Tag: Faith

Where Is All of This Going?


Acting upon the suggestions I received from some of you regarding my daughter, I found myself placed in a new spiritual proximity to vibes and tensions and thought-patterns any sane person should want to avoid.

I am not a Catholic. That’s just a statement of fact, not an opinion. I only mention this for context because several of the suggestions were posited by those of the Catholic faith.

However, I am curious. When Pope John Paul II passed, it hit me quite hard. Who knew? I dove into learning about him, and by doing so, I learned things I hadn’t known about the Catholic Church. For the first time, I saw a grand intellectualism I’d never known about. And I also saw a fascinating and compelling mysticism.

Last Train


Seeing a mass of armed, uniformed men called into a movement by a single, laconic demand, one inevitably began to grow curious about the individuals that made it up. The outstanding property you discover, is the readiness with which he can change personalities. For example, follow a couple of soldiers off duty down the street, any street in Germany. You admire their bronzed, smiling faces and the way they walk loosely and gracefully as athletes. They’re completely human beings.

This is the story of an American student, working his way overseas in 1936 to visit Europe. The cheapest country for his cash is Germany, which just unveiled an interesting new government. Our student is curious and proceeds with the backing of a journalistic education and support of teachers and friends.

The excerpt is from The Last Train From Berlin by Howard K. Smith, copyright 1942. Let’s continue from the same book.

Who Was Marie Czernin of Austria?


I’d never heard of this beautiful woman until a story was posted about her recent death at the young age of 51 from cancer.  I was so moved by the post, however, because it described someone who was so full of peace and light as she approached death, that all who kept a vigil with her were astonished.  Their description of Marie was so moving and as I read, something unexpected happened to me.

I was only halfway through the post and paused for a minute to absorb the descriptions of her life and her writings, when a difficult problem that I have been trying to work out for a long time with not much success, popped into my mind.   I had not been thinking about it while reading at all, yet two answers, simple and very clear, came to me regarding my problem.

So I was not thinking about it, and there is no way the two answers I received would have ever entered my mind, as they were the opposite of what I had been thinking while working through on my own.  Things like this don’t happen to me. I have no explanation for it, but I felt an immense sense of relief and clarity that I had not had before, and it has stayed with me.

Remembering 9/11 and Comparing Today


I remember 9/11 like most of you.  Time seemed to stop that day and the clock didn’t seem to resume for weeks and longer.  I was at my desk at work, and our receptionist came running through the front door and hollered, “Smitty – turn on the radio!  Something happened at the World Trade Center!”  I was known as Smitty because there were too many Lindas in my office.  I turned on the radio near my desk.  A plane had crashed into one of the towers. I thought like many that it was an accident, a control tower errored.  We were protected – how could it be anything else?

Another co-worker had a small, hand-held TV, and we huddled around it.  While the news and details were sketchy, another plane hit the second tower and I knew this was no accident.  Hell had descended in front of me on a hand-held TV.  I lived in Boston, and suddenly life changed.  Air space and Canadian borders closed.  We later learned a plane went down in Pennsylvania, diverted because it was headed for Washington, DC, and the courageous on board overcame the terrorists and it crashed in a field while those on board said goodbye on their cell phones.

If God Exists, Why Does He Do Such a Lousy Job?


When venturing to discuss the nature of G-d, the discussion can get very complicated. And when you add in the component of the dominance of secularism over religion in our times, the conclusions we draw may be all over the map. For that reason, I’ve chosen to discuss briefly many of the expectations that people have of G-d, but I believe there are a few key ones that have driven the secular Left to reject G-d and embrace nihilism. If we are going to have any chance of breaking the hold that secularism has on our society, we have to address not just religion, but the nature of our relationship with God. And we must deal with the deep disillusionment that many on the Left are experiencing, and encourage them to expand their understanding and awareness of G-d.

The OP title suggests that the source of some people rejecting G-d is their disillusionment with Him: what He represents, how He interacts with the world, and His role within the world. But even more devastating for some people is that G-d doesn’t behave the way they think He should: He shouldn’t allow bad things to happen (like hurricanes and tornadoes and earthquakes, rockslides, and especially the Holocaust). He shouldn’t let bad things happen to people (like disease, heartbreak, car accidents, bankruptcy, and severed relationships). He should act even when his actions could compromise our free will (such as our robbing a bank, stealing from a store, using drugs, and ignoring our obligations. He should make sure that people live satisfied lives (such as being happy, living without poverty, disappointment, or stress).

In other words, if we believe that G-d exists, He should exist to make our lives precisely as we would wish them to be.

Small Towns Do Big Things (aka, America Is OK)


A text from my sister prompted this post.  She lives in a small, rural mountain town in Maryland.  It read as follows: “We had a luncheon after church for our lead singer/guitarist.  He is moving to Williamsburg, VA.  We are also taking a collection for a church in the Kentucky floods.  A couple is going down to take the supplies and funds.”

I asked my sister, is that the chubby guy that sings? I remembered him, as I watched those church services online during Covid.  Her pastor’s very encouraging and passionate sermons were an inspiration during that time, and I remembered this talented musician.

Here’s a sample about six minutes into the video:

A Hand Holding Back a Tidal Wave


A story crossed my email from Crisis Magazine worth reading.  It presents the life of a lowly servant in the trenches – holding up a hand against evil, trying to protect an enormous flock of young, abused girls in Mexico.  The powerful hand is attached to the body of a thin, older priest named Father Dan Leary. Here is an excerpt:

A single American priest, Fr. Dan Leary, has worked seventeen-hour days the past several weeks to spiritually and mentally prepare the teenage girls for what might await them in some of the most dangerous towns in the world. Long hours are not uncommon to Fr. Leary; he has no days off. Seventeen- and eighteen-hour days are standard.

The girls have learned how to protect themselves against the evil ones; they’ve been sent out as warriors who understand the spiritual battle,” Fr. Leary said. “They have exorcised water and salt. They will be praying their rosaries on break; they’ll be walking to daily Mass in their villages, they will be in prayer. They know God is with them to protect them, moment by moment.

‘Evil’ Season 3 and Why I’m a Better Catholic for Watching It


I’m going to keep this short, sweet, and to the point. I’m a failed Catholic. We all are, in that none of us are perfect. I didn’t get married in the Church because the bureaucracy makes me angry. I’m frustrated by marriage preparation and timelines and insistence upon brick and mortar … unless you have enough money.

And so, I was married by a former Catholic priest with similar gripes. With my family, under the sky and a canopy of sequoias, I stated the same vows I would have in the Church but still with a man sanctified and called by God.

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We have a 24/7 classical music station, via public broadcasting, and on late Sunday afternoons, a wonderful program comes on.  It highlights young classical musicians from all walks of life.  They sheepishly talk about their influences, inspiration for the piece they are presenting (sometimes written by themselves), while sharing their culture and challenges. The host […]

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Reading the Signs: Time to Turn Around


I saw the headlines on the Texas elementary school shooting flash on the TV screen, like most of you. My husband said, “I don’t want you to see this.” It didn’t work. I laid awake with my own mental pictures and tried to put the pieces of a distorted, senseless, fragmented, and tragic puzzle together. The pieces didn’t fit. I read the story this morning — an 18-year-old Hispanic boy who had a dark, online life and somehow acquired guns.

As I read the story in detail, the same responses came after … guns and the foul gun lobby, then celebrity comments like, “We can do better.” It’s sick. Since this ugliness continues, we are obviously not doing better. Not even close. I thought about a boy who became a stoic monster, with no feeling or expression on his face — who had nothing to live for and wanted to cause tremendous pain. Where did he live? Was he pushed across an open border with nothing and sucked up by a ruthless gang? Where are his parents right now? I want to know these things because he can’t be the only one. Texas has a big border — and they keep sounding the alarm to deaf ears.

I thought about Davos, Switzerland, because we’re told the “Fourth Industrial Revolution” is on our doorstep — get ready. Klaus Schwab and all the drivers of the great digital, technological, marvelous age soon to come are piled up together, weaving their New World Order. Part of that is “order” is the allure of endless social media, where this boy wanted pictures of guns posted — where he was rambling to people he didn’t know to post his pictures.

Spiritual Chemistry


In the next couple of weeks, a very dear friend of mine and her husband who live here in Florida are moving to Indiana. (Yes, they know how cold the winters will be!) They are moving for what I think are sensible reasons—anticipating aging, health difficulties, and wanting to be with one of their sons and his family.

And I will miss her so very much.

We met when Eileen responded to a notice I put out for people to join a meditation group I was forming. The moment we met, we clicked. She was not a regular participant, but came often enough for us to get to know each other. Although superficially we didn’t have a lot in common (although we were Conservatives, which is a very big deal), we shared many values about life, relationships, and marriage.

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We’re renting a house while our new home is completed. We sold our last house on a whim, not thinking it would go anywhere, but the current real estate market threw the rule book out the window. We were stunned that our crazy asking price was met within 36 hours, cash offer above asking price.  […]

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The world is once again, profoundly different than just a week ago as Russian forces moved into Ukraine.  Pictures of war in Europe on this scale, not seen since WWII, fill every news outlet.  It feels like the beginning of something that cannot be stopped. It even looks and sounds like an old movie from […]

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How often is it that we hesitate to do the right thing, the thing that would have been a no-brainer not so long ago, but now stops us in our tracks to consider it first, a pause that leads us to entertain a bazillion fears about what might happen … if … we … stood […]

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I’ve been wanting to do the Ancestry research for awhile, even the DNA thing and held off.  I think I want to go ahead and do it, and share with my sister as part of a special Christmas gift.  Can anyone suggest their successes (or not) with this research?  Are there different levels and were […]

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Discerning the Lord’s Voice


St Ignatius of Loyola, Father General of the Jesuit order, prepared a guide to help Christians distinguish the voice of God in their hearts and minds from other voices during prayer. Those others are one’s own voice (reason and imagination), the voice of the world (learned expectations and concerns), and the demonic voices which seek to confuse, isolate, embitter, and discourage. St Ignatius insightfully recognized that evil spirits attack a person differently in moments of weakness than in moments of strength. A summary of his rules can be found here

To that timeless advice, allow me to add a few further thoughts. 

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Lion of Judah on the throneI shout Your name, let it be knownThat You are the King of kingsYou are the Prince of PeaceMay Your kingdom’s reign never ceaseHail to the King! In the book of Genesis, there’s a repeated theme throughout the book that is perhaps my favorite theme in all of scripture. The […]

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They say COVID was and is an “opportunity” to “Build Back Better”. This is the mantra of the World Economic Forum, our current president and other world leaders.  It includes many goals that seem good, even virtuous and “inevitable”. I appreciate learning. I also don’t want to become an older person who is closed-minded to […]

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Everything Changes


Today I visited the woman who made me bald. Well, that’s not totally true. When my hair began to fall out in clumps, which is a really gross experience, I figured I would look less gross as a bald woman. So, I called Karen, my hairdresser to take it off—take it all off.

To digress for a moment, Karen is a very special person (although she might deny my description of her). She is a devoted Christian, a firm conservative and is fearless about speaking what is true for her. One day a couple of years ago I mentioned I was a Jew. She was delighted to hear it; her eyes lit up with anticipation. That very day she asked me if she could ask me questions about Judaism, and I said, of course! I can’t remember what our first conversation was about, but I do remember the tenor of our exchange. Her curiosity, follow-on questions, and even her comments about the practices of Christianity and how they related to Judaism (or didn’t) were steeped in sincerity and delight. Never once did I feel uncomfortable about her questions or motives.

Are You Going Back to Life the Same Way – Post-Covid?


Are you going back to your life the same way, post-Covid and now Covid 2.0?  I ask because I think many are not. I’m not.  Getting back to normal is like after 9/11, a new normal. It may be a good thing.  Let’s examine this more closely.

First (and this is a big one), parents have gotten an up front and center view of what their children, starting in kindergarten, have been being taught. Climate Change, Critical Race Theory, White Privilege, multi-gender identities, indoctrination on a massive scale, that take the parents’ boundaries out, along with reading, writing, math, art, sports, science, and literature as the priority, and placing the focus on an extreme progressive ideology.  At any rate, at least parents are aware and can take steps to do what is best for their children and family.  Prior to Covid, many were unaware of what was taking place within our schools, within teachers’ unions, and even the innocent library.