Archive for the ‘Love’ category

A MOM’S MIND AT WORK

August 5, 2017

(Hyberbole:  my favorite form of humor)

The last few posts have been about  huge problems “way out there.”      I’m returning now closer to home,  closer to the Spruce Tunnel.   

Or maybe not.

Alaska where cooper is

See that tiny little huge cruise ship in the middle of the Alaskan mountain fjord?   Well, my loved ones are on board, including my little grandson Cooper.  So tiny in a big wide world.

al overboard   On their first day I woke up  with a flash of a very vivid picture:  it was Cooper going over the railings of the ship,   plunging into the waters below.    It was a huge panicky kick in the stomach.     And before I could catch my breath,   there was Cooper’s Daddy taking a running leap over the rails to save his son . . .

(Not a good way to wake up in the morning.)

They sent me some photos.  Want to know what goes on in a Mom’s Mind when you’re out having your adventures?

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Here are Cooper and Daddy,  halfway into their Denali adventure,  standing next to a pretty little stream . . .

. . .  Along with a little wildlife, also enjoying the stream and watching for whatever they can find in the stream:

Alaskagrizzlies watching mountains

It’s an Alaskan stream.   Close enough.

I hope those grizzlies know what else is available in that stream:

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I think my little family was standing too close to all those delicious salmon when they took this photo.

I asked Cooper if he knew what an iceberg is.  He told me he thinks it’s something like a big floating island made of ice.    And clearly that didn’t make any sense to him.   I told him it was more like a river of ice that flows between the mountains.

AlaskaGlacier River

Pretty big river,  pretty small ship.    But I think the river of ice  idea made some sense to him.   After all,  his home is on a lake between very high mountains.

The icebergs make a very big splash when they crack off –

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They’re pretty close to this one that’s about to “crack off.”      A very big splash for a very little cruise ship.

Then I got this picture, very small size on my cell phone,  no explanation.     But it looked to me like Daddy got captured by some wild Alaskan mountain men and strung up between the trees   . . .

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Except that might be a smile on his face.

I just know I’m going to be getting some more photos.

One mother’s  (one grandmother’s)   worries, even though I’m pretty sure they are safe.    I worry about them all because I know how precious and vulnerable they are.   Family is pretty close to home, close to heart,  and everyone is part of someone’s family.   That’s how a Mom’s Mind works too.

I think that’s why I was writing  all those recent posts about the current development of an all-powerful State that will rule every aspect of our lives and negatively affect not only us as individuals, but our loved ones too.

“Big Brother evolves.”

 

al sky bots

e v o l u t i o n

If Artificial Intelligence trumps human intelligence,  then we and the ones we love will become little more than (dehumanized)  human resources to manage and manipulate in whatever ways are best for the system.

We’d better start there,  with the certain knowledge of the dignity and worth of every form of human life.  Each individual specially created and loved by the Creator.   No one can be discarded without greatly offending the One who made him.

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As the decades roll past,  and you have fewer years ahead of you than behind you,   everything that you thought was important drops off until what you have left is  Love —    ideally,  the love God gives you to love Him, to love your family,  and to love yourself.

 

“Faith, hope, and love;  and the greatest of these  is love,”  right?    That’s instruction from the Bible.

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When you leave this earth and see God,  you’ll have no more need of “faith” in Him.   You will have no more need to hope in Him for your safety;  He’s right there, and you are safe  with Him.

But the Love will only increase exponentially, even beyond what we can imagine now.

 

 

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HAVE A HEART!

February 4, 2017

(Kind of a stream-of-consciousness post –  one thing leads to another . . . )

I was checking out what  Readings we’re  going to hear tomorrow   –  they are the same Readings that have been appointed for this Sunday   (the Fifth Sunday after the day of Epiphany)    that people have heard for many, many centuries.

church-vicenza

I chose this picture because it shows the ancient basilica that my friend grew up in, in Vicenza, Italy,  and she told me how these Readings were commonly  handled every Sunday.    There is a myth that    (use a deep, serious voice):   “The Catholic Church kept the knowledge of the Bible away from the people . . . .”

The truth is, as my friend testified,  we get two good Readings from the Bible every day,  as well as every Sunday;    the priest will give a short sermon showing what the Readings mean and how they fit into the day;  and then often – it used to be common – the people would come back to the church and received a deeper, more extended lesson.  (The Mass is not for having Bible studies!)

So, what will we learn tomorrow?    The Christian person behaves with:  “. . .  mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience: bearing with one another and forgiving one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord hath forgiven you, so do you also. But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection . . . .  (from Colossians 3) 

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Whew!    There could be a lot of teaching  (and learning)  in that partial passage!)   But it ends in “charity” –  something we now call “love.”    Are they the same thing?

Pick any one of those adjectives listed above,   humility,   modesty,  patience, etc.,  and any individual person would have a lot of hard work, introspection, and determination to make such things a part of his life,  but they all lead up to some aspect of charity (loving others).

But there is a false charity too.    “Love thy neighbor”?     Who is my neighbor?     The example Jesus gave was the story of the Good Samaritan.    I hope the details are familiar to you,  but notice that the injured man was right there next to the Samaritan.     The Samaritan could see the injury,  he could see the need,  he could see the whole situation and, with some inconvenience and cost to himself,  the Samaritan . . .  showed love.

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He was ready.  He had charity in his heart.

In Finland and Sweden  there is a quaint holdover from the time when they used to be Christian nations.     They are colorfully painted  little statues of a “poor man”  or  cute little old ladies or sometimes of animals,   and somewhere on the statue there is a little  slit into which you can make a donation – to help the poor.    Tourists like to take pictures of these little statues,  but most often they don’t know what they’re for anymore.

heart-poor-man-statue

The Poor Man boxes are to help you make donations that will aid the people in your town or in your parish.   Your loving and sympathetic help is for your  neighbor, your  proxima . That’s who the subject of your charity should be:    Someone you know.   Or someone whom you trust knows.  You can help him help a needy person.    Or maybe – maybe, maybe – an organization that you know who actually works among some  actual needy people that you’re thinking about.

But watch out for evil hearts!!!

evil-heart

They are the ones who have a need for your money and for your support and they will TUG on your heart strings,  arouse your sympathy,  and make you feel responsible for situations that are not in your “neighborhood.”

Perhaps you haven’t read “Rules for Radicals” yet.   Perhaps you don’t know their very successful Rules to accumulate money and powerful for themselves.     I’ve read the Rules,   don’t know them very well,  but here is from Rule # 13 :  (paraphrasing)    “. . .  talk about people,  not institutions;    arouse sympathy for individuals without revealing the context;   focus on difficult cases to create a free-floating guilt without reference to the truth of the situation. . . . ”

We can be easily fooled into giving up our money or our  position or our land – if we are led  to feel sorry for something and to believe that we are responsible for some faraway situation.

Is this your fault?    –

waiting-to-come-to-you-from-kenya

Is this your  doing?    Should you  give up your land and your culture and your safety  because the leaders of these people have made these people into victims?

Nearby  people and government leaders have great  monetary and land resources to help these poor people.  It is said that Sa^   udi  ^Ar ab- ia alone has millions of air-conditioned tents, already set up,   but empty for nearly the whole year.    The tents are used only a few weeks of a year for a short holiday.     But they are not used to help  nearby people in need.

No,  in the United States,   government agencies masquerading as “charitable” institutions, are asking for our money and our towns;   and as government agents they are receiving great amounts of . . .  our money.

Here is a  partial list of these government agencies:

Church World Service (CWS)
Ethiopian Community Development Council (ECDC) (secular)
Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM)
Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society (HIAS)
International Rescue Committee (IRC) (secular)
US Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) (secular)
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services (LIRS)
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB)
World Relief Corporation (WR)

Mo ham   ^med told his followers to not only make war,  but also to migrate into other lands in order to spread is^  lam and create the World Cal  ^i phate.      Today,  they are being given a tremendous  helping hand to do just that.

But how far away these  Migrant Invaders are from the poor injured man whom the Samaritan found on the roadside!

………………………

 

.*  The manual that puts forth successful, tried and true methods for Leftists,  Progressives,  Communists, Socialists, etc,  to overcome an existing society.

It would be good to at least know what’s being done to us – and how.

Mirror Image – 3rd SUNDAY IN LENT

February 28, 2016

No banner today counting down the number of days left in Lent.   If you’ll notice,  the name of this Sunday is The Third Sunday IN Lent —  not OF Lent.       So — no  banner.    Joy and remembrance of the Resurrection.    Meat and no fasting.

It is a joy to be able to connect with great, saintly,  and giant minds by sharing our attention to the same Readings, for the same Sundays, over the centuries.

BOOKMARK st francis

On this weekend,  in 1622,  there was a sermon preached based upon the Readings for today.    February 27, 1622.

This is St.Francis de Sales, a mind humbly submitted to God and greatly enlarged by the grace of God;   also, a mind unaffected by the intellectual confusion of modern times.

Remember that great, slow movement of people following Jesus on His way to Mt. Calvary that I wrote about in the last post?      People-in-motion  comes up again today.

Crowds

Slowly moving crowd on the Via Dolorosa

A portion of the Epistle read for today is:    “Brethren : Be ye followers of God, as most dear children : and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, . . . Walk then as children of the light : for the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth.”   (Eph 5:1,9)

“Follow”       “Walk”     These are words of movement.   Words of going someplace, in some manner.    Follow God during our earthly journey;  walk in the Love of Christ; and walk as children of Light from which fruits can follow:  goodness, justice, and truth.

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St Francis de Sales repeated often in today’s sermon that we are to “walk as Christ has walked. .  .”      by which he (and St. Paul whom he quotes often)  means we are to walk in love, as Jesus showed us how.  (His “new commandment”  to us.)

This picture is de Sales’ territory!    It’s likely he walked through that village in the French Alps,  stopping there to preach and teach and admonish people to live in the love of God,  and to walk in the love of God.

(Perhaps it was a tree like one of these that St.Francis had to climb after someone who didn’t like his message let the dogs loose on him!  Spent the whole night up in a tree in those cold mountains.)

But St.  Francis walked a lot and I’m sure he had time to meditate on our Walk and our walking with Christ and what that means.      “Walk in love, as dear children;  walk in love as Jesus showed us,” he says, and that means to love God and to love our fellow man.      Then St.Francis asks why does loving our fellow man exhibit our love for God?  Why did Jesus show us that way?

I’ll let St. Francis speak to you:  “Just as God, our all-good Father, loved us so dearly that He adopted us as His children,  you must show that you are truly His children by your loving one another dearly in all goodness of heart.”      “Bearing the  image of God in ourselves,  all of us are consequently the image of each other.   Together we constitute the image of one portrait, that of God.”   

If we are not loving (and caring and solicitous for) our neighbor,( those around us), ( other people),  then we are not loving God,  because God has placed His image in them.

Each person is the mirror image of God.   And we see ourselves in each other’s mirrors.

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Lake Geneva

I think this   insight shows a powerful mind that is at peace with God, made tranquil perhaps by using his intellect well — and perhaps by absorbing the Truths about God from the beautiful city, Geneva,  where he was sent by the Church to govern the affairs of Christians – and to preach to those who had left the Church.

I say that because the  things of God  can be known by common people because they are learned from His creation.   (Romans 1, of course.)

Let’s go back to the slowly moving crowds of people.   2,000 years ago it was a Motley Crew on that pathway following Jesus:   Jews and pagans;    Romans,  Palestinians, and foreigners;   those who knew Jesus,  those who didn’t know who that “criminal”  was up ahead of the crowd.

But today, after the whole Act of Salvation has been accomplished —

via dolorosa in three languages

—   today,   that Way is for everyone, all “tongues,”   all peoples,   slave or free,  man or woman,  rich or poor;  no exceptions,   no excuses.     Yes, we pick up our cross and follow Jesus,  but it is also a way of Love,  because as children of God, as brothers,  we walk together in Love.   There is a same manner, a brotherhood, among us.

This is what amazed the Roman world when the church was new in those first few centuries:     “How they love one another!”

We were reminded in the sermon we heard today that we are walking in this pathway of love,   but we are walking towards something.    We are heading towards what we call The Beatific Vision –  the full experience of God Himself  . . .   sanctus, sanctus, sanctus   .. .  the all-good God of love.

Stay on that pathway!

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Thank you, St. Francis de Sales.   Deo gratias.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WALK WITH ME

January 23, 2016

 

I don’t know what made me visit The Spruce Tunnel this day.  It had been a nice but challenging class this morning, but I was tired now  and very hungry,  and it was a cold, crisp day in the Far North.   But I found myself making the stop, thinking the  fresh air would feel good.

So unexpectedly I stopped the car and started off  down the familiar entrance pathway to the Tunnel.

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No skis this time, even though it was winter.   And there were plenty of other  footprints to show others had  left their skis at home too.

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I once did a photo-study of all the patterns made by boot footprints in The Spruce Tunnel.  Fascinating.   Sometimes you find interesting things when you look down, when you stop and focus on what’s very close to you.

I was wearing my warm fur-lined “short boots.”    But my friends say they look like bedroom slippers.

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Well, hmmmph!   I bought them from the Boot section of the shoe store.   They’re boots!   They keep my feet warm!

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I took a deep breath, feeling the (cold) oxygen fill my lungs.  It felt good all over.   I thought:  I could have been driving the car right now –  breathing stuffy, heated air.  I could have been home by now:  breathing dry air.   This was nicer.

I looked way up at some of the deciduous trees, bare now in midwinter.   Kept my eyes up there,  just like a kid would do,   until I was done looking.

It was peaceful, but it wasn’t quiet.     There were many interesting sounds:    little peeps, squeaks,  creaks,   lots of bird sounds.   “Someone”  was scolding me  as I walked through.  Maybe my peace was  disturbing his peace;  maybe a bird, maybe an irritated  squirrel.    Sorry, little critter –  I wasn’t intimidated;  you just sounded funny.

But I share this park with other living things.   I know.

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I saw an interesting log.

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Nobody’s home, I guess.

Questions, questions, questions.   What was I doing here?   What made me come?

And then another unexpected, decision:   of all the pathways I could have chosen to enter the Tunnel,  I chose this one, rather than my usual eastern approach.

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I was entering now a deeper stillness,  when the “peaceful feeling”  becomes a little eerie.    A  peaceful feeling becomes a spiritual feeling.   The many duties and concerns that had kept my mind so busy fell completely away, and my mind seemed to become clear and open.  I thanked God for . . .   I don’t know.  I just felt thankful.

Whatever impulse had driven me here was a good one.

And then I discovered “why”  I had come.   An unexpected purpose.   And just
as I was wondering about the wisdom of being here, alone, in a great big park
with no other person in sight,  and with no protection (whatever that would
be),   I heard  two people up ahead.

It was a man and a woman.  They were enjoying the park together.  They seemed happy, although they looked cold.    When I got closer, and smiled to them,  they asked me if I knew how much further they had to go to get to the end of the trail.   “Not far at all.”

If I had entered the Tunnel from the other way,  I wouldn’t have seen them.  So . . .  glad I could help.

8.5 two eaglesBut then our conversation began.   The lady,  the wife as it turned out,  came over to me to show me the beautiful pictures of a pair of eagles that she had recently taken.  And nearby!    The eagles were obviously a happy couple too, impersonating a pair of lovebirds.  How interesting.  I was impressed.  Such an image of majestic strength –  and yet —  life, love, bonding, babies;  just like all life on this earth.    “Abundant life!”   “Be fruitful and multiply.”

The lady went on about  her pursuit of certain birds for further picture taking, an obviously well-liked hobby of hers;  and how often she just seemed to be “led”  to the location of certain interesting or rare birds.

I learned about their motorcycle riding and an accident, one of seven, was it?   And how they were so protected that they each had only bumps and bruises,  even though their motorcycles were trashed.  And how the accident led to the fortuitous discovery of impending blindness.

They both shared many other things, all the while expressing their thanksgiving to God.  It was evident that they lived their Christian faith daily,  at every moment.

I felt a little shy, and I shyly asked them if I could take their picture.

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I wanted to remember them, to remember that this delightful encounter had really  happened.

Then it was time to go.   Just standing there had made us all feel the cold.   We said our good-byes and “God bless you”s.

There was the end of the Tunnel waiting for me, and I took one last look at the tall black spruces:

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And further way up high:

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The Spruce Tunnel is indeed a place of great beauty, deep feeling, and lofty thoughts.     I’m so glad I had made my unplanned stop here.    I felt different – and better – after the chance encounter with that happy couple.  Their bright happy spirits lifted me up and made a happy walk in the park even happier!

I’ll never see them again,  but I’ll always remember their effect on me.  And I hope I’ll try to have the same positive, unselfconscious faith-filled effect on others.

We who are believers  manifest Christ for the world around us.  We are witnesses to His love and to His Resurrection.   We show the world what Jesus is like.

Or so we should.

Leaving the Tunnel,  walking out into the wide world  —

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Finding my way back into the “normal” world —   where I hope I’ll take this experience with me and I hope it will change me, just a little.

 

 

GOOD OMENS

January 20, 2016

With the loss of my mother-in-law last week,  death on my mind,  grieving,  missing out on the funeral,  issues of past family history,  I needed to take a few days off to get some perspective.   I was open.   And the “perspective”  came.

On Monday morning,   I made eggs for breakfast.   Morning:  “sleepytime”  for me.   I clumsily turned the eggs over in the frying pan and stared down at this, staring back up at me:

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I could have chosen to say,  “Well, hmm,  look at that!  I couldn’t have done that if I tried!”   But instead I chose to take it as a good sign,  a good omen for the time ahead.    My choice;   a Rohrschach pan.  My choice to be reminded of love — God’s love!

A step forward this week with a new understanding of Life and Death and the Meaning of Being Alive, and being loved.   Going forth in a world so full of love and caring from God,  that it can manifest in a pan of eggs!

Sometimes “signs” are repeated, as if to say you’re on the right track.

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I cleaned the kitchen after breakfast,  dusted the shelves… and there I discovered two little coins that Cooper had given me.   Cooper is my five-year-old grandson,  rather remarkable for maturity and spiritual insight.  (His early birth and his presence had brought an aura of peace into  Hubbie’s hospital room during his final days.)

Cooper was visiting here at Christmastime.   We enjoyed each other’s company.   But one day,  in the kitchen,  he stopped and reached into his pants pocket and said,  “Here, Grandma,  because you’ve been very good.”   And he handed me the contents of his pants pocket —  30 cents.

My first thought of course was to say, Oh no, that’s your money,  you keep it!   But he was very solemn.  He was serious.  He knows how things work.  In his mind, I had deserved his coins.  This was not the time to contradict what was going on in his mind and in his heart.  It was his gift to me.

I will never forget the eggs, which my clumsiness had formed into a heart, a message of love.  And I’ll never forget the burst of love that came out of my grandson that day.

I will pay him back manifold, someday, somehow.   And for the rest of my life I will try to live up to his opinion of me that day.

Those two little coins will never be spent at  a store.

 

PUSH BACK WITH ADAM, BERNADETTE, AND CHRISTINE

April 30, 2015

I want to continue on with my last remark:  “Language is a participation in the truth.”  Language, here, informally includes vocabulary and the rules of grammar of your spoken and written language.

Starting, then, with vocabulary and the meaning of words.   For those of you who understand the   uses  of Newspeak,  the following story is a double-plus ungood.   Okay?

So this would be   ++ungood —
A  Push-Back  Love Story:

The Push-Back part:

WORDS MEAN THINGS.    When societies change, sometimes the meanings of some words change.   But when there is an agenda to change the society from without,  then words are given new meanings.

That process can actually, effectively change a society — in some instances, especially when the society is (1)  unaware of the agenda,  and (2) is relatively uncaring about the implications of those changes.

That’s not hard to understand  and  it’s not hard to illustrate.

 Let me present you with some vocabulary words, in bold letters,  here in the Love Story part:

mr mrs

Once there was a male human and a female human.

Then a Courtship developed.  They met,  they got to know each other,  they fell in Love.

They Married.

A short time later,  they were expecting a Baby.

Then it was found out that the Mother was Carrying three Babies. 

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On the ultrasound it was discovered that there will be one Son and two Daughters.  They were so Happy.

They named them Adam,  Bernadette, and Christine, and they could hardly wait to meet  them.   Young new parents,  young new human beings.
Then, even though it was too early  — 22 weeks after the pregnancy started — some pains started;  the pains became regular; then they went to their hospital. 

And Christine

The Babies lived —
    I mean they were loved and known and cherished and baptized ….

              —  The Babies lived for four short hours.
    And the parents say they were so glad to have met their Children, and they look forward to the day when they will be together again.

You can see the very short video they made of their experience here:

(I hope that still works.   Or you could try to YouTube Search the names of the children.)

The story speaks for itself; and  I’ve tried to keep my own editorializing out of it.   It’s a sweet story,  but let’s go back to some seriousness —

 “When misguided public opinion honors what is despicable and despises what is honorable, punishes virtue and rewards vice, encourages what is harmful and discourages what is useful, applauds falsehood and smothers truth under indifference or insult, a nation turns its back on progress, and can be restored only by the terrible lessons of catastrophe.”            (Frederic Bastiat,  French economist)

—  and I’ll let you make the connections.

Words have meanings.   All those words in the story above that are in bold have meanings that are now under attack.   Certain special interest groups want to change the meaning of man, woman,   marriage,  baby,  family . . . for their advantage.  Language is a participation in truth (truth: the correlation of the mind with external reality) — but if words have no objective meaning,  then all discourse ceases.    Only the politically powerful prevails.      If we don’t push back,  we lose.
(Prayers lifted up for Mr. and Mrs.  T.    May God comfort you.    Pray for us, Little Ones.)