Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Mimosa mime, edition)

The Mimosa trees have been blossoming for quite a while now. The name Mimosa refers in Greek to “mime”. IMNSHO mimes are really annoying, you know, the ones who do the “monkey see monkey do” thing. You’ll remember the Calvin and Hobbes send up:

In Piazza Navona over in Rome there are always an abundance of mimes, including the “monkey see monkey do” type. Limping as I do after any distance walking about, a mime imitated my limp for the laughing crowd. I guess it’s good for humility. I was surprised one day going into Vatican City at the Porta Sant’Anna gate to be see such limping of mine being imitated again, this time by Vatican Police. I was on the sidewalk to the left in the picture, walking past the Swiss Guard Barracks, and the officer was on the sidewalk just outside the check point on the right, looking at me while walking like a limping ape. I mean, you would think they would get it right, and walk like a limping donkey!

What we fallen human beings really find annoying, however, is that God Himself mimics us, even to the point of taking on the punishment of our sin, standing in our place, the innocent for the guilty, looking like a criminal, a sinner, just like us, so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. To forgive everything the mimicry has to be perfect.

We don’t want to see it, of course. It’s too humiliating for us, of course. So we don’t look at the Son of the Living God. But it’s difficult to avoid the eyes of His Immaculate Mother, who wants us to understand what her Son told us about the mimicry He desired of us: “As the Master, so the Disciple.” We take on the rejection He experienced when we live His love and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth. A Mimosa flower for you, Mary.

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Penance for Sacramental Confession

A lady was recounting to her friend the penance she received in Confession, very happy that it was almost completed.

“Father […] gave me a Decade of the Rosary.”

Then she added:

“It’s great, because I have only one year to go!”

Hahaha.

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“You’re just a N****r! We’re going to get rid of you!”

And they did. And he’s gone. That was against a friend of mine. As I found out just yesterday. How do I feel about that, you ask? There is line quoted by Saint Paul from the psalms about Jesus:

“The insults of those who insult you fall upon me.” (Ps 69:9)

I feel that what was said to my friend was said directly to me. I feel that those called upon to handle the situation are likely to treat me for any reason of CYA just like they treated him.

Anyway, that’s part 2 of that verse. The Gospels cite the first part of that verse about Jesus:

“Zeal for you house consumes me.”

Jesus is speaking of Himself. We’re talking about the very Body of Christ.

Is there no justice, you ask? In this world there is very little. There’s plenty of CYA. There’s plenty of virtue signaling, you know:

“I’m better than you are because I’m against any crisis brought about because a N***** has proclaimed to tender snowflakes the love and truth and forgiveness and truth of Jesus. And now we have a crisis! How terrible! Someone’s upset with the goodness and kindness of truth of Jesus! We have to end the crisis! Tender snowflakes are upset! Their crisis is our crisis! We have to get rid of the cause of the crisis! The sky is falling! It’s the end of the world! And there is no such thing as racism! We’re all nice people! We’re all tender snowflakes! Stop proclaiming the love and truth and forgiveness and truth of Jesus! We can’t stand it! SHUT UP! You’re just a N***** and we’re going to get rid of you!”

There’s plenty of kangaroo courts, where the roos punch you in the face to distract you from the fact that they are leaning back on their tails and lifting both hind feet with their five inch claws so that – in one swipe – they completely eviscerate you, while you, guts on the ground, fall down, and are then jumped on to the tune of the gleeful mocking laugh of kangaroos that you never want to hear, as it will be the last thing you hear.

My friend? Departed. There is no “forgiveness” for having black skin. But he will have the last laugh. This life is NOT forever. Racism is a grievous sin which strikes at the heart of Christ Jesus Himself.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (What’s that? edition))

This is a progress report on a bush, flower, plant of some kind that a parishioner with a green thumb has growing out back. That’s cool. She says that it’s a “Cardinal Flower.” I haven’t looked that up yet to know the history of it or why it’s called that. It looks ready to grow taller and explode in very many blossoms.

“Cardinal” refers to a “hinge”.

That’s why there are sins called “cardinal sins” or sins opening the door to other sins. There are different numbers in the lists that come up through the centuries. Here’s a list of eight cardinal sins:

  1. Gula (gluttony)
  2. Luxuria/Fornicatio (lust, fornication)
  3. Avaritia (avarice/greed)
  4. Superbia (pride, hubris)
  5. Tristitia (sorrow/despair/despondency)
  6. Ira (wrath)
  7. Vanagloria (vainglory)
  8. Acedia (sloth)

There are also cardinal virtues, which open the door, as it were, other virtues, upon which other virtues depend:

  1. Justice
  2. Temperance
  3. Fortitude
  4. Prudence

Those work as a good examination of conscience. Meanwhile, there are “cardinals” in the church hierarchy, presently those archbishops who are so named to be of special assistance to the Bishop of Rome, who is necessarily the Successor of Peter. It is upon them, it is said, that much hinges.

And here we become bewildered. No worries. The One upon whom the entire universe and all of time hinges is the Son of the Living God, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, from whom we made red blood to flow. You saw it, Mary. A flower for you.

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Pope Francis removing Executive Power from Roman Curia: consequences

pope francis asperges

So, Pope Francis wants to strip the Roman Curia of executive power. Think it through.

The best case scenario…

  • All executive power in the Roman Curia is stripped away.
  • With no executive power, all positions can be filled by laity, men or women, just a distraction, to be praised by liberals, though it means nothing, since there is no executive power.
  • What’s actually happened is that all Cardinals, Archbishops, Bishops, Priests, Deacons are replaced, meaning that in one fell swoop, Pope Francis has cleaned out all the liberal knuckleheads in the entire Roman Curia.
  • Pope Francis retires, giving a clean slate as a gift to his successor. In this case, it matters not what the motivation actually is, whether he thinks this is an “irreversible move” or not. His successor can do what he wants. Period. Meanwhile, all the riffraff will have been cleaned out. ;-)

The worst case scenario…

  • The status quo: Many dicasteries of the Roman Curia presently enjoy varying degrees of executive power enabling them to carry out their purpose. This includes the Secretariat of State, the Doctrine of the Faith, those involved with Bishops, Priests, Religious, etc. There are hundreds of cases making their way to Rome everyday. Life goes on.
  • All of those cases will instead go to gate-keepers for Pope Francis, who will decide the tiny handful he might have time to decide from day to day. In other words, the Pope will effectively ignore almost 100% of cases that are brought to Rome, meaning even extremely grave injustices will be ignored on a daily basis.
  • Bishops will learn not to be humiliated, and will no longer involve Rome… for anything whatsoever.
  • Then bishops will learn that they can do whatever they hell they want in regard to doctrine, morality, liturgy, a free for all of chaos, darkness, bullying, of smashing down those priests who just want to be Catholic priests, taking them out of assignments and then… nothing… that is… until…

In any case…

  • Popes come and go.
  • Cardinals, archbishops, bishops, priests, deacons come and go.
  • BTW, laity come and go.
  • The Lord is the Lord of History. He sees all.

Meanwhile…

  • Jesus is the One. He’s the only One. Who cares about all this? It’s all seems so self-referential, all so Promethean. Seems that way. But, whatever. What is always absolutely true is that Jesus is the One, not these other guys. Jesus is the only One.
  • We have the sacraments, Mass and Confession. Frequent Mass and Confession!
  • We can be with Jesus in humble thanksgiving, in reverence before Him, rejoicing that He has overcome the world.
  • We can always be enthusiastic to bring souls to Jesus.
  • We can always encourage vocations of brave young men willing to lay down their lives for the Lord Jesus.
  • We can always, with the grace of God, be on our way to heaven. And you were worried about little chess moves in the Roman Curia? Pfft.

Thinking outside the box:

Gotta wonder with all the purposed confusion in the last few years about differences and connections between Vatican City State and the Holy See if this removal of executive power from everyone but one person will further restructure understanding of these two entities with whatever effects in international relations and international law and international finance, etc., on so many levels.

It seems to me that the only one who can out-politic Pope Francis is God. I’m not saying that I think that’s good or not. It just is what it is.

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CYA assigning priests to Jn 3:16

fatima lucia trinity mercy

I was once assigned to a parish (not this one, not this diocese) in a far flung place on the other side of the world. The throw away comment – always the important one – was that I was not to make waves; I was just to be a warm body filling the position of pastor; I was just to ensure that all kept moving along nicely, getting along to get along. Nice!

Of course, if one is faithful to Jesus in whatever way – however otherwise weak, however otherwise sinful – one will then embody the sign of contradiction, which is goodness and truth, kindness and truth, charity and truth, that for which Jesus was crucified. Everyone who is not with Jesus, not with goodness and kindness and truth, hates Jesus and anyone who would in whatever way be attempting to be with Jesus.

A priest is to be all about being a sign of contradiction by being good and kind in a truthful manner, however weak and sinful he otherwise is. To demand that the priest is to be nice, a sycophant, with no truth and therefore no actual goodness and kindness, no Jesus whatsoever, is to entrap such a priest faithful to Jesus for failure in the eyes of those who assigned him. That priest cannot but be a sign of contradiction; that priest cannot for a second be simply “nice.” The failure was foreseen and desired, and vengeance for the failure will be swift and vicious, not nice at all.

The second there is a complaint about the faithful priest not being “nice,” but rather good and kind and truthful, that priest is ripped out of that parish for having had the audacity to be faithful to Jesus, but the accusation, of course, is that that priest wasn’t nice, and couldn’t fulfill even one simple assignment to just keep a parish running with no problems by just being nice.

On the one hand: God the Father so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son among us, to reveal to us the goodness and kindness and truth of the Father, knowing that we would consider that all to be not nice, knowing that we would torture His Son to death, but this so as to take on what we deserve for sin, death, so that He, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

On the other hand: Those who entrap others by assigning them to be nice so that they can later crucify them for not having been nice, but “merely” good and kind and truthful, style themselves in a CYA manner as those who are like God the Father, you know, tough enough to assign those under them to go ahead and be crucified.

There are so many problems of logic with all that, as many as there are with being “nice” while not being good and kind and truthful.

My assignment in that parish was to be “nice.” However otherwise weak and sinful I was, I wanted instead to be good and kind and truthful. I couldn’t publicly condone and vocally bless violent racism and “strict segregationalism.” I was therefore accused of not being “nice.”

I’m happy to be accused of not being “nice.” ;-)

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4 July Salute to America Speech Flyovers

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Andrews July 4 As it should be!

In Andrews its the volunteer firefighters who are trained up to do the fireworks. Great bunch of guys – and gals – who ask for a prayer before starting what always involves danger. All were safe as we celebrated freedom from tyranny.

England? Tyranny? Yes. That’s why we have the free exercise of religion listed among the inalienable rights endowed by God to all people who are all created equal. Everywhere else it’s the government who pretends to bestow any rights if there are any at all, but if a mere government can bestow rights, they can be taken away in the same manner.

Here are some still pics, and then some videos. For one of the tiniest towns anywhere, we have one of the best celebrations in the country.

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Great American Hornet! Populism? Ultra-Nationalism? Globalism?

This gargantuan fellow was out at the hermitage, a Great American Hornet that is also called the European Hornet. There’s a controversy about this. Apparently everyone calls them only European Hornets. You have heard that it was said: “European hornets are the only true hornets native to the U.S.” Stare at that. Native. To the U.S. If that’s true, then can we not say that “The Great American Hornet, truly native to the U.S., is also native to Europe.” That’s my view of it from the hermitage. Making Hornets Great Again, and all that.

Meanwhile, Jesus has stood in our place, the Innocent for the guilty – for all human beings from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. Jesus redeemed all. We do what we can that the many be saved also from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.

In the face of that, can we be so proud of one nation over another? Well, yes, but on other levels. Those other levels, be they political, economic, social, linguistic, artistic, etc., are appraised not by relativistic standards – which is what most all do – but rather appraised by mercy founded on justice, on respect for the individual as necessary to the common good, on honesty and integrity about who we are before God, where conditions of whatever nation are either a help to the free exercise of true religion, of the sacraments, or not.

No individual is better of himself more than another individual of himself. We all stand subject to original sin and whatever of our own rubbish sin, and all of that is responsible for the death of the Son of the Living God.

This not being better thing is also true with time. We’re not better today than those of the past just because we live today. No.

Having said all that, and having been in – if I remember rightly – some 26 countries, it is America which is, in my not so humble opinion, far and away the best country, the greatest country. I’m NOT saying that there are sins against life, against justice, against reason, against mercy. There are. But the Constitution we have is soooo much better than dialectical materialism, etc.

I am patriotic. I’m a proud American.

Thanks, dad, for helping me to understand. Thanks for taking me to all those 4th of July parades when I was a little kid. To all the fireworks shows. Thanks for showing me around Northeast Virginia, Washington D.C., all around this great country of ours.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Trumpets! edition)

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God Bless the U.S.A. by Lee Greenwood

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Resurrection-Butterfly, edition)

These are about a 1/2 mile from the hermitage as the crow flies, or about 100 miles as the butterfly flies. These are Asclepias curassavica, a tropical milkweed loved by caterpillars that turn into, say, Monarch Butterflies.

If you think that Butterflies as a symbol of the Resurrection of Jesus is too sweet, too saccharine to ever be used, ever, think again. No, really… think…

Remember some Scripture verses that Jesus put in the first person singular just before He died tortured to death on the Cross for our sins. “I am a worm and no man.” The Monarch, the King, is indeed appropriate. Just ask our Lady if she noticed the difference before and after the Resurrection:

 

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Civil Registration of Clergy in China

On the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus the “Holy See” published a comment on whether or not clergy (priests and bishops) in China should go ahead and register civilly as clergy. It’s a dire situation. The short comment put out by the Holy See is ambiguous at best.

I’m guessing that this was prepared by McCarrick. I’m guessing that the Chinese extorted Pope Francis to publish it. Extortion is possible. Anyone remember Pope Francis’ “Front of House”, Miriam Woldu, who was murdered just before the homosexualist referendum in Italy? As expected, no one made a peep about that after her murder.

I note that this comment on civil registration in China has no provenance other than the “Holy See.” In other words, the document is so horrifically ambiguous that no one is willing to take responsibility for it, not even the Secretary of State. Incredible. Almost without precedent. I’ll write more about this, please God, with full analysis. But I just wanted to put this out there with a mention of McCarrick, you know, to bait some reaction. Anyone with something helpful to say?

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Pope Francis and… Jesus

How’s your Italian? Pope Francis spent his whole homily on the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul talking about Jesus and us getting closer to Jesus by receiving His forgiveness for our sins. Stunning, really. There was no ambiguous reference to non-repentance or half-hearted conversion as a process, meaningless accompaniment, blah blah blah… No. Just receiving a proper absolution and walking in friendship with Jesus.

That continued in the Angelus message:

I mentioned this to another priest and he said that if I say anything good about Pope Francis I will be dumped by any followers and dumped on as I have been when I say that I’m standing in solidarity with Pope Francis by saying that I’m going to continue praying for him. He’s always asking for our prayers. Anyone in his position as successor of Peter needs our prayers. Does that mean that we agree with everything he says about anything everywhere all the time? No.

But people are really maliciously stupid about this. Jesus says that He prayed for Peter that his faith might not fail. Jesus also called Peter “Satan”. Peter did deny Jesus. Three times. Are we to say that Jesus is stupid for praying for Peter that when Peter turns he is to confirm his brethren in the faith? No. But people effectively do this, becoming themselves agents of Satan over against Jesus. Don’t do that. Pray for the successor of now Saint Peter. Get it?

Hail Mary x 3.

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Status Quo of the Beasts

Shadow-dog plays at ripping imaginary beasts apart all day. He does have some of the biggest canines I’ve ever seen on any dog anywhere ever. Meanwhile:

That’s the normal state of affairs for Laudie-dog. How sweet. But she also knows how to play with Shadow-dog, even if she does get her paw stepped on and even if she does get gently nose-butted in the shoulder:

Notice that no one is baring any teeth. Just play. The good-old days for the doggies.

Analogy: Is this not an example of how to go about helping each other to be more rounded out, so that Laudie-dog becomes more trained up in self-defense, even while Shadow-dog learns to become more of the gentle-dog? Do we allow ourselves to be trained in to be more rounded out by others in our lives?

STATUS QUO is wrongly perceived in received meaning to refer to the state of affairs in which something persists without change, such as the “Status Quo” of the holy sites in the Holy Land. And that could be an understanding of the ablative case in Latin (“in quo”). However, it instead actually refers to another ablative use of another understood preposition in Latin (“ex quo”), so that one is referring to a state of affairs that is a base-line, a starting point, that from which circumstances will now begin to change, hopefully for the better.

What’s your status quo? What are you doing, with the regular use of the sacraments, to better those circumstances? If we have the wherewithal to improve, these are the good-old days for us.

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CIA: “Show time!” Angels: “Show time!”

The lead picture is from actual footage out of one of the windows of Air Force 1. POTUS was being accompanied by multiple F-16s on September 11, 2001. They were there to protect him.

I can’t even count the times I’ve seen such accompaniment from my own window in a commercial jetliner. Most incidents were on the Stateside termination of transatlantic flights. I’m guessing that this accompaniment was not for the protection of anyone inside, but rather to practice being in place for the downing of a commercial airliner if it suddenly itself became weaponized. A common exercise for the fighter pilots, surely. Some examples:

  • Chicago – O’Hare International Airport: With fuel mostly depleted after such an extra-long flight, we were, instead, put in a rather weird holding pattern. The pilot was punctuating the ticking of the clock with apologies. Five minutes, fifteen, thirty, thirty five… Passengers were getting a bit agitated. The weather wasn’t good. That was the excuse. Until the pilot started expressing some distress about running out of fuel, and that the tower knew that, but would not, not, not give permission to land. I think the pilot brought the fuel thing up like three times. I love flying, so I thought it was all good, especially because of the airshow outside, F-16s to the sides of the plane. Cool! It was stunning to me – I’m so naive – that no one could care less about the cool F-16s. The other passengers were too agitated with the flight attendants who were trying to keep people calm by proffering hope for getting to any connecting flights. These were the days of “mere” highjacking instead of the blowing up of planes or running them into buildings. The F-16 on my side of the plane (the left side) pulled away. Momentarily, another took its place. Just practice, surely. We landed. My connecting flight was to the Wold–Chamberlain Field of the Twin Cities in Minnesota. We were diverted mid-flight to what looked to be a small-town airstrip somewhere in a pasture in nowheresville, Wisconsin. After a long delay, everyone was hauled out onto the tarmac. All the luggage came off. Dogs arrived with a multitude of law enforcement… Inside the plane, outside the plane, with the luggage, with us… nothing. That was a fad for some years in my experience anyway. Again and again. Then it was back on the plane. Just training, surely. Great!
  • JFK International Airport: I’ve elsewhere told the story about my involvement when terrorists threatened to blow up a transatlantic flight half way to JFK. I’ll spare you. Needless to say, this was another occasion for accompaniment of a commercial airliner with F-16s. They weren’t there for practice, however. They were waiting for a go-ahead to down the plane if need be. We did land, only to taxi out as far away from the airport as possible, almost in the water of the Atlantic, to be met by a multitude of emergency vehicles and then a storming of the plane by special operators.

I remember the details of these incidents of accompaniment more than the details of others as there were more concomitant circumstances that were… special.

Dad used to train in fighter pilots at Andrews just south of DC as they were putting him through JAG law training at Georgetown University. But how do you train in pilots to down commercial airliners full of innocent American citizens? What’s going through the pilots’ minds and hearts and souls? Unimaginable. But that’s why you train. But the question is always, immediately, Is this just an exercise? And then you hear, No. It’s not. … … … as your heart about stops and then about breaks your ribs pounding so hard.

Analogy: We’re all each of us in crazy changing circumstances every day that are permitted or provided by our Lord who is the Lord of History. He sees all. Our angels see all. We’re expected to be faithful in whatever circumstances, to do what we need to do, whether this means anything from going to heaven when called, promptly, with enthusiasm, or “to protect and serve” as is said. And all in between. Do we think, however, that maybe our circumstances aren’t quite so dramatic, and therefore our faithfulness isn’t really a big deal in those small circumstances, so that – Hey! – we can be politically correct or “get along to get along” or not witness to the goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity that our Lord demands of us every second of every hour of every day?

Here’s the deal: It might be faithfulness in that tiny circumstance that will especially touch the heart and soul of someone and have them turn to the Lord and be on their way to heaven. And that epic saving of a soul is incomparably more dramatic than anything whatsoever that could possibly happen to us in this world. The salvation of souls is about eternity. It’s the small things that are going to draw people in, goodness and kindness and truth and honesty and integrity, always, always, and everywhere, everywhere.

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September 11 2001 The Day

This documentary goes behind the scenes.

Lest we forget.

Half the nation has forgotten, or thinks it’s no big deal, or that merely “some people did something.”

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Going to Jail

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In one of the many counties of the parish we have a new jail, partially pictured above.

I was able to arrange a face to face with a prisoner. There are a number of Catholics on the inside. If not face to face, a huge exception to the rule – conversations are all recorded by way of video conferencing from the entrance way. But it’s all recorded anyway  even when brought inside for face to face in an interrogation room! If Pope Francis only knew that his Missionary of Mercy is talking to people in actual interrogation rooms! Anyway, face to face is a real help.

My foray into face to face took yet another full law enforcement check on yours truly by the Sheriff, as the DOC is under him and they have to defer to him for such an exception. I think I’m the most checked priest ever.

I must say, everyone at the DOC and the adjunct Sheriff’s Office was entirely and totally kind and helpful to yours truly and I thank them for that.

Perhaps that check was easier and faster than normal since my last massive and entirely absolutely thorough check was spearheaded by the FBI quite recently. I had brought something to the Agency – which preliminaries took some months with various top-level agents – until they then decided to bring the case forward. What that means is that after such preliminaries, and then before they start in on whatever case which looks to have some merit, they do a massive, thorough check on the one bringing the case, you know, because, after all, he could be the guilty party trying to frame someone else, right? So that itself took a number of months. I was told that centers all over the country were involved with the investigation, each specializing in different areas of the law using different methods of investigation. Finally, I was told that I sailed through. So, after even more preliminary questions, they started the case. All I can say is that they are following the case rather closely. :-)

Anyway, the diocese then faxed the DOC a letter of good standing for me to be a volunteer.

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Gunslingery and Confession: perishable skills

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I’ve done about zilch target practice on the days off these past weeks what with not feeling well. Although going to the hermitage “range” and getting all set up, I just had no energy to pull the trigger. So, no. For me, that‘s feeling under the weather. I try not to let anything stop me from anything. Gunslinggery is a perishable skill and has to be kept up with. But, no. So, any skill sets have faded.

The last time I seriously threw out some bullets, say, a month ago, I had practiced what’s also called “the failure drill” of two to the body one to the head out 21 feet with a 6″x10″ “body” and 2″x4″ “head.” The anomalous best I had gotten down to 1.1 seconds from the holster, but maybe not accurate (I hadn’t kept up with marking the target). Anomalous means nothing to do with reality, btw.

This time, catching up again – and not yet fully recovered from feeling terribly under the weather which was already bad – I got 1.86 seconds with accuracy, twice, from the holster. But even those times are anomalous, as it’s usually a bit slower than that, in the 2.25″ range. Anywhere under 2 seconds is almost guaranteed to be faster than any urgent mortal threat being carried out as criminals usually aren’t so well practiced.

As someone said, if you want to know where you’re really at, do it ten times in a row all under time with a hundred percent accuracy each time. So, not in this life for me I don’t think. I’ve never done anything like that, at least so far. At least I had a couple of good 1.86 times. Our special operators and agents must do it 100% of the time.

But I did get a 96% (one bullet slightly stray of my reduced tiny targets) on the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal Course. But I was  also DQ’d for all that by edging over-time on a stage or two of that seven stage course. And it wasn’t cold barrel. I was happy to be back again.


Confession: If you’ve been away from Confession for a while, you know that that’s also a perishable skill.

A person who goes to Confession frequently can develop an accurate, informed conscience that is devoid of scrupulosity but which takes care to avoid sin. Such as person more easily sees sin for what it is in all its ugly, selfish, arrogant, entitled reality because of being good friends with the Standard of Goodness and Kindness and Truth, Jesus Himself.

A person who doesn’t go to Confession, who’s been away for a long time, tends to think that they have no sin, that they are good people, that they don’t need any mercy, any forgiveness, that they are just fine with the type of life they have chosen, congratulating themselves that what they do “makes up for” not being good with God in the way Jesus indicated to the Apostles of His own Church, because, you know, they are good with God because they think that they do nice stuff, reciting that nice stuff for all to hear. But not everyone who says, “Lord! Lord!” will enter the Kingdom of Heaven. People can be hypocrites.

It’s true that some who go to Confession do so for hypocritical reasons, as if this chance to be forgiven gives them a right to sin, but this is a sin against the Holy Spirit. It is a sin of despair. It says that one doesn’t want to be forgiven.

To get back to the practice of Confession, to pick up off the charts skill sets once again, one need only… go to Confession. Just do it. It brings great happiness. It lifts burdens. It is beautiful to say sorry to Jesus through the Church, the Body of Christ in the way Jesus had this done, being forgiven by God and neighbor – via the priest ordained for this purpose – simultaneously.

And then one has the peace of being in humble thanksgiving before the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, whereby one’s life is once again on target with all God-speed, aimed at heaven.


And if anyone thinks that this is an inappropriate analogy, just remember that Jesus Himself said that those who go to heaven are those who take heaven by force, by violence.

That violence, by God’s grace, is being crucified to the world, the flesh and the devil so as to live for Jesus, for goodness and kindness and truth, that is, by Jesus’ goodness and kindness and truth. It’s all Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.


If you carry, practice often. Be frosty. Be edgy. Know how to deescalate situations. Know how to avoid situations.

Go to Confession regularly. This isn’t about us being merely exteriorly good as if that were something God appreciates. No. Saul kept the law exteriorly but interiorly carried hatred. Saint Paul, instead, was brought to understand that this was all a loss compared to keeping the law because one carries God’s love. That love, God’s love, only comes from God. That’s the renewal of sanctifying grace we receive with the absolution.

After Confession one isn’t to congratulate oneself for being good (which only sets one up for a fall, trusting in one’s strength one doesn’t have of oneself), but one is instead to be in humble thanksgiving before Jesus, walking with Jesus, rejoicing to walk with Jesus.

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Filed under Confession, Day Off, Guns, Missionaries of Mercy

Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Saprotroph, edition)

A group of Ink Cap saprotroph mushrooms in the backyard… thinner than paper…

They come up in hours at night, burn away in the sun hours later after dropping their spores. So, I thought that’s all I would see. Instead, the backyard has been taken over by these guys.

Laudie-dog is scared of them, even though they seem to have contributed to her getting over her fear of heights:

Laudie-dog has not been shrooming, by the way, as these mushrooms are harmless if one doesn’t drink alcohol at the same time. These mushrooms are called Tippler’s Bane. Laudie isn’t a tippler.

Anyway, I know these aren’t exactly flowers, and I know they these are the ultimate “Natura morta” presentation to Our Lady, but – Hey! – this oldster is still fascinated by all that is nature as all that is nature shouts out the glory of God, with things being as they should be, each thing having its place, each cooperating with all other things to make it all work.

“Natura morta” or “Dead nature” is badly translated as “Still Life,” as in paintings that include fruit and flowers, things that are dead because they cut off from the supply of life from a plant or tree, and therefore are for the moment especially to be valued because of their passing beauty, the reference to “the flowers of the field” made by our Lord Jesus, the Divine Son of Mary.

I myself have often been the subject of analogies to mushrooms of all kinds, you know, someone who is kept in the dark and fed, well, you know…

Why give such a saprotroph to Our Lady? Isn’t that an insult? Not at all.

On the one hand, saprotrophs, in and of themselves, have a beauty all their own.

We, on the other hand, have only our sin to claim as our own, and that sin makes us less than the animals, less than anything, including saprotrophs, which instead feed on us and turn us to dust when the time comes, and it will come, much much sooner than later.

Good thing that Jesus even takes away our sin, so that we have nothing, as the neighbor to the hermitage told me recently.

And that last point, then, is what giving saprotrophs to Mary is all about, namely, it is about the wounds of Jesus witnessed by Mary, we casting our sin unto Jesus and, revealing the glory of the love of the only Begotten of the Father, we see His mercy upon us, having us die with Him, but this time on the Cross… under which Mary stood.

All that comes to mind with a saprotroph. :-)

Of course, we don’t need to overthink it when giving a flower to the Immaculate Conception. We can just do it.

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