Police Tribute – Bring Me Back to LIFE

I’ve been pretty down the last couple of days because of an adjoining parish to mine getting attacked, specifically with Jesus as the target, and in that mix, incredibly, or not incredibly at all, racism and strict segregationalism. The monstrousness of how much the attacker was pumped up to wreck violence was awful to see in the surveillance videos. But this Police Tribute brought me back to LIFE, so to speak, reminding me strongly of how our Lord brings us all back to life, that is, with integrity, that is – as the Master, so the disciple – having us put our own lives on the line. This goes to the Heart of all that is good with God bringing us to LIFE precisely by having us lay down our lives… Yes.

I mention that because I can only imagine what must have been going through the minds of the officers who arrived at the scene of the church attack. You don’t know at all what you’re going to find, how things are going to develop between the 911 call and meeting the perp. You don’t know about weapons or if he’s dropped anyone or is about to do so. And the Police were there immediately. I’m thankful for Police officers with such a high level of excellence. See:

Our kids iz in hell because of crucifix says alleged church attack suspect

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Our kids iz in hell because of crucifix says alleged church attack suspect

Church Attack WNC

The Attacker, a young white male – yep – drove up to a church of the parish adjoining my parish (just the other side of some mountain ridges) armed with a 10 lb sledge hammer. He proceeded to destroy the life-size crucifix out front of that church, situated on one of the busiest streets of that town. I don’t know, but I imagine that the items below the crucifix were from the funeral of a child, items belonging to that child, the stuffed animals perhaps won at a County Fair, the Faith sign about nothing being impossible, a craft window (the diamond) perhaps created by that child. Perhaps it was from a funeral that The Attacker had attended a month or so previously. I don’t know.

sledge hammer 10 lbs

He had to reach high to knock the INRI sign off the top of the cross. I gotta wonder if the hammer came down to hit him a couple of times. I’m guessing this is the case, since, as can be seen in the hellish, shrieking surveillance videos from inside the church, he is filled with adrenaline. The Attacker had a woman in his car with a toddler. They were watching his violence.

Having finished outside, The Attacker Guy then climbed the steps and went into the church, but not with the sledge hammer. When in church, he went up to the altar and grabbed the heavy brass crucifix like a weapon, and sang out the chorus of a popular revivalist song that I imagine is also sung frequently at non-Catholic funerals. You know the one: Will the Circle Be Unbroken?

Will the circle be unbroken
By and by, Lord, by and by
There’s a better home a-waiting
In the sky, Lord, in the sky

He sang that chorus twice. Of the two surveillance videos we have, he then starts to yell out as he walks over to the Gospel side of the Sanctuary:

“Lord God, I love you. It’s good to be home. I’m huntin’ my priest.”

Yep. He said that: “I’m huntin’ my priest.”

I can only guess where he was back from, not having been at home for some time, as he says, but it sounds from what he will say himself that it was a place where people were offering to help him, but only according to the conditions he himself sets up, like the “fact” that he himself is Jesus.

Unfortunately, there is a break between the two short videos we have. In the next video, The Attacker guy knocks down the large wall-crucifix behind the main altar. He’s shouting, a lot:

“And Bull Squat! It’s [-garbled-]. And I don’t want it! You [Jesus] will never hang again. Take this down! [He’s pointing at the crucifix, high up, but he’s commanding himself to take down the crucifix.] Festina [-garbled sounds like Latin-]. King [-garbled sounds like Swahili-]. Thank you, God. He’s not hangin’ on a tree.”

With that, he throws the large crucifix to the floor. Here’s the damage, with the head and arms broken up. For the picture afterward, the crucifix has been leaned up in front of the main altar:

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At this point, Lady #1 comes in the front entrance of the church and asks in a very frightened voice: “What are you doing in here?”

He answers, quickly walking toward her with the brass altar crucifix still in his hand like a weapon. He had used that brass crucifix to smash down the wall crucifix. While he answers, advancing on her, he is pointing back over his shoulder toward the downed wall crucifix, and shouts at her: “I’m taken down Him” [sic].

Lady #1 bravely answers: “No, you’re not.”

The Attacker guy, very quickly advancing on her, and coming up to her [now out of the picture but with audio still quite clear], says, “Yes, I am. You’z can’t… You’z can’t ever approach [as in an altar-call] and you know it: your children talk in two different languages and [-garbled-].”

Lady #1, speaking now to Lady #2 who has just come in the side entrance of the church, says, scared to death, “Call the Police. Call 9-1-1.”

It sounds like The Attacker guy is throwing the brass crucifix to the floor [thank God!] in the front entrance of the church. The Attacker guy then says immediately about the 9-1-1 comment: “I would do the same [which is a threat for them to relay to the Police.] Hey! I am Jesus! You admit that of course you can help me. Our kids iz in hell because of THAT!” [meaning the crucifix.]

Lady #1 says: “No, they’re not!” [There’s a young girl on campus with others in the ladies group.]

The Attacker guy responds: “Yes, they are!” Then he says something that I’m not sure I’m hearing right, but it sure does sound like “Jesus is gnawing at you.”

Lady #1 is then on the phone with someone else asking for help.

==================

A few things:

  • He can “approach” the altar but no one else in the Catholic Church can be saved. What this means is that, for him, all Catholics are locked out of heaven forever, meaning that all Catholics are going to hell. There are consequences to that in the mind of The Attacker guy. Right?
  • The reason for all this being from hell is given, that the children of the parishioners at the church speak two different languages. [English and Spanish languages, do you think?] And now we’ve moving to racism and strict segregationalism. Yep.
  • The Attacker guy then speaks of “our kids,” saying that they are already in hell because of THAT!, meaning the crucifix to which he had been pointing. What this means is that it’s personal for him. Everyone who belongs to Catholic Church with all of the crucifixes is going to hell, but also everyone else who tolerates crucifixes to remain in view anywhere. Too much John 3:16, I guess. The crucifix corrupts kids. John 3:16 corrupts kids. Just. Wow.

Church shootings have been staged for much less than that. Whatever about the appropriateness of any actual red-flag laws, what this guy says and does constitute a red flag.

About some ministers: I have sometimes heard in different states around these USA from some non-Catholic ministers that the image of Jesus on the cross is a glorification of satanism. No. It’s praise to God the Father for having sent His only Son into the world to lay down His life for us. It’s a thanksgiving for the moment of the greatest act of love the universe has ever known. We evangelize the love of Jesus who has risen from the dead, yes. But remember, Jesus appeared after the Resurrection with the wounds still in His hands and feet and side, His Heart, and appears in heaven in the Book of Revelation with the wounds of slaughter upon Him, showing us how much He has loved us, to the end, and unto life, eternal life. Non-Catholic ministers who ever so violently reject John 3:16 should be careful with such violent lies, for they are creating mass-shooters and terrorists.

A note about Satan: The last thing Satan wanted is for Jesus to stay on the cross to die for us, because it is from that standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, taking on our punishment for sin, including original sin, that we are redeemed and can be saved. Satan wanted Jesus to “Come down from that cross!” Satan doesn’t want any one to be reminded of Jesus’ self-sacrificing love, like the Master, so the disciple. Smash the crucifixes shrieks Satan. Yep.

Thanks go to the police for their immediate response and their ability to arrest the guy without hurting him or getting hurt themselves. Awesome. Makes one proud to be an American. We have the best police in the world.

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Shadow-dog’s mane up against Pit Bull

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A Pit Bull is on the loose… For the first time I saw the mane stand up on Shadow’s shoulders. Very impressive. That added another inch or two to his height, and he’s already taller than the average maximum height for German Shepherd.

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If that Pit Bull attacked Shadow-dog, or me, I’m afraid it would have been a bloody mess, but it would definitely be the Pit-Bull that would be entirely ripped to shreds, literally shaken to pieces. And it wouldn’t be Shadow’s fault. He’s definitely the protector, and when dogs are not on their own property, they are supposed to be on leashes here in town. No leash, no collar.

He looks to be well taken care of. But from this other angle he looks to be emaciated.

He seems friendly enough. Until I approached him in the friendliest manner I could. He bared his teeth.

He then went over to terrorize the neighbor’s dog – Frankie-dog, a Basset Hound, who took refuge in his dog house, until the Pit Bull insisted. Frankie-dog then chased his off the property. Gooood Fraaaankie-doooog!

I’m all for treating all animals well, but when a Pit Bull is emaciated and on the loose and baring its teeth, it’s time for animal control.

Or not. What think you?

In the unfair analogy of the account of the Syro-Phoenician Canaanite Greek “Dog-Woman” whose infant daughter was severely possessed, her take was that it might do the Apostles, the little dogs some good to eat the crumbs of faith, their witnessing of the exorcism, even though they don’t deserve to witness this, dogs that they are.

I gave the Pit Bull a doggie treat.

But that’s it. Animal control doesn’t open until 11:00 AM. Too late for me. I’ll be busy with priest-stuff. We’ll see what happens.

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Ultra-Traditionalismist Shriekers: *Dishonorable* JPII M&F Institute [?!]

You have heard that it was said by the ultra-tradition-al-ism-its that the John Paul Institute for Marriage and the Family has always been entirely dishonorable and deserves to have been smashed down into nothingness because of their not having spent their time pounding sand, because of their having simply been busy about what they were supposed to be doing in the academic world, promoting Humanae vitae, Familiaris consortio, Evangelium vitae, Veritatis splendor, etc., along with analysis of passages in the Scriptures and Fathers of the Church, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas, etc.

What they should have been doing, instead of actually teaching and learning, it is said, is to shriek in mere reaction to the heretics, so that the heretics set the agenda, so that no one can ever get a systematic and academic overview of moral doctrine.

“React to THIS! No, no! React to THIS! ♬ SHRIEK IT OUT! ♬ There is no place, ever, for actual teaching and actual learning.”

No. Merely being ad hoc apologists to scattered and scatterbrained topics is to cave to the social engineering of the extreme left. Apologetics are great, but merely to react to heretics with no place for true academics is merely to pound sand, merely to play a part in the dialectic game. Why would anyone want to play that game?

This is simply emotionalism. It is said that we have come to a time when all must shriek, that there is no more time for teaching and learning doctrine and morality. All we can do now, it is said, is shriek. Otherwise, it is said, we fail ourselves, we fail others, we fail the world, we fail the Chruch, we fail Christ. No, that is not what teaching and learning the doctrine and morality of the Church means.

Pounding sand with the scoffers? Instead, I suggest reading, this very day, say, Humanae vitae and then, in the New Testament, the Second Letter of Saint Peter. It’ll do the heart and soul good. If you need to laugh out loud in the joy of the Holy Spirit, try this video as an occasion of that:

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Tribute to a Police Officer by Paul Harvey – Hurt Locker

After Police arrested the guy in El Paso and ended the threat in Dayton, they had to deal with the death and carnage. Don’t think it doesn’t hurt.

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Pre-critical-incident forced psych lockup program for would-be active-mass-shooter domestic terrorists already underway? DARPA COMPASS

Google this: DARPA COMPASS. It’s the first entry. This started a while back. The confluence of information replacing the census citizenship question goes a long way to making this happen for those of whatever status in these USA. Algorithms of gaming theory and the OODA Loop can sort out who needs targeting. This seems to be the obvious reference of Trump’s reaction to the El Paso and Dayton shootings on Monday August 5, what his quick due process means. The psych lockup is a dumbed down version. The program usually just gives a target-name to a field operator who terminates the possible terroristic threat. The mere psych lockup for those in these USA makes the program seem a bit more acceptable as a way to do something about mass shootings.

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Holy Souls Hermitage (update)

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Someone I know says that he has never seen a picture of Holy Souls Hermitage rising up above the forest floor at the top of a ridge in these Blue Mountains, these Smoky Mountains. In the above slideshow we are, of course, looking due East.

Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament is no longer there. No tabernacle, no altar, no angels, all gone. In October 2019, I will have been in the parish here for six years. There was urgent movement being made on selling the property underneath the hermitage for quite a while. It’s a little less urgent right now. Off the market, in fact.

I still go out to the hermitage every week for a “day off”, even if only for minutes, so that I can tell my Vicar Forane that, yes, I’m taking care of myself, taking a “Day Off.” He likes when the priests in his vicariate in the diocese get a bit of a change of pace, a change of scenery, some recreation. I often end up doing lots of “priest stuff” as I mysteriously call it, driving the curious batty as they try to figure out what “priest stuff” is. But the hermitage is a welcome refuge.

What happens at the hermitage for those minutes or hours? Target practice with timers are variously placed and sized targets, sometimes moving targets on ropes or whatever, takes up some of the time. The Vicar and I just spoke, in fact, about what kind of ammo I got yesterday. Just boring ammo: Federal brass 9mm FMJ 115 grain target practice ammo.

Sometimes it’s reading some complex email communications. Sometimes some more complex phone calls are made. Sometimes just a bit of quiet with the Lord. Always the Angelus many times for the bishop and priests of the diocese.

Always I try to look around for flowers for the Immaculate Conception. The joyful appreciation of Jesus’ good creation with the end of having the joy of giving Jesus’ good mom a flower is, how to say it, a simple joy, always, every time.

If I have enough time, today I plan to read Pope Francis’ letter to priests. The best laid plans of mice and men and donkeys like me are often laughed at by the Lord. But, we will see what happens. There may be other “priest stuff” to do today. But I would really like to get to this letter. It may be that a return letter, a response, equally public, may be in order. Have you read that letter? Any ideas on that?

/////////// Later… I made it to the hermitage. Some prayers were said. Some target practice was accomplished. First thing, 25 feet out, 7″ pie plate, six rounds in 1.74 seconds, and accurate. Later, two to the body, one to the head in 1.27 seconds. Both flukes, though. I’m not that good. Far from it.

Here’s what the window looks like now:

2:30 pm… I read up to paragraph 8 of the Pope’s letter to priests and had to stop. This may take more exegesis than I can do on my phone. Anyone with comments on paragraph 8?

A bit more target practice. Then it’s off to visit a few people, check the UPS store, and then do some priest stuff….

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (streaked with blood, edition)

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Proportional to our shock at shootings in El Paso and Dayton and… (List of mass shootings in the United States in 2019) – and remember that defensive shooters saved untold numbers of lives, some stats putting this into seven figures – anyway, proportional to our shock at the violence, not counting wars, violence in families, etc, proportional to that shock is just how much we have not had our eyes open to the violence Jesus’ good mom saw under the cross when her Divine Son was burdened with violence and sin of all of fallen humanity. There she stands, streaked with blood… praying for us. A flower for you, Mary.

I had planned to write a big post on Saint Mary Majors and Our Lady of the Snows, but this was the best I could muster in these last few days.

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Death penalty for mass-shootings, “urgent resolve” solutions. But…

Colion Noir is pretty upset at stupidity. Don’t worry. He beeps out the language. It’s worth the watch. Back to Trump. He’s right: racism, bigotry and white supremacy are unacceptable. Besides the immediate death penalty statement, urgent resolve amounts to cyber surveillance, red flag “quick due process” confiscation and restrictions on violent video games. But all those solutions aren’t really solutions, even the quick death penalty thing as these guys often want suicide by cop anyway. Regarding cyber activity, perps tend to go dark when they are about to turn into “some people who do something.” What’s most important can also be what’s also most ignored, that is, follow-up on any “if you see something say something” reporting.

Some people say that we should leave everything up to law enforcement. You know the drill: when seconds count, it takes more seconds or minutes or longer for law enforcement to arrive if they’re urgently busy elsewhere. It took some six minutes for law enforcement to arrive in El Paso. It took 20 seconds for actual engagement of the target to take place in Dayton.

Let’s take the 20 seconds, example. Let’s say that that’s the case every time. Still, when a few seconds count, law enforcement might not be able to stop the threat until 20 to 30 seconds go by. Nine were killed and really very many injured in those tens of seconds.

It takes me about two seconds to accurately put in two to the body and one to the head (the latter being necessary in this case because the guy in Dayton was wearing body armor). Cut that down to one second, one to the head, if I saw the body armor and therefore skipped the two to the body and went straight to the head, you know, only to stop the threat. What it means is that the body count and injury count might have well been drastically much less, and that’s what counts, right? Even if he was wearing an armored mask (hypothetically), there’s no way he won’t be knocked out or totally disoriented by bullets to that mask, smashing the mask against his head.

But I wouldn’t have been there anyway. It’s a gun free zone, meaning a free-for-all killing zone by bad actors looking for soft targets in those gun-free zones.

/////// Motives? Pfft. Not knowing who we are in all reality before God, not having any inkling of how much God loves us. We don’t find out who we are until we are one, as creature in the presence of his Creator, with the Son of the Living God, Christ Jesus. If we don’t know who we are, mayhem breaks out in whatever way. Human life is cheapened with no love, no respect, no goodness, no kindness, no justice, no commandments. People are taught by their schools how to disrespect each other and how to get abortions. Life means nothing after all that. All that is left is aggression, hatred, entitlement to “power.” The shrieking is heard: “Damn thoughts and prayers and damn God too!”

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UPDATE: “I’m here for killing Jews” Sean Patrick Nielson (Charlottesville)

A short time after I had put up the above video of Sean Patrick Nielson at Charlottesville, Virginia, I started getting hits to that post from a certain computer at a certain company on the southeast of Columbus, Ohio, like, all the time, day in and day out, a kind of mania. Looking for comments? Was it the perp himself? Was it a wannabe? Was it an offended party or someone who was simply using that post as PTSD fodder for prayer? Dunno.

A short time after that, the audio of the above video was scrambled on purpose. I thought that was really interesting. Because of that, I searched for an unscrambled version and found it in a longer video at the Washington Post.

Some years have passed. All of a sudden, there is quite a bit of interest in Sean Patrick Nielson again, particularly from a particular flight school. I thought that interesting enough to hunt down my original posts. To my surprise, the audio has been UN-scrambled in the first video. ;-) We’ll see how long that lasts. Interesting.

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El Paso Shooter: Strict Segregationalist Coward Cowardly Calling Cowards

ak 47 ammoHe shoots 2 year olds with an AK 47… some elderly, and dozens in between. His manifest [or ma-nə-ˈfe-(ˌ)stō] (a multisyllabic word!) makes a rationalization that he is NOT a coward his for acting so cowardly by claiming that a narcissist that can hide in the crowd of other cowards he hopes will fall in behind him. Uh-huh. “I will never surrender!” he prophesies of himself, thinking he’s a brave coward. He then says: “I surrender.”

He’s isn’t “for” anything but himself.

I wonder if he’s brave enough to look into Mary’s eyes:

pieta

The problem is not knowing one’s identity in Jesus.

Love for God and neighbor is way. It’s the only way.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (The First Robe of Light, edition)

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And so it begins. The Jasmine are coming out. Above is the first of zillions to come.

Speaking of “first”….

In the Greek of the Sacred Scriptures, the word for “first” first of all always means “first”, that is, numerically the beginning of a series or the prime actor in a hierarchy. It never simply means “best” unless that meaning is derivative of the first meaning of being first of all first.

The First Born from the Dead refers on so many levels to Christ Jesus, keeping the meaning also of being first of all first.

When “first” is mistranslated as merely “best” with no connection to first of all being first, the meaning is entirely mistaken.

Thus, the prodigal son is given not merely the “best” robe upon his return, upon his being found by the father; he is given the very first robe (which is why it is best). This refers not to the first robe you find, the first one atop the heap of laundry. No. That would be stupid. “The First Robe” was a set phrase for hundreds of years before Christ Jesus voiced this parable. It referred to the first robe Adam wore before original sin, a robe of light, a robe of innocence. Give that to him.

Now that I’m ranting on translations, how about another from that parable. Translations speak of the father being moved to pity or some such thing upon his seeing his son trudging back. No. What it says in the inspired Greek is that the father’s heart was sacrificed upon seeing his son, obviously sacrificed in favor of his son. That sacrifice of his heart was a reference to the provision of redemption, of salvation in the sacrifice of the Heart of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. A flower for you, Mary.

sacred hearts

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Still a papist?! edition)

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Yesterday Sassy the Subaru saw well over 400 miles as Mass with the Bishop and fellow priests at the Cathedral in Charlotte. It was the Jubilee Mass for a number of priests this year, one at 60 years of Masses, two at 55 years of Masses, one at 50 years of Masses, and one – a predecessor of mine here in Andrews – at 25 years.

With one priest I had a fast moving discussion about the horrific state of affairs in Nigeria, where mayhem has escalated in the past couple of months and weeks, what with now continuous terrorism and slaughtering of Christians by Islamicists, an “ethnic cleansing” – let’s call it what it is, a genocide, village by village, region by region. There is a confiscation of gun permits of Christians and a confiscation of guns, even while the Islamicists are allowed by the Islamicist president to continue their murdering. That’s what gun confiscation is all about.

With some others a discussion was to be had about how to deal with the homosexualist bullying within the Church, what amounts here and there to an ethnic cleansing of believers, particularly and pointedly as wrought by some individuals in the Vatican. We were all of the same judgement, that we have to stick together, and stay always with Jesus, as He is the One, the only One.

I mentioned, as is my want, prayers for Pope Francis, complaining that some people interpret my appeals as absolutely agreeing with absolutely everything Pope Francis says and does. “Pfft!” exclaimed one priests, incredulous that I should ever get any trouble for praying for anyone: “I pray for Pope Francis all the time!” he said, again and again. “How is that a problem?” That’s my question as well. Such an attitude of not praying for the very person who would obviously be the most attacked by Satan in the Church contravenes Jesus’ desire to pray for all and sundry, regardless. Jesus prayed for the very one who would deny Him three times, the very first Pontiff, Peter himself. So, like, yeah, what is the problem? Who are these people who insist that one absolutely cannot ever pray for anyone unless you absolutely agree with everything they say and do? I mean, how stupid and, it seems to me, how malicious is that?

Perhaps they forget that they themselves were on their way to hell except for Jesus laying down His life for them, you know, because they were just that evil.

Let’s recall this scene from the Passion of the Christ, the denial of Jesus by Peter and then Jesus’ good mom being so willing to forgive:

A rose for you, Mary.

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Appalachia Gunner Quad Squad politics to accusations of Star of David satanism

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This billboard just down the road from the parish made national news with all sorts of commentary. The local newspaper – in the mailbox last night – knowing their audience, presented a benign version of the AP story, not falling on one side or the other. No local reporting, no local opinion. Just the fact of its existence.

Meanwhile, I came across this video. I’ll listen to such things in the early-early-early morning hours, you know, while feeding the dogs, getting some breakfast, tidying up…

Meanwhile, there are those of my personal acquaintance who have been edging toward accusing me of being just as much of an idiot as Cherokee Guns holds the Quad Squad to be idiots. These acquaintances are “concerned” about me spreading apostasy and blasphemy on any number of levels and in any number of ways because of what I sport on the back of Sassy the Subaru (an older picture, obviously), this being a kind of billboard that I put up:

SUBARU DECALS

I put all that up to bait people to ask about the USMC (successfully, mind you, even to the point of one lady following me in her car until she cornered me in a parking lot!), and I immediately say that it’s all about baiting such as them to ask so that I might brag about my dad. But that’s not the difficulty with the most recent complaints, which are instead about the Star of David, which is held to be satanic[!] and only invented as late as just a few hundred years ago[!].

That the synagogue in which Jesus preached in Peter’s home town along the northwest shores of the Sea of Galilee was filled with such stars carved into the rock with spheres on the inside (much like the cross I added) referring to the Messiah (with divine and human natures, from above and below) – stars which I saw myself in the newly excavated ruins of that first century synagogue – was all considered to be irrelevant, even though Jesus Himself praised the faith of the benefactor who had the synagogue built. Yikes!

I’ve now and again researched the Star of David over many decades, and I’ve noticed that online studies over the years have slowly been replaced with historical revisionism. I don’t like revisions of history. But whatever with that, the question is, of course, about present day perspectives and realities. So, what do I think?

Regardless of such controversies, regardless of what anyone thinks of anything religious, regardless of what anyone thinks of whatever political strategies, I think that any group (however you define that group) of people who have been as smacked down as our Jewish brothers and sisters (however you define Jewish being irrelevant), that group needs to be able to defend themselves, so that, indeed, it must be accepted that they have a right and duty to defend themselves.

You can talk until you’re blue in the face about whatever you think about Israel as a state that calls itself Israel because of what you think religiously. I’m guessing that there are many in Israel, perhaps even a majority – now citizens of Israel – who are not religious themselves and couldn’t care less what you think about anything religious and couldn’t care less about whether anyone is Israel is religious in whatever way. What might well be in the forefront of their minds right now is the fact that their family members, some still alive, some burned to ashes, survived or were put to death in the Shoah, the Holocaust, and it ain’t gonna happen to them again. Ain’t. Gonna. Happen. That’s the reality. I support that. 100%.

To cap it off, out of the blue, or perhaps as a personal challenge to me, I guess, there was one particular moment when someone aggressively attacked the idea of reparations. “Who do they think any reparations would go to anyway?” it was demanded rhetorically and ever so very sarcastically.

Just a few years ago I interviewed an elderly Jewish survivor. So, let’s see what that anti-reparation perspective looks like when applied to a real person:

“Damn that elderly-elderly Jewish lady for wanting her childhood home back from those who stole it from her. So what if she’s a survivor of the Holocaust?! Damn her for seeing her family members disappear as a child. Damn her for having survived the holocaust. Damn her for still being alive. Damn her for going back to see her childhood home. Damn her for hearing condemnations and mockery again, making the Nazi crowd look bad to today’s world. Just. Damn. Her.”

I pray for these people. I really do. I offered Mass yesterday for one in particular. But, as you can see, this kind of thing is one of the buttons that people can push and will likely get a reaction out of me, sooner or later. Usually I don’t react at all. I just take it in all the more, even baiting for more to come out, you know, to see where people really stand. Well, I’ve heard enough over these past weeks. This is my answer.

I can just hear it now: “I didn’t mean it that way! I apologize if you were offended!”

That unsolicited non-apology-apology was, in fact, already spoken. What it means is this:

If you are so stupid, if you are such an idiot as to be offended by what was said as an instruction to you, then, because of my not knowing what to do with such idiocy of yours, my apologies are rendered to you, you idiot. I actually did nothing wrong. It’s your idiocy that is at fault, you idiot.

Sigh.

In any other time in history perhaps I would burned at the stake, the fire lit with such attitudes. I once heard the Venerable Fulton Sheen recount a conversation had between an American soldier liberating a death camp such as Auschwitz and a teenage girl who, in the camp, was sitting high atop a mound of corpses of her Jewish brothers and sisters:

  • “What are you doing up there? Do you not want to be liberated from this hell?” he asked.
  • “How can I continue to live when all my people are dying?” she asked in return.

Yep. That’s what I think about it. Sassy the Subaru will stay as she is.

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Filed under Interreligious dialogue, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Politics, Racism

Meme: “Only good priests allowed!”

These sticky notes with the meme “Only good priests allowed!” are showing up everywhere people think I might happen to show up, at medical institutions, at the parish office… Hahaha.

It’s my fault entirely. Every time before providing in whatever homily any kind of encouragement whatsoever to be in humble thanksgiving before our Lord who is ever so patient with us, you know, for His drawing us by His grace, for example, to a purity of heart and agility of soul, every time, mind you, I’m forever saying that I myself am evil and bad and think like the worst of the worst. In other words, if the Lord can smack me down in whatever way such that I might howsoever look to Him, then He can do this for others as well.

About these sticky notes, here’s the deal: the more evil and bad a priest knows himself to be, that is, the more honest he is about what he would be like if he were to be without the grace of God, that’s precisely how much he is able (by grace, mind you) to get out of the way of Jesus so that Jesus, the High Priest, might be evident.

“Only good priests allowed”? That’s mis-phrased. How about: “Only The Good Priest, Jesus, allowed!” I entirely agree, because I know that, of myself, I’m just sooo evil and sooo bad. :-)

If anyone thinks this is a bit over the top, I suggest taking a look at the last bits of Saint Patrick’s Breastplate. This is a legitimate prayer, a valid hope to have, to live by.

 

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Filed under Humor, Priesthood, Spiritual life

My PTSD symptoms at the destruction of my Alma Mater: John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family

In the early mid 1980s I was finishing a semester of licentiate coursework at the Lateran’s John Paul II Institute for Marriage and the Family. Institutional founder (later Cardinal) Carlo Caffarra (+2017) was my professor for a course on some entirely fascinating passages from the great Saint Thomas Aquinas, particularly De Veritate, the Summa Theologiae, and some bits and pieces from his Commentary on the Sentences of Peter Lombard. At the time, there was a war going on between the JPII Institute and the Redemptorists’ Alphonsianum, their school of “moral theology,” or more precisely between John Paul’s Caffarra and their heretic Bernard Häring. The JPII Institute and the Alphonsianum were only some stone’s throws from each other in Rome. I happened to live between the two, only a couple of stone’s throw from each.

The place where I lived had plenty of brave students at the JPII Institute, bucking the mafia-esque bullying of political correctness, but the powers that be sided with Bernard Häring (+1998) and had him give a lecture in the our library located just below my room. I went down to listen to the enemy. A dialogue? No. The tyranny of relativism. The bullying consequent to the abandonment of the Christ of the commandments. The ambiguity ensuring that no one, not now, not ever, will live in that love who is God, that love stronger than our situations, stronger than our weakness, stronger than our temptations, stronger than death. The JPII Institute was about growing in the strength of the love of Christ Jesus. The Alphonsianum was about never coming to know the strength of that love.

In the picture above I am just days before getting on a plane to be on my way Stateside. The picture with JPII was taken just after early morning Mass in the tiny chapel behind the “library” up in the Apostolic Palace of the day. The book, published by the JPII Institute, was a collection of some of the writings of John Paul II himself. If I reckon correctly, it was the eighth time I had met with the sainted Pontiff.

Yesterday (end of July 2019) I dedicated some time to catching up on what’s happening at the JPII Institute for Marriage and the Family. I perused the new constitutions, read up on the backgrounds of some of the new players, such as Paglia, and allowed myself to get upset, rightfully so. This brought out what seems to be some post traumatic stress from those ever-so-dark-days in Church history in Rome. So dark. All the horror of those days came flooding back. All of it. The demonic attitudes of the heretics, the loss of souls scandalized, the fright of seeing self-centered, absolutely narcissistic arrogant pride lusting after the power of being “the one, the only one” of importance in the universe. This set me to experiencing that hell as if for the first time all over again. A nightmare. Getting the legs cut out from under oneself? Yes, I know what that feels like. (That’s me in the picture having literally had that happen). That was my day yesterday.

What shocked me is that nothing at all has changed for the heretics over all these decades… Nothing! It’s all the same lust for power, lust for prestige, lust for… lust. All so very disgusting. It’s all the same arguments. So tired. So nothing. So lifeless. So boring. So very full of lies. So very predatory.

I, for one, am tired of it all, fed up, upset, but not despairing, not giving in, not caving in. This new scandal of the destruction of the JPII Institute for Marriage and the Family – following up on the 2017 warning – was, of course, good for me. You know the drill: It was character building. I now stand more confirmed – How to say? – more validated, more vindicated in standing with the truth of the “old” JPII Institute for Marriage and the Family, with Him who is Living Truth. Jesus is the One, the only One. It’s a sin to give up! We must stay strong. We must remain with Christ Jesus.

Alright. I should be more honest. I’ll be more graphic about my darkness. What came to mind yesterday in my darkest moment was a demonic twist of story line, an analogy with the Wizard of Oz, you know, with the proclamation that the wicked witch is dead. In my upside-down, back to front, inside-out analogy, in my dark and beady heart, the munchkins singing are the same as the overlords of the destruction of the “old” JPII Institute: The “old” JPII Institute in this twisted analogy is the wicked witch that the heretics are so happy is dead. The heretics also hold themselves to be the ever so innocent Dorothy.

Having said all that, it’s a sin to be lost to hopeless bitterness. So, it needs to be said that I’m not better than Paglia or Häring or, to drudge up old names, Richard A. McCormick, Charles E. Curran, Joseph Fuchs, or even their guiding “light” Karl Rahner with all of his confusion of the natural and supernatural. Jesus is the only one who is good.

Having said all that, I don’t think it’s a sin to point out heresy and the spread of darkness. Nor do I think it is a sin of presumption to want to remain in the joy of the Holy Spirit even in the face of the darkness of all the heresy all around us. Blessed are we if there are two things going on:

  • We see the darkness so as not to fall into the error. The JPII Institute will now be a cesspool of heresy.
  • We see our salvation in the light of Christ, salvation from the darkness and error. We can know His truth.

“They” might say that Saint John Paul II is dead. They might say that the Church is dead. “They” might say Good riddance! But the sainted Pope is still with us in heaven. And Jesus is still with us. Jesus sees all these things. He wants that we be faithful in Him no matter what. Don’t be mistaken. Jesus will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

We read in the Book of Revelation: “The one who gives this testimony says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen! Come, Lord Jesus! The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all.” (Apocalypse 22:20-21)

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Filed under John Paul II, Pope Francis

SGT Henry Felsen USMC: “The flak was so thick…”

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2019-07-29 · 1:38 pm

Obstreperous, cantankerous, crotchety old man in the throws of death. Then…

last rites

A good friend, an 82nd Airborne Fireman EMT Scots-Irish disaffected Baptist mentioned to me that he just ambulance-delivered an elderly friend of his to a hospital (a new one to me). “He’s Catholic,” he said, adding, “He’s pretty near death.” He told me more about him: “Everything for him is trucks, that was his whole life. He’s pretty crotchety. His parish is […] but we couldn’t get hold of the priest there.” “Just tell me about all those cases,” I requested. “O.K. I sure will,” he said, sorry that he didn’t tell me some hours earlier.

Thinking he might just still be alive, I took off and met this fellow in his hospital room. He was awake, but utterly non-communicative, other than fierce growling noises. He made it clear that he was the most obstreperous, cantankerous, crotchety old man in the throws of death that anyone would ever meet in this world.

There being a chair in the room, I plopped myself down and told him about our common friend. The reaction was for him to be as obstreperous, cantankerous and crotchety as ever, though this new information seemed to make him a bit curious. That was my invitation to continue.

Here’s the deal: Never believe obstreperous, cantankerous and crotchety. That’s just a test to see if someone can respond in kind (that’s some people’s preferred method of communication and there’s no harm in it), a birds-of-a-feather kind of thing. Anyway…

I told him that Jesus wants him in heaven, that Jesus is just that good and kind, even for him, even for me. Always include yourself in making such statements. It’s a birds-of-a-feather kind of thing.

I walked him through how we would go about him receiving the Sacraments and blessings in the present circumstances, interspersing this with how it is that Jesus wound up on the Cross, taking our place, so that Jesus is deadly serious about getting us to heaven, that He didn’t do that so we could just go to hell. He gave a nod of agreement. So, off we went through a flood of sanctifying grace and hope and being pointed to heaven. Was that just about a tear in his eye that I saw?

As a thanks he tried to express his gratitude, but his impossible voice box and weakened state only made it all sound like more obstreperous, cantankerous, crotchety sounds. And yet, these were polite, as it were. And the eyes told the whole story.

My one-time Baptist friend is the best for alerting me for needs for Last Rites. Don’t think that the angels are not at work.

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Filed under Death, Missionaries of Mercy

WNC Cecropia Moth and… Jesus!

img_20190725_152114_2~23183586347710576746..jpg

This is a rare Cecropia Moth, as big as a bat. They don’t bite. They don’t even eat, surviving only for some days after caterpillar stage. For all of his fake eyes, this guy surely doesn’t even see me. I’m not in his purview. He’s on his way out. This picture was taken just down the way from the rectory at the gas station pumps, in the way of everyone, not long from death. Everyone was busy talking on their phones. No one else noticed him. Perhaps such things are not in their purview.

Are there other things not in our purview? Think about it. We can’t really know if we have no time or desire to see whatever it is we don’t even know we are not seeing.

So, we can ask whether Christ Jesus is in our purview. What a dumb question. As if we would even know what that means. We would ignore Him if we were without His grace even if He had His hands on both of one’s shoulders, trying to get us to notice Him. Our ineptitude of purview is total. What’s important is that we are in His purview. That’s what counts. We’re on our way out. But He sees us. Salvation is then wonderful to behold.

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Filed under Jesus, Nature

Shapeshifter Bernie-burned by “USA”

Gazillionaire Bernie wanting everyone waiting in line for a crumb of bread – a good thing in his own words – getting burned by USA. Sorry, but I laughed out loud. A lot.

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Filed under Humor, Politics