Thursday, November 08, 2012

Overheard in Hallowed Halls - "I'm an absolute menace" Edition

I have a little bit of hearing loss in a certain register, and today it got me in trouble, although truth be told, it could have been a LOT worse.

 I had stopped in the kitchen to ask the staff a question about the convection oven which will be used on Saturday.

While in there, an elderly lady stopped in. She's known to us, is a bit uh...confused and seems to live in a state of perpetual wonder. She was asking all sorts of questions about the food being prepared for school lunch today. Then she turned to me and inquired as to who I was. I explained I worked in the religious education office. Oh, she said.

 Then she told me she was at the church today because her son was being "married". (There's a reason this is in quotes, pay attention to this next part...)

I said to her, "Well congratulations!"

 She was turning to go, stopped turned back to me and got real close and said, "Barry".

 "Barry? That's his name? That's great!" At this point I was still happy for her. I was also wondering why she wasn't telling me the name of whoever he was marrying, thought maybe that was forthcoming.

 In the meantime, my co-worker in the kitchen was looking at me very strangely. I was confused. You'd think this lady would be gushing about her son Barry getting married. She was in the hallway by then when I realized what she'd said (with a sotto voce whisper of assistance from my co-worker).

Uh oh. Buried. 

 His name wasn't Barry and he wasn't getting Married. I heard the lady finally say the word one last time, "Buried."

 Oh. My. Dear. God. I am so sorry! Never before have I ever gone from being so happy for someone to so utterly shocked and horrified. I promised sincerely to pray for her son.

 The lady left and I stood there in the kitchen, horribly embarrassed but also, I admit it, starting to giggle. My coworker cracked, "Oh congratulations on the death of your son!" She also thought my huge awful gaff was actually....kinda funny....

 Had it been anyone else that would not have gone well. As it is, by the time the dear lady got half way down the hall she probably forgot all about it. I hope. Oy vey.

 I decided at that point to go hide under my desk for the remainder of the day, just so I wouldn't congratulate anyone else on the death of their loved one.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Liberty Dies

Four years ago, when Obama formally accepted his nomination at the Democratic National Convention, the applause was deafening. I knew then that he would win the election. He was not vetted, the reaction to him was akin to that of hormonal teens in the presence of Elvis at his peak, and in debates all he had to say with regard to questions he didn't care to answer was, "Let's move on." and his Word was done.

I knew then, at that moment, that liberty died in America.

How true it was. Obama has done nothing but undermine the American way of life. He has disrespected the military, previous Presidents (especially if they were Republican), and has wasted MILLIONS of American dollars on personal vacations.

Oh, and he's been the most pro-abortion president in history, voting for live-birth ABORTIONS! REALLY!

This year, he has been re-elected and mark my words; this Socialist masquerading as a liberal is here to do nothing more than to destroy America. He's half-done, and now he has 4 years to finish the job and twist the knife in our collective back...and with our complete cooperation.

Liberty died four years ago. Now, it's either Civil War or America dies forever.

At least, the America we've always known and loved. I will defend my country. Will you?

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Overheard in Hallowed Halls - Halloween Edition

This afternoon we as staff went out to eat with Father. Father, who is also a fellow zombie-enthusiast, posed a few questions for discussion. Here's one of them:

Father:  Does a zombie say a prayer before he eats?

Me:  No, because he has to bite fast or get brained by whoever he's trying to eat. So he says a prayer after his meal.

Father:   *laughing*

And everyone wonders what Catholics talk about at work in a parish.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Character Development and Morality in the Zombie Apocalypse

When my brother first introduced me to The Walking Dead, it was in the beginning of the second season. He gave me a brief synopsis of the season premier so that I would know what was going on, and went on to say, "You see, life is so precious now that they'll do everything they can to save that life."

Indeed, in the series, there is a distinct absence of animals as the insatiable zombies aren't just cannibals, but free-range carnivores.

Now that I've finally seen the first two seasons, in order and in proper context, the character development taking place has caught my interest. Commentary on the show (Talking Dead) speaks of characters "devolving" or some other sometimes incoherent descriptions, underscored with their own take on morality. They call some characters "good" when said character has actually, through my Catholic eyes, done some pretty atrocious things.

It's a very intelligently-written show, as the actions being taken by the various characters, the questions being asked...I could see all of those things taking place. One thing they haven't discussed on the show, Talking Dead, is an observation I make based on personal experience:

The situation intensifies and illuminates personal flaws and strengths.

Think about it. A bunch of people who wouldn't necessarily get along in "real life" if that still existed, are somehow thrown together and immediately must depend on each other for survival. People who held prejudices will overcome them to save a life, because that becomes the right thing to do, unless they hadn't the strength of character to begin with to overcome a petty hatred.

In college, like many, I studied abroad. One of the things the previous year's group told ours was that it didn't matter if we "get along" or not stateside. Because, "over there" we were going to be all we had; we would "get along" out of necessity.

As it turned out, in all of that getting or not-getting along, our own personal failings were definitely brought to light, and new strengths revealed. If we had disagreements, we were forced to work through them instead of walking away. Decisions were made for the good of the group when it was necessary to do so. Why? Because we couldn't afford to be divided; we needed each other.

In Religious Life, (Brother, Sister, Monk, Nun) one of the things I learned (not as a religious, but what Religious men and women have told me), the same kind of situation exists. A Sister may enter a convent and whether she and the other Sisters like each other or not, they must get along. In that case, it's part of growing in holiness, but of course, some may be shocked that sin is not left outside the door. No one is immune from sin and imperfection. So it is that since they spend so much time in such close quarters, praying, working, living together, any personal flaws are quickly revealed. Those discerning that community may be able to work with that, or they won't or can't.

It's just a fact of human nature; and it's a fact revealed in "The Walking Dead" as well.  In going back to re-watch the beginning of the series, I saw immediately some of the character flaws which seemed very small at the beginning, but quickly got out of hand as the crisis of trying to survive under constant stress continued.

Who could fight zombies day and and day out and not be affected?

This is why it would be important to prepare one's soul in the event such a catastrophe occurred. This may sound surprising, but a "Zombie Apocalypse" is actually quite possible. Perhaps not exactly in the way portrayed, but biological warfare is a reality and it has been said that with the right combination, a virus could be created that would turn people in to raving murderers.

In that event, of course survivors would band together, and in all likelihood, those survivors wouldn't be automatic Saints. In fact, those who think they are "the most moral" of character may find out they have a great great weakness that could either corrupt them entirely or damage others in some way, whether spiritually or physically (as in the event of a zombie attack). Something for any self-identifying Christian to consider. Who are you really? Know your flaws and your strengths, and look at them honestly.

All of life is about growing in holiness, and hopefully we won't need a crisis situation creating small cobbled-together groups of survivors in order for that to happen.

But in case it ready. One never knows when the zombies will come...

For more information on Zombie Science check out:

Zombie Research Society

Zombie Hub

Topics up next:  Examining the Zombie Apocalypse with St. Thomas Aquinas and other great non-infected minds.  Morality in the time of Zombies.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Zombies and Walkers

I have a confession to make. Like so many others, I, too, have been caught up in zombie-madness. No, no, I don't mean I'm going to lurch around moaning and trying to eat people. Yuck. (I'd be more than up for that as an extra in a movie or show, though!).

I'm talking about the AMC series, "The Walking Dead."  And the movie "Zombieland", and the old Romero horrors and some that are comedic like "Return of the Night of the Living Dead".

I used to hate the zombie horror genre. But now, I find it fascinating, and in fact, pardon the near-pun, but also as food for thought.

Like it or not, we are living in a toxic times. Death is everywhere and it's not just physical (as in the multi-billion dollar abortion industry), but is also spiritual. Sin abounds, and yet our culture is increasingly anti-Christian, anti-the idea of sin, increasingly hedonistic and increasingly hostile. Perhaps this hostility against Christianity is spread more quickly by the internet and the ability to spew anonymous flaming trails of verbal diarrhea, but I do believe it's something more.

When I was younger, I think maybe the zombie genre was just a simple horror idea for entertainment purposes, if a bit awful. But now, I find it amazing that it's mainstream, and the popularity is, in a very weird way, almost unifying. No matter where we lie on the political or religious spectrum, it has transcended among the fans. I have found myself becoming friends with people I may not otherwise simply in our shared enthusiasm for all things "zombie".

Maybe I'm speaking too soon, but I have to wonder if perhaps this is  something that's actually going to characterize our generation in its popularity. And, because of the movies that are being produced and are actually popular among so many types of people, questions of morality that are being suppressed in our real lives are now taking place in relation to a fictional world that perhaps really isn't so different than our own.

As I've been watching "The Walking Dead" (don't give any spoilers away, I haven't finished season 2 yet!), I've been paying close attention to the character development on screen and as discussed in the related talk show, "Talking Dead". As a theologian, I can't help but make some observations about what I know to be true of humanity and how it is portrayed in the script.

Death is Violent

To wax a bit theological, I have to make this point:  death is violent. It has always been violent, and it was brought into the world through sin. God did not intend our bodies to be separated from our souls, and yet, this was what man chose. Death, even if "peaceful", remains the violent ripping of soul from body, and the resultant decomposition of the flesh. Even as the soul goes on in accordance with God's grace, the body remains below to return to dust.

This is not a denial of our belief in the Resurrection of the Dead; in this context I am only pairing the  theological truth as to who we are and the scientific reality of how we are, at the molecular level, affected by sin. We die, we decompose. It's not pretty, nor should it be. Consequences of sin are never pretty.

Take then a look at the zombie world:  the decomposing dead are walking around attacking the living and tearing them apart. The living are doing their best to survive in small bands with little support.

That's kind of how I'm starting to feel as a Catholic these days. We're watching our world, our culture, disintegrate. While I won't go so far as to directly compare a nasty zombie with someone who opposes my beliefs (for that simply wouldn't be true), the toxicity of the culture of death and those who have given themselves to it isn't so far off in comparison.  I honestly believe we are witnessing the death of our country and our civilization; not just here, but throughout the world.

We are now suffering very real spiritual violence, and it is my belief that some of the reason for the overwhelming popularity of zombies is a very human reaction to what is happening, spiritually, all around us.

Resurrection of the Dead

Jesus is not a zombie. Nor was Lazarus. Let's be clear on that point.

We as Christians believe in the Resurrection of the Dead; that is, at some point our souls in heaven will again have bodies, but glorified bodies. It does not contradict the fact that some people are consumed by fire or have already fully returned to dust.

Zombies are soul-less beings who no longer are who they were when living flesh, animated by the soul. These are terrible, terrible creatures lusting to eat living flesh; not to actually truly live themselves. They don't go after each other, but notice; they destroy what is good and beautiful They seek, mindlessly, to turn what is living to mindless, conscienceless devouring monsters like themselves.

The Resurrection of the Dead restores body and soul for eternity, fully living, fully beautiful (we'll leave those in Hell out of this conversation for now - maybe a topic to be visited later with St. Thomas Aquinas), fully resting in God's glory. Jesus is not a zombie as he did not come back to create an army of the undead, but to restore humanity to dignity and open the gates of Heaven to be eternally unified with God.

That's a huge difference.

Zombie Apocalypse

When I watch the current Zombie/Walker faire, even recognizing it fully as fiction, it is clearly an allegory for our times, and one to be pondered. For now, I'll bring this post to a close as there is one huge observation that must be made that transcends every zombie movie or show I've seen thus far:

The Zombie Apocalypse is a world devoid of God. 


Up next in the Zombie series:  Character and Moral development in the Walking Dead and the morality of zombie killing.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Overheard in Hallowed Halls

I am blessed to work for a Pastor with a great sense of humor, so I love being able to freely joke around with him and other co-workers.

Today he happened to be in our office speaking with my supervisor (not about me!) when I reviewed and printed out documents from an email from the Archdiocesan Office of Worship. This is the office that expresses the legitimate preferences of our Archbishop on all things liturgical and all things canonical in relation to our worship.

Because I coordinate the Confirmation program for my parish, the email was sent to me as a request for help. Apparently in September the person who runs that office sent out a mailing to all parishes, directed to the Pastor, asking them to designate someone from their parish to serve as contact for all things (excluding Confirmation) relating to the Liturgy. Not all parishes responded and ours apparently was one of them.

I dutifully printed the forms and brought them to my Pastor, explaining that I was "asked to give this to you" and that I was being "obedient."

My Pastor reviewed the letters and forms immediately and, glancing from me (pointedly) to my boss, and back to me again (pointedly), asked which of us wanted to be that contact. Neither of us volunteered.

I said that I believe it was directed at the parish Liturgist, but we didn't have one. Father (rightly!) pointed out that HE himself was the Liturgist.  Right he was!

So my superior suggested perhaps HE should be the contact.

He laughed, and once again, looked pointedly at me.

"I'm not a liturgist."  I said, squirming a little, seeing where this was going.

"But you know liturgy."

"Yes I do! I love liturgy!"

He didn't even have to say anything. He just kept looking at me sideways. A lot like my dog does, and when she does, that it means we completely understand each other and know the game afoot.  (Not that I'm calling my Pastor a dog).

Father, pointedly, "So will you be the contact?"

Me:  *sigh*  "OK"  pause  "Does this mean I get a raise?"

Father:  "Your reward will be great in Heaven."

*pause*  (I'm never good with on the spot stuff which is why I don't do apologetics).

Me:  "I could REALLY use a reward NOW, because I need new brakes for my car..."

Father:  *laughing*

Yeah, so I'm the contact for my parish for the Office of Worship. I've been had...or have I?


Something to ponder...

Sunday, October 14, 2012

The Radical, Counter-Cultural Role of Serious Catholics in the Public Square

Tonight I had to give a class on Catholic Social Teaching to a mixed group of High School students and adults. Although I always take time to prepare well in advance of the class, when it comes down to it, I talk about the major principles of CST and tailor what I cover in accordance with the issues that must be brought up at that time. Clearly, the emphasis changes a little with each class.

Given that the election is less than a month away, tonight I spent a little time emphasizing the role of Catholics in society, and our obligation to live our faith and bring our faith to every aspect of society, especially in politics and law.

I directly pointed out tonight that we often hear political candidates or Catholics approaching the voting booth that they "believe this" but refuse to vote in accordance with our Faith. Why? Well, they say, "I don't feel I should impose my belief on all of society."

Naturally, I have a few things to say about that ridiculous philosophy! 

First of all, tonight when I spoke about this (without naming any names), I pointed out that according to Catholic Social Teaching, it is our right and obligation - yes, obligation - to bring our Catholic beliefs into the public sphere, and YES, to "impose it on society."  We're talking about the common good here!

When I made this very direct proclamation, I saw a few raised eyebrows and surprised, maybe confused expressions in the crowd. Being a Catholic is radical business, y'all, and quite counter-cultural. Never is this so revealed than during election season. At no other time, in the eyes of society, are the sheep so obviously separated from the goats, and the wheat from the chaff.

Tonight, I asked the class about what happens if we stand down and remain silent, keeping our beliefs to ourselves. Is anyone ELSE doing that? NO! They're not! They're imposing THEIR views upon us, and making laws that actively oppress our free practice of our religion, so why are we supposed to stand down? The HHS Mandate is one of the points in question in that matter. Our religious freedoms are being whittled away because Catholics are taking the very un-Catholic perspective that we can't or shouldn't "impose our beliefs upon others."

For the love of God, we aren't imposing our core teachings and trying to force people to be Catholic! We are imposing the very beautiful teachings of our faith that uphold the sanctity of life, bring justice to the impoverished, respect to the worker, support participation of the marginalized stewardship for creation, reminding people of their rights and duties as citizens of this society, recognize the role and limits of government and empower the people.

This is a very simple concept: we cannot be silent!

We cannot take the cop-out view that we for some reason aren't allowed to impose our beliefs. All that would mean is that the beliefs of others will be imposed upon us instead. That has already happened, and unless we find our tongues and a bit of spine, it's only going to get worse.

In comboxes, in news articles, in Facebook Memes, I continually see people trying to "shout down" Catholics and our other Christian brothers and sisters when they gently bring up their faith in relation to societal issues. I continually see people demand that we Christians "keep our religion to ourselves."

I did not bring this up in the class tonight, but in the recent Vice Presidential debate, Vice President Biden said, "My faith is my life", then went on to cancel that out by saying he simply doesn't believe he should "impose it on the rest of society."

VP Biden does not understand his Faith, he does not understand Catholic Social Teaching, and revealed that he really does not have faith. If you do not publicly live your faith, and if in a position to do so, speak it clearly, then it is not "your life."  It is rendered a bauble to be taken out when it is convenient, but otherwise placed away like a dirty secret unacceptable in mixed company.

That is a completely unacceptable attitude in a Republic founded upon, in part, the freedom of religion.

If we are not free to vote in accordance with our Faith, if we are not free to speak our religious beliefs in the public square, if we are not free to use our religious and faithful values and morals to shape society, then we are not free at all. 

Think about it. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Tonight I'm watching the movie, "La Vita e' Bella" (Life is Beautiful)  

Although it's from 1997,  it's far more entertaining than I had anticipated, especially given the subject matter at hand from the era that created the movie:  the Jewish genocidal Holocaust at the hands of Adolph Hitler. (Just didn't expect much from 1997 trying to be 1940's film.)

In spite of my own weird misgivings, I can't help but take to heart the message of the suffering father given to his innocent, trusting son:

In words: 

This isn't so awful as you think: there is a greater prize at the end.

Tell others how much you love them; it's what we do.

In actions: 

It doesn't matter what they do to us: we can choose a better perspective.

It doesn't matter how terrible the conditions: we can still make the lives around us better and involve them especially if it protects a child's innocence.

It doesn't matter how they treat us: we retain our dignity and even if our oppressors fall (personally/physically) we will reach out to them with an admonition to take care and inquire as to their health, because it's how one human treats another.

We will live our lives not for ourselves, but for others. Period.

Know those who truly love you versus those who are just using you for their own disordered ideals.

When you are forced to go where you do not want to go, march in high-steps so that your captors will know  you are human and will never acquiesce.

Main Point: 

Moms and Dads: No matter how bad it gets, you CAN raise your children to be innocent, even when the most terrible things happen. Trust in God, keep your eyes on Him, and never, never give up. And when the oppression comes, step high and do your utmost to ensure your child is protected from the worst of the assault. Die for them so that they will not have to die to eternity.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Veterinary Adventures

For a few years now I've been volunteering with an animal rescue and have done different things such as completing home visits and fostering dogs. This summer, though, I began volunteering with a low-cost veterinary clinic associated with the Rescue.

I made it very clear when I began that I didn't know anything, am not a veterinary technician but was there to help where they needed me. Because of my lack of knowledge in this area, I expected that I'd be cleaning up poo, folding laundry, and in general, doing things that couldn't possibly involve canine "patient care."

Much to my surprise, my first job was to play "recovery nurse" to dogs coming out of surgery. And, in fact, that very first day since my charge was still on the table, I was able to come right into the surgery room and observe the neuter taking place.

The second time I went in to volunteer, they taught me how to take the animal's temperature and where to record it, among a few other things.

Each time I've gone in, the veterinarians and the technicians have taught me more, although sometimes planned lessons are interrupted by surgical needs or emergencies. For example, today I was learning about the surgical instruments and how to prep them to be packed and sterilized, but there were some complications with the dog on the OR table, so the vet tech had to run. I also ended up there, but was given another task; a lesson that in fact had been offered previously but was, as usual, interrupted by the work at hand.


Maybe it would be best if I just explained how today went, whilst it's still fresh in my mind.

This morning I arrived around 11 am, greeted the receptionist with "I'm not from the government but I am here to help", walked to the back room and dropped off my backpack containing a few random things, including an extra set of scrubs in case a change would be needed. (Whether human or animal, in any area of  medical care, without warning one can become covered with unmentionable fluids. It's best to be prepared and assume that's going to happen at some point.)

As it was a surgery day, I headed to the surgery room (or OR for short for purposes of this blog) to see who was there and say hello, announcing my presence and ability to do their bidding. Now that I've been there a few times, they remembered my name and a little banter took place.

The lead tech asked if  Vet Tech D. wanted to show me how to put together a [surgical] pack and if I'd like to learn. Sure! So we went into the back room which holds a table, chairs, and the various kennels containing the often quite noisy patients of the day. One puppy in particular was exceptionally adorable with his exceptionally high-pitched cries so I confess I missed most of D's instructions but tried to follow visually, at least.

One of the waiting pups in particular got my heart, however. She had the German Shepherd face and ears and looked like a mix, maybe White GSD? Maybe American Eskimo? In any case, I was drawn to her and confessed to my preceptor for the moment that I was "in love with her.".

He was already chuckling. "You haven't even been here 10 minutes and you're already in love?"

Yup. That's how I roll. You'd never notice that I love dogs.

D. continued with his instructions/demonstration amidst all the noise and love going on, but  was interrupted by the veterinarian (let's call her Dr. V. for "Veterninarian), to please come to the OR. He came back in a little while explaining that the dog in question was having some heart rate problems and apologized. I worked on keeping the kenneled dogs quiet as none of the rooms are sound-proofed and the surgical team needed to be able to hear.

As it was, I ended up in the OR, too, and since the lead VT had to be there to focus on monitoring vitals,  she offered to teach me how to fold surgical drapes for the surg. packs.  Sure! I was a bit clumsy and even after an example, had to go back and fix my work as I'd folded it wrong. The VT was awesome, though, and told me that she'd folded them wrong for MONTHS and the Vet who owned the clinic never said a word about it.

That took some of the pressure off; knowing that what I was doing was part of prepping for surgery, I knew it was important to get it right, but the other side of the coin, revealing that mistakes in this task weren't vital, really helped me to keep focus and not make stupid mistakes that tend to arise from just being nervous.

While folding the surgical drapes, Dr. V. was exclaiming over some unusual things she was seeing in this particular surgery. The dog was bleeding more heavily than most, the fat tissue seemed to "just keep going on" (the dog was a mama and had only recently stopped nursing), and as was observed, the tissue being removed was just "falling apart".  The good doc explained a few things she'd witnessed with similar surgeries, other oddities and because she'd nicked an ovary, she discovered a few other things with this particular dog. In fact, what might have been considered to be a "mistake" to the untrained observer (, actually ended up saving this dog's life. Dr. V. discovered the beginning of an infection that, if the spay wasn't being done that day, might have meant some very serious things for this poor girl down the road.

As a bit of an aside, I'm a little disturbed that I am so willing to respond to the "look at this!" while the surgeon is pulling out innards, but well...maybe we're all a bit weird in some way. Perhaps it's more important that as a clinic volunteer there is interest as opposed to, say....fainting.

But wait! There's more to this convoluted day, and it wasn't just a strange uterus and infected ovaries! 

First, there was a leak in the autoclave (which sterilizes the surg. packs). D. thought it might be a seal that needed to be replaced as he could see steam coming out.

When the first dog had been closed, finally, the lead VT showed me how to clean bloody instruments, and this was a task being given to me. No problem. As it was, though, I never got to them as the 1st dog's recovery was taking far longer than usual. She couldn't be ex-tubated and taken to a kennel for observation yet, so I remained with her so the staff could take a break and eat lunch. Then she had to run to the administrative offices for some other task. I remained with the patient, after Dr. V. came in to make sure I remembered the signs of the dog waking up (blinking eye when stimulated, swallowing), and because I'm still not sure of canine vitals, I made sure from VT. D. that I would know when the Pulse Rate was problematic. I also keep an eye on O2 sats.

As it was, Dr. V. was nearly done with her break but I had to yell for her as the PR (pulse rate) fell to 70 and below and I knew we couldn't wait. She came in to intervene, asked me to take a temp and determined that although we'd been working to warm the dog, had to remove the warmth to help her wake up.  We also needed to be able to continue with other scheduled surgeries.

I was prepping to leave as I had several errands to run, especially in relation to a foster dog coming to me tomorrow evening and prep for work tomorrow morning. I let Dr. V. know my exit time, and that's pretty much when all hell broke loose.

First, VT D. went to refill the Isoflurane, aka "Iso" the anesthetic used during surgery (inhaled). Well, the fluid was leaking and although he was quick to mop it up, much escaped into the air. I'd been with the recovering dog for a time and was actually coming into the OR to say goodbye while someone else went to sit with recovering animals, and ended up assisting with intubating the next patient.

That's when the leak happened, when they realized he wasn't "down" enough and had to use the "Iso" first. The spilled happened, they recognized, suddenly, that the O2 was almost empty and went to find a new tank...and there wasn't one. So while we waited in a room filed with airborne evaporating anesthetic,  Dr. V. had to leave to get an Advil for a sudden crushing headache.

I waited with the pup, holding him to keep him calm, and after awhile Dr. V. told me to vacate the OR with him as they'd realized the spill was worse than they'd thought. I went to the back room while fans were set up to vent the entire clinic, and in the meantime, managed to pop off the cap to the pup's catheter. Immediately, while watching it roll away, I found one of the staff to re-cap it. It was odd that it wasn't just gushing blood but it was decided to cap and wrap it until it could be handled. For the moment, all surgeries were in a holding pattern.

That's also when we realized two emergencies were coming in, one with a very sad, sad story. Although I'd planned to leave, I agreed to stay, but have to say the staff was hesitant to ask me to do so, as a volunteer.  I assured them that I could stay, no one depending on me, and remained to assist in peripheral ways with the incoming emergencies.

As it turned out, maybe it was a good thing that I remained. While I didn't get a headache, I did go through a very "sleepy" stage and had a bit of a medicinal taste in my mouth. It probably was the effect of the spilled Iso, which I'd inhaled freely in the OR until directed to leave with the puppy.

 While the staff  focused on what they needed to do, I remained with the recovering animals, ran an errand for the clinic for what was incoming (don't worry, was fine to drive), and finally, when all settled down, asked if it was OK to leave while giving the status of an animal of concern.


I learned a lot today, in spite of the fact that perhaps I didn't learn what was in the informal-on-the-spot lesson plan. I didn't actually clean the surgical instruments, and I didn't actually learn how to pack the ones that were clean. But I got to assist a dog in recovery, re-attach oxygen to an intubated dog, monitor vitals and in short...did a whole bunch of things I never thought I'd do.

And you know what? It's all completely un-glamorous life-and-death serious but I LOVED it and can't wait to go back, maybe next week. While I get my puppy-cuddle therapy, I also know that there is value to the work, that we are helping animals AND their people, and I can't wait to learn even more so that I can do more to assist the Veterinarians and Techs in their work.

Now please excuse me while I go over and hug my Tikaani, who spent a good 5 minutes sniffing me in my scrubs when I came home this evening. She's feeling a bit neglected and it benefits neither of us to spend my time with other people's pets if I'm ignoring my own!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cooking with the Holy Trinity or The Philosophy of Making Soup

Today at work, at the request of my coworkers, I made soup, and admit I leaped at the chance to do so. Why? Because I love cooking and well, French Onion Soup is one of my specialties. (Search recipes and you'll find it's a specialty of a LOT of people, so take that with a grain of...whatever kind of salt is your favorite.)  :-)

I work for a priest who is a self-described "foodie", so yesterday I informed him of the plan so that if he so desired, he would be entitled to try a soup he had in the past expressed he really wanted to learn to make. He was taken a little by surprise (in his unassuming way) and while he was happy with the idea of a "soup day", he asked about the reason...was there an occasion he didn't know about but should recognize?

No...but...uh....well, I finally decided right there on the spot on a 94 degree day after a long hot summer from Hell that as the temp was supposed to drop, "We're celebrating it not being 90 degrees!"

He laughed and agreed this was a most excellent reason to make soup! And further, because he wanted to learn how to make French Onion soup, he asked me to show him what I do. No problem. I let him know when I'd be cooking (taking into account the Mass schedule and the reality of the priestly life), and he nodded his agreement.

I chopped the onions yesterday afternoon, marked them properly and placed them in the 'fridge in the industrial parish/school kitchen. Unfortunately, this morning when I arrived bright and early to begin the process of actually  making the soup, Father was busy with other more important tasks so I began, thinking of how to describe the process to him. It's not difficult but I appreciate his sentiment of wanting to watch how someone does something; it has more impact than mere words. (I personally hope to learn some of his own techniques as he is quite the chef himself...what I know pales in comparison as I know very very little.)


While chopping onions of course I wept as everyone does, and all I could think about was that someone was going to walk into the sterile stainless-steel kitchen to find me, all by myself, weeping alone with a knife in my hand. 
What would I say?  
I thought of the viral video of the "Girl Who Really Loves Cats!" and there was my answer.
"I just really love onions! ...promised myself I wouldn't cry *sob*  I want to hug every onion but that's CRAZY! You can't Hug. Every. Onion! I want them in a basket with bow ties..." 

And then the men in white coats could drag me off to the funny farm to play with goats and chickens and horses and take long naps. Not a bad plan, really! 

But seriously...

Cooking a boatload of onions for a large quantity of soup always takes longer than expected, but I don't mind the process. As I watch a few cooking shows (OK, I'll admit those guilty pleasures are Hell's Kitchen, Master Chef and Kitchen Nightmares), while standing in that kitchen today I considered how real chefs run around with several pots on the fire...literally. I was nearly bored with my one simple pan of very simple onions and butter. Truly, I would have been more comfortable moving from dish to dish and returning to cook the onions. I could only move potholders, ingredients waiting to be used, and dormant utensils around so much between stirring the pot!

Once the onions and roux were ready, though, I added them to the already-hot broth in the crock pot, introduced  the seasonings and journeyed to my office down the hall for the normal work of the day. An hour later I returned to taste, adjust, stir, and re-cover. Throughout the day this was the pattern, at different intervals, always adjusting.

At one point Father came to the kitchen with me and helped with a taste test. He was encouraging but we both voiced "something was missing."  Neither of us could put our finger on it. I knew it meant I had to keep working at it. Thus is why cooking is often considered an Art.

Labor of Love

Making the soup for my co-workers was a labor of love, and I realized as I was cleaning up all the pots, utensils, cutting boards and everything that had been used, it was also a service. The priest that was there before had remarked upon the occasion our department cooked a meal for our volunteers, that what we placed into the food was love, and that's why it was good.

It was a profound observation on his part. Cooking can be fun, but it can also be real labor. The days I have spent in the kitchen, both at home and at work, cooking for many people, I have ended with aching feet, knees, and back. The prep, the actual act of cooking, serving the food, replenishing, and cleaning, then schlepping things back to their places take a toll. It can be very hard work!

Yet it's a joy, and it's a joy that comes both from loving the work and perhaps, recognizing on some level that it is also a sacrifice that gives maybe an even greater joy to the one who receives that particular gift: the food being created.

At the end of the day today, all of the soup was gone. While there were leftovers, two portions went home with a co-worker for herself and her husband, and another went home with someone else who appreciated not having to cook tonight.

This time (it's not always the case) I got to have some of the soup and even sit down and enjoy it with Father and a few co-workers. In the past, there have been times that I only received a small taste of the final product, that which was served to the guests of honor. I admit that, inside, I cringed a bit and was a tad resentful. Here I had worked so hard and had so much angst about making sure the food was PERFECT, and didn't get hardly any at all!

Yes, I'm a bit ashamed at that very human response, and had to work hard  in those times at suppressing it; I had to remind myself that it was a service, I wasn't cooking for myself but for others. I had offered to make the soup, then AND today, because I like it, can cook it consistently and people who tried it really loved it; it brought them joy. I therefore I have "labored" to bring them that gift of joy.

This all seems so sentimental but there is still a greater point to make, and while soup is the predictable metaphor, there is always a deeper meaning to the things we do as human beings. 

While I was driving home today, reflecting upon the day (as I always do), I pondered the process of making soup and the conversations I'd had about it with Father and my other enthusiastic co-workers.

I explained to Father the practical, logistical end of cooking, because that is a shared technical interest. I spoke with another about the tantalizing process, to elicit anticipation as she is a huge fan of this soup and has recently had a craving for it. With yet another, I spoke with him about the deeper process, that of choosing the right ingredients and right flavors for the best outcome, and also the need for both following the recipe and experimentation in cooking.

As I spoke with each, I couldn't help but think back to what the prior priest said about the nature of our food; that it is an expression of ourselves, and that it is the love that goes into it that makes it taste so good.

It's true. It's true of anything. It's why Gordon Ramsey praises in his show's participants their "passion for cooking".


I love that word, "Passion". When we have "passion" for anything, it indicates something we truly love, and maybe something we'd DIE for. Think about it. Think about what people who have a "passion" for something are like. Think about your OWN "passions". Perhaps you wouldn't truly be willing to physically die for something, but what in your life do you sacrifice for those things you love so much?

I already in this blog introduced the idea of a sacrifice of love, so it isn't a stretch to see where I'm going with this concept.

While driving home today, it occurred to me how much the process of cooking, and in this case, making soup, is so much like how God works in our souls.

Tintoretto Christ in the house of Mary & Martha
I had described to my co-worker how I choose the best ingredients I can afford especially when cooking for others. It's because I respect them and also want to give them, through my cooking...myself. My very self. The best of what I can offer them.

That's what God does; He created us all in His image and Likeness.

I had described earlier in this blog some of the sacrifice and suffering that comes with cooking, all for a joyful end for those who are to benefit.

That is what Jesus did; made the sacrifice so that we all might live in glory with Him for eternity.

And I described the love, observed by a prior priest, that gives taste and understanding to the food that is served.

That is the Holy Spirit.

Today was a good day, because I got to give of myself in a special way, in something I don't normally get to do, and my gift brought joy to those who partook of it.

I just wish I could approach every task, philosophically and theologically in the same way as I do in making soup, and perhaps that is something to be pondered in an entirely different post.

On the Question of Children's Attendance at Mass

The following is an article I wrote for our parish newsletter in sort of an indirect response to a comment I'd seen on The Catholic Spirit's web page a month or so prior. In the editorial or comments (whichever it was), a woman lamented the presence of children at Mass, alleging that Mass was "for adults."

Because that attitude is all to prevalent in some circles, I wrote this short blurb for the publication:

Do Children Belong at Mass?

 When I was growing up, Mom made sure Mass was a priority every week. She taught my brother and me to sit and stand just like everyone else, and when I was too little to kneel, she allowed me to stand on the kneeler and directed my attention to the altar. When I was restless or complained about having to go to Mass instead of staying home and playing, Mom reminded me that I had no problem sitting in front of the TV for an hour. Couldn’t I be just as well behaved for God?

Yes, yes I could! I truly did try to pay attention, and was familiar with, most especially, the music. Sometimes it confused me, though. I knew we were there to worship God so who, for example, was that “Hosanna” character we always sang about? Was he just a really good friend of God’s?

Every so often I hear people talking or read in various articles the suggestion that children don’t belong at Mass. That saddens me. Not just because my experience of learning how to worship God was so good, but rather because of the objective nature of the Mass; what it is and Who is made present during the consecration. In the Mass, heaven touches earth and even the very youngest among us and those who cannot receive the Sacraments experience a very real foretaste of Eternity. It’s not about feeling or sentimentality or even about parenting. It is all about God. The Mass, and the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Christ; this is the source and summit of our Faith.

We live in a time that speaks about inclusion; that inclusion should most especially embrace children, the most innocent among us and who perhaps have even MORE of a right to be present! Jesus Himself speaks through the scriptures and tells us that the angels of children look upon the face of God. He admonished His apostles to allow the children to come to Him, and indeed, they do see and understand some of the deepest mysteries of our faith that puts mere intellectual comprehension to shame.

Please bring your children to Mass, help them learn to worship Our Lord and recall His very words, “He who receives one of these in my name, receives Me.”

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget 9-11-2001

Eternal Rest grant unto them O Lord, may perpetual light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. 

Friday, September 07, 2012


I'm going to talk about something now that is going to be REALLY unpopular, but you know what? I don't care. I've been silent on this long enough and the media hype on this has confused me for a very long time.

Here's the thing:  currently it's very popular to be "Anti-bullying" and of course, as I was bullied as a child, all the way through school, I firmly agree with developing a peer culture that recognizes and turns the tables on bullies. And because I believe that, I also believe that marrying (no pun intended) the whole "gay" thing to bullying does a great disservice to kids who are ACTUALLY bullied and not just using that media-driven popular political  platform as an excuse for what truly is a mental and emotional disorder.

There. I said it.  Yes I did. I went there. Shut up. It's my turn to speak. 

So hear me out, because I'm not NEARLY done.

When I was growing up, I was the bullied kid, even from kindergarten. Mostly because I was shy (and that is still very much a part of my temperament/ personality) in social situations. God help me, I was born an introvert and no one ever understood me, especially my peers. As a result, I was often bullied and no, I didn't fight back. Why? Because I hadn't the strength, hadn't the will to engage the bully, and figured that if I just put my head down and kept going, maybe the rocks being flung at me would finally stop. (And this isn't a metaphor: rocks really were involved in more than a few bus-stop incidents, and they were quite literally aimed directly at my head.)

I wasn't bullied because I was "gay".  For the love Our Lord and His Mother, I was 6! And in our culture, we have pre-adolescent kids "coming out" as "gay" when they don't even know what sex is about! Is anyone else smelling the bullshit? Seriously? Has the entire country gone MAD????

Now, fast-forward to my Jr. High years, where a new girl and I struck up a friendship. I didn't have a lot of friends due to my own social awkwardness, although I was pretty well adjusted even considering that. I had friends, a social life and was fine around them but seemed to "lose my voice" around the popular kids. Everyone knows that Jr. High is brutal, worse than any boot camp the military of any nation ever created, falling just short of the type of treatment Hitler provided as "hospitality" to concentration camp prisoners during the Holocaust that bastard masterminded and orchestrated.

[I'm pretty sure that Middle School/ Jr. High culture is pattered after the philosophy of  Mein Kampf, but that's neither here nor there for the purposes of this blog.} 

In my 7th or 8th grade year, a particular girl in my class who had always had a mean streak, and with whom I'd been friendly previously, suddenly decided, apparently, that I must be eliminated. She had a super-group of friends my older, High-School cousin dubbed "The Mob".  This particular girl did everything she could to make my life miserable, and I did everything I could to avoid her. One day I got caught in traffic in a hallway between classes and she and her friends cornered me. I had no hands with which to defend myself as she approached, a stolen paint brush from the art room in hand. She had emerged from the bathroom, making a beeline for me as her Guidos giggled and blocked any possible path for escape. Wordlessly, this girl drew  the soaked paintbrush against each of my cheeks, grinning madly, staring into my eyes. I looked back mildly; I was already broken and just glad they were only dragging this piss-soaked brush against my face as opposed to trying to drown me in a backed-up toilet.

As I didn't react, the Godmother, her Consigliere and their minions disbursed just as the hall traffic finally burst in the way it tends to do 30 seconds before class begins.

My tears helped to wash away the unspeakable fluid from my face. And WHY were they all doing this?

Because, they said that I was "leszing" with my new friend. I honestly didn't even know what that meant. Over time and context, that year, I finally figured out they were accusing me and my friend, who was also being bullied, of being "gay".

They knew we WEREN'T, but it was a point of attack and they thought it was fun. Some people do tend to spend their Middle School years as a hobby, making life miserable for people they consider "less than" themselves. They don't care about WHAT subject matter they use to "bully"; they just pick something and run with it because to them, it's FUN!

Getting back to the point, because there is one:

I just don't buy the "all gays are being bullied" crap that's being pushed upon us. 

The media and many misled people are perpetuating the myth of "bullied gays" using homosexual identity as a platform to condemn bullying, and this is key; it is as if ONLY alleged "gays" are being bullied! 

I have a serious problem with this. Yes, after all I've revealed here, I have a major problem with this platform because it denies the reality of the average bulled person...who is NOT gay, even if they are being bullied using "gayness" as a "trigger" for it on the part of the bashers from Hell. 

In fact, in my Jr. High/ High school, I have learned that the vast majority of the "popular kids" in those years are actually, active homosexuals. 

Yes, really. You can't just make this stuff up. 

And many of those popular but apparently homosexual bullies were actually the biggest jerkwads in the school. They were NEVER persecuted to the degree I was; in fact, they were ADORED. Many were JOCKS, even!  REALLY! 

Now, I'm not advocating the idea that every professed gay was Homecoming Queen in his school or Homecoming Queen in hers.  In fact, I have also reconnected with other friends from that time who were bullied as much as I was, or even more, and they ARE gay, but among all of us, I was the only one accused of that particular "crime" at that time, and I do not have same sex attraction. Friends, you're welcome. I took that bullet for you. (And in looking back, am glad I did. You had enough on your plate and didn't need what I suffered for your sexual identity issues as you also had way too much to deal with back then. Am glad I ran interference for you and if I could go back in time, even knowing what I know, I'd do the same thing. I'd just be more vocal about the bullies and would probably be dead now.)  

Oh, sure, this is MN and when we first moved here, I learned the term "Queer" or the phrase "That's GAY!" and had no idea what it meant. I also learned that the terms were learned from the culture, not from true maliciousness, and so it makes sense to me that now, in this ultra-liberal state that any "slander" against those who actually ARE "queer" or 'gay" are punishable by death or will be shortly. Why? Because the biggest bullies are now the lawmakers who will silence all in order to squash their own transgressions against the new religion, defined and invented by themselves: The Church of Tolerance. 

This is the reason for the "bullying" legislation and "hate crime" crap that excludes the ability of Catholics, Christians, and other general normal people  to oppose abortion and the re-definition of marriage here. 

The Adult Years and Friends

As an adult, I once had a roommate quite submersed in the "gay culture" as most of her friends, both men and women, were same-sex attracted, even though she herself was a heterosexual. I loved her friends and we all would go out to dinner, for drinks, dancing...whatever. One day she hosted a birthday party for one who was turning 30, so she and I were the only two women (and heterosexuals) in the house. I fully admit that I had a blast! 

I LOVED these guys! They were animated, engaging, fun, respected my own status, and, quite honestly, it was nice to attend a party and not be hit on by losers. (I've always been a loser-magnet. Friends always laughed at the show.)  

But at one point, some weeks later, the friend for whom the party was being thrown heard a particular story of mine in which (regarding a past male-dominated job) I'd been slighted because I was a woman. 

Condescendingly, in a tone to which I'd become accustomed from guys like him, he commented, "Oh, so you've been discriminated against."  He said this with a disdainful sniff, (think Adam Corolla sniff) as though to dismiss my experience because I couldn't POSSIBLY know what it was like for REAL.  (Mind you...this was a popular guy and had always been so with his own peers.)  

I was a bit taken aback by his attitude for I was truly distressed by what had happened to me. I bit back my anger, for I wanted to say, "What, because you're gay you think you have a corner on the discrimination racket?" 

Instead, as usual, I was silent and just walked away.  I'd probably do the same thing now, actually. Pearls before swine. 

Then, come fall, another of my roommate's friends came over so she could help him dress in drag for Halloween. Terry wasn't a fan of drag and was amazed at himself for doing it, but was going along with some crazy friends (his words) and so my roomie was going to help him with makeup and fitting. I made a few suggestions of my own to him and gave a few makeup tips (like putting loose powder under the eyes so that the eyeliner won't run).  

While we were doing Terry's makeup, he spoke about how much he hated that people didn't agree with him and that his recipe for "happiness" was to just cut anyone out of his life who didn't 100% agree with his actions. 

I recall being shocked at the time, but have found this to be the attitude of many active  homosexual friends (male and female), throughout the years. It saddened me, and still does. I find that this attitude permeates and spreads to others, and the IDEA of that, the IMPLICATIONS of that philosophy are never truly explored. 

To be honest, I lost  nearly all respect for Terry on that day, and I also have respect for anyone else who holds such a terrible, unforgiving, intolerant philosophy. They are not open to anyone; they are not open to new ideas, they are not open to anyone but their own self-defined bubble of "happiness", and as a result, become the most miserable people on earth.  

To this date, most of the self-described active gays I've met are wildly popular and wildly supported by their peers, from Elementary school on up to ripe old death, for those who don't die of HIV, addictions, suicide relating to some mental illness such as bipolar, chronic depression, cancer caused by HPV....all the stuff that also kills promiscuous heterosexuals and people from all walks of life, in fact. And bullying of "gays" is NOT the cause of the majority of it. 

Any time we act in a way contrary to Natural Law, we are miserable and wallow in it until we finally cooperate with those laws. Advice from a sinner. ;-) 

Summary and Conclusion

So it is that I don't buy the package being sold out there to teens and gullible adults: that the reason for the high rate of suicide, addictions, and mental illness among persons identifying as homosexual is the result of "not being accepted." In my experience, bullying in schools has absolutely NOTHING to do with gender identity or attraction, but entirely to do with teenage idiots running rampant and you're never going to truly quash that because bullies have always been around  and now some of them just have more to lord over others because their own abnormal condition is being supported as untouchable. Now if a gay tortures a straight kid (as I was), the straight kid is given punishment for being "intolerant".  

Yeah, I have a problem with that; I've been there, and was for many years.  

As for the "bullying" that allegedly causes "suicide, depression, and addiction" among gay adults, well, let's face it: it's not there. Maybe for SOME, but then again, as a Catholic I can't even go onto Facebook without being assaulted by attacks upon my faith and my fellow Pro-Lifers are getting the crap beat out of them,. or killed by people who disagree with them, all  in the name of "Choice.", whether it be the subject of abortion or redefining Marriage.  

I'm done. Bring on the flames. Cool thing is..."delete" really works and I'll NEVER be bullied again. So think before you comment. I did, and decided this hill is worth dying upon as I've already been martyred upon it for years, over and over again. One more time means nothing to me, even if it makes you feel better. 

Presidential Folly; Citizen Glory!

I'm late posting this since I didn't actually create this blog until yesterday, but thought I'd share some of how I spent my Labor Day honoring *ahem* workers in this country:

But that's not all! I have a set of acrylic paints and a wine glass just hanging around waiting to be turned into Epic art, so I created this:

As you can see, the glass sports an empty chair, opposite an American flag. To the left of the chair is the year 2012; to the right is "Empty Chair Day". What is a bit obscured is a Nobama sign, looking much like this one:

I apologize for the blurriness of the wine glass. Upon request I can provide more photos of it as I still have the glass. Alas, it can't actually be used for its purpose anymore as acrylics will just "melt" off when the condensation from wine meets it. If I'd had proper paints for the purpose, perhaps I'd have quite the souvenir to provide as gifts for friends!

In other news, did you watch the Democratic National Convention?  I LOVED Cardinal Dolan's closing prayer! If you missed it, check out Adrienne's postt as she provides both the text and the video.  Here's some of it:

We praise and thank you for granting us the life and the liberty by which we can pursue happiness. Show us anew that happiness is found only in respecting the laws of nature and of nature’s God. Empower us with your grace so that we might resist the temptation to replace the moral law with idols of our own making, or to remake those institutions you have given us for the nurturing of life and community. May we welcome those who yearn to breathe free and to pursue happiness in this land of freedom, adding their gifts to those whose families have lived here for centuries.
Awesome!  Why are you still here? Go read the rest! 

Seriously, I'm shocked the good Cardinal wasn't drawn and quartered right there in that arena!

Thursday, September 06, 2012

The Glory and the Folly of the Cross

"The Glory of God is man fully alive!"
 ~ St. Irenaeus

Of course I must inaugurate my blog, formally, with the quote of the Saint who named it! 

"The Glory of God is Man fully alive!"  

This is so true, and it is true in that the one man who fulfilled humanity completely, by taking human nature upon His own Divine nature, in so doing, made us all whole. He who paid the ransom for our sin and was never more fully alive than when He suffered His Passion and Death, lifted upon the Cross as an example to all, but in the end, was not the "example" intended. 

As Jesus suffered, died, and descended into Hell, He was never more fully alive; this truly reveals the glory of God and Man together. He preached His first homily upon the Cross, revealing that the Last Supper was only the beginning and in order for the covenant to be fulfilled, in order for us to partake in the flesh of the Lamb, He had to take the place of the Lamb and reveal Himself definitively as the Son of God. 

Such folly, and the Cross remains a folly to the world in which we live. We Christians in America have not ever been so persecuted as we are now, in recent memory. (Look to the roots of our nation, however, and know that we Catholics have NEVER been truly welcomed here, even as we fled persecution and war elsewhere).   

For most of us, though in our current age, as we did not ourselves cross the Ocean, we find ourselves legal and born citizens of a land that does not want us, and NEVER wanted us. 

Now, even though none of us have ever suffered what our Catholic ancestors did, even the social and political torture at the hands of other professed Protestant Christians, has come home to roost and once again, we are the butt of American Society, and to their utter surprise, the Protestant Christians who once worked so hard to oust we Catholics now find their own filial Confessions uniting with us as they find themselves relegated to the positions in which they first tried to silence us. 

It really is fascinating, when you think about it. 

I, for one, as a Catholic, welcome our separated brethren to the battle, and find you not to be traitors, but true brothers and sisters in Christ whose own ancestors lost their way, beginning with Martin Luther. 

[Aside: You'll find that I'm not very politically correct and have no interest in being so. Nor do I expect such nonsense from any serious followers. Be direct about what you believe and end the wishy-washiness regarding what our respective religions actually believe about each other, please. Thank you].  

Together, we find that our own land does not want us, will not hear us, and seeks actively to squash our Christian beliefs and rights. It will soon not be so different than 1st Century Rome and of course, the Middle East and other parts of Asia and Indonesia, to this day, where Christianity is illegal and punishable by death.

 On This Day

On this day we Christians have a choice to make, and we DO have a choice, even though our current government seeks to limit it. We have a choice to believe in God and follow HIM, even though we are now required by LAW to act in a way contrary to our religious beliefs. 

We can CHOOSE to go along with that directive, or we can choose proper civil disobedience, for the law is unjust, and we should and MUST resist unjust laws! We cannot be complacent, we cannot be silent, and we cannot fear the reactions of others!

YES! We ARE going to lose "friends", especially those from various social networks and secular networks. We ARE going to find that our positions faithful to God are challenged and rejected, and we will be placed in a position to either be silent or lose the esteem of others whether real friends or just the shadows that make up many internet relationships.

YES! We WILL have to present difficult Truths about humanity and eternity and stand behind them, even as we are stoned by words, by rejection, by irresponsible adolescent-invented "glitter bombs" and by media vilification.


Do not be afraid! These are the words of John Paul II to the world at the announcement of the advent of the Springtime of Evangelization. 

Yes, we will suffer and that is proper, for every seed that blooms must be burst into bits in order to give life. God is consistent in His design and even there, in the tiniest seed, is the folly of the Cross, for from the very beginning suffering and deprivation in order to replicate  has been written into the tiniest atom. 

We MUST suffer in order to live eternal life.This is folly to the world, the world which seeks to escape suffering, trying to find refuge in hedonism and a mis-definition of "happiness". A world that does not have God is a world of poverty which actively inflicts its own poverty upon those of Faith, for misery does truly seek company. 

But....BUT! We have a secret! Misery may enjoy company but it cannot overcome the Good, which is diffusive of itself!

Have you ever had a bad day and experienced the kindness of a stranger? Have you ever had a great day yourself and in true joy, smiled at others even if they themselves were perhaps experiencing some random frustration? Have you ever noticed how joy is so CONTAGIOUS? 

Joy is far more communicative than misery. Misery must work to gain disciples; Joy needs no effort at all, but simply IS and passes powerfully. 

The most powerful Joy tends to come from those who suffer the Cross most deeply. Consider all the Facebook Memes about those who are suffering and the inspirational successes they reveal even as they are dying. 

This is the folly of the Cross. This is the inspiration of Christ, the reality of suffering, and the significance of human life seeking eternity. 

This is the reason for the title of my blog. 

Please, join this adventure, and always remember that in the greatest suffering and the greatest joy, God is the author and guides us into a deeper relationship with Him...which always creates a deeper relationship with those around us who are also in need of eternal life. 

This is the folly and the glory of the Cross, and the folly and the glory of our own lives in all its brilliant even if tarnished facets. 

There is no such thing as Glory without Folly. Especially in reference to the Cross of Christ. 

...In the Beginning...

Hmmm....there seems to be something severely lacking here.

My guess is that what is lacking is words. This will soon be remedied; be patient, for I am known for long posts!