Pelosi reincarnates Acosta. Laudie-dog Secret Service dog to the rescue!

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Pelosi saying that the State of the Union address should be put off because there is no security (that’s a lie, by the way), speaks to her desire, I guess, for a wall around D.C., or is it a fence, or slats, or a barrier, or a force-field, or more drones, or entitlement to nice thoughts?

I’ll loan Laudie-dog to the Secret Service for the evening. She’s a decent attack dog should any ne’er-do-wells show up to take over the District. Sorry to wake you up, Laudie-dog…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (popcorn edition)

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These are just outside the house of the neighbor to the hermitage. In January.

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Finding a house for “Shadow”

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For years my “Shadow” has been demanding that I buy fixer-upper safe houses for him in my name that he can use without his name being tied to where he is. Hmmm. Once in a while I run across those dwellings I think would be appropriate. Here’s one I saw on the Day-Off. I’m guessing it’s not too expensive. Great location though, next to a river, in the forest, on a one-lane gravel road in the mountains in an area in which LEOs fear to go, perhaps the most violent road in Western North Carolina.

“Dark humor” you say? You don’t know the half of it. None of it humorous. All dark.

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Verbalize your evaluation of your mother, Father George

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Recently, a CIA guy asked this question: CIA: How do you evaluate your mother? I then gave a more detailed response here: Edge of deadly. Still alive. Thanks mom, NIH-Bethesda. And then I found the picture above of the hand-carved Pietà which, at least when I was a kid, was situated in a side niche chapel in the at-the-time beautiful but now long wreckovated crypt church of Saint Mary’s Cathedral in Saint Cloud, Minnesota. This used to be a purposely-in-the-shadows mysterious just-lit-by-candles shrine with prei dieux surrounding the banks of candles. At least they left one prei dieu. I’m happy to see it’s well worn.

My best memory of mom is when – frequently, mind you – she would bring me, just a couple of years old, then three and four and five… when she would bring me down into those mysterious candle-lit shadows and we would kneel before Mother Mary holding her ever so dead Son, the Incarnate Word. She taught me how to light a candle. I would look on in wonder and awe at the majestic Mother of God holding Him… Jesus…

I would return here on my own when I knew a bit of Latin. Understanding what it meant, it was instantly ingrained in my mind in Latin, and re-echoed throughout my life quite continuously:

  • O vos omnes qui transitis per viam, attendite et videte si est dolor sicut dolor meus.
  • O you, all of you who pass by the way, be attentive and see whether there is a sorrow such as my sorrow.

That, of course, is from the Hebrew Scriptures, Lamentations 1:12, that is 1:ל. You know the inscription above, the abbreviation for the Latin, INRI, Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. It’s a fuzzy picture, but there are also the beginning and ending letters of the Greek alphabet, the Alpha and Omega, you know, the First and the Last, He Who Is. And then there’s the more visible symbol of the Greek letters beginning the title Christ, that is, Messiah, the Anointed One, the Suffering Servant, the One who takes upon Himself all our transgressions, sins, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so as to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

So, Mary beholds the sins of the world wrecked upon her Son. Could there be any sorrow like hers? And we kneel before Jesus in her arms, our hearts ripped out of our chests…

And my mom brought me here to introduce me to Jesus’ mom. What do you think I think of my mom? Can I verbalize it? Words fail me. Did Jesus love His mom? Could He, the Word Incarnate, Verbum Incarnatumverbalize that?

I’ll just light a candle, you know, something about the Light of the Nations, the Light shining in the darkness, and then say a prayer… Hail Mary…

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Matt Pearce Story – How to listen

Here in far Western North Carolina, we’ve had some difficulties with Law Enforcement. Right now, in my county, there are several State Bureau of Investigation investigations going on, and a multitude of Federal Bureau of Investigation investigations. It comes down to just a few individuals being involved, of course. As with ever sector of society, it’s just a few bad eggs that stink up everything. It’s not everyone. Far from it. I say all that for the criminal element among us who think that accusation is proof of crime. I’m sure you can make the analogy.

Anyway, when listening to this story, watching it, don’t so much be thinking that Matt is a hero as if what he has done is unattainable to the rest of the great unwashed, somehow beyond everyone else, a freak occurrence. No. Doing what we’re supposed to do in whatever circumstances we are in is just what we are supposed to do. Meeting up with the likes of Matt is an occasion to be inspired to do just that.

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What makes mass shooters tick?

Upshot, as it were: Help the police do their job in this dangerous world.

There were warning signs about the shooter: Ignored, of course. The Canadians want to think that everyone is nice all the time. How dare we ever even insinuate that someone might not be nice. Everyone is entitled to be thought of as being nice! And then tantrums and hissy fits ensue. Just like in these USA these days.

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The upshot of that ignorance: train up not only to see the warning signs but to act on them. It’s called situational awareness. But it’s not as easy as all that. Quick and easy solutions are usually the fast road to death and grieving. Sure, arm the police. Sure, pay attention to the guy who says he wants to kill people. Easy. Do that. But those aren’t the only things.

For instance, what about the Stephen Paddock or whatever his name is, who shot up Las Vegas? To this day “no one knows the motive.” Really? Cowards! How does one get people to face reality? See my rant on the cowardice of some of our intel community:

Stephen Paddock’s motivation and our motivation in not finding his motivation

Humility. Humility. Humility. Start with oneself. Sure, we all have unrepeatable circumstances by which – right now anyway – none of us would do those terrible things. But that’s an occasion for us to congratulate ourselves to the point where we don’t know that by so doing we give ourselves a licence to do those very things. Ah, the irony of it. People are afraid of irony. It’s too hard hitting. It’s offensive. It’s to be dismissed as literary trickery. And because of that arrogance that we are all better than the rest of men, people will die either because we won’t catch out those who are murderous or we ourselves will fall into that violence. Impossible, you say? Just following “orders” you say? Where have we heard that before by people who have congratulated themselves? It happens more quickly than you think.

Solution (in case you missed it): Look at the link about Stephen Paddock above.

No, really! Click.

hilaire bellocAnd if you fail to understand irony. Think of Jesus on the Cross, standing in our place, the Innocent for guilty, He bearing the weight of our evil, becoming like a mirror of our evil. And now, with that in mind, read over this frightening bit on irony from the great Hilaire Belloc:

“To the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul.”

[Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]

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Patriotism: I’m overwhelmed

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The great Beverly Elliott at Congressman Mark Meadows field office in Murphy NC was able to nudge the Navy guys in Millington TN sufficiently that dad’s list of medals and then the medals themselves were provided. I had been unsuccessful for decades, but she was able to do this straightaway. Ms Elliott didn’t like just giving them to me, so she offered to get hold of a guy in Waynesville NC who makes shadow boxes for medals of decorated veterans pro-bono, and then said that she’ll try to get Mark over so that these could be presented a bit more officially. I love that. Dad, post-mortem, will be able to encourage a bit of patriotism in these USA. We need that always and especially today.

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I tried to place the medals in order of precedence. Note the double issuance of the first two medals as signified by the stars on the ribbons, and the triple issuance of the last medal as signified by the two stars on the ribbon of that medal. I’ve written of the first three medals in generalities:

Ms Elliott said that she’s going to try to get the stories of the particular circumstances for the issuance of the first number of medals as recommended by the POTUS of the day.

The above medals are issued by these USA. There are three other medals issued by the Philippines, Korea and even the United Nations – Hey! – the back-in-the-day-U.N.!

 

Patriotism is a virtue of the natural law and is blessed by God. Speaking of God, my best memory of dad is when I was only a few years old and was able to walk up the aisle of the Cathedral church to kneel at the linen-covered altar rail with him at Communion time. I’ve written of this before:

My favorite memory of him was back in the Autumn of 1962, when I was just 2 1/2 years old. I’d walk up in the Communion line next to him with the rest of the family behind us. This was at the Cathedral with its gorgeous altar rail with the linens flipped over the top. I was always impressed by the linens getting flipped over the top, just as I was with kneeling there beside my dad, reaching up as high as I could to put my hands under the linens like he was doing. I was pretty small. I was filled with such wonder and awe and reverence as the priest and altar boy with paten would make it over to us. They would start on the Epistle side. We were always on the Gospel side. Everything worked together to instill reverence.

It was good be on my knees with dad before the Lord Jesus. Very good.

Why mention that in this post on the medals of a highly decorated war hero? Because here we have a warrior on his knees, in reverence, before The Warrior, Jesus, in the epic battle of good over evil, God over Satan. And dad is with Jesus. I love that.

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Malicious solidarity with Pope Francis, Jesus’ “holy servant”?

World Youth Day 2016 Pope Francis and Jesus

It is not malicious solidarity with Pope Francis to pray for him. Those who agree with Pope Francis on pretty much everything should pray for him. Those who disagree with Pope Francis on pretty much everything should pray for him. It’s “traditional” to pray for the Pope:

V. Let us pray for Francis, the Pope.
R. May the Lord preserve him, give him a long life, make him blessed upon the earth, and may the Lord not hand him over to the power of his enemies.

V. May your hand be upon your holy servant.
R. And upon your son whom you have anointed.

Let us pray. O God, the Pastor and Ruler of all the faithful, look down, in your mercy, upon your servant, Francis, whom you have appointed to preside over your Church; and grant, we beseech you, that both by word and example, he may edify all those under his charge; so that, with the flock entrusted to him, he may arrive at length unto life everlasting. Through Christ our Lord. R. Amen.

About those words “holy servant” or the vocative title “Holy Father” or, for those in the Pontifical Household, “Most Holy Father,” we have to realize that “holy” in the most ancient sense refers to being chosen out of, set apart, and hasn’t necessarily to do with whether we are canonizing anyone. In fact, the prayer is about the Pope subjunctively getting to heaven, which is in question. Get that? And that will permit the lefties, who think there is no such thing as holiness, to pray for him. And that will permit the traditional-ism-ists, who don’t think of Pope Francis as “holy”, to pray for him as well.

I hope that people would pray for me while I’m still alive. I need all the help I can get, and I’m just a back-mountain country priest in the tiniest of all parishes. Imagine the horror that Satan puts any Pope through.

When I die, I hope people pray for me that I might be able to get out of purgatory. If I go to hell your prayers go for others. If I go to heaven your prayers go for others. But if I am indeed in purgatory otherwise until the end of the world, you would do me a great favor by praying a Hail Mary for me and getting me on my way to heaven. Wouldn’t it be terrible for a priest to know that he is in purgatory until the end of the world unless someone prays a Hail Mary for him, as he watches his entire parish from purgatory, and everyone in the parish is saying that Father George was so holy, so surely he went straight to heaven, and we don’t need to pray for him, and so we won’t pray for him. And I’m going, like, “No! Instead, please pray a Hail Mary for me! Pleeeeaaaasse!”

On the one hand, it is malicious solidarity with Pope Francis to be a “Yes”-man who just says anything one thinks Pope Francis wants to hear. That would be evil and bad. I hope that I am not ever a sycophant of anyone.

On the other hand, humor is not malicious solidarity as there is always some bit of truth in the humor, which can be a backhanded critique:

“Cute” is nice. But the first thing we would want anyone to say about any of us is that we speak of Jesus, right? Is that the first thing people say about us, that we speak of Jesus? And so, we pray for each other. Also for the Pope. It would be downright malicious not to pray for each other, or specifically, not to pray for the Pope.

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C-17A Globemaster III over rectory

Just out of the picture is a small ridge to the South side of Andrews upon which Holy Redeemer church is situated. Seems to me that had he turned his wing down anymore he would have mowed the trees down at the top of that ridge. Here’s a stock photo:

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As it is said, the Globemaster III “incorporates advanced-technology features such as winglets, a supercritical wing section and high-performance turbofans with thrust reversers [which are super quiet if you ask me]. [It] can routinely operate from airfields previously denied to jet-powered transports.” [Andrews airport is ultra-tiny, but is where the September 11 2001 terrorist pilots got their training hours in.] […] [It’s] a workhorse of the USAF, flying regular strategic supply missions around the world. […] It replaced the Lockheed C-141 StarLifter. […] It can carry M1A2 Abrams tank, or three Stryker 8×8 armored vehicles, or three AH-64 Apache helicopters, or air-droppable platforms up to a weight of 49.8 t. It can also carry a mix of palletized cargo and vehicles. […] If required, it can operate from unpaved, unimproved runways.”

Just a thought: It’s true, is it not, that the military crowd were special favorites of both John the Baptist and Jesus (even the occupying forces)? Yep.

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Road danger: frustrating “fixes”

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On the “Day Off” yesterday, the first, it seems, in months, the hermitage got a visit. Sorry, but I had to get my target practice “fix” for the pre-2001 Federal Air Marshal TPC (93% and 96% with 7″ dessert plates out 21′ for targets, but overtime again on stage six).

Curiosity killed the cat, right? But having been told the one-lane gravel back ridge mountain road was washed out for miles, I had to take a look. The State road crew beat me to it, not that they looked like they were working on any reconstruction though. I’m guessing that they were actually looking for ways that they could do up a more permanent fix to what seems like the most wash-out-able road in North America. This little area in the mountains, I guess because of topographical formations, gets twice the rainfall as an average official rain forest. We got just under 10″ in less than 24 hours.

Analogy: basically, one can coast in neutral for miles down this gorgeous road with its waterfalls and cliffs, enjoying the natural beauty, easy if also dangerous, though not so much if one knows how to avoid the literal pitfalls… or at least thinking one can avoid the unforeseen dangers… until one is caught out. Perhaps there will be guardian angels to stop one from paying the ultimate price for imprudence and stupidity. The road to hell is also beautiful, on which one can coast in neutral… until one can’t get out. And then it’s too late. Better to change course. Jesus is the Way. In this case of the actual road, I took a detour of some 10 miles and 20 extra minutes, but, as it turns out, of course, even more beautiful, and of course, safer. And that’s the way with Jesus, by whom, with whom, in whom we get on our way to heaven.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (tinier than itsy-bitsy edition)

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Sometimes, situational awareness has one actively hunt down that about which one wants to be aware. Where to get flowers for the Immaculate Conception in January? These are by the hermitage on the North side of a base of a massive tree which gets no direct sunlight, especially during the Winter. I suppose these are not technically flowers, but – Hey! – I think they still do the job, maybe the help of a magnifying glass.

And, yes, this is just the thing to share with the world when the whole world is going to hell. As the monster runs into hell, this is just the kind of thing which trips him up so as to reconsider.

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Baptism of Jesus the sinner?

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This coming weekend we celebrate the Baptism of Jesus. So, like, when’s the last time you heard a rousing sermon on the Baptism of Jesus that was something more than “Jesus sanctified the waters” (true but there’s more to actually say) on the one hand, or Jesus was a sinner and needed baptism like everyone else on the other hand (the incessant clamor of the filthy, filthy, filthy liberals)? Print this out and give it to your priests (and deacons… and bishops for that matter) to help them get the plot…

  • So, because of Abraham’s lack of faith (and therefore lack of openness to, you know, life, for, like, what, 25 years before he finally believed in the Lord, and not because of his faith but because of the faith given to him by the Lord God, well, because of all that previous lack of faith there would be a punishment, which is that for hundreds of years the chosen people would be enslaved down in Egypt.
  • They were then brought to the Lord God on eagles wings. They went through the sea on dry ground and their pursuers, the soldiers and charioteers of Pharaoh, were drowned as a punishment for enslaving the chosen people for physical labor.
  • John the Baptist, the greatest prophet, preparing for the coming of Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, wanted to give people an opportunity to have a humble and contrite heart so that they would be prepared for the words: “Father! Forgive them!” After all, the chosen people of his day had been enslaving each other in sin and deserved to die just like the soldiers and charioteers of Pharoah.
  • John, with utter brilliance, had the people come down into the waters of the Jordan, long a symbol of the sea during the exodus. The people confessed their sins publicly and went under the waters to show that, with humble and contrite heart, they deserved to die like the soldiers and charioteers of Pharaoh for enslaving each other in sin. Perhaps the Lord God would forgive them of their sin.
  • Jesus, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, comes down for the baptism to that, under the waters, the innocent for the guilty, He could confess our sins, the Suffering Servant, calling out to our Heavenly Father that He might be treated as guilty of all sin from Adam until the last man is conceived, and thus have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.
  • After this event, when the skies opened, the Holy Spirit descended, and the Father spoke of His Beloved Son, Jesus then spoke of how much He was constrained until He could be baptized with the baptism for which He came, the Baptism in His own blood, the punishment for our sin.

Thank you, John. Thank you, Jesus.

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Those who have no sense of irony, that Jesus is Irony Incarnate, don’t get the plot, and are always stuck on merely external indicators of religion. Too bad, that.

For instance, from the right, about all I’ve ever heard is that Jesus sanctified the waters by His presence, thus recalling the Fathers of the Church, that is, their shorthand way of speaking in homilies and sermons. The Fathers packed in much more than that, but so many of those on the right don’t want to go there. They might get the plot.

For instance, from the left, the filthy, filthy, filthy left, about all I ever heard is that Jesus went down to John’s baptism unto repentance for the forgiveness of sin because He was in fact a sinner and He knew it or at least wanted to look politically correct because everyone else was going down for the baptism.

Jesus, have mercy, bring us into your way of salvation, your self-sacrifice, your truth, your goodness and kindness. Amen.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (itsy bitsy edition)

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Tromping across the mud to get these. It makes no difference in the bigger scheme of things, you say? Actually, the bigger scheme of things is for this kind of interaction with the Holy Family. We’ll all believe it the very nano-second we die and enter into whatever kind of eternity we’re going to enter into. And we will do that much sooner than later. And we’ll know that too as soon as it irretrievably happens. No going back. Time for Confession. See that? Pay attention to Jesus’ good mom and she brings us right to Jesus in the most important way possible. :-)

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Just to make anti-Catholics angry!

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After each Mass this past weekend. If I wasn’t diabetic, surely I am now. ;-)

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27 years a priest in a time of abuse, happy to remain a priest. Why?

Today’s the anniversary of my ordination to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. Ordination doesn’t refer to “orders given” as even some Catholics say today in such de-sacramentalizing, democratic fashion as if a mere commissioning given by a commission was ever sufficient, as if a degree and certificate saying “ordained” was actually something, like a graduation, a rite of passage. No.

The Sacrament of Orders refers to how the person himself, ontologically, is ordered, structured, fit to the priesthood of Jesus Christ, so that the priest might act in Persona Christi, in the Person of Christ, or perhaps better, so that the Person of Christ might act in the priest, accomplishing His sacraments, His priesthood through His merely human priest, regardless of whether or not that human priest is worthy, or even a believer of any kind. There’s really only One Priest: Christ Jesus. Holy Orders is not about putting the priest on a pedestal, but rather about smashing him down so that he is all about and only about Jesus alone.

Yours truly, 4 January 1992, ordained a Catholic priest. All except one other has already passed away in this picture.

Holy Orders is about the One Priest, Christ Jesus. It is Jesus who consecrates at the Last Supper; it is Jesus who forgives sin. Just as mysterious as we becoming members of the Body of Christ as Saint Paul puts it, so does Jesus take up mere men to accomplish His own priesthood. It’s all about Jesus. Jesus marries His Bride, the Church, by way of His wedding vows at Mass, the Last Supper, that Wedding Feast of the Lamb: This is my body given for you in sacrifice, the chalice of my blood poured out for you in sacrifice. The mere human priest recites those words, those vows in the first person singular and is himself thereby married to the Church by the sacrifice that he offers, and should thereby be willing to lay down his life for the flock as much as Jesus. But this is Jesus’ wedding with His Bride the Church by which He redeems the image of God within us.

How dare anyone say that priests are not married! It is that ignorance and malice and hatred for Jesus and His priests which has brought us the crisis we are in. People think they are nice in wishing that priests could get married, but this is really quite demonic. Listen up! If we priests don’t know that we are married to the Church, that we are to be fathers of the family of faith, what do you think is going to happen in living a lie that one is just a secular administrator, a functionary, and is not otherwise married for no discernible reason? The fruit of any marriage, children, will be attacked. It’s clockwork. Either everything that the priest is is given over to the priesthood of Jesus Christ – whose Priesthood is established by the vows of His own being married to His Bride the Church – or that priest will be a detriment to the salvation of himself and others. Period.

The priesthood of Jesus is all about re-establishing the image of God within us, and as Genesis says, this is a one-man, one-woman marriage and family image of God. Jesus has the right to marry His Bride the Church, that is, to redeem us, fill us with the life of God, eternal life, sanctifying grace, because He has, at the Last Supper and Calvary, laid down His life for us, the Innocent for the guilty. That re-establishment of the image of God within us by way of that marriage must respect the one-man, one woman for marriage and the family structure of creation in the sacrament of Holy Orders. Women priests would be a sterile, lesbian, monstrous image, a mockery of Jesus’ marriage with His Bride the Church, a mockery of redemption and salvation, a blasphemy. Even if one goes through a ritual and says the words of ordination, a woman cannot ontologically be ordained. That’s the way marriage works. It’s not unfair. It is what it is.

Does that mean that I think I’m worthy to be a priest because I’m a man? Pfft. No! And any priest who does think that is a danger to himself and others. Without Jesus I know that I could commit any sin anywhere at any time for any or no reason, given whatever wildly varying circumstances and history of life. I don’t have all those varying circumstances or histories of life – nor do any of us – and so it would be psychologically quite impossible at the drop of a hat to do this or that monstrous thing even if lacking the grace and friendship of Jesus. Fine. But lack of monstrous actions doesn’t justify. I know that fallen humanity is such that we do need redemption and salvation and that nice circumstances don’t save and that anyone self-congratulating themselves for their own niceness has already granted themselves a licence to sin in whatever way, even in the most monstrous ways. Are there specious motives for a man to become a priest, like running from a past from which he wishes to emancipate himself by pretending to be holy? Sure. But that doesn’t mean all priests have done that or are doing that. We need to know that we are already married, married to the Church by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass that we offer daily. That changes everything. No false celibacy. No loneliness. A robust spiritual life in which the priest is nothing and Jesus is all.

Priests should know more than anyone what all of sin and all of redemption looks like. Priests should have the perspective of being high on the cross where Jesus is drawing all to Himself, across Calvary, through all of hell, starting with us when we are yet sinners. Priests should see all the breadth and width and depth of hell and our need for redemption because of noting the breadth and width and depth of the mercy founded on justice that Jesus came to bring to us, from the cross, from the fulfillment of the wedding vows of the Last Supper, the Mass, that the priest celebrates daily, like any other day. It’s just that that day, today, this very day, is Dies Domini, the Day of the Lord, which stretches from Creation until the end of the world, until there is a New Heavens and a New Earth. Priests should see, because of seeing all the rest of this, that they are the most unworthy of all.

Rant. Rant. Rant. For some, the question is this:

“Hey, Father George, you seem like a nice guy. So, like, why don’t you leave the priesthood in view of all this abuse stuff we hear about? Don’t you get sick of people cat-calling and being dismissive and calling you a pedophile just because you’ve been ordained a priest?”

Actually, that monstrousness of bad priests attacking the fruit of marriage, children, is symbolic of precisely why we need holy priests for the One Priesthood of Jesus, that is, to go against the sin, to weed out those who would be so monstrous. You don’t help the Church by leaving the Church. You stay. You fight. You suffer. It’s just that serious. Serious enough not to abandon the flock. Jesus was ripped to shreds, tortured to death on the cross. As the Master, so the disciple. Just because some idiot does an unthinkably monstrous deed doesn’t mean everyone is like that. We priests need to man up and fight the good fight, keeping up with Confession ourselves, being fit instruments of Jesus, because we are nothing and He’s everything. It shows our thanksgiving to Jesus to stay. If I can keep up with Confession and help other priests to keep up with Confession, well then, I think I’ve done something as Jesus’ instrument for the Church and the world. I remember a bishop who gave us Missionaries of Mercy a talk and a talking to, as it were, over in Rome, introducing himself as a sinner since the year he was ordained, and for a long time before that. Good for him to recognize it and encourage us all to participate in the Sacrament of Confession frequently, you know, for sins of thought and mind and deed and… oh my… of omission

just me pontifical family

The Joke Picture. It’s real. But purely a Joke. Hahaha.

As the now sainted Mother Teresa often said, we don’t need more priests; we need holy priests. Indeed. We need priests who know they are married to the Church. We need priests who know that they are fathers of the family of faith. We need priests who know that they are totally unworthy and are utterly dependent on Jesus, the One Priest. We need priests who go to Confession. We need priests who won’t run away because the wolf says: “Boo!” We need priests who have a love within them provided by Jesus that is stronger than death, stronger than mockery, stronger than slander. We need priests of the horrifying exhilarating life of the beatitudes: Blessed are you when…

Am I happy to be a priest even today? Oh yes. Especially today. When all of hell has broken out. I want to be where Jesus is: In the midst of this hell so as to grab souls for heaven. Today I offer Mass wherein the One Priest lays down His life for us, as unworthy as we all are. Yes, I’m always happy for one more day as a priest, as Jesus’ priest, a day like any other day in the One Day of the Lord, the One Worthy Priest using the likes of me, such as I am, utterly nothing and worse than that so that He might show us all the more stridently His wisdom in having such priests as me and my fellow priests who I know to be dedicated to Him. He can use even me! Even us! All glory to God for His wondrous mercies. As Jesus said to Saint Paul: “My strength shines out through your weakness. My grace is sufficient for you.” Yes, Lord. Thank you.

As it is, I’m having a great time at this stage in my priesthood taking Jesus through these back mountains to parishioners. Jesus’ creation is gorgeous:

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As I think back on the 27 years, some of the best times, were of course, at Holy Souls Hermitage when I was writing about the Immaculate Conception, the Mother of the Redeemer, in Genesis 3:15. Long time readers from way back in those days will remember the different scenes:

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Filed under Father Byers Autobiography, Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Spiritual life, Vocations

Lest we forget on any day like today

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It’s been 6324 days from September 11, 2001 until today. 17 years, 3 months, 24 days. On any old day, it’s like it happened today. No day is any old day. I’m as determined as ever. Are you?

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Filed under Terrorism

Dad’s medals to be presented in person. A note on those who gave all. An invite to the haters.

Dad may have passed away 25 years ago, but honor is forever. I got a call just before Mass today. Congressman Mark Meadows office will present dad’s medals to me in person next week next to the Police HQ down in Murphy. Ms Beverly is going to try to get the citations at least for the medals which had been recommended for award by the POTUS of the day, which could have been Franklin D Roosevelt, Harry S Truman and Dwight D Eisenhower. There’ve been billions of soldiers and trillions of awards. I know. But we can always give honor to those to whom honor is due, right? Patriotism is about honor. That’s what our lives are to be made of.

I mentioned this all to a parishioner today and it about brought her to tears, as she was remembering notifications for a relative, a youngster of course, who went MIA in Vietnam not so long ago. All gave some. That would be my dad. Some gave all. That would be that youngster of her family. As Ronald Reagan said at Arlington National Cemetery back in the day: We think that those in this cemetery grisly old soldiers, but, no. It is not that way. Those laid to rest in this cemetery are 16 and 18 years old who had all of their lives before them. It is those youngsters who are our heroes.

To those who think they gave nothing but are patriotic and striving to be law abiding citizens and are being helpful to others in the best way they can, they should know that they are giving exactly what these others fought and died for, so that these might be able to live freely in this way.

To those who hate those who have laid down their lives for them… you know… take a breath… count your blessings… be thankful to those who made those blessings possible for you. If you think things are bad, count up all the people who are not thankful and do nothing but hate and then ask who’s responsible for the bad stuff. And then, becoming thankful… Hey! Let’s help one another.

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Filed under Military

Homily 2019 01 03 Jesus’ Holy Name

Warning: The story I recount herein makes some people pretty upset with me, but the way I look at it, I’ve been mandated by Jesus to preach about Jesus, and if I cannot tell this story, rejoicing in the Most Holy Name of Jesus, then all is lost for my priesthood. Today, a great Army Colonel in our parish said that the guy who smashed me down the most for this shouldn’t have allowed me to preach in the first place if he didn’t want to hear about Jesus! I agree wholeheartedly. You’ve been warned.

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Filed under HOMILIES, Jesus

Edge of deadly. Still alive. Thanks mom, NIH-Bethesda

Back from the dead. I’m happy about that. I didn’t know that, for me in my own particular circumstances, a simple over the counter cold-remedy is a poison so powerful that it’s almost impossible not to die after ingesting it. I’ve put those cold-remedies in the garbage. I spent from January 1 after the last Mass for Mary, Mother of God, until now, barely moving amidst an allergic reaction so extremely rare that going to an Emergency Room is likely to raise the mortality threat just for sheer exhaustion of sitting in a waiting room until you die without being seen. Mortality rates are already high enough. I lucked out, beating the stats once again. I spend my life being at death’s door. Of course, I realize this is not about luck, but God’s providence for me. And if you’re wondering why I just didn’t pay attention to indications of counter-indications, it’s because the condition is so rare that listing counter-indications doesn’t seem to be a requirement. As the one GTMO guy told me what my “assignment” was – which was getting to know this statement of a particular counterintel spy – “The first thing you have to know about me is that I would never intentionally commit suicide.” Yep. I make that my own. Of course, that has nothing to do with this. Anyway…

Sure, there’s a prophylactic med to take developed a lifetime ago with my own mom as a guinea-pig at the Naval N.I.H., a med that’s really dirt cheap (especially in Europe and the rest of the world) and kind of works – until it doesn’t – but you’re not supposed to take that more than a few months as it causes liver cancer. She hesitated just a bit and died because of that fear. I’ve been taking it for most of my life (with liver cysts to prove it), and have severely put my liver through the ringer. More drugs have been developed more recently. Pretty expensive though. The best is a reactive drug instead of a prophylactic, and, say, at two doses a day in adverse conditions, it would cost more than USA $4,000,000 a year, enough to make an medical insurance company put a hit out so as to avoid payments to pharmaceutical companies. In my case, I’m guessing I could keep it down to no more than $500,000 a year, probably just $286,000. But, that’s still not within the limits of insurance tolerance is it? No. And instead of simply popping a capsule a day (as with the NIH solution), it involves a chemistry set and needles and sterile conditions and the patience of Job with nerves of steel, as you have to only very slowly inject the horror.

A CIA evaluator guy recently asked me what my evaluation of my mom was. Here’s the deal, she was willing to go through all-out-hell as a guinea-pig at NIH literally in deadly conditions, at the edge of death, for weeks at a time, in great pain, for my sake. I remember the phone calls we would get at home from NIH setting up the sessions out East. Just the phone calls were traumatic. The sessions were monstrous. My mom: a martyr of love for me. What do you think I think of her? Thanks, mom. You’re the best. You guys did good, too, at NIH. The head doctor for this talked to me over the phone back in the day, giving advice which has stood me in good stead all these decades. This was able to be set up because, of course, dad was USMC, which is the history of NIH.

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Medicine

Happy New Year! (and a resolution)

possum drop

In Andrews, NC, far western WNC, we have a possum drop. He’s not actually thrown off a cliff or anything, just lowered on a comfortable platform with a fruit buffet and, as the paper reported, a variety of sleeping options. He’s given a medical review before and after. PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals) were pretty up-front with their objections, perhaps because there weren’t enough road-kill possum pies for sale. Dunno. No one seems to know who Guy Lombardo is in these parts.

When I was a seminarian in Rome, I would make my way to the Major Basilica of Saint Mary in Rome and go through the Te Deum with Pope Saint John Paul II in thanksgiving for the blessings of the past year as the way before God to launch into the New Year.

My resolution this year is to have no resolutions. Goals are counterproductive as they are what you imagine where you are right now. Goals actually put you into reverse. Walking in Jesus’ presence aided by my guardian angel in the present moment is the way to say thanks for the blessings of the past and the way to launch into whatever comes by way of divine providence.

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Filed under Spiritual life