Update: Dear “P”…

Tell me your name and what you do in life, your history. Let’s make this real. Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone. Drop your story in a comment. A pseudonym isn’t necessary is it?

Update: This post is aimed at one person only, the one I call an internet bully. We’ll see if he responds. He lives merry old England. Those who use pseudonyms are usually cowards. I hope he’s not. He’s got some smarts. Very clever, or at least he thinks he is.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

Stop! Look! Mountains to climb!

img_20171215_195439930481746.jpg

Traffic lights stopped me dead after returning to Andrews from Airport Road looking for furniture for an elderly lady who just moved to Andrews from out of state and is dirt, dirt, dirt poor. So, there I was, just sitting there, and sitting there, and sitting there. It’s a long light. And then I saw them like I’ve never seen them before. Being in Andrews is like being in a small mountain town in Colorado. I had to take a picture.

I met a really old guy, you know, older than me, in the supermarket parking lot the other day, who, in pointing to those very mountains, said that he was going up in a few days to do some trail hacking, that is, for the Forest Service, that is, making the trails more passable for crippley old people like me, much younger than him. He was older than me by a good ten years.

I’m thinking that I’m out of shape, and let getting hit by a bus some decades ago over in Rome be a good excuse for me to let myself get out of shape. Perhaps I’ve been feeling sorry for myself. Perhaps I’ve been sucking in all the consoling words of those who saw me in a wheel chair for the longest time, and then, forever it seems, on crutches. That’s not good for the body or the spirit. Perhaps in my own small way I could learn from the Navy Seal guy who was pretty badly hurt but wrote this sign to put on his hospital door:

jason-redman-attention

An old codger, full bird, the Shadow of all Shadows Gray Man, a good friend, told me that any hero we might look up to is NOT just to be looked up to, for that misses the point altogether. A hero is someone you strive to be like.

Going to the “absolute utmost” and then going 20% beyond that. I like that. Perhaps I’ll give it a try. Can you hear my reluctance. Gotta get over that. I should go back on my diet. I lost 20 pounds in a  few months and then plateaued out as people do. Then gained about five pounds and stayed there for about a year. Time to start down again. I could stand to lose about 55 pounds. I’ve given up on the BMI thing as it was made for only one body type and not like mine. According to that I should lose about 100 pounds and be as thin as a toothpick. Not going there. At least I don’t drink at all and don’t smoke at all and try to stay away from sweets. I gotta tell the Church ladies I’m going back on a diet.

Oh, and the spiritual analogy? A mountain to climb? And it’s getting dark out? The spiritual analogy is easy, right?

“I bore you up on eagle wings and brought you here to myself” (Exodus 19:4).

7 Comments

Filed under Diet, Nature

When I was in prison you visited me. Christmas Card from Fr G and P-Max

I think this is the best message I’ve ever received on a printed Christmas card. This is written by a real believer:

img_20171215_1949482059700110.jpg

And then there is the hand written message. This is surely the best message that I’ve ever received on a hand-written Christmas card. And yet, it is very distressing. I share this with you not to toot my own horn, but to remind you of the state of affairs that we presently have in the Church, whereby those who are thrown on the trash heap of expediency of no due process are left to rot by their “friends” and comrades in arms, as it were:

img_20171215_194723313549326.jpg

Perhaps it’s just that I absolutely don’t care what other people think about my being in solidarity with those in prison. And as it is, prison is wherever you happen to be, whether in or out of any stone walls, because it is also a matter of the spirit.

We were all in the prison of original sin and whatever other rubbish sin in our own lives, and Christ Jesus put Himself in our place, allowing Himself to be imprisoned overnight after His condemnation by the Sanhedrin and before His condemnation by Pontius Pilate. We were all useless sinners, dark, egotistic, having no merit of which to boast, in the prison of self-limited spirits.

Jesus didn’t put any limit on visiting prisoners. He didn’t say to visit only those who are innocent or who didn’t receive proper due-process of law (such as Father Gordon and Pornchai Maximilllian of Christmas card fame above). He didn’t say to visit only those who believe in Him. Jesus is our Savior, that is, yours and mine as well. Jesus simply wants us to share the greatest love of our lives – Jesus – with others, particularly with those who especially need His love. This is the way to evangelize. It’s like teaching a class: involve the troublemakers on the fringes and the rest of the class will excel all the more. But not for that purpose, but because that troublemaker is himself redeemed and loved by the Creator and Savior of the world. After all, I’m that troublemaker and people helped me.

People are afraid to do any of this also for the reason that they will be “tainted” because, you know, you have that kind of prisoner as your friend?! Therefore you must be a criminal in the same way as that kind of prisoner. But, secretly, such a bully with such an opinion is envious of the freedom of the children of God to share the greatest love in their lives. And then they throw tantrums all the more.

As far as priests go, it’s extremely rare for me to find a priest who is indignant that his fellow priests are subjected to a system of no-due-process. So many are eager to side with no-due-process so that they can look tough, like heroes. Really? It will all catch up with them. What’s my answer to all that?

I recommend letting love cast out all fear and self-congratulation and simply sharing the greatest love of our lives with all those whom Christ Jesus has already redeemed on the Cross. All are redeemed. We are to desire that all be saved even if not all will be saved. It’s just that we don’t know who’s who, and so we must be in anguish to evangelize until we draw our last breath in this world.

There are those who think that anyone who has sinned, ever, are hopeless, useless, and to be condemned, no forgiveness, no mercy. But they include themselves in this. Those who show no mercy will not receive mercy. But just know that Father G and P-Max are visiting you in your prison by praying for you.

After all, that the irony isn’t it? That by visiting those in prison we ourselves are set free?

4 Comments

Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Vocations

Homily 2017 12 15 – The darkening eye

flautist

I knew it was only a matter of time. An internet bully in London/Sheffield has been wanting me to hate Pope Francis as much as he does, he claiming that he has the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you know, with “reason” and all that.

Yet, I agree with Pope Francis that “reason” without love is quite diabolical, and brings you to the reasoning of the bully boys in the market who would have you dance or mourn, whatever they want because they want it, which is most reasonable to them.

But unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees in all of their self-righteous reasoning, you will NOT enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Some serious words, those. The scribes and Pharisees can do no wrong, ever, for if they did, they would not know where to turn to forgiveness, except of course to themselves. So, they always have excuses for themselves, you know, loopholes.

And this is where the corruption spoken of by Pope Francis comes in. They find all sorts of loopholes that allow them, they think, to hate their brother, never encourage their brother, never forgive their brother, never have mercy on their brother. For them, mercy is diabolical. It forgives people who, like, you know, sinned! And that’s just not right! They should all rot in hell those damned sinners! Thank God we are not like the rest of men! All exclamation points because they cannot, will not listen to the fact that God is both truth and love, that it is not a sin to love others into the truth, by the truth, with the truth, for the truth.

The bully even thinks that I am perhaps Lutheran, you know, like Pope Francis. I wonder if he is the author of this picture (his editing):

POPE FRANCIS FATHER BYERS MOCKED

Well, I mean, you know, my grandmother on my dad’s side was Lutheran. I’m sure that explains it all, though I never met her. Anyway, I’m Jewish. :-)

Anyway, you might want to listen to the homily.

1 Comment

Filed under HOMILIES

Fr Byers, a deputy sheriff? Why not?

Matt Damon spouted off a diatribe in Good Will Hunting as to why he shouldn’t work for the NSA. I suppose it’s the kind of thing that Edward Snowden would, in part, agree with. Sorry for the occasional bad language.

Meanwhile, let’s draw an analogy of why yours truly shouldn’t be a deputy sheriff. If you’re wondering what this is about, see: Deputy Fr Byers? I’m flattered, but… First let’s see what Matt says, then I’ll offer an analogy.

“Why shouldn’t I work for the NSA? That’s a tough one… but I’ll take a shot.. Say I’m working at N.S.A. and somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it and I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East and once they have that location they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians are sayin’ “oh, send in the Marines to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ’cause they were all pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie over there takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over there was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And of course the oil companies used a little skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices, a cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. They’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back of course and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the icebergs. It ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea-life in the North Atlantic. So my buddy’s out of work, he can’t afford to drive so walkin to the […] job interviews which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’ ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue-plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what’d I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure […], while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected President.”

///// Ha, ha, ha. O.K. So here’s an answer I could give to the Sheriff who asked why I shouldn’t work for him as a deputy sheriff serving arrest warrants, and remember, he told me I would go it alone as they don’t have any kind of SRT (special response team):

“Why shouldn’t I work for the Sheriff’s department? That’s a tough one… but I’ll take a shot.. Say I’m working at the Sheriff’s department and somebody puts an arrest warrant in my hands, a case no one else would or even could touch with a ten foot pole. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I bring the guy in without getting killed and without killing anyone else, and I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well, I get my moonlighting money, and I can keep my bankrupt parish open. But maybe that guy, wretched as he is, was the last hope, as hopeless as that is, for another dozen people caught up through no fault of their own in his domain of drug and gang violence up in these back mountain ridges. Now, having this location mapped out, the series of trailers is raided by the DEA, which should have been there in the first place had we known then what we know now, and then, while they trash through the trailers a dozen people playing the hero to none of themselves, people I never met, never had no problem with get killed. Now the politicians of the county are sayin’ “oh, send in the FBI to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a […]. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot just like it wasn’t them when their opportunity to serve came up, ’cause they were all pullin’ a tour on a desk job. It’ll be some kid from Northie over there, another foreigner from outside the county like me, takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the FBI he used to work at got outsourced to a mafia-esque bikey gang he used to surveil. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job being in charge of the very illegal drugs in the bikey gang that he wanted to bring down, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and can piss at the side of the road. Meanwhile he realizes the only reason he was over in the mountains was so we could install a vigilante self-serving government that would sell us all drugs at a good price. And of course the drug makers used a little skirmish over there to scare up drug prices closer to home, a cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy whose living expenses have gone up because there’s no competition because everyone’s on drugs. They’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the real drugs back of course and maybe even took the liberty of hiring a drugged up runner who likes to get high and play slalom with the sheriffs pursuit vehicles. It ain’t too long ’til he hits one, loses the drugs and changes life as we knew it. So my buddy’s out of work, he can’t afford to drive so he’s walkin to the […] job interviews which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’ ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat the only blue-plate special they’re servin’ is back mountain possum laced with contact-Fentanyl. So what’d I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure […], while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take the job he used to have, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up drug prices ever further, bomb any village I want, club a dog, hit the hash pipe myself and, oh yes, join the National Guard? I could be elected President.”

//// Or, maybe, that’s not quite how it works. Thanks but no thanks for the advice, Matt.

2 Comments

Filed under Law enforcement

Extreme Sport North Face of Tatham Gap Trail of Tears Communion Calls.

tatham gap summit ice

This is the summit of the North Face of “the mountain.”

Being from Minnesota, I have to think that there is nothing about snow and ice in Western North Carolina that I can’t handle, especially with all wheel drive Sassy the Subaru Forester, though with only street, not snow tires, no chains, no metal studs.

Stupid me. Notice the bevel of the road is rather severe from left down to the right, and it’s all slick ice. And, at this point, the car just wouldn’t stop tumbling down the mountain side if it started to slide ever so slightly. But, hey, I’m clever! And immortal! I can do anything! Especially filled with adrenaline!

And that’s why these roads are eventually closed in the winter time by the Forest service, you know, for people like me. Sigh.

I’ll see if I can’t put up a video of at least parts of this Trail of Tears, which pretty much starts in my parish church and heads out to Nebraska.

I don’t have to go this way on Communion Calls, but I do because it is a short cut and so very beautiful. I’m quite certain that I have the most beautiful parish in the world.

But then again, I recall the words repeated to me as spoken by Humberto Cardinal Medeiros before the Archdiocese sold a castle in the forest on the rocky north shore of Massachusetts. Someone commented to him standing atop that castle while looking over the beauties of nature just how very beautiful it all was. His response was that he himself found the grimy steel pylons of the elevated trains back in the city to be so much more beautiful.

Boston El Train

Well, I’m sure there is the same adrenaline rush on an icy Trail of Tears over Tatham Gap as one might have being jerked around by the rickety and now closed El-Train in Boston. I remember it well. Someone else also remembers such things:

pope francis bus albert the great

Leave a comment

Filed under Road danger

Homily 2017 12 14 – Taking Heaven with violence hitting the fan. No snowflakes!

dung snow

So, back at recording homilies. This one is on the feast of John of the Cross, but I wax poetic about those who are violent taking heaven by force. No tender snowflakes!

1 Comment

Filed under HOMILIES, Missionaries of Mercy

Australian Royal Commission’s vortex Down Under

australia toilet bart simpson

Australia’s Royal Commission investigating abuse pretty much ignored all abuse except allegations in the Catholic Church. They’ve concluded with two conclusions which show that the Commission itself is again abusing those who were actually abused by hijacking real victims’ suffering for the Commission’s own political end, which is, for wanna-be Brits still in love with wife-killer Henry VIII, to control the Catholic Church. Period. Thus:

  1. The first recommendation is getting priests married so that they can have, you know, experiences, which the Commission says will pretty much eliminate abuse of minors. In other words, the Commission thinks that superstitiously throwing a sacrament (Matrimony) at someone, but with mere coitus on their minds, will resolve deep psychological problems. This is simply jungle witch doctor idiocy that will result in more incest, which is already present at any rate in a huge percentage of families. In this way, the Commission thinks that psychological perversion is just fine in both the priesthood and in families. That this is recommended by such a tribunal is, in my opinion, criminal. Intimating that having sex in one way is a cure to having sex in another way is ludicrous. This is as much about abuse of power as it is about abuse of sex. Priests are married to the Church by the Sacrifice of the Mass they offer, the wedding vows being: This is my body offered for you in sacrifice, the chalice of my blood poured out for you in sacrifice… But what is also criminal is that any seminary teaching the truth like this would be reprimanded by pretty much any bishop in Australia, for so many Australian bishops think and even say what the Commission says, as I’ve written about many times. The Commission, in my opinion, is simply parroting such bishops who have no idea what religion and celibacy and priesthood and family is all about. They are clueless. Or are they?
  2. The second recommendation of the Commission is that Confession will no longer have the benefit of the Confessional Seal, so that priests will be forced to turn penitents over to the law who confess to crimes against minors. This turns religion into State sycophancy. Where this is the law, this is tested by religion police (such as happens in China), whereby a State employee, conducting a sting operation, goes to Confession and falsely reports being an abuser (or a political dissident in China) to see if the priest will report the fake penitent to the police. If the priest doesn’t show up at the police station to make a report, he is imprisoned or worse. Of course, in all this the priest can have no comment because of the Confessional Seal. Just. Wow. The only effect this will have is taking away the benefit of Confession to all penitents and will make abusers go underground altogether. And that, in my opinion, is aiding and abetting of sorts. Criminal. Crazy. This all manifests total hatred of God and neighbor, using politics for this end. There are already priests in Australia who for years have said that they will no longer hear confessions. Get it?

1 Comment

Filed under Abuse

Shadow-dog Snow-dog

First time in the snow. Reminds me of when I was a kid.

3 Comments

Filed under Dogs

AT: USMC and engineers are the worst

img_20171214_1526001682475631.jpg

This view, which I’ve often put up on this blog, is directly on the path of the AT (Appalachian Trail). Jesus and I pass this way frequently on Communion Calls.

At one stop at the Hike Inn, having a chat with the owner, I was told that Marines and engineers are the absolute worst for hiking the AT.

  • Engineers are persnickety and think they can make just one more nook or cranny in their massively huge backpacks so that they can actually carry the kitchen sink with them. You could never fit their backpacks into a small SUV. What are they thinking? Too smart for their own good. They make a few miles and are worn out. They don’t calculate the human factor.
  • Marines are, of course, stuck on 80 pound packs. As long as it is 80 pounds they’ll be just fine. Going 25 miles in one day with 80 pounds is one thing, for one day. But when you’re facing 2,200 miles, that’s another thing altogether. Again, they don’t calculate the human factor. Anything is easier than war, right? Even civilians do this trail thing, right? But then…

In the picture above, I count about 25 ridges over the space of about as many miles. This is not easy. But am I recommending to count the cost before you start? No, not at all. If you knew what it might just cost you before you start you might not even begin. Rather, the old saying about preparing for the worst fits well, but kind of in reverse. Instead of packing more, you pack as little as possible.

The analogy to the spiritual life is easy. Purity of heart and agility of soul, having as little baggage as possible, having one’s eyes on goal, taking up the cross but following Jesus, keeping one’s eyes on Him, that’s what makes it all possible. But maybe we think we can get away with carrying extra rubbish, like the USMC or engineer guys that the nice lady at the Hike Inn meets all the time, you know, because we know how to congratulate ourselves, allowing ourselves to get away with this and that and the other thing. But then the fatigue of the first day on the trail hits us, and then we fall by the way side.

4 Comments

Filed under Spiritual life

Attack Fr Byers, or yourself…

POPE FRANCIS AUTISTIC BOY

Condemned for everything he does, without exception.

There are bullies who damn you if you don’t hate Pope Francis as much as they do.

So, here’s a comment that came in after I didn’t let a comment that was rife with criticism (but not about the translation of the Lord’s Prayer) through the moderation queue on On condemning Pope Francis and his desire to translate the Lord’s prayer:

Come come. Why take so long to consider my comment? Is it not to your liking? Do you think the Pope should be protected from all criticism? Surely you must have read The Dictator Pope by now?

It sounds like someone who went to Oxford. It sounds like a friend of mine. But it’s not. At any rate, it just proves my point. No one is above criticism. But I don’t think that people are to be forbidden to do something good if they have ever – in the opinion of whomsoever – done something less than good in the eyes of that beholder. Ooooo! The Dictator Pope! So what?

I’ll tell you this: I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God with my participation in original sin and by whatever rubbish I’ve come up with on my own in my life. That’s all worse than whatever is listed off in The Dictator Pope. So, therefore, also I can never be allowed by this and other bullies like him to do anything good whatever because I’ve also done those horrible things. But I’ll tell you this as well: Christ Jesus has forgiven me. And I can, in His goodness and kindness and grace, do good things despite all the bad that I’ve also done in my life. And so can Pope Francis.

But if there are those who are so unforgiving that they hold that other people are absolutely hopeless and can never do anything good, that there is no forgiveness for them, that they are never to be encouraged, well, it seems to me that those very people are on the fast track to hell, for they have also crucified the Son of the living God with their own participation in original sin and by whatever of their own rubbish in their own lives. When they pray the Lord’s prayer that they are so snooty about, insisting that it NOT have a more precise translation because they don’t like Pope Francis, they are praying NOT to be forgiven because they have zero forgiveness for others, particularly Pope Francis. Damn him, they say. They are praying that they themselves be damned.

And that’s just really very sad.

Go to confession.

I do.

5 Comments

Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Liturgiam Authenticam is a sad joke

sixtus v vulgata 1590 frontespizio

The spittle flecked nutties by ultra-traditional-ism-ists regarding never making any translation more precise, ever, are so incredibly misguided and ignorant that there is still, after all these years, unwavering and unqualified support for Liturgiam Authenticam, with those on the right saying that the attacks against it by the left are proof positive that it’s all good and must be supported. There are good things, but…

Those on the right who are naive and frightened of any kind of fight in this Church militant want nothing more than to hide behind anything whatsoever so as to feel safe, even if that requires surrender to the enemy, just as long as there is someone with hateful sarcasm and bitter cynicism telling them to do just that, because, you know, all that hateful bitterness is proof positive that someone is seriously on their side. But no one is on anyone’s side when sitting on a fence, particularly when that fence, these days, is made of razor wire. They are merely castrated cowards who know nothing, do nothing, except that they are always trying to please both camps, at least by continuing to know nothing and to do nothing, becoming useful idiots in this way.

Consider that Liturgiam Authenticam requires usage of the Nova Vulgata, whose textual critical principles are akin to those of Erasmus and Luther, so that the Nova Vulgata, however well intentioned back in the days of its being kick-started by Saint Pius X, turned into THE counter-counter-Reformation volley since the sixteenth century, even though it was finally published by Saint John Paul II. It is the Reformation all over again, but this time from within. And the useful idiot pundits merely say: “Well, I guess I never really looked into all that.” Right. That’s good enough, I guess, for the final judgment, right? You can’t just say that it’s all good because it’s in Latin. Nope. Doesn’t work that way.

Perhaps people should take such huge controversies a bit more seriously as they wade through the rivers of blood that have flowed because of these very questions. But we are the generation of being hip and clever because we are snarky and damning of all. And the darkness becomes all the more dark. And the channels for the blood to flow are being dug in just this way. How can we avoid the post-Reformation genocides that raged throughout Europe if we do exactly the same things that led up to those genocides?

As a cure, I recommend two things:

  1. “Humility, humility, humility,” as Pope Francis says. This changes everything.
  2. Give a flower to the Immaculate Conception. No, really, like a real flower. Go get a flower, at a florist if you have to, and put it in a vase, and bring it to a church, and put it in front of an image of our Lady, even on the floor if you have to.  This changes everything. As a blast from the past, here’s a flower sent in by a reader from half-way around the world:

flores holy spirit

Oh, and then, hey! Why not figure out the treasure map:

trent session 4 treasure map

There are rules for the treasure map. Most importantly, (A) and (B) of (1) and then (C) and (D) of (3) and not equated. (B) and (C) of (2) are equated, but only until 8 April 1546, not at any time afterward, that is, until there is a dogmatic decree about it. The last time that was attempted, that particular Pontiff abruptly died before he could accomplish it. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Here are the rules:

1. Of three equivocations, only number (2) is valid.
2. Boxes (A) and (B) are from Sacrosancta, the first decree of the fourth session of the Council of Trent. This is a dogmatic decree.
3. Boxes (C) and (D) are from Insuper, the second decree of the same session. This is a disciplinary decree which does, nevertheless, have dogmatic content.
4. (A) refers to that which God has inspired in whatever original language, Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, etc. That which is inspired is canonical. However, this is not to be found all in one manuscript, but, with the passage of the centuries, spread throughout many manuscripts, one phrase here, one there.
5. (B) refers to words and phrases used in the Latin Vulgate from the beginning until the publication of the decree. The Latin, a mere translation, is not inspired, but because of constant use by the Church, has a text which is more easily known, and can act as a sieve for the original language manuscripts.
6. (C) has the same content as that found in (B).
7. (D) does not have the same content as (B) and (C). Permission is given to print the best edition possible (see “potissimum”) to date. This recognizes that the project may be continue for a long time. [This is the sad state of the Nova Vulgata]
8. What is in (B) is a help to discover what is in (A); it would be advantageous to make good use of (B).
9. One cannot yet be sure what is in (B), as there are many manuscripts yet to consider.
10. Translations should be made only after the textual extensions of (A) and (B) have been duly studied.
11. Translations should be made from (A), noting that a correct sense of (A) can be found in (B).

/////// By the way, it’s just a coincidence, I’m sure, but it was when I was figuring all this out on the patio roof of the college at Saint Helen’s in Rome years ago that a sniper almost took me out. That makes it dramatic I guess. It never bothered me. I was on the top floor about 85 feet up, looking right at the guy:

sniper 2

He was across the railroad tracks in the always open roof window (427 feet away according to google maps):

sniper 1

Street level picture. At 85 feet up, none of the cables would be there.

He would have hit me smack in the heart. Good shooting, really. There’s a drop of quite a few feet at that range. Got out of the way just in time. A nano-second.

/////// It’s around the above treasure map that I wrote a 750 page ecclesiastical thriller (which now needs revising), Jackass for the Hour. One day… One day…

P.S. I’m sure there will be some people who will use the race-card against me, and say that all of a sudden I am racist because I don’t support certain aspects of Liturgiam authenticam. Really? Talk about tender snowflakes having a meltdown. No, I’m not against Cardinal Sarah! Take a breath!

2 Comments

Filed under The Father Byers Kryptos, Vulgate

Processions and Road Danger

img_20171214_0251241021274338.jpg

The route of the Guadalupe procession has passed by the rectory since before it was the rectory. In this picture you can see the police bluelighting the procession (second car).

Although we had arranged for the bluelighting long before the procession, and we do this every year, and the police are super-willing to do this for us, somewhere, somehow, the request got lost in the bureaucracy and I had to call 911 in the midst of an altercation that threatened to turn into a major crime scene. Our True Blue arrived pretty quickly after that, all apologetic that they hadn’t known earlier.

And then there was a second incident. A particular vehicle with an elderly couple drove by, looking pretty perturbed by the procession, but drove on. But then the same vehicle, this time with the middle-aged son, came back. He looked terribly frustrated at seeing the blue lighting. Ha ha. Those blue lights have a great calming effect! Anyway, we all arrived safe and sound.

img_20171214_0258441353603655.jpg

We then blessed the shrine and had the second Mass of the day. The first was at 6:00 AM after las Mañanitas at 5:00 AM. We didn’t place the new statue in the shrine yet as there is still a bit of work to do on it.

img_20171214_0301061292603916.jpg

But there were even more flowers in Church for Mary:

img_20171214_0303501608961536.jpg

2 Comments

Filed under Mary

On condemning Pope Francis and his desire to translate the Lord’s prayer

PIB

Translating the Sacred Scriptures does take quite a bit of study. There are many processes of the historical criticism to wade through, many processes of historical philology and historical linguistics to thoroughly understand, not to mention the semantics as understood by the speakers and inspired authors and listeners back in the day. There is that, but that’s not all.

There is also faith as distinct from theology, as distinct from our own assent to the faith (the most basic form of theology). We also call that theology faith, but that kind of faith, really just our theology and our assent to it, is not revealed. It is a human work. Theology is based on revealed data, but theology a human understanding of that which is revealed. Faith which is supernatural (that is, apart from our human assent that we also call faith but is different from the supernaturally infused virtue of faith), if that supernatural faith is enjoyed with supernatural charity and supernatural hope, well, it purifies much of the limitation we would otherwise put on our own theology, our own understanding of the faith. For then we have no fear of understanding the truth more fully, for we are in love, and love casts out such fear. Faith, then, frees reason to be applied to the data of revelation to come up with a more robust theology, and, therefore, a more robust and faithful, as it were, translation of the Scriptures.

If our hearts are full of hate and we are hopeless, darkly congratulating ourselves for knowing the faith, even what we think we have will be taken away. Our hearts and minds and souls will be full of the worst fear and we will not for second want to actually more robustly understand the faith by way of a faithful theology. We will not only settle for that which is lesser, but will insist on it with all cynicism and hatred for all those who would make an attempt to bring us closer to the truth. Damn them all we would say.

If Pope Francis would like to do something in good faith, why make ad hominem attacks against him as if he absolutely could do nothing except in bad faith? Why? Because those doing this have zero training in Biblical criticism. They have nothing else but ad hominem attacks. Damn the damn Pope, they say. We don’t like what he’s done with other things, so we damn him no matter what, even if he attacks Satan, promotes Eucharistic adoration and promotes prayer. Damn him anyway and always. He can never do anything right.

What are such people afraid of? Why such dark congratulations for themselves?

It reminds me of those non-Catholic fundamentalist Christians who hold that The King James Bible is inspired and is the only Bible ever to have existed, even while they ignore that there are almost uncountable versions and retranslations of the King James Bible itself.

Just. Wow.

Lord, have mercy on us all.

Those with foot in mouth disease should read DaS (Divino afflante Spiritu), for a start, not to mention PD (Providentissimus Deus), and, yes, DV (Dei Verbum).

From Pius XII:

13. We also, by this Encyclical Letter, desire to insure that the work may not only proceed without interruption, but may also daily become more perfect and fruitful; and to that end We are specially intent on pointing out to all what yet remains to be done, with what spirit the Catholic exegete should undertake, at the present day, so great and noble a work, and to give new incentive and fresh courage to the laborers who toil so strenuously in the vineyard of the Lord.

14. The Fathers of the Church in their time, especially Augustine, warmly recommended to the Catholic scholar, who undertook the investigation and explanation of the Sacred Scriptures, the study of the ancient languages and recourse to the original texts.[22] However, such was the state of letters in those times, that not many – and these few but imperfectly – knew the Hebrew language. In the middle ages, when Scholastic Theology was at the height of its vigor, the knowledge of even the Greek language had long since become so rare in the West, that even the greatest Doctors of that time, in their exposition of the Sacred Text, had recourse only to the Latin version, known as the Vulgate.

15. On the contrary in this our time, not only the Greek language, which since the humanistic renaissance has been, as it were, restored to new life, is familiar to almost all students of antiquity and letters, but the knowledge of Hebrew also and of their oriental languages has spread far and wide among literary men. Moreover there are now such abundant aids to the study of these languages that the biblical scholar, who by neglecting them would deprive himself of access to the original texts, could in no wise escape the stigma of levity and sloth. For it is the duty of the exegete to lay hold, so to speak, with the greatest care and reverence of the very least expressions which, under the inspiration of the Divine Spirit, have flowed from the pen of the sacred writer, so as to arrive at a deeper and fuller knowledge of his meaning.

16. Wherefore let him diligently apply himself so as to acquire daily a greater facility in biblical as well as in other oriental languages and to support his interpretation by the aids which all branches of philology supply. This indeed St. Jerome strove earnestly to achieve, as far as the science of his time permitted…

/// But today what we hear is that those who follow the venerable Pope’s directions are to be likewise condemned with bitter cynicism and fear…

Leave a comment

Filed under Pope Francis

Pope Francis attacks the Evil One: Retranslating the Lord’s Prayer

JESUS JUDAS

Judas, possessed by the Evil One, betrays Jesus in the Battle

I think it’s great to see the Holy Father, Pope Francis, wonderfully micro-manage the translation of the Lord’s prayer in English, which isn’t his first language, acting with the immediacy of his pastoral mandate anywhere and everywhere in the Church. Some denigrate this as his being a dictator, but I think we should praise this where we can. This is one of those instances. I’ve been wanting this retranslation ever since I was a little kid. But, oh no, everyone is afraid of not being politically correct. If we changed the translation, people might actually come to acknowledge that the Evil One, Satan, exists, and hates us because he hates God (and God loves us). So, here’s my comments on the story from SKYNews (just to be ecumenical), with more comments at the end. My final translation is actually much more pedantically accurate, so much so, I’m sure no one would ever take it up. I mean, after all, it puts us into humble thanksgiving mode before the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

*****

SKYNews – Pope Francis wants to change the Lord’s Prayer [[No, he doesn’t, just the English translation.]]

The pontiff says a line in the current version implies that God pushes people toward sin. By Bethan Staton

He said the line “lead us not into temptation”, memorized by hundreds of millions of Christians for centuries, is based on a flawed translation. [[All true!]]

“It is not a good translation because it speaks of a God who induces temptation,” the Pope said. The implication is awkward for Christians, who believe it is Satan who tempts people to sin. “I am the one who falls. It’s not him pushing me into temptation to then see how I have fallen,” the Pope explained. “A father doesn’t do that, a father helps you to get up immediately. It’s Satan who leads us into temptation, that’s his department.”
The Pope’s comments, made in an interview with Italian television, could lead to a change in the prayer [[No, just the translation]], which is taken from the Bible [[The translation is from the weird mind an inept translator]] and is considered by some to encapsulate the core messages of Christianity. [[The real Lord’s prayer, yes.]] It also weighs in on a long-running liturgical debate over the nature of evil and the relationship between religion and language, explained Church of England theologian Reverend Dr Ian Paul. [[Yes, well, for the Anglicans. This is SKYNews after all. But also for Catholics, which is why this translation was picked up, as it erases Satan and merely speaks of some sort of generic “evil.”]]

The current version has been used by the Catholic Church since 1966, when the Second Vatican Council decided modern vernacular should be used in services instead of Latin. [[That’s not entirely accurate, not at all.]]

*** My other comments:

The very Creator, YHWH Elohim, said He Himself, as the Incarnate Son of the Woman of Genesis 3:15, would put enmity between ourselves and the Evil One, that is, changing us with friendship with Himself, grace, which He could provide to us in his own justice because of taking the initiative to stand in our stead, taking on the death we deserve, stomping on the head, the power, of the Evil One, but He Himself being crushed for us in doing this. In laying down His life, He lays down ours as well, for we become one with Him, and this throughout the centuries. He carries us as little children into the battle with the Evil One, He Himself doing the fighting for us, but we are with Him. In the Lord’s prayer, the final phrases are more accurately translated:

“Do not let us go into the battle alone [but rather go into battle with us and do the battle for us], and deliver us from the Evil One [Satan].” Amen.

18 Comments

Filed under Pope Francis, Prayer

Lovely Lady Dressed in Blue…

The above video is the most amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing recitation by the Venerable Archbishop Fulton J Sheen.

Lovely lady, dressed in blue,
Teach me how to pray
Cause God was just your little boy,
And you know the way
Did you lift him up sometimes,
Gently on your knee
Did you tell him stories of the world,
Like Mother did to me
And when he fell, did you lift him up,
And make everything alright
And did you tell him his prayers at night

I want to know my lovely lady, lovely lady,
Dressed, dressed in blue
Oh, God was just your little boy,
Your little boy and you know the truth
And did you whisper in his ear sweet lullabyes,
I want to know, I want to know,
I want to know, did he cry

Lovely lady, dressed in blue,
Oh won’t you please teach me how to pray
Cause God was just your little boy, and
I want to know, I want to know,
I want to know, so teach me how to pray

Teach me how to pray

Montra te esse matrem!

GENESIS THESIS GEORGE DAVID BYERS

IVE GENESIS IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CONFERENCE 7 FEBRUARY 2013

2 Comments

Filed under Immaculate Conception, Mary

If the shadow of Shadow is what it is, what is the shadow of “Shadow”?

img_20171208_1306162088395739.jpg

Shadow-dog has no shadow for the past few days as the clouds have made everything everywhere into one big shadow. He’s kind of a shadow of himself, a black hole into which all photons in the universe disappear. However, a very kind reader sent this in from a Texan Parson who also has an all-black German Shepherd. There is a wolfish revelation in the shadow of the otherwise innocuous looking GSD:

german shepherd wolf shadow

Meanwhile, my own “Shadow” has gone dark, or perhaps everything around him is so cast into shadow that he himself casts no shadow. I sent him a text reading: “Jerusalem capital…” He has no comment. Don’t read anything into this. He’s too “Gray” to figure out. Things are never as they seem. Ever. A shadow just looks the way it does because of angles. And then there are those who make puppets of shadows and even of a “Shadow;” and I don’t like that at all.

shadow puppet gsd

Leave a comment

Filed under Dogs

Happy Feast Immaculate Conception

LOURDES-GROTTO

Happy Feast Day! The angels rejoice! The weight of the glory of God shines upon us: can you feel the weight of the glory of God upon you?

Many posts are planned for the blog today on the Immaculate Conception. But right now, it is off to many Masses and other appointments for the feast. I’m one very happy priest on this feast of feasts. It’s Jesus’ good mom’s feast day!

3 Comments

Filed under Immaculate Conception

Deputy Fr Byers? I’m flattered, but…

lion of the tribe of judah

I was having a chat the other day with some law enforcement crowd in one of the many counties in WNC in which the boundaries of my parish spread out. The scenario was again presented to me, for the second time if I recall, that I could right this moment be sworn in as a deputy, be given a gun (Hey! I like my own G-19), a vehicle (that could just be a rat-rod, of course), and could make specific arrests for certain warrants (a little dangerous, that), while meanwhile being given a year to take all the requisite courses just down the road from the rectory. Deputies go about things a bit differently than the police who are required to first of all graduate from the police academy (two years). None of this, of course, would require me, nor was it expected to require me, to interrupt anything to do with the pastoral care of the parish. Anyone in a bigger parish than mine might be left wondering about that, having no idea of how tiny this parish is. Anyway…

The minimum class in this region for the required courses is ten candidates, but they can’t get even that. The minimum is now eight. And they might not be getting even that number for this region. In other words, in asking me, the donkey-priest, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.

donkey in a well

There simply are no guys (or gals for that matter) who are interested in becoming LEOs. No one is interested in service to one’s neighbor when it’s actually dangerous, and in fact, for that cowardly reason, that is why the police and military are denigrated by the very young people who should be joining their ranks.

I’m flattered. But I’m a priest. I’m sure that there’s a conflict of interest in there somewhere, isn’t there? But, just to say, there are not just a few LEOs in the region who are also ministers or pastors or parsons or whatever in whatever Christian gathering. I’ve never heard of this for a priest. And I’m sure many readers of this blog will be horrified that I could even mention such a topic. But, hey! I’m not the one who keeps bringing it up.

DONKEY FOX

While there are many cons, just to say, there is one pro to the argument. This is the very tiniest of parishes in North America. The finances of the parish were accurately cited to me by the LEO crowd with whom I was chatting (about something else altogether before this was brought up, mind you). Those finances, in being cited again and again (they really did their homework, not being Catholic), were a hint that if I wanted to keep the parish viable, perhaps my salary should be coming from another source than the collection of the parish. Well, that’s true actually. We only survive because a few parishioners here only part-time or definitively moved to other states, send their donations back to us. Two of those are now in their mid-late nineties or close to it. In other words, the parish will soon be in dire straits.

If I want to do the Missionary of Mercy thing by keeping a Catholic presence in this most remotest of back-Appalachian mountain parishes, perhaps I should do something about getting an alternative source of salary. And I do not mean the donations of those on this blog. No, no. I should do something about this. But I’m sure that canon law militates against doing something about this by way of my being a deputy.

Thus, in the superseded 1917 code, in canon 138, we see the phrase “arma ne gestent” – a third-person plural present active subjunctive of gestō, providing the subjunctive suggestion that clerics might preferably not bear arms. Subjunctive law isn’t prohibitory.  At any rate, this specificity is taken away in the 1983 code, leaving this to the discretion of the local ordinary. So, the canons of relevance in the ’83 code are as follows:

Can. 285 §1 Clerics are to shun completely everything that is unbecoming to their state, in accordance with the provisions of particular law. [Is it unbecoming in situ when many LEOs are ministers? Surely there is no local Catholic particular law on this whatsoever. Those in bigger parishes simply don’t care. And all parishes are bigger than mine!]

§2 Clerics are to avoid whatever is foreign to their state, even when it is not unseemly [This refers to recreations that are untoward, such as untoward theater, or to such as gambling, or, regarding occupation, such as running a brokerage firm on Wall Street, where you would actually hurt competitors to promote yourself, etc. While being a deputy, who risk their lives in service of their fellow man, is not unseemly in the least, the question remains as to whether it is so entirely foreign. A deputy would be beholden to a Sheriff on the job, not the Bishop, yet the two do not cancel each other out in the least. I would say that they are not contradictory, not contrary, but are even complimentary].

§3 Clerics are forbidden to assume public office whenever it means sharing in the exercise of civil power. [The Sheriff is elected, and that position is a public office – which is a highly restricted technical phrase – but the deputy is nothing, just a hireling with a job to do. A deputy serves entirely and only at the will of the Sheriff, that is, ad hoc, whether over a space of time or for one particular service that may only last for an hour. You’re deputized under oath and then let go. All deputies automatically lose their jobs when a Sheriff’s term runs out, or he resigns or is otherwise deposed. But, again, a deputy is just nothing, unlike a police officer. A deputy doesn’t have an office, but is more like a page for someone who has office. A deputy has no “exercise of civil power” in the highly restricted sense of that term coming under its relation to “public office.”]

Can. 289 §1 As military service ill befits the clerical state, clerics and candidates for sacred orders are not to volunteer for the armed services without the permission of their Ordinary. [Padre Pio was drafted. He went. This is not forbidden. Volunteering merely needs permission. Depends on the circumstances and, of course, just war theory. Get it?]

Anyway, in another tiniest of all parishes on another continent, I provided fully half the budget of the operating expenses of the parish by throwing pottery, for which I actually have a great talent. However, I have no local cache of clay where I can obtain the materials for free, nor do I have a wheel or kiln or shed for the whole operation. So, no to the pottery thing. But for the deputy thing? I don’t know.

We were even talking about the kind of pistol qualification course they have. Sounds easy. Just need 70% in a normal course. Easy peasy.

The thing is, you can be very fatherly and pastoral at an arrest, the worst day in the life of anyone, and bring them around to the Lord, then visiting them in jail or prison. There’s a deputy who was like that in Louisiana, and converted many on the spot. Truly. He was so popular he was elected to Congress. Popular for being fatherly, speaking about the Lord, about honesty and integrity to those who would never otherwise hear it. Hmmm…..

2 Comments

Filed under Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

Earthquakes and fires in Andrews

This was yesterday while catching up on the local news after a long day chasing about the parish. Don’t try this at home. It won’t go well. For this occasion there were plenty of public safety resources at hand. We have a great volunteer fire department. I was happy to have been invited up to the fire house the other day to give the blessing at the Advent meal. The 2nd in command makes the best “turtles” you’ve ever had in your life.

Meanwhile, on catching up with the news, I found out some of the town happenings, quite the earthquake, really. Our new mayor and alderman were just sworn in and they immediately fired many at town hall and fired the chief of police. I wish all the circumstances that went into all of that just never took place. Our chief was a really nice guy and wanted the best for all.

So, draw the analogy. Life goes on. There’s really fun stuff that goes on. Good friendships. Peace. Joy. Service of one’s neighbor. Really good. And then, because of our fallen human condition, there’s also drama, drama, drama. And all of that could go forward for the best for all, with even those taken out having doors in life opened to them that they never imagined. Or it could go pretty sour, and the very town could be at risk. Is not this also our life in the Church? There are really good things for which we should be thankful. Good times. Good friendships. There are also dramas galore. We should just never forget that in the midst of all things, Jesus is the One; He’s the only One. And that makes for good hope, which permits faith to be put into action in charity with enthusiasm. Jesus is the One, the only One.

Leave a comment

Filed under Pyromania