Archive for the ‘God’ category

SUNDAY VIEW

November 12, 2017

Here’s a view down the aisle of our “basement chapel” as people were coming in,  before the Mass began.

sunday view 370cr

I was going to write something “teachy” today, but after I came out of Mass, with a lot of different kinds of happiness for the things I experienced, I was thinking about something I saw today after the Mass was over; and I wanted to memorialize it here in the Tunnel.

What I saw was young,  growing families!    Young pregnant wives, looking surprisingly mature and confident; and then their young husbands, beaming; happy and glad, as though they had something wonderful to present to the world.

I’ve heard it said that new little babies are God’s vote of confidence for the world.   I think, rather, maybe babies are God’s confirmation of His love for the human race.
As I tell my classes, God thought you up; liked the idea of you; and then brought you into existence at the optimum time and place for you . . . (so that you have the very best chance to find your way back to Him).”

He has high hopes for you:    For I know the thoughts that I think towards you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of affliction, to give you a future and a hope.”   (That’s in Jeremiah 29:11  —    good memory verse!)

silhouette child

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We are the baby in our mother’s womb.   We are the child.   We are the young adult with the world ahead of us!    We are the adult,  figuring it all out, gathering wisdom.  We are the old one,  looking for the End of our Journey.

We are all of those things at once.

 

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A BRIEF WORD TO SJWs

October 22, 2017

Goodness:

beautiful

 

Social Justice Warriors claim that they are working to make a better world.

Here is a short word to them:  

If everything in the world were perfectly good,  we would still need God, for goodness comes from God.*

If we take the Social Justice Warriors  at their word,  which I don’t,  but if they mean what they say, isn’t it good for all of us to work hard to improve the lot of unfortunate people in this world?

Yes.  But there is no ultimate Goodness apart from God.

All.  Goodness.  Comes.  From.  God.  Our.  Creator.

God the Creator, in His goodness, has given us a beautiful world,  for our benefit.   Goodness and beauty and love . . .  all the perfect attributes of God are  meant to be  increased in our lives and spread about by us.     ” Working to make the world a better place.”

(Perhaps a small point of commonality  with those who are sincerely attracted to Marxist dogma — and yet are willing to have a conversation?)

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.*   from  Simple Truths, Thinking Life through,  by Bishop Fulton J. Sheen

 

 

A DIFFERENT KIND OF LIGHT – 100 YEARS AGO

May 14, 2017

 

“Like crystal,  when the sun shines brilliantly through it.”

It was hard for the little children to describe the brightness and purity of the whiteness,  the white light that the Lady was made of,  like she was made of the sun, but it didn’t hurt their eyes.

OL Fatima

As you’ve probably heard,  this is the 100th Anniversary of the First Apparition that occurred in Fatima, Portugal.    I’ll write much about it in the days to come;  six months we  have.   The Apparitions came once a month for six months,  with one big Fireworks of an ending!

fatima people

That it happened there could be no doubt.  In fact,  among the many in the photograph above who were there on that last day were many, many doubters, skeptics, mockers, and downright nay-sayers.    They were there to ridicule the so-called pious believers who believed the children’s tales.

But for  even those who were convinced nothing would happen – something happened to them!      Why were they so convinced nothing was going on?      Because the ones who were able to see or hear “something”  were the innocent,  the pure in heart,  the honest,  the open,  the pious, and the humble before God.

There were a few, even in this atheistic country!

According to the heart of each person,   some heard only a soft buzzing when the Apparitions occurred.  A few heard the booms.  A few saw the bright flashes.   Some saw a small, soft white cloud.    Two of the three children heard the words of “the Beautiful Lady,”  but all three saw her.

And that was exactly how they described her.    This Beautiful Lady, who was really appearing,   was a Lady with a face and with hair and eyes and clothing, but nevertheless “all made of Light.

In fact, later,  when Lucia, the eldest, was pressed to describe her,  she said even her gown was made of Light.  It was not “folds of white cloth,”  but where there would be folds, it was like the Light was thicker there,  the Light was draped in folds, and at the edges of the  Lady’s gown,  the brilliant white Light became golden,  like an outline of golden Light.

a white

The Beautiful Lady would not identify herself until October,  her sixth visit.

But remember –  she was made of Light.  Clothed in Light.  A Light that made everything beautiful and brought with it the presence of God,   Who is the Source of Majestic Light –

I Timothy 6:16 –  (God) . . . who alone is immortal and who lives in unapproachable light, whom no one has seen or can see. To him be honor and might forever. Amen.

 

FEBRUARY 2ND – A VERY FULL DAY

February 2, 2017

February the Second.    I actually had no idea, when I woke up this morning,  how many lovely and supernatural Mysteries are remembered on this day!

Of course,  first,   I woke up to the radio announcing  “the ground hog has seen its shadow.”   An extended winter –   yay!     Trivial, silly,  traditional,   fun —   but . . .  trivial.

ground-hog-in-sun

But there are deep and important Mysteries for us to attend to on this date, coming to us from Western Civilization, and the wisdom and knowledge of those who lived before us.

One is the three-fold remembrance of   (1)   the Purification of Mary,   (2)  the  Presentation of Christ in the Temple,  and (3)   Candlemas.       This is a part of Western Civilization;  it’s a part of our history, celebrated continuously from the time of the earliest Christians.    It was old when the first written account of this celebration was made just after 300 AD.

(1)   The Purification of Mary

purification

The Holy Family lived under the precepts of the Old Testament.    One of the precepts refers back to the Creation of mankind,  the Fall of mankind (and Original Sin falling upon everyone thereafter), the provision of sacrifice to “satisfy”  the infinite offense against the Creator – and His act of Creation that accompanies every “marital act.”

So, according to Mosaic Law,   Mary presents herself to the priest in the Temple  (there was only one Temple for the Jews) and provides two turtledoves for the sacrifices:  a sin offering and a ritual,  liturgical “cleansing,”  called “purification.”   (This does not refer to the worth of a woman.)

Mary needed neither.   If she had needed either,  she could not have contained the Holy Child,   the Son of God,  in her womb.   She had been prepared in such a  way so as not to actually have needed “purification,”  but   she humbled herself to the obedience of Old testament precepts.  Her holiness is all from her Holy Son.  Her salvation is all from her Holy Son – and His Cross.

(2)    2nd on this day,   the Holy Child is presented to the priest in the Temple. 

presnetation

Every human child  is from God.       He made it;   the child is His.   But in a charming and loving ceremony,  (written down in Leviticus),  the parents are allowed to “redeem”  the child,  to buy it back, so to speak, for a price, (today it’s usually 5 gold coins – or gold-type coins)   and they are then allowed to take the child back to their home and to love the child and raise the child in the knowledge of God.gold-coins

Two people present at the Presentation of Christ were Anna and Simeon,   both of whom waited in the Temple most of their long  lives for the coming of the Promised Child.   They were rewarded for their faithfulness by being allowed to see – and to know –  that this was indeed the long-promised Messiah.

Today, this “Presentation”   ceremony is  not necessary because Christ has redeemed all mankind on His Cross.  However . . .

pidyon-haben

. . . .  today’s Jews sometimes continue the practice in a ceremony called Pidyon Haben – you can look it up on any Search Engine. The intention is the same.  God created this child, the child is God’s,   we offer to redeem it back and raise the child in the knowledge of You, his Creator.

(3)      So,  we have on Feb. 2nd,  the Purification of Mary,  the Presentation of Christ in the Temple,  and now:  Candlemas.

Candles that are going to be used in the coming days are blessed on this day.   Were blessed on this day.    The twentieth century is a century of shortcuts,  drop-offs, and the evaporation of meaning.    But Candlemas is still practiced . . .  somewhere.

candles

 

Little Nellie of Holy God:

There is a second  “event”  that we can remember on this day,  and this event is the  death of a very young child whose whole life had supernaturally pointed to the Mystery of Christ’s Cross – and His coming to us in each celebration of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

This death brings us into modern times:   Feb. 2,  1908,  the day  “Ellen Organ”  died at age four years old.    Her life is one of hardship, poverty,  and pain,  not so uncommon among the Irish poor,   but also a life of extraordinary and unexplainable knowledge of the presence of  “Holy God.”     Her knowledge far exceeded whatever the nuns had ever taught her,  what they knew and what they could have perceived.

Little “Nellie” recognized a consecrated Host from an unconsecrated host.   She could tell whether or not someone had taken part in Holy Communion that day.     She spontaneously called her chapel the House of Holy God.      She knew, vaguely, in a childlike way    about putting men in prison lock-ups, and so when she saw the Tabernacle in her church which contained the consecrated Hosts,    she  thought that Jesus had been  “locked up in prison.”

Here is a commonly distributed photo of her, not long before tuberculosis of the bone painfully took her life away.

litle-nellie-of-holy-god

To the nuns in the convent-hospital where she lived out her last months,   she became known as “Little Nellie of Holy God.”      You can look her up – you can even go to Wikipedia,   where although they tell  her life story at arm’s length away from anything supernatural,  they do a fairly good job of summarizing her life.

The Spruce Tunnel would like to keep all this in memory.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BIRTHDAY & A SAINT ALMOST MURDERED

May 22, 2016

The birthday celebration table:

BDay  Tab;e sr

Steaks.  Salads.   Presents.  Card.   Cake.   (  . . . and a big arm waiting.)      It’s fun putting on a birthday spread, especially for someone very important!

It was Son’s birthday this weekend.    (Oh, yes – the whole weekend;  three-day weekend, as a matter of fact.   Since his profession requires him to work some weekends, and since  so many people wanted a piece of him on his birthday the celebrations will take  three days. )

Which brings me to my point:  so many hours worked!   So many people to see!    Oh,  Son is not complaining,   but I do observe  people who have busy-busy lives.  I once had an impossibly busy life too.

Has time speeded up or are we trying to cram more into our days?

Or are we trying to avoid facing the deeper issues of Life by activity?

Or all of the above?

But this question is nothing new . . .

Complicated

Human life has long been busy and complicated with great challenges and no easy answers.     Many times everyday life prevents us from sorting out Good and Bad;  Right and Wrong;    Duty;   Virtue;  our relationship to God and each other.    We are distracted, willingly or not willingly,  from the serious issues of Life.

Son is an intelligent person, and sometimes he perceives this dilemma too.

Appropriately,   the saint we remember on the day of Son’s birthday is a man named St.  Hospitius.   (“hoss – pish – us”)      He left the high (and complex, busy) culture of Egypt, sometime after the fall of the Roman Empire, in order to find a quiet  place to understand the meaning of life and to work out his relationship with God.

He traveled to the less populated regions of Gaul,  what we’d call France,  today.    He needed time to think and to figure things out.   He chose to live in the ruins of an old tower where he hoped to see not very many people.      Peace and quiet and freedom.

st h and tower ruins

He had quiet time alone, away from people;  time to think, to learn, and to pray.      He knew this much:  that he was certainly a sinner before God, and he wished to atone for his sins,  to do penance,  and to develop a deep friendship with  his Savior.

And as often happens:  we seek,  heaven rewards.     St.  Hospitius was eventually rewarded with wisdom and understanding,  and the power to prophesy and to work miracles.  Once he warned the villagers around him that they had better flee,  because the fierce tribe of Lombards were on their way to attack, pillage, and destroy.

They left,  but he didn’t.   A small group of barbarian Lombard soldiers found him and saw the chains that he usually wore around his waist, to remind him of what a great sinner he was.   The soldiers thought he was some kind of criminal.

He agreed with them!     Yes!  In the eyes of God I am a criminal.    A great sinner.”   So since he was a self-admitted “bad guy” and an obvious outcast,  they were free to kill him.

Stospitius in chains

A soldier raised his sword to strike,   but the soldier’s arm became paralyzed.   St.  Hospitius made the sign of the cross over him —  the soldier’s arm became “un-paralyzed”   — and the soldier realized this is a holy man of God, and soon converted to Christianity, along with his (military)  friends.

His life is over now.   He died in 581 A.D.      But the relentless demands of busy, everyday life is still with us, as well as the serious need to sort out  Life and Death issues and make our peace with our Creator before we die.

St.  Hospitius is in Eternity right now.    Our Eternity is still before us.  It’s coming.

 

THE POWER OF THE TRINITY

May 22, 2016

The  Liturgical Calendar has recently brought us through some of the most powerful events that affect Mankind:  The mighty Power of the Resurrection,  bringing Life from out  of death.   The incomprehensible Power manifested by the Son of God rising into another dimension.    The   Power  of the Divine Force pulsing down  into the inner being of humans.

And today is for the doctrine of the Triune God,  evidencing the Power of Revelation,  for Mankind’s finite mind could not have conceived of this mystery on his own.

Power.  Power.   Power.     One God of Power and Might.   Power to Love and to give  Life,  Power of Creation,   Power to permeate all of Creation.

So today, for Trinity Sunday,   I present here a meditation, written many centuries ago,   which will richly reward a thoughtful mind and feed the spirit in you.

If you’ve not had an encounter with Christ, the Son of God,  this may help you understand those who have.     It becomes for some of us . .  .  a prayer;   a prayer that connects us to the Power of the Trinity.

ST. PATRICK’S LORICA

I bind unto myself today
The strong Name of the Trinity,
By invocation of the same,
The Three in One and One in Three.

I bind this day to me for ever.
By power of faith, Christ’s incarnation;
His baptism in the Jordan river;
His death on Cross for my salvation;
His bursting from the spicèd tomb;
His riding up the heavenly way;
His coming at the day of doom;*
I bind unto myself today.

I bind unto myself the power
Of the great love of the cherubim;
The sweet ‘well done’ in judgment hour,
The service of the seraphim,
Confessors’ faith, Apostles’ word,
The Patriarchs’ prayers, the Prophets’ scrolls,
All good deeds done unto the Lord,
And purity of virgin souls.

I bind unto myself today
The virtues of the starlit heaven,
The glorious sun’s life-giving ray,
The whiteness of the moon at even,
The flashing of the lightning free,
The whirling wind’s tempestuous shocks,
The stable earth, the deep salt sea,
Around the old eternal rocks.

I bind unto myself today
The power of God to hold and lead,
His eye to watch, His might to stay,
His ear to hearken to my need.
The wisdom of my God to teach,
His hand to guide, His shield to ward,
The word of God to give me speech,
His heavenly host to be my guard.

Against the demon snares of sin,
The vice that gives temptation force,
The natural lusts that war within,
The hostile men that mar my course;
Or few or many, far or nigh,
In every place and in all hours,
Against their fierce hostility,
I bind to me these holy powers.

Against all Satan’s spells and wiles,
Against false words of heresy,
Against the knowledge that defiles,
Against the heart’s idolatry,
Against the wizard’s evil craft,
Against the death wound and the burning,
The choking wave and the poisoned shaft,
Protect me, Christ, till Thy returning.

Christ be with me, Christ within me,
Christ behind me, Christ before me,
Christ beside me, Christ to win me,
Christ to comfort and restore me.
Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ in quiet, Christ in danger,
Christ in hearts of all that love me,
Christ in mouth of friend and stranger.

I bind unto myself the Name,
The strong Name of the Trinity;
By invocation of the same.
The Three in One, and One in Three,
Of Whom all nature hath creation,
Eternal Father, Spirit, Word:
Praise to the Lord of my salvation,
Salvation is of Christ the Lord.

 

RITA RIZZO: A WOMAN WORTH KNOWING

December 3, 2015

(A little interlude for those with enough humility  to   know that every honorable life offers something for us to admire and perhaps to emulate.)

This person could be a man or a woman,  the sex doesn’t matter;  it just happened that she was born a woman, and named Rita.

She was born into poverty, a broken home, and social ridicule.    But she lived in a time before people were taught to blame society, blame the “rich”  —  blame anyone because you’re a “victim.”   She knew she was pretty much on her own, and her life was her responsibility.

Her circumstances brought her into danger sometimes, from criminals and crooked people who prey on the poor.   She developed quite a feisty personality, outwardly, at least,  in defense.

But through a miracle of grace and by her own intelligence which gave her the sense that God is real and He loves,  she listened to her instincts and became a nun, which was the right path for her to take.

But it did not exactly lead to a life of “peace” in her new world.   She still had a  willful personality,  and the Church itself was going through a time of what has been called “auto-destruction”;  Catholics observing in horror what other (c)atholics were doing to the Church.      Modern liberals had somehow taken control of the direction the Church was taking.

Nevertheless, Rita Rizzo, who was now known as Sister Angelica,  had a strong sense of right and wrong and wanted to get the truth out about the greatness of the Church and what the Church really taught.   With $200, and a little sweat equity,  she began a  television show, broadcasting from out of the convent’s garage!

And now it’s known as EWTN, seen all over the world,  and she is known as Mother Angelica.  She’s had many strong disagreements with those who are strongly attached to the New Version of the Church, and yet on she went, not always winning each battle,  but the EWTN network survived, at least in some fashion.

“In some fashion” — because then she had a terrible and massive stroke which silenced her, and couldn’t always control the direction the programming was taking.   And then she had more minor strokes.

And now we hear that she is not doing too well.    One press release:

Mother Angelica

For those of you who understand the power of prayer,  now would be a good time . . .  for Mother Angelica.

a/k/a   Rita Rizzo,  aged 92.

GIFT

September 29, 2015

Whew!       It’s been a wonderful birthday this year.

The best “gift”   was not given as a gift, I think,  but was a wonderful insight that came up during a class discussion.

sup burning bush

We were studying the name God gave for Himself to Moses.    It is a name to think about.  A name that we found it difficult to even begin talking about.    A name so profound that it will instruct for the rest of our lives and for all eternity.

And then a lady began to tell us of her experience with such things.    She told us about sitting on the sandy beach of Lake Superior.  At night.   With some good friends.    The sound of the waves lapping against the shore.    And the heavens filled with stars, so bright and close.

Not much needed to be said,  just the feeling of awe with the heavens pressing down.

sup night skyShe made us feel we were out there with her on the beach at night with the stars deep and close above us.    And she reminded us of the wonderment and awe and the certainty that a great Intelligence designed and created it all for purposes known only to Him, and that we have a very, very, very small existence under these heavens but we’re part of that great vastness.

And then —  she said something that took us even deeper into that Eternal Intelligence.   She said she used to enjoy this experience whenever she could,  and we understood, because some of us have been outside under the tremendous night sky and felt the vastness of space. . .   and then she said that “this class”  — meaning our class and the goodness and faith of the people in it — has made her apprehend the great Vastness beyond even all this,  a beautiful,  bright,  holy vast Goodness that is God,  just beyond and above and all around all the incomprehensible vastness of space . . .

We walked out of class that night with an ineffable sense of the Great I AM that introduced Himself to Moses.

I AM.       No adequate words.     I AM.   That origin of all that exists.    Life.   Love.   Joy.

We are all “gifted”  with our lives that are just a tiny part of this Immensity.

We all “am”  because of the Great I AM.

To know this is the best gift.