Category Archives: Donkeys

Butternut Squarrrsh Recipe easy for this donkey in a kitchen

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DONKEY FOX

The neighbors to the hermitage gave me a butternut squash (pronounced squarrrrsh). Another friend gave me a pan to bake it in. Cut it in half lengthwise, they said. Take the seeds out, they said. After that I didn’t follow directions anymore. Last night I threw it in an oven preheated to 395 for 55 minutes. Having scooped out everything orange, and adding butter, brown sugar, salt and pepper… Mmm. Mmm. Now I’m hooked. Because it’s as easy as my mainstay, toast, but this just has to be more healthy. Now, a day later, I looked it up. One whole butternut is 272 calories (before butter and brown sugar) and has starchy carbs just like a potato. That‘s why I liked it so much. It’s like a bowl of pasta or some toast. Sigh. Of course, I could just be a carnivore.

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You are a donkey but you carry Christ

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“Asinus es, sed Christum portas.”Saint Augustine

The Palestinian donkey above, near the hermitage yesterday, guards the herds from predators, as donkeys do. He sports the Cross of Christ well.

I should always like to be the guard-donkey priest that carries Christ, The Priest.

DONKEY FOX

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Donkeys here there everywhere

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Donkeys have had a bad run of it because of being stolen and hypocritically used by elites of a hypocritical workers party (read “keep them all enslaved with welfare party”… read “do up a genocide of African Americans by way of abortion party).

However, donkeys, created by God, are intelligent (doing only what they understand, which is really smart), actually do work hard, and can sing really well – solo – and… and… are ever to be found in the midst of the Holy Family, from the birth of our Lord and the exile in Egypt all the way to the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem for His Passion and Death.

Meanwhile, a youngster wanting to enter the seminary sent me this, the new acquired donkey of his grandparents:

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The extended family live throughout the area, making the best and cheapest mode of transportation a golf cart (sold in huge abundance in his area of zillions of golf courses), that is, of course, until one acquires a donkey. This guy looks very friendly. It makes me think that God is good. Whenever I say such a think I get reprimanded by my fellow priests, who say that that’s obvious. But, hey!, I guess it’s the spirit with which you say it. God is good.

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Update: Donkey wannabees

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These guys pass by the rectory. They’ve been geared up in these patriotic days. Alloy wheels aren’t quite the old wooden models, but – Hey! – you do what you can do. These are mules out front, with the body of a horse and the ears of a donkey. Donkey wannabees.

Update: I passed by the wagon train in Andrews NC some months ago. I remember locking eyes with one particular gentleman. I remember being distressed for him. No reason that I knew about. Meanwhile, the guy who fixed my tire the other day told me about this guy who was riding the wagon train as the last thing on his bucket list before dying of cancer.

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Brett Kavanaugh likes Bud? Donkeys agree.

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Delivering packages to His Holiness

A lady in the parish who raises Czech King Shepherds for law enforcement and other spectacular uses got an interestingly colored but full cross on the back Palestinian donkey the other day and sent me this video of some loud braying. Donkeys are like this. When they bray, it’s very loud indeed.

This donkey, yours truly, is not getting ready to bray. Instead, I am today getting ready to be a beast of burden who will carry the melodies of others across the pond, all the way to somewhere, say, depending, oh, between 125 and 350 meters from the obelisk in front of Saint Peter’s Basilica over in Rome. Strange way to measure distance. Anyway, I’m talking about two packages of whistle blowers, victims of one kind or another.

  • The first necessitates a crossing of international borders this morning just to deliver the package thus far. The legal expertise that has gone into this package is unparalleled for a number of reasons, including an eye witness account of the malice of vicious, ruthless homosexualist politicking from the those in particular positions. This goes to the very heart of what is known thus far, and far beyond. This would be enough for Pope Francis to do what I hope he has been baiting all along and will now proceed to the lopping off of some heads. It’s all way too much, and has been so since the beginning. I’m hoping that his delay has been caused by the unending addition of names being continuously added to the decapitation list. But now, perhaps this very package will convince him that this exercise in baiting has run its course, and that now is the time to act. If not…. just… wow…
  • The second package is enough, all on it’s own, to solidify testimony given by Archbishop Viganò. If this were the only evidence, it would prove Viganò’s case. The best legal mind on the planet (no exaggeration) has his eye on the language used in this particular package. God bless this victim, whose credibility and good standing has been proven by the Pope’s own authorities. :-) This is a case of the suffering of a poor man, who, being the stomped on underdog cast into the darkest of existential peripheries, should catch the notice of Pope Francis, and his compassion, such that, again, he will ascertain that enough is enough, and now is the time to act.

By the way, just to say, none of this has to do with “the children.” It never did. There is much more going on. All the best analysts I know (in the background, but at the heart of things) come to the same conclusion from premises of facts that we have come to know from first hand sources. We can all list a number of interconnected end-of-the-world type extortions being put before Pope Francis. This is why I have always asked your prayers for him. That I am making these deliveries (please God!) is also a result, I am quite sure, of your good prayers.

I recall the last time I tried to do something about this myself. It was the time when I was being tossed quite literally into a dumpster. As I was told, repeatedly, as a reprimand, it was a certain someone in Rome who wanted my demise. I laugh, as I am content with any circumstances in this life. I have my eyes lifted to the heavens. That‘s what’s important. Jesus is the One. Jesus is the only One.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (spied by a donkey in Lourdes edition)

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A postcard from a pilgrim friend in Lourdes. Did you know there was a donkey sanctuary near Lourdes, just a bit higher up in the mountains? When she saw this donkey she thought of me. Umm…. O.K. :-) What’s going on here is that she’s saying that I’m that donkey who, in turn, is spying out a super tiny flower for the Immaculate Conception. See it, right there, in the grass? … Look… closely… in the grass…

 

Made you look. :-) Spying out flowers for the Immaculate Conception is a good skill to have.

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Everyone’s a critic (It’s a donkey!)

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Some parishioners were down to the Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration down in Alabama and, when they saw this in the gift shop, thought of me. That’s very sweet. How dare I, then, presume to give the artist some pointers about donkeys! But, I cannot resist:

  • Palestinian donkeys are gray!
  • All donkeys have donkey ears (long ears!)
  • Donkeys are not unicorns…. oh, I see; that’s Joseph’s staff (which needs lilies sprouting from it!)

O.K. Well. That’s mean of me. In reparation, it’s time to come up with some good points:

  • The Holy Family is happy, peaceful, content even as they flee from Herod’s slaughter in Bethlehem trying to kill baby Jesus, even as they make their way through the burning desert going into exile in Egypt.
  • The donkey is super happy: look at that smile on his face. Very nice, that. I love that. This is why I think donkeys are great. They are always in the midst of the Holy Family.
  • The donkey is snarky happy, that is to say, look at the eyes in conjunction with the smile. Wow. The artist is super talented to get this across.
  • The kiss of Mary on Jesus’ forehead is the most gentle kiss the universe ever witnessed.
  • Joseph is taking it all in. Such a heart.

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Sanctuary islands… for… Donkeys?

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While I was gone in Rome some parishioners were also gone. They went, of all places, while on vacation, to a donkey sanctuary in Aruba. Who would have thought? They brought me back a donkey coffee cup, because, you know, donkeys are the coolest animals in the world, right? They’re intelligent, only doing what they understand. They can sing, alone or in choir. They work hard. They are the symbol from time immemorial of the Israelites. They are always with the Holy Family, from Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt to Nazareth once again. One lucky donkey is at the crib. Another brings Jesus to His Cross. Donkeys are loyal, even under torture (recall Balaam’s donkey: Numbers 22:21-33). This is my favorite coffee cup.

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Jackass for the Hour: Is your donkey ready for the hour of palms & praise?

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This is donkey who has lived near the hermitage for all the years I’ve been in Western North Carolina. Sometimes one hears of a parish, usually a Cathedral parish, for which a donkey is prepared for his hour on which the (Arch)Bishop or Cardinal or Patriarch will ride up to the church on that donkey with all having palm fronds in their hands. I’ve heard of that for the Philippines, for Nicaragua, for Jerusalem. How about your parish?

The Donkey – by G.K. Chesteron

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

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

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

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

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The Son-shine from within: Aquinas and donkeys in the sky

I guess I shouldn’t be seeing things in the clouds. But in the skies above I see a donkey. And, of course, I would see a donkey, right? But then I immediately recall someone who wrote words of straw (which donkeys eat) who had the Son-shine within him.

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Saint Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:7 — We hold this treasure in earthen vessels, that the surpassing power may be of God and not from us.

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Donkey Day: Donkeys on Coats of Arms. Benedict XVI and myself

benedict xvi coat of arms

Recall that Saint Corbinian’s bear on the coat of arms of Benedict XVI was actually a donkey, that is, fulfilling the role of the donkey after he killed the donkey. Benedict called himself that “donkey”. No, really. A Pope who is a jackass. Luther, with great malice, called the Pope of the time a jackass. Benedict is from Germany. Anyway, see the outrageously wonderful 2005 article of Archbishop Raymond Burke about the newly elected Pope Donkey, Benedict XVI. And then, to those of you who are fuming mad and flinging the rest of us into hell in all the mortal sin you suppose I and Ratzinger and Burke are in for speaking of the papacy being filled with the likes of a jackass, to you I say, lighten up. Have some Christian mirth. Some irony. Rejoice! The Lord is good and kind. Again, I will say it: Rejoice! My coat of arms, breaking all the rules of heraldry, as any donkey might do, so far:

GEORGE DAVID BYERS - COAT OF ARMS - revision

This recalls the Discalced Carmelite coat of arms:

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I think Tom Clancy wrote on the etiquette of sword ceremonial. What is the military symbolism of the sword held high as with Elijah or with Saint Michael atop Castel Sant’Angelo who is sheathing his sword? What of ceremonial stuff, like the the sword being held straight up or pointed upward or straight down or pointed downward? Anyone?

Benedict XVI was Pope. Cardinal Burke could well be Pope soon. I’ll never be, but I’m happy to have a donkey on my coat of arms anyway! Just in case that article by Cardinal Burke disappears, I include the bit towards the end commenting on Pope Benedict XVI as being a Jackass:

[…] In his memoirs published in 1997, then-Cardinal Ratzinger commented on his life as a bishop, reflecting upon the image of the bear of St. Corbinian, founding bishop of Freising, the ancient see which is now the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising, to which Cardinal Ratzinger was called to serve as archbishop. He relates the story to a meditation of St. Augustine on the text of verses 22 and 23 of Psalm 73 (72). St. Corbinian’s bear:

As the story goes, St. Corbinian was on his way to Rome when a bear attacked and killed his pack animal, his donkey. St. Corbinian rebuked the bear and placed the load of the donkey upon his back to carry to Rome. The story of the bear of St. Corbinian reminded the cardinal of St. Augustine’s meditation on the verses of Psalm 73 which he translates thusly: “A draft animal am I before you, for you, and this is precisely how I abide with you” (Psalm 73:22-23; Joseph Ratzinger, Milestones: Memoirs 1927-1977, San Francisco: Ignatius Press, page 155). The cardinal, like St. Augustine, had chosen the life of a scholar, but God called him to take up the burdens of the episcopal office, eventually serving the Holy Father as prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. He comments on the frustrations which St. Augustine experienced in dealing with the many practical concerns of a pastor of souls, when he had in mind to carry out great intellectual and spiritual works. The text of the psalm reminded the saint and reminded Cardinal Ratzinger that God chose to keep them close to Him by having them serve as His “draft animals,” carrying out the humble tasks of the pastoral office, rather than the exalted service which they had in mind for themselves. Relating the meditation of St. Augustine to the story of St. Corbinian’s bear, Cardinal Ratzinger comments: “Just as the draft animal is closest to the farmer, doing his work for him, so is Augustine closest to God precisely through such humble service, completely within God’s hand, completely His instrument.He could not be closer to his Lord or be more important to Him. The laden bear that took the place of St. Corbinian’s horse, or rather donkey — the bear that became his donkey against its will: Is this not an image of what I should do and of what I am?”A beast of burden have I become for you, and this is just the way for me to remain wholly yours and always abide with you” (Milestones, pages 156-157). Tonight, we thank God for Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI, who has found his happiness in serving as Christ’s “donkey,” His “draft animal,” who has given his entire self to working humbly and steadfastly with Christ in the vineyard of the Father. When we see the image of the bear of St. Corbinian on his coat-of-arms, may we be reminded of how he has given and gives his life in service to Christ and His Church. Assisting our Holy Father with his burdens Conscious of the many and heavy burdens which our Holy Father carries, with Christ, for us, let us assist him, offering him the joy of our faithful prayers, loyal affection and unfailing obedience. Our Holy Father, in continuity with the teaching and direction of his much beloved predecessor Pope John Paul II, has already given us an indication of his desires for our growth in holiness of life.In his first address to the College of Cardinals on the day after his election, Pope Benedict XVI stated that the Holy Eucharist “cannot but be the permanent center and the source of the petrine service entrusted to [him]” (Benedict XVI, a pope of Christ, communion, collegiality, Vatican Information Service, April 20, 2005, page 2). Reflecting upon Divine Providence, which called him to the office of St. Peter during the Year of the Eucharist, he has asked that the Solemnity of Corpus Christi “be celebrated in a particularly special way.”He reminded us that the celebration of World Youth Day in Cologne in August will center on the Holy Eucharist, and that the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, to be held this coming October, will devote itself to the theme: “The Eucharist, Source and Summit of the Life and Mission of the Church.”He concluded with a solemn request addressed to us all: “I ask everyone to intensify in coming months love and devotion to the Eucharistic Jesus and to express in a courageous and clear way the real presence of the Lord, above all through the solemnity and the correctness of the celebrations” (Benedict XVI, a pope of Christ, communion, collegiality, Vatican Information Service, April 20, 2005, page 3). As we thank God tonight for the gift of Pope Benedict XVI, let us help him shoulder his heavy burdens by deepening and strengthening our knowledge and love of the Holy Eucharist, above all by the piety with which we participate in Holy Mass, and adore and worship the Blessed Sacrament outside of Mass. As we are now united sacramentally to the Sacrifice of Christ on Calvary, let us lift up to His glorious and open Heart the intentions of our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI. Placing our Holy Father and his intentions into the all-merciful and all-loving Heart of Jesus, we trust that no grace will be lacking to our Holy Father as he pours out his life, with Christ, as Christ’s “donkey”for our salvation and the salvation of our world. We ask the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, and the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul to pray with us for our Holy Father: “The Lord preserve him and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies” (Enchiridion of Indulgences, June 29, 1968, no. 39). Conclusion I hope that the text of my homily has helped you in some way to understand the office of St. Peter and the deep trust in Divine Providence with which Pope Benedict XVI has accepted the office from our Lord.He is the humble worker in the vineyard, Christ’s “draft animal” who seeks only to do God’s will. Let us continue to assist our Holy Father by our daily prayers.I ask especially that you remember the intentions of our Holy Father when you pray the rosary. […]

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Donkey Day: Donkeys are intelligent

donkey blessed sacrament

Donkeys aren’t stubborn. Mules are stubborn. Mules have a reason. Donkeys instead are so very intelligent that they refuse to do something until they understand. When they understand, no problem. People get frustrated with donkeys because people are stupid and want donkeys to things they don’t understand just like those stupid people.

That’s why Jesus, with heaps of irony, says it would have been better for those who interfere with kids — not having any idea of the damage they do — would instead have had a donkey-millstone tied around their necks so as to have been thrown into the depths of the sea. The point is that donkeys are incomparably more intelligent than such people. Donkeys do the will of God. Many people don’t. Many people would be better off if they were donkeys.

Donkeys are really cool. Not only are they intelligent, but they can sing, and sing well.

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Donkey Day. Jackass Jubilee. Jan 14. Patron: [Saint]: Alexamenos [Martyr] Gilbert Keith Chesterton to the rescue.

alexamenos crucified donkey

Yesterday was Donkey Day, or better, the Feast of “Jackasses” should we use the more technical, archaic English “jack” [for the male of the species such as Jackdaw, Jackrabbit, and so on] and the Latin scientific description asinus, short for its combined form with its high classification, equus asinus.

There is much to be said about this great feast day going back many centuries. There are videos, musical tributes, “liturgies.” But all of that has lost the plot, it seems to me. I think the origins of this ancient feast were obscured by time with the asinine (so to speak) activities of irony that abounded to such a degree that the more serious side was overshadowed.

I’m guessing that the original inspiration for this feast, inviting all the irony and carry-on to celebrate the irony that is so essential to Christianity, goes back to what I’m guessing is an incident which sparked the martyrdom of Jewish boy named Alexamenos (“Defender”) who had converted to Christianity and somehow found himself on the lower South slopes of Monte Palatino, opposite the Roman Forum and Colosseum, overlooking the Circus Maximus, in the Imperial School, studying up on how best to serve the Caesar of the day.

At the time, the chariot races and battle ship matches and such taking place in the Circus Maximus, for which he and his fellow students always had a front row seat, also afforded him a view of what was happening in the central divider island inside the “circus” itself. At regular intervals there were places where Christians were placed, and where they would be made sport of by gladiators until they died, one after the other.

It seems this was too much for little Alexamenos, so indignant, who then spoke of how wrong this was because it is another Jewish fellow, Jesus, God, who standing in our place, and crucified, was put to death for what we deserved because of sin so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Being a Christian was, however, obviously outlawed by the Caesars of the day. It was a blood bath. The classmates of Alexamenos would first mock him, and then, I suppose, see an opportunity to be seen as being loyal to Caesar, they would betray Alexamenos and have him put to death.

The mockery involves the graffito etched into the stone walls of their classroom. That entire bit of the wall was removed when it was relatively recently discovered. A replica was made and placed into a museum just a stone’s throw from the Imperial School, the Antiquarium del Palatino. Yours truly took a picture of that, which is reproduced on the top of this post.

The graffito depicts a little boy worshiping a crucified donkey. Other nations held that the donkey was the national symbol of Israel, the Hebrews, the Jews. Jesus, the “King of the Jews” as Pontius Pilate had written, was to be depicted as a donkey.

The mockery is rather incisive. But Jesus came precisely to receive that mockery, to be that donkey, indeed, as Saint Paul says in his short hand, to become sin for us, standing in our place, the innocent for the guilty. If we have no sense of irony, we have no faith.

G.K. Chesterton, like St Augustine before him, had a great sense of irony. He has this about the greatness of donkeys.

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

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

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

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

Or did you not know that donkeys were always with the Holy Family:

  • On the trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem
  • At the manger when Jesus was born
  • On the trip from Bethlehem to Egypt
  • On the trip from Egypt all the back to Nazareth
  • On the trip into Jerusalem for Jesus to be crucified

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Seen near the hermitage

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Policing justice is mercy: We need cops. Ironies abound in this anti-cop era.

alexamenos crucified donkey

Alexamenos, surely an early Jewish-Christian martyr, bidding us to worship his God and ours (as mocked in this graffito by his Imperial Schoolboy classmates just above the Circus Maximus and Imperial Forum of the Caesars of the early centuries in Rome. His later namesake is the protagonist in a 750 page novel I wrote between chapters of the doctoral thesis on Genesis 2–3.

In God, Justice is Mercy. We can discuss our fine points and distinctions, whereby, as the Common Doctor says, mercy is a potential part of the virtue of justice. But, in God, they are the same. Just stare at Jesus crucified, on Him whom you have pierced. No, really, do it. He became a jackass criminal for us, standing in our place, the innocent for the guilty, redeeming us by becoming exactly what we were, who we are without His grace. How ironic. But there are many who don’t get that. There are many who may think that Jesus didn’t “become sin” for us (see St Paul) evil while remaining innocent. Irony just kills them instead of enlivening them. But that’s entirely their fault. That’s no reason not to provide the irony. And it is true that irony bears the very reflection of what it hates. And I think this bears memorization:

hilaire bellocTo 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).]

But let’s take a very practical example, shall we? We just lost our entire police force in Andrews except for one officer, the youngest, who started with us. Will he stay? The rest were instantly all snapped up to become Federal agents, that is Tribal Police, which is Federal. Now we need applications. Who will apply. The media has been giving the police around the country a bad rap, undeservedly so.

I’ve heard the shadowy opinion that it’s not nice to be a LEO (Law Enforcement Officer). ‘Tis better to be a missionary of mercy than to be a minister of justice, they say, as if the two were mutually exclusive. But let’s take a look at that. What do police do?

  • Police mostly do domestic calls. Surely this involves the administration of justice for the jerk who is beating his wife to death and is throwing kids through sheet-rock walls in drug/liquor induced temper tantrums. But it is also a great mercy to end that hell for the wife and kids, to get them medical treatment and then a way out of that living hell. And it’s also mercy for the perp, who needs to be tripped on his way to hell. Maybe he can go to heaven.
  • Police do a lot of traffic stops. Surely this involves the administration of justice for the jerk who is driving drunk or is on drugs or is a road-rager or is driving at out-of-control speeds, for he is an imminent danger to himself and the public. But this is also a great act of mercy for the driver and the general public. All will be safer.

Of course, it is said that the down side to all this is that the bread-winner is taken out of the house in the first instance or will lose his job in the second instance as the vehicle will be impounded, blah blah blah. Leave well enough alone they say. They were fine before the police interfered they say. Yet they are happy to watch women and children get smacked down and killed. They are happy not to have the woman and children get safe housing and be put on programs until she and kids can get on their feet again. They are happy to let the perp not get the tripping up he needs. Just the good ol’ boys, you know.

I’m hoping that youngsters who are not carrying the baggage of their elders will become indignant with the reasoning of the good ol’ boys and go ahead and provide a lot of mercy by way of being ministers of justice, LEOs and all that.

To do that well, they would have to be able to bear all the baggage, all the evil of this present generation as if they themselves were guilty of it, that is, to understand that they could be the very criminals they seek to arrest, or better, are the very criminals they seek to arrest, that is, except for the grace of God. Remember the old adage: “There but for the grace of God go I.” Then, after that realization, it’s all about loving others as you would want to be loved by them. If we need tripping up while we are on our way to hell at breakneck speeds, should we not be thankful for someone tripping us up? That’s mercy isn’t it?

With incredible racism and anti-Semitism, Saint John the Baptist is hailed by many as being all about justice and has nothing to do with mercy, because, you know, he’s all about the Old Testament and we’re children of the New Testament. I know of no more merciful prophet in the Hebrew Scriptures than John, who is praised by none other than Jesus, the very Son of God, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Wonder-Counselor, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, He who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

 

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Merry Christmas to donkeys and all!

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Some of my favorite parishioners sent me this card while away for Christmas. It was chosen, I’m sure, because of the donkey, what with yours truly being the donkey-priest. I notice that the other beasts are quite a bit further away, distracted by the kings arriving from the East. Meanwhile, the donkey, with great peripheral vision, is keeping an eye on Jesus, just playing with the hay, not really eating. Moreover, that donkey is standing sideways so as to play the billboard, as it were.  He’s giving the Holy Family a good view of the cross painted on his back, not that they haven’t seen it on him before. Mary rode down to Bethlehem from Nazareth, a treacherous journey, on the back of this beast, and would soon be on their way with him to Egypt, and then back. Another similar donkey would bring Jesus into Jerusalem for His crucifixion.

I really like the title: “Watching in wonderment.” This takes purity of heart and agility of soul. It takes a child. If we’re not like children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven. So, that’s really important. We need to slow down. “Watching in wonderment.” I love it.

If you can see it, the angels directly behind the Holy Family are one to either side of a smaller manger. That manger is below the main altar of Saint Mary Major Basilica in Rome. Meanwhile, there is a tradition that the wood of that manger became the wood of the cross. So how is it that the wood of the manger is still in the form of a manger and the wood of the Cross is to be found on the other side of Rome in the Basilica of the Holy Cross. The artist of this card has presented a good answer, with a support structure over the manger forming a cross.

Think of it. Soldier-executioners responsible for crucifying criminals saw this and brought it back to Jerusalem from nearby Bethlehem when they were there executing all male children two years old and under on Herod’s behalf. I would if I were them. Anyway, just a spurious thought which, however, might transport us back to the day, that quiet day, in which, watching in wonderment, straining to hear the quietest peep from baby Jesus, one hears the echoes on the mountainsides and sloping hills the voices of angels singing: “Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace…

Meanwhile, I hope for the day that the angels, who, it is true, as pure spirits with no bodies, have no differentiation of male/female, but are each and every one an entirely different creature (see the commentary of the Angelic Doctor), it is also nevertheless true that all angels in the Sacred Scriptures (Raphael, Michael, Gabriel…) and throughout the history of the Church (such as the Angel of Fatima) appear exclusively as male, often as warriors.

Saint Michael’s name speaks to how he wins his battles, that is, with his humility, what with his being “Like unto God.” Saint Gabriel’s name speaks to his being the military commander of Saint Michael (which is not unsupported in the Scriptures), for Gabriel refers to a war-hero, commander type special operator of God.

I digress, but I can’t help it. Even special operators, even angels, sing. Can you, straining, hear them? Glory to God in the Highest, and on earth, peace…

Merry Christmas! Or as the Brits who are not in a drunken stupor say: Happy Christmas!

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Donkey ears strain at salt’s saltiness

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The donkey near the hermitage was feasting on a new salt block yesterday. It’s good to have a bit of the salt of the earth within us, a bit of feistiness, you know, spiritually. If so, that truth and justice and mercy and goodness and kindness, that walking in the presence of Jesus with all friendship would have us do this to protect the flock:

DONKEY FOX

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Donkeys are the best!

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Did you know that Saint Corbinian’s Bear on the Coat of Arms of Benedict XVI is actually a donkey?  Continue reading

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Just a Papist Jackass

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sanfelipe007 sent in a donation via PayPal for this flag of the Holy See which arrived last night. It was found online by E.D. Thanks to you both. It should last through WNC storms. I tried to rip open the package with all enthusiasm not paying attention to the hefty staples. One ripped into my hand setting me bleeding. The bandage is now off. Gotta wonder if that’s a sign. But no reading tea-leaves!

Meanwhile, also on my “day-off” the other day, a friend gave me these two donkeys, just to remind me that I’m supposed to be a guard-donkey for the flock as a priest:

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It all does good to the heart of this priest. Thank you.

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