Tuesday, November 30, 2021

RESPONDING TO THE USUAL MISUNDERSTANDING ABOUT "PRAYING TO MARY"

Christianity.com posted the following article:

There were the usual responses. 

 

 I left the following comment. 

The words of the Hail Mary don’t “pray to Mary,” the words ask her to pray for us. “Pray for us now and at the hour if our death.” They are the same words we use to ask others to pray for us.

THE SECRET TO TEACHING YOUR CHILDREN TO BE QUIET AT MASS

I was moved to share the following thoughts after I read this article: A letter to the parents who keep bringing their disruptive kids to Mass, week after week.

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As one of the parents of 11 children, and who, for the most of our child-rearing years, attended Mass in a small chapel of maybe 20 people max, (where any noise was easily a distraction) we had a strategy. It was my job to take the disruptive child (usually the youngest) outside. Sometimes I'd miss the whole Mass. But not for long. The child usually settled down about year 2. 

But here's the deal. The Mass we went to did not have constant sound, external stimulation, guitars, lectors, amplified singers, drums, moving around, etc. It was 90% absolutely silent. If you've guessed this was the Latin Mass, you are correct. 

The lack of all that external stimulation had a quieting effect on my children, even as infants. Somehow they intuited that something special was going on and they learned to be quiet...because QUIET is what surrounded them. 

We had and still have 2 special needs children. One of them, Number 10, was extremely rambunctious. He was always on the move. But about age 2, he became absolutely quiet and even "contemplative." 

(As a P.S. William had been born with a nasal defect which caused him to snore loudly. Since William knew he could not make noise "in church," he would "deal with it" by just going to sleep. His snoring was so loud that I often had to pick him up off the floor and take him outside. This became a bit difficult because I was the "organist." LOL.)

William with his Icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary
at Latin Mass. ca 2012. 

I gave William an icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary and he would hold it against his chest at every Mass and was absolutely still for the more than hour long Latin Mass liturgy. 

As soon as Mass was over, he was up and running out of the church and it would take most of his brothers and sisters to catch him as he ran around the church yard. 

For nearly 30 years we went to Mass with up to 11 children. But for a few instances when we had to take the little ones out of Mass, they all learned to "respect" the Mass because they were surrounded by "respect," which was absorbed by them as silence. 

Let's stop blaming children and families. And families, let's stop making excuses for our noisy children. If you take them to a noisy place, they're going to be noisy. Sorry if you are unable to find a Mass where silence reigns. I understand how hard it is today. Every available second seems to be drowned in sound.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

EARL NIGHTINGALE: THE TWO SONS

Most who know Earl Nightingale point to his award winning talk "The Greatest Secret." It is indeed one of the greatest talks ever. 

However, the following is my favorite story of his:

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A man had two sons.

The man was a terrible, abusive, alcoholic, and beat both sons equally in alcohol-fuled fits of rage. 

One son grew up to be a terrible abusive alcoholic.

The other grew up to be the opposite (i.e. never touched a drop).

Given that both were sons of the same abusive, alcoholic, father; and given that both turned out quite different, an enterprising sociologist once asked both sons the same question: 

"How did you become the person that you are?"

Both sons had the same answer:

"What would you expect with a father like mine." 

It's probably a parable and not a true story. But it's a story that has been played out millions of times. 

We decide our destiny. NOT our parents...or our circumstances.

Friday, July 30, 2021

SIMONE BILES v AMERICA'S CULTURE OF DEATH

I have been following with some interest (and a certain sadness) the news about Simone Biles. 

I love that girl for many reasons. Her story - the child of a drug addict mother - foster homes - adopted by her grandparents… 

Even her “tiny-ness” may have been due to her birth mother’s drug addiction. Also, she is a Catholic, as I am. But we’ll leave that out for now. 

There is no question that Simone is the greatest gymnast of all time. Simone had nothing to prove at the Tokyo Olympics. 

Long ago (1968) the Olympics ceased to be a contest between individuals and their hard-earned prowess, and became another sham forum for evil politics - managed and ruled by “fat-ass” losers who puppeteer-ed magnificent persons like Simone, Comaneci, Phelps, Spitz, Keino, Ryun… 

However, perhaps there is nothing new here. If memory serves, the Olympics were born not of a contest between individuals, but of a contest between Athens and Sparta - wherein magnificent persons were similarly puppeteer-ed by the same “fat asses” splatting upon their seats of honor, sucking on grapes, watching the games, and rotting in place. 

Leaving history and fast forwarding to now, I am amazed (but perhaps not really) that none of the “great commentators,” have zeroed in on the real problem - and for whatever reason, dare not touch it: I.e. Simone’s opportunists. 

Simone, essentially a child prodigy, appears to have been following the same tragic track of other young prodigies who were pushed, used, functionally prostituted, monetized, and ultimately discarded by the likes of those who did the same to Michael Jackson, Judy Garland, Macauley Culkin, Wolgang Amadeus Mozart…

Without getting too deep into all that (and not discounting their own adult choices), the tragedy of Simone is not Simone, but her managers, sponsors, and ultimately her coaches. 

Ultimately, what is going on is a failure of Simone’s coaches - who - hitching their career wagons to Simone’s God-given and hard-earned abilities - were probably more than willing to overlook Simone’s health - physical or mental - to get her through one more Olympics so that their names and careers could last long after Simone Biles - who - given her age - was already at the tail-end of her abilities. 

I believe it was Vince Lombardi who once said “there are no bad teams, there are only bad coaches.” Whether Lombardi actually said this or not isn’t important. What is important is that Lombardi proved this to be true. In the early 1960’s Lombardi took a team which was the laughing stock of the NFL and transformed the Green Bay Packers into the NFL’s winningest team by the end of that decade - with pretty much the same guys who hardly knew what a football was only a few years earlier.

Great coaches don’t coach athletes’ physical abilities. Great coaches coach athletes’ minds. It appears Simone’s coaches failed to do that. Perhaps they thought they could ride her to the top…one more time.

Simone, you don’t owe your “masters” anything - be they your coaches, your sponsors, even your “nation” - which sadly is a nation which has laws which would have had you slaughtered and sold for your body parts before you were born because of choices your mother made. 

How often I have heard politicians - even right here in Guam - support the killing of unborn children because of situations just like your mother’s…and yours. 

No. You don’t owe “America” anything. Today’s America would have had you killed and thrown in the trash before you ever took a breath.

The Olympics isn’t over. There is still time to do this just for you.

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