Category Archives: goodness

I Love Christmas and I Will be Praying for all the "Grinches" trying to Ruin It

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

I love Christmas and the entire season that surrounds it. Christmas is about faith and love and goodness and sharing and giving and all of those things that fill the hearts of the vast majority of people around the world with a renewed spirit that can shine through even the darkest moments we may have experienced during the preceding year. Yes, I love Christmas.

Christmas is so much more than a ‘certain day’ each year. It is an actual state of mind. It becomes part of whom many of us still are….Children at heart. And we become children again through our own children and even our grandchildren. We can love the anxiety and pressure and the cookies and candy and putting up the tree and neighborhood decorations the same as the little ones.  I  anxiously looked forward to Santa’s arrival when I was a child and still looked forward to his arrival as the one who dressed up in a Santa suit and crept into my own house at midnight. Now my sons do that and I can hear about his arrival the next morning from the wide eyed grandkids who actually witnessed Santa disappear from their house after leaving presents under the tree. Yes, I love Christmas.

Most importantly, Christmas is about Salvation. The story is so beautiful and profound. A simple carpenter, obeying the law, must take his full-term, pregnant teenage wife, on an 80-mile journey to the town of his ancestry for the census. Riding on the back of a mule she somehow manages to make the trip and God only knows (and HE does) how this could be possible. Not knowing anyone, they cannot find a place to stay and the baby is about to be born. Effectively homeless and in a strange town they wind up in a stable and mom gives birth to her child surrounded by smelly animals and old straw. Can you imagine?

This helpless infant is the Son of God, sent by His Father, and His birth among the lowest of the low shows us all the greatest act of humility ever enacted by anyone, before, then, or ever after. This baby will grow up and they will torture and kill Him when He is 33 years old. Why? Because He preaches forgiveness and kindness and that we should “love our neighbor” and “turn the other cheek”. This made Him a threat to those in power. They just had to get rid of Him. Today, 2000 years later, over 2.6 billion people are following  Him. I guess killing Jesus did not bring the desired results. Yes, I love Christmas.

Today we still have those who want desperately to kill Jesus. From the maniacal Islamists around the world who are doing their best to physically murder Christians wherever they can find them to  the atheists, agnostics, pagans, heathens, satanists and their ilk who HATE everything about Christianity and Christmas. (Okay, okay, maybe not ALL of them hate Christmas but we never hear from them.)

To all of you who want to ruin this day, I ask, “Why?” You are also removing the love and goodness that is associated with it. So, shame on you. You know what, you are all just “plain old mean”. You are the true “grinches” in the world. You are an embarrassment to all the tender hearts filled with kindness and generosity during this time of the year.

I wish to say to all you “grinches” that I will say a prayer for all of you this Christmas. I will pray that you might catch a glimpse of that star that shines so bright. Maybe a droplet of its light will find a way into into your heart. If you happen to catch a glimpse of this light please, do not turn away. You will have chosen to ignore a beautiful Christmas moment. This moment could be the greatest gift you ever receive. What do you have to lose? So keep your eyes and hearts open and MERRY CHRISTMAS to all and may God bless us, ALL of us. And yes, I do love Christmas.

Evil Infects All of History: James Foley was Murdered because He Represented Goodness

IT MAKES SENSE TO ME

by Larry Peterson

The brutal murder of journalist, James Foley, had nothing to do with James Foley.  It had to do with the fact that the man represented Goodness.  Satan, in complete charge of his conquered souls, has had them inflicting horror and terror and barbaric acts of murder and cruelty on, not only men, but on women and children as well.  This evil has been with us since time immemorial.  Let us travel back a mere 71 years and meet a sweet and kindly lady by the name of Sister Maria Restituta.

May 1, 1894, was a happy day for Anton and Marie Kafka.  Marie had just given birth to her sixth child and mom and her daughter were doing fine.  The proud parents named their new baby, Helena.  Devout Catholics, Anton and Marie had Helena baptized  into the faith thirteen days later at the parish of The Church of the Assumption, in the town oh Husovice in Austria.   Due to financial circumstances, Anton was forced to move his family to the big city of Vienna.  Helena was barely two and she and her siblings would remain in Vienna where they would all grow up.

Helena was a good student and worked hard.  She received her First Holy Communion in May of 1905 in St. Brigitta Church and was confirmed in the same church one year later.  After eight years of school she spent another year in housekeeping  school and by the age of 15 was working as a servant, a cook and learning to be a nurse.  She became an assistant nurse at Lainz City Hospital in 1913.  This was when Helena  first had contact with the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity.  She immediately felt the call to become a Sister herself.  On April 25, 1914, Helena Kafka, joined the Franciscan Sisters and on October 23, 1915, she became Sister Maria Restituta.  One year later she made her final vows and began working solely as a nurse.

SisterRestituta.jpg
Blessed Maria Restituta

When World War I  ended, Sister Maria  was lead surgical nurse at Modling Hospital in Vienna.  She and all other Austrians had never heard of Adolf Hitler and could never have imagined that one day their beloved nation would be annexed into the German Republic because of this man.  On March 12, 1938, a successful coup d’etat by the Austrian Nazi party took place and the Nazis, under the now feared, Adolf Hitler, took control of the once proud Austrian nation.  Things would never be the same.

Sister Restituta was very outspoken in her opposition to the Nazi regime. When a new wing to the hospital was built Sister hung a Crucifix in each of the new bedrooms.  The Nazis demanded that they be removed telling Sister Maria that she would be dismissed if she did not comply.  She adamantly refused and the Crucifixes remained on the walls.  One of the doctors on staff, himself a fanatical Nazi, would have  none of it.  He denounced her to the Nazi Party and, on Ash Wednesday,  1942, she was arrested by the Gestapo as she exited the operating room.  The “charges” against her included   “hanging crucifixes and writing a poem that mocked Hitler”.

Sister Maria Restituta, the former Helena Kafka, loved her Catholic faith and, filled with the Holy Spirit, wanted to do nothing more than to serve the sick.  The Nazis promptly sentenced her to death by guillotine for “favouring the enemy and conspiracy to commit high treason”.  The Nazis offered her freedom if she would abandon the Franciscans she loved so much.  She refused.

An appeal for clemency went as far as the desk of Martin Bormann, Hitler’s personal secretary and Nazi Party Chancellor.  His response was that her execution “would provide effective intimidation for others who might want to resist the Nazis”.  Sister Maria Restituta spent her final days in prison caring for the sick.  Because of her love of the Crucifix and for the Person who was nailed to it and died hanging on it,  Sister Maria was sent to the guillotine and was beheaded on March 30, 1943.  She was 48 years old.

Pope John Paul II visited Vienna on June 21, 1998.  That was the day that Helena Kafka, the girl who started off in housekeeping school and became a servant and then went on to be a nurse in the Franciscan Sisters of Charity, was beatified by the Pope and became Blessed Maria Restituta. She had learned how to serve extremely well, always serving others before herself.

Let us ask Blessed Maria that she pray for the repose of the soul of James Foley who was murdered by the forces of evil because he, too, represented Goodness.  We ask her to remember his family and friends as they deal with this terrible abomination done to their loved one.  We also ask Blessed Maria and all the saints to pray for us all.
                                                                                                             

Pride–the Main Ingredient in the Evil That Surrounds Us

by Larry Peterson

Eleven Nuns of Nowogrodek.jpg
Blessed Martyrs of Nowogrodek

The abuse, torture and killing of men, women and children continues. Throughout the history of humankind this has been so.  Why?  We might say it is because of  prejudice or pride or ego or just unabashed hatred.  Maybe contempt and envy enter into it.  Whatever it is, whatever causes human beings who are supposed to have the use of reason to turn against their own kind, eludes me.  It also sickens me.

What causes others to  purposely and oftentimes, gleefully abuse, torture, rape and kill their own kind, makes no sense.  Scorn, loathing and derision can combine and form a hatred so deeply imbedded that people actually kill themselves (suicide bombers) to destroy their perceived enemy even if that person is a little child.  Where can such hatred come from? How can it be so deep and vicious?  And why, why is it, that so many times the killings are carried out using God and virtue as justification.  The God I know is all about love and forgiveness.  We must not forget that He has given us free will and we choose our behavior.

Killing out of hatred while using God as the reason is an abomination of all that is good and pleasing to God. It is the ultimate hypocrisy committed by men and women and this even applies to avowed atheists who deny God’s existence. They fit the profile simply because everyone knows, believer and non-believer alike, that NOT killing is the right thing.  It is part of our genetic material.

If you do kill due to pride, envy, anger, greed or lust you have abdicated your very self to the forces of evil.  Of all of these, pride is the greatest because it is the king of self-destruction and the primary portal to the evil that lurks waiting to embrace each and every one of us..                                                                                        

The word “genocide” was coined in 1948 by Raphael Lemkin. His word has been with us ever since. Scholars and historians can trace genocide all the way back to prehistoric man and some believe that even the Neanderthal was wiped out by genocide. The 20th century alone has seen seven periods of genocide.  It  started with the Armenians who were systematically murdered by the Turks between 1915 and 1918. The Turks managed to kill 1,500,000 of their “enemy”.

In 1933 the Nazis opened their first concentration camp, Dachau.  Here over 25,000 Jews and Christians were killed as the Nazi genocide began. The atrocities continued until 1945.  When the allies finally liberated Germany it was found that Hitler’s death machine had  managed to kill  more than 6,000,000 Jews and millions of others including Catholics and Christians, Gypsies, Hungarians, Romanians, Dutch, French, Poles, Russians, and the sickening list goes on.

We have seen genocide in Rwanda where, in 1994 alone, 800,000 people were brutally murdered.  Pol Pot in Cambodia managed to torture and kill over 2,000,000 people between 1975 and 1979.  Under Joseph Stalin’s  forced famine over 7,000,000 Russians died between 1932 and 1933.  Many millions more died under his brutal and paranoid dictatorship. The 20th century alone has seen literally countless millions of people,  people just like you and I, systematically exterminated usually because some maniacal individual has seized power and the people who follow him are ready and willing to do his killing.

During the Nuremberg Trials how many of the accused Nazis used the excuse that they were just “following orders”.  How cowardly to hide behind such an excuse. Yet, how many do that the world over?  Just because something has been declared a “law” does not necessarily mean it is right.  At what point do we as individuals stand up for what IS “right”?  How many of us would put ourselves on the line to defend what is ‘right”?  The fact is, most of us know what “right” is but what price honor and integrity and freedom?  When it comes right down to it, many choose to turn their backs.

The picture in the upper right is of eleven nuns. These Sisters had honor, integrity and loved their fellow man. They were  prisoners of the Nazis in the town of  Nowogrodek in Poland. The year was 1942. The Nazis had already exterminated or sent to work camps all of the 10,000 Jews in Nowogrodek and now they were killing the Polish people.

The Sisters volunteered to die in place of 120 other prisoners who were scheduled for execution. The Nazis agreed and released half of the Polish prisoners, sending  the rest to work camps. The nuns were taken out into the woods, made to stand next to an open pit, and individually shot to death. The date  was August 1, 1943.  They had such respect for life they willingly died to save ten times their number.

We can only imagine what they were feeling as they watched their friends before them fall into that pit, holding hands with each other one moment and dead the next. Today they are known as the Blessed Martyrs of  Nowogrodek. They were beatified by St. John Paul II on March 5, 2000.  How many of us would do that for people we did not know?

Today we watch mass killings taking place throughout the Middle East and parts of Asia and Africa. The murder and attempted annihilation of Christians continues unabated and is on the increase at this very moment.  From the individual killing of  Father Frans Van der Lugt, beaten and murdered in Syria in April for being a Catholic priest, to the 80 people in North Korea executed last November for owning Bibles to the imprisonment of Meriam Ibrahim with her two babies for being Christian to the massacres of  Christians taking place in so many places around the world, the hatred and demonic behavior increases day by day. It has been going on since the existence of mankind has been recorded.  It is a behavior that flies in the face of what we are as a species.  Somewhere, it is happening at this very moment.

                                                          Father Frans van der Lugt
I believe there is a self-centeredness and false pride that exists in all of us.  It is the gateway for evil to enter into us.  Many reject this evil.  Many have too much love in their hearts to be influenced by such temptation. Many do not.  Lucifer is alive and well and using these open “gateways” that are available to him all over the world.  Quite often he is very successful at gaining entrance into available souls.

Bottom line, Lucifer, aka Satan, was the greatest of all God’s angels. But his pride made him choose to challenge his Creator. He lost that battle and was cast out.  He is filled with a vitriolic hatred for God and Love and has been waging his evil war against  God and Love ever since.  Often time he finds an open “gateway” and has successfully used this path to recruit millions of willing souls. But, he can never win.

                                            ©Larry Peterson 2014 All Rights Reserved

    Being Anti-Christmas Equals Permanent Denial

     by 

    I admit it. I get pretty ticked off at some of the anti-Christmas stuff that is dumped on us Christmas lovers this time of the year.  If you do not like Christmas, if you do not believe in Christmas, if you are anti-Christian, an atheist, agnostic, or even a Vulcan,  why do you give a ‘flying reindeer’  what we Christmas lovers love?  Why can’t you let us enjoy our creches with the innocent baby and Christmas trees and  wide-eyed children filled with the awe of an impending  visit by Santa on Christmas Eve? How in the name of candy canes and snowflakes can these things bother you? Hey man, I don’t care if you don’t roast chestnuts on an open fire or do not drink eggnog. Why do you care if I and the millions like me, do?  But a heavy weight has finally been lifted from my shoulders. I have finally  accepted the fact that you anti-Christmas people have been around for centuries (ever hear of King Herod) and are never going to stop your ranting and raving. Yes, this Christmas I am at peace with you.
    Christmas is so much more than a ‘certain day’ each year. It is about faith and love and goodness and giving and sharing and the twinkle in the eyes of children and songs about  peace and joy and angels and poor people (shepherds) and rich people (the wise men) and the star, the brightest and  most wonderful star ever seen.  For over two thousand years this  star has lit the way for all  blood-lines as they traveled across the centuries. It is about  Salvation–the Salvation available to each and every one of us who has ever lived. So, whatever  is the problem with all of you  anti-Christmas, anti-God, anti-Jesus people who are somehow “offended” by KINDNESS and GOODNESS and LOVE? Why do you want to ruin it for the vast majority of people who LOVE Christmas and all it stands for? How can you be so  self-centered and self-absorbed that you are willing to snatch  joy and happiness right from the hearts of millions of children? What is wrong with you supposedly tolerant, caring, people?  I don’t get it. How can you hate Christmas?  Well, I have decided that you cannot hate Christmas. If you say that you do–you are living in a state of permanent denial.
    So, for this Catholic man who believes that the reason for Christmas is the Virgin birth of Christ the Savior  this  is the Christmas that I have come to peace with  you  anti-Christmas folks, all of you. Filled with the “Bah-Humbug” spirit you have tried to bludgeon all of us  Christmas lovers  into submission. And you and your kind have been doing it for centuries, even before Dickens had Scrooge mouth “bah-humbug” back in 1843. It is old news folks, very old news.
    Please know that this Christmas this believer will  say a prayer for all of you who do not believe. I will pray that  you catch a glimpse of that star that shines so bright.  Maybe a droplet of its light will find its way into  your heart.  If you do happen to catch a glimpse of it don’t turn away. You will have ignored a beautiful Christmas moment. You will have chosen the proverbial “hunk of coal” over a “sweet candy cane”. I swear, it is true. So keep your eyes and hearts open and Merry Christmas to EVERYONE.  For me, this Christmas is truly Peace on Earth no matter what anyone says or does.