A gentle gift

March 30th, 2021

Monday of Holy Week is a gentle look at the final days of Jesus when he entered Jerusalem, knowing he would be killed there that week, and still he entered, preached, and healed. Isaiah describes the coming of God’s son in Isaiah 42: “Here is my Servant upon whom I put my spirit.” He will not cry out; he will not break bruised reeds. He will teach love. He will make the blind see. He will heal the sick, and he will bring out prisoners from confinement to the light.

When Isaiah wrote these words, the Jewish people were in confinement in Babylon. Exile. Lost. But God promised a gentle servant, not a fighter. Not a king. Not a rich man. Gently, quietly he will unmask us. He eats with sinners. He raises the dead to glory. He is beloved of the Father. He does point to the Law. He teaches the Absolutes of Love, Faith, Truth. He is pure heart. We are invited this week to get close to his gentle heart and listen. He sings and prays for us. God bless us! Angels with us.

The end of Lent

March 28th, 2021

Many Christians celebrated Lent from Ash Wednesday (5 weeks ago) to today… Palm Sunday! Actually Lent won’t end until Wednesday so we have 3 more days to “repent.” During Lent Christians think about the role Jesus had and has in our lives. We are like the Jewish people wandering in the desert. Hungry and thirsty. Cursing our “lot” in the hot sands. We are asking God to make things better or get away and give us “the good old days.” We are looking back and condeming the present. We are verbalizing out our frustrations and our hatreds. I wonder how the people in the Ark felt with all that stink and noise. “Lord, let me out; I can do better out side of this place you put me in. I can do better on my own.” Yesterday I raised my voice at a friend who was saying stuff I call conspiracy. Instead of accepting our current world, she and her friend were complaining and wishing we had old leadership or just not this leadership. Get over it!!! Make today better! This is a time of taking responsibility. A time to love and listen to the Lord. What does he want? He wanted Mary to totally give herself up, maybe to face stoning for carrying a child when she wasn’t yet living with her bethrothed husband. She was an adulteress in the eyes of her people. But she “got on with it.” An unwed pregnant woman was stoned back then. Nobody wanted to hear her story. Nobody wanted to accept that maybe she could do good things for us…. It’s a far comparison I make but the reason I raised my voice at my friend was “get over it.” It (politics, the election) happened, now just live this life and do what good you can. Then get out and vote. Go to God and ask what we should do… Climb into the arms of an unwed mother who carries a child. Stay in this Ark, near Mary’s heart. Ask Mary to lift us up, even to the Cross where we will see her standing on Friday. Ask Mary to lift us up to the true harbor, God’s arms. Ask God: “Be merciful O Lord, for we have sinned.” (Ps 51) Be quiet. Quit complaining. Quit gossipping with “Conservatives or liberals”. Just be quiet and listen to the heartbeat of God. Take the steps this week to be quiet in front of the Cross this coming Friday.

Thank God I’m not sick! I had 2nd Covid vaccine on Friday morning. I took Aleve after shot and that night before bed. I feel fine. Maybe a little tired, but it’s hard to separate that from being out of shape! I’m beginning to paint that closet that Chuck and I cleared out and he built 2 shelves that need painting. That wore me out! Ick it’s hot here already! Chuck and I visited the Market yesterday and listened to music and watched butterflies. All seems to be well! God bless us! Angels with us!

Plotting the demise of…. stuff

March 22nd, 2021

Good morning dear readers! Two topics this morning, but both wrapped up under the name of working with love…. We have a great big hallway closet that could be a baby bedroom or a third bathroom. Instead it is filled to the brim with stuff that I literally stuffed into it when we moved to Lake Placid… Everyone has a closet, room or at least a drawer full of stuff that you would like to dump into the trash…. It’s been there so long that you aren’t sure who or what might also be living in there under it all… OH! But we have to go through it because there are photos that we used to have on our walls (when we had more wall space), and things we bought as gifts, 5 or more years ago. That stuff is meticulously being taken out of the closet as we speak by my dear Chuck, and he is stacking it in the dining room. In the old days, this activity would have had a short shelf life as we entertained on that table, a lot. But now, I can walk by the pile and avert my eyes. Pretend it isn’t there…. Ah! Pretending it isn’t there is as easy as pretending what is happening at our southern border isn’t affecting me.

In the old days when the Jewish people were sitting in Babylon, they only had memory. They used to tell stories of God who has compassion and loves us. One of the stories is the Book of Daniel. This is a great story. As children I am sure we read about Daniel helping the lion who later on didn’t eat Daniel. We read about Daniel’s 3 friends with those wildly different names Shadrach, Meshac, and Abednego; names we loved to repeat! They were put into a burning furnace because they wouldn’t bow to false gods. They persisted in their faith in the One God of Israel. Please read Daniel! In the story of Susanna (chapter 13) who was falsely accused of committing adultery by 2 lusty old bad guys, Daniel saved Susanna with cogent argument. He was willing to stand up before Jews who were willing to condemn Susanna because “elders” accused her. Daniel stood up because he was filled by the Holy Spirit with courage and strength. Much later on in time, Jesus will stand up also and have enough compassion for a condemned woman to face the crowd who already have stones in their hands. “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.” (John 8:1). The people wanted to condemn Jesus for breaking the Law. An adulteress must be stoned. But compassion rules. The men guiltily shrink back and slink home. The message in this is when we love, when we have compassion, we are stronger. Someone commented about the crisis at the border that Congresspeople come to the border and see the crowds and feel sorry, but then go back to Washington and continue to fight and call names. Divided by politics, we fight bitterly and the condemned languish on concrete floors at the border. What are we afraid of? Attack the problem with love!!! Work together in Love as God wants us to do. Do we not believe in God? If we don’t then we are finished. Is it love when we criticize and call names? Is it love when we hate each other in the name of politics? Is it love when we refuse to work on the problem that drove the people lying on the concrete ground at our border from their homes in the south? Let us work together in love. Dredge that love up from the bottoms of our hearts to solve problems. Let us read the “stories” in Daniel and let us grasp the incredible faith the men in the oven had in a very strong God. Grasp God’s offered hand and get up. Get to work in Love. God bless us! Angels with us.

First Day of Spring!

March 20th, 2021

YEP! Except for the snow storms raging in the NW, it’s spring. So, quite to my dismay, spring cleaning has begun. It all started with me squeeling, at a relaxing Chuck, “Can’t you SEE the dirt on your bathroom rugs?” (He owns the guest room bath and I do my best to own the master bath!) Well no, he couldn’t see it…. He’s been complaining about the looks of the storage closet off the living room/bath area that, if you open the door, you better step back. So, I made a list… Either clean the guest bath, floor and toilet, or start emptying the storage closet. So, what does he do? He goes into the dresser drawers in the guest room where I’ve stuffed all the jeans and sweatshirts that don’t fit. I’ll go ahead and blame my bigger belly on a year of Covid depression. I have friends who lost weight, so what’s my excuse besides wine and ice cream?

So there he was in the drawers in the guest room and I was scrubbing the toilet and floor of a really small bathroom (about 4×8 in size). That’s all done and I look at that closet. He is removing blankets that I have thrown into big black garbage bags and stuffed into the closet. He is taking the blankets to a secure place. Do you remember the year when everybody got or gave 3 of those snuggy blankets that you can put your arms through? I’m saying got or gave 3 because I have 3 of them. I have beautiful hand made quilts displayed in the living room (my sister made them) and 1 on our sleeping bed. We have afgans, and about a million “throws.” Pillows, millions. sheets, towels. Here we are paying the price of downsizing to a smaller house. What I “should have done” is throw everything away in Miami and buy 2 of everything in Lake Placid. New. Never mind how many bottles of mouth wash, alcohol, body and bath wash, baby powder and hydrogen peroxide are stacked on the dining room table from that giant closet… (I have a story about hydrogen peroxide) let me digress to the day Chuck and Mike were working on our roof in the back of the lake house and I was digging in a garden in the front yard. Mike came running to find me yelling, “You get towels and I’ll get the hydrogen peroxide!!!.” I hurried out back and there was Chuck bleeding mightily from an ear wound. Mike and he lost control of a very long board (a 10×12) and it dropped, taking a part of Chuck’s ear with it. Chuck was bending over so the blood would go in the grass and not on his shirt. Some of you know, “a job isn’t done until Chuck bleeds.” (50 years of this people…. Chuck and I had our 50th wedding anniversary during the Covid year.) We got fun!

So anyhow that accounts for the 5 (yes, count them) bottles of hydrogen peroxide I have. Where was I? I finished about 2 shelves before I threw myself in a chair and grabbed the computer to write to my spring cleaning friends. In Lake Placid, spring comes with wind. We get the “tail ends” of the storms that sweep through Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and up and out on the upper east coast. Well darlings… time to get back to work. Wait until he gets to all the art work and photos stacked in that closet. I didn’t do myself a favor when I stacked it all in the closet. Keep safe. Get your shots (I get second shot at end of March then Chuck goes.) God bless you. Angels with you.

verbal hate?

March 19th, 2021

Hi my dears. Today the church celebrates Saint Joseph, the earthly father and protector of Jesus. He married Mary even though she was pregnant even though Jewish law said to put her out into the streets and even to Stone her for adultery. No! He accepted fatherhood of the child of God. Thank God.

Speaking of children of God, I want to speak to the dead Asians in Georgia. I just heard a congressman said it isn’t a hate crime, that Words used against Asians do not matter. What Trump said about Kung flu and Aisian virus and other Trump rhetoric was not affecting us, and I say it has. He opened up our mouths with his hateful rhetoric and allowed us to speak as he does. Thank God the news agencies are not reshowing him speaking to “prove” what he said. He criticized and taunted and “teased”. Maybe I am sensitive because my father was a “teaser.” I was quick to tell my husband and some friends early on that teasing hurts. I am hurt when teased because I believe what comes out of our mouths is our truth. Please this day pledge to “police” your tongue. God bless us. Angels with us.

spouting

March 17th, 2021

There are many types of spouting. It means to expel or gush. I often refer to God’s Grace as pouring out, but there is also the negative spouting out of our mouths that hurts. So there’s good spouting and not so good spouting! I get crazy sometimes when I get into arguments with friends, and I spout my “Stop criticizing, and wait for 3 1/2 years and then VOTE!” Spouting… It’s pouring out our anger and our desires!!!! You have heard a small child screaming “I want,” so: Let’s all spout, to God. In prayer. I recently took a lump just below my eyebrow to my opthalomologist and he said it needed to come off. We must take our lumps and bumps to doctors. If we want them off we have a right to get them off! So he numbed it with two shots and started “snipping” I could hear the snipping…. snip snip… clip clip… I was supposed to hold on to two balls, but instead I held onto the sides of my thighs. and I prayed. … I spouted to God and Mary…. “Hail Mary… Help me and help my friends.” I prayed for friends and family. Just over and over. Even mentioning their names is good. 45 minutes worth of praying kept me sane! I did not think about what is happening now. I think that’s the best way. So let’s take this to the streets: My friend and I go back and forth … she is extreme right and I hope that I am mid moderate. I just ask for black and white to both be discussed and maybe a gray area be found. The news agencies cover the news, but if we look closely we will see Steve Bannon and Trump right behind the scenes in some cases and we need then to be careful if we are spouting because we are with our president for 3 1/2 years and it doesn’t do any good to shout negatives. Enough! Get along! Find solutions. God bless us. Angels with us!!!!!

Trust

March 12th, 2021

Trust is Belief in the reliability, truth, strength or ability of someone, in what they say…. So can I trust? The President has given 2 speeches today and yesterday about government helping Americans recover from Covid problems…. He carries the number of Americans who have died, (527,726) from Covid, in his pocket. He says he carries the American people close to his heart. He does not name call. He doesn’t call it China virus, he doesn’t criticize those who don’t support him. He seems to care. So. Do I trust him? That is what each of us has to ask. I’ve heard some say the 527,726 number of dead is skewed for greed and miscount reasons. Maybe it is skewed. Maybe it’s only 500,000. That is 1/2 million and rising until we get vaccinated enough that the virus doesn’t have anywhere to land and grow… Biden wants us to get vaccinated and wear masks. Many call that ridiculous and they don’t want their freedoms stamped on. I wish there were a way to get over this but wishing won’t do it will it?

In his 2 speeches today and yesterday, the President did not call for prayer. Not prayer that we will heal, not prayer that we will live. He said, “the way we will get our lives back is to beat the virus…” and i said to the TV image, “No, it’s to pray.” To thank God for the miracle of the vaccine. To thank God the numbers are going down.

Let us all contribute to the joy of each other. God wants to heal us. He said so in Scripture. He whispers it in our hearts. “Come to me… I will fill you with gifts of finest wheat and with honey from the rock.” (Psalm 81) Stop and let the honied love of God pour out on you. God loves us without measure. He just pours it out. God bless us.

We choose

March 11th, 2021

My friends and I have had some good debates. We seem to be able to talk better now that the election and inauguration are over, but we are still not on the same page. Maybe some of us are not even in the same book… i am still professing “Get safe (Vaccination); stay safe (mask)”. I don’t tell anyone to get vaccinated, I just say that I got online and sent an email and waited for the emailed appointment. I did not go torture myself by attempting to access a computer registration system, or worse yet, stand in line for a shot. I prayed a lot for help because I seemed to be doing nothing!!! “I’m waiting… I’m on a list,” I told my friends. And indeed, now I’m on another list, for the 2nd vaccine. Today I got into a debate about staying safe and how we act moving forward. I agree with my friend who says it’s OK to go to church. I tell her that I am glad the church is open and opening more. I’m very glad about that. As soon as I am fully vaccinated and my dear Chuck is fully vaccinated, I will return. Wearing a mask. To people who sneer and ask, “Is Fauci any good?” “Yes,” I reply. I’m following Fauci and the CDC and im not calling any of them stupid. Fauci survived helping us to survive AIDS, Ebola and SARs. He has spent his life trying to protect us and we (many of us) have just done what we darned well pleased. Even casting aspersions on Fauci. He is the media picture that stands in front of a big team… 1500 Americans are dying per day from Covid, and many doctors are asking that we get vaccinated and wear masks. Many doctors have contributed to what we should we do.

We are a free country and therefore many Governors and Mayors have stepped into the mix too. Texas, South Dakota, and Florida (among others) refuse to (enforce) mask wearing. My answer: “I pray that our leaders can do good things.” The world has changed so fast that we are being asked to embrace issues we never would have when we were younger. People tell me they are conservative and I’m liberal. I say…. “Don’t label me!” So the “fight goes on!!!!” We refuse to agree on much and I pray to God we don’t remain split to the detriment of our civilization here in the United States. (UH… emphasis on United…)

Take care dear gentle reader. Pray for others and ask others to pray for you. I pray to Jesus and our Holy Mother of God, Mary for blessings and their prayer. In Luke 22: 31-32, Jesus prays a gentle prayer for us…. Jesus says he prays for us… Thank you Jesus!!!!

Today

February 27th, 2021

Good morning! The readings today are filled with the word “Today.” Especially critical are Moses and Jesus exhorting that “Today” is the time… Today, listen to God who gives decrees… (When we were little did we think God was the Great Rule Giver”?) Honor, Give thanks, Give praise… Do good things. Well… Moses writes: “Hearken to the Lord … and you will be a people sacred to the Lord.” (Deut 26:16). Jesus says, “Love those” … who seem unworthy to me… Love as God does. Be holy. Oh dear. I am guilty of seeing for example the convention taking place in Orlando Florida, CPAC. I listened to a few speakers and I immediately felt abhorence at the jokes about things that happened like Texas freezing with water ruining homes, the election fraud, and other things. What we should be focusing on is healing the nation, vaccinations and feeding the hungry. Focus! …. and so I fume. Oh dear. What does Jesus say? “Be salt and light. Pray for those who persecute and hurt. Have great love. Do good. Be like the sun and shine out.” If I focus on those I resent for their words and behavior then I am not focusing on what Jesus said (see Matthew 5). I will be filled instead with anger. A priest once said this to me, “Pray for those you don’t like. Pray for those you have “feelings” against. Then you will be filled with prayer.” Then I will be filled with blessings! Take the action of love. Shine out and warm souls… Keep praying and ignore the naughty thoughts within. Ignore the reaction and the anger. Keep Praying. The essence of holiness is loving God. Think about God and his blessings pouring out on us.

Today I will enter the ranks of the vaccinated. I’m a little concerned about a 4pm appointment. Will the vaccine be spoiled if it’s left out until 4pm? Will there be great crowds.? Will the shot giver be exhausted? See how my brain goes to the negative? Oh dear. Surround me with angels dear Lord. Let us go smiling into the breach. Of course they can’t see me smiling as I will have a mask on. Oh well, I’ll wear a smart red Caribbean shirt. God bless us!!! Angels with us. Pray for Peace.

Only?

February 25th, 2021

“Only” is an interesting word. It means “Single, solitary, nothing more.” When we speak or think, if we say “only,” “Only” is highly separative, highly dividing. Yesterday as I flipped through the channels I landed on a blurp from a town hall wherein the President remarked that “certain people” don’t know how to access the Covid systems to sign up for a shot. He named the certain people by ethnicity and color. This is separative. I haven’t been able to access the Covid system yet. A friend said, “You have to get on at 7am on Friday, if you don’t, they will be full and you have to wait.” I should be singled out because I am old, having trouble, because I am not pushy! But, I can isolate for a little while; let’s help those who are hungry… they are white and black, they are Italian, Irish, African, Mexican. They are hungry because they have lost jobs in restaurants, bars, and places that serve large groups of people that are still closed or doing “only take out.” Food banks are trying to find the hungry especially the children. Parents aren’t to blame. They are standing in line.

Yesterday the priest read about Jonah who went through the streets of Ninevah exhorting the people to pray to God for intercession and today we read from the Book of Esther. Tonight, Purim begins for our older brothers, the Jews. Esther was a beautiful Jewish slave and harem woman who was selected by the King for her beauty to be his queen, but she could not approach him and speak to him, or she would be killed. Esther heard of a plot to kill the Jewish people and she prayed to God to help her. Small me, Big You God, help my people. Psalm 138 reads, ” Lord on the day I called for help, you answered me.” Jesus said, “ask and it will be given to you.” (Matthew 7:7-12). Well, what should we do with all this knowledge about Jonah and Esther?

While we are looking for the Light; trying to be light, why not consider the readings I mentioned above. Look at the way Esther humbled herself and asked her companions to pray with her. Look at the Psalmist praising God. Pray for what we need and expect, maybe we won’t realize, but, pray to accept that we get what we need. I realized today that the vaccine is a great miracle. One year after the pandemic “started”, We are dispensing vaccine to everyone in the US. It will take a while as there are 320 million of us, and we need 2 doses each. I have often asked you to do the math. Thats 720 million and that is only the US. Then yesterday the WHO announced that we have agreed to help get the vaccine to Africa where in many places it has not been dispensed at all. Many people have argued against supporting the WHO and giving money outside the US when we need help inside the US so desperately, but if the world is not vaccinated, we won’t get hold on this virus. It will just continue to spread. If you don’t think that way, please pray for guidance. Me too. I am praying constantly for guidance.

Consider that God answers our prayer out of mercy! God does not look at our merits; he loves us, and through the merits of Jesus, God pours out Grace. I can’t understand what makes a vaccine, and I haven’t stood up in the marketplace and made speeches! I feel that I am just a small person and all I can do is pray: (”Thank you God for the vaccine; thank you for flowers and butterflies. And while I’m at it God, I need help making change. I need to stop judging; stop arguing. I pray for my change.”) Satan doesn’t like that when we ask for help from God. Satan likes us to be in trouble! He gets tired of our prayer! Job asked God, “What is man that you should care for him?” God is here, and He cares for us. He desires conversation with us. Tell God what makes you sad. Tell God what makes you happy. Go sit on the door opening to the Ark; Noah will let you sit there. Watch Noah work. He’s praying he can save some people. Pray for friends and family. Tell God what you need for friends and family. We won’t change them, but we can ask God to do the work! God bless us. Angels with us.

Why not be Light?

February 23rd, 2021

It’s starting! 3 prominent Florida Republians participated in a “runoff” election for President. Oh dear. As I freely advised 6 months ago, “You have a vote.” Go for it. We all better get busy and start talking, but… Let us think for a moment about a small child named Manuel Fodera. Born June 21, 2001, the small boy developed a neuroblastoma that finally killed him on July 20, 2010. Throughout a horrible medical ordeal, the boy became quite docile as he prayed and spoke with his “friend” Jesus who, he said, resided in his heart. The boy was sure that Christ lived in his heart and that he himself had a mission to be a warrior of Light. He told his mother many things that a young child couldn’t possibly know that Jesus told him. In Isaiah 58, the prophet tells us, you will know it is a day acceptabe to the Lord when “your light breaks forward like the dawn.” Think of the small boy dying, but so joyful because he saw what is truly important, and it isn’t politics, it isn’t political gain or greed. It is light and helping people. Oh how I pray I can ignore all the fighting that is about to begin for it destroys my peace. Let us continue to help others, the poor, the single families, the children. Let us think only of how we can help. Let us think of how we can be light. God bless us. Angels with us.

Lenten journey continues

February 22nd, 2021

In my last writing I asked what does the ark Noah built have to do with Lent? One righteous man built a wooden boat and he invited us to join him. Climb aboard. It must have been pretty crowded and stinky! Aside from the noise and the stink, what else was in the Ark? A righteous man. He did what God asked. He loved. He worked obediently to serve others despite neighbors taunting him. Surely he was taunted for building the big boat in his yard! How many times he looked up, asking for guidance and strength. We don’t know. He just kept building. Called to love. Leaning on God. Hearing God’s voice. And that is the hard part.

How many of us know we have heard God’s voice? Right now my neighbor is making a lot of noise in his side yard and honestly all I hear is a saw and men talking… Out front, in my neighbor’s yard people are mowing and chopping… It’s noisy! Ah! where is God’s voice? I can’t hear it for all the distractions. I’ve heard that his voice is in my heart. In Deuteronomy (30:15) Moses prayed we would listen to God’s voice… “Heed his voice and hold fast to him”, but I can’t “hold fast” to him unless I am up against him. Leaning on his chest. I would lean, and he would catch me. Embraced, I could relax.

But I have walls and thorns I have built over the years. Bad things have happened. Many people have “left the church” because of stupid things “the church” has done. Many people have been hurt by priests and pastors. My church has recently, continuously, cleaned house and the latest is the leaving of office by a so called “Conservative Cardinal.” Oh yes. We all share the labels, Conservative, liberal…. We develop thorns that keep us from getting too close to what we reject. Lent is 40 days of journeying in the desert with no outside influence; just soul and God. God is trying to move us. Try to imagine a dance teacher or a yoga instructor adjusting our limbs. We are straining to pose and here comes someone who says, “Like this.” and they adjust our limbs. As you are adjusted by God, what do you feel? God bless us. Angels with us.

Learn from pain

February 18th, 2021

After the inauguration I felt hopeful and positive despite the Capitol invasion a short 2 weeks prior. Then the President ordered the rescinding of the Mexico City Policy (allowing taxpayer dollars to go into countries who might use it for abortion). Then we watched the trial of a President who was accused of ordering insurrection… “Who Won?” I wrote in my journal in big letters. Nobody is the answer. Nobody won and nobody was held accountable. There were, and still are, dark times. Troubled waters. Once more the slings and arrows were launched. Lawyers are able to say things that sound very believable… On both sides. So slings and arrows from all sides. I watched, because as I told Chuck, “This is history.” Knowing the result despite the way I feel can make the tummy hurt. More hurt. Being unvaccinated; I’m still isolated so talking these things through with people face to face is difficult. I’m on the county list for a vaccination, and I’m following the “rules.” Friends are getting vaccinated in other counties than their own so that is a good thing for them.

All through my silence I was writing in my journal though and I strongly recommend a journal! My friend says, “No one wants to read that …. ” … “what?” I ask, “No one wants to read stuff from your heart? stuff from your very intelligent brain? stuff from your pain?” Ah, pain! there it is. I accuse another friend of ignoring the fact that she is lying to herself and to me because she can’t bear the things she does to get her into trouble, so she says, “My debt and pain are my fate. There will be a miracle.” Oh there I go again, thinking I have the answer. What I do know is that we are not left in the pain. In the darkness. In the tomb. Jesus brought us up to be creative and to procreate. Build beautiful things. Write beautiful words. Make beautiful music. Serve God with good deeds done by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration. We were made for eternal life; our Grace was restored in Baptism, and we are healed with Sacraments which are the healing touch of God. We are healed by Jesus, who, saying, “I will it,” reached out and touched a leper (Mark 1:40) healing the man who asked for healing. “If you wish it Lord!” I weakly whisper. “Of course I do!” answers our God. So, I asked myself in the past few weeks, “How do I get out of these troubled waters that are hurting me and drowning me?” Well the reading on the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday is good for all of us! In Mark 8:14-21, Jesus made a second miracle of loaves and fish… “Don’t you understand?” he asks? “Uh No,” I answer. At one point, God got so exasperated that people just didn’t get it, that he told Noah to build an ark. There is a wonderful church in Nowa Huta, Poland. The government built a Socialist city with no churches, but the people, inspired by Karol Wojtyla, (Pope John Paul II), built the church by hand like Noah did. It resembles the Ark. Why do we need that symbol? Because God found one righteous man and told him, if he works he can save civilization… One righteous man, on an Ark in the shape of a Cross saved us too and that is what Lent is all about. Stay in the Ark was the message to Noah, until I bring you safely outside again. So what does this have to do with Lent? God bless us!

If I could change one mind

January 24th, 2021

If I could change one mind it would mean that I helped someone to realize that Peace stands a chance when we stop fighting. It would mean we listen to respected people. It would mean we stop calling names, calling “fraud,” hurting reputations, rather we start helping others who need help. I watch Sunday Morning on CBS every Sunday morning. Generally I DVR it so I can FF through commercials and FF through things I’m not interested in. So today I watched the first unfettered interview of Anthony Fauci. I didn’t really have reason to “know” him before this last year. I saw video clips of him being tortured by AIDS protesters. Now he has been tortured in public by people who think he’s lying and they don’t want to wear masks. I knew he was listening to the President and realizing the truth wasn’t being said. Today he spoke unfettered and I felt relief. Can I change one person who still believes the lies of the past 4 years?

For some reason the Fauci interview this morning made me think, what if I could change one mind? It made me remember a time when I taught 11th grade in a very awful year that I realized early on I couldn’t teach these kids. They were out of control before I got there. I tried to go over exams with them before I gave the test. Anything to teach teach teach. Even going over tests with them before test day. So I did that. I asked questions from the test. Then I said, anyone have any questions? And a student came up to ask and I took him over to my desk for a little privacy. The students saw that I left the test out and they took advantage of that. I answered question after question while others read the questions and copied them (question 1 is B, question 2 is C etc). One student came up to me after class and told me what had happened. One student out of 30 told me the kids cheated. I changed the test. Just shifted the questions around, and indeed when I handed out the test one kid blurted out, “you changed it!” How stupid he was!!!! I was broken by that experience because I hoped for students who wanted to learn and grow. “If only I could change one.” That’s what I am. A teacher, a dreamer. As we walked her dog yesterday, I asked my friend, “give peace a chance.” I’m not sure she is willing to do that. This morning, I refuted some of her “facts” and protests with articles written into the news in google. I did not get an answer. Can we make changes? Can we find truth and peace? The 11th grade girl who told me the truth is one. I pray for the others. I pray for Peace in this world. We can do that! God bless us.

Do you cringe when…..

January 22nd, 2021

Do you cringe when people repeat themselves? I am guilty of repeating myself with the “oughta dos” and (heaven forbid) the “should dos.” My neices, my husband, my friends all tell me…. “You are doing it again; telling us what to do.” Well who made me so perfect? Poor Chuck! We are together in each other’s pockets so much, so, if I can get him out walking (yea!) then I try to get him to walk a “few extra steps…” He says, “Hey I’m out here, don’t push!” I tell him daily, “need to stretch; need to exercise and walk!!!!”. I also chant “relax” when he gets irritated over small things. “Relax; it’s OK; it’s small,” I chant. Until he says, “Stop telling me…. to exercise, to stretch, to relax!” Well who made me the expert anyway? I have a friend who laments that she didn’t “make” her husband see a doctor…” Needless to say, I commiserate, but I also realize we can’t “make people do stuff.”

How many times are the same things repeated in Scripture? God repeats and repeats, “repent, be humble, pray, have faith, rejoice.” It is so critical that we believe that we have a new deal with God who loves us. We get the new deal every time we turn our eyes inward to our hearts and say to God, “I’m sorry.” What the Lord repeated is for those who have faith in him, “Be still, relax into my heart, lean against my chest, I am here.” God would have us be at peace, trusting, not angry. Lean back, look up. God bless us. God bless America.

The Hill We Climb

January 21st, 2021

A beautiful, brave, young 22 year old stood poised and free and read a brilliant Ode that she penned and finished the night of January 6. I have copied parts of an interview and the poem itself. This young woman needs our notice and our prayers. She is one of the hopes of America! What I copied from the internet:

The Los Angeles native told NPR she finished writing the poem, titled “The Hill We Climb,” on the night of Jan. 6, hours after rioters took part in a siege on Capitol Hill.

“I was like, ‘Well, this is something we need to talk about,’” Gorman told NPR’s Steve Inskeep ahead of the inauguration, adding it had been “really daunting to begin the poem” given how divided the country seemed after the 2020 election.

Gorman opened her poem Wednesday by saying, “We braved the belly of the beast.”

“We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is hours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished,” she said. “We, the successors of a country and a time, where a skinny black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.”

“And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect,” she said. “We are striving to forge our union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man.”

“And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us. We close the divide because we know to put our future first. We must first put our differences aside,” Gorman said.

Gorman, who said she was not given specific instructions on what to write in her poem, follows in the footsteps of esteemed poets like Maya Angelou and Robert Frost in reading a poem at a presidential inauguration.

Gorman received praise for her poem from the likes of Lin Manuel Miranda, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and Oprah Winfrey, who tweeted, “Maya Angelou is cheering—and so am I.”

Winfrey gifted Gorman the gold hoop earrings and birdcage ring she wore at the inauguration. “For Oprah, this gesture continues her tradition of supporting poets ahead of their meaningful address,” Oprah magazine explained. “When Angelou was chosen to read a poem at Bill Clinton’s 1993 inauguration, Oprah sent her a blue Chanel coat and a pair of gloves to wear for the occasion.”

The Hill We Climb : in full:
Mr. President, Dr. Biden, Madam Vice President, Mr. Emhoff, Americans and the world, when day comes, we ask ourselves where can we find light in this never-ending shade? The loss we carry, a sea we must wade. We braved the belly of the beast.

We’ve learned that quiet isn’t always peace, and the norms and notions of what just is, isn’t always justice. And yet the dawn is hours before we knew it, somehow we do it, somehow we’ve weathered and witnessed a nation that isn’t broken but simply unfinished.

We, the successors of a country and a time, where a skinny Black girl descended from slaves and raised by a single mother can dream of becoming president, only to find herself reciting for one.

And yes, we are far from polished, far from pristine, but that doesn’t mean we are striving to form a union that is perfect. We are striving to forge our union with purpose, to compose a country committed to all cultures, colors, characters and conditions of man. And so we lift our gazes not to what stands between us but what stands before us. We close the divide, because we know to put our future first, we must first put our differences aside.

We lay down our arms so we can reach out our arms to one another. We seek harm to none and harmony for all. Let the globe, if nothing else, say this is true, that even as we grieved, we grew. That even as we hurt, we hoped.

That even as we tired, we tried. That we’ll forever be tied together, victorious, not because we will never again know defeat, but because we will never again sow division.

Scripture tells us to envision that everyone shall sit under their own vine and fig tree, and no one shall make them afraid.

If we’re to live up to our own time, then victory won’t lighten the blade, but in all the bridges we’ve made, that is the promise to glade, the hill we climb if only we dare, it’s because being American is more than a pride we inherit. It’s the past we stepped into and how we repair it.

We’ve seen a force that would shatter our nation rather than share it, would destroy our country if it meant delaying democracy.

And this effort very nearly succeeded. But while democracy can be periodically delayed, it can never be permanently defeated. In this truth, in this faith, we trust. For while we have our eyes on the future, history has its eyes on us.

This is the era of just redemption. We feared at its inception. We did not feel prepared to be the heirs of such a terrifying hour, but within it we found the power to author a new chapter, to offer hope and laughter to ourselves.

So, while once we asked, “how could we possibly prevail over catastrophe?”, now we assert, “how could catastrophe possibly prevail over us?” We will not march back to what was, but move to what shall be, a country that is bruised but whole, benevolent but bold, fierce and free. We will not be turned around or interrupted by intimidation.

Because we know our inaction and inertia will be the inheritance of the next generation. Our blunders become their burdens. But one thing is certain. If we merge mercy with might and might with right, then love becomes our legacy, and change, our children’s birth right.

So let us leave behind a country better than one we were left with, every breath from my bronze-pounded chest, we will raise this wounded world into a wondrous one. We will rise through the gold-limbed hills of the west, we will rise from the windswept northeast where our forefathers first realized revolution. We will rise from the lake-rimmed cities of the Midwestern states. We will rise from the sun-baked South.

We will rebuild, reconcile, and recover, in every known nook of our nation, in every corner called our country, our people diverse and beautiful, will emerge battered and beautiful. When day comes, we step out of the shade, aflame and unafraid.

The new dawn blooms as we free it for there is always light if only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.

WOW! God bless Amanda Gorman! Thank God. Angels with us!

Know the Love God has for us!

January 20th, 2021

Inauguration Day! This day happens every four years! It is a tribute to the American Constitution and the Founding Fathers who must have sensed we need a ceremony every four years to remind us that “We the people of the United States” of America have spoken and have been heard and counted. We celebrate with great gravity and thanksgiving that we are a free people. There has been awful war and violence in our history, but we always gather, “like clockwork,” on January 20, every four years. First we pray. George Washington started this when he was first inaugurated. He walked to church with his companions before the inauguration ceremonies.

As we watched the Memorial yesterday for the more than 400,000 deaths since February and as we watch today the repeated process of inauguration every 4 years, I hope all of us are praying and not cursing…. I pray: “God bless America. Where there is hatred, let us sow love. Where there is darkness, let us shine light. Where there is sadness, let us bring joy. I pray you heal our divisions Lord. Let us do good, Lord. Let us move forward to serve you Lord. Let us acknowledge the healing balm you pour out Lord. Enkindle in us your Spirit of service. Let us heal.” God bless us. Angels with us.

Breaking Bread

January 19th, 2021

Good morning! It’s a chilly winter morning… in the 20s “up north” as we Miamians used to call it! Now I’m a Lake Placid girl and it’s 50ish and I’m chilly! Keep warm and safe my dear readers!!! This weekend we watched a great football match. Chuck and I have been watching football since the late 60s. He was very interested in the scrambling techniques of Fran Tarkenton whose running skills to protect his own life led to 3 Super Bowls for the Purple People Eaters in the 1970s. At the same time we were watching the likes of Jim Kelly, Bernie Kosar, and the great years of the Miami Hurricanes and Dolphins. Football is often related as a gladiator sport. There is one leader who hopes his team performs to his calls! One leader who can become a legend bouyed up by his team. He can’t perform alone. This weekend we saw Drew Brees and Tom Brady compete. Some people don’t like Brady because he has done some questionable things to win, but he’s still playing and he and Brees share between them some awesome records. Put a ball in the air and, if the right man is at the other end, Score! The game this weekend was tough as I was cheering for both men who could be my sons…! My mother used to do that! “Oh that was a great play!” she would say excitedly! “Mom! that’s the wrong team! They are the enemy!” we would shout!!! “But it was a good play!” Mom taught us a lesson…. it’s the great play we should be cheering!!! Great men are playing here! There will be great plays! Enjoy it! There were great plays this weekend. I loved best when Brees walked off the field and Jameis Winston came to stand off to the side on the line. The trick play resulted in 7 points and made Drew Brees laugh. He needed a good laugh as I think he was hurting. He was playing injured; hit too many times in the ribs.

Today’s reading at Mass was from the Gospel of Mark 2:23: When they were hungry, David left the battlefield to find food for his companions, and he shared the the Bread of Offering in the Tent of Meeting with his companions. Our priest explained that our word companion comes from Cum Panis: “To share or break bread with.” Jesus walked through a wheat field with his companions, and in their hunger, they broke off stalks of wheat to eat. Pharisees complained that they were breaking the Sabbath Law. Jesus advised them to think back to David feeding his men the most sacred bread. “The Sabbath was made for men,” Jesus replied. Give them bread. It doesn’t matter what day it is; they are hungry. Jesus might have had these words in his heart: “Come share the Bread with me,” but the Pharisees couldn’t hear that. When great people meet in conflict, they can’t see each other or the needs of their companions. The Pharisees couldn’t “see” Jesus. Only one man can win. He either eliminates his enemy, or he and his team execute better and win the way. Only one man wins. (So the gladiator Drew Brees walked off the field having lost the combat.) Only one man wins and the other leaves the field of combat.

UNLESS we agree to work together to pool our resources and talents! I’ll bet you know where I’m going with this rather convoluted story! Why can’t we pool our talents and resources? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the group that has been fighting Covid for almost a year could sit at the table and share the bread with the new team? “Here’s what we learned. Here’s what we did wrong. Here’s what we think could be changed, but we just couldn’t get to it.” Don’t slink off! Stay and help. Make one great team for America. But breaking bread, Cum Panis, just can’t be for everybody. Our work often ends in competition and bitterness. One seeks to defeat the other. Watch two children shouting at each other and one slinks off. The other stands there and looks confused or arrogant! The questions are written on faces: “Why did he walk off? What made him so mad? Ha! I got him!” I’m not asking the President to stay. Often the old President meets with the new President and gives him a letter and shares secrets with the new President. That won’t happen this time. He’s too angry. I’m not asking Drew Brees to stay as I think he’s injured. He needs to heal and move on. Same with the current President. He needs to heal. But I am asking for those of us who aren’t out of control angry or injured to work together, to seek solutions for Covid vaccine distribution, for hunger in America and for jobs in America. God bless us. Angels with us.

A quiet space

January 17th, 2021

My friend and I were walking with her beautiful dog Dixie who kept glancing back at us both to make sure we are still with her and to assure us she is with us. Is she listening to our voices? I think dogs do listen to us and are very aware of our moods. As we walked, I watched the dog ambling along in front of us, tail waving in the light breeze. She looks happy. Then my friend said, “I’m so sad about what has happened in our country. We are ripped apart.” I agree with her, we have come to a crisis with the storming of the Capital and the disrespect for places and people of elected position. We talked about the violence and the angry faces we saw on television last Wednesday; so angrily separated. “There is one person who can pull all this together,” she said. …

“Who?” I asked, looking for that one person; the solution to our division, our anger, the damage we are doing to our national beliefs. “Who can save us?”

“Jesus.” She said. “Oh.” You see, I couldn’t see it. Mark (9:24) describes a father of a child with a demon (convulsions) asking Jesus for healing. “if you can…. heal my child.” “IF I can?” Jesus asked…. The man answered, “Lord I believe; help my unbelief.” It’s so hard for us to believe our troubles can be fixed. We are out there trying to make things right. Our lack of faith is a lack of handing things over to God. Let Go, let God. Here I am praying every morning with the priest during Mass, praying every moment I hear or see news about a sick friend. Everytime someone says something awful. Praying. But I didn’t believe it. I can’t SEE it. Instead I think “(the angry ones) “They” can’t see it. “They” won’t listen. There is no help.” Two loving Catholic women dealing with such a tumultuous issue. One of us has such strong faith! I must grab the hand Jesus stretches out and beg him: “increase my faith.” I will watch, and pray, and uplift the Inauguration ceremony this week. I will pray the new administration gets the shots into arms this first 100 days. I pray Biden is not blocked from healing the nation with vaccine. God grant us peace to cure ourselves. If we are dragged down by Covid, how can we expect to move forward with economics, producing food and production of our own materials? Lord help us help ourselves. Angels with us.

Winter is in!

January 13th, 2021

I love listening to the weather channel. The city name for today is Minnetonka. They are going to have a storm of rain and light snow. We watch from central Florida where the sky has been cloudy and threatening, but, quiet and for me, chilly! It’s winter-time and mother nature is having a headache and dumping on the United States. Stay warm dear friends and family, bundle and observe social distancing.

I hope we don’t do the wrong thing with the vaccines. For those of you who know what it would mean to give out more first doses, and therefore stretch out the timing and delay the second dose, pleace speak to government leaders and Fauci. If we need to get the second dose within 3 to 4 weeks, then let’s don’t screw that up! I certainly want us to get the vaccine out, but for heaven’s sake, people, get it right!!!!

The opening prayer at morning Mass today was: “Attend to the pleas of your people with heavenly care that they may see what must be done and gain strength to do what they have seen.” This is a prayer of faith because there are many people who are acting the wrong way as part of the population proclaims. How do we “see” what must be done? How do we know what is the right thing to do? Every one of us must be discerning right now. We are most in need of “seeing what must be done,” and acting with strength, faith, and wisdom. In a sense these are the words the Trump people used at the big rally on Wednesday… Acting with strength meant to some “attacking with strength”. Men and women are acting on different sides, against each other, brother against brother. Families are begging family members to “settle down; tone down the rhetoric.” Worried family members are separated by ideas and feelings. We can’t speak to each other. It is as if we, the United States, is at war. So we pray, “Lord remember your covenant with us; protect us.”

In the Scripture today, (Mark 1: 29), we read that Jesus moved from town to town teaching and explaining the Scripture to a hungry people. Think about the activities he spawned. He sent out his disciples to towns to teach. He told them, if they were rejected, to shake the dust off their feet and move on. Don’t bring the unfriendliness with you. Just move on and carry the news. When the United States expanded west, the press went along and wrote what was happening. First the “news” was carried by the pony express and then it began to be carried over wire so people on each coast could know what was happening. For the most part we were educated about our world that way, by the “Press.” I’m a little slow on the uptake and I don’t remember when Trump began to say “fake news” about most of what was reported. His 75 million followers believed every word he said, and the rest of the country tried to listen to the Press as we always have. He said the Press lies; listen only to him.” Now he is banned from his social medias among them twitter and U Tube. He can’t make his private news for his “pack” of 75 million. When did that begin? When did he start taking care of and speaking only to his “MAGA pack”? When will we be able to restore the Press who tries to speak to 300 million, to all of us? I often switch channels when it is a news day like last week, today, and the next week will be. I go from the ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox channels (7 Press networks) and I also want to see what Newsmax is saying. … I listen to each and try to find some reason,; try to be discerning. Try to find the truth, just as we have to be discerning with “what we see, and what we are supposed to do…” I suggest we let no single voice be our dictator; dictating to us what to believe and do. God be with us and take care of us. God help us vaccinate! Angels with us!

Disagreements among friends

January 12th, 2021

Will you explain why we can’t talk to each other? Will you explain what you are thinking when you say, “I am a Conservative, but you, Susie, you are…” She can’t even say the word! I say, “a Liberal?” My dear, I have fought this name calling for months, maybe years. The name calling corners us, puts walls between us, and gives us definitions that draw lines between us. A line from Saturday Night Live is “I am what I am, Blanche.” or maybe it is “You are what you are, Blanche.” Whatever you are, or what I am, we were friends. What gets our backs up and causes us to yell at one another?

What was Jesus? a Radical? Isaiah 42: 1 describes “my servant.” He speaks quietly, without violence, “a smoldering wick he shall not quench until he establishes justice.” I have watched video of those who “stormed” the Capital last Wednesday… mostly white, painted, wearing fur and camoflage, screaming, shoving, hitting, jeering, laughing. Taking power symbols to use in rituals against those “in power”? Hey, I’m not happy with the Congress who argued for years… and left the hungry and out of work un helped. I’m not happy with the rhetoric that spews from jeering mouths, but I’m not about to yell and scream myself. I am unwilling to steal and hit, to be unreasonable with anyone who doesn’t agree with me.

Instead, we are called to pray for peace, and pray for people who can’t hear the still small voice of angels. Who can’t hear the quiet voices who wish for healing for our country, and healing from Covid. As we entered January, people talked about resolutions. Did we set a mission? Have we asked, “For whom should we pray?” Pray for miracles, peace, relief from Covid. Pray for a plan for Covid vaccination. Pray we get to what must be done and that we get to it. What are we to do? It is not to be violent, rather it is to be gentle, not trampling on flowers, not putting out smoldering wicks. Rather, let us clothe and feed children.

I consulted with my heart surgeon yesterday. We talked seriously about my aneurysm and what might happen, and how it will feel if it happens. I’m doing everything right to live long and prosper, but I can’t make this monster inside me behave. But it’s not probably going to burst in the near future and we will monitor it with another echocardiogram in 7 months. The doctor said, “Yes, get the vaccine.” So I too am entering the line that needs vaccine 1 and vaccine 2. We all are in that line together. According to medical sources, we need both shots, so pray we can get this threatening violent mess straightened out and concentrate on the vaccine. God bless us. Read Hebrew 2:5: Nothing is higher than the Lord; All are subject to him. See that! On this earth, He is peace. God bless us.

Protest through action

January 9th, 2021

I hope and pray the violence stops. Our forefathers had to fight to get rid of “taxation without representation.” But we have representation now. We all vote. What we have to do if things aren’t going our way is protest with our voices and vote to elect people we want. Now the President and probably the Republicans in Georgia say the election was rigged. So what now? What’s now is Action: Rioters need to find the folks who say they have evidence and get hold of them and investigate. We have 4 years to start investigating right now!! Get some computer experts to examine the voting systems. Make some changes that people responsible for the systems agree on. Clean up the voter rolls. Pull the death rolls and compare to voter registration rolls. Get on the teams that work in the voter polls. Get to work! We have 4 years to make changes.

In the next week, Congress will be arguing Impeachment. If the President is successfully impeached, and judged guilty by the Senate, then he will never be able to run for Federal office. We must decide whom we choose to lead us. Everyone of us must decide. Pray for our country. Pray we get enough vaccines to go free! Pray we get some Common Sense to enjoy freedom.

Beloved, let us love one another

January 8th, 2021

When things turn bad, or as some people say, when things turn south, we can only cling to faith, and that feels awfully loose sometimes. Our dear Apostle John wrote in his first letter… “Beloved let us love one another.” He might have added, “no matter what happens.” I couldn’t help but cringe as I looked at the angry faces speaking against the vote result of Arizona on January 6 to the joint assembly of Congress and the Senate. Angry faces speaking words to the joint houses of Congress that there is voter fraud. They have had 2 months to prove their accusations, and finally on the day of a Constitutionally directed “tally” they continue to argue against the American vote. Because I didn’t know they were about to be invaded, I thought the worst thing that could happen was the arguments meant to delay the tally. I said to the television, “You had two months to pull out the papers and stand in front of the nation and ’show the proof,’ yet you only talk and delay.” Then the shouting and shooting started. Angry voices shouting and faces grinning at the destruction they are causing as they smash into the Capital. I’m so sorry people died, but I thank God it ended quickly. I felt the President should have spoken quickly that he didn’t really mean it when he spoke to the 2pm rally. “I didn’t really mean march down to the Capital and …. riot? tear things up? smash windows and invade and try to stop a very solemn Constitutionally directed session. I really didn’t mean it.” Someone might have seen him speaking from the Oval office, and the deaths might not have happened. He just sat there watching the fur and camoflaged covered men and women tearing at the Capital. I looked at the flags, Trump, Confederate and American flags all waved by the crowd. I love our flag. The others, not so much. Quickly it ended. I earnestly hope the responsible parties are arrested, have a federal trial, and be jailed if we can do it. The reason I say “if we can jail them,” is so many people believe they were right and OK. Their own leaders, the President, the President’s attorney, and the President’s son told them it was OK. They have a lot of power behind them. Oh I hope the photos of those jearing, grinning faces inside the Capital count as proof. Enough! Let us transition and have 4 years of taking care of people. Let us… “Love One Another!”

My brother by marriage, my beloved Lee’s brother Bill Baker died yesterday of Covid. He died gasping for breath, intubated, 8 days after he entered the hospital not breathing well due to Covid-caused pneumonia. He died alone and my sister and brother in law can’t go to properly bury him and take care of his estate. Covid. That’s what we need to concentrate on. Get over the ugly invasion of our American dream at the Capital and in Washington DC. Just get over it, and focus and pray for the fight against Covid. It might be helpful to read Mark 6:34 where Jesus is moved with pity for the people looking up to him for answers… He was moved with pity. He fed them with God’s wisdom, with bread, and with fish. 5000 of them he fed. Let us be moved with pity to feed and clothe what in scripture is called the anawim. The small. Beware of planting discord. What will the seeds of evil produce? I have beautiful flowers out in my yard where I planted flower seeds. Plant beauty and watch it grow! God bless us. Let us get to work in prayer.

Who?

January 2nd, 2021

Are you my new neighbor? Are you my new friend? Are you my enemy? Are you the Lord? Who am I? All these questions are to be pondered this second day of the “New Year.” The winter sky keeps many of us sequestered. Covid keeps the rest of us inside, and we have nothing “fun to do.” So how about some soul searching? The first reading today is by St John. John writes that John the Baptist clearly told people, “I am not the Christ… I am the voice of one crying in the desert, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord.’” St. John calls the “other” the antichrist. We have to identify him in our lives. He is a man of lawlessness, he is a liar, he is not “of the church.” (St Paul’s descriptions of him.) The antichrist shakes us and frightens us. We have been frightened this year. Several of my friends have been very ill and I have known those who have died. I have to make unpopular decisions like quaranteening and saying NO to friends who ask me to come out.

Maybe this is what New Years resolutions is all about: to answer these questions: Identify! Who are you? Who do you want to help, to be with? Who is your God? How do you honor him? I have a friend who told me she is angry at the church and she does not believe Jesus is God; just a prophet. I was shocked! I couldn’t argue with her. Just hand her a Holy Bible and say “read St Luke.” It’s a little like trying to argue with angry people today. I need an expert talker at my side. I know it is the Holy Spirit, but for some reason, sometimes I’m shocked and can’t talk. I can only “Just pray!” Pray my dears for us to get through the next 19 days without really messing ourselves up. God bless America!

May the Lord bless you

January 1st, 2021

Good New Year dear friends. Today’s daily Mass is a celebration of the blessings God has given to us. The reading from Numbers is especially lovely and powerful: ” The Lord bless you and keep you. The Lord look upon you with his shining face … kindly, and give you peace.” Find this blessing in your Scriptures (Numbers 6:22) and read it out loud for your family! Bless one another this beautiful day of the “New Year.” Another beautiful blessing is Psalm 67: “May God shed his light upon us; may God bless us in his mercy.” And finally Galatians 4:4-7: ” You are adopted as son and heir. Cry out Abba, Father.” He blesses us because we are his children!

In the old days of the big Peabody parties which ended about 10 years ago, no matter how hung over and sleep deprived I was, I went to Mass on January 1. New Years Day morning we celebrate Mary the Mother of God. On this day we celebrate Mary’s Yes and the fruitfulness that God gave her. Mary is not the creator of God; she is the Theotokus, the God-bearer. Mary is a human mother. She cared for a human child who walked on the earth for 33 years. She stood at the foot of the Cross and she said goodbye to him when he “went to the Father.” Mary is the woman in Revelation 12 who stands up against the dragon who wants to destroy her child. Ask Mary to go to battle against the dragon. Ask, “who or what is my dragon?” For many it is anger. For me I think it is impatience. It is impatience with people who won’t “listen.” People not doing what I think is right!!! I tend to push my way. I was so disappointed with school children who wouldn’t give a little of their minds to what I thought was so important. In a way, I’m giving what I love, and I’m paying my success forward. I’m sorry for the pain I have caused if I made you feel small. I’m just trying to give from my blessings. My impatience. That’s my dragon. What is your dragon? Place this load of yours in the manger. We still have some time. God bless us! Angels with us.