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The deeply spiritual, Pulitzer-winning poet Mary Oliver has died at age 83.


Mary Oliver, the Pulitzer-winning poet who yearned to be at one with everything she so deeply observed in nature, once penned a poem titled “When Death Comes” in which she wrote:

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life

I was a bride married to amazement.

I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

(FROM NEW AND SELECTED POEMS)

    Oliver has died at age 83.

    In her beautiful memoir Long Life she wrote this about prayer:

      Men and women of faith who pray — that is, who come to a certain assigned place, at definite times, and are not ashamed to go down on their knees — will not tarry for the cup of coffee or the newsbreak or the end of the movie when the moment arrives. The habit, then, has become their life. What some might call the restrictions of the daily office they find to be an opportunity to foster the inner life. The hours are appointed and named; they are the Lord’s. Life’s fretfulness is transcended. The different and the novel are sweet, but regularity and repetition are also teachers. Divine attentiveness cannot be kept casually, or visited only in season, like Venice or Switzerland. Or, perhaps it can, but then how attentive is it? And if you have no ceremony, no habits, which may be opulent or may be simple but are exact and rigorous and familiar, how can you reach toward the actuality of faith, or even a moral life, except vaguely? The patterns of our lives reveal us. Our habits measure us.

    Here are a couple of her most popular poems:

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Breaking News!!!!

News Central has obtained the blessing that President Trump — a devout Christian known to bless every meal with a prayer as an example to his young son and all the impressionable youth of America — prayed over the hamberders and pizza he served to the champion football players from Clemson University this week.

“Almighty Dollar, hear this amazing prayer of mine.”

Almighty Dollar,
May these young athletes be ever grateful to me for paying $5,000 out of my own pocket to feed them all this great shit-for-food today.

May it be to the nourishment of their amazing athletic bodies and may they all grow up to be amazingly rich with very high IQs like I have.

Almighty Dollar, hear this amazing prayer.

Dollar,
Deliver us from healthy food nannies like Michelle Obama, a black woman, a evil black woman and very low IQ individual, who once had that evil healthy food campaign and planted healthy foods in a garden on the White House lawn.

Bring your power, which is almost as great as mine, to bear on the hamburger and pizza garden my beloved First Lady Ivanka (who’s as hot as any cheerleaders at Clemson, am I right kids?) in place of all that health food that nobody wants to eat. Am I right nobody wants to eat that healthy crap? I think so. I’m always right, right Dollar?

Almighty Dollar, this is a great, great prayer. Hear it. That’s an order.”

“Almighty Dollar, let my Berder and Pizza garden grow to be as great as I am.”

And Almighty Dollar, I know I’m going to be criticized for giving a few junk-food chains billions of dollars in free advertising by all the other junk-food chains contributing to the further sickness of the 100 MILLION Americans suffering from diabetes or living with pre-diabetes.

They can all kiss my big fat salami. Democrats, too. They can all go eat shit and die. I’m sick of em. Aren’t you sick of em kids? Yeah, I know you amazing athletes are sick of em like I am.

Almighty Dollar, hear this fantastic prayer.

That’s all I have to say, Almighty Dollar. We’re going to stuff ourselves with some man food now, am I right kids???? We men need man food.

Am I amazing or what?


Stephanie Garcia begins her second term in her second year of high school at St. Ignatius High School in Santa Elena, BZ. Donations for her second term would be appreciated.

JANUARY 3, 2019 UPDATE

To update donors on Stephanie Garcia’s educational journey…

Stephanie remains on holiday from school until Monday, Jan. 7. She will finish the first term of her second school year soon and should finish with at least a 3.3 GPA.

For this current school year I had a fundraising goal of $1,100 and rather quickly raised $600, which has all been spent at this point.

Thanks to a $100 donation from my friend Janis Beck and her family in Texas last week, I’m hoping to raise another $400 to meet the goal — or as much as I can.

Donors will recall that I paid Stephanie’s tuition of $660 out of my own pocket this year, but high school in Central America is more like a college in terms of expense. Almost all the schools are private church schools and require a lot of expense.

Many of the costs for the second term will be for new supplies, major projects including science, a number of field trips that will include one overnight, tee-shirts and costumes for special events and, of course, daily meals and snacks.

Any donations for the remainder of Stephanie’s current school-year costs will be much appreciated.

And, again, many donors prefer to donate via PayPal, where I have an account set up at revpaulmckay@gmail.com.

Newcomers to my blog or Facebook page (at Paul David McKay in San Ignacio Belize) may want to email or message me on Facebook to learn more about financing of this Belizean high school student. She is the big sister of my adopted 5-year-old Belizean daughter Ludy Paulita McKay.

Those who wish to donate via GoFundMe will find it at Stef’s Education Fund, 2018-19.


Happy New Year, dear reader!

In Memoriam, [Ring out, wild bells]
By Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809 – 1892

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.


What you have here is my favorite all-time Christmas song, in what I would argue is the greatest version of it ever.

Merry Christmas and thanks for following http://www.jitterbuggingforjesus.com, the blog that is saving the world with its wit, wisdom, provocations and stimulations while possibly (probably!) alienating whole towns, nations, cities and states.


Bishop Romero: a meek-and-mild clergyman who avoided controversy by hanging with the rich and powerful of El Salvador, became a fearless social justice warrior when a close friend and priest who spoke out against the powers-that-be was assassinated. St. Romero, of course, was assassinated while serving the Eucharist.

I invite you this week, in this hour when our country seems to have no place for joy, to listen to St. Paul repeat to us:

    “Be always joyful.
    Be constant in prayer.
    In every circumstance give thanks.
    This is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16–17.)

The Christian, the Christian community, must not despair.

If someone dies in the family,
we must not weep like people without hope.

If the skies have darkened in our nation’s history,
let us not lose hope.

We are a community of hope,
and like the Israelites in Babylon,
let us hope for the hour of liberation.

It will come.

Because we live in hope, we’re children of the light.

It will come because God is faithful, says St. Paul.

This joy must be like a prayer.

    “He who called you is faithful,”
    and he will keep his promises. (1 Thessalonians 5:24.)

— St. Oscar Romero, December 17, 1978

———–
*Learn more about the martyr Romero, who for all his fearless fighting against terribly evil forces backed by the U.S. government was a joy-filled priest of the people, here.

“It would be better for you if a millstone were hung around your neck and you were thrown into the sea than for you to cause one of these little ones to stumble.”

— Jesus

A Courts and Ports team member with a Guatemalan mother.

And so this is Christmas, which is all about a homeless child born in a cave in a barnyard.

Christmas for children is not supposed to be a bleak time. It is supposed to be joy-filled.

What follows are more reports from members of First United Methodist Church in McKinney, TX, who recently witnessed the situation for migrants and the people serving them on the Texas border through the “Courts and Ports” program. See my previous post for more.

A team member who is a mom wrote about the Guatemalan mom and son pictured above as follows:

    What an experience. I sat at a camp on the Mexican side of the border and talked with a mom, Jessica, and her 2-year old son, Daniel, from Guatemala who were seeking asylum.

    Art by Angel Valdez for The Houston Catholic Worker at http://www.cjd.org

    She had been separated from her husband and their other child (5 year old) and didn’t know where they were or how to contact them.

    Daniel had caught a cold, has asthma, and Jessica was very worried because she hadn’t been able to bathe him in a long time.

    The volunteers we were assisting were delivering her supplies to take care of him. Still, Daniel was happily prancing around on his caballo (stick horse), which was a simple broom.

    I felt such a connection with this mom, just trying to care for her child who was sick, in a strange place without her husband and other child.

Another team member wrote:

    Friends, what weighs particularly heavily from our trip to the border — the children…so many children.

    We saw them under bridges and tarps, in tents and shelters, and on the plane home to Dallas being transported to other states after discharge from detention centers.

    In the true spirit of Christmas, reaching out to the homeless children and families on the border.

    These are children, families, refugees, fleeing horrific escalating violence in their home countries. They want to work and be safe. In fear for their children’s lives, parents weigh difficult decisions to leave everything behind and come to the border to navigate the ever-tightening, narrowing, and confusing immigration system.

    They wait for weeks camped outside with little or no shelter, hoping for permission to access a port of entry. Or they cross any way they can and then present themselves to US border authorities to request asylum.

    Crossing back over to the US at the Gateway International Bridge in Brownsville, we left behind men, women, and children who had been waiting outside for weeks to access the bridge while we walked past the empty waiting room for asylum seekers inside the quiet border station.

So your thought for the day from yours truly is:

How are Christians supposed to respond to the immigration crisis on the U.S. borders?

I’m thinking we respond, first of all, with all the compassion and sensitivity we can muster. We also respond by educating ourselves about the facts on the ground, which aren’t always the facts as presented in proper or full context by the news media — and certainly not by political leaders with distinctly anti-Christ agendas.