Can Bishop Conlon offer fatherly governance of the family of faith he doubts is a family of faith?

Jesus Peter Keys Kingdom Founding Catholic Church

Bishop Conlon says he has no idea as to whether Jesus intended to found a Church. This statement was presented on the diocesan website with no further context as it apparently stood on its own. The diocese then took that down without providing any other context than to say (ignoring the bishop) that the diocese holds up the Catechism. So, Bishop Conlon’s context is not provided and he offers no clarification. He can just scandalize the faithful and then run away like the scandal never happened, making it worse, making it seem that there is no fatherly care by the bishop of the family of faith in his care. The question is, where is he running? That’s up to him to answer. But on a practical level, what is Bishop Conlon saying about the legitimacy of his being a bishop if he is questioning the legitimacy of the existence of the Church?

Bishop Conlon, you cannot lead with fatherly governance the family of faith which one holds to be suspect of not being a family of faith.

  • Hit and run is despicable.
  • Scandalizing the faithful and then running is despicable.

But this has become the modus agendi – the way of acting – of so many.

To the point: That’s sad, for Bishop Conlon and for other bishops. Beyond that, beyond praying that such sadness be transformed into truth and therefore joy, so what? Who gives a crap that Bishop Conlon is a make-pretend sophisticate in what comes down to blasphemy against the Holy Spirit (who inspired the Scriptures) and what descends into denial of Jesus who said that if we deny Him He will deny us before our Heavenly Father? That becomes a matter between Bishop Conlon and the Judge of all.

In other words, just because some guy who is a bishop is content to attempt to scandalize the faithful – where’s his context? where’s his explanation? – let’s not ourselves take scandal, let’s not be scandalized. Instead, let that lack of fatherly care, that lack of fatherly governance be an encouragement to us to be all the more faithful to our Lord. We see the darkness and don’t like it, so, let’s be with the Light all the more.

The worst thing that can happen is that when an abuser of the faith is on the loose we allow that abuser to continue abusing us by letting his abuse of us be an excuse to be controlled by that abuse of power, letting our faith be destroyed by someone who – by all intents, purposes and reconstructions, objectively speaking – enjoys that abuse of power in destroying and smashing down others.

Whatever with Bishop Conlon, I beg Jesus that I, a sinner, be able to receive the forgiveness of Jesus and remain with Jesus and bring others to Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

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Homily 2019 02 17 Beatitudes Lightning

lightning vatican holy see st peter

I’m so clever. I can come up with sophisticated meditations on the beatitudes.

And in that self-congratulation, I can avoid the life of the beatitudes. Indeed.

The beatitudes are too scary for me. Too in-your-face. Kind of like lightning. When it’s about to strike you it’s not possible a millionth of a nano-second beforehand to say, “Stop! Let me get out of the way!” No. Lightning strikes you and you are thrown to the ground. You are stunned if not outright unconscious. And in utter stupidity, I rely, I depend, I run to my clever, sophisticated commentary, thus remaining in my stupor.

There’s no way out of this for any of us from inside of ourselves, nor does Jesus say: “Do this! And then you will be happy!” No. The beatitudes are a description of the way things are when they are already being lived.

We can’t just “make a decision” so that then we are living the beatitudes and then we are happy. We can’t lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps, just ending up on our keisters.

If, instead, with the grace of Jesus, He drawing us into His friendship, we are enlivened by love of God and love of neighbor received into our hearts and souls and minds from Him, that is, His love and truth and goodness and kindness, then when we happen to come across the beatitudes on a random Sunday or in our own reading of the Scriptures, it will be like a lightning bolt striking us, but this time not stunning us, but rather vindicating us, strengthening us, encouraging us, we realizing that the joyous beatitudes are ours, not because we have gone after them, but because they have come after us, because Jesus has come after us.

Look up the beatitudes in the Gospels and ask how they strike you. Are you wiped out or enlivened, stunned into a catatonic state or steadfastly happy in your friendship with our Lord Jesus?

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Superabundance close by edition)

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This stand of daffodils – how to say it? – clearly making a stand just outside the church, and not just one group, but very many, surrounding the church, make it ever so easy to gather some flowers for the Immaculate Conception. Don’t you think of Jesus’ good mom every time you see flowers. I think it’s a good practice. Ask your guardian angel about it.

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Day Off: over the top Glock skill set sharpening on the cheap, for fun

 

Having some really old rope and really old string and some really old coffee containers filled with some really old dirt, I set up this really el cheapo group target for a bit of fun. And it only took moments to set up.

But don’t think I already have over the top skill sets. I don’t. That’s precisely the reason why this provides a some distraction for few minutes on a day off which is otherwise filled with so many errands and people.

The idea here is to shoot, say, the farthest one, then the middle, then the closest, then the middle, then the farthest, five shots, accurately, as fast as one can pull the trigger. You have three attempts at that per magazine. You should be able to do that in three seconds. The video is three seconds long…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Double dare you! No! edition)

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I could get closer to this field of flowers which, even in their location, are for Immaculate Conception. But I won’t. She’s brave. She can go anywhere at any time no matter who is there. After braving the likes a Herod near Bethlehem. After braving exile in Egypt. After braving the attacks on her Son during His public ministry. After she stood at the Cross on Calvary when the Apostles ran away. She’s brave. I’m not. I admit it.

I can just hear my guardian angel: “Go ahead! I double dare you! Get closer!” And my cowardly answer is simply: “No!” But no matter how far away I may remain from rather dangerously located flowers (I’ll let that remain a mystery), she’s already there.

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McCarrick laicization public: Success of “package” delivered to Rome

pope francis cardinal mccarrick
Pope Francis continues to assist McCarrick to be on a proper path to the Lord, first by dismissing him from being a Cardinal, and now dismissing him from the clerical state. Good on you, Pope Francis.

McCarrick was put down January 11. He appealed. At a “Feria Quarta” meeting of the members of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith after this appeal the appeal was rejected. That decision was ratified by Pope Francis the next day and this has now been publicized.

Your prayers are requested for the victims of McCarrick. More than that, and I know this is difficult, but your prayers are also asked for McCarrick.

What we must do is to bring greater honor and glory to God, which is to make flourish as much as we can the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who, stunningly, loved us all while we were yet sinners. Some accept this grace. Some reject this grace.

While we breathe we must have hope for all, as that is what most respects what our Lord has done for us all. Having hope for all on earth is not at all in any way the same as having hope that all are saved. Instead, having hope for all who are still alive on this earth is to say that we have doubt for the salvation of anyone, but, for our Lord who redeemed all, we must desire that as many as will allow themselves to be saved by God’s grace will in fact be saved. And that does us a world of good, an eternity of good.

The angels made the delivery to Pope Francis of what I call “The Package” possible back in September 2018. The deposition then came about in December. Three weeks later the decree in January, then the appeal, then the rejection, then the ratification, then the public decree in February 2019. Absolutely everything instantaneously fell into place beautifully. The angels made it happen. I’m guessing that since the delivery of that package and the laicization this represents possibly a turnaround time for such an action over against a [Cardinal] Archbishop the fastest in the history of the Church. As far as I know, he’s also the most senior member of the hierarchy to be laicized ever.

The “Package” I brought over, the case of a priest, is absolutely amazing. His story is a story which must be told. It speaks to fidelity amidst suffering. It speaks to the greatness of the priesthood amidst suffering. It speaks to the intercession of the angels and saints. It speaks to the greatness, yes, also of some in the hierarchy also over in Rome and also of those in the dicasteries, yes, even the midst of infidelity and politicking of others. Again, please pray for this priest, whom I consider a good friend.

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Homily 2019 02 15 Listening & Speaking

hear see speak no evil monkeys

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Road danger: wheels ready to fall off and me ignoring my guardian angel

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So, yesterday, while pulling to a stop up in Robbinsville, I heard a metallic scrape then quiet, scrape then quiet, scrape then quiet. “A wheel is being cut off at the axle,” was my first reaction. In fact, all 20 lug nuts of all four wheels were loose as a goose.  Above is a picture of the rear-driver side. Below is a close up of one of those lug nuts, just ready to fall off altogether.

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The weird thing is that I had mentioned this to the crowd at Mass, and one of the parishioners called me just after Mass to tell me of a coincidence. Very close to the church but in the opposite way I took to go home, the road was clogged up with a car badly parked to the side, and multiple emergency vehicles. It seems that car had had an entire wheel shear off while driving while we were at Mass. Yikes!

The thing is, it came to mind -strongly – a hundred times that my guardian angel was telling me that there was something super wrong with the wheels and that I should take a look lest I die. I didn’t. To my peril. Now having become aware of the danger I was in,  and remembering very clearly the warning my guardian angel had been giving me all along, I apologized to my guardian angel and asked for his forgiveness. That’s rather awkward since angels can’t forgive us since they have no right to forgive us since they have not taken on a human nature and have not stood in our place, the innocent for guilty, mercy being founded on justice, as did our Lord Jesus. However, the angels can have great joy in heaven because of seeing our repentance, as they see that our Lord forgives us. Angels see God in the face, and know much better than we do just how awesome that love of God for us miserable fallen creatures is. I asked my guardian angel to help me that I become more compliant to his instructions and warnings and encouragement and guidance.

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

By the way, just to be clear, I don’t think any of this was malicious, at least with my car.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (February Lent prepper edition)

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The earliest possible date for Ash Wednesday (extremely rare) is February 4. But it’s quite common to begin Lent by mid-late February. These guys, right up the street from the rectory, seem to sprout up just in time for the beginning of Lent each year, but this time, they’re waaaaay toooo early. Ash Wednesday 2019 isn’t until March 6. But it’s good to see that nature is always at the ready to honor the Immaculate Conception. No one has ever done up a better preparation for Easter than the Immaculate Conception. She knew what had to come first with her Son making all things new, what would have to happen during what we now call the Sacred Triduum lasting from the Last Supper until the Easter Vigil. She carried that. So, for you, dearest Mary, from your Son, Creator of all things, visible and invisible.

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Blackhawk Serpa zip-tie trick

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Sorry for non-gunners, but I had to put up this solution to an annoying part of the always said to be evil and bad (because of the trigger finger release) OWB Blackhawk Serpa. No amount of duct-tape solves this. I know. I tried many times. It’s the tiniest of zip-ties applied to the belt height adjustment gadget that will work to keep them in place and keep you from losing them. Those of you with OSB Blackhawk Serpa holsters (at least like mine for a Glock 19) will know what I’m talking about and see how well it brilliantly works in the picture, both sides.

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Manipulative use of religion

DOUBTING THOMAS

Let’s just say it: Jesus is Religion Incarnate. Religion is a virtue belonging to the virtue of justice. One renders to God that which in justice is due to God. Only the Incarnate Son of God, obeying the Father perfectly, obedience unto death, and God Himself, innocent, with no shady motives, no self congratulation, can fulfill the precept of religion, in all justice, of rendering to God the Father what is God the Father’s due.

Non-Catholic and usually non-mainline Christian communities, usually having a hate-preaching preacherman will call “religion” God-damned Satanism, Devil worship: “Damn all those Catholics with their damned Satanic Last Supper! We’re ‘spiritual’.”

Yes, well… Jesus is Incarnate whose heart of flesh was pierced through. But I digress.

It is true that religiosity, the stuff of religion, stuff you do, such as the sacraments, the sacramentals, the spiritual and corporal works of mercy, can be manipulated for that which amounts to self-congratulation. The Gospels are rife with Jesus and John condemning such hypocrites. Recall, for instance, the guy who goes into the temple to pray, lifting his eyes to God and saying, “Thank you God that I am not like other men! I’m so holy and nice! I’m better than that sinner guy over there!” Meanwhile, the sinner guy, not lifting his eyes to the heavens, but in all repentance, is begging for mercy, and is going home justified. But the hypocrite guy is on his way to hell. Religion can be manipulated.

People condemned Pope Francis for saying that people can, with all evil intention, hide behind holy things so as to make themselves look good, making an idol of that which is good so as to worship themselves. Of course they can! That’s what the hypocrite guy in the story above was doing and was condemned by Jesus for it.

But that’s all superficial. Obvious. Even if almost no one gets it.

There’s a much more devious manipulation of religion involving a truly insidious despair. It’s where one tries and tries and tries and tries and tries to stay away from sin, but just falls back into sin, and then saying that nothing “works”, that surely one is destined to hell, you know, because the religion thing doesn’t “work.” This is the manipulation of religion, using religion to prove to oneself that one’s sin is stronger than God Himself. “God Himself cannot do anything for me!” It’s the perfect excuse to go on in a life of sin and defiantly, hatefully, arrogantly go to hell.

And here’s where one can choose to try to do stuff that might “work”, you know, coping mechanisms and… stuff that replaces what one chose to use as just the stuff of religion.

Or one can choose to get to know Him who is Religion Incarnate, kind of like now Saint Thomas the one-time doubter. Thomas was all about putting himself forward: “Let’s go to Jerusalem to die with Jesus!” And then, of course, he ran away. How to put this: It wasn’t that Thomas was dedicated to JESUS. It was that THOMAS was dedicated to Jesus. The emphasis tells the story. For Thomas, Jesus was merely the stuff of religion that he could manipulate to his own self-congratulation: Thomas is an Apostle! Pfft. Thomas had not yet had not yet allowed himself to be drawn up into the reality that Jesus is Religion Incarnate.

Thus, Jesus, insisting that he is not a ghost, eating fish with the Apostles after His bodily resurrection from the dead, will also take the finger of Thomas and put it into the nail prints in His hands, and then take then hand of Thomas and put it into His side, into His now beating but still pierced Heart. “My Lord and my God.”

Now Saint Thomas realizes that thinking one is doing religious stuff while instead doing religious stuff so as to be hypocritical isn’t going to save oneself. Only Jesus is the Savior. Of course, we’re still to do religious stuff, but, with the grace of Jesus, not do so so as to congratulate ourselves, but out of God’s charity and truth and goodness and kindness.

Examination of conscience: Do I do anything in the spiritual life with a goal so as to congratulate myself? Or am I just falling to my knees before Jesus thanking Him for being my Savior?

My neighbor to the hermitage and I had a discussion about resolutions for the new year. I said that my only resolution this year is walk in humble thanksgiving with our Lord. All the rest follows after that, all the stuff of religion.

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‘El Chapo’ guilty of weapons violations. REOPEN FAST AND FURIOUS CASE!

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Sinaloa cartel boss ‘El Chapo’ was convicted not only drug trafficking and money laundering, but also on… wait for it…

weapons violations!

ak 47 ammo

Based on that…

… now “it” begins.

But will “it” be successful?

The story behind the “weapons violations” conviction of ‘El Chapo’ is succinctly summarized in that clip above. That’s exactly how it is. Fast and Furious. Yep. With the conviction of ‘El Chapo’ there is now a question of hypocrisy. We created ‘El Chapo’. So, now it’s time for prosecuting those who created ‘El Chapo’.

So many times I went to the FBI through the years to stop such arms transfers. But, I have to say, I was unsuccessful. Bringing proof, written admissions of an arms dealer for ‘El Chapo’, the agents instead just stared hard at my eyes, making it crystal clear that they couldn’t care less about any proof, that they never saw any proof, that they were not going to receive any proof. This is across the years. A hot topic. I recommend seeing…

Jason Chaffetz’ final report

If you’re wondering about the why of facilitating arms dealers for an extremely violent drug cartel with corpses of victims going into the hundreds of thousands (226,000), well, let me tell you what a CIA guy told me about it. He said that it’s NEVER just about some tracking logistics with guns. No. Pfft. There’s always a much, much bigger objective. You look for someone as wild and violent as ‘El Chapo’, you give him as much weapons and ammo as he could possibly desire, so that he will kill rivals, kill soft targets to instill fear, kill police, kill military, kill government officials, kill politicians, and all that so as to create chaos, and all that so as to destroy the competing economy of a neighboring nation.

I’m sure everyone feels that they’ve ‘won’ in getting a conviction of ‘El Chapo’. You know: he’s the bad guy! But we created him. What goes around comes around. That kind of hypocrisy – disrespect – as the mafiaesque crowd would say, doesn’t sit well with the criminal element. I’m sure revenge is in the air. And now they have weapons which we arranged for them to get. This is all so foolish. There’s more death to come. I mean, does anyone think that a conviction will deter such violence? One digs one’s own hole deeper.

You can’t not convict ‘El Chapo.’

But we created him.

Deeper and deeper and deeper it goes.

So, now it gets dangerous. People will scramble to do a cover up even more.

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‘El Chapo’ guilty all counts

This is one happy priest.

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On changing course: a race course!

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Laudie-dog is pointing out one side of a two-turn race course, the deep banked holes assisting in skidding to stop after flying through the air, and, using the now banked up back yard, instantaneously turning about, flying in the other direction. Landing on the opposite side of the yard, there is the same skid to stop banked up hole, exactly the same, identical, just in reverse. Back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.

Laudie-dog looks bewildered as this race course of changing of course doesn’t belong to her. This was created by Shadow-dog because Shadow-dog thinks he’s clever. Shadow-dog is a maniac. Behold, Saint Paul speaking of when he was a maniac, running from his good religious plan right into sin and back and forth, back and forth, back and forth, with his good religious plan being the same as his sin, you know, because he is the one doing it under his own “power,” which, of course, is nothing:

“We know that the law is spiritual; but I am carnal, sold into slavery to sin. What I do, I do not understand. For I do not do what I want, but I do what I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I concur that the law is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that good does not dwell in me, that is, in my flesh. The willing is ready at hand, but doing the good is not. For I do not do the good I want, but I do the evil I do not want. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. So, then, I discover the principle that when I want to do right, evil is at hand. For I take delight in the law of God, in my inner self, but I see in my members another principle at war with the law of my mind, taking me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Miserable one that I am! Who will deliver me from this mortal body?” (Romans 7:14-24).

The idea here is that Saint Paul is critiquing his manipulative usage of religion as a way to congratulate himself. Note the constant mantra of egoism – “I” – “I” – “I” – as in “I myself come up with a religious plan that I think is good for me and I’m clever and I can save myself by my religious plan because I’m so special! Look at me! Look at me! I’m saving myself! /// He’s saying that that kind of attitude is B.S., or better, Chicken S***, inasmuch as what he’s depicted himself as is a chicken with it’s head cut off, running around mindlessly like it’s all normal and good. There are those who don’t get this until they read the last verse which I didn’t  include above. You’ll see it below, but don’t read it just yet.

Let me tell you of another crowd who have been a very large part of the crisis of priests not knowing who they are, and of the abuse crisis. They knew the last verse cited further below, but purposely went out of their way to ignore this. There’s a psych institute over in Rome connected to the Pontifical Gregorian University which trains up sisters and priests in psychology to be staff psychologists at seminaries right round the world. Their guru guy, a Jesuit priest, but actually a guru guy, Rulla, cites this passage as the be all and end all of proof that God made a mistake in creating us, or better, that God created us in a way that encourages us to save ourselves with coping mechanisms, you know, to cope with all the mistakes God made in making us. In other words, as I heard one student of Rulla say, “We’re the first ones in the history of the Church to find a way to save ourselves!”

I have very many friends who went to this psych institute and I bought the expensive books of Rulla and the institute, such rubbish, and have studied it all with some intensity. I offered the critique about Rulla’s treatment of this passage of Saint Paul to one particularly close friend who was a student of Rulla. He threw such a hissy fit. He left the lunch table angry and pouting and wouldn’t sit at the same table with me or speak to me for weeks. Finally, he apologized and said I was right. Then, after many years, having become a seminary rector, he contacted me though another friend to repeat that, yes, indeed, I was right. How’s that, you ask?

My critique is that they don’t think of sin, at all, even though Saint Paul here speaks of sin repeatedly.  And that’s why they then don’t think of redemption. They don’t think of Christ. Saint Paul does. Behold: after criticizing himself, casting aside coping mechanisms such as is also a manipulative use of religion, Saint Paul points us directly and only to Jesus who is the One to save him, wretch that Saint Paul, on his own, is:

“Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 7:25).

Do we change course by running back and forth, back and forth, back and forth? No. Christ Jesus reaches down and grabs us and snatches us up close to His pierced Heart, and we say: “My Lord and my God.” Thank you, Jesus.

/// Having said all that, don’t think I’m against a good and wholesome psychology. If one takes up the Sacred Scriptures, the writings of Saint Thomas Aquinas and Saint Teresa of Avila and Saint John of the Cross and Saint Therese of Lisieux, to name but a few, one will be able to glean a well rounded and useful psychology, but this is all based on a good, honest friendship with Jesus Christ our Lord.

I categorize this post with “Missionaries of Mercy” because I insist on all this talk of Jesus to my own peril. One makes enemies in this way. Some years ago over in Rome, while I would ever so quietly mention my opinion, the Rulla-ites, overhearing this, would go so far as to threaten a major public debate. They were actually beginning to plot this as something to be held at the Lateran Basilica of all places, that being chosen cleverly, however, as it is the Cathedra of the Successor of Peter. Perhaps one day.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (On the hunt! Gravitas edition)

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It’s been rather cold. It’s warm right now. Whatever it is that’s pictured above doesn’t seem to care, as it hasn’t changed one bit through it all, stably shining away just outside the church on the Guadalupe (i.e., Epistle) side of the church. Is it a flower? A vegetable? Some kind of carnation? Orchid? For all the flowers I collect for the Immaculate Conception, I continue to know nothing about flowers. I’m just happy to be on the hunt and collect whatever might seem to be utilized for rendering honor to whom honor is due (which is the definition of piety, by the way, a part of the virtue of justice).

Anxious, however, that I’ve been remiss, more hunting further afield is necessary. Ah! Here’s one, ultra super tiny. One needs good eyes for the hunt:

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Of course, once on the hunt, if that has been even a little bit successful, one stays on the hunt until more is to be found:

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Faced with this, presentation is paramount. The hunt must intensify. So, while on the most dangerous one-lane gravel road in Western North Carolina, with cliffs to the left and ravines to the right, these were to be seen:

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Brakes were jammed. Transmission was thrown into reverse. Hope was emphasized that I wouldn’t back into anyone while reversing on a blind corner. All was well. Except these are not quite flowers, something, instead, to do with some kind of moss:

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I suppose there’s a technical name for these “flowers” besides “flowers”. I don’t care. It’s the middle of February!

Meanwhile: I’ve been putting up some pretty heavy posts. Mind you, these posts on Flowers for the Immaculate Conception are not meant to be light posts.

The Immaculate Conception is a good mom, and, like all good moms, she has what’s called “gravitas”. She can handle stuff. Flowers are brought to her because she can handle the heavy stuff. It’s a thank you that doesn’t loose sight of the heavy stuff. It puts the heavy stuff in perspective. Flowers for the Immaculate Conception put things into perspective, even the heavy stuff, especially the heavy stuff.

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FBI Pistol Instructor re-qualification course: first time for this priest

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You can’t practice what I’m guessing is the FBI Firearms Instructor Pistol re-qualification course at an indoor range what with all the running and jumping around, so it’s away to the great outdoors where one appreciates the beauty of God’s creation. And that’s all part of it, btw, and all the more for those who are in deadly situations every day. The integrity of knowing how to be safe with some tools of self-defense is consistent with the integrity of walking in God’s presence.

The hermitage gun range is stretched up a super-steep pathway – at about 3,000 ft up, close to heaven, if you will – with the only kind-of-flat place being the starting firing line (used in this case for the first stage only), the rest of the path/course being as steep as 38º. But I won’t allow myself extra time for the parts where one is supposed to run, in this case climb, even with my middle-aged-ness kicking in. Real situations don’t allow for extra time. I’m told that shooting up-hill is more difficult. Good.

Here’s a downloadable graphic presenting in my own shorthand what I’m guessing is the briefest of re-qualification courses for FBI Firearms Instructors. This is only part of what they do, excluding the drive-by shooting scenarios, the “kill-house” scenarios, the pop-up discern bad-guy from good-guy exercises, etc. You can copy the graphic of this most basic part of the course below and fit two of them on one 8 1/2 by 11 sheet of paper. The timings are very generous.

FBI Tactical Pistol Instructor Course

If there are any mistakes with that, let me know. It’s a point per bullet. But I don’t know if a “hit” refers only to entirely inside the line of the QIT inside bottle or the whole “body.”

I only briefly researched this once like a year ago. I tried to verify it just now. There’s a lot of BS on-line. For instance, the entire first stage above is, from my research, to be done continuously in a total of 75 seconds or less. One guy put up four minutes for the first stage. That can’t be right. My times – which I thought were really slow, even for a first attempt, and not having practiced for a good while – came in at about 60 seconds. I mean, the entire course shouldn’t take but two minutes shooting time max, which, as I say, is already very generous. Of course, if you’re not changing out the target, you’ll still have to stop to count hits and mark out already fired shots after each stage.

Btw, I use not-foreseen-for-this-course Glock 19 Gen 4 that was refurbished by Glock down in Smyna, GA. With that, I use the absolutely forbidden ultra-evil never-to-be-used Blackhawk Serpa (it has a dangerous trigger-finger unlock for the holster). It’s just that it’s safe for everyday carry as it’s almost impossible for a bad-guy to take the gun. Any suggestions are welcome for an alternative OWB holster that’s similarly close to the body (which excludes pretty much all LEO holsters).

Previously, I’ve tried my own makeshift running courses – like running by a small target [paper plate] some seven yards away while shooting with whatever hand – but this is the first time I’ve done an “official” tactical pistol course involving running, or going from prone to a knee to standing, back to a knee, amid combat reloads and after that more running. The extra activity is done for the sake of getting the adrenaline going, and to make for a more realistic exercise. Great.

But perhaps I should combine the courses I’ve been doing, like the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal TPC (the timings for which are hilarious for me, as they are two and three times quicker than the FBI instructor course), and what I know of the SEALs TPC (even quicker), as well as a few exercises of my own, like shooting a suspended wobbly stake in half. Even direct hits with target ammo won’t snap it. It’s gotta be hit many times in the same place:

It’s not a sin to have some innocent fun that is also useful in real life. As I say, I’ve already had to draw up on a carjacker who had just robbed everyone at a rest stop and wanted a get away car. I had a police officer in desperate straits as a passenger. I was bringing him to the hospital for major surgery for an almost fully ripped-off arm at the shoulder. He was already helpless besides that as he was still suffering from a broken back because of one of the traffic stops he had made in the past. This cop in my passenger seat desperately said that this was a car-jacking. What was I supposed to do, let him be kidnapped, become a hostage (because he’s a cop) and perhaps be murdered? I support our LEOs! Surely saving the life of a cop and otherwise protecting a cop from grave injury isn’t an unseemly activity for a priest, is it?

Thankfully, at that very nanosecond, another LEO screeched to a stop in front of the robber, now would-be carjacker, kidnapper, hostage-taker guy. Then eight more cruisers joined that cop within seconds, and how many more from the other direction I don’t know as the first cop let us go as other cops joined in the apprehension.

If I write such things, it’s to demonstrate that priests are people too. It’s good for priests to know that they are human beings. And good for other people to know that priests are human beings. Just because of my background, this is my way of having fun. But it comes with a price – enjoyable – of keeping sharp, a bit edgy, well-practiced. I was happy for a day off. And, yes, lots of prayers were said too.

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They likely died in Chełmno extermination camp

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Chełmno Nazi genocide “camp” is about 30 miles North of Litzmannstadt Ghetto on the North side of Łódź, Poland. As it happens, about 20 years ago I gave a retreat near Łódź not knowing much of my ancestry at the time. As more things appear on the internet as the months go by, it seems that both parents and both grandparents of my mom were Jewish. The names are concentrated in Łódź. Only three people survived Chełmno. About 350,000 were murdered in Chełmno.

Here’s a picture of the children being rounded up to be put to death by the monstrous coward-Nazis:

Jewish children of Litzmannstadt Ghetto of Łódź Poland being brought to Chełmno Nazi extermination camp

I think of the guy who stole my identity, not knowing I’m Jewish, what with me on way to a Catholic seminary so many years ago. That “Shadow” of mine is now more vicious than ever, saying he wants to kill Jews. He has a handler who is also into “purification” of the “race,” (GS-13). He must be upset that he stole the identity of someone of race he hates. It’s a lifetime of frustration for him.

He has zero compunction for making arms transfers to the Sinaloa Cartel. Mexicans aren’t his race, so he doesn’t mind that 226,000 people have been exterminated, a number nearing the number of those exterminated in Chełmno.

I remember when he was in maximum security prison in Mexico, when he wanted me to get him money to pay off a Mexican to take his place in prison (get that?). Of course I didn’t give him a thing. Then I would have had two other people using my identity.

Instead, I asked him recently if he didn’t realize that his bad actions could get me landed in prison, as, after all, it’s done in my name. He immediately answered, instantly angry, that that’s all part of it, that I should get over it: “You just do the time and who cares?” My protestations that it isn’t right that I go to prison for his crimes didn’t register with him. It’s like I didn’t exist, didn’t count for anything. I guess that goes along with him shooting at me so many times.

It strikes me just now that this “Shadow” was recruited to help destroy a competing economy of a neighboring nation on the basis of his vicious racism. That racism wouldn’t permit his conscience to get in the way of doing what he did, you know, because those Mexicans in Mexico don’t count anyway, so that if they do exist they shouldn’t.

Just like the Nazi treatment of the Jews, all men, women and children are killed unless they have always been total sycophants of the cartel guys.

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JBS: Yaron Svoray & Simon Wiesenthal [Jesus sweat great drops of blood]

Mr Yaron Svoray, thank you. Having said that, a warning: Yaron doesn’t give details to this audience. Thank God. But what he says about Neo-Nazis today put me into what I wouldn’t rightly call a deep depression so much as an overwhelmingly clearer awareness of the evil that we can and do find anywhere around us and with the most unsuspecting people. This story is NOT for the innocent and naive. It contains things you can’t unhear. My recommendation: Don’t subject yourself to it. I put it here as a proof of the point made. Having said that, again, thank you, Mr Svoray.

Mr Yaron Svoray mentions that he thought he was going to simply die, not being able any longer to stand in the presence of such terrible evil, the pressure being too much. Just listening to his story I understood exactly the feeling he had. I know that feeling. I’ve experienced it. It’s not a depression thing, as people might describe as one’s insides being gripped by a darkness which drags one down. No. This is instead like one’s soul is trying to leave one’s body so as to escape the evil… the evil… The pressure of the evil, the feeling of inescapability from the evil, is just too much, as if one is going to get a heart attack. One feels like one is going to drop to the ground, dead. Don’t listen to Yaron, lest you die. It took me days to somehow be extracted from that feeling that one’s soul is trying to escape the evil, so close, I guess, to having a heart attack, enough for this to be noticed by others. Uggh.

Having said that, I profusely thank Mr Svoray for his presentation. He, a Jewish guy, having worked with the great Jewish educator and Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal (31 December 1908 – 20 September 2005), has, in this way, led me to the wounds of Jesus. In seeing those wounds, like Thomas the Apostle, one realizes that there is nothing that should surprise us. Jesus saw it all, already. But we are weak. Like Yaron, who knew all the horrors of the holocaust, and who was about to die just for being in the presence of evil… like Yaron, we are just so weak to behold any more evil in the present moment. What do we really know about evil? And if we do not have the wherewithal to withstand the evil, what, therefore, do we really know of God’s love, God who, in beholding all the evil, nevertheless so loved the world that He… ? Again, Yaron, thank you.

Having said all that, Jesus, in His human nature, also had this experience in the agony in the garden of Gethsemane, when He sweat great drops of blood. All of hell and hell’s evil and all the sin of all had come upon Him. Uggh! As the “Doctors of Calvary” tell us, in their examination of the Gospels and the Shroud of Turin, Jesus did indeed have a massive heart attack breaking the pericardium. Jesus died more of this heart attack before 24 hours would pass than He did from the torture and crucifixion. Remember that Pilate was surprised that Jesus had already died, the process of the effects of the crucifixion usually taking a few days. Jesus faced all the evil. Uggh.

The question then before us is this: Do we become cynical in the face of any and every bit of evil that we see, or do we allow ourselves to have our eyes opened however painfully right throughout our lives, and therefore do we allow ourselves to help others who are being subjected to the evil?

It is in seeing how far Jesus had to reach to get us, into our darkness, into the evil, knowing what it would cost Him to show us His goodness and kindness and truth… It is in seeing just how far Jesus had to reach to get us – and He coming among us anyway – that we can turn from the darkness to thanksgiving to God for Jesus coming among us.

For those of you who choose to watch that video… uggh… Just know I’ve warned you.

Having said all that, it is listening to this story a certain statement of a certain person who told me that he wants to “kill Jews” comes to mind.

I’ve never been one to say “Never again!” because it is too easy to think that in saying that one has already done enough. If you see something say something. But just like the tragedy at the school shooting in Florida, no one is listening. Too bad, that.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Jesus, Jewish-Catholic dialogue, Shoah

Homily 2019 01 30 – Parables, lest they repent and be saved (that being bad)

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Saint Mark and Saint Peter

That citation from the account of Isaiah’s vocation to dull hearts, stop up ears and blind eyes lest anyone see with their eyes and hear with their ears and understand with their hearts and turn to the Lord and be saved… you know… THAT citation that no one goes near lest we die of wretchedness.

A separate rant on Mark: I chose this passage in Mark for my doctoral seminar topic, discovering heaps about Mark’s usage, a totally cool citation from the Rabbis citing Isaiah. ;-) But NO ONE wants to hear about that because, you know, it’s always been said that Mark ignores the Jews and writes only for the Gentiles, you know, a short catechism thing. But that betrays everything in Mark. Interesting thing about Mark, whose Gospel commentators dismiss as being early, simplistic, a nothing burger, interesting that the passages which Mark shares with, say, Matthew, are longer in themselves than Matthew or at least are each even much more theologically developed than in Matthew. Weren’t expecting that, were you?

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National Anthem more than words. Regrets that Jenny the Jeep is for sale.

Thanks, Jeep, for that. Awesome National Anthem video. So, I’m even more sorry to say my Jeep Wangler Sport is for sale. The replacement title should be here from Raleigh any day. A tough call, that. Lots of memories. She’s a 1987 classic! 4.2 liter straight six Wrangler Sport which always strikes me as being twice the size of more recent Sports:

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She’s in pretty rough shape. To be sold “AS IS.” You’ll have to make her a Trailer Queen till you work on her if you’re brave enough and good enough to get her back into action. You can leave offers in the comments (which comments won’t make it though moderation). Be sure to provide valid contact info. We’ll see what we can do. The tires themselves are worth something, right?

Jenny was my “woods truck.” I wasn’t too smart back in the day.

jenny the jeep hauling logs 1

My neighbor made me a rack for out front so that I wouldn’t kill myself. Very kind of him. I’ll throw in the front rack. The lower log alone, green Red Oak that had tumbled down, surely weighed some 700 lbs. What a fright!

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I needed that weight out front to get up the ridge without tumbling backwards! BTW, the right front tire isn’t flat, just down in the ditch a bit.

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UPDATE: In response to a question, Jenny would need a tow-bar that you can rent at U-Haul, or a tow-truck with a winch to haul her up.

Another question as to the shifting. She’s got five forward and a reverse. Clutch! There’s another shifter from 4 wheel at low range to four wheel at high range, then also a 2 wheel high range. And a button-plunger gadget to assist in getting it to catch the gears. Hey! It’s 1987. Here’s a picture of that:

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Filed under Jenny the Jeep, Patriotism