Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Trump should more insulting, edition)

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Whatever this is, perhaps a kind of Tulip Tree or Magnolia, it tries to bloom with a zillion blooms in early-mid-February, with many bursting out, only to end up frozen solid. It did get down to nine degrees below freezing the other week, but, it seems, that wasn’t enough to kill these guys off. This tree is about 35 yards from the rectory.

Many people see the beauty of this tree. Saint Paul says in Romans 1 that all of creation shouts out that Almighty God is Creator of all, and is intelligent, and loving, and wants us to love Him and each other. As I say, many people see the beauty of this tree.

But many do not. They do not want to see the beauty of creation all around them, not this tree, not the paradise of the national forests and mountains and rivers and lakes and wild-life. They do not want to hear creation shouting out that Almighty God is Creator of all, and is intelligent, and loving, and wants us to love Him and each other.

As it is, there has been quite a bit of violence near this very tree in the past year or so. One event in particular included a druggie lifting a cinder-block-sized stone above his head so as to smash it down on a four year old girl, in broad daylight, with her extremely capable and loving father standing next to her. That violent action of the druggie was brought to a stop forthwith. Everyone is alive and healthy.

Some points about seeing the beauty of creation and, therefore, our loving, intelligent God:

  • We can be fascinated with the laws of nature and, if we are honest, proclaim with exhilaration that God is a Creator who uses reason and, because everything fits so perfectly well together, we can see that God is, obviously, love. That realization, being awestruck and in thanksgiving, is an occasion to be brought to repentance for not always having been up to fulling that obligation. That realization is an essential start, a sine qua non. It could be that we will be receptive of such graced understanding and take another step. Seeing things and thanking God for them is one thing. But it’s a kind of peripheral experience. It can be done with faith and reason and it’s all good. But there is another step.
  • Being filled with the love of God, we walk in His presence whilst we are in this world – no beatific vision, no! – but we know that we are in a bond of love with God who is love. He’s is the Creator of all. He holds us in being. He has redeemed all with salvation being for those who want it. And then, in such friendship (Jesus said: I call you friends), we also see God’s beauty everywhere, even in the violent druggie about to murder the little girl recounted above. How’s that? It’s not that the druggie or his violence is beautiful. No. God’s hates the sinner as a sinner and the sin, but with a love that may bring that sinner to be a sinner no longer. God wills that such a monster is redeemed; God wills that should it be that such a monster wills to be saved, then that monster will be saved. That’s beautiful. Just because that monster wills to be on the dark side (for now, anyway) does not mean that the children of light cannot see God’s goodness and kindness. Don’t get me wrong. I say that when POTUS Trump said that MS 13 are animals, he was wrong; they – and anyone who is a sinner in their sin – is less than an animal. I mean, animals are great. They do what they are created to do. If we sin, we don’t do what we are created to do, and so we are less than the animals. To call people in their sin animals is untrue because it is too generous, flattering.  I wish Trump would be more incisive with his insults. It would do us all a lot of good.

Meanwhile, these are flowers for the Immaculate Conception, because that’s how I see it, even there are those who do not not, at least right now. Mary saw that scene of near-murder next to that tree. Mary saw the murder of her own Son from beneath another tree, on Calvary. A flower for you, Mary, who walked in God’s presence upon this earth. A flower for you, Mary, who intercede for us that we might do the same.

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Mike Pompeo on China. Bringing swagger back.

Now, if we could just do something more about the persecution of Catholics and human rights abuses in China. But I have a feeling that this is also a concern in the present administration specifically in regard to China such that this will also arise more strongly in negotiations between these USA and China.

I’m not going to comment much on volleys of whatever kind between the Holy See and China in the last couple of years. A new friend, privy to that goes on with such things, enlightened me that there is much more going on behind the scenes, much much more.

But on a secular level, I’m so happy to see these USA speak frankly about some of the nefarious practices of China.

I even detect a bit of swagger, as was promised. That’s refreshing.

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Last Call Fallen Officers Tribute

  • Stunning change-ups in the editing, right to the end.
  • Thanks to the one who did this.
  • I got totally choked up by the end.

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New York Bail Reform: Violent Crime? You walk! Analogy with VIRTUS®

In New York, you can get away with anything for free and skip your court date and still get away without a bond to escape again. So, that invites violent crime, and of course the first ones perps will try this out on are cops. This post is categorized and tagged also as humor because Mike the Cop in the video is so very angry – rightly so – that he can only keep it together by inserting a bit of chancy humor.

FoxNews NEW YORK — Two New York City police officers narrowly escaped with their lives when a gunman fired into their patrol van Saturday night, wounding one of them in an attack officials called an attempted assassination. The ambush, which Police Commissioner Dermot Shea said “should outrage all New Yorkers,” happened just before 8:30 pm in the South Bronx. The officer at the wheel of the van was grazed in the chin and neck, but he avoided serious injury, Shea said. He was expected to released from the hospital Sunday. “He is lucky to be alive,” Shea said. “He is expected to make a full recovery and it is a miracle.” Shea recalled other unprovoked assaults on police officers sitting in their patrol vehicles.

Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, condemned the latest attack at a news briefing outside the Bronx hospital where the wounded officer was being treated. “There’s too much hatred in general, there’s too much hatred being directed at our officers, and it has to end,” the mayor said. “We have to move forward in a situation like this and find a way to create a peaceful society, not one where those who protect us are in danger in this way.” [And the way to do that is to have no bond for violent crimes?]

The two uniformed officers, partners for eight years and friends since middle school, were sitting in their van with emergency lights activated when a man approached them and engaged them in conversation, Shea said. The man asked the officers for directions, then pulled out a gun “without provocation,” the commissioner said. The man fired multiple shots, striking the officer behind the wheel. Shea said the officer’s carotid artery narrowly avoided injury. Neither officer returned fire. The officer’s partner drove him to a hospital nearby. Shea called both officers “heroic” for their composure and said their long association made for “an amazing story.”

Officers had a basic description of the gunman, who fled after the shooting, but his identity was unknown. Security video that appeared to capture the shooting shows the van driving quickly away as a man appeared to point something at the fleeing vehicle. The officers had been stationed in the neighborhood because of recent drug activity and violence, Shea said. The president of the police union, Pat Lynch, said the department will use “all its resources” to bring the shooter to justice. [He means to bring the shooter to no bail and walk and skip town to come back later and do the same thing. You can bring a perp to justice, but New York justice actually promotes violent crimes and crimes of turpitude.]


My own comment on something analogously stupid:

When I sat through the VIRTUS® Child Protection training there were guidelines presented about possibly suspect people, so that if one noticed TWO things in a list of suspicious behaviors, then one was to bring this up the ladder. The problem was that one of the things was showing porn to minors. So, if you haven’t by chance noticed one more suspect behavior, then you are to just let it go. It’s not suspect behavior at all. All good. VIRTUS® is the education arm of The National Catholic Risk Retention Group. They should all be thrown in prison, with no bail before any court date either.

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Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation QUERIDA AMAZONIA of Pope Francis

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The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation QUERIDA AMAZONIA of the Holy Father FRANCIS to the People of God and to All Persons of Good Will, of 12 February 2020, has nothing about female deacons or priests, nothing about non-celibate priests. :-)

Pope Francis: as your Missionary of Mercy, if I can make brave to speak on behalf of the entire Church, we all thank you.

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Things Mother Teresa never said

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Some good ones in there. Some other ones, like the one on success, she would never have said. A friend told me that this poster (that hangs in the soup kitchen) was specifically negated by the Missionaries of Charity. But, again, there’s lots of good things in there.

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Keto Day 83: Exercise for Jabba the Hut

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A reader sent this in. I responded by saying that “working out” is the operative phrase here. Exercising is key to making Keto successful in the best way – cutting down, btw, on any adverse too much fat in arteries fears.

Here’s my sorry story that Keto-ing is turning around. Though I was already a bit cripplely in the legs, some traffic accidents some 21 to 25 years ago threw me into a wheel chair for a year and then “Canadian crutches” for another couple of years. In my weakness, I let that be an excuse for not exercising much at all, with me then ending up as Jabba the Hut. One time I reached 278 pounds. That scared me, and I tried to go on diets, losing even 30 pounds a couple of times, but hitting a plateau and not knowing anything about how dieting worked. That failed.

I was introduced to Keto by a friend this past November 2019, and my doctor (also a Keto-er) gave me the green light, knowing already that my kidneys were in good shape, that my cholesteral levels were good, that I wasn’t yet diabetic. I’m close to having lost 46 pounds since November 21, 2019, and it’s now only February 11, 2020. I’ve still got some 24 pounds to go before getting just within the upper limits of a “healthy weight” on the Bethesda Naval Hospitals BMI scale. So, that’ll be another 48 days or so, but I’ll add just some days in order to get me just a few pounds into the healthy range. That will bring me up to the Sacred Triduum of Holy Week. Hey! Good Timing!

Not having exercised in so long, and being heavy, I’ve become frustrated in doing even a few sit-ups, a few push-ups, etc., giving up. However, in losing this weight with Keto these simple and basic exercises have started to become possible, but still with only a few repetitions. I mentioned my dilemma to a good friend, and his immediate comment utterly dismissing my frustration was this:

The point of exercise is not what you do or how much of whatever, just that you have a set time every day to exercise.

Brilliant psychology, that.

So, being unwise, and lazy, I didn’t follow that advice, doing up a bit of exercise every couple of weeks, when I felt like it. Even that has helped a great deal. It has become easier to do more than one of whatever exercise, so this will now become part of my day. Since I’m only starting, my numbers for the very few exercises I do for a session are pitiful, but I’ll lay out here what I do for encouragement of those who are in as bad a shape as I have been. Mind you, this isn’t much, but for me, it’s entirely fantastic. You gotta start somewhere.

  • 30 sit-ups, but not entirely regulation in style. I would be DQed by any coach anywhere. But the proper form will come along soon enough. I’m content with starting in a Jabba the Hut manner.
  • 30 reps of weights, well, not really weights. This comes down to a five pound three foot long crow bar with some weights attached to either side. Laughable, really. It’s fine to be humorous with yourself.
  • 30 fake push-ups. I’m still to heavy to do push-ups without hearing the smashing up of the insides of the shoulders, so I do fake push-ups. I’ve made a heavy, tall work bench for myself. That’s in the bed-room against the wall. I put myself at a 45 degree angle with that, chest against the top of the bench, and push up. Easy peasy? Well, it’s just perfect for the shape I’m in, so I’ll do this, even though it’s laughable.
  • 30 sets of a quick 5-count of quadriceps conditioning. The quadriceps are the four muscles that come together just above the knee cap. These get very weak and disappear just as soon as they are not needed much, as has been the case with me the last 25 years or so. A great doctor at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester taught me this trick to get them back into shape. You put some weights on your ankles and, sitting down, bring your lower legs almost up to being straight out, but not quite. Then, straighten them out and hold that position for some seconds, then let them down just a few inches, then repeat. He said that that’s the only exercise that will have a direct effect on the quadriceps, which are essential for everything else. Being bad and evil and lazy, I didn’t much do that, but this is now becoming part of my sessions. It seems like a nothing exercise if you’re in good shape, and a waste of time, and even if you’re out of shape entirely it will stupid for a week or so, but then it will catch up with you, as it did to me once when I put on too many weights too early, against advice. Not being humble enough to take direction is what made me Jabba the Hut.

Keto has really saved this sorry knucklehead.

Yes, I really did do a session of those exercises already today. But we’ll see if I can start adding sessions more than once a day.

P.S. That cartoon above? That’s actually a serious point. It’s soooo difficult to stay the course when you have everyone insisting to throw liberal low-carb food at you while you’re trying to do strict Keto.

Few get the plot that it’s a matter of not allowing a switch-back to a different metabolism every few days because that would be terribly unhealthy. However, I’m slowly learning how to insist on just saying that I’ll be doing my own thing regardless. That’s freeing in and of itself. Good training for all things. It’s such a small matter. But it’s these small matters that will make or break someone. It’s good to learn how to handle these small matters well. I think our Lord speaks about that, doing the small things well, and then…

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The Pride of Graham County: TitleTown Saint Pope John Paul II on Sports

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There are still celebrations going on for The Black Knights, the Football Team of the Graham County High School on the North Side of Robbinsville.

They’ve taken their 14th A 1 State Championship. But I wouldn’t want to give the football team too much publicity. Graham County excels in plenty of other sports on the State level, particularly wrestling.

Sports have done much for Graham County. It’s one of the very poorest, marginalized counties in all of North Carolina, and in the Appalachian Mountains throughout the Eastern USA. That they so very frequently finish up in first place says much of the local spirit.

Another sport has been added very recently: marksmanship. How well do they do with that, you ask? Well, those of you who are as old as I am may remember a skeet-shooting session in the The Beverly Hillbillies. It’s kind of like that:

Sports have done so very much to promote unity among people of different backgrounds and of different wherewithal on whatever level and in whatever way. I’ve seen this before in Rosman and Brevard North Carolina, where there have been some amazing coaches. I am reminded of Saint John Paul II’s words on sports:

  • “Playing sport has become very important today, since it can encourage young people to develop important values such as loyalty, perseverance, friendship, sharing and solidarity.”
  • “Sport is a factor of emancipation for poor countries and helps to eradicate intolerance and build a more brotherly and united world.”
  • “Sport…protects the weak and excludes no-one…frees young people from the snares of apathy and indifference and arouses a healthy sense of competition in them.”
  • “Sports, in fact, can make an effective contribution to peaceful understanding between peoples and to establishing the new civilization of love.”
  • “Sports contribute to the love of life, teaches sacrifice, respect and responsibility, leading to the full development of every human person.”
  • “Every Christian is called to become a strong athlete of Christ, that is, a faithful and courageous witness to his Gospel. But to succeed in this, he must persevere in prayer, be trained in virtue and follow the divine Master in everything.”
  • “Sport trains body and spirit for perseverance, effort, courage, balance, sacrifice, honesty, friendship and collaboration.”
  • “Give thanks to God for the gift of sport, in which the human person exercises his body, intellect and will, recognizing these abilities as so many gifts of his Creator.”
  • “Lord Jesus Christ, Help these athletes to be your friends and witnesses to your love. Help them to put the same effort into personal asceticism that they do into sports; help them to achieve a harmonious and cohesive unity of body and soul.”

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Snow and Lourdes, edition)

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The daffodils on the side of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church here in North Carolina are blooming in mid-February, just in time for today’s feast of Our Lady of Lourdes. The picture above was just before the snow and ice came crashing down upon them. And then the rains came, melting the snow and ice, but not enabling them to stand up again. That will need some sunshine.

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Lourdes has its own weather system. It can be all sunshine and blue skies just a mile out of Lourdes, but the village is nestled in the mountains in such a way that it can entirely overcast, and misty, and pouring rain, only in Lourdes. In mid-February, this can make for mighty cold, damp, freezing, dreary days. Here’s a picture I took of that slate-grayness back in the day when I was a chaplain in Lourdes. This is from the Immaculate Conception Basilica above the grotto:

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At that time, after a good month of entirely below-freezing temperatures, I laboriously made my way down the icy zig-zag path from the Chaplains House above to the grotto. Stopping at the grotto before heading off to hear confessions, I noted these gentle roses smashing through the ice and snow to give honor to Our Lady on her feast day:

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I love Lourdes.

LOURDES-GROTTO

When Saint Bernadette insisted on knowing the lady’s name, the response in the local dialect was:

QUE SOY ERA IMMACULADA COUNCEPCIOU

I AM THE IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

In humility we find truth. She who is the Queen Mother, the immaculate, virgin, Mother of God, Mother of Jesus, Queen of Heaven and Earth, of angels and men, is equating herself with her conception. Why? Because at that time – due to her being free from original sin as we understand from Genesis 3:15 and Luke 1:28 – she was completely and already perfectly doing the will of God just as she is now in heaven. And that’s what’s important, doing the will of God. For us that means remaining in the state of grace, keeping up with the Sacraments, being on our way to heaven, love of God and love of neighbor, our lives entirely dedicated to the Immaculate Conception’s Divine Son, Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One, and His good mom always points us to Him.

Oh, and I promised to put up this picture as well:

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This is the statue that used to be in the shrine at the parish church. That was replaced, with this one finding a place in a kind-of-a-grotto high up on a ridge overlooking the parish from the mountain range due South of the church. I’m happy to see the angel there. Can you see him?

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Hey! Pope Francis! Priestly celibacy is doctrinal and necessary for the Church

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There are rumors!

  • There are rumors that Pope Francis is going to publish the Amazon Synod “document” or throw-away “dialogue point” this Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
  • There are rumors that priestly celibacy will be thrown away.

If that’s what you intend Pope Francis, you have in that case certainly been coprophagic. Too bad, that. Let me instruct you.

  • We were created male and female, for marriage and the family, as the image of God.
  • We lost that in original sin. To redeem us from that Jesus would marry His bride, the Church, with His wedding vows at the Last Supper: “This is my Body given for you in sacrifice, this is the chalice of my Blood poured out for you in sacrifice.” Those vows are connected to His sacrifice on the Cross: He stood in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, He therefore having the right in His own justice to make us one with Himself, He the Head of the Body, we the members of the Body.
  • The priest repeats those consecrations in Persona Christi. The priest is married to the Bride of Christ, the Church, by the wedding vows he recites in the first person singular at the wedding banquet of the Lamb, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
  • As it says in the Scriptures, we priests are to be married but once. That “one time” refers to the Bride of Christ, the Church.
  • If the priest was already married, say, Saint Peter, then the Church provably, demonstrably, inescapably understood this to be a Josephite marriage (in which Saint Joseph was entirely chaste in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who continued to be a virgin). This is evident in the Councils to follow in those early centuries.
  • To disregard this marriage of Christ so as to have married men in the Amazon and then around the world who are not living a Josephite marriage just so that they can say Mass but not hear Confessions is to disregard the redemption of the image of God in us by way of Christ’s marriage with His Bride, the Church. It is to disregard Calvary. It is to disregard original sin and personal sin. It is to say that Christ is useless and did nothing for us at the Last Supper and upon the Cross. It is to say that Christ is a damn fool.
  • Moreover, the priesthood must therefore be male. A woman-priest would be the symbol of transgenderism and of lesbianism, a woman married to the Bride of Christ. How sick is that?

Is that what you really want, Pope Francis?

  • Speak to us instead about the redemption of the image of God in us, about the redemption of marriage and the family by way the Last Supper and Calvary.
  • Speak to us instead about who priests really are as they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as they forgive sin of those who are repentant.
  • Speak to us not of your own personal version of a Jesus who has zero power to sanctify people, making all lost hope, throwing them into despair, but speak to us instead of the Divine Son of the Living God, immortal, holy, who can bring us to a love which is consonant with truth, and to a morality which is the splendor of the truth, you know, the Veritatis splendor.

I hope you are not offended by my making brave to say such things, but it is out of love for you. You are the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ.

I am not your “yes man.” I am not your sycophant. I am your good servant, but God’s first.

Stop scandalizing the entire Church and the entire world. We want a holy Holy Father.

Just to say, it is when priests do not know that they are married to the Church that all problems start. When marriage is not open to life, it tends to be sex tending to death. If it’s just sex, then the door is open to homosexuality. If priests don’t even know they are married, and are therefore not open to the forgiveness of sin, and have no hope of anything about redemption and salvation, they turn to sin. Look at the history of it, since the rejection of Human vitae on late July, 1968. Get it? Wake up!

The worst case scenario: After getting rid of priestly celibacy, the worst case scenario would be that executive power in the Roman Curia would be reserved only to the Pope, who can only handle a case or two a day, so that all other cases of that which would have involved Rome now will be dealt with only by the local bishop. In that case all hell will break out. Zero governance. Zero discipline. Good priests will be assigned to nothing, then lose their salary, then lose their insurance, then be dismissed from the clerical state as useless creatures who only offer liability. You know the drill: pro bono ecclesiae.

Oh. I forgot. Pope Francis already promised long ago to take away executive power from the Roman Curia just after finishing publishing the “document” of the Amazon Synod.

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Sinaloa Cartel Cathedral Wedding? No. Listen up, fake-news reporters…

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Joaquín Archivaldo Guzmán Loera “El Chapo”, reportedly worth more than USA$1,000,000,000.00 in blood money, with well over 200,000 deaths and disappearances accredited to his Sinaloa Cartel, is now serving a life sentence in the only Level 5 U.S. Penitentiary existing today. That’s in Florence, Colorado, an ADMAX facility (Administrative Maximum Security), or “Ultra-Max.” Stories about him are of interest to me since, way back in the day when he was just getting started, my “Shadow” did up arms transfers for him. In other words, many of those AKs and ammo have my own name written all over them. That’s all something I’ve been trying to stop for quite some time. Always the uphill battle.

Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán Salazar, the daughter of “El Chapo”, just got married to Édgar Cázares, the nephew of an alleged cartel money launderer in a private Mass at the cathedral in the capital city of Sinaloa, Culiacan. The cathedral, pictured above, was locked down and other Catholics locked out for the event. Many of the Cartel crowd were in attendance. All the usual accoutrements were at hand, like bullet-proof vehicles. Doesn’t quite look right, does it?

Reportedly, this wasn’t a violent takeover the cathedral with guns blazing, followed by a secular “justice of the peace” signing of documents, doing this in the cathedral for the photo-op so as to make a show of the local church being under the power of “El Chapo.”

Reportedly, this was a full on celebration of the sacrament of Holy Matrimony during the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, meaning, in that case, that a Catholic priest was fully participating.

The shock value desired by the cartel goes far to desensitize actual believers and normalize cartel governance not only of the police and military and politicians and the government, but also of the local churches.

However, no reporters were invited inside. We don’t know what happened. That could be for a number of reasons, one of them being security.

But another reason could be that there was no priest, no Mass, no sacramental wedding, just a fake show of fraudulent Catholics, blathering on about their love for one another before jaded guests, all of them congratulating each other on their mocking of God together. The wedding vows are insincere. The wedding never actually took place. It’s just a brutal promise to use each other for ulterior motives.

But even if there was a priest, a Mass, the whole show of sacramental wedding vows, I contend that this cannot be a valid celebration of Holy Matrimony, even if Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán Salazar, the daughter of “El Chapo”, and her present hubby, Édgar Cázares, have sworn off all connections with the Sinaloa cartel and indeed had nothing ever to do with the cartel on any level whatsoever. Isn’t that guilt by association, you might ask? Well, in this case, I would say yes, it is guilt by association, not just in opinionated judgement of someone with direct stake in the matter, but in reality, real guilt of real people, even if only by association.

Here’s the deal: the ceremony, whatever it was or was not is not important. What was entirely essential was the fact that this was done with the knowledge of reporters snapping pictures outside and at the reception; what was all-important was that this was done at the Cathedral of the capital city of the State of Sinaloa, the den of the Sinaloa Cartel; what was all-important was that the Sinaloa cartel has gone to great lengths to manufacture theatrics for world consumption. So…

If the bride, Alejandrina Gisselle Guzmán Salazar, the daughter of “El Chapo”, and her present hubby, Édgar Cázares, were sincere about their wedding vows being valid and a celebration of the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony so that their marriage and family was the redeemed image of God by way of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass providing them sanctifying grace to actually love each other as Christ Jesus loved the Church, He laying down His life for His Immaculate Bride, the Church Jesus, Christ our God, Himself founded, His wedding vows expressed in the Consecrations at Holy Mass, the Last Supper, united with Calvary – This is my Body given for you, in Sacrifice, this is my Blood poured out for you, in Sacrifice – if Alejandrina and Édgar, knowing that they had to prepare for their final judgment always coming for all of us much sooner than later, if Alejandrina and Édgar had this as their motivation, thus providing valid vows for their marriage, in that case Alejandrina and Édgar would NOT have gone along with all the pro-Cartel theatrics. The marriage, regardless of any priest or Cathedral is entirely invalid. They are NOT married.

You object that they might have been bullied into tolerating this mockery of Christ’s own wedding with His Bride, the Church, you know, because bullying is the way of the cartel. You know the drill: you get with the program or disappear. So you do it.

Really? You deny Jesus before men thinking Jesus will not deny you before our Heavenly Father at the judgement? What happened to martyrdom? But I’m not at all speaking about their subjective moral innocence or guilt. No. This is about the public, ecclesial validity of their vows. So: If they were coerced into this, then by definition their vows are invalid.

The Bishop and, if there actually was a priest involved, should make a joint statement that they were coerced into doing this – if they indeed had to be coerced… – and that obviously the wedding vows are invalid, and that the Sinaloa cartel is itself entirely evil, condemning all their killings and violence and destruction of lives. They should state the condemnation and denunciation of the vows even if it was all done entirely without their knowledge, say, while the bishop and all the clergy were at a clergy conference or retreat elsewhere in the diocese. Right? On that note, I otherwise have no indication that the Bishop and any priest who may well have refused to participate in any way did not suffer, and greatly, for having objected. The Sinaloa cartel is ruthless.

Look, I’m not going to judge the Bishop or any priest for not publicly condemning anyone. They may literally have guns to their heads. Literally. They can let people know quietly, my discreet word of mouth. Believe me, this kind of information spreads instantly, but you’ll never know it. Believers are sick of cartel violence and will support their clergy.

I’m exaggerating, you say? The other night in a private meeting more cartel / church theatrics were related to me about a certain parish in a certain diocese where the Sinaloa cartel is most active. Without any involvement by the parish priest or the diocese in question, the cartel had built a new mission church in that parish, and was trying to force the pastor to make use of “their” church as a parish church. The priest wouldn’t do it. Blessings upon him. But none of those stories are reported, are they? And that tells me that what are admitted to be conjectures about anything scandalous are in fact manufactured, fake news for the benefit of the coprophagic, as Pope Francis would say.

It is a sign of the loss of hope, and therefore of despair, when one falls into instant assumption that all are guilty of everything that anyone accuses anyone of doing. Were the Bishop and any priest absolutely guilty just because some reporter made conjectures about that which he could not verify? Despair is a sin. We’re not to go there.

  • Jesus was falsely accused.
  • But He was accused by the Chief Priests and Elders of the People; it has to be true!
  • No, it doesn’t have to be true. In fact, listen to this beatitude:
    • “Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way.” (Luke 6:22-23)
    • “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you (falsely) because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12)

Reporters went from pictures outside of a building to accusing the church by conjecture of money-laundering for the cartel by way of the collection. Really? Could be. Anything is possible. But, guilt because of accusation by reporters who get paid for salacious stories, true or fake news? I should like to think that the Bishop and any priest accused of participation are instead enjoying the blessedness of the Beatitude cited above.

Let’s not forget Cardinal Juan Jesús Posadas Ocampo, who was vociferous in his opposition of the cartels, and was “accidentally” caught up in “crossfire”, being shot 14 times in the chest at a distance of about six inches, with the rifle barrel shoved through the open car window in which he was sitting, was an enemy of the cartels, and, in my opinion, a martyr. But fake news is eager to say that church subservience to “El Chapo” has been going on for some thirty years, since that assassination, in fact, which doesn’t make sense. The result of the international investigation was that the Tijuana cartel was tricked by “El Chapo” into thinking that the guy in that car was “El Chapo” himself, their mortal rival of the Sinaloa cartel. Get it? Even if the Tijuana cartel pulled the trigger, the trigger was operated by the Sinaloa cartel. The Cardinal was used by the Sinaloa cartel and this usage of the Church continues with the use of the Cathedral in Culiacan, Sinaloa.

The wedding was just as fake as everything else about the fake glories of the ever supremely glorious “El Chapo,” who garners only fake adulation by people who are scared to death of him. Oh, he does nice things too, such as fixing roads and building bridges for “his” people. They pretend to love him for it, having parades in his honor. All fake. I bet he pays – just as a possible example – construction companies a thousand times the price of a project, and then is given 999 times the price of the project back. Money laundering anyone?

A note to news outlets: You report conjectures as if they were events that have taken place, thus capitalizing on the blood of so many who have died. Yours also is a blood sport, and you have all that innocent blood upon you. What is it that you are doing with your lives? You put peoples’ lives more at risk because of what you do. What for? For $10 bucks more in your paycheck this month?

Finally: Jesus was in solidarity with us, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He would have the right in His own justice to forgive us our sin, our idiocy, our misuse of others for ourselves, and bring us to heaven. He asks that while we live in His grace with that forgiveness, we ourselves live also His love and respect for others, even as we, while still in this world, also suffer through the other effects of original sin and our own, including suffering the mistreatment of others. Come over to the light. It can mean suffering for the cause of all that is good and kind and true, but that is all out of love, for God is love. God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son…

Jesus crucified passion of the christ

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Adoration: the Most Blessed Sacrament because Jesus is the One, the only One

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Total novices in the spiritual life often think they are well advanced in the spiritual life, and those who walk with our dear Lord throughout the day and night often think they are the most knuckleheaded among Jesus’ little flock. Truly. You just cannot, cannot, cannot judge yourself, proclaiming that you know you’re “advanced” because of this or that whatever that you think you recognize, say, in the writings of an Elizabeth of the Trinity, of a Thérèse of Lisieux, of a Teresa of Avila, of a John of the Cross, of…. of… Just. No. It doesn’t work that way.

Those who think they know where they are at are putting their attention on themselves. They walk with themselves. They do not walk with Jesus.

Here’s the deal, we do not have the beatific vision. We have no standard of comparison of where we are at. We are never adequate to judge ourselves. And even if we could get a somewhat accurate idea about ourselves before God, we would still be wrong. Indeed, even the great Saint Paul says he cannot judge himself. We are here upon this earth, while hopefully on our way to heaven, not in order to stagnate, but in order to grow. And that demands that we admit that we have room to grow.

A couple of years ago I met a young man who was thinking of going on a certain retreat for vocational discernment that had strict requirements for minimum and maximum age for participants. I asked how old he was, stupidly guessing 18 years of age. His response was utter dismay. He was 19 years old, and therefore, he insisted, so very much wiser, so very much more experienced, so very much more capable in every way than a mere 18 year old. It is he who has the wisdom of age. And how DARE I guess that he was a mere 18 years old. He was apoplectic about it. Well. Goodness. Alright then.

Any self congratulation is self condemnation.

Having said that – condemning myself, because that’s exactly what I do if I look to myself in any way whatsoever – I should like to relate an experience I had the other day here in the rectory, where there is a little chapel with the Blessed Sacrament. [The above picture is of our parish church the other day, not the chapel in the rectory!]

I was passing by the open door of this little chapel – greeting Jesus and Mary as I walked by – as I do a hundred times a day, but this time I was stopped dead in my tracks. It was as if Jesus and Mary were looking upon me with… well… with an attitude similar to that which I rejoiced to see in Rome with the Missionaries of Charity while the sisters would try to organize the geriatric street people in their hostel situated between the Colosseum and the Circus Maximus. These sisters were really tough, but with charity. But, oh my, they were tough! You have to be tough with street people, and with geriatric street people to boot. Jesus had to be tough, hanging on the Cross as He did for us, Innocent for the guilty. His good mom, Mary, had to be tough, standing under the Cross in solidarity with Jesus, and therefore in solidarity with us.

Back story: Many years ago, during the most intensely academic of my years at the Pontifical Biblical Institute, I determined that if I were to survive as a priest of Jesus Christ, I simply had to have an apostolate of some kind. Volunteering with the Missionaries of Charity was a natural choice for me since I was great friends with many of them all over the world. The sisters were desperate for a man to give showers to some few of the helpless geriatric men who were to be in residence with them long term. “Showers.” That’s a euphemism. “Shower” means literally scrapping off of these helpless geriatrics their diarrhea which was long dried and caked and melded into their stand-on-their-own trousers. The stench! After that, maybe some of their other medical problems and issues could be dealt with. But first things first. I did this one morning every week for years. And, yes, if you’re wondering, this did lead to the spiritual life where there was none before. Tears on their part. Rejoicing on my part. Seeing a soul contrite before the living God, even while getting dried and caked diarrhea scrapped off of you is entirely beautiful to behold. “What you did for the least of these you did to Me” and all that.

Which brings me back to my stopped-dead-in-my-tracks walking by the chapel door at the rectory experience. I was instantly in the place of any one of the geriatric street geezers at that hospice, while Jesus and Mary were in the place of the Missionaries of Charity. Jesus was discussing with Mary what could possibly be done for me to wake me up to the glories of the Living God right before us, with me being so blind to all of this. I have no idea about that discussion, except my own two-fold reaction to the fact of it:

  • On the one hand I realized a bit more of my dire need, also that I was ignorant of knowing most of that of which I am in need.
  • On the other hand I rejoiced that Jesus and Mary had me in mind.

Those are both things that we can know and rejoice in on an intellectual level. It’s just that this were very personally to the center of heart and mind and soul, with the emphasis on a personal connection with them, even if I was just another of the geriatric old street geezers needing a bit of help from them. I could see that they did this in their great love that had nothing whatsoever to do with anything about any worthiness or unworthiness of mine. This was about their entirely gratuitous great love.

That’s the kind of thing that wins my heart over to the Heart of Jesus, you know, like the soldier on Calvary, after he had thrust his sword into the Heart of Jesus. That’s when that soldier knew that Jesus was the One, the only One. That soldier then immediately said: “Truly this is the Son of God.” No self congratulation there. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus is the One. The only One.

Should anyone proclaim that surely I’m a sinner in this way or that, you know, the usual, that I’m lazy because I don’t bilocate, that I’m gluttonous because I’ve had to go on a Keto diet (44+ pounds now lost in 2.5 months), that I’m a slob because I didn’t trim my beard today, and so on, my response is that they should update their condemnations, and say that I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God. I have. But while I have Jesus’ words “Father! Forgive them!” ringing in my ears while I continue to do my worst, piercing open the Heart of Jesus like that soldier, in recognizing that that’s what I would absolutely do if without the grace of God, that’s also my invitation to take the attention off myself and put it on Jesus, proclaiming “Truly this is the Son of God.”

And that’s how Jesus and Mary scrape the s*** off of yours truly and have me know that I’m part of the family, rejoicing that I can thank not me for this, but them alone.

Experiences like this speak nothing whatsoever about one’s growth in the spiritual life. Such experiences might speak to the fact that one needs special help, because of almost being a lost cause. Although nothing is impossible with God. Whether we notice that we are noticed by Jesus and our blessed Mother, we are nevertheless taken under their charge. We are all their special projects. We are all in need of being set right by them. For me, it is perhaps that I am in such need of getting a kick in the back end that I noticed the two of them noticing just me, a donkey priest. Not a vision, not a locution, no. Just my blackest and beadiest of black and beady hearts averting to the fact that Jesus is the One, the only One, and that His Mother is ours. Please God I will follow up on this. Our time is so short upon this earth.

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“George, Leonardo Sandri is your friend. He is a friend to you. Your friend.”

Cardinal Leonardo Sandri

On multiple occasions, way back in the day, a certain “papabile” Cardinal friend – well placed in the very top ranks of the Roman Curia and then high up in the College of Cardinals – insisted, saying to me on so many different occasions right through the years:

  • “George, Leonardo Sandri, your friend, is a friend to you, your friend. He is someone who… And then a sometimes biting analysis of Sandri’s modus operandi would then be stated, at times in some detail, how and with whom he worked… which would immediately be followed by “but he will learn.”

That last bit was not at all a criticism, but rather a compliment about quick and sharp capacities to maneuver in the fog of battle of a steep learning curve, a great skill for any diplomat. This would be followed by a report of any recent promotions or activities or friendships – I think he even mentioned once Sandri’s health – and then my Cardinal friend repeated the statement again that “Sandri is a friend to you, George, your friend.”

On some occasions this certain Cardinal friend of mine (who, obviously, was a close friend also of Sandri and would meet with him regularly), was going to say what it was in particular that instigated such proclamations of Sandri being my friend, but then he would catch himself rather abruptly and would not continue. If I remember some indications correctly, it seems that not-then-a-cardinal Sandri had made an intervention favoring yours truly at a certain meeting in which my own name had arisen.

I must say that I was quite baffled by all this unsolicited information about Sandri, particularly about the friendship thing. I never did find out more about this. As far as I know, I had never met Sandri even in passing.

There are many who are saying various and sundry things about Cardinal Sandri these days. Nota bene: I have no idea about any of that whatsoever. None. I’m sure many will draw conclusions about myself based on all this. I guess I’m baiting them to do just that. The gossip mongers are what they are and know nothing of what is actually going on, never allowing the admonition of Jesus regarding serpents and doves.

Anyway, I would like to have a chat with Cardinal Sandri about our mutual friend, and perhaps to learn what some of these mysteries were about back in the day.

If someone across the pond puts this little reminiscence on his desk, perhaps he would make a minute or two for me in the two weeks following Easter of 2021, when the Missionaries of Mercy are again scheduled be in Rome.

I also have an easy favor to ask of him regarding a rather academic project I had been working on with our mutual Cardinal friend, and would like to complete. But I need help from the movers and shakers. Cardinal Sandri is now one of them. It’s been kicked around in the CDF and the Secretariat of State and the Pontifical Family. It’s needs a final encouragement. It would be a posthumous favor to our mutual friend.

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Keto Day 82 – Imaginative recipes

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The ice cube soup picture was sent in by a reader making fun of Keto, all for encouragement, mind you. Day 81 was finished by having lost 44.6 pounds. That’s more than 1/2 pound a day, if you’re counting. Still feeling much, much better and full of energy and not hungry and able to exercise and lots of other health and psychological benefits. I’m NOT saying I’ll be on this diet much longer. Just until I reach my goal, which is to be in the upper range of “healthy” on the BMI scale.

BTW, I think ice cube soup is what pilgrims get to “eat” while doing a penitential pilgrimage to Saint Patrick’s Purgatory on Station Island in Lough Derg, County Donegal, Ireland. I think the cooks also throw in a very granules of black pepper for taste. The pilgrimage tradition goes all the way back to the fifth century, when Patrick was there.

Mind you, it’s not the ice cube soup that is in any way Keto. Whilst the pilgrims at Lough Derg relish their ice cube soup after having walked the rock in the ice cold water, they smell the aroma of bacon wafting along from the windows of the warm kitchen of the priests house. “Bacon.” That’s Keto! ;-)

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On becoming an old geezer. I like it.

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It’s important to keep a sense of humor.

This was seen at a Communion Call the other day. The old geezer guy there, down at Shootin’ Creek (a real place in these most remote of back ridges of the Appalachians), has stage four cancer. His wife is so helpful and loving to him. Neither are senile.

I love being a priest, taking Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament through His beautiful creation to His Little Flock. It’s so very easy to see Jesus in His Little Flock.

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Update: Shadow-dog & Laudie-dog

Out of the blue my favorite State Department Diplomat (now retired) has sent in some doggie-treats for both Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog.

As you can see, Shadow-dog is doing his happy-dance in the freshly fallen snow. Laudie-dog doesn’t much care for the snow, but retains her most photogenic happy-smile:

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But don’t be fooled. Both are fiercely protective of yours truly. The happy-dance of Shadow-dog is actually a battle drill, seeing if he can be as aggressive in the slippery snow as he is on dry packed soil:

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Yes, I should think so. Those paws are about as big as Laudie-dogs whole face. Good thing they are friends.

Thanks, Charlene.

Meanwhile, I apologize for having disappeared for some time. Sooooo busy doing the priest thing. I love it. There are many emails and comments I have to get to. Sorry if it seems I’ve not been getting to these. No intention to snub anyone. If I were to give a rundown of my day yesterday, absolutely running from 3:00 AM to 7:00 PM it might be more understandable.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (What will be a man is already so, ed.)

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It’s the “dead of winter.” February in the northern hemisphere. It’s not that there’re not any flowers in these dark days. You just have to know where to find them. They could be in bud-form. These buds were found on the very top of a mountain ridge at one of my Communion Call stops.

The other day we had a closing Mass for a Knights of Columbus sponsored novena of prayer for the establishment of a greater respect for life in these USA and around the world, that is, respect for life from natural conception to natural death.

So, “from natural conception…” Why is that? Surely that “product of conception” or that “tissue” or that “annoying multiplication of cells” – the deadly euphemisms the hellish “Planned Parenthood” would use… surely that little “thing” is not already a man, is it?

Yes. What will be a man is already a man. Those are the words of Saint Thomas Aquinas way back in the 1200s. His arguments, though he can also cite endless Scriptural texts and references to the great ecclesiastics throughout the millennia, his arguments are based on natural law, on philosophy, on reason, all of which applies to everyone whatever their religious background, whatever their opinion otherwise happens to be. In other words, that little one in the womb is not a salamander, or a cow. No. That’s what the money hungry abortion industry wants people to think. This is a vulnerable human being that we’re talking about.

Let’s take an example with Jesus. When He was just seconds old in the womb of His good mom, the Blessed Virgin Mary, she raced off to assist her cousin Elizabeth who was with child with John the Baptist in her old age. I imagine that at her age, she could have run from Nazareth down Ein Karem (Spring of the Vineyard), the tiny mountain village on the western cliffs of Jerusalem, where Elizabeth lived with her ancient of days husband, Zechariah. I walked just a bit more than that distance (except in the Jordan River Valley) in less than 24 hours as a crippley 30 year old two days before the outbreak of Desert Storm, some 50 miles. Fine, I was hurting for a couple of weeks after that, but – Hey! – I did it! I’m sure young Mary could have made much better time, especially since she had just become the Tabernacle of the Most High, a living Ark of the Covenant, she who stomps on the crescent moon, is clothed with the Sun, who is adorned with stars (as we read in the Apocalypse:

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So, Jesus, just a few cells multiplying like mad in her womb, had his soul and divinity, was already a divine God-Man, and worked His first miracle of grace for His cousin, little John the Baptist, in the womb of Elizabeth. Elizabeth herself was filled with the Holy Spirit as well. Jesus did this when He was less than 24 hours old, just some cells. He’s already a Man, a God-Man.

Also, let’s call to mind dearest Mary calling herself “The Immaculate Conception” in Lourdes some 1858 years later. In other words, the Queen Mother, God’s good mom, Queen of Heaven and Earth, of angels and men, equated herself with her first moment of conception, for at that moment, just a cell, was already herself, and from the first moment of conception, as she was without original sin, she was already absolutely perfectly doing the will of God. And what can be better than that, being the Queen Mum? No. Jesus points to doing the will of God. No one did this better than Mary, and from the first moment of her conception.

So, a budding flower for you, dearest good mother of Jesus.

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Missionaries of Mercy can face the most hateful cynicism of all

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Here’s the deal: We can’t defend ourselves from the nay-sayers, except to say that the special faculties that we’ve been given by Pope Francis are exceptionally useful for the greater glory and honor of God. And that’s what we all want, right? The nay-sayers, it seems with incredible malice, want to bait the Missionaries into saying when and where these faculties were used, how many times, what for, and all the unrepeatable circumstances of individuals so accurately that they know who it is who rejoiced in the mercy of our Lord Jesus, as if these nay-sayers could judge He who Himself will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, including themselves.

But facing such as this is also what it means to go into the darkest of existential peripheries, rejoicing that the mercy of the Lord endures forever, and is much stronger than our own weakness, stronger than any darkness, stronger than death, strong enough to carry us by that grace which, St Paul says, will turn to glory in heaven.

What the Holy See was looking at in the stat pictured above.

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This priest’s “Day Off”: Helping serve warrants in Andrews NC

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On my way back from three states away, having slain The Tail of the Dragon, and having done an exorcism for real, I got a call from Andrews, PD:

  • “Can you get to the PD by 7:00 PM? You’re our chaplain, and we want you to do a prayer with us before we do a raid on the drug house du jour, and then come along for the experience.”
  • “Sure, I’m just crossing state lines (still a couple of states away), but I should be able to get home, feed the dogs, put on my ballistic vest, and get up to the PD by 6:55 PM. See you then.”

And that’s how it worked out, to the second. The prayer was about serving those in the community, and about getting back safe and sound with life and limb. This was a first time to participate in a raid. And right near the rectory, and across the street from the town grade school. Here’s just part of the haul, with test kits verifying some substances:

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Of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I’m not sayin’ nothin’ ’bout nothin’ no-how, not ever. No. Some were transported down to the jail. Some walked. Some, well, we will see. Everyone gets their day in court.

What I will say is that our PD is doing a great job serving the community. The point isn’t just about the law. This is about serving the community, particularly the grade school kids, keeping them safe, but also about those otherwise involved, giving them also a chance to start anew. Sometimes this is a way that also God permits for people to get tripped while they are running in the wrong direction in life. So, that’s great.

And mind you, these guys in the PD do this as a regular course of affairs, but this is perhaps the most dangerous thing any officer can ever do, breaking down a door and clearing a house while arresting and cuffing. Those inside are immediately filled with adrenaline, making them more unpredictable than ever. And any drugs often mean weapons. Just to say, there were two sets of  nunchuks right at hand and a nunchaku guy who knew how to use them to great effect.

What’s the part of a chaplain in all this? To witness the event. To be available to the alleged perps when they’re squared away (yes, that’s very important). To be available for situational awareness in a way that now ultra-distracted officers cannot be. For instance, who, if escaping the house as the raid goes on (there can be way too many to control)… who is jumping through windows and side-doors and through hatches in the floor…), and who is running where, and their descriptions. It’s also to see if anyone comes to the house to disrupt police activity. In this case, one car kept driving by continuously. It’s a thing with me to notice cars and licence plates. Like a hobby. That became important enough for that driver to be stopped and questioned by two of the officers. It’s also to watch over items that walkers-by could grab when contingencies get out of hand, tampering with evidence, or opportunistically stealing what greedy eyes beckon them to steal.

I recall a ride-along the other week in which we did the second most dangerous thing an officer can do, which is to do a “typical” traffic stop. The second we stopped the guy, friends of that guy came from nowhere, walking from across a lawn (in the direction of a drug house), from across a field (in the direction of favorite stash niches), and two more from another drug house, and with also – immediately – two trucks blocking the road by the one drug house, and another truck blocking the road on the other side near another drug house. That’s a bit weird. No violence ensued, but that was also perhaps because a second person was with the officer, chaplain or no chaplain.

These days, everyone thinks they are entitled to interfere with police activity, ganging up on the police. This is extremely unsafe for all involved. Contingencies were getting out of hand. I was happy to have the back of the officer, who, I’m also very happy to say, is simply the best at deescalation that I’ve ever come across. All was well.

The day started with the alarm going off at 1:00 AM. Then Mass was offered in the rectory chapel, this time in French. I was tuckered out by the time the Tail of the Dragon and the exorcism and the warrant serving was all done at about 9:30 PM. I have to confess I did not go along to the jail for the delivery of those in cuffs. It probably would have been 1:00 AM again before hitting the hay. So, having been absolved from that, I went back to the rectory and crashed, totally.

All on the “Day Off.” I’m thinking we priests shouldn’t be criticized so much for taking a “Day Off.” I love a “Day Off.”

That’s me. But the experience was slightly different for one of the officers, who was injured, not seriously, but perhaps really seriously, cutting himself with “sharps” that were used by one of those inside. He must have hit a small vein or artery as the blood was flowing quite freely. That sharps were involved could be really serious. That’s something also faced by officers day-in, day-out, as with nurses in hospitals, EMTs, et al.

I must say that I was quite taken by their concern for each other with the various first aid kits flying open, and at the same time how they took this in stride. They are well aware of the sacrifice they might have to make at any time. That says a lot. Truly.

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“Day Off” Exorcism: Slaying Dragons

Saint Michael Vatican City Jail Police Intel HQ

The main activity of the “Day Off” was taken up with an exorcism, the concluding of an exorcism.

A few take-away points:

  • Satan and his minions are great a mind-games. The demon in this case was particularly astute. Brilliant, really. But lacking in wisdom. Satan and his minions frustrate themselves because although they are the most clever of all creatures before their fall from being good angels after creation, they are now entirely lacking in wisdom after their fall, and so continue to do things that will make them frustrate themselves. No human being alone could win such mind games. But we have Jesus, who is God, who is Love. And love cuts through mind games.  If one simply refers to Jesus, that Jesus is the One, the only One, it’s a sure path to victory.
  • The session was very prayerful, as are all exorcisms done properly. You don’t want chaos and excitability, just those with you who are well-balanced and who are discreet and are believers and can pray and assist in whatever manner.
  • The delivery was entirely wonderful in thanksgiving to Jesus who powerfully manifested His presence.
  • The admonition from Jesus came to mind:
    • “Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

On that last point we have to recognize that our Lord use’s irony as a major weapon against Satan. Jesus is the One who confronts Satan on Calvary. Jesus is our Warrior. The rest of us, the apostles and bishops and priests – all of us – we have all followed Satan and been subject to Satan – in original sin and personal sin – and have all crucified the Son of the Living God. Who are we, then, to command Satan to depart? In other words, Jesus has us lowly priests, sinful priests, nothing priests, but His priests, command Satan for the sake of irony, extremely crushing irony, unbearable irony, infuriating irony, irony that makes Satan and his minions writhe in their writhingness with intellectual and spiritual frustration for eternity.

Some weirdnesses about this exorcism for this young person who was accompanied by her parents, by parish staff, by friends and parish clergy, all with, of course, the express mandate of the local bishop:

  • Asking questions or giving commands in Hebrew received an immediate response appropriate to the question or command.
  • A very peculiar date and time was given, very significant to me but unknown to all, was provided. I hate that, because it’s burned in my mind and I’m bound to remember it when it comes around. But this is also a mind game. One is never to pay attention to such things. The devil is a liar and murderer from the beginning, as our Lord says. Everything he says is a lie, even if true on some level, as it couched in such a way as to mislead.

Finally, the end result was great, great joy, restful peace, for all, for the young person, for the parents, for the friends and helpers, for the clergy. Jesus was thanked. Only He is the One. Only He is the only One.

P.S. Just to say, the painting up top of this post, of Saint Michael smashing down Satan, comes from my own smart-phone camera when I was there, in that interrogation room of the head of security for Vatican City State. Yes, there’s a good story there. The question is, why did I put that painting at the top of this post?

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