I have begged through the years to be have relief from this interdict, at least from the sharpness of its cynicism and sarcasm, for it was known from the beginning that there is no possibility of circumstances under which I could possibly submit to ecclesial authority in this matter, that is, to wit, even though I no longer reside in said territory, for I continue to this day to be forbidden to even pass through, or say “Greetings!” There is no mercy for this Missionary of Mercy, it being having mercy on those banished to the peripheries at said institution which has brought about my own being cast into the same existential, anguished darkness. The holy angels, I reckon, were never happy with such a result prepared by the highest tribunals in the Holy See (note the exaggerated ecclesiastical Latin of penal decrees ossified by centuries of rote application to like offenders against expected loyalties).
Although the given reason for the interdict seems serious enough, I’m guessing that the T-Shirt art produced in my honor for the event in question is thought to be politically incorrect in any number of ways. I respond that this over-reaction is symptomatic of our day. Instead of that reductionism, I firmly confess that the faith is spread by the sword as it was when Jesus’ Heart was pierced through (truly this was the Son of God), when Mary’s heart was pierced by sorrow (when our thoughts are laid bare), and this ever since the ferocious cherubim back in Genesis 3:24 brandished their fiery sword (for our conversion), since Elijah used his sword (for the edification of believers and the pedagogical punishment of non-believers), since Saint Michael used his (to show forth God’s glory), since our Lord told Peter not to use the sword in that most dire of circumstances (so that He Himself could have a sword plunged into His Heart).
I recommend that all seminarians get to know faith by the sword.
BTW: How good and pleasant it is when brothers live in unity… Perhaps, as a punishment for my continued contentiousness, I will be sent back to this office in the Pontifical Family (after all, notice the donkey in the painting besides the one sitting at the desk):
And while I open myself up to the less perspicacious of the communications crowd over in the Holy See, letting them think that I’ve actually been put under interdict (what with their Latin surely not being up to speed), I think it would be downright humorous altogether should I be publicly castigated and recommended for excommunication for real, you know, based on the interdict already supplied to yours truly above.
The American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce is still closely following this blog. I guess the bit I levity in which I indulged with the last post yesterday about their new Federal enforcement agents bit a button or two. :-)
Meanwhile, that was quickly followed by another hit some stone-throws away, over at the great Family Research Council, also in D.C. just East of the White House. I mean, it’s the post that they go to straightaway that’s just so cool. I know it’s just a coincidence, but on the other hand, it was like a direct warning from them about the anti-family American Community Survey:
Here’s that post. It was written some years ago. I take it to heart now. Thanks, FRC!
I’m also tagging this with “Humor” as this made me laugh out loud. I’m having way too much fun as a priest. I know, I know. I’m sure I’ll pay for it soon enough with a knock on the door and cuffs being slapped on hands and feet. Whatever. It is what it is. I refuse to let go of a sense of humor even in dark, dark times.
It’s not always the case, but the other night Laudie-dog and Shadow-dog were both inside with me. But then, at zero-dark-thirty (as always), one of the local thugs knocked quietly on the outer walls of the rectory, surely not to get my attention, but to see if he could get the attention of the dogs. I’m sure the dogs would have been shot yet again with a pellet gun had they been outside. Shadow-dog has now been shot some eight times plus a 9mm to his dog house since he adopted me by way of the Police Department, while Laudie-dog has been shot twice since I’ve had her and once more before she adopted me.
Anyway, something must have spooked the thug, maybe someone driving by out front, and he ran in the direction of the drug-house through the creek-side of the back yard of the rectory. Of course, maybe he was smacked by a feather of my guardian angel to get him running full speed. :-)
On the creek-side of the back perimeter of the property there’s four-foot high goat-wire fence, plain as day for all to see, even at night if my flood-lights are on; the lights are about as bright as the sun as pretty much everyone in town informs me. This guy seems to have run full speed right into the goat wire. I’m not sure what that makes him… The neighbor pointed out the destruction to me the next day, calling me up all upset. Together we noted the dynamics of how the fence was violently stretched out of shape blown out from the rectory side of the fencing. The goat wire is attached to the chain-link fence on the one side, but just stands loose and is lightly wrapped around a tree on the far side by the creek (not attached at all).
I can only imagine the scene of this guy running into that fence, flipping him head over heels, having him hit his head hard on the cement driveway of the neighbor. Ouch! Karma? Not so sure about that. How about irony. No, there’s got to be something more personal. Let’s see… my Guardian Angel! Yes, I think that’s it.
I immediately smashed into the ground a couple of what we Minnesotans call snow-fence posts along the fence line as a temporary measure. These were from the once-upon-a-time hermitage, after which I gave them to yet another neighbor. He’s re-envisioned his garden for next Summer and just gave them back to me.
That’s just temporary. The goat wire will be tied up much more sturdily, and I’ll be adding some more lengths of goat wire fencing on the creek side with the help of yet more posts. Meanwhile, the back yard neighbor – really nice guy – gave me quite a lot of barbed wire to add to the top. Heheheh. Of course, any good thievery tools will be able to cut down all the fencing within seconds. I don’t put my trust in fences. I just want to do what I can to protect the dogs. This is also to protect the neighbor at the back. The creek is a kind of highway for the druggies and home-invaders. My neighbors, especially those with little kids, don’t like all the heroin needles and ruffians around the back doors of their homes. The little goat-wire fence helps to dissuade the dark side from making this their avoid-the-police path.
Meanwhile, a funny story about fences and priests:
Some tough church ladies told me a funny story down in Australia as I was installed as the new pastor in that outback parish. I was in Australia to teach in the new country seminary, and the bishop had me doubling up the work by having me do up some trouble-shooting, having me also follow an all-too-weak priest who was doing way too much fence sitting. His fence sitting upset the tough church ladies, and so they hauled him aside and told him the truth of the matter in no uncertain terms, no fence sitters they:
“You can’t be sitting on the fence these days, Father, because these days we make fences out of razer-wire.”
Perfect. I love that. Church ladies are always tough.
Legend has it that the new Federal compliance agents of the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey – after doing a preliminary drive-by to check out the logistics of the Catholic Rectory where an inhabitant is daring to be a non-respondent (yours truly) – have now gone into hiding in a CHAZ or CHAD safe space until this very day, bewildered, befuddled, baffled at the sheer number of purposed microaggressions on the attack in the front of this Catholic Rectory, even showcased in the front window.
Let’s count the microaggressions by which they are surely offended:
This Catholic rectory is happy to proclaim the virtue of patriotism, to uphold that this nation is a democracy for, by and of the people, who live in a Constitutional Republic. Note the American Flag.
This Catholic rectory is happy to proclaim that the Rule of Law is to be respected and honored, instead of caving to an unbridled fake democracy of tyrannical feelings of some over against others, over against natural law, over against reason, over against the Constitution. Note the Thin Blue Line Flag.
This Catholic rectory is happy to participate according to circumstance in the just defense of the innocent over against unjust horrific ISIS-esque aggression, taking care in whatever way those in need of mercy because of that unjust aggression. Note the Flag of the [Crusader] Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, of Rhodes and of Malta, that is, in an early version of the flag still evident on ceremonial robes today, a flag entirely consonant with the American Flag and the Thin Blue Line Flag.
This Catholic rectory is happy to honor Jesus and Mary and Anthony of Padua with statuary that thugs and buffoons would want to destroy, because, I guess, there is such a depiction of peace with that artistry.
This Catholic rectory is happy to honor the angels and the birth of the Messiah, Jesus, King of kings, Lord of Lord’s, Prince of the Most Profound Peace, who is Himself the Light of the world, who is Himself the Temple – His own Body – who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Even Federal enforcement officers of the American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau of the U.S. Department of Commerce will He judge. Yes, even they.
I think I saw somewhere that these guys, all kitted out and badged up, have like six months to recover in their safe-spaces from all such microaggressions before making one last attempt at having someone complete the survey. That will bring us to something like mid-Summer 2021. But I have to wonder if they will ever be brave enough to do a drive-by again, much less stop to knock on the door, what with so very many microaggressions just stubbornly staying right where they are.
Of course, they can throw a vindictive tantrum and fine me up to $5,000.00 and throw me into a Federal Penitentiary, roughing me up, breaking my will (um… not) for up to five years just because I’m a microaggressioning non-respondent… I guess the charge would be “passive resistance” for not filling out their 48 page interrogation…
Of course, they have to find me at home. That’s difficult, as I’m out with the sheep of Jesus’ little flock, as Jesus’ little flock can testify. But if they ever catch me, I’m sure the first words out of their mouths will be: “Ihre Papiere, bitte!” But they probably won’t be so polite as all that:
The one thing I’ve learned in life is to just never give in, ever. You lose your soul in doing that. If our Lord has anything to say about it, my soul will stay with the Lord Jesus. See John 10:27-30:
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
Oh, and if anyone feels insulted by the references to Nazi monstrousness above, note that what the American Community Survey is all about goes against “Judeo-Catholic conscience.” Once that starts, it’s over already, a done deal. And it has started.
The above is just one of many this morning. Many of these groups are the very best in the world for extracting everything from raw-formatted hard drives and flash drives. Pfft. Whatever. I don’t care one little bit. Good for them, as long as they are doing what they do for God and neighbor, Pro Deo et Patria, 4GOD4ALL and all that. Great.
But aren’t hackers 24/7/365-366 in their mother’s basements even when they are older, not coming up even for a delicious Thanksgiving dinner especially during Covid lockdowns coming from the Dems?
That would be wrong.
These hackers in their dozens all took off the entire Thanksgiving holiday weekend. Ain’t gonna happen with malicious hackers. Never. So, these guys are just bored workers here in these USA wanting to get inspired with AriseLetUsBeGoing even if being paid slave wages to do so. Whatever about their oh so so ultra secret exit nodes[=outhouse holes?], they all seem to flush out [sorry!] at Fort George G Meade (=NSA) and other such locations. ;-)
Counterintelligence amounts to a lot of baiting and counterbaiting in a vortexed maelstrom of – in the end – who knows what? I know that well. But I thought a bit of humor – and all this is humor – would be good just about this time post-election 2020.
No offence to our intelligence services. Really. It’s just that it seems all this is impolite.
Having said that, I have a really good friend who was invited to be a chaplain for the NSA.
He’s another one of those most researched people in the world.
Just to inject a bit of humor into the situation here in these USA, I poke fun at myself, and let my associations run wild. Come along for the ride. You won’t be disappointed.
The hit to the blog above had ultra-inaccurate Verizon Fios geolocators pointing to McLean[!], Tysons Corner[!], D.C.[!], and – as always – Charlottesville, in other words, to about five million other people and surely just a mistaken click on the blog… but, just to say, the TOR hackers disappeared all at the same time, all of them, just like that, totally.
Hahaha. In other words, it’s a good thing to keep a sense of ultra-light-hearted-humor in what are stressful times for many people, what with Covid policy treated as legislated law, what with the obvious fraud amounting to a coup d’état, what with religious rites still being smacked down by those who hate God and neighbor, our Constitutional Republic of, by and for the people, by those who hate the Rule of Law. Let yourself enjoy a bit of humor! Remember what Saint Lawrence said when he was being burned to death on a grid-iron: “You can turn me over now; I’m done on that side.” No matter how bad things can get, know that Jesus intends to bring us to heaven. And don’t forget, the CIA can continue full on with no government funding for multiple administrations of any POTUS.
Besides being steadfast in the faith only by the grace of God, besides keeping a sense of humor, I myself like also to fall back into nostalgia for a bit of wonderful distraction. So, when places like McClean and Tysons Corner come up, my first reaction is to render due honor where due honor is due. It’s like someone saying a word and then you have to say the first word that comes to mind. In this case, I instantly turn to this event honoring the great Joyce Kilmer, which happened a couple of years ago, when yours truly had the great honor of honoring this Catholic giant of poetry, this spectacular Catholic giant of the Intelligence Community. I wrote about it then. Here’s some of that post:
July 30, 2018, was the 100th anniversary of death by sniper of forward field intelligence officer Joyce Kilmer. He’s personally the heroic example of what would become the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) which would itself turn into the Central Intelligence Agency. The CIA, the Central/Catholic Intelligence Agency, doesn’t much treat Kilmer as a forerunner, but in my opinion, they should.
Descendants of Joyce Kilmer were there. The VFW was there in force, including the State and National Commanders. There were bagpipes, the bugle for Taps, the 21 gun salute.
After offering a few religious words about heroism and then enjoying the privilege of reciting the entirety of Kilmer’s Rouge Bouquet included below, I had the honor of commanding that honors be rendered. Here’s that ceremony:
JOYCE KILMER: Memorial –Rev. George David Byers July 30, 2018 – Centenary Memorial Service – Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest
Joyce Kilmer was enthusiastically respected in all good friendship by his brothers in arms back in the day, a lively respect which continues today as we are now witnessing one hundred years later. Anyone who is profoundly immersed in their own times remains at one with us in all times. Joyce Kilmer is a hero because he leads us back to ourselves and who we are before God. Joyce’s poetical intervention about, say, any tree being awesome because of being just another tree, but made by God is an analogy bringing us into the lived reality of who any one of us is to be as a hero.
Like so many others in our topsy turvy society with wars and rumors of wars, in our day as people did in Joyce’s day, I have searched for heroism if not in all the wrong places then surely in all the wrong ways. Growing up in a military family, my father having been trained up at Parris Island as a Marine Fighter Attack Pilot in Guam, the Philippines, Japan, China and Korea, having been commander of the famed Checkerboard Squadron, I have bragged about him as my hero, perhaps making him too extra special. Joyce Kilmer knew there was a danger to making one tree more special than all the others, a danger of not seeing that we are all made by God, the danger of thinking that this other fellow is a hero so I don’t have to be one. That’s not the kind of respect a real hero wants.
At the same time I would go out of my way to greet any veteran I might see at a gas station or a supermarket or at church. I’ve learned NOT to say, “Thank you for your service,” as I would often get a half-hearted, or sad, or almost cynical if polite acknowledgment in return. To say “Thank you for your service” almost seems ungrateful to the very veteran before whom one stands, being thankful perhaps only for his or her service in unrepeatable circumstances so very far away, a fog of war that any veteran struggles to recount to anyone, a service which, therefore, is in danger of being forgotten if heroism is merely about things done, if heroism is just that specialized, that distant, that out of reach, my usual mistake of “he’s the hero so I don’t have to be one.”
To veterans then, I’ve learned NOT to say “Thank you for your service,” but simply, “Thank you.” The acknowledgment is immediate, sincere, one of appreciated solidarity. And yet, even in this thanksgiving there can still be something missing about the heroism Joyce Kilmer lived out, the heroism which won him the enthusiastic respect in all good friendship of his brothers in arms and of our own respect today.
An Army friend of mine who was taken up as a field agent of the CIA much along the lines of Joyce becoming a kind of distant forerunner of the best of our CIA operatives, reprimanded me, saying that I had much to learn about thanking any veteran. He said that a hero isn’t someone you thank so much as strive to imitate with intensity of service at whatever cost. That’s it, thought I foolishly. Striving to imitate intensity of service is a real compliment, a real thanksgiving, and goes a long way and is what any veteran would like to see from anyone. But it still isn’t the full story and is certainly not quite yet an appreciation of the kind of heroism lived out by Joyce Kilmer.
We’ve all heard veterans of foreign wars like Marcus Luttrell or Robert O’Neill say it; we’ve all heard our friends in Law Enforcement and Firefighting say it; I’m certain that most who are here today have said it, as heroes: “I’ve done nothing special.” And then they add what our Lord said we will all say should we make it into the gates of heaven: “I’ve only done what I had to do.” There are those who think that this is what humility is all about, misunderstanding this as some sort of self-deprecation. But they miss the point. This isn’t false humility to say “I’ve done nothing special.” It is to say in Joyce Kilmer’s analogy, that any tree is awesome among any other trees, each having been made by God, so that each tree, each person is to do what they have to do, what they’ve been given to do, what they’ve been called to do in whatever impossibly unrepeatable circumstances they happen to be in. We’re all called to be heroes.
What was so attractive about Joyce Kilmer to his brothers in arms and to us today is that he knew he had what we can all have by way of God: we can all have a love that is stronger than death, a love stronger than death. “Let me have the most dangerous assignment!” said Joyce Kilmer again and again. A love stronger than death given by God. That’s what we recognize as what we are all to have, a love stronger than death given by God; this is who we are all to be, one who lives out what we have to do, what we’ve been given to do, what we’ve been called to do in all our impossibly unrepeatable circumstances. What makes the hero is that which all can have, this God given love which is stronger than death. “Let me have the most dangerous assignment!”
So said the eternal Word of God the Father: let me have the most dangerous assignment; let me stand in their place, the innocent for the guilty, so that I might have the right in my own justice to have mercy on them. And we know what happened next: “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life,” eternal life, a love stronger than death, the eternal Son of God, our warrior of goodness conquering evil because giving us of his love that is stronger than death so that we might also say: “Let me have the most dangerous assignment!” Jesus is the One hero, and we are all heroes in him, recognizing before this love that is stronger than death that is offered to us all, that we then do, in thanksgiving, what we have to do, what we’ve been given to do, what we’ve been called to do in all our own unrepeatable circumstances, as in Joyce’s day, so in our own. The thanksgiving that our hero veterans want to have is that we all become heroes.
My own prayer this day is that those who visit this forest, coming into contact with the eternal Creator of creation, might find out about the heroism of Joyce Kilmer, the heroism we can all have with that God-given love that is stronger than death, that love which is eternal. Only God can make a tree. Only God can make a hero. We thank God for all our heroes, begging that we might strive to imitate intensity of generosity by living out in our everyday circumstances, with enthusiasm, that love which is stronger than death. Thank you, Joyce. Thanks to all our veterans. Thanks to all our heroes. Thanks to Jesus for giving us a love stronger than death.
The Rouge Bouquet
In a wood they call the Rouge Bouquet There is a new-made grave to-day, Built by never a spade nor pick Yet covered with earth ten metres thick. There lie many fighting men, Dead in their youthful prime, Never to laugh nor love again Nor taste the Summertime. For Death came flying through the air And stopped his flight at the dugout stair, Touched his prey and left them there, Clay to clay. He hid their bodies stealthily In the soil of the land they fought to free And fled away. Now over the grave abrupt and clear Three volleys ring; And perhaps their brave young spirits hear The bugle sing: “Go to sleep! Go to sleep! Slumber well where the shell screamed and fell. Let your rifles rest on the muddy floor, You will not need them any more. Danger’s past; Now at last, Go to sleep!” There is on earth no worthier grave To hold the bodies of the brave Than this place of pain and pride Where they nobly fought and nobly died. Never fear but in the skies Saints and angels stand Smiling with their holy eyes On this new-come band. St. Michael’s sword darts through the air And touches the aureole on his hair As he sees them stand saluting there, His stalwart sons; And Patrick, Brigid, Columkill Rejoice that in veins of warriors still The Gael’s blood runs. And up to Heaven’s doorway floats, From the wood called Rouge Bouquet A delicate cloud of bugle notes That softly say: “Farewell! Farewell! Comrades true, born anew, peace to you! Your souls shall be where the heroes are And your memory shine like the morning-star. Brave and dear, Shield us here. Farewell!”
From the Catholic funerary rites:
Saints of God, come to their aid! Come to meet them angels of the Lord! Receive their souls and present them to God the Most High. May Christ, Who called you, take you to Himself; may angels lead you to Abraham’s side. Receive their souls and present them to God the Most High. Let us pray: We commend our brothers and sisters to you, Lord. Now that they have passed from this life, may they live on in Your presence. Amen. Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.
The American Community Survey of the U.S. Census Bureau is NOT the Census of the U.S. Census Bureau. The ACS is sent out to relatively few individuals after the Census itself is over and done. The first round of the ACS amounts to a small volume of 48 pages, 8 1/2 x 11, with lots of intrusive, personal questions regarding one’s lifelong unrepeatable history. The penalty for lying or alternatively for not responding to questions is mandated by the U.S. Congress: up to $5,000.00 dollars in fines and up to five years in a Federal Penitentiary.
Yours truly, Father George David Byers, Catholic priest and pastor of Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Andrews, NC, admits his “guilt” for ignoring the electronic version of the ACS. It was indicated that a hardcopy would be sent out if I ignored the electronic version, or for some reason couldn’t complete it, such as a bad internet connection.
That hardcopy arrived Saturday evening, 21 November 2020. Yours truly also admits that, to date, now a week later, 29 November 2020, I have ignored that hardcopy. It was indicated that if I do not respond promptly with the hard-copy, an in-person interview may be conducted. I’m waiting for the banging on the door to begin. Fun!
The stats on belligerent non-respondents being chosen to be interviewed, all things being equal, stand at 33%.
All things being equal, this is all random. But I know of two respondents in this region: (1) myself (the rather unwilling however vaunted Regional Census Partner for Western North Carolina); (2) our Supreme Knight of the Knights of Columbus (who volunteered to go door to door for the Census). The chances that both people tapped to be respondents to the ACS that I just happen to know about would have an already established relationship of some kind with the U.S. Census Bureau are, like, one in a zillion. Ain’t gonna happen. So, not really random.
Also, the ACS, like the Census itself, is dishonest, as they themselves brag about, saying that they will intentionally falsify answers given with the intention of protecting your identity from, you know, hackers and such. So, the whole exercise is used for – what? – gerrymandering political districts so as sway elections? My higher-up in the Census Bureau admitted they were giving talking points on this but wouldn’t talk. Pfft. What a bunch of criminals. Just my opinion. Anyway…
Some questions within the 48 page survey endanger oneself and one’s property. You are required to provide your daily schedule, as in when you leave your residence, to the minute, LAST WEEK (their capitalization), what kind of vehicle you have used in the LAST WEEK (their capitalization), how many minutes it takes you to get from home to work in the LAST WEEK (their capitalization), and extremely detailed information about everything there is to know about telephones and communications devices. Whiskey, Tango, and you know the rest. But that’s about as much as I would complain about the American Community Survey, all things being equal.
////// Humor break: Did I mention that the etymology of “Survey” is “voyeurism from above“? Yep. That would be right. Anyway… //////
Not all things are equal. There are any number of reasons why I cannot respond to the American Community Survey. In this post, I’ll just give one reason, the reason that I will ever so politely iterate to any very nice door-knockers. But I have more reasons.
After I had sent in the Census form of the United States Census Bureau on time and with correct information, such as yours truly being the only one to live in my residence, you know, as a Catholic priest in a Catholic Rectory, I received messages on my phone from three different individuals (some repeated) from the Atlanta Regional Census HQ apoplectic that I had to get in touch with them extremely urgently (I hate that kind of breathlessness) to answer a question they had for me about my residence. I did call them back…
My Catholic religion and I myself were forthwith mocked with great sarcasm by way of an inescapable implication that I am committing any number of criminal activities that must be secretly occurring in the Catholic Rectory where I reside. The only reason for such a concern is that it is, very specifically, a Catholic Rectory. Maybe I wouldn’t have been targeted if I lived in a Presbyterian Presbytery or a Baptist Parsonage, or in the house of a whatever Preacherman, Rabbi or Imam, or I were just an atheist or a Freemason or if I lived in the residence of – dare I say it? – a Democrat. Maybe it’s really because I’m a white boy, therefore “privileged” and, because white, therefore “racist.” This wasn’t about providing my credit card details. It’s not a scam. It’s called a hate crime wrought by the U.S. Census Bureau. To my recollection, the guy at the U.S. Census Bureau baited me multiple times with such words:
Because this is a Catholic Rectory we’re talking about, that must necessarily mean that you are keeping women and children there, because it’s a Catholic Rectory, right?
That word “keeping” inescapably implies accusations, right?
Targets for target practice?
Islamic style polygamy including child-marriage like Muhammad?
You fill in the blank: ________________
Gotta be something like that because, after all, all Catholic Rectories are always necessarily residences used for committing crimes that involve “keeping” women and children. This isn’t one guy in the U.S. Census Bureau with some sort of personal tender snowflake ax to grind. There are three. This is purposed harassment accusing me of lying on the Census about numbers of people in the rectory and accusing me of any number of vile criminal activities.
So, it being that the Department of Commerce’s Census Bureau has me maliciously targeted only because I’ve been ordained a Catholic Priest and only because I live in a Catholic Rectory, how is it, I ask, that I am supposed to trust the next subsidiary of the U.S. Census Bureau called the American Community Survey, which also asks about any others living in whatever residence. The U.S. Census Bureau has already said that I must be a liar, feloniously attacking me in the form of a religious hate crime. What am I supposed to do with the repeated questions? Jesus was silent before Pontius Pilate. That’s my only way to proceed. That silence sent Jesus to His death. It will only cost me $5,000.00 and five years in prison. So, what-ev-uh!
Someone is surely going to say that belligerent non-respondents are not prosecuted for like the last zillion years, but the demonstrated malice on their part in my case is truly striking. In a swampy administration, I’m guessing that this kind of malice will be the common way of proceeding.
What it means is this: I will be able to avoid a $5,000.00 fine and five years in a Federal Penitentiary if only I assent to their religious hate crime by agreeing with them that all priests always and everywhere are keeping women and children in their Catholic rectories because they are Catholic priests living in Catholic rectories, and only if I then proceed to agree to cooperate with the American Community Survey based on that presumption, so that I must lie and say that I am indeed keeping women and children in this Catholic rectory according to the numbers that they will, I guess, provide themselves, since there are in all actuality exactly zero women and children living here, or visiting here, ever. Doesn’t happen. But they consider that to be a lie, so they will fine me and imprison me anyway, you know, to cover up their religious hate crime.
BUT IT’S ALL MUCH WORSE: All of this is a blasphemy against God, who is Himself disparaged by the assertion that all of Jesus’ priests must necessarily be monstrous sinners because and only because they are Jesus’ priests. To threaten one of Jesus’ priests to blaspheme Jesus under threat of a $5,000.00 fine and five years in a Federal Penitentiary is that which is subversive to the Constitutional Republic of these United States of America, which instead boasts of the free exercise of religion, that is, freedom from the religious hate-criminals crushing the unalienable rights of citizens in good standing. The first amendment protects citizens from their government, which is supposed to be for, by and of the people.
What is happening with me is a full on persecution of religion by the government in this otherwise Constitutional Republic boasting of the Rule of Law, viz., these United States of America. Just the other week, the great SCOTUS Justice Samuel Alito was right to warn us all about the hell of religious persecution coming upon us.
I’m guessing that the nice interviewers won’t come around for another few days or maybe another week or two because of Thanksgiving week throwing the schedule off just a bit. But maybe, if they then have time to read this post they’ll just choose to skip me altogether, you know, if all things were being equal. And, yes, I do get multiple hits from the U.S. Census Bureau to this tiny blog written by yours truly, an obscure mountain priest in this tiniest of parishes in North America.
///// UPDATE: Since this was published, the US Census Bureau has indeed visited the blog, with this post right near the top. Here’s that stat:
I’m an easy target for the cowardly but self-perceived powerful people, an expendable and insignificant test case. They have no idea that Christ Jesus, the Son of the Living God will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. But, as I say, there’s not a great chance that I will be skipped considering their religious hate crimes against yours truly.
Having said all that, their religious hate crime is only one objection. I have plenty more. And if they push, I will iterate another in detail, and if they push back, well, then, we’ll just have ourselves a little bit of discovery going on, won’t we? I’ll finally be able to delve into all those “files” of the Department of State. Heh heh heh. So, I don’t expect to see any Feds at the rectory at all. But sometimes people feel so “powerful” they just go ahead and launch themselves right into it, especially when they think that their swamp has sucked justice and integrity and honesty and the Constitution and the Rule of Law right down into the vortex of their quagmire…
Look, I just want to continue being the Catholic priest for Jesus’ little flock here in Western North Carolina while being a patriotic American citizen in good standing. To desire good things is not virtue signaling. It’s called the hope of a sinner in God’s mercy, and the hope of a citizen in a very dark world.
But I’ll tell you what: I am totally disgusted by the swamp rats who hate God and who hate these United States, who have no integrity, no honor, no patriotism, who specifically hate Catholic priests and the Catholic Church.
I am attracted instead by the honor and patriotism instilled in me by my father, a great American hero, a practicing Catholic who taught me how to kneel properly at an altar rail, how to love Jesus. I proclaim that to the world:
This isn’t hero worship of my father. He was a sinner. He went to confession. I’m a sinner. I go to confession. When we honor the heroes it’s not done by acclaiming them and that’s it. That’s cheap. Jesus condemned that kind of fake praise. Instead, thanking our heroes is all about striving to follow their example of risking their lives continuously for God and country by doing the same ourselves. Pro Deo et Patria. That others may live. All that. Yes. All for Jesus, for neighbor, for country.
Can those who hate Jesus hurt me in this world specifically because of Jesus’ Holy Name? Yes. Can they hurt me specifically because I am one of Jesus’ little ones? Yes. And, being weak, I am a little bit in trepidation about that, like the greatest of all prophets, John the Baptist, was in trepidation, he wondering if Jesus was really the Messiah, because, you know, it shouldn’t be that the Forerunner, John, should get his head cut off for witnessing to the ten commandments, for if Jesus were really the Savior, He would stop that, right? Jesus’ response was to have John told that he wasn’t to be offended by Jesus. It’s the ol’ “as the Master (who will be crucified) so the disciple,” who was then forthwith decapitated.
It boils down to this:
American Community Survey Interrogator: “Curse God and blaspheme Jesus!”
Father George David Byers: “Praise God! I love Jesus!”
“Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matthew 5:10-12 nab).”
I really like how Luke recalls this:
“Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. (Luke 6:22-23 nab)
Yes, I really like that: “Rejoice and leap for joy!” That’s Jesus saying that. So, I better do it. I hope I don’t sprain my ankle! Here goes… LEAP!… I survived!
Just a reminder. Purple. Advent. It’s royal purple. Jesus is King of kings, Lord of lords, Prince of the Most Profound Peace.
But filthy, effeminate, luxuriating Herod, clothed Jesus in a robe of purple to mock Jesus. But Jesus had called Herod a female fox, in Jesus’ words: “Go and tell Herod, that bitch…” you know, to use technical canine vocabulary. Check it out. Luke 13:32. The translation will say “fox” because the translators are chickens favoring Herod the bitch. But Herod would decapitate such tender snowflake sycophants though without the regret he had about John the Baptist. In their political correctness, they are already as good as chickens with their heads cut off by the politicians that be.
And this is why royal purple is used for penitential seasons like Advent and Lent. The King will be placed in a wooden manger and nailed to a wooden cross. How do we perceive the purple?
Meanwhile, all the more purple:
If you’re having trouble with all this – too much reality all at once – ask the Immaculate Conception to help you out. She saw what that bitch of Pontius Pilate and what Pilate himself did to her Son. Just look into her eyes:
Advent. Purple. A penitential season. Because of that bitch, Herod.
I can just hear it now, the Bishop reading a thousand complaints about me in letters complaining that I’m not appropriate, that’s I’ve crossed boundaries:
“Dear Bishop, you gotta do something with Father Byers. He’s so mean. He’s, like, using bad words and stuff – splutter, splutter, splutter.”
These bitchy people… sigh… They should read about political correctness and what God thinks about prostituting oneself to political correctness, say, in Ezekiel 23. Bwahahahahahahahahahahahaaaaaaaa!!!!
You know, what would happen is that the Bishop would laugh, heartily, as he knows I’m quoting Jesus verbatim. He loves that. :-)
Then, I’m quite sure, in his own chapel, he would give a purple flower to the Immaculate Conception. How about you?
But I can still hear it: “Splutter, splutter, splutter….”
A couple of university “grass roots” community organizers came to church the other day, one with a neck-gator, one with an extremely poorly fitting mask that mocked the purpose of any mask wearing if any purpose existed ever, even though they said that they were community educators on how to wear masks properly, well, you know, educators of only that sector of the community they claim to be so stupid that they don’t know how to wear a mask, namely, they said, the Latinos.
You know the drill: “I’m gonna force you to wear a mask ‘properly’ you damned stupid Latinos, but I’m not gonna follow my own advice, so blatant about hypocrisy, on purpose, that you’ll get the hint that we’re inviting you to also *join the power* of racism and hypocrisy. Stop going to this church! Agitate! Protest in the streets!”
They said they were representing a grass-roots organization that was set on instructing the stupid Latinos who are so very stupid about mask wearing, and, by the way, they added, Latinos are so very stupid about masks.
They’ve never even been to the parish before. They’ve never attended our Spanish Mass. They’ve never seen how well the Latino community does in fact wear Covid-19 masks (regardless of whether you believe in their efficacy and very possible politicization). And that presumption about our Latinos is racist. And if I would have agreed with them that all Latinos are stupid and so yes please come and community organize (a verb) these stupid Latinos, easily manipulating them for your clearly ulterior motives, then I would be racist myself.
As it is, I believe all lives matter because Jesus redeemed us all and wants that we assist each other to be saved, we who all will look together on Him whom we have crucified and pierced through, we, from every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
Knowing literally within seconds that this couple were Marxist Community Organizers trying to establish a foothold in my parish with my blessing so that they could bully their political views by scaring our Latinos with immigration status and offering the Latinos the usual lies about giving them money and status if they would also agitate, I immediately asked them who it happens to be who is funding them.
Perhaps that was impolite, right? I mean, if I were to take them at face value with their self declared grass roots status, they would be doing this at their own expense or also using the donations of fellow students, but nothing more. Maybe their roots are dying with altogether too much B.S.
This question obviously caught them off guard as they looked to each other for a way to answer. The other one answered candidly, saying that there were, in fact, certain “groups” financially floating their endeavors, but straightaway [singular]*they* added that, of course, they didn’t know who these groups were or where that money was coming from.
“Bwahahahahaha,” thought I trying desperately to remain with a straight face. I think this parish priest has waaaay toooo much fun. It’s just too easy.
But now I laugh out loud writing all this: Bwahahahahah!!! :-)
In all their condescending concern for our beloved Latinos who they say have no idea how to wear a Covid-mask because they are all uneducated and stupid and have no one else to condescend to them to instruct them in all their stupidity…. in all their condescension are they not the very epitome of the definition of a hateful racist?
They offered to try to come up with a statement about themselves, but I said that I would get some research done on them myself. There is nothing to research of course. But all I have to do is examine their statements:
“We’re grass roots and we’re funded by groups so secret that even we don’t know who they are.”
“We’re so concerned about Latinos unlike this racist church because we say that Latinos are all stupid and they have to follow our dictates, and you haven’t already told them they are stupid and you haven’t already told them that they must follow our dictates so it is you who are racist with your stupid racist church… splutter, splutter, splutter…”
I’m fully expecting that a report on our little parish church – that we are not compliant with anti-USA violent bullies – will, say, go to George Soros and to our own Governor Cooper of North Carolina, whose discrimination against churches had to be smacked down hard by a Federal Judge. And now we’ll be enemies of anti-Americans, enemies of the liberal crowd, even though our Latinos are great about wearing masks, even if just to keep us out of trouble with the powers of the community organizers that be, our Latinos being really very smart altogether. :-)
You know, I was so very soft-spoken and polite with these community organizers, but I suppose I could be still be labeled as being an old meanie in that I’m also tagging this post as “Humor.” Sorry, but I have to laugh again:
P.S. Someone will surely try to litigate against me and my parish church and my diocese and the USCCB and the Vatican while claiming that I’m clearly writing this post surely as a Republican over against Democrats, and so that proves that the Catholic Church should lose its tax exempt status. However, did I mention that this was any kind of political move in such a fashion? No.
Everything I said in this post is said as just another human being trying to be respectful of the natural law, trying to be respectful of our Latino community who were being viciously insulted by racist political baiters.
But, am I a priest? Yes. All the more am I going to understand the basis for being respectful to all, Jesus, who redeemed us and wants that we respect one another. Was I being disrespectful to these university students by writing this summary? No. Not at all. This is utmost respect, taking them seriously, pointing out to them that which perhaps no else will point out to them. I’m no tender snowflake racist like them. They need to convert and be respectful of their fellow human beings.
But they will surely complain that their secret sources of money will disappear if they are not racist enough, not anti-Catholic enough, don’t hate these USA enough.
I’ll just continue here in my church, priest that I am, trying my best to lead people to Jesus. Jesus is the One. He’s the only One. I believe in Jesus.
You know you live a dangerous life when your insurance salesman gives you bullets, especially during Covid-price-times. This one box of just 50 target rounds for 9mm is $30 bucks. That’s about four times the old Walmart pricing. So, this is quite the serious gift. But it’s also humorous.
These are tiny laptop drives that a non-techy parishioner asked me to delete, who was getting rid of dinosaur computers but was not wanting to leave files on the hard drives. Not being much of a techy myself, and that person not requesting the drives back, and me later deciding not to want to bother with the old computers, the drives were put out somewhere between 5 and 10 yards. Three 9mm to the one on the left and a half a mag-dump to the one on the right. Haha. That was the extent of my target practice in this time of no ammo amidst Covid lockdowns and such. This kind of target practice is all calm, entirely efficient. I mean, the interior disks were reduced to a small and momentary metallic dust cloud with the largest shards of the disks pictured above, but all the rest being reduced to pretty much smaller than a zeptometer in size. That’s, like, really small. Hillary’s hammers are operated with such angst and distress and are so inefficient, so readable in their larger shards. And software? Pfft. 9mm target practice is fast and gets the job done and… and… is fun. I didn’t want to break my word about erasing the drives. :-)
“Go to Joe at 30330.” Joey later said that this was a gaffe, not the 30330 part, but the Joe part. He said he wanted to say that if you support Joe, text him at 30330. He also said that overnight his campaign got lots of money for this.
But what is 30330? After Mass yesterday, one of my parishioners said to turn on the calculator on the desk. I did. He said, tap in 2020. I did. He said, divide that by 666. I did. He said, now press enter. I asked him to do it!
The result was 30330.
Yikes! said I. Yes, he said, explaining that he had just seen this going around the web and that he thought I would immediately get the upshot of this, or better, see the precipitousness of the darkness of the swamp.
Joey later said that it was great for the money during the night. “The night.”
I have this post also tagged with “Humor”, but there can be much truth in humor.
So, all day Saturday, non-stop, I got recordings filling up the message bank on my phone, with the following paranoia, coming to me from someone who lives in Asheville and down on the coast of N.C.:
“They, the mafia, the international mafia, where you live, in Appalachia, they have pulse machines from international terrorists, pulse machines of wavelengths of bad stuff that can go through cars and houses and into your body and hurt you and make you tired and you’re not safe because they are coming to get you [lol: such a cliché] so you have to run really far away so that you feel better and where you’re not in danger from the pulse wavelength machines of the mafia from international terrorists. And you can read about it on [url] if you scroll two thirds of the way down and read about it there and it’s true and stuff and everything so go away, really far away, because you’re not safe and they are coming to get you, you know, those people who slow down by your house because there’s a speed bump and they look at your garden and tell you how nice it is or ask you what the Mass schedule is now but they are really slowing down and surely pointing international mafia terrorist pulse wavelength machines at you with bad stuff that goes through cars and houses and into your body and can hurt you unless you run away, really far away, and stay away, and you have to leave now because you’re not safe, and whatever you do, don’t get a 5G phone because everyone with a 5G phone coming this October will die because it’s a genocide of all people with 5G phones all around the world and everyone is going to die with 5G phones so don’t get a 5G phone because it’s as bad as the international mafia terrorist pulse wavelength machines with bad stuff and everything…”
All day Saturday, non-stop, and then on Sunday again, until the recording capacity on the phone was used up, which is annoying. Hospitals and nursing homes call my phone so that I can do Last Rites for patients, but they message bank is filled up so they can’t leave a message. I do shut my phone off when I’m saying Mass, for instance. The long messages have only stopped because I haven’t yet erased the messages already recorded. All too weird. And there’re motives for that, very ulterior motives. Too sad.
That person also happens to be smashing down a loved one. And that is like the mafia I know only too well:
“Sappiamo dov’è la vostra familia, capisce? Ci capiamo abbastanza bene o no, scarafaggio pretino che sei?”
The idea is: leave now, or else. Interesting, that. I’ll just take note of that and put it on some back burner that’s turned off permanently. Pfft. But I wish my loved one wasn’t being harassed. I get the idea that said person manipulating all this is trying to look like a paranoid schizophrenic for legal reasons that manipulate situations, meaning of course, that this person is just cruel even while very intelligent, but pretty much a sociopath, which isn’t legally insane, but, depending on how far such a person goes, can get one many years or lifetimes of years in prison. Too bad, that.
Meanwhile, Macaulay Culkin has some good acting skills in the gif above. ;-)
This beast, hanging out underneath the leaves, is the manduca quinquemaculata, which, as a caterpillar, is the tomato-tobacco hornworm. No tabacco here, so they just have to eat my tomatoes. They turn into this, the five-spotted hawk moth:
“Hawk moth.” That’s rather a compliment. I call it a turd moth.
I’m still enjoying gardening. Finding out even about turd moths is a welcome break from the mayhem of the day, and here, in the drug capital of WNC, from the mayhem of the night as well. Still, I would rather eat the tomatoes instead of them.
“Instead of them…” That didn’t sound right. I meant I would rather eat the tomatoes instead of the horn worms eating the tomatoes. I didn’t mean that I would rather eat the tomatoes instead of me eating the horn worms. But there is some discussion of massive huge worms being an alternative source of protein. Just. No. Can’t do it. Even if it was all scientifically proven to be “good for you.” That would be like eating a… turd.
Is the God-given unalienable right to Free Speech guaranteed by the Constitution’s First Amendment cancelled out by the God-given unalienable right to the Free Exercise of Religion? Does a religious minister have to buy his right to Free Speech?
Here’s the heart of the problem, at least for Catholic priests. Catholics have an obligation under pain of mortal sin to assist with Holy Mass on Sunday’s (or any Vigil Mass). The Federal Government by way of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) assists churches by not taxing incoming donations (Income Tax). It would be entirely offensive to the flock for a church or even a church minister to endorse a political candidate, well, in certain circumstances. Let’s make a distinction, which is not theological but rather deals only with taxes.
The question is this: Does a church minister, in this case a priest, ever have the right to endorse a political candidate?
To put this another way concerning the IRS and Income Tax. This priest, yours truly, pays Income Tax.
I can receive income from the church as reimbursement for “business expenses” such as mileage (which I don’t do, to a loss of some $7,000 or $8,000.00 a year, to my loss). The parish simply cannot afford to assist me with what we call “Mercy Mileage,” miles which rack up when I take people frequently to hospital and doctor visits even hundreds of miles away (we are in a medical desert), or go on Communion Calls and Last Rites calls all over this four county area of Graham, Cherokee, Clay and Macon counties. Those purposes are called “business” as far as the IRS is concerned.
But that distinction, made by the Federal Government, the IRS, mind you, means that in the very mind of the legislator, there is inescapable the real and expected possibility that a minister, indeed a priest, will have non-business mileage which he has no right to claim for business mileage as reimbursement-income. And while it is intended that this be a zero-sum game, so that it is only the money spent on business mileage that will be reimbursed (something like 0.55 ¢ per mile), it is still a recognition that a minister or priest has down time, non-business time, personal time, in which case he might take a vacation/pilgrimage to the Lourdes or the Holy Land, maybe read a book or… or… wait for it… write a blog post.
Speaking of writing my own personal opinion in my IRS granted down-time, let’s make some other things clear:
This means that a minister or priest cannot express any endorsement of a political candidate from the pulpit, or during any official church function, whether on or off campus, whether during sick calls, Last Rites calls, Communion calls, during religious processions through the streets, during any celebration of the Sacraments or sacramentals, not even in private casual conversation if such minister or priest is actually using his status as a minister or priest to enforce such a political endorsement. This goes for church bulletins, newspapers secular or religious, radio or television broadcasting, or even social media. I do none of that.
I make it crystal clear that when I communicate anything I do that simply in my own name. Period. End of story. But if you want more detail, see the long list of disclaimers about who I don’t speak for:
I’m sure the IRS would be interested in some logistics. I’m good with that!
The blog I write on is my own personal blog, not that of the church.
I myself pay the fees for the blog and the domain.
My blog has NOTHING to do with the parish. It has nothing to do with the Diocese. It has nothing to do, believe me, with the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops. It has nothing to do with the Holy See. Nothing to do with Pope Francis.
I designed the blog myself. No one edits it for me. No one is required to read this. Almost zero people in the parish do read it. Those who do so only read it once in a while, well, except for one or two people. But even they say that they pretty much just look at the “Flowers” posts, wishing these were on Instagram. Never!
Finally, let’s just ask the question:
In view of the IRS, can a minister or priest, totally on his own time and with his own resources, utterly not as part of his ministering or his being a priest in a parish or diocese, as expressed at great length above, go ahead and endorse a political candidate, it being a given that, in not using any 501c3 privileges whatsoever, but indeed paying his own income tax?
Diversely, can a minister or priest BUY BACK his God-given unalienable right to free speech as already guaranteed by the first amendment?
Diversely, can I, with all the distinctions made above, in my being a citizen in good standing in this great country, wave my American Flag and say that for I which I was so brutally censored?
AS FOR ME: TRUMP 2020
I’ve yet to read up on what Trump said in his executive order, or what the Bishops Conference said, or what Saint Pope John Paul II said, etc. I’m going a million miles an hour, busy with being a priest, and I love being a priest. I also love being a human being and a citizen, as least on my own time. By the way, if anyone wonders, my up-hours as opposed to my down hours, are often 12 or 16 or 18, sometimes 20 hours a day. I wonder if there really is much down time after that. Or maybe we are not allowed down time. I really NEVER take vacations, ever. There are scheduled days off that I miss out on.
Let me be frank about this… Here’s the deal: I was told that I am always and only 24/7/365 in my official public capacity, that I never am a private person. I wonder if pooping and peeing is private, or if my verbal diarrhea always has to be at the level of Papal Exhortation or Papal Encyclical or Apostolic Exhortation? I wonder if this is why we have IDIOT papal sycophants who think that every word that comes out of the Pope’s mouth or his pen is entirely infallible instead of only when he speaks on faith and morals to the universal church as the successor of Peter especially when deciding a controversy. These sycophants are the reason why we have, on the other hand, sede-vacantists. These are those who are responsible for such division in the church. They overstep their capacities taking on an authority they do not have. Shame on them. Shame on them. They are tender snowflake violent bullies who smack others down to demonstrate to themselves the power they don’t actually have. Whew! Amen, and, if you only knew:
The picture above, taken at a parishioner’s house, is of Alex Trebek decades ago. Yes, there are re-runs of game shows from a lifetime ago. I just thought this particular scene was humorous and so took a picture of it. Sorry for using poor “Shadow” the other day as bait so as to watch the the knuckleheads show themselves. And they did. It is to laugh, out loud too.
Sorry if this is all a bit Kryptic. Some are bewildered at such Kryptesque posts that mention my “Shadow,” the guy who has been “established with secured identity” by those in DS-Rosslyn, with my own identity. The analogy for the continuing bewilderment that comes to mind is the befuddlement over seemingly entirely outrageous statements of POTUS Trump that he makes correctly but without revealing important circumstances. Like clockwork, over the space of a week or two, this exercise in baiting has the knuckleheads go full apoplectic and show themselves for who they are, and then after they make fools of themselves, good old Trump reveals the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say. Checkmate. They know they’ve been had. In my own little world the rest of the story may or may not be revealed in this lifetime. I’m working on it, and I’m having fun while doing it, laughing all the way, even if the subject matter involves otherwise stunningly illegal arms transfers and rather shadowy characters and endless violence and loss of life. My “Shadow” might well be revealed even while exaggeratedly attempting to remain hidden, an unexpected plot twist. I digress.
This kind of entertainment – and it is just that, for me, entertainment – takes up about 0.00001% of my free time. I write about it because it’s all so stupid. It just is what it is. And I cannot, cannot, cannot write about what happens the other 99.99999% of my free time, not to mention what happens in my full-on priestly activities in confession, in spiritual direction, all that for which I actually live. Don’t get the wrong idea.
You have to know, I absolutely love being a priest, all of the priestly everything about visiting the sick, providing Last Rites, doing up funerals, and preaching!
Oh my! I love preaching. I learn about the Sacred Scriptures pretty much only while I’m preaching, that is, not so much any preparation, if any, but in the actual preaching. I’ve often spoken of this with my confessor. He has the same experience in being brought into a crushing-uplifting reverence before the Living Truth of Jesus by the Holy Spirit while preaching. I guess that’s how the Lord tells us that we’ve said enough and need to move things along, because… after that… we can get choked up, and simply not be able to say anything more. Preaching from the heart? This is more like putting one’s useless heart aside, because, look… look at that Sacred Heart of Jesus… In trying to reveal what is otherwise hidden in the Mystery of God’s love for us – plot twist – our own inadequacy otherwise hidden also to ourselves is – plot twist – revealed before the Light that comes into such darkness. Such Light! I love it, but…
This kind of thing is almost annoying. Take for instance the Consecrations at Holy Mass. I can usually get through the first, but by the second I have to battle with all my might from getting choked up in the presence of the Most Sacred Mysteries – the ultimate Kryptos – of our Lord’s ever so hidden love for us. I am a weak and useless and simple man. So, there we have it, a plot twist. Who we are, our identity, is revealed not when we claim an identity, but when we stand ever so simply before our Creator. We are revealed for who we are. Jesus strips us of our fear in which we stupidly try to hide ourselves. Fear is not an identity. Being forgiven reveals who we are before our Redeemer because He forgives by pouring into us the created presence of the Most Holy Trinity otherwise called sanctifying grace. How to say it?
“Hidden.” That’s “Kryptic.” Watch what happens the other way. The dear Lord, by way of His goodness and kindness and the Living Truth that He is, lays open our souls before His majesty. We know who we are when like the Apostle Thomas , we place our finger into the marks of the nails, and our hand into the gaping wound in His side that was made on Calvary by the sword of the Roman soldier.
Plot twist? Oh yes. And the games human beings play in this world which congratulates itself on being clever and shadowy? It is to laugh, but also to cry, for there is altogether too much game playing and violence and not enough of being drawn into the Living Sacred Mysteries of God’s Love and Truth, of Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.
And if you feel lost in all this seeming convolutedness, like it’s all still too Kryptic, let some piercing eyes cut right into your very soul revealing how you stand before God, for her soul was pierced through that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed (see Luke 2:35).