Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Natura morta edition)

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After the procession through town we’re back to a more domestic situation with the shrine just behind Holy Redeemer church. The flowers are placed like any basket of natura morte for painters, the ol’ last ditch effort at beauty before all goes the way of all flesh, that is, including us, kind of like a lit candle giving its all. It’s on its way out, trying its best. It might last just a bit longer still planted for flowers, still hanging on a tree for fruit, still unlit for candles, but the defiance of death to demonstrate love stronger than death is most attractive. No use playing politics, thinking we’re saving ourselves. For what? Better to let the beauty and light of Mary’s Son radiate so as to help each other be on our way to heaven with a love stronger than death, a flower for Jesus’ good mom, the Immaculate Conception.

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Toxic-gas clouds zipping over WNC from Oak Ridge research corridor?

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It’s fun to have a good imagination. Let’s play “What if?”

These pictures were taken late afternoon 13 December 2018. Moving relatively quickly. Note, above, how the other surrounding, higher clouds, move away from the darker clouds in a circular fashion, pushed away by the darker clouds below. That‘s an indicator that something serious is amiss. The darker clouds aren’t dropping, but rather moving over the terrain. I’m guessing that the length of this event, from nearer to farther away, just of the darker stuff, is about a mile all told. Give it a couple of miles for the spreading of the upper clouds. Give it more for whatever effect on the ground. Remember, these are moving relatively quickly. I was really fumbling to get my camera in traffic as I didn’t want to just let them fly by. They are roiling and boiling but staying together.

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At first glance I thought these were clouds of trillions of starlings. If you’ve ever seen the shows they put on – common in Rome, Italy – you would know what I mean. But these didn’t have the ever changing shapes of starling acrobatics. You’ll notice that there seems to be a more concentrated opaque center of the “clouds” with a weird semi-transparent “net” – if you will – draped over the opaqueness. But, let’s look closer:

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The outer “net” is not liquid, like rain, as it defies gravity, and equally surrounds the center both below and above, all around, like roiling boiling fumes, not H20 based, with H20 opaqueness, but more like gasoline fumes that roil and boil and are transparent, providing a more blotchy appearance. What you’re looking at is not the wispiness of H20 clouds, but the the messiness of roiling boiling fumes. Let’s tweak the raw picture a bit to make it darker:

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This is just 50 miles as-the-toxic-cloud-flies from Oak Ridge, TN, with all of their testing sites. These were coming from exactly that direction. This defies further description. By the time I got home, just a stone’s throw away, these darker clouds had already raced away.

That’s the entertainment of imagination for the day. I’m sure there’s a name for such meteorological formations for both upper lighter and lower darker clouds, something like “downburst” or some such ill fitted name. There was no down and no burst. All was at a dead calm. I’m sure there’s a reason why the wispiness did not have H20 opaqueness but was transparent and not at all wispy, but rather roiling and boiling. I’m sure there’s a reason why they were flying relatively quickly.

It’s just that I’ve never seen anything like this in clouds since I was born. Anyway, if these were toxic and just a test, there’s no reason to question it. After all, there’s no one important who lives in these remote mountains, right? //off sarcasm

Again, just my fun imagination.

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Phones and Sacramental Confessions

cspan google ceo sundar pichai data collection

Everything is absolutely always and in every way collected. Turn off your phone, take out the battery and sim-card, and twice as much info is sent to google the second you turn on your phone. You can’t actually turn off your phone. There’s a second battery for emergency purposes. You can always call 911 regardless of no main battery and no sim card and no contract. Your phone always collects your location in extreme detail, such as logging when you are in your car or just stepped outside of your car. That google capitalizes on this is a bit over the top.

Anyway, certainly when your phone is on all speech is instantaneously turned into text and analyzed – for marketing, of course – and this works spectacularly. I mention one thing in a non-phone conversation and it instantaneously shows up in search results and especially in YouTube suggestions. Awesome, but a bit creepy and invasive. One objection I have is the storage on google-servers of privileged conversations.

  • Imagine: business deals and insider information. Lots of power and money there.
  • Imagine: attorney-client privilege. Lots of power and control there.
  • Imagine: doctor-patient privilege. Lots of power and messing around there.
  • Imagine: Counselor-client privilege. Lots of power of manipulation there.
  • Imagine: NSA, CIA, FBI et other alphabet agencies analogously making stuff available…
  • Imagine: Priest-Penitent Seal of Confession privileges…

There should be law regulating possession of a phone anywhere near a Confessional or anywhere near any Sacramental Confession wherever it is, both on the Confessor’s part and on the part of the Penitent. Pockets or purses don’t work. Really. Not.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (blue-lighting procession edition)

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Getting ready for the 1.6 mile procession through town to Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Andrews, NC, in honor of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

Even while people were lining up in preparation for the start, some of our Military vets needed a sword ceremony updating for the Knights of Columbus.

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We were assisted with blue-lighting by our local police. Thank you! That saved us a number of times in some of the more curvy double-yellow lined back streets.

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How could one not dance in such circumstances? It’s said that the image on the Tilma tells the story that even our Lady was dancing a bit.

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The above procession started in the evening and ended at night, after which we had Holy Mass and then a feast in the social hall. Really good.

Earlier, we had las mañanitas a la Virgen de Guadalupe starting at 5:00 AM during which I heard Confessions. We had Mass at 6:00 AM as well. A beautiful day.

Oh, and yes, here are those flowers for the Immaculate Conception in our tiny church:

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MI6, CIA, Fed-funded think-tank, me

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Enter yet another self-proclaimed CIA guy in my life (it seems like a daily affair). He’s urging me to spill my guts on a certain national security issue to – of all people – a certain MI6 guy, whose name is […] [Ooops! That would be an unmasking.] I looked up the MI6 guy some weeks ago by way of his public cover. An unmistakable face you can’t ever forget. It instantly burns itself into one’s front-burner memory.

Just now, YouTube, of course, put in front of me a boring panel discussion of a top-rated Federally funded think-tank physically housed for decades next to the White House. What I found interesting was not the topic, but rather the face of one of the presenters.

For all intents, purposes and plastic surgery reconstructions, the MI6 guy is coincidentally just like the think-tank guy on all levels: same age, same ultra-weird interests, same political persuasion, same moral outlook, same geographic assignments in the world (in this case impossibly difficult), same hair problems, same hair reconstruction fixes, same exact facial features, same plastic surgery failed fixes right through the years and all at the same time [impossible to hide], same neck features[!], same ears, etc., etc., etc., even the same physical gesturing when speaking (just toned down slightly but really hard to hide the subtleties as this belongs to entrenched neuro-behaviors), same type of prolific publishing on the exact same topics, same ol’ same ol’ in the finest detail, with both of them publicly supporting each other’s works and interests (an interesting self-promotion). Goodness gracious! Such coincidences! Oh, there is one difference: one has a contrived accent, the other doesn’t. Regardless of the truth of any lifestyle, any lifestyle accents are really easy (as there is no standard outside of all of them being contrived), and are therefore excellent covers of one’s real accent since, in this politically correct society, no one would question why someone would sound like, you know, like that. Anyway, all “three” of these people would know each other and freely admit that they do.

When I objected to spying on the U.S. through a friendly nation, the original CIA guy didn’t know what to do except to say that he thought it was all legal since I’m just asking a certain question out of interest as a private citizen with answers for all I know based on, you know, kind-of-perhaps-maybe public knowledge. Sorry. You won’t see me going overseas or to D.C. to speak to any such person.

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Mafia-esque loan-sharkers shaking me down for years… or not

MAFIA OMERTA

For some years I’ve been harassed by who? I didn’t know. Until now. It sounded like they were after some sort of ransom for someone called […] who doesn’t have an internet footprint at all. Zero. Zilch. Nothing. Not that that necessarily means anything.

Phone calls and phone calls and phone calls. Is this a “protection racket” as in racketeering, as in RICO? Whatever. Not getting anywhere with me, the collection monsters gave it over to their bosses, and this time I was called with a new phone number. I looked up the new number. There’re a zillion complaints about this “kind of a bank”, kind of, from Canada, specializing it seems in nothing much but a kind of it seems to be loan-sharking. You might recall that the Clinton Foundation uses a bank in Canada. If I recall correctly, Canadian banks seem to be out of the reach of American subpoenas. Anyway, whether it’s a scam bank or a real bank is always hard to tell. Is there ever a difference?

I don’t owe anyone anything anywhere, ever. That’s my policy. It goes along with not taking gifts from, you know, special people. I have my reasons.

Finally, one can bait the baiter-scamers. It may go on for many years, but finally things come out. Just speak politely, but with a rather bold voice, bold enough, mind you, to bait them into a response that they did not expect to give. ;-) The results of my baiting the baiters have me recall a certain picture that was sent to me recently:

Shadow

It this is true, it seems to confirm that my “Shadow” is in fact still using my identity as best he can. If there are crimes being committed, it’s not looking good for my “Shadow.” On the other hand, such nastiness would be great cover for him. By extension, it’s not looking good for Main State and the FBI, who further entrenched me under a certain program that favors my “Shadow” continuing under my identity. I never agreed to that program and have been wanting off ever since it started decades ago.

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Steaks in the trash. Too bad, that.

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As soon as I got these steaks on dry ice anonymously in the mail, I put up a note saying that my absolute policy is not to take gifts from intel. I have that policy because it happens, a lot. If something arrives from the ol’ anonymous person, into the trash it goes unless they fess up. In this case, after a grace period, no one has. So, there it goes, into the trash. Here are the pictures starting with them being placed in a trash bag:

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And then into the city trash bin:

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I’m sure I’ll hear about it just as soon as they are thawed out, saying what a fool I am, that those were from so and so friend of mine. Too bad, that. You had your chance to fess up.

“Procedures only work if you follow them every time.”

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Shadow-dog Mud-dog happiest when…

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Whoever thinks I’m mean to let Shadow-dog become Mud-dog, totally soaking wet, totally full of mud, when it’s just barely above freezing so that we didn’t get multiple inches or feet of snow in the last few days like others did in North Carolina, at least right here in town (parts of the parish were socked), well, know this, this is when Shadow-dog is at his happiest. And, don’t worry, he has a nice, dry, sheltered house outside, and comes in at night where’s it’s warm and dry so that he can dry off and get ready for another round the next day. I include the top picture so that you know he’s got plenty of grass to run on but prefers a mud-hole in which to splash about. If you don’t know that about GSDs, German Shepherd Dogs, you know nothing at all about these creatures who are not so much dogs as wolves. They train up like Navy SEALs, doing up all the bad stuff so as to be toughened up, and love it, and never, ever quit. The last thing to do is feel sorry for a Navy SEAL or for a GSD. If that’s how you feel, like feeling sorry, you yourself have to be brought to another level. And that’s the thing about heroes. You don’t say they are great and that’s it. You strive to be like them in what ways you can, and you can. Let’s take some close-ups so that we know what we’re talking about:

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Shadow-dog. My hero.

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Shadow-dog Gladiator-dog: Teaching session

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The heavy knotted short-rope, which is like, say, an enemy intruder (I have a good imagination!), is a good demonstrator tool for Shadow-dog who makes me his student in his gladiator school. In the above picture we see how one is to toss ever so calmly one’s adversary into the air with a gentle side-spin so that, in follow-up, one might put one’s entire weight and strength into viciously ripping in the opposite direction, which violent ripping could easily shred to pieces whomsoever the adversary happens to be:

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This ripping spinning motion will spin Shadow-dog himself about 180 degrees and the adversary round about some 540 degrees, and back and forth multiple times so very violently in just nanoseconds, so that I’m thinking he himself is going to be ripped in half, growling so loudly that all the neighbors either laugh with glee at the protection against home-invasion that they all have with Shadow-dog in the neighborhood, or half die of fright with the show that is put on. Meanwhile, Shadow-dog is the friendliest dog around. And the neighbors know that too. He’s so smart. Gooooood dooooggiieee!

You can always tell how good a dog is by how willing they are to teach you their tricks in their justifiable efforts to make you part of the team. Part of being more alpha than a forever alpha dog like a German Shepherd wolf is to be a good partner with him in the job that needs to be done. That’s when they’re in their element.

An absolutely inadequate and inappropriate analogy for which I beg the pardon of my guardian angel, who guards not a dog but me, nor learns from me but rather instructs as John was instructed: “I am a fellow servant of yours” (Revelation 22). But also our guardian angels are in their element, so to speak, when we are with them as fellow servants, fellow slaves, co-workers of our Lord. They teach us how to be warriors, so to speak, in this Church militant, where we fight as best we can to keep the faithfulness and hope that are given to us, the purity of heart and agility of soul that are given to us, the love of God and neighbor that is given to us. We are made into a show, of God’s goodness, really, as Saint Paul has it. Gladiators for God. Shadow-dog is a good example in his own way.

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Suppression tactics: TSW and Arise!

Readers of both TSW (These Stone Walls) and Arise! Let us be going! have noticed various algorithms and groups of bullying tender snowflakes who are effectively shutting down various internet sites through attrition by signing up only to mark those sites as spam. Lots of readers use “readers” or aggregators or email notifications which can be manipulated to go into the spam box. The only sure way to get to these sites then is add them to the browser menu bar so that you only have to click on the button. What times we live in…

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Shadow-dog Bite-dog: action training [Note on Situational Awareness]

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  1. Step 1: Get a good look at your adversary, individuating and isolating.
  2. Step 2: Subdue your adversary in any way you can, say, under a paw, making sure that the adrenaline is pumping:

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3. Step 3: Chew up your adversary and spit him out.

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Situational awareness demands a certain low-level of adrenaline that is at the ready to be pumped up instantaneously; otherwise it’s all intellectual and useless, even hurtful as is a sense of overconfidence. GSDs are always a bit on-edge, made to be that way with super-sensitive sensory receptors: they’re all nose and ears and eyes, with height and strength to carry all that.

Analogy with the spiritual life: We do well to be on edge for the sake of our friendship with the Lord Jesus. We remain weak in this world looking to Him to be lifted up into His strength and truth and goodness and kindness… but we are so weak. To be on-edge over against our triple-adversary – the world, the flesh and the devil – we have to have the humility to realize that we could fall prey at any time and in any way and that there is nothing we can do about that except to lifted up into the strength and truth and goodness and kindness of our Lord, remaining with Him no matter what, that steadfastness in our Lord’s grace putting the death-bite on our triple adversary. It’s the bond of love with God, who is love, keeping us on-edge. It’s all about Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.

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“Hold on, please! They’re coming!”

kristallnacht

Apologies for making an analogy with Kristallnacht and the Shoah. It’s just that, honestly, this is what popped into my mind this morning when on the phone with Father Gordon, who’s in prison. The guards were coming to do count. When this happens, almost daily while we’re on the phone, Father Gordon J MacRae (ABOUT) says:

“Hold on, please! They’re coming!”

He then has to run out and stand in line and get counted. Big deal, right? I’ve heard him say this thousands of times over the years. But this time it was different. For me, it was electrifying: “They’re coming!” Honesty, the Nazi murderers coming to kill came to mind.

I mentioned this to Father Gordon just a few minutes ago when he got back on the phone, and then told him of a step even further that that. It struck me that this murderous analogy is not only what he himself meant to convey, but that he meant something even further. It came to mind that the “Hold on!” referred to just wait until we’re both in heaven, momentarily, and then we’ll pick up on this conversation where we left off…” as if to say, “Big deal about getting murdered; who cares about that if we have the Lord’s life within us, a life which is stronger than death?”

Father Gordon, becoming quiet for a moment, then responded to say that he can’t really speak about this, but, he said ever so reflectively, “The analogy is not totally improper.”

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GSD: “You have to be bad to be good”

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Shadow-dog has been racing about on his patrol, looking like the idiot-dog by practicing his spot-turns on the snowy-wet mud path he’s carved into the backyard. This sprays mud into the air as if his paws are spinning knobby off-road tires of a climber-jeep. When the acrobatics get a bit complicated, he gets himself on an intense learning curve… mid-air. And then… crash. But he gets better at it.

My mom once reprimanded me for the doing this kind of thing – being bad in order to be good – she not quite getting the gist of the process, trying to keep me from getting broken bones while she fretting during some of the more complicated maneuvers of my extreme sports. What she didn’t know is that what I was doing was surely keeping me away from broken bones. You have to be bad in order to be good.

Drawing the analogy with, say, prayer, whereby prayer is an extreme sport, whereby you are brought along without being in control of any progress, our Lord accomplishing a friendship with Him which we could not set as a goal or have any helps or coping mechanisms to lean on while He does this in His way. When He is lifted up on the Cross, He said, He will draw all to Himself. That means He’s drawing us through all the hell that was broken out on Calvary. We already know that we’ll be stupid enough to try to depend on our own strength which we actually don’t have ourselves anyway, and therefore in this way we will surely pull away from Him in this way and that, and we will look mighty stupid in all of this. But He is very patient, and we slowly learn in His grace that He is more important than our ongoing distractions, and we allow ourselves in whatever distraction that hell has to offer, to be stably with Him. Have no fear. You have to bad to be good, you know, not on purpose. No. But go ahead and just tell our Lord, in His grace, “Yes!” You want to begin. You will surely confront your weakness of stupidly depending on your own strength. But that’s part of it. You’re name might be mud for a while. Have no fear. That will turn to a name He gives you, that, as it says in the Good Book, is only known to you and Him. When He calls your name, you’ll be standing right before Him, perhaps with mud all over your face, but – Hey! – you’ll have learned to stand right before Him. And that’s where we want to be.

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Reasons why this priest carries 24/7/365

“Cruelty of El Chapo’s Sinaloa cartel knows no bounds: Beheadings by chainsaw, body parts strewn in the streets” — by Hollie McKay (Fox News)

If you peruse that story you’ll find out that some of it takes place not far from me. In fact, I drove by one of those places just the other day. My identity has criteria having multiple hits regarding that which would bring the ire of the Sinaloa Cartel down upon one’s head, or headless shoulders as the case may be. The Sinaloa Cartel may be directly responsible for as many as 226,000 demonically brutal murders over the years, that is, since the guy who stole my identity (my “Shadow”) kick started el Chapo’s violence by providing guns firstly to straw purchasers and then directly.

The “Shadow” guy gets really upset while he rationalizes how this is all just fine and dandy. Meanwhile, you’ll recall that Main State and the chief investigator for the FBI of the East Africa embassy bombings back in the day provided me with an alternative identity to make me, a citizen in good standing, disappear even while the “Shadow” guy entrenched all the more under my name.

But now it’s heating up and it’s getting a little too close to home. I’d like to visit Main State once again and discuss some options for the perpetual interdepartmental program they put me on. I don’t trust the algorithms of DARPA COMPASS to help me out in any significant manner outside of tiresome harassment.

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Homily 2018 12 08 Immaculate Conception

LOURDES-GROTTO

  • You knew, of course, that the grotto was the pig sty of the town, right?
  • You knew, of course, that in Sacred Scripture, pigs are symbolic of demons, right?
  • You knew, of course, that the universe was made into a pig sty by Adam’s sin, right?

God: “I shall put enmity between you [Satan] and the Woman [the Mother of the Redeemer], and between your seed [Satan’s followers] and the Seed of the Woman [Jesus and those who belong to Him as members of a body to the head of the body].

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Adoration on the Vigil of Immaculate Conception: record numbers, again.

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While the world goes crazy, ripped in this direction and that, there are those who are stably before our Lord Jesus. Mary does that for us, leading us to her Son. Meanwhile, there are a zillion Confessions during adoration. This is when I am most happy as a priest and it very much strikes me that I am living out the fatherhood of priesthood, being a father of the parish family. Meanwhile, during these dark times, from round about this region, there are a number of men who are expressing interest in being candidates to be seminarians for Charlotte Diocese.

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Flores for the Immaculate Conception (Our Lady of the Snows edition)

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Today’s 8 December – Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception – and… and… it’s set to snow today, perhaps a lot. A good re-post.

Back in the day, when I was a permanent chaplain in Lourdes, France, I took this picture with my el-cheapo digital camera. It was February, the first day following weeks of 24/7 sub-freezing temps with ice and snow precipitating down on the pilgrims daily. As you can see, the ice and snow are no match for the gentlest of petals when it is time to give due honor to the Immaculate Conception at the grotto. Here’s a view from above the grotto, and, yes, this is also a color picture. It was just that dark and dreary and ferociously cold for weeks:

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Meanwhile, in the brutally hot August of Rome it snowed exactly where the Basilica in honor of Jesus’ good mom was to be built, and only there, you know, when tender snowflakes had something to do with water and temperature.

Today I am thinking about Saint John Paul II, how he used the phrase “co-redemptrix” dozens of times, I think 29 times. This title for our Lady refers simply to how appropriate it was in justice that one of us who is not divine should ask for such graces perfectly, graces coming directly from her Divine Son. Thank you, Blessed Mother, for being a good mother to us. Continue to show yourself a mother to us!

Monstra te esse matrem!

GENESIS THESIS GEORGE DAVID BYERS

IVE GENESIS IMMACULATE CONCEPTION CONFERENCE 7 FEBRUARY 2013

Perhaps this theme of co-redemptrix is the key to my making a popular version of the thesis, finally. My hope is that this would bring some light to the darkness, including my own dark little life. The glory of the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception entering this world to grab us and bring us to heaven fires me up, enough, methinks, to melt the ice and snow, enough, methinks, to finally start writing. [I know, I know, I just have to do it. Time goes on. Life is short. Yikes!]

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Nooo! Just. So. Wrong. Nooo!

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A donkey head is never a good idea for a trophy head. No.

Just. So. Wrong.

Not even if you put up G.K. Chesterton’s poem “The Donkey” to pacify such as me.

When fishes flew and forests walked
And figs grew upon thorn,
Some moment when the moon was blood
Then surely I was born.

With monstrous head and sickening cry
And ears like errant wings,
The devil’s walking parody
On all four-footed things.

The tattered outlaw of the earth,
Of ancient crooked will;
Starve, scourge, deride me: I am dumb,
I keep my secret still.

Fools! For I also had my hour;
One far fierce hour and sweet:
There was a shout about my ears,
And palms before my feet.

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Eucharistic Miracle: “Dispose of it”

Wasn’t a priest whistle-blower murdered in Buffalo Diocese hours before bringing files to Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò? There seems to be a culture in Buffalo to buffalo. But it’s not that the Buffalo buffalo are striking back as in some sort of “Buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo buffalo buffalo Buffalo buffalo.”

No linguistic spoofs here. What does “Dispose of “it”!” mean? Whatever of any miracle – Jesus can do that anytime He wants – it sounds like this was still an intact Host. And then we want to slow waaaay down. Does anyone know any more about this? Was this an intact Host that was “disposed of”?

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Poetry and Holy Family’s 1st donkey

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Tricky artist. The “weight” of the picture is to your right even while Jesus is shining out from the midst of the middle, leaving the left side a bit “unweighted”, a bit empty, so that you have to do the work to fill in what’s missing… which you find… who you find… by following Mary’s eyes. She looks so content to watch him – surely Joseph – say, gathering vittles on their trip to Bethlehem for the census. Meanwhile, the donkey continues to lumber along peacefully, eager to hear the slightest whisper from Mary.

G.K. Chesterton’s poem “The Donkey” is a bit sharp, in contrast, and refers to another donkey who brought Jesus into Jerusalem for His crucifixion, when there were shouts about the donkey’s ears, and palms beneath his feet.

Should there be a poem written about this donkey, pictured above, I’m imagining that it would have to show the contrast between this more peaceful moment on the way to Bethlehem and then, shortly thereafter, a hasty fleeing through the desert into exile into, ironically, an enemy country.

[Various readers are sending in donkeys. Thanks for that.]

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