Category Archives: Missionaries of Mercy

When I was in prison you visited me. Christmas Card from Fr G and P-Max

I think this is the best message I’ve ever received on a printed Christmas card. This is written by a real believer:

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And then there is the hand written message. This is surely the best message that I’ve ever received on a hand-written Christmas card. And yet, it is very distressing. I share this with you not to toot my own horn, but to remind you of the state of affairs that we presently have in the Church, whereby those who are thrown on the trash heap of expediency of no due process are left to rot by their “friends” and comrades in arms, as it were:

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Perhaps it’s just that I absolutely don’t care what other people think about my being in solidarity with those in prison. And as it is, prison is wherever you happen to be, whether in or out of any stone walls, because it is also a matter of the spirit.

We were all in the prison of original sin and whatever other rubbish sin in our own lives, and Christ Jesus put Himself in our place, allowing Himself to be imprisoned overnight after His condemnation by the Sanhedrin and before His condemnation by Pontius Pilate. We were all useless sinners, dark, egotistic, having no merit of which to boast, in the prison of self-limited spirits.

Jesus didn’t put any limit on visiting prisoners. He didn’t say to visit only those who are innocent or who didn’t receive proper due-process of law (such as Father Gordon and Pornchai Maximilllian of Christmas card fame above). He didn’t say to visit only those who believe in Him. Jesus is our Savior, that is, yours and mine as well. Jesus simply wants us to share the greatest love of our lives – Jesus – with others, particularly with those who especially need His love. This is the way to evangelize. It’s like teaching a class: involve the troublemakers on the fringes and the rest of the class will excel all the more. But not for that purpose, but because that troublemaker is himself redeemed and loved by the Creator and Savior of the world. After all, I’m that troublemaker and people helped me.

People are afraid to do any of this also for the reason that they will be “tainted” because, you know, you have that kind of prisoner as your friend?! Therefore you must be a criminal in the same way as that kind of prisoner. But, secretly, such a bully with such an opinion is envious of the freedom of the children of God to share the greatest love in their lives. And then they throw tantrums all the more.

As far as priests go, it’s extremely rare for me to find a priest who is indignant that his fellow priests are subjected to a system of no-due-process. So many are eager to side with no-due-process so that they can look tough, like heroes. Really? It will all catch up with them. What’s my answer to all that?

I recommend letting love cast out all fear and self-congratulation and simply sharing the greatest love of our lives with all those whom Christ Jesus has already redeemed on the Cross. All are redeemed. We are to desire that all be saved even if not all will be saved. It’s just that we don’t know who’s who, and so we must be in anguish to evangelize until we draw our last breath in this world.

There are those who think that anyone who has sinned, ever, are hopeless, useless, and to be condemned, no forgiveness, no mercy. But they include themselves in this. Those who show no mercy will not receive mercy. But just know that Father G and P-Max are visiting you in your prison by praying for you.

After all, that the irony isn’t it? That by visiting those in prison we ourselves are set free?

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Vocations

Homily 2017 12 14 – Taking Heaven with violence hitting the fan. No snowflakes!

dung snow

So, back at recording homilies. This one is on the feast of John of the Cross, but I wax poetic about those who are violent taking heaven by force. No tender snowflakes!

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Attack Fr Byers, or yourself…

POPE FRANCIS AUTISTIC BOY

Condemned for everything he does, without exception.

There are bullies who damn you if you don’t hate Pope Francis as much as they do.

So, here’s a comment that came in after I didn’t let a comment that was rife with criticism (but not about the translation of the Lord’s Prayer) through the moderation queue on On condemning Pope Francis and his desire to translate the Lord’s prayer:

Come come. Why take so long to consider my comment? Is it not to your liking? Do you think the Pope should be protected from all criticism? Surely you must have read The Dictator Pope by now?

It sounds like someone who went to Oxford. It sounds like a friend of mine. But it’s not. At any rate, it just proves my point. No one is above criticism. But I don’t think that people are to be forbidden to do something good if they have ever – in the opinion of whomsoever – done something less than good in the eyes of that beholder. Ooooo! The Dictator Pope! So what?

I’ll tell you this: I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God with my participation in original sin and by whatever rubbish I’ve come up with on my own in my life. That’s all worse than whatever is listed off in The Dictator Pope. So, therefore, also I can never be allowed by this and other bullies like him to do anything good whatever because I’ve also done those horrible things. But I’ll tell you this as well: Christ Jesus has forgiven me. And I can, in His goodness and kindness and grace, do good things despite all the bad that I’ve also done in my life. And so can Pope Francis.

But if there are those who are so unforgiving that they hold that other people are absolutely hopeless and can never do anything good, that there is no forgiveness for them, that they are never to be encouraged, well, it seems to me that those very people are on the fast track to hell, for they have also crucified the Son of the living God with their own participation in original sin and by whatever of their own rubbish in their own lives. When they pray the Lord’s prayer that they are so snooty about, insisting that it NOT have a more precise translation because they don’t like Pope Francis, they are praying NOT to be forgiven because they have zero forgiveness for others, particularly Pope Francis. Damn him, they say. They are praying that they themselves be damned.

And that’s just really very sad.

Go to confession.

I do.

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

Deputy Fr Byers? I’m flattered, but…

lion of the tribe of judah

I was having a chat the other day with some law enforcement crowd in one of the many counties in WNC in which the boundaries of my parish spread out. The scenario was again presented to me, for the second time if I recall, that I could right this moment be sworn in as a deputy, be given a gun (Hey! I like my own G-19), a vehicle (that could just be a rat-rod, of course), and could make specific arrests for certain warrants (a little dangerous, that), while meanwhile being given a year to take all the requisite courses just down the road from the rectory. Deputies go about things a bit differently than the police who are required to first of all graduate from the police academy (two years). None of this, of course, would require me, nor was it expected to require me, to interrupt anything to do with the pastoral care of the parish. Anyone in a bigger parish than mine might be left wondering about that, having no idea of how tiny this parish is. Anyway…

The minimum class in this region for the required courses is ten candidates, but they can’t get even that. The minimum is now eight. And they might not be getting even that number for this region. In other words, in asking me, the donkey-priest, we’re scraping the bottom of the barrel.

donkey in a well

There simply are no guys (or gals for that matter) who are interested in becoming LEOs. No one is interested in service to one’s neighbor when it’s actually dangerous, and in fact, for that cowardly reason, that is why the police and military are denigrated by the very young people who should be joining their ranks.

I’m flattered. But I’m a priest. I’m sure that there’s a conflict of interest in there somewhere, isn’t there? But, just to say, there are not just a few LEOs in the region who are also ministers or pastors or parsons or whatever in whatever Christian gathering. I’ve never heard of this for a priest. And I’m sure many readers of this blog will be horrified that I could even mention such a topic. But, hey! I’m not the one who keeps bringing it up.

DONKEY FOX

While there are many cons, just to say, there is one pro to the argument. This is the very tiniest of parishes in North America. The finances of the parish were accurately cited to me by the LEO crowd with whom I was chatting (about something else altogether before this was brought up, mind you). Those finances, in being cited again and again (they really did their homework, not being Catholic), were a hint that if I wanted to keep the parish viable, perhaps my salary should be coming from another source than the collection of the parish. Well, that’s true actually. We only survive because a few parishioners here only part-time or definitively moved to other states, send their donations back to us. Two of those are now in their mid-late nineties or close to it. In other words, the parish will soon be in dire straits.

If I want to do the Missionary of Mercy thing by keeping a Catholic presence in this most remotest of back-Appalachian mountain parishes, perhaps I should do something about getting an alternative source of salary. And I do not mean the donations of those on this blog. No, no. I should do something about this. But I’m sure that canon law militates against doing something about this by way of my being a deputy.

Thus, in the superseded 1917 code, in canon 138, we see the phrase “arma ne gestent” – a third-person plural present active subjunctive of gestō, providing the subjunctive suggestion that clerics might preferably not bear arms. Subjunctive law isn’t prohibitory.  At any rate, this specificity is taken away in the 1983 code, leaving this to the discretion of the local ordinary. So, the canons of relevance in the ’83 code are as follows:

Can. 285 §1 Clerics are to shun completely everything that is unbecoming to their state, in accordance with the provisions of particular law. [Is it unbecoming in situ when many LEOs are ministers? Surely there is no local Catholic particular law on this whatsoever. Those in bigger parishes simply don’t care. And all parishes are bigger than mine!]

§2 Clerics are to avoid whatever is foreign to their state, even when it is not unseemly [This refers to recreations that are untoward, such as untoward theater, or to such as gambling, or, regarding occupation, such as running a brokerage firm on Wall Street, where you would actually hurt competitors to promote yourself, etc. While being a deputy, who risk their lives in service of their fellow man, is not unseemly in the least, the question remains as to whether it is so entirely foreign. A deputy would be beholden to a Sheriff on the job, not the Bishop, yet the two do not cancel each other out in the least. I would say that they are not contradictory, not contrary, but are even complimentary].

§3 Clerics are forbidden to assume public office whenever it means sharing in the exercise of civil power. [The Sheriff is elected, and that position is a public office – which is a highly restricted technical phrase – but the deputy is nothing, just a hireling with a job to do. A deputy serves entirely and only at the will of the Sheriff, that is, ad hoc, whether over a space of time or for one particular service that may only last for an hour. You’re deputized under oath and then let go. All deputies automatically lose their jobs when a Sheriff’s term runs out, or he resigns or is otherwise deposed. But, again, a deputy is just nothing, unlike a police officer. A deputy doesn’t have an office, but is more like a page for someone who has office. A deputy has no “exercise of civil power” in the highly restricted sense of that term coming under its relation to “public office.”]

Can. 289 §1 As military service ill befits the clerical state, clerics and candidates for sacred orders are not to volunteer for the armed services without the permission of their Ordinary. [Padre Pio was drafted. He went. This is not forbidden. Volunteering merely needs permission. Depends on the circumstances and, of course, just war theory. Get it?]

Anyway, in another tiniest of all parishes on another continent, I provided fully half the budget of the operating expenses of the parish by throwing pottery, for which I actually have a great talent. However, I have no local cache of clay where I can obtain the materials for free, nor do I have a wheel or kiln or shed for the whole operation. So, no to the pottery thing. But for the deputy thing? I don’t know.

We were even talking about the kind of pistol qualification course they have. Sounds easy. Just need 70% in a normal course. Easy peasy.

The thing is, you can be very fatherly and pastoral at an arrest, the worst day in the life of anyone, and bring them around to the Lord, then visiting them in jail or prison. There’s a deputy who was like that in Louisiana, and converted many on the spot. Truly. He was so popular he was elected to Congress. Popular for being fatherly, speaking about the Lord, about honesty and integrity to those who would never otherwise hear it. Hmmm…..

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Filed under Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

Road to recovery: giving it 20% extra

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Northern part of the parish the other day in these Great Smoky Mountains of Nantahala fame along the Appalachian Trail. How many ridges can you count into the horizon? You are looking to civilization. You are looking from the most remote periphery.

I’ve been pretty sick the past week and a half. I’m much better, thank you. I know many of you have offered up a prayer. Thank you. The energy levels are now up to about 50%.

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog didn’t need any recovery at all after getting snipped yesterday. And for the first time, he spent the night in his wire-see-through-crate inside the rectory. He was totally content, happy to have a quiet space he can call his own and in which he knows that he’s not being called upon to do any job other than just to take a breather. He totally gets that, and I’m really happy about that. I mean, it’s more like he’s asking why it took me so long. GSDs really like their crates, which actually speaks to their still being more wolf than anything domestic. They’re in their forest dug-outs. And that means that the town doesn’t have to listen to his opinions on all and sundry all night long. He’s usually pretty quiet, but any prowlers get a pretty stern lecture from him, as do other dogs that think they’re tough. They’re pretty loud until they meet Shadow.

Meanwhile, it’s been a while since I’ve been able to kill any paper bottles of my combined QIT-97/99 for the FAM-TPC of pre-2001 fame. Perhaps today. I’ve only been through it once, and only got 96 points. Perhaps I can bring that up today. But maybe not. Either way, it’s also good to practice when being under the weather a bit, as when whatever hits the fan one isn’t necessarily in 100% mode. Even if I’m only at 50% right now, I’m thinking that giving it another 20% will do me just fine, putting the rest I’ve had the past few days of mending to good use. Maybe that will bring me up to 100%. That’s how I do math.

Meanwhile, the road to recovery will involve some hundreds of miles, seeing a few friends, doing a few errands, and ending the day, as plans are anyway, with a number of priests for a good meal.

Meanwhile, Mother L, spiritual mother of mine, is still recovering from many things, and has reprimanded me for not yet doing up two projects. I responded by saying that one is certainly the popular version of the thesis on Genesis in honor of the Immaculate Conception, but was clueless as to what they other might be. Her miffed response was that I have neglected my autobiography. Oh, yes, I forgot about that. I’ll know more about that within a couple of weeks methinks. But if anything, while there would be shell of my life in that autobiography, it would truly be about Jesus, my Redeemer, my Savior, who has befriended me, made me his priest, and who even uses the likes of me on occasion. Any autobiography would be an exercise in irony. But there is also the “Dog-Woman” to write about, and a thorough revision of “Jackass for the Hour.” But with all of this, one wonders what will be asked of the Missionaries of Mercy in 2018, as we are required to appear before the Holy Father. He might ask something that might involve 1020% of energy to be utilized. We shall see.

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My real-fake passport?! My “Shadow.” Tysons IG. Main State’s IG.

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I have an active passport which I’ll be using to go back to Rome, God willing, at Pope Francis’ request, one of those Missionary of Mercy things. I used it recently to get my ticket, and that was successful. Amazing. After all, it’s a fake passport. I mean real. I mean, you know, suspect, I mean, of interest, but not really, it being that it’s all “legit”, the background of it remaining a bit mysterious, that is, depending on who’s looking at it from whatever perspective and peculiar motivation.

I mean, it was really cool going through the TSA at ATL Atlanta [Hartsfield-Jackson] International Airport the last time I headed over to Rome for the first Missionary of Mercy get-together the other year. The agents at the Full-Body-Scanner simply stepped back, like, thirty feet, in that makeshift and out-of-the-way station. After the fellow in front of me, a pilot I think, went through, there was no one else in line but me, as I was pretty early for the flight. Surprised at their stepping so far back, I said: “But I have to warn you beforehand that I have quite a few pounds worth of surgical metal in my left leg.” “Yeah, whatever; it doesn’t matter, you can go ahead; just go,” they protested, continuing to step back a bit more, as if my very presence attracted trouble that they didn’t want to have, even though I myself was not trouble in any way. I mean, way back in the day, it’s true, I was supposed to be at a certain airport security station at the exact time that 19 people were slaughtered right at that exact spot, but last second logistics just didn’t permit it. But that was a long time ago and no one would really know that or other related incidents, well, unless they were told beforehand, I guess, about that and a zillion other similar “incidents” from the late 1970’s until today. At any rate, I’ve always gotten special treatment, not that I’m special. But…

The thing is, it seems that the IG at Tysons (where we have our massive counterterrorism center) is a bit more clued into who I am and more importantly, who I absolutely am not, as opposed to my “Shadow”, that is, than is the IG at Main State across the Potomac. Or better, the IG at Tysons’ Liberty Crossing Campus is a bit less skittish of consequences either way than is the IG over at Main State. Or is all that in reverse, or am I and my “Shadow” the same person, or is it all a smokescreen with nothing ever being as it seems? Or…

I’m just having some fun, the purpose of which is to show my impatience with Main State, which permitted all this in the first place. But in the last number of months things of have gotten a lot more complicated. I’m a bit worried my “Shadow” is being framed and that I’m being used to that end. That’s when people start to get hurt. The IG at Tysons agrees. I don’t like people getting hurt, and I especially don’t like it when I’m involved to that end. I hope the IG at Main State solves the problem, say, by Monday: (xxx) xxx-xxxx!

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Filed under Intelligence Community, Missionaries of Mercy, Terrorism

Father Thomas Weinandy: Thank you! Hoping Pope Francis reinstates you.

pope francis asperges

Dear Father Weinandy, I’m hoping that Pope Francis will reject the sycophants at the USCCB and reinstate you for your honestly trying your best to lay self-referential interests aside in favor of the Church and indeed the whole world. We all need such honest friendship. The Holy Father can take or leave what you say, but one should treasure any sincere words that you offer just because first of all they are offered in good faith. The USCCB has made it all about bullying. That’s so sad. I thank you for making it all about Jesus and His Immaculate Bride, the Church. May Mary’s Son strengthen you.

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis

The 33 year homily

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Today’s the Feast of Saints Simon and Jude, Apostles. It was I who preached the homily as a new transitional deacon in the seminary in Rome that I attended. It was a Monday evening Mass, 1985, and it was customary for all the people of the nationality of that national seminary who were in Rome, whether lay or clerical or religious, to show up for this Mass every week. The pressure was on. There were many important visitors from that country there.

The visitors loved my homily, saying it was the best they ever heard, congratulating me for going after such a difficult topic with such soft-spoken, good natured humor and obvious good faith. What I had tried to do is be ever so novel in not presenting any novelty, just the fascinating brilliance of the faith as it is.

But that was not the opinion of the powers that be at the seminary. They didn’t like it one bit. Their reaction could well be written in historical novel form and published as part of the national history for the national archives of that county. The homily was very much like a nuclear explosion that hasn’t yet finished its course, now 32 years on and going into it’s 33rd year of far reaching repercussions. It won’t be over until I’m finally installed as pastor of the parish. As it is, I got the letter of appointment, but I haven’t yet been installed. Getting to this point has a direct line of causation all the way back to that 6:30 PM Mass. Mind you, I don’t regret anything whatsoever. God is good.

That homily was not recorded. I wish it was. It was written out, and I had to use that time and again as a kind of proof of what I had actually said. I don’t know where it is. Basically it was this:

  • There will be a unity in which we can rejoice with great joy if we are obedient to the faith and morals provided by Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition and the Magisterium of the Church, obedience (ob+audire) being an intense and eager listening filled with love and enthusiasm to the will of the greatest love of one’s life, Jesus Christ and His Bride the Church. After all, it was the feast of the Apostles.
  • There will be a disunity such that the Church and society will fall apart in cynicism and bitterness and failed individuality if we are disobedient, each of us doing our own thing, not being able to care less about Jesus who is ever ancient, ever new.

Ever since then all I’ve heard from all and sundry is that we cannot possibly know what the Church teaches, much less Scripture and Tradition, but we have to depend solely on theologians to tell us what we are supposed to think. Um… no.

That homily was given in the chapel all the way down the “cortile” in the picture above. In that same picture, just on the immediate left, is the “salone” in which the plotting of some manipulation of the conclave of 2005 took place. At least that’s what I gather. I had been invited. The full story of the vote of the conclave was later told to me. What a fright. But God gave us Pope Benedict, not who the plotters wanted, to say the least. I digress.

Lots of drama. Sure. Life is super interesting and one can see Jesus at work ever so clearly with all the irony, all the truth, all the love, when we try even in the smallest way to be faithful to Him. He loves us, and uses this. I absolutely love being His priest.

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Analyzing spy Robert Philip Hanssen: the worst traitor in American history goes to Catholic Sacramental Confession

robert philip hanssen fbi russia spy

Why do I know this face? Somewhere in Rome or…

“Robert Philip Hanssen is a former Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who spied for Soviet and Russian intelligence services against the United States for 22 years from 1979 to 2001” (Wikipedia).

The FBI has a press release here from just months before September 11, 2001. The History Channel (also youtube) provided much through original post-hoc interviews of the players. All this can be total fabrication, of course. The FBI has everything to gain by getting people to lie about this fellow. But, for the sake of argument, let’s just say it’s all true and then discuss why it is that it is said that he remains an enigma to the FBI in his actions, a mystery as to how he could live such a double life. There is no conundrum about it at all, that is, if we go by what the reports say.

Bob is Catholic. He repented. He went to Confession. I wasn’t there. I’m sure the priest didn’t talk about it. This information came from Bob himself. It’s said:

“He goes to a priest. And the priest says: ‘O.K., here’s what you’re gonna do. Don’t do it anymore. Donate the money to Mother Teresa and all will be forgotten.’ And that’s what happened.” — But seven years later he started spying again. — (Traitors Within)

The last statement about “again” is the key to the FBI’s misunderstanding, their wondering how it is that such a seemingly devout, conservative fellow would start up the espionage he had apparently sincerely given up. That “again” bit is an assumption that must be mistaken. The reason is that the espionage already effected had an ongoing effect continuing to put people at risk from the first confession right through any others. Giving up any money to charity, to “Mother Teresa,” doesn’t cut it. He would have to reverse the ongoing damage of putting people and indeed the entire country at grave risk. He would have to turn himself in.

But I don’t say that the priest should demand that he turn himself in before giving an absolution. After all, in turning himself in, Bob might not ever have the chance to go to Sacramental Confession again. So, O.K., the first confession the priest might give him an absolution telling him, however, that he shouldn’t try to come back for another absolution if he didn’t turn himself in. He might have a chance for confession in prison, right? Though maybe not. However, he would have to undo the ongoing damage his espionage was presently causing. Going to Confession multiple times without undoing ongoing damage to people and to the country isn’t right.

I will say this as well: I’m Pope Francis’ Missionary of Mercy. If some traitor or spy or whatever comes to me for Confession in the same situation as above, I’ll absolve him. And I will keep the secret unto death. Even under torture. Not to worry. Jesus has paid the price for those sins. It’s the least I can do. However, know that he won’t get any absolution the next time he comes to Confession if he hasn’t in the meantime turned himself in, that is, if what he has done still puts people’s lives at risk and he has to turn himself in in order to undo the damage. If what he’s done is a once off thing, like betraying a motorcade route, then he can come back to Confession again, even for the same thing. We’ll talk about what repentance means, and what a firm purpose of amendment means, and how not to fool oneself, to be sure. But he can come back to Confession.

Oh, and the conundrum about the double life of Robert Philip Hanssen? How can that be? Look, it goes back to the “again” thing. He didn’t start spying “again” seven years after confessing these things. He was always spying in that the effect of putting people and the entire country at risk was ongoing and he wasn’t doing a damn thing about it. This was working on him all the time. His hypocrisy manifested itself in other areas of his life. It had to. We’re not compartmentalized. He fooled his presumably multiple Confessors. He couldn’t fool his own soul. He was living off the adrenaline of the “power” of his espionage; he was being destroyed by the adrenaline of the “power” of his espionage. When he actively started up “again”, he just wanted another fix of what he never stopped.

Of course, he can repent of all this and now go to Confession once again. No one is a lost cause, ever. Again, what I’ve written above is merely hypothetical as we only know the “facts” through others, right? The priests can’t say anything, right? I presume they all did the right thing. What I’ve presented is a way that shows they could have done the right thing. Don’t blame them.

Note to his ultra-max prison: If you show this to Bob just like you showed him the documentary about himself, and he wants to go to Confession, let me know. I’ll happily make the trip out.

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Filed under Confession, Intelligence Community, Missionaries of Mercy, Terrorism

Laudie-dog shaking, scared, again

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Laudie-dog only rarely gets scared, and only for a good reason.

When a bear was at the hermitage a few years back, she wasn’t fearful, but went on the attack, the level of her ferocity surely breaking all word records. But no shaking, just doing her job. I wouldn’t want Laudie-dog mad at me. But she’s only done this once, with the bear, but with no fear.

Conversely, when a panther was on the attack, Laudie-dog was scared, to death, shaking, crying, screaming bloody murder, she being the prey, along with me. This event was totally different than that the with bear.

The other year she started to cry while giving some attack barks when a pit bull showed up (that not bothering her) with a thief in tow (and that bothered her). She felt the danger for herself and me. She barked some warnings, but was also shaking a bit. This wasn’t exaggerated, however, as I was home at the time and came out to investigate and letting her in.

The other night I wasn’t here in the early evening, but my 82nd Airborne firefighter friend across the street heard Laudie-dog crying and barking frantically and so came over to see what was happening. He said that she was shaking with fear. He said he’s guessing it was a possum. The thing is, Laudie-dog grew up in the back mountain ridges and has zero fear of critters like possums. She’s absolutely not afraid even of bears, only panthers and thieves. There’re no panthers here. Only some few human beings with malicious intent. There was no pit bull. That other thief is long gone. This was someone else. I’m guessing they made it inside, did whatever they needed to do without disturbing anything, kind of, and then left, kind of, waiting to see what would happen. :-) I returned not long after. Laudie-dog was really very happy to see me and come inside as you might imagine. What I would say to the not-so-good-at-remaining-hidden crowd is this: just come when I’m home. That’s makes it all lots easier. I don’t like seeing my dog scared; she saved my tail a number of times and I’m a bit protective of her.

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Homily 2017 10 11 – God’s Holy Name

saint francis brother leo

Here’s the Wikipedia page of the fellow I mentioned at the beginning of the homily, and here’s something he wrote a few years back about not holding God’s name to be holy: Betrayal of Trust: David and Bathsheba Revisited.

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Homily 2017 10 01 Prostitutes & Porn & me & St John Paul II (Yikes!)

I guess I should apologize. Perhaps I get a bit carried away. Super repetitive. It’s a little longer than the weekday homilies. The Sunday homilies are always a little longer.

I failed to mention that there was a story in the paper here about an epidemic of the local kids sexting and, with that, bullies right away doing the extortion and blackmail thing. So sad. So many hurt. So many drawn in and smashed down.

I also failed to mention that in another homily on porn way back in the 1980s and I was still a deacon. I was pretty ferocious then too. After Mass, I went outside the church and down the steps and down the walkway to the sidewalk down at the street. There were about five more steps down just before the street. I was there greeting people, who, instead, were pretty much ignoring me, looking a bit miffed.

Meanwhile, a girl, say, ten years old, came flying off the steps and threw her arms around my neck. She slid down to the sidewalk and everyone had turned and was glaring at me like I was a monster, until, that is, that the little girl started exclaiming loudly and exuberantly that I had given the best homily ever in the world ever, and that all other priests were cowards and never talked about this and it had to be done because it’s just everywhere and no one says anything and thank you so very much for being so brave as to say something and that was best homily ever in the world… and on she went.

Meanwhile, this out of the mouths of babes extravaganza was not missed by the Mass goers, who were now shamefacedly running away as fast as they could. Ha! Guardian angels set up this kind of thing. I hope it got a few people to heaven.

Also today there were many who thanked me wholeheartedly for saying some strong words. That’s encouraging, as I’m always thinking I’m too strong and too offensive. Perhaps today I was. I don’t know. Tell me what you think. I’m willing to learn.

 

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Homily 2017 09 27 Forgiving Priests!

This is what our Lord thinks about having patience with priests and bishops and Apostles. Yikes!

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Homily 2017 09 24 Entitlement mentality

This is just the first half. The second part was a long-winded example.

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Now I have to live up to my reputation

GEORGE DAVID BYERS CHAINSAW PICTURE

I let it be known to my “Shadow” in a flurry of texts just now that I’m the best chainsaw forester woodcutter tree feller anywhere around. He downplayed the need for such work, but then he sent me some pictures. So, off to possibly salvage his safe-house for him. That ought to be fun. Today’s the day for sharpening the chainsaw and getting it all in order with all that’s needed. Here’s the pics of his back yard…

irma 2

irma 1

I figure Monday morning sunrise until Monday evening ought to do it. It looks like my guardian angel will have to do the heavy lifting here. As I say: Yikes!

Too bad Jenny the Jeep isn’t highway worthy. She can only do off-road. But Sassy the Subaru (all wheel drive) has a towing hook up front. I have a super heavy tow chain. I just need to make sure not to pull the trees on top of my head. Or anyone else’s.

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Missionary of Mercy Divine Mercy Box: Dive in to help help!

DUMPSTER DIVING

Now that I’m a diocesan priest I have lots of freedom to help out various needy people right around the world. I’d like to ask your help in this. Not that you don’t have a million needs yourselves. It’s just that sometimes needs come to priests that are not brought to anyone else. We tend to see lots of miserable situations every day. And then we have to do triage.

I’m not a 501(c)3 charity, yet anyway! So, I’ll pay tax on anything you give, which means that those to whom I give won’t have to pay any tax on the gift they get. That’s make everything easier. We’ll have to see where any new tax code goes. But perhaps some of you have advice on all that. Our secretary, a most extraordinary accountant, is helping me with my taxes and will keep an eagle eye on this project. I’ve ordered paper checks from the bank last night so that there’s a paper trail of everything. They’ll get here in a few weeks.

I tried something like this in 2012. Perhaps some of you remember how that ended with me flipping myself into dumpsters due to some promised but then suddenly reneged cooperation from elsewhere. But, hey! Diving is great exercise, and nutritious, and tasty. Anyway, Pope Francis helped me out on that one. He knows how to reach into the peripheries. We thank the Lord. Now it’s time to help others.

So, at the end of some of the posts on this blog you’ll see a PayPal button, perhaps annoying. But the annoyance can be offered up for the souls in purgatory. I’ll have to figure out the CSS to shrink down that PayPal footer. Anyway… You can multiply the amount given if you want to give more. Scroll down to see the first example in this very post.

Alternatively, PayPal allows one to just share a link to one’s PayPal account. Just click on that and you can fill out whatever you want. That’s this link:

https://www.paypal.me/GeorgeByers

So, I’ve revived that 2012 PayPal account with my new local bank across the street, United Community Bank. The account has been verified and confirmed by PayPal and all is working well. Using the link or hitting the PayPal button below will open up a dialog box on the screen to help you complete the operation.

PayPal will send you a confirmation email as a receipt for your gift. That’s another paper trail. I like that. I’ll get a monthly report that I’ll give to our accountant. That’s yet another paper trail. I like that, a lot.

Meanwhile, your names and a note of the gifts go into a special Divine Mercy box created by Father Gordon J. MacRae’s friend and ours, the great Pornchai Maximilian Moontri. That box, which took him a month to create in his special circumstances, will stay next to the tabernacle in the chapel in the rectory. In this way, Mercy to the Max, Pornchai-Max, is the first to contribute to the project. Here’s that box (which I’ll write about in its own post soon). Dive into the box to help:

pornchai maximilian moontri divine mercy box

P.S. This is another experimentally timed for publication post, so that I set it for 11:05 AM, five minutes after another. I hope it doesn’t get obliterated in the technology.

Here it is: Yikes! …

Missionary of Mercy Divine Mercy Box donation

For those I see to be in need. To increase amount change times $5.00 is charged.

$5.00

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A day in the life: an Appalachian priest

cloudy ridge mountains

Today’s one of those days which I love so very much. I get to drag Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament around all of His beautiful creation. I’m the designated ecumenical chaplain today at our local hospital for a service that has to be at 2:00 PM. So, I’ll race up to Robbinsville for the Noon Mass, race back to Murphy for that service, bringing the Blessed Sacrament for those Catholics in the Nursing Home there as well (one is 89 years old), and then race up to Fontana on the far side of creation for another Communion Call (she’s 92 years old), and then backtrack yet again to another on the back side of another of these among the tallest mountains in these Eastern United States (he’s 97 years old), then race back over the most dangerous road in the world (after Yungas Road, of course!) to go above the airport in Andrews for a hospice stop (she’s I think 89 years old). It’s it’s not too late, I’ll stop at see another gentleman for a Communion Call who I didn’t get to see yesterday (I think he’s now in his late eighties).

I totally love all these people. I totally love being a priest, and being a priest in the mountains. It’s so beautiful I could scream. I just love it. It’ll be a lot of hard, hard miles on Sassy the Subaru Forester, but she loves getting a work out too.

P.S. I’m experimenting again with timed publication for posts, so that this one is timed to go out at 11:00 AM. The last time I tried this, the post disappeared entirely, and couldn’t be found in drafts or anything. We’ll see what happens.

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Bringing the greatest love of our lives to lions and tigers and bears (& donkeys): Oh my!

palestinian donkeyOn this blog I try my best to share the greatest love of my life, Christ Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception. This donkey-priest, tries to bring Jesus to the those also in impossible peripheries. So very many have told me that what I write, or preach about, has helped them out really a lot. I would like to ask a favor. If you think that what is said here is helpful in bringing souls to Jesus, why not take a second to share the posts on social media? Each post as it comes along!

I realize many of you do not have any Facebook or LinkedIn (and Father Gordon MacRae really yells at me about that, and for years now, maybe I’ll change that), but for  those of you who do, hey! How about helping out? It’s so very hard to have a voice in the public square, evangelizing, without us helping each other. It’s all about Jesus. Always. Well, also about the Immaculate Conception, but what we say about Mary goes for Jesus. It’s all about Jesus, always.

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THE FATIMA CENTURY – 13 Sept 1917

fatima children rosary

From EWTN: Despite the ridicule and jokes of the secular, atheistic press, more than 30,000 people gathered in the Cova for the September apparition [5th of 6 total]. Whether drawn by devotion or curiosity, they prayed the rosary while awaiting the arrival of the three children. When at last the time came they could hear Lucia say:

“What do you want of me?”

“Continue the Rosary, my children. Say it every day that the war may end. In October Our Lord will come, as well as Our Lady of Sorrows and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel. Saint Joseph will appear with the Child Jesus to bless the world. God is pleased with your sacrifices, but He does not want you to wear the cords to bed. Keep them on during the day.”

“I have the petitions of many for your help. Will you assist a little girl who is deaf and dumb?”

“She will improve within the year.”

“And the conversions that some have asked to have brought about? The cures of the sick ones?”

“Some I will cure, and some I will not. In October I will perform a miracle so that all may believe.”

With these last words still ringing in their ears, the Lady rose and disappeared in the heavens, as Lucia called to the crowd, “If you wish to see her… Look! Look!”

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Updates: Black Lives Matter blackens Eucharistic Congress of Charlotte

Eucharistic Congress Black Lives Matter CNH

This is an official picture of the Charlotte Diocese’ Catholic News Herald of the banners for the Eucharistic Procession of the Eucharistic Congress we just had on 8-9 September 2017 in Charlotte. You can see the two Black Lives Matter banners behind and to the left and right of the Immaculate Heart of Mary banner on the left of the picture. Here are some close-up shots:

Eucharistic Congress banner black lives matter

Eucharistic Congress banner stand up

The quote — “…and then they came for me...” — is, of course, from Protestant minister Martin Niemöller, the thing about not defending others because they are not oneself until one realizes that oneself is finally among those others and so also needs defending, but now it’s too late. Sounds nice as a critique of our weakness, but it is a principle of anarchy and fascism if it is cut off from reason and justice. Black Lives Matter, as it itself says, will stand up for a cause regardless of its value as long as people with lots of pigmentation are involved. Thus, just a few bits from the official website of Black Lives Matter:

TRANSGENDER AFFIRMING: We are guided by the fact all Black lives [matter], regardless of actual or perceived sexual identity, gender identity, gender expression, economic status, ability, disability, religious beliefs or disbeliefs, immigration status or location

QUEER AFFIRMING: We are committed to fostering a queer-affirming network. When we gather, we do so with the intention of freeing ourselves from the tight grip of heteronormative thinking or, rather, the belief that all in the world are heterosexual unless s/he or they disclose otherwise.

BLACK VILLAGES: We are committed to disrupting the Western-prescribed nuclear family structure requirement by supporting each other as extended families and “villages” that collectively care for one another, and especially “our” children to the degree that mothers, parents and children are comfortable.

BLACK FAMILIES: We are committed to making our spaces family-friendly and enable parents to fully participate with their children. We are committed to dismantling the patriarchal practice that requires mothers to work “double shifts” that require them to mother in private even as they participate in justice work.

In other words, black lives don’t matter at all to Black Lives Matter, for they don’t respect black people enough to do right by them, tearing them down to the lowest common denominator of bullying ideology and self referential congratulations, attacking the family, attacking the upbringing of kids, attacking the image of God in marriage, making it all about pigmentation and pigmentation alone. Well, with one exception. Black Lives Matter are against all Law Enforcement Officers, including those who are black and, in that case, because they are black. So, we know what this really about.

BLM is a terrorist organization. I specifically disagree with their absolute hatred of our public safety officials and the extreme violence of their movement.

  • “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!”
  • “Pigs in a blanket. Fry em like bacon.”

I could multiply those kinds of videos of this hate group in their own words from all around these USA. This is who they are. This is what they do. Extreme haters.

“But Father George, can’t you open your heart and understand where they are coming from? After all, there are high emotions after a ‘police killing’ when some black man points his gun at police, or when there is black on black violence.”

No. There’s no excuse. And this is not all black people, so many of whom are upset that they are all included by BLM in BLM just because they are black. No. People are people not because of any pigmentation or lack thereof. It’s because they are people. I’m offering Holy Mass today for all the victims of violence among black people, including and especially Justin Carr.

I doubt very much whether these banners were approved by anyone official for the Eucharistic Congress though they are certainly the long advertised banners of the parish specifically promoted on the parish website to be carried in the Eucharistic Procession of the Eucharistic Congress. It’s not that they “snuck in” as some tried to assert. Parishes simply come with their banners and join in the procession. These were their parish banners. The banners did, however, stay put in the main hall throughout the day, until the end. No big deal. But hey! Maybe nobody noticed. At all. All day. But…

As surely expected by those who carried these banners in the procession, the abuse of the Most Blessed Sacrament as a means to legitimize a controversial political ideological movement stirred some emotions among the other participants of the Eucharistic Congress. Such abuse of the Most Blessed Sacrament is, of course, both blasphemy and a sacrilege and is not to be tolerated. I’m wondering if the disgruntlement was actually pre-planned so as to cause a stir on purpose. I saw three police officers rushing to and then standing around the banners as what appeared to be an incident of emotions unfolded just off to the side of the stage where adoration of the Most Blessed Sacrament was proceeding in front of ten to twenty thousand people. The police were peaceful and exemplary in keeping good order at that time and during the entire Eucharistic Congress. We thank them for that. I, for one, support the thin blue line. I later thanked the police officer who seemed to be in charge of security.

I should offer the disclaimer that I’m a “white priest” and also Jewish and Pope Francis’ Missionary of Mercy, and I was a participant at the Eucharistic Congress and I feel that the fact of my presence and that of other priests, including black priests, and brown and yellow, was hijacked and speciously used in support of a movement with which I, with which we do not agree.

But, wait a minute, no disclaimer is necessary. I’m a person. Period. That’s why I disagree with Black Lives Matter.

Black Lives Matter is entirely racist and by definition anti-Catholic, by definition an anti-Semitic political movement. Catholic means universal, and Black Lives Matter is specifically not that. It’s all black, everything black and only black, no matter what they otherwise say with the saccharine presentation of the local parish. No room for any universal. No room at all for Jesus. It’s them and only them, alone. BLM is separatist, segregationalist. Like the old South Africa in reverse. To say that the parish means well (and maybe they do ever so incredibly naively) and to add, however, that that makes it all O.K., is as bogus and dishonest as saying that Planned Parenthood loves black people, and therefore it is all OK that Planned Parenthood is also in an all out genocidal war against black people, placing the vast majority of their clinics in poor black neighborhoods with the explicit purpose of getting rid of the black population through attrition. Remember Hitleresque whitey-white Margaret Sanger, their ultra racist founder?

Here’s the deal: Jesus loves all of us. He’s redeemed us all. He wants to save us all. Not one of us is better or worse, more entitled or not. Jesus loves all of us whatever the pigmentation levels in our skin happen to be. I feel personally offended when I see Jesus’ love being abused for the racist reductionism vaunted by Black Lives Matter. I disagree with the discourtesy of that parish for having it seem that I am in solidarity with their terrorist ideology.

Having said that, I have a legitimate question. With that being my opinion, could I ever be transferred to be pastor of that parish in Charlotte? You have to know that I already offered this to the bishop long before I was sent to keep the parish in Andrews open. Would there be loud and unending protests and media coverage? I suppose. That’s O.K. The message the world would hear is Jesus’ goodness and kindness and love and… and… truth. Not such a bad result. It seems one has to start over with many aspects of that parish.

I love challenges, and the one and only real challenge is always to bring people closer to Jesus, whether or not they are closer than I am. Jesus is the One. Not us. It’s all about Jesus. I would go in a heartbeat to help lead this parish closer to Jesus, to go from reductionism to universalism, to go from what is self-referential to that which is consonant with natural law and God’s law of goodness and kindness and… and… truth. And if that crowd supporting the banners wanted to be forgiven in the Confessional for their promotion of the ideological terrorists making up Black Lives Matter, I would of course do just that, with joy. And I tell you this, I love every one there in that parish, including and specifically those who carried the banners. I want them all to get closer to Jesus, to His goodness and kindness and love and… and… truth.

From a Black Lives Matter scene elsewhere:

black lives matter police car

I wonder if the terrorists antifa will be in next year’s procession, along with more explicit promotions of LGBTQ and anti-law-enforcement activities. I suggest that this all be stopped in the bud, and now. I notice that, now days later, the advertisements about the banners are still up on the website at the parish. In fact, an album of pictures of the banners in the procession has been added to the parish website as I write this.

Update: Charlene Duline, whose career in the State Department skyrocketed because of her obvious love and service for all, has, as one might expect with her vast experience in some of the most diplomatically sensitive places on the planet, come up with a solution for us all: Turn Black Lives Matter into All Lives Matter. If the parish were to do that, they would be leaders in the country and the world for a social justice that is truly Christ centered and which is then poised to bring goodness and kindness and… and… truth to all. Thank you dearest Charlene! See her fantastic book on Amazon: HERE.

charlene duline

charlene duline drinking from the saucer

Update: Just to say: I challenge the pastor, who I know – he used to be the pastor of the parish in Brevard in which territory I lived for a number of years – I challenge him and the Black Cultural Commission of his parish to invite me to preach on Mercy at all the weekend Masses of his choice. After all, I am a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis, and we are personally bidden by the Holy Father to preach on mercy. It’s a mercy challenge. Can they take it up?

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