Wild turkeys. Mmm. Good. Thanksgiving is coming up. They were next to a Communion Call in the back ridges of these Smoky Mountains. Hey, in that picture up top there’s a Congressman Davy-Crockett-shot, one bird behind the other: you use only one bullet to get both. I like that in these days of no ammo.
Then, in the back yard of the rectory. Sorry, the phone camera ain’t all that good. A woodpecker of sorts. I don’t know what kind. Obviously not the one that just went extinct. I can’t find it anywhere in google images. Perhaps you know? He’d be a good snack as well.
Meanwhile, because of recent events in these last couple of years, I’ve been pondering Matthew 24:28 — “Wherever the corpse may be, there will the vultures be gathered.”
Here in these parts, what I call a “thuggery of vultures” is called a “kettle”, you know, for how they fly in vortexed circles. Here’s some pictures over the years here, again from a fuzzy phone camera:
Eating a vulture wouldn’t be my first go-to for game-foul. But, they’d make a good meal or two for sure.
Crazy, right? How could anyone think like that? Eating birds that aren’t chicken or duck or ruffed grouse or or pheasant under glass?
Here’s the deal: Events over the last couple of years have had me mulling over Daniel 7 and Daniel 12, Matthew 24 and Apocalypse 12… Ain’t easy. Mull… mull… mull…
Meanwhile, I listened to this homily by the great Father Kirby from just now:
Father Kirby’s not wrong on all that. No sir-eee.
It’s all so crazy the times we’re in. All so crazy. Meanwhile, I’m preparing a post on apocalyptic stuff.
Meanwhile again… Don’t get eaten by the vultures. You eat the vultures. They taste just like apocalyptic chicken. I think that an essential part of the recipe is preparation over an open flame fire as their horrid diet means you kinda have to carbonize them a bit. :-)
I’m guessing that this guy is a good 4 centimeters, just over 1.5 inches long. He didn’t let me get too close, but I swear I saw the bits pictured at the center bottom of the chart below, the pigeon tremex character. The markings, however, are not similar. But I’m in Western North Carolina, in the Smoky Mountains, not in Washington State. The center white dot is a reflection of the sun on the hard shell.
I’m always, always fascinated by the good creation of our Good Creator. And that doesn’t make me an ecoterrorist, or a green-party wild man, but rather one who sees the Creator also through His Creation.
Saint Paul in his epistle to the Romans, the famous chapter one, and then chapter two, speaks of this for us. Read it!
Meanwhile, here in Western North Carolina, in the back ridges of Appalachia, it’s a paradise: praise God!
Some don’t seem to see it at all, trashing up everything everywhere, shooting up heroin, taking meth and Fentanyl, beating on each other – even decapitations – loving the power of cynicism.
But many do see, as it were, God through His Creation, bringing to the fore the living memory of the first creation only through the living memory of the second creation: “Do this in memory of me…”
Once we have the second, we can get to the first, but then realize that it’s all even better:
O felix culpa quae talem et tantum meruit habere redemptorem.
O happy fault which merited such a great Redeemer.
Want a good read of just a few pages? Try Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s address to the USCCB in 1991:
All these nurses et alii, because they are fired, will have no pay, no insurance. The hospital is Presbyterian. But don’t blame the Presbies. Here in Andrews, NC, the Presbies are like those who just now have been fired; they’ve remained open since the beginning, just like the little Catholic church in Andrews, NC.
The reason for the firings doesn’t have anything to do with any fear of any Faucian Chinese Communist Party virus, but rather the OSHA administered $14,000 per incident fine coming down upon those companies with more than 100 employees, or coming down upon those self-employed contractors with companies with more than 100 employees, that is, including all un-vaxed (arch)diocesan priests working for any (arch)diocese in these USA, that is, all ministers and preachermen right across the country.
But the new “reconciliation” bill for which Joe Manchin refuses to vote at the moment, states, on page 168, that the fine is not going to be $14,000, but rather a fine of $700,000 per un-vaxed person. Get that? In fact, the explicitly stated intention is to bankrupt all institutions who let un-vaxed workers work.
So, I mean, like, what weak (arch)bishop is going to retain even one priest who is un-vaxed? Not one, is the answer. Instead, those weak (arch)bishops are tougher than the Federal government dares to be, giving the green light to the government to be even more draconian. The Feds provide options of religious exemptions and weekly testing. Do the weak (arch)bishops do that? No. In fact, they are angry at the Federal government for embarrassing them about options the weak (arch)bishops refuse to tolerate.
Oh, a GREAT summary by Tucker about all this:
“But Father George! Father George! You and that Tucker guy are so dramatic! Get real! You know very well, Father George, that there is almost no (arch)bishop or (arch)diocesan priest in this world who is un-vaxed, and so… what are you talking about?! There will be no fines, because all those guys are vaxed, like twice, and, like, with three or four booster shots, daily booster shots, intravenous boosters that they walk around with on rolling intravenous poles you can get on Amazon for $35 bucks, really nice, you know, to set, like, a good example! You know that, Father George! You’re being misleading! You’re scaring people into thinking that churches will be shut down! You know that’s not true, Father George! You’re an ol’ meanie! You should be stopped, Father George!”
Meanwhile, wards and hospitals are shutting down. Meanwhile, priests are being forbidden to provide the sacraments in (arch)diocese after (arch)diocese. It’s not Jesus and His Little Flock but rather money that is “PRECIOUS” –
I don’t want to turn into that. But I daily see (arch)bishops and their priests turn into.. that… They lust for that, envy that, wanna be Gollum at his worst, which they think is the best for anyone.
It’s like a priest who told me flat out that he would abandon the flock to serve the Lord another day, because that’s the smart thing to do. He’ll be able to advance over the corpses of his brothers. But anyone who plays the mercenary for the sake of being a shepherd will always be the mercenary and never a shepherd. That priest is not an outlier. They are most common today.
Here’s a video, an analogy, on the brutality of wolves who don’t bother to hide themselves with sheep’s clothing, but just outright attack the Lord’s Little Flock in front of God and the whole world, dramatically playing up fearsomeness for the lights and camera, which they pay for, because they are proud of what they do in attacking the Lord’s Little Flock. How brave! Wolves attacking sheep! Such leaders! Such heroes! “We’re happy there are pro-life people, but we’ll move forward with vaccines anyways!”
Meanwhile, please God, this priest, yours truly, will not get vaxed, and will protect the least of the brethren in the womb, the least of the Lord’s Little Flock. Dear Jesus, please make it so. Please make it that there will be plenty of (arch)diocesan priests and (arch)bishops and Cardinals and upwards with whom I will be able to join, those who protect, who are not mercenaries, but who are true shepherds. Meanwhile, I rejoice in this scene and the words of the Magnificat which have special incisiveness in our days:
“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant. From now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me—holy is his name. His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation. He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, remembering to be merciful to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he promised our ancestors.”
I never really heard those words in the lyrics of Toto-Africa before, from 1’54” to 2’04”, just 10 seconds…
“I know I must do what’s right, sure as Kilimanjaro rises like a leprous above the Serengeti.”
If you didn’t know, leprosy turns any skin tone albino, white as snow, or foaming-at-the-mouth-vomit…
This song came out in 1982, with the video in 1983. I was already lost in studies in Rome, Italy, for years, and knew nothing of any songs outside of “Resta con noi…” or “Tu scendi dalle stelle…” Yesterday, YouTube suggested that I needed to hear Toto’s Africa. I had heard it previously, in more recent decades, but long enough ago that I was coming back to it fresh. That helps one to notice that which one might not have been ready to hear. This happens all the time, of course, in reading Sacred Scripture, the writings of the saints…
We live in dark times when those who have the pretense to enforce power perverted to evil attack those who simply want to “do what’s right” like Toto’s Africa says. “Doing what’s right” singles that person out, makes that person a target.
Kilimanjaro raises itself in peaceful pristine goodness above the always dramatic Serengeti, making itself a target, first of all for mockery. Because of the snow in the upward reaches, it’s called “leprous”, to be avoided, unclean, a blight on the rest of, you know, surely virtuous and ever so self-righteous humanity which remains down below in all politically correct sycophantry, that which sees any “doing what’s right” as evil self-righteousness that cannot be tolerated.
Such a person who “must do what’s right” has, however, first of all been convicted of any lack of righteousness in his life and is pushed by that which is good and holy to “do what’s right.”
And then there’s the pile-on by all those who are nervous with all that which is good and holy. They see another weak person like themselves but now “doing what’s right” as an incrimination of their evil. They must go on the attack.
The favorite thing in all the world is to climb Kilimanjaro, rising above the Serengeti, only to vomit all over Kilimanjaro for lack of oxygen at its 19,341 feet up into the atmosphere. You think that’s snow flowing down from the top? Bwahahaha. Think again.
This is what any knucklehead priest who is convicted of his own lack of righteousness and now “must do what’s right” has to look forward to enduring. But, no matter, he goes ahead and “does what’s right” anyway, come what may. But that’s Jesus upon whom people vomit. Otherwise they wouldn’t bother.
Meanwhile, being Kilimanjaro, one has a view no one can take away of the vast sea of humanity being drawn toward it as by a magnet, a tractor-beam. It is a view one has when, after being dragged across hell, across Calvary, one finds oneself to be crucified up high with Christ Jesus, in solidarity with Him as He is in solidarity with us. Jesus said: “When I am lifted up [on the Cross] I will draw all to myself.” He is vomited upon, spit on. But it is a view up high that one cannot abandon, seeing all of humanity dragged across hell, despite itself, to be in reverence, in humble thanksgiving, finally, before the very Son of the Living God.
There are those who say that they will have a question for God if they make it to heaven, such as what’s the deal with wood-ticks and mosquitoes and wasps and hornets and yellow jackets. Myopic. And not recognizing the perfect ecosystems which we go about destroying. Mostly, it’s just not having a bit of humility, not wanting to open one’s eyes and be directed to the Creator by His Creation.
Meanwhile, this bit of stinging horror pictured above is just under the eves of the carport, just where I open the car door, so that when I stand up, all in black, these beasties think they are under attack, just inches away. I often feel them smashing into the “baseball” cap I wear. It’s their favorite spot no matter what I do, year after year. I’m allergic to such critters, a hereditary condition. Sorry, but I got out the ol’ wasp spray.
People say that Saint Francis wouldn’t like harming such innocent creatures, but that’s only because of the myths that have grown up around Saint Francis. No wimp, flowers in the hair hippie he, no, no, no. Go ahead, read the rule for his fledgling community that he wrote. Remember, he was deacon, and had courses in the law of the Church such as it was at the time. He is precise. He wants his friars in heaven. He wants them to be crucified to themselves and the world so as to live for Christ Jesus.
“But Father George, you’re talking about being crucified to yourself and to the world and you’re afraid of a little sting? Bwahahahahahahaha!”
I know. I know. But it’s just that a little sting could do me in right quick.
“But Father George, you used to have bee hives!”
Well, I never said I was always prudent in having no fear of anything. And these beasties are different than bees.
Our Lord says that we will have no questions when we enter, please God, into heaven. But I insist that I will have a question, but it will be merely rhetorical. When something bad happens to us here on earth, we tend to ask, perhaps with some bitterness: “Why is it always me?”
When we enter, please God, into heaven, it seems to me that we will be so thankful and so awestruck at the love and goodness and kindness of the Lord, that we will ask the same thing: “Why me, Lord? I am a useless servant who only did what he had to do.”
And you know what that is? Going to Confession. Oooo! That stung, didn’t it? ;-) But don’t be afraid of a little sting. The happiness of the grace of absolution, just so wonderful.
Whenever I put up a picture of a snake and say it’s a Timber Rattler (common here in Western North Carolina, especially on the road where I was) there are those who say that that’s impossible, a conspiracy theory, an exaggeration, just more unnecessary drama, all in a laudatory effort, methinks – PLOT TWIST – to normalize the presence of rattlers (which, to be sure, I love to see around as well). I don’t want to step on them. But I also don’t want to run over them. I love to see nature in full force.
The fake nay-sayers will say that surely I didn’t see the tell-tale pattern, or if I did, it was merely being sported by an immature Eastern Racer (Black Snake) or some such.
Then they’ll that surely I wasn’t close enough to see if it had a triangular head, you know, like this:
But then, still pretending to doubt my insistence, will say that is surely didn’t have an actual rattle, and add that some snakes can shake their tails with no rattles and make them kind of sound like rattles (true!). But, then there is this:
Now what? Baiting someone to think that this is not a Timber Rattler and so is therefore great for using in a humorous selfie like this?
[In the picture immediately above, that IS a Black Snake. But Father George is wearing a black shirt…]But what happens then – and this is the purposed intention of those deceitfully shrieking about conspiracy theories and exaggerations – what happens then is that I’ll pick up what is really a Timber Rattler and I’ll get bit by that serpent and die. [In speaking with Father Gordon this morning, he quipped that “it is unclear who was about to bite whom.” Hahaha. :-) I walked or rather slithered right into this. :-) ]
“Father George! Father George! You’re exaggerating! You’re a conspiracy theorist! You’re melodramatic! Stop saying that Covid-19 vaccines are taken from living organs of human beings (aborted alive for this reason), because, you know, that means that you, Father George, are taking away our good feelings for getting Covid-19 vaccines! You meanie! You old meanie! Those were miscarriages taken out of dumpsters and, you know, stuff like that! Father George, you’re like that old Serpent, the ancient dragon and Satan, lying about doctrine and morality like you do. Father George, there is no sin, there is no Savior, there is no heaven, no hell, and therefore no Satan, no ancient serpent!”
And these people bait even the elect to fall into sin, getting bit by the demonic rebellion against the Living Truth that the Divine Son of the Immaculate Conception is.
There’s never been even one instance of macroevolution proven.
There’s plenty of microevolution. I had freckles as a kid. But despite what Planned Parenthood says, I wasn’t a salamander in the womb.
And more than that, Redemption and, please God, Salvation, makes it possible for us to carry within us by created grace, sanctifying grace, the Most Holy Trinity. That ain’t happenin’ with other creatures even though created by… wait for it… our Creator. We are to be Tabernacles of the Holy Spirit with that fiery Love. God is Truth. God is Love.
We are, in fact, creatures with free will and all mankind is fallen. I mean, let’s take a look at how reasonable, how scientific we are:
That looks well organized, thoughtful, surely a factory putting means of production into action out of love of God and neighbor… Shock! Nur Arbeit macht Frei. What’s that mean? Freedom? …
This was all so very scientific! scientific! scientific! just moving evolution along with eugenics! And human mothers only have salamanders in the womb! Margaret Sanger a sycophant of Hitler, literally. Perhaps it is possible that with any scientific theory, there may be some self-serving politics afoot, so that science in that case is not science, but an abuse of science by butt-hurt emotions, you know, the entitlement to be smahht, you know, not dumb.
Obviously, I’m baiting people to go on a treasure hunt for Peking Man! There’s even a treasure map: 39°55′4″N 119°34′0″E. I mean, who was that Marxist poet Jesuit guy who fancied himself as an impressive scientist, paleontologist (ooo! a multisyllabic word!), theologian and, of course, philosopher? Oh yes! Pierre Teilhard de Chardin. Now there’s a trustworthy guy! Sigh.
I’ve not said one thing about what side of evolution I tend to think answers more questions more consistently in the most simple manner against critics coming from all sides, that is, with the least possibility that we are reading premises into where they must not be or extracting premises from where they must be.
What I did say is that pro-death idiocy is butt-hurt emotional greed, making us, as Chesterton has it in, if I remember correctly, The Everlasting Man, less reasonable than the animals, products of our fallen human nature.
One gentleman of Princeton fame chimed in with an article about Ratz from a guy in Vienna (with whom I first had a sit-down way back in the 1990s in Rome), an article which sports this citation:
I couldn’t agree more with those very well chosen words. They are, in fact, exactly what I was expressing in my original post up top. Logically, they mean almost nothing. It’s just baiting for more thought about it all.
In thinking about this, let’s try to limit discussion as to whether faith can purify reason. ;-)
Whilst straightening out the curves and flattening the backside blue ridges of the Appalachian Communion Call routes, Sassy the Subaru had to have her new brakes tested so as not to run over an all too calm Sandhill Moonshiner Crane. He just stood in the middle of the road, eyeing Sassy screech up to this sudden standoff, just barely nervous enough to bat open and shut his six and a half foot wingspan a couple of times, and then ever so slowly tip-toe into some bramble cover in the neighboring field. In this picture you can’t see the head and bill and not much of the neck as he saunters to the left into natural camouflage.
Much more common than cranes on the road are turkey vultures and hawks and ravens and crows all eating the remains of road-kill. Reptiles include snapping turtles and a variety of snakes. Mammalian sightings, often in the form of road pizza, include squirrels and possums. Since there is little traffic, brakes are applied for dogs and cats, as well as, of course, for bears and deer. I’m happy to get a picture of picture of elk. I’ve not been quick enough for actual panthers (not melanistic lions), mountain lions (much heavier, stockier), a variety of lynx. Coyotes (the animal kind) and red wolves are to be seen, once a gray wolf (now also being introduced).
It’s all great therapy for the madness of today’s dark and violent world, the lies, the cover-ups, the manipulations, the power-grabbing, the….
Not everyone in this lock-down world has such opportunities to race round about creation doing Communion Calls with our Eucharistic Jesus, Creator of His beautiful creation. I share these posts for some respite with what few pictures I can get in hopes of assisting the imagination of the home-bound to take flight on the roads with Jesus and I. And it is like flight on these hilly, curvy roads…
Did I say straightening out the curves and flattening the hills? Eeeee Haaaawwww…
This guy is as big as the palm of your hand. People get scared of such large spiders which can jump you from a distance and give you a very painful bit. They are called Hunter Spiders. But this is a distraction, of course, so as not to recognize that there is another beast round about, also called Hunter. I’ve seen him on my phone as a feature news story on FoxNews. No one else much is covering that story much.
This fellow is also as big as the palm of your hand. His visage was already published in these pages. Happy he’s sticking around. Some are also scared of such beasts as they also can give you a fierce bite, like they are chomping your fingertips right off. But they are fun to watch and eat nasties. But people are afraid so that they can be distracted from other beasts who are preying on us, those politicos who want to encourage abortion and infanticide in numbers in these USA of 20,000 a week, half of those on any given Saturday alone.
It’s like the lust to find life in the universe outside of ourselves when we can’t even find life in the womb of a human mother. Sigh. People who vote for such death, letting themselves be distracted by the benevolent beasts of nature so as not to see the real beasts in the political world. I see them on my phone as well, all featured as news stories on FoxNews. Sigh.
Standing next to the American Flag in the driveway, this is best picture I could get of a magnificent Bald Eagle. Sorry it’s not clearer. But my heart thrilled to see this representation of my own patriotic spirit.
On Eagles Wings?
“You have seen for yourselves how […] I bore you up on eagle wings and brought you here to myself. (Exodus 19:4)
“They that hope in the LORD will renew their strength, they will soar as with eagles’ wings; They will run and not grow weary, walk and not grow faint.” (Isaiah 40:31)
Mama bear and baby bears headed in the direction of the hermitage, about three quarters of a mile as the bear walks, right up and down a back ridge or two.
Then there’s this guy out on the front walk of Holy Redeemer church here in Andrews. Just a baby, and despite the infancy camouflage, I think this is merely an Eastern Racer:
Then, on a Communion Call to home-bound in the time of Covid-1984, fully 16 dear. It would have been 17, but one died after getting its leg blown off last hunting season. People who have guns but who don’t know how to shoot are so very annoying. I won’t tell you where these are, except that they are within the five state area near Andrews!
Andrews, western NC, July 25, 2020. I doubt this is an American Dagger Moth, as the caterpillar – at least at this tiny stage – has no yellow fuzz at all, just smooth yellow, though with a multitude of dagger-life black spikes. It’s also sitting on a cucumber leaf, not up in various trees of its normal habitat. Maybe this is normal for the beginning stages.
Having said that, the biodiversity in WNC is immense, and the variations of the “norm” seen elsewhere are quite marked both in flora and fauna. Lots of “That’s unique!” going on here. I’m not sure if this one has both pros and cons. Some caterpillars are benign. Some inflict horrific health conditions. Some are to be especially tolerated for what they do later as moths and butterflies.
I’m no Lepidopterologist (I had to look that up…). I’m just putting this up for interest. It’s so easy to love the natural world that our dear Lord created:
“For what can be known about God is evident […], because God made it evident […]. Ever since the creation of the world, His invisible attributes of eternal power and divinity have been able to be understood and perceived in what He has made.” (Romans 1:19-20)
The Lord makes it ever so easy to walk with Him when out in the creation He created.
Meanwhile, me being me, I thought of my EDC when I saw the name “American Dagger”:
This contraption is carried on the belt on the left side, just across from the appendix-carried Glock 19. The easy snap-in holster for the knife is attached to the paddle holster for the magazines, carried semi-horizontally for the quickest possible switch imnsho. The straight blade is 2.5″, just slightly longer than the American Dagger Caterpillar when it is full grown. The knife is upside down, if you will, as my left hand – weak hand – can grab it in what is already, then, an upside-up position for the hand straight out of the holster. Perfect.
The American Dagger Moth is quite benign, just like the caterpillar. The same goes for the Glock 19 and the knife. The knife is used all day long, in gardening, in opening letters and boxes. It’s a tool just like Glock is a tool. The caterpillar has spikes, tools that are useful in defense against unjust aggression.
Speaking of that, some say with a smile: “A minister with a gun?” finding this to be curiously humorous. When I mention that I’m also the police chaplain and that 2nd amendment capacities are prudent and moral, describing some of the situations one can and does get into accompanying officers, their exclamation turns into: “A minister with a gun!”, that is, no longer with a question mark, but with quiet admiration, nodding their heads in agreement.
Mind you, I’m not a law enforcement or any kind of officer. I don’t do that. But if someone’s actively pumping bullets into an officer, it’s entirely within the purview of the 2nd amendment for a citizen, a civilian, to exercise 2nd amendment capacities to protect a victim suffering from mortal unjust aggression wherein the imminent provision of death is actively in progress. One uses the least amount of force to repel that unjust aggression, whatever that least amount happens to be. It’s the last thing you would ever want to be involved in. It is what it is in this fallen world. Lest anyone think that there is such thing as unjust aggression at all, here’s just a few minutes with the great Kayleigh McEnany:
Our Lord has created the animals with tools for their defense.
The greatest of all prophets, John the Baptist, gave advice and encouragement to the law enforcement – even of occupying forces! – so that they too might be saved, not apart from their duties, but as they carry out their duties.
Our Lord Himself does not shy away from The Battle of The War. He also has the proper tools. And… and… He is the last one standing:
A few scars to be sure in His hands and feet and side. He’s good with that. We thank Him for it. Amen.
Be the caterpillar, with great charity and goodness and kindness. But be the caterpillar. Our Lord expects it of you.
That picture was uploaded from the garden June 1, 2020. I was amazed. Gardening is an encouragement to walk with the Lord, to be a co-worker in the garden He planted, as we read way back in Genesis, the Lord desiring that we till the ground, walking with Him.
BTW, however much walking with the Lord is mocked, that walking with the Lord, such as to Emmaus, is not bad and evil. Gardening, walking with the Lord, can be a very fruitful time with the Lord during the day, in the evening, in the morning. Walking with the Lord does not necessarily imply progressivism or anything dialectical, or any kind of tolerant-of-all-mortal-sin-so-called-accompaniment”. We are to pray always. Always means always.
The Lord said that to enter into the kingdom of heaven we are to be like children. To be thankful to the Lord for His creation takes the heart of a child. In this violent drug town I’m quite sure that there are very few who see the paradise in which we live, the mountains and streams and national and state forests and stunning biodiversity.
Meanwhile, the three squarrrsh groupings have continued to grow, edging on 4 feet high and 12 feet wide:
I’m guessing they’re starting to give up as it’s now mid-July and they’ve really been pumping out the squarrrshes, requiring harvesting twice a day. If it’s your first time gardening, this is a good first plant to plant.
Meanwhile, the spaghetti squarrrshes are getting way to heavy for their own good. I’m taking the advice of hammocks for the ones which have gotten themselves into impossible situations. And, yes, those are tiny zip-ties. :-)
The 5-gallon bucket tomato plants are doing well, relatively speaking. These were grown from seeds. There were five seeds thinned out to three plants for each bucket, still too many… but now I know. If you can see them, there are seven tomatoes from this bucket at the moment. These plants are only 1/3 the size of the store-bought seedlings transplanted and given tomato cages. Here’s one of those, also seven tomatoes:
One of my gardening parishioners laughed when he found out I was taking a census of tomatoes on the plants, saying that they would soon be uncountable. It’s only mid-July and there is a tomato, an early girl, already turning color:
I know. I know. Gotta do up some weeding, which is not work, btw, if you’re “walking with the Lord.”
Besides the Squarrsh (two “Rs”) and Cucumbers and Asparagus, there are some 40 tomatoes at last count on the tomato plants, none of them anywhere near being ripe yet.
Watering and harvesting takes but a few minutes. And for me its a chance to unwind a bit, walking with the Lord in His garden, being thankful to Him. Is that a prayer as well? Yes, it is.
I recommend gardening, even inside if you have no outside space. It’s beneficial on so many levels. We were created to be co-workers with God in His creation. Adam is to “Till the ground”, as his name indicates, being the verbal form for the soil itself. It’s just right.
And if one thinks this to be superfluous in desperate times of Covid-19 insanity lockdowns, of Marxist rioting, of anti-Police defunding, on and on, such normalcy of gardening, if you will, is one of the most practical things one can do.
The most practical thing one can do is pray. Yes. Oh, Confession too.
The deer on the left has no idea that peeking out from behind a tree with one eye and one ear doesn’t hide the rest of his body. Ha ha. A lesson to learn.
This is, of course, the best parish in the world. I love bringing the Most Blessed Sacrament around to Jesus’ little flock in what is effectively now a four county area. That puts a few miles in the mountains on Sassy the Subaru, but I am supremely happy rushing about Jesus’ beautiful creation heart to Heart with the Creator Himself.
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.
This guy is paddling about on the waters of Ely Minnesota. Loon laughs can be heard for miles when the forests are dead still and the waters are reflecting that mysterious melancholic power humor: “This is my lake” coupled with “It’s time to raise a family.” I still remember individual instances of stopping my miles-long walk to and from school through forested paths along the lakes and streams and ponds and sloughs and marshes so as to listen intently to this sound shattering all pretense at having other thoughts in one’s mind and heart and soul.
Early on at the Prep School that was part of my home parish, our English prof whom we called “Slink” (O.S.B.) assigned us to write an essay. I hated this and I was disgusted at what I had written, knowing it was sterile, boring, without merit. I was not yet introduced to the fact that also I have an imagination that can draw in analogies – philosophical, theological, mathematical… – to whatever perspective I myself (who would’ve thought?) might want to envision, even putting all that into a story line.
After all was said and done, a friend let me read his essay. It was on loons calling in the quiet early morning shadows of the mists and fog rolling over the lakes and through the forests. I was captivated. “You can that with words?!” It was the entrance into another universe entirely our own and now more entirely “our own” than ever.
Meanwhile, I had been introduced to the concept of “global warming” since I was in Kindergarten in – what? – 1965. But don’t be fooled. This was truly scientific and it was not called “global warming” but rather “global unfreezing.” Up in Minnesota we have lakes and loons, and an explanation for lakes and subsequently loons that made sense to us as kids and which makes sense to me still today some 55 years later.
We took field trips to numerous places used as examples by geologists and climatologists to demonstrate to the scientific community that the sheer abundance of lakes in Minnesota came from the landscape being plowed up by mountainous glaciers extending from the polar ice cap down to Minnesota because of an ice-age some 10,000 years ago that was itself caused by a cataclysmic event bringing about global cooling, such as the impact of a large meteor. When the world temperature started to heat up again as the atmosphere cleared up from all the ash, the glaciers started to melt, dumping their water, of course, in the basins they had plowed up, creating the lakes in which the loons now frolic. Call to mind such as mastodons eating ferns being instantly frozen only now being found in northern Siberia as the melting following the great freeze continues. It’s not that there is global warming. No. It’s that the earth is finally getting back to it’s normal temperature. I’ve been writing of this for a long time and no one has an answer. Tender snowflake ideologist bullies merely stare at me with glazed eyes, knowing I speak the truth but they are unable to “go there.” Another agenda is at hand for them.