Category Archives: Thanks

Days-off preparing for *The Day Off* Remembrance of USSOCOM *David* Suicide and Thanksgiving

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This massive cross is at the entrance to the property on which the hermitage is to be found. The neighbor is a welder and created this from the downspouts that were being replaced at the parish church which is to be found way down the mountain.

This is where I often come for my day off, during which I often get in some target practice. As it is, I’m practicing quite a bit, as, at Thanksgiving, I may well be here once again, and an old friend will be attendance with some other extended family. The old friend may well have some special effects, if you will, to try out while doing a bit more target practice, or scenario based training and drills.

For those who are a bit cynical of all this “violence”, please know that all this can be quite healing, the get-togethers and the special effects and conversation about old times and hopes of heaven and the present trouble-making we all get into happily. We’re just trying to deal with the mistake of this old friend’s top-tier buddy who took too many pain killers the other week, leaving a small child of whom he had custody, the wife having abandoned them long ago. I wonder if the military provides for dependents in such circumstances. Anyone?

If you know what “top-tier” means, then you know that that buddy, *David*, had seen a hell of a lot of hell already in his short 39 years. These USSOCOM operators are made up of the 75th Ranger Regiment, the Green Berets, Delta and the Navy SEALs DEVGRU.

Hey! An idea! Soup kitchens at thanksgiving are often busy places. Whatever you might do there, how about one other thing… Do you know any Vets who are stuck in V.A. hospitals who would enjoy a family thanksgiving even if their own families have abandoned them? Don’t know anyone? But the hospital might be able to tell you if there is anyone who is eligible for a day trip. Just a thought. I mean, after all, the way to celebrate thanksgiving is to say Thank You in an effective way, right? Yes. We say thanks to God, but the second commandment, love of neighbor as oneself, is like the first commandment, love of God, right? Yes. Just a thought…

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Filed under Day Off, Guns, Military, PTSD, Suicide, Thanks

D.C. DMV: Merry Christmas Fr Byers

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Bad and evil me. On my trip to D.C. I unwittingly yet illegally parked in a handicap space. In far Western North Carolina, such spaces are marked on the pavement and with a sign hovering over the space itself, every single one, at least where I am. In D.C. there’s a sign however far down the street with a tiny arrow saying that all spaces in the direction of the arrow are reserved for whatever. I just didn’t realize it. I came back and… my heart sank. There was $250.00 ticket under the windshield wiper blade. I try hard to never ever break the law in any way, but there I was, sick to my stomach.

When I got back home, I went online and tried to pay with the handy-dandy credit-card option. Instead, a note came up that the ticket hadn’t yet been put through the system and it often takes twenty days for the ticket to show up. I tried many times. It’s now been twenty days. So, entering the ticket number online I find that “The Ticket entered has a balance of $0.00.”

I am grateful. I mean, when’s the last time that ever happened to you? That was a very nice gesture. It seems I have a benevolent “Big Brother” who takes care of his brat little brother. I am grateful.

If this had happened in, say, Palermo, I would be looking over my shoulder wondering when I will have to pay the favor back and in what way. But this is America and D.C., right? Maybe it’s just a glitch. :-)

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I first heard of Mother Angelica when…

mother angelica mini booksI first heard of Mother Angelica in the 1970s when my half-sister, all excited, shoved some “mini-books” into my hands, and exuberantly described Mother Angelica’s ministry. My sister wanted to be a Poor Clare in a Monastery close to my home (didn’t work out, though we visited often), and that was also kind of a connection to Mother Angelica’s Poor Clare spirituality. I would continue to hear of Mother Angelica as the years of my seminary training sped by, but it wasn’t until 1993, a year after my ordination, that I “caught 0n” to just who this extraordinary woman was. That had to do with the fallout of the Stations of the Cross at World Youth Day 1993. I was already quite the troublemaker (hopefully for the good… oh the stories!) but this Mother Angelica event, if you will, confirmed me in my ways. I’m sure you’ve seen this many times now, but I would just like to put it up for old time’s sake. And I wonder if you have any stories of how you first came to know about Mother Angelica.

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Christmas at the rectory

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Leading up to Christmas. I note a theme of donkeys, and that makes me very happy indeed. Thank you. The rosary is a work of art. More on that in a future post. This post is an experiment, as it is created entirely with my phone. I would rather not travel to Rome with a computer this time.

The Donkey

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

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

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

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

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Of course, a donkey brought Mary to Bethlehem. A donkey’s breathing kept Jesus warm in the manger. A donkey accompanied the Holy Family to Egypt and all the way back to Nazareth. A donkey was used by the good Samaritan. Donkeys can sing. Most intelligent, they only do what they understand. They are not stubborn as mules. They are hard workers and terribly loyal. They are the symbol of Judaism along with the Lion of the tribe of Judah. They have suffered humiliation by elitist Democrats but are nonetheless resilient. It is the donkey who protects the sheep.

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Filed under Donkeys, Thanks