• Losing The Polestar

    October 23, 2015

    There is an adage in politics: “Nations tend to get the kind of leaders they deserve.” If this is true, it is long past time for Americans to examine their behavior in the last fifty years or so. It doesn’t take much in the way of soul-searching to see that a lot of our recent national behavior has BEGGED for the kind of government we have now. In one way or another, we have demanded that the laws and rules of an orderly society be discarded.

    Even bloodthirsty, torturing murderers get trials, but helpless people of all sizes and ages are left to die, starved and thirsted to death, or torn apart before they have had a chance to breathe the air of a (formerly) free nation.

    The decade of the Fifties was a time of real blessing for America. The Korean War was over, and the soldiers were home to add their muscle to the workforce. Lots of people were born during those years, and their parents were the first generation that was able to promise their children an easier life and have a good chance of seeing their promises fulfilled.

    In the urgency to make things better for our children, we began to put aside faith and perspicacity. We became satisfied to believe what we were told by news outlets, because doing our own research interfered with our quest to improve the lots of our children. Attending church and instructing our children in their faith lost its importance. Those children became selfish and spoiled because parents worked so hard on their behalf the children didn’t have to learn the value of hard work, sacrifice, and self-discipline, and both parents were often at work when the kids got home from school, leaving them to fend for themselves and get into their own special brands of mischief without supervision.

    Parents scrimped and did without so their kids could go to college, whether those children were smart enough or even cared enough about education to go. The parents saw it as an opportunity to get the educational advantages they had never had. The mostly-ungrateful-for-the-sacrifice students saw it as an opportunity to party till they puked, and the deterioration of morals continued as socialistic professors convinced their students that American morality was old-fashioned and selfish.

    As those wastrel children came of age and their parents insisted they “go to work and do something with that diploma we scrimped to provide you with,” the students were just as determined not to amount to anything that was even remotely connected with “work.” They wanted “careers!” They were convinced that their “caring” about the poor and downtrodden was more helpful than succeeding to the point that they could hire and PAY those poor and downtrodden so they wouldn’t have to remain in that condition.

    It never occurred to these parents that never providing a child with opportunities to fail and accept consequences for behavior simply cheated those children of the most valuable life lessons of all, and raising children according to Dr. Spock’s book became the only way to do things.

    The Polestar

    A moral absolute is more than just a law. It is a polestar. The polestar is the unchanging star in the sky that never moves. It never changes. It can be obscured by clouds, but it will be exactly in place when the clouds clear away. Navigators who lost the position of the polestar could only wander off course, often into danger and death. Everything depended on knowing where that star was, even in daylight.

    But a moral polestar in this society has become an unnecessary piece of archaic baggage, fit only to be discarded by the “enlightened” elites. Consequently, we have children sexualized in kindergarten, teachers having sexual relationships with their much-younger students, and a generation of people who are so completely desensitized to sexual propriety that they think nothing of having sex in the classrooms, on screen, or wherever the urge strikes them. We have priests, rabbis, and ministers who take advantage of their flocks, sexually, financially, and morally, even to the point of murdering their entire congregations, as in the case of Jim Jones. Government officials and financiers steal as much as they can, as often as they can, from as many as they can, and are NEVER caught, tried, convicted, or punished. If this isn’t a description of a society that has lost its moral bearings, I don’t know what is.

    If we deliberately destroy our moral guidelines, we deserve the consequences of that destruction. Locking onto the polestar once again is the only way we have as a nation to get back on course and repair the damage from those consequences.

    I wondered today about the political stupidity of Americans, and how we got this way. It’s such a convoluted trail that it would take a half-dozen of historian Paul Johnson’s tomes to unravel it. We have dumbed down our school children; we have turned our colleges over to Fascists and Communists; we have allowed our Church to become a haven for evil, heresy, blasphemy, rebellion, and perversity; we have turned our backs on ALL AND ANY REAL AUTHORITY, and ceded our freedoms to a centralized government. We have no one to blame for this situation but ourselves, but I think a large factor in the wussification of America (can that be a word?) is our deliberate turning away from any absolute authority.

    When we threw God out of the public arena and the public schools, we deliberately slammed the door against clear thought, reasonable discourse, a true chain of command, and real protection of the innocent. (This is such a BIG concept that I am having trouble finding words to express it. Please be patient with my puny attempts.) Who would have thoughtt, 40 years ago, that we would EVER turn our backs on the God Who loves us and created us out of that love? And yet, here we are, sitting like spoiled babies surrounded by toys we have deliberately broken, wondering how it all went wrong, and refusing to allow anyone with knowhow to actually fix them.

    Maleness and true masculinity has undergone a 40 year reign of terror in this country. The truest of all patriarchal figures is God the Father. The human manifestation of His maleness is Jesus Christ. The ultimate role model has been relegated to the wastebasket by American culture. When America modeled herself after the MALENESS of God, it was a light to the world. Now it is modeling itself after fallen Eve and her fixation on the sly words of the serpent, and the results are almost too horrible to contemplate. Will we EVER find our way back to God?

    In the meantime, while we dream of a road show starring Torquemada and Hercules to punish the betrayers and clean the church stables we might consider the even more hopeless task of re-invigorating the patriarchy so that strong, smart males and females can thrive and model true roles for their places in Creation. This is the saddest part of all. We have turned our Catholic Church over to a bunch of hyenas who have only one goal in mind–to tear the Church down and in 3 “days,” rebuild it in their own image. They have almost succeeded.

    America is already a mission field, so missionary priests from other countries will probably figure largely in our future as the Catholic Church in America. But we NEED Torquemada. We NEED stable hands to clean out the muck. We NEED to get the Church (and the nation) back from these hyenas. It will survive, but the chances are pretty good that it won’t be surviving in the United States beyond a remnant, a small underground Church hiding in barns and forest glens.

    The hyenas are laughing as they close in on our young, and no lion is appearing on the horizon…

    ‘Nuff said, sadly.

  • Itchy Is As Itchy Does

    August 12, 2015

    The old Legion of Decency list had listings for movie ratings from “A” (no objectionable content) through “B” (Older kids and grownups), and “C” (Some objectionable content. Not recommended) and “D” (Condemned. Not suitable for any audicence). Families who had this list in place carefully consulted it before seeing any movie.

    Even today, although the Legion is no more, little messages pop up on videos and television to remind us that what we are about to see is not fit for children and other sensitive individuals. Movies are sorted according to violence, language, and sexual content in order to protect children from the obvious evil that these things contain. (Moot questions follow: Why should we have to warn people against evil in a movie? Why do we have movies that contain evil in the first place? If movies are for entertainment, why put blood, evil, and ugliness in them? And, if there wasn’t an itch for evil in humans, why are some of today’s movies so AWFUL??)

    We are taught what is illustrated so clearly in the Bible and other religious writings: Human beings are born with an itch towards evil. Even primitive cultures understand this, and have strict moral laws that carry heavy penalties if broken. Without proper care, teaching, and molding, we grow up to be amoral and perverse. Religious training teaches us that this itch can be mastered with diligence, but that it must be caught at an early age. Starry-eyed liberals and their followers, however, continually maintain that human nature is already “good” and perfectible without spiritual guidance, and it is only circumstances or bad influences that make these “good” people do bad things.

    Consider the ghastly spectacles of children killing younger children for sport. The young killers don’t really understand that their victims will not get up again to “appear in the next movie,” they understand their actions well enough to finish the job. Just because juvenile murderers don’t really comprehend the meaning and ramifications of the evil acts they do doesn’t mean the acts themselves are not evil.

    Or, if evil is what people want, how about aborting babies and selling their little corpses off piecemeal to the highest bidders, for “scientific research?” And the abortionists do realize they are killing children (“It’s another boy!”), but choose to ignore the utter evil of the deed, and focus on the money.

    In some states, parents are forbidden by law to discipline their children in ways meaningful enough to the child to train them away from potentially evil behavior, a classic example of childless do-gooders meddling in something about which they know absolutely nothing. In the same school, perhaps, a jaded teacher is showing sex techniques to second graders and encouraging them to experiment on each other. And, a parent whose hands are tied is not going to be effective in keeping his child from the destructive and evil behaviors that lurk in the minds of every human being. Even wild animals, understanding the importance of obedience, punish their young with painful discipline, but American parents are forbidden to do so.

    Witness, too, the recent mandate from Washington that all Catholic and Christian institutions provide insurance that offers free abortion and contraception to patients and employees. Somehow, the bureaucrats got the idea they could just ignore the sanctity of life, as well as sexuality. I choose to call this move “evil.”

    If, as many believe, there is no absolute good or bad, where does evil come from? Where does good come from? Why are we so easily tempted to evil and why is good so hard to achieve? As one who is a firm believer in the Absolute Good, I know exactly how easily we can be tempted to evil. Evil isn’t just about bad movies, or pornography, or child abuse. It is a streak in all of us that must be suppressed in a civil society.

    We have learned, with varying degrees of success through the centuries, to deal with evil as best we know how, and the only successes we can count are those that rely on Judeo-Christian moral principles, well-taught. Hearts are fertile for love and hate, and as civilized humans on this earth, we must reach out for the civilizing love and eschew the itch for evil that lurks so shallowly under the surface of each of our hearts.

    I fear to contemplate what humans would be like without God, without the REAL Grace that He provides to us for the taking, and the Love that is stronger than death.

  • Martyrs

    March 1, 2015
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    Coptic Icon of 21 Martyrs

    On the surface, the slaughter of so many Christians in the Middle East is a staggering blow to the West. The fact that nothing gets done about it by any of the Western countries is confusing. Is the hatred of Christians as all-pervading as the hatred of Israel and Jews?

    We can’t bring ourselves to watch the videos of the deeds, but when the waters of the sea run red with their blood, there is no doubt that some heinous monstrosity has just taken place. These people; men, women AND children, including babies, are beinging hacked asunder for the simple fact that they are Christian or Jew.

    One does wonder why The Almighty permits such evil to proceed, but most times, we seldom go deep enough. Many of the men slaughtered on the beach were saying with their last breath, “Jesus Christ is Lord!” or similar phrases, but all praised the Lord as their last words. This must be incredibly galling to the jihadists who wielded the blades. Imagine how they must feel to see someone besides themselves happy to die for their god. I’m sure they think they have the corner on the market in the “martyr” section. Although, I am afraid that suicide in the name of the moon god is not quite the same thing as preferring to give one’s life for one’s faith in God the Father, and for Jesus Christ, His Son.

    Shouldn’t these people have been begging for mercy, or converting to islam to save themselves? Instead, most of them died more or less at peace, with the name of their Savior on their lips.

    Try to look at this from the perspective of God the Father. “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His faithful ones…” (Ps 116:15) God doesn’t look at death like we do, which probably explains a lot, when you think of how may people die begging to be spared for “One more chance,” or in spite of the prayers and supplications of those loved ones gathered around, as our beloved friends and relatives pass on.

    Indeed, death is still the great and final mystery. To know the will of God in all things is not given to us mortals. We will have to die in order to understand why God does what He does. But when I pray for the people who are suffering and dying at the hands of the jihadists, I am somehow consoled. These grisly deaths are the guaranteed sure path to eternal Life for the victims. Martyrs are God’s chosen ones. Martyrs’ blood sanctified the waves of the sea on that gruesome day, and we mustn’t forget it.

    They are now praying for us in Heaven, for we have yet to be put to the test.

  • “We Pray Thee O Almighty God…”

    July 4, 2014

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    We pray, Thee O Almighty and Eternal God! Who through Jesus Christ hast revealed Thy glory to all nations, to preserve the works of Thy mercy, that Thy Church, being spread through the whole world, may continue with unchanging faith in the confession of Thy Name.

    We pray Thee, who alone art good and holy, to endow with heavenly knowledge, sincere zeal, and sanctity of life, our chief bishop, Pope Francis, the Vicar of Our Lord Jesus Christ, in the government of his Church; our own bishop, N., all other bishops, prelates, and pastors of the Church; and especially those who are appointed to exercise amongst us the functions of the holy ministry, and conduct Thy people into the ways of salvation.

    We pray Thee O God of might, wisdom, and justice! Through whom authority is rightly administered, laws are enacted, and judgment decreed, assist with Thy Holy Spirit of counsel and fortitude the President of these United States, that his administration may be conducted in righteousness, and be eminently useful to Thy people over whom he presides; by encouraging due respect for virtue and religion; by a faithful execution of the laws in justice and mercy; and by restraining vice and immorality. Let the light of Thy divine wisdom direct the deliberations of Congress, and shine forth in all the proceedings and laws framed for our rule and government, so that they may tend to the preservation of peace, the promotion of national happiness, the increase of industry, sobriety, and useful knowledge; and may perpetuate to us the blessing of equal liberty.

    We pray for his excellency, the governor of this state, for the members of the assembly, for all judges, magistrates, and other officers who are appointed to guard our political welfare, that they may be enabled, by Thy powerful protection, to discharge the duties of their respective stations with honesty and ability.

    We recommend likewise, to Thy unbounded mercy, all our brethren and fellow citizens throughout the United States, that they may be blessed in the knowledge and sanctified in the observance of Thy most holy law; that they may be preserved in union, and in that peace which the world cannot give; and after enjoying the blessings of this life, be admitted to those which are eternal.

    Finally, we pray to Thee, O Lord of mercy, to remember the souls of Thy servants departed who are gone before us with the sign of faith and repose in the sleep of peace; the souls of our parents, relatives, and friends; of those who, when living, were members of this congregation, and particularly of such as are lately deceased; of all benefactors who, by their donations or legacies to this Church, witnessed their zeal for the decency of divine worship and proved their claim to our grateful and charitable remembrance.

    To these, O Lord, and to all that rest in Christ, grant, we beseech Thee, a place of refreshment, light, and everlasting peace, through the same Jesus Christ, Our Lord and Savior. Amen.

    Follow the link below to find the story behind this magnificent prayer.
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  • Crosses

    March 7, 2014

    4_calvary-crossesIf you are a churchgoer, you probably know a bit about Lent, what it stands for, and what you think you can stand to give up for forty days. Most of us have already quit smoking, so that one isn’t the frightening prospect it used to be, come Lent. Then, I guess the next one is candy, cookies, or some other dietary favorite, like wine or ice cream. And, I don’t recall ever hearing of a kid resolving to do the dishes without whining, or to make their bed without being reminded, but they could be fruitful practices. Isn’t it interesting that almost all of us think of something that involves a physical indulgence, or something we put into our bodies?

    If you are of the more “mature believer” type, you might expect a bit more of your Lenten sacrifices, and you are somewhat more open to less physical and more spiritual exercises, which can require a pretty good amount of discipline, although of a different type than the more physical sacrifices that are usually devised by less seasoned believers.

    I’ll use myself as an example, since Lenten resolutions are usually very personal, subjective, and not common fodder for open discussion. (Usually.) At any rate, Lent has always been (when I chose to observe it) a time of personal reflection for me. “How could I have done that better?” “Why did I act in such an uncharitable fashion?” But usually, these momentary excursions into soul-searching were brief and quickly forgotten as life got in the way. The older I got, however, the more time I spent not just observing myself as a Christian, but working on ways to change the model. Usually, it was something like, “pray more…” “don’t cuss…” “go to church…,” etc.

    Last year, Father had an interesting homily for the first Sunday in Lent that led me to make a change in my daily life. He spoke of not just “giving something up,” but adding something. I’m happy to report that so far, I have done a very good job of keeping the new practice in my daily routine, and it turned out not to be difficult at all. As with all things about prayer, if you make the commitment, God will provide the time. And I have always had time to include this practice every day since last Lent. Has it changed me much? That, I can’t tell you, except to say that I have come to love it very much, and plan to continue it again this year.

    Lent is for the purpose of perfecting our Christian walk. Jesus tells us, “If you wish to be my disciple, take up your cross and follow me.” That cross is our daily life. We carry it with us wherever we go, and it is where we go to die, first to the world, then to ourselves, and finally to mortality. Jesus’ cross was not a daily life experience, and most of us won’t be expected to have to shoulder anything like what He had to endure. I’m not saying none of us will, for there are more martyrs being made today than there ever were in the early Church, especially in the Middle East. But that daily cross is what we need to keep in mind. If it was easy, it wouldn’t be called a “cross.”

    May you have a beautiful and fruitful Lenten season.

  • A Nation On Its Knees

    January 3, 2014

    fograysprayerkneelingFor many years, we have been told to fear becoming a nation on its knees, but I say, it’s time we diligently get on our knees daily. Not metaphorically, but actually and physically.

    The time has come for us all to join together in serious prayer for the restoration of our national righteousness and the freedoms we have yielded to the leftists. Time to beg the Father for what we need to stop the killing of our unborn children, our frail elderly, our sick and different; for forgiveness for wallowing in the trap of false largesse from the government (with OUR money), and for becoming weak and witless in the face of the kind of destruction that is currently sweeping the land. Time to repent most heartily to God for throwing away the sacred calling America has had for over two hundred and thirty years, to be the first with the most in times of disaster around the world. We have lost our righteous calling because we have yielded to the bribery of free “stuff” and monthly checks for years, and submitted to forces that wish to see us on our knees before them.

    But, no more should we fear the kneeling posture. Better to welcome it willingly, and deliberately get there ourselves. Better for us to call out to the Lord in repentance and submission than to cry in weak surrender before the forces that hate us.

    For too long we have pretended we could “do it ourselves,” as we turned our backs upon our Father in heaven, and now, we see the consequences of that hubris as the evildoers close in for the final blows, and we cower sheepishly before them.

    The government wants us on our knees to them, but I believe it’s time for us to kneel to the only One in the universe who is truly Worthy. We should not fear being on our knees, but they should fear to see us there, for when we are weak in our own power, we are strong in God’s, and they will no longer be the ones who push us to and fro like toys. We will be God’s army, in formation to do real battle, and to call down His righteous wrath. The believers should be drawn up in battle array, waiting and attentive, eager for the trumpet’s blast that tells us to press forward against the enemy.

    This is no “regular” battle or warfare. This is the kind of spiritual warfare that the demons fear. Stand against them, one and all, and press in.

    The liberals/leftists/etc. had better fear a nation on its knees, for it might not have quite the effect they were hoping for.

  • The Humility Professor

    January 1, 2014

    So, somebody is going to be teaching “humility” at Yale University, are they? Oh, my! The questions this information begs! But, I imagine, first, that it is important to want to know what form the “humility” will take, who taught it to the “professor,” and whether or not it did any good to learn the finer points of one of the most important of the Virtues. Of course, if it is the “proper” kind of humility, it must be learned the hard way, or by watching the few really humble people to ever walk the earth, meaning of course people like Moses, or, especially, Jesus Christ. Real humility must have an example. Like an artist, it needs a model. It might be possible to crank out a fair approximation without one, but it’s probably safe to say that without the right model, the finished product will be amateurish and crude, and bear little resemblance to the Original, real thing.

    Did it do the “professor” any good to learn his humility from, say, another “professor,” and where did that learned individual learn HIS brand of humility? What was there about this type of “humility” that attracted the newest pedagogue?

    What form will it take? Will it be merely the utilitarian form, which keeps me from the form of hubris exhibited by Cassius (Mohammed Ali) Clay, whose “I am the greatest!” was truthful, but rather un-humble.

    Humility is one of the few things God asks us to do for ourselves. He will often give us gifts and abilities we need for a lot of other disciplines as we walk the Narrow Way to eternal Life, but this is one of the things He asks us to do without much help.

    “Humble yourself before the Lord, and He will lift you up…” (James 4:10). We need to take ourselves in hand and practice the hardest part of our faith, next to believing. It’s up to us to do the humbling, and God will do the exalting. It’s not our job to see to it that others humble themselves. Our job is to work out our own personal humility.

    Finding out (usually to one’s horror) that all the so-called “humble” things we have done, practices we have performed, and prayers we have prayed will come to nothing if we don’t actually DO the things that are required in order to attain real humility is a shock, to say the least. The Gospel parable of the banquet Jesus told comes to mind. “Do not take the highest seat at a banquet, lest the host come and tell you to move to the foot of the table, for one more estimable than yourself is due to arrive to take the highest place. It is better to take the lowest place and be elevated, than to take the highest, and be demoted…” (Luke 14:8,9).

    Doing the hard things of humility takes years of practice. People who actually accomplish it die and become saints in our memories. Mother Teresa of Calcutta, St. Francis of Assisi, and many others have shown us the way, and that it can actually be accomplished on Earth. The willingness to make these gestures and actions with heartfelt love is the difficult part. Practicing them when no one else is looking is also an important part of the acquisition of true humility.

    Picture the Gates of Heaven. When you arrive, you find that they are buried in a high wall, and are only six inches high. Your job is to humble yourself enough to fit.

    Or, picture two gates, with signs above. One says “PROUD.” The other says, “HUMBLE.” Something tells me that at the end of time, the archangel Michael will arrive to switch the signs, and that those who entered through the “HUMBLE” gate found themselves on a slick slide to much lower and warmer climes, while those who entered through the “PROUD” gate finally learned the real meaning of humility. (It is unknown at this point, of course, whether the aforementioned “humility” professor will have learned this lesson.)

  • The Feast Of The Nativity Of Jesus

    December 25, 2013

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    These icons, old and new, tell the story of the entrance of God into the earthly life of His creation. Some of the images will enlarge if you click on them. But take the time to gaze at the story each image tells us.

    May you all have a most holy and blessed Christmas. Pray for America.

  • Quack, Quack?

    December 23, 2013

    DuckdynastyboysDuck Dynasty makes me laugh out loud, often and genuinely.  The guys are simply hilarious. Living around them must be one of the great joys of southern living.  But I have never heard a word of hate, prejudice, or condemnation from any of them during these little “duels” about any person or belief.  Any.  It’s pretty obvious they are Bible-believing men, and they don’t care who knows it.

    The whiners at GLAAD (what the heck is with these characters and their usurpation of good English words for happiness and joy, like “glad” and “gay??”) claim what Phil Robertson said in his interview was “not Christian.” I had to scratch my head at that one. They are Bible experts now? Unless I am quite mistaken, one needs to actually READ the Bible occasionally to be any kind of authority on it. I’ve read the passage in question many times throughout the years, and I am pretty sure it was just about like Phil stated.

    As for thinking they have silenced the Robertsons and their outspoken Christianity, I believe the aforementioned whiners might have another think coming. Cable stations of all stripes are already lining up around the block to be the next station that carries the goofy and lovable show from now until the Lord’s Return.

    Trying to shut up a committed, believing Christian doesn’t quite work like A & E figured. They were convinced people would ridicule and deride the family as it went about day-to-day life, then closed each show with prayer around the dinner table, but, like the Romans found out when they fed the martyrs to the lions to shut them up, it didn’t quite work out like they had it planned.

    A & E will find themselves hoist on their own petard soon enough. It must really gall the elitists at the network to discover that SOME people with lots of money aren’t interested in flaunting the fact that they have it.

    The plans of A & E to expose the family to ridicule for their “quaintness” were suddenly knocked into a cocked hat when the show spoke to the deeply held convictions of a very large segment of the American population, and the boys will be laughing all the way to the bank for a long time, while A & E sits grumpily in their penthouse offices (or wherever they are) and misses all the income the show has provided up to now.

    Nothing like killing the duck that lays the golden eggs, eh?

  • Thanksgiving Blessings

    November 27, 2013

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    God Bless each and every one of you (however many there are…). I still thank God I was born in America.

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    Thank You, Lord, for the courage and dedication of our beloved troops, wherever they are stationed. Bless and protect them, and bring them safely home to their loved ones.
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    May God Bless America.

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