Category Archives: Donkeys

I’m a donkey & I’m a dog

Whatever the unfortunate political collateral damage good donkeys must suffer because of presently passing circumstances, it remains true that donkeys have always been an intimate part of the life of the Holy Family, with (usually) highly complimentary imagery throughout both Testaments of Sacred Scripture and then in the life of the Church.

It has come to my attention that there are interlopers out there, namely, from a Religious Order that rhymes with the Order of Preachers, those Dominicans, particularly those of the Great Province of Saint Joseph in these USA, who are surely self-fancied as those guard-dogs, those sheep-dogs, who ride around the flock on the backs of donkeys, pretending that donkeys are not really guard-donkeys, just those dogs that they are.

They find agreement with Saint Augustine, who would call yours truly an ass, but then he at least would encourage me that, nonetheless, I carry Christ: “Asinus es, sed Christum portas.” I won’t begrudge them the ride, of course, because those dogs carry the light of Christ, Himself the Lumen Gentium, to the whole world. Blessings upon them.

Here are those dogs. I note that they are braying away. :-)

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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:

discalced-carmelite-coat-of-arms

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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Holy Family: donkeys, shepherd boys, sphinxes, Chesterton, Augustine

Good thing that shepherd boy is older than “two years old or younger.” Mary’s looking at him, like, yep, you’re also part of the Holy Family. Meanwhile, the donkey sees him peripherally, but is listening as to whether Mary is going to express any alarm. Goood guard-donkey!

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Mary is looking at Jesus. The donkey has their back, listening though to whatever threat might be happening behind him. Goood guard-donkey!

Just arriving in Egypt after being exiled because of Herod’s violence in trying to murder little Jesus. Meanwhile, the donkey sees the sphinx peripherally, and is listening all around as to whether there are threats in the night. Goood guard-donkey!

Going into Jerusalem where the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace is headed to be betrayed, denied, abandoned, beaten, lied about, ripped to shreds and crucified. Notice that, in this case, the donkey is ever so placidly smiling. Goood guard-donkey! He’s been through much with the Holy Family. Jesus: “It is you who have stood by me in my trials.” Thus, G.K. Chesterton’s “The Donkey”:

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.

We can all stand by Jesus in His trials. We can all be good guard donkeys. We can all be part of the Holy Family. We can all have our little guard donkey triumphs:

The important thing to remember in being a good guard donkey is that you are just an ass, but you carry Christ Jesus, as Saint Augustine said: “Asinus es, sed Christum portas.”

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Equus asinus rules!

burro

Sent in by a reader. I couldn’t resist. A bit of humor in these times is always a good thing. My only difficulty is using “ass” as in “Jack Ass” (Equus Asinus) as that which is derogatory. Donkeys, in mnsho, are intelligent not stubborn, and always with the Holy Family, and they can sing, and they are humorous.

Since we are now fully on our way to Palm Sunday and the glorious ever so humble entrance into Jerusalem of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, it is now time to put up again G.K. Chesterton’s poetry on the matter:

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.

Meanwhile, Saint Augustine said: “Asinus es, sed Christum portas.”

Saint Augustine donkey icon

I could go on about Alexamenos and Jackass for the Hour

Anyway, I hope to put up today’s homily about the temptations put to our Lord by Satan later today. Not what you might expect methinks.

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Wherein *The Lion* kills donkey priests

This video and note was sent in by a priest friend:

  • “Happy anniversary, Father! From one donkey priest to another. Along those lines, many spiritual analogies in this video about lions and donkeys. Thank God, we have a Lion on our side too! [Rev. 5:5 Lion > 1 Pt. 5:8 lion.] I will be praying for you this day, that the Lord grant you many more years of fidelity to His Goodness and Kindness.”

Thank you, dearest Father. Likewise. I like the “>” symbol with the nuanced lettering. How kryptic. ;-)

Of course, the only way to conquer Satan is to “stand one’s ground” as did Christ our God, ever so intransigently… on the Cross, being killed off for us, conquering death, rising from the dead and bringing us to life. Running does nothing. But, yes, that’s me all over the place: Run, George! Run!

As the good Father points out with Rev. 5:5, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah being greater than > the demonic lion of 1 Pt. 5:8, our dear Lord will make it a project of His to kill off His priests, so to speak, as it were, so that, dead to ourselves we might live only for Him (see 2 Corinthians 5:15). The Lion and the lion look ever so much the same, but Christ Jesus, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, with all his scars and dripping from blood from the battle on Calvary, the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace is the last one standing. He will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. We avoid judgment by just letting ourselves be dead to this world so as to live for Him in this world and the next. Amen.

lion of the tribe of judah

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Donkey priesthood! Padre Pio’s Pauses

Father George's ordination 1-4-1992

28 years ago, yours truly, January 4, 1992, ordination to the priesthood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, in a tiny oratory in a town so small that it lost its postal code. Birds singing outside just for those minutes of the actual sacramental ordination and the laying on of hands were almost deafening, as many people remarked at the reception. The other thing people commented on who could see from the oratory choir stalls was that at the formulaic words about the Holy Spirit there couldn’t possibly have been a bigger smile on my face: Jesus has chosen a donkey, crippled and blind and inept on so many levels, a donkey scorned as less than useless, a donkey whom the Lord Himself chose to ride into Jerusalem for His crucifixion, a donkey whose sin also set the occasion by which the Eternal Word now Incarnate of the Father has chosen to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty. I would – on my own, without His grace – have chosen hell.

  • “It was not you who chose me, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit that will remain, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name he may give you.” (John 15:16 nab)

Two moments of pause come to mind from Padre Pio’s life, both of them regarding the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Last Supper and Calvary:

  • One moment of pause I’ve written on previously. In exiting the sacristy to the side of the sanctuary for Mass Padre Pio stopped suddenly, looking as if he were to drop in a faint, obviously caught off guard by a most horrific vision. Asked what it was when regained some strength to speak, he said that the Lord had just showed to him the souls of all priests who were about to offer Holy Mass just at that moment and who were unworthy to do so. I count myself among that group since all priests are unworthy, all of us the worst sinners in whatever we have done, be it impatience, sloth, judgmental and uncharitable attitude in word or deed, whatever… including Pope Benedict’s favorite item for an act of contrition, coming from the psalmist:
    • “Who can detect heedless failings? Cleanse me from my unknown faults.” (Psalm 19:13 nab)
  • The other moment of pause of Padre Pio was at the consecrations at Holy Mass. He would take forever, it seems, to continue. In fact, he was specifically reprimanded for this by those sent from the Holy See to reprimand him. This scene is depicted in the great film Miracle Man. He, of course, was incredulous about their concern for his pause after the consecrations, responding: “But this is Jesus…” I have to say that this unworthy priest always wondered about this pause from the time when I was a seminarian until almost today. It’s just that the other day, I think I may have gotten a glimpse of what I should have known as a seminarian, but because I am a bad and evil priest have not averted to all this time. The prayer is addressing God the Father about Jesus, but then, suddenly, at the words of Institution – This is my body… This is my blood… – one is speaking with the words of Jesus in the first person singular. It only strikes me a bit more now that one is speaking to our dearest Heavenly Father about His dearest Son, and then, freakishly unworthily, reciting the words of His Son right in front of Him, the Father, doing this in Persona Christi, in the Person of Christ. Taking that in – Jesus laying down His life for us then and there – and being with Him in such intimate solidarity, watching Him draw all to Himself with such love… and then, feeling some of the unworthiness, but nothing like it truly is lest we die, having to go back to addressing the Father in view of His Son has just done for us, and also because of my sin… How is that ever possible? How can one just move on so quickly? It’s a matter of forcing oneself. Look, I have no idea about Padre Pio and what he experienced. But I think that this might have something to do with it. Perhaps I shouldn’t speak of such things. Anyone else would say they are ineffable, so that either you know it or you don’t. But I think that we must encourage each other. I think that this must be an encouragement. I say that fully realizing that my fellow priests will think of me as the most know nothing priest ever to have lived. How could I have offered 28 years of Masses and counting and not have known all this from the first day? But, of course, it’s not a matter of knowing such things academically – that’s a given – it’s a matter of – how to put it? -being tolerated to be granted the faintest littlest glimpse of the Living Truth, that is, beyond just academic stuff, more personal. I’m at a loss.

Some people are mystified by my favorite animal being a donkey. There are a thousand reasons, all of them better than the other. It started when I won a Palestinian Donkey in a parish raffle at the parish picnic just hours before went off to the seminary for my very first day of formation. Anyway, I think all priests should be guard donkeys:

DONKEY FOX

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Two donkeys at the door

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I was at the door of a parishioner’s house last evening, and was very taken by this Christmas scene that had been tacked up there. So joyful. So peaceful. I note that all the animals, including the donkey, have their ears back, listening for any danger that might disturb their Almighty Creator so humbly come among us. The donkey is a professional at this. All donkeys are Guard-Donkeys. Oh, by the way, I was the donkey at the door. If you look closely, you’ll see that there are two donkeys pictured in the picture.

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If eOR Worst-of-All went to Confession for Christmas

Some preliminaries:

  • I don’t have anything much in common with eOR (an onomatopoeia-esque name, or more precisely, echomimetic), except when he entirely almost honestly tries to be humble, kind of. That’s me, always tempted to be self-congratulatory. eOR, my friend. I pray? No. I flip that first letter up and I just bray. In fact, I make a thing of it, singing my braying as if that were something meritorious:

  • Saint Nick, or Santa Claus, or Saint Nicolas, or Sinterklaas, that is, Νίκη-λαός (Conqueror of the People) was a Roman Catholic Bishop in Myra in Asia Minor, modern day Demre, Turkey. The modern day Saint Nick still sports the red vestments of the original saint. The canonized Saint Nicolas lived way back in the days of the early Roman Empire (270-343 A.D.). His feast day on the liturgical calendar is the day he died, December 6. He’s famous for gift giving, and over the centuries was mixed up with the gift-giving wise men at the cave in Bethlehem at the birth of the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace whom they had traveled so far to bow down and offer homage. Then Epiphany, when the wisemen showed up, was confused with Christmas day itself, so that Saint Nick or Santa Claus became the iconic gift giver at Christmas, basically the whole world being Catholic. In these days of absolute idiocy today – some 16 and 17 hundred years later, we would do well to remember what the great saint’s gifts were way back in the day. He rescued three girls from being pimped out by their fathers into prostitution by tossing a little sack of gold coins through their windows so that their proper dowries could be paid. But what I equally like about him is the account of his physically smashing down the horrific heretic of heretics, the priest Arius, during the First Council of Nicaea. Hahaha. That must have been a great show. Hahaha. That’s a great gift to the Church! I love Saint Nicolas the Conqueror of Arius.
  • It used to be that Christmas was a time for the joy of giving gifts. Imagine seeing the joy of the girls whose dowry was paid, so that they could marry the love of their lives instead of being smashed down and surely killed off after a short time in the ever violent and hellish world of prostitution. But it’s also not about us “getting something out of it, you know, that fuzzy warm feeling. It’s about real charity, helping someone up out of love of God and neighbor. Here’s the essential of it: We’re not supposed to look to our heroes like Saint Nick for the gifts they give us, but rather for how they give an example which we strive to imitate: love God and neighbor!
  • But now it’s all about entitlement in receiving gifts. Hmmm. That ain’t no good. In that case, we end up like eOR above, trying to brag about how good we’ve been and not naughty, conniving to look cute as we go from “I’ve been good” to “better than most” to “not as bad as some.” Doesn’t cut it.

Here’s the deal: Unlike eOR, the saints have it that they themselves are the worst sinners of all, for God loves us also individually and Jesus has stood in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, also individually, so that only I have sinned against Him and therefore only I can be the absolute worst sinner of all before Him. He loves me… and I myself offended Him. When Jesus lays down His life for us, He doesn’t do that because we’ve somehow successfully proven to Him, to society and to ourselves that we’re already wonderful, that we don’t need Him to lay down His life for us so as to have the right in His own justice to save us. He does this because He love us before we have loved Him. When we realize this we are stricken with awe, with love, with thanksgiving, much like the soldier on Calvary who thrust his sword into the side of Jesus, only then saying: “Truly this Man was the Son of God.”

When it comes to Confession, not to Santa Claus but to Jesus in the Confessional, we’re simply just to make a Confession that has four aspects starting with the letter “C”:

  • Complete – all mortal sins in kind and number and important circumstance (so that a young man who kills and old man is a grave sin, but that old man is the young man’s father, that’s an important circumstance that needs to be confessed as it involves yet another mortal sin against honoring one’s parents). Thus, an act of impurity is a mortal sin, but it is worse if this is done with another, leading another into sin, and yet still worse if one or both are married (thus adultery), and so on.
  • Concise: DON’T give unimportant details. Priests don’t want to hear it. Don’t tell the priest the sins of others. This is a terrible abuse of the sacrament. Priests don’t want to hear it. Don’t tell the priest all your excuses, blah blah blah blah blah blah blah. Seriously: priests don’t wan’t to hear all this blather. Look, when you go before the judgment of the Lord, you will not be able to give any excuses or blame anyone else for your sin. It’s much better to confess now, honestly, and go to heaven, than to trick the priest now (which you don’t) and then go to hell later.
  • Contrite: Be sorry for your sins at least at the level of imperfect contrition, wherein you dread the loss of heaven and the pains of hell. Try to have perfect contrition, by which your sorry for having offended God’s love for you, for He is worthy of all of our love. We have to have a firm purpose of amendment of life to be truly sorry in whatever way for our sins. We can’t intend to sin again. We have to have hope. We have to desire not to sin again. Confessing is to be done in the past tense: “I blasphemed God five times. I’m sorry to God.” Confessing is not to be done in the present or future tense: “I do blaspheme God and I will continue to do so.” That doesn’t make sense, does it? No. Neither does shacking up with someone, not being repentant of that, but wanting absolution for one’s own feelings so that one can feel holy and self-congratulatory and self-righteous in going to Holy Communion, but only ending up, as Saint Paul says, eating and drinking one’s own condemnation. So: “I resolve to amend my life. Amen.”
  • Clear: “I did something bad.” Nope. Just say it. Jesus already knows, but He want’s us to be reconciled to God and neighbor (the priest represents all others through his ordination to Jesus’ Priesthood) at the same time:
    • If we love, we love the whole Body of Christ, Jesus the Head of the Body and neighbor the members of the Body. It’s one act of love for the whole Body of Christ. We don’t decapitate Him and say we love God!
    • If we sin, we sin against the whole Body of Christ, Jesus the Head of the Body and neighbor the members of the Body. It’s one act of sin, however public or however private, against the whole Body of Christ. We don’t decapitate Him and say we love God because we only sinned against ourselves or our neighbors. It’s the whole Body of Christ that we offend.
    • If we are reconciled, we are reconciled with the entire Body of Christ, Jesus the Head and we the members. We say we’re sorry to the whole Body of Christ, through the priest who represents all others and gives us the absolution of Jesus, of God, in the first person singular: “I absolve you of your sins in the name of the Father, and of the Son ✚ and of the Holy Spirit.” Just as with love and sin, reconciliation is brought about in one only act for the entire Body of Christ.

And this is what brings one such great joy when one has actually made a good Confession, an integral, honest Confession. We stand forgiven. We’re on our way to heaven. We are filled with great joy. This is the joy of the Holy Spirit who was sent among for the forgiveness of sins. The forgiveness is brought about by the Holy Spirit flooding us with sanctifying grace. There’s no room for the guilt. We are then tabernacles of the Holy Spirit. We bear in our mortal frame the presence of the Most Holy Trinity. We are now eager to live love: “If you love me, keep the commandments” says Jesus to each of us, each of us, also to me, to you. Chaste lives, self-giving lives, honest lives, lives in which Jesus Himself shines out, His goodness, His kindness, His truth.

When we suddenly realize the greatness of the Lord’s majesty, the love and truth behind the wounds also on His risen body, that He will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, we also instantly recognize just how far away we ourselves have been, perhaps enough that we reject the cuteness of eOR above, and actually find ourselves on our knees for a good Christmas Confession.

So… eOR… we might ride eOR to the Confessional, contemplating as we go our rationalizations, but then when we get into the Confessional, much better not to sing like eOR, composing scenarios and operettas, but instead just laying it out our sins, simply, in all humility, before Jesus, with those wounds upon Him, Jesus, ever so good, ever so kind, always the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. Amen.

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Humility, please!

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That’s why I took you into Jerusalem? You’re making me want to cry.

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I was happy to have one fierce hour and sweet.

palestinian donkeyTHE DONKEY by G. K. CHESTERTON

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.

But now I see your fierce hour and bitter. Jesus! Mercy!

And yet, I think even the donkey, grazing on the weeds in quarry wherein the sepulcher of our Lord was to be found, was greeted by our Lord, to the donkey’s amazement.

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The donkey that no one could ride

Just for wonderful on this Palm Sunday. Sent in by a dear reader.

And anyone asks why I’m a donkey-priest?

Chesterton’s poem “The Donkey” has nothing over Anthony DeStefano’s description of The Donkey.

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My Vicar Forane and this donkey

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I’ve had a number of chats with the Bishop about a wide range of topics of late. And just yesterday afternoon, I went to have a chat with my Vicar Forane, the bishop’s rep in these far West counties of the the Western North Carolina Diocese. Lots of good encouragement and lots of good priestly fraternity with both.

The first thing, however, and just to say, that my Vicar Forane did was to present me with a donkey he had gone out of his way to acquire for me in the Holy Land. “Because you’re such an ass,” he said, laughing. Mind you, I had requested just such a donkey. I recall, as well, that is an honor to be a jackass, at least when one’s burden is Christ Jesus Himself. Saint Augustine answered the complaints of one his charges who was feeling particularly inept in this way: “Asinus es, sed Christum portas” (You are a jackass, but you carry Christ). I love that.

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Nooo! Just. So. Wrong. Nooo!

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

Just. So. Wrong.

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

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

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

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

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

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Poetry and Holy Family’s 1st donkey

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

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

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

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

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Lol! But then… Donkeys and Jesus

Donkeys, always with the Holy Family, know the entirety of the hell the Holy Family went through. Behold, the reality of a donkey with the Holy Family, with Mary being the Ark of The Covenant:

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I love it.

Mind you, if you think the donkey is scowling and is upset with his burden, no no, it’s not that way; instead, the donkey knows he’s on a forced journey bringing the Holy Family into exile in Egypt because of Herod murdering all the boys in Bethlehem in order to kill Jesus. The donkey, hardly upset with the Holy Family, is practicing his situational awareness. Gooood donkeeey!

This is my life while bringing Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament on my far flung Communion Calls to shut-ins, to those in Rehabs and Nursing Homes and Hospitals. I hope Jesus thinks I’m a gooood donkeeey! ;-)

And if anyone needs reminding about the great situational awareness of any good donkey, remember that donkeys are put in with flocks of sheep as they are superb at protecting the flock from predators. All priests should be gooood donkeeeys!

DONKEY FOX

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Not just a singing donkey: true Opera. Why all priests should be donkeys.

A reader sent this in, knowing that I think donkeys are the best:

  • They’re always with the Holy Family: Nazareth to Bethlehem to Egypt, all the back to Nazareth, and then bringing Jesus to the Cross.
  • They’re intelligent, not stubborn (mules are stubborn, for a reason), instead only doing what they understand (which is really smart). This is why those who interfere with children would have been better off (as Jesus says) to have a specifically (always left untranslated) donkey-millstone tied about one’s neck and thrown into the sea. In other words, donkeys are much more intelligent than those who do such things.
  • They sing, their praying being braying, but the donkey above has moved to opera!
  • They guard the flock, stopping the threat of predators:

DONKEY FOX

All priests should be donkeys, and be proud of it.

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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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