The Big Picture

Versailles Gardens

(I first published this post two years ago today. While some of the details are dated, it seems as fresh to me as when I first wrote it. It is well worth a re-read, I think.

I am in the heart of New England right now, in a spot in New Hampshire that you can’t get to if you are not already there. Oh, how I delight in the faith-filled families I am meeting. At my current venue, there are many children. I have sung a few silly songs with them and read a few stories. Tomorrow or Sunday, sometime, we are going to all do some music together. It is a delightful retreat to an America I once knew…and I hope a foreshadowing of what America will once more become, bringing the rest of the world along with it with the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart.-CJ)

By Charlie Johnston

“How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you would not!” – Luke 13:34

To be a serious student of history does not engender optimism. The arc of history no more bends towards justice than the arc of botany bends toward elegantly intricate formal gardens. Both history and gardens are what men shape them to be. If the men of an age are brutish and crude, so will it be with the history and gardens they leave behind them.

All of recorded history is a monotonous repetition of various factions of men seeking to rule through the use of force and violence, taking command, ruling ruthlessly, then ultimately collapsing or being overthrown by other factions using the same tactics against them. It is the default setting for humanity. The founding of Christianity carved out what should have been an enclave for personal conscience and dissent. Certainly its founder, Jesus Christ, insisted that people were to come to Him by evangelization rather than coercion. People are supposed to know we are Christians by our love for each other and for all. It sometimes worked that way. The way for Christianity to be favored in ancient Rome was paved even in the midst of the persecutions as more than a few Roman tribunals turned a blind eye to Christians in their midst and encouraged the same in their superiors. The reason? Christians were noted for giving care and succor to all, regardless of religion – and the Romans were hard put to provide adequate relief, themselves, to the suffering. Alas, when prosperous and dominant, Christians, themselves, have often used the human tools of oppression, force and violence to enforce their will, quite in defiance of our Founder.

The Anglo-Saxons were notable in, over time, limiting the power even of kings. The Magna Carta of 1215 was an early formal document limiting that power, but it was not quite the bold statement on the rights of man many imagine it to be. It merely limited the king’s arbitrary power over feudal barons – barons who still retained arbitrary, brute power over the common people in their own lands. Still, this seed sprouted over centuries into a growing conviction that men had some rights that even a victorious king could not trespass against. In the century before the American Revolution, England had advanced quite remarkably in respecting the rights of minorities in the home country, even as raw force and brute power were the means to control the common rabble in most of the rest of Europe. Whatever refinement England had developed on the subject rarely applied to its colonial subjects.

Most (though not all) of the religious wars were only tangentially religious: they were wars for territory or dominance and used religion as a fig leaf over the real intentions or to whip troops into a fighting frenzy. Even so, religious authorities often did themselves no honor. Everyone knows about the Catholic executions of people for heresy. Fewer are aware that after the Reformation, the Protestants executed an order of magnitude more “witches” than the Catholics ever did heretics. England’s King Henry VIII embarked on a murderous, bloody repression of Catholics after he founded the Anglican Church. When, a century later, Catholics re-took power in England they embarked on the same murderous, bloody repression of Protestants. When the Protestants re-took power, more of the same. The St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre in Catholic France was a sickening episode of treachery and slaughter. The Catholic King had lured Protestant Hueguenots to Paris for the marriage of his sister, Marguerite to the Protestant King Henry III of Navarre, pretending a reconciliation. Then was launched several weeks of targeted assassinations and mob violence against the Protestants who had come under the banner and promise of peace. With St. Joan of Arc, I was particularly struck when I first learned that the evil conspirators took a break in the midst of her trial to celebrate Holy Week. It was striking they did not see the stark parallels between the judicial murder of Jesus, which they were celebrating and the judicial murder of Joan, which they were committing. Even had Joan been a fraud, her accusers would have brought the wrath of God on themselves for their malice, lies and deceptions. They decided from the beginning there was no acceptable outcome but her death – and lied, cheated and deceived to get it. Most despicable, her tormentors constantly claimed that they did what they did out of “charity and love” for her. Nicholas Loyseleur, who spied on Joan in her cell while pretending to be her friend, recommended out of “charity” for her soul and “love” for her person that she be tortured until she confess. There ever has been a species of false piety that deceives itself by calling its malice charity and its vicious assaults love. But God gets His own in striking ironies: Nicholas Midi preached a two-hour homily preceding the burning of St. Joan, comparing her relentlessly to a leprosy on the Body of Christ. He insisted the only way to deal with leprosy was to burn it out entirely. Shortly after her death, Midi was consumed with leprosy and died miserably.

The Enlightenment rose among French intellectuals in the very late 17th Century, explicitly elevating the “rights of man” as a primary philosophical and political imperative. The American Revolution was the first flowering of the Enlightenment – and the only flowering before the divorce of faith and reason. If the Enlightenment did well in enshrining the “rights of man” as a priority, it disastrously redefined the nature of man as a consumer – a complicated animal – rather than a subordinate creator imbued with innate dignity from his Divine Creator. Faith without reason is mere superstition, but reason without faith quickly degenerates into unreasoning brutality and tyranny.

Soon, all revolutions and upheavals were done in the name of “the people” rather than national glory – and the new humanists seemed determined to show that when it came to murderous mayhem visited on innocents, religious folk were shabby second-raters compared to the new leftist utopians. The French Revolution overthrew the established order and God along with it, while terrorizing the people of France (in the name of “the people,” of course) until the terror consumed quite a few leaders of the revolution, as well. Order was finally re-established, if a bit rockily, with the rise of Napoleon. The atheist utopian movements of the 20th Century alone (Bolshevism, Nazism, Chinese Communism) butchered more people than were killed in all the religious wars of history combined. Nothing changed with the Enlightenment except that murder was always done in the name of “the people” and the ambitious hyper-charged their murderous rage, unconstrained by concern that they might ultimately face a just God. If some people did not bend to their utopian schemes, their response was to kill the dissenters – and then surely utopia would reign.

Strikingly, there has not been a genuine intellectual among the monstrous “idealistic” revolutionaries who have shed so much blood, except perhaps for Vladimir Lenin (who had some real abstract heft, but was seriously deficient in logic and in the practical matter of administration). Lenin was also the only one who, reaching the end of his life, was sincere enough and smart enough to see he had erred, perhaps tragically. He had unleashed brutal methods for a half-baked idealistic cause and came to suspect that, in his aftermath, it would be all brutality and no idealism. “I am, I believe, strongly guilty before the workers of Russia…” he wrote in his last year – and denounced Josef Stalin – but too late. The utopian ideologues imagine themselves to be enlightened, even though they wholly abandon intellectual rigor. They embrace an ideology which, they think, explains everything, so it relieves them of the obligation of actual study and learning. They mount childish, unexamined fantasies as the formula for utopia. Any failure has to be the result of sabotage or incorrect thinking. Rather than examine themselves critically, they attack critics, first denouncing them, then jailing them, then (with no Christianity to restrain them) executing them. Even massive executions do not make their crackpot schemes any more effective, so they almost always end by executing allies before the whole project collapses. The contrast between the dull-witted, but thuggish, stupidity of the atheist utopians and their fatuous self-regard as brilliant and enlightened is remarkable.

Somehow the leftist utopian movements almost always incorporate some form of genocide before they collapse. In Revolutionary France, it was against aristocrats – and some Jacobin partisans complained that not enough children of aristocrats were being regularly executed on the guillotine. In Russia, it was the kulaks (peasant landholders). Kulaks were always regarded by the Soviets as enemies of the state, for anyone who owned a cow, two chickens and a quarter acre of land was obviously an incipient capitalist. Some seven million kulaks were intentionally starved or executed (mostly in Ukraine) by Stalin’s forces. This did NOT increase Soviet grain production, as Stalin promised it would, but set it back 20 years. Only a Communist could believe murdering millions of your top farmers could increase crop yields. Nazi Germany’s genocide against Jews particularly, but Catholics, gypsies, the handicapped, and Christians generally is well known. Mao Zedong probably beats all in sheer numbers and comprehensive brutality. During the four years of the “Great Leap Forward” he killed about 45 million of his own people through forced starvation, and working or beating them to death. Prominent among his victims were the peasants who had helped bring him to power. Then in the later decade of the “Cultural Revolution” he murdered many of the very people he had used to enforce the Great Leap Forward. Put simply, socialism is the ideology of the death camp and atheism the theology of genocide.

The American Founders accomplished a myriad of astonishing things, not by adopting some ideology that relieved them of the obligation of studying evidence, facts, logic and history; but by considering all of these with starkly rigorous honesty, then working to find solutions to seemingly intractable problems. They created a self-governing republic that defended liberty while maintaining stability. It was an unprecedented accomplishment. They set up a system that allowed for the most vigorous of disputes to be settled without routine resort to violence and bloodshed. Given the history of the world, it was as striking, rare and fragile as a rose growing in a dung heap. They accomplished this primarily in two ways: First, they adopted universal standards of justice that were to be objectively applied to all, great and small. Standards could be changed by the majority act of the governed, but judges and law enforcement were to be governed by those standards rather than personal opinions or affections. Second was the separation of powers between legislative, executive and judicial authority so that none was supreme over the others, and the division of powers between the federal and state governments, creating a form of subsidiarity to prevent power from centralizing and becoming unaccountable. In the United States, you gained power by the persuasiveness of your case, not the force of your fist. Should you try, instead, to brutalize your opponent or commit violence to take power, the whole society would pursue your arrest and imprisonment. To sustain this, a great deal of emphasis was placed on maintaining the integrity of processes. This was critical for the same reason that process is critical to a baseball game. If umpires are routinely able to say that some batters only get two strikes before they are out and others get four, it won’t be long until confidence in the game itself collapses. To maintain public consensus in a system which all sometimes – and many, often – lose, the standards must be seen to be rigorously fair, objective and equally applied to all.

After a pause of about 50 years, nations throughout the globe slowly began to adopt versions of the American system, desperate to escape the routine violence and brutality that rocked their own systems. To get an idea of the proportion of human history and global geography that has lived in a society where disputes were settled by peaceful means rather than by violence and brute force, imagine a postage stamp on a football field. Many of us have lived on that postage stamp for so long we have forgotten how terrible the normal way of settling disputes was. And, so, a new atheist utopian movement has risen in America and the west. The movement is as ignorant as its forebears, as airily certain of its own brilliance and rectitude, as unwilling to engage in real and rigorous scholarship, and as impatient to impose its own vision on its contemporaries by any means necessary. Incapable – and unwilling to put in the effort – to accomplish its aims through persuasion of contemporaries, it thinks it has stumbled onto something new by subverting legal processes, using brute force, and encouraging violence to achieve its aims rather than something depressingly tiresome and old.

Confronted with the depredations of the atheist left, the leadership of Christians and the right has been utterly ineffective in defending freedom or even basic standards of law and jurisprudence. I am not entirely unsympathetic to the right’s impotence: it suggests, at least, that it knows how horrible things will get if the atheist left does not return to objective and equally applied standards of law, does not stand down from the rebellion against legal norms. So leaders on the right and among Christian communities make shows of good will, which do not lead the left to live by objective standards of justice, but persuade it that its shrieking hysteria is winning. Historically, there are only three ways stability is restored when a culture has reached this level of division and volatility. Either the aggressors stand down their violent rhetoric and riots (very rare), society cracks down on the aggressors with sufficient vigor to put an end to the offenses and sufficient restraint to let them re-integrate into lawful behavior without triggering opposite abuses (rarely well-calibrated), or widespread violent strife or revolution comes, to be contained ultimately by some level of dictatorial power.

The aftermath of the attempted mass murder of Republican Congressmen on June 14 makes it almost certain we will go the way of widespread violent strife. It is not the shooting itself that clinches it, but the aftermath. Even the healthiest societies are subject to occasional atrocities and tragedies. When an atrocity comes, a healthy society quickly and forcefully unites to condemn the terror in unambiguous terms. We had a day of pro forma denunciations and then went back to business as usual. Worse, many on the left – and in the establishment media – suggested that seriously wounded Congressman Steve Scalise brought it on himself by being conservative. Joy Reid of MSNBC suggested it was his fault for being “racist.” She gave no examples of his racism, because there are none – but the left has re-defined racism to mean being conservative, regardless of one’s actual attitudes on race. CBS Anchorman Scott Pelley hideously suggested that Scalise’s wounds were “self-inflicted” because of the injection of violent rhetoric into the political system. The only example of violent rhetoric Pelley showed came from Bernie Sanders, not Scalise. The gunman was a far-left Democrat who had volunteered on Sander’s campaign for president. This was not just a smear, but an incoherent one. Leaders on the right did not steel themselves to demand that the left adopt a commitment to equal justice under law. Lois Lerner, who oversaw targeting of Christians and conservatives at the IRS is still free and collecting her pension. John Koskinen, who headed the IRS during this targeting – and publicly dared Congress to do anything about it – is still IRS Commissioner. I could go through a litany of leftist violence against Christians and conservatives, but suffice it to note that it has reached critical mass and has mainstream left-wing approval.

While the modern left shares all the intellectual deficiencies of its socialist antecedents, it lacks their low animal cunning. Oh sure, it has adopted Orwell’s Newspeak enthusiastically. Just as Lenin maintained that the truest form of democracy is the dictatorship of the proletariat, just as Stalin adopted a constitution that promised free speech, so long as it was “proper” speech – any other kind would get you a one-way ticket to Siberia if it did not get you shot, the modern left comically calls its fascist tactics “anti-fascism;” calls attacks on free speech, liberty; and calls the flouting of the law, justice. It has failed in a critical respect, though, that all its predecessors took great care in. Marat, Robespierre, Lenin, Stalin, Hitler and Mao all took great pains to cultivate substantial support in their countries’ military and police communities. They took great pains to heavily arm themselves while disarming the ordinary population. The modern left treats both the military and the police with open contempt and hostility. They have tried, ineffectively, to disarm the populace while ostentatiously disarming themselves. I am reminded of Casey Stengel’s forlorn lament about the incompetence of the ’63 New York Mets: “Don’t nobody here know how to play this game?”

The left’s agitation is like Peewee Herman trying to pick a fight with Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime: the suspense continues only so long as Arnold ignores Peewee. As soon as he engages the fight is over. I can only think the left believes ordinary people will turn out to be as flaccid in defending themselves as conservative and Christian leaders have been in defending them. The people’s restraint thus far does not mean they will submit to be ruled and bullied by progressive whim. The restraint has held in the forlorn hope that the leadership class would defend both them and American traditions. And so, a great battle will come. Though the left has been agitating for it, the right will prevail (though it will be bloodier than it ever had to be had leaders simply done the job of insisting that equal standards of justice apply to all). Under normal circumstances, a right-wing dictatorship would prevail, at least for a time. What I would fear under those circumstances is that bitterness and anger would so reign for a time that the right might mount similar or worse depredations to what the left has mounted. Yet for all the historical reality and imperatives, I remain an optimist. It is because I know and trust in God, the God who, for the sake of ten righteous people, would have saved Sodom.

At Fatima 100 years ago, Our Lady promised that, in the end, her Immaculate Heart will triumph, despite the terrible offenses that man keeps inflicting on himself in defiance of God. I have said all along that a primary purpose of this Storm has been to reveal hearts, to show where people actually stand in contrast to what they say. How terrible it is to see so many hearts being revealed to hold such malice and venom! Since the inauguration I have re-visited some of my interpretations of what I have been shown (and have had much instruction, which I will not discuss). My optimism sometimes veered into naievete. I assumed that, if Our Lord revealed the Kingdom to all by sending Our Lady to appear to us all, people would stand down from their errant defiance. The furious, irrational and unrelenting rage of the atheist left since the inauguration has disabused me of that notion. I should have known. I wrote of the great atheist naturalist, Emile Zola, and how when he was presented with compelling evidence of God’s goodness and willingness to intervene through a miracle, just doubled down on his rage and hate. He would not accept something greater than himself under any circumstances, even if it were to destroy him. I knew that, with the raising of the siege of Orleans in 1429, St. Joan of Arc reversed in a few days the conviction of 85 years, both by the English and the French, that France could not survive as in independent nation. After that victory, neither the French nor the English thought France could ever be defeated – a complete reversal of the conventional wisdom of the past century. Even so, the fighting lingered on for another 24 years after all involved had concluded that subjugating France was a lost cause. Watching the furious malice of the atheist left the first half of this year, I no longer expect them to accept the embrace of Christ even after they know that defeat is certain and continued defiance will destroy them. It is the pointless nihilism of the satan’s original rebellion – and he rejoices in taking so many to share in his needless destruction.

In all of these events, God is not just reclaiming us, but instructing us in what we are called to do and to be. Most of those who read this site have not been involved in the assaults on the faith or on the faithful. Yet we were called to be guardians of the faith and defenders of the faithful. We have failed badly in that call. What are some of the lessons God would have us internalize?

First, we need to banish the myth of the milquetoast Christ. Jesus was not always gentle and sweet – and He most emphatically did NOT approve of everyone as they are. He was quite frequently harsh and condemning to those who, out of lust for power or self-congratulatory self-righteousness oppressed the faithful and the little ones. Read the Gospels. Many have abused the universality of Christianity – that no ethnic, racial, national or other external characteristics would be a bar to full Christianity to mean that even avowed enemies of the faith must be enabled in their assaults on the faith and the faithful. The blood of Christ has not gone anemic. He defended His own against such assaults – and we are to do the same.

Even so, victory is not in our hands. Victory is in the hands of God and not dependent on our calculations. We are all called to defend the faith, hearten the faithful, and defend the faithful. When we take that next right step, we become like one of Gideon’s 300 chosen men (Judges 7), invulnerable against even a multitude. But God’s primary intention is the rescue of the souls of as many of His children as can be rescued. We will all be held to account for every depredation against the faithful that we could have stopped, but did not out of timidity. We will also be held to account for every soul we could have effectively evangelized, but did not out of anger. It is an impossible task that we will often fail in – but God’s grace will justify us so long as we keep our eyes on and our hearts in Him. We are called to be just, to judge righteous judgment with both charity and resolve.

There are three great examples I like to contemplate when considering how to behave in extreme, tumultuous circumstances. First is St. Joan of Arc. Usually, for an hour or more before she commenced battle, she would plead with the English to retreat, to save themselves and to be just. On the occasion when they fled, she was content to let them go. But if they had not retreated after her pleas, it was all hammer and tongs until the victory was won. After it was won, she took great care to see that the wounded enemies were well cared for. She fought with vigorous resolve, but entirely without malice. Abraham Lincoln’s 2nd Inaugural Address is one of the most beautiful and noble speeches ever given. Lincoln pressed on with unshakeable resolve to win the war, but did it with malice towards none and charity towards all. His main aspiration was to re-unite the country as brothers, not to destroy the rebels as enemies. Finally, there is the Rev. Martin Luther King’s Letter from the Birmingham Jail. I cannot read it without misting up. It is the best instruction on how to resist evil without becoming the evil you resist I have ever read.

Do not fret about those good things you can’t do, lest you neglect the good you can. Don’t let either passion or apathy cause you to neglect the little good you can do, for such are the building blocks of God’s kingdom on earth. In short, play your position well, man your post, be it humanly little or grand. Acknowledge God, take the next right step and be a sign of hope to those around you.

A couple of years ago, I casually wrote a phrase I have come to cherish deeply. I wrote, “As you look at your life, you cannot measure it by the books published, the soup kitchens worked, the refuges built-though if you do those things they are good. Rather, you must judge it from the perspective of the hope you inspired, the peace you spread, the joy you engendered, the love you kindled- for these are the sure marks of the Kingdom of God. All else is detail.” If we live this fully, God will seize the victory, for we will be a Godly people – and we will fully participate now as the heralds of the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart.

268 thoughts on “The Big Picture

  1. Loved it then , love it now.

    I copied the facts about miscreants Lois Lerner and what’s his name, to paste into my next Trump survey.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. Thank you for the reprisal, Charlie!

    I would like to request prayer for my son, who is still deeply grieving the death of a friend 2 years ago today, June 22. Please also pray for the repose of her soul. Thank you all!

    Liked by 4 people

  3. Charlie, as I read this post from two years ago, a thought I’ve been poring over for the last couple of years came to mind:
    As you reviewed the course of mankind through history especially after the introduction of Our Messiah into the world, you spoke of the rise and fall of Christianity in our culture in terms of signs of faith. The care which Christians gave to others was key in this regard. This is critical, for the reaction today to evangelization is well realized only when the announcement of the Kerygma and rest of the Gospel message IS ACCOMPANIED BY THE SIGNS OF FAITH. The reason people do not long respond to most evangelization today – is for the simple reason that it is most usually NOT accompanied by signs of faith. Where are they in today’s culture? People simply do not see them, or if they do, it is rare.

    One of my Father’s favorite expressions was, ‘What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say.” You named it in describing it – the care of others that people see in the Christian who vocally announces the Good News. It is the sign of love, which Jesus noted as that by which his followers would be able to be identified.

    But today, a million voices, venues and messages scream in media and in the streets for people’s attention. It is bedlam out there. So the competing non-chaotic voices are equally ignored with the chaotic – UNLESS they are accompanied by the greatest love to which Jesus commanded for us, his followers. What is that??? The one to forgive, to pray for and TO LOVE OUR ENEMIES. It is the sign spoken of by St. Francis and Mother Theresa, “Go out and evangelize, and if necessary, say something.”

    In today’s bedlam of voices – what we do speaks so loudly that unless it is accompanied by and through unconditional love – even of enemies – they cannot hear what we say. TODAY, UNLESS THEY SEE WE CAN AND DO HABITUALLY LOVE OUR ENEMIES, FOR THE MOST PART, THEY HEAR NOTHING WE SAY.

    St. Paul described it well, without agape love [self-sacrificial love of all – we are just another ‘sounding gong’ – no better no worse than any other sound out there.

    All my love in Christ

    Liked by 9 people

      1. After our local sacerdotal ordinations – I was on vacation with my wife, Jean, in the great American Southwest Desert. We left early to beat the terrific heat which sets in by late June in the desert. It is also the time when the desert flowers are in joyous bloom. With the deep snows and late spring rains this year in those areas, they bloomed like many locals said they have never seen them before.
        I took copious photos of same – and the desert vistas – some of which I placed on my Facebook – for any who wish to see them.

        Liked by 5 people

        1. And they are gorgeous pics, Desmond! What a refreshment that journey must have been. (For Everyone: If you have a look at the lovely photos, don’t miss the beautiful story of faith Dez posted with his pic of “Chimajo – The Lourdes of America!”)

          Liked by 1 person

  4. If I read this when it first appeared (I really don’t know how long I have been reading your posts Charlie) it most certainly did not mean as much to me as today’s reading of it in context of the last two years. Your insight and interpretation of where things are headed and how the Immaculate Heart of Mary will finally triumph through her children (us), through acknowledging God, taking the Next Right Step and being a Sign of Hope to those around us has never been clearer to me before. We must always keep this before us as a sure guide and understanding of what is truly happening and must happen as we struggle through the ever worsening Storm we are already in. We will each have to do our own part through prayer and TRUST in God to insure that things do not deteriorate into widespread senseless violence as it so easily can. Thank God and you Charlie for being the Instrument God has called you to be. We will all continue to pray for the success of your leadership. JAS

    Liked by 7 people

  5. Classic and brilliant.

    A copy of this analysis should be sent to every Bishop in America.

    “The restraint has held in the forlorn hope that the leadership class would defend both them and American traditions. And so, a great battle will come.”

    The wimpyness of America’s Catholic “Leadership Class” in confronting the Atheist Utopian Marxist Democrat Party and its humanist agenda will come back to haunt the faithful. It already has. Worse, Catholic Leadership has not simply stood by and watched but, incredibly, has actually “partnered with” and allied with the humanist atheists to advance its Social Justice Agenda on the taxpayer’s dime.

    Now the Marxists don’t need them anymore. See Leon Trotsky as an example of what happens to a Marxist’s “friend, partner and ally” when they are not needed anymore. It is stunning the Hierarchy to inaction.

    At Charlie’s Iowa appearance you answered a question about violence in our future. It is clear from this analysis that his dour view on that score derives from a thorough understanding of the roots and nature of violence in society rather than some angelic communication. Call it faith and reason working together.

    Charlie has stated that this is the time of the Common Man. Looks that way more and more. The days of waiting for famous Catholic Leaders to “do something” must come to an end or violence is surely at the end of the road.

    “Catholic Leadership” should be embarrassed and ashamed of themselves.

    Liked by 7 people

    1. Agree with your reflection, Ed. What also comes to mind is a theme that has been revisited here since the election cycle of 2016: we get leaders who reflect the people. I certainly had to confess my sins of omission concerning my silent majority status. May we all do better as we rebuild the Church and culture.

      Liked by 5 people

      1. @Bekita: If I recall you mentioned having worked in a chancery at one time or another. In hindsight, did you notice suspicious cover-up kind of activities regarding the kinds of evidence that the Attorney’s General are discovering in their chancery raids and on which Church Militant has reported for years?


        1. Actually I was on staff at a local parish as Director of Liturgical Music, III. I know folks who work at the chancery in this diocese but am not privy to its inner workings.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. Beckita can you help me to understand this? “We will all be held to account for every depredation against the faithful that we could have stopped, but did not out of timidity. We will also be held to account for every soul we could have effectively evangelized, but did not out of anger.” Thank you my dearest Beckita🤗😇😘

    Liked by 5 people

    1. You’re already living this, Linda, in the ways you have tended to your friend, Kreg. Think about your maternal instinct which causes you to be protective of children and let it shine while thinking of every person who crosses your path as God’s child and, therefore, your own child for whom to intercede and be concerned about. When someone is attacked and we have the opportunity to step in to defend the one under attack, we must do it. Of course, this also calls for discernment. Our protection may be in the form of verbal support or it may come in the form of calling on someone else for the protection of the one in danger.

      For the second part of this exhortation, just think of the ones with whom it is very difficult to interact. Such encounters may give rise to anger within us. A pause taken to consider that someone else’s obnoxious or annoying behavior may be rooted in their pain or fear can keep us hanging in there with someone to ensure that we’ve witnessed to the Lord in caring for them and directing them to Jesus. Again, discernment is a necessity. If someone is an absolute immovable mule, once we’ve given all we feel guided to give, the very next best right step is to walk away, trusting that the seed we’ve sown will be watered and weeded by others the Lord may send to that soul.

      Bottom line: we ever die to the unholy trinity of me, myself and I wherein laziness and personal comfort are kings. And actively foster a deep relationship with the Holy Spirit, asking Him, constantly, for guidance, enlightenment and wisdom. He NEVER disappoints.

      Liked by 9 people

      1. Oh thank you, Beckita…I was worried I wasn’t doing this…the one part … “For the second part of this exhortation, just think of the ones with whom it is very difficult to interact. Such encounters may give rise to anger within us. A pause taken to consider that someone else’s obnoxious or annoying behavior may be rooted in their pain or fear can keep us hanging in there with someone to ensure that we’ve witnessed to the Lord in caring for them and directing them to Jesus. Again, discernment is a necessity. ” is much harder for me to live…lol…attacks come so vehemently sometimes and it scares me and I tend to knee jerk not really at them…but poor Michael gets an earful at night about who said what….lol…Thursday it even happened in adoration …oh my goodness …but I’m going to pring what you said here & reflect on it often… thank you sooooo much for your spiritual direction Beckita…I consider you a master at it🤗😇😘 You were a great sign of hope to me today. TNRS ASOH 🐿🐿🐿 (it may be a chipmunk but close to a squirrel 😆)

        Liked by 5 people

        1. God bless you and your kind ways, Linda. You know, if we’re actively being attacked, we’re not called to participate in our own abuse. Here, again, discernment for each scenario is needed. Come Holy Spirit!

          Kenny Loggins actually puts in a plug for the Holy Spirit’s inspiration in his old tune, The Gambler:
          You’ve got to know when to hold ’em
          Know when to fold ’em
          Know when to walk away
          And know when to run

          Liked by 6 people

      2. Linda, Beckita puts this so eloquently in terms of love and motivation from a pure heart. To put it more succinctly in terms of the church teaching and scripture, it is about sins of ommision. In scripture, it is clearly spelled out in James as it says “he who knows the good he ought to do and does not do it sins”. Blessings!

        Liked by 6 people

  7. “We may not look at our pleasures to go to heaven in featherbeds; it is not the way, for our Lord Himself went thither with great pain, and tribulations, and the servant may not look to be in better case than his Master.” (St. Thomas More told his family according to son-in-law William Roper.)

    Liked by 9 people

    1. Thanks for sharing, Mick. Thinking about possible violent revolution, I wondered how it could begin. I see now how it could!

      Liked by 4 people

  8. There it is… lust for power and exerting force to get it… and then there’s the hypocrisy as reported from the article to which you link, Mick: “(Of note, Oregon House Democrats once fled the capitol in 2001 for five days over a redistricting proposal – which Brown said at the time was “appropriate under the circumstances.)”

    A little more background concerning the overreach of power and control to manipulate, rather than serve those whom these lawless lawmakers are to govern, from another piece about this scenario:

    Currier explained Oregon’s current Senate composition. “We have 30 members in the Senate,” he said. “Twelve are Republican, and we have one vacant seat at the moment. Eleven Senate Republicans did walk out after about ten hours of negotiation, and basically what they were asking for was for the Democrats to stop using what they call the emergency clause on all of their bills.”

    “Just about every bill that’s been put forward has had an emergency clause attached to it which is supposed to be used — imagine this — in an emergency,” added Currier. “What the effect of that is, it denies the people having a vote on it because it prevents a referral to the voters. By putting that emergency clause on there, they’re essentially preventing the voters from voting on issues that they don’t want the voters to overturn.”

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    1. I wondered if someone would post about this latest drama here in Oregon. 😉

      Our canny Republican senators knew better than to stay in state within reach of the Oregon State Patrol. The image of Governor Brown sending out the posse to round up renegade Republicans does add color to the drama, though.

      The unquestioned assumption that carbon emissions are causing “climate change” is becoming more questionable. Therefore, passing such a law with an emergency clause preventing a referendum and public discussion seems a heavy handed way to dodge the voters while imposing a new whopper of a tax-and-control system.

      Liked by 5 people

  9. That really chimes in with a great book I just read about the faith-healer John Gillespie. He constantly emphasised that no healing would come without forgiveness, and in particular how much Our Lord wants us to take to heart His words: “Forgive us our trespasses AS WE FORGIVE THOSE WHO TRESPASS AGAINST US” (sorry for caps but can’t do bold). We have to make the effort and really pray for the offender. They may or may not accept, or amend, but we have to do it. Interestingly, he also emphasised how present hurt can be generational, from something deep in the past, so praying for the Holy Souls is very important.

    The book is called “The Miracle Ship: conversations with John Gillespie”. When I went to look him up, I was shocked to discover he’d died last year! R.I.P., he seems to have done so much good.

    We’ll have our Pro-Life Rally through Dublin city centre in 2 weeks time. It needs to be huge this year, for so many reasons. Still, even if it isn’t, if people have got disheartened and stay away, the witness needs to be made. Now more than ever.

    The “pride” parade is next weekend. ’nuff said.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Oh J, thanks for this news about John Gillespie. May his precious soul rest in peace. The Miracle Ship was a wonderful read, packed with stories of faith. Like Fr. Solanus Casey, John promoted praying prayers of thanksgiving before the healing took place as those thanksgiving prayers were a vehicle to build confidence in God.

      Prayers for safety at the Dublin Pro-Life Rally.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. Thank you, Beckita. There actually is very little online information, but from his Ministry’s Facebook page it appears he died suddenly around August/September last year:

        And thank you also for the prayers for our Rally. I expect the pro-aborts will be more vicious than ever because of the events of last year but… oh well, it’s what they do. I’ll try to bear John G’s witness in mind!

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  10. “ …calling … malice charity and vicious assaults love” and “they decided from the beginning that there was no acceptable outcome but her death and lied, cheated and deceived to get it…they claim it as charity and love. “ – as quoted by CJ above about Joan is an exact definition of abortion, abortion supporters, Planned Parenthood and the abortion lobby and industry. They say that there is nothing to see here. It’s not a baby, just a clump of cells. Ignore DNA, in utero oxygenation and heartbeats, growth. They say this is charity and love. They turn truth and logic on its head. They once told us that once born the baby was confirmed with human rights status. I once heard a President of NOW on a DC morning show state that “oh, yea, we know it’s a baby but we still want abortion. And that was in 1983. She let the cat out of the bag. Two days later they fired her and brought back Eleanor Smeal as President of NOW. So you see they always knew what the were doing. They just didn’t want the masses to know until they could anesthetize the generations through “education”. And so here we are centuries after Joan and nothing has changed except for the target. And now they have moved to target to born babies. Living locally through the horrors of Kermit Gosnell I actually foresee a time under a leftist President that his sentence would be commuted. Certainly in today’s leftist atmosphere he probably would never come to trial. So here are two reports, one from China and one from the University of Pittsburgh. I don’t see much difference.

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    1. Like!  I can’t press the like button as I am in a trailer out in the woods with no internet.  So this will go out via email when I get a connection in the morning.Sent from Doug’s mobile

      Liked by 3 people

    2. @Joanne1950: There is no difference except that the first article involves victims who are innocent except for Original Sin. How long, oh Lord?


    1. Amen!


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        1. Thank you, Doug, however it is not my work and I am not sure how my C & P of the artist’s work turned out on your end. Here is a link to the original piece. 🙂

          Liked by 2 people

  11. There sure is a lot of anger in the world. I confess, upon reflection, that I am an angry man a lot of the time.

    Basically, I am angry at all of the Nitwitery I find myself surrounded by. A growing sea of nitwits and Nitwitery in places that simply astound people of a certain age. So many examples.

    Take just one: AOC is actually a member of the United States Congress. Go figure. Could this have possibly happened 15 or 20 years ago?

    Some other examples ….. All these crazy “entertainers” who are now experts in “global climate change” and international relations. The newspapers. The TV. Snowflake children. Wacky college professors. The Hierarchy of the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Politicians all up and down the line from National to State to Local levels … especially those in California. What’s up with those Californians anyway? Activists of all manner, kinds and shapes and issues and stupidity and just plain Nitwitery. The list could go on and on and on. Most problematically to include all the Nitwitery we encounter closer to home in our own families and communities. The Nitwitery of Our Loved Ones.

    You just want to give them all a smack upside the head.

    It all drives you nuts. It all makes you angry. Very angry.

    I worry about my own growing level of anger. Why? Because I know there are going to be no angry men or women in Heaven. Think about it. You think God is going to surround himself with millions of angry crazy people? #Nope. And I worry about the growing level of anger in society. Because anger leads to violence and the consequences of violence. Call it Hell on Earth.

    Trying to work through my own anger I have brought it to the confessional.

    One priest told me that Anger is a sin of old age. Hmmmm. Well, it is true that the older we get the less flexible we become and are thus more easily triggered by people and events. Less tolerant of Nitwitery of all sorts. Hardening of the arteries? Less willing to tolerate the nitwits around us. It seems to be true. Old people like me are subject to increasing Anger. At least I am.

    Just last week another priest told me something that has me really thinking that I got to do something about anger and the sources of anger in my life. “Anger is a form of Pride. It’s a form of vanity.”, he said.

    Pride? Anger is Pride? Now, Pride is the primordial sin. It is the sin of Lucifer and all the angels in Hell. It is the sin of Adam and Eve. Pride is a killer. A soul killer. The cost of Pride is eternal death. Anger? Who can afford to be Angry? The price of Anger is too high.

    This gives a new insight on The Storm. Nitwitery leading to irritation leading to frustration leading to anger is a form of the Deadly Sin of Pride. The Devil is stirring up anger all around us in flood proportions … in Noah size proportions … and if we are not careful we could drown in it. The Devil is stirring up anger in us. You and me and our Loved Ones and our community and our Nation and our world. Pride. The Deadly Sin. His sin.

    Google Anger as a sin of Pride for a more in depth discussion and thought material.

    Here’s a thought from that google:

    “Recently, I had an experience with an individual that left us both disturbed. I believe that we both want to resolve a difference of opinion that we had. I was asked to give my opinion on a particular topic. Unfortunately, my opinion was not the one that the receiver expected to hear. That person became very angry, leaving me to wonder why my opinion was sought in the first place.

    “Remember that humility is knowing who you are not. Jesus was despised and rejected, so you should not expect praise and appreciation; but love people, regardless of how you are treated. One of the facets of this is that you no longer need to be angry with anyone. Anger is triggered by expecting to be treated in certain respectful ways, and if you are not, you become offended. The problem is pride and a sense of entitlement. If you remember that you are complete in Christ, you can adjust your attitude and love a person who otherwise would have offended you.“

    Yeah. Anger is triggered by expecting to be treated in certain respectful ways, and if you are not, you become offended. The problem is pride and a sense of entitlement. Not getting the answer or response you expect.

    A lot of what we discuss here at ASOH is Nitwitery of one sort or another. Things that drive us nuts.
    Our reaction to that Nitwitery is pretty important because if we become Chronic Angry Men and Women it is going to cost us our souls.

    Which brings us to God’s Anger. It is reported that God got angry with a bunch of people the Egyptians probably being the prime example. Christ himself as Charlie suggests was no Caspar Milquetoast. My favorite example of that is not the turning over of the money changers in the Temple and chasing them with a whip. Good example but not the best.

    The best example of Jesus’ anger in action, IMO, is his Cursing of the Three Cities. These being Capernaum, Bethsaida and Korazim in the Galilee. If you connect these three towns with straight lines they form a triangle. A triangle of territory that is known as the Evangelical Triangle. You can traverse it in a day’s walking. This was Jesus’ “home town”. These were his people. He spent most of his three years in ministry traversing and preaching and teaching and performing miracles in this tiny little area of land. 18 of his 28 recorded miracles occurred in this Evangelical Triangle. In the end, those people rejected him. Here is what Jesus did to them:

    Why is God’s anger not a form of Pride while our anger is? The answer to that question probably is that God’s anger is a response to sin …. not an act of sin. God’s anger is not a form of Pride but a form of Justice.

    Our country is becoming increasingly angry. Worse, our Church is becoming increasingly angry. Worse still WE are becoming increasingly angry. Not good.

    We are going to have to learn how to deal with and abate our own anger .. for our own sakes … and as a society … for society’s sake. And in our Church. Amazingly in our Church. Anger is rising like a flood in our Church. Nitwitery in our Church. We are going to have to learn how to abate Anger in our Church.

    The Three Cities problem was Pride. And it cost them. Is there any doubt Pride in the form of anger is a problem in America? In our Church? In ourselves?

    Liked by 6 people

    1. Wow, Ed. Thank you for raising this critical topic in these days when anger, indeed, is all around us and rises within us. It’s so worthy to ponder how to act with temperance when anger comes up. Thanks, too, for your candor with your personal sharing. Anger is a rather complex topic because the feeling itself is not sinful; how we choose to act when the feeling rises is when sin can occur. When harnessed well, anger can be a mighty impetus to act, with zeal, for the good.

      Fr. John Bartunek discusses anger in his piece which is here, at the Spiritual Direction site. He makes a key distinction: “If a person has habitually allowed free rein to their feelings of anger, instead of governing them with reason and faith, they will gradually form the vice of anger: a habitual disposition to commit the sin of anger.” Fr. John digs deeper into the discussion with subtopics such as when not to worry, looking at the morality of anger, and considering possible psychological roots. Father’s piece is not a comprehensive, in depth discussion on the topic of sinful anger, but by presenting varying dimensions to consider, I think he inspires motivation for one to dig deeper.

      While we have a world full of goofy therapists peddling amoral theories to “help” others with psychological issues, there ARE wonderful Catholic therapists who wed their psychological training with Catholic Magisterial Teaching and actively embed, into their work, the writings of Catholic spiritual masters. One such therapist is Dr. Rick Fitzgibbons who provides services with a major focus of his work being marital healing. His site explains: “The marital and family therapy at IMH (Institute for Marital Healing) is strongly influenced by the writings of St. John Paul II, most especially Love and Responsibility and The Role of the Christian Family in the Modern World.” In some areas of his website Dr. Rick has uploaded a plethora of material, such as this gem which discusses anger as very much rooted in childhood upbringing. There are check lists for self-evaluation. And while he speaks of individuals as spouses, the material is equally apropos for single people. In fact, I have directed a few single people to Dr. Rick when the going was especially tough for them. I also set up a priest friend for sessions with the good doctor as Dr. Rick does do telephone sessions.

      The last resource for consideration for anyone interested in digging deeper for understanding and honest self-growth is a little book, Overcoming Sinful Anger, for which I’ve read both positive and disappointing reviews. The author, a priest, states that in his experience, willpower alone may not help someone overcome this vice. You can take a peek inside this book here.

      Often, and wisely I think, many a good spiritual advisor will counsel one to strive for and focus on the opposing virtue to a particular vice. We just heard Charlie express this maxim in the Iowa talk: What you focus on you get more of. And in considering the virtue of patience which is the opposite of the vice of anger, forgiveness becomes an integral element for developing patience. Man oh man! We are NOT going to get through what we face without being able to forgive. Not a wimpy, phony forgiveness which keeps us participating in our own abuse. But the kind that is an act of the will – until our feelings are resolved – which keeps our hearts OPEN… with closed, angry hearts, God’s healing and blessings cannot fully enter in.

      I’ve shared this link before and I gladly share it again. The talk and strategies presented are pertinent to this topic of anger. Personally, I am most moved by the dynamism of Sr. Miriam James when she speaks. At the same time, I respect and am grateful for what Fr. John Burns presents. Gosh, he’s living in Rome working on a doctor’s degree in… the theology of forgiveness! When you search You Tube with these words, you can find the talk which Father and Sister gave at the Seek Conference this year: Sr. Miriam James Heidland, SOLT & Fr. John Burns: “Seeking Healing Through Forgiveness”

      God bless us all.

      Liked by 8 people

    2. Ed: Another source of anger is fear too. We are bombarded with so many ideas so contrary to truth that it’s overwhelming. At times it feels like a physical assault and for some it has been an actual assault. Meanwhile you still have family problems to address and resolve. But I’m still learning to train my brain aka focus on Christ’s promise that if you ask Him, He will resolve everything! When we submit to anger, we negate that promise and that trust in Him. But I get it because emotions are sometimes very hard to tamp down. Just try raising a bunch of teenagers! We do the best we can. And I have to admit that many times I find myself saying to myself, “Oh, my, listen to that idiot.”

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    3. This is a good reflection/analysis on anger from a personal perspective, Ed, and timely as B says.

      I think the first mention of anger in Holy Scripture is to be found in Genesis 4:5. God looked with favor on Abel’s offering, but not Cain’s. Thus Cain chose (I say “chose”) to be angry and downcast, and doesn’t the gloominess come right on the heels of anger?! Interesting what God had to say in that whole scenario. At any rate, that’s a club I don’t want to be in.

      It took me decades to get the flaring (and sometimes raging) forest fire of anger contained in the belly furnace where it can actually power something useful. Now, ironically, I find that what annoys people the most about me is their perception that I’m too calm in most situations. ‘Course as offshoot, I also learned to stop giving a rip what people think of me and only pay heed to what God thinks of me. Or at least what I think God thinks of me.

      Also interesting that you use the word “nitwittery,” as “nitwit” has been a favorite word of mine. In fact, I sort of use it to gauge my communications efforts. Should my expressions get more colorful than “nitwit,” the alarm goes off and I probably need to quietly release the steam valve. If I undershoot that word, I figure I’m just idling, should probably pull out of the station and get on to something more useful and productive.

      I think the vast majority of folks get angry too easily because they’re scared and feel like they have no control over anything. Then comes the gloominess and so on. Charlie sometimes likens the storm to shooting down the rapids without a paddle and with zero control. There we go. We can choose to get angry about it, or choose some other response such as trust… I don’t like to get any further ahead in my thinking than that, but when my mind is wandering I start groping for a little more control beyond what I can really control. The fact is we’ve all got control over this critical thing: our thoughts. And isn’t that really where the battle rages for each of us?

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Yup.  I think I get angry too cause I’m gettin old.  I see time is short.  So I am impatient to get things done.  What do they call that?  A curmudgeon?  Ok.  Up in Canterbury with Lambzie in our trailer.  Just put a big hole in the front of the trailer yesterday.  Same trailer Charlie stayed in.  Irony is I did not get angry.  I guess there is hope.  Hopefully got more souls out of purgatory for that then a few hundred bings.Sent from Doug’s mobile

        Liked by 8 people

        1. I’m not going to ask how you put a whole in the trailer, but now that we’ve all got this image of you tearing around on a motorcycle make sure you’re taking all the safety precautions such as wearing a helmet. I liked the license plate, but I’m kinda surprised you didn’t go for “BING.”

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            1. My trailer is not a whole trailer as it is now a trailer with a hole. I’d rather it be a whole Holy trailer. Is there an irony here? If any souls got out of purgatory due to the hole and me not getting angry, does that make them whole? If so, then it would be a hole wholly for the whole holy souls.

              Liked by 8 people

          1. Well, I will take a thousand bings over a “whole” in my trailer.  It was comical in a way.  I got my truck stuck positioning the trailer.  There was a large flat rock with a lip and an almost flat stump connected to the side of it.  As I drove over the rock, thinking my truck can easily handle this, the differential in the back got lodged on the stump remnant as the rock shifted and my rear tires got stuck just a wee bit off the ground.  Hence, I my tires started to spin.  Luckily for me, I have my handy dandy hydrolic Jack stored in the out house storage compartment up at the shack on the property.  It was a simple 1/4 mile hike to get it.  That and all the 2x8x8 planks I brough to level the trailer should make light work getting the truck un-stuck.I jacked up the truck and placed the planks under the tires.  Problem solved.  Piece of cake.  Well, one side of the truck only needed one plank.  As I drove off, the tire weighted down the front of the plank and the back of the plank flipped up high enough to punch through the front of the trailer as I moved forward.  The plank crunched through the storage compartment and then through the floor of the bedroom cabinet next to where Charlie slept.  It looked like one of those pictures you see on the weather channel after a tornado when you see planks stabbing through cars and houses.  Anyway, so much for my smart engineering ingenuity.  Funny thing is I got the sense that this is what the progression of the storm will be like.  We are going to see these types of setbacks along the way, even when we completely trust God, but the setbacks will not crush us if we stay firm.  It is ok.  God will take care of us during the storm.  Have complete faith in him.Here is a picture if Beck’s can get it to post.Sent from Doug’s mobile

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              1. Sorry Becks, I emailed the pic hoping you would post it. I do not have a means to create a link at present. No worries if no-can-do.

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                1. Oh. I miscued when you wrote, “Here is a picture…” The only email I received with pics from you lately was the tryptich from the woods. (Not to be confused with dip-stick). Seriously, could you please re-email what you’d like posted? 😉

                  Liked by 2 people

                    1. Lambzie bought me some duct tape to patch the wound. Anyone ever heard of any folks that do body shop work to RV trailers?


                    2. Hi Doug. On our way to Seattle last summer, we didn’t shut the tailgate hard enough and when going some railroad tracks it opened. Going around a corner the tailgate gouged into the camper leaving some interesting holes. Well, to fix it, we decided to make the existing door bigger because that is what my husband found on the internet. It looks alright. It would have cost around $500 if we would have taken to a body shop. The door cost around $100. Another option we considered is that diamond plated(what it is called) sheet metal and it comes in plastic too-same look. We have seen it on other campers. Looks good.

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                    3. Doug, it’s just the right size for Philip Frank’s turtles to crawl through so they can snooze on the bed. 😀


        2. I’m too busy to get old. Not sure why I’m so active and fit but there it is….
          I thought about how most of my uncle’s and my father died in thier sixties and I’m turning sixty next year in July. It seems as though life hasn’t changed much for me, just everyone around me! I’m not so foolish to imagine I haven’t changed but that the changes have been so incremental that they arent as noticeable.
          If it weren’t for mirrors and cameras I suspect I’d believe I’m still in my 30-40 because of what I’m doing and how I feel.
          I’m so busy working, taking care of my family/extended family, brother, daughter, son, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, grandchildren and even a son-in-law’s mother that God has given me the work, strength and prosperity to keep it up. I know well what it is like to be the servant of all! I chalk it up to the Scripture passage “the meek will inherit the earth.” I see how this is coming to pass with all my children and children’s children entering into the world as faith filled persons while so many others refuse to even have children or thier kids refuse to have them. Not sure what the point is to live life and then leave everything you’ve lived for and built up to nobody. Attachment and detachment are such amazing forces in ones life. Building treasure in heaven for me is to see all my babies go there and then to spend eternity with them! Doesn’t get much better than that! I have too much hope in the next life to trade it for anything else this life could offer me. Right now, I have everything I could ever want or need anyway and my hope for heaven is to have these with me there as just the continuation of an already blissfull life of fulfillment and joy.

          Liked by 6 people

          1. I turned old overnight at 48. After my neuro-surgery, suddenly I could no longer go 36 hours of hard charging, sleep six, and go another 36. I tire easily and have to rest when I do – or I’m likely to be out a few days. A lot of things that seem physically hard are still easy for me – but a lot of things that seem physically simple are excruciatingly painful. Thankfully, I adapted, accepting my new and substantial limitations – and once I did, turned out to be pretty productive still…just had to manage it much more carefully.

            It made me wonder why God would prepare me for demanding work and then diminish my capacity before it began. I got to contemplating Moses. When he was a young man, in the full vigor of youth, the Jews did not accept him as leader. When he was an old man – who sometimes needed others to hold his arms up in prayer, he became one of the greatest leaders of all time – in service to God and His people. It made me ponder that, when we are young and vigorous, we are often tempted to worship our own prowess…and when we are old, nature forces us to know better. The truth is, we are feeble in God’s sight from the time we are born. When we are old, we know it better and are less tempted to look admiringly at our own prowess, knowing that if we are going to accomplish anything, it can only come by God’s grace.

            So I have come to think that wherever we are, if we serve God, we have all the tools we need to do His will. So if you have great vigor at an advanced age, rejoice! You probably have sufficient humility that God does not have much vanity to overcome for you to be useful. If you have suffered a serious loss of vigor, rejoice! God will give you what you need in the moment to serve Him well. (I will confess, though, that if God chose to make all my moving parts work the way they are supposed to again, I would not complain 😉

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            1. Charlie I am reminded that St Theresa of Calcutta said, “God does not reward us for being successful but for being faithful.” I have seen it in my own life as well.
              May God continue to bless and guide you and all He has brought under your care. JAS

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            2. I suppose God could have designed it the other way, as in the case of “Benjamin Button,” where we were born old and expire as babies. Either way, there would still be the ‘meat’ of our lives sandwiched betwixt the near complete reliance/helplessness on either side. The bread. For Moses, it was floating down the river in a basket on the base side, then later needing assistance holding his arms up top.

              Well, I like a good sandwich. Managed to survive –– and downright enjoy –– just about anything the Navy galley served up by slapping the main course on bread. If it was something with rice, I found that to be particularly satisfying for some reason. Maybe it was the rice and the gravy… AND the meat. Who knows, maybe it was just the variety of ingredients.

              Fact is, I’m a bologna man, because I like it simple and there’s just something about the mystery of cheap, processed meat. A little flourish of mustard may seem like an indulgence, but it makes it complete.

              Someone once said that you are what you eat. I’ve also heard it said that you are what you think. Could be that I’m full of bologna, but I do pause to think about anger again. Seems that science has affirmed many a time lately that anger takes years off our life.

              Sandwich analogies notwithstanding, I’m really hopeful for the promise of the final resurrection wherein our souls will be reunited with our perfection of flesh as it should have been before we blew it in the Garden.

              This makes perfect sense too, considering how God’s ways are perfect, just and saturated with an overabundance of love for us (i.e. – having overcome all those things in our humanity, having suffered in our flesh, etc., that that would be part of the reward). I reckon you’re going to be rounding the bases in full stride, once again, CJ. Rejoice!

              Ah. I too am rapidly approaching 60, and tasting a bit more of the bread with each bite. I’ve always been a two-slice-o’-bologna guy, so would it help to add a third slice of meat?! Nah. I’d just ruin a perfectly decent sandwich by fiddling too much with it, and besides, I suspect the best part of a sandwich is the bread. And thus I suddenly find myself contemplating “The Bread of Life” yet again. Really, it just leaves one grateful.

              Liked by 4 people

              1. Ha, MP. I am not particularly fond of either bologna or of plain, white bread…but I find a plain bologna sandwich between two pieces of white bread oddly and charmingly satisfying. About the only time I eat either, but I always like it when I do that. And it is the ONLY sandwich I eat with absolutely no condiments. Just bologna and white bread.

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                1. I’ve enjoyed them sans mustard too and they’re just as worthy The ONLY thing that ever made that bologna sandwich even better was when Ma made it. And not because you’d get some bonus like chips, chocolate milk, or a little folded paper towel/napkin.

                  Hm. I’d swear by bologna at room temperature, but would probably just be splitting hairs.

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                  1. MP my “Ma” made baloney sandwiches quite frequently for our school lunches when we were kids. BTW we pronounce it baloney so why do we spell it Bologna? Anybody know the reason? It will always be baloney to me.

                    Anyhow, Ma would make up baloney sandwiches on white bread “Wonder Bread” with lots of French’s yellow mustard slathered on. Wrap them in either tin foil or wax paper. We didn’t have those little plastic sandwich bags in those days.

                    The school I went to was run by a group of French Canadian nuns. It was a converted Federalist style home built in the 18th century. The Sisters of St. Jean D’Arc. Some of them could barely speak English. No cafeteria. No gym. No labs. No music room. No auditorium. No computers. No TVs. No clubs. No extracurricular activities. No nothing. The boys did have a recess yard with a basketball court. The girls didn’t have that just a yard to entertain themselves in.

                    Just a desk, some books, a blackboard and white chalk, and a no nonsense nun in a black habit who took her responsibilities seriously. We did have flash cards. And a lot of discipline.

                    Lunch at our desks. Paper bags for most. Lots of baloney sandwiches and maybe an apple for the rest of class. We ate at our desks with sister looking on and making sure we were behaving ourselves.
                    No talking while we ate.

                    I arrived at school with one of these babies:


                    Genuine Roy Rogers lunch box with thermos. Ma packed it full of little surprises and usually a thermos full of soup. The kids with the paper bags and the baloney sandwich or the peanut butter sandwich and the lone apple would all turn to look at me as I unpacked that tin box full of the best yummy stuff for lunch including usually a little note of encouragement from Ma in it. Baloney with French’s yellow mustard on white bread and tomato soup was pretty high on my list of mid day dining pleasures. Chicken salad was and remains my all time favorite sandwich …. the way Ma made ’em.

                    Wish I had kept that Roy Rogers lunch box. An antique now. Hmmmm. I never thought of myself as an antique.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. From the site “Grammarist”: Bologna refers to a type of sausage made of finely ground meat that has been cooked and smoked. Baloney is nonsense. It is an early 20th-century American coinage derived from bologna. It may also be influenced by blarney, which in one of its definitions means nonsense or deceptive talk.

                      Our reference sources differ on whether baloney and bologna are homophones in English. Some say both should be pronounced “baloney,” while others say bologna should be pronounced like the Italian city, Bologna (“boloan-ya”), where the sausage originates. But everyone agrees that the two spellings have different meanings.


                    2. Beckita, I grew up eating bologna, still eat it today. Nothing better than a fried jumbo sandwich (we called it jumbo also). Makes a great breakfast when added to scrambled eggs. Anyways, one could truthfully say that BD is full of bologna or baloney for that matter and essentially be correct. 😉

                      Liked by 2 people

                    3. Ha, BD! When someone asks: “Anybody know the reason?” the educator’s blood in me is compelled to check it out. I can’t bear it when I hear that the Constitution is a living, breathing document which is code for use it when it’s convenient and ignore it at will, particularly as a manipulation technique. That said, language truly is an ever-changing thing. Common usage of expressions, pronunciations and spellings have morphed over time. (PS I grew up on the bologna baloney stuff too. We parted ways when I discovered tacos and there’s no looking back for me.) 🙂


                    4. I’m not an educator Beckita but I guess I find humor in how words/vocabulary have morphed over the years. For example I love to fry spam over an open fire to make a spam sandwich. Who would ever have thought some misguided technology guru would use the word spam to mean junk or unwanted emails. Geeshhh 🙂

                      Liked by 1 person

                    5. Love it, Ed. Ahh, the great mystery of simple bologna sandwiches (pronounced baloney to my way of reckoning).

                      My Ma tried to outfit me like “Johnny Lunchbucket,” complete with an adult-sized black lunch pail that could withstand the rigors of any construction site. I opted to simply brown bag it in order to travel lighter and more compact. Plus, a brown bag had multiple uses after the fact. Turns out that that always didn’t work out, especially if you ended up flat on your back somewhere in the woods. It softened the fall, but squashed bologna sandwiches just aren’t the same. Yes to French’s, but it was TipTop white bread for me… probably just a matter of geography.

                      Loved the description of your school. Could almost be confused for Joliet prison, but if your nuns were anything like mine, they really had hearts of gold behind the discipline… and usually a twinkle in the eyes. We didn’t have a cafeteria either, but someone always served up hotdogs on Friday’s as a bonus. Yes to more processed meat!!

                      Chicken salad sounds good, but probably too exotic for my tastes. One day I popped open that bag only to find a PBJ sandwich. Wha’?!!!! Ma and I talked it out that very night. It was to be only bologna moving forward, and the dear woman honored that every single day of school until I left for college. God bless Ma’s and Nuns everywhere.

                      BTW, when we were let out into the prison yard… I mean school yard, it was always hoops for us. It was Indiana after all.

                      Liked by 4 people

                    6. Hi all;
                      I wasn’t able to jump in on the grammatical discussion down-thread. No ‘Reply’ button available. Presumably because the reply chain was maxed out. So, here’s my question: Has anyone else noticed the proliferation of the misuse of ‘I’ when people talk about themselves and someone else? More and more I hear people saying, for example, ‘he and I – my wife and I’ in every case no matter what as if saying ‘My wife and me’ is improper or bad English. The rule my mom taught me is to take the other person out of the sentence and use ‘I’ or ‘me’ as you would if only talking about yourself. For example: 1) My wife and I went to the store. 2) This gift was given to my wife and me. I wouldn’t say ‘this gift was given to I’.

                      Do I have that right and is anyone else noticing this these days?

                      Liked by 2 people

                    7. Well, in English grammar, “I” is a subject pronoun so it would be correct to begin a sentence with “My wife and I” rather than “My wife and me”. When this phrase is the object of a verb or preposition, correct usage is “my wife and me”. Here’s a chart that may be helpful:

                      Liked by 1 person

                  2. B, my Ma was an English teacher. Knowing how she is, I sometimes imagine you thusly:

                    Devil (whispering into your ear): “Your not strong enough to withstand this storm.”
                    You: “You’re, not your. Be off with you, satan.”

                    Liked by 2 people

                    1. Now…. If you knew me, you would know my last post was boloney, but one thing that is not baloney is the British dry sense of humor…..

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Hah! My wife is the same way about grammatical errors and misspellings. She gets particularly miffed when she sees them committed by the so called professional media. Are there no editors anymore? “Your a graduate of which School of Journalism?” Hah!

                      Dangling participles and misplaced modifiers. Mixed metaphors. Personally, I love ’em. Use ’em whenever I can just to tick off the grammatically prissy crowd.

                      I read a book by an 18th century townsman of mine who had a hard time with punctuation. At the end of his book he left pages of nothing but commas, periods, semi-colons, colons, exclamation points, question marks, hyphens, asterisks etc. He prefaced this chapter of his book with the words:

                      Salt and pepper to taste.


                  1. This is becoming eerily reminiscent of the “Great Garlic & Thai Chili Pepper Diversion of 2015.” Who’da thunk we could sustain a conversation about bologna this long. Speaking of which, I miss our buddy YD.

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. Well, what the heck–I’m gonna chime in. I have nothing against bologna, but what about braunschweiger!? It is amazing on white bread! I don’t eat it anymore because I’m trying to “eat healthy” but it is sooo yummy—I like chicken livers, too!

                      Liked by 2 people

                    2. Kim: Braunschweiger… OH yeah! I also haven’t had that in decades, but my mom always topped it with yellow mustard in our sandwiches. I have found a couple of places that carry braunschweiger that has no ingredients to which I am allergic, but it’s something like $15 per pound. Maybe I’ll ask for some as a Christmas present this year.

                      Oh, and I also love chicken livers, and gizzards.

                      Liked by 2 people

                  1. Aw man, MP… now I’M hungry for a bologna sandwich! I haven’t had one in decades. My mom made them with two slices of bologna, with a slice of American cheese in between them, with a generous amount of yellow mustard, and on whole-wheat bread. Yum… I can almost taste it now….

                    Liked by 2 people

                  2. Thank you soooo much MP. No, I haven’t gotten myself that sandwich yet…but I’ll put it on our grocery list soon! Thank you for a delish looking sandwich made for me. God Bless You.

                    Liked by 1 person

            3. Thanks Charlie.
              I seem to notice things about me well after they have matured. Keeps me humble. The Next Right Step has been my mantra for many a year. I’m just too busy at any given time to see too far ahead. If one is not busy thinking of self they are sometimes surprised by themselves when they actually do!
              Self depreciation, self examination and an honest portrayal of ones self keeps life real. I thank Jesus for everything since it is through Him that “all things were made”. I can’t help but admire His genius in creation so why not in myself? If I’m great, great! But recognising the “why” to it is important so as to not become conceited. In ancient Rome, the auriga was a slave with gladiator status, whose duty was to drive a biga for the Emporer and hold the laurel crown over his head but also to continuously whisper in his ears “Memento homo” (“remember you are [only] a man”) over and over as they drove through the adoring crowds to help him contain his sence if proportion. Obviously adulation can become overwhelming to ones ego.
              My sense of proportion reminds me that I am a child and creature of God, wonderfully made but not my own. Can’t help but recognise how this makes me not only great but responsible to that greatness and it’s source. If I stole someone else’s thunder as my own, am I not just lying to myself?
              So I give credit where credit is due and revel in the genius at work in me.

              Liked by 6 people

            4. I appreciate the reflection Charlie. I think God gave Phillip Frank turtles to keep him humble. I still think it is really cool that we have a turtle farmer here. I get a hole in my trailer to keep me humble.

              Liked by 1 person

      2. You’re right MP. Fear is an important ingredient to the Anger cake. Look at what “politics” in America has become. Alinsky concocted the basic formula for destroying a country. Division. Polarization. Rule No. 12:

        “RULE 12: Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

        Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions. (This is cruel, but very effective. Direct, personalized criticism and ridicule works.)”

        What was Alinsky’s comment on this tactic now universal in American politics? Oh yeah, People hurt faster than institutions. Cruel but effective.

        How do we polarize “people” and “institutions” in America? The Left mastered the technique using

        Fear – Envy – Anger – Hate – Revenge – Class – Gender – Race – Religion

        You might throw Immigration, Generational Cohort Victimhood and Climate Ideology into the cake mix at this point.

        These elements contribute mightily to America’s current polarization and disunity. Demonization of both “people” and “institutions. No middle ground. You are with us or with them. And them is the Devil. A time for choosing. Do you stand with the Angels or with the Devils? The idea is to confuse which is which. Your Angels are my Devils and vice versa. Stir it all up using paid agitators like Antifa and “The Media” and Voila! You got an Anger cake that destroys you and your family and your community and the country you live in and sadly, increasingly, the Church you worship in. .

        Straight out of Hell if you ask me. If you were to ask Alinsky why he did it or any modern American political organizer of either party why they employ this devastating Alinsky Rule No. 12 tactic every single election cycle down to the dog catcher — “He don’t like dogs” — level resulting in the destruction of everything good in America?

        Because it works.

        Yeah, I get angry.

        Liked by 7 people

        1. Well said!

          I am so tired of most everyone around me mocking Trump.

          My son even comes home from (Catholic) school making unkind remarks about Trump and the wall!

          What is the breaking point? 2020 elections? Then what? Civil war?

          The division is exhausting!

          Liked by 1 person

        2. Politics has indeed become everything you paint it to be. And what hasn’t been politicized these days?

          The Alininsky tactics are one of those glaring examples from that side of the battlefield, but it’s only one side.

          The road to Golgotha was strewn with screaming hate, vitriol and mockery. And what was Our Lord’s attitude? Certainly not reactionary. Clearly when they threw mud and stones, He didn’t throw mud and stones back.

          I think that’s one of Trump’s most obvious shortcomings, and it most certainly sets him up for more mockery from the roiling masses. Ah, please don’t mistake it for genius, although he does have some moments when he’s doing what is right and just. I pray for him deeply, but he is just another man. Not Our Savior.

          Here are some media productions I have contemplated deeply over the years that have played no small part in my thinking in these times:

          — The Rise and Fall of Third Reich (A documentary)
          — Schindler’s List
          – Defiance

          Make of that what you will, but I’ll be perfectly blunt here: I think one of the bigger challenges we have had and continue to have in this community is a tendency to cling too much to what is passing away. That said, I understand from experience that it is a messy process as I’ve got my hands full wrestling the plank from my own eye (as B has reminded me on no less than 3 occasions). Says the fella with a compassionate grin.

          Liked by 3 people

          1. You nailed it, MP. Detachment has been a central theme in Catholic spirituality from the get-go.

            Of course, we, too, would have challenges in this area. Each individual is on the continuum, somewhere between being as free as can be and fiercely clutching, hanging on to something(s) as if life depended on it/them. I’m so grateful for your candor and your challenge here, MP: “I think one of the bigger challenges we have had and continue to have in this community is a tendency to cling too much to what is passing away.” And, yes, it can be a messy process. But it is so worth the wrestling to reach breakthroughs with this virtue. And why not get a mighty leap ahead of what is to come: the many losses we’re all going to experience as we are purified?!

            Practicing already comes up in small ways around here, such as the other night when we sat down to a scrumptious meal and we were praying a blessing, thanking God for His bounty. As we prayed, we acknowledged that we will be heartily thanking God even in the days ahead when we may well be short of food… certainly without the vast array of choices we now have… because we know, without hesitation, that He only allows and gives us what is Good and His Plan springs from His Thoughts, so far and above our own… and however hard it becomes, it will be the beginning of a New Tomorrow. (Says she who knows that tears will fall aplenty and temptations to fear will be raw and real as terror rises and the unknown may “seem” to be unending. Still, the New Beginning will continue to emerge.)

            PS My plank be most likely bigger than yo plank.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. You’re welcome. I’m obviously in charlenging mode right now with a 50% chance of chatliness later tonight. As for the plank size, I’ve already submitted my “BION” to “Ripley’s Believe it or Not” to make it official. Sorry, but I’m a shoo-in.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. There’s that detachment/attachment scenario again.
              To be or not to be detached?-That is the question. I think there is genius in holding on to what is good. After all, we worship a God who came to us 2000 years ago (talk about not letting go) and through 12 men, wrote His love letter to us which we STILL read today as ever fresh and new! Of course, He is alive in those words so it IS ever fresh and new just as any personal relationship is and if properly understood and lived is ever fresh and new as well. Some see the things passing away as an earthly connection to this relationship.
              What you are more pointed about MP is personal growth, not so much about the past/present passing away that is the danger here. The real skinny is the desire to remain stagnant in ones “comfort zone”. Billy Joel phrased it well in his song lyrics “but the good ‘ole days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems”. That is a mature outlook on life. If we are to build treasure in heaven than the passing things we cling to here in this life are a distraction to that goal. What do we bring to heaven with us other than each other?
              Of course it is important to leave a legacy to our posterity here on earth but also important not to let it become a kingdom of heaven of some sort in our lives.
              We need to separate vanity from necessity; desire from self giving love; making a name for ourselves or following the Name above every other name.
              Detach or attach.
              Detach from the smaller picture and attach to the bigger picture.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Spiritual growth in letting go of disordered attachments is surely a key goal. MP said it well when he acknowledged the mess it can become in the process of letting go – whether it’s something disordered or even a good which we choose to ascetically give up to grow in holiness.

                And you’ve struck another key measure in assessing an attachment, Phil: Is there vanity driving any aspect of it? This, I think, brings one to a core consideration: the condition of our hearts. No matter what we have or don’t have… no matter where we are on the Journey, are we letting God be all we truly need?


            3. (To be sung)

              My plank’s bigger than your plank,
              My plank’s bigger than yours;
              My plank’s bigger and
              It’s made of hickory,
              My plank’s bigger than yours.

              And I’m not afraid of the dark anymore and
              I can tie my shoes;
              I’ve been to the country, and
              I am going to

              (Sorry; I couldn’t help myself. 🙂 )

              Liked by 2 people

                1. MP, I’ll be sure to thank you and Beckita when I’m receiving my Grammy for Best Screwball Reprisal of a Goofy Old Song (there’s a category for that, right?).

                  Liked by 2 people

                  1. The goofiness here is making my heart swell with Joy. If Charlie takes a few more days off and we continue, I will enjoy it. Don’t spill the beans anyone.

                    Liked by 1 person

          2. Thank you MP!

            I certainly get distracted by these worldly things.

            I appreciate the list of movies too. I have watched Schindler’s list I am now looking to watch the other ones noted

            Liked by 1 person

    4. A nitwit is someone who is very talented at knitting.  Knit wit…….  😎I agree Storm Tracker Ed.  Last I heard, there an’ t no angry people in heaven.  Seams like forgiving others is high on the priority list.  Sent from Doug’s mobile

      Liked by 6 people

    5. Nitwitery-What a hoot! I laughed out loud with that one. Might have to add it to my list…my fav is dingdong. Never thought to put an -itery to the end of it dingdongitery.

      Belonging to Adult Children of Alcoholics groups for many years, I learned that anger is a secondary emotion. What is the underlying cause of that anger? Growing up in an abusive angry alcoholic home it is what I learned. Anger was the knee jerk response to most every situation. Still working on unlearning that response. It still rears its ugly head but slowly getting better. Identifying the real cause for the anger has helped me respond appropriately to the feeling was instrumental. The next step forgiveness, true forgiveness, is the answer for me.

      I find watching the “news” gets me going. Being aware of what is going on in the world is important but to stay on the bank and not jump in the angry river. Whole bunch of dingdongitery going on there. The River Nitwititery. The Lifesaver Forgiveness.

      Liked by 6 people

    6. @StormTrackerEd: Thank you for broaching this growing reality. Recent thoughts of my own that might pertain to your thesis, it is more important to have relationship than it is to be right because in the end God is the only one Who is always and in all ways right. So I ask myself, does my irritation, frustration, peevishness, and anger come from needing to be right? That sounds like pride to me because it’s more about me being right than it is about God and relationship.

      When it comes to dealing with Nitwittery especially of the Elitist variety in my own family and friends, I’ve taken to considering the idea of prioritizing relationship. It doesn’t take away my responsibility for saying and living Truth especially moral truth BUT it does give me pause for thought on my approach, tone, and words. Moreover, as you know it sometimes is better to be silent and pray.

      Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks for the link. As soon as I see and read them I email them to myself and then email them to everyone in my address book. I think I’ve become a real pain in the neck!

      Liked by 6 people

    1. Congratulations to all, Sheralyn! Sorry that the photo didn’t come through. There’s a tutorial for posting pics in comments. It’s listed in the MENU bar at the top right hand of the site. Just scroll down to click on “TECHIE QUESTIONS”

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I have to give this some thought. I, in the process of learning have trained myself long ago and it is a never ending process, to not get angry very often and I have to figure out how and why. I inherited my temper from my dad and passed it on to my sons. I looked at how my dad dealt with his temper and I observed that he would let things build up until he blew. I learned to unload things right away and easy before they built up, often by a simple comment or acknowledgement would do. I looked at anger and saw it was often a choice. I could see that sadness was a better choice when I was disappointed by a treatment or action along with a realization such as it wasn’t as bad as I might make it out. I don’t think people always deliberately intend to cause harm but are talking carelessly, reacting to their own struggles. I learned to accept that I was not in control and simply accepted that as a fact of life. I didn’t go to victimhood because I don’t simply cede control to others over me. I looked to take care of myself. (See how hard it is to figure this out, it is very complicated.) Included in this scenario is the acceptance that there are always more questions than answers and much you will never know the complete answer to. As a related observation, when people thank me for being patient, I usually quip, “I didn’t see that I had any better choice.” (to their amusement.) It seems to me that letting anger control you is often a simple lack of control or proper understanding, a letting others control you in some cases. I simply observe that their uninformed opinion has no real weight. This is difficult and easy insight is just not there. Enough for now. It is getting late. I hope at least some of this might be helpful.
    May God bless and guide all here. JAS

    Liked by 7 people

    1. This is an insightful reflection, JAS, and it surely can be complicated to sort it out when it comes to understanding our own anger. Often, it has multi-roots or dimensions and thinking it through can free one to acknowledge the angry feeling while letting the thoughts which provoke anger to pass. Too, our own thinking readily leads our feelings, so pondering in a metacognitive way is often helpful to making a shift from dwelling on anger to dwelling on what Paul recommends in Philippians 4:8: Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

      Another favorite way of thinking about those things which make us angry can be found in the choices made by our friend from the Old Testament, Joseph – with the coat of many colors. He must have been fuming mad at those reprobate brothers of his who threw him into a cistern! I love this rhyming solution to an anger-evoking scenario: Don’t curse it. (Don’t retaliate or get revenge… instead, choose to forgive… not excuse or pretend it’s OK in any fashion… just forgive.) Don’t rehearse it. (Here’s where unchecked anger can grow into bitterness and resentment. Personality implosion then begins.) Don’t nurse it. (Actually, this part of the rhyme is synonymous with #2. Ongoing pity parties can lock one into self-imposed victimhood.) Disperse it. (Cry out to the lord. Don’t take it out on others but take it to the Lord, giving it to Him.) Let God reverse it. (Look what God did for Joseph, his family, and his own people and the Egyptians!) It truly takes trust… and is it ever worth it!

      Liked by 8 people

      1. St. Paul was a smart fella. Smart to begin with, and later smart and orderly. The important thing is to recognize the disordered pattern, then want to change it even if it’s beyond our strength. Saul was confronted with this quite dramatically obviously, while the average person experiences more of the usual process. Phillipians 4:8, as you pointed out, gives us a remedy… the same remedy sound science affirms in the study of positive cognitive thought.

        I think the disorder is one of those things that shouldn’t be overanalyzed. No amount of logic gets the job done because there’s nothing logical about anger, fear, hate and the like.

        In a vein of this, Ive seen many folks come and go around here. Some of those might have thought they found a nice place to come and commiserate about all the world’s woes. ‘Course that just amounts to bringing the baggage into a situation that is nothing of the sort, eventually getting uncomfortable, then limping off somewhere to nurse it some more.

        I pray mightily for such as those.

        Liked by 6 people

        1. Amen, MP. If a problem is persistently difficult to overcome and greater analysis is needed, I think it’s always good to share with a trusted confidante who knows us well. In the end, we all have a beam with which we must contend and His Grace really is sufficient, Paul reminds us. On this note, may the great saint of today, St. John the Baptist, intercede for us in these things. Fr. John the Baptist Wang struck a beauteous chord in his homily today, reminding us of the metaphors associated with St. John, which tell each of us to get our personal house in order, such as Isaiah’s: A voice is calling, “Clear the way for the LORD in the wilderness; Make smooth in the desert a highway for our God. And the classic word of exhortation from John: “He must increase, but I must decrease.”

          (PS In solidarity of prayer with you, MP, for those who have chosen to move on.)

          Liked by 6 people

      2. Philippians 4:8: Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. I love this quote Beckita😄

        Liked by 5 people

      3. Beckita you are FULL of Holy Wisdom…printing this too…huge….
        Don’t curse it. (Don’t retaliate or get revenge… instead, choose to forgive… not excuse or pretend it’s OK in any fashion… just forgive.) Don’t rehearse it.(Here’s where unchecked anger can grow into bitterness and resentment. Personality implosion then begins.) Don’t nurse it. (Actually, this part of the rhyme is synonymous with #2. Ongoing pity parties can lock one into self-imposed victimhood.) Disperse it. (Cry out to the lord. Don’t take it out on others but take it to the Lord, giving it to Him.) Let God reverse it. (Look what God did for Joseph, his family, and his own people and the Egyptians!) It truly takes trust… and is it ever worth it

        Liked by 3 people

      4. Here’s a comment from just a sojourner which he wrote yesterday. It originally showed up with a different screen name and as he mentioned today, he’s working through some techie challenges. From JAS:
        In reply to Beckita.

        I was typing a response to the subject of anger when it totally disappeared when I inadvertently pressed on the base pad on my laptop. A lot of time lost. I will try to do it again.
        I can see that I need to be more clear about my own experience with anger issues. I have evolved to the point that I do not automatically react to challenges and difficulties with anger. I focus and pray for peace of mind and joy of spirit and so I don’t even have much anger to deal with. I seem to deal with things mostly dispassionately. When I was 24, as I was leaving the Dojo master’s office, I struck the punching pad on the end of his filing cabinet in an attempt to relieve some anger at something that was bothering me. To my surprise and horror, I was enveloped completely with overwhelming rage as I struck out several times and resolved this should never happen again. I don’t remember what steps I took but it never did. This is just an example of how I dealt with things as I was growing up. I had no mentor or guide or ever found that spiritual advisor I have been looking for. My best guess is that I have been blessed with a heavenly guide with rare occasional direct contact of different minor sorts. I hope at least some of this may be of help to someone.
        May God bless and guide us, lead us to TRNS and being ASOH.

        Liked by 5 people

  13. Hi Charlie

    With GoFundMe banning of funds for the legal fight of Falau I don’t have hope for Cardinal Pell :(. Charlie honestly do you see a future with AI for humanity? My fear is AI has been seeded with bias against God against conservatism and they want to replace humans with AI. What will humans do then?.will the left then move from abortion to asking those that dont cut it as being a burden on society and need to sign up for a suicide plan or they will help with aid in ending life because its costly and unneeded?. I get the use of AI in medical diagnosis or saving lifes or doing diffult things but not everything specially wisdom or for that matter the joy of composing music or the sharing a bond with the family or Creator.

    The more advanced we become, the more we deviate from God and it seems we are self sufficient and dont need him.

    One of my school friends who visited me listened patiently to all my ramblings about Trump vs Obama and God who is now a VP for Oracle. He said to me Obama was responsible for the economic uptrend and Trump is riding on his coats. That Trump is responsible for the hatred against others specially the migrants as the conservatives are intolerant and that Obama will always be the man and I need to forget God and get into AI.

    He earns a lot and travels worldwide giving talks about machine learning products Oracle has rolled out and how it disrupts the need for humans which he is proud off.

    I then sarcastically asked him about the unknown unknowns and whether machine learning could predict cosmic events

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Talk about the epitome of fake news-
      “He said to me Obama was responsible for the economic uptrend and Trump is riding on his coats. That Trump is responsible for the hatred against others specially the migrants as the conservatives are intolerant and that Obama will always be the man and I need to forget God and get into AI.”

      Liked by 2 people

  14. Must see report from Project Veritas with another whistleblower (God love him). Google is no longer a platform for ideas, it is a publisher for leftist ideology. Must watch before YT takes it down.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. find Project Veritas on YT and their website. Google executive faced congress today re whistleblower claims. Ted Cruz did a fine job questioning.

      Liked by 2 people

  15. There was a superb statement inside a comment by Desmond:

    “In today’s bedlam of voices – what we do speaks so loudly that unless it is accompanied by and through unconditional love – even of enemies – they cannot hear what we say. TODAY, UNLESS THEY SEE WE CAN AND DO HABITUALLY LOVE OUR ENEMIES, FOR THE MOST PART, THEY HEAR NOTHING WE SAY.”

    This is so true. Now, many of my fellows here have expressed their rage, frustration and anger on the site over the years. I think I must have too, at one time. But, there is an article that epitomizes the anger of people lost without God, that ultimatley have nofaith, no hope, nor any turue love – it is at Race Baitr, Jne 11, 2019, by Nicholas Powers.

    The author epitomizes the problem of life in what appears to be a Godless, loveless word, that ultimatley boils down to nietzchean/darwinian ethic of survival of the fittest.

    Do not get angry at the author. What good will that do? Then his malice infects you. Rather, pray for him. That is what he needs more than anything. Reasoned discourse will not work. he needs grace to help the scales fall from his eyes. He is your brother under the Father and we must help him by prayer, not judgment from us. The same goes for Arun Subramaniyan – he needs prayers and not judgment from us. Pray in this case will be the love that helps break the chains surrounding the souls of these two men, children of God.

    Paraphrasing Charlie, “As you look at your life, you . . . must judge it from the perspective of the hope you inspired, the peace you spread, the joy you engendered, the love you kindled- for these are the sure marks of the Kingdom of God. All else is detail.” So, pray for Nicholas Powers. Pray for Arun Subramaniyan.

    Liked by 7 people

  16. Hi Beckita

    Can you please edit the co name as I think it’s not needed. Anyway AI is just Maths/programming applied to train a network and achieve accuracy over data sets with feedback loops. It is not for everyone specially with the Math background.

    I am actually saddened to see what gifts God has given people but they can still be blinded in seeking the Truth yet alone spirituality. This means that smartness doesnt imply excelling in education or career alone.

    I am now learning the mathematics and getting into AI despite that just out of interest to see for myself how it can be used for the good since it is touted as the future of humanity.

    I can see how it can be eventually used to ban people for earning a livelihood by harvesting data and building a profile and sharing it with companies or just blocking access to money. I feel this can be used as a tool in the fight against the believers as the phrase persecuted could have different interpretations. Steven Crowder and Israel Falau are examples of this.

    It sad to see many of us and the kids addicted to their phones/ipad. Doctors have expressed disgust over it and I am as well. I can see its benefits in bringing people together but honestly it’s hard to show restraint which comes at the cost of family time and prayer.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Not sure what you mean by “co name”, Josh. If it’s something not needed, let’s keep it simple and just leave it as is.


  17. And now another one, dang, I just like to knit and crochet and they have gone and made it political.
    On when you log in right up at the top it states that if you support President Trump basically you can not comment on anything. You can still use the patterns but shut your mouth!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Yep… God could replace the sun with a bright blue crucifix in the sky, and people would still deny, reject, and hate God and everything associated with God.

    Cornered animals bite, but the animals are just growling & being aggressive right now (no biting has happened yet).

    Liked by 3 people

  19. It seems to me in seeing todays news that chaos is growing and interfering with others and is imploding. Even my attempts to type this is being interfered with. At first when I tried the space bar, it kept transferring me out until I put in my e-mail and name below. Then it wants me to log in using one of the accounts but I don’t know which one I need to use. In my feeble attempts to comply, it entered “ out your email address, JAS to keep it secure for you~Beckita) ” on the bottom line. I don’t know where that came from. I know I lack sufficient computer savvy but does it have to rub it in. Woe is me.
    May God bless and guide all here. Jas

    Liked by 5 people

  20. Last week I finished sending angels for AG William Barr and am sending angels to David Daleiden this week. Next week I will send angels to President Trump’s wife. He seems to need all the help he can get from those around him.
    All praise and honor be to God who blesses us and guides us.

    Liked by 7 people

  21. the previous links are broken so this spiritual war is real. Meanwhile a Christian organization helped Falau open up a crowd funding site after they blocked him from GoFundMe and CrowdFunding. He is making even more money after their stunt and they are counting every bit and going beserk :). Please Holy Spirit expose all the wickness, The lies, The treachery of the ones blinded by the serpant and Please protect POTUS who is sticking it to them and giving them one heart attack after another. Cornered Animals Bite! Deja Vu! I think Charlie said so 🙂

    Liked by 6 people

  22. Beckita, good morning! I just read something by the scholar Bart D. Ehrman. Recalling all the controversy associated with his books, I was amazed at all the vitriol, rebukes, and rebuttals supplied, but no offer of prayers for him.

    I know there is a time and place for rebuttals, and a need for them, but all too many are a shoot from the hip response and thus not very good. But, we need more prayer.

    As I look around, I have been graced to discover I can do more good with prayer. The grace of prayer is like a sunshine burning away slowly the mists of error and anger. The grace of prayer is the breath of the Holy Spirit gently blowing away the clouds of confusion and misunderstanding. The grace of prayer is like a high pressure dome keeping away the spiritual storms occasioned by the advent of a low pressure system.

    So, prayers for everyone here now, as well as those that have passed on, as MP wisely notes.

    MP, I have often imagined your brother the monk wearing the same cowboy hat and glasses, as you do, with his habit. I am glad, by the grace of God that he has recovered.

    Liked by 10 people

    1. So very true, James, that prayer is the foundation from which God’s Grace flows to and through people, events and situations, whether the aim of the prayer is toward someone or something near or far. Immersing in prayer is a call from Our Lady’s authentic messages of these times, for she not only came to convert each one who would listen and either come back to her Son or go more deeply into a conversion already in progress, she exhorted us to pray for ALL of her children.

      More prayer? Perhaps for some. I’ll bet we’d be amazed at the prayer lives of those in our community. There’s a balancing, I think, that needs to be struck – depending on our individual circumstances – a balance between prayer in which we directly communicate with God and prayer comprised of our doing, our good deeds. How that looks for each of us is between God and that person.

      You have written beautifully of the good that can be accomplished on a bedrock of prayer, James. I am so grateful for your prayers and for all here who pray for each other. I’ll never forget the annual report from WordPress about the TNRS site in 2015. It was viewed two and a half million times that year! What was the topic content in the highest number of comments posted in that year in all those many hits and visits? Prayer requests and promises of intercessory support. And that’s not even factoring in the various guest posts, such as from Dan Lynch, Tony Mullen and yours truly with the Praying for Priests project, inviting folks to participate in prayer initiatives.

      I agree with your observation about taking care in responding in discussions and I’m grateful we have a place where we can discuss the hard things of these times without hyper-focusing on the problems, without losing it – of course, none of us is perfect and we fail – and in hopes of making peace with what is, at least in the sense of knowing so many of the troubling things must come to pass as the Lord disciplines us and knowing we can take all of it to prayer.

      And here are two intentions to take to prayer… one from a man who is quite measured in his assessments of the happenings in this Passion Time for the Church and another concerning something which came up at the USCCB meetings this month.

      Liked by 6 people

  23. For anyone who’s checking in right now, Mother Miriam is recording her usual show which is broadcast via :

    Today, though, she’s recording from Fr. Rick Heilman’s parish and it’s live from his FB page right now. Mother is a dynamo convert from the Jewish faith of her youth and, often, appeared on EWTN teaching scripture studies and she went on to establish a new order of faithful orthodox nuns.

    Heartfelt is her plea to the Bishops, calling them to rise up and be shepherds for the flocks are lost and weak.

    I would imagine Fr. Rick will leave the recording on his FB page and it’s a heartening presentation.

    Liked by 7 people

  24. Oh, dear. Those Germans. St. Hildegard of Bingen and St. Albert the great help us! Another intention to add to my spiritual diptych.

    I am not worried with the death penalty issue, as this will come around to help the pro-life movement.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Dyptych, diptych are the old wax panels that were sort of a book listing the bishops or officials you would pray for at mass. So, my spiritual dyptych is everyone I should be praying for.

        Today, I will say lunchtime prayers with a bologna sandwich. Yum!
        Thanks, MP!

        Liked by 1 person

  25. Whoa….new times…a.k.a. New Era???😃😄🤗

    Our Lady’s message through Marija Pavlovic for June 25th 2019 Medjugorje :

    “Dear children! I am thanking God for each of you. In a special way, little children, thank you for having responded to my call. I am preparing you for the new times that you may be firm in faith and persevering in prayer, so that the Holy Spirit may work through you and renew the face of the earth. I am praying with you for peace which is the most precious gift, even though Satan wants war and hatred. You, little children, be my extended hands and proudly go with God. Thank you for having responded to my call.”

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Thanks for sending this along, Linda. I edited out the translations into French, Italian, Polish, etc., just to make the post shorter ( hope the French, Italian, Polish, etc. speakers in our midst don’t mind). 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

          1. OK… now I’m having flashbacks to junior high when Sister D was out of the room for too long. Wait ’til CJ gets off the road and discovers how quickly we backslid to bologna and potty humor. James? JAS? Get us back on track with “Big Picture” stuff. Mick, yer killin’ me.

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Aw no worries, MP. Charlie’s having a great time and so should we. When Pop gets back to this cyber home, I’ll will vouch for your innocence and joy! Why, I’ll bet he churns out a limerick to boot.

              Liked by 1 person

            2. Ha, MP! “Potty humor”? That’s hilarious! I wasn’t meaning that at all; I was referring back to a couple weeks ago when Linda had said “wee wee” (meaning “oui oui”), and I thought that she was saying that she thought I was short when she met me at Charlie’s talk. 🙂

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Ah, Mick, I just didn’t want the the usual instigator of the mischief to have to stand alone… Doug, you’re on your own. Just kiddin’, Doug. OK, I’ll accept the innocent reference to you being a “wee” (small) lass. Or, in this case, and precisely translated, “small small,” which must mean really small. Hey, at least we got off the bologna topic.

                Liked by 1 person

  26. I saw a white squirrel the other day. Not sure if it was an albino, but it was definitely white. What does it mean? Does this squirrel (me) need to work harder on purity?

    A physician (an Air Force Major) walked into the room of the physician I was shadowing. He asked:

    “How come President Trump doesn’t wear glasses?”

    “I give up,” said my doc.

    The Major replied, “Cuz he’s got 2020.”

    Liked by 4 people

  27. Just by coincidence there is a new poll making the rounds concerning the perception that anger is a growing phenomenon in America.

    “Do you find yourself getting ticked off more often than you used to?

    If the answer is yes, you’re not alone.

    Some 84% of people surveyed said Americans are angrier today compared with a generation ago, according to the latest NPR-IBM Watson Health poll.

    When asked about their own feelings, 42% of those polled said they were angrier in the past year than they had been further back in time.”

    What really strikes me about the waxing of Anger in our country is that it is a useful measure or indicator of the Storm. Breezin’ Up as they say in New England. As discussed, Anger has both a physical and a spiritual aspect that is not only bad for our bodies but our souls as well. A growing swell of Anger around us is indicative of the presence of and increased activity by the Devil. Anger is slamming into us at present like a Category 3 Hurricane and may well reach a Category 5 before it is done working its way through society.

    Understanding that engendering Anger can be a deliberate tactic of the Devil to encourage us to our own personal destruction as well as on a societal level is a key to resisting and abating it in our own lives as well in society at large.

    Know your Enemy. Know his weapons. Know his tactics. Think, pray and act accordingly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Amazing coincidence, Ed. Seems our Mother’s adversary knows his time of undue influence was broken back in September 2017 and, true to form, he’s all out frothing and foaming to destroy anyone and anything he possibly can before we enter the glory and the mystery of the period of Peace which Our Lady promised to launch. As one priest I know says: Evil WILL exhaust itself.

      So looking forward to reading the English translation of Cardinal Sarah’s latest book, The Day Is Nor Far Spent, which will be released in early fall. Mighty sign of hope is this dear man of God and I believe his words in this new book have the power to defuse the kind of anger that is poisonous, that cements and becomes resentment, that leads people to hurt others in grievous ways. Cardinal Sarah recently spoke about his book and here’s a short synopsis of that talk. The refreshment it brings comes from the Cardinal’s exhortations of how to respond to the collapse in the Church… and, by extension, into the culture in which we have been commissioned to claim for the Kingdom of God: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. (Mark 16:15.

      At our baptism, each of us was anointed as priest, prophet and king. Certainly not ordained priests, nevertheless, we laity are members of the common priesthood and can just as certainly follow in the footsteps of St. John Vianney when he arrived in Ars to discover the dismal state of his parish. Via fasting and prayer as well as living fully and faithfully the duties demanded by his state in life, he proclaimed truth even when he knew he would be initially spurned and scorned. Not over night, but little by little, the tiny hamlet underwent a change. Little by little, step by step, we too can continue moving in whatever Christ tells us to do. Onward Christian Soldiers.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Breezin’– like that. My wonderful brother in law who is “a little bit country” says, ” a storm’s a comin’!”

      Liked by 2 people

  28. Let us be aware for as Jesus warns us in Matther 24 vs. 12 “because of the increase of evil the love of most will grow cold”. Let us arm ourselves with prayer and with faith so that doesn’t happen to us too!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. These surely seem to be apropos messages for our times, Doug. I discovered them several years ago and was immediately drawn to seeking the intercession of Mother Mariana as I read about her. Love her spirituality. Our friend, Desmond, has actually made pilgrimage to Quito.

      Liked by 1 person

  29. I remember a simpler time in America.

    Yesterday, I was driving down the highway coming into a town of 200 people. There was a small antique shop with a buggy (horse and buggy without the horse) for sale on the side of the road. The two 80 year old owners were on their knees painting the buggy with a brush.

    It reminded me of the simpler times … they were painting it – they didn’t hire someone to paint it for them because they were so busy doing something else. They were on their knees, with a brush – not some air spray painter that would not “do it right.” They seemed content doing what needed to be done and enjoying each other’s company in the process.

    Born in the 50’s, I grew up in the 60’s. In those days, we used what we had around the house to solve a problem. We didn’t run to the nearest mega hardware store to find the latest gadget to fix it. We used our God given brains to think about the problem, looked to see what we had that might work, tried several things and eventually came up with something that solved the problem – not perfectly, but functionally.

    Our yards had no fences to separate us from our neighbors…. Maybe a hedge or two here or there you could see or walk through – but no hard and fast fence that said – “KEEP OUT.”

    There were six of us children – we each had chores to do. We all learned (both the boys and the girls), how to dust, sweep, iron, wash and fold clothes, clean bathrooms, scrub floors, do dishes … We did not hire someone to come into the house twice a month to clean. We learned the joy of working with our hands. We climbed trees, played football and baseball in the empty lot down the street, played cowboys and Indians on the huge propane tank in the neighbor’s backyard, caught fireflies in glass jars to watch them glow at night (of course we put some grass in the jar so they would have something to munch on), walked or rode our bicycles everywhere, stayed outside all day, came home to dinner when our dad “blew the whistle”, AND ate dinner together as a family. We went to church every Sunday and had the special “Sunday dinner” on Sunday…. together.

    During Christmas, mom baked 10 different types of cookies (Spritz, Sugar, etc). We kids sat at the kitchen table and helped decorate them. She didn’t buy them at the mega grocery store at the last minute on her way home from work…. Our home was her work. On Christmas Eve, she baked and decorated a birthday cake for Jesus and we sang happy birthday to him on Christmas Day (and of course devoured His cake). My father, with a reel to reel camera, taped every birthday, every holiday, every special occasion. He saved those tapes like they were precious gold and converted them to DVD years later…. giving each of his children a copy.

    In school, we prayed in the morning and said the Pledge of Allegiance. Morning Mass was offered before school began … so we went to Mass everyday during the week. Except for the one unruly child in the classroom, we didn’t talk back and we didn’t curse at our teacher. History was taught as history happened – not some fabricated story to change history. We were taught, not indoctrinated.

    Life was simpler because we were not afraid to be kids and our parents weren’t afraid to let us be kids. Being outside, together with the neighbor kids, learning “life skills and lessons”, was more important than finding out on social media who did what when and why.

    Looking back, our family started falling apart when we stopped doing all these things together as a family. Other things, material things, became more important and soon there wasn’t enough time to do the things that really mattered.

    For the eulogy at my father’s funeral, my brother correctly stated my father’s lifelong priorities: God, Family, Work … in that order. Life in America was simpler when we, as a nation, had these same priorities.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Cherished memories of better times for sure. Many of which I can relate to. I pray daily that we reconcile with God and each other and once again live as families of God. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  30. Uh,oh. Looks like the Pope may be at it again.

    The Bishops are going to “discuss” the future of priestly celibacy in October.

    What could possibly go wrong?

    Catholics Debate the Future of Priestly Celibacy
    A shortage of priests has led to calls to ease rules that have governed the church for centuries

    By Francis X. Rocca
    Updated June 27, 2019 5:55 pm ET
    This October, bishops meeting at the Vatican will consider the possibility of ordaining married men to serve as priests in remote parts of the Amazon region. If the Synod of Bishops recommends such a move to ease celibacy rules and Pope Francis approves, it will be the first time in a thousand years that the Roman Catholic Church has routinely ordained married men as priests.

    Though the change is proposed as an exception for a region where the church has struggled to recruit clergy, progressive Catholics hope, and conservatives fear, that it would set a precedent for expanding the practice to other areas, including parts of the U.S. and Europe.

    The last half-century has posed new tests for the discipline of clerical celibacy. Over the decades following the Second Vatican Council, which ended in 1965, some 20,000 men left the priesthood in the U.S. alone, in most cases to marry. Similar losses hit the church in Western Europe. And recent scandals over clerical sexual abuse of minors have led some to ask whether celibacy might be a factor.

    Church leaders typically reject a link between celibacy and abuse. According to the Rev. D. Paul Sullins, a sociologist at the Catholic University of America and himself a married priest, the rate of reported child sexual abuse by Catholic priests is substantially lower than that for clergy in other Christian denominations that allow their ministers to marry.

    Yet some church leaders have been open to relaxing the discipline of celibacy in order to relieve the shortage of priests in certain areas. Only ordained priests can celebrate Mass, hear confessions and administer last rites to the dying. Last year, Cardinal Beniamino Stella, the Vatican’s top official for clergy, said that ordaining married men could help resolve a “sacramental emergency” in places experiencing a lack of priests, such as the Amazon.

    A recent Vatican document setting forth the agenda for October’s Synod offered no details on the issue beyond saying that the bishops should consider the ordination of “elders, preferably indigenous, respected and accepted by their community, even if they have a constituted and stable family.”

    But in January, Pope Francis singled out as worthy of study the work of Bishop Fritz Lobinger, a German who has lived in South Africa for decades and has written several influential books arguing for married priests. Bishop Lobinger’s basic idea is to ordain married men who would continue to support themselves economically in their secular jobs, eschew clerical garb and be known by the title “elder” rather than “father.” Teams of such men in each village or town would share priestly duties, receiving periodic instruction from roving celibate “animator priests,” who would continue to be called by the title “father.”

    Conservatives have voiced a number of concerns about such proposals, warning that they would diminish the significance of the priest as a representative of the celibate Christ. George Weigel, an American theologian and biographer of St. John Paul II, objects that separating a priest’s sacramental functions from his other traditional roles of administrator and teacher “risks reducing the priest to a kind of magician who speaks certain incantations, but that is all he does. A two-tier priesthood is a very bad idea.” Mr. Weigel adds that a theological education limited to the weekend courses that Bishop Lobinger recommends for his elders would ill prepare them to hear confessions, a process that involves both weighing the gravity of sins and spiritual counseling.

    Bishop Lobinger, 90, has said that his proposal would lead to Bishop Lobinger, 90, has said that his proposal would lead to tumultuous change that extends beyond the question of celibacy. “It will be a step of enormous proportions,” he wrote in 2000. “The way the average Catholics experience the sacraments will change.” Ordaining local teams of elders would “lead to an enormous increase in the involvement of the members of the community,” he continued. “We should ordain people fully immersed in this world in order to show that God is everywhere in the world.”

    Those changes could lead to yet another revolutionary challenge, Bishop Lobinger wrote in 2010: “Because the majority of proven local leaders are women, it is unavoidable that the question of their inclusion among elders will arise, though present church law doesn’t permit it.”

    Pope Francis has said that the “door is closed” to women’s ordination as priests. He has also said that “celibacy is a gift for the church,” which he would not make optional except perhaps “in the most remote places … where there is no Eucharist.”

    “I’m not saying that it should be done, because I have not reflected, I have not prayed sufficiently about it,” the pope said in January. “But the theologians must study it.”

    I got a bad feeling about this. “….. If the Synod of Bishops recommends such a move to ease celibacy rules and Pope Francis approves …..” Words that freeze the blood.

    This means of making the Church “more progressive” is becoming Pope Francis’ signature MO. Stack a Synod — any old Synod on some topic du jour of our fleeting times — with carefully selected sympathetic Bishops and more critically with expert staffs, theologians, consultants, lay people and activists with an ax to grind confident they will to issue a statement supporting the predetermined “policy change” and then have the Pope rubber stamp it.

    Voila! Mirabile Dictu! you got a mandated by the people change to the Magisterium of the Church.
    To all appearances the Pope is simply responding to the will of the Church expressed through the dialogue of the Bishops. Just not all Bishops. Just the Progressive ones.

    This is the Administrative road to theological dictatorship that facilely moves around the problem of Ex Cathedra Infallibility.

    Kinda like DACA. The Pope has a pen and a telephone. a “sacramental emergency” requires a Presidential/Papal Executive Order implementing regulatory change to ….. whatever. Married priests to take their spouses into remote jungles to spread the gospel to indigenous peoples. That’s the ticket. Creating a camel’s nose under the tent for rural areas with priest shortages in America and elsewhere.

    And Voila! Surprise, surprise! There goes your Canon Law! Abridged, revised, amended, updated, upgraded and/or deleted to reflect modern circumstances and popular opinion. A Church that is marked by a living, growing Magisterium reflecting the needs of the culture around us through the good offices of select ideological Synods of Bishops.

    To some approved and politically correct Bishops there is lots in the Church to become detached from and not much to remain attached to.

    From MP Above:

    “Make of that what you will, but I’ll be perfectly blunt here: I think one of the bigger challenges we have had and continue to have in this community is a tendency to cling too much to what is passing away. ”

    From Beckita Above:

    “You nailed it, MP. Detachment has been a central theme in Catholic spirituality from the get-go.
    Of course, we, too, would have challenges in this area. Each individual is on the continuum, somewhere between being as free as can be and fiercely clutching, hanging on to something(s) as if life depended on it/them.

    From Philip Frank Above:

    “There’s that detachment/attachment scenario again.
    To be or not to be detached?-That is the question. I think there is genius in holding on to what is good. After all, we worship a God who came to us 2000 years ago (talk about not letting go) and through 12 men, wrote His love letter to us which we STILL read today as ever fresh and new!

    Some see the things passing away as an earthly connection to this relationship.

    What you are more pointed about MP is personal growth, not so much about the past/present passing away that is the danger here. The real skinny is the desire to remain stagnant in ones “comfort zone”. Billy Joel phrased it well in his song lyrics “but the good ‘ole days weren’t always good and tomorrow ain’t as bad as it seems”.

    What do we bring to heaven with us other than each other?

    From Farm Girl Above:

    “I remember a simpler time in America.”

    Personally, I’m with Farm Girl. I have a hard time with detachment from the values I grew up with. Change is hard. I don’t like change much. I cling to my Constitution and to the Magisterium and to the verities of a simpler time in America and the Church.

    Call it a disordered attachment to an alarmingly rapidly evaporating way of life if you must.

    Me? I call it keeping a firm grasp on sanity.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I’ve been watching this story develop… praying, fasting and waiting to see the Good the Lord will draw from it. Sounds like Cardinal Brandmüller, one of the four dubia Cardinals, is furious:

      As for the various comments on “clinging too much to what is passing away” I love it when people jump with with their own perspective. This becomes rich fodder for further meditation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Well, you could pretend for a moment that I’m a well-formed Catholic. I readily admit that I have a fondness for some earthly things, such as bologna sandwiches. Maybe you could even imagine that I recognize bologna sandwiches as one of those things that is passing away. Fact is, I’m packing a coupla’ bologna sandwiches right now to head out on a long one. Not surprisingly, I think of my Ma, and the love she used to put into these sandwiches when she used to make ’em for me. Remarkably enough, I’m able to recognize that love as something that never passes away. And here’s what I’m imagining: I’m imagining our Jesus’ gaze penetrating me deeply, wherein He can clearly see all those things that are of a benefit to my soul, and all those things that are not. I’d like to say when I get back that I was successful in accurately identifying those things that are of no benefit whatsoever, and was successful in purging them on the trail. I know myself though, so have to imagine that I’ll spend virtually all the time out there getting out of His way so He can continue to surprise me with something entirely fresh and new. Can we agree that He never runs out of “New.” And here I am still talking about bologna.

      Liked by 2 people

        1. I’ve been thinking about Braunschweiger vs Liverwurst. What’s the difference? To me it is a distinction without a difference. Baloney vs Liverwurst. Tough one. I’m gonna take Liverwurst. With French’s yellow mustard on it. On dark rye bread. Also thinking about Olive Loaf. Remember Olive Loaf. With French’s yellow mustard on Wonder Bread. Baloney vs Olive Loaf. Tossup.

          The Good Ole Days.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. I like a good beef jerky. Can’t say I like bologna jerky though. Hmmmm. So how is all this Amazon stuff gonna shape up? I prefer to take a wait and see attitude I guess as it may be premature for me to see how this shakes out. Think MP said prayer and fasting? Good idea. I will start by fasting from bologna jerky. Hmmm. Maybe that will not be efficacious since that would not be a sacrafice. I trust the Holy Spirit will move hearts in the right direction. That sneaky evil sly guy wants us to be confused from chaos in the church. God will send the right saint at the right time. He has to. It’s his church, not mans. Jesus, I trust in you.

            Liked by 2 people

            1. Amen, Doug. Nixay the jerkay if it’s baloneyay… and even if it’s beef cuz’ keto eaters don’t do sugar. Amen to continuing in the stance of prayer and fasting. Just what God allows will be interesting to see, particularly when He draws good from the crapolay.

              Of course, we must wait and see. At the same time, bad stuff is happening which I just cannot ignore. Naming it without hyperventilating seems to work for me. I keep mentioning the first reading for today as it delights me to no end to be reminded of what intercessory prayer can do…

              Remember when Pete was arrested and put into prison? And they ” assigned four sections of four soldiers each to guard him.” And what did the Church do then? “All the time Peter was under guard the church prayed to God for him unremittingly.” U.n.r.e.m.i.t.t.i.n.g.l.y.! (Oh, how we can do that well.) And what did God do with all that intercession? Amazing things!

              “On the night before Herod was to try him, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, fastened with two chains, while guards kept watch at the main entrance to the prison.

              Then suddenly an angel of the Lord stood there, and the cell was filled with light. He tapped Peter on the side and woke him. ‘Get up!’ he said, ‘Hurry!’ — and the chains fell from his hands.

              The angel then said, ‘Put on your belt and sandals.’ After he had done this, the angel next said, ‘Wrap your cloak round you and follow me.’

              He followed him out, but had no idea that what the angel did was all happening in reality; he thought he was seeing a vision.

              They passed through the first guard post and then the second and reached the iron gate leading to the city. This opened of its own accord; they went through it and had walked the whole length of one street when suddenly the angel left him.”

              O Lord, come into Your Church and use us to do amazing things again! Amen.

              Liked by 2 people

                1. This piques anger anew for the lies of the Corruptocrats, both those who are legislators and those not working in a governance capacity who promote insanity in regards to immigration, using the poor people at the border to further their political agendas. To add to this human tragedy, the idiotic and inhumane elements are intensified by such as this. Then there’s the grinning, law-breaking Catholic Bishop who thinks he knows better than to follow the Gospel dictum to give to Caesar what is Caesar’s. O Lord and God help us… the refugees, the border patrol agents, all those who work at the border – tending to human needs – and the honest lawmakers who work to address the problems on our southern border. Guide us, O Lord, in the best ways to chop the cords of wood that are utterly overwhelming in number. Everywhere we turn, we remember: we are sinners and we can do nothing without You.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. Such a horrendous part of the storm. So tragic when poor and disadvantaged are exploited. And the disgusting attitude of some toward our suffering boarder agents is mind boggling, but par for the course unfortunately.

                    Liked by 2 people

          2. I looked up the difference between braunschweiger and liverwurst:
            Leberwurst, Liverwurst and Braunschweiger (liver sausage in German) are made from pork liver, both have added spices to give them flavor.

            Braunschweiger is generally smoked – but liver sausage generally is not, however, Although they are pretty close to each other, Braunschweiger gets its name from a town in Germany called Braunschweig. While liver sausage is a more generic term used to describe many different types of liver based sausages.

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            1. Kim it takes a refined palate to appreciate the subtle difference between braunschweiger and liverwurst. I agree with Beckita’s grade of A+++.

              Those Germans know how to make sausage. Bratwurst or Knockwurst? They got a lot of wursts. But we invented the Hot Dog. Some guy named Nathan on Coney Island. Frankfurter vs Hot Dog. Who says “I’ll have a Frankfurter, please .” I’ll have a Hot Dog with French’s mustard and sweet pickle relish and, if you got ’em, some diced onion on a Hot Dog Bun. There is no such thing as a Frankfurter Bun. What the heck is a Weiner?

              It’s 4th of July and time to start thinking about what Joey Chestnut is up to this year. Can he defend his Nathan’s Hot Dog world record?


              All this has got me thinking about those Italians who know how to make salami. Baloney or Mortadella? Never have been a huge Mortadella fan. Sticking with Ma’s baloney sandwiches. I do like Genoa salami thought. Which leads to pondering the difference between Genoa Salami and Hard Salami. Cotto salami?

              Which leads me to thinking about the difference between Kentucky Bourbon and Tennessee Whiskey. Jim Beam vs Jack Daniels? Old Crow vs Wild Turkey? Now there’s a contest for you. Feathers flying all over the place.

              Now, let’s not get into Lager vs IPA. Or, lobster vs blue crab.

              Ah, Summer.

              Liked by 2 people

              1. Yes, Ed– ah, summer!! We got a new grill and have been enjoying using it! I don’t drink much at all, but being from Tennessee, you can imagine our preference! My husband likes Gentleman Jack– I think that’s from TN!?

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          3. Ok, my 2 cents worth-How about Limburger cheese, anyone? Anyone?
            My mom worked at a meat packing plant for many years.Occasionally, she would bring home a box of various luncheon meats. I have to say the olive loaf was the nastiest. Fried bologna-ok, that was good, especially since we rarely got it. Mostly fried venison with fried onions on buttered bread in my youth. Now talk about delicious.

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            1. Love venison– my brother and brother in law keep us supplied! Deer sausage, hamburger, roasts, tenderloin. So healthy!

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            2. Back in 1964 when I was living in Richland, WA , an arid region in Eastern WA, in the middle of summer and 100F temperature, my 22 year old cousin Frank, visiting from North Dakota where I was born and 23 year old me, decided to try that horrid smelling Limburger cheese as a lark. He took a bite first and just held it as I took my first bite then he laughed and spit it out. I followed him immediately. I observed that once you got past the smell, it really didn’t seem to have much taste. We threw the evidence into the outside garbage can which had to sit in the sweltering heat for about 3 or 4 days before garbage pick up. It must have been pretty ripe by the time of pick up. The garbage pick up did not cancel our service as a result of that incident, so I guess they survived.
              About 2 0r 3 weeks ago, after the local super market had it on mark down for about a week and didn’t seem to get many takers, I succumbed to curiosity and bought a small package wanting to give it a taste with my more mature and experienced pallet. I just didn’t seem to find an appropriate time to venture forth with it. However, today, the day finally arrived. Intending it to be a possible aperitif before dinner, I poured myself a small glass of Rhine wine, got out the crackers. opened the foil package and cut a slice. Surprisingly it didn’t seem to have that strong of a smell this time, 55 years later and the mild coastal temperature of 75F. After a sip of wine, the bite of cheese, along with a bite of crackers, had a somewhat pleasant taste but not really that appealing. After a couple pieces with crackers and wine, I decided to give it a further try in my German breakfast tomorrow morning. A typical German breakfast that I usually received in the hotel I stayed in in Grafenwier for six months while waiting for a rental house to become available, consisted of an open faced half Kaiser roll buttered and covered with a slice of cheese or cold cuts along with coffee. I will give it a fair chance since I am adverse to throwing away food but don’t expect it to become a staple, especially being somewhat frugal and its relatively high cost not justified by unlikely craving. Further reports probably not forth coming. Move along folks. Not much of interest here. JAS

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              1. Well, JAS, limburger, bologna, olive loaf, spam and such may become a precious,commodity during the storm. Hunger is a good sauce.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Well Doug, you are tempting me to give that final report on limburger after all. It was okay. The texture was similar to brie, perhaps an aged but still not as good as the aged brie I kept refrigerated for about a month before I enjoyed it in my German breakfast. I would never turn down limburger again even if I was not famished. Keep on trucking. JAS

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  31. If you really want to see a prison then when in Rome stop by the Mamertine Prison where Peter and Paul were held prior to their executions. This is the prison where St Peter is said to have created a spring to baptize his guards.

    This site is not much on the tourist circuit in the Roman Forum. It is small and cramped and below ground accessed by a narrow dangerous shaky spiral staircase.

    Years ago I stumbled across this place. I was wandering around the Forum and there it was with an entrance with a turnstile behind a wire fence along the side of a church. I saw the word prison and I thought I should check it out. There was not a single person there. There was a ticket stand but no ticket taker. The place was completely abandoned as far as I could see. So I went on in by myself to look around. It is an awesome, sad, intimidating place. Note the single source of light coming through an iron gate in the dome of the sole, solitary, grim prison cell of this prison. Situated underneath a guard’s room. No escaping this prison. Not part of God’s plan at this point in Peter and Paul’s lives.

    You can get down on your knees and in the gloom you can swish your fist into and around the miraculous spring. It’s still there. You can put your hand on the rock pillar with the ring embedded for the shackles of the prisoners. It is just a horrible place to be imprisoned. In the dark with no hope of rescue. Standing there all alone in the middle of the day in the silence contemplating what St Peter and St Paul must have been thinking and feeling and fearing with the maniac Nero just over on the other side of the Forum in his palace. Gave me the shivers.

    It is said that the Mamertine prison is an old cistern that was used as a temporary holding cell for prisoners on their way to judgement. It was not designed as a long term holding facility. In fact there were no long term holding facilities for prisoners in ancient Rome. A dry cistern was the prison cell for St Peter and St Paul.;_ylt=AwrCmmbczxhdiHwAMAsPxQt.;_ylu=X3oDMTB0N2Noc21lBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNwaXZz?p=mamertine+prison+tour&type=ma_appfocus84_cr&hspart=pty&hsimp=yhs-pty_maps&param1=20190528&param2=82107160-2d6d-45a3-b21d-0ba5fc74e4d7&param3=maps_%7EUS%7Eappfocus84&param4=google-bb8%7EChrome%7Emamertine+prison+tour%7EE96D668B50E549A3FE116E2BFC15D0C9&ei=UTF-8&fr=yhs-pty-pty_maps#id=5&vid=2b8be6a0b121839621daa6eb8467db76&action=view

    Now, coincidentally?, if you ever happen to get to Jerusalem you might visit Caiphas’s palace where Jesus was held prisoner before his trial the night he was arrested.Like the Mamertine the prison was an old cistern. A solitary foreboding place. One can only surmise what Jesus was thinking and feeling and fearing in his cistern prison.

    Interesting thing: The Roman Forum was/is surrounded by Basilicas. These were community meeting halls for people with common interests to meet and greet and have lunch etc. Airy open places with a roof and columns and baths to beat the Roman heat. Think of a kind of massive Franciscan Cloister.
    You might call them the country clubs of the day. Everybody had one. Except the Christians.

    When Constantine came to power and elevated Christianity to the state religion he declared that the Christians were to have their own Basilica. He built not one but two of them. One for St Peter and one for St Paul. To memorialize their places of execution. The famous one is St Peter’s Basilica. The not so famous one but equally as impressive is St Paul’s Basilica. Each one built over the site of execution. St Peter’s execution took place not in the Colosseum but at the racetrack called the Circus Maximus. Why? Because the Colosseum wasn’t there when St Peter and St Paul were executed. It began construction under the Emperor Vespasian in the year AD 72. Took 8 years to build. First games took place in AD 80 and the last in 435 AD.

    And the Circus Maximus? Amazingly, it seated 250,000 people. If you wanted to send the public a message that it was not a good idea to be hanging around Christians you sent them to grizzly executions in the Mass Media venue of the day …. the Chariot Races. The Romans ran chariot races all day and into the night. Nighttime Chariot Races under the lights. Under the lights? They surrounded the race course with Christians and other assorted criminals and other deplorables and undesirables and riff raff threats to the State and hoisted them on crucifixes and set them on fire. Used them as torches to light the course for the horses and charioteers.

    It is said that St. Peter was executed during the day upside down on a cross located in the middle of the infield of the racetrack. While the races were proceeding. Kind of a side attraction to amuse the crowd. So, how did his body get to the site of the Palatine Hill on which St. Peter’s Basilica now stands? They think his body was whisked out of the Circus Maximus infield during the break between the daytime races and the nighttime races while the other Christians were being crucified prior to serving as torches for the evening’s racing card. The bones discovered under St. Peter’s now thought to in fact be St. Peter’s bones are missing the hands. It is thought that in the hurry to make away with his body his followers dismembered his hands and dragged the body about 50 yards to the cemetery then existing at the base of the hill where they hurriedly hid it from view. Then subsequently the Christians returned and buried the body in an anonymous grave until they were found under St Peter’s.

    St Paul’s grave was marked by ancient graffiti on a stone that says “Paul, Apostle and Martyr.” When I walked into St. Paul’s Outside the Walls there was not a single other tourist in there. There was however a full symphony orchestra rehearsing for some performance or other playing solemn church music. I walked up to St Paul’s tomb went down and prayed before the grated sarcophagus all the while listening to and being uplifted by the orchestral music.

    I have to say it was quite spooky.

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  32. Some years ago I came to the realization that only a few are called to sell all they have and give it to the poor but all are called to be good stewards of the resources we are blessed with and to use them according to God’s will. I discerned that poverty of spirit relates more so to personal consumption, the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the toys we buy for ourselves, etc. We can all be aware of these requirements and exercise self constraint, fasting from many things.
    May God bless and guide us as we strive to be the saints that we are called to be. TNRS and ASOH.

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