Category Archives: Missionaries of Mercy

Internet Stalker upset: I’m not humble

bishop ordination

My Internet Stalker is also upset that I lack all humility. Well, that is true. I do lack all humility. Of myself, I am full of stinking, filthy pride. On my own, without God’s grace, I’ve crucified the Son of the Living God, as have we all. Of ourselves, we all lack humility. But my Internet Stalker narrows this down to a particular. Let’s take a look. He says:

“You also said you could have been a bishop or even an archbishop. Is this humility?”

Well. The truth is humility is it not? There were two occasions.

academia ecclesiastica

  • One was being invited to transfer from the seminary I was attending so to attend the Accademia ecclesiastica, you know, for clerical diplomats for the Secretariat of State for the Holy See (a different authority structure back in the day). The successful candidate would end up eventually being a Nuncio (in a derived sense, a diplomat) of some kind, which at the time also meant ordination to the episcopacy. There was an attempt in South America some decades ago to appoint a non-Archbishop as Nuncio. The local episcopal conference complained that they were being slighted by having such a terrible situation arise amongst themselves. Oh my! So, the guy was made an Archbishop. Hah! My response through the years to the Church diplomat thing was always that I would never compromise the doctrine and morality of the Church; I would never smash someone down for the sake of mere politics, or play politics with listing candidates for episcopal appointments in whatever country. This attitude of mine was rather offensive, to say the least, to those in such diplomatic circles. I was able to successfully avoid being a bishop.

San Callisto-

  • Another occasion was being best friends, quite literally, at least from his point of view, with the Archbishop Secretary of the Congregation for Bishops (now deceased). He was very much interested in having me become a bishop and pointed this out to me. Me being me, however, I made sure this wouldn’t happen by having him do something much more important, that is, having him be the second reader for a doctoral thesis on textual criticism of biblical manuscripts, something which, along the way, called into question some various dumbed-down ecumenical initiatives of the Holy See. He was a biblical scholar as well, and was furious with what I had done. I wanted only to do something much more comprehensive for the sake of a profound, true ecumenism. This was politically incorrect at the time. I knew that. But he did something for me which I thought was much more valuable for the Church than me becoming a bishop. He took a chapter of the thesis (250 pages) to the secret archives for six weeks. He was furious. But he had done what I wanted, something I could not do because I had no access. He did. He was able to confirm everything I wrote. Perhaps he put a block on my ever becoming a bishop in my file. I don’t know. I must say, however, that he was constantly training me in about concern for both the Church and the world. Anyway…

I guess that lack of humility, that pride of mine, goes along with what I wrote in this other post about my unstoppable arrogance, or is it enthusiasm[?]: Fr George David “Peter Abelard” Byers I just reread that. What a fright.  ;-)

Of course, what I was doing in avoiding the episcopacy was avoiding something which had scared me to death because I was full of fear at the time. No longer. But what was ringing in my ears was the admonition of Archbishop Fulton J Sheen that becoming a bishop means getting crucified, crucified, crucified. Perhaps Jesus will reprimand me for avoiding the suffering that episcopacy entails. I’m quite happy being a priest way out on the back ridges of the backsides of the beyonds in the unique Appalachia of Western North Carolina. But if the Holy Father asked me, I would do it, you know, be crucified. Perhaps that is said with all arrogance, but, hey! I’m only me. And of my own self, I am, of course, full of stinking pride. Thank God for Jesus Christ who saves me from all of this.

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Filed under Ecumenism, Father Byers Autobiography, Missionaries of Mercy

My Internet Stalker Guy apparently doesn’t know this about Jesus and me

cardinal burke lourdes

Sacrifice of the Mass I helped to set up as best I could for the soon to be Cardinal Burke when I was a “permanent” chaplain over in Lourdes, France, including being the Traditional Mass Chaplain (for which I suffered really a great deal, not to brag, but just saying how things were and still can be, but that it’s all worth it, of course).

My Internet Stalker guy, who berates me for being young (younger than him!) and having no memories of anything pre-Vatican II (so he thinks), apparently knows nothing about me, or, if he knew it, would hate me all the more for it I’m guessing. He should read these two posts which I published relatively long ago as far as social media goes. And yet I hope that I think he will be inspired by them. Perhaps he will remember good things of his own childhood days and not be so dismissive of Jesus, the Church and priests. Perhaps he will have some hope.

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Seen at Church in the night

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“Up to now we have done nothing”

padre-pio-stigmata

“Up to now, we have done nothing.”

  • Are those the words of Saint Francis of Assisi, who was then crucified? Yes.
  • Are those the words of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina, who was then crucified? Yes.
  • Are those the words of a young Colombian diocesan priest doing up some advanced studies in Rome, whose affirmation met agreement with the other Colombian priests sitting with us at lunch at our collegio, for they all personally knew fellow priests who had been taken out by drug cartels, Marxist guerrillas, military or paramilitary operators? Yes.

ak 47

Is there a difference between a priest who receives the stigmata upon seraphic visitation (I love the irony of that, by the way) and a priest, for instance, who, on his way to providing the last rites to a dying parishioner, knowing the dangers, is instead ambushed by the very ones who, with deception, put in the call? No.

But those are all special circumstances provided by the angels according to the will of the Lord. “Special” means not for everyone. What is for everyone is holiness. And the ordinary means of holiness are keeping up with the Sacraments, prayer, and love of neighbor. But I’ll tell you this, if what you are up to in your life involves both love of God and love of neighbor, the angels will assist you in dying to yourself so as to live in God’s love. That’s true for Francis, Pio, the Colombian priests, all of us. This gives us hope. Hope is important.

Meanwhile, my internet stalker, who has not taken back his ultimatum of all priests in good standing having to resign in protest against Pope Francis (the stalker guy especially shoving this in my face in true stalker fashion) believes that the ordinary means of holiness are impossible for those priests who do not resign in protest against Pope Francis. And so we priests, especially me, are hopeless. There is nothing we priests can do, that I can do, no amount of prayer and piety and all good priestly things, that will appease the internet stalker guy short of resigning in protest against Pope Francis. In fact, all good things like prayer and fasting and almsgiving become, for the internet stalker guy, a kind of hypocritical blasphemy deserving punishment of hell.

This is usual modus operandi of stalkers of religious people. The only solution for them is to stop that which isn’t consonant with their now anti-religious worldview which they may or may not realize they have. Even those who do this kind of thing for a living. Ah well.

It is, instead, Jesus, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen. And blessed are those show mercy, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are those who provide hope, for they are given hope. Even internet stalkers, even those who do this for a living, can come to know that love who is truth, that truth who is love. Amen.

Some people say, “Don’t feed the trolls.” Well, yes. But this is no troll. Even he deserves mercy.

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Fr Gordon MacRae my spiritual director Blogging continues; it’s his fault.

GORDON MACRAE

Yesterday was the anniversary of my priestly ordination. Always a happy occasion for me. But also a chance to reevaluate. I figured I should take a wee break from blogging so as to reorganize, so as to push the reset button, something like shaking one’s legs out at a starting line just before a sprint, just before entrenching yet again on the starting blocks and then bursting forth.

Within a few hours of my putting up a post that I was taking a break from blogging Father Gordon MacRae (About) gave me a call as he does very frequently. He started a discussion about blogging as he’s writing a post for These Stone Walls which I’ll be editing for him next week. I told him what I was up to, but then he convinced me not to take any break at all. He even encouraged me about my rather sharp sense of irony and sometimes “scorched earth” writing as he calls it. Some time ago I asked Father Gordon to be my spiritual director and so, O.K., I’ll keep on writing. I am reminded of a certain race in which a father burst out on to the race track to help his son. Goodness. This video is disallowed by the International Olympic Committee from WordPress as they want to get advertising. Just click the “watch on youtube” link. If an add pops up before the video, just click “skip” in the lower right of the video box. It’s truly worth it. Draw the analogy.

Priests with a common bond in the High Priest, Christ Jesus, encourage each other. Thanks Father Gordon.

Arise! Let us be going!

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Priesthood, Spiritual life, Vocations

My internet stalker’s impossible litmus test: damned if I do, damned if I don’t

Eucharistic Congress confession

After Father Thomas Weinandy resigned from his post at the USCCB, I offered this comment on this blog:

“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.”

That’s in this post, check it out: Father Thomas Weinandy: Thank you! Hoping Pope Francis reinstates you.

Later, I received this comment from my internet bully:

“You are leading the good life as a pastor. But are you really, really following Christ? Are you not just swimming with the tide? Why don’t you support Fr Wineandy? Are you looking for a comfortable life?. Are you like the Apostles who when Christ returned the third time found them still sleeping? Are you sleeping like them? Don’t defend or support a bad Pope just because he was nice to you.”

In other words, if there is any priest in good standing actually carrying out his duties as a priest of Jesus Christ in this One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, he is therefore, by definition, a hypocrite, and the only way for him to follow Christ is to resign from active ministry in protest against Pope Francis. That’s the litmus test: resign in protest against Pope Francis or go to hell. No, really! After uncountable messages along these lines, I see this one in the moderation queue, one of the first comments for 2018. This internet bully guy has a mania, and I’m his target. This is, it is said, a citation from one of Padre Pio’s letters:

“And yet, once our last hour has come, and our hearts have ceased to beat, everything will be finished for us and the time to merit as well as to demerit. We will present ourselves to Christ the Judge just as death finds us. Our cries of supplication, our tears, our sighs of repentance, which while still on earth would have won God’s heart, could have made us with the help of the sacraments, saints out of sinners, today is worthless; the time of mercy is passed, now begins the time of justice.”

Nice citation, except that it is about whether I resign in protest against Pope Francis or not. If I resign I am saved. If I don’t resign as a priest in good standing from active ministry as a protest against Pope Francis I am surely then going straight to hell.

Someone who continuously sends such messages citing other-world eternal consequences (going straight to hell) for not complying with a litmus test having this-world life-changing consequences (resigning as a priest in good standing from active ministry as a protest against Pope Francis) – continuously for three full weeks after being asked to stop – is someone who is well able to think that he has a divine mandate to begin that “time of justice” already in this world.

Of course, if I actually resigned just to do it I would be condemned by Jesus for running away from the wolves as a mere hireling. And if I don’t resign then I am already damned by my internet stalker, who I think is at the ready to take “justice” into his own hands.

Golly! I don’t know what to do! Oh, I know! I think I’ll just be faithful to Christ Jesus, continue to be a good son of the Church in the best way I know how, continue to be a priest in active ministry (Hey! I love it!), following Sacred Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the great interventions of the Magisterium of Holy Mother Church, and, with consistency, mind you, also be loyal to Pope Francis, that is, by supporting the person of the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ, of Christ, mind you, Jesus, the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, He who will come to judge the living and the dead and world by fire. Amen.

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Filed under Amoris laetitia, Bullying, Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Priesthood

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

alexamenos crucified donkey

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

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

hilaire bellocTo the young, the pure, and the ingenuous, irony must always appear to have a quality of something evil, and so it has, for […] it is a sword to wound. It is so directly the product or reflex of evil that, though it can never be used – nay, can hardly exist – save in the chastisement of evil, yet irony always carries with it some reflections of the bad spirit against which it was directed. […] It suggests most powerfully the evil against which it is directed, and those innocent of evil shun so terrible an instrument. […] The mere truth is vivid with ironical power […] when the mere utterance of a plain truth labouriously concealed by hypocrisy, denied by contemporary falsehood, and forgotten in the moral lethargy of the populace, takes upon itself an ironical quality more powerful than any elaboration of special ironies could have taken in the past. […] No man possessed of irony and using it has lived happily; nor has any man possessing it and using it died without having done great good to his fellows and secured a singular advantage to his own soul. [Hilaire Belloc, “On Irony” (pages 124-127; Penguin books 1325. Selected Essays (2/6), edited by J.B. Morton; Harmondsworth – Baltimore – Mitcham 1958).]

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Filed under Donkeys, Irony, Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

“Fr Byers, who are you, anyway?” Apologia pro vita mea

With the videos above I poke fun at myself. Sorry for some of the language in them. I apologize to those who actually want an answer to the question about my identity, to those who don’t accept the answer that I am a simple back-mountain priest on the outside of the peripheries. That’s all I am. And I’m happy with that. Truly.

The problem is that there are those who are ferociously asking about my real identity even now as if that question has never been asked before, not knowing that I have been one of the most researched people on the planet by whatever wing of Catholicism, or Protestantism, or atheism, or of whatever religion, Judaism, Islam, or whatever political entity overseas, but most especially by our own intelligence services, the latter being interested because of my “Shadow”, and because and all the hyper-sensitive places I’ve been, all the terrorists with whom I have been “friends,” all the terrorist incidents in which I have in one way or another been involved, all the friends I have on the very highest levels in the military, in intelligence services, in the Church. But, hey! You newcomers! Go for it!

The question is, of course, why the interest in me? By all accounts, I am just another boring priest among the million or so priests on the face of the earth. I am just one more boring person among the billions of people who are presently alive. So, why me?

Inside the Church, the ultra-liberal swamp rats think that I am their hero because of some of the rather extraordinary people I know and the type of degrees I have behind my name, thinking that anyone with those qualifications (those people and those institutions) has to be one of the more dangerous-to-the-status-quo people on the face of the earth, and so I am welcomed, until they get to know me, but even then, their suspicions that I am way to the right in their estimation remains merely suspicion, for I simply can’t be of Tradition if I know their darlings and have the degrees I do. They think I am just being very, very clever, more political than they could imagine could be possible. Their question remains: “Who are you, anyway?”

Inside the Church again, the ultra-traditional-ism-ists treat me the same way, suspicious that I am a filthy liberal because of the people I know and the degrees that I have, and yet are confused by the things I have done in my life, doing more for the reinstatement of the Traditional liturgy (more than the Mass, also the sacraments and exorcism, etc), than most all of them put together. They think all that is subterfuge, a cover. “Who are you, anyway?” they scream, condemning me as one of those “priests” who loves “mercy,” but then wondering what is going on because they never see me embrace any heresy, any leftist position, so that they simply hate that I won’t hate who they hate as much as they hate, or even hate at all. They think I am a careerist, but then watch in amazement how I throw away “career” after “career.” I could certainly have had a multitude of careers in the Church, could have long been a bishop, actually archbishop at this stage, the problem being that I just won’t compromise, not to protect my record of not compromising, but because I believe in serving Jesus. But that is what they will not accept. “Who are you, anyway?” they scream again.

I suppose I should give a few examples. Early on I was invited to go to the Academia Ecclesiastica, but I turned that down with the excuse that I just would not make a career of compromising my priesthood. That was very offensive to some career diplomats, believe me. I’m sure many are devout believers. Some are anything but that. I knew quite a bit about those who were beholden more to the State than to Jesus. I have a lot of friends. But I felt I was too weak to last as a believer in such settings. Either I would cave in or be removed as useless to the ways of compromise. So, why bother? That’s just the way it was. That’s a confession about how bad and evil I was. Then there was a now long-deceased ecclesiastical superior who wanted to pull some strings and have me appointed as one of the Inquisitors at the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, but I dissuaded him as well. At the time, among some in the CDF, it was all about how to please bishops. I just couldn’t do it, fearful that I wouldn’t be able to remain faithful to Jesus, fearful that I would simply be removed as someone useless to the world of compromise. Mind you, the CDF did do some great things at the time under then Cardinal Ratzinger, especially the ghost-writing of the official interpretation of Canon 915 (upon which I had some incisive influence from afar). Anyway, there was also a push to get me into the Congregation for the Clergy, and the Congregation for Saints, heck, after my time at Vatican Radio, even Communications at their new offices was put before me. The biggest career I turned down, however, was to go to teach at a certain University in Buenos Aires, where I’m quite sure I would have in no time (if not from the very beginning) been put in administrative positions as a jumping board to other things. I turned that down because the whole thing seemed geared to smashing down my faithfulness to Jesus. I was afraid of my weakness, afraid of being removed as someone useless to political correctness of compromise. I have to wonder what would have happened between Father and then Archbishop Jorge Bergoglio and myself, what with our common friends. I have to wonder what would have been the future of the ghost writing of Amoris laetitia, if, instead, I would have written that in a manner manifestly reflecting the teaching of the Church. I am a failure, I suppose, for not having taken up those careers in the Church. I am certainly a failure for having been fearful of anything at the time. I have only since then learned by the grace of God not to fear anything, ever. Why? Because Jesus is the One. He’s the only One.

Anyway, outside the Church, because of my life-time relationship of sorts with my “Shadow” (which has nothing to do with me, by the way), the State Department, Department of Justice, Department of Defense and various and sundry operators of any and all military or intelligence backgrounds have long wondered and frequently asked, always after long investigations and always with frustration, “Who are you, anyway?” This has become, over many decades and with countless examples, both humorous and predictable. Some, if they are good guys, just do what they are told in my regard (because of the “Shadow” thing) or they are afraid to bring it further to Pompeo or Tillerson because their own treasonous behaviors would be brought to light, especially now, but that’s another story, that is, as to how I’ve been trying to bring those treasonous behaviors to light. At this point, it seems that my “Shadow” has successfully turned the tables so that it must be me who is the Gray Man, in which case the question, “Who are you, anyway?” becomes both a protection and liability. It has, in fact, always been this way. It is what it is. There are benefits. There are drawbacks.

As it is, throughout my life my identity has been a standing “inside joke” for me and Jesus, for He has given me the grace which He willingly gives to all, the grace not to be novel, that is, no novelties, with the point being that only One who is important, the only One who has anything to say, is Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One. We are to our utmost to be instruments of His, letting His love and truth and goodness and truth and kindness and truth and mercy and truth be manifested through us. We are to have nothing of our own, no identity apart from Him. It’s all about Him. He is ever ancient, ever new. I am far from it, but it would be my hope to say that if there is anything that is ecclesial and of God in my life, that people will say: “Look at that. That’s not Fr George. That’s Jesus. Thank God for his great mercy.”

At the rare time that circumstances are such that it is important not to be novel, not to compromise, not to betray Jesus as regards Church or State, I have not compromised, ever. This is in itself so very novel, you know, not to embrace the novelty of being a “man of consensus”, not to embrace being a coward, that I have also been condemned as someone who promotes “admiratio” for this very reason. Ironic how that works. The very attempt to respect faith and morals, the attempt not to be Promethean, not to be neo-Pelagian, not to be self-absorbed, or self-referential, not to be corrupt, is the very thing which makes people condemn me as being all those things, for, they say, only someone full of himself, arrogant and Pharisaical, would want to be different from them, and instead want to be in solidarity with some sort of Sign of Contradiction. “Who are you, anyway?” they scream, wanting to know how it is that I could possibly not cave into their bullying ways. I could give a thousand examples regarding faith or morals or national security. But why bother? I have learned that people are not interested in arguments. They are only interested in pushing and pushing and pushing to see if, for real, there is faithfulness. In all their cynicism, they want to know if faithfulness is possible in this world. In the end, it’s all about being smashed down and, even while being smashed down, saying with Jesus’ love and truth and goodness and kindness and mercy: “I forgive you. I want to see you in heaven.” And in that way, there is no compromise, no novelty, nothing of me, only Jesus. I’m sure I’m not there yet. I am totally weak. But He gives me the grace to want to be nothing, that is, for Jesus, that is, to have no identity apart from Him, so that He can use me for what He wants, that is, His love, His truth, His goodness, His kindness, His mercy.

The “inside joke” is all about what happens. Here’s the deal: when you don’t compromise, you will get smashed down, hard. There are damned if you do, damned if you don’t situations, but you don’t compromise. There are horrific circumstances, but you don’t compromise. All is hopeless, completely hopeless, but you don’t compromise. And then you are smacked down, hard. O.K. But then, in remaining faithful in all things, Jesus picks you up. He makes life so very, very interesting in this way. How boring non-faithfulness must be. In contrast, the vistas of faith upon panoramas of hard reality are exhilarating. No amount of darkness can quench the bond of love with God that God Himself puts into our hearts. And this is one thing that is novel. This is something new. It is God’s love among us, Emmanuel. But Jesus brings that newness, not us. We can only receive that newness when we have nothing new of our own, nothing novel, no identity of our own.

Who am I, anyway? I hope for a love which casts out all fear. I hope one day to say that I am nobody, nothing, that Jesus is my All. I hope to say that Jesus is the One, that He’s the only One, that I find my identity in Him, that He finds me and brings me into the reality of love and truth.

P.S. At the moment, someone is condemning me as someone who is enjoying the all too easy life of a pastor on the peripheries. If only they knew! Well, I must say that I love being a priest, a pastor, and on the peripheries. I love being a priest. I love watching Jesus, the Priest, at work. I love everything about any possible way and manner of being a priest. It is true that an intellectual / academic “career” would be tough, as the Common Doctor says when commenting on the brightness of a halo in the Summa, as there is a 1000 times more anguish for the flock in such circumstances. In this regard I would absolutely love being the or one of the Papal Theologians (though I’m not a Dominican). My goodness, the things I could write on Genesis, on ecumenical cooperation with biblical manuscripts (going to the heart of ecumenism), on the women of the Gospels, on papal infallibility, on reaching out to the Orthodox, on being a missionary, on mercy, on the formation of seminarians… But, I am here, and I am also happy where I am, in the tiniest parish in North America, in the most remote place possible. I love it. That’s who I am, one who is in love with everything about The Priest, Jesus.

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

This priest’s “day off” having fun with NATO ammo for the Glock & an AR 15

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Ain’t mine. It’ll be fun I’m sure. When I’m convinced I can use it with some effectiveness I’ll move on to a shotgun and see what can be done with various types of ammo, ball, birdshot, whatever.

Meanwhile, I’m doing a bit of research. I like the M4 Carbine with NATO 5.56 rounds (M855A1). For the shotgun, this one looks promising:

standard manufacturing 12 guage shotgun dp-12

That’s just to make you smile because of the seeming incongruity.

Right? Be nice!

I think I have too much fun.

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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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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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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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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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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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