Archive for August, 2016

on cruising…what’s not to like?

Wednesday, August 31st, 2016

On board the MSC Davina in port at Puerto Rico home of our Coral Gables friend Yolanda. It was really hot “out there” after we exited the ship… Chuck talked with a motorcycle policeman… And I said… I want to go back to the pool…Now sitting on the pool deck sipping draft beer on ice. We are traveling with 2 families from Italy and England. Along with 4000 travelers… We meet for drinking wine at 5pm and dinner at 6. Food is amazing. Cabin beautiful… I go to the pool at 10am and sit all my stuff and my husband at a poolside table. Move around the pool with a lot of other travelers. This morning I swam with 2 older ladies and 2 ladies named Jackie. Ah! One day I will be the older lady… For now… We move from the pool deck to the Luna lounge for piano bar but really all we have seen and heard there so far is 2 wonderful guitars. No complaints. Chuck has gotten to wear tux once and white dinner jacket last night. It was white night and cigars with the captain…took photos of Chuck with Captain and WWII vet. All is beautiful in the Caribbean sea. God bless you.

The basis of civilization

Wednesday, August 24th, 2016

My dear friends have asked why I haven’t written and I said that I felt I was too strong against the child who told me… “she wasn’t very religious”… I was so astounded that I felt useless against the wave of not caring for God our Creator. Not only by the words of a child, but by the words of many adult friends and family who… “do their own thing when it comes to religion.” To ignore the existence of God is to ignore the Creator and Mover of the beauty that surrounds us. Today I was watching the Mass on television because I slept in and missed morning Mass at church…Today we celebrate St. Bartholomew, one of the twelve Apostles whom the pagan priests of Armenia beat, flayed, and beheaded for his faith… That means they peeled his skin off when he was alive. Michelangelo pictures him on the Sistine chapel ceiling holding up his skin. during the homily, Chuck said, “Turn to the news; there is an earthquake in Italy.” We are currently hosting an Italian family from Mestre just west of Venice and their home is foremost on our minds. I said, “the Mass will be over in 20 minutes, then I will turn to the news.” As I listened to the homily on EWTN on the TV set, I thought, “First we must turn and give homage to our God. We must thank him for the beauty and life he created, and we must ask for help like St Peter did in the big storm on the lake…” So I kept the Mass on and prayed for all of us. In this time…. when images of floods in Baton Rouge, fires in California, and now the destruction of the small mountain towns in central Italy are flooding our TV screens we must turn to our God and not only ask for Spiritual help… Divine help, but for the strength for the fire fighters, medical personnel, and after this, the care givers who will take care of the people who have lost everything. Fire, flood, earthquake eating everything in their wake. So how then are we supposed to turn to God and praise him when all we see is destruction? If we do not praise God then we risk at the final judgement that God will have to say, “I don’t know you; I don’t know where you are from” (see Luke 13:22-30). Grace pours out constantly from God, but we can reject it. The great saints suffered so much because they felt they weren’t doing enough to get close to God. What living examples those saints are. After the tribulation, after the suffering, after the total loss of physical and material things, then there is room for the Grace in our mind, heart and soul. A friend said he stopped reading a book because there was too much God in it; too much religion… Listen to what Blaise Pascal wagered: Either God exists or he doesn’t. If God exists then he would be unfathomable, unknowable, beyond our imagination. We can’t rationally assess the existence of God. With our reason, we are powerless to decide the existence or non existence of God. So… Imagine life is a game. We must choose a side; existence of God, or not. Which side will we be on? If we choose God, we risk losing a lifetime of meaningless pleasure, material things amassed that we can’t take with us. The gain is eternal life with God. If God does not exist, then we lose a lifetime of meaningless pleasure, material things that we can’t take with us. (No one ever saw a U Haul towed behind a hearse). If God does exist and you don’t believe in him, you gain an eternal lifetime in hell. Without God. Without hope. Pascal advised that we act as if we believe and belief will come. So what does this have to do with the death and destruction currently plaguing our world? Add cancer into the mix and it becomes way more personal…. If we sing God’s praise even as we are flayed and beheaded like St Bartholomew, even if we are grieving the personal losses that plague us daily, we must turn to God and praise him for the beauties he created, for creating us and our eternal soul, and for loving us. Look forward to the life of eternal joy, eternal life and love. God will know us by our joy as we turn our faces heavenward in thanksgiving. Now turn and help someone. Give from the depths. Pray for the people of Italy, California and Baton Rough. God bless us.