rather than a duty done so you can (subconsciously) pat yourself on the back or cross that duty off the checklist of your busy life.

As E.T. was full of gentle benevolence, so is the way of God: gentle, benevolent, loving, interested, attentive . . .

Alive, dying, or dead . . . Heaven is God’s intended home for us.

Yeah – I don’t have that red-lighted finger anymore, but I can still “phone home.”

 

cowboy at prayer 90

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.*  Oh!   Ha ha –   I’m not an alien!    In case you haven’t had hospital experience,  the light on my finger was monitoring by oxygen saturation.   OxSat.      

 

 

 

 

THINKING HIGHER

June 13, 2018

cloud

cloud formation above a Florida parking lot

 

Well, it helps to look up,  look above;  have your head in the clouds . . .   really,  above  the clouds,  beyond the clouds . . . .

I didn’t drive this far south for my own entertainment.  My sister who lives here is ill and will not get better.    She’s way too young for that . . . .  but that’s what’s been on my mind during these last few days of absence from The Spruce Tunnel.

There are a lot of things to consider, decisions to make,  conversations to have, comfort and companionship to give, actual physical help to give . . . .  And all  because a young women has a destination,  “above” those clouds.

Your perspective changes drastically when a lifespan is spoken of in terms of “weeks”  by a doctor who can’t help any more.   It will come to all of us some day, because most of us won’t die suddenly and instantly somehow,  we’ll die with time to think about the certainty of what’s coming.

All of us live here:

earth 390

I don’t mean on that blue-marble earth,  I mean — well, see that very thin blue outline in this NASA photo around the planet?  A very, very thin, solid blue line.

That thin blue line is a photo of our atmosphere.  That’s the whole extent of  all the miles of air we must live in to breathe.    That’s where we live our lives,  between the earth and the bottom part of that thin blue line.

That’s all we’ve got.   A thin blue line around the earth and one short lifespan is all we’re given.   It seems a little precarious.

It just does really  matter that we live with our “heads in the clouds.”  Above the clouds.  Beyond the clouds — all the way to the Creator of clouds, of earth, of us.

pink 400

a random pink cloud floating above my hotel

God thought each of us up,  loved the idea of us, then put us here for a very  short time to watch and see if we are making our way back to Him.    Today I can see for sure what I always suspected:   when you have only months or weeks to live,  your body is too busy working at staying alive and feeling miserable for your mind to be able to think about where you might be going,  and doing something about it.

My sister didn’t wait till the last minute –  that is a comfort to her and to me.    Comfort is going to be sorely needed . . . .

We’re all right now, together.   My sister is just going on ahead of me.

“Up above,”  as we commonly say.

 

 

 

SABBATH REFLECTIONS – KOWTOWING: LL BEAN AND NIGERIA

February 18, 2018

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

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

10 com

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

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

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

Christianis in India

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

 

Further East:

Chinese Requires Church

And few are “sanctioned” —

Chinese Church BEING Wrecked

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

 

Somewhat west of India

christians killed

 

And south of India  —

nigerian church attacked

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

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

Nigerian in church

And this Nigerian woman —

nigerian woman

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

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

nigerian machete

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

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

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

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

ll bean slippers

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

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

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

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

Let’s look at the good:

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

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

Chinese Madonna Chinese

 

And that brings me to KOWTOW   –

           a word UNIVERSAL in its own meaning.

 

(Next time.)

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PART TWO: REFUGEES ON THE MEDITERRANEAN

February 8, 2018

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

john's cross do you know 60

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

 

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

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

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

john first mass gradient 6

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

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

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

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

john b r red blue cross St.  John of Matha

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

john negotiating

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

john's chr slaves woodcut

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

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

aerial med

 

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

From one of the accounts:

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

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

___________________________________________

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

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

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PART ONE: REFUGEES ON THE MEDITERRANEAN

February 8, 2018

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

________________________________________________________

Any idea what this kind of cross means?

Trinitarian Cross

. . . .   red and blue . . .  ?

_____________________________________________________

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

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

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

DECENAS DE INMIGRANTES ENCARAMADOS A LA VALLA FRONTERIZA DE MELILLA

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

And elsewhere, one of thousands of photos:

ref

 

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

Let’s call them Moors, as history does.

john slaves being taken to mors

(Christian boat people)

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

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

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

Slave Women

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

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

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

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

peeking between fingers

And young Christian  men:

peek boy slave 400 dollars

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

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

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

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

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

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

.

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IF A TREE FALLS IN THE FOREST . . .

January 20, 2018

 

So the saying goes:  “If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to see it,  does it make a sound?”

If the Right to Life March happened in 2018 and there was no one from the entertainment-news media (CBSABCNBCFOXCNNMSNBC,etc.etc)  to cover it,  did it really happen?  

A march for women’s rights:

Many hundreds of thousands (which was translated to the word “thousands”)  marched for women’s rights:

right to be born

Do we not have at least the right to be born?

I’m probably not the best one to ask how much coverage the Right to Life March got yesterday;  I simply won’t get my news information from television.  Nevertheless,  I do watch and read  quite a bit of current events, from this country and from others.  Every other year past I have easily found information about the annual Right to Life marches; but not this year.

Brief mention of “antiabortionists,” maybe.     And dishonestly stating “thousands.”

According to our history books,  a couple thousand years ago, when a women gave birth, within a day or so the infant was taken to the husband, laid at his feet,  and he decides, then, whether to keep that baby in his household or to reject the infant, which would then be discarded.  They say the dumps at the edges of Roman cities were filled with the carcasses of little babies, rejected by their fathers.

(Early on,  Christians got in trouble for roaming these dumps, rescuing any infants who were still alive.   Christians were know to have a different morality, one that placed value on all humans, no matter their condition.)

I’ve been an adult for “many decades” now;  there have been adults in my classes for many, many years.    Never, until the last twenty years,  have I seen so many good men and women who have never been married.

As this one man has noted:

one third missing

Can’t find a good date?  Can’t find someone you’d  trust with  the rest of your life?    Chances are fairly good that your Soul Mate was killed in the womb.

All the little babies — more than Stalin killed in his massacre of  millions; all the little girls and boys;  all the young men and women . . .  gone.

I think I will start a one-man campaign for coverage for those who went to Washington DC and protested their disappearance and the ongoing “disappearances” of so many new little babies.     As many others do,  I will wear outside on my clothes little baby feet:

baby feet

Well, not real baby feet . . . that’s for their mommy and daddy to love.

These:

Precious feet

Little gold-colored feet of an unborn baby, so young that sometimes the mother isn’t really sure she’s pregnant!    But she is!    And the little baby exists!

You can find  these little feet by using a Search engine and typing in Precious Feet.

That will  my  news coverage.

 

Bar Cross in middle

 

For those of you who know God exists,  you can pray for the Right to Life marchers and workers;  those who stand and pray outside of those places that do away with little babies;   you can pray for the little babies;  you can pray for the babies who exist today but are as yet unborn;  you can pray for the physically damaged women who have had abortions;  you can pray for the psychological damage and horrors that go on in the minds of the men and women who would have been mothers and fathers.

And you can pray  God has mercy on our nation when He ultimately, inevitably rains down His justice on us.

EPIPHANY: DO SOMETHING!

January 6, 2018

“Or else then it will be too LATE!”     I’m not sure how helpful a memory generated by fear can be,  but those are the words that my father often spoke to me.    “Look at the situation; and act;  do your duty while you can or else  then it will be too late!

Yeah ,  little girl being taught (and taught well) by her big giant Marine Corps daddy with Viking fury blazing out of his deep blue eyes.

Sounds too tough?   Well, I got through my father’s parenting, and the older I got the more I was really, really glad I learned  some of   his lessons.     Every word was spoken out of love.

Do something about it!” 

“While you still can.”

gulag campfire

I am reminded of  Solzhenitsyn of the newly formed Soviet Union and his two friends crouching around a small fire in the freezing cold of a Siberian gulag,  discussing with regret that they should have seen this coming.  But they had done nothing but speak and write and discuss  political hypotheses,  as though the danger were not  real.

So what do all these dire  thoughts have to do with Epiphany today?

WISE MEN Invis Blue 280

There are wonderful, important, life-and-death,  eternal lessons to learn from the actions of the “three” Wise Men from Persia: seeing a star,  knowing its meaning,  and traveling towards it.    The Spruce Tunnel has written about the religious significance on other Epiphanies.

This year there seems to be some urgency.

The Star heralded the birth of the Anointed One from God-Most-High  come to earth to save the people from their sin;     to bring blessing and aid to the humans who are so divinely loved.     For 2,500 years,  more or less,  scholars had been reading of this  promised  Christ — they didn’t know when,  but there would be signs that indicated His coming.   These Magi from Persia saw the Star –

–    and they  did something.

They studied their own times,   they studied the wisdom of the past,  they saw something new in the sky;  and they concluded that now was the time to act – to actually act, not to study it more,  to think about it more,  to be “happy” about it — but to act.    In so doing,  the eyes of these non-Jewish Magi beheld and accepted the Messiah that had come for Jews and Gentiles alike.

The Door has now opened to the whole world.

Wise men afar

Epiphany presents the Actions of God for us;   the actions of faith from us;   and a request for an act of commitment to the Christ-Child,  forever rejoicing in the Light of Life.

Has there ever been any century when the Forces of Darkness did not work through the hearts of men?    Our times, maybe?       Have we shown that we can save ourselves?  make the world a better place?   on our own, without the need for God in our everyday lives?

Of course there’s  a “fun ” side to Epiphany.  Wise Men with  gifts and “We Three Kings of Orient Are…”;   and it’s the Twelfth Day of Christmas;  and we get to put our Christmas decorations away . . . .   but let me show you what I just read today:

The Marquis de la Force in France,  late 18th century,   was a modern and successful man,  up-to-date with the latest in liberal thinking.  All the liberal philosophies that were forming made sense to him and to his society which was in the process of throwing off the old ways, and especially that superstitious enemy of the modern world, the Catholic Church.

And his lovely young daughter entered a Carmelite convent.

And his countrymen began a revolution that ended in regicide and the bloody overturning of his own society.

rev terror

The  philosophical wanderings and  political dallyings of de la Force and his trendy friends had led to bloodshed and chaos and changing alliances, so that soon no one was safe.

rev guill

This political party,  that political party,  in and out of favor,  no compass, no guide,  no restraint —  just “the politics of personal destruction  and rule by public opinion — and lives destroyed on the guillotine.

Including his own lovely young daughter,  who was one of the Carmelite nuns of Compeigne,  led one by one up the stairs to the block, under the blade.

com 2

The nuns sang sweetly as they waited,  the Veni Sancte Creator, I think,  and as it happened,   little Blanche de la Force’s voice was  the last one left singing before she was executed.

We know this from history:    the French blithely tossed away  the Catholic Church and  then lost their foundation of moral law and truth and justice.    What takes the place of the Church are the Forces of Darkness, ready to rip through the hearts of men.

Her father spoke these words:

“This outrage is intolerable!   Something ought to be done about it!   Religious people should see to  it.  I’m told that they still exist in sufficient numbers.   I hope they will increase.   These circles are indispensable for law and order.   Why don’t they do something!”   *

We don’t know much about what happened to the Marquis,  but, as the author of this little book says:  “Life took the initiative . . .  and as far as I can see,  the actual events were the logical consequences of his (political)  beliefs.”

So here at Epiphany  with the Wise Men,  and now,  and  there at the French Revolution with all its faith in a society without the Church,  and later at the Soviet Revolution,  with its determination to create a perfect society without God,   we can witness great ideas that influence mankind,  wise men who put the good ideas into action,  and others who just let the Forces of Darkness steer the events of this world.

There is a present meaning for us  in Epiphany.    With the Light it brings,   with the epiphany it creates in our minds,   I hope we can do something to head off the Darkness that is coming  —  or then it will be too late.

 

(I feel  like a little girl again.)

“This outrage is intolerable!   Something ought to be done about it!   Religious people should see to  it.”

 

.*  The Song of the Scaffold,  by Gertrud von la Port