Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Fiery Holy Spirit, edition)

The ardent, fiery love of the Holy Spirit is:

  • hellfire for those in hell, because they don’t want it…
  • purging for those in purgatory, because they are on their way…
  • the glory of God as witnessed by those in heaven, because God is love.

In Luke 1:28 we read – in Greek – that Mary was perfectly transformed and perfectly always remained in this love (κεχαριτωμένη), in this grace, in this ardent fiery love of the Holy Spirit from the first moment, in context, of when she was able to receive the vocation to which she was called from all eternity, that is, to be the immaculate, virgin, Mother of God. It means that she had no weaknesses consequent to original sin. It means that she had such purity of heart and agility of soul and clarity of (spiritual) vision that she was actually able to be in solidarity with her Son as He laid down His life for us, interceding for us with Him with all motherly solicitude. The lack of all that which has do with sin ironically enabled Mary to see sin in all of its horror.

In Ephesians 1:6 Saint Paul uses the same verb, but in aorist, to describe how the rest of us, after we contracted all that which is consequent to original sin, with all the weaknesses, were transformed in the fiery love of the Holy Spirit, this grace as well (ἐχαρίτωσεν). We tend to blind ourselves to the horror of sin, struggling because of our weakness, struggling to cooperate with this grace, with this fiery love of the Holy Spirit. But it is the very weakness that we do notice which enables us to thank Jesus for having come into this world which we destroyed with sin so that He might stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, to have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.

If we, in all of our ignorance, come to the point – by the fiery love of the Holy Spirit – come to the point of even momentarily noticing with humble thanksgiving even just a bit of the awesome and majestic glory of Jesus laying down His life for us, then… goodness gracious…  how much more was Immaculate Mary struck by that same fiery love as manifested by the Heart of Jesus:

On Pentecost the Holy Spirit introduces us to this fiery love of the Holy Spirit, fiercely:

So, a flower for you Mary. Oh, and a blast from the past or two. This one from Holy Souls Hermitage:

And this one from a priest in India:

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More renovation of confessionals and the church

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The floors of the confessionals, the entrance way, the two storage and server-cassock closets and the floor of the main church are down. More work for the pews and putting stuff back for Mass later today.

I’ve told people that the confessional is just for confession (except when it’s a cry room during Mass). But, in other words, it’s NOT to be a broom closet, a place for music stuff overflow, etc.

We’ll need some dedicated artwork. Now that it’s divided, there will have to be a crucifix and other artwork on both sides, framed acts of contrition in whatever language. Perhaps English, Spanish and Latin. When a confessional is treated well, it sends the idea that the sacrament itself is actually important. That’s the message every wants. Lots of work with lots of enthusiasm is going into this, carpenters, electricians, ductwork specialists, flooring guys…

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Civil War about Slavery?

I put this on my blog while being in “The South.”

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President Reagan’s Address at Pointe du Hoc, Normandy, France, June 6, 1984

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Ronald Regan: We are Americans

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Progress on church renovation

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We’re ripping up the wretched carpet perhaps dating to the 1960s. A start:

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All gone…

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Continuing today with laying down a new floor on the Epistle side. This will include the floors of both sides of the confessional…

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D-Day 1st 24 mins 1st 24 hours

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Creepy guy pulling a gun at the parish

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As I’ve mentioned the other day, there was a car in the upper back parking lot rather aggressively parked up against my car and which was sporting all sorts of logistical red flags. I moved my car just a bit so that I was fully in back of him, just to the side a bit, as it creeped me out that he was just a few inches away.  The only picture take-away I thought I had was the strange licence plate. The window reflections obscured the inside of the car from the back (see above), or so I thought, until just now, a few days later, when I ran the picture through some brightness and contrast tweaking. Unfortunately, the picture is still super grainy and splotchy with reflections of light from the street lights and my headlights (see below).

Fleet Car upper parking lot possible brandishing

The driver has flipped himself around in the driver seat and is looking back. It looks like there may be a possibility that he is brandishing a pistol. Of course, I’m NOT, NOT, NOT accusing anyone of anything. It just looks like his brandishing and aiming a pistol might be a good possibility in conjunction with multiple and serious red flags that were presenting at the same time. Again, I realize that the picture is grainy and is of poor quality. Did I say I wasn’t accusing anyone of anything? The red edits on the same picture below might help you you to see what’s going on. I already knew he was wearing a hat when I walked up to my car from another angle, from which angle, by the way, I could clearly see into the car and he appeared to be the only person in the car.

Fleet Car upper parking lot possible brandishing indications

When someone holds a pistol in your direction, the only thing to be seen is the tiny end of the barrel and perhaps a bit of the slide. The rest is covered by, in this case, two hands. Even though he’s aiming directly at me, I doubt he would hit me. The angles of the windows would throw any bullets off by some inches. Or one hopes so. Even though I couldn’t consciously see the gun, I’m guessing my brain could pick this up. It’s part of situational awareness to pay attention to heightened attention, keeping one “left of bang” as they say.

I’m guessing that his brandishing is what was making him so overconfident. I’m guessing he was thinking that I could see his gun. I did not see his gun until now. He saw that I wasn’t responding in kind. He was waiting for something to happen, baiting, threatening. By this point, even without seeing the gun, I was convinced that he was up to no good because of all the red flags:

  • In an entirely empty campus with fully three different parking lots, he had parked next to my car within seconds of my arrival (but after I had quickly gone to check on the doors on campus), and he parked so close to my car (in the opposite direction) that he was purposely blocking the use of both passenger doors. Also, that’s a difficult parking lot to drive into, being so steep that one’s tires will spin. The other parking lots are paved and wide open. He didn’t scrape the paint off my car for being so close, but, just to say, it was really close, entirely creepy.
  • He was wearing a hat, at night, in his car, partially blocking sight of his face.
  • There was no one else that I could see in the car when I walked up to mine, except that a couple of minutes into this incident I did see a mop of hair appear for a fraction of a second at the bottom of the passenger window, and then violently go down again. This would explain why the use of the passenger door was blocked. Maybe that person is shy. Maybe that’s his kid who was playing hide and seek. Maybe that’s a partner in crime. Maybe that’s just a wig he wears when committing crimes and he was getting ready to put it on. Maybe that’s a victim of human trafficking.

Had I seen the gun, I would have had to hypothesize that this was about human trafficking and this was effectively a kidnapped hostage. I’m guessing he thought I was the buyer as I had obviously come up coincidentally at a prearranged time before whoever the real buyer is could do so. But I wasn’t producing any cash. Perhaps he just thought I was having second thoughts, or wasn’t convinced he wasn’t law enforcement. Greed is what would keep him around for so long. This was a stand-off that went on for a good eight minutes. I don’t know the price of what I’m guessing is a child, but I’m still guessing that he was expecting many tens of thousands of dollars. For that kind of money, people risk going to prison for a long time, even for life, and even for death in this capital punishment state. People also risk going to hell for eternity.

Someone mocked me later for not being “welcoming.” Sigh. Bad things do happen. Just down the way from the parish, in the next parish over, there was a beheading just the other day. I know the EMT who attended that incident.

Since I didn’t know about the gun yet, but because of all the red flags, I thought it best to just try to move this person along by playing loud music and having the bright headlights shining on him, drawing attention of whatever of the rest of the town that cared to look to see what the mayhem was all about. He endured eight minutes of this. I guess he really wanted money or whatever the deal was supposed to be. He finally left.

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (If you’re not quite getting it, edition)

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If you’re not quite getting why to give this flower to the Immaculate Conception, cover up all the orange, and just take note of the yellow in the middle. If you still don’t get it, there’s not much I can do for you, except to point this out:

jewish yellow star jude

It happened. How can people deny that? When pressed, it’s said that bad stuff happens all the time, so who cares, or it’s said that Stalin killed more than Hitler, so who cares, or it’s said that ___(_fill_in_the_blank_)___. Why not say the Holocaust was bad as were all other genocides? They’re all bad. And then go from there working so that genocides are stopped before they begin. That demands solidarity with the victims. Mary stood in solidarity with Jesus. They were both Jews. A flower for you, Mary.

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Renovating Confessional encouraging Confessions

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An entirely appropriate Confessional, sure ’nuff (in the midst of Holy Week for those pictures, by the way). But, it could be better. Having discussed this with our Vicar Forane, and encouraged by him, I barely started to mention a renovation to some parishioners and they were all for it, only wanting to know more of the logistics. Lots of talent in the parish. It went to the Finance Council and everyone liked the idea in that august body as well. So, we got started:

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It’s advanced in the last days to be able to hear Confessions. Lots of Confessions! But it’s all a work in progress with lighting, with appropriate artwork, such as crucifixes on both sides, such as a framed “Act of Contrition”, two of them actually, in English and Spanish, to be placed on the left and right sides of the “Grill”. The “Grill” will get an added thin veil as well over the metal.

Flooring will have to wait for this next week when we start in on the church floor, which is a huge project what with moving all the pews and such. But, we forge ahead.

Religion is a virtue of justice. Religion is not a bad thing. The hatred of religion by, you know, “spiritual” people, is an attitude brought about by hopefully non-culpable ignorance. Religion is about rendering to God that which is His due in all justice. Only Jesus could do this, being obedient to the Father by walking among us and showing us the truth and love of God, which we hated unto death thinking that we are being incriminated by all this goodness. Having stood in our place, taking on the death we deserve because of sin, the Innocent for the guilty, Jesus had the right and has the right in His own justice to now command the Father on our behalf: “Father! Forgive them!”

Jesus has the right to take our sins. He has the right to forgive us. How dare we hold back and not give Him our sins for forgiveness and with us having all purpose of amendment so that we might walk in His friendship.

Go to Confession!

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (deadly naïveté, edition)

“Oh! That looks nice!” we say with deadly naïveté. This flower is deadly in its every part in every way.

Naïveté refuses to see reality. Naïveté is escapism. Naïveté is all about entitlement. Naïveté can be deadly.

There is no situational awareness with naïveté. There is no possibility of helping others with naïveté.

It is not the sinless who are subject to naïveté. Mary, immaculately conceived, was able to continue to avoid sin because she could see sin for what it is, because, in turn, she was well aware of The Standard of comparison, God, who is the living truth.

Because the Immaculate Conception, standing under the cross, was able to see all of our sin, all of our lack, all of our need, from Adam until the last man is conceived, she was also and therefore able, in her solidarity with Jesus, to intercede for us.

Sinless, immersed in the deadly hell of Calvary, Mary beheld the glory of God, of Jesus, laying down his life that we might live. Those subject to naïveté just say that Jesus looks like a sinner condemned to death on the Cross, and therefore, with the accusation being proof of guilt[!], He is therefore guilty. And those with naïveté go their merry way with murderous hearts, with self-centered souls.

The other one who is not subject to naïveté is Satan. He’s fully aware of what he does in his hatred of God, in his hatred of us because of God’s love for us.

Meanwhile, we struggle with naïveté, trying so desperately to hang on to it, as if naïveté provided us security. But with naïveté the darkness closes in, alone-ness locks one down, escape no longer seems possible. Much better to be lifted out of this quagmire by those much more adept at dealing with evil because of their sinlessness, Jesus and His good mom.

A certain neighbor to the hermitage, introducing a prayer for the volunteers at the soup kitchen, said that none of us has anything that we can truly call our own, not even our own bodies, which we will have to give back to God, telling Him what we did, perhaps trying to claim naïveté, which will instead be our condemnation. He added that even our sin, which is the only thing we have come up with, is claimed by Jesus on the Cross, He taking away our sin by forgiving us, having the right to do so by having stood in our place, the innocent for the guilty, the One who is wise for those who subjected themselves to naïveté, ever so deadly naïveté, the naïveté that tortured Jesus, Mary’s Son, to death.

So, a flower for you Mary, a deadly flower, with no worries that it will hurt you, as you are not subject to naïveté. And because of that, you can, with continued innocence, behold all the beauty, taking it only for its proper use, not using it for which it’s not intended. Thanks for creating this flower too, Jesus. It helps us to open our eyes, to see what’s going on, not to afraid, but so that we might look to you.

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Danger near the rectory and at church? Scottish Bagpipes to the rescue!

A week ago I published this about some incidents: Banging on the window at 1:38 AM like a thief in the night.

Within a week, there have been more incidents:

  • There was again banging on the window of the rectory after midnight. Same place, too, next to the sticker that says 24/7 video surveillance. It’s like, knock and then read. I mean…
  • I mentioned this to a neighbor, who said that another neighbor, a super-generous minister of one of the faith communities here in Andrews – a friend – had a breaking and entering incident in which the bicycles of their little kids were stolen. Wow. When an incident involves little kids, the antennae go up…
  • The same neighbor said that he found two drug syringes and the above pictured knife next to the windows on the side of his house.

Then, another event, this time up at the church. Having gone to the supermarket and filling up the car with gas for the weekend travels to the churches and rehabs, just at nightfall, I had one of those “feelings” that I should then go up to the church and check the doors and such. There had been a number of events: re-construction of the confessional in the church, a conference by a great visiting priest in the social hall, and a continuance of the rosary novena for persecuted Christians. Surely one of the doors had been left open, thought I. Because of another “feeling”, I parked in the upper gravel parking lot out back, I made my way along the doors, spotting this huge mama wolf spider with a trillion babies on her back:

Nature is fascinating. But that’s a distraction. Back to checking the doors. Fine. All the doors were locked and all was tranquil. Everything was over and no one was on campus. Great! Soooo quiet…. Crickets…

Just then a phone call came in about logistics for celebrations of Mass the next week as renovations will involve the church itself. Having gotten through that phone call in front of the shrine pictured above, I went back to my car in the upper back parking lot, making my way between the buildings. That back parking lot has a history of being a druggy drop site, day or night, as it is all kind of hidden. I once called in an escaped felon in a stolen vehicle. The driveway is gravelly and tires spin turning up into that back upper parking lot as the driveway is so very steep. No one would park there just to do it, especially at night, all hidden away like that. After all, with all the thieves and druggies round about the past week, with all the pretty much continuous mass shootings at churches and schools and businesses, it would look suspicious to park up there all hidden away…

But, sure enough, there was another car parked within inches of mine, side to side. That’s what tipped me off that this was way too weird to just discount as a nothing burger. Inches away in an empty parking lot signals trouble, even if it’s a good person with good motivation, because in that case there surely has to be drinking or drugs involved. So, being bad and evil myself, I immediately thought that whoever it is may well have malicious intentions.

The driver did not get out when I walked into the parking lot. I just went straight to my car without hesitation. I got into my car, turned it on, waited for a minute. Nothing. I moved the car around to park behind the guy and shine the bright lights on his car. This usually moves the druggies right along. They hate that. Nothing. I took a few pictures of the car. They hate that even more. Nothing:

Out of state plate. Interesting. Probably a local who is back in town for a moment. No “year” sticker on the plate. Probably too new, right? Also, it’s a “fleet car” with a “fleet” number and code number. That’s like an advertisement for people to know who you are. So, surely it’s all innocent. Nothing to hide. If it’s a rental car to escape notice, the person probably hasn’t thought it through. You can’t rent a car except with a credit card. Anyway, it’s probably just someone praying for a loved one who passed recently. We’re always to think good things of others. And that’s what I was thinking.

After all, there was only one guy in the car. I should just go and introduce myself. Be welcoming. Despite the red flags.

But then I saw something that just ripped all those good thoughts out of my head. I had only seen a driver when I had walked up to my car and could clearly see into that car. Just the driver. But now I saw a second person who had been hiding in the passenger seat as there was movement of a head of hair for just a split second up against the lower edge of the passenger window. There’s no chance they were up to hanky panky, as they wouldn’t park inches away lengthwise with my car, the only other car on the entire campus. As far as I’m concerned, that most likely makes them fit the modus operandi of aggressors of whatever kind.

So, that momentary red flag made me want to move this crowd along quickly, that is, to have them remove themselves from this private property. Something’s just not right…

What’s my usual method? It makes my laugh. It always works. It worked when I was being shot at out at the hermitage with me having no escape. I played Handel’s Messiah on my phone and the shooting stopped, just like that. Now what I did was to lower the windows and turn on some music, loudly, and with the bright lights shining on his car from behind, off to the side a bit. Here’s what I played for all of Andrews to hear:

He lasted right through the pro-Police “I’m Bleeding Out” but only made it about 3/4 of the way through “Amazing Grace” on the bagpipes. Too religious, I guess. Too patriotic, I guess. Too much to do with cemeteries, I guess. Too unapologetically loud, I guess. I gotta admit, there is nothing louder than Amazing Grace on Scottish bagpipes at night in an an otherwise sleepy neighborhood with the sound multiplied by the high-beam headlights shining on the back of your car from the side, you know, for all to see and hear. I’m really bad and evil. He drove away, ever so very slowly. That was the end of it. Today I’m sure I’ll find out that this was an American hero of some kind, a ex-parishioner of some kind, come back home. Right?

I’m all for being embarrassed, because safety comes first, regardless of being embarrassed about being over-careful. No apologies for that. Too many red flags with this incident. But still, there’s probably some very good and boring and entirely embarrassing (to me) explanation, making it look like I shouldn’t have been such a knucklehead. It is what it is.

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Autism. Being different. Good example demands being different so as to lead.

 

What’s certain is that this guy was bullied not because he was on the autism spectrum. That’s just an easy excuse for knuckleheads who, instead, are nervous about this guy having more integrity and humanity, more honesty and goodness and kindness than all of them put together.

To see the glory of God wherever it might be requires us knowing that we’re all challenged with the weaknesses of original sin, including physical health. That kind of humility is not ours for the taking. That kind of humility is only ours for the receiving. Our Lord provides reality to us, enables us to see reality, if only we receive this. Then we can see it, rejoice in it.

Here’s another guy rejoicing in his incredible talents:

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Birthday CMO Captain Tom Hudner RIP Strict Segregationalism is really stupid

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=medal+of+honor+captain+tom+hudner

If, after watching that short video – I laughed all the way through it – you’re wondering about what the incredible story must be behind this, click the link just above and that will list some more videos about what the Congressional Medal of Honor was for in the forsaken frozen mountains of NOKO in 1950. This guy purposely crashed his plane to come to the aid of his fellow pilot who had been shot down. But read or watch the story.

I’m especially interested in this because this happened to my dad, also Department of the Navy, but this time with the USMC fighter-attack Corsair Checkerboarders. Dad was also shot down, crash landing, and was rescued by his fellow Marines at incredible risk to themselves. I’m forever grateful! These guys are rightly called the greatest generation.

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Mueller’s peachy social engineering

interstate 85 peach

Mueller: “After that investigation, if we had confidence that the president did NOT commit a crime, then we would have said so.”

How peachy is that? A hardly veiled referral to Congress for impeachment. Mueller turns on its head the principle that one is innocent until proven guilty and assumes that insufficient evidence screams guilt. Since pretty much anyone who is alive is able to commit any crime, that evidence, that one was alive, however insufficient, means that pretty much everyone is guilty of whatever crime. Everyone is dead.

If the victim is accused of being a witch in such a witch hunt, he is thrown into a river. If he drowns, he’s innocent. If he survives, he is guilty and then killed another way. Dead both ways.

That’s the American way! Peachy! Impeachy! But no. That’s not the American way.

Social engineering that clockwork-encourages Congress to undo the Constitution without the Constitution undergoing duly legislated amendment is…

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Flowers for the Immaculate Conception (Angels and pinheads, edition)

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Trifolium repens… Let’s see… translation… translation… Tripartite Attack!

So, just a stem, and then a gazillion little stems with flowers… The immediate question is: How many flowers can fit on the end of a stem? It’s like: How many angels can you place on a pinhead? There’s always room for one more. Since Mary is Queen of the Angels, the challenge is taken up: the result is the Tripartite Attack. But don’t be thrown off by the name, whatever angels do looks like an attack. All for you, Mary, they say.

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Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians now with us. How about your parish?

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We’ve been saying the rosary and other devotions nightly while we have the icon of Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians. Dozens of copies have been making their way around so that parishes might better be in solidarity with our persecuted brothers and sisters.

our lady help of persecuted christians icon pope francis

Pope Francis blesses the “Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians,” as Cardinal Edwin F. O’Brien, Grand Master of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem and a member of the Knights of Columbus, looks on. (L’Osservatore Romano Photo)

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Homily 2019 05 29 Assenting to the faith

Holy Spirit Saint Peter Window

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Memorial Day instigated memories: “Life is changed, not ended.”

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At Myrtle Beach I saw things with both mom and dad that had a huge effect on me. They would bring me to the US Air Force Base (the bones of which are pictured above) and have me eat with the pilots and such. The base would soon close because of a decision to ditch the A-10s. Ironically, it was just now decided in 2019 to upgrade this close air support fighter especially loved by the guys on the ground.

In the speech to announce the closing, the officer said: “It’s the end.” My mom copied that out in longhand, again and again, on bits of paper that I would find later here and there, noting the context of the closing and the name and rank of the beloved speaker. The closing acted for them as the closing of an entire era that was held in living memory, but that too, they knew, would soon pass as well. “It’s the end.”

The two of them used to sit at the end of the runway when it was still military and watch the guys practice their take-offs and landings amidst fancy stuff in the air: warthogs and other jet fighters, a great show instigating lots of memories for dad in one way (surely calling to mind those who didn’t live to die another day back in WWII and the Korean War) and for mom in another way (surely calling to mind those many millions who were murdered by the Nazis).

Dad would later have some health incidents for which I was present in Myrtle Beach. Mom would die at Myrtle Beach in a place pictured above. Here’s a google-map shot of some items placed in an outdoor museum the South side of the runway, which, if you have good eyes, you can find in the picture at the top of this post:

myrtle beach Air Force base outdoor museum farrow pkwy

Here’s a fantastic video with some flying action shots, including the Vought Corsair. How they’ve changed since the gull-wing Corsairs dad flew!

Both mom and dad had been through some great spiritual retreats at Mepkin Abbey in their last years. They had taken great notes and spoke glowingly of the retreat master. And for that I thank the dear Lord. “It’s the end”? No. They both learned that, in fact, as the Funeral Mass Preface has it:

“Life is changed, not ended.”

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Patriots Day Boston Marathon Bombing: three brief reflections on terrorism

Firstly, in general, the terrorism thing isn’t anomalous. The fallen human spirit is given to such things if not brought into humble thanksgiving for merciful redemption wrought in justice. “Never again!” is a cri de cœur which must be placed in the context that all of us can do the same thing, given the circumstances in life, given whatever state of one’s soul.

Secondly, the Commissioner was right to ask with great cynicism: “What’s a typical terrorist look like?” The elder brother shaved his beard for the event while the younger brother had no beard to speak of, right? Beards are typical of terrorists, right? Sigh.

Thirdly, the Commissioner got it right again in a self-correction, saying that they all passed over considering the elder terrorist who was already on a watch list because they all knew that he was a coward. Here’s the deal: all terrorists are cowards, they always and only go after soft targets, babies, children, unsuspecting and unprepared adults.

On this last point… if you want to profile a terrorist, look for the coward, for the one who goes along with peer pressure, political correctness, never standing up for what is right even when under no pressure at all, always taking the path of the lowest common denominator of niceness in his own eyes. The raging bull underneath is always there in all the niceness that can be mustered.

From Psalm 22, cited by Jesus on the cross, when all hell of cowardice broke out on Calvary:

My God, my God, why have you abandoned me? Why so far from my call for help, from my cries of anguish? My God, I call by day, but you do not answer; by night, but I have no relief. Yet you are enthroned as the Holy One; you are the glory of Israel. In you our ancestors trusted; they trusted and you rescued them. To you they cried out and they escaped; in you they trusted and were not disappointed. But I am a worm, hardly human, scorned by everyone, despised by the people. All who see me mock me; they curl their lips and jeer; they shake their heads at me: “You relied on the LORD — let him deliver you; if he loves you, let him rescue you.” Yet you drew me forth from the womb, made me safe at my mother’s breast. Upon you I was thrust from the womb; since birth you are my God. Do not stay far from me, for trouble is near, and there is no one to help. Many bulls surround me; fierce bulls of Bashan encircle me….

It’s most worthwhile – unto eternity – to look up and read the rest of that psalm in a quiet moment, noting the filial devotion of the one being put to death before God the Father.

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