Lent is a Time…

Lent is a time for turning away from sin and toward God. This being Good Friday, it is an especially good time.

If thine eye offend thee…

Accordingly, my other blog, on which I would discourse on things social and political, has been deleted. (And my DISQUS comment-box avatars, and all of my political URLs in the ‘Favorites’ file, and my Facebook page…) It may be a drastic move, but sometimes a drastic move is the right thing to do.

For one thing, political commentary generates more heat than light, especially when your contending interlocutors cannot agree either on what constitutes a fact, or on matters of logic. (Lots of fallacies and unfounded opinions are roaming about, masked with invective and loud, very LOUD roars of outrage.)

For another, it was taking up entirely too much of my time. Politics can, and usually is, as addictive as the worst drug you can imagine. The part of your day it occupies can grow to encompass you entire waking hours.

And finally (well of the reasons I care to mention), it was beginning to cause schism and great discord within the family. Of all the stupid things to cause a rift between relatives, politics should be at the bottom of the list.

Henceforth I propose to recall my citizenship and first loyalty is in Heaven, and not in the ephemeral squalor of contemporary American politics. When passing through our local Border Patrol checkpoint and they ask, “Are you a Citizen?” my reply will be, “Well, I was born here, in Illinois. Does that count?” Nor do I have any interest in exercising my franchise. When I am told I must hold my nose and choose the “lesser of two evils”, what I am really being told is that I must choose Evil. And that has worked so well in the past, has it not?

Sorry. Et non faciunt.

As 1/300,000,000th of the population of the US, my “contribution” to the ongoing contention will not be missed.

Of course, saying Non serviam has been known to have “unintended” consequences.

600x600

(My choices are not what will be appropriate for any other. Everybody has to do as they see fit, and not as someone else does.)

Now, I may have more wherewithal to work on THIS blog.

Posted in Friday, Lent | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Join The “Away Team”

You say you have been feeling a bit “dry” lately in your spiritual life? You say you feel Jesus is somehow “distant”, and not right with you every step of the way? And you say it may just be a “testing” to see how you are doing?

Could be.

There is another possibility.6a00d8341bffb053ef0148c7dc9b71970c-500wi

Remember how the Good Shepherd left the 90 and 9 (good, hymn-singing, faithful, churchgoing) sheep) and went off looking for the one (filthy, despicable, utterly irredeemable sinner) lost sheep?

Maybe Jesus is out looking for the one you forgot to look for?

As they say in Star Trek, perhaps he’s on an away mission.

If so, you know where to find him. If you want to go find him.

After all, that’s where The Action is…

Hmmm… I wonder if that’s why Pope Francis wears this cross?

4-4401_1

Posted in Catholicism, Lent, Year of Mercy | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An Idea For The Year Of Mercy

Year of Mercy – We’ve got 11 ½ Months to  go! small year of mercy logo

So there you are, driving down the road, and up ahead at a stop light, you see a homeless/tramp/beggar at the corner with a homemade cardboard sign which has some variant of “Broke, Homeless, Hungry, Please Help.”

So, not wanting to get contaminated, you speed up and squeeze through the light barely before the traffic-cam gets your number.

And then, you start thinking about all those lessons you learned in Church, even though you stopped going long ago. Your conscience (you DO have one, you know) begins to belabor you about the head and neck, but it’s too late.

So, why not be prepared. It costs very little.  The fiver is the new dollar. So, why not have a few five dollar bills ready so you don’t have to scramble for them?

There’s more you could do. Here in the Southwest, it gets very hot, and even when it isn’t hot, it is dry. A bottle of water can be a blessing. So can a few items of food in a paper bag.

The important thing is to do what you can. If you can’t afford a fiver, a dollar will do. If you can’t afford a dollar, some change will do. If you can’t make a food bag, how about a bottle of water and a granola bar?

Every bit helps.

homeless food bag.jpg

A bottle of water

A small can of beans

A desert cup

A package of cheese crackers

A granola bar

A plastic spoon

A napkin

A couple of peppermint candies.

Doesn’t cost much, can go rather far.

(I have read the homeless also appreciate a pair of fresh sox. Think about it.)

 

 

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

25 Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” 27 He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” 28 And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.”

29 But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” 30 Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan while traveling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii,[b] gave them to the innkeeper, and said, ‘Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ 36 Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” 37 He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

Luke 10:25-37 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

 

 

The Judgment of the Nations

31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, 33 and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. 34 Then the king will say to those at his right hand, ‘Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; 35 for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, 36 I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.’ 37 Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? 38 And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? 39 And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’ 40 And the king will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.’ 41 Then he will say to those at his left hand, ‘You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; 42 for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, 43 I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.’ 44 Then they also will answer, ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?’ 45 Then he will answer them, ‘Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.’ 46 And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.

Matthew 25:31-46 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition

Posted in Catholicism, Drink, Food, Year of Mercy | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ave Maria

Posted in Catholicism, Music, Prayer | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Thanks Be To God

SONY DSC

All The Fixin’s

Tomorrow, as you feast on your turkey or ham, gorge yourself on stuffing and yams, and settle back to watch the Macy parade or the football game of your choice, say a prayer for those who have to be at work so that you can luxuriate in a holiday.

No, I don’t mean those who have to be at Walmart or the other big box stores, serving your lusts for a “deal” on the pre-Black Friday Sales.

Rather:

For the soldiers and sailors who stand on the wall and keep threats at bay.

iwo-jima

For the police and firemen who keep us all safe.

cop    Fireman

For the doctors and nurses who tend the ill who would rather not be in a hospital.

For the electric company workers and the other “utilities” who let you have light and warm, and provide power for the refrigerators to keep food cold and stoves to cook it hot.

power plant 1

For those who work in institutions of incarceration or refuge.

For those who drive the ambulance, and the taxicab, and the busses, the trains and airplanes and all the ships at sea.

abbulamce

For the staffers at the all-nite convenience store who are there so you can fill up with the gas you forgot today, and to replenish the beer or soda you drank up tonight.

convenience store   gas station

Yes, people get outraged at what the big box stores do to their workers on the holidays, when they should be able to be home with family and friends. But – whose fault is that?

For society to function, some folks have to be there 24/7.

For your convenience.

For your safety.

For your pleasure.

Pause, and remember all those who guard and those who serve, active and on standby including the priests and preachers and counselors.

Thanks be to God.

Amen.

Posted in Culture, Prayer, Thanksgiving | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Inquiring Minds Want To Know

What is the Gospel?

This essay by Bishop Barron nails it,  as he usually does.

Our Orthodox siblings call it theosis.

And, now that you know,  never be embarrassed to take on a street preacher again.  (Or Uncle Beauregard, as the case may be.)

Speaking of our Orthodox siblings:

Posted in Catholicism | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Tuna Mac

When my wife is out of the house, and I am bored, danger awaits.  Especially when I get the hungries and there’s nothing ready made I like.

So, there I am, looking in the pantry, and out at me leap a 5 oz. can of tuna (packed in water only) and a mac & cheese in a cup.

tuna mac

The mac & cheese takes 3 1/2 minutes to cook in a microwave, and it tales about that long for the tuna to drain .  After thoroughly mixing in the cheese powder (oh well), add the tuna and whip it into a frenzy.  Top off with favorite condiment, salt, lemon pepper, garlic, whatever.

Not bad for something which takes only about five minutes start to swallow.

Posted in Food | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Simple Salmon

Simple Salmon met a Raman, going to the …  wait.  No, that’s not what this one is about, but it does inspire an idea.  Maybe later.

This one is about Salmon and Spinach. (Popeye’s favorite meal, woo hoo!)

simple salmon.JPG

Two 1/4 pound salmon steaks

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Place salmon in small (8X8) pan lined with aluminum foil

Coat with olive oil (brush or rag OK)

Sprinkle with parsley, paprika, lemon and pepper to taste.

Bake for 10 minutes.

Serve with cooked leaf spinach.

 

 

Posted in Food, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Padre Miguel Agustin Pro

Today, November 23, is the Memorial of the passing of Padre Miguel Agustin Pro into Eternal Life at the orders of President Plutarco Elias Calles. The firing squad bungled their job, and a soldier shot Padre Pro in the head at point blank range. This happened during the Cristiada in Mexico. This has been memorialized in books such as Grahame Greene’s The Power and The Glory and the film “For Greater Glory”, which relates many of the events of that war.

The USA didn’t do much about the persecution because it wanted to keep Mexican petroleum flowing north.

Plutarco Calles had pictures taken in the belief it would discourage the Cristeros.

Instead, 40,000 people showed up for the funeral.

 

Padre-Pro

Padre Pro prays before his death.

PadrePro3

Padre Pro faces the firing squad with no blindfold, but with a crucifix in one hand and a rosary in the other.

Padre-Pro-11

Padre Pro died with his arms outstretched shouting, “Long Live Christ the King”.

Miguel_ProPointBlank

At point blank range.

Viva Cristo Rey.

Here is a write up which is better than mine.

 

 

Posted in Books, Catholicism, Culture, Martyrs, Movies | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Halloween is NOT the Devil’s Holiday

Halloween is NOT the Devil’s Holiday

Like the reality behind the Wicked Witch of the West, the real story behind Halloween is not quite what some hysterical people would have you believe.

wicxked witch

The Wicked Witch of the West.

hamilton

Margaret Hamilton, the grandmotherly person behind the mask… er paint.

The day originated as All Hallows (Saints) Eve. i.e. the evening before All Saint’s Day (November 1st) in the old calendar. [ November 2 being All Soul’s Day]

Popular superstition led people to think all Hell was let out for a holiday on that night. (Never taught by any church, BTW) Most if not all of the Satanic mumbo-jumbo associated with “Halloween” is only as recent as the last few centuries, and especially since the Mass Media, advertising, and Hollywood got involved.

Halloween originated in an old pagan holiday called Samhain. It was a day of the dead (as happens in many cultures). It was Christianized by making the day, November 1, All Saint’s Day. It was the usual way the Church got pagans to give up paganism, by sanctifying a day, and letting the older practices die out. It was not the Devil usurping a Christian holy day. If anything the opposite.

Here, here, and here are some good links on this.

However, the best thing for which Halloween might be remembered is an accidental panic over a radio show broadcast 77 years ago.

Orson+Welles+ORSONa

Orson when he was old.

Orson when he was young.

Posted in Catholicism, Culture | Tagged , | Leave a comment