Tag Archives: Jesus

Pro-Life News, Vaccines, Common Good, Abortion, Jesus, Caiaphas: “Better that one man die than that a whole nation perish”

The “Common Good” citation isn’t in that clip, but in the Gospel of John 11:41-53 we read:

  • “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” And when he had said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go.” Now many of the Jews who had come to Mary and seen what he had done began to believe in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what Jesus had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees convened the Sanhedrin and said, “What are we going to do? This man is performing many signs. If we leave him alone, all will believe in him, and the Romans will come and take away both our land and our nation.” But one of them, Caiaphas, who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing, nor do you consider that it is better for you that one man should die instead of the people, so that the whole nation may not perish.” He did not say this on his own, but since he was high priest for that year, he prophesied that Jesus was going to die for the nation, and not only for the nation, but also to gather into one the dispersed children of God. So from that day on they planned to kill him.”

Yes, I’m very happy that Jesus laid down His life for us, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, but for Caiaphas to abuse his office and condemn the Innocent for the guilty was a great sin.

Caiaphas wanted to achieve a good end – civil peace in the country – but at the cost of doing something evil. That will actually only make things worse, the good end never being obtained. Witness the disintegration of all things and the destruction of Jerusalem like none other.

Saint Paul condemns doing something evil so as to achieve a good end (Romans 3:8):

  • “And why not do evil that good may come? — as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just.”

People think that sophistries claiming that we are distanced from an evil action so that we may rightly partake of the good end, but ignoring that that good end was wrought by an evil means are rightly condemned.

Covid 19 vaccines like Johnson and Johnson / Janssen, AstraZeneca, Pfizer / BioNTech, Moderna have directly, purposely aborted healthy children so as to obtain a good end, whether developing or testing their vaccines or both on human beings executed exactly for this purpose, tested to be healthy, tested to make sure all their organs were fully developed.

To enjoy the good end of the vaccine is to mock these human beings for your convenience.

And don’t think that this is all expedient for the common good. Society will disintegrate all the more into hell.

HERE’S THE POINT: Doing something that will hurt someone so as to benefit the common good refers to things pertaining to individuals, not to those persons themselves. Thus, an airport might be built even if a particular farmer doesn’t like it, as long as he is compensated justly. But the farmer himself cannot be directly executed in order for some project to benefit you.

Those pro-life people who promote the common good to be brought about by any vaccines obtained by the direct execution of individuals are actually pro-abortion, pro-death, anti-God, anti-neighbor.

Jesus says: “What you have done to the least of these you have done to me.” Are you going to slash Mary open and experiment on Jesus? No? But you glibly think you are clever in getting yours, murdering the image of God for your own benefit?

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Pope Francis power manure spreading: Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco

Dear Pope Francis, you complain about people who simply repeat as an accusation against you what you yourself present as goodness. You use your pulpit to power spread manure like a new fangled power manure spreader and then you say that journalists are lovers of shit, the ol’ coprophiliacs accusation which you so very much love to use. Let’s take a look at what a manure spreader does:

What you say, Pope Francis, about Jesus contaminating Himself, about God contaminating Himself when He comes into this world with all of us who are terrible sinners is wrong, heretical, blasphemous. He came to save us from sin, and He cannot do that if he is contaminated by sin. He can do that by taking on the punishment we deserve for sin, death, standing in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us. Did Jesus touch a leper to heal him? Yes. Did that make the Author of Life, our Almighty God, Christ our God, unclean either ceremoniously or actually? No. Virtue goes forth from Him. Our ceremonial uncleanness or our sin does not enter into God. No. It is you who are the coprophiliac Pope Francis. You are the man.


Pope Francis cited Saint Paul who said that Christ became sin for us. Well, yes. But He did not sin and was not contaminated with sin. Instead He put Himself in our place. He took on what we deserve. When I look upon Jesus being tortured to death on the cross for our sin I do not see a criminal or a sinner, but the most Innocent Son of the Immaculate Conception, conceived of the Holy Spirit. No contamination. Sigh.


I mean, remember Father Brian Lynch against Wuhan Biden so that Wuhan Joe takes the place of King David murdering Bathsheba’s husband Uriah the Hittite? Just replace the name of Wuhan Joe with Pope Francis: You are the man! You can start this at 3 minutes 16 seconds:

Look, even if Pope Francis doesn’t mean what he actually does say, ever so ambiguously (hurtfully) or just plain wrong (hurtfully) or speaking out of two sides of his mouth, saying one thing and then the opposite right away, pleasing everybody (but not), hurting everyone who just dismisses him, we still need to pray for him. We need to pray for him all the more. It is just so sad.


V. Oremus pro Pontifice nostro Francisco.

R. Dominus conservet eum, et vivificet eum, et beatum faciat eum in terra, et non tradat eum in animam inimicorum eius. [Ps 40:3]

Pater Noster, Ave Maria.

Deus, omnium fidelium pastor et rector, famulum tuum N., quem pastorem Ecclesiae tuae praeesse voluisti, propitius respice: da ei, quaesumus, verbo et exemplo, quibus praeest, proficere: ut ad vitam, una cum grege sibi credito, perveniat sempiternam. Per Christum, Dominum nostrum. Amen.

V. Let us pray for Francis our Pope.

R. May the Lord preserve him, and give him life, and make him blessed upon the earth, and deliver him not up to the will of his enemies. [Ps 40:3]

Our Father, Hail Mary.

O God, Shepherd and Ruler of all Thy faithful people, look mercifully upon Thy servant N, whom Thou hast chosen as shepherd to preside over Thy Church. Grant him, we beseech Thee, that by his word and example, he may edify those over whom he hath charge, so that together with the flock committed to him, may he attain everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.

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Mother Teresa 1994 vs POTUS Joe Biden 2021 at National Prayer Breakfast

Thank you, Mother Teresa, for standing up for the least of the brethren in the womb, for standing up for Jesus who said, What you have done to the least of these you have done to me.

Then there’s the monster POTUS Joe Biden, who hasn’t gotten the message fully 25 years later. For Wuhan Joe, no babies in the womb are our fellow human beings. Get a barf bucket ready…

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Filed under Free exercise of religion, Jesus, Politics

Five First Saturdays

From the Dominicans: Five First Saturdays Devotion of Reparation as requested by Our Lady of Fátima on July 13, 1917. Our Lady said: “You have seen hell where the souls of poor sinners go. In order to save them God wishes to establish in the world devotion to my Immaculate Heart. I will come to ask for the Communion of Reparation.” On December 10, 1925, Our Lady returned with the Child Jesus and spoke to Sr. Lucia about true devotion of reparation to Her Immaculate Heart. Jesus spoke first: “Have compassion on the Heart of your Most Holy Mother, covered with thorns, with which ungrateful men pierce it at every moment, and there is no one to make an act of reparation to remove them.” Then Our Lady instructed Lucia about the Five First Saturday devotions. On the First Saturday of Five Consecutive Months

  1. Make a Sacramental Confession [One can confess within 8 days of the First Saturday]
  2. Pray the Rosary (5 decades)
  3. Receive Holy Communion
  4. Keep Our Lady company for 15 minutes while meditating on the Mysteries of the Rosary

The Great Promise of Our Lady: “I promise to assist at the hour of death, with the graces necessary for salvation, all those who, on the first Saturday of five consecutive months, shall confess, receive Holy Communion, recite five decades of the Rosary and keep me company for fifteen minutes while meditating on the fifteen mysteries of the Rosary, with the intention of making reparation to me.”

“In the end My Immaculate Heart will triumph.”

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First Friday Adoration

The Sacred Heart to Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque: “In the excess of the mercy of my Heart, I promise you that my all powerful love will grant to all those who will receive Communion on the First Fridays for nine consecutive months the grace of final repentance: they will not die in my displeasure, nor without receiving the sacraments, and my Heart will be their secure refuge in that last hour.”

For nine consecutive months on the First Friday, Mass and Holy Communion, with Confession if need be. In this parish we, of course, have Holy Mass and a Holy Hour during which Confession is provided. There are twelve promises of Jesus regarding the First Fridays. I remember being totally amazed and thankful to Jesus as a little kid when my sister introduced me to this devotion (as well as the Five First Saturdays).

  1. I will give them all of the graces necessary for their state of life.
  2. I will establish peace in their homes.
  3. I will comfort them in all their afflictions.
  4. I will be their strength during life and above all during death.
  5. I will bestow a large blessing upon all their undertakings.
  6. Sinners shall find in My Heart the source and the infinite ocean of mercy.
  7. Tepid souls shall grow fervent.
  8. Fervent souls shall quickly mount to high perfection.
  9. I will bless every place where a picture of my heart shall be set up and honored.
  10. I will give to priests the gift of touching the most hardened hearts.
  11. Those who shall promote this devotion shall have their names written in My Heart, never to be blotted out.
  12. I promise you in the excessive mercy of My Heart that My all-powerful love will grant all to those who communicate on the First Friday in nine consecutive months the grace of final penitence; they shall not die in My disgrace nor without receiving their sacraments; My Divine Heart shall be their safe refuge in this last moment.

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Meeting up with Jesus at Holy Mass

There are four moments at Holy Mass where I particularly meet up with Jesus:

  • Before reading the Gospel the priest bows before the altar and says the prayer Munda cor meum, by which the priest begs our Lord that his heart and lips (his communication) might be purified (as with the prophet Isaiah) that he might worthily announce the Gospel. — For me this is always a terribly humble moment in which I put all my ineptitude before Jesus. I don’t prepare for my preaching outside of glancing at the readings immediately before Mass. I literally cannot but ignore any other preparation. I can only speak from the heart. Truly. In this prayer bowing down before Jesus, I’m begging Him that I not be reprimanded at the Judgment because of misspeaking, because of not representing Him as I should. Complimentary to this is after preaching I turn to Jesus and bow before Him once again, again begging that what I have said be acceptable to Him. The way this works is that grace will provided to those assisting at Holy Mass so that they will hear what Jesus wants them to hear regardless of whether I said it or not. :-)
  • In the actual preaching, but it is rare that I will meet up with Jesus unless I am speaking about His perspective on His Immaculate Virgin Mother in relation to the Gospel. When I say meet up with Jesus, it’s like He’s lifting the clouds of my foggy brain and dulled soul and blinded eyes wherein I’m otherwise not listening to Him. It’s like He’s drawing me so close to Himself that I begin to begin understanding His love for His dear mother and ours. It’s like He’s telling me that this is the direction He wants me to go in being available as a priest for His priesthood among us. He wants me to tell people of His love for His good mom. A tall order? But Jesus is good and kind.
  • At the Consecrations. I mean, what can I say? See the picture up top. More on this in another post.
  • At the Holy Communion, when I receive and in administering Holy Communion to Jesus’ little flock. It’s always such a joyful moment. I can’t help but smile when the lambs receive Jesus with all due reverence. When all is said and done, sitting off to the side of the sanctuary, a moment of quiet with Jesus having visited the hearts of His faithful with His Most Sacred Heart, I wish this could go on and on. Dear Lord…

I’m writing this early Sunday Morning before 6:00 AM Adoration and Confessions and the Masses and Communion Calls, some perhaps with Last Rites. If you read this early on, a Hail Mary please, that I will preach well today of Christ Jesus and His blessed Mother. The Gospel is about exorcism. Yikes!

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Homily: Jesus and John a bunch of meanies mocking party-boy Herod?

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2020-12-24 · 8:22 am

Dear Pope Francis, about the “Christmas” fiasco 2020 in front of the obelisk…

Dear Pope Francis, why not next year put me, your Missionary of Mercy, in charge of the Christmas creche in front of the obelisk? Yes. Do it.

My idea for Christmas 2021? A life-size = relatively tiny crib scene, a small manger, smaller than the width of the obelisk, all respectful of the Word Incarnate, of His dear, humble Immaculate Virgin Mother, of quiet Saint Joseph, a few shepherds, a joyful angel. That’s it. Donate the money for the overly ostentatious tree to, say, small parish churches like mine, you know, for the installation of altar rails, of a real altar. Seriously.

Jesus came to us, to these peripheries, with humility, in the quiet of the night, a Light in the darkness. Tiny. Humble. Good and kind. The Living Truth. That’s not just the symbol, the message. Let’s point all to Jesus, to the manner in which He chose to come among us.

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Advent: Watch!

Glazed eyes about Jesus’ admonition to us that we are to “Watch!” Just step back a bit from the ongoing chaos, out of kilter emotions, the darkness, whatever distance we think we are from God, and see that Jesus has a good grip on our souls and is bringing us close to Himself, to Heaven, to give as a gift to our Heavenly Father. Don’t let the mere residual effects of original sin fool you into thinking that you are left behind. We ARE too weak to follow Jesus, but that is why we are not our own saviors: Jesus is our Savior. We are to watch Him save us, grabbing us out of the quagmire so that His grace is sufficient for us, so that His strength shines out through our weakness. And this is the joy of the Holy Spirit, to watch Jesus save us. And in this way we can be humbly thankful, walk with Jesus as the friends He called us, right to heaven. That is our hope. We must have hope. Advent is all about this longing, this hope. The saints called this longing a painful anguish as they so very much desired to be in heaven with Jesus to praise and thank Him. Let that most holy anguish carry you right to Jesus, so as to watch! So, very joyful, all this, however somber, always standing with Mary in vigil.

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Son of David, Son of Mary: manure everywhere at the rectory, of course.

The front window of the tiny rectory is progressing, provoking compliments from pious souls and condemnation from across the spectrum.

Firstly, a word about manure:

  • Et a verbis viri peccatoris ne timueritis, quia gloria ejus stercus et vermis est: (1Ma 2:62) Don’t be afraid of the words of sinful men, for their glory is manure and worms.
  • There’s plenty of such manure and worms, because that’s what we all turn into: dust to dust and all that. Without God’s grace, we’re nothing but s#|+. Truth!
  • When the Jewish Messiah (and therefore ours) was born, it was in a cave loaded up, of course, with the manure of bulls and donkeys and sheep.
  • When the Immaculate Conception appeared to snarky Saint Bernadette, it was in the cave, the grotto, of Lourdes, which, even worse, was filled with the manure of pigs. Ever smell that, even from miles away?
  • In the picture above, the statues of Mary and Saint Anthony of Padua with baby Jesus are overseeing two flower boxes which, right now, are simply full of manure. Too much. The flowers didn’t take. My bad.

Secondly, about the haters:

  • At the furthest edge of the spectrum on the left are those who say that all that which is Jewish has absolutely nothing to do with anything Catholic, so that Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah. That would invalidate Jesus being the Son of David, thus invalidating the presentation in the rectory window. They say this to be politically correct with our Jewish brethren but lock them out in their own minds from the redemption wrought by Jesus.
  • At the furthest edge of the spectrum on the right are those who say that all that which is Jewish has absolutely nothing to do with anything Catholic, so that Jesus is not the Jewish Messiah. That would invalidate Jesus being the Son of David, thus invalidating the presentation in the rectory window. They say this to be politically correct with anti-Jewish idiots, happy to lock them out in their own minds from the redemption wrought by Jesus.

Opposites attract. Idiots attract. The two extremes are merely in reaction to each other, having nothing to do with the Living Truth. The two extremes are like the poles of a broken gyroscope wildly flipping spinning out of control, not with the Truth being the mean between the two, but flying apart from the Truth, only concerned about each other. But Crux stat dum volvitur orbis. The Cross remains steadfast while the world hopelessly spins itself into a vertigoed vortex.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is reginald-garigou-lagrange-op.png

Meanwhile, there is le père Réginald Marie Garrigou-Lagrange OP, commenting in his tome on Faith, summarizing the entirety of the works of Saint Thomas Aquinas regarding the Common Doctor’s struggle in understanding the oneness, the univocality of the Judeo-Catholic Religion, with Thomas landing finally on the presentation that all that which is Jewish is all that which is Catholic, though, of course, with the chosen people looking forward to receiving Jesus, the Messiah, the Suffering Servant, and the Catholics being those who have received Jesus, whether being of Jewish lineage or from among the Gentiles.

This refers to the radical univocality of Sacred Tradition, that supernatural faith received by any individual always in the same way with the same content of that supernatural faith. There is a down to earth pedagogy for human brains to be led to assent to that which is supernatural, i.e., through the conscience. Thomas himself comments on this at great length, distinguishing between that which is supernatural faith and that which has been touched by a necessary exercise in theology on our part.

Jesus, the ever proclaimed Son of David, said it best: “Salvation is from the Jews.”

I’ll just keep my window up and let the extremists otherwise ignore Jesus and attack each other, throwing manure at each other.

After all, Crux stat dum volvitur orbis. I’ll stick with the Cross, a tiny depiction of which you can just make out in the center of the Star of David up top of the window.

Hanukkah 2020 will begin the evening of Thursday, December 10 and will end the evening of Friday, December 18. A Menorah of sorts is ready to go in the window, with a small servant candle at the ready. Some might say that Jewish feasts are forbidden to be celebrated. But is God’s honoring the sacred liturgy in the temple not to itself be honored? Sure, Jesus, and we with Him, are the new Temple built of living stones, as the Holy Spirit indicates. Yes. But I think it is just fine to rejoice with God’s rejoicing with the miracle of lights. Yes. Jesus, the Temple Himself, ferociously objected to the abuse of the temple built of mere physical stones.

You don’t have to light a Menorah, but don’t condemn me lighting one up either. You wouldn’t want Jesus to take the whip of cords to your back end, would you? No, really, you wouldn’t. :-)

But I can already hear the spluttering about how I’m a heretic saying that I’m saying that the former covenants are themselves salvific apart from Jesus. No. I didn’t say that. I insist that all former covenants looked forward to the new and eternal covenant in the Blood of the Lamb. There is not one former covenant which was stuck on itself apart from the Messiah to come. Get it? We honor the Jews with great love by inviting them to learn more about Jesus, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception, that great Woman of Genesis 3:15 in her battle over against the Serpent, the Dragon of old, Satan. Yes. Let’s help introduce our Jewish friends to Mary’s Son, Jesus, for Salvation is aleady from the Jews.

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Filed under Christmas, Jesus, Jewish-Catholic dialogue

Fr Byers, who are you, anyway? Apologia.

[[ This post was originally published December 19, 2017. It’s republished now as baiting for some who need to be baited for their own good. ]]

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 Mike Pompeo or [[Tillerson]] Gina Haspel 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 too vaunted 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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The measure you give…

The above was sent in by a reader. I agree entirely. Hahahha.

Meanwhile, speaking of cats, let’s remember that all the saints are trying to live as one with the King of kings, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, the only One standing after the battle, albeit with scars:

The measure He gave was everything, which is what He demands of us:

“Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. And these words which I command you this day shall be upon your heart; and you shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.” (Deuteronomy 6:4-7)

It’s His love and His truth that He draws un into.

P.S. I just noticed that I have a Dog administration-tag for dog posts on the blog, but no administration-tag for cat posts. Hmmm. I’ll still a dog-person. Pope Benedict was a cat-person. I guess we all have to be Lion of the Tribe of Judah persons. :-)

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Isaiah Cantrell’s racist identity crisis and the rest of the story: Thank you, Jesus

REPORT: “Reports later surfaced that police jailed suspect Isaiah Cantrell, who, according to the court affidavit, said Jesus’ ‘skin color of the statue was the wrong color.” Cantrell added that ‘Jesus was Jewish and therefore should be a darker skin color.”

My comment: Dearest Isaiah, you’re right, of course, about the outside thing, you know, the skin color thing, the melanin thing, sure, gotcha, I’m with you on that, totally. And the ol’ whiteys don’t like it, they just need to get over it. The Word of the Father become flesh, the Divine Son of God, the Divine Man, entered our fallen history in a very specific time in a very specific place by way of a very specific mother, bearing all those characteristics of that time and place and person. You’re right on emphasizing that: Jesus is a Jew, and salvation, as He said, is from the Jews. Yep. Great! That insight puts you head and shoulders above revisionist historians.

But you effectively kill off the statue of the very One you proclaim to respect? You got yourself some deep misunderstanding, deeper than just skin deep.

Here’s the deal: Jesus said that when He would be lifted up on the Cross, He would draw all to Himself, so that what He validated in one particular place and time as God-Incarnate with all those historically unrepeatable circumstances He validated, in Himself, for all particular individuals of all particular places and cultures and for all time, from Adam until the last man is conceived. Saint Paul speaks of this as the “Body of Christ” with Jesus being the Head of the Body and we, all of us, Jew and Gentile, slave and free, man and woman, are members of that Body of Christ. All lives matter to Jesus. He proved it. He laid down His life for all of us. We find our redeemed identity in Him, not in mere skin color.

As it is, I’m a lily-white white boy, lots of Russian, lots of Baltics, lots of Polish, lots of German. I rejoice that when Jesus reached down into this world at great cost to Himself he stretched out His hands on the cross so far that He was able to grab me, the lily-white white boy, and draw me to Himself, He having pardoned me my many sins, He inviting me to be in humble thanksgiving to Him. I rejoice that unlike what we do, He reached across skin color, across borders, across time, to do this. And for all those reasons I have much for which to be humbly thankful.

Don’t take all that rejoicing away from me, Isaiah Cantrell.

Don’t take all that rejoicing away from Jesus, who was happy to do this for us all.

I find my identity in being brought to life by Jesus. I’m a lily-white white boy, and Jesus is a Son, the Son of Abraham.

Dearest Isaiah, it’s a mistake to reduce Jesus to skin color. But Jesus died for you too. You can repent of all this foolishness. Go to Confession. I do. Jesus loves you, even to die for you.

You might notice, art critic that you are, Isaiah, that Jesus and His blessed Mother have been depicted with the skin color and cultural characteristics of all peoples right around the world right through the centuries, right through the millennia, not to claim Jesus and His good mother as only their own and to hell with everyone else, but to rejoice that Jesus’ redemption – good Son of His mother – has reached even as far as them.

I’m happy for Jesus and His mom to be depicted as a white, as Jewish, as black or brown or yellow or olive or whatever. This is our Jesus!

From the Apocalypse, 1:7:

  • “Every eye will see him, every one who pierced him; and all tribes of the earth will wail on account of him. Even so. Amen.”

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Distracted shooting & distracted praying: Distraction is the way to go.

Distracted shooting:

Not having practiced in, like, forever, 30 minutes of the day off was given to doing up a session of double-taps “to the head”. Best was 1.51 seconds with a chambered Glock 19 from a serpa holster carried appendix. Even that was so much slower compared to back in the good old days when Walmart was still selling Federal FMJ brass target rounds for cheap (the only thing that works in my Glock 19 Gen 4). Way too many of the double-taps were over two seconds. Not practicing often means slowing down, at least for me. But catching up on edginess just a bit is always good. Catching up on accuracy just a bit is always good. The 7″ Styrofoam pie-plates were out 25 feet.

This session, unlike any other since first acquiring any gun for the first time in my life (still in my third year) the enormous benefit of distraction came into play. Worms were falling like tender snowflakes. Un-staged distractions help constitute the best way to practice. It’s the difference between being edgy with sterile indoor range conditions (and no one cares about that, especially the entitled criminal element) and something much more attuned to real life where distractions are always abundant (like bullets hitting you one after the other). For great distraction for a good practice session, try tent worms falling on your sights with no warning:

Disgusting waves of tent caterpillars are munching their way across Michigan | News Hits

Practicing in this way provides the opportunity to learn to power through distraction and let adrenaline do it’s job by zeroing you in on the necessary at that moment.

Distracted praying:

If you haven’t noticed yet by this time in your life, we have a fallen human nature that suffers the effects of original sin chosen with the sin:

  • Weakness of mind
  • Weakness of will
  • Emotions and feelings all the hell over the place not following reason any longer
  • Sickness
  • Death

It’s only justice that we suffer the effects of sin chosen with the sin. Jesus calls such distraction our cross which we are not to deny, not to suppress, not to escape, but which we are to recognize, pick up and carry, not battling these things so directly as if we were our own saviors, but rather, as Jesus said, following Him, concerned with Him, with Him being more important that any stupid weakness of our own. The more we really try to try really hard to battle our distractions, the more we really try to really try hard to be our own saviors, the more frustrated we are in the midst of our lack of strength to do any such battle: we fall into the distraction we are battling by paying attention to it instead of to Jesus, following Jesus.

Look, all the saints were trained up to be saints in the midst of ongoing weakness and distraction. We are weak and distracted in this life until we die. Jesus told us to carry our cross daily, meaning until we die, but not looking at the cross (we already know it’s there) but instead looking to Him, thanking Him that – wow! – He really had t0 reach far into this fallen world to grab us to bring us to heaven. Thank you Jesus. Seeing all my distraction all the time helps me to understand just how far you had to reach to get me. Thank you so very much for re-creating me as your friend, as you said.

To do all that mercy in justice, Jesus had to come among us, show us damned cynics His goodness and kindness and truth, baiting us to test all that to see if it was verifiable. He knew we would show Him our worst, tortured death, what we deserve ourselves. He took our place, the Innocent for the guilty, now having the right in His own justice to command His heavenly Father as He died, thus passing our cynical test: “Father, forgive them!”

  • “But I am a worm, and no man; A reproach of men, and despised of the people.” (Psalm 22:6)

Actually, it’s not “worm”. In Hebrew this more precisely refers to “maggot.” Jesus cited this psalm on the Cross.

Here’s the deal, the saints were trained up with ongoing distraction in prayer and everything else by assenting in grace to grace grabbing their souls so that the greater love of God’s own love within us holds God as being more important than ourselves: the distraction is still there but who cares? That’s not what’s important. In fact, distraction helps us thank Jesus and walk with Him no matter the distraction.

This is a victory of the joy of the Holy Spirit in our souls. Yes. True joy of the Holy Spirit in the very midst of distraction. Yes. I love it. This is the victory of Jesus. He is risen from the dead, and working on our souls. He is truly risen.

Anecdote: I knew a guy who was overwhelmed with distraction and wanted some psych advice about this, and from the wrong crowd at the Gregorian University. I tried to dissuade him. Nope. He went, and came straight back, all the smarter as to why I wanted him to avoid them. They said that they would take away all his weakness, all his distraction, making him a fake automaton, mere Styrofoam. He exclaimed to them, immediately walking out: “No, that’s the only thing I have left, and you’re not going to take that away from me.” He was super wise, knowing that our our Lord uses our weakness to make us saints.

Saint Paul sums it up in his typical shorthand way of speaking and writing:

  • “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your strength, but with the temptation will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Get it? Use the very temptation to instead bring you closer to Jesus, remaining, by grace, closer to Him than every before.

This is the difference being arrogant, coming up with our own escapist way of salvation – “Let me pretend to be super-balanced and let me congratulate myself!” – and being humble, submitting to the cross of the consequences of original sin, which our Lord commands us to do: “Take up your cross!” Who the hell are we to tell Jesus “Non serviam! I will not serve!”? That’s what Satan says. We are not to say that we have progressed in the spiritual life because we think we have successfully suppressed any trace of weakness so that we have fake-saved ourselves and don’t need Jesus. That only leads to an explosion of arrogance and cynicism.

Humbly submitting to our punishment by not caving to ongoing temptation but in the face of it assenting to the saving grace of Jesus is joy in the Holy Spirit. Much better, that.

Are you also a worm and no man, like Jesus? Takes a bit of humility, doesn’t it?

But then we are trained up in matters spiritual, never congratulating ourselves for saving ourselves, thanking Jesus instead, and seeing ever so much more incisively how far He had to reach to get us, which is all the m0re reason to thank Him humbly, walking with Him, right to heaven.

Be trained up in the midst of distraction, whether you are target practicing or growing by leaps and bounds in the spiritual life.

And for all nay-sayers out there, who congratulate themselves that they are in a mystical union with the Most Holy Trinity, and have absolutely no distraction whatsoever, that they actually have the beatific vision already (and there are many like that), remember good old Saint John of the Cross, who, responding to a question from a novice in the spiritual life – and this is my paraphrase, obviously – said that our fallen human brains will always be going a zillion miles an hour, but we are trained in the midst of that distraction to assent to paying attention to that which, to He whom is more important; the distraction continues, but the soul learns by grace to stay with Jesus, the God of gods, the Lord of lords, the Prince of the Most Profound Peace, even in the midst of our distraction, He who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire. Amen.

P.S. And if all the good that carrying a Glock will get me is that I have been able to make an analogy for the spiritual life by using tent worms while target practicing, so be it. I’m good with that. Absolutely. :-)

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“Old Slither” and Mary

“Old Slither” was seen near the hermitage, on the rock-garden wall in front of a statue of Jesus’ good mom, Mary. This is at the neighbors to the hermitage, just down the ridge. “Old Slither” has to play the part of getting stomped on as we read in Genesis 3:15. How’s your situational awareness? Can you see him in the picture above? Let’s take a closer look:

He thinks that hiding is going to save him? Don’t be fooled by this. He’s already been smashed down and has nothing by which we are to fear. Jesus commands us: “Fear not!” “Do not be afraid!”

Mary says the same thing also as a reprimand: “Of what are you afraid? Don’t you see that my Son has conquered by standing in your place, the Innocent for the guilty?”

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Homily: Jesus’ Mom is the “Dog-Woman” The most ferocious sermon of my life

JESUS DOG-WOMAN

When Saint Paul says that Jesus “became sin” for us, that’s rather a controversial statement. Speaking in shorthand begs some reflection, some questions. I take it all a step further, saying that “Immaculate Mary” “became sin” for us. This is a rather intense, if long, and emotional sermon for me to deliver.

I always and only speak from the heart, trying to listen as I speak to the my Guardian Angel and the Holy Spirit, since I know nothing and they know everything, and seeing that there is a grace for preaching in the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. I may not have cooperated with that grace. You be the judge.

  • Some parishioners were profoundly affected for the better. Those people have suffered immensely in life, in all the truth of God’s charity.
  • In summary of long reprimand of one parishioner, this sermon was an abject, total failure on my part, and was a perfect example of division instead of unity, horribly depressing and dark, but that I should be of good heart, as I can use this as an occasion for learning.

Hint:

  • I still see the “great faith” of the “Dog-Woman” in all her hellish suffering as the brilliantly shining glory of God among us as grace upon this earth.
  • I still see the crucifixion of Jesus as the manifestation of glory upon glory of God’s truth in all charity upon this earth.
  • I still see the Woman under the Cross as the manifestation of God’s glory upon this earth in a mere human being, although the Woman of great faith, the ever holy ever virgin Immaculate Mary now assumed into heaven.

Perhaps I am to be anathematized for what I say, but this sermon is what I consider to be the best of my entire life, bar none. Of course, I am biased.

Again, it’s a little long, but I’m speaking about Mary – OUR MOTHER! – throughout, regardless of whether or not I mention the “Dog-Woman.” I can’t help but speak at length about my mother and yours, Jesus’ Good Mom…

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“Be the Gray Man” he said. Lessons from Laudie-dog. Just be the idiot, blood red.

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Above you’ll see Laudie-dog patrolling the impossible tunnel she’s made through the Jasmine vines, which don’t much offer her concealment while she takes in the situation of the neighborhood. After negotiating otherwise non-navigatable labyrinthine pathways, she shows herself victorious, quite content with herself, as if bragging about her over the top skill sets. Here she is, way down the fenceline in the other direction:

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The lesson, if you didn’t quite get it, is about how to be the “Gray Man”, someone who melts into the crowd unnoticed. Most people don’t get this at all. Take note that however much Laudie-dog is low-key, not drawing attention to herself, she doesn’t mind sticking out from her surroundings. I mean, she’s red, right? Take the hint about how to do the Gray Man thing the right way.

UBL (bin Laden, CIA “trained”) and his fellow terrorists were caught for trying too hard to be the Gray Man, you know, using different phones at different locations, never twice the same, so very careful. Not great training there. That was the clue: way too careful, way too gray, way too nothing. That’s tradecraft without common sense. No one does that. Ever.

Much better to be the bumbling idiot, like Laudie-dog is so very cleverly demonstrating above. No smarter dog than she. “Do the Gray Man thing” a friend suggested to me recently. Fine. But no. Yes and no. In my experience, the guy trying way too hard be the Gray Man sticks out in a crowd as if wearing a red jump suit. No, no. I’ll just play the idiot and in that way be the Gray Man… because there is always an entirely dismissable idiot or two in any crowd that everyone overlooks, because… you know… they’re just idiots.

I’m really good at it, because, you know, I have a lot of practice. It’s natural for me to be the idiot. Not being afraid to be the fool can save one’s life. I’ve done it a number of times.

Anecdote which I think I’ve mentioned before. I sometimes go out on a friend’s private back ridge somewhere in the heart of Appalachia here, doing up tactical pistol courses (FBI instructor, pre-2001 Air Marshal course, the SEAL course, and a number of LEO qualification courses for a change-up, etc.). Lots of fun. But three times a visitor came along on the opposite ridge, not so far away, who, not liking the sound of serious tactical pistol courses going on (definitely NOT just some haphazard target practice), decided to have some fun. He could see me out in the open but he was concealed. I wasn’t being the idiot while practicing, right? I was rather overt in some skill sets. I thought I was alone. “He” (I guess a male) sent some rather speedy rifle rounds my way, each of which smashed through even a half-dozen large branches in the forest. No mere AR can do that. And while those came quite close, above and to the two sides (the zoooosh sound the bullets make next to your head is rather unmistakable), he was just looking for me to – I suppose – shoot back, giving him an excuse. Running was impossible. Shooting back was impossible. I sat down right where I was, in the open and played the Hallelujah Chorus of Handel’s Messiah on my little phone speaker. The forest was dead quiet, and so that could actually be heard as if in a sound room even at a distance. I’m such an idiot. Who does that? Only an utterly dismissable idiot would do that. Must be a mistake with who this is, then. All shooting stopped. Each time. I’m such an idiot.

Be the Gray Man. To do it, don’t try too hard. Be the idiot. You’ll be utterly dismissable. I do. And I am dismissable, therefore invisible, gray, therefore still alive.

TO THE POINT: But when it comes to being the Catholic Priest, I don’t play politics. All the truth is proclaimed, always, to everyone, no matter what. If we do that, we’re not the Gray Man. We’re targets. Great. We’re idiots in the eyes of the world in that case, but this time not dismissable. As Saint John Paul II said, there have been more martyrs in this last century than in all the other centuries put together. When it comes to being Catholics, let’s not be afraid to be blood red. Not quite hidden, not quite the Gray Man:

Passion of the Christ - crucifixion

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Bait so as to receive: how very Kryptos. Plot twist. Jesus reveals our identity.

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The picture above, taken at a parishioner’s house, is of Alex Trebek decades ago. Yes, there are re-runs of game shows from a lifetime ago. I just thought this particular scene was humorous and so took a picture of it. Sorry for using poor “Shadow” the other day as bait so as to watch the the knuckleheads show themselves. And they did. It is to laugh, out loud too.

Sorry if this is all a bit Kryptic. Some are bewildered at such Kryptesque posts that mention my “Shadow,” the guy who has been “established with secured identity” by those in DS-Rosslyn, with my own identity. The analogy for the continuing bewilderment that comes to mind is the befuddlement over seemingly entirely outrageous statements of POTUS Trump that he makes correctly but without revealing important circumstances. Like clockwork, over the space of a week or two, this exercise in baiting has the knuckleheads go full apoplectic and show themselves for who they are, and then after they make fools of themselves, good old Trump reveals the rest of the story as Paul Harvey would say. Checkmate. They know they’ve been had. In my own little world the rest of the story may or may not be revealed in this lifetime. I’m working on it, and I’m having fun while doing it, laughing all the way, even if the subject matter involves otherwise stunningly illegal arms transfers and rather shadowy characters and endless violence and loss of life. My “Shadow” might well be revealed even while exaggeratedly attempting to remain hidden, an unexpected plot twist. I digress.

This kind of entertainment – and it is just that, for me, entertainment – takes up about 0.00001% of my free time. I write about it because it’s all so stupid. It just is what it is. And I cannot, cannot, cannot write about what happens the other 99.99999% of my free time, not to mention what happens in my full-on priestly activities in confession, in spiritual direction, all that for which I actually live. Don’t get the wrong idea.

You have to know, I absolutely love being a priest, all of the priestly everything about visiting the sick, providing Last Rites, doing up funerals, and preaching!

Oh my! I love preaching. I learn about the Sacred Scriptures pretty much only while I’m preaching, that is, not so much any preparation, if any, but in the actual preaching. I’ve often spoken of this with my confessor. He has the same experience in being brought into a crushing-uplifting reverence before the Living Truth of Jesus by the Holy Spirit while preaching. I guess that’s how the Lord tells us that we’ve said enough and need to move things along, because… after that… we can get choked up, and simply not be able to say anything more. Preaching from the heart? This is more like putting one’s useless heart aside, because, look… look at that Sacred Heart of Jesus… In trying to reveal what is otherwise hidden in the Mystery of God’s love for us – plot twist – our own inadequacy otherwise hidden also to ourselves is – plot twist – revealed before the Light that comes into such darkness. Such Light! I love it, but…

This kind of thing is almost annoying. Take for instance the Consecrations at Holy Mass. I can usually get through the first, but by the second I have to battle with all my might from getting choked up in the presence of the Most Sacred Mysteries – the ultimate Kryptos – of our Lord’s ever so hidden love for us. I am a weak and useless and simple man. So, there we have it, a plot twist. Who we are, our identity, is revealed not when we claim an identity, but when we stand ever so simply before our Creator. We are revealed for who we are. Jesus strips us of our fear in which we stupidly try to hide ourselves. Fear is not an identity. Being forgiven reveals who we are before our Redeemer because He forgives by pouring into us the created presence of the Most Holy Trinity otherwise called sanctifying grace. How to say it?

“Hidden.” That’s “Kryptic.” Watch what happens the other way. The dear Lord, by way of His goodness and kindness and the Living Truth that He is, lays open our souls before His majesty. We know who we are when like the Apostle Thomas , we place our finger into the marks of the nails, and our hand into the gaping wound in His side that was made on Calvary by the sword of the Roman soldier.

Plot twist? Oh yes. And the games human beings play in this world which congratulates itself on being clever and shadowy? It is to laugh, but also to cry, for there is altogether too much game playing and violence and not enough of being drawn into the Living Sacred Mysteries of God’s Love and Truth, of Jesus, who will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire.

And if you feel lost in all this seeming convolutedness, like it’s all still too Kryptic, let some piercing eyes cut right into your very soul revealing how you stand before God, for her soul was pierced through that the thoughts of many hearts might be revealed (see Luke 2:35).

pieta

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Homily: Multiplication of the Loaves – Remember the gushing blood…

martyrdom of saint john the baptist

Perhaps like you never heard it presented: Remember the gushing blood…

I guess I got a bit passionate with this one. No apologies to the ever-naive. Grow up.

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Saint Joseph, Baby Jesus, 9th Station of the Cross, Confessional, Adoration

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Seen from the Confessional seconds after entering to hear Confessions during early Sunday Adoration (6:00-7:00 AM) at Holy Redeemer Church in Andrews, NC. Between the stained glass windows we have pictures of the Stations of the Cross (which fit in our tiny church building). You’ll see Saint Joseph and baby Jesus being reflected in the 9th Station. That statue is up in the sanctuary of the church near the tabernacle. I guess this is my situational awareness coming into play. :-)

The 9th Station is Jesus falling under the weight of the cross for the third time. We put that burden on Jesus. Did we also trip Him up so that the cross would smash down upon Him on His way to Calvary for us? Did we do that? Yes, each one of us.

Here’s Station 9 on Mount Carmel, Israel, acid-damaged by vandals:

mount carmel stations of the cross station 9

In the reflection of Station 9 in the picture up top, baby Jesus has a face. Later, in Station 9 on Mount Carmel, Jesus’ face was removed… by our sin. His appearance was not that of a man…

We recall Saint Therese of Lisieux who took the religious name Therese of the Child Jesus and of the Holy Face…

At the judgment, I imagine that Saint Joseph will be with Jesus, and it is Saint Joseph who will ask us about Jesus falling the third time, about where the weight of that cross came from, and whether we had tripped Jesus.

Confession does wonders for the soul!

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