Mother of Five, Sentenced to be Hanged, Pleads, “Please Do Not Abandon Me!”

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

Back on October 22, I wrote a blog  about a wife and mother of five kids who lives in Pakistan and has been sentenced to death by hanging for the crime of "blasphemy". That's right; BLASPHEMY. And how does one commit such a heinous act in Pakistan? Asia Bibi drank some water that was only supposed to be for Muslims to drink. She is a Catholic/Christian and is therefore considered "unclean". It followed that she defiled the drinking water. An argument between her and her Muslim co-workers ensued. So, since she was a Catholic, she was accused of blasphemy for insulting Muhammad. They beat her, tried her and sentenced her to death.  That was five years ago and she is still in prison waiting to be hanged. This sentence has been upheld by Pakistan's Supreme Court. How civilized some of our 'friends and allies" are.

 I cannot help but feel a deep affinity for these people. After all, we are all part of the same spiritual family. They are people just like you and I. They love their spouses and children and their moms and dads. They get the flu and upset stomachs. They get rashes and toothaches and they have wants and desires. They want a nice home that is safe and secure. They would like to have a church they can go to without a fear of being killed or maimed for doing so. They just want some peace in their lives. Yet they are hated and despised. Why--because they are just like me and maybe you. They are Catholic and believe in Jesus Christ.

 Yes, like us, they believe in the "golden rule". Unlike us and  for believing this they are called "infidels". They are defiled as "unclean". For this they are killed. For this they are blown up by maniacs. For this Asia Bibi will be hanged by the neck until her twitching body stops moving. Where is the outcry? Where is the outrage from all of us here in America? Where are the reproaches by the National Organization for Women? Why does our government help a government that allows such medieval acts to be inflicted on its own people by its own people?  Why not demand the Pakistani government end these atrocities or we will remove their seemingly bottomless U.S. money pit?

As a Catholic man I know that these people are also our brothers and sisters in faith. We belong to the same church and Pope Francis is our spiritual leader. We are "extended" family. The only difference between them and us is location. We are greatly blessed and still have full stomachs from our Thanksgiving feast. They are in dreaded fear of any day being imprisoned and tortured and murdered. This morning, I was able to drive over to my church and attend morning Mass. No fuss, no muss, no anxiety existed. I am a free American man allowed to practice my religion (so far) unencumbered. Cross over an imaginary line called a boundary and things can change quickly.

Recently a 28 year old pregnant Christian woman, our sister in faith, was dragged from her home by her employer's sons and his friends, stripped naked and forced to parade up and down the streets of Rana Town in Pakistan for a half hour. Her offense? The man did not think she was doing her work properly. She  lost the baby. Never doubt this fact, to be a Catholic/Christian in Pakistan and Sudan and Iran and other places takes tremendous faith and courage.

For me and you, blessed to be living in America, we have never been faced with the threat of torture, mutilation, hanging, beheading, or being starved because we believe in God differently than someone else. Yet, around the world, our brothers and sisters in faith live with this reality every minute of their lives. They must TRULY love their Savior, Jesus Christ. I do not know if I could be as brave and courageous if faced with the same everyday circumstance.

God bless them all. They make me SO proud and humbled to be part of their Christian family.

     

Time to Pause, take a Breath and Give Thanks to HIM.

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The simplicity of the Thanksgiving Holiday captured my spirit decades ago. This is the one day of the year where we, as Americans, just stop everything and take a breath from the year gone by to say THANK YOU to God. We gather with family or friends or maybe even with strangers in a food center who become our new friends, and share the bounty He has so graciously bestowed upon us. All we have to do is "show up". You do not even  have to bring gifts. Just bring a thankful heart and a smile on your face. It doesn't get any better than that. I love it.

So I would like to wish anyone who might read this a God filled and beautiful Thanksgiving Day. I am posting two Thanksgiving prayers that fit the occasion.
__________________________________________________________________________

PRAYER OF THANKSGIVING
by  Walter Rauschenbusch
O God, we thank you for this earth, our home;
For the wide sky and the blessed sun,
For the salt sea and the running water,
For the everlasting hills
And the never-resting winds,
For trees and the common grass underfoot.
We thank you for our senses
By which we hear the songs of birds,
And see the splendor of the summer fields,
And taste of the autumn fruits,
And rejoice in the feel of the snow,
And smell the breath of the spring.
Grant us a heart wide open to all this beauty;
And save our souls from being so blind
That we pass unseeing
When even the common thornbush
Is aflame with your glory,
O God our creator,
Who lives and reigns for ever and ever.

 From Living God’s Justice: Reflections and Prayers, compiled by The Roundtable Association of Diocesan Social Action Directors
IN GRATITUDE
Thank you, Father, for having created us and given us to each other in the human family. Thank you for being with us in all our joys and sorrows, for your comfort in our sadness, your companionship in our loneliness. Thank you for yesterday, today, tomorrow and for the whole of our lives. Thank you for friends, for health and for grace. May we live this and every day conscious of all that has been given to us.


 From The Catholic Prayer Book, compiled by Msgr. Michael Buckley.
     

The Catholic Church; The Foremost Enemy of Satanic Driven Virtue

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The United States of America is the only nation in history to have used the Judeo-Christian Principle  as the lynchpin for the nation's development and growth. So, what happened? How did this principle seemingly get tossed into the dumpster of the outdated and irrelevant? How did this principle of ethics and morality based on the Ten Commandments and the "Golden Rule" somehow become a pariah to so many? Why would anyone want to remove the words, "under God", from the Pledge of Allegiance or the name of God from our coins or government buildings? What is going on? How did these principles ever become inverted?

It is, in my opinion, all biblical. And why not? We started out as a nation using the Bible as our cornerstone. Isn't it fitting that those opposed to us would try to destroy that very stone? Of course it is. But there is one critical aspect that drives this onslaught and I think we do not pay close enough attention to it. Neither do the ones committing the onslaught. Those that are flailing away at our religious heritage and freedoms are not committing these attacks on their own. They have a brilliant, diabolical, hate-consumed leader inspiring them onward. Their leader's name is Satan. And Satan's biggest and most hated enemy is the church that Jesus Christ founded, the Catholic Church.

The Catholic Church was founded by Christ 2000 years ago. The Church is His "bride". We are all part of the Catholic family. (The word Catholic means 'universal' so it is for everyone--if they so choose). And the reason Satan hates Christ's church so much is because it still spits in his evil eye and says NO! It still has rules. It has standards that have been in place for two thousand years. It still has the "nerve and audacity" to use the words, SIN and MORALITY.  In today's self-indulged secular world anything or anyone that might suggest that a particular behavior is "immoral" or "sinful" is branded and vilified as intolerant and uncaring. How pompous and pride filled this is. Only the new age secularists would have the audacity to suggest that their inverted "virtue" is GOOD and the concept of self-denial is SINFUL.

Our old comic book friend, Superman, on occasion used to get stuck in "Bizarro World", a place where everything was backwards. Up was down and hello meant good-bye. Even the planet, Htrae, (Earth backwards), was shaped like a cube. The world was inverted. It is the same with the insanity of inverted secular virtue. I call this world "Secularro".

On Secularro killing is "Good" and if you stand against it you are bad. For instance, take abortion, infanticide, euthanasia and partial-birth abortion. The church says NO! On Secularro the Church is now bad. Fornication and people "hooking up" for one-night stands is heralded as "Good". The church says NO!  On Secularro the church is told to mind its own business. Divorced and remarried Catholics want to receive the Holy Eucharist. The church says NO! (This is nothing new) . On Secularro the church is intolerant and insensitive and is out of touch with the modern world and needs to get into the 21st century. Homosexuals demand to be married in the Church. The Church says NO!  Marriage is between a man and a woman ONLY. Satan screams from his evil world to his followers,'Say YES! YES! YES!"

On Secularro the inverted unwittingly listen to him and pound on the dogmatic doors of the Catholic Church demanding that they be opened to personal wants and desires. Unlike Bizarro World where things are just 'crazy' on Secularro World things are mean and vindictive. Secularro World is ruled by hate. Satan is Hate.

There are other Christian denominations that have succumbed to outside pressures and reworked their "teachings" to accommodate the demands from Secularro. They have been praised as "progressive" and "in touch" with the needs of the citizens of Secularro.  Their mission is to save souls for Christ  and guide these souls to their Eternal Reward in heaven.  They have failed in this mission. But the Catholic Church has not caved into the demands and pressures of Secularro World. Satan HATES this more than any of us can imagine. That is why the Catholic Church is Satan's (im)mortal enemy.

The Catholic Church still teaches  that there are Seven Deadly Sins. They are pride, greed,  lust, anger, gluttony, envy and sloth aka laziness. Note the key word in describing these sins is the word "deadly". The Church teaches that these sins can destroy the soul of anyone who might indulge these human appetites. The church also offers forgiveness for falling prey to these sins. On Secularro the church is mocked and laughed at for suggesting these actions offend God.  These acts are acceptable because the individual committing one of these sins is just being human  and God made us that way and wants us to be "happy". So--sin away. How inverted can one get. If you subscribe to that concept SATAN wins.

It is time to start looking hard at the Bible. And we might start by going to St. Paul's Letter to the Ephesians. Chapter 6: 16-17.
In all circumstances, hold faith as a shield,
To quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit,
which is the word of God.
     

We Christians are the World’s Most Persecuted People

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The persecution of our brother and sister Catholic/Christians continues unabated all over the world. In the Middle East, North Africa and Asia Minor, thousands upon thousands of our brothers and sisters in faith have been summarily tortured, raped, beheaded, hanged, burned, shot and even buried alive simply because they love Jesus Christ. Men and women, (including priests and nuns), and innocent children are the victims of this carnage. How can their fellow human beings hate so much that they would do these things to them? There can be only one answer. They have sold their very souls to the "angel of pride", Lucifer aka Satan.

Where is the outrage? Why is this happening? Why does the western world's newsmakers, print and broadcast, seem to ignore these atrocities? Where are the voices from the leaders of the west in speaking out in contempt and disdain against those who commit these heinous acts and proclaim them virtuous? How can the United States of America know these things and still give billions of dollars in aid to nations that allow such things to happen within their own borders?

Pope Francis, at the conclusion of his November 12 general audience said, "I turn to those who have political responsibility both on a local and on an international level, as well as to all persons of goodwill, with a heartfelt appeal to engage in a vast mobilization of consciences in favor of persecuted Christians. They have the right to once again find security and serenity in their own countries, freely professing OUR faith."

Pope Francis intentionally used the word OUR. OUR is a possessive pronoun. We are part of them and the Pope wants us to be aware of that fact. Is anyone LISTENING? These are OUR brothers and sisters in faith. They have the same belief in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior as we do. But OUR Christian relatives are being slaughtered because WE all are hated. If we were over there with OUR brothers and sisters our life expectancy would drop dramatically.

History repeats, over and over and over. Genocide(s) have accounted for millions upon millions of deaths to people just like all of us. Just in the 20th century alone there have probably been 100,000,000 people murdered and oftentimes it was for "religious" beliefs. The Nazis alone accounted for the extermination of 6,000,000 people simply because they were Jewish. From 1915-1918, Christian Armenians in Turkey were slaughtered by those who had come to power. Three Muslim men, known as the Young Turks, had seized control of the government from the Sultan and orchestrated this horrendous slaughter so as to expand their empire. When they were done 2,000,000 Christian Armenian men, women and children had been killed.

Today the group known as ISIS, a band of Islamic maniacs, are rampaging through the Middle East killing Catholic/Christians by the thousands. These "people" do not even have a country of their own. They are wanting to start a Caliphate, a completely Muslim world ruled by Sharia Law. In their hate filled, bloody-thirsty quest to accomplish this they have "cleansed" entire cities of Christians. Where is the outrage from the civilized world? Why is the American press so silent about these atrocities? Could it be that those in power also want Christianity obliterated and show their approval by their deafening silence?

If you happen to read this I would ask that you remember the following Catholic/Christians and say a prayer for them,whether or not they are dead or still alive:
Father Frans Van der Lugt; a Catholic priest who spent over 50 years in Syria helping the poor. He was beaten and shot to death by ISIS last spring. He was 76 years old;
Salem Matti Kourk; because of a heart condition he had to stay behind in the town of Bartella as ISIS overran it. After three weeks in hiding Salem left his hiding place in a quest to find some food and water. He was caught by ISIS maniacs and beaten to death with clubs. They took his mangled body and placed it in front of the Church of the Virgin Mary which they had already destroyed.
Asia Bibi: has been in prison in Pakistan for five years. Her crime? Drinking the same water that the Muslims were going to drink. After being mocked as a Catholic she defended Jesus. She was immediately accused of "blasphemy" and sentenced to be hanged. She has five children and this sentence may be carried out any day as the Pakistani Supreme Court upheld the verdict.
"Little Christy": this was a baby, (less than two years old) who was used as a photo-op by ISIS before being killed. One of the most horrendous photos I have ever seen. See the Christy link for the full story.
Miriam Ibrahim: is alive and back in the United States. But she was held in prison in Sudan for months, chained to a bed and forced to give birth to her baby that way. Her two year old son was imprisoned with her. Her 'crime'. She became Christian and did not know that her long, lost father, had been a Muslim. Thus, she became a "blasphemer" and was sentenced to be hanged. World pressure finally forced her release. One good ending interlaced amongst the bloodthirsty madness.

As the Christmas season approaches we must accept the fact that a war against all Catholic/Christians, including you if you believe in Jesus Christ, is raging. We must be ready to defend our faith at all times. Let us join together in prayer, every day, for all our brothers and sisters, being persecuted all over the world, including in the USA.  We ask our heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus, His Son, through the power of the Holy Spirit to hear our prayer(s).                                                                                          

     

A Piano Concert Given on the Road to Nothingness

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

Until about four years ago, Marty, was never sick a day in her life. That is when the Lymphoma was discovered and the chemo began. The cancer would come and go and so would the PeT Scans and continued chemo treatments. Truthfully, it was never much more than an inconvenience. She never got sick, lost weight or had any of those stereotypical cancer fears materialize.
What did unexpectedly occur were the ever more frequent cognitive disruptions. Memory lapses, asking the same question over and over and things like that. I spoke to her oncologist and he silently said with raised eyebrows, tightened lips  and a shrug, ‘there might be a problem’.
Anesthesia administered during surgery for a severely broken ankle on August 1, dragged her deeply into the nether world which, up until then, had only been toying with her.  Now it grabbed her and yanked her in. On September 24 a heart attack (A-Fib) resolved any uncertainty. Her “Fog” or CRCD (Cancer Related Cognitive Dysfunction) was diagnosed as Alzheimer’s Disease. Quicksand could not have been more efficient.  Onward and downward.
The hospital and rehab stay after the ankle surgery had lasted 20 days and the days spent in the hospital and rehab after the A-Fib attack lasted 33 days. She thought I had moved her into a new apartment and was wondering why I would not stay there at night. Like a good “soldier” she would wait patiently, hour after hour after hour, until I returned the next day. Then, like a three year old who had been found by her daddy, her face would light up and she would say, “Oh thank God, you found me.” She knew she was “saved” and would hug me tight and not let go.
I freely admit that every damn day on the way home I cried thinking of how sad this was. My intelligent, independent, wife had become a lost child, the victim of an insidious demon inside her head who was erasing her brain. I had turned into a blubbering idiot. This Alzheimer’s thing was surely a despicable foe.
Marty returned home on October 26 with a bag full of new medications and a mind that was telling her that I had moved her into a ‘new’ house. She asked me if we “were married’, if we would sleep together in the same bed and if, in fact, her piano was new. After two weeks she had recovered some of (not all) her sense of belonging  in “her home”. She was still not sure where things should go and kept moving items from here to there without me knowing. I have (so far) had to search hi and low for the shampoo, the toothpaste, parmigianna cheese,  combs and hairbrush etc.  So be it—together we plod forward with her doing whatever she will do and me learning to (at all times) expect the unexpected. This is a minute to minute journey, unplanned, without a destination and very spontaneous.  But—there can be beautiful moments and yesterday one unexpectedly came along.
Marty has played piano since she was a child and is quite an accomplished pianist. A concern of mine while she was in rehab was that she might not remember how to play. I have been told she will actually forget how to. Yesterday, those concerns were put on hold.
I was in my cluttered, paper strewn office staring at the computer monitor when piano music began filling the house. I smiled to myself as I began to listen and then I realized this was something different. This was not the usual Marty, this was a transcendent  Marty. I could not believe what I was hearing. She was playing the most beautiful music I had ever heard  her play. “Stella by Starlight” filled the rooms followed by “Autumn Leaves” and then, my favorite, Chopin’s Major in E flat. I watched from the hallway and saw that she was lost within the music that she was bringing forth on that old piano.
Watching her play was like observing one of God’s magnificent flowers fully bloom. Realizing that these were now fleeting  moments soon to be no more I had the good sense to record the entire hour  that she played.  I figured that when she does forget how to play and does not recognize the piano or maybe even me, that music will still be here. That is when I will play it for her.  Maybe, just maybe, from whatever world she is in, she will take pause and smile. Maybe she will remember some of her music. Maybe, just maybe…