Category Archives: Larry’s Logic

To St. Joseph; The Best Husband & Dad EVER–Merry Christmas

I just felt compelled to write a few words about a simple man, a man of incredible faith, unyielding loyalty, and a heart so filled with love for his wife and child it might have exploded if that were possible. I am referring to Joseph (Yosef in Hebrew) the husband of Mary and the earthly father of the Messiah, Jesus Christ. We all know him as St. Joseph.

I am not going into any theology here. Nothing about the Pauline Epistles or the Gospels of Mark and Luke or the apocryphal works that have varied “opinions” about the man and his time. I just want to look at Joesph as a husband and a father and try, just a little bit, to get into his shoes (sandals).

First of all, Joseph was a “righteous” Jew. This meant he followed the Law of Moses and did it to the best of his ability. He was a true man of faith. I do not care how old he was when he became betrothed to Mary. All I know is that “betrothal” under the Jewish law was like a pre-marriage. Sort of  like a post-engagement. There even  had to be a rabbi officiating. You did not walk away from a betrothal. No sirree, to get out of a betrothal you needed a divorce.

So what happens? Joseph and Mary become betrothed and Joseph finds out she is pregnant. This is not 2012 we are talking about, this is over 2000 years ago. Mosaic Law permitted the actual execution by stoning of the woman. What would I have done? What would you have done? Damn–I can’t imagine being confronted with that situation. So, I don’t know what I would have done. Not our man, Joseph. He loved this woman and married her anyway. I know, I know, he had the dream and everything. But haven’t you ever dreamed and I do suggest that, as a man during those times, being faced with the reality of what was going on, he could have ran away from that dream like an Olympic sprinter dashing toward the stadium exit instead of the finish line. Yet, he married her and they had a nice reception, they moved in together and about four months later it was time to travel to Bethlehem for the census.

So now I’m thinking of me and what would I do. I’m thinking; My wife is due any day.I have little money and I have to make an 80 mile trip over rugged and dusty terrain that will take maybe four to five days if,  I can do 20 miles a day. Heck, I don’t want to make the trip so how is she going to be able to deal with 20 miles a day for 4 days?  Okay, okay, there is no choice. Dang, I hope that donkey can take it. I probably would have tried to hook up with a caravan as I traveled assuming it would be safer in numbers. I do not know if Joseph actually did that. The bottom line is, he had to take his pregnant wife and  let her sit on the back of a donkey and travel 80 miles. Nice trip. I would probably hate myself for doing that.  Think about it, we can drive 20 miles in 20 minutes doing 60 mph and we still complain.

Anyway, he gets to Bethlehem and there is no place to stay. Not a lousy room anywhere, even in a dive. She is already in labor and he is probably freaking out a bit. If it was today at least he probably would have had an old Chevy or something that she could have laid down in. He winds up in a smelly stable with animals and straw and his son is born and it is a beautiful thing but I’ll bet he would have done anything to get his wife and son into a room, any room. And along comes Herod and his insane jealousy.

Joesph hears about King Herod wanting to kill his baby. Just imagine for a moment that the government had soldiers out looking for your child so they could kill it. I can’t imagine. In fact the maniac king has thousands of children killed figuring sooner or later he would kill the right one. MADNESS—-Why? EGO.

The trip to Bethlehem was a cake walk compared to the Egypt trip. But Joseph somehow manages to make it about 300 to 350 miles to Egypt with a wife and a newborn and remains there a few years. Then, when he knows it is safe, he goes to Nazareth and resumes his trade as a carpenter, teaching his Son the law and the trade. He passes away  before his Boy begins his public life. His Son is at his side as he breathes his last.

 I love this man. Thank you Lord for giving us St. Joseph, the best husband and dad ever. All of us should think of him this Christmas. He deserves it.  I’m done.

Stuff Your Stocking with Books Blogfest Giveaway

Join me as I participate in the “Stuff Your Stocking with Books” Blogfest 
read a Christmas post written by me and
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This Christmas a "Bronx cheer" for the Unintelligent

The Christmas season has triggered what seems to be an all out barrage of vitriolic ranting and raving by a gaggle of the enlightened, highbrow, polished, pompous, intelligentsia that satisfy their quest for validation by spewing their crap all over the place. You know what—Christmas IS a celebration of the birth of a child and the peace and joy and promise that came along with that birth. That is what the “Holiday” is all about. What is wrong with these people? How did they get so UNINTELLIGENT? As a man who loves the Christmas season and all it represents and all it has done for so many, to all you self-righteous, moronic thickwits who despise the word CHRISTMAS and hate what it represents, I say, BLUBLLLBLUBLLL!–that is a “Bronx Cheer” written out.

Let us briefly review the success of the unintelligent over the last several weeks. The word “Christmas” is banned in some schools. Kids in some schools are NOT allowed to hand out religious Christmas cards. Nativity scenes are banned from many schools and public places. I could go on and on but for what. If you are reading this you get it. The ultimate in “Unintelligent Babble” came from NBC’s medical director, Nancy Snyderman. Somehow she managed to summon from deep within herself a pronouncment  that when it comes to Christmas, “religion mucks the whole thing up”. I heard it–she said it and it is all over the tube if you would like to hear it for yourself. That’s right, “religion mucks the whole thing up”. This from a highly trained and well educated woman. Hey Nancy—BLUBLLLBLUBLLL!!

Finally, let me mention the DC Abortion Fund. These folks have decided to celebrate a baby  whose birth brought “joy to the world” by having a “Peace, Joy and Choice Winter Holiday Party” at the upscale Capitale Lounge in Washington D.C.  Five per-cent of the money from their drink orders go to fund the organization’s sole  purpose which is to help fund abortions so babies preparing to be born can be obliterated. (Maybe they are big fans of King Herod.) How convenient to use a day they denigrate to raise money to defile what the entire season represents. And they all pretend that they are so well educated and sophisticated. Yeah, right.

It is less than two weeks until Christmas. I am sick and tired of all of this anti-Christmas, anti-religion nonsense coming from a tiny percentage of the misguided who simply want to take the joy they refuse to experience away from the vast majority who do. Look, if you choose to embrace a concept that does not make sense and  be miserable, knock yourselves out.  But leave us alone. Celebrating peace, joy and love is a GOOD thing. I truly extend my wishes to ALL for a blessed Christmas Holiday. If you refuse to accept the sentiment—BLUBLLLBLUBLLL!!!!

"Black Friday" is now "Black Insanity"

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but the truth is, it has attained that status in my world  through the default of my REAL favorite holiday, Christmas. Christmas, in and of itself, will always be the best holiday because of what it represents; Peace on Earth, Good Will to All, Joy to the World and Love and Giving. And it all began with the birth of a baby in a cave or stable somewhere in the bowels of the  Middle East 2000+ years ago. The baby grew up, lived for 33 years, preached love and forgiveness, and changed the world forever. The whole thing is unbelievable. The story is also TRUE. (By the way–there are millions & millions of folks who agree with me on that–could actually be 2,000,000,000 or two billion—So there!).

Thanksgiving really asks nothing of us except to “share and give”. It’s beautiful. Well, that is how Christmas started. What happened to me this year was “Black Friday” was replaced by “Black Insanity”. The Christmas season has always been commercialized, especially in the 20th century and “Black Friday” has been around for a long time with people standing in line in freezing weather at two in the morning to get a “deal” on stuff. Good for them. They had already done the family thing on Turkey Day. For many it became a holiday tradition.

Now, this year, along comes “Black Insanity” (my definition). People were camping out all week so they could get save a few bucks on stuff on Thanksgiving morning and afternoon and evening. WHOA–What happened to family day with the turkey and stuffing and cranberries and pie and football and too much tryptophan –Puhlease—STOP! We need some quality time with our family and friends. Forget about saving some money. You are giving up something that has no price tag because it is priceless. Look folks, we need to empty ourselves once in a while of the world around us, even if it is just a little bit.

There was a time in America when every Sunday was family day. People who had jobs in necessary services  were the ones who worked on Sundays. Dads and moms would have dinner together with the kids, take them out together, or just simply hang out together at home. Most stores were closed, period. I grew up in NYC and the only stores open on Sunday were the candy stores to sell newspapers, the delicatessens and the bakeries. Of course, the saloons opened after 1p.m. That was it. There was a serenity in the air on Sundays, a pause from the everyday, a calmness that surrounded people. It was not perfect but it was good.

 I am just trying to make a point with all this rambling and the point is this. This “Black Insanity” that has taken place this year has opened the proverbial Pandora’s Box. Once opened it will never be closed. The only thing that will  happen is “Black Insanity” will expand it’s clutching fingers and grab hold of more and more folks who will believe that they are “missing out”. All those Sundays of years ago were crammed into Thanksgiving and Christmas. It took a long time but it looks like Thanksgiving has just become another modern Sunday?   What’s next? Christmas Day “white sales”?

"Being Thankful for Thanksgiving-"

I’m a holiday kind of guy. I love the Christmas season with its “peace-on-earth” and ‘”joy-to-the-world” messages and Santa Claus, and elves and Christmas lights and all that comes with the excitement leading up to Christmas Day. Most of all, I love the “reason for the season”—acknowledging the birth of Christ.

I also am fully aware of the pressure and stress Christmastime can bring to so many. This year, besides the homeless, the unemployed and  those with serious illness, we must factor in the death and devastation brought by “Monster Storm Sandy” on so many of our brother and sister Americans. Christmas for many will require much Faith in the ‘reason for the season’. 

Then there are the many  parents with no money who desperately want Santa to visit their house on Christmas Eve.  Let’s face it, kids are kids and Santa is Santa; to them the “real world” has no place in their little, anxious hearts. The stress this can cause for a mommy and daddy who might be struggling just to make rent can sometimes be overwhelming. And what about the single parents with only one income, generally small. Providing a Christmas for their kids can be one of the most stress filled times of the entire year. That is a whole other issue.  But first comes Thanksgiving—and Turkey and stuffing and pie and full bellies.

I LOVE Thanksgiving. To me it IS the best day of the year. Why? Because it is the one day of the year when we pause and simply give thanks for all that we have even if it is just a little. A job, good health, a cancer in remission, connecting with a long lost relative, the birth of a child, so many things that we can be thankful for. People from every economic situation can have a turkey dinner on Thanksgiving Day. Homeless shelters and soup kitchens and prisons serve turkey. Folks who have little money are able to receive turkey baskets from various charitable organizations so they can have a turkey dinner at home with their families. No-one in America needs to go hungry on Thanksgiving Day. You do not need to purchase gifts. All you have to do is show up, hang out, eat and enjoy the uplifted spirit of family and friends that are with you, even if they are strangers in a soup kitchen. This year even the victims of “Sandy” will have a turkey dinner available to them no matter what their situation. It will be something to be thankful for that day and will generate a spark of hope in otherwise despondent hearts. We should all be Thankful for Thanksgiving. It is a beautiful thing.

“If the only prayer you said in your WHOLE LIFE was,”THANK YOU”, that would suffice.”
Meister Eckhart 1260-1327, Theologian and Philosopher

I know, get over it. 'After all, it's only politics"

This was my 12th presidential election and  it took me until Thursday to accept, not the election results but rather, how we got to those results. Inside my discombobulated and foggy muse I know the system we have has worked–again. I know we have re-elected a sitting president–again. It is all “good”, right?  God Bless America, right? So whatever is my problem?

Look, I know we have this cliche that has been embedded in all of our psyches and that cliche is “hey, its politics”. And what does that mean? Does it mean character assassination is permissible? Does it mean lying is allowed?  Does it mean vilifying  a person’s family is justifiable? Apparently, it does and I for one am sick of it.  I am sick to death of the upscale, well educated, articulate campaign reps and biased news pundits  being no better than  soap opera villains going about their business assailing those with whom they disagree with blistering attacks on their character and their families. And PLEASE–don’t tell me “hey, its politics”. That is Machiavellian crap. The truth is this behavior is disgusting and the example we set for the younger generations is deplorable. How many young people, even at the high-school level, have learned during this election season that Governor Mitt Romney is nothing but a lying, thieving, tax-evading, murdering felon who has no qualms whatsoever about ‘pushing granny in a wheelchair’ over a cliff. Why is this vilification done. TO WIN! Hey, I know, “its politics”.

As a catholic I am also befuddled and disheartened  by the Gallup poll taken after the election that showed 52% of Catholics voted for Barack Obama while only 45% voted for Mitt Romney. I am a senior citizen who was  raised catholic and still is.  Never in my entire life have I experienced the Bishops in the United States (The USCCB under Cardinal Timothy Dolan of NY) reaching out and asking their catholic “flock” to vote to save and protect our First Amendment rights. Never have they asked for our support to literally defend the faith we profess to follow. Those rights had never been threatened before. But now they are.  And what happened? 52% to 45% of we  ‘catholics’ turned our bishops down. Why? I have some answers inside myself to that question but they are too painful to deal with right now. Hey, I know, I had better get over it. After all, ” its only politics.”

All Saint's Day & Why We "Weird" Catholics"pray" to Saints.

As a blue-collar, catholic guy I just felt I should give you my take about the day after Halloween, a day that is known to us catholics as The  Feast of All Saints or All Saint’s Day. There is a lot of misconception about this “saint” business so let me try to clear this up in my own way. No research here, I am just digging down inside myself trying to remember what I learned from Sister Mary Ursula and all the other good sisters way back when and how I have managed to extrapolate that information over a 50 plus year period.

First of all, let’s get something straight–Catholics DO NOT worship or adore saints. God alone is worshiped and adored. Period, Amen. So who are these people we call saints and why do we “pray” to them? Well, for starters, remember that praying is just like talking. When we pray to the saints we are talking to them. When we pray to God we are talking to God. However, there is a HUGE difference. When you talk to God it is direct, one on one, straight up. You cannot go any higher. God is the top Man. The “buck stops with Him”. Many Christians feel that there can be no intercessor between “God and man (when I use the word man I also mean woman, okay) except God Himself. Well, that is fine and perfectly okay. All of us catholics always talk directly to God too. So, what about these people called saints? (I know, I know, we catholics sure can be weird.)

Here is how yours truly looks at this saint situation. I have to compare it to baseball or football. Over the years many thousands of men (and even some women) have played baseball and football. Heck, when I was a kid we were playing stick-ball in  the streets of the Bronx when we were  seven years old. I guess I could safely say that millions of people have played the game over the years. The years go by and we begin to grow up and most of us fall by the wayside as far as being great football or baseball players. But there are those select few that continue to play and actually become professionals. And from that group the cream comes to the top, the “best of the best” the greatest of them all, the ones that break records and become heroes to young and old alike. These people we pedestalize and place them in a place called the “Hall of Fame”. Babe Ruth, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Sandy Koufax and Jimmy Brown and Terry Bradshaw and Joe Namath and the list goes on. Immortalized forever because they were the best of the best. Well, there you have it. The Saints are the “Catholic Hall Of Fame”. They are the best of the best, the ones that loved their faith so much many died for it. There are the ones who spent their entire lives living in poverty and working with the sick and the poor never wanting anything for themselves and always having a smile on their face because they never lost sight of the prize. They showed us how the game of life should be played.

Here’s the deal. We know that these folks died and went to heaven. They are with God. This is a faith thing so don’t get logical about it. Imagine if you had a big brother or a big sister and you needed something from your dad but you were sure he would say “no” so you decide to ask your big brother to put in a good word for you. And he does and dad agrees. And there it is. We ask the saints to put in a good word for us because they are with God and they “have His ear” so to speak. No, I cannot prove it. Once again, it is a faith thing. But I do believe it, without reservation.

 If you want to explore this talking to the saints thing a bit further go on line or stop by your local catholic parish and check it out. You know, we all have pictures of our family members in our homes or wallets and we have statues of great people in history. Why? We honor them. Same with the saints. And for all those who did not make it into the Hall of Fame we talk to them too. You see, we are all one, big family known as the “communion of saints”. That’s right, you don’t even have to be dead to be a saint.  It is a beautiful thing.