Do we work to see ourselves working for the Lord or do we work for the Lord? It’s the difference between bitter darkness and joy in the Holy Spirit. Anecdote about a butcher knife to illustrate the incisive difference.
Priest responds to Catholic League’s Bill Donohue blasting Federal Electoral Commission Chairman Trey Trainor
Bulleted points (or in Italics on different platforms) in quotations marks are from Catholic League’s Bill Donohue (CL for short):
- “Trey Trainor, the chairman of the Federal Election Commission, is accusing the bishops of refusing to partake in electoral politics because they are more interested in receiving federal funds than they are in mobilizing Catholics. He even goes so far as to say that priests should disobey their bishop.”
- “Trainor says, “the bishops are using their non-profit status as a shield to hide behind from having to make a decision about who to support.” Why? Because they want federal dollars. “To look at the amount of money the Church receives for social services, I would say that they have a big fear of provoking the government into pulling money away from activities the Church is involved in.”
Up to this point, I agree with Trey Trainor. Great! But then CL has this:
- “In actual fact, the bishops have always been reluctant—properly so—to tell Catholics who to vote for in an election. We don’t go to church to get lectured to by priests who are Republicans or Democrats.”
Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! Con paz! Con paz! Just. Wow. Trey Trainor did not command the bishops who to vote for in an election. Trey Trainor did not command us to go to church in order to get lectured to by priests who are Republicans or Democrats. Trey Trainor did not command priests to lecture their congregations from the pulpit, endorsing this or that candidate. No.
- “To be sure, priests are entitled to discuss public policy issues that the Church supports, such as laws that restrict abortion or statutes that support school choice. But priests who go beyond this are crossing the line. None of this has anything to do with money—it has to do with prudence and respect for the conscience of parishioners.”
Just. Wow. As a priest, I’m allowed by CL to discuss public policy issues. Pfft! “Discuss.” No. I’m not going to discuss anything from the pulpit. I’m not going to throw up in the air for “discussion”, say, ripping unborn children apart in the wombs of their mothers and sucking them out with a vacuum cleaner, discussing this… No. These children are made in the image and likeness of God, and I’m going to declare with Jesus, who was in the womb of His Immaculate Mother for nine months that procured abortion is intrinsically evil always and in every circumstance. This is not up for “discussion.”
Does CL really equate procured abortion with school choice, the old lies of “Common Ground” and “Seamless Garment”. Unbelievable.
CL says that priests who go beyond this step over the line. Well, CL, I’m stepping over the line. Sue me. I’m going to say that procured is intrinsically evil and that this is not up for discussion at all.
CL says that this has nothing to do with money – it has to do with prudence and respect for the conscience of parishioners. I say, that’s bull crap. The bishops get tons of Federal Money for Catholic Relief Services, which is anti-Catholic, anti-Relief, and against true Services. The Bishops get tons of Federal Money for the Catholic Campaign for Human Development which is not Catholic, but is a campaign against that which is Catholic, and is entirely against Human Development. Let’s talk the Bishops’ support for groups supporting abortion. Yes. Let’s do that, CL. Let’s talk the prudence and respect of Jesus for the consciences of the money changers in the Temple, overturning their tables of money. Just. Wow. “Prudence.” “Respect.” I’ll tell you this, Jesus took us deadly seriously. He was tortured to death for it. Jesus doesn’t want us to go to hell. He instructs us without fear. What the hell are you doing, CL? Being men of consensus?
- “Worse is Trainor’s comments on priests and bishops. ‘When a priest takes the vow of obedience to the bishop, it’s in the area of faith and morals, but they have a higher duty to Our Lord. If the bishop is putting out something that is not right, then the priest has an obligation to the faithful to correct it because he has the higher duty to Our Lord.'”
And what Trey Trainor said is absolutely correct. I’ve taken that promise of obedience, knowing that such a promise is made within the structure of Canon Law. No bishop can legitimately command any priest to commit sin, say, by way of a sin of omission or in any other way. No priest has ever made a “vow” or promise to any bishop to commit whatever sin any bishop might command him to do. This is absurd of CL. Totally absurd. I’ll tell you this, dear CL, I would go to my death disobeying any bishop commanding me to sin. If a bishop were to command a priest to sin, it would be the very height of arrogance. But then, CL says this:
- “Arrogance is commonplace among Washington officials, but this one is a gem. Since when is it the job of the chairman of the FEC to offer theological instructions to Roman Catholic priests? What mantle of authority does this bureaucrat have to tell priests that they should disobey their bishops?”
Yes, well, Trey Trainor happens to be a Catholic who has the right in Canon Law to bring his concerns to the pastors of the Church. And if Trey is also a government official, does that mean that he has no right to the free exercise of religion in the public square, no right to freedom of speech, no right to express his conscience on the matter? Trey is not doing this from the offices of the FEC, but rather in a journalist’s studio. I thank Trey Trainor for the instructions he has provided. And, CL, just for your instruction, I do have a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum), a Licentiate in Sacred Scripture from the Pontifical Biblical Institute, a Doctorate in Theology from the Angelicum again. I applaud the instruction of Trey Trainor. His “mantle of authority” is that… wait for it… he’s right.
- “One would think that with all the hullaballoo about fraudulent ballots being cast, and all the chicanery about mail-in voting, that the head of the FEC would have better things to do than to tell the Catholic clergy what their responsibilities are. Trump needs to rein this guy in right away.”
I’ll tell you what, it’s fully my intention to cross the line set out by CL. I won’t discuss. I will instruct. I will defend the truth. I will defend children in the womb. I won’t command people how to vote, but I will say how candidates measure up to the absolute truth of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. Amen.
And, by the way, I also have better things to do than have to write such commentaries as this. I had the best day ever yesterday – to give an example – locked up in jail, giving another bible study. It was on the prodigal son. Tears of conversion flowed. I saw Jesus at work in these guys’ souls. I would much rather be doing all that than this commentary. And now it’s off to Holy Hours, Masses, Communion calls until nightfall. I love being a priest. Just don’t have the hubris of telling me how to be a priest, CL, well, you know, unless you’re right on something, like Trey Trainor.
P.S. I love what you do otherwise, CL. You do a great work for the Church. But with this attack on Trey Trainor, you’ve stepped over the line.
We live in a time of anti-God, marxist bullies, whose BLM Antifa style fascism (yes, they reflect each other), whose primary method of anarchism is meant to bait law enforcement officers into being ambushed, wherein no matter what happens, it’s the fault of any authority other than their narcissistic selves. The entitled bully’s is reaction to authority, which is, then, by definition, no identity at all:
- Identity politics is about being devoid of identity. There is no self-respect, no respect for others, no respect for God our Creator, no respect for the natural law or any law other than the absolutism of one’s personal relativity to oneself, which is nothing. Yuck.
Assassination of law enforcement officers is the “order” of the day, with such assassinations celebrated by all criminals who entitle themselves to blind obedience of their rich masters who pay them slave wages.
There’s a political party which celebrates such as this:
No apologies from this Catholic-priest-law-enforcement-chaplain: if I saw someone pumping bullets into law enforcement officers who were just minding their own business, I wouldn’t bother with any failure drill (two to the body and then one to the head if the threat weren’t yet ended), but I would rather just do a quick double tap to the head. Yes. No time to waste, especially with someone who looks like they might well be wearing body armor. Of course, then, as the priest, I would conditionally absolve the perp, you know, while calling in the “Shots fired!” and “Officers down!” and EMS and LEO assistance required. One hopes there will always be time for deescalation techniques. One hopes that one can use the old “continuum of force” fairy tale made up by someone who has never been in the field.
But encounters don’t always go very slowly, and are not always subject to a half dozen steps bringing one within rules of engagement, you know, greeting a person who then runs, who then resists arrest, who then gathers a crowd interfering with the arrest, who then assaults the LEOs with stones and bottles, who then grapples with the LEO, who then uses deadly force on the LEOs. It can go from zero to one hundred in less than a nanosecond.
It is expected, nevertheless, that the officer, while pumped full of bullets, will call social services to calmly talk the perp down at all of these stages, waiting an hour or two for the nice social worker to show up, that is, after a few weeks when messages are retrieved during these Covid-19 zero service, zero office hours difficult period we are going through in these USA and around the world.
When it goes from zero to a hundred in a nanosecond, there’s no time for this kind of BS. No deescalation techniques. No coping mechanisms. No offering of lolly-pops and cotton candy. No time.
There’s a political party which demands that the criminally insane be allowed to murder whomsoever they want, but especially law enforcement officers:
No apologies from this Catholic-priest-law-enforcement-chaplain: if I saw someone repeatedly plunging a Bowie knife into any law enforcement officer who was just minding his or her own business, I wouldn’t bother with any polite discourse, using words like sir or miss, or please, but I would rather just do a quick double tap to his or her head. Yes. And that’s even if I knew the guy or gal was criminally insane. He might not be personally responsible for his actions, being criminally insane and all that, but that doesn’t mean that the threat shouldn’t be subdued. We live in a fallen world. It’s not the officer’s fault or my fault if unjust aggression is afoot. It’s all very sad. I wish it weren’t so. The one who assists in lessening the threat is also a victim. Who wants to carry that event around in one’s soul for the rest of one’s life? Nobody. Deescalation IF POSSIBLE.
Meanwhile, I’m patriotic and I’ll tell you this, there’s only a small percentage of those in America (whether citizens or paid foreign terrorists) who are like that. Most people are like those I met on the day off yesterday. They were happy for me to take pictures of the backs of their T-Shirts:
I make it a habit to have lunch on the day off with another priest at this particular restaurant in the middle of absolutely nowhere. I don’t think I’ve ever been here when there hasn’t been some law enforcement officers, or spec ops guys and gals. This is the order of the day in this back-mountain region of Appalachia. There is no harassment of those dining here. ;-)
The other week as we were leaving that restaurant, one such guy threw out a greeting to me, and I made the observation that he had a tattoo of a very unique American Bald Eagle on his forearm (stating the extremely obvious), but I asked what the symbolism was, expecting something about that stylized eagle being the logo of a particular military group. He hesitated a couple seconds, perhaps not wanting to share anything like that at that moment while trying to eat with his wife (I’m so imprudent, but he started it), but he then exclaimed that it stands for “Freedom!” I laughed in joy and wished him a “Be safe!” as he did for me.
Look, I realize that this is not the experience of those who live even just down the road from me in Atlanta, where, as in so many other places, people are accosted while quietly eating in a restaurant, their meals thrown on the floor, getting spit on, insulted and shrieked at, their tables and chairs being overturned, and even elderly people being smashed to the floor and beat up by uncontrollable mobs. Let’s see… that would be defined for the elderly as at least grave bodily harm. I’ve seen what an intracranial hematoma can do to people – like a 66 year old parishioner of mine. She died pretty quickly after that, but only after tortuous suffering.
That kind of assault, threatening grave bodily harm or death in some circumstances to be evaluated, would also be a threat which would have to be confronted, though such a confrontation would surely – at least with me, I hope – be able to be wrought in such manner that deescalation of unjust aggressors would immediately ensue. These kinds of perps are such cowards when anyone confronts them. Just use the Jedi Knight trick by telling them – in no uncertain terms – that they will stand down, NOW! Yes. It does work.
Perhaps you remember that Jedi Knight trick:
Here’s the deal. We all want peace and joy, goodness and kindness, all of us, including and perhaps especially the perps. There’s no one more thankful for having been stood down than a perp who then has had an opportunity to think about it and repent. Praise the Lord, for His mercy endures forever. We pray for better times. We pray that we get through the next few months unscathed.
After sixty years of life, decades as a preacherman Catholic priest, our Lord has now been introducing me to His dear mother. Quite the statement, that, I know, I know. It is what it is. This homily goes hand in hand with the one yesterday. From these two homilies, yesterday and today, can you guess what the homily would be tomorrow if I were to have one (Mass super early in the rectory chapel on the day off)? After all, that will be the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows.
I had to quit quite abruptly as all this was getting me choked up…
This is an instruction about forgiving others when everything in us is screaming out: “Vengeance is mine, not God’s!”
I give a couple of examples in my own life to demonstrate how it is that we can forgive. I had to learn. It took years. I had really been smashed down.
A couple of articles have been published in recent years about terrorist suicide bomber Saeed Hotari.
- “I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” he said, thus claiming I’m not Christian [September 12, 2020]
- Update: My terrorist friend and the terrorist friend of USMC Secretary of Defense James “Mad Dog” Mattis [January 23, 2017]
There was nothing traumatic in all that. I was never much traumatized by my being shot at I don’t know how many times over decades and the ten thousand other “incidents” any one of which might throw someone into a trauma-recovery program, say, in North East Virginia, say, at Wolf Trap or at Liberty Crossing Campus. As I’ve often said however, bullets buzzing by one’s ears are certainly memorable.
In that more recent article linked above I mentioned that I carry. It’s a Glock 19, chambered. I like the Serpa Blackhawk OWB, for convenience, my stupid record (as I’ll never repeat that again) is 1.01 seconds for 2 to the “body” (spine) 1 to the head (brain-box) 25 feet out from the holster. Being in a state of prompt readiness to protect the innocent from unjust aggression is a virtue related to justice. Just to say it, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice, as Saint Thomas Aquinas points out in his commentary on the Sentences. Providing justice is a mercy. Yes.
I received a very clever comment on that more recent article. At first glance I thought this was a denunciation of carrying a Glock. But it’s not that at all. I didn’t let it out of moderation there as I wanted to give it a bit more visibility. I include my interlinear [comments]:
- “We cannot rely on our own ability to fight evil [she’s referring to Peter slicing off the ear of Malchus when Jesus is being betrayed, as we’ll see momentarily] but must depend on God. [I agree.] How often we forget our survival is totally dependent on God. [Hey! I forget all the time, you know, not having the beatific vision and all that. Yep. I agree. I want to go to heaven!] Eventually we all learn [well, some of us] that the unstable world [crux stat dum volitur orbis: let’s just call it a fallen world and figure this out] cannot be the source of our security, of true peace of heart. [“My strength shines out through your weakness” – Jesus to Paul] I’m interested in how you square your essay with Luke 22:51. [I’m paraphrasing because of bad translations, but Lk 22:51 is this: Jesus said: “All of you let me do this!” And He touched the ear of (Malchus) and healed him.] Your words make it sound like you live your trauma recovery [with me being Malchus and all… (adn with trauma recovery being a very technical term betraying much background in the same] in a state of protection with a clenched fist. [That is, not trusting in God and full of fear, whereby Malchus steals Peter’s sword and I forge it into a Glock. Very clever, that. And lots of work to be able to spit that out just like that. There’s no way out except like this:] Meanwhile another hand, not yours or mine, reaches out in the Eucharist. [See top picture on the Eucharist. And I agree with that, to a point.]
Malchus was an enemy, a servant of the High Priest, literally dead set against Jesus. Malchus learned from the mercy shown him to be sure. It being that I’m the Missionary of Mercy of the High Priest, Pope Francis, maybe I too should learn something of mercy. But is carrying a tool to protect the innocent from unjust aggression a lack of mercy making me the enemy of Jesus?
Jesus was a special case. His reprimand not only to Peter but to all the Apostles (it’s a plural imperative) was not about the inappropriateness of what Peter was doing so much as it gave Jesus a moment to show mercy to the end. This was precisely like His reprimand to John the Baptist: Let it be so for now for the fulfillment of righteousness! When Jesus was baptized He was asking our Heavenly Father to treat Him as if were guilty of sin, not just like the charioteers and soldiers of Pharaoh who were drowned for their sin of enslaving the chosen people, but He was asking to be treated like He was guilty for having enslaved all in sin, all peoples of all times, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Jesus lays down His life, taking on the punishment we deserve for original sin and all our own rubbish, so that He has the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. The Apostles see this mercy with Malchus and off they go.
Is it wrong to protect oneself and others while trusting in God while doing this mercy? No. In fact, it’s a contribution to the virtue of justice.
Two points and excuse my theological language:
First of all, I don’t want any trauma recovery, particularly not anything from Northeast Virginia. Why not? Because I’m not traumatized enough, not yet. As some priest friends from Colombia told me, “We’ve done nothing; we’ve not lain down our lives for the brethren.” Get me away from all that is trauma recovery. If anything, my therapy will be to put my fingers into Jesus’ wounds in His hands and my hand right into the wound in His side, into His heart.
My saying, “My Lord and my God” will be my entire trauma recovery, good enough to take my right through torture and death. I deserve everything I get along the way of the effects of original sin and my own, including being available to the malevolence of others (there ain’t no Glock that’s gonna stop that). And because Jesus laid down His life for me and called me to be His priest, He deserves that I un-clench my fists so as to Consecrate His Body and Blood at Holy Mass, so as to provide Absolution of sin, so as to Baptize, so as to Confirm… Yes. But I still carry. In calmness. Tranquility. You know the drill: “Carry! And carry on!”
It is no trauma to follow up on Jesus’ invitation: “As the Master, so the disciple.” Why not? Because His strength shines out through our weakness. His love carries us in the peace and joy of the Holy Spirit.
Let me give an example. This very morning, while that lady wrote her comment, I myself at the same time was being stripped of my carry and locked in jail. I’m out now, obviously. But you have to know that I feel most at home among sinners like Malchus because I’m so like him. I make lots of friends in jail. I have a Bible study with the guys every week. I love it. What a joy. And I gotta say, lots of the guys are much better prepared in the Scriptures than were my seminarians anywhere around the world. Truly. I love it. We help each other out to get to know the Lord. Believe me, no protection or clenched fists inside the stone walls. No, no. It’s all about Jesus. It’s all about putting that ear back on Malchus. And about letting that ear get put back on me by those, you know, “sinners” and all that.
But, hey! Not to worry my interlocutor comment friend. Maybe you can help me with a bit of trauma recovery after all. There are some adjustments to the “recovery program” that I’m on – if you want to call it that – (DS or DipSec might have another name for all that), adjustments which I would like to be implemented, but I won’t write about that or say it over the phone. I need an in-person interview with someone, say, I don’t know, just up from the Rosslyn metro stop, maybe at the Campus… Can you swing that, maybe with CCS oversight? That would be really, really cool. Seriously, if you want to help me, that would go a long way.
“I’m Christian, so I don’t carry a gun,” said some guy to me the other day – knowing I’m a priest and a law enforcement chaplain – thus claiming that I’m not a Christian because I do carry, thus claiming that all law-enforcement officers are also anti-Christian because they also carry.
If that guy’s house was being burned by mobs, and his family was getting raped and looted and killed, you know, because he himself is part of the he establishment, living in society as he does, I just bet he thinks he could stand idly by, watching all this in all safety, maybe filming it while trying to also call 911, waiting for law enforcement to arrive after minutes if not hours – depending on the day – arriving after his house was torched, after his family was raped and killed and after the mob had moved on to other neighbors’ houses to do the same. I bet he would call those “anti-Christian” police who also carry weapons. And when they arrived and stopped the criminals, I bet he would stop claiming law enforcement officers and any supporting chaplains are anti-Christian, having risked their lives to save the likes of him and his neighbors if not in time to save his family. No greater love and all that… He should sign up for some 2nd amendment instruction.
I’m guessing that he just doesn’t have the experiences I have. For instance, I knew Saeed Hotari pictured at the top of this post. I would consider him a friend ten years before he did what he did. But if I saw him walking into the Dophinarium strapped up with bombs likely weighing more than himself and screaming all Jews must die and shrieking that “Allah is great!”, I would neutralize the threat and be happy that I did, even while I was sad about the fallen state of the world in which something like that terrorist attack could be planned and put into action.
Here’s a list of Saeed’s victims who died. Add to that another more than 130 with horrific injuries, missing arms and legs, suffering hematomas and shattered skeletons. Perhaps that young man could recite their names, as the practice goes, along with their ages and where they’re from, asking himself what he would do if he was able to take out the threat. Would he stand idly be when there were only seconds to stop him? Would he call the IDF who might get there in time to put up police tape around the area? If he had a tool to stop the threat would he use it? Scary questions, for him, I’m sure.
- Maria Tagiltseva, 14, of Netanya
- Raisa Nimrovsky, 15, of Netanya
- Ana Kazachkova, 15, of Holon
- Katherine Kastaniyada-Talkir, 15, of Ramat Gan
- Irina Nepomnyashchi, 16, of Bat Yam
- Mariana Medvedenko, 16, of Tel Aviv
- Yulia Nelimov, 16, of Tel Aviv
- Liana Saakyan, 16, of Ramat Gan
- Marina Berkovizki, 17, of Tel Aviv
- Simona Rodin, 18, of Holon
- Aleksei Lupalu, 16, of Ukraine
- Yelena Nelimov, 18, of Tel Aviv
- Irena Usdachi, 18, of Holon
- Ilya Gutman, 19, of Bat Yam
- Roman Dezanshvili, 21, of Bat Yam
- Pvt. Diez (Dani) Normanov, 21, of Tel Aviv
- Ori Shahar, 32, of Ramat Gan
- Yael-Yulia Sklianik, 15, of Holon – died of her injuries on 2 June 2001
- Sergei Panchenko, 20, Ukraine – died of his injuries on 2 June 2001
- Jan Bloom, 25, of Ramat Gan – died of his injuries on 3 June 2001
- Yevgeniya Dorfman, 15, of Bat Yam – died of her injuries on 19 June 2001
“Father George, you don’t understand what with your putting up straw men examples like that, because that was in Israel where it’s just that ‘someone did something’ (Ilhan Omar), like it was, you know, an ‘incident’ (Nancy Pelosi) and ‘what does it matter anyway?’ (Hillary Clinton). We’re all nice here in America.”
I could multiply examples of myself getting shot at, but let’s limit this to just this area is just the last few days right here in this area:
- So, just the other day, not far as the crow flies, down in north Georgia, a deputy pulled over a truck and trailer. The guy immediately shot the deputy in the chest (who survived). They caught the perp and his accomplice and also found out that the perp was hauling illegal explosives, heading south on 75, which would be in the direction of Atlanta, you know, in time for the elections. Get it?
- So, just the other day, now in Western North Carolina, a deputy pulled over a guy who immediately got out of his vehicle and shot the officer in the face (who later died).
- Oh, and just the other day, about all the law enforcement in the region was doing an massive operation just down the road, no, really, like pretty much all available law enforcement in the region. Because we’re all nice.
I could continue, but, for my interlocutor pacifist, there’s really nothing I can say. If defense of the innocent from unjust aggression is a mortal sin of the magnitude that I can no longer be a Christian, what can I say?
Where do these people get this? Oh, I forgot. There’s a minister in the region who is aggressively promoting BLM, which stands for “Destroy the Police.”
We live in weird times. Even Jesus is mocked and killed:
It was just after 10:46:40 PM on the evening of September 11, 2001, in the chapel of the major seminary of the diocese of Wagga Wagga, Australia (14 hours ahead of us), during a Holy Hour (I taught Scripture and languages in that seminary) that one of the seminarians ran into the chapel and – out loud – said that I had to come and look at the television. I ignored him.
A few minutes later another seminarian came in to fetch me saying it was really important. America was being attacked. There are planes… I went. He ran down the long hallway the length of the seminary. I ran as best I could. Now I was worried.
I looked at the television screen and made the sign of the cross. I still tear up and get angry all at the same time.
As I listen to the names of those who died on September 11, 2001 during those terrible attacks, what comes to mind now as well is a scene I saw some hundreds of times play out in Lourdes, France, when I was (helping) to lead the usual afternoon Eucharistic Procession from inside the underground Basilica of Saint Pius X. When the procession came down the huge ramps into the Basilica proper, coming up to the main Altar, I couldn’t help but think that this is how things will look when the little flock on this earth make their way to the gates of heaven. How’s that?
As the wheelchairs and hospital beds on wheels were rolled in, followed by those who hobble along and walk, just as they were, all of broken humanity coming before the Divine Son of the Living God, I then imagined that, as they came in through the gates, they all got up from their wheelchairs and hospital beds, all beginning to leap for joy in their humble thanksgiving and reverence before Jesus, our Messiah, Our Lord and God.
May the souls of the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
But, again… where were you?
Ilhan Omar downplaying Islamicist terrorism saying: “Some people did something.” That’s it. After Joe Biden is declared incompetent under the 25th Amendment, Harris will become President and she’ll get Ilhan to become vice-president. Then the USA will be no more. China wins. And a war between China and Islam will play out right here. No one wins.
Nancy Pelosi won’t help get rid of of Islamicist terrorism. How could she? She calls September 11 2001 an “incident,” you know, like your shoelaces becoming untied. Take a look at the next picture. Do you agree?
But – Hey! – Maybe Harris will get Hillary to be vice-president, you know, to keep the theme going with more support from our domestic terrorist voters, who agree with her about the deaths of our military heroes when she says about their deaths: “What difference does it make?”
What do you expect from people who are maniac pro-abortionists. It’s all about death, death, and more horrific death to them.
What a dark time we live in.
But the Light shines in the darkness. “Let your Light so shine before men…”
Be not afraid.
I don’t know what happened here at our local grocery store parking lot. That’s police tape wrapped around it. That would be an indication that all is not well here in Andrews, NC. But I won’t conjecture about it.
[[ Update: Apparently the engine was being worked on by a family member and another family member didn’t make much of it, and then the engine started on fire while he was driving. He got out safely. Total loss, of course. Yikes! ]]
But I am reminded of vehicles I’ve been given to drive by “nice” enemies over the decades, vehicles which reeked of gasoline fumes, enough to knock you out altogether. It’s the good ol’ boys whose club I wasn’t in, who faked being nice to me. But – Hey! – I had no money, so I happily received these as “gifts.” A friend of some of those enemies but not so much my enemy told me to pop the hood after I had just then returned from an errand. He opened the hood…
- “Get out! Now!” he said with ashen face, stepping back, stunned at what he saw.
- “What is it?” I asked, concerned because of his behavior.
- “The gas line’s been slashed,” he said. “Gas is spilling over the hot manifold. It’s impossible that your vehicle isn’t on fire. It’s a miracle.”
- “Not to worry,” said I, trying to reassure this long-hall semi-truck driver and mechanic that all was well: “I’m sure there’s a firewall. I could’ve just pulled over and gotten out.”
- “In this vehicle that won’t give you more than a few seconds,” said he, “and then the inside compartment would be filled with flames. You gotta really good guardian angel.”
I was all smiles, as my guardian angel is, in fact, good, like all other guardian angels, reflecting God’s glory and doing God’s will with prompt eagerness. My first thought was that I fell far short of that prompt eagerness and wanted to do better for the greater glory of God, and was being given some overtime for this end.
The same enemies gave me another vehicle more recently, this time with a hole in the gas tank. “Just don’t fill it up,” they said. “Only put in a little at a time,” they said.
Meanwhile, I was about to pass out because of the fumes. I gave that vehicle away, warning the guy I gave it to about the problem.
- “Not a big deal,” he said, “I can fix that right quick.”
- “But the fumes will about knock you out,” said I, “stop smoking and driving at the same time.”
He laughed. He dealt with it in a way I couldn’t and is still driving that vehicle to this day. Good on him.
I could continue about vehicles I’ve been given with no brake pads, others with cut brake lines, others where the outer-tie-steering-rod-end was cut through with a hack saw except just a little bit, about slashed tires, about certain, um, devices, etc., on and on.
Much more recently, Sassy the Subaru has had unending problems, some of them entirely deadly, which seem entirely extrinsic to the Subaru itself, not the fault of the Subaru, but because of an external intervention… But I better not speak of that too loudly. These were bad enough that when I realized what was happening, I pulled over immediately and got the vehicle towed to get some emergency repairs – taking many hours – again and again. It is what it is. I’ve learned to be patient, actually, taking it all in stride.
I’ve learned that what’s important in life is to get to heaven, which has a set time for all of us, and that our guardian angels are going to make sure that it’s at that time set by Almighty God and not by someone else. My sights are set on heaven, so I don’t much care how things work out on earth. It’s all good.
Still, I do have a fire extinguisher with me in the passenger-door-compartment. I’m mocked for that. But I’m good with the mockery. I’ve already had to use it. I also have a first-aid kit. :-)
P.S. As I reflect on the decades, I recall so very many telling me, stunned about close calls of all kinds, that ” You’re protected,” and “You have a good guardian angel.” Yes, it’s all a bit frightful, actually.
I’m sure we all have dozens of stories to tell about our guardian angels. It’s good to thank them regardless of whether or not we recognize their activity.
This beast, hanging out underneath the leaves, is the manduca quinquemaculata, which, as a caterpillar, is the tomato-tobacco hornworm. No tabacco here, so they just have to eat my tomatoes. They turn into this, the five-spotted hawk moth:
“Hawk moth.” That’s rather a compliment. I call it a turd moth.
I’m still enjoying gardening. Finding out even about turd moths is a welcome break from the mayhem of the day, and here, in the drug capital of WNC, from the mayhem of the night as well. Still, I would rather eat the tomatoes instead of them.
“Instead of them…” That didn’t sound right. I meant I would rather eat the tomatoes instead of the horn worms eating the tomatoes. I didn’t mean that I would rather eat the tomatoes instead of me eating the horn worms. But there is some discussion of massive huge worms being an alternative source of protein. Just. No. Can’t do it. Even if it was all scientifically proven to be “good for you.” That would be like eating a… turd.
Wherein a rather vivacious apologetic is offered for the medicinal usage of excommunication. Here’s the deal: I’m Pope Francis’ Missionary of Mercy. Most of what we do is to lift non-declared excommunications, you know, latae sententiae. And then we absolve whatever sin, however reserved, according to the faculties granted us by the Holy Father. Pope Francis didn’t say that there is no such thing as excommunication anymore. No, no. He holds that there is so much latae sententiae excommunication going around that we need more personnel than is present in the Apostolic Pentitentiary over in Rome. Thus, the Missionaries of Mercy.
My internet interlocutor who challenges me on the Gospels of the day sent a missive just before Mass. So, what could I do, but preach on all of that after some remarks on the Gospel. I love it.
I’m so bad and evil, precisely the reason why I rejoice for Matthew becoming Saint Matthew. The irony is crushing, exhilarating, joyful, mirthful, utterly and only Christian…
Police Officer Paul Perrette, age 49, was an eight year veteran of the Monroe NC Police Department. He added three more years as a Monroe High School Resource Officer. Tons of commendations from the PD and civic groups. The then-Police-Chief Bryan Gilliard said, “This is a heartbreaking loss for our department, the students at Monroe High School and our residents. Paul was a very well-respected and well-liked member of our department and community and we are all just devastated.” Monroe High School Principal Mike Harvey said, “We are all praying for the family as they try to come to grips with horrible loss. We are one family right now and we will work together to support one another and get through this.”
Obituary: “He attended meetings at Turning Point once a month speaking with victims and their children. Paul was a member of the Monroe Police Special Response Team, a member of the Monroe Police Field Force Unit, a member of the Blue Horsemen Motorcycle Club and he worked with the Police Explorer Program.” He’s survived by his wife Danielle, and his two children Cory and Nicolette.
Back in 2019 I put up a post on this blog about the roadside cross honoring the life of Officer Paul Perrette, including the pictures of that cross which are now brought into this post, as well as the paragraph after the picture below:
- “I noticed this in the territory of the parish for the first time the other day up Junaluska Road East of Andrews. He didn’t make it on to the ODMP [Officer Down Memorial Page] as it seems his was not a LODD [Line of Duty Death]. He was not part of our Police Dept, serving elsewhere. He was on a motorcycle and this stretch of road is notoriously dangerous. I can think of a number of scenarios. Whatever way an officer dies we honor his life of service and mourn his passing. Thanks, Officer Perrette. RIP”
This is a sharp curve with multiple sharp curve arrow signs. Did he just misjudge the curves? Right now, a few years after the fact, in late 2020, I doubt that more than ever. Other things have just now come to light. I think he was blown off the road by some idiot who, with four wheels, could take the curve a bit tighter, and then while passing him on the double-yellow blind curve, crowded him off the road which Paul was hoping to negotiate without slamming his rear brakes and skidding off. I’ve noticed that kind of horror about to be done I don’t know how many times over the years in this mountainous parish. The guys with four wheels on their vehicles who do this kind of thing are such cowards, hiding behind their four wheels, actually bumping the motorcycles ahead of them. Idiots, surely all on day three of a meth “high”.
Yesterday, September 7, 2020, just before Mass, some church members told me that the cross was missing since this past Friday, so, September 4, 2020. So, it was probably taken down, cut down, torn out sometime on the night of Thursday, September 3, 2020. These church members noticed the missing cross, they said, as they always say a prayer for Paul and his family as they pass by on their way to church.
I raced to the location after Mass, and, wading through the poison oak, I despaired of finding the cross. Maybe we’ll find it when the vegetation is cut down to ground level as in the picture above. It might be on the river bank. Maybe they dragged it out and threw it in a vehicle. Maybe they cut it up in bits and pieces and threw it in the river. Here are a few more pictures taken September 7 at that particular location:
FTP. It’s used to persuade people to hate the police, to destroy the police, to kill the police. FTP means F*** THE POLICE. Imagine the heartbreak of his family what with his memorial cross torn down and FTP appearing in its place… My heart is broken in solidarity with them…
The FTP on the road itself is aimed, if you will, to the place on the river bank where the cross was standing. As for the one who just now destroyed the memorial cross of Officer Paul Perrette and painted FTP all over the road and on multiple road warning signs, well, I bet he’s the very one who ran him off the road a few years ago. Just my conjecture. But you can be sure of this – in building a profile of this guy – he really hates police, like he has an ax to grind, not against Paul, mind you, but against all police. And that my friends, sounds like a sociopath on the hunt for a victim, a victim for whom Paul is just now the symbol.
Here’s a picture which should tell you a little bit about him. Paul is the one in the dark uniform:
As a law enforcement chaplain in this area, I would like to do what I can to replace the roadside memorial cross of Officer Paul Perrette. I’ll see if I can get the proper permissions from the NC DOT today.
May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
There are responses, like wasps and such, but you have to like having wasps around. They never really bothered me, so I’m good with them. There have been only a few. I don’t mind them, even though they do a bit of damage to some of the tomatoes. I just cut out the bad parts and eat the rest:
After the rains the tomato plants have really been growing, putting out many more tomatoes and much bigger tomatoes altogether, faster than any infestation of army worms can go after them.
Analogy with the spiritual life: we might have tons of weaknesses and such, but the love of the Lord by which He draws into the grace of His friendship, can grow stronger in us so much faster than any weaknesses and such, allowing us – if we so choose – to stay super close to Jesus, in all humble thanksgiving, thanking Him, with joy, that he would take us out of this fallen and ever so aggressive world with all of its aggressive monsters, usually with just two legs, and on to heaven. Thank you Jesus.
“Someone” put up Arabic subtitles to the entirety. Brilliant. But then YT took it down, and it remained down, for years. Now it’s back up. :-)
Lest we forget. There is an election coming up.
- Do we want this kind of mayhem in the streets?
Oh, I forgot. We already do. Don’t think for a second that idiot bombers like this will not be found in America. We’ve had plenty of domestic terrorists (sorry if I don’t speak with legal language but rather colloquially and with truth. Well, I’m not sorry.)
We’ve had plenty of terrorists hiding out or training up right here in my small Appalachian town of Andrews, NC. Not only idiot bombers that it took the FBI years to investigate, but even the September 11 terrorist pilots trained up in our tiny little airport.
Plenty of people want to assassinate police and kill innocent people, looting, raping, committing arson, assault. It’s commonplace. And not only here.
- “You’re exaggerating, Father Byers! You’re a conspiracy theorist. You should just shut your face. You deserve to have your face shut for you.”
Oh. I see.
There are people who have lived the American dream, or think they have, but have not. Some people have lived very sheltered lives, but have done well in life, enjoying themselves, never a problem, and after a lifetime they say to themselves that they’ve been living the American dream.
No. They have not. Not at all.
The American dream is dreamed by those who are not in the dream, but who make the dream happen, and know that it takes sacrifice to make it happen. Making the dream come true and in that way living the dream.
The sheltered lives crowd, truly the self-entitled crowd, who have no real idea of patriotism, no sense of service to others, no sense of respect for others, only concerned about themselves, don’t have any dream as they don’t want to change their circumstances in the least. And they let it all slip away, thinking that if they only double down on not striving for anything, it will all be good. They deny that there is mayhem.
Boston strong? America strong? Yes. But it’s only the non-narcissistic who will make it happen.
Here’s how bad it is: even if the self-entitled get hurt, have their businesses and homes burned down, they will only be angry with those who do something about it, thinking that doing something about it makes it worse. And then defending the innocent from unjust aggression becomes a crime.
It’s already happened, right?
The response of the self-entitled is to vote for killing innocent children by way of electing the most pro-abort ticket in the history of fallen humanity.
The flag above used to be all about respect for the THIN BLUE LINE, honoring those LEOs active or retired, those who have been wounded in whatever way on whatever level on our behalf, those who have given their lives in LODD (Line Of Duty Death).
But now this has been perverted into BLUE LIVES MATTER. Well, I agree that Blue Lives Matter just as ALL lives matter. Sure. But I don’t use “blue lives matter” anymore because that’s a cave, it seems to me, to the “No lives matter until black lives matter” crowd, who don’t want to ever admit that all lives matter because – of course – their lives matter like everyone else.
But the thin blue line, the grieving, is just fine. It has nothing whatsoever to do with the Marxist agendas of the Dems and their anarchist protectees.
There was SJW minister round about who’s been wearing a Marxist Black Lives Matter Covid-1984 mask. BLM is anti-God, anti-Christ, anti-religion, pro-racism, pro-alphabets of all kinds, anti-nuclear family, and they want to entirely destroy law enforcement. I don’t get it. Can someone explain this to me?