Posted tagged ‘Sunday’

SNOW FOR DINNER and UPS AND DOWNS

January 28, 2019

(Human emotions are so weird – and uncontrollable,  at least when  they come up unexpectedly.   Like an ambush.)

This is about snowstorms,  funks,  and a thought from our Sunday Sermon.

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bear talking to you

 

First your scent.  Then stalking.  Then the sudden ambush.

 

(Things in life do that to you.)

A restaurant in Austria last week   (“Snow for Dinner”):

snow for dinner

In case you haven’t been following European news in the past couple months,  they’re having a terrible winter  over there;  extreme weather, especially lots of snowfall!  There have been frequent avalanches there,  some deadly, as well as here in the US;  a bad one in New Mexico and another in Utah, in the same suburb of Salt Lake city where I stayed one winter.  Our hosts took us up  a harrowing  snow-covered winding road to one of the ski mountains —  something about a “bird, forgot which one —  and that’s where they had an avalanche this year.

Well, we’re going to get a big  snowstorm tonight and all day tomorrow.   “Hurray!”  I say.  And just in time to raise my spirits.

It started with a visit from Son a few days ago,  enjoying his conversation;  he has interesting things to say –enjoy feeding him;   and he’s really good at lighting up the fireplace.   And then we watched a movie together.

About a bear.       A bear attack.

bear trees a man

That’s not from the movie, but it’s a very scary picture to me.  The movie was about two people hiking in  the woods (why do people DO that?)  up in Canada, and they were stalked (successfully)   by a big bear.

The movie was well done,  based on a true story  and,  as Son remarked,  “intense.”   I enjoyed it, but of course it brought me back to the moments when a bear started to stalk my Mom, Dad, and me deep in the forest in the Far  Far North.

Stalking,  then chasing,  making  lunges through the bushes.

bear brown snarl 350

Not a time that you’d forget.

Unfortunately,  for some reason that also brought back lots of “feelings”  from that period in my  life.  It was a long period of time,  very, very long,  and all the sadness and bleakness of those years  came out and  “attacked” — unexpectedly.

And that started one of those Deep Blue Funks that I get from time to time.

funk

I don’t know what Garfield should have been doing,  but I couldn’t post for a few days. . .

No big deal.  We all have  old emotions hanging over our heads,  stalking us.

funk blue moon

You wouldn’t believe how much sadness a person can contain – usually hidden from the rest of us.    I know this.   And I can easily imagine  the sadness and “aloneness”  that overshadows other people.

funk moon

I wrote.  I wrote and wrote and wrote;  and that helped,  to get feelings out of me and down on paper.   But what ended this Funk altogether were some good words in our Sunday sermon based upon readings from Romans 7.     Be present for the other person.  Be “instant in prayer”  — always ready for a reason to pray and then personally “present”  to God when you do pray.    Being fully present for the person you’re talking to.  

Good advice for all  of us, of course;  good thoughts to meditate on . . .   but what if someone actually practiced that on you!   Someone did!     Friendly chitchat after Mass,  and then a friend made a personal comment on my boots (of all things!)  and that she liked the color and how they matched my clothes!  Since I’m usually unaware of how I dress, I took notice that this was a genuine compliment.    Well, I took notice.   Of everything around me, then.

And I remembered the sermon, in which we were admonished to be fully present and attentive to the people around us.    And —  then . . .  I remember my Mom during some of our blizzards when I was a child around the age of that bear chase we had.    My Mom made our days of being snowed in a happy time of togetherness and mutually enjoyable activities –  reading to each other;  knitting side by side;  and  baking!  Above all,  the baking of treats.    I wrote about this a few posts ago,  but it came back to me again.

Now, our coming  snowstorm reminds me of someone being fully present for me.     A sense of not being alone all the time.    My Mom.  My friend today.   My Son for me.

And now my turn, for others.

That’s what a good sermon does,  makes you think and try to  become a better person in some way.

And that’s what a good snowstorm does,   reminds you of happy times.

And keeps the bear away.

 

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CABLES, BUNS, AND DOING IT THE HARD WAY

September 16, 2018

My Dad said  . . .

MARINE

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Sunday is different from the other days of the week – in Christendom.  And so I will slow down today,  take time to enjoy, put aside troubles and aggravations for one day,  and think about things I really like to do.

Like blogging.

It’s been a busy week, and I’ve been distracted.

tv cords

Yes.  I’ve been at it again.   One and half days on the goofy cords and cables and wires and jacks and inputs and outputs and “devices” here and “devices” there and digital converter boxes and antennas and a big 36-year-old television and a pretty-new little one.

rca cables

And can I mention pliers, hammers, screw drivers, my “omni-tool butter knife, ” scissors,  a metal nail file, magnifying glasses, reading glasses,  assorted flashlights, and four or five different remote controls.

tv cords on floor

(Not my photo;  this is way too neat.)

Doesn’t matter what I was trying to do;  I’ve got it only half done.    I still don’t have sound with my VHS player;  and I still can’t watch football games – which was the reason for the frenzied electronic activity anyway.

Somewhere during these past few days,  these appeared:

ROLLS 390

Well, they didn’t just appear,  I made them.   I had some ground bison meat that was pretty fresh, and I had a craving for a big, juicy buffalo cheeseburger with tomatoes and lots of piccalilli and catsup!

But I didn’t have any hamburger buns, and I didn’t want to go to the store.   That would have been the “Easy Way,”  for which my Dad had a word or two.   My Dad is that Marine in the first photo above.

Right there, he looks like a very young, handsome, proud Marine in his dress blues.  But when I was a small little girl, he looked like a big, strong authoritative father figure hovering over me, teaching me things and giving me advice.     Yes, sir!

Some of that advice turned out to be pretty smart, even though it didn’t always make sense at the time.    One thing he always told me was this:  “If there is an easy way and a hard way to do something,  always choose the hard way.”      Not the right way or wrong way;  the hard way.     He didn’t mean make it stupidly complicated like some Rube Goldberg contraption:

Rube in 400

 

He meant choose the more involved,  the more complicated, the more thorough way of getting the job done.    Do a little extra while you’re doing the job.    You’ll learn something  and you’ll be glad in the future that you went the extra mile.

As a wee little girl I usually muttered to myself when I heard that;     silently,  inaudibly, of course,  standing next to him,  but deep down I kind of knew he was right.    The right way is the hard way, I guess.

I wanted that  buffalo cheeseburger.  The easy way would be to get in the car and drive a couple miles and buy some buns.    The more involved way, the hard way, would be to make the buns yourself!

cheesebuiger bison with ketchup

Glad I did.  I got the hamburger buns,  some hot dog buns,  and some really good cinnamon rolls out of that dough.    And I know what’s in them!  No long list of  ingredients,  known or unknown.  I used flour from a 12,000 year old strain of wheat*,  they’re  healthy and they taste good.

 

Well, I’ve got one more thing to try for that big old television set and the VHS player. Tomorrow.

Glad today is a day set aside for worship, getting back to God, and . . .  rest!

 

Semper fi, Dad.

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.*   That’s  Einkorn Organic Wheat Flour,  jovial brand,  available on Amazon

IT’S SUNDAY AND — OH.

July 15, 2018

It’s Sunday and I wish I could go to church today.   I am a Roman Catholic whose teachings and traditions go back almost 2,000 years, from Jesus Christ  (“I am the Way, the Truth, and the Light”)  and His apostles..

kneeling visit

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They knelt before Him then; we kneel before Him today.

It’s Sunday — and I read these headlines today (from Europe):

“KNIFE WIELDING MUSLIM ON PARIS METRO SCREAMS:  I’M A MUSLIM AND I WILL KILL ALL THE CATHOLICS!!!”

 

Oh.   

 

 

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 kneeling man   I often pray for the souls of all those killed and injured and threatened when they go to church or are in their churches — all around the world, in every Muslim country, the Asian subcontinent,  African nations , and in Western Europe.

 

It’s Sunday,  and I belong with the other families,  worshiping too.

kneeling belong with

I wish I could be there with my family . . . .

(Maybe next week as my health improves.)

 

 

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For certain Commenters in the CommBoxes at the end of those articles who blame the Catholics for “appeasing”  the Muslims and who quote the Infamous, Erroneous, and Destructive Paragraph #841 of the New Version of the “catholic”  catechism:     I say  No!    Muslims and Catholics do not “worship” the same God,.  That is absurd and it is also rejected by the very Muslims you wish to appease.

The New Version of the Church  asserted itself in the last century . . .  well, it tried . . . .  Don’t know if they know enough Catholic teaching to be able to defend themselves against their enemies, Paris Metro or elsewhere.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TO BABYLON – AND LIFE CUT SHORT

March 3, 2018

Musings for a Sunday Eve.

Sometimes distractions are a good thing.

I have this tree, right outside the window in front of my study desk.  It’s kept its orange leaves and they shine brightly in the winter sun, they glow in the light of the full moon,  and in our  recent snowstorm —

Orange Tree in Snowfall 380

—   the orange was enough to show through the heavy snowfall.    All that in a soft, downward motion . . . .

I was trying to read a book, read it and learn from it,  but the huge snowflakes were so distracting.  I kept looking up at the torn-tissue size flakes that came down heavily, but not quite obscuring those orange leaves.

The book was “By The Waters of Babylon,”  and it’s about the very earliest seekers after the “real” city of Babylon – “if it even existed.”    References to Babylon were mainly from the Bible, and the materialists and naturalists and darwinists  of the 19th century had no “proof”  that would satisfy their new philosophies.

And I thought about that, in my daydreaming with that tree in front of me.   Established science is one of the most closed-minded endeavors of intellectual activity.     You know,  once a “consensus” of a few scientists is formed,  then it’s declared dogma.

But some were curious enough and were willing to risk the criticism of the “educated” ones of their day and the many obstacles to their hoped-for  success.   Although this is a current rendition of what Babylon could have looked like —

lay once a bautiful city

—  this very large and beautiful city in the 19th century now looked like this:

lay great cities become

It wasn’t going to be easy to find – “if it ever existed.”   Local people in the desert of what we now call Iraq had their own names for these lumps and bumps of sand.   No writings  guided their exploration;  cuneiform writing on stray pieces of pottery was thought to be just triangular decorations on potsherds.

For the young men of the 19th century who  explored the ancient cities,  there were no modern “facilities” out there to protect from the harsh climate;    no cure for the many common deadly diseases.  There was no equipment beyond pick-axes and shovels,  small wooden carts, canvas tents;  no motors or machines to help with the excavations and transportation of objects;

Archeology and its careful methods had not even been “invented” yet!

I daydreamed during that snowstorm about that too.   What hard, long discouraging and life-threatening work they endured!     So far from our American comfort zones!

bab scene

But I want to focus on the men themselves.  Young men.   Men of broad education in languages,  history,  religion,  philosophy, literature.  Men capable of working long hours each day.   And men of many, many talents.

Just two names, if you want to get started on a little discovery of this era:

Henry Austen Layard . . .

 

Layard

And  Claudius Rich:

Phillips, Thomas, 1770-1845; Claudius James Rich (1786/1787-1821)

Young men, really, and many others like them.      There are studies and speculations about why some young men achieve so much.  Among their common qualities are:

Focus and persistence of  effort.      Confidence in their abilities.     Strength or force of character.     Timing and luck.   Versatility in several fields.     Emotional stability.    And willingness to risk intellectual chastisement, to go against conventional wisdom.

The young men were accomplished and recognized in many fields,  they published books on  a variety of unrelated topics,   some were put in positions of authority in far-flung British colonial government —  how much hard work it took to get them to these accomplishments!

And as I was daydreaming, looking out at that orange tree in the snow,  I had time enough for the impact of their common and startling End:  nearly all died in their thirties!     Nearly all died young of disease or injury.

Their lives cut short.   What more could they have achieved if they had lived a bit longer?

Those poor, poor young highly accomplished, highly educated men.     Where are they now?

What would it have mattered  if they had achieved more?    (What would it matter if I achieve more for this world than the tiny bit I have?)     What was their life for?  What are our lives for?

It’s Sunday “Eve” now.      There’s a pretty pastel sunset outside, in place of the blue sky today.   (Again,  nature distracts me . . .  and points me to big thoughts.)

sunset to c

We are everlasting souls.   Our everlasting existence is not here on this planet, at least not as it exists now.        Sunday Eve;    and we’ll go to Mass tomorrow to worship the God who created it all,  before our lives are “cut off.”

I don’t really know any more than that.

.

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A SOLID ROCK TO STAND ON

February 25, 2018

 

A restful interlude. . . .

confetti

As the “confetti” of  the thoughts in my mind settle down  on this Sunday, I find myself “settling down” gently into a mode  of rest.

(It’s still here, solid  and true):

Ancient Mass Pages 390

 

This is a photograph from some side pages in our missal.  It’s the handwritten pages of a portion of the Mass – the very same Mass, the very same words,  the very same meaning it has always had. 

God doesn’t change.    The Son of God doesn’t change.    His Body, the Church, doesn’t change, not from the first century, not from the time of this manuscript 900 or more years ago,  and not today.

The script is very hard for me to read,  but I can read some of the Latin; I can verify that it’s the very same Latin prayers we said today in church.

It’s not “Traditional.”    It’s  Timeless.

No matter what happens in this world,  no matter what happens to me in this world,  no matter what happens to me,   the Truth in those words in the manuscript above will abide.

I can count on Him.

.

A CHRISTIAN

February 4, 2018

 

chinese christian

 

 

crucifix

 

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Tomorrow, Feb.4, 2018.

Barring a snowfall that interferes with driving   or  certain recurring “health” problems, both of which are quite possible,   I shall be at Mass tomorrow.   

Not everyone around the world will make it.  And of those who do,   not everyone will make it home again. 

 

Holy Face 130

 

Catholicism is not a happy-clappy religion.  And it’s not for the faint of heart.

Saints pray for each other.

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SACRIFICE AND SACRIFICES

July 23, 2017

It’s Sunday now, as I write.    The eighth day of the “cosmological” week.   I know,  there are seven days in the grouping we call “week”  but   the Eighth Day is actually the First Day of a whole new “week.”

Which relates to the concept of  “sacrifice.”

Sacrifice is a common word,  commonly understood,   commonly instilled in children by smart parents,  and even commonly done.

We willingly sacrifice a lesser good for a greater good.

sac ironing

I sacrifice my free time to do some dreary chore,  so that life goes better for me in the future.   I have clean clothes available,  my money is accounted for,  I don’t have to trip over things on the floor.   I sacrifice yummy  unhealthy treats for the sake of feeling good.      Et cetera.

 

On a higher, more altruistic level,  we just know that the world is a better place when we sacrifice a little effort for the sake of others.

Good Deeds

It gets tricky, though.    It’s hard to stay clear of  “doing good”  for the sake of “feeling good”  about ourselves,   but we should nevertheless continue to spend time and effort for the sake of others.

I don’t know who  “Mark Story”   is,  but his motto seems to sum it up —

sacrifice motto

 

Some have given the ultimate sacrifice.    “It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known.”  I hope you all know where that quotation came from.    If not,  you have been severely undereducated and deprived of a major force in Western Civilization.

It’s not too late!

sac tale cover

We may not ever have to go that far.

The idea of making sacrifices is as old as human activity:

sacrifice ot

Why?    The “Life”  of living creatures is in the Blood.      Because of  the “Fall”  of mankind,  the sense that Death is the only just result of rebelling against (and separating from) one’s own Creator was  met by the Creator providing a way back to Life.

The first humans were covered by their Creator with  “animal skins,” which could only be obtained by the death of those animals.    Thus began the offer of peace with God through substitutionary  sacrifice — and the whole sacrificial system of atonement with God,  although it  was perverted at various times in pagan cultures into an act of meaninglessness or of brutality:

sacrifice mayan

NONE OF THESE SACRIFICES   have any benefit alone,  not the good ones,  not the ones commanded and sanctioned by God,   and not even any of the little  sacrifices we’re so proud to do in our daily lives.     No benefit alone and apart from the one and only Sacrifice ordained from before Creation.

And since this Sacrifice was completed by the One who is from Eternity,   any benefit, any merit,  and safety, any salvation  must be connected to that One and Only Sacrifice.

It’s Sunday:

3rd mass

The Crucifixion isn’t only  for those who lived 2,000  years ago.

Today,  we join our everlasting spirits with the Sacrifice of  Christ on the Cross — and that alone is what gives validity and meaning to all the little sacrifices we make.

It’s a whole new  ballgame  Week!

Deo gratias.