"Have They Lost Their Minds? Get Out of My Faith!"

I’m tired. Not because I am a senior citizen or because my back hurts or because I am a cancer survivor or anything like that. All that stuff is GOOD. I am tired and worn out from being slapped upside the head because I am a catholic. Yeah–I am a blue-collar catholic guy who loves his faith and his church and that is all there is to it. My three priorities are; God, Family, and Country–in that order. But, no one ever bothered me about that. God bless the framers of the Constitution. Were they SMART. Freedom of Religion–the very FIRST amendment. God bless em—because those folks knew what kind of lid had to be placed on the pressure cooker of diversity that was to be America. Religion was the thing that transcended law. It made things either right or wrong. It said yes and no. Ah, “yes and no”–how archaic to so many in our sophisticated and secular 21st century world. Yet, how beautiful and reassuring to so many others. Such a paradox.

Okay–I, as do so many Catholics today and throughout the centuries past, like to, on occasion, pay a “visit” to our church. It doesn’t matter where the church is located. Anywhere in the world it is the same. Jesus is there. For real. We believe that. We know that for a fact. It is a faith thing. We can stop in for five minutes just to say HI Jesus. Or we can sit in His presence for five hours and just talk or not talk. If you have a problem with that–oh well. Freedom of religion—remember. For those who believe no explanation is necessary–for those who do not believe, no explanation is possible (unless you really want to have an open mind and check it out).

So–what’s my problem on this Memorial Day? Well, first of all I thought that we were supposed to live our faith the best we can, 24/7. I mean, when I leave church, is that it? Forget all the morality and faith and good works. The hell with the Golden Rule. Doesn’t going to church and attending Mass and sometimes making a “visit”prepare me and fortify me to leave that place and go out into the world? Am I now supposed to, by LAW, leave it in church.  My problem is that it seems that the Obama administration has sent forth a pseudo-catholic by the name of Sebelius who is now standing outside my church telling me just that. She and her other pseudo-catholic buddies like Biden and Pelosi and Kerry et al: are telling me that  as long as I am in church I can follow my faith. Once I leave church I had better follow the rule of law as set forth by the administration in power or face a hefty  fine or even imprisonment. They have even suggested that the church has declared a “war on women” because the church refuses to give contraception and abortifacient drugs. Have they LOST THEIR MINDS? President Nixon signed Title X into law in 1970, 42 years ago, and  contraception on demand has been available all over the country ever since.

Anyway, that’s why I am tired. Tired of this unrelenting attack on my faith supposedly being waged under the  banner of virtue. What a crock. Maybe we should close all the catholic hospitals and foundling homes and catholic charities and the St. Vincent De Paul Society and HIV/Aids centers and homes for the deaf and the blind and shelters for the homeless. HAVE THEY LOST THEIR MINDS?? Hey—get out of my faith.

A "Bah-humbug" to all you anti-Christmas Grinches

Ebeneezer Scrooge harbored such contempt for Christmas that four separate ghosts had to appear to him and scare the bejeebers out of him before he would actually see the error of his ways and be able to smile and shout out, “MERRY CHRISTMAS”. Unfortunately, for all those pseudo Ebeneezer Christmas haters who seem to grab so many headlines, like the idiot judge in Texas who threatened anyone saying the word “amen” at a school during the Christmas season with jail, there will be no ghosts appearing to them to set them straight. Alas, Dickens is dead. Too bad.

The proliferation of 24/7 news broadcasts, on-line publications, “You-tube” etc., seems to bring to the forefront all of these “offended” folks who mock Christmas, treat it with disdain and contempt, and try to have reference to it, celebration of it and reverence for it removed from every nook and cranny throughout the land. (But they do not have a problem staying home for the Holiday–well, Christmas is a national holiday, right). Now, the Congress of the United States of America, yes, our Congress, has been told that they are not allowed to put “Merry Christmas” on their correspondence. I’m getting a headache.

Here’s the thing and this is not easy for me to do.  Suppose we dare to take the religious aspect out of Christmas. Jesus of Nazareth was a historical figure, right? He did not go to the university but He was a teacher. He was poor and certainly had no servants but they called Him Master. He was not a doctor but He was called Healer. King Herod was so afraid of Him that, when Jesus was only a baby,  he had thousands of innocent boys, two and under, executed in an attempt to kill Him. The only reason he failed was because Jesus’ dad was able to smuggle his wife and son out of the country and into Egypt. Not bad for a guy about 18 or 19 years old with no money caring for a girl about 14 or 15 and a baby.

It took them about 33 years and then they finally did kill Jesus. Why? Because he had the temerity to speak of love and forgiveness. He certainly never hurt anyone. His crime was being kind, helping others and loving His fellow humans. What a “monster”!!

So, to all you anti-Christmas loonies who are so obsessed with stopping the celebration of a Man who simply represented love to ALL mankind—whatever is your problem? You don’t have to be Christian if you don’t want to be. Why can’t you leave us (the VAST majority) alone. This has nothing to do with the First Amendment. This has to do with having a common respect for what others think and feel. I shall close with the most defiled word in use today:  WHATEVER

Ever Wonder about a "Partridge in a Pear Tree, and so on"?

A bit of Christmas History

Did you ever wonder (like me)—What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won’t come out of the pear tree have to do with Christmas?
Well now, here is one version of “The Twelve Days of Christmas” 
From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.
-The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
-Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
-Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.-
-The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
-The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.
-The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
-Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
-The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
-Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
-The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
-The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
-The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.
So there is your history “folklore” for today….  maybe it is true, maybe not—for me, well, It is the Christmas season so it works for me—-
Merry Christmas

"What is a Friend"

I received this from a FRIEND and it was so beautiful I just had to post it here.(Author unknown)

Subject: What is a Friend…..
Friends…….They love you,
But they’re not your lover
They care for you,
But they’re not from your family
They’re ready to share your pain,
But they’re not your blood relation.
They are……..FRIENDS! !!!!
A True friend…… .
Scolds like a DAD..
Cares like a MOM..
Teases like a SISTER..
Irritates like a BROTHER..
And finally loves you for YOU..

The nicest place 2 be is in someone’s THOUGHTS!
The safest place 2 be is in someone’s PRAYERS!
And the best place 2 be is in………..

"I LOVE 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; the homeless, the unemployed, those with serious illness, and especially the 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. Single parents have a double whammy. They are missing a spouse to vent with. This I shall address in a week or so. But, for now, it is Thanksgiving week.

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. 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

Jumbo Feeney: "I'm Giving the Kid a Cupcake"

I got a call from my childhood buddy, Jumbo Feeney, the other day and I knew what to expect as I answered the phone; Jumbo was already in mid-sentence. “Know what I mean, Petie? (he calls me Petie) What’s wrong with a cupcake? Show me a kid who don’t like a cupcake. Know what I mean? Gimme a break, who do they think they are anyway?—“

I almost shouted, “Whoa, Jumbo, slow down. What are you talking about?”

“You’re not paying attention, Petie. I said, no cupcakes allowed. That’s what I’m talking about.  C’mon now, pay attention.”

“Jumbo—STOP. Just stop. You always do this. Please start from the beginning.”

Look, I love the guy. We have been close friends since grade school back in the Bronx during an era when you could leave your doors unlocked. But, when Jumbo was hyper, he would always start his conversations  before dialing the phone. “Okay Petie, okay. My grandson, Mikey—ya know, he’s four, well, he stayed over last night and I brought him to his day-care place this morning. You won’t believe this.”

“Won’t believe what?”

“You gonna let me talk or what?”

Smiling I said, “Sorry, Jumbo. Go ahead.”

“So I packed the kid’s lunch and put a cupcake in the bag. When I get there they check inside the kid’s lunch bag and tell me that  cupcakes are not allowed. I mean this girl, who looked like she shoulda been waving pom-poms at a high school football game, is telling me, ME, the kid’s grandfather, I can’t give the kid a cupcake. Yeah, they only serve organic, hormone free stuff, like free-range eggs. What in God’s name are free-range eggs. They only serve organic milk. Snacks are celery or carrot sticks—“

“Yeah, but that’s the way it is nowadays.”

“What’s wrong with you Petie? Don’t you get it? It’s the principle of the thing. I love Mikey to death. What—they think they know best? C’mon man, we ate cupcakes and drank soda and ate salami and we ain’t dead yet, are we?”

“But Jumbo—“

“Look Petie, free-range eggs and organic dairy stuff and hormone free whatevers are healthier than cupcakes, okay. I know that. But it is not their job to tell me what I can and cannot feed my grandson. The only ones who can tell me that are his parents. These people want to give me the information about this health food stuff, great. Gimme a print-out. Then we can figure out.”

“Yeah, Jumbo, sure–but—“

“But nothing, Petie. But nothing. These young parents of today are being stripped of their parental  rights and they don’t even see it happening. And it is all being done under the virtuous umbrella of ‘what’s best for the child’. The parents know what’s best for the kids. Not some kid,  fresh out of day-care school, who probably still has her mommy washing her clothes. And as far as this grandparent goes if my grandson wants a cupcake when he sees me, which is only about twice a month anyway, I’m giving the kid a cupcake. Gotta go.” click

Good old Jumbo. Gotta love the guy.