Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Beautiful Lenten Journey

                                                The Beautiful Lenten Journey

How can I describe the Lenten journey?  It's so many things, it's hard for me to explain.  It starts on Ash Wednesday, with the repentance reminder: "From dust I came and from dust I shall return."  It is our version of donning sack cloth with ashes as a symbol of our repentance for our sins.  The rest of the Lenten journey is all about Jesus, who born of the Virgin Mary under the power of the Holy Spirit becomes flesh and blood and enters the world, God's begotten son, to show us the way back to God, by sacrificing his precious blood for the forgiveness of our sins, creating the new and everlasting covenant and prepares the way for us to follow.  Our Lenten focus is on Jesus, as He declares his ministry, establishes His church, and continues on His journey to Calvary to be the Lamb of God. 
I try to imagine what must have going through His mind, knowing He was going to be betrayed, tried, and crucified.  I try to imagine even before His public ministry, in the desert with Satin, being tempted, without food for 40 days, and coming out, the victor. 
My sacrifices of fasting from meat and alcohol, during the season, attending daily Mass, praying the Holy Rosary, and reflecting the trials Jesus consumed for me. 
I am feeling the hunger, the longing for that hamburg or glass of wine, but at the same time, I am strengthened through prayer and supplication.  As I keep my eyes on the cross, I glean the perseverance to carry my little, almost insignificant cross as a sign of my hunger and thirst for my spiritual bread and wine. 
O my sweet Jesus, I promise to follow the narrow path of salvation, spreading the good news in your most Holy name to the best of my capabilities, knowing I will be lifted up by the Holy Spirit and fed with the hope of the fruits of Your promise.  I don't know the way but I know You will provide me with guidance, strength, and spirit.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I think to the most casual observer, it's safe to say that violent shooting sprees are pretty much the norm now, taking place daily.  For every life taken, it touches the lives of many many more people for life.  Folks on both sides of the weapons fence are passionate in their feelings of what should or should not take place to curb this violence.  Personally, I can't conceive of a viable solution to curb the violence, it has taken a form of independence of it's own. 
When our country was in it's infancy, our fore fathers documented a Constitution for us to live by and govern our country.  Everyone and their brother knows what the 2nd amendment stands for, the right to bear arms.  At that time, law enforcement was pretty much, every man for himself.  We had no police force, we were living in a wilderness once one left a town.  There were no "Supermarkets" to procure our food, and a weapon was vital to our survival.  After 237 years, one would think that our civilization has progressed beyond the point where a gun was an important thing to keep at hand.  We also were allotted the freedom to worship as we wished, without persecution.  I can only speak from a viewpoint of Christianity, when I proclaim one of the paramount commandments states "You shall not kill."  How did it get so distorted to say " You shall not kill except for self defense?"   I was not brought up in an environment where I learned that the 1st Commandment states: You shall love God above all other beings, with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul, with all your strength.  It seems to me that if we followed that one commandment to the fullness, then we should have no need for the rest of the commandments whatsoever.  Despite our religious freedom, man has stepped in and overridden God's commandments.  Our society clearly allows for killing in self defense, divorce, and a general overall breakdown in our moral values.  We have been lulled into the complacency of ignoring the commandments and instead, modified our way of thinking to just the opposite.  We have become God, and God has taken a back seat in the life of our society.  The call of the flesh has overtaken the call to follow our God.  Not only is divorce elevated to a normal occurrence, we seldom even get married anymore, preferring to simply live in sin, and in many cases, having children out of wedlock, for our own pleasure in a non family environment.  The majority of our new generation comes from a single parent household.  It seems our values and what we used to call normal  has now been distorted and reversed.  We have turned from God, just like Sodom, Gomorrah, and Nineveh.  The prophet, Jonah, had a fairly simple task to go throughout the city of Nineveh and proclaim "In 40 days you will be destroyed.  Turn from your sins and repent."  God has since changed the rules.  He sent his own Son, Jesus, to take the form of humanity, and again proclaim "Repent, for the Kingdom of God is at hand."  Not only was he crucified, but by the very group of people, awaiting their Messiah.  So while some still wait for the coming of the Messiah, he did come to warn us.  He proclaimed his return, not in 40 days or 400 days or 4000 days, but at a time unknown to all of us.  His message is clear and precise.  Repent and turn to God, for He will return at a time least expected, as a thief in the night, in an instant, and judge us.  Woe to our evil society, for we have learned nothing from history.  On that happy note, I say to all:  Banish guns forever."  Limiting who can procure and use guns will not solve anything.  Violence will never prevail against violence.  Make straight the path, prepare the way of the Lord.  Repent for the Kingdom of God is at hand.


Wednesday, February 06, 2013

I just don't understand the logic with all the pro gun folks all "up at arms"  excuse the pun. 
I've never heard so many goofy arguments about it in my life.  What you are really fighting for is the right to bear arms, which to me translates the right to kill.  I'm not speaking of the evil one who murdered those poor people in Conn.  I'm talking about the responsible law abiding citizens that pack a gun.  What is your justification for that?  Oh, to protect your family, yourself, your home, and your property.  It's kinda scary thought for me to think that I am a minority, out in this dangerous world, in the midst of the majority of folks packing a gun.  It's even scarier to contemplate the fact that probably a good portion of the gun owners may not be all that competent in using the guns.  We see bad drivers every day and I'm sure that there are bad shooters too. I mean, most people drive the car every day.  Even after logging in thousands of miles yearly, we still have people that are bad drivers.  I seriously doubt the gun folks go to the target range daily.  What is the draw?  Do you crave the feeling of power from wielding that weapon?  Frankly, I wish not to be around those who need to feel more powerful than I. 

This is the real bottom line.  Today's world is evolving into an evil violent hell to abode in.  In part, I believe that this is due to people believing that they must arm themselves for protection by accumulating more and more powerful weapons, every man for himself, awaiting for someone to "Make my day."  Where does it all end?  The evil ones will always acquire the weapon that will shoot farther and longer.  You can't fight violence with violence.  It is impossible. 

I refuse to submit myself to the luck or skill of the draw.  Instead, I will gather my strength in the power of my Faith.  My Faith happens to include the first amendment, stronger than the second:  I am delivered from even the sting of death.  All I have to do is believe what has been passed down and written for 3,000 years.  One has already died for the salvation of my sins, so that I may attain eternal life.