Posted tagged ‘Liturgical Year’

JUST . . . LOOK UP

April 13, 2017

The “beautiful thing” of this week:

3 Moon 1

Moon and moon-in-pond.

My camera could not capture its lovely golden color.  

3 Moon 3 with effects

 The Paschal Moon shines down through my back yard trees.

The first full moon after the first new moon of the first month of the year, Nisan.

The Paschal Moon shines down on all of us this week, because once, 2,000 years ago,  it rose over Jerusalem:

3 moon above.

And Jesus died.

 

 

 

 

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THE END.

November 20, 2016

I’m beginning to like my fuzzy moon pictures.   They have an interesting . . .  charm.

moon-lines

“Moon lines.”  Looks like a black and white Jupiter on edge.

I’ve got some “end of the year” resolutions to take care of soon.    I’ve got to accept my good friend’s offer to teach me something about photography.  Then I have to install my new editing software so I can do useful things with the photos.

I’ve got to get serious about  getting my summer and fall clothes packed away and my winter clothes out and ready —  and sewn!

sewing

I need a couple new vests.  Here’s fuzzy black velvety one almost made.  I had to create the yellow tissue paper pattern so the vest will come out with the right shape and length.   The sewing up will go fast but I need to bring  this  winter wardrobe issue  to an end.

I need to do the end-of-the-year holiday planning,  company,  decorating,  parties.

Lots of things are coming to an end now.   Autumn chores.   NASCAR.  Football season.

You can learn a lot about life from football –

end-at-the-end-zone

After all,  the whole game is a series of drives and the goal is getting to the  “end”  zone.     (The Bears made it this time!!)

And today we arrived at another end,  the end of the Liturgical Year:

lit-yr

We’ve come full circle, and have finished up the green patch at about 11:00, or 11:30.   11:59, actually.      Next Sunday we will be in the blue.

It’s an orderly way of keeping track of time,  which at the same time instructs us in keeping track of  our journey  throughout the year, with Our Savior,   as the major events of our Faith unfold,  one after the other.

It’s like a circular timeline.     And when we reach the end of the year,   the 11:59, so to speak,  it’s appropriate to think more on   those all-important “Four Last Things”  which we all will confront, at the “end”  of our time on earth.

I’m sure you’ve thought of them throughout the year,  perhaps without even realizing that these are “end time considerations” that are common to all.    The Four Last Things are:  Death.    Judgment.     Heaven.     Hell.

Obviously,  we’ll be intimately caught up in only three of those Four Last Things.

We all have common experiences with these things.

Death.    Perhaps you’ve known someone who has died this past year.  Or almost.    Or perhaps you had a close brush with death.    What might have, could have happened, if you didn’t get lucky.

Judgment.    Those twinges of guilt,  self-judgment,  an “oops, I shouldn’t have done that.”       All fundamentally pointing to the existential certainty that we will experience our last and final judgment.   Perhaps you think it will be a glorified self-judgment.   But,  nevertheless,  the judgment will result in . . .

Hell.     Perhaps.    You probably heard Hell referenced at least a few times during this past year without really thinking about it.  Someone nearby curses:  “Oh,  Hell!”    “Damn!”    It’s a curse word because . . .  well,  it’s a curse that is a reality.    It’s just that we don’t often “think about it.”   Why is the entire human race so “fallen”?    So damned?

Heaven.    A hoped-for glorious End,  but one which we’re entirely incapable of producing by ourselves.

Incapable:     Remember the miners in South America who were trapped by a massive cave-in?   All escape routes solidly blocked.   They had little water,  very little food,  no electricity, no light. 33 men trapped deep below ground.  And they were incapable of getting out of there.

They had no way of knowing that a multi-national effort was underway to attempt to reach them.   

But weeks went by.  Weeks with not enough provisions, not much oxygen.  

How do you think they passed that time, knowing they could not help themselves out of that deepest, darkest pit?

69 days later!   It took 69 days to reach them,  and miraculously  all the men were still alive.

Help had come from Above, by means of which the miners did not have,  by efforts that the miners were incapable of accomplishing.     Can you imagine how beautiful the sunlight must have seemed to them?      And they saw the Light and lived again!

The Fourth Last Thing:    Heaven.     Available for us,  by means of the Cross reaching down to us and reaching out wide to all mankind.

Advent,  next Sunday,  begins that process.

RAISE A JAEGERMEISTER TODAY!

September 21, 2016

Before Sept. 20th gets too  much in the past,  I want to mention today’s saint whose emblem you may have seen before –

jagermeister_bottle

There on the label of a bottle of Jaegermeister is a picture of a stag – a big deer with his horns, and in the middle of the horns you will always see a cross, usually a bright and shining cross.

What’s a Jaegermeister?   That’s German for Hunting Master, and you’ll find them all over European estates – someone to be responsible for  hunting  (and conservation) on the landowner’s property  —  in previous centuries, I guess,  when there was law and order and a social hierarchy that made sense.

The picture on the label was chosen to represent St.  Eustachius,  the patron saint of hunters, because of a life-changing event in the man’s life.

His name used to be “Placidus” and he was a valued and skillful general in the Emperor Trajan’s army  (in Rome),  so that makes him alive when St. John was  still alive, who knew Jesus personally.    But that didn’t matter to Placidus at first.

Placidus enjoyed hunting and his high rank allowed him adequate leisure for this sport.

hind

One day,  deep in a forest, he saw a big stag with a light coming from the space between his great antlers.   As Placidus got closer,   he saw that the light was actually in the form of a cross,  with Jesus crucified on that cross.      As he stared at this sight,  he heard a voice.  It’s not recorded what he heard,  but he immediately became a follower of Jesus.

st-e-story

He could have remained serving Trajan in the army,  but almost right after his conversion,  he began to lose all those things that had meant so much to him as a Roman general.  He lost all his wealth,  all his possessions,  and then, of course,  he lost his status in the Roman army.    Throughout these extreme reversals of fortune,  he did not lose his faith.    This was a blessed trial.   He changed his name to “Eustachius” — a name indicating good and steady.

He was married and had two daughters, so he found a job as the caretaker for a rich landowner.  There he would have stayed, but for some very bad news that Trajan received:

trajan

Barbarians were attacking the borders and Trajan needed a good general to take care of the situation.   He searched for and found  Eustachius, who once again served his emperor well and successfully.   A great patriotic celebration was held.

Patriotic, including  thanking the gods.

Which Eustachius could no longer do, since that would mean denying the one True God, whom he now served.

He and his whole family were  arrested and all found “guilty”  of being “of those Christians”  whom Trajan was trying to eliminate from his empire.     Some accounts say his trial and imprisonment occurred near Mt. Ararat!

pers famikly.jpg

He was sentenced to be put to death by lions, a common wild animal in those parts.  But on the day that his sentence was carried out,  the lions, according to reports,  became “tame”  and would not kill Eustachius.

Sometimes this happens,    but I don’t know why.    It seems horrible enough to go through,  only to wait and wait and then it doesn’t “work”  —  you have not been taken to Heaven.

A substitute penalty was ordered.

bull

That one worked.   I hope it was fast.   The fires under a brass bull could be counted on to do the job.

A person who dies for love of Christ  is a martyr and we believe  Heaven opens up for him at the moment of death.   They say if we can go to  Heaven, that “the things of the Earth”  will seem very dim and far away.  Such a death will seem like a small and insignificant price compared to the indescribable experience of being in the presence of God and His glory.

That is St. Eustachius.   He knew that being a Christian  meant going against his culture.   Being a Christian is no guarantee for happiness in this world,  but it doesn’t matter, because that’s not where your focus is anymore.   Christ is ahead of you, and you follow Him.    And it’s worth more than anything you could possibly lose that this world offers.

Your  government  may not like you.   And you may become a martyr.

St. Eustachius began his adventure with a stag hunt in the woods.    Patron saint of hunters.   Perhaps he’s looking down on other hunters . . .   hoping for the best for them.

logo-or

Skol !!

 

 

 

 

 

BREAD, THE REAL THING

June 4, 2016

The topic of Friday’s Bible Study class:

Rye Bread

 

Bread.    Real bread.    Rye bread, as a matter of fact.     We had been discussing the kind of bread that Jesus would have used during the last supper,  the size and shape of it, and of course,  since it was the age-old feast of Corpus Christi,   we went on to discuss why Jesus called himself the Bread of Life . . .

I told them I make a round-shaped bread once in a while,  just like what was commonly made way back then.     “Limpa,”  it’s called.    My Mom called it Swedish Limpa, but I noticed in a recipe book it was called Finnish Limpa.    No matter.   I am of both heritages.

The class and I decided that rye bread is best eaten toasted,   heavily buttered,  and spread thickly with the finest Scottish orange marmalade.

So that’s what I provided for Friday morning’s class this week.  Including my toaster!

After class I stopped off at the store and found some really good “hot dogs” with no artificial ingredients,  no chemicals,  no nitrites and nitrates.   Good enough!    Then  I wanted some buns,  but after reading the label on every bun package in the “bread” aisle,  I just couldn’t buy and of those . . .  things.  I needed real buns.

Buns

So I made them.   Hamburgers and hot dog buns.      Real buns.  Real bread.

Last week,   all our classes converged on that great Feast Day of old,  Corpus Christi.   (The Body of Christ.   “This is My Body,”  He said.)

It’s a feast day all about Bread.   The Bread of Life and why it’s called that.     What is real bread and what is Real Bread –  or the Real Presence,  the Real Substance,   of the Bread.   The unseen spiritual world permeates this world,  and is just as real as the world we see, and is not temporary.     God in the unseen spiritual world sustains the existence of this world, in just the manner He wants it to be.

When something real  is above our ability to understand, we call it a Mystery –   from which we get the Latin word Sacrament.

Jesus at First Mass

How is it that Jesus “blessed and consecrated”  bread and gave it to His disciples, saying “This is my body” ?      Is.     Be careful not to erase the Mystery of “is.”

It has sustained the Church for almost 2,000 years.

Take part in this “until He returns.”

Take part in the Real thing.   “Accept no substitutes,”  as they say,  because only the Real thing is everlasting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life.   “We become what we eat,”  the Early Church Fathers said.    ,that is Christ Himself, veiled, so as to have the most intimate communion with a human soul.

THE POWER OF THE TRINITY

May 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

ST. PATRICK’S LORICA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

FOUNT OF PROCRASTINATION

April 3, 2016

Doubt:   “Fount of Procrastination”   Well, maybe one of the founts.

You’ve seen the famous paintings of St. Thomas:

thomas

Or “Doubting Thomas”  as he is well-known to us.    Thomas, one of the Twelve,   wasn’t with the others on Easter Sunday when the Risen Jesus first appeared to His Apostles.   We can’t know what they told Thomas about seeing the Lord that day,  but we do know  that he really didn’t believe them.   He had a “good”  reason to wait to believe.

Thomas could have started a whole philosophical; movement with an attitude like that!   You know,  “If I can’t see it or touch it or measure it,  then it doesn’t exist!”    Perhaps all you people stuck in Logical Positivism  can adopt St. Thomas as your patron saint.

see.jpg     But we must remember that after Thomas   touched the sacred wounds, the scars now where the wounds had been,  he one hundred percent totally realized that the Resurrection of Christ is true.     His astonished cry was “My Lord and my God!”     A joyful cry every believing heart spontaneously imitates from time to time.   How often we do so is a barometer of the amount of Saving Faith our soul has.

A matter of ultimate concern.

Thomas’s life was transformed and he became a true Apostle,   “called” to tell many others about Jesus.   It’s said his certainty and enthusiasm  carried him all the way to India, where there are still shrines today in honor of his name.

But had he remained in  doubt, perhaps had he missed the next appearance of Jesus too,  he would not have been changed,  not saved,  not carried a Gospel he wasn’t sure of into far foreign lands.       Not being sure of something is one  reason for not having to do anything about an issue.

“Not sure.”      So, what am I supposed to do if I’m not sure about something?     Nothing.  Nothing yet.     I’ll work it out later.

What to do about Jesus?    Procrastination for a “good” reason.    I’ll make a decision later.

Presuming I have a “later.”

Procrastination can become deadly.     At the moment we die,   that’s it –  that’s who we are.    What we think, what we believe,  the kinds of things we were doing, the kind of persons we are, the amount of Faith we have, if any –   that’s it.

Procrastination can become our  condemnation.

 

SCIENCE AND THE RIVER STYX

April 2, 2016

(This is for you, Dear  Friend-With-The-Camera, Air Force Academy Graduate, and DEQ  Scientist for our state, retired):

I found it !    I finally found it!     I have at times brought conversations in my classes to a screeching halt by asking the “simple”  question:  “What is Time?”   Now I’ve found a definition.

It wasn’t one of those “teaching questions.”      For decades,  I really wanted to know.    And now on this Saturday in  Easter Week,  the satisfaction of having a good definition for Time helps me understand what happened on this day so long ago.

Banner Easterthur

Because here’s what happened on the day after Good Friday, almost 2,000 years ago.   We say it in the Creed,  after Jesus “was crucified, died, and was buried.”  Then:  “He descended into hell. . .”

This “hell” –

limbo

Not the Hell of the damned, as they say,  eternal banishment, punishment, and the horror of “flames” and torture —  but the  unspecific word “hell”  that is the Place of the Dead –  a state-of-being which is before our Judgment that we don’t know.     The book of Jude calls it the “prison”  where souls go after death . . .  shadowy,  unspecific,  indistinct,  not “lively” like human souls are supposed to be.

Before Christ died,  Heaven was not open to human life.     Wasn’t appropriate yet.   Wasn’t possible yet.      But human souls who looked for and hoped for the Messiah,  longed for the coming of Christ,  would not be lost in Hell,   yet what happened to them?

We don’t know.

The Greeks had it figured out:  when humans died,  their souls were transported across the River (the River Styx)  into a shadowy,  dimly conscious frozen state of being.

styx

 

The teaching of the Church, though, is these souls went to a kind of “limbo” –  neither here nor there;  specifically the Limbo of the Patriarchs,  those faithful souls who lived their lives according to the promises from God . . .  and then died.

Human souls had no power to leave.   That’s why it was called “a prison.”   Not even Orpheus with his exquisitely beautiful music  could really release any soul from Hades.

Until  Jesus.  Jesus died, in His Human Nature;  but in His Divine Nature He had power to “lay down His life and to take it up again”  —   He has power over life and death,  His and ours.  He is the Resurrection (from the dead).

So it is, on  the “day”  after Good Friday He went to this Place of the Dead, to Hades,  to Sheol  (in the Hebrew language),  the souls there woke and saw the Christ they had believed in when in this life  and  recognized Him and were able to follow Him —  out of Hades. . . into Heaven with Him.

Now here we have to stop again, because we know so little.  Not much has been revealed to us and we can’t know this on our own — and certainly not by experience.

sand dial

Since the moment of our conception,  we’ve experienced only Time.      We’ve never been outside of Time.    So those souls who died still looking for their coming Messiah?   Where are they  “now”?     “When”  did they see Christ?     “When”  is their Judgment?

They are with the One who has always been apart from and outside of Time.

Here’s the definition which helps  us think about this:

Time is a measure of motion in reference to “before”  and  “after”   and therefore applies only to those things that are capable of being in a state of potency.

(Sorry to get all Aquinas-y on you,  but you must use the powers of reason and its vocabulary .)

There is no “potency” in God, the Eternal Trinity.     He never changes into something else.  He has no “before” or “after.”   He always is Who He is,  so much so that He is Be-ing itself:    His Name is  I AM.

Since the Son of God is outside of Time — even during the “time” He spent  here on earth —  then everything that He does is also done in Eternity.

Therefore,   every moment of Time can connect with the One who upholds all things and keeps them in existence,  moment by moment.    Those who are “dead and gone” in Christ are not really “gone” from us.    In Christ, they are here, at this moment.  The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is the One Self-Sacrifice of Christ, as were all the sacrifices made by the Jews before Christ died.    All sacrifices in Time including Masses participate in  this same Eternal Sacrifice.

Every Saturday we remember that Jesus too was “dead and gone”  from us  but not really absent.    While His mother and all the disciples were feeling His absence,   He was visiting our brother and sister believers and inviting them to live with Him for-ever,  without any ending.

And tomorrow —   He is back on Earth, visiting the most famous unbeliever in Time!

 

EVIL CHILDREN

April 1, 2016

 

I didn’t know what to call this posting.    But, yeah,  it’s Friday in Easter Week –

Banner Easterthur

–  so I was doing what I was supposed to be doing:  thinking back on the whole Easter thing, and specifically one week ago,  not only a Friday,  but Good Friday.

And why did it all happen?

Why did it all have to happen?

Did you see this on the news this past week?  —

SAMSUNG

America.   Near Philadelphia.   People sitting on a commuter train,  subway thing,  when all of a sudden a small group of six year olds began shouting obscenities,  punching, kicking,  and otherwise threatening the passengers.  This picture is from the video — the words of these vicious six-year olds had to be bleeped out.

The story is here.   

It is a scene out of Lord of the Flies.     It’s a scene from the Passion of the Christ where those devlish little boys chased Judas out of the city.   It’s a scene I’ve posted before, showing tiny children being taught how to behead teddy bears;   a 5 year old holding a little machine gun;   a sweet little 4 or 5 year old girl holding a large knife yelling “Stab! Stab!  Stab!”

And we don’t realize how common scenes like this occur.      Little children fighting, slapping,  swearing at their parents in a store.   We don’t pay much attention anymore.  When I spent a year teaching 4 and 5 year olds in a well-known Kindergarten type school,  I was astonished at the sexual activity among some of them.   As well as their language. As well as their defiance towards any adults,  most especially their own parents.  “Normal”  suburban kids, without any knowledge of God.

I have in my memory so many actual news stories of dangerous children . . . .

Oddly,  this was predicted for our century in the early 1600s, when the intensity of such moral depravity was not ever suspected.    *.

quito

In around 1635,  from this building,   it was predicted that there will be a  time when the world sinks into moral depravity so widespread and deep that the very innocence of  children will be corrupted —  which indicates it’s going to go deeply into the next generation when they grow up – and don’t know how to live and don’t know what to teach their children.    The whole culture is depraved and unworkable.

(By the way,   when the passengers on that Philadelphia train pleaded with the adults who were with those out-of-control children to “do something,”   those adults became defiant and aggressive towards the victims!)

The century for when this deep moral corruption resulting from a repudiation of the True Faith was named:   it is the 20th century.

We’re living it now.  Our world is  a fulfillment of that prediction.   We don’t even understand what it means that “the innocence of children will be lost” —   what “innocence” ?   What innocence are they supposed to have?     Other centuries would be astonished that we can’t even answer that question.

The prophecy said: A time “when the world sinks into moral depravity . . .”   It will become as bad as it can get – and such times will illustrate the danger and murderous insanity of sin,  where no one is safe.   And children can be evil too.

This is an illustration why we had to have a Good Friday.    An  illustration of the stark contrast between a world living without its Creator and a world that can choose to live in obedience to its Creator –  Who is also its Savior.    Dying in  propitiatory sacrifice because of  these sins.

. . . . An act which offers the Hope that if we turn back to God, we will be given the power to overcome sin and intellectual darkness, and to reform ourselves.

 

Bar Cross in middle

*.   I write of the visitations of Our Lady of Good Success in Quito,  Ecuador.     That’s enough words to use in any Search engine if you’d like to know more about  the descriptions of our Age,  what’s going to happen,  what the remedies could be.

But I’ll write about it more later on too,  maybe in a month or two.

THURSDAY – “IS THE POPE CATHOLIC?”

March 31, 2016

One week ago – and the scandal is still being “discussed” —

Banner Easterthur

“Is the pope Catholic” – ha ha ha ha  (Not a joke.)

The answer is:  “Sometimes;   sometimes not.”  Sometimes any given pope will believe and practice what the Catholic Church teaches;  sometimes he will not believe and/or practice what the Church teaches.

(Note:  the pope is not the Church.)

And so we have popes who were very good and devout teachers, shepherds, examples, and disciples of their Lord;   and we also have popes who were scandalous and despicable;  and we have popes that were everywhere in between  on the spectrum of pope assessments.

(There is good reason to honestly consider what Catholic saints have envisioned:  that towards the End of this Age,  the pope becomes the dreaded False Prophet, which will lead   [undiscerning]  people into false religious beliefs, and thereby promote the coming Anti-Christ , in whatever manner that will come about.)

And as humans everywhere,  some popes suffered a great deal while in office;  some popes became unexpectedly bad, while others were able to grow in personal holiness, a task given to all men.

Got it?

Any given pope is not “right: just because he is in that office (the See of Peter).

Just before Jesus left this Earth leaving someone to govern in His place temporarily,  He met with the Twelve,  His most intimate, His most well-instructed friends, and taught them some of the dearest,  most precious things they were to do.

It is written that He “breathed on them”  after doing this, given them a specially ordained position among all the followers of Christ that would come after.

Jesus washing feet

This is one of the things He taught.  Not that they should go around with an emphasis on hygiene.   Not that they should copy this physical  action every year during Holy Week.  But this is a blueprint for the heart of the Twelve Disciples,  just ordained, now, for Service in the name of the Lord.

A priest is your servant.

Uh . . .  well, a good priest is your servant.    A  “bad priest”  can serve you only   by administering the Sacraments for you – the Church does nourish.    A bad, sinful priest, if truly ordained,  has consecrated Hands.  Woe to these Hands that do evil . . .  worse than for us who are not priests.

Actually, much more can be said about the meaning of Jesus, the Servant of God, and His demonstrative actions of washing the feet of His Twelve disciples —   newly chosen,  newly anointed, newly ordained  to carry on the saving work of the Church — but that’s the main point here.

We don’t ordain women.  Women have a special, elevated role in the life of  the Christian world and certainly as the foundation of every family –  (if only “modern”  women knew how).

Women have an irreplaceable (and honored) role in Christendom that stems from the reality of the Virgin Mary, the Untier of Knots,  the Un-Do-er of the tangle begun by Eve.

mary the untier

Mary, The Untier of (our) Knots

Women are elevated and respected by devout Catholics, but we don’t ordain women to do the job appointed to males.

The present-day pope,  not understanding this,  washed the feet of some women last week.   Holy Thursday  – a day to deny Church teachings, apparently.

This present-day pope also washed the feet of some non-Christians, who so far plan to  remain non-Christian.   Holy Thursday – a day to defy Church teaching.   (Are Muslims and non-believers expected to work within the Church and to bring Jesus to people?)

And so, on this Easter Thursday,  amidst rejoicing, and joy for the beginning of the Christian priesthood,  if we are to be honest,  there is scandal and astonishment that the leader of the Catholic Church could brazenly and publicly pat himself on the back for denying Catholic teachings.

Representatives of Christ,  prime ministers,  vicars, “bridges” – whatever English word you want to use for the office,  can be very disappointing.     Even so “ambassadors,”  which are we Christian people . . .  very disappointing.

Christ alone is the Head of the Catholic Church.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHY DO EASTER WEEK?

March 30, 2016

 Why do Easter Week at all?    I thought of some reasons:

Banner Easter Wed
I  “do”  Easter Week along with the Church,  (not the New Version, by the way, but the original, ongoing Church) because it affords me the time to savor the things of Eternity that we may come to know while still here on Earth.

bed of air
The things of this Earth change and pass away so quickly that there is nothing solid to hang on to.  Placing all your hope in this world is like resting on  a bed of clear Jell-O — really! —  it’s comfortable and easy and kind of fun at first,  but you sink down deeper and deeper and deeper and you begin to struggle for air, for the sight of other people,  for something firm to grasp onto — and there is nothing, because the things of this Earth offer no solid foundation.
Christ died on the Cross to give us a firm foundation to grasp onto –  an eternal foundation that will not change and that will always be benevolent and full of personal love for us.

I “do”  Easter week because as I catch myself growing older,  I understand  how much for a greater purpose is the time that is given to each one of us.   Time is fleeting!   Time is passing!
As you’re sinking deeper into that  bed of clear, comfy Jell-O,  there are many distractions offered on the way down.   Seems like fun.   Seems important,  for a moment in time.
How precious is the Time given to us?   Here is a quote  from Mother Angelica, who died just recently,    as she lay on her death bed, hanging on to life, hanging on,  hanging on.  She was asked why do you want to keep on living?   . . .  “Because I will have suffered one more day for the love of God… It will exercise you in virtue. But most of all I will know God better. You cannot measure the value of one new thought about God in your own life.'”

One.  New.  Thought.   About.  God. . . .

That’s what Time can give

I  “do”  Easter Week because I want to understand the difference between God in His Heaven, on the one hand, and this Fallen World, on the other hand.   It’s a clear choice.  The more I understand, the more my soul will choose God truly and rightly.  It works this way:  the more you know God, the more you love Him;  the more you love Him, the more you want to know;  the more you know God,  the more you love Him . . . .
One knows his loved one better by spending time together.   At least an Octave of days,  right?  And then every day of your life.

Finally,  “I do”   Easter Week because of the real contrast between Time and Eternity.   Nothing final happens in Time,  but I’d rather not spend my Eternity in a permanent state of Hellish, agonizing regret and despair and self-hatred (I should have known!).  I’d rather not have an Eternity being a plaything of the Enemies of my Soul,  the Enemies of God, who themselves are in such torment that not even tormenting me can ease their pain – but they have an eternity to try.

Time.  An Octave of time.   In the Epistle reading given to us today,  Peter is giving some powerful teaching about time.  He says,  You all, in the audience here,  the God who loves you so much worked through your ancestors to prepare you for Christ, and then, in your ignorance of Him He was put to death.  You denied the Holy One and the Just – and desired that a murderer be granted unto you. . . .  I know that you did this out of ignorance,  but now there is Time to repent – time to think,  time to come to Christ for forgiveness and for your salvation.

A paraphrase, of course,  emphasizing the use we can make of our Time remaining here on Earth.   The Truth dawns on us,  the Un-Truth becomes unworkable, intolerable, the desire for something Good and Lasting grows, and the Will comes into play — Time,  Time to choose!

That’s what having an Octave of Time is all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

TIME FOR “TYPE”

March 29, 2016

Looks like Easter Tuesday gives us:  fun with types!

 

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The Octave of Easter gives us Time to work out and enjoy some of the meanings of Easter.  In lessons for today we are given  many thoughts about the Types that were fulfilled by the death and resurrection of Jesus.

A Type?  There are several definitions of the word,  but the most  wonderful,  the most useful to us is this: a type is a person, thing, or event that really exists (or existed)  that prefigures a future person, thing, or event of greater significance. . . .

Well, let’s just say a Type is like a beautiful door:

door

At first, when you’re new at this,  you realize that words can have two meanings:  one is the plain meaning the word signifies  (and all the things it calls to mind, in context and experience and definition).

There are Easter Words like  Passover   and Passage and Egypt and  slavery  and Israel and lamb and sacrifice and blood  and freedom. . . .words that tell the historical story.

Words that are openings (like a door)  to rich and  beautiful meanings.   And then —  you’re invited — you can ENTER through the door,  and you look all around —

foyer

You are welcomed in to a beautiful beginning, and you can look all around,  get a feel for the place, and get a clue that there is splendor and glory that is waiting for you.

You will find that those original words of that historical story have a deeper significance that can be matched to the real things they signify:   Pascal  Time  (Passover and Passage out of Egypt);   and the World we live in (signified by “Egypt”);   and  Mankind (signified by “Israel”);  Pharaoh, who points to the reality of Satan;  and  the lambs which are fulfilled in The Lamb of God;  and sacrifice, the willing Self-Sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross;  and  the blood from the lambs, the Blood of Christ whose death really does save us . . . .

So much to think about!!!   We can’t just stay in the foyer!!!   Deeper understandings await!

interior

The interior of this beautiful home made for you is huge!   There are rooms and rooms and corridors to explore off the main hallway.

Choose a word from the story of the Israelite in Egypt, or their eventual and inevitable slavery and their cries of discontent and hopelessness; or the story of God sending Moses and preparing him in his childhood and manhood and his finally saying yes, he is willing; the Pharaoh with the ever-hardening heart;   the mastery of the God over His creation manifested by the Plagues;  release;  the night of the Passover  —

And this points to all the elements of the Gospel story:  the Son of God was sent to “seek and to save them that were lost”  and to die for them,  to Redeem the people of earth — and the motivation was the Love of God for us – and that never goes away . . . .

On and on –  you will never exhaust the details or tire of the story.  Again, the words used in telling the story are Types of the Gospel Story of Christ’s First Coming.   You won’t run out of rooms to visit!

room

Many place during this Easter Week to sit and rest and contemplate –satisfying,  welcoming,  comforting,  the whole Gospel story belonging to you . . .

Just  give yourself some time,   just choose a door, a word to begin with:

door door

Easter Week is only one Octave of days!

 

 

 

THE 8TH DAY – JOY TO YOU ALL!

March 27, 2016

Just a short greeting today –  to bring you the JOY of the Empty Tomb!

Tomb empty

I hope you have all seen the movie “Risen”  and witnessed some of the irrepressible joy of the disciples of Jesus, after they saw Him — after the Crucifixion!    Irrepressible joy; grown men trying to be dignified, but almost giddy with joy.

Perhaps I’ve had a “good”  Lent,  because I know this Joy today, a little bit,  from early this morning while it was still dark,  and later in the morning,  and I think all day today.  Now our interior meditations can be focused on Our Savior,  Alive.

In good fun,  just to tweak some of my more somber, self-restricted  fundamentalist friends,  I wish them joy and fun and happiness on this day too:

Happy Easater

 

I keep forgetting what Easter eggs and Easter bunnies have to do with the Resurrection of our Lord — and yet I know and I understand that it has a rather mild and harmless connection;   which, by the way,  teaches little children about the Newness of life.   “Behold,  I make all things New!!!!”   Jesus says.

How exciting to wait for the confirmation of Good Things on Easter morning,  when you your Easter basket!!

The Old Week is past;  the old Seven Days are gone;   behold!  it is the Eighth Day!!  A New Time.

It is a Great Lesson on the way to learning this more mature lesson,  from the prayers of Father Amorth,  an effective and holy exorcist,  who teaches us Newness of Life,  Newness of Spiritual and Corporal health,  and release from that which drags us down:

“Heal, my Lord Jesus,  those intimate wounds that cause me physical illness . . . Heal me, O Lord, from the pain caused by the death of my loved ones.  . . Grant me to regain peace and joy in the knowledge that You are the Resurrection and the Life.   Make me an authentic witness to Your Resurrection,  and to Your victory over sin and death,  and to Your Living Presence among us.”

You may look up (on a Search Engine)  the Five Prayers from Father Amorth to Combat Evil,  but be assured,  his prayers teach far more than this one quote,  far deeper thoughts   that penetrate right down to where the Resurrection of Jesus actually touches our life.

If you choose to follow Jesus,  you can’t help but to be a witness to His actual Resurrection; as it says in the prayer:  “an authentic witness.”    You can’t help but to be filled with an inner peace and Joy. . . far greater than  Easter bunnies and the fun they bring to little ones who are just beginning to learn.

The Joy of Truth outweighs our earthly happiness.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SATURDAY: THE NOISE IS GONE

March 26, 2016

From Friday to Saturday,  evening to morning,  another 24-hour period. 

See the contrast:

All that intolerable Noise –

Violence and malice,  bloodshed,   noise,  noise of mockery,   noise, noise everywhere,  noise of accusations, noise from mocking insults,  noise from derision,  noise of violence,  noise from the whip,  noise from blows onto a human body,  noise of tumult and blame,  noise from   a crowd that acts like a mob, noise of heavy wood falling to the ground wounding more the Man carrying it, noise of weeping,  noise of hammer blows,   noise from nature . . . . noise of a heavy stone being rolled into place,  noise of Roman guards with short swords of steel taking their place.

And now the silence – 

Today,  Saturday.  The Jewish Sabbath.    Rest from the noise.   Hiding from the noise.

Silence of the tomb.   Silence of aloneness.    Silence of sorrow.   Silence of fear.    Silence of tongues that have no words.     Silence of a heart that knows not what to pray.    Silence of waiting,  waiting, stuck in the moment.     Silence of remembering.   Silence of a miniature thought of hope, a nano-hope, which exists only in deadly silence.

What was it He had said?

The sun has gone down…  Saturday is departing in unresolved silence.

PUZZLING IT OUT

March 24, 2016

(sorry for this unusual extended absence;  funk;  Scandinavian Funk)

So,  this is a most important week,  a most Holy Week, full of detail and meaning and mystery:

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      Jesus Overlooking Jerusalem

The “mystery” is not that I have done yet another jigsaw puzzle;   the mystery is God, the Creator of all things and of all people,   prepared a special nation,  all descendants of the man named Abraham through which He, God Himself,  could take on human flesh and join True Human Nature to His Divinity.

One Person,  two natures.  That’s a mystery.

And He did it for a reason.   To come unto His own people, this special nation,  to be one among them,  and to do for them what they couldn’t do for themselves — save them from their sins and sanctify them, to make them holy for the next world.

So there is Jesus in that puzzle picture,  overlooking His city Jerusalem which He loved.

“He came unto His own,  and His own received Him not,”  we are told.

Just as His last week of life began,  He looks over the city, and with a Heart of love, weeps for the city,  knowing what will soon happen to it.    “O Jerusalem,  Jerusalem;  how often would I have gathered thee up to myself as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings….and you would not.”

I think about this scene every year that Holy Week begins.   Such love.  Such longing.  Such sorrow.

The people of Jerusalem,  in their houses down there,   the people of Judea,  and  the people of all lands “even to the ends of the earth”  belong to another.    They belong to what Jesus described as The Strong Man.

Jesus had taught that you can’t steal from a Strong Man’s house unless you first bind up the Strong Man, make him powerless,  and only then you can take away from him his possessions.

We are those possessions.   The “Strong Man”  is the enemy of God,  Satan, if you will; and the “house”  is this planet.    We can’t get up and walk away by our own power.   We can’t break out of the house.   We are  helpless, weak,  and pretty much clueless and  unwilling.

So Jesus came to “bind” that Strong Man,  and to make him powerless over us.  That’s what He’ll  be doing for the rest of this 24-hour period:   a good day,  a very good day for us.

Good Friday.

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Soon, now.

What If He Asked YOU ?

March 6, 2016

Not quite completely over my computer repair ordeal — but I’m “recovering.”

And just in time for the FOURTH Sunday in Lent —  and a thought about poor Philip – one of Jesus’ close friends who managed to both ask a “bad”  question and give a “bad”  answer.

(Ever give an answer that you wish you could retract as soon as you realize how inadequate it was?)

Today we read about his “bad”  answer:

FEEDING the 5

The question Jesus was asking of Philip is:   “There are thousands of hungry people out there.  How can we feed them?”

Philip,  ever practical, ever concrete, replied:  “Feed them?!   200 days worth of wages would provide only a little bite for each person!”

(And who carries around that much money?)

St. John,  the narrator of this event, tells us that Jesus asked Philip that question just to test him, to get him to reveal how he was thinking —  to stretch his mind a bit, as well as ours.

Well, they had to get food from somewhere;  the people were about to faint from hunger – and there was an important object lesson coming.   They had an offer!

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The “offer”  was:   “Here is a little boy with five loaves and two fish but we know that’s  not enough.”

(What we can give to God is pitifully small;   it is His divine condescension to add His supernatural power to make our efforts “good enough.”     And that just happens to be my lunch after church today:  fish and bread.) 

We know what Jesus did next in this story.   He took the small amount of food, raised it up to heaven, and blessed it.    I don’t understand everything about what a “blessing” like this means,  but we know that the blessed food which Jesus intended to use proved to be adequate and more than adequate for feeding the 5,000 or so people on that hillside.

philip

It’s not recorded what  Philip had to say about this,  but the event is a goldmine for lessons that Jesus,  Our Lord,  would want us to know.   Among them:

1 . . . Jesus knows and cares about each hungry individual person.   (True?    Do you know that to be true for you?)

2 . . . The people had been “following” Him.    What did they mean by following Him?  What did they want?   What did they expect?  What were they really hungry for?   In this life, when we “follow”  Jesus,  we are following,  but having not yet arrived.    Close,  closer, closest of all . . .   but a loving union —  that desire will be fulfilled completely only after we die — if indeed that is what we want.

3 . . . There is the crowd.  It takes all kinds to make a crowd, even a crowd of followers.  Some follow more or less intently;  more or less quickly;  more or less from out of their own desire.  Some just “follow the crowd.”      With less quickness,  less attention,  less  intensity,  less focus, less effort —  less anything,  you lose ground and the distance between you and your Creator increases — and then you are walking on dangerous ground.

. . . . Then let me skip all the other more minor lessons –  what Jesus had in mind is that He will be food  indeed,  bread indeed,  Manna,  for countless thousands and millions:

He gives His Body the night before His crucifixion, which means  (evening and next daytime are a day,  so this was part of giving His life for us :

this is jesis giving first

And it continues down through the centuries,  feeding millions,  unchanged in understanding . . .

(Today,  March 6, 2016) –

this is at the mass

Even a child can understand:

this is a child

So, remember Philip’s answer?

Jesus wanted to teach what God taught people under the Old Covenant:  “Man does not live by bread alone.”

This crowd,  this humanity amassed before Jesus,  was not hungry merely for bread.      They are hungry for communion and union with their Creator,  the Son of God,  the Word,  the Messiah.

Nothing complicated.  “A little child shall lead them.”

The simple, needy child in all of us,  can know more than what Philip seemed to know.

 

So,   what if Jesus had asked YOU how we were going to feed all those people?   We know now why Philip’s  answer was “bad”  or at least it showed a lower level of understanding;   and so did his “bad”  question:

“Lord,  show us the Father.”

The answer:    “Oh, my goodness, Philip.  Have you been with Me so long and yet you do not know that he who has seen Me has seen the Father?!”

Heaven comes down to Earth;  God comes down to His own people — and does not leave them,  not ever.   He leaves 12 baskets of more food;   12 apostles to found the Church that will be His living Body;

this is jesus giving

and He leaves  the Church to continue to distribute our Food.

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Saint Valentine’s Day of Contradictions

February 14, 2016

Technically,  it’s not a Lenten fast day today. The purple banner countdown will resume tomorrow.    It’s still Sunday,  just not . . .  a day for fasting or abstinence.

So I had a day of contrasts and contradictions.    A day in Lent that is not “lenten.”

A beautiful Mass in which the True Presence was truly present.    We Christians are followers of Jesus, the long-promised Christ.   He is “gone” for a while,  but He comes in the Mass, in the manner in which  He promised, each time.   Gone,  but here.  How great a contradiction is that!

In the midst of this 40-day fast,  then, today,  I took  a young friend out for lunch.   She is going on a long trip and I really wanted to hear all about it.   Besides,  I like her company —  and we had a delicious  “feast,”   complete with dessert, which I rarely order.   Menu?  roast turkey dinner with all the trimmings,  and a Chocolate Silk pie!

But after all that activity,  and when I got home,   I noticed I was quite warm.  Hot, even.   Burning up with fever, actually.       So on this day that my outdoor thermometer registered  0  degrees,   as in ZERO!,   my body chooses to contradict our cold spell with a fever.

I am prepared for  class tomorrow,  but the teacher  (me)  will not be there.

But some “little things” did arrive:       Robins!    Robins are Spring birds around here.  That’s how we know Spring has arrived,  the robins come back.   But today, out back by the frozen pond,  in single-digit winter weather,   one of my bushes was filled with fat, puffy,   red-breasted robins, playing and keeping warm, I guess.  (No picture…. I don’t feel well enough to get their photos out of my camera.)    So warm-weather birds contradicting their migration orders!

One more contradiction…   We have the Saint Valentine’s Day remembrance — in the midst of a most contradictory culture which seems to have forgotten what marriage actually is –  at least in its public statements and practices.

The man,  Saint Valentine,  didn’t die for Hallmark cards, candy, flowers, and chocolates.   He died in the late Roman Empire* because he was helping the soldiers who were Christian and who wanted to be married.   The Emperor had issued a decree forbidding soldiers to get married, although they were, of course, encouraged and expected to  act “married” with a series of willing and equally immoral young women, whenever they felt the “urge.”

Christian men in the army rejected this and St. Valentine, priest, secretly married them –  and was imprisoned,  cruelly tortured, and died for it  (as did many young soldiers).

So St. Valentine’s Day is all about marriage,  real marriage,  a sacramental marriage that is aided and made more beautiful by the grace of God.

This is not, it seems,  what today’s public culture celebrates today.      May God preserve us from facing further martyrdom to uphold the real meaning of marriage.

heart

.*.      “St. Valentine died in 269 AD, which you may or may not call the “late” Roman Empire …. depends on where you are in Rome’s timeline ….   my thinking is really fuzzy right now . . . . .

 

 

 

 

LENT . . . THE REASON

February 11, 2016

Ashes Lent

(A brief thought after Ash Wednesday):

 

Lent Himself  Black

 

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Lent 39

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LENT, BECAUSE . . .

February 11, 2016

 

Lent —  because we are beings which are both physical and spiritual.

We are Body-and-Soul together;  everlasting.

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And because our time on earth will be up . . .  soon.

One of us at a time.

 

 

 

PHOTO DUMP 2 – PUTTING POLITICS AWAY

February 9, 2016

Last chance for indulgence!   Food!  Parties!   Busy-ness!  Hysterical focus on issues of the World!   (Or something like that.)

Mardi Gras beads

 

The origin of Mardi Gras (which, as you know means Fat Tuesday)  is the rather serious task of emptying your kitchen of all the “fat” things that you may not eat during the rather somber period of Lent.    A kind of last chance to enjoy rich foods before the necessary fasting and abstinence.   A last chance to enjoy . . . and indulge . . .  and party,   etc.

It escalates into a time of self-indulgence.

But it can also be a time of “emptying”  without the overindulging – if your emptying is a preparation for simplifying and making room for the serious work of penitence.

It can be a welcomed time of putting  away all the complex, perplexing things of our society, and turn inwards for a little while.   Just for forty days.

With that in mind,  I’m going to say good-bye to politics for a while.   I tell myself,   in five years,  this political election cycle will not be so acutely important.   We will have known the outcome of this election —  the day-to-day details will no longer matter — but I will be five years closer to my own death — and what I do now will matter for that eventuality.    A sobering kind of “Lenten”  thought.

So good-bye to New Hampshire tonight.  I have no idea whom I will vote for.    I’m trying very hard to want to vote in this election in the Fall.

It seems, however, that one man has taken up a lot of our attention, in spite of the media’s attempt to take him down.

Which of the candidates do you think the media wants to defeat?

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Easy to figure that out!    It makes me curious why they always show one man at his worst and put the worst possible spin on all his words.

Even when he’s not at one of the media’s main events,   they still seem to focus on him:

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(Thanks to Patriot Post for this one.)

People seem to be speaking up and voicing their discontent with the way things have been going.  Here’s a poster I saw recently:

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Is it true?      Donald Trump is different from the usual kind of politician.

Could he really fix our country?

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Or do we believe what the media personalities tell us to think:  that this is a “very scary”  man?

I didn’t intend this to be a Donald Trump Message.      But it just seems as though every other candidate is measured against this man.    He is the “pivot point” of this year’s election.

40-some days from now I’ll take another look at how things are going.   Lent will be over.     The Holiest season of the year will be past.      We will have refreshed ourselves and renewed our relationship with our Savior.

Perhaps we will have grown in some knowledge and insight during this season of Lent.

The world will still be there — and perhaps we could take another look at politics with new and wiser eyes.

I will cook my Fillet Mignon now,  my last “indulgence,” and eat it while I watch the live Webcams from Bourbon Street,  New Orleans.  It’s always astounding and instructive to see how quickly things clear out at Midnight tonight.

Midnight comes.   The season turns.   And we can take a break from our complexities.

Good Lent to you all!

 

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