16 March 2019

A Candle of Understanding


Oh Lord, light a candle of understanding in my heart
That I might truly know Thy ways. Father, if it be Thy will,
I shall subdue my earthly desires and reform my sinful heart,
That after my time here I can receive Thy mercy and eternal life.
People can deny it if they want, but those who live in the Spirit
Hear the Word of God from beyond the notion of time and space.
To those who walk in the sun there is no lack of light.
It is only those that go astray who walk in darkness.
Heaven is within our grasp. Where else is there to run?
Why do people look for peace through some other door?
The unbelievers trouble me not for they will die in disbelief.
They have polluted the earth with their wickedness and will suffer.
Let not the sinner say that he has not sinned for God will burn
Coals of fire upon the head of those who say such things.
I will not be afraid nor will I let my sins weigh me down,
For I have sincerely repented and have been forgiven.
The Word that carries you and I and all things, is carried
In our hearts to share the Good News with other people.
The whole world groans as it waits for redemption.
O Lord, I pray for all those who have no one to pray for them.
I also pray for those who will not pray. Lord have mercy. Amen!

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06 March 2019

To Think or To See?

The past preaches to the present and the arrow 
Points to dreams of the yet unveiled future. 
Every remedy is desperate and every cure miraculous.
The poet tries to get his head around heaven and
The philosopher tries to get heaven into his head. 
To change from one to the other, one door must be shut
And another door opened with a bold push.
Which will it be, to think or to see?
Nothing is quite as good as it seems to be
All things are best at the beginning.
We tire of things, they fall apart, the sunlight fades,
We wander the earth searching for meaning
To find a mirror of truth in the drop of dew that 
Clings so lovingly to the cheek of a red, red, rose.
Look up at the sky through the largest window,
Do you see any borders? No? I didn't think so.
The sky is not the limit, we are.
Pain follows sin as a plow follows the ox. 
Choose well and the momentum will lift you up. 
When the heart weeps for lost desires 
The spirit rejoices for the peace it has found.
Prayer is communion between people and God.
If we forgive others we will be forgiven,
And we will be done unto as we do.
The night grows cold, the party is almost over,
And then this too shall pass away.
There is nothing good in the world besides 
Goodwill toward others and this comes from the heart 
And the peace it holds at the center of ones being.

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28 February 2019

Lord, I beg your pardon.

Lord God Almighty,
Now I bow down before you
From deep within my heart,
Begging for your kindness.
I have sinned, Lord, I have sinned,
And I know the laws I’ve broken.
I am praying, begging you,
Forgive me, Lord, forgive me.

Don’t destroy me along with my sins.
Don’t keep my bad deeds in memory forever.
Don’t sentence me to the earth’s depths,
For you, Lord, are the God of those
Who turn from their sins.
In me you’ll show how kind you are.
Although I’m not worthy, you will
save me according to your great mercy.

I will praise you continuously
All the days of my life,
Because all of heaven’s forces praise you,
and the glory is yours forever and always.
Amen.

(From "The Prayer of Manasseh")

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17 February 2019

Let Worries Cease

So you run and you run to
Catch up to the sun, but it 
Races around to come up behind you.
The sun is the same in a relative way
But you are older, and weaker still
And closer to death by one more day.
The wind does the same as the sun.
It blows around from North to South
And West to East where it had begun.
The rivers all flow down to the sea,
Go up in clouds and down again, as rain.
For all the circles and cycles of the sun,
And the winds, the rivers, and the rain,
There is no final destination.
What has already been is what will be,
What has been done will be done over.
There is nothing new under the sun.
Human nature is going nowhere fast,
Like the tread wheel in a hamster cage,
Or perhaps like a wheel of fortune,
Round and round and round she goes and
Where she stops nobody knows...for sure.
No matter what the new invention,
We struggle with the same contentions;
The same deficient morality
The same basic insecurity
And the same desires of the flesh.
The more that things seem to change,
The more they seem to stay the same.
It is a litany of human failure.
Look beyond the sun to our Heavenly Father.
We will only find solace in God Himself.
Come weary traveler, take your ease,
In God let us trust and let worries cease.

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05 February 2019

You never know...

Give yourself to God before death arrives.
What you can do today don't defer 'til tomorrow,
For a day once passed never returns
And missed opportunities turn to sorrow.
You never know which chance is the last.
By the light of a feeble candle we look around.
Everything vanishes, and there is no applause.
The words at your funeral fall on deaf ears,
For you will already entering Heaven...or Hell.
Our earthly home is but a wayside inn
On the road to our final destination.
At the moment of death we awaken to eternity.
Imagine how it will feel when it is too late
To call on the Lord to beg His pardon.
For by then, for you, it will be too late.

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21 January 2019

Who is Our Rock?

The Lord is our rock and our fortress.
He delivers us from evil and from our enemies.
He is our God in whom we trust.
He is our shield and our refuge.
He forgives our sins and grants us eternal life.
In our distress we call upon Him with hope.
He removes our fears and our anxieties.
He saves us from those who hate us.
He saves us from our unruly selves.
He deals with us fairly and squarely.
He rewards our love for Him with saving grace.
He loves the humble but brings down the haughty.
God is our light in the darkness.
His Word is perfect and true.
His goodness and mercy are endless.
For who is God but the Lord,
And who is our rock, except our God?
Our God who always was, and is, and ever shall be.
For this I shall praise the Lord forever.
Join me in calling upon the name of the Lord.

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04 January 2019

A Prayer for Sharing

The Prayer of Saint Francis

Lord make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Oh Divine Master, grant that I may
Not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
To be understood as to understand,
To be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Amen!

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30 December 2018

My one word resolution for 2019

Every year about this time I choose a theme for a New Year's resolution that I can put a one word label on and just concentrate on that one thing for a whole year until it becomes an ingrained habit. I am pleased to report that this system has worked for me very well. Here is a partial list from years past:

2011 "Ideate" ("to form an idea of", "think of", "imagine", "conceive of","envision", "visualize")

2012 "Update" ("improve", "correct", "renew", "revise", "upgrade", "amend", "overhaul", "modernize", "contemporize")

2013 "Motivate" ("prompt", "drive", "move", "inspire", "stimulate", "influence", "activate", "impel", "push", "propel"

2014 "Ataraxia" ("Tranquility", a state of freedom from emotional disturbance and anxiety)

2015 "Contemplate" (Know Thyself, "examine", "inspect", "observe", "survey", "study", "scrutinize")

2016 "Intentionality" ("Intentionality" is the connection between our conscious mind and the object we are thinking about. It is the quality of our thoughts and beliefs that consists in their being directed toward some object or state of affairs. In other words a clear and conscious focus.)

2017 "Altruism"  (The practice of selfless concern for the well being of others. It is the charitable and humble giving of oneself to other people in many different ways.

2018 is "Meditate" (To focus and quiet the mind to reach a higher level of awareness and inner calm.)

My theme for 2019 is "Validate" (To check that something is true and that there is objective evidence from a valid source to prove or confirm that it is true or correct.

In this age of "relative truth" and "alternative facts" there is is obviously a serious case of "truth decay," and facts are likened to a "curate's egg." A "curate's egg" is something that is described as partly bad, but also partly good, whether that is true...or not. The term is derived from a cartoon in Punch (November, 1895) in which a timid curate, who has been served a bad egg while breakfasting with his bishop, when asked how he liked it, said that "parts" of the egg are excellent. The modern meaning is that something is a mix of good and bad but mostly one or the other depending on who is describing it. It is like saying after the massive white supremacist rally and subsequent violent confrontations in Charlottesville, Virginia in August of 2017, "I think there is blame on both sides. You had some very bad people in that group, But you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.” That is a good example of a curate's egg."

It is said that we are living in a "post truth era" where truth is not necessarily true and this is damaging our democracy (and our collective morals) by calling into question whether or not there exits an objective truth. "Post truth" is based upon feeling and emotion and not hard data and objective reality. Post truth is moral relativism; the way that you like to remember the facts may be to your liking but not particularly by their veracity. Moral Relativism (or Ethical Relativism) is the position that moral or ethical propositions do not reflect objective and/or universal moral truths, but instead make claims relative to social, cultural, historical or personal circumstances. This encourages "truthful hyperbole," a presumed innocent form of exaggeration when the truth does not seem adequate. The reader or listener or political rally attendee is overwhelmed with a blatant disregard for truth and logical coherence.

There is nothing to be achieved by mere zeal of opposition to moral relativism, alternative facts, or political hyperbole. The end will be achieved through the concentration of all parties on truth, justice, and the camaraderie of charity (love through sacrifice) for one another. "E Pluribus Unum"..."Out of many, one."

Truth is Freedom. In John 8:32 Jesus said to the people who believed in Him,”And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

In John 18:37-38 Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you a king?" Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.” Pilate said to him, “What is truth?” After he had said this, Pilate turned away from the truth and handed Jesus over to the lynch mob to be crucified as a scapegoat.

Adam and Eve bought our knowledge of good and evil with their original sin and expulsion from Paradise but Jesus Christ paid for it with His death and resurrection and so we have no excuse for not seeking the truth.

May God bless everyone who reads this and may the Holy Spirit bring you light to guide your own path towards the truth.

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21 December 2018

On Paradise

"It's Christmas! It's Christmas in Heaven!
Hip hip hip hip hip hooray!
Every single day is Christmas day!"
(From Monty Python - "The Meaning of Life")

This isn't the Heavenly Paradise that we all long for. This Heaven that they sing about consists of a worldly, consumer driven Christmas, utterly lacking in any religious or spiritual meaning, for the reality of the situation is clear: everyone in this Monty Python skit has gone to Hell. The true Heavenly Paradise that everyone hopes to see (but many won't) is the Paradise that Saint Francis de Sales wrote about in his Introduction to the Devout Life. The following is my adoption of his meditation on Paradise:

Eighth Meditation - On Paradise

Considerations:

1.) I consider a lovely, calm, summer's night, when the heavens are bright with the light of the glittering stars, a scene that rivals the beauty of the blue sky, the white clouds, and the glorious morning sun. I imagine that all of this falls far short of the glory of paradise.

2.) I consider the beauty and perfection of all those who already inhabit paradise; the Angels, the Apostles, Disciples, Martyrs, Saints, and Innocents along with all of the other righteous men and women who have gone before. I imagine what it would feel like to be in that number, in perpetual joy, unimaginable bliss, and incredible delights.

3.) I consider how the inhabitants of Paradise enjoy the presence of God who fills them with wondrous knowledge and understanding and the perfection of a being united in Him. The souls in Paradise are like happy children without jealousy and strife, singing praises of their Creator.

Affections and Resolutions:

1.) I admire and rejoice in the thought of Paradise and the vision of my camaraderie with Jesus, His Apostles, His disciples, my mother and father, and my ancestors who have gone before me.

2.) I admonish myself for not availing myself long ago of God's gift and promise to those who acknowledge Him and keep His commandments. How could I neglect or reject such a treasure for mere vain, corruptible, and temporary earthly pursuits?

3.) I will aspire earnestly toward that Heavenly shore, not for the reward of the delights that it offers but for the blessed relief to be with my God in the company of all who love Him.

Conclusion:

1.) Bless me O Lord with Thy glorious gift of Paradise which I don't deserve but I long for with all my heart. I wish to dissolve my soul in holy unity with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit forever and ever.

2.) O God, please help me to grow in faith and love for Thee with all my heart and soul and to love my fellow human beings without exception. I cling to the hope and the promise of my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that one day I shall be with Him in Paradise. Amen.

Merry Christmas Everyone! "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men."  Amen!

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11 December 2018

Pass it on!

We live for a moment in time just once,
For one fleeting second, and no more.
We live our lives taking leave of the past.
In the last moment we fade into that past,
Along with the memories about us.
Nothing is quite as good as it seems to be.
All things are best at the beginning.
We tire of things, they fall apart,
The sunlight fades, the party is over,
The night grows cold. It too shall pass away.
We are created with a free will.
We may want to shirk the responsibility
And shy away from dealing with it, but
In the end we must choose something,
Even if the choice is not to choose.
The Golden Rule: forgive others and be forgiven,
We will be done by as we do to our brothers.
Forgive us our trespasses Oh Lord, as
we forgive those who trespass against us.
Choose well and the momentum will lift you up.
While the heart weeps for our regrets
The spirit rejoices in peace and hope.
Prayer is a spiritual consensus between believers
and the Creator; a spiritual union, as it were.
The cost of sacrifice is the price of something
That it hurts to lose. Sacrifice is conscious love.
Sacrifice is charity and virtue. It is God's love.
He sacrificed for us. Pass it on.

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About Me

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I was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. I have been living in Mexico since January 6th, 1999. I am continually studying to improve my knowledge of the Spanish language and Mexican history and culture. I am also a student of Mandarin Chinese.