‘Thoughts and Prayers’ …. “😡 Every Time it Happens …. Over and Over and Over …. Blood Money 😡 …. “!!

via ‘Thoughts and Prayers’ …. “😡 Every Time it Happens …. Over and Over and Over …. Blood Money 😡 …. “!!

Shrove Tuesday

“Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.”CANDLE

When I was a young boy, the house filled with the aroma of homemade donuts sizzling in a pan of hot fat on the day before Ash Wednesday.  We called them Fastnachts.  Nothing which Dunkin Donuts creates could ever compare to those pastry delights.  Our family was preparing for the six-week period ahead leading into Easter Sunday, the celebration of our Lord’s resurrection.  This time period, Lent, embraced a sincere endeavor to right the wrongs on our hearts and walk with Jesus to his death on Calvary.  Some families observed a weekly day of fasting during Lent.  Some eliminated a favorite pastime or a certain food as a means of sacrifice.

Shrove Tuesday is also observed as Fat Tuesday, Carnival, or Mardi Gras.  Over the past 500 years the call to be absolved of one’s sins on this day has evolved into a time of partying, drinking, and merry-making.  “Shrove” is the past tense of “shrive” meaning to confess one’s sins, repent and be absolved.  To me and my family it provided a path to clear our slates of wrongdoing and resentments within a corporate faith fellowship.  Personally it provided a time to carry a daily routine of prayer and forgiveness to an especially focused effort to take an inventory and cleanse the heart of wrongdoing.  We ultimately carry our crosses with Jesus through the season of the Lenten journey to a time of crucifixion of self, death of selfish motivation, and then spiritual renewal.

Contemporary Christianity seems often to be joyless and even dead because it has relinquished the joys of celebratory church observances to preach instead a Gospel which dwells on prosperous worldly achievement or social justice activism.  The “holidays” of the Church are meant to enrich the daily routine of our faith walk.  Jesus loved a party, a wedding, a time with friends.  I’m sure he would have appreciated a plate full of Fastnachts.  I know that today he shares our humanity, smiles and laughs when we do, celebrates when we celebrate.  That’s who he is.

 

Pope Paul VI

“Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.”orange tree

 

“If you want peace, work for justice.”

 Pope Paul VI

 

As a precursor to thinking about world peace, it is necessary to recognize that governments and government agents cannot enforce peaceful co-existence.  Governments desire power above peace,  governments covet profits from its nation’s war machine and munitions industries above peace, and governments employ military might as an insurer of peace within its own borders at the expense of violent oppression elsewhere in the world.  The great Roman Empire was created on this principle.  The American experience also became an empire in this manner.  Peace on an international level is unattainable without the intervention of a supernatural mediator.

Perhaps that is what Pope Paul VI is inferring in this quote.  Wise men know that mankind is violent and warlike and that the governances created by man are equally so.  The peace envisioned is not going to happen in the halls of government but rather within the temples of man.  Man is a spiritual being housed in a physical body, his temple.  When that spirit is tuned in to a greater universal force, the process of peacemaking can begin.  It is a miracle of interior transformation which prepares each individual to journey to the destiny of enlightenment offered by his/her Creator.

The transforming process begins with a recognition of inherent ego and its continual demand to be self-satisfied.  Slowly ego is replaced by sacrifice and awareness of surrounding suffering.  The injustice of world systems becomes increasingly apparent as the individual reaches out to live in solidarity with all brothers and sisters, to seek justice for all people.  Justice mothers the driving desire to share resources equally, to treat others compassionately, and to extend peaceful co-existence to the entire creation.  Striving for universal justice becomes the life work which will usher peace into the worlds existing within the temples.  No government can deter or destroy that which dwells within.

 

don’t rain on my parade

GABBY'S PLACE

I love parades.  Macy’s, Veteran’s Day, Halloween, Rose Bowl…….hmmmmmm, I’m PENCEgoing to send an invitation to Mike Pence to be Grand Marshall .

Sir:

We would be honored to have you participate in the America we love;  a country which embraces all creeds, all races, all nationalities, and all lifestyles.

Sincerely yours,

Picture1.pngFAMILY9

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go and proclaim

“Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.”namaste rainbow

Not going into the world and proclaiming is not an option.  It does not matter that the world doesn’t want to hear.  Recovery is a life and a story.  What has been graciously given as a free gift is a message which needs to be shouted from the rooftops.

Recovery – not just an event, but a lifestyle that needs to be practiced 24/7

 

bullying

 

“BULLYING – abuse and mistreatment of someone vulnerable by someone stronger and more powerful.”

In junior high school I weighed about 145 pounds, I was gangly and scrawny, and my oversized ears and nose made me an easy target for the big boys waiting in the gym where I had to go after lunch on my way to my next class.  Punching, poking, slapping, and pushing became such a stressful occurrence that I ended the school day with an extreme gastrointestinal disorder.  But the physical abuse was more tolerable than the name-calling and ridicule of my physical appearance.  I recovered from the punching and poking much sooner than the hurtful words.

The teachers were aware of the ongoing abuse.  Their advice was to fight back.  Not only was that a stupid idea, the big boys collectively weighed about 800 pounds, but it was an unacceptable option in the tradition of my faith.  The end result was that a young junior high school student blamed himself for the abuse and felt he actually merited the bullying because he was not only ugly but a coward as well.

We hurt each other with actions and words most often unaware of our indiscretion.  Mindlessness is not a virtue but it is forgivable.  Bullying is not mindless.  It is intentional, demeaning, diminishing, and tragic.  Today’s media headlines tell of young girls who are bullied at school and on social media and then choose suicide as the only option.  As young as twelve years old, they end their lives over an act of social injustice which tells them they are unworthy of living..

Yes, it is injustice.  Bullying is an action and an attitude.  It is an outrageous verbal and physical assault on those who are vulnerable, those who are unable to fend for themselves.  It is cowardice at its ugliest.  As a nation we are witnessing bullying in our highest government offices, in the powers seated in Washington, D.C., in the Oval Office of the White House.  We witness bullying in corporate offices, in the entertainment industry, in the factory, and in schools.  It is fed by bias, racism, discrimination, sexism, xenophobia, and unfettered ego.

We are building a world where bullying is not tolerated.  In that world the pain inflicted by words and actions on weaker victims will no longer exist.  The tears and sorrow suffered in grieving for loved victims will no longer exist.  The strong and powerful will be made to serve and the meek will be exalted.  That world will manifest someday, but until then it is our responsibility as members of a righteous humanity to oppose bullying at all levels of society and courageously expose it for the cowardice which it is.

REVELATION 21:4

rainbow-solidarity