St. Mary of Cervellon: with Hurricane Irma fast approaching we should ask St. Mary of Cervellon for her Help and Protection

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

 

By Larry Peterson

 

She was born sometime in 1230, some think around December 1, and was baptized on December 8* in Santa Maria del Mar parish in Barcelona. Her name was Mary de Cervellon, and she was the daughter of a Spanish nobleman, William de Cervellon.

 

As a young woman, Mary, began working in Saint Eulalia Hospital tending to the sick, the poor and also those who were prisoners. One day she heard a sermon given by Bernard de Corbarie, who was the superior of the Brotherhood of Our Lady of Ransom, also known as Mercedarians. 

 

She was so moved by what she heard she vowed right then and there to do all she could to help alleviate the suffering and misery experienced by those who were prisoners of the Muslim Turks. Working at the hospital, Mary was able to come in contact with the great leaders of the Mercedarian order, including the order's founder, St. Peter Nolasco. Inspired by these pious people Mary, in the year, 1265,  joined a small group of women who lived near the monastery. These ladies spent their lives in constant prayer and doing good works for those in need.

 

In due time the women asked for and received permission to form the Third Order of Our Lady of Ransom. In addition to the normal three vows of poverty,  chastity, and obedience they also vowed to pray for all Christian slaves. They were all given permission to wear the white habit of the Mercedarians and Sister Mary de Cervellon was elected their first Mother Superior.

 

Sister Mary had such an empathy and devotion to the poor and needy that soon she began to be called Maria de Socros  (Mary of Help).  Mary de Cervellon passed away on Septemeber 19, 1290. During Mary's life and after her death, there were people who swore that they saw Mary literally on the "wings of the wind",  reaching down and saving floundering ships from rough seas so they might stay their course and continue on their journey to free Christian prisoners from the Muslims.

 

A great devotion grew in her honor and it was given approval by Pope Innocent XII in 1692. Paintings of Mary show her with a ship cradled in her arms as she saves it from the roaring seas around it.  Mary de Cervellon's body lies incorrupt to this very day in the Mercedarian Basilica in Barcelona, Spain.

 

At this very moment in time, a massive hurricane named, Irma, is talking dead aim at our homes in Florida and the Caribbean. The seas beneath Irma have turned into monstrous, walls of pounding destruction. Since St. Mary de Cervellon,  is the patroness of sailors and invoked especially against shipwreck, she is generally represented with a ship in her hand. We might invoke her name and ask her to help quell the pounding seas or maybe help divert Hurricane Irma in a diiferent direction. We could really use her help.

 

St. Mary de Cervellon, please pray for us all.

 

*the Dogma of the Immaculate Conception was not proclaimed until  Pope Pius IX did so in 1854.

     

3 BOOK GIVEAWAY—The Demons of Abadon; Grave Obsessions; Roots & Wings at Loonstone Lake

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson
________________________________________________________________________

THREE BOOK GIVEAWAY;  NOVEMBER 7, 2016 THRU NOVEMBER 11, 2016

"The Demons of Abadon" Vol 1; Shadows & Light  
by Larry Peterson

Joey insisted he kept seeing and talking to his dad. He had told his brothers and sister and they thought he just did not understand Pops’ passing. But then Beeker and Joey went to stay with Charlie and Eleanor Winters for the summer. They lived on an old farm in the Abadon Forest . But so did the “Darkened”. They did not want Joey anywhere near the Abadon. Why? They feared his innocence.

@slipperywillie #YAParanoral #YASuspense #YAThriller "The Demons of Abadon-V1-Shadows and Light" FREE 11/7 until 11/11 on #Amazon! Grab it while you can!



Helping Hands Press and Larry Peterson hope that you enjoy the story.

Starting Monday November 7 and running until November 11 Larry Peterson's "The Demons of Abadon - Volume 1 - Shadows and Light" will be FREE on Amazon Kindle!!!!!!!

If you do take the time to read the story, please leave a review for the author on Amazon, Goodreads, the authors blog or website or here on the HHP blog. We would love your feedback! Thank you in advance! 

Here is the Amazon Kindle link to the story and what it is all about: https://www.amazon.com/Demons-Abadon-Shadows-Light-ebook/dp/B0146QWGB4/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1478184028&sr=8-3&keywords=larry+peterson+the+demons+of+abadon

http://amzn.to/1SdW5gS  (link to complete novel)

"Grave Obsessions" Vol 1; Chiseled head" 
by Patti J. Smith

He noticed a strong odor as he moved the curtains to look inside. A vile liquid surged up his throat and spilled out on the grass. He grabbed his cell phone and called 911.
Thus begins the case that unnerves the most seasoned veterans on the force. A witness interview leads Detective Dallas Keegan and her partner to evidence that puts the investigation into overdrive. HE IS NOT DONE. Her personal life unravels as she hunts down this demon while fighting her own.


Helping Hands Press and Patti J. Smith hope that you enjoy the story.

@gridirongranny5 FREE! FREE! FREE on #Amazon 11/7 until 11/11 Patti J. Smith's #Crime #Thriller "Grave Obsessions-V1-Chiseled Heart"!

Starting Monday November 7 and running until November 11 Patti J. Smith's "Grave Obsessions - Volume 1 - Chiseled Heart" will be FREE on Amazon Kindle!!!!!!!


If you do take the time to read the story, please leave a review for the author on Amazon, Goodreads, the authors blog or website or here on the HHP blog. We would love your feedback! Thank you in advance! 

Here is the Amazon Kindle link to the story and what it is all about:https://www.amazon.com/Grave-Obsessions-1-Chiseled-Heart-ebook/dp/B00K39BRS2/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1478183492&sr=8-2&keywords=patti+j.+smith+grave+obsessions 






"Roots & Wings at Loonstone Lake--Vol 1; Call of the Loons"
by Sue Badeau

Louanne and Frank Hubert are two school teachers and almost empty-nesters getting ready to enjoy summer when an unexpected call from their past rocks their world. Will re-opening a long-neglected campground provide opportunities to realize new dreams? Or will mysteries from the campground’s past scuttle their plans before they can begin? A budding romance for the Hubert’s daughter provides help and hope for moving forward.



Starting Monday November 7 and running until November 11 Sue Badeau's "Roots and Wings at "Loonstone Lake" - Volume 1 - Call of The Loons" will beFREE on Amazon Kindle!!!!!!!

Helping Hands Press and Sue Badeau hope that you enjoy the story.

If you do take the time to read the story, please leave a review for the author on Amazon, Goodreads, the authors blog or website or here on the HHP blog. We would love your feedback! Thank you in advance!

Here is the Amazon Kindle link to the story and what it is all about:https://www.amazon.com/Roots-Wings-Loonstone-Lake-Loons-ebook/dp/B00LFWP1NS/ref=sr_1_8?ie=UTF8&qid=1478182517&sr=8-8&keywords=sue+badeau 

     

A “Gangbanger”s Journey from Hoodlum to Saint*

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

The following is true. And even though it may have happened 700 years ago, in many ways people then were like people now. When it comes to our wants,  needs and emotions nothing has changed. And when it comes to family love; especially when it comes to family love coupled with prayer, that often makes for an unbreakable bond for all eternity.


Arnold Armengol was a member of the Spanish hierarchy. His son, Peter, in spite of being given the finest education and upbringing, rejected all of that and left home. He quickly fell into the secular trap of self-centeredness, self-gratification, and outright depravity. He even joined a band of criminals that preyed on people traveling up into the mountains. Peter was so good at this work he eventually became the gang leader.

Two years after Peter left home, his dad  was asked by King Jaime of Aragon to lead him on a journey to Montpellier so he might meet with the King of France. King Jaime had heard of the brigands that preyed on mountain travelers and knew that Arnold would be the one who would keep them safe.

As Arnold Armengol led the King’s entourage through the mountain passes they were attacked by a band of highwayman. As the robbers charged toward them. Armengol led his men in a counter attack. With his sword drawn he headed directly for the leader of the pack. They were about to engage each other when the brigand fell to his knees. He had recognized his father and with tears streaming down his face, prostrated himself at his feet . Surrendering his sword, he begged his father for forgiveness. The constant praying of Peter’s father for his boy were about to be answered in an amazing way.

Peter Armengol, repentant and seeking mercy, was filled with shame.  He appealed to King James I for a second chance. Standing before the King with his dad at his side the King granted young Peter a pardon. Shortly thereafter, heeding the graces offered to him by God, he entered a Mercedarian Monastery in Barcelona. Soon after, Peter Armengol became known as Friar Peter.

St. Peter Armengol by Vincent Carducho  (17 century)

The mission of the Mercedarians, (The Order of the Blessed Virgin Mary of Mercy) founded by St. Peter Nolasco, was to ransom Catholics taken hostage. Peter excelled at this task and, over a period of eight years, managed to negotiate the freedom of many hostages from the Saracens. . (The Mercedarians take a fourth vow. Besides poverty, chastity and obedience they also vow to always be ready to exchange their own lives to free a hostage).   


Friar Peter then headed to Africa with Friar William Florentino. His goal was to  ransom Christians from the Moors. On arrival in a place called Bugia, he heard about 18 Christian children being held hostage. They were under the threat of death if they did not renounce Christianity. Friar Peter offered himself in exchange for the hostages. The captors agreed but warned Peter that if the ransom was not paid on time he would suffer brutal torture and death.

The arrival of the agreed ransom and Friar Peter’s release were scheduled for a certain day. The ransom never arrived. Peter was immediately put to torture and endured this for days on end. The Moors, tired of Friar Peter being alive, accused him of blaspheming Mohammad. He was sentenced to be hanged.

Friar Peter was hanged from a tree. His body was left there for the birds of prey to feed on. Six days later Friar William arrived with the ransom. The Moors refused it and told Friar William that Peter was already dead for six days and his rotted corpse was still hanging from the tree. Distraught, William went to recover his brother Mercedarian’s body.

William left and headed to the execution site. As he approached he noticed that Peter’s body seemed to be intact. In fact, there was a fragrance of flowers in the air. William slowly approached the body of Peter. The man who was supposedly dead for six days began to speak. He explained how the Blessed Virgin had come to him and was holding  him up with her precious hands so his body would not hang on the rope.

Peter Armengol, when recalling the miracle of his hanging, told his Mercedarian brothers that the happiest days of his life were those six days that he hung from the gallows supported by the Blessed Virgin Mary. Peter’s neck, broken from the hanging, remained in a twisted position for the rest of his life and he always had a sickly complexion. Seven documented miracles were attributed to him while he was still alive.

Peter Armengol was canonized a saint on April 8, 1687 by Pope Innocent XI. On this Father's Day we might also remember how his dad, Arnold Armengol, prayed unceasingly for the safe return of his son. His prayers were surely answered,  a lesson for us all.

*An edited version of this article also appeared in Aleteia on June 16, 2016

                             ©Larry Peterson 2016  All Rights Reserved

     

Euthanasia: The Catastrophe of Honoring “Non-Life”

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson                                                                                    

from nypost.com

Euthanasia is upon us. And, like an insidious, unstoppable virus it spreads and spreads. And it kills. And the true vaccine that can conquer this madness has been rejected by those who embrace this practice. Yes,  God is not in that syringe. How far we have come as a civilized people.

Life and its creative mystery and beauty was officially relegated to second place back in 1973 when the United States Supreme Court voted 7 to 2 that women had the right to abort their pre-born children. The Roe vs Wade ruling by the SCOTUS was the rock dropped in the pond of Sacred 

Life that created ripples so intense that they became waves of  death for millions of the pre-born.  The decision was all clinical and legal. The fact that the country which they were chosen to represent was founded on the Judeo-Christian principle and Natural Law never entered into their deliberations. The tsunami that followed their decision now has given birth to a false wave of 'pretend' compassion and dignity. Camouflaged inside that relentless and deadly wave was something called euthanasia 

Back in 1787, our Founding Fathers adopted a Constitution. It was going to be different. It was going to respect individual life. People would come first and the government would be subservient to them. (see Tenth Amendment) It took time and the nation suffered through a bloody and horrific Civil War and two World Wars. But we did do better. The Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 60s came and  transformation  began in race relations. That took time too, but it truly began to work. It was never perfect but it was always a work in progress showing improvement. 

The years passed by and we became smarter. More years passed by and, as we grew even  'smarter', we decided it was smarter to be more "more-free". Then there were those who decided they wanted to be "me-free". Meism grew and self-gratification became the rallying cry for the 'meists'. Religion became an albatross around the necks of many. Why? Because religion had rules and among those rules the word "NO" was used. Freedom was being transformed from self-sacrifice into self-gratification.  Eliminating respect for others began to wane and freedom was hijacked by the self-serving.

As time went by, those who dared say they objected to the world of the 'meist' were classified as haters. bigots, racists, and even homophobes. Today we have become so civilized and sophisticated that the courts in Oklahoma have ruled that the Ten Commandments must be removed because they violate the Constitution (doublespeak for "offending non-Christians"). The original rules used by the Founders in their American creation were tossed out by the same court system they had started. Ah yes, there is some serious "tolerance" going on in America.

Today the word "freedom" is missing its most vital ingredient. The freedom that made us truly free was filled with a common respect for others and especially for the lives of others. The primary ingredient within that respect is a love and honor for our Creator, who gave us all of this to begin with and without whom there would be nothing. Our Founding Fathers knew this. They were not adherents to any particular religion but they were Deists. They understood that we did, in fact, have a Creator. And to Him they showed all the respect they could muster.

Image result for brittany maynard
Brittany Maynard  1984-2014    cbsnews.com
So the great American experiment, where people would be free and government would be subservient to the people has become a "reverse" experiment where even the most vulnerable lives are subject to the mindset of others. Without the God factor, (and God had to be removed from the equation to accomplish these goals), individual freedom has become an illusion. Over 50,000,000 pre-born children have been killed in utero. Think of the doctors, and scientists and musicians and great writers and leaders and others who never saw the light of day. And now, with the need to be 'compassionate' we are embracing the 'dignity' of euthanasia. 
Belgium passed their euthanasia law back in 2002. Last year they passed a Childhood Euthanasia Law with NO AGE LIMITS. A predominantly Catholic country, Belgium's bishops railed against this law. Two-thirds of the population ignored them and approved. What does that tell you about "meism"? Of course, in the Netherlands, doctors euthanized 650 babies in 2013.  I mean babies and even toddlers who were alive. Why?  The parents could not "deal with their suffering". Whatever does that mean? There is so much quality palliative care available today. How can doctors go along with this? 
Brittany Maynard (pictured above) lived in California and had a brain tumor. California did not have a euthanasia law and could not get one passed. Brittany moved to Oregon where they have the Oregon Death with Dignity Law. With her family wishing her "adieu" she ended her own life. Compassion & Choice made a video showing her last days and promoted it all over California TV. California then passed a euthanasia law and Governor Jerry Brown, a Catholic and former seminarian, signed it into law last week. (go here for euthanasia laws nationwide)

Today, California, Oregon, Vermont, and Montana have euthanasia laws. Yes folks, you can go there and end it all. First it was Roe v Wade and now it is euthanasia. Belgium is killing children, living children, who are ill. All they need is their "permission" along with the parents. How hard is it to convince a child that dying is a "good thing" because you won't hurt anymore. 

This is what happens when you take God and His love and goodness out of life. You wind up with NOTHING. "Non-Life" becomes a dignified goal to seek. People like myself, who are against the assault on the sacredness of God given life, are now deemed "intolerant" and "hateful".  How sad this all is.

                               ©Larry Peterson 2015 All Rights Reserved

     

Witnessing the Genocide of the American Moral Fiber

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson

The 100th Anniversary of "The Great Crime" is upon us. The killing of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire began on April 24, 1915. That was the day the Ottoman authorities rounded up 250 Armenian leaders and intellectuals in Constantinople and began the killings. The starving, the death marches, the drownings, shootings, hangings and other various implementations of painful death ended sometime after the end of World War I. Records indicate that over 1.5 million people perished in the first recorded genocide of the 20th century. This "Great Crime" is also known as the Armenian Genocide.

Last week, Pope Francis used the word "genocide" when he was describing what happened a century ago. The Turkish Foreign Minister immediately recalled his ambassador to the Holy See for 'consultations'. The Turkish government (Turkey is the nation that replaced the Ottoman Empire) does not like it when you call the Armenian Genocide a genocide. They would probably prefer to make believe nothing ever happened in the first place.

Unlike Pope Francis, President Barack Obama avoided offending the Turkish government.  He refused, once again, to call Armenian carnage a 'genocide'. He had promised to do so when campaigning for president in 2008. Now, seven years later, he never has but the White House issued a statement read by an official which said,  "We know and respect that there are some who are hoping to hear different language this year. We understand their perspective, even as we believe that the approach we have taken in previous years remains the right one -- both for acknowledging the past, and for our ability to work with regional partners to save lives in the present."

The  Armenian-Americans were hurt and disillusioned at the disrespect they had been shown. Ken Hachikian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America said, "President Obama's surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace. It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust."

To date, twenty-three countries have recognized the mass killings as genocide. The United States of America is not among them. In fact, because of "political expediency", it never has called these mass killings genocide. Interestingly, the word genocide was coined by Raphael Lemkin who, during the Nazi Holocaust, came up with the word based on the Armenian annihilation.

Ignoring the Armenian Genocide is just the very "tip of the iceberg". Lies are told all the time across the politically charged American landscape. It does not even seem to matter anymore. WIN! WIN! WIN! is the pathetic mantra of our young 21st century political environment. I know politics has always been a "dirty game" but there was some honor and integrity involved, especially when we were talking about the very fabric of our nation. Common sense did take priority over "political correctness". Not anymore.

Former Senate Majority leader, (now Minority Leader) Harry Reid, took to the floor of the United States Senate and accused  the Republican candidate for president, Mitt Romney, of not paying taxes for over ten years.  Recently, when asked about it, he admitted he lied. He smirked smugly and said, "He didn't win, did he?" And lying from the Senate floor as Majority Leader, Harry Reid  could not be held accountable for it. A fine example for Americans young and old.

We are witnessing the genocide of virtually all Catholic/Christians in the Middle east. We see and hear of it every day. With modern technology it is up close and personal. We see beheadings, shootings, burning people alive, even crucifixions within hours after they happen. Where is the outcry from the people of the world? Where is the demand to slam these barbaric, satanically fueled monsters perpetrating these acts back into the hell they crawled out of?

The President of the United States does not even call them "terrorists". The mainstream media in America puts the stories on the back pages. We are told our worst enemy is "Climate Change".  Ignoring truth and preaching for political expediency is an insult to all of us and an abomination of the American character. We could be, in addition to the genocide of Christians, be witnessing the genocide of the American moral fiber.

What ever is going on? What ever has happened to a country that  was the "Shining City on the Hill"?  I guess it has been taken hostage by self-serving impostors who care, before all else, about power, position and money. In 20 months maybe we can recapture that "Shining City". And maybe I am just an old fool who still believes in the slogan from the old Superman comics: Truth; Justice; and the American Way.  Did they really say that?

                                  ©2015 Larry Peterson All Rights Reserved

     

Meet Little “Christy”: She was Murdered by Satan’s “Mad Dogs”

WARNING GRAPHIC PHOTOS (RAW) - ISIS begins killing Christians in Mosul, CHILDREN BEHEADED
NO WORDS CAN DESCRIBE THIS

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The picture to the right is beyond description.  It may be the most depraved picture I have ever seen.  Yes, that is a baby, maybe  12 to 14 months old.  Yes, the "mad dogs" who were about to kill her took the photo before doing so.  They wanted to use it to instill fear in others they also hate.  So they posted it wherever they could.  For me the picture is absolutely haunting  because it seems you can actually sense a desperate pleading spread over the innocent face of this beautiful child.

I do not not know her name but, since she was a Christian child,  I have named her Christy.  Satan, using the blackened souls in his possession, had Christy murdered.  The depraved savages doing his heinous bidding  made that choice.  They did not have to but they did.  They embraced Satan and allowed him to turn their souls into nothing more than excrement.  They actually  laughed as they murdered little Christy. Yes, they laughed.  Christy probably was just aching to be held by her mom who had already been killed.  (I wish that I could reach into that photo and yank her little body out of there, give her a bottle, a hug, wrap her in a blanket and bring her to her mom.)  Damn!

We Americans are so blessed to be citizens of the greatest country there ever was.  We are a unique nation, a nation comprised of  people from all other nations.  We are the true "melting pot" and because of our diversity we are connected to each other.  We have many freedoms, freedoms that are based on a Natural Law which is derived from our Judeo-Christian foundation.  Our natural resources are  abundant and our soil is dark and rich and provides food not only for us but for millions around the world.  We are, as President Reagan said, "that shining city on the hill".  (There are those that think not but, indeed we are.)

Along with that lofty place on the world stage and having been blessed with so many natural resources and freedoms comes a responsibility.  This responsibility is for the less fortunate around the world.   We have an obligation to the persecuted and downtrodden, to the hungry and the poor, to the sick and elderly, to the children and their future---to babies like Christy.  "God shed His Light on Thee and Crown Thy Good with Brotherhood".  How often have we all sung those words?  How often we have left rivers of our American  blood and priceless American treasure behind while being "brotherly"?  In our own imperfect way we have tried, over and over and over and we should be proud of our efforts.

Through wars and hurricanes and tsunamis and earthquakes and plagues, we Americans have always been ready to help whether it be with food, water, medicine, clothing, money and whatever else, including soldiers, that was needed.  We ALWAYS tried to "Crown His Good with Brotherhood".  That is because we Americans are connected to each other and that connection goes further than "from sea to shining sea".  It moves onward across the oceans like giant tentacles reaching out and latching  onto people all over the world.  This included Christy and I guarantee you that somehow we are linked  to that child.

If I sound a bit like a "pollyanna" I do not care.  I know that it seems that our country has lost some of the respect we had and has been diminished in the eyes of some folks around the world.  Some of our own leaders have belittled our greatness.  No matter, God has shed His Light on us even though some are spitting in His benevolent Face.  But nothing has changed. We Americans still have the greatest country with the most plentiful resources and abundant crops. We still have our great freedoms although slowly some have been infringed upon.  Having been blessed with these gifts it follows that we still have the responsibility to be a 'big brother" to our less fortunate and weaker family members.                    

The "mad dogs" who murdered  baby Christy want to murder each and every one of us too.  As distasteful as it may seem we must always do our best to "Crown His Good with Brotherhood".  We cannot protect and/or save the world but when vicious barbarians with 7th century brains and 21st century equipment start murdering (in the most brutal ways)  men, women, children and babies and these desperate folks plead for the USA to help them, we must.  That is also part of our Manifest Destiny and we cannot ignore it.  It is time we  showed our muscle, acted like a big-brother and  helped smash those cowards to smithereens, using whatever means are necessary to achieve that end.  If Christy has a brother or sister  they need us NOW.

  
     

“The Scandal that is a “Shameful Silence”


IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson                                                         

"Silence in the face of evil is evil itself."   Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a Lutheran theologian in Germany during the reign of Adolf Hitler.  His book, "The Cost of Discipleship", has become a classic.  Focusing on the "Sermon on the Mount", the book more or less spelled out what  Bonhoeffer thought was the true way to follow Christ.  In addition to his theological writings and teaching, Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a staunch, anti Nazi dissident.  He spoke out vigorously against Hitler's euthanasia and genocidal persecution of the Jews and, in so doing,  became a hated enemy of the Third Reich. As such, he was arrested in April 1943 and on April 9, 1945 was hanged, accused of  the ambiguous crime of "plotting against the Nazis".

We move ahead 69 years to 2014.  The following is a statement from His Grace, Bishop Suriel of the Coptic Orthodox Church, Diocese of  Melbourne:
"The world watches in silence as the last Christians are expelled from Mosul, Iraq, in one of the most merciless and barbaric acts of genocide we have seen in the 21st  Century."

We are absolutely fascinating creatures, we humans are.  Many of our species can be so kind and compassionate, loving and gentle, sweet and understanding.  Many people will save a tiny bird with an injured wing or a cat stuck up in a tree.  They will send money to perfect strangers to help them through a crisis.  They will feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick and give drink to the thirsty.

Then you flip the coin over and you have many of the very same species who are filled with a self-gratification which culminates in a hate and disdain for others of their own kind.  These include those who will torture and kill their fellow humans  for the most obtuse reasons such as:  religion, skin color, birthplace,  political beliefs or whatever other self-serving reason a murderer may come up with.  Many kill and torture saying they were "only following orders" and had no choice. Others kill because of pride fueled by envy and greed.

So I ask why?  Why are we, all of the same species, so different in our hearts?  How can some of us kill and others forgive them for doing so?   Why do some of us willingly and joyfully give of ourselves for people we may not even know?  Why do some of us  hate others they may not even know?  Why are there those that love their fellow human being unconditionally?  The answer has to be because of the very existence of "good vs evil".  What is "Good vs Evil"?  I can tell you what it is and I do not care if you disagree. It  is the war waged by Satan and those that follow him against  the God of Love that created him and all of his followers.  If you take a breath and look at the world of today and then glance back at yesterday and the centuries before, what has changed in the hearts of man?

Mosul,  the very cradle of Christianity, can trace the followers of Jesus back to the first century.  As of today it seems that the entire Christian population of Mosul has been purged from this ancient and historic city.  Murder, including beheading of  civilians and the wanton murder of women and children has virtually eradicated the city's Christians.  And what do we see and hear from the print and broadcast media?  We hear the sound of nothing. We hear the sound of a "Shameful  Silence" that reverberates throughout the very souls of all the people vanquished because they were Christians.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said it, "Silence in the face of evil is evil itself."  He was hanged by the Nazis for his "crimes" over 70 years ago.  What has changed? The press was quiet then as the Nazis purged the world of the "hated Jew".  Most of the main stream media (print and broadcast) is quiet now as the Islamists purge the world of the "hated Christian".  The Shameful Silence is a disgrace.  Nothing has changed, nothing at all.

     

The Genocide Continues–but Without the Music

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The pages of history are littered with the evil purveyors of death by genocide.  But the Nazis have to be awarded Satan's Black Medal of Evil.  They managed to accomplish the three Ps all at the same time: proficiency, productivity and performance.  Yup, no one has ever killed so many innocents with the efficiency of Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.

These disciples of all that is evil, even fine-tuned the process to a point where they had orchestras playing music as the doomed were "merrily" paraded to their deaths.   The irony was that the Nazis had silenced Jewish musicians throughout Germany and their occupied countries.  Then some of the upper echelon "death designers",  in their ongoing quest to speed up and expedite the extermination process, decided to add beautiful music to the blood curdling screams coming from those about to die.  So they began rounding up the silenced musicians, gathered up confiscated instruments (including many grand pianos) and distributed them to death camps.  The orders were for the commanders of these camps to put together an orchestra and have them play music for the prisoners as they departed the death trains and as they were marched to their deaths.

Imagine the utter callousness of the conquerors.  They decided to use orchestras to drown out the anguished cries coming from the camps.  The prisoners dubbed this practice, "Symphonia Diabolica" or the "Devil's Symphony".  At the Janowska concentration camp located near Ukraine, SS officer Wilhelm Rokita, a former violinist, ordered the inmate orchestra to compose something a bit more "lively" than the standard classical fare. They came up with a little ditty called, "Tango fun toyt" or "Tango of  Death".  This piece had some 'bounce" to it and it encouraged the condemned to "move more quickly" as they were herded to their executions.  This is hard to even imagine but it happened and was orchestrated by folks who not long before were, for the most part,  regular, hardworking, family types who seemingly would not hurt anyone or anything.  It is proof that we must never, ever underestimate the power and influence of evil.

That was then and this is now.  What has changed?  The genocide continues---but without the music.  As we sit and move through our day Christians and Jews are the targets of the the forces of the Evil One.  I do not mean to minimize what is happening in Gaza but there is an  intentional massacre and elimination of Christians and Christianity taking place in Iraq and other places.  One third of Iraq has already been conquered by Islamist radicals who have declared the territory a new Caliphate.  This means that this is now a Muslim nation under Sharia Law and the Constitution of Medina.  There is NO place for Christianity in this place.  The entire nation of Iraq is targeted for complete  takeover.

There are no up to date numbers as to how many Catholics and non-Catholic Christians have been executed.  All Christians have been ordered to convert to Islam or leave the city immediately, leaving their belongings behind.  Penalty for non-compliance is  immediate death.  The Islamist maniacs and butchers have no concentration camps and there is definitely no music being played.  These evil-doers simply kill you and they actually seem to get "joy" from lopping off the head of an "infidel".  Where is the world's outrage?

There were supposedly one million plus Christians in Iraq before 2003.  The last number (before the US completely pulled out) was 400, 000.  There are unconfirmed reports from Mosul that all women between the ages of 11 and 46 will have to go for immediate "circumcision".  What kind of medieval, barbaric behavior is this.  Why aren't the women's organizations screaming about this?   Why isn't our mainstream media reporting it?  Why hasn't our administration  engaged with this?  American dead from the Iraq war comes to 4800.  Almost 32,000 Americans were wounded.  We stabilized that nation and now it is being stolen away by lunatics.  Doesn't anyone give a damn?  We are not only watching the annihilation of Christianity in the mid-east but Christianity is under attack all over the world.

Violence against Christians has become a global epidemic.  From North Korea, to Syria, to Iraq, and Libya, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Pakistan,  Iran, and most of  sub-Saharan Africa, Christians are being tortured and killed.  In Europe they are being slowly but surely minimized on their way to the secular and Islamist goal of eradication.

Right here, in the United States of America, the land of the "free", Christianity is being portrayed as indifferent and intolerant because it stands its ground against the forces of secularism.  There are Americans who want to purge it from the public square, this in a nation founded on Judeo-Christian principles.   We have those who are offended by a cross and go to court to have it removed.  They must not have a clue as to how they are chipping away at the very foundation of the greatest nation ever to exist.

They might want to consider that the Islamist radicals want them dead too.  They hate them as much as they hate any Christian simply because they are American.  They hate anyone that doesn't defer to their religious fanaticism.  If they ever manage to come here they will not be playing music.  It is time for everyone to pray.

                                                                                             
     

Bashing God in America: How “FAR” You Have NOT Come

by Larry Peterson

I am over it.  I am fed up with these whiny cry-baby atheists who for some bizarre reason have decided that God and Christianity are "offensive".  I also think the agencies, administrators, judges etc., who uphold their ridiculous argument that even so much as mentioning the name of GOD violates our Constitution are also pathetic.  Those folks are using their positions of responsibility to undermine the very foundation that this great nation was built upon.  That bedrock, like it or not,  is known as the Judeo-Christian principle.  Anything else promoted as the bedrock is an impostor and is simply secular hogwash.  Here is a quote from our second president, John Adams; "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."  Imagine President Adams saying that today. Imagine any president or politician saying that.                        

The Pilgrims and Puritans and Quakers and Catholics and Mennonites and so many others came here for religious freedom. The existence of God was never in question. His existence was an absolute. The question was, how do we acquire the freedom to worship God in our own way?  It took the colonialists about 180 years, from the forming of the Jamestown Settlement in Virginia in 1607 until, as newborn  Americans, they ratified the Constitution on September 17, 1787. It was not until 1791 that the first ten amendments to the Constitution were ratified. They became known as the Bill of Rights and the very first one states that "Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

 Easter season is once again upon us. It is the Christian celebration of new life and redemption. Yet there are so many in positions of authority that step on the Constitution trying to obliterate the words in it.  We Christians believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.  We believe that "Christ has died, Christ has risen, and that Christ will come again."  Isn't that our right as Americans?  Jesus seems to be hated by many, including the vitriolic atheists who want His very existence "stricken from the record" by trying to claim it is illegal. Yes siree, I, for one,  am over it and tired of it.  Jesus Christ preached LOVE and KINDNESS and FORGIVENESS. Is that a problem?  Why would that "offend" anyone?  Plus, He was beaten, tortured and killed because He promoted those virtues. Does that make any sense?  Yes it does because, as history has proven over and over, often times pride and greed and ego squash love and kindness and forgiveness into smithereens. It is very sad that so many people can be filled with so much hate. So much so that they willingly kill and destroy and do everything they can to eradicate all that is GOOD. And they do it claiming it is virtuous. What a joke. How "FAR" You have NOT come.

If you do not want to believe in God I do not care. Knock yourself out. Sit under a tree and feed a squirrel. That is the beauty of America. It is okay to do that. But this business about mocking Christianity and trying to have it taken from the public square is utter nonsense. More than anything else though, it is spitting into the faces of all those two billion plus people around the world who follow Christ and His teachings. It is mocking the millions of Jewish people exterminated in the Holocaust. It demonizes a 75 year old priest, Father Frans Van der Lugt,  who was beaten and murdered in Syria last week for being kind and loving to the poor and needy for more than fifty years. It defiles the memory of the 80 Christians who were executed in North Korea last November because they each owned a Bible.

You people who want God out of the American equation are fools. The reason you  have this right to complain is because our country is built on the Judeo-Christian principle. If you lived in North Korea or Iran, or China or Afghanistan, or Pakistan or Somalia and tried this you would be tortured and killed and never heard from again. But you live in the United States of America that allows you to spit into the faces of so many without retribution. You are blessed more than you can know.

To all  you God haters and deniers, I'm am tired of your rants. You know, back in 1938 Kate Smith introduced the Irving Berlin song, "God Bless America".  I would venture to say that almost every American, young and old alike, knows this song.  Every time we sing it, no matter what the venue, we, as Americans are asking GOD to bless us. It is our national prayer as Americans. It is a beautiful thing. If you choose to be "offended" by that simple prayer because it uses the name of GOD, can't you just keep it to yourself and keep your mouth shut?  You are the ones being offensive.  How "FAR" You  have NOT come."

     

From the First Good Friday through Today, the Persecution of LOVE & GOOD Has Never Ended

by Larry Peterson

On Palm Sunday, Christians the world over remember the triumphant entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem more than 2000 years ago.  Riding on the back of a donkey, He was welcomed and praised as the Saviour and Messiah by people waving palms and laying palm fronds in front of Him.  Five days later, many of these same people, suddenly bloated with an evil-induced hatred,  scornfully screamed for him to be crucified.  Jesus Christ changed the world forever. He was the ultimate example of LOVE and GOOD. He loved His brothers and sisters, no matter who they were.  I guess that made Him a threat to many so they tortured and killed Him.  As the centuries passed by, countless followers of  LOVE and GOOD have met similar fates and this persecution and savagery continues unabated to this very day.

Only last week on April 7, Father Frans Van der Lugt, 75, was brutally beaten and shot to death in Syria. Why? He followed Jesus and loved his neighbor.  Last November, North Korea executed 80 Christians. Why? They each had their own bible. As we travel back over the timeline of history Christian persecution is splattered all over it.  Sister Maria Restituta was a nun and a nurse in Germany during World War II. She was guillotined in 1944. Why?  Because she refused to take down a crucifix from a bedroom wall in a hospital.  Father Otto Neururer was a Catholic priest who had the audacity to perform an "illegal" baptism.  He was sent to Buchenwald concentration camp and, under the direction of Martin Summer, aka "The Hangman of Buchenwald", was hanged upside down and left that way until he died. The Nazi era is littered with the corpses of not only millions of Jews, but also of Catholic/Christians whose main crime was usually helping their brother and sister Jews. When all is said and done their crime was always one of embracing what is LOVE and what is GOOD.

There are the Martyrs of Nagasaki, 26 men and boys, crucified in Japan on February 5, 1597. Why?  They followed and preached LOVE and GOOD.  Pope John Paul II canonized 25 martyred priests who had been murdered between 1927 and 1928 during the Cristero War in Mexico.  During these dark days in Mexico thousands of others were also killed for following LOVE and GOOD.  From Jesus Christ, to his apostles, to the early Christians being mauled to death in the Colosseum,  to the Holocaust and onward to Father Frans Van der Lugt on April 7, 2014, the bloody war against LOVE and GOOD advances undeterred.  Ironically, this war can never win its hate-filled quest to rid the world of its despised enemy.

I could go on and on because there have been so many, many people tortured and killed for following LOVE and GOOD that the stories would fill volumes. But there is one group of 16 followers of LOVE and GOOD that I must mention because I believe they saved a nation from its own self-destruction. Those 16 people are all women and are known as  the  Carmelite Martyrs of Compiegne. These women, holding hands and singing, willingly offered themselves to the guillotine if it could bring an end to the horrors of the French Revolution. One by one they smilingly went to their deaths. Under Maximilien Robespierre the bloodlust and hatred toward Catholics raged as the twisted virtues of the Age of Enlightenment and the Reign of Terror mixed their evil brew into a daily severing of heads before screaming mobs. Not this time. On July 17, 1794 that all ended.

The mob was gleefully screaming when the nuns were brought to the execution site. While holding hands the  nuns began singing  Salve Regina and Veni Creator Spiritus. Suddenly, the thousands of people present fell silent. The only sound to be heard was the thump of the guillotine as it went about it its impersonal savagery. When the executions were finished the witnessing mob had changed.  Instead of cheers there were tears and sobs and heads hung low. People began to pray.  Ten days later Robespierre was executed and the French Revolution and Reign of Terror ended.  The evil was evaporated under the power of LOVE and GOOD.  The 16 courageous nuns were beatified and declared "Blessed" in May of 1906 by Pope St. Pius X. Their canonization is pending. Talk about courage. Talk about LOVE. Talk about all that is GOOD.  Theirs changed a nation.

 The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very fulfillment of all that is LOVE and GOOD because GOD is LOVE and LOVE is GOD. The fact that His life and death changed the world forever seems to be passed over by many who think  that part of the story is a mere fable.  Well, for those who believe, no explanation is necessary and for those who do not, none is possible unless they open their minds and hearts and ask to see the unseeable. Then, they too will see. For all those who have given their very lives for this LOVE and for those who will in the future, theirs are the stories we should all honor and embrace.  HAPPY EASTER & HAPPY PASSOVER

P.S.  Question: How come no one was ever able to find the Body?

     

The Savagery Against Christians Continues: Father Frans Van der Lugt; Murdered for Loving His Neighbor

Father Frans Van der Lugt: April 10. 1938---April 7, 2014
Murdered for Loving Jesus and Loving his neighbor

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

Monday, April 7, 2014, was probably just another day for most of us.  Creatures of habit, we got up and, more than likely, went through the same repetitive routine from brushing our teeth, showering, putting the coffee on, getting dressed and doing the things we do in what ever order that is unique to each of us.  Then we lived the rest of  our day doing the same usual things we always do.  Of course there were those who did not have an ordinary, mundane day.  Some would get up and never make it to the next day.  Father Frans Van der Lugt, 75,  was one of them.  And he did not die due to age or illness.  He was brutally beaten and then shot to death with two bullets to the head. Why?  Because he loved Jesus and was  doing what Jesus asked of His followers; he had been loving his neighbors.

Father Frans had lived in Syria for 50 years.  In fact, he had been "loving his neighbors" very close to where Jesus actually lived and died and rose again.  A Jesuit priest, he had devoted his life to helping those in need especially the "young people with mental health problems".  He never asked for anything for himself  just for the Christians and Muslims he was trying to assist with food and medicine.  His Al-Ard Center, a community center and farm he started in 1980, was aimed to foster dialog between people of different faiths. Consequently, there were many in Syria who loved this man, this follower of the Christ.  It followed that there were also those who hated him.

In February, Father Van der Lugt appealed to the people of the world via YouTube for help for the people in Homs, the city where his AL-Ard Center was located.  His people were suffering from hunger and mental anguish resulting from the constant shelling and bombing.   The United Nations mediated a truce and food and water were brought in. Then 1400 people were allowed to leave. A city which once had a  Christian population of over 60,000 was now down to a few dozen. The people remaining wanted Father Frans to leave. He refused. He had said, "The Syrian people have given me so much, so much kindness, inspiration and everything they have. If the Syrian people are suffering now, I want to share their pain and their difficulties."

On Monday, April 7, as most of us were doing our 'regular' thing, unidentified assailants stormed into Father Frans monastery where he was tending to the few Christians left in the city.  The 75-year old priest was savagely beaten by masked cowards before being executed with two bullets to his head.  Father Frans Van der Lugt has now joined the ranks of martyred Catholic/Christians and I have no doubt that one day he will be declared a saint.  We pray for the soul of good Father Frans and ask him to pray for all of us.
                                 
                                              ©Larry Peterson 2014 All Rights Reserved

     

On Valentine’s Day a War on LOVE is Raging

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

 Valentine's Day is here.  It is supposed to be all about Love. Yet beyond the heart covered Valentine cards, the flower bouquets and candy and all of that, we must, as unpleasant as it may be, recognize what we truly have going on this Valentine's Day of 2014.  Yes, make no mistake, Love is under attack this Valentine's Day and the war is brutal and bloody.

The Catholic News Agency (CNA/EWTN Newsreported today that Christians are the most persecuted people on earth.  Why is that?  Why is there such hatred by so many toward something that is all about goodness and love?  The word "CHRISTIAN" comes from the name of Christ, Jesus Christ.  Okay, is that a BAD thing? I don't think so.

All Christians  (including 1.2 billion Catholics and 800 million Protestants  of varied denominations) follow Jesus Christ. That is 2 billion people or two thousand million people who follow His teachings and His promise of Eternal Life. What is the crux of His teachings? Well now, the bottom line is this, LOVE your NEIGHBOR & FORGIVENESS. Yeah, yeah, I know that many who proclaim to follow Jesus  do not even make an attempt to Love their Neighbor or Forgive anyone for anything. They let that old, deadly sin of pride rule their roost. Oh well, it is part of God's gift of free-will allowing each and every one of us to make choices. However, the vast majority of Catholic/Christians do their feeble best  to follow His message.  For those that do it is a life-long work in progress and this was true even for the saints.

So, why the hatred? Why the persecution?  Why were more than 100,000 followers of Christ murdered in the past year alone?   The problem is the aforementioned  deadly sin of pride.  Why?  Because pride has filled the hearts of many and these are the people who now HATE. What they hate most is one word which is made up of  only two letters. That  word is NO. They want no-one dare telling them what to do or how to behave. They have embraced secularism (defined as: a system of political or social philosophy that rejects all forms of religious faith and worship). Christianity establishes boundaries.  Christianity tells us what God wants us to do and what NOT to do...why, the NERVE of Him!  So, many Secularists (not all) take it to another level in their personal, selfish requests to abolish the influence of institutions that have the temerity to say NO to certain behaviors. They even reject "natural law" for their own personal agendas.

They rant against Christmas which is all about "giving". They rail on about using the name of God in schools and at sports events. They want Crosses at cemeteries taken down from the graves of fallen soldiers. In many cases those who hate Christians kill them. Men, women and children die every day in different parts of the world simply because they are followers of Jesus. How can  Love & Forgiveness be things to hate?

Well, nothing has changed since Jesus walked the earth two thousand years ago.  He preached Love & Forgiveness so they beat  Him, tortured Him and killed Him.  The loving crowds who screamed "Hosanna" on Palm Sunday turned fickle and screamed "Crucify Him" the following Friday.  The list of  people murdered for following Jesus over the centuries (including his own apostles) is countless. Being a Catholic and Christian was never supposed to be easy.  Jesus Christ did nothing but Love us, each and every one of us. Look what happened to Him.

So, on this Valentine's Day, the question to be considered might be this. What is Love? The answer can be found in the Bible in the First Letter of John; Ch 4: 16-17.  "We have come to know and believe in the love God has for us. God IS Love, and whoever remains in Love remains in God and God in Him. 
Sadly today, February 14, 2014, the war on Love increases in intensity.

     

Satan Smiles as Political Correctness Conquers the Church of England

by Larry Peterson

 In the traditional form of baptism the Church of England has always asked the parents and godparents to "reject the devil".  Now, in keeping with the sophisticated and upscale politically correct world of the 21st century there is a new format for the ceremony.  An optional, alternative text has been introduced that allows for the name of Satan to be eliminated so no-one is "offended", including the Demon in Chief.  Oh yeah, they kind of left the word "sin" out of the new format too.  Fascinating stuff, don't you think.  If you think there is no devil and that "evil" is just some abstract concept based on what we as individuals think is right or wrong, you do not have to mention any of that at the Baptismal ceremony.  Golly gee, we must not hurt anyone's feelings, including our own and  especially Beelzebub's.  (I'm not sure if this is true but I heard that some satanist told the Church of England's hierarchy that his boss, Asmodeus,  had a whole bunch of  lawyers ready to go to court to sue if the church kept using his name without authorization.)  I cannot help but wonder if John the Baptist had people come up to him before he dunked them in the river Jordan and first ask if they could forget the "Satan and sin" thing and only worry about committing the sin of NOT recycling used newspaper?" I would think not.

I think I am being somewhat flippant here because this seems to me to be so out of whack with reality.  As a Catholic I know for sure that in the Rite of Baptism and in the renewal of Baptismal vows the following words are used: "Do you renounce Satan?"   The answer is, "I do."  "And all his works?"----"I do."  "And all his empty show (promises)?"----"I do."   This is cut in stone. The traditional form for the Church of England uses the words, "reject the devil". The person answering does not say, "Uh, well, I'm not sure" or "Um, Nah, I don't think so."  When you are baptized, whether in a Catholic church or in another christian church, you accept God, His Son, Jesus, and reject Satan.  End of story.  Using the new, alternative text  all  the person has to do is "reject evil". It is up to the person. But what is evil?

I was always under the impression that the Bible was used as the pathway to what is good and evil and right and wrong. Remember Moses and those tablets God gave him on Mount Sinai? How about  Jesus giving us the two GREAT commandments about "loving God and loving your neighbor as yourself" and that other one about "turning the other cheek". Things like that were used as the basis for our moral compass and the churches were the universities that disseminated this information to their spiritually ignorant pupils.

But now we live in a new, secular world where "relatavism" rules. In this world "good and evil" are reversed. "Good" is anything that satisfies your natural appetites. "Evil" is anything that tells you NO. "Evil" also attempts to lay waste to a hated word that keeps trying to stay in its world.  That word is morality.  Oh, religion promotes that word, doesn't it? Why, the nerve of that sanctimonious institution.  In the "goodworld of evil" Satan (aka Lucifer, Mammon, Leviathan, and others mentioned) is a mythological character dreamed up to keep folks under control and living in fear, and the Bible is a bunch of outdated rants written by former slaves and sheepherders without any education. Even some modern-day pundits and TV personalities have called Christians, "idiots" for believing all that "nonsense". But we Christians (and Jews too) have always had our churches and synagogues as our guides, our lighthouses if you will,  guiding us through the stormy seas of  "good and evil". We knew what "good and evil" was and we could choose which way to navigate our personal ship. The light shined brightly and the more one followed it the brighter it became.

But now, a Christian church has folded. It has been swallowed up by the powerful seas of pride and ego. The secular fools who approved this and who think they "know best" have been duped by the empty promises of self-gratification. They would rather avoid hurting someone's feelings than stand true to the church they are supposed to represent and defend. They are cowards.  They have allowed the  light from their beacon to be extinguished. Satan smiles. Even he did not think it would be this easy.

     

Happy Birthday, Irving Schul–I’m Sorry We Never Met

by Larry Peterson

Isidore (Irving) Schul was born on December 18, 1889.  He died in 1965 in New York City, alone and without family. That is so sad because he had family. Today is his birthday.

I have written many times  about the fact that all of the first Christians were Jewish people. Jesus was a Jew and preached in the temple. His dad, Joseph, was a Jewish man faithful to the law of Moses. His mom, Mary, was a Jewish woman who lived true to the law of Moses. This coming Christmas celebration was made possible by Jews. The apostles were Jewish and the first pope was Jewish.  The words Judeo-Christian are forever linked. They cannot be separated. The Old testament was written by Hebrews. The New Testament was written by Christians who were former Hebrews. So, I write this for a man named Isidore (Irving) Schul, a Hebrew man from Krakow, Austria (today Poland)  who  arrived in America on August 17, 1907. I always knew this man existed but I never knew a thing about him until September of 2012. That is when I learned that Irving Schul was my grandfather. Truly, I am a Judeo-Christian man.

I am a "cradle-Catholic".  I was baptized Catholic as a baby, I received First Communion as a first grader, Confirmation as a third grader (which made me a 'spiritual adult' qualified to be a good little soldier and defend the faith) and spent a total of 12 years in Catholic school. Here is the thing with me. I have been blessed. It all "stuck". I love my faith.  Today, as a senior citizen, I have come to understand the simplicity of this faith. I have sifted  through the pile of confusing theology and have come to the realization that if you follow Jesus and truly try to  "Love your neighbor" as He taught, everything else will fall in place. We won't be lying to each other, killing each other, stealing from each other, having 'affairs', or even stealing stuff. If you "love your neighbor" you won't be doing any of that.  And you won't be passing judgment on others because of their race, creed, politics, or whatever else you might pompously deem offensive to your worldview.(Just think about the possibilities.) This applies to a group that Catholic/Christians have had a hard time accepting over the centuries. I am talking about the Jewish people.

When you are a child your world consists of your home and the people in it. My brothers, sister and I had Mom, Dad and Grandma. We were one big 'happy' family living in an apartment in the Bronx. None of us ever thought to ask about a Grandpa. Why would we?  We were young kids and our world  view did not extend very far outside of our apartment building.  Our parents and Grandma died over a period of a few years when we were young. That was when we started asking questions about our family.  One of them was, "What happened to Grandma's husband, our grandfather?" It was too late. There was no one who could answer the question.

My cousin, Vicki, doing an intense genealogy investigation, finally discovered our grandfather. It is all documented and factual. We have the "paper work". Her dad, (my uncle) had passed away ten years earlier and never talked about his father.  My mom or dad never mentioned him either. My dad's parents had passed away. We all knew that. But it was like Mom's dad had never existed...but he had. Why we never knew of him, why he and my devout catholic grandmother married in 1919, how any of that transpired, none of us will ever know. The ones who knew those answers are all gone and have taken their stories with them. Thank you, Vicki, for doing the work. You found our 'missing link'. God bless you for that.

 So...I just want to say HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my Grandpa Irving and tell him I am sorry we never met. Hopefully, one day we will. Oh yeah, from your Catholic grandson to you, my Jewish grandfather,  Merry Christmas and belated Happy Hanukkah.

     

My Message to MY Pope, “LOVE YA MAN–It is ALL GOOD”

Pope Benedict XVI, this quiet, unpretentious, holy man with the brilliant mind will vacate the Papacy effective February 28, 2013. He is 85 years old and has accepted the fact that his frail body cannot  adequately perform the duties required of the awesome position to which he was entrusted. It is "ALL GOOD". We Catholics believe that the church is the "bride of Christ" and that the Holy Spirit is always there to guide it. Personally, I am in awe as I watch this beautiful process unfold. I have not an iota of concern about the future of the Church or about the next Pope. This institution has been around for 2000 years, no problem.

Over the next several weeks the print and broadcast media will bombard us with their insight and the gaggle of expert pundits will tell us what is going on within the church. They know nothing of course and have probably (most of them anyway) been trashing and criticizing the church for years on church teaching (birth control, abortion, women priests, celibacy etc). Now suddenly they will be theologians and will share with an uneducated public their babble. I do not care. It is "ALL GOOD". What I might advise all these newly ordained experts to do is to maybe make a visit to a nearby Catholic church and sit in front of the altar where the Blessed Sacrament is reposed in the tabernacle (I do not have to explain any of this to experts) and sit and LISTEN. Just sit there quietly and LISTEN. No talking, just LISTENING, to your heart. Maybe you might learn something useful to pass onto the folks.

Lent begins tomorrow with Ash Wednesday. It is a forty day journey that leads us to new-life, a rebirth, the Resurrection. It is a time for prayer, penance, alms-giving and self-denial. Millions of Catholic/Christians observe these traditions every year. It does not make the news. Countless people who have found  Christ will be welcomed into the church during the Easter Vigil when they are baptized and receive the sacraments and become Catholic. This will not make the news. It does not matter. It is "ALL GOOD".

From a blue-collar catholic guy to my Pope, Benedict XVI...---"LOVE YA MAN"

     

Do We Now Have An Unratified, 28th Amendment to the US Constitution?

Let me begin by posting a definition from Wikipedia: It is as follows;

"National Religious Freedom Day commemorates the Virginia General Assembly's adoption of Thomas Jefferson's landmark Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom on January 16, 1786. This vital document became the basis for the establishment clause, and led to freedom of religion for all Americans as protected in the religion clause in the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment.[1]
Religious Freedom Day is officially proclaimed on January 16 each year by an annual statement by the President of the United States. This day is commemorated by the First Freedom Center in Richmond, Virginia by an annual First Freedom Award banquet."
Well now, ain't that something. Every year on January 16 we celebrate Religious Freedom Day. But this year, as the president proclaims the day, his White House is facing  dozens and dozens of lawsuits over the HHS Mandate because of its intrusion into the very belief system of our religious institutions. I am sure that President Obama will not admit that the HHS mandate is intrusive or in violation of our First Amendment rights but, the way I see it is, if someone keeps smacking me in the back of my head and keeps telling me he's not smacking me because it is only a light tap, I don't care--I KNOW I am getting slapped, smacked or whacked. Call it what you will--something IS happening and it is a violation of my personal space. 
Look, if someone holds up a bat or a knife or even a fist and threatens you with it, that is an assault. The battery is when they actually hit you. That is why it is called assault & battery. So, as a Catholic Christian, it is very clear to me that my church is being assaulted by the very government that has sworn to protect these freedoms we cherish so highly. The battery will come in the form of fines levied against institutions for non-compliance with the new rules.
  It doesn't matter what "percentage" of Catholics agree or disagree or what percentage voted for the incumbent. It does not matter what all the intellectuals that inhabit our universities think is right or just. It does not matter what all the cinematic thespians expound as virtuous. It does not matter what TV pundits, late night comedy show hosts and, all the intelligentsia that fill our editorial pages with their wisdom think. No siree,---when it comes to our religious freedoms it is none of their business unless criminal law is being violated under the guise of religion. We should never be told what parts of our faith we should honor and respect. It cannot be justified by percentages or polling numbers or by the opinion of the Ivy League community. It is a sacred right and for this right to be disrespected like this is disgraceful.
The GREAT PARADOX of the American Constitution seems to be our new, unratified, 28th Amendment. It might read: "The right of the Executive Branch of the United States Government to redefine the Constitution of the United States to accomodate its agenda, shall not be abridged".  
     

“Have We Christians Become the Victims of Hate Crimes?”

The Muslim world went berserk over a 13 minute video that most of them had never seen but had, from what they had heard, offended the prophet Muhammad. So, by the thousands, they created mayhem, civil disobedience, and anarchy in 20 countries around the world and fiendishly killed our Ambassador to Libya and three of his American associates. The administration said it was a "spontaneous uprising". The embassy issued a statement apologizing for offending  Muhammad in the video.  Wait a minute---it all started on the 11th anniversary of 9/11. Uh--oh--it was planned and Al_Queda was involved. So, after a week of  denials the administration admitted that it was, in fact, a terrorist attack. How about that. Time for a new approach.

So the President of the United States and his Secretary of State took $70,000.00 of taxpayer money and made a video apologizing to the Pakistani people for the video. The President said in the video, "We reject all efforts to denigrate the religious beliefs of others". Secretary Clinton called the video "despicable and reprehensible". As far as Libya is concerned, an intense investigation is under way and those that committed the crimes against the US will be brought to justice. I'll bet those marauding Muslims are shaking in their sandals. To the point---

Taxpayer money has been used to make those apology ads to the Muslim world. What about the Christian world. I am one of those that total one third of the world's population (like 2.3 billion) and over a billion of us are Catholic Christians. How come we can be  mocked and defiled and laughed at whenever someone feels like it?  How come our guy, JESUS CHRIST, who we BELIEVE  is the Messiah and the Son of God, can have His name publicly reviled and His very existence lampooned by the "intellegentsia" of the world? Is it because we are the peace loving folks, the ones who forgive others and therefore we are no threat to anyone? We are not about to blow you up or slit your throats? Is that it?

So what do we Christians get on the heels of the Great Muslim Apology by the President and the Secretary of State. We get "PISS CHRIST". That's what we get. This 1987 "work of art" by the"renowned" artist, Andres Serrano, famous for using urine and feces in his "art", is what we Christians get. Something that was once branded as a "deplorable, despicable (where did we just hear that word) display of vulgarity" and was funded by the National Endowment of the Arts, is what we Christians get. On September 27 an exhibit of "Piss Christ", which is a crucifix with the body of Christ on it immersed in Serrano's urine, goes on display at the Edward Tyler Neham Gallery on upscale W 57th Street in Manhattan. Where is our apology video? You don't think I am deeply offended by this attack on my deepest beliefs,  beliefs that for me and many are the core of our existence. Where is our apology video?

It seems to me that if taxpayer dollars can be used to apologize to those who hate us and want to kill us, and if taxpayer money can be used to fund so called "art" that is repugnant to so many (remember the statue of the Virgin Mary covered with feces at the museum in Brooklyn) then we Christians should get an apology from our government for taking our money and using it to fund programs and people that vilify us. Slowly but surely we Christians are the ones who have become the "victims of hate crimes".

One final thought. Since the United States of America was, in fact, attacked again on 9/11 and on our own soil, I thought that maybe at every football game across America that maybe a moment of silence would have been held in honor of those Americans killed on the new 9/11. Not a PEEP---anywhere or from anyone.