Category Archives: Easter

My Mother's Day Paradox: I Cannot Wait for it to End

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

By Larry Peterson      
           
 Mother’s Day is here again and, I have to tell you, it is not my favorite day. Please do not misunderstand,  I certainly have nothing against Moms. Heck, my wife was a mom, my sister is a mom, my daughter is a mom and I have nieces who are moms and so on.  I know thousands of Moms and, for the most part, I love and respect them all. After all, Motherhood is the very linchpin of the family and the family is the linchpin of a society.  (That is a topic for another time)

But, here is my dilemma.  I have only the most obscure memories of my Mom. That is because she died 54 years ago. (She had leukemia and if you had leukemia 54 years ago you were “toast”.)  Anyway, for the first time in my life I am  admitting that  her death left me empty, very empty and that emptiness explodes inside me during the Mother’s Day celebration.
                               
 We were kids when she died and  I was the oldest of the five.  For some reason, I have just fleeting memories of her. My sister remembers her and my brothers remember her, not much mind you, but a lot more than I do. They even remember little things, those special nuances that made her unique to each of them. Well, maybe not Johnny, he was only two years old,  but the others for sure.

I have been told that I was traumatized by her death and involuntarily blocked her out of my mind. Could that be true? Could that still be going on inside me?  Could I have been so stunned that my brain, in an attempt to protect me, covered up the memories with a thick, opaque veil? I do not know. What I do know is what is NOT there. “Mom memories” are missing from inside my head. That veil has never lifted in over 54 years.

I have some pictures of her and I also have her high school yearbook. I have no recordings of her voice or moving pictures of her or anything like that.  It is strange to me but I try my best NOT to think of her.  But the slightest thing triggers “mommy” thoughts in me, especially when I see a child (small or grown) being hugged by their mom. I always think how wonderful that must feel. I can’t even imagine it. How pathetic is that. I guess I am just a senior citizen stuck at age 15 when it comes to my mother.  (Damn–I cannot believe I am even writing this stuff.)

Okay now, all year long I manage to stuff this “mom” stuff deep inside myself. But then, right after Easter, the Mother’s Day cards hit the stores.  Avoidance of the big day becomes next to impossible. The attacks on my sub-conscious increase unmercifully as the weeks go by and then the onslaught ensues. The two weeks before Mother’s Day are brutal. The print ads came out, television commercials pound the “Mom” message, cut flowers appear everywhere, the cakes are advertised and the restaurants offer deals that will only cost about a week’s salary to sit and enjoy.  It  wears me out.  I want it to be over.

Sunday morning at Mass the priest will probably give a homily on motherhood. He will probably use the Blessed Virgin Mary as a focal point. Then he will ask all of the women who are moms to please stand or raise their hands.  Most women in the church will do so.  He will bestow a blessing on them remembering all the deceased moms too. Everyone will applaud the moms, living and dead. I will applaud also and my best wishes and prayers will go out to all Moms everywhere. I just won’t remember anything about my own mom. For me, the one day of the year we honor Moms is nothing but a paradox. Before the happy day even starts I cannot wait for it  to end.

For those who might be able to relate to this, on Mother’s Day I will be praying for all of you and your Moms. Maybe you can do the same for me. And, may God bless all moms, living and deceased.

    ©2015 Larry Peterson All Rights Reserved

The MASS is The ANSWER for it is "The Most BEAUTIFUL Thing This Side of Heaven"

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

  

By Larry Peterson

The following is for people of all faiths. It is also directed to atheists, agnostics, and all secularists too.  If you do not believe, you can make a choice and try to see with the eyes of a FAITH that is available to you.  If you do not approve, please delete. Thanks—(N.B. I am not a theologian or anything close to it. I am just a blue-collar guy from the Bronx sharing the faith that he loves)
                           ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Something deeply mystical happens on Holy Thursday that many people (this may include some Catholics) do not understand.  I refer to the Mass of the Lord’s Supper. Lent ends when this Mass begins, which is usually in the evening.  This Mass commemorates the night when Jesus instituted the Holy Eucharist giving us His Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity forever. He did this within the framework of what we call  the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.

We must have the Mass to have the Eucharist. They are inseparable for it is within the Mass that the ordained Catholic priest can consecrate simple bread and wine into the Body and Blood of Christ. Make no mistake, my friends, this is not a “remembrance” or a “memorial” or  a “tribute”. This is the unbloody sacrifice of the Cross being offered again and again and again to God the Father for all of us, for all time, in perpetuity.

We Catholics believe that Christ is TRULY PRESENT on the altar at Mass. These words are from the Roman canon: “we, your servants and your holy people, offer to your glorious majesty from the gifts that you have given us, this pure victim, this holy victim, this spotless victim, the holy bread of eternal life and the Chalice of everlasting salvation”. Christ is with us and we, the people, are offering Him to God the Father. Our reward is the Risen Christ given back to us in The Eucharist by our Father in heaven. This is The Mystery of Faith and this is what we believe.

The meaning of this is beyond the pale. It transcends human comprehension. For this is when yesterday became today and tomorrow becomes yesterday. The Mass enables us to briefly step into eternity. And this Holy Sacrifice is being offered somewhere on planet Earth every day of the year round the clock. Imagine that, somewhere, every day, round the clock. It is the most beautiful thing this side of heaven.

I wrote this many years ago and I would like to
share it with you.


                       The Answer

Every minute somewhere
Upon this Earth
Amid chaos and pain
Shadowed by greed and pride
Perfection.

While within so many
Silent screams resonate
And fade unheard
Pain unanswered
Yet each minute
A constant Light
Always there for us to share
Somewhere—The Answer

But—choices
Perfection unbridled
That tells us why
And will let us understand
If we choose to see
this splendid Oblation
A perfect purity
This gift called The Mass

Ignored yet
Somewhere each minute
For us to share
The Answer there
The Perfect Love
But—choices.
                         
The focus of the Lenten journey is preparation for Easter Sunday and the celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Easter morning arrives and we sing out, “Alleluia, Alleluia! Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again.” Eternal life  can now be ours. All we have to do is follow Him. If you do not know how or where to start, The Answer might be here.

                            copyright©2015 Larry Peterson All rights reserved

                          
                             

Bashing God in America: How "FAR" You Have NOT Come

by Larry Peterson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

by Larry Peterson

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

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

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

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

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

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

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