Star Spangled Banner: μολὼν λαβέ

Tears welled up…

To the jaded who are convinced that others can take away our freedoms, listen to this, find out what kept the flag standing, and join me in saying μολὼν λαβέ, come and take it! The flag is still standing.

No one can force anyone to do anything wrong; we always have the greatest of all freedoms, to lay down our lives in witness to Him who is Truth, who is Love, for this is one nation under God, indivisible, with…

There’s those tears again… Listen to the video to find out about the greatest of liberties, what held up the flag…

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Johnny Cash – Ragged Old Flag

Thanks, Johnny. RIP. My ragged old flag is still flying down here.

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Seen in Police Department Squad Room

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That’s called the First Amendment, my friends. It’s not some sort of political foray other than to state appreciation for the most pro-police president the nation has ever had.

Here’s a detail of what was also seen:

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By the way, that’s not some sort of Blue Lives Matter reaction to anything. Instead, it’s called a Thin Blue Line flag which stands in solidarity with those who have been ambushed, killed, assassinated in the Line of Duty. Our police are the thin blue line between civilization and marxist chaos. It stands in solidarity with the families and communities who have suffered such horrific loss of life.

I was gifted the picture, the bill, and the flag the other day, but I’m reintroducing them for the moment, anyway, as I believe they are morale boosters. All police need a boost in morale that these days. It’s essential.

Also, just to say, again, I must thank the town for having arranged for an increase in the police budget and an increase in training.

For the haters out there… Cool your jets… The $20.00 bill is not some crime, clearly stating, as it does, that it is not legal tender.

What we must do is stand in solidarity with those who risk their lives at every incident, every domestic, every traffic stop, as things can go from 0 to 100 in less than a second.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Freedom’s Mother Libertatis Mater ed.)

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I heard a priest a while back attack the phrase “Mater Ecclesiae” which refers to the Immaculate Virgin Mother of God as the Mother of the Church. He went on the attack because this title of Jesus’ good Mom was used by Saint Paul VI during an Ecumenical Council about which he allows himself to be thrown into a maelstrom of continuous tantrums. The Church is the Body of Christ, Christ the Head and we the members. Mary is indeed Mater Dei, the Mother of God, of Jesus, God-Man, who, again, is the Head of the Body while we are members.

What if — oooh! scandal of all scandals ever to scandalize! — what if we were to come up with a title such as Mother of Freedom and what if we had the nerve to put that title into Latin? Here we go: Mater Libertatis.

  • “Splutter, splutter! Spit, spit! Father George, you don’t understand! Freedom is a word used by those who say that any and all religions are just the same as each other, who say that all truth is relative, who say that we are to be free of the oppressive truth and oppressive goodness and oppressive kindness of Mary’s Son, Jesus Christ our God. Stop using the word Freedom!

But instead, if I choose in my freedom by the grace of God to enjoy the freedom of the children of God, that is good, and gives glory to God:

  • “For those who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you received a spirit of adoption, through which we cry, “Abba, Father!” The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if only we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. I consider that the sufferings of this present time are as nothing compared with the glory to be revealed for us. For creation awaits with eager expectation the revelation of the children of God; for creation was made subject to futility, not of its own accord but because of the one who subjected it, in hope that creation itself would be set free from slavery to corruption and share in the glorious freedom of the children of God.” (Romans 8:14-21)

Note how Saint Paul would have us the children of God, and therefore with Mary also as our mother inasmuch as she is also the Mother of Jesus, the Mother of God, the Mother of our very Freedom, the Mother of Freedom. Here’s a picture of that Mother of Freedom, not for tender snowflakes entitled to freedom being narcissism; ours is a freedom to lay down our lives for others:

pieta

So, heaps and heaps and heaps of flowers for you, Mary Immaculate!

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Flag, freedom, nominalism, symbols: reality of the blood of Christ our God

razor

nominalism

Basic definitions of terms used in public conversation based on privately perceived statistical perceptions as in “It seems to me that lots of people think that this word means that” are useful only for exacerbating divisions so as to smash others down, making sure that all are sinners except for oneself.

“Freedom”, for instance, might well be equated by some as narcissistic behavior that does not respect others, you know, the ol’ I feel like murdering you, so I have the duty and therefore right to murder you, you know, because I’m just enjoying my “Freedom.”

Um… No… That’s not what Freedom is all about. We are provided free will by our Creator so that, in all love and in all truth we might continue always to choose that which is consonant with the love and truth which we are called to live. Beautiful. That is eating from the “Tree of the Living Ones” described way back in Genesis.

The word “Freedom” for some has become a moving target, much the same as some have made male/female a moving target with their weirdly self-perceived gender-bender narcissistic “definitions” of masculine/feminine whereby someone momentarily confused about any life experiences would have them think they have to get a surgical intervention to make their genitals fit their momentary depression leading – because of the pandering of society – to suicidal despair. Um… No…

Symbols are particularly open to this kind of manipulation, so that the American Flag is said by some to be a symbol of hate because many say it is. Oh? Really? A symbol of hate?

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Making definitions of terms used in public conversation based on privately perceived statistical perceptions as in — “It seems to me that lots of people think that this symbol means *fill-in-the-blank* because lots of people emotionally throw tantrums about it” — making definitions in that fashion is useful only for exacerbating divisions so as to smash others down, making sure that all are sinners except for oneself.

What does the flag actually stand for as a symbol, and what should we all insist upon in public conversation? How about the resolution itself?

  • “Resolved, that the flag of the United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white; that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field representing a new constellation.”

After standardized numbering, the thirteen original colonies are still represented by the thirteen stripes, while the stars unified in the azure sky have increased with the number of states in the union, and it is a symbol of unity. Thus far I myself have lived under two revisions, though all such changes to the flag are nevertheless The Flag.
That the Flag represents Freedom is not arbitrary. It is by its very existence placed in contradistinction to the oppression of the Brits, whose oppressive regime at the time disallowed, for instance, the free exercise of religion whether hidden away or in the public square.

There are other symbols of the Flag which were understood at the time, not as arbitrary personal whims, but as historically verifiable meanings. Thus, we find way back in the day, that the secretary of the Continental Congress had it that “White signifies purity and innocence, Red, hardiness & valour, and Blue…signifies vigilence, perseverence & justice.”

  • White = “purity and innocence” — for, of and by the people, but under God
  • Red = “hardiness & valour” — lots of blood shed in that valor my friends
  • Blue = “vigilence, perseverence & justice” – as continuous as the sky holding the stars

But let’s get back to the Freedom which the Flag does in fact represent. I would like to take the faces of any self-congratulators who dismiss all the teenagers in our national cemeteries, buried there for having shed their blood for our Freedom, having confined themselves to their graves for our Freedom, who laid down their lives for us analogous to how the very Son of the Living God laid down His life for us, so as to grant us the greatest of freedoms – freedom from sin, the freedom to praise God on this earth and in heaven forever – I would like, I say, to take the faces of all those insulting the flag, insulting all those who laid down their lives, and put them face to face with all those youngsters in our national cemeteries, you know, until they appreciate the cost of that freedom.

Does God give us our unalienable rights which we are indeed free to exercise even at the cost of our lives? Yes.

Are those youngsters in our national cemeteries co-workers with God in giving us that free exercise of religion, that freedom of assembly, that freedom of speech…? Yes.

Rant story: While enjoying a meal with a large group of Colombian priests who were discussing all their pastoral initiatives for their respective flocks, I blurted out that, wow, they have done so very much. I’m so naive. I was instantaneously and quite ferociously reprimanded by the youngest of them, who went from calm to white hot over against my stupidity. He stated in no uncertain terms that, No! They have done NOTHING! They have not laid down their lives – yet – for their flocks. He said that they all personally knew priests who had been killed in the line of duty for their flocks. And then came the flood of stories about how those priests had been viciously executed in public even right in front of them. You have to know, this affected me profoundly.

Here’s the deal: We have nothing about which to boast unless this boasting is about the Son of the Living God who threw away His own Freedom to be nailed to the Cross for us, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. We will all of us stand before Him, looking upon Him whom we have all pierced through with our sin, original sin and whatever personal rubbish we ourselves have added, all of us, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

crucixion passion of the christ mel gibson

If we think we have actually done something, we’re pretty much lost. But, having said that, the death of the faithful is precious in the eyes of God, and there is no greater love than that one lays down his life for his friends.

Just yesterday I mentioned how many times I’ve been shot at throughout my life, from my earliest years until much more recently, bullets whizzing by my head, an unforgettable sound. My favorite interlocutor said that that’s nothing. Nothing ended my life. There’s nothing there; it’s just normal life, said he. Yes, indeed. I agree. I stand corrected. I’ve done nothing.

Even if we have laid down our lives, for instance, for the free exercise of religion for our friends, I can absolutely guarantee that no one, not even one, will be bragging at the last judgment upon seeing the wounds of the actually innocent Son of the Living God.

In fact, let me just say this right now about myself, because I will certainly do so at my judgment, so says Christ the King; Jesus instructs us to say this:

  • “We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.'” (Luke 17:10)

Well, I hope to be able to say that I’ve done what I was obliged to do, that presuming I have done ALL that which I, which we have been commanded. When it comes right down to it, the one thing we are obliged to do, that which sets us up for a reward, is to get on our knees and humbly and contritely and with firm purpose of amendment confess our sins. “I am a sinner,” says Father George. I beg Jesus’ forgiveness and the forgiveness of any and all I have offended by my idiocy and brashness.
But Jesus will say to those who did bear His love: “Come, you who are blessed by my Father; inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” (Matthew 25:34)

I hope Jesus will say that to me and will say that to all with whom I’ve had any contact with in this world.

Finally, for those who want a rant of rants in favor of the Freedom of these United States of America. To critics of the Flag, get out of your safe spaces and sing along with Whitney Houston, meaning also reading an analysis of the words of the National Anthem:

Coronavirus: Flags Half Mast and Full because this priest will NOT cancel honor. Still singing the National Anthem with Whitney Houston

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“God Bless the USA” analysis of lyrics in defense of Lee Greenwood

My, my… THAT didn’t take long. Having put up Lee’s patriotism the other day, a comment came in condemning Lee as sinful for having written such a great song.

  • “Awesome and moving musical performance combined with insane propaganda lyrics! “…I know I’m free…” Really? “I’m Proud….I’m Proud…I’m Proud” Pride is a sin and comes before the fall! “men…gave the RIGHT of freedom to us”? Seriously? Men don’t give us rights, rights come from our duty to God! “they can’t take our freedom away”? Our culture is giving away our freedoms more and more every day. Freedom of speech, freedom to assemble, freedom to freely exercise our religion. If you would “gladly stand up and defend her”, the first step is to realize that she needs defending now and the next step is to do it! Complacency is killing America.”

Sounds serious, that. “Propaganda lyrics…” sounds like a something a marxist would say. So, I’m game! Let’s analyze the lyrics [my comments]:

If tomorrow all the things were gone
I worked for all my life [like with all the marxist rioting, arson, looting, murder, assaults…]
And I had to start again
With just my children and my wife [pro-family: one man, one woman, children!!!]
I’d thank my lucky stars [That’s actually a reference to States which have a representative star on the flag.]
To be living here today [Because despite the marxists, who think life is equated to things, real Americans know there is much more to life in a country under God.]
‘Cause the flag still stands for freedom [as in the free exercise of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech…]
And they can’t take that away [And that’s true. And here’s the point: we always have the freedom to do the right thing against whatever bullies. To just get frustrated and jaded and depressed and cynical and full of hate is NOT the way to go. Don’t be such a wimpish empty shell of a human being and go ahead and be a martyr. That brings us to the next words…]
And I’m proud to be an American [Obviously, this does not refer to some sort of sin, but instead refers to the happiness, contentedness, joy in that which just so right, you know, one nation, under God… Marxists hate patriotism. Patriotism is a virtue.]
Where at least I know I’m free [Free exercise of religion… you know the drill…]
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me [To the critic, I ask you, what have you done? Nothing is the answer. You haven’t given your life, have you? The answer is no. No you haven’t. How very pathetic of you. Here’s the deal: God grants us the unalienable rights, yes, but, wait for it, God also uses us. The defense against unjust aggression is also a corporal work of mercy regarding which God will judge us. If you condemn all those who have died cooperating with that is under God for your benefit…]
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today [The critic holds that there is no one doing anything right now. Do you know how many members of the military and law enforcement are being injured and laying down their lives for you as we speak, despite your ignorance and hatred? I invite this critic to the next Officer Down! Memorial Dinner where we read off all the LODDs, all the Line of Duty Deaths for the year.]
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.
From the lakes of Minnesota [Hey! My home state! Thanks for the shout out, Lee. The soldiers from Minnesota suffered the most casualties in Gettysburg during the Civil War percentage-wise, that is, more than any other troops in any battle in modern history. Get it? You know, about doing something for freedoms?]
To the hills of Tennessee
Across the plains of Texas
From sea to shining sea
From Detroit down to Houston
And New York to L.A. [This geography recalls, of course, Martin Luther King Jr’s “I have a dream” speech, right?]
Where’s pride in every American heart
And it’s time we stand and say
That I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.
And I’m proud to be an American
Where at least I know I’m free
And I won’t forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I’d gladly stand up next to you
And defend Her still today
‘Cause there ain’t no doubt
I love this land
God Bless the U.S.A.


Finally, the keyboard warrior critic who is on the attack lives next to an FBI station. Interesting, that. Perhaps a follower of Peter Strzok and James Comey… trying to sound patriotic but just smashing down any patriotism anywhere anytime.

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Lee Greenwood, US soldiers, new version of ‘God Bless the USA’ – most awesome

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Customs and Border Protection irony for my “Shadow”: Lest we forget.

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The statue of Saint Michael was sent in by […] years ago. Already at that time he was one of the main trainers for agents up in Northeast Virginia, Maryland and D.C.

I am NOT CBP. The official hat came my way just the other day from a lad who just passed all exams and is now on his first assignment for CBP. I told him that it would remind me to pray the Saint Michael prayer for him. He liked that, a lot.

The humor and irony of this is about as biting as it can get. Just ask my “Shadow” who, instead, is like an archetype for “Lord of War.” That might be understood by some longtime readers of this blog.

Having gotten over the humor and irony, however, I am sobered by the uncountable deaths of those Fast and Furious has aided in bringing about, and by the death of Brian Terry. Lest we forget.

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Rectory garden delights day by day

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Besides the Squarrsh (two “Rs”) and Cucumbers and Asparagus, there are some 40 tomatoes at last count on the tomato plants, none of them anywhere near being ripe yet.

Watering and harvesting takes but a few minutes. And for me its a chance to unwind a bit, walking with the Lord in His garden, being thankful to Him. Is that a prayer as well? Yes, it is.

I recommend gardening, even inside if you have no outside space. It’s beneficial on so many levels. We were created to be co-workers with God in His creation. Adam is to “Till the ground”, as his name indicates, being the verbal form for the soil itself. It’s just right.

And if one thinks this to be superfluous in desperate times of Covid-19 insanity lockdowns, of Marxist rioting, of anti-Police defunding, on and on, such normalcy of gardening, if you will, is one of the most practical things one can do.

The most practical thing one can do is pray. Yes. Oh, Confession too.

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Some beasts in the rectory garden

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  • Snapper turtles. There’s a Mr and Mrs in the “Town Branch” that makes up one border on the side of the rectory lot here in town.
  • A wolf spider, which is very helpful in keeping undesirables away.
  • A hammerhead worm, an invasive species, which is terrible, as they eat the most helpful earth worms.
  • Some sort of tiny red spider. Red is a warning. I know nothing about this guy.

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Declaration of Independence

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In Congress, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.

Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government.

The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.

He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.

He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.

He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.

He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.

He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:

For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:

For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:

For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences

For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:

For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:

For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.

He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.

He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.

He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity.

We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

 

 

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Pius XII to Catholic Priests

A most wise past student sent me a few paragraphs written by Pius XII to Catholic priests. With these, I stand reprimanded and at the same time encouraged. I am thankful to Pius XII and my past student, whose student I now am. Here is some of his message to me:

“Pius XI has been of great help and consolation to me of late. His writings in the 1930s speak with the powerful voice of the Church even to us now 90 years on. His condemnations of the many -isms of his time find resonance today, and have helped me make sense of what goes on around us currently. Go figure—the Church has been there, done that, made it through with Jesus! Nothing new under the sun.

“Anyway, I have been reading his encyclical on the priesthood (Ad Catholici Sacerdotii) and, having learned much […] about this holy life, I wanted to send these three passages along, each helpful in its own way today, both in general but also specifically as a reminder to us priests. May we both, with Mary’s help, live up to the great calling which is ours in and from Jesus Christ, the Great High Priest!”

  1. In this clash of selfish interest, and unleashed hate, and dark plans of revenge, nothing could be better or more powerful to help, than loudly to proclaim the ‘new commandment’ of Christ. That commandment enjoins a love which extends to all, knows no barriers nor national boundaries, excludes no race, excepts not even its own enemies.
  2. Finally, the priest, in another way, follows the example of Christ. Of Him it is written that He “passed the whole night in the prayer of God” and “ever lives to make intercession for us”; and like Him, the priest, is public and official intercessor of humanity before God; he has the duty and commission of offering to God in the name of the Church, over and above sacrifice strictly so-called, the “sacrifice of praise,” in public and official prayer; for several times each day with psalms, prayers and hymns taken in great part from the inspired books, he pays to God this dutiful tribute of adoration and thus performs his necessary office of interceding for humanity. And never did humanity, in its afflictions, stand more in need of intercession and of the divine help which it brings. Who can tell how many chastisements priestly prayer wards off from sinful mankind, how many blessings it brings down and secures?
  3. A last tribute to the priesthood is given by the enemies of the Church. For as We have said on a previous page, they show that they fully appreciate the dignity and importance of the Catholic priesthood, by directing against it their first and fiercest blows; since they know well how close is the tie that binds the Church to her priests. The most rabid enemies of the Catholic priesthood are today the very enemies of God; a homage indeed to the priesthood, showing it the more worthy of honor and veneration.

Pax, Father […]

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1:53 pm EST prayers please

Incident in progress…

Update 4:40 pm – conditions changed perhaps for better… maybe ok…

Update 8:02 pm – people got tired of being dramatic in escalation. Bored is good. Over for now.

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A Decade of Sun

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Fr George’s Covid-19 test results

COVID-19

Finally, a message was left on my phone today, six days later: Negative!

So, Mass schedule, etc., back to normal.

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Police Chaplains: detrimental to faith?

There are all sorts of chaplains. Yours truly is a Catholic priest. But am I, specifically, or is any other police chaplain a detriment to the faith? Are you ready for the answer? Hold on tight!

Who, I ask, is going to risk his life to assist in lessening hell on earth if not whatever kind of law enforcement? I mean, you know, directly. There really are bad and evil people who need to be assisted in halting their deadly aggression against everyone.

The lawless knuckleheads kill men and women, boys and girls, infants, babies, shooting, beheading, chainsawing, burning, melting in vats of acid until nothing is left. No, really: all the time, entire villages at a time, no exceptions in those towns, adding up over the decades now to hundreds of thousands. Mayhem. Chaos. The domain of Satan. So, let me ask again:

Who is going to risk his life to assist in lessening hell on earth if not whatever kind of law enforcement? I mean, you know, directly. There really are bad and evil people who need to be assisted in halting their deadly aggression against everyone. That putting on the brakes, my friends, is a contribution to the virtue of justice. Defense against unjust aggression is natural law. It is of divine right.

I have a good friend for whom I have much respect. We discuss things quite intensely. I love that. It’s a kind of rabbinic discourse, answering a comeback by raising the stakes with a provocative challenge begging for an answer which itself raises the stakes once again. Well…

This friend of mine played the devil’s advocate with my being a police chaplain, making me think, so that I might get around to publishing some thoughts about a Catholic priest who is busy in his parish also being a police chaplain, you know, writing then about whether or not also being a police chaplain is detrimental to the faith of the parish, that police “accompaniment” meaning that, in a fake zero-sum game, that is just how much I am not paying attention to my parish, failing in my duty just that much in my assisting our Bishop in his apostolic mandate to care for the souls given to him by the Lord, failing therefore in my duty to nourish those souls in the faith, failing in my duty to protect those souls from the wolves.

Let’s put that differently:

In being a police chaplain, do I fail my priesthood? Do I fail my parish church? Do I fail the diocese? Do I fail the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church? Do I fail Jesus? Do I fail His good mother, Mary Immaculate? In choosing to be a police chaplain, am I signing up to go straight to hell? Am I the devil’s puppet, Satan’s little play-thing? Am I racist? A white supremacist regardless of my pigmentation or lack thereof? Do I lack in honesty and integrity in being a priest who is also a police chaplain? Should I just go loot and pillage and commit arson and be… you know… on the right side of dialectical history?

Let’s put that differently again:

Are the police, of late, proving to be inhumane as a totality, so that ALL police officers are inhumane and also inhuman, so that they are not only in a basket of deplorables but are also irredeemable, rightly marginalized from any encouragement, any support, so much so, in fact, that all police must be discredited, defunded, disbanded, thrown on death row even for perfectly following protocol, agency policy, city law, county law, state law, federal law, the Constitution, natural law, God’s law to love one’s neighbor as oneself, they being at the read to lay down one’s life at any given moment? Is it downright harmful to the Church and to humanity to be a police chaplain?

This is insane, but let’s put that differently yet once more:

Is it impossible that any member of a police force belong to one’s parish family? It is impossible that any member of the police force could benefit from chaplain support? Are we all to just say: To hell with them all!?! Saint Michael, patron saint of law enforcement, protect us!

saint Michael carries police officer to heaven

If the police are thought to be so far out in the peripheries that we are not bother with them, then I answer in three ways:

(1) Pope Francis wants members of the Church to get over themselves, to stop being self-referential, self-absorbed. He wants that especially his priests and bishops to go out into the peripheries. I’m NOT saying that police are actually on the peripheries, even though the media and my interlocutor would present them as being such. Yours truly is a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis. I’m mandated to go out into the peripheries by the Pope. I say all that just to shut people up.

(2) But that’s not good enough. Let’s turn to the greatest of all prophets, Saint John the Baptist. The great Saint John pointed out the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, thus setting the good example for any police chaplain, shielding any police chaplain from the unjust aggression of police-haters. Saint John went out of his way to encourage even the military occupation style of law enforcement of his day so that – get this – so that they might also be saved (see Luke 3:14). Get that? No, really: Get that?

(3) But that’s not good enough for some. So, let’s just go ahead and turn to Jesus’ take on such self-referential, self-absorbed idiocy:

  • “A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy (the thief being play-acted by my kind interlocutor above); I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I HAVE OTHER SHEEP THAT DO NOT BELONG TO THIS FOLD. THESE ALSO I MUST LEAD, AND THEY WILL HEAR MY VOICE AND THERE WILL BE ONE FLOCK, ONE SHEPHERD. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.” (John 10:10-18)

Again, this is not to say that any officer – because of being a police officer – does not belong to the the sheepfold of the Lord. This statement of our Lord is offered for the sake of my interlocutor, who was challenging me to defend my being a police chaplain. If our Lord Himself wants us all to help each out in getting to know Him  – and He does want that – then there should be no problem whatsoever in being a police chaplain. In that case, being a police chaplain is not inconsistent, contrary, or contradictory with being a parish priest. One’s ministry is not divided by being a police chaplain. This is not a zero-sum game. Our Lord Himself wants all to hear his voice. We all need to help each other in hearing the voice of our Lord so that there may be but one flock, one shepherd. That is His will. Anyone going against the will of the Lord is risking… risking what? You tell me.

Let’s put that a different way:

My interlocutor is saying that we are instead to be so self-righteous that we are not to evangelize, not to proclaim the good news, not to help others get to know Jesus even while these others might already know Him better than we do, that being beside the point, the point being that we, regardless of anything, are to try to help each other get to know Him, Jesus, all the better.

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Truth be told, some of our police officers are so keenly interested in the faith that they speak as do the Fathers of the Church and I am the one learning. Yes. How could it be otherwise? Christ also comes to us through others, whomsoever they may be, for it is the Lord who is working on all souls, having all of us help each other out in getting to know the Lord.

  • Does all that make for better policing? Yes.
  • Does all that make for great evangelization all around? Yes.
  • Does joy and enthusiasm for all that is good and holy and honest and patriotic and honoring of the Constitution of these United States make for a better society? Yes.
  • Does all that build up the Church, the Body of Christ, with Jesus the Head of the Body and we the members of the Body? Yes.

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Finally, again, my interlocutor is a great guy, entirely pro-police, but he’s really, really good at baiting people to reach for excellence on any and every topic. Kudos to him.

There are not zero sum games when it comes to friendship with the Lord. Being a police chaplain in one’s parish does not take away from being a parish priest in that same parish. It is one. Jesus is the One. He’s the only One.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood, Vocations

No Masses this weekend in Andrews, NC

COVID-19

Sorry, but upon advice from a doctor after getting a Covid 19 test on Thursday, 25 June, 2020, because of some rather indicative circumstances, it was thought best not to offer Holy Mass until the test results come back. Probably I’ll get a call Sunday afternoon, 28 June, or perhaps Monday morning, 29 June, 2020. I feel fine, but apparently that is beside the point. It is what it is.

  • For those tempted to make this political or indicative of my lack of faith or whatever. Just. Don’t. You don’t know the whole story. I say, “Take a breath!” which is actually a wish that you do NOT get coronavirus.
  • Also, to those who say that I am surely to be condemned for having gotten the virus (and I don’t have the results yet!), I say, “Take a breath!” which is actually a wish that you do NOT get coronavirus.
  • Also, to those who are so very certain about how I got the virus (and I don’t have the results yet!), I say, “Take a breath!” which is actually a wish that you do NOT get coronavirus.

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Rayshard Brooks: Police unlawfully charged

This is a few days old, but WELL WORTH the listen.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (So… collections…, edition)

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Mom’s favorite statue of Mary, because she’s so pure and simple and graceful and reflective of God, she explained to me many times. Many times, repeatedly, trying to get me to think creatively about how to express the spiritual life with the materials of this world, insisting on making the sacred mysteries somehow accessable but even all the more sacred as mystery.

As the days go by, the wild flowers are repeating themselves as well in that they are also available to us so that we might enter into the sacred mysteries of Jesus having such a good mom for us, you know, by giving her some flowers. For you Mary. Amen.

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Wisdom vs Racism. Great!

Amen.

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