Tag Archives: Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus falling through the cracks: church fundraising or taking the hit?

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Tons of emails coming in from some of the higher-ups about strategies for doing up alternatives to the usual passing of the hat, as it were, during church services, you know, appeals through email blasts, hard-copy letters, use of the phone-call prayer chains, etc.

This is ridiculous and, I think, wrong-headed. Not now. Not at this time. There are more important things, especially in a tiny parish (the smallest!), where there are some well-to-do parishioners who are, btw, sending something in of their own accord – but there are so very many who are dirt poor who are such good souls that they would literally send in the widow’s mite and then having nothing to eat after that. I ain’t gonna ask for that. No.

Instead, I think we should be more concerned that “Oliver” gets “More gruel, please.”

Look. We don’t know how long this is going to last or how bad it will get, or not. We just don’t know. Because of that, I don’t want to deplete peoples’ resources that they might need just to survive.

It’s not about church buildings. It’s not about being served. It’s about serving. Do we remember Jesus in all of this? He’s the One. He’s the only One.

Just to be clear: this is NOT an appeal for funds. This is about appealing to all to do up the principle of subsidiarity wherever you happen to be, namely, taking care of what and who you can take care of where you are in your house, in your neighborhood, in your parish and town. At the moment, this parish in the backsides of the beyonds on the far side of the peripheries is doing just fine. Think of those you can assist where you are this very day.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus sheltering-in-place: Exemplar Shadow-dog and Laudie-dog

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Dunno if you can see it, but Laudie-dog, as usual, has a smile on her face. Always content. Doing what she was created to do by God our loving Heavenly Father. Is she oblivious to the Coronavirus pandemic and panic? Sure. So she’s happy. But we who do know what’s going down should be as serene and incomparably much more joyful inasmuch as our Lord intends to bring us to heaven forever. By the way, you see that she looking to me, not to my visitor to my left. She’s already figured out that guy.

Meanwhile, Shadow-dog always has his guard up. Yes, he does smile, but with watchful eyes on that visitor, a law enforcement officer to the rectory driveway. He doesn’t care about any law enforcement credentials. He’s going to protect me regardless. Shadow already knows the officer and is friendly with him. Nevertheless, the guard is up. And so should our guard be up with the Coronavirus.

But having your guard up doesn’t cancel out the hope that what we’re all created to have as we walk humbly with our God, in thanksgiving, with joy that God intends us to be taken out of this world and have us in heaven forever. Hope is essential for life. Hope carries with it a joy that opens unto life eternal.

So why did such a good God create such a dangerous world?

  • Let’s not forget what original sin was our choice, crushing our integrity and honesty so that instead of absolutely dominating the universe, including viruses[!], helping each other, we instead, selfish idiots, don’t cooperate, become secretive, and even inflict such viruses on each other.
  • Let’s not forget that God didn’t forget about us and the consequences of our own bad and evil choices. He stood in our place, the innocent for guilty, and took on the death we deserve because of original sin and whatever rubbish of our own sin so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us, truly offering us mercy based on this justice, so that He – the Author of Life – might bring us to life once again, this time united with Him, this time in life eternal.

So, I’m as happy as a Laudie-dog, and so very enthusiastic that I can continue to be on guard against, say, the Coronavirus, and not be all depressed and despairing, but rather, in His grace, retain the hope that leads to heaven.

We see lots of bashing of those who BOTH faithful and reasonable and prudent and who are of service. If those self-righteous bashers who bash entire categories of people would spend even half that energy on doing something to be part of the solution, we would have a much better world as regards both physical and spiritual health.

  • Let’s pray for each other.
  • Let’s help each other.
  • Let’s be joyful.
  • Let’s be of service in whatever way we can.
  • Let’s be an occasion for others to get hold of that hope which our dear Lord holds out to all of us with great solicitude for our eternal welfare.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy

Coronavirus: 2,500 miles in 2 1/2 days

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How strange. The neighbor to the hermitage reported to me a compliment I received from a common friend, who said that I would go half way across the country so as to give someone the last rights. Reported by him, I wasn’t quite sure what to make of that. As it turns out, like clockwork, that’s exactly what happened. Sassy the Subaru did up about 2,500 miles in 2 and 1/2 days. I blame my Guardian Angel for removing otherwise impossible barriers so that I could get the job done. Thanks, Guardian Angel!

The above picture was Sunday evening. The picture below was further North the next day:

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Then, later that day, a picture of where I would do up absolutely crazy extreme sports:

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Then, after driving all day and night once again, half way back to the parish in WNC:

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Not the usual picture of the same site as the top picture, going 55 mph on the spaghetti highway system. If you can’t get it, the call letters of the local radio station is advertised at the top of a high rise office building. Another hint, if you have good eyes, the spire you see is the Catholic Basilica of Saint Louis, King of France.

  • Start: Sunday afternoon.
  • Return: Tuesday evening.

Yes, I do know the person involved, though I haven’t seen that person for many decades. It’s just that my present circumstances in life can get me places where the usual priest cannot possibly go in these times. And yes, I do have CDC provided Coronavirus precautionary devices. It is what it is. I love being a priest.

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Filed under Coronavirus, Missionaries of Mercy

Calm quarantine strategies, not panic

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First  of all, we are not in any kind of stage of a quarantine of any kind. San Francisco called for a State of Emergency, but that was just a cynical move to release Federal monies they otherwise can’t get at this time for sanctuary cities. It has nothing to do with any COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. No. Demoncrats are self-centered jerks and want to cause panic.

And I don’t say we are any kind of stage of a quarantine YET. No. That also would be to panic. See above.

Having said that, let’s take the worst case scenario – a declared pandemic – so as to point out how to avoid the worst case scenario, which would not refer to any medical condition (more people dying from the flu or smoking or car accidents…), but rather panic, which would be the logistical cause of death for hyperbolically more cases of death. So…

  • The other week a reporter asked POTUS Trump whether or not plans were already in place for the quarantine of entire cities if the need arises. He answered yes.
    • I’m sure that if this were to be effected it would be done so by the National Guard before anyone knows, including all law enforcement, who will likewise be quarantined in place in their cities.
    • Immediately after the National Guard is in place for a no one in-or-out scenario, health officials and law enforcement will be privy to policies and enforcement and rules of engagement.
    • It would be extremely helpful if in the same announcement it was said that food delivery trucks to supermarkets will have drop off locations at the border of the quarantine and that other trucks from inside will later come to pick up that food and deliver it to local supermarkets.
    • Gasoline deliveries? I guess they would have to be made when the stations are otherwise abandoned.
    • It would have to be stated that utilities will continue.
    • Extremely severe penalties for price gauging and looting would have to be stated.
  • demon panThe worst possible thing that could happen is panic. In that case, there will immediately be home invasions of idiots looking for food, not because there is any lack of food, but just because of panic. This will be done by those who have already been spending all their money on drugs. And they are well practiced with home invasions. Not good.
  • Panic in this sorry world of ours – the mob mentality which eliminates all “inhibitions” like reason and goodness and kindness and courage and fortitude and justice and mercy – the eliminator of all that is good in the chaos of panic is the demon-god Pan. This is not the too-cute and effeminate Peter Pan of Disney, but rather the ancient demon of all demons, Satan, who, as Jesus says, is a murderer from the beginning. Panic is the worst thing that can happen.
  • What is most needed in a Pan-Dem-ic is to not cave into panic, to not cave into Pan-Demon-ium. Get it? Pan in Greek means all or everything or everyone: “Everybody’s panicking!!!!!!!”
  • To panic is to give reverence to the demon-god pan. Panic makes one a worshiper of Pan. Panic makes one a pagan, an idol-worshiper. “Oooh! Pan told me to worry and have anxiety and to panic, so, therefore, of course, ever-obedient to demons, I will! I will panic! I will! I will! // off sarcasm.
  • So, an examination of conscience is in order. What or who is the most important thing, person, during a pandemic? Christ Jesus. If we have our spiritual lives squared away, if we are actually looking forward to going to heaven, trusting in the mercies of our Lord, we will not cave in to panic, we will not worship at the feet of Pan.
  • For atheists who mock faith in the time of crisis as the opiate of society, know this, the only ones I’ve ever seen help each other out in desperate times are believers. This is especially true in Socialist/Communist/Marxist countries. You know that’s true. I’ve seen it first hand. Believers have extraordinary strength of love and reason because of the love and truth they carry about within them coming from God Himself.

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  • Where is God in all of this? Look for those who are trying to be helpful in all of this. Look at Jesus’ good mom holding God in her arms…
  • But why did God let this happen?
    • Let’s call to mind that original sin opened us up to all of this sickness and death and weakness of mind and weakness of will and emotions all over the place.
    • Let’s call to mind that God so loved that world despite our use of free will that He sent His only-Begotten Divine Son Jesus – basing mercy on justice – to stand in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, taking on the punishment we deserve so that He might have the right in His own justice to have mercy on us.
    • Let’s call to mind that God thus knows all about suffering, and all about combating panic and the horrific demon-god Pan.
    • Let’s call to mind that Jesus does give us the grace, His friendship, to be reasonable, to be calm, to be good and kind, not to panic, but to be helpful, pointing people to Him who is that love which is stronger than sickness, stronger than any pandemic, stronger than death, strong enough to bring us to eternal life, to our eternal home, where love and peace reign supreme. Heaven is our home and we are now – in this hell – in exile away from home. But we do have a home in heaven, and we right now carry about the way to that home, grace which St Paul says will turn to glory.

So, no worries then! Jesus, I joyously trust in You.

JESUS I AM

Meanwhile, I’ve lost 52.xx pounds on Keto so far, and I’m going off Keto soon, transitioning over to something more high protein and not neglecting carbs. Trundling off to Walmart grocery to stock up on non-Keto items, I noticed lots of almost empty shelves, just a few packages of oatmeal, a packet or two of lentil beans, that kind of thing. It looked like panic buying. That’s O.K. Those panic buyers are all set now and won’t be emptying out stores in panic buying. Don’t panic. Instead, drop off real dead weight that holds you back. Go to Confession!

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Filed under Confession, Exorcism, Jesus, Law enforcement, Medicine, Military, Missionaries of Mercy, Spiritual life

COVID-19, beards, attending church

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The above chart is actually from 2017 and gives advice about respirators in general. It wasn’t generated in response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). How long the virus is able to survive on surfaces (for days or weeks) or in aerosol form (hanging in the air from breathing for minutes or hours traveling in the breeze) is all unknown.

There are scare-tactics used by some on the one side, and the near hysterical smashing down of scare-tactics used by some on the other side. Scare people and it spreads faster as people run. But don’t tell the truth of virility of the virus and people are not careful to take precautions as simple as washing your hands on the other hand.

My own beard and gas mask story. From about the end of June 1989 until about the beginning of February 1990 I was living at the Pontifical Biblical Institute across from the King David Hotel a stone’s throw from the ancient walled city of Jerusalem. Saddam Hussein was lobbing scud missiles at Israel that contained – he said – biological weapons of mass extermination. We were all issued gas masks to avoid breathing in aerosol laden poisons or biological horrors.

I liked having a beard mostly because I was too lazy to shave every day. We were told to tape up our windows to avoid glass shattering from exploding missiles, so I did that. Likewise, we were told to tape up cracks between the doors and the walls of our little rooms, so I did that. We were all ready, with rolls of tape at the ready, to tape up the opening between the door and the door frame the moment a scud missile exploded nearby. The missiles were dropping all over Israel. We had a room that was especially well-sealed and stocked with food and water into which we could seal ourselves for a day or two if need be, if we had the chance to get there before some of the more nervous members of the Biblicum community locked late-comers out of the room much like submariners caught in a leaking chamber are sealed off from escape by their friends so as to save the rest of the crew members in the rest of the submarine.

Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount is Islam’s third most holiest site in the world. We were very close to that, and stupid me, I was trusting in warfare technology of 1990, and, stupid me, I was thinking that Saddam wouldn’t dare throw missiles that would drop around those living near the Temple Mount. I thought that until a scud missile exploded between the Biblical Institute and the King David Hotel, near enough to shake a car outside my window, setting off its alarm, but the tape on my window held.

So I tried to shave my beard, only half successfully, but not good enough for a seal to be made between the gas mask and my mug of a face before the rest of the community were yelling at me to get into their special room.

Now, that’s a different set of circumstances, right? Well, that’s controversial. Those in danger areas are wearing total-seal hazmat gear from head to toe, looking like aliens in space suits. Why oh why would they do that, I wonder. Why would the CDC make a statement against all previous policy for all other viruses and say that the spread of COVID-19 in these USA is inevitable? It’s not the beard chart that surprises me, but the “inevitable” statement.

The Italian government has been cracking down on meetings of people, you know, in churches. Hardly any Ash Wednesday Masses in Italy at the beginning of this Lent. Scare tactics that are political in nature, as there is no crack down on going to stadiums or supermarkets.

Meanwhile, with great malice, the Demoncrats have been playing up scare tactics as a way, they think, to hurt any re-election of Donald Trump. That’s a fright, because scare tactics only encourage faster spread of the virus.

Having said all that, I should also be the priest and say what I always say, people should have their souls in order. Our Lord can call us at any time. Confession! For myself, I’ll go to Confession again later today if I can as the Smokey Mountain Vicariate of the Diocese is meeting up down the road.

If the CDC’s out-of-character statement about “inevitability” comes into play, this priest will be at particular risk:

  • I’ll attend to the sick and dying with the last rites as long as I’m not forbidden by hospital staff. That would be tough for them since the kind of volunteer level that I enjoy is actually at the level of employee status for our local hospital.
  • I’ll still accompany our local law enforcement as Police Chaplain. I can only imagine that unstable people will cause trouble with increased home invasions if the inevitability thing closes down supermarkets. It would get a bit chaotic. Can you imagine being on corpse-removal-detail? Blech. I hope any respirators have odor controls.

Having said all that, I have not shaved my beard. Life goes on. I do what I always do. Take note of a recent development – as reported some hours ago – that there may be a way around a year and half wait for a vaccine. It was said that there may be a way to fight this with an anti-viral found to have great success in animals and which may be able to be used forthwith. Maybe. But – hey! – maybe!

Here’s the deal: We’re no longer meant for this world. Our home is to be in heaven. We’re in exile here. Worst case scenario with COVID-19 may be a ticket to heaven. Not bad, that.

But what about Church attendance here in the USA? Yesterday, a reporter asked POTUS Trump a question about any contingency plans for locking down cities. He said that those are in place and being refined. Lock downs enforced by Martial Law can happen overnight. That includes shoot-to-kill curfews. I must say, I’ve never in my life heard talk of such things in public in these USA. I’m NOT indulging in scare tactics. Don’t be mad at me. I’m just noting was the CDC has been doing, and what the advised policies are regarding mentioning any of this kind of thing in public. Keep your eyes and ears open.

Now, after all that chaos, I have a question:

Should I shave my beard?

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Filed under Law enforcement, Medicine, Missionaries of Mercy

Just for nice, because God is good

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This was seen recently whilst racing through round about the winding roads of the back-ridges on the far-side of this parish that I love so very much. Pisgah National Forest, Nantahala National Forest, Smokey Mountains National Forest. I love it. So beautiful. I love those who are here, the criminals, the good people, everyone. Our Heavenly Father does. Jesus does.

Sure, there is – oooh! – this thing wrong in the world. Sure, there is – oooh! – that thing wrong with individuals who put themselves on a power trip in the Church. Yep. Jesus knows all about it. If we get all hyper anxious like “No one is doing anything about all the hell going on!” we might just lose sight of our Heavenly Father sending His only-Begotten Divine Son into this world so as to stand in our place, the Innocent for guilty, redeeming us, and, if we so choose in His grace, saving us. Our Heavenly Father has done and is doing something about it. Jesus took the place of the guilty, us, taking on the punishment we deserve for sin.

Is the beauty of this world passing away like the flower of the field, as Jesus says? Sure. But we can praise our Heavenly Father for this “first memory” of the beauty of creation (as Ratzinger in 1990 had it in Dallas) should we have a “second memory” of re-creation. That second memory – “Do this in memory of Me” – has to be first in our experience before we again begin to see, as it were, the memory of the first creation, the beauty. We have to be courageous enough to see the ugliness of the wounds inflicted upon the Divine Son of the Living God so as to see the beauty of the love of the One bearing them for us.

You see those trees in the picture above? Is there an analogy to help us see them? To be able to see them our robes, our bodies, must be washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb. We see the beauty of nature created by our loving Creator through the Blood of the Lamb.

If not, we are bound not to see any beauty, and then dump rivers of trash down the mountainsides (which can absolutely happen here in Western North Carolina). If not, we are bound not to see that we are to be tabernacles of the Holy Spirit, you know, washed clean in the Blood of the Lamb, and therefore dump rivers of trash of sin down into our souls.

Go ahead, join Jesus in anguish for the redemption of mankind and the salvation of those who want it while He prays in the agony of the garden. Go ahead and don’t fall asleep like the other apostles. Go ahead and don’t deny Jesus like Peter, or betray Him like Judas, or run away like all the other apostles. Be brave! Sure. But know this, you’ll only be able to do that, you’ll only be able to come back as did John to stand next to the Cross, next to Jesus’ good mom, if you yourself are the simplest (in a good sense), smallest child of God able to thank God with joy for His gracious creation.

Can you see some good in the murderous druggy criminal? No? Then you don’t get it. What we are to see in everyone is that God has loved us while we were yet sinners so as to get us out of that state and bring us to be His good children, looking to Him in humble and joyful thanksgiving. None of us are better than anyone else. We all fall short of the glory of God as Saint Paul says. We are have needed to be cleansed in the Blood of the Lamb. None of us has anything to brag about regarding our own salvation. Jesus is the One. He’s the only One.

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Filed under Mercy, Missionaries of Mercy, Nature

Keto-ing Police Chaplain Pope Francis Saint Thomas More Prayer!

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One of the ladies in my parish gave me this prayer card yesterday. She knows that:

  • I’m a Missionary of Mercy of Pope Francis
  • I’m doing up the Keto diet
  • I’m always talking about simplicity of soul (purity of heart and agility of soul)
  • I’m a police chaplain and have my sights on evil more than I ever did
  • I’m obstructed by “I” if I look to myself for strength
  • I only have a sense of good humor and can take a joke and can discover a bit of joy and share it with others when I know that Jesus is the One, the only One.

Thanks, Thomas.

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Filed under Missionaries of Mercy, Pope Francis, Prayer, Saints

Second Amendment vs COEXIST?!

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I had some business to take care of at the now internationally famous Cherokee Guns in favor of the coexistence of my ballistic vest and a compatible holster.

It’s the provocative advertising that Cherokee Guns often indulges in that has caught the attention of the MSM worldwide. Their input at the top of the picture above is rather low-key, but it was already enough for anonymous socialists in the area to offer a response with the quotation from socialist Helen Keller.

(1) Note the hypocritical statement of these socialists. In fine print at the top of their presentation they have this to say:

“PAID FOR BY CONCERNED CITIZENS OF MURPHY”

“Citizens…” Why are they so anti-undocumented immigrants?

(2) Also, notice their use and abuse of Helen Keller, implying that she was all about smashing down all religions and points of view with homosexualist violent bullying, with “tolerance” meaning equal opportunity destruction of all truth and morality. Um… No… That’s not what Helen Keller was all about. As they scream “tolerance” they become so broadminded that they become flatheaded. I think it was the Venerable Fulton J Sheen who said something like that. There is good tolerance in the respect of people, but that doesn’t extend to any necessity of saying that error must be affirmed by those who are truthful. Also, and to the point, tolerance is NOT about letting violence take your life. Tolerance and defense of the innocent compliment each other.

(3) Now, it might seem that I’m being rather aggressive in my rhetoric, enough so that a dialogue becomes difficult. I mean, calling people names such as “hypocrite” and “flatheaded” is no way to be inviting and consensus building. But, here’s the deal: these “concerned citizens” have unilaterally redefined my religious Judeo-Christian existence through their all INtolerant lens of homosexualism, hijacking the rainbow as they do. I think that their aggressive hypocrisy should and must be pointed out to them.

 Piotr Młodożeniec, the guy who came up with spelling COEXIST with symbols, might well have a copyright not only on his own twenty year old artwork but on all would-be derived works. So instead of writing COEXIST, there’s just a jumble of symbols.

Anyway, the response of Cherokee Guns, less wordy than myself, was simply to write out – correctly I might add – the word “COEXIST” with their own symbols that are not insulting of religion and offer all people regardless of religion or not the God-given inalienable right of self-defense against the aggressive fascist intolerant violence of the socialist leftists. The possibility of self-defense does lead to coexistence. Of course, there is more to it than all that. We are to love our enemies, right? Yes. And in not letting them hurt themselves more by such inhuman intolerance is also to love them.

By the way, this post is also categorized as “Deescalation.”

Why is that, you ask?

Because truth is deescalation.

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Isn’t that Father George driving a Police Dodge Charger Pursuit V8 ?!

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No, I don’t do this on a regular basis. This was a once off as a favor because of an unrepeatable, unforeseeable circumstance. Things happen. You do what you gotta do. It is what it is. Happy to help. Any citizen would have done the same. I happened to be there.

The ballistic vest says “POLICE CHAPLAIN”. It’s Level IV multi-hit ceramic-polyethylene composite that can handle such as a 30-06 of a deer hunter, or an AK 47 7.62×39, or similarly, an AR-15 5.56×45. You do what you can do to make it home, and ask the angels to do the rest in those contingencies that might well arise more than ever these days even during the “typical” traffic stop. A direct hit with a rifle, even with a plate, even with no back-of-plate deformation, can throw your heart out of rhythm, meaning you’re basically dead unless you can get the defibrillator to work, if you have one…

The picture was not my idea. An Officer jumped at the chance as I was pulling into the parking lot. What could I do? He knew it was rather out of the ordinary. Having said all that, I think it was a great idea. The police are receiving little support from anyone right around these United States, and any show of support is, I think, just what is needed.

I’m hoping to get some narrowly focused law enforcement chaplaincy training coming up soon. People ask what Police Chaplains do, sometimes with an only lightly veiled negative attitude (which reveals a lot about the one asking, right?). Those with a positive attitude already understand and could already give a job description of a chaplain better than I could, they usually having benefited from other chaplains, say, on other front lines scattered about the globe or close to home. Some of our Law Enforcement Officers in the towns and in the county were ministers of the local churches, as was our Sheriff.

For those with a negative attitude for Police Chaplains, I think the best answer is for them to do a ride along. One of the recent ride-alongs I was honored to be on – though specifically as Chaplain – involved an operation analogous to that of a special weapons and tactics team (SWAT), which we don’t yet officially have in our fledgling department. Should people see all the terrible immediacy of life and death situations all at once, it might open some eyes. Experience often kills negativity.

Take for instance, those who are entirely anti-Second-Amendment. You have them go through a concealed carry course – not because they will ever carry a gun – but to be introduced to what it’s all about. The experience very often kills the negativity. They then see the endless background checks on every and all levels, all the fingerprinting, the large stack of papers to fill out, all the release forms, etc. It’s quite the ordeal, taking very many months until all is said and done.

I found out that I only have two or three viable fingerprints. That’s interesting.

Anyway… It’s just me, just my opinion, my ♬ feelings ♬, but sometimes I think I have waaaaay toooooo much fun as a priest, such as driving a Charger Pursuit, even if only for two or three miles. Then there’s this:

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The statement I’m trying to make with that picture is that I think that police chaplaincy is an integral part of my priesthood consistent with everything that priesthood is all about.

The gear on the vest itself consists of some helpful things, a couple of tourniquets, because when things go bad, they really go bad, a small but powerful flashlight (from 300 to well over a 1000 lumens), my phone (because it’s handier there when wearing a ballistic vest). No taser, no pepper spray, no handcuffs. But an IFAK came in the other day for use with anyone who needs it on the rounds. My EMT neighbor is going to prepare the contents of that for me. One of the courses I want to take at BLET is first-aid.

  • I’m not a law enforcement officer. No. I’m a Catholic Priest, a Pastor of a parish.
  • But I’m a priest who supports law enforcement officers. Yes.
  • I’m part of the police family, if you will.

P.S. Yes, I do wear proper liturgical vestments for Holy Mass, Adoration, Confessions. And, for those concerned with rubrics and directives and such, there are two crucifixes, one on the altar and one on the wall above the tabernacle. That’s true, and it seems to be a liturgical aberration to have two. But until we can have Mass ad orientem the priest has no visible crucifix in his line of sight if he is versus populum. Have pretty much all priests forgotten that the Last Supper is all about Calvary? Yes, they have. So, what’s up with that? So, the Church wants a crucifix where the priest can see it. So there it is. Sorry liturgical purists. Salus animarum suprema lex and all that. It is what it is until better times prevail.

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Filed under Law enforcement, Missionaries of Mercy

You have heard that it was said: “Popes come and go.” Well, so do priests.

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I haven’t been able to blog much, but that’s not because I’ve been smacked down by Pope Francis. I only say that because sometimes that’s what people think when I’ve not posted for a while. Our Lord has put many things in my path that need priestly attention.

That cut-out of Pope Francis is at a mission of the neighboring parish where I was at for a funeral the other day, a 50 mile round trip over a few serious mountain ranges. I think they got the cut-out from the Eucharistic Congress. I had the great privilege and honor of being able to sacramentally assist the gentleman who died, many times in fact. They weren’t far from Shootin’ Creek. I love that name. Anyway, he was a 4th degree K of C, as am I, and a large crowd of the Knights were there. What a wonderful family.

I miss not keeping up with the blog. Writing is a kind of exam of conscience for me, or helps me figure out things, whether daily events in my life, or philosophical, moral, religious, or political, or, coming up, some psychological questions. It’s also a way to vent, to rant, which is a good way to let off steam, but hopefully with at least a bit more reflection than if I were to keep things bottled up, and that’s doubly true for writing in my own name without a pseudonym.

Meanwhile, I greatly appreciate how the Amazon Synod turned out. There are still a lot of questions, blah blah blah, but I’ll take the good where I can find it. I think that’s part of what Pope Francis is up to. I think Saint Thomas Aquinas paved the way for such a modus agendi. It’s politically incorrect, to be sure, as the ultra-self-righteous say that even an Aquinas is absolutely to be condemned because “he shouldn’t have baptized Aristotle” [sic]. The Common Doctor’s method of taking up truth where he can find it is certainly the most reasonable way to reflect on the past, live in the present, and prepare for the future. I recall that he would dictate to his many secretaries, and while they were busy catching up, he would run off to the Blessed Sacrament Chapel only to return for another round of dictation and running off to the Blessed Sacrament. I’m thinking he set a good example for us with his piety and his academics.

I still pray for Pope Francis and ask that others do so. I believe this is our duty to be in solidarity with the Holy Father. That doesn’t mean that we agree with everything he says, but that we pray that he is personally close to God and that such be reflected in his pontificate. And that’s a good thing, right? Jesus is the One. The only One. Knowing that makes this priest a happy priest.

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Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation QUERIDA AMAZONIA of Pope Francis

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The Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation QUERIDA AMAZONIA of the Holy Father FRANCIS to the People of God and to All Persons of Good Will, of 12 February 2020, has nothing about female deacons or priests, nothing about non-celibate priests. :-)

Pope Francis: as your Missionary of Mercy, if I can make brave to speak on behalf of the entire Church, we all thank you.

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Hey! Pope Francis! Priestly celibacy is doctrinal and necessary for the Church

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There are rumors!

  • There are rumors that Pope Francis is going to publish the Amazon Synod “document” or throw-away “dialogue point” this Wednesday, February 12, 2020.
  • There are rumors that priestly celibacy will be thrown away.

If that’s what you intend Pope Francis, you have in that case certainly been coprophagic. Too bad, that. Let me instruct you.

  • We were created male and female, for marriage and the family, as the image of God.
  • We lost that in original sin. To redeem us from that Jesus would marry His bride, the Church, with His wedding vows at the Last Supper: “This is my Body given for you in sacrifice, this is the chalice of my Blood poured out for you in sacrifice.” Those vows are connected to His sacrifice on the Cross: He stood in our place, the Innocent for the guilty, He therefore having the right in His own justice to make us one with Himself, He the Head of the Body, we the members of the Body.
  • The priest repeats those consecrations in Persona Christi. The priest is married to the Bride of Christ, the Church, by the wedding vows he recites in the first person singular at the wedding banquet of the Lamb, the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
  • As it says in the Scriptures, we priests are to be married but once. That “one time” refers to the Bride of Christ, the Church.
  • If the priest was already married, say, Saint Peter, then the Church provably, demonstrably, inescapably understood this to be a Josephite marriage (in which Saint Joseph was entirely chaste in regard to the Blessed Virgin Mary, who continued to be a virgin). This is evident in the Councils to follow in those early centuries.
  • To disregard this marriage of Christ so as to have married men in the Amazon and then around the world who are not living a Josephite marriage just so that they can say Mass but not hear Confessions is to disregard the redemption of the image of God in us by way of Christ’s marriage with His Bride, the Church. It is to disregard Calvary. It is to disregard original sin and personal sin. It is to say that Christ is useless and did nothing for us at the Last Supper and upon the Cross. It is to say that Christ is a damn fool.
  • Moreover, the priesthood must therefore be male. A woman-priest would be the symbol of transgenderism and of lesbianism, a woman married to the Bride of Christ. How sick is that?

Is that what you really want, Pope Francis?

  • Speak to us instead about the redemption of the image of God in us, about the redemption of marriage and the family by way the Last Supper and Calvary.
  • Speak to us instead about who priests really are as they offer the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, as they forgive sin of those who are repentant.
  • Speak to us not of your own personal version of a Jesus who has zero power to sanctify people, making all lost hope, throwing them into despair, but speak to us instead of the Divine Son of the Living God, immortal, holy, who can bring us to a love which is consonant with truth, and to a morality which is the splendor of the truth, you know, the Veritatis splendor.

I hope you are not offended by my making brave to say such things, but it is out of love for you. You are the Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter, the Vicar of Christ.

I am not your “yes man.” I am not your sycophant. I am your good servant, but God’s first.

Stop scandalizing the entire Church and the entire world. We want a holy Holy Father.

Just to say, it is when priests do not know that they are married to the Church that all problems start. When marriage is not open to life, it tends to be sex tending to death. If it’s just sex, then the door is open to homosexuality. If priests don’t even know they are married, and are therefore not open to the forgiveness of sin, and have no hope of anything about redemption and salvation, they turn to sin. Look at the history of it, since the rejection of Human vitae on late July, 1968. Get it? Wake up!

The worst case scenario: After getting rid of priestly celibacy, the worst case scenario would be that executive power in the Roman Curia would be reserved only to the Pope, who can only handle a case or two a day, so that all other cases of that which would have involved Rome now will be dealt with only by the local bishop. In that case all hell will break out. Zero governance. Zero discipline. Good priests will be assigned to nothing, then lose their salary, then lose their insurance, then be dismissed from the clerical state as useless creatures who only offer liability. You know the drill: pro bono ecclesiae.

Oh. I forgot. Pope Francis already promised long ago to take away executive power from the Roman Curia just after finishing publishing the “document” of the Amazon Synod.

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Missionaries of Mercy can face the most hateful cynicism of all

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Here’s the deal: We can’t defend ourselves from the nay-sayers, except to say that the special faculties that we’ve been given by Pope Francis are exceptionally useful for the greater glory and honor of God. And that’s what we all want, right? The nay-sayers, it seems with incredible malice, want to bait the Missionaries into saying when and where these faculties were used, how many times, what for, and all the unrepeatable circumstances of individuals so accurately that they know who it is who rejoiced in the mercy of our Lord Jesus, as if these nay-sayers could judge He who Himself will come to judge the living and the dead and the world by fire, including themselves.

But facing such as this is also what it means to go into the darkest of existential peripheries, rejoicing that the mercy of the Lord endures forever, and is much stronger than our own weakness, stronger than any darkness, stronger than death, strong enough to carry us by that grace which, St Paul says, will turn to glory in heaven.

What the Holy See was looking at in the stat pictured above.

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This priest’s “Day Off”: Helping serve warrants in Andrews NC

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On my way back from three states away, having slain The Tail of the Dragon, and having done an exorcism for real, I got a call from Andrews, PD:

  • “Can you get to the PD by 7:00 PM? You’re our chaplain, and we want you to do a prayer with us before we do a raid on the drug house du jour, and then come along for the experience.”
  • “Sure, I’m just crossing state lines (still a couple of states away), but I should be able to get home, feed the dogs, put on my ballistic vest, and get up to the PD by 6:55 PM. See you then.”

And that’s how it worked out, to the second. The prayer was about serving those in the community, and about getting back safe and sound with life and limb. This was a first time to participate in a raid. And right near the rectory, and across the street from the town grade school. Here’s just part of the haul, with test kits verifying some substances:

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Of course, everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I’m not sayin’ nothin’ ’bout nothin’ no-how, not ever. No. Some were transported down to the jail. Some walked. Some, well, we will see. Everyone gets their day in court.

What I will say is that our PD is doing a great job serving the community. The point isn’t just about the law. This is about serving the community, particularly the grade school kids, keeping them safe, but also about those otherwise involved, giving them also a chance to start anew. Sometimes this is a way that also God permits for people to get tripped while they are running in the wrong direction in life. So, that’s great.

And mind you, these guys in the PD do this as a regular course of affairs, but this is perhaps the most dangerous thing any officer can ever do, breaking down a door and clearing a house while arresting and cuffing. Those inside are immediately filled with adrenaline, making them more unpredictable than ever. And any drugs often mean weapons. Just to say, there were two sets of  nunchuks right at hand and a nunchaku guy who knew how to use them to great effect.

What’s the part of a chaplain in all this? To witness the event. To be available to the alleged perps when they’re squared away (yes, that’s very important). To be available for situational awareness in a way that now ultra-distracted officers cannot be. For instance, who, if escaping the house as the raid goes on (there can be way too many to control)… who is jumping through windows and side-doors and through hatches in the floor…), and who is running where, and their descriptions. It’s also to see if anyone comes to the house to disrupt police activity. In this case, one car kept driving by continuously. It’s a thing with me to notice cars and licence plates. Like a hobby. That became important enough for that driver to be stopped and questioned by two of the officers. It’s also to watch over items that walkers-by could grab when contingencies get out of hand, tampering with evidence, or opportunistically stealing what greedy eyes beckon them to steal.

I recall a ride-along the other week in which we did the second most dangerous thing an officer can do, which is to do a “typical” traffic stop. The second we stopped the guy, friends of that guy came from nowhere, walking from across a lawn (in the direction of a drug house), from across a field (in the direction of favorite stash niches), and two more from another drug house, and with also – immediately – two trucks blocking the road by the one drug house, and another truck blocking the road on the other side near another drug house. That’s a bit weird. No violence ensued, but that was also perhaps because a second person was with the officer, chaplain or no chaplain.

These days, everyone thinks they are entitled to interfere with police activity, ganging up on the police. This is extremely unsafe for all involved. Contingencies were getting out of hand. I was happy to have the back of the officer, who, I’m also very happy to say, is simply the best at deescalation that I’ve ever come across. All was well.

The day started with the alarm going off at 1:00 AM. Then Mass was offered in the rectory chapel, this time in French. I was tuckered out by the time the Tail of the Dragon and the exorcism and the warrant serving was all done at about 9:30 PM. I have to confess I did not go along to the jail for the delivery of those in cuffs. It probably would have been 1:00 AM again before hitting the hay. So, having been absolved from that, I went back to the rectory and crashed, totally.

All on the “Day Off.” I’m thinking we priests shouldn’t be criticized so much for taking a “Day Off.” I love a “Day Off.”

That’s me. But the experience was slightly different for one of the officers, who was injured, not seriously, but perhaps really seriously, cutting himself with “sharps” that were used by one of those inside. He must have hit a small vein or artery as the blood was flowing quite freely. That sharps were involved could be really serious. That’s something also faced by officers day-in, day-out, as with nurses in hospitals, EMTs, et al.

I must say that I was quite taken by their concern for each other with the various first aid kits flying open, and at the same time how they took this in stride. They are well aware of the sacrifice they might have to make at any time. That says a lot. Truly.

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“Day Off” Exorcism: Slaying Dragons

Saint Michael Vatican City Jail Police Intel HQ

The main activity of the “Day Off” was taken up with an exorcism, the concluding of an exorcism.

A few take-away points:

  • Satan and his minions are great a mind-games. The demon in this case was particularly astute. Brilliant, really. But lacking in wisdom. Satan and his minions frustrate themselves because although they are the most clever of all creatures before their fall from being good angels after creation, they are now entirely lacking in wisdom after their fall, and so continue to do things that will make them frustrate themselves. No human being alone could win such mind games. But we have Jesus, who is God, who is Love. And love cuts through mind games.  If one simply refers to Jesus, that Jesus is the One, the only One, it’s a sure path to victory.
  • The session was very prayerful, as are all exorcisms done properly. You don’t want chaos and excitability, just those with you who are well-balanced and who are discreet and are believers and can pray and assist in whatever manner.
  • The delivery was entirely wonderful in thanksgiving to Jesus who powerfully manifested His presence.
  • The admonition from Jesus came to mind:
    • “Do not rejoice because the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:20)

On that last point we have to recognize that our Lord use’s irony as a major weapon against Satan. Jesus is the One who confronts Satan on Calvary. Jesus is our Warrior. The rest of us, the apostles and bishops and priests – all of us – we have all followed Satan and been subject to Satan – in original sin and personal sin – and have all crucified the Son of the Living God. Who are we, then, to command Satan to depart? In other words, Jesus has us lowly priests, sinful priests, nothing priests, but His priests, command Satan for the sake of irony, extremely crushing irony, unbearable irony, infuriating irony, irony that makes Satan and his minions writhe in their writhingness with intellectual and spiritual frustration for eternity.

Some weirdnesses about this exorcism for this young person who was accompanied by her parents, by parish staff, by friends and parish clergy, all with, of course, the express mandate of the local bishop:

  • Asking questions or giving commands in Hebrew received an immediate response appropriate to the question or command.
  • A very peculiar date and time was given, very significant to me but unknown to all, was provided. I hate that, because it’s burned in my mind and I’m bound to remember it when it comes around. But this is also a mind game. One is never to pay attention to such things. The devil is a liar and murderer from the beginning, as our Lord says. Everything he says is a lie, even if true on some level, as it couched in such a way as to mislead.

Finally, the end result was great, great joy, restful peace, for all, for the young person, for the parents, for the friends and helpers, for the clergy. Jesus was thanked. Only He is the One. Only He is the only One.

P.S. Just to say, the painting up top of this post, of Saint Michael smashing down Satan, comes from my own smart-phone camera when I was there, in that interrogation room of the head of security for Vatican City State. Yes, there’s a good story there. The question is, why did I put that painting at the top of this post?

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Oh deer! Reason #289076092873490857 why this priest visits the sick and dying

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Even if priests have hundreds on their sick and dying lists, they should personally visit all of them. “EMsHC” cannot cannot cannot provide the sacraments of say, Confession and Anointing.

That’s reason number one for priests to do this. Aren’t priests supposed to be fathers of their parish families? Yes.

Reason #289076092873490857 for why I visit all the sick and dying is that, in this paradise of a parish in the heart of Appalachia, I rejoice to see lots of nature while I am out and about going from county to county, taking Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament with me. There are the mountains and rivers and beasts of all kinds. Who wants to sit in an office all day?

There were actually five deer in this group. The picture is taken from the front porch of one of my home-bound. They stopped to listen to our conversation about them.

Today will be interesting. Sassy the Subaru will see some hundreds of miles, twice. A Mission of Mercy. A Hail Mary please.

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Grey, the new black: New Evangelization, the New Proselytizing. Pfft. I love Jesus.

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A reader writes:

“When you have time, would you please explain what the New Evangelisation is? I hear/read the term a lot. Pope Francis has said on various occasions that Catholics are not to proselytise (not to convert people to the Catholic Faith) but I thought evangelisation (sharing the Gospel) involves proselytising. Hence, I am confused. Am I misunderstanding the terms “to proselytise” and “to evangelise” or is the “New Evangelisation” something different?”

Saint Pope John Paul II continuously used the phrase “New Evangelization” from the very beginning and throughout his pontificate. Benedict XVI followed suit. As did Francis. What they all mean exactly has been the subject of doctoral dissertations. I have to wonder if any of them actually settled on any kind of accurate description. But none of that matters. It’s how it’s used today, right now. And I have no idea what it’s all about.

Obviously, it’s all purposely unclear when no one defines the terms while causing world-class confusion and ambiguity and obfuscation and rancor and division and dissension on a continuous basis in the face of grave objections from basically everyone on the face of the earth. Since you can make of such confusion and ambiguity and obfuscation whatever you want, in the end it doesn’t mean anything at all. It’s just a tool for those considering themselves to be clever to bully others. And therefore it is to be ignored. There is nothing reasonable that one can do with… nothing. And whatever you do, don’t try to understand error as error is unreasonable by definition, and therefore cannot be understood.

On the one hand, maybe Pope Francis is simply calling to mind the admonition of Jesus:

  • “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for you traverse sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.” (Matthew 23:15)

On the other hand, maybe Pope Francis really hates the idea that anyone would get to know and love Jesus, Christ our God, our Savior, Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception.

I don’t know. He’s not clear. And, yes, that’s really annoying. For about 10 seconds. Then I get over it by ignoring it, because nothing means… well… nothing.

Meanwhile, for my part, in the worst case scenario, even if I were to be dismissed from the clerical state and excommunicated because of my wanting to share my love for Jesus (call that proselytizing or evangelizing or being just plain friendly), I will still share my love for Jesus in any way I can.

It is Jesus’ love which is stronger than all things, even death, bringing us to heaven.

It’s all so sad, I’ll grant you that. However, we are to be joyful in speaking of Christ’s good friendship. And if there are those who object of whatever class or rank, let them do their thing. For my part, I will continue to love Jesus and introduce others to Jesus.

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Dear Pope Francis: *Noli timere!* Missionaries of Mercy of USA rejoice

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Many others wanted to come but logistics were made difficult for them because of last minute scheduling due to the delay of the international meeting in Rome this year. So, this was our first national meeting, but in future we voted to include the few Missionaries of Mercy that there are in Canada.

Just some random thoughts, not in any particular order:

This was a get-together that was most encouraging, most inspiring. The priests were wonderful. Honestly, I learned a great deal about the desires of Pope Francis for the Missionaries of Mercy. In presenting the thoughts of our break-away session group to the gathering at large, I was able to phrase things in such a way about the desire of Pope Francis that quite the round of applause was made in agreement. This was most heartening.

Also, I was able to make and renew friendships. This was much different than the international meeting, which has its own character and purpose, what with being ad limina Apostolorum, but this national meeting was much more personal, much more – how to say? – allowing much greater freedom of expression. Those who made presentations were most animated, passionate, highly expert in the fields in which they have dedicated themselves to be Papal Missionaries of Mercy.

There was, in fact, some indications of the desire to add the appellation Papal to the title “Missionaries of Mercy.” Indeed, our local Vicar Forane in this Diocese, heavily into his Canon Law studies, not a Missionary of Mercy, says that the closest thing in Canon Law that might describe our place in the Church is Papal Legate. This would have to do with the special faculties for absolution. However, there were some who were into international aspects of going out into the peripheries which caught my attention, having me immediately think of analogies for other types of ministry much needed in the Church and which would benefit from this Papal freedom to go out to those in need more easily. I will attempt to follow up on this bit of thinking outside the box, something I think Pope Francis would not only allow but encourage.

There was time for networking. One priest in particular who is well known to and highly respected by Father Gordon MacRae let me know some of the finer points of international law, speaking with the highest authority. A revelation. He was able to answer questions which I’ve had for very many years. Great!

I cannot emphasize enough that I was entirely surprised by joy, by truth, by a deeper introduction to the very Heart of our Lord by the Bishop from the New Evangelization. He made many interventions, took down our suggestions – one of which, from yours truly, he will provide to the Holy Father in a few days from now (though he wants me to provide my suggestion also in written form that he might send this along in different ways (also useful in the Holy See, he said). He also provided a conference (rather technical, as might be expected) and then a more at ease homily (which I am most happy to say was surely the best homily that I have heard, by far, without comparison, on the new evangelization, using the example of Saint Marianne of Molokai (January 23, 1838 – August 9, 1918), the great friend of Saint Damian the Leper. This homily was so stunningly beautiful, simple, profound, far reaching, spiritual, that is, pointing to the Lord Jesus through one of Jesus’ saints, that I rejoiced in that… [well, you get the point…]

We all very much hoped that we would have another such encounter, perhaps in the year following the international get together planned now for 2021 in the Vatican.

There are certain presentations – captured on video – that I think would be great for the Church at large to hear, but they were most personal, and it just wouldn’t be right for me to share them.

In sum, I think these days were very good for me, healing, really. So, very happy.

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Keto Day 55: 1 step forward 6 steps back, good fats, bad fats, falling down

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The Day Off this week was extended by three days. It was inconvenient to bring or find Keto-esque food. Once I got a Keto friendly lunch (the meat and cheese platter), other times I was content to devour just one item on the menu that I could find. The problem was the calories (way too many) and not being able to measure anything over against any macros.

In three days I gained three pounds, going from 226.6 to 229.6. So, that’s six steps back as I normally lose on average of just over a half pound a day on Keto. But – Hey! – back home and back to the Keto routine fully, always, mind you, staying in Ketosis.

This is the reason I don’t like to accept even Keto food from others as I don’t know the values (precisely!!!) and even if I did, I might well exceed my macros with that gift, with carbs enough to knock one to a carb metabolism. Not good. This is the one draw back of Keto. But sometimes you have to take a hit for the team. This was the case during these three days.

Now, someone mentioned that there are good fats and bad fats. I know some good fats:

  • Avocado
  • Olives and olive oil
  • Fat from seeds such as flax and chia

But is good fat also to be had from:

  • full fat non-sugar yogurt, butter, cheese
  • pork sausage, pork brats, bacon

I’ve been told that there are bad fats, besides McDonald’s deep fry oil, such as:

  • hamburger fat

Some questions, then:

  • Is all of that true?
  • Are these few points on the lists above correct?
  • Should some be moved?
  • What are others to pursue or avoid?

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Drinking to Mercy is not Drinking the Kool-Aid

On the evening of the Day Off we got a good talking to by Bishop Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst.

The other presentations to date have been absolutely fantastic, all of them taken with Jesus. He’s the One. He’s the only One.

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