Posted tagged ‘St. Francis de Borgia’

GREATEST GAME

January 9, 2018

Well, one of the greatest anyway.

trophy

I’ve seen very few football games this year, and I didn’t exactly “see”  the college football playoffs either —  but I did listen to it on the radio, and I’ll have to say that was one of the most exciting purely football-football games I’ve ever, uh, heard!

Add with a slightly frustrated wish to see Alabama win,  I almost relaxed and thought the game was over when they didn’t even score for the first half.   And then they caught up, it was tied —  and then!    A missed field goal at the end of the game from a kicker who isn’t expected to miss.   No win there.

So entering overtime,    Georgia quickly makes a field goal.   Game over?

Alabama has one more chance.   One more possession.   Do something, as I’ve been writing about all week.    Know the situation and do what needs to be done!

And . . .   no!     First Down and ten yards . . .   then something really, really bad happened, and it was Second Down and  26 to go.      26yards!

And a true-freshman quarterback,  substituted in during this game,  made a pass under pressure.

41 yards that ball sailed through the air!!!    Like a bullet,  into the hands of a true freshman receiver –  TOUCHDOWN ALABAMA —  CHAMPIONSHIP WIN ALABAMA!

Whew!

I enjoyed that.

Enjoyed the coach’s comment too after the game:   Nick Saban said about his inexperienced,  unproven freshman quarterback, who just last year was sitting in his  high school classrooms —  ” If I knew he was going to try to throw a pass,  I would have stopped him,  but I couldn’t get out there in time!”

Bar Cross in middle

 

st francis  Dear St Francis de Borgia,

I haven’t stopped my learning —

You are still my model  . . .  but you  loved rough and tumble (foot)ball games too, once,  long ago,  far away in Spain,  for a while during your life. . . .

I’ve watched only 25% of football this year, compared to other years.

 

 

 

 

 

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“NUNCA MAS!” – A VERY PERSONAL DAY

October 10, 2017

(A meditation recorded for myself.   Important info.)

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October 10.      The day the Christian world remembers that remarkable man, St. Francis de Borgia.

The training of St. Francis:

Born to a family of status and responsibility with the wealth and royal connections to be able to carry out those responsibilities,   Francis was brought up in a loving family under stern tutors and attentive spiritual directors to train him in the abilities – and attitudes – that would make him a good leader in his area of Spain.

He was trained in the courtly skills of competitive physical games,  swordsmanship,   dancing;   he loved music,  he really loved ball games (alas,  not football exactly,  but the equivalent of it – and I understand him!  I take that personally! )  He loved literature, and above all he took his faith seriously, which,   by my own personal experience,    enhances and adds new enjoyment to everything you like to do.

The character of St Francis:

You can give a child a lot of good opportunities, a lot of good attention,  a lot of good education,  but you can’t make him become a good person,  unless the young man is wise and willing and disciplines himself according to the worthy things he’s being taught.

What’s more important?  Where do you find a balance between demanding,  severely demanding,   that a child learn well and develop a good character, on the one hand,  and giving him the freedom to develop himself, on the other hand?    That is called the Art of parenting,  the Art of teaching,  the Art of spiritual counsel. . . .

Well, it all worked together in the case of St. Francis de Borgia.

The adult life of St. Francis:

Born in 1510, in Catalonia, by the time Francis was 33 years old  he had taken on adult duties, was a trusted and valuable government official,  married and  fell  deeply in love with his wife, and had eight children,  never turning away from God or his Catholic faith in all that he did.

Being a good man does not keep tragedy away,  and soon, in his young adult life,  tragedy struck.   His beloved wife died,  in spite of constant fasting,  supplications,  prayers and mortifications in his private chapel.   Those particular prayers were not answered.    As we can imagine,  it caused some very deep thinking.

Francis had continuing duties in the court of Charles V, including accompanying the beautiful Empress Isabella at various times.   She was well-loved and respected.  St. Francis admired her  piety but was also impressed by her beauty,  her popularity,  her skill at carrying out royal duties.

Nunca Mas (*) ! –

This is the famous statement of St. Francis.   It came about by this:   the beautiful Isabella died.    A national tragedy and  a personal one for St. Francis.    After a state funeral,  her body had to be transported to the royal burial city –  transported through hot weather, for several days, through uncertain roads, and heavily  guarded .   St Francis was given the honorable and serious responsibility of not only helping to guard, but also to be the one trusted royal courtier to identify the body once it arrived at its destination.

After hot jiggly days in the wagon that had carried her coffin,  St. Francis had to look upon the beautiful Isabella – who was by now a half-decomposed corpse.   Of course Francis knew what he might see  . . .  but actually experiencing the horrifying disfigured face of the Lady he had served . . .  that is what changed his life.

If all the beauty and riches and power of this world come to . . .  this terrifying and revolting object,    then St. Francis decided to put away all the time and effort that he had used to serve the things that this passing world  thinks is important.

Career?  Career advancement?  Education?  Sophistication?   Beauty?   Riches?   Talent?

It all becomes what St. Francis saw in the coffin.

From then on his attention changed;  and writings and his influence became, by our standards,  severe and stern, and focused on our preparation for the Next World.

It is at that point in his life that I became acquainted with St.  Francis de Borgia,  shortly after I finally  entered the Church.     It took me way too long to go in,  but when I did,  my mind, my life, my opportunities, my future,   everything opened up for me!   (Much to my surprise!)

One thing upon becoming Catholic, is that all the saints before you,  named and unnamed,  canonized and uncanonized,  all become available, as inspiration,  guides,  teachers,  helpers,  coaches,  encouragers,

Two came to my mind:  St. Francis de Borgia was one.  Stern,  severe words that point the way to the loving faithfulness of God our Savior.

What’s not to like (for me?)     Music,  literature, a thorough education,  a career in which you’re responsible for the well-being and development of other people.  Football!  (or ball games),   sports and vigorous physical training,   but then the Reality that put it all in perspective:   “Nunca mas”   St Francis tells us….  “No more” – “No more of this” –  No more putting these things first, all these things that lead only to death and corruption.

I’m going to die, personally speaking.  Might be at an outdoor music concert.   Might be out on the “wild western roads” I love to drive.   Might be an  accident or a disease.    I had a dream a long time ago, a dream-vision of being shot in the chest by a small Chinese man in a brown uniform.    Don’t know what that means.  The dream ended abruptly.

St. Francis has told me, reminds me every day,  that some things are not so important,  not as important as making sure you that you will  go to heaven.  No more try to please the world –  Nunca mas! –  but live so that you are pleasing to God, the One who gave you your life in the first place.

Omigosh!   Life in this world becomes so much larger then!

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And another big thank you to Mr. Y for sending me a third-class relic,  which  “warns”  every day . . . .     (I miss your blog.)

 

*  Nunca mas voy a servir a un maestro que conduce a la muerte . . .  (something like that)

 

 

 

 

COLUMBUS DAY AND MORE

October 10, 2016

Clarifying the Story:

 

col-3-ships

So,  the national celebration of Columbus Day  (October 12)  is  moved this year to October 10th so that there can be a three-day weekend.

Fewer and fewer know the story of the journeys of Columbus to the New World.  Four or five journeys, I think.    Might be hard to look up the real story of faith and courage and intellectual curiosity that has inspired people for centuries.  You’d have to look it up in older books, before the Global-Socialists got ahold of American education and inserted a false narrative into the story of Columbus.

The Old Broad beats the red, white, and blue –

False history.jpg

You must, now, accept the false narrative that European Whites are bad, bad, bad.   We are told we should be ashamed and embarrassed about our past — and we, today,  must make amends, and apologies — and that isn’t enough –  we must make “reparations”  to people who live hundreds of years ago!

This is an intellectual fad,  but a very destructive one.

Modern “presentations”  of the story of Columbus will not tell you the reason that a new trade route to India and China had to be found.  (The savage Muslim pirates had cut off trade routes to the Middle East and the East.   Tens of thousands of Christians along the Mediterranean coastline were being kidnapped and enslaved or forcibly converted.)

Modern tellings of the story will also  insert tales of   greedy and violent intent and even “genocide” and against the Caribbeans Indians,   who have received a total makeover in modern books,  obscuring the fact that by the 16th century the Caribbean Sea had become home to warring tribes who killed and enslaved and . . .  ate …  each other, and were rapidly dying off from warfare,  diseases,  and human sacrifice.

Stick to Columbus for a moment.     He was not an evil, greedy,  violence-prone leader of a murderous expedition out to conquer unsuspecting, innocent indigenous people!  He was a Catholic gentleman with an interest in sailing uncharted ocean waters because he had a belief that it was possible to sail far enough west to find India, where much of the desired trade goods had come from.

I’ve studied history for many, many decades and have never found any serious writings or teachings that the world was “flat.”   Or that “if you sail too far, you’d fall off the earth”!  That didn’t come about until the so-called “Enlightened”  people began to re-write history with the purpose of making the Medieval World (i.e., the Catholic World)  sound ridiculous.  *         Another deceitful intellectual  fad.

Columbus:   I have his captain’s log.    Not the Starship Enterprise,  but the Santa Maria  Logs:    Contemporary writings,  “as they happened,”  and so I can say:   Don’t let the Old Broad in the green dress in the cartoon beat you down until you submit to her ideology. 

 Be free to look at the whole picture, the good, the interesting, and the bad. 

Here’s a start:      In 1537,  it came to the pope,  Pope Paul III,  that the explorers were finding a “new type of human,”  with a culture very different from Europeans.   So different were they that the question was raised whether or not they were fully human.  They certainly were savage and dangerous.  When the question came to Rome,   Pope Paul issued a decree,  binding on all Catholics, about the matter.  It was called Sublimus Deus.

You can read it today (in English, if you like).   It was one of several similar decrees, but in this particular one you will find  that the Church opposes the enslavement of indigenous peoples and opposes the destruction of their culture.  

“The said Indians and all other people who may later be discovered by Christians, are by no means to be deprived of their liberty or the possession of their property, even though they be outside the faith of Jesus Christ; and that they may and should, freely and legitimately, enjoy their liberty and the possession of their property; nor should they be in any way enslaved; should the contrary happen, it shall be null and have no effect.” —Pope Paul III, “Sublimus Deus”

Later, similar decrees EXCOMMUNICATED any conquistador,  colonist,  governor,  or explorer  that abused and subjugated the “Indians.”      **

Again,  the story of Columbus is an inspiring story of faith and courage and the desire to solve a common problem for  his native Europe.    Children should know the basics of Columbus’s voyages.  Then older children should be told of some of the complexities of the issues raised by finding new societies.

And adults should be able to ponder the lessons that can be learned from exploration and pathfinding  and developing relationships with people who are different from you.

The Truth truly does allow us to be free to think!

HAPPY COLUMBUS DAY!

bar-dissolve-er

“COLUMBUS DAY AND MORE”:   Today,  October 10,   is also the Feast Day of St. Francis de Borgia – the saint that sits so heavily on my shoulder.   Among his many achievements was to assist Rome in defining and clarifying what the missionary policy should be towards the indigenous peoples that were being discovered.

His directions were in line with the papal decrees of the time,  and he outlined the method of caring for and instructing native people, as well as practical means for improving their physical conditions.

 

bar-dissolve-er

. *   (Anyone who lived along the seacoast could see that when a ship approaches land,  you will see the tip of its tall sails first, then more of the sails, and then finally the boat.   People in the Middle Ages were not blind.   Nor dumb.    Especially when the works of the Greek scientists and philosophers became known and studied,  it was common knowledge that the earth is a globe — that revolves in the heavens as other planetary bodies do.  Long, long before Galileo came around,  the scientists, working under the auspices of the Church,  were speculating that the earth revolved around the sun.   They didn’t have the mathematics, yet, to explain the motion of heavenly bodies — but neither did Galileo in his time!)

. **   Examine the crewmen on the ships captained by Columbus.   Where did he get his crew from?  What kind of men were they?     (They were no more Catholic in thoughts or actions than were the native peoples they came across in the New World. )

Killing of the indigenous people, enslavement,  destroying their cultures,   all this was ANATHEMA.     You’re OUT of the Church, unless you stop and repent.

Obedience to the decrees of the Church?     The pope and good church officials of the time could no more  “control”  the conquistadors than the pope of today can control some of our very “uncatholic”  and personally immoral supporters of sodomy and abortion that we find in the US Congress.

All a good pope and good church officials can do is define what the church teaches and to propound church teachings.       The choice to obey lies with individuals.

 

 

LEARNED ON THE FIELD

February 2, 2015

Hard to go to bed after that game.

What a Super Bowl!    Those last two minutes —

football happy

Never mind the  “bad call”  (a pass instead of a run on the one-yard line?) . . .   Never mind the resulting interception by the surprised rookie  (who was rendered speechless for the next twenty minutes) . . .   Never mind the “false start”  giving the Patriots the much needed five more yards of room . . .   Or the punches thrown in a team-vs-team brawl,  giving the Patriots another fifteen yards of room to maneuver.

No.    The best lesson of the game was given to us by Jermaine Kearse who was catching that important  long pass but collided into a defender and fell to the ground but still needed to catch that pass —  and as he fell,  he grabbed at it!

And missed it.

And grabbed at it again!

And missed it again.

Still on the ground,  he grabbed at it again!

And got it!

When the play seems over and you’ve been knocked to the ground,  don’t write yourself off.

Go down trying.  Go down still reaching out.

St Francis Borgia and skull  St. Francis de Borgia,  that stern, ascetic saint who sits heavily on my shoulder,  leading me forward,    enjoyed a Spanish version of football, several centuries ago when he was a young man.   Though he gave up ball games as he matured,   he knew full well that lessons can be learned on the field:

 You’d better know what’s so important in life,  and you’d better know what’s worth all your effort.    And then when you do,  go down reaching out for it.

 

 

A TEXAN, A SAINT, AND A BRIGHT RED JAG

October 6, 2014

First of all, a message to my friend in Texas:

redskins

It’s a real pleasure to watch the Redskins this year, especially with our Kirk Cousins at QB.

krik

I know he’s young but he did all right for us! Hope you grow to like him, even after RGIII returns to the game.

MSU in action:

SAMSUNG

It’s that time of the year.    It’s that time of the year when the world’s temporary  pleasures call my attention down from  important and eternal things.

St. Francis de Borgia sits ever heavy on my shoulders, leading me to imbalance, teaching me that one cannot live with the world and heaven in equal proportions.  I know that.

St Francis Borgia and skull

He might seem like a very severe and stern saint to choose to listen to in this modern age of pleasure seeking, but, really,  he only wanted to always do what is exactly right and pleasing to his Lord Jesus.    Since I would like that too,  I listen to him, learning from his life and his example.  He was a good man and a good teacher.

And besides,  in his younger life,  he started out really liking ball games!  I shall deal with football in my life — as he did.

Which brings me to the bright red jaguar.

red jag

I had a really strange encounter on Sunday morning, with a man and his bright red jaguar.    Believe me, that photo does not do it justice.   Seen in person and close up,  that car is a work of art!

This car was parked right across the street from mine on Sunday, after “church,” and the man who owned that car and I arrived at our parked cars   right at the same time.   Since I could not drag my eyes away from his car, I gave him time to notice me staring at his car.   I said something, like, “That’s a real beauty.”    And I meant it.

But he has apparently dealt with his beautiful car before, and on another level.   He said thanks,  but he went on to explain that he knows how expensive it is, what a luxury, what an indulgence,  but he said, “I donate lots of money to places like Haiti. . . .”    putting his purchase, I suppose, in context.

I don’t mind at all that he has lots of money for big donations to poor people in Haiti and still have enough left over to buy a beautiful jag.   I didn’t doubt his generosity at all.    Then, since he had mentioned Haiti,  he opened his gray sports coat and pointed to his beautiful black sweater and said it  cost   $xxx   (but I don’t hardly believe a sweater could cost that much!)  and he said he knows that is more than most people in Haiti make in a year, but . . . .    I’m not sure what he said next, but since I didn’t find any fault with him at all,  I agreed that God had been very good to him in material things and although it’s a good thing to share with the Haitians,  I also assured him that God has given Americans a different set of challenges.    He seemed to understand what I meant.

Nah….  I didn’t sound all schoolmarmy  like that  —   it was a natural and very short conversation.   I thought about that conversation all the way home on Sunday – and beyond, apparently.

I’ve just begun to make big changes in the house I live in.    I didn’t realize how shabby it had become after 40 years of neglect.   Well, I knew it was old and shabby,  but I didn’t know how bad that was.  And now I have to put a lot of money into my house,  more money, of course, than a typical Haitian makes in a year.

I suspect, like many of you,  I don’t worry about staying warm this winter or where my clean water will come from.   I’m grateful for all of that,  for a safe house and for a reliable car, even though it cost one-fifth of that red jaguar!    I do have material riches, relatively speaking,  but there are other, very serious, challenges to sort out.

And that’s where St. Francis de Borgia returns.    Wealthy, handsome, noble son of Spain — he had everything this world could offer, and he knew that nothing this world could offer was of lasting value.

For a human being,  for a created creature, nothing is more important than the Two Great Commandments:   Love the Lord your God (your Creator) with all you heart and mind and strength;  and love your neighbor as yourself.

Material wealth is immaterial.   In a hundred years, we will all know what was important here on earth.

NO NO NO NOOOOOOOOO

December 1, 2013

I promise to write about Advent in a few hours….what can be more vital?

But for now…let me just mourn awhile.   How painful. . .

bear dead

. . . this intense afternoon of prolonged tension, of high hopes, hopes dashed, surprising misses,  unexpected calls – things the referees see that no one else saw….

Life – ugh.   You think you’re doing all right,  you think you did okay — and then someone points out something you missed and before you know it — the ball is taken away from you.

I knowIknowIknowIknow….   St. Francis de Borgia,  the saint who has his heavy hand on my shoulder,  caring that I don’t stray too far.   In his youth he really loved his country’s 16th century version of football.    And he tells us the reason that he gave up attending football games:     As he matured, he understood there was a bigger prize, a bigger game to win,  and he turned his attention to the Only Game In Town, and away from the lesser games.

And what did it matter in the end?  Does anyone in his country, today,  even remember the names of the teams that played in his century?    Do we even know which team was his favorite?

bear losing

Does it even matter?

We must not let the ball be taken away from us.

I suppose.

THE RESTRAINING HAND OF “NUNCA MAS! ”

October 10, 2013

Last time I wrote about the “restraining hand”  that governments and citizens are both subject to in public life; that is, the restraining hand of universal moral law.   If it’s not there,  the power of government increases until there is only the law of barbarism – “might makes right,” and our Rulers can command us, now, even to violate our faith and our consciences.   Barbarism in the spiritual realm as well as the physical realm.

SAMSUNG

Today I pay homage to a restraining hand in my own life.   It is the feast day of St. Francis de Borgia, a saint who teaches, commands, and governs by the example of his personal and public life.

St Francis Borgia, sttingBorn to a distinguished noble family in Spain, Francis was a good man, intelligent, self-disciplined, well-educated, devout, and highly esteemed for his honesty and devotion to duty.   He danced and sang and wrote music and loved poetry and sports competitions.      I can identify with this man!

Through it all he endeavored to serve Christ well.  He was severe on himself in prayer and penance and aiding the poor and the unemployed in his region. Those who owned land and large estates governed their own households well, keeping in mind the welfare of their descendants, but they were also obliged – by Christian duty – to care for those nearby who were without material advantage.

The people loved him and trusted him.

Queen Isabella bl wh

This was the 16th century.  Ferdinand and Isabella were king and queen.     When the beloved and beautiful Queen Isabella died, the royal family gave to Francis the sad and solemn honor of accompanying her body to Grenada, to the royal burial place.   The purpose was to guard the body and assure that it is she who is really being buried.

Imagine this.   It’s sunny Spain.   A journey of many days for the dead body.   And then – Francis had the “honor”  of looking into the coffin and verifying that it is the body of the queen.

At Grenada, no one could even enter the room where the coffin was placed.   The odor of physical decay was overpowering and sickening.  But Francis had to do his duty.

He approached.  He opened.  He peeked.  But he couldn’t identify the horrifying mess that was the face of his queen.   He verified only on his honor that he had never stopped guarding the coffin.

And he was changed.   “Nunca mas!”  he said.  “Nunca mas servir a senor que se me pueda morir!”

The horrifying realization that gave rise to this exclamation makes me shudder, deep down, where I understand this;  I understand this turning away from “serving a master which leads only to  death.”

From then on,  more single-mindedly, more fervently, he intensified the care of his own soul.   The things of this world, the things that matter here, all end in death and horrifying putrefaction.   All things here…come to this end.

I hear his words:  Nunca mas!  (No more!  Never again!)    Deep down,  where I understand this,  I know it’s time for me to “grow up”  and get serious about serving the Master who offers everlasting Life and Beauty and Health and Joy.

Francis is an acknowledged saint now.   He served his Lord Jesus Christ who died for us all to give us Life and so that death and decay will not be our final end.

Francis served Our Lord  with a joyful, but sober and vigorous devotion.

It is his example which keeps pulling me back to the Path of Life.   His words remind me to act wisely.   He is a “heavy hand” on my shoulder, sometimes,  but i am grateful because  that which remains of him, proves that the lesson he learned is a real one:

SAMSUNG

Thank you to a kind Christian friend who gave me this tangible piece of St. Francis’s life, a relic from something he doesn’t need anymore,  a third order relic, in the tiny little circle, which speaks to me as soberly as “Nunca mas!”

 

 

 

BEARS, BEARS, AND OTHER DANGEROUS THINGS ON THIS 12TH SUNDAY AFTER PENTECOST

August 19, 2012

The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked;   who can know it?  (Jeremiah 17:9)    That is,  who can know his own heart when it can deceive even the person who is honestly scrutinizing his actions and motivations?    Who can truly know everything about himself?    Dig deeper into yourself and you will find only deeper, lower layers of cause and effect, motivations, desires that are secret even to yourself and not always pleasing to God.

If you’ve been here in The Spruce Tunnel before, you may recall that bears are my metaphor for finding danger or evil in the forests of everyday life.   Our forests are lovely and inspiring;  they provide food and shelter, meaningful work and needed recreation.

And yet – and yet –  bears lurk there too, and no matter how “natural and noble”  bears may be, we humans are their prey.   They can and will eat us up. And we must be on guard, because, in this present order of things,  they too live in our forest.

Don’t let your guard down.

And then there is the other kind of Bears in my life.

  Among the “needed recreation” that I alluded to are the sports, sports and entertainment.    I know, I know, I know football is a “dangerous”  sport.   It is violent;  men crashing into each other for the possession of a football.   Men wrestling and dragging other men down to prevent the running away with that ball…..   Some men get hurt, permanently.   And time gets wasted watching all this violent competition.

And yet – and yet –  when your team is behind up until the  very last minute and then the football gets kicked in a beautiful 57-yard arc that ends smack into the net and then you win….my heart “deceives me,” I think, and there is such elation.   Why such elation?    (Bears over Redskins:  33-31!!   )

A very shallow analysis:

Shallow for now, because if I kept going with my searching, I would follow in the footsteps of St. Francis de Borgia. . . .

 . . . . the saint who keeps looking over my shoulder, whose presence bends me onto the Straight Road, ever so slowly….I am hard to bend at the start of football season.   St Francis loved ball games too.  and racing – and bullfights.   But as he grew in holiness,  he put aside his youthful enjoyment of these sports.

He grew in holiness as his love for our Savior increased.   His love for our Savior increased by self-discipline and devotion.   Self-discipline was nourished by self-scrutiny, examining those layers and layers of his heart, whose deception slowly yielded to the greater motivation:  love.

On this 12th Sunday After Pentecost,  we are given the story of Jesus answering the questions of the young “legal scholar,”  the expert in the Law.   “What must I do to have eternal life?”    Love;  love God, love your neighbor as yourself.

And then follows the parable of the Good Samaritan.   The Good Samaritan is God, the injured traveler is Adam.  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son….”

We are to be like the Good Samaritan.   The injured man is our neighbor, that is, anyone who is in close proximity to us and in need.    Those in need are those in need of our Love.    Everyone is in need.

I can love.   there are a thousand creative, delightful ways to love.

Bears, Bears, and Dangerous things.   I just need to be careful to know what it is I love and to  recognze the bears.      The next verse of Jeremiah 17 is this:  “I the Lord search the heart;  I try the reins;  even to give to every man according to his ways….”

May the example of St. Francis de Borgia help us all!

GREEK MOUNTAIN TEA WITH A SAINT

June 13, 2012

Thank you, my friends, for sharing the gift you received with me!

After all those terrible posts about Illusions  it’s time to sit down and ponder, with a cup of tea.   I chose the very wonderful tea that my friends shared with me and that I wrote about under the very unpronounceable name of TSAH-ee too voo-NOO,  transliterated, of course, but also known by the name of Greek Mountain Tea.   The “sticks”  that it’s made from are in the photo too.

I’ve been fixing to write all those posts about Illusions for a couple of years now.     I suppose motivated by the “teacher” in me,  I want you to know what’s going on around you, what’s building up,  what storm is gathering.   Perhaps we can take shelter.    But now that I’ve gotten that information out of my head, I feel strangely light and free.

That’s what I’m pondering.

     St.  Francis de Borgia

As some of you who know me know, there is a saint who sits heavily on my shoulders, pondering with me, reminding me by his example, what is important and necessary.   I’m so connected to him – I’m understanding a little about about him –  I keep his life before me.

He and I even had a love for professional sports;  his was some sort of ball game played on a field, and bullfighting, of course, not football and NASCAR.   — but he had to wrestle with where to give his time and attention, and his soul  gradually enlarged and grew towards Christ Our Savior.

The century he lived in was like ours,   full of sin and oppression, wickedness and morality in high places and low places.    Though he was given high positions in public office and was well-acquainted with his country’s issues,  he always directed his time and attention toward our Final Goal, and he became a very great saint.

So that’s all I have to do!     I can’t fix the whole world,  but I can wrestle with where to put my time and attention.     God has put St. Francis  ahead of me on my very own pathway, to remind me of what’s most important.

No wonder I feel lighter.