Archive for the ‘Lessons from History’ category

MONDAY, TUESDAY, THURSDAY, WEDNESDAY . . .

June 20, 2017

(very random “apparentlies”  from the Spruce Tunnel)

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

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

empty church 2

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

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

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

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

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

This discovery needs my attention:

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That’s my front yard.

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Apparently we had a wind storm this weekend.

Son will know what to do.

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

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

Frankfort School

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

Stopping by The Woods One Snowy Evening

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

 

 

 

MEMORIAL DAY ENTERTAINMENT

May 29, 2017

Suggested.   Suggested entertainment for Memorial Day.      Because the republic of the United States of America cannot exist without truth and the courage to say the truth.

And so I heartily, absolutely recommend for this Memorial Day and the days that follow the series called  The Man in the High Castle.   It’s a series,  on television or something,  that you can get from Amazon Prime or maybe your library DVD collection –  or with a DVD purchase.

man flag

You’ll live in a world in which it’s best not to ask.  Don’t call attention to yourself.   Everything will be all right if you don’t make waves.  Don’t question what you hear on television or in movies or in the newspaper.     Your in-born Bias to Normalcy will help you stay content.

The premise of this series is that the Allies, including the United States lost  World War  Two,  and the governing of  our country is divided between the Nazi victors and the Japanese victors.

man new world

Our country has been broken up now for several decades:  a Nazi controlled East,  a Japanese controlled West, and a kind of no-man’s land in between, somewhere between Colorado and Montana.

Except . . .

The Secret behind this arrangement is that America did NOT lose the world,  but instead, for the sake of our Rulers,  through an efficient and skillful use of deception,  it only appears that way –  in the entertainment-news media.   People are kept in poverty and in ignorance to maintain the deception.

There are a few secret news reels that still exist  that show the Germans and the Japanese surrendering to the Allies — hard to believe! —   but Americans must never know about them.    But some – renegades – are beginning to believe these news reels tell the truth.    And their suppression by the authorities is ruthless.

man logo

We remember today  those who fought and died for our country.   They believed in Truth, Justice, and the American Way.    By and large.   Their children pledge allegiance to  “One Nation Under God.”     We treasure our Freedom.

But all this is so fragile.   It is almost an aberration in world history.   In times of War we fight hard to uphold our values, but times of Peace and Prosperity attack us.

Peace attacks our values.

Prosperity attacks us.

We let our guard down.  We fight no more  We are vigilant no more.   We are on guard no more.

And those who would like to have our country know how to efficiently use deception,  the collusion of the media,  and skillful  psychological methods to confuse us.   Those who would like to Rule over us give us  a new narrative to think with.    History is rewritten.   The game is slowly changed.

Suppression of the old ways is accomplished with ridicule,  isolation,  demonization, and threats,   subtle and sometimes overt.    Economic pressure;  you can lose your job.    And then the lawsuits start.   Fines,  Imprisonments.

The antidote is knowledge.  Certainly not easy to come by!    Awareness doesn’t just drop out of your remote and onto your lap.

Our Founding Fathers said that the continuance of our republic depends upon two things:  an informed electorate and a religious, moral citizenry.

The republic didn’t continue in the Man in the High Castle – and it cost many lives to attempt to get it back.

 

 

March 28, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

deep

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

Perhaps we’ll be called on to do more.

Not necessarily with battle-axe and sword.

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

Slay and Butcher

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

Unless our culture is suicidal.

History will record . . . .

GO BACK AND DO IT AGAIN !

March 21, 2017

Okay,   this might be my last post title that sounds like a command.)

I returned  again this year on a  March cold-almost-spring day to  where —

1.5 Trees with pails 350

—   to where  buckets hang from trees.

Sugar maple trees, specifically.

I’ve been writing lately about the importance of doing something new or different,  but really,  sometimes you should just go out and do something that you’ve done before!  You know,  been there, done that.    It  might be worth a repeat effort  too.

I was very surprised to meet Son and his friend there at the arboretum  – they were busy at one point drilling a hole in a tree:

4.5 Son and Friend drilling 300

That gives the sap a place to run out.

5 spout

And, yes,  we all tasted the drops.

6 sap licking

Sweet in a gentle, diluted way –  but sweet.   Like rainwater with a grain of sugar.

And we watched exactly how the Indians made maple syrup, collecting the sap,  hollowing out long half-logs with burning coals,

mani hot stones

and making birch bark baskets,  boiling the sap . . .

8 Boiling syrup 220

I’ve seen all this before because I’ve been here before.

I was glad to do it again.   I was glad to learn all this again.  A few old facts stuck out in my mind differently this time.      Like,  I knew the North American Indians — in the northern part of North America, that is —  were the first and only nations to develop the method of making maple syrup –  but, wow!   That’s  big.    I’m glad they did.

pancakes

  I’m glad someone did!

Now,  there is a lot to see in  the arboretum where these sugar maples grow and where the demonstrations were held,   but,  since I’ve “been there, done that,”  I’ve also posted it all before.

It’s worth a click:       CLICK!

https://thesprucetunnel.wordpress.com/2015/03/21/maple-syrup-time/

And then for the   “Native” American lesson,  there’s more to see:       CLICK!

https://thesprucetunnel.wordpress.com/2015/03/23/a-maple-syrup-lesson/

 

Or you can find some place to drive to your own maple syrup demonstration if you live near a nice, fresh sugar maple grove outdoors on a cool spring day . . .

 

thicker than

 

Maple Syrup!        Mmmmmmm.       So important!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ST. PATRICK TODAY

March 17, 2017

When the Roman soldiers withdrew from Ireland —

Romans in Britain

—    their protection,  their Roman administration,  and much of the Christian religion  also left the island.      Warring tribal clans ruled.

They left behind ruins in this beautiful green place –

roman fort

It’s still a beautiful green place with distinctive scenery.    This has become one of the most famous places to visit.

pat mount

Especially on March 17th.

pat climbing up

People walk up this mountain,  which gets impossibly steep the farther you go.

It’s a difficult, steep,  stony path.

pat dfifficult

Many people,  mostly men,  make the trek  barefoot.

pat barefoot

They know they’ll shred their feet,  but many still do it in spite of discouragement from the officials.   They want to climb the mountain  in whatever way is meaningful to them.

The mountain is Croagh Patrick,  and St. Patrick is said to have climbed it to look out over his beloved island at “the end of the earth.”

He had been a boy living in Scotland,   then  kidnapped by pirates and sold to some clan chieftain in Ireland to tend the animals way out in the countryside.  The boy was lonely.     Unprotected from the elements.   Cold.  Hot.   Wet.   Unsheltered.     Uncared for by his master.

The rest of the story is familiar:   During these years young Patrick  turned to the God he had heard about when he lived  in his own father’s home.   By his own free will he chose to believe in the one Triune God,  and   God filled him with such love and grace that Patrick responded with complete loving surrender.

pat boat The story of his narrow escape from Ireland,  another kidnapping, another escape,  study and recognition, and desire to bring the knowledge of Jesus to the people of Ireland  would make a great movie!

 

pat st patrick

But what leads  all those people to climb Croagh Patrick  is his love for the Catholic faith,  his dedication to the Irish people,  his insights and instruction in his many writings in which we can see the heart of this great man.

Ireland became a Catholic land and sent out many missionaries to other lands that needed to hear the gospel.

People want the kind of faith that he had.    People want to be close to him and to be like him.    People want to understand what St. Patrick knew.   People want to become as close to God as St. Patrick was.

 

pat cathedral tribute to him

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin, Ireland, a  tribute to the real St. Patrick.

Green beer,  green rivers,   shamrocks,  and snakes,   leprechauns and rainbows are all fun ways to remember this country,   but what is truly fulfilling for a human being is to rest in the peace and love  with the God that St. Patrick loved and taught us about.

That is a goal  worth climbing a mountain for!

 

pat past cute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CALLING ALL GENTLEMEN !!

February 22, 2017

Gentlemen needed to come to the rescue:

kicking-a-girl

 

Yeah,  they took turns kicking her while one of the men video’d the “fun.”  *  Muslims like to show their superiority over Western women.

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Europeans live where Christendom once reigned.    Modernist Europeans are rapidly giving up the Christianity that lay at the foundation of their own cultures.  They live now only on the momentum of existing values, left over from Christian times,  but the momentum is,  uh . . .  weakening.

We still retain words, though, like ladies and gentlemen,  and the attending respect of one for the other,  each in his own sphere of responsibility and expectations.

Now the “gentlemen”  are walking around a bit confused,  clueless,  weakened;  wounded by a society which tells them they are here only to  make money and have fun.    Men have been  “quieted.”

And the ladies are merely women, alone,  wondering why they’re supposed to act like men,  other than to make money and attain the power to do whatever the “heck”  they want.     (Sorry, no coarse language from this lady.)

When I was young I read a good novel of a rousing battle in the Middle Ages.  In the worst fury of the battle,  a lady dropped to her knees in great fear and could think of nothing else but to pray.

knight-with-rose

An  enemy  knight saw her and came to lead her away to shelter.    “A parfait gentle knight,”  as the old poem goes.     A knight does not only fight fiercely for a cause,  but he must know when to be gentle.

Sometimes he must act with strength,   gently.

Remember this Iraqi child?   On his way to being burned alive, with the rest of his family.

burned-aiive

He was.

How about these girls,  waiting to be . . .   you know.

sexual-vilence-she-cant

ALL  of  the 6 or 7 Crusades were Defensive in nature.      Parts of a couple of them were disorganized with inexperienced leaders;  and selfish,  evil men accompanied the Crusaders.  The Church excommunicated many of these aggressive bandits, and if the leaders of the criminal bands were of the nobility, the Church put an Interdict on their lands.  A chilling punishment.

But, still, all of the Crusades were Defensive.    It’s a 1,400 – year old war against Christianity.     In today’s world they have stated that their goal is to crush “Rome,”  by which they mean Christianity,  by which they mean Europe and all Western nations.

Us.

7-years-from-now-exceed-france

Some people at work call Wednesdays   “hump day”   because we’re at the middle of the work week;   keep working,  keep  doing what you must,   and you will make it up and over that hump in the middle of the week.   Then you can rest.

The Western World has a hump to get over too.   I’ve always wanted to assign my Wednesday writing to this problem of the Advance of the Worldwide Caliphate.

This young lady is the West.

kicking-a-girl

We have a ‘hump”  to get over.

knight-on-horse

You may not choose to don “shining” armor,  you may choose combat boots,  or you may choose pen and paper  (well, keyboard and, uh,  “device”)   or you may choose to become internally and privately a strong gentleman,  as you wait and to watch for what you must do.

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   I told you before that I “think in plaid.”     But I don’t want to make this simple idea too complex.

plaid

I’m not done with  the strands of colors yet.    I’m not done with “ladies and gentlemen,”  nor with  pushing back the Caliphate which is coming.

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.*   (The rest of the video showed clearly that these were a small group of Muslim men, also known as  “refugees”  or  “migrants”  or  “immigrants.”)

CALLED TO SHARE OUR BROTHERS’ WORK

February 20, 2017

(Spreading lies;  successful victimhood;  television zombies)

To follow up on a portion of the last two posts,    we, here in America,  shall soon be called upon to answer the calls given to our European brothers and sisters at various times in the 11th  through the 17th centuries.*

The Muslims have ultimately  WON  all these  C^ ru  sad  es, only temporarily pushing back their march towards a World Caliphate.   Now they have plenty of collaborators in the West.

Spreading the lie:

lenin-and-lying

(ascribed variously to Lenin and to Goebbels)

News reports today describe  large “demonstrations”   in New York City and in Detroit this weekend,  including a loud “call to prayer”   and loud shouting out to the American people that their god is greater.

Comments on these reports pretty much show our opposition to this advance of Islam in America,   although the “demonstrators”  have the television cameras and they have  perfected the Victimhood  language:      They are (1)   only asking for their rights, and (2)   are lying about our government policies.

islam-lying

The lie is that there is a “muslim ban”  applied to immigrants by our government.   There IS no Muslim ban.   

One commenter on the “news” article reminded us about their attitude and aims –  from their book:

Quran (3:151) – “Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.
Quran (8:12) – “I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”
Quran (3:28) – “Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever of you does that has nothing with Allah , except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the final destination.”

I’ve looked these up before in the K^  or   an,  so I think they’re accurate.   (The original words, of course, are in ancient, classical Arabic, which few can read today, but the attitude in these words is what is propagated.)

You may have heard on television . . .

news-propaganda

. . .  that a  certain Miss Sarsour,  spokesman for Hamas (a terrorist group)  in this country and organizer of Leftist women in this country  (the silly pink hat march in Washington) –  warned during New York’s “demonstration”   that  President Trump could issue an executive order for putting Muslims in internment camps,  as President Roosevelt did during World War Two.

So.

They are placing themselves in opposition to us,   and perhaps the opposition will keep building and building and building . . . .

Our Christian brothers and sisters in Europe   had to rise up and push back in the past.    I hope we  Americans are in good shape to preserve our own culture today ** – welcoming others,  but preserving the foundations of American culture and law.

television-zombie

(A  Television Zombie)

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.*     (And during WWI and WWII, when the Hitler’s socialist army joined the Muslim armies in the Middle East and Africa, although this was in the context of world wars,  not a call to a c^  rus  ade.)

.**   But now we have to be careful how we try to hang on to our culture.    Speak out?    Indicate our opposition?       In a Canadian mosque  recently,  a big mosque in Totronto, the imam inside called for   (quote) “the total destruction of the enemies of Islam and the purification of Al-Aqsa Mosque from the ‘filth of the Jews.’ ”    This call for violence and death against Jews and Western non-muslims is so offensive,  it does not call for any further comment.

However,  when Canadians gathered to protest this call for violence and death against themselves,   now face possible “hat ^e-cr ime”  charges.    You know,  criticism against  Muslims is  considered    “hat^e-sp eech.

Western Laws have been changed (sabotaged) to work against Westerners.

 

SATURDAY: ABANDONMENT BY PAPA

February 19, 2017

(It’s been a bad month of accelerating violence.)

This post will read like a fine plaid.

plaid

Many individual thought-strands woven together in a pattern that  makes sense  when you see it as a whole.

(This plaid is quite like the one associated with Hubbie’s last name (and now mine and our children’s),  so I will mention him too.

So,  strand #1:    It’s Saturday today,  the day Christendom remembers that Jesus lay buried in His tomb, leaving us with the awful sense that evil has been winning and we’ve been abandoned by God.    A good day for quietness, extra prayers,  reparations,  penance, holy remorse for our offenses that actually led to the death of Jesus.

ol-and-peter-on-saturday

Grief stricken and alone.    Even the strongest and the best felt  desolation and abandonment on that Saturday.  And looking about us,  today,  at current events with the cacophony of confused cries from every quarter,  it’s easy to feel . . . rudderless.  Leaderless.   Abandoned.

I’m not going to tell you you’re not  (abandoned).

It’s a historic fact that for a millennium and a half   (1,500 years !!) civilization grew on the bedrock grounds of the Church that Christ founded.    Not every single person was happy with that, of course.    There were rules against doing things that harmed you and harmed society.     (Where’s my “freedom”?!)

speeder-turned   Another strand of thought:    My husband  ( usually known here as   “Hubbie”)   was a driver’s training teacher  in his younger life.   He enjoyed it  (weird);   and I think he was good at it.    Oh, boy, do I have some stories to tell!     One thing he told me, one day,  was that a police officer who had been invited to speak to his class made the statement that  there aren’t enough policemen in our country to keep us safe if the number of lawbreakers reached a critical point.   Just 10%.     If that many citizens all of a sudden decided to break the traffic laws, for instance,  the streets would become dangerous.

Society would become  very dangerous if just around 10% of people disregarded the Law – or didn’t know the Law. 

That Civilization –  that Christendom –  that Church  that provided guidance and “laws”  that built a safe and orderly society  (more than would have been without it),   is supposed to have a Voice,  a one leader that represents that  supernatural Voice.

So here’s another  “strand”  in that plaid of my mind.

Struggling against the supernatural:

no-miracle

Some of you may know what particular miracle almost always happens up to three times a year – unless some disaster is pending  –  or some disaster is present.     It’s associated with Saint Januarius.

For two years in a row, now,  the supernatural sign did not appear.

This man seems not to be the one to have kept a supernatural  connection with the Church he leads.   He is NOT the Church;  but he should be its leader,  guarding against strange, new, or alien teachings.   However, almost daily,   he seems to be working hard to abandon the teachings of Christ.

There are implications of the Church losing her voice, allowing the world to become  rudderless,  leaderless –lawless.

This man,  who should be Papa,  has inexplicable declared that there is no terrorism today inspired by a religion.     “Islam is a religion of peace.”

But. . .

My inner being is still reverberating from the horror of  a recent video showing a man beheading his wife – in public,  on a street, with onlookers,  and with the local police protecting his action.   I watched as the woman was knocked to the ground,  yelling out her fear and protests,   two of the man’s friends helping him hold her down . . .    one reached into her burka and pulled out her long hair, subduing her and bringing her head down to the pavement,  where he then was able to strike  down with his large knife,  abruptly cutting off her yells. . . .

The police helped the traffic and bystanders   move on as her body was moved away.

Then I read of a man who boarded a bus in Austria last week along with many other passengers.    As the bus  drove off,  the young man put his head back and fell asleep.  the man behind him yelled various “Islamic words”  and reached over and began cutting the neck of the sleeping man . . .

“Islam is a religion of peace.  There is no terrorism.”

I’m glad I’m not an old woman in Sweden….

swede-lady-raped

Once  popes called on Europeans to protect themselves against invasions . . . I hope you can see the “plaid”  as a whole.     Christ is gone after the Crucifixion.  We’re seemingly abandoned on that Saturday.   Abandoned,  we become leaderless.

And a leaderless people suffers the consequences of Lawlessness.

Only knowledge can begin to turn us around.    Knowledge of the real world.  Knowledge of actual Truth,  as it’s come to us for two thousand years.

You’d better stop reading here, if you don’t want to think about what is confronting us..      Because the world can get real bad if we don’t DO anything.    The Founder of the Church taught meekness, mildness, forgiveness, and charity.    And He demonstrated His love by dying for us.

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The world in general seems not to know this.

I’ve watched a video of a teenager girl being stoned to death.   Amazing and horrifying.

I’ve watched many videos of beheadings.   I’m not afraid to see the truth.

I’ve witnessed the actions of a brutal people . . .  who are on the move.   And you’d better not try to escape them:

hung-and-burned

These are not animals that are hanging.    These are SOME of the humans who tried to get away and were caught.   Tarred.   Hung over fire.   Eventually they died.     May God have mercy on their souls.

Migrating.   Invading.   On the move.

Not  everyone is executed if they are called guilty.   Just,  this:

he-did-not-cut-off-execute

Sharia on the move.

I sorrow for the many women who – even in our own country – are victims of genital mutilation,   of acid thrown into their faces,  and are victims of “honor” killings –  killed by their  fathers or brothers.

It’s Saturday.    There are so many things to mourn for.    The sum total of human evil.   The consequences of “good men doing nothing….”

It almost feels like we’ve been abandoned by the Good God.

But tomorrow is Sunday.    The more we understand Saturday,  that dark day right after the Crucifixion,  the more we will experience Joy and Hope on Sunday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A PHYSICAL LOOK AT ST. VALENTINE

February 14, 2017

St. Valentine!

heart-red-75

 

We have St. Valentine’s Day.   A cute,  fun, innocent opportunity to show affection for our friends and “sweethearts.”        Teachers use this day to teach their children to have respect and caring for all their classmates.    Other people enjoy a reason to share fond feelings with some activity like special meals,  special notes and cars,  special . . .   smiles.  make your Mom or your Grandma or your aunt feel special!

So many times in the New Testament we’re reminded to show love and affection and tender caring for each other.    Jesus is gone now, for the moment,   and we are to be His hands,  showing His love to each other.

This was a common  remark from the Roman citizens about the early Christians:   “How they loved one another!”

st-val-holy-card

Among these early Christians were bishops and priests who both taught and modeled the love of Christ for their people.

There really was a man named or nicknamed “Valentine.”  (“Valentine” for “a valiant man.”)     The story has come down to us that  he converted many to Christianity during the second half of the 3rd century;    that  he worked among the young soldiers of the Roman army,  teaching them and marrying them to their “sweethearts”   so that, as Christians, the young man would live honorably with their wives.

 

. . .  Thus angering  the Roman officials.   He was beaten and then beheaded.   His relics were rescued, saved, and honored – and passed around!    An important part of his relics ended up in modern Ireland.

st-val-relics-cr

How do we know what he may have looked like?     Today there are experts in facial reconstruction, starting with the skull, and knowing how the tissues and muscles fit upon the skull.

st-val-diagram

So now we have a pretty close idea of what St. Valentine may have looked like!

st-val-real

A real, actual,  historical man.   A real, actual saint.

Love is real.

 

 

SUN TZU AND ME

February 9, 2017

 

First “me” —   “If you stay focused on what you want,   you’ll eventually get it, especially when no one opposes you.”

muslms-in-france-streets

“What you want”  –  like domination over the streets of Europe.

Now Sun Tzu,  in The Art of War:      


“If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”  
 

 

So here’s my copy with its very special case:

sun-tzu

Got yours?

 

Because we’re in the next phase of a 1,400-year war.   

There are many battles to fight.

 

 

 

DEJA VU HISTORY – 15th CENTURY –

January 31, 2017

First,  a  little Rant –

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

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

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

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

bar-fancy-line

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

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

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

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

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

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

If this was your home,  you were somewhat safe:

guadamur-castle

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

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

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

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

images-rejected

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

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

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

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

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

Of course not.

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

. . . .

safe-home

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

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

safe-soldiers

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

invading-not-migrating

. . .    by the hundreds of thousands.

And some of these have declared their intentions.

islam-willl-dominate-cr

“. . .the WORLD.”

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

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

fight

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

I hope indeed that this part of history repeats itself.

 

PREOCCUPIED WITH PASSING PRINCES

January 16, 2017

(Musings of a War-Weary observer)

I’ve been sick for an extraordinarily long time.  This isn’t like me,  but I think I began to falter somewhere around mid- December.    Finally, after a “collapse” in early January,  I gave in to the best remedy of all:  a cycle of rest/nutrition/reading/rest/nutrition/reading    . . .

Along the way I learned a LOT!    And here’s where I’ve been in my reading.

Join me in the Jungle of Politics!

(Don’t  read every name!!!   Just scroll down to the end of this . . .)

 

There.    << Is all that clear? >>          My mind has been living  in present times and historical times simultaneously — because it’s fitting.   The past instructs the present.

Each name in these charts HAS A STORY!!    Each name is a person who struggled to win power, and they did it by various sorts of warfare,  alliances,  intimidation,   influence,   including putting out rumors and Fake News.     Not unlike our political campaigns.    We think we know something when we know some details about public figures.

200 years from now poor young students will be struggling with learning the historical details of the 2016 election and the (hopefully) uneventful passing of power into the hands of America’s next “prince.”

(Oh, I don’t really, actually believe we will have emerged from the coming Dark and Ignorant Bloody  Centuries that will be following this one so soon as “200” years.   It may be that we are in for a very long extended period of time before we regain our human senses, including  recovering basic life skills,   reverence for our Creator,  a dedication to  the preciousness of children,  families,   the distinct roles of women,  the importance of the intellect,  and all the other precious foundational notions of a civilization.)  

But whenever the restoration of civilization happens,    or perhaps there will be merely a “reformation” of human civilization,   people (students)   will look back on  our present time as just an extension of  the rise and fall of kings and princes,  or premiers and presidents, same as there ever was.

Sic transit gloria mundi,  right?

We are so preoccupied with our present princes that they can lead us wherever they need to in order to preserve their power.      We need to  back off from the minutiae of American (and European) politics.     The issues are far bigger.

And there is far more at stake than whether or not our political or social opinion prevails.

I think we’ve let the ball drop as we live off the “fat of the land” in an appearance of peace and prosperity, while all the while forgetting to do the hard work and sacrifice of building and maintaining a civilization.    Civilization is never built with ease and laxity.   And it never comes with ignorance of the past.

God help us.   God is there to help us.

Quicumque!

 

 

 

 

AN ‘EPIPHANY’ ABOUT FAKE NEWS

January 6, 2017

(Sorry about that title.)

Yes, it is Epiphany today.  I’ve just read a document from about 600 years ago reporting that such-and-such a thing occurred on “Epiphany.”

I know that date!     We know that date!     From the first third of the first century,   the event of the Epiphany and The Wise Men  has been known!   And loved and celebrated down through the centuries!

silhouette-wisemen-and-swirly-sky

We don’t know what they saw in the sky,  (probably an actual “star”-looking thing),  and we don’t know when they visited the Newborn King,   and we don’t know exactly where they came from nor how long it took them to get there nor when exactly they arrived . . .   but we do  know that some Wise Men visited the Christ Child, shortly after he was born.

3-kings

We can know for sure that they  presented Him with at least three gifts that they chose to represent His three distinct qualities:  Royalty,  Divinity,  and  His  Unique  Death that would be the Blessing promised to the Ancient Patriarch Abraham.

3-gifts

And yet —   there were no tape recorders,  microphones,  cell phones,  video-recording devices,  no GPS,   no existing itinerary that the visitors from “the East”  had used.    No stenography, human or electronic,  to record the visit of the Wise Men.

The sure thing is the eyewitness accounts,  the importance and care which the early followers of Jesus placed on this event,  the  dawning realization that the event occurred not just out of the goodness of the hearts of these three travelers,   but it occurred in order to prove the prophecies of the Scriptures that say “even the Gentiles” shall come to Him.   And “This Child shall be a Light to enlighten the Gentiles.”

Gentiles!      Living in Darkness for so long.    Pagans, like my ancestors, worshiping and appeasing Thor and Odin.

odin

And now,  I can come to the Manger too –  and the Wise Men are a manifestation of this Truth.

It’s not a false story!

How ironic is it that in this day of electronic recording of EVERYTHING ,  we are deluged with news stories which very often turn out to be false,  told only to affect our  “attitudes”;  and entertainment programs which turn out to be based upon false and harmful human actions,   propagated only to break down our moral barriers.

(And both, of course,  presented to us in order to make money for the Corporate Rulers.)

So eyewitness testimony of the pre-technological age can be more certainly True than the plethora of electronically-recorded information that we have to pick our way through every day.

It’s mentally exhausting!

But we can Rest – in the Truth of Epiphany.

bar-thorns

For my foreign Readers:  

Some recent examples of false news stories you may have heard about:   

The “Hands Up – Don’t Shoot”   slogan — based on something that never happened.  It just sounded like a good way to target white people, especially policemen.      The petty shoplifter never did put his hands up,   several minutes later he was spotted by a policeman,    he had a fight with the policeman sitting in his car and tried to wrestle the gun away from the policeman;    (the gun went off, the bullet was found inside the car);    then he charged the policeman again with intent to harm the officer,  upon which he was shot.   This young man was NOT shot with his hands up.

That New Year’s Eve in Europe was a  “peaceful”  one, without incident from your  migrant invaders.

That Trump supporters are “violent”  and cause violence at political rallies.  Easily proven false when you look at every instance and see who is doing what to whom.

That Moslems in America are hated and sometimes attacked.   (“Tearing off my hijab,”  anyone?  –  Now she is being prosecuted for having told a false tale.)

That America is racist.  (Only on the news stories and in movies and TV programs!)    Come to  everyday  American cities –  you’ll see Blacks and Whites living side by side or working together, side by side, or walking down the street together, discussing their work or the weather or whatever.    This is the “normal” America.   Not often recorded by electronic devices.

That the “Russians”  hacked the recent election and somehow affected the outcome.  (Absolutely no evidence has been presented,  although many times they have restated their claim and called that “evidence.”   And then they get really mad and insulting if you don’t accept their statements as “evidence.”)  The Russians did not.  yet every day,  even up to today,  the news readers start their stories with   “Russian hacking of the election”   – and isn’t it terrible that Donald Trump wants evidence!

That Trump didn’t get the popular vote in the last election.   The falseness of this statement comes from looking at only ONE state.  There are 50 states in our nation;  if you look at 49 of them,  Trump received the larger share of the popular vote, by millions.    Add back in that one state,   and Mrs.   Clinton received more millions of votes.  That one state?     It’s the home of millions of illicit, unidentified  voters . . . .

And just one more, because I’m getting tired again:     There was a shooting today at the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, airport.      Terrible.   Five dead, so far.    Somehow, within minutes, the entertainment-news media in this country were told to give out a name for the shooter:   (a Spanish name).     They were told to make discussion about “a lone wolf” shooter.    “Gun control.”  

And then, the Canadian airlines who was supposed to have carried this man to Florida said that  No one with that name was a passenger on their flight.    In addition,  the way the story was told about getting his gun out of his checked-in luggage at the baggage claim area  was refuted by several passengers who do carry guns on flights – in checked-in luggage.   

And the photo that was released –   many think he doesn’t look like a Mexican.   

So the entertainment-news media is now allowed to add a terrorist element to their story.

So what is true?     Who is this shooter?  Who set him up?  Who put him up to it?   Why?   And how will our Rulers use this incident – against us?

Cui bono?

OCTOBER 7TH – MORE OF THE STORY

October 8, 2016

lepanto

Here’s a good, old-fashioned,  detailed, instructive picture of the Battle of Lepanto which was won by the Christians in Europe on this date.   It was one of those life-changing battles for all Europeans and their “offspring”  (us).   You would not be thinking and acting as you do today if this battle had been lost.

I had known about this battle since I entered the Church many years ago now, and I’ve written about it here before,  but  all I had read was the modern “light”  versions of the incident,  with an emphasis on the lovely miraculous aspect of this story.     Now I’m learning more.

Today’s feast is called “Our Lady of the Rosary”  and certainly the prayers of the hopeful-faithful  “availed much”     and certainly participants in this great battle witnessed a miracle.  But there’s more,  more serious and urgent reasons why we should know “more.”

First,  this is one of the last great battles in a greater war with many important battles that had been lost and just about lost by the European Christians.   And who were they fighting?

This picture contains a symbol of the enemy:

olg-and-crescent 

She is called  te coatlaxopeuh.   It’s an Aztec title meaning She Who Crushes the Head of The Stone Serpent”     which is Quetzalcoatl, of course,  whose symbol, one of them,  was a crescent.   She’s standing on the crescent, showing that she has conquered it and all it stands for.    The cruel and vicious Aztec culture was defeated in Mexico.

The Europeans who first saw this image of The Virgin Mary   presented (miraculously)   on the tilma of Juan Diego in Mexico in 1531 pronounced the name as best they could,   “te quatlasupe,”   and discovered they were saying, like,  “Guadalupe” – a river in their native country of Spain!  

This image is Our Lady of Guadalupe,  and it was carried by a Spanish naval commander into the Battle of Lepanto.   

Why this image?     Because that crescent also happens to be the main symbol of the enemy that had been attacking year after year, decade after decade – and it was understood that what was happening in these Greek isles in 1571 was going to be a kind of Last Stand –  do or die –   they had to stop the Moslems or be overrun by them.  

The Christians gathered together a fleet as best they could ( a long bitter story of failing to rally against the enemy) and sailed to the Greek islands which the Moslems were conquering one by one.   When the fleet arrived they found horrific scenes of villages filled with dead, mutilated bodies,   people that had been tortured and raped and left where they had fallen,  slaughtered animals,  destruction and devastation everywhere they looked.

Then the two armies met.   The Moslems arranged their ships in the shape of a crescent;  the Christian fleet divided itself into three parts to effect a well thought-out strategy against the highly skilled Moslem warriors and sailors.  

The naval battle itself is a thrilling example of  skillful maneuvering of battleships of the day.      Christian slaves provided the power to move the Moslem galleons as both sides fought with arquebuses, crossbows, spears, and arrows.     Tens of thousands of soldiers were carried by tens of thousands of the sailors who knew how to work the ships into advantageous positions.

Ships were rammed,  groups of ships were surrounded and cut off and then boarded, close hand-to-hand fighting occurred everywhere.  Cannons were fired.   Ships were sunk.     There are so many stories of individual acts of bravery, but of hideous wounds as well, and of fierce determination to die fighting the enemy.

  At last,  the winds suddenly and unexpectedly turned direction,   and the Moslem ships were unable to maneuver as they needed to.   The Christians won.

The leader of the Christian world,  the Pope, Pope Pius v,  standing at the hub of information and communication,  had seen  the enemy pushing successfully into the Christian world.   He had seen the clueless, disorganized European leaders.   And he could see that only Christian prayer could tip the scales towards victory, finally, for the Christians.

He ordered the rosary to be said everywhere, for victory.    Many heeded his call.  Or enough did, at any rate. 

There were months of gathering fighters, preparation, sailing towards Lepanto, and then the battle.      No one really knew what was happening during all that time.    On October 7th, 1571,  the pope was in a business meeting with other men, when he got up suddenly, walked over to a window,  and then stated that the battle has been won, we must give thanks to God.

Many days later, confirmation of the victory came.     The earnest prayers of the rosary had carried the urgent plea of the people to the heavens.   God had seen the sincerity of the faith of His people.      And the pope designated this day to honor the prayers of the rosary – and to honor Our Lady who ushers us through the events of the gospel which make up the mysteries of the rosary.

 Today,  it is just as urgent that we know who is trying to defeat us.  Who has declared themselves an enemy of Christianity?       Who still calls us “crusaders”?    

It’s also just as urgent that we are agreed together about the necessity to resist those who would try to overcome us, or to overtake our culture.       And the word “battle” signifies hard work,  courage,  sacrifice, and focused determination to win.

And it’s urgent to realize that God is still involved, caring,  ready and able to stand by us and to fortify us  when the battle comes.   Let’s hope  this remains a spiritual  battle,  fought with our prayers, and we never  have to pick up our lances and arquebuses!

It’s October 7th, all right,   2016.

 

WHAT’S WRONG WITH THE CHURCH!

August 14, 2016

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

sleepy 150

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

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

We used to know this.

(Before):

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

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

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

cat picture

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

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

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

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

 

mass priest to God

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

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

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

So what happened?

(After):

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

Mass to God

 

—   we now  cheerily “entertain” each other —

Mass strumming

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

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

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

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

Mass priest to peole

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

What’s Wrong With the World?

What’s wrong with the Church?

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

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

chalice

 

 

“WE DECLARE”

July 4, 2016

“WE DECLARE”    —     You might start a sentence that way if  you want to be emphatic,  definite,   and to say something of importance.

We did.   We did!

Americans did, and we’ve acknowledged that Declaration on July 4th ever since.    It’s a real  holiday!     And we all spend some time figuring out what we’re going to do on this holiday to show our happiness and thanks for our nation.

Cake

A  “few”  years ago I had my first baby on this date!    Happy Birthday,  Daughter!     She has all kinds of plans for today.    She and her little family live near Lake Tahoe,  on the shores of   beautiful Donner Lake, and so her house will be filled with all kinds of friends – all day, she said! –   coming over for birthday treats, BBQ’s,  hot tubs,  swimming,  and then morphing into Fourth of July fireworks . . . .   Whew!

And me?   Well.     Well, well, well.    Here in the Far North I was informed by Daughter in the Far West,  thousands of miles away,  that MY fireworks have been canceled!

Huh?, I said.

Sure enough.   When I checked our local news source on the Internet,   our Fourth of July fireworks have been postponed to . . .   New Year’s Eve!      Too dry here now,  so I guess we’ll have to wait for our snow cover.    Can’t burn snow.

So that leaves me with a quieter Fourth.   I really “took a holiday”  and did whatever I wanted to do.       I planted my roses today.    They are red, white,  and –  uh,  purple.    Purple roses are nice.   Enjoyed a patriotic, spy-versus-spy, American special ops action adventure type of book.        (Cold Shot by Mark Henshaw)      Read as long as I wanted!

I had some time to brush up on what this is all about.      Revolutionary War stories.

cake we declare

This is where our Founding Fathers did  our “declaring.”    As far as I know,  we are the only nation that started ourselves out with a declaration that we are going to be a nation.  And then there’s that responsibility to stick with the idea,  to uphold the principles and values were used to create this nation.      “A republic,  madam,  if you can keep it,”  said Ben Franklin.

Here are the famous words of John Henry Lee,  the representative from the colony of Virginia:     “Resolved: That these United Colonies are, and of a right ought to be, free and independent states, that they are absolved from all allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the state of Great Britain is, and ought to be, totally dissolved.”

That did it!      The colonies declared their separation from the British Crown.    Kind of like stepping off a cliff and knowing you’ve got to fight to survive the Fall in order to become a nation.    Someone had to write out this Declaration;  the job fell mainly to Thomas Jefferson,  but all the representatives weren’t satisfied until they made it plain that they need the Almighty’s help to survive this Leap off the cliff and to come up stronger together.

And so this line was added:    “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.”

god ched

As we battled and scraped our way into young nationhood,   everyone knew we needed God’s help.

Our Founding Fathers were somewhat more confident then, after that declaration was completed and began to be signed.   The day was July 2nd.

A joyful  John Adams next declared:   ” The second day of July 1776 will be the most memorable epoch in the history of America. I am apt to believe that it will be celebrated by succeeding generations as the great anniversary festival. It ought to be commemorated as the Day of Deliverance by solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty. It ought to be solemnized with pomp and parade, with shows, games, sports, guns, bells, bonfires, and illuminations from one end of this continent to the other from this time forward forever more.”

Well, I did my “solemn acts of devotion to God Almighty”  yesterday,  and now I  can’t wait until New Year’s Eve to celebrate.  I’ll watch all the noise and lights and fireworks on television.    It’s dark here now,  but still light out in California.    Good thing it took a few days to finish signing that Declaration of Independence –

—  or else my daughter would have been born late for her own birthday!

Happy Fourth of July, Everyone!

red

Deo gratias!

IT IS OF THEE I SING

July 3, 2016

Time to get ready for the Fourth of July Celebration.  Our National holiday.

Our NATION:

Amber 380

So much beauty to celebrate!   So much bounty to celebrate.     So much hard work and reaping the fruit of our labors to celebrate!  so much freedom!

Until recently, Americans were free to speak out what people have known for much more than a thousand years:  Western Values truly are the best, most productive and freedom producing values worthy of the dignity of each individual human.   Well, somebody said something like that more succinctly than I just did –  but we mean the same thing.

The American “Experiment,”  as it used to be called,  is surely the sum total and crystallization of all those Western values,  and it has produced citizens who are free to determine their own destiny and a nation which has enriched the world with its productivity, and inventiveness.

It’s still all true,  but as I said,  we’re a bit fearful to speak that right out loud right now.   Enemies show us only our faults, and then exaggerate them as though we are characterized by our faults.

I was thinking about that today as I was experiencing a “strange”  alien-type of church today.   My body wouldn’t fall asleep last night, and this morning I was sick and tried to go to my usual place to adore the Living God — but I had to turn back and go home.   Phoooey.     And then I had to go to this substitute place  —  uh …  theologians in the future can work out whether or not I made an okay decision. . . .

But here was their Sunday bulletin cover:

July 3 front piece

They had it all!  

These are the concepts that built up a great nation!

This church even sang “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee . . .”     (Sweet Land of Liberty . . .)

Second stanza, towards the end – you know the tune:  (these were not naively dumb people who passed these words down to us;  they  knew reality) –

America, America,

God mend thy every flaw

Confirm they soul

In self-control

And liberty in law.

Whew!  Imagine!     Our grandparents and great-grandparents, and on back,  the ones who brought us into this world,  knew that America did have, does have, and would have flaws.     Flaws which could be mended only with reference to God,  because the flaws are that kind of defect, and if we don’t allow God to mend these flaws,  these flaws will become fatal.   Fatal flaws.    O  God,  mend them.

“Confirm thy soul.”     Those who came before us knew that there is more to America than material matters.   Material simplicity or material prosperity –  either way there is  an American soul above and beyond material matters.

In just three generations we went from getting across our fields with a horse to getting to our moon with a rocketship.    And I suspect the American farmer had the same values as our American inventors and scientists and astronauts.

Moon walk

May God confirm the goodness of our soul, the song says.      And how?

In the virtue of “self-control.”     Confirm our soul in the light of truth, sobriety, prudence, wisdom, and self-control.

And our “liberty”?   Liberty is a good idea –  an ideal – but an ideal goal only.   Liberty is not a given.  Our Founding Fathers told us we had to be vigilant, lest we lose it because we can lose it.

So,  O God,  confirm our Liberty too.   How?  With our laws.   We are a nation of laws . . .  not the laws of a king or a dictator who tells us he has “a pen and a cell phone”  and can sign into “law”  any un-American edict that he wants to impose on us.

Instead,   we have a Constitution to guide those laws.

A miracle may be the work of the power of God,  but God  nearly always seeks out human beings who are alert and actively  looking for that miracle.   If you take time to refresh your patriotic knowledge this weekend,  you will understand a little more of how much of a miracle America is  (was).

The book called The 5,000 Year Leap  is subtitled:   A  Miracle That Changed The World.

That’s us!   That is (was)  us.     Is, I hope.    It probably takes as much effort to get onto the moon as it does to hold on to the Western values which gave us liberty and prosperity.  The author begins his book with the remark that it’s been said that it’s difficult for an artist to distinguish in his paintings a sunrise from a sunset.

leap cover

That’s the book cover.     I don’t know.   Is that sun still rising on us – or setting on us?

 

happy 4th

 

At least I know the sun will rise tomorrow morning!

We’ve got time!

 

 

 

 

TRUTH AND TRULY

June 29, 2016

I came across an interesting word study today,  while preparing for this Fall’s class topic in Bible History:  Joshua.

I think this is one of the most misunderstood books in the Bible.  The book of Joshua sets forth a pretty straightforward narrative, full of drama and excitement and lessons for us,  but enemies of the Faith have taken portions of the events, without context and without meaning,  and flung them up  into the face of God,  arrogantly presuming that they have discovered a “dirty, dark secret”  in the Bible.

(Sigh-h-h-h.)

Well,  it’s this Joshua:

Joshua leading

After 400 years of servitude and slavery in a foreign land and after 40 years of traveling through the harsh desert,   someone had to lead the Israelites home, into their Promise Land,  and the man,  Joshua, was chosen for the task.

This is the Joshua that we sing about:  “Joshua fit the battle of Jericho –  Jericho – Jericho-o-o-o-o . . .   Joshua fit the battle of Jericho, and the WALLS came tumbling down!”

Now, truth and wisdom and knowledge come to us by means of language, and these Israelites spoke an ancient form of Hebrew,  one close to the Hebrew spoken today.  Hebrew developed from a “proto-Hebrew” which scholars are still trying to understand more thoroughly.

Some speculate that this was the earliest language spoken in this part of the world.   Some speculate that this proto-Hebrew and its later written form resemble three-dimensional forms of communication “from the Hand of God.”

Adonai

Both the written and spoken Hebrew contains mysteries and layers of meanings waiting to be discovered and to be understood  (when the student is ready).

Whatever really happened to this language,  we can be sure that God-Most-High, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob revealed Himself to humans,  spoke to certain ones,  and passed down His will and wisdom through certain people and events.

Joshua, speaking early Hebrew,  said to an inhabitant of Jericho:  “We will deal kindly and truly with thee. . . “     (Joshua 2:14)    The story is interesting,  but the word “truly”  as well as “true”  and “truth” is even more important for us to ponder.

truth

Joshua had sent a message on ahead to the woman Rachab who promises to help them conquer the city and so the Israelite army will repay Rachab with kindness and truth.

The Hebrew word for truth, ‘emet’ (אמת), contains a deep lesson.

From Rabbi Benjamin Blech’s “The Secrets of Hebrew Words”   —     The word is comprised of three letters  (אמת)   and “requires for its essence the first letter   א/Alef,    the “One” standing for the Almighty.   Remove the initial letter Alef and all that remains is מת(mayt), meaning death. Without God there can be no truth.    In its place only death and destruction remain.”

God is the source of what is true.

Heaven smaller

He is the source of wisdom about what is true and real.  Delete Him from the equation,   any “equation,”   and you descend into uncertainty,  perplexity, confusion,  and all the nasty things that follow:   distrust, disunity,  struggles for power and dominance,  strife, wars, and death.

This isn’t just a lesson from “ancient days.”     Delete Christianity from out of a civilization and you have a Power-State that is founded upon deception and domination over its own citizens.    Lies prevail and the voters choose to be hoaxed by those they vote into office because they are desperate to believe in something.

But there is nothing one can count on, and the citizenry becomes cynical and discomfited.

Add back in The One,  the   א/Alef,     and you move  from  “death” and are ready to approach Life.

“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life.”

Jesus said, as He was about to leave us, “Behold, in my Father’s house are many mansions;  I go to prepare a place for you.   If it were not so, I would have told you.”  In other words,  I speak the truth –  I am leaving soon now in order to prepare a home for you, forever. 

Count on it.

 

DOES IT END?

June 29, 2016

Does it end

 

Well.  Easy to ask, not so easy to answer.

All this week  (this week of my absence from The Spruce Tunnel)  I’ve been discovering the No answer.

What I’ve been doing a lot of during these past few days is sorting through and thinning out my stuff,   chiefly my papers –  old printouts of old news articles that I saved to either use in my classes  or to back up my conversations, or just to reread, to see if anything got resolved.

And what I found out is that all of today’s news issues have been around for more than twenty years!   Many times I had to search for the date of a particular news article to find out which decade it belonged to.  Same stories.  Same issues.  Same people.   Same words!

The world has always had problems similar to ours, of course,  but really –  the same words?   It’s like recycled stories.

    (delete)

I don’t need to take up room here to give many examples of stories from 25 years ago and stories from today that are just about identical.   I did  make a list but you can make one yourself.

So:  when will it end?  Will it ever end?

The answer is   (1)   No.    No, because all these things arise from the desires,  urges, and lusts from within mankind in a Fallen world.    I study history.     I can tell you today’s issues are just our version of the same issues economic and political woes,  crime, deceit, and greed that we’ve always had in recorded history.

This  is the easy way.   Just accept what you’re told.    Just go along with the times.    Just don’t make waves, do the best you can.   

The answer is (2)    Yes.       Yes,  it will end,  because each of us can choose to be on the side of our Creator and learn from Him things like Redemption and Forgiveness,  Kindness,   Humbleness  (Humility),   Love . .  .

The “Yes” answer is the hardest way.   It takes effort and alertness and learning and understanding,  and then it takes  self-restraint and self-sacrifice to make the world around you a better place, and then it takes  pushing back and struggling for the good and decent things,  and fighting against the bad and the evil.

Who is it that said:  Right is right even though no one  is doing it;  wrong is wrong even though everyone else is doing it.          . . .      (St.  Augustine)

I think “Yes”  is the happier answer.    It produces dignity and self-worth and assurance and satisfaction.      And it creates a heart ready to meet God.

Because one more thing about the “Yes” answer –  it will end,  but not until Christ returns and “makes all things new”  as He promised.

Meanwhile,  that’s our goal.    That’s our model.    That’s our Example.

Live now as you wish to live then.

Click on the Yes or the No.

 

 

 

“ALL’S RIGHT WITH THE WORLD” – HUH?

June 1, 2016

(some backyard philosophy today,  from ducks to caesars.)

I wrote in the last post about an amazing new fact I learned recently:  that a bumble bee’s mouth is filled with little hairs!   Yuck.    But they serve as receptors for important little electrical signals put out by … flower petals!

Honestly!    All of  creation fits together in the most remarkable ways, one part made for the other.    Creation  works:

DUCKS to crop

It’s spring, and the ducks have returned to my backyard pond.   When they are resting like this they signal peace.  Peace in my backyard.   Peace.    Sometimes I’m consciously grateful for the time to watch them for a while.    They are there because “All’s right with the world,”  however temporarily for them.

Another sign of nature working well:

Bird closeup

Well, it works well for her, at least.   She’s made her nest – and laid her eggs now –  in the porch light just outside my front door.   That means, once again, that I can’t use my front door for a while;  and it means I have to duct-tape over the light switch or else the light bulb turned on  will set fire to the nest (as it almost did last year).

But for her – and we’re beginning to think this is Mama Robin – she has found a peaceful place to make a home and nurture her chicks.      “All’s right with (her) world.”

We can multiply this millions of times in the natural world.

However, when it comes to humans, who are part of the natural world,  well, we sometimes get in  the way of our own well-being.    Observe this excerpt from a famous poem . . .

The year’s at the spring,
And day’s at the morn;
Morning’s at seven;
The hill-side’s dew-pearled;
The lark’s on the wing;
The snail’s on the thorn;
God’s in his Heaven –
All’s right with the world!

( by Robert Browning.)*   It’s a portion of a poem that presents the terrible life a young girl who has been oppressed and ground down by her society.    Society  (politics and culture and social conventions)  had gotten so far from the natural order of Creation that a young girl is cruelly victimized unto death.    That society was in the midst of its collapse.

collapsing building

Yet  look at the context in which this societal collapse took place!

“The year’s at the Spring” – as usual –  “the day’s at the morn” –  as expected –    “the lark’s on the wing” – as normal  –  All of nature works, just as the Creator  created it.     And what does Nature care of the risings and fallings of societies and civilizations — which have learned to ignore natural, commonsense ways of Truth and Reality? 

We build ourselves up:

collapsing cards cr

Oh, yeah –  you just know what’s going to happen next!     One unstable house of cards;  one push;  one gust of wind;   one accident;  one deliberate undermining of the foundational layer.

Poof!    The house of cards that man has built lies in a heap – to be discovered, perhaps,  by archeologists thousands of years in the future.

There are certain truths about who and what Man is that cannot be contradicted for very long.    Natural laws  determine human growth beginning from a few cells to mature old age;  one of two sexes;  fresh and clean air, water, and food for optimum health;  and certain ways to associate with each other, summarized efficiently in the Ten Commandments, for instance.

Here is one Truth about Man:     “. . .  man was formed for society . .  .”  a partial quote ** from Sir William Blackstone, who wrote his famous volumes of commentary on the Law, as England knew it in the 18th century.

Man was formed for society. . . .     As such,  it is of utmost importance that  Man in his society   reflects the reality of Man in Natural Truth.     It’s common sense.   But if our society, or our culture,  departs from Natural Law,   then it begins to erode and to corrupt.

“All’s right with the world . . . “       Evidence seems to be that all is NOT right with our society.    Our foundations have been corrupted.  Our foundational layer has been undermined.   Poof!

But when I write about this in the weeks to come,   I’m writing within the context of  the existence of Natural Law at work in the Natural World.   That Natural Law applies not only to Ducks and Robins   (!)   but also surely to us human beings.

The  R word is very much on my mind these days,  but I don’t know if it should be  Recovery,  Restoration,  or Rebuilding.

This man had an idea:

augustus

Augustus Caesar  sought to restore the Roman Republic to its higher moral foundations.  He succeeded, somewhat,  and built the Roman Empire, which lasted a few centuries more;  not because its succeeding leaders were good and moral men,  but because the momentum of a restored higher  moral foundation made a few more centuries possible.

Good laws.   Good men.   Good moral foundation.

augustus senate

The new society worked —   “All was well” with society, as in the natural world.

For a while, at least.     

But it can be done.

_________________________________________________

 

. * Pippa’s Passing    (Well-educated children used to have this portion of the poem memorized,  but I fear that they were not taught the irony it presents.   Modern society continued to collapse.)

. **  “But man was formed for society; and as is demonstrated by writers on the subject, is neither capable of living alone, nor indeed has the courage to  do it.”   (speaking, of course, of normal, healthy individuals)