Boinkie's Blog

Universalis

Monday, July 31, 2006

Yup...bishops like this are part of the problem

Bishop Braxton listed some examples of the deep divisions and doubts in the church:
-- Some laity, religious, priests and bishops "feel as it they are living in different 'worlds' from one another, even though they are all members of the one church."
-- Some "theologians dismiss the pronouncements of bishops about the orthodoxy of their writings."
Ummm....isn't it the job of the pastor to protect the lambs from the wolves? Didn't Paul and Jesus both condemn those who preached falsehood

-- Some "bishops conclude it is not prudent to give permission for certain theologians to speak in their dioceses."
This is a problem?

-- Some "parents decide to 'home school' their children or withdraw them from leading Catholic universities and enroll them in newer, smaller Catholic institutions that they believe are more faithful to Catholic teachings."
Yup. I once placed my son in a Christian school...in the Catholic school, he learned "new age" ideas and didn't know Catholic sexual morality was the same as Brother Fetterman taught him at his Christian academy...

-- "A Catholic woman, convinced she is called to the priesthood, joins another ecclesial community that allows the ordination of women."
Wonder how she was "convinced"? By her Wimenpriest friends? You know, the ones who back abortion, birth control, and homosexual marriages complete with visiting gay bars as the same as Christian marriage?

-- Some Catholics "would like to see the Latin Mass -- sometimes even called the 'true' Mass -- 'restored' in all parishes, everywhere in the world, for the unity of the church and the inspiration of the faithful."
Ah, but the problem is not latin vs english...it's the "whoopie" masses. Give them an English mass said with reverence and adoration, and they will go.

-- Some Catholics "feel perfectly free to change prayers and Scripture readings at Mass to make the language more 'inclusive.'"

The role of a bishop is not to choose sides but to try to resolve conflicts while defending church teachings and help individuals in their spiritual journey to happiness, he said.
Silly me. I thought the roll of the bishop was to preach the gospel.
And since when is a "spiritual journey to happiness" the goal of being a Catholic.
Silly me. I thought it was supposed to be a "spiritual journey to holiness"....

"I must be at the side of each and every person in the community of faith," he said.
"The fact that I am firmly at the side of each of you does not and cannot mean that I agree with those who oppose or reject the teachings of the church," he said.

Catholics "are not of one mind on all the concerns of the church today" and these differences "can be a source of painful divisions," he said.

Diversity can also be positive, he added.

"These differences can at times be very helpful because they provide diverse perspectives that contribute to the final understandings of the best course of action," he said.

Yup. heresy can be positive.

women reporters spinning womenpriests

I have read at least three of these propaganda articles, and guess what? All were done by women reporters.

None bothered to question the women who claimed to be "good" Catholics.

What is worse is that these women have been doing things they are not allowed to do under canon law.

The article linked shows she has "presided over baptisms and funerals"...sorry, but those things are the duty of a deacon, not the pastoral assistant. In the Boston Globe, the female was a "chaplain" who "anointed" sick people.

The dirty little secret is that too many bishops hired radical ex nun feminists who had their own ideas but because they had "degrees" in various religious studies, they were hired without checking if they were Catholic.

Ah, but the parents could have told the bishops these ex nuns were destroying the faith of their kids...but who listens to ordinary Catholics?

Friday, July 28, 2006

Refugees

One "side effect" of the war in Lebanon is that a lot of Lebanese with dual citizenship are moving elsewhere. And leaving their maids behind.
And a lot of the maids are Filippinas, who are hiding in the church of the Miraculous Medal until the government her gets them out, either home or to another area.

The dirty little secret is that there are few jobs here, and many prefer the danger to being "safe" with out food or school fees so their kids have a chance at life.

The dirty little question no one is asking GMA is: Why do you brag that you visited Spain and they agreed to give 500 000 Pinoys jobs, or Libya who will hire a couple thousand Pinoy nurses, instead of bringing business here?

The question no body is asking: Why are there 30 000 Philippinos and 30 000 Indians and 20 000 Indonesians there working, when in Gaza and in the West Bank and in Southern Lebanon the unemployment rate is 40%?

The third thing no one questions is how terror groups embed with locals until hatred becomes the new normal.

One sees parallels of this with FARC and other narcoterror groups in Colombia, and with Communists in Viet Nam or Mugabe in Zimbabwe or the NPA here or in Nepal. Or the Taliban in Afghanistan and Somalia. Or the NPA and MILF in some areas of the Philippines. Essentially they "rule" via terror, but they combine intimidation and even murder of their enemies with help: Medical care, schools, helping those in need...

People just want to be left alone. So if given a choice between safety with tyranny or anarchy/war, they chose safety.

They think: They provide us schools and clinics. They don't think: They shot the teachers, they threw out the doctor,so the only school we has teaches their ideology instead of algebra, and the clinic has a nurse's aid not a doctor... and if they weren't here we'd be better off..because people who don't have experience don't know better.

But as long as their power is merely local, they can't be too radical or the locals will ask the government to intervene and help them rid themselves.
What is bad is if they actually take over the government (which under the UN means no one is allowed to interfere) they can literally get away with murder.

The Cambodian massacres are one example. The Taliban another. And Mugabe's decimation of his enemies by destroying their urban dwellings so they have to return to rural areas, where he controls the food supply, is another.

Alas, the only way to get them to "reform" is to make people so tired of the horrors of war that they decide peace is actually preferable. This is how the MILF and NPA has been largely reintegrated into Filippino society.

So the news is full of Israel's attack on Lebanon. But of course they are not "attacking" Lebanon but trying to remove Hizbollah's missles, and Hizbollah has had twenty years to entrench themselves into the local population...and they are hiding behind locals who stay by choice or by force...so the result is Israeli strikes kill civilians, and the Arab press (mainly run by dictatorship) and CNN promptly show the casualties: Voila. Instant propaganda.

So the tirade that Israel is bad, Israel is terrible continues...because if the chorus got weak, perhaps people would question what does Israel have to do with their own lack of jobs or lack of eduacation...and why is their unemployment rate 40% when a Pinoy from Santa Cruz is able to work at a Lebanese factory and make good money...

Israel is their scapegoat. and as the song goes:

You've got to be taught to hate and fear
You've got to be taught from year to year
It's got to be drummed in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught to be afraid
Of people whose eyes are oddly made
And people whose skin is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught

You've got to be taught before it's too late
Before you are six or seven or eight
To hate all the people your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught
You've got to be carefully taught

So, where have been all these pacifists for the last twenty years, when Hizbollah was preaching hatred?

The real pacifists and Christians and other groups who I respect have actually been right there in the midst. (been there, done that).

But too many are merely posseurs whose real religion is "me me me" and they prefer to preach hatred of America and peace for our time because it makes them feel self righteous...

Liturgical Prancing

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Trivia

we woke up at 2 am with water dripping out of our ceiling thru the light fixture hole.

So I didn't get my prayers said.

So I was going to follow up on RevSensing's post on the metrosexual Jesus...

but instead I ended up on Japanese sites of crochet little animals...

Here's an English language pattern as an example.


Monday, July 24, 2006

Open Source Religion?

Citizen journalism, like other open-source ventures, has been criticized as a business model that relies on free labor or poorly paid amateurs who erode quality and destroy jobs.

Yet its successes have been indisputable. The blogosphere has altered the political landscape and uncovered serious lapses by traditional media.
....To Dan Kriegman, who founded Yoism in 1994, an open-source framework offered the solution to an age-old challenge: how to make religion inclusive, open to change and responsive to collective wisdom.

"I don't think anyone has ever complained about something that didn't lead to some revision or clarification in the Book of Yo," said Kriegman, a 54-year-old psychologist in Chestnut Hill, Mass. "Every aware, conscious, sentient spirit is divine and has direct access to truth…. Open source embodies that. There is no authority."...

Ah, but the problem is that most "open source" projects like the news allow experts outside the loop to criticize things. So Milblogs criticize the press reports on the Iraq war, and those familiar with how to write memos in the military and those familiar with typeface/fonts are the ones who brought down Dan Rather...Wikipedia has stuff written by readers with expertise...so you won't see an article on linguistics done by a professor of home economics, or an article on physiology done by a professor of Ancient history...(For example, Chomsky is a great linguist but when I read his political writings, I realized he had never been in the countries he described, and his analysis had little to do with reality of those places).

Similarly, the arguments on religion in the Mensa journal is about the level of a 12 year old temper tantrum...and that's why I suspect that this project will be worse than useless.



...The open-source frontier is religion. That's where Yoism comes in.

But is it really a religion? Chester L. Gillis, chairman of Georgetown University's theology department, is skeptical. Yoism, he says, embraces a transitory view of reality that contradicts traditional concepts of religion based on belief in fundamental truths.

"There's an authoritative source in religion that [Yoism] lacks. It doesn't talk about revelation from the divine," he said. "Any religion that hopes to survive is essentially conservative — it conserves elements of the faith. This one lacks that."

But Yoans have an answer for Gillis. As it is written in the Book of Yo, "There always exists the possibility of one day discovering that all our current truths are indeed wrong."

Saturday, July 22, 2006

The song of the sad

Suitcases and the story of those who lived for long years in asylums.

As a doctor, I recognize that despite the "normal" slant of the stories, that there was probably a bit of psychosis (It is in fashion to say oh there is no mental illness, but only one who has worked with deeply disturbed people--or their family members who suffer along with the person-- can appreciate the depth of an illness that looks "normal" to the casual observer...)

One reason I suspect psychosis or schizophrenia is that so many were immigrants, and the stress of a new country without support groups, will exacerbate psychotic illnesses, especially simple schizophrenia, bipolar illness, and depressive psychosis.

But anyway, being old enough to remember when thorazine was a Godsend and the hospitals started to empty, to group homes, to relatives, sometimes to jails, and sometimes, with newer medications, to normality.

But these people are still with us. They are God's "little ones".

To an observer, they are pitiful. But to a society that sees an unproductive life.

And all we docs could do in the past was try to help them by hospitalizing them in a structured environement, where a strict schedule relieved the anxiety of change and where they were kept clean and housed. Nowadays, we try to get them in a group home or help their families to cope, and adjust their medications.

But from a religious standpoint, they are sometimes very holy (I'm not speaking of religious delusions which are strange, but the ordinary reliance of God to get thru the day and cope with their fears).

So when I hear "the first shall be last and the last first", I always think of my schizophrenics, and my retarded patients, and figure that they'll put in a good word for me when I go to the big hospital in the sky.


(Headup from Impactedwisdomtoothblog)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Suffering


I got a bunch of books yesterday, including one on paradox in faith by Henri de Lubac.

One paragraph (paraphrased) says suffering like heat melts some hearts and softens some others.
I would add, sometimes it refines one's heart, and sometimes burns it and destroys it into dust.

In the Philippines, they have a tradition of suffering and martyrdom. One expects to suffer, and endurance is allowed, and it is cheerful. And martyrdom and honor is part of life, sort of the flip side to the macho idea of the men and the longsuffering and workaholic tradition of the women.

We Americans think we are in charge, and that we are safe, and that money and intelligence and hard work will solve every problem.

But in the Philippines there is a "carelessness" that is infuriating to Americans, and when something goes wrong (e.g. the china is broken for the fifteenth time, the clothes are accidentally bleached) you get a shrug and the idea is expressed as "Behala Na"...roughly translated...it doesn't matter" or "whatever will be will be"...(or more roughly, Whatever)...

But when suffering comes, it is also accepted, and the vivid devotion to the black Nazarene is one example of people identifying their suffering with that of Christ.

For 35 years, I worked as a doctor with the suffering, but now due to my husband's health I am retired, although I could probably work another ten years. Yet maybe the reason I am here is to learn the idea that my previous ideas were wrong, that I am not in charge, and that money is not my rock of salvation but that God is.

Or maybe he is just telling me to rest before I take up another burden. Behala na...

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Fire and Ice

Some say the world will end in fire;
Some say in ice.
From what I've tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To know that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

My previous screed (see below) was removed from my main blog as being too long.

But it has to do with my ongoing theme of forgiveness.

As a doctor, I see people destroyed by hatred.
Now, I'm a good hater, so I understand it. But there is a time in life where you have to give up the hatred, or, as Robert Frost's poem suggests, the iciness of hatred will slowly move forward as a glacier moves forward and destroy everything in it's path.

Hatred and unforgiveness is related.
Often those we hate the most are those who have harmed us.

But sometimes we project our hatred, or project our fear of something into hatred of a third party.
So people who feel that they cannot control something important in their lives will react differently...
Often political hatreds are of this type: it's easier to Hate Bush than worry that there are terrorists who would kill you even if Gore had won in 2000 or even if you killed every Israeli.

Much racial hatred is of this type: as long as poor whites in the South hated blacks, they wouldn't question the elite patricians who ran the states. As long as Arabs can hate Israel, they won't have to question the mass graves in Iran, the executions in Iran, the destruction of Hama by Assad in Syria, the corruption of the Egyptian government....

The Palestinians are an example of both these forms of hatred.
You see, the dirty little secret is that they fled partly due to Arab leaders encouraging them to leave, but there were some atrocities by Israelis that encouraged it.

They also lost their homes...and like those in Yugoslavia, (another story) they remembered every story of harm, keeping them in their hearts, turning them over and over again, and teaching that hatred to their children.

They neither forgave, nor forgot.

Yet the Palestinians were not the only ones who were displaced. What about the 7 million ethinic Germans who were throw out of Eastern Europe in the late 1940's? the millions of refugees from communism? the Chinese ethnically cleansed from Indonesia and Viet Nam? The one million Cubans in Miami?

The dirty little secret is that usually by the second generation, most have assimilated and still think of their country, but have made homes and adjusted to their new country---and their children no longer keep alive the wish to go home.

By keeping the Palestinians as permanent "refugees" they have been more harmed by the UN (who only wanted to help them) and by the Arabs (who wanted to keep them poor so they could aim their own people's hatred against Israel). One only has to go to MEMRI and read what their unfree press and tv shows them day after day to realize they are being indoctrinated in war and hatred.

And until they decide to forgive or forget, and get a life, they will stay in the prison of their own hatred. I suspect if they did, the Israelis would actually help them with investments and expertise...

Sad, but alas the decision to hate is easier, the game playing of "poor little me" is more fun than actually getting a life and moving on.

And that is true for people as much as for war.

AntiSemitism: It's not just for Kossacks anymore

"...The greatest mistake Israel could make at the moment is to forget that Israel itself is a mistake. It is an honest mistake, a well-intentioned mistake, a mistake for which no one is culpable, but the idea of creating a nation of European Jews in an area of Arab Muslims (and some Christians) has produced a century of warfare and terrorism..."


I see that the WaPo decided to take up the gauntlet now that Moulitsas tried to calm down the Kossaks who had declared Israel is the problem, so let's just let the Arabs kill all the Jews and our problems would be solved.

Ummm...are you aware that the ethnic composition of Israel is: Jewish 80.1% (Europe/America-born 32.1%, Israel-born 20.8%, Africa-born 14.6%, Asia-born 12.6%), non-Jewish 19.9% (mostly Arab) (1996 est.)

the actual number of those who fled Israel in 1948 was estimated as 750 000...LINK
Ironically, this Palestinian site claims only 150 000 were "ethnically cleansed" from Israel.

So, even if you believe the higher number, that means the number of Palestinians who fled Israel is roughly equal to the number of Sephardim and Arab Jews who were kicked out of Arab lands...

Jewish Populations of Arab Countries: 1948 and 2001
Country or territory 1948 Jewish
population
Estimated Jewish
population 2001[1]
Aden 8,000[2] ~0
Algeria 140,000[2][3] ~0
Egypt 75,000[2]-80,000[3] ~100
Iraq 135,000[2]-140,000[3] ~200
Lebanon 5,000[2] <>
Libya 35,000[3]-38,000[2] 0
Morocco 250,000[3]-265,000[2] 5,230
Syria 15,000[3]-30,000[2] ~100
Tunisia 50,000[3]-105,000[2] ~1,000
Yemen 45,000[3]-55,000[2] ~200
Total 758,000 - 866,000 <6,500

One should remember that these were only part of population transfers/ethnic cleansing that occured after World War II..and indeed, not even the largest.

The difference, of course, is twofold: The Palestinians were kept as "refugees" in UN run "refugee" camps with the promise to go home, and two: they were denied integration into the other Arab societies.

Paternalism at it's worse, and unlike the American Indians who were similarly kept quaintly on "reservations" for 100 years, the Palestinians haven't discovered Casinos to break the cycle of poverty.

As for other Arab countries who hate Israel: In psychology, this is called "projection".
You see, as long as there is an Israeli boogeyman to point to, people's anger can be deflected from the corruption of their own governments onto a convenient scapegoat..

And if it wasn't the Jews, it would just be someone else.
-------------------------------------------
Mark Twain's describes the desolation of Palestine under the Ottoman Empire in 1869...doesn't resemble the built up Israel of today.
Does the land belong to those who lived there, or to those who developed it?

I am sympathetic to the poverty and despair of the Palestinians, but they remind me of a patient who thirty years later blames all her problems on her long dead husband... I am sympathetic, but there is a limit to my patience with professional victims...
As one wise Jew said: Let the dead bury the dead.
Or as NewYorkers say: Get a life.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Forgiveness

One of the most influential sermons I have heard are the ones by Corrie Ten Boom, a Dutch Evangelical who with her family was arrested and placed in a concentration camp for hiding Jews during world war II...

LINK is some of her sermons on line to download...
and the mp3 on forgiveness is HERE...

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Attention St. Martin

Remember St. Martin of Toures who gave half his cloak to a beggar?

Well, this is the modern variation...

Pilgrimage to Nidaros

Anyone reading the classic trilogy Kristin Lavransdottir knows she is frequently visiting the holy shrines of Nidaros.

well, pilgrims of secular Norway are again following the pilgrim trail:

In the Middle Ages many people found their way to Nidaros. There were several reasons for this. Some were looking for healing for themselves or their loved ones by praying at the shrine of the holy King Olav.
Others were seeking the forgiveness of God and the church. If we were going to attempt to describe a common characteristic for the medieval pilgrim, then it would have to be the desire to draw closer to the holy, to wholeness and to truth....

The landscapes that today's pilgrims wander through are the same as before. The mountains remain standing and continue to be good to orient oneself by, nature lives on through the seasons, and the pilgrims experience the same need for breaks and rest. All these externals set an inner process into motion. The pilgrim who reaches his or her goal will often experience the inner journey as more important than the outer. The one who reaches the goal is not quite the same as the one who left home at the start of the journey.

Some say with a measure of irony that the state of the pilgrim trails to Trondheim today makes them well suited as ways of penance. The marking is still not as good as we would wish. Neither are there enough pilgrim hostels yet for us to say that we are completely satisfied with the service along Norway's "tour route number 1".








Tuesday, July 11, 2006

oh brave new world

We already hear about taking eggs from fetuses obtained from late abortions for eggs...well, now we can kill embryos to make sperm...

sick art

Ursi posted this, among her beautiful art links.

As one commenter on her site points out, it is a sick art work...but I am not sure who had the money to devise the sick sales webpage (which has lots of stuff on it but no hard scientific data, which confirms it is a hoax).
The artist says:

This sculpture is the physical representation of a question. Bioengineering, like any new technology promises a great deal of positive effects. We as a race however tend to put a great deal more faith into technology as a saviour than it necessarily has earned. Through Genpets I question the negative effect that bioengineering can have, for we all know that when it all comes down to it, profit is the bottom line.
The question surrounding bioengineering is not in it's positive or negative ramifications, or where it can take us; it is whether or not we are responsible enough to go there.

The Holy Grail

Did you know that the Holy Grail is in Valencia?

Love of God over other things?

I am busy inventoring my books that I bought or had sent here...300 so far. Actually it is a good collection.
But do I value God over my books, or over knowledge of trivia?
Or over my computer, which is to me a gateway to a great library of information?

I actually pray less now than when I held a busy job...partly because then I could go to daily mass.
But now, it is more a distraction from too much leisure, where terrible memories make me feel bad.
Prayer, by allowing accusations of past things to come to mind, is harder.
Yet I did take a course in Prayer and spiritual warfare, and am aware that these accusations are inspired by the devil
and as a doctor, and in psychology, I am aware that such thoughts are common--LINK we teach people who get depressed that these thoughts merely things that have to be rejected by countering with positive things). In other words, these distractions are NOT true, or only partly true, and to give into them leads to depression or despair.

Both psychology and mystics assure us that just because we think it is so, it is not the same as being true.

But since I have no one here to talk to, it is sometimes hard.

So what I have to learn is how to accept that such thoughts/accusations/guilt are not true, or are exaggerated, and not fight them perse but to counter them with positive things, and if I cannot do that, then lay them at the foot of the cross.

Oh well...have to clean the house now....
It's easier to just do something and ignore these things.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Forgiveness

The UK Telegraph has a nice cynical article about memorial services one year after the subway (tube) attacks in London...that turns to be not so cynical after all...

God, she was brave. Marie Fatayi-Williams, mother of Anthony, one of the 7/7 victims, got up at the end of the memorial service for her son yesterday at Westminster Cathedral and addressed the congregation: "I don't have anything to say… But I want to thank all of you who are here, who throughout this hard year have been with us, for your love and steadfastness. All this has increased my faith and helped me on this hard road."

Not a word of bitterness, then, and this was the woman who yesterday demanded to see, face to face, the mother of the bomber who blew up Anthony, so that she could finally forgive the killer. I couldn't have done it, but she did. I've never been so conscious as I was yesterday of the lightness with which we bandy around the word forgiveness. Hardly any of us know what we're talking about. She does. After the bombing, she had said: "My son, Anthony, is my first son, my only son… He's the love of my life.
"

The problem of forgiveness is big...and often misunderstood.
Feel good therapists insist we "forgive" so that we can be healed...to them the feeling good inside is the goal of forgiveness.
Sweet hearted liberal activists forgive all and sundry...ignoring that often they don't have the right to forgive people who hurt other people...
Forgiveness is often made to be a "get out or jail free" card.
The one who did the harm apologizes, and if you don't forgive, then you are at fault..
And, of course, there are the types that think forgiveness means that criminals should never be punished...this is the most perverse type.
A person spouts forgiveness of criminals, so criminals are let lose to harm again. A variation is the self proclaimed pacifist who opposes war. This makes him or her feel good and superior, while ignoring that the result of their action may be to allow murderers or tyrants to kill unopposed.
It may give one pause to think that although 40 million people have been killed by wars in the 20th century, 100 million have been killed by governments...and that too many "pacifist" groups have had their message distorted by groups that supported the worst sort of killing under the guise of "brotherhood" (communism) or religion (Islamofascism) or justice (Nazi Germany)...

On a personal level, there is a danger of false ideas of forgiveness. Heck, as a doctor I've seen many people whose main problem was unforgiveness or one of it's variations.
Forgiveness is not being maschositic, being a doormat.

It is not being passive aggressive, smiling and saying you forgive while inside you hold in a terrible anger.

Repressing anger leads to severe depression--many of my patients who suffered physical, psychological or sexual abuse were depressed, but because the abuser was a parent or authority figure, they were not allowed to show the anger...or maybe the abuser was a manipulator, who blamed the abuse on the victim, so when she did not forgive him for "correcting" her, she was the one in the wrong.

In these cases, forgiveness is presented as a way for the one harming to be free of blame...and alas, too often the softhearted who defend the guilty and try to stop their punishment imply that the victim is bad because they need to forgive, in this case meaning to let the evildoer go free, to escape punishment and alas to harm again. (this was how the psychological community insisted we needed to treat sexual abusers in the 1970's...most of the cases I was involved with were women sexually abused by family members ....the abuser cried he was sorry, treated, and released... the idea was that jailing the father or stepfather would only furthur harm the family.....which is why the so called "pedophile" crisis of the church was not an aberation of Catholicism, but a deliberate result of psychological fads, where weak bishops obeyed the psychologist and reassigned a repentant priest...)

But a worse passive aggressive way is the smiling one who holds in anger and then goes on to stealthily destroy one's enemies..and alas, this is often covered by the smiles of superficial piety...

There is a need to correct the abuser: this is not the same as revenge, although often the line between justice and revenge is blurred.
Cheap grace is not the same as grace. A murderer may be forgiven because of Christ's love, but unless he lives his live in reparation such forgiveness will be meaningless. Most Catholic confessions require more than confessing sins: there is a penance to do.

And giving in to hatred leads to frustration and rage and even the death of the soul. (been there, done that...and so I recognize it).

Then what is forgiveness?
After all, as Christians are supposed to forgive...forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us...
Alternate translation: Debts...or trespasses...
Interesting word...I don't know the Greek or Aramaic that was the original word...
If someone sins against us, they commit a sin that harms us.
If someone has a debt, it may be accidental, and is more easily forgiven.
But trespass? That can be accidental or deliberate. And all of us tresspass against other people. Trespassing can be done without malice and indeed without the perpetrator knowing they are hurting someone...

But again, what is forgiveness?
We doctors have patients tell us terrible things. Sometimes they did these things, other times it was done to them or a loved one.
All we can do is give our sympathy, and remember them in our prayers.

But we see not only those harmed, but those who did the harm...
Often the harm is done due to drugs or alcohol...and the reason for the drugs or alcohol is that that person had been abused and hates themself.
Of course, some are merley sociopaths who are like innocent children, who commit the most terrible sins and don't realize the harm they have done...

Ah, but maybe this is the answer to forgiveness: to see them thru the eyes of God.
God will see the weakness of those seeking him but finding a cult that murders.
God will see the hurt child who hurts another.
God will see the quiet desperation of those seeking drugs to numb their own hurt, or who take them out of moral weakness because of peer pressure.
And God will see that some people simply lack a moral sense, and see them as children too.

So the mothers will meet, and see the face of love.

There is a story on forgiveness that I would like to end this too long rambling essay.
It comes from (of all places) the Discovery channel.
There was an elderly lady who taught Sunday school. She always welcomed the local children in for snacks.
And one day, some girls came in for cookies, and turned on her and robbed her...and one stabbed her over and over until she died.
The one behind the robbery, the one who did the terrible stabbing, was only 15. They tried her as an adult, and she got the death penalty, which was changed to life in prison on appeal.
And the family of the elderly lady grieved.
Then one day, her son was at work driving a forklift. And suddenly it came to him that Jesus had forgiven his sins...and with that realization he recognized that he had to forgive the girl who killed his mother. And so he got off the forklift and sobbed.
Later, he started visiting the girl, telling her that he had forgiven her, and telling her that he was praying for her.
And after awhile, the girl's heart changed and she too repented and found the Lord.
And her comment? That if she had been shown such love when she was a child she never would have killed.
She had lived a life of rejection and abuse, and hated everyone around her....she had never know love except as a game to abuse or manipulate her, until she saw love in action in the son of the one she murdered.


“The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes. ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown. His scepter shows the force of temporal power, The attribute to awe and majesty, Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings. But mercy is above this sceptered sway; It is enthroned in the hearts of kings; It is an attribute of God himself; And earthly power doth then show like God’s When mercy seasons justice.”

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Prayer request

The bishops are on retreat and asking for prayers.
They need the Lord's guidance for wisdom and courage because of the deteriorating situation here.

Right now, there is increased army patrols against the local communist insurgents, and although there has been a peace accord with the non Alquada MILF, that peace treaty has just broken down with 5000 refugees in Mindinao.

Here we have the NPA. They kill police, army, politicans, and kidnap/kill businessmen.
Some of them are merely criminals...my nephew was killed by NPA gunmen that were hired to kill the owner and family of a new cockfighting pit...(my cousin raised fighting cocks as a hobby).
He was talking to one of the sons when they came in shooting...when the man fell, my nephew who is a doctor went to the body to stop the bleeding and they shot him too...and as a result, they ran out of bullets when they tried to shoot the wife, so she probably owes her life to my nephew.

The NPA and the Army with leftist politicians tried to oust the president, so now several left wing activists have been killed by people unknown...and there is increased army patrols in this area where we have our farm.

My husband and I planned to live part time in our farmhouse, but with the trouble, we haven't been there for a month...too dangerous....since I am white, and my husband is very old, we are in danger of being kidnapped for money.

Here, we aren't in danger, since at the house we have a dozen people and a couple of vicious dogs for protection. If things get worse, we may have to move out of our downtown house to a "walled" neighborhood, where most of the middle class are now moving for safety.

Liturgy Link

I added the Universalis link to the office and other readings of the day.
I used to download the office to my palmpocket. They use atypical translations at times, but that was okay.
However, now I have the 4 vol Liturgy of the hours (Via ebay) so I don't need it.

Alas, I don't always manage to say the prayers. I tend to get distracted.
Oh well.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

the right to breed

A Freepers posted the article originally from Mother Jones (the Freeper links last longer than many newspaper posts).

It's about the "right" of lesbians, older women, etc. to have free IVF paid for and to force doctors who don't agree with their lifestyle to perform IVF on them.

St. Patrick lecture

The teaching company has a lecture on St Patrick available for free download.

Haven't listened to it, but their lecture on the Davinci code was good.

Burial customs: the downside of "green" funerals

Texas Fred posted about green burials, saying he thought that the money for boxes etc was too much and he preferred cremation...but a simple green burial would be a good, cheap alternative.

Well, there are reasons for all the rigamarole.
One: You embalm to keep the odor down...if you don't embalm, you have to bury within 24 hours (which is the rule in Islam and many African societies).
Two: If you bury early without embalming, you might bury someone who is alive...this is where the idea of zombies and premature burials comes from.
Three: Necrophilia. Lock that coffin.
Four: Animals. That's why it's six feet under...too deep for dogs. In Minnesota, the Chippewa build houses over the shallow graves of the dead...and other Indians placed coffins in trees.
Five, pine boxes collapse. So the ground settles. and in cases of floods, bodies surface...which is why the cemetaries in New Orleans are above ground. Also why many cemetaries are on hills. You can't dig six feet down for a grave if the ground water floods the hole and collapses it.
Six: Hygiene. Without concrete boxes, the bacteria can contaminate ground water.

Enough morbid stuff...

In the US, one reason people want cremation is that they don't want their family to bother about them...it is a sign of independence, but also a sign that they don't want to be mourned.

But even in the US, many groups still make a big thing about funerals...which are big reunions of families and friends of the deceased, where they tell stories about the dead one.

Here in the Philippines, our graves are usually concrete boxes above ground, probably because the water level is three feet down.
And on days of anniversary of the death or on Nov 1-2nd, families visit the grave, and often hold a picnic there. On All Souls day, you even have vendors in our cemetary with flowers, candles, and cold drinks and snacks.

I though this was a Catholic custom, but a recent special about Singapore showed the Chinese doing the same thing...
===============
The original gushy "green burial" link is HERE...

For another point of view, read this in the archives of FreeRepublic.com

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Pope seeks to ban crappy music

GetReligion blog has a good article about B16's comments about renewing church music.

It's not about guitars, it's about bad music...