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Archive for January, 2018


Actor and devout Catholic Martin Sheen in a scene from the wonderful and deeply spiritual movie The Way. It’s about a grieving father’s pilgrimage on the road to Santiago de Compostela.

In a Q & A session with the great interviewer Krista Tippett, the esteemed actor and devout Catholic Martin Sheen articulated so well the love he feels when standing in line at worship:

    How can we understand these great mysteries of the church? I don’t have a clue. I just stand in line and say Here I am, I’m with them, the community of faith.

    This explains the mystery, all the love.

    Sometimes I’m overwhelmed, just watching people in line. It’s the most profound thing. You just surrender yourself to it.

In re-visiting that interview (read or listen to the whole thing here), I was reminded of why I’ve loved taking Holy Communion since I was a kid.

I was raised in the kind of small Texas town where everybody knew everybody or knew about everybody, or liked to think they did.

Even as a kid I was struck by the power of communion to draw many of the most powerful, and some of the most arrogant or intimidating people in town, to kneel at the altar.

At the communion rail, these powerful townspeople were willing to get down on their knees in front of God and everybody and expose all the human vulnerability that they generally weren’t comfortable showing.

For that matter, I was struck by the power of communion to bring people around to forgiveness — my parents included.

I’m thinking of a particular time when my parents had engaged in a bitter marital fight over something one weeknight. I could feel the awful distance and silence between them for days.

Then on Saturday night, we were in the den watching TV. As my dad got up from his recliner and headed down the hallway to bed he said, “We’ll all get up and go take the Lord’s Supper tomorrow.”

I looked over at my mom who sort of grinned and said, “I guess we’ll get up and go to church tomorrow.”

It was a reassuring and powerful thing to see my parents, who worked hard and mighty hard at making love work for better than four decades, get down on their knees together in front of God and everybody.

Whatever awful feelings there had been between them were left at the communion rail.

That’s what Martin Sheen was alluding to: the mystery of the body of Christ to draw people together in the healing power of love.

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Actor and devout Catholic Martin Sheen in a scene from the wonderful and deeply spiritual movie The Way. It’s about a grieving father’s pilgrimage on the road to Santiago de Compostela.

In a Q & A session with the great interviewer Krista Tippett, the esteemed actor and devout Catholic Martin Sheen articulated so well the love he feels when standing in line at worship:

    How can we understand these great mysteries of the church? I don’t have a clue. I just stand in line and say Here I am, I’m with them, the community of faith.

    This explains the mystery, all the love.

    Sometimes I’m overwhelmed, just watching people in line. It’s the most profound thing. You just surrender yourself to it.

In re-visiting that interview (read or listen to the whole thing here), I was reminded of why I’ve loved taking Holy Communion since I was a kid.

I was raised in the kind of small Texas town where everybody knew everybody or knew about everybody, or liked to think they did.

Even as a kid I was struck by the power of communion to draw many of the most powerful, and some of the most arrogant or intimidating people in town, to kneel at the altar.

At the communion rail, these powerful townspeople were willing to get down on their knees in front of God and everybody and expose all the human vulnerability that they generally weren’t comfortable showing.

For that matter, I was struck by the power of communion to bring people around to forgiveness — my parents included.

I’m thinking of a particular time when my parents had engaged in a bitter marital fight over something one weeknight. I could feel the awful distance and silence between them for days.

Then on Saturday night, we were in the den watching TV. As my dad got up from his recliner and headed down the hallway to bed he said, “We’ll all get up and go take the Lord’s Supper tomorrow.”

I looked over at my mom who sort of grinned and said, “I guess we’ll get up and go to church tomorrow.”

It was a reassuring and powerful thing to see my parents, who worked hard and mighty hard at making love work for better than four decades, get down on their knees together in front of God and everybody.

Whatever awful feelings there had been between them were left at the communion rail.

That’s what Martin Sheen was alluding to: the mystery of the body of Christ to draw people together in the healing power of love.

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“A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.” Proverbs 14:25

God has yielded American air safety to His hand-picked American leaders and God must be pleased: there were no air fatalities in 2017. Glory be!

Glory be to the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, and America’s Darling Leader!

Here’s a Tweet alert from the latter of the Holy Quadrilateral.

@realDonaldTrump
Since taking office I have been very strict on Commercial Aviation. Good news – it was just reported that there were Zero deaths in 2017, the best and safest year on record!
8:13 AM – Jan 2, 2018

I’m sure God must be glad to be relieved not to have to bear the heavy responsibility of the safety of Americans flying the friendly skies today.

Here’s more on this good news from USA Today:

    WASHINGTON — President Trump took credit Tuesday for commercial aviation’s remarkable safety record last year. But safety experts say the lack of fatal crashes among U.S. passenger airlines resulted from years of effort to improve technology and training.

So exactly has long has this safety streak been going on?

    He was describing a safety streak that has continued since the last fatal crash of a U.S. passenger airline in February 2009, when Colgan Air Flight 3407 killed 50 people near Buffalo.

So let’s see who was president from February 2009 through 2016.

Oh wait.

Nevermind.

    The unblemished U.S. safety record was part of the safest year in commercial-aviation history worldwide, according to the Aviation Safety Network, a group based in the Netherlands that tracks aircraft accidents.

Well there you go–commercial aviation in 2017 was the safest in world history with You-know-who in the international Watch Tower in D.C.

He is making not just America but the world great again!

    “Since 1997, the average number of airliner accidents has shown a steady and persistent decline, for a great deal thanks to the continuing safety-driven efforts by international aviation organizations such as” the International Civil Aviation Organization, the International Air Transport Association and the Flight Safety Foundation, said Harro Ranter, president of the Aviation Safety Network.

Well poot.

That’s the fake news media for you.

“A truthful witness saves lives, but a false witness is deceitful.” Proverbs 14:25

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Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote a lengthy poem titled “In Memoriam A.H.H.” (See here for it all.)

It was a remembrance of his dear friend Arthur Henry Hall Hallam, who died suddenly of a cerebral hemorrhage in 1833.

Written over a period of 17 years, it endures as a wonderful, bittersweet meditation on the search for hope in the wake of a great personal loss.

However, the excerpt below is forever fitting for ringing a a hopeful New Year.

Happy New Year & Grace & Peace,
Paul

“In Memoriam A.H.H.”

    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.

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