There are Three Dimensions, and then Three Dimensions Avengers Infinity War

Watched Avengers Infinity Wars again tonight. The phrase ‘art imitates life, imitates art’ becomes problematic for two reasons:

One: the running thread of the Marvel Universe is the creation of unique men and women with powers beyond what we have evolved into this day, and the constant faith that within humanity we have the capability to save ourselves. Yet, even these ‘gods and goddesses’ fail to forestall death. Even Thanos, in Endgame, perishes.

Two: More relevant to reality is the concept put forth by Thanos, that by culling the lives of the universe by half will usher in an era of prosperity. World history bears this out. The bubonic and pneumonic plagues of the 13th – 15th centuries eliminated two thirds of the lives in Europe alone, ushering in the Renaissance era of prosperity and exploration.

So the idea exists, in an era where human beings are the greatest source of carbon dioxide emissions and carbon dioxide causes global warming, that some so called ‘super-intelligent’ human being will convince others that culling the population is the solution to global warming and a remake/reset of the world, eliminating poverty, the need for fossil fuels for mass transportation, hunger, and whatever other maladies ‘they’ think can be resolved.

‘They’ just didn’t get the virus quite ‘right’ this time. But ‘they’ did get a lot of data about how the next one will spread….and ‘they’ won’t have a certain leader thwart the plan by managing such a rapid response by pharmaceutical companies, manufacturers, and distributors. And how many treatments were called ‘false’, or ‘untested’, or ‘not substantiated’ a year ago that today are acknowledged as successful tools by a complicit media? The current guy in that office plays along with continued media support. Reverting to problem One, s there a real power in the cosmos supporting humanity?

Art imitates life, imitates art… and the Power of life continues to sustain us in spite of the imaginations of Marvel and Hollywood. I wonder if Stan Lee and company only wanted to entertain us, spinning off mythical stories from ancient times and creating technological counterparts of the 20th and 21st centuries. The screen writers who took up the mantle of story-tellers in Stan’s stead are clearly influenced by current pseudo-scientific thought and steeped, thank God, in the history of the human race. Both ‘religions’ work within the reality of the physical realm. This is the limitation of their three dimensions.

The Power of this universe is in three dimensions, though the dimensions are body, mind, and spirit. Science can work in the realm of the body, in height and width and depth from the nano-scale of quantum theories to the infinite scales of solar years. Psychology works well enough to market ideas to humans to sell products, yet falls short when humans finally perceive their inalienable freedoms are threatened. No science touches the realm of the spirit. This is the domain of the Creator, reached into by humanity through contemplation and prayer and where the Creator reaches back, and through the mind gives us what we need in the body. This is the saving power of the universe, demonstrated by His relation with his Chosen People, affirmed by the resurrection of His Son, and gifted to the whole world by the power of His Spirit given to and through each of us.

So, maybe Stan’s gift was to create stories that showed both the possibilities and the limitations of human beings. Maybe the Hollywood adaptation was inspired to show us how some ‘elite’ Thanos’s would think to resolve world-wide problems. Maybe, just maybe, this was a test for us all and a warning to the Thanos’s. We are gifted with more than three-dimensional physical sciences. We have a connection to a real power of life, when we just commit ourselves to be faithful to It. the TOP of the Mast!

Take a look. To where did they hoist this banner?


No one except those in the middle of the rubble could see it.

No one was allowed in the buildings around the site for weeks. No one in office buildings could look down at that flag.

It took the Bergen Record photographer Thomas Franklin to bring the image to the rest of the world when the firefighters found the flag, found the mast, and hoisted the banner.

Last year, on July 4th 2021, protesters burned a flag outside the White House.

Manhattan art museums have displayed U. S. flags with feces on them and positioned the flag where it had to be walked on to view other works.

Olympic athletes, football players, basketball players, soccer players, all have knelt in protest at the National Anthem and hoisting of the Stars and Stripes in recent years.

This weekend, there didn’t seem to be such protests. The 2oth Anniversary of the attack on the United States saw flags respected and people remembered.

National flags have been key battlefield symbols through the 19th century. Soldiers know where the front of their lines are, or where to rally to. Generals know where their troops have advanced to. Sailors know whether a ship is a friend, neutral, or a foe. Unflagged ships are approached on a battle footing.

All of this is written on the anniversary of the attack on the World Trade Center in NYC. All to remind the reader that a flag represents something more than colored clothe. The United States Stars-and-Stripes represents the Constitution. The same Constitution gives its citizens their ‘right’ to desecrate the flag under the right to free speech.

Having a right also requires one respect the associated responsibility, in this case, to respect the flag as representing the right, and the People who ARE the government the flag represents.

We have a song in this country, also disrespected as well as respected, that asks a question in three of the four stanzas. The question is “…does that Star-Spangled banner yet wave, o’re the land of the free and the home of the brave?”

This day, September 11, 2021, this weekend, it does. Hoist it high!

The Kretzinger Kord

A Remembrance

It’s a common metaphor in our lingo to refer to those in our lives who are “woven into the fabric” of the persons we’ve become.  The Kretzinger Family is more than a thread in mine, more one of those fundamental cords or seams that tie into the foundation of my life and so many others gathering together.  On the occasion of Fred’s passing, as we share our memories, here are a few of my own.

            I might better use the word ‘pattern’ than thread with Fred and his family.  Our connection goes back to January 1967 when my Dad moved us to 712 Cynthia Court in Findlay.  I had four sisters at the time and Fred and Ann had three girls.  Ages matched pretty closely as they compared to us.  That lead to summers of ‘army’ and ‘GI Joe/Barbie’ games, playing out until after the sun went down around the fourteen houses on the closed street.  We learned to ride bicycles together, played softball and baseball in the school fields at the end of the court. Along the way we added three more siblings and Fred and Ann added another daughter.

            Also, in that school playground our community grew to include hundreds of others.  Ann’s passion was the baton and on the basketball courts of the schoolyard we grew to know so many other families.  Fred and Ann build a whole community around that corps.  We traveled around Ohio marching in parades, celebrating America on holidays and celebrating culture (mostly the German beer festivals) of our part of America.  Ann planned the shows.  Fred was the logistics coordinator.  Behind us and around us were always some parents and a vehicle to pick up the little ones whose legs got tired or any one of us overcome by the heat.  We came from all over Findlay and the surrounding county.  These two touched hundreds of lives, many still intertwined today.

            My first formal memory of Fred is him standing in a tan suit in the Men’s department at Sears.  I hear his voice and see his smile as clearly as if he were standing beside me now.  The occasion was my eighth-grade graduation, and Fred helped Dad find me my first dress suit.  Impressed by his sales skills, my Dad invited Fred to become an insurance salesman.  It was different in those years, the 1970’s.  Life insurance was about helping families secure their futures.  How many thousands of lives were secured by Fred in his professional efforts, as he secured that of his own family?

            There was the awful and frightening night of the house fire, where the families gathered at 712 while the firefighters doused the fire at 707…twice.  There were the months of recovery.  We didn’t lose touch, as the Kretzingers rented a house just behind us.  A lot of ‘normal’ life was kept in that staying close, even as the fear and pain was worked through. 

            There was the blizzard in ’78, when power went out and we all gathered around the gas fireplace in our house to stay warm.

            We became family, as families do.  Fred, though, had more to offer.  You see, invited by him and Ann to have us attend a summer vacation bible school, Fred’s dad, ‘Grandpa’ Kretzinger became my bible teacher for two weeks.  Seeking a seamstress for Indian costumes to support my Boy Scout activities, ‘Grandma’ Kretzinger sewed together aprons and vests and put fringe on the edges, giving me a fancy dance outfit that would help win competitions.  Family was extended because of Fred.

            Lanky and quick, with a few stories of minor league baseball, I could see Fred playing.  Unique to him was a liking for the ‘unusual’ car.  The red Corvair I think was his ‘dream’ car and it had to be moved off the curb every Saturday so Ann could give her baton lessons.  The AMC Pacer, turquoise and white, was his business mobile for a time.  Proud of it he was!

            I moved away after high school (Navy).  I took a few minutes to touch base with Fred and Ann at 707 while my folks lived at 712.  I was privileged to sing at a wedding for Ranae.  Robin was my best pal though those early years.  We lost touch as we each got busy in our high school years.  I was (am) as proud of Rhonda as of my own younger sisters, privileged to be her ‘big brother’ for a few years.  Shelly I don’t know as well.  Eleven years my junior, I watched her grow up with my brother.  These two became a momentary sensation at a business conference we all attended in Denver, courtesy of our fathers’ successes with their company in 1977.  Today they work together at machine company in Findlay.

            If you ever want to see Fred, just look at these four women’s smiles.  Just don’t rile them up, ‘cause you’ll see the feistiness of the man who was a protector.  I can smile about having ‘experienced’ it, fighting back a few tears to finish this.  When necessary, the man could put fear in my bones.

            Thank you, Fred, for that too.  Even that helped make me the man I’ve become.

May the grace and peace of God our Father, the love and power of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit embrace you into eternal joy.

What do you believe? It is times of crisis that reveal this.

It’s been near a decade that social and political forces within our nation have sought to diminish the strength and character of these United States. Kneeling at the national anthem, rioting for a year in our streets without retribution of the law, news media working diligently to turn the nation against the Office of the President are major actions of the ‘string-pullers’ driving those they can dupe.

‘Political correct’ speech turned into ‘safe zones’ on college campuses where ‘children’ up to age 25 in public institutions could go when ‘offended’ by the speech and actions of others, creation of laws based on race, creed, color, and sexual orientation have divided the nation rather than protected those intended, and wonton destruction of our history, physically and academically have become accepted as the norm.

Now, our national strength is undermined by ‘the hippie’ generation of politicians with collaborating ‘opponents’ focused on their globalist patrons, put into place by the actions listed above over the last decade. It is an utter failure of the Department of Defense and the Executive Branch to coordinate a ‘redeployment’ of U.S. assets from Afghanistan, turning it into a retreat that leaves thousands of citizens and military personnel at risk for their lives undermines the very core of confidence of our political partners around the world.

The Stars and Stripes flying at the homes of those faithful to the Constitution may be the last framework of strength remaining in our nation. If you read this, and if you believe still in that Constitution, raise the flag in front of your home. Let the world know by letting your neighbors know that this document of freedom is the foundation of our land and that there are those of us still willing to “give our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor” to defend it “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”.

On the Public Argument About the Catholic Sacrament of the Eucharist

No business would continually allow its workers to come in and flout the policies and procedures of the business. No business would let customers come into the business and disrespect the physical and intentional works of its property or reason for existence. Faith in the Gospel is a matter of public pronouncement when receiving the Eucharist, the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. This argument is a modern version of the Rich Man wanting to know what he must do to get into heaven, giving all his legal tithes but failing to sell all he has and follow the Lord.

Even the ‘faithful’ of Catholicism do not fully understand this argument as modern polling show that more professing Catholics do not have faith in the essence of the Sacrament as the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. This era of Ecumenism extending from the 1960’s has so blended the peoples’ understanding of Eucharist with the Protestant ‘communion’ that like those Protestant practices the Eucharist has become no more than a practiced symbol than the public profession of faith that it is. Decades now of mixed faith weddings and families attending church and mass together, with guests sometimes being directed to not receive the Eucharist and guests being allowed and likely in some cases ‘taking’ the Eucharist as if it is only a wafer and wine. Part of the New Evangelization of the Church initiated by St. Pope John Paul the Great is to recatechize the faithful into the depth of comprehension of the Sacrament.

The Eucharist is more than a simple sign. The Eucharist IS the sign of the New Covenant between God and humanity. The Eucharist is beyond Tradition, it is Gospel. It is the body, blood, soul, and divinity of Jesus Christ. It is explained as such in the Gospel of John chapter six and the form of the transformation of our human gifts of bread (work of human hands) and wine (fruit of the vine) is not merely a repetition of words but a joining in time with the Lord and Apostles at the Last Supper where the Sacrament is formally given to us. The Holy Spirit is invoked upon these gifts and the priest rejoins the words of Christ ‘in persona’ and the transubstantiation of the physical is affected. We profess an acclamation of faith immediately. The later reception affirms our faith in this and our reception likewise is a public statement of our intent to follow the Gospel.

This is the faith of the Church from the beginning. Stopping with the two disciples in Emmaus on Easter eve, Jesus blessed the bread and broke it and in this the two recognized finally recognized him. The first act of Jesus upon meeting the Apostles in the Upper Room on this same evening was to ask them for a piece of bread. Jesus forgave Peter and charged him with leading the Church on the shores of the Sea of Galilee over a meal. St. Paul is the first to put the recollection into words in his first letter to the Corinthians and Luke tells in Acts 27 how Paul broke bread in the middle of a storm at sea. St. Ignatias of Antioch works to explain the Eucharist to Caesar in his effort to teach the new testament.

The modern concerns and commentaries vary from abuse of the Sacrament as a ‘weapon’ to full and complete access to the Sacrament as a ‘right’ and encompass the public verses private practice of religion in a free country under our Constitution. These and other arguments miss the point.

The choice to receive the Eucharist is one freely taken, as God gives us that free will choice. It should be recognized that doing so is a profession of faith and a public statement of intent to follow the Gospel.

It should be recognized by all that accepting the Sacrament and then acting against the Gospel is hypocrisy at best and sacrilege at worst. It is a purposeful denial of the Gospel. This ‘sin’ is compounded by the witness it gives and lesson it presents to others. Leaders have a responsibility to the people they lead and the example of ‘action’ speaks louder than any words one might speak to the contrary, including ‘giving one’s word of honor’.

The Bishops are all bound by their vows to preach the Gospel. Failure to speak out against those who openly lead people away from the Gospel is a failure of their own vow, as it is for all of us who profess the faith.

President Biden, Speaker Pelosi, Governor Cuomo of New York, and all other political and social leaders who profess the Catholic faith have a like responsibility to act according to the Gospel rather than according to ‘their’ faith. Professed faith in the Gospel in Catholicism is to profess faith in the teaching authority of the Magisterium who are sworn to uphold that Gospel. It is a sin of compound proportions to do otherwise.

Yet, in a world following a philosophy of Relativism rather than Gospel, the concept of sin has all but faded from understanding, even value. Where their is no ‘right’ nor ‘wrong’ except as the individual sees it, what concern is it of anyone what the Catholic Bishops or the politicians do? For Relativists this is not something that they should even be engaged in…

Or, is it that Relativists still understand the foundation of one ‘giving one’s word’ to act a certain way, and object when one acts contrary to one’s promise?

Maybe there is a Truth after all? And if there is Truth, perhaps Gospel Truth is worth considering?

Further reading:

St. Paul on the Eucharist;

Sacrament of the Eucharist, Catechism of the Catholic Church;

United States Catholic Conference:

What Did They Die For?

Soldiers in the trenches and sailors on decks of ships will honestly answer first “for the person next to me”.  This is the most important factor in a battle, in any situation where self-reliance gives way to the community’s survival.  Everything else is petty next to the need and the will to survive.  “These are the ties that bind…”

The next real question is ‘why were they fighting?’.  Everyone has some reason for joining the country’s military.  Mine was education and supporting my family.  A shipmate of mine joined ‘to see the world’ as the advertisement promised.  Others joined for training, some running away, others given the choice to join as civil discipline.  A small percentage joins primarily because they want to serve their country. Of course, the events of 9-11 created a period where this was ‘the’ reason for many, many more to do so.  A recent article from the Military Times goes into some detail on real and perceived reasons.1

Remember this weekend the reason behind the dedication of those serving in the military, and our civilian security forces.  Remember that in their oath, both officers and enlisted vow their lives to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States”.  Men and women have believed enough in the Truth of freedom, that the freedom they fight for is the freedom to choose law and order as set forth in this document.  It is the precepts of a book of rules they gave their lives for, those who died fighting. 

The modern concept of freedom, the choice to do as one pleases, is NOT what they fought for.  It is not the philosophy of Relativism, of doing what one wants while not hurting another that builds community.  It is not the choice to promote false truths and misguide others as we have seen so prevalent in the past several years, nor to make laws contrary to nature and nature’s laws. The choice to fight for the Constitution is a choice to fight for the freedom to bend our wills to following that Constitution as our way of life, yes, the choice to bend our wills to a book of rules.

Allow this to be a subtle reminder, then.  Practice the American Civil Religion of honoring those who died for the Constitution of the United States of America.  From Lexington and Concord, through a second ‘revolution’ in the War of 1812, through the great War Between the States and two world wars in the last century and continuing in smaller battles around the world to our fight against terrorism.  From the Boston riots and those in Baltimore before the famed battle there, through the civil fighting over slavery in Missouri and Kansas, to the Veterans occupation of the Washington Mall in 1933 and Chicago Prohibition fights with mobsters, remember the police and fire fighters who gave their lives, in these, the race riots of the last seventy years, there were men and women giving their lives, standing between you and those who went beyond the Constitution.

Remember, the oath taken is to stand “against all enemies, foreign and domestic”. 

Remember, when the Anthem is played, it plays for all of us, because the Constitution begins with “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union…”. 2


Guideposts for a Catholic Moral Life

Guideposts for a Catholic Moral Life

The Person, Formation of Conscience, and Markers

            The impetus for this essay is an attempt to capture a lesson on living a Catholic moral life for the Rite of Christian Initiation program at the parish where I volunteer.  This was the summary lesson for our year.  I usually present from an outline that is saved with others from this year and preceding years as a resource for the program’s future presenters.  This year’s effort seemed more difficult and the presentation was made from notations I made during preparation.

            The subject matter here was preceded by a presentation on the concept of ‘being good’, reasoning why a person, any person, might consider working toward building such a character for oneself in an age where a relative approach to life’s philosophy is generally accepted.  A summary of this concept is the first part of this essay.  A discussion of the Ten Commandments of the Judeo-Christian heritage constitutes the middle of the content.  The third component presents the Beatitudes of Matthew’s recording of the Gospel.  Resources are listed in the bibliography at the end of the essay.

            The purpose of the overall presentation is as given in the title.  It is a summary of a year’s worth of instruction and conversation centered around the Catechism of the Catholic Church and its presentation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  The subject matter is likely to offend many in this third decade of the twenty-first century.  The Gospel of Christ is as controversial in this time as it was in the time of Jesus, when He came to fulfill the law and the prophets.

            RCIA leaders prayed with the presenter before the group gathered:

“St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle.  Be our defense against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou of Prince of the heavenly hosts, by the power of God, thrust into hell Satan and all evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”

            Opening prayer of the session with all gathered:

“Come, Holy Spirit.  Fill the hearts of Thy faithful and enkindle in us the fire of Thy love.  Send forth your spirit and we will be created, and You will renew the face of the earth.”

What is a human being?

            We are ‘embodied spirits’.  We are body, mind/conscience, and spirit, created by God for the purpose of relationship with God.  We are made of the ‘stuff’ of this world/universe, have life breathed into us by God, and given a free will to exercise our Conscience.  We are given to know the Creator God through the works of creation, nature’s laws, and an innate comprehension of ‘natural law’, a realization that there is more to our lives and our surroundings than what we can see.  There is a natural understanding that certain actions are ‘right’ actions and certain actions are ‘wrong’ actions and we are given to seek the differences between these actions while seeking the God who created us. 

            We seek out God with a free will in that we have the freedom given from God to choose to be in relation with God or choose not to be in that relationship.  This freedom of choice is exercised first in the mind where understanding is worked and developed as to whether any given action, we take upon a decision is a virtue (right) or a vice (wrong). Our purpose is to develop our choices of action to make habit of choosing virtue over vice, building our character in such a way so as to build the relationship with God.  The habit of making the ‘right choice’ leads to happiness, a sense of contentment of character the results ultimately in an eternal life in relationship with the Creator God.

            Concupiscence is the tendency of the human to choose against virtue and for vice.  It is a result of the body’s relationship to the material world and a desire to avoid pain and suffering.  It pulls the Conscience towards that which relieves the body of distress.  It can and often does override the ability to chose virtue when acting on virtue would result in and/or increase pain and distress even when the same is a consequential necessity for achieving the character desired.  The distress may be physical, mental, and/or emotional, any combination of the three.

            This making of free-will choices followed by physical actions with the body is the essence of ‘being’ for humans.  The life built in body and spirit defines our character and moves us on our journey from birth to natural death.  Our Creator God did not leave us to this on our own.  God’s part in being in relationship is to give us guidance for the formation of our Conscience, to give us markers to help know what we cannot discern for ourselves.  God gave us the divine law to shape our comprehension of nature’s law and enhance our understanding of natural law.  This divine law comes to us through revelation as Christians through the law and the prophets, and through the Incarnation of God in Jesus of Nazareth.

The Law – The Ten Commandments1

            Civil society in this beginning of the twenty-first century has presented the Judeo-Christian Law presented in the Ten Commandments as restrictive, removing a person’s freedom of choice and heavily regulating one’s life away from pleasure and happiness.  The methods of this are easily described in the practices of excesses that gathered into writings would fill books.  The truth of the Commandments’ value to humans more than three-thousand years after they were revealed and twenty-four-hundred years after being codified in writing is the background from which they come; a background ignored by present day philosophy.  The story of how the Commandments come to humans is chronicled in the Judeo-Christian scriptures of Genesis and Exodus.  A summary version follows here.

            The family of a man named Abraham lived in the hill country of what today is called Palestine/Israel.  The family subsisted as Bedouin still do today, on shepherding flocks and trade with those in their vicinities.  Abraham was befriended by the Creator and passed his relationship and comprehension of God to his family.  It was the time of his grandson, Jacob, that a famine took over the land and food needed to be procured to assist in the survival of the family and flocks.  Preceding the famine, the sons of Jacob became jealous of their brother Joseph because of their father’s love for Joseph.  They sold him off into slavery in Egypt, telling their father the boy was attacked and killed by a wild beast.

            Now it was to Egypt that these once boys, now men, traveled to seek the food and supplies they required for survival.  There were unaware that their brother Joseph was now the Vizir of Egypt, second in power only to the Pharaoh himself.  Joseph maneuvered his brothers, who did not recognize him, into bringing their father and his holdings to Egypt, where Joseph had prepared the kingdom for the extended famine.  Welcomed into Egypt by one of such great political power, Jacob’s family prospered and multiplied for generations.

            Decades passed and new Pharaoh’s forgot the lessons and power of Joseph and recognized only that a great body of people called the Israelites were prosperous in their midst.  Fearing a possible uprising, the kingdom enslaved Jacob’s family and held them so for several hundred years.  Their freedoms were stripped.  They were forbidden to worship in relationship to God.  They were forced to labor to build temples and cities to the Pharaoh’s and the Egyptian gods.  Among them rose a legend, a promise of one who would save them from the slavery.  The Pharaoh feared an uprising and had all the male children born in the past year killed.

            One was saved.  He was called Moses because the woman who saved him, Pharaoh’s daughter, drew him from the Nile river.  He was raised as an Egyptian, found out to be a Hebrew/Israelite in his maturity, was exiled, and became the leader who would bring God’s word to the new Pharaoh.  The Pharaoh released the Israelites after observing months of plagues and terrors visited on his people.  Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, after more than four-hundred years of slavery.

            But slaves don’t know how to care for themselves, rule themselves, form community among themselves.  They only know what the Egyptians told them.  They only knew the rituals of the Egyptian gods.  They only recognized the images of the Egyptian gods.  This was the Israelites way of understanding their world.  Though free of Egypt they were not free. 

            The Ten Commandments are a gift of freedom.  They are a foundation for forming community.  They are divine revelation, divine law, intended to free a people to worship God and give them guideposts for the formation of their Consciences.

The ‘DO s’

            These actions form trust in a community.  A pledge to divine law and to each other forms the foundation for a strong family, community, and nation.

  1. I AM the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of slavery.  You shall not have other gods beside me.  You shall not make …an idol or a likeness of anything…

You are free.  Work with me and nothing will enslave you; no one will bind you and keep you from me.  Let no thing, not food, libations, substances, or material command more attention from you than you give to me.  You are free.

  • You shall not invoke the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.

I AM the Creator God.  You do not know my power.  You cannot wield it.  Respect this difference between us as we relate to each other, as a sign of love for each other.

  • Remember the sabbath day – keep it holy.  Six days you may labor and do all your work, bur the seventh day is a sabbath of the Lord your God.

This is a day of rest and respite.  It is a day of renewal.  Join with others in renewing our community, our love relationship.  I give you this gift.  Give it to yourselves as well. 

  • Honor your father and mother.

In the Beginning you were commanded to be fruitful and multiply.  Your parents fulfilled this command and in love (however great or small) you were brought into the world to be with Me as well.  Honor them, for they honored Me.

The ‘DON’Ts’

            Action taken against the community breaks down the good will built in the first four commandments.  These change the fundamental relationship of love and trust and must be avoided.

  •  You shall not kill.

Killing another breaks down the community.  Killing a life takes something that is not yours to take.  All life belongs to Me.  Killing a person does not stop with the body.  Killing another’s spirit, taking their life by killing their mind, their free choice, their Conscience is the same as taking their body’s life.

  • You shall not commit adultery.

In the beginning, the woman was drawn from the side of the man, to be his partner.  Not from his feet, that she would bow before him, and not from his head that she may lord over him.  “…and the two shall become one…” each providing from their given talent that they may become greater than their parts.  Keep this dignity between you, as a covenant sign of the relationship you share with Me.

  • You shall not steal.

I give you what you need.  What I give to others is what they need.  Be satisfied, and if not satisfied, use the talents I give you to learn and grow and care.  Consider that I may withhold something from you that I give opportunity to another to care for you as part of the community.

The DON’T even THINK about it

            The conscious consideration of ideas contrary to community opens the mind to concupiscence and is to be avoided.

  • You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Telling the truth keeps community strong.  Telling a partial truth, or bending the truth, or refusing to share the truth, to deceive is to break apart the community. 

Lying kills community.

  • You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

Man and Woman become one as a sign to the community of My love and relationship with the community.  It is adultery to even think of breaking up such a holy bond. (Mt 5:27)

  1. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.

Focusing on wanting another’s talent or gifts is to spend time away from strengthening one’s own.  It is a cheat against the gifts awarded and the chance to increase those gifts for the benefit of oneself and the community.

Virtue – the Fruit and Seed of Moral Acts

            “Human virtues are firm attitudes, stable dispositions, habitual perfection of intellect and will that govern our actions, order our passions, and guide our conduct according to reason and faith.  They make possible ease, self-mastery, and joy in leading a morally good life.  The virtuous one is one who freely practices the good.”2

            The theological and cardinal virtues were posted between the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes during the presentation.  These were so for ready reference, visual consideration during the conversation, and for relating to both the Decalogue and the opening of Matthew’s record of the Sermon on the mount.  They are listed here for similar purpose.

Theological Virtues

Faith                Hope               Charity

Cardinal Virtues

Prudence                     Justice             Fortitude                     Temperance

            The virtues tie in the use of Greek philosophy by the Christian Fathers and Apostles to describe, explain, and expand on the Gospel concepts in a society where the civic and cultural foundation was laid by Alexander’s empire and subsisted into Roman times.  Where the Greeks taught of a human soul that was a shadow of something greater and outside of the body, the Hebrew scriptures told of the spirit of God and the spirit of Wisdom as living signs without which humans could not hope to find happiness.

The Beatitudes – the Opening of the Sermon on the Mount

            Father John Riccardo raises the concept of the Beatitudes being a list for losers according to the twenty-first century civil society.3 Concepts of ‘poor’, ‘mourning’, being ‘meek’ as though helpless, giving ‘mercy’ as a sign of weakness and so on are signs of humans unable to handle themselves in a Darwinian world of survival of the fittest.  No one in their sensible mind would want to emulate any of these Christian values.

            The Christian view, though, is that the Beatitudes may be viewed in a number of ways.  First and foremost, they present one portrait of Jesus.  Each characteristic may be seen in the Gospel through His words and His works.  The descriptions of character and virtue may also be viewed by the Christian of any age as a character to work toward in one’s own actions.  Standing in the practice of choosing to follow the Commandments, the virtues of the Beatitudes provide for the further formation of one’s Conscience, making decisions according to them until such decisions become reflected in the habitual practice.  The Christian lives first with Jesus inside of themselves, and through the subsequent practice of action brings Jesus to life for others.

            Also, the word ‘blessed’ may be translated from the Greek to mean ‘fortunate’ and ‘happy’.  Happiness was defined in the opening of this presentation as a sense of contentment of character the results ultimately in an eternal life in relationship with the Creator God.  Therefore, those working toward or emulating these virtues find themselves living a ‘happy’ life.

From Matthew chapter five, verses 3 – 12:

  1. “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

To emulate ‘poor in spirit’ is to practice the virtue of Prudence and Temperance.  It is knowing when one has ‘enough’ for what one needs.  It is to avoid excesses of the ‘things of this world’, to learn to pass through that wealth that one does not require and/or cannot redirect to the maintenance of the kingdom of God.

  • “Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

Comforted by God, by the divine laws and spirit of Love.  Mourning may include despair, depression, confusion, and hurt.  Learning and living these divine revelations provides a salve for these and raises one towards a life of happiness.

  • “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land.”

Among the weaker synonyms of this virtue are found stronger, disciplined words intended for the Christian.  Subdued, forbearing, humble, orderly, patient, modest, and peaceful.  These all come from a disciplined conscience, a mind that holds the body’s action toward an ordered life, order bent toward the divine law in pursuit of happiness.

  • “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied.”

Emphasize here ‘righteousness’ as with the virtue of Justice, where each has enough for what they need.  Following the divine law provides faith, hope, and means to discover and acquire that which is necessary for life’s journey.

  • “Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.”

Jesus teaches us to pray in Mt 5:9-13, the Lord’s Prayer.  “forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors…”  Mercy is at the heart of daily living.  Further, in Mt 22:35 summarizing the first four commandments, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”  This is the pastoral message of Pope Francis.

  • “Blessed are the clean of heart, for they shall see God.”

The heart was thought by the Greeks to be the center of life.  Since the heart does drive the body’s engine, here is where the energy of life was thought to reside.  The mind and Conscience have since been shown to be the nerve center, the thinking and control function for the body.  Here, in the Conscience, creating habitual choice for the good, the ‘heart’ is cleansed, and God can be found.

  • “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”

Those who are so gifted to discern the hearts of others and can bring others to peaceful action, preserving the wholeness of community have found the means to evangelize the world.  They have great responsibility to bring together other people, whether within their own household, between household, or between nation states. 

  • “Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Can one stand on the practice of virtues?  Can one weather the storm of argument, of bullying, of mental challenge and of physical violence as received by the world as a reward for practicing these virtues?  This one who can do so has found true happiness.

            There are traditionally eight Beatitudes.  Perhaps it is too much to bear, or too much to believe when looking at the last one, the ninth one recorded by Matthew.

  • “Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you {falsely} because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be great in heaven.”

Look at how they treated the Savior, the Son of God.  Those on the mountain that day in Galilee could not imagine what would become of the Lord.  We look back and can know it in all its horrors for the record of the Gospel and of the historians of the day.  Even Rome’s Senate eventually outlawed the use of crucifixion as punishment.  Yet, martyrs sacrificed themselves for hundreds of years afterward rather than deny their faith in Jesus and the Way of life He taught.


            The purpose of the presentation is to remind us of who and what we are, physical bodies with life breathed into us by God, giving us rational minds with which to make choices.  Those choices are discerned by a free Conscience to drive physical actions of the body.  We have nature’s laws of being as do the animals, and an innate desire to seek what is good.  At the same time, the nature of the body includes concupiscence that drives us to select what is pleasure and painless, beyond what we need and against what may be best for us.  The Spirit breathed into us allows us to recognize God’s divine law as we form our Conscience.  The habitual choice toward the good builds a stronger Conscience and drives actions that demonstrate the internal character of our minds and the intentions we select for our lives.

            The Ten Commandments are a gift of life for communal living.  Contrary to the perception of civic society, these laws were given to ‘us’ as our ancestors came out of four centuries of slavery.  Told what to do and when for every action by their overlords, the Israelite community under Moses’ leadership needed guidance for holding their very extended family together.  Freedom was given us under these circumstances, a freedom that comes from knowing the difference between a moral ‘right’ and ‘wrong’.  It is through the understanding of these laws that we have the freedom to build extended communities without fear.

            The Beatitudes are a portrait of Jesus Christ, a means for us to understand our own progress on the journey of life and gage the quality of our Consciences.  Moving toward these virtues moves us toward strength in moral character to bring us happiness, and in the end of our days, to an eternal life with the Creator God, through Jesus of Nazareth, the Christ, and in unity with the Holy Spirit of God as we live.


  1. Exodus 20:2-17.  Catholic Study Bible, 3rd Edition.  Senior, Donald Gen Ed; Oxford UP. 2010.  Print.
  2. Catechism of the Catholic Church #1804, Second Edition. Libreria Editrice Vaticana. 1997. Print.
  3. Riccardo, John. “Why Be Good”. Christ is the Answer program #753, Ave Maria Radio. 2013. Compact Disk recording.

Don’t Wait for the Pot to Boil…

A Meme making the rounds on social media shows a picture of some ‘protesters’ inside the U. S. Capitol being confronted by the polices. The caption is “did they comply”, in reference to recent shootings of the same question being asked of (specifically) black men stopped and questioned by police officers on the streets.

The answer to the question is ‘yes’. Yes, the Capitol protesters did comply. The Capitol was cleared and the business of the People continued. The perpetrators were ‘hunted down’ using news footage, security tapes, cell phone videos, and the Internet footprints of the leaders was gathered. More than three-hundred now stand charged and are awaiting jurist action, while the leaders have been formally defined by law enforcement as domestic terrorists. There was no burning, little looting, and the immediate death was of a protesting Air Force veteran shot by security. Later, a security officer died of injuries. The latter’s funeral was given great pomp by the media. The former, only a bye-line mention.

Now, can we say this about the year-long riots in Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Richmond, Chicago, NY, ….  who’s held accountable for the burning of the federal court houses, the ICE offices, the police stations;  How has the law been used to hold the ‘free’ press accountable for their ‘insurrection’ support by their misuse of language, cowering under the banner of the 1st Amendment while the nation burns?

Remind me… have those who violated their State Constitutions in taking executive action to change voting rights been held to account?  No….

Remind me…have those who failed election laws allowing signature verification of mail-in ballots been held to account?  No…

Remind me…have those who failed to hold States to account for their executive actions violating State Constitutions been held to account by the Supreme Court?   No…

We are currently in an historical ‘vortex’ of social and moral relativism, where those desiring and gaining power are abusing the Constitution by using it where they see fit and ignoring it where they seem fit, with the apparent compliance of State and Federal Courts, and with the complicity and use of corporate policy to drive change in an un-Constitutional direction. 

As recently as this week, (April 12th, 2021) the press refused to address looting, burning, and rioting in Brooklyn MN as such, and admonished the police chief for so stating at his press conference. Only the alternative ‘new media’, reporters on the Internet outlets gave this story to the public. For corporate (ABC/CBS/NBC/NPR…) it was not even mentioned.

My friends, to continue so is to lose that which defined our nation and allowed for it to grow to be the bastion of freedom that pulled the world out of war just seventy years ago.  THIS is the FASCISM we fought against.  THIS is the SOCIALISM we fought against.


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A Very Busy Day… for having just been executed…

Jesus has a busy day today. First, there the whole re-animation.

Talk about stress! Beaten, bled, broken, crucified, suffocating to death….then invigorated with the power of creation…wow!

Next, there’s meeting with Mary Magdelene and calming her down her hysteria about not finding his body…

OK, next, gotta go and see The Creator so he ‘can’ be touched by others…planning ahead, of course…

Next, walking out of the garden and meeting up with Cleophus and his wife and party to walk to Emmaus, about a six mile walk from Jerusalem, telling them the whole Salvation history, stopping for supper…offering the bread and wine, and disappearing….

Finally, appearing in the upper room with the ten (remember Thomas isn’t there) his mother and some others, hiding out in fear, distraught, and saying “Peace be with you” and convincing fishermen and a tax collector, a Zealot, and a religious student that he’s real flesh, not a ghost, a dream, a vision…

Jesus, God Almighty,….! …ah…er….

oh yea…it IS!!!

Happy Easter! Hallelujah!!

Courage or Cowardice: Leadership Makes the Difference

Vice President Harris points out the U.S. is and always has been racist. Blames President Trump:

Racism and all other ‘isms’ are human nature, as ancient as the species. It will always be with us.

What set the U.S. apart was the Declaration that ‘ all men are created equal’ and set a new country on a path to create a better union. Celebrating the successes of that union allowed for freeing slaves, voting rights, and the Civil Rights laws that have provided a growing freedom for all and set such an example that post WWII spread to half the world. That conflicts remain are a sign that every generation must work for the Declaration and continued improvement.

We have elected an administration that choses to emphisise the divisions and hatred and blame someone specific for ‘misery’ as they have for decades. Victimhood is celebrated in place of brotherhood. It take little cowardice to tear down a people by blaming others.

It takes great courage to recognize and stand by faith and law to build a great nation.
80 million of you voted for cowardice to lead this nation. Too late you will see where it leads.

Vice President Harris points out the U.S. is and always has been racist. Blames President Trump: